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a manual of Cbut^b .ffisi<)t^ 




Pro/issor of Church History in Bqyhr Unhtrsitjf 

Dtpartmmt Editor of Church History for Nsw Seh^-Hir^og En0fchp4dia 

Author of '*A History of the Baptist Churches m the United States " 

''A HisUny of Anti-Pedobaptism*' eU. 


Bncient anO flleMamil Cbntcb lUetont 

(To A.aJ5l7) 

tEbe Bmetican Jlapti0t publication Societig 

1701-1709 Chertml Scraet. Plul«Uplua 

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Copyright 1899 by tne 
Ambrican Baptist Publication Society 

Published January. iga4 

from tbc flocictv'f own prcM PrioMd 1 

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S)r« aiDert Mauck 

Trofsssor in th$ Uniwrsity of U^^g^ 

Gsh, Kirchmrath^ Editor of ths *' T{$al'Em^klopadie'^ 

and tAvihor of the gnat *^ KirciungischichU Dmtscklands " that 

has fsemtly bun awarded the V§rdim Pri^e^ the highest distinction 

that a work on German History can reaioe 


2)n ?obann Xo0ettb 

'Professor in the Urnotrsity of Gra^, the highest authority on 

IVycliffite, Hussite^ and ^Anabaptist literature and 

history^ to whose writings and friendly 

offices the author is under pro' 

found obligation 



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This work is the product of over twenty years of 
almost continuous application on the author's part to the 
study and teaching of church history. It has been his 
constant endeavor in every part of the volume to incor- 
porate the best results of recent research, and to furnish 
to his readers information at once trustworthy, impartial, 
and fairly adequate on every topic discussed. 

While the work has grown out of the author's own 
needs and experiences as a teacher, and is primarily 
intended as a text-book for theological seminaries and 
universities, he believes that it is equally adapted to the 
requirements of ministers of the gospel and of intelligent 
laymen throughout our great Baptist constituency. As he 
has conscientiously striven to record the facts as he has 
found them, without distorting them in the slightest 
degree in favor of any particular view of history, or any 
peculiar tenets of his denomination, he sees no reason 
why the work should not be acceptable and useful to 
members of other denominations as well as to those of his 
own. The recognition given to the author's fair-minded- 
ness and freedom from partisanship by leading scholars 
of other denominations who have reviewed his earlier 
works induces the hope that this also will find a large 
number of sympathetic readers in the various bodies of 
evangelical Christians. 

It has long been the conviction of the author that a 
place should be given to church history in the curricula of 
all colleges and universities. A number of leading Amer- 
ican universities have followed those of England and 
Germany in giving to the history of the Christian religion 
a place side by side with Greek and Roman history and 
philosophy, mediaeval and modern political history, con- 
stitutional history, the philosophy of history, the history 
of philosophy, comparative religion, sociology, etc., as 


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fundamental to the effective study of humanity. If, as is 
unquestionably true, Christianity has been a chief factor 
in the production of all that is best in modern civilization, 
its history should be relegated to no subordinate place 
among the instruments of general culture. It is little 
creditable to the Christian colleges and universities of 
the United States that this important department of study 
has been to so large an extent neglected. 

A text-book on this subject, scientifically prepared and 
free from partisanship, should encourage professors of 
history to include the history of Christianity in the 
courses they offer, and it is the author's earnest desire 
that this work may contribute in some small measure 
to the more extended study and the better understand- 
ing of the greatest movement in human history. 

The bibliographies interspersed through the volume, 
and which it is believed will add greatly to its value, are 
meant to be neither absolutely inclusive of the literature 
actually used in its preparation, nor absolutely exclusive 
of what has not been so used. 

To Rev. Joseph Leeming Gilmour, B. D., of Hamilton 
Ont., one of the most scholarly of our younger minis- 
ters, the author is indebted for valuable assistance in 
the preparation of the Index. 

The second volume, completing the work, is in course 

of preparation and will be published, it is hoped, before 

the close of next year. 

A. H. N. 
McMastbr UmvBRsmr. 
TORONTO. Canada. Octobflr, xSi.' .•• 

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INTRODUCTION.— Observations on the Study 
OF Church History, and Preparation for 
Christ and Christianity 1-64 

Chapter l— preliminary Observations on the 
Study of Church History 3-ig 

Definition and Scope of Church History 3 

Historiography, Objective and Subjective .... 5 

Sources of Church History 9 

The Employment of Sources 11 

History of Church Historiography 12 

Periods of Church History 16 

Summary of Reasons for Studying Church His- 
tory 17 

Chapter ii.— the GRiCCO-ROMAN Civilization as 


Greek Civilization ao 

Greek Philosophy 21 

The Macedonian Conquest 27 

The Roman Empire 29 


The Effects of the Babylonian Captivity 35 

Influence of the Persian Contact 36 

The Jewish People under the Macedonian Rulers . 39 

The Maccabean Struggle 44 

Rise of Religious Parties 47 

The Dispersion 55 

The Jewish-Alexandrian Philosophy— Philo Ju- 

dseus 59 

Messianic Expectations 62 


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PERIOD I.— From the Birth of Christ to the 
End of the apostolic age (c a. d. ioo) . 65-143 

chapter L— JESUS THE CHRIST 67-80 

The Fullness of the Time 67 

The Pre-Incarnate Word 68 

From Conception to Baptism 68 

The Baptism, the Temptation, and the Testimony 

of John the Baptist 70 

The Public Ministry of Jesus 71 

Some Estimates of the Character and Influence 

of Jesus 78 


The Apostolic Church to the Conversion of Saul . 81 
From the Conversion of Saul to the Jerusalem 

Conference 88 

From the Jerusalem Conference to the Neronian 

Persecution 92 

From the Neronian Persecution to the Death of 

the Apostle John in 

Chapter hi.— constitution of the apostolic 
Churches i2$-i4i 

The Church and the Churches 12$ 

Officers of the Apostolic Churches 131 

Ordinances of the Apostolic Churches 135 

Worship— Elements, Times, and Places 140 

Methods of Christian Propagandism 142 

D. 312) 145-301 


OF THE EMPIRE 147-172 

General Observations 147 

Causes of Persecution 148 

Treatment of Christians by Different Emperors . i$o 

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Chapter il.— internal development of Chris- 
RIES 175-aio 

General Observations 173 

Heretical Sects : Ebionites, Gnostics, Manichsans, ^^ 

Monarchians 174 

Reactionary and Reforming Parties : Montanists, 
Novatianists, Donatists 202 



Preliminary Observations 2\\ 

The Edificatory Period, or the Period of the Apos- 
tolic Fathers 213 

The Apologetical Period 237 

The Polemical Period. 246 

The Scientific Period 271 



External Condition 291 

Internal Condition 292 

MAN EMPIRE BY CHARLEMAGNE (A. D. 800) . 303-434 

Chapter I.— CHURCH AND STATE 305-319 

Constantlne and his Successors 305 

The State Church 311 

On Ecclesiastical Polity— the Donatist Contro- 
versy 320 

On the Relations of the Godhead—the Arian Con- 
troversy 323 

The Origenistic Controversies 332 

On Christoiogy— the Nestorian, Eutychian, Mo- 

nothelite, and Adoptionist Controversies . • • 335 
On Anthropology— The Pelagian and Semi- Pe- 
lagian Controversies 3S8 

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Controversies Occasioned by Protests Against the 
Progressive Paganization of Christian Life as 
seen in Asceticism, the Veneration of Saipts and 
Relics, etc.— the Aerian, Jovinianist, Vigilan- 
tian» PauUcisHi, and Iconoclastic Controversies . 571 


POWER 39S-423 

Preliminary Observations 393 

Leo the Great and the Papacy 397 

The Pontificate of Gelasius 400 

The Pontificate of Symmachus 401 

Hormisdas 402 

Justinian and the Papacy 402 

The Merovingian Kingdom and the Church . . . 404 

The Pontificate of Gregory the Great 40$ 

The Carlovingian Kingdom and the Papacy . . . 406 
The Christianity of Britain in Relation to the 

Papacy 409 

The Advancement of Papal Dominion through 
Missionary Endeavor: Augustine, Willibrord, 

and Boniface 415 


The East and Uie West 423 

Literature and Learning 428 

Church Discipline 429 

Mohammedanism as a Rival of Christianity ... 431 

PERIOD IV.— From the Coronation of Charle^ 
MAGNE as Roman Emperor to the Outbreak 
of THE Protestant Revolution (a. d. 800- 
1517) 435 621 

CHAPTER L— Some aspects of Mediaeval Civiliza- 
tion 437-494 

Preliminary Observations 437 

The Holy Roman Empire 439 

Feudalism 443 

Canon Law and Forged Dacietals 447 

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The Roman Curia 449 

Mediseval Monasticism 451 

The Crusades 456 

The Inquisition 463 

Mediaeval Universities 469 

Mediaeval Theology— Scholasticism, Mysticism . 474 

The Renaissance 490 

CHAPTER 11. — The Papacy during the Middle 

AGES 495-540 

The Popes from A. D. 800-1044 495 

The Hildebrandine Scheme of Reform 502 

The Controversy on Investiture and the Con- 
cordat of Worms (1122) 509 

The Hohenstaufen Emperors and the Popes ... $11 
Decline of the Papal Power: Boniface Vlll., Pa- 
pal Captivity, Papal Schism, Reforming Coun- 
cils 518 

The Popes of the Renaissance 53$ 

TIES $4I-<S2I 

Preliminary Observations 541 

Dualistic Dissent : Bogomiles, Cathari $43 

Chlliastic and Enthusiastic Sects: Joachim of 

Floris and the Joachimites, Spirituales .... $$i 
Pantheistic Heresy: Amalric of Bena, Beghards 

and Beguines, Brethren of the Free Spirit . . , $$^ 
Evangelical Separatism : Petrobruslans and Hen- 
ridans, Arnold of Brescia, Humlliati, Tanchelm, 
Eudo, Waldenses, Taborites, Marsiiius of Pa- 
dua, Peter Chelcicky, Lollards, Bohemian 

Brethren $57 

Evangelical Churchly Reformers : Wydiffe, Huss, 
Brethren of the Common Life, " Reformers be 
fore the Reformation " 600 

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LITERATURE: Sections on Church History in the Theological 
Encyclopedias of Rabiger (English translation), Hagenbach (Eng- 
lish translation, with additions by Croolcs and Hurst), Zoci<ier^i 
'^HoMdbuch (Ur Tfuol. IVissmschaflm,'' Cave's " Introduction to the 
Study of Theology," Dnimmond's '*Thc Study of Theology," and 
SchafPs " Propaedeutics"; Introductions to the Church Histories of 
Schaff, Gieseler, Hurst, Moeller, Niedner, Kurtz, Dollinger, Alzog, 

study of Church History in Ministerial Education,'^ 1874; Smith, 
H. B., " Nature and Worth of the Science of Church History" (in 
•• Faith and Philosophy," 1877) ; De Witt, " Church History as a 
Science, as a Theological Discipline, and as a Mode of the Gospel " 
(in " Bibliotheca Sacra," 1883) ; McGiffert, " The Historical Study of 
Christianity" (in " Bibliotheca Sacra," 1893)? Stanley, *' Lectures 
on the Study of Ecclesiastical History *' (In ^^dfistory of the Eastern 
Church " 1872, Introduction) : Bright, ''The Study of Church His- 
tory " (in '• Waymarks of Church History," 1894). 


History in its broadest sense is the setting forth in 
literary or oral form of the development in time of the 
divine plan of the universe, in so far as this develop- 
ment has become an object of human knowledge. This 
definition involves a recognition of the fact that the uni- 
verse was planned and created and has been continu- 
ously sustained and ordered by an infinite God. Hu- 
man history would include a narration of all that is 
known of the origin of mankind and of the development 
of human nature in all its aspects and under all circum- 


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stances. Sacred history is the setting forth of the 
known facts of man's development as it has been af- 
fected by the providential, inspiring, and self-revealing 
presence of God. 

Church history is the narration of all that is known 
of ttie founding and the development of the kingdom 
of Christ on earth. The term church history is com- 
monly used to designate not merely the record of the 
organized Christian life of our era, but also the record of 
the career of the Christian religion itself. It includes 
within its sphere the indirect influences that Christianity 
has exerted on social, ethical, aesthetic, legal, economic, 
and political life and thought throughout the world, no 
less than its direct religious influences. 

The history of Christianity has much in common with 
the history of other systems of religion, and much that 
is peculiar. Religion is a universal factor in human life. 
The religious life of every organized people has a history 
of its own. Each of the great world-religions has had 
its origin, its growth, its influence on the social, ethical, 
and political life of the peoples that have professed it, 
has undergone changes by virtue of the influence of 
ihe other elements of life and thought by which it has 
been surrounded, has been modified by contact with 
other systems of religion and philosophy, has developed 
forms of worship, sacred rites, sacred books, sacred per- 
sons and classes, sacred places, methods of propagating 
itself, and theories of the origin and development of the 
race and of the goal of human history. The religion 
of Jesus Christ entered upon its career amid Jewish 
surroundings. Jesus himself as a man was consciously 
a member of the Jewish community. His early disciples 
were all thoroughly imbued with the principles of Juda- 
ism. By special divine grace a select few were marvel- 
ously preserved from the contamination of error. But as 
Christianity made its way throughout the Jewish and 
pagan world it was inevitable that it should be pro- 
foundly influenced by the current modes of thought and 
life and that its polity, doctrines, ordinances, worship, 
ethical conceptions, and ideals of life, should be assimi- 
lated in some measure to those of the world in which it 
had its being. It may be said in general, that just 

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in proportion as the Christianity of any age and land 
has submitted to the worldly influences that have 
been brought to bear upon it has its development approx- 
imated that of heathen religions. 

In the above definition of church history it is presup- 
posed that the human race is in an abnormal state, 
alienated from God, and that the end of Christianity is 
the restoration of man to a condition of obedience to 
God and communion with him. The history of the 
church should show, therefore, the progressive accom- 
plishment of this divine purpose through the centuries, 
taking full account of the obstacles that have presented 
themselves to the triumph of Christianity and the means 
by which they have been surmounted. 


As the aim of the church historian should be to ascer- 
tain and to represent the exact facts in their relations to 
each other and to the times and circumstances concerned 
in each case, it is manifestly desirable that in the process 
of investigation he should deal as impartially with his 
materials as does the chemist with his specimens. The 
end and aim of all his research should be the accurate 
ascertainment of facts in order that truth may emerge. 
It is incumbent on him to guard scrupulously against al- 
lowing his judgment to be swayed by the supposed 
bearing of the facts on the traditions of his denomination 
or his own individual opinions. 

On the other hand, it is neither practicable nor desira- 
ble that the church historian should be indifferent to the 
subject-matter of his science or that he should be so des- 
titute of convictions as to form no moral judgments on 
the opinions and acts of parties and individuals whose 
history he studies and seeks to expound. As a matter of 
fact, the great mass of those who are in a position to de- 
vote their lives to research in church history have been 
so conditioned by reason of their known convictions and 
ideals. . It is not the scholar who is without personal in- 
terest in Christianity and who studies its history in a 
purely scientific spirit, that is likely to enter into the 
fullest appreciation of the facts of church history ; but 

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the scholar who is most profoundly imbued with the 
spirit of Christianity, rejoices in all that is Christlike and 
heroic, laments the corruptions and perversions of the 
past, and is most deeply concerned for the honor and 
purity of the Christianity of the present and the future. 
Christ is the truth. The church historian must be above 
all things truthful and truth-loving. That any one 
who claims to be a follower of Christ should seek 
to advance the cause of Christ by the suppression of 
facts or by the suggestion of falsehood is so anomalous 
as to be incredible were not undoubted instances, an- 
cient and modern, so numerous. The truth-loving church 
historian will seek to be as scrupulously just to indi- 
viduals and parties from whom he fundamentally differs 
as to those with whom he fundamentally agrees. He 
will be as reluctant to credit disparaging statements 
against the former, when insufficiently supported by evi- 
dence, as to discredit such statements against the latter 
without adequate reason. The prevalent practice in the 
past has been to credit every statement that bears 
against one's opponents and to discredit every statement 
unfavorable to one's friends. The following points of 
view may be here discriminated : 

I. The Romanist, maintaining that ail authority, that 
of the Scriptures included, inheres in the church ; that 
the church has the right to legislate independently 
of Scripture ; that as vicar of Christ on earth the pope 
possesses of right universal dominion, spiritual and sec- 
ular, will of necessity study and write church history 
from a hierarchical point of view. Convinced that •* the 
greater glory of God " is involved in the realization of 
the aims of the hierarchy, he will regard everything as 
praiseworthy and justifiable that has ministered to the 
upbuilding of hierarchical power and that the church has 
approved, and everything as heretical and worthy 
of reprobation that has opposed the development of the 
hierarchical scheme. It is evident that the Romanist, 
as such, is disqualified from treating objectively the facts 
of church history. He is not even able to view the facts 
subjectively as conforming or not conforming to the stand- 
ard set up by his own personal moral judgment. The 
standard is an objective one, fixed by church authority. 

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2. The Anglo-Catholic, accepting as supreme the au- 
thority of the ancient undivided church as represented 
by the Fathers of the first six centuries or more specifi- 
cally by the canons of the first four General Councils, 
and laying the utmost stress on apostolic succession, 
church perpetuity, and catholicity, as marks of the 
church, will inevitably write church history with a view 
to establishing the identity of his own church with the 
church of the Fathers, and the historical derivation of its 
episcopate from that of the early church, and so from the 
apostles. It were not to be expected that he would deal 
sympathetically or fairly with Christian individuals or 
parties who do not bear his " marks " of churchmanship. 

3. The advocates of ecclesiastical development, hold- 
ing that Christ and his apostles did not design to pre- 
scribe or exemplify a definite form of church organization 
that should be perpetually binding, but that the Christian 
life which embodied itself in a particular form of organiza- 
tion suggested by and adapted to the needs and circum- 
stances of the apostolic time may assume a thousand 
other forms, under as many varying circumstances, will 
attach comparatively little importance to changes in ec- 
clesiastical order and in doctrine from age to age. He 
will show, e. ^., by reference to the circumstances and 
needs of the times, how and why the simple congrega- 
tional order of the primitive churches gave way first to 
presbyterial government, then to simple episcopal, then 
to prelatical, and at last to papal. He will regard each 
stage as the natural, if not necessary, outgrowth of an- 
tecedents and environments, and while he will not hesi- 
tate to condemn corrupt practices, he will be slow to 
condemn any ecclesiastical institution as such. Freed 
from the necessity of defending any particular form of 
Christianity as exclusively valid, he will be in a position 
to treat sympathetically, with reference to the circum- 
stances of their times, even the most corrupted and dis- 
torted forms of Christianity, and especially will he be 
interested in all efforts, however misguided, to bring 
about reforms. Such is the position of the great mass 
of modern German students of church history, and it is 
among these that we find the closest approximation to 
true objectivity of treatment combined with deep interest 

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in every form of Christian life, organization, and doctrine. 
English Broad Churchmen occupy essentially the same 
position, but have not busied themselves largely with 
church history. 

4. He that sees in the precepts and example of Christ 
and his apostles, as embodied in the New Testament 
Scriptures, an authoritative standard for all times and all 
circumstances, will look upon any deviation from this 
standard as obnoxious to the spirit of Christianity. 
While admitting that apostolic church order is given only 
in outline, and that much has been left open and free for 
determination from time to time by the wisdom of bodies 
of believers organized in the apostolic way, practising apos- 
tolic ordinances, and subject continually to the guidance of 
the Holy Spirit, he will refuse to give his approval to any 
violation of what he regards as the fundamental princi- 
ples embodied in the apostolic norm. Yet in view of the 
speedy and almost complete departure of the post-apos- 
tolic churches from the apostolic church order, and of the 
fact that thenceforward to the present time so large a part 
of the Christian work that has transformed the world 
has been accomplished by churches and individuals 
whose church order, doctrines, and manner of life have 
fallen indefinitely short of the apostolic requirement, he 
will judge as charitably as possible those who do not ap- 
pear to have been willful perverters, but who may be 
supposed to have been led astray by early training or 
the force of circumstances, and will rejoice in all that is 
Christlike and noble in life, in thought, and in deed. 
While he will be ever alert to discover the existence and 
to trace the history of individuals and parties that in 
times of general apostasy have earnestly attempted to 
restore the apostolic form of Christian teaching and 
practice, he will guard scrupulously against perverting 
the facts in this interest; and while he may strongly 
suspect that if the facts were all known, apostolically 
organized churches and apostolic types of teaching and 
life would cut a far larger figure in certain periods than 
appears from materials at present available, he will be 
content to state precisely what he finds authentically 
recorded, and to give his reasons for thinking that the 
facts may have been more favorable than the extant 

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documents reveal. The church historian who feels 
bound in his own life, doctrine, and practice by the 
apostolic norm should be the most truth-loving, the most 
charitable, the most fair-minded, the most unpartisan of 
all. He should be able to exemplify the very best sort 
of objectivity in his investigation and exposition of the 
facts of church history. Knowing that truth is mighty 
and must ultimately prevail, he will believe that a state- 
ment of the exact facts in each case will better subserve 
the cause of truth than any partial or distorted narrative 
could possibly do. 


These embrace all the contemporary information on 
Christian life, thought, organization, and achievement 
in each age and country, extant in written or other 
form. The following specifications may be made : 

I. Contemporary Christian literature of every kind. 
(i) Edificatory writings show the ideals of Christian life 
that prevailed, the evils that had to be guarded against, 
the methods of using and interpreting the Scriptures, and 
the current types of teaching. (2) Apologetical litera- 
ture shows the attitude of the church of each age to- 
ward the world and of the world toward the church, and 
usually embodies the philosophical conceptions that un- 
derlie the Christian thinking of the time. (3) Polemical 
literature reveals the antagonistic forces at work in each 
age among professing Christians, and while it often gives 
evidence of the presence of intolerance and partisan ran- 
cor and shows little appreciation of the position of op- 
ponents, it is exceedingly valuable as furnishing the ma- 
terials for the history of doctrinal development. (4) The 
canons of synods and councils and the collections of rules 
and regulations for the guidance of the churches in mat- 
ters of discipline belonging to each age and country, 
throw much light on the practical working of organized 
Christianity. (5) Creeds, usually formulated as a result 
of controversy and generally embodying either compro- 
mise statements or the opinions of the dominant party, 
have their obvious uses as materials for church history. 
(6) Liturgies and hymns produced by and for the 

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churches of each age and country embody the prevail- 
ing ideals of worship and reflect the religious life of the 
times. (7) Correspondence, public and private, embody- 
ing in many cases the frank expression of the opinions 
of leading actors on current events, is often of the high- 
est value. (8) Papal decretals, rescripts, bulls, briefs, 
etc., present in concrete form the claims of the hier- 
archy from time to time, and the methods employed for 
securing recognition of hierarchical authority. (9) Im- 
perial and royal edicts, capitularies, and other enactments 
in relation to ecclesiastical matters, have their obvious 
uses. In fact, civil and ecclesiastical history are so inti- 
mately related, especially since the union of Church and 
State, that most civil records have a bearing direct or 
indirect on church history. The Corpus Juris Civilis is 
almost as important for church history as the later Corpus 
funs Canonid. 

2. Christian Archceology. Religious sculpture and 
painting, symbolical representations of religious acts and 
truths (as on the walls of the catacombs and on gems), 
inscriptions on coins and seals, remnants of church archi- 
tecture, baptisteries, etc., are embodiments, each in its 
way, of the religious life and thought of their age, and 
are worthy of the attention of the church historian. 

Abundant materials of all the varieties specified have 
been preserved, and through the industry of scholars 
have been made available to the student in printed form. 
The work of research is still going energetically forward, 
and it is probable that within a few years little extant 
material of value will have remained in concealment. 

Treatises on church history, ancient and modern, are 
of value only so far as they are known to rest upon a 
critical and judicial use of the original sources. 

The materials of church history are now so vast that 
no individual can hope to master them. The best work 
appears at present not in general treatises on the entire 
subject, but in monographs on limited periods, particular 
movements, particular institutions, individual leaders, 
etc. The general church historian must depend very 
largely on such monographs prepared by specialists ; but 
he will be careful to test their results on all important 
matters by direct reference to the sources. 

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CHAP.l] I>RELIMINARY observations II 


1. It is obvious that if sources are to be used the lan- 
guages in which they are written must be thoroughly 
mastered. The sources of ancient church history are 
mostly in the Greek and Latin languages, a knowledge 
of which is indispensable. Some valuable material ex- 
ists in the Syriac, Ethiopic, Coptic, Armenian, and the 
various Slavonic languages, but few church historians un- 
dertake the mastery of these. For the church history 
of Western Europe during the Middle Ages, Latin is the 
principal language ; but important writings are preserved 
in the primitive forms of the German, the Romance, the 
English, and other languages. For modern history the 
German, French, Dutch, and Italian languages are impor- 
tant, especially the first two. 

2. The successful historical investigator must have 
critical insight in a high degree. A vast amount of 
spurious material is intermingled with the genuine litera- 
ture of each age. He must be able to discriminate be- 
tween the genuine and the spurious. Of genuine writ- 
ings some are more trustworthy than others, owing to 
the character, the circumstances, and the competence of 
the writers. The investigator must be able to judge of 
the relative value of documents, and amid conflicting 
evidence to reach conclusions reasonably well assured. 

3. Most church historians will find it convenient to 
make use of translations of the pertinent literature along 
with critically edited texts in the original languages. 
When translations are used for securing a general famili- 
arity with the subject-matter, the originals should be care- 
fully compared on all obscure and controverted points. 

4. On matters of controversy we are to study care- 
fully the documents on both sides. This is absolutely 

5. We are to distrust writers evidently prejudiced 
when they make grave accusations against opponents, 
unless there are other reasons for crediting such accusa- 
tions. The average polemicist of ancient, medieval, and 
Reformation times had less regard for truth, when in the 
heat of controversy, than the polemicist of the nine- 
teenth century. 

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6. On the other hand, admissions by partisan writers 
of shortcomings on their own side, or of merits on their 
adversaries' side, are among the best proofs of such 
facts, independently of the general credibility of the 


The Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles are the 
earliest extant writings in the sphere of church history, 
the former narrating from different points of view the 
birth, early life, ministry, death, and resurrection of the 
Messiah, the latter giving an account of the missionary 
labors of the apostles, especially of Peter and of Paul, 
including Paul's two years' residence as a prisoner in 
Rome. Passing on to the post-apostolic time we may 
distinguish the following eras of church-historical writing : 

I. Ancient Church Historians. Hegesippus (about 175- 
189) wrote five books of "Memoirs," from which Euse- 
bius quotes, but which are unfortunately lost. He seems 
to have given chief attention to the rise and growth of 
heresy, and to Jewish sects. Eusebius speaks of him as 
a converted Jew. Eusebius of Csesarea (260-340) is 
entitled to be called *' the Father of Church History." 
One of the most learned men of his time and as the 
courtier of the Emperor Constantine possessed of every 
facility for gathering materials and composing a merito- 
rious work, he prepared on a comprehensive plan a 
" Church History " that has held its position to the pres- 
ent time as the most important work on the ante-Nicene 
Church (1-324). The scholarly translation by McGiffert, 
with ample annotations,* is indispensable to the student 
of church history. He was a careful investigator, and 
quoted largely from many writings that have perished. 
That his work is uncritical and ill-arranged is a remark 
that would apply to all ancient and medieval treatises on 
the subject. His " Life of Constantine " is of the nature 
of a panegyric, and is too favorable to the first Christian 
emperor, but it contains much important matter. He also 
wrote a " Chronicle," in which he gave an abstract of 
universal history with chronological tables. In the follow* 


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ing century Socrates, Sozomen, and Theodoret, each in 
his own way, continued the Church History of Eusebius 
to his own time. These include accounts of the great 
Christological controversies, and of the struggle of Chris- 
tianity with paganism during the fourth and part of the 
fifth centuries. Eusebius' work was translated into Latin 
by Rufinus, with a continuation to the death of Theodosius 
the Great (3Q5)* Cassiodorus, a Roman statesman, had 
the Church Histories of Socrates, Sozomen, and Theod- 
oret translated into Latin by Epiphanius, and himself 
continued the narrative to 518. This so-called ** Tri- 
partite History," along with that of Eusebius, formed the 
chief authority on ancient church history throughout the 
Middle Ages. 

Sulpicius Severus, a Gallic noble and ascetic (died 420), 
wrote a "Chronicle," in which church history followed 
biblical history. His work abounds in the fabulous and 
is of little value. The works of Socrates, Sozomen, and 
Theodoret, like that of Eusebius, are available in excel- 
lent translations in the "Nicene and Post-Nicene Fa- 
thers. " Of less importance are the Church Histories of 
Theodorus and Evagrius (sixth century), which were 
continuations of those already mentioned. 

2. (MedicevcU IVriters. The Middle Ages produced 
nothing important on ancient church history. Contem- 
porary chronicles, often preceded by a digest of early 
history from the Latin translations of the writings men- 
tioned above, represent the achievements of the age in 
this department. Lives of the saints, full of fables, 
abounded. Several compilations of universal history^ 
were produced, but these are of little value. 

3. Church Historians of the Reformation Time. The Prot- 
estant Revolution, which was a revolt against the corrup- 
tions and the tyranny of the Roman Catholic hierarchy, 
called forth the ** Magdeburg Centuries" (1559-1574), 
written by Matthias Flacius lllyricus, Wigand, Judex, 
and others. It is a vast and monumental effort to vindi- 
cate the Protestant position by an exhibition of all that 
IS most disreputable in the history of medieval Catholi- 
cism. Stress is laid upon the protests against Rome that 
were made from time to time, and much valuable ma- 
terial is brought forward by these scholarly and indus 

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trious writers. The work is excessively polemical, but 
served a useful purpose. It called forth the learned and 
voluminous ** Ecclesiastical Annals," edited by Baronius 
(1588), who had at his disposal the resources of the Vati- 
can Library. Baronius' work, which embraced only the 
first twelve centuries, has been continued by various 
writers to 1585. 

In France, Bossuet attempted to vindicate the Roman 
Catholic Church against Protestant attacks, and to destroy 
the foundations of Protestantism by his " Discourse on 
Universal History'* (1681). The voluminous work of 
Tillemont, a Jansenist nobleman, on the first six cen- 
turies,^ was based upon an industrious and somewhat 
critical study of the sources, and was written in a spirit 
of moderation. It is still of value. 

An epoch-making book was the " History of the 
Church and of Heretics," by Gottfried Arnold (1699). 
Deeply pious and somewhat mystical, he used his great 
learning in an effort to show that what had commonly 
been stigmatized as heresy was really the effort of primi- 
tive Christian life and principles to assert themselves in 
the face of bitter persecution. His voluminous work was 
looked .upon with disfavor by his contemporaries, but is 
now highly appreciated by impartial scholars. 

4. l{ecent Church Historians. Mosheim (died 1755) is 
justly called "the father of modern ecclesiastical histo- 
ry." * His ** Institutes of Ecclesiastical History " (1755) 
has been translated into English and widely used. He 
was learned, critical, and impartial, and did much toward 
popularizing the study of church history. He followed 
the century method, and in this respect belongs to the 
elder time, but he surpassed most of his predecessors in 

Ehilosophical insight and comprehensiveness of view. 
lis most valuable work was probably his *' Commen- 
taries on the Affairs of Christians before Constantlne 
the Great" (1753). 

Three German writers of the first half of the present 
century deserve special mention, because of the intrinsic 
value of their works and the stimulus they gave to re- 
search on the part of others. They followed close upon 

1 " Mtnolrt.*' ate. 1691. Mf . t MMlIer. 

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the emancipation of thought from the old confessionalism 
and the remarkable development of the critical spirit about 
the beginning of the century, and in different ways exem- 
plify the modern spirit of research and the determination 
to deal impartially with all religious parties. 

Gieseler's ** Text-book of Church History"* consists 
of a brief but very carefully prepared outline, with co- 
pious citations from the sources made with marked dis- 
crimination. It is still the best manual for such students 
as are able and willing to utilize the citations. 

Neander, well characterized by Schaff as "a child in 
spirit, a giant in learning, and a saint in piety,*' " led back 
the study of history from the dry heath of rationalism to 
the fresh fountain of divine life in Christ, and made it 
a grand source of edification as well as instruction for 
readers of every creed.*' His " General History of the 
Christian Religion and Church" (1825-52) was trans- 
lated into English by Torrey, and in this form reached its 
twelfth American edition (besides English and Scotch edi- 
tions) in 1881. It has probably had a wider influence in 
English than in German. Besides this large general work 
he published many valuable monographs. 

Baur, more generally known as the father of the 
Tubingen school of New Testament critics, was a church 
historian of the foremost rank. Of his " History of the 
Christian Church," published in part after his death 
(i860), only the portion covering the first three cen- 
turies has appeared in English (three volumes, London, 
1878). His works on the apostolic age, while revolu- 
tionary and destructive, gave a stimulus to research that 
has borne abundant fruit. His ** History of Christian 
Doctrine" (1865-67) is among the most valuable of his 

Among the excellent manuals of church history re- 
cently published in Germany may be mentioned those 
of Hase (eleventh edition, 1886; English translation, 
1873) ; Niedner (latest edition, 1866) ; Ebrard (1865) ; 
Rothe (1875) ; Herzog (1876 onward) ; Kurtz (tenth edi- 
tion, 1887; English translation, 1888-90); Moeller (three 
volumes, 1889 onward ; English translation, 18^ on- 

1 i8b4 onward ; the best edition Is tbe EagUtli trusbition by H. B. Smith. 1857 onwarl 

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ward) ; and Karl MUIIer (two volumes, 1892 onward). 
The two latest are also the best. Among modern Ger- 
man Roman Catholic works on church history may be 
mentioned those of Alzog (English translation in three 
volumes, 1874 onward) ; D5llinger (second edition, 1843 ; 
English translation, four volumes, 1840-42) ; Hergen- 
rbther (third edition, 1884-^); Kraus (third edition, 
1887) ; and Funk (second edition, 1890). These are all 
works of learning, and show the influence of Protestant 

British scholarship has not devoted itself zealously to 
general church history. The only work that deserves 
mention is Robertson's ** History of the Christian 
Church " (second edition, in eight volumes, 1874). 
Smith's ** History of the Christian Church During the 
First Ten Centuries " (1880), is a good compilation. 
Many valuable monographs, especially on the early 
church and the Middle Ages, have appeared. 

In America the largest and most comprehensive work 
is Schaff' s '* History of the Christian Church " (1882 
onward ; Vol. I.-IV. and VI.-VII. have appeared ; 
Vol. V. was left incomplete, and will be edited by 
Prof. D. S. SchafO- This work, written in the spirit of 
Neander, combines fullness of information with popular 
qualities to a remarkable degree. Other recent works 
of merit are those of Sheldon (four volumes, 1896), 
Fisher, Dryer, and Hurst. Hurst's ** History of the 
Christian Church " (two large volumes, 1897 onward), 
based upon the latest researches, written in excellent 
spirit and in elegant style, has an unusually full bibli- 
ography and specially prepared maps, and is in almost 
every respect a model work. 

The best recent works on the " History of Doctrine " 
are those of Harnack (three volumes, third edition, 1894*- 
1897, English translation in eight volumes); Loofs (thirc* 
edition, 1893), the best brief work in German ; Sheldon 
(1886) ; and Fisher (1896). 


From what has been said regarding the nature and 
scope of church history, it is evident that the only way 

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in which it can be studied to advantage is by dividing 
the nineteen Christian centuries into periods, and by 
selecting from each period a convenient number of topics 
for special consideration. The division into periods is 
somewhat arbitrary, and historians differ considerably in 
their delimitations. The following division seems, on 
the whole, the most advantageous : 

1. From the birth of Christ to the end of the Apostolic 
Age (about 100). 

2. From the end of the Apostolic Age to the conver- 
sion of Constantine (312). 

3. From the conversion of Constantine to the founding 
of the Holy Roman Empire by Charlemagne (800). 

4. From the coronation of Charlemagne as emperor to 
the outbreak of the Protestant Revolution (15 17). 

5. From the outbreak of the Protestant Revolution to 
the Peace of Westphalia (1648). This latter event 
almost synchronizes with the temporary overthrow of 
monarchy in England, and with the temporary ascend- 
ency of dissenting parties over the prelatical church. 

6. The era of modern denominationalism (1648 to the 
present time). 

The choice of topics in each period will depend on the 
judgment of the historian as to what features of the life 
and thought of the age are most characteristic and sig- 


1. History is acknowledged by all to be one of the most 
valuable instruments of intellectual culture. Church his- 
tory is so essential a part of universal historv that the 
history of humanity would be incomplete and unintelli- 
gible without it. Universal history is best understood 
when Christ is regarded as the central figure, for whose 
advent the past, with its systems of religion, philosophy, 
and government was, in an important sense, a prepara- 
tion ; and when Christ's church, under his guidance, is 
recognized as the aggressive and conquering power in 
modern history. 

2. Without a knowledge of the history of the Chris- 
tian church in all Hs departments and relations it is 


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impossible to understand the present condition of Chris- 
tianity with its multitudinous sects, its complicated doc- 
trinal systems, and its variegated forms of organization, 
life, and worship. 

3. The history of the Christian church is, in one aspect, 
the history of Christian life. To know how the people of 
God have, from age to age, struggled and suffered and 
triumphed will tend to prepare us to meet the trials that 
always beset the Christian life ; to know how large a 
proportion of those that have professed Christianity have 
lived in sin and dishonored the name of Christ will tend 
to put us on our guard against a similar failure, and to pre- 
vent us from despairing when we see how imperfectly 
many of those around us fulfill their Christian duties. 

4. The study of church history enables us to see the 
working of great principles through long periods of time. 
Church history is a commentary on the Scriptures. For 
every teaching of Scripture we can find many a practical 
exemplification. We can show, as it were, experimen- 
tally, how every departure from New Testament princi- 
ples has resulted in evil — ^the greater the departure the 
greater the evil. The study of church history, while it 
may make us charitable toward those in error by sliow- 
ing us examples in all ages of high types of religious life 
in connection with the most erroneous views of doctrine, 
will not tend to make us disregard slight doctrinal aber- 
rations ; for we shall know that the most corrupt forms 
of Christianity have had their origin in slight deviations 
from the truth. 

5. It may be said with confidence that the great mass 
of minor sects have been formed by those ignorant of 
church history, and that a knowledge of church history 
on the part of their founders would have prevented their 
formation. A widely diffused knowledge of church his- 
tory would tend powerfully toward a unification of 
thought as to what Christianity should be, and would be 
highly promotive of Christian unity. On the other hand, 
a knowledge of the vast results that have followed from 
the emphasizing of particular aspects of truth in the past 
would tend to prevent an underestimate of tneir impor- 
tance in the present. 

6. The History of the Christian church furnishes the 

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strongest possible evidence of the truth and assurance 
of the final triumph of Christianity. If Christianity has 
surmounted obstacles seemingly almost insuperable; if 
though sometimes submerged in corruption it has again 
and again shown itself able to shake off the accumula- 
tions of error, and then to march onward with primitive 
vigor ; we have every reason to believe in its sufficiency 
for ali the trials to which it may hereafter be subjected 

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LITERATURE : Histories of Greece, by Grote, Curtius, and Thiri- 
wall ; Histories of Rome, by Mommsen, Ihne, Merivaie, Neibuhr, 
Bury, and Arnold ;DoUinger, **Hndenthum md Judinthum*^ (Eng- 
lish translation, *' Gentile and Jew in the Courts of the Temple/' 
1862) ; Histories of Philosophy, by Ueberweg, Zeller, Windelband, 
Erdmann : Bauer. '* Das Chrisiliche des Platattisnms,** 1857 ; Acker- 
man, ''The Christian Element in Plato" (English translation, 
1861) ; Coclcer, " Christianity and Greek Philosophy " ; Westcott, 
" Religious Thought in the West," 1891 : Hatch, ^' the Influence of 
Greek Ideas and Usages upon the Christian Church,** 1890; 

gommsen, ''The Roman Provinces" (English translation, 1888) ; 
Jiiller, " Gssch. d. 1{<m. Kaisgr^iH unUr d. RtgUrung d. Nsro" 1872 : 
Friedlander, " SitUngnchichU ^^nu," fourtii edition, 1874 ; Renan, 
" The Influence of Rome on Christianity," 1880 ; Fisher, G. P., 
" The Influence of the Old Roman Spirit and Religion on Latin 
Christianity" (in " Discussions in History and Theology," 1880) ; 
Hamack, '^ Christianity and Christians in the Court offiie Roman 
Emperors Before the Time of Constantine" (in " Princeton Review," 
1878): Addis, "Christianity and tiie Roman Empire," 1893: 
Arnold, W. T., " The Roman System of Provincial Administration," 
1879 ; Farrar, " Seekers After God," new Edition, 1892 ; Uhlhorn, 
" Conflict of Christianity witii Heatiienism " (English translation, 
1879), and "Christian Charity in the Ancient Church" (English 
translation, 1883); Farrar, "Eariy Days of Christianity" 1882; 
Edershelm, " Life and Times of Jesus," 1883, Introductory; and the 
Introductions to the Church Histories of Neander, Gieseler, Hase, 
Schaff, Hurst, Moeller, etc 


CENTURIES before the beginning of the Christian era 
(660-324) the Greeks had wrought out a civilization that 
in literature, philosophy, science, and art, greatly sur- 
passed the achievements of all other nations. Their 
language had been so developed as to constitute the 
most perfect instrument for the embodiment and con- 
veyance of thought that had ever been known and is 
still unsurpassed. Their religion was a polytheistic per- 


sonification of the powers of nature resting on a semi- 
pantheistic conception of the world. Their gods and 
goddesses were the embodiments no less of the baser 
passions of the human soul than of the nobler qualities, 
and the moral ideals of the people were low. The idea 
of sin as an offense against a holy God and as involving 
guilt was almost wholly absent. Sin was conceived of 
rather as ignorance, as a failure to understand one's true 
relations. There is no adequate recognition of the per- 
sonality of God or the personality and responsibility of 


From 600 B. C. onward philosophy occupied a prominent 
place In Greek life and in an ever-widening circle of 
minds tended to undermine faith in the crude polythe- 
ism of the time. The possibilities of the uninspired 
human mind in speculative reasoning were well-nigh 
exhausted by such thinkers as Pythagoras, Socrates, 
Plato, Aristotle, and Zeno. 

I. fythagoras (sS2--$io) seems to have derived from 
Egyptian or Oriental sources the doctrine of metempsy- 
chosis and that of the harmony of the spheres. Mathe- 
matics furnished the basis of his speculative system. 
The principles of numbers he regarded as the substance 
of things and as constituting the eternal and self-origi- 
nated bond of the universe. His doctrine of the harmony 
of the celestial spheres was based upon the assumption 
that they are separated from each other by intervals 
corresponding to the relative length of strings combined 
to produce musical harmony. The soul he regarded 
as a harmony, chained to the body as a punishment. 
Ethical notions were expressed by the Pythagoreans in 
mathematical form, symbols taking the place of defini- 
tions. Pythagoras seems to have taught that the uni- 
verse is in an eternal flux and that in regular cycles 
persons and events are repeated. Much stress was laid 
on a series of contrasts or antitheses, such as Limit — 
Illimitation, Odd — Even, One — Many, Right — Left, Male 
— Female, At Rest — In Motion, Straight— Bent, Light — 
Darkness, Good — Bad, Square — Oblong. These remind 
us of the sons of the Gnostics, and in other respects 

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the influence of Pythagoreanism on Gnosticism is niani* 

Pythagoras founded a large number of aristocratic 
secret societies in the Italian-Greek colonies. These 
brotherhoods seem to have had a somewhat rigorous ethi- 
cal code and to have developed a somewhat elaborate rit- 
ual. A strict discipline, somewhat like that of monastic 
bodies, was maintained and the members were forbidden 
to propagate their views among the people. 

A modified Pythagoreanism was much in vogue in 
Alexandria and elsewhere during the early Christian 
centuries, and was one of the most influential forms of 
Greek philosophy in its contact with early Christian 

2. Socrates (471-399) *' called philosophy down from 
the heavens to earth, and introduced it into the cities 
and houses of men, compelling men to inquire concern- 
ing life and morals and things good and evil."* For 
our knowledge of his ethical and religious teachings 
we are dependent on his disciples, Plato, Xenophon, and 
Artistotle. His fundamental conception appears to have 
been the inseparable union of theoretical insight with 
practical moral excellence. He believed that virtue was 
capable of being taught and that all wickedness resulted 
from ignorance. He fostered the spirit of inquiry by his 
persistent calling in question of current beliefs, but 
thereby incurred the hostility of the authorities and for- 
feited his life. He supposed himself to act and speak 
under the impulse of a supernatural being (daemon, ^a«- 
fi6vtov). He defended the existence of the gods and of 
a divine principle over and above these partial manifes- 
tations of deity. He spoke of wisdom as present and 
regnant in all that exists, and as determining all things 
according to its good pleasure, being distinguished from 
the other gods as the ruler and disposer of the universe.* 
Yet he refrained from giving distinct personality to this 
ruler and disposer, and it is probable that his conception 
of the universe was monistic or semi-pantheistic. Plato 
attributes to Socrates an elaborate argument for the im- 
mortality of the soul. 

1 Cicero. tXtnophoa, ** MsmorMMia," I.. 4 : 4 ; IV.. 3 : 3. ij. 

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3. In Plato (427-347) Greek philosophy made its near- 
est approach to Christianity. He elaborated the thoughts 
of Socrates and put them into enduring literary form. 
No Greek writer exerted so much influence on the Jew- 
ish thought of the last centuries before Christ or on early 
and later Christian thought. In order to make himself 
master of all the wisdom of the past and of his own age 
he visited Egypt, Cyrene, and probably Asia Minor, and 
spent some time with the Pythagoreans in Italy. Sicily 
also was laid under contribution. 

"In Plato's philosophy the expanding roots and branches of 
earlier philosophy are developed into the full blossom, out of which 
the subsequent fruit was slowly brought to maturity.'* * '* Plato's 
relation to the world is that of a superior spirit, whose good pleasure 
it is to dwell in it for a time. . . He penetrates into its depths more 
that he may replenish them from the fullness of his own nature 
than that he may fathom their mysteries. He scales its heights as 
one yearning after renewed participation in the source of his being. 
All that he utters has reference to something eternally complete, 
good, true, beautiful, whose furtherance he strives to promote in 
every bosom." * 

Plato has well been called " the philosopher of the 
spirit."* His theory of "ideas" may be regarded as 
the central feature of his philosophy. The '* idea " is 
the archetype (the divine thought or plan) of which 
material objects are the imperfect reflection. Only the 
pertect idea is real ; what seems to us real is only an ' 
illusion. In the archetypal world exists the idea of 
everything that comec into phenomenal existence. High- 
est among the ideas is the idea of the Good. Of almost 
equal rank are the ideas of the Beautiful and the True. 
He seems sometimes to represent these high ideas as 
efficient causes and even calls them gods. The world- 
builder (Demiurge) he seems to identify with the idea 
of the Good. This idea he regards as the cause of 
being and cognition and as the sun in the kingdom of 

The prominence given to the Good constitutes his sys- 
tem a highly ethical one. "The highest good is not 
pleasure, nor knowledge alone, but the greatest possible 

»Bo^clct>. »qo«thf. •Hwt. 

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likeness to God." * The motive to virtue should be not 
fear of punishment nor hope of reward, but the fact that 
it is itself the beauty and health of the soul. To train 
its citizens to virtue is the highest mission of the State. 
Virtue for every individual is perfect adaptation to his 
calling. He seems to have taught the eternity of matter, 
which was devoid of quality and of proper reality until 
transformed and ordered by the good God. While Plato 
used much language that seems to imply belief in the per- 
sonality of God, his teaching was fundamentally panthe- 
istic. Some would prefer to designate his system " spirit- 
ualistic monism." 

Plato's philosophy, like that of Pythagoras, profoundly 
affected Jewish thought during the last two centuries 
before Christ, and its influence on the Christian theology 
of the second and following centuries was great beyond 
computation. Says Eusebius: **He alone of all the 
Greeks reached the vestibule of truth and stood upon its 

Bishop Westcott bears this high testimony to his im- 
portant place among religious thinkers: ''Plato, more 
than any other ancient philosopher, acknowledged alike 
the necessary limits of reason and the imperious instincts 
of faith, and when he could not absolutely reconcile 
both, at least gave to both a full and free expression. 
And so Platonism alone, and Platonism in virtue of this 
character, was able to stand for a time face to face with 

4. The philosophy of Aristotle (384-322), the great- 
est of Plato's disciples and the tutor of Alexander the 
Great, exerted far less infhience on the religious thought 
of the pre-Christian time than that of Plato. His in- 
tellect was probably the most comprehensive that the 
ancient world produced. In logic and dialectics he is 
still supreme. His philosophy is practical and matter- 
of-fact rather than mystical and speculative. By virtue 
of his pre-eminence in systematization and formal rea- 
soning he secured recognition among mediaeval theolo- 
gians as the ultimate authority within this sphere. In 
natural science he surpassed all the other ancients. 

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He rejected Plato's doctrine of Ideas, maintaining that 

! general ideas are not the only realities, or causes of the 
ndividuals of a kind, but are mere mental abstractions 
from the individuals ; that the individuals of the human 
race, e.g.^ are not unreal reflections of the universal 
idea man, but that the universal idea man is a mental 
abstraction from a contemplation of individual men. 

Aristotle reached a clear conception of God as an im- 
material spirit who is the final cause. He proves that 
the assumption of such a being or principle is necessary 
from the evidences of design in nature. This principle 
or first mover he defined as essentially pure energy. If 
it were merely potential it could not unceasingly commu- 
nicate motion to all things. It must be eternal, pure, 
immaterial form, since otherwise it would be burdened 
with potentiality. Being free from matter, it is without 
plurality and without parts. It is absolute spirit, which 
thinks itself and whose thought is therefore the thought 
of thought, itself unmoved, it moves all things, it is 
the Good in itself and its influence is like the attraction 
of love. He could not conceive of God as shaping the 
world at any given time, but looked upon the world- 
framing process as an eternal one. Thought, which is 
the mode of God's activity, constitutes the highest, best, 
and most blessed life. The world has its principle in 
God. Aristotle approaches the Christian doctrine of a 
sole personal God, who at the same time is immanent in 
the universe and transcends it ; but it is doubtful whether 
a recognition of divine personality is involved in his 

The aim of all moral action, according to Aristotle, is 
happiness, and happiness consists in living a life of 
action under the control of reason. This accords closely 
with Plato's definition of virtue. Morality presupposes 
freedom of will. His classification of the virtues and his 
definition of each show deep psychological insight. 

5. Less influential than Platonism and more influential 
than Aristotelianism on the religious life of the pre-Chris- 
tian and the early Christian time was Stoicism^ founded 
by Zeno of Citium (about 308 B. C). This system was 

>SMliif '*Mttspliy*ics.*' IX. and XII. C/. Uebenrtg. ''History of PbHosophy." 
VoL I., ^ i^ ttq. 

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closely related to the Socratic, and Socrates " sat for the 
portrait of the Stoic sage." 

The most characteristic feature of Stoicism is its mate- 
rialistic pantheism. In this respect it is the antithesis of 
Platonism. Matter and force the Stoics regarded as the 
two ultimate principles. Only the material is real. 
Matter as such is motionless and unformed. Force is 
the active, moving, and molding principle. The working 
force in the universe is God.* 

The world as a whole is regarded as conscious and 
consciousness is identified with Deity. Periodically all 
things are absorbed into Deity, the evolutionary process 
beginning afresh after each absorption. This process is 
regarded as a necessary one. 

The human soul, which is the warm breath in us, is 
a part of Deity and so has capacity for divine influence. 
It survives the body, but is absorbed into Deity at the 
end of the cosmic period. 

As in Platonism, virtue is considered the chief end of 
life. Mere pleasure should never be made an end of 
endeavor. We should do right because it is right and 
without regard to consequences. Freedom from passion 
*iS the mark of the perfect man. Complete self-control 
and self-sufficiency, with the right and the courage to 
terminate life when it suits one's purpose, characterizes 
the Stoic sage. Stoicism produced an elevated but some- 
what somber type of character in its votaries. On the 
ethical side it had much in common with Christianity. 
Its materialistic pantheism or monism was to exert a 
marked influence on Christian theology. The moral 
writings of Seneca, Epictetus, and Marcus Aurelius are 
so elevated and pure in tone as to suggest dependence on 
Christian sources. 

6. Epicureanism (310 B. C. onward), and the various 
forms of Skepticism that arose during the last four cen- 
turies before Christ, became the most popular forms 
of Greek philosophy, and exerted a baleful moral in- 
fluence on the entire Greek-speaking world and, at about 
the beginning of the Christian era, on Roman life and 
thought. Epicureanism was itself essentially skeptical. 

1 Of. Ue^frwep, VoL L. p. 194. 

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Rejecting all mythical forms and conceptions, denying 
the supernatural and the immortality of the soul, Epi- 
curus taught that pleasure in the present life is the 
supreme end of man's being. This did not necessarily 
involve dissolute living, for this does not yield on the 
whole the greatest amount of pleasure ; but the wide- 
spread acceptance of pleasure as the only criterion of 
conduct could not fail to lead to a debasement of morals. 
The Skeptics, led by Pyrrho (360-270), asserted that of 
every two mutually contradictory propositions one is as 
true as another. The distinctions between the true and 
the false, between right and wrong, between virtue and 
vice, were obliterated, and advocates of this doctrine were 
emancipated from any sort of moral or religious restraint. 
It was in this form that Greek philosophy promoted so 
powerfully the worse than Oriental license that sapped 
the foundations of Greek and Roman society. 


The conquest and absorption of the Greek States by 
Philip of Macedon (358-336), and the world conquest 
of the Macedonian-Greek Empire under Alexander the 
Great (336-323), diffused the Greek civilization, with 
its matchless language, literature, art, philosophy, and 
science, over the then civilized world. Greek became 
the language of jzovernment and culture in Mesopota- 
mia, Asia Minor, Syria, Egypt, and ultimately (after the 
Roman conquest of the East) in Rome itself. Anti- 
och under the Seleucidae became a great Greek capital 
and an important center of culture in which Greek and 
Oriental elements of life and thought were blended. 
Alexandria, the capital of the Ptolemies, became the 
greatest literary, philosophical, and scientific center of 
ancient times. The Ptolemies lavished their wealth on 
the gathering of a library and the promotion of learning. 
It was their ambition to collect in their library the litera- 
ture of the world, and they expended vast sums in pro- 
curing translations into Greek of the chief literary pro- 
ductions of the past. The library is said to have 
reached the enormous magnitude of four hundred thou- 
sand volumes ; but if so it must have had many copies 

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of the same works, and individual works must have been 
numbered by books. The ablest scholars were brought 
together, and liberal encouragement was given to literary 
production and to the work of public instruction. The 
Alexandrian Lyceum was more like a modern university 
than was any institution of ancient times. 

Highly important in the development of religious 
thought was the formation under the patronage of the 
Ptolemies of populous Jewish colonies. Under the royal 
patronage the Hebrew Scriptures were translated into 
Greek (the Septuagint version), and a large body of re- 
ligious literature was produced by Greek-speaking Jews 
who had become imbued with Greek modes of thought 
(the Old Testament Apocrypha, etc.). In Philo, who 
lived in the New Testament time, we meet with the 
ablest and most elaborate effort to blend Hebrew and 
Greek thought, and by the application of the allegorical 
method of interpretation to explain away everything in 
the Old Testament that was out of harmony with the 
refined spiritualism of the current modified Platonism. 

Representatives of Indian theosophy (Brahminism and 
Buddhism), of Persian dualism (Zoroastrianism), and 
of the surviving Babylonian sects seem to have availed 
themselves of the opportunity offered by the desire for 
universal knowledge that expressed itself so influentially 
in Alexandria, to expound their systems, and the esoteric 
philosophy or theosophy of the Egyptian priests emerged 
from the temples and made its contributions to the stock 
of current thought. 

What is true of Alexandria applies in a measure to the 
cities of Syria, Asia Minor, and Greece, and by the be- 
ginning of the Christian era Hellenistic influence had 
become almost dominant in Rome, now grown almost 
as cosmopolitan as Alexandria. 

Greek religion, while it furnished a spiritual interpre- 
tation of nature, and while it contributed largely toward 
the development of aesthetic life, failed utterly to pro- 
duce a pure morality, or to satisfy the religious longmgs 
of the more earnest spirits. Long before the beginning 
of the Christian era its foundations had been undermined 
by philosophical speculation, and skepticism was almost 
universal. The blending of Greek thought with the 

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theosophy of the Orient had intensified the religious 
yearnings of a large class of thinkers without being able 
to satisfy them, had brought into prominence the great 
problems of being, such as the origin and destiny of the 
world and of man, the origin and purpose of evil^ the 
relation of the world-framer to the Supreme Being, the 
relation of the Supreme Being to man and to the world, 
the relation of matter to spirit, etc., but had failed to 
provide any adequate solution of these problems. Many 
had come to realize the need of a divine revelation, and 
above all of a Divine Saviour. 


The religion of the early Romans was closely related 
to that of the Greeks. Its differences in development 
were due chiefly to the idiosyncrasies of Roman charac- 
ter. The Romans as a race were remarkably deficient 
in poetical and imaginative faculty. They were austere, 
practical, matter-of-fact, utilitarian. Fundamentally their 
religion was a pantheistic worship of nature. Everything 
that exists was regarded as permeated by Deity. The 
individual deities were partially personified abstractions 
of the powers of nature. As compared with the Greek 
religion it produced more of calm piety, was practised 
with more dignity and order, was more strictly ritualistic, 
was more carefully upheld and administered by the State, 
and was more practical in its subservience to the inter- 
ests of the State. Images and temples were not intro- 
duced until a hundred and seventy years after the 
founding of the city. 

Religion with the Romans was never a matter of feel* 
ing, always a matter of form. The securing of divine 
favor was thought to depend upon the exactitude with 
which all ceremonies were performed and all prayers 
uttered. The slightest mistake in word or gesture ren- 
dered the entire proceedings ineffective. The same rite 
was sometimes repeated thirty or even fifty times be- 
cause of slight defects in utterance or manipulation. 

Theoretically every householder was the priest of his 
household as the king was the priest of the State ; but 
the necessity of having the religious rites performed by 

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experts gave great power to the priests. They alone 
had perfect familiarity with the names and functions of 
the gods and knew precisely what god was to be propi- 
tiated in order to secure the needful blessing or to ward 
off threatening calamity, and also the details of the rites 
by which favor was to be obtained. 

Even before the founding of the republic (B. C. 509) 
there was a Pontifex Maximus at the head of a college 
of pontiffs, whose business it was to supervise all the 
religious affairs of the State and to give judgment in 
every religious cause. These pontiffs were attorneys 
and counselors in religious law, and as officials of the 
State had vast influence. 

The College of Augurs were the official soothsayers, 
whose business it was by observing the flight of birds 
and other phenomena to determine the attitude of the 
gods toward contemplated State measures. 

The Roman religion in its primitive form seems to have 
been highly promotive of the sterner virtues. Truthful- 
ness and honesty, almost unknown among the Greeks, 
were distinguishing traits of the better class of Romans. 
Family life was comparatively pure, and the virtue of the 
Roman matron and her dignified position are proverbial. 
Fidelity to the State at the utmost personal cost was a 
common virtue and treason was by no means so common 
as among the Greeks. The Roman Senate at its best 
was the ablest, most dignified, and most honorable body 
known to antiquity. 

From about 240 B. C. Rome came more and more 
under the influence of Greek religion and philosophy. 
The conquest of the East (including Macedonia, Greece, 
Asia Minor, Syria, Egypt, and Mesopotamia) was 
achieved stage by stage (200-63), and Roman law and 
administrative order were communicated to the Hellen- 
istic provinces; but the conqueror was vanquished by 
the conquered. During the entire period of contact 
Rome was gradually appropriating the religion and the 
culture as well as the luxury and license of the Hellenis- 
tic Orient. 

It was the policy of Rome to tolerate and utilize for the 
purposes of the State the religions of conquered peoples. 
There was no disposition to regard its own gods as 

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exclusively powerful and worthy of worship. Every new 
god conciliated added so much to the effectiveness of the 

Most important for our present purpose was the influ- 
ence of Greek philosophy on Roman thought. It was 
" the rationalism of Euhemerus, the skepticism of Eurip- 
ides and the Pyrrhonists, the agnosticism of Protagoras, 
and the atheism of Diagoras and Theodorus," that found 
most acceptance among the Romans during the century 
preceding the birth of Christ. Stoicism, with its mate- 
rialistic pantheism that often expressed itself in language 
hardly distinguishable from pure theism, and its stern 
morality that repudiated pleasure and the hope of reward 
as motives, was never popular among the Romans ; yet 
it profoundly influenced some of the greatest minds and 
made an important contribution to the development of 
Roman law into a system of equity of world-wide appli- 

Disbelief in the current religion had become almost 
universal among the educated classes before the begin- 
ning of our era ; but those who were most pronounced 
in their skepticism insisted on its careful maintenance as 
a State institution and as useful for the illiterate masses. 

When the republic was transformed into the empire 
(31 B. C.) Augustus strove in vain to check the process 
of decay and to restore the national religion to its pris* 
tine position. He assumed personally the office of Pon- 
tifex Maximus, thus combining in his own person the 
civil and religious supremacy and giving full recognition 
to the popular religion as an institution of the State. 

The practice of apotheosizing and worshiping the 
emperors, however corrupt and despicable might be their 
characters, exerted a most degrading influence on the re- 
ligious life of the empire in the early Christian time ; but 
it introduced a common object of worship throughout its 
entire extent and had a distinctly universalizing tendency. 
Provincial assemblies for the exercise of this cult became 
highly important from a social and political point of view. 
Bringing the people together, as they did, for festive 
worship, they promoted political life in many ways. 

The religious cravings of the people were catered to 
but by no means satisfied by Oriental priests, sorcerers, 

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soothsayers, and astrologers, who flocked to Rome and 
drove a thriving trade. Apollonius of Tyana (3 B. C- 
96 A. D.), imbued with the spirit of the Neo-Pythago- 
rean philosophy, practising a rigorous asceticism, and 
imposing on the credulity of the people by mysteries and 

Sretended miracles, attracted . many followers in Asia 
linor, Greece, and Italy. 

The Roman Empire may be regarded as having pre- 
pared the way for the sprefad of the Christian religion in 
the following ways : 

1. The Roman conquest broke down the barriers be- 
tween East and West and between province and province, 
and welded the whole civilized world into an organic 
whole administered from Rome as its center. Palestine 
was a Roman province at the beginning of our era and 
Jewish rulers administered the government under Roman 
authority. Jews were free as never before to settle in 
all parts of the Graeco-Roman world, and Jewish syna- 
gogues, which were in many cases to furnish opportu- 
nity for the planting and dissemination of Christian 
truth, were to be found in every city. A religion origi- 
nating in Judea had at this time a far better opportunity 
to make its way throughout the world than it would have 
had under other circumstances. 

2. The extension of Roman citizenship to individuals 
throughout the provinces was of immense advantage to 
such preachers of the gospel as possessed it. 

3. The construction of excellent roadways through- 
out the empire for military and commercial purposes was 
no doubt greatly promotive of the diffusion of Chris- 

4. Apart from the excellence of the roads travel was 
rendered far safer than it had ever been before. The pro* 
found peace that settled over the world, the careful en- 
forcement everywhere of law and order, made the work 
of the missionary comparatively easy. The Roman 
Empire was to the early Christian missionary what the 
British Empire is to the modern, with this important 
difference, that England favors and protects missionaries 
as such, while Christianity was to the Roman Empire an 
unlawful religion and was frequently persecuted. 

5. The extension of the use of the Greek language 


made it possible for the Greek-speaking promulgators of 
Christianity to find intelligent hearers everywhere with 
3Ut learning new languages. 

A recent German writer says : 

The task of Rome was to unite— to unite, we may say as confi- 
Qently. for Christ. Bom at the same time, the Roman Empire and 
the Christian Church were also providentialiy appointed for each 
other. The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of seed. If the 
seed is to be sown the field must be prepared. The Roman Empire 
was the prepared field. The kingdom of heaven is like leaven. If 
the leaven is to be mixed with the meal, the meal must be shaken 
together. The Roman Empire was the shaken heap of meal first of 
allto take up the leaven. All the peoples of the Old Worid hitherto 
had lived and labored apart, all their gains and achievements, theii 
riches and treasures, their works ot art and scientific results, their 
ancient traditions and legends, their gods and rites of worship, all 
existing elements of culture and forces of civilization, were now 
comprised in one empire. Other empires have exceeded this In terri- 
tory and in population, but there has never been a second empire in 
the whole course of history which so united in itself all the cultivated 
nations of itstime.^ 

1 Uhlbon. '* Conflict oi ChrlttiaiUly with HMtbenUm." p. tf. 

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Literature : Works of Josephus and Philo (original and Eng- 
Hsh translation) : Old Testament Apocrypha (original in Septua« 
gint) : Bissell, '• The Apocrypha of the Old Testament with His- 
torical Introductions, a Revised Translation, and Notes Critical and 
Explanatory," 1880 : Ball, " The Ecclesiastical or Deutero-canoni- 
cal Books of the Old Testament, commonly called the Apocrypha," 
i8q2; *'The Zend-Avesta," translated and edited by Darmesteter; 
Reuss, " U 'BibU!' Parts VI. and VII. ; Wace, " The Apocrypha," 
1888 ; Schiirer, '* A History of the Jewish People in the Time of 
Jesus Christ" (English translation), 1885 onward ; works on Jew- 
ish History, by Ewald (English translation), Jost, Gratz (Eng- 
lish translation), and Stanley; Wellhausen, "D^ Pharisoir u, d 
Sadducdif,** 1874 } Geiger, " Sadducdir u, Tharislur" 1863 ; Cohen, 
" Us Pharisiens, 1877; Derenbourg, ** Histotrs d$ la TaUsttui^** 
1867; Drummond, "The Jewish Messiah," 1877; Drummond, 
" Philo Judaeus," 1888 ; Dahne, '* G$sehichtlkh$ DarsUUuMd. nidisckr 
aUxandrmischm Rsltgians-Philosophu^** 1834; Gforer, ^* Philo if. d, 
aUxandrinischi Thsosophu^'* 183 1 ; Lucius, " Ver Esssnismus in sshum 
l^irhaltniss {um Judsnthum^** 1881 ; Demmler, ** Chrisius u. d, Essm- 
wuMtf," 1880 : Articles on Apocrypha {Apohrj^in)^ Philo, Pharisees, 
Sadducees, Essenes, Messiah, Proselytes, Disper^on (Diaspora)^ 
Pseudepigrapha, etc., in the Encyclopedias of Herzog-Hauck, 
Schaff-Herzog, McClintock and Strong, Kitto, and Smith (" Dic- 
tionary of the Bible"). For fuller bibliography see Schiirer, as 
above, at the head of each section. 

The Old Testament history of the chosen people 
leaves off with the completion of the fortifications of 
Jerusalem by Nehemiah, notwithstanding the deter- 
mined efforts of the Samaritans to prevent it, the 
introduction of rigorous reforming measures by Nehe- 
miah, and the failure of Sanballat and his associates 
successfully to resist these measures. The date reached 
is about 432 B. C. The people had been delivered from 
their Babylonian captivity by Cyrus, king of Persia 
(535 B. C. onward), and the temple had been restored by 
Zerubbabel, under the patronage first of Cyrus and tlien 

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of Darius Hystaspes (534-515). About 457 B. C. Ezra, a 
scribe who had remained beiiind in Babylon, was com- 
missioned by Artaxerxes Longimanus to make inquiries 
regarding the condition of the Jewish people in Judah 
and Jerusalem and to convey royal gifts of gold and 
silver for religious uses. He was also given authority 
to put in force the moral and ceremonial laws oi 
Jehovah as he understood them, it being part of the 
policy of the king by thoroughly conciliating the God of 
the Jews to secure his favor " for the realm of the king 
and his sons/' 


1. The deportation of the people was by no means 
complete. Many of the inhabitants of the kingdom of 
Judah had escaped to Egypt and it is probable that 
some remained in the land. Of the Northern kingdom 
a still larger proportion probably remained behind. The 
breaking up of external religious institutions and the 
pressing in of heathen peoples had resulted in an almost 
complete relapse of the remnant of the northern tribes 
into heathenism. 

2. The Jews of the captivity, so far from yielding to 
the heathen influences by which they were surrounded, 
were brought by their discipline of suffering to empha- 
size more than ever the spiritual side of religion and to 
repudiate with decision everything savoring of idolatry. 

3. Monotheism, long inculcated by their inspired 
leaders, was now thoroughly grasped by the people as 
such, and the licentious idolatry that had possessed 
Irresistible attractions for the Jewish masses was now 
looked upon with abhorrence. 

4. They were ready to welcome the conquest of Meso- 
potamia by the Persian kings, who professed a compara- 
tively pure form of dualism and who abhorred the idola- 
try of the Babylonians, and they no doubt found means 
of rendering material assistance to the invading hosts. 
That Cyrus and his followers should show special favor 
to a people who welcomed their conquest and whose re- 
ligious and moral ideals had much in common with those 
of the Persians might have been expected. 

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I. The Persian Religion. The religion of Cyrus and 
his people was a system of dualism whose elaboration is 
commonly ascribed to Zoroaster (about 66o-;83), and 
which is embodied in its most authentic form in the 
Zend-Avesta. Zoroastrianism supposes the existence 
from the beginning of two antagonistic principles, good 
and evil, each having its personal (or personified) head. 
Ormazd (Ahura Mazda) is the prince of the kingdom of 
goodness and light, Ahriman of the kingdom of evil and 
darkness. Ormazd was conceived of as the embodiment 
and author of wisdom and power, as the promoter of 
growth and progress, as absolutely holy and beneficent, 
as unspeakably glorious and fair, as supremely intelli- 
gent and watchful. He is the author and upholder of all 
that is good. His attributes correspond closely with 
those of Jehovah, the chief difference being the limita- 
tion of his power by the antagonistic energy of Ahri- 
man. This difference is strikingly set forth in Isa. 4; : 
5-7, where Jehovah says "to his anointed, to Cyrus,'* 
" I am the Lord, and there is none else ; beside me there 
is no God : I will gird thee, though thou hast not known 
me : that they may know from the rising of the sun, 
and from the west, that there is none beside me : I am 
the Lord, and there is none else. I form the light, and 
create darkness ; I make peace, and create evil ; I am the 
Lord that doeth all these things." This is a most in- 
structive passage. Jehovah to make good his soleness 
does not hesitate to claim for himself the functions 
ascribed by the Persians to Ahriman as well as those 
ascribed to Ormazd. 

Beneath each of these primal principles is a host of 
subservient principles or angels, each having its particu- 
lar antagonist in the opposite kingdom. The six good 
archangels are Vohu Manah (Good Mind), the mediator 
between Ormazd and man and corresponding to some 
extent to the Logos (Word) of John's Gospel ; Asha 
Vahishta (Best Righteousness), the principle of cosmic 
order ; Khshathra Vairya (the Wished-for Kingdom), 
lepresenting the aspiration of the people after the uni- 
versal triumph of righteousness ; Spenta Armaita (Hc!^ 

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Harmony), embodying the ideal of peace and good will / 
among men ; Haurvatat (Wholeness) ; and Ameretat (lm« 
mortality). Closely related to these is Sraosha (Obe- 
dience). Standing below these are the Yazatas (Worship* 
ful Ones), of which the chief are Mithra fAngel of Light), 
Rashnu(Angel of Justice), Arshtat (Truthfulness), Parendi 
(Riches), Ashi (Rectitude), Verethraghna (Victory), Hvar 
(Sun), Mah (Moon), Tishtrya (Star), and Atar (Fire). 
These angelic beings (or abstractions) are almost infinite 
in number. Each individual human soul is supposed to 
be accompanied by a Fravashi (Guardian Angel) who 
contends with the corresponding evil powers and forti- 
fies the soul in its struggle for the right and the good. 

Ahriman (Angra Mainyu) stands at the head of the 
demonic hosts, which are the antitheses of the hierarchy 
of Ormazd. 

Zoroastrian dualism is advantageously differentiated 
from the pantheistic-polytheistic systems of the East by 
its doctrine of human freedom and responsibility, which 
furnished the basis of a relatively pure morality. Per- 
sistent choice of the good weakens the power of evil. 
Purity, physical and moral, is insisted on. Uprightness, 
charity, and generosity are constantly inculcated. The 
utmost stress is laid on truthfulness. Asceticism is ab- 
bent from the system, and the wholesome enjoyment of 
what nature has provided is encouraged. 

The doctrines of the resurrection of the dead and of a 
future life of blessedness or misery, dependent on the 
character of the present life and determined by a judg- 
ment following immediately the death of the body, are 
clearly taught. Heaven, hell, and purgatory (the latter 
for those whose good and evil deeds are found to have 
been equal), are provided for in the system. 

The coming of a saviour and the final triumph of 
the kingdom of Ormazd, with the banishment " of the 
wicked, evil-doing Daevas into the depths of the dark, 
horrid world of hell,'' are clearly taught in the Avesta 
and the Pahlavi Texts. 

Worship was addressed not only to Ormazd, but just 
as freely to the lower orders of angelic beings, and some 
of the litanies remind us of those used in the Catholic 
churches of the later time. 

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2. Persian Influence on Jewish Thought. This is seen 
(i) In the excessive scrupulosity with which the later 
Jews, going far beyond the prescriptions of the Levitical 
code, discriminated between things clean and unclean ; 
(2) in the relative indifference to temple worship and 
the stress laid on popular instruction and worship as seen 
in the formation of village synagogues ; (3) in the energy 
with which the later Jews resisted every effort to induce 
them to embrace false religions; (4) in the elaborate 
system of angelology and demonology found in the 
apocryphal books that were written during the Greek 
period ; (5) in the book of Esther we see Judaism terri- 
bly persecuted by the later Persian power and saved by 
the patriotism of a Jewess, who by her charms had won 
the heart of King Ahasuerus ; (6) the Persian influ- 
ence is probably traceable as one of the elements in the 
Essene sect, 

3. The Synagogue and theSynago^s. The Jews no doubt 
became accustomed to congregational worship apart from 
the temple during the Babylonian captivity. It was not to 
be expected that with the restoration of the temple they 
should forego the means of frequent edification and in- 
struction that they had found helpful. Ezra called the 
people together on the Sabbath days to receive instruc- 
tion in the divine law, and this practice rapidly spread 
throughout the land and into the dispersion. The serv- 
ices of the synagogues were intended not to supplant 
but to supplement the temple worship. The general in- 
troduction of synagogue worship marks a distinct ad- 
vance in the educational status of the people. Hence- 
forth religion was to be more and more a matter of 
teaching and learning. The "Great Synagogue," In a 
rudimentary form at least, was organized by Nehe- 
miah, on the occasion of his second sojourn ip Jerusalem 
(436 B. C. onward.) The religious condition of the peo- 
ple he found on his arrival to be deplorable. Alliances 
had been formed with such enemies of the established 
order as Sanballat, the Sabbath was desecrated, and the 
Law was disregarded (Neh. 13 : 6-31). It is by no 
means certain that the eighty-five priests, who as repre- 
sentatives of the people pledged themselves and their 
constituents to observe the Law, constituted the Great 

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Synagogue ; but it is probable that out of this united 
acceptance of Nehemiah's reforms grew a great national 
organization, composed normally of one hundred and 
twenty members, whose business it was to promote the 
due observance of the Law and the results of whose 
labors are seen in the careful selection and editing of the 
sacred books and in the formation of the Old Testament 
canon. To this body was formerly ascribed the intro- 
duction of a new Hebrew alphabet, the supplying to 
the text of certain diacritical signs, the ordering of the 
synagogue worship, and the beginning of the elaboration 
of the ceremonial law that was ultimately embodied in 
the Talmud. During this period, and probably under 
the direction of the Great Synagogue, schools for in- 
struction in the Scriptures were established, and a class 
of professional scholars (scribes) arose whose authority 
was generally recognized. 


Reference has already been made to the importance of 
the Macedonian conquest as a means of diffusing through- 
out the civilized world the Greek language and thought, 
and of promoting the action, reaction, and blending of the 
religious and philosophical life and thought of Europe, 
Asia, and Africa. In no way did this great upheaval ex- 
ert more directly its beneficent influence in the direction 
of preparing the world for the coming of Christ and for 
the literary embodiment and diffusion of his teachings 
than through the Hellenizing of a large part of the Jewish 

The leaders of the people made prompt, unconditional, 
and cordial submission to Alexander the Great in 332 
B. C. He was so favorably impressed by their attitude 
and their representations that he treated them with the 
utmost consideration. The wide dispersion of the Jews, 
and their ability to be of service to the conqueror as 
guides to every part of the East and of Egypt no doubt 
had something to do with the cordiality of his bearing. 
Considerable numbers accompanied him on his expedi- 
tion to Egypt. In founding his great Egyptian capital, 
Alexandria^ he offered the most liberal inducements tQ 

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the Jews to settle there, and large numbers settled in the 
Fayyum. Ptolemy 1. seized and occupied Syria on sev- 
eral occasions (320, 302, etc.)» and carried to Egypt 
thousands of Jews and others, maintaining throughout 
the good-will of the people, who always resented the 
authority of the Seleucidse. The Ptolemies seem to have 
respected the religious principles of the Jews, while the 
Seleucidae attempted to supplant their religion by forcing 
heathen institutions upon them. A few of the monu- 
ments of this important period of Jewish history may be 
here briefly described. 

1. The Temple near Heliopolis. Heliopolis was the 
ancient site or an Egyptian temple, devoted to the wor- 
ship of the sun. About 164-162 Onias, son of the high- 
priest Onias II!., failing to secure the succession to the 
Jerusalem high-priesthood, went to Egypt, and with the 
co-operation of Ptolemy IV., transformed an old heathen 
temple into a Jewish sanctuary and introduced a regular 
temple service. This service continued until the temple 
was closed by the Romans in A. D. 73. While this serv- 
ice was looked upon with disfavor by the leading Jews of 
Palestine, and while many Egyptian Jews continued to 
regard visits to the Jerusalem sanctuary as important, its 
introduction and maintenance mark a distinct stage in the 
liberalizing of Jewish religious thought. 

2. The ureek Version of the Old Testament {Septuagint). 
The Jews shared fully in the great literary activity that 
was fostered in Alexandria by the munificence of the 
early Ptolemies. Among the most important products of 
this activity was the Septuagint. No credit is at present 
given to the Jewish tradition (preserved by Josephus), 
which represents it as having been produced by seventy 
scholars appointed by one of the Ptolemies for this pur- 
pose, who wrought independently and reached precisely 
the same result. Considering the vast expenditures of 
the Ptolemies in the gathering of the Alexandrian Library, 
it is not improbable that they extended their patronage 
to this work. It was probably begun during the time 
of Ptolemy II. (285-247), and completed under Ptolemy 
VII. (182-146). the Pentateuch was the first to be 
put into Greek. Palestinian Jews regarded the version 
as a desecration. Greek-speaking Jews were naturally 

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delighted to have the sacred oracles in the popular lan< 
guage. The Septuagint is a very free rendering, the de- 
sire to bring the Old Testament writings into accord with 
Greek modes of thought having been largely influential. 
Extensive additions are made to several of the books, 
and ultimately the apocryphal books were incorporated. 
This version is highly significant as showing that a large 
and influential part of the Jewish people had come to 
prefer a free Greek translation to the Hebrew original, 
and that Greek modes of thought had been extensively 
adopted by the Jews along with the Greek language. It 
also facilitated aquaintance with the Jewish religion on the 
part of Greek-speaking Gentiles, and was an important 
aid to the proselyting efforts of zealous Jews. Before 
the beginning of the Christian era this version was in 
common use not only in Egypt, but also in Syria, Asia 
Minor, and to a considerable extent in Palestine itself. 
The writers of our New Testament books were for the 
most part content to quote freely from it. 

3. The Apoaypha. This term (meaning concealed or 
obscure) is applied to the considerable body of Jewish 
writings that were incorporated in the Septuagint with 
the Greek translations of the Hebrew canonical books, 
but which have no place in the Hebrew canon. Several 
of these (Baruch, in part, the Wisdom of Jesus Son of 
Sirach, and i Maccabees) were written originally in He- 
brew, but are preserved only in Greek. The rest seem 
to have been composed in Greek. The Apocfyphal E^a 
(i Esdras) is made up in part of materials from the 
canonical Ezra, but largely of extra-canonical materi- 
als. The aim of the writer seems to have been to 
present a complete history of the temple from the sus- 
pension of the services at the captivity, to the rehabilita- 
tion of temple worship after the restoration. The addi- 
turns to Esther consist of a dream of Mordecai regarding 
the deliverance of his people, the decree of extermina- 
tion by Artaxerxes, prayers of Mordecai and Esther, a 
second edict of Artaxerxes, and the explanation of Mor- 
decai's dream. The additions to Daniel consist of a 
prayer of Azarias, the song of the three children in the 
furnace, and the story of Bel and the Dragon. The 
Prayer of Manasses, in captivity, is usually inserted 

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among the hymns following the Psalms. Baruck pur- 
ports to have been written by the friend and amanuensis 
of Jeremiah. It narrates the destruction of Jerusalem, 
and gives an account of a deputation of Babylonian Jews 
to Jerusalem on behalf of Nebuchadnezzar and his son, 
who confessed their sins and sought the intercession of 
the Jerusalem saints. The Letter of Jeremiah is addressed 
to the Babylonian captives, and is a warning against 
idolatry. Tobit is a charming religious story, which sets 
forth Jewish life in the Babylonian captivity in its no- 
blest, purest form. It abounds in the miraculous, and 
Persian angelology figures prominently, but it is highly 
moral in tone, and exhibits in a striking way the rewards 
of righteousness and the penalties of wickedness. Judith 
also is an edifying story, whose scene is laid in the time 
of Nebuchadnezzar. Its aim is to show forth Jewish 
heroism and virtue ; but the heroine acts upon the the- 
ory that the end justifies the means, and the morality of 
the work is from the Christian point of view unsatisfac- 
tory. First (Maccabees is an authentic narrative of the 
Maccabean struggle against Antiochus Epiphanes. Second 
(Maccabees covers substantially the same ground, with 
some extension of scope, but is legendary and untrust- 
worthy. The other Maccabean books are still less 
worthy of attention. Ecclesiasticus, or The Wisdom oj 
Jesus, the Son of Sirach, written in Hebrew about 190- 
170, and translated into Greek by the grandson of the 
author about fifty years later, is an able, earnest work, 
in which the influence of Greek philosophy is manifest. 
It is well worth reading, because of its intrinsic merits 
and as showing the trend of Jewish thought in the sec- 
ond century before Christ. The Wisdom of Solomon is 
still more decidedly Greek in its tone, and belongs to a 
later time. 

The dates of most of the Apocrypha are uncertain. 
Tobit may have been written about 200 B. C. ; Sirach, 
about 190, and the rest during and after the Maccabean 
age. The Wisdom of Solomon and part of Baruch may 
have been written in the early Christian time. 

4. The Pseudepigrapha. Closely related to the Apoc- 
rypha are the numerous Jewish religious writings of the 
later ante-Christian and the early Christian time known 

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as Pseudepigrapha (works falsely ascribed to biblical 
personages, and so spurious). Many of these are as im- 
portant as any of the Apocrypha, as showing the types 
of religious thought current among the Jews at the be- 
ginning of the Christian era, and as helping to explain 
some forms of early Christian heterodoxy. Some of 
these have been preserved only in Ethiopic versions. 

(i) How are we to account for the fact that so large 
a proportion of the Jewish literature of the age, including 
several of the Apocryphal writings, were pseudepigraphic? 
It may be answered : (^) That the rights of authorship 
were from the beginning ignored or disregarded by Jewish 
writers. Few of the canonical writers took any pains to 
attach their names to their works, (ft) The chief concern 
of writers of this class was to impress certain thoughts as 
profoundly as possible upon their contemporaries, and as 
there had been developed an excessive regard for an- 
tiquity it was considered legitimate to ascribe their pro- 
ductions to ancient worthies, (c) Some of these writings 
were intended as denunciations of contemporary abuses 
and of obnoxious persons in authority, and it was deemed 
safer to embody the uncomplimentary remarks in ficti- 
tious works ascribed to the past, (d) It may be safely 
said that in most cases there was no fraudulent intent, 
but that the end in view was beneficent.* 

(2) A few of the more important Pseudepigrapha may 
be mentioned as specimens: (a) The Psalter of Solomon, 
probably written in Hebrew, but extant only in Greek, 
a collection of psalms in imitation of the canonical, at- 
tributed to the time immediately following the overthrow 
of the Asmonean monarchy by the Romans (63 B. C). 
The writer regards the Asmoneans as usurpers, and re- 
joices in their downfall. He represents Pharisaism rather 
than Sadduceeism. In place of these godless rulers 
the speedy coming of the Messiah, the Son of David, 
with the setting up of his kingdom, is earnestly prayed 
for. Faith in the resurrection and in divine retribution is 
strongly set forth, (ft) The Book of Enoch, probably 
composed in Hebrew more than a century before Christ, 
employed by the New Testament jTi^d^ (ver. 14, 15), 

* Cf, Dillmann, in Herxog and Schaff-Heriog. 

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much used by early Christian writers, preserved only in 
an Ethiopic version,* consists of a series of revelations 
supposed to have been made to Enoch. The work is 
rich in angelology and in astrological lore, attempts to 
explain everything in heaven and on earth, and contains 
important expressions of Messianic hopes. The Messiah 
is called " Son of God," ** Son of Woman," ''the Elect," 
*'the Word," and **the Lord of Spirits." Its expres- 
sions in regard to the Messiah are so clear and definite, 
and so much in accord with the reality, that some critics 
have been led to ascribe them to later Christian interpo- 
lation. Yet the representation is essentially Jewish, for 
the Messiah is regarded as " only a kind of deputy for 
God,"* rather than as God incarnate, (c) The Book of 
Jubilees^ probably written in Hebrew during the first Chris- 
tian century, and before the destruction of Jerusalem, but 
extant only in Ethiopic, is a sort of rabbinical commentary 
on Genesis. It attempts to show how Cain and Abel 
got their wives, how Noah got the animals into the ark, 
why Rebekah had a special affection for Jacob, etc. It 
abounds in angelology and in fanciful stories, (d) The 
Sibylline Books, so far as they were a product of Hellen- 
istic Judaism, may properly be classed with the Pseude- 
pigrapha. Not content to claim for their views the 
authority of the patriarchs and prophets of their own 
race, some of these enterprising religionists thought it 
worth their while to ascribe to the Greek Sibyl poetical 
effusions embodying in ill-disguised form prophecies of 
the coming Messiah and other Jewish teachings. No 
doubt it was the hope of the writers to impress Jewish 
religious thought on pagan minds by this means. Early 
Jewish Christians carried forward this work of manufac- 
turing Sibylline verses, and many of the early Christian 
writers quoted from the Sibylline Books as if they fully 
credited their genuineness. A large body of pseudepi- 
graphical literature grew up in the second and third 
Christian centuries, especially among the heretical sects. 


I. The Occasion of the struggle was as follows : Up to 

1 Gernan transUtion by DIUin«on. English traosUtlon by Scbodit. ' BltseU. 

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199 B. C. Palestine, though it had been a bone of con- 
tention between the Egyptian and the Syrian rulers and 
had suffered greatly from invading armies, had been for 
the most part under the Egyptian rule and with important 
exceptions had enjoyed a considerable measure of relig- 
ious liberty. The whole of Syria, apart from Palestine, 
had become thoroughly Hellenized, and it was natural 
that with the incoming of Syrian authority pagan influ- 
ences should be brought powerfully to bear in this 
stronghdid of Judaism. At the time of the Syrian con- 
quest Palestine was in an exceedingly depressed condi- 
tion and its inhabitants had become weary of Egyptian 
rule, which of late had been less beneficent than hereto- 
fore. Antiochus III. sought to make good his conquest 
by bestowing favors on the inhabitants. He offered 
special inducements to Jews scattered abroad to return 
to Jerusalem, provided a pension for the maintenance of 
the temple worship, assisted in the repairing and com- 
pletion of the temple, and expressed his wish that the 
nation should ** live according to the laws of their own 
country." He exempted priests, scribes, and temple 
singers from taxation and gave three years' tax exemp- 
•ion to all inhabitants of the city. Those who had been 
enslaved were liberated. Such is the purport of a letter 
of Antiochus to his general, Ptolemy, quoted by Jose- 
phus. * Whether these promises were fully carried out 
we do not know. Seleucus IV. (187-176) abandoned 
this policy of conciliation, and his treasurer, Heliodorus, 
who afterward murdered him, sought to rob the temple 
of its treasures. But it remained for Antiochus IV., 
whom his admirers called Epiphanes (illustrious), but 
who was more justly sur named Epimanes (madman), by 
trampling upon the religious rights of the people, outrag. 
ing their religious feelings, and inflicting upon them every 
conceivable indignity and cruelty, to arouse the theo- 
cratic patriotism of the nation to the fiercest and most 
uncompromising resistance. Thwarted in his effort to 
establish his authority in Egypt he seems to have vented 
his spleen upon the Jews of Judea, whose brethren in 
Egypt had no doubt been active opponents of his preten- 


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sions. Much ill feeling had no doubt already arisen 
between the rigorous Jews and the promoters of Greek 
customs, now aggressive in Jerusalem itself. The high- 
priest Onias III. sternly resisted the encroachments of 
pagan life. His brother Jason led the Hellenizing oppo- 
sition and was able by the royal favor to supplant Onias 
in the office of high-priest. Naturally he used his position 
for the overthrow of strict Judaism. He erected a gym- 
nasium for Greek sports near the temple and sought to 
occupy the attention of the priests themselves with secu- 
lar frivolities. 

Jason was soon supplanted by Menelaus, who had 
gained the royal support, and a struggle between these 
claimants ensued. It was a lamentable time for devout 
Jews. The attempt of Jason to displace Menelaus by 
force led to the intervention of the king, who after his 
failure in Egypt through Roman interference was pre- 
pared for any degree of cruelty. The massacre of Jew- 
ish spectators at a Sabbath military parade, the plunder- 
ing of the city, the prohibition on penalty of death of 
Jewish sacrifices, temple services, and religious rites^ 
the decree for the destruction of the sacred books, the 
desecration of the temple through the introduction of 
heathen sacrifices, the forcing of swine's flesh down the 
throats of priests and devout people, the driving of a 
herd of swine into the temple precincts, are among the 
many abominations committed by this ruler, who seems 
to have been eccentric to the verge of insanity. 

2. Mattathias and his Sons. The revolt was organized 
by the priest Mattathias of the Asmonaean family and his 
five heroic sons. Mattathias soon committed the command 
of the patriot movement to his son Judas Maccabceus^ who 
from i66 till i6o, when he was slain in battle, won victory 
after victory over the demoralized Syrian forces. He 
was succeeded by his younger brother Jonathan^ who 
availed himself of a dispute over the Syrian throne to 
secure for himself from one of the contestants recogni- 
tion as high-priest, and from the other civil supremacy, 
thus becoming the theocratic head of the people. He 
remained a vassal of the successful contestant and was 
murdered while seeking to protect him against a later 
rival (143). His brother Simon succeeded to the leader- 

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ship and declared the nation independent. This was a 
time of great rejoicing, " for every man sat under his 
own fig tree and there was none to terrify him, nor were 
any left in the land to fight against them." ^ Assassi- 
nated through the treachery of his son-in-law, he was 
succeeded by John Hyrcanus (135-105), who reigned with 
brilliant success for thirty years, crushed the Samaritans, 
and forced the Edomites to become Jews. His age is 
noted for the full development of the Jewish sects that 
flourished in the New Testament time and for the rise or 
better organization of the council of elders to be after- 
ward known as the Sanhedrin. Internal strife marks 
the remainder of Jewish history until the Roman con- 
quest in 63 B. C. 


I. Jewish Sects. Nothing in the history of Jewish life 
and thought during the time immediately preceding the 
beginning of our era is more noteworthy than the sec- 
tarian divisions that prevailed. These sects have their 
germs in the early Persian time, but they reached their 
full development after the Maccabean wars. Ezra and 
Nehemiah, with their rigorous separatism and insistence 
on the exact observance of the Law, were the forerun- 
ners of the Pharisees. The great synagogue and the 
rabbinic schools of the Persian and early Greek time 
were essentially Pharisaic institutions. The Aramaic 
paraphrases of the books of the Bible (Targumim) were 
Pharisaic products. The elaboration of the Levitical law 
that reached its final form in the Talmud had a like ori- 
gin. Determined resistance to the intrusion of Persian, 
pagan-Aramaic, and Greek customs and modes of thought, 
resulted in the course of time in producing the narrow- 
ness, bigotry, unamiableness, and hypocrisy that our 
Lord so unsparingly denounced. During the Persian 
and the early Greek time priests and scribes formed a 
single class and were essentially Pharisaic. During the 
later Greek and early Roman time Sadduceeism held the 
priesthood by virtue of political influence, while the study 

1 1 Macc 14 : »• u. 

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of the law was almost wholly in the hands of the Phari- 
sees. The great body of the pious Jews of the apostolic 
age were Pharisees. The worldly aristocracy of the 
nation was Sadducean. Geiger, a modern rationalistic 
Jew, compares Phariseeism with Protestantism and Sad- 
duceeism with Catholicism. He regards Jesus as stand- 
ing primarily on Pharisaic ground and seeking to reform 
Pharisaism by combating its onesidedness and narrow- 
ness.* It is no doubt true that Jesus accepted the great 
body of doctrine for which the Pharisees stood and re- 
jected every doctrine and view of life that characterized 
the Sadducees. 

Judas Maccabsus and the pious hosts (Chasidim) 
whom he led to victory were in principle Pharisees. The 
name Pharisees (Perushim) seems to have originated in 
the time of John Hyrcanus (135-105), against whose 
alliances with heathen princes (first Syrian and then 
Roman) they protested with all earnestness. The term 
means ** Separatists," and emphasized their determina- 
tion to remain a peculiar people and to resist every effort 
at amalgamation with the great world-powers. Their 
numerical and moral superiority led to their complete 
triumph after the death of Alexander Jannseus, son of 
John Hyrcanus, who ruled 104-78. His widow Alex- 
andra "put all things into their power" and "made 
them bear good-will to '* her deceased husband." The 
high-priesthood remained with the Sadducees, but the 
influence of the Pharisees in all religious matters was 
thenceforth supreme. 

2. The Characteristic Teachings of the Pharisees, These 
were as follows : (i) While laymg great emphasis on 
the study and observance of the Old Testament Law 
(T^oraA), they attached almost equal importance to " the 
tradition of the fathers.'" To interpret Scripture in 
opposition to tradition was regarded as highly culpable. 
(2) They held tenaciously to the immortality of the soul, 
to the resurrection of the dead, and to the doctrine of 
future rewards and punishments. Eternal imprisonment 
and torment are the portion of the wicked. The right- 
eous have ** part in the world to come." (3) The y had 

1 * *SMddmdur umd PtmritUr," pp. 31, 35, etc. 
' JoMpbos. '* Aatlq.." XUL. 16 •• s. •iM,, w : 6. 

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a complete system of angelology. (4) They believed 
strongly in the divine foreknowledge and foreordina- 
tion, yet insisted upon human freedom and responsibil- 
ity. According to Josephus : *' They assert that every- 
thing is accomplished by fate. They do not, however, 
deprive the human will of spontaneity, it having 
pleased God that there should be a mixture, and that 
to the will of fate should be added the human will 
with its virtue or baseness."* They say that **some 
but not all things are the work of fate; some things 
depend on the will of man as to whether they are done 
or not.'" 

3. The Sadducees. (i) The Sadducees were in almost 
every respect the antithesis of the Pharisees. They 
consisted chiefly of the unprincipled and aspiring few 
who by ingratiating themselves with the heathen rulers 
were able to gain offices and emoluments. ** They only 
gain the well-to-do," wrote Josephus ; *' they do not have 
as their followers the common people." • Again : " This 
doctrine has reached few men ; these however are of the 
first consideration." * The possession of the high-priestly 
office placed them at the head of the theocracy, and gave 
them wealth and social rank. Not all priests were aris* 
tocrats or opponents of the raboinic legalism ; but many 
of the most influential in the apostolic age and for a cen- 
tury before were such. 

(2) The origin and significance of the name cannot be 
said to have been fully determined. There is almost a 
consensus of opinion among modern scholars that it was 
not derived from the adjective Zaddiq, righteous, but 
from the proper name Zadok. The question at issue is, 
who of the many persons bearing that name was sup- 
posed to be the founder of this type of Jewish life ? It 
is highly probable that Zadok, a noted priest of the time 
of Solomon, whose posterity had continued to exercise 
priestly functions during the intervening centuries, was 
the individual had in mind. 

(3) Apart from their aristocracy and their inclination 
toward pagan customs and modes of thought, the follow- 
ing peculiarities may be noted : (a) They accepted tb« 

1 Jostphus. "Airtlq./' XVIII.. i : 3. 'Josephus." Wsr." II.. S : 14. 

• IH4., " Antlq.." Xlli.. 10 : 6. « tM.. XVIII., 1 : 4. 

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written Law (JTkorah) only, rejecting the entire body of 
traditionary interpretation and elaboration by the rab- 
binic schools.^ It was supposed by early Christian 
writers that they rejected all of the Old Testament save 
the Pentateuch, but this view is without documentary 
support, and has been generally abandoned. Adhering 
strictly to the letter of the Law, they are said to have 
been more rigorous in the infliction of penalties than the 
Pharisees, who were able to explain away requirements 
that conflicted with their moral consciousness.' The 
same principle prevailed in relation to judgments on the 
clean and the unclean. While following the Levitical 
prescriptions they mercilessly ridiculed the absurdities of 
the Pharisaic refinements, (b) They denied the immor- 
tality of the soul, the resurrection of the dead, the ex- 
istence of angels and spirits, and the doctrine of futvre 
rewards and punishments, maintaining that the eschato- 
logical system of the Pharisees had no foundation in the 
Law. {c) They were deists, denying the divine activity 
in human affairs, and holding that man is the cause of 
his own prosperity and adversity, (d) Accordingly they 
rejected what they considered the fatalistic doctrine of 
the Pharisees, maintaining that man has perpetually the 
power to choose between and to do good and evil at his 
discretion. The similarity of their views to those of the 
Epicureans was early remarked, and may have been due 
to the influence of the latter. 

4. The Essenes. (i) For our knowledge of this sect 
we are almost wholly dependent on Josephus, Philo, and 
Pliny. Their accounts are for the most part concordant, 
but differ in some details. The rise of the party is 
veiled in obscurity. Josephus implies the existence of 
the sect about 150 B. C* The descriptions that have 
come down to us apply to the apostolic age, to which 
Josephus and Philo belonged. The Essenes were es- 
sentially a monastic order. "Their aim of life was 
to be separate from the world with its evil practices, 
to live a life of holiness and devotion to God, to bene- 
fit mankind, to become the temple of the Holy Spirit, so 
as to be enabled to prophesy and perform miraculous 

1 JoMphus, " Antlq.." XIII.. lo : 6. 
•IWi. XX..9:i. coaip.wiUiXUL*M;6. • Ikid., JLOL, $ 1 9, 

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cures, and to prepare themselves for a future state of 
bliss and reunion with the Father of Spirits."* 

(2) About the beginning of our er<». they are said to 
have numbered some four thousand, and to have had 
communities in many of the villages of Palestine. Their 
most populous community was that in the desert of En- 
gedi, on the Dead Sea. Their numbers, while not large, 
indicate a considerable influence on Jewish life, for they 
commonly practised celibacy and depended chiefly on 
proselytism and the education of children entrusted to 
them for the maintenance of their numerical strength. 
It is probable that they enjoyed the confidence and favor 
of a large number who were not prepared to subject 
themselves to the rigorous discipline of the sect. It 
is probable that all the communities were organically 
united under a single control. Each community had a 
complete organization. Membership was obtained by 
initiation into secret rites. After a year's probation and 
instruction the candidate received ceremonial lustration 
(resembling Christian baptism). After two years' 
further testing he was introduced to the common meals 
and to full communion. A rigorous pledge of secrecy 
was exacted. Each candidate was required to deliver up 
his property to the order, and the strictest community of 
goods was practised. '* By putting everything together 
without distinction, they enjoy the common use of all.''" 
Even clothes were common property. The officials for 
the administration of the communal affairs were ap- 
pointed, by the entire body of the initiated. They en- 
gaged in agriculture and in various branches of industry, 
but renounced trade as corrupting in its tendency, and 
refused to manufacture articles for use in war, or that 
they judged injurious. In addition to their practice of 
celibacy they renounced luxury of every kind, forbade 
swearing, prohibited slavery, eschewed anointing with oil 
as luxurious, practised frequent bathing in cold water, 
were exceedingly modest in performing natural functions, 
and refused to offer animal sacrifices, sending gifts of in- 
cense to the temple instead. It does not appear, as has 
sometimes been maintained, that they renounced the use 

>Gliisbwf. aPhilo. 

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of flesh and of wine, though they were no doubt abste- 
mious in a high degree. 

(3) The doctrinal position of the Essenes may be 
stated as follows : (a) They accepted the Old Testament 
Scriptures and ''are described by the orthodox Jews 
themselves as the holiest and most consistent followers 
of the Mosaic law." * (b) They agreed with the Phari- 
sees, against the Sadducees, in the principal points in 
which these bodies were at variance, (c) They differed 
from the Pharisees in renouncing marriage and animal 
sacrifices, and in denying the resurrection of the body. 
Yet they believed strongly in the immortality of the 
soul and in future rewards and punishments, (d) Es- 
senism has so much in common with the religion of 
Christ that some writers have been inclined to regard 
Jesus himself and his forerunner, John the Baptist, as 
members of this society. There can be no objection to 
supposing that Jesus, who professedly based his teaching 
on the Jewish Scriptures, incorporated in his teaching 
whatever was best and most spiritual in Jewish life and 
thought. The teaching of the Essenes on seeking the 
kingdom of God might well be emphasized and spiritual- 
ized by the Saviour. Our Lord's requirement, as a con- 
dition of discipleship, of a willingness to renounce all 
earthly ties and possessions reminds us of the Essenic 
terms of admission to fellowship. The emphasizing of 
brotherly love is common to the two systems. The 
Beatitudes of the Sermon on the Mount strongly resemble 
the Essenic teaching. The celibacy of John the Baptist 
and of Jesus, and the preference for celibacy under exist- 
ing circumstances expressed by the Apostle Paul" have 
been regarded as significant points of contact between 
Essenism and Christianity. The prominence given by 
the Essenes to bodily healing has its parallel in the prac- 
tice of Christ and his disciples, due allowance being made 
for Christ's exercise of divine power. The renuncia- 
tion of warfare, oaths, and slavery on the part of the 
Essenes reminds one strikingly of the attitude of Jesus 
on these matters. While Jesus did not formally forbid 
slavery, it is generally admitted that the spirit of his 

> Ginsborg. * i Cor. y : •$. Mf. 

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teaching excludes it. Essenism and Christianity agree 
in their requirement of absolute truthfulness and purity 
of heart and life. Both alike lay stress on the practice 
of prophecy. That Jesus infinitely transcended the nar- 
row limits of Essenism by spiritualizing and universalizing 
the truths that it contained, and eliminating the formal- 
ism and the asceticism that characterized it, does not de- 
tract from our interest in comparing the adumbrations of 
the earlier system with the perfect revelation of the 
later, (e) There are certain non-Jewish or anti-Jewish 
teachings and practices in Essenism, the origin of which 
has been a matter of controversy. Many recent scholars, 
Jewish and Christian (Frankel, Jost, Graetz, Deren- 
bourg, Geiger, Ginsburg, Ewald, Hausrath, Reuss, and 
Kuenen), have sought to prove that the seemingly anti- 
Judaistic elements are really derivable from the extreme 
Pharisaic point of view. Among those who admit the 
probability of foreign influences opinion is pretty evenly 
divided between those who ascribe these features to 
Persian dualism (Lightfoot, Hilgenfeld, etc.) and those 
who ascribe them to Pythagorean influence (Zeller, 
Keim, SchUrer, etc.). Some (as Lipsius) prefer to de- 
rive these features from the influence of Syro-Palestinian 
heathenism, while others (as Seydel and Lillie) seek to 
derive Essenism and Christianity itself from Buddhism. 
The influence of Persian thought on Pharisaic Judaism 
in general is commonly admitted. There seems little 
difficulty in supposing that in the case of the Essenes 
these influences extended somewhat farther than with 
the Pharisees. That which savors most of Persian in- 
fluence is the semblance of sun-worship. Josephus 
q)eaks of ** their piety toward God" as "extraordi- 
nary," and grounds this statement on the fact that *' they 
never speak about worldly matters before the sun rises, 
but offer up with their faces toward it, certain prayers, 
handed down by their forefathers, as if supplicating it to 
rise." * If Josephus' testimony is accepted, it can hardly 
be denied that their attitude toward the sun involved a 
certain amount of superstition, though Josephus seems 
to commend rather than condemn their practice. Their 


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rejection of animal sacrifices is in accord with Persian 
dualism, as are also their wearing of white garments, 
their lustrations, and their angelology. With equal 
readiness several of the peculiarities of Essenism might 
be derived from Pythagoreanism, such as " its aspira- 
tions for bodily purity and sanctity, its lustrations, its 
simple habits of life apart from all sensual enjoyments, 
its high estimation (if not exactly its requirement) of 
celibacy, its white garments, repudiation of oaths, and 
especially its rejection of bloody sacrifices, also the in- 
vocation of the sun and the scrupulosity with which all 
that was unclean (such as human excrements) was hid- 
den from it ; and lastly, the dualistic view of the relation 
of soul and body." ^ It is probable that some features of 
later Pythagoreanism itself are due to Persian influence. 
It may be said in conclusion that the particulars in which 
Essenism deviated from Pharisaic Judaism may be best 
explained by the supposition of a combination of Zoroas- 
trian and Pythagorean influences. The precise methods 
in which these influences were applied cannot be deter- 

5. The Samaritans. The territory occupied by the ten 
tribes before the captivity was overrun by a motley host 
of heathen peoples, with whom the remnants of Israel 
became to a great extent amalgamated. The restoration 
brought back only a small portion of the ten tribes. The 
refusal of Zerubbabel to allow the people of Israel to 
participate in the work of rebuilding and to join with 
them in religious matters led ultimately to the building 
of a temple on Mount Gerizim and the complete relig- 
ious estrangement of Jews and Samaritans. The Samar- 
itans have maintained themselves in small numbers 
until the present time. Their recension of the Penta- 
teuch, while evidently corrupted in the interest of their 
claim to superiority over the Jews, otherwise represents 
a very early text. It is not easy to determine the pre- 
cise religious position of the Samaritans at the beginning 
of the Christian era. Apart from their contention that 
Gerizim and not Jerusalem was the true sanctuary, their 
interpretation of the Pentateuch did not differ, except in 


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a few points, from that of the Jews. Their aversion to 
anthropomorphic and anthropopathic representations of 
God had probably been developed before the beginning 
of our era. They no doubt derived from the Persians 
their elaborate angelology. To a host of good and evil 
angels they assigned the function of mediating between 
God and men. The chief cause of variance between 
Samaritans and Jews after the restoration was the re- 
fusal of the former to submit to the rigorous require- 
ment by Ezra and Nehemiah of separation from heathen 
wives. It would seem that the Samaritans laid far less 
stress on rigorous separatism and on ceremonial purity 
than did the Pharisaic Jews. Samaria proved a fruitful 
soil for Christian heresy in the early centuries of our era. 


I. The Causes and Extent of the Dispersion. Enough 
has already been written to show the extent and im- 
portance of the Jewish settlements in Egypt under Alex- 
ander and the Ptolemies. What is true of Egypt is true 
of Syria, where every town had its large Jewish com- 
munity and its synagogue. A Sibylline writer of about 
140 B. C, remarks that every land and every sea is 
filled with Jews. By this time the Maccabean rulers 
had entered into a close alliance with Rome. In 139-138 
Simon Maccabaeus sent an embassy to Rome and secured 
from the Consul Lucius a letter addressed to all the kings 
and countries under Roman influence, enjoining upon 
them to do the Jews '* no harm, nor fight against them, 
nor their cities, nor their country, and that they should 
not aid their enemies." * A list of the princes and coun- 
tries especially addressed is here given. This list was 
evidently dictated by the Jewish ambassadors and indi- 
cates the extent of the dispersion at this date. It also 
shows how rflghly the friendship of this cosmopolitan 
people was appreciated. As Alexander and his succes- 
sors had treated them with consideration as an important 
means of extending and conserving their influence, so 
now the Romans offer them full protection because they 

1 1 Mace, xj : 15. 04. 

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wish to have the support of the Jews in carrying out 
their stupendous scheme of world-conquest and world- 
administration. Strabo, Philo, and Josephus, all bear 
testimony to the influential presence of the Jews in every 
part of the habitable world. The enumeration of localities 
from which Jews were present at the great Pentecostal 
feast in Acts 2 : 9, 1 1 has the same bearing. They were a 
great trading people and their commercial importance 
was generally recognized. 

A large proportion of the descendants of those who 
went into captivity, especially of the ten tribes, made 
their permanent home in Mesopotamia, Media, and the 
adjoining regions. Josephus represents the descendants 
of the ten tribes in these regions as beyond computation.* 
SchUrer supposes that **they were numbered, not by 
thousands but by millions.'' Nehardea and Nisibis were 
their chief centers. A large proportion of the inhabitants 
of Syria, especially in the cities and towns, were Jews. 
Josephus relates that in Damascus eighteen thousand 
(elsewhere ten thousand) Jews were massacred on one 
occasion. This would indicate a vast Jewish population. 
Philo estimated the Jews of Egypt in the apostolic time 
at one million. From Egypt they spread westward to 
Cyrene and southward to Ethiopia and Abyssinia. Asia 
Minor, Greece, Macedonia, and the isles of the sea, were 
the abiding-places of multitudes of Jews. Pompey 
brought many captive Jews to Rome (63 B. C), but 
most of these were soon at liberty and prospering in 
business. The extent of the Roman colony in the New 
Testament time may be inferred from Josephus' state- 
ment that eight thousand Roman Jews joined with a 
deputation from Palestine about 4 B. C. In 19 A. D. the 
Roman Jews came into disfavor and were banished. 
Four thousand men suitable for military service were 
sent to Sardinia.' Sejanus, their accuser, came into 
disfavor soon afterward and the Emperor Tiberius seems 
to have allowed them to return (31 A. D.). The Em- 
peror Claudius issued an edict of banishment against the 
Jews (about 49-52), but it was not carried fully into 

~ »"Antl<i.,"XI..5:a. 

• T«Clnis. "Ann.." IL. 8$ ; JoMpDus. "Antiq.." XVIIl, 3 : $. 

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2. Proselytes. It were not to be expected that so vital 
and aggressive a people as were the Jews of the disper- 
sion should be content to restrict their activity to the 
maintenance of the faith among themselves. As a mat- 
ter of fact they gained the reputation of being the most 
zealous of proselyters. While they were by no means 
popular in the heathen communities where they resided, 
and while heathen writers lost no opportunity to hold 
them up to contempt, earnest spirits were everywhere 
found who, dissatisfied with the corrupt heathen cults 
and with the heathen philosophy of the time, longed for 
a purer, more spiritual, and more authoritative form of 

(i) Methods of Jewish Propagandism. (a) It was prob- 
ably their doctrine of God as the Almighty Creator and 
sole and righteous Ruler of the universe, to be wor- 
shiped not under material forms but as a spirit, a God 
who rewards the righteous and punishes the wicked in 
this life and in the life to come, that was most influen- 
tial in winning converts. (Jb) Again, Judaism provided, 
through its sacrifices and purificatory rites, for deliver- 
ance from sin and gave the promise of present and future 
blessedness, (c) The morality of Judaism, however far 
it may have fallen below the Christian ideal, was im- 
measurably superior to that of the best forms of heathen- 
ism, (ji) The well-being and happiness of the average 
Jewish family was no doubt, under ordinary circum- 
stances, greatly superior to that of the average heathen 
family in the same community. These facts would aid 
zealous Jews in persuading discontented heathen to 
accept their creed, (e) Again, Oriental religions were 
much in vogue in Western Asia and Europe about the 
beginning of our era. Egyptian religion, in its various 
phases, had multitudes of adherents in Asia Minor, 
Greece, and Italy. The Greek and Roman religions had 
lost their hold on the popular mind. In searching for 
something more satisfying and reasonable, heathen were 
in many cases willing to listen attentively to what skill- 
ful Jewish propagandists had to say. 

(2) Numbers of Proselytes. The numbers won to the 
Jewish faith must have been very considerable. A 
careful modern writer states that "at or before the 

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beginning of the Christian era they might have been 
reckoned by hundreds of thousands, if not millions."* 
Josephus says : " Many of the Greeks have been con- 
verted to the observance of our laws ; some have re- 
mained true, while others, who were incapable of stead- 
fastness, have fallen away again." ' •* Likewise among 
the mass of the people there has for a time now been a 
great amount of zeal for our worship ; nor is there a single 
town among Greeks, or barbarians, or anywhere else, not 
a single nation to which the observance of the Sabbath 
as it exists among ourselves has not penetrated, while 
fasting and the burning of lights, and many of our laws 
with regard to meats, are also observed."* Similar 
testimony is borne by such pagan writers as Seneca and 
Dio Cassius. Among the most noted proselytes was 
King Izates of Adiabene, who sent his five sons to Jeru- 
salem to be educated. His successor, Monobazus, had a 
palace in Jerusalem. It is probable that a large propor- 
tion of the proselytes were very imperfectly instructed 
in the principles of Judaism and continued to practise 
much of heathenism ; but the multitude of converts in 
all parts of the civilized world shows that Judaism was 
at the beginning of the Christian era by no means an 
obscure religion in which little interest was taken out- 
side of the Jewish nation, but that it was awakening a 
surprising amount of attention throughout wide circles. 

(3) Classes of Proselytes. Two classes of converts are 
distinguishable, ** God-fearing Gentiles " or *' proselytes 
of the gate," and "proselytes of righteousness." The 
former "bound themselves to avoid . . . blasphemy, 
idolatry, murder, uncleanness, theft, disobedience toward 
the authorities, and the eating of flesh with its blood."* 
The latter were admitted to all the privileges of the 
theocracy, after circumcision, baptism, and sacrifice. 
That proselyte baptism was practised before the begin- 
ning of the Christian era has been questioned by some, 
but without sufficient reason. Some who have rejected 
the antiquity of proselyte baptism have yet admitted 
that the proselyte was required to take a purificatory 
bath after his circumcision and before his admission to 

1 Bi$s«ll. • *' Apion." II.. 19. • " Apion." 11.. 39. ^ Bisfell. 

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full standing as a Jew ; but the distinction between a 
ceremonial bath and baptism is unwarranted, as the 
same Hebrew word is used for both. It is probable that 
the great mass of proselytes belonged to the former 


Reference has already been made to the importance of 
Alexandria as a focusing point for the world's philosophi- 
cal and theological thought and to the literary activity of 
the Greek-speaking Jews in Egypt. Before the begin- 
ning of our era there had been developed a remarkable 
type of philosophical thought known as the Jewish-Alex- 
andrian philosophy. This system reached its highest de- 
velopment and found its ablest exponent in Philo (born 
32-20 B. C, died about 53 A. D.). 

I. Sketch of Philo. Of a wealthy and aristocratic 
family (his brother held a high office under the Emperor 
Caius and was the intimate friend of the Jewish King 
Agrippa), Philo enjoyed all the educational privileges 
that Alexandria afforded. Thoroughly imbued with the 
spirit of Greek philosophy and familiar with Greek liter- 
ature, he was yet a devout Jew. He was of the opinion 
that the Greeks had derived from the Jewish Scriptures 
all that was wise, true, and lofty in their thinking. It 
was his task, as it had been the task of others of his 
type, to show the complete harmony of the divine reve- 
lation of the Old Testament with all that is best in 
Greek philosophy. It was his conviction that the Scrip- 
tures translated into Greek and rightly interpreted might 
wield a mighty influence for the salvation of mankind. 
The fact is that his own modes of thought and views 
of life were fundamentally those of the Greek philoso- 
phy (a composite of Pythagoreanism, Platonism, Aris- 
totelianism, and Stoicism), and he undertook to show 
by applying the allegorical system of interpretation to 
the Scriptures that these were not as they seemed to 
be, simple, unsophisticated narratives of the dealings of 
God with his people, but that underneath the anthropo- 
morphic and anthropopathic representations of God and 
the uncouth representations of the sins and follies of 

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the heroes and worthies of Hebrew history, everything 
that was wise and exalted in Greek philosophy lay con- 

2. The Allegorical Method of Interpretation, This, as 
applied to ancient documents, was not the invention, of 
Philo or of his Jewish-Alexandrian predecessors. It had 
been employed for centuries by the Greeks in the inter- 
pretation of Homer and was probably in common use 
among the Egyptian priests. In fact it is an obvious 
device in connection with any esoteric system of religion. 
But it is doubtful whether it had ever been employed so 
systematically and effectively as by this writer. Every- 
thing that is opposed to his philosophical conceptions of 
God and the universe and to his sense of propriety in 
the recorded deeds of men of God yields readily to this 
universal solvent. It is almost certain that if Philo and 
those like-minded had been shut up to a literal treatment 
of the Scriptures they would have rejected them as fall- 
ing in their opinion far below the writings of the Greek 
philosophers in dignity, beauty, and spirituality. Having 
no true historical perspective, they were unable to ap- 
preciate the progressiveness of divine revelation or to 
understand aright the relation of the human and the 
divine in Scripture. This corrupting feature of Philo's 
work was laid hold of by early Christian writers. 

3. Philo' s Eclecticism. His system embraces elements 
of Pythagoreanism, Platonism, Aristotelianism, and Stoi- 
cism, very imperfectly blended or systematized. 

(i) His idea of God, from which he sought to eliminate 
everything anthropomorphic and anthropopathic, was 
exceedingly transcendental. He sought to hold fast to 
the personality of God and his freedom in willing, and 
yet denied that he had qualities. God is above all quali- 
ties and only negations can be predicated of him. Yet 
he did not hesitate to affirm that God is eternal, self- 
existent, omniscient, omnipotent, perfect, efficient, free, 
and self-determining. In fact he seems to have com- 
bined, without reconciling them, the Platonic idea of the 
divine transcendence and absoluteness with the Stoic 
doctrine of divine immanence. 

(2) Regarding God as exalted above all possibilify 0} 
contact with matter, which he characterizes as 'Mifeless, 

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erroneous, divisible, unequal/' and hence essentially 
evil, he felt the need of bridging the gulf between God 
and the world by the supposition of certain ** creative 
and regulative Powers." These Powers seem to combine 
the features of the current Jewish angelology with those 
of the Stoic Logoi and the Platonic Ideas. The three sets 
of expressions he uses almost indifferently. These 
Powers are represented as the thoughts of God, the 
heavenly archetypes of earthly things, as that which 
gives life, reality, and durability to matter, as the breath 
of God's mouth. It is difficult to determine whether 
Philo intended to ascribe personality to the Powers or 
regarded them as mere abstractions. Most of his expres- 
sions seem to favor the latter view. 

(3) Most important of all for early Christian theology 
was his doctrine of the Logos. Here also he sought to com- 
bine Jewish with Platonic and Stoic conceptions. '* Philo 
has gathered together from East and West every thought, 
every divination that could help to mold his sublime con- 
ception of a Vicegerent of God, a Mediator between the 
Eternal and the ephemeral. His Logos reflects light 
from countless facets. It is one of those creative phrasas, 
struck out in the crisis of projection, which mark an 
epoch in the development of thought."* The multi- 
plicity of Philo's representations of the Logos make it 
impossible to define his conception in a single phrase. 
The Platonic Idea 0.* Good, the Stoic World-Soul, and 
the Jewish conceptions of the Shechinah, of the Name 
of God, of tne Heavenly Man, of the eternal High Priest, 
seem to have been combined in his thought and in his 
expressions. The Targums (Aramaic paraphrases of the 
Hebrew Scriptures) frequently employ the term Word 
(Memra) to denote God as revealing himself. Such Old 
Testament representations as "the Angel of the Lord " 
and " Wisdom " are not lost sight of. In relation to God 
the Word is *' Eternal Wisdom," "the sum of the 
thoughts of God," " the Idea of Ideas, which imparts 
reality to all lower ideas," "the whole mind of God. 
considered as traveling outside of itself and expressing 
itself in act."* He is the "Shadow of God," the 


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" Eldest Son/' '• the First-born " of God. He is thought 
of as the ** Sum," as the " Creator," as the *' Captain," 
and the "Archangel " of the other Powers. In relation 
to the universe the Word is represented as the instru- 
mental cause or organ of creation, as the Creator, as the 
Vicegerent of the Great King. In relation to man the 
Logos is "the Mediator, the Heavenly Man, who repre- 
sents in the eyes of God the whole family upon earth." * 
He is the High Priest, the Supplicator, the Paraclete. 
Philo makes him say : ** 1 stand between the Lord and 
you, I am neither uncreated like God nor created like 
you, but a mean between the two extremes, a hostage 
to either side." 

Philo's conception of the Logos falls short of the New 
Testament doctrine in the following respects : (a) There 
is no sense of the necessity of the incarnation ; (ft) there 
is no proper feeling of the need of atonement to be 
wrought out by self-emptying and self-sacrifice on the 
part of the Son of God ; (c) there is no place for a divine- 
human Saviour, for sin is thought of as mere ignorance, 
as salvation consists in enlightenment ; (d) it does not 
appear that Philo conceived of the Logos as a Person in 
our sense of the term. His personifications are such as 
he freely applies to any idea whatever. 

(4) The relation of the prologue of John's Gospel to the 
Philonic Logos doctrine is still a matter of dispute. WhUe 
it is not improbable that the writer of this Gospel was 
familiar either with Philo's writings or with the Jewish- 
Alexandrian mode of thought from which they pro- 
ceeded, its simplicity and freedom from heathen specula- 
tive elements radically differentiate his representation 
from the Philonic, and show clearly the divine impress.. 
It was on the theology of the Gnostics and of the Alex* 
andrian school of Christian thought (second and third 
centuries) that Philo's writings were to exert the most 
marked influence. 


Nothing was more characteristic of later Judaism than 


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the prominence and definiteness of its Messianic expec- 

1. The Earlier (Messianic Hope. The earlier Messianic 
hope had been centered in the glorious and blessed future 
of the nation, and did not go much beyond the range of 
contemporary circumstances. While the glorious future 
of the nation was not lost sight of by later Jews, far more 
stress was laid by them on the relation of the individual 
and of the non-Jewish world to the Messianic kingdom. 

2. The Doctrines of Immortality and Resurrection. These 
having come more clearly into the consciousness of the 
people, eschatological elements naturally occupy a more 
prominent place in their Messianic expectations. 

3. God as King of the World. God is now definitely 
thought of as the King of the world, and the Messiah as 
judging and ruling the world on God's behalf. The book 
of Enoch represents the Messiah as hidden and kept with 
God before his earthly appearing.* His name is said to 
have been named before the sun, the signs, and the stars 
were formed.' Before the world was created he was 
chosen and hidden with God.* His glory is said to be 
from eternity to eternity. In him dwells the spirit of 
wisdom. He will judge the hidden things, and no one 
will be able to hold vain discourse before him.* Very 
similar is the teaching of the Fourth Book of Ezra. The 
Messiah was ready to appear as soon as the people 
should repent and perfectly fulfill the law. A single day 
of repentance on the part of the nation would usher in 
Messiah's kingdom.* 

4. His Secret Presence. In some accounts his secret 
presence is assumed, and his revelation is delayed by 
the sins of the people. His appearing is conceived of as 
sudden, and as accompanied by miraculous displays of 
power. The appearing of Messiah was to be followed 
by a marshaling of the heathen powers for a final con- 
flict, and the overthrow of these hosts of evil by the 
power of God. The Messiah then sits in judgment on 
the throne of his glory. He is called in the book of 
Enoch "Son of Man," "Son of Woman."* He strikes 
terror to the hearts of the kings of the nations, and destroys 

1 46 : z. a ; 69 : 7. * 48 : 3. * 4S : 6. « 49 : a-4. 

* Sm Schurer, VoL U., •• p. 163, etc * fa : s* ^9* 

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them from the face of the earth. '* As long as there are 
sinners in the world, so long does the wrath of God en- 
dure, but as they disappear from the world the divine 
wrath also vanishes."* 

$..Ren(wation and Purification. The renovation and 
purification of Jerusalem follows, the new city greatly to 
surpass in splendor the old at its best. Some represen- 
tations seem to imply that it existed already in heaven, 
and was to be suddenly let down at the appointed time. 

6. The Gathering of the Dispersed. The dispersed are 
next to be gathered, and are to participate in the glorious 
and joyful kingdom which, centering in Jerusalem and 
Palestine, is to extend throughout the world. War and 
strife shall be at an end, and righteousness, benevolence, 
and all virtue shall universally prevail. Suffering and 
disease shall be no more, and men shall live nearly a 
thousand years, continually renewing their youth. Child- 
birth shall be painless and physical effort without weari- 
ness. Some thought of this earthly kingdom as ever- 
lasting, others looked upon it as a prelude to a still more 
glorious heavenly kingdom.' According to some, *' the 
coming age "consists in a renovation of the heavens and 
the earth. Some supposed that this renovation would 
occur at the beginning and some at the end of Messiah's 

7. The Universal T{esurrection. The next stage in the 
panorama is the universal resurrection. This is to be 
followed by the final judgment. The Jewish eschatol- 
ogy provided for an intermediate state between death 
and the resurrection in which righteous souls are happy 
and the wicked suffer. 

8. V^on-Suffering (Messiah. From the views of the 
Messiah already set forth, it is evident that the idea of a 
suffering and sin-atoning Messiah had little place in the 
Jewish thought of the age under consideration. If such 
passages as Isa. $3 were Messianically interpreted at 
all, little emphasis was placed upon the features of the 
character and purpose of the Messiah there set forth. 

1 MIsbnA, *' Sanhedrin/' X., 6. * Apocalypse of Banich and Fourth Em. 

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LITERATURE: The four Gospels constitute the chief sources. 
See also the Harmonies of Robinson, Claric, Broadus, and Stevens 
and Burton ; the New Testament Introductions of Bleeic, Reuss, 
Weiss, and Zahn; the Lives of Christ by Andrews, Neander, 
Ederslieim, Ewald, Lange, Farrar, Geikie, Pressensi, Weiss, Keim, 
Stall<er, Broadus, and Wallace : worlcs on the Biblical Theology of 
the New Testament by Weiss, Beyschiag, Van Oosterzee, Stevens, 
and Adeney ; Hausrath, " History of the New Testament Times" ; 
Wendt, •* The Teaching of Jesus ^ ; Bruce, " The Kingdom of God : 
or, Christ's Teaching according to the Synoptical Gospels," ana 
"The Training of fte Twelve"; Candlish, "The Kingdom of 
God"; Fairbaim, "Studies in the Life of Christ"; Schiirer, 
"The Jewish People in the time of Jesus Christ"; and"Ecce 
Homo." The Bible dictionaries and the encyclopedias may also 
be consulted with profit, as may also the files of Uerman, French, 
English, and American theological reviews. 


The last two chapters of the Introduction have set 
forth the achievements of the ancient world in philos- 
ophy and religion, the diffusion and blending of the ele- 
ments of civilization that had been developed through 
the Macedonian and Roman conquests, and the failure 
of ancient civilization to regenerate the world or to satisfy 
the deeper longings of mankind. Judaism itself, under 
the influence of the Persian, Greek, and Roman civiliza- 
tions, had undergone a process of development and had 
produced a remarkable literature ; but the best Jewish 
life was utterly dissatisfied with actual achievement and 
looked forward with earnest longing to a Messianic era. 
In the Roman world faith in the popular mythology had 
been destroyed by philosophy, and the better forms of 
philosophy had been supplanted for the most part by 
Greek skepticism, whose motto was ** Enjoy to the full 
the present,'' and which was fundamentally anti-social 
and selfish. Jews and Gentiles alike were in need of a 

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Saviour, and the better spirits were deeply conscious of 
that need. 

In Jesus of Nazareth was fulfilled all that was noblest 
and most spiritual in the aspirations of Jews and Gentiles, 
and in a very direct and accurate way the predictions of 
the Old Testament prophets. It was only after the world 
had been made ready for the reception and the propaga- 
tion of his religion that the Divine-human Redeemer ap- 

For the history of the earthly career of our Lord we are 
dependent almost wholly on the four Gospels, which from 
different points of view embody the apostolic remem- 
brances of the acts and words of the Master, and which 
taken together give us what the Holy Spirit designed we 
should know about the Word made flesh. 


John alone of all the evangelists lifts the veil of the 
infinite past, and in the language of the Stoics and of 
Philo reveals to us the eternal facts and relations of the 
Godhead : 'Mn the beginning was the Word (Logos), and 
the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The 
same was in the beginning with God. All things were 
made by him ; and without him was not anything made 
that hath been made. In him was life ; and the life was 
the light of men. . . There was the true light, which 
lighteth every man coming into the world. . . And the 
Word became flesh, and dwelt among us." In these 
simple but profound sentences we have not the gropings 
after truth of a Philo, but the clear dogmatic statement of 
the identity of Jesus the Christ, the Word made flesh, with 
the eternal divine thought and projective activity that 
conceived and planned and made the universe, and that 
as the "true light" " lighteth every man coming into 
the world." The writer is not concerned with the earthly 
genealogy of the Messiah. He is content to say, "The 
Word became flesh and dwelt among us." 


I. The Genealogies. Matthew and Luke connect the 
incarnate Saviour with Abraham, the father of the He- 
brew people, and with King David. Matthew speaks 0/ 

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Jesus Christ as "the son of David, the son of Abraham/' 
and indicates the chief persons in the line of succession 
from Abraham to " Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom 
was born Jesus, who is called Christ." Luke traces the 
line from Joseph, whose son Jesus was supposed to be, 
through David, Abraham, and Adam, to God. His list 
includes far more names than Matthew's, and the two 
lists, while agreeing in the principal names, differ greatly 
in detail. But it is remarkable that both trace the suc- 
cession through Joseph rather than through Mary. These 
genealogies seem to be wholly independent of each other, 
but are not contradictory. It would have been easy, 
with all the facts in hand, to construct scores of different 
genealogical schemes, in which the lines would cross each 
other from time to time, all being equally correct and 
none being complete. It is highly probable that our 
Saviour did not concern himself at all about his family 
connections, and that the working out of these schemes 
occurred after his ascension. 

2. The Annunciation to Mary. Luke alone records the 
angelic annunciation to Mary of the conception and birth 
of Jesus, as well as the circumstances relating to the con- 
ception of John the Baptist and the intercourse of Mary 
and Elisabeth. Matthew records an annunciation by the 
Lord to Joseph, troubled on account of the premarital 
pregnancy of his wife, of the conception that had oc- 
curred by the Holy Ghost. 

3. The Birth and Childhood. Luke alone records the 
occasion of the visit of Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem and 
the laying of the new-born Jesus in a manger, as well as 
the angelic annunciation of the birth to the shepherds, the 
visit of the shepherds, the circumcision, and the presenta- 
tion in the temple. Matthew alone narrates the visit of 
the wise men from the East, the alarm and persecuting 
measures of Herod, the flight into Egypt, and the return. 
Luke alone tells us that "the child grew and waxed 
strong, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was 
upon him," that he visited the temple when twelve years 
of age, that he was subject to his parents during the suc- 
ceeding years, and that he advanced "in wisdom and 
stature, and in favor with God and men.'-' 

4. The Forerunner. All four evangelists give accounts 

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of the ministry of John the Baptist. Matthew and Mark 
alone refer to his rough attire and his diet of "locusts 
and wild honey. " With the enthusiasm and intensity of 
a prophet John denounced the sins of the people, warning 
them that the kingdom of heaven was at hand, urging 
them to flee from the coming wrath, "preaching the bap- 
tism of repentance unto remission of sins," baptizing in 
the Jordan such as confessed their sins, and proclaiming 
the approaching advent of one mightier than he who 
should baptize them "with the Holy Ghost and with 


All four evangelists bear witness to the baptism of 
Jesus by John. Matthew alone refers to the hesitatior 
of John on account of his recognition of superiority in 
Jesus, and Jesus' answer, that " thus it becometh us to 
fulfill all righteousness." All four record the descent of 
the Spirit upon the baptized Jesus, and all but John 
record the expression of the divine approval. 

The temptation, narrated very briefly by Mark and in 
detail by Matthew and Luke, is one of the most signifi- 
cant events in the early life of Jesus. The materials for 
this narrative could have come from Jesus alone. The 
question as to the occasion on which this autobiographical 
account of a momentous experience was given has been 
much discussed: The fact that the narrative implies the 
assertion of Messiahship on the part of Jesus has led some 
critics to the conclusion that the earliest suitable occasion 
for the communication of this experience was in the third 
year of his Galilean ministry, when at Caesarea-Philippi 
he took his disciples into his confidence and made known 
unto them the sufferings that awaited him (Matt. i6 : 21; 
Mark 8:31-9:1; Luke 9 : 22-27). But for our purpose 
the fact of this wonderful experience, and the conscious- 
ness of Messiahship that must have resulted, alone need to 
be insisted upon. The narrative shows that Jesus as a man 
was subject to temptations, that he was assailed by temp- 
tations to satisfy his physical desires by miraculous 
means, to astonish the multitudes by showing his supe- 
riority to natural law, and to make earthly dominion an 

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object of his striving. These temptations must have 
been real, or they would have no significance. There 
is no evidence that Satan ever renewed his assault. 
This consciousness of Messiahship, involving his mis- 
sion as a suffering Saviour, was henceforth complete. 

John alone mentions the testimony of John the Bap- 
tist before the priests and Levites, and afterward before 
the assembled people, to Jesus' Messiahship : '' Behold 
the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the 
world," and his indication of Jesus to two of his own 
disciples as the *' Lamb of God," and so worthy to be 
followed. One of these was apparently John himself; 
the other he tells us was Andrew, who having recognized 
in Jesus the Messiah brought his brother Simon Peter to 
become the third disciple. He alone records the winning 
to discipleship of Philip and Nathanael, the transmutation 
of water into wine at Cana, and Jesus' short sojourn, 
with his mother, his brethren, and his disciples, in 


I. ^Duration. The duration of our Lord's public min- 
istry cannot be accurately determined. The Gospel 
narratives are apparently constructed on no chronolog- 
ical plan, and the data for accurate chronology are want- 
'ng. The recurrence of Passovers during the ministry 
has been supposed to form a basis for determining the 
number of years covered ; but much uncertainty exists 
as to the number of Passovers. Supposing his public 
ministry to have begun after the fifteenth year of Ti- 
berius, the date given by Luke (3:1, seq.) for John's 
ministry, it could not have been much earlier than the 
beginning of A. D. 29. On the basis of John 2:13; 5 : 
I ; 6:4; and 13 : i, rests the supposition that Jesus' 
ministry lasted for three years. But the "feast of the 
Jews " (ver. i) was probably not a Passover. The first 
three Gospels make distinct mention of only one Pass- 
over, that at the close of Jesus' ministry. It must be 
left an open question whether the crucifixion occurred in 
the spring of 30, or in that of 31. In the former case we 
should have a ministry of one year and a part of another, 
in the latter of more than two full years. 

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2. Divisions. The public career of Jesus may be 
divided as follows: (i) The Early Judean Ministry, of 
which John alone gives an account (2 : 13-4 : 42), and 
which includes some of his most important teachings and 
acts : The first cleansing of the temple, the conversation 
with Nicodemus, the preaching and baptizing in Judea, 
John's testimony at iCnon, and the visit to Samaria, 
with the conversation with the woman at Jacob's well ; 
(2) The Galilean Ministry to the Choosing of the Twelve, 
recorded chiefly in the Synoptic Gospels, with a few 
parallels in John ; (3) the Galilean Ministry from the 
Choosing of the Twelve to the Withdrawal to Northern 
Galilee ; (4) the Galilean Ministry till the Departure for 
Jerusalem ; (5) the Perean Ministry on the way to Je- 
rusalem ; (6) the Passion Week ; (7) the Forty Days 
from the Resurrection to the Ascension.^ 

3. Jesus* Conception of his Ufe-lVork. As already sug- 
gested, consciousness of Messiahship was present at the 
baptism and became clear and definite in connection with 
the temptation. The task he assumed was the estab- 
lishment of the kingdom of God on earth, a kingdom 
"not of this world," that ''cometh not with observa- 
tion," that is *' within " believers, that is likened to " a 
grain of mustard seed," which, though exceeding small, 
becomes a tree, to a bit of leaven that leavens the mass of 
meal, to treasure hidden in the field which should be pur- 
chased at whatever cost, and to a '' pearl of great price " 
for which all of one's possessions are no more than a 
fair equivalent. He made it clear from the beginning 
that he could not carry out the Messianic programme of 
current Jewish thought. His kingdom was " to have no 
officers, no headquarters, no political features, no worldly 
associations.'" It was to be a spiritual kingdom, whose 
membership was to consist of individuals won to belief 
in his divine personality and mission, brought into loving 
obedience to his will, united with him spiritually in his 
plans and purposes, ready to take up their crosses and 
follow him, ready to suffer obloquy, the breaking up of 
all social and family ties, and death itself for his sake, 
whose relationship to him he declared to be that of the 

? " Hivmoiix/* ^f Stevens #n4 Bvrtoo. • Vot|w- 

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branches to the vine, and who should abide in him as he 
in them. His disciples were to be '* born anew " (or "from 
above''). A complete transformation of the individual 
character and life was to be a condition of entrance into 
his kingdom. He chose to deny himself all earthly pos- 
sessions and comforts in order that he might devote him- 
self unreservedly to the well-being of his fellow-men. 
He required renunciation of all earthly things as a con- 
dition of discipleship. Some who, imbued with Jewish 
Messianic ideas, had arrayed themselves among his disci- 
ples under the impression that an earthly kingdom was 
to be established by the Master, forsook him when he 
made known to them clearly that his religion was one of 
absolute self-denial, and that it involved on his part and 
on theirs boundless sufferings. 

The Beatitudes set forth his ideal of life. Poverty of 
spirit and material poverty even to the extent of hunger 
and thirst, mourning and weeping, subjection to the ha- 
tred and abuse of men, are to be regarded as blessings ; 
meekness, purity in heart, peace-making, are commended ; 
while woe is pronounced upon the rich, the full, the 
laughing, and the popular. Self-humiliation is a condi- 
tion of true exaltation, self-exaltation leads to real abase- 
ment. He came not to destroy the law but to fulfill it. 
Love to God, involving a spirit of absolute obedience to 
his will and joyful participation in his plans and purposes, 
and involving specifically love to man equal to love of 
self, he represents as the sum and substance of the law. 
Enemies are to be loved, not hated. Retaliation and 
revenge are absolutely prohibited. To make sure of suf- 
ficiently emphasizing his disapproval of revenge he com- 
mands that evil be repaid with good. 

Jesus represented himself as a revealer of the Father 
from whom he came forth and to whom he was to return, 
as ''the way, the truth, and the life," 1. e., as the way 
by which sinful men may return to the Father, as the 
embodiment of all truth that sinful men need to know in 
order to their eternal well-being, as the life by participa- 
tion in which through faith men may become sons of 

His life of self-denial and well-doing was to culminate 
In a ^acri^ci^l death, He represents himself as a shep- 

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d voluntarily laying down his life for the sheep (John 
17, 18), as giving '* his life a ransom for many *' (Marie 


10' , _ _ 

10 : 45). He regarded his violent death as a fulfiliment 
of Scripture and the time of it as fixed in the divine pur- 
pose. On his part the sacrifice was to be a voluntary 
one. He had power to lay down his life and power to 
talce it again. His going away, according to the Johan- 
nean representation, was a condition of the coming of the 
Paraclete, who should lead his disciples into all truth, and 
it would entitle them to claim in his name the exercise 
of unlimited divine power on their behalf. 

5. His Methods of Teaching. On a few occasions Jesus 
addressed great multitudes. The Sermon on the Mount 
is the most noteworthy specimen of a prolonged address 
of this sort. In this remarkable discourse the ethical 
element prevails. Jesus sets forth in brief, pointed, em- 
phatic sayings the contrast between the type of life that 
belongs to his Icingdom and that which prevailed in cur- 
rent Judaism. It is a gospel not of outward observances 
or of doctrinal definitions, but of the inner life. Nothing 
is said about faith, repentance, atonement, or baptism, 
but much about inward conformity to the law of God, 
which is essentially the law of love. His shorter dis- 
courses frequently assumed the form of parables, as was 
very common among Oriental teachers. Private conver- 
sations, as in the cases of Nicodemus and the Samaritan 
woman, gave occasion for many of his most precious 
utterances. To the inner circle of his disciples he was 
wont to give explanations of his parabolic discourses and 
to communicate his plans and purposes more clearly than 
to the unreceptive multitude. Yet he had frequently to 
complain bitterly of lack of understanding on the part of 
those who had been so long time with him, though, 
" Never man spake like this man." 

6. His IVorks of Power. Nothing is more striking in 
the career of Jesus than his reserve in the exercise of 
divine power in the physical realm. Miracles were ex- 
pected by the Jews as " signs " of Messiahship, but when 
asked for from motives of curiosity or demanded in a 
spirit of unbelief they were uniformly refused. Most of 
his mighty works were the proper expression of his be- 
nevolence, as in the restoration of their dead to bereaved 

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relatives, the feeding of the famishing multitudes, the 
casting out of demons, the healing of the sick and the 
blind. They were also "symbols of his spiritual and 
savmg work. . . When he healed bodily blindness it 
was a type of the healing of the inner eye ; when he 
raised the dead, he meant to suggest that he was the 
Resurrection and the Life in the spiritual world as well ; 
when he cleansed the leper, his triumph spoke of another 
over the leprosy of sin." * 

7. His Rejection by his People. " He came unto his own 
(possessions), and his own (people) received him not." 
His explanation of this rejection was that light had come 
into the world and that men loved darkness rather than 
light because of their evil deeds. To their unwillingness 
to do God's will he attributed their unbelief in himself. 
Their rejection and malicious plottings he ascribed to the 
influence of the devil, whose children he declared the 
unbelieving Jews to be. Like him they were liars and 
enemies of the truth. They were the bond-servants of 
sin, when by accepting the truth they might become free. 
Though he accepted to a great extent the doctrinal teach- 
ing of the Pharisees, as against those of the Sadducees, 
his antagonism to a religion of outward observances, his 
denunciation of current Pharisaism as hypocrisy, and his 
proclamation of the doctrine that love to God and love to 
man rather than ceremonial sacrifices, avoidance of things 
unclean, and physical purgations, constitute true relig- 
ion; and his disregard of the rules of Sabbath observ- 
ance and insistence that the Sabbath was made for man 
not man for the Sabbath, aroused the bitterest antag- 
onism of the Pharisaic guardians of the Law and led them 
to resolve on his death. The aristocratic Sadducees, in- 
cluding the high priests and the political party in sym- 
pathy with Roman life and rule, no doubt regarded Jesus 
as a fanatic, the prevalence of whose teachings would 
imperil the hierarchical system in which they were deeply 
interested, and they were willing to co-operate with the 
Pharisees in measures for his destruction. The Roman 
officials, feeling little personal interest in Jewish religious 
questions, thought it a matter of policy to gratify the in- 


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fiuential parties at the expense of an obscure enthusiast, 
who moreover was represented as calling himself a l<ing 
and as hostile to Caesar. 

A few hundred more or less closely attached followers 
and a small band of devoted disciples constituted the ap- 
parent result of Jesus' ministry. Few even of these 
had entered fully into an understanding of his teach* 
ing or into sympathy with his purposes. In Galilee, 
where Pharisaism was comparatively uninfluential, he 
gained considerable recognition ; in Judea, where 
Pharisaism was strong, he made little impression. At 
the critical moment, when confession of Jesus might 
mean death, all forsook him and fled, Peter, who had 
been foremost to confess his divine character and Mes- 
siahship, denying him with cursing and swearing. 

8. The Trial and Crucifixion. Of those who had at- 
tached themselves to Jesus a large proportion were 
grievously disappointed because of his failure to fulfill the 
Jewish Messianic hopes. On one occasion (John 6 : 15) 
an effort was made to force him to become king. Dis- 
appointed in their expectations and repelled by his mys- 
terious statement about the necessity of eating his flesh 
and drinking his blood (John 6 : 53-58), '' many of his 
disciples went back and walked no more with him " (ver. 
66). On this occasion he foretold the treachery of one 
of his disciples (ver. 70). At last he determined on 
going to Jerusalem for the Passover, arousing the popu- 
lar enthusiasm by a public proclamation of his Messiah- 
ship, making a triumphal entry into the city, and suffer- 
ing the death that he foresaw awaited him. 

The popular enthusiasm alarmed Sadducees and Phar- 
isees alike, and the two parties united in compassing his 
death. An insurrection would bring upon Jewish officials 
the condemnation of the Roman government. It must 
be prevented by the destruction of the populai leader. 
His prediction of the destruction of Jerusalem, for whose 
salvation he yearned, the conspiracy between the chief 
priests and Judas for his quiet arrest, the last Supper and 
the designation of the traitor, the farewell discourses, the 
intercessory prayer, the watching and agonizing in Geth- 
semane, the betrayal and arrest in the garden, his ar- 
raignment before Caiaphas, the high priest, his condemna- 

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tion on the ground of blasphemy because of his con- 
fession of Messiahship, the mockings, scourgings, and 
contemptuous treatment following the condemnation, the 
shameful denial of Peter, the trial before Pilate, the 
attempt of Pilate to release him, the cry of the multi- 
tude, " Crucify him, crucify him," Pilate's weak yield- 
ing against his own judgment to the demands of the 
Jews, the crucifixion — these events followed each other 
with startling rapidity, and to the terrified disciples the 
cause of Jesus no doubt seemed to suffer an ignominious 

9. Ihe ^surrection and Ascension. Notwithstanding 
the plainness of his predictions, the disciples seem to 
have had little expectation of the resurrection of their 
Master. His repeated manifestation after the resurrec- 
tion, his words of counsel now wonderfully impressive, 
above all the Great Commission : " All authority hath 
been given unto me in heaven and on earth. Go ye, 
therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptiz- 
mg them into the name of the Father and of the Son 
and of the Holy Ghost : teaching them to observe what- 
soever I commanded you : and lo, I am with you alway, 
even unto the end of the world " (Matt. 28 : 16-20 ; cf. 
Mark 16 : 15-18), his final words showing that his death 
and resurrection had been in fulfillment of Old Testa- 
ment prophecy, commanding that ''repentance and re- 
mission of sins should be preached in his name unto all 
the nations, beginning at Jerusalem " (Luke 24 : 47), his 
reminder to his disciples that they were witnesses of 
these things, his bidding them tarry in the city until 
they should be clothed with power from on high, his 
ascension into heaven — these words and manifestations 
made heroes of the timid, discouraged disciples. They 
were now convinced, as they could never have been con- 
vinced before his death and resurrection, of the spir- 
ituality of his kingdom and the certainty of its triumph. 
" They worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with 
great joy : and were continually in the temple, blessing 
God " (Luke 24 : 52, 53). The teachings of the Master, 
treasured in their memory but imperfectly understood, 
now became luminous and glorious. They were able 
now to enter with consuming zeal upon the great task 

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of evangelizing the world that he had marked out for 
them with full assurance of ultimate triumph. 


The most important testimonies are contained in the 
apostolic writings, but as these are lamiliar and will be 
utilized to some extent in the next chapter, more recent 
estimates will be here given : 

It is generally allowed that Jesus appeared as a public man with a 
mind whose ideas were completely developed and arranged, with a 
character sharpened over its whole surface into perfect definlteness, 
and with designs that marched forward to their ends without hesita- 
tion. . . The reason of this must have been that during the thirty 
years before his public ministry began his ideas, his character, and 
designs went through all the stages of a thorough development. . . 
For one with his powers at command, thirty years of complete reti- 
cence and reserve were a long time. Nothing was greater in him 
afterward than the majestic reserve in both speech and action that 
characterized him.^ 

Referring to the Messianic prophecy in Isa. 42 : 1-4 
represented as fulfilled in Jesus (Matt. 12 : 18-21) Bruce 
remarks : 

No other type of Messiah could have any attractions for him : not 
the political Messiah of the Zealots, whose one desire was natonal 
independence ; not the Messiah of common expectation, who should 
flatter popular prejudices and make himself an idol by becoming a 
slave ; not the Messiah of the Pharisees, himself a Pharisee, regard- 
ing it as his vocation to deliver Israel from pagan impurity ; not 
even the austere Messiah of the Baptist, who was to separate the 
good from the evil by a process of judicial severity, and so usher in 
a kingdom of righteousness. The Messiah devoutly to be longed 
for, and cordially to be welcomed when he came, in his view was 
one who should conquer by the might of love and truth ; who should 
meet the deepest wants of man, not merely gratify the wishes of the 
Jews, and prove a Saviour to the whole worid ; who should be con* 
spicuous by patience and hopefulness, rather than by inexorable 
sternness,— a humane, universal, spiritual Messiah, answering to a 
divine kingdom of kindred character,— the desire of all nations, the 
fulfillment of humanity's deepest longings, therefore not destined to 
be superseded, but to remain an Eternal Christ, the same yesterday, 
to-day, and forever. 

The teacher made the truth he taught. His teaching was his 
articulated person, his person his Incorporated teaching. The divin« 

> Stelkv 

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ty the one expressed, the other embodied. He came to found a 
kingdom by manifesting his kinghood, by declaring himself a king. 
The King was the center rouna which the kingdom crystallized. 
His first words announced its advent ; his last affirmed its reality, 
though a reality too sublimely ideal to be intelligible to the man of 
the world.^ 

His teaching . . . from the very first has for its background a 
unique self-consciousness, the incomparable significance of his per- 
son, and from the beginning was directed toward something that 
must bt more than teaching, that must be work and deed, viz., the 
founding of God's kingdom. And this founding was finally accom- 
plished, not by his teaching as such, but by his personal devotion to 
and completion of his life-work, by his death ana resurrection. Does 
his teaching thereby lose its original fundamental significance, and 
sink down to a mere introduction to New Testament revelation ? It 
must be said that little as the teaching of Jesus in itself, apart from 
the conclusion of his life, could have called into existence the king- 
dom of God, as little could that ending of his life have called it into 
being without the foregoing doctrinal revelation.' 

The glad tidings which Jesus proclaimed were tidings of the 
kingdom of God. In delivering this message he, on the one hand, 
proclaimed the fact that the kingdom was beginning to be set up; 
and on the other hand he announced the requirements to be fulfilled 
in view of that fact. The whole contents of the teaching of Jesus 
can be classed under this general theme, and the two points of 
view from which he expounaed it. His preaching in regard to the 
kingdom of God contained partly instruction as to the existence of 
the kingdom, its nature, its realization, and development ; and partly 
exhortations to the fulfillment of the conditions of membership. . . 
His object was to establish that kingdom practically among his 
hearers ; and therefore he continually aimed at inciting them to be- 
come members of It.* 

No life ends even for this world when the body by which it has 
for a little been made visible disappears from the face of the earth. 
It enters the stream of the ever-swelling life of mankind, and con- 
tinues to act there with its whole force for evermore. Indeed, the 
true magnitude of a human being can often only be measured by 
what tiiis after life shows him to have been. So it was with Christ 
The modest narrative of the Gospels scarcely prepares us for the out- 
burst of creative force which issued from his fife when it appeared to 
have ended. His influence on the modem world is the evidence of 
how great he was ; for there must have been in the cause as much 
as there is in the effect. It has overspread the life of man and caused 
it to blossom with the vigor of a spiritual spring. It has absorbed 
^to itself all other influences, as a mighty river, pouring along the 
center of a continent, receives tributaries from a hundred nills. And 
its quallhr has been even more exceptional than its quantity. The 
life of Cnrist in history cannot cease. His influence waxes more and 
more ; the dead nations are waiting till it reaches them, and it is the 
hope of the earnest spirits that are bringing in the new earth. AH 

» FaMMlni. « B«yfClitaf . Wtndt 

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discoveries of the modem worid, every development of juster ideas, 
of higher powers, of more exquisite feelings In manlcind, are only 
new helps to inteipret him : ana the lifting up of life to the level of 
his ideas and character is the programme of me human race.^ 

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LITERATURE: The Acts of the AposUes, the apostolic Epistles* 
and the Apocalypse contain nearly all the authentic materials. See 
also Josephus, "Jewish War/' ** Against Apion," and "Auto- 
biography"; Neander, "Planting and Training of the Christian 
Church "^: Dollinger, " First Age of Christianity and the Church " ; 
Schurer, *' History of the Jewish People in the Time of Christ" ; 
Hausrath, "History of New Testament Times"; Baur, "Church 
History of the First Three Centuries " : Keim, " Rom u. d. Chrisim- 
tkum'^^i Ewald, " History of Israel," Vol. VII ; Weizsacker, " The 
Apostolic Age of the Christian Church"; McGiffert, " The Apos- 
tolic Age"; Ramsay, "The Church in the Roman Empire bdFore 
A. D. 170," and "St. Paul, the Traveler and Roman Citizen"; 
Hamack, " G^sch. d. MUhristlichm Uhirahtr his EusOms^" esp. part 
II., "Dtf Chrouol^^* \ works on New Testament Introduction 
and the Bibikal Theology of the New Testament as in Chap. I.; 
works on the Life of Paul, by Conybeare and Howson. Farrar, 
Geikie, Sabatier. Stalker, and Baur; Vedder, "The Dawn of 
Christianihr" ; Wallace, " Labors and Letters of the Apostles" ; 
Pfleiderer, ^' PauUnism " ; Bruce, " St. Paul's Conception of Christi- 
anity " ; Stevens, " The Pauline Theology," and '^The Johannine 
Theology "; Schiller, " dsch. d, ram. KaissrttH untsr d. RigUrung d. 
Nsro"i Addis, "Christianity and the Roman Empire" : Uhlhom, 
"Conflict of Christianity with Heathenism," and '^Christian 
Charityr in the Ancient Church " ; Lightfoot, " Dissertations on the 
Apostolic Age " ; Farrar, " The Eariy Davs of Christianity " ; and 
Arnold, " Dit turomsclu ChrisUmirfolgmg, 


I. The Pentecostal Baptism. The risen Lord had charged 
his disciples '* not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait 
for the promise of the Father, which, said he, ye heard 
from me : for John indeed baptized with water ; but ye 
shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days 
hence " (Acts i : 4, 5). They seem not yet to have given 
up their Jewish Messianic hopes.- Before the Lord's 
ascension they had asked him whether he was about to 
•' restore the kingdom to Israel '' (Acts i : 6). He replied 
that it was not for them "to know times or seasons, 
which the Father hath set within his own authority." 

F Si 

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But he assured them that they should receive power 
when the Holy Ghost should come upon them, and that 
they should be his "witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in 
all Judea, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth." 
After the ascension, as they were standing in a dazed 
condition '* looking stedfastly into heaven, two men stood 
by them in white apparel,*' and assured them that this 
Jesus, which was received up from them into heaven, 
should so come in like manner as they beheld him going 
into heaven. Returning to their lodgings in Jerusalem, 
profoundly impressed by what they had seen and heard, 
the eleven " with the women, and Mary the mother of 
Jesus, and with his brethren, with one accord, continued 
stedfastly in prayer." During these days of prayerful 
waiting, Peter called attention to the breach in the ranks 
of the Twelve caused by the treachery of Judas, and 
Matthias was appointed by lot to fill it. 

On the day of Pentecost (fifty days after the Pass- 
over), when Jews and proselytes ''from every nation 
under heaven " had gathered in Jerusalem, the dis- 
ciples "were all together in one place. And suddenly 
there came from heaven a sound as of the rushing of a 
mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were 
sitting. And there appeared unto them tongues parting 
asunder, like as of fire ; and it sat upon each one of them. 
And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began 
to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them ut- 
terance." The gathered multitude of Jews and proselytes 
were drawn together by the noise and "were confounded 
because that every one heard them speaking in his own 
language." Some were amazed, thinking a great miracle 
was being wrought, while others attributed the phenom- 
ena to drunkenness on the part of the disciples. Peter re- 
pudiated the charge of drunkenness and showed that the 
marvelous phenomena were the fulfillment of a prophecy 
of Joel. He took occasion to make an impassioned ad- 
dress on "Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God 
... by mighty works and wonders and signs," as his 
hearers themselves knew. He dwelt upon the fact that 
he had been crucified and slain "by the hand of lawless 
men," having been "delivered up by the determinate 
counsel and foreknowledge of God," and upon the fact 

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that "God raised him up, having loosed the pangs of 
death." Of the resurrection he said, "we all are wit- 
nesses." He attributed the wonderful phenomena that 
had brought the people together to the agency of Christ 
in his exaltation at the right hand of God. He declared 
to the house of Israel : " God hath made him both Lord 
and Christ, this Jesus whom ye crucified." The awak- 
ened multitude asked what they should do. Peter ex- 
horted them to " repent " and " be baptized in the name 
of Jesus Christ unto the remission of" their "sins." 
About three thousand heeded the exhortation and were 
baptized that day. "And they continued steadfastly in 
the apostles' teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of 
bread and the prayers " (Acts 2). 

2. The Jerusalem Church. The original disciples, with 
their multitude of enthusiastic converts baptized upon a 
profession of their faith, may be said to have constituted 
the first Christian church. Our Lord himself seems to 
have organized no local communities of believers. He 
preached in the synagogues and in the temple and had 
his inner and outer circles of baptized disciples, and these 
as a whole may, without impropriety, be designated as 
the pre-pentecostal church. But the churches, as organ- 
ized bodies, are an apostolic institution. Even after 
Pentecost the great body of believers in Jerusalem had 
for some time very little organization. 

It is related that " fear came upon every soul and many 
wonders and signs were done by the apostles." This 
would indicate the prevalence of intense religious excite- 
ment and expectancy. These believers had not yet ad- 
justed themselves to their new relations and were doubt- 
less uncertain whether it was the will of the Lord that 
they should continue to live in the world and to occupy 
themselves with secular concerns. "And all that be- 
lieved were together, and had ail things common ; and 
they sold their possessions and goods, and parted them 
to all, according as any man had need. And day by day, 
continuing stedfastly with one accord in the temple, and 
breaking bread at home, they did take their food with 
gladness and singleness of heart, praising God, and hav- 
ing favor with all the people. And the Lord added to 
them day by day those that were being saved." This 

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disregard of secular interests beautiful in itself and highly 
appropriate at the time could only be temporary in that 
or any other community. The common supply of the 
necessaries of life would soon be exhausted and the 
entire body would be reduced to dependence on miracles 
or on chanty. 

The healing of a lame man by Peter and John at the 
door of the temple brought together a crowd of people to 
whom Peter preached Jesus as the crucified, risen, and 
glorified Servant, as the Prince of life, as the Holy and 
Righteous One, whose sufferings had been foretold by the 
prophets and "whom the heaven must receive until the 
times of restoration of all things." The concourse of 
the people and Peter's enthusiastic preaching alarmed 
the " priests and the captain of the temple and the Sad- 
ducees," who arrested Peter and John. Their boldness 
and the certainty that a miracle had been performed so 
impressed the authorities that the apostles were released. 
The number of believers had by this time increased to 
five thousand (Acts 4 : 4). 

It is remarkable that in the preaching of this time great 
stress is laid on the fulfillment of prophecy in the death 
and resurrection of Jesus ; and yet the Jews are made to 
feel the guilt of his crucifixion. 

The liberation of the apostles was an occasion of 
thanksgiving and praise on the part of the brethren. It 
is reported (Acts 4: 31) that "the place was shaken 
wherein they were gathered together ; and they were all 
filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of 
God with boldness. And the multitude of them that be- 
lieved were of one heart and soul : and not one of them 
said that aught of the things which he possessed was his 
own ; but they had all things common ... for as many 
as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and 
brought the prices of the things that were sold, and laid 
them at the apostles' feet : and distribution was made 
unto each, according as any one had need." 

The deception of Ananias and Sapphira and their sud- 
den death under Peter's censure, and many other " signs 
and wonders wrought among the people '^ (Acts 5 : 12), 
caused "multitudes both of men and women" to be 
added to the Christians. Peter's credit increased to 

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such an extent that the people brought their sick into 
the streets that his shadow might fall on them, and multi- 
tudes of sick were brought from the cities round about to 
be healed by him. Again the Sadducaic authorities threw 
the apostles into prison, but an angel of the Lord opened 
the prison door and bade them preach in the temple to 
the people. Arraigned again and bidden to desist from 
preaching, they declared that they must obey God rather 
than men. Warned by Gamaliel as to the futility of vio- 
lent interference with enthusiasts, the authorities beat 
them and let them go, charging them '' not to speak in 
the name of Jesus." 

The presence in the city of more than five thousand 
believers, many of whom were dependent on the chari- 
ties daily distributed, rendered the problem of equitable 
distribution a very serious one. The apostles, occupied 
much in the ministry of the word, in response to com- 
plaints of neglect on the part of the Hellenistic Jews, 
asked the brethren to select from their number " seven 
men of good report, full of the Spirit and of wisdom,'' 
whom they might " appoint over this business/' The 
choosing of Stephen and six others by the brethren and 
their appointment by the apostles with prayer and the 
laying-on of hands constituted these the first officials, 
apart from the apostles, in the infant church. It is in- 
teresting to note that these servers of tables were in- 
troduced in response to a deeply felt practical need 
and not as part of a deliberately planned system of 
church order. 

Following the introduction of this division of labor in 
the Jerusalem church we are informed that '* the word of 
God increased ; and the number of the disciples multiplied 
in Jerusalem exceedingly ; and a great company of the 
priests were obedient to the faith." This continued 
multiplication must have brought the numbers far above 
five thousand, the last numerical estimate given. Noth- 
ing is known of the subsequent career of the ** great 
company " of converted priests. 

Stephen proved to be not only a server of tables but 
a minister of the word as well. ''Full of grace and 
power," he ''wrought great wonders and signs among 
the people." The discomfiture of certain Hellenistic 

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86 A Manual OF church history [per.l 

Jews who tried to argue with Stephen led them to 
accuse him of blasphemy against Moses and against God. 
Arraigned before the Jewish authorities on this charge, 
he gave utterance to the inspired discourse recorded in 
Acts 7, in which he showed that Jesus is the proper com- 
plement of Hebrew history and the true fulfillment of 
Hebrew prophecy, and ended with a stern denunciation 
of the Jews before him as '* stiff-necked and uncircum- 
cised in heart and ears " and as '* betrayers and murder- 
ers " of "the Righteous One" foretold by the prophets 
whom their fathers had persecuted. Enraged by his 
denunciations, they refused to hear more, but " rushed 
upon him with one accord ; and they cast him out of the 
city, and stoned him, who, having had a vision of the 
opened heavens," with ''the glory of God and the Son 
of man standing on the right hand of God," committing 
his spirit to the Lord Jesus, prayed that the sin of his 
murder might not be laid to the charge of his murderers, 
and "fell asleep." 

It is related that "the witnesses" against Stephen 
" laid down their garments at the feet of a young man 
named Saul," and that "Saul was consenting unto his 

The martyrdom of Stephen is significant for the fol- 
lowing reasons : First, because it was the first Christian 
martyrdom ; secondU^, because it introduced a general 
persecution of the Christians in Jerusalem and led to 
their dispersion and to the wide dissemination of Chris- 
tian truth ; and thirdly, because it launched upon his 
persecuting career Saul of Tarsus, there having already 
been planted in his mind and heart seeds of truth that 
would afterward spring up and bear fruit. 

The solemn burial of Stephen by his devout brethren 
is followed immediately in the narrative by a record of 
Saul's persecuting work : " But Saul laid waste the 
church, entering into every house, and haling men and 
women committed them to prison." 

" They that were scattered abroad," we are informed, 
"went about preaching the word." Philip, another of 
the seven servers of tables, was among the first to enter 
upon evangelistic labor outside the city. Shortly after 
the outbreak of persecution he " went down to the city 

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of Samaria and proclaimed unto them the Christ." His 
preaching and his healing of the sick aroused profound 
interest, and the consideration thus gained by the evan- 
gelist caused a certain magician named Simon to covet 
the power of the Spirit and to submit to baptism in order 
that he might gain it. When the news of the reception 
of the gospel by the Samaritans reached the apostles in 
Jerusalem they sent Peter and John to look after the 
new believers. Philip had baptized them *' into the 
name of the Lord Jesus." The apostles prayed for them, 
that they might receive the Holy Ghost, and as ''they 
laid their hands upon them " they received this special 
enduement. Simon Magus sought to purchase the power 
of communicating the Holy Spirit, and received the 
scathing rebuke of Peter. The name of Simon figures 
prominently in the pseudonymous works of the second 
and third centuries as one of the most corrupt of the 
Gnostic leaders and as a malignant opponent of Peter 
and of orthodox Christianity. The villages of Samaria 
were also evangelized at this time. 

Under divine impulse Philip journeyed "toward the 
south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem 
unto Gaza." There he met an official "of Candace, 
queen of the Ethiopians, who was over all her treasure, 
who had come to Jerusalem for to worship." Prompted 
by the Spirit, Philip joined himself to the eunuch's 
chariot and hearing him reading from Isa. 53, without 
any proper understanding of its meaning, " beginning 
from this Scripture, preached unto him Jesus." Con- 
vinced that Jesus is the Christ and that it was his duty 
as a believer to enter into the fellowship of believers 
and to assume the obligations and responsibilities of dis- 
cipleship, he desired to receive Christian baptism. Call- 
ing the attention of the evangelist to "a certain water " 
to which they had come, he asked to be baptized. It is 
related (Acts 8 : 38, 39) that "they both went down 
into the water, both Philip and the eunuch ; and he bap- 
tized him. And when they came up out of the water, 
the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip." The eunuch 
"went on his way rejoicing." Philip "was found at 
Azotus : and passing through preached the gospel to all 
the cities, till he came to C»sare»/' 

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CONFERENCE (k. D. 31-46 or 35-49)- 

I. The Conversion of Saul. " Not content with laying 
waste the church in Jerusalem, Saul of Tarsus, the edu- 
cated Pharisee who had sat at the feet of Gamaliel, and 
who had received a regular Greek education as well, still 
''breathing out threatening and slaughter against the 
disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest and 
asked of him letters to Damascus unto the synagogues, 
that if he found any that were of the way, whether men 
or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem." 
In seeking to exterminate the religion of Christ he 
thought he was rendering service to God ; for he was no 
doubt fully persuaded that its prevalence would mean 
the subversion of the Law, whose preservation and ob- 
servance he regarded as supremely important. A man 
of his intelligence must have learned much of the new 
religion. Stephen's eloquent discourse may have im- 
pressed him ; but it had the immediate effect of infuriat- 
ing him against the innovators, and may have led to a 
resolution to devote his life to destroying them. We have 
several varying accounts, all emanating from himself, of 
his sudden conversion on the road to Damascus (Acts 
9, 22, 25). The shining from heaven of a great light, 
the voice saying, **Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou 
me ? " his answer, '* Who art thou. Lord ? " the answer, 
*' I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest," his 
inquiry what he should do and the Lord's directions, his 
blindness, his healing and baptism by Ananias of Da- 
mascus, the commission given him by the Lord as a 
" minister and witness," with the promise of Divine 
protection and support, are the chief items of the narra- 
tives. That he regarded the change wrought in him as 
sudden, and as the direct result of special Divine inter- 
vention, admits of no doubt. Almost immediately he 
began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues as the Son of 
God, to the amazement of believers who had known him 
as a persecutor. '' But Saul increased the more in 
strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Da- 
mascus, proving that this is the Christ " (Acts 9 : 22). 
The Jews plotted to kill him, but he escaped through the 
good offices of the disciples, and returned to Jerusalem. 

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There the brethren were at first afraid of him, but 
" Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles/' 
and by narrating the facts of his conversion won their 
confidence. After preaching in Jerusalem for some time 
and disputing with the Hellenistic Jews, his life was 
again in danger, and he was sent by the brethren to 
Tarsus by way of Caesarea. 

From the Epistle to the Galatians we learn that before 
his first visit to Jerusalem as a Christian he had gone 
away into Arabia, and had again returned to Damascus. 
The stay in Arabia and the second sojourn in Damascus 
probably occupied more than a year, and the first visit 
to Jerusalem probably occurred in A. D. 33 or 35.^ 

2, Peter's Early Ministry. After the outburst of per- 
secuting fury that followed the martyrdom of Stephen, 
we are informed that "the church throughout all Judea 
and Galilee and Samaria had peace, being builded up ; and 
walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the 
Holy Ghost, was multiplied/' It is noticeable that the 
church is still spoken of as a unity though its member- 
ship was scattered over several provinces, Peter's min- 
istry and works of healing at Lydda and at Joppa, the 
two-fold vision by which Cornelius, a God-fearing cen- 
turion, was directed to send for Peter, and by which 
Peter was directed to put aside his Judaizing scruples, 
and to minister to the centurion at Caesarea, is remark- 
able as having opened Peter's eyes to the fact "that 
God is no respecter of persons : but in every nation he 
that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accept- 
able to him," and as leading to the first baptism of a 
Gentile into the Christian fellowship. Peter's Judaizing 
disposition was to reassert itself, and the brethren at 
Jerusalem were still to be fully convinced by Paul of the 
universality of the gospel provision. Peter found some 
difficulty in justifying his course at Caesarea to the apos- 
tles and brethren in Judea ; but when the manifest Di- 
vine leading in the matter was made known to them they 
glorified God. 

3. Evangelisation in Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch. 
Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch were also evangelized as 

^ Raasay dates this visit A. D. 37. In Accordance with his view that Paul's con- 
wstoa occwrad la a. o. js- Hamack and McGiffert support tha aarllar dates. 

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a result of the scattering of the brethren occasioned by 
"the tribulation that arose about Stephen," and "a 
great number " are said to have ** believed." Barnabas 
was sent to Antioch to carry forward the good work, and 
'* much people was added unto the Lord." Feeling the 
need of such help, he ** went forth to Tarsus to seek for 
Saul." Both Barnabas and Saul labored a whole year in 
this great center. They gathered a church, ** taught 
much people," and here "the disciples were first called 
Christians " (Acts ii : 26). There being a famine in Ju- 
dea the disciples at Antioch, " each man according to his 
ability," determined to send relief to their suffering b. eth- 
ren. Barnabas and Saul were the agents of their benefi- 
cence. The brethren in Judea were suffering at this 
time from persecution at the hands of Herod as well as 
from famine. The execution of James the brother of 
John, and the imprisonment of Peter, who was delivered 
by angelic ministry, are among the features recorded. 
After narrating the smiting to death of Herod by the 
Lord, it is said : " But the word of the Lord grew and 

Antioch henceforth figures as a great Christian center, 
side by side with Jerusalem. A church is now spoken 
of as being there, and among the " prophets and teach- 
ers " were " Barnabas, Symeon that was called Niger, 
and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen the foster-brother of 
Herod the tetrarch, and Saul." Under the direction of 
the Holy Spirit, Barnabas and Saul were separated for 
missionary work and were sent forth whithersoever the 
Spirit might lead. From the record it would seem that 
they were designated and sent forth by the "prophets 
and teachers " whose names have been given, and who 
are said to have been ministering and fasting when the 
Divine will was revealed to them ; but if this were so, 
the transaction no doubt had the approval of the entire 
body of believers. 

The death of Herod Agrippa. referred to above, occurred in 44. 
The first missionary journey of Saul and Barnabas may have begun 
during the same year. It may be observed that the record of the 
labors of the apostles during the years 34-44 is exceedingly meagre. 
It is probable that Paul spent at least ten years in evangelistic work 
in Syria and Cilicla. It is not at all likely that he and his com- 

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panions confined themselves closely to Antioch, but their labors 
were no doubt abundant and widespread. Nothing further is related 
of Peter and the other apostles until the conference at Jerusalem. 

4. The First Missionary Journey of Paul and Barnabas. 
It is noteworthy that the Saul designated as a missionary 
now becomes Paul in the narrative. This change of 
name has by some writers been connected with the con- 
version of the pro-consul Sergius Paulus, on the island of 
Cyprus, near the beginning of the journey. The better 
view seems to be that Paul was already his name as a 
Roman citizen, and that in his missionary work among the 
Gentiles he preferred this to his Hebrew name. Sailing 
from Cyprus they landed at Perga, in Pamphylia, some 
miles from the mouth of the river Cestrus. Thence 
they journeyed to Antioch in Pisidia, where they visited 
the synagogue, and on the invitation of the rulers of the 
synagogue Paul preached with such effect, that *' the 
next Sabbath almost the whole city was gathered together 
to hear the word of God." The gathering of the mul- 
titude aroused the animosity of the Jews, whose blas- 
phemous opposition led the missionaries to turn their 
attention definitely to the Gentiles, who glorified God 
that the gospel was for them also; and **as many as 
were ordained to eternal life believed.' 

Driven from Antioch by Jewish persecution, they jour- 
neyed to Iconium, leaving behind them a body of disci- 
ples "filled with joy and with the Holy Ghost." Here 
they preached in the synagogue and "a great multitude 
both of Jews and of Greeks believed." Here Jewish 
and Gentile opposition was encountered and the mission- 
aries "fled into the cities of Lycaonia, Lystra, and 
Derbe, and the region round about: and there they 
preached the gospel " (Acts 14 : 6, 7). 

At Lystra, because of the healing of a cripple, the 
people sought to worship Paul and Barnabas as gods. 
But they were followed hither by hostile Jews from An-, 
tioch and Iconium, a mob was raised against them, and 
Paul was stoned. 

At Derbe they " made many disciples." Then they 
returning passed through Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch, 
"confirming the souls of the disciples, exhorting them 
to continue in the faith," warning them of the tribula- 

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tions that awaited them, " and when they had appointed 
for them elders in every church and had prayed with 
fasting, they commended them unto the Lord, on whom 
they had believed." 

On the return journey they preached in Perga, which 
for some reason they had omitted to do at the beginning 
of the tour. Thence they returned to Antioch, where 
they submitted a report of successful work among the 
Gentiles and remained for a considerable time (Acts 14 ; 
27, 28). 

It is to be remarked that Paul and Barnabas organized the believ- 
ers in the various towns into churches and appointed elders to look 
after the spiritual interests of each body. Nothing is said about 
deacons as officials in these churches. The organization effected 
was of the simplest kind, elders, after the example of the Jewish 
synagogues, having been appointed for the direction of Christian 
life and work. That they should have been appointed by the mis- 
sionaries and not by the believers themselves was due, no doubt, to 
the inexperience of these recent believers and their desire that those 
who had led them to a knowledge of the truth should direct them in 
the matter of organization. No doubt the apostles appointed those 
in each case who were known to have the confidence of their breth- 
ren, and in ail probability the appointments were formally made 
after full consultation with the churches. 

PERSECUTION (A. D. 47 or 49-64). 

From this time onward Paul is the great central figure 
in the history of the apostolic churches, the Acts of the 
Apostles being henceforth devoted almost exclusively to 
the narration of his labors, while the labors of the rest of 
the apostles are almost wholly lost sight of. 

I. The Conference at Jerusalem. Either during the ab- 
sence of Paul and Barnabas in Asia Minor, or shortly 
after their return, *' certain men came down from Judea 
and taught the brethren, saying, Except ye be circum- 
cised after the custom of Moses, ye cannot be saved.'* 

This caused not a little disturbance in the church, and 
to allay strife it was determined that " Paul and Barna- 
bas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem 
unto the apostles and elders about this question." They 
utilized their journey for declaring to the brethren of 
Phoenicia and Samaria the joyful tidings of the conver- 
sion of the Gentiles. 

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On their arrival in Jerusalem '* they were received 
of the church and the apostles and elders, and they 
rehearsed all things that God had done with them/' 
Certain Pharisaic believers insisted that these Gentile 
converts must be circumcised and charged to keep the 
law of Moses. Peter spoke the decisive word, referring 
to his own inauguration of Gentile evangelization ''a 
good while ago," and to the fact that Gentile believers 
had received the Holy Ghost as well as others, and 
claiming that God made no distinction between them and 
Jews, He deprecated the thought of putting a yoke 
upon these brethren. Jews and Gentiles alike are saved 
through the grace of the Lord Jesus. 

Barnabas and Paul then rehearsed *' what signs and 
wonders the Lord had wrought among the Gentiles by 
them.'' James, who is commonly regarded as the most 
Judaizing of the apostles, gave it as his judgment *' that 
we trouble not them which from among the Gentiles 
turn to God, but that we write unto them to abstain 
from the pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and 
from what is strangled, and from blood." This state- 
ment of the case was adopted. 

'* Then it seemed good to the apostles and the elders, 
with the whole church, to choose men out of their com- 
pany and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barna- 
bas." A letter was drafted containing a rebuke to those 
who had troubled the Antiochian brethren with words, 
subverting their souls, recognizing the work of Paul and 
Barnabas, ** men that have hazarded their lives for the 
name of our Lord Jesus Christ," mentioning the appoint- 
ment of Judas and Silas to tell them ''the same things 
by word of mouth," and enumerating the requirements 
to be made of Gentile believers as formulated by James, 
The decision of the brethren in conference and the visit 
of Silas and Judas brought about a good understanding 
between these two primitive churches. Paul and Bar- 
nabas remained for a short time in Antioch, " teaching 
and preaching the word of the Lord, with many others 

The conference In Jerusalem is from a historical point of view 
highly Important. It shows us in Jerusalem an organized church, 
with apostles, elders, and brethren, who act conjointly. So far as 

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appears, the apostles expressed the opinions that prevailed and the 
eiders and brethren assented ; but it is probable that all alike were 
free to express themselves and that the opinion of an unofficial mem- 
ber would have received all the consideration to which it was enti- 
tled. We have here an example of inter-congregational intercourse, 
delegated members of the Antiochian church going to Jerusalem and 
conferring with the church there, the Jerusalem church in turn ap* * 
pointing representatives to visit the Antiochian church and to ex' 
plain more fully, if needi>e, the position of the mother church. 
Above all, it settled definitely the ri^ht of Gentiles to become Chris- 
tians without passing through Judaism. 

For some reason not easily explained, the writer of 
Acts omits an interesting episode in the history of the 
relations of the churches of Jerusalem and Antioch. This 
deficiency is supplied by Paul in Gal. 2:11, seq.^ who 
also describes the Jerusalem conference more briefly and 
from a somewhat different point of view (Gal. 2 : i-io). 
According to Paul's account, Cephas (Peter) came to 
Antioch probably some time after the return of Paul and 
Barnabas with Silas and Judas, and at first ate with the 
Gentile Christians, but when remonstrated with by cer- 
tain emissaries of James, ** he drew back and separated 
himself, fearing them that were of the circumcision. 
And the rest of the Jews dissembled likewise with him ; 
insomuch that even Barnabas was carried away with 
their dissimulation." Paul felt obliged to administer a 
scathing rebuke to his Judaizing brethren and to set forth 
in vigorous language the equality, nay, the superiority of 
Gentile to Jewish Christians. On this occasion he 
seems to have stated in the clearest manner the doctrine 
of justification by faith as against the doctrine of justifi- 
cation by the works of the law. 

It is evident that a new phase of the Gentile question was intro- 
duced at this time. Even James had agreed to recognize Gentile 
Christians on condition that they abstain from certain heathen 
practices, most of them fundamentally Immoral ; but it seems to 
nave been tacitly understood at the Jerusalem conference that Jew- 
ish Christians should continue to observe the Law. Peter himself 
was led by his enthusiasm so far to violate the Jewish ceremonial 
law as to eat with Gentile Christians ; but his Jewish prejudices 
were still strong and he was not ready to break with James, who 
insisted on the ngorous observance of the Law by Christian Jews. 

Paul's uncompromising attitude and stern words of 
rebuke must have intensified the opposition of the ex- 

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treme Judaizers and have been irritating even to Peter 
and Barnabas. Zealous propagandists of the extreme 
Judaizing position visited the communities in Asia Minor 
(and no doubt in Cyprus and Phoenicia) that had been 
evangelized by Paul and Barnabas, denounced Paul as a 
pretended apostle, and insisted that to be a Christian 
one must first become a Jew by submitting to circum- 
cision and observing the Jewish cerenionial law. 

The Epistle to the Galatians, the aim of which was to 
counteract this pernicious teaching and to vindicate the 
writer's character as a divinely chosen apostle of Jesus 
Christ, was probably written some time after Paul's 
encounter with Peter and soon after the beginning of 
the Judaizing propaganda that followed. Objection to 
the early date on the ground of the intimation in the 
Epistle that the writer had visited the Galatians more 
than once (4 : 13), is met by the fact that on the return 
journey he revisited the communities that had previously 
been evangelized. The fact that he communicates to 
the Galatians, as fresh information, the discussions at 
Jerusalem and Antioch respecting the status of Gentile 
Christians, bears strongly against the supposition that 
the Epistle was written after the second missionary jour- 
ney, in connection with which he could hardly have 
failed to communicate to them the decisions reached. 
That the work of the perverters had followed closely 
upon the conversion of the Galatians through his labors 
is evident from i : 6. 

A recent writer, who has devoted years to geographical and archse- 
ologlcal research in Asia Minor with special reference to apostolic 
history, ^ has made it dear that the term Galatia in the apostolic 
times included not only Galatia proper, but Pisidia, South Pnrygia, 
and Isauria as well. The Galatians addressed in the Epistle would 
accordingly be the Christians in Antioch of Pisidia, Iconium, Lyca- 
onia, Lystra» and E)ert>e, the fruits of the first missionary journey of 
Paul and Barnabas. 

The Epistle was probably written at Antioch shortly be- 
fore Paul started on his second missionary journey, about 
A. D. 46 or 47. The chief objection urged against this 
early date is the elaborateness of the doctrinal system of 

1 Ramsay* " The Church In th« Ronan Empire/' 189a. 

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the Epistle as compared with that of the Epistles to the 
Corinthians, and to the Thessalonians written during the 
second missionary journey. The similarity of its teach- 
ings to those of the Epistle to the Romans has inclined 
critics to place the time of its composition some years 
later. But it is scarcely to be supposed that the apostle 
after more than fifteen years of profound occupation 
with the Christian religion had not yet matured his sys- 
tem. Difference of circumstances in the communities 
addressed accounts sufficiently for the differences of doc- 
trinal presentation. In this Epistle the apostle had to 
meet the arguments of determined and unscrupulous 
Judaizers, and nothing was more natural than that he 
should set forth clearly and strongly the doctrine of jus- 
tification by faith without the works of the law. 

2. Paul's Second Missionary Journey (A. D. 46 or 47*49 
or 50). Not very long after the Jerusalem conference 
Paul suggested to Barnabas that they two should revisit 
the brethren in the cities where they had preached. 
'' Barnabas was minded to take with them John also, 
who was called Mark.'* Paul objected, on the ground 
that on the previous tour Mark had left the party at 
Perga without a satisfactory reason. '* Barnabas took 
Mark with him and sailed away unto Cyprus ; but Paul 
chose Silas . . . and went through Syria and Cilicia, 
confirming the churches." What resulted from the 
journey of Barnabas and Mark we are not informed. 
Among the incidents of Paul's journey were the revisiting 
of Derbe and Lystra, the choice of young Timothy as a 
fellow-laborer, the circumcision of Timothy, whose father 
was a Greek, " because of the Jews that were in those 
parts " (Acts 16 : 3), the Divine prohibition to labor in 
Asia and Bithynia, and the Macedonian appeal in a vision, 
to which the apostle readily responded. 

Philippi was the first Macedonian city to be evangel- 
ized. The conversion and baptism of Lydia and her 
household, the expulsion of the spirit of divination from 
a Pythoness which led to the beating and imprisonment 
of Paul and Silas, the opening of the prison doors by an 
earthquake, the conversion and baptism of the jailer and 
his family, the fear of the magistrates and their desire to re- 
lease the missionaries privately, and their confusion when . 

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chap.1l] the apostles 97 

Paul proclaimed himself a Roman citizen and demanded 
fo be vindicated publicly, are the events recorded. At 
the request of the magistrates they departed after meet- 
ing with the brethren and comforting them. 

The relations of Paul to the Philippian church were 
peculiarly tender. About ten years after the founding of 
the church, when he was in bonds in Rome, he wrote the 
church one of the most beautiful of all his letters, on the 
occasion of their ministering to his needs. It is a per- 
sonal letter and is not doctrinal in intention; but it Is 
rich in doctrine as well as in practical exhortation. That 
the organization of the church had been completed by 
this time is evident from the fact that he addresses the 
body of believers " with the bishops and deacons." Here 
in this Gentile church we have a plurality of bishops or 
overseers, but no " presbyters." 

At Thessalonica Paul preached in the synagogue and 
some Jews believed, *'and of the devout Greeks (pros- 
elytes) a great multitude, and of the chief women not a 
few " (Acts 17 : 4). 

Luke gives us a very meagre account of Paul's work 
in Thessalonica. The apostle supplies further informa- 
tion in the Epistles to the church written about 48 or 49, 
during his residence at Corinth. After commending their 
** work of faith and labor of love and patience of hope," 
their exemplary Christian conduct, and their wholesome 
influence on other communities, and reminding them of 
his own zealous, loving, and self-sacrificing labors on their 
behalf and of his holy, righteous, and unblamable de- 
meanor among them, he refers to his desire to revisit 
them that had been thwarted by Satan and his sending 
of Timothy to minister to them while he waited alone at 
Athens, and concludes with a series of exhortations, sug- 
gested no doubt by what Timothy had reported regarding 
their estate. No doubt there was special occasion for the 
exhortation to "abstain from fornication," to "study to 
be quiet," to attend to their secular affairs, laboring with 
their hands. His eschatological instructions probably 
grew out of what he had heard regarding their disturb- 
ance of mind concerning such matters. 

Both Epistles are addressed to the church by Paul and Silvanus 
and Timothy. The second deals especially with the ** coming of our 


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Lord Jesus, and our gathering together unto him." The Thessalo* 
nians had been led by a misunderstanding of the apostle's teachine^ 
or through some other influence to regard this coming as ** present?' 
He warns them against this error, that was doubtless producing an 
unwholesome condition in the church, and points out to tiiem, in ob- 
scure and mysterious language which they probably understood, 
that certain great events must precede the parousia of the Lord. Here 
also attention is called to a disposition, doubtless connected with the 
expectation of the immediate coming of the Lord, to ne^i^t neces- 
sary secular labor. He exhorts the Thessalonians to withdraw from 
every disorderiy brother. 

Driven from the city through Jewish opposition Paul 
and Silas went to Beroea, where *' the Jews received the 
word with all readiness of mind, examining the Scriptures 
daily whether these things were so" (Acts 17 : ii). Jews 
from Thessalonica followed them and aroused such oppo- 
sition as to interfere with their labors. Paul proceeded to 
Athens without Silas and Timothy. While waiting for 
their arrival ** his spirit was provoked within him, as he 
beheld the city full of idols " (17 : 16). Athens was noted 
no less for her culture than for the profusion of idolatrous 
objects within her walls. He found curious and con- 
temptuous listeners in abundance, but few prepared to 
accept the truth. " But certain men clave unto him, and 
believed : among whom also was Dionysius the Areop- 
agite, and a woman named Damaris, and others with 
them " (17 : 34). 

Later tradition was busy with the name of Dionysius, represent- 
ing him as the first to evan&elize France and as the author of a great 
body of theosophical (Neo-Platonlc) writings that really originated 
about the beginning of the sixth century. 

Corinth was the scene of more prolonged and more 
fruitful labors (c. 48-50). It was at this time the prin- 
cipal city of Greece and, from the confluence of Greek, 
Roman, and Oriental culture and vices, was one of the 
most cosmopolitan of the cities of eastern Europe and 
was famous for luxury and vice. The book of Acts informs 
us (chap. 18) of his arrival, of his association with "a 
certain Jew named Aquila, a man of Pontus by race, 
lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla, because 
Claudius had commanded all the Jews to depart from 
Rome," that as a fellow-craftsman (tent maker) ht 

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"abode with them, and they wrought," that "he rea- 
soned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded 
Jews and Greeks ; '* that opposition and blasphemy on 
the part of the Jews led him to withdraw from the 
synagogue and to hold his meetings in the house of a 
proselyte named Titus Justus ; that " Crispus, the ruler 
of the synagogue, believed in the Lord with all his 
house "; that " many of the Corinthians hearing believed, 
and were baptized '* ; that he was encouraged by a vision 
to zeal and persistence ; that he " dwelt there a year and 
six months " ; that the Jews rose in might against him and 
arraigned him before the judgment-seat of Gallio, the pro- 
consul, who refused to pronounce judgment and "drave 
them from the judgment-seat " ; and that, *' having tarried 
after this yet many days," he "took his leave of the 
brethren, and sailed thence for Syria, and with him Pris- 
cilia and Aquila." 

From the Epistles to the Corinthians, written the one 
from Ephesus, the other shortly after his departure from 
Ephesus (c. 51-53), we learn much as to the apostle's 
feelings in entering upon the work, his methods of pre- 
senting the truth there, and the moral and doctrinal diffi- 
culties in which the church became involved. Paul bears 
testimony to the high proficiency that the church had at- 
tained "in all utterance and all knowledge," so that they 
came "behind in no gift." He laments that partisanship 
has arisen among them, on the basis of attachment to 
individual workers (Paul, Apollos, Cephas) ; adjures them 
•*to speak the same thing*' ; assures them that all the 
workers are building on the same foundation, Jesus 
Christ; cautions them against the subtleties of philo- 
sophical speculation (" the wisdom of this world "), which 
there is some reason to suspect Apollos had indulged in 
and encouraged ; refers to a previous letter in which he 
had warned the Corinthian Christians "to have no com- 
pany with fornicators " ; devotes much attention to vari- 
ous sins of unchastity, the enormity of which the Corinth- 
ians very imperfectly realized ; lays down the principles to 
be observed in relation to objects associated with idolatry ; 
gives instructions as regards the conduct and apparel of 
women in Christian assemblies ; calls attention to the 
diversities of spiritual gifts among believers and to the 

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corporate oneness and multiplicity of function in the mem- 
bership of the church ; exalts love as the cardinal Christian 
virtue ; discusses prophecy and the speaking with tongues, 
discouraging without absolutely condemning the latter ; 
discusses the resurrection, which he makes fundamental 
in the Christian system ; and urges upon the church a 
weekly offering for the fund he was collecting for the 
Jerusalem Christians. 

The Second Epistle to the Corinthians indicates that 
the first had produced the desired effect and that the 
abuses in the church had been remedied. It abounds in 
self-vindicatory matter, due no doubt to the efforts of a 
strong Judaizing party in the church to disparage him 
and thus destroy his influence. It'contains many of the 
apostle's noblest utterances. He refers to the liberality 
of the Macedonian churches as an incentive to increased 
liberality on the part of the Corinthians. 

It is probable that the apostle wrote one or more epistles to this 
church that have not been preserved, and that he was the recipient 
of written communications from the church. There seems no suf- 
ficient reason to see in 2 Cor. 10-13 a separate epistle that has be- 
come accidentally incorporated here. Its contents are not such as to 
fulfill our expectations as regards the lost epistle. 

3. Paul's Third Missionary Journey {c. 50-53). Leav- 
ing Corinth in company with Priscilla and Aquila, the 
apostle made his way eastward. At Ephesus he reasoned 
with the Jews in the synagogue, but declined to abide. 
Leaving his companions there and promising to return he 
sailed for Caesarea. It is related that " when he had 
landed at Caesarea, he went up and saluted the church, 
and went down to Antioch.'' It is commonly under- 
stood that by ** the church " the mother church at Jeru- 
salem is meant. After spending some time there he 
departed for Ephesus, revisiting the churches in Galatia 
and Phrygia on the way. If the Epistle to the Galatians 
was not written during the previous visit to Antioch, as 
is probable, it was written on this occasion. Between 
Paul's first and second visits to Ephesus '' a certain Jew 
named Apollos, an Alexandrian by race, a learned man, 
came to Ephesus, and he was mighty in the Scriptures.'' 
We know something of the type of the speculative phi* 

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losophy and the methods of biblical interpretation in tlie 
midst of which he had received his training/ He may * 
well have seen and heard the great*- Pftiit)' Md could: 
hardly have escaped the influence ot hi^ teachings. ,He^ 
had accepted Christ, but was imperfectly instructed in* 
the way of the Lord. He is said to have known only the 
baptism of John. But Priscilla and Aquila, when they 
had heard him, ''took him unto them and expounded 
unto him the way of God more carefully/* doubtless as 
they had learned it from Paul. With the good will of the 
Ephesian brethren he had gone to Achaia, where he was 
to labor with acceptance and be an occasion of division 
in the Corinthian church. 
On reaching Ephesus Paul found certain other disci* 

Eles who had received only John's baptism and who 
new nothing about the impartation of the Holy Ghost. 
Instructed by the apostle they " were baptized into the 
name of the Lord Jesus/' and when he ** had laid his 
hands upon them the Holy Ghost came upon them ; and 
they spake with tongues and prophesied." Paul now 
entered upon a peri^ of remarkably successful work, 
preaching for three months in the synagogue and after- 
wardy by reason of opposition, in '' the school of Tyran- 
nus." Here his labors continued for two years (c. 50- 
$2), ** so that all they which dwelt in Asia heard the 
word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks." The healing 
of the sick and the casting out of demons caused fear to 
fall upon Jews and Greeks alike, ''and the name of the 
Lord Jesus was magnified." Some who had practised 
magic brought their books, whose value was estimated 
at fifty thousand pieces of silver, and publicly burned 
them. " So mightily grew the word of the Lord and 

As the apostle was about to leave Ephesus with the view 
of revisiting the churches in Macedonia and Achaia, a riot 
was raised against the Christians, led by the idol-makers, 
whose trade had been seriously interfered with by the 
prevalence of the word of God. This was promptly put 
down by the authorities, who feared the censure of the 
Roman government. In Ephesus was a great temple of 
Diana, and the idol-makers sought to arouse the multi- 
tude by crying, " Great is Diana of the Ephesians." 

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Having taken an affectionate leave of the brethren Paul 
':jcHjrney^4'tQ Jyificipdonia and passed thence to Greece, 
'ivisiting kud ^TAtofting the churches he had founded. It 
, .wa^duf jng ^his §tay in Macedonia that he wrote Second 
■ XSbfrotWans. . *: Gorinth was probably his headquarters 
during the three months spent in Greece (Acts 20 : 3), 
and it was doubtless there that " the plot " was '* laid 
against him by the Jews." While there he wrote the 
Epistle to the Romans (c. 53), in which more fully 
than elsewhere he expounds his conception of Christian 
truth in its relations to Judaism. The church addressed 
was no doubt prevailingly Gentile, but had a not incon- 
siderable Jewish minority. He had long desired to visit 
Rome and enter into personal relations with the Chris- 
tians there. It was his plan at this time, after visiting 
Jerusalem with the collections that he had taken great 
pains to gather, to proceed to Rome, and to be set for- 
ward by the brethren there on a missionary tour to the 
farther west. 

Several German critics (Schultz, Welzsacker, Juilcher, it al.) and 
a recent American writer (Dr. McGiffert) are of the opinion that 
chap. 16, containing the salutations, was originally addressed not to 
theKoman church but to the Ephesian. It Is thought that the apos- 
tle could hardly be expected to know intimately so large a number 
of the Roman Christians and to be familiar even with their house- 
hold meeting-piaces before he had ever set foot in Rome. The 
presence there of Priscilla and Aqulla, whom we last left at Ephe- 
sus, would suggest this transfer of the chapter. But there is noth- 
ing inherently improbable in supposing that these devoted Christian 
workers should have returned to Rome, whence they had been 
driven some years before, or that many other of Paul's converts in 
the East had removed to the great metropolis. Supposing this to 
have been the case the apostle might well have learned throu^ 
these many particulars about the Roman church. 

Returning through Macedonia he sailed from Philippi 
to Troas, accompanied by a number of the brethren. At 
Troas, *'upon the first day of the week," the brethren 
"were gathered together to break bread." Paul, in- 
tending to leave the next day, discoursed until midnight 
and restored the young man who from drowsiness had 
fallen from the third story. *'From Miletus he sent to 
Ephesus and called to him the elders of the church." His 
farewell charge, in which he warned them that grievous 

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wolves would enter in among them, not sparing the 
flock, assured them that for himself he expected bonds 
and imprisonment and that they should see his face no 
more, and tenderly exhorted them to take heed unto 
themselves and all the flock over which the Holy Ghost 
had made them bishops, is probably the most pathetic 
of all his recorded utterances. At Caesarea he was en- 
tertained by Philip, the evangelist, who abode there and 
was probably at the head of the local church. He had 
four daughters who had the gift of prophecy. At Tyre 
and at Caesarea Paul was warned prophetically of the 
fate that awaited him in Jerusalem (Acts 21 : 8-14). 

It would seem that by this time Paul's work among the Gentiles 
had become so widely known and Jewish hostility toward him had 
become so acute that a violent outbreak against nim mlsht be ex- 
pected in Jerusalem. But he was *' ready not to be bound only, but 
also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.^' 

4. Paul's Last Visit to Jerusalem and the Ca^sarean Im- 
Msonment (c. 54-56). In Jerusalem the brethren received 
Paul and his companions gladly. In conference with 
James and the elders he "rehearsed one by one the 
things that God had wrought among the Gentiles by his 
ministry." They rejoiced in what had been accom- 
plished, but referring to the fact that " the many thou- 
sands " " among the Jews of them that believed " were 
•'all zealous for the law," and that he was reported to 
be teaching "all the Jews that" were "among the 
Gentiles to forsake Moses," they asked him to demon- 
strate his Jewish loyalty by undergoing, with others, a 
purifying ceremony. This he did. But Jews from Asia 
who knew of his work among the Gentiles raised an 
outcry against him when they saw him in the temple, 
charging that he had defiled the temple by bringing 
Greeks into it. Rescued from the mob by the Roman 
of&cials, he attempted to vindicate himself by rehearsing 
his religious history. When he came to his divine com- 
mission to preach to the Gentiles, the mob raised an 
outcry and demanded his life. Brought into the castle 
by order of the chief captain, he was about to be 
scourged, but he asserted his Roman citizenship and was 
spared this indignity (Acts 22). 

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The next day the chief captain called " the chief priests 
and all the Jewish council *' (Sanhedrin) together "and 
brought Paul down and set him before them.'* When 
he was about to make his defense the high priest Ana- 
nias ordered that he be smitten on the mouth. This 
aroused his indignation and led him as a Pharisee to 
appeal to the Pharisees. By this means he set the two 
Jewish parties by the ears, and the chief captain had 
Paul taken back to the castle for protection. Jewish 
malignity had reached its height. A number of zealots 
"bound themselves under a curse, saying that they 
would neither eat nor drink till they had killed Paul." 

Informed of the plot by his nephew, Paul induced the 
chief captain to send him with a strong guard to Felix, 
the governor at Csesarea. Felix, a corrupt and licen- 
tious official, had little sympathy with the Jews, and yet 
he dared not antagonize them by liberating his great 
prisoner. He was willing, along with his immoral con- 
sort, to hear the apostle preach, but not to abandon his 
vicious life. For two years he allowed Paul to lie in 
prison (Acts 24 : 27). 

Felix was superseded by Porcius Festus at the end of 
this time. The new governor reheard the case and sub- 
mitted it to King Agrippa, who permitted Paul to speak 
in his own defense. Agrippa and Festus would probably 
have released Paul, but he had appealed unto Csesar 
and they felt that he had thus placed himself outside of 
their jurisdiction (Acts 26 : 32). 

$. Paulas Voyage to Rome and his Raman Imprisonment 
(56-59). The perilous voyage to Rome in charge of the 
centurion, Julius, the shipwreck and sojourn at Melita, 
and the arrival at Rome, are related in a very realistic 
way, probably by Luke himself, who was an eye-witness 
of much of the later missionary work of the apostle. 
The journey to Rome probably occurred about A. D. 
56-57. The writer of Acts relates that in Rome *' Paul 
was suffered to abide by himself with the soldier that 
guarded him;" that he summoned to his lodgings the 
chief of the Jews and explained to them the cause of his 
imprisonment; that he denied having done anything 
against the Jewish people or the customs of the fathers ; 
that he sought to convince them from the Law of the 

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truth of the gospel ; and that he " abode two whole years 
in his own hired dwelling, and received all that went in 
unto him, preaching the kingdom of God and teaching 
the things concerning the Lord Jesus Christ with all 
boldness, none forbidding him." Neither this writer nor 
any other New Testament writer gives us any further 
information about the fate of the apostle. Yet it is 
probable that no period of his ministry was more fruitful 
than these two years in Rome. 

The Epistles to the Colossians, the Ephesians, the 
Philippians, Philemon, and Second Timothy were proba- 
bly all written during this time. In Ephesians 6 : 18-20 
he asks his readers to pray that utterance may be given 
unto him in opening his mouth, to make known with 
boldness the mystery of the gospel, for which he was ** an 
ambassador in chains.'* In Philippians he rejoices in 
the gifts received from his Macedonian brethren and con* 
veys to them the salutation of all the Roman saints, 
especially of them that are of the household of Cssar 
(Phil. 4 : 21, 22), and expresses the hope that he may 
soon be permitted to visit them. In Philemon he speaks 
of himself as " Paul the aged, and now a prisoner also 
' of Jesus Christ '* and as having begotten Onesimus, the 
runaway slave, in his bonds. He expresses a wish that 
Onesimus might be permitted to minister to him. In 
Second Timothy he speaks of Onesiphorus as having 
often refreshed him, as not having been ashamed of hk 
chain, but as having sought out and found him when he 
was in Rome. He urges Timothy to come to him shortly, 
states that Demas forsook him, " having loved this pres- 
ent world,*' that Alexander the coppersmith did him 
much evil, and that at his " first defense " all forsook 
him. Yet he rejoices that the Lord stood by him and 
strengthened him, that through him " the message might 
be fully proclaimed, and that all the Gentiles might 
hear." He had been " delivered out of the mouth of the 
lion." He asked Timothy to bring his cloak, books, and 
parchments left at Troas. 

If Paul's two years of Roman imprisonment occurred (7~$9» as 
seems probable, and If he suffered martyrdom in the great Neronian 
persecution in the summer of A. D. 64, as is commonly supposed, we 
have an Interval of five years without known events. The silence 

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of Acts regarding his liberation or his martyrdom Is difficult to ex- 
plain. If he was liberated about A. D. 59, it may be that from age 
and suffering he was physically incapable of further missionary 
labors, and that he remained among tne Roman Christians till the 
great persecution, or he may have carried out his eariier purpose to 
preach the gospel in the farther west. Clement of Rome in his 
epistle to the Corinthians {c. 9$) mentions the martyrdom of Paul 
and Peter together as belonging to his own generation, thouffh he says 
nothing of time or place. Origen and Tertullian (beginnmg of the 
third century) represent Paul as suffering martyrdom at Rome under 
Nero. Hamack, denying the genuineness of the Pastoral Epistles in 
their present form, holds that after Paul's liberation he proauced the 
genuine writings that lie at the basis of these Epistles. This ^eory 
involves the supposition that he visited Asia Mmor during the inter- 
val. The absence of a record of Paul's labors during the years sg- 
64 is far from proving that no such labors found place. The Pas- 
toral Epistles, as genuine writings of the apostle, can be best ac- 
accounted for by supposing a somewhat prolonged interval between 
his Roman imprisonment and his martyrdom and another visit to 
Asia Minor. From 2 Timothy, probably addressed to Timothy at 
Ephesus, Aquila and Priscilla appear to nave l)een in Ephesus. If 
they were in Rome when the Epistle to the Romans was written, they 
may have returned to Ephesus at the time of the Neronian persecu- 
tion. On this theoiy the notices regarding imprisonment in the Pas- 
toral Epistles would refer to a second Roman Imprisonment of the 
apostle preceding his martyrdom. 

6. Peter* s Career from the Apostolic Conference Onward 
(47-64). The booK of Acts is strangely silent regarding 
the later activity of the apostle of the circumcision, and 
we possess but little information from any other source. 
In First Corinthians Paul refers to a party in the church 
that made his name their watchword and he speaks of 
him (9 : 5) as accompanied on his journeys by a believ- 
ing wife. It is probable that for a number of years he 
devoted most of his time to mission work among the 
Jews of Syria, returning occasionally to Jerusalem. To- 
ward the end of his career he may have occupied him- 
self more largely with Gentile work. 

The first of the Epistles that bear his name is pro- 
nounced by modern critics thoroughly Pauline in tone. 
That his Jewish prejudices should have gradually given 
way in view of the great work among the Gentiles ac- 
complished by Paul and that he should have read with 
diligence the Epistles of that great thinker is not incon- 
ceivable ; and there is no difficulty in supposing that his 
less original mind should have t>ecome imbued with 

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CHAP. II.] tHfi APOStLfiS lo; 

Pauline modes of thought. That he should have chosen 
Rome as the sphere of his latest labors, where the 
Christians were prevailingly Gentile and where Paul had 
for some years lived and labored, would strongly confirm 
the view that his conceptions of Christianity had become 
assimilated to those of Paul. 

Recent criticism is almost unanimous in maintaining 
that Peter closed his career in Rome, suffering martyr- 
dom under Nero in 64. The absence of any mention of 
Peter's presence in Paul's Epistles written from his Ro- 
man prison is thought to be against the supposition that 
Peter s ministry in Rome had begun at that time ; but if 
Peter reached Rome about A. D. 59, the date of Paul's 
supposed release, sufficient time would be allowed for 
him to gain the large influence in the city that tradition 
ascribes to him. 

It is not improbable that during Paul's imprisonment 
(Csesarea and Rome) Peter should have felt prompted to 
visit the churches of Asia Minor now deprived of Paul's 
ministry. The address of Peter to "the elect who are 
sojourners of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappa- 
docia, Asia, and Bithynia," presupposes such a visit on 
the part of the author. Silvanus and Mark, Paul's earlier 
companions, are associated with him at the time of writing. 
Mark was with Paul during his Roman imprisonment. 
The salutation at the close from ** the (church) that is in 
Babylon,"^as it is commonly understood, would seem to 
indicate that the letter was written from Rome, the sym- 
bolical Babylon, especially as nothing is known of a 
church in Babylon at that time, and it is improbable 
that Silvanus and Mark labored in Mesopotamia. 

The First Epistle was chiefly consolatory in view of the 
then present tribulations, and hortatory against current 
forms of vice and irreligion and in favor of obedience to 
constituted authority (to the king as supreme, to govern- 
ors, to masters on the part of servants, to husbands on 
the part of wives), likemindedness, compassion, brotherly 
love, humble-mindedness, patience, and rejoicing in being 
partakers of Christ's sufferings. The author speaks of 
Christ as " the Shepherd and Bishop " of the souls of 
believers, and of himself as **a fellow-elder " with the 
elders of the churches. 

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The Second Epistle consists of exhortation to the 
practice of Christian virtues, of a severe arraignment of 
certain immoral forms of error, and of *a remarkable escha- 
tological passage in which ''the day of the Lord'* is 
represented as coming '*as a thief," in which ''the 
heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the ele- 
ments shall be dissolved with fervent heat," to be fol- 
lowed by "new heavens and a new earth, wherein 
dwelleth righteousness." The writer refers, in support 
of this representation, to the Epistles of his " beloved 
brother Paul, wherein are some things hard to be under- 
stood, which the ignorant and unsteadfast wrest, as they 
do all the other Scriptures, to their own destruction/' 

This Epistle did not gain general recognition as a genuine work of 
Peter and as a canonical book until after the time of Eusebius {c. 
325), but its useful character had caused it to be widely read and led 
to its ultimate reception into the canon. The chief objections to its 
genuineness are that no mention of It in Christian literature occurs 
before the third century ; that, like the Epistie of Jude, to which it 
bears a striking resemblance, it combats forms of Gnostic heresy sup- 
posed to be of a later origin ; that it refers to Paul's writings as 
*' Scripture" ; and the seeming remoteness of its composition from the 
eariy Christian time as implied in 3 : d. But it is probable that the 
" Fathers " referred to are the ancient Jewish patriarchs, and there is 
no feature of the heresy combated that might not have arisen before 
64. Even supposing the author to have been dependent on the 
Epistie of Jude a later date is not necessary. If the First Epistie is 
genuine and bears evidence of strong Pauline influence, the mention 
of Paul's Episties among the " Scriptures " would not be unnatural. 

Early tradition, gathered up by Papias (A. D. 140-160) 
represented Peter as the virtual author of the Gospel ac- 
cording to Mark. It is highly probable that Mark wrote 
under the influence of Peter and recorded the words and 
deeds of the Saviour as Peter was accustomed to narrate 

Several apocryphal works, written in the second century, bear 
Peter's name (the Preaching of Peter, the Gospel of Peter, the Apoc- 
alypse of Peter), and he figures very prominentiy in the Clementine 
Homilies and Recognitions (end of second century). 

There is no ground for the later Roman Catholic contention that 
Peter was the first pastor of the Roman church, or that he occupied a 
position of primacy among the aposties, although our Lord's address 
to Peter recorded in Matt. 16 : i8, 19, wrongly interpreted, could be 
easily perverted in this interest 

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7. The Ministry of James, the Brother of Jesus. There 
is no evidence that the brothers of Jesus believed in his 
Messiahship until after his resurrection. A special man- 
ifestation to him of the risen Christ no doubt made of 
James the zealous disciple that we find him to have been. 
After Peter had become occupied with missionary work 
outside of the city, and especially after he had compro- 
mised himself in the eyes of the Judaizing Christians by 
eating with Gentile Christians, James came to be the 
recognized leader of the mother-church. It does not ap- 
pear that he ever abandoned the contention that it is 
obligatory on Christian Jews to observe the Law. While 
he countenanced missionary work among the Gentiles 
and agreed to the recognition of Gentile converts without 
circumcision, as a Jew he felt bound to observe the 
whole law and to require other Jewish converts to con- 
form to this practice. That the mother-church, of which 
James remained pastor until his death, enjoyed immunity 
from the severer forms of persecution may be inferred 
from absence of any notices of suffering ; that the 
Christians of Jerusalem were exceedingly poor is evi- 
dent from the continued efforts of Paul to gather funds 
for their relief. Later Christian writers (Clement of Alex- 
andria, Eusebius, etc.) represent James as the "bishop" 
of the Jerusalem church ; but this term is never applied 
to him in the apostolic writings. The authority he en- 
joyed was due not to official position but rather to force 
of character, relationship to the Lord, and stanch adher- 
ence to Judaism. According to an early tradition em- 
bodied by Hegesippus in the fifth book of his *' Memoirs," 
and quoted by Eusebius,^ James had attained to an extraor- 
dinary reputation for sanctity among the Jews and had 
received the titles "the just" and "bulwark of the 
people." He is said to have been "holy from his 
mother's womb," to have drunk " no wine nor strong 
drink," to have eaten no flesh, to have never had his 
hair or beard cut, and to have abstained from anointing 
himself with oil and from bathing. " He alone was per- 
mitted to enter into the holy place ; for he wore not 
woolen but linen garments." 

> " Cburch History." Bk. U.. cb. •). 

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It is represented that after Paul had been delivered 
out of their hands and sent to Rome, some of the leaders 
of the Jews questioned James about Jesus and that his 
confession led to the conversion of so many as to alarm 
the authorities, who cast him from the pinnacle of the 
temple and afterward stoned and beat him to death* 
Josephus relates that advantage was taken of the inter- 
regnum between the death of Festus and the arrival of 
Albinus to destroy this just man. The high priest Annas 
is said to have called the Sanhedrin together and secured 
his condemnation. This occurred about A. D. 6i. 

8. The Labors of Other Apostolic Men. We know al- 
most nothing of the career of John from the time of the 
apostolic conference, when Paul reckoned him as one of 
the " pillars " of the Jerusalem church, to the Neronian 
persecution. It is probable that long before A. D. 64 he 
had entered upon his missionary work in the province of 
Asia. But his writings and the most that we know of his 
labors are of a later date. To Jude, a brother of the 
Lord, a short canonical Epistle is ascribed. He proba- 
bly remained in connection with the Jerusalem church. 
Early tradition, of uncertain value, represents Andrew, 
Matthew^ and Bartholomew as laboring in the region of 
the Black Sea ; Thomas, Thaddeus, and Simon the Ca- 
naanite in the remote East as far as India, and Philip in 
Asia Minor. We have no trustworthy accounts of th*? 
results of their labors or of the dates or circumstif nces of 
their deaths. 

According to tradition Mark labored in Eg/pt and 
founded the church in Alexandria. As he ^\as with 
Paul during his Roman imprisonment and with Peter 
when he composed his first Epistle, and as he is said to 
have been succeeded in Alexandria by Annianus in the 
eighth year of Nero (62), his residence there must have 
included some time before 62. If he composed the Gos- 
pel that bears his name under Peter's influence it was 
probably shortly before the Neronian persecution. 

Of Barnabas after his separation from Paul we know 
nothing except that he labored for a time on the island 
of Cyprus. The Epistle to the Hebrews, written proba- 
bly "iafter"ther Neronian persecution, was- ascribed \)y 
Tertullian and by many later writers to Barnabas. 

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Of Apcllos, the learned Alexandrian Jew, whose labors 
in Ephesus and in Corinth have already been referred to, 
nothing further is known. Luther ascribed to him the 
authorship of the Epistle to the Hebrews, and this opin- 
ion has been adopted by a number of recent writers. 

Of Luke, "the beloved physician " and the author of 
the Gospel bearing his name and of the book of Acts, 
who was closely associated with Paul in his missionary 
labors and during his imprisonment, nothing further is 
known. Some early Christian writers supposed that the 
Epistle to the Hebrews was written in Hebrew by Paul 
and translated into Greek by Luke. Origen was of 
the opinion that the Epistle is a report of oral teachings of 
Paul by one of his disciples, possibly by Luke, and some 
have attributed its authorship to Luke. The late Dr. 
John A. Broadus inclined to the opinion that the Epistle 
was a sermon of Paul's reported freely in his own lan- 
guage by Luke. 

Of Silvanus the last mention we have is in First Peter. 
Timothy, who was so intimately associated with Paul in 
his missionary labors, who joined with Paul in the Epis- 
tles to the Philippians, Colossians, Thessalonians, and 
Philemon, and who was with him during part of his 
Roman imprisonment, seems to have labored for some 
time in Ephesus, and is represented by a somewhat late 
tradition as a bishop of that church. He is said to have 
suffered martyrdom under Domitian. The name of 
Titus is associated in tradition with the island of Crete. 

THE APOSTLE JOHN (A. D. 64-100). 

I. The Neronian Persecution. Christianity had from 
the beginning everywhere suffered persecution, the Jews 
being usually the instigators. It has been qoticed that 
in most cases Roman officials were slow to act upon 
Jewish accusations and gave a measure of protection to 
the Christians. In a few cases pagans raised an outcry 
against those whose teachings were perilous to their 
worldly interests. But there is no instance on record in 
which any high Roman official proceeded spontaneously 
against the Christians before A. D. 64. Claudius had 
issued an edict of banishment against the Jews of Rome 

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(probably in A. D. 49). No doubt such Jewish Chris- 
tians as were in Rome suffered along with other Jews. 
The remark of Suetonius, that *' Claudius expelled the 
Jews assiduously creating disturbance under the instiga- 
tion of Chrestus," has led some to suspect that the Jew- 
ish riots were connected with the Christian propaganda. . 
But Chrestus may have been a Jewish agitator of the 
time. Supposing Christ to be meant, it is by no means 
certain that the writer made the blunder of supposing 
that he was then actually present in Rome. 

The early years of Nero's reign were not unfavorable 
to the spread of the gospel. Son of the ambitious and 
intriguing Agrippina and stepson of the imbecile Em- 
peror Claudius, he succeeded to the imperial dignity 
while still a youth. Gifted in poetry and in music, 
genial, humane, the beginning of his reign awakened 
high expectations. Augustus had esteemed it a personal 
affliction to be obliged to punish, and he had inflicted the 
death penalty only in extreme cases. The youthful 
Nero, some time after his assumption of the purple, re- 
joiced that in his entire empire not a drop of blood had 
been shed. When it appeared necessary for him to sign 
death warrants he lamented that he could write. Under 
the tuition of such philosophers and statesm^^n as Sen- 
eca and Burrhus it was expected that the ingenuous youth 
would become a paragon of wisdom and of justice. 
Seneca thought him ** incapable of learning cruelty," 
and expected that the emperor's gentleness of disposition 
would permeate the entire empire and so transform the 
world as to restore the innocent, golden age of mankind. 
Nero was emperor when Rom. 13 : 1-7 and i Peter 11 : 
13-17 were penned. It was to Nero that Paul as a 
Roman citizen appealed when arraigned in Csesarea. 
Christianity had its representatives, doubtless somewhat 
numerous and influential, in Nero's household. 

It does not fall within the purpose of the present work 
to attempt to account for the transformation of the bril- 
liant, ingenuous Nero of $4 into the cruel monster of 
62-^. As early as A. D. 55 he had ordered the murder 
of his brother Britannicus, and in A. D. 60 his mother 
had been assassinated at his command. The divorce 
and the subsequent murder of his first wife Octavia and 

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the death of Poppoea, his second wife, from personal 
abuse represent stages in his downward career. He be- 
came insanely greedy of praise for his poetic and musical 
accomplishments, and to gain the popular applause often 
played the part of a public buffoon. Unbridled indul- 
gence in vice of every description, the flattery of corrupt 
favorites, and the possession of unlimited power, no 
doubt dethroned his reason. Only a madman could 
have been guilty of the follies and the atrocities of his 
later years. 

In the summer of 64 his fury was turned upon the 
Christians of Rome. The occasion was the burning of 
ten out of fourteen of the precincts of the city. For 
accounts of the conflagration and of the persecution that 
ensued we are indebted almost wholly to pagan writers 
of the next century. Contemporary Jewish writers like 
Josephus were discreetly silent regarding the conflagra- 
tion and the persecution alike. Christians were terror- 
stricken by this terrible revelation of the '* mystery of 
iniquity," and if they referred to the matter at all veiled 
their utterances in symbolical language. The abrupt- 
ness with which the book of Acts terminates may have 
been due to the writer's unwillingness to subject his 
brethren to further persecution by publicly narrating the 
facts of the Neronian persecution. The Apocalypse no 
doubt owes some of its obscurity to the desire of its 
writer to express in a way intelligible to the Christians 
of his time, but unintelligible to their enemies, his di- 
vinely inspired views on the actual and future relations 
of Christianity and the great world-power. 

Suetonius, Dion Cassius, and Pliny state categorically 
that Nero himself was the author of the conflagration. 
Tacitus informs us that Nero was suspected of the crime 
and that to avert from himself the suspicion he accused 
the Christians of committing it. Tacitus' account of 
the persecution is as follows : 

First were arraigned those who confessed, then on their informa- 
tion a vast multitude were convicted, not so much on the charge of 
arson as for their hatred of the human race. Their deaths were 
made more cruel by the mockery that accompanied them. Some 
were covered with the skins of wild beasts and torn to pieces by 
dogs ; others perished on the cross or in the flames : and others 
again were burnt after sunset as torches to light up the darkness 

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Nero himself granted his gardens for the show, and gave an exhibi- 
tion in the circus, and dressed as a charioteer, mixed with the people 
or drove his chariot himself. Thus, guilty and deserving the sever- 
est punishment as they were, they were yet pitied, as they seemed to 
be put to death, not for the benefit of the State* but to gratify the 
cruelty of an individual. ^ 

The following remarks may be apposite : 
(i) Nero's reputation for wanton destructiveness of 
property and life was such as to lead to the popular be- 
lief that he had caused the conflagration and had inflicted 
the most terrible suffering on a sect innocent of this par- 
ticular crime, but on other accounts hated by the people. 
It is probable that Nero had expressed dissatisfaction 
with the architecture of the city and that this, together 
with the magnificence of the rebuilding, confirmed the 

(2) It is probable that his attention to the Christians as 
proper victims was suggested by the Jews, who enjoyed 
considerable favor under Nero through the influence still 
possessed by the beautiful Poppoea. 

(3) We are not to infer from Nero's proceedings against 
the Christians that he proscribed Christianity as such ; 
but rather that he proscribed the Christians of Rome as 
guilty of incendiarism and of disgraceful practices. 

(4) Tacitus's statement that " first were arraigned those 
who confessed " may mean either that pretended Chris- 
tians were found who testified that Christians were 
guilty of arson and other crimes, and who gave the names 
of many Christians, or that some real Christians were 
forced by torture to confess crimes that they had not 
committed and to give the names of their brethren, or 
that the accused ones first arraigned confessed that they 
were Christians. From Tacitus* own statement it would 
seem that the confession did not involve the admission of 
incendiarism, but rather of such views of life as seemed 
to the Romans to involve "hatred of the human rape." 
Their repudiation of the State religion and their refusal 
to participate in the corrupt social life of the time sufficed 
to bring upon them this charge, and vile stories were 
commonly circulated against them, if not in the time of 
Nero, certainly by the time of Tacitus. 

'XV.. 44. 

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(5) There is no reason to suppose that Nero attempted 
to exterminate Christianity throughout the empire by 
issuing a general edict against the Name. Yet it is prob- 
able that the harsh treatment of Christians in Rome en- 
couraged their enemies in Asia Minor and elsewhere to 
rise up against them, and caused Roman officials in the 
provinces to be less indifferent than hitherto to charges 
brought against Christians. 

(6) It is probable that throughout the remainder of his 
reign Nero continued to cause the persecution of Chris- 
tians in Rome. It is not necessary to suppose that Paul 
and Peter were both, or either of them, executed in the 
summer of 64. If there were reasons for believing that 
either of them lived till 66 or 68 the fact that both suf- 
fered in Rome under Nero would not be contradicted. 

2. The Epistle to the Hebrews (c. A. D. 67). The six 
years that intervened between the Neronian persecu- 
tion and the destruction of Jerusalem must have been 
a time of gloom and grave apprehension to the Christian 
churches. They had come to realize that they could 
expect nothing but evil from the constituted author- 
ities. Many Jewish Christians, who from the first 
had found it difficult to reconcile the doctrine and the 
fact of a suffering Saviour with their ideas of a Mes- 
sianic kingdom and to whom the future seemed fraught 
with suffering, began to grow discouraged. The Epistle 
to the Hebrews was probably written at this time with a 
view to making clear the necessity and the dignity of a 
suffering Messiah. Christ's superiority to Jewish high 
priests consists in the fact that " having learned obedi- 
ence by the things which he suffered ; and having been 
made perfect, he became unto all them that obey him 
the author of eternal salvation " (5 : 8, 9). " It behooved 
him in all things to be made like unto his brethren, that 
he might be a merciful and faithful high priest. . . For 
in that he hath suffered being tempted, he is able to suc- 
cor them that are tempted." Reference is made in 
chap. 10 to "former days," in which the readers "en- 
dured a great conflict of sufferings," and "took joyfully 
the spoiling of their goods." The blessedness of faith, 
exercised under the most trying circumstances, and the 
glories of martyrdom are impressively set forth* The 

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readers are warned against '' divers and strange teach- 
ings/' and the words that follow indicate that it is Juda- 
izing error (Ebionism) that the writer has in mind. They 
are exhorted to "obey them that have the rule over" 
them. A salutation from the brethren in Italy is con- 
veyed and the release of Timothy from bondage is re* 
ported. If Paul's martyrdom did not occur in the summer 
of 64, but somewhat later, the Epistle may have been 
written under his direction and may be virtually his own. 
In any case it is thoroughly Pauline in spirit. 

3. The Jewish War and the Destruction of Jerusalem 
(A. D. 70). The New Testament contains no direct refer- 
ence to this great event which forms an epoch in Jewish 
history and exerted a profound influence on Christian pro- 
gress. '' One of the most awful eras in God's economy of 
grace, and the most awful revolution in all God's relig- 
ious dispensations," is Warburton's characterization. ** A 
greater catastrophe than the mortal combat of the Jewish 
people with the Roman world-power, and the destruc- 
tion of the holy city, is unknown to the history of the 
world " (Orelli). Farrar characterizes this event as 
"the most awful in history." 

For years Jewish discontent with Roman tyranny had 
been growing more and more acute. Caligula (c. 4P) 
ordered his image to be erected in the Jewish temple, 
and committed the execution of the order to Petronius, 
the Syrian governor. The determined opposition of the 
Jews led to delay and a crisis was averted by the death 
of ihe emperor (41). Claudius sought to conciliate the 
Jews of Palestine and of Egypt by guaranteeing to them 
freedom and protection in the exercise of their religion, 
and the Herodian kingdom under Agrippa I. was restored 
so as to cover the territory governed by Herod the 
Great. After his death (44) Judea became a Roman 
province and the authority of the later Herodians was 
very slight. 

The Roman procurators (44 onward) were for the most 
part corrupt and oppressive and were little concerned 
about conciliating the people. Felix (c. 52-58), an eman- 
cipated slave, was licentious and dishonest and gave the 
Jewish people over to be ruined by unscrupulous tax- 
gatherers. Festus (c. 58-61) bore a better reputation ; 

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but AlbinuSy his successor (c. 61), shamefully plundered 
the land. '' There was no sort of iniquity that he did 
not practise'' (Josephus). He shared with robbers in 
their spoils and ranked among them as a captain (Jo- 
sephus). His successor Florus (c. 65) was so shameless 
in his corruption that he is represented by Josephus as 
fomenting revolution in order to cover up his misdeeds. 

In 66 a Jewish uprising occurred in Caesarea. The 
plundering of the temple by Florus greatly increased the 
popular discontent. Jewish zealots here and there mar- 
shaled armies against Roman rule. The slaughter of 
twenty thousand Jews in Csesarea was a signal for a 
general uprising. About thirteen thousand fell shortly 
afterward at Scythopolis and multitudes in other places. 
Vespasian, an experienced general, was sent by Nero in 
67 to quell the rebellion. Jerusalem was strongly forti- 
fied and was able for a long time to resist the Roman 
assaults. The death of Nero led to a suspension of effort. 
Galba, Otho, and Vitellius successively donned the pur- 
ple, but it remained for Vespasian to secure general 
recognition as emperor (69). 

With Vespasian it was a matter of honor to complete 
the subjugation of the Jews. His son Titus, with an 
army of eighty thousand, besieged Jerusalem in A. D. 70. 
Josephus, the historian, took sides with the Romans 
against his own people and co-operated with Titus. His 
writings constitute the only detailed account we possess 
of this terrible struggle. 

Besides the ordinary population of Jerusalem hundreds 
of thousands of Jews had flocked to the city from Judea, 
Syria, and even Mesopotamia. The besieged held out 
with fanatical obstinacy. The horrors of famine, pesti- 
lence, and cannibalism were added to the destructive 
fury of the Roman army. As one part of the city after 
another fell into the hands of the Romans the inhabitants 
were remorselessly executed. Over a million are said 
to have been slaughtered and over a hundred thousand 
to have been taken captive. Multitudes were sent into 
the most degrading slavery. Thousands of the choicest 
young men were selected for gladiatorial exhibitions. 
The temple was destroyed, although Titus is said to 
have wished to preserve it. A few of the Zealots es- 

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caped and proceeded to Alexandria, where they caused a 
Jewish insurrection. This was suppressed with great 
slaughter and the temple at Leontopolis was forever 
closed against the Jews. The Jewish nation as a the- 
ocracy was blotted out of existence. 

There is reason to believe that the Christians of Jeru- 
salem and Judea were strongly opposed to the Zealots in 
their uncompromising warfare against Rome. To remain 
in Jerusalem would subject them not only to the horrors 
of the siege and to the general massacre that they must 
have foreseen as inevitable, but to maltreatment at the 
hands of the Zealots, who could brook no opposition and 
to whom even indifference in respect to the patriotic 
cause was regarded as treason. Shortly before the city 
had been invested by Titus (probably late in 69) they 
withdrew to Pella, in Perea, where under the leadership 
of Symeon, a cousin of the Lord, they remained until it 
was safe for them to return to Jerusalem. Under the 
leadership of James the Jerusalem Christians had glo- 
ried in being Jews and in rigorously observing the Jewish 
ceremonial law. In fact they claimed that, having ac- 
cepted the Messiah rejected by most of their fellow- 
countrymen, they were the only true Jews ; and they 
no doubt lived in the hope that they would be able to 
lead the nation as such to accept the Messiah. 

The destruction of Jerusalem was of momentous im- 
port to Christianity in the following ways : 

(i) It marked in the most unmistakable way the end 
of the old dispensation and the complete emancipation 
of Christianity from the thraldom of Judaism. It was 
henceforth impossible for any one to observe the cere- 
monial law in its fullness. No doubt the Pauline type 
of Christianity would ultimately have become dominant 
apart from this fearful interposition of Divine Providence. 
Judaistic Christianity was to persist in the form of 
sects, but catholic Christianity could no longer be Juda* 

(2) The destruction of the city was very commonly 
looked upon by Christians as a divine judgment on the 
Jewish people for their rejection and crucifixion of the 
Messiah. It may safely be said that if the Jews as a 
body, or a large proportion of them, had accepted Christ 

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as their Saviour and had become partakers of the Spirit 
of Christ, the Jewish Zealots, who brought ruin upon 
their people, would not have arisen or would not have 
secured popular support. 

(3) The great catastrophe may be regarded as a direct 
fulfillment of our Lord's predictions as recorded in Matt. 
21 : 43 and 23 : 37-39, and in Luke 21 : 20-28. 

(4) This great event is regarded by many as a ful- 
fillment of our Lord's prophecies regarding his speedy 
coming in his kingdom (Matt. 10 : 23 ; 16 : 28 ; 24 : 34), 
and of such passages in the apostolic Epistles and the 
Acts of the Apostles as represent the Lord's advent as 
imminent. It seems harsh to associate so glorious an 
event as the Lord's coming with a catastrophe so terri- 
ble ; yet there can be no question but that the destruc- 
tion of the city and the theocracy gave a freedom and a 
universality to the gospel which mark an epoch in the 
history of Christianity and placed the gradually advan- 
cing kingdom of Christ on a firm basis. 

($) There is no reason to think that the Roman au- 
thorities at this time discriminated carefully between 
Christianity and Judaism in favor of the former ; but 
the time had past when the accusations of Jews against 
Christians would be heeded by the civil courts. Hence- 
forth the Jews were without political influence and were • 
treated with contempt by the Roman officials. 

4. The Gospels. All the Gospels except that of Mark 
(65-70) were probably composed after the destruction of 
Jerusalem. Various collections of discourses and narra- 
tives of the life and works of Jesus had doubtless been 
in circulation for several decades. Matthew's Gospel 
was probably composed shortly after A. D. 70, Luke's 
Gospel and his Acts of the Apostles probably a few 
years later, while the Gospel according to John did not 
appear until near the close of the century. 

5. Persecution of Christians under Domitian (A. D. 81- 
96). Vespasian (69-79) does not appear to have taken 
any steps against the Christians. He was one of the 
best of the emperors and devoted his attention largely to 
the proper work of administration and to the erection of 
useful public works. Having slaughtered a million re- 
bellious Jews and destroyed their city and sanctuary, he 

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relented toward the subjugated remnant and on various 
occasions protected them from local tyranny. Jews and 
Christians alike were compelled to pay the old temple 
tax for the maintenance of the temple of Jupiter Capt- 
tolinus that had been erected in Jerusalem. Christians 
were apparently little thought of except as a small Jew- 
ish sect hated by their countrymen and not at all dan- 
gerous to the commonwealth. The same is true of the 
short reign of Titus (79-81). 

Domitian (81-96), son of Vespasian and Flavia Domi- 
tilla, was autocratic, arrogant, suspicious, cruel, and 
ferocious. Vespasian had refused to be worshiped as 
God. Domitian insisted upon such worship as an im- 
perial prerogative, and assumed the titles " God,'* ** Lord 
and God," "Jupiter,'' etc. He was zealous for the 
maintenance of the State religion and regarded secret 
religious societies as hotbeds of treason which must be 
destroyed. He became suspicious of the Senate, which 
opposed his arbitrary measures, and many of its mem- 
bers were proscribed. He instituted a system of espion- 
age and encouraged slaves to betray their masters. 
During the last two years of his reign his suspiciousness 
and cruelty became intensified. Christians, especially 
those in Rome, suffered severely at his hands. Chris- 
tianity now had its representatives among the Roman 
aristocracy. Flavia Domitilla (the younger), wife (or 
niece) of Flavius Clemens, a consul and a cousin of the 
emperor, is said to have been " exiled with others to the 
island of Pontia in consequence of testimony borne to 
Christ."* Flavius Clemens himself was put to death, 
but whether as a Christian remains uncertain. Sueto- 
nius charges him with "most contemptible laziness" 
and Dion Cassius with "atheism." This latter was a 
common charge against Christians ; but we cannot ac- 
count for the silence of early Christian tradition if so 
eminent a man had suffered for the faith. 

Domitian is said to have heard that relatives of Jesus 
still lived in Palestine and to have suspected them of 
kingly aspirations. When they had been brought before 
him and he had learned that they were poor rustics and 

> EuMUttt. 

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that the kingdom of Christ ** was not a temporal nor an 
earthly," "but a heavenly and angelic one, which would 
appear at the end of the world," he ** let them go, and 
by a decree put a stop to the persecution of the church."* 
Tertullian speaks of Domitian as '' a portion of Nero as 
regards cruelty," and he seems to have been regarded 
by the author of the Apocalypse as a second Nero (17 : 
II). The First Epistle of Clement of Rome, written 
about this time, speaks of " sudden and repeated calami- 
ties and adversities " as having recently befallen the 
Roman chuFch. The banishment of the Apostle John to 
Patmos is commonly referred to this reign. It is not at 
all likely that Domitian attempted to institute a general 
persecution of Christians ; but the persecution for local 
reasons of the Roman Christians and the emperor's 
known hostility to Christianity doubtless gave encour- 
agement to persecuting acts in many communities. 

6. The Johanman Apocalypse. According to Irena^us, 
whose acquaintance with Polycarp of Smyrna (d. 155), 
a disciple of the Apostle John, placed him in very close 
touch with the later apostolic age, the Apocalypse was 
written near the end of the reign of Domitian (c. 95). 
More than any other New Testament writing it breathes 
a spirit of intense hostility to the Roman Empire. Do- 
mitian seems to have been regarded as a repetition of 
Nero. His arrogance, his determination to be recognized 
and worshiped as a god, and his extreme intolerance led 
Christians to expect the worst things and made the out- 
look exceedingly gloomy. The Neronian persecution is 
probably referred to in 6 : 9 seq.^ where "the souls of 
them that had been slain for the word of God " cry out 
for judgment and vengeance. In 17 : 11, "the beast that 
was, and is not, is himself also an eighth, and is of the 
seven," is probably Domitian.* There was a widespread 
impression among pagans and Christians alike that Nero. 
whose cruelty was so appalling as to seem more than 
human, would return to renew his desolating work. It 
is not necessary to suppose that the author of the Apoc- 
alypse believed in the literal reappearance of Nero ; but 

1 EoseMos, fbllowing Hecesfppiis. 

>l>(Miltljui was tlM eirhth emperor (oaltttng Galba, Otbo, and Vltelllut). Nero 
fru tbefifUi and so was^' of the seven." 

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his obscure language would seem to reflect the popular 
sentiment. Rome was no doubt meant by "Mystery, 
Babylon the Great, the mother of the harlots and of the 
abominations of the earth " (17 : 5). ** The beast that 
thou sawest was, and is not ; and is about to come up 
out of the abyss " (ver. 8) is doubtless Nero and Domi- 
tian. The book is addressed to the seven churches of 
Asia, and there are separate epistles to Ephesus, Smyrna, 
Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea, 
in which the spiritual condition of each church is de- 
scribed. A general state of tribulation and harassment, 
by reason of persecutors and false teachers, may be in- 
ferred from these addresses. The apocalyptic form of 
literature had been fully developed in the pre-Christian 
time and the author was no doubt acquainted with some 
of the earlier apocalyptic writings. 

7. The Gospel and Epistles of John. That the Af)ostle 
John spent the later years of his life at Ephesus and that 
he lived to the time of Trajan (98) is related by Irena^us 
{c. 175). Clement of Alexandria (end of second century) 
relates that he went forth to the " neighboring territories 
of the Gentiles, to appoint bishops in some places, in 
other places to set in order whole churches, elsewhere to 
choose to the ministry some of those that were pointed 
out by the Spirit." 

The composition of the Gospel and the Epistles is com- 
monly ascribed to the last years of the apostle's life. 
Irenaeus represents John as having written the Gospel as 
a polemic against Cerinthus, a noted contemporary her- 
etic. According to Clement of Alexandria John wrote a 
spiritual Gospel to supplement the other Gospels, in 
which the external facts had been sufficiently narrated. 
That the Gospel, especially in the prologue, should 
betray the writer's acquaintance with the Jewish-Alex- 
andrian philosophy, cannot with propriety be urged 
against its Johannean authorship. If, as is commonly 
admitted, the apostle continued in vigorous activity to 
the time of Trajan, there is no reason why he should not 
have become possessed of all the philosophical culture 
manifest in the Gospel, That he should have empha- 
sized the spiritual aspects of Christ's teachings is what 
might have been expected of the disciple "whom Jesus 

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loved." It is not practicable to discuss here the Johan- 
nean question, which still constitutes one of the live 
issues of New Testament criticism. 

The Epistles are commonly accepted as the works of 
the author of the Gospel. The First Epistle is particu- 
larly interesting as indicating to us the forms of error 
prevalent in Asia Minor during the last years of the apos- 
tolic age. The first verse is highly significant, ihe 
author's object is evidently to set aside the view that the 
Word became incarnate in appearance only (Docetism) 
by giving personal testimony as regards his own proving 
of the reality of the Word of life manifested to men by 
hearing, sight, and touch. In 4 : 2 stress is laid on the 
reality of Christ's humanity : " Every spirit which con- 
fesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God." 
Again (2 : 18, 20, 23) we have indications of Ebionitic 
denial of the deity of Christ. Antichrists are said to be 
already in the world, who had gone out from the Chris- 
tians because they were not of them. He is called a liar 
" that denieth that Jesus is the Christ. This is the anti- 
christ, he that denieth the Father and the Son." Stress 
is laid on the unction of the Spirit as enabling believers 
infallibly to discern the truth, and love, in truly Johan- 
nean phrase, is made the " new commandment," which 
he writes to his ** little children." He calls his own time 
**the last hour " and regards the hatred of the world as 
what was to be expected. 

8. The Epistle of Clement of Rome to the Corinthians. 
This letter addressed by the Roman church to the Corin- 
thian church, said to have been written while Clement 
was pastor of the Roman church and commonly attrib- 
uted to him, was probably contemporaneous with the 
Johannean literature and so falls nominally within the 
apostolic age; but as it is commonly classed with the 
"Apostolic Fathers," which belong as a body to the next 
period, it seems best to defer our discussion of its author- 
ship, date, character, and contents. 

It may be here remarked that while in the person of 
John direct apostolic influence persisted in the province 
of Asia until about the close of the first century, in most 
communities it ceased two or three decades earlier. The 
death of Paul and of Peter, about 64, deprived extensive 

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regions of the apostolic guidance on which they had espe- 
cially relied. The generation following to the death of 
John was an age of transition, and ecclesiastical develop- 
ment was as free from apostolic guidance in many 
regions as in the second and following centuries. This 
was no doubt true of the churches of Rome and Corinth. 
It will be interesting to note here the condition of 
these churches as set forth in the epistle addressed by 
the former church to the latter in response to an urgent 
request for advice. The reply has been delayed by 
" sudden and successive calamitous events " (no doubt 
the persecution under Domitian), The Corinthian church 
had fallen into discord, which the writer declares to 
be worse than that in Paul's time. The main trouble 
seems to have been that ambitious men of the younger 
generation had gained such ascendency in the church as 
to be able to supplant the elders that had been appointed 
by the apostles, or, as the writer says, "the worthless 
rose up against the honored, those of no reputation 
against such as were renowned, the foolish against the 
wise, the young against those advanced in years" 
(chap. 3). The opinion is expressed that those appointed 
by the apostles "or afterward by other eminent men, 
with the consent of the whole church, and who have 
served the flock of Christ, in a humble, peaceable, and 
disinterested spirit, and have for a long time possessed 
the good opinion of all, cannot be justly dismissed from 
the ministry " (chap. 44). Throughout the epistle the 
office of oversight is represented as committed to elders 
and not to a single chief official. There is no mention 
made of any individual headship either in Rome or in 

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Literature : in addition to the pertinent works referred to in the 
preceding chapter, Hatch, '* The Organization of the Early Christian 
Churches," 1882 (also German translation with important annota- 
tions by Hamack) ; Cunningham, " The Growth of the Church in 
its Organization and Institutions," 1886 ; Hort, *' The Christian 
Ecdesia," 1897 ; Lightfoot, '* Commentary on the Epistle to the 
Philippians" (excursus on ''The Christian Ministry"): Hamack, 
" DogmsngisehichU,^' Bd. 1. (also English translation) : Lechler, *' His- 
tory of the Apostolic and Post- Apostolic Times" ; Allen, '* Christian 
Institutions,'' 1898: Baur, "The Church of the First Three Cen- 

turies"; Jacob, "fecdesiastical Polity of the New Testament' , 
Dargan, " Ecclesiology," 1897; R^^schl, "D. Altkatkol. Kirchs,'^ 
i8s7 ; and articles on the church and its various officers and institu- 

tions in Cremer, " Biblico-Theolo^ical Lexicon of New Testament 
Greek," and in me Bible dictionaries and encyclopedias. 


I. Uses of the Term ixxXriela in the New Testament. The 
word denotes literally '*a calling out," or the result of a 
calling out of the people for public purposes, that is, an 
assembly. In this sense it is used in profane Greek, in 
che Septuagint, and in a few instances in the New Testa- 
ment (Acts 19 : 32, 39, 40, 41). When applied to Chris- 
tians the word means in the New Testament: (i) The 
entire community of the redeemed, considered as an or- 
ganism held together by belief in a common Lord and by 
participation in a common life and salvation, and in com- 
mon aims and interests. In the Septuagint the word is 
used to designate the "congregation of the people of 
Israel, whether summoned or met for a definite purpose, or 
the community of Israel collectively regarded as a congre- 
gation." * The word in the New Testament, as in the Old, 
carries with it the idea of holiness. It was in this sense 
that our Lord used the word in Matt. 16 : 18, and it is so 
used in Acts 9: 31 (critical text), i Tim. 3 : 15, and in 
many other passages. (2) The word was so specialized 


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as to be applied to definite bodies of believers assembling 
in particular places for the worship of God, for mutual 
edification, for the exercise of discipline, and for the car- 
rying forward of Christian work. In this sense it occurs 
by far the most frequently. In Matt. i8 : 17, seq., our 
Lord seems to contemplate a Christian local assembly 
capable of hearing the complaints of the injured brother 
and of proceeding against the offender. Examples of this 
usage are Acts 16 : 5 ; i Cor. 16 : 19 ; Philem. 2 ; PhiL 
4:15. Whenever the plural occurs, or the church in a 
particular place is mentioned, this use of the word may 
be inferred. The following observations may here be 

(i) If any distinction is to be made between the use of the term 
*' church '' m the general sense and that of the terms '* kingdom of 
God" and '* kingdom of heaven," it Is that the latter, used almost 
exclusively by our Saviour, designates rather the sphere of divine 
dominion in human life, *' the realization of the divine purpose of 
salvation,"^ the divine order and mode of life that is as fuUv 
present in each individual as in the entire body of the redeemed*; 
while the former, used more commonly in the apostolic writings, in- 
dicates the entire body of believers, conceived of as fundamentally 
holy but as still throughout the present life subject to human frailties. 
Each believer has the kingdom of God within him and himself ex- 
emplifies in a measure the principles of the kingdom, is indeed, so far 
as he is Christlike, a constituent part of the Kingdom ; but all the 
regenerate, as such, however far short of perfection they may fall, 
constitute the church. The local church is made up theoretically of 
the truly regenerate only ; as a matter of practice no amount of pre- 
caution has ever succeeded in preventing the incoming of deceivers 
or deceived. 

(2) By some* the word is thought to contain an allusion to the 
calling of believers, by God's grace, out of the darkness of sin and 
condemnation into the light and liberty of the gospel covenant. 
That this thought early entered into the use of the term scarcely ad- 
mits of doubt. The constant use of the related terms *' calling," 
'* the called," etc., could hardly have failed to suggest this thought. 

( 3) When the term is used in the general sense, there is no impli- 
cation of any organic outward connection of the individual parts. 
We speak, /./., of the press, or the bar, without implying any or- 
ganic connection between the various individuals embraced by these 
terms. Oneness of life and of purpose, involving fellowship and 
mutual helpfulness as occasion may arise, is all that can be inferred 
from this use of the term. 

2. The Local Churches and Contemporary Organisations. 
(i) The close relationship of the local churches of the 

1 Cnmcr. * Jacob. " Ecc. Pol./' p. S; Hodge. " Ch. Pol.." p. t. uq., €t. mIs 

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apostolic age to the Jewish synagogues is manifest to 
every reader of the New Testament. It is probable that 
among Jewish Christians the term synagogue was very 
commonly employed to designate their assemblies. An 
example of this usage is found in James 2 : 2. The apos- 
tles habitually made the Jewish synagogues the point of 
departure for their evangelistic efforts, and it would seem 
that they transferred their labors from the synagogues to 
other meeting-places only when determined opposition 
among the members made continuance therein impracti- 
cable. If the membership of any synagogue had been 
united in accepting Jesus as Lord, there is no reason to 
doubt but that it would thereby have been transformed 
into a Christian church with such modifications only as 
the newly received life might require. There is no in- 
timation in the New Testament of the introduction of 
presbyters as church officers. As a feature of synagogal 
organization the eldership was too familiar an institution 
to be considered worthy of remark. When a group of 
believers, cast out of the synagogue, met together for 
worship and for the carrying forward of Christian work, 
it was perfectly natural that the older and more experi- 
enced brethren should by common consent be entrusted 
with the leadership and that these leaders should be de- 
nominated presbyters or elders. Judaism recognized the 
right of all parties of Jews to have their separate syn- 
agogal meetings. Alexandrian Jews had their synagogue 
in Jerusalem. In great cities Jews of different national- 
ities had their separate synagogues. In Jerusalem espe- 
cially, Christians long continued to regard themselves as 
Jews, nay, as the only true Jews, and that they should 
meet separately from other Jewish parties in synagogues 
of their own was to be expected. 

Each synagogue appears to have been normally self- 
governing and independent. The Sabbath meetings were 
presided over by the "ruler of the synagogue." In 
close connection with each synagogue was a court of 
elders (Sanhedrin, ffuvidptov), probably elected by the 
membership of the synagogue from the older and more 
experienced men, which had its regular meetings in the 
house of worship and which constituted a court for the 
trial of all local breaches of the law. The Sanhedrin 

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consisted of at least three elders, of whom one was the 
president. The plurality of elders in the early Christian 
churches, a thing perfectly natural in itself, thus had 
its prototype in the synagogue. As the early mission- 
aries to the Gentiles, apostles and others, were for the 
most part Jews or Jewish proselytes, the influence of the 
synagogue on the organization of Gentile churches must 
have been considerable. 

(2) If any additional explanation of the organization of 
Christian life in Gentile communities be thought need- 
ful, it is furnished by the prevalence of the organizing 
disposition in the Graeco-Roman world at that time. 
Guilds, clubs, and societies for every imaginable purpose 
existed everywhere. *' There were trade guilds and dra- 
matic guilds ; there were athletic clubs and burial clubs 
and dining clubs ; there were friendly societies and finan- 
cial societies ; if we omit those special products of our 
own time, natural science and social science, there was 
scarcely an object for which men combine now for which 
they did not combine then " * Nearly all such organiza- 
tions had their religious features ; but distinctively re- 
ligious organizations were also common. Vast numbers 
conformed outwardly to the State religion, while in pri- 
vate associations they followed the dictates of their own 
consciences. Apart, therefore, from Jewish influ2nce, it 
was the most natural thing in the world for those who 
by accepting Christianity had made a breach with their 
former religious and social customs to unite in societies 
for mutual edification and support and for the carrying 
forward of Christian work. Such secret associations 
were looked upon with distrust by the Roman govern- 
ment because of the danger of their becoming hotbeds of 
treason. Hence the persecution to which Christians 
were everywhere subjected. The general prevalence of 
deep poverty among the classes from which Christianity 
chiefly drew and the abounding charity that character- 
ized early Christianity and helped to make it attractive 
to the depressed classes had much to do with some of the 
features of the church order of the early centuries. 

1 Hatch* " Th« OrpuilMtioii of the Early Chrlttlaii Churches,'' p. •&. Mf . Hatch 
ClvM coploos references to eplgraphlcal aB4 other literature and cites aany inter- 

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While community of goods was not generally practised 
in the apostolic churches, the generous support of the 
poor everywhere prevailed. The collection and the dis- 
tribution of charitable funds was one of the most im- 
portant departments of Christian activity. The term 
" bishop " and terms of similar meaning — overseer 
(foroHMwroff), curator {hctfuk^nj^) — ^were in very common 
use in contemporary pagan organizations, that those 
who had the oversight of the Christian societies and to 
whom the management of the common charities was 
entrusted should be designated by the same terms is 
what might have been expected. The process by which 
the presiding presbyter or bishop came to be a monarch- 
ical prelate will be shown in the next period. 

3. The New Testament Churches xvere, in the Intention of 
Jesus and of his Apostles^ made up exclusively of Baptised 
^Believers. If unworthy persons found entrance into 
Christian churches, whether as self-deceived or as de- 
ceivers, they were not really of the churches and the 
duty of withdrawing fellowship from such is inculcated 
in the apostolic writings. There is no sufficient reason 
for believing that the patriarchal idea, in accordance with 
which the whole family, including infants, became as a 
matter of course participants in all the religious privi- 
leges of the paternal head, found place in primitive 
Christianity. There is no intimation in the New Testa- 
ment that baptism was intended to take the place of cir- 
cumcision and thus to be applicable to infants. The 
religion of the New Testament is individualistic and per- 
sonal in the fullest sense of the terms. Christ insisted 
that the tenderest relationships should be unhesitatingly 
sundered for the sake of the gospel, and that fathers, 
mothers, children, wives, and [>ossessions should be 
hated in comparison with fidelity to him. 

4. The Universal Priesthood of Believers is clearly a New 
Testament Doctrine. This doctrine absolutely excludes 
the idea of a special sacerdotal class in the church or in 
the churches. It implies equality of rights and privi- 
leges for the entire believing membership, but not iden- 
tity of function. " To each one," says the Apostle Paul, 
" is given the manifestation of the Spirit to profit withal " 
(i Cor. 12 : 7). " There are diversities of gifts, but the 

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same Spirit" (ver. 4), The apostle represents the 
church as a body made up of many members, some 
strong and comely, others weak and uncomely, some 
whose functions are from the human point of view hon- 
orable, others whose functions are without honorable 
associations ; yet all alilce necessary, each to the whole 
organism and each to the other. According to this view 
of equality of right and diversity of gifts, the apostle 
makes the following specifications : " And God hath set 
some in the church, first apostles, secondly prophets, 
thirdly teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, 
helps, governments (or wise counsels), kinds of tongues." 
The ''church" may mean, in this passage, either the 
entire Christian fellowship or the local body of believ- 
ers in Corinth. As the writer's aim was to inculcate 
brotherly unity and co-operation in the church addressed, 
the local application cannot be excluded. Spiritually 
gifted brethren, set apart in an orderly manner because 
of their gifts for the service of the body, were regarded 
as servants and not masters. The edification of the 
body was the matter of supreme moment. No one had 
a right to refuse service to which he was called by the 
vote of his brethren acting under the guidance of the 
Spirit, and no one had a right to oppose himself to a 
brother performing special functions so long as he ap- 
peared to be guided by the Spirit.* 

5. The Apostolic Churches were Independent, yet Inter- 
dependent. Churches exercised over each other such 
moral influence as their character for spiritual and prac- 
tical wisdom warranted, and it was free to any church to 
give or withhold fellowship with other churches or their 
members according as they approved themselves worthy 
of fellowship or the reverse. The church at Jerusalem, 
as the mother-church and as the church-home for a 
number of years of most of the original apostles, natu- 
rally exerted for a time an influence beyond that of 
other churches. This is manifest in the anxiety of Paul 
to secure its approval of his work among the Gentiles. 
But it is probable that he was almost as much concerned 
to free his Jerusalem brethren from a narrowness that 

I Harnack speaks of the " Independence and equality of each Individual Chris- 
tian" (* Dogmtngtscbubu:' Bd. I., Sett. ifS)* 

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he regarded as contrary to the spirit of the gospel and 
to secure their moral support in the great work of world- 
evangelization which he believed had been laid upon 
him, as to gain their endorsement for his mission. There 
is no reason to think that after the death of James the 
Just the Jerusalem church eiijoyed any special consid- 
eration. Apart from this instance there is no semblance 
of a difference of rank among the apostolic churches. 

Haraack speaks of " the independence and sovereignty of the local 
churches" (GimsnuUu), as, in the opinion of Christians of the later 
apostolic and the early post-apostolic times, •' resting upon the fact 
that they (the churches) had the Spirit In their midst." If apostolic 
authority was recognized, it was because the apostles were regarded 
as divinely inspired.^ Hatch remarks: '*The theory upon which 
the public worship of the primitive churches proce^ed was that 
each community was complete in itself.' ' ' He explains how (from the 
third century onward) " the Christian churches passed from their 
original state of independence into a great confederation." Refer- 
ring to Christian representative assemblies during the third century 
and the letters sometimes addressed by them to other churches, he 
remarks : " But so far from such letters having any binding force on 
other churches, not even the resolutions of the conference were bind- 
ing on a dissentient minority of its members." ' 

Cunningham remarks: ^' The first form of the church was con- 
gregational, for every member took a part in its management and 
every congregation was independent or every other and was a com- 
plete church in itself." « 


In the earliest apostolic times the organization of the 
churches seems to have been very slight, and the terms 
applied to the various functionaries were not used with 
technical exactness. Apart from the appointment of the 
** seven men of good report, full of the Spirit and of wis- 
dom " (Acts 6) to look after the distribution of the char- 
ities, the only officials that we meet for some time are 
the elders. It is probable that at first these were not 
formally appointed to this position ; but that those who 
by reason of age and experience were naturally looked 
up to as leaders received this designation after the ex- 
ample of the synagogues. Spiritual gifts, such as are 
described in i Corinthians 12, were no doubt freely 

* ** Dogmengescbicbtt" Bd, I., SeiL 157. 

* " Orflrtnliatlon of the early Christian Churches.'* p. 79. ' iM,, 171* 

« " The Growth of the Church." p. e]. 

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exercised without regard to formal invitation by the 
churches or to official position. 

1. Apostles. This term (equivalent to missionary) is 
used in the New Testament in a narrower and a broader 
sense. In the broader sense it included such mission- 
aries as Barnabas, Apollos, Timothy, Silvanus, Andron- 
icus, Junias, etc., and continued to be applied to a class 
of itinerant evangelists until long after the apostolic age. 
The presupposition in each case was that the person so 
designated had been called and qualified by God for his 
mission. In the narrower sense it is used of the Twelve, 
who were specially chosen by Jesus and trained by him. 
The place of Judas Iscariot was filled by the appointment 
of Matthias, of whose career little is known. Paul claimed 
equality with the Twelve because of his miraculous con- 
version and the special manifestation to him of the risen 
Christ. The apostles were missionaries at large and 
seem not to have held official positions in any local 
church. Even while the Twelve tarried in Jerusalem 
their relation to the church does not seem to have been 
official. "They served the church universal, devoting 
themselves to the conversion of the world and thus to the 
extension of the kingdom."* Their relations to churches 
formed under their ministry were paternal. They could 
advise and recommend, and even remonstrate, but their 
authority was purely moral and their right to obedience 
rested on the fact that their utterances were divinely in- 
spired. The special divine inspiration of the apostles fit- 
ted them to be the vehicle of divine revelation. Through 
them the churches have received in authoritative form 
the revelations of the New Covenant. 

2. Prophets. To what extent prophets constituted a 
distinct class in the apostolic churches is not clear. 
Prophecy is recognized as a gift of the Spirit, and proph- 
ets are placed next to apostles in i Corinthians 12. 
A prophet is one who speaks forth under divine impulse 
what has been divinely revealed to him. Prophecy in 
the New Testament time commonly assumed the form of 
inspired exposition of Old Testament Scripture. In Acts 
13:1 Barnabas and Saul are mentioned, along with others. 

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as " prophets and teachers " at Antioch. According to 
Acts II : 27, "there came down prophets from Jerusalem 
unto Antioch. And there stood up one of them named 
Agabus and signified by the Spirit that there should be a 
great famine." Judas and Silas, of the Jerusalem church, 
are spoken of as prophets (Acts 15 : 32). Paul magnified 
the gift of prophecy and desired that all the Corinthian 
Christians might prophesy (i Cor. 14). It is probable 
that ail of the apostles and all of the leading evangelists 
of the apostolic age possessed this gift ; but doubtless 
there were many whose chief endowment was prophecy 
and who were known as prophets. Their authority, like 
that of the apostles, was based upon the fact that they 
were supposed to speak under divine prompting. As 
pretended prophets were not wanting, it became neces- 
sary to try the spirits. Paul exhorts the Thessalonians 
not to despise prophesy ings, but to "prove all things." 
The "discerning of spirits" is specified by Paul (i Cor. 
12 : 10) among the gifts of the Spirit. 

3. Teachers. Teaching is also regarded by Paul as a 
gift of the Spirit. Apostles and prophets and most of the 
prominent Christian workers were doubtless teachers ; 
but it would seem that there were some in whom the gift 
of teaching was especially prominent and who received 
this designation. This divinely imparted gift fitted them 
to instruct and edify the churches and entitled them to a 
respectful hearing. 

4. Evangelists. In Eph. 4:11 evangelists are mentioned, 
after apostles and prophets, as Christ-given workers in 
the Christian cause. The term is of course applicable 
to all divinely called proclaimers of the gospel. These 
four classes of Christian workers were not church oflfi- 
cers in the restricted sense of the term. Those that fol- 
low are church officers proper. 

5. Presbyters or Bishops. The unofficial presbyters of 
the earliest apostolic age were followed after a few years 
by presbyters appointed by their brethren under the 
advice often of apostolic men, and solemnly set apart by 
the latter. Their functions were the administration of 
discipline, the settlement of disputes among Christians, 
the conducting of the public services, the administration of 
the ordinances, the supervision of the charities^ and gen- 

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eral oversight of the church community. Public teach- 
ing and prophecy were not necessary functions of the 
presbyterate ; but such gifts were not disregarded. It is 
probable that in most communities the appointed presby* 
ters were also teachers or prophets. It was not uncom- 
mon that among the presbyters of a church some one 
was so eminent for gifts and for elevation of character 
as to acquire the practical leadership of the body. The 
permanent chairman of the Board of presbyters became 
the president or bishop of the second century, and his 
position was analogous to that of a modern congrega- 
tional pastor. In Eph. 4 : ii, 12 "pastors" are men- 
tioned among those given by Christ '* for the perfecting 
of the saints, unto the work of ministering, unto the build- 
ing up of the body of Christ." 

In Gentile churches the appointed and ordained elders 
were commonly designated " bishops " or ** overseers." 
The identity of appointed elders and bishops in the apos- 
tolic age is now commonly admitted by Roman Catholic 
and Anglican writers, and is insisted upon by scholars in 
general. Both terms, when applied to church officers in 
the New Testament usually occur in the plural. Some 
interpreters suppose that the ** angel" of each of the 
seven churches of Rev. 2 and 3 was the chief pastor or 
head-presbyter. If so we have a New Testament paral- 
lel to the bishop of the second century. 

For full proof that In the New Testament a two-fold ministry 
(bishops or presbyters, and deacons) and not a three-fold ministry 
(bishops, presbyters, and deacons) is recognized, see Lightfoot, 
*' Commentary on Philippians," p. gj.i/^., and the works of Hatch, 
Cunningham, McGiffert, Hamack, Weizsacker, Jacob, Conybeare 
and Howson, and Schaff, referred to In the " Literature." See 
also article by the writer in Jenkens* '* Baptist Doctrines." 

6. Deacons. It has commonly been assumed that 
"the seven" appointed to *' serve tables" (Acts 6) 
were deacons. The term means •* minister " or '* serv- 
ant," and the corresponding verb and abstract noun, are 
used with reference to any kind of ministry. All Chris- 
tians are or should be deacons in this broad sense. The 
seven were appointed for a particular kind of ministry, 
namely, the distribution of the charities of the church. 
But there is no evidence that this arrangement was long 

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continued in the Jerusalem church or that it was adopted 
by other churches in the earliest apostolic times. Many 
modern writers see in the seven the germ of the Board 
of appointed elders or bishops of the later time. It is 
remarkable that, according to Acts 1 1 : 30, the relief sent 
" unto the brethren that dwelt in Judsea ... by the 
hand of Barnabas and Saul" was delivered "to the 
elders," who no doubt distributed it to the needy. The 
presence for some years of the apostles in Jerusalem 
may have limited the functions of the elders there so 
that they corresponded closely to those of the deacons 
of churches otherwise conditioned, while the apostles 
performed the work of spiritual guidance and instruction 
elsewhere and later committed to the appointed elders or 
bishops. The mention of deacons in the New Testa- 
ment in the official sense is strikingly infrequent. In 
Phil. I : I they are saluted along with the bishops of the 
church, and in i Tim. 3 : 8, seq., their qualifications are 
given after those of bishops. Equal elevation of char- 
acter is required for the two offices, but aptness to teach 
is not specified in the case of deacons. The " women " 
mentioned in ver. 11, just after the qualifications of 
deacons have been enumerated, may have been the wives 
of deacons, but it is more probable that deaconesses are 
meant, the word being naturally supplied from the con- 
text. Phoebe is designated in Rom. 16 : i as a deacon- 
ess of the church of Cenchreae. The term may be here 
employed in its non-official sense. 

In the completely organized churches of the later apos- 
tolic age there was a Board of deacons side by side with 
a Board of appointed elders or bishops, the former assist- 
ing the latter in the gathering and the distribution of the 
charities, in the exercise of discipline, and to some ex- 
tent in the more spiritual work. 

On the diaconate see Uhlhom's excellent discussion In his 
•• Christian Charity In the Ancient Church," p. 74» «^.» and the 
pertinent passages m the works of Hatch, Cunningham, Weizs- 
acker, RitschI, Hamack, and McGiffert, referred to In the *' Litera- 


The religion of Christ is essentially free from mere 
ceremonialism. The two ordinances established by 

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Christ himself are of deep spiritual significance, but 
having their ceremonial side were peculiarly liable to 
perversion and were early degraded almost to a level 
with heathen rites. 

I. Baptism. Christian baptism is the immersion of a 
believer in water as a symbol of death to sin and resur- 
rection to newness of life. Jesus himself required bap- 
tism at the hands of John the Baptist, meeting his re- 
monstrance with the remark that "thus it becometh us 
to fulfill all righteousness," and it was on this occasion 
that his Divine Sonship was proclaimed from heaven 
and that the Spirit rested upon him. 

The meaning of the word, the description of the act 
in individual cases, and the symbolism (burial and resur- 
rection) all seem to fix the outward form of the ordi- 
nance as immersion. 

Our Lord's own direction regarding baptism makes it 
follow faith, and the very nature of the ordinance ren- 
ders it applicable exclusively to those capable of repent- 
ance and faith. 

Referring to the practice of the churches about the middle of the 
second century, Harnack remarks : '* Descending and ascending in 
baptism and immersion were regarded as highly important, but not 
as indispensable symbols." This last statement he bases on the 
" Teaching of the Twelve Apostles," which he supposes to have 
been written as early as 160. Regarding infant baptism at the same 
-i^CkM «tpx ^1 ^^^^* ^^ remarks : ^ A sure trace of infant baptism is not found in 
*vx *vthis epoch; personal faith is a necessary condition." Again: 
" Origen [third century] held It easy to lusnfy infant baptism, since 
MWrtme^^ft^^ he recognized something sinful in bodily birth itself, and since he 
jc \a«L >x .V knew of sins that were committed in an earlier life. The oldest at- 
» ^ tempt to justify infant baptism, accordingly, goes back to a philo- 

sophical doctrine." * 

Hauck, referring to New Testament baptism, remarks : " Baptism 
probably always took place through immersion in flowing water." 
As regards the subjects of baptism he has the following : " That in 
the New Testament is found no direct trace of infant baptism must 
be regarded as firmly established -, attempts to prove its necessity 
from the manner of Its institution, its practice from such passages 
as Acts 2 : 39 ; i Cor. i : 16, suffer from the defect that the thing to 
be proved is presupposed." ' In relation to the introduction of infant 
baptism Loots remarks : *' Infant baptism first provable in Irenseus, 
still combated by Tertuliian, was to Origen an apostolic usage." ' 

1 " 'Dogmtiueichicbte," Bd, I.. Sett. 190, 358. 

• Art " r«f/<." in the '* Real-Bncyklapidte" second ed., Bd. XV.. Seii, no, seo. 

> *' 'DogmemgetOicHe" Sttt. 1)7. 

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Such citations from tlie foremost German and Anglican 
authorities might be multiplied. A remark by Zenos, a 
learned American Presbyterian, is so out of harmony 
with the results of German and English scholarship as 
regards the form of apostolic baptism that it may be 
quoted as a curiosity : " Not only adults, but households 
were its subjects. As it was a mere symbol of cleans- 
ing, sometimes sprinkling, sometimes affusion of water, 
and sometimes, perhaps, immersion in water were em- 
ployed, each mode being regarded as sufficient and 
valid/' ^ He gives no authorities for this almost unique 

2. TTie Lard's Supper and the Agapai (dydicat). The 
Lord's Supper as an ordinance was based upon the pas- 
chal supper which Jesus ate with his disciples just before 
his crucifixion. Luke alone of the evangelists records 
our Lord's injunction, " This do in remembrance of me." 
John's account of the paschal supper is occupied almost 
wholly with Judas' treachery, and makes no mention of 
the distribution of the bread and the wine to the disci- 
ples as his body and his blood. John is unique in re- 
cording the washing of the disciples' feet. The institu- 
tion of the Supper was in connection with the paschal 
meal ; but the giving of thanks and the distribution of 
the bread and the wine with appropriate remarks were 
distinct from and followed the paschal meal proper. 
This feature is wholly omitted in John's narrative. It is 
difficult to decide whether anything like a ceremonial 
observance of the Supper is referred to in Acts 2 : 46 : 
" And day by day, continuing stedfastly with one ac- 
cord in the temple, and breaking bread at home, they did 
take their food with gladness and singleness of heart." 
If so, it was simply the ordinary meals of the Christians 
sanctified and spiritualized by their intense religious fer- 
vor. The "breaking of bread," in Acts 20 : 7, 11, fol- 
lowing a prolonged discourse of Paul at a gathering of 
believers, was almost certainly a memorial feast ; but 
It is probable that it was a ** love-feast " as well. 
There is no conclusive evidence that during the apostolic 
age the Supper and the " love-feast " (agapai— ^dnat) 

^ « •• Co«p. •# Clmrcii HIttory/' p. •!. 

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existed as separate institutions. The term *' love-feasts '* 
occurs in the New Testament, possibly designating a 
Christian collation, only in 2 Peter 2:13: *' Revelling 
in their love-feasts while they feast with you/' where 
many ancient authorities (preferred by Westcott and 
Hort) read " in their deceivings " (a^teis— dirdraif), and 
in Jude 12, a closely related passage, where of certain 
vile heretics it is said : ** These are they who are hidden 
rocks (or spots) in your love-feasts, when they feast with 
you. •' Many ancient authorities here also read '* in their 
deceivings." These passages furnish at best a very slen- 
der basis for any theory regarding the manner of cele- 
brating the Supper at this time. 

The fullest and most instructive account of the ordi- 
nance in the apostolic age is that of Paul in i Cor. 10 and 
II. In 10 : 16-22, the apostle, warnijig the Corinthian 
Christians against idolatrous practices, writes: "The 
cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a communion of 
(or participation in) the blood of Christ ? The bread 
(loaf) which we brearic, is it not a communion of the body 
of Christ? seeing that we, who are many, are one 
bread (Ioa0» one body." Those who rightly partake of 
the Christian feast cannot, without the gravest incon- 
sistency, partake of things sacrificed to idols. *' Ye can- 
not drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of demons : 
ye cannot partake of the table of the Lord, and the 
table of demons." Again (chap. 11), referring to di- 
visions in the church that make it impossible for them 
when they assemble *' to eat the Lord's Supper," Paul ad- 
ministers a severe rebuke to their selfish and unchristian 
behavior as follows : " For in your eating each one taketh 
before other his own supper ; and one is hungry, and 
another is drunken." What the apostle condemns is 
not the fraternal meal in which a sufficiency of food is 
provided for all, and in which rich and poor participate 
freely on a footing of equality, thus remembering their 
common Saviour and manifesting Christian love for each 
other ; but the selfish gratification of appetite on the 
part oif some in disregard of others, to the destruction of 
brotherly love. Such a meal could not properly be called 
" the Lord's Supper " ; for the spirit of it was diametric- 
ally opposed to the spirit of the gospel. Jhose who 

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manifested such greed and such lack of brotherly love 
could not possibly discern the Lord's body in the feast, 
and the pretence of eating the " Lord's Supper " in- 
volved the unworthy participants in the divine judgment 
that rests upon hypocrisy and sacrilege. 

Paul connects the Supper thus grossly perverted by 
the Corinthian Christians, with our Lord's Supper with 
his disciples 'Mn the night in which he was betrayed." 
He gives substantially the same account of Jesus' words 
on this occasion as we find in Luke's Gospel. More even 
than Luke he emphasizes the Lord's injunction, " This 
do in remembrance of me," specifying the memorial 
character of the Supper in connection with the distribu 
tion of both the bread and the wine, and adding the 
words, '' For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink the 
cup, ye proclaim the Lord's death till he come." 

It is not a little remarkable the New Testament con- 
tains so few notices of the celebration of this ordinance. 
Outside of the doubtful passages referred to in Acts 2 
and in 2 Peter and Jude, the notices are confined to 
Paul's Epistles and to the portions of the Acts that relate 
to his work. And even in these portions of Scripture 
they are few, and except in i Corinthians, without de- 
tail. But the universal celebration ot the ordinance in 
the early post-apostolic time makes it certain that the 
apostolic churches generally remembered the Lord in this 

The following remarks are suggested by the facts that 
have been considered : 

(i) The Lord's Supper was in its intention and in the 
practice of the apostolic churches a means of manifest- 
ing brotherly love, and of commemorating the Lord's 
atoning work on the part of baptized believers, that is, 
of those who had been received into the Christian fel- 
lowship through profession of saving faith in Christ fol- 
lowed by baptism. 

(2) It seems certain that the bread and the wine were 
not partaken of in minute quantities as at present. The 
abuses that grew out of the more 'abundant partaking of 
food and drink, condemned so vigorously by Paul, and 
the vast growth in the membership of churches render- 
ing it inconvenient for them to come together frequently 

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for the fraternal meal, led to the celebration of the Sup- 
per in a more ceremonial manner with the use of small 
quantities of bread and wine and the separate and per- 
haps less general use of the social meal (a/^airac). 

Feet-washing has by some been regarded as a Christian ordi- 
nance, on the basis of our Lord's example, who at the last paschal 
supper washed his disciples' feet, and of nis words (John 13 : i4« i j) : 
•• If 1 then, the Lord and the Master, have washed your feet, ye also 
ought, to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an exam- 
ple, that ye should do as I have done unto you." The only other 
New Testament reference to the washing of feet is that in i Tim. 5 : 
10, where the fact of having "washed the saints' feet" is given 
among the qualifications of widows as officially recognized benefici- 
aries and workers in the churches. There is no indication in the 
New Testament, or in the Christian literature of the first three cen- 
turies, that our Lord was understood to have instituted an ordinance 
by the acts and words under consideration. Feet-washing was a 
common and needed act of hospitality in Palestine at the time, and 
the teaching that Christ intended to convey was the manifestation of 
the spirit of brotherly love in acts of humble service. 

The eariiest reference to the ceremonial use of feet-washing is in 
the canon of the synod of Elvira (y^) where it is condemned. Au- 
gustine (end of the fourth century), who mentions it among the ob- 
servances of Maundy Thursday (the day of the Last Supper), states 
that lest it should appear to oe in any way essential to the sacra- 
ment (Supper) many churches had never admitted the custom at aii.^ 
Ambrose mentions it at about the same time as in use at Milan. The 
synod of Toledo (694) excluded from communion such as should 
refuse on Maundy Thursday to participate In this ceremony.' Ber- 
nard (twelfth century) wrote of feet-washing as "a sacrament of 
the remission of daily sins." The practice prevailed to some 
extent in the Greek Church. In modem times the pope, the em- 
perors of Austria and Russia, the kings of Spain, Portugal, and 
Bavaria, and bishops and abbots of the Roman Catholic Church, 
have each twelve poor men brought in on Maundy Thursday, and 
wash their feet. Many Anabaptists (including Mennonites), some 
Baptist parties, the Moravian Brethren, and the Sandemanians, 
have practised ceremonial feet- washing. 

It is probable that our Lord did not mtend to enjoin its ceremonial 
observance, but that at the last Supper he simply aimed to emphasize 
the duty of humble service. The great mass of evangelical Chris- 
tians have thus understood the matter and have regarded with dis- 
favor the literal imitation of Jesus' act. 


I. Elements of IVaribip. The worship of the early 
Christians was very free and informal. It consisted of 

> •• EMf.r CXVni. and cxix. 
• BiBtoriB. " DtnkwmrditMtm/' Bd. V., S€ii, 004. 

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prayer, the singing of psalms, and the reading and expo- 
sition of the Old Testament Scriptures (prophesying). 
The participation in worship was not confined to the 
official members, but to every male member it was per- 
mitted to utter his apprehension of truth. The ordinary 
services of the early churches were very similar to those 
of a good prayer meeting at the present time. 

2. Times of Wcrsbip. The Jewish Christians con- 
tinued fora long time to observe the Jewish Sabbath, as- 
sembling also on the Lord's Day. The Jewish Sabbath 
seems never to have been enjoined upon the Gentile 
churches ; and we find early in the second century the 
first day of the week observed as a matter of course. 

(i) The process of the change was probably as fol- 
lows: At first the Jewish Sabbath and the Lord's Day 
were celebrated by most Christian communities. Two 
circumstances led to the abandonment of the former. 
First: The inconvenience of celebrating two days in 
immediate proximity. Secondly : The spirit of opposi- 
tion to the extreme Judaizers. Christians saw that a 
large and influential party was trying to make Christian- 
ity a mere Jewish sect. They were disposed, therefore, 
to reject as much as possible of the Jewish ceremonial. 

(2) With regard to the propriety of the change, two 
views have obtained currency among those who defend 
't : First : That the Sabbath is of perpetual obligation 
but that the essential idea is that of rest and worship on 
one day in seven. As the resurrection of the Son of 
God is to Christians of fundamental importance, it was 
fitting that the one day in seven should be made to coin- 
cide with the day of this great event. Second : Chris- 
tianity in its ideal form is entirely without ceremonial 
and holy days. All days alike are holy, and are to be 
spent in the service of God. But as actual Christianity 
is not ideally perfect, and as Christians are obliged to 
engage in secular callings, etc., it is necessary that there 
should be some fixed time for special religious services. 
Christianity had a right to adopt any day for this pur- 
pose. As a matter of fact it very appropriately adopted 
the day on which the Saviour rose from the dead. 

3. Plaus of Worship. The Jerusalem Christians met 
for a time partly in the temple and partly in an upper 

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room. The apostles, in their missionary work, went first 
to the Jewish synagogues. When driven from the syna- 
gogues they commonly held their meetings in private 
houses. It is probable that during the later apostolic age 
the Christians of Rome made considerable use of the 
catacombs (underground burial places) for religious pur- 
poses. Domitilla, banished under Domitian, is said to 
have given land for Christian catacombs. Not until the 
first half of the third century did the Christians build 
houses of worship. 


The primitive Christians were essentially missionary. 
Each believer regarded it as incumbent on himself per- 
sonally to propagate the faith that had saved him. 
Christians worked : 

1. Privately; among friends and relations, by whom, 
however, they were often cast off as a result of their be- 
coming Christians. 

2. In the Oriental cities and villages the custom of 
talking at the corners of the streets prevailed to a great 
extent. An earnest Christian would thus frequently 
find opportunity to draw together a knot of hearers and 
to tell them of Christ. 

3. Artisans of various sorts often found opportunity to 
spread the gospel among their fellow-workmen. 

4. After the time of the Apostle Paul, most of the 
spread of the gospel was effected, not by direct mission- 
ary efforts, but by the moving hither and thither through- 
out the empire of artisans and tradesmen, who planted 
Christianity wherever they went. So also Christianity 
was frequently spread by persecution, each fugitive 
forming a new center of Christian influence. 

5. The burning enthusiasm of the early Christians 
was contagious. The minds of many were troubled. 
They could no longer believe in the decaying paganism 
which the philosophers had taught men to despise. 
Christianity, as represented by its enthusiastic devotees, 
met the felt needs of men. Its doctrine of the equality 
of all men before God, and of the worth of all human 
souls, its promises of future happiness, such as would 
make present sufferings of small consideration, tending 

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CHAP, iil] constitution of apostolic churches 143 

to elevate them and to deliver them from despair. The 
abounding charity of the early Christians, at a time when 
poverty and distress abounded, drew to their fellowship 
multitudes of the depressed classes. 

6. The Christians were obliged to labor for the 
most part secretly. They could not hold public services 
to which the unconverted could be invited. Their as- 
semblies for worship were almost exclusively of church- 
members. Only after one had been led to accept Christ 
did he gain access to the conventicles of the Christians. 
But the degree of secrecy necessary varied greatly at 
different times and at different places. While the 
Christians were on amicable terms with the Jews, whose 
religion was tolerated, they had more freedom. When 
they became objects of hatred to the Jews their freedom 
was less. 

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TINE (100-312) 

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Vol. XL, p. 434» «*^.; Neander, VoL 1., P. 06, s^q,; Schaff, Vol. 
IL, p. 31, S4q,; Ramsay, *'The Church in the Roman Empire"; 
Harcly, **C. PlinH Secmdi Epistola" especially the Introduction ; 
Pfleiderer, ^*Das Urchristtntkum** ; Bruno Bauer, ** Christtu u. d, 
Qaionn^'* ; Arnold, ** Studuu {ur Gssch. d. plmianishen Christew 
vtrfolgung*^ ; Neumann, ** Der torn. Stoat u. d. allgtmeuu Kirchi 
his auf DiokUtian^^ ; Mommsen, "History of Rome: the Prov- 
inces'^; Aliard, '* Hist, d^s Psrsscutums*' : Addis, "Christianity 
and the Roman Empire"; Uhlhorn, "Conflict of Christianity 
with Heathenism " ; Moeller, " History of the Christian Church,*^* 
Vol. I., p. 74. siq,, 87, ssq., 159, seq,, 190, seq.j AuW, ''Hist, dts 
P$rs, ds I'Egliss^; Renan, ** Marc-Auriu** ; Kclm, '^ Rom u, d. 
Christtnthum** ; Mason, "The Persecution of Diocletian"; Meri- 
vale, " History of Rome Under the Emperors " ; Overbeck, " Stw 
dim {ur Gtsch. </. alt, Ktrchsy^ Bd. I., Stit, 93, siq.: Pressensi, 
" Martyrs and Apologists," p. 67, seq. ; Gibbon, Chap. XVI. ; 
Gieseler, " Church History," Vol. I., p. no, stq. ; Niebuhr, *' History 
of Rome," Vol. III., passim; Mossman, " Early Christian Church," 
p. 144, ssq. ; Alzog, " Universal Church History," Vol. I., p. 169, 
siq, ; Wieseler, " 'Dis Christmoirfolgmgen der Cofsaren " ; Liffhtfoot, 
"Ignatius," Vol. I., pp. iHSg; Hardy, ^* Christianity and the Roman 
Government," 1894 ; Schiller, " dsch, d. torn. Kaistrtsit/* 1883-87 ; 
Seek, " Gesch. d. UnUrtoMfs d. ontikM IVgtt," Vol. I., 1895 ; Gregg, 
" The Decian Persecution " ( Hulsean Prize Essay for i8g6) ; Over- 
beck, ''Studim ptr Gtsch, d, alt. Kirch4** i^works on the Catacombs, 
by De Rossi, Northcote and Brownlow, Parker, etc. Articles on the 
various emperors In Smith and Wace, " Dictionary of Christian 
Biography," and in the general and religious encyclopedias. The 
articles in the new edition of the Herzog-Hauck " Rsal-Encyklopadit " 
are particulariy valuable. 


I. The apostles had labored and died in spreading the 
gospel. Throughout Asia Minor, Greece, Italy, and pos- 


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sibly even farther west, the gospel had been preached and 
Christian churches established. Christianity had now 
to make its way without apostolic aid, in the face of ob- 
stacles that to human apprehension must have seemed 
well-nigh insuperable. 

2. We sliall see that Christians were everywhere per- 
secuted, but that persecution, for the most part, tended 
to spread rather than suppress the truth. 

3. We shall see that Christianity entered upon its 
career almost void of literary and philosophical culture 
and social standing, and that at the close of this period 
it had drawn to itself the culture of the age and had 
gained the homage of kings. 

4. We shall see that this accession of culture had its 
disadvantages as well as its advantages ; for along with 
culture came philosophical error and imitations of pagan 
ceremonial observances. 

5. We shall see that as soon as Christianity came to 
be forwarded by any other thai', legitimate means, as 
soon as increase of power and respectability was set up 
as an object of endeavor, a door was thrown open for 
the entrance of all sorts of abuses. 

6. In general, we may characterize the present period 
as the period of the gradual growth and the gradual cor- 
ruption of Christianity until it became strong enough on 
the one hand to make its adoption by the empire a mat- 
ter of policy, and corrupt enough on the other to rejoice 
in such adoption. 


Christianity was a rdigio Ulicita. It was the policy of 
the Roman Empire to tolerate the religions of conquered 
peoples, so long as they would not attempt to proselyte. 
Judaism was a relirio licita, Christianity, so far as it 
was distinguished from Judaism, was reckoned among 
secret societies or collegia which were contrary to law. 
Cicero* says: '* Separately let no one have gods, nor 
may they worship privately new or foreign gods unless 
they have been publicly recognized." Gaius,* speak- 
ing of forbidden associations, says : '• Neither a society 

I *« D« Legfbut.'* Bk. 11.. Cluir. I. • Bk. III.. Chap. 4. 1 1. 

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nor college, nor body of this kind, is conceded to all pro- 
miscuously ; for this thing is coerced (regulated) by laws 
or codes of the Senate and imperial (or princely) consti* 
tutions." The essentially proselyting spirit of Chris- 
tianity was an additional cause of its unlawfulness. 

2. Christianity was a religion which aspired to uni- 
versality. Christ's kingdom was to be set up through- 
out the whole earth. With the Romans the State was 
the chief thing. Religion was to be promoted only in so 
far as it served the interests of the State. The Chris- 
tians had no sympathy with this idea, and their enemies 
lost no opportunity to represent Christianity as danger- 
ous to the State. This brought upon them the enmity 
of rulers. 

3. Christianity was a religion hated by the influential 
classes. The withdrawal of Christians from social inter- 
course with the pagans, rendered necessary by the idol- 
atrous practices connected with every department of life, 
caused the Christians to be looked upon as enemies of 
the human race. Their refusal to participate in idolatrous 
rites and to frequent the temples, and the exclusion from 
their homes and, of necessity, their persons of all symbols 
of idolatry, led them to be looked upon as atheists — ene- 
mies of the gods. As enemies of mankind and of the 
gods, they were regarded with the profoundest abhor- 
rence by the people in general. Nothing was too bad to 
be believed of such people. The Christians were known 
to assemble at night secretly ; they were observed to be 
very fond of each other. What but the gratification of 
lust could be the motive of such assemblies ? As they 
assembled in considerable numbers, the gratification of 
lust must be promiscuous. What could be more natural 
than to ascribe to this mysterious, ungodly people the 
additional crime of eating the bodies and drinking the 
blood of the offspring of their orgies ? The standing 
charges against (ihristianity^ therefore, for several gen- 
erations were atheism, promiscuous licentiousness, and 
cannibalism. See the ** Apologies" of Justin Martyr, 
Athenagoras, Tertullian, and Origen, in which these 
accusations are stated and refuted. Most of the persecu- 
tion which the Christians suffered was the result of this 
popular hatred. 

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4. The fact that Christianity was recruited chiefly 
from the poor and the outcast caused Christianity to be 
looked down upon by the respectable and by those who 
would be regarded as respectable. 

5. Christians shared with Jews the contempt which 
the Romans always had for this people— only they were 
regarded as far worse and were without the protection 
which the Jews enjoyed even after the destruction of 
Jerusalem. After the Jewish rebellion of A. D. 135 their 
advantages over Christians probably ceased or were 
greatly diminished. 

6. Christianity, by its enthusiasm, shocked the sensi- 
bilities of many of the purest and best philosophers. 
These might have been expected to favor Christianity ; 
but they regarded it rather as a wild fanaticism which 
could only do harm to its adherents. 

7. Christianity came into conflict with the temporal 
interests of certain classes, as priests, venders of sacrifi- 
cial animals, makers and venders of idols. Many perse- 
cutions were aroused by such persons, as in the New 
Testament times, so later. 

8. The occurrence of famines, earthquakes, military 
reverses, conflagrations, etc., frequently furnished occa- 
sion for the persecution of the Christians, who, as ene- 
mies of the gods, were supposed to be the cause of the 


Many of the emperors during the second and third cen- 
turies were men of great moderation, and might have 
been expected to abolish persecution. But we shall see 
that in some instances the most violent persecutions oc- 
curred under the wisest and most upright rulers. This 
is to be accounted for in part by the fact that such men 
were more likely than others to adhere rigidly to the 
laws against unauthorized religions ; were more anxious 
than others to maintain the splendor of the old religion ; 
were more repelled by the, to them, fanatical proceed- 
ings of the Christians ; were more under the influence 
of philosophers, who showed great enmity toward Chris- 
tianity and wrote against it {e. g. Marcus Aurelius was 
greatly influenced by Stoic and Cynic philosophers). 

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I. From Trajan to Marcus Aurelius (98-161). (i) 
Trajan (98-117), one of the best of Roman emperors, is 
the first with regard to whom we know certainly that 
he formally proscribed secret societies, among which 
Christian churches were included. He had no true con- 
ception of Christianity, agreeing with his friends Tacitus 
and Pliny in regarding it as a '' bad and immoderate su- 
perstition." Our most trustworthy knowledge of his 
attitude toward Christianity is derived from the letter 
of Pliny, the younger, governor of Bithynia, asking for 
information with regard to the right method of dealing 
with Christians, and the rescript of Trajan {c. A. D. 
112). Pliny states that he has never had anything to 
do with the trial of Christians and therefore is ignorant 
what and how great punishment ought to be inflicted ; 
whether there ought to be any discrimination in respect 
of age ; whether favor should be shown to the penitent ; 
whether they should be punished for the shameful repu- 
tation attached to the name, if nothing shameful be 
proved in individual cases. His method of procedure, 
meanwhile, is declared to be : to question those who are 
brought before him as to whether they are Christians, 
threatening punishment if they persist, and sending to 
prison those that refuse to curse Christ and offer sacri- 
fice to the gods and to the image of the emperor; 
others, who were Roman citizens, he had noted down to 
be sent to Rome ; those who denied being Christians he 
had liberated. He thinks it important that some definite 
method of procedure should be agreed upon, because so 
great a number are involved. Those who confess to 
having been Christians, but now reject Christianity, 
inform him that the sum of their error was that they 
were accustomed to assemble before light ; to sing a 
hymn to Christ ; to promise that they would commit no 
crime — ^theft, robbery, adultery, embezzlement of en- 
trusted funds ; and later in the day to partake of a meai 
in common. In order to arrive at the truth more assur- 
edly, Pliny had tortured two female slaves, who were 
called ministry (possibly deaconesses), but had learned 
nothing beyond the fact that Christianity was a bad and 
immoderate superstition. By his proceedings he had 
brought it about that the temples, before almost deso- 

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lated, had begun to be frequented ; sacrifices, long since 
suspended, had been resumed ; the feeding of victims 
had been taken up, etc. He refers to an imperial man- 
date forbidding secret societies (Jutcerut) which he is 
attempting to enforce. He intimates that the Christians, 
in consideration of his prohibition of secret societies, had 
given up their social gatherings, and there is no intima- 
tion that their punishment was for violation of this law.' 
Trajan replies that Pliny has acted properly in the cases 
mentioned ; and that no universal rule can be laid down. 
Christians are not to be sought out for persecution, but 
when legally arraigned are to suffer for their violation of 
the laws. 

The precise attitude of Trajan toward Christianity is still a mat- 
ter of controversy. Christian writers of the succeeding time took a 
highly favorable view of his tolerance. Mellto of Sardis (e, 170) 
seems to have regarded him as a protector of Christians.' Lactan- 
tius ignores his persecutions, while Eusebius seeks to free Trajan 
himself from responsibility for such i)ersecutions as occurred dunng 
his reign, and gives him credit for mitigating the violence of persecu- 
tion. Mediaeval legend represented him as having been released 
from infernal torments through the intercession of Pope Gregory I. 
Most modem critics have gone as far in the opposite direction, main- 
taining that Trajan's rescript introduces a new era in the relation of 
the empire to Christianity distinctly more unfavorable to the latter. 
This view is taken by Gieseler, Overbeck, Aub6, Uhlhom, Keim, 
Renan, $t al. Lightfoot, who thinks it probable that Nero issued a 
distinct prohibition of Christianity, maintains that Trajan intro- 
duced no new policy, but simply gave his sanction to the carrying 
out of a policy that had prevailed from the time of Nero. Hardy is 
inclined to regard Trajan*s rescript ** as favorable, and as rather 
discouraging persecution than legalizing it.'* ' it is probable that 
up to this time *' there was no express law or formal edict against 
the Christians in particular. . . They had before this been classed 
generally as outlaws (hosUs publici) and enemies to the fundamental 
principles of society and government, of law and order, and the ad' 
mission of the name Christian in itself entailed condemnation. . . 
While Trajan felt bound to carry out the established principle, his 
personal view was opposed to It, at least to such an extent that he 
ordered Pliny to shut his eyes to the Christian offense, until his at- 
tention was expressly directed to an individual case by a formal 
accuser." * The fact seems to be that Trajan was not a wanton 
persecutor, and that he meant to discourage malicious informers, but 
that as emperor he felt the necessity of upholding the laws and 
maintaining the State religion. So far as our information goes, the 

> Pliny, Bk. X., Ep. 06, m. < EuMblus. " Hisi. Bee.:* Bk. IV.. Chap. «& 

i^*C. Plimii SeeumKBpp,:* d. 6a, uq, 
^I^ABMy, *' The Church in the Roman Enplr«. ' Chap. X.. •specially p. as}. 

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only persecutions with which Trajan had anything to do were the 
Bitnvnian, under Pliny, that at Jerusalem, in which Symeon suf- 
fered, and that at Antloch, in which Ignatius was the chief victim. 

(2) Hadrian (i 17-138) had little faith in the popular 
religion and took considerable interest in foreign cults ; 
but he regarded the maintenance of the religious estab- 
lishment as a political necessity. He was strongly op- 
posed to the violent outbursts of popular hatred against 
Christians, very common at this time. He declared that 
no accusations against Christians were to be received, 
except such as were in legal form. Justin Martyr ap- 
peals in his ''First Apology/' addressed to Antoninus 
Pius (c. 152), to a rescript of Hadrian, of which he gives 
the text. The rescript (addressed to Minucius Funda- 
nus, proconsul of Asia about 124) forbids riotous proceed- 
ings and information where gain seems to be the motive. 
'' if any one, therefore, accuses them and shows that 
they are doing anything contrary to the laws, do you 
pass judgment according to the heinousness of the crime. 
But, by Hercules ! if any one bring an accusation 
through mere calumny, decide in regard to his criminal- 
ity and see to it that you inflict punishment." The au- 
thenticity of this document has been called in question 
by Baur, Keim, Lipsius, Overbeck, Aube, McGiflfert, et 
al. Its genuineness is defended by Ramsay, Lightfoot, 
Mommsen, Funk, Uhlhorn, Ranke, Moeller, et al., who, 
however, do not understand Hadrian as aiming to shield 
Christians so much as to discourage tumultuary proce- 
dures. The fact that it appears in an almost contempora- 
neous writing (Justin's '' Apology ") is highly favorable 
to its authenticity. That a forgery should have become 
current during the lifetime of its alleged author, and 
especially that a forged imperial edict should have been 
incorporated in an apology addressed to the succeeding 
emperor, is scarcely credible. 

Mommsen remarks : " The groundless suspicions cast on the gen- 
uineness of this document are the best proof now little capable recent 
writers are of understanding the attitude in which the Roman gov- 
ernment stood to the Christians.'' ' Lightfoot: ** Not only is this 
rescript no stumbling-block when confronted with the history of the 

> Quoted by Ramsay, p. jm. 

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times ; some exact action on the part of the emperor is required to 
explain the history."^ Ramsay exposes in a teiling manner the 
absurdity of the objections raised by Keim and others to the genu- 
jneness of this document. 

The Jewish insurrection against the empire, under 
Barcochab, occurred during this reign (135). Large 
numbers of Christians in Palestine were slain by the 
infuriated Jews. The suppression of the insurrection 
was followed by a loss of privileges on the part of the 
Jews. Hadrian now built on the site of Jerusalem Aelia 
Capitolina and erected a temple to Jupiter Capitolinus 
on the temple area. Jews were forbidden to enter the 
city or even to see from a distance the land of their 
fathers.* Whereas before the Jews had held a more fa- 
vorable position than the Christians, the Christians were 
now regarded with far more favor than the Jews. This 
was an important gain for Christianity, and led, doubt- 
less, to the overthrow of Judaistic tendencies in the Chris- 
tian church. Yet Christianity was still a religio illidta. 
The pastor of the Roman church, Telesphorus, and many 
others, suffered martyrdom at this time. 

It is not even stated that the name Christian is no longer crimi- 
nal. The rescript left it open for provincial governors either to inflict 
severe penalties on the Christians or to discourage their arraignment 
to such an extent as to involve virtual toleration. The ** Apology of 
Quadratus," unfortunately lost, was addressed to Hadrian. The 
progress of Christianity during this reign in numbers, learning, 
wealth, and social influence must have been very marked ; yet perse- 
cution was not wanting. 

(3) Antoninus Pius (i 38-161) was one of the wisest 
and most upright of emperors. His biographer, Capito- 
linus, claims that, so far as he is personally concerned, 
he enjoys the almost unique distinction of being free 
from civil and hostile bloodshed.* During his reign 
various public calamities occurred — famine, the Inun- 
dation of the Tiber, earthquakes, conflagrations at 
Rome, Antioch, and Carthage. These aroused the 
people against the Christians, who were supposed, 
by forsaking the gods, to have brought on these ca- 
lamities. The emperor attempted to shield the Chris- 

' " IgiMtius/' Vol I., p. 478, second ed. < Eusebius, Bk. VI. »Ch«|>. XII|. 

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tions from popular rage, but not with complete success. In 
an edict (found in Eusebius, ''Hist Ecc.y Bk. IV., Chap. 
13, the spuriousness of which is now generally admitted), 
Antoninus rebukes the pagans for their violence, telling 
them that if the Christians have offended the gods, the 
gods ought to be left to take vengeance for them- 
selves and that they (pagans) confirm the Christians in 
their minds by accusing them of impiety. He contrasts 
the cheerfulness of Christians in calamities with the ter- 
ror of the pagans. He commands that if any persist in 
raising tumults against the Christians they shall be pun- 

Although this document in the form in which we have 
it is unquestionably a forgery, there is no sufficient 
reason to doubt but that Antoninus did issue an edict, 
with the design of protecting Christians against mob 

The early Christian tradition that he favored the Christians (Me- 
Ilto.f. A. D. 170, Tertullian, early In the third century) must have 
rested on a basis of fact. Mellto, in his ** Apology " addressed to 
Marcus Aurellus, says : ** And thy father, when thou also wast rul- 
ing with him, wrote to the cities, forbidding them to take any new 
measures against us; among the rest to the Larisssans. to the 
Thessalonlans. to the Athenians, and to all the Greeks." ^ Har- 
nack regards the edict as essentially genuine, but supposes that it 
midfered repeated interpolations.' 

It is remarkable that while Eusebius ascribes the doc- 
ument to Antoninus, the inscription, as quoted by him- 
self, assigns it to Marcus Aurelius. 

Christianity showed remarkable energy and underwent remarka- 
ble changes about this time. Gnosticism was at its height. The 
•• Apology of Aristides," recentiy brought to light, was a product of 
this reign. Justin Martyr wrote many of his works, including his 
•• Apology," under this emperor, and It was in the latter part of his 
reign that Polycarp of Smyrna died a martyr's death. Harnack 
attributes the rise or the monarchical episcopate to this time, and he 
finds here the beginning of the process of consolidation in opposi- 
tion to Gnosticism that was to result in the formation of the Roman 
Catholic church.' Montanism had its rise at this time. Christian 
literature was greatiy enriched. 

1 Quoted by Eusebius, Bk. IV.. Chap. 96. 

f "C*roM/<if^«." 0</. 1.. Stit. 709, and " Ttxtt und Untersuebuugtm,'* Bd, XIU., /#f/f 4- 

*Art. "Antoninus Pius." In *' Rtai-Encfklopadtt,'^ third ed. 

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2. From Marcus Aurelius to Decius (161-249). By the 
time of Marcus Aurelius Christianity had become an 
important element in society. Conscious of its strength, 
it had become bold and aggressive. Many cultivated 
men had come into the church and were devoting their 
powers to its defense. Most of the persecutions dur- 
ing this time had for their object the restoration of the 
declining paganism to its original splendor and power. 

(I) Marcus Aurelius (161-180) was educated as a 
philosopher and was imbued with the ethical principles 
of eclectic Stoicism. He was simple and temperate in 
life and sought to rule justly. Yet Christians suffered 
under him more severely than under any emperor since 
Nero, whose cruelty he abhorred and whom he pro- 
nounced "not a man." The enthusiasm of Christians 
seemed to him mere fanaticism, and their steadfastness 
under persecution he looked upon not as fidelity to a 
high principle, but rather as obstinacy in disobedience to 
constituted authority. His teacher, Fronto, had given 
him an early and decided bias against Christianity, and 
the Cynic philosopher, Crescens, the bitter opponent of 
Justin Martyr, had confirmed him in his aversion. While 
he had little faith in the State religion, like Hadrian he 
regarded its maintenance as a political necessity ; and 
he not only withheld from Christians the protection from 
popular violence that had been accorded to them by 
Trajan and his successors, but he encouraged and pro- 
moted persecution. 

This reign, like the preceding, was remarkable for 
calamities. Earthquakes more terrible than those under 
Antoninus, destructive inundations followed by famine 
and pestilence, insurrections and invasions on the fron- 
tiers involving the empire in almost continuous and often 
disastrous war, aroused the fury of the populace against 
the Christians whose impiety and rapid increase was 
thought to have angered the gods. Christians, on the 
other hand, saw in these disasters the divine judgment 
on the iniquity of the government and of the people, and 
no doubt in some cases openly rejoiced in them as pre- 
sages of the final judgment and the end of the age. 
Such an attitude would tend still further to irritate their 
pagan enemies. 

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The following particulars are worthy of attention : 

a. There is no evidence that anything like a general 
persecution was undertaken at this time. The ferocious 
uprising against the Christians of Lyons and Vienne, in 
the south of Gaul, in which a large number of Christians 
were brought before the authorities charged with in- 
cestuous orgies, cannibalism, etc., subjected to the most 
horrible tortures to compel confession of these crimes, 
and at last thrown to the wild beasts or otherwise cruelly 
slain, seems to have been quite exceptional. The de- 
tails of this persecution are given in a beautiful letter 
addressed by *' the servants of God residing at Vienne 
and Lyons, in Gaul, to the brethren throughout Asia 
and Phrygia," preserved by Eusebius.* The ** tribula- 
tion" is ascribed to "the fury of the heathen against 
the saints." The "adversary" is said to have "en- 
deavored in every manner to practise and exercise his 
servants against the servants of God, not only shutting 
us out from houses and baths and markets, but forbid- 
ding any of us to be seen in any place whatever." A 
large proportion of those arrested persisted under re- 
peated and most excruciating tortures in denying the 
charges of criminality and in confession of Christ. Many 
died in prison from the effects of the tortures and lack of 
proper food and nursing. Some were weak enough to 
deny their faith and to make the required confession ; 
but not even so did they escape further sufferings. 
Some who yielded at first afterward received strength to 
confess Christ and to suffer martyrdom. These pro- 
ceedings were conducted by the Roman, governor with 
the full approval of the emperor. 

b. The martyrdom of Justin, the philosopher, who was 
the most important literary defender of the faith that 
the age produced, is commonly ascribed to the machina- 
tions of Crescens, a disreputable philosopher. This oc- 
curred in Rome about 165. According to an early nar- 
rative six companions suffered with him. 

c. An apparently authentic account of the execution 
of several Christians in Pergamus, Asia Minor, has been 
preserved." A number of other martyrdoms are sup- 

> Bk. L s Harnack. '* TexU «. UnUnmcburngpt** Bd, 111., H9ft 4. 

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posed to have occurred in Asia during tliis reign, as that 
of Thraseas, pastor of the church at Eumenea, and that 
of Sagaris, pastor at Laodicea. 

d. The peculiarities of the persecution under this em 
peror are : 

First, that the emperor issued a decree against the 
Christians which, in the opinion of Melito of Sardis, was 
" not fit to be executed even against barbarian ene- 
mies." This decree encouraged informers by allowing 
them to take the property of the accused and made it 
possible for the governors to enrich themselves by con- 

Secondly, the emperor encouraged inquisitorial pro- 
ceedings for the discovery and arraignment of Christians. 

Thirdly, torture was employed as a means of compell- 
ing Christians to renounce their faith and to commit acts 
of idolatry. 

e. That Christianity was becoming more and more 
vigorous and aggressive is evident from the abundant 
apologetlcal and polemical literature of the time. Chris- 
tianity was rapidly drawing to itself of the culture of the 
age and Christian philosophers were more than a match 
for their pagan and Gnostic antagonists. 

/. During this reign Montanism, which may have 
arisen in the preceding reign, came into prominence. 
The Alogoi, as opponents of the Montanistic prophecy, 
now appeared. The controversy regarding the time of 
celebrating Easter dates from this reign. New Gnostic 
parties arose and older parties flourished. 

g. The consolidation of the Catholic church, with its 
monarchical episcopate, its emphasizing of apostolic au- 
thority and apostolic succession, and its New Testament 
canon, in opposition to Gnostic and Montanistic heresy, 
made marked progress during this reign. 

A. The persecution under Marcus Aurelius was not of 
so long duration nor so exterminating as not to be 
favorable, on the whole, to the spread of Christianity. 
It advertised Christianity, and that in a very favorable 
way. Christianity now had standing enough to draw 
toward it the sympathies of large numbers of people. 
The fortitude with which Christians endured persecution 
seems to have now revealed to many the power of 

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this religion over the human heart, and a very rapid 
growth of Christianity throughout the empire followed. 
Christians soon swarmed in all the cities and were nu- 
merous in many rural districts. With rapid growth came 
in much worldliness and insincerity, immunity from per- 
secution for a number of years making it easy for all who 
felt any interest in Christianity to enter the churches. 

i. Now for the first time pagan scholars thought it 
worth their while to read the literature of the Christians 
and to attempt to overthrow Christianity by polemical 
writings. Foremost among efforts of this kind was the 
work of Celsus, the Platonist, whose '' True Discourse'* 
Origen was to answer at length about fifty years later. 
Celsus supposed that the persecuting measures of the 
emperor would result in the extermination of Christian- 
ity. In their sufferings was fulfilled the saying of Apollo's 
priest : " The mills of the gods grind slowly," etc. Re- 
ferring to Christ he wrote : 

The demon is not only reviled, but banished from every land and 
aea. and those who, like images, are consecrated to him, are bound 
ana led to punishment and impaled, whilst the demon— or as you 
call him, the Son of God— takes no vengeance on the evil-doer. The 
Jews, instead of being masters of the whole world, are left with not 
so much as a patch of ground or a hearth ; and of you [Christians] 
one or two may be wandering in secret, but they are b«ing sought 
out to be punished with death. 

So little appreciation did this brilliant philosopher have 
of the vitality and all-conquering power of the gospel. 

(2) Commodus (180-193) was dissolute, timid, suspi- 
cious, and at last cruel and vindictive ; yet his attitude 
toward Christianity was more favorable than that of any 
of his predecessors. This was due, no doubt, in part at 
least, to the influence of his favorite concubine Marcia, 
who took the Christians under her protection, secured 
the deliverance of many from the Sardinian mines, where 
they were suffering fearful hardships, and sought in many 
ways to further their interests. Whether Marcia was 
herself a member of the Roman church is uncertain ; but 
the corruptions of the church as described by Hippolytus 
at about this time were such as to make her member- 
ship a possibility. The patronage of such a personage no 
doubt contributed toward the lowering of the moral 

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standard of the churches under the influence of the 
Roman and rendered effective discipline exceedingly 

Referring to this reign Euseblus says : ** About this time ... our 
condition became more favorable, and through the grace of God the 
churches tiiroughout the entire world enjoyed peace, and the word 
of salvation was leading every soul from every race of mankind to 
the devout worship of the God of the universe. So that now at 
Rome many who were highly distinguished for wealth and family 
turned with ail their household and relatives unto their salvation.'^^ 
Yet he refers immediately afterward to the martyrdom of Apollonius, 
a man of renown among the faithful for learning and philosophy, 
who was condemned to death on the accusation of a slave by a 
decree of the Senate. Whether Apollonius was condemned simply 
on the ground of his Christian profession or on the ground of some 
specific charge of violation of the laws does not appear. To save 
herself from falling a victim to his almost insane cruelty Marcia 
joined with others in compassing the assassination of the emperor. 

(3) Septimius Severus (193-21 1) was not intensely 
hostile toward Christianity. In fact, it has been com* 
monly supposed that up to 202 he was somewhat favor- 
ably disposed. It is related by Spartianus that on his re- 
turn from a victorious campaign against the Armenians 
and the Parthians (202), while sojourning in Palestine, 
he enacted a law forbidding conversions to Judaism or 
Christianity. It does not appear to have been his pur- 
pose to attempt the extermination of Christianity, but 
simply to put a check upon proselytizing. But the en- 
forcement of the Trajanic law against Christianity as an 
unauthorized religion involved many Christians in severe 
suffering. It does not appear that the emperor issued an 
edict of persecution ; but he no doubt encouraged the 
local officials diligently to enforce the old laws. 

Clement of Alexandria, who was at the head of the catechetical 
school, wrote some time before the close of the second century: 
** Many martyrs are daily burned, crucified, and beheaded before 
our eyes." About 202 or 203 he was obliged to abandon his work 
and retire from the city. The father of Origen suffered martyrdom 
at this time. Origen himself, then a zealous and brilliant youth, 
was saved from a like fate by the tact of his mother, who hid his 
clothes and thus prevented him from publicly proclaiming himself a 
Christian and gaining the mart3a''s crown. About aoo a number of 
Christians, Including three women, suffered joyfully at Sdllite, in 

» "Church History." Bk. XXI. 

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CHAP.l] relation of CHRISTIANITY to the empire i6i 

Numidia, falling on their knees and praising God. At Carthage 
two young women, Perpetua and Felicitas, won the highest admira- 
tion of their contemporaries and of posterity by resolutely refusing 
to yield to the entreaties of parents and friends or to the promptings 
of maternal affection, to save their lives by denying the faith, and 
by cheerfully confronting the maddened beasts. These last and 
their companions in suffering are supposed to have been Montanists. 
Tertullian refers to persecutions In Numidia and Mauritania about 

(4) Caracalla and Hdiogabalus yrtxt among the most 
contemptible of rulers ; but both tolerated Christianity. 
Caracalla (211-217) recalled all who were in banish- 
ment, but had his brother and co-heir Geta murdered 
with twenty thousand of his supposed supporters. His 
mother Julia Domna, a Syrian woman, with her sister 
Julia Moesa and the daughters of the latter, Sooemias, 
the mother of the Emperor Heliogabalus, and Julia Mam- 
maa, the mother of the Emperor Alexander Severus, 
was devoted to Oriental mysticism. These women were 
indifferent or hostile to the State religion, and surround- 
ing themselves with a coterie of philosophers and schol- 
ars, devoted much attention to the free handling of re- 
ligious questions and exerted a marked influence on the 
religious policy of the empire. The extension of citizen- 
ship to provincials broke down the old aristocracy and 
greatly facilitated the progress of Christianity by de- 
stroying artificial social distinctions. Caracalla was as- 
sassinated by the Pretorian Prefect Macrinus, who 
assumed the imperial crown and ruled fourteen months 
(217-18). His career as a political reformer, was cut 
short by the intrigues of Julia Moesa, who induced the 
army to repudiate Macrinus and to elevate to the throne 
her grandson Avitus, who was at that time priest of the 
Syrian sun-god at Emesa, and who is commonly known 
by the name of his favorite deity, Heliogabalus. It was 
the aim of Heliogabalus and his female relatives to merge 
Judaism, Samaritanism, Christianity, and the State re- 
ligion into a single eclectic system, in which sun-worship 
should predominate. He reveled in the extravagances 
and the obscenities of his favorite cult. Under the pa- 
tronage of the imperial court Philostratus produced his 
life of Apollonius of Tyana, whom he sought to repre- 
sent as a heathen Christ. Heliogabalus brought to Rome 

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the celebrated Black Stone of Edessa as a means of 
making his religion more attractive to the masses. It 
was his intention to erect a great temple in Rome in 
which, side by side with sun-worship, Jewish and Chris- 
tian worship should be encouraged. It was no credit to 
Christianity to be tolerated and favored by so despicable 
a ruler ; but freed from persecution, it doubtless enjoyed 
a very rapid growth and absorbed far more of pagan life 
than it could properly assimilate. Disgusted with the 
shameful license and the effeminacy of Heliogobalus, the 
army put an end to his rule and placed on the throne an 
emperor worthy of the name (222). 

(5) Alexander Severus (222-235), ^ cousin of Helioga- 
balus, was noble-minded and devout, but was lacking in 
energy and in statesmanship. Though not a Christian, 
he gave to Christianity a place in his eclectic system and 
had a bust of Christ amon'g those of other religious he- 
roes (Apollonius of Tyana, Orpheus, and Abraham) in 
his private chapel.^ His mother, Julia Mammaea, was 
the ruling spirit in the government, and to her favorable 
attitude the Christians were no doubt deeply indebted. 
She is said to have sent for Origen, the great Christian 
theologian, that she might receive from him instruction 
in the principles of Christianity, and to have treated him 
with much respect. When a dispute arose between the 
Christians and some cooks as to the possession of a 
building, Alexander decided in favor of the Christians, 
remarking that it was better that God should be wor- 
shiped there in any way whatever than that the place 
should be given over to cooks.' In recommending a 
new mode of apportioning the offices of the State he is 
said to have referred to the Christian church organiza- 
tion as a model. According to Lampridius he contem- 
plated erecting in Rome a temple to Christ.* He is said 
to have frequently given utterance to the Golden Rule 
in its negative form and to have had it inscribed on pub- 
lic buildings. During this reign Christian houses of 
worship seem to have been first erected. The catechet- 
ical school of Alexandria flourished and Christian educa- 
tion made progress in Rome. Yet Christianity was not 

> Uapridlut. Ch«^ 19. • Clu^ 4^ •Chap. 4i. 

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declared a lawful religion by imperial decree. In fact it 
was during this reign that Ulpian, the famous jurist, col- 
lected for public use the imperial rescripts against the 
Christians. It is probable that the sentiment of the 
Senate and of the Roman aristocracy in general was 
strongly adverse to Christianity and that Alexander and 
Julia Mammaea did not deem it prudent to produce radi- 
cal changes in legislation in defiance of this class. 

(6) Maximinus the Thracian (235-238), a military 
leader who had incited the troops to slay Alexander, 
succeeded to the throne by the favor of the army. He 
was one of the coarsest and most brutal of barbarians 
and was utterly incapable of appreciating anything no- 
ble. His bitter hatred of Alexander led him to persecute 
the Christians, many of whom held positions in the im- 
perial household. According to Eusebius,^ he commanded 
" that only the rulers of the churches should be put to 
death as responsible for the gospel teaching." Several 
prominent leaders of the church of Caesarea (Palestine), 
including Origen's wealthy patron Ambrosius, who was 
robbed of his property, suffered severely at this time. 
Origen, now laboring at Caesarea, escaped by concealing 
himself and addressed to his suffering friends his beauti- 
ful work on '^ Martyrdom." Pontianus and Hippolytus, 
officials of the Roman church, were banished to Sar- 

(7) Philip the Arabian (244-248), son of a Bedouin 
sheik, is represented by Christian writers of a later 
date as a Christian. Eusebius relates that on one occa- 
sion he was so desirous of sharing with the multitude in 
the prayers of the church that he put himself in the 
place of a humble penitent, as he was required to do by 
the presiding official. It may be that he was only super- 
stitious and was anxious to enjoy the favor of the God 
of the Christians without having any true conception 
of Christianity. 

Dionysius of Alexandria (c. 2C5) writes of emperors who were 
openly said to have become Cnristians." He must have had in 
mind Alexander Severus and Philip. Origen is said to have written 
letters, to Philip and to Severa, his wife. Origen at this time looked 

1 " Church History/' Bk. VI.. Chap. ad. 

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forward with great hopefulness to the triumph of Christianity. AU 
other religions, he thought, would pass away, but Christianity 
would go prosperously forwai-d.^ 

3. From Decius Trajan to Diocletian (249-284). The 
first half of the third century was a time of great peril to 
civil order in the empire. The provinces were ruined by 
excessive taxation wastefuily and corruptly gathered and 
by barbarian invasions in the east and the west. Rome 
had become inconceivably corrupt and had lost the 
power to rule. Provincials who had gained prestige as 
military leaders were one after the other raised to the 
throne by the army, but few of these soldier emperors 
showed any capacity for government. The State re- 
ligion was rapidly decaying. Christianity had gained 
Vast numbers of converts in all parts of the empire and 
was by far the most aggressive of the religious forces of 
the age. With correct instinct those who were zealous 
for the maintenance of Roman imperialism looked upon 
the growing strength of Christianity with disfavor and 
distrust. The ideals of the Christians and the ideals of 
Roman imperialists were mutually antagonistic. The 
Roman State religion had from of old been regarded as 
one of the chief bulwarks of the empire. Its life-blood 
was rapidly being drawn out by aggressive Christianity. 
The time was approaching when this religion must be 
either exterminated or adopted as the religion of the 

(I) Decius Trajan (249-251), an Italian soldier, was 
raised to the throne by the Danubian army after the 
battle with the Goths at Verona, in which Philip lost his 
life. He seems to have had an earnest desire to restore 
the empire to its pristine order and vigor. The millen- 
nium of the city was being celebrated with great splen- 
dor when Decius returned from the Gothic war. Special 
occasion was doubtless afforded thereby for remarking 
the decay of the State religion. The fact that Chris- 
tians had been especially favored by his predecessor 
probably led Decius to suspect them of disloyalty to 
himself. It may be assumed from what we know of 
this ruler that his exterminating measures against Chris- 


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tianity did not proceed from sheer wantonness, but were 
from his point of view a political necessity. Only 
by the extermination of Christianity and the rehabilita- 
tion of the State religion could the unity and the stabil- 
ity of the empire be secured. In 250 was issued the 
first imperial edict aiming at the universal suppression of 
Christianity. Christians everywhere were required to 
conform to the State religion by participating in its cere- 
monies, and officials were commanded, under heavy pen- 
alties, rigorously to enforce the requirement. In each 
official district all Christians were required within a defi- 
nite time to appear before the magistrates and to offer 
sacrifices to the gods. The flight of Christians before 
the expiration of the time allowed was not hindered, but 
the property of fugitives was confiscated and death was 
the penalty of returning. Those who were not in a 
position to prove that they had fulfilled the requirement 
were brought before a commission composed of officials 
and citizens. First they were threatened with the direst 
punishments in case of obstinacy. Threats were fol- 
lowed by torture. This failing, imprisonment and re/ 
peated tortures, including hunger and thirst, were re- 
sorted to as a means of breaking down the wills of the 
victims. All the influence and the machinery of the 
imperial government were employed to prevent laxity on 
the part of officials. The magistrates were enjoined to 
use special severity toward bishops and other influential 

Immunity from persecution had brought Into the churches multi- 
tudes of people who had no proper Idea of the obligations of the 
Christian lite and many who cannot be rq^arded as possessing a 
saving knowledge of the truth. Lamentable worldliness character- 
ized many of the clergy, who were spending their energies in secu- 
lar pursuits rather than in the ministry of the word. The Imperial 
edict struck terror to the hearts of all whose faith was weak. ^* Be- 
fore the battle," writes Cyprian, *' many were conauered, and with- 
out having met the enemy, were cut down ; they dM not even seek 
to gain the reputation of having sacrificed against their will. They 
in(feed did not wait to be apprehended ere they ascended, or to tje 
interrogated ere they denied. Many were conquered before the bat- 
tle, prostrated before the attack. Nor did they even leave it to be 
said for them that they seemed to sacrifice to Idols unwillingly. 
They ran to the market place of their own accord." ^ Many were 

1 '*D« Upsls." Bk. 111.. Chap. t. 

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so Impatient to deny their faith that they could hardly wait their 
turn. Cyprian himself retired before the fury of the persecution and 
thereby greatly; injured his reputation among the stricter sort. Many 
who would neither flee nor sacrifice suffered the most terrible tor- 
tures and died in prison or were at last cruelly executed. Some by 
bribing the officials procured certificates of having sacrificed without 
committing the overt act. Some allowed others to say that they had 
sacrificed or to procure certificates for them. Holders of these fraud- 
ulent certificates were called libellaiici and were regarded as scarcely 
less culpable than the Lapsi or those who actually denied their faith. 
Decius was after a few months called away by a fresh Gothic inva- 
sion and was slain in 251, but not until he had spread desolation 
throughout the churches. There was a slight lull In the storm of 
persecution under Gallus, but a year of public disasters (plague, 
drought, famine, barbarian invasions) drew the attention of the pop- 
ulace afresh to the Christians, whose hostility to the gods was sup- 
posed to be responsible for the calamities. Many were sent to the 
mines, which involved the direst hardship and often death. 

(2) Valerian (2 5 3-260), who had been closely asso 
ciated with Decius, is said by Dionysius of Rome^ to 
have '* been mild and friendly toward the men of God " 
and to have treated them more kindly and favorably 
than any of his predecessors. " Not even those [em- 
perors] that were said openly to be Christians received 
them with such manifest hospitality as he did at the be- 
ginning of his reign. For his entire house was filled 
with pious persons and was a church of God." But 
public calamities continued and when recourse had been 
had to every known expedient, including human sacri- 
fices, he was persuaded, it is said, by one of his generals 
(Macrianus), an adept in Egyptian magic, to renew the 
persecution of Christians. At first he sought to sup- 
press Christianity without bloodshed. In 257 he issued 
an edict commanding all Christians to conform to the 
State religion on pain of banishment. He directed that 
pastors be separated from their churches, and prohibited 
Christian assemblies of every kind. These measures 
proving futile, he issued in 2;8 an edict more sanguinary 
by far than that of Decius. Cyprian, bishop of the 
Carthaginian church, who had again gone into banish- 
ment by reason of the earlier edict and was soon after to 
fall a victim to the severer measure, gives the substance 
of the latter as follows : 

> Quoted by EuMblus. " Church History/* Bk. VII.. Chap 9. 

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That bishops and presbyters and deacons should Immediately be 
punished (f. ^., put to deaui) ; but that senators and men of impor- 
tance, and Roman Icnights, should lose their dignity and moreover 
be deprived of their property ; and if, when their means were taken 
away, ttiey should still persist in being Christians, then they should 
also lose their heads ; but that matrons should be deprived of their 
property and sent into banishment. Moreover, people of Cesar's 
household, whoever of them had either confessed before or should 
now confess, should have their property confiscated and should be 
sent In chains by assignment to Cesar's estates.^ 

The list of martyrs is too long for insertion. Besides 
Cyprian, many prominent bishops won the martyr's 
crown. Bishop Sixtus of Rome was seized in the Cata- 
combs, where he was administering the Lord's Supper. 
After his trial and condemnation he was taken back and 
executed on the same spot. 

The following remarks may be made on this series of persecutions : 
a. The aim of the emperors was the utter destruction of Chris- 
tianity, and the means most relied upon was the execution of the 
Christian leaders and the demolition of the Christian houses of 

h. The faith of Christians everywhere was put to a severe test 
and multitudes were found wanting. 

c. This time of persecution gave rise to many controversies re- 
garding the treatment of the lapsed, the authority of confessors, the 
prerogatives of bishops, etc., and a widespread schism (the Nova- 
tian) resulted. 

d. The ability of Christianity, even in a somewhat corrupted 
form, to withstand the most determined assaults of the greatest 
worid-power known to antiquity, was fully demonstrated and gave 
to Chnstians the fullest assurance of ultimate triumph. 

(3) GaUienus (260-268), the successor of Valerian, 
favored the Christians, recalled the exiles, restored their 
church property, and forbade further molestation of 
them. From this time till the time of Diocletian the 
Christians suffered almost no persecution. They grew 
in numbers, wealth, church organization, and in worldli- 
ness. Pagans flowed into the churches, taking with 
them many of their pagan habits of life and thought, so 
that by the time of Diocletian the church was corrupt 
and worldly as never before, and was in no condition to 
meet a relentless persecution.' Christians had again 

1 8p. UVm. • SumMus. " Cburch Hlytofx/' Bk. VIH.. Cha|i. |. 

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become so bold and aggressive as to arouse the jealousy 
of the pagans. 

4. Diocletian and Canstantine (284-323). Diocletian 
(284-316) was a Dalmatian soldier, perhaps originally 
a slave, who had made his way to the imperial throne 
by military prowess. The Christians had fully recov- 
ered from the persecutions of Decius and Valerian and 
were no doubt far more numerous and influential than 
ever before. Diocletian's wife, Prisca, and his daugh- 
ter, Valeria, are said to have been Christians.* The im- 
perial chamberlain Dorotheus and his associate, Gor- 
gonios, were cruelly executed as Christians. That Dio- 
cletian was unfriendly to Christianity almost from the 
beginning is evident from a decree against the Mani- 
chaeans issued from Egypt about 287. This document de- 
clares it to be wrong to oppose or resist the gods or to 
change from an old religion to a new, and in the highest 
degree criminal to abandon established usages that have 
come down from antiquity. This decree involves a con- 
demnation of Christianity. It is not probable, however, 
that Diocletian would have entered upon so difficult an 
undertaking as the extermination of so widespread and 
aggressive a religion, had it not been for the fanatical 
zeal of his son-in-law Galerius, who, along with others, 
had been associated with him in the imperial office. 
Galerius resolved on the expulsion of Christians from 
the army. About 29; all the soldiers were ordered to 
sacrifice. Those that refused were expelled, and those 
that manifested zeal for Christianity were executed. 
Fire broke out in the imperial palace at Nicomedia on two 
different occasions (303). It was a convenient thing to 
charge the persecuted Christians with arson. 

According to Eusebius," " royal edicts were published 
everywhere, commanding that the churches be leveled 
to the ground and the Scriptures destroyed by fire, and 
ordering that those who held places of honor be de- 
graded, and that the household servants, if they per- 
sisted in the profession of Christianity, be deprived of 
freedom." This first edict, issued in February, 303, was 

1 EuseMos, "Church History/' Bk. VIII.. Chap. i.. «p4 Uctfiitlm, "Onk. tM 
Death of Pcrsecutora,'* XV. 
9 "Churr-h HUlory/* Bk. VIII.. Chap. i. 

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followed, according to Eusebius, by other decrees, "com- 
manding tliat all the rulers of the churches in every 
place be first thrown into prison, and afterward by every 
artifice be compelled to sacrifice." It is noticeable that 
the great importance of the Scriptures is recognized and 
that the destruction of all copies is attempted. As in the 
Decian persecution, the severe measures were directed 
against the leaders of the churches, loss of civil and 
social standing being the only penalties now inflicted 
on laymen. 

On the day preceding the publication of the edict, the 
great church building of Nicomedia was burned to the 
ground. Immediately after the posting of the edict in 
Nicomedia, a Christian, ''highly honored with distin- 
guished temporal dignities, seized the edict as it was 
posted openly and publicly, and tore it to pieces as a 
profane and impious thing. "^ This rash act of defiance 
was summarily punished and no doubt greatly increased 
the fury of the persecution. In all parts of the empire 
the edict was executed with greater or less severity. 
Multitudes, as in the Decian persecution, hastened to 
deny the faith and to surrender their copies of the Scrip- 
tures ; many bore the most horrible tortures and refused 
with their latest breath to surrender the Scriptures or in 
any way to compromise themselves. Some employed 
fraudulent methods of evading the requirements of the 

Those who surrendered the Scriptures were stigma- 
tized by their more courageous brethren as Traditors, 
and traditorism became the occasion of the great Dona- 
tist schism. 

At this time there were four emperors : Diocletian in 
the East, Maximian at Rome, Constantius in Britain, 
Gaul, and Spain, and Galerius in lllyria. The two former 
were Augusti or emperors in the highest sense, the two 
latter were Ccesars. Constantius (who ruled in Britain 
and Gaul) was favorably disposed toward Christianity, 
and protected Christians as far as practicable. Diocle- 
tian and Maximian resigned the imperial dignity in 305. 
Galerius and Constantius succeeded them as Augusti^ 

> &lMbiuf, "Church History /' Blc VIII., Ch«|». y 

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while Maximinus and Severus became Cctsars. In 306, 
after the death of his father, Constantius, Constantine 
was proclaimed Augustus by his ariny, Maxentius by the 
Praetorian Guards, and Severus by Galerius, while Max- 
imian resumed the imperial dignity. In 307 Licinius was 
made Augustus by Galerius, and Maximinus by his army. 
Galerius had not yet recognized Constantine and Max- 
iminus as Augusti. Severus was sent against Maxentius 
in 307. He was deserted and slain by his army. This 
left six claimants of imperial dignity. Maximian died in 
310, Galerius in 311. This reduced the emperors to 

Constantine shared his father's favorable disposition 
toward Christianity. Galerius was stricken with disease 
and may have been thereby induced to relent. In 311, 
together with Constantine and Licinius, he issued an 
edict granting a limited toleration to Christians.^ 

Persecution was renewed in the East with terrible 
severity by Maximinus. Forged "Acts of Pilate" full 
of blasphemies against Christ were sent forth, with the 
emperor's approval, throughout his whole domain, with 
commands that they be publicly posted in every place 
and that schoolmasters teach them, to their scholars. 
Some vile women of Damascus were induced to declare 
that they had been Christians and to accuse the Chris- 
tians of the most impious and licentious conduct Every- 
thing possible seems to have been done to arouse the 
fury of the people against Christians. The way having 
been thus prepared, he issued an edict to be engraved on 
brazen pillars in the cities, declaring Christianity to be 
an "execrable vanity," attributing to the toleration of 
Christians all the calamities that had come upon the 
land, and commanding that Christians be driven far from 
each community. This edict was issued in response to 
numeious petitions for the extermination of Christianity, 

1 While they prefer that all should conform to the "retlffion of their ancestors." 
recognition Is made of the fact that some Christians have Seen driven by persecu- 
tion to abandon the proper worship of their own God, and yet do not '* offer to the 
heavenly gods the worship which Is due/' The result Is that the empire suffers loss 
from their failure to worship any god aright Permission Is given Christians to 
"rebuild the conventicles In which they were accustomed to assemble," and the 
opinion Is expressed that In consideration of this Indulgence "they ought to suppli- 
cate their God for our (the emperors') safety, and that of the people, and their own, 
that the public welfare may be preserved In every place, and that they may live 
•evurely In th«ir several homes " (Euseblus, " Ch^r^h History." B|c VU|., Chap. 17). 

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which Maximinus himself was thought to have inspired. 
After the victory of Constantine he was constrained to 
grant complete toleration to Christians, with the restora* 
tion of confiscated property. 

After the battle of the Milvian Bridge, between Con- 
stantine and Maxentius, in which Constantine, being 
now sole emperor in the West, attributed his victory to 
the succor of the God of the Christians, Constantine 
granted full toleration to the Christians, making it lawful 
for any one that wished to embrace Christianity (313). 
In this he secured the co-operation of Licinius, who soon 
afterward defeated Maximinus and became sole emperor 
in the East. This edict is known as the " Edict of Milan,'' 
and is one of the most important documents of the age« - 
The more significant clauses are as follows : 

Perceiving long ago that religious liberty ought not to be denied, 
but that it ought to be granted to the Judgment and desire of each 
Individual to perform his religious duties according to his own choice, 
we had given orders that every man. Christians as well as others, 
should preserve the faith of his own sect and religion. [There fol- 
lows an explanation of the change of policy, and the new policy is 
then described.] We resolved ... to grant both to the Christians 
and to all men freedom to follow the religion which they choose, 
that whatever heavenly divinity exists may be propitious to us and 
to all that live under our government. We have, therefore, deter- 
mined, witii sound and upright purpose, that liberty Is to be denied to 
no one to choose and follow the religious observances of the Chris- 
tians, but that to each one freedom is to be given to devote his mind 
to tiiat religion which he may think adaptea to himself, in order that 
the Deity may exhibit to us in all things his accustomed care and 
favor. . . And we decree still further in regard to the Christians, 
that their places, in which they were formerly accustomed to assem- 
ble .. . ^all be restored to the said Christians, without demanding 
money or any other equivalent, with no delay or hesitation. . . For 
by tills means ... the divine favor toward us which we have already 
experienced in many matters will continue sure through all time.^ 

In regard to this edict it may be said : (a) That it is 
the earliest known proclaniation by a civil government of 
absolute religious liberty. 

(b) It involves no repudiation of paganism, but seems 
to proceed on the supposition that by dealing generously 
with the worshipers of all gods and thus promoting their 
religious devotion, the favor of all gods for the emperors 

1 S— Eus«blus. " Church History." Bk. X.. Chap. %. 

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and their subjects will be secured. It is evident how- 
ever that the emperors recognize the God of the Chris- 
tians as of extraordinary importance. 

(c) The utilitarian spirit of the edict is everywhere 


In 319 Licinius, always at heart an enemy of Chris- 

' tianity and doubtless suspecting that the Christians were 

I favoring Constantine's ambitious aspirations after uni- 

i versal sovereignty, reversed his policy of toleration and 

\ subjected the Christians to the most cruel treatment.' 

\ Constantine conquered Licinius in 323 and became sole 

\ emperor. Thus Christianity triumphed in the Roman 

\pmpire after a struggle of two hundred and fifty years. 

1 Sm EuaeUus. "ChuKh Hlstaiy/' Bk. X.. Chap. t. 

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1. In a world filled with systems of philosophy and re- 
ligion, and in a time of intellectual activity, such as was 
the beginning of the Christian era, it could not be ex- 
pected that Christianity would long be able to hold aloof 
from other systems, neither imparting its own elements 
to them, nor absorbing foreign elements. Christianity 
drew its converts from two grand sources, Judaism and_ 
paganism. It would have been strange, indeed, if JewislT 
and pagan types of Christianity, mutually antagonistic, 
had not arisen, and if each had not made a distinct im- 
pression on the more catholic type that resulted from the 
conflicts of the second and third centuries. 

2. Even among the New Testament writers different 
jhades of opinion, different ways of conceiving divine 
truth, depending on the attitude of each writer toward 
Judaism and toward heathen culture, found place. Here, 
however, the diversity is comparatively superficial and 
easily harmonizes with what is central in Christianity. 
But uninspired men of the same tendencies and feelings 
might have been expected to go to extremes, either in 
making Judaism the chief thing and Christianity a mere 
appendage, or in rejecting Judaism absolutely and sub- 
stituting heathen philosophical conceptions therefor. 

3. Such an antagonism, having once entered the realm 
of Christian thought, naturally awakened intellectual 
activity, and led finally to the accurate definition of 
Christian doctrine according to the categories of the 
Greek philosophy. 

Replying to Celsus' charge that Christians ** were divided and split 
up Into factions, each individual desiring to have his own party," 
Origen wrote: *^ Seeing Christianity appeared an object of venera- 


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tion to men, and not to the laboring and serving classes alone, but 
also to many among the Greeks who were devoted to literary pur- 
suits, there necessarily originated sects, not at all, however, as a 
result of faction and strife, but through the earnest desire of man)! 
literary men to enter more profoundly Into the truths of Christianity. 
The consequence was, that understanding differently those discourses 
which were believed by all to be divine, there arose sects, which re- 
ceived their names from men who admired Christianity in Its fun- 
damental nature, but from a variety of causes reached discordant 


I. TheEbionites or Judai^ing Christians. 

LITERATURE: Irenseus, Bk. 1., Chap. 26; Hippolytus, Bk. IX., 
Chap. 13-17; Epiphanius, Chap. 20, 30, S3; Clementine (*' Homi- 
lies,'^ •• Recognitions,*' and " Acts of Peter '* ) ; Euseblus, •* Church 
History," Bk. III., Chap. 27, and McGiffert's valuable notes ; Schaff, 

v^iiiiouaii L^vuuiuc. p. 749 5«^.: Mossman. *' Hlstoiy of the Earty 
Christian Church,'^ p. 188, s#j. ; Bunsen, " Hippolytus and His Age,*^ 
Vol. 1., p. 127, siq. ; Kitschl, '' AHka$k. Ktrdu;^ p. 104, sea. ; Lechler, 
*' Das Apost, und das nachapostol, ZiitalUr^** p. 449« s^q. (also English 
translation) ; Baur, **DuCkr, Gnosis^*' p. 300, s«jf. ; Mansel, '* The 
Gnostic Heresies," p. no, s^^.; Standmann, **Das Hebriur^BvaHgt" 
Imm*' (Tsxts und Untersuchungiu^ V., 3) • LIghtfoot, *' Epistle to Qie 
Galatians," p. 306, s$q, : Matter, " Hist, Crit, du Gnosticisnu'* f m. II., 
p. 228, ssq* ; Langen, *^Du KUmmsronums** ; Hamack, ^^Dogmsmg^- 
schichu" Bd, I., S^H, 21^, ssq, (also Enellsh translation); Lipsius, 
**Dtf Qiullin d. RSmischiH Pitrmssags" ; Uhlhorn. *' Die Hamtlim u. 
Ruoguitumsu d. CUnums Romamts " ; Schliemann, *' Die Oementmm " ; 
HtTZOK-HsLUck.^^Real'Encffkhpadis," art. '' EhumHsn'' \ Schaff-Her 
zog, •• Dictionarypf Christian Btography," and " Encyclopaedia Brl- 
Unnica," art. ** Eblonltes." 

(i) Origin of the Sect. From the book of Acts and the 
Pauline Epistles, we see that there existed in the early 
church an extreme Judaizing party. Paul could come to 
an understanding with James and Peter, but an uncom- 
promising set of Judaizers made it their business to follow 
tn his footsteps to stigmatize him as a spurious apostle, to 
condemn his gospel as insufficient, and to insist on a rigid 
adherence to the Jewish law as necessary to salvation 
through Christ. Gradually the great body of Christians, 
being recruited from paganism, became emancipated from 
Jewish scruples and those who were inclined to maike 

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much of Judaism were cast off as heretics. The destruc- 
tion of Jerusalem (A. D. 70) greatly promoted the separa- 
tion of Judaizers from Christians of the New Testament 
type. From about 1 10 until the suppression of the Jewish 
revolt under Barcochab (132-135) Judaism enjoyed a 
great revival over the Roman Empire and Judaistic Chris- 
tians naturally were confirmed in their Judaism. After 
the suppression of the revolt the hopes of Judaism were 
crushed. The Judaistic elements soon separated them- 
selves from Christianity, but the extreme Judaizing 
Christians persisted in small numbers in Palestine and 
the surrounding countries for about two hundred years 
longer. The separation was promoted by the increasing . 
stress that was laid by the non-Judaizing Christians on U^ 
the essential and absolute Deity of Christ. 

(2) Principles of Ebianism. We must distinguish be- 
tween the earlier Ebionism and the later Ebionism as it 
was developed under the influence of the Alexandrian 
philosophy. Earlier and later Ebionism agreed in main- 
taining that the true God is the maker of the world and 
the author of the Mosaic law ; in holding that Jesus was 
the Messiah, but not divine ; in rejecting and abom- 
inating Paul, and in venerating James and Peter. The 
earlier Ebionites were ascetics, and exalted virginity. 
At that time, James, bishop of Jerusalem, brother of 
Jesus, was their hero. At a later time, when the ascetic 
spirit had been developed in the Gentile churches, they 
returned to the Judaic spirit and exalted marriage above 
virginity. Peter now became their hero. 

Many shades of opinion regarding the person of Christ 
can be distinguished among the Judaizing Christians of 
the early centuries. Some held to the purely human gen- 
eration of Jesus, while others acknowledged his super- 
natural birth.* Some modern writers distinguish between 
Pharisaic Ebionites and Essenic Ebionites, the former 
term denoting those who held fast to the current Jewish 
legalism and who were free from the influence of the- 
osophy, the latter denoting the theosophical forms of 
Jewish Christian thought. 

Cerinthus, educated in Alexandria but active chiefly 

> OrlCM. **€«*« Ofi Mw." v.. 61. 

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in Asia Minor, to refute whose teachings the Fourth 
Gospel is said to have been written, was the first noted 
Ebionite of the speculative type. According to Irenseus 
and Hippolytus/ he held that the world was not made by 
God but by an ignorant being. " He represented Jesus 
as not having been born of a virgin . • . but as having 
been the son of Joseph and Mary, born after the manner 
of other men, though distinguished above all others by 
justice and prudence and wisdom. He taught, moreover, 
that after the baptism of Jesus the Christ descended 
upon him in the form of a dove from that Sovereign 
Power which is over all things, and that he then an- 
nounced the unknown Father and wrought miracles ; 
but that toward the end the Christ departed again from 
Jesus, and Jesus suffered and rose from the dead, while 
the Christ remained impassible as a spiritual being.'' 

Eusebius quotes Caius (latter part of the second cen- 
tury) to the effect that Cerinthus was a propagator o^ 
chiliastic views, which, as he claimed, were "shown 
him by angels.'* " And he says that after the resurrec- 
tion tue kingdom of Christ will be set up on the earth, 
and that the flesh dwelling in Jerusalem will again be 
subject to desires and pleasures. And being an enemy 
of the Scriptures of God, he asserts, with the purpose of 
deceiving men, that there is to be a period of a thousand 
years for marriage festivals." Eusebius quotes also 
Dionysius of Alexandria to the effect that Cerinthus 
''dreamed that the kingdom would consist in those 
things which he desired, . . . that is to say, in eating 
and drinking and marrying . . . and in festivals and 
sacrifices and the staying of victims.'" It is probable 
that Cerinthus' views of a temporal reign of Christ are 
somewhat caricatured by these writers. 

The term " Ebionite " (of Hebrew derivation) means 
" poor," and was applied to the early Christians in gen- 
eral, who were poor in earthly goods and poor in spirit. 
The use of it was continued by the Judaizing party or 
was applied to them by their enemies. Some of the 
Jewish Christians of the second and third centuries were 
called ''Nazarenes." This term also was sometimes 

> Irwueus. Bk. III., Chap. 11 ; Hifpolytus. Bk. VII.. Clup. si* 
• •• Church HSfllory." Bk UL. Chap. >•. 

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applied to the early Christians as followers of Jesus of 
Nazareth (Acts 24 : 5). It may have adhered to certain 
communities of Jewish Christians from the earliest time. 
Ebionites and Nazarenes were probably separate parties 
in the third and fourth centuries. Epiphanius represents 
the latter as the more orthodox and as acknowledging 
the supernatural birth of Christ. 

According to Eusebius/ Symmachus, who made a new 
translation of the Hebrew Scriptures into Greek about 
the close of the second century, was an Ebionite. " The 
Gospel according to the Hebrews/* which appears not to 
have been the Hebrew original of our Matthew, was in 
common use among the Ebionites. 

(3) Elkesaite Ebkntism as seen in the Clementines. The 
Clementine " Homilies " and " Recognitions *' are among 
the most curious products of the religious movements of 
the second century. Judaism had been outlawed by the 
empire, and was despised by Gentile Christians and 
Gnostics. It occurred to some Jewish Christian, or 
Christians, to compose books purporting to have been 
written by Clement of Rome (the third pastor of the 
Roman Church, one of whose genuine Epistles we have), 
and of which the materials should be the supposititious 
discourses and acts of Peter. This would afford an ex- 
cellent opportunity for combating the now dominant 
Paulinism, as represented by the Gentile Christians in 
general, and in a grossly perverted form by the Gnostics. 
Simon Magus is made to take a prominent place, and to 
have frequent encounters with Peter, who confounds 
him in argument and drives him away. Here we have, 
drawn out in supposed debates between Peter and Simon, 
a speculative Ebionitic system, somewhat analogous to 
those of the Gnostics. Peter declares that he will be- 
lieve nothing against God or the righteous men of the 
Old Testament time, even though recorded in Scripture. 
The Old Testament Scriptures are not Infallible, but 
contain much that is false, along with divine truth. 
Adam and Christ are identified (probably in opposition 
to the Pauline antithesis, Rom. 5), and constitute the 
true prophetic spirit in all ages. Along with Adam or 

> "Church History." Bk. VL. Ch«^ 17. 

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Christ, was created a female nature as a companion, 
differing from the former as quality from substance, as 
the moon from the sun, as fire from light. She was en- 
trusted to be the first prophetess. Everything, there- 
fore, in the Old Testament that seems contrary to the 
righteousness of God and the patriarchs, is to be attrib- 
uted to this inferior earthly prophecy, which has misled 
and perverted mankind. The male principle is wholly 
truth, the female wholly falsehood. He that is born of 
male and female, in some respects speaks truth; in 
others, falsehood. Moses did not write the law himself, 
but delivered it orally to seventy wise men. Afterward 
it was written down, but was burnt in the time of Nebu- 
chadnezzar. Hence, as we now have it, the law con- 
tains false and true elements. Christ is declared to be 
begotten and sent, and hence infinitely inferior to the 
Father. Here, as in all the Gnostic systems, the ques- 
tion as to the origin of evil comes forward. Peter's main 
object in his disputes with Simon Magus is to vindicate 
the God of the Old Testament from all imputations of 
evil. Simon Magus maintains that if evil and the devil 
exist, and if God is the maker of all things, then God is 
the author of evil ; hence, not himself good. Peter ad- 
mits that the devil was created by God, but not that God 
created evil. God created four substances — ^heat, cold, 
moist and dry, simple and unmixed. When they were 
mingled there arose freedom of choice between good and 
evil. God permits the devil to exist and to rule over the 
world, in order that he may punish the wicked. The 
souls of men, as in the Pythagorean philosophy, are par- 
ticles of light. Purgatory, something like the Platonic, 
with the annihilation of the incorrigible, is spoken of. 
Ebionism showed an extraordinary capacity for uniting 
with whatever foreign elements it came in contact with. 
Here we see it united with Pythagorean and Platonic 
elements. Some of these elements, but not all, are at- 
tributed to Ebionites in general by the Christian writers. 
The points given as common to all are the essentials. 
In the minds of speculative men endless variations of 
view found place. 

The Clementine writings, and probably the Ebionites 
in general, laid the utmost stress on baptism. This was 

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CHAP. IL] internal development of CHRISTIANITY 179 

due in part to their belief that Jesus became Christ, or 
was adopted as Son by the Father, in connection with 
his baptism. Some of the more striking passages are 
the following: 

In '' Recognitions," I., 39, it is said that " lest haply they (the 
Jews) might suppose that on the cessation of sacrifice there was 
no remission of sins for them, he [God's Prophet— Christ] instituted 
baptism by water amongst them, in which they might be absolved 
from all their sins on the invocation of his name. . . Subseauently 
also an evident proof of this great mystery is supplied, in that every 
one who. believing in this Prophet who had been foretold by Moses, 
shall be kept unhurt from the destruction of war which impends over 
the unbelieving nation." This last probably has reference to the fa- 
vorable treatment accorded to the Christians as compared with the 
cruel punishment inflicted on the Jews by Hadrian (135 onward). 

In ^' Recognitions," 11., yi^ a person who has believed is said to 
need '' the purification of baptism, that the unclean spirit may go out 
of him, which has made its abode in the inmost affections of his 
soul," and that he may eat with those who have been purified. 

In " Homilies," VII., 8, God's service is said to be, "to worship 
him only, and trust only In the Prophet of truth, and to be baptized 
for the remission of sins, and thus by this pure baptism to be bom 
igain unto God by saving water," etc. 

In *' Recognitions," VI., 8, 9, after representing water as the first 
created thing and as that from which all things are produced, and 
dwelt on its regenerating efficacy, the writer proceeds : " And do 
you suppose that you can have hope toward God, even if you culti- 
vate all piety and all righteousness, but do not receive baptism? 
Yea. rather, he will be worthy of greater punishment, who does good 
works not well. . . Now God has ordered every one who worships 
him to be sealed by baptism ; but if you refuse, and obey your own 
will rather than God's, you are doubtless contrary and hostile to his 
will. But you will perhaps say. What does baptism of water con- 
tribute toward the worship of God? In the first place, because that 
which hath pleased God Is fulfilled. In the second place, because, 
when you are regenerated and bom again of water and of God, the 
frailty of your former birth, which you had through men, is cut off, 
and so at length you shall be able to attain salvation ; but otherwise 
It is impossible. . . Betake yourselves therefore to these waters, for 
they alone can quench the violence of the future fire ; and he who 
delays to approach them, it Is evident that the idol of unbelief re- 
mains in him, and by it he Is prevented from hastening to the waters 
which confer salvation. For, whether you be righteous or unright- 
eous, baptism is necessary for you In every respect : for the righteous, 
that perfection may be accomplished in him and he may oe bom 
afl^ain to God : for the unrighteous, that pardon may be vouchsafed 
him of the sins which he committed In ignorance." 

Notwithstanding their belief in the magical eflftcacy of 
baptism, it is not probable that the Ebionites adminis- 

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gie ^ 


tered it to infants. The fact that Jesus was baptized as 
a mature man and their profound conviction that he first 
received his divine Sonship in baptism would probably 
have held them to adult baptism after it had become 
common among the non-Jewish Christians, who in gen- 
eral attached no such importance to the baptism of Jesus. 

2. The Gnostics. 

LITERATURE: IrenaBUs/'/fAvrs«s//fly«#5"; Hippolytus/* i^r/ir 
iatio Onmmm Hm.^ ; Tertullian, *' D* PrcKcriptionibus Hofnticorum,^^ 
*' Adwrsus Marciomm^^ etc. ; Clement of Alex, and Origen, passim ; 
Epiphanius, *'y1dwrsus Hasnsis "; Plotinus, " Enmad.,'' Bk. II., Chap. 

g; '^ Pistis Sophia " (a Gnostic Treatise recently discovered, and edited 
J/ Petermann, Berlin, 1853) ; Theodoret, " Di Hanntieorum Fabulis'* : 
Eusebius, "//»/. EccL" passim; Giesder, "Ecclesiastical History,'^ 
VoL I., p. 120,5^9.; Vol. 11., p. 442, s^: MoUer, VoLl.,p. 129,5/0.; 
Hiljjenfeld, '^ K^t^^gssch." : King, "The Gnostics and their Re- 
mains," second ed., 1887 (sympatiietic with Gnosticism and rich in 
archseological materials); Llghtfoot, " The Colossian Heresy" (in 
"Com. on Colossians"); Harnack, **Dofminfisch,,** Bd. 1., Seit. 
158, s#9. (also English translation) ; Neanaer. Vol. 1., p. 566, ssq. ; 
/" Pressensi, "Heresy and Christian Doctrine," p. L, s^q.; Mansel, 
( " The Gnostic Heresies " : Burton, " Heresies of the Apostolic Aee " ; 
Bunsen, " Hippolytus and His Age," Vol. 1., p. 61, sgq, ; Baur, ^* Dii 
Chr, Gnosis*^ (more concisely in liis " Church History of the First - 
Three Centuries," VoL I., p. 185-245); Ritschl, ''Altkath, Kirehs'' 
passim; Lipsius, "Df> QuelUu dsr altesi Kitxergeschicte'^ : Hamack, 
*' Zur QtulUnkritih dsr Sisch, des Gnosticismus " ; Matter, *' Hist, CriU 
du Gnosticismi " ; Lipsius, " Der Gnosticismus^ siin fVsssH^ Urspruftg, 
Entwick4lungsga$tg*\' Mdller, ** Gtsch. d. Cosmologis d, pigehischm 
Kirch$ his an Originis** ; Amelineau. ^* Essai sur U Gnosttdsms igjf- 
tien'' ; Bright, '*^Gnostlcism and Irenaus" (in "Waymarks of 
Church History," 1894); Kostlin. "DiV gnostischi ^stsm d. Buck 
Pistis Sophia" (in ^^ Thiol, Jahrh,'^ 1854) ; Mcrx, ** Bardisams von 
Edsssa** ; Koffmane, "Dm Gnosis nach thnr Ttndenru, Organisa- 
tion" ; Meyboom, '^ Marcion m di Mardomtin" ; Gruber, "M 
Ophitm": Heinrid, "Dw VaUntin, Gnosis u, d, Hal, Schriftm" ; 
"Gnosticism." in Herzog-Hauck 5 Lichtenbcreer ; Wetzer u. Weltc : 
"Britannica'^ (ninth ed.), "Dictionary of Christian Biography,'* 
and Schaff-Herzog. 

The term includes various theosophical bodies, with 
Christian elements, that flourished during the second 
century in Syria, Egypt, Asia Minor, etc. 

(i) The Germs of Gnosticism existed, doubtless, in the 
apostolic times. Paul speaks of knowledge (^jn^ot^) as 
"puffing up," of "oppositions of knowledge (rwff«0 
falsely so called/' etc. In the writings of John we see 

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still clearer evidences of Gnostic opposition to Chris- 
tianity. In Revelation the Nicolaitans are spoken of as 
holding the doctrine of Baal, and eating things sacrificed 
to idols. These were probably Gnostics. Irenaeus testi- 
fies that the Gospel of John was written to oppose Gnos- 
ticism as represented by Cerinthus, an Ebionitic Gnostic. ,,/- 
So, in the First Epistle ot John, Gnostic tendencies are 
combated in the two-fold aspect of denial of the Divinity 
and denial of the humanity of Christ (Docfitism). Simon 
Magus, who, according to the narrative in Acts, gave 
himself out as "the great power of God,*' became an 
arch-heretic (unless all of the accounts of him are leg- 
endary, like that of the Clementines), and the precursor, 
if not the founder, of Gnosticism. He is related to hav. 
gained many followers, and to have called himself the 
" Word," " Paraclete," " Omnipotent," etc.* 

(2) The Philosophical Basis ofunosticism was the ques- 
tion as to the origin of evil. The answer was influenced 
by an idealized conception (Platonic and Pythagorean — 
seen also in the writings of Philo of Alexandria, etc.) of 
Absolute Being. The world was seen to be full of im- 
perfection ; the Supreme Being could not, therefore, be 
its author. The Old Testament represents Jehovah (or 
Elohim) as the creator of the world. Hence Jehovah is 
an imperfect being, and the religion of the Jews antag- 
onistic to true religion. The chief aim of Gnosticism 
was to account for the existence of the present order of 
things without compromising the character of the Su- ^ 
preme Being. 

(3) Sources of Gnosticism. The most direct and most 
important source of Gnosticism was the Jewish-Alexan- 
drian philosophy as represented by Philo. We can 
account for most of the phenomena of Gnosticism by the 
supposition of attempts to combine this mode of thought 
with Christian doctrines, especially with the prologue of 
John's Gospel. Many points of resemblance can be 
traced between the Gnostic systems and the Jewish 
Cabbala, the germs of which probably existed in the 
second century; but it is impossible to tell whether 
Gnosticism borrowed from the Cabbala, or viu versa. 

1 Juitin. " ApoL." I.. CiMp. ai ; irwuMis, Bk. L. Chap. %%, 

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Both were certainly dependent on Jewish-Alexandrian 
theosophy. In addition to this chief elenient, the Gnostic 
systems (some to a greater, some to a less extent) were 
influenced by Buddhism and Zoroastrianism, which sys- 
tems had long been well known in Alexandria. The 
esoteric theosophy of the old Egyptian religion must have 
contributed a not unimportant factor to Egyptian types of 
Gnosticism. The intensely dualistic systems are doubt- 
less connected with the Zoroastrian and old Babylonian 
dualism. So also its emanation theories. With Buddhism 
may have been connected the Gnostic teachings respect- 
ing the antagonism of spirit and matter, the unreality of 
derived existence, and, to some extent, the origin of the 
world from successive emanations from the Absolute 
Being.^ Yet it is not necessary to suppose a direct and 
conscious employment of all these sources. These had 
more or less influence on the Jewish-Alexandrian phi- 
losophy current at the time. Such ideas had become 
common property^ and the special combinations in the 
hands of men of speculative minds who had cut loose 
from the historical, and sought only to devise plausible sys- 
tems, is easily accounted for. Philo, under the influence 
of Neo-Platonism, Neo-Pythagoreanism, and old Egyptian 
theosophy, had exalted the Supreme Being above contact 
with the visible world, and had explained all passages of 
the Old Testament that seemed inconsistent with such 
exaltation, as referring not to the Absolute Being, but to 
a derived being, the Logos. He had adopted an allegori- 
cal method of interpretation, according to which the 
literal meaning of the Old Testament was of no account, 
and a given passage could be made to mean anything 
whatsoever, according to the fancy of the interpreter. 
Philo's Logos doctrine is obscure from the fact that he 
employed the term in several different senses, viz : a. 
As a divine faculty, whether of thought or of creation, or 
of both together ; ft. as the thinking, creative activity 
of God ; c. as the result of thinking, or the ideal world 
itself; d. as the active divine principle in the visible 
world.' The very obscurity and ambiguity of Philo 
would furnish endless material for speculation. So far 

^ C/. Mansel, " Gnostic Heresies," p. %». 
> Sm Doramr, " Parson of Christ." Div. 1.. Vol. I., p. a4. sif. 

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as the dependence of the later theosophical systems is 
concerned, it is a matter of little importance whether 
Philo, in any of his representations of the Logos, meant 
to teach the existence of the Logos as a distinct person- 
ality. Certainly there is abundant material in Philo that 
could be so employed by uncritical speculative theolo- 

Only in those systems in which Oriental features are 
marked is there need to suppose any direct connection 
with Zoroastrianism and Buddhism. 

(4) Characteristics of Gnosticism, a. Dualism, in some 
systems absolute, in others not. Matter being regarded 
as evil could not have been created by the Supreme 
Being, b. Docetism, according to which the Messiah's 
body was only an appearance ; or, according to others, a 
mere human body temporarily made use of by the Mes- 
siah. This docetism was the result of a theory of the 
inherent evil of matter, c. Emanations. Most of the 
Gnostic systems are characterized by a series of aeons or 
emanations from the Supreme Being ; the more remote, 
in general, the more degraded. One of the most de- 
graded of the emanations figures as the Demiurge or 
world-framer. d. Hostility to Judaism, with some, abso- 
lute, Jehovah being regarded as positively malignant and 
actively hostile to the true God, and hence the Jewish 
religion, as entirely diabolical ; with others, more moder- 
*ate, Jehovah being regarded as an ignorant and imper- 
fect being, and Judaism being regarded as a preparation 
for the revelation of the Supreme being in Christ. ^. As -^ 
the Ebionites rejected the writings of Paul and regarded 
Paul as an impostor, so the Gnostics rejected not only 
the Jewish religion and Scriptures, but all of the New 
Testament except the Pauline Epistles and parts of the Gos- 
pels, Peter and James being regarded as servants of the 
Demiurge, who tried to keep the people whom Christ 
had come to free in the slavery of the Demiurge. /. *--^ 
Gnosticism was essentially a striving after system. Un- 
satisfied with detached truths, men lelt impelled to bring 
all truth into absolute harmony. It was speculative and 
not practical, conduct being regarded as entirely subor- 
dinate to comprehension of the mysteries of the universe. 
g. Gnosticism was an aristocratic system. A man was^^ 

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regarded as exalted in the scale of being in proportion to 
his knowledge, not of facts, however, but of supposed 
mysteries. The great mass of mankind were sarkical 
(fleshly, animal) ; a part psychical (capable of reasoning 
about earthly matters) ; the Gnostics themselves were 
spiritual (capable of apprehending the divine mysteries). 
A. The Gnostic systems were all fatalistic : Man is in his 
present condition, not from his own choosing, but from 
the method of his creation; from this state he can do 
nothing toward freeing himself ; he is absolutely depend- 
ent upon the aid that comes from without, i. As matter 
was regarded as evil, the Gnostics had great contempt for 
the flesh. Some of them practised the most rigid asceti- 
cism, in order to overcome the flesh; others held that 
everything depended upon the spirit and that the indul- 
gence of the flesh was a matter of indifference, and gave 
the utmost license to their fleshly inclinations; while 
others held that the flesh ought to be destroyed by vice. 
Some of the Gnostics, regarding all the characters that 
are reprobated in the Old Testament (as Cain, the in- 
habitants of Sodom, etc.) as really servants of the true 
God, thought that the vices of these ought to be imitated. 
k. Gnosticism is distinguished from other theosophical 
systems — ^and hence demands consideration in the study 
of church history — ^from the fact that it embraces the 
>idea of redemption through Christ, a Divine interposition 
in the world, in connection with the origin of Christianity,* 
to deliver the world from the dominion of evil. 

The opposition of the two principles, with the Dualism resting 
thereon, and the Gnostic repugnance toward anything material ; 
the succession of aeons, through which the relation of God with the 
worid is sought to be mediated, but in the place of the Jewish-Chris- 
tian idea of a free creation of the world the doctrine of the emanation 
of the world from God is posited: the separation of the Creator of 
the worid from the one Supreme God ; the putting of Christ in the 
same category with other divine beings whose sameness of nature 
can only be looked upon as an Infringement upon the absolute dig- 
nity of Christ ; the whole process of cosmic development in which 
Christianity is so completely entangled that the facts of redemption 
achieved through Christ must lose not only their ethical- religious 
meaning, but even their historical character— all this formed a ver>' 
decided opposition to the fundamental intuition of the Christian con- 
sciousness. . . On the other side, Gnosticism had so much that was 
related to Christianity and in agreement with it, and as soon as 

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Christianity had once come to be more widely disseminated among 
the higher classes, every educated man initiated in the dominant 
ideas of his time felt so keenly the need of himself answering the 
same questions with whose solution the Gnostics were oaupied, that 
the relation of Christianity to Gnosticism could be, by no means, a 
merely hostile and repellent one.^ 

(5) Gnostic Systems. Gnosticism was so speculative in 
its nature, that each important leader, even when adopt- 
ing with little or no change the conceptions of his prede- 
cessors, was likely to invent a new terminology. This 
fact resulted in the almost endless multiplication of 
Gnostic parties, each of which is Icnown by the name 
of its founder or by some peculiarity of the terminology 
or the imagery employed to set forth its ontological and /^ 
cosmological scheme. Egypt and Syria were the great^"^*^ 
seminaries of Gnosticism, but Rome, Asia Minor, Meso- 
potamia, Armenia, and Eastern Persia furnished fruitful 
soil for its propagation. 

a. Early Christian tradition made Simon Magus, after 
Peter's denunciation of his unholy proposal to purchase 
the power of bestowing the Holy Spirit (Acts 8 : 18-24), 
a malignant opponent of apostolic Christianity and an 
influential disseminator of pestilential heresy. This 
Simon of Samaria is said to have associated with himself 
a disreputable woman named Helena, and the two are 
said to have been worshiped by many of the Samaritans 
as the male and female principles of deity.' He is said 
to have claimed to be the Word, the Paraclete, and the 
Omnipotent One, and to have declared Helena to have 
been the first conception of his mind. Through her the 
angels and powers of the lower world had been produced, 
and through these angels the world had been framed. 
He himself and not Jesus, whom he regarded as a mere 
man who had received a divine impartation at his bap- 
tism, was the true Redeemer of manlcind. His system 
seems to have been based on the Syro-Phoenician cos- 
mology and to have had an elaborate angelology and a 
well-developed astrology. These elements were freely 
used in the practice of sorcery. The most noted of 
Simon's immediate disciples was Menander, who seems 

1 Baur, " Dit dra ersitm Jabrbundtritm** pp. S47. S48. 
•JusUn Martyr. " Apol./' L. ■6* s6. " Dial, witb Trypbo." lao. 

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to have been content with propagating the views of his 
master, but to have put himself in the place of honor 
instead of Simon. 

b. Saturninus, the founder of Syrian Gnosticism, is 
said to have been a disciple of Simon and Menander. 
According to Irenaeus (I., 24) he ''taught that there is 
one Father unknown to all, who made angels, archangels, 
powers, and principalities ; that the world and all that 
IS therein was made by certain angels, seven in num- 
ber ; and that man was made by the angels." He was 
fashioned after the likeness of a bright manifestation of 
supreme power ; but being unable to stand, " the superior 
power pityins him, . . sent a spark of life, which raised 
him upright. ' " The God of the Jews . . . was one 
of the angels, and because the Father wished to depose 
all the principalities from their sovereignty, Christ came 
to depose the God of the Jews, and for the salvation of 
those who trust in him ; that is to say, of those who 
have in them the spark of life." Marriage and procrea- 
tion he attributed to Satan. He rejected animal food and 
practised a rigorous asceticism. He denied the human 
birth of the Saviour and regarded his body as a mere 

c. Tatian, a learned rhetorician, who had been con- 
verted to Christianity through Justin Martyr at Rome 
(c. 155), and had written an apology for Christianity 
Ic, 165), was perverted to Syrian Gnosticism shortly 
afterward and wrote the " Diatessaron," in which he 
combined the four Gospel narratives into one, eliminat- 
ing the genealogies and all passages referring to our 
Lord's Jewish descent (c. 175). He advocated and 
practised extreme asceticism, condemning marriage and 
the use of animal food, and using water for wine in the 
Supper. He regarded the creation of the world and the 
Old Testament revelation as the work of an imperfect 
Demiurge. The " Diatessaron " in its Syriac form was 
in common use in Syria till the fifth century. Tatian 
had vastly more knowledge of historical Christianity 
than had most of the Gnostic teachers. 

d. BasilideSy a man deeply versed in Greek and Jewish 
Alexandrian philosophy and in old Egyptian theosophy, 
and who may have come under the influence of the teach* 

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CHAP. IL] internal development of CHRISTIANITY 187 

ings of Simon Magus and Menander, appeared in Alexan- 
dria as a religious leader about 133. His philosophy was 
fundamentally pantheistic. His favorite designation of 
God was the ** Non-existent One." He starts out with 
an absolute void and seeks to account for the phenoin • 
enal world. Hippolytus attributes to him the following 
statement : 

Since, therefore, there was nothing, neither matter nor substance, 
nor unsubstantial, nor simple, nor compound, nor Inconceivable, 
nor imperceptible, Tior man, nor angel, nor God, nor in short any of 
the things that are named or perceived by the senses or conceived 
by the intellect, but all things being thus, and more minutely than 
thus, simply obliterated, the non-existent God . . . without thought, 
«vithout sense, without counsel, without choice, without passion, 
i^ithout desire, willed to make a world. When I say willed, I mean 
to signify without will and without thought and without sense; 
and by tne world I mean not that which was afterward made and 
separated by size and division, but the seed of the world. . . Thus 
the non-existent God made a non-existent world from things non- 
existent, having cast down and deposited a single seed, having in 
itself the universal seed of the world. 

This seed contained the three-fold sonship, of the same 
essence as the non-existent God. The first was purely 
spiritual, the second was thought of as the more refined 
material essences (the firmament and the atmosphere), 
the third seems identified with the spiritual essence con- 
nected with material substance of the grosser sort and 
as in. need of purification. After the firmament had been 
formed there sprang forth out of the seed of the world 
the Great Ruler {Archon), " the wisest and most power- 
ful and brightest of mundane existences, superior to all 
beneath, except that portion of the divine sonship which 
still remained in the world." Ignorant of what was 
above the firmament and thinking himself supreme, he 
undertook the work of creation. Having begotten a son 
more powerful than himself and seated him on his right 
hand, he unwittingly accomplished the counsel of the 
non-existent God in forming the celestial and the ethereal 
creation. The celestial and ethereal spheres and their 
rulers constitute the Ogdoad, and the Great Archon 
bears the mystical name Abrasax, the value of whose 
letters makes the number 365. This would seem to 
identify the Great Archon with the sun and to show 

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the relationship of the system to the current sun-wor< 

In the lower sphere a second Archon is developed who 
forms the Hebdomad, who also begins with the begetting 
of a son greater than himself. This second ruler is iden- 
tified with the God of the Jews and the framer of this 
lower world. The third sonship is the portion of the 
divine life and light that has become imprisoned in matter^ 
and the work of redemption consists in the liberation of 
this divine substance and its lifting up through the Heb- 
domad and the Ogdoad into the infinite. 

Basilides secured a large following in Rome as well as 
in Egypt, and the influence of his theosophizing was 
widespread. His writings, which consisted of a recen- 
sion of the gospel narrative, liturgical works, and an ex- 
position of his cosmological and soteriological system 
have perished, except the few fragments that are pre- 
served by his opponents. But underneath the some- 
what fantastic imagery there seems to have been serious 
and profound thinking on the great problems of being. 

e. yalentinus, also a Greek-speaking Egyptian philoso- 
pher, appeared in Rome as the propagator of an elabor- 
ate cosmological and soteriological system about 135, 
and may have continued to labor there with some inter- 
missions until about 160. His system is far the most 
elaborate and was far the most popular of those devel- 
oped in Egypt. He seems to have remained in nominal 
connection with the regular churches until after his 
departure from Rome. His was the form of Gnosticism 
with which Irenasus came into closest contact and which 
was the occasion of the writing of his great work against 
heresies. The philosophical basis of his system was 
identical with that of Basilides ; but he was not so care* 
ful as Basilides to insist on the original non-existence of 
God and everything. He starts oiit with Depth (Buthos) 
and Silence (Sige) as the eternal male and female prin- 
ciples. These project Mind and Truth, which in turn 
project Word and Life. These produce Man and Church 
(not the mundane). Rejoicing in their productivity, 
they produce and present to the Father ten aeons, a per- 
fect number. Man and Church project twelve asons, of 
which the last is Wisdom (Sophia). This lowest aon 

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sought to emulate the Father by independently produ- 
cing offspring. The result was an abortion, who igno- 
rantly proceeded to create this world and to involve in 
matter a portion of the divine substance that he pos- 
sessed, this Demiurge was identified with the God of 
the Jews, and the Old Testament Scriptures were re- 
garded as inspired by him. Mind and Truth projected, 
thereupon, Christ and the Holy Spirit to restore Form, 
to destroy the abortion, and to comfort the sorrowing 
Sophia. The work of redemption is to liberate the spir- 
itual nature in man from the evil material existence and 
the passions by which it is enslaved and to facilitate its 
escape into the pleroma (divine fullness). For this pur- 
pose the thirty aeons are supposed to have joined in pro^ 
jecting Jesus, the great High Priest, whose incarnation 
was only apparent, and whose task it was to restore 
Sophia and all of the spiritual substance that had become 
diffused and enslaved through the Demiurge. 

/. The " Pisiis Sopkia^^^ the only Important Gnostic writing that 
has reached us in a state approximating completeness, was probably 
writen in Greek late in the second or early m the third century, but 
is extant only in a Coptic version. It exhibits Gnosticism in a 
highly developed state and seems to make more of historical Chris- 
tianiW than did many Gnostic writings. The title consists of two 
Greek words meaning ** Faith Wisdom.*' It is the name applied to 
a female seon, or emanation from the Supreme Light, who having 
caught a glimpse of the Supreme Li^ht, t>ecame discontented with 
her position and consumed with a desire to return into thie infinite. 
To punish her for this unholy ambition, Adamas, the ruier of her 
sphere, led her by a false light to plunge into chaos, where she was 
beset by evil spints, eager to rob her of the light that she possessed. 
The visible world, including mankind, resulted from the commin- 
fi^iing of light with darkness. The subject-matter of the book is a 
nill exposition of the way in which PIstis Sophia, including all the 
light and life that humanity possesses, is delivered and restored. 

Several mysteries, or secret initiatory rites, are here described, the 
efficacy of each being carefully explained. These mysteries, it may 
be presumed, were practised by the Gnostics themsdves, the degree 
of attainment in Christian knowledge and in immunity from the 
powers of evil being marked by the number of mystenes through 
which they had passed. 

The work is in the form of dialogues between the Saviour and his 
disciples. Mary Magdalene is the most frequent questioner, and 
she, along with John, is represented as surpassing the other dis- 
ciples in spiritual insight. 

Among the mysteries baptism occupies a prominent place. 1 quote 
from King some of the more Interesting statements: '' Then came 

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forth Mary and said : Lord, under what form do Baptisms remit 
sins? I have heard thee saying that the Ministers of Conten- 
tions [accusing evil spirits] follow after the soul, bearing witness 
against it of all the sins that it hath committed, so that they 
may convict it in the judgments. Now, therefore. Lord, do the 
mysteries of Baptism blot out the sins that be in the hands of the 
Receivers of Contention, so that they shall utteriy forget the same? 
Now, therefore. Lord, tell us in what form they remit sins ; for we 
desire to know them thoroughly? Then the Saviour answered and 
said: Thou hast well spoken: of a truth those Ministers are they 
that testify against all sins, for they abide constantly In the places 
of judgment, laying hold upon the souls, convicting all the souls of 
sinners who have not received the mystery, and they keep them 
fast in chaos tormenting them. But these contentious ones cannot 

f)ass over chaos so as to enter into the courses that be above chaos ; 
n order to convict the souls therefore receiving the mysteries, it is 
not lawful for them to force so as to drag them down into chaos, 
where the Contentious Receivers may convict them. But the souls 
of such as have not received the mysteries, these do they desire and 
haie into chaos : whereas the souls that have received the mysteries 
they have no means of convicting, seeing that they cannot get out 
of their own place ; and even if they did come forth, they could not 
stop those souls, neither shut them up in their chaos. Hearken, 
therefore, I will declare to you in truth in what form the mystery of 
baptism remitteth sins. If the souls when yet living in the world 
have been sinful, the contentious receivers verily do come that they 
may bear witness of all the sins they have committed, but they can 
by no means come forth out of the regions of chaos, so as to con- 
vict the soul in the places of judgment that be beyond chaos. But 
the counterfeit of the spirit [probably equivalent to conscience] testi- 
fies against all the sins of the soul, in order to convict it in the 
places of judgment that be beyond chaos ; not only doth it testify, 
but it also sets a seal upon all tne sins of the soul, so as to print them 
firmly upon the soul, that all the rulers of the judgment place of the 
sinners may know that it is the soul of a sinner, and likewise know 
the number of the sins which it hath committed from the seals that 
the counterfeit of the spirit hath imprinted on it, so that they may 
punish the soul according to the number of its sins: this is the 
manner in which they treat the soul of a sinner. Now, therefore, if 
any one hath received the mysteries of baptism, those mysteries 
become a great fire, exceeding strong and wise, so as to bum up all 
the sins ; and the fire entereth into the soul secretly, so that it may 
consume within it all the sins which the counterfeit of the spirit hath 
printed there. Likewise it entereth into the body secretly, that it 
may pursue all its pursuers, and divide them into parts— for it pur- 
sueth within the body the counterfeit of the spirit and Fate— so that 
it may divide them apart from the Power and the Soul, and place 
them in one part of the body— so that the fire separates the counter- 
feit of the spirit. Fate, and the Body into one portion, and the Soul 
and the Power Into another portion. [According to this representa- 
tion, human nature consists of five parts : conscience, or the register- 
ing and accusing element ; fate or destiny, which Implies the resist- 

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less tendency toward evil that belongs to humanity thus constituted : 
ttie body, conceived of as evil and as a hindrance to the highest end 
of being ; the soul in the more limited sense : and the power, which 
seems to mean the particle of deity that is the portion of each indi- 
vidual.] The mystery of baptism remaineth in the middle of them, 
so that it may perpetually separate them, so that it may purge and 
cleanse them in order that they may not be polluted by matter. Now, 
therefore, Mary, this is the manner whereby the mystery of bap- 
tism remitteth sins and all transgressions." ^ 
Then follows Mary's interpretation of our Lord's saying, Luke 

12 : 49-52 : '* I came to cast fire upon the earth : and what will 1, 
tf it is already kindled? But 1 have a baptism to be baptized with : 
and how am 1 straitened till it be accomplished I Think ye that I 

am come to give peace in the earth ? 1 tell you, nay ; but rather di- 
vision ; for there shall be from henceforth five in one house divided, 
three against two, and two against three. This, saith Mary, 
signifieth the mystery of baptism which thou hast brought into 
the world, because it nath brought about dissension in the body of 
the world, because it hath divided the counterfeit of the spirit, the 
body and the fate thereof, into one party, and the soul and the 
power into the other party. The same is. There shall be three 
against two, and two against three. And when Mary had spoken 
^ese things the Saviour said : Well done, thou Spiritual One in the 
pure light, this is the interpretation of my saying.^' 

This Gnostic explanation and justification of the doctrine of bap- 
tismal regeneration has a great advantage over those of other parties 
in that it seriously undertakes to explain the process. Human nature 
has in it five elements, three evil and damning in their character and 
tendency, and two fundamentally good. The problem is to separate 
these and to place an insuperable barrier between them. This is 
precisely the function of the mysteiy of baptism, which enters into 
the nature like a penetrating, searching fire and separates and keeps 
separate these elements, leaving the good elements free to proceed 
toward the glorious end of being. 

(g) Marcion, a native of Pontus, went to Rome about 
138 or 139 and became a member of the Roman church. 
Failing in an attempt to bring the church to his way of 
thinking, he felt constrained to organize his adherents 
into a separate church and to inaugurate an active prop- 
aganda. Within a few years he had built up a strong 
community in Rome and organizations of his followers 
, had been formed in most of the provinces. He seems 
to have entertained the hope of gaining universal ac- 
ceptance for his views. He was unquestionably a man 
of profound earnestness and of marked ability, and he 
labored in the spirit of a reformer. He was almost 

1 •' The Gaostlct aad Tbtlr Renuilos/' p. ml Mf* 

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wholly free from the speculative spirit that permeated 
the Egyptian and the Syrian Gnosticism. He did not 
exalt knowledge above faith, he did not embody his 
views in fantastic imagery drawn from pagan cults, he 
did not distinguish, as did most Gnostics, between the 
esoteric doctrines understood by the select few and the 
exoteric teachings to be imparted to the masses. In fact 
it is doubtful whether he should be called a Gnostic at 
all.' He had become convinced that Judaism is evil and 
only evil, and his mission was to eliminate every vestige 
of it from the religion of Christ. Accepting the Old 
Testament as the genuine revelation of the God of the 
Jews, he declared that Jehovah could not be the same 
as the God of the New Testament. He based his con- 
ceptions of Christianity on the writings of Paul, and 
formed a New Testament canon embracing, besides 
these, a modified edition of Luke's Gospel. By a dili- 
gent study of the Old Testament, he gathered every- 
thing contained in it that could be interpreted in such a 
manner as to reflect on the character of Jehovah : every- 
thing anthropomorphic or anthropopathic, everything that 
could be construed into requirement or approval of im- 
morality and cruelty. With the teachings of the Old 
Testament he contrasted the spirituality, the gentleness, 
the mercifulness, and the lofty morality of the life and 
the teachings of Christ. He denied that God is an 
object of fear ; he is love and requires love alone of his 
children. Christ took absolutely nothing from the king- 
dom of the Demiurge. His birth, his physical life, and 
his death were merely apparent. Yet he laid the utmost 
stress upon the redemptive work of Christ, which he 
considered absolutely requisite for man's salvation. 

Marcion seems not to have speculated as to the 
origin of evil. The Demiurge and his kingdom are ap- 
parently regarded as existing from eternity. Matter he 
regarded as intrinsically evil and he practised a rigorous 

Marcionism found ready acceptance in Mesopotamia 
and Persia, where dualism had existed from time im- 
memorial, and persisted there for centuries. Its influence 

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<:hap. il] internal development of CHRISTIANITY 195 

is apparent in Manichaeism, which was far more remote 
from historical Christianity, in Paulicianism, which, in 
its purer forms, was almost free from dualism, and in 
early Armenian Christianity in general. 

(6) Influence of Gnosticism on Christian thought and 
life. During most of the second century and part of the 
third Gnosticism was highly aggressive and became 
widely diffused throughout the Christian churches. In 
some cases Gnostic teachers carried forward their propa- 
ganda as members of regular Christian churches, and 
were able to win many of the most intelligent members 
before their withdrawal became necessary. Few 
churches, it may be supposed, were wholly free from the 
presence and personal influence of parties imbued with 
Gnostic teaching. Professing, as did the Gnostics, to 
solve all the great problems of the universe and in most 
cases commending themselves to pious Christians by 
great earnestness and zeal and by ascetic living, 
they easily gained followers among those who were 
predisposed to speculative thinking and to asceticism, 
despite all the efforts of the teachers of sound evangeli- 
cal truth. After several of the great Gnostic leaders 
had been excluded from fellowship in the regular 
churches, and their teaching had come to be denounced 
as heretical by churches that were able to resist their 
proselytizing efforts, it became comparatively easy for 
Christians to expose their errors and to put believers 
everywhere on their guard against them. The influence 
cf Gnosticism on Christian life and thought is manifest 
in the following directions : a. Christian teachers were 
obliged to defend the apostolic faith against its able and 
seductive assailants. To do this effectively it was neces- 
sary for them not only to study the writings of the false 
teachers, but also to study more profoundly than they 
might otherwise have done the Old and New Testament 
Scriptures and the writings of the Greek philosophers on 
which the teachings of the heretics so largely rested. 
Such study led to the philosophical statement of Chris- 
tian doctrines. Naturally the Greek philosophy, already 
deeply imbedded in current thinking, was the molding in- 
fluence in the transformation of the unsystematized ma- 
terials of the New Testament into the Christian dogmas 

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194 A MANUAL or CHURCH HISTORY [per. 11 

of the third and following centuries, b. The fondness of 
the Gnostics for ** mysteries " or secret rites, which they 
drew largely from the Greek and Egyptian mysteries, 
and their introduction of elaborate and pompous liturgical 
services, no doubt stimulated in the regular churches a 
taste for similar accessories to worship, c. In general it 
may be said that Gnosticism led the way in the amal- 
gamation of Christian and pagan thought and life that 
was to transform the religion of Christ and his apostles 
into the Christianity of the third and following centuries. 

3. 7^ Manickceans. 

LITERATURE : Archelaus, '* ^cta Disfmt. cum Matuts," in Routh 
'"Reliquia Sac.,'* V., 3, ssq. (Enff. tr. " Ante-Nic. Libr."), Alex- 
anderof Lycop. (Eng. tr. •'Antc-Nic. Libr."); Titus Bostrensis, 
** Contra tAfanickaos*^; Epiphanius, 66; Augustine, various tracts 
against Manichsans in '* Qf>crq," vol. Vlll., ed. Bened. (Eng. tr. 
in " Nicene and Post-Nlcenc Fathers," First Series, Vol. IV., by 
Stothert and A. H. Newman, with notes by the latter) ; documents in 
Fabricius, " Biblioih. Gr," V., 285, ssq., and VIlI., 315, uq^and in 
Photius, ''Bibliothfca," cod. 179. Pressensc " Her. and Chr. Doctr." ; 
Gieseler, I.; 203, ssq,, Schafr, II., 498* s^Q-; Mceller, I., 280. sm,; 
Neander, I., 478, uq, ; Wegnem, '* Manichceorum IndtUgetttiar^ ; De 
Sacy, *' Mtmoiris sur 'Dwirsss Antiq, d$ la Peru,** 289, ssq. ; Beausobre, 
^^ Hist, critiqui de Man.**; Baur, ^^ Das Manichmsche Reltgumssytem**: 
art. '* Mani," in Herzog. " Britannica," and •'Diet, of Ch. Biog.,'* 
by Kessler, Hamacic, and Stokes, respectively ; Flugel,*' Mam\ seme 
Lehre u. seme Schriften, aus dem Ftkrist d. Ahi Jakub an Nadim **; 
Kessier, ** Untersuchtmgen ^r Genesis d. Man. ReL Systems" and '* Mam\ 
Oder Beitrea. {ur Bekenntniss </. Relunonsmischung im Semitismns**; 
Mozley, '* Manichsans," etc. (in " Ruling Ideas in Early Ages") ; 
Cunningham, " St Austin and his Place in the History of Christian 

(i) Characterisation of Manichceism. Manichsism is 
Gnosticism, with its Christian elements reduced to a 
minimum, and the Zoroastrian, old Babylonian, and other 
Oriental elements raised to the maximum. Manichaeism 
is Oriental dualism under Christian names, the Christian 
names employed retaining scarcely a trace of their proper 

(2) Oririn of Manichansm. Christianity had been 
introduced into Persia at an early date and was either of 
a Gnostic character when first introduced, or soon 
became such from contact with the State religion. By 
the middle of the third century Christians were numer- 

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ous in Persia, and had made considerable impression 
upon the dominant Zoroastrianism. After a period of 
decline Zoroastrianism, in its original strongly dualistic 
form, was restored by the Sassanides about the middle 
of the second century. Mani, a Mesopotamian, who 
had been brought up in connection with a sect of old 
Babylonian origin, having been brought into contact with 
Christianity, conceived the idea (probably about 238) of 
blending Oriental dualism and Christianity into a har- 
monious whole. Supposing that Christianity had been 
corrupted by the preponderance of Jewish elements, he 
set to work, in Gnostic fashion, to eliminate all Judaizing 
elements, and to substitute therefor Zoroastrianism. He 
regarded himself, at the same time, as an apostle of 
Jesus Christ, and as the promised Paraclete. Mani was 
skilled in various sciences and arts — mathematics, as- 
tronomy, painting — ^and had an ardent, profound mind. 
He seems also to have had a highly attractive personal- 
ity. He was thus enabled to spread his views with great 
rapidity. Driven from Persia, he is said to have traveled 
in India and China. Here he doubtless came in contact 
with Buddhism, from which he may have derived new 
elements for his theosophical system. Returning to 
Persia, he was greatly honored by the new king, but 
was ordered to be crucified by his successor (about 277). 
(3) Doctrines of Manichmsm. The most fundamental 
thing in Manichaeism is its absolute dualism. The 
''kingdom of light "and the ''kingdom of darkness," 
with their rulers, stand eternally opposed to each other. 
The victory is not doubtful, but belongs to the '* king- 
dom of light." Inside of this dualism exists a sort of 
pantheism, i. e., each element of the dualism is conceived 
of as a unity evolving itself into multiformity. From the 
ruler of the " kingdom of light " emanates the " mother 
of life." "The mother of life " generates the "primi- 
tive man," with a view to opposing him to the powers of 
darkness. " Primitive man " is worsted in the conflict, 
and appeals to the ruler of the " kingdom of light " for 
aid. " Primitive man " is raised again, but the " king- 
dom of darkness " has swallowed part of his armor, i, e., 
part of his light. This stolen light formed the mundane 
souU now mixed up with matter. The object of the 

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creation of the world was to liberate the light thus mixed 
up with matter. 

(4) Points of Contact with Christianity. The ''primi- 
tive man," who was withdrawn from the "kingdom of 
darkness," was placed in the sun as its principle of heat 
and light. This was identified with the Logos, or Son of 
God. All growth, whether of plants or of animals, is 
an effort of the fettered powers of light to escape from 
the powers of darkness, prompted by the heat and light 
of the Sun, or the Son of God. The ruler of the kingdom 
of darkness, seeing that the powers of light which he 
held were thus about to be liberated, resolved to create 
a being in whom these powers might be charm-bound. 
Man is formed from the longing of the powers of dark- 
ness for a form like that of the Sun-Spirit The object 
was to concentrate all the powers of light into a single 
being that should be able to attract and retain the 
heavenly light. Man, thus created, consisted of two 
opposite principles — ^a soul like the kingdom of light, and 
a body like the kingdom of darkness. The higher nature 
was tempted by the lower, and the soul that would have 
ascended to the kingdom of light was divided by propa- 
gation. The object of the historical appearance of 
Christ in the world (his bodily manifestation was only 
an appearance — Docetism) was to aid the good principle 
in man to overcome the evil, and by this means to liber- 
ate the elements of light from their bondage. 

(5) Morals and Customs of the Manichceans. The 
Manichseans were divided into two classes, the elect or 
perfect and the auditors. The former alone were admitted 
to the secret rites — baptism, communion, etc., — which 
are supposed to have been celebrated with great pomp, 
in much the same way as they were celebrated by the 
Catholics a little later. The " elect " were a sacerdotal 
class, forming a sort of connecting link between the 
" auditors " and the " kingdom of light." The " elect " 
practised a Buddhist asceticism, possessing no property, 
abstaining from marriage, from wine, from animal food, 
were extremely careful not to destroy animal or vege- 
table life (on account of the elements of light they con- 
tained), and occupied themselves with contemplatioi^ 
and devotion. The " auditors," who always constituted 

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the bulk of the Manichasans, were allowed more free- 
dom, and were supposed to participate in the holiness of 
the ** elect," in consideration of bestowing upon them 
the necessaries of life. The Manichseans rejected the 
Old Testament, and treated the New Testament in the 
most arbitrary way, rejecting whatever seemed unfavor- 
able to their views, and maintaining that even the apos- 
tles did not fully understand Christ. 

(6) Effects of Manichceism on the Regular Churches. 
Absurd and unchristian as this system seems to us, it 
claimed to be the only true Christianity, and by its lofty 
pretensions and the personal power of many of its advo- 
cates drew much of the intellect of the age into its ranks. 
We may say that, in connection with other influences, it 
stimulated : a. The ascetical spirit, with degradation of 
marriage, the exaltation of virginity, the regarding of the 
sexual instinct as absolutely evil and to be overcome by 
all possible means, b. The introduction of pompous 
ceremonial Into the church, c. The systematizing of 
Christian doctrine, d. Sacerdotalism, or the belief that 
ministers of religion are intermediaries between God and 
man, possessing, by virtue of their office, extraordinary 
power with God. e. As the result of this sacerdotalism, 
the doctrine of indulgences (though in its development 
other influences can be distinguished) was introduced 
into the church. 

During the fourth and fifth centuries ManichaBism gained great 
popularity in Italy and North Africa. In the West it came into more 
vital relations with Christianity, and for a time was a most danger- 
ous rival of orthodoxy. Augustine, the greatest of the Latin 
Fathers, was for many years connected with the Manichseans and 
his modes of thought were greatiy affected by this experience. 

4. The Monarchian Heresies. 

Literature : See pertinent sections in the works on the History 
of Doctrine, by Harnack, Seebach, Loofs, Thomasius, Baur, Hagen- 
bach, Shedd, Sheldon, and Fisher: Dorner, *' The Person of Christ,*' 
Div. L, Vol. II. ; Conybeare, '• The Key of Truth," 1898 ; and arti« 
des on " Monarchianfsm," and on the various subordinate parties 
and their leaders in '* Dictionary of Christian Biography,'' and the 
Herzog-Hauck *' RuO-Etu^klopaduy 

The type of teaching represented by Theodotus and 
Paul of Samosata is commonly designated by German 

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writers Dynamistic Monarchianism, as distinguished from 
the Modalistic Monarchianism of Noetus, Praxeas, Sabel- 
liuSy and Beryllus. In the one case the man Jesus is re- 
garded as energized and exalted by the Divine Spirit, in 
the other the incarnation is regarded as only a mode of 
the Divine activity and manifestation. 

(i) Dynamistic Monarchianism. a. The t/llogoi. This 
term was applied by Epiphanius (c, 375) to those who 
in the second century opposed the Logos (Word) doc- 
trine of John's Gospel. They are said to have re- 
jected not only the fourth Gospel, but the Johannean 
Apocalypse and the Johannean Epistles as well. Epi- 
phanius relates that they- not only denied the eternity of 
the Logos as a person of the Godhead, but attributed the 
Johannean Gospel and Apocalypse to Cerinthus, who is 
elsewhere represented as the arch-enemy of the Apostle 
John. They sought to show that the Christology of the 
fourth Gospel was contradictory to that of the Synoptic 
Gospels, which, they claimed, know nothing of the 
eternal sonship. They are represented as having arisen 
in opposition to the Montanistic prophecy.* 

b. The first representative of Dynamistic Monarchian- 
ism whose views have been recorded is Theodoius of By- 
zantium, who sought to propagate his views in the Roman 
church, about 190. According to an anonymous writer,' 
Theodotus held to the supernatural birth of Jesus, but 
insisted that he was a *' mere man " until his baptism, 
when the Holy Spirit came upon him and bestowed upon 
him Divine attributes. This form of doctrine, known in 
the later times as Adoptionism, was condemned by the 
Roman Church. 

c. Paul of Samosata, bishop of Antioch (260 onward), 
was for some time a sort of viceroy to Queen Zenobia 
of Palmyra. About 269 he was excommunicated by a 
great provincial synod, after years of bitter controversy. 
After the fall of Zenobia (272), the Emperor Aurelian 
sustained the party that had the approval of the Italian 
bishops, and excluded Paul from the use of ecclesiastical 
property. His views were widely propagated in Meso- 

1 See Epiphanius, **Hmrts." so-S4* 

* By some supposed to have been Hlppolytus. by others Calus. The extant fraf- 
nents are published In Routh's " nuiifuitt Sacnr," English translation in Auto* 
Micene Library, American edition. Vol. v., p. 6oi, uq. 

Digitized by LjOOQ IC] internal development of CHRISTIANITY 199 

potamia and Armenia, and his name was probably per 
petuated in the great Paulician body, who have iiept 
alive his form of doctrine till the present century. Like 
Theodotus and his followers he insisted on the absolute 
unipersonality of God. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit 
are one God, one person. Logos and Wisdom are attri- 
butes or faculties of God. Christ was begotten of Mary 
by the Holy Spirit, and at his baptism was energized by 
the divine Logos (Word). Yet he refused to identify 
Christ with the Logos. Thus he regarded Jesus as a 
divinely begotten man, energized by the Holy Spirit (or 
the Logos) and so exalted to Divine dignity and honor. 
Of his efficiency as the Saviour of men he seems to 
have entertained no doubt. 

Only a few sentences from his writings have been 
preserved. The following are the most important, and 
may fairly represent his mode of thought : 

Having been anointed by the Holy Spirit, he (Jesus) was given 
the title of Christ. He suffered according to his nahire, he worked 
miracles according to grace. For by his unflinching, unblenched 
will and resolution he made himself like unto God ; and, having 
kept himself free from sin, he was made one with him, and was em- 
powered to take up, as it were, the power to perform miracles. By 
means of these he was shown to have one and the same energy in 
addition to the will (f. /., of God), and so received the title of Re- 
deemer and Saviour of our race. 

Again : 

The Saviour having approved himself holy and just, and having 
overcome by conflict and labor the sins of our forefather,— having 
won these successes by his virtue,— was joined with God, having by 
his progressive advances in goodness attained to one and the same 
will and energy with him. And having preserved the same undi- 
vided, he doth inherit the Name that is above every name, the reward 
of love that was vouchsafed to him. 

Again : 

The Word is greater than Christ, for Christ became great 
through wisdom. 

Again : 

Mary did not bring forth the Word, for Mary was not before the 
ages. But she brought forth a man on a level with ourselves. It if 

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the man that is anointed, not the Word. It is the Nazarene, our 
Lord, that was anointed.^ 

d. In the "t^cis of Archelaus,** purporting to be a 
record of a disputation between Archelaus, bishop of 
Karkhar, in Persia, and Mani, the heretical leader (latter 
part of third century), views similar to those of Paul of 
Samosata are set forth by the bishop. This fact would 
seem to indicate the prevalence of Adoptionist teaching 
in Persia and the neighboring parts of Armenia. '* Tell 
me," says Archelaus, "upon whom the Holy Spirit de- 
scended as a dove ? Also, who is it that was baptized 
by John ? If he was perfect, if he was Son, if he was 
virtue (i. e., Divine power), the Spirit could not have 
entered into him, inasmuch as one kingdom cannot enter 
into another. But whose voice sounding from heaven 
testified to him, saying : * This is my beloved Son in 
whom 1 am well pleased ' ? " 

Archelaus asserts the Adoptionist view of the person of 
Christ in opposition to the docetism of Mani and the 
Gnostics. The idea of a Divine incarnation seems to 
have been inseparable, in his mind, from the view that 
the humanity was a mere appearance. 

Regarding the persistence of the Adoptionist Christology in the 
East, see the section on the Paulidans in the next Period. 

The Theodotians are represented as seeking to substantiate their 
views by a critical study of the Old and New Testament Scriptures, 
and as being much given to the study of the logical and mathemat- 
ical works of the Greeks. They seem to have rejected the allegorical 
method of interpretation, and may be regarded as the forerunners of 
the Antiochian school. 

It will be noticed that this view of the person of Christ is In es- 
sential agreement with that of the Ebionites ; but there is no reason 
to suppose that Theodotus and his followers were related historically 
to the Judaizing heresy. The Adoptionist Christology seems to be 
Implied in the '^Shepherd " of Hermas, and possibly m Justin Mar- 
tyr's ''Dialogue with Trypho." It is probable that this type of 
teaching was eariy diffused in Mesopotamia, Persia, and Armenia. 
It was to become the prevailing form of teaching in Armenia, and to 
be perpetuated there by the Paulicians, who for centuries disputed 
the ground with the Gregorian party. 

(2) (Modalistic SMonarchianism. This term may be 
used to include the views of Noetus and Sabellius, com- 

^ Cf. Conybcfo-e. " The Key of Trutb/' bitrodiictivii. p. xcfv.. «cf. 

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bated by Hippolytus, those of Praxeas, elaborately re- 
futed by Tertullian, and those of Beryllus of Bostra, 
whom Origen convinced of his error. 

a. About 195, Praxeas, who had suffered severely for 
the faith in Asia Minor, visited Rome in order to prevent 
the recognition of the Montanists by the Roman bishop. 
When Victor, who had been favorably impressed by the 
representations of the Montanists, was on the point of 
giving them letters of commendation, Praxeas succeeded, 
as Tertullian puts it, in expelling the Paraclete and cru- 
cifying the Father, 1. ^., in causing the condemnation of 
the Montanists, who claimed to be the organs of the 
Paraclete, and in spreading his Patripassian heresy. It 
does not appear that he gained many followers in Rome, 
but he visited Carthage afterward, and his propaganda 
there was very successful. About 210, Tertullian, now 
a Montanist, put forth the most powerful polemic against 
this type of teaching that the age produced. 

b. Noetus of Smyrna sought to propagate similar views 
either in Smyrna or in Ephesus, about the time of 
Praxeas' visit to Rome. When, some years after, he 
was condemned and excommunicated by the presbyters 
of his community, he claimed that he was guilty of noth- 
ing but "glorifying Christ." His disciple, Epigonus, 
propagated his views in Rome {c. 200 onward). The 
bishop, Zephyrinus, and his coadjutor and successor, 
Callistus, according, to Hippolytus, secretly aided the 
propaganda. Cleomenes became one of the most active 
of the propagandists. Sabellius was won over to this 
mode of thought, notwithstanding the earnest efforts of 
Hippolj^us to save him from this fate. Callistus, when 
he became bishop (217), felt obliged to condemn Sabel- 
lius, but is represented by Hippolytus as fostering a 
similar form of teaching. 

It is difficult to get at the exact form in which Modalistic 
Monarchianism was taught by this party. We are almost 
wholly dependent on their adversaries, who wrote with 
such passion that we cannot but suspect unfairness of 
representation. They evidently regarded men like Hip- 
polytus and Tertullian, who insisted on the absolute 
Deity of Christ, and yet distinguished him from the 
Father, as ditheists. They were equally convinced of the 

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absolute Deity of Christ, but they refused to distinguish 
between Father and Son as different personalities. They 
identified Christ with the Father, and did not hesitate to 
attribute to God as God whatever can be attributed to 
God incarnate, including birth, suffering, and death. 
Hence the designation ** Patripassian." 

For further information about the Modalistic MonarchianSt see tha 
sections on Hlppolytus and Tertullian in the next chapter. 


I. Tbe Mantatdsts. 

LITERATURE : Tertullian, Montanistic writings, esp. *' TV Cb- 

** Di MoHogamia^'^ *' 'D# PudicUiai^ *' 7)/ Jmrnm^^ '* 'D# yirgmibMS 
yslandis'' ^* T)$ Pallm " (Eng. tr. in Ante-Nicene Library) ; Euse- 
bius. " Church History/' V., 14-18 (based upon earlier documents; 
McUiffert's notes are of great value); Epiphanius, **//«r.," 48 
and 49 ; Sozomen, *' Church History,^' 11., yi. Pressensi '* Her. 
and Chr. Doctr.." p. loi, ssq, ; Mossman, '^History of the Early 
Christian Church.,'' p. 401, uq.; Neander, Vol. L, p. 508, ssq.; 
Schaff, Vol. 11., p. 40$, s$q.; Moeller. Vol. I., p. if;6, seq.; Bon- 
wetsch, **G$sch. dss Montanisfims** ; Hamack, *^ Dopiungssckicku" 
Bd. 1., Siit, 3C^, siq. ; Hilgenfeld, ** Ktturgiseh.^** SmT. {OI. ssq. ; 
De Soyr^ *^Montanism and the Primitive Church"; Bishop of 
Bristol, '*The Ecclesiastical History of the Second and Third Cen- 
tury"; Uhlhom, "Conflict Between Christianity and Heathen- 

ism " ; Rltschl, ** AHkath. Kirchi,'' Sift. UM^^, siq. ; Baur, *' Church 
History of the Three First Centuries,'* Vol. I., p. 245, «f.. Vol. II., 

Kirchi d. {Wiitm JahrhumUrts" ; art '^Montanism" In the encyclo- 
pedias referred to above. 

(i) Characteristics of Mantanism. We may regard 
Montanism : j. As a reactionary movement against the 
innovations that were being introduced into the churches 
through the influence of Gnosticism and of paganism in 
general ; especially against the emphasizing or knowledge 
at the expense of faith, against laxity of discipline in 
the churches, and consequently of morals in the members, 
against the merging of the churches in the world, against 
the growth of hierarchy, against the growing disbelief in 
contemporaneous special providences and revelations. 

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CHAP, il] internal development of CHRISTIANITY 203 

b. As a movement Judaistic in its tendencies : not in 
the sense of exalting Judaism above Christianity, for 
the Montanists are decided in their preference fof Chris- 
tianity as a higher stage of divine revelation than Juda- 
ism ; nor in the sense of adhering to Jewish forms and 
customs, for many things approved of in the Old Testa- 
ment, as repeated marriages, the use of wine, etc., are' 
reprobated by the Montanists ; nor in the sense of Ebio- 
nitic denial of the divinity of Christ, for they maintained 
this most persistently. But in spirit the J^tontanists were 
Judaistic. They were legalists, attempting to make re- 
ligion to consist largely in outward observances. They 
regarded themselves as occupying a position similar to 
that of the prophets of the'pld Testament, with thei. 
ecstatic visions, etc. 

c. We may say, that while in a sense Montanism 
was a reaction against innovation, it was yet innovating 
in its tendencies, and anticipated the post-Nicene churches 
that consider;»(r themselves ** Catholic " in many of its 
most distinctive features. In general, the very features 
of Montanism which led to its rejection by the churches 
of the time were, within two centuries, part and parcel 
of the doctrine of these churches: e.g., exaltation of 
virginity and widowhood, arbitrary division of sins into 
mortal and venial, undue exaltation of martyrdom, etc. 

d. Hence, Montanism may be regarded as in one sense 
a forerunner of later reformatory bodies, but in a more 
important sense as a forerunner of the ascetic Christianity 
of the fourth and following centuries. 

e. The Montanists exaggerated the opposition between 
Christianity and the world. They had an almost Gnostic 
contempt for the flesh,^ and believed that sensual pleasure 
of any sort was hurtful to the spiritual life. The present 
life they regarded as of no consequence except as a time 
of preparation for the life beyond. Montanism was, 
therefore, an impracticable system. In the nature of 
things, Christianity, in that form, could never become a 
universal religion. 

/. Montanism may be contrasted with Gnosticism thus : 
Gnosticism was occupied chiefly with speculations as to 
the origin of the universe ; Montanism with speculations 
as to the approaching end of the world. 

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g. Montanism may be contrasted with Catholicism o\ 
the time thus: Montanism insisted upon holiness — a 
legalistic and arbitrary holiness, it is true — at the ex- 
pense of catholicity ; Catholicism, vice versa .^ 

(2) Origin of Montanism. Montanism, as an organized 
party, originated in Phrygia, about 135-160. Montanus, 
with two women, Priscilla and Maximilla, claimed to have 
been especially enlightened by the Paraclete ; and to 
have been divinely commissioned to proclaim the setting 
up of the kingdom of Christ on earth and to inveigh 
against the laxity and worldliness of the churches of the 
time. Their denunciation of the clergy, whom they 
stigmatized as psychical in contrast with their own spirit- 
uality, aroused the opposition of the clergy and the less 
earnest laymen. The Montanists were cut off from 
the communion of many Phrygian churches. Believing 
themselves to be the only true apostolic Christians, they 
appealed to their brethren at Rome and elsewhere for 
recognition. The Roman Church was about to recog- 
nize them, but owing to unfavorable representations o* 
their doctrines and practices by Praxeas, noted for Patri- 
passian views of the Godhead, the recognition failed and 
the prophets were rejected. The Montanists, against 
their desire and original intention, were thus forced into 
the position of schismatics. The movement was one 
that appealed forcibly to the more earnest Christians 
throughout the empire, and Montanistic churches multi- 
plied in Asia Minor, in Proconsular Africa, and in the 
remote East. 

The Phrygians were strongly predisposed to extravagance in 
religion. Their worship of Cybeie was grossly immoral, and was 
accomi>anied by ecstatic visions, wild frenzy, and fearful self* 
mutilations. The enthusiastic, perhaps fanatical, character of early 
Montanism may have been due in part to this national characteristic. 

(3) Doctrines of the Montanists. In general, the Mon- 
tanists did not differ widely in point of belief from the 
orthodox churches of the time. Says Tertullian : * *' They 
[the psychical] make controversy with the Paraclete; 
on account of this the new prophecies are rejected, not 

1 The Ust two observations are substantially Baur's. 
• ''Dtltfumis:* Book I. C/. " Dt Virg, VelM ' " ~ 
4», x; FInallianus. in Cyprian. "i^./'LXXV. 

• *'CUjefumisr Book I. C/. "Dtyirg. yelamdtsr Book H. ; Eplpbanlus, "H^rr./ 

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that Montanus and Priscilla and Maximilla preach another 
God, nor that they do away with Jesus Christ, nor that 
they overthrow any rule of faith or hope." We can 
best get at their peculiarities of view by observing the 
charges made against them by their adversaries. 

a. One of the most distinctive features of the Mon- 
tanists is their doctrine of the Paraclete. They claimed to 
be the recipients, while in a state of ecstasy, of special 
divine revelations. They supposed that in their time 
and in them was fulfilled the saying of Christ: '' I have 
still many things to say to you, but you cannot bear 
them now, but when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he 
will guide you into the whole truth," etc. Accordingly, 
they regarded their own dreaming as of more importance 
than the written word. Says Tertullian:* "If Christ 
abolished what Moses taught, because from the beginning 
it was not so (Matt. 19 : 8), . . why should not the 
Paraclete abolish what Paul indulged, because second 
marriage also was not from the beginning ? " 

h. The points in which they claimed to be especially 
instructed by the Paraclete are chiefly those in which 
the Scriptures are not sufficiently ascetical, showing that 
the most fundamental thing was their legalistic asceticism, 
and that the Paraclete was with them an expedient for 
obviating the authority of Scripture in favor of greater 

c. To particularize: The Montanists claimed the au- 
thority of the Paraclete for making second marriages 
equivalent to adultery, and hence mortal sin, which the 
church is incompetent to forgive ; for rejecting entirely the 
use of wine and insisting on frequent and long-continued 
fasts, especially the xerophagies (or abstinence from moist 
food of any kind) ; for making flight in persecution or de- 
nial of the faith under at^ circumstances mortal (by the 
church unpardonable) sin; for expecting the speedy end of 
the present dispensation. Indeed j the motive for the Mon- 
tanistic asceticism was the vivid expectation of the end 
of the world. 

d. As indicated above, the Montanists drew a definite 
line — ^first, so far as we know — ^between morial and venial 

" Oe MoMgrnua^ Chap. m. 

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sins: the former comprising homicide, idolatry, fraud, 
negation (of the faith), blasphemy, adultery, and forni- 
cation ; the latter embracing all those minor sins to which 
every Christian is continually subject. The former are 
irremissible, so far as the churches are concerned ; the 
latter are forgiven through the advocacy of Christ. 

(4) Influence of Montanism on the Church. Few of the 
teachings and practices for which the Montanists are dis* 
tinguished were new creations of the Montanists. Special 
prophetical gifts, e.g.^ are spoken of by Justin Martyr 
and Irenseus as appearing in their time, and millenari- 
anism was by no means peculiar to Montanism. But the 
Montanists brought forward their ideas and claims in an 
enthusiastic and one-sided way, having been aroused to 
fanaticism by the increasing corruption and worldliness 
of the churches. As worldliness and corruption con- 
tinued to increase, so reactionary movements continued 
to appear until, when the great churches as such were 
thoroughly secularized by the union of Church and State, 
the reactionary spirit culminated, as we shall see here- 
after, in monasticism. 

2: The Naoatianists. 

LITERATURE: Cyprian/* £)».," 41-52; Euscblus, " Ch. Hist.," 
Bk. VI., Chap. 43, 45 ; Bk. VIL, Chap. 8; Socrates, " Ch. Hist.," 
Bk. IV., Chap. 28; Padanus, " 5*. Trn Cauir, Nov,"; (the extant 
writings of Novatian do not touch specifically upon the distinctive 
features of Novatianism) : Neander, Vol. I. j)p. 237-248 ; Gieseler, 
Vol. 1., p. 2$4 ; Moeller, Vol. I., p. 263, s#a. ; Tlllemont, ** Memoirgs^** 
Tom. lll.,pp, 189, 209, 346, 353 ; Walch, ** Kit^srhistoru,*' Bd. U., Sn'l. 
185-310; KitschU **Mtka$h, Kirche,'' S*ii. 331;, 538, 575; Haraack, 
** Dogimngisch^" Bd,L^ Snt. 339, siq, ; encyclopedias as above, swft. w>c. 

(I) Characteristics of Novatianism. a. After what has 
been said of Montanism, it will not be necessary to dis- 
cuss Novatianism at length. Novatianism was Montanism 
reappearing under peculiar circumstances and in another 
age. Many of the Montanistic ideas had been absorbed 
by the general churches. The prophetic spirit could not 
long sustain itself. After the time of Tertullian we hear 
nothing of prophetic claims. Nor does this feature of 
Montanism reappear in Novatianism. 

b. Novatianism was a striving after ecclesiastical purity, 
perverted by the Montanistic legalism. The churches 

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CHAP. 1l] internal development of CHRISTIANITY 207 

must be made pure and kept pure by the rigorous exclu- 
sion of all who have at any time committed one of the 
particular sins which were arbitrarily classed as "mor- 
tal," especially negation of the faith. 

(2) Origin of Novatianism. So far as the Novatianist 
party was a new party, it originated as follows : During 
the Decian persecution, many Christians in all parts of 
the empire denied the faith. At the close of the perse- 
cution, it was a most important question with the churches 
how to deal with the multitudes who now clamored for 
readmission. The laxer party, which was at this time 
predominant at Rome, was in favor of readmitting them 
without much delay or ceremony. An influential party, 
led by Novatian, opposed this laxity, and when they 
failed to carry their point in the church, withdrew, No- 
vatian becoming bishop of the protesting party. The 
Novatianists had the sympathy of a large element in the 
North African churches, and they soon formed there a 
strong organization. In North Africa and in Asia Minor 
they probably absorbed most of the Montanistic party, 
which was still important. This was certainly the case 
in Phrygia, the original home of Montanism. Nova- 
tianist congregations persisted till the flfth century or 

(3) Doctrines and Practices, a. In matters of doctrine 
and church organization, the Novatianists were at one 
with the general churches. Novatian himself wrote one 
of the ablest treatises of the period on the doctrine of the 
Trinity. It was the matter of discipline alone, the con- 
ditions of church-membership and the competency of the 
churches to forgive certain specific sins, that furnished 
occasion for the schism. 

b. Believing the general churches of the time to be 
apostate, they naturally rejected their ordinances, and re- 
baptiied those that came to them from churches with 
which they did not affiliate. 

c. The doctrine of baptismal regeneration had become 
almost universal by this time, and the Novatianists held to 
it so tenaciously as to regard it as a matter of the utmost 
consequence, not only that every Christian should be 
baptized, but also that he should be baptized by a prop- 
erly qualified person. 

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3. The Donatists. 

Literature : Optatus MUevitanus, *' D$ SehtsmaU DottaHOarmm,*^ 
Lib. VIL, ed. Dupin (this edition contains also a collection of docu- 
ments relating to the history of the Donatists) ; Au^stine, various 
treatises against the Donatists ( Eng. tr. by Kin^, edited, with elabo- 
rate introductory essay, by Hartranft, in Nicene and Post-Nic. 
Fathers, first ser., Vol. IV. ) : Norisius, " Hist, Donatistanm "; Hefele, 
"Councils," Vol. I. and \U passim; Hardouin, " Gw«?.,'^ VoL L, 
passim ; Neander, Vol. II., pp. 214-2^2 ; Schaff , Vol. III., p. 560, stq. ; 
Ribbeck, ^^ Donaius und Augustinus'^ : Bindemann, ^^DirhiH, Augus- 
tim*s," 'Bd. II., Siit. 366, 5#a. ; Bd. III., S^rt. 178-353 ; Voltcr, " Ur^ 
sprung d, Dtmatismus" ; Walch, ^'Historii dsr Ktt^trsim*' 'Bd. IV. ; 
'Roux, '* D$ Atuatstino, Mdxfirsario DoHatistanm " ; Tillemont. '^ M#- 
fiw^#s," Tom.N\. ; art. in the " Prcsb. Rev.," 1884, by T. V/. Hop- 
kins ; Loofs, " Dogmgngesch,^^ SiiU 205, seq, ; Thummd, " Zur Beur- 
ihiilmg d, DoHoiismusr 1893 » Seeck, ** QuilUn u, Urktmdm Hber d, 
Anfimg4 d. Donaiismus " (in ^* Zsitschr, /. Kirchtngssch.,'* 1889) ; Reu- 
ter, ^^Augustin. Stttditn"; Deutsch, *' Dr^i AcUnstucks ptr Gesch, d. 
Donaiismus^* ; art. " Donatism," in encyclopedias referred to above. 
The art. by Bonwetsch in the third ed. of the Herzog-Hauck " R. £.," 
Bd. IV., Siit. 788-798, 1898, is of special value and brings the litera- 
ture up to date. 

(i) Characteristics, a. The Donatists follow in the 
same general line with the Montanists and the Novatian- 
ists. Like the earlier bodies they were concerned chiefly 
with questions of ecclesiastical discipline; and, as in the 
earlier movements, their scrupulosity was based upon a 
narrow legalism. 

b. The Donatists may properly be called the High 
Churchmen of the fifth century. Like many High Church- 
men of modern times -they were distinguish^ for their 
earnestness and zeal. 

c. Their protests against the corruptions of the churches 
were entirely justified, but the spirit of their protests seems 
to have been more hopelessly at variance with true spir- 
itual Christianity than that of their comparatively lax and 
indifferent opponents. 

(2) Origin. The Donatists arose after the Diocletian 
persecution. Those who delivered up the Scriptures 
during persecution were stigmatized by the strict party 
as *'traditors.'* The strict party could not endure the 
presence of traditors in the churches, especially as offi- 
cers. As traditors had committed a sin which they 
felt that the churches had no right to pardon, they re- 

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garded ordinances performed by such persons as invalid, 
and churches in which they were tolerated as un- 
worthy of Christian fellowship. Mensurius, bishop of 
Carthage, when called on to deliver up the Scriptures, 
was reported to have put in their place some heretical 
writings, and to have hidden the Scriptures themselves. 
He and Cscilian, his deacon, used all their influence 
against the fanaticism which led so many needlessly to 
throw themselves into the hands of the persecutors. 
They also sought to check superstition as it was coming 
to be manifested in the worship of relics, In 311. 
Mensurius died, and Caecilian became candidate for the 
episcopate. In Numidia, several influential pastors, es- 
pecially Donatus, of Casse Nigrse, and Secundus, of 
Tigisis, had taken strong ground against traditors. A 
wealthy lady, Lucilla, much given to the veneration of 
martyrs and their relics, was at the head of the opposi- 
tion in Carthage. The Carthaginian presbyters were 
almost all opposed to Csecilian. The Numidian bishops, 
who were accustomed to take part in the consecration 
of the bishop of Carthage, were sent for by the party 
of Lucilla, and meetings were held in her house. 
Csecilian knowing that he would be opposed by these 
bishops, got himself hurriedly ordained by a neighboring 
bishop, Felix, of Aptunga. The Numidian bishops de- 
clared Cxcilian deposed, and elected Majorinus. There 
were now two rival bishops of Carthage, each with a 
strong following, and the utmost bitterness prevailed 
between the two parties. The schism thus begun at 
Carthage, spread all over North Africa. Much of the 
earlier Montanism and Novatianism was probably ab- 
sorbed by the new party. Indeed, the party can hardly 
be called new. It was simply a fresh manifestation of 
the strict tendency as opposed to increasing laxity in the 

(3) Doctrines and Practices, a. They insisted on rigor- 
ous ecclesiastical discipline, and pure church-membership. 
b. They rejected unworthy ministers, c. They protested 
against civil interference in matters of religion. This 
feature, however, was developed only after they had 
despaired of obtaining the support of the civil power. 
The evils of State Interference must be experienced 


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before the system could be vigorously combated, d. 
They practised episcopacy in the same sense and to the 
same extent as it prevailed in the general churches of 
the time ; though the dioceses were for the most part very 
small, and many bishops were pastors of single churches. 
e. They believed in baptismal regeneration and in the 
necessity of baptism to salvation. In this they went 
beyond the Catholics themselves, maintaining that the 
human nature of Christ himself needed to be cleansed 
by baptism. Their most prominent characteristic, that 
of baptizing anew those that had already been baptized, 
whether in infancy or not, by those whom they regarded 
as unworthy, is evidence of the fact that they regarded 
the salvation of the soul as depending on the administra- 
tion of the ordinance by a blameless person. /. They 
practised infant baptism. This they were probably more 
scrupulous in doing than the general churches, in accord- 
ance with their more vivid sense of its necessity, g. 
They were intolerant and bigoted. This, however, was 
in a large measure due to the harsh treatment that they 
received at the hands of their opponents.* 

iThe lAttr history of the Donatlsts will b« foand In the next p«rio4. 

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LITERATURE: Original texts In MIgne's *' Patrohgia" and in 
critical editions to be referred to under eacii autlior ; English trans- 
lations in '• The Ante-Niccne Fathers," lo vols. New Yorl<. 1885- 
q/S ; Hamack, *' Giseh, d. AlicktisiU Litteraiur his ^ Eus^biusy 1893 
onward (Part 1. consists of a comprehensive survey of the entire 
body of extant Christian literature so far as it had come to light at 
the time of writing, with full critical information regarding each 
document. Part IL, of which the first volume was issued in i8g7< 
treats of the chronology of these literary remains. This monumental 
work is beins prepared under the auspices of the Royal Prussian 
Academy of Sciences) ; Gebhardt and Harnack, ** Ttxt4 und Unter- 
suchungm " (This learned work, still in progress, consists of mono- 
graphs b}^ various scholars on various literary monuments of this 
age, especially on newly discovered documents and such as are of 
uncertain date and authorship. Fifteen volumes have already ap- 
peared); Robinson, ** Texts and Studies" (an English series of 
monographs by different writers similar to Ihe German series just 
referred to, stifl in course of publication) ; Cruttwell, '* A Literary 
History of Early Christianity," 1893 ; Rriiger, ** History of Eariy 
Christian Literature in the First Three Centuries," English transla- 
tion, 1898 ; Donaldson, " A Critical History of Christ. Literaturr 
and Doctr. from the Death of the Apostles to the Nicene Council," 
1866; Farrar, " Lives of the Fathers." 


I. The Importance of this Literature. 

The Christian literature of the first three centuries 
stands next to that of the apostolic age not only in time 
but also in importance. Some of the writings to be 
here considered belong to the apostolic age and may be 
earlier than some of the New Testament books, espe- 
cially the Johannean Gospel and Apocalypse. The im- 
portance of this literature is obvious from the following 
considerations : 

(i) The distinct inferiority of the very best of it to any 
of the New Testament books is strongly confirmatory of 
the belief that the selection and the preservation of the 


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latter no less than their original writing was presided over 
by Divine Providence. 

(2) This literature is our only source of information as 
to the process by which apostolic Christianity was trans- 
formed in doctrine, polity, life, worship, and institutions 
into the Christianity of the fourth century, and by which 
Christianity became so widespread, powerful, and secu- 
larized as to gain recognition as the religion of the State. 

(3) These writings contain all the available information 
regarding the use of the New Testament Scriptures in 
the churches of the first three centuries and reveal the 
process by which, and the influences under which, the 
books now included in our canon secured recognition as 
the authoritative record of the revelation of the New 
Covenant to the exclusion of all others. 

(4) This literature is remarkably varied as regards 
form, contents, and type of teaching, and is a true mir- 
ror of the diversified forms that Christianity assumed in 
its contact and conflict with the Jewish and the pagan 

2. divisions of Early Christian Literature. 

We may divide early Christian literature as follows : 
(i) The edificatory period. (2) The apologetic period. 
(3) The polemical period. (4) The scientific period. We 
shall find that the order of division is at the same time 
logical and chronological. 

(i) An Obscure and Quiet Growth. It was natural and 
necessary that Christianity should have an obscure and 
quiet growth before it should get bold enough to defend 
itself publicly, or at least before it could hope for a pub- 
lic hearing. Moreover, in the age immediately succeed- 
ing the apostolic age Christianity had in its ranks few 
men of philosophical culture who could have been ex- 
pected to attempt the public defense of their religion. 
The shock received by the Christians from the atrocities 
of Nero, repeated in a somewhat milder form by Domi- 
tian, would have deterred them in any case from attempt- 
ing to influence the government in their favor. 

(2) Warding off Attacks. Again, it was natural, after 
Christianity had made considerable progress and had 
won to its support a number of cultured minds, that it 

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should devote its attention to warding off the attacks of 
its enemies and to setting forth to those in authority its 
true character, and should abstain as far as practicable 
from public attacks on heathen doctrines and practices. 
Not all of the apologists, as we shall see, were able en- 
tirely to refrain from ridiculing the absurdities and de- 
nouncing the terrible evils that were involved in the 
polytheistic worship of the time ; but in general their at- 
titude was that of suppliants for mercy. 

(3) A voice of Condemnation. Again, it was natural, 
after Christianity had grown strong enough to regard 
itself and to be regarded as a mighty rival of paganism 
and as destined soon to supplant it, that it should lift up 
its voice in condemnation of the corruptions of paganism, 
especially as the Christians themselves were continually 
tempted to wrong-doing by the presence of heathen prac- 
tices. Heresy, moreover, was aggressive and must be 
vanquished. Most of the polemical literature is directed 
against false forms of teaching. 

(4) e/f Scientific Study of Christianity. Again, it was 
necessary that Christianity should have gained not sim- 
ply a firm foothold, but should have had a period of com- 
parative quiet and immunity from persecution, before 
a scientific study of the sacred books and an applica- 
tion to them of the philosophical modes of thought that 
belonged to the highest culture of the age should take 
place. This scientific study of Christianity was pro- 
moted by attacks upon Christianity by heretics and pa- 
gans and the general interest that cultivated men of all 
classes were beginning to show in Christianity. Men 
who were thoroughly familiar with Greek philosophy 
and with Gnostic speculations naturally sought to ex- 
hibit Christianity as the only true philosophy. 


I. General Characteristics. 

(i) Informal Utterances. The writings that fall under 
this head are simple, informal utterances of pious faith. 
No attempt is made at a systematic exhibition of Chris- 
tian doctrine, any more than in the New Testament. 

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(2) No Knowledge of Pagan Philosophy. These writers 
betray no knowledge of pagan philosophy, hence no 
polemics against paganism occur. Little allusion is made 
to heresies. Such already existed, to be sure, but the 
writings that have come down to us are too much occu- 
pied with the internal interests of religion to allow of 
their entering formally upon their refutation ; and few of 
the writers possessed the requisite learning for effec- 
tively meeting the theosophical errors of the time. 

(3) These Writings Shaw us Christianity at IVorh. Indi- 
vidual responsibility is everywhere recognized. There 
is evidence that the missionary spirit was still thoroughly 
energetic. The type of piety represented in these writ- 
ings is for the most part healthy and in accordance with 
the New Testament. 

(4) Revere Old Testament. While these writers quote 
freely and lovingly from the New Testament books, it is 
the Old Testament that they reverence most of all, and 
to this only is final appeal made in support of doctrine. 
In other words, they use the New Testament for sub- 
stance of doctrine, but the Old Testament for proof. 
The necessity that they felt of finding the whole of 
Christianity in the Old Testament led them to apply the 
allegorical method of interpretation in the most arbitrary 
manner. In this they but followed the example of the 
Alexandrian Jews and of contemporary pagan writers. 

2. Individual Writings. 

{i)Ths First EpisHs of CUmttU of Ronu to iJu Corinthian Church. 

Literature : In addition to works referred to above, " Patrum 
Apostolicorum Op^ra^^ ed. Gebhardt, Hamack, and Zahn (this is 
by far the best edition of the " Apostolic Fathers." It contains pro- 
legomena, Latin translations, with ample notes and critical appara- 
tus) ; Wrede, *^ Untersuchungtn turn Erstm CUmtnsbriif^^ 1801; 
Lerame. in •* tKmJahrhJ, DoAsehi ThsoU^^^ 1892, Siit. 375, s#^. ; Light- 
foot, '• S. Clement of Ffome " (the best edition of the cp., with Eng. 
trans, and all necessary apparatus); Zahn, in ^"^ Zeitschrift fur d. 
Hist. Theol.;' 1869: Gebhardt, in ^' Ztitschrift, fur Ktreh.-Gtsch.,'' 
1876 ; Wicseler, in ^'jahrhikhtr fur Dmtuhs Thiol.J^ 1875 ; encyclo- 
pedias before referred to, art. ** Clement of Rome.'' 

a. Authorship. The grounds for assigning the epistle 
to Clement are not decisive. The letter is addressed by 

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** the church of God that sojourns at Rome to the church 
of God that sojourns at Corinth." Dionysius of Corinth, 
about 170, is the earliest known witness to its Clemen- 
tine authorship.^ Irenxus relates that, during the epis- 
copate of Clement, the church of Rome sent a most ap- 
propriate letter to the Corinthians, exhorting them to 
peace and renewing their faith and calling to their re- 
membrance the tradition that they had recently received 
from the apostles. He further relates that this Clement 
was the third in order of the Roman bishops, having 
been preceded by Linus, appointed by the apostles, and 
by Anacletus, and that Clement himself had seen the 
apostles and associated with them. The statement of 
Irenxus seems probable enough. According to this 
writer the epistle was still being used in religious serv- 
ices by the Corinthian church in his time. 

Eusebius, whose chief authority on this point was 
probably Irenseus, but who also refers to Hegesippus, 
who had visited the Corinthian church in the latter part 
of the second century, may be wrong in ascribing the 
epistle to Clement individually. In Eusebius' time such 
a letter would have been sent by the bishop, as lord of 
his church. Hence he may have inferred that Clement, 
being bishop of the Roman church, himself wrote it. 
As one of the most influential and intelligent members 
of the church he may have prepared the letter, but if so, 
he did it as the representative of the church ; hence the 
superscription. But supposing the letter to have been 
written by Clement, pastor of the Roman church in the 
time of Domitian, there is no absolute proof that this was 
the Clement mentioned by Paul in Phil. 4 : 3. The 
name was a very common one. 

Some modern writers (Lipslus, Voikmar, Erbes, Hasendever) 
have sought to identify Clement, me Roman bishop or presbyter, to 
whom the authorship of the epistie has been attributed, with Flavius 
Clemens, the consul and relative of the emperor, who suffered mar- 
tyrdom under Domitian. This identification has been strongly op- 
posed by Zahn, Wieseler, Funk, Harnack, and Uhlhorn.' 

There has been much difference of opinion as to whether the writer 
of the epistie was a Jewish or a Gentile Christian. Lightfoot and 
Lemme contend for the former view, Harnack and Wrede for the 

^ Etttebitts. Blc IV.. chap. as. 
> $f« Uhlhorn, In «* RuUBn^MopSuiitr ttiird td., &f. IV., MU 16$. Mf. 

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latter, while Uhihorn thinks the considerations adduced on neither 
side decisive. 

b. T)ate of the Epistle. This is a disputed point, but 
it may be assigned, with some probability, to a time be- 
tween A. D. 93 and 97. 

{a) Reasons for believing it not earlier than 93 : First, It 
must have been written considerably after the death of 
Peter and Paul, for their martyrdom is treated as a mat- 
ter of history (chap. 5). So also their activity (chap. 42, 
etc.). Secondly, No mention is made of the strife be- 
tween Jewish and Gentile Christians that had formerly 
prevailed at Rome and Corinth. Some time must have 
elapsed since Paul wrote his Epistles. Thirdly, The 
Corinthian church is spoken of (chap. 47) as ancient. 

(b) Reasons for believing it not later than 07 : First, The 
martyrdom of Peter and Paul is spoken of as belonging 
to our generation. Secondly, Presbyters are represented 
as still living who were appointed by the apostles. 
Thirdly, No mention is made of the disturbances created 
by Gnostics in the Roman church early in the second 
century. Fourthly, The Roman church is represented as 
having just come out of great tribulation (chap. i). As 
there is no intimation that the Corinthians suffered at the 
same time, this persecution could hardly be the wide- 
spread one under Trajan, but was most probably a local 
persecution under Domitian (93-97). 

c. Abstract of the Epistle. A sedition had arisen in the 
Corinthian church. A certain faction had deposed, with** 
out just grounds, some presbyters of the church. The 
writer begins, after the salutation, with excusing the 
delay of the Roman church in responding to the request 
for advice (the excuse being the severe persecution to 
which the Romans had been subjected), and calls atten- 
tion to the high repute in which the Corinthian church 
had hitherto stood. The sedition is attributed to the 
pride that follows prosperity. Part of the church had 
become jealous of the other part. The evil effects of 
jealousy are shown from numerous Old Testament ex- 
amples. Jealousy lay at the root of the persecutions in 
which Peter, Paul, etc., suffered martyrdom. That 
there is room for repentance on the part of the offenders 
19 shown from Old Testament examples. The Cprin- 

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thians are exhorted to humility in view of the Messianic 
passage (Isa. 53), and of the example of many Old Tes- 
tament heroes. God is long-suffering and will forgive 
the penitent. Yet he is a God of order. He keeps the 
universe in order. If the Corinthians would act worthily 
of such a God, they must do all things in order and 

General directions follow as to the respect due to pres- 
byters. As a motive for guarding against sedition the 
Corinthians are reminded of the second coming of the 
Lord and of the resurrection. The resurrection is proved 
by the argument from analogy (day — ^night ; seed — ^plant ; 
the Phoenix, etc.). 

God's blessing is to be found in faith, but not without 

The Roman army, in which each member has a par- 
ticular place allotted, and contributes to the completeness 
and strength of the whole, should be an example to the 
church. The Christian ministry is compared to the 
Levitical priesthood as regards order, etc. Christ was 
sent from God, the apostles from Christ. These ap- 
pointed bishops and deacons, and indicated others to suc- 
ceed, in case the first should die. Now the Corinthians 
have removed some holy men from service. The influ- 
ence of one or two men of no consequence has led to the 
deposition of men appointed by the apostles. This has 
given an occasion to the enemies of the gospel to blas- 
pheme the Lord's name. The seditious should confess 
their sins. Such confession is shown to be noble from 
Old Testament examples. They should be willing, in 
order to avoid strife, to retire to whatever place the 
church may wish. The authority of the presbyters 
should be respected, especially of such as were appointed 
by the apostles. 

The Roman letter was manifestly based upon the ixparU state- 
ments of the aggrieved presbyters. It is very possible ^at the 
younger men, who had gained influence enough in the church to 
secure the removal of the old presbyters from office, would have 
been able in some measure to justify their successful efforts for a 
change in the administration. It is conceivable that the old presby- 
ters had come to presume too much on their apostolic appointment, 
and were disposed to be arbitrary, or had become inefficient because 
Of a|;e. 

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d. Theology of the Epistle. Whatever of a theological 
nature occurs in the epistle is entirely practical and not 

God is spoken of as the ** great Creator and Lord of 
all," **the all holy Framer and Father of the ages" ; 
" his energy pervades all the operations of nature " ; his 
forbearance, mercy, and love are emphasized. 

Christ is most commonly designated as ** our Lord 
J^sus Christ." He is described as the reflection or ra- 
diance of God's greatness. He was "sent by God." 
"His blood was given for us." "On account of the 
love which he had unto us, Jesus Christ gave his own 
blood for us, and his flesh for our flesh, and his soul for 
our soul." 

The nearest approach to a doctrine of the Trinity in 
Clement is in chap. 46 : " Have we not one God, and 
one Christ, and one spirit of grace which was poured out 
upon us, and one calling in Christ ? " 

Salvation is represented as being in and through Christ, 
but is also connected with the fear of God and with love 
(chap. 48 ; 21 : I ; 22). 

The idea of a church in this epistle is that of a well- 
ordered assemblage composed of members possessed of 
equal rights and privileges, all of whom are essential to 
each other as parts of the body to the body, but some of 
whom being more highly gifted, are to direct the less intel- 
ligent and less gifted (chap. 37). Only two classes of offi- 
cers are recognized, bishops or presbyters and deacons. 
No class is recognized as having an inherent right to con- 
trol the church ; but the opinion is expressed that those 
who were appointed by an apostle, with the consent of the 
church, and who had performed their duties blamelessly, 
ought not to be deposed. 

Remark.— The so-called Second Epistle of Clement, now almost 
universally regarded as a fragment of a homily, was probably writ- 
ten not earlier than A. D. 130, and hence cannot well be the work of 
Clement, the third pastor of the Roman church. The Clementine 
"Recognitions" and "Homilies" ascribed to Clement of Rome, 
have been described sufficiently in the section on the Ebionites. 
These were probably written about a century after Clement's time. 
The " Epistles to Virgins " is a still later forgery, representing the 
full-fledged ascetical spirit of the third century. A number of other 
writin^^s were set forth under the name of this author, as the " L<t« 

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ter to James," the " Dialogue of Peter and Aplon," an address *' To 
tbe Holy Spirit," etc.* 

{2) Th4 EpistU of Barnabas. 

LITERATURE: See in addition to authorities cited above, full 
bibliography in Gebhardt, Hamacic, and Zahn, and in Lightfoot 

a. t/tuthorship. The Epistle has often been ascribed 
to Barnabas, the fellow-laborer of Paul. 

(a) The grounds in favor of this view are: The 
authority of Clement of Alexandria^ who regarded it as 
an apostolical writing and wrote a commentary on it.' 
Origen also evidently regarded it as the work of the 
New Testament Barnabas. Eusebius mentions the epis- 
tle as bearing this name, but classes it, along with 
the *• Acts of Paul," the " Pastor of Hermas," and the 
" Apocalypse of Peter," as a book that had been regarded 
by some as Scripture, but which was in his time rejected. 
This, however, is not necessarily against its having been 
.written by the New Testament Barnabas. Jerome 
speaks of Barnabas, ordained by Paul, apostle of the 
Gentiles, as having composed an epistle pertaining to the 
edification of the church, which is read among apocry- 
phal writings. It is found in the "Codex Sinaiticus'* 
(one of the oldest biblical MSS.), under the caption 
"Epistle of Barnabas." 

(p) The grounds against the view are mainly internal, 
as those in favor of it are external. They are : The 
unaccountable blunders which the author makes with 
regard to the Jewish ceremonial law. He describes 
ceremonies for which no authority can be found either in 
the Old Testament or the Talmud (chap. 7 and 8). Now 
Barnabas, the companion of Paul, was a Levite, and can- 
not Well be supposed to have been capable of such blun< 
ders. He lays stress on the Greek letters that repre- 
sent the number of servants that Abraham circumcised a5 
making up the name Jesus. The Levite Barnabas could 
hardly have forgotten that the Old Testament was writ- 
ten in Hebrew. The absurd statements with regard 

1 For full information on the pseudo-Clementine literature, see Hamack, '* Cach, 4, 
AIL Chr. Ut." Bd, I., Snt. 47. au. m8. 5x8. 761. m. 778 ; 'Bd. \\.,pasnm ; and Uhlbom's 
article in the Herzo^-Hauclc " Rgal-Eucyh," third ed.. 'Bd, IV.. StU. 170. uq, 

• CI. Alex.. " Uronud.r Blc II.. chap. 6. 7. w ; Bic. V.. chap. 10. etc. 

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to the habits of animals are a probable, though not de- 
cisive, ground against the theory that the epistle is the 
work of the New Testament Barnabas. The way in 
which the author looked upon Judaism, not as a prepara- 
tion for Christianity, but rather as a wicked externaliz- 
ing of what God meant to be spiritual, is hardly apos- 
tolic. The extravagant degree to which the allegory 
is employed seems unsuitable to an apostle. 

Thus the external testimony, which is not contempo- 
raneous, is in conflict with internal evidence of the 
strongest kind. 

b. Date. The epistle must have been written after 
the destruction of the temple (70), which is pre-sup- 
posed in it (16 : 3, 4 ; 4 : 14). It could not well have 
been written later than 137, when the Jewish insurrec- 
tion led by Barcochab had resulted disastrously, and the 
restoration of the temple was out of the question. Ha- 
drian had expressed at the beginning of his reisn a 
purpose to rebuild the temple. Between these two dates 
a dozen different determinations have been made. It 
was probably written about 1 19, near the beginning of 
Hadrian's reign, and some time before the Jewish insur- 
rection had broken out. Bunsen, on internal evidence, 
fixes the date during the Domitian persecution — hence 
95 or earlier. Lightfoot assigns a still earlier date, the 
earliest possible, 70-79. Harnack thinks 130-131 the 
most probable date. 

c. Abstract. The author salutes his readers as sons 
and daughters, assures them that he loves them more 
than his own life, and that on this account he hastens to 
write to them, in order that along with their faith they 
may have knowledge. Since the days are evil and Satan 
has authority, they ought to attend carefully to the de- 
crees of God, their faith being aided by fear and patience. 

God did not desire ceremonial service even under the 
Old Testament dispensation, much less now. The read- 
ers are exhorted not to be like those that heap up sins, 
saying the Testament is the Jews' and ours. It is ours 
only, for the Jews lost their part in it when Moses broke 
the tablets. One object of Christ's coming was that the 
sins of the Jews might be consummated (chap. 6). The 
real meaning of the Old Testament prophecies can be 

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arrived at only by the gnosis (knowledge, spiritual in- 
sight), which gnosis the author proceeds to give, finding 
types of Christianity wherever he seeks them in the Old 

He proves allegorically that Christians and not Jews 
are the true heirs of the covenant (chap. 15). Neither do 
the Jews celebrate the right Sabbath. The Lord rejected 
the new moons and the Sabbaths of the Jews. A day 
with the Lord is as a thousand years. The seventh 
thousand of years is therefore the true Sabbath, and as 
this commences with the eighth day, the day of the 
Lord's resurrection, we Christians celebrate it with 

The Jews also made a mistake with regard to the tem- 
ple, supposing that a house made with hands, and not 
rather the hearts of believers, was the temple of God. 
The epistle concludes with a description of the way of 
light and the way of darkness, and an exhortation to the 
readers to walk in the one and avoid the other. 

There has been much discussion since the discovery of the '* Di- 
da^'' (** Teaching of the Twelve Apostles"), as to the relation- 
ship of the passage in Barnabas on the two ways to the similar 
passage in the " Didach^.** The view that both writers drew the 
material from a common source, a document that must have been in 
general use at a very early, date, seems best supported. 

d. Theology of the Epistle. There is nothing particu- 
larly striking about the theology of the Epistle except 
its manner of viewing Judaism. The writer goes far on 
the road that led many in his age to Gnosticism. 

The word gnosis (jr^<rii) he employs again and again 
in much the same sense as that given it among the 
Gnostics. His hostility to the Jews, while it does not, 
like that of the Gnostics, lead to a denial of the good- 
ness and supremacy of Jehovah, escapes such denial 
only by the supposition that the Jews entirely misap- 
prehended the revelation made to them, and were never 
properly the people of God. 

Like the Gnostics, the author mduiges without scruple 
in allegory. 

We cannot avoid the supposition that the epistle was 
written by a man who had come under the influence of 

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the Alexandrian philosophy, and probably of the earlier 
forms of Gnosticism as well. 

0) Th$ Epistks of Ignatius. 

LITERATURE : Text and ancient testimonials in Gebhardt, Har* 
nack, and Zahn ; Zahn, '* Ignatius von Aniiochin^^^ 1873 ; Lightfoot« 
*' Ignatius,'' 188$ ; R6ville, In ^' Rsv, d, VHistoin d, Migions,'' three arti- 
cles, 1890. Lightfoot's great work in 2 vols. (3 parts) contains ail 
the pertinent materials extant in Greek, Syriac, etc., translations of 
the epistles and of other important documents, and elaborate critical 
discussion of all points involved. He is commonly supposed to have 
settled the Ignatian question in favor of the shorter Greek form. 
For an admirable summing up of the results of the investigations of 
Zahn, Lightfoot, and Rcville, see article by Starbuck in '^Andover 
Review,'' September, i8g2. See also Bunsen, " ^Dis drti achtm und 
dii viiT unackten Bri$U dis Ignatius von Antiochsn " ; Cureton, " The 
Ancient Syriac Versions of the Epistle St Ignatius," edited with an 
English translation, and Harnack's review of Lightfoot, *' Expos- 
itor," January, 1886. For Harnack's latent view, see his *' G$sch, 
d, Altchf, Lit?' 

A peculiar interest attaches to the so-called Ignatian 
Epistles, partly on account of their inherent importance, 
and partly on account of the great uncertainty as to the 
true text. 

a. Forms of the Epistles. We have three distinct forms 
of the Ignatian Epistles, differing greatly as to number, 
length, and substance, (a) The longer Greek form, 
which contains twelve epistles. This rorm is now uni- 
versally regarded as a gross fabrication, and is supposed 
to have been composed in the fourtli, fiftn, or sixth cen- 
tury. It is full of anachronisms, and was evidently de- 
signed as a support for the hierarchical* church at the 
time of its composition, (ft) The shorter Greek form, 
which embraces the seven epistles mentioned by Euse- 
bius, addressed to the Ephesians, Magnesians, Trallians, 
Romans, Philadelphians, Smyrnxans, and Polycarp. (c) 
The Syriac version, discovered among the MSS. from the 
Nitrian desert, in the British Museum, and published by 
Cureton in 1845. This recension contains only three 
epistles, viz : those to the Ephesians, the Romans, and 
Polycarp, and these in a very short form. 

The shorter Greek form had long been strongly sus- 
pected, owing in part to the fact that the longer form 
was acknowledged to be spurious, in part to the fact 

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that episcopacy seemed to have an emphasis given to 
it out of keeping with what was otherwise known of the 
church polity of the early part of the second century, 
and in part to the extravagances and lack of verisimili- 
tude in the writings themselves. Cureton's discovery 
was at once regarded by himself and many other scholars 
as involving a simple solution of the whole problem. 
Cureton maintained that the three Syriac epistles, in 
which most of the objectionable features of the shorter 
Greek epistles are wanting, represent the original Epis- 
tles of Ignatius, and that on this basis had grown up the 
whole body of Ignatian documents. Bunsen lent the 
weight of his great name to this theory, and for a time 
it seemed likely to prevail. But the effect of the latest 
criticism by Zahn, Lightfoot, R6ville, and others, has 
been to demolish the claims of the Syriac form to priority, 
and to establish the comparative originality of the shorter 
Greek form. 

b. tAuthenticity. (a) Internal Evidences. As already 
intimated, Zahn and Lightfoot have, in the opinion of a 
large majority of competent judges, established the 
originality of the shorter Greek form of the epistles, as 
compared with any other form. If there are any genuine 
Ignatian epistles, these alone can claim to be such. That 
just seven epistles are mentioned by Eusebius, with 
identical addresses, is favorable to the claim. The con- 
siderations adduced have convinced many critics that 
these seven epistles were written by Ignatius, under the 
circumstances supposed. Some accept these writings as 
in the main genuine, but suppose them to have been in- 
terpolated to a very considerable extent. The fact that 
interpolation and forgery figure so prominently at a later 
time in connection with the Ignatian literature would 
suggest the possibility that the seven epistles may repre- 
sent an earlier, more moderate, corruption in the inter- 
ests of episcopacy and asceticism. Some (so V5lter) 
reject the epistle to the Romans, while accepting the 
substantial genuineness of the other six epistles. 

Harnack, Zahn, and Lightfoot have so completely 
mastered the pertinent literature, have so minutely con- 
sidered every objection that has been raised or is likely 
to be raised, and have answered the objections with such 

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plausibility, that skepticism as to the authenticity of the 
epistles would almost seem to be out of place. They 
have sought to show that greater difficulties by far are 
involved in the rejection than in the acceptance of the 
genuineness of the writings. A later writer, they claim, 
would inevitably have fallen into anachronisms, the ex- 
istence of which in these documents is denied. They hold 
that there is nothing in the circumstances (the condem- 
nation and transportation to Rome of a leading Christian, 
the freedom to meet deputations from the churches and 
to carry on an extensive correspondence during the 
journey, the implied supposition that the Christians of 
Kome might be able to secure a reversal of the death 
sentence) or in the extravagant desire for martyrdom 
that finds utterance in the epistle to the Romans, incon- 
sistent with the supposition that they were written by 
Ignatius of Antioch in the time of Trajan. 

We must admit the possibility of the supposed circum- 
stances and of the supposed psychological states and 
consequent acts of Ignatius ; but we may well be ex- 
cused if we find ourselves unable to agree with these 
great scholars as to the probabilities of the case. The 
objection based upon the writer's strong episcopal ten- 
dencies has little weight (see below) ; but questions like 
the following thrust themselves upon us, and are not set 
aside by the plausible answers that have been given : Is 
it psychologically conceivable, or if so, is it within the 
bounds of probability, that a (Christian man who had as- 
sociated with apostles, and who by reason of his charac- 
ter and abilities had attained to a position of commanding 
influence throughout Syria and Asia Minor, could think, 
write, and act as Ignatius is represented as doing in these 
documents ? Is it likely that a man condemned to a 
cruel death on the sole ground of his Christian profes- 
sion and guarded night and day by ten Roman soldiers, 
should have been accorded the privilege of meeting with 
deputations from the churches on the route, and of writ- 
ing such a body of letters as those before us ? Is it 
reasonable to suppose that a man condemned by the 
emperor for being a Christian should imagine the Roman 
Christians possessed of such influence and such bold- 
Qess as might lead them to secure his release ? Trajan 

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can scarcely be supposed to have been so capricious a 
ruler as to condemn the bishop of Antioch to death by 
wild beasts in the Roman arena on the ground of his 
faith and to pardon him at the request of his Roman 
fellow-Christians. Lightfoot attributes failure to be con- 
vinced of the conclusiveness of his answers to these and 
like questions to deficiency of ** historic imagination." 
So much for the internal evidences of the genuineness 
of the seven epistles. 

(b) External Evidences. The external evidences must 
next be briefly considered. First and most important is 
the testimony of Polycarp of Smyrna, to whom one of 
the Ignatian epistles is addressed. Admission of the 
genuineness of the epistle of Polycarp to the Philip- 
pians is thought to carry with it admission of the genu- 
ineness of the Ignatian epistles. Polycarp informs the 
Philippians that he is sending them "the letters of Ig- 
natius which were sent by him to us together with any 
others which we had in our possession." If this pas* 
sage is genuine, there must have been in circulation 
in Asia Minor, shortly after the supposed martyrdom 
of Ignatius, a considerable body of Ignatian epistles. 
Irenseus (175-190) quotes, as the utterance of a martyr, 
the Ignatian statement : 'M am the wheat of God, 
and I am ground by the teeth of wild beasts, that I 
may be found pure bread." Other supposed slight in- 
dications of Ignatian influence have been pointed out. 
The sentence quoted might well have been handed 
down by tradition, or in some martyrology, as having 
been uttered by Ignatius or some other martyr. Light- 
foot lays much stress on the points of similarity be- 
tween the account of the condemnation, transportation, 
and martyrdom of Ignatius and Lucian's account of the 
death of reregrinus Proteus, and maintains Lucian's in- 
debtedness to the Ignatian epistles. This we must regard 
as extremely doubtful ; for even if the interdependence 
of the two narratives could be proved, Lucian's may well 
have been the original. Origen (died 257) mentions 
Ignatius as suffering martyrdom at Rome, and quotes a 
sentence. Eusebius (fourth century) is the earliest 
writer to give any detailed account of the Ignatian litera- 
ture. He mentions the epistles by name, and so char- 

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acterizes them as to identify them to some extent with 
those under consideration. But Eusebius' notice does 
not exclude the possibility that the documents he knew 
were forged or interpolated, or that the documents we 
possess may have been interpolated since his time. 

We conclude : First, that there probably was an An- 
tiochian bishop in the time of Trajan named Ignatius ; 
secondly, that he probably suffered martyrdom at Rome ; 
thirdly, that he probably wrote some letters on his jour- 
ney ; fourthly, that what he wrote furnished the basis of 
the extant Ignatian documents ; fifthly, to what extent 
interpolations have occurred it is impossible to deter- 

c. General Tone of the Epistles. The tone of the epis- 
tles is excited and extravagant. This is especially the 
case with the epistle to the Romans. The style is 
rhetorical and somewhat artificial. There seems to be a 
straining after effect. They are taken up largely with 
exhortations to the churches addressed to steadfastness, 
unity, subjection to one another, to the presbyters, over- 
seers, and deacons. The epistle to the Romans con- 
sists of a flattering salutation to the church (not to the 
bishop), of an account of his journey under guard of Roman 
soldiers, of rejoicing in his prospective martyrdom, and 
of an urgent request that the Roman Christians may do 
nothing that could rob him of the opportunity to suffer 
for Christ, intimating that this would be doing him the 
greatest possible injury. He is the " wheat of God," 
and wishes to be ground by the teeth of wild beasts, in 
order that he may "become the pure bread of Christ." 
Not as Peter and Paul does he instruct them. They 
were apostles, he is a condemned man. They were free, 
he is even until now a slave ; but if he suffers he will 
become a freeman of Jesus Christ. 

d. Date. The probable date of the martyrdom of Ig- 
natius, and hence of the original Ignatian epistles, if 
there were such, is 107 or 11;. Trajan was in Syria at 
each of these dates, and the persecution in which Igna- 
tius suffered may have occurred on either occasion. 

e. The ^(elation of the Epistles to Episcopacy. These 
epistles have formed the chief bulwark of the Romish 
church for its doctrine of episcopacy. In this interest 

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the epistles have been interpolated beyond almost any 
other document of antiquity. But the very fact that 
they were laid hold of for this purpose is strong evidence 
that the original documents had at least something of 
the same tendency. Admitting that the seven Greek 
epistles mentioned by Eusebius are genuine (though it 
is highly propable that they are interpolated to a con- 
siderable extent), we may say : (a) That the very fact 
that in each letter Ignatius should have felt called upon 
to lay so much stress on the obedience due to bishops or 
overseers, is conclusive evidence that such subordination 
did not exist in the churches. We have, therefore, the 
writer's ideal rather than a record of historical fact, (ft) 
There were undoubtedly at this time elements of discord 
in the churches addressed, resulting largely from the in- 
fluence of heretical bodies. The churches were in dan- 
ger of being rent asunder. Now, Ignatius looked upon 
schism as the greatest evil. He saw in obedience to the 
bishops a means of preserving unity. Hence the fre- 
quent exhortations to obey the bishops, and to do nothing 
without their approval, (c) There is no intimation that 
at this time the word ** bishop " meant anything more 
than overseer or pastor of a single congregation, and the 
.hairman of the Board of Elders. Presbyters are nowhere 
in the epistles exhorted to obey the bishops, (d) Ignatius 
wrote to churches whose bishops he knew to be holy 
men. He probably knew that these men were far su- 
perior in point of intelligence and Christian knowledge 
to the bulk of the church-members, such superiority in re- 
ligious life and wisdom having been the ground on which 
bishops were chosen. Why should not Ignatius have 
exhorted the brethren to look upon such men as in the 
place of Christ ? to regard them as representing the mind 
of Christ ? (e) Side by side with these exhortations to 
obedience to bishops we must put such passages as 
these : ** Be obedient to the presbyters " (Eph. 20) ; 
*' Be subject to the presbytery as to the law of Jesus 
Christ " (Magnesians 2) ; "I pray that he (the deacon 
Burrus) may abide in the honor of you and of the 
bishop " (Eph. 2) ; " Reverence one another, and let no 
one look upon his neighbor according to the flesh," etc. 
(Eph. 6) ; " Be ye subject to the bishop and one to aij.- 

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Other" (Eph. 13) ; " Let all reverence the deacons as a 
commandment of Jesus Christ." 

{4) Th$ Shiphird of Htnms, 

LITERATURE: Text, full bibliography, etc., in Gebhardt, Ha^ 
nack, and Zahn : text, translation, and notes, in Lightfoot, ** Apos- 
tolic Fathers " ; Zahn, •• Dir Hirt dss H$rmas '^ ; LIpsius. art. " Hcr- 
mas,'' in Schenkd's ^* 'Btbil-Uxikon** ; Bunsen, *^ Hippolytus and 
his A^e," Vol. I., p. 182, siq, ; Mossman, '* History of the Early 
Christian Church,'' p. 201, ssq.; Lightfoot, ''Commentary on 
Galatians.'' p. 324, ssq*; Sanday, *'The Gospels in the Second 
Century,** p. 2731 stq. 

This is probably the most remarkable production of 
the early church. Its position in the early church was 
somewhat analogous to that of ** Pilgrim's Progress " in 
modern times. It was soon translated into Latin and 
>Ethiopic. It was read in many churches, and was re- 
garded as second only to the canonical Scriptures. In 
fact we find it in the Codex Sinaiticus in connection with 
the New Testament. 

a. Form of the IVriting. It is that of a religious alle- 
gory. The work consists of three parts : Visions, Com- 
mands, and Similitudes. 

b. ^ate and tAuthority. It is now generally agreed, on 
the authority of the Muratorian Fragment, that it was 
written by Hermas, a brother of Pius, a pastor of the 
Roman Church, about 130-140. Its latest possible date 
is fixed by the absence or any indication of the agitation 
among Roman Christians, caused by the activity of Mar- 
cion. The false teaching referred to was probably that 
of the Gnostic Cerdo, possibly the earlier stages of the 
Valentinian propaganda. The author was, at an early 
date, confounded with the Hermas mentioned (Rom. 16 : 
14) by Paul. 

Irenaeus, quoting from the book, begins : *' Well then 
declared the Scripture, which says," etc. 

The Muratorian Fragment (c. 200) denies its right 
to a place in the Canon, but implies that this dignity has 
been claimed for it by some. 

Tertullian and the Montanists rejected it as a Christian 
manual for reasons to be given below. 

Clement of Alexandria appeals to it again and again as 
an inspired book. 

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Origen thought that the author of the Shepherd of 
Hermas was the Hermas of Rom. 16 : 14, and it seemed 
to him divinely inspired. 

Eusebius mentions it as spoken against by some, but 
by others judged most necessary for those who are in 
need of introductory grounding in the elements of the 
Christian faith. 

Athanasius speaks of it as a most useful book, and 
quotes from it extensively. 

Harnack defends the unity of the book against Ewald, 
Zahn, Caspari, and Hilgenfeld, but supposes that it grew 
slowly into its present form in the hands of the author, 
the germ having been the second Vision. 

c. Contents. The supposed narrator represents him- 
self as a slave sold by his master to a Roman lady named 
Rhoda. Having allowed himself to entertain an impure 
desire for a beautiful woman whom he chanced to see 
bathing in the river, and being penitent for his sin, a 
vision was vouchsafed to him in which the woman whom 
he had desired appeared to him, rebuked him severely 
for his fault, and gave him much wholesome advice re- 
garding the Christian life. Later an older woman ap- 
pears to him and freely answers all the questions regard- 
ing the Christian life that he feels inclined to ask. The 
five Visions are followed by twelye Commands, and 
these by ten Similitudes. 

A detailed summary of the contents would require more space than 
can be spared. That the Christian life of the time, and especially in 
Rome, abounded in corruption is evident from the great variety of 
transjgressors that are specifically rebuked. Among these may be 
mentioned informers and traitors ; blasphemers, or those that yield 
to the demands of persecutors to curse Christ ; renegades, or Uiose 
that on account of cowardice, or to save their property, fled from per- 
secution ; hypocritical pretenders ; libidinous people ; teachers of in- 
iquity, who nave deserted the true way and disseminate false doc- 
tnnes ; friends of the heathen ; those wno are hampered by the world 
with its riches and pursuits ; calumniators, contentious ones, schis- 
matics; those who bear grudges; those who, though they have 
known the truth, withdraw from association with the saints ; ambi- 
tious men eager for honor ; insincere, lukewarm, and vacillating peo- 
ple ; those who have submitted themselves to Christian teaching and 
yet refuse to be baptized ; false prophets who, after the manner of the 
heathen, prophesy for gain, and followers of such ; presidents Qiead- 
elders) who are unjust, contentious, vain, malicious, or negligent* 
and deacons who appropriate the goods entrusted to them. On tht 

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other hand, those who practised all manner of Christian virtues, and 
exemplified in their lives all Christian graces, are frequently referred 

d. Theology of the Shepherd. As regards the Godhead 
there is little that is peculiar in this writing, the views 
being in general accordant with the teachings of the New 
Testament.* The peculiarities of teaching appear : 

ifl) In the representation of the relation between bap- 
tism and regeneration. It is said : " Whoever with his 
whole heart changes his mind (or repents), and purifits 
himself from all iniquity, and adds no more to his sin, 
will receive from the Lord a cure for all his former sins." 
Again : " The elect of God will be saved through faith.'' 
Yet in Commandment 4 : 3, baptism is represented as 
having a very important relation to salvation : " We 
went down into the water and received remission from 
our former sins." Again, in Similitude 9 : 16 : " Into the 
water, therefore, they descend dead and arise living." 
The writer's view, then, is evidently that baptism is the 
culminating act in the process of regeneration. Repent- 
ance and faith necessarily precede, but it is only in con- 
nection with the baptismal act that the remission of sins 
really occurs. 

ip) In the view expressed as to the pardonableness of 
post-baptismal sins. In Commandment 4 Hermas repre- 
sents the Shepherd as commanding that, if a man have a 
believing, adulterous wife, and she repent, he shall re- 
ceive her back. If he ** receive her not back, he sinneth 
a great sin ; . . for there is one repentance to the serv' 
ants of God." Again, Hermas says to the Shepherd: 
'* I have heard from certain teachers that other repent- 
ance there is none, save when we went down into the 
water and received remission of our former sins." And 
the Shepherd answers : ** Thou hast heard well, for so it 
is." " But I say unto thee, that if after that great 
and blessed calling, one tempted by the devil sin, he has 
one repentance." It appears, therefore, that at the time 

1 See "Gebhardt. Harnack. and Zahn," Fasc. III., p. LXXIX. 

* Cotivbeare ( " The Key of Truth." p. LXXXIX.) finds in the Shepherd Indica- 
tions or AdoptionistChristology. This view seems to be supported by Similitude 
5 : s« But Hennas writes not polemically against a pneumatic Christology. but wftt 
primitive simplicity and without being aware that his statements Involved a degra- 
dation of the Redeemer. 

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of the writing of this book, there were already to be dis- 
tinguished a strict and a lax party, the one denying the 
possibility of the forgiveness of post-baptismal sins, and 
the other erring in the opposite direction. Hernias at- 
tempts to mediate between the two, guarding against 
license on the one hand, and against excessive rigor on 
the other. It was this slight concession to laxity that 
led Tertullian, after he became a Montanist, to stigmatize 
this writing as licentious. 

(c) There is a sentence in the Shepherd that has been 
understood to contains the germs of the doctrine of pur- 
gatory. In Vision 3 : 7, a completed tower, representing 
the one holy church, made of stones beautifully adjusted 
to each other, and which have passed through the water, 
having been shown to Hermas, he sees also other stones 
that have been cast aside and not fitted into the tower. 
He asks whether there is no repentance for these so that 
they may be fitted into the tower. The answer is : 
" That there is room for repentance, but not a chance 
for a place in this tower. But that another and much in- 
ferior place they shall fit into, and this when they have 
been tortured and have fulfilled the days of their sins," 
etc. It is quite possible, however, that the writer had 
in view the penal sufferings of the present life. 

(d) The church is represented as presided over by pres- 
byters, and no distinction is apparent between presbyters 
and bishops. The unity of the church is emphasized 
continually, and illustrated by such images as the tower 
made up of many stones deftly fitted to each other. 

(e) The Shepherd was designed wholly for edification. 
There is no writing of this period that throws a tithe as 
much light on the Christian life and thought of the time 
as does this. Scarcely any class of evil-doers seems to 
have been absent from the writer's mind, and all receive 
their share of reproof and exhortation. The condition of 
Christian life here represented is far from pure. 

(5) Ths EpistU ofPolycarp to ike Pkilippians, 

LITERATURE: Texts, etc., as above; Donaldson, ** Historv of 
Christian Literature and Doctrine," Vol. I., p. i54, sea, ; Bunsen, 
" Hippolvtus and His Age," Vol. I., p. 225, s$q, ; Lighttoot, '* Igna- 
tius '': Kenan, "'^Journal d$s Savants,^* 1874; ''Supernatural (^^ 
li^on/' VoL 1., p. 274, s#^., second edition* 

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a. ^Authenticity. The authenticity of this document 
has been called in question, but without sufficient ground. 
Lightfoot has defended it most ably as one of the chief 
witnesses of the Ignatian epistles. A number of schol- 
ars who regard the passage about the Ignatian epistles as 
an interpolation, admit the substantial genuineness of the 
epistle. Polycarp is represented by Irenseus, who was 
with him much in his early and Polycarp's later life, as 
a disciple of the Apostle John, and of other apostles. 
Irenseus says that he *' distinctly remembers how Poly- 
carp used to describe his intercourse with John and 
with the rest who had seen the Lord, and how he would 
relate their words. And whatsoever things he had 
heard from them about the Lord, and about his miracles, 
and about his teachings, Polycarp, as having received 
them from eye-witnesses of the life of the Word, would 
relate altogether in accordance with the Scriptures." 

Polycarp is therefore one of the most important of the 
Christians of the second century. He learned from the 
apostles, lovingly treasured up in his memory, and fre- 
quently communicated to other, the things that he had 
learned. Irenseus appropriated these teachings in the 
spirit in which they had been repeated, and himself re- 
tained a vivid remembrance of them until his death, near 
the close of the second century. The fact that he was 
a man of no originality, as we see from the writing un- 
der consideration, makes it more probable that he did not 
modify the things he heard from John, etc., by his own 
individuality. He was for many years pastor of the 
church of Smyrna, and suffered martyrdom about i$$ or 
I $6. 

It is probable that the epistle to the Philippians has 
suffered some corruption, but we are justified in regard- 
ing it as in the main genuine.^ 

0. Date of the Epistle. The manner in which the mar- 
tyrdom and epistles of Ignatius are mentioned, if they 
are not interpolations, would lead us to fix the date of the 
epistle as shortly subsequent to the martyrdom of Ig 
natius, i. e., about io8 or ii6. 

> Thert U • beautiful account of the martsnrdom of Polycarp, which purports to be 
a letter written by the church of Smvma to the church in Phlloneliun In Phrygla 
It was certainty written not long after the event, as It is mentioned by lren««s. 

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c. Character of the Epistle. The epistle shows scarcely 
any originality, but consists almost entirely of direct or 
indirect quotations from the Scriptures. From the early 
date to which it must be assigned, if its genuineness is 
acknowledged, it is especially important for the testimony 
that it furnishes* to the still earlier date and use in the 
churches of most of the New Testament books. Espe- 
cially does it show clearly by its numerous citations from 
the writings of Paul the futility of the efforts of the 
Tubingen school to establish the fact of an antagonism 
in the early church between the Pauline and Johannean 

d. fheology of the Epistle. This is eminently scrip- 
tural, almost every doctrinal expression being in the 
words of the New Testament. Docetism is denounced, 
but in the words of John (i John 4 : 3). The church is 
represented as administered by presbyters and deacons, 
and the duties of these are pointed out in New Testament 
language. It is remarkable that though Polycarp wrote 
after Ignatius, nothing of a hierarchical tendency occurs 
in his writing. 

(6) Ttachmg of ih$ Tuih$ tApostUs 

Literature : Editions of Bryennios, Hamack, HUgenfeld, J. 
Rendel Harris, and Schaff. The last named (third edition. 1889) Is 
the most complete. It contains facsimiU of MS., text, and transla* 
tion, full bibliography. Illustrative documents, and discussion of all 
* 1. Harris' 

points involved. Harris' edition gives the entire text in facsimiU^ 
and contains valuable prolegomena and notes. 

The writing entitled ** Teaching of the Twelve Apos- 
tles" was discovered a few years ago by Philotheos 
Bryennios, Metropolitan of Nicodemia, in the Jerusalem 
Monastery of Constantinople, and was edited by him in 
1883. The MS. was written about io;6, and contains, 
besides the Teaching, Chrysostom's Synopsis of the 
Old and New Testaments, the Epistle of Barnabas, the 
Epistles of Clement of Rome (the only complete copy 
known), the spurious Epistle of Mary of Cassoboli to 
Ignatius, and the twelve Pseudo-Ignatian Epistles. 

This '' find '' of Bryennios was hailed as one of the 
most important of modern times, and in a short time a 
^^brary of books and articles had been published about it 

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Much of the interest was due to the fact that the docu- 
ment was supposed to have originated near the close of 
the apostolic age. With many the chapter on baptism 
was the center of interest. Probably no other event of 
recent times has done so much to quicl<en popular inter- 
est in early Christian literature. 

a. Date of Composition. The utmost diversity of 
opinion as to the date of the Teaching has existed since 
its publication. Most students have assigned dates within 
the period A. D. 70-165 : Bryennios, 120-160 ; Harnack, 
130-i:. 160; Hilgenfeld, latter half of second century; 
Farrar, c, 100; Lightfoot, 80-110; Warfield, c. 100 ; 
Schaff, 70-100. The "archaic simplicity" of its prac- 
tical directions and the apparent primitiveness of its 
church order are the chief grounds on which the claim 
of antiquity rests. The relation of the first chapters on 
the "two ways " to a similar section of the Epistle of 
Barnabas, has had much to do with the opinions of 
scholars. Those who hold that Barnabas borrowed from 
the Teaching incline to an early date for the latter ; those 
who suppose the writer of the Teaching to have been 
indebted to Barnabas naturally give to the former a later 
date. The better opinion probably is, that both writers 
used an older widely circulated document. The primi- 
tiveness of the church order is not inconsistent with 
a much later date than the earliest assigned, if we sup- 
pose (which was probably the case) that it was prepared 
and first used not in a great ecclesiastical center, where 
hierarchical development made great strides during the 
latter part of the second century, but in some region re- 
mote from the great currents of church life. (Compare 
the simplicity and primitiveness of the Coptic and Ethiopic 
Apostolical Constitutions, which no doubt assumed their 
present form about the beginning of the fourth century.) 
There is therefore no reason for assigning the Teaching to 
an earlier date than the latter part of the second century. 

b. Place of Composition. Here also opinions vary. 
Syria and Egypt have each its advocates. The weight 
of argument seems to be in favor of Egypt. Most of the 
early evidence of the use of the document is found in 
Egyptian writers. Its similarity to the Epistle of Barna^* 
bas, to the Egyptian Ecclesiastical Canons of the Holy 

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Apostles, and to the Apostolic Constitutions, favors this 
view. The circumstances supposed in the chapter on 
baptism seem to accord better with what we know of 
Egypt than with what we know of Syria. The mention 
of mountains in the eucharistic prayer (Chap. IX.) has 
been adduced in favor of Syria. In any case, the writing 
was prepared by a Jewish Christian for use in a Jewish 
Christian community. 

c. Authenticity. It is doubtful whether the writer in- 
tended to represent the Teaching as composed by the 
twelve apostles. He may have meant only to claim for 
his compilation conformity with apostolic teaching. Few 
early Christian writings are so poorly attested. Eusebius 
(Cn 325) mentions a writing called ** Teachings of the 
Twelve Apostles " as being among spurious writings 
Athanasius (fourth century) mentions a writing under 
this name as proper reading for catechumens. There is 
no earlier mention of the Teaching. Clement of Alex- 
andria (c. 202) quotes a sentence that is found in the 
Teaching ; but both writers may have derived it from 
some earlier document. Little importance can be at- 
tached to slight coincidences in expression with passages 
in the Teaching found in other ante-Nicene writers. 
There is no certainty that the document we possess is 
identical with that mentioned by Eusebius and Athana- 
sius, or that the latter was as ancient as the second cen- 

d. Sources of the Teaching. There are a few quota- 
tions from the Old Testament, and several allusions to 
Old Testament and apocryphal books. The New Testa- 
ment books are not referred to by name, but most of the 
gospel precepts that are quoted are to be found in Mat- 
thew's Gospel. A few sentences correspond with pas- 
sages in Luke's Gospel. Whether the writer had before 
him these two Gospels, or whether he had a combination 
Gospel, we cannot say. A number of coincidences have 
been pointed out that would seem to indicate some 
knowledge of Johannean teaching. There is no direct 
reference to Paul or his Epistles, though there are pas- 
sages that may have been suggested by Pauline writings. 
Coincidences with other New Testament writings are 
scarcely definite enough to warrant the inference that the 

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writer was acquainted with them. Schaff has made a 
detailed study of the seeming quotations from and allu- 
sions to the Old and New Testament writings^ and has 
subjoined a tabulated view. 

e. station of the Teaching to Other ^Documents. 
Whether the Teaching is an original work or a compila- 
tion it is not easy to decide. The latter is the more 
probable view. The material of the first six chapters, 
consisting of the **two ways," had great currency 
among the ancient churches. It is found in somewhat 
fuller form in the Epistle of Barnabas, and with still 
greater amplification m the Ecclesiastical Canons of the 
Holy Apostles, an Egyptian document (preserved in 
Greek, Coptic, and Ethiopic, probably written in the 
third century), and in the Apostolical Constitutions (fourth 
century), which purport to have been written by Clem- 
ent of Rome. In the Ecclesiastical Canons the moral 
precepts are distributed among the apostles. It is not 
likely that the Teaching was derived from either of these 
documents, and it is by no means certain that either of 
these was derived from the Teaching. 

/. Contents. The first six chapters consist of moral 
precepts, adapted to purposes of catechetical instruction. 
Chap. VII. gives directions as to baptism. Trine immer- 
sion, after catechetical instruction, fastin;;, and prayer, is 
^ prescribed. In case of absolute la ck of an y kl"^ ^^ 
^^ water, af fusion is ^allowed. Chap. VIII. gives directions 
for fasting and" prayer, Wednesdays and Fridays being 
the days prescribed for fasting, and the prescribed form 
of prayer being the Lord's Prayer, to be used thrice 
each day. Chap. IX. gives directions, with forms of 
prayer, for the celebration of the eucharist. This ordi- 
nance is restricted to baptized believers. Chap. X. gives 
a form of prayer to follow communion. Chap. XI. to 
XIII. treat of apostles and prophets, their testing and 
treatment. The utmost caution is to be used in receiv- 
ing strangers claiming to be apostles and prophets ; but 
every true prophet is worthy of his food. uhap. XIV. 
treats of the Lord's Day as the time of the Christian 
sacrifice. According to Chap. XV., bishops and deacons 
are to be elected by the church, and are to be held in 
honor along with prophets and teachers. The book 

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closes (Chap. XVI.) with an exhortation to watchfulness 
in view of the coming of the Lord. 

(7) FragmnUs. 

a. Papias of Hierapolis, a disciple of John, who suf- 
fered martyrdom about 155, collected much information 
about the apostolic age, and wrote an ** Explanation of 
the Lord's Discourses." Fragments have been pre- 
served by Irenseus and Eusebius. These are of value 
chiefly in relation to the New Testament Canon. 

b. The Epistle to Diognetus is a beautiful exposition of 
the Christian faith by an unknown author, and may have 
been written about the middle of the second century. 

c. To Sixtus (the sixth pastor of the Roman church, 
1 19-128) is ascribed a remarkable collection of four 
hundred and thirty •' Sentences" or aphorisms. There 
is much doubt, however, as to the authorship of these 

rf. Of the large body of New Testament Apocrypha 
and Christian Sibylline books that have been preserved, 
a considerable number, doubtless, fail within the age of 
the Apostolic Fathers. 


LrrERATURE: Otto, *^ Corpus Apologiianm Christia$wnm SofciUi 
Stamdi,** This edition contains critical texts of all the extant docu- 
ments, together with full prolegomena, critical, exegetical, and his- 
torical notes, Latin translation, etc. ; English translation in the 
••Ante-Niccnc Fathers." 

By the time of the Emperor Hadrian, Christianity had 
attained to considerable importance, and systematic ef- 
forts for the securing of its rights began to be made. It 
came to be felt that patient endurance might be carried 
to an extreme, that it was better to live and labor than 
to suifer martyrdom. The apologists are Quadratus, 
Aristides, Justin, Tatian, Athenagoras, Theophilus, Her- 
mias, and Melito. Of Quadratus and Melito we have 
only fragments. 

I. General Observations. 

(I) The earlier Christian writers show little culture or 
intellectual power. Now we see men trained in the pM« 

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losophy of the time bringing to the defense of the gospel 
all of their ability and culture. Such men, contributed 
greatly toward making Christianity respectable, toward 
stimulating Christian thought, and toward calling the at- 
tention of the educated classes to Christianity. 

(2) The apologies were written, not so much with a 
view to inducing those addressed to accept Christianity, 
as to secure for Christians the right to exist. 

(3) The most important of these were addressed to 
emperors, viz : to Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius. 
This fact is in favor of the view that the persecution of 
Christians was not mainly the result of imperial edicts, 
but of popular prejudice and hatred. 

(4) The charges against which they defend Christian- 
ity are three : Atheism, licentiousness, and cannibalism. 

a. Atheism has always been regarded by the populace 
as one of the greatest of enormities. The Christians 
incurred this charge by their rejection of the pagan gods, 
by their refusal to sacrifice, and by their disuse of images. 
Pagans could not understand how any one could really 
believe in a god without these accessories. The apolo- 
gists refute this notion by setting forth clearly the Chris- 
tian idea of God, as a Spirit to be worshiped only spir- 
itually. They show that their worship of God is far 
more real than the idol worship ; nay, that the gods of 
the pagans are, according to their own representations, 
weak and contemptible, given to all sorts of human 

b. The charge of licentiousness arose doubtless from 
the fact that Christians frequently met in secret places 
at night, and that they manifested great affection one for 
another. The pagans were unable to understand what 
other motive than licentiousness they could have for such 
meetings. The apologists in defense point out the Chris- 
tian doctrine in regard to chastity, which makes even a 
licentious thought sin. 

c. Whether the charge of cannibalism arose out of 
pure malice, or from a misunderstanding of the state- 
ments of Christians about eating the body and drinking 
the blood of Christ, it is impossible to determine. The 
apologists show that the Christian doctrine in regard to 
the deadly sin of murder is entirely antagonistic to the 

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murdering of infants. Nay, Christians will not even 
allow the exposure of children (a thing common among 
the pagans). Besides, the Christian doctrine of the 
resurrection would prevent Christians from eating human 

(5) They seek to show that Christianity is the oldest 
religion in the world, and not, as their enemies main- 
tained, a thing of recent origin. Justin, e. g., maintains 
that Moses wrote the Pentateuch long before the Trojan 
war, and hence farther back than the Greeks could trace 
their history. Christianity is simply a fulfillment of the 
prophecies and types of the Old Testament. It is main- 
tained that all that is pure and noble in Greek lite^'ature 
was stolen from the Old Testamen:; that Socrates and 
Plato, e.g., derived their 'deas of God from Moses. The 
Sibyl is quoteJ as prophecy. 

(6) The apologists stake everything on the Old Tes- 
tament. Christ came to fulfill Old Testament prophecy, 
and to impress Old Testament teachings on men's minds, 
but he taught noth-ng new. To make these things ap- 
pear, the allegorical method of interpretation is freely 

(7) The main evidence for Christianity, therefore, is 
prophecy. Miracles might be wrought by demons, but a 
prediction can come from God alone. Much effort is 
made to show definite fulfillment of prophecies. 

(8) The purity of Christ's life and teachings, and the 
marvelous transforming power of Christianity are con- 
stantly and most impressively set forth. 

2. Individual Writers. 

The field now becomes so broad that we shall be 
obliged to examine it by specimens. We select Aristides 
as the earliest apologist whose writings are extant, and 
Justin as the ablest and most influential. 

(/) Aristid4S. 

LrrERATURE : Harris and Robinson," The Apology of Aristides," 
1891 ; in Vol. IX.. p. 257, w., of the " Ante-Nicenc Fathers " New 
York, 1896, Kay has published translations of the Greek and Syriac 
texts in parallel columns, with introduction and notes ; Egli, '^Z#s^ 
sckriftf. IVisstHsch. Thiol.^^ Siit.qg,sM. : Hilgenfeld, ibsd., S#d. 103, 
f#g.; MacDonald, " Indian Ev. Rev./' January, 1892, p. 279, siq.; 

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Harnack, in " Thsol. LHUratur^nttrng,** 1891, Snt. 301, u^., and 52; 
s/j.. in Herzog-Haucic's '^ Rtal-En^cklopadu,'^ second edition, 'Bd. 
XVIIm SiiU 675, wj., and in " G$sch, I Alichr. L«r./* Bd. I., 5«r. 
96, sMf., 'Bd, 11., 5#f^ 271, stq.; Seeberg, in ^^ZahtCs Farsehmgtn^*^ 
'Bd. v., Siii, 253, uq.^ and 317 ; Henneclce, *' 7>x<# mk/ UfO^suck* 
Httgm,'* 'Bd. IV., TAWZ 3. 

^. Recovery of the Apology. Eusebius * mentions Aris- 
tides as *• a believer earnestly devoted to our religion, 
who left an apology for the faith addressed to Hadrian." 
This document was until recently supposed to be irre- 
coverably lost. In 1878 a fragment, inscribed '* Aristides, 
the Philosopher of Athens," was discovered and published 
by the Mechitarist monks of Venice, in an Armenian ver- 
sion. The materials available for forming a judgment as 
to its authenticity were insufficient, but most critics 
(Harnack included) pronounced in its favor. In 1889, 
Prof. J. Rendel Harris discovered a Syriac version In the 
convent of St. Catharine, on Mount Sinai, which he 
edited with prolegomena, translation, and notes, in 1891. 
Not long afterward Mr. J. A. Robinson, Harris' collabo- 
rator, discovered that the defense of Christianity con- 
tained in a religious novel by John of Damascus (died c. 
754), entitled *' Life of Barlaam and Josaphat," consti- 
tuted the Greek text in a practically complete form. The 
Syriac text is far longer than the Greek as found in 
** Barlaam and Josaphat," and bears evidence of deliber- 
ate expansion. It is probable that the Greek text was 
somewhat condensed for insertion in the story. It is a 
remarkable fact that the main part of the Greek story in 
which the Apology of Aristides is embedded is taken 
from a Buddhist story entitled "Lalita Vistara," and that 
•* Josaphat " is an adaptation of Gautama (Buddha) who 
figures in the original story. It is equally remarkable 
that the Roman Catholic Church long ago canonized the 
hero of the story as *' St. Jehosaphat." 

b. Date. According to the Syriac version the Apol- 
ogy was addressed not to Hadrian, as Eusebius supposed, 
but to Antoninus Pius. If the Syriac version is correct, 
the date of the writing could not have been earlier than 
138, and it could not well have been written later than 
147. Kay is inclined to credit Eusebius as against the 

"Church History." Bk. IV., Chap. III. *"^ 

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Syriac version, and to date the document about 125. In 
any case, it is probably the earliest extant post-apostolic 
defense of the Christian religion. The only known pre- 
decessor in this branch of literature is Quadratus, whose 
writing is lost. 

c. Character of the Apology. It is largely occupied 
with an exposition of the Christian idea of God and of 
Christ, and of the Christian plan of salvation, by way of 
comparison with heathen religions. The author displays 
a remarkable acquaintance, not only with Greek and 
Roman philosophy and religion, but also with the Egyp- 
tian, Persian, and possibly with the Indian systems. 
The writer sets forth the characters of the heathen 
deities in a repulsive light, and the apology comes near 
being a polemic ; but the writing is conciliatory in spirit, 
and might have been expected to make a favorable im- 
pression on an emperor who had little regard for the cur- 
rent polytheism. No nobler defense of Christianity was 
ever written. It is possible that it had something to do 
with the comparatively favorable attitude of Antoninus 
toward Christians. 

(2) Justin (Martyr. 

LITERATURE: See in addition to literature given above, Gilder- 
sleeve's excellent edition of '* Justin's Apologies^'; Semisch. ^*J«stm 
dtr (Martyr.^^ (also English translation of same) : Baur, ''Dw dni 
irsi, Jakrh.^^* passim; Rltschl, ** Altkath, Kirch$^^ passim; Bome- 
mann, '* Das Taufspibold. Jusims Martyr.^** in '* ZiHsckr. f. Ktrckm- 
r#sdk./' Bd. III., Siit. i ; Weizsacker. *^Dii ThtoL d. Justin M'artj^.," 
in ^'Jakrimchirfur diutscb$ Th$ologUr 1S67, Siit. 60, uq. ; Aub^, *'5. 
Justin, PkOos, it OAartyrr 187$ ; Enffelhardt, " Das Ckristsutkum 
Justms dis (Afartyr,^^^ 1878 ; encyclopedia articles on ** Justin." 

a. Shetch of Justin. The quasi-autobiographical de- 
tails given in the dialogue with Trypho are generally 
taken to be substantially accurate. According to this 
account he was a Samaritan by birth, saw in his youth a 
good deal of persecution of Christians, and admired, the 
endurance they displayed. He seems to have been pos- 
sessed of ample means, and to have enjoyed excellent 
educational advantages. He studied for a while with a 
Stoic, hoping to find rest for his troubled soul. But find- 
ing himself growing none the wiser with regard to God, 
he went to a Peripatetic, a sharp fellow in his own eyes. 

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Soon disgusted with him, he betook himself to a cele- 
brated Pythagorean, who insisted that he must learn 
music, astronomy, and geometry, as a necessary prepara- 
tion for philosophical studies. Greatly troubled on ac- 
count of this rebuff, he went to an intelligent Platonist, 
from whom he learned the Platonic philosophy, and for a 
time he was highly elated with his progress. 

About this time, while walking near the seashore, he 
fell in with an aged Christian, with whom he conversed 
freely, and by whom he was convinced of the truth of 
Christianity. After his conversion we know very little 
of Justin's life. He continued to wear his philosopher's 
robe, while as an evangelist he traveled from place to 
place, seeking to win men to the gospel. He seems fre- 
quently to have sought conferences with men of educa- 
tion, and to have tried to convince them of the truth 
of Christianity. He met with violent opposition from the 
philosophers about the court of Marcus Aurelius, and his 
martyrdom (c. 165) was probably due to their animosity. 

b. First Apology of Justin. This was addressed to the 
Fmperor Antoninus Pius and his adopted son, Marcus Au- 
tef'us. The writer gives the time that has elapsed since 
the birth of the Christ as one hundred and fifty years.* 
Other internal and external evidences are favorable to 
this date (150), or a few years later. The year 138 or 
139, that has sometimes been insisted upon, seems impos- 
sible, for Marcus Aurelius addressed as a '* philosopher," 
was still a youth, and Lucjus (Commodus ?), also ad- 
dressed as son of a Caesar, was only eight or nine years 
old. It is written with care, and the emperor is ad- 
dressed most courteously. The Apology is naturally 
divided into three parts. In part first he shows that 
Christians ought not to be condemned without a fair 
hearing, and that they are innocent of all crime. Fn 
part second he gives the arguments for the truth of the 
Christian religion. In part third he describes the wor- 
ship of the Christians. 

Part I. After the address, Justin claims for Christians 
the privilege of all defendants. It is unjust and demoni- 
acal to condemn Christians unheard for the mere name's 

1 ** FIrtI Apology/* Chap. 44 

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sake. Christians are no atheists. They worship God 
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. If some 
Christians are convicted of crime, let them suffer as in- 
dividuals. But the fact that Christians prefer death to 
falsehood proves their innocence. Christians are not to 
be blamed for refusing to worship images — an absurd 
worship — nor for believing that God, the Creator of all 
things, does not desire gifts. Again, the empire has 
nothing to fear from Christianity ; Christ's kingdom is 
not of this world. The empire has no better subjects 
than the Christians. 

Justin then points to the wonderful changes in the 
character of men wrought by Christianity; the strict 
obse 'ance of chastity, of love for all, of charity to the 
poor, of patience, of avoidance of swearing, of obedience 
to rulers, and of payment of tribute. If such subjects 
are to be despised, the emperors are in danger of future 
judgment. A resurrection of the body, which such 
judgment involves, is no more difficult for God than cre- 
ation, and there is not half so much absurdity about the 
mysteries of Christianity as about those of paganism. 

Part II. Justin undertakes to prove three things : (i) 
That truth is taught by Christianity alone ; (2) that the 
Son of God was truly incarnate ; (3) that the fables oi 
paganism were invented by demons to discredit the ad 
vent of Christ, and make that appear a fable likewise 
The incarnation of Christ is proved from prophecy, and 
Justin lays down rules for the interpretation ot prophecy 
Notwithstanding the fact that Christ's death and suffer- 
ings were predicted, man's will is free. Those that went 
astray before the incarnation of the Logos are responsi- 
ble, for the seeds of the Logos were in all (Chap. 46). 
The fables concerning Zeus were invented by demons, 
wtth a view to throwing discredit on the coming of the 
Son of God. That Christ was to come they had learned 
from the prophets ; but the demons did not understand, 
and hence were not able to imitate, the cross. Justin 
enumerates many symbols of the cross (Chap. 55). 
The demons still mislead men in the persons of such 
magicians as Simon, Menander, and Marcion, and cause 
the persecution of the Christians. 

Part IIL Justin here shows how the Christians con- 

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secrate themselves to God in baptism, celebrate the 
Lord's Supper, etc. 

c. The Dialogue with Trypho the Jew. This production 
has the form of a Socratic dialogue, extending through 
some days, between Justin and Trypho with his six com- 
panions. The dialogue may be divided into three parts. 
First : Justin refutes the opinion of the Jews concerning 
the law. Secondly: He shows that the true Son was 
begotten by God, became incarnate, and was crucified 
for our sake. Thirdly : He maintains that the calling of 
the Gentiles and the constitution of the church by Christ 
were predicted and prefigured long ago. This extended 
writing is of great importance as showing the attitude of 
Jews and Christians toward each other about the middle 
of the second century. 

d. Theology of Justin, (a) God the Father Justin seems 
to have regarded, with almost Gnostic absolutism, as ab- 
sent in relation to creation and Providence. " He remains 
in the super-celestial regions — never appears or speaks 
to any one by means of himself."* *'^lo one that has 
but a small particle of sense would dare to say that the 
Father, leaving all things above heaven, had appeared in a 
little portion of the earth." ' Thus, the omnipresence of 
God seems to have been lost sight of. 

(b) Christ, with Justin, is the Son of God. •' As a be- 
ginning before all creatures, God begat a certain rational 
power from himself, who is also called by the Holy Spirit 
'Glory of the Lord,' and sometimes 'Wisdom,' and 
sometimes * God,' and sometimes ' Lord,' and * Logos.' "• 
Through Christ all things were made, and through him 
all things are ordered. Justin makes no distinction be- 
tween the divine and the human in Christ. 

(c) The Holy Spirit. According to Justin, the chief work 
of the Holy Spirit was the inspiration of the prophets. 

(d) The IVUl. Justin's doctrine of free will would 
probably have been regarded at a later time as Pelagian. 
The freedom of the human will is not affected by pro- 

Ehecy, for prophecy is simply a result of God's fore- 
nowledge of what would be.* Every man has the 
power of choosing good or evil. Repentance or change 

> " Dial, with Tr.." Chap. 96. * " DIaL." Chai>. 60. • " Dial./' Chap. <>. 
« ^' First Apolosy." Chap. 64. 

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of mind is an act of man's free will, by which he turns 
from evil to good. When a man changes his mind toward 
Gody God at once pardons all his sins/ Christ's work 
in regard to man's salvation was, therefore, not to satisfy 
the Divine justice, but by enlightening men's minds to 
turn them from the worship of demons unto God, and 
as a sufferer, to go through all the trials of men, over- 
come them, and lead men to the same victory. 

(e) The Church, as represented by Justin, consists of 
believers only. All the members are priests, and the 
sacrifices that these priests make are thanksgivings 
poured out over the cup and bread. The only officers 
mentioned are deacons and presidents. Baptism is ad- 
ministered only to believers, after fasting and prayer. 
Like Barnabas and Hermas, Justin seems to have re- 
garded baptism as the culmination of the process of re- 
generation, in which remission of sins actually takes 
place. Christians meet together every Sunday. Some 
one reads as long as there is time from the writings of 
the apostles or prophets. Then the president instructs 
or exhorts to the imitation of these goo(j things. Then 
all rise together and pray. After this, bread and wine 
mixed with water are brought. The president gives 
thanks, the people saying ' Amen.' Then there is a dis- 
tribution to each member present, and a part is sent to 
the sick. A collection for the poor follows. Justin gives 
us the most detailed and lifelike view of the ordinances 
and worship of the early Christians that we have. 

The so-called '* Second Apology " of Justin has been proved by 
BoU, Zahn, Hamack, Veit, it al.^ to be no Independent work, but a 
sort of appendix to the Apology proper. Justin had already written 
a somewnat elaborate ''Syntagma," against the Gnostic heresies, 
which has perished, but the substance of which was probably in- 
corporated in the works of Irensus and Hippolytus. 

(j) Othtr tApologisis, 

a. Tatian. The Apology of Tatian, or Oration to 
the Greeks (c. 172), is one of the most remarkable, 
though not one of the most important, of the apologies. 
Tatian was brought up in heathenism, was a sophist or 
rhetorician, and was therefoire skilled in argumentation. 

1 '* Dial.." Chap. 4S. 

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His Apology Is one of the most denunciatory of all the 
apologies of this time. In fact, it is little more than a 
tirade against paganism. Every pagan practice and be- 
lief is held up to ridicule with great acuteness and almost 
unrivaled sarcasm. The effect of such a writing could 
hardly have been favorable to the Christians. His classical 
references and quotations are more numerous than those 
of any early Christian writer except Clement of Alexan* 
dria. After the martyrdom of Justin, who seems to 
have helpfully influenced him, he adopted Gnostic views, 
repudiating marriage as sinful, rejecting the Old Testa- 
ment as the revelation not of the true God, but of the 
Demiurge, etc. 

ft. Athenagoras. Next to Justin Martyr may be 
ranked Athenagoras, the Athenian philosopher, who em- 
braced Christianity as a result of an examination of the 
Scriptures, with a view to their refutation, and who wrote 
an apology for the Christians to Marcus Aurelius and 
his son Commodus (c. 177). The Apology is written in 
a rhetorical style, abounds in quotations from the Greek 
classics, and is ^ceedingly conciliatory in tone, verging 
upon flattery. The arguments employed and the char- 
acter of the theology are not very different from those 
of Justin. In some respects this is one of the best and 
most admirable of all the Christian apologies of this age. 

c. Theophilus. The next in importance, perhaps, is 
Theophilus of Antioch. Theophilus is said to have be- 
come bishop of Antioch about the eighth year of Marcus 
Aurelius, 1. ^., 169, and wrote his treatise in defense of 
Christianity to Autolycus during the reign of Commo- 
dus, probably c. 190. Unlike the apologies of Justin 
and Athenagoras, the main object is, not to defend the 
Christians (though this is not neglected), but rather to 
convince Autolycus of the absurdity of heathenism and 
the truth of Christianity. Theophilus, like Athenago- 
ras, shows great familiarity with Greek classics, and his 
writings are frequently resorted to by critics of the clas- 
sical Greek texts on account of their richness in citations. 


There were polemical treatises in the preceding period. 
Justin, e. g., wrote extensively against heresies, but 

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nothing distinctively polemical has reached us from this 
period. Side by side, during the first half of the second 
century, an apologetical and a heretical literature had 
sprung up. In some of the Apologists, as in some of the 
Apostolic Fathers, we see tendencies that might easily 
develop Into Gnosticism. Gnostics, about the middle of 
the second century, were everywhere attracting by their 
culture, their respectability, their extravagant claims to 
be the only true Christians, and by their aristocratical 
principles, many of the ablest minds. Many that did not 
fully accept their views were yet deeply affected by 
them. A desire for system was one of the fundamental 
characteristics of Gnosticism. This desire became con- 
tagious. The Gnostics' bold speculations with regard to 
the Godhead, the origin of the world, of sin, etc., were 
the means of arousing those who would otherwise have 
been content with simple faith to a systematizing of 
Christian doctrine. They felt that it was not enough to 
declare the Gnostic systems absurd. They must put 
sometb\ng better in place of these. Christian writers 
now begin to express themselves accurately on doctrinal 

I. General Observations. 

(i) In the preceding period, the chief writers were 
men who had just emerged from heathenism, and had 
devoted their early manhood to heathen philosophy. 
They brought into Christianity much of their previous 
modes of thought, and hence we find a great deal of 
crudeness in some of their doctrinal statements. Now 
we find men that have grown up under the greatly im- 
proved Christian culture that prevailed after the middle 
of the second century. 

(2) The Apologists wrote in times of persecution and 
aimed to ward off danger from without. The polemical 
writers see the greatest dangers to Christianity, not in 
outward violence, but in the alarming spread of error 
under the guise of Christian truth. 

(3) Now for the first time the New Testament Scrip- 
tures are seen to occupy their proper place. The Old 
Testament is not discarded, but the New Testament books 
are quoted as authority and carefully studied. In their 

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contests with paganism, when the great reproach to be 
avoided was that of novelty, we have seen that the 
Christian Apologists attempted to prove Christianity to 
be the oldest religion in the world, and to this end ex- 
alted the Old Testament as the only source of authority. 
The case is different now. The polemical writings are 
mostly directed against Gnostic teachers, who entirely 
repudiated the Old Testament and sought to connect 
their systems with the New Testament writings. 

(4) Here we first see the idea of an orthodox catholic 
church, strongly set forth in opposition to heresy, and the 
basis for future ecclesiastical development firmly laid. 

(5) Most of the earlier writers had been Oriental by 
birth or by education. The ablest of the polemical writers 
belong to the West. 

(6) Some writers of this period recognize, from seeing 
It carried to extremes by the Gnostics, the evil results of 
the allegorical interpretation of Scripture, without, how- 
ever, being able entirely to free themselves from it. 

(7) The method of argumentation most in favor is 
that of the reductio ad absurdum. Arguments from Scrip- 
ture, especially from the New Testament, occupy, how- 
ever, an important place. 

2 Individual Writers. 

(/) Irmmms. 

Literature : Harvey's and Stieren's editions (the former has 
English prolegomena and notes, and is the lust edition ; the latter 
has Latin prolegomena and notes, and embraces reprints of all the 
principal treatises on Irensus from Erasmus onward): English 
translation In "Ante-Nicene Fathers"; Neander, Vol. L, passim; 
Pressensi, '' Martyrs and Apologists," fyassim; Schaf7, Vol. II., p. 
746, siq.; Mceiler, p. 109, seq. ; Bunsen. " Hippol.»" Vol. I.,jp. 246; 
Domer, " Person of Christ," Div. I., Vol. I., p. 303, s$q. ; Ritschl, 
''yfltkath. Kirchi/' p. 312, uq, ; Duncker, '' D. Ckristologit d k. 
frnufus; Hamack, '^ Zeitschr. /. hsst. Tkeol.,*' 1874, p. 174, m^., and 

t, 211, seq.; Zahn, ** Zeitschr, /. hist, Thiol.^^* 1875, p. 72, sm. ; 
ightfoot, " Contemporary Review," August, 1896 ; Kopes, in " Bib- 
Uothica Sacra^** 1877 ; encyclopedia articles on '' Irensus." 

a. Sketch. Irenaeus was born in Asia Minor, about 
130-135, and in his youth was a disciple of the aged 
Polycarp. He received a liberal education, for he cites 

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most of the leading Greek classics. He was a diligent 
student of the Old and New Testaments. He quotes by 
name almost all the earlier Christian writers of whom 
we know anything. He was thoroughly acquainted with 
the heretical literature of his own and preceding times. 
He was, moreover, a man of great piety and zeal, and of 
simple faith. In 177, when Pothinus, the pastor of the 
Christian church at Lyons, had suffered martyrdom, 
Irenaeus, who had been laboring in the region for some 
years as a missionary, bravely took the dangerous posi- 
tion. Persecution ceased, but the relaxation caused by 
Immunity from persecution probably caused false doc- 
trine to gain more and more acceptance. Toward the 
close of his busy life Irenaeus wrote his " Five Books 
against Heresies" {c. 185), in which the views of the 
different heretical sects are stated and refuted, and in 
which Christian doctrine is ably expounded. The sys- 
tematizing of Irenasus has formed the basis for all later 

b. tAbstract of the Five Books Against Heresies, Book 
I. is devoted mainly to a historical account of the various 
Gnostic sects (Chap. 1-9). By way of contrast to the 
heretical teachings, the author presents a declaration of 
the faith of the Catholic Church, perhaps the first dis- 
tinct statement of the faith formally drawn up in a series 
of propositions. 

Book II. is a philosophical polemic against the Valen- 
tinian Gnostics, interspersed with criticisms of their false 
interpretations of Scripture. The philosophical argu- 
ments are designed : {a) To prove the unity of God, and 
the absurdity of the Gnostic distinction between the 
Supreme Being and the Demiurge ; (b) to overthrow the 
Platonic hypothesis of a correspondence between the 
world of ideas and the visible world. Many Valentinian 
doctrines rested on this. Irenaeus insists that when the 
Scriptures are plain and unambiguous they shall not be 
explained ambiguously according to the fancy of iht in- 
terpreter. The truth is never to be arrived at in this 
way, for the method of discovery has been rejected. 
Ambiguous passages (as parables) should not be made 
the source of doctrines (Chap. i). Perfect knowledge 
is not attained in this life. 

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Book III. is chiefly a refutation from Scripture of the 
Gnostic heresies : First, concerning the unity of God, 
and secondly, concerning the person of Christ. The 
fact that the Gnostics differ among themselves, and 
the recent nature of their traditions, is contrasted with 
the agreement of Catholics in doctrine, handed down di- 
rectly from the apostles. The Old Testament and the 
New Testament agree in teaching that there is but one 
God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Cre- 
ator of all things. Irenaeus asserts the canonicity and 
inspiration of the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, 
and John), and of these only. He refutes the opinion of 
those who attempt to establish an antagonism between 
Paul and the other apostles by Paul's own testimony, 
that the same God wrought in Peter to the apostleship 
of the circumcision and in himself to that of the Gen- 
tiles. He proves the pre-existence, incarnation, and suf- 
fering of Christ from Old and New Testament passages, 
rejecting, like Justin, the translation of the Hebrew word 
in Isa. 7 : 14, ** young woman," and applying the proph- 
ecy to the birth of Christ from a virgin. 

Book IV. consists of proof from the words of Christ 
himself that he recognized but one God and Father, and 
this the same that is set forth in the Old Testament. 
The Gnostics' perversions of the words of Christ are 
refuted. Irenaeus proceeds to combat the view of Mar- 
cion, which excluded Abraham and his posterity from 
salvation through Christ, showing that they were in- 
spired by the same God from whom Christ came (Chap. 
8-11). The Old Testament system still continues in 
the New Testament system. Sacrifices are perpetu- 
ated in the Lord's Supper (Chap. 17, 18). The book 
concludes with a vindication of the Old Testament Scrip- 
tures against the cavils of the Gnostics. 

Book V. is devoted chiefly to a vindication of the doc- 
trine of the resurrection against the Gnostic objections. 
The chief objection of the Gnostics was the essentially 
evil nature of matter, and hence the unsuitableness of 
a material body for a state of blessedness. This same 
feeling led them to deny the real incarnation of Christ. 
Irenaeus maintains the true humanity and the true divin- 
ity of Christ, and shows how both are necessary to the 

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truth of our Lord himself and to the redemption of man- 
kind. This established, he uses it as a proof against 
those who deny that flesh is capable of salvation. 

c. Theology of Irenaus. (a) God. Irenaeus does not, 
like Justin, exalt the Supreme Being above all relations 
to the world. The result of such exaltation in the 
Gnostic systems that he combats, depriving them as it 
did of any firm basis of thought and plunging them into 
endless speculations, would save him from such an error. 

(b) The Son. The emanation theory of the Gnostics 
would have prevented Irenaeus from representing the 
Son as created or as emanating from the Father. With 
Irenaeus the Logos is eternal. He says : ** God being all 
mind and all Logos, both speaks exactly what he thinks 
and thinks exactly what he speaks. For his thought is 
Logos, and Logos is mind, and mind, comprehending all 
things, is the Father." Thus he seems to identify the 
Logos with the Father. Elsewhere he writes : " If any 
man say to us, * How then was the Son produced by the 
Father } ' we reply that no one understands that produc- 
tion, or generation, or calling, or revelation, or by what- 
ever name one may describe his generation, which, in 
fact, is indescribable."* Perhaps his doctrine of the 
Logos can be fairly said to imply no more than that the 
Logos is God, considered in his thinking, creative, and 
redeeming aspect. 

(c) The Holy Spirit^ according to Irenaeus, is identical 
with the Wisdom of the Old Testament, and is God 
manifest in Providence, revelation, and the human con- 
science. The Trinity of Irenaeus would therefore be : 
God in the world, God in Christ, and God in himself. 

(d) Freedom of the Will. In opposition to the fatalism 
of the Gnostics, Irenaeus maintains the freedom of the 
will, and asserts that with God there is no coercion. 
Those who yield obedience to God have the promise of 
eternal good. Only by regarding the will as free can he 
account for the exhortations in the Old and New Testa- 
ments to do good, and the promises made to those that 

(e) The eternal decree of redemption is represented as 

1 Book II.. Chap. it. * Book IV., Chap. 37. 

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an act of God's love. The atonement is a ransom paid, 
not to God, but to the devil, to whom all who have dis- 
obeyed God are in subjection. 

(/) Irenaeus looked upon the Church as an organic unity 
whose doctrine had been handed down through a succes' 
sion of presbyters. He nowhere lays stress upon epis- 
copacy as a divine institution, but makes the liberty and 
independence of each church (including a city with its 
surrounding villages) the fundamental principle of the 
ecclesiastical constitution. !n Irenaeus' time, the ques- 
tion whether Easter should be celebrated on the 15th 
Nisan on whatever day of the week it might occur, or on 
the first Sunday after the vernal full moon, was raging. 
Victor, pastor of the Roman church, was arrogant enough 
to break off communion with the churches of Asia Minor 
because they adhered to the former view. Irenaeus, in 
an epistle to him (cited by Eusebius), while agreeing with 
him in opinion, censures severely his intolerant conduct. 
"Christ's apostles," he says, "have ordained that no 
one shall disturb men's consciences with regard to such 
things. It is not right to tear asunder the bonds of 
Christian communion on account of festivals and sea- 
sons, knowing as we do from the prophets that such 
things celebrated in hatred and discord do not please 

We see also that the Roman church had by this time 
great prestige. Irenaeus believed that it was established 
by Peter and Paul, who appointed successors. This be- 
lief, together with the position of the Roman church in 
the metropolis, the administrative ability that it early 
displayed, and the readiness with which it sent contribu- 
tions to needy Christians in other places, caused it to be 
looked up to, and to be frequently appealed to in matters 
of controversy (so even in the time of Clement). We 
see also that a formalizing tendency had already set in 
at Rome and in Asia Minor (the Easter controversy) ; but 
Irenaeus did not favor such a tendency. 

(3) H^polytus. 

:arde's editions : 

^ ; Bunsen, "Hi ..„ _„ . 

i8$2-6; DoUlnger '^//^te^itf If. Callistus/* iSs^ (English transla* 
tion, 187$); Wordsworth, "St. Hippolytus and the Church ci 

LITERATURE : De Lagarde's editions: English translation in the 
•• Ante-Niccnc Library"; Bunsen, ••Hippofytus and his Age," 

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Rome"; Volkmar, ^^H^4>olyius u. d. torn. ZHtgmossM^^ 185$; 
Lip^us, '* Qyi^lUn d. dlUst. KHtirg$uhichU,'' 187$ ; Achdis, ''Hippo- 
Mshidwi,'' 1897 ; Caspar!, " Quslhn tut G$sch, d. Tauf symbols,'' Bd. 
III., SiU. 377t sfQ^y 187$* A new edition of the works of Hippo- 
lytus, edited by Bonwetsch and Achelis, is in process of publication 
under the auspices of the Royal Prussian Academy of Sciences. 

a. Sketch. Considering the number and the importance 
of his writings, surprisingly little is known of the life of 
Hippolytus. Eusebius seems to be the earliest extant 
writer to mention him, and his knowledge was exceed- 
ingly limited. He was born, it is probable, shortly after 
the middle of the second century, whether in Rome or 
in the East is unknown. Like most of the leading 
Roman Christians of the second century he was of 
Oriental origin and Greek was his native tongue. He 
is said to have been a disciple of Irenseus, but when or 
where the personal intercourse of the two occurred is 
not recorded. It is not improbable that Irensus on one 
of his visits to Rome gave a series of discourses on the 
Gnostic heresies that formed the basis of his great work 
on the subject. Eusebius calls him " bishop," but does 
not know over what church he presided. He places him 
in the time of Alexander Severus (222-235). From the 
*' Refutation of All Heresies " it is manifest that Hippo- 
lytus was an active participant in Roman church matters 
during the pastorates of Zephyrinus and Callistus (199- 
222). It would seem that, for reasons given in another 
paragraph, he refused to recognize Callistus as bishop, 
and that he became the recognized leader or bishop of 
the stricter party that claimed to be the true church of 
Rome. After the death of Callistus he probably became 
reconciled with the principal church, and as a presbyter of 
the church continued his ecclesiastical and literary work 
until 235, when he and Bishop Pontianus were trans- 
ported to Sardinia by Maximinus the Thracian. They 
probably died in the mines, but they are said to have 
been buried on the same day in Rome, where they were 
honored as martyrs. A statue of Hippolytus has been 
unearthed in modern times (1551), bearing a catalogue 
of his writings on its pedestal. The late tradition that 
he was bishop of the Portus (at the mouth of the Tiber) 
seems to be diie to a desire to account for the fact that 

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he was bishop and martyr by those Ignorant of the fact 
that he was bishop of the faction that opposed Callistus. 
Hippolytus was one of the four greatest scholars and 
theologians of his age (ranking with Tertullian, Clement 
of Alexandria, and Origen), was a most rigorous disci- 
plinarian, a keen and hard-hitting polemicist, and had 
much in common with contemporary Montanism and 
later Novatianism. 

b. IVritings. Hippolytus was a voluminous writer. 
The list of his works includes dogmatic, polemical, and 
exegetical treatises. Most of these have been preserved 
only in fragments. In 1842 a manuscript was discovered 
in the monastery on Mt. Athos, which was at first sup- 
posed to be the lost ''Philosophumena*' of Origen, and 
was published as such by E. Miller at Oxford in 18$ i. 
The criticism of Bunsen, Dollinger, Volkmar, et al., 

E roved that it was the "Refutation of All Heresies," by 
lippolytus. The decisive considerations in favor of this 
view are, (a) that the style of the work is such as to ex- 
clude Origen's authorship, and (fc) that the author refers 
to a work of his own whose -title is given in the list of 
Hippolytus' works on the ancient statue referred to. 

" The Refutation " covers substantially the same 
ground as the great work of Irenaeus, which in many 
points it materially supplements. It is the opinion of 
many recent critics (Lipsius, Hilgenfeld, Harnack, et al.), 
that both writers drew largely from Justin's lost ''Syn- 
tagma," that Hippolytus used the work of Irenaeus, and 
that he had access to a number of Gnostic works that 
have perished. The most remarkable part of " The 
Refutation," and that which has been most provocative 
of controversy, is Book IX., in which he makes his 
refutation of the heresy of Noetus an occasion for 
denouncing the laxity and doctrinal unsoundness of 

c. The Roman Church in the Time of Hippolytus. 
During the second century the Roman church greatly 
increased in numbers and influence. Persecutions had 
occurred from time to time, but these were not so severe 
nor continuous as seriously to interfere with the develop- 
ment of the body. No doubt it continued to receive 
important reinforcements from Asia Mlnori Greece^ 

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Syria, and Egypt, and Greek appears to have been still 
the language of Ronaan Christians. With the exception 
of Minucius Felix, all Roman Christian writings till some 
time after the close of the second century were Greek. 
Gnosticism, Montanism, Adoptionism, and Monarchianism 
had found their way to Rome, and several leading 
Gnostic teachers had propagated their views there with 
considerable success. But the Roman church, so far 
from yielding to such influences, was led thereby to 
strengthen its organization. Monarchial episcopacy was 
one of the results of its contest with pagan intoler- 
ance and Gnostic heresy. From the beginning the 
Roman church manifested something of the practical 
spirit that little by little secured for it a place of leader- 
ship and authority among the churches. Its location in 
the great metropolis, its practical benevolence, its free- 
dom from extreme doctrinal developments, due in part to 
its poverty in speculative theologians, gave it a great 
advantage over other churches. During the reign of 
Commodus and his immediate successors (180 onward) 
immunity from persecution had brought into the church 
multitudes of imperfectly Christianized people from the 
wealthier classes, and discipline was in consequence 
gradually relaxed. In the time of Hippolytus we see in 
the church two distinct parties, a rigorous party almost 
Montanistic in its severity, led by himself and apparently 
in a small minority, and a liberal party represented by 
Zephyrinus and Callistus, supported by the wealth and 
the social influence of the church. 

Victor, chief pastor of the church (c. 189-199), had 
been a man of great sternness, and many had been 
restive under his rigorous discipline. He was succeeded 
by Zephyrinus (199-219), a man of little moral or intel- 
lectual weight, who permitted the flock to be led astray 
by all sorts of false teachers ; and, under the influence 
of Callistus, permitted various moral delinquencies to 
have place in the church. Callistus, a slave, had been 
entrusted with a large sum of money, had embezzled it, 
had been imprisoned, then released, then banished to the 
mines of Sardinia for having caused a riot in a Jewish 
synagogue. Having escaped from the mines through the 
good offices of Marcia, the emperor's favorite, he re- 

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turned to Rome, now a freed man, became the right-hand 
man of Zephyrinus, and succeeded him as chief pastor 
in 219. 

During Zephynnus' pastorate the Noetian heresy, 
according to which God the Father and Christ are abso 
lutely identical, and hence the Father was born of a 
woman and suffered on the cross, had been introduced 
at Rome. Callistus, apparently, adopted this doctrine, 
and brought his influence to bear upon the young and 
promising Sabellius. Hippolytus and his party strove 
earnestly against these theological errors, and were 
stigmatized by their opponents as ditheists, because 
Jiey insisted on the absolute deity of Christ and yet 
.efused to identify him with the Father. Hippolytus 
»emonstrated with Sabellius, who held, that the terms 
••Father," "Son," and "Spirit," are only designations 
of the three different phases under which the Divine 
essence reveals itself, all three together exhausting the 
revelation of God to the world. 

Callistus, when he became chief pastor, threw off 
Sabellius as not orthodox, and with a view to conciliating 
Hippolytus and his party set forth his own views in a 
form slightly differing from the Noetian, but in the 
opinion of Hippolytus essentially the same. This modi- 
fied Sabellianism Callistus is said to have propagated 
with the greatest diligence and success. Callistus 
offended Hippolytus more by his laxity of discipline 
than by his doctrinal unsoundness. Many that had 
been excluded from the church for gross misconduct 
were restored, Callistus proclaiming himself ready *' to 
forgive all sins." He taught that if a bishop should be 
guilty even of a mortal sin he could not be deposed. 
He maintained that Noah's ark, in which clean and un- 
clean beasts were preserved together, was a type of the 
church. He is said to have permitted ladies of rank who 
did not wish to marry to have slaves for paramours. 

In narrating the career of Callistus, Hippolytus manifests so much 
passion that his representations cannot be Implicitly trusted. Cal- 
listus must have been a man of marked ability and more than 
usually attractive personality to have risen from slavery and a 
reputation for dishonesty to the foremost position in the church. He 
may have honestly dltfered from Hippolytus as regards the dlsd- 

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plinary policy of the church. Hippolytus imputes the worst of 
motives to all his actions, and represents his proceedings in the 
worst possible light. Rumors and suspicions figure, apparently, as 
undoubted facts. 

It is by no means certain that Caliistus was as much at fault in 
relation to Noetus and Sabellius as Hippolytus would have us be- 
lieve. The views of these teachers he caricatures. No doubt they 
were making an honest effort to express the great facts of revelation 
with reference to the Godhead in such a manner as to avoid dithe- 
ism or tritheism, the Gnostic emanation theory, and the Ebionitlc 
denial of the true deity of the Son. They wished to hold fast the 
divine unity and monarchy and the absolute deity of Christ. The 
modal doctrine of the Trinity was the result. Sabellius applied the 
term " person " (»pow»or) to each of the three modes of divine mani- 
festation (as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), a term that in a differ- 
ent sense was to figure prominently in the orthodox theology of the 
later time. 

(^) TsrhiUioH. 

LITERATURE : Oehler's edition of Tertullian ; English translation 
in *' Ante-Nicene Fathers" ; Neander, ''Atttignosiicus^ Spirit of Ter- 
tullian," and *' Ch. History," Vol. 1.. passim: Pressensi, '* Martyrs 
and Apologists," p. 374, s#j. ; Schaft, Vol. II., p. 818, siq, ; Kaye 
(Bishop of Bristol), ^'Ecclesiastical History of the Second and 
Third Centuries, Illustrated from the Writings of Tertullian " ; Baur 
and Ritschl, as on ** Montanism " ; Bonwetsch,"£)tf SchrifUn d, Tirt> 
ttach d. Znt ihrer Vtrfassung^^ 1879; Harnacic, ^^ Ziiischr. /. hist. 
ThtoL^^ 1878, p. S72, stq, ; Hauschild, *' Tertullians PsychoUm,*^ 
1880 ; Haucic, '* Ttrt, Ubm und Sckrift^J* 1877 ; Nocldechen, '^7>r- 
tullian," 1800 ; works On the ** History of Doctrine," by Hagenbach, 
Neander, Baur, Shedd, Sheldon, Cnppen, Hamack. Loofs, Fisher, 
Seeberg, etc. ; encyclopedia articles on *' Tertullian." 

a. Sketch. Tertullian (b. 1 50-160) was a native of 
Carthage and the son of a Roman proconsular centurion. 
He was educated in Roman law and in the liberal arts, 
and had attained to considerable eminence before his 
conversion. He also acquired familiarity with the Greek 
language, and is said to have written some works in it. 
He was greatly influenced by Stoic philosophy in its later 
form, as is manifest in his theological thinking. He is 
the first Christian writer in whom Roman law and Stoic 
philosophy appear as determining elements. His conver- 
sion may have occurred about 180, under what influence 
we are not informed. His ability and zeal soon led to 
his appointment as a presbyter in the Carthaginian 
church. His able and voluminous Latin writings laid 
the foundations for Latin theology. He was the first 

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important Christian writer to use this language, and he 
forged it into shape for Cyprian, Lactantius, Jerome, 
and Augustine. According to Jerome, " he was a man 
of sharp and vehement temper." He had little in 
common with the Platonising theologians, and had 
no patience with Gnostic theosophy. ** He apprehended 
Christianity . . . eminently in its opposition to all the 
pallid wisdom of philosophy, as a mighty supernatural 
reality, a divine foolishness wiser than men, creating 
and transmuting, challenging and disdaining contradic- 
tion. His was a fiery nature, rich in fantasy, witty and 
passionate, and inclined to paradox, at the same time 
endowed with a certain amount of Oriental (Punic) 
warmth and sensuousness, but also with a good share of 
Roman sense of what is solid and effective." * 

In mid-career his views underwent an important 
change. By way of reaction against laxity in discipline, 
that was so glaringly and scandalously manifest in the 
Roman church under Zephyrinus, he was carried away 
by the rigor and enthusiasm of the Montanists. While 
there is no lack of zeal and fervor in his earlier writings, 
the later are still more intense and are characterized by 
the forms of teaching peculiar to Montanism. His works 
are too voluminous to be adequately described in this 
chapter. The more important ones will be referred to 
in connection with the characterization of his chief 
adversaries and the statement of his distinctive doctrinal 
positions. He seems to have been a born fighter and 
throughout his career to have been much engaged in 
controversy. He is pre-eminently the polemicist of the 

b. Adversaries of Tertullian. (a) The Monarchians or 
Patripassians, as represented by Praxeas, who had com- 
bated Montanism in Asia Minor and ** when the bishop 
of Rome had acknowledged the prophetic gifts of Mon- 
tanus, Prisca, and Maximilla, and . . . had bestowed 
his peace on the churches of Asia and Phrygia," had 
" by importunately urging false accusations against the 
prophets themselves and their churches . . . compelled 
him to recall the pacific letter which he had issued." 

1 MSiler. "Ch. Hist.." Vol. L, p. aoi. 

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He availed himself of his visit to Rome to disseminate 
there his Monarchian views of the Godhead. By this 
visit " Praxeas did a two-fold service for the devil at 
Rome. He drove away prophecy, and he brought in 
heresy ; he put to flight the Paraclete, and he crucified 
the Father.'^* 

Monarchianism had become widespread by the beginning of the 
third century. The ^ound of It may be stated thus : Up to about 
I7J most of the Chnstian writers had represented Christ as the pre- 
existent Logos, and in a way that seemed to imply subordination. 
In opposition to Ebionism the church gradually freed itself from this 
implied subordination! sm. But the difficulty now was that of seem- 
ing to postulate two Gods. Hence those that held to a distinction 
between Father and Son, and yet refused to admit the subordination 
of the latter^ere stigmatized as *'ditheists." Those that rejected 
the Gnostic Docetism,the Ebionotic denial of Christ's Divinity, and 
the setting up of two equal personalities, were driven to views like 
those of Noetus and Sabeilius. The most decided opposition to this 
tendency was that offered by Montanism. TertuUlan's treatise,"/^*/- 
vtrsus Pfoiuon^^ is the ablest contemporary refutation of Monarchian- 

(ft) Paganism, as represented by idolatry, vicious 
spectacular exhibitions, the persecution of Christians, 
etc. Tortullian displays his great rhetorical powers to 
best advantage in his denunciation of paganism and In 
his eulogizing of Christianity by way of contrast. 

(c) The various Gnostic systems that were combated 
also by Irenaeus and Hippolytus. Tertullian's fiery 
African nature did not permit him to reason calmly, and 
here, as in all his polemics, he is too denunciatory and 
fails to give his adversaries credit for the good that their 
systems contain. Yet Tertullian probably did more to 
overthrow Gnosticism than any other man. 

{S) The Jews. The " Answer to the Jews " was 
occasioned by a discussion that occurred between a 
Christian and a Jewish proselyte. The reasoning is not 
very different from that of Justin in his " Dialogue with 

c. Tertullian and Montanism. Tertullian was the 
great theologian of the Montanistic movement. His 
conversion to Montanism was probably a gradual one, 
and occurred when he was already of mature age. The 

^ " Advnus PrMMoii." Chap. 1. 

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genius of Tertullian was too great to exhaust its influ- 
ence upon a sect. In Latin theology nothing had ap- 
peared at all comparable with his writings, and we may 
suppose that they were eagerly read throughout the 
Latin churches. Tertullian was so stanch a defender 
of the fundamental doctrines of Christianity that his au- 
thority was everywhere great, notwithstanding his Mon- 
tanism, and through him Montanistic views were infil- 
trated into the dominant form of Christianity in the suc- 
ceeding time. 

d. Theology of Tertullian. (a) With regard to the 
Godhead. As an opponent of Monarchianism, especially 
in the form of Patripassianism, Tertullian held most tena- 
ciously to the distinction of the Father and the Son. 
No earlier writer had expressed himself with so much 
precision on the doctrine of the Trinity. His clearest 
statement is found in his treatise ''/tdversus Praxean/* 
Chap. 2 : 

We believe in one only God, yet under this dispensation, which 
we call " economy," that the one only God has a Son. his Word 
(ssrmo)t who proceeds from himself, throup^h whom all things were 
madCc and without whom was made nothmg. That this Son was 
sent by the Father into a virgin and was bom of her. man and 
God, Sen of Man and Son of God, and named Jesus Ciirist ; that 
he suffered, that he died and was buried, according to the Scriptures, 
that he was resuscitated by the Father and taken back into heaven, 
that he sits at the riRht hand of the Father, that he will come to 
judge the living and the dead : who has sent thence from the Father 
according to his promise the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete, the sanctifier 
of the faith of those that believe in Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. 

And farther on : 

And nevertheless the sacrament of the '* economv " is jeuardedi 
which disposes unity into trinity, arranging three. Father, Son, and 
Holy Spirit ; three, however, not in state but in degree ; not in sub- 
stance but In form ; not In power but In aspect ; but of one sub- 
stance and of one state and of one power, because it Is one God 
from whom those degrees and forms and aspects, in the name of 
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, are reckoned. 

He remarks (in Chap. 3) that the greater number of 
the Christians of his time, having just abandoned poly- 
theism, are in mortal dread of the ** economy," "pre- 
suming that a numbering and disposition of trinity is a 
division of unity." Tertullian maintains that *' unity 

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deriving trinity out of its very self is not destroyed, but 
administered thereby." Again (in Chap. 9): "For 
the Father is the whole substance, as he himself informs 
us : * The Father is greater than I ' ; but the Son is a 
derivation and portion of the whole." Thus Tertullian 
distinctly formulates a doctrine of the Trinity, but he 
seems to deny the co-eternity and co-equality of Son 
and Spirit with the Father. Largely as a result of his 
Stoical training, Tertullian was materialistic and could 
not allow that God himself was immaterial and formless, 
(fc) With regard to man's original and actual condition, 
Tertullian advances views far more developed than those 
of any of his predecessors. In answer to Marcion's 
cavil that if God had been good and prescient and 

?)tent, he would not have allowed man to fall into siny 
ertullian argues that '' God alone is good by nature, for 
he who has what is without beginning has it not by 
institution, but by nature. But man, who is altogether 
by institution, having beginning, with beginning was 
allotted a form in which he should be, and so was deter- 
mined to the good, not by nature, but by institution, 
not having as his own to be good, because not by nature 
was he determined to the good, but by institution, ac- 
cording to the Good Institutor, that is to say, the Maker 
of good things." 

He adds that free will was given to man in order that* 
he might attain unto a good of his own analogous to that 
of -God. Had man remained subject to the Divine will 
he would have been exalted above the angels. Sin con- 
sisted in the fact that man sought to free himself from 
subjection to the Divine will. If God had restrained 
man from sin it would have involved a withdrawal of 
freedom from man, which was potentially the instrument^ 
of his highest good. 

Here also the Influence of Stoicism is manifest. The Stoics held 
that evil is necessary for the production of moral virtue, that there 
is no virtue where tnere is no choice, and that man was created fret 
to choose.^ 

After the fall the "corruption of [man's] nature is 

1 "^dvenu$ mareioium," Bk. II.. Chap, s-9- 
* Compare Hatch. " Hibbert Lectures," p. a^i. 

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another nature, having its own god and father, namely, 
the author of corruption himself, yet so that there 
inheres also that principal, that divine and true (gertna- 
num), and properly natural, good of the soul. For what 
is from God is not so much extinguished as beclouded. 
It can be beclouded, because not God ; it cannot be ex- 
tinguished, because from God."* 

Man, therefore, assisted by the grace of God, freely 
bestowed upon all through Christ, is capable by the seed 
of good that remains in him of turning unto God and 
attaining to salvation. 

Tertullian was the first, so far as we know, to formu- 
late the doctrine of the transmission of the soul by 
propagation from parent to child, known in the history 
of doctrine as " Traducianism." His psychology is 
somewhat materialistic, in harmony with his Stoic mode 
of thought. He defines the soul * as " born of the truth 
of God, immortal, corporeal, having form, simple of 
substance, . . free of will, obnoxious to accidents, 
mutable through natural dispositions, rational, dominat- 
ing, divining, multiplying from one." Elsewhere he 
gives an account of a Montanist prophetess, who pro- 
fessed to have seen a soul and attempted to describe its 
outward appearance. 

(c) Baptism. No Christian writer of the early cen- 
turies wrote so extravagantly regarding the magical 
effects of water baptism. His attitude toward baptism 
was due in some measure to his Stoical conception of 
the essential unity of matter and spirit (materialistic 

The treatise *' D# Bapt^mat$ " begins : '* Blessed is our sacrament 
of water, in that, by washing away the sins of our early blindness, 
we are liberated into eternal life.'*^ Again: " But we, little fishes, 
after the example of our ix^va Jesus Christ [the letters of this Greek 
word meaning fish are the initials for ' Jesus Christ, Son of God, 
Saviour,' and the picture of a fish was a very common sign among 
the early Christians], are born in water " (Chap, i ). He dilates on 
the age and the dignity of water as the pnmeval element on which 
the Divine Spirit orooded. "Water was the first to produce that 
which had lire, that it mieht be no wonder in baptism if waters 
knew how to give life" (Cnap. 3). He argues that " the Spirit of 
God, who hovered over (the waters) from the beginning, would 

1 " Dt Atdmar 46. * Ikid,, n. 

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continue to linger over the waters of the baptized." " Thus," he 
continues, ** the nature of the waters, sanctified by the Holy One, 
itself conceived withal the power of sanctifying. ' Again: '*A11 
waters, therefore, in virtue of the pristine privilege of their origin, 
do, after invocation of God, attain the sacramental power of sanctl- 
fication." Again: "Therefore, after the waters nave been In a 
manner endued with medicinal virtue through the intervention of the 
angel, the spirit is corporeally washed in £fie waters, as the flesh is 
in the same spiritually^' (Chap. 4). He calls attention to the iustral 
rites of various heathen peoples and the magical efficacy ascribed 
thereto, but it does not seem to occur to him that he is paganizing 
Rather he argues that *' if the mere nature of water . . . leads men 
to flatter themselves with a belief in omens of purification, how 
much more will waters render that service through the authority of 
God, by whom all their nature has been constituted " (Chap. $). ^ 

Tertullian earnestly dissuades from the practice of • 
bapti:(ing little children (not infants), which appears to 
have been becoming somewhat common in his time. 
He is insisting ^ upon the utmost care in the administra- 
tion of baptism, lest those should be baptized who have 
not a proper understanding of the efficacy of the ordi- 
nance and the obligations it entails. Believing as he 
did in the«unpardonableness of post-baptismal sins, he • 
thought that no one should be baptized who was not in 
a position to guard his life most scrupulously from the 
moment of his baptism. • 

" Let them come," he says, " while they are adolescent, while 
they are learning, while they are being taught wherefore they come ; 
let them become Christians when they become able to know Christ." 
Tertullian opposed the baptism of nttle children, but not on abso- 
lutely correct principles. The custom that he is arguing against 
appears to have been the baptism of children who were large enough 
to ^'hasten to the remission of sins," but who yet had no proper 
idea of Christianity. On the same ground Tertullian argues that 
the unmarried and virgins ought to delay their baptism until they 
have passed through their maturity. 

(d) State of Christian life represented in the writings 
of Tertullian. The opposition between the worldly 
Christians and the ascetical, legalistic, Montanistic party 
had reached its climax. Abundant evidence of the cor- 
ruption of morals in the churches, and of the growing 
tendency toward episcopacy, which Tertullian as a 

' D* B^tismaU,** 17. 

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presbyter combats, is furnished by the writings of Ter- 

e. The Carthaginian Church. It is not known just how 
or when Christianity was first introduced into Carthage, 
but almost certainly from Rome, in the first half of the 
second century. Carthage had by this time come to be 
one of the great cities of the world. Africa was the 
chief source of grain supply for Italy, and Carthage was 
its commercial center. It had adopted the language of 
Rome and had developed considerable intellectual ac- 
tivity. It combined the licentious idolatry of the East 
with the luxury and extravagance of Rome. It is de- 
scribed by an ancient writer as the Rome of Africa and 
as surpassing all other cities in corruption and vice. 

Yet Christianity found acceptance here among all 
ranks of people, even the highest, and from this centre 
spread all over Proconsular Africa. By the close of the 
second century the Christians numbered many thou- 
sands. A distinct type of Christianity was naturally 
developed here, combining Roman organization with 
African fire and impetuosity. In all matters the North 
African Christians seem to have tended to extremes. 
Nowhere else did such violent schisms occur during this 
period. Carthaginian Christianity had little of the 
speculative spirit of the Alexandrian, and its speculative 
heresies (Gnosticism. Monarchianism, etc.) were chiefly 

Here, as at Rome, opposition soon arose between the strict and the 
lax elements. It is only necessary to read Tertullian's treatises con- 
cerning Idolatry, Spectacular Exhibitions, Chastity, Modesty, and 
Veiling of Virgins, to be convinced of the corruption in which a part 
of the Carthaginian Christian community was involved. We 
learn that the virgins or nuns of the church were fond of fine dress 
and of attending the public baths (no sign of modesty); that 
makers of idols were sometimes admitted into the church, urging in 
defense of their conduct inability to support themselves otherwise ; 
that Christians could not be restrained from witnessing spectacular 
exhibitions; and that drunkenness, gluttony, and lust abounded. 
Such things were condemned by the strict Montanistic party, which, 
driven to despair by the condition of the church, doubtless became 
somewhat fanatical in its zeal for purity and separation from the 
world, exalting virginity, insisting upon abstemiousness in regard 
to every human pleasure, being zealous for martyrdom, etc. 

Fanaticism in religion almost always springs from despair in rela* 

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tion to the actual state of things and opposition encountered in efforts 
for reform. 

{4) QfprioH, 

LITERATURE : '* Qfrtam Omnia Opsra^^^ various editions, Eras- 
mus, Fell, Goldhom, Hartel, etc. (A critical edition of Cyprian is a 
desideratum) ; Pontius, " De Vita Cppriam'* : Eusebius, ** Hist. Ecc.,'* 
Bk. VIL, Chap. 3 ; Lactantius, Bk. V., Chap, i ; English transla- 
tion of Cyprian's works in " Ante-Nicene Fathers^* ; Neander, 
" Ch. Hist.,'' Voi. L.passim ; Pressens6, " Mart, and Apol.," pp. 414, 
stq. ; Poole, ** Life and Times of Cyprian " ; Rettberg, ** Qprioftus 
nach siitum Uhen md IVirken'* ; Long, in ''Baptist Quarterly," 
1877 ; O. Ritschl, ** Qyp, von Carthago,'' 1885 ; Greenwood, ** Cathi- 
dra Pttri,'' Vol. I.; TiUemont, '' Mimoins,'^ Tom. IV., p. 76, ssq. : 
•' St. Cyprian's Correspondence " in ** Church Quarterly Review,'* 
July, 1891 ; Goctz, *' G$seh, </. Cypr, Litteratwr'' 1891 ; Le Provost, 
'' Etudi philosot>kiquiit Uttsrain sur St. Cyprien,'^ 1888 ; Freppei, *' 5/. 
CypriiH it VEgliu d'Affiqus^'' Third Edition, 1889 ; Bohringer, " Bio- 
paphien^' Bd. 1., th. 2, Seit. 813-1030; Benson, ** Life of St. 
Cyprian " ; encyclopedia articles, especially '* Herzog," and " Diet, 
of Chr. Biog." 

a. Sketch. Cyprian was born in Proconsular Africa, 
probably in Carthage, about 200. Like Tertullian, he 
was the son of a Roman officer and was educated as a 
rhetorician. He was a brilliant teacher of rhetoric before 
his conversion to Christianity. Having adopted Christi- 
anity, he at once became zealous in defense of it, and de- 
voted his ample means to Christian purposes. He was an 
ardent admirer of Tertullian, and may be regarded as his 
disciple. Cyprian became bishop of the Carthaginian 
church so shortly after his conversion as to cause much 
dissatisfaction among the presbyters. But the Christian 
community had become so impressed with his sanctity 
and his fitness for the highest position in the North Afri- 
can Church, that he was enthusiastically appointed, not- 
withstanding the opposition. 

The Decian persecution soon broke upon the North 
African Church. The fury of Decius was directed par- 
ticularly against the bishops. When Cyprian could no 
longer remain at Carthage with any safety, he went into 
retirement. This exposed him to the charge of unfaith- 
fulness on the part or his enemies ; yet he probably had 
a truer view of Christian duty than those who courted 
martyrdom. His letters to the people during this period of 
separation show that he felt the profoundest solicitude for 

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their welfare. Having returned, he suffered martyrdom 
under Valerian (258). 

b. Theological Position of Cyprian. Though far infe- 
rior to Tertullian in learning and philosophical ability, 
Cyprian has always held a high place among the Fathers 
of the Church. He transferred the life and theology of 
Tertullian into the Catholic Church. Though a man of 
great holiness, Cyprian may be said to have done more 
for the development of hierarchical views than any man 
of this age. The circumstances under which he was 
placed, the difficulties he had to encounter, together with 
the remarkable administrative powers and predilections 
which were his by nature, led him to take a position in 
advance of his age in favor of hierarchical principles. 

Cyprian was the first to establish clearly the distinction 
between presbyters and bishops, and the primacy of the 
Roman church as the Cathedra Petri, 

(a) The distinction between presbyters and bishops. We 
have seen that up to the time of Irenaeus the distinction 
between presbyters and bishops was by no means clear. 
The distinction, firmly established from the time of Cyp- 
rian, was brought about in the following way: The 
churches had come to be large bodies difficult to manage, 
especially in times of persecution. The collection and 
distribution of alms had assumed vast proportions, and 
the superintendence of this work devolved upon the 
bishop. The bishop was chairman of the board of pres- 
byters and the leader of the church in the administration 
of discipline. Presbyters often disagreed, and the feeling 
grew that there should be in each Christian community 
a center of authority, whereby schism might be prevented 
and unity preserved. This was especially the case in 
large cities, where a single organization was maintained, 
with many places of worship, each presided over by a 
presbyter of the church. Occasions would frequently 
arise for the interference of the bishop, and when the 
need for episcopal authority came to be strongly felt the 
vindication of such authority was sure to follow. 

In general, a struggle took place between the aristo- 
cratical government of the presbyters and the monarch- 
ical government of the bishops. Bishops when they had 
strong governing talent and were popular, gradually 

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gained the upper hand ; so, especially, did it happen in 
Cyprian's struggle with the Carthaginian presbyters. 
The triumph of episcopacy undoubtedly promoted for 
the time tranquillity and order ; but it was unfriendly to 
the free development of ecclesiastical life and led to the 
sacerdotalism or a later time. 

Cyprian, while in retirement, still attempted to give 
direction to the church of Carthage, and instructed the 
presbyters as to the administration. Whenever he had 
to decide anything without consulting the presbyters, he 
was careful to excuse himself. But many such cases oc- 
curred and the precedent was established. 

Yet Cyprian conceded to the people the right of choos- 
ing worthy bishops, and of rejecting unworthy ones. 
The fact that he himself was elected by popular vote, 
and even against the desire of some of the presbyters, 
was enough to secure his recognition of this right. But 
the very popularity of Cyprian enabled him to triumph 
over the presbyters, just as Hildebrand, at a later time, 
triumphed over the bishops by arousing the people against 

He was a genuine pastor, and had the profoundest re- 
gard for the welfare of each member of the flock. He 
had administrative plans, and he insisted on executing 
them. The interests of the people must be regarded, 
whether the presbyters concurred or not. His motives 
seem to have been pure ; but when the same method 
came to be applied by less worthy bishops, great abuses 

(ft) The doctrine of the suprema(y of the %oman Church 
as the Cathedra Petri, and the center of unity of the one Uni- 
versal Church. Irenaeus had insisted upon the unity of 
the church ; but it was a spiritual unity, resulting from 
community of headship in Christ and from community of 
belief, as handed down through a succession of presby- 
ters, not an external, organic unity. The general ten- 
dency of the church from this time forward was toward 
making religion external ; and the idea of the spiritual 
unity of the church was easily transformed into that of 
outward unity. 

The same tendencv that led to the centralization of 
power in the bishop, for the sake of securing unity and 

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order, led to a centralization of power in a head of the 
universal church. If the church was an outward, organic 
unity, it needed a single mouthpiece, just as much as did 
a single community. Controversies were arising every- 
where among bishops. A supreme bishop — a bishop of 
bishops — was needed to adjudicate upon these controver- 
sies. There arose thus in the minds of Cyprian and 
others a desire for such a unifying, authoritative power ; 
but it is noticeable that such a power was desired only oi* 
the supposition that the authoritative head would decide 
justly, i. e., on Cyprian's side. The thought never oc- 
curred to Cyprian, perhaps, of submitting to an unjust 
decision, i. e., one against himself. 

In his work, " De Unitate EcclesicB^" Cyprian makes use 
of such language as this : " The primacy was given to 
Peter, that one church of Christ and one chair might be 
pointed out." *' Does he believe that he is in the faith, 
who does not hold this unity of the church ? Does he 
trust that he is in the church who strives against and re- 
sists the church ? who deserts the Cathedra Petri on 
which the church has been founded ? " " There is one 
episcopate, by the single members of which each part is 
held in solidity." *' Just as there are many rays of the 
sun, but one light ; and many branches of the tree, but 
one strength, founded on the tenacious root ; and since 
from one source many streams flow forth, the numerosity 
may seem diffused by the bounty of the surging stream, 
nevertheless unity in origin is preserved. Pluck a ray 
of the sun from the body, the unity of the light does not 
receive a division." " He cannot have God for his Father 
who has not the church for his mother." 

There is considerable ground for skepticism regarding the authen- 
ticity of these strong expressions regarding the Caihidra Petri and the 
primacy of the Roman bishop. While there is no documentary basis 
for the theory of interpolation, it seems improbable that the Cyprian 
who was so self-assertive in his intercourse with the bishops of the 
Roman church in his time should have sought to exalt the authority 
of these very bishops. But it may be that the object he had in view 
ill writing this treatise led him to forget for the time his personal 
attitude toward the incumbents of the Roman See. 

c. ^Adversaries of Cyprian, (a) With regard to the 
treatment of the ** lapsed.** Large numbers of nominal 

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Christians were le^ by physical fear or love of property 
to deny the faith. When persecution had ceased these 
clamored for re-admission into the churches. Martyrs 
and confessors had always been highly esteemed. Some 
of these were supposed to have made dying requests for 
the restoration of the fallen. In the eyes of many this 
was a sufficient ground for indiscriminate restoration. A 
certain Lucian claimed to have been directed by a well- 
known confessor, Paul, to give " letters of peace " to all 
the lapsed, and accordingly spread such letters broad- 
cast through the North African churches. In many cases 
the lapsed, with these letters in their hands, overawed 
presbyters and bishops ; but Cyprian was not to be thus 
overawed. The decided stand that he took on this matter 
brought him into controversy not only with the confes- 
sors, but also with some of the presbyters (those chiefly 
that were already against him), and with the Roman 
church, which was in favor of leniency toward the 

Cyprian adopted a middle course : Those who showed 
signs of true penitence and whose sins had not been par- 
ticularly grave, were to be restored ; others, not. This 
was one of the hardest battles Cyprian had to fight ; 
and in the course of it he was led to assert the divine 
right of bishops as successors of the apostles, appointed 
by God himself and acting in the name of Christ, and 
their supremacy over presbyters. 

(b) \Vith regard to the administration of church finances^ 
etc. Novatus was one of the presbyters who opposed 
the election of Cyprian. In direct opposition to Cyp- 
rian's wish he soon appointed (or caused to be chosen) 
Felicissimus as deacon in his church. The opposition be- 
tween Cyprian and Novatus and Felicissimus was long and 
fierce. Before Cyprian's return from exile, he sent two 
bishops and two presbyters to examine into the condition 
of the churches and to make a schedule of all the poor 
who were to be supported from the church funds, with 
notices of their ages, their conduct in persecution, etc. 
They were directed to give to the poor from the church 
funds what they needed for immediate support and to 
give to mechanics who had lost everything in persecution, 
money for purchasing tools, etc. Felicissimus, as deacon 

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and treasurer, refused to allow Cypr^n to meddle with 
the finances of Novatus' church. This church now be- 
came the resort of many of the lapsed, and a schism was 
effected with Felicissimus at its head. A council was 
called by Cyprian, and Felicissimus and his party were 
condemned. Both parties appealed to Rome, and although 
the Roman church agreed with Felicissimus with regard 
to the treatment of the lapsed, it refused to recognize a 
party that was looked upon as schismatical. The party 
of Felicissimus never became strong. 

(£:) JVith regard to the validity of heretical baptism. 
After the rise and diffusion of schismatical bodies, per- 
sons frequently sought admission into the churches who 
had been baptized in these. The churches of Asia Minor 
maintained the invalidity of heretical baptism. This 
principle was rigidly adhered to by the Montanists, and 
had come from Tertullian to Cyprian. The opponents 
of Montanism soon began to oppose re-baptism. 

In 255 Cyprian secured the convening of a council, 
which decided in favor of the stricter principle ; although 
in 253, Stephen, bishop of Rome, had excommunicated 
the bishops of Asia Minor for holding to this view, stig- 
matizing them as "Anabaptists." It is wonderful how 
Cyprian's tone, in correspondence with the Roman 
bishop, varies according to circumstances. He now 
writes to Stephen, giving him the decision of the African 
council and the reasons for it, without once alluding to 
any authority of the Roman bishop to reverse the decision. 
The tone is somewhat bold and defiant. 

(d) With regard to the competemy of the church to for- 
give the lapsed, Cyprian's views on this subject are his- 
torically connected with the Novatian schism, discussed 
above. It is remarkable, that although Cyprian tended 
toward the Montanistic rigor he was prevented from sup- 
porting the Novatianists by two considerations: First, 
that the extreme position drove men to despair, and he 
was wise enough to see that it was impracticable ; sec- 
ondly, that the Novatianist party had broken the unity of 
the church by setting up a bishop in opposition to a duly 
consecrated, and hence divinely apf>ointed, bishop. 
Cyprian could endure anything rather than see the 
unity of the church broken. The idea of the one Uni- 

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versa! Church was gaining a strong hold upon men's 
minds in Cyprian's time, and any party that should 
break this unity was sure to be repudiated by the most 
influential Christians and churches, however holy the 
life or pure the doctrine of such party. 


Alexandria at the beginning of the Christian era was 
the most cosmopolitan city in the world. Oriental and 
Occidental culture met and blended there as nowhere 
else. The Jewish-Alexandrian philosophy, as seen most 
fully developed in the writings of Philo, was one of the 
most noteworthy products of the eclecticism that there 
prevailed. Nowhere was a new religion or philosophy 
so sure of a hospitable hearing. Here Gnosticism and 
speculative Ebionism flourished. The first introduction of 
Christianity into the city is veiled in obscurity. Tradi- 
tion points to Mark as the founder of the Alexandrian 
church. A distinct mode of theological thought, of which 
Pantaenus, Clement, and Origen were the great ex- 
ponents, was here developed. Shortly after the middle 
of the second century a catechetical school was estab- 
lished for the instruction of the children of believers and 
fresh converts from paganism in the fundamentals of 
Christian doctrine and morals. The first teacher of 
whom we have information was Pantsenus, whom his 
more distinguished pupil praises, but whose writings have 
not survived. The instruction at first must have been 
very elementary in its nature. Under Clement, who 
succeeded Pantsenus, the school grew in popularity, and 
the instruction became more scientific. Clement having 
fled from Alexandria during the persecution under Se- 
verus (202 or 203), Origen, a mere youth, became 
teacher. Under him, the school rose to its highest point 
(202-230), attracting large numbers of pagans and Gnos- 
tics, as well as Christians. Clement and Origen may be 
regarded as the first really scientific students of Chris- 
tianity and the Christian Scriptures ; the first, the Gnostic 
bodies excepted, who attempted to reduce Christianity 
to a consistent, harmonious system. Alexandria con- 
tinued to be a chief center of Christian thought and 
influence until the seventh century. 

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/. General Characteristics. 

(i) Earlier Christian writers like Irenaeus, Hippolytus, 
and TertulHan^ had discussed individual doctrines with 
special reference to attacks made upon them by heretics. 
But the idea seems never to have occurred to them to 
make a systematic exposition of Christianity as a whole ; 
to apply comprehensive principles to the interpretation 
of Scripture ; to compare systematically the different 
parts of Scripture among themselves. Such a study of 
Christianity was begun toward the close of the second 
century at Alexandria. 

(2) Alexandria being the seat of speculative philoso- 
phy, whence most of the elements of Gnosticism had 
come, it might have been expected that Christianity, 
after it had become well established here, would assume 
a speculative form. 

(3) The Alexandrian theologians with whom the 
scientific spirit had its birth, were Platonists (with a 
strong admixture of Pythagoreanism and Stoicism). Not 
that they had been simply brought up Platonists (as 
were Justin and Athenagoras, who yet, after they 
adopted Christianity, rejected Platonism as the work of 
demons) ; but they remained Platonists, and sought to 
explain Christianity according to the Platonic categories, 
in somewhat the same way in which Philo had, two cen- 
turies earlier, attempted to explain Judaism. In fact 
these Christian Platonists were greatly indebted to Philo. 

(4) The chief difference between the theology under 
discussion and that of the Gnostics is, that the repre- 
sentatives of the former were decided Christians^ ad- 
hered to the historical, and admitted the divine authority 
of the Old and New Testaments ; whereas, the latter 
had little sympathy with the spirit of Christianity, and 
paid no regard to the historical. 

(5) Heretofore, the allegorical interpretation had been 
applied to the Scriptures, whenever it suited a writer's 
purpose. Allegorizing was now reduced to a system. 

(6) In the profound speculations of this school of 
thought, with regard to the origin of evil, the Godhead, 
the will of man, the consummation of all things, etc., lay 
the germs of many lat:>r doctrinal developments. 

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2. Individual IVtiters. 

(/) CUmitU of AUsumdria* 

LrrERATURE: The best edition of the works of Clement 
is that of Dindorf, though this is very defective: Eng. tr. in 
" Ante-Nicene Fathers" ; lusebius, " Hist, Ecc'' Bit. V.. Chap. 11, 
Bic VI., Chap. II, 13; Photius, ^^Bibliothsca^^* 109-111 ; Bunsen 
has made a clever attempt to reconstruct the *' Ht^tuposiis^*' from 
fragments preserved by Theodotus and Photius, m his " AnaUcts 
AutiHic'' Vol. I., p. iw, $$0.; Bigg, ** The Chr. Piatonists of Alex- 
andria" ; Hatch, " The Influence of Greek Ideas and Usages upon 
the Christian Church," 1890 ; Kutter, '* Clem. v4Ux. und das N. 7.," 
1897 ; Merk, ** CUm, %AUx. m siimr AhhangigluH von d. grtsch. Thilo- 
lophit^^ 1879; Lehmann, ''Oir KaUch$t$nschuU ^ ^AUxandrim^^ 
1896 : sections on Clem, of Alex, in the works on the history ot 
doctrine, by Loofs, Thomaslus, Seeberg, Fisher, and Sheldon; 
Allen, " The Continuihr of Christian Thought," p. ^, s$q, ; Har- 
nack, '' Dogminggsch.^'^ Bd. I., 5^. 501, $$q, ; Zahn, *^ Forschimg$n!^ 
Bd. III., SiS. 17-176; Neander, Vol. I., D.691, s$q.: Schaff, Vol. 
II., p. 781, siq.; Moeller, p. 207, ssa.; Pressens6. ''Martyrs and 
Apologists," p. 540, seq, ; Bunsen, ^ Hippolytus," Vol. I., p. 239, 
s^^. (highly appreciative and apologetic) ; Mansel, ''Gnostic Her.,^' 
p. 261, «^. ; Domer, " Person of Christ," Div. I., VoL I., p. 285, 
Siq.; Reinkens, " D$ CUm. ^Ux.*'; Kling, in ''Studimu. Kritihm}* 
1841 ; Westcott, art. " Clem, of Alex." in Smith's " Diet of Ch. 
Biog.," and Bonwetsch, in " Herzog " (third edition). 

a. Sketch. Clement was born about 160, probably at 
\thens. Having pursued studies under various masters, 
of various nationalities and of various religious and 
philosophical views, he at last found rest under the in- 
fluence of Pantaenus, the head of the catechetical school 
in Alexandria, whom he regarded as the greatest of them 
all. He always speaks of Pantaenus (not often by 
name) in terms of the very highest praise. Pantasnus 
was, in his view, the ** deepest Gnostic,*' i. e., possessed 
the most perfect insight into the significance of Christi- 

Clement was already profoundly versed in Greek 
philosophy and literature and knew something of 
Christianity when he came under the influence of Pan- 
tasnus. The philosophical Christianity of Pantasnus 
satisfied his needs and he devoted himself with ardor 
to theological studies. He succeeded Pantaenus as 
teacher about 190, and continued in this work until 
about 202, when he was driven from his post by perse- 


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cution. But he left behind him a pupil who soon took 
his place and gave still greater lustre to the school. He 
was probably the most accomplished Christian scholar 
before Origen. Greek, Gnostic, and Christian literature 
he had not only read, but mastered. His writings 
abound in apt quotations from the rich literature at his 
command. He was an elegant writer of Greek, and few 
early Christian writers are so attractive to the modern 

It was during his residence at Alexandria, and in con- 
nection with his duties as teacher, that he composed the 
writings on which his fame rests. 

In Clement we see a man of a profoundly speculative 
mind, with a high appreciation for the true, the beautiful, 
and the good, wherever he might meet them, who at- 
tempted to form a harmonious system of Christianity in 
its relation to the universe. We find in his writings 
much that is noble and instructive, together with much 
that is fantastic and puerile. 

It is in Clement that we see most clearly the influence 
of Greek philosophy upon Christian thought. His aims 
and aspirations were very similar to those of the great 
Gnostic leaders ; but he had vastly more understanding 
for historical Christianity, and he rejected earnestly all 
the most dangerous of the Gnostic views. His work has 
been pronounced "epoch-making" (Harnack). He un- 
dertook the great task of preparing an introduction to or 
an initiation into that which is inmost and highest in 

b. Writings of Clement The principal writings of 
Clement that have been preserved are: The ''Logos 
Protrepiikos/' or "Address to the Greeks"; the " Paida- 
gogos," or "Tutor"; the '* Stromateis,*' or "Miscella- 
nies"; and the '' Hupotuposeis," or " Outlines of Scrip- 
ture Interpretation." 

The conception and the execution of this series of works has been 
declared by Overbeck to be " the boldest literary undertaking in the 
history of the church." He was the first to attempt " to represent 
Christianity in the forms of the profane worid-literature for the 
Christian community itself." "The design of Clement is nothing 
less than an introduction to Christianity, or to speak more correctly 
and more in accordance with the spirit of the work, an initiation 

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into Christianity. For . . . tlie taslc that Clement sets for himself 
is the introduction (of his readers) into that which is inmost an(} 
highest in Christianity itself. He aims» so to spealc, with a woric 
of literature to transform Christians into perfect Christians, with 
such a worl< to repeat for the Christian wliat the life has already 
otherwise accomplished for him, but to raise him up to something 
still higher than the forms of Initiation that the churcn has provide 
itself with have disclosed. To this end, • . he translates the ideal 
career of a Christian of that time into the form of a boolc and re- 
quires this Christian to repeat the wandering in order henceforth to 
lead him to the highest aims thereof." ^ 

*^ The gospel in nis view is not a fresh departure, but the meeting- 
point of two converging lines of progress, Hellenism and Judaism. 
To him ail history is one because all truth is one. * There is one 
river of Truth,' he says, ' but many streams fall into it on this 
side and on that.' Among Christian writers none till very recent 
times, not even Orieen, has so clear and grand a conception of the 
development of spiritual life." • 

Clement regarded star-worship as a divinely given stepping-stone 
to a purer religion.' He compared truth to the body ot Pentheus, 
torn to pieces by fanatics, each of whom imagines hfs fragment the 

(a) The ** Address to the Greeks *' is probably the ear- 
liest of Clement's writings, and may have been com- 
posed about 190. The aim of the address is to prove to 
those conversant with Greek philosophy the infinite su- 
periority of Christianity, in its adaptability to all human 
needs, in its purity, spirituality, clearness, and substan- 
tiality. The address abounds in eloquent passages. See 
especially his description of the mission of the Word 
and the true destiny of man (Chap. 11). 

(Jb) The '* Pedagogue.'* The aim of the "Address" was 
to win heathen to the acceptance of the gospel ; the de- 
sign of the " Pedagogue " was to convey elementary in- 
struction to the young and to those that had just ac- 
cepted Christianity. It is, therefore, an eminently prac- 
tical work. 

Book I. contains a description of our Pedagogue, Christ, his char- 
acter, his method of dealing with his children. The Pedagogue is 
practical, not theoretical; his aim is to improve the soul, not to 
teach ; and to train up to a virtuous, not to an intellectual life. 
Clement's theory is, that those coming to Christ from paganism 
need first to be cured of their corrupt habits and thoughts before 

' StromaMs. 

>See Herxog-Hauck. third edition. BJ. IV., Stit 156. uq. 

* Bi». " The Chr. Platonlsts of Alex.." p. 47. Mf. 
romattis,^ Bk. VI.. Chap. 14. *IM., Bk. I.. Chap. x}. 

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special instruction in the doctrines of Christianihr can profit them. 
The mercy and purity of Christ are emphaslzedi and neld up for 

Boolcs 11. and 111. consist of practical instructions as to eating, 
drinking, expensive vessels and furniture, behavior at feasts, 
laughter, filthy speaking, relations of the sexes, sleep, the procrea- 
tion of children, clothes, ornaments, etc. The utmost simplicity and 
moderation in all things are insisted upon. 

Book III. is exceedingly important for the light it throws upon the 
church life of the time, and the nature of the instruction required by 
the converts and given to them by Christian teachers. 

(c) The ^^Miscellanies.** This work consists of a 
conglomeration of extracts from pagan and Christian 
writers, interspersed with original comments and occa- 
sional prolonged discussions. The object of the whole 
is to awaken the interest and to exercise the ingenuity 
of the readers, and to show the infinite superiority of 
the Christian religion and philosophy to the pagan. 

Book I. Doints out the office and origin of Greek philosophy in re- 
lation to Christianity and Judaism. It is claimed that me Greek 
philosophers borrowed directly from the Old Testament. 

Book II. shows the superiority of biblical morality to that of 
heathen philosophy. Faith and repentance are discussed at length. 
Likeness to God is declared to be the ideal which Christians are to 
set before them. 

Book III. contains a prolonged discussion of the doctrine of mar 
riage ; the licentious views of pagans and some Gnostics are stated 
nd refuted. On the other hand, abstinence from marriage, on the 
ground of the evil nature of matter, is condemned. The standard 
biblical passages are thoroughly discussed in answer to erroneous 
interpretations of heretics. 

Book IV. begins with a statement of Clement's plan for the de- 
fense of Christianity. He then describes the true "Gnostic" or 
Christian philosopher. Self-sacrifice that does not shrink from mar* 
tyrdom, love, endurance, are among his traits. Although martyr- 
dom is extolled, fanatical seeking for martyrdom is shaiply re- 
proved, and the views of certain Gnostics with regard to martyrdom 
are refuted. The perfect man does good neither ror glory nor repu- 
tation, nor for reward either from men or God ; but so as to pass 
life after the image and likeness of the Lord. He does good because 
he Judges it right to do good. 

Book V. discusses faith, hope, and enigmatic teaching. The 
mysteries of Pythagoreans, Egyptians, etc., are compared with 
those of the Bible ; and the principle of symbolic teaching is vindi- 
cated. Here, also, he attempts to prove that the Greeks have bor- 
rowed from the Bible by citing numerous examples of supposed 

Book VI. continues the Object of plagiarism on the part of the 

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Greeks. He declares the Greeks to have some knowledge of God. 
He asserts that the gospel was preached in hades both by Christ 
and his apostles to those of the Hebrews and Greeks wno were 
righteous according to the law and philosophy. Here, again, the 
Christian philosopher is described at great length. The delineation 
is continued through Book VII. This is the most important of the 
writings of Clement, and was designed for those who had already 
adopted Christianity, and had received the preliminary training pre- 
scribed in the " Pedagogue." 

(d) The ''Outlines.** Only fragments of this are pre- 
served. It consisted of a commentary on large parts. of 
the Old and New Testaments, written partly in refuta- 
tion of false interpretations by heretics. 

(e) The small treatise entitled " IVho is the Rich Man 
that is Saved?'* is an eloquent appeal for the right use 
of wealth. 

c. Theology of Clement, (a) God the Father is the 
"remoter Cause (i. e., than the Son), the Father of all 
things, the oldest and most beneficent of all, yet not 
representable by voice, but in reverence and silence 
with holy astonishment is to be venerated and adored in 
the most lordly manner.'* We see here the well-known 
Alexandrian (Platonic) tendency to exalt the Supreme 
Being above all relations to the world.^ 

(b) The Son is called the timeless and unoriginated 
Principle of existence, from whence we are to learn the 
remoter Cause.* 

Again, having declared the pious man to be the best 
thing on earth, and an angel the best thing in heaven, 
he adds: "But most perfect and most holy, and most 
lordly and most princely, and most royal and most 
beneficent is the nature of the Son, which is nearest 
to the only Omnipotent One. This is the greatest ex- 
cellence, which orders all things according to the will of 
the Father, and steers everything in the best way, . . 
for the Son of God is never displaced from his watch- 
tower, not being divided, not being severed, not passing 
from place to place, being always everywhere and con- 
tained nowhere ; wholly mind, wholly paternal light, 
wholly eye, seeing all things, knowing all things; by 
power examining the powers.'" 

1 " SfnMMteix/' Bic Vn.. Chap. z. * tbU, * /Ma*., Chap, s. 

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This Being is further declared to be the same that 
Christians call Saviour and Lord. Inasmuch as the 
whole universe is under his government, he is Lord of 
the Greeks and barbarians. He it was who gave to the 
Greeks their philosophy. He cares continually for 
every human being. 

The Son is declared to be the '* power of God, as being 
the Father's most ancient Word, before the production 
of all things, and his Wisdom." He is declared **to 
have invested himself with flesh, and to have come for 
the salvation of men."* 

Clement's representations of the Logos are various, 
some of them obscure ; but we may safely say that he 
insisted upon the eternal existence of the Son as the 
Wisdom of God, and as God's instrument in the creation 
and the governing of the universe. We have here, in a 
less developed form, the "eternally begotten" Logos 
of Origen. This Logos, according to Clement, was of 
the very essence of the Father. 

(c) ihe Holy Spirit. Clement has no clear statement 
on this subject, i. e., no statement which enables us to 
see whether he distinguished the work of the Holy Spirit 
from the work of the Logos in Providence, in the human 
conscience, etc. He writes: "There is one Father of 
the universe ; there is also one Word of the universe ; 
and one Holy Spirit, who is everywhere."' 

(d) Anthropology. Clement held most decidedly to 
the freedom of man's will ; to the power of every 
man, through the incarnation and death of Christ, to 
overcome sensuality and to attain unto salvation. 

He regarded man's original state as infantile and free. 
The account of the temptation he regarded as an alle- 
gory, meaning that man was overcome by sensuality. 
As a result of this, mankind has ever since had to con- 
tend against sensuality. Christ came to deliver man 
from the power of sin and death.* 

Physical death he regarded as a natural necessity of 
the Divine economy following upon generation.* Re- 
garding Christ's activity in human history as constant 

1 "Strpmattis," Bk. VII.. Chap. a. 

* See Bunsen's scheme of the conplez representations of the Godhead by Cl«BUi% 
in *' HIppolytus and his Age." Vol. I., p. 844. 
» •• Protrept,," BIc. XI. * " SiromMitts, " Bk. HI.. Chap. o. 

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from the beginning, Clement supposed that Christ came 
in the flesh to show men the sufficiency of their powers 
for obeying God's commandments, by himself living in 
the flesh a life free from sin, thus overcoming sin and de- 
stroying the power of death. This he did as an example 
for men.* 

To the Gnostic dilemma : '* Man was created either perfect or imper- 
fect; if imperfect, how is the work of a perfect God— especially 
man— Imperfect? If perfect, how does he transgress the command- 
ments?'' Clement replies, that man was not made *' perfectly 
equipped, but fitted for attaining to virtue ^ for it Is Important cer- 
tainly for virtue, to be fitted for the possession of it. But he wishes 
us of ourselves to be saved. . . All, Indeed, are fitted by nature for 
the acquiring of virtue ; but one more, another less, advances in 
discipline and training. Wherefore, also, some have attained even 
unto perfect virtue ; others have arrived at some ; but others, again, 
through negligence, even if they were otherwise well-disposed, have 
been turned into the opposite." ^ 

d. Ideal of Christian Life. In his delineations of the 
Christian philosopher, we see Clement's ideal. It is 
that of a man who by self-discipline and study has over- 
come all of his evil propensities, so that he is superior to 
all selfish motives, even the expectation of heavenly re- 
ward. He has risen to a state of exalted contemplation, 
so that he understands the methods of God's providen- 
tial dealing, and the meaning of God's written word. 
Clement's system wt.s, therefore, aristocratical. His 
gradation was: Christ, angels, Christian philosophers, 
the great bulk of Christians who never attain to perfec- 
tion. Though it was far from Clement's intention, his 
views very naturally ministered to sacerdotalism. 

Thus we see that Clement of Alexandria and his contemporary, 
Tertullian of Carthage, were antipodes in theological thought. The 
one had sympathies as broad as humanity ; the other confined the 
saving efficacy of Christ to a particular type of Christian life, re- 
garding not only all pagans, but all Christians, who did not con- 
form to his narrow system, as reprobated. The one looked upon 
humanity and human life as inherently noble, and as capable of be- 
ing raisai by proper discipline to a state of perfection ; the other. In 
constant expectation of the end of the world, regarded the present 
life as of no account except as a time of preparation for a future life ; 
and he regarded that preparation as involving a constant crucifixion 

1 " Sinrntagis," Bk. VII., Chap. s. • fHJ., Bk. VI., Chap. 19. 

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of the flesh. Clement believed In rational instruction as a means of 
attaining to exaltation of character ; Tertullian enjoined an irrational 

Clement went to an extreme in his humanitarianism, and was the 
forerunner of Pelagianism. Tertullian went to the opposite extreme, 
and was the forerunner of Monasticism, with its utter repudiation 
of human nature. 

(a) Oiigm. 

LITERATURE: Various editions of the complete works of 
Origen, of which the most convenient is that of Lommatzsch» in 
twenty-five volumes, 8vo ; Eusebius, '* Hist. Ecc.,** Bk. VI., Chap. 
i-^; Gregorius Thaumaturgus, ^^Oratio Tamgyrica m Orig.''^ and 
Pamphiius, '' Atol, Ortg?' (Eng. tr. in "Ante-Nicene Fathers"); 
..^. K.. .« ., ;^der,V(* ' 

Vol, II., p. 78J, sea, ; Moelier, p. 209, s$q, ; Bigg, '* The Chr. Platon- 
ists of Alex.,'*^; HeccnBcky^^Do^mmgesck.,^^ Bd. L, SiH, $11, sgq.; 
Domer, " Person of Christ," Div. I^ Vol. II., p. 104, sgq, ; Bunsen, 
" HIppolytus," Vol. I., p. 279, s$q. ; Thomasius, " Origmn " : Rede- 

Snnmg, '' Origmes^^ (the best work on the life and teachings of 
riffen); Ritter, ''Gisch. dtr Chr. Pkihs'' B^. I., S«i. 465, «g.; 
works of Neander, Baur, Hagenbach, Shedd, Loofs, Seeberg,Pisher, 
and Sheldon, on the history of doctrine ; encyc. articles, esp. West- 
cott, in " Diet, of Chr. Bici." 

a. Sketch. Origen was born c. 185, of Christian 
parents, and from his childhood was favored with excel- 
lent religious training. While yet a child he could re- 
peat from memory large parts of the Scriptures, and he 
often perplexed his intelligent father by the subtlety of 
his questions. His father, Leonides, suffered martyrdom 
about 202, Origen exhorting him to steadfastness, and 
being restrained with the utmost difficulty from offering 
himself up for martyrdom. From childhood throughout 
life he practised a rigorous asceticism ; he possessed but 
one coat, and no shoes ; rarely ate flesh, never drank 
wine ; devoted much of the night to study and prayer, 
and slept on the bare floor. 

After the departure of Clement he was appointed 
catechist in his place (203). His knowledge of Scripture 
and other literature was already considerable ; but now 
he resolved to master the systems of the leading hereti- 
cal bodies in order that he might successfully combat 
them. The Neo-Platonic philosophy was just coming 

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into prominence under the leadership of Ammonius Sac* 
cas. Origen studied the system carefully under its great 
representative. His reputation was soon widespread. 
Heathen and Gnostics in large numbers attended his 
lectures, and many were converted. Ambrosius, a 
wealthy Gnostic, was converted, and spent a large sum 
of money in purchasing an extensive library for Origen, 
and in racilitating the publication of his works. Julia 
Mammaea, mother of Alexander Severus, invited him to 
Antioch to expound to her the Christian religion. An 
Arabian prince secured a visit from him with like in- 

With a view to attaining a better understanding of the 
Old Testament, he mastered the Hebrew language un- 
der the most discouraging circumstances. He traveled, 
from time to time, to Rome, to Arabia, to Palestine, and 
to Greece. 

While in Palestine, in 228, he was ordained a presby- 
ter by Alexander of Jerusalem and Theoctistus of Caesa- 
rea. This proceeding aroused the resentment of Deme- 
trius, bishop of Alexandria. At two councils, called by 
Demetrius in 231 and 232, Origen was condemned for 
false doctrine, self-mutilation (committed in his youth in 
supposed obedience to the Saviour's injunction. Matt. 
19 : 12, such mutilation, according to the most ancient 
ecclesiastical law, incapacitating one for ordination), and 
violation of church laws, and was deposed from his 
office. His study of philosophy and Gnosticism had not 
left him the simple believer it found him. With im- 
mensely more learning and logical consistency than 
Clement, Origen probably indulged in even wilder 
speculations than he. 

He was the most learned man and one of the pro- 
foundest thinkers in the ancient church (Jerome was 
more learned in Hebrew), and probably exerted more in- 
fluence on the doctrinal development of the church than 
any other man. He became involved in controversy 
during his lifetime, and after his death a series of contro- 
versies based upon his teachings set in that lasted for 

The remainder of his life, after his departure from Al- 
exandria, was spent chiefly in Palestine, where he died 

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about 254, partly as a result of imprisonment and tor- 
ture during the Decian persecution, 

b. Writings of Origen. Origen was one of the most 
voluminous of writers. Jerome says that he wrote 
more than other men can read. Epiphanius estimates 
the whole number of his writings at about six thousand. 
Many have perished ; others are preserved only in frag- 
ments ; most that we have are in indifferent Latin trans- 

(a) Critical, Exegetical, and Edificatory Works on the 
Bible. Origen was the first to study the Bible scientifi- 
cally and critically. Clement's exegetical performances, 
so far as we can judge from the extant fragments, were 
insignificant in comparison. There is no writer of the 
early church to whom biblical criticism is so much in- 
debted. Jerome would have been impossible without 
Origen. These biblical works are of three kinds : 

Works on the Text — the Hexapla and Tetrapla — (the 
former an Old Testament Polyglot, with Hebrew, Hebrew 
in Greek letters, LXX., and three other Greek versions 
in parallel columns — the design being the restoration of 
the LXX. to purity ; the latter containing only the four 
Greek versions). Only fragments of these have been 
preserved, but they are of exceeding value. 

Commentaries, extending over almost the entire Bible. 
These, though they contain much that is fantastic, are 
full of information and highly suggestive. 

Homilies, or familiar expository discourses, on large 
portions of the Bible. 

(Jb) Apologetical. One of the maturest of Origen's 
works, and the one that throws most light on the rela- 
tion of Christianity to paganism in Origen's time, is the 
work, ** Contra Celsum.'* Celsus, a Platonist (or Epicu- 
rean), had written a most scurrilous work against Chris- 
tianity, probably during the reign of Marcus Aurelius. 
This appears to have been still employed by the pagans 
as an armory against Christianity in the time of Origen, 
Origen's refutation of pagan charges against Christianity 
is the ablest work of the kind that the early church pro- 

(c) DopnaticaL Here the chief work is the " De Prin- 
cipiis.*' This is the first attempt at a systematic exhibition 

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of Christian doctrine. It was written some time before 
Origen's departure from Alexandria, and contains more 
of crude speculation than any other of his works. We 
possess this work only in the professedly unfaithful 
translation of Rufinus (Rufinus having omitted many of 
the more offensive expressions). It was published with- 
out his permission through the zeal of his patron Am- 
brosius. Here we find the fundamental Christian doc- 
trines concerning God, the Father, Son, and Spirit, 
Free-will, Immortality, Eternity, Eternal Life, etc., 
speculatively discussed. 

(d) Practical Works. Of these, the most important 
that have been preserved are, the treatise on Prayer, 
and that on Martyrdom. These show a man of great 
piety and Christian zeal. The work on Martyrdom 
was addressed to his friend Ambrosius in time of perse- 
cution, and is somewhat extravagant in its exaltation of 

c. Theology of Origen. Origin distinguished carefully 
between those points of doctrine on which the Scriptures 
contain explicit statements, and those questions which, 
though not answered by Scripture, yet obtrude them- 
selves upon the Christian thinker's mind. The latter 
class of questions must be answered, as far as possible, 
in conformity with the Scriptures ; but still much ground 
is left for speculation. He believed strongly in allowing 
to every man the utmost freedom in considering such 

In his great dogmatic work, "D^ Principiis,*' accord- 
ingly, he sets out with a concise statement of the rule of 
faith of the universal church. There is nothing espe- 
cially remarkable about this rule of faith ; but having 
laid down this as a basis, he proceeds to the considera- 
tion of other questions not clearly answered by Scrip- 
ture and ecclesiastical tradition. 

(a) Concerning God. Origen first refutes materialistic 
views based upon expressions like : *' Our God is a con- 
suming fire," etc. ; and proves that God is a Spirit, 
chiefly from New Testament passages. God is not only 
a Spirit, but is incomprehensible and inestimable.^ His 

> " D* Principiis,*' Bk. I., Chap. i. 

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idea of God, therefore, is that of pure, absolute Being 
(Platonic, seen also in Justin and Clement). He is know- 
able only through his works, and especially thiough his 
Son. As God was from eternity Father and Lord, the 
generation of the Son and the creation of the world are 
eternal processes. Origen could not think of the Abso- 
lute Being as having ever been idle. 

(b) The Son. It was Origen 's doctrine of the Son, 
more than any other of his doctrines, that played so im- 
portant a part in later doctrinal development. Origen 
held that the Son was "begotten by the Father," yet 
that "there never was when he was not." The beget- 
ting then is an eternal effect of the Father, yet is not to 
be regarded as a projection or emanation from the being 
or substance of the Father, in a way that would involve 
diminution or division thereof. The Father is the origi- 
nating cause of the Son, the Son of all other creatures. 
The begetting of the Son is an act of God's will, and in 
so far the Son is a creature. On the other hand, he is 
uncreated, God of God, of the Divine nature and essence. 
The Son differs from creatures in having his being imme- 
diately from the primal source, and in that his divine 
nature is essential, independent, and inalienable. The 
Son, or the Logos, contains in himself all ideas which are 
realized in the world (Platonic). He constitutes the ra- 
tional element in all intelligent creatures. The activity 
of the Logos in the guidance and instruction of the human 
race is coeval with the race. He gave the law, inspired 
the prophets, and enlightened the heathen, so far as they 
have any religious or moral knowledge. The work of 
the Logos is to lead all intelligent creatures, step by step, 
upward to the contemplation of God. From the human 
he leads up to the angelic ; from the angelic to the arch- 
angelic. 10 men he appears as man ; to angels as an 

(c) The Holy Spirit Origen regarded as the first and 
most exalted of all beings produced by the Father through 
the Son. His activity differs from that of the Logos, in 
that the latter extends to all creatures, whereas the 
former appears only in connection with the dispensation 
of God's grace. 

id) Anthropology. Origen held that in the original 

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world there were only spiritual existences. Many of 
these spirits, having been created pure, apostatized from 
God, The material world was created out of nothing, to 
be the abode of fallen spirits, the object being at the same 
time penal and reformatory. The account of Adam's 
fall in Genesis Origen regarded as an allegorical repre- 
sentation of the fate of the whole class of fallen, embodied 
spirits. Origen held to the Platonic trichotomy of human 
nature : the material body, dead in itself ; the soul, or 
vital principle, which man has in common with beasts ; 
the spirit, which he has as participating in the being of 
the Logos. 

By his apostasy, man's reason is darkened ; he is de- 
prived of the true spiritual life ; he is under the influence 
of Satan ; yet his will is free to choose good or evil. 

The redemption wrought by Christ consisted in his 
uniting in himself the human and the divine ; in his ex- 
ample, his teachings, his miracles, his death — which re- 
deemed man from the power of Satan. 

Origen thus believed in the vicarious sacrifice of Christ. 
Christ is a sacrifice, not merely for all men, but for fallen 
angels. The merit of Christ must be appropriated by 
each individual through faith. By believing in Christ 
we become like him in character. Origen distinguished 
gradations in Christian life: mere faith, knowledge, 

The power to will and to do comes from God ; choice 
of good rests with man ; after choice for good, all needful 
assistance in the perfecting of Christian character is fur- 
nished by the Holy Spirit. 

(e) Baptism. Believing, as he did, that children are 
born into the world polluted by sin, hence that little chil- 
dren need remission of sins, and believing as he did in 
the efficacy and necessity of baptism for the remission of 
sins, Origen spoke approvingly of the baptism of little 
children as a well-established custom of the churches. 

(/) Eschatological yiews. Origen did not believe in a 
resurrection of the material body ; the resurrection body, 
he thought, would have the senne farm, but not the same 
substance as the present. It would not be a body of 
flesh and blood, but a spiritual body. 

Origen had a firm belief in the final restoration of har- 

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mony in the spiritual world. The end is to be as was 
the beginning. Even the damned and devils, he sup- 
posed, would, after having undergone sufficient disci- 
plinary punishment, be brought into voluntary subjec- 
tion to Christ. 

d. Method of Scripture Interpretation. Origen was 
the first to redfuce the allegorical method of interpreta- 
tion to a system. The allegorical interpretation of Scrip- 
ture had been extensively employed by the great Jewish- 
Alexandrian thinkers, Aristobulus and Philo. It had 
been taken up by the Gnostics, and was practised by 
most of the Christian writers of the early time. The 
aim of the allegorical interpretation was to harmonize the 
Scriptures, which were regarded as divinely inspired, 
with the Platonic modes of thought, which had become, 
as it were, part and parcel of the being of such Christians 
as Origen. Had Origen been shut up to a literal inter- 
pretation of the Old Testament, he would, probably, like 
the Gnostics, have rejected the Old Testament and the 
God of the Old Testament. 

He held, therefore, in accordance with the Platonic trichotomy, 
that every passage of Scripture has three senses, the literal, the 
moral, and the spiritual. 

To the literal (earthly, sensual, carnal, Jewish) sense, he attached 
Mttle importance, save as a basis for the higher senses ; but his chief 
merit as an exegete consists in the fact that he did industriously seek 
to ascertain this literal sense. The literal sense is not always true. 

But there underiics every passage a deeper sense (celestial, intelli- 
gible, symbolical, mystical, secret), which is distinguished into the 
moral and the spiritual sense. 

The moral sense is that which relates to matters connected with 
religious life. 

The spiritual sense is that which relates to the heavenly life, the 
world to come. 

e. Influence of Origen on the Later Church, (a) His 
method of Scripture interpretation was soon adopted 
throughout the church (except the Antiochian school, 
which went to the opposite extreme of adhering rigidly 
to the literal meaning), and prevailed throughout the 
Middle Ages. In this particular Origen's influence was 
bad, and only bad. Yet his views on the literal meaning 
have always been of great utility. 

(b) The effect of his bold, wild speculations was two- 

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fold : (i) Many were led astray by his example, while 
(2) others were frightened by his boldness into a denial 
of the right of freedom of thought. 

We cannot say that the great doctrinal controversies of the fourth 
and following centuries would not have taken place except for the 
speculations of Orlgen ; but as a matter of fact they almost all cen- 
tered around the points on which he had speculated most boldly. If 
the formulating of Christian doctrine whlcn took place in the Nicene 
and following ages was a beneficent consummation, then Origen's 
merit in this direction was very great. If those tierce theological 
controversies were evil and hurtful to the progress of the kingdom of 
Christ, then Origen's responsibility was great. 

'* Origen may well be placed side by side with Augustine as one 
of the two most important and most influential theologians of the 
ancient church. He is the father of ecclesiastical science in the 
broadest sense of the word, and at the same time the founder of that 
theology which in the fourth and fifth centuries reached its full devel- 
opment and which in the sixth century definitely denied its originator, 
yet without losing the impress that he had given it. Origen created 
ecclesiastical dogmatics, and he laid the foundation for the science of 
the sources of the Jewish and Christian religion. He proclaimed the 
reconciliation of science with the Christian faith, of the highest cul- 
ture with the gospei,^^ -—Hamack. 

(s) Gregory Thaumaturgus. 

LITERATURE: Text in "Mlgne," Vol. X., p. 983, seq. (Eng. tr. 
In " Ante-Nic. Lib.," Am. ed., Vol. VI., p. 7, seq.) ; Ryssel, *'Grig, 
Thaumaturgus^ sein Lebm u. s, Schrtftin,** 1881 ; articles In " Diet, 
of Chr. Biog.," Herzog-Hauck, and Schaff-Herzog. 

Gregory Thaumaturgus, one of the most distinguished 
of Origen's disciples, was born at Neo-Caesarea in Pon- 
tus (c. 210). Having been led to take an interest in 
Christianity he availed himself of an opportunity to visit 
Caesarea (Palestine), where Origen was laboring. He 
was by this great teacher led into the light, and for eight 
years sat at his feet. Returning to Neo-Caesarea 
(c. 240), he found only seventeen Christians in the 
whole neighborhood. By his zealous labors, continued 
through thirty years, he so transformed this pagan re- 
gion as to merit the title " Thaumaturgus " (wonder- 

His most important extant writing is his " Panegyric '* 
on Origen. It is not only one of the most eloquent dis- 
courses in all the literature of the age, but it gives us a 

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view of the character of Origen and his methods of 
teaching and of bringing his influence to bear upon 
young men, that we should not otherwise have pos- 

Besides the "Panegyric," we have from Gregory a 
"Declaration of Faith/' in which the relations of the 
persons of the Godhead are set forth in Origenistic 
fashion; a "Metaphrase of the Book of Ecclesiastes/' 
which consists chiefly of moral reflections and does not, 
as might have been expected of a disciple of Origen, 
contain an elaborate allegorical interpretation of the 
book ; and a " Canonical Epistle," giving directions for 
the penance and the discipline of those who when taken 
captive by heathen had eaten things sacrificed to idols. 

Like many of his contemporaries Gregory shrank from 
the responsibilities of the episcopal office. He was or- 
dained in his absence by a neighboring bishop, whose 
determination to thrust this dignity upon him he was 
aware of and whom he was studiously avoiding. Early 
tradition ascribed actual miracle-working to Gregory. 

{4) Dumjysius of AUxandria. 

LITERATURE : Text In " Mlgnc," Vol. X.. p. 1237, s$q. ( Eng. tr. 
•• Ante-Nic, Lib./' Am. ed., Vol. VI.,p. 81. sio.) ; works of Hamack. 
Seeberg, Loofs, Thomasius, Baur, and Fisher, on the history of 
doctrine: Domer, ** Person of Christ" ; articles in " Diet, of Chr. 
Biog./' Herzog-Hauck, third ed., and Schaff-Herzog. 

Dionysius of Alexandria (t:. 2CX>-265) was another 
distinguished pupil of Origen, and after a considerable 
interval (during which Heraclas conducted the work), 
succeeded him as head of the catechetical school of 
Alexandria (c. 232). The reputation of the school was 
well sustained by this great teacher, who after fifteen 
years of service exchanged this position for the bishop- 
ric of Alexandria (c. 246), succeeding Heraclas in this 
position also. The fragments of his works that have 
been preserved are chiefly polemical and exegetical. He 
wrote against Sabellianism, and he set forth in an epistle 
to Dionysius, bishop of the Roman church, his views on 
the Trinity. He insisted on the absolute eternity of the 
Son, regarding the generative process as an eternal one. 
Yet he held that "the Son has existence not from him- 

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self, but from the Father.'' This involves the subordi- 
nation of the Son, which Dionysius did not know how to 
avoid. Controversies that were to occupy much of the 
energy of the Christian churches for the following cen- 
turies were already disturbing the minds of thinlcing 
men and the harmony of the churches. 

(5) Tks Eccksiastical ConstihUwHs and Canons of ik$ j4pogtl4S. 

LITERATURE: Schaff, "The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles." 

f>. 127, M^., and 237. s#9. (Schaff gives full information regarding the 
Iterature and the Greek text with an English translation); liar* 
nack, *' Tixts u. UnUrsnch.^** Bd. II., Ssit. 22$, siq. ; Shaw, art. 
"Apost Const.," in "Diet, of Chr. Antlq."; and Achelis, art. 
**j4j>osiol Kirchmordnwif^" In Herzog-Hauck, third ed. In his 
" Hyppolytus and His Age," Vol. II., Bunsen has attempted by a 
critical process to restore from the Greek. Coptic, and Ethiopic 
texts the " Church- and House-Book of the Ancient Christians,'' in 
an English translation. It is highly probable that most of the ma- 
terial thus selected Is Ante-Nicene. 

The *' Ecclesiastical Constitutions and Canons of the 
Apostles *' seems to have formed a connecting link be- 
tween the *' Teaching of the Twelve Apostles " and the 
''Apostolic Constitutions/' which did not reach their 
present form until the latter part of the fourth or the 
early part of the fifth century. That it was widely 
used is evident from the fact that it has been preserved 
in Greek, Ethiopic, Coptic (Memphitic and Thebaic), 
and Syriac. 

The document known as the " Two Ways," which 
we have met in Barnabas and in the " Teaching," is 
here distributed among the twelve apostles, who are sup- 
posed to have come together to frame a body of moral 
instructions and who each in turn gives utterance to his 
thoughts. Martha and Mary also appear as speakers. 
The precepts as given in the "Teaching," are consid- 
erably expanded, much new material being introduced. 
The first thirteen canons are parallel with the " Two 

The remaining seventeen canons give directions as to 
the qualifications, the manner of choosing and setting 
apart, and the duties of the various classes of church 
officers. A somewhat primitive ecclesiastical condition 
is still presupposed. It as many as twelve believing 


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men are in a given locality, they are to write to the 
churches round about requesting each to send three 
chosen men to examine him whom they have chosen for 
a bishop, and if he is found worthy, to set him apart 
for his work. The bishop thus appointed shall examine 
and ordain two or three presbyters to assist in the ad- 
ministration of the ordinances and discipline. Provision 
is made for the appointment of readers, widows, dea- 
cons, and deaconesses. 

The Coptic Constitutions give detailed directions re- 
specting the selection, training, baptizing, and admission 
to communion, of catechumens. The utmost care is 
prescribed in the reception of candidates for catechetical 
training, those engaged in disreputable pursuits being 
rigorously excluded. Three years is given as the nor- 
mal period of training in doctrine and in life, and admis- 
sion to baptism at the end of the period is conditioned 
on a favorable report of the catechist as regards the can- 
didate's good behavior, his zeal in Christian service, and 
his progress in Christian knowledge. Baptism is pre- 
ceded by exorcism, and anointing with the oil of exor- 
cism. The candidate goes unclothed into the water, 
makes an oral profession of his faith, is immersed three 
times, makes another fuller confession, then having 
gone up out of the water is anointed by the presbyter 
with the oil of thanksgiving, clothed, and allowed to 
enter the church. The bishop then lays his hands upon 
the head of the newly baptized, invokes the gift of the 
Holy Spirit, and again anoints his head. The Lord's 
Supper is next administered to the new members, and 
they are given, besides the bread and the wine, "milk 
and honey mixed," as symbolizing the fact that they 
have entered into a state of blessedness among the 

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1. Extent. Christianity had by this time permeated 
the entire Roman Empire, having gained adherents even 
among conquered tribes. From Britain to India the name 
of Christ was honored. Ail the countries bordering on 
the Mediterranean Sea abounded in Christians. We are 
not to infer from the fact that Constantine thought it 
good policy to make Christianity the favored religion, 
that Christians were already in a majority. Even in the 
large cities they still constituted but a small minority, 
and many rural districts were still in pagan darkness. 
But Christianitv was organized, confident, and aggressive, 
and to it the future evidently belonged. Paganism, on 
the other hand, was without organization, without hope, 
without aggressiveness. 

2. Social Position. Christianity had gained a high 
social position in the empire. Before the Diocletian per- 
secution Christians held many high civil offices. 

3. IVealth. Christians by this time probably had 
their full share of worldly goods ; the churches had, in 
many instances, acquired great wealth ; and this indi- 
vidual and corporate wealth tended at the same time to 
give them respectability in the eyes of the world, and to 
facilitate the making of converts. 

4. Culture. Christianity had now on its side culture 
superior to that of the pagans. There was no pagan 
philosopher or poet of the third century who bore com- 
parison with the best Christian writers. Apart from the 
great teachers and writers, whose works we have ex- 
amined, there must have been a very large number of 
educated Christians in each important community. The 
development of a rich literature presupposes a public to 
whose needs it is adapted. 

5. Opponents. Yet Christianity still had many deadly 


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enemies: philosophers, especially the Neo-Platonists, 
who attempted to make of their philosophy a rival re- 
ligion ; priests and magicians, whose worldly interests 
were endangered by the growing power of Christianity ; 
the Manichaeans, etc. The widely diffused Mithras 
worship does not appear to have been so distinctly hos- 
tile to Christianity as Neo-Platonism and Manichaeism ; 
and many converts were doubtless drawn from this 


I. Corrupting Ideas. That Christianity did not win for 
Itself popular and imperial recognition without under- 

f;oin2 momentous internal changes is admitted by all. 
n life, doctrine, church order, and worship, the churches 
of 313 were very different from the churches of icx). 
Those who regard the apostolic churches as a standard 
must look upon these changes as perversions. The fol- 
lowing corrupting ideas, derived almost wholly from 
paganism, may be distinguished : 

(i) Meritoriousness of External Works. This led to, 
a. Asceticism and fanatical seeking for martyrdom, b. 
Perversion of Christian charity into indiscriminate alms- 
giving, with the idea that almsgiving secured the remis- 
sion of sins. c. Perversion of the ordinances Into mag- 
ical mysteries whereby spiritual benefits are obtained. 

(2) Fetichism, the idea of the sanctity and the spiritual 
potency of water, the element of baptism, of holy places, 
of the bones and other relics of saints and martyrs, of 
the cross and the sign of the cross, of the sepulchre of 
Christ, etc. 

(3) Sacerdotalism, common to all pagan religions, and 
closely connected with (i): a. The ordinances possess- 
ing magical efficacy must be administered by a properly 
qualified priest, b. The priest, by reason of his cere- 
monial consecration, a mediator between God and man, 
the channel through which alone the ordinary believer 
can secure spiritual benefits, c. The following of 
priestly directions more important than morality. 

(4) ^tualism, an invariable accompaniment of (i) 
and (3). Pompous ceremonial satisfies the desire to pro- 
pitiate Deity by external performances and is at the 

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same time the ready device of priestcraft for securing 
and maintaining ttie reverence of the people. 

(5) The Allegorical Interpretation of Scripture ^ by virtue 
of which Scripture could be used in support of any doc- 
trine or practice whatsoever. Nothing so completely 
destroys the authority of Scripture as a standard of faith 
and practice as this method of interpretation, which had 
long been in vogue among pagans and Alexandrian Jews. 

These corrupting ideas had not at the close of this 
period fully accomplished their work ; but their growing 
influence can already be clearly seen. 

2. Changes in the Ministry, At the beginning of the 
period we had only two classes of church officers : pres- 
byters or bishops and deacons. Now we find not only 
a clear distinction established between presbyters and 
bishops, but also the addition of a number of subordinate 
officers, viz., sub-deacons, readers, acolytes, janitors, 
and exorcists. The multiplication of officers originated 
in large churches, such as those of Rome, Alexandria, 
and Carthage. The number of deacons was usually 
limited to seven, in accordance with the number of 
brethren appointed to administer the charities under the 
direction of the apostles (Acts 6), and these required 
assistance in the performance of their functions. 

The hierarchical spirit was active. The same tenden- 
cies and circumstances that raised the bishops above the 
presbyters, raised presbyters, as being entrusted with 
the ordinances, far above deacons and laymen. Presby- 
ters continued to be the advisers of the bishops, and 
from their number bishops were usually chosen. 

Deacons, as being limited in number and as holding an 
office instituted by the apostles, were, in accordance with 
the same hierarchical tendency, elevated in rank above 
laymen. Their duties consisted chiefly in the collection 
and administration of the finances of the churches under 
the direction of the bishops, and in assisting the bishops 
in the exercise of discipline. They attended also to the 
preservation of order during religious services, and as- 
sisted in the celebration of the Lord's Supper and in the 
administration of baptism ; but they were not permitted 
to administer either ordinance alone. 

Deaconesses, apparently recognized in the New Tes- 

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lament, reappear In the churches of this period. Their 
functions were prayer, and ministering to the religious 
and the temporary needs of women. They were rigor- 
ously excluded from service ** at the altar." 

The sub-deacons were not ordained with the imposition 
of hands, and their duties were chiefly to relieve the 
deacons of their humbler duties. They also usually 
acted as carriers of ecclesiastical correspondence. 

The office of the acolyte was to light the candles in the 
church, to provide wine in the pitcher for the celebration 
of the Lord's Supper, etc. Such were the liturgical 
services of the acolytes, but doubtless they attended to 
many minor matters in the administration of the diocese. 

The duties of the readers was to read the Scriptures 
from the reading desk. Very few Christians had copies 
of the Scriptures, and the great mass of the people were 
dependent upon hearing them read at church. 

Eocordsts were those supposed to be especially gifted 
with the power of casting out demons. These do not 
seem to have been a distinct class of officers especially 
ordained for this purpose ; but the power might belong 
to one occupying any ecclesiastical position, or even to 
an unofficial member. 

The reason for the multiplication of ecclesiastical offices was the 
necessity of having responsible functionaries, and the sacerdotal 
feeling which would allow laymen to perform no ecclesiastical func- 

The hierarchical development at which Cyprian aimed, and which 
he in a measure effected, represents the highest attainment in this 
direction durine the period under consideration. In the cities the 
position of bishops was one of much dignity and responsibility. 
They had almost exclusive control of the church funds, including 
the responsible administration of the charities. They had the super- 
vision of a large number of congregations, and or the presbyters 
and deacons who ministered therein. Their authority was as yet 
only a moral authority, but in many cases it was very considerable. 
Country bishops were mere pastors of local churches until long after 
the dose of this period. 

3. Synods or Councils. As early as the middle of the 
second century we have evidence of the meeting to- 
gether of the clergy of different communities to consider 
questions affecting the interests of the churches. The 
earliest meetings of this sort on record are those in Asia 

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Minor, to take measures against Montanism, and those in 
the East and the West to discuss the Easter question 
(latter part of second century).^ As diocesan episcopacy 
became developed the clergy of the diocese were called 
together annually, or oftener in case of emergency. 
Before the close of this period provincial synods, in 
which many bishops, presbyters, and deacons partici- 
pated, were becoming common. Such bodies discussed 
and legislated upon questions of doctrine and discipline; 
yet their decisions had only a moral authority, and the 
individual communities were free to accept them or not. 
"Within the limits of his own community," writes 
Hatch," " a bishop has no superior but God." Cyprian, 
who did so much for the development of episcopal pre- 
rogative, and who laid great stress on ecclesiastical 
unity, refused to be bound by the decisions of councils 
of bishops. It was not until the next period, when 
councils were called under the imperial authority and 
when their decisions received the importance of imperial 
ordinances, that these latter became obligatory upon the 

4. Places of Worship and Sepulture. Until the latter part 
of the second century the position of Christians was not 
secure enough to allow of the erection of church build- 
ings. Meetings were still held secretly in private houses. 
During the third century many *' Lord^s houses " or 
"churches" were erected, and considerable attention 
was given, in the wealthier communities, to architecture 
and to internal decoration. 

The catacombs were underground burial places, some 
of which may have originated in the apostolic age. 
During the second and third centuries such cities of the 
dead were constructed at Rome, Naples, Milan, Alex- 
andria, and elsewhere. Those of Rome and Naples are 
of great extent and special interest. The idea that they 
were largely used for purposes of worship has been 
abandoned, owing to lack of evidence of the existence 
of chambers large enough to accommodate any consider- 
able gathering. Burial services were no doubt conducted 
with much solemnity, and Christians frequently visited 

1 BoteMos. "Ch. Hist." Bk. V.. Chap. 16 and «4. 
I "Tilt Organization of the parly ChrittiaQ Churches," p. iff. 

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the tombs of relatives and of venerated martyrs and 
other saints for devotional exercises. In times of severe 
p<srsecution (which were infrequent) Christians no doubt 
hid themselves temporarily in. these subterranean gal- 
, leries. Archaeologists are still undecided as regards the 
dates of many of the mural paintings and the inscrip- 
tions. Very few belong indisputably to this period. 
Most of the decoration seems to belong to the latter part 
of the fourth century, when the use of the catacombs 
for sepulture had almost ceased. As the tombs of saints 
and martyrs they were venerated and filled wijth religious 
paintings and inscriptions.^ 

5. T^tualistic^ Development. The externalizing ten- 
dency that we have so frequently observed in our study 
of this period was- soon to express itself in the public 
worship of the churches. Under various influenctfsr 
that of paganism, with its mysterious rites, especially 
those of the widely prevalent Mithras worship ; that of 
Gnosticism, which itself imitated the Orphic, Eleusinian, 
and Pythagoreaij mysteries ; that of being long vobliged 
to Worship secretly ; and the growth of sacerdotalism, 
with which ritualism always goes hand in hancf, Chris- 
tianity, by the close of this period, had ceased to wor-, 
ship and perform its ordinances in the free and simple 
way represented in the New Testament and in the 
** Apology " of Justin Martyr. , 

From the middle of the second century onward the 
Lord's Prayer seems to have been generally employed 
in the churches in a liturgical way. Gradually other 
forms were added, and by the close of this period some- 
what elaborate forms of prayer and praise, with full 
directions for the solemn administration of the ordinances, 
had been introduced. 

There was at first no effort made at uniformity of 
ritual. Each great church, in general, formed a ritual of 
its own, and this was usually adopted by the churches 
under its influence. Hence the number and the variety 
of early liturgies. • ^ 

6. Christian Education. In the apostolic age, when 
most of the converts were Jews or had been under the 

1 See the well-known works of Rossi. Kraus. Northcote end Brownk>w, «nd Perkei; 
00 the Cetecomhs. and articles in the encyclopedias. 

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influence of Judaism, and hence were familiar with the 
Old Testament teaching, baptism was usually adminis- 
tered immediately after the profession of faith in Christ. 
When most of those who applied for admission into 
the churches were pagans, and had but inadequate ideas 
of the true God and of the Christian religion and mo- 
rality, it was natural and. right that thejr should be in- 
structed in the fundamental truths of Christianity before 
baptism and full reception into the churches. During 
the second century the work ot teaching such applicants 
for membership was, in the larger churches, entrusted 
to a catechist. In the Alexandrian school the catechu- 
mens were divided into classes according to their ad- 
vancement. The period of catechising Frequently ex- 
tended over three years, but was in many instances 
much shorter. The catechumen was first instructed in 
simple moral principles ; afterward he was admitted to 
hear the gospel, but was dismissed before the prayer, 
and especially prevented from witnessing the celebration 
of the ordinances. Baptism was finally administered 
with eonsiderable pomp and ceremony, and the cate- 
chumen was thereby received into full fellowship. 

"^ Reference has been made in an earlier chapter to the catechetical 
school of Alexandria, founded by Pantenus and made illustrious 
by Clement/Origen, Heraclas, and Dionysius. Antioch did not so 
earljcbecome a seat of Christian learning, but from c. 270 oaward. 
under Luclan, It came Into rivalry, with Alexandria as a center of 
theological thought and influence. In the great christological con- 
troversies of the fourth and following centuries Alexandria and An- 
tioch were always antagonists, Alexandria representing a mystical 
transcendentalism and promoting the allegorical interpretation of the 
Scriptures; Antioch insisting on the grammatico-historical interpre- 
tation of the Scriptures, and having no sympathy with mystical 
mod^ of thought. 

7. Christian Life. We can probably get a better view 
of the state of Christian life at the beginning of the 
fourth^ century, by an examination of the so<alled 
*• Cangjis of the Holy Apostles," which may have taken 
their present form toward the close of this period, and 
of the decrees of the Councils of Elvira (306), of Aries, 
Ancyra, and Neo-Csesarea (314), than in any other way. 
These documents show : 

(I) A great amount of worldliness among the clergy 

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Provisions constantly occur against their engaging in 
secular pursuits ; against their frequenting taverns and 
playing at dice ; against usury ; against their removing 
from place to place without sufficient reason ; against 
their receiving their offices through secular influence, etc. 

(2) It appears that many had come into the churches 
who were still essentially pagans. Provisions against 
pagan practices are common. 

(3) The most prevalent and crying sin of the age 
seems to have been licentiousness, it must have been 
common among all classes of Christians, including bish- 
ops, presbyters, deacons, and nuns. A large proportion 
of the decrees of the councils of this period are directed 
against some form of sexual sin. 

(4) While celibacy of the clergy was not insisted upon, 
a strong effort was being made to prevent those that 
came into the clergy unmarried, from marrying. This 
feeling was promoted : a. By the Gnostic or Manichsean 
idea of the inherent evil of the sexual relations, b. By 
the fact that the priesthood was coming to be looked 
upon as a distinct class, and that such familiar inter- 
course with ordinary mortals as the family involves was 
felt to be incompatible with priestly dignity, c. The 
fact that the clergy had complete control of the church 
finances made it seem undesirable for them to have de- 
pendfsnt families. 

(5) Christianity had already received far more pagan 
material than it could assimilate, and had become cor- 
rupted thereby, before the Diocletian persecution. When 
the churches had become predominatingly pagan ; when 
pagans of wealth and influence entered the churches in 
large numbers, especially when they became bishops, as 
was often the case, it was perfectly natural that the 
churches should be made to conform to a great extent to 
pagan temples ; should be filled with images ; should in- 
troduce saint-worship in the place of polytheism, etc. 

(6) Yet we must beware of supposing that Christian- 
ity as a whole was thus corrupt. That there were many 
who abhorred the prevalent laxity of morals and who 
earnestly strove for reformation, is evident from the very 
existence of the documents on which we are dependent 
fpr pur knowledge of the f?icts rnentioned, Moreover, 

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the prevalence of laxity was the cause of much of the 
extreme asceticism that appeared in the church from the 
time of Tertuliian onward. 

8. Multiplication of Ecclesiastical Festivals. At the be- 
ginning, the Lord's Day and the Jewish Sabbath were, 
so far as we know, the only days to which Christians 
attached any particular sanctity. 

(i) Easter may, in some sense, have been observed 
in the apostolic age, i. e., the Jewish Passover continued 
for a time to be observed by Jewish Christians, the chief 
thought in their minds being probably the death and res- 
urrection of Christ Gradually this came to be the only 
thought. We have seen how from the time of Polycarp, 
controversy raged with regard to the exact time of its 

The fact that vernal festivals were general among pagan peoples 
no doubt had much to do with the form assumed by the Easter fes- 
tival In the Christian churches. The English term '* Easter" is of 
pagan origin. 

(2) So also the feast of Pentecost was connected with 
the Jewish feast, the Jewish element soon dropping out 
of consideration, and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit 
coming to be exclusively thought of. 

(3) The feast of Epiphany probably originated in the 
second century, and was designed as a commemoration 
of the baptism of Christ, when he was manifested to 
the world as the Son of God, It was celebrated on Jan- 
uary 6. At a very early date the idea of the nativity 
was added to that of baptism, both being commemorated 
on this day. it was not until about the middle of the 
fourth century that the birthday and the baptismal day 
were separated, the former being placed on December 
25, the date of the Roman Vrumalta at the close of the 
Saturnalia (December 17-24), and of the Scandinavian 
Yule. This date follows immediately the winter solstice, 
and there was thought to be a peculiar appropriateness 
in identifying the birthday of the Sun of Righteousness 
with that of the physical sun.* 

(4) In connection with these festivals, long periods of 

1 (y, Coaybeare " The History of Chrittaas/' In the " Anerican Journal of Thf 
ology," for January, 1899. 

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fasting were observed by Montanists and other asceticai 

(5) Martyrs have already come to be venerated, but 
there is no evidence that their festivals were definitely 
established before the fourth century. 

9. The Rule of Faith. We have observed, in our study 
of the writings of Irenseus, Tertullian, and Origen, that 
in opposition to heresy there grew up in the churches a 
clear, concise confession of faith, which tended more and 
more to become stereotyped into a creed. At a later 
period the process was completed by attributing the fully 
developed creed to the apostles. This brief statement 
was early used as a baptismal confession. (See the 
** rule of faith,'' in its gradual growth from the apostolic 
age to the fourth century, in Schaff, " Creeds of Chris- 
tendom," Vol. I!., pp. 11-55.) 

10. The New Testament Canon. Until after the middle 
of the second century there was no such thing as a 
definite New Testament canon. The Old Testament 
books, chiefly in the Septuagint version and without the 
exclusion of the Apocrypha, were chiefly appealed to as 
authoritative. The New Testament books were freely 
used for substance of doctrine, but rarely quoted with 
precision. Evidence of the use of all the New Testa- 
ment books by c. 150 has been preserved. Marcion, 
the Gnostic {c. 140), seems to have been the first to 
form a definite New Testament canon ; but this was a 
distinctly subjective and partisan selection, consisting of 
one Gospel only (a modification of Luke) and ten Pauline 
Epistles (including the Epistle to the Laodiceans). Ta- 
tian, another Gnostic, constructed a combination Gospel 
(Diatessaron), probably in the interests of his peculiar 
views, though it may have been prepared before his 
separation from the orthodox communion. The Mura- 
torian Fragment (after 150), a document of unknown 
authorship, gives a list of fully received New Testament 
writings from which Hebrews, James, i and 2 Peter, and 
3 John are definitely excluded, doubt being expressed 
about 2 John and Jude. Irenseus {c. 175) quotes all of 
the New Testament books except Philemon, 2 Peter, and 
Jude, but seems to regard the ''Shepherd '' of Hermas 
as also inspired. Clement of Alexandria (c. 200) uses 

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all the canonical New Testament writings, but seems to 
put the Epistle of Barnabas on a level with these. 
Origen (c. 255) includes in his list all our canonical 
books except James and Jude, and along with these 
Hermas, Barnabas, and i Clement. The Peshito Syriac 
version (c. yxS) omits 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John, Jude, and 
Revelation. It was not till after the close of this period 
that perfect definiteness was reached ; for in Eusebius' 
time {c. 32;) the canonical authority of James, Jude, 2 
Peter, 2 and 3 John, and Revelation, while upheld by 
many, was disputed by some. 

in conflict with heresy the Christian leaders were led 
to emphasize more and more the importance of apostolic 
teaching as the basis of doctrine and the common bond 
that unified all true Christian churches. As the au- 
thoritative exponents of apostolic teaching, the apostolic 
writings grew in importance. As a consciousness of 
church unity and a realization of the necessity of uni- 
formity in doctrine and practice grew, the importance of 
agreement with reference to the body of apostolic wrjf • 
xcigs that should be held as authoritative came to be pro- 
foundly felt. Such writings as had been held fn sus- 
picion on account of supposed peculiarities of teaching 
were gradually received into favor, and attention was 
given to harmonizing seeming discrepancies. 

Thus we see that the formation of the New Testament 
canon was the work of centuries. From the human 
point of view we may say that the selection of books 
that should form the canon was a product of Christian 
consciousness ; from the divine point of view we may 
say that this process was presided over and directed by 
the Holy Spirit.* 

1 Sm tb« grtftt world of Westcoll and Zaho on tht Ntw Ttstancnt canon. 

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MAGNE (3I2-«X)) 

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LITERATURE: Eutropius, '"Bnviartum Hist. l{m.,'' Bk. IX.. 
X.; Lactantlus, *' Ds OAorU PtruaOorum" ; Euseblus, "A/. E.r 
Bk. IX., X., and *"De k'ita Constantmi" (Eusebius was a thor- 
ough courtier, and his praises of Constantlne are to be taken with 
much allowance) ; Laws of Constantine in the codes of Theodosius 
and Justinian, also arranged in Migne's '*Patrology" under the 
title, '^ Optra Constantmi'*; Socrates, '* H. £.," Bk. L; Sozomen, 
'*H, E,r Bk. I., IL (Several of these works are available in 
English in the ** Ante-Nicene" and the*'Nicene and Post-Nicene 
Libraries" of the Fathers); Neander, Vol. II., pp. 1-32, and 
passim; Schaff, Vol. 11., pp. 1-37; Stanley, "Eastern Church," 
passim; Neale, "The Holy Eastern Church." passim; Newman, 
^' Arians of the Fourth Century " ; Milman, '* Latin Christianity,*' 

Gr,*^; Tozer, "The Church and the Eastern Empire"; Carr, 
"The Church and the Roman Empire"; Gwatkin, "The Arian 
Controversy " ; Zahn, " Omstantin d. Grosss u. d, Ktrchs^* ; Brieger, 
" Konstantin d, Gr, als ReUgionspolitiksr " ; Neander, " Kaisir Julian u. 
5. Ztitalter^^ ; Rendall, "The bmp. Julian : Paganism and Christi- 
anity"; Cutts, "Constantine the Great"; Kine, "Julian the 
Emperor " ; Tzschlmer, " T>, Fall d, Hnd^thums^' ; art. on the 
various emperors, events, and institutions in Smith and Wace and 


I . Constantine' s Motives in Adopting Christianity. Con- 
stantine, like his father, was out of sympathy with the 
popular religion and was interested in the worship of the 
Persian sun-god Mithras, then much in vogue in the Ro- 
man army. It was a combination of Neo-PIatonic with 
Zoroastrian modes of thought, and was made attractive 
by an elaborate and imposing ritual. When about to 
lead his forces against the tyrant Maxentius at the Mil- 
vian bridge near Rome he felt that the occasion was a 
most critical one. Success meant ultimate headship of 
the empire. Defeat would be utterly disastrous. He 

u 30s 

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was aware of the fact that Maxentius had exhausted all 
the possibilities in the way of propitiating the popular 
deities, and he could not hope to compete with him for 
their support. He had been brought up to regard 
Christianity with some degree of favor. He had ob- 
served its aggressiveness, its rapid growth, and its 
thorough organization. In his anxiety he made up his 
mind to invoke the aid of the God of the Christians. 
Something must be done to inspire his troops with confi- 
dence. He declared that he had seen in the sky a ban- 
ner in the form of a cross with the inscription *• By this 
conquer.^' He had a splendid labarum made after the 
pattern of what he claimed to have seen, and under this 
banner his army won a glorious victory. 

Constantine's subsequent life was not such as to lead us to credit 
his account of the divine manifestation. He was a shrewd and un- 
scrupulous politician. No life was sacred if his interests seemed to 
require its destruction. He had Licinius treacherously slain after 
his defeat. The murder of nearly all his relatives, including his 
nephew Licinlanus and his son Crispus. seems wholly unjustifiable 
and could not have been the work of a Christian. The story of the 
murder of his wife Fausta has been somewhat discredited. In 
general, it may be said, that while his character compares favorably 
with that of pagan despots, and had many admirable and amiable 
traits, he can nardly be supposed to have exercised a saving faith. 

2. Constantine's Favors to Christianity. Soon after the 
victory over Maxentius he had a statue of himself erected 
in Rome with a cross in the right hand and the inscrip- 
tion, " By virtue of this salutary sign, which is the true 
symbol of 'valor, I have preserved and liberated your 
city from the yoke of tyranny," etc. The Edict of 
Milan (313), issued jointly by Constantine and Licinius, 
proclaimed liberty of conscience and showed partiality 
for Christianity. His policy at first was not to interfere 
with pagan worship, but by filling the chief offices with 
Christians and surrounding himself with Christian 
teachers to make the condition of Christians enviable. 
Pagan temples that were peculiarly offensive to Chris- 
tians on account of their immoral rites, or to which pil- 
grimages were made from superstitious motives, were in 
some cases destroyed. 

He exempted the Christian clergy from military and 

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municipal duties and their property from taxation (313) ; 
abolished various pagan customs and ordinances offen- 
sive to Christians (31$) ; facilitated the emancipation of 
Christian slaves (315); legalized bequests to Christian 
churches, a very important measure (321) ; enjoined the 
civil observance of Sunday, though only as the day of 
the Sun, and in connection with an ordinance requiring 
the consultation of the soothsayer (321); contributed 
largely toward the building of Christian houses of wor- 
ship ; and gave his sons a Christian education. 

In 324 he Is said to have promised to every convert to Christianity 
twenty pieces of gold and a white baptismal robe, and twelve thou- 
sand men, with women and children m proportion, are said to have 
been baptized in Rome in one year. The persistent adherence of the 
Roman aristocracy to paganism was a matter of great concern to 
Constantine, and he took especial pains to overcome the antipathy 
of the Romans toward Christianity. 

In 325 he issued a general exhortation to his subjects 
to embrace Christianity. 

3. Constantine^s f^iew of the Relations of Church and 
State. As the Roman emperor was Pontifex Maximus 
of the pagan State religion, he would naturally assume 
the same relation to Christianity when it became pre^ 
dominant. This headship the gratitude of the Christians 
heartily accorded. In all of his dealings with Christian 
matters the supreme motive seems to have been that of 
securing unity. About doctrinal differences he was 
almost indifferent. But he dreaded dissension among 
those on whom he depended for the support of his 
government. . 

He attempted to settle the Donatist controversy by 
negotiation and arbitration, and resorted to violence only 
when all other means had proved ineffective. 

At great expense he convened the Nicene Council for 
the adjudication of the controversy between Arius and 
Alexander. His persecution of Arianism was due to his 
conviction that only thus ecclesiastical unity could be 
restored. He soon came under the influence of semi- 
Arian bishops (Busebius, etc.), and the year before his 
death he banished Athanasius, who had become bishop 
of Alexandria. Constantine did not formally adopt 

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Christianity as the religion of the State, but he virtually 
gave it this position. 

Though he considered himself a *' bishop of bishops/' 
he did not think it prudent to accept baptism until just 
before his death in 337. No doubt this delay was due to 
his belief in the efficacy of baptism to wash away the 
sins and crimes that had so marred his life. 

When the Roman people refused to accept the new 
religion, Constantine transferred his capital to Byzan- 
tium and built Constantinople or New Rome. Other 
reasons doubtless co-operated with his desire for a 
Christian capital. 

4. The Sons of Constantine. Constantlne's three sons, 
Constantine IL (b. 312), Constantius If. (b. 317), and 
Constans (b. 320), succeeded to the imperial dignity 
with the good will of the armies. The other relatives of 
Constantine, except two nephews, Julian and Callus, 
were foully massacred, Constantius being chiefly re- 
sponsible for the crime. The empire was so divided that 
Constantine 11. ruled in the West, Constans in Italy and 
Africa, and Constantius 11. in the East. Constantine 
was slain in a battle with Constans near the walls of 
Aquileia (340). Constans was forced to commit suicide 
by one of his generals (350). This left Constantius 
sole emperor. The sons of Constantine did little credit 
to their Christian education and profession. 

Constantius went far beyond his father in his efforts 
to destroy paganism, which still determinedly held its 
ground in Rome, Alexandria, and in many other parts of 
the empire. In 341 a law was promulgated against pagan 
superstition and sacrifice. In 346 the visiting of temples 
was forbidden. In 352 and 356 the death penalty was 
affixed to heathen sacrifices and to conversion to Juda- 
ism. These laws could not be enforced in Rome or in 
Alexandria. Constantius regarded his pagan opponents 
as traitors and pagan rites as involving conspiracy. 
Constantine II. and Constans favored the orthodox of 
Athanasian party and restored Athanasius repeatedly to 
his See. Constantius was an Arian and joined with 
Athanasius' opponents in repeatedly banishing him. The 
growing corruption and intolerance of Christians and the 
initating and arbitrary measures of Constantius prepared 

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the way for the pagan reaction that was to follow this 

5. Julian the Apostate. Julian and his elder half- 
brother, Callus, nephews of Constantine the Great, 
were saved, through the intercession of a bishop, from 
the common massacre of relatives, the one by reason of 
his tender youth, the other because of supposed mortal 
sickness. Julian received a Christian education under 
the direction of Bishop Eusebius of Nicomedia, and during 
his residence in Cappadocia he is said to have ministered 
in the churches, probably as reader. He studied classical 
literature in Constantinople and in Nicomedia, where the 
great rhetorician Libanius was teaching. Forbidden to 
attend the lectures of this pagan master he secretly read 
his writings and became deeply interested in the Neo- 
Platonic philosophy, with its mysteries and its manticism. 
The fact that pagan philosophy and life were forbidden 
fruit no doubt whetted his appetite. He secured initia- 
tion into the Eleusinian mysteries, and while remaining 
outwardly a Christian was really an enthusiastic pagan 

In 356 he was made a Cssar by Constantius, and soon 
won renown as a general in the Gallic wars. Jealous of 
his popularity Constantius sought to recall a large part 
of his army. The troops refused to leave their general 
and proclaimed him Augustus. He now declared his hos- 
tility to Christianity and was zealous in reopening and 
rehabilitating the heathen temples that had been closed 
by Constantius. Constantius died in Cilicia just as 
Julian was approaching Constantinople. His cause was 
won without a battle. 

He proceeded at once to restore the temples and their 
sacrificial services and to reinstate the mystagogues and 
priests in all their ancient privileges, and withdrew from 
the Christian clergy the privileges and immunities that 
had been conferred upon them by Constantine and his 
sons. He borrowed from Christianity whatever he 
thought likely to add to the attractiveness of the pagan 
public services (popular preaching by purple-robed priests, 
music, hymnology, etc.).' He prohibited Christians from 
teaching classical literature, wishing no doubt to reduce 
Christianity to a despised and illiterate sect. To dis- 
credit the Christian prophecies regarding the destruction 

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of Jerusalem and to encourage the inveterate enemies of 
Christianity, he attempted to restore the Jewish temple 
at Jerusalem. He favored Donatists and Arians in com- 
parison with Catholics. 

it does not appear to have been Julian's intention to 
persecute Christians; but the collisions that occurred 
between the Christians and the officials in the restora- 
tion to pagan purposes of property long used for Chris- 
tian purposes, the rigorous enforcement of pagan practices 
in the army, and the necessity of punishing deeds of out- 
lawry committed, or supposed to have been committed, 
by Christians, involved much hardship that could scarcely 
be distinguished from persecution. 

After reigning less than two years Julian was slain in 
battle with the Persians. It is by no means certain that 
after receiving the mortal spear-thrust he cried out: 
" Galilean, thou hast conquered." 

Christianity was tried, but not cast down, by this short- 
lived attempt to galvanize into life moribund paganism.^ 

6. Theodosius the Great (378-395). The immediate suc- 
cessors of Julian did little more than remove the restric- 
tions that had been placed upon the progress of Christi- 
anity and gradually restore to the churches the privileges 
they had enjoyed under Constantine and his sons. 
Gratian (375-383) refused the title of Pontifex Maximus, 
prohibited the superstitious consulting of victims, abol- 
ished the privileges of the vestal virgins, had the much- 
prized altar of Victory removed from its place near the 
Curia of the Senate, and sought in every way to break 
the power of Roman paganism. These measures were 
carried out under the advice of the great soldier and 
statesman Theodosius, who became joint-emperor with 
Gratian (378) and sole emperor (394). 

Theodosius is commonly regarded as the first orthodox 
emperor and the first to make orthodox Christianity the 
exclusive religion of the State. He secured from the 
Roman Senate an acknowledgment that the religion of 
Christ was true. He prohibited sacrifices and even visits 
to pagan temples, prostration before idols, the worship of 
household gods, and all other idolatrous practices. 

1 For Julian's own statement of his philosophical and religious views, sec his 
works, ed. Hcrtlein, Leipiig. 1875-76. 

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Theodosius died soon afterward and divine honors 
were paid to him by the still pagan Romans in the usual 
style. Many pagan temples were destroyed at this time 
by fanatical bands of Christians, with the approval of 
bishops and emperor. The desecration of the temple of 
Serapis in Alexandria so infuriated the pagans of the city 
that a massacre of Christians resulted. The temple was 
destroyed by imperial command, and the famous idol, on 
whose preservation the rising of the Nile was supposed 
to depend, was smitten down. The Nile is said to have 
risen higher than usual that year. 

Lactantius in the time of Constantine wrote: *' Re- 
ligion cannot be compelled ; nothing is so voluntary as 
religion." Ambrose and Augustine now advocated the 
forcible suppression of paganism and heresy. Many 
bishops led their people in their violent onslaughts on 
pagan sanctuaries and did not shrink even from blood- 
shed in the accomplishment of their purposes. Paganism 
made a desperate struggle for existence, but it did not 
possess the religious enthusiasm that enabled early 
Christianity to survive persecution. It had its revenge 
in the almost complete paganization of the churches that 
speedily followed the enforced conversion of its unwilling 


While it is undeniable that great evil resulted to Chris- 
tianity from its adoption by the State, we must not close 
our eyes to the (temporarily) beneficent results of this 

That Christianity should become predominant was, of 
course, highly desirable. We may say that it ought to 
have spread its influence by purely spiritual means, until 
its teachings should have pervaded society in all its ele- 
ments ; that the State ought to have become Christian, 
but that it ought to have manifested its Christianity 
simply by putting into practice the spirit of Christianity. 
But while such is our ideal, we could scarcely expect the 
Christians of the fourth century to foresee what we, with 
the experience of more than fifteen hundred years of the 
effects of State patronage and control of religion, are just 
beginning to see, 

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I. Beneficent Results of the Adoption of Christianity as the 
State Religion. 

(1) An immensely larger number of peoplje was thus 
brought somewhat under the influence of Christianity 
than would otherwise have been possible. That men 
were induced to abandon idolatry and attach themselves 
even outwardly to Christianity was, in a sense, a gain. 

(2) Christianity had a much more direct and powerful 
effect upon the legislation of the Roman empire than 
would otherwise have been possible. The most funda- 
mental thing in the Roman political system was the all- 
importance of the State and consequent indifference to 
the rights of the individual. Christianity gave to legis- 
lation a high sense of the value of human life ; of the 
rights of all human beings, slaves, foreigners, and bar- 
barians included. We have ample proof of the benefi- 
cent effect of Christianity on Roman legislation in the 
Theodosian Code (424-438), which contains the legisla- 
tion of Constantine and his successors ; and in the Jus- 
tinian Code, which contains the legislation from Hadrian 
to Justinian (527). 

The position of women was greatly elevated. Con- 
stantine gave to women the right to control their own 
property. Marriage was made free by the abolition of 
the old penalties against celibacy and childlessness. 
Marriage of near relations was restricted; divorce was 
rendered difficult. 

Concubinage was forbidden, and adultery was punished 
as one of the greatest of crimes. The absolute power of 
parents over children, extending to freedom and life, was 
abolished, and child murder was rendered criminal. 

While slavery was still allowed, its evils were less- 
ened, and the manumission of slaves was encouraged. 

Gladiatorial shows, against which Christians had 
striven from the beginning of the second century, were 
gradually and partially abolished. 

(3) Christianity exerted a beneficent effect on mo- 
rality. This is involved in its influence on legislation. 
The tone of morals could, of course, be raised only very 
gradually; but undoubtedly the change soon became 

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2. Evils that Christianity Sufikred in Consequence of the 


The points in which Constantine and his followers 
favored Christianity may also be regarded as involving 
evils. When he put restrictions on idolatry, he fosteced 
a spirit of intolerance in Christians, and led them to trust 
in physical power rather than in the power of the truth. 
When he enjoined the universal observance of Sunday, 
it ceased to be a spiritual, and became a legal festival. 
When he legalized Christian corporations, — a thing right 
in itself, — ^he presented a great temptation to Christian 
bishops to devote themselves largely to the enrichment 
of the churches, which they frequently accomplished by 
the most unfair means. When he offered temporal in- 
ducements to the profession of Christianity, he not only 
brought multitudes of unregenerate people into the 
churches, but he also aided in making it a part of public 
opinion to regard the profession of Christianity as a mere 
form, and to attach a magical significance to the ordinances. 
His efforts for church unity greatly interfered with free- 
dom of thought, and fostered the spirit of intolerance in 
the favored party. The favors that he bestowed upon 
the bishops increased their pride and worldliness, and 
caused an unchristian striving for important bishoprics. 

We may particularize as follows : 

(i) Christianity was secularized. The doors of the 
church were thrown open so wide, that the distinction 
between Christianity and the world was obliterated. 

Christian churches assumed the magnificence of 
heathen temples. In imitating the pomp. Christians 
were sure to imitate the practices of heathenism, espe- 
cially as the most influential Christians were now men 
that had been brought up pagans, and had adopted 
Christianity chiefly because it was the fashion. 

Many Christian preachers rebuked this worldliness 
most vehemently ; but the example of the imperial court 
was more influential with the rank and file. 

(2) As pagans had been accustomed to worship a host 
of gods and goddesses, they felt the need, after becom- 
ing Christians, of numerous objects of adoration. The 
most honored characters of the early apostolic and suc- 

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ceeding times were, of course, selected, such as Mary, 
the mother of Christ, the apostles, and other martyrs. 

(3) As pagans had been accustomed to worship their 
gods under the form of images, the new converts natu- 
rally required images of the saints, and the churches 
were soon filled with these objects. That pagans so 
readily gave up their religion and embraced Christianity 
can be accounted for only by the fact that Christianity 
adapted itself so entirely to their ideas as to make the 
change little more than nominal. 

(4) Hierarchical development was stimulated. Bishops, 
who had already in great measure gained supremacy 
over presbyters, became more uniformly and entirely 
supreme after the union. 

The ecclesiastical hierarchy was made a counterpart 
of the civil government. Constantine divided the 
empire into four praetorian prefectures — ^two in the East 
and two in the West. 

The East, with Antioch as its capital, embraced five 
dioceses : Syria ; Egypt (capital Alexandria) ; Pontus 
(capital Caesarea) ; Asia (capital Ephesus) ; Thrace, 
Haemiontis, Moesia, and Scythia (capital Constantinople). 

The lllyrian prefecture comprised Macedonia and 
Dacia. The Italian prefecture was divided into two 
vicariates: Rome (embracing Southern Italy and the 
Mediterranean islands) ; the Italian vicariate (Lombardy, 
and territory south of the Danube, capital Milan). To 
this was added Western Africa (capital Carthage) and 
Western Illyricum. 

The fourth prefecture was Gaul (France, Spain, and 

As bishops of the capitals of the provinces had for 
some time exercised a moral influence superior to that of 
bishops of less important cities, they were now endued 
by a decree of the Council of Nicaea, enforced by impe- 
rial power, with authority over all the bishops of their 
respective provinces. The bishops highest in authority 
were those of Rome, Alexandria, Antioch, Ephesus, and 
Jerusalem. These bishoprics magnified their natural 
importance by their tradition of apostolic foundation, and 
were afterward distinguished (along with that of Con- 
stantinople) as patriarchates. 

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As Rome was the chief city of the West, and the seat 
of government for the entire West, the Council of Nicaea 
gave to the bishop of Rome authority over all bishops in 
the West (including Western Africa, Italy, Gaul, Spain, 
Britain, etc.) ; and this authority being so much more 
extensive than that of the other patriarchates, naturally 
tended to encourage the Roman bishops to the assertion 
of absolute supremacy over all the churches. Yet, when 
Constantinople became the seat of the Empire, the patri- 
archate of Constantinople became a rival to the Roman, 
although it had no apostolic origin to boast. 

(5) The church became a persecuting power, making 
use of the civil authority for the suppression of dissent 
and paganism. There had been bigotry and intolerance 
enough before, but they had expressed themselves only 
morally. Now they exhibited their true character. It 
will not seem so strange to us that this secularized Chris- 
tianity should have persecuted, if we consider the fol- 
lowing facts : 

a. The Old Testament, with the majority of Christians, 
was of equal authority with the New Testament, and 
was looked upon as containing a model of church polity. 
Now the Old Testament abounds in narrations in which 
the persecuting zeal of rulers is represented as highly 
pleasing to God. Special praise is accorded to those who 
slaughtered multitudes of heathen, and destroyed their 
places and objects of worship. Christian rulers felt that 
they were glorifying themselves and God in emulating 
such examples ; and Christian preachers felt that they 
were filling the place of Old Testament prophets when 
they incited the rulers to the violent extermination of 
paganism and heresy. 

b. By this time it had come to be pretty generally 
believed that out of the church there is no salvation. 
The idea of the church was limited to those who adhered 
to apostolic unity as represented by the dominant party. 
By persecution some would be brought back into the 
church (whether honestly or not, was a minor con- 
sideration). If some were slain, they were only made 
to meet their inevitable fate a little sooner. It was a 
question of saving some, or letting all go together to 
perdition. Moreover, by the slaying of the incorrigible, 

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Others would be saved from their corrupting influence, 
and still others would be deterred through fear of a 
like fate. Our Lord's injunction, ** Compel them to 
come in." was interpreted literally, and regarded as a 
sanction for the employment of force, even by Augustine. 

c. Alongside of these more honest grounds for perse- 
cution must be placed personal considerations. Those 
who were particularly annoyed by the presence of here- 
tics or pagans, were greatly tempted to seek their ex- 

d. Add to these the political need of the unity of 
religious belief and practice, so strongly felt by the 
rulers of a great empire, and the encouragement these 
gave to Christian intolerance, and persecution by Chris- 
tians appears as a matter of course. The church has 
persecuted Christians far more cruelly, and has de- 
stroyed vastly more Christians than pagans have done. 
The Diocletian persecution is as nothing when compared 
with the work of the '* Holy Office." 

(6) Reaction against worldliness, resulting in the ex- 
cesses of asceticism. Monasticism is not peculiar to 
Christianity, but seems naturally to occur under favor- 
able circumstances in connection with almost any system 
of religion. It existed in the most exaggerated forms 
among Brahmins and Buddhists long before the Christian 
era. The Essenes and the Therapeutae, at and before 
the time of Christ, were ascetics. It is probable that 
Christian asceticism was historically connected with the 
Oriental theosophy, though not very directly or con- 
sciously derived from it. 

So long as Christianity was persecuted. Christians 
of an ascetic turn of mind usually found opportunity 
enough for self-denial in enduring hardships for the faith. 
We see the ascetic spirit manifested in Montanists, Nova- 
tians, and Donatists, and in the multitudes that were 
always ready to deliver themselves to death. In Gnosti- 
cism and Manichaeism it had a thoroughly perverse de- 

From the true Christian idea that the flesh must be 
crucified and the lusts thereof, that those who would 
come after Christ must deny themselves, etc.. Christians 
soon came to look upon suffering in connection with re- 

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ligion as meritorious in itself, and were willing to endure 
the greatest physical agonies for the peace of conscience 
thence derivable. The New Testament opposition be- 
tween spirit and flesh, was laid hold of and perverted. 

Now this ascetic spirit continued to exist in many after 
persecution had ceased. Nay, it was intensified by the 
increase of worldliness in the Christian churches. Such 
spirits came to feel that it was impossible to live a truly 
Christian life in the worldly churches. How was the 
ascetic spirit, the desire for self-sacrifice, to find vent ? 
The ascetics withdrew from society and retired into 
waste places, where they spent their time in fasting 
and prayer, and in making the spirit triumph over the 
flesh. The greater the rigor of their self-discipline, the 
greater the merit ; so endless means of self-torture were 
devised, which amounted, in many instances, to suicide. 
Insanity, in various degrees, almost always resulted from 
such austerities. (This refers to the earlier stages of 
hermit life.) We may distinguish four stages in the de- 
velopment of Monasticism : 

a. The asceticism that prevailed in the churches them- 
selves, varying in its austerity. 

b. Hermit life or Anchoretism. This form of asceti- 
cism may have arisen about the middle of the third cen- 
tury, but it became common only after the union of 
Church and State. Jerome's romantic account of Paul 
of Thebes, and Antony of Alexandria, are mainly fabu- 
lous, as is also much in the life of Antony attributed to 
Athanasius. But these and like narratives may have 
had a basis of fact, and they exhibit in concrete form the 
ideals that prevailed in the latter half of the fourth cen- 
tury. The following sketch of Antony, without the 
fables, may be in the main correct : 

Born about 2$i, he became in early manhood an enthusiastic 
ascetic, sold his large estate, and gave the proceeds to the poor, 
committing his sister, whose guardian he was, to a body of virgins. 
He strove to detach himself from the world, and to eradicate all 
human sensibilities and desires. His efforts to banish evil thoughts 
secm«d only to Intensify them. In order to make his separation 
from the world more complete, he removed some miles from his 
native vlllaM, and occupied a cleft in a rock. His imagination was 
rendered so fervid ^y jifs austerities, that he supposed himself to be 
assaulted by the powers of darkness. 

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He then resorted to a still more secluded place, where he remained 
twenty years. But his fame had now spread, so that large num- 
bers came to him for spiritual guidance, many adopting the same 
mode of life. He desired to escapee from men, and sought a stili 
more retired place ; but he was still pursued, being reputed to pos^ 
sess superhuman sanctity and the power of worlcing miracles. 

Only on the rarest occasions did he visit Alexandria, as in 311, in 
the time of the Diocletian persecution, for the purpose of encourag- 
ing the Christians, and in ^$2 to counteract the spread of Arianism. 

Antony's food was bread and salt, never tasted until after sunset 
He often fasted entirely for two or three days. He watched and 
prayed all night, sleeping only a little time on the ground. He 
rejected the practice of bathing, and Is said never to have seen him- 
self nude. Many of his followers far surpassed Antony in self- 

From Egypt hermit life spread into Syria and other 
parts of the empire. 

c. Coenobitic or cloister life. This too originated in 
Egypt, probably from the example of the Essenes and 
Therapeutae. The hermits had become numerous. 
Here, as always, extensiveness decreased intensity. 
The feeling arose that the true interests of ascetics 
would be better subserved by association with kindred 
spirits. Moreover, there was a tendency for large num- 
bers of younger hermits to flocl< to those who had at- 
tained to great celebrity for instruction. Such was true 
even in the case of Antony, and he himself was said to 
have encouraged the association of ascetics. 

The anchoretic life was not at all adapted to females. 
Even in the time of Tertullian ** virgins*' had begun to 
live together at the expense of the churches. 

The association of monks was at first informal. When 
the number became great it was necessary to adopt rules 
for the government of the society and to fix terms for 

The first rules of importance were those of Pachomius. 
Near the beginning of the fourth century Pachomius, a 
young soldier, obtained release from military service and 
attached himself to an old hermit, with whom he lived 
twelve years. He was not satisfied with a life of idle 
devotion, but felt a strong impulse to do good to his 
brethren. Accordingly he organized a society of monks 
on an island in the Nile, which during his lifetime reached 
a membership of three thousand. The entire body of 

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monks was divided into twenty-four classes, according 
to the letters of the alphabet. The gradations were 
those of spiritual advancement. Over each class was a 
presiding officer, Pachomius himself being the abbot or 
father of all. They supported themselves by various 
kinds of labor : agriculture, ship-building, tanning, basket 
making, etc. No one had anything of his own, but all 
earnings went to the common treasury, from which all 
were supported. Particular duties were assigned to 
each by his superior, and special hours of devotion were 
appointed for all. 

This form of ascetic life became popular. Multitudes 
of all classes of society flocked to the cloisters. Many 
monks, losing their first enthusiasm, were tormented in 
spirit and became insane. Many became vicious. Many 
entered the monasteries to escape military service and 
other hardships, which the declining empire put upon its 

d. The founding of monastic orders, 1. ^., the organiza- 
tion under the same rule and name, of monastic bodies 
in various regions. Under this form medieval Monasti- 
cism for the most part existed. 

Remark.— While we have here classed Monasticlsm in general 
among the evil results of the union of Church and State, we must 
beware of regarding it as only evil. In its favor it may be said (a) 
that it made strong resistance to worldliness ; (d) it was a powerful 
means of attracting pagans to Christianity; (c) in many instances 
it promoted theological study ; (</) it afforded a refuge and means of 
reformation for those that were cast out from society. 

On the other hand : U) it withdrew large numbers of good men 
from active service in Christ's cause; (h) it fostered spiritual pride 
and hypocrisy : {c) it filled Christendom with radically wrong ideas 
of religion and morality; {d) it brutalized many men: (#) it was a 
most influential factor in the development of hierarchy.^ 

timiincpU," 1897. 

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It was doubtless hoped by many that when organized 
Christianity had gained power to enforce its decisions 
there would be an end of controversy. Yet never had 
controversy raged so fiercely as in the fourth and follow- 
ing centuries. The parties that were already in exist- 
ence now came forward with a great increase of polemi- 
cal energy, and new parties arose. 

Persecution of the less powerful by the dominant 
parties was employed without scruple, but to little avail. 
It seems to be an established principle that persecution, 
if not carried to the point of extermination, and if not 
carried on so constantly and severely as to destroy the 
spirit of the persecuted, really promotes their spread. 

We may divide the controversies of the period into 
seven classes: (i) On ecclesiastical polity; (2) on the 
relations of the godhead ; (3) on the teaching of Origen ; 
(4) on Christology ; (5) on the doctrine of the person of 
Christ ; (6) on anthropology ; (7) controversies involving 
protests against the paganizing of Christianity. 

I. ecclesiastical polity— the DONATIST CONTROVERSY. 

We left the Donatists in the other period when the 
schism had just been completed. A brief sketch of the 
efforts to heal the schism must here be given : 

I. Their Appeal to Constantine, Constantine having 
expressly excepted the Donatists from the privileges 
conferred on (Christians at the beginning of his reign, 
they appealed to him (then in Gaul) to name judges in 
that country to inquire into the nature of the divisions 
in Carthage (313). Constantine referred the matter to 
Melchiades, bishop of Rome, and five Gallic bishops, be- 
fore whom the accused Caecilian and ten African bishops 
from each side were summoned. A hasty decision in 
favor of Caecilian resulted. 


Digitized by LjOOQ IC] controversies in the church 321 

The Donatists complained that their cause had not 
been fully heard, and Constantine ordered a second 
investigation at Aries (314), expressing himself against 
the Donatists. 

A large conference was called, to be composed of 
bishops of both parties from various parts of the empire. 
This body was packed, the great majority of the bishops 
being from Gaul and Italy. The decision was on the 
whole favorable to Caecilian, yet it was enacted that 
traditors who could be proved to be such from public 
documents — not from mere rumor — should be removed 
from the ministry. The Donatists failed to prove from 
public documents that either Mensurius or C^secilian or 
Felix of Aptunga, who had ordained Caecilian, was a 

The investigations conducted by the imperial commissioners had 
reference chiefly to the conduct of Pelix, whose traditorship was sup- 
posed by the Donatists to have vitiated the ordination of Cseclllan. 

From this decision the Donatists appealed to the 
emperor himself. He decided against them in 316, and 
threatened the banishment of their bishops and the 
confiscation of their property in case they should refuse 
to yield. 

2. Persecution of the donatists. Constantine's threat 
was soon executed. Donatists were deprived of their 
churches and harassed in various ways. This persecu- 
tion had the effect of driving many of them already 
inclined to fanaticism to deeds of violence. In 317 
Constantine exhorted the Catholics to abstain from re- 
taliation. In 321 the Donatists sent a petition to the 
emperor, saying that they would submit to anything 
rather than affiliate with the rascally Bishop Caecilian. 
Constantine thought further measures useless and 
granted them full liberty of conscience. 

3. Efforts of the Emperor Constans to Bribe the Donatists, 
and the Succeeding Persecution. In 340 Constans made 
an effort, under the pretence of alms, to use money for 
conciliating the Donatists. The Donatist bishops were 
exasperated, and again there was a resort to force. 
They were once more deprived of their churches and 
their assemblies were broken up by armed troops. 

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Those that resisted were in many instances slain. The 
Donatists were now led to declare boldly their opposition 
to civil interference in nnatters of religion. This was 
henceforth one of the fundamental principles of the party. 

4. The HDonatists and the Emperor Jidian. Julian at- 
tempted to restore paganism, and of course withdrew 
the privileges that had been bestowed upon the dominant 
form of organized Christianity by his predecessors. 
The Donatists appealed to him, and he issued an edict 
annulling whatever had been undertaken against them 
and restoring to them their churches. 

5. The donatists and /lugustine. The Donatist schism 
was still unabated at the beginning of the fifth century. 
Augustine, bishop of Hippo, was impelled, not only by 
his high idea of church unity, but also by the annoyance 
that the schism caused him personally, to write against 
them and to seek to compass their overthrow. The 
leading points on which Augustine bases his attacks are: 

(i) Their persistent separation from the church, which 
led them to refuse to enter even into social relations 
with the Catholics. 

(2) Their insistence on the rebaptism of the Catholics 
as a condition of communion with them. This offered 
the greatest obstacle to union, necessitating a complete 
surrender on the part of the Catholics in order thereunto. 

(3) He rebuts their charges of persecution on the part 
of the Catholics by setting forth the intolerance of Do- 
natists themselves, citing as instances the refusal of 
Donatists in a town in which they were predominant to 
sell bread to Catholics, and the forcible manner in which in 
a schism in a Donatist church, led by Maximianus, the 
stronger party had seized the church property. The fact 
that the schism was afterward healed without require- 
ment of rebaptism on either side he uses against the 
Donatists to show their inconsistency in requiring rebap- 
tism of Catholics. The deeds of the fanatical Circum- 
celliones are also used to show the intolerant, persecut- 
ing spirit of the Donatists. 

6. The Donatists and the Carthaginian Council (A. D. 
411). A great effort having been made (395 onw.) to 
conciliate the Donatists by allowing their clergy to retain 
their dignity and by making aa amicable adjustment of 

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claims to church property, etc., with little success, the 
emperor, Theodosius II,, issued an edict (41 1) commanding 
the Donatist bishops of Africa to meet the Catholic 
bishops at Carthage in a great conference. 

The Donatist bishops went much against their inclina- 
tion, having no confidence in such measures. They 
were indignant that an imperial commissioner should 
preside. The Donatists were sullen, the Catholics im- 
perious, and the discussion amounted to nothing. 

Of the Catholic bishops of Proconsular Africa two hundred and 
eighty-six were present, of the Donatists two hundred and seventy- 
nine. It is evident that the dioceses were small and that Catholic 
and Donatist congregations existed side by side in nearly every 

The Donatists were condemned and a fierce persecu- 
tion ensued. The Vandals, however, put an end to party 
strife, persecuting Catholics and Donatists alike, and in- 
troducing Arianism (429 onw.). The Donatists declined 
from the middle of the fifth century, but maintained 
themselves as a distinct party until the sixth century or 


LITERATURE: Athanasius, *' Orai. Contra Arianos'^ "D# D$cniis 
Smodm Wcamm^^ "D# SenUniia DionysU^^ ** Apologia contr. Arianos,^* 
*^Histon'a Arianorum^^* etc. ; Basil, **A(iv. Emommm** ; Greg. Naz., 
**Oratfotus Theologieof^^ ; Greg. Nys., ^^ Contra Eunommm** ; Hilary, 
•* D0 TrmUaU "; Ambrose, " D$ Fid$ "; Augustine, " De Trinitait Con- 
tra Maximinum Arianum "; Epjphanius, ^^Ancoratus "; Hardouin and 
MansI, *' Concilia '' ; " Fragmenta Arianorum^** in Mai's '* Scriptorum 
ygt. Nov. Coll" Vol. 111. ; TDorner, " Person of Christ," Div. L Vol. 
II. ; Neander, Vol. II., p. 403, ssq. , Schaff, Vol. II., pp. 616-698 ; Baur, 
•• Gtsch. d. Lihrt der Dnieinigkiit,^' Bd, I., Sfit. 3o6-«25, and *' 'Dog- 
nungesehichti^" Bd. I., Sdit. 13^-282; Kolling, '* Gesch» d, Arianischen 
H'afisii^" 1874; works on tne history of doctrine, by Harnack, 
Loofs, Seeberg, Thomasius, Hagenbach, Shedd, Sheldon, and 
Fisher ; Hefele, " Hist, of Councils," Vol. I. ; De Broglie, " UEgliu 
it VEmpirt^' ; Voigt, " Die Uhrt d. tAthanasius'*; Newman, "The 
Arians of the Fourth Century " : Gibbon, " Dec. and Fall," Chap. 
21; Stanley, "Eastern Church,*' Lect lI.-VII.: Gwatkin, "Stud- 
ies of Arianism " and " The Arian Controversy " ; articles on Arius 
(Arianism), Athanasius, Eusebius, Eunomlus, etc., in Smith and 
Wace, Hauck-Herzog, Wetzer u. Welte, Lichtenberger, and McClIn* 
tock and Strong. 

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I. Preliminary Observations. 

It was the doctrine of the pre-existent Logos that 
more than any other had agitated the world of theolog* 
ical thought during the second and third centuries. We 
have seen that the Christians were driven to the ex- 
pression of definite views on this subject by the pressure 
of Gnosticism on the one hand, with its emanation 
theory, and of Ebionism on the other, with its utter re- 
jection of Christ's deity. We have seen that an influ- 
ential part of the church, represented by Noetus, Praxeas, 
Sabellius, and Beryl, had, with a view to obviating the 
Gnostic and Ebionitic conclusions, striven to identify 
Father and Son absolutely. This involved either Patri- 
passianism (the maintenance that the birth and suffer- 
ings of the Son can be attributed equally to the Father) 
or Docetism (the incarnation and the sufferings of the 
Son being regarded as merely phenomenal). Patripas- 
sianism was, from the first, repugnant to the Christian 
consciousness in general, and its success in gaining ad- 
herents may have been due, in part, to the laxity of dis- 
cipline with which it appears to have been commonly 

The problem now forced itself upon the minds of 
Christian thinkers, of distinguishing between Father and 
Son, without denying either the humanity or the abso- 
lute deity of the latter. We have seen how Tertullian, 
by his ** Economy," and Origen, by his " Eternal Gen- 
eration," attempted to meet the case. Dionysius of 
Alexandria, in controversy with the Sabellians (about 
260), declared that the ** Son of God is a work and a 
creature, not appertaining to him by nature, but as re* 
gards his essence as foreign to the Father as is the hus- 
bandman to the vine. . . For, as a creature, he did not 
exist before he was produced." These expressions 
awakened vigorous opposition, and the matter was laid 
before Dionysius, bishop of Rome, who called a synod 
for the consideration of the question. Dionysius of Alex- 
andria afterward disowned the opinions mentioned, and 
in the Arian controversy his authority was claimed by 
both parties. 

Dionysius of Rome (with the concurrence of the synod) 

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rejected the expressions of his Alexandrian namesake, 
together with anything that would imply that there was 
a time when the Son was not. He held that the Son was 
always in the Father as his Power and Wisdom. " It is 
necessary for the divine Logos to be united with the God 
of the universe, and in God the Holy Spirit, also, must 
be embosomed and dwell. And now it is altogether nec- 
essary that the divine Triad be summed up and brought 
together into a head, as it were — I mean in God, the 
creator of the universe." 

During the closing years of the third century and the 
opening of the fourth, theological thought was focused 
upon this great question. There was still a constant 
vacillation between subordinationism and Sabellianism. 
In the nature of things, such a state of vacillation on a 
question that profoundly agitated men's minds could not 
long continue. The time had come when Christian 
thinkers must decide either that the Son is a creature, 
and hence, not eternal, and not in the highest sense 
divine ; or, that he is uncreated, eternal, truly God, of 
the same essence with the Father, yet with a personality 
distinct from that of the Father. 

By the beginning of the fourth century, the idea of the 
absoluteness of the Christian religion had taken strong 
hold upon the Christian consciousness. This pre-sup- 
posed, Christianity could not long remain content with 
any statement that involved the subordination of its 
head. If Christianity is the absolute religion, the Christ 
must be regarded as absolutely divine. It was, there- 
fore, no accident that the Nicene-Athanasian formulae of 
the relations of the Godhead should have finally pre- 
vailed, and should have become part and parcel of the 
Christianity of the subsequent ages. 

We observe here, as we shall constantly have occa- 
sion to observe, the speculative character of Oriental 
theology, as contrasted with the practical tendency of 
the Occidental. Western Christians saw clearly the 
practical need of asserting the absolute deity of Christ, 
and were somewhat indifferent to minute distinctions. 
Eastern Christians, on the other hand, often spent their 
energies in fruitless hair-splitting. 

The Arian controveisy was widespread, violent, and 

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prolonged. For nearly a century it absorbed a large share 
of the energies of almost the entire Christian brother- 
hood. It was the occasion of innumerable scenes of 
bloodshed and violence, and it rent asunder whole sec- 
tions of Christendom. 

2. Rise of the Controversy, 

We have seen that from the time of Origen Oriental 
Christendom was constantly agitating the question of the 
relations of the Godhead. Arius, a presbyter of the 
Alexandrian church, had received his religious training 
at Antioch, under Lucian. In opposition to the allegor- 
ical interpretation which prevailed at Alexandria, Arius 
had learned to interpret the Bible grammatically and his- 
torically. He seems to have been almost destitute of the 
intuitive faculty for which Alexandrian theologians were 
distinguished, and his mind demanded an entirely clear 
and rational statement of the doctrine that was agitating 
the churches. Origen's theory of the eternal generation 
of the Logos had no meaning for him. " We must either 
suppose two divine original essences, without beginning 
and independent of each other, we must substitute a 
dyarchy for a monarchy, or we must not shrink from 
asserting that the Logos had a beginning of his existence 
— ^that there was when he was not." 

Arius was a man of pure and ascetical life, and his in- 
fluence in Alexandria soon began to be felt. In 321 
Alexander, bishop of Alexandria, called a synod, which 
deposed him from the presbyterate and excluded him 
from the communion of the church. The result was a 
schism in the Alexandrian church which soon spread far 
and wide. 

3. The Three Parties in the Controversy. 

(i) The ^rian. This party during the early stages rf 
the controversy was not strong. Comparatively few 
were willing to accept, without qualification, Arius* state- 
ments with regard to the Logos. But a very large num- 
ber, who had always, after the example of Origen, held 
to a subordination of the Logos, protested against the 
intolerance of Alexander, and hence were practically 
defenders of Arianism. 

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We may sum up the strict Arian view as follows : 

a. The Son was created out of nothing ; hence, he is 
different in essence QrepooOato^) from the Father ; that he 
is Logos, Wisdom, Son of God, is only of grace. He is 
not so in himself. 

b. There was, when he was not ; i. e., he is a finite 

c. He was created before everything else, and through 
him the universe was created and is administered. 

d. In the historical Christ the human element is 
merely the material ; the soul is the Logos. The his- 
torical Christ, therefore, had no human soul, and the 
human elements that appear so prominently in the Gos- 
pels, are attributed to the Logos. This is one of the 
favorite arguments of the Arians for the finiteness and 
imperfection of the Logos. The earlier theologians, with 
the exception of Origen, had made no distinction between 
the divine and the human in Christ, and the orthodox 
theologians were . not able to meet this telling argument 
of the Arians by making such distinction. 

e. The Arians held, that although the incarnate Logos 
is finite, and hence not God, he is to be worshiped, as 
being unspeakably exalted above all other creatures, the 
immediate Creator and Governor of the universe, and the 
Redeemer of man. 

/. The Arians adhered to the Scriptures, and were will- 
ing to employ as their own any scriptural statements of 

(2) The tAthanasian Party. This party was driven to 
the rigorous definition of the relations of the Godhead 
by the harsh polemical statements of the Arians. The 
Origenistic representation was too metaphysical and was 
a constant occasion of theological agitation. The needs 
of the case were : to utterly repudiate the hypothesis of 
any sort of subordination on the part of the Son ; to hold 
fast to the absolute deity of the historical Christ ; and to 
obviate Patripassianism. 

According to the Arian theory, which was thought to 
be the logical outgrowth of the Origenistic, the Son does 
not even know the Father perfectly. If the Son does 
not know the Father perfectly, then Christianity is not 
the absolute religion. But Christianity is the absolute 

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religion, therefore the Son must have. made a perfect 
revelation, i. e., must be absolutely divine. This abso- 
lutely divine Son was, as a matter of course, identified 
with the historical Christ. 

Patripassianism never had a very strong hold upon the 
Christian consciousness, and was by this time looked 
upon as blasphemous. " Hence, a distinction of personal- 
ities in the Godhead must be made, if the life and the 
death of the historical Christ were real, •which was not 

We may summarize the Athanasian view of the person 
of Christ as follows : 

a. The Son was begotten, not by the will of the Father, 
as Origen supposed, but by a necessity of the Father's 
nature. As God is unchangeable, there never was wl\pn 
he was not Father. Just as God is good and merciful, 
not by an exercise of will, but by nature, so he is pa- 
ternal. Nature goes before all willing. The distinction 
of Father and Son is, therefore, an eternal distinction. 

b. The Son is identical in substance (6fioou<Tto^) with the 
Father. His deity is identical with the deity of the Father. 
Athanasius and his party discarded the Platonic exalta- 
tion of God above all relations to the universe, which 
Origen, Arius, etc., adhered to. Creation was the work 
of the Son, but not because it was beneath the dignity of 
the Father. The Arian view, it was held, in denying the 
absolute deity of Christ, destroys the possibility of the 
union of man with God. If Christ is not God there is no 
true redemption for man. 

c. Athanasius emphasized the personality of the Son 

Just as much as his identity in essence with the Father. 
Personality is involved in Athanasius' idea of Sonship. 
The Son is not a mere attribute or mode of manifesta- 
tion of the Father, but an independent personal subsist- 
ence. Yet Athanasius would not allow anything that 
involves a partition of the divine essence. He illustrates 
his idea of the relation of Father and Son by the relation 
of light and its reflection, thus really subordinating the 
Son to the Father. 

Athanasius thus set forth with great clearness the two 
elements of the doctrine — the sameness of essence and 
the distinction of personality of Father and Son. Later 

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theologians, such as Basil, Gregory of Nyssa, and 
Gregory Nazianzen, attempted to reconcile the two 
propositions of Athanasius, i. e., to make clear wherein 
the oneness and wherein the trinity consists. 

(3) The SemuArian or Eusebian Party. We may re- 
gard this large and influential party as, on the one hand, 
a continuation of the Ante-Nicene Origenistic party, and 
on the other hand as a mediation between Arianism and 
Athanasianism. Most of the early defenders of Arius 
were not willing, with Arius, to deny absolutely the 
deity of Christ, yet they were just as loth to accept the, 
to them, self -contradictory representation of Athanasius. 

The creed of the Semi-Arians may be summed up as 
follows : 

a. They rejected the Arian view that the Son was 
created out of nothing, and hence is different in essence 
from the Father; that "there was when the Son was 
not " ; that the Son is a creature or a birth in the sense 
in which other things are created and born. 

b. On the other hand, they declared that the Son was 
begotten of the Father, before all time, God of God, 
entire of entire, only of the only, perfect of the perfect, 
;mage of the deity, the essence, the will, the power, and 
the glory of the Father. Yet they denied the Athana- 
sian sameness of essence, holding only to likeness as to 
essence (6fjLoto6ino^). 

Remark.— This party appears In history chiefly in an apologetic 
way, and most of its members were probably nearer to the Anans 
than to the Athanaslans. 

4. The Arians and the Nicene Council. 

The chief object of the Nicene Council was to settle 
the Arian controversy, which so seriously imperiled the 
unity of organized Christianity that Constantine had 
much at heart. In the council were three distinct 
parties, the Arian, the Semi-Arian or Origenistic, and 
the Athanasian. At the opening of the council the 
Arians proposed a creed, signed by eighteen names. 
This was indignantly rejected and torn in pieces. All 
the signers, except Arius and two bishops, now aban- 
doned the cause of the Arians. 

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Eusebius of Csesarea then proposed an ancient Pales- 
tinian creed, which acknowledged the divine nature of 
Christ in general biblical terms. The emperor had 
already expressed a favorable opinion of this creed. 
The Arians were willing to subscribe to it, but this latter 
fact made the Athanasian party suspicious. They wanted 
a creed that no Arian could subscribe, and insisted on in- 
serting the term tneeining identical in substance (6/ioo64rto^), 

The Nicene Creed in nearly its present form was then 
proposed, and the emperor having decided to support the 
Athanasian party, subscription to this was required of all 
the bishops. The Semi-Arian bishops, who maintained 
that the Son was not identical in essence with the Father, 
but was of a similar essence (6fioto6<rto^), after consider- 
able hesitation signed the document for the sake of 
peace, explaining, by way of protest, their precise 

Two Egyptian bishops, Theonas and Secundus, per- 
sistently refused to sign it, and together with Arius were 
banished to Illyria. Thus the Athanasian party was for 
a time victorious, and the Arians were suppressed as far 
as possible by imperial force. 

Athanasius, at this time a young man, soon became 
the acknowledged leader of the Nicene party, and used 
his great dialectic powers in writing and preaching 
against Arianism. 

5. Arian and Semi- Arian Reaction. 

It is probable that Constantine himself, so far as he 
had any convictions on the subject, was from the first in- 
clined to Semi- Arianism. Soon after the closing of the 
council the Semi-Arians began to assail the Nicene creed 
and to insist upon the similarity over against the same- 
ness of essence. 

Constantine, through the influence of Eusebius, re- 
called Arius and his party from exile (328). In 330 he 
required Athanasius, now bishop of Alexandria, to 
restore Arius to his office, and on his refusing was on 
the point of deposing him, but was awed by the person- 
ality of Athanasius. The influence of the Eusebian 
party was increasing, and in 33; an Arian Synod was 
convoked at Tyre which condemned the Athanasian 

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party. The emperor banished Athanasius to Treves, 
and Arius was about to be restored to his position in the 
Alexandrian church when he died suddenly, a^ed eighty. 

After the death of Constantine (337) Constantius 
reigned in the East and Constantine II. in the West. 
The former was an Arian, the latter an adherent of the 
Nicene creed. The Western church was all along pre- 
dominantly orthodox, the Eastern predominantly Arian 
or Semi-Arian. Constantine II. restored Athanasius, but 
he was deposed again after the death of this emperor 
(340). Constantius restored Athanasius a third time 
(346), but after the death of Constans (350) he was 
driven from Alexandria by Constantius with an armed 

Constantius, now sole emperor, introduced Arianism 
into the West. The orthodox bishop of Rome was 
dethroned and an Arian put in his place, but the former 
was restored after the death of the latter on signing 
Arian articles. Even Hosius of Cordova, who had been 
foremost in the Nicene Council, was at last induced to 
subscribe Arian articles. 

For some years before the authoritative introduction 
of Arianism into the West the Arians had been zealously 
prosecuting mission work among the Goths and other 
barbarians. Ulfilas, the great apostle of the Goths, 
translated the Bible into Gothic about 350. Arianism 
gained a strong hold upon these nations that were be- 
coming every year a more important element in the 
politics and civilization of Europe. 

6. yictoty of the Athanasian Party. 

Constantius died in 361. Julian was indifferent to 
Christian parties. The Athanasian party, when freedom 
was again allowed, rapidly regained their power in the 
West and made progress In the East. The Emperor 
Valens (364-378) persecuted the Athanasians with 
fanatical zeal. Theodosius the Great (392-39S) com- 
pleted the victory of orthodoxy in the Roman Empire, 
yet Arianism continued for a long time to prevail among 
the barbarians. The conversion to orthodoxy of Clovis, 
king of the Franks (496), was followed by a rapid 
decline of Arianism among the Teutonic peoples. 

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Literature : a large body of important matter Is published in 
connection with the Migne edition of Origen's works. See also 
the pertinent sections in the works on the history of doctrine; 
In Dorner*s "The Person of Christ"; in Hefele's "History of 
Councils"; In the general works on church histon^ and in the 
encyclopedias of Smith and Wace, Wetzer u. Welte, Herzog* 
Hauck, and Lichtenberger. 

Controversies regarding many aspects of his teachings 
arose during the lifetime 6t Origen and were perpetu- 
ated until the middle of the sixth century. Methodius, 
bishop of Patara (Asia Minor), about the beginning of 
the present period assailed with great bitterness Origen's 
teachings regarding the creation, the relation of soul and 
body, the resurrection, free will, etc. Methodius denied 
the eternity of the creative process, the fall of the soui 
in a pre-existent state and its probationary imprison- 
ment in the body, the spirituality of the resurrection 
(involving denial of the resurrection of the body), and 
the inability of man to repel evil thoughts with the 
temptations involved, A number of zealous defenders 
of the great master were promptly in the arena, among 
them Eusebius of Csesarea and Pamphilus, his friend. 
The following are the more important of the phases of 
the controversy that fall within the present period : 

I. In Relation to the Arian Controversy. 

At first there was a disposition on both sides of the 
Arian controversy to ignore the teachings of Origen. 
But some of the aspects of Arianism were so manifestly 
in accord with Origen's teachings that the Athanasians 
began to stigmatize him as ''the father of Arianism." 
The Arians naturally were glad to claim the support of 
so great a name. 

Eusebius of Caesarea and the Semi-Arians zealously 
defended the reputation of Origen, while Pachomius, the 
founder of monasticism, who had adopted anthropomor- 
phite views, regarded the spiritualistic teachings of the 
Origenists with the utmost disfavor, supposing that such 
views polluted the bodies as well as the souls of those 
who accepted them. 

Athanasius, while recognizing the errors of Origen, 

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defended him against the fanatical assaults of the anthro- 
pomorphites. During the course of the century, Basil 
the Great, Gregory of Nazianzen, and Gregory of Nyssa, 
sought to save the reputation of Origen for orthodoxy, 
while Epiphanius reiterated the charges of Methodius 
and assailed his allegorical method of interpreting the 

The controversies of this time were almost purely 
literary and did not enter the realm of ecclesiastical 

2. Politico-Ecclesiastical Strife in Palestine and in Egypt 
(A. D. 390 onward). 

(i) Jerome^ Aterbius, Epiphanius, and Rufinus. Pales- 
tine, where Origen had spent the latter half of his life, 
had always been devoted to his memory and faithful to 
his teachings. At this time Jerome and his devoted 
friend Paula from Italy were presiding over monastic 
institutions at Bethlehem, while Rufinus and Melania, 
likewise from Italy, had established religious houses on 
the mount of Olives. Without accepting all his teach- 
ings, Jerome and Rulinus were both earnest students of 
Origen's works and were disposed to guard his reputa- 
tion from unjust imputations. 

In 392 Aterbius, an Egyptian anthropomorphite monk, 
came to Jerusalem and attacked Jerome and Rufinus as 
Origenists. Jerome repudiated Origen's errors, but 
sought to minimize them. John, bishop of Jerusalem, 
and Rufinus, stanchly defended Origen. 

In 394 Epiphanius, bishop of Cyprus, came to Pales- 
tine with the avowed object of crushing Origenism. 
Jerome was ready by this time to co-operate with him 
in his onslaught against John and Rufinus. Epiphanius 
undertook to excommunicate John and to install in his 
place Paulinianus, a brother of Jerome. 

Theophilus, bishop of Alexandria, was appealed to by 
John and sought to reconcile the contending factions. 
Though Origenistic in his sympathies, he was finally led 
to ally himself with Jerome. 

Rufinus made peace with Jerome and soon afterward 
returned to Italy, where he translated into Latin the 
defense of Origen by Pamphilus and Origen's great 

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work on "First Principles.*' He rejected some of the 
more objectionable expressions in Origen's works as 
interpolations and professed his aversion to the charac- 
teristic errors of Origen ; but Jerome's polemical zeal 
was aroused afresh and he insisted that Rufinus could 
not escape personal responsibility for such views of 
Origen as he had put forth in the translation. Jerome 
succeeded in inducing the Roman bishop, Anastasius, 
who was profoundly ignorant of Origen 's works, to con- 
demn them, and the Emperor Honorius to prohibit their 
use (A. D. 400). 

(2) TheophUus and the AnthropomorphiU Monks. In 
399 Theophilus aroused the anthropomorphite monks to 
a murderous fury by an unhappy expression in an 
Easter letter. To escape their vengeance he disclaimed 
sympathy with Origenistic teaching and made use of 
language which they interpreted in an anthropomorphic 
sense. The Origenistic monks (the •' Tall Brethren ") 
now turned against their bishop. He determined to 
crush Origenism, and secured the co-operation of Epi- 
phanius of Cyprus, Anastasius of Rome, and of a synod 
in Jerusalem. Theophilus now put forth in a synodal 
letter a catalogue of the heresies of Origen's •* First 
Principles, *' including his teaching regarding the ultimate 
restoration to divine favor of evil men and angels and of 
Satan himself, and denounced Origen as ''the hydra of 
all heresies." He drove three hundred of the Origenis- 
tic monks from the Nitrian desert, who with others took 
refuge in Constantinople and sought the protection of 
Chrysostom, the patriarch. 

The Emperor Arcadius was led by the reports of 
Theophilus* cruelties to summon him to the capital. 
Epiphanius went in advance to explain matters, and on 
Theophilus' arrival he found little difficulty in vindicat- 
ing himself and in procuring the condemnation of Chrys- 
ostom by a small council for the favor he had shown to 
the Origenistic monks (403). 

(3) Justinian's Repressive Measure (c. 542). The Nes- 
torian and the Eutychian controversies were already 
raging, and controversy en the teachings of Origen 
came little into notice until about $20 when trouble 
arose in the Palestinian Laura. The expulsion of fou> 

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Origenistic monks by the head of the institution and 
their secret restoration some time afterward by his suc- 
cessor led to an appeal to Constantinople. Avowed 
Origenism rapidly spread throughout Palestine. After 
much controversy Justinian was led to issue an edict for 
the suppression of Origenism throughout the empire 
(c. 542). It was crushed to rise no more as a distinct 
party, though Origen's peculiar views have rarely been 
without their zealous supporters. 


I. Preliminary Observations. 

Very little effort had been made during the first three 
centuries to analyze the person of Christ. V/hether he 
had a complete human and a complete divine nature was 
not an agitated question. Origen was probably the first 
to say distinctly that Christ had a human soul, this 
being in accord with his theory that Christ became a man 
to save men, an angel to save angels. 

Arius expressly denied that Christ had a human soul, 
and this view was admirably adapted to his polemical 
purpose, viz., that of showing the imperfection of the 

Athanasius did not, as he might have been expected 
to do, answer Arius with the assertion of the complete 
divinity and the complete humanity of Christ and 
ascribe what seemed unsuitable to deity in the New 
Testament representation to Christ's human nature. 
But he answered him with the assertion that when 
Christ spoke or acted in a manner inconsistent with 
deity (as, e. g., when he said : " My God ! my God ! 
why hast thou forsaken me ? ") he spoke in our name, 
because he had put himself into our place and had taken 
upon himself our guilt and abasement, or else he spoke 
by way of accommodation to the ignorance of his dis- 

Gregory Nazianzen and Gregory of Nyssa adopted 
and developed the Origenistic doctrine that the Logos 
united himself with the sensuous nature by the media- 
tion of a rational human soul. They held that the 

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divine Logos took all parts of human nature into fellow- 
ship with himself and pervaded them. This permeation 
of the human by the divine was potential from Christ's 
birthy but was fully realized only after the resurrection 
and ascension. 

Apollinaris (about 370) first took up the question in a 
polemical way. In accordance with the Platonic trichot- 
omy (body, soul, and spirit), he maintained that Christ 
had a human body and soul, but that the divine Logos 
took the place of the human spirit. His aim was to 
maintain the complete union of the divine and human in 
Christ. He thought it absurd to speak of Christ as 
wholly God and wholly man. He is rather a mixture of 
God and man. This view he illustrated, without irrever- 
ent intent, by the case of hybrid animals. There exists 
then in Christ only one personality. Apollinaris laid so 
much stress upon the complete fusion of the divine and 
the human in Christ that he did not hesitate to say 
•• God died," ** God was born," etc. 

This theory once clearly stated aroused opposition 
among the churches. Athanasius himself was now led 
to declare the complete humanity as well as the complete 
deity of Christ. Gregory Nazianzen and also Gregory 
of Nyssa wrote against Apollinaris. This doctrine was 
condemned in several minor synods, and finally in the 
Second Constantinopolitan Council (381). 

But it was in the Antiochian school that Apollinaris 
found his most formidable opponents, viz., Diodorus of 
Tarsus and Theodore of Mopsuestia, These writers in- 
sisted on the completeness and the persistent integrity 
of the humanity of Christ. Theodore fully elaborated 
the theory known in the history of doctrine as Nes- 

2. The Nestorian Controversy. 

LrrERATURE: Homilies of Nestorfus* In Mlgne's Patrology, 
Vol. XLVIU. (Ut. trans.); ''Acta Omc, Eik.,''\Ti Hardouln and 
Mansi; Theodoret, writings against Cyril; Theodore of Mop* 
suestla, Fragments; Evagnus, ^H. £.," Bk. I., Chap. 2-7, Soc- 
rates, *•//. £.," Bk. VU., Chap. 29-35; Cyril, writines against 
Nestorius; Neander, Vol. II., p. 505, s/j. ; SchafF, vol. 11., p. 
714, s$q.: Milman, "Latin Cnristianity,^' Vol. I., p. iq;, stq,.. 
Gieseler, Vol. I., p. 343. seq, ; Baur, ** Uhrt von d. i)reitmigkeii^*^ 
Bd. I., S«r. 695, uq, ; Dorner, " Person of Christ," Div. IL, VoL 

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I.« p. SI, s#ff.. etc.: works on the history of doctrine, referred 
to above; and artldes on '* Nestorius,*' '* Cyril/' ''Johnof Anti- 
och," " Leo the Great," '« Theodoret," the Councils of *« Ephesus," 
and ** Chalcedon," etc.. in the encyclopedias, eq)ecially Smith and 
Wace and Herzog-Hauck. 

(/) Riu ofiks %^0stariaH Catrtrav^sf. 

We have seen the rise and progress of two modes of 
thought with regard to the person of Christ: the one 
insisting upon the completeness of both natures and yet 
not able to show clearly the consistency of this repre- 
sentation with unity of personality ; the other emphasiz- 
ing the unity of personality in the incarnate Christ and 
denying the completeness of his humanity from its sup- 
posed inconsistency with such unity. The former view 
prevailed among the Antiochian theologians, who, by 
reason of their grammatico-historical interpretation of 
Scripture, naturally tended to emphasize the human side 
of Christ's nature ; the latter, among the Alexandrian. 

Nestorius, a devout, learned, and eloquent monk, was 
presbyter of the cnurch of Antioch, and in 428 was 
made patriarch of Constantinople. At Constantinople 
he found many erroneous expressions and modes of 
thought current in the church. Especially offensive to 
him was the term, " mother of God " (^eorrfxoy), applied 
to Mary. He declared that if this representation were 
true, the heathen were right in representing their gods as 
having mothers. Mary did not bear God, but the man 
(Jesus) who is the organ of the deity. Opposition was 
aroused at Constantinople, but Nestorius found his 
fiercest antagonist in Cyril, patriarch of Alexandria. 

(2) StaUnuta of th$ Oppas^ ywps m ihs Caittrav^sf» 

a. Nestorius* yiew of the Relations of the Human and 
Divine in Christ. Nestorius as an Antiochian and as a 
disciple of Theodore of Mopsuestia, in whom the Anti- 
ochian humanism may be said to have culminated, held 
to the following views : 

(jz) That in Christ the two natures remained distinct, 
yet are closely joined together and are harmonious in 

(b) That only by accommodation can Mary be spoken 
of as the mother of God (atorrfxo^). We may venerate 


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the human on account of its close connection with the 
divine, but we must beware of confounding it with the 

(f) Nestorius explained by this theory all those pas« 
sages in the Gospels in which Christ is represented as 
being subject to temptations, wants, sufferings, etc. In 
fact, the method of interpreting Scripture that prevailed 
in Antioch lay at the foundation of this extremely 
humanistic view of the historical Christ. 

b. Cyril's Opposing ytews. Cyril of Alexandria was 
one of the most violent polemicists of that polemical 
age, and into this controversy, as well as that with the 
Neo-Platonists, he entered with fanatical zeal. 

Apart from dogmatical considerations, he was probably 
glad of an opportunity to humiliate the patriarchates of 
Constantinople and Antioch, and to this end he did not 
scruple to employ the ready instrumentality of court 

After some correspondence with Nestorius he pre- 
sented twelve propositions, with anathemas attached, 
for his acceptance. They are for substance as follows : 

(a) God is in truth Immanuel, and on this account the 
holy virgin is mother of God, for she brought forth 
carnally the Word of [proceeding from] God become 

(6) The Word [proceeding] from God the Father is in 
the flesh one in essence, and Christ with his own flesh 
Is one and evidently at the same time God and man. 

(c) Hence, after the union, the natures in the one 
Christ are not to be distinguished, nor is it to be said 
that they are merely joined together in dignity or power* 
Rather they have come together according to natural 
(^wTtx6^) unity. 

(d) The application of certain facts and expressions 
in the New Testament to the human as unworthy of the 
divine nature, and of others to the divine as too exalted 
for the human, is condemned. 

(e) Christ is not to be called a theophoric (God-bear- 
ing) man, but rather God in truth, as one Son by nature. 

(/) Neither is It to be said that the Word, which is 
from God the Father, is God or Master of Christ, but 
rather that he is at the same time God and man. 

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(g) It must not be said that Jesus as a man was ener- 
gized by the Word of God, and that the dignity of the 
only begotten was bestowed, as being another apart 
from himself, 

(A) it must not be said that the man having been 
assumed is to be worshiped and glorified together with 
God the Word, and is to be called God in a sense not 
involving a recognition of him as ImmanueL 

(i) It must not be said that the one Lord Jesus Christ 
was glorified by the Spirit, using through him (the 
Spirit) a power foreign to himself, but rather that the 
Holy Spirit is his very own and is used by him. 

(AJ The Word of God actually became flesh according 
to the Scripture, and he offered up himself not for him- 
self, but rather for us alone. 

(/) The flesh of the Lord is life-giving, as being an 
integral part of the Word of God himself. 

(m) God the Word suffered in the flesh, was crucified 
in the flesh, tasted death in the flesh. 

The favorite text of Cyril was : " The Word became flesh." 
The purport of this senes of propositions, in which Cyril meant to 
exclude every phase of the Antiochian view, is : That the Incarnate 
Word Is absolutely one ; is at the same time absolutely divine and 
absolutely human. 

Whatever is said about Christ Jesus in the New Testament, is 
said about this one divinehuman being. Such expressions as were 
regarded as unsuitable to Deity were sometimes explained by this 
party docetically, i. ^., were represented as a mere accommodation 
to the ignorance of the disciples, etc* 

(j) Progress ofth$ Contraarsy. 

a. The Appeal to the Bishop of Rome, and Agitation by 
Cyril. After some correspondence between Nestorius 
and Cyril, both parties laid their views before Coelestin, 
bishop of Rome. The fact that Nestorius had recently 
shown some favor to the Pelagians, predisposed the Ro- 
man bishop against him ; and in a Roman synod (430) 
Nestorius' views were condemned, and he was com- 
manded to recant on pain of excommunication. To 
Cyril was entrusted the office of making known the 
decree to Nestorius. The Constantinopolitans and the 
Oriental bishops were warned against the errors of Nes- 

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Cyril had from the beginning of the controversy made 
the fullest use of all the means at his disposal for arous- 
ing hostility to Nestorius : the fanatical monks ; clergy, 
whose vanity had been Injured by the appointment of a 
foreigner rather than one of themselves to the patriarch- 
ate ; the corrupt and powerful Puicheria, the emperor's 
sister ; the bishop of Rome, who was glad of any oppor- 
tunity to get his judicial prerogatives recognized. 

b. The Council ofEphesus (431). The emperor, Theo- 
dosius II., was suspicious of Cyril, and reproached him 
for trying to meddle with the affairs of the imperial court, 
and with the patriarchate of Constantinople. 

When Cyril had issued his twelve propositions for the 
acceptance of Nestorius, the controversy ceased to be a 
private one between Cyril and Nestorius. 

John, Patriarch of Antioch, had advised Nestorius to 
allow the use of the expression *' Mother of God,'* in a 
modified sense. Cyril's propositions showed that it was 
no longer a question of the employment or rejection of a 
word. Cyril had attacked the Antiochian theology, and 
in such a way to leave no room for evasion. The con- 
troversy now became general between the Antiochians 
and the Alexandrians. 

Nestorius issued counter-propositions and anathemas, 
and Theodoret of Cyrus, one of the foremost scholars 
and thinkers of the age, now entered the field of contro- 
versy as a representative of the Antiochian theology. 
Neither party understood, nor cared to understand, the 
position of the other. Each sadly misrepresented the 
other, and by stating its own views and those of its op- 
ponents in the extremest form made the breach as wide 
as possible. 

The emperor saw no other way of restoring peace than 
by calling a General Council. It was his intention to 
have both sides fairly represented, to secure an impartial 
investigation of the matters in dispute, and thus to have 
the truth prevail. 

The bishop of Ephesus, Memnon, was a friend of Cyril, 
and as a metropolitan, may have been jealous of the su- 
premacy of the patriarch of the Eastern capital. A large 
body of fanatical monks were j)resent, ready to carry out 
any riotous measures that Cyril and Memnon might sug* 

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gest. John of Antioch was delayed by the prevalence of 
famine at Antioch, by stormy weather, etc., so that he 
did not reach Ephesus until many days after the ap- 
pointed time. 

Neither did the deputies of the Roman bishop arrive 
promptly. It was never the intention of Cyril to over- 
come his opponents by fair means. With the support of 
Memnon and his followers, together with that of the large 
body of subservient clergy whom he had brought from 
Alexandria, he was sure of an easy victory over Nes- 

Nestorius was pressed to sit in council with this fa- 
natical mob, but he persistently refused. The imperial 
commissioner tried in vain to preserve order, and refused 
to give the imperial sanction to the ex parte council of 
Cyril. Cyril and Memnon, with their dependents, met 
notwithstanding the imperial prohibition, deposed Nesto- 
rius, and anathematized his doctrines. Cyril thus put 
himself in direct opposition to the imperial will. He had 
now before him the task of winning over the court to his 

Some days after these transactions, John of Antioch, 
with his subordinates, arrived. The imperial commis- 
sioners endeavored in vain to get the two parties to 
unite in a deliberative assembly. John, with his own 
thirty bishops and a few others, met together in council, 
and excommunicated Cyril and Memnon for their illegal 

Both parties were strictly prohibited from visiting 
Constantinople. Cyril, however, sent an agent under 
the guise of a beggar, with a letter to Dalmatius, an 
aged monk of great influence, who had lived in soli- 
tude for forty-eight years. Dalmatius had long since 
warned the people against Nestorius, and was aroused to 
fanaticism by the representations of Cyril. At Dalma- 
tius' summons the monks and abbots left their cloisters, 
and forming an immense torchlight procession, marched 
to the imperial palace. Multitudes of the people joined 
in the procession. Dalmatius was admitted to the im- 
perial presence, and gave vigorous expression to his sense 
of the guilt of Nestorius, and of the wrong done by the 
emperor to the party of Cyril. 

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(4) Triumph ofiht tAUxandrian Party and ih$ T{*iirtmmt of N$sU>rius. 

This was the turning point in favor of Cyril. The 
agents of Cyril were freely admitted to the imperial 
presence. By bribery and other means all influential 
parties in Constantinople were conciliated. 

The emperor saw that the popular feeling was too 
strong to admit of Nestorius' continuance in the patri- 
archate, and he was permitted to retire to his cloister. 

Cyril had thus, while acting in the face of law and 
order, triumphed over Nestorius and gained the imperial 
acquiescence. But he was held responsible for the pre- 
vailing turmoil in ecclesiastical affairs ; and he felt that 
his triumph would be more complete and lasting if he 
could gain the acquiescence of the Antiochians in the 
proceedings of the council. 

In 433, accordingly, after considerable negotiation to 
this end, Cyril agreed to sign a creed in which ** Mother 
of God " was applied to Mary in a limited sense, while 
John acquiesced in the condemnation of Nestorius, and 
sanctioned the appointment under Cyrilian influence of 
Maximianus as his successor. This compromise was 
effected under imperial pressure. 

It was hoped that harmony would be thus restored. 
But the friends of Cyril were dissatisfied with his con- 
cessions to the Antiochians. The Antiochians, on the 
other hand, were still averse to the Alexandrian doc- 
trine, regarding it as leading logically to Apollinarianism. 
Controversy, therefore, continued, and was revived in 
an intensified form, about 444, in the Eutychian con- 

3. The Eutychian Controvert. 

LITERATURE: "j^iMM/fVoif oi/v/rfftf Trogetdiam Irgtuei": the Acts 
of the Councils of Constantinople, Ephesus II., Chalcedon; 
epistles of Leo the Great. These and other documents are to be 
found in lAansU " Concilia,'' V., VI., VII., IX. and in Hardouin, 
•' Cone.** I. and II. ; Theodoret, ''Optra,'* Vol. IV. ; Evagrius, '*//. 
£.," Bk. I., Chap. 9, s^q.; Neander, Vol. II., p. 560, sea. ; Domer, 
" Person of Christ,*' Div. II., Vol. I., p. 79. s^q- ; Baur,^' Uhr$ v. d. 
Dreinnigkiit" Bd. I., Siit, 890, seq, ; Gleseler, ** Commentatio qua 
MonophysHarum veierum variai d$ Christi Persona . . . illustraniur ; 
Walch, *• Hist d, Kiiureien^ 'Bd. VI., Seit. ^, seq. : Herzog, " ^briss 
d. Kkchengeschichie," Bd. I., Sett. 505, sea, ; Moeller, *' Ch. Hist.," Vol. 
I., p. 419, seq. : Perry, " The Second Synod of ephesus " (contains 

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the ** Syriac Acts of the Robber Synod," with English Translation); 
Kriiger, '* Monopkvs, SinHigkiiUfr^ ; worlcs on me history of doc- 
trine, especially those of Baur, Hamacl<, and Loofs, ana encycio- 
pedia articles on the men« councils, etc., referred to in this section. 

(/) Riuofihs Coutroversiy. 

We have seen that the tendency of the Nestorian con- 
troversy was to drive both parties to extremes. The 
compromise between the Antiochian and the Alexandrian 
schools really effected nothing; for though Cyril sub- 
scribed to an Antiochian creed, he never abandoned his 
twelve propositions and anathemas. 

The fact that Cyril should have regarded it as expe- 
dient to sign such a creed shows that a reaction had set 
in, or at all events that the emperor was no longer will- 
ing to support him in his extreme dogmatizing. 

The learned Theodoret had assumed the leadership of 
the Antiochian party, and his dialectic power was only 
equaled by his wonderful tact. In 448 he published his 
*'Eranistes," or " Beggar," in which he set forth in the 
strongest light the logical tendencies of Monophysitism. 
He maintained that Monophysitism cannot escape repre- 
senting God as subject to suffering and change ; that in 
a heathenish way it confounds the human and divine. 
He did not direct his arguments against Cyril personally, 
but rather against Apollinaris and his followers. In this 
he showed great tact. His method was, not to confine 
himself to the express doctrinal statements of his oppo- 
nents in their proper connection, but to put the most ob- 
jectionable construction on every statement, and then to 
deduce the worst possible consequences from such con- 

Cyril had died in 444, and had been succeeded by Di- 
oscurus, a man of worse character and far less ability 
than Cyril. Dioscurus was Cyril's ecclesiastical suc- 
cessor, but his theological successor was the venerable 
monk, Eutyches, archimandrite of a cloister in Constan- 

In 448, a synod, held at Constantinople, took substan- 
tially the same ground that Theodoret had taken in op- 
position to Monophysitism. Eutyches was charged with 
holding to extreme Monophysite views, and refusing to 

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admit a duality of natures in the incarnate Christ, and 
the sameness in essence of Christ's body with our own, 
was deposed. 

(2) SiaUmna ofihs Opposing Viiws. 

a. Eutyches* yiew of the Person of Christ. Eutychea 
carried Cyril's doctrine of the complete fusion of the 
natures to its logical result. He held : 

(fi) That the body of Christ was not the body of a man 

(^ewfia Sa/^pmnao), but a human body (jsmiia dv^pdmvov^, 

(b) That the body of Christ was not the same in es- 
sence with our bodies (6pLooufftov), 

(c) That before the union our Lord was born of two 
natures ; after the union there was only one nature dis- 

Eutyches is said to have illustrated his view of the di- 
vine and the human in Christ by the case of a drop of 
honey in the ocean. The human remains in some sense, 
but is so overwhelmed by the divine infinity as to be 
practically annihilated. 

b. Opposing Views. Theodoret did not make any es- 
sential innovation upon the views of Theodore and 

(a) In opposition to Eutyches' denial of the sameness 
of essence of Christ's body with our own, he maintained 
this sameness. 

(b) He held that a union of the two natures had oc- 
curred; hence he confessed one Christ, one Son, one 

{c) According to this view of the unmingled (dMfjpno^) 
union, he confessed that the holy virgin was the '* mother 
of God." 

c. Substance of Leo^s Letter to Flavian. The occasion 
and the historical importance of this epoch-making docu- 
ment will be discussed hereafter. It is characteristic of 
Western theology by reason of its practical character and 
its lack of delicate distinctions. It is an attempt to recog- 
nize the elements of truth in both Nestorianism and Eu- 
tychianism, without following either to its extreme con- 
sequences. Leo maintains, therefore : 

(a) The true humanity of Christ. He supposes that 
the teachings of the New Testament are unequivocal on 

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this point. He regards it as essential to Christ's redemp- 
tive worl< that he should have truly taken our nature. 
Hence, he rejects unconditionally the Eutychian view 
which reduced the humanity of Christ, after the union of 
the two natures, to an infinitesimal. 

(b) The true divinity of the incarnate Word. This he 
maintained in common with both parties in the contro- 

(0 While each nature and substance maintained its 
own properties unimpaired, the two came together in one 

By reason of his human nature Christ was able to die ; 
by reason of his divine nature he was not able to die. 
He assumed the form of a servant without the contami- 
nation of sin, augmenting the human, not diminishing the 
divine. As God is not changed by the compassion, so 
man is not consumed by the dignity. Each form does 
with the communion of the other what is proper to it ; 
the Word, namely, operating what belongs to it; the 
flesh executing what belongs to the flesh. The one 
gleams with miracles ; the other succumbs to injuries. 

Leo's position was essentially that of the Antiochians. 
His chief merit here consists in the fact that he adhered 
rigidly to the Scriptures, allowing full weight to the hu- 
manistic as well as to the theistic representations of the 
incarnate Christ. 

The new element that he introduced was the theory of 
two complete natures in one person. Yet he did not give 
any satisfactory explanation of this point. 

He uses the term person somewhat vaguely. What he 
means by two complete natures in one person seems to 
be this : the divine Word and the man Jesus united, as 
they are, form Jesus Christ. Of this complex being we 
have in the New Testament representations which are 
only applicable to his human nature: suffering, dying, 
etc. ; and representations which are applicable only to 
his divine nature : oneness with the Father, the perform- 
ance of miracles, etc. 

It was greatly to the advantage of the Roman See that 
this formula of the union of two perfect natures in one 
person, which has from that time been a leading article 
of Christian faith, though crudely developed and imper- 

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fectly apprehended, should have proceeded from a Ro- 
man bishop. 

The adoption of Leo's view by the Council of Chal- 
cedon, was an important victory for the papacy. 

is) Thi Stcond Council of Ephesus^ or ike '* Rohbir ^fmod" (449)* 
The condemnation of Eutyches in the Constantinopol- 
itan synod had aroused the most bitter enmity of the 
monks of Constantinople, Ephesus, Alexandria, etc., 
against Flavian, patriarch of Constantinople. Dioscurus 
was in constant communication with the imperial court, 
and brought all his influence to bear against Flavian and 
his party. Both parties wrote to Leo, bishop of Rome. 
Leo addressed to Flavian the celebrated epistle treated 
above, the drift of which was entirely adverse to Eu- 
tychianism. Through the influence of Dioscurus and 
Eutyches, the emperor was induced to call a council for 
the adjustment of the matter. From the first there was 
no intention of allowing a free discussion of the doctrinal 
points involved. Theodoret, the great theologian of the 
Antiochian party, was excluded from the council. Dios- 
curus was appointed president of the council by the em- 
peror, and the friends of Dioscurus were made assessors. 
Flavian and his supporters were allowed to attend not as 
judges or voters, but' to learn the decision of the council. 
Troops of ferocious monks were introduced into the 
assembly room for the purpose of intimidating such as 
might be inclined to oppose the proceedings of Dioscurus. 
Leo had sent deputies to the council with instructions to 
secure the reading and recognition of his doctrinal letter. 
But Dioscurus would not even allow the letter to '")e read. 
Some that refused to join in the condemnation of Flavian 
and his party were shut up in the assembly room, and 
were forced by threats and blows to subscribe to the de- 
crees of Dioscurus. Flavian received bodily injuries 
which are thought to have resulted in his death. Such 
proceedings as these were sure to lead to a reaction in 
favor of the condemned party, especially as the indefat- 
igable Leo was committed alike by his letter to Flavian, 
and by his sense of official dignity which had been 
grossly offended by the above-mentioned proceedings, to 
the support of the opposite party. 

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(4) Tki Catmctl 0/ Chalcsdon (4$i). 

Flavian, after the adjournment of the " Robber Synod/' 
had lodged with the deputies of the Roman bishop an appeal 
to another council to be held in Italy. For such a coun- 
cil Leo labored most strenuously, bringing his influence 
to bear upon Valentinian, the western emperor, and upon 
Theophilus and Pulcheria. During the lifetime of The- 
ophilus he met with little encouragement, but he had 
gained the good will of Pulcheria ; and when (450) Pul- 
cheria ascended the throne and associated with herself 
Marcian, the plans of Leo seemed likely to be realized. 
In accordance with his wishes, the deposed bishops were 
restored, and assurances were given to Leo of co-opera- 
tion in his plans. 

But the unsettled condition of the West, resulting from 
barbarian invasion, made an Italian council impracti- 
cable, and Leo was at last obliged to relinquish his plan 
and to content himself with the hope of controlling a 
general council in the East. 

In 451, in accordance with the imperial summons, six 
hundred and thirty bishops met at Nicaea ; but for certain 
reasons the emperor transferred the council to Chalce- 
don. The council was disorderly and tumultuous. Dios- 
curus, after a somewhat dignified defense of his proceed- 
ings at Ephesus, and a persistent refusal to subscribe 
Leo's doctrinal epistle, was deposed. Much opposition 
was at first manifested in the council by Alexandrians 
and by Antiochians alike, to the acceptance of the epistle 
of Leo. The Roman deputies declared that if the epistle 
was rejected, another council would be held in the 
West, and the Emperor Marcian, who had determined 
upon the ratification of the epistle, fortified this threat 
with his own authority. The epistle was finally ratified, 
and a Confession of Faith embodying its substance was 

Besides accepting Leo's epistle, the council recognized 
the orthodoxy of the writings of Theodore of Mopsuestia, 
the father of Nestorianism, of Theodoret, its ablest de- 
fender, and of Ibas, a Persian bishop, who in a letter to 
Maris had expounded the Nestorian views. This action 
of the council proved fruitful of trouble. 

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(5) Substanc4 of ihs Chalcidonian Symbol, 

The Chalcedonian is one of the most important of the 
ancient ecclesiastical symbols. Its Christology, based 
upon that of Leo's epistle, set forth as it is in a series of 
simple propositions, has been from that time to this the 
Christology of the great majority of Christians. 

a. Our Lord Jesus Christ is declared to be perfect in 
deity and perfect in humanity. 

b. He is consubstantial with the Father, and consub- 
stantiai with us. 

c. He was born of the Virgin Mary, the mother of God. 

d. This one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, only-be- 

f;otten, is to be acknowledged in two natures, incon- 
usedly, unchangeably, indivisibly, inseparably ; the dis- 
tinction of the natures being by no means taken away 
through the union, but rather the property of each nature 
being preserved, and concurring in one person and one 

(6) PiTsisUnu ofihi Cantrowr^. 

Ten Egyptian bishops refused to anathematize the 
doctrines of Eutyches and to subscribe the letter of Leo. 
In Egypt and Alexandria the controversy, led by fanat- 
ical monks, soon raged more fiercely than ever before. 
The Eutychians came to be commonly known as Mono- 
physites (because of their insistence on the oneness of 
nature in the person of Christ). They had their strong- 
hold in Egypt and Abyssinia, but were numerous 
throughout the East. 

(7) Justinian and ih$ '* Thru ChapUrs.'^ 

Justinian was an earnest adherent to the symbol of 
Chalcedon, but the notorious Theodora, his wife, favored 
the Monophysites. 

By her intrigues, Theodora managed to secure the elec- 
tion of the unprincipled Vigilius as bishop of Rome, who, 
in turn, recognized the orthodoxy of Theodora's Mono- 
physite favorites in the East. Justinian was anxious for 
ecclesiastical unity, and was willing to this end to make 
concessions to the Monophysites. 

The Monophysite leaders objected to the Chalcedonian 
symbol on the ground that avowed favorers of Nesto- 

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rianism had been participants in the council, and their 
writings recognized as orthodox. They objected espe- 
cially to the recognition of Theodore of Mopsuestia, The- 
odoret, and Ibas. They agreed to submit to the authority 
of the Council of Chalcedon on condition that Theodore 
and his writings, Theodoret's writings against Cyril and 
in defense of Nestorius, and Ibas' letter to Maris, should 
be anathematized by imperial edict, and that these writ- 
ings or the recognition of their orthodoxy should be ex- 
punged from the acts of the council. To this Justinian 
agreed, and he issued such an edict, anathematizing at 
the same time any that should, with these exceptions, 
reject the authority of the Chalcedonian council. 

This, of course, aroused far more strife than it allayed. 
Especially in the North African and the Ulyrian churches 
was the opposition to the condemnation of the *' Three 
Chapters " manifested. Vigilius, the unprincipled Roman 
bishop, was caressed and imprisoned and excommuni- 
cated in turn. He was induced to take oaths to use his 
influence against the "Three Chapters," which oaths, 
when freed from restraint, he persistently violated. 
Bishops in Northern Africa and in lilyria were deposed 
by imperial command, and others set up in their places, 
not without much shedding of blood. 

At length in 553, having long and earnestly endeav- 
ored to allay the strife, Justinian called a council at Con- 
stantinople which condemned Theodore but vindicated ; 
Theodoret and Ibas. 

But even this did not end the controversy. 

4. The Manothelite Controversy. 

LITERATURE: Documents and Acts of Councils, in Mansi, 
'• Cone" X., XL, and In Hardouin, " Omc.'' III. ; Nicephori, "Brm^ 
armm Hisiana^\- Combeslsil, *' //tttoria Hctresis MonoihiUkarum*^ ; 
Domer, " Person of Christ," DIv. 11., Vol. I., p. 155, m^. : Neander, 
VoL III., p. 17$, seq.; Baur, *^ Uhu v. d. Onwuigkiit^^^ Bd. II., 
*' DogmitigesehKhU,'* Bd, II., S^. 88, s#^.; pertinent sections In the 
works on the history of doctrines ; Herzog-Hauck, and Wetzer u. 
Welter. Art. '* MancthiUtsn." 

(/) Ris0 of ihs CofOraoir^. 

From the time of Justinian the doctrine of the two 
natures may be said to have been supreme in the Roman 

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empire, both eastern and western. The Monophysites, 
being no longer tolerated in the established church, now 
became a schismatical party, with church organization, 
bishops, and patriarchs of their own. In the East, chiefly 
under the leadership of James, bishop of Edessa, a great 
missionary activity was developed, and the Monophysites 
spread into Armenia and Persia. Antioch, which had 
been the birthplace and the chief nursery of Nestorian- 
ism (Dyophysitism), became the chief center of Mono- 
thelitism and has continued to the present day to be the 
residence of the patriarchs of the party that adopted the 
name of James ('* Jacobites "). In Egypt, by the begin- 
ning of the seventh century, the Monophysites had come 
to outnumber those in the communion of the established 
church ten to one; and from Egypt they spread into 
Abyssinia, where also they still constitute a strong party. 

Probably in the fifth century, there appeared among 
the Monophysites that strange body of writings purport- 
ing to have been composed by Dionysius the Areopagite, 
who was converted under Paul's preaching at Athens. 
The transcendental character of these writings, resulting 
from the mixture of Platonism with Christianity, was in 
entire accord with the Monophysite ideas of the rela- 
tions of the human and the divine in Christ. This writ- 
ing was very popular among the Monophysites, and 
afterward among the Catholics. Through this work and 
through other instrumentalities, Monophysitic conceptions 
had become widespread outside of Monophysitism. A 
favorite argument with the Monophysites against the 
doctrine of the two natures was the fact that two natures 
required the supposition of two wills. This they regarded 
as contradictory to the fact, and maintained that there 
remained in Christ after the union one nature, and 
hence, one will. 

The question as to the human will of Christ was not 
brought out distinctly either by the Antiochians, or by 
Leo the Great, or by the Council of Chalcedon. Main- 
taining, as they did, the persistent integrity of Christ's 
human nature, they may be supposed to have held im- 
plicitly to the persistence of the human will, side by side 
with the divine, and in perfect harmony therewith. 

In 614 the Persians invaded Syria and Palestine, and 

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plundered Jerusalem. Afterward they laid wai,te North- 
ern Africa, as far as Carthage. In 621 the Persian army 
was threatening Constantinople. The encroathments of 
the Persians led the Emperor Heraclius to make use of 
all available means for self-defense. A large proportion 
of his subjects were alienated from him on account of the 
Monophysite schism, and these seemed likely to throw 
themselves into the arms of the Persians, and thus to 
prove an element of weakness to the empire. It occurred 
to Heraclius and his advisers that something ought to be 
done for the conciliation of the Monophysites. As before 
remarked, a strong Monophysite tendency, as opposed to 
the extreme Dyophysite interpretation of the Chalce- 
donian Symbol, had become diffused throughout the 
churches. Dionysius the Areopagite had employed the 
expression, "divine-human energy " (^eav^/>«w? ivipj^tta), 
as descriptive of Christ's activity. Sergius, patriarch of 
Constantinople, thought that by the confession of two 
natures and one energy in Christ, the Monophysites might 
be conciliated without sacrificing entirely the Chalcedo- 
nian Symbol. 

In 626 the emperor had a conference with Cyrus, 
bishop of Phasis, and by means of arguments and prom- 
ises of promotion, made of him a zealous advocate of the 
compromise measure. Cyrus became patriarch of Alex- 
andria in 630. 

In 629 the emperor won over to nis position Athanasius, 
the leader of the Syrian Monophysites, and made him 
patriarch of Antioch. There were now three Monothe- 
lite patriarchs. Cyrus took measures at once for carry- 
ing out the imperial scheme of union, and drew up a 
series of articles to be submitted to the Monophysites. 
In the seventh article the divine and the human phe- 
nomena in the life of Christ are declared to be the result 
of one divine-human energy. 

The Monophysites of Egypt, Thebes, and Libya, read- 
ily accepted the terms of conciliation, rejoicing that the 
established church had at last come substantially to their 
own position. But Sophronius, a learned monk, objected 
to these proceedings, and after he became patriarch of 
Jerusalem (634) wrote most violently against the Mono- 
thelites, and secured their condemnation in a synod of 

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his own bishops. Sergius, seeing that his most earnest 
efforts to prevent the breaking out of controversy were 
futile, now wrote to Pope Honorius, representing to him 
the good service that had been accomplished by the com- 
promise in uniting to the church the great body of Mono- 
physites, and the evil that was likely to flow from the 
controversy that Sophronius was about to stir up. Hon- 
orius sympathized heartily with Heraclius, Sergius, and 
Cyrus in their efforts to re-unite the church ; and spoke 
contemptuously of the useless subtleties of Sophronius. 
The controversy now became general. 

{2) Siaitmmi of Opposing yiiws* 

a. The f^iews ofSergius, Honorius, and the Monothelites. 
During the early stages of the controversy the term 
energy, and not will, was chiefly employed. The shib- 
boleth of Sergius and his party was : ** One is the energy 
of Christ," and this one energy was defined as a "divine- 
human energy." The employment of the term ** energy " 
was somewhat ambiguous, in that it might mean either 
the volition or the effects of a volition. This ambiguity 
was favorable to the irenical purposes of Sergius and 
Cyrus, inasmuch as all would admit the use of the word 
in the latter sense. Honorius, having been appealed to 
by Sergius, entered warmly into the controversy with the 
distinct assertion of two natures, each working in its own 
way, but one will, which he assigned to the one person- 
ality, recognized by Leo and the Council of Chalcedon.* 

At a later time Honorius advised a discontinuance of 
the employment of the term "one energy" or "opera- 
tion," and the substitution of the term "one operator 
Christ, who works by means of both natures." 

Heraclius now issued his "Ecthesis** in which the 
unity of the will in Christ is expressly taught, and in 
which disputes about the unity or the duality of the 
energies are strictly forbidden.* In 643 the Emperor Con- 
stans finding that the '*Ecthesis*' had failed of its pur- 
pose, substituted for it the " Typos," in which all contro- 
versy with regard either to the energies or the will is 
prohibited. The unity of will was not given up, but the 

1 HtfdouiB. Vol III., p. 1319. Mff. * /M^., p. nt» «^. 


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emperor was weary of controversy, and attempted to re* 
press it by the severest legislation. 

b. The yiews of Sophronius and the other Dyothelites. 
Sophronius was the first to oppose the Monothelitic com- 
promise. He insisted that Christ was perfect in deity 
and perfect in humanity; that he was consubstantial 
with the Father as God, and consubstantial with his 
mother and with us as man. These two natures are un- 
confusedly but inseparably united in one person. This 
divine-human person, accomplished through the medium 
of the divine and the human natures the things that be- 
long to deity, and the things that belong to humanity. 
While maintaining, therefore, the persistent integrity of 
the divine and the human natures (he does not assert 
the existence of two wills), he practically makes the 
human nature a passive instrument of the divine-human 

The successors of Pope Honorius, John IV., Theodore, 
and Martin V., repudiated the Monothelitic view of Hon- 
orius, and united Northern Africa, Libya, etc., in a po- 
litico-religious opposition to the Eastern Empire and to 
Monothelitism. In 640 a council was held at the Lateran, 
in which the "Ecthesis, the "TJ^s," Sergius, and his suc- 
cessors were anathematized, and the doctrine of two wills 
was distinctly asserted.* The ablest defender of the 
doctrine of the two wills was Maximus, a monk, who 
was a member of the Lateran Council. In reply to the 
objections of the Monothelites, that to say that there are 
two wills is to presuppose that there are two who will, 
Maximus answered, that the will pertains to the nature 
and not to the personality, since otherwise there would 
be three wills in the Holy Trinity. But duality of wills 
does not involve antagonism ; for antagonism could only 
arise from evil, and there was no evil in Christ. Free- 
will, or self-determination, Maximus held, is an essential 
part of human nature. If Christ's human nature had not 
an independent will, Christ was an imperfect man. 

In most of Christ's actions, the two wills, while work- 
ing independently, arrived at the same results. In some 
instances we see the working of the divine will alone ; 

> Hardoum, VoL 111., p. t^, Mf. 


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in ethers the working of the human will alone, though 
never antagonistic the one to the other. 

The duality of wills in Christ was proved by the 
Dyothelites from such expressions of Christ, as : "I 
came from heaven not to do my own will, but the will of 
the Father which sent me " ; ** not as I will, but as thou 
wilt"; ''my meat is to do the will of him that sent 
me," etc. 

The third Constantinopolitan Council (680-681), con- 
voked by the Emperor Constantinus Pogonatus, with a 
view to reuniting the church, and especially to concili- 
ating the Roman See, was directed chiefly by Pope 
Agathon, whose letter on the person of Christ, addressed 
to the council, was substantially adopted. The council 
amended the Symbol of Chalcedon so as to teach explic- 
itly two natural wills, not opposed to each other, but the 
human will following the divine will, and in subjection 
thereto. In the one hypostasis of Christ may be discerned 
his two natures, and by this personality he both performed 
his miracles and endured his sufferings in such a manner 
that each of his two natures willed and worked what was 
proper to it, in conjunction with the other.* 

(j) Concluding Rtmarks, 

a. Thus Dyothelitism triumphed chiefly through the 
influence of the Roman See, notwithstanding the fact, 
that Honorius, a Roman pope, was a Monothelite ; that 
a long line of emperors had sustained Monothelitism by 
argument and by the employment of outward force ; that 
the incumbents of the great Patriarchal Sees of the East 
were almost all Monothelites ; that a Roman pope and 
the great theologian of the Dyothelites had died as mar- 
tyrs in banishment; and that thousands of others had 
suffered for their Dyothelitism. 

b. The reasons for the triumph of Dyophysitism were 
probably the following : 

(a) The fact that the Christian consciousness required 
\n Christ a perfect manhood. This had been asserted in 
the earlier controversies ; but the existence of two wills, 
which is involved in the assertion of perfect manhood 
and perfect deity, had not been explained. 

1 Hardouin, VoL HI,, p. 1043. Mf* 

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(b) The Monothelites were, from the beginning, ac- 
tuated by motives of civil and ecclesiastical policy rather 
than by a desire to arrive at the truth. The Dyothelites 
seem to have had more at heart the interests of the truth. 

(c) The persecuting measures of the Monothelite em- 
perors tended to unite the whole West and a large part of 
the East in common opposition to tyranny and false 
doctrine. The cause of the Roman party from the time 
of the **Ectkesis " and the *' Typos," and especially after 
the Lateran Synod (649), was the gaining cause. 

Thus after four hundred years of controversy on the 
person of Christ, a formula was arrived at which the 
great majority of Christians from that time to this hav# 
recognized as correct and in accordance with the Scrip* 

5. The Adoptionist Controversies. 

LITERATURE: Conybeare, " The Key of Truth" 1858 (Intro- 
duction and Appendices) ; writings of the Adoptionists, Glipandus 
and Felix, in Migne's " Patrohgia Latma," Vol. XCVI. ; writings 
of the chief opponents of the Western Adoptionists, Beatus, Heterius, 
Alculn, Agobardus, and Paulinus, in Migne's ** Patrol. Lat.^*^ Vols, 
XCVI.. XCIX., C, CI., and CIV.; Walch. ''Hist, Adopti- 
anorum** 1755; Dorner, "Person of Christ," Div. II., Vol. L, p. 
248, uq,<, Vol. II., p. 338, 5#g., Vol. III., p. 301, 5/^. ; Gams, *' Ktreh- 
itutisch. von SpanUn^^^ Bd. If., SeH. 261, uq, ; Baudlssin, " Eulogms u. 
Alvar." Snt. 61, seq.; Hamack, '' Dogmngfsch,,'* Bd, III.« Sift. 248, 
S4q.; Hauck, '' Kirchengesch. DnttschlandsP Bd. II., 5^'/. 256, $$q.; 
Grossler, " Di$ Austottung d. Adoptianismus im Rtieht Karls d. Gr?* ; 
pertinent sections and articles in the manuals of church history 
and doctrine history, and in the encyclopedias. 

( / ) Prelimmary Rgmarks. 

In the preceding period reference was made to the 
wide diffusion, during the second and third centuries, 
of Adoptionist views of the person of Christ. In 
many cases, i)o doubt, the use of Adoptionist language 
by otherwise orthodox teachers was due to the fact that 
the doctrine of the person of Christ had not yet been 
made the subject of exhaustive study, and the logical 
consequences of such language were not understood ; but 
in other cases (as in that of Theodotus and his followers) 
Adoptionism was maintained polemically against those 
who were asserting the absolute deity of Christ. 

Reference was also made to the fact that this type of 

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Christianity was widely propagated in Persia and Ap 
menia through the disciples or Paul of Samosata and 
otherwise, and that the adherents of this type of teaching 
in Armenia resisted the intrusion of the teachings of the 
Greek Church, and when the influence of the latter be- 
came dominant persisted as a persecuted party during 
the Middle Ages, and even to modern times, under 
the name of " Paulicians/' "The Key of Truth," an 
Armenian writing found in the possession of the modern 
Paulicians of Thondrak, that embodies the doctrines and 
practices of the party, contains a most interesting state- 
ment of the Adoptionist Christology in a form that Cony- 
beare attributes to the present period. Our Lord Jesus 
Christ is here represented as first receiving at his bap- 
tism the priesthood, the kingdom, and the office of Chief 

Moreover, he was then chosen, then he won lordship, then he be- 
came resplendent, then he was strengthened, then he was revered, 
then he was aopointed to guard us. then he was glorified, then he 
was made giaa, then he shone forth, . . then he oecame chief of 
beings heavenly and earthly, then he became the li^t of the world, 
then he became the way, the truth, and the life. Then he became 
the door of heaven ; then he became the rock Imprc^^nable at the 
gate of hell ; then he became the foundation of our filth ; then he 
became Saviour of us sinners ; then he became filled with the God- 
head ; then he was sealed, then anointed ; then he was called by the 
voice; then he became the loved one; then he came to be guarded 
by angels ; then to be the Lamb without blemish. Furthermore, he 
then put on the primal raiment of light, which Adam lost in the 
garden. Then, accordingly, was It that he was invited by the Spirit 
of God to converse with fhe Heavenly Father ; yea, then also was 
he ordained King of beings In heaven and on earth and under the 

This view was held in connection with the acceptance 
of the supernatural birth of Christ, and involved a recog- 
nition of his exaltation to the highest conceivable dignity, 
glory, and authority. 

{2) Tlu Spamsh CoHtracirsy, 

a. Source of the Spanish Adoptionism of the E^hth Cen- 
tury. To what extent the Adoptionism of Elipandus, 
bishop of Toledo (c. 780) and his followers was influ- 
enced by Mohammedan thought and a desire to present 
Christianity in a form as acceptable as possible to the 

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cultured Saracens that ruled the country, is a question 
on which scholars are divided. It is certainly a remark- 
able fact that Adoptionism in the East (Paulicians) as 
well as in the West was in very close contact with Mo- 
hammedanism, and it is not improbable that in both cases 
Christian thought was consciously or unconsciously in- 
fluenced by the enthusiastic monotheism of the Saracens. 
But it is certain, as already intimated, that Adoptionist 
modes of expression were widely current in the early 
Christian centuries, and their persistence till after the 
Mohammedan conquests is by no means improbable. It 
may be that the enthusiastic propagandism of Adoptionist 
views in the eighth century was due to a kindling of the 
surviving Adoptionism of the older type by contact with 
the fiercely aggressive monotheistic teaching of the 

b. Statement of the Adoptionist yiew. The Spanish 
Adoptionists of the eighth century, appealing in support 
of their views to the authority of Ambrose, Hilary, 
Jerome, Augustine,^ and Isidore of Seville, maintained 
(a) That the eternal Son of God is to be distinguished 
from the man Jesus of Nazareth. ''Jesus Christ is 
adoptive in his humanity and by no means adoptive in his 
divinity." According to his divine nature, he is the true 
and proper Son of God, and could with propriety say, 
" I and the Father are one." According to his humanity 
he is the Son of God, '* not by generation, but by adop- 
tion ; not by nature, but by grace." (ft) That this 
adoption of Christ as man sustained a close and neces- 
sary relation to the adoption of believers as sons of God. 
According to his deity he is the " only begotten," accord- 
ing to his humanity he is "the first born among many 
brethren." Believers are ** adoptive with the adoptive 
one — Christ with Christ." Christ is *'a God among 
gods" (/. ^., believers, cf. John lo : 34, seq.). The 
** adoptive members" must have "an adoptive head." 
(c) Great stress is laid upon the baptism of Jesus (as by 
the Paulicians) as the occasion or means of his adoption, 
and as absolutely necessary to his mediatorial work. 

* Aufttstlne was at one sUge of hit development e thorourh-8:oliic Adoptlonitt ; 
but he was able to extricate hlBiscIf fron thlt as fron nany otber erroneous nodee 
of thought 

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The Redeemer according to his humanity comprehended 
in himself two births: "the first, that is to say, which 
he received from the Virgin by being born, the second, 
indeed, which he initiated in the bath, by rising from the 
dead." This coupling of baptism and the resurrection 
seems to indicate that the process of adoption begun in 
baptism was consummated in the resurrection. A close 
connection was supposed between Christ's birth in bap- 
tism and the regeneration of believers in baptism. 

c. Polemics against the Adoptionists. Among the most 
important opponents of Adoptionism was Alcuin, the 
great British prelate and educator. The Adoptionists 
were charged with Nestorianism, inasmuch as they sep- 
arated the humanity from the deity of Christ so as to 
postulate two sonships. Christ is not ** man " but "the 
God-man." He is ** not in everything like us apart from 
sin," but "in many things " — in most things and the most 
important things he is unlike us. Alcuin even went so 
far as to deny that Christ prayed for himself or for his 
disciples. As God-man he could have no need to pray 
for himself and he was abundantly able to bestow every 
needed blessing on his disciples ; he had no occasion to 
pray for them. What seem to be prayers were merely 
for effect. It was insisted that the God-man, a$ such, 
is Son of God, not by adoption or by grace, but eternally 
and by nature. 

This controversy extended far into the Middle Ages 
and may have persisted in some of the sects until the 
time of the Reformation and later. It is probable that 
the Christology of the Antiochian school was directly or 
indirectly influential in the Adoptionist Christology. 


Literature: Works of Augustine, Pelagius, Jerome, Marius 
Mercator, Paulus Orosius, Cassianus, Prosper, Fulgentius, in 
Migne's '^ Patrologia** ; English translation of Augustine's "Anti- 
Pelagian Writings," with elaborate Introductory Essay by Warficid, 
in " Nic. and Post-Nic. Fathers," Ser. I., Vol. V. ; older modem 
works by Vossius, Gamier, Norisius, Jansenius, Sirmond, Tillemont, 
Walch, and Geffken ; Wiggers, " yirsuch iiner pragmai. DarsUUmg 
d. tAugustmismus u. Pelagianistma^^^ 1821-1833 (cng. trans, of Pan 
I., Andover» 1840) ; Cunningham, " S. Austin and his Place in the 

d, tjiugustnUsmus u. Pelagianisnms" 1821-1833 (cng. trans, of Pan 
I., Andover» 1840) ; Cunningham, " S. Austin and his Place in the 
History of Christian Thought," 1886; Bindemann, *' Dir htaigi 

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j4iigusiimis" 1844-1869; Domer, **^ugustinu5^ ssin Thiol. SysUm u. 
uim RtligiaHsphihsophischs Anschauung^'^ 1873 1 Warfield, " Augustine 
and the Pelagian Controversy/' 1^7 ; Reuter, " tAngustinischi Siu- 
dim^^ 1887 ; pertinent sections in the worlds on the history of doc 
trine and in tne encyclopedias. 

I. Antecedents of Augustinianism and Pelagianism. 

Before the beginning of the fifth century the attention 
of Christian thinlters had never been focused on the 
great anthropological questions that figure in the Pelagian 
controversy. Many expressions regarding the original 
and actual condition of man can be found in the ante- 
Nicene and the fourth century writings ; but they were 
employed without dogmatic or polemical purpose and are 
significant as showing the trend of thought rather than as 
expressing the well-reasoned convictions of the writers. 

(i) Writers Vikejustin^ Irenceus^ and Hippofytus, in com- 
bating Gnostic fatalism were careful to vindicate the 
freedom of man to obey the divine precepts and to avail 
himself of the means of salvation graciously provided, 
and his responsibility for the use or the neglect of the 
means of grace. They were careful to guard against 
the Gnostic supposition that the world, including man, is 
the creature of an imperfect or malignant demiurge, and 
to insist upon the original goodness of the work of the 
good Creator ; yet they regarded imperfection as inhering 
in the finiteness of created beings. Because of his lim- 
itations man was subject to temptation and liable to fall. 
Free from evil, but without experience, and susceptible 
to temptation because of their sensuous nature, our first 
parents yielded to the solicitations of the tempter. If 
they had persisted in obedience to God, they would have 
attained to communion with God and to eternal life. By 
disobedience they became involved in evil, yet retained 
freedom of will, the indelible image of God in man. 

(2) Tertullian^ who was inclined to regard the fall as a 
fearful catastrophe, still insisted most earnestly on free- 
dom of will as an inalienable element of human nature 
and as constituting in man ability to appropriate the pro- 
visions of divine grace. Yet he regarded divine grace 
as absolutely necessary to man's salvation. He was 
probably the first to set forth clearly the propagation pf 

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souls together with their good and evil qualities (Tradu- 

(3) Clement of Alexandria looked upon the fall as a far 
less momentous event. Man was created in an infantile 
state, with his sensuous nature far better developed than 
his moral and intellectual. By yielding to sensuality he 
became involved in disobedience to God. Sin consists 
chiefly in subjection to sensuality. The effect of Adam's 
sin upon the race was chiefly that of example. Inherited 
tendency to sin is recognized, but sin as guilt inherent 
in human nature finds no place in his system. The ex- 
ample and the precepts of Christ he regarded as divinely 
provided helps whereby man is able to overcome sensu- 
ality and to attain to exaltation of character ; but not, 
apparently, as absolutely indispensable to man's salva- 

(4) Origen also maintained the freedom of the will and 
the power of every man to avail himself of the salvation 
of Christ ; yet he accounted for the sinful condition of 
human souls by the supposition of a fall in a previous 
state of existence. He seems to have had a somewhat 
more adequate conception of the sinfulness of human 
nature and the need of atonement than did Clement; 
but he laid chief stress on the moral influence of Christ's 
life and death in the plan of salvation. 

(5) Paul cf Samosata is said to have magnified man's 
natural ability and to have made little of the special 
grace of God as a factor in man's salvation. In this as 
in other respects Arius followed in Paul's footsteps. Re- 
garding Christ as a result of the union of the divine 
Logos (a created being) with a human body, and sup- 
posing that he had attained to his present exalted po- 
sition by the choice of good when a contrary choice was 
possible, it was natural for him to lay undue stress on 
man's ability to follow Christ in this respect. Athana- 
sius understood him to make the higher divine character 
of Christ dependent on his purely human activity. It 
was inevitable, therefore, that Arianism should develop 
a superficial view of sin, redemption, and divine grace. 
Athanasius was justified in charging Arius with robbing 
humanity of grace by his separation of the Word from the 
Father as regards essence and dignity. 

Digitized by LjOOQ IC] controversies in the church 361 

(6) tApollinaris was almost Manichaean in his concep* 
tion of the essential evil of human nature. He would not 
admit that Christ had a complete human nature, for he 
could not understand how he could in that case have 
escaped the contagion of sin. As the divine Logos took 
the place of the human spirit in Christ, so the salvation 
of believers consists in their likeness to Christ and their 
imitation of him and not in renewal and restoration (first- 
fruits). Here also we have an inadequate view of grace 
in redemption. The appropriation of Christ's salvation 
is represented as a subjective process of imitation and 
assimilation, dependent wholly on the will of the indi- 

(7) The cordiality with which Pelagians were received 
in Antiochian circles during the early stages of the Pela- 
gian controversy shows the close affinity between the Pe- 
lagian and the Antiochian (Nestorian) modes of thought. 
The emphasis laid by the Nestorians on the persistent 
integrity of Christ's humanity, including freedom of will, 
and their utter aversion to any view of Christ's humanity 
that savored of Docetism, involved a relatively favorable 
view of the condition of human nature as such. The 
Augustinian view of man's depravity, lack of freedom, 
and absolute dependence on special divine grace for de- 
liverance, was distasteful to them ; and while they were 
not prepared to accept the extreme statements of the 
Pelagian anthropology, it was easy for a shrewd apol- 
ogist like Julian or Coelestius to win the approval of men 
like Theodore of Mopsuestia and Nestorius. 

2. Augustine and Pelagius. 

The temperaments and the experiences of the two 
protagonists in this controversy no doubt had much to do 
with the radical differences of their conceptions regarding 
nature and grace. 

(i) t^Ufrustine's was a tempestuous, passionate nature. 
Despite his wonderful intellectual power it was with the 
utmost difficulty that he could keep his body under. The 
excesses and irregularities of his youth and early man- 
hood were to him a lifelong subject of regret, almost of 
remorse. His ideas of human depravity were derived 
from the correspondence of his own experience with 

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Paul's representation of the antagonism between the 
flesh and the spirit, between the law of the mind and the 
law of the members (Rom. 7). His *' Confessions " con- 
stitutes one of the most remarkable psychological dis- 
closures in all literature and should be read by every one 
who wishes to sound the depths of human experience in 
relation to the religious life. His connection with the 
Manichseans for nine years accustomed him to regarding 
human nature as fundamentally evil and human freedom 
as a delusion. Delivered from the thraldom of Mani- 
chseism through the medium of Neo-Platonism (Plotinus), 
he was perilously near to exchanging Manicha^an dualism 
for semi-pantheism, and by contemplating God in his 
absoluteness to lose sight of the relative freedom of man. 
Yet, in contending with the Manichseans, he went so far 
in his assertion of human freedom as greatly to embar- 
rass him in his controversy with the Pelagians. 

(2) Pelagius, on the other hand, was a learned monk 
of cold, even temperament, and of abstemious life. To 
him it seemed easy to live uprightly. He was conscious 
of freedom to perform the dictates of his higher nature. 
He saw no need of supposing that Adam's posterity had 
inherited his guilt. To him man seemed fully equipped 
by nature for living a life of righteousness by the use of 
such helps as have been graciously provided by God and 
are available in some measure to all. 

The early tradition that Pelagius was bom in Britain and that his 
views of Christianity were tinctured with the naturalism of the 
Dmids may rest on a foundation of fact. Yet we find him |)erfectly 
at home among the Latin theologians of Italy. North Africa, and 
Gaul, and among the Greek theologians of the East, it seems 
probable that he had resided for many years in these regions before 
we meet him in Rome, about 400. It is difficult to conceive that a 
man brought up in Britain and reaching middle life there should have 
been so completely at home in the great centers of Christian life as 
he seems at that time to have been. He enjoyed the friendship of 
Paulinus of Noia, and of Sulpicius Severus, the great promoters of 
ascetic life, and for a time that of Jerome. He was highly honored 
because of his learning and the purity of his life. 

3. Rise of the Controversy. 

Pelagius was strongly averse to controversy. It was 
his more aggressive disciple Ccelestius, a Roman lawyer 

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of noble birth, who having been won over by him to the 
ascetic life, presented his teaching in polemical form and 
precipitated the great conflict with Augustine. Pelagius 
and (Joelestius had taken refuge in North Africa at the time 
of Alaric's invasion of Italy (41 1), and Pelagius had formed 
a pleasant acquaintance with Augustine, bishop of Hippo. 
Ccelestius sought admission to the Carthaginian min- 
istry. From Italy the Carthaginians were warned of his 
doctrinal unsoundness. In a Carthaginian synod he de- 
fended the Pelagian teachings. That which awakened 
most opposition was the implication that infant baptism 
was unnecessary to salvation. This view was involved 
in his denial of original or hereditary sin. He sought to 
satisfy his opponents by allowing that infant baptism ad- 
mitted to the kingdom of God, though eternal life did not 
depend upon it. The controversy thus begun soon spread 
throughout Christendom. 

4. Stattment of the Views of the Contending Parties. 

(I) The yiews of the Pelagians. Pelagius and his chief 
coadjutors, Ccelestius and Julian, did not always express 
themselves consistently. Their extreme desire to vin- 
dicate their orthodoxy often led them to make partial, 
compromising statements. There has been considerable 
diversity of opinion among modern writers as to which 
point of Pelagius' teaching is to be regarded as funda- 
mental. Some give the primacy to the doctrine of free 
will, others to denial of original sin, others to the denial 
of the necessity of infant baptism, others to the mainte- 
nance of the natural necessity of physical death, others 
still to the superficial view of sin. The fact is, that from 
either of these positions all the rest of the features of the 
system can be logically derived. If we must choose one 
principle as most fundamental, that of the freedom of the 
will seems to have the advantage. 

a. Freedom of the IVill. Pelagius maintained that man 
was created with perfect freedom to choose between good 
and evil, and that this freedom inheres in every man at 
all times. 

Wc contradict the Lord when we say "It is hard," "It is diffi- 
cult," "we cannot," "we are men," **we are encompassed with 
mortal flesh." On, blind nonsense 1 Oh, unholy audacity 1 We 

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charge God with a two*fold ig;noTance : that he does not seem to 
know what he has made, nor what he has commanded : just as )f 
he, forgetting the human weakness of which himself is the author, 
has imposedlaws on man which he cannot endure.^ In this capacity 
for a two-fold choice ... lies the superiority of the rational soul. In 
this consists the honor of our nature ; in this its dignity.' The ra- 
tional creature has the advantage over all others in this, that while 
the latter have only a goodness of condition and of necessity, the 
former alone has it of will.' Sin that is necessary is not sin at all. 
Man is neither good nor evil because he is free ; but neither coukl he 
be good or evil unless he were free.* It is easier to avoid Darridde 
andsacrilese and adultery, or like things, than to commit them.' 
Free will after sins have oeen committed is Just as complete as it 
was before.' 

b. Sin. Closely connected with the doctrine of free 
will was the Pelagians' doctrine of sin. Sin is purely a 
matter of will. Adam sinned by the exercise of his free 
will. Most of his posterity have sinned after his example, 
but not all. To assert the heredity of sin involved, in 
their opinion, the acceptance of the theory of the prop- 
agation of the soul (Traducianism), which they regarded 
as materialistic and horrible. Each soul is created pure 
and has as perfect freedom to do good or evil as Adam 
had. If sin is a man's own, it is voluntary ; if it is vol* 
untary, it can be avoided. 

** What then Is sin ? " wrote Julian. " It is the appetency of free 
will for what Justice prohibits ... the will to do what Justice for* 
bids and what there Is freedom to abstain from. . . Does God Im- 
pute what he knows cannot be avoided?^ God . . . does not make 
evil : a littie child before the decision of his own will has nothing 
save what God made in him. Naturally, therefore, there can be in 
him no sin."' Sin is represented by Julian as having its origin in 
one's own appetite.' 

c. Infant Baptism. As remarked above, the implied 
needlessness of infant baptism was at first the chief 
ground on which Pelagius and his disciples were at- 
tacked. Denying hereditary sin they were unable to 
find any adequate justification for this practice. Yet 
they were not sufficiently interested in anti-pedobaptism 
to be willing to make it a plank in their platform. 

^"Bp,s4 Dmitr,;* Chap. 19. • IM^ Chap. «. • IHd„ Chap. ). 

« Auffustlne. '^0^. imp.," Bk. V.. Chap. n. 

• JttllAB, In '* Op. Imp,r Blc ni.. Chiip. ixx. • /fc/. Bk. I.. Chap. 91. 

T AogustiM. "Q». Imp,r Bk. V.. Ch«p. it. 
• Jttllan. la *' Op. Imp J' Bk. V.. Cbap. 63. • " Qp. tmf7* Bk. I.. Chap. 44. Mf . 

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Pelagians admitted that baptism mi^ht properly be administered 
to infants with the use of the regular rituai for older people. Pela- 
gius went so far as to denounce the refusal of baptism to infants as 
p^odlessness. He had heard one heretic so wiciced as to deny that 
infants should be baptized.^ Infants answer truly through their 
sponsors that they believe in the forgiveness of sins, meaning the 
sins of those who are guilty. Julian Insisted that *' the grace of 
baptism " was *' useful to all ages," and ** would smite with an eter- 
nal anathema all who do not thinl< it necessary even for little chil- 
dren." ' He thought that by the grace of baptism *' a sinner from a 
wicked becomes a perfectly good man ; but an innocent person who 
has no evil of his own will, becomes from a good a better person, 
that is, the best. Both Indeed become members of Christ by bap- 
tism ; only the one had before led a wicked life, the other was of an 
uncorrupted nature." By baptism, he maintained, we become chil- 
dren of God and members of his kingdom.' Pelagius distinguished 
between ftmtal lifi^ which belongs to unbaptlzed infants, and the 
kmgdam e/hsavM in which only the baptized participate. 

d. Divine Grace, Pelagius and his followers used the 
expression ** divine grace '* to include the fact of our cre- 
ation, of our being alive, of our being rational, of our 
being in the image of God, of our possessing free will, of 
our enjoying God's unceasing beneficence, of our having 
the divine law given us in the Old Testament, and above 
all the fact of our enjoyment of the teachings, the ex- 
ample, and the sufferings of the incarnate Son.* They 
maintained that salvation is possible without law or gos- 
pel and was attained by some before the giving of the 
law ; that it was easier to attain under the law ; and 
that the gospel dispensation greatly facilitates its attain- 

(2) tAugustine^s yiews. Augustine's position in this 
controversy was exceedingly embarrassing. In opposi- 
tion to Manichaean fatalism he felt obliged to insist upon 
such a degree of freedom as would furnish a basis for 
human responsibility, and over against the Manichaean 
doctrine of the absolute and essential evil of human 
nature he felt obliged to maintain that it was not utterly 
corrupt. He held with Pelagius, against the Manichaeans, 
that all nature is good, because it proceeds from God. 

a. OAan's Original State and His Possibilities. Man 
came from the hand of his Maker faultless. He possessed 

> " Of Grakm CMmH,** Chap. }a ; " Of Pu. Orig,r Chtp, il. 

• *'Op, imp./' Bk. 1.. Chap. «>. s«f. • IhidT, Bk. V.. Chap. «. 

« " Op, Imp., " Bk.ll., Chap. 94 ; I., X4«. 

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freedom to do good, reason to know God, and the grace 
of God. By the latter he means that supernatural assist- 
ance whereby alone men and angels could have perse- 
vered in goodness. To man, as a moral being, the pos- 
sibility of sinning was necessary, but sinning only pos- 
sible. If he had persevered in obedience he would have 
attained to a state in which sinning would have been im- 
possible. His bodily nature, mortal in itself, would thus 
have become immortal. 

b. Vie Fall. This consisted in the fact that the original 
possibility of sinning became by willful disobedience a 
reality. Augustine attributes the fall to the seductive 
influence of the serpent, who inspired pride and self- 
seeking first in the woman as the weaker. The sin was 
committed before the fruit was eaten. The consequences 
of the fall are : loss of freedom of choice (in matters per- 
taining to salvation), a beclouding of the mind, loss of the 
grace of God for performing the good that his freedom 
willed, loss of paradise, subjection to concupiscence (in- 
cluding all sensuous obstacles to the dominance of the 
spirit), and physical death. 

c. Hereditary Sin. Augustine maintained that the con- 
dition of Adam after the fall is the condition of the race. 
To the end of his life he was greatly perplexed regarding 
the origin of the soul. The Traducian theory, with which 
the Pelagians never wearied of reproaching him, claiming 
as they did that it was logically involved in his doctrine 
of hereditary guilt, seemed too materialistic to harmonize 
with his Platonizing mode of thinking. The Creation 
theory seemed, as was insisted upon in season and out 
of season by the Pelagians, irreconcilable with his doc- 
trine of original sin, or else with the goodness of God. 
In his *' Retractations *' he confessed his ignorance on this 
point, but insisted that Adam was the representative and 
the progenitor of the race, and that in Adam all sinned. 
He felt the need of Traducianism, but could not bring 
himself openly to adopt it. 

d. Baptism. By baptism the guilt of this original sin is 
taken away, but not sin itself. Unconscious infants 
dying without baptism are damned by virtue of their in- 
herited guilt. The sinful nature remains after baptism 
and with the dawn of moral consciousness actual sm ap- 

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pears in the choice of evil through the dominance of con- 
cupiscence. This post-baptismal sin will inevitably lead 
to eternal perdition if it be not healed by penance, by 
good works, and by the intercession of the glorified 
Saviour. The real conversion of the will by divine 
grace, so that it becomes free for goodness, is independ- 
ent of baptism and usually comes long after the latter 
has been received. In such conversion of the will grace 
manifests itself in revelation and teaching and in the in- 
breathing of the divine love. 

e. Divine Grace. Augustine maintained that special 
divine grace was freely given to our first parents in such 
measure as would have enabled them to persevere in 
obedience. To fallen man it is absolutely necessary to 
his willing or doing good, it is unmerited, and it is irre- 
sistible. He conceived of all mankind as, on account of 
Adam's fall, "a certain mass of sin (or of corruption), 
amenable to the divine and supreme justice ; whether 
this punishment is exacted or remitted, no injustice is 
done." Out of this indistinguishable mass God brings 
some to salvation and allows others to become repro- 
bates. The very willing to secure salvation is a gift of 
God withheld from some, whom he makes "vessels of 
contumely " ; not that he is the author of sin, but those 
from whom grace is withheld become vessels of dishonor 
and contribute to the harmony of the divine system, 

/. Predestination, Election, Perseverance, and Reproba- 
tion. Augustine taught that with fallen humanity in 
mind God "justly predestined to punishment " (or death) 
a part of the race, while some " he benignantly predes- 
tined to grace, not because we were holy, but that we 
might be." He maintained the final perseverance of the 
elect, but admitted that election could be known in indi- 
vidual cases only from observation of perseverance to 
the end. He did not distinctly teach that God determined 
to create man in order that all the race might become in- 
volved in sin and that he might save some by his grace 
and damn others for the manifestation of his justice 
(Supralapsarianism), though he comes perilously near to 
this conception in making the existence and the punish- 
ment of evil beings essential to the harmony of the 
divine scheme. 

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4* Proceedings Against the Pelagians. 

(i) Synods at Jerusalem and Diospolis. After his con- 
demnation by a Carthaginian synod (412) Pelagius visited 
Palestine, where he won the confidence of Bishop John of 
Jerusalem. Jerome, the opponent of John (see Origen- 
istic controversies above), who had been informed by 
Augustine, through the presbyter Orosius, of Pelagius' 
errors, wrote a sharp polemic against him. Pelagius 
succeeded in stating his views in a Jerusalem synod to 
the satisfaction of John, who bade Pelagius keep quiet 
until the bishop of Rome could be heard from on the 
matter. Further attacks from the West led to a fresh 
investigation in a synod at Diospolis (Lydda) under 
Bishop Eulogius of Csesarea. On this occasion Pelagius 
declined to be held responsible for the teachings of 
Ccelestius and by sophistical modes of statement gained 
the recognition of the body. 

(2) Popes Innocent I. and Zosimus. At the Instance of 
the African bishops, Innocent I. condemned Pelagius 
(416). Innocent's death occurring shortly afterward, 
Coelestius was able to convince his successor of the or- 
thodoxy of the Pelagians. Zosimus rebuked the Africans 
for listening to slanderous reports against these excellent 
men. The African bishops declined to withdraw their 
condemnation until Pelagius and Coelestius should un- 
equivocally assert "that the grace of God by Jesus 
Christ assists us not only to the knowledge, but also to 
the exercise, of righteousness in every single act, so that 
without it we should be able to think, to say, or to per- 
form nothing truly pious or holy." 

In 418 a General Council of the African churches con- 
demned the chief positions of the Pelagians, and Zosimus 
of Rome felt constrained to withdraw his support and 
caused their condemnation in a Roman synod. Julian, 
bishop of Eclanum, refused to accept the decision of the 
synod and was henceforth by far the most acute and 
courageous defender of Pelagian principles. It was in 
controversy with him that Augustine wrote his most im- 
portant anti-Pelagian works. In these are incorporated 
Julian's statements and arguments that would otherwise 
have perished. This controversy with Julian was the 

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occasion of Augustine's working out with great fullness 
his doctrines of freedom of will, sin, grace, predestina- 
tion, etc. 

(3) Pela^ns and Nestmans. Pelagius seems to have 
remained in the East and is soon lost sight of. Julian 
and Coelestius again sought and won the support of such 
Oriental bishops as Theodore of Mopsuestia and Nesto- 
rius. The fall of Nestorius (see Nestorian controversy 
above) rendered his approval worse than useless, and 
they were condemned along with him by the Synod of 
Ephesus (431). 

5. The Semi-Pelagians. 

(i) Jerome, Prosper, yincentius, and Cassianus. The 
Pelagians had failed signally to win Christendom to the 
acceptance of their views. Augustine and his adherents 
had industriously discredited them wherever they sought 
to introduce their teachings. 

But neither was Augustinianism to be the dominant 
theology of the age. As it was radically different from 
the theology of the past, so it was out of accord with the 
dominant tendencies of the immediately succeeding time. 
Luther and Calvin were the true successors of Augustine. 
His own age was not ripe for his teachings. He laid too 
much stress on the inner Christian life and too little 
stress on external ceremonies to suit the spirit of the 
age. While he held that baptism destroys the guilt of 
original sin, he repudiated the thought that, apart from 
special divine grace working a change in the direction of 
the will and producing righteous character, salvation is 
possible to those that reach moral consciousness. He 
was an earnest advocate of asceticism, but he denied 
that the mere torture of the flesh, apart from the trans- 
formation of the life into Christlikeness, avails anything. 
He regarded the Supper as a ** communion of the body of 
Christ," yet he did not admit that the mere eating and 
drinking of the elements were of any benefit apart from 
the faith of the partaker. He taught the perseverance of 
the saints, but he denied that any one could be assured 
of the possession of the gift of perseverance until the 
end of life. His teachings were radically opposed to the 
«acramentalism and to the idea of salvation by external 


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works that more and more dominated the Christian 
thought of the time. 

Even Jerome, who joined with Augustine in condemn- 
ing the Pelagians, was far from being an Augustinian. 
Prosper of Aquitania and Hilary of Aries remonstrated 
with Augustine regarding the rigor of his predestinarian- 
ism, Vincentius of Lerins (434) put forth a vigorous, 
though covert, attacic on Augustine's teachings, laying 
stress on ecclesiastical traditionalism and insisting that 
the greatest care should be taken that " we hold fast to 
what has been believed everywhere, always, and by ail '* 
(QUod ubique, quod semper, quod ab omnibus creditum est). 
These Gallic opponents of Augustine insisted on the rec- 
ognition of such a degree of free will as would make each 
man's salvation dependent on himself. *' All who perish, 
perish against the will of God " (Cassianus). 

(2) The *' Prcedestinatus " and Faustus of Lerins. About 
450 appeared an anonymous work called ** Prcedestinatus,** 
in which the doctrine of predestination was set forth with 
the utmost harshness. "Those whom God has once 
predestinated to life, even if they are negligent, even if 
they sin, even if they are unwilling, yet unwillingly are 
conducted to life ; but those whom he has predestinated 
to death, even if they run, even if they hasten, labor 
in vain." The immoral and almost blasphemous teach- 
ings of this book aroused the polemical zeal of many 
earnest Christian thinkers. 

Faustus, abbot of Lerins, who represented the mod- 
erate anti-Augustinianism of the Gallic monks, attacked 
extreme Augustinianism with great vigor. He denounced 
''the error of predestination," defended **the free choice 
of the human mind," and identified the current predes- 
tinarian doctrine with pagan and Manichaean fatalism. 
He does not attack Augustine, but aims his blows at the 
later somewhat exaggerated Augustinianism. While ad- 
mitting that holiness cannot be attained without divine 
grace, he made great claims for the efficacy of asceticism 
in elevating character. 

(3) The Scythian Monks and Fulgentius. About 519 
some Scythian monks residing in Constantinople began 
to agitate in favor of Augustinianism and pressed upon 
Pope Hormisdas the utter inconsistency of his recognizing 

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both Augustine and Faustus as orthodox. One or the 
other must be a heretic. This led Fulgentius, an Afri- 
can theologian, to defend the doctrine of predestination 
against Faustus' assaults ; yet he rejected the idea of 
predestination to sin (reprobation). 

(4) MedicBval Orthodoxy as fixed by Gregory the Great. 
After much controversy Semi-Pelagianism was seemingly 
vanquished, but the dominant type of Roman Catholic 
theology, as embodied in the works of Pope Gregory the 
Great (59CH604), was not Augustinianism, although much 
of the language of Augustine was freely used ; but rather 
the ascetic theology of Jerome, modified by the deepening 
asceticism and formalism of the fully developed hierarch- 
ical church. 


Long before the close of the fourth century the ascet- 
ical view of Christian life, already aggressive at the be- 
ginning of the present period, had become dominant. 
The religious life was identified with asceticism. The 
perfection of Christian character could be approximated 
only by voluntary celibacy, poverty, and withdrawal 
from secular life. 

Martin of Tours (d. c. 400) established a monastery at 
Poictiers (c. 367), where he practised the most rigorous 
asceticism and acquired the reputation of being a mira- 
cle worker. Sulpicius Severus, a Gallic nobleman of 
character and culture, became his enthusiastic disciple 
and biographer. He attributed to his master the raising 
of the dead (several cases), the stopping of a falling 
tree, the arrest of the progress of a fire, the healing of 
demoniacs and lepers, etc. As bishop of Tours he 
founded a multitude of churches and greatly extended 
the influence of Christianity in Gaul. Sulpicius em- 
ployed the revenues of his great estates and his personal 
influence in the promotion of ascetical Christianity. 

Paulinus of Nola, an Italian noble of enormous wealth 
and elegant culture (he has been designated '* the Chris- 
tian Cicero"), became a Christian and adopted the as- 

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cetical life (c^ 379). He devoted his income to charity 
and the founding of a church and a monastery in which 
relics and images of saints and martyrs were collected 
and where a truly pagan cult was established. He spent 
much of his time prostrate before the image of St. Felix, 
his patron saint, and every year wrote a birthday poem 
in his honor, — bestowing on him epithets suitable only for 
Deity, attributing to his favor the blessing of life, and 
imploring his good offices for the future. The influence 
of Martin, Sulpicius, and Paulinus, was widespread. 
Christian churches became assimilated to pagan temples 
and the ascetical life grew apace. 

Jerome (c. 341-420), the greatest scholar of his age, 
was mastered by the ascetical spirit (c. 372), and to es- 
cape hell and expiate his sins betook himself to the des- 
erts of Syria, where he lived a life of incredible aus- 
terity, waging meantime the fiercest battle with his pas- 
sions. After four years of the most rigorous hermit life 
and a brief residence at Antioch, he returned to Rome, 
where (c. 382) he found the church in the most shameful 
disorder on account of a disputed succession to the epis- 
copal chair. Here he promoted ascetical life, especially 
among women of rank, and established such intimate re- 
lations with two young widows, Paula and Marcella, as 
to awaken grave, but probably unjust, suspicions. In 
385 he left Rome, which he now called "Babylon," to 
take up his abode in Bethlehem, where he prepared his 
edition of the Latin Bible (Vulgate) and wrote many of 
his controversial and other works. He was a fanatic of 
the most pronounced type and was one of the most vio- 
lent and unscrupulous piolemicists of the age. He com- 
posed fabulous lives of early ascetics (Antony, Paul, 
Malchus, and Hilarion), in which he drew freely upon 
the erotic pagan romances of the earlier time and 
thought only of exalting the most extreme forms of 
asceticism. He carried on an extensive correspondence 
with the leading Christians of all parts of the world and 
exerted a profound influence in favor of world-flight and 

A milder and more rational type of asceticism was 
represented and fostered in Syria and Asia Minor by 
Basil (d. 379), Gregoiy Nazianzen, Gregory of Nyssa, 

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Diodorus (d. 394), Chrysostom (d. 407), Nestorius, 
Theodore of Mopsuestia, Theodoret of Cyrus, etc., and 
in Italy and Africa by Ambrose (d. 397) and Augustine 
(d. 430). From the writings of these latter it is evident 
that the ascetical spirit had become dominant, and they 
were concerned to guard against its abuses and to insist 
upon the possibility and the duty of true Christian 
morality in secular life. 

Closely connected with the growth of asceticism was 
the rapid development of the most groveling idolatry — 
worship of saints, relics, images, holy places, etc. 

It was against the corrupt practices and corrupting 
tendencies indicated above that the protests occasioning 
the following controversies were uttered. 

I. The Airian Controvert. 

LITERATURE: Epiphanlus, " PoHorum'* ( " Hasns.,'' 75). Walch, 
" Hisf. d. Kit^trswi^' Bd. III., Siit. 321* ssq. ; Ncandcr, " Ch. Hist.,*' 
Vol. II., p. 342, ssq. ; encyclopedia articles. 

Aerius, presbyter and superintendent of a Christian 
almshouse at Sebaste, Asia Minor, was intimately asso- 
ciated with Eustathius, who became bishop ^.355. Con- 
troversy regarding the administration of the institution 
arose between Aerius and the bishop, and the former 
was obliged to resign his position c. 360. A large num- 
ber of the constituents of the diocese supported Aerius, 
who vigorously attacked not only the personal adminis- 
tration of Eustathius, but the corruptions in doctrine 
and practice that were coming to prevail in that region. 
He accused Eustathius of being too much concerned 
about the acquisition of property, insisted upon the 
equality of presbyters and bishops on scriptural grounds, 
denounced the practice of seeking the intercession of de- 
parted saints and of celebrating the Supper as an offer- 
ing for the dead, opposed the laws regulating fasts (fixed 
seasons), and especially the celebration of the Passover, 
which he regarded as a Judaizing practice out of place in 
a Christian church. He charged the dominant form of 
Christianity with substituting the bondage of Jewish 
legalism for the liberty of the gospel. 

Driven from the churches and severely persecuted, 

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Aerlus and his followers were soon widely scattered. 
They were obliged to hold their meetings in fields, for 
ests, and in mountainous retreats. They were soon lost 
sight of as a distinct party ; but it is probable that the 
spirit of their protest persisted in Paulicianism, or rather 
that it formed part of the early evangelical movement 
which became prominent in Paulicianism at a later date. 

2. The Jovinianist Controversy. 

LITERATURE: Jerome, ** Mvirsus Jaoinumum'' (Eng. tr.In " NIc. 
and Post-Nic. Fathers," Ser. 2, Vol. Vi.) ; Augustine, *' flasres.;' 82, 
"D^ 'Bono ConfuMlt,'^ and "D# Virginiiate'^: Lindner, ^^ Dtjomn- 
iano it yigiLantio Turioris Doctrirus j4ntesi'gnanis^ 1839 ; Schaff , Ch. 
Hist." Vol. Hi., p. 226, siq,; Neandcr, "Ch. Hist.," Vol. II., p. 
269, ssq.; Walch, *'Hist. der Ktt{irtien^'* 'Bd, 111., Sett, 635,5^^.; 
Zockler, ** Huronjmms" Siit, 194, 5#g.; Comba, "/ Nostrs Protss' 
ianti,'' Vol. I., pp. 8?-ii4 ; Belling, '* Ueberjovmian " (in Zeitsckr. /. 
KirchMgesch,^" Bd. IX., Seit. 391, ssq.); encyclopedia articles. 

(i) T^seof the Controversy. Jovinianus, whom Nean- 
der calls "the Protestant of his time/' a well-educated 
Roman monk, began {c. 378) to assail the ascetical teach- 
ings and practices represented by Jerome and his party. 
Up to this time he had practised a rigorous asceticism. 
Jerome represents him as allowing himself more liberty 
henceforth and even hints at Epicurean indulgence ; but 
there seems no reason to believe that he exceeded the 
limits of sane Christian living. Augustine finds no fault 
with his life, but accuses him of Stoicism in putting all 
sins on a parity and of denying the perpetual virginity of 
Mary. In this last particular Jovinian followed in the 
footsteps of Helvidius, whom Jerome had a few years 
before (c. 383) elaborately confuted {*^^dv. Helvidium*'). 

(2) Points at Issue. We are indebted for most of our 
information regarding the protest of Jovinianus to Je- 
rome, who ascribes to him, apparently in his own lan- 
guage, four '* Vv.i.omous " propositions in which he hears 
**the hissing of the serpent." These are as follows: 
a. That " virgins, widows, and married women, who 
have been once washed in Christ, if they do not differ 
in respect to other works, are of the same me'-it." 

b. That "those who have been baptized cannot be 
tempted (elsewhere "subverted") by the devil." He 

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defined his meaning by saying : " But those who have 
been tempted are shown to have been baptized by water 
only and not by the Spirit, as we read in the case of 
Simon Magus." Jerome further states Jovinian's posi- 
tion thus : *' He denies tl\at those who with full faith 
have obtained baptism can thenceforth sin." Elsewhere * 
Jerome represents Jovinianus as saying : " That those 
who with full faith have obtained baptism cannot be 
tempted ; nay, in other words, that a baptized man, if 
he be unwilling to sin, sins no further." That he did 
not mean to teach that the truly regenerate man is of 
necessity absolutely sinless is evident from the state- 
ment attributed to him by Jerome: "Between that brother 
who had always been with the Father, and him who as 
a penitent was afterward received, there is no diversity." 
It is probable that he meant simply to teach that suffi- 
cient divine grace is bestowed upon the truly regenerate 
man to enable him to resist the temptations of the evil 
one, and that such a one will inevitably persevere to the 

Jovinianus seems to have attached no Importance to mere water 
baptism, and to have regarded baptism as the outward symbol of 
the inner transformation wrought through faith. Like the Christian 
writers of the second century, he probably regarded it as the com- 
pletion of the process of regeneration conditioning the remission of 

c. That *' there is no difference between those that 
abstain from foods and those that partake of them with 
thanksgiving." He argued that " all things were created 
to serve for the use of mortal men," and appealed to the 
example of Christ, who was called a '* winebibber and a 
glutton." He repudiated the idea that starvation con- 
duces to holiness. 

d. That ''to all who shall have preserved their bap- 
tism (t. e., have been baptized on a profession of saving 
faith and hence do not fall away) there is one remunera- 
tion in the kingdom of heaven." He insisted that " Christ 
dwells in all equally and is in us without any difference 
of degrees. . . So also we are in Christ without de- 
grees. Believers are '* a temple of God, not temples." 

I " 'Dial. 0nn Felofiitms" Bk. H*. cb«p. 04.. 

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He divided mankind rigorously into two classes, the 
saved and the unsaved, and refused to allow that there 
is any distinction to be made among the saved. Salva- 
tion being of grace and not of merit, all who are saved 
are saved absolutely. In these statements Jovinianus 
was protesting against the current teaching regarding 
works of supererogation, whereby saints and martyrs 
were supposed to be able efficaciously to intercede for 

Jerome devotes the first half of his treatise to the refutation of the 
first proposition, insisting that in the parable of the sower the thirty- 
fold, sixty-fold, and hundred-fold fruitage of the seed sown in good 
ground Indicates the relative merit of married life, voluntary widow- 
hood, and virginity. Marriage is recommended by Paul not because 
it is good, but because it is less bad than consuming lust. He is 
able to quote much Scripture in favor of his contention that there are 
among Christians differences in spiritual attainment, and that the 
rewards of the saved and the sufferings of the lost are graded ac- 
cording to desert. If Jovinianus is correctly represented by Jerome 
and Augustine, he was certainly at fault in insisting upon absolute 
equality as regards rewards and punishments, which his opponents 
were probably right In attributing to the Stoic philosophy. 

(3) Proceedings and ^(esults. That the protest of Jo- 
vinianus awakened great interest and received influential 
support is evident from the excited polemics of Jerome, 
and from the public proceedings that were instituted 
against him in Rome and Milan. In 390 a Roman synod 
under Bishop Siricius condemned him, along with seven 
of his adherents, and notified other bishops of the fact. 
A Milanese synod under Ambrose excommunicated the 
Jovinianists shortly afterward. Jerome in his writing 
against Vigilantius (406) refers to the death of Jovinianus. 
An edict of the Emperor Honorius (412) condemns one 
Jovinianus, who had been holding unauthorized conventi- 
cles in the neighborhood of Rome, to scourging and ban- 
ishment; but if Jerome's statement and the dates of 
both documents are correct another Jovinianus must be 
supposed. The persistence of the influence of Jovin- 
ianus is seen in the movement led by Vigilantius. It is 
not unlikely that followers of Jovinianus took refuge in 
the Alpine Valleys, and there kept alive the evangelical 
teaching that was to reappear with vigor in the twelfth 
century (Arnoldists, Petrobrusians, Henricians, etc.). 

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3. The yigilantian Controversy. 

Literature : Jerome. " Ep. ad yigOataium " and " Ado, yigOof^ 
twm'' (Eng. tr. in " Nicene and Post-Nic. Fathers," Scr. a., VoL 
Vi.); Lindner, '' D$ Joomiano it yigOaniio'* ; Schmidt, '* yigOatUms. 
Sim Virkaltms {wn hiil, HuronymuSy^ i860 ; Zocicler,'* Hiironymus^^^ 
Sett. 503, siq. ; Lea, *' Sacerdotal Celibacy," 2d ed., p. 70, uq, ; 
GUly, '^Vig! and his Times" ; Neander. '^Ch. Hist.,"^Vol. II., p. 
313, s#g.; 373. sio.; Schaff, "Ch. Hist.," Vol. 111., p. 226, Mg. ; 
encyclopedia articles. 

^i) Sketck of yigUantim. Vigilantius was a native of 
Gaul and was a dependent of Sulpicius Severus, who 
discerning his capabilities liberated and educated him. 
He was ordained presbyter about 390. Four years later 
he was sent by his patron to visit the great ascetics of 
Italy and the Hast He spent some time with Paulinus 
of Nola (see above), who received him with the utmost 
kindness, and became warmly attached to him. He 
seems from the first to have been somewhat shocked by 
the introduction of so much of paganism into Christian 
worship as he saw at Nola. A visit to Jerome at Bethle- 
hem intensified his aversion to the excesses of asceticism, 
and he felt constrained to argue the matter with this 
impetuous and intolerant ascetic. He journeyed thence 
to Egypt, and became familiar with the most repulsive 
features of monastic life through contact with the swarms 
of ascetics who inhabited the Nitrian desert. The fact 
that in Palestine and in Egypt the Origenistic controversy 
was raging so furiously at the time no doubt contributed 
to his dislike for asceticism. It is probable that he had 
already become familiar with the protest of Jovinianus 
through the reading of Jerome's polemic or otherwise. 
On his homeward journey he seems to have visited 
Milan and Alpine Italy, and no doubt came into direct 
touch with the Jovinianist movement. 

By this time he had become thoroughly convinced that 
asceticism and idolatrous practices of every kind are for- 
eign to the spirit of Christianity, and he returned to 
Gaul full of zeal for the restoration of apostolic doctrine 
and practice. His reforming views found much accept- 
ance, Sulpicius Severus and the bishop of Toulouse at 
first expressing approval. Jerome, however, was soon 
in the field with a most virulent and scurrilous polemic. 

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and the forces of the hierarchy were soon arrayed against 

(2) yiewsofyiplantius. In general they were identi- 
cal with those of Jovinianus ; but he did not concern 
himself with doctrinal matters so much as with the moral 
results of the ascetical and idolatrous practices that were 
coming to dominate the churches. From Jerome's ex- 
aggerated statement we can best ascertain where the 
emphasis was placed in his protest : 

He charges him with denying "that religious rever- 
ence is to be paid to the tombs of the martyrs. Vigils, 
he says, are to be condemned ; Alleluia must never be 
sung except at Easter ; continence is a heresy ; chastity 
a hotbed of lust." He spoke contemptuously of relics 
of the martyrs as "the mysterious something or other 
which you (Jerome and the ascetics) carry about in a 
little vessel and worship," and as "a bit of powder 
wrapped up in a costly cloth in a tiny vessel." Jerome 
insists that so long as the devil and demons wander freely 
through the world martyrs are not to be kept shut up in 
a coffin. Vigilantius maintained that " so long as we are 
alive we can pray for one another ; but once we die, 
the prayer of no person for another can be heard." 
Jerome insists that apostles and martyrs can intercede 
more efficaciously now than when they were encumbered 
with the flesh and their own sufferings. Vigilantius 
charged that the vigils at the tombs of saints were the 
occasion of the grossest immorality on the part of the 
men and women who participated in them. Jerome 
admits the fact, but denies that a good thing should be 
disused because of abuses. He denounced indiscriminate 
almsgiving, especially for the support of idle monks. 
He regarded world-flight as cowardly : "This is not to 
fight, but to run away. Stand in line of battle, put on 
your armor and resist your foes, so that, having over- 
come, you may wear the crown." Jerome confesses his 
cowardice : " I would not fight in the hope of victory, 
lest some time or other I lose the victory. If I flee, 1 
avoid the sword ; if I stand, I must eitheV overcome or 
fall. But what need is there to let go certainties and 
follow after uncertainties ? . . . You who fight may 
either be overcome or may overcome. 1 who fly do not 

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overcome, inasmuch as I fly ; but I fly to make sure that 
1 may not be overcome." 

(3) Fate of the Movement. The movement was lost in 
the invasion of the Alans and Vandals ; but as we And 
early in the Middle Ages evangelical bodies of Christians 
in Southern Gaul, it is somewhat probable that the influ- 
ence of Vigilantius persisted to some extent during the 
intervening time. 

4. The Paulician Controversy. 

LITERATURE: PtttT Skulus, *' Histaria Mamchofonm" ; Photius, 
^^Advtrsus Rscmtiorts (Mamchaos'' (in Wolf's ^' Amc, Gr." Vol. I., 
II.); also numerous casual notices in *^ 'Biblioikua Scr, 'Bjnatiimo^ 
rum,'' ed. Niebuhr ; Gieseler, " Ch. Hist.," Vol. II., p. 21, ssg., 231, 

rother, Bd. i., SeiU 524, stq, ; Joh. Ozniensis, " Opira,'' ed. Aucner, 

18 J4 ; Gelzer, *' Dis Anfanp dtr Armmischm Kifchi'' 1895 ; Fried- 
rich, " Btricht ub^ d. PaiUihiantr'' (SitpmgsbmckU d, k, b, Akad. d. 
yyisssnschafUn ^ (MunchiH, 1896). The above works, valuable as 
regards the external history of the movement, have been almost 
superseded by the following in respect to the doctrines and practices 
of the body : Karapet Ter-Mkrttschian, '*Df> Paulikiamr im Byuw 
tinischin Kaiserreicht und vifwandU ErschiinungeH in Arrmniin" ioQ3, 
and Conybeare, ** The Key of Truth. A Manual of the Paulician 
Church of Armenia. The Armenian Text, Edited and Translated 
with Illustrative Documents and Introduction," 1898. The former 
of these scholars, an Armenian priest educated in Germany, has 
thoroughly discredited the accounts of the Paulicians given by Peter 
Siculus and Photius, and by the monk Georgius, without being able 
to reach any important positive results ; the latter, the foremost Eng- 
lish authonty on Armenian church history, has brought to light the 
manual of the ancient Paulician Christians, which has continued in 
use to recent times, and has given in his Introduction and Appen- 
dices much important documentary material not hitherto avallaDle. 

(i) Rise of the Paulicians. The representation of the 
monkish chronicler Georgius, Peter Siculus, and Photius, 
that the Paulicians arose in the latter half of the seventh 
century and had for their founder one Constantine, who 
having received a copy of the New Testament from a 
Christian returning from captivity among the Saracens, 
was greatly interested by the Pauline Epistles and re- 
solved as far as in him lay to secure a restoration of 
Christianity to its primitive Pauline form, may have 

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had a basis of fact in the reforming labors of an evangel- 
ical leader of that time. But the efforts of these writers 
to fasten upon the Paulicians the stigma of Manichaean 
(or Marcionitic) dualism were doubtless due to the un- 
scrupulous polemical methods of the time, in accord- 
ance with which the most damaging heresies might 
legitimately be attributed to theological opponents. A 
careful comparison of the "Key of Truth," which 
contains an account of the doctrines and practices of 
the Paulicians from about the eighth century onward, 
with the Adoptionist literature of the second century, 
seems to establish the fact that Paulicianism is a per- 
petuation of the form of Christianity that was first in- 
troduced into Armenia and represents a very early 
type of doctrine and practice. Reference has already 
been made in another section to the Adoptionist Chris- 
tology of the '* Key of Truth " and to the fact that Adop- 
tionism is known to have been the prevailing type of 
Christology in Persia and Armenia during the early cen- 
turies. Paulicianism was not so much an attempt to 
introduce in Armenia a new form of Christianity as a 
struggle against the encroachments of the Greek Chris- 
tology, with its accompanying Mariolatry, saint-worship, 
iconolatry, asceticism, intolerance, and moral corruption. 
The name Pauliciani was probably derived not from 
Paul the apostle, but from Paul of Samosata, deposed 
from the bishopric of Antioch by a synod for teaching 
Adoptionist Christology in 269 and forced to relinquish 
his charge by the Emperor Aurelian in 272. This is the 
representation of Gregory Magistros (eleventh century) 
and of the Escurial Fragment, from which Photius, Peter 
Siculus, etc., drew their materials. This document rep- 
resents Paul's mother as a Manichaean and thus accounts 
for the supposed Manichsan features of Paulicianism. 
But even if we could be sure of this derivation of the 
name, this would constitute no proof that the form of 
Christianity that came to be thus stigmatized had its 
origin at this late date. 

Convbeare is probably justified In asserting that "the Paulkian 
Churcn was not the national church of a particular race, but an old 
form of the apostolic church, and that It included within itself 
Syrians, Greeks, Armenians, Africans, Latins, and various other 

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races. Finding refuge in southeastern Armenia, when it was nearly 
extirpated in the Roman Empire, it there nursed its forces in com- 
parative security under the protection of the Persians and Arabs, 
and prepared itself for that magnificent career of missionary enter- 
prise in the Creels world, which the sources relate with so much bit- 

It was the "huge recess or circular dam" formed by 
the Taurus mountain range that furnished a comparatively 
secure abiding place for this ancient form of Christianity, 
when the Graeco-Roman form of Christianity, supported 
by the imperial authority, was gradually making its in- 
fluence felt throughout the more exposed parts of Ar- 
menia. But the peculiarities of Armenian life and 
thought were never obliterated, and from the fifth century 
onward the Graeco-Roman influence was largely counter- 
acted by the Persian and later by the Saracen (Moham- 
medan). Under these influences, which also had much 
to do with the uprising against image worship in the By- 
zantine Empire, there was a widespread revival of the 
old faith in Armenia in the eighth century. It is to this 
aggressive and uncompromising hostility to the Christi- 
anity of the empire, that the term " Paulician " is com- 
monly applied. 

Leo the Isaurian (717-741), the iconoclastic emperor, 
was virtually a Paulician, and it has been maintained 
that his successor, Constantine Copronymus (741-775), 
was **a pure Paulician."* As the imperial influence, 
with its Graeco-Roman type of Christianity, declined in 
Armenia, the dominant form of Christianity (Gregorian) 
in this region became, it would seem, more shamelessly 
corrupt than before. Bishops were at the heads of clans 
and ecclesiastical offices came to be hereditary. Infant 
baptism had been introduced, contrary to the spirit of the 
old Adoptionist Christology, as a concomitant of this 
political form of Christianity. Blood-offerings had been 
instituted, in accord with the old pagan practice, to expi- 
ate for the sins of the dead. Crosses had been set up 
as objects of superstitious reverence. 

(2) Paulician Doctrines and Practices, From the *' Key 
of Truth," compared with other sources of information, 

1 Conybearep on the Authority of Theopb«nes. S— *' Key of Truth." Iotro4«t 
to. cxvi. 

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the position of the Paulicians at about the close of this 
period, and presumably from the early time, may be 
summarized as follows : a. They did not call themselves 
"Paulicians" or ''Thondralcians" (a name commonly 
applied to them because the movement had, during the 
mediaeval time, Thondrak for its center), but rather "the 
holy, universal, and apostolic church." The Roman, 
Greek, and Armenian churches are regarded as abso- 
lutely evil and Satanic, and are on every occasion de- 
nounced in the bitterest way. This was no doubt due to 
the terrible persecutions suffered by the Paulicians at 
the hands of the dominant bodies. The ascription of 
acts of these bodies to Satanic agency by the Paulicians 
may have given color to the charge of Manichsean dual- 
ism so constantly preferred against them by their adver- 
saries. Satan occupies a very prominent place in the 
" Key of Truth," as he does in Luther's writings. 

J. The Adoptionist Christology, that forms so promi- 
nent a feature of the Paulician system, has been fully 
set forth in an earlier section. This did not involve any 
lack of reverence for Christ or any depreciation of his 
absoluteness as Saviour and Lord. 

c. The Paulicians were uncompromisingly opposed to 
infant baptism. The arguments of those who '* baptize 
the unbelieving, the reasonless, and the unrepentant " 
are declared to be ''deceitful," and those that thus per- 
vert Christ's ordinance are declared to be " utterly false 
and full of the deceit of demons," * are said to "lie un- 
der the ban of the Lord and of the holy apostles," and 
to be prompted in this " by the spirit of the adversary 
of the Father."" 

Therefore, according to the word of the Lord, we must first bring 
them unto the faith, and then give it (baptism) unto them.' As the 
holy, universal, and apostolic catholic church having learned from 
our Lord Jesus Clirist did proceed : so also must ye after them do. 
For they first taught ; secondly, asked for faith ; thirdly, induced to 
repent ; and after that, granted holy baptism to those who were of 
full age, and in particular were cognizant of their original sin. 
A^aln ye, the elect ones, must observe the utmost care that they re- 
ceive before baptism instruction and training, both of body and 
soul, as St. Paul saith : " Practise thyself in godliness." So must 
ye without delay bring those who come unto faith, hope, love, and 

» "Kty of Truth," Chap. 1. > /iMf., Chap. a. «/Ki.«Ch«p.7 

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repentance, and with extreme care and testing practise them, no 
matter who they be, lest peradventure any one should be an im- 
postor, or deceitful, or a wizard lil<e Simon. . . Whether men o" 
women, you must not at once baptize them nor communicate them 
until they have been completely tested.^ 

In one passage it seems to be implied that as Jesus 
was not baptized until he was thirty years old, so be- 
lievers should postpone baptism until this age is reached ; 
but it is probable that only maturity and full testing were 
insisted upon. 

A somewhat elaborate baptismal ritual is given, but 
the manuscript is incomplete and some portions are ob- 
scure. The candidate is required to "come on his knees 
into the midst of the water," and ** with great love and 
tears " to make a solemn profession of his faith. Trine 
affusion follows. It is the opinion of Conybeare that 
this affusion was followed by trine immersion, as was the 
practice of the orthodox Armenian Church, and as we 
should expect from the fact that the candidate is re- 
quired to go naked on his knees into the midst of the 
water. But immersion is not explicitly required in the 
document as it has been preserved. 

d. The Supper is called " the mystery of salvation." 
The *' blessed " bread and wine are said to be "changed 
into his (Christ's) body and blood." "False popes" 
"with bread cajole all men and make that their own 
flesh and blood, and not Christ's. . . Whosoever shall 
make any water, any mere bread, or any moistened 
morsel, and distribute deceitfully to the simple people, it 
is their own flesh and blood and not Christ's." These 
statements might seem to imply a doctrine of real pres- 
ence ; but it is to be noticed that wicked priests are rep- 
resented as changing the elements into their own flesh 
and blood. It is probable that the writer meant to teach 
only the spiritual partaking of the body and blood of 
Christ by the believer. Undoubtedly this ordinance, 
like baptism, was celebrated with the utmost solemnity. 
It Is probable that the Paulicians attached undue impor* 
tance to both these ordinances. 

e. Ministers of the gospel were selected with the ut- 
most care. The positive and negative qualifications \xf*t 

» " Key of Truth," Chap. it. 

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like those prescribed in the New Testament, but more 
detailed and explicit. Much importance was attached to 
the solemn setting apart of the "elect ones" with the 
laying-on of hands. '* It is necessary for that man to 
be on all sides free from blemish, before we give him 
authority of priesthood, of episcopate, of doctorate, of 
apostleship, of presidency, and of election. For all 
these are one and the same thing ; nor are they one 
greater or lesser than another. But they are on an en- 
tire level." The graded ministry of the Latins, Greeks, 
and Armenians is explicitly condemned. *' Authority if 
one, and is not greater or less. For one was the Holy 
Spirit which came down upon the universal apostles and 
made them the universal and apostolic catholic holy 

It seems that their church order was connectional and 
that a general superintendent presided over the entire 
body. Language is used in some instances which would 
seem to imply undue reverence for the '* elect ones." 

/. Consecrated places and objects and idolatrous prac- 
tices of every kind were rejected with the utmost de- 
cision. A beautiful form of consecration to be adminis- 
tered in the home by the ** elect one " seven days after 
the birth of the child is given in the *' Key." 

(3) Sketch of tite Movement. Most of the history of 
the Paulicians as a distinct and organized form of Chris- 
tianity falls in the succeeding period ; but it seems best 
to give a brief outline here. The Paulicians suffered se- 
vere persecution at the hands of the Emperors Constan- 
tine Pogonatus and Justinian II. (684 and 690), many of 
them dying at the stake. The then leader of the move- 
ment, Gegnaesius (715-745), was brought to Constanti- 
nople for trial before the patriarch by order of Leo the 
Isaurian. The Byzantine accounts represent him as 
having cleared himself by dissimulsition ; but it is proba- 
ble that Leo, as an iconoclast, was predisposed in his 
favor. During the reign of Leo the Isaurian (714-741) 
and Constantine Copronymus (741-775) the Paulician 
body had a remarkable growth and spread over Armenia 
and into many other parts of Asia Minor. Under Con* 

" Key of Truth/' Chap. m. 

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stantine VI. and Irene (c. 780) they suffered terrible 
persecution. From this time they allied themselves more 
or less closely with the Saracens and, aroused to almost 
fanatical zeal by the persecutions suffered, devastated 
the portions of the Eastern empire within their reach. 
Sergius was their great leader (801-835) and was almost 
worshiped by his people. Under the Empress Theodora, 
a hundred thousand of the Paulicians are said to have 
been massacred {c. 844). Tephrike, their stronghold, 
was captured in 873 and their power was broken. The 
destruction of this great Protestant organization in the 
East was the death-knell of Oriental Christianity. The 
Paulicians formed a mighty barrier against Mohamme- 
danism so long as they were tolerated. But because 
of the persecutions directed against them they were 
forced at last, as a means of self-preservation, to co- 
operate with the enemies of Christianity in overthrow- 
ing the Christian empire. Their struggle was a heroic 
one, and they have well been called ** Christian Macca- 

Constantine Copronymus had encouraged a large 
body of Paulicians to settle in Thrace. The colony 
flourished and their principles were disseminated in east- 
ern Europe. During the ninth century the Paulicians of 
the Taurus, according to Peter Siculus, who spent some 
months at Tephrike, sent forth zealous missionaries to 
evangelize Bulgaria. About 970 the Emperor Tzimiskes, 
himself an Armenian, sent a hundred thousand Paulicians 
to the lower Danubian region. That this great body of 
evangelical Christians should have leavened eastern Eu- 
rope with their teachings might have been expected. 
The historical connection between the Paulicians and 
the widespread and highly influential evangelical move- 
ment in central and western Europe from the eleventh 
century onward cannot at present be accurately traced, 
but is no less certain. 

Though greatly depressed in the Taurus region by con- 
tinuous persecution, the Paulicians have survived to the 
present century in the neighborhood of Thondrak, and it 
was among a party of refugees, who, after the Russo- 
Turkish War (1828-1829), had settled in a portion of Ar- 
menia acquired by Russia, that the '* Key of Truth " 


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was discovered and, by an inquisitorial process, much in- 
teresting information was brought to light/ 

5. The Iconoclastic Controversy. 

Literature : Documents in Hardouin, ** Cone.^'' Vol. IV., and 
Mansi, "Coiw.," Vol. XII.-XIV.; Goidast. '' Imperialia Dtcrtta dt 
cultu Imaginum in utroqui Impirio** ; John of Damascus, ** Dt Imagi- 
Mtbus,*' efc. ; Nlcephorus, ''Brem'arwm Historic" ; Theophanes Con- 
fessor, " Chfonoeraphia "; Hcfeie, " Omcilungtsch,,'' Bd. 111., Snt. 366, 
ssq.; Gieseler, Bd. II., Siit. 14, stq.; Neander, Vol. 111., p. igS^ssq.; 
Alzog, Vol. II., p. 206, ssq, ; Milman, ** Latin Christianity," Vol. II. ; 
Greenwood. ** Cathedra Pitrt\^' Vol. 11., p. 463, seq» ; p. 532, seq.: Her- 

rrother, *^ KirchtngtschiehU^^* Bd. I., Sett. 528, seq, (Roman Catho- 
but remarkably satisfactory) ; Herzog, " Kirchengeschichte" Bd. 
II., Sett. 10, seq. ; Schwarzlose, ** Der Btlderstreit, ein Kampf d. Cr. 
Kirche urn ihre Eigenart u. ikre Fretheit " ; Herzog-Hauck, 3(f. ed., art. 
*'Bilderstreitigkeiten tmd Bilderverehrung^^ ; Smith and Cheetham, 
" Die. of Chr. Antlq.," art. " Images.*^ 

(/) Preliminary. 

a. Introduction of Image Worship into the Christian 
Churches. During the first, second, and third centu- 
ries, Christians rejected with abhorrence anything like 
a veneration of images. They were reproached by the 
pagans as atheists, from the fact that they carefully ab- 
stained from anything savoring of idolatry. 

When the pagans replied to the charge of image wor- 
ship preferred by Christians against them, that they 
worshiped, not the images, but the gods that the images 
represent, Christians asked them why then they did not 
turn their eyes toward heaven." The Synod of Elvira 
(305) decreed that "pictures ought not to be in the 
churches," the reason assigned being the danger lest the 
painting or image be worshiped or adored. This decree 
IS evidence of the fact that pictures were already begin- 
ning to be venerated. From the time of Constantine 
onward this practice developed rapidly. 

b. Causes of the Prevalence of Image Worship, (a) To a 
very great extent it was transferred immediately from 
paganism. Men of influence came from paganism to 
Christianity with little change of views. Such men 
were in many cases appointed to high offices in the 

^ Set Conybeare's edition of the " tCey of Truth." Introd., p. ei, g«f. 
« Ucuntlus. " Uus. Dsv.r Bk. IL. Ch*p. e. 

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churches, and they devoted their energies to the assim- 
ilation of Christian churches to heathen temples, (b) It 
was not at first intended that the pictures should be 
actually worshiped. The aim was rather to instruct the 
uneducated in Christian truth, (c) The monastic system, 
with its perversion of the imagination, was very favor- 
able to an entire perversion of the use of images to 
actual idolatry. 

c. Images in the East and in the West. Oriental and 
Occidental Christians, as they differed widely in other 
respects, so also in the use of images. As monasticism 
had its most perverse and extreme development in the 
East, so the use of images was sure to lead to the worst 
results there. It seems that the Oriental mind is so con- 
stituted as to be incapable of using images at ail in con- 
nection with religion, without making them actual objects 
of worship. The worship of images had, by the seventh 
century, become so marked that Christians were re- 
proached by Jews and Mohammedans as idolaters. 

(2) Rist ofiht Controvert, 

The Saracens had by the eighth century established 
themselves firmly in Palestine, Syria, Armenia, etc., and 
were still aggressive. In 723 the Caliph Jezid had com- 
manded the removal of all pictures from Christian 
churches within his realm. The agitation of the subject 
in the Saracen regions extended into Asia Minor. From 
the beginning of the eighth century several bishops — 
Constantine of Nicolia, in Phrygia, Theodosius of Ephe- 
sus, Thomas of Claudiopolis, etc. — had opposed image 
worship. These men had great influence with the Em- 
peror Leo the Isaurian (718-741), who may also have im- 
bibed his aversion to image worship from his dealings 
with the Saracens. Leo looked upon image worship not 
only as an abomination in itself, but also as a chief ob- 
stacle to the conversion of the Jews and the Saracens. 
He had repelled a great Saracen invasion, and he now 
desired to lay the foundation of a permanent peace with 
this aggressive power. He thought that the extirpation 
of image worship would not only increase the unity of 
his empire and promote peaceable relations with the 
Taracens, but would also greatly promote the enlight- 

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enment of his people. A volcanic eruption (726) led him 
to take still more decisive ground aggiinst image worship. 
He now issued an edict prohibiting prostration before im- 
ages, and directing that images be put so high that the 
people could not kiss them. The execution of this de- 
cree met with much opposition, and was the occasion of 
many bloody riots. The monks, especially, who were 
much given to idolatry and who were engaged to a great 
extent in the painting of religious pictures, were chiefly 
instrumental in fomenting insurrection. The patriarch 
of Constantinople, Germanus, opposed the iconoclastic 
measures and was deposed from his office (730). 

()) Siattnunt of Opposing yisws. 

a. Views of Pope Gre^ty II. and other Advocates of the 
feneration oj Images. The arguments in favor of images 
are : (a) That God commanded cherubim and seraphim 
to be made. (Jb) That pictures of Christ, alive and dead, 
and pictures of the apostles and martyrs, were taken by 
spectators to be looked upon by those that should come 
after, {c) That Christ himself sent his own picture to 
King Abgarus, at Edessa. {d) The commandment not 
to make graven images, etc., was necessary at the time 
to preserve the Israelites from heathenish idolatry ; but 
circumstances are different now. God was invisible then 
and could not be represented. In Christ he became 
visible and capable of representation, (e) Those that 
venerate images are not to be called idolaters. Rather 
the memory is thereby aroused ; the inexperienced and 
ignorant mind is erected and borne on high through those 
whose names, whose appellations, whose images these 

It was attempted to make a distinction between w^^- 
xuvi^ffn: (adoration or prostration before images) and Xarptta 
(worship in the highest sense). The latter must be ren- 
dered to God alone ; the former may be rendered to 
pictures of Christ and the saints. 

b. Views of the Iconoclasts. The grounds which the 
Iconoclasts urged in favor of their position are : (a) That 
image worship is prohibited by the Old and the New Tes- 
taments (Deut. 5 : 4, 8 ; John 4 : 24 ; Rom. i : 23-25) and 
fcy the Fathers of the early church, (b) That it consists 

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in the application of a heathenish art to purposes of re- 
ligion, which is an abomination, and which is dishonoring 
to Christ and the saints whom it is sought thus to rep- 
resent, (c) That Christ having established the Supper 
indicated thereby, that under the form of bread and wine 
alone he desired to be represented, (d) The venera- 
tion of images involves either Eutychianism or Nestori- 
anism ; that is to say, such a union of the humanity and 
deity in Christ that only the deity is perceptible (in this 
case the image would represent the divine), or such a dis- 
tinction of the natures that the humanity can be repre- 
sented separately. The hypostatical union of the. divine 
and the human in Christ is inconceivable, and hence 
cannot be represented pictorially. 

{4) Pfogrtss of ih$ Contraoersy. 

a. Pope Gregory II. Opposes Leo. Pope Gregory II. wrote 
a denunciatory letter to Leo (c. 730) reproaching him for 
placing stumbling-blocks before the weak ones of Christ, 
urging him to trust to the judgment of the councils and 
the Fathers in the matter of images rather than to his 
own ignorance, and setting forth the grounds mentioned 
above in favor of the veneration of images. 

b. Leo's Reply to Pope Gregory II. Leo was not a man 
to be turned aside from his purpose by the denunciations 
of a pope. The purport of his reply is : (a) That the six 
general councils had said nothing about images, (b) He 
declared that he himself was at the same time emperor 
and bishop, /. e., was supreme in civil and ecclesiastical 
matters, (c) He threatened to destroy the image of St. 
Peter at Rome and to imprison the pope. 

c. "l^pman Synod against Iconoclasm under Gregory III. 
In 731 at a synod of ninety-three bishops, called by 
Gregory HI., a decree of excommunication was passed 
against whomsoever should thenceforth remove, destroy, 
or injure images of Mary, Christ, or the saints. 

d. Leo's Retaliation. Leo retaliated by cutting off the 
papal revenues in Sicily and Calabria, and by annexing 
the churches of Illyria to the patriarchate of Constan- 

e. Constantine V. and Iconoclasm. Constantine was not 
less averse to image worship than his father had been. 

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From 743 to 775 he carried on an exterminating war 
against image worship. All public officials, and all eccle- 
siastics and monks were required to abjure image wor- 
ship, and those that refused were ruthlessly slaughtered. 
He seamed bent upon the utter extermination of the 
monks. In 754 he called a council, in which image wor- 
ship was stigmatized as Satan's poison in the church, 
and it was declared that God had raised up the emperor 
for its extirpation. The grounds against image worship 
mentioned above were set forth on this occasion. The 
religious pictures were now almost all destroyed — some 
burned, some concealed by whitewashing the walls, and 
in their places were put, in some instances, landscape and 
hunting scenes. Few fiercer persecutions are recorded 
in history than those of Constantine Copronymus. 

/. Leo /K and Iconoclasm. His successor, Leo IV., was 
also an Iconoclast, but was weak of purpose. His wife, 
Irene, was a favorer of image worship. Leo IV. died 
780, and was succeeded by Constantine VI., a boy nine 
years of age. 

g. Irene and the Second Council ofNiccea (787). Irene 
was now practically empress, and she at once set about 
devising plans for the restoration of image worship. 
The army, which had received its training from Constan- 
tine Copronymus, was known to be decidedly averse to 
images. The ecclesiastics throughout the empire had 
taken oaths against images, as a condition of their instal- 
lation. Irene began by appointing monks to the most 
important ecclesiastical offices. She opened the way for 
all ranks of her subjects to become monks. The patri- 
arch of Constantinople, Paulus, who had been a zealous 
Iconoclast, was induced to lay down the patriarchal dig- 
nity and to recommend for the position Tarasius, first 
Secretary of State, who was known to be entirely sub- 
servient to the will of Irene. In accordance with a pre- 
concerted plan, Tarasius declined to accept the proffered 
dignity, except on condition that measures be taken for 
restoring the Eastern Church to fellowship with the rest 
of Christendom. He insisted on calling an oecumenical 
council for the purpose of reuniting the church. To this 
end he entered into a correspondence with Pope Hadrian 
I., setting forth his own orthodoxy, and requesting Ha- 

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drian to send delegates to a council to meet at Constan- 
tinople. Hadrian was satisfied with Tarasius' orthodoxy, 
and agreed in this case to overlook the irregularity of 
his elevation to the patriarchal dignity. It was de- 
signed to make this council oecumenical, /. ^., to have 
represented in it all the patriarchates of the East and the 
West. Alexandria and Antioch were under the dominion 
of the Saracens, and it was impracticable for them to 
send representatives. But to secure the semblance where 
the reality was wanting some monks were introduced to 
represent these patriarchates. The council was con- 
vened at Constantinople in 786, but the imperial troops, 
abetted probably by a large faction of the bishops, be- 
sieged the church where it was to be held, and by their 
threats dispersed the gathered prelates. Irene yielded 
for the time, but took measures for securing a guard on 
which she could rely, and in 787 convened a council at 
Nicaea. By this time the bishops, who were for the most 
part men of no moral or intellectual force, had all made 
up their minds to yield to the will of Irene. They came 
to the council ready to confess their sins, and professing 
to have become convinced by the declarations of Scrip- 
ture and the Fathers that the use of images was in ac- 
cordance with apostolic tradition. 

The council laid down the distinction mentioned above, 
between bowing down before or kissing, eind worshiping. 
The former may be bestowed upon images ; the latter, 
upon God alone. Image worship was thus once more 
established in the East. 

A. Opposition to the Second Nicene Council by Charle- 
magne. Charlemagne, aided by his theologians, published 
the ** Four Caroline Books " against the Second Nicene 
Council. In this he condemns alike the Iconoclasts and 
the image worshipers. Images are useful for the orna- 
mentation of the churches, and for the perpetuation of 
holy deeds. The idea that images are necessary for per- 
petuating the memory of holy things is scouted. The 
image worshipers, it is maintained, acknowledge them- 
selves incapable of looking beyond the sensible into the 
spiritual. Christians having fellowship with Christ, ought 
to have him always present in their hearts. The Scrip- 
tures, and not images, are the proper outward means for 

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gaining acquaintance with Christ. This writing of Char- 
lemagne is a remarkably clear and evangelical discussion 
of the whole question. 

At a Prankish Council at Frankfort-on-the-Main, called 
by Charlemagne in 794, the " adoration and service of 
images" was condemned. It is probable that the wor* 
ship of images had never gone to the same extreme in 
the Prankish Church as in the East. The general en- 
lightenment, moreover, that was introJuced and fostered 
by Charlemagne, could not fail to bring out truer views 
with regard to images. 

I. Iconoclastic Reaction in the East. The Iconoclasts had 
been suppressed, but not exterminated. In the army 
especially, the iconoclastic spirit prevailed, and a large 
proportion of the subjects of the Eastern emperor were 
ready, on the slightest encouragement, to renew the 
struggle against images. In 813, Leo the Armenian, a 
soldier and an Iconoclast, became emperor. He intended 
to proceed cautiously, but the iconoclastic spirit of the 
army could not be restrained, and in 814 he issued an 
edict against image worship. In 815 the decrees of the 
Second Nicene Council were declared null and void by a 
synod held in Constantinople. Persecution followed, 
but by no means so fierce as that under Leo the Isaurian 
and Constantine Copronymus. 

A. Final klctory of the Image Worshipers in the East. 
After image worship had been opposed with varying 
energy by several emperors the decrees of the Sec- 
ond Nicene Council were re-enacted under the regency 
of Theodora (842-867), images were restored to the 
churches, and the Iconoclasts were persecuted with great 

The Eastern Church has restricted its Images to pictures and mo- 
saics, conformed rigorously to traditional and conventional models. 
The Roman Catholic Church has given the freest scope to religious 
art^ encouraging sculpture as well as painting, and allowing each 
artist to depict Christ and the saints according to his own ideals. 
The image worship of the East is probably more degrading than 
that of the West. 

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LITERATURE: Works of leading popes in MIgne's *'Pairologia 
Latma*' ; coilections of Canons of Councils by Mansi, Hardouin, 
and Hefeic ; Jaff6, " Rigista Pont, Rom,^^ ; Greenwood. *' Cathidra 
Pttri^' ; Milman, '* Lat. Christianity " ; Pennington, ** Epochs of 
the Papacy" ; Lea, " Studies in Ch. Hist." ; Bryce, "The Holy 
Roman Empire" ; Gibbon, " Dec. and Fall " : Langen, ** G$sch. d, 
Rom. Kirchr; Guizot, " Hist, of Civilization'* ; "The Fathers for 

Eng. Readers" ("Leo the Great" and "Gregory the Great"); 
Alzog, "Univ. Ch. Hist." (R. Cath.), Sec. 87, 125-131, 161-166; 
Guizot, " Hist, of France," Vol. 1. : Bright, " The Roman See In the 

Early Church," 1896 ; works on cL hist, and encyclopedia articles 
on tne various popes and emperors involved. For an admirable sum- 
mary of the history of the relations between Church and State from 
Constantine to Charlemagne, see Greenwood, Vol. II., pp. 5-52. 


I. Claims of Rome as to Early Pre-eminence. 

We have seen that from the beginning of the second 
century the position of the Roman church was a highly 
honorable one, and that it was often appealed to by con- 
tending factions in other churches. But of such appeals 
it may be said, first, that Rome haci no monopoly of them, 
as every church of influence and repute was frequently 
asked for advice and moral support ; and secondly, that 
the rescripts carried no authority with them beyond what 
naturally grew out of the good repute of the church. 
This remark would apply fully to the transactions of pro- 
vincial churches with Rome in the time of Cyprian. 
Cyprian could speak in the most extravagant way of the 
authority of Rome when it suited his purpose to do so ; 
but when Rome failed to sustain him, no man could re- 
buke the bishop of Rome more severely. As one of the 
f[reat metropolitan churches that could boast of apostolic 
oundation, Rome occupied an influential position side by 
side with Alexandria, Antioch, etc. 
During the first three centuries the Roman church 


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did little in the way of theological advancement. Hip- 
polytus and Novatian are the only important writers pro- 
duced, and of these the former was completely out of 
harmony with the church and denounced its bishops in 
the most unsparing manner, while the latter felt himself 
obliged to lead a schism and become head of a sect. But 
what Rome lacl<ed in literary and theological ability was 
more than counterbalanced by its practical wisdom and 
its organizing ability. In some respects the absence of 
the speculative and systematizing spirit was advanta- 
geous to Rome in the struggle for ascendency, for it 
served to prevent such doctrinal strife as kept the Ori- 
ental churches in perpetual turmoil, enabled it to main- 
tain a high reputation for orthodoxy, and so favored its 
influential interference during the great doctrinal contro- 
versies of the East. Besides, the church was thereby 
left free to devote itself to practical questions, and was 
enabled to be on the alert for opportunities of aggran- 

The interference of the Arian Emperor Constantius 
with the government of the Roman church, the expul- 
sion of Bishop Liberius, and the effort to secure the 
recognition of Felix, proved unsuccessful, as the Roman 
people adhered to Liberius. A most unseemly struggle, 
accompanied by bloodshed, occurred (366) between Da- 
masus and Ursinus, rival claimants of the Roman bishop- 
ric. Damasus triumphed. Siricius (384-399) set forth 
claims of universal jurisdiction somewhat liKe those of 
later popes. From this time onward Rome pursued an 
aggressive career. 

2. The Relative Position Accorded to Rome by the Nicene 

The sixth canon of the Nicene Council gives to the 
lij^lRfcip^j^ bishops of Alexandria, Antioch, and Rome a certain au- 
" thority over the bishops of the great divisions of the em- 

pire of which these cities were centers, but there is no 
hint of according a primacy to Rome. In fact, both the 
other patriarchates are mentioned quite as prominently 
as Rome. The canon reads, according to the Greek 

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Let the ancient usages which exist in Egypt, and Libya, and Pen- 
tapolis, remain in force, to the effect that the bishop of Aiexandria 
should have authority over all these, since this Tthe exercise of au- 
thority over the provincial churches of the West] is customary also 
for the bishop who is in Rome ; and similarly, both as to Antioch 
and in the other provinces, let the churches have their privileges 
secured to them. 

A clause was interpolated into tliis canon in the in- 
terest of the Roman primacy as follows: "Rome has 
always held the primacy." This interpolation was first 
used, so far as we know, by the representatives of Leo 
the Great at the council of Chalcedon (451). 

3. Relation of Constantinople to Rome in the Struggle for 

Constantinople was virtually a new city founded by 
the Emperor Constantine as the imperial capital. The 
church of Byzantium had no claim to apostolic founda- 
tion, but was subject to the bishop of Heraclea in Thrace. 
The Eastern emperors naturally sought to give to their 
capital a primacy in ecclesiastical matters, and inasmuch 
as apostolic foundation was thought to be essential to 
ecclesiastical dignity, the Heraclean foundation, by a sort 
of legal fiction, was transferred to Constantinople. Con- 
stantinople wa9 dependent on Antioch and Alexandria for 
an educated clergy, and we have seen how great was the 
rivalry between these two centers in regard to the theo- 
logical control of the capital. The immediate surveil- 
lance of the imperial government left littie opportunity 
to the patriarchs of Constantinople to develop independ- 
ent power. Their attitude toward Rome at any time was 
determined wholly by imperial policy. When the Eastern 
empire was flourishing there was a disposition to exalt 
the patriarchate of Constantinople. When an important 
political end could be subserved by asserting the superior 
dignity of the Roman See, the emperors did not as a rule 
hesitate to recognize the pretensions of Rome. 

4* The Relations of Imperial to Patriarchal and Papal 

The Eastern emperors from Constantine onward re- 
garded themselves as supreme rulers of the Church as 

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well as of the State. In fact they regarded the hierarchy 
simply as a part of the political machinery, and they be- 
stowed care and money and dignity on the church simply 
as a means to the promotion of civil order and unity 
Constantine regarded himself as a bishop of bishops 
He called the Nicene Council and presided over it, occu- 
pied himself with the suppression of heresy, and legis- 
lated freely for the church. His successors followed in 
his footsteps in this particular. The legislation of the 
empire from Constantine to Justinian as embodied in the 
** Corpus Juris Civilts,*' compiled under the direction of 
the latter, makes the foregoing statement abundantly evi- 
dent. There was during this age no thought in the im- 
perial mind of a Church independent of or superior to the 

5. Circumstances that Favored the Growth of the Papal 

(i) The supposed Petrine foundation and the supposed 
primacy accorded by Christ to Peter. 

(2) Rome early enjoyed a recognized supremacy in 
the West and was free from local rivalry. In the East 
Constantinople had Alexandria and Antioch to contend 
against, and these were often willing to recognize the 
supremacy of Rome afar off, in view of the moral support 
that Rome could render, rather than that of Constanti- 
nople which was nearer at hand and often oppressive. 

(3) The transference of the imperial capital from Rome 
to Constantinople and the feebleness of the Western 
emperors after the division of the empire gave free scope 
to the bishops of Rome. They soon came to be looked 
upon as the most important personages in the West, and 
Eastern emperors who wished to gain advantages in the 
West were glad to avail themselves of papal influence. 
This they could do only by recognizmg the high claims 
of the popes. 

(4) The barbarian invasions, with the setting up of a 
number of rival governments in Southern Europe, gave 
to the popes many opportunities to form advantageous 
alliances, and so great was the political sagacity of the 
Roman See that these opportunities were usually made 
the most of. 

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(5) The growth of Christianity from the fifth century 
onward was almost entirely in the West. In the East 
Christendom was rent asunder by doctrinal controversies, 
and the Persian and Mohammedan powers soon began to j 
encroach upon Christian territory. In the West the bar- . 
barian tribes, many of whom had been evangelized by ' 
the Arians, were speedily brought to a nominal ortho- 
doxy, their rulers being glad to enjoy the moral support . 
of Rome in their efforts to extend and confirm their do- 
minions. Rome had the advantage, therefore, of occupy- 
ing the center of influence in the part of the world where 
Christianity was to make its greatest conquests. 

(6) The great doctrinal conflicts in the East and the 
mutual jealousies of patriarchs and metropolitans caused 
frequent appeals to be made to Rome, and gave to Rome 
many opportunities for advantageous interference. 

(7) The almost unsullied orthodoxy of the Roman 
Church during the Arian and succeeding controversies 
greatly added to the prestige of Rome. 


LITERATURE: Greenwood, Vol. I., p. 343, siq. ; Mllman. Vol. I., 
p. 253, 5#j. ; Tillcmont. " Mem.," XV., p. 4i4» ssq, ; Gore, ''Leo the 
Great," also art. in " Diet of Chr. Biog." ; MuUer, '' Kirchmgssch.,'* 
Bd. I., SiiU 263, seq, ; Langen, " G$seh, d. T{. Kircht v. Uo /. bis Nika- 
laus /.," 5#f'/. 1-140; Lea, passim; Schaff, Vol. 111., p. 314, siq,; 
Giesder, Vol. 1., p. 394, s^q.; Mailer, p. 345, s#g.; Alzog, Sec. 130. 

Leo was elected by the clergy, senate, and people of 
Rome during his absence. A Roman in sentiment as in 
birth, possessed of the learning of his age, a statesman 
of the shrewdest type, he embodied all the pride and 
aggressiveness of imperial and ecclesiastical Rome. The 
times were highly favorable for the realization of his am- 
bitious aims, and he lost no opportunity that presented 
itself for securing advantages for the Roman See. 
Among his achievements the following may be men- 
tioned : 

1. He condemned the Manichaeans of Rome and se- 
cured their banishment by the Emperor Valentinian III. 

2. In Proconsular Africa he availed himself of the 
disorder caused by the Vandal conquest (Donatists, 

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Catholics, and Arians being in conflict) to secure recog 
nition of his authority by the Catholic party. 

3. In Gaul he humiliated Archbishop Hilary of Aries 
and secured the recognition of his authority. Hilary, 
an able and pious prelate, had, with the advice of a 
Synod, deposed a bishop named Celedonius, because he 
had married a widow and before his ordination had pre- 

iSided as judge at a criminal proceeding that had resulted 
In capital punishment, either of which acts, according to 
the recognized ecclesiastical law of the time, disqualified 
him for the episcopal office. The right of Hilary to deal 
with Celedonius grew out of the fact that he was metro- 
politan of the region in which the diocese of Celedonius 
was situated. Leo's predecessor had twenty-eight years 
before expressly recognized this relation. Celedonius 
appealed to Rome and persuaded Leo that Hilary had ex- 
ceeded his jurisdiction. Leo ignored the previous de- 
cision, set aside Hilary's act in deposing Celedonius, 
received Celedonius into communion, and restored him 
to his bishopric. Hilary journeyed on foot to Rome and 
remonstrated with Leo. He was thrown into prison for 
his arrogance, cut off from the communion of Rome, and 
restored only after he had thoroughly humiliated himself. 

4. In connection with the foregoing transaction, the 
Emperor Valentinian III., who was greatly under Leo's 
influence, confirmed Leo's sentence in the matter of 
Hilary and Celedonius, commanded the governor of Gaul 
to aid in carrying out Leo's decision, and decreed *'that 
not only no Gallic bishop, but no bishop of any other 
province, be permitted in contradiction to ancient custom 
to do anything without the authority of the venerable 
pope of the Eternal City ; but on the contrary to them 
and to all men, let whatsover the authority of the Apos- 
tolic See has ordained, does ordain, or shall ordain, be as 
law, so that any bishop being summoned to the Judgment 
seat of the Roman pontiff be thereunto compelled by 
the governor of the province." This joint action of 
pope and emperor constituted an alliance offensive and 
defensive between the spiritual and temporal sovereigns. 
The State spiritual is thenceforth to be represented as 
fully and as universally by the bishop of Kome as the 
State temporal is represented by the emperor. 

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5. He asserted his authority in Illyricum by taking 
sides with the metropolitan of Thessalonica, who was in 
revolt against the patriarch of Constantinople. 

6. In connection with the Eutychian Controversy in 
the East, Leo gained several substantial advantages. 
The appeals to Leo by both parties ; his doctrinal letter ; 
the rejection of this letter by the ** Robber Synod " ; 
its acceptance by the Council of Chalcedon ; his con- 
trolling influence in this council through his legates, who 
insisted on the fullest recognition of his authority, are 
familiar facts. Anatolius, who had succeeded Flavian in 
the patriarchate of Constantinople and was Eutychian 
at heart, was compelled by the emperor to subscribe 
Leo's letter. Leo followed up the advantage he had 
thus gained over his rival by sending him minute direc- 
tions as to the administration of the affairs of his diocese. 
Anatolius was thus brought into a position of recognized 
dependence on the pope. The Council of Chalcedon 
(451), composed of six hundred and thirty bishops, was 
on the whole highly favorable to the papal pretensions. 
The legates of Leo presided in regard to ecclesiastical 
matters and their demands were for the most part ac- 
corded. Leo's doctrinal letter was accepted as a doctrinal 
standard, and those who had impugned Leo's authority 
in the " Robber Synod " were severely dealt with. Yet 
the twenty -eighth canon aroused the indignation of Leo by 
bestowing on the bishop of New Rome (Constantinople), 
as the center of imperial government, equal authority 
with that of Old Rome, and giving him the right to or- 
dain the metropolitans of Pontus, Asia, and Thrace. 
Leo protested most vigorously against the supposed in- 
fringement of his prerogative. When Anatolius at- 
tempted to exercise the authority bestowed, Leo promptly 
excommunicated him and threatened to array against 
him the dioceses of the East. Anatolius was compelled 
by the emperor to yield. The emperor himself declared 
that the assent of the bishop of Rome was essential 
to the validity of the acts of councils, and Leo thus 
gained a substantial victory. It should be said that the 
canon in question only asserted a secondary rank, after 
Rome, for Constantinople. The protest against this 
canon has continued to the present. 

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7. Leo's statesmanship in dealing with the barbarian 
invaders added much to his prestige. On two occasions 
he saved Rome from being sacked, first by Attila, the 
Hun, and secondly by Genseric, the Vandal. 


LITERATURE: Greenwood, Vol. II., p. 42, s#g.; Mllman, Vol. I., 
p. 347« s^q- ; Lea, passim; Moeller, p. 349. 

Gelasius, an African by birth, united African zeal with 
Roman astuteness. He had all the pride of power and 
position that characterized Leo. He was prepared to 
utilize all the advantages that Leo had gained and to go 
forward to new conquests. With him begins a new 
phase of the controversy between Rome and Constanti- 

I. He refused to receive into communion Euphemius, 
patriarch of Constantinople. Eutychians were still 
strong in the East, and adherents to the Chalcedonian 
symbol looked to Rome as the bulwark of orthodoxy. 
Gelasius took advantage of the fact that a number of 
names of heretical bishops had been retained on the 
calendar of the Eastern Church and refused to recognize 
the patriarch of Constantinople until such names should 
be erased. The patriarch and the Emperor Anastasius 
strove in vain to conciliate him. When it was com- 
plained that the excommunication of the bishops in 
question was outside of the prerogative of the bishop of 
Rome according to the decision of the Nicene Council, 
he replied that they knew not what they were talking 
about, as they were the first to violate the canons in 
refusing obedience to the primate of all the churches. 
From the decrees of Rome, he urged, there is no appeal. 
He seems to have based his claim on the sixth Nicene 
canon (interpolated), on Leo's achievements, and on the 
edict of Valentinian III. 

' 2. Gelasius seems to have gone beyond Leo in his 
view of the relation of the civil to the ecclesiastical 
power. The Emperor Anastasius had complained that 
Gelasius was withdrawing from him the allegiance of his 
subjects by his persistent refusal of fellowship to the See 
of Constantinople. Gelasius in reply professed absolute 

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submission to the emperor in all matters of lawful obedi- 
ence. But the world is governed by two powers, the 
pontifical and the royal. The former is the more grave 
and important of the two, for it must render account 
unto God for the deeds of kings themselves. Though 
the king rules over men in the world, he is yet in duty 
bound in spiritual things to submit to his prelates. In 
relation to the administration of divine ordinances, he is 
not a ruler but a subject. The defiant attitude of Gela- 
sius shows that the papacy was conscious of power 
equal to the imperial in any conflict that might arise. 


LITERATURE: Greenwood. VoL II., p. (A,s4a.; Schaff, VoL III., 

^324, ssg,; Milman, VoL I., p. 350: Gieseler, VoL L, p. 406: 
(Bller, p. 350; *'Dict. of Chr. Biog.,^' Herzog-Hauck, and Wet- 
zer u. Welte, art. ** Symmachus." 

A striking proof of the futility of Gelasius' claim to 
independence of the civil rulers is to be seen in the fact 
that in 498, when two rival claimants of the papal chair 
appeared, Theodoric the Ostrogoth, an Arian, interfered, 
secured the election of Symmachus as pope and the 
appointment of his rival to a bishopric, called a council 
and caused it to adopt a canon restraining criminal ambi- 
tion in seeking the papal office, and appointed a visitor 
with power to reform the disorders that prevailed in the 
Roman church. Symmachus was suspended until the 
charges against him could be investigated. He promised 
to submit to the decision of the council, but finding that 
the bishops were unwilling to see the papacy thus de- 
graded, and being popular in Rome, he determined to 
resist investigation and to stand upon prerogative. 

1. The theory advanced in Symmachus' interest, in 
his conflict with Theodoric, was that of papal irresponsi- 
bility. No tribunal, it was claimed, can compel the ap- 
pearance of a pope or pronounce sentence against him 
in his absence. 

2. One of the Roman deacons maintained that by 
virtue of his office the pope is impeccable, and in 503 
Symmachus convoked a council that made this opinion a 
dogma of the church. 

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3. The controversies in the East continued to rage, 
and Symmachus was implored in view of the extreme 
difficulty of fulfilling the demands made by Rome to 
excuse the toleration of a certain amount of heresy. 
Symmachus would not listen to any compromise, and in- 
sisted on the anathematizing of all Eutychian leaders as 
a condition of fellowship. 

V. HORMISDAS (514-523). 

LITERATURE: Greenwood, Vol. L, pp. 84-119; Miiman. VoL 1., 
p. 423 ; Lea, pp. 285, 287 ; encyclopedias, '* Hormlsdas." 

He was a man of the same stamp as Leo and Gelasius, 
and succeeded in accomplishing what his predecessors 
had labored for in vain. 

1. In $13 the Emperor Anastasius proposed a general 
council for the pacification of the church. Eutychianism 
was gaining the ascendency, and civil affairs were in the 
utmost confusion. Hormisdas required as a condition of 
the papal sanction an immediate and unqualified adoption 
of the decrees of Chalcedon, together with Leo's doc- 
trinal letter, and the absolute submission of the emperor 
and the Oriental bishops to the papal guidance. The 
demands were not at this time acceded to, but Anastasius 
was succeeded in 518 by Justin L, and with him ortho- 
doxy again became triumphant in the East. 

2. Justin proceeded to make advances to the pope, and 
finally yielded to the demands made of Anastasius. 
Constantinople was humiliated by having the names of 
a number of bishops erased from the calendar. Rome 
had triumphed at last. The mass of Eastern Christians, 
however, were glad to see unity and orthodoxy restored 
at any price. 


LITERATURE: '' Corpus Juris Cwtlis'*; Hadley, "Rom. Law"; 
Morey, " Rom. Law" ; Greenwood, Vol. I., ro. 120-172; Miiman, 
Vol. I., pp. 449-514; Lta,i>assim; Tozer, '*The Ch. and the E. 
Emp.," passim ; Gibbon, Chaps. 40-45 ; encyc. articles on " Jus- 
tinlan," *' Roman Law," etc. 

After the death of Theodoric anarchy prevailed in 
Italy. Corrupt practices ki striving after the papal chair 

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were more shameless than ever. Yet even the most 
worthless popes were careful to maintain and advance 
papal prerogative. 

I. Justinian and the Independence of the Papal Power. 

From Justinian's letters and legislation it is evident 
that he had no idea of admitting the irresponsibility of 
ecclesiastical government. He believed in and exercised 
the right to legislate for every department of ecclesiasti- 
cal life. The imperial dignity, in his view, transcended 
every other. Though Rome was in the power of the 
Goths, he maintained his right to it, and was able at last 
to secure the recognition of his authority. 

2. Justinian's Declaration Regarding the Patriarchate of 

During his reign a number of bishops revolted from 
the rule of the metropolitan of Thessalonica, who was 
now an adherent of the patriarch of Constantinople, 
claiming that they were under the jurisdiction of the 
bishop of Rome, Justinian supported the claims of the 
patriarch of Constantinople and gave him the title of 
(Ecumenical Patriarch. 

3. Justinian's Declaration with Regard to the Pope. 

In the preamble to a decree, in 532, Justinian declared 
that he had been diligent both in subjecting and in 
uniting to the Roman See all the clergy of the entire 
region of the East, and expressed a firm resolve never 
to permit any matter affecting the general state of the 
church to be transacted without notifying the head of all 
the churches. 

4. Capture of Rome by Belisarius and the Elevation of the 
Profligate Vigilius to the Papal Chair. 

Belisarius, one of the greatest generals of his age, was 
sent by Justinian to secure the recognition of the im- 
perial authority in Italy. He seems to have had a cor- 
rupt understanding with the Empress Theodora that he 
would use all his authority for placing Vigilius, a Euty- 

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chian, in the papal chair. Vigilius at once sent letters of 
communion to the Eutychian bishops of the East and 
abjured the doctrines of Chalcedon. Justinian hearing 
of these scandalous proceedings compelled Vigilius to re- 
affirm his adherence to the doctrines of Chalcedon. 

Thus Justinian, while maintaining the rights of the 
patriarch of Constantinople, acknowledged a kind of 
superiority in the Roman See without defining wherein 
that superiority consisted. He gave many additional 
privileges to the clergy in general and particularly to the 
bishops, entrusting to the latter extensive civil juris- 


Literature : Milman, Vol. I., p. 378, ug. ; Greenwood, Vol. I., 
0.48$. 5^., Vol. 11., p. i84i ssq., p. 272, ug.; Guizot, ** Hist, of 
Civ.,'' Lcc. 12 and 13, " Hist, of France," Vol. 1. ; Brycc, p. 34, 
ssq. ; Schaff, Vol. lV.,p. 80. 5*j,; Stq)hen, " Lcct on the Hist, of 
France": Bradley, "The Goflis"; Merlvale, "The Continental 
Teutons,'* p. 57. «#g.; Alzog, Sec. 155; Kitchln, "Hist of Fr.," 
Vol. 1. 

The conversion of the Merovingian chieftain, Clovis, 
to the Catholic faith is an event of primary importance 
in the history of the papacy. Starting out with a mere 
handful of followers, Clovis had by his military prowess 
attached a number of tribes to himself. Brought up in 
the Arian faith, he had married a Catholic wife. Ob- 
serving the power and influence of the papacy, and 
anxious to avail himself of papal support, he professed 
conversion in 496, and his entire following united with 
him in adherence to Catholicism, three thousand of 
whom were baptized along with himself soon after his 
conversion. As he expected, the Catholics rallied 
around him as the only Catholic prince in the West, and 
assisted him in conquering the Arian princes. The Goths 
had become luxurious and disinclined to the hardships of 
war, and were easily overcome by the Prankish warrior. 
Victory followed victory until Gaul, Burgundy, and 
Bavaria were more or less firmly united under one 
government. Thus was established a vigorous Catholic 
power, which found its interest in promoting the papacy, 
and which in turn was zealously supported by it 

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Clovis and his successors bestowed considerable terri- 
torial possessions upon the church, and acquiesced to 
some extent in the papal claims. But the Franks were 
little civilized, and the rulers dealt in the most arbitrary 
way with bishops and clergy. When a Prankish king 
bestowed territory upon the church for a bishopric it was 
regarded as given in feudal tenure, the rights of suze- 
rainty being retained. Excommunication and interdicts 
were employed against them in vain. Obsequiousness 
was the price of their support. 


LITERATURE: Greenwood, Vol. II., pp. 21 1-24 1 ; Milman, VoL 
II., pp. 39-103 ; Schaff, Vol. IV.,p. 211, s^q.; Bamby, "Greg, the 
Great" (also in ** Diet, of Chr. Biog.") ; Lea, passim. ^ 

From the time of Justinian to that of Gregory the 
papacy gained little advantage. Italy had been deprived 
of her independence and stripped of her resources by the 
Eastern Empire and by barbarian invasion. The Lom- 
bards invaded Italy in 570, and in ^77 the Roman See 
became independent of the emperor. Gregory became 
pope in the midst of pestilence and civil turmoil. It is 
not wonderful that he should have hesitated to assume 
so dangerous and responsible a position. His tastes were 
those of a recluse rather than those of a politician, but 
his learning, his confidence in papal prerogative, his per- 
sistence in pursuing a policy of papal aggrandizement^ 
his political shrewdness, and his reputation for sanctity, 
made him one of the greatest and most successful of 

1. Rome had lost much of the ascendency that it had 
gained over Constantinople. When the Emperor Mau- 
rice was assassinated by Phocas and the latter ascended 
the throne, Gregory congratulated him on the event, 
and thus sought to gain his allegiance to the papal cause^ 

2. He established the practice of bestowing the pallium 
upon bishops, thus attempting to make the pope's con- 
sent necessary to the validity of episcopal ordinations. 

3. He insisted, with great vehemence, on the celibacy 
of the clergy. Being himself a monk, and swayed by 
monkish ideals, he aimed to bring the entire body of the 

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clergy into an essentially monkish position. Yet when 
other ends were to be subserved thereby, he was willing 
to relax the rigor of his requirements, as in the case of 
British missions. 

y^A' He sent missionaries to Britain and Germany, 
where a free, evangelical form of Christianity had long 
existed, with a view to subjugating these Christians to 
the Roman See. 

$• He succeeded in greatly extending the authority of 
the Roman See by missionary enterprise and by forming 
advantageous alliances with civil rulers in the West as 
well as with the emperor in the East. 

y/^* By preparing forms of worship and by insisting on 
uniformity of worship throughout Catholic Christendom, 
he did much toward unifying and solidifying the papal 


LITERATURE: ** Works of Charlemagne" in MIgne's '*P«lr. 
I^.," Vol. XCVII. and XCVIII.; Baluzius, ''CatHmUtria Rmm 
Francarum" ; Greenwood. Vol. III., pp. 52-127; Milman, Vol. 11., 

SK 402-551 : Schaff, Vol. IV., p. 203, s#j. ; Cutts, " Charlemagne " ; 
uizot, ^*Hist of Civ.''; encyc. Sides (esp. "Diet oTChr. 
Biog." and Herzog-Hauck) on "Charlemagne," "Pwln," 
"Charles Martd," •^Boniface" (Winfrld), " Stephen HI.," ^Do- 
nation of Constantine," etc. 

By the middle of the eighth century the church had 
sunk very low. The civilization of Southern Europe 
had been swept away and the new civilization had not 
yet taken its place. Learning was almost extinct, ex- 
cept in Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. The barbarian 
rulers were accustomed to appoint as bishops their rela- 
tives and military followers, without reference to their 
literary, moral, or spiritual qualifications. Bishops so 
appointed spent their time in revelry, hunting, warfare, 
the management of their estates, etc. The Merovingian 
rulers soon degenerated and their power fell into the 
hands of the mayors of the palace. These were more 
attentive to the interests of the church than the earlier 
Merovingian rulers had been. Pepin, mayor of the 
palace (687-714), founded more than twenty bishoprics 
and bestowed vast territorial possessions on the church. 

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Charles Martel, mayor of the palace (714-741), con- 
quered the Saracens in 733, and more completely in 739, 
when he drove them from Provence. Charles Martel 
dealt with ecclesiastical endowments as with any other 
portion of the royal domain. He gave to his liege Milo, 
the archbishoprics of Rheims and Treves ; to his nephew 
Hugh, the archbishoprics of Rouen, Paris, and Bayeux, 
with the abbeys of Fontenelle and Jumieges. After 
exercising the functions of royalty for years, Pepin as- 
sumed the royal title in 752. 

1. Wishing to secure for himself the moral support of 
the papacy, Pepin got himself crowned first by Arch- 
bishop Boniface, with the consent of the pope, and after- 
ward by the pope himself (Stephen 111.) in 753. 

2. There was an agreement entered into by pope and 
archbishop on the one hand, and Pepin on the other, that 
the latter should aid the former in extirpating paganism 
and heresy, and that the former should use all their in- 
fluence in favor of Pepin's civil authority. 

3. The position of the papacy at this time was such as 
to make an alliance of this kind peculiarly welcome. 
The exarchate of Ravenna, which had represented the 
authority of the Eastern empire in the West and had 
afforded a certain amount of protection to the popes, was 
overthrown in 753 by Aistulph, the Lombard. The pope 
tried in vain to secure from Aistulph a recognition of his 
sovereignty over the Duchy of Rome. Failing in this, 
the pope now betook himself to the court of Pepin, where 
the following treaty was made : Pepin, his sons, his 
court, and his nobles, swore to secure ample satisfaction 
for the pope and the church, and engaged to reduce the 
Lombards to submission and to insist on the fullest resti- 
tution of all the rights and possessions of the papacy in 
Italy. Stephen proclaimed Pepin and Bertrada king and 
queen of the Franks, and bestowed the royal dignity on 
Carlman and Charles, their sons. Pursuant to this 
agreement, Pepin invaded Lombardy in 754 and com- 
pelled the restoration of a part of the territory claimed 
by the pope. 

4. Charles (afterward known as Charlemagne or 
Charles the Great) became joint king with Carlman in 
768, sole king in 792. By favoring circumstances and 

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great military and administrative ability, tie succeeded in 
vastly extending the Prankish domains and in consoli- 
dating his acquisitions. Charles carried out the policy 
of Pepin with reference to the papacy. He regarded the 
relation of Church and State as that of mutual helpful- 
ness. The State was to honor and protect the Church, 
and discipline it if need be ; the Church was to aid the 
State in maintaining unity and order. To the hierarchy 
he accorded the greater degree of sanctity, and he was 
willing to receive the imperial crown at the hands of a 
pope ; but to the civil power belonged practical suprem- 
acy in both civil and ecclesiastical matters. The Capit- 
ularies of Charlemagne and Louis the Pious are taken up 
far more with ecclesiastical than with civil legislation. 

,^S. The growth of the papal power went hand in hand 
with that of the Carlovingians. The Catholic missionary 
had the full support of the civil arm in his effort to over- 
come heresy and paganism. When gentler means proved 
unavailing, the Church did not hesitate to ask, nor the 
State to accord, the use of forcible measures. Bishops 
were given a recognized administrative position, side by 
side with civil officials, whose jurisdiction covered the 
same territory, and each was expected to co-operate 
heartily with the other. The Holy Catholic Church and 
the Holy Roman Empire were regarded as the counterpart 
one of the other, and each had before it the dominion ol 
the world as its goal. 

y" 6. Both Pepin and Charlemagne were imposed imon, 
perhaps not unwillingly, by the forged " Donation of Con- 
stantine." The popes based their claim to the territory 
that the Lombards had deprived them of upon a docu- 
ment that was long ago proved to be a forgery, in accord- 
ance with which Constantine had bestowed large terri' 
torial possessions upon Pope Sylvester and his successors. 
U is possible that the Carlovingians would have bestowed 
these possessions on the church without the production 
of this spurious document, but the influence of the docu- 
ment was probably considerable. 

7. Charlemagne wrought assiduously and systematic* 
ally for the revival of learning. He brought into Gaul 
the best scholars to be found in Britain and elsewhere, 
and gave a great impulse to education. This proved 

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highly advantageous to the church, as the educational 
work was left entirely in the hands of the clergy. 


Literature : Works of Gildas, Beda, Nennius ; *' Anglo-Saxon 
Chronicle" : Haddan and Stubbs, '* Councils and Eccl. Doc. rel. to 
Gr. Brit, and Ireland " ; Madear '^Conv. of the West " (" The Eng- 
lish," " The Celts " ) ; Bright, " Ear. Eng. Ch. Hist." ; Prycc, " Anc. 
Br. Ch." : McLaughlan/' Ear. Scot. Ch." ; Stokes, *• Irei. and the 
Celt. Ch.'* ; Collins, " The Beginnings of Eng. Christianity," 1898 : 
Mason, ** The Mission of St. Augustine according to the Original 
Documents"; Wilson, "The Mission of St. Augustine"; Ught- 
foot, " Leaders of the Northern Church" ; Haverfield, " Early Brit 
Christianity " (" Eng. Hist. Rev.", July, 1896) ; Bund, " Celtic Ch. 
in Wales,"^ 1898 ; Loofs, " Vi Aniiqua Britonum Scotorumqtu Eccl^ 
sia"; Skene, •^Celtic Scotiand" ; Rhys, " Celtic Britain*' ; Cath- 
cart, " Ancient British and Irish Churches" ; German works on the 
Iro-Scottish Ch., Boniface, etc., by Ebrard, Forster, Fischer, Wer- 
ner, Muller, etc. ; Hauck, " D, Kirchengesch. d. Deutsch lands,'' 'Bd, L, 
second ed., 1898; Greenwood. VoK II., pp. 28^343; Milman, Vol. 
II., pp. I7S-23S; Schaff, Vol. IV., p. 19, 5^.; encyclopedia articles 
on the leading personages. 

The traditions in accordance with which Christianity 
was introduced into Britain during the apostolic age are 
unhistorical. It is impossible to determine the exact date 
or manner of the conversion of the Britons. It was prob- 
ably in connection with the Roman army, and as early 
as the latter part of the second century. There are some 
indications of the influence of Gallic Christianity, which, 
through IrensBus, came directly from the East. By the 
beginning of the fourth century Christianity had attained 
to considerable influence in Britain. Several British 
bishops sat in the Synod of Aries (314), and still more in 
the Council of Ariminium in 350. There is no evidence 
that any Britons sat in the Nicene Council (325). Pela- 
gius and his disciples, Faustus and Fastidius, are said to 
have been Britons, and Coelestius, another leading dis- 
ciple, was probably a Scot. Whether the early British 
Christianity was Pelagian in character is uncertain. After 
the withdrawal of the Roman army froin Britain, about 
410, there was little intercourse between the British 
Christians and those under the influence of Rome. 
About 449 the Angles, Saxons, Jutes, etc., from the con- 

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tinenty began to invade Britain. The British Christians 
were gradually forced westward into the mountain fast- 
nesses of Wales, and here they organized themselves in 
a semi-monastic way for Christian life and work. They 
seem to have formed themselves into vast communities, 
each presided over by an abbot. These institutions were 
conducted in a communistic manner. Each individual 
seems to have been assigned to that kind of work for 
which he was supposed to be best fitted. A large num- 
ber devoted themselves to study, and the Bible was their 
chief text-book. Their teachings in the fourth century 
do not seem to have been more primitive than those of 
the Gallic Christians with whom they were closely asso- 
ciated. Their semi-monastic organization was probably 
a perpetuation of the Celtic clan system. 

I. Peculiarities of the British Christians. 

Information on this point is exceedingly scanty. When 
an effort was made, about the close of the sixth century, 
to bring them into subjection to Rome, they were found 
to be very tenacious of their practices. From the records 
of the discussions that took place between the emissaries 
of Rome and the leaders of the British Christians we 
may deduce the following statement : (i) Diocesan epis- 
copacy did not exist. (2) Great attention was given to 
the study of the Scriptures, numerous semi-monastic col- 
leges having been established for the promotion of Bible 
study and Christian life. (3) They were full of mission- 
ary zeal and were doing an extensive and successful 
missionary work among the Picts of the North, in France 
and in Germany. (4) They absolutely refused to recog- 
nize human authority in matters of religion, indignantly 
repelling the efforts put forth to bring them into subjec- 
tion to the pope, (j) They insisted upon humility and 
simplicity in Christian life, and were offended by the 

?)mp and worldliness of the Romish missionaries. (6) 
hey differed from the Romanists in several matters, 
e. g.t as to the time of celebrating Easter, the mode of 
baptism, tonsure, etc. 

These differences do not seem at all fundamental. The Britons 
followed the Eastern method of reckoning in regard to Easter. The 

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point at issue respecting baptism was probabiy single vs* trine im- 
mersion. That tlie Britons shouid refuse to recognize tlie authority 
of any foreign preiate was natural, and their uncompromising rejec- 
tion of proposals in this direction was due in part to their determfna* 
tion to be independent, in part to their belief that alliance with Rome 
would involve submission to their mortal enemies the Saxons, and 
in part, perhaps, to their opposition to hierarchical church govern- 
ment of any Icind. It should be remariced that it was the Iro- 
Scottish Celts rather than the British that engaged so largely in 
missionary worlc. The Britons proper seem to have made no at- 
tempt to evangelize the Saxons. Perhaps they could hardly have 
been expected to labor for the spiritual well-being of those who had 
driven them from their homes and destroyed so many of their kin- 
dred. The Scottish Christians labored among the northern Teutonic 
settlements of England zealously and successfully. 

2. T(pman Interference. 

In 596 Gregory the Great, who before his elevation to 
the papal chair had intended to go to Britain with a view 
to converting the Saxons, sent thither Augustine, a monk, 
together with about thirty other monkish missionaries, 
including some Prankish interpreters. By making a pa- 
rade of ascetical life, by pretended miracles, and by prom- 
ises of earthly advantages, they succeeded in converting 
Ethelbert, king of the Saxons, who with about ten thou- 
sand followers received baptism in a river at the hands 
of the missionaries. A firm alliance having been formed 
between the kindand the Roman See, the missionaries ad- 
dressed themselves to the far more difficult task of sub- 
jecting the British Christians to Rome. When all other 
means proved unavailing, they persuaded the Saxon king 
to make an expedition against them. Three thousand of 
the British Christians were slaughtered on one occasion^ 
For centuries the Christians of the old British type, in 
Wales, Scotland, and Ireland, as well as in various parts 
of Germany, resisted with all their might the encroach- 
ments of Rome, and it is probable that Christianity of 
this type was never wholly exterminated. 

Ethelbert was no doubt already favorably inclined toward Chris- 
tianity because of Bertha, his Prankish Christian wife, who had 
been allowed to have a Prankish chaplain. The methods employed 
by Augustine savor of imposture, but he had doubtless reached the 
conviction that deceit in a good cause is allowable. Ethelbert was 
not disposed to force his subjects to accept Christianity. '* Only he 
treated believers with a closer affection as fellow-dtizens with nim 

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in the kingdom of lieaven." ^ By 6oi a thorough orRanization had 
been effected, Augustine having been constitute arcnbishoo, and a 
number of churches and monasteries having been established* 

3. British Missions. 

Nothing is more characteristic of the early British 
Christians than their zeal and success in missionary 
work. In no country and in no age do we find the mis- 
sionary spirit more active and aggressive. A brief ac- 
count of the careers of the three most eminent mission- 
ary leaders is all that can be here attempted. 

(i) Patrick, born in Britain about 400, son of a deacon, 
grandson of a priest, taken captive by Irish pirates when 
about sixteen years of age, having been released from 
captivity and educated in theology, was seized with an 
irresistible desire to carry the gospel to the heathen Irish. 
Whether he received part of his theological education at 
the monastery of Lerins in Gaul is by no means certain. 
Later Roman Catholic writers have sought to make it 
appear that he received a commission from the pope to 
evangelize the Irish. His own writings make no mention 
of such commission, and it is highly improbable that he 
consulted the pope with reference to his great life-work. 
Going into Ireland with a few coadjutors, about 432, he 
labored for many years with wonderful zeal and success, 
evangelized more or less thoroughly the whole of Ireland, 
and left a reputation for sanctity of life and spiritual 
power that entitles him to be considered one of the 
greatest of missionaries. 

It cannot be supposed, of course, that anjr very large proportion of 
the multitudes that nominally accepted Christianity on his invitation 
and submitted to baptism at his hands actually experienced saving 
grace. It is probable that in many cases chieftains were persuaded 
by Patrick's earnest advocacy that Christianity was better than 
their heathen cult, and that they adopted it outwardly without any 
marked transformation of character. Clansmen seem to have been 
ever ready to follow their leaders in such matters. It was Patrick's 
powerful personality that enabled him so easily to master the Irish 
clans and to fill them with partisan zeal against paganism. Bui the 
converts of Patrick seem to have been no less tierce and resentful 
than their pagan neighbors. 

(2) Equally worthy of admiration is the missionary 

> Be4e, Bk. 1.. Ch. s6. 

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activity of Columba, " Irish by birth, Irish by education, 
Irish in his life's work and devotion," born in 521, edu- 
cated at the monastic school of Clonard (famous at that 
time for learning and Christian zeal), he spent the earlier 
years of his life in mission work in Ireland, where he is 
said to have planted hundreds of churches. Expelled 
from Ireland for having occasioned a war that resulted in 
the slaughter of about three thousand of his enemies, he 
went as a missionary to the Picts in Scotland, by whom 
the Irish colony of Dalraida was in danger of being op- 
pressed or destroyed. He succeeded, against much Dru- 
idical opposition, in securing the conversion of the king 
of the ricts, and through his influence was enabled to 
plant Christian churches throughout Scotland. He made 
lona, a small island, his headquarters, and had mastered 
the language of the Picts and converted his near neigh- 
bors before undertaking his great work. In the conver- 
sion of the Picts he had the co-operation of several Picts 
who had received their training in Ireland and who spoke 
the language fluently. Columba was a great politician 
as well as a great missionary, and on more than one oc- 
casion his influence was of momentous importance. 

(3) Cdumban is worthy of being placed by the side 
of Patrick and Columba. Born in Leinster, Ireland, in 
543, educated at Bangor, one of the most famous monas- 
tic colleges of the age, he spent his active life in plant- 
ing evangelical churches in Burgundy, Switzerland, and 
Northern Italy. In fact, the influence of his work may 
be said to have extended throughout the Rhine region of 
Germany and the Netherlands. His extant writings 
show that he was one of the most accomplished men of 
the age, and his devotion to mission work was admirable. 
About 585, with thirteen companions, he went to Bur- 
gundy, where he was kindly received by rulers and 
people. He founded, one after another, three great 
monastic mission stations, which formed the centers of 
the most self-denying mission work extending over a 
wide territory. The high moral standard of the lives 
and teachings of Columban and his followers contrasts 
strikingly with those of the Gallic clergy who were in 
alliance with Rome. Columban's John-the-Baptist-like 
denunciation of the immoralities of the court and his 

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resolute refusal to abandon the peculiarities of the Irish 
Church in favor of those of the Roman and the Gallic 
brought upon him the enmity of court and clergy, and 
after about twenty years of labor, when about sixty 
years old, he was driven from Burgundy. With a body 
of faithful companions he made his way up the Rhine to 
Switzerland, and founded a number of stations in that 
region. Here his enemies after a few years again mo- 
lested him. Leaving an undying influence behind him, 
he went to Northern Italy, where in his old age he 
formed another center of mission work. In many re- 
spects Columban was the greatest and best of the Irish 
missionaries, and the influence of his work, and that of 
those who were like-minded with him, remained until it 
was violently suppressed by the Carlovingian rulers and 
the Roman missionaries of a later time ; nay, there is 
reason to think that it was never wholly lost, but after a 
period of latency reappeared in the evangelical parties of 
the Middle Ages./ It is a remarkable fact that those very 
regions in which the Iro-Scottish mission work was most 
successful during the sixth and seventh centuries were 
precisely the regions in which the evangelical sects of 
the later times flourished most/ There was no doubt 
much in the methods of these missionaries that we should 
scarcely approve, but considering the age and the circum- 
stances in which they lived we must pronounce their 
lives marvels of Christian heroism. 

It would be a mistake to suppose that the doctrines, practices, or 
missionary methods of the Iro-Scottish Christians of the fifth, sixth, 
and seventh centuries were In every respect apostolic or in accord 
with modern evangelical ideas. They represent a far more primitive 
type of Christian life and thought than that of the Roman Church 
of the time of Gregory the Great ; but It was the Christianity of 
the beginning of the fourth century rather than that of the first that 
they perpetuated. Even this was modified, as might have been ex- 
pected, by the national characteristics and the sociological conditions 
of the primitive peoples of the British Isles. While they rejected 
the Roman hierarchy and had no very elaborate hierarchical organi- 
zation of their own, their leaders, like Patrick, Columba, and 
Columban, were arbitrary and autocratic in the highest degree. 
They seem to have been completely free from Mariolatry and saint- 
worship In every form, and from every kind of idolatry. They 
seem to have recognized no authority outside of the Scriptures. 
But their views of the Christian ordinances seem to have been those 
of the third or fourtii century rather than those of the apostles ; fMR 

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views of Christian life were highly ascetical ; they laid great stress 
upon the observance of their rigorous monastic rules, enforcing 
absolute obedience to superiors, silence during protracted periods, 
abstinence from any but the plainest foods, the Infliction of corporal 
punishment for the infraction of even the least important rules, etc. 
Columban's rules, that have been preserved in apparently authentic 
form, do not differ greatly in their tone from those that prevailed in 
the Roman Catholic Church of the time.^ 


LrTERATURE : In addition to literature referred to in the preceding 
section, see works of Gr^ory the Great, Boniface (Wintrid), and 
Chariemagne ; Willibald, ^' Vita Banifacii" ; recent monographs on 
Boniface by Cox, 1853, J. P. Miiller, 1869, Werner, 1875, Pfaler, 
1880, Buss, 1880, Fischer, 1882, Ebrard, 1882, Loofs, 1881, Hahn, 
1883 ; Hauck, " KirchiHgesch. 'DnasekUmds^'' second ed., Bd. I., 5#fir. 
432-578 ; encyclopedia articles on the persons concerned. 

I. Great Romish Missionaries. 

Reference has been made in an earlier section to the 
efforts of Gregory the Great to extend the dominion of 
the Roman Catholic Church through an organized 
missionary propaganda, and to the conversion of the 
Saxons in Britain through his emissary, Augustine. 
Within a few years a well-organized and well-equipped 
State Church, enthusiastically devoted to Rome and the 
pope, had been developed in the extensive Saxon 
dominions. Large numbers of monasteries had been 
formed, in which, as in the similar institutions of the Iro- 
Scottish Christians, zeal for learning was combined with 
missionary enthusiasm. Nowhere during the seventh 
and eighth centuries was Roman Catholicism so vigorous 
and aggressive as in Britain. It was from the Anglo- 
Saxon monasteries that most of the great missionaries to 
the continent of Europe went forth, and to them Charle- 
magne was to look for leaders in the great educational 
movement that he inaugurated in the early years of the 
next period. 

(i) Augustine. An account has already been given of 
his attempt, first by diplomacy and afterward by armed 
force, to subject the ancient British Christians to the 

1 Sm the monastic rules of Columban in critical text edited by SeebM*. *• " *•*•" 
ukri/if. Kircb9»g€scb.r 1896. S»t. axS. m«. 

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Roman Church and to the newly-Christianized Saxons. 
An estimate of his character as a missionary may here' 
be given. Having succeeded in winning to the Catholic 
faith King Ethelbert, which virtually meant the winning 
of his entire people, he returned to Gaul, where in ac- 
cordance with the wish of Gregory the Great he was 
consecrated '* Archbishop for the English people/' No- 
vember, 597. In 601 Gregory granted him a pall, gave 
him directions for drawing up a liturgy, and counseled 
the establishment of several other dioceses (London, 
York, etc.). 

If complete success in the accomplishment of a vast 
undertaking is a criterion of greatness, Augustine was 
assuredly a great missionary. But if we are to judge of 
him by his correspondence with Gregory the Great, the 
impression is by no means so favorable. It is taken up 
largely with the asking of paltry questions as to the con- 
duct of his work, which a great enlightened Christian 
leader might have been expected to settle promptly and 
independently. In nothing do we see more clearly the 
fundamental difference between the Romish missionary 
and the Iro-Scottish than in the scrupulosity with which 
the former looked to Rome for directions in the most 
trivial matters. A spirit of abject obedience to his great 
superior characterized the work of Augustine from be- 
ginning to end. This presupposed as the guiding prin- 
ciple of his life, he did his work with the utmost fidelity 
and with remarkable success. "At his coming in 597 
the English people were entirely heathen ; when he died 
the Church of the English was an accomplished fact."* 
But it must not be overlooked, as the author just quoted 
also points out, that "a very large part of England — 
possibly the larger part — was converted from the north," 
that is, by the Iro-Scottish missionaries.' Augustine died 
in 604. 

(2) IVillibrard, Under the Merovingian rulers of the 
first half of the seventh century, Lothair II. and Dago- 
bert 1., the people of Friesland were to some extent 
brought under the influence of Christianity ; but the 
temporary decline of the Prankish power led to the 

1 CoUias, " The Beeinaings of Eng. Christianity.'* p. T^ * Md,, p^^,m§. 

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throwing off of the government and the religion of their 
oppressors. It is not likely that the Catholic evangeliza- 
tion of the Frisians had ever gone very far, and the 
number that had been brought under the influence of 
the Iro-Scottish missionaries was probably small. In 
690, the year of Willibrord's arrival at the mouth of the 
Rhine, the land was virtually heathen. Willibrord, b. 658 
in Northumberland, England, son of an Anglo-Saxon re- 
ligious enthusiast and ascetic named Wilgils, was brought 
up in a monastery that had been founded by King Alch- 
frid for Iro-Scottish monks but had been transferred by 
him to Wilfrid, a zealous Catholic. In 678 he left Ripon, 
probably on account of the expulsion of Wilfrid by the 
king, and betook himself to Ireland, where he spent 
twelve years under the guidance of the noted ascetic 
leaders, Egbert and Wigbert. By Egbert he was sent in 
690, with eleven companions, for the conversion of the 
Frisians. The Franks, under Pepin, had just restored, 
in a measure, their authority over the Frisians, and were 
ready to give protection and support to the Anglo-Saxon 
missionaries. But the subjugation of the liberty-loving 
people had intensified their hatred of Christianity (Ro- 
man Catholicism), and Willibrord felt that the chances 
were small of winning them to the faith. He first betook 
himself to Pepin to consult about the work to be under- 
taken and the means to be employed. Afterward he 
visited Rome in order to secure papal co-operation. 
Armed with the authority of the Prankish king and the 
pope, he returned to his work, and by 693 the success of 
the missionaries had been so great that they chose one 
of their number, Suidbert, bishop, and sent him to Eng- 
land to be ordained by Wilfrid. This seems to have been 
displeasing to Pepin, who insisted that Willibrord should 
be the religious leader, and should proceed to Rome for 
ordination as archbishop of Prankish Priesland (695). 

Willibrord had been brought up to regard the authority 
of the pope as supreme, and on this occasion he put 
himself absolutely at the disposal of the Roman pontiff, 
sought his permission to enter upon the work of evangel- 
izing the Frisians and his blessing upon the work, and 
obtained from him relics for the churches to be founded. 
The Anglo-Saxons were at this time far in advance of 

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the Prankish Christians in their zeal for papal authority 
as well as in missionary enthusiasm and in learning. 

Returning to Friesland fully equipped with royal and 
papal authority and support, the work of organizing an 
ecclesiastical system, building churches, educating min- 
isters, etc., advanced with wonderful rapidity. Pepin 
believed that in no way could his political authority be 
rendered so stable as by the establishment of organized 
Christianity in obedience to himself and the pope, and 
he bestowed unsparingly of his means for the promotion 
of the work of the Anglo-Saxon missionaries. Willibrord 
and his associates did not confine their propaganda to 
Prankish Priesland, but the neighboring regions of Ger- 
many were also brought under their influence. 

The independent portion of Priesland repelled with 
decision every effort for their evangelization, identifying, 
as they did, Christianity with Prankish dominion. Wil- 
librord's efforts for the conversion of the Danes were not 
more successful. But so great was his zeal that no fail- 
ure could quench it. In the island of Heligoland he 
sought to break down the superstition of the natives by 
baptizing a convert in a sacred spring and narrowly 
escaped the fury of the outraged mob. 

That the success of Willibrord and his associates was 
chiefly external and material, and that the masses of the 
Prisians were still bitterly antagonistic to Prankish rule 
and political Christianity, became fully manifest after the 
death of Pepin (714). The Prisians joined hands with 
the enemies of Charles Martel, the Prisian church organ- 
ism fell to pieces, Willibrord fled the country, priests 
were hunted down, many church buildings were de- 
stroyed, and relapse into paganism was almost complete. 

A change in political conditions enabled Willibrord to 
return to his work with the full support of Charles Mar- 
tel, who had re-established his authority in Priesland. 

In 734 Charles Martel subjugated the independent 
Prisians, destroyed their pagan sanctuaries and forced 
Christianity upon the population. 

Willibrord died in 739, having been permitted to see 
the whole of Priesland brought into subjection to the hu- 
man hierarchy, and nominally Christian. But a general 
return to heathenism succeeded his death. 

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(3) "Boniface (Winfrid). Of still greater importance was 
the work of the Anglo-Saxon monk Winfrid, commonly 
known as Boniface, "the Apostle of the Germans/' Son 
of a Wessex noble (born c. 672), he early left his uncon- 
genial home to enter a monastery at Exeter, situated on 
the border between the Saxon and the British populations. 
The Abbot Wynbert was devout and learned and was 
often employed by the king in drafting public documents. 
Winfrid made rapid progress in learning and enjoyed the 
favor of the archbishop and the nobles. He had already 
been entrusted with important diplomatic work, and had 
he chosen to remain in England a distinguished career 
would almost certainly have been open to him. His gifts 
were those of an ecclesiastical statesman. 

But the missionary enthusiasm, characteristic alike of 
the Iro-Scottish and the Anglo-Saxon Christians of this 
age, impelled him to turn his back upon fatherland and 
politico-ecclesiastical position and to devote his life unre- 
servedly to the Christianization of the heathen peoples 
of the Continent. He had become thoroughly imbued 
with the idea that the well-being of Christendom depends 
upon the unity of the church under the lordship of the 
pope, and he believed that the most expeditious way of 
securing the conversion of pagan peoples was by bringing 
them into subjection to Catholic princes and compelling 
them to abandon all idolatrous practices and to accept 
outwardly at least the forms of Christianity. 

He visited Rome (718), entered into the most confi- 
dential relations with Gregory II., and received from him 
authority to conduct missionary work among the heathen 
populations of Germany. He undertook to administer 
baptism according to the Roman custom and to refer aU 
difficulties that might arise to Rome. He had already 
conceived the idea of a thoroughly organized and mag- 
nificently equipped German Church in complete subjec- 
tion to the papacy. 

Thuringia was already to a considerable extent Chris- 
tian, but a large proportion of the churches were of the 
Iro-Scottish type and did not recognize the authority of 
Rome, while heathen rites were still openly performed 
by the pagan population. Boniface, as a papal emissary, 
sought by negotiations with the nobles and clergy to 

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secure the prohibition of independent form's of Christi- 
anity and of pagan practices. 

Next he visited Charles Martel in order to secure his 
co-operation in the work of ecclesiastical reformation in 
Thuringia. But his work in Thuringia was interrupted 
by what seemed to him a providential opportunity for 
successful work among the Frisians in the death of King 
Radbod, the enemy of Prankish rule and religion. 

For three years (719-722) he labored under Willibrord 
and received further preparation for his work in Southern 
and Central Germany. Willibrord sought to make him 
a bishop and connect him permanently with the Frisian 
work ; but he preferred to labor elsewhere. 

Hesse for a time occupied his attention. Here the 
mass of the population was still pagan and had suffered 
greatly from Saxon incursions. Boniface and his associ- 
ates knew how to adapt themselves to the wretched con- 
dition of the people. Living in the most abject poverty, 
they went from place to place preaching the gospel, or 
what purported to be such, and multitudes professed con- 
version and were baptized into the Roman Catholic faith. 
Never did Boniface labor with greater success. 

Throughout his career he kept in the closest touch 
with the pope, professing complete dependence and un- 
conditional obedience, and asking for minute instructions 
with regard to every important proceeding. Revisiting 
Rome after the Hessian mission, he received episcopal 
consecration and was clothed with all needful authority 
for the great work he was about to undertake (722 or 


The work laid out for him by the pope was the con- 
version of the remaining heathen in the eastern Frankish 
provinces and the subjugation to Rome of all erroneous 
forms of Christianity. Not only were there large num- 
bers of Christians of the Iro-Scottish type in these 
regions, but many of the Frankish Catholics fell far 
short of Boniface's ideal of true obedience to the pope. 
Charles Martel seconded his efforts with money, lands, 
and military force. His brethren in England supported 
his mission with money, books, and workers<r<^ast 
Franconia, Bavaria, Thuringia, and Hesse were the 
principal scenes of his. activity. 

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By 731 most of the Christian opposition to papal au- 
thority in these provinces had been overcome and 
heathenism had been forcibly suppressed. Vast num- 
bers of churches and monasteries had been erected, im- 
mense territorial possessions had been acquired, and 
southern and central Germany had been covered by 
organized Roman Catholicism/ He was now consecrated 
archbishop by Gregory 111. (732), and a number of well- 
endowed bishoprics were established : four in Bavaria, — 
Salzburg, Freising, Passau, and Regensburg (739), and 
four in Central Germany, — ^Wiirzburg, Buraburg, Erfurt, 
and Eichstadt (742). The principal monasteries founded 
under Boniface were those at Erfurt, Fritzlar, Ohrdurf, 
Bishofsheim, Homburg, and Fulda. 

In 743 the archiepiscopal dignity was definitely affixed 
to the See of Mainz. With Mainz as his center of ad- 
ministration, he supervised ecclesiastical matters from 
Cologne to Switzerland and from Austria to Belgium. 

In 744 Boniface, with the co-operation of Pepin III., 
assembled a synod for West Franconia at Soissons, 
which condemned the chief opponents of the organized 
Catholicism for which he stood, enacted laws for the 
abolition of many ecclesiastical abuses, and in general 
confirmed Boniface's policy of a unified and organized 
ecclesiastical system supported by the Prankish rulers 
and absolutely obedient to the pope. Twenty-three 
bishops were present, besides a number of civil dignita- 
ries. Pepin gave legal force to the decrees of the synod. 

In 747 he assembled his last synod, in which the com- 
plete subjection of the German Church to Rome was, if 
possible, still more energetically expressed. 

In 753 the aged missionary laid aside his archiepiscopal 
dignity, appointed Lullus, a faithful disciple, to adminis- 
ter the affairs of the German Church, and once more 
went forth to evangelize the heathen. Friesland had re- 
lapsed into heathenism, and It was his earnest desire to 
win it to Christ and the church. His labors were not 
crowned with success, and in 755 he was murdered by 
the heathen. 

The greatness of the achievements of this Anglo-Saxon mission- 
ary is undeniable. That he was an ecclesiastical statesman of the 
first rank must be admitted by all. That he was an intolerant and 

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bigoted papist, and that he subordinated everything dse to the 
securing of papal dominion, is clear from his own writings and the 
writings of tils contemporaries. It is doubtful whether any pope did 
so much for the advancement of papal absolutism as did tnis Anglo- 
Saxon monl<. Circumstances were no doubt favorable lust at this 
time for the completion of the Christianization and the politico- 
ecclesiastical organization of Germany ; but only a man of^ genius 
could have wrought the wonderful changes that occurred In the 
generation 722-75 5. That he extirpated a large amount of Christian 
life of a more evangelical type than his own, and that he Incorpo- 
rated in his politico-ecclesiastical system a vast amount of unre- 
generate pagan life, is certain. Whether he is to be regarded as a 
benefactor or a malefactor will depend upon our opinion as to the 
desirability or the undesirability of a State-Church system covering 
the whole ground and bringing the entire population under its influ- 
ence. The establishment of such a system, in complete subjection 
to the pope, was in Boniface's opinion the means by which pagan- 
ism and heresy could best be overcome and Christianity made tri- 

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DIFFERENCES between Oriental and Occidental Chiris- 
tianity have been repeatedly referred to in the foregoing 
chapters. These differences were no doubt due in part 
to ethnological characteristics which science has as yet 
only partially explained, and in part to the different 
social and political conditions by which Christianity was 
environed in the East and the West respectively. The 
East had been covered and exploited by great despotisms 
for thousands of years, and civilization was already in a 
stagnant and declining state when Christianity appeared. 
The Macedonian empire had spread the civilization of 
Greece and had awakened a considerable amount of 
intellectual activity. The Roman rule had given a 
measure of temporary relief to the Eastern peoples from 
galling oppression. But the Roman Empire itself, espe- 
cially after the time of Constantine, had taken on the 
character of an Oriental despotism, and there was no 
place for aggressiveness in Christian life and thought. 
The Eastern empire not only lost its control of Italy, 
Northern Africa, the Mediterranean Islands, lllyricum, 
and of course the provinces of Western Europe, through 
barbarian conquest, but the encroachments first of the 
Persians and afterward of the Saracens had by the end 
of this period restricted its dominion to Asia Minor, 
Thrace, a portion of Macedonia, and a portion of Greece. 
The narrowing of the empire involved the gradual re- 
ceding of Christian influence from the alienated territory. 
The Christianity of the East was already too corrupt 
and unaggressive to make any serious efforts at winning 
the conquerors, and was content to be tolerated and to 
become still further fossilized by inactivity. It is one of 
the strangest and saddest facts of history that the land 


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that gave birth to Christianity, and the lands in which 
the apostles labored so abundantly, should have become 
so completely lost to Christian influence as now to con- 
stitute mission fields of the most discouraging character. 

In the West, on the other hand, the dissolution of the 
Roman Empire, while it was accompanied by a decline of 
learning and a temporary loss of much of the older civil- 
ization, was succeeded by the rapid growth of a new and 
better civilization made iip of the remnants of the Graeco- 
Roman, of the institutions of the vigorous and aggressive 
and liberty-loving Teutonism of the conquering tribes, 
and of Christianity corrupted but still aggressive and 
ready for every opportunity to increase its influence. 
The readiness with which the Teutonic peoples accepted 
Christianity in the form in which it was presented to 
them is as remarkable as the utter insusceptibility to 
Christian influence of the Oriental conquerors of the 
Eastern empire. The Prankish empire, at the close of 
this period (under Charlemagne) embracing the territory 
now covered by Italy, France, Belgium, Switzerland, the 
Netherlands, and a large part of that covered by Ger- 
many and Austria, was in the closest alliance with the 
Roman Catholic Church, and wished to be regarded as 
the Holy Roman Empire. Still more remarkable is it that 
Christianity, an Oriental religion, should have had its 
chief development among Occidental peoples. 

The period closes with Eastern Christianity divided 
into several parties, each contending most strenuously 
for some minute point of doctrine and anathematizing 
the rest and all alike tending to become stagnant, and 
with Western Christianity tending to become uniform, 
with a powerful and comprehensive organization, and 
with the great mass of the population of central and 
western Europe already nominally Christian and ready 
to be molded by the powerful hierarchy that centered in 

A few more definite points of comparison between East- 
ern and Western Christianity may not be out of place. 

I. doctrinal Development. The Eastern theology was 
speculative and transcendental (Origenistic, Arian, Apol- 
linarian, Nestorian, Eutychian, Monothelite controversies) 
and Eastern theologians took little interest in the great 

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practical anthropological questions that agitated the West 
(Pelagian and Semi-Pelagian controversies). The interest 
of the West In the great Christological controversies was 
slight and almost limited to their practical, political as- 
pects. Greek theology received its character largely 
from Greek philosophy ; Latin theology was greatly in- 
fluenced by Koman law. 

2. Church Polity. The Eastern churches did little after 
the Nicene age in the way of developing church polity. 
The emperors, beginning with Constantine, undertook 
the control of ecclesiastical affairs, and there was little 
opportunity for initiative on the part of prelates. For 
imperial purposes it was convenient to have the ecclesi- 
astical system center in the patriarch of Constantinople ; 
but this official was the creature of the emperor and could 
be deposed at his will. The development of the Roman 
hierarchy was rapid and striking and constitutes one of 
the most remarkable features of Western Christianity. 

3. Monastidsm. Nothing better illustrates the funda- 
mental differences between Eastern and Western Chris- 
tianity than a comparison of Eastern and Western mo- 
nasticism. Monasticism, as an outgrowth of the ascetical 
spirit, was a product of Eastern Christianity influenced 
by Oriental pagan practices and modes of thought. East- 
ern monasticism was intensely ascetical and in its better 
form contemplative and speculative ; but, like Oriental 
Christianity in general, it soon became stagnant and de- 
void of initiative. Missionary zeal has been manifest 
among Oriental monks only in isolated cases and in 
slight measure. In the West, great monastic orders, like 
the Benedictines, spread themselves over Europe and 
became the pioneers of civilization. The aggressive 
work of the Roman Catholic Church from the time of 
Gregory the Great has been done almost exclusively by 
monks. Whenever an emergency has arisen that exist- 
ing orders have seemed incapable of meeting, new orders 
have sprung into existence peculiarly adapted to the 
work to be done. No such phenomenon appears In con- 
nection with Eastern monasticism, where all is stagna- 

4. The Ordinances. The Eastern Church was content 
to perpetuate the stage of development that had been 

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reached Dy the Nicene age. Trine immersion was still 
almost universal at that time. This became the stere- 
otyped form in the Eastern Church, whereas the West- 
ern Church has felt perfectly free to vary the mode of 
baptism to suit its convenience. The use of the cup by 
the laity and infant communion have been perpetuated 
by the Eastern Church, but disused by the Western. In 
its doctrine and its practice with regard to the ordinances 
the Western Church has allowed itself the utmost free- 
dom, while the Eastern has adhered rigorously to the 
teaching and practice of the fourth and fifth centuries. 
So also in confirmation, extreme unction, and other rites. 

5. Liturgical Development. Here also the Eastern 
Church has remained almost stationary since the fifth 
century, but the Western has allowed itself the utmost 
freedom in the development of its forms of worship and 
in its use of church music. 

6. The Use of Painting and Sculpture for Religious Pur- 
poses. It has been noticed that early Christianity rejected 
entirely the use of art in connection with religion. With 
the paganization of Christianity came the use of images 
of Christ, the Virgin Mary, the apostles, and noted saints 
and martyrs, and this use of images became scarcely dis- 
tinguishable from pagan idolatry. The great uprising in 
the East against image worship (Iconoclastic contro- 
versy), under Persian and Mohammedan influence, was 
settled by the triumph of image worship. The Oriental 
Church restricted the use of Images to pictorial represen- 
tations, and these to conventionalized forms. The result 
has been the mechanical reproduction of the representa- 
tions of Christ, Mary, the apostles, etc., that were in use 
at the time of the controversy. These inartistic pictures 
are still regarded with the greatest reverence. 

In the West little interest was taken in the Iconoclastic 
controversy, and pictures were freely used, not, It was 
said, to be worshiped, but as a means of commemorating 
the deeds of the heroes of the faith, and instructing and 
inspiring the people. They were regarded as useful but 
not necessary, and the reverence paid to them probably 
fell considerably short, in most minds, of idolatry. The 
Roman Catholic Church has not conventionalized its im- 
ages, and allows the fullest scope to the genius of painters 

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and sculptors alike in idealizing the lineaments of Christ 
and the saints. While the use of images in the Roman 
Catholic Church can scarcely be regarded as free from 
superstition and idolatry, it has never sunk so low as the 
iconolatry of the East. The Roman Catholic Church has 
from the Middle Ages onward been a chief promoter of 

7. Eastern and Western Sects. In the earlier time 
Gnosticism, Ebionism, Montanism, Manichaeism, Sabel- 
lianism, and Arianism, all had their origin and chief devel- 
opment in the East, whereas Novatianism and Donatism 
were the products of the West. Early Eastern sects were 
speculative, early Western sects were practical in their 
origin and in their tendency. Out of the great Christo- 
logical controversies of the East grew a number of mu- 
tually antagonistic parties or denominations : Nestorians, 
Monophysites (Jacobite, Coptic, and Abyssinian divi- 
sions), Maronites, Gregorians (orthodox Armenian Chris- 
tians), which at the time of their separation each became 
fossilized and practically insusceptible of further internal 
development or of modification by external religious in- 

In the West the case is quite different. The older 
parties gradually vanished in the face of organized Ca- 
tholicism. Donatism persisted with vigor in Northern 
Africa until the Arianized Vandals broke its power. 
Arianism, that had won to Christianity the Teutonic 
tribes (Goths, Vandals, Franks, etc.), speediiy disap- 
peared through the diplomacy of the bishops of Rome. 
It is doubtful whether Arianism as a speculative form of 
Christianity ever had any foothold among the Teutonic 
peoples. It happened to be the form in which Christi- 
anity was first presented to them, its general features 
were in accord with their modes of thought, and it was 
made acceptable to them by the bearing of its preachers. 
But these rude peoples were little concerned about the 
metaphysical subtleties that agitated the East. When 
interest demanded co-operation with the bishop of Rome, 
the princes were ready to drop Arianism and with their 
people to become Catholics. Pelagianism can scarcely 
be said to have become organized into a sect. The same 
{s true of Priscillianism. The ancient Celtic Christians 

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(British and Iro-Scottish) represented, as compared with 
the Roman Catholicism of the time, an earlier stage of 
Christian development under different surroundings, and 
they long strenuously opposed the pretensions of the 
popes and sought to propagate their more primitive type 
of Christianity on the continent of Europe. But these 
too were obliged to yield to the aggressive politico- 
ecclesiastical organization that had its center in Rome 
and its head in the papacy. 

By the close of the present period organized opposition 
to ecclesiastical unity and centralized ecclesiastical gov- 
ernment was almost at an end. Corruption and oppres- 
sion in ecclesiastical life and administration would here- 
after provoke widespread revolt, and evangelical parties 
almost exterminated in the onward sweep of the great 
politico-ecclesiastical organism would reappear later with 
vigor and effect. But for the time Catholic unity was 
well-nigh realized in the West, while Eastern Christi- 
anity was hopelessly divided and without a great central- 
izing force. 


The intellectual and literary activity that marked the 
close of the preceding period received a great impetus 
from the favorable conditions attending the conversion 
of Constantine and the ultimate union of Church and 
State. In the East appeared great theologians, like 
Eusebius, Athanasius, Apollinaris, Theodore of Mopsues- 
tia, Theodoret of Cyrus, Cyril of Alexandria, Basil, 
Gregory Nazianzen, Gregory of Nyssa, Chrysostom, 
and John of Damascus, the greatest systematizer of 
the period. The theological schools of Alexandria 
and Antioch flourished, and new ones were founded at 
Edessa and Nisibis. But many Christian students of 
position and means were not content with the learning 
to be acquired in Christian institutions, but resorted to 
great pagan teachers at Athens, Alexandria, and else- 

The West produced such theologians, preachers, and 
religious leaders as Ambrose, Augustine, Pelagius, Julian 
and Ccelestius (Pelagians), Faustus (Manichsean), and 
Leo the Great and Gregory the Great. 

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From the middle of the fifth century learning steadily 
declined in the West, while in the East intellectual stag- 
nation set in and little of value was produced. 

The Anglo-Saxon Christians became the chief con- 
servators of learning and of missionary enthusiasm for 
the West. The most noted of the Anglo-Saxon theolo- 
gians of this period are the Venerable Bede (d. 735) and 
Alcuin (d. 804). A certain amount of educational work 
was carried on in the monasteries throughout the East 
and the West, but nowhere with such vigor as in Eng- 
land and Ireland at the close of this period. 

A comparatively rich hymnology grew up during this 
period in the Greek and Latin churches alike. Among 
the most noted of the Greek hymnists are Anatolius 
(died c. 458), John of Damascus (died c. 780), and Cos- 
mas of Jerusalem (died c. 760). John and Cosmas were 
foster-brothers, members of the same monastery, and 
closely associated in literary labors. They were extreme 
ascetics, zealous saint-worshipers, and enthusiastic oppo- 
nents of iconoclasm. 

Among the Latin hymnists of this period may be 
mentioned Ambrose of Milan (d. 397), Venantius Fortu- 
natus (died c. 609), Gregory the Great (d. 604), and the 
Venerable Bede. 

For full bibliography of the Greek and Latin hym- 
nology of the period see Schaff, Vol. IV., p. 402, seq. 
and 416, seq. 


I. In proportion as the churches drew into their mem- 
bership masses of unregenerate, half-pagan people, and 
accorded church privileges to those baptized in infancy 
without any profession of conversion, did the difficulty 
of controlling the churches increase. It was natural 
that the higher ecclesiastical authorities should provide 
the local priests with minute directions regarding the 
punishment to be inflicted upon persons of every condi- 
tion for offenses of every description. The disciplinary 
rules drawn up from time to time, before and after the 
beginning of the present period, gradually assumed a 
systematized form in the *' Penitential Books.'' Among 
the earliest books of this kind was that of Columban, the 

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Iro-Scottish missionary, already referred to. Corporal 
punisliment was prescribed for the sliglitest infringement 
of the rules. 

One of the most interesting' of the Penitential Books is that of 
Theodore, archbishop of Canterbury (66^-690). It prescribes depo- 
sition for persistent drunkenness on the part of bishops, thirty days 
penance for the drunken monk, forty for the drunken presbyter or 
deacon, fifteen for a drunken layman, allowance being made for un« 
due susceptibility to the influence of intoxicants caused by lone 
abstinence, and for festival occasions. Fornication, incest, and aD 
sorts of unnatural sins are punished with penance extending from 
forty days to twenty-two )rears, and even to the end of life. The 
form of penance was prescribed by the priest, and consisted in some 
sort of self-denial and deprivation of church privileges, according to 
the heinousness of the offense. This Penitential Book contains also 
minute directions regarding the treatment of theft, homicide, heresy, 
and perjury, deposition from the ministry, bars to ordination, com- 
munion, idolatry, etc. 

2. Canon Law. Long before the union of Church and 
State, ecclesiastical canons had been drawn up and were 
in common use. Each great section of Christendom had 
canons of its own, but the interchange throughout the 
churches of the Roman Empire was so close that con- 
siderable uniformity of practice resulted. The so-called 
Apostolic Canons were in common use as early as the 
fourth century. The general councils from Nicaea on- 
ward furnished a large amount of canonical material. 
In the sixth century John the Scholastic made a digest of 
ecclesiastical law, incorporating the ecclesiastical legisla- 
tion of Justinian. In the West, near the close of the 
fifth century, Dionysius Exiguus, a learned monk, made 
a very full collection, containing not only canons of 
councils and apostolic canons, but also decretals of 
popes. Isidore of Seville (seventh century) added to 
this work from later decretals and other sources. 

3. Means Employed for Enforcing Ecclesiastical Decisions. 
The possession of the power of the keys gave to the 
hierarchy the prerogative of admitting to church privi- 
leges or excluding from them. It was believed that out 
of the church there is no salvation. Hence permanent 
exclusion from church privileges meant loss of salvation, 
and temporary exclusion involved more or less peril. 
Excommunication was one of the most terrible penalties 

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that could be inflicted. When accompanied, as was often 
the case, with anathema, its terror was intensified. The 
use of the interdict, involving the prohibition of religious 
services (including marriage and burial, but not baptism 
and extreme unction) in an entire community, was fre- 
quently resorted to in order to enforce ecclesiastical de- 
crees on an unwilling community, or to punish offenses in 
which a large part of the community was implicated. 
These penalties were inflicted far more commonly and 
effectively in the succeeding period : but they were the 
recognized weapons of the hierarchy long before the 
close of the present period. 


Just as Christianity was mastering the barbarian peo- 
ples and preparing the way for a politico-ecclesiastica/ 
organization that should cover and control Europe, there 
arose in the East a politico-religious organism that was 
within a few years to expand to immense proportions, 
greatly narrow the boundaries of Eastern Christendom, 
erect an effectual barrier against any further Christian 
aggression in the East, and dispute with Christianity the 
possession of Europe itself. 

I. Rise of Mohammedanism. Arabia was inhabited by 
star-worshiping Semites, with an intermingling of half- 
heathen Jews and Christians. It appears that the Arabs 
of the sixth century generally recognized Abraham as their 
father, although they were hostile to their Jewish and 
Christian neighbors. Mecca was their sacred city and the 
Kaaba (a small temple containing the Black Stone) their 
chief sanctuary. They had the characteristics of the mod- 
ern Arab, and were admirably fitted to become the follow- 
ers of a religious fanatic in a career of conquest. Moham- 
med (born c. 570, of a young widow), epileptic in child- 
hood, brought up without education by relatives, came 
into close touch with Christianity and Judaism during a 
commercial journey to Syria with an uncle. He was 
employed during his early manhood in caravans and as 
a shepherd. When twenty-five years of age he married 
a rich widow, Chadijah, who was ready to believe in his 
visions and to forward his plans for founding a new re- 
ligion. During the fifteen years that intervened between 

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his marriage and his definite entrance on a prophet's 
career he was subject to frequent attacks of epilepsy, 
which he at first attributed to demoniacal possession, but 
afterward to divine agency. He became filled with en- 
thusiasm for monotheism and hatred of idolatry, and in 
6io professed to have been commanded by God through 
the angel Gabriel to *' cry in the name of the Lord." 

After struggling for some time against his convictions, 
he entered upon his career. His first three years were 
devoted to the conversion of family and friends. Next 
he preached to the pilgrims resorting to Mecca, de- 
nouncing idolatry and incurring considerable persecution. 
In 622 he was forced to fly from the wrath of the pagan 
Arabs to Medina (the Hegird), where multitudes accepted 
him as prophet and lawgiver. By 624 he had resolved 
to subdue the world to his monotheistic faith and with 
an army of three hundred and five enthusiasts he de- 
feated double the number of pagan Arabs. His motto 
soon became *' Islam, tribute, or the sword." No quarter 
was to be given to persistent infidels, but Christians and 
Jews were in many cases tolerated on their consenting 
to pay tribute. Those who submitted were usually in- 
spired with his enthusiasm and were ready to take up the 
sword for Islam. Jewish and Christian communities 
were attacked and six hundred resisting Jews were mas- 
sacred in a single day, the women and children being 

In 630 he entered Mecca with a considerable army, de- 
stroyed the three hundred and sixty idols in the I^ba, 
and secured recognition as the leader of the Arabs. The 
discordant and unorganized tribes of Arabia were thus 
welded into a nation and filled with enthusiasm for the 
destruction of idolatry and for universal conquest. 

During these twenty years Mohammed had professed 
to be receiving revelations from time to time, which he 
dictated to his followers and which became the Koran. 
He died in 632 as he was planning a great campaign 
against the Eastern empire. 

2. Principles of Mohammedanism. These are fully em- 
bodied in the Koran and exemplified in the history of 
Mohammedan conquest, rule, and life, (i) Monotheism 
occupies the foremost place. The oneness and soleness 

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of God are in the Koran continually asserted. *' There is 
no god but Allah, and Mohammed is his prophet/' This 
abstract monotheism was maintained in opposition not 
only to polytheism but also to Christian trinitarianism. 
God is thought of as omnipotent and omniscient, as a 
despotic ruler mercilessly smiting down his opponents, 
and as fate compelling all things to fulfill his will ; but 
his love and his fatherhood are practically ignored, and 
no provision for the redemption of mankind appears. 

(2) Jesus is recognized as Messiah and prophet, but his 
deity Is repudiated as involving blasphemy. His super- 
natural birth and his miracles are admitted. He was not 
crucified in reality, but taken up by God into Paradise. 
Mohammed claimed to be the Paraclete promised by 

(3) Ethics. Resignation to the will of God is the chief 
virtue. Prayer, fasting, almsgiving, abstinence from pork 
and wine (and, of course, alcoholic drinks of every kind), 
are insisted upon. Polygamy and concubinage were 
practised by Mohammed and are encouraged. Slavery 
is approved and practised. War to the death against un- 
believers is a sacred duty. Those who die in fighting for 
the faith are supposed to enter at once upon a glorious 
existence in which sensual delights abound. No system 
has ever made men more enthusiastic or readier to lay 
down their lives for its promotion. No system, it is 
probable, hardens men more effectually against the in- 
fluence of the gospel of Christ. 

3. Achievements of Mohammedanism before the Close of 
this Period. The successors of Mohammed entered at 
once upon the world-conquest that he died too soon to 
accomplish. Palestine, Syria, and Egypt were speedily 
overrun, and thousands of Christian churches destroyed 
or turned into mosques. Constantinople narrowly es- 
caped falling into their hands (668 and 717) The East- 
ern empire had become so weakened by internal corrup- 
tion, barbarian invasion on the west and Persian attacks 
on the east, and by long-continued religious controversy, 
that it was unable to cope with so vigorous and deter- 
mined a foe. Persecuted Christian parties were in many 
cases willing to aid the Saracens against their Christian 
oppressors. Toleration was granted to such Christians 


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and Jews as would recognize their sovereignty and pay 
tribute. In 707 Northern Africa fell into their hands. 
Four years later they occupied the southern portion of 
Spain and established the califate of Cordova, subju- 
gating the Visigoths. In 732 they crossed the Pyrenees 
and threatened to overthrow the Prankish kingdom and 
to use St. Peter's in Rome as a stable for their horses. 
Their ambition was boundless and they believed that no 
power on earth could stay their progress. They were 
defeated by Charles Martel and their conquest in the 
West was brought for centuries to a period. 

In the East they overran Persia, Afghanistan, and part 
of India, and soon brought to the front as enthusiastic 
fighters for Islam, the Turks, who have since figured so 
prominently in political and religious history. 

For an admirable account of Mohammedanism in its relation to 
Christianity and a full bibliography, see Schaif, Vol. IV., pp. I4^- 
201. The best translation of the Koran with introduction, etc., is 
that by Palmer, in *' Sacred Books of the East." See also Muir, 
'' The Coriln : Its Composition and Teaching ; and the Testimony 
it bears to the Holy Scriptures,** third ed., 1878; Sprenger, ^*T)as 
LehiH und di$ Ukr$ d$s Mohammad" ; Bosworth Smith, " Mohammed 
and Mohammedanism"; Stobart, *Mslam and its Founder"; and 
encyclopedia articles on ** Mohammed," *' Mohammedanism.' 
'* Islam," etc. 

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REVOLUTION (800-1517) 

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I. The Constituent Elements ofMediasval Civili^^ation 

Considerable progress had already been made by the 
beginning of the ninth century in the blending of the 
Christianized Graeco-Roman civilization with the modes 
of thought and life and the social and political institutions 
of the Teutonic peoples. 

Monkish missionaries had been the chief agents in 
disseminating throughout Teutonic Europe the form of 
Christianity that had resulted from the conversion of the 
Roman empire by Christianity in its Graecised form. 
Teutons had for centuries fought against the Romans 
and had learned much about the empire and its institu- 
tions from this hostile contact. They had afterward 
filled the Roman armies and had thus come into still 
more effective contact with this great civilized power. 
Roman military and administrative posts throughout the 
conquered territories had also exerted their influence. 
But more efficient than all was the covering of heathen 
Europe with monastic mission stations, which not only 
won the people to a nominal adherence to Christianity 
and familiarized them with its teachings, but which made 
them acquainted with the arts and sciences, as they were 
understood at the time, and transformed heathen hordes 
into civilized communities. 

It was political shrewdness quite as much as religious 
zeal that led the Prankish kings to bestow so much of 
wealth and effort on the conversion of the Teutonic peo- 
ples and the establishment of a well-endowed and com- 
[>rehensive hierarchical system throughout their domains, 
n no other way could they hope to accomplish so much in 
the direction of welding the peoples into a political unity 
and securing an efficient, centralized civil administration. 


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If they were over sanguine as regards the possibility of 
maintaining a great empire made up of heterogeneous 
and partially civilized peoples, they at least adopted the 
most efficient means within their reach to the end in 
view. Mediaeval civilization was essentially the outcome, 
as suggested, of the blending of Christianized Graeco- 
Roman civilization with Teutonism ; but its course was 
to a considerable extent modified by the Saracen (Arabic) 
and the Turkish conquests and contact. 

2. The Middle Ages a Period of Progress. 

It is a grave mistake to regard the Middle Ages as a 
period of stagnation or retrogression. If we compare the 
best Christian life that we know of in the ante-Nicene 
age with the corrupt Roman Catholicism of the present 
period, the latter, of course, appears at a great disadvan- 
tage. But when we remember that outside of the hier- 
archical churches there were throughout the Middle Ages 
in the East and the West vast numbers of evangelical 
Christians, and that inside of the established churches 
even at their most corrupt estate a large number of 
earnest Christians were to be found, it can hardly be 
asserted that Christianity, on the whole, lost ground. 
But the achievements of Christianity during this period 
appear to still greater advantage If we compare the bar- 
barian Europe of the fifth century with the Christianized 
and educated Europe of the sixteenth. Christianized 
Roman law took the place of the law of wager, the 
ordeal, torture, and the wergeld} Life and property 
became reasonably secure. Industrial development and 
organization made wonderful strides. Commerce de- 
veloped to world-wide proportions. Great cities, with 
magnificent architecture, were built up from the Mediter- 
ranean to the Baltic, in England, and throughout the 
Danubian Valley. Almost every important town had its 
university and education was becoming widely diffused. 
There remained much of ecclesiastical corruption and in- 
tolerance and much of political and social oppression and 
injustice, which modern Christianity is gradually elim- 

* Money compensatloa for the maiming: or the killing of a person, which was HmU 
an advance on the older law of reuliation. 

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inating; but the Middle Ages represent the transition 
period from the earlier barbarism to modern civilization. 

There was retrogression in the East, caused chiefly by the gradual 
encroachment of the Saracens and the Turks on the Christianized 
Grsco-Roman civilization of the Eastern empire and the ultimate 
extinction of the latter. 


LITERATURE: Bryce, "The Holy Roman Empire"; Emerton, 
'' Introd. to the Study of the Middle Ages " : Adams, '' Hist, of Civ- 
ilization dur. the Middle Ages " ; Guizot, '' Hist, of Civilization " ; 
Haliam, " The Middle Ages '* : Greenwood, " Cathidra Pari" ; Mil- 
man, "Lat. Christianity" ; Giesebrecht, ** Gesch, d. dmischitt Kau 
s^teit " ; Hauck, '* Kirchingisch. Diutschkmds " ; Stephens, '' HIide- 
brand and his Times"; Balzini, ''The Popes and the Hohen- 
staufen"; Raumer, ''Gssch. d. HotUnstaufm*^ ; Fisher, ''The Me- 
diaeval Empire," id^S. 

I. The Idea of the Holy Roman Empire. The coronation 
of Charlemagne by the pope, December 25, 8cx), was a 
great event from a political no less than from an ecclesi- 
astical point of view. The grandeur of the Roman Em- 
pire and the legality and stability for which it stood had 
made a profound impression on the Teutonic peoples. 
With the decline and at last the virtual extinction of the 
authority of the Eastern empire in Italy and the growth 
of Prankish influence throughout Europe, it was natural 
that the greiatest of the Prankish rulers, having been in- 
vited to Italy by the pope again and again to guard the 
papal estates from the Lombards, and having become the 
virtual ruler of Italy, should think it worth his while to 
assume along with his imperial authority the dignity and 
the name of Roman Emperor. At one time he had strong 
hopes of extending his dominion over the Eastern empire 
by marriage, alliance, or conquest. 

That he should have been willing to receive his crown 
at the hands of the pope is easily comprehensible. Por 
a long time the pope had been the chief representative 
of the old imperial power in Italy. A firm alliance had 
long existed between Charlemagne's predecessors and 
himself on the one hand, and the popes on the other, for 
the mutual advancement of each other's interests. He 
had becpme seized with the idea of a Holy Roman Empire, 

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co-ordinate with the Holy Catholic Church, each having 
world-wide dominion, each advancing the interests of the 
other, each supreme within its own sphere, and both to- 
gether bringing peace and the blessings of civilization to 
all mankind. We have seen how essential he regarded 
the conversion to Christianity of conquered peoples, and 
how ready he was to aid in the organization and the en- 
dowment of provincial churches. 

This idea of a Holy Roman Empire and a Holy Catholic 
Church was a grand and impressive one and was prob- 
ably never lost sight of even in times.of most complete 

It should be remarked that while pope and emperor were wQUng to 
rule the world conjointly, and each was desirous of the aid of the 
other, neither was willing to recognize the supremacy of the other, 
and each was inclined, when occasion offered, to assert his own supt- 
riority. Charlemagne's idea of the