Skip to main content

Full text of "Institutes of Ecclesiastical history : ancient and modern, in four books, much corrected, enlarged, and improved from the primary authorities"

See other formats



No. In. Vol. 












VOL. I. 




Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1839, by JAMES MURDOCH, 
in the Clerk's office of the District Court of Connecticut District. 



To produce a general history of the Christian church, adapted es- 
pecially to the wants of the younger clergy, but suitable for intelligent 
readers of all classes, a history so comprehensive as to touch on all 
the more important facts, briefly indeed, but distinctly, with suitable 
enlargement on the points of peculiar interest, and a constant reference 
to authorities and to the writers who give more full information, so 
that the work, while itself affording a good general knowledge of the 
whole subject, might serve as a guide to more thorough investigations ; 
such was the design of Dr. Mosheim in the following work, and 
such has been the aim of the present translator. 

The great need of such a work at the present day, when every other 
branch of theology is much cultivated, is so generally felt, that it is 
unnecessary to say anything to evince its importance or to excite an 
interest on the subject. The only things, therefore, which here claim 
attention, are the character and history of Dr. Mosheim, the reasons 
for giving a new translation of his work, and the additions made to it 
by way of notes. 

John Lawrence von Mosheim was nobly born at Lubec, October 9, 
1694. His education was completed at the university of Kiel, where, 
at an early age, he became professor of philosophy. In his youth he 
cultivated a taste for poetry ; and he actually published criticisms on 
that subject. But pulpit eloquence, biblical and historical theology, 
and practical religion, were his favourite pursuits. He published seven 
volumes of sermons, and left a valuable treatise on preaching, which 
was printed after his death. The English and French preachers, par- 
ticularly Tillotson and Watts, Saurin, Massillon, and Flechier, were his 
models. The Germans admit that he contributed much to improve the 
style and manner of preaching in their country. While a professor 
at Kiel, he gained such reputation that the King of Denmark invited 
him to a professorship at Copenhagen. But the Duke of Brunswick 
soon after, in the year 1725, called him to the divinity chair at Helm- 
stadt, which he filled with great applause for twenty-two years. In 
1747, when George II. king of England, the founder of the university 
of Gottingen, wished to place over that institution men of the highest 
rank in the literary world, Dr. Mosheim was deemed worthy to be its 
chancellor, and the head of the department of theology. In this hon- 
ourable station he remained eight years, or till his death, September 
9, 1755. His works were very numerous ; consisting of translations 
into Latin or German of various foreign works, Italian, French, Eng- 


lish, and Greek, with learned notes ; an immense number of disqui- 
sitions relating to historical, dogmatic, and moral subjects ; besides 
orations, sermons, letters, &c. On church history, in which he most 
distinguished himself, he published, among other works, two volumes 
of essays on detached subjects ; and a compendious church history, in 
two volumes, 12mo ; a full church history of the first century, 4to ; 
Commentary on the affairs of Christians till the times of Constantine, 
4to ; and he had just published the revision and enlargement of his 
compendious church history, under the new title of Institutes of Ec- 
clesiastical History, ancient and modern, in one volume, 4to, when he 
was removed by death, at the age of 61. 

The character of Dr. Mosheim is thus given by his disciple and 
translator, /. R. Schlegel. " We may have had, perhaps, biblical in- 
terpreters, who, like Ernesti and Michaelis, expounded the Scriptures 
with more philosophical and critical learning ; perhaps, also, theolo- 
gians and moralists who have treated dogmatic and practical theology 
with more metaphysical precision ; we may likewise have had, arid 
perhaps still have, pulpit orators, who, among the many unsuccessful 
imitators of Mosheim's method, have even rivalled him, and perhaps 
come nearer to that ideal perfection which he wished to see realized. 
But in ecclesiastical history, the merits of Mosheim are so decisive 
and peculiar, that I will not venture to compare him with any who 
preceded or followed him in this department of learning. He is, as 
Schroeckh says, our first real historian in church history."* Dr. 
Maclaine informs us that, after he had commenced his translation, he 
received a letter from Bishop Warburton, saying, " Mosheim's com- 
pendium is excellent, the method admirable ; in short, the only one 
deserving the name of an ecclesiastical history. It deserves and 
needs frequent notes" 

Mosheim's Institutes, as well as most of his other historical works, 
being written in Latin, were accessible to learned foreigners. And 
Dr. Archibald Maclaine, the son of a dissenting minister in the north 
of Ireland, and himself an assistant minister to an English congrega- 
tion at the Hague, published an English translation of these Institutes 
so early as the year 1764, only nine years after the appearance of 
the original. Dutch and French translations were also made ; but I 
know not by whom or at what time. In 1769, J. A. C. von Einem, 
a pious but not profound German minister,, commenced his German 
translation of the Institutes. His design was to bring down the 
work to the capacities of the unlearned, and to render it an edifying 
book for common Christians. Accordingly, he omitted nearly all the 
marginal references and discussions, and introduced much religious 
biography and historical detail. His translation fills six vols. 8vo, 
and the continuation of the history three additional volumes. In the 
year 1770, John R. Schlegel, rector of the gymnasium of Heilbronn, 
a learned and judicious man, commenced another German translation, 
which is very literal and close, free from all interpolations, and ac- 
* Schlcgel'3 Mosheim, vol. i., Preface. 


companied with learned notes. This translation, in four large volumes 
8vo, was completed in 1780; and a continuation of the history, in 
two volumes, appeared in 1784 and 1788. 

The lectures and the printed works of Mosheim on ecclesiastical 
history kindled up such ardour for this science in Germany, that, in 
the course of fifty years, Baumgarten, Sender, Schroeckh, Henke, and 
Schmidt, severally, produced large and valuable church histories. Of 
these, the most full and complete is that of Schroeckh, a pupil of Mo- 
sheim, continued by Tzschirner, in forty-five vols. 8vo. And next, 
that of Henke, continued by Vater, in nine vols. 8vo. Nor has the 
ardour for this branch of theology yet subsided in Germany ; for Pro- 
fessor Neander, of Berlin, is now publishing a profound and philosoph- 
ical church history, which, if completed on the plan commenced, will 
probably fill twenty-five or thirty volumes 8vo. The limits assigned 
to this preface will not allow a discussion of the merits of these sev- 
eral successors of Mosheim. Suffice it to say, that a careful exami- 
nation of them all has resulted in the decided conviction that Mo- 
sheim's history, in a form similar to that given to it by Schlegel, is 
the best adapted to the wants of this country, and the most likely to 
meet general approbation among the American clergy. 

The necessity for a new English version of the Institutes arises 
principally from the unauthorized liberties taken by the former trans- 
lator, under the mistaken idea of improving the work and rendering 
it more acceptable to the public. He says in his preface : " The 
style of the original is by no means a model to imitate in a work de- 
signed for general use. Dr. Mosheim affected brevity, and laboured 
to crowd many things into few words : thus his diction, though 
pure and correct, became sententious and harsh, without that harmony 
which pleases the ear, and those transitions which make a narration 
flow with ease. This being the case, I have sometimes taken con- 
siderable liberties with my author, and followed the spirit of his nar- 
rative without adhering strictly to the letter : and have often added 
a few sentences to render an observation more striking, a fact more 
clear, a portrait more finished." Thus Dr. Maclaine frankly owns, 
that his chief design was to render the work interesting to those 
superficial readers who delight in that harmony which pleases the ear, 
and in those transitions which make a narration flow with ease ; and 
that he often added a few sentences of his own, to give more vivacity 
and point to the sentiments of his author, or more splendour to their 
dress. And whoever will be at the pains of comparing his translation 
with the original, may see that he has essentially changed the style, 
and greatly coloured and altered in many places the sentiments of 
his author ; in short, that he has paraphrased rather than translated 
a large part of the work. The book is thus rendered heavy and te- 
dious to the reader by its superfluity of words, and likewise obscure 
and indefinite, and sometimes self-contradictory, by the looseness of 
its unguarded statements. Its credibility also as a history of facts is 
impaired, and it fails of carrying full conviction to the mind, because 


it is stripped of its native simplicity, precision, and candour. For no 
wise man will confide in a writer who appears intent on fabricating 
sonorous and flowing periods, who multiplies splendid epithets, and 
habitually deals in loose and unqualified assertions. Nor is this all, 
for the old translation has actually exposed Dr. Mosheim to severe and 
unmerited censure from different quarters : and Dr. Maclaine has 
long stood accused before the public as a translator " who has inter- 
woven his own sentiments in such a manner with those of the original 
author, both in the notes and in the text, that it is impossible for a 
mere English reader to distinguish them ; and in diverse instances 
he has entirely contradicted him. This (add the accusers) will be 
evident to all, if a literal translation of Mosheim shall ever be pub- 
lished."* It is not strange, therefore, that so large a portion of the 
community have been dissatisfied with Dr. Maclaine's Mosheim, and 
have desired a more faithful and literal version of this valuable author. 

If the translation here offered to the public, is what it was intended 
to be, it is a close, literal version, containing neither more nor less 
than the original, and presenting the exact thoughts of the author in 
the same direct, artless, and lucid manner, with as much similarity in 
the phraseology and modes of expression as the idioms of the two 
languages would admit. That all the elegances of the Latin style 
and diction of the author have been retained, is not pretended. The 
translator can only say he has aimed to give Mosheim, as far as he 
was able, the same port and mien in English as he has in Latin. 

But writing out an entirely new and independent translation of the 
Institutes has not been half the labour bestowed on the work. Every- 
where the statements of Mosheim have been compared with the 
sources from which they were drawn, and with the representations of 
other standard writers of different communities, so far as the means 
of doing this were at hand. The reasonings also of Mosheim have 
been weighed with care. And nothing has been suffered to go before 
the public, without first passing an examination by the best criteria 
within the reach of the translator. Often days and weeks have been 
consumed in such examinations, when the results were, that Mosheim's 
statements needed no correction, or at least that no palpable errors were 
discovered in them, and it was therefore thought advisable to allow him 
to express his own views without note or comment. But, in many 
instances, the translator supposed that he discovered such mistakes 
or defects in his author as called for animadversion. In these cases 
he has given, in the form of notes, such statements and criticisms as 
he deemed necessary. Numerous other instances occurred in which 
Mosheim was found to differ from other standard writers, or to have 
simply omitted what the translator or others deemed worth inserting; 
and in such cases the opinions or statements of other writers have 
been given, that the reader might be able to compare them, and the 
omitted matter has been supplied. In the history of the primitive 
church, for two or three centuries, the translator deemed almost every- 
* See the New- York edition of Maclaine's Mosheim, in 1824, vol. iv., p. 284. 


thing interesting which can be learned with any degree of certainty. 
Accordingly, his notes and animadversions here are more frequent 
and minute than in the subsequent parts of the work. In regard to 
what are called the fathers, especially those of the four first centuries, 
and likewise the leading men in the church in all ages, he has deemed 
it proper greatly to enlarge the account given by Mosheim ; not so 
much by minutely tracing the history of their private lives, as by more 
fully stating their public characters and acts, and mentioning such 
of their works as have come down to us. In no one respect has 
the history been more enlarged than in this. Through all the ages 
down to the reformation, the eminent men, whom Mosheim thought 
proper to name particularly, have each a distinct note assigned them, 
containing all of much importance which can be said of them ; and 
in each century, at the close of Mosheim's list of eminent men, nearly 
a complete catalogue of all those omitted by him is subjoined, with 
brief notices of the most material things known concerning them. 
On the controversies and disputes among Christians, especially such 
as related to religious doctrines, much and critical attention has been 
bestowed. So also the reputed heresies, and the different sects of 
professed Christians, which Mosheim had treated with great fulness 
and ability, have been carefully re-examined and subjected to critical 
remarks. Here great use has been made of the writers who suc- 
ceeded Mosheim, and particularly of the younger Walch. The prop- 
agation of Christianity, especially among the nations of Europe in 
the middle ages, and among the Asiatics by the Nestorians, has been 
the subject of frequent and sometimes long notes. The origin and 
history of the reformation, particularly in countries not of the Augs- 
burg confession; also the contests between the Lutherans and the 
Reformed, and the history of the English and Scotch churches, and 
of the English dissenters, have received particular attention ; and the 
occasional mistakes of Mosheim have been carefully pointed out. Yet 
the enlargements of the history since the times of Luther, and partic- 
ularly during the seventeenth century, have been the less considerable, 
because there was danger of swelling the third volume to a dispro- 
portionate size, and because another opportunity is anticipated for 
supplying these omissions. 

These remarks may give some idea of the extensive additions to 
the original by way of notes. All additions to the work are carefully 
distinguished from the original by being enclosed in brackets. They 
are also accompanied by a notice of the persons responsible for their 
truth and correctness. What the translator gives as his own, he sub- 
scribes with a Tr. When he borrows from others, which he has done 
very largely, he either explicitly states what is borrowed, and from 
whom, or subjoins the name of the author. Thus several notes are bor- 
rowed directly from Maclaine; and these are not only marked as quo- 
tations, but they have the signature Mad. annexed. A few others are 
translated from Von Sinew's Mosheim ; and these have the signature 
Von Ein. affixed. But the learned and judicious Schlegel has been 


taxed for the greatest amount of contributions. Throughout the work 
his notes occur, translated from the German, and with the signature 
Schl. annexed. 

The work is now divided, perhaps for the first time, into three 
volumes of nearly equal size, each embracing a grand and distinct 
period of church history, strongly marked with its own peculiar char- 
acteristics ; and, being furnished with a separate index, each volume 
is a complete and independent work of itself. 

A continuation of the history to the present time is deemed so .im- 
portant, that the translator intends, if his life and health are spared, to 
attempt a compilation of this sort as soon as the printing of these 
volumes shall be completed. 

New-Haven, February 22, 1832. 



THE first edition of this work, consisting of fifteen hundred copies, 
was published i)y A. H. Maltby, a worthy bookseller of New-Haven, 
towards the close of the year 1832. At the same time, two stereotype 
editions of Dr. Maclaine's Mosheim were thrown before the public, 
at very reduced prices ; and no pains were spared by the interested 
booksellers to give them currency. But notwithstanding this stren- 
uous competition, and the supervening commercial embarrassments 
of the country, with no special efforts to give it circulation, and no 
patronage but what was voluntarily afforded by the friends of theo- 
logical science and by a discerning and candid public, the new Mo- 
sheim had a regular and constant sale, at its original price, till the 
whole edition was exhausted; and the work is now received with fa- 
vour in all parts of the country, and is adopted as a text-book in near- 
ly every Protestant theological seminary on this side the Atlantic. 

For this very kind reception of his work, the author feels himself 
under great obligations to the enlightened public who have passed so 
favourable a judgment upon it : and he would now offer them the best 
return he can make, a new edition of the work, carefully revised, and 
somewhat enlarged, and, as he hopes, more worthy of approbation, 
and better suited to the wants of students in this branch of theology. 

The translation has been again compared with the original, through- 
out, sentence by sentence, and subjected to a rigid criticism. In a 
very few instances, it was discovered, that a word or clause of the 
original had been overlooked in the translation ; and that in several 
instances, the import of the original had been inadequately or ob- 
scurely expressed. Yet no very important departure from the sense 
of the original author, has been discovered. Nearly all the numerous 
alterations and changes, therefore, relate to the phraseology, or to the 
choice of words and the structure of the sentences. The difficulty 
of combining a neat and perspicuous anglicism with a close adhe- 
rence to the sense and to the very form of thought in the original, 
throughout so large a work, must be obvious to all who have had ex- 
perience in the business of translating; and they will not need to be 
told, that numberless corrections and improvements will always occur 
to a translator, who revises his work after a lapse of several years. 
In this manner, the diction and the style of this edition, it is believed, 
have been considerably improved, without any sacrifice of fidelity in 

VOL. I. B 


the translation. If it be nob so, more than half a year's labour has 
been expended unsuccessfully. 

The references, to a considerable extent, and where the means 
were at hand, have been verified ; and a considerable number of er- 
rors, some occasioned by the transcription, but more by the mistakes 
of the printers, have been corrected. Many new references to au- 
thorities and to modern authors, have also been added, in various 
parts of the work ; and these, it is hoped, will add considerably to 
the value of the present edition. 

Several topics have likewise been subjected to further investiga- 
tion : and some new notes, of no inconsiderable length, have been 
added, especially in the first vol. of the work. See, for example the 
notes on the Meletian controversy, p. 269, &c. ; on the origin o: the 
Christian festivals, and particularly that of Christmas, p. 279, &c. ; 
on the life and labours of St. Patrick, the apostle of Ireland, p. 
316, &c. ; and on the character and life of Mohammed, the progress 
of his religion, and the sects among his followers ; both in ths text 
and in the notes, p. 427-434. 

The new matter in this edition amounts, probably, to fifteen or 
twenty pages in the three volumes. At the same time, by enlarging 
the pages a little, by greater economy in regard to blank spaces, and 
by giving the text in a type a trifle smaller, the number of pages in 
each of the volumes is less than in the former edition. The notes 
are also printed in double columns, which is not only favourable to 
economy in the printing, but will render the perusal of the longer 
notes less laborious to the eye. 

Lastly, the exclusive publication of the work during ten years, 
having been assigned to one of the most distinguished publishing 
houses in America, and that house having undertaken to stereotype 
the work ; great pains have been taken, both by the publishers and 
the author, to secure more accuracy in the printing of this edition, 
than was attained in the former edition^ 
New-Haven, 1839. 



MY Institutes of Christian History (\) having been long out of 
print, the worthy person at whose expense they were published has 
often requested me to give a new edition of them, somewhat improved 
and enlarged. This request I for many years resisted ; for I was re- 
luctant to suspend other works then on my hands, which were deemed 
more important; besides, I must acknowledge that I shrunk from 
the irksome task of correcting and enlarging a book which needed so 
much amendment. The importunities of the publisher, however, and 
of other friends who joined with him, at length overcame my tardi- 
ness ; and now, after the leisure hours of two years have been spent 
on the work, it is brought to a close ; and these Institutes of Eccle- 
siastical History now make their appearance, not only in a new form 
and dress, but so materially changed as to be almost entirely a new 

The distribution of the materials under certain heads, which I once 
deemed the best form for the learner, is still retained ; for, notwith- 
standing weighty reasons have occurred to my mind for preferring a 
continuous and unbroken narration, I have chosen to follow the judg- 
ment of those excellent men whom experience has led to prefer the 
former method. And, indeed, a little reflection must convince us, 
that whoever would embrace in a single book all the facts and obser- 
vations necessary to a full acquaintance with the state of the church 
in every age of it, must, of course, adopt some classification and dis- 
tribution of those facts ; and as such was the design of the following 
work, I have left its primitive form unchanged, and have directed my 
attention solely to the correction, improvement, and enlargement of the 
work, so as to render it a more useful book. 

My principal care has been to impart fidelity and authority to the 
narration. For this purpose I have gone to the primary sources of 
information, such as the best writers of all ages who lived in or near 
the times they describe ; and I have consulted them with attention, 
and have transcribed from them, whenever they were sufficiently con- 
cise, and, at the same time, clear and nervous. It is often the case, 
that those who write summaries of history only abridge the more 
voluminous historians ; and this method I myself before pursued to 
a considerable degree. But such a procedure, though sometimes 

(1) [A work in 2 vols. 12mo, rirst pub- by J. P. Miller, in 1 vol. 12mo. Hamb., 
lished in 1737-41 ; and afterward abridged 1752. Tr.} 


justifiable and not to be wholly condemned, is attended with this evil, 
that it perpetuates the mistakes which are apt to abound in very large 
and voluminous works, by causing them to pass from a single book 
into numerous others. I had long been apprized of this danger; but 
I felt it, with no little mortification, when I brought the testimony of 
the best authorities to pour their light on the pages of my own work. 
I now perceived, that writers pre-eminent for their diligence arid fidel- 
ity are not always to be trusted ; and I found, that I had abundant oc- 
casion for adding, expunging, changing, and correcting in every part of 
my book. In performing this task, I know that I have riot been want- 
ing in patience and industry, or in watchfulness and care ; but whether 
these have secured me against all mistakes, which is confessedly of 
no easy accomplishment, I leave them to judge who are best informed 
in ecclesiastical affairs. To aid persons disposed to institute such 
inquiries, I have, in general, made distinct reference to my authori- 
ties ; and if I have perverted their testimony, either by misstatement 
or misapplication, I confess myself to be less excusable than other 
transgressors in this way, because I had before me all the authors 
whom I quote, and I turned them over, and read, and compared them 
with each other, being resolved to follow solely their guidance. 

This effort to render my history faithful and true, that is, exactly 
coincident with the statements of the most credible witnesses, has 
caused many and various changes and additions throughout the work; 
but in no part of it are the alterations greater or more noticeable than 
in the Third Book, which contains the history of the church, and 
especially of the Latin or Western Church, from the time of Charle- 
magne to the reformation by Luther. This period of ecclesiastical 
history, though it embraces great events, and is very important on 
account of the light it casts on the origin and causes of the present 
civil and religious state of Europe, thereby enabling us correctly to 
estimate and judge of many things that occur in our own times, has 
not hitherto been treated with the same clearness, solidity, and ele- 
gance, as the other parts of church history. Here the number of 
original writers is great ; yet few of them are in common Vise, or of 
easy acquisition, and they all frighten us either with their bulk, the 
barbarity of their style, or their excessive price ; not a few of them, 
too, either knowingly or ignorantly, corrupt the truth, or at least ob- 
scure it by their ignorance and unskilfulness ; and some of them have 
not yet been published. It is not strange, therefore, that many things 
in this part of ecclesiastical history should have been either silently 
passed over or less happily stated and explained, even by the most 
laborious and learned authors. Among these, the ecclesiastical annal- 
ists and the historians of the monastic sects, so famous in the Roman 
church, as Baronius, Raynald, Bzovius, Manriquez, Wadding, and 
others, though richly supplied with ancient manuscripts and records, 
have often committed more faults and fallen into greater mistakes, 
than writers far inferior to them in learning, reputation, and means of 
information. Having therefore bestowed much attention during many 


years on the history of the church from the eighth century onward, 
and believing that I had obtained, from works published or still in 
manuscript, a better and more correct knowledge of many events 
than is given in the common accounts of those times, I conceived that 
I might do service to the cause of ecclesiastical history by exhibiting 
to the world some of the results of my investigations ; and that, by 
throwing some light on the obscure period of the Middle Ages, I 
might excite men of talents and industry to pursue the same object, 
and thus to perfect the history of the Latin Church. I persuade my- 
self that I have brought forward some things which are new, or before 
little known ; that other things, which had been stated incorrectly or 
obscurely, I have here exhibited with clearness, and traced back to the 
proper authorities ; and, claiming the indulgence allowed an old man 
to boast a little, that some things, which were accredited fables, I have 
now exploded. Whether I deceive myself in all this, or not, the dis- 
cerning reader may ascertain by examining, and comparing with the 
common accounts, what I have here said respecting Constantino's do- 
nation, the Cathari and Albigenses, the Beghards and Beguines, the 
Brethren and Sisters of the Free Spirit (that pest to many parts of 
Europe during four centuries), and of the Fratricelli [or Little Breth- 
ren], the controversies between the Franciscans and the Roman pon- 
tiffs, the history of Berengarius and of the Lollards, and several other 

If, in these enlargements of ecclesiastical history, and while giving 
views either partially or wholly new, I had used the same brevity as 
on the subjects well stated and explained by many before me, I 
should neither have satisfied the inquisitive reader nor have done 
justice to myself. For I should have appeared to many, as a writer 
of fables ; and their apprehensions on these subjects would have been 
indistinct, useless, and fallacious. Therefore, when I have departed 
widely from the common statements, or advanced apparent novelties, 
I have not only aimed to be very explicit, but, in order to give credi- 
bility to my narration, have gone into more ample disquisitions and 
citations of authorities, because full statements and demonstrations, 
though out of place in an epitome of history, were here indispensable. 

In addition to these causes for changing- materially the character, 
and swelling the size, of my book, another occurred soon after I com- 
menced its revision. I had before designed my work especially for 
lecturers on church history, who need a compendious text for the basis 
of their instructions ; and had therefore only touched upon many things 
which I supposed would be dilated and explained more fully by the 
lecturer. But when I began to revise and correct the work for a 
new edition, it occurred to me that it would be more satisfactory to 
many, and better subserve the cause of sacred learning, if the book 
were adapted not merely to the convenience of lecturers, but also to 
the wants of those who attempt without a teacher to gain a general 
knowledge of ecclesiastical history. As soon as this thought occurred, 
my views were changed ; and I began at once to supply omissions, 


to explain more fully what was obscure, and to give greater precision 
and distinctness to the whole narration. And hence it is that, in de- 
scribing the calamities in which the Christians of the first ages were 
involved, more pains are taken than is commonly done to state pre- 
cisely the truth ; and in tracing the origin and progress of the sects 
which disturbed the church, greater accuracy is attempted ; so, like- 
wise, the new forms of religion, devised by those who love new 
things, are calmly and candidly described, and with all possible fideli- 
ty ; and religious contests and disputes are more clearly stated, and 
their importance more carefully determined ; and the history of the 
Roman pontiffs after the times of Charlemagne, their conflicts and their 
enterprises, have received more careful attention. I mention these 
as specimens only of what has been attempted, for the advantage of 
those who cannot pursue a regular course of church history from their 
want of books or leisure, and who yet wish to obtain a clear and cor- 
rect view of the principal facts and transactions. The book, for the 
most part, may be safely trusted by such readers ; and it will afford 
them as much knowledge as will satisfy one that reads only for prac- 
tical purposes ; and, besides, it will direct to the authors from whom 
more full information may be obtained. 

It would be folly, and would betray ignorance of human imperfec- 
tion, if I should suppose that no errors could be detected, and that 
nothing needed correction in all the details of so large a history ; yet, 
conscious of my own integrity and good faith, and of the pains I have 
taken to avoid mistakes, I cannot but hope, that I have rarely so failed 
that serious evils will result from my errors. 

I could add some other prefatory remarks, which would, perhaps, 
not be useless ; but nothing more need be added to enable those to 
judge correctly of the present work, who will be candid and ingenu- 
ous, and who are competent judges in such matters. I therefore 
conclude by offering the just tribute of my gratitude to Almighty God, 
who has given me strength, amid the infirmities of age and the pres- 
sure of other labours and cares, to surmount the difficulties and bear 
the fatigue of completing the work now given to the public. 

Gottingen, March 23, 1755. 

I N T R O D U C T.I O N. 

<j 1. Ecclesiastical History defined. 2. Its Divisions. 3. The External History of 
the Church, 4. which treats of the prosperous 5. and the adverse Events. 
$ 6. The Internal History, f) 7. which treats of (I.) Ministers. 8, 9. (II.) Doctrines. 
10. (III.) Worship. 11. (IV.) Heresies. 12. Events must be traced to their 
Causes. 13. Means of discovering these Causes, general 14. and particular; in 
the external 15. and internal History. 16. The Sources of Ecclesiastical History. 
() 17. Qualities of the Historian. $ 18. He must be free from all Prejudices. 19. 
Faults of Historians. <) 20. Uses of Ecclesiastical History, general 21. and special. 
22, 23. Method in Ecclesiastical History. Division into Periods <) 24. Distribution 
under Heads. 

1. The Ecclesiastical History of the New Dispensation is a clear and 
faithful narrative of the external condition, and of the internal state and 
transactions, of that body of men who have borne the name of Christians ; 
and in which events are so traced to their causes, that the providence of 
God may be seen in the establishment and preservation of the church, and 
the reader's piety, no less than his intelligence, be advanced by the perusal. 

2. The best form of such a history seems to be that, which considers 
the whole body of Christians as constituting a society or community, sub- 
jected to lawful authority, and governed by certain laws and institutions. 
To such a community many external events must happen, which will be 
favourable to its interests or adverse to them : and, since nothing human 
is stable and uniform, many things will occur in the bosom of such com- 
munity tending to change its character. Hence its history may very suit- 
ably be divided into its external and its internal history. In this manner 
the history of the Christian community, in order to its embracing all the 
details and promoting the greatest usefulness, should be divided. 

3. The external history of Christians, or of the Christian community, 
is properly called a history of the church : and it embraces all the occur- 
rences and changes which have visibly befallen this sacred society. And 
as all communities are sometimes prosperous and sometimes meet with 
adversity, such also has been the lot of Christians. Hence this part of 
ecclesiastical history is fitly divided into an account of the prosperous and 
of the calamitous events which Christians have experienced. 

4. The prosperous events, or those tending to the advancement and 
progress of the Christian interest, proceeded either from the heads and 
leaders, or from the subordinate members of this community. Its heads 
and leaders were either public characters, such as kings, magistrates, and 
sovereign pontiffs ; or private individuals, the doctors, the learned and in- 
fluential men. Both classes have contributed much, in all ages, to the in- 
crease of the church. Men in power, by their authority, laws, benefi- 
cence, and even by their arms, have contributed to establish and enlarge 
the church. And the doctors, and men of learning, of genius, and emi- 
nent piety, by their vigorous and noble efforts, their travels, their writings, 
and their munificence, have successfully recommended the religion of 


Christ to those ignorant of it. And common Christians, by their faith, 
their constancy, their piety, their love to God and men, have induced many 
to become Christians. 

5. The calamitous events which have befallen the church, arose either 
from the fault of Christians, or from the malice and stratagems of their ad- 
versaries. There is abundant evidence that Christians themselves, and 
especially those who presided in the church, have brought much evil upon 
the body by their negligence, their unholy lives, and their strifes and con- 
tentions. The enemies of Christ's kingdom were also either public or 
private men. Public enemies, namely, kings and magistrates, by their 
laws and penalties, obstructed the progress of Christianity. Private men, 
the philosophers, the idol-worshippers, and the despisers of all religion, 
assailed the church with false accusations, stratagems, and hostile writings. 

6. The internal history of the Christian church, treats of the changes 
to which the church in every age has been exposed, in regard to its dis- 
tinguishing characteristics as a religious society. It may not unsuitably 
be called the history of the Christian religion. The causes of these inter- 
nal changes are found, for the most part, in the rulers of the church. 
These often explained the principles and precepts of Christianity to suit 
their own fancy or convenience. And as some acquiesced and were sub- 
missive, while others frequently resisted, divisions and contentions were 
the consequence. To all these subjects the intelligent ecclesiastical his- 
torian must direct his attention. 

7. The first subject in the internal history of the church, is the history 
of its rulers and of its government. Originally, the teachers and the peo- 
ple conjointly administered the affairs of the church. But, in process of 
time, these teachers assumed a loftier spirit, and, trampling on the rights 
of the people, they claimed sovereign power, both in sacred and secular 
affairs. At last, things gradually came to this, that one person held su- 
preme power over the whole church, or, at least, affected to hold it. 
Among these prefects and guides of the church, some obtained by their 
writings pre-eminent fame and influence ; and as they were by after ages 
regarded as oracles, and blindly followed, they ought to rank among the 
governors of the church, whether they held offices in it or not. 

8. The history of the laws by which this religious society was gov- 
erned, naturally follows the history of its ministers. The laws peculiar 
to the Christian community are of two kinds. Some are divine, proceed- 
ing from God himself ; and these are found written in those books which 
Christians very properly believe to be divinely inspired. Others are hu- 
man, or are enactments of the rulers of the community. The former are 
usually called doctrines, and are divided into two species, namely, doc- 
trines of faith, which are addressed to the understanding, and moral doc- 
trines, which address the heart or will. 

9. In the history of these laws or doctrines, it should be our first in- 
quiry, In what estimation was the sacred volume held from age to age, and 
how was it interpreted 1 For in every period, the state of religion among 
Christians has depended on the reverence paid to the sacred volume, and 
on the manner of expounding it. We should next inquire how these di- 
vine instructions and laws were treated ; in what manner they were incul- 
cated and explained, defended against gainsayers, or debased and corrupted. 
The last inquiry is, how far Christians were obedient to these divine laws, 


or how they lived, and what measures were taken by the rulers of the 
church to restrain the licentiousness of transgressors. 

10. The human laws of which we speak, are prescriptions relating to 
the external worship of God, or religious rites, whether derived from cus- 
tom or from positive enactment. Rites either directly appertain to religion, 
or indirectly refer to it. The former embrace the whole exterior of re- 
ligious worship, both public and private. The latter include everything, 
except direct worship, that is accounted religious and proper. This part 
of religious history is very extensive, on account of the variety and the fre- 
quent changes in ceremonies. A concise history, therefore, can only 
touch upon the subject, without descending into details. 

11. As in civil republics wars and insurrections sometimes break out, 
so, in the Christian republic, serious commotions have often arisen on ac- 
count of both doctrines and rites. The leaders and authors of these sedi- 
tions are called heretics ; and the opinions for which they separated from 
other Christians are called heresies. The history of these commotions or 
heresies should be written with much care. The labour, if expended 
wisely and with impartiality, will well repay the toil : but it is arduous 
and difficult. For the leaders of these parties have been treated with much 
injustice, and their doctrines are misrepresented ; nor is it easy to come 
at the truth in the midst of so much darkness, since most of the writings 
of those called heretics are now lost. Those, therefore, who approach this 
part of church history, should exclude everything invidious from the name 
of heretic, and should consider it as used in its more general sense, to de- 
note those who were the occasion, whether by their own or others' fault, 
of divisions and contests among Christians. 

12. In treating of both the external and the internal history of the 
church, the writer who would be useful, must trace events to their causes ; 
that is, he must tell us not only what happened, but likewise how and why. 
He who narrates the naked facts, only enriches our memory and amuses 
us ; but he who at the same time states the operative causes of events, 
profits us, for he both strengthens our judgment and increases our wisdom. 
Yet it must be confessed that caution is here necessary, lest we should fabri- 
cate causes, and palm our own waking dreams upon the men long since dead. 

13. In exploring the causes of events, besides access to ancient tes- 
timony and the history of the times, a good knowledge of human nature is 
requisite. The historian who understands the human character, the pro- 
pensities and powers, the passions and weaknesses of man, will readily 
discover the causes of many things attempted or done in former times. 
No less important is it, to be acquainted with the education and the opinions 
of the persons we treat of; for men commonly regard as praiseworthy and 
correct, whatever accords with the views and practices of their ancestors 
and their own sect. 

14. To explore causes in the external history, a historian should con- 
sider the civil state of the countries in which the Christian religion was 
either approved or rejected ; and also their religious state, that is, the opin- 
ions of the mass of the people concerning the Deity and divine worship. 
For, it will not be difficult to determine why the church was now prosper- 
ous and now in trouble, if we know what was the form of government, 
what the character of the rulers, and what the prevailing religion at the time. 

15. To dispel obscurities in the internal history, nothing is more con- 

VOL. I. C 


ducive than a knowledge of the history of learning, and especially of phi- 
losophy. For, most unfortunately, human learning or philosophy has in 
every age been allowed more influence in regard to revealed religion than 
was fit and proper, considering the nature of the two things. Moreover, 
a good knowledge of the civil government and of the ancient superstitions 
of different countries, is useful to the same end. For through the prudence, 
or, rather, the indiscretion of the presiding authorities, many parts of the 
discipline and worship of the church have been shaped after the pattern 
of the ancient religions, and no little deference has been paid to the pleas- 
ure of sovereigns and to human laws in regulating the church of God. 

16. From what sources all this knowledge must be drawn, is quite 
obvious ; namely, from the writers of every age who have treated of Chris- 
tian affairs, and especially from those contemporary with the events ; for 
testimony or authority is the basis of all true history. Yet we ought not 
to disregard those who, from these sources, have compiled histories and 
annals. For to refuse proffered assistance, and despise the labours of 
those who before us have attempted to throw light on obscure subjects, is 
mere folly.(l) 

17. From all this, it will be easy to determine the essential qualifica- 
tions of a good ecclesiastical historian. He must have no moderate ac- 
quaintance with human affairs in general ; his learning must be extensive, 
his mind sagacious and accustomed to reason, his memory faithful, and his 
judgment sound and matured by long exercise. In his disposition and 
temperament, he must be patient of labour, persevering, inflexible in his 
love of truth and justice, and free from every prejudice. 

$ 18. Persons who attempt this species of writing are liable to preju- 
dice, especially from three sources ; namely, times, persons, and opinions. 
First, the times in which we live often have such ascendency over us, that 
we measure past ages by our own ; we conclude that what does occur, or 
can not occur, in our day, in like manner did occur, or could not occur, in for- 
mer ages. Secondly, the persons with whose testimony we are concerned, 
especially if for ages they have been highly revered for their holiness 
and their virtues, acquire such an authority with us, as to lead us blindfold. 
And, thirdly, our attachment to the opinions and doctrines we espouse, often 
so paralyzes our judgment that, unconsciously, we misapprehend facts. 
]\ow from this triple bondage the mind must, as far as possible, be set free. 

19. But from this rule, and from others equally obvious and important, 
how widely ecclesiastical historians of all ages have departed, is too well 
known. For, not to mention the many who think themselves great historians 
if they have a good memory, and to pass by those who are governed more 
by their private interests than by the love of truth, few are the writers, 
whom neither the sect to which they belong, nor the venerated names 

(t) To acquaint us with all the writers on (in German), vol. ii., and by J. A. Nosselt 

ecclesiastical history was the professed ob- and C. F. L. Simon, Guide to a knowledge 

ject of Sen. Walth. Sluterus, in his Propy- of the best works in every branch of theolo- 

laeum Historic Christians, Luneb., 1696, gy, (in German), 2 vols. 8vo, 2d ed., Leipz., 

4to ; and of Gasp. Sagittarius, Introduc- 1800-13. Valuable notices of the principal 

tio ad Historiam Eccles., singulasque ejus writers are to be found in J. G. Watch,, Bib- 

Sartes ; especially vol. i. [2 vols. 4to, liotheca theol. selecta, tomo 3tio, and in his 

ena, 1694, 1718. A good account of the* Historia Eccles. Novi Test. ; also in the 

most important writers is given by G. J. (German) Church History of J. M. Schrockh, 

Planck, Introduction to theological science, vol. i., Introd. pt. iii. TV.] 


of some ancient authors, nor the influence of the age in which they live, 
can disarm and divert from the truth. In the present age especially, the 
spirit of the times and the prejudice of opinions, have incredible influence 
with many. Hence the following arguments so often occurring in the 
writings of learned men : These are true sentiments ; therefore we must 
suppose the ancient Christians embraced them. This is correct practice ac- 
cording to Christ's precepts ; therefore, doubtless, the earlier Christians so 
lived. This does not now take place ; therefore it did not in ancient times. 

20. Ecclesiastical history, if written by persons free from these and 
other faults, cannot fail to be greatly beneficial to mankind at large, but es- 
pecially to the teachers and guides of the church. Whoever shall con- 
sider attentively the numerous, the varied, and threatening dangers which 
the Christian religion has happily surmounted, will doubtless find himself 
more established in the belief of this religion, and better prepared to with- 
stand the assaults, the cavils, and insidious attacks of the irreligious and 
profane. The many illustrious examples of virtue with which this history 
abounds, are admirably suited to awaken pious emotions, and to instil the 
love of God into lukewarm minds. Those wonderful revolutions and 
changes which have occurred in every age of the church, originating often 
from small beginnings, proclaim aloud the providence of God, and the in- 
stability and vanity of all human things. Nor is it of small advantage, to 
know the origin of the numerous and absurd opinions, superstitions, and 
errors, which still prevail in many parts of the Christian world. For such 
knowledge will enable us to discover the truth more clearly, to prize it 
more, and to defend it better. Of the entertainment afforded by this and 
other parts of church history, I shall say nothing. 

21. But public teachers especially, and the ministers of religion, may 
from this study derive great assistance, in acquiring that practical wisdom 
which they so much need. Here, the numerous mistakes of even great 
men, warn them what to shun if they would not embroil the Christian 
church ; there, many illustrious examples of noble and successful effort, 
are patterns for their imitation. And for combating errors, both those in- 
veterate by age and those of more recent growth, nothing, except the holy 
Scriptures and sound reason, can be compared with this kind of history. I 
pass over other advantages which will be found by experience to result 
from this study ; nor will I mention its subserviency to other branches of 
knowledge, particularly to that of jurisprudence. 

22. The two parts of church history, the external and the internal, 
require a method or arrangement of the work suited to both. The external 
history, being a long and continued narrative, extending through many cen- 
turies, requires a distribution into certain intervals of time, for the benefit 
of the understanding and memory of the reader, and for the preservation 
of order. Various divisions of time may be adopted. I have preferred 
the customary one into centuries, because it is the most approved, though 
it is not free from objections. 

23. No small part of these objections, however, will be removed if 
we superadd a more general division of time, or one into longer periods, 
bounded by certain great revolutions and changes in the state of the church. 
Accordingly, the whole of the following history is divided into four books. 
The first contains the history of the church of Christ from its commence- 
ment to the time of Constantine the Great. The second extends it from 


Constantine to Charlemagne. The third continues it to the time when 
Luther began the reformation in Germany. The fourth and last brings it 
down to our own times [or, rather, to the year 1700 ; with a sketch merely 
of the first part of the 18th century. TV.]. 

24. Moreover, ecclesiastical history treats, as we have already seen, 
of various distinct but kindred subjects ; which may properly be arranged 
under separate heads. Historians have adopted different classifications, 
such as their fancies or their designs in writing pointed out. The distri- 
bution which we prefer has been already indicated [in 4-11, of this In- 
troduction], and need not be here repeated. 












$ 1. State of the Roman Empire. 2. Its Evils. $ 3. Its Advantages. $4. Then in 
Peace. 5. Other Nations. 6. All were Idolaters. $ 7. They worshipped different 
Gods. 8. They were Tolerant. 9. Most of their Gods were deceased Heroes. 
$ 10. Pagan Worship. $ 11. It was confined to Times and Places. 12. The Mys- 
teries <) 13. Paganism not the Parent of Virtue. <J 14. Its Votaries sunk in Vice. 
(f 15. How supported by the Priests. $ 16. The Roman and Grecian Religions. $ 17. 
The mixed Religions of the Provinces. 18. Religions beyond the Roman Empire 
classed. 19. Philosophers unable to Reform the World. $ 20. The Oriental and the 
Grecian Philosophy. $ 21. Some Philosophers subverted all Religion. $ 22. Others 
debased it; e.g., Aristotelians. 23. Stoics. 24. Platonics. '$ 25. The Eclectics. 
$ 26. Use of this Chapter. 

1. AT the time when God became incarnate, a great part of the world 
was subject to the Romans. Their remoter provinces they either ruled by 
means of temporary governors and presidents sent from Rome, or suffered 
to live under their own kings and laws, subject to the sovereign control of 
the Roman republic. The Senate and people of Rome, though they hud 
not lost all appearance of liberty, were really under the authority of one man, 
Augustus ; who was clothed with the titles of emperor, sovereign pontiff, 
censor, tribune of the people, proconsul ; in a word, with every office which 
conferred general power and pre-eminence in the common wealth.(l) 

2. The Roman government, if we regard only its form and laws, was 
sufficiently mild and equitable. (2) But the injustice and avarice of the 
nobles and provincial governors, the Roman lust of conquest and dominion, 
and the rapacity of the publicans who farmed the revenues of the state, (3) 
brought incalculable evils on the people. The magistrates and publicans, 
on the one hand, fleeced the people of their property ; and, on the other, 
this lust of dominion required numerous armies to be raised in the provin- 

(1) See Aug. Campianus de officio et po- posth. works, vol. i., p. 1-48. Lend., 
testate magistratuum Romanor. et jurisdic- 1726, 8vo. Scip. Maffei Verona illustrata, 
tione, lib. i., cap. 1, $ 2, p. 3, &c. Gene- lib. ii, p 65. [Pelro Giannone, Istoria civ- 
va, 1725, 4to. [Memoirs of the court of ile del regno di Napoli, lib. i., princip. 
Augustus, by Thn. Blackwcll, vol. i, ii., TV.] 

4to. Edinb", 1753 .Schl.~\ (3) [See P. Burmann, de Vectigalibus 

(2) See Sir W. Moyle's Essay on the con- populi Romani, cap. ix., p. 123, &c. .ScA/.] 
stitution of the Rom. government, in his 


ces, which was oppressive to them, and was the occasion of almost per- 
petual wars and insurrections. 

3. Still, this widely-extended dominion of one people, or, rather, of one 
man, was attended with several advantages. First, it brought into union 
a multitude of nations differing in customs and language. Secondly, it gave 
freer access to the remotest nations. (4) Thirdly, it gradually civilized 
the barbarous nations, by introducing among them the Roman laws and 
customs. Fourthly, it spread literature, the arts, and philosophy in coun- 
tries where they were not before cultivated. All these greatly aided the 
ambassadors of our Lord in fulfilling their sacred commission. (5) 

4. At the birth of Christ the Roman empire was much freer from com- 
motions than it had been for many years. For though I cannot agree with 
them who think, with Orosius, that the temple of Janus was then shut, and 
the whole world in profound peace,(6) yet there can be no doubt that the 
period when our Saviour descended on earth, if compared with the prece- 
ding times, was peculiarly peaceful. And, according to St. Paul, (7) this 
peace was very necessary for those whom Christ commissioned to preach 
the Gospel. 

5. Of the state of those nations which lay without the Roman empire, 
historic records will not allow us to give so full an account. Nor is it 
very necessary to our purpose. It is sufficient to know, that the Oriental 
nations were pressed down by a stern despotism, which their effeminacy 
of mind and body, and even their religion, led them to bear with patience ; 
while the northern nations enjoyed much greater liberty, which was pro- 
tected by the rigour of their climate and the consequent energy of their 
constitutions, aided by their mode of life and their religion. (8) 

6. All these nations were plunged in the grossest superstition. For 
though the idea of one supreme God was not wholly extinct, (9) yet most 
nations, or, rather, all except the Jews, supposed that each country and 
province was subjected to a set of very powerful beings, whom they called 
gods, and whom the people, in order to live happily, must propitiate with 
various rites and ceremonies. These deities were supposed to differ ma- 
terially from each other in sex, power, nature, and offices. Some nations, 
indeed, went beyond others in impiety and absurdity of worship, but all 
stood chargeable with irrationality and gross stupidity in matters of religion. 

7. Thus every nation had a class of deities peculiar to itself, among 
which one was supposed to be pre-eminent over the rest, and was their 
king, though subject himself to the laws of fate or to an eternal destiny. 

(4) See Nic. Bergier, Histoire des grands que imperia penes eos fuere populos, qui 
ehemins de 1'empire Remain, 2d ed., Brus- mitiore ccelo utuntur: in frigora septentri- 
eels, 1728, 4to> and Everard Otto, de Tutela onemque vergentibus, immansueta ingenia 
viarum publicarum, pt. ii., p. 314. sunt, ut ait pceta, suoqne simillima ccelo. 

(5) Origen, among others, acknowledges (9) [See Christopher Meiners 1 Historia 
this : lib. ii., adv. Celsum, p. 79, ed. Can- doctrinae de vero Deo, omnium rerum auo 
tabr. [See also Heilmann, Comment, de tore atque rectore, 2 parts, Lemgo., 1780, 
florente litterarum statu et habitu ad relig. p. 548, 12mo, where, from a critical inves- 
Christi initia. Schl.] tigation, proof is adduced that the ancient 

(6) See Joh. Massoni Templum Jani, pagan nations were universally ignorant of 
Christo nascente, reseratum. Roter., 1706, the Creator and Governor of the world, till 
8vo. Aitaxagoras, about 450 years before Christ, 

(7) See 1 Tim. ii., 2, &c. and afterward other philosophers, conceived 

(8) Seneca, de Ira, lib. ii., cap. 16. Opp. that the world must have had an intelligent 
torn, i., p. 36, ed. Gronovii : Fere ita- architect. TV.] 


For the Oriental nations had not the same gods as the Gauls, the Germans, 
and the other northern nations ; and the Grecian deities were essentially 
different from those of the Egyptians, who worshipped brute animals, 
plants, and various productions of nature and art.(10) Each nation like- 
wise had its own method of worshipping and propitiating its gods, differing 
widely from the rites of other nations. But, from their ignorance or from 
other causes, the Greeks and Romans maintained that their gods were uni- 
versally worshipped ; and they therefore gave the names of their own gods 
to the foreign deities, which has caused immense confusion and obscurity 
in the history of the ancient religions, and produced numberless errors in 
the works of very learned men.(ll) 

8. But this variety of gods and religions in the pagan nations, pro- 
duced no wars or feuds among them, unless, perhaps, the Egyptians are 
an exception. (12) Yet the Egyptian wars, waged to avenge their gods, 
cannot properly be called religious wars, [not being undertaken either to 
propagate or to suppress any one form of religion]. Each nation, without 
concern, allowed its neighbours to enjoy their own views of religion, and 
to worship their own gods in their own way. Nor need this tolerance 
greatly surprise us. (13) For they who regard the world as being divided, 
like a great country, into numerous provinces, each subject to a distinct 
order of deities, cannot despise the gods of other nations, nor think of 
compelling all others to pay worship to their national gods. The Romans 
in particular, though they would not allow the public religions to b? changed 
or multiplied, yet gave the citizens full liberty to observe foreign religions 
in private, and to hold meetings and feasts, and to erect temples and groves 
to those foreign deities in whose worship there was nothing inconsistent 
with the public safety and the existing laws.(14) 

9. The greater part of the gods of all nations were ancient heroes, 
famous for their achievements and their worthy deeds ; such as kings, 
generals, and founders of cities ; and likewise females who were highly 
distinguished for their deeds and discoveries, whom a grateful posterity 
had deified. To these some added the more splendid and useful objects 

(10) This was long since remarked by Roman deities and Brahma, Vishnoo, Siva, 
Athanasius, Oratio contra gentes, Opp., torn, and the other gods of Hindostan. And as 
i., p. 25. [See Le Clerc, Ars critica, pt. the classic writers give very imperfect de- 
ii., sect, i., c. 13, $11, and Bibliotheque scriptions of foreign deities, and leave us to 
Choisie, torn vii., p. 84. W. Warbur(on's infer most of their characteristics from the 
Divine legation of Moses demonstrated, names assigned them, it is evident that Dr. 
torn, ii., p. 233, &c. And, respecting the Mosheim's remark is perfectly just. TV.] 
Egyptian gods, see P. E. Jablonsky, Pan- (12) See what Laur. Pignorius has col- 
theon ^Egyptiorum, Francf. ad Viadr., 1750, lected on this subject, in his Expositio men- 
8vo. F. S. von Schmidt, Opuscula, quibus s Isiaeae, p. 41, &c. 

res antiquae, prsecipue JCgyptiaca explanan- (13) [Though extolled by Shaftsbury 

tur. 1765, 8vo. Schl.} among others, Characteristics, vol. ii., p. 

(11) [Dr. Madaine here subjoins a long 166, and vol. iii., p. 60, 86, 87, 154, &c. 
note, asserting that the gods worshipped in Schl.] 

different pagan countries were so similar, that (14) See Corn, a Bynckershoeckh, Dis- 
they might properly be called by the name sert. de cultu peregrins religionis apud Re- 
names. He therefore thinks, that Dr. Mo- inanos, in his Opuscula, L. Bat., 1719, 4to. 
sheim has overrated the mischief done to the [ Warburton's Divine legation of Moses, vol. 
history of idolatry by the Greek and Roman i., p. 307. Compare Livy, Hist. Rom., lib. 
writers. But there was certainly little resem- xxv., 1, and xxxix., 18, and Valer. Max., i., 
blance between Woden and Mercury, Thor 3. Schl. See also N. Lardner, Credib. of 
and Jupiter, Friga and Venus; or between the Gospel Hist., pt. i., b. i., c. 8, $ 3-6. Tr.] 


in the natural world, among which the sun, moon, and stars, being pre- 
eminent, received worship from nearly all ; and some were not ashamed 
to pay divine honours to mountains, rivers, trees, the earth, the ocean, the 
winds, and even to diseases, to virtues and vices, and to almost every con- 
ceivable object, or, at least, to the deities supposed to preside over these 
objects. (15) 

10. The worship of these deities consisted in numerous ceremonies, 
with sacrifices, offerings, and prayers. The ceremonies were, for the 
most part, absurd and ridiculous, and throughout debasing, obscene, and 
cruel. The sacrifices and offerings varied, according to the nature and 
offices of the different gods. (16) Most nations sacrificed animals, and, 
shocking to relate, not a few of them likewise immolated human victims. (17) 
Their prayers were quite insipid, and void of piety, both in their form and 
matter. (18) Presiding over this whole worship, were pontiffs, priests, and 
servants of the gods, divided into many classes, whose business it was to 
see that the rites were duly performed. These persons were supposed to 
enjoy the friendship and familiar converse of the gods, and they basely 
abused their authority to impose on the people. 

11. The religious worship of most nations was confined to certain 
places or temples,(19) and to certain times or stated days. In the temples 
[and groves] the statues and images of their gods were located, and these 
images were supposed to be animated in an inexplicable manner by the 
gods themselves. For, senseless as the worshippers of imaginary gods 
truly were, they did not wish to be accounted worshippers of lifeless sub- 
stances, brass, stone, and wood, but of a deity which they maintained to 
be present in the image, provided it was consecrated in due form. (20) 

12. Besides this common worship to which all had free access, there 
were, among both Orientals and Greeks, certain recondite and concealed 
rites called mysteries, to which very few were admitted. Candidates for 
initiation had first to give satisfactory proof to the hierophants of their 
good faith and patience, by various most troublesome ceremonies. When 
initiated they could not divulge any thing they had seen, without exposing 
their lives to imminent danger.(21) Hence the interior of these hidden 
rites, is at this day little known. Yet we know that, in some of the myste- 
ries, many things were done which were repugnant to modesty and decen- 
cy, and in all of them, the discerning might see that the deities there wor- 
shipped were more distinguished for their vices than for their virtues.(22) 

(15) See the learned work of G. J. Vos- 1711, 8vo. [and Sauberlus, ubi supra, p. 
sius, de Idololatria, lib. i.-iii. [and La my- 343, &c. Schl.] 

thologie et les fables expliquees par 1'histoire, (19) ["Some nations were without tern- 
par 1'Abbe Banter, Paris, 1738-40, 8 vols. pies, such as the Persians, Gauls, Germans, 
12mo, and Fr. Creulztrs 1 Symbolik u. My- and Britons, who performed their religious 
thologie der alten Vb'lker, besonders der worship in the open air, or in the shady re- 
Griechen. Leipz. u. Darmst., 1810-12, 4 treats of consecrated groves." Mad.] 
vols. 8vo. Tr.] (20) Arnobius, adv. Gentes, lib. vi., p. 

(16) See J. Saubertus, de Sacrifices vete- 254, ed. Heraldi Augustine, de Civitate 
rum; republished by T. Crenius, L. Bat., Dei, lib. vii., c. 33, Opp., torn, vii., p. 161, 
1699, 8vo. ed. Benedict. Julian, Misopogon., p. 361, 

(17) See H. Columna, ad Fragmenta En- ed. Spanheim. 

nii, p. 29, and J. Saubertus, de Sacrifices (21) See Jo. Meursius, de Mysteriis 
Vet., cap. xxi., p. 455. Elensyniis ; and David Clarkson, Discourse 

(18) See Matt. Browerius a Niedeck, de on Liturgies, iv. 

Adoratkmibus veterum populorum. Traj., (22) Cicero, Disput. Tusculan., lib. i., 



13. The whole pagan system had not the least efficacy to excite and 
cherish virtuous emotions in the soul. For, in ihejtrst place, the gods and 
goddesses to whom the public homage was paid, instead of being pat- 
terns of virtue, were patterns rather of enormous vices and crimes. (23) 
They were considered, indeed, as superior to mortals in power, and as 
exempt from death, but in all things else as on a level with us. In the 
next, place, the ministers of this religion, neither by precept nor by ex- 
ample, exhorted the people to lead honest and virtuous lives, but gave them 
to understand, that all the homage required of them by the gods was com- 
prised in the observance of the traditional rites and ceremonies.(24) And, 
lastly, the doctrines inculcated respecting the rewards of the righteous and 
the punishments of the wicked in the future world, were some of them du- 
bious and uncertain, and others more adapted to promote vice than vir- 
tue. (25) Hence the wiser pagans themselves, about the time of the Sav- 
iour's birth, contemned and ridiculed the whole system. 

cap. 13 ; [and de Leg., cap. 24. Varro, 
cited by Augustine, de Civitate Dei, lib. 
iv., cap. 31. Eusebius, Praepar. Evangel., 
lib. ii., c. 3. Schl. See also Warlurtori's 
Divine legal., vol. i., lib. ii., sec. 4 ; who 
is confronted by J. Leland, Advantages 
and necessity of the Christian Rev., vol. i., 
ch. 8, 9, p. 151-190. C. Meiners, iiber die 
Mysterien der Alien ; in his Miscel. phil- 
os. works, vol. iii., Leipz., 1776. The 
Baron de Sainte Croix, Memoires pour ser- 
vir a 1'histoire de la religion secrete des an- 
ciens peuples, &c., Paris, 1784, 8vo ; and 
(P. J. Vogel's) Briefe uber die Myslerien, 
which are ihe 2d collodion of Lellers on 
Freemasonry, Nuremb., 1784, 12mo. Il 
has been maintained, lhal ihe design of at 
leasl some of these mysleries was to incul- 
cate the grand principles of natural religion, 
such as the unity of God, the immortality of 
the soul, the importance of virtue, &c., and 
to explain the vulgar polytheism as symbol- 
ical of these greal truths. Bui ihis certainly 
needs better proof. It is more probable lhal 
the later pagan philosophers, who lived after 
the light of Christianity had exposed Ihe 
abominations of polytheism, were ihe princi- 
pal aulhors of Ibis moral inlerprelation of 
the vulgar religion, which they falsely pre- 
tended was laughl in the mysteries, while, 
in reality, Ihose mysleries were probably 
mere supplemenls lo Ihe vulgar mylhology 
and worship, and of the same general char- 
acter and spirit. See an elaborale essay in 
the Quarterly Chrislian Speclalor, vol. ix., 
No. III., for Sept, 1837, p. 478-520, where 
one of the most profound Greek schol- 
ars of our country ably mainlains ihe fol- 
lowing proposilion : " thai, so far as any- 
thing can be known of them, ihey [the mys- 
teries] were nol essenlially different from 
the public worship of heathenism ; that their 
importance did nol consist in teaching exalted 

doctrines concerning God and the soul ; that, 
in truth, no secret doctrines properly per- 
tained to ihem ; and that, whatever high 
truths may have been suggested to any of 
the initiated, those truths were of ' private 
inlerprelalion,' or were sewed on lo the 
mysteries after ihe rise of philosophy." 

(23) Ovid, de Tiistibus, lib. iL, v. 287, 

Quis locus esl lemplis auguslior 1 haec quo- 
que vitet, 

In culpam si qua esl ingeniosa suam. 
Cum steterit Jovis aede : Jovis succurret in 

Quam multas matres feceril ille Deus. 
Proxima adoranli Junonia lempla subibit, 

Pellicibus mullis hanc doluisse Deam. 
Pallade conspecta, nalum de crimine virgo 

Sustuleril quare, quaerel. Erichlhonium. 

[Compare Plato, de Leg., lib. i., p. 776, 
and de Republ., lib. ii., p. 430, &c., ed. 
Ficini ; Isocrates, Encom. Busiridis, Oratl., 
p. 462 ; and Seneca, de Vila beala, cap. 26. 

(24) See J. Barbeyrac, Preface to his 
French translation of Puffendorf's Law of 
nature and nalions, vi. [Yet Ihere were 
some inielligenl pagans who had belter views, 
such as Socrates and ihe younger Pliny. The 
laller, in his Panegyric on Trajan, cap. 3, n. 
5, says : Anima<lverto, etiam Deos ipsos, 
non tarn accuratis adoranlium precibus, quam 
innocenlia el sanclitate Ixtari ; gratioremque 
cxistimari, qui delubris eorum puram cas- 
tamque mentem, quam qui medilalum car- 
men intulerit. Schl.] 

(25) [Whal Ihe Greeks and Romans said 
of ihe Elysian Fields, was nol only fabulous 
in its very aspect, but it held out the pros- 
pect of voluptuous pleasures, opposed to 
true virtue. The more northern nations 


14. And hence a universal corruption of morals prevailed; and crimes, 
which at this day cannot be named with decency, were then practised 
with entire impunity. (26) Those who would see proof of this, may read Ju- 
venal and Perseus among the Latins, and Lucian among the Greeks ; or, if 
this seems too painful, let them reflect on the gladiatorial shows, the sodomy 
and unnatural lusts, the facility of divorce, both among Greeks and Romans, 
the custom of exposing infants and procuring abortions, and the stews con- 
secrated to the gods ; against all which the laws raised no obstructions. (27) 

15. Men of but common discernment, could see the deformity of these 
religions ; but they were met by the crafty priests with two spurious argu- 
ments. First, the miracles and prodigies which were affirmed to have 
taken place, and still to be daily witnessed, in the temples and before the 
shrines of the gods ; and, secondly, the divination and oracles, by which 
these gods were said to have foretold future events. In regard to both, 
the common people were miserably imposed upon by the artifices of the 
priests, and the discerning saw it. (28) But the latter had to laugh with 
caution in order to be safe. For the priests stood ready to accuse of trea- 
son against the gods, before a raging and superstitious multitude, all such 
as exposed their religious frauds. 

16. At the time chosen by the Son of God for his birth among men, 
the Roman religion, as well as arms, pervaded a large part of the world. 
To be acquainted with this religion, is nearly the same as to be acquainted 
with the Grecian superstition. (29) Yet there is some difference between 
them ; for, besides the institutions of Numa and others, invented for polit- 
ical ends, the Romans superadded to the Grecian fables some Italic and 
Tuscan fictions, and also gave the Egyptian gods a place among their 

promised a happy immortality, only to those work, The advantage and necessity of the 

who distinguished themselves by a martial Christian Revelation, shown from the state 

spirit and the slaughter of numerous foes ; of religion in the ancient heathen world ; by 

that is, to the enemies of mankind. And J. Leland, D.D., 2d ed. Dublin, 1765, 2 

the eternal bliss which they promised to vols. 8vo. Tr ] 

these warriors, was only a continued indul- (28) [Schlegel here introduces a long note, 
gence in vile lusts. How could such hopes showing that Dr. Mosheim, till towards the 
excite to virtue 1 Moreover, the doctrine close of his life, did not utterly reject that 
of even these rewards and punishments, was common opinion of the ancients, that evil 
not an article of faith among the Greeks and spirits sometimes aided the pagan priests, 
Romans, but every one believed what he particularly in regard to their oracles. But 
pleased concerning it ; and, at the time of Dr. Mosheim did, we are told by his pu- 
Christ's birth, the followers of Epicurus pil, come at last into the opinion now gen- 
were numerous ; and while many denied, erally admitted, namely, that the pagan ora- 
most others doubted, the reality of future cles were all mere cheats, proceeding from 
retributions. Polybius, Hist., lib. vi., c. the craft of the priests. See Van Dale, de 
54. Sallust, Bell. Catil. Schl.] Oraculis ethnicorum ; among his Diss. Am- 

(26) Cyprian, Epiet. i., p. 2, ed. Baluz., stel., 1696, 4to ; and Bern. Fontendle, His- 
describes at large the debased morals of the toire des oracles, 1687 ; with the Jesuit, J. 
pagans. See also Cornelii Adami Exercit. F. Baltus, Reponse a 1'histoire des oracles, 
de malis Romanorum ante prsedicationem &c., Strasb., 1707, 8vo ; and Suite de la 
Evangelii moribus, in his Exercitt. Exeget. Reponse, &c., 1708, 8vo. Tr.] 
Exercit. V. Grb'ning., 1712, 4to ; [and, (29) See Dumys. Halicar., Antiquitatt. 
what is still better authority, St. Paul to the Romanor., lib. vii., cap. 72, torn, i., p. 460, 
Romans, chap, i., passim. Tr.] ed. Hudson. 

(27) [On the subject of this and several (30) See Sam. Petitus, ad Leges Atticas, 
preceding sections, the reader may find sat- lib. i., tit. i., p. 71. [Lactantius, Divin*- 
iifactory proof in that elaborate and candid rum lustitutt., lib. i., cap. 20. Schl.'] 


17. In the Roman provinces, new forms of paganism were gradually 
produced, compounded of the ancient religions of the inhabitants and that 
of their Roman conquerors. For these nations, who, before their subjuga- 
tion, had their peculiar gods and religious rites, were persuaded by de- 
grees to adopt many of the Roman usages. This was good policy in the 
Romans, whose interests were promoted by the extinction of the inhuman 
rites of the barbarous nations ; at the same time, the levity of those na- 
tions, and their desire to please their masters, favoured the object.(31) 

18. The most prominent religions beyond the bounds of the Roman, 
empire, may be divided into two classes, the civil and the military. To 
the first class belong the religions of most of the Oriental nations, espe- 
cially of the Persians, the Egyptians, and the Indians. For whoever care- 
fully inspects their religions, will see that they are adapted merely to an- 
swer political objects ; to protect the dignity and authority of kings, to 
preserve the public tranquillity, and to promote the civil virtues. To the 
second class must be referred the religions of the northern nations. For 
all that was inculcated among the Germans, Britains, Celts, Goths, &c., 
respecting the gods and the worship due to them, was evidently suited to 
awaken and to cherish the military virtues, fortitude, bravery, and contempt 
of death. A careful examination of these religions will evince the truth 
of these statements. 

19. No nation was so rude and barbarous, as not to contain some per- 
sons capable of discerning the absurdity of the popular religions. But 
among these men some lacked the power and authority, others the dispo- 
sition, and all the wisdom, necessary to produce a reformation. This 
could not well be better exemplified, than it actually is, by the attempts of 
the Greek and Roman philosophers to reform the vulgar superstitions. 
They advanced many tolerably correct ideas respecting the divine nature 
and moral duties, and they exposed, with some success, the errors of the 
prevailing religion ; but all was so intermixed with wild and baseless 
speculations, as clearly to show that it belongs to God only, and not to men, 
to teach the truth undebased and free from errors. 

20. Among the more civilized nations at the time the Son of God ap- 
peared, two species of philosophy prevailed ; namely, the Grecian, which 
was also adopted by the Romans, and the Oriental, which had many fol- 
lowers in Persia, Syria, Chaldea, Egypt, and among the Jews. The for- 
mer was appropriately called philosophy; the latter, by such as spoke 
Greek, was called yvwcr^, that is, knowledge (ss. 0e) of God ; because its 
followers pretended to restore the lost knowledge of the supreme God. (32) 
The advocates of both kinds of philosophy, were split into numerous con- 
tending sects ; yet with this difference, that all the sects of Oriental phi- 
losophy set out with one and the same fundamental principle, and there- 
fore, were agreed in regard to many points of doctrine ; but the Greeks 
were not agreed about the first principles of human wisdom. Of the Ori- 
ental philosophy we shall give account hereafter ; of the Grecian philoso- 
phy and its sects notice will be taken here. 

(31) [Strabo, Geograph., lib. iv., p. 189, in regard to the existence and prevalence of 
&c. Schl.] an Oriental philosophy, going under the name 

(32) St. Paul mentions and disapproves of yvucrif, so early as the days of Christ and 
both kinds of philosophy ; namely, the Gre- his apostles. On this subject more will be 
cian, Colos. ii., 8, and the Oriental, or said hereafter. See cent, i., pt. ii., ch. i., 
yvuatf, 1 Tim. vi., 20. [Dr. Mosheim has n. 7. TV.] 

been censured for his confident assertions 



21. Some of the Grecian sects declared open war against all religion ; 
others admitted, indeed, the existence of God and of religion, but they ob- 
scured the truth rather than threw light upon it. Of the former class were 
the Epicureans and the Academics. The Epicureans maintained, that the 
world arose from chance ; that the gods (whose existence they did not 
dare to deny) neither did nor could extend their providential care to hu- 
man affairs ; that the soul was mortal ; that pleasure(33) was to be sought 
as man's ultimate end ; and that virtue was to be prized only for its sub- 
serviency to this end. The Academics denied the possibility of arriving 
at truth and certainty, and therefore held it uncertain whether the gods ex- 
isted or not ; whether the soul is mortal or survives the body ; whether 
virtue is preferable to vice, or the contrary.(34) At the birth of Jesus 
Christ, these two sects were very numerous and influential, being favoured 
by the men of rank and by nearly all the opulent. (35) 

(33) [" The ambiguity of the word pleas- 
ure has produced many disputes in the ex- 
plication of the Epicurean system. If by 
pleasure be understood only sensual gratifi- 
cations, the tenet here advanced is indispu- 
tably monstrous. But if it be taken in a 
larger sense, and be extended to intellectual 
and moral objects, in what does the scheme 
of Epicurus, with respect to virtue, differ 
from the opinions of those Christian philoso- 
phers who maintain that self-love is the only 
spring of all human affections and actions 1" 
Macl. Epicurus distinguished between 
corporeal pleasure and mental. But he ac- 
counted both sensitive, because he held the 
soul to be material. His conceptions of 
pleasure did not extend beyond natural pleas- 
ures ; the chief of which he supposed to be 
a calm and tranquil state of mind, undis- 
turbed by any fear of God or by any solici- 
tude about the future, and attended with 
freedom from bodily pain. His system, 
therefore, denied the very idea of moral or 
religious pleasures, and it required atheism 
as its foundation. See Staudliri's Geschich. 
d. Moralphilos., p. 236, &c. Hanov., 1822, 
8vo. TV.] 

(34) [The Academics or Platonists be- 
came indeed skeptical, especially those of 
the Middle Academy. Some real Pyrrhon- 
ists likewise assumed the name of Academ- 
ics. Still it is probable the great body of 
Academics, like Cicero, who is accounted 
one of them, merely held that all human 
knowledge is imperfect, that is, falls short 
of certainty ; that, of course, we are obliged 
in all cases to act upon probabilities, of 
which there are different degrees. 7V.] 

(35) The Epicureans were the most nu- 
merous of the two. See Cicero, de Finibus 
honor, et malor., lib. i., cap. 7, lib. ii., cap. 
14, and Disput. Tuscul., lib. v., cap. 10. 
Hence Juvenal, Satyr, xiii., v. 86, &c., thus 
complains of the many atheists at Rome : 
Sunt in fortunae qui casibus omuia ponant, 

Et nullo credant mundum rectore moveri, 
Natura volvente vices et lucis et anni : 
Atque ideo intrepidi quaecunque altaria tan- 


[Dr. Mosheim, in these sections, is giving 
the dark side of pagan philosophy. Like 
his other translators, therefore, I would aim 
so to soften his pictures, that the less in- 
formed reader may not be misled. This, I 
am persuaded, Dr. Mosheim would himself 
approve, as may be inferred from the follow- 
ing long note, inserted apparently for such 
a purpose in the parallel passage of his 
Comment, de Reb. Christ, ante Constant., 
p. 17, 18. "I cannot agree with those who 
maintain, that every one of the philosophers 
of those times, even such as discoursed well 
on religious subjects, was hostile to all re- 
ligion. I think those learned moderns have 
gone too far, who have endeavoured to prove 
that every sect of the philosophers, either 
openly or covertly, aimed to rip up the foun- 
dations of all religion. Are we to believe 
that not one of the many great and worthy 
men of those times, however free from ill 
intentions, was so fortunate as to make a 
proper use of his reason 1 Must all those 
who professed theism, and spoke sublimely 
of the divine perfections, be regarded as 
impostors, who said one thing and meant 
another 1 Yet the celebrated and acute W. 
Warburton, to mention no others, lately ex- 
pended much ingenuity and learning to bring' 
us to such conclusions. See his very elab- 
orate and noted work, entitled The divine 
Legation, &c., vol. i., p. 332, &c., and p. 
419, &c. He would have us think, that all 
the philosophers who taught the immortality 
of the soul, secretly denied it ; that they 
held Nature to be the only Deity, and human 
souls to be particles severed from the soul 
of the world, to which they return at the 
death of the body. But not to mention that 
he cites only Grecian philosophers, while 
other nations had their philosophers also dif- 


22. To the second class belong the Aristotelians, the Stoics, and the Pla- 
tonics: none of whom spoke of God, religion, and moral duties, in a man- 
ner to be of much service to mankind. The god of Aristotle, is like the 
principle of motion in a machine. He is a being regardless of human af- 
fairs, and happy in his own contemplations. Such a god, differing but lit- 
tle from the god of Epicurus, we have no reason either to love or to fear. 
Whether this philosopher held the soul to be mortal or immortal, is at least 
doubtful. (36) Now what solid and sound precepts of virtue and piety can 
that man give, who denies the providence of God, and not obscurely inti- 
mates that the soul is mortal ? 

23. The god of the Stoics has a little more of majesty ; nor does he 
sit musing supinely, above the heavens and the stars. Yet he is described 
as a corporeal being, united to matter by a necessary connexion ; and, 
moreover, as subject to fate : so that he can bestow neither rewards nor 
punishments. (37) That this sect held to the extinction of the soul, at 
death, is allowed by all the learned. Now such doctrines take away the 
strongest motives to virtue. And accordingly, the moral system of the 
Stoics is a body that is fair and beautiful, but without sinews and active 
limbs. (38) 

24. Plato seems to have exceeded all the other philosophers in wisdom. 
For he held the world to be governed by an independent, powerful, and in- 
telligent God ; and he taught men, what to fear and what to hope for, after 
death. Yet his doctrines not only rest on very slender foundations, and 
are exceedingly obscure, but they represent the supreme Creator as des- 
titute of several perfections,(39) and as limited to a certain place. His 

fering widely from the Grecian, the renowned plan all wise and perfect, and from which, of 

author depends not on plain and explicit tes- consequence, the supreme Being, morally 

timony, which seems necessary to justify so speaking, can never depart. So that when 

heavy a charge, but merely on conjectures, Jupiter is said by the Stoics to be subject 

on single examples, and on inferences from to immutable fate, this means no more than 

the doctrines held by certain philosophers, that he is subject to the wisdom of hia own 

If this kind of proof be allowed, if single in- counsels, and acts ever in conformity with 

stances and inferences are sufficient to con- his supreme perfections. The following re- 

vict men of duplicity when no shadow of markable passage of Seneca, drawn from the 

suspicion appears in their language, who fifth chapter of his book de Providentia, is 

will be found innocent 1 Though but an sufficient to confirm the explication we have 

ordinary man, and far inferior to Warburton, here given of the Stoical fate. Ille ipse 

yet I could prove that all the theologians in omnium conditor et rector, scripsit quidem 

Christendom disbelieve utterly what they fata, sed sequitur. Semper paret, semel 

teach in public ; and that they covertly aim jussit." Mad. This fine apology will not 

to instil the poison of impiety into men's bear a strict scrutiny. The Stoics them- 

minds ; if I might be allowed to assail them selves differed in opinion, and they generally 

in the manner this learned writer assails the had indistinct notions. But most of them 

philosophers." TV.] held fate to be rather a physical than a moral 

(36) See the notes on my Latin transla- necessity ; though some of them, at times, 
tion of R. CvdicorlK's Intellectual System, confounded it with Jove, nature, or a pan- 
torn i., p. 66, 500 ; torn, ii., p. 1171 ; and theistic god, as Seneca does in the passage 
Mich. Mourgues, Plan theologiquc du Fyth- quoted. 7V.] 

agorismc, torn, i., p. 75, &c. (38) These remarks receive some illus- 

(37) [" Thus is the Stoical doctrine of tration from my note on Cudworth's Intel. 
fate generally represented, but not more gen- Syst., torn, i., p. 517. 

erally than unjustly. Their fatum, when (39) [He ascribed to God neither omnip- 

carefully and attentively examined, seems to otence, nor omnipresence, nor omniscience, 

have signified no more, in the intention of the Schl. But Dr. Maclaine here enters his 

wisest of that sect, than the plan of govern- dissent. He says, " All the divine pt-rfrc- 

ment formed originally in the divine mind, a tions are frequently acknowledged In that 



doctrine concerning demons and the human soul, is singularly adapted to 
produce and encourage superstition. (40) Nor will his system of morals 
command very high estimation, if we examine it in all its parts, and in- 
quire into its first principles. (41) 

25. As all these sects held many things inconsistent with sound rea- 
son, and were addicted to never-ending contentions and debates, some 
moderate and well-disposed men concluded to follow none of them impli- 
citly, but to glean from all whatever was good and consonant to reason, and 
reject the rest. Hence originated in Egypt, and particularly at Alexandria, 
a new mode of philosophizing called the eclectic. One Potamon, of Alex- 
andria, has been represented as its author; but the subject has its difficul- 
ties. (42) That this sect flourished at Alexandria in the age of our Saviour, 
is manifest from the Jewish Philo, who philosophized according to its prin- 
ciples. (43) These Eclectics held Plato in the highest estimation ; but 
they unscrupulously modified his doctrines by incorporating what they 
pleased from the other philosophers. (44) 

26. It will be easy to see, what inference should be drawn from this 
account of the lamentable state of the world at the time of Christ's birth. 
It may serve to teach us, that the human race was then wholly corrupt, 
and that a divine teacher was needed to instruct mankind in the true prin- 
ciples of religion and morality, and to recall the wanderers into the paths 

philosopher." I wish he had given proof of 
this assertion, if he was able to make it good. 

(40) [He believed, that God employs good 
and evil demons in the government of the 
world, and that men can have commerce 
with these demons. A person believing this, 
may easily be led to regard idolatry as not 
very irrational. Schl.] 

(41) The defects of the Platonic philoso- 
phy are copiously, but not very accurately, 
depicted by Fran. Baltus, in a French work, 
Defense des peres accuses de Platonisme ; 
Paris, 1711, 4to. [Plato has, moreover, 
been accused of Spinozism. For Bayle 
(Continuation des pensees diverses sur la 
Comete, &c., cap. 25) and Gundling (in 
Otiis, fasc. 2, and in Gundlingianis, th. 43 
and 44) tax him with confounding God with 
matter. But Zimrnermann (Opusc., torn, i., 
p. 762, &c.) and the elder Schelhorn ( Amoe- 
nitatt. literar., torn, ix., xii., and xiii.) have 
defended the character of Plato. ScA/.] 

(42) [J. Brucker, Historia crit. philos., 
torn, ii., p. 193, has shown, that in regard to 
the controversies maintained by Heumann, 
Hasaeus and others, respecting this nearly 
unknown Potamon, the probability is, that he 
lived about the close of the second century ; 
that his speculations had little effect ; and 
that Ammonius is to be regarded as the 
founder of the Eclectic sect. Yet this will 
not forbid our believing, what Brucker him- 
self admits, that there were some Grecian 
philosophers as early as the times of Christ, 
who speculated very much as the Eclectics 

afterward did, though the few followers they 
had did not merit the title of a sect. Schl.~] 

(43) [For he philosophized in the manner 
of Clemens Alex., Ongen, and the other 
Christian doctors, who were certainly Eclec- 
tics. For 'the most part he follows Plato, 
and hence many account him a pure Platon- 
ist. But he often commends the Stoics, 
Pythagoreans, and others, and adopts their 
opinions. ScA/.] 

(44) See Godfr. Olearius, de Philosophia 
Eclectica, James Brucker, and others. [On 
the philosophy, as well as the vulgar poly- 
theism of the ancient pagans, the best work 
for the mere English reader, seems to be 
that already mentioned, J. Ldand's Advan- 
tage and necessity of the Christian revela- 
tion, shown from the state of religion in the 
ancient heathen world, second ed , 1765, 2 
vols. 8vo. The history of philosophy among 
the ancients has not been critically and ably 
written in English, nor by Englishmen. 
Stanley's lives, &c., 1655, 4to, is full of 
mistakes ; and Enficld's abridgment of 
Brucker, is quite superficial. The best gen- 
eral works are J. Brvcker's Historia critica 
philosophise, Lips., 1741-67, 6 vols. 4to, and 
the more recent German works by Tiede- 
mann (6 vols. 8vo, 1791-97), Buhle (7 
vols. 8vo, 1796-1804), Tennemann (12 
vols. 8vo, 1798-1820), and Rimier, 3 vols. 
8vo, 1822. The history of moral philoso- 
phy or ethics, is well treated by Cp. Meinen 
(krit. Geschichte, 2 vols. 8vo, 1800-1) and 
C. F. Staudlin, Gesch. der Moralphiloso- 
phie, 1822, p. 1055, 8vo. Tr.] 


of virtue and piety. And it may teach those who before were ignorant of 
it, how great advantages and supports, in all the circumstances of life, the 
human family have derived from the advent of Christ, and from the religion 
which he taught. Many despise and ridicule the Christian religion, not 
knowing that to it they are indebted for all the blessings they enjoy. 




$ I. Herod the Great then reigned. 2. State of the Jews after his Death. 3. Their 
Troubles and Calamities, 4. which were increased by their leading Men. 5. Their 
Religion greatly corrupted, both among the Common People 6. and among their 
Teachers, who were divided into three Sects. 6 7. Their Dissensions. 8. Their 
Toleration of each other. 9. The Essenes. 10. The Therapeutae. 11. Moral 
Doctrines of these Sects. 12. Low State of Religion among the People. $ 13. The 
Kabbala, a Source of Error. 1} 14. Their Form of Worship, debased by Pagan Rites. 
9 15. Causes of the Corruption of the Nation. 16. Yet Religion not wholly ex- 
tinct. 17. The Samaritans. 18. State of the Jews out of Palestine. 

1. THE state of the Jewish people, among whom the Saviour chose 
to be born, was little better than that of other nations. Herod, whose 
crimes procured him the title of the Great, then governed, or, rather, op- 
pressed the nation, being a tributary king under the Romans. He drew on 
himself universal hatred by his cruelties, jealousies, and wars ; and he ex- 
hausted the wealth of the unhappy nation by his mad luxury, his excessive 
magnificence, and his immoderate largesses. Under his administration 
Roman luxury and great licentiousness spread over Palestine.(l) In re- 
ligion he was professedly a Jew, but he copied the manners of those who 
despise all religion. 

2. On the death of this tyrant, the Romans allowed Archelaus, his son, 
with the title of Exarch, to reign over half of Palestine [viz., Judea, Samaria, 
and Idumea] ; the other half was divided between two other sons of Herod, 
Antipas and Philip. Archelaus copied after the vices of his father ; and 
therefore, in the tenth year of his reign, he was publicly accused before 
Augustus and deprived of his crown. (2) The countries he had governed 
were now reduced to the form of a Roman province, and were annexed to 
Syria. This change in the form of government, brought heavy troubles 
and calamities upon the Jews, and at last destroyed the nation. 

3. The Romans did not, indeed, wholly prohibit the Jews from retain- 
ing their national laws, and the religion established by Moses. Their re- 
ligious affairs were still conducted by a high priest, with priests and Le- 

(1) See Christ. Noldii, Historia Idumaea, larius, Historia Herodum, inhisDiss. Acad., 

in Havercamp's edit, of Josephus, torn, ii., p. part, i., and especially the Jewish histori- 

333, &c. Ja. Basnage, Histoire des Juifs, an, Flavins Josephus, in his Wars of the 

torn, i., part i., p. 27, &c. H. Noris, Cosn- Jews. 

otaph. Pisan., ii., 6. H. Prideaux, Con- (2) [Josephus, Antiq. Jud., lib. rvii., cap. 

nexions, &c., part, ii., lib. viii. Chr. Cel- 13, and de Bello Jud., lib. ii., cap. 6. Schl.] 

VOL. I. E 


vites under him, and by their national senate or Sanhedrim. The exte- 
rior of their worship, with a few exceptions, remained unaltered. But the 
amount of evil brought upon this miserable people, by the presence of the 
Romans among them, whom they viewed as polluted and detestable, by 
the cruelty and avarice of the governors, and by the frauds and rapacity 
of the publicans, is almost incalculable. Unquestionably, those Jews lived 
more comfortably who were subject to the other two sons of Herod. 

4. But the measure of liberty and comfort allowed to the Jews by 
the Romans, was wholly dissipated by the profligacy and crimes of those 
who pretended to be patriots and guardians of the nation. Their principal 
men, their high priests, as we learn from Josephus, were abandoned 
wretches, who had purchased their places by bribes or by deeds of in- 
iquity, and who maintained their ill-acquired authority by every species of 
flagitious acts. The other priests, and all who held any considerable of- 
fice, were not much better. The^ multitude, excited by such examples, 
ran headlong into every sort of iniquity, and by their unceasing robberies 
and seditions they armed against themselves both the justice of God and 
the vengeance of men. (3) 

5. Two religions then flourished in Palestine, viz., the Jewish and 
the Samaritan; between the followers of which a deadly hatred pre- 
vailed. The nature of the former is set forth in the Old Testament. But 
in the age of the Saviour, it had lost much of its primitive form and char- 
acter. The people universally were infected with certain prevalent and 
pernicious errors, and the more learned were at variance on points of the 
greatest moment. All looked for a deliverer ; not, however, such a one as 
God had promised, but a powerful warrior and a vindicator of their national 
liberties. (4) All placed the sum of religion in an observance of the Mo- 
saic ritual, and in certain external duties towards their own countrymen. 
All excluded the rest of mankind from the hope of salvation, and, of course, 
whenever they dared, treated them with hatred and inhumanity. (5) To 
these fruitful sources of vice, must be added various absurd and supersti- 
tious opinions concerning the Divine nature, genii, magic, &c., which they 
had partly brought with them from the Babylonian captivity, and partly 
imbibed from the neighbouring Egyptians, Syrians, and Arabians. (6) 

6. The learned, who pretended to a superior knowledge of the law 
and of theology, were divided into various sects and parties,(7) among 

(3) [See Josephus, de Bello Jud., lib. v., (6) [See Th. Gale, Observv. ad Jambli- 
cap. 13, 6, and Basnage, Histoire des chum, de Myster. Aegypt., p. 206, and G. 
Juifs, torn, i., cap. 16. Schl.'] Sale, Preface to his Eng. transl. of the Ko- 

(4) [This is proved by J. Basnage, Hist, ran, p. 72. Even Josephus, Antiq. Jud., 
drs.luifs, torn, v., cap. 10. That not only the lib. iii., c. 7, 2, admits that the Jewish 
Pharisees, but all Jews of whatever sect, religion was corrupted among the Babyloni- 
both in and out of Palestine, were expecting ans. Schl.} 

a Messiah, is shown by Dr. Mosheim, in his (7) Besides these three more noted sects, 

Commentt. de Reb. Christ., &c., p. 40, there were, undoubtedly, others among the 

from the following texts, John i., 20-25 ; x., Jews in the time of Christ. The Herodians 

24, &c. ; xii., 34. Matt, ii., 4-6 ; xxi., 9 ; are mentioned in the sacred volume, the 

xxvi., 63, &c. Schl.~\ G'aulonites by Josephus, and other sects by 

(5) [Hence other nations, not without rea- Epiphanius, and by Hegesippus in Eusebi- 
son, regarded the Jews as enemies of man- us ; all of which cannot be supposed to be 
kind. See the examples collected by J. mere fictions. [Dr. Mosheim's additional 
Eisner, Observatt. Sacr. in N. T., torn, ii., remarks on this subject, in his Commentt. 
p. 274. Schl.] de Reb. Chr. ante C. M., p. 43-45, well de- 



which three were most numerous and influential ; namely, the Pharisees, 
the Sadducees, and the Essenes. The two first are often mentioned in the 
Scriptures : but for a knowledge of the Essenes we are indebted to Josephus, 

serve insertion here. They are as follows. 
" To vindicate my assertion, that Epiphani- 
' account of the Jewish sects, in the begin- 
ning of his book de Haresibus, is not, prob- 
ably, altogether untrue, I will offer a con- 
jecture, which, the more I consider it, the 
more important it appears. I propose it for 
the consideration of the learned. It may, 
perhaps, serve to remove some obscurities 
from ancient ecclesiastical history. Epipha- 
nius states, that there was among the Jews a 
sect of Hemerobaptists, who had this pecu- 
liarity, that they washed themselves daily. 
The same sect is mentioned by an ancient 
writer, Hegesippus, quoted by Eusebius, 
Hist. Eccles., lib. iv., cap. 22, and by Jus- 
tin Martyr, Dial, cum Tryph., p. 245, ed. 
Jebb., though the latter abridges the name, 
calling them Baptists. Nor is this sect 
omitted in the Index of Heresies falsely as- 
cribed to Jerome. The author of the Clem- 
entina, homil. ii., c. 23, says, the founder of 
the sect was named John, and had twelve 
apostles and thirty chief men to aid him. 
The same account occurs in the Epitome 
gestorum Petri, 26, which is subjoined to 
the Clementina. Either no credit is due to 
any ancient history, or these numerous and 
very ancient witnesses, who cannot be sus- 
pected of fraud or ignorance, must be be- 
lieved when they assert that there was a 
sect among the Jews called Hemerobaptists. 
Epiphamus' whole story, therefore, is not to 
be accounted fabulous. 

" The descendants of these Hemerobap- 
tists, I suspect, are still existing. The learn- 
ed well know, that there is in Persia and In- 
dia, a numerous and widespread community, 
who call themselves Mendai Ijahi, Disci- 
ples of John. The Europeans call them 
Christians of St. John, because they have 
some slight knowledge of Christ. By the 
Oriental writers they are called Sabbi or 
Sabbiin. Concerning them, Ignatius a Jesu, 
a Carmelite monk who lived long among 
them, has written a book, entitled Narratio 
originis, rituum et errorum Christianorum 
S. Johannis, &c. Rome, 1652, 8vo. It is 
no contemptible performance, and contains 
many things deserving attention, though it 
is ill digested and unpolished in its style. 
Besides this Ignatius, Bart. Herbdot (in 
Biblioth. Orient, voce Sabi), Asseman (Bib- 
lioth. Orient. Clement. Vat.), Thcvenot and 
Tavernier (in their Travels), Engelb. Kaemp- 
fer (Amcenitatt. e.xot., fasc. ii., cap. 11), and 
very recently, Fourmont (Hist, of Paris. 
Acad. of Inscriptions), aud others, havo 

written largely concerning this people. Tk. 
Sig. Bayer proposed writing a book respect- 
ing them, which, perhaps, was unfinished at 
his death. The origin and true character of 
this sect are still unsettled. That they can- 
not be classed among Christians, is now 
clear. For what they know of Christ they 
have learned from the Chaldean Christians, 
among whom many of them live ; nor do 
they worship or honour Christ. Most of 
the moderns incline to regard them as de- 
scended from those Sabians, who are so 
often mentioned in the Koran of Mohammed, 
and by Maimonides. But their customs and 
their doctrines are wholly different from those 
attributed to the Sabians ; and from their 
being called Sabians by the Mohammedans, 
nothing can be inferred, because it is well 
known that the Arabians apply this name to 
all who 'reject their religion. 

" I am inclined to look upon these Chris- 
tians of St. John, as descendants of those 
Hemerobaptists who were a Jewish sect 
about the time of Christ. For this opinion 
I offer the following arguments : First, they 
profess to be Jews ; and say, their ancestors 
lived on the banks of the Jordan, whence 
they were driven by the Mohammedans. 
This argument I consider as overthrowing 
the hypothesis which makes them to be Sa- 
bians. Secondly, they place their depend- 
ance for pardon and salvation on their fre- 
quent bodily ablutions ; which was also the 
distinguishing error of the Hemerobaptists. 
At this day the Disciples of John, as they 
call themselves, are solemnly baptized by 
their priests but once a year ; whereas the 
Hemerobaptists daily purified themselves 
with water. But it is a fixed principle with 
them all to this day, that, the oftener they 
baptize, the holier and more happy they are ; 
and they therefore would all receive baptism 
every month, nay, every day, if they could. 
The avarice of their priests, who will not 
baptize them without a fee, has rendered the 
repetition of the nte less frequent. Thirdly, 
the founder of this sect, like that of the He- 
mcrobaplists, was named John ; and he has 
left a book, which is preserved with rever- 
ence as being divine. It is commonly sup- 
posed, that this John was John the Baptist, 
Christ's forerunner mentioned in the Scrip- 
tures. Hence many conclude, that the Sa- 
bians are descended from the disciples of 
John the Baptist. So thought Ignatius a 
Jesu ; Narratio de Chr. St. Johan, &c., cap. 
ii., p. 13, &c. But what this sect relate of 
their John, as stated by Ignatius himself, 


Philo, and others. These principal sects agreed, indeed, respecting the 
fundamental principles of the Jewish religion ; and yet, respecting ques- 
tions of the highest importance, and such as relate to the salvation of the 
soul, they were engaged in endless contentions. The pernicious effects 
of these dissensions of the learned on the common people may be easily 

7. They disagreed, first respecting the law itself, or the rule which 
God had given them. The Pharisees superadded to the written law an 
oral or unwritten law, handed down by tradition, which both the Sadducees 
and the Essenes rejected, adhering only to the written law. They differed 
also respecting the import of the law. For the Pharisees held to a double 
sense of the Scriptures, the one obvious and literal, the other recondite and 
figurative, while the Sadducees held only to the literal sense of the Bible. 
Many of the Essenes, dissenting from both, maintained that the words of 
the law are of no authority, but that the things expressed by them are im- 
agery, indicative of sacred and divine things. To these contests concern- 
ing the law, were added others on subjects of the highest moment, and par- 
ticularly respecting the punishments and rewards announced in the law. 
The Pharisees supposed them to affect both the body and the soul, and to 
extend beyond the present life, while the Sadducees held to no future ret- 
ributions. The Essenes took a middle course, admitting future rewards 
and punishments, but confining them to the soul. The body they held to 
be a malignant substance, and the temporary prison of the soul. (8) 

8. Notwithstanding these sects contended about points of such vast 
moment, it does not appear that they resorted to religious persecution of 
each other. Yet this forbearance and moderation, no one acquainted with 

clearly show him to be diverse from the Bap- ciet. reg. scient, Getting., 1780. The most 
list. For they deny, that their John suffered probable conclusion is, that these people are 
death under Herod ; they say, he died a nat- not to be classed among either Jews, Chris- 
ural death in a town of Persia, called Scius- tians, or Mohammedans ; but are of uncer- 
ter, and was buried in the adjacent fields of tain origin, and have a religion of their own, 
that town. They state also, that he had a compounded of Judaism, Christianity, Par- 
wife and four children. Only a few of the sism, and Islamism. For a list of the wri- 
things they relate of their John, accord with ters who treat of them, see Nossell's An- 
what our Scriptures relate of John the Bap- weisung, &c., 474, and Stdudlin's kirchl. 
tist ; and these few things, like what they Geographie, vol. ii.. p. 705. See also A. 
also say of Christ, they doubtless learned Neander, Kirchengesch., b. i., abt. ii., 646, 
from those Christians with whom they asso- note 2 ; and Gieseler's Text-book of Eccl. 
ciated to avoid the oppressions of the Mo- Hist., translated by Cunningham, Boston, 
hammedans; and finding these things not 1836, vol. i., p. 40, note 4; and the Art. 
inconsistent with their faith, and being un- Safer, in the Conversations-Lexicon. Tr.} 
able, from their extreme ignorance, to refute (8) [For an account of the three Jewish 
them, they embraced and still retain them, sects, see Ja. Tngland, Syntagma Trium 
"What degree of weight this supposition of Scriptorum illustrium (viz., Jo. Scahgcr, 
mine deserves, will better appear when the Joh. Drusius, and Nicol. Serarius), de Ju- 
sacred books of this people, and especially the deorum Sectis. Delft, 1702, 2 vols. 4to. 
book said to be written by their founder John, After these, Ja. Basnage and Hum. Pri' 
shall be published. These were, a few years dcdux (in their Jewish histories), the authors 
since, introduced into the king's library at of Introductions to the books of the N. Test. 
Paris ; so that we may hope the learned will (and of works on Jewish Antiquities), and 
sooner or later have access to them." These many others, have described these sects, 
sacred books of the Sabians of Hedshar in some more and some less successfully. Mo- 
Persia, have been examined with consider- shcim, de Reb. Christianor. ante C. M., p. 
able care ; see, among others, M. Norberg, 46. See also Jost's Algem. Gesch. p. Is- 
de religione et ling. Sabaeorum, in Com. So- rael. Volkes, vol. i., p. 517, &c; Tr.} 


the history of those times will ascribe to noble and generous principles. 
The Sadducees were supported by the leading men of the nation, and the 
Pharisees by the common people, and, of course, neither sect could rise 
up in hostility against the other without the most imminent hazard. Be- 
sides, on the least appearance of tumult or sedition, the Romans would 
doubtless have punished the ringleaders with severity. We may add that 
the Sadducees were of accommodating, gentlemanly manners, and, from 
the principles of their sect, were averse from all broils and altercations.(9) 

9. The Essenes could more easily avoid contention with the other 
sects, because they lived, for the most part, in retired places, and remote 
from intercourse with mankind. They were scattered over Syria, Egypt, 
and the neighbouring countries ; and, holding religion to consist in silence 
and meditation, they endeavoured, by a strict mode of life, and by various 
observances, borrowed probably from the Egyptians, (10) to raise themselves 
to higher degrees of virtue. They were not all, however, of the same sen- 
timents. Some lived in celibacy, and made it their care to instruct and 
educate the children of others. Others married wives ; not to gratify their 
natural propensities, but solely to propagate the human race.(ll) Those 
living in Syria held that God may be propitiated by sacrifices, yet they 
believed that they must be offered in a manner very different from the 
common mode among the Jews : hence it appears that they did not reject 
the literal sense of the Mosaic law. But those who inhabited the deserts 
of Egypt maintained that no sacrifice should be presented to God, except 
that of a composed mind, absorbed in the contemplation of divine things ; 
which shows that they put an allegorical sense upon the whole Jewish 
law. (12) 

10. The Therapeutas, of whom Philo wrote a whole book, (13) are 
commonly reckoned a branch of the Essene family ; whence the well- 
known distinction of practical and theoretical Essenes. But whether this 
classification is correct, may be doubted. For nothing is discoverable 
in the customs or institutions of the Therapeutae which evinces abso- 
lutely that they were a branch of the Essenes ; nor has Philo so repre- 
sented them. Who can deny, that other fanatical Jews besides Essenes 
may have united together and formed a society ? But I agree entirely 
with those who regard the Therapeutae as being Jews who claimed to be 
true disciples of Moses, and as being neither Christians nor Egyptians. 
In reality, they were wild and melancholy enthusiasts, who led a life in- 
congruous alike with the law of Moses and with sober reason. (14) 

(9) [See Commentt. de Reb. Chr. ante C. Essay, de Vera notione coenae Domini, p. 4, 
M., p. 48, where Dr. M. proves from Jose- subjoined to his Intellectual System.] 
phus (Antiq. Jud., 1. xviii., c. 1, and 1. xiii., (13) Philo, de Vita contemplativa, in his 
c. 10) that the Sadducees were all men of works, p. 889. 

wealth ; and (from his Bell. Jud.. 1. ii., c. 8) (14) The principal writers concerning the 

that they had little sympathy for others. Dr. Therapeutae are mentioned by J. A. Fabri- 

M. thinks he finds the picture of a Sadducee cius, Lux Salutar. Evang. toti orbi esor, 

in the rich man described in Luke xvi., 19. cap. iv., p. 55. [The more ample account of 

ScAJ.] the Therapeutae, given by Dr. Mosheim in 

(10) See Lu. Holstenius, Notes on For- his Commentt. deKeb. Chr., &c., p. 55, &c., 
phyry, de Vita Pythagoras, p. 1 1, ed. Kuster. is thus abridged by Schlegel. " The Thera- 

(11) [See Josephus, de Bello Jud., lib. ii., peutas wished to pass for disciples of Moses, 
c. 8, $ 13. Schl.] notwithstanding their wide departure from 

(12) [See Mosheim's note on CudwortK's him. They gave up all their property, and 



11. It was not possible that any one of these sects should inculcate 
and diffuse the true principles of virtue and piety. The Pharisees, as our 
Saviour often laid to their charge, disregarded internal purity ; and by a 
vain ostentation and an austere life, sought for popular applause ; and 
also ascribed more authority to their vain traditions, than to the holy com- 
mandments of God, Matt, xxiii., 13, &c. The Sadducees gave a stimu- 
lus to iniquity, and to every lust, by discarding all future rewards and 
punishments. The Essenes, a fanatic and superstitious tribe, made piety 
to consist in a holy indolence and a dislike of mankind ; and thus they 
sundered the ties of society. 

12. When those who assumed the name and the prerogatives of the wise 
were involved in such darkness and such altercations, who can doubt that 
the religion and piety of the common people were in a low and debased 
state ? They were sunk in deplorable ignorance of divine things, and 
they supposed that they rendered themselves acceptable to God by their 
attention to sacrifices, ablutions, and the other ceremonies prescribed by 
Moses. From this twofold source [the ignorance of the people and the 
blindness of their leaders] flowed those polluted morals and that profligate 
life which characterized the greater part of the Jews while Christ was 
among them. (15) Hence our Saviour compared the people to wandering 
sheep, who had no shepherd, Matt, x., 6 ; xv., 24 ; and their teachers to 
blind men, who attempt to show others the way when they cannot see it 
themselves, Matt, xv., 14 ; John ix., 39. 

betook themselves to retired situations, 
where they lived in solitary huts, without 
sacrifices, without any external worship, and 
without labour ; mortifying l&eir bodies by 
fasting and their souls by unceasing contem- 
plation, in order to bring their heaven-born 
spirits, now imprisoned in bodies, into light 
and liberty, and fit them better for the celes- 
tial mansions after death. They assembled 
together every seventh day of the week, 
when, after hearing a discourse and offering 
prayers, they ate together, feeding on salt, 
and bread, and water. This meal was fol- 
lowed by a sacred dance, which they pro- 
tracted through the night and till the dawn 
of day. At first the men and women danced 
apart ; afterward, guided by inspiration, they 
danced together, and laboured by violent 
movements, outcries, songs, and voices, to 
express the love of God then working in their 
souls. Into such follies can human reason 
fall when it has mistaken notions of God 
and of human nature. It is still debated 
whether these Therapeutae were Christians, 
or Jews, or heathen philosophers. Eusebius 
(Hist. Eccles., 1. ii., c. 17) regarded them as 
Christian monks, established in Egypt by St. 
Mark ; and many R.omish writers, to support 
the high antiquity of monkery, zealously de- 
fend this opinion. The whole of this con- 
troversy may be seen in the Lettres pour et 
centre la fameuse question, si les solitaires 
appelles Therapeutes, dont a parle Philon le 
Juif, etoient Chretiens. Paris, 1712, 12mo. 

The chief advocates of this opinion are B. 
de Montfaucon, in the Notes to his Fr. trans- 
lation of Philo, and M. le Quien, Christianus 
Oriens, torn, ii., p. 332. On the other hand, 
Scaligcr, Ckamier, Lightfoot, Daille, the 
two Basnages, Prideaux, Ittig, Buddeus, 
Mosheim, Baumgarten, and recently J. A. 
Orsi (His. Eccles., vol. i., p. 77) and Mangey 
(Preface to Philo's Works) have maintained 
that they were Jews, and of the sect of Es- 
senes. J. J. Lange, in a Dissert., published 
in 1721, maintained, upon very slender 
grounds, that they were Oriental philoso- 
phers, of melancholy temperament, who had 
imbibed some Jewish notions. And Ja- 
blonsky, in an Essay on the subject, makes 
them to be Egyptian priests, addicted to as- 
trology and other sacred sciences of the 
Egyptians." Dr. Mosheim pertinently ob- 
serves (Com. de Reb., &c., p. 50), " The 
Christian monks, who evidently originated 
in Egypt, borrowed their peculiarities from 
the practical Essenes ; for nothing can be 
more similar than the rules and regulations 
of the ancient monks and those of the Es- 
senes, as described by Joscphus. On the 
other hand, the Christian solitaries, called 
Eremites, copied after the theoretical Es- 
senes, or Thcrapeuta." TV.] 

(15) [A striking passage relative to the 
vicious lives of the Jews, in our Saviour's 
time, occurs in Josephus, Bell. Jud., lib. v., 
c. 13, $ 6. Schl.] 


13. To all these stains on the character of the Jews in the time of Christ's 
advent, must be added the attachment of many to the Oriental philosophy, 
in regard to the origin of the world, and to the indubitable offspring of that 
philosophy, the Kabbala. That many Jews were infected with this sys- 
tem is placed beyond all doubt, both by the sacred books of the New Tes- 
tament and by the early history of the Christian church.(16) It is certain 
that the founders of several of the Gnostic sects were Jews. And the 
followers of such systems of philosophy must have differed widely from 
the other Jews, in their views of the God of the Old Testament, and in their 
views of Moses, of the creation, and of the Messiah. For they held the 
world's creator to be a different being from the supreme God, and that his 
domination over the human race was to be destroyed by the Messiah. 
From such opinions would originate a monstrous system, widely different 
from the genuine religion of the Jews. 

14. The outward forms of worship established by Moses were less 
corrupted than the other parts of religion. Yet men of the greatest learn- 
ing have observed that various rites were introduced into the temple itself, 
which we search for in vain in the divine ritual. It appears that the Jews, 
on becoming acquainted with the sacred rites of the neighbouring nations, 
and with those of the Greeks and Romans, were so captivated with a 
number of the ceremonies practised in idol worship, that they did not hes- 
itate to adopt them, and to superadd them as ornamental to the rites of 
God's appointment.(17.) 

15. For this great corruption of a nation, which God had selected for 
his peculiar people, various causes may be assigned. In the first place, 
their fathers had brought back with them from Chaldea and the adjacent 
countries, and had introduced into Palestine, many foolish and vain opin- 
ions wholly unknown to the founders of the nation. (18) And from the 
time of the conquest of Asia by Alexander the Great the customs and 
dogmas of the Greeks were disseminated among the Persians, the Syrians, 
the Arabians, and likewise among the Jews, who before were rude in let- 
ters and philosophy. (19) The excursions, also, which many Jews were 
accustomed to make into the neighbouring countries, especially into Egypt 
and Phoenicia, in pursuit of wealth, caused various errors and fancies of the 
pagan nations to spread among the Hebrews. And lastly, Herod the Great 
and his sons, and likewise the Roman procurators and soldiers, undoubt- 
edly planted in the country many foreign institutions and pollutions. Oth- 
er causes will readily occur to those acquainted with the Jewish history 
after the times of the Maccabees. 

16. But, notwithstanding their numerous faults, the people generally 
manifested the strongest attachment to the law of Moses, and were very 
careful of its honour and authority. Hence they erected throughout the 
country houses of worship, with the Greek appellation of Synagogues ; in 
which the people assembled for prayer, and to listen to the public ex- 
pounders of the law. Schools also were established in the principal 

(16) See J. C. Wolf, Biblioth. Ebraica, (18) See Tho. Gale, on Jambhchits de 
vol. ii., 1. vii., c. i., 9, p. 206. mysteriis Aegyptiorum, p. 206. Nor docs 

(17) See John Spencer, de Legibus ritual. Josephus conceal this fact, Antiq. Jud.. 1. 
veter. Ebrfflorum, torn, ii., lib. iv., where iii., c. 7, 2. 

he treats particularly of Jewish rites bor- (19) [Le Clerc, Epist. crit. ix., p. 250. 
rowed from the Gentiles and not to be found Schl.] 
in the law of God. 


towns, where literary men instructed the youth in both divine and human 
knowledge. (20) That these institutions had considerable influence to 
preserve the law inviolate, and to check in some degree the progress of 
wickedness, no one can hesitate to believe. 

17. The Samaritans, who worshipped on Mount Gerizim, and who 
lived in virulent hostility with their neighbours the Jews, were equally op- 
pressed, and were, in an equal degree, the authors of their own calamities. 
It appears, from the history of those times, that the Samaritans suffered as 
much as the Jews from the machinations of factious and unprincipled men ; 
although they had, perhaps, not so many religious sects. That their re- 
ligion was less pure than the Jewish, Christ himself has testified, John iv., 
22. And yet they seem to have had more correct views of the offices of the 
Messiah than the mass of the Jews had, John iv., 25. Though we are not 
to believe all that the Jews have said respecting their opinions, yet it is 
undeniable, that the Samaritans adulterated the pure doctrines of the Old 
Testament with profane mixtures of pagan errors. (21) 

18. The narrow limits of Palestine could not contain the very numer- 
ous nation of the Jews. Hence, when our Saviour was born, there was 
almost no considerable province which did not contain a large number of 
Jews, who employed themselves in traffic and the mechanic arts. These 
Jews, in the countries beyond Palestine, were protected against the vio- 
lence and abuse of the inhabitants by the public laws, and by the injunctions 
of the magistrates. (22) Yet they were in most places exceedingly odious 
to the mass of people, on account of their singularity as to religion and 
customs. The special providence of God is undoubtedly to be recognised 
in the dispersion of this people (who were the depositaries of the true re- 
ligion, that which inculcates the worship of the one God) over nearly the 
whole world, so that their example might put superstition to shame, and 
in some measure prepare the way for the Christian religion. 

(20) See Camp. Vitringa, de Synagoga ten, Geschichte der Religionspart., p. 274, 
Vetere, 1. iii., c. v., and 1. i., c. v., vii. &c. Schl.'] 

[Prideaux, Connexions, &c., pt. i., b. vi., (22) See Ja. Gronovius, Decreta Romana 

anno 445. TV.] et Asiatica pro Judasis, ad cultum divinum 

(21) The principal writers concerning the perAsiae Minoris urbes secure obeundum. 
Samaritans are enumerated by J. G. Carp- Lugd. Bat., 1712, 8vo. [For a candid and 
zov, Critica Sacra Vet. Test., pt. ii., cap. vi., faithful account of the state of the Jews, both 
p. 595. [The most valuable are Chr. Cel- in Palestine and out of it, the English reader 
larius, Hist, gentis Samarit., in his Diss. is referred to Lardner's Credibility of the 
Acad., p. 109, &c. John Morin, Antiq. ec- Gospel History, pt. i., vol. i., ch. ii.-vi. See 
cles. orient. Ja. Basnage, Histoire des Ju- also J. M. JosCs Algem. Gesch. des Isra- 
ifs, torn, ii., lib. ii., c. 1-13. H. Reland, elit. Volke., b. viii., vol. ii., p. 1, &c., Ber- 
de Samaritanis, in his Diss. Miscell., pt. ii., lin, 1832. TV.] 

(H. Prideaux, Connexions), and Baumgar- 





$ 1. The Birth of Christ. $ 2. His Childhood and Youth. $ 3. His Precursor, John B. 
$ 4. His subsequent Life. 5. He appoints twelve Apostles, and seventy Disciples. 
6. Reason of this Number. 7. Fame of Christ out of Judea. 8. Success of his 
Ministry. $ 9. His Death. t) 10. His Resurrection and Ascension to Heaven. 

1. So many and so virulent diseases of the human race demanded the 
aid of a divine physician. Therefore the Son of God himself descended 
from heaven upon Palestine, in the close of the reign of Herod the Great ; 
and joining himself to human nature, he showed himself to mortals, a teacher 
that cannot err, and at once their sponsor at the court of Heaven and their 
king. In what year this salutary light rose upon the world, the most per- 
severing efforts of the learned have not been able fully to ascertain. Nor 
will this surprise us, if we consider that the earliest Christians knew not the 
day of their Saviour's birth, and judged differently on the subject.(l) But 
of what consequence is it that we know not the year or day when this light 

(1) Most of the opinions of the learned, 
concerning the year of Christ's birth, are 
collected by J. A. Fabricius, Bibliographia 
Antiquar., cap. vii., ix., p. 187. 

[Respecting the year of Christ's birth, the 
inquisitive reader is remitted to the elaborate 
chronologists, Scaliger, Petavius, Usher, 
&c., and to the more voluminous eccles. 
historians, Natalis Alexander, Pagi, &c. 
But, not to leave the common reader wholly 
uninformed on the subject, a few general 
observations will here be made. The birth 
of Christ was first made an era, from which 
to reckon dates, by Dionysius Exiguus, 
about A.D. 532. He supposed Christ to 
have been born on the 25th December, in 
the year of Rome 753, Lentulus and Piso 
consuls. And this computation has been 
followed, in practice, to this day ; notwith- 
standing the learned are well agreed that it 
must be incorrect. To ascertain the true 
time of Christ's birth, there are two principal 
data afforded by the evangelists. I. It is 
clear, from Matth. ii., 1, &c., that Christ 
was born before the death of Herod the Great, 
who died about Easter, in the year of Rome 
749 or 750. (Lar drier, Credibil., pt. i., vol. 
ii., appendix.) Now, if Christ was born in 
the December next before Herod's death, it 
must have been in the year of Rome 748 or 
749 ; and, of course, four, if not five, years 
anterior to the Dionysian or vulgar era. II. 
It is probable, from Lu. iii., 1, 2, 23, that 
Jesus was about thirty years of age in the 
VOL. I. F 

fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Casar. 
Now the reign of Tiberius may be consid- 
ered as commencing at the time he became 
sole emperor, in August of the year of Rome 
767 ; or (as there is some reason to suppose 
that Augustus made him partner in the gov- 
ernment two years before he died) we may 
begin his reign in the year of Rome 765. 
The 15th year of Tiberius will therefore be 
either the year of Rome 781 or 779. From 
which deduct 30, and we have the year of 
Rome 751 or 749 for the year of Christ's 
birth ; the former two, and the latter four 
years earlier than the Dionysian computa- 
tion. Comparing these results with those 
obtained from the death of Herod, it is gen- 
erally supposed the true time of Christ's 
birth was the year of Rome 749, or four 
years before the vulgar era. But the con- 
clusion is not certain, because there is un- 
certainty in the data. (1) It is not certain 
that we ought to reckon Tiberius's reign as 
beginning two years before the death of Au- 
gustus. (2) Luke says " about thirty years 
of age." This is indefinite, and may be un- 
derstood of twenty-nine, thirty, or thirty-one 
years. (3) It is not certain in which of the 
two years mentioned Herod died ; nor how 
long before that event the Saviour was born. 
Respecting the month and day of Christ's 
birth, we are left almost wholly to conjecture. 
The disagreement of the early fathers, is evi- 
dence that the day was not celebrated as a 
festival in the apostolic times. TV.] 


first shone, since we fully know that it has appeared, and that there is no 
obstacle to our enjoying its splendour and its warmth ? 

2. An account of the birth, lineage, family, and parents of Christ, is 
left us by the four inspired writers who give the history of his life. But 
they say very little respecting his childhood and youth. When a young 
child he was rescued from the cruelty of Herod by the flight of the family 
into Egypt, Matthew ii., 13. When twelve years of age he disputed pub- 
licly in the temple with the most learned Jewish doctors upon religious 
subjects. Afterward, till he was thirty years of age, he lived with his pa- 
rents as a dutiful and affectionate son, Luke ii., 51, 52. Divine wisdom 
has not seen fit to give us more particulars ; nor is it certain, though many 
think it so, that Christ worked at the trade of his foster-father, Joseph, who 
was a carpenter. Yet there were certain vain and deceitful persons in for- 
mer times, who ventured to fill up this obscure part of our Saviour's life with 
extravagant and ridiculous fables. (2) 

3. In the thirtieth year of his age he entered on the offices for which 
he came into the world. To render his ministry more useful to the Jews, 
John, the son of a Jewish priest, a man grave and venerable in his whole 
manner of life, was commissioned of God to proclaim the advent of the 
Messiah who had been promised to the fathers. He called himself the 
precursor of the Messiah ; and being full of holy zeal, he exhorted the Jews 
to amend their lives and purify their hearts, and thus prepare themselves 
for the coming, or, rather, for the actual presence of the Son of God ; and 
those who professed repentance and reformation, he initiated in the ap- 
proaching kingdom of the Saviour, by immersion in the Jordan, Matthew 
iii., 2, &c. ; John i., 22, &c. Jesus himself, before commencing his pub- 
lic ministry, chose to receive a solemn lustration in the waters of Jordan 
at the hands of John ; in order, as he tells us, that he might not appear to 
neglect any part of the Jewish law and religion. (3) 

4. It is not necessary to enter here into a particular detail of the life 
and actions of Jesus Christ. All Christians know that for more than three 
years, amid great trials and afflictions, and surrounded by snares and perils, 
he instructed the Jewish people in the counsels and purposes of the Most 
High ; that he omitted nothing that could allure both the ignorant multi- 
tude and the well informed ; that he led a life so spotless and holy, that no 
suspicion whatever could attach to him ; and that, by stupendous miracles 
of a salutary and beneficial character, and such as accorded with the na- 
ture of his mission, he placed the truth of the religion he taught beyond all 

5. As this religion was to be propagated throughout the world, it was 
necessary for him to select some persons to be his constant companions and 
intimates ; who should be able to state and testify to posterity and to the re- 

(2) See a collection of these fables by J. A. (3) [See, concerning John the Baptist, 

Fabricius, Cod. Apoc. N. T., torn. i. [The Ckr. Cellaring, two Diss. de Vita, carcere 

works here referred to, are the Gospel of the et supplicio Jo. Bapt. in his Diss. Acad., pt. 

nativity of Mary ; the Previous Gospel, ascri- i., p. 169, and pt. ii., p. 373. Tho. Ittig, 

bed to James ike Just ; the Gospel of the in- Historiae eccles. Imi. Saeculi Selects Capita, 

fancy of Christ, ascribed to Thomas; theGos- cap. 8, sect. 4, and Witsius, Miscell. Sacra, 

pel of the Infancy, &c., translated from the torn, ii., p. 464, &c. Schl. Also G. B. 

Arabic ; all of which are stuffed with marvel- Winer, Biblisches Realworterbuch, Article 

bus tales of miracles and prodigies, fit only to Johannes. 2Y. J 
amuse the ignorant and superstitious. TV.] 


molest nations, with the greatest assurance and authority, the events of his 
life, his miracles, and his whole system of doctrine. Therefore, from the 
Jews about him, he chose twelve messengers whom he distinguished from 
others by the title of Apostles. They were plebeians, poor, and illiterate ; 
for he would not employ the rich, the eloquent, and the learned, lest the 
success of their mission should be ascribed to natural causes and to hu- 
man means, 1 Corinthians i., 21. These he once sent forth among the 
Jews during his lifetime, Matthew x., 7 ; but afterward he retained them 
constantly near him, that they might witness all that he said or did. (4) 
But, that the people might not lack religious instruction, he commissioned 
seventy other disciples to travel at large through Judea, Luke x., 1. 

6. The learned have inquired, why the Saviour appointed just twelve, 
neither more nor less, to be apostles, and just seventy to be disciples ; and 
various conjectures are offered on the subject. But it being manifest from 
the words of Christ himself, Matthew xix., 28; Luke xxii., 30, that the 
number of the apostles had reference to the number of the tribes of Israel, 
there can scarcely be a doubt that he wished to indicate to the Jews that 
he was the supreme Lord and Pontiff over the whole Hebrew race, which 
was divided into twelve tribes. The seventy disciples were just equal in 
number to the senators composing the Sanhedrim or the grand council of 
the nation ; and this justifies the conjecture that Christ intended by the 
choice of the seventy, to admonish the Jews that the authority of their 
Sanhedrim was now at an end, and that all power in religious matters was 
vested in him alone.(5) 

7. Jesus himself gave instruction to none but Jews ; nor did he allow 
his disciples to travel among other nations as teachers while he continued 
on earth, Matthew x., 5, 6 ; xv., 24. Yet the extraordinary deeds he per- 
formed leave us no room to doubt, that his fame very early extended to 
other nations. There are respectable writers who state that Abgarus, 
king of Edessa, being dangerously sick, sent a letter to Christ imploring 

(4) [Dr. Mosheim has a long note in the an. ad Haeres., xxx. P. Wesseling, de Ar- 

parallel passage of his Comment, de Rebus chontibus Jud., p. 91. Walch (of Gottin- 

Chr. ante C. M., p. 49, the substance of gen), Hist. Patriarch. Jud., and Suicer, The- 

which is this: The title Apostles was giv- saur. Eccles., torn, i., p. 477. TV.] 

en to those principal men whom the high (5) [There are two factitious lists of the 

priests retained as their private counsel- seventy disciples now extant, which are 

lors, and whom they occasionally sent as falsely ascribed to Hippolytus and to Dorithe- 

their legates to the foreign Jews, either to us. They may be seen in various works ; e. 

collect the yearly tax for the temple or to ex- g., J. A. Fabricius, Lux. Evang., &c., p. 

ccute other commissions. We have not, in- 115-118, and annexed to the books de Vita 

deed, a .direct testimony at hand, proving et morte Mosis, ed. Fabricius ; and in T. 

that the title of apostles was given to such Ittig, Hist, eccles. Imi Saecul., p. 472. That 

legates of the high priests in the days of no sort of credit is due to them, is shown by 

Christ. Yet there is intimation of this in Jtliff, ubi supra ; by D. Blondell, de Episcopis 

Gal. i., 1, and Jerome so understood the et Presbyt., p. 93, and by others. Eusebius, 

passage. See his Comment!., &c., Opp., Hist. Eccles., i., 12, expressly declares that 

torn, ix., p. 124. And that after the de- no catalogue of the seventy disciples was to 

struction of Jerusalem, the legates of the be found any where in his day. The two lists 

Jewish patriarchs (who stood in the place nearly agree ; and they are evidently made 

of high priests) were called apostles, is fully up by collecting together, without the least 

proved. See Jerome, ubi supra, and Euse- judgment, nearly all the names of Chris- 

bius on Isa., ch. xviii., 2. See also Ja. tians mentioned in the N. Testament, and 

Gothofred on Cod. Theodos., torn, vi., p. particularly those in the salutations of Paul. 

251, ed. Kitter. Dion. Pctavius, on Epiph- TV.] 


his assistance, and that Christ not only wrote an answer to the king, but also 
sent him his picture. (6) It is the prevailing opinion that not only the let- 
ters of Christ and Abgarus, but likewise the whole story, are a fabrica- 
tion^?) And I would by no means take upon me to support the credit of 
the letters ; yet I see no very weighty reason for rejecting altogether the 
whole story. 

8. The numerous proofs of the divine authority of Christ, induced 
very many of the Jews to revere him as the Son of God : but the leading 
men, especially the Pharisees and the chief priests, whose vices and crimes 
he freely reproved, plotted against his life ; because they were fearful of 
losing their honours and privileges, if Christ should continue publicly to 
teach. For a long time the machinations of these ungodly men were in- 
effectual. But at last, his ungrateful disciple, Judas, disclosing the place 
of his master's nocturnal retirement, he was seized by soldiers at the com- 
mand of the Sanhedrim, and ordered to be tried for his life. 

9. He was first arraigned before the Jewish high priest and senate, 
where he was accused of having violated the law, and blasphemed the 
majesty of God. Thence he was dragged to the tribunal of Pilate, the 
Roman procurator ; and there accused of sedition, and of treason against 
Caesar. Neither of these accusations could have satisfied fair and upright 
judges. But the clamours of the people, which were instigated by the ir- 
religious priests, compelled Pilate, though reluctantly, to pass sentence of 
death upon him. As he had come into our world to make expiation for 
the sins of men, and as he knew that all the objects of his abode among 
men were accomplished, he voluntarily submitted to be nailed to a cross, 
on which he yielded up his spotless soul to God. 

10. On the third day after his burial he reassumed that life which he 
had voluntarily laid down ; and by showing himself alive, he made it man- 
ifest that man is no longer insolvent to divine justice. He now continued 
forty days with his disciples, employing the time very much in giving them 
instruction. To his enemies he would not show himself visibly ; among 
other reasons, because he knew that those unprincipled men, who had be- 
fore accused him of sorcery, would impudently affirm that it was only a 
spectre that appeared, bearing his likeness, and produced by the power of 
the devil. At length he ascended up to heaven in the full view of his 
disciples, after commissioning them to preach the Gospel to all nations. 

(6) Eusebius, Hist. Eccles., 1. i., c. 13. Historia Edessena et Osroena, 1. Hi., p. 104. 
[Here is the earliest notice of these Letters. J. S. Asseman, Biblioth. orient. Clem. Vat., 
For the earliest history of the picture, see torn i., p. 554. ["As to the picture, which 
Evaffrius, Hist. Eccles, 1. iv., c. 27. See is still preserved, and shown at Rome, Is. 
the Letters themselves, with notes, in] J. Beausobre has fully exposed the fable, in his 
A. Fabricius, Codex Apocryphus N. Test., Dis. des Images de main divine ; in the 
torn, i., p. 317. Biblioth. Germanique, torn, xviii., p. 10," 

(7) See Ja. Basnage, Histoire des Juifs, &c. Mosheim, de Rebus Christ., &c., p. 
torn, i., c. 18, p. 500. Theoph. Sigf. Bayer, 73.] 




1 . Effusion of the H. Spirit on the Apostles. 2. They preach to Jews and Samari- 
tans. $ 3. Election of a new Apostle. $ 4. Paul's Conversion. 5. Attention to 
the Poor, and a Community of Goods, in the Church. $ 6. Many Churches planted 
by the Apostles. 7. Respect for Christ among the Pagans. $ 8. Causes of the 
rapid Progress of Christianity. $ 9. Extraordinary Gifts of the early Christians. 
10. Fictitious Causes assigned for the Progress of Christianity. 

1. WHEN Jesus was seated at the right hand of the Eternal Father, 
the first proof he gave of his majesty and power was on the fiftieth day(l) 
after his death, by the effusion of the Holy Spirit upon his disciples and 
friends on earth, Acts ii., 1, &c. On receiving this celestial gift and 
teacher, they were freed from all their former ignorance and blindness of 
mind, and endued with astonishing alacrity and power to fulfil the duties 
of their office. With these mental endowments was joined the knowledge 
of various foreign languages, which was indispensable to them in giving 
instruction to different nations ; and also a firm reliance on the promise of 
Christ, that God would aid them as often as should be necessary by mira- 

2. Relying on these divine aids, the disciples, in accordance with the 
Saviour's injunctions (Luke xxiv., 47 ; Acts i., 8 ; xiii., 46), first laboured to 
bring the Jews to subject themselves to Christ. Nor was this labour with- 
out effect, for many thousands of them soon became Christians, Acts ii., 
41 ; iv., 4. Next they proceeded to the Samaritans, which also accorded 
with their instructions, Acts i., 8. And here, too, they gathered a Christian 
church, Acts viii., 14. Lastly, after spending many years at Jerusalem, 
and regulating and confirming the churches of Christ in Palestine and the 
neighbouring regions, they travelled abroad among various nations, and 
their labours were everywhere attended with the greatest success. (3) 

3. The first care of the apostles after the Saviour's ascension, was to 
complete the number of twelve apostles established by Christ, by electing 

(1) [From the terms here used by Dr. (3) [It appears from the book of Acts, 
Mosheim, it would seem that he supposed that the apostles, or, at least, most of them, 
the effusion of the Holy Spirit on the day of remained in and near Jerusalem for several 
Pentecost, took place on the Jewish Sabbath, years after the ascension ; but how long they 
or Saturday, and not on Sunday, as many continued together is uncertain. There was 
have supposed. Tr.] anciently a tradition, which Eusebius states 

(2) [In his Comment, de Rebus Christ. 1 (Hist. Eccles., v. 18) on the authority of 
ante C. M., p. 76, Dr. Mosheim states, that Apollonius, a writer of the second century, 
he does not account the power of working as does Clemens Alex, (Strom, vi., c. 5) 
miracles among the supernatural gifts, be- from a spurious work, Prcedtcatio Pelri, that 
cause such power neither was, nor could be, the Saviour enjoined upon his apostles not to 
conferred on men, Omnipotence alone being leave Jerusalem till twelve years after his as- 
able to work miracles ; so that /at/A to pray cension. About so long they probably con- 
for them, and to expect them, at the hands tinued there ; and their being divinely guided 
of God, was all that the H. Ghost actually in most of their movements might give rise 
imparted to the Apostles. Tr.] to the tradition. Tr.] 


a more worthy person to the place of Judas, who had laid violent hands on 
himself. Therefore, the little company of Christ's servants at Jerusalem 
being assembled, two men, the most noted for their piety and faith in 
Christ, Barsabas and Matthias, were proposed as the most worthy of that 
office. One of these, Matthias, being designated by lot as it is commonly 
supposed, or elected by the major vote of all the persons present, was con- 
stituted the twelfth apostle, Acts i., 15, &c.(4) 

4. As these twelve ambassadors of Christ were all of them plain, il- 
literate men, and as the Christian community, now in its infancy, needed 
a man who could attack and vanquish the Jewish doctors and the pagan 
philosophers with their own weapons, Jesus Christ himself, by a voice 
from heaven, soon after appointed a thirteenth apostle ; namely, Saul, who 
afterward assumed the name of Paul, a man who had been a most virulent 
enemy of the Christians, but who was well skilled in the Jewish learning, 
and not ignorant of the Grecian, Acts ix., 1, &c. To this truly admirable 
man, whether we consider his courage, his force of mind, or his patience 
and perseverance in trials and labours how much the Christian world is 
indebted, is manifest from the Acts of the Apostles and from his own 

5. The first of all the Christian churches founded by the apostles, 
was that of Jerusalem ; and after the form and model of this, all the others 
of that age were constituted. That church, however, was governed im- 
mediately by the apostles ; to whom the presbyters and the deacons or 
overseers of the poor were subject. Though the people had not with- 
drawn themselves from the Jewish worship, yet they held their own sep- 
arate meetings ; in which they were instructed by the apostles and pres- 
byters, offered up their united prayers, celebrated in the sacred supper the 
memorial of Jesus Christ, of his death, and the salvation he procured, and 
afterward manifested their mutual love, partly by their liberality to the 
poor, and partly by those temperate repasts, which from their design were 
called love-feasts, Acts ii., 42.(5) Among the virtues for which this 
primitive church of Christ was distinguished, the care of the poor and 
needy is most conspicuous. For the rich liberally supplied the wants of 
all the brotherhood, and with such promptitude and tenderness that, Luke 
says, they had all things common, Acts ii., 44 ; iv., 32. But it is manifest 
from the expressions used by Peter in Acts v., 4, as well as from other 
considerations, that the declaration of Luke should not be understood, as it 
generally has been, of their possessing in common, but only of their using 
in common.(6) 

(4) [Dr. Mosheim has a long note in the C. Mag., 113-116. If Mosheim's interpre- 
parallel place in his Comment, de Rebus tation of that text is erroneous, as most in- 
Christ., &c., p. 78-80, in which he aims to terpreters think it is, this account of the 
prove that ISuKav K?^povg avruv, in Acts i., mode of worship in the apostolic church 
26, signifies they gave their voles ; and not, rests on a slender basis. 7V.] 

as it is commonly understood, they cast their (6) ["It is an ancient opinion, though 

lots. But his interpretation is very general- not older than the fourth century, that in the 

ly rejected. TV.] church of Jerusalem there was such a com- 

(5) [Dr. Mosheim understood Acts ii., munity of goods, as existed among the an- 
42, as descriptive of the several parts of cient Essenes, and afterward among the 
the ordinary public worship of these primi- monks. But this opinion is destitute of any 
tive Christians, rather than of their Chris- solid foundation, resting solely on the decla- 
tian character and conduct in general. See ration of Luke, that they had all things com- 
his Comment, de Rebus Christianorum ante mon. See my Diss. de Vera natura com- 



6. The ambassadors of Christ on leaving Jerusalem travelled over a 
great part of the world, and in a short time collected numerous religious 
societies in various countries. Of the churches they founded, not a small 
number is mentioned in the sacred books, especially in the Acts of the Apos- 
tles^?) Besides these, there can be no doubt they collected many others, 
both by their own efforts and by the efforts of their followers. But how far 
they travelled, what nations they visited, or when and where they died, is 
exceedingly dubious and uncertain.(8) The stories often told respecting 
their travels among the Gauls, the Britons, the Spaniards, the Germans, the 
Americans, the Chinese, the Indians, and the Russians, are too recent and 
fantastic to be received by an inquisitive lover of the truth. (9) A great 

munionis bonorum in Ecclesia Hierosolym., 
which is the first in the second volume of 
rny Dissertt. ad Historiam Eccl. pertinen- 
tes." Mosheim, de Reb. Christ., &c., p. 

(7) [The names of these churches are col- 
lected by P. J, Harlmann, de Rebus gestis 
Christianor. sub Apostolis, cap. vii., p.107; 
and by J. A. Fabricius, Lux Evangelii toti 
orbi exoriens, cap. v., p. 83, &c.] 

(8) [" It is a very ancient and current re- 
port, confirmed by many witnesses, that all 
the apostles suffered public martyrdom ; with 
the exception of St. John, who died a nat- 
ural death at Ephesus. And this opinion is 
so firmly believed, by many who would 
not be thought credulous, that to call it in 
question, is to run some hazard of being 
charged with slandering those holy men. 
Such as please, may believe the account ; 
but let them not be offended if I declare 
the martyrdom of most of the apostles to be 
less certain than they suppose. That Peter, 
Paul, and James died violent deaths, I be- 
lieve, on the testimony of the numerous an- 
cient authors ; but that the other apostles 
did so, I cannot feel so certain. As my 
first ground of doubt, a very ancient wri- 
ter of the second century, Heracleon, a Val- 
entinian indeed, but no contemptible man, 
cited by Clemens. Alex., Strom., 1. iv., c. 9, 
denies that Matthew, Philip, Thomas, Levi, 
and others confessed Christ before magis- 
trates, and were put to death for so doing. 
He is urging that the public confession of 
himself required by the Saviour, Matt, x., 
32, may be made by a holy and Christian 
life, as well as by a public avowal before a per- 
secuting magistrate ; and he states as proof, 
'Ot> yap TTuvrtf 61 ou^o/ievai 

TTJV OLU T;;C (jiuvTJf ufio^oyiav, KOL 
'E uv Mardutoc, *t/.tff7rof, Acvtf, /cat 
U.7.7MI noJ./.vt., for not all that were saved, 
made that confession in words (before ma- 
gistrates) and so died. Of this number was 
Matthew, Philip, Thomas, Levi, and many 
others. Clement, though he disapproves 
several things in the passage he quotes, 

leaves this statement to stand as it is ; which 
is proof that he had nothing to allege against 
it. Philip is expressly declared not to have 
suffered martyrdom, but to have died and 
been buried at Hierapolis ; so says Poly- 
crates, in his Epistle to Victor, in Eusebius, 
Hist. Eccl., v. 24. Baronius indeed, (An- 
nals, A.D. 35, 141), and after him many 
others maintain, that this was not Philip the 
apostle, but Philip one of the seven deacons 
of Jerusalem. But Poly crates says express- 
ly, that he was one of the twelve apostles. A 
still stronger argument is, that all the wri- 
ters of the three first centuries, and among 
them, such as contended for the high digni- 
ty of the martyrs in opposition to the Valen- 
tinians, viz., Tertullian, Clemens Alex., and 
Origen, never mention but three of the apos- 
tles as being martyrs ; namely, Peter, Paul, 
and James the elder. See Tertullian, Scor- 
piace, cap. xv. I am therefore led to be- 
lieve, that the common reports respecting 
the sufferings of Christ's ambassadors were 
fabricated after the days of Constantine. 
And two causes might lead to such reports. 

(1) The extravagant estimation in which 
martyrdom was held, made it seem neces- 
sary to rank the apostles among the martyrs. 

(2) The ambiguity of the word /wiprvp, 
martyr, which properly signifies a witness, in 
which sense Christ himself called his apos- 
tles [tuprvpts (Acts i., 8, see also Acts ii., 
32), might lead the more ignorant to believe 
and to amplify these fables." Mosheim, de 
Rebus Christ, ante C. M.,p. 81-84, abridg- 
ed considerably. TV.] 

(9) ["There is not one of the European 
nations that does not glory, in either an apos- 
tle or some one of the seventy disciples, or 
at least in some early saint commissioned 
by an apostle, as having come among them 
and collected a Christian church. The Span- 
iards say, that the apostles Paul and James 
the elder, with many of the seventy disciples 
and other assistants of the apostles, intro- 
duced the light of the gospel into their coun- 
try. And a Spaniard would bring himself 
into trouble, if he should confront this opin- 



part of these fabulous stories were got up after the days of Charlemagne ; 
when most of the Christian churches contended as vehemently about the 
antiquity of their origin, as ever did the Arcadians, the Egyptians, or the 

ion. The French contend that Crescens, a 
disciple and companion of Paul, Dionysius 
the Athenian Areopagite, Lazarus, Mary 
Magdalene, &c., first brought their country- 
men to profess Christ. Among the Italians 
there is scarcely a city which does not pro- 
fess to have received the gospel and their 
first minister from Paul or Peter. See 
P. Giannone, Histoire civile du royaume 
de Naples, torn, i., p. 74, 75. And at this 
day, a man could not escape the charge of 
heresy, who should raise a question on this 
subject. See J. Lamy, Deliciae eruditorum, 
torn, viii., Pref, and torn, xi., Preface. The 
Germans assert that Maternus, Valerianus, 
and many others were sent among them by 
the apostles ; and that these legates of St. 
Peter and of the other apostles baptized a 
large number of persons. The British 
think that St. Paul (as they infer from 
Clemens Rom. first Epistle to the Corinthi- 
ans), Simon Zelotes, Aristobulus, and espe- 
cially Joseph of Arimathea, were the found- 
ers of their church. The Russians, Poles, 
and Prussians, honour St. Andrew as the 
founder of their churches. All this and 
much more passed for sober truth, so long 
as sacred and human learning lay buried in 
shades and darkness. But at this day the 
most learned and wise admit, that most of 
these stories were fabricated after the age 
of Charlemagne, by men who were ignorant 
or crafty, and eager to secure distinction to 
their churches. See Aug. Calmefs His- 
toire de Lorraine, torn, i., p. xxvi. Le Beuf, 
Diss. sur 1'histoire de France, torn, i., p. 192, 
<fec. Jo. Launoi, Diss. qua locus Sulpitii 
Sever! de primis Galliae martyribus defendi- 
tur, Opp., torn, ii., pt. i., p. 184. I commend 
these writers, yet cannot agree with them 
in dating the commencement of this foolish 
zeal for the antiquity of their churches, after 
the days of Charlemagne. It began much 
earlier. See Gregory Turon. de Gloria 
martyrum, cap. xii., p. 735." Mosheim, de 
Reb. Christ., &c., p. 84-86. It must not 
be inferred, from what Dr. Mosheim says of 
the foolish pretensions of the modern Euro- 
pean nations to a high Christian antiquity, 
that we are to reject all that the ancient fa- 
thers relate concerning the labours of the 
apostles after Christ's ascension. Dr. Mo- 
theim was too judicious to do this. He says, 
ubi supra, p. 80, 81 : "As to what we are 
told respecting the transactions of the apos- 
tles, their travels, miracles, and deaths, if 
we except what is gathered from the New 

Test, and a few other ancient monuments, 
a large part is dubious and uncertain. Some 
things, however, have more credibility and 
verisimilitude than others. I would not re- 
ject all that is clearly attested by Origen, 
Eusebius, Gregory Nazianzen, Paulinus, 
Jerome, Socrates, and some other ancient 
writers quoted by Eusebius ; but what is at- 
tested only by authors subsequent to these, or 
unknown, I would not readily believe, unless 
facts offer themselves to corroborate the testi- 
mony." Following these judicious rules of 
Mosheim, we may believe that Peter, after 
preaching long in Judea, and other parts of 
Syria, probably visited Babylon, Asia Minor, 
and finally Rome, where he was crucified. 
PauVs history is given in the Acts to about 
A.D. 64. He was probably released from 
captivity, visited Judea, Asia Minor, and 
Greece, and returning to Rome, was there 
beheaded about A.D. 67 or 68. John re- 
mained many years in Judea, and afterward 
removed to Ephesus, where he lived to la 
very advanced age, dying about A.D. 100. 
He was banished to Patmos about A.D. 95, 
and was greatly revered. James the elder, 
(brother of John) was put to death by Herod 
Agrippa, about A.D. 44, (Acts xii., 1). 
James the younger, the son of Alphaeus, 
spent his life in Judea, long presided over 
the church of Jerusalem, and there suffered 
martyrdom, a little before the destruction of 
Jerusalem. Andrew probably laboured on 
the shores of the Black Sea, near the mod- 
ern Constantinople, and perhaps in Greece. 
Philip, either the apostle or the evangelist, is 
reported to have ended his days at Hierapolis, 
in Phrygia. Thomas seems to have travelled 
eastward, to Parthia, Media, Persia, and In- 
dia. Bartholomew took perhaps a more 
southern course, and preached in Arabia. 
Matthew is also reported to have travelled 
east, in the modern Persia. Of Simon the 
Canaanite, nothing to be relied on can be 
said. Thaddeus, Lebbeus, or Jude the 
brother of James, the author of an epistle, 
is reported to have preached at Edessa, in 
the north of Syria. Of the companions of 
the apostles, Timothy, after accompanying 
Paul many years, is said to have been sta- 
tioned at Ephesus, where he suffered mar- 
tyrdom under Domitian or Nerva. Titus, 
another companion of Paul, is reported to 
have been stationed in Crete, where he died. 
Mark, or John surnamed Mark, attended 
Paul, and afterward Peter, and probably 
preached the gospel in Egypt. Of Luke, 



7. That many persons who were unwilling to adopt entirely the reli- 
gion of Christ, were yet induced, by the fame of his deeds and the sublime 
purity of his doctrines, to rank him among men of the highest excellence, 
and even among the gods, is evinced by numerous documents. With 
great veneration many preserved pictures of Christ in their houses, and 
also the pictures of his apostles. (10) It is said that even a Roman em- 
peror, viz., Tiberius, proposed to have Christ enrolled among the gods of 
the empire ; but that the Senate rejected the proposal. Though many at 
the present day think this to be quite improbable, yet there are distin- 
guished men who are led by weighty reasons to a different opinion.(ll) 

8. The causes must have been divine which could enable men des- 
titute of all human aid, poor and friendless, neither eloquent nor learned, 
fishermen and publicans, and they too Jews, that is, persons odious to all 
other nations, in so short a time to persuade a great part of mankind to 
abandon the religions of their fathers, and to embrace a new religion which 
is opposed to the natural dispositions of men. In the words they uttered 
there must have been an amazing and a divine power controlling the minds 
of men. To which may be added, miracles, prophecies, the detection of 
men's secret designs, magnanimity in the midst of perils, contempt for all 

little can be said, except that he accompanied 
Paul, and wrote his history, viz., the book 
of Acts, and a Gospel. Of Barnabas, no- 
thing can be said worth relating, except 
what is learned from the N. Testament. 
See J. A. Fabricius, Lux Evangelii, &c., 
ch. v., p. 95-1 15. From this account, im- 
perfect as it is, we may conclude that the 
apostles and their companions scarcely ex- 
tended their labours beyond the boundaries 
of the present Turkish empire. Tr.~\ 

(10) Eusebius, Historia eccles., 1. vii., c. 
18. Ireruzus, Haeres., lib. i., c. 25, p. 105, 
edit. Massuet. 

(11) [" Of the favourable disposition of the 
Roman emperors towards Christianity, there 
is a noticeable testimony in the apology of 
Melito Sardicensis, addressed to Marcus An- 
toninus, which is preserved by Eusebius, 
Hist. Eccl., iv., 26. Melito here informs the 
emperor that his predecessors not only tolera- 
ted Christianity among the other religions, 
but also honoured it : r)v KOI ki irpbyovol 
crnv irpdf raif aJifaiif tipr/aKciaif tripr/aav, 
which sect if your progenitors honoured icith 
the other religions. He adds, that Nero 
and Domitian were the only emperors who 
allowed the counsels of certain adversaries, 
to influence them to make Christianity a 
criminal thing. If what Melito here says of 
Nero be true, namely, that he was influenced 
by the counsels of malevolent persons to 
persecute the Christians, then there may be 
some foundation for what John of Antioch 
says, in Excerptis Valesianis, p. 808, &c., 
that Nero was favourable to the Christians 
and to Christ, in the beginning of his reign. 
Tertullian, Apologet., cap. v., p. 57, ed. 

VOL. I. G 

Havercamp, speaks of Tiberius' desire to 
have Christ enrolled among the gods as of 
a thing universally known. Eusebius (Hist. 
Eccles., ii., 2), Orosius (Chron. Pascal., vii., 
4), and others afterwards, repeat the story, re- 
lying chiefly on the authority of Tertullian. 
See Fr. Baldwin, Comment, ad. edicta Ve- 
terum Principum Romanorum de Christia- 
nis, p. 22, 23, and J. A. Fabricius, Lux 
Evangelii, &c., p. 221. But very learned 
men in this age have deemed this wholly in- 
credible, and not at all compatible with the 
character of Tiberius and with the state of the 
empire at that time. In what manner men 
equally learned and ingenuous have repelled 
their arguments, may be seen in the Essay 
of Theod. Hasaus, de decreto Tiberii, quo 
Christum referre voluit in numerum deorurn, 
Erfurt, 1715, 4to, and in the French letter 
of J. C. Iselius on this subject, in the Bib- 
liotheque Germanique, torn, xxxii., p. 147, 
and torn, xxxiii., p. 12." Mosheim, de Reb. 
Christ., &c., p. 91, &c. See also Allmann, 
Disquisitio historico-critica, de Epistola Pi- 
lati ad Tiberium, &c., Bern, 1755, 8vo. In 
this essay Professor Altmann maintains, (1) 
That Pilate was actually informed of the 
resurrection of Christ by the guard. (2) 
That he did really send to Tiberius an ac- 
count of the death and resurrection of Jesus, 
though not such an account as the one now 
extant. (3) That Tiberius actually proposed 
in the senate that Jesus should be honoured 
as a god. This subject is also examined 
by Dr. Lardner, Collection of Jewish and 
Heathen testimonies, vol. iii., p. 599, etc., 
ed Lond.,1815, 4to. Tr.] 


the objects of ordinary ambition, a patient and cheerful endurance of suf- 
ferings worse than death, as well as of death itself, and, finally, lives of the 
purest and most unblemished character. That the ambassadors of Jesus 
Christ were in fact thus furnished for their work, is a truth perfectly clear 
and obvious. And if we suppose them not to have been so furnished, no 
probable reason can be assigned for so rapid a propagation of Christianity 
by this small and feeble band. 

9. To these their personal endowments, must be added the ability pos- 
sessed by these divine ambassadors of transferring the power of working 
miracles to their disciples. Many persons, as soon as they were baptized 
according to Christ's directions, and consecrated to God by prayer and the 
imposition of hands, were able forthwith to express their thoughts in for- 
eign languages which they had never learned, to foretel future events, to 
heal the sick by pronouncing the name of Jesus, to call the dead to life, 
and to perform other deeds above the power of man. (12) What must 
have been thought of the men who had ability to confer such wonderful 
powers on others ! 

10. Those who fabricate other causes for this surprising revolution 
in the religious state of the world, offer to us mere dreams, which can never 
satisfy an attentive observer of human affairs. Some tell us that the kind- 
ness of Christians towards the poor, induced a multitude of idle and vicious 
persons to embrace Christianity. They do not consider that those who em- 
braced Christianity put their lives in jeopardy ; nor do they recollect that 
idle, profligate, lazy persons were not tolerated among the early Chris- 
tians [2 Thess. iii., 6-12]. Equally groundless is the representation of 
others, that the flagitious and profligate lives of the pagan priests caused 
many to turn Christians. But the vile character of these priests, though 
it might bring the ancient systems of religion into contempt, could not pro- 
duce attachment to Christianity, which exposed its votaries to the loss of 
character, property, and life. The man must be beside himself who could 
reason thus : " The priests of the religion in which I was educated lead 
profligate lives ; I will therefore connect myself with persons contemptible 
and condemned by the public laws, and will thus put my life and fortune to 
the most imminent hazard."(13) 

(12) See, among others, Tab. Pfanner, quires men to forsake the institutions and 
de Charismatis sive donis miraculosis anti- sentiments of their ancestors, and to abandon 
quse ecclesiaa, Francf., 1683, 12mo. their chosen enjoyments. This is confirmed 

(13) ["Others have supposed that the by the example of those 'very apostles who 
virtues of the apostles and their early follow- are said to have converted the world by tho 
ers, their sobriety, their contempt of wealth, purity of their characters ; nay, by the ex- 
their fortitude, their patience, &c., induced ample of the Lord of those apostles, who 
multitudes to put themselves under their re- was the most perfect pattern of virtue. I 
ligious guidance. Integrity and virtue cer- can believe, that the blameless lives of the 
tainly have influence on the mind of the be- apostles induced individuals among all na- 
holder ; nor would I deny that the holy lives lions not to lay violent hands on them, nor 
of the apostles produced some effect. But to show them any abuse ; but to believe, that 
we know, if we are acquainted with our- merely by their strict morals and their disre- 
selves and with human nature, that purity gard for the common objects of human attach- 
of morals and integrity of life, though they ment, they induced many thousands to recog- 
create respect and reverence, rarely produce nise as the Saviour of the world, a person 
imitation, and never do, if manifest disgrace whom the Jews had caused to be crucified, 
and danger will follow that imitation. We and persuaded them to follow their example, 
know that virtue, and even the most perfect and to suffer death rather than renounce these 
virtue, awakens entire disgust, when it re- principles ; this, I say, no one can persuade 





$ I. Persecutions of Christians by the Jews in Palestine. $ 2. By Jews out of Palestine. 
3. Divine Judgments on the Jews. 4. Ten Persecutions by the Pagans. 5. 
Laws against the Christians. t) 6. Causes of Hostility to them. Charged with Hatred 
to Mankind. 7. Other Causes of Persecution. $ 8. Slanders against Christians. 
<) 9. Modes of Trial and Punishment. $ 10. The Martyrs and Confessors. 11. Num- 
ber of them. 12. Acts of the Martyrs. 13. Persecution by Nero. 14. Its Ex- 
tent. 15. Persecution under Domitian. 

1. THOUGH the disciples of Christ were distinguished for the excel- 
lence of their doctrines arid the purity of their lives, yet the Jewish priests 
and rulers not only treated them with extreme contumely and abuse, but 
put to death as many of them as they could. This appears from the mar- 
tyrdom of Stephen, Acts vii., 55, of James the son of Zebedee, Acts xii., 1, 
2, and of James the Just, who presided over the church at Jerusalem. Jo- 
sephus, Antiq. Jud., 1. xx., c. 8, and Eusebius, Hist. Eccles., 1. ii., c. 23. 
The true cause of this hostility of the Jewish priests and doctors, undoubt- 
edly, was their envy, and their fear of losing their personal advantages 
and their consequence, if Christianity prevailed. 

me to believe. And, not to protract these 
remarks, whence, and by what means, did 
the apostles themselves acquire that admira- 
ble virtue and sanctity, which alone was able 
to produce in others an invincible determi- 
nation to fly to Christ, and to cleave to him 
as the only anchor of their salvation 1" 
" Others, following the example of Celsus, 
Julian, Porphyry, and other ancient ene- 
mies of Christianity, bid us consider, that 
the churches gathered by the apostles were 
composed of plebeian characters, servants, 
labourers in the fields and workshops, and 
women ; that is, of persons deficient in in- 
telligence, rank, and wealth, who might easi- 
ly be persuaded to believe almost any thing 
by persons of but moderate talents. But 
this, which is here so confidently asserted, 
was, in the first place, not altogether true. 
For the Scriptures inform us, that among 
those converted to Christianity by the apos- 
tles, many were affluent, well-informed, and 
of respectable rank. That there were per- 
sons of wealth, see 1 Tim. ii., 9, and 1 Pe- 
ter iii., 3. That there were men of teaming 
and knowledge of philosophy, see 1 Tim. 
vi., 20 ; Col. ii., 8. And that there were 
some, though not many, noble, see 1 Cor. 
i., 26. The names of illustrious persons who 
embraced Christ in the earliest ages of the 
church, are collected by D. Blondell, de 

Episcopis et presbyteris, p. 235, and by J. 
R. Wetstein, Praefatio ad Originis Dial, con- 
tra Marcion., p. 13. Secondly, those who 
are not ignorant of the world, know that per- 
sons in the lower walks of life not only value 
themselves, their lives, and their enjoyments, 
as much as others do, but they much more 
ardently embrace and cling to the customs, 
opinions, and religion of their ancestors, than 
men of genius and influence, the opulent, 
and persons of rank. Ignorance and timid- 
ity produce and nourish superstition. Hence 
the more ignorant and timid a person is, a 
stronger hold has superstition of his mind. 
So that it is an easier thing to eradicate su- 
perstition from the minds of ten men, than 
of one woman, from a hundred well-informed 
and ingenuous minds, than from ten igno- 
rant, stupid ones. Villany nowhere reigns 
more than in servants and persons of abject 
condition. It would be easier, therefore, to 
purge from iniquity a multitude of the in- 
genuous and well-born, than even a small 
number of slaves. Hence, those who make 
the churches gathered by the apostles of 
Christ to have been composed of persons of 
no respectability or rank, of slaves, women, 
and the illiterate, in my judgment, increase, 
rather than diminish, the glory achieved by 
those inspired men." Mosheim, de Reb. 
Christ., p. 90-92.] 


2. No less cruelty was shown to the innocent disciples of Christ, by 
those Jews who lived out of Palestine, in the Roman provinces. It appears 
from the Acts of the Apostles and from other credible records, that they 
spared no pains to instigate the magistrates and the populace to destroy 
the Christians. To this madness they were excited by the high priest 
and the elders of the Jews living in Palestine ; who, as we are informed, 
sent messengers to the foreign Jews, exhorting them to avoid all connexion 
with the Christians, and to persecute them as far as was in their power.(l) 
To give their base designs a specious exterior, they gave out that the 
Christians had treasonable designs against the Roman government ; as ap- 
peared by their acknowledging as their king one Jesus, a malefactor, 
whom Pilate had most justly punished with death. This rage against the 
Christians was propagated from father to son, through successive genera- 
tions ; so that the church in after ages had no more bitter enemies than 
the Jews. (2) 

3. But God himself visited this perfidious nation with the sorest 
judgments, on account of their cruelties to the Saviour and his friends. 
For he suffered Jerusalem, the capital of Palestine, together with the tem- 
ple, to be razed to their foundations by the Roman emperor Vespasian and 
his son Titus, about forty years after Christ's ascension, and an innumer- 
able multitude of the people to perish by the sword, and most of the survi- 
vers to be sold into slavery. A more distressing scene than this which 
is described at large by Josephus,(3) himself a Jew is perhaps nowhere 
to be found in the records of history. And from this time onward, the 
Jews have been everywhere, even more than before, objects of hatred and 
abhorrence to all nations. 

4. The gentiles, who were polytheists, brought upon the Christian 
church far greater calamities than the Jews, whose power was not equal 
to their malice. The persecutions of the Christians by the Romans, have 
for many ages been accounted ten in number.(4) But the ancient history 
of the church does not support precisely this number : for if we reckon 
only the general and more severe persecutions, they were fewer than ten ; 
but if we include the provincial and more limited persecutions, the num- 
ber will be much greater than ten. Some Christians of the fifth century 
were led by certain passages of the Scripture, especially by one in the 
Apocalypse, ch. xvii., 12-14, to believe that it was decreed, the Christian 
church must pass through ten grievous persecutions ; and to this opinion, 
they afterward endeavoured to accommodate in different ways the dissent- 
ing language of history.(5) 

(1) See Justin Martyr, Dial, cum Try- (5) See Sulpitius Severus, Historia sacra, 
phone, p. 51-53, 109, 138, 318, ed. Jebbs. lib. ii., c. 33, p. 387, ed. Horn. Augusti- 

(2) [Passages from early Christian writers, nus, de Civit. Dei, 1. xviii., c. 52. [In the 
who complain of the Jewish persecutions, fourth century the number of the persecu- 
are collected by J. A. Fabricius, Lux. Evang. tions had not been denned. Lactantius, de 
toli orbi exoriens, ch. vi., $ 1, p. 121. See Mortibus persecutorum, reckons up only six. 
also the Epist. of the church of Smyrna, de Eusebius, Hist. Er.dcs., does not state their 
Martyrio Polycarpi, xii., xiii. Schl.] number; yet we might make out nine from 

(3) [In his history of the Jewish War. this writer. This is the number given by 
See also Basnage, Histoire des Juifs, torn, i., Sulpitius Severus, in the fifth century. But 
cap. 17. Schl.] in his times originated the opinion of just ten 

(4) The writers on these persecutions are persecutions ; and Sulpittus, to make out 
enumerated by J. A. Fabricius. Lux. Evang. that number, includes the persecution of An- 
toti orbi exoriens, cap. vii., p. 133, &c. tichrist in the end of the world. See Mo- 


5. Nero first enacted laws for the extermination of Christians. Do- 
mitian next did the same ; and afterward Marcus Antoninus, the philoso- 
pher, then Severus, and the other emperors who were hostile to the Chris- 
tians. Yet these decrees were not all equally severe, nor all founded on 
the same causes. A celebrated lawyer of the name of Domitius, anciently 
collected all the imperial laws against the Christians, in his treatise de 
Ojficio Proconsulis ;(6) which, if it were now extant, would doubtless 
throw much light on the history of the church under the pagan emperors. 
Now very much is left wholly to conjecture. 

6. As the Romans were not accustomed to trouble any people on ac- 
count of their religion, and as they suffered the Jews in particular to live 
according to their own laws, it is not improperly asked, what could have 
induced them to heap so many evils on the heads of Christians, whose re- 
ligion was so holy and so friendly both to public and private happiness ! 
The first cause of this cruelty I conceive to be, that the Christians con- 
temned and abhorred the public religion of the state, which was so closely 
connected with the form and administration of the government. For the 
Romans, though they tolerated all the religions from which the common- 
wealth had nothing to fear, yet would not suffer the ancient religion of 
their nation, as established by the laws, to be derided, and the people to 
be withdrawn from it. Yet both these the Christians dared to do. Nor 
did they assail the Roman religion only, but likewise the religions of all 
other nations. Hence the Romans concluded, that the Christian sect was 
not only arrogant beyond all measure, but likewise unfriendly to the public 
peace and tranquillity, and calculated to excite civil wars. This, if I do 
not mistake, is that odium generis humani, with which Tacitus taxes the 
Christians ; and is the true ground of his denominating Christianity a de- 
structive superstition, as well as of the epithet malignant (malefica), ap- 
plied to it by Suetonius. C!} 

7. Another cause of the Roman hostility to Christianity, was, that the 
Christian worship had none of the things that were common to all other 
religions. For the Christians offered no sacrifices, and had no temples, 
no statues, no oracles, no order of priesthood ; and the inconsiderate mul- 
titude deemed those who were without these, to be destitute of all religion, 
or to be atheists : and by the Roman laws, atheists were regarded as the 
pests of human society. Besides, the worship of so many pagan deities 
afforded support to a countless throng of priests, augurs, soothsayers, mer- 
chants, and artists ; all of whom were in danger of coming to want, if 
Christianity should prevail ; and therefore, with united strength, they rose 
up against it, and wished to exterminate its followers. (8) 

sheim, de Rebus Christ, ante Con. Mag., p. ligion of the Romans, nor those of all the 

98, &c. Schl.] world, seemed to be the foes of mankind, 

(6) Sec Lactantius, Instil. Divinar., lib. and to indulge hatred towards all nations, 
v., c. 11. What remain of these laws, are (8) See the account of Demetrius the sil- 
illustrated by Fran. Baldwin, Comment, ad versmith, Acts xix., 24. Pliny, Epistt., lib. 
edicta veter. princip. Romanor. de Chris- x., ep. 97. " The temples, which were al- 
tianis ; republished by N. H. Gundling, most deserted, begin to be frequented again ; 
with Baldwin's Constant. Magnus, Halle, and the sacred rites, which had been long 
1727* 8vo. neglected, are again performed. The vic- 

(7) See Tacitus, Annals, lib. xv., c. 34. tims which hitherto had found almost no 
Suetonius, Nero, cap. 16. Because such as purchasers, begin to come again to the mar- 
could not endure the sacred rites and the re- ket," &c. 


8. Those who were interested to arrest the progress of Christianity, 
in order to effect their object the sooner, disseminated among the vulgar 
the basest calumnies against the Christians and their religion. These 
slanderous stories were too easily credited by the people, who were fickle 
and credulous. What the stories were, may be learned from the writers 
of apologies for Christianity in the early ages. (9) The same persons cun- 
ningly persuaded the multitude, that all the calamities, wars, tempests, and 
diseases that afflicted mankind, were sent upon them by the angry gods, 
because the Christians, who contemned their authority, were everywhere 
tolerated. (10) Other and less weighty causes are here omitted. 

9. The various kinds of punishment, both capital and corrective, 
which were inflicted on those that venerated Christ, are described by 
learned men in works professedly on that subject.(ll) The manner of 
proceeding before the tribunals, may be seen in the Acts of the Martyrs, 
in the letters which passed between Pliny and Trajan, and in other an- 
cient documents. (12) But it is clear, that the mode of proceeding in the 
courts, was not always the same. For the laws and the rescripts of the 
emperors, by which the magistrates were to be guided, were different at 
different periods. Thus, at one period, the Christians were carefully sought 
after ; at another, the judges waited till some one came forward to accuse 
them. Sometimes the confessing or convicted Christian was hurried forth- 
with to execution, if he did not renounce his religion ; at other times the 
magistrates laboured, by various species of torture and cruelty, to induce 
them to apostatize. 

10. Those who fell in these perilous days of the church, being put 
to death in different ways, were called Martyrs ; a term borrowed from 
the sacred writings, and denoting that they were witnesses for Christ. 
Those who were bold to profess Christ before the magistrates, and for his 
sake incurred the loss of health, or goods, or honours, were denominated 
confessors. Both obtained immense veneration and influence among the 
Christians ; and they enjoyed prerogatives and honours which were alto- 
gether peculiar and extraordinary, and such as would furnish matter for a 
volume that would be useful in various respects. These prerogatives were 
undoubtedly conferred on the martyrs and confessors, to induce others 
more readily to encounter all evils for Christ's sake. (13) But as honours 
and prerogatives among men, from the defects of human nature, often be- 

(9) This subject is nearly exhausted by Protest., torn, iv., lib. v., Decretal., tit. i., 
Chr. Kortholt, Paganus Obtrectator, seu de 32. 

Calumniis gentilium in Christianos, in three (13) [This seems quite too philosophical 

books, Kilon., 1698, 4to. To which add J. an account of this matter. The early Ghris- 

J. Huldrich, de Calumniis gentilium in tians did not thus coldly calculate distant 

Christianos, Tiguri, 1744, 8vo. consequences and effects, in order to de- 

(10) See Arnobius, adversus Gentes. termine what place in their affections, and 
[and Tertullian, Apologet., c. 40. ScA/.] what rank in the church, they should give to 

(11) Anton. Gallonius, and Casp. Sagit- their brethren and pastors who suffered death 
tarius, de Cruciatibus Martyrum ; the latter for their religion. Nature, religion, and all 
printed at Jena, 1673, 4to ; the best edition the ties which united them to Christ, to the 
of the former is, Antw , 1668, 12mo. [Both church, and to one another, combined to ren- 
contain mixtures of the doubtful with the der these holy men and consistent Christians 
true : for the Acta Martyrum, now extant, venerable and lovely in their eyes ; and of 
cannot be relied on. Mosheim, de Reb. course to procure them a rank and privileges 
Chr., &c.] in the church altogether peculiar. Who- 

(12) See J. H. Bcehmer, Jus. Eccles. ever reads the most authentic accounts of 


come sources of evil, so also these were frequently misapplied, and af- 
forded encouragement to superstition and to other evils. 

11. That a great number of persons, of both sexes and of every class 
and rank, suffered death for the cause of Christ during the first three or 
four centuries, no impartial person who is acquainted with the history of 
those times can hesitate to believe. But since H. DodweWs attempt to 
invalidate this ancient opinion, (14) many have agreed with him; and have 
maintained that only a few actually suffered death on account of the Chris- 
tian religion. They have, however, met with strenuous opposers, who re- 
gard this opinion as derogatory to the divine power which sustained the 
martyrs in their conflicts. Those who take the middle path between the 
two,extremes, will probably come nearest to the truth. The martyrs were 
not so numerous as they were anciently supposed to be, and as some still 
account them ; but they were more numerous than Dodwell and his friends 
suppose them. And I apprehend, those persons will readily come into 
this opinion, who shall learn from the ancient writers that even in the most 
calamitous times of the church, not all Christians everywhere were perse- 
cuted and arraigned for trial. Persons in the humbler conditions of life 
were generally more safe ; while greater danger impended over the rich 
(whose wealth had charms for the judges), and over the learned, the doc- 
tors and heads of churches, and over the eloquent and influential. (15) 

12. The words and actions of the martyrs, from the time of their ar- 
rest till their last moments, were carefully committed to writing, in order 
to be read over on certain days for the edification of their successors in 
the church. But a few only of these Act a Martyrum have reached us ;(16) 
much the greater part of them having been committed to the flames, during 
the ten years' war of Diocletian against the Christians ; for, at that time, 
the emperor required all the books and papers of Christians to be collect- 
ed and burned. From the eighth century onward, both the Greeks and 
the Latins took great pains to compile lives of the ancient martyrs ; but the 
more discerning, even in the Romish church, now admit, that the greater 
part of these accounts are mere fables dressed up in a style of affected 
oratory. Nor is more credit due to those catalogues of saints, called Mar- 
tyrologies, which were either compiled by ignorant and incompetent men, 
or have since been much falsified. Hence, this part of ecclesiastical his- 
tory enjoys very little light.* 

13. Nero was the first emperor that persecuted the Christians; and 
his cruelty was extreme. He accused those innocent people of a crime 
which he himself had committed, namely, that of setting fire to the city 
of Rome. And to make the punishment correspond with the crime, he 
caused the streets of the city to be illuminated, through the night, by the 

the ancient martyrs, of Polycarp for instance, xiv., p. 10 and 23, ed. Benedict., and many 

will see abundant evidence of the operation others. Mosheim, de Reb. Christ, ante C. 

of these causes ; but nothing of that calcu- M., p. 106.] 

lating policy, of which Dr. Mosheim speaks. (16) Such of them as were not wholly 

TV.] unworthy of credit, were collected in a mod- 

(14) In his noted Dissertation, de Pauci- erate sized folio, by Theod. Ruinart, Selects 
tate martyrum, which is the eleventh among et sincera Martyrum Acta, Amstelod., 1713. 
his Dissent. Cyprianicae. * [See Adrian Baillet, Discours sur 

(15) [See Martyrium Polycarpi, 12. 1'histoire de la vie des saints; prefixed to 
Acta Fructuosi, in RuinarPs Acta Martyr, his Vies des Saints, Paris, 1704, 4 tomes, 
sincera, p. 219. Cyprian, Epiett. v. and fol. TV.] 



burning bodies of many of them, [whom he had sewed up alive in garments 
covered with pitch.] Others were put to death in a different manner. 
This persecution began in the middle of November, A.D. 64.(17) In the 
course of it, the ancients tell us, Paul and Peter suffered death at Rome : 
but many cannot believe the fact, because of its repugnance to chronolo- 
gy. (18) This persecution terminated at the death of Nero; who is well 
known to have been his own executioner, A.D. 68. During about four 
years, therefore, the Christians suffered every species of cruelty at his 

14. Ho w/ar the persecution under Nero extended, is not agreed among 
the learned. For while the greater number suppose it spread over the whole 
Roman empire, there are those who think it was confined to the city of Rome. 
The former opinion, which is the more ancient,(19) appears to us the best 

(17) See the two French dissertations of 
Alph. de Vignoles, on the Cause and the 
Commencement of Nero's persecution ; in 
Phil. Masson's Histoire critique de la Re- 
publique des Letters, torn, viii., p. 74-117, 
and torn, ix., p. 172-186. See also Toinard 
on Lactantius de mortibus persecutorum, p. 

(18) Sebast. Tillemont, Histoire des Em- 
pereurs, torn, i., p. 564, &c., and Baratier, de 
Successione Romanor. Pontiff, cap. v.,p. 60. 
[All agree that both these apostles, Paul 
and Peter, were put to death in the reign of 
Nero: but in respect to the year and the 
place, there is controversy. Many question 
whether both suffered at the same time. 
They believe, according to the testimony of 
Prudentius, (Peristephan. de passione bea- 
tor. Apostolor. Petri et Pauli, v. 5, 6) that 
Peter suffered one year earlier than Paul; 
but on the same day. As to the day on 
which Paul suffered, some make it the 29th 
of June ; and others, the 23d of February. 
The year is, by some, determined to A.D. 
64 ; so von Henschen, Acta Sanctor. April., 
torn. i. D. Papebroch, Propylaeum ad Acta 
S. May ; by others, A.D. 65 ; so Anton. Pa- 
gi, Critica. in Annal. Baron., torn, i., p. 51, 
52 ; and again by others A.D. 67 ; so Baum- 
garien ; and lastly by others A.D. 68 ; so 
John Pearson, Annales Paulini, p. 25, which 
is the most probable opinion. The day, when 
both apostles suffered, was probably the 22d 
of February. That Paul was beheaded du- 
ring Nero's persecution, is supported by the 
testimony of Eusebius, Hist. Eccl., 1. ii., c. 
25, and of Lactantius, de Morte Persecuto- 
rum, cap. ii., p. 1375, ed. Biinemann. As 
to the place, an obscure writer, Ulr. Velenus, 
in a book, Quo Petrus Romam non venisse 
demonstratur, 1660, 4to, p. 40, denies that 
either apostle suffered at Rome ; and en- 
deavours to prove that their martyrdom waa 
at Jerusalem : which also Bale maintains in 
regard to Peter, Centur. Scriptor. Britan., p. 

16. This opinion is confuted by various 
writers, who are mentioned in Watch's Bib- 
lioth. theol. Selecta, torn, iii., p. 458. On 
this whole subject, consult W. Cave, Life 
of Paul, c. vii., $ 9, p. 424 of his Antiq. 
Apostol. Tillemont, Mem. pour servir a 
Thistoire de 1'Eglise, torn, i., pt. ii., note 42, 
p. 768, and Fabricius, Codex Apocryph. N. 
T., pt. i., p. 450. On the fabulous circum- 
stances related of Paul's martyrdom, see J. 
G. Watch's Hist. Eccles. N. T., p. 277. 
Schl. On the chronology of Paul's life and 
labours, see Witsii Meletemata Leidensia, 
1703, 4to. Pearson, Annales Paul., the In- 
troductions to the N. T. by Eichhorn, Ber- 
tholt, Horne, &c., and other works referred to 
in Winer's Biblischesrealw, art. Paul. Tr.] 
(19) The first who rejected the common, 
opinion, so far as I know, was Fran. Bald- 
win, [an eminent civilian of Paris, who died 
A.D. 1573,] in his Comment, ad edicta Im- 
perator. in Christianos, p. 27, 28. After 
him, Jo. Launoi, in Diss. qua Sulpitii Severi 
locus de prima martyrum Gallise epocha vin- 
dicatur, $ 1, p. 139, 140, torn, ii., pt. i. of his 
works. Still more learned, and on the same 
side, was Henry Dodwell, Diss. xi., in his 
Dissertt. Cyprianicae, $ xiii., p. 59, whom 
many others have followed ; [among whom 
are Jo. le Clerc, Histor. Eccles. N. Test., 
century i., p. 428. Joach. Lange, Hist. 
Eccles., p. 360. Nicol. Gurtler, Syst. the- 
ol. prophet., p. 491. Baumgarlen, Auszug 
der Kirchengesch., vol. i., p. 376 (who sup- 
poses the persecution extended only so far 
as the jurisdiction of the praetorian prefect) ; 
D. Sender, Sel. Capita. Hist. Eccles., torn, 
i., p. 24. (Also J. E. C. Schmidt, Hand- 
buch der christl. Kirchengesch., vol. i., p. 
120; and A. Neander, Algem. Gesch. d. 
christl. Kirche, vol. i., pt. i., p. 137. Tr.) 
The arguments for both opinions are stated 
in /. G. Walch, Hist. Eccles., p. 548, who 
thinks the question to be altogether doubtful. 
Jablontky was of the same sentiment, Insti- 



supported. We do not hesitate to join with those who think, that public laws 
were then enacted against the whole body of Christians, and were sent 
abroad into the provinces. To this opinion we are led, among other rea- 
sons, by the authority of Tertullian, who clearly intimates that Nero, as 
well as Domitian, enacted laws against the Christians, which laws Trajan 
in part repealed or annulled. (20) The noted Spanish or Portuguese in- 
scription, in which Nero is commended for having purged the province of 
the new superstition, is suspected by the Spaniards themselves ; and I place 
no reliance on it. (21) The Christians moreover were condemned, not so 
much for their religion, as on the charge of having set fire to Rome.(22) 
But who can suppose that a religious sect, which the emperor himself 
charged with so great a crime, would be quietly tolerated by him beyond 
the limits of Rome ?(23) 

tutt. Historite Christ, antiq., p. 40. Schl. 
But see note (23) below. TV.] 

(20) Tertullian, Apologet., cap. iv., p. 
46, edit. Havercamp. 

(21) This inscription may be seen in J. 
Gruterus, Inscriptionum, torn, i., p. 238, n. 
9. [It is this : " Neroni, ob provinciam la- 
tronibus et his, qui novam generi humano su- 
perslitionem inculcabant, purgatam." TV.] 
But the best Spanish writers do not venture 
to defend the authority of this inscription ; 
because it has not been seen by any one ; and 
Cyriac of Ancona, who first produced it, is 
acknowledged by all to be unworthy of credit. 
I will subjoin the decision of that excellent 
and judicious historian of Spain, Jo. de Fer- 
reras, Histoire generale d'Espagne, torn, i., 
p. 192. " I cannot refrain from remarking 
that Cyriac of Ancona was the first that 
published this inscription, and that from him 
all others have derived it. But as the cred- 
ibility of this writer is suspected, in the judg- 
ment of all the learned, and as not a vestige 
nor any recollection of this inscription re- 
mains, in the places where it is said to have 
been found, and no one knows now where to 
find it ; every one may form such opinion 
of it as he pleases." 

(22) See Theod. Ruinart, Praef. ad Acta 
Martyrum sincera et selecta, p. 31, &c. 

(23) [Nearly all the facts relating to this 
persecution, except the martyrdom of Peter 
and Paul, we owe to Tacitus, the Roman 
historian. Annals, lib. xv., c. 44. After 
describing the conflagration, which utterly 
consumed three of the fourteen wards, and 
spread ruin in seven others ; and likewise 
the efforts of Nero to sooth the indignant 
and miserable citizens ; he says, " But no 
human aid, no munificence of the prince, nor 
expiations of the gods, removed from him 
the infamy of having ordered the conflagra- 
tion. Therefore, to stop the clamour, Nero 
falsely accused and subjected to the most 
exquisite punishments a people hated for 

VOL. 1. H 

their crimes, called Christians. The found- 
er of the sect, Christ, was executed in the 
reign of Tiberius, by the procurator Pontius 
Pilate. The pernicious superstition, re- 
pressed for a time, burst forth again ; not 
only through Judea, the birthplace of the 
evil, but at Rome also, where every thing 
atrocious and base centres and is in repute. 
Those first seized, confessed ; then a vast 
multitude, detected by their means, were con- 
victed, not so much of the crime of burning 
the city, as of hatred to mankind. And in- 
sult was added to their torments ; for being 
clad in skins of wild beasts, they were torn to 
pieces by dogs ; or affixed to crosses to be 
burned, were used as lights, to dispel the 
darkness of night, when the day was gone. 
Nero devoted his gardens to the show, and 
held Circensian games, mixing with the rab- 
ble, or mounting a chariot, clad like a coach- 
man. Hence, though the guilty and those 
meriting the severest punishment, suffered ; 
yet compassion was excited, because they 
were destroyed, not for the public good, but 
to satisfy the cruelty of an individual." It 
appears from this account, that a rasl multi- 
tude (multitude ingens) suffered at Rome, 
and suffered in a most inhuman manner; 
that they were falsely accused, and by Nero's 
instigation ; not because he had any thing 
against them, but because they were a de- 
spised people, and he hoped to avert the pub- 
lic odium from himself. But the case was 
too plain ; their innocence was known, and 
Nero's fiendlike merriment only raised com- 
passion towards them, and increased the 
odium against him. It is clear, from this 
account, that the Christians, in the opinion 
of Tacitus, deserved to be exterminated for 
their religion ; yet that Nero did not proceed 
on this ground, but on the false charge of 
their having kindled the fires of Rome. Lac- 
tantius, then, (de Morte persecutorum, cap. 
ii.) erred in attributing other designs to Nero, 
namely, the extermination of the Christian 



15. Nero being dead, the fury of this first war against the Christians 
ceased. But in the year 93 or 94, (24) a new assault was made upon, 
them by Domitian, an emperor little inferior to Nero in baseness of char- 
acter and conduct.(25) The cause of the persecution, if we give credit to 
Hegesippus, was the fear of losing his empire ; for the emperor had learned 
in some way that a person would arise from among the relatives of Christ, 
who would attempt a revolution, and would produce commotion in the em- 
pire. (26) This persecution undoubtedly was severe : but it was of short 
continuance, as the emperor was soon after murdered.(27) The principal 

religion. The commencement of this perse- supposes it began A.D. 93. Toinard, (ubi 
cution is determined, by the time of the con- 

flagration, which Tacitus says, (Annals xv., 
33, 41), began the 18th of July, A.D. 65, 
(orxiv. Kalend. Sextiles, C. Lecanio, and M. 
Licinio Coss.), and lasted six days. Some 
time after, but in the same year, the perse- 
cution broke out. But how long it contin- 
ued is uncertain. If Paul and Peter suffer- 
ed in the very last year of Nero's reign, as 
the fathers state, (Eusebius, Chronicon ; and 
Jerome, de Viris illustr., c. i. and v.), the per- 
secution doubtless ceased, only on Nero's 
death. But if they suffered earlier, then we 
have no proof of the continuance of the per- 
secution so long. As to the extent of the 
persecution, it is wholly in the dark. If we 
consider simply the description of it, or the 
causes from which it originated, and the feel- 
ings of Nero towards the Christians, we have , 
no reason to suppose it extended beyond the 
city of Rome and its neighbourhood. Yet 
the general impression in former ages, and 
the belief of many in this age, make the per- 
secution a general one. The only argument 
of much plausibility for this opinion, is de- 
rived from a passage in Tertullian, (Apolo- 
get., cap. iv., p. 46, ed. Havercamp.) where 
he speaks of the persecuting laws of the em- 
pire, as being enacted by the very vilest and 
most odious among the emperors, and men- 
tions Nero as the first that " drew the sword" 
against the Christians ; and Domitian as the 
second who did so. Whence it is inferred, 
that Nero, as well as Domitian, must have 
enacted public laws against the Christians ; 
and, of course, that the persecution in Nero's 
reign must have been general, or throughout 
the empire. But considering the fervid, 
rhetorical style of Tertullian, this seems to 
be a slender foundation, on which to ground 
a conclusion that has no support from well 
attested facts. TV.] 

(24) [The precise year in which the per- 
secution by Domitian began, is not certain. 
Toinard has discussed the point, in his holes 
on Lactantius, de Morte Persecutorum, chap, 
iii. That it raged in the year 95, is stated 
by Eusebuis, Hist. Eccles., iii., 18, but how 
long before this it commenced, is not clear. 
Pagi (Grit, annal. Baron., torn, i., p. 85, 87), 

supra), A.D. 94 ; and Dodwell, (Diss. Cy- 
prian, xi., p. 71), A.D. 95. Mosheim, (de 
Reb. Christ, ante C. M.), says, A.D. 94 or 
95. Tr.] 

(25) See Theod. Ruinart, Praef. ad Acta 
Martyrum, p. 32. [Thorn. Itlig, Selecta 
Hist. Eccles. capita, saecul. i., cap. 6, 11, 
p. 531. Schl.] 

(26) Eusebius, Hist. Eccles., 1. iii., c. 19, 
20. [In this simple, unvarnished story, there 
is nothing difficult to be believed. It is 
therefore credible, that some enemy of both 
Jews and Christians, suggested to the em- 
peror that the Jews were expecting a king 
of David's line, who would give laws to the 
world ; and that the Christians likewise be- 
lieved that Christ would reappear and set up 
a splendid kingdom ; that from both these 
classes of people, insurrections and trouble 
were to be feared ; and that the tyrant, en- 
raged by the suggestions of the insidious foe, 
ordered all the posterity of David to be 
sought out and to be put to death ; and to 
prevent the Christians from making disturb- 
ance, he commanded them to be put under 
restraints, or to be punished with severity. 
Mosheim, de Reb. Christ., &c., p. 111.] 

(27) [The termination of this persecution 
is stated differently by the ancients. Some 
say that Domittan himself put an end to it be- 
fore his death. Hegesippus, (in Eusebius, 
Ecc. Hist., 1. iii., c. 20), states that Domitian 
having learned that there were Christians of 
the lineage of David, and kinsmen of Christ, 
still living in Palestine, had them brought to 
Rome, and interrogated them closely re- 
specting their pedigree, their wealth, and the 
future kingdom of Christ. And from their 
answers and their whole appearance, he 
concluded he had nothing to fear from them, 
and dismissed them ; and thereupon he pub- 
lished a decree, terminating the persecution. 
So likewise Tertullian, (Apologet, cap. v., 
p. 60), says of Domitian : " He receded 
from his attempt, and recalled those he had 
banished." But Lactantius, (de Morte per- 
secutorum, cap. 3), represents his acts and 
edicts as repealed, after his death, and that 
then it was the church recovered its former 
state. And Xiphilin, on Nerva, (Dion Cas- 


martyrs named, are Flavins Clemens, a consul, and his niece or wife, Fla- 
via Domitilla.(28) In the midst of this persecution, John the apostle, was 
banished to the isle of Patmos ; but whether he was first cast into a cal- 
dron of boiling oil by order of the emperor, and came out alive and unhurt, 
though asserted by Tertullian and others, has appeared to many to be un- 





1) 1. The State of Philosophy in the East, little known. 2. Philosophy of the Persians, 
Chaldeans, and Arabians. <J 3. Jewish and Egyptian Wisdom. 4. The proper Orien- 
tal Philosophy. 5. Its first Principles. 6. Its Patrons not agreed in their Opinions. 
7. Its Precepts concerning God. 8. Concerning the Origin of the "World. 
$9. Concerning Human Souls. $ 10. The Jewish Philosophy. 5 11. Grecian Learn- 
ing. 12. Roman Learning and Philosophy. <J 13. Attention to Science in other 

1. IF it were known what opinions were advanced and maintained by 
the men of most intelligence among the Oriental nations, at the time when 
the Christian religion began to enlighten mankind, many things in the early 
history of the church might be more fully and more accurately explained. 
But, only a few fragments of Oriental philosophy, as all know, have come 
down to us ; and those which have reached us, still need the labours of a 
learned man to collect them all together, to arrange them properly and ex- 
pound them wisely.(l) 

2. The prevailing system in Persia, as is well known, was that of the 
Magi, who held to two principles or deities, governing the universe, the 

sius, 1. Ixviii., c. 1, abridged by Xiphilin), the Rev. Mr. Heumann and myself, in my 

says, that " Nerva recalled those banished Syntagma Diss. ad Historiam eccles. perti- 

for impiety," i. e., the Christians. Perhaps nentium, torn, i., p. 497-546. [The whole 

Domitian published an edict favourable to controversy seems to rest on a passage in 

the Christians a little before his death, the Tertullian, de Prescript, adv. haeret., c. 36, 

benefits of which they began to enjoy, first, as the only original authority for the story, 

after his decease. S'cA/.] which is in itself improbable. All the more 

(28) [See Euscbius, Hist. Eccl., 1. iii., c. discerning, of late, either doubt or deny the 
18, and Chronicon, ann. 95. Some have sup- truth of the story. TV.] 

posed, that the wife and the niece of Clem- (1) There is extant an English work of 

ens both had the same name ; and that the Thomas Stanley, on the history of Oriental 

first was banished to the island Pandataria, philosophy, which J. le Clerc translated into 

near Italy ; and the second, to another island Latin. But that learned man has left the 

called Pontia. Si-c Tillemont, Mem. pour field of Oriental philosophy not to be gleaned 

servir al'histoire dc Peglise, torn, ii., p. 124,, but to be reaped by others. He is 

&c., and Flcury, History of the church, lib. much inferior both in genius and erudition 

ii., 52. SchL] to Ja. Brucker ; whose history of philosophy 

(29) See the amicable discussion between should by all means be consulted. 



one good, the other evil. The followers of this system however were not 
agreed, in respect to the precise nature of these first principles.(2) Nev- 
ertheless this doctrine spread over no small portion of Asia and Africa, and 
particularly over Chaldea, Assyria, Syria, and Egypt, though under differ- 
ent modifications ; nor did it leave the Jews untinctured with its princi- 
ples. (3) The Arabians of that and the subsequent ages, were more remarka- 
ble for strength and courage than for intellectual culture ; for they attained 
to no celebrity for learning, before the times of Mohammed, This their own 
writers do not deny. (4) 

3. The Indians, from the earliest times, were much famed for their 
love of profound knowledge. Of their philosophical tenets, we could per- 
haps form an opinion at the present day, if their very ancient sacred book 
which they denominate Veda or the law, were brought to light, and trans- 
lated into some language better known. The accounts given by travellers 
among the Indians concerning this book, are so contradictory and fluctua- 
ting, that we must wait for further information. (5) The Egyptians were 

(2) See Tho. Hyde, Historia religionis 
veterum Persarum, Oxon., 1700, 4to, a 
very learned work, but ill digested, and 
full of improbable conjectures. 

(3) See Jo. Christoph. Wolf, Manichzis- 
mus ante Manichaeos, Hamb., 1707, 8vo, 
also Mosheim, Notes on CudwortKs Intel- 
lectual System, p. 328, 423, &c. 

(4) See Abulpharajus, de Moribus Ara- 
bum, p. 6, published by Pocock. 

(5) I have recently learned, that this most 
desirable book has been obtained by some 
French Jesuits residing in India ; and that 
it has been, or will be, deposited in the king 
of France's library. See Lettre du P. Cal- 
mette a M. de Cartigny, dans les Lettres 
edifiantes et Curieuses des Miss. Etrangeres, 
xxi., Recueil, p. 455, &c., and xxiii., Rec., 
p. 161. [The Hindoo literature and theol- 
ogy were little known, when Dr. Mosheim 
wrote. Since that time, and especially 
since the establishment of the Asiatic Soci- 
ety at Calcutta, by Sir Wm. Jones, in 1793, 
this field of knowledge has been explored 
with equal industry and success. See the 
Asiatic Researches, 13 vols. 4to ; Sir Wm. 
Jones's Works, 6 vols. 4to ; Rev. Wm. 
Ward's View of the Hist., &c., of the Hin- 
doos, 3 vols. 8vo, and numerous other 
works. But it is not true, that the Vedas 
have been brought to Europe, as Dr. Mo- 
sheim had been informed. On the contrary, 
Mr. Holbrooke, in the 8th vol. of the Asiatic 
Res., describes them as not worth transla- 
ting. He says : " They are too voluminous 
for a complete translation of the whole ; and 
what they contain would hardly reward the 
labour of the reader, much less that of the 
translator." The Vedas are four in number, 
called Rig Veda, Yajush Veda, Saman Veda, 
and Alharvan Veda. The first consists of 5 
sections, in 10,000 verses ; the second is di- 

vided into 80 sections, in 9000 verses ; the 
third consists of 1000 sections, and 3000 
verses ; the fourth, of nine sections, with 
subdivisions, and 6000 verses. Besides the 
four Vedas, the Hindoos have 14 other sa- 
cred books of later date and inferior author- 
ity ; viz., four Upavedas, six Angas, and 
four Upangas. All these were supposed to 
be the productions of divine persons, and to 
contain all true knowledge, secular as well 
as sacred. The commentaries on these 
books, the compilations from them, and di- 
gests of their principles, are almost innu- 
merable, and constitute the whole encyclo- 
paedia of the Hindoos. Several of these 
have been translated into European lan- 
guages ; namely, L'Ezour- Vcdam, or ancien 
commentaire du Vedam, &c., a Yverdon, 
1778, 2 vols. 12mo. The Shaguat-Geeta, 
or Dialogues of Kreeshna and Arjoon, in 
eighteen lectures, with notes by Cha. Wil- 
kins, Lond., 1785, 4to. Bagavadam, ou 
doctrine divine, ouvrage Indien canonique 
sur PEtre supreme, les dieux, les geans, les 
hommes, les diverses parties de 1'univers, 
(by Foucher d' Obsonville), a Paris, 1788, 
8vo. Oupnekhut, h. e. Decretum legen- 
dum, opus ipsa in India rarissimum, conti- 
nens antiquam et arcanam, seu theolog. et 
philosoph doctrinam, e quatuor sacris In- 
dorum libris excerptam e Persico idio- 
mate in Latinum versum studio et opera, 
Anquetil du Perron, 1801-2, 2 vols. 4to. 
Institutes of Hindoo Law, or the ordinances 
of Menu, translated by Sir Wm. Jones, 
Lond., 1796, 8vo. The last is supposed to 
follow next after the Vedas in age. Sir 
Wm. Jones thinks it was, most probably, 
compiled about 880 years before Christ, and 
the Vedas about 300 years earlier. The 
other sacred books of the Hindoos are much 
later ; yet all are now ancient. From the 



unquestionably divided into various sects, disagreeing in opinion ;(6) so 
that it is a vain attempt which some have made, to reduce the philosophy 
of this people to one system. 

$ 4. But of all the different systems of philosophy that were received in 
Asia and in a part of Africa in the age of our Saviour, none was so detri- 
mental to the Christian church, as that which was styled yvtiois or science ; 
i. e., the way to the knowledge of the true God ; and which we have above 
called the Oriental philosophy, in order to distinguish it from the Grecian. 
For from this school issued the leaders and founders of those sects, which 
during the three first centuries disturbed and troubled the Christian church. 
They endeavoured to accommodate the simple and pure doctrines of Chris- 
tianity to the tenets of their philosophy ; and in doing so, they produced 
various fantastic and strange notions, and obtruded upon their followers 
systems of doctrine which were in part ludicrous, and in part marvellously 
obscure and intricate. The ancient Greek and Latin fathers, who contend- 
ed against these sects, supposed indeed that their sentiments were derived 
from P~la t to ; but those good men, being acquainted with no philosophy but 
the Grecian, and ignorant of everything oriental, were deceived by the 
resemblance between some of the doctrines of Plato and those embraced 
by these sects. Whoever compares the Platonic philosophy carefully with 
the Gnostic, will readily see that they are widely different.(7) 

(6) [See Dr. Mosheim's notes on Cud- 
worth's Intellectual System, torn. i.,p. 415.] 

(7) [Dr. Mosheim in this and the four fol- 
lowing sections describes an Oriental philos- 
ophy, the supposed parent of the Gnostic 
systems, as if its existence was universally 
admitted, and its character well understood. 
Yet the system here described is of his own 
formation ; being such a system as must 
have existed, according to his judgment, 
in order to account for the Gnosticism of 
the early ages. In his Comment, de Rebus 
Christ., &c., p. 19-21, and in his Diss. de 
Causis suppositorum librorum inter Chris- 
tianos Saeculi pritni et secundi, $ 3-6, (inter 
Dissertt. ad Hist. Eccles. pertinentes, vol. 
i., p. 223-232), he confesses, that he has lit- 
tle evidence, except the necessity of the 
supposition, for the existence of this philos- 
ophy. He also admits, that the fathers knew 
nothing of it ; and he might have added, that 
they testify that Gnosticism had no exist- 
ence till the days of Adrian, in the second 
century. Since Dr. Mosheim wrote, some 
have believed with him ; others have re- 
jected his hypothesis altogether ; and oth- 
ers again have taken a middle course, 
which is probably the nearest to the truth. 
These last suppose, that the Jews and the 
Greeks of Asia and Egypt, imbibed some- 
thing of the spirit common to most, of the 
Asiatic wise men, and which shows itself in 
the Braminic, the Zoroastrian, and the Sufi 
or Persian speculations ; namely, a disposi- 
tion to indulge the imagination, and to de- 
pend on contemplation rather than ratiocina- 

similarity of views between the Hindoo 
philosophers and those of Greece, it has 
been thought, that they must have had some 
intercourse, or that one borrowed from the 
other. The ideas of the fathers in the 
Christian church, and of some moderns, 
would make the Greeks indebted to the 
Orientals but Christoph. Meiners, (Histo- 
ria doctrinae de uno Deo), and others, would 
reverse the stream of philosophic knowledge, 
by supposing it followed the march of Alex- 
ander's army from Greece to India. This 
intercourse between the Indians and the 
Greeks seems not to have been of long con- 
tinuance. If it commenced with Alexan- 
der's Indian expedition, it can scarcely have 
lasted 80 years ; for the conquest of Media, 
Persia, and Babylonia, by the Parthians 
about 250 years before Christ, and the es- 
tablishment of their empire in those coun- 
tries, formed a strong barrier to all further 
intercourse ; and the subversion of the king- 
dom of the Seleucidae by the Romans, B.C. 
65, must be suppdsed to be the utmost lim- 
its to which it could extend. If we consider 
the nourishing state of the Grecian philoso- 
phy before the Asiatic conquests of Alexan- 
der, and the silence of the western philoso- 
phers respecting their intercourse with India 
during the period supposed, it would seem 
more probable, that the Indian philosophy 
was derived from the Grecian, than the latter 
from the former. It is to be hoped, this sub- 
ject will receive more light from the investi- 
gations which are going forward with such 
success in the present age. Tr.] 



5. The first principles of this philosophy seem to have been dictated 
by reason itself. For its author undoubtedly thus reasoned: There is 
much evil in the world ; and men are hurried on as by the instinct of na- 
ture, to what reason condemns. Yet that eternal Mind, from whom all 
other spirits emanated, is doubtless perfectly free from evil, or is infinitely 
good and beneficent. Hence the source of the evils with which the world 
abounds, must be something external to the Deity. But there is nothing 
external to him, except what is material : and therefore matter is to be re- 
garded as the source and origin of all evil and all vice. From these prin- 
ciples the conclusion was, that matter existed eternally, and independently 
of God ; and that it received its present form and organization, not from 
the will or fiat of God, but from the operations of some being of a nature 
inferior to God ; in other words, that the world and the human race came 
from the forming hand, not of the Supreme Deity, but of one of inferior ca- 
pacity and perfections. For who can believe that the supreme God, who 
is infinitely removed from all evil, would mould and fashion matter which 
is in its nature evil and corrupt, and would impart to it any portion of his 
rich gifts ? But attempting to go farther, and to explain how, or by what ac- 
cident or operator, that rude and malignant substance, called matter, be- 
came so skilfully arranged and organized ; and especially, how souls of 
celestial origin became joined with bodies composed of it, both reason and 
common sense forsook them. They therefore resorted to their imagina- 
tive faculty, or to mere fables, in order to explain the origin of the world 
and of mankind. 

6. But as those, who undertake to explain what is obscure and diffi- 
cult of solution by means of mere conjecture, can very seldom agree ; so 
those who attempted to solve this difficulty, split into various sects. Some 
conceived there must be two eternal first principles, the one presiding over 

tion, as the means of arriving at truth. 
Something of this spirit appears also in the 
Platonic philosophy, especially in the later 
or Eclectic Platonism. Besides, the Asiat- 
ics in all ages, like the early Grecian philos- 
ophers, were much inclined to limit their 
philosophical speculations to cosmogony ; 
and likewise to adopt, as the supposed first 
or grand operative cause, a physical rather 
than an intelligent principle ; or, in other 
words, to attribute the origin of all things 
to generation, vegetation, emanation, attrac- 
tion, or some such natural operation, rather 
than to the contrivance and the fiat of an 
almighty and intelligent Spirit. Hence the 
Jews and some early Christian sects, with- 
out embracing the peculiar tenets of the 
Magi or of any other philosophers, oriental 
or occidental, yet imbibing the Asiatic spir- 
it of searching after wisdom by means of 
contemplation rather than ratiocination, and 
at the same time leaning towards the su- 
premacy of physical causes, were led to 
frame systems of philosophical divinity alto- 
gether peculiar. Such was, probably, the or- 
igin of the Jewish Kabbalistic system ; and 
also of those multifarious systems which 

bore the common name of Gnosticism. 
Elaborate attempts have been made to trace 
these systems back to some species of pa- 
gan philosophy as their legitimate source ; 
but with very little success. They seem to 
have originated in the speculations of Jews 
and Christians, who indulged their own fan- 
cies, and explained the principles of revealed 
religion in a manner peculiar to themselves. 
That Gnosticism, as such, had no existence 
in the first century, and that it is in vain 
sought for in the N. Testament, appears to 
be satisfactorily proved by C. C. Tittmann, 
Tractatus de vestigiis Gnosticorum in N. T. 
frustra quaesitis, Lips., 1773, p. 253, 12mo. 
That, notwithstanding many points of re- 
semblance can be traced, it is materially dif- 
ferent from any system of either Grecian or 
Oriental philosophy, it is the object of F. 
Ant. Lewald to show, Comment, ad histo- 
riam, &c., de doctrina Gnostica, Heidelb., 
1818, p. 157, 12mo. For very ingenious 
and profound speculations on the subject 
generally, see Aug. Neandcr, Allgem. 
Gesch. der christl. Religion und Kirche, vol. 
i., pt. ii., p. 627-670. TV.] 


light, the other over matter ; and by the contests between these principles, 
they accounted for the mixture of good and evil in our world. Others as- 
signed to matter, not an eternal lord, but an architect merely ; and they 
supposed, that some one of those immortal beings whom God produced 
from himself, was induced by some casual event to attempt the reduction 
of matter, which lay remote from the residence of God, into some kind of 
order, and moreover to fabricate men. Others again, imagined a sort of 
Triumvirate ; for they distinguished the Supreme Deity from the prince of 
matter and the author of all evil on the one hand, and from the architect 
and builder of the world on the other. When these three systems came 
to be dilated and explained, new controversies unavoidably arose, and 
numerous divisions followed ; as might be expected from the nature of the 
case, and as the history of those Christian sects which followed this phi- 
losophy, expressly declares. 

ty 7. Yet, as all these sects set out upon one and the same first prin- 
ciple, their disagreements did not prevent their holding certain doctrines and 
opinions in common, respecting God, the world, mankind, and some other 
points. They all, therefore, maintained the existence from eternity of a 
Being, full of goodness, wisdom, and the other virtues, of whom no mortal 
can form a complete idea; a Being, who is the purest light, and is diffused 
through that boundless space to which they gave the Greek appellation of 
Plerbma ; that this eternal and most perfect Being, after existing alone and 
in absolute repose during an infinite period, produced out of himself two 
spirits, of different sexes, and both perfect resemblances of their parent ; 
that from the marriage of these two spirits, others of a similar nature ori- 
ginated ; that successive generations ensued ; and thus, in process of time, a 
celestial family was formed in the Plerdma. This divine progeny, being im- 
mortal and unchangeable in their nature, these philosophers were disposed 
to call 'Aitiveg , Aeons ; a term which signifies eternal, or beyond the in- 
fluence of time and its vicissitudes. (8) But how numerous these Aeons 
were, was a subject of controversy among them. 

$ 8. Beyond the region of light where God and his family dwell, 
exists a rude and unformed mass of matter, heaving itself continually in 
wild commotion. This mass, one of the celestial family, either acci- 
dentally wandering beyond the Pleroma at a certain time, or sent out by 
the Deity, first reduced to order and beauty, and then peopled it with 
human beings and with animals of different species, and finally endowed 

(8) The word aiuv properly signifies an of the day; like an hour I must exist, and 

infinite, or at least indefinite duration, and then pass away. It was therefore not a 

is opposed to a finite or a temporary duration, novel application of the term aiuv by the 

But by metonomy, it was used to designate Gnostics, to use it as the designation of a 

immutable beings who exist for ever. It celestial and immortal being. And even the 

was so used, even by the Greek philosophers, fathers of the ancient church apply the term 

about the commencement of the Christian to angels, both good and bad. That all who 

era ; as appears from a passage in Arrian, were addicted to the Oriental philosophy, 

Diss. Epictet., lib. ii., 5, where aiuv is whether Greeks or not, used the term in this 

opposed to uvdpuirof or to a frail, changea- sense, appears from a passage in Manes, the 

ble being. 'On yap hfu aiuv dW wv&pu- Persian, who, as Avgustine testifies, called 

TTOf, ftepof ruv TTUVTUV, uf upa tyucpflf, kv- the celestial beings uiuvef, or, as Augustine 

arf/vai fie iel of TTJV upav, KCU Trapeh-d-elv translates it, scecula. Some have supposed 

cif upav. I am not an Aeon, (an eternal it so used even in the New Test., e. g., 

and unchangeable being), but a man; and Ephes. ii., 2, and Heb. i., 2. Moshcim, de 

a part of the universe, as an hour is a part Reb. Christ, ante C. M., p. 30.] 


and enriched it with some portions of the celestial light or substance. 
This builder of the world, who was distinct from the supreme God, they 
called the Demiurge, He is a being, who, though possessed of many 
shining qualities, is arrogant in his nature, and much inclined to domina- 
tion. He therefore claims absolute authority over -the new world he has 
built, as being properly his right, to the exclusion altogether of the supreme 
God ; and he requires of mankind, to pay divine honours exclusively to 
him, and to his associates. 

9. Man is composed of a terrestrial, and therefore a vicious body ; 
and of a celestial soul, which is in some sense a particle of the Deity 
himself. The nobler part, the soul, is miserably oppressed by the body, 
which is the seat of base lusts ; for it is not only drawn away by it from 
the knowledge and worship of the true God, and induced to give homage 
and reverence to the Demiurge and his associates, but it is likewise filled 
and polluted with the love of terrestrial objects and of sensual pleasures. 
From this wretched bondage, God labours to rescue his offspring, in vari- 
ous ways ; and especially by the messengers whom he often sends to them. 
But the Demiurge and his associates, eager to retain their power, resist 
in all possible ways the divine purpose of recalling souls back to himself, 
and labour with great pains to obscure and efface all knowledge of the 
supreme Deity. In this state of conflict, such souls as renounce the 
framers and rulers of the* world, and, aspiring after God their parent, sup- 
press the emotions excited by depraved matter, will when freed from the 
body ascend immediately to the Pleroma : while those which continue in 
the bondage of superstition and of corrupt matter, must pass into other 
bodies, till they shall awake from this sinful lethargy. Yet God will ulti- 
mately prevail ; and having restored to liberty most of the souls now im- 
prisoned in bodies, he will dissolve the fabric of the world ; and then the 
primitive tranquillity will return, and God will reign with the happy spirits 
in undisturbed felicity to all eternity. 

10. The state of learning and especially of philosophy among the 
Jews, is manifest from what ha,s already been said respecting the condition 
of that nation. It appears from the books of the New Testament, that the 
recondite science which they called Kabbala, was even then taught and 
inculcated by not a few among them. This science was in many respects, 
very similar to that philosophy which we have called Oriental; or rather, 
it is this philosophy itself, accommodated to the Jewish religion, and tem- 
pered with some mixture of truth. Nor were the Jews, at that time, 
wholly ignorant of the doctrines of the Grecian sages ; for from the days 
of Alexander the Great, they had incorporated some of them into their re- 
ligion. Of the opinions which they had adopted from the Chaldeans, the 
Egyptians, and the Syrians, I shall say nothing. (9) 

$ 11. The Greeks are regarded by most writers, as continuing to hold 
the first rank in learning and philosophy. There were among them at 
that time, and especially at Athens, acute and eloquent men, who taught 
the precepts of philosophy, as held by the ancient sects founded by Plato, 
Aristotle, Zeno, and Epicurus ; and who also instructed youth in the prin- 

(9) See J. F. Buddeus, Introductio in ca, torn, iii., [but especially, Brucker's Hist, 
historian* philos. Hebraeorum ; and the wri- crit. philos., torn, ii., period ii., pt. i., 1. ii., 
ters named by Wolfius, Bibliotheca Hebrai- c. i., p. 652. Schl.] 


ciples of eloquence, and in the liberal arts. Hence those who were eager 
for learning, resorted to Greece from all quarters. At Alexandria in Egypt, 
likewise, Grecian philosophers and rhetoricians were no less numerous ; 
so that thither also, there was a general resort of scholars, as to a literary 

^12. Among the Romans of this age, every branch of learning and 
science was cultivated. The children of good families were, from their 
earliest years, instructed carefully in Grecian literature and eloquence; 
they next applied themselves to philosophy and the civil law ; and at last 
repaired to Greece, to complete their education. (10) Among the sects of 
philosophers, none were more acceptable to the Romans than the Epicu- 
reans and Academics, whom the leading men followed in great numbers, 
in order to indulge themselves in a life of pleasure without fear or remorse. 
So long as Augustus reigned, the cultivation of the fine arts was held in 
high honour. But after his death, the succeeding emperors being more 
intent on the arts of war than those of peace, these studies gradually sunk 
into neglect. 

$ 13. The other nations, as the Germans, Celtes, and Britains, were 
certainly not destitute of men distinguished for their genius and acumen. 
In Gaul, the inhabitants of Marseilles had long been much famed for their 
attention to learning :( 1 1) and they had, doubtless, diffused some knowledge 
among the neighbouring tribes. Among the Celtes, the Druids who were 
priests, philosophers, and legislators, were renowned for their wisdom ; 
but the accounts of them now extant, are not sufficient to acquaint us with 
the nature of their philosophy. (12) The Romans moreover introduced 
literature and philosophy into all the countries which they brought under 
their subjection, for the purpose of softening their savage tempers, and 
promoting their civilization.(13) 

(10) See Paganini Gaudentii, liber de Germains par Sim. Pelloutier, augmente 
Philosophiae apud Romanes initio et pro- par M. de Chiniac, Paris, 1771, 8 vols. 
gressu, in the 3d vol. of the Nova variorum 12ino, and 2 vols. 4to ; also Freret, Obss. sur 
scriptorum collectio, Halle, 1747, 8vo, 2d la nature et les dogmes de la relig. Gau- 
edition. loise ; in the Histoire de 1'Acad. des In- 

(11) See the Histoire litteraire de la scrip., tome xviii. ; and his Obss. sur la relig. 
France, par des Religieux Benedictins, Diss. des Gaulois, &c., in the Memoires de Litte- 
prelim., p. 42, &c. rature, tires des registres de 1'Acad. des In- 

(12) Ja. Martini, Rolipion des Gaulois, script., tome xxiv., Paris, 1756. Also the 
liv. i., cap. 21, p. 175, and various others, Introductory part of Alsatia lilustrata au- 
who have written concerning the Druids, tore J. Dan. Schocpflino, torn, i., $ 96, 
[This work of Martin is said to be far info- Colmar, 1751, fol. TV.] 

rior to the following; viz., Histoire des (13) Juvenal, Satyra xv., 110-113. 
Celtes et particulierement des Gaulois et des 
VOL. I. I 




$ 1. Necessity of Teachers in the Church. 2. Extraordinary Teachers. $3. Author- 
ity of the Apostles. 4. The seventy Disciples. 5. Christ nowhere determined the 
Form of his Church. Constitution of the Church of Jerusalem. 6. Rights of the 
People. Contributions for the Public Expense. 7. Equality of the Members. Rites 
of Initiation. Catechumens and the Faithful. 8. Order of Rulers. Presbyters. 
$ 9. Prophets. 10. Deacons of the Church at Jerusalem. Deaconesses. 11, 
Bishops. 12. Character of Episcopacy in this Century. $ 13. Origin of Dioceses,, 
and rural Bishops. 14. Whether there were Councils and Metropolitans in the first 
Century. 15. The principal Writers ; the Apostles. 16. Time of Completion of 
the Canon. 1) 17. Apocryphal Writings and Pseudepigrapha. <J 18. Clemens Roma- 
mis. 19. Writings falsely ascribed to him. 20. Ignatius of Antioch. 21. Pol- 
ycarp, Barnabas, Hernias. 22. Character of the Apostolic Fathers. 

1. As it was the design of our Saviour, to gather a church from among 
all nations, and one which should continue through all ages, the nature of 
the case required him first to appoint extraordinary teachers, who should 
be his ambassadors to mankind, and everywhere collect societies of Chris- 
tians ; and then, that he should cause to be placed in these societies ordi- 
nary teachers, and interpreters of his will, who should repeat and enforce 
the doctrines taught by the extraordinary teachers, and keep the people 
steadfast in their faith and practice. For any religion will gradually be 
corrupted, and become extinct, unless there are persons continually at 
hand, who shall explain and inculcate it. 

2. The extraordinary teachers, whom Christ employed in setting up 
his kingdom, were those intimate friends of his whom the Scriptures de- 
nominate apostles ; and those seventy disciples of whom mention was made 
above. To these, I apprehend, must be added those who are called evan- 
gelists ; that is, as I suppose, those who were either sent forth to instruct 
the people by the apostles, or who of their own accord, forsaking other 
employments, assumed the office of promulgating the truths which Christ 
taught. (1) And to these, we must further add those, to whom in the in- 
fancy of the church, God imparted ability to speak in foreign languages 
which they had never learned. For he on whom the divine goodness con- 
ferred the gift of tongues, ought in my judgment, to infer from this gift, 
that God designed to employ his ministry in propagating the Christian re- 

3. Many have undertaken to write the history of the apostles, a his- 
tory full of fables, doubts, and difficulties, if we pursue it farther than the 
books of the N. Test., and the most ancient ecclesiastical writers are our 
guide. (3) An apostle was a man who was divinely instructed; and who 

(1) Ephes. iv., 11. See Eusebius, Hist, troductio ad Historiam eccles., cap. i., p. 2, 
eccles., lib. iii., c. 37. and by J. Fr. Buddeus, de Ecclesia Apos- 

(2) 1 Corinth, xiv., 22, &c. tolica, p. 673, &c. [Some notices of their 

(3) Writers of the lives of the apostles, lives are given above, in notes (8) and (9), 
are enumerated by Casp. Sagittarius, In- p. 47. TV.] 



was invested with the power of making laws, of punishing the guilty and 
wicked when there was occasion, and of working miracles when they were 
necessary ; and who was sent by Christ himself, to make known to man- 
kind the divine pleasure and the way of salvation, to separate those who 
obeyed the divine commands from all others, and to unite them in the bonds 
of a religious society. (4) 

4. Our knowledge of the seventy disciples of Christ, is still more im- 
perfect than that of the apostles ; for they are but once mentioned in the 
N. Test., Luke x., 1. Catalogues of them, indeed, are extant ; but these 
being fabricated by the Greeks in the middle ages, have little or no au- 
thority or credibility. Their mission was, as appears from the words used 
by Luke, solely to the Jewish nation. Yet it is very probable, that after 
the Saviour's ascension to heaven, they performed the duties of evangelists ; 
and that they taught in various countries, the way of salvation which they 
had learned from Christ. (5) 

5. As to the external form of the church, and the mode of governing 
it, neither Christ himself nor his apostles gave any express precepts. We 
are therefore to understand, that this matter is left chiefly to be regulated 
as circumstances from time to time may require, and as the discretion of 
civil and ecclesiastical rulers shall judge expedient. (6) If however what 

(4) See Fred. Spanhcim, de Apostolis et 
Apostolatu, torn, ii., Opp., p. 289, &c. In 
ascribiii r powers to the apostles, 
I have proceeded considerately, and as I 
think, on good grounds. I am aware that 
eminent men at this day, deny them this 
power ; but perhaps they differ from me, 
more in words than in reality. [Dr. Mo- 
shcim founded his opinion on Matt, x., 20 ; 
John xiii., 20 ; Luke x., 16 ; 1 Tim. iii., 1 ; 
1 Cor. xi., 34; xiv., 34; and Titus i., 5. 
See his Instil, hist. Christ, majores, p. 158, 
&c. Schl.] 

(5) Catalogues of the seventy disciples 
are extant, subjoined to the libri iii. de vita 
et morte Mosis, elucidated by Gilbert Gaul- 
min; and again published by J. A. Fabri- 
cius, Bibliotheca Grseca, p. 474. [See an 
account of these'catalogues in note (5), p. 
43, above. Tr.] 

(6) [" Those who imagine that Christ 
himself, or the apostles by his direction and 
authority, appointed a certain fixed form of 
church government, are not agreed what that 
form was. The principal opinions that have 
been adopted upon this head, may be reduced 
to the four following. The first is, that of 
the Roman Catholics, who maintain that 
Christ's intention and appointment was, that 
his followers should be collected into one 
sacral empire, subjected to the government 
of St. Peter and his successors, and divided, 
like the kingdoms of this world, into several 
provinces ; that, in consequence thereof, 
Peter fixed the seat of ecclesiastical domin- 
ion at Route, but afterward, to alleviate the 
burden of his office, divided the church into 

three greater provinces, according to the di- 
vision of the world at that time, and ap- 
pointed a person to preside in each, who was 
dignified with the title of patriarch; that the 
European patriarch resided at Rome, the 
Asiatic at Antioch, and the African at Alex- 
andria ; that the bishops of each province, 
among whom there were various ranks, were 
to reverence the authority of their respect- 
ive patriarchs, and that both bishops and pa- 
triarchs were to be passively subject to the 
supreme dominion of the Roman pontiff. 
See Leo Allatius, de perpetua consensu 
Eccles. Orient, et Occidentalis, lib. i., cap. 
ii., and Morin, Exercitat. ecclesiast., lib. i., 
exerc. i. This romantic account scarcely 
deserves a serious refutation. The second 
opinion concerning the government of the 
church, makes no mention of a supreme 
head, or of patriarchs constituted by divine 
authority ; but it supposes that the apostles 
divided the Roman empire into as many ec- 
clesiastical provinces as there were secular 
or civil ones ; that the metropolitan bishop, 
i. e., the prelate who resided in the capital 
city of each province, presided over the 
clergy of that province, and that the other 
bishops were subject to his authority. This 
opinion has been adopted by some of the 
most learned of the Romish church ; (Petrus 
de Marca, De concord, sacerd. et imperil, 
lib. vi., cap. i. Morm, Exerc. Eccles., lib. 
i., exerc. xviii., and Pagi, Cntica in Annal 
Baronii, ad. ann. 37, torn, i., p. 29), and ha* 
also been favoured by some of the most em- 
inent British divines ; (Hammond, Diss. de 
Episcop. Beverege, Cod. Canon, vet. EC- 


no Christian can doubt, the apostles of Jesus Christ acted by a divine com- 
mand and guidance, then that form of the primitive churches which they 
derived from the church of Jerusalem, erected and organized by the apos- 
tles themselves, must be accounted divine: but still it will not follow that 
this form of the church was to be perpetual, and unalterable. In those 
primitive times, each Christian church was composed of the people, the pre- 
siding officers, and the assistants or deacons.(7) These must be the com- 
ponent parts of every society. The principal voice was that of the people, 
or of the whole body of Christians ; for even the apostles themselves incul- 
cated by their example, that nothing of any moment was to be done or de- 
termined on, but with the knowledge and consent of the brotherhood, Acts 
i., 15 ; vi., 3 ; xv., 4 ; xxi., 22. And this mode of proceeding, both prudence 
and necessity required, in those early times. 

6. The assembled people, therefore, elected their own rulers and 
teachers, or by their free consent received such as were nominated to them. 
They also by their suffrages rejected or confirmed the laws, that were 
proposed by their rulers, in their assemblies ; they excluded profligate and 
lapsed brethren, and restored them ; they decided the controversies and 
disputes that arose ; they heard and determined the causes of presbyters 
and deacons ; in a word, the people did everything that is proper for those 
in whom the supreme power of the community is vested. In return for all 
these rights, the people supplied the funds necessary for the support of the 
teachers, the deacons and the poor, for the public exigencies and for un- 
foreseen emergencies. These funds consisted of voluntary contributions 
in every species of goods, made by individuals according to their ability, 
at their public meetings ; and hence they were called oblations. 

7. Among all members of the church of whatever class or condition, 
there was the most perfect equality ; which they manifested by their love- 

eles vindic., lib. ii., cap. v., torn. ii. Patr. all enjoy the same rank and authority, with- 

Apostol., and Usher, de origine Episcop. et out any sort of pre-eminence or subordina- 

Metropol., p. 20). Some Protestant writers tion, or distinction of rights and privileges, 

of note have endeavoured to prove, that it is The reader will find an ample account of 

not supported by sufficient evidence ; (Bos- these four different opinions with respect to 

nage, Hist, de PEglise, torn, i., livr. i., cap. church government, in Dr. Mosheim's larger 

8. Boehmer, Annot. ad Petrum de Marca history of the first century." 
de concordia sacerd. et imperii, p. 143). " The truth of the matter is, that Christ, 

The third opinion is that of those who ac- by leaving this matter undetermined, has, of 

knowledge, that when the Christians began consequence, left Christian societies a dis- 

to multiply exceedingly, metropolitans, pa- cretionary power of modelling the govern- 

triarchs, and archbishops were indeed crea- ment of the church in such a manner as the 

ted, but only by human appointment and au- circumstantial reasons of times, places, &c. 

thority ; though they confess, at the same may require ; and, therefore, the wisest gov- 

time, that it is consonant to the orders and ernment of the church is the best and the 

intentions of Christ and his apostles, that most divine ; and every Christian society 

there should be, in every Christian church, has a right to make laws for itself ; provided 

one person invested with the highest authori- that these laws are consistent with charity 

ty, and clothed with certain rights and privile- and peace, and with the fundamental doc- 

ges, above the other doctors of that assembly, trines and principles of Christianity." 

This opinion has been embraced by many Macl.] 

English divines of the first rank in the learn- (7) [Eusebius, (Demonstratio Evang., 1. 

ed world ; and also by many in other coun- vii., c. 2), omits the deacons, unless he in- 

tries and communions. The f mirth and eludes them among the rulers ; for he di- 

last opinion, is that of the Presbyterians, vides a church into ijyafj.Eva^, TUOTOVC, and 

who affirm that Christ's intention was, that Ka.Tt}xov/j.fvovc, the rulers, the faithful, and 

the Christian doctors and ministers should catechumens. Schl.] 


feasts, by their use of the appellatives brethren and sisters, and in other 
ways. Nor in this first age of the church, was there any distinction be- 
tween the initiated and the candidates for initiation. For whoever pro- 
fessed to regard Jesus Christ as the Saviour of the world, and to depend 
on him alone for salvation, was immediately baptized and admitted into 
the church. But in process of time, as the churches became enlarged, it 
was deemed advisable and necessary, to distribute the people into two 
classes, the faithful and the catechumens. The former were, such as had 
been solemnly admitted into the church by baptism ; and who might be 
present at all the parts of religious worship, and enjoy the right of voting 
in the meetings of the church. The latter, not having yet received bap- 
tism, were not admitted to the common prayers, nor to the sacred supper, 
nor to the meetings of the church. 

8. The rulers of the church were denominated, sometimes presbyters 
or elders, a designation borrowed from the Jews, and indicative rather of 
the wisdom than the age of the persons ; and sometimes, also, bishops ; for 
it is most manifest, that both terms are promiscuously used in the N. Tes- 
tament of one and the same class of persons, Acts xx., 17, 28; Phil, i., 
1 ; Tit. i., 5, 7; 1 Tim. iii., 1. These were men of gravity, and distin- 
guished for their reputation, influence, and sanctity, 1 Tim. iii., 1, &c. ; 
Tit. i., 5, &c. From the words of St. Paul, 1 Tim. v., 17, it has been in- 
ferred, that some elders instructed the people, while others served the church 
in other ways. But this distinction between teaching and ruling elders, if 
it ever existed, (which I will neither affirm nor deny), was certainly not of 
long continuance ; for St. Paul makes it a requisite qualification of all 
presbyters or bishops, that they be able to teach and instruct others, 1 Tim. 
iii., 2, &c.(8) 

9. As there were but few among the first professors of Christianity, who 
were learned men and competent to instruct the rude and uninformed in 
divine things, it became necessary that God should raise up in various 
churches extraordinary teachers, who could discourse to the people on re- 
ligious subjects in their public assemblies, and address them in the name 
of God. Such were the persons, who in the New Testament are called 
prophets, Rom. xii., 6 ; 1 Cor. xii., 28 ; xiv., 3, 29 ; Ephes. iv., 11. The 
functions of these men are limited too much, by those who make it to 
have been their sole business to expound the Old Testament scriptures, 
and especially the prophetic books. (9) Whoever professed to be such a 
herald of God, was allowed publicly to address the people ; but there were 
present among the hearers divinely constituted judges, who could by in- 
fallible criteria, discriminate between true and false prophets. The order 
of prophets ceased, when the necessity for them was past. 

$ 10. That the church had its public servants or deacons, from its first 
foundation, there can be no doubt; since no association can exist without 

(8) See concerning the word presbyter, (9) [See Moshcim's Diss. de illis, qui 

Camp. Vttringa, de S\ naro<ra vetere, lib. iii., prophetae vocantur in N. T., in the 2d vol. 

p. i., cap. i., p. 609, and J. 'Bcncd. C/irpzov, of his Diss. ad Hist. Eccl. pertinentes, p. 

Exercit. in cpist. ad Hebraeos ex Philone, 125, &c. ; also Wilsius, Miscell. Sacra, 

p. 499. On the thing itself, or rather the torn. i. ; Koppe, Excurs. iii. in Epistolam ad 

persont designated by this title, see J. Fr. Ephes. ; Schleusner, Lexicon in N. Test., 

Buddcus, Ecclesia Apostol., cap. vi., p. 719, art. Trpo^r^f, no. 10, and Neandcr's Gesch. 

and Chnstoph. Matt. Pfaf, de Onginibus der PHantzung, tier christl. Kirche durch die 

Juris eccles., p. 49. Apostol., p. 32, 116. 2V. J 



its servants ; and least of all, can such associations as the first Christian 
churches, be without them. Those young men, who carried out the corpses 
of Ananias and his wife, were undoubtedly the deacons of the church at 
Jerusalem, who were attending on the apostles and executing their com- 
mands, Acts v., 6. lO.(ll) These first deacons of that church were cho- 
sen from among the Jewish Christians born in Palestine ; and as they ap- 
peared to act with partiality in the distribution of alms among the native 
and foreign Jewish Christians, seven other deacons were chosen by order 
of the apostles, out of that part of the church at Jerusalem which was 
composed of strangers, or Jews of foreign birth, Acts vi., 1, &c. Six of 
these new deacons were foreign Jews, as appears from their names ; the 
other one was from among the proselytes ; for there was a number of pros- 
elytes among the first Christians of Jerusalem, and it was suitable that they 
should be attended to as well as the foreign Jews. The example of the 
church of Jerusalem, was followed by all the other churches, in obedience 
to the injunctions of the apostles ; and of course, they likewise appointed 
deacons, 1 Tim. iii., 8, 9. There were also, in many churches, and es- 
pecially in those of Asia, female public servants, or deaconesses ; who were 
respectable matrons or widows, appointed to take care of the poor, and to 
perform several other offices. (12) 

(11) Those who may be surprised, that. T 
should consider the young men who interred 
the bodies of Ananias and Sapphira, to be 
the deacons of the church at Jerusalem, are 
desired to consider, that the words veurepoi 
and veavianoi, young men, are not always 
indicative of age ; but often, both among 
the Greeks and Latins, indicate a function 
or office. For the same change is made in 
these words as in the word presbyter ; which 
every one knows is sometimes indicative of 
age, and sometimes merely of office. As, 
therefore, the word presbyter often denotes 
the rulers or head men of a society or associa- 
tion, without any regard to their age ; so also 
the terms young men and the younger, not 
unfrequently denote the servants or those 
that stand in waiting; because ordinarily 
men in the vigour of life perform this office. 
Nor is this use of the word foreign from the 
N. Testament. The Saviour himself seems 
to use the word vsurepoc. in this sense, Luke 
xxii., 26, 6 fj.eiuv kv V/J.LV, yevea'&a uc, 6 veu- 
repof. The word [teifav, he himself explains 
by qyov/nevoc., so that it is equivalent to ruler 
or presbyter : and instead of veurepoc, he in 
the next clause uses 6 diaKOvuv, which places 
our interpretation beyond all controversy. 
So that fiei^uv and veurepof are not, here, in- 
dicative of certain ages, but of certain offi- 
ces ; and the precept of Christ amounts to 
this : " Let not him that performs the office 
of a presbyter or elder among you, think 
himself superior to the public servants or 
deacons." Still more evident is the pas- 
sage, 1 Peter v., 5, upoiuc. veurepoi viroTa- 
irpeopvTEpoif. It is manifest from 

what goes before, that presbyter here is in- 
dicative of rank or office, denoting teacher 
or ruler in the church ; therefore its coun- 
terpart, veurspoc, has the same import ; and 
does not denote persons young in years, but 
the servants or deacons of the church. Pe- 
ter, after solemnly exhorting the presbyters 
not to abuse the power committed to them, 
turns to the deacons, and says : " And like- 
wise ye younger, i. e., ye deacons, despise 
not the orders of the presbyters, but perform 
cheerfully whatever they require of you." In 
this same sense the term is used by Luke, 
Acts v., 6, 10, where veurepoi or veaviaKOi 
are the deacons of the church at Jerusalem, 
the very persons whom, a little after, the 
Hellenists accused before the apostles of not 
distributing properly the contributions for 
the poor. I might confirm this sense of the 
term young men, by numerous citations from 
Greek and Latin writers, both sacred and 
profane ; but this is not the place for such 

(12) For an account of the deacons and 
deaconesses of the ancient churches, see 
Casp. Ziegler, de diaconis et diacoriissis, 
Wittemb., 1678, 4to. Sam,. Basnage, An- 
nales polit. eccles. ad ann. 35, torn, i., p. 450. 
Jo*. Bingham, Origincs Ecclesiast., book 
ii., ch. 20, [and Mosheim, de Rebus Christ, 
ante Constan. M., p. 118, &c., where he 
defends, at great length, his somewhat pe- 
culiar views respecting the seven deacons of 
the church at Jerusalem. See, concerning 
deacons and deaconesses, Neander's Gesch. 
der Pflantzung, p. 26, 27, 29, &c., 131. 


$ 11. In this manner, Christians managed ecclesiastical affairs so long 
as their congregations were small, or not very numerous. Three or four 
presbyters, men of gravity and holiness, placed over those little societies, 
could easily proceed with harmony, and needed no head or president. But 
when the churches became larger, and the number of presbyters and dea- 
cons, as well as the amount of duties to be performed, was increased, it 
became necessary, that the council of presbyters should have a president, 
a man of distinguished gravity and prudence, who should distribute among 
his colleagues their several tasks, and be as it were the central point of the 
whole society. He was, at first, denominated the angel ; (Apocal. ii. arid 
iii.) (13) but afterward the bishop ; a title of Grecian derivation, and indic- 
ative of his principal business. It would seem that the church of Jerusa- 
lem, when grown very numerous, after the dispersion of the apostles among 
foreign nations, was the first to elect such a president ; and that other 
churches, in process of time, followed the example. (14) 

12. But whoever supposes that the bishops of this first and golden age 
of the church, corresponded with the bishops of the following centuries, 
must blend and confound characters that are very different. For in this 
century and the next, a bishop had charge of a single church, which might 
ordinarily be contained in a private house ; nor was he its lord, but was in 
reality its minister or servant ; he instructed the people, conducted all parts 
of public worship, and attended on the sick and necessitous, in person ; and 
what he was unable thus to perform, he committed to the care of the pres- 
byters ; but without power to ordain or determine any thing, except with the 
concurrence of the presbyters and the brotherhood. (15) The emoluments 
of this singularly laborious and perilous office, were very small. For the 
churches had no revenues, except the voluntary contributions of the peo- 
ple, or the oblations ; which, moderate as they doubtless were, were divi- 
ded among the bishop, the presbyters, the deacons, and the poor of the 

$ 13. It was not long, however, before the extent of episcopal jurisdic- 
tion and power was enlarged. For the bishops who lived in the cities, 
either by their own labours or by those of their presbyters, gathered new 
churches in the neighbouring villages and hamlets ; and these churches 
continuing under the protection and care of the bishops by whose ministry 
or procurement they had received Christianity, ecclesiastical provinces 
were gradually formed, which the Greeks afterward denominated dioceses. 
The persons to whom the city bishops committed the government and in- 
struction of these village and rural churches, were called rural bishops, or 
chorepiscopi, [TT/C #wpac STTIGKOTTOI, episcopi rurales,se\i villani], i. e.,bish- 

(13) [The title of angel occurs only in the Jerusalem than in any other church during 
Apocalypse, a highly poetic book. It was the first ages, that the church of Jerusalem 
not, probably, the common title of the pre- must be supposed to have had bishops car- 
siding presbyter ; and, certainly, was not an Her than any other. Such reasoning is by 
dldi-r title than that of bishop, which is so no means conclusive. 7V.] 

often used by St. Paul in his epistles, which (15) [All that is here stated, may be 

were written long before the Apocalypse, clearly proved from the records of the first 

See Schickel' H note here. 7V.] centuries; and has been proved by Jos. 

(14) [Dr. Mtmhfim, de Reb. Christ, ante Jiin-Juun, Ontrines Ecclesiast. H 

C. M., p. 134, has a long note in which he regc, Codex Canon, primit. ecclcsiae, and 
argues from the traditional accounts of a others. Mutt/tcim, de Reb. Chr., &c., p. 
longer catalogue of bishops in the church of 136. TV.] 


ops of the suburbs and fields. They were an intermediate class, between 
the bishops and the presbyters ; being inferior to the former, [because sub- 
ject to them], and superior to the latter, [because intrusted with discretion- 
ary and permanent power, and performing nearly all the functions of bish- 

14. All the churches, in those primitive times, were independent bod- 
ies ; or none of them subject to the jurisdiction of any other. For though 
the churches which were founded by the apostles themselves, frequently 
had the honour shown them to be consulted in difficult and doubtful cases ; 
yet they had no judicial authority, no control, no power of giving laws. On 
the contrary, it is clear as the noonday, that all Christian churches had 
equal rights, and were in all respects on a footing of equality. Nor does 
there appear in this first century, any vestige of that consociation of the 
churches of the same province, which gave rise to ecclesiastical councils, 
and to metropolitans. But rather, as is manifest, it was not till the second 
century, that the custom of holding ecclesiastical councils first began in 
Greece, and thence extended into other provinces.(17) 

15. Among the Christian doctors and ecclesiastical writers, the first 
rank is most clearly due to the apostles themselves, and to certain disciples 
of the apostles, whom God moved to write histories of the transactions of 
Christ and his apostles. The writings of these men are collected into 
one volume, and are in the hands of all who profess to be Christians. In 
regard to the history of these sacred books,(18) and the arguments by 
which their divine authority and their genuineness are evinced,(19) those 
authors are to be consulted who have written professedly on these subjects. 

16. As to the time when and the persons by whom the books of the 
New Testament were collected into one body or volume, there are various 
opinions or rather conjectures of the learned : for the subject is attended 
with great and almost inexplicable difficulties, to us of these latter times. (20) 
It must suffice us to know, that before the middle of the second century 

(16) [Learned men, who have written tive times. An ecclesiastical council is a 
largely on the subject, have debated whether meeting of delegates from a number of con- 
the chorepiscopi ranked with bishops or with federate churches. 

presbyters. See J. Morin, de Sacris ec- (18) See, on this subject, J. A. Fabricius, 

cles. ordinatt., pt. i., exerc. iv. D. Blondcl, Bibliotheca Graeca, 1. iv., c. v., p. 122-227, 

de Episc. et Presbyt., sec. iii. W. Beve- [and Jer. Jones, Method of settling the ca- 

rege, Pandect. Canon., torn, ii., p. 176. C. nonical authority of the N. T., 3 vols. 8vo ; 

Zicglcr, de Episcopis, 1. i., c. 13, p. 105, &c. and the modern Introductions to the books 

Peter de Marca, de Concordia sacerd. et im- of the N. T., in English, by G. Home, and 

perii, 1. ii., cap. 13, 14. Bahmcr, Adnott. J. D. Michaels, ed. Marsh; and in Ger- 

ad Petrum de Marca, p. 62, 63. L. Tho- man, by Hacnlin, Krug, Bertholdt, Eich- 

massin, Disciplina eccles. vet. et nova,pt. i., horn, &c. TV.] 

1. ii., c. 1, p. 215. But they did not belong (19) The [early] writers in defence of the 

entirely to either of those orders. Mosheim, divine authority of the N. T. are enumerated 

de Reb. Christ, ante Const. M., p. 137.] by J. A. Fabricius, Delectus argumentorum 

(17) It is commonly said, that the meeting et Syllabus Scriptor. pro verit. relig. Chris- 
of the church in Jerusalem, which is described tianae, cap. 26, p. 502. [On the subject it- 
Acts xv., was the first Christian council, self, the modern writers are numerous, and 
But this is a perversion of the import of the generally known. Lardncr and Palcy still 
term council. For that meeting was a con- hold the first rank among the English. Tr.] 
ference of only a single church, called to- (20) See Jo. Ens, Biblioth. Sacra, seu 
gether for deliberation ; and, if such meet- diatriba de Libror. N. T. canone, Amstel., 
ings may be called ecclesiastical councils, a. 1710, 8vo ; and Jo. Mills, Prolegom. ad 
multitude of them were held in those primi- N. T., sec. i., p. 23, &c. 



had passed, most of the books composing the New Testament were in 
every Christian church throughout the known world ; and they were read, 
and were regarded as the divine rule of faith and practice. And hence it 
may be concluded, that it was while some of the apostles were still living, 
and certainly while their disciples and immediate successors were every- 
where to be met with, that these books were separated and distinguished 
from all human compositions. (21) That the four Gospels were combined, 
during the lifetime of the apostle John, and that the three first Gospels 
received the approbation of this inspired man, we learn expressly from the 
testimony of Eusebius.('22) And why may we not suppose, that the other 
books of the New Testament were collected into one body at the same time ? 
17. There certainly were various causes, requiring this to be done at 
an early period ; and particularly this, that not long after the Saviour's ascen- 
sion, various histories of his life and doctrines, full of impositions and fables, 
were composed, by persons of no bad intentions perhaps, but who were 
superstitious, simple, and piously fraudulent ; and afterwards, various 
other spurious writings were palmed upon the world, falsely inscribed 
with the names of the holy apostles. (23) These worthless productions 

(21) See Jo. Frick, de Cura veteris ec- 
clesiw circa canon., cap. iii., p. 86, &c. 

(22) Eitseb., Hist. Eccles., lib. iii., cap. 

(23) Such as remain of these spurious 
works, have been carefully collected by J. 
A. Fabricius, Codex Apocryphus N. Test., 
2 vols. 12mo, p. 2006, Hamb., 2d ed., 
1719. Many learned remarks on them oc- 
cur in Is. de Bcausobrc, Histoire critique 
des dogines de Manichee, liv. ii., p. 337, 
&c. [For the information of those who 
have not access to these spurious books, the 
following remarks are introduced. No one 
of all the books contained in the Codex 
Apocryphus N. T. of Fabricius, speaks 
disrespectfully of Christ, of his religion, his 
apostles and followers, or of the canonical 
books of the N. T. They were evidently 
composed with a design to subserve the 
cause of Christianity. They aim to supply 
deficiencies in the true Gospels and Acts, or 
to extend the history by means of oral tradi- 
tions and supplementary accounts, profess- 
edly composed by apostles or by apostolic 
men. At least, this is true of those books 
which bear the title of Gospels, Acts, and 
Epistles. These were all designed, either, 
first, to gratify the laudable curiosity of 
Christians, and to subserve the cause of 
piety ; or, secondly, to put to silence the 
enemies of Christianity, whether Jews or 
pagans, by demonstrating from alleged facts 
and testimony, that Jesus was the Messiah, 
his doctrines divine, his apostles inspired, 
&c. ; or, lastly, to display the ingenuity of 
the writer, and to gratify the fancy by a 
harmless fiction. The only parts of this col- 
lection which do not seem to me to fall un- 

VOL. I. K 

der one or other of these classes, are such 
as by mistake, have been ascribed to the 
apostles and evangelists ; such are the Lit- 
urgies, the Creed, and the Canons, which 
go under their names. Of those which are 
lost, no judgment can be formed but by tes- 
timony. Perhaps some of them were com- 
posed with hostile views towards the ca- 
nonical scriptures. The following account 
of the contents of the Codex Apocryphus 
N. T. may not be unacceptable or useless 
to many. On opening the first volume, we 
meet with (1) "The Gospel of the Nativity 
of Mary," Latin, in 10 sections, p. 19-38. 
(2) " The Previous Gospel, (Protevange- 
lium), ascribed to James the Just, the broth- 
er of our Lord," Gr. and Lat., in 25 sect., 
p. 66-125. (3) "The Gospel of the Infan- 
cy of Christ, ascribed to Thomas the apos- 
tle," Gr. and Lat., in 7 sect., p. 156-167. 
(4) " The Gospel of the Infancy, transla- 
ted from the Arabic, by Henry Sikes," 
Latin, in 55 sect., p. 168-211. It is the 
aim of all these to supply deficiencies in the 
beginning of the true Gospels, by acquaint- 
ing us more fully with the history of the 
Virgin Mary, Joseph, Eltzabc/h, &c., and 
with the birth, infancy, and childhood of 
Christ. Next follow (5) " The Gospel of 
1 ; IKS," or, as it is sometimes called, 
" The Acts of Pilate," relating to the cruci- 
fixion and resurrection of Christ, Latin, in 
27 sect., p. 238-298. (6) Three " Epistles 
of Pilate to Tiberius the emperor," giving 
account of the condemnation, death, and 
resurrection of Christ, Latin, about 2 pages. 
(7) " The Epistle of Lcntutus to the Ro- 
man senate," describing the person and 
manners of Christ, Latin, one page. The 



would have worked great confusion, and would have rendered both the 
history and the religion of Christ uncertain, had not the rulers of churches 
seasonably interposed, and caused the books which were truly divine and 
which came from apostolic hands, to be speedily separated from that mass 
of trash, and collected into a volume by themselves. 

$ 18. Next after the apostles, Clement, the bishop of Rome, obtained 
very high reputation as one of the writers of this century. The accounts 
we have at this day of his life, actions, and death, are, for the most part, 
uncertain.(24) There are still extant, two epistles to the Corinthians 

three last, (No. 5, 6, 7), were intended to 
be valuable appendages to the true Gospels, 
and to contain irrefragable proofs, that Jesus 
was the Messiah, and clothed with divine 
authority. Then follow, the writings as- 
cribed to Christ himself; viz., his corre- 
spondence with Abgarus, king of Edessa ; 
which is to be found in Eusebius, Hist. Ec- 
cles., 1. i., c. 13, and in various modern 
works. These letters seem to have higher 
claims to authenticity, than any other pieces 
in this collection ; and yet few, if any, of the 
judicious, will now admit them to be genu- 
ine. Fabricius next gives a catalogue of 
about forty apocryphal Gospels, or of all the 
spurious Gospels, of which the slightest no- 
tice can be found in antiquity. These are 
all, of course, now lost, or buried in the rub- 
bish of old libraries, except the few which 
are contained in the previous list. Vol. i., 
pt. ii., begins with " The apocryphal Acts 
of the Apostles, or the history cf their con- 
flicts ; ascribed to Abdias, the first bishop 
of Babylonia," libri x, Latin, p. 402-742. 
This history summarily recounts what the 
canonical books relate of each of the 12 apos- 
tles, and then follows them severally through 
their various travels and labours, till their 
death or martyrdom. It was probably com- 
piled in the middle ages, (it is first men- 
tioned by James, a bishop of Geneva, in the 
13th century), and by a monk, who was well 
acquainted with the ancient legendary tales, 
and who had good intentions ; but who never- 
theless was incompetent to distinguish what 
was true from what was false. Then fol- 
lows a catalogue of all the ancient biogra- 
phies of individual apostles and apostolic 
men, which Fabricius could hear of; in all, 
36 in number. Many of these were profess- 
edly compiled several centuries after the 
apostles were dead, and all of them that still 
remain are mere legends, of little or no value. 
Most of those that have been published, are 
to be met with in the Martyrologies and in 
the Acta Sanctorum. Fabricius next gives 
us apocryphal Epistles, ascribed to the Vir- 
gin Mary, to Paul, and to Peter. Mary's 
letters are but three, and those very short. 
One is addressed to St. Ignatius, in 9 lines ; 

another, to the people of Marseilles, in 11 
lines ; and the third, to the people of Flor- 
ence, in 4 lines. To St. Paul is attributed 
a short Epistle to the Laodiceans, Gr. and 
Lat. It is a tolerable compilation from his 
genuine epistles. Then follows a gentle- 
manly but vapid correspondence, in Latin ; 
said to have passed between St. Paul and 
Seneca, the Roman philosopher. It com- 
prises 14 short letters, full of compliments 
and of very little else. Paul's third Epistle 
to the Corinthians has not had the honour 
to be published. There is one epistle of the 
apostle Peter, addressed to the apostle 
James, still extant in the Clementina, or 
spurious works of Clemens Romanus. Of 
spurious Revelations, Fabricius enumerates 
twelve ; most of which are either lost, or 
have not been judged worth publishing. 
The Shepherd of Hennas and the ivth book 
of Esdras, are the two best known, and the 
most valuable. The 2d vol. of the Codex 
opens with the ancient Liturgies, going un- 
der the names of the apostles and evangelists. 
They are six; viz., those which bear the 
names of St. James, St. Peter, St. John, 
St. Matthew, and St. Luke ; together with 
a short prayer, ascribed to St. John. These 
Liturgies, doubtless, are quite ancient. We 
may believe them to have been actually used 
by different churches, which supposed they 
were in accordance with the instructions of 
their favourite apostles. To these Liturgies 
are subjoined nine Canons or ecclesiastical 
laws, said to have been adopted in a council 
of the apostles, held at Antioch ; and finally, 
the Apostles' Creed, which many of the an- 
cients supposed, was formed by the apostles 
themselves. The Appendix to the Codex 
gleans up some fragments and additional no- 
tices of the pieces before mentioned, and 
then closes with the Shepherd of Hernias, 
accompanied with notes. TV.] 

(24) Subsequent to Tillcmont, [Memoires 
pour servir a 1'histoire de 1'Eglise. torn, ii., 
pt. i., p. 279], Cotelier, [Patres Apostol.j, 
and Grabe, [Spicileg. patrum, saec. i.,p. 264. 
&c.], Philip Hiiniliniitns has collected all 
that is known of this great man, in the first 
of his two books, de S. Clemente, papa et 



bearing his name, written in Greek ; of these, it is generally supposed that 
the first is genuine, and that the second is falsely palmed upon the holy 
man by some deceiver. (25) Yet even the first epistle seems to have been 
corrupted by some indiscreet person, who was sorry to see no more marks 
of erudition and genius in a production of so great a man. (26) 

.19 The other works which bear the name of Clement, namely, the 
apostolic Canons, the apostolic Constitutions, the Recognitions of Clement, 
and the Clementina ; were fraudulently ascribed to this eminent father, by 
some deceiver, for the purpose of procuring them greater authority. This, 
all now concede. (27) The apostolic Canons are LXXXV ecclesiastical 
Laws ; and they exhibit the principles of discipline received in the Greek 
and Oriental churches, in the second and third centuries. The VIII 
Books of apostolical Constitutions, are the work of some austere and 
melancholy author, who designed to reform the worship and discipline of 
the church, which he thought were fallen from their original purity and 
sanctity, and who ventured to prefix the names of the apostles to his pre- 
cepts and regulations, in order to give them currency. (28) The Recog- 

martyre, ejusque Basilica in urbe Roma, Lond., 1753, and Herm. Venema followed, 

in three printed letters, 1754. Wetstein re- 
plied to the former ; but dying in March, 
1754, he left the controversy with the latter 
to Andrew Galand. who prosecuted it in his 
Bibliotheca vet. Patrum, dissert, ii., cap. ii. j 
also in Sprenger's Thesaurus rei Patrist., 
torn, i., p. 60, &c. These epistles are not 
mentioned by any writer till near the end 
of the fourth century. They were probably 
composed in the Oriental church, at the 
close of the second century, or in the third ; 
and for the double purpose of recommending 
celibacy, and reprehending the abuses of such 

Rome, 1706, 4to. [See also .Sewers' Lives 
of the Popes, vol. i., p. 14-20, ed. 2d. 
Clemens was, perhaps, the person mention- 
ed by Paul, Philip, iv., 3. He was one of 
the most distinguished Roman Christians, 
became bishop of Rome towards the close 
of the century, and is said to have lived till 
the third year of Trajan's reign, or about 
A.D. 100. 7V.] 

(25) The editions of ClemenCs epistles to 
the Corinthians are mentioned by J. A. Fa- 
bricius, Biblioth. Graeca, lib. iv., c. 5, p. 175, 
&c., to which must be added the edition of 
Hen. Wotton, Cantab., 1718. 8vo, which is 
preferable to the preceding editions, in many 
respects. [The English reader may find 
them both, together with some account of 
this author, in Abp. Wake's genuine epistles 
of the Apostolical Fathers, translated, &c. 
An ample account of them is given by N. 
Lardner, Credibility of the Gospel History, 
pt. ii., vol. i., p. 283, ed. Lond., 1815. TV.] 

(26) See J. B. Cotclicr, Patres Apostolici, 
torn, i., p. 133, 134, and Edw. Bcrnhard, 
Adnotatiunculae ad Clementem, in the last 
edition of the Patres Apostol., by J. le Clerc. 
These annotations H. Wotton has in vain 
attempted to confute in his notes on the 
epistle of Clement. [Besides the two epis- 

a life. See A. Nca.nder's Kirchengeschichte, 
vol. i., pt. iii., p. 1103, &c. TV.] 

(27) For the history and various editions 
of these works, see Thorn. Ittig, Diss. de 
Patribus Apostol., prefixed to his Bibliothe- 
ca Patrum Apostol., and his Diss. de Pseud- 
epigraphis Apostol., annexed to his Appendix 
ad Librum de Haeresiarchis aevi Apostol. ; 
also J. A. Fabricius, Biblioth. Graeca, 1. v., 
cap. i., p. 31, &c. ; and 1. vi.,cap. i.,p. 4, &c. 
[The best edition is that of Cotelicr, repub- 
lished by Le Clerc, 2 vols. fol., Amstel., 
1724. Tr.\ 

(28) The various opinions of the learned 
respecting the apostolic canons and constitu- 
tions, are collected by J. F. Buddcus, Isag- 

tlcs to the Corinthians, there are extant, in oge in Theologiam, pt. ii., cap. v., p 746. 

Syriac, two other epistles ascribed to Clem- 
ent, entitled de Virginitate, seu ad Virgines. 
They were first brought to Europe by Sir 
James Porter, British ambassador at Con- 
stantinople ; and were published, with a Lat- 
in translation accompanying the Syriac text, 
by J. J. Wetstein, at the end of the 2d vol. 
of his very learned Gr. N. Testament, Lugd. 
Bat., 1752. Dr. N. Lardner assailed their 
genuineness iu a Diss. of 60 pages, 8vd, 

[Sir Up. Beoeregc, Notes on these Canons, 
and his Codex Canonum eccles. prim, vin- 
dic. et illustratus, Lond., 1678, 4to. The 
canons themselves make a part of the Cor- 
pus Juris Canonici, and are also inserted in 
Binnis' and other large histories of the coun- 
cils. They are valuable documents respect- 
ing the order and discipline of the church, 
about the third century. The apostolic con- 
stitutions seem to have undergone changes 



nitions of Clement, which differ but little from the Clementina, are ingeni- 
ous and pretty fables ; composed by some Alexandrine Jewish Christian 
and philosopher, of the third century, to meet the attacks of the Jews, 
Gnostics, and philosophers upon the Christian religion, in a new manner. 
A careful perusal of them, will assist a person much, in gaining a knowl- 
edge of the state of the ancient Christian church. (29) 

$ 20. The Apostolic Fathers as they are called, are those Christian 
writers who were conversant either with the apostles themselves, or with 
their immediate disciples. Among these, the next after Clement was 
Ignatius, bishop of Antioch, a disciple and companion of the apostles. 
He suffered martyrdom under Trajan ; being exposed to wild beasts, in 
the theatre at Rome. (30) There are extant several epistles bearing his 
name ; and concerning which the learned have had long and sharp con- 
tests. The seven, written while he was on his way to Rome, as published 
A.D. 1646, by J. Vossius, from a Florentine MS., are by most writers 
accounted genuine ; but the others are generally rejected as forgeries. 
To this opinion I cheerfully accede ; and yet I must acknowledge, that 
the genuineness of the epistle to Polycarp, on account of its difference in 
style, appears to me very dubious ; and indeed the whole subject of the Ig- 
natian epistles in general, is involved in much obscurity and perplexity. (31) 

since their first formation, and probably by 
Arian hands in the fourth century. They 
are voluminous and minute regulations, re- 
specting ecclesiastical discipline and wor- 
ship. They are of considerable use in de- 
termining various points of practice in the 
church, during the third, fourth, and fifth 
centuries. Tr.] 

(29) See Mosheim's Diss. de turbata per 
recentiores Platonicos ecclesia, in the first 
vol. of his Dissertt. ad Historiam Eccl. 
pertinentes, 34, p. 174, &c. [The Apos- 
tolic Canons and Constitutions were ascribed 
to Clement as the collector and publisher 
only. The Recognitions, Clementina, &c., 
are ascribed to him as the author. The 
writings belonging to this latter class, are 
three different works on the same subject, 
and written after the same general plan. 
They all, doubtless, had one and the same 
author, who rewrote his own work, for the 
sake of giving it a better form. The sub- 
stance of them all, is, Clement's history of 
his own dissatisfaction with paganism ; his 
first and slight knowledge of Christianity, 
which induced him to journey from Rome 
to Palestine ; there he met with Peter, and 
for some time resided and travelled with 
him, heard his public discourses, and wit- 
nessed his combats, particularly with Simon 
Magus; and in private conversations with 
the apostles, everything pertaining not only 
to Christianity, but to cosmogony, physics, 
pneumatology, &c., was fully explained to 
him. The three works often relate precisely 
the same things, and in the same words ; 
but they not unfrequently differ in the fulness 

of the details, and in many of the minor points 
both of doctrine and of fact. The first is en- 
titled Sti dementis Romani Recognitiones. 
The original is lost ; so that we have only 
the Latin translation of Rufinus. It is di- 
vided into 10 books, and fills 111 large folio 
pages. The second is the Clementina, (ra 
Khr/pevTiva), first published Gr. and Lat. by 
Cotclier, in 146 folio pages. It commences 
with an epistle of Peter, and another of 
Clement, addressed to the apostle James. 
The body of the work, instead of being di- 
vided into books and chapters like the Rec- 
ognitions, is thrown into 19 discourses or 
homilies, (6fj.Mai), as delivered by Peter, 
but committed to writing by Clement. The 
third is the Clementine Epitome, or abridged 
account of the acts, travels, and discourses 
of Peter, together with the epistle of Clement 
to James, Gr. and Lat., 52 p. fol. This is, 
as its title implies, a mere abridgment of the 
two preceding works. Tr.] 

(30) See Seb. de Tillemont, Memoires 
pour servir a 1'histoire de 1'Eglise, torn, ii., 
pt. ii., p. 42-80. 

(31) In regard to these epistles, consult 
J. A. Fabricius, Biblioth. Graeca, lib. v, 
cap. i., p. 38-47. [Eusebius, Hist. Eccl., 
iii., 36, makes very honourable mention of 
Ignatius and his epistles ; and describes his 
conduct while on his way to Rome the place 
of his martyrdom. The account of his mar- 
tyrdom, which is printed along with his epis- 
tles, gives a still fuller account of this emi- 
nent father. It is clear that he suffered 
death in the reign of Trajan ; but whether 
A.D. 107 or 116 is uncertain. Rome was 



21. Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna, suffered martyrdom at an extreme 
age, in the middle of the second century. The epistle addressed to the 
Philippians, which is ascribed to him, is by some accounted genuine, and 
by others spurious : which of these are in the right, it is difficult to deter- 
mine. (32) The Epistle of Barnabas as it is called, was, in my judgment, 
the production of some Jewish Christian who lived in this century, [or the 
next], who had no bad intentions, but possessed little genius and was in- 
fected with the fabulous opinions of the Jews. He was clearly a dif- 
ferent person from Barnabas, the companion of St. Paw/. (33) The book 
entitled the Shepherd of Hermas, (so called, because an angel, in the form 
and habit of a shepherd, is the leading character in the drama), was com- 
posed in the second century by Hermas, the brother of Pius the Roman 
bishop. (34) The writer, if he was indeed sane, deemed it proper to forge 
the place of his martyrdom, and wild beasts minibus circumferuntur, Genevae, 1666, 4to. 

his executioners. On his way from Antioch, 
he was enraptured with his prospect of dying 
a martyr, and wrote, probably, all his epistles. 
Eusebius says : " He confirmed the churches 
in every city through which he passed, by 
discourses and exhortations ; warning them 
most especially, to take heed of the heresies, 
which then first sprung up and increased." 
From Smyrna, (according to Eusebius), 
he wrote four of his epistles ; viz., to the 
churches of Ephesus, Magnesia, Trallis, and 
Rome. The last of these was, to entreat the 
Roman Christians not to interpose and pre- 
vent his martyrdom. From Troas he wrote 
three other epistles; viz., to the churches 
of Philadelphia and of Smyrna, and to his 
friend Polycarp. Of these seven epistles, 
there are duplicate copies still extant ; that 
is, copies of a larger and of a smaller size. 
The latter are those which many suppose to 
be genuine. Besides these, there are extant 
five other Greek epistles, and as many more 
in Latin ; which are now universally re- 
jected : viz., ad Mariam Cassibolitam, ad 
Tar senses, ad Antiochenos, ad Hcroncm 
Antiochenum Diaconem, ad Phillipcnses ; 
also, in Latin, one from the Virgin Mary to 

But each of these is supported by a host of 
able polemics. The truth is, that the exter- 
nal evidence, or that from ancient testimony, 
makes much for the genuineness of these 
epistles, though equally for the larger as for 
the smaller. The internal evidence is di- 
vided ; and, of course, affords ground for 
arguments on both sides. Moderate men 
of various sects, and especially Lutherans, 
are disposed to admit the genuineness of the 
epistles in their shorter form ; but to regard 
them as interpolated and altered. An Eng- 
lish translation of them and of the martyr- 
dom of Ignatius, may be seen in Archbishop 
Wake's genuine Epistles of the Apostolic 
Fathers. TV.] 

(32) Concerning Polycarp and his epistle, 
see Tillemont, Memoires pour servir a 1'His- 
toire de 1'Eglise, torn, ii., pt. ii., p. 287, and 
J. A. Fabricius, Biblioth. Gr., lib. v., cap. i., 
p. 47. [Also W. Cave, Life of Polycarp, 
in his Apostolici, or, Lives of the Primitive 
Fathers, Lond., 1677, fol. The epistle of 
Polycarp, (the genuineness of which, if not 
certain, is highly probable), and the epistle 
of the church of Smyrna, concerning- the 
martyrdom of Polycarp, (which few if any 

Ignatius, and his reply ; two from Ignatius now call in question), are given in English, 

to St. John ; and one of Maria Cassibolita in Arch. Wake's Genuine epistles, &c. See 

to Ignatius. It is the singular fortune of J. E. C. Schmidt, Handbuch der Kircheng. 

the seven first epistles of Ignatius to have Giessen, 1824, vol. i., p. 128, 424. TV.] 
become the subject of sectarian controversy (33) Concerning Barnabas, see Tillemont, 

among Protestants. In these epistles, the Memoires, <kc., tome i., pt. iii., p. 1043. 

dignity and authority of bishops are exalted Thorn. Ittig, Selecta historiae eccles. capita, 

higher than in any other writings of this age. sec. i., cap. i., <J 14, p. 20, and J. A. Fabri- 

Hence, the strenuous advocates for the apos- ciu-s, Biblioth. Gr., lib. iv., cap. v., $ 14, p. 

tolic origjn of episcopacy, prize and defend 173, and lib. v.,jcap. i., $ 4, p. 3, and va- 
these epistles with no ordinary interest ; 
while the reformed divines, and especially 
those of Holland, France, and Switzerland, 
assail them with equal ardour. The most 

prominent champions are Bishop Pearson, in 
his Vindicia epistolarum Ignatii, Cantabr, 

rious others. [This ancient monument of 
the Christian church, is likewise translated 
by Archbishop Wake, Genuine Epistles. &c. 
Its possible genuineness is maintained by J. 
E. C. Schmidt, ubi sup., vol. i., p. 416, &c. 
but is confuted by A. Ncnnder, Kirehen- 

1672, 4to, and John Dailli, de Scriptis quae gesch., vol. i., pt. iii., p. 1100, &c. TV.] 
sub Dionysii Areop. et Ignatii Antioch. no- (34) This is now manifest from the very 


dialogues held with God and angels, in order to insinuate what he re- 
garded as salutary truths, more effectually into the minds of his readers. 
But his celestial spirits talk more insipidly, than our scavengers and por- 

22. All these writers of this first and infantile age of the church, pos- 
sessed little learning, genius, or eloquence ; but in their simple and un- 
polished manner they express elevated piety. (36) And this is honourable 
rather than reproachful to the Christian cause. For, that a large part of 
the human race should have been converted to Christ by illiterate and im- 
becile men, shows that the propagation of Christianity must be ascribed, 
not to human abilities and eloquence, but to a divine power. 



$ 1. The Nature and the Standard of the Christian Religion. $ 2. Interpretation of the 
Scriptures. 3. Mode of teaching Christianity. $ 4. The Apostles' Creed. $ 5. 
Distinction between Catechumens and the Faithful. 6. Mode of instructing Cate- 
chumens. - 7. Instruction of Children ; Schools and Academies. t) 8. Secret Doc- 
trine. f) 9. Lives and Characters of Christians. t) 10. Excommunication. t) 11. 
Controversies among Christians. 12. Contest about the Terms of Salvation. <j 13. 
Judaizing Christians. 

1. THE whole of the Christian religion is comprehended in two parts ; 
the one of which teaches what we are to believe, in regard to religious sub- 
jects ; and the other, how we ought to live. The former is, by the apos- 
tles, denominated the mystery (juv^r/piov), or the truth (akrf&eia) ; and the 

ancient Fragment of a Treatise on the Can- (36) The writers above named are denom- 
on of the Holy Scriptures, published a few inated the Apostolic Fathers ; and they are 
years ago by Lud. Antony Muratori, (from often published together. The best editions 
an ancient MS. found at Milan), in his an- are by J. Bapt. Cotelicr, Paris, 1672, re- 
tiq. Italicar. medii. aevi, torn. iii.,Diss xliii., edited by J. le Clerc, Antw., 1698, and 
p. 853, &c. [But the genuineness and au- again at Amsterd., 1724, 2 vols. fol., with 
thority of this treatise itself, are now very numerous notes by both the editors and by 
much questioned by the learned ; so that the others. [This last and best edition, Gr. and 
true author of the Shepherd of Hermas is Lat., contahis all that has been ascribed to 
still \mknown. IV.] the Apostolic Fathers, whether truly or false- 
(35) For the best edition of Hermas we ly. The portions which Archbishop Wake 
are indebted to /. A. Fabricius, who sub- regarded as genuine, he translated and pub- 
joined it to the third vol. of his Codex Apoc- lished with a preliminary discourse of 136 
ryph. N. T. He also treats of this writer in pages, 2d ed. Lond., 1710, 8vo The value 
his Biblioth. Graeca, 1. v., cap. ix., $ 9, p. of the genuine works of these fathers, is to 
7. See also Tho. Ittig, de Patribus Apos- learned theology very small ; but as affording 
tolicis, () 55, p. 184, &c. [and in his Selecta us acquaintance with the true spirit and sen- 
historiae eccles. capita, $ 1, p. 65, and 155- timents and reasonings of Christians in the 
179. The Shepherd of Hermas is translated very first ages after the apostles, they are of 
by Archbish. Wake, Genuine Epistles, &c., inestimable value. If any one wishes to 
and though wild and fanciful, yet, from the know what was the simplicity and godly 
pious spirit which it breathes, and the insight sincerity of that first and infantile age of the 
it gives us into the speculations of the early church, let him read the Apostolic Fathers. 
Christians, it is not a useless book. TV.] Tr.] 


latter godliness or piety (evoe6eta); 1 Timothy iii., 9; vi., 3; Titus i., 1. 
The rule and standard of both, are those books which God dictated to cer- 
tain individuals, either before or after the birth of Christ. These books it 
has long been the custom to denominate the Old and the New Testaments. 

2. Provision therefore was early made, both by the apostles and their 
disciples, that these books should be in the hands of all Christians ; that 
they should be publicly read in their assemblies ; and be applied both to 
enlighten their minds with truth, and to advance them in piety. Those 
who expounded the Scriptures, studied simplicity and plainness. Yet it is 
not to be denied, that even in this century the perverse Jewish custom of 
obscuring the plain language of Scripture by forced and frigid allegories, 
and of diverting words from their natural and proper meaning in order to 
extort from them some recondite sense, found some admirers and imitators 
among Christians. Besides others, Barnabas, whose epistle is still extant, 
is proof of this. 

3. The manner of teaching religious truths was perfectly simple, and 
remote from all the rules of the philosophers, and all the precepts of human 
art. This is manifest, not only from the epistles of the apostles, but from 
all the monuments of this century which have come down to us. Nor did 
any apostle or any one of their immediate disciples, collect and arrange 
the principal doctrines of Christianity in a scientific or regular system. 
The circumstances of the times did not require this ; and the followers of 
Christ were more solicitous to exhibit the religion they had embraced, by 
their tempers and their conduct, than to explain its principles scientifically, 
and arrange them according to the precepts of art. 

4. There is indeed extant, a brief summary of Christian doctrines, 
which is called the Apostles 1 Creed; and which, from the fourth century 
onward, was attributed to Christ's ambassadors themselves. But at this 
day, all who have any knowledge of antiquity, confess unanimously that 
this opinion is a mistake, and has no foundation.(l) Those judge far more 
wisely and rationally, who think that this creed arose from small begin- 
nings, and was gradually enlarged as occasions required in order to ex- 
clude new errors from the church.(2) 

(1) See J. Fr. Bitddcus, Isagoge ad The- rial change ; as appears from comparing the 
ologiam, 1. ii., c. ii., 2, p. 441, and J. G. formulas of faith given by Irentens, A.D. 

. Introduct. in libros symbolicos, 1. i., 175, (adv. Ha?r. i., 10, and iii., 4), and by 

cap. ii., p. 87, &c. Terlullian, A.D. 192, (de Virgin, veland., 

(2) This is shown, with no less learning cap. i. contra Praxeam, cap. ii. Pres- 
than ingenuity, by Peter King, History of criptt. adv. Haeret., cap. xiii.), with the forms 
the Apostles' Creed ; which G. Olearius of the Creed in all subsequent writers down 
translated into Latin, and published, Lips., to the present time. See these forms col- 
1704, 8vo. But those who read this book lectedby C. G. F. Walch, in his Bibliotheca 
should be apprized, that the noble author symbolica vetus, Lemgo, 1770, 8vo. Yet 
often gives us conjectures instead of argu- there were some variations in its form, as 
ments ; and that his conjectures do not al- used by different churches ; and additions 
ways deserve to be implicitly received. [A I- were made to it from time to time. Besides 
though the Apostles' Creed was not compo- serving as the general test of Christian ortho- 
sed in a council of apostles, as was supposed doxy, the principal use of this creed, in the 
in the days of Rufamx (Ruf. de Symbola; third and following centuries, was to guide 
subjoined to Cypriani Opera), yet it appears catechists in training and instructing the 
to have been the general Creed of the Chris~ catechumens in the principles of Christian- 
a/arc Chuirh, from, at least, the close of the ity. See Cyril of Jerusalem, (Catechesis, 
second century down to the reformation, passim), Ri< fonts, (de Symbola), and. lupus- 
Nor did it undergo any very great or mate- tine, (Sermo i., ad Catechum., Opp., torn. 



5. At the first promulgation of the gospel, all who professed firmly to 
believe that Jesus was the only redeemer of mankind, and who promised 
to lead a holy life conformable to the religion he taught, were received 
immediately among the disciples of Christ : nor did a more full instruction 
in the principles of Christianity precede their baptism, but followed after it. 
But afterwards, when churches were everywhere established and organized, 
for very just reasons this custom was changed ; and none were admitted 
to the sacred font unless previously well instructed in the primary truths 
of religion, and affording indubitable evidence of a sincere and holy char- 
acter. And hence arose the distinction between catechumens, or such as 
were in a course of instruction and discipline under the care of certain 
persons, and the faithful, who were admitted to all the mysteries, having 
been initiated and consecrated by baptism. (3) 

6. The instruction given to the catechumens was different, according 
to their genius and capacity. For those of feeble minds were instructed 
only in the more general and fundamental principles of religion ; while 
those who appeared capable of grasping and comprehending all Christian 
knowledge, were instructed in every thing that could render a Christian sta- 
ble and perfect according to the views of that age. The business of in- 

vi., p. 399-405, ed. Benedict). It is a most 
valuable monument of the church ; because 
it shows what in the early ages were consid- 
ered as the great, the peculiar, and the es- 
sential doctrines of the gospel ; viz., those 
all important facts which are summarily re- 
counted in this creed. The common form 
of it in the fourth century, as used in most 
churches in Europe, Asia, and Africa, ex- 
cept some slight verbal discrepances, was 
the following. 

In Greek. Tit^evu etf deov (iraTcpa) 
ffavTOKpaTOpa. nai %pi?ov lijattv, viov 
avra TOV [iovoyevq (fj.ovo-ysvvr]TOv), TOV KV- 
piov 7/uuv, rov yevvrj&evTa EK Trvciy/arof 
dyia K.O.I Moptaf TTI$ irapdevts, TOV e?u liov- 
rta HihaTit faupotfevra, (nai) ra^cvra, 
(/cat) ri) rpiry rjfiepa ava^avra EK. (TUV) VEK- 
puv, avaGavra eif TUf upavtic., (/cat) na&ri/uE- 
vov ev Se^ty. TU irarpof, 6$ev spheral Kpcvat 
(Kpiveiv) Cwvraf /cat vt/cpsc. /cat etf (TO) dy- 
tov TTVEV/J.U, dyiav EKKhr/aiav, a<j>eaiv dfiap- 
TIUV, aapKO? ava?aaiv. 

In Latin. Credo in Deum Patrem om- 
nipotentem. Et in Christum Jesum, uni- 
cum filium ejus, Dominum nostrum : qui 
natus est de Spiritu Sancto ex Maria vir- 
gine ; crucifixus sub Pontio Pilato, et sepul- 
tus. Tertia die resurrexit a mortuis ; as- 
cendit in ccelos, sedet ad dextram Patris ; 
inde venturus est judicare vivos et mortuos. 
Et in Spiritum Sanctum : sanctam ecclesi- 
am ; remissionem peccatorum, carnis resur- 

In English. I believe in God, the Fa- 
ther, almighty ; and in Jesus Christ, his 
only begotten son, our Lord, who was born 
of the Virgin Mary by the Holy Ghost, was 

crucified vmder Pontius Pilate, buried, arose 
from the dead on the third day, ascended 
to the heavens, and sits at the right hand of 
the Father ; whence he will come, to judge 
the living and the dead ; and in the Holy 
Spirit ; the holy church ; the remission of 
sins ; and the resurrection of the body. 

A few centuries later, it attained in the 
Romish church its ampler form, in which it 
has since been adopted by most Protestant 
churches : as follows. " I believe in God, 
the Father, almighty, maker of heaven and 
earth : and in Jesus Christ, his only son, our 
Lord ; who was conceived by the Holy- 
Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered 
under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, 
and buried, he descended into hell, the third 
day he arose again from the dead, ascended 
into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of 
God, the Father, almighty ; from thence he 
shall come to judge the quick and the dead. 
I believe in the Holy Ghost, the holy cath- 
olic church, the communion of saints, the 
forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the 
body, and the life everlasting. Amen." 

Besides those mentioned by Mosheim, the 
principal writers on this Creed, are Cyril, 
Rufinus, and Augustine, as above ; and G. 
J. Vossius, (de Tribus Symbolis, Opp., 
torn, vi., p. 507, &c.) Archbishop Usher ; 
(de Rom. Eccles. aliisque Fidei Symbolis) ; 
Bishop Pearson, (on the Creed) ; C. Sui- 
cer, (Thesaur. Eccles. voce Sv/ifio/lov), and 
J. Bingham, Antiq. Eccl., lib. x. TV.] 

(3) [See /. Bingham, Orig. Eccles., lib. 
iii., cap. iv.. and Tab. P fanner, de Catc- 
chumiuis veterum, Viuariae, 1688, 12mo. 


structing those of superior capacity and genius, was committed to men of 
gravity and erudition in the larger churches. Hence the ancient doctors 
generally divide their flocks into two classes of persons, the one compri- 
sing such as received solid and thorough instruction, the other embracing 
the more ignorant. Nor do they conceal the fact, that different modes of 
teaching were adopted in reference to these two classes. (4) 

7. There can be no doubt, but that the children of Christians were 
carefully trained up from their infancy, and were early put to reading the 
sacred books and learning the principles of religion. For this purpose, 
schools were erected everywhere from the beginning. From these schools 
for children, we must distinguish those seminaries of the early Christians, 
erected extensively in the larger cities, at which adults and especially such 
as aspired to be public teachers, were instructed and educated in all branch- 
es of learning both human and divine. Such seminaries, in which young 
men devoted to the sacred office were taught whatever was necessary to 
qualify them properly for it, the apostles of Christ undoubtedly both set 
up themselves and directed others to set up ; 2 Timothy ii., 2. St. John. 
at Ephesus, and Polycarp at Smyrna, established such schools.(5) Among 
these seminaries, in subsequent times, none was more celebrated than, 
that at Alexandria ; which is commonly called a catechetic school, and was 
said to be erected by St. Mark.(6) 

8. What many tell us, that the ancient Christians had their popular 
and their secret doctrines, and did not communicate to all classes the same 
instructions ; may be admitted as true if it be rightly explained. For, 
those whom they would induce to embrace Christ, were not introduced at 
once to the high mysteries of religion which exceed the grasp of the hu- 

(4) [See Origen, adv. Celsum, lib. iii., p. of any sort, in the early church, Justin 
143. The apostles themselves seem to have Martyr, a converted philosopher in the mid- 
been the authors of this practice, of which die of the second century, being the first 
we have vestiges, 1 Cor. iii., 2 ; Heb. v., learned writer after the apostles ; it seems 
12. Schl.] most probable, that till past the middle of 

(5) Irentzus, adv. Hser., 1. ii., c. 22, p. the second century, the means of education 
148, ed. Massuet. Eusebius, Hist. Eccles., among Christians were very slender; and 
lib. v., c. 20. [The proofs referred to here by no means so general and so ample as Dr. 

.nd in the text, are quite insufficient to Mosheim supposes. Tr.] 
ivince, that in theirs/ century, or even in the (6) See J. A. Schmidt, Diss. de schola 

former part of the second, Christians estab- catechet. Alexandr., prefixed to^the tract of 

lished regular schools for their children, and A. Hyperius, de Catechesi ; also Dom. Au- 

academics for their young men. Paul's di- lisius, delle Scuole sacre, lib. ii., c. i., ii., p. 

rection to Timothy, (2 Epis., ii., 2), "The 5-17, and c. xxi., p. 92, &c. Concerning 

things thou hast heard of me, the same the larger schools of Christians in the East, 

commit thou to faithful men, who shall be at Edessa, Nisibis, Seleucia, and concerning 

able to teach others also ;" seems to have the ancient Christian schools in general, 

no distinct reference to a regular public see J. S. Asseman, Biblioth. orient. Clem. 

school, either for boys or young men. And Vat., torn, iii., p. ii., p. 914919. [The an- 

the passages in Irentzus and Eusebius re- cient tradition, preserved by Jerome, (de 

ferred to, speak only of the general instruc- Scriptor. Illustr., cap. 36), that St. Mark 

(ion and advantages, which the neighbouring was the founder of the catechetic school at 

clergy and others derived from the apostle Alexandria, deserves but little credit ; since 

John; and of the interesting conversations all antiquity is silent respecting a Christian 

of Polycarp. If we consider the poverty and school there, or any teacher, or student, in 

embarrassments of the first Christians, we it, till the days of Pantaenus and his pupil 

can hardly suppose, they could have erected Clemens Alex., near the close of the second 

such schools and academies. And from the century. See Schroeckh, Kirchengesch., 

great penury of writers, and of learned men vol. iii., p. 188, &c. Tr.] 
VOL. I. L 


man mind, but were first instructed in the doctrines which reason can com- 
prehend, till they were able to bear the more sublime and difficult truths. 
And afterward, those who ranked among believers, were not all instructed 
in the same manner ; but one was directed to study and treasure up in his 
mind more or fewer things than another. Whoever would understand 
more than this by the secret doctrine of the first century, should beware 
lest he confound the faults of subsequent ages with the excellences of 

9. Most authors represent the lives and morals of Christians in this 
age, as patterns of purity and holiness, worthy of the imitation of all sub- 
sequent ages. This representation, if it be understood of the greater part 
of the professed Christians, and not of all, is undoubtedly true. But who- 
ever supposes the primitive churches were perfectly free from all vices 
and sins, and estimates the lives of all the Christians by the conduct of 
some of them, and by the precepts and exhortations of their teachers, as 
most of those writers have done whose books and tracts concerning the 
innocence and holiness of the early Christians are extant; may be con- 
futed by the clearest evidence of both testimony and facts. (8) 

10. The visible purity of the churches was much promoted, by that 
law which deprived of ordinances and excluded from the community per- 
sons of vile character, or who were known to be vicious ; provided they 
would not reform on being admonished. Such a law, we know was es- 
tablished by the apostles, soon after churches began to be formed. (0) In 
the application and enforcement of this law, the teachers and rulers gen- 
erally pointed out the persons who seemed to merit exclusion from the 
church, and the people sanctioned or rejected the proposal at their discre- 
tion. Excluded sinners, although they had committed the highest offences, 
if they gave satisfactory evidence of penitence for their faults, and of their 
leading better lives in future, were allowed to return to the church, at least 
in most places ; yet but once only. For those who were restored, if they 
returned to their former bad practices, and were again excluded from the 
brotherhood, had no more a prospect of forgiveness. (10) 

(7) Concerning this secret doctrine, much of religion in the seven churches of Asia 

is collected by Chr. Matt. Pfaff, Diss. pos- about A.D. 96. Judging from these repre*^ 

terior de Praejudiciis Theolog., 13, p. 149, sentations, it would seem that the characters^ 

&c., in his Primitia Tubingensia. of the Christians of that age, presented a sin- 

(8) [For a knowledge of the state of piety gular combination of excellences and de- 
and morals among the Christians of the first, fects ; that, in some respects, they were iiv 
century, we are dependant nearly altogether deed patterns for all after ages ; but, in other 
on the Holy Scriptures : for all the apostolic respects, and especially certain churches, a* 
fathers, except Clement, lived and wrote in Corinth, Galatia, Sardis, and Laodicea, by 
the second century. Besides, their writings no means deserved imitation. TV.] 

state very few facts, and acquaint us with (9) [See 1 Cor. v.) For the discussions 

almost nothing, except what relates to the that have taken place respecting this law, 

views and feelings of the writers themselves, see Chr. Matt. Pfaff, de Originibus Juris 

Clement wrote upon occasion of a broil in Ecclesias,t., p. 10, 13, 71, 98. 

the church of Corinth; and he aims to set (10) See Jo. Morin, Commentar. de 

home Paul's exhortations to them on former disciplina poenitentiae, lib. ix., cap. 19, p. 

occasions. From the N. T., and especially 670, and others. [Natal. Alexander, Hist, 

from Paul's epistles, we learn many things Eccles. N. T., saec. iii., diss. vii. ; and J. 

respecting the state of morals and piety Aug. Orsi, Dis. qua ostenditur, cathol. ec- 

ainong Christians, from the first planting of clesiam tribus prior, saeculis capital, crim. 

the churches till about A.D. 68. And from reis pacem et absolut. neutiquam denegasse, 

the Apocalyptical epistles, we learn the state Milan, 1730, 4to. But all these writers 


11. As the Christian churches were composed of both Jews and Gen- 
tiles, between whom there had been an inveterate aversion, and as those re- 
cent Christians retained many erroneous impressions, received and cher- 
ished from their infancy, it could not be but that various disagreements and 
contests would early arise among them. The first of these contests re- 
lated to the necessity of observing the law of Moses. It broke out in the 
church of Antioch ; and its issue is stated by Luke, Acts xv. This con- 
troversy was followed by many others ; partly with Jewish Christians, too 
much attached to their national religion ; partly with persons captivated 
with a species of fanatical philosophy ; and partly with some who abused 
the Christian doctrines, which they ill understood, to the gratification of 
their appetites and lusts.(ll) St. Paul and the other apostles, o^pn men- 
tion these controversies ; but so cursorily and concisely, that we can hardly 
ascertain the exact points controverted. 

12. Of all these contests, the greatest and most important seems to 
have been, that relating to the way of attaining to justification and salva- 
tion, which Jewish teachers excited at Rome and in other Christian church- 
es. For while the apostles everywhere inculcated, that all hopes of jus- 
tification and salvation should be placed solely on Jesus Christ and his 
merits, these Jewish teachers ascribed to the law and to the works which 
Christ enjoined, the chief influence in procuring everlasting happiness. 
This error not only led on to many others, which were prejudicial to the 
religion of Christ, but was connected with the highest dishonour to the 
Saviour. For they who maintained that a life regulated according to the 
law, would give a title to eternal rewards, could not hold Christ to be the 
Son of God, and the Saviour of mankind ; but merely a prophet, or a di- 
vine messenger among men. It cannot therefore appear at all strange, 
that St. Paul, in his Epistle to the Romans and elsewhere, took so much 
pains to extirpate this capital error. 

13. The controversy respecting the necessity of the Mosaic rites in 
order to salvation, was wisely decided by the apostles, Acts xv. But 
great as the apostolic influence was, that deep-rooted love of the Mosaic 
law which was handed down from their fathers, could not be wholly erad- 
icated from the minds of the Jewish Christians, and especially of those 
living in Palestine. It diminished a little, after the destruction of Jerusa- 
lem and the prostration of the temple by the Romans ; yet it did not wholly 
subside. Hence it was, as we shall see hereafter, that a part of the Jew- 
ish Christians separated from the other brethren, and formed a distinct 
sect attached to the law of Moses. 

describe rather the practice of the second and xi. ( p. 952. [J. F. Buddcus, Ecclcsia 

third centuries, than that of the first. TV.] Apostolica ; and, still better, Ch. W. Fr. 

(11) Conducive to the illustration of these Walch, Volstandige Historic der Ketzcreien, 

controversies, are the investigations of Herm. Spaltungen, u. s. f.,vol. i,, p. 68, &c. ; and 

Witmus, Miscellanea Sacra, torn. ii., exerc. A. Ncandcr, Geschichte dcr Pflantzung nnd 

xx., xxi., xxii., p. 668, &c. Camp. Vi- Leitung dcr christl. Kirche durch die Apos- 

tringa, Observatt. sacra., lib. iv., c. ix., x., tel, Hamb., 1832. Tr.] 




1. Baptism and the Lord's Supper appointed by Christ. $ 2. Rites instituted by the 
Apostles. 3. The Jewish Rites retained. 4. Public Assemblies of Christians, and 
Times for Meeting. 5. Places of Meeting. 6. Mode of Worship. $ 7. Lord's 
Supper and Agapae. 8. Baptism. 9. Anointing the Sick. $ 10. Fasting 

1. AL 

LTHOUGH the Christian religion has the greatest simplicity, and 
requires nothing but faith and love ; yet it could not wholly dispense with 
external rites and institutions. Jesus himself established but two rites, 
which it is not lawful either to change or to abrogate ; viz., baptism and the 
Lord's supper. Yet these are not to be considered as mere ceremonies, 
or as having only a symbolical import ; but as having also a sanctifying 
influence on the mind. That he chose to establish no more rites, ought to 
convince us, that ceremonies are not essential to the religion of Christ ; 
and that the whole business of them, is left by him to the discretion and 
free choice of Christians. 

2. Many considerations leave us no reason to doubt, that the friends 
and apostles of the Saviour, sanctioned in various places the use of other 
rites ; which they either tolerated from necessity, or recommended for 
good and solid reasons. Yet we are not to suppose that they have any- 
where inculcated and established any permanent system of clerical rights 
and prerogatives ; nor that they prescribed the same rites and forms in all 
churches. On the contrary, various things go to show, that Christian 
worship was from the beginning regulated and conducted differently, in 
different places ; and this, no doubt, with the approbation of the apostles 
and their coadjutors and disciples ; and that in this whole matter, much 
regard was shown to the former opinions, customs and laws of different 
nations. (1) 

(1) [It appears that even so late as the very probable that John, for certain reasons, 

third and fourth centuries, there was consid- did ordain in Asia, that the feast of Easter 

erable difference in the mode of conducting should be kept at the time the Jews kept it ; 

religious worship among Christians. See and that Peter and Pawl ordered otherwise 

Iren&us, quoted by Eascbius, Hist. Eccles , at Rome. Further, the Greek and Latin 

1. v., cap. 24. Sozomen, Hist. Eccles., 1. churches had a contest on the question, 

vii., cap. 19. Socrates, Hist. Eccles., 1. v., whether leavened or unleavened bread should 

cap. 22. Augustine, Epist. 54, Opp., torn, be used in the sacred supper. And both 

ii., p. 93. A part of this difference in rites churches claimed to have their customs 

and ceremonies, appears to have come down handed down to them from the apostles ; 

from the apostolic times. For when a con- and, for the reasons before mentioned, both 

test arose in the second century, between were probably in the right. Even the Cath- 

the Oriental and the Occidental Christians, olics often admit this diversity of ceremonies 

respecting the day on which Easter should be in the apostolic church; e. g, Jo. Bana, 

observed ; we are informed by Euscbius, Rerum Liturg., 1. i., c. 7, 2, Opp., p. 208, 

(Hist. Eccl., 1. v., cap. 23, 24), that the and the Jesuit Jo. Harduin, makes no scru- 

former maintained, that John was the author pie to assert that Paul enjoined on the 

of their custom ; and the latter, that Peter Greeks one form for the consecration of 

and Paul were the authors of theirs. Both priests ; and Peter on the Romans another. 

churches were probably correct ; for it is His book is entitled : La Dissertation du P. 


3. I am therefore induced to dissent from those, who think that the 
Jewish rites and forms were everywhere transferred by the apostles and 
their disciples to the Christian assemblies. In those churches, indeed, 
which were composed either wholly or principally of Jews, I can easily 
believe, the Jewish rites were so far retained as the different characters 
of the two religions would permit. And this may be evinced by a good 
many examples. But that the same took place in other churches, in which 
either no Jews or only a few were found, is not merely uncertain, but in- 
credible. Because it was proper that the rituals of those early times should 
be variously modelled, according to the peculiarities of genius and charac- 
ter in different nations. 

4. As there was diversity in the practice of Christians, it will be very 
difficult to make statements relative to their mode of worship and other 
customs and regulations, which will be equally applicable to all the coun- 
tries in which Christianity flourished. Yet there are a few regulations 
which may be considered as common to all Christians ; and of these, we 
shall give a brief account. The Christians of this century, assembled for 
the worship "of God and for their advancement in piety, on the first day of 
ike week, the day on which Christ reassumed his life ; for that this day was 
set apart for religious worship by the apostles themselves, and that, after; 
the example of the church of Jerusalem, it was generally observed, we 
have unexceptionable testimony .(2) Moreover, those congregations which 
either lived intermingled with Jews, or wore composed in great measure 
of Jews, were accustomed also to observe the seventh day of the week, as 
a sacred day :3) for doing which the other Christians taxed them with 
no wrong. As to annual religious days, they appear to have observed two ; 
the one, in memory of Christ's resurrection ; the other, in commemoration 
of the descent of the Holy Spirit on the apostles. (4) To these may be 
added, those days on which holy men met death for Christ's sake ; which, 
it is most probable, were sacred and solemn days, from the very commence- 
ment of the Christian church.(5) 

le Couraycr sur la succession des Evesques devoted but one slated day to their public 

Anglois et sur la validite de leur ordination, worship ; and, beyond all controversy, that 

refutee, torn, ii., p. 13, Paris, 1725, 8vo, was what we call the Lord's day, or the first 

[add A. Krazer, de Apostolicis, nee non day of the week. 

antiquis eccl. Occident. Liturgiis, sect, i., (4) Although some have doubted whether 

cap. i , 2, p. 3, ed. Augusts Vind., 1786.] the day called Pentecost (Whitsunday) was 

See Moshcim's Institut. majores hist. Christ, a sacred day so early as the first century, 

p. 375. Schl.] (see J. Bingham, Origines Eccles., lib. xx., 

(2) Ph. J. Hartmann, de Rebus gestis cap. 6) yet I am induced, by very weighty 
Christianor. sub Apostolis, cap. xv., p. 387. reasons, to believe that, from the beginning, 
J. //' //. Bokmer, Diss. i., Juris eccles. anti- it was held equally sacred with the Passover 
qui de stato die Christianor., p. 20, &c. (or Easter day). Perhaps, also, ( Good Fn- 
[See, also, Acts xx., 7 ; ii., 1 ; 1 Cor. xvi., day), the Friday on which our Saviour died, 
1, 2; Apoc. i., 10. Pliny, Epist., lib. x., was, from the earliest times, regarded with 
ep. 97, n. 7. Schl ] more respect than other days of the week. 

(3) Stcph. Curcellaeus, Diatriba de esu See J. (intlmfrcil, in Codicem Theodos., 
sanguinis ; Opp. Theol., p. 958. Gabr. torn, i., p. 138. Asscman, Biblioth. orient. 
Albaspmaeus, Observatt. Eccles., lib. i., Vatican., torn, i., p. 217, 237. Martene, 
obs. xiii.,p. 53. In vain some learned men Thesaur. Anecdotor., torn, v., p. 66. 
labour to persuade us, that in all the early (5) [These were called nnlalitia marly- 
churches both days, or the first and last rum (the martyrs' birthdays). See Casp. 
days of the week, were held sacred. The Sagittarius, de Natalitiis martyrnm, repub- 
churches of Bithynia, mentioned by Pliny, lished by Crcnius, syntagma i., djss. philol., 


5. The places of assembling were, undoubtedly, the private dwelling- 
houses of Christians. But as necessity required that when a congregation 
was formed and duly regulated, some fixed uniform place for its meetings 
should be designated ; and as some furniture was requisite for their accom- 
modation, such as books, tables, and benches, which could not conveniently 
be transported from place to place, especially in those perilous times ; it 
was undoubtedly the case, that the place of their assemblies soon became, 
instead of a private room, a sort of public one. (6) These few remarks, I 
conceive, are sufficient to determine that long controversy, whether the ear- 
ly Christians had temples or not ?(7) If the word temple may denote a 
dwelling-house, or even a part of one, which is devoted to the public exer- 
cises of religion, yet without any idea of holiness attached to it, and which 
is not separated from all profane or secular uses ; then I can readily admit, 
that the earliest Christians had temples. 

6. In these public assemblies of Christians, the holy scriptures were 
read ; which, for that purpose, were divided into portions or lessons. Then 
followed an exhortation to the people, neither eloquent nor long, but full of 
warmth and love. If any signified that they were moved by a divine af- 
flatus, they were allowed successively to state what the Lord commanded ; 
the other prophets who were present judging how much authority was due 
to them, 1 Cor. xiv., 16. Afterwards, the prayers which constituted no 
inconsiderable part of public worship, were recited after the bishop.(S) To 
these succeeded hymns ; which were sung, not by the whole assembly, 
but by certain persons, during the celebration of the sacred supper and the 
feasts of charity. The precise order and manner of performing all these 
parts of religious worship, in the various Christian churches, cannot be 
fully ascertained ; yet it is most probable, that no one of these exercises 
was wholly omitted in any church. (9) 

7. The prayers of Christians were followed by oblations of bread, wine, 
and other things, for the support of the ministers of the church and the poor. 
For every Christian who had any thing to spare, brought his gift and of- 
fered it in a sense to the Lord. (10) From these gifts, so much bread and 
wine as were requisite for the Lord's supper, were set apart, and conse- 
crated by prayers offered solely by the bishop, to which the people respond- 
ed amen.(ll) The distributers of the sacred supper were the deacons. 

1699. In the second century these natalitia 39. Jos. Bingliam, Origines Eccles., lib. 

were everywhere observed ; and they are viii., ch. i., and others. 

often mentioned by Tertullian and Cypri- (8) See Justin Martyr, Apologia secun- 

an. And in the epistle of the church of da, p. 98, &c. 

Smyrna to Philomelius, in Eusebius, Hist. (9) This must be understood of the church- 

Eccles., lib. iv., c. 15, the observance of the es that were fully established and regulated. 

day of Polycarp's martyrdom is mentioned. For in the nascent churches, which had not 

Schl.] become duly regulated, I can believe one or 

(6) See Camp. Vitringa, de Synagoga other of these exercises might be omitted, 
vetere, 1. i., pt. iii., cap. i.," p. 432. [It may (10) See Christ. Matt. Pfaff, Dissertt. 
be inferred from Acts xix., 8 ; 1 Cor. xi., de oblatione et consecratione Eucharistica ; 
22 ; xiv., 35, and Ja. ii., 2, that Christians in his Syntagma Dissertt. Theolog., Stut- 
then had certain determinate places for hold- gard, 1720, 8vo. 

ing public worship. Schl.~\ (11) Jusiyn Martyr, Apologia. Secunda, 

(7) See Dav. Blondell, de Episcopis et p. 98, &c. The writers on the ceremonies 
Presbyt., sect, iii., p. 216,243, 246. Just, of the sacred supper, are mentioned by Jo. 
Hen. Bohmer, Diss. ii., Juris eccles. antiq. de Alb. Fabricius, Bibliograph. antiquaria, cap. 
Antelucanis Christianorum coetibus, iv., p. xi., p. 395, &c. 


This most holy ordinance was followed by sober repasts, which, from their 
design, were denominated agapae, feasts of charity. (12) The various dif- 
ficulties which occur in the accounts respecting these feasts, will, undoubt- 
edly, be solved with ease, by admitting that the earliest Christians were 
governed by different rules, and did not everywhere celebrate either this or 
other institutions in the same manner. 

8. In this century baptism was administered in convenient places, 
without the public assemblies ; and by immersing the candidates wholly in 
water. (13) At first, all who were engaged in propagating Christianity, ad- 
ministered this rite: nor can it be called in question, that whoever per- 
suaded any person to embrace Christianity, could baptize his own disciple. 
But when the churches became more regulated, and were provided with 
rules of order, the bishop alone exercised the right of baptizing all the new 
converts to Christianity ; though in process of time, as the limits of his 
church were enlarged, he imparted this right to the presbyters and chor- 
episcopi ; reserving however the confirmation of those baptisms which were 
administered by presbyters. ( 14) As to the ceremonies, which in this early 
period were superadded to baptism for the sake of order and decency, we 
are not able to say any thing with certainty ; nor do we think it safe to es- 
timate the rules of that age, by the customs of subsequent times. 

$ 9. The Grecian Christians, when dangerously sick, sent for the elders 
of the church, agreeably to Ja. v., 14 ; and after the sick man had confess- 
ed his sins, the elders commended him to God in devout supplication, and 
anointed him with oil. Many things in regard to this rite, may be, and 
have actually been, subjects of controversy. But the silence of the ancient 
writers, prevents our coming to any certain conclusions. For though there 
is no reason to doubt that this rite prevailed extensively among Christians, 
yet it is rarely mentioned in the writings of the ancients. (15) 

10. No law was enacted by Christ and his apostles concerning fasts ; 
but the custom obtained, that most Christians occasionally and privately 
joined abstinence from their food with their prayers ; and especially when 
engaged in undertakings of great importance, 1 Cor. vii., 5. How much 
time a man should spend in this exercise, was left to the private judgment 
of each individual ; nor did a person expose his character at all, if he thought 
it sufficient for him to observe only the rules of strict temperance. (16) Of 

(12) The writers concerning the agapac, ccrning this custom, are collected by Jo. 
arc mentioned by Tho. Ittig, Selecta Histor. Launoi, de Sacramento unctionis infirmo- 
Eccles. capita, saecul. ii., cap iii., p. 180, rum, cap. i., p. 444, Opp., torn. i. Among 
&c., and Christ. Matt. Pfaff, de Originibus these passages, very few are to be found in 
Juris Eccles., p. 68. the writers of the first centuries ; yet there 

(13) See Gcr. Jo. Vossius, de Baptismo, is here and there one, which has escaped 
disp. i., thcs. vi., p. 31, &c., and the authors the notice of this very learned man. [The 
recommended by J. A. Fabricius, Bibliogr. principal writers on this subject, are men- 
Antiquar., cap. xi., <J xxv., p. 389, &c. tioned by J. C. Wolf, Curae Philol. et Crit., 

(14) These remarks, I conceive, go to torn, iv., on Ja. v., 14. Tr.] 

elucidate and determine the questions so (16) Shepherd of Hernias, lib. iii., Simi- 

strenuously debated among the learned, con- lit. v., p. 931, 935. ed. Fabricii, at the close 

cerning the right of administering Imp/ism. of vol. iii. of his Codex Apocryph. N. T. 

See Just. H< n. tfodbMT, Diss. xi.. Juris [The best writer on this subject, is John 

cedes, antiqui, p. 500, &c. Jo. Ic Clerc, Daille, de Jejuniis et Quadragesimo, Da- 

Biblioth. uruverselle et historique, tome iv., vent., 1654, 8vo, against whom, however, 

p. 93, &c. Ben rt'jr brings some objections, in Codex 

(15) Most of the ancient testimonies con- Canon, vind. SchL] 


any solemn public fasts, except only on the anniversary day of the cruci- 
fixion of Christ, there is no mention in the most ancient times. Gradually, 
however, days of fasting were introduced ; first by custom, and afterwards 
by legal sanction. Whether any thing of this nature occurred in the first 
century, and what days were devoted to fasting, we have not the means of 
deciding. And yet I would not deny, that very specious arguments are 
adduced by those who think, that while the apostles were still living, 
or soon after their decease, the Christians in most places abstained from 
food, either wholly or partially, on the fourth and on the sixth days of the 



$ 1. Sects sprung up in the very Times of the Apostles. 2. They gradually increased. 
$ 3. Sect of the Gnostics. 4. It originated from the Oriental Philosophy. $ 5. 
They occasioned various Errors in regard to the Holy Scriptures and other Subjects. 
$ 6. Gnostic Opinions concerning Christ. $ 7. Their Moral Doctrines. $ 8. How they 
supported their Doctrines. 9. Causes of Disagreement among themselves. 10. 
Dositheus. $ 11. Simon Magus was not a Heretic. 12. His History. 13. His 
Doctrines. 14. Menander. 15. Whether there was a Sect of Nicolaitans. 16. 
Cerinthus, and the Cerinthians. 17. Nazareans and Ebionites, properly belong to 
the Second Century. 

1. CHRISTIAN churches had scarcely been gathered and organized, 
when here and there men rose up, who, not being contented with the 
simplicity and purity of that religion which the apostles taught, sought 
out new inventions, and fashioned religion according to their own liking. 
This appears, from various passages in the epistles left us by the apostles, 
and particularly from Paul's epistles. For in these, there is frequent 
mention of persons, who either endeavoured to mould the Christian doc- 
trines into conformity with that philosophy or yv)Gig,(l) to which they 
were addicted ; or who were disposed to combine with Christianity Jewish 
opinions, customs, and institutions. Several of these corrupters of religion 
are likewise expressly named ; as Hymenaeus and Alexander, Philetus, 
Hermogenes, Phygellus, Demas, and Diotrephes.(2) If, however, from this 
list, Alexander, Hymenaeus, and Philetus be excepted, the others appear 
to be, rather apostates from the practice of religion, than corrupters of its 
principles. (3) 

(17) See Wil. Beverege, Codex Canon, viii., p. 84. J. Fr. Buddcus, de Ecclesia 

vindic., torn, ii., Pair. Apostol., p. 166. Apostolica, cap. v., p. 292, &c. [As to 

(1)1 Tim. vi., 20, and ch. i., 3, 4 ; Tit. iii., Hymenaeus and Philetus, we are informed 

9 ; Coloss. ii., 8. by St. Paul, 2 Tim. ii., 17, 18, comp., 1 

(2) [Concerning Diotrephes, there is a Tim. i., 19, 20, not only in general, that 
particular tract by Stemler, 1758. Schl.~\ they had swerved from sound doctrine; but 

(3) 2 Tim. ii., 18, and elsewhere. See their particular error is pointed out. They 
also the elaborate discussions concerning taught that a resurrection of the dead was no 
these men, by Camp. Vitringa, Observ. Sa- longer to be anticipated, it being already 
crae, lib. iv., cap. ix.,p. 952. Thomas Ittig, passed; and they laboured to make prose- 
de Haeresiarchis aevi Apostol., sect, i., cap. lytes to this opinion. See J. G. Watch, 


2. So long as the greater part of the apostles were alive, to watch 
over the churches, these innovators were not very successful, and seem 
to have had no great number of followers. But gradually, they acquired 
more influence ; and before the decease of all those whom Christ had 
himself instructed, they laid the foundations of those sects, which after- 
wards exceedingly disturbed the Christian community and gave rise to so 
many contests. The history of these sects is very obscure ; indeed, the 
most obscure part of ecclesiastical history. This obscurity arises, partly 
from the deficiency of ancient records ; partly, from the tenets of these 
sects, which for the most part were singularly caliginous and remote from 
common apprehension; and partly, from the ignorance and hostility of 
those who have written concerning them. This however is perfectly 
clear, that no one who loves the truths which the Bible inculcates, can 
find any thing to commend in the peculiarities of these sects. (4) 

3. At the head of all the sects which disturbed the peace of the 
church, stand the Gnostics ; who claimed ability to restore to mankind 
the lost knowledge (yv&oif;) of the true and supreme God ; and who an- 
nounced the overthrow of that empire, which the creator of the world and 
his associates had set up. It is, indeed, the common opinion, and sup- 
ported by the testimony of Clemens Alexandrinus, (Stromat., 1. vii., c. 17., 
p. 898, 899,) that the Gnostic sects first arose after the decease of the apos- 
tles, in the reign of Adrian ; and that previously, no discords had produced 
separations from the church. But the sacred scriptures themselves to 
say nothing of other ancient documents put it beyond controversy, that 
even in the first century, in various places, men infected with the Gnostic 
leprosy began to erect societies distinct from the other Christians ; 1 John 

Exercitat. de Hymenaeo et Phileto ; in his written ; by Thorn. Ittig, de Haeresiarchis 
Misccll. Sacra., lib. i., p. 81, &c. As to aevi Apostolici et Apostolico proximi, Lips., 
Alexander, it is still contested whether the 1690, 4to, and an Appendix, Lips., 1696, 
Alexander in 1 Tim. i., 20, and 2 Tim. iv., 4to ; by Rcnatus Massuetus, Dissertt. Ire- 
14, and in Acts ix., 33, be one and the same naeo praemissae ; and by Sebast. le Xain de 
person. The greater part believe the affirm- Tillemont, Me'moires pour servir a 1'histoire 
ative. But Neumann, (Expos, of the New de 1'Eglise. But all these, and others whom 
Test., vol. vi., p. 363), and Dr. Moshcim, 1 pass over, have rather collected materials 
(Comment, de Rebus Christ, ante C. M., p. for a history of these sects, than written the 
178), support the negative ; being inclined history itself. Among the Lutherans Abr. 
to believe that there were two persons of this Hinckclmann, Ja. Thomasius, Jo. Hen. Hor- 
name. The younger Walch, (Entwurf der Uus, and among the Reformed Ja. Bas- 
Ketzereyen, p. 127), prefers abiding by the nage and Henry Dodwell have either prom- 
common opinion. Hermogcnes and Phygcl- ised the world such a history or attempted 
lus are accused by Paul, 2 Tim. i., 15, of to write it ; but have done no more. We 
only having forsaken him when he was im- must therefore still wait for some person of 
prisoned at Rome, which was inconstancy, adequate sagacity, fairness, and skill in an- 
but not heresy. As to Demos, Paul tells cient philosophy and literature to accom- 
us, 2 Tim. iv., 10, that, from love to the plish this difficult undertaking. [This has 
world, he had forsaken him. But this gives been since attempted by C. W. F. Walch, 
no ground for charging him with being a her- Entwurf einer vollstandigen Historic der 
etic. Diotrephcs, mentioned in the 3d Ep. Ketzereyen, &c., 11 vols. 8vo, 1762-85. 
of John, is accused of a twofold fault ; viz., JV. Lardner, Hist, of the Heretics, Lond., 
refusing to receive those whom the apostle 1780, 4to. F. A. Lcwald, de Doctrina 
recommended to his kind offices ; and set- Gnostica, Heidelb., 1818, 8vo. A. Ncan- 
ting himself in opposition to the apostle, der, Genetische Entwickelung d. vornehm- 
But neither of these offences is sufficient to sten gnost. Systeme, Berlin, 1818, 8vo, and 
constitute him a heretic. Schl.] still better, in his Algem. Gesch. der Chr. 
(4) Professed histories of the sects which Relig. u Kirche, vol. i., pt. ii., p. 602 859. 
arose in this and the next century have been TV.] 

VOL. I. M 


ii., 18; 1 Tim. vi., 20; Col. ii., 8. (5) Yet these stray flocks did not 
become distinguished for their numbers, or for their fame and notoriety, 
till the times of Adrian. Under the appellation of Gnostics, are included 
all those in the first ages of the church, who modified the religion of 
Christ, by joining with it the Oriental philosophy, in regard to the source 
of evil, and the origin of this material universe. The leading principles 
of this philosophy, have already been stated. 

4. All those eastern philosophers, believing that rational souls be- 
came connected with matter and the inhabitants of bodies, contrary to the 
will and pleasure of the supreme God, where in expectation of a mighty 
legate from the Deity, possessed of consummate wisdom and power ; who 
would imbue, with a knowledge of the true God, the spirits now oppressed 
with the load of their bodies, and rescue them from their bondage to the 
lords of this material world. When therefore some of them perceived, 
that Jesus and his friends wrought miracles of a salutary character, they 
were ready to believe that Jesus was that mighty legate of God, come to 
deliver men from the power of the Genii who governed this lower world, 
and to rescue souls from their unhappy connexion with material bodies. 
This supposition being admitted into minds polluted with gross errors, 
they interpreted or rather perverted whatever Christ and his disciples 
taught, so as to make it harmonize with their other opinions. 

5. Hence there necessarily arose among them a multitude of opin- 
ions, which were extremely foreign from the precepts of Christ. Their 
belief, that the world was not created by the supreme God in whom is all 
perfection, but by one or more inferior deities of a bad or at least of an 
imperfect character, would not allow them to admit the divine authority 
of the O. T. scriptures ; and it led some of them to venerate and extol the 
serpent, the prime author of sin among men, and likewise several of the 
vilest persons mentioned in the Jewish scriptures. The same belief in- 
duced them to contemn Moses, and the religion he taught ; and to represent 
him as instigated to impose such hard and unsuitable laws on the Jews, 
by the world's Creator, who had no regard for human happiness, but only 
for his own glory and authority.' Their belief that matter is eternal and 
the source of all evil, prevented them from putting a due estimate upon the 
human body ; and from favouring marriage, whereby bodies are produced ; 
and also from admitting the doctrine of the future resurrection of the body. 
Their belief, that malevolent genii ruled over the world, and that from 
them originated all the diseases, wars, and calamities of men, led them, 
almost universally, to addict themselves to magic, or the art of weakening 
and paralyzing the power of those genii. I omit many other points, as not 
compatible with so summary a history as this. 

6. Their principles required, that while they admitted Christ to be 
the Son of the supreme God, and a messenger sent from the Plerdma or 
upper world where God and his family dwell, for the benefit of miserable 
souls, they should yet hold most unworthy sentiments concerning his per- 

(5) [The reader will recollect that Dr. who laboured to pervert the truth, and not 
Mosheim's opinions concerning a matured of any associations of professed Christians 
Oriental philosophy existing so early as the which they had already organized into church- 
Apostolic age, have been much questioned, es upon their principles, and which consti- 
(See note (7), p. 61.) Moreover, the texts tuted regular heretical bodies. 7Y.J 
he quotes, speak only of certain false teachers 


son and offices. They could not admit him to be truly God, nor truly man. 
Not truly God, because they held him, though begotten of God, to be yet 
much inferior to the Father : nor truly man, because everything concrete 
and corporeal, they believed to be intrinsically and essentially evil. So 
that most of them divested Christ of a material body, and denied him to 
have suffered for our sakes, what he is recorded to have endured. The 
cause of Christ's coming among men, they said, was simply to strip the 
tyrants of this world, those impotent genii, of their power over the virtu- 
ous and heaven-born souls of men ; and to teach men, how to withdraw 
their divine minds from these impure bodies, and fit them for a union with 

7. Their systems of morals, we are informed, were widely different. 
For most of them recommended abstinence and austerity, and prescribed the 
most severe bodily mortifications ; in order that the soul, whose ill fate it 
was to be associated with a body, might enjoy greater liberty, and be able 
the better to contemplate heavenly things. For, the more this depraved 
and grovelling habitation of the soul is weakened and attenuated, the less 
will it be able to withdraw the mind from the contemplation of divine ob- 
jects. But some of them maintained, on the contrary, that we may safely 
indulge all our libidinous desires ; and that there is no moral difference in 
human actions. (6) This contrariety of opinions need not surprise us : be- 
cause one and the same principle naturally produced both systems. For 
persons who believed that their bodies were the very essence of evil, and 
calculated only to hold their souls in bondage, might, according as they 
were of a voluptuous or of a morose and austere disposition, either fall into 
the conclusion, that the acts of the body have no connexion with the* soul 
when it has once attained to communion with God ; or, on the contrary, 
believe that the body must be strenuously resisted and opposed, as being 
the enemy of the soul. 

8. As these extraordinary opinions required proof, which it was not 
easy to find in the writings of the apostles, recourse was had to falsehoods 
and impositions. Therefore when asked, where they had learned what 
they so confidently taught ; some produced fictitious books, under the names 
of Abraham, Zoroaster, and Christ, or his apostles ; some pretended to 
have derived their principles from a concealed and secret doctrine taught 
by Christ ; some affirmed that they had arrived at this high degree of wis- 
dom, by an innate energy which existed in their own minds ; and some 
pretended that one Theudas, a disciple of St. Paul, or Matthias, one of 
Christ's disciples, had been their teacher. Those of them, who did not 
wholly reject the books of the New Testament, either interpreted them 
very absurdly, neglecting the true import of words, or corrupted them most 
basely, by retrenching what they disliked and adding what they pleased. 

9. It is easy to see, how these persons, after assuming the name of 
Christians, became divided into numerous sects. In the first place, it ap- 
pears from what has been already stated, that they held very different 
opinions before they attended to Christianity. Hence, as each one en- 
deavoured to accommodate his own philosophical opinions to the Christian 
religion, it was the necessary consequence, that various systems of reli- 
gion were produced. Moreover, some of them were born Jews, as Cerin- 

(6) See Clemens Alex., Stromat.,lib. iii., cap. v., p. 529, ed. Potter. 


thus and others, and did not wish to appear contemners of Moses ; while 
others were wholly estranged from the Jewish religion, and could indulge 
themselves in liberties, which the former could not. And lastly, this whole 
system of philosophy and religion was destitute of any fixed and solid ba- 
sis, being the creature of their own fancy ; and who does not know, that 
systems and projects which are the productions of the imagination, never 
have uniformity. 

$ 10. The heads and leaders of the philosophical sects which troubled 
the church in the first century, next come to be considered. The first 
place among them is, by many, given to Dositheus, a Samaritan. And it 
is sufficiently proved, that there was a man of this name among the Sa- 
maritans, about the times of our Saviour ; and that he left a sect behind 
him. But all the accounts we have of him, clearly show that, he is to be 
ranked, not among those called heretics, but among the enemies of the 
Christian name ; or, if it be thought more correct, among the delirious and 
insane. For he wished to be thought to be himself the Messiah, or that 
Prophet whom God had promised to the Jews ; and he therefore could not 
have held Jesus Christ to be a divine ambassador, or have merely cor- 
rupted his doctrines. (7) 

11. What I have said of Dositheus, I would likewise say of Simon 
Magus. This impious man is not to be ranked among those who corrupted 
Christianity by an intermixture of errors, or among the heretics ; but is to 
be classed among those who declared open war against Christianity ; and 
this notwithstanding nearly all the ancient and modern writers make him 
to been the head, the father, and the ringleader of the whole heret- 
ical camp. For it is manifest from all the records we have of him, that 
after his defection from the Christians, he ascribed to Christ no honour at 
all; but set himself in opposition to Christ, and claimed to be himself the 
supreme power of God. (8) 

12. What the ancients relate of the life and opinions of Simon, are so 
different and inconsistent, that some very learned men have concluded they 
could not all relate to one person ; and thus they would make out two Si- 
mons ; the one Simon Magus, who abandoned the Christian religion ; and 
the other a Gnostic philosopher. On this point men will judge as they 

(7) Ja. Basnage, Histoire des Juifs, 1. ii., cient accounts simply mention him among 

cap. xiii., p. 307. Rich. Simon, Critique de the founders of sects ; as Hegesippus, in 

la Bibliotheque des Auteurs Eccles., par M. Eusebius, Hist. Eccl., 1. iv., c. 22. It is 

du Pin, torn, iii., cap. xiii., p. 304. [Mo- said, his followers accounted him the Mes- 

skeim, Inst. hist. Chr. major., p. 376. C. siah ; (Photius, Biblioth. cxxx.), and that he, 

W. F. Walch, Ketzerhistorie, i., p. 182. at first, claimed to be so ; but afterwards 

All the accounts make Dositheus to have retracted, in presence of his pupil Simon 

lived among the Samaritans ; one writer rep- Magus; (Clemens, Recogn., 1. ii., 8, &c.) 

resents him, as an apostate Jew. Accord- Eulogius, bp. of Alexandria in the sev- 

ing to Origen, (Philocal. i.), he was a rigor- enth century, wrote against the Dositheans, 

ous observer of the law of Moses ; and par- (according to Photius, Biblioth. cxxx.), and 

ticularly, allowed no one to move from the besides his pretended messiaship, he attrib- 

spot where the Sabbath overtook him. Ac- utes to Dositheus various errors ; all of 

cording to Epiphanius, (Haeres., lib. i., pt. i., which coincided with either Sadducean or 

hser. 13, previous to the Christian heresies), Samaritan opinions. See J. E. C. Schmidt, 

he was an apostate Jew, whose ambition be- Handb. d. christl. Kirchengeschichte, vol. i., 

ing disappointed, he retired among the Sa- 50, p. 214, &c. TV.] 

maritans, lived in a cave, and fasted so rig- (8) See Origen, adv. Celsum, lib. v., p. 

orou.sly as to occasion his death. Other an- 272, ed. Spencer. 


please ; bxit to us it appears neither safe nor necessary to reject the testi- 
mony of the ancients that there was only one Simon. (9) He was by birth 
either a Samaritan or a Jew ; and after studying philosophy at Alexan- 
dria^ 10) he professed to be a magician, as was common in that age ; and 
by his fictitious miracles, persuaded the Samaritans among others that ho 
had received from God the power of controlling those evil spirits which 
afflict mankind; Acts viii., 9, 10. On seeing the miracles which Philip 
performed by divine power, Simon joined himself to Philip, professed to 
be a Christian, and hoped to learn from the Christians the art of working 
miracles. When cut off from this hope by the pointed reproof of Peter, 
Acts viii., 9, 10, he not only returned to his old course of sorcery, but 
wherever he went, he laboured to obstruct the progress of Christianity. 
The accounts of his tragical death, and of a statue decreed him at Rome, 
are rejected with great unanimity by the learned at the present day. They 
are at least uncertain and improbable. (11) 

13. Simon undoubtedly belonged to that class of philosophers who 
admitted as co-existent with the supreme and all-perfect God, not only 
eternal matter, but an evil deity who presides over it.. And if I mistake 
not, he was one of those in this class who believed matter to have been 
eternally animated, and at a certain period to have brought forth, by its in- 
herent energies, that depraved being who now rules over it, surrounded by 
numerous attendants. From this opinion of Simon, the other gross errors 
ascribed to him by the ancients concerning fate, the indifference of human 
actions, the impurity of the human body, the power of magic, &c., would very 
naturally follow.(12) The most shocking of all his abominations was, his 

(9) See the Dissertation by G. C. Voel- gratiate himself with Nero, he attempted to 
ger, revised and published by Moshcim, fly, being assisted by evil spirits ; but that 
Diss. ad Histor. Eccles. Pertinentes, vol. by the prayers of St. Peter, the evil spirit* 
ii., p. 55, dec., de uno Simone Mago. [The were compelled to let him fall, which either 
idea of two Simons, the one a Samaritan killed him outright, or broke his bones and 
mentioned in Acts viii., the other a Jewish so mortified him, that he killed himself; is 
philosopher in the reign of Domitian and the too improbable, and has too much the as- 
father of all the Gnostic sects; was first pect of fiction, to gain credit in this enlight- 
thrown out as a conjecture, by Camp. Vi- ened age. And the mistake of Justin Mar- 
tringa, Observ. sacrar., 1. v., c. 12, 9, p. tyr, Apol. i., c. 34, who says he saw a pub- 
159, and afterwards defended by C. A. Heu- lie statue, inscribed to Simon, on an island 
mann, Acta erudit., Lips., for April, A.D. in the Tiber at Rome ; has been satisfacto- 
1717, p. 179, and J. de Beausobre, Diss. rily accounted for, since the discover)' in the 
sur les Adamites, pt. ii., subjoined to UEn- year 1574, of a stone in the Tiber at Rome, 
/ant's Histoire de la guerre des Hussites, bearing this inscription : Semoni Sanco, Deo 
$ 1, p. 350, &c. But this hypothesis is Fidio. For this inscription, which Justin, 
now generally given up. TV.] being an Asiatic, might easily misunder- 

(10) Clementina, homil. ii., in Patr. stand, was undoubtedly intended for an an- 
Apostol., torn, ii., p. 533. cient pagan god. TV.] 

(11) See /*. de Beausobre, Histoire de (12) The dissertation of Jo. Hen. Horbius, 
Manichee, p. 203, 395. Anth. van Dale, de Simone Mago, though a juvenile produc- 
Diss. de Statua Simonis ; annexed to his tion and needing correction in style, I pre- 
book de Oraculis, p. 579. Sal. Deyling, fer to all others on this subject. It will be 
Observatt. sacrar., 1. i., observ. xxxvi., p. found republished by Jo. Voiglius, in the 
140. Scb. Tillcnumt, Memoires pour servir Biblioth Haeresiologica, torn, i., pt. iii., p. 
a 1'histoire de 1'Eglisc, torn, i., p. 340, and 511. Horbius treads closely in the steps of 
numerous others. [What Arnobms, adv. his preceptor, Ja. Thomas lit s ; who very 
Gentes, 1. ii., p. 64, ed. Herald, and after clearly saw the source of those numerous er- 
hiin many others relate, with some variety, rors'by which the Gnostics, and especially Si- 
concerning Simon's death ; viz., that while mon, were infected. The other writers who 
practising magic at Rome, in order to in- have treated of Sunon, are enumerated by 


pretence that the greatest and most powerful of the divine Aeons of the 
male sex, resided in himself; and likewise, that another Aeon of the fe- 
male sex, the mother of all human souls, resided in his mistress Helena ; 
and his proclaiming that the supreme God had despatched him down to 
this world, to break up the empire of the world's creator, and to deliver 
Helena out of that tyrant's hands.(13) 

14. From Simon Magus it is said, Menander, who was also a Samar- 
itan, learned his doctrine ; which is no more true than what the ancients 
relate, that all the heretical sects derived their origin from this Simon. 
Menander is to be stricken from the list of proper heretics, and to be classed 
among the lunatics and madmen, who foolishly arrogated to themselves the 
character of saviours of mankind. For it appears from the testimony of 
Iren&us, Justin Martyr, and Tertullian, (\4c) that he wished to be thought 
one of the Aeons sent from the upper world, or the Pleroma, to succour 
the souls that were here suffering miserably in material bodies ; and to af- 
ford them aid against the machinations and the violence of the demons who 
govern our world. As he erected his religious system on nearly the same 
fundamental principles as Simon did his, the ancients supposed that he 
must have been a disciple of Simon. 

15. If those now mentioned are excluded from the number of the her- 
etics of the first century, the first place among the Christian sects, and also 
among those denominated Gnostics, seems to belong to the Nicolaitans ; 
of whom Jesus Christ himself expressed his detestation, Apoc. ii., 6, 14, 
15. It is true the Saviour does not tax them with errors in matters of faith, 
but only with licentious conduct, and a disregard of the injunction of the 
apostles to abstain from meats offered to idols, and from fornication, Acts 
xv., 29. But the writers of the second and the following centuries, Ire- 
nasus, Tertullian, Clemens Alex., (15) and others, declare that they taught 
the same doctrines with the Gnostics, concerning tuio principles of all 
things, and concerning the Aeons, and the origin of the present world. 
Whether this testimony is to be admitted, or whether we are to suppose 
that .the ancients confounded two different sects which bore the same name ; 
the one the Apocalyptical Nicolaitans, and the other a Gnostic sect of the 
second century, founded by a man named Nicolaus ; is a question which ad- 
mits of doubt.(16) 

Voigtius, ubi supra, p. 567. [See C. W. F. (16) [See Demonstratio Sectae Nicolaita- 

Walch, Historic der Ketzer., vol. i., p. 152, rum, adv. doctiss. ejus oppugnatores, cum 

&c. The English reader will find a full, Supplemento, in Mosheim's Diss. ad His- 

but not very accurate account of Simon in tor. Eccles. pertinent., vol. i., p. 389-495. 

Calmet's Dictionary of the Bible. Tr.~\ Also Mosheim's Institut. Hist. Christ, ma- 

(13) Some very learned men, I am aware, jor, p. 46 ; and Comment, de Reb. Christ. 
have supposed that the ancient accounts of ante Constant. M., p. 195 ; and especially 
Simon's Helena should be interpreted alle- C. W. F. WaJch, Entwf d. Gesch. d. Ket- 
gorically ; and that Simon intended, by the zereyen, vol. i., p. 167. All the ancients, 
name of Helena, to indicate matter, or the except John Cassianus, (Collatio xviii., c. 
soul, or something, I know not what. But 16), supposed that Nicolaus of Antioch, the 
for such an allegorical interpretation, it would deacon, (Acts vi., 5), was either the founder 
be easy to show, there is little foundation. or the accidental cause of this sect. Irenezus 

(14) [Ireruzus,lib. i.,c. 23. Justin Mar- makes him to have been the founder of it. 
tyr, Apol. ii., p. 69. Tertullian, de Anima, But Clemens Alex, states that an incautious 
cap. 50, and de Resurrect., c. 5. Tr.] speech or act of his gave occasion only to 

(15) [Irerueut, lib. iii., c. 2, and 1. ii., c. this sect. For he being one day accused 
37. Tertull., de Prescript., c. 46. Clem, of too much attention to his wife, when he 
Alex., Strom., 1. iii., c. 4. Tr.} came to defend himself he publicly divorced 



16. With greater propriety we may reckon among the Gnostics, Ce- 
rinthus, a Jew by birth, (1 7) but educated and taught philosophy at Alexan- 
dria. (18) Though some of the learned have chosen to assign him rather 
to the second century than to the first, (19) yet it appears that it was while 
St. John was still living, that he endeavoured to form a new sect and to 
inculcate a singular system of religion, compounded of the doctrines and 
principles of Jesus Christ, and those of the Gnostics and Jews. From the 
Gnostics he borrowed the notions of a Plerdma, Aeons, a Demiurge, <fcc., 
but these he so modified that they appeared not wholly inconsistent with 
the opinions of the Jews. Therefore, to the creator of this world, whom 
also he acknowledged to be the sovereign and the lawgiver of the Jewish 
nation, he ascribed a nature possessed of the highest virtues and derived 
from the true God ; but which, he affirmed, had gradually receded from 
its primitive excellence and deteriorated. Hence God had determined to 
subvert his power, by means of one of the blessed Aeons whose name was 
Christ. This Christ had entered into a certain Jew named Jesus, (a very 
righteous and holy man, the son of Joseph and Mary by ordinary genera- 
tion), by descending upon him in the form of a dove, at the time when he 
was baptized by John in the river Jordan. After his union with Christ, 
this Jesus vigorously assailed the God of the Jews, the world's creator ; 
and by his instigation Jesus was seized by the rulers of the Jewish nation 

forms of worship, than is common for the 
Gnostic heretics. Watch's Entw. der His- 
torie der Ketz., vol. i., p. 250. Schl.'] 

(18) Thcodorct, Fabul. Haeret., lib. ii., 
cap. 3, Opp., torn, iii., p. 219. 

(19) See Sam. Basnage, Annal. polit. 
eccles., torn, ii., p. 6. Peter Faydit, 
Eclaircisements sur 1'histoire eccles. de 
deux premiers siecles, cap. v., p. 64 ; and 
others. With these, Jo. Fr. Buddeus con- 
tends, de Ecclesia Apostol., cap. v., p. 412 ; 
[and Tillemont, Me"moires pour servira 1'his- 
toire de I'Eglisc, tome ii., p. 436 : and Mo- 
sheim, Institut. Hist, eccles. major., sec. i., 
p. 439, &c. They who place Cerinthus in 
the second century, rely chiefly on two argu- 
ments. The first is, that the ancient writers 
who treat of the heretics, set down Cerinthus 
after Marcion, [rather after Carpocrates. 
Tr.] The other rests on a spurious letter of 
Pius, bishop of Rome, [in the middle of the 
second century. Tr.], to Justus, bishop of 
Vienne ; in which Pius laments that Cerin- 
thus was at that time making many prose- 
lytes. The epistle may be found in Con- 
stant. Epistol. Pontific., Append., torn, i., p. 
19, [and in Binius, Concil. Gen., torn, i., p. 
124. Tr.] But the first argument proves 
nothing, because the historians of the here- 
sies pay no regard to chronological order ; 
and the second falls, because the epistle is 
not genuine. Schl.] But, see on this sub- 
ject, Fr. Ad. Lampe, Commentar. in Johan. 
Proleg., lib. ii., c. 3, $ 13, &c., p. 181, &c. 

her, using the expression, on 
&ai TT) aapul Ah, it is proper to abuse the 
flesh ; i. e., to subdue its corrupt propensi- 
ties. This speech was afterward perversely 
applied by a Gnostic association to justify 
their abominations. To this account, agree 
Eusebius, Hist. Eccl., 1. iii.,c. 29. Ttieod- 
oret, Hceret. Fab., 1. iii., c. 1, torn, iv., Opp., 
p. 226 ; and Augustine, de Hares., cap. 5. 
Now the question arises, whether there ac- 
tually was in the time of St. John, a hereti- 
cal party holding different fundamental prin- 
ciples from the orthodox, and distinguish- 
ed by the name of Nicolaitans. Some say 
there was ; others say there was not. Dr. 
Mosheim takes the affirmative, on account 
of the historical credibility of the fathers, 
and the literal import of the words used 
in the Apocalypse. The next question is, 
Who was the founder of this sect 1 Here, 
some follow Irenarus ; others follow Cle- 
mens Alex. ; and some, among whom is Dr. 
Mushcim, think it probable there were two 
persons of the name of Nicolaus. If this 
supposition be admitted, it will be easy to 
account for the fact, that the Nicolaitans of 
the fathers are accused of Gnosticism, while 
there is no mention of it in the Apocalypse. 
Baumgartcn's Auszug der Kirchenges- 
chichte, th. i., p. 458. Schl.] 

(1.7) [For Efriphanius states, Hares. 
xxviii., t) 3, that he was circumcised; and 
Johannes Dainasccnus, de Hares., cap. 8, 
that his followers were Jews. His doctrines, 
also, show a higher respect for the Jewish 


and nailed to the cross. But when Jesus was apprehended, Christ flew 
away to heaven ; so that only the man Jesus was put to death. Cerinthus 
required his followers to worship the supreme God, the father of Christ, 
together with Christ himself; but to abandon the Jewish Lawgiver, whom 
he accounted the creator of this world ; and while they retained some parts 
of the Mosaic law, to regulate their lives chiefly by the precepts of Christ. 
He promised them a resurrection of their bodies ; which would be suc- 
ceeded by exquisite delights in the millenary reign of Christ ; and then 
would follow a happy and never-ending life in the celestial world. For 
Cerinthus supposed that Christ would hereafter return, and would unite 
himself again with the man Jesus, in whom he had before dwelt, and 
would reign with his followers during a thousand years in Palestine. (20) 
17. Those who maintained the necessity of the Mosaic law and cer- 
emonies in order to eternal salvation, had not proceeded so far in this 
century, as to have no communion with those who thought differently. 
They were of course accounted brethren, though weaker ones. But after 
the second destruction of Jerusalem in the reign of Adrian, when they 
withdrew from the other Christians and set up separate congregations, 
they were regarded as sectarians, who had deviated from the true doctrines 
of Christ. Hence arose the names, Nazareans(2l) and Ebionites ;(22) by 
which those Christians, whose errors originated from an attachment to the 
Mosaic law, were discriminated from the other Christians, who held that 
the Mosaic ceremonial law was abrogated by Christ. These Nazareans 
or Ebionites, though commonly set down among the sects of the apostolic 
age, in reality belong to the second century, in which they first became a 
distinct sect. 

(20) [The doctrines of Cerinthus are gion of Christ. Of these Nazareans, Mo- 
stated in full, by C. W. F. Walch, Entwurf shcim treats largely, Institut. Hist. Christ. 
der Gesch. d. Ketzereyen, vol. i., p. 260, major., p. 465, and Comment, de Rebus 
&c., and by Mosheim, Institut. Hist. Christ. Christ, ante Const. M., p. 328 ; as also C. 
major., p. 445, and Comment, de Reb. W. F. Walch. Entw. d. Gesch. d. Ketzer- 
Christianor. ante Constant. M., p. 196 It eyen, vol. i., p. 101, &c. SchL] 

may be remarked, that Ircnaus, adv. Hae- (22) [The origin of this name is still a 

res., 1. iii., c. 3, says he had heard from va- subject of controversy. Some derive it from 

rious persons, that Polycarp told them that a founder of this sect, who was called Ebion. 

the apostle John once met Cerinthus in a Others think the name Ebionites, to be equiv- 

public bath at Ephesus, and instantly fled alent to the Hebrew word Q^JV^X poor 
out, saving he was afraid the bath would fall 

on that enemy of the truth and kill him. P e P k : but . ^ a not a ? r * ed % thls 

This story may be true; notwithstandmg name was given to the sect. Others again, 

Irenaus had it from third hand testimony [ e 8 ard lh f e whole sub J cct a f a historical prob- 

But the addition to it, that Cenntlms was lem ' that ca r n never be f lv f ed wlth absolu ' e 

actually k.lled by the fall of the building, " rta ' nt -^ /' " ***** , f W* ^ G ' 

as soon as John was gone out, was first an- W - F Wdc ^. Entw ^ der , G f ch ,/, Ket ' 

ncxed in modern times by the Dominican f re .y en > }~ '". P- J, 1 , ; and b y Moshcim 

Bernhard of Luxemburg, in his Catalogus Ins , tltu ''. "istonae Christ, major., p. 477, 

Haereticorum ; and it deserves no credit, and mhisDiss. qua ostenditur, certohod.eet 

See Walch, ubi supra, p. 255. Schl.] explorate constitui non posse, utrum Ehon 

(21) [This name the Jews first gave by qlam novae Sectae auc tor ex Went ohm 
way of reproach, to the disciples of Christ; mter Christianos, nee ne ? in his Dissertt. ad 
because he was a citizen of Nazareth. Acts J 18t - , Ecc ' e L s P??" 1 !?*'' V L '" P 547> &c ' 
xxiv., 5. Afterwards the name was applied ? ee also Chr ' Alb ' Doe derlcm, Commentar. 
especially to a Christian sect, which endeav- de Eblonaeis e n "!!!l ro Q hostlu ^ ^, h n nstl 
oured to unite the Mosaic law with the reli- mendls > Buzow > 1770 > 8vo 





$ 1. Character of the Roman Emperors. 2. Propagation of Christianity in the Roman 
Empire. 3. Countries enlightened by Christianity. (/ 4. Conversion of the Germans. 
6 5. The Gauls converted. 6. Translation of the N. T. 7. Apologies and other 
Writings of Christians. 8. Miracles and Extraordinary Gifts. $ 9. Miracle of the 
Thundering Legion. 10. It is uncertain. 11. Sedition and Slaughter of the Jews. 
$ 12. Philosophers become Christians. 

1. MOST of the Roman emperors of this century were of a mild and 
equitable character. Trajan, [A.D. 98-1 17 j, though too eager for glory, 
and not always sufficiently considerate and provident, was humane and 
equitable. Adrian [A.D. 117-138] was more severe, yet not absolutely 
bad and tyrannical ; his character was a compound of virtues and vices. 
The Antonines [Pius A.D. 138-161, Marcus Aurelius the P/iilos. A.D 
161-180, with Verus A.D. 161-169, and Commodus A.D. 169-192] were 
models of excellence and benignity. Even Severus, [A.D. 193-211], 
who afterwards assumed another character, was at first oppressive to no 
one, and to the Christians mild and equitable. 

2. Through this lenity of the emperors, Christians living in the Ro- 
man empire suffered far less, than they would have done if they had been 
under severer lords. The laws enacted against them were indeed suffi- 
ciently hard ; and the magistrates, excited by the priests and the populace, 
often made considerable havoc among them, and frequently went much be- 
yond what the laws required. Yet for these evils some relief was commonly 
attainable. Trajan would not have the Christians to be sought after ; and 
he forbid any complaints being received against them, without the names of 
the accusers tuuuxed.ll.) And Antoninus Pius even decreed, that their ac- 
cusers should be punished.(2) Some in one way, and others in another, 

(1) See Pliny' 1 s Epistles, lib. x., ep. 98. itself. For we know from history, that the 

(2) Etiscbiits, Hist. Eccles., lib. iv., cap. earthquakes mentioned in the edict, happen- 
13, [where the law of Antoninus is given at ed under Pius. Sec Cap'lnlums, Life of 
length, from the Apology of Mclito. Some Antoninus Pius, cap. 9. Besides, if Afore** 
indeed, have supposed that it. was Marcus himself had published this edict, Mclito could 
Antoninus, and not Antoninus Pius, who. have had no occasion, by this Apology, to im- 
issued this decree. (So Valesius in loc.) plore the grace of this emperor in favour of 
But this is contrary to the express testimony the Christians. See Moshcun, de Rebus* 
of Eimcliiiis, and to the contents of the edict Christ, ante Constant. M., p. 210. Schl.) 

VOL. I. N 



protected them against the evil designs of the populace and the priests. 
Hence the Christian community increased, and became vastly numerous 
in this century. Of this fact we have the clearest testimony of the ancients, 
which some have in vain attempted to call in question. (3) 

$ 3. On what particular countries, both within the Roman empire and 
beyond it, the light of heavenly truth first shone in this century, the defects 
in the ancient records will not allow us to state with precision. There are 
unexceptionable witnesses who declare, that in nearly all the East, and 
among the Germans, the Spaniards, the Celts, the Britons, and other na- 
tions, Christ was now worshipped as God.(4) But if any inquire, which 
of these nations received Christianity in this century, and which in the 
preceding, it is not in my power to answer. Pantacnus, master of the 
school at Alexandria, is said to have instructed the Indians in Christian- 
ity. (5) But these Indians appear to have been certain Jews, living in 

(3) See Walt. Moyle, de Legione fulmi- 
natrice ; a Latin translation of which, with 
notes, I have annexed to my Syntagma Diss. 
ad sanctiores disciplinas pertinent., p. 652 
661. See also an additional passage in Jus- 
tin Martyr, Dial, cum Tryphone, p. 341. 

(4) Irenaus, adv. Hceres., 1. i., c. 10. Ter- 
tullian, adv. Judseos, cap. 7. [The testi- 
mony of the former is this : " Neither do 
those churches, which are established among 
the Germans, believe or teach otherwise ; 
nor do those among the Hiberii, or among 
the Celts ; nor those in the East ; nor those 
in Egypt ; nor those in Libya ; nor those 
established in the central parts of the world." 
The language of Tertullian is rhetorical ; 
and the statement, undoubtedly, somewhat 
too strong. He says : " In whom, but the 
Christ now come, have all nations believed 1 
For, in whom do all other nations (but yours, 
the Jews) confide ; Parthians, Medes. Elam- 
ites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, Ar- 
menia, Phrygia, Cappadocia, and inhabitants 
of Pontus and Asia, and Pamphylia ; the 
dwellers in Egypt, and inhabitants of the re- 
gion beyond Gyrene 1 Romans and stran- 
gers ; and in Jerusalem both Jews and pros- 
elytes ; so that the various tribes of the Ge- 
tuli, and the numerous hordes of the Mauri ; 
all the Spanish clans, and the different na- 
tions of Gauls, and the regions of the Brit- 
ons inaccessible to the Romans but subject 
to Christ, and of the Sarmatians and Daci- 
ans, and Germans, and Scythians, and many 
unexplored nations, and countries, and isl- 
ands unknown to us, and which we cannot 
enumerate : in all which places, the name 
of the Christ who has already come, now 
reigns." Tr.] 

(5) Eusebius, Hist. Eccles., 1. v., c. 10. 
Jerome, de Scriptoribus Illustr., c. 36. [Ac- 
cording to Euselnus, the zeal of Pantanus 
prompted him to undertake a voluntary mis- 
sion among the Indians. But according to 

Jerome, (de Scriptor. illustr., c. 36, and 
Epist. 83, Opp., torn, iv., pt. ii., p. 656, ed. 
Bened.), he was sent out by Demetrius, bp. 
of Alexandria, in consequence of a request 
made by the Indians for a Christian teacher. 
Perhaps Pantanus first spontaneously trav- 
elled among the nearer Arabians ; and, upon 
the request of the people here called Indians 
for a teacher, Demetrius directed him to 
visit that people. As it is well known, that 
the Greek and Latin writers give the name 
of Indians to the Persians, Parthians, Medes, 
Arabians, Ethiopians, Libyans, and many 
other nations, to them little known ; the 
learned have inquired, who were the Indians 
visited by Pantcmus 1 Many think, they 
were those we call the East Indians, inhab- 
iting the country about the river Indus. 
Jerome so thought ; for he represents him 
as sent to instruct the Brachmans. Hen. 
Valesius and Lu. Holstenius and others 
suppose, they were the Abyssinians or Ethi- 
opians ; who are often called Indians, who 
were near and always had intercourse with 
the Egyptians. See S. Basnage, Annal. po- 
lit. eccles., torn, ii., p. 207. Valesius, Ad- 
notat. ad Socratis Hist. Eccles., p. 13. Oth- 
ers incline to believe them Jews, resident in 
Yemen or Arabia Felix, a country often called 
India. That they were not strangers to Chris- 
tianity, is evident from their having Mat- 
thew's Gospel among them, and from their 
desiring some one to expound it to them. 
Their applying to the bp. of Alexandria, 
shows that Egypt was to them the most ac- 
cessible Christian country ; and their having 
the Gospel written in Hebrew, as Jerome 
testifies, is good proof that they were Jews ; 
because no other people understood that lan- 
guage. Besides, Bartholomew had formerly 
been among them ; the field of whose la- 
bours has been supposed to be Arabia Felix. 
See Tillcmonfs life of Bartholomew, in his 
Memoires pour servir a 1'histoire de 1'Eglise, 



Arabia Felix ; among whom the apostle Bartholomew had previously intro- 
duced the Christian religion. For Pantaenus found among them, according 
to the testimony of Jerome, the Gospel of St. Matthew, which they had re- 
ceived from their first teacher Bartholomew. 

4. From Gaul, it would seem, the Christian religion must have spread 
into Germany on the left of the Rhine, which was subject to the Romans, 
and also into Britain over against Gaul. (6) Yet certain churches in Ger- 
many have been accustomed to deduce their origin from the companions 
and disciples of St. Peter and other apostles ;(7) and the Britons, follow- 
ing the account given by Beda, would fain believe, that their king Lucius 
sought and obtained Christian teachers from Eleutherus the Roman pontiff, 
in this second century, and during the reign of Marcus Antoninus. (8) But 

torn, i., p. 1160, 1161. See Mosheim, de 
Reb. Christ, ante C. M., p. 206, 207. Tr.] 

(6) On the origin of the German church- 
es, mentioned by Tertullian and Irenaus as 
existing in this century, Jo. Hen. Ursinus, 
Bcbclius, and others have written ; and still 
better, Gabriel Liron, Singularitez histori- 
ques et littcraires, torn, iv., Paris, 1740, 8vo. 
The common and popular accounts of the 
first preachers of the Gospel in Germany, 
are learnedly impugned by Aug. Calmet, 
Histoire de Lorraine, torn. i. Diss. sur les 
Eveques de Treves, p. 3, 4. Holland, Acta 
sanctorum, January, torn, ii., p. 922. Jo. 
Nic. de Hontheim, Diss. de aera episcopal. 
Trevirensis ; in Histories Trevirensis torn. i. 

(7) [It is said, St. Peter sent Eucherius, 
Valerius, and Maternus into Belgic Gaul ; 
and that they planted the churches of Co- 
logne, Treves, Tongres, Liege, and some 
others, and presided over them till their 
death. See C/iristo. Browcr, Annales Tre- 
virenses, 1. ii., p. 143, &c., and Acta Sane- 
tor. Antwerpiensia, 29th of January, p. 918. 
But Calmet, Bolland, and Hontheim, (ubi 
supra), have proved satisfactorily, that these 
pretended founders of the German churches, 
did not live earlier than the third or fourth 
century ; and that they were first repre- 
sented as being legates of the apostles, in 
the middle ages. See Mosheim, de Reb. 
Christ., &c., p. 212. Tr.] 

(8) See Ja. Usher, Antiquitates Eccle- 
siar. Bntannicar., cap. i., p. 7. Francis 
(inilirin, de Conversione Britann., cap. i., p. 
7. Rapm de Thoyras, History of England, 
vol. i. [ Wil. Burton, Adnotat. ad Clem- 
entix Rum. Epist. ad Corinth., in Patribus 
Apostol., torn, ii., p. 470. Edw. Stilliiiir. 
fieet, de Antiquitate Ecclesiar. Britann., 
cap. i. Fred. Spanhcim, Historia Eccles. 
major, saecul ii., p. 603, 604. The first 
publication of the Gospel in Britain, has been 
attributed to James the ton of Zebedec, 
whom Herod put to death, (Acts xii., 1), to 
Simon Zclctes, another apostle, to Aristo- 
bulus, (mentioned Rom. xvi., 10), to St. 

Peter, &c., by some few legendary writers, 
who are cited by Usher, Ecclesiar. Britann. 
Primordia, cap. i. But rejecting these ac- 
counts, William of Malmcsbury, and after 
him, many other monks maintained that 
Joseph of Arimathea with twelve others, 
were sent from Gaul, by St. Philip, into 
Britain A.D. 63 ; that they were successful 
in planting Christianity ; spent their lives in 
England ; had twelve hides of land assigned 
them by the king at Glastonbury, where they 
first built a church of hurdles, and afterward 
established a monastery. By maintaining 
the truth of this story, the English clergy 
obtained the precedence of some others, in 
several councils of the 15th century, and 
particularly that of Basil A.D. 1434, (Ush- 
er'' s Primordia, ch. ii., p. 12-30). Since 
the reformation, this story has been given 
up by most of the English clergy. But, as 
Eusc/iius, (Demonstrat. Evang., 1. iii., c. 5), 
and Theodorct, (Graecar. Curatio Affectio- 
num. 1 ix.), name the Britons among others, 
to whom the Apostles themselves preached 
the Gospel, some have maintained, that St. 
Paul must have visited that country ; and 
they urge that Clemens. Rom says, that this 
apostle travelled eiri TO rippa rf/f dvatut; to 
the utmost bounds of the west. They also 
urge, that among the many thousand Romans 
who passed over into Britain in the reign of 
Claudius and his successors, there were 
doubtless some Christians, who would spread 
the knowledge of Christ there. But the 
principal reliance has been on the reported 
application of king Lucius to pope Eleuthe- 
rus for Christian teachers, about A.D. 150, 
or rather 176. (Usher, Primordia, ch. iv., 
p. 44, &c.). On all these traditions Dr. 
Mtixh>'hn passes the following judgment. 
"Whether any apostle, or any comg^nion of 
an apostle, ever visited Britain, cannot be 
determined ; yet the balance of probability 
rather inclines towards the affirmative. The 
story -of Joseph of Arimathea, might arise 
from the arrival of some Christian teacher 
from Gaul, in the second century, whose 



these ancient accounts are exposed to much doubt, and are rejected by the 
best informed persons. 

. Transalpine Gaul, which is now called France, perhaps received 
some knowledge of the Gospel before this century, either from the apos- 
tles or from their friends and disciples. But unequivocal proofs of the ex- 
istence of churches in this part of Europe, first occur in the present cen- 
tury. For in it Pothinus, a man of distinguished piety and devotedness to 
Christ, in company with Irenteus and other holy men, proceeded from Asia 
to Gaul, and there instructed the people with such success, that he gath- 
ered churches of Christians at Lyons and Vienne, of which Pothinus him- 
self was the first bishop. (9) 

name was Joseph. As the Gauls, from Di- 
onysius, bp. of Paris in the second century, 
made Dionysius the Areopagite to be their 
apostle ; and as the Germans made Mater- 
nus, Eucherius, and Valerius, who lived in 
the third and fourth centuries, to be preach- 
ers of the first century, and attendants on 
St. Peter ; so the British monks, I have no 
doubt, made a certain Joseph, from Gaul, in 
the second century, to be Joseph of Arima- 
thea. As to Lucius, I agree with the best 
British writers, in supposing him to be the 
restorer and second father of the English 
churches, and not their original founder. 
That he was a king, is not probable ; be- 
cause Britain was then a Roman province. 
He might be a nobleman, and governor of a 
district. His name is Roman. His appli- 
cation, I can never believe was made to the 
bp. of Rome. It is much more probable, 
that he sent to Gau) for Christian teachers. 
The independence of the ancient British 
churches on the see of Rome, and their ob- 
serving the same rights with the Gallic 
churches, which were planted by Asiatics, 
and particularly in regard to the time of East- 
er ; show that they received the Gospel from 
Gaul, and not from Rome. See Mosheim, 
de Reb. Christ., &c., p. 213, &c. Tr.] 

(9) Peter de Marco,, Epistola de Evan- 
gelii in Gallia initiis ; published among his 
Dissertations, and also by Valesius, subjoin- 
ed to Eusebii Historia Eccles. Jo. Launoi, 
Opuscula, in his Opp., torn. ii. Histoire 
Litteraire de la France, torn, i., p. 223. 
Gabr. Liron, Singularitez historiques et lit- 
teraires ; the whole fourth volume, Paris, 
1740, 8vo, and others. [The most eminent 
French writers have disputed about the ori- 
gin of their churches. Three different opin- 
ions have been advanced. The first is that 
of Jo. JSbunoi, (ubi supra), whom many 
writers of eminence at this day follow. It is, 
that, if we except the Asiatic colonists of 
Lyons and Viennc, among whom there were 
Christian churches formed about A. D. 150 ; 
the first propagation of Christianity among 
the Transalpine Gauls was by missionaries 

from Rome, about A.D. 250. This hypothe- 
sis is founded chiefly on the testimony of 
three ancient writers ; viz., Sulpicius Seve- 
rus, Historia Sacra, lib. ii., c. 32, where, 
speaking of the persecution at Lyons and 
Vienne, under Marcus Antoninus, (A.D. 
177), he says; Ac tune primum inter Gal- 
lias martyria visa ; serins trans Alpes Dei 
religione suscepta : these were the first mar- 
tyrs among the Gauls ; for the divine reli- 
gion was not received till late beyond the 
Alps. The next testimony is that of the 
author of the Acts of Saturninus, bishop of 
Toulouse, who suffered under Decius. The 
author is supposed to have written in the 
beginning of the fourth century. He says : 
Raras tertio saeculo in aliquibus Galliap civita- 
tibus ecclesias paucorum Christianorum de- 
votione consurrexisse : scattering churches 
of a few Christians arose in some cities of 
Gaul in the third century. See T. Ruinart, 
Acta Martyr, sincera. p. 130. The third 
testimony is that of Gregory of Tours, the 
father of French history, (in the Historia 
Francor., lib. i., cap. 27, and de Gloria Con- 
fessorum, cap. 30, ed. Ruinart, p. 399.) He 
says : sub Decio septem viros ad prasdican- 
dum Roma in Galliam missos esse : under 
Decius, (A.D. 248-251), seven missionaries 
were sent from Rome to preach in Gaul. 
Now these seven missionaries are the very 
persons, who are said to have been sent thith- 
er by St. Paul, and St. Peter; viz., Tro- 
phimus bishop of Aries, Stremonius bishop 
of Clermont, Martial bishop of Limoges, 
Paul bi.shopof Narbonne, Saturninus bishop 
of Toulouse, Gratian bishop of Tours, and 
Dionysius bishop of Paris. The second 
opinion is, that of the strenuous advocates for 
the apostolic origin of the Gallic churches, 
Peter de Marca, (ubi supra), Natalis Alexan- 
der, (Histor. Eccles., saecul. i., diss. 16, 17, 
vol. iii., p. 356-420, ed. Paris, 1741, 4to), 
and others. They consider St. Paul and 
St. Peter as the fathers of their church. 
Paul, they think, travelled over nearly all 
France, in his supposed journey to Spain ; 
and also sent St. Luke and Crescens into 



6. This rapid propagation of Christianity, is ascribed by the writers of 
the second century almost exclusively to the efficient will of God, to the ener- 
gy of divine truth, and to the miracles wrought by Christians. Yet human 
counsels and pious efforts ought not to be wholly overlooked. Much was 
undoubtedly effected by the activity of pious men, who recommended and 
communicated to the people around them the writings of Christ's ambassa- 
dors ; which were already collected into one volume. All people, indeed, 
were not acquainted with the language in which these divine books were 
composed ; but this obstacle was early removed by the labours of translators. 
As the language of the Romans was extensively used, many Latin transla- 
tions were made at an early period, as we are informed by Augustine. (10) 

that country. For the last they allege, 2 Tim. 
iv., 10, " Crescens to Galatia," or rather to 
Gaul, according to Epiphanius and others, 
who, for Tahariav, would read Fa/U-tav. 
St. Peter, they suppose, sent Trophimus his 
disciple into Gaul. St. Philip, also, they 
suppose, laboured in Gaul. And the seven 
bishops above mentioned, they say, were 
sent by the apostles from Rome. Very few 
at this day embrace this opinion entire. It 
rests principally on very suspicious testimony, 
or on conjectures and vulgar traditions. 
The third opinion takes a middle course be- 
tween the first and the second, and is that 
which is maintained by Gabr. Liron, Diss. 
sur 1'etablissement de la religion Chretienne 
dans les Gauls, in the fourth volume of his 
Singularitez historique, &c., Paris, 1740, 
8vo. It admits what Launoi, Sirmond, and 
Tillemont have fully proved, that Dionysius 
the first bishop of Paris, was not Dionysius 
the Areopagite, mentioned A cts xvii. , 34, but 
a man who lived in the third century. It 
also gives up the story of St. Philip, and of 
most of the pretended apostolic missionaries 
to Gaul. But it maintains the probability 
of Paul's travelling over Gaul on his way to 
Spain ; and of his sending Luke and Cres- 
cens to that country ; and affirms that in the 
second, century, there were many flourishing 
churches in Gaul, besides those of Lyons 
and Vienne. 

Dr. Mosheim, (De Rebus Christ, ante 
C. M., p. 208, &.c.), thinks neither of these 
opinions is fully confirmed in all its parts. 
The second, he gives up wholly. The third-, 
be conceives, lacks evidence. Particularly, 
Paul's journey to Spain, is itself questiona- 
ble ; and, if admitted, there is no proof that 
he passed through Gaul. For St. Luke's 
mission to Gaul, there is no evidence but the 
declaration of Epiphanius, (Haeres., 1. i., t) 
11), who, to say the least, is not the best au- 
thority ; and, besides, might possibly mean 
Cisalpine Gaul, lying between Dalmatia and 
Italy. The mission of Crescens to Gaul, 
mentioned by Epiphanius in the same con- 
nexion, depends entirely on the contested 

reading of TaWiav for T afar iav, 2 Tim. iv., 
10, and which, if admitted, might be under- 
stood of Cisalpine Gaul. If there were many 
flourishing churches in Gaul, before Pothinus 
went there, (which perhaps was the case), 
this will not prove them to have been planted 
by the apostles and their companions, which 
is the point contended for. As to the first 
opinion, namely, that Pothinus and his com- 
panions first preached the Gospel in Gaul, 
it is not fully substantiated. Sulpicius Sev- 
erus only affirms that it was late, before the 
Gospel was preached there ; and not, that it 
never was preached there till the times of Po- 
thinus. The testimony of the Acts of Sa- 
turninus only shows, that the progress of the 
Gospel in Gaul was so slow, that there were 
but few churches there in the third centu- 
ry ; which might be true, even if the apostles 
had there erected one or two churches. The 
testimony of Gregory Turonensis, fully dis- 
proves the apostolic age of the seven Gallic 
missionaries ; and shows that the Christians 
in Gaul were few in number, before the reign 
of Deems : but it does not show when the 
Gospel was first preached in that country. 
On the whole, Dr. Mosheim thinks it prob- 
able, the Gospel was preached in Gaul before 
the second century, and possibly by Luke or 
Crescens, or even by some apostle. But he 
thinks Christianity, for a long time, made 
very little progress in that country, and that 
probably the churches there had become al- 
most extinct when Pothinus and his com- 
panions from Asia planted themselves at 
Lyons and Vienne, about A.D. 150. Nearly 
the same opinion was embraced by Tillemont, 
Memoires pour servira 1'histoire de 1'Eglise, 
tome iv., p. 983. Tr.J 

(10) Augustine, de Doctrina Christiana, 
lib. ii., cap. 11, and cap. 15. [Qui Scrip- 
turas ex Hebraea lingua in Graecam verterunt, 
numerari possunt, Latini autem interpretea 
nullo modo. Ut enim cuique, primis fidei 
temporibus, in manus venit codex Graecus, 
et aliquantulum facultatis sibi utriusque lin- 
guae habere videbatur, ausus est interpretari. 
In ipsis autem interpretatiombus, Itala 


Of these, that which is called the Italic Version,(ll) was preferred to all 
others. The Latin version was followed by a Syriac, an Egyptian, an 
Ethiopic, and some others. But the precise dates of these several trans- 
lations cannot be ascertained.(12) 

7. Those who wrote apologies for the Christians, and thus met the 
calumnies and slanders by which they were unjustly assailed, removed 
some obstacles to the progress of Christ's religion, and in this way contrib- 
uted not a little to the enlargement of the church. For very many were 
prevented from embracing Christianity, solely by those detestable calum- 
nies with which ungodly men aspersed it.(13) Another support to the 
Christian cause, was furnished by the writers against the heretics. For 
the doctrines of these sects were so absurd, or so abominable, and the 
morals of some of them so disgraceful and impious, as to induce many to 
stand aloof from Christianity. But when they learned from the books 
against the heretics, that the true followers of Christ held these perverse 
men in abhorrence, their feelings towards them were changed. 

8. It is easier to conceive than to express, how much the miraculous 
powers and the extraordinary divine gifts which the Christians exercised 
on various occasions, contributed to extend the limits of the church. The 
gift of foreign tongues appears to have gradually ceased, as soon as many 
nations became enlightened with the truth, and numerous churches of Chris- 
tians were everywhere established ; for it became less necessary than it 
was at first. But the other gifts with which God favoured the rising church 
of Christ, were, as we learn from numerous testimonies of the ancients, 
still conferred on particular persons here and there.(14) 

caeteris prseferatur ; nam est verborum tena- [The principal testimonies of the second and 

cior cum perspicuitate sententiae.] third centuries, are Justin Martyr, Apol. 

(11) See J. G. Carpzov, Critica Sacra V. ii., c. 6, Dial. cum. Tryph., c. 39 and 82. 
T., p. 663, [and the Introductions to the Irenaus, \. ii.,c. 31, and 1. v., c. 6; and in 
N. Test, by Michaelis, Home, and others. Euseb. H. E., 1. v., c. 7. Tertull., Apol- 
TV.] og.,c. 23,27, 32, 37; ad Scap., c. 2. Or- 

(12) See Ja. Basnage, Hist, de 1'Eglise, igen contra Gels., 1. i., p. 7, and 1. vii., p. 
liv. ix., cap. 1, tome i., p. 450. 334, ed. Spencer. Dionys. Alex., in Euseb. 

(13) ["Nothing more injurious can be H. E., lib. vi., c. 40. Minucius Felix, Oc- 
conceived than the terms of contempt, indig- tav., p. 361, ed. Paris, 1605. Cyprian, de 
nation, and reproach, which the heathens em- Idol, vanit., p. 14, ad Demetrian., p. 191, 
ployed in expressing their hatred against the ed. Brem. That what are called the mirac- 
Christians, who were called by them atheists, ulous gifts of the Holy Spirit, were liberally 
because they derided the heathen polythe- conferred, not only in this but also in the 
ism , magicians, because they wrought mir- following century, especially on those en- 
acles ; self-murderers, because they suffered gaged in propagating the Gospel ; all who 
martyrdom cheerfully for the truth ; haters are called Christians, believe, on the unani- 
of the light, because, to avoid the fury of mous and concordant testimony of the an- 
the persecutions raised against them, they cient writers. Nor do we, in my opinion, 
were forced at first to hold their religious hereby incur any just charge of departing 
assemblies in the night ; with a multitude of from sound reason. For, as these witness- 
other ignominious epithets employed against es are all grave men, fair and honest, some 
them by Tacitus, Suetonius, Celsus, dec. of them philosophers, men who lived in dif- 
See Bingham, Antiquities of the Christian ferent countries, and relate not what they 
church, book i., ch. ii.,p. 5." Mad. ] heard, but what they saw, call God to wit- 

( 14) Collections of these testimonies have ness the truth of their declarations, (see Or- 
been made, by Tab. Pfanntr, de donis mi- igen contra Celsum, 1. i., p. 35, ed. Spen- 
raculosis ; and by W. Spencer, Notes on cer), and do not claim for themselves, but at- 
Origen against Celsus, p. 5, 6 ; but the most tribute to others, these miraculous powers ; 
copious is by Mammachius, Origines et An- what reason can there be, for refusing to be- 
tiquitates Christianas, torn, i., p. 363, &c. lieve them] Yet a few years since, there 



9. I wish we were fully authorized to place among the miracles, what 
many ancient writers have recorded concerning a certain legion of Chris- 
tian soldiers in the army of Marcus Antoninus, in his war against the Mar- 

appeared among the Britons, a man of no 
ordinary genius and learning, Conyers Mid- 
dleton, who published a considerable volume, 
accusing the whole Christian world of cre- 
dulity, in this matter ; and boldly pronoun- 
cing all that was said or written by the nu- 
merous ancients, concerning these extraor- 
dinary gifts of the Holy Spirit, to be false. 
See A free Inquiry into the miraculous 
powers, &.C., London, 1749, 4to. The his- 
tory of this famous book, and of the sharp 
contests it produced in England, may be 
learned from the British, French, and Ger- 
man Literary Journals, and from the Ger- 
man translation and refutation of the work, 
which has been recently published. I shall 
here offer only a few observations on this, in 
many respects most important subject. The 
apostolic age, the learned Middlcton himself 
acknowledges, to have been fruitful in mir- 
acles and extraordinary gifts. But he de- 
nies their continuance after the decease of 
the apostles ; and concludes that whatever 
accounts exist of miracles in the second and 
third centuries, are the invention of crafty 
impostors, or the dreams of weak and delu- 
ded men. And he attributes great import- 
ance to this opinion ; because the pretended 
miracles of the Romish saints, rest on the 
same supports and arguments, as these mir- 
acles of the early ages ; so that the former 
can never be disproved, if the latter be ad- 
mitted. This looks honest and worthy of a 
sound Christian man ; for the divine origin 
of the Christian religion does not depend on 
the truth of the miracles reported to have 
been wrought in the second and third centu- 
ries, but is sufficiently proved, if it can be 
made evident that Christ and his apostles 
had power to suspend the laws of nature. 
But the discerning reader of the book will 
perceive, that the author has assailed the 
miracles of Christ and the apostles, by his 
attack on those of subsequent date ; and 
that he intended to weaken our confidence 
in all events, which exceed the powers of 
nature. For, the objections he raises 
against the miracles of the second and third 
centuries, are of such a nature as to be read- 
ily applied to those of the first. The sub- 
stance of his eloquent and learned argu- 
mentation, is this. All the writers of the 
three first centuries, whose works are ex- 
tant, were ignorant of criticism, and not suf- 
ficiently guarded and cautious, but some- 
times too credulous. Therefore all that they 
state, concerning the miracles of their ovtn 
times, and even of miracles which they saw 

with their own eyes, ought to be regarded 
as a fable. As if it were a conceded point, 
that no man, unless he is a good critic, can 
distinguish a true miracle from a false one ; 
and, that he must always mistake and err, 
who sometimes yields his assent sooner than 
he ought. If this great man had only said, 
that some of the supernatural events which 
are reported to have happened in the early 
ages, are very questionable, the position 
might be admitted : but to aim, by one such 
general argument, which is liable to innu- 
merable exceptions, and destitute of a ne- 
cessary and evident conclusiveness, to over- 
throw the united testimony of so many pious 
men, and men sufficiently cautious in other 
things ; indicates, if I do not greatly mis- 
take, a mind of high daring, and covertly 
plotting against religion itself. It is fortu- 
nate that this distinguished man, a little be- 
fore his death, (for he died the last year 
[A.D. 1750,]) appears to have learned, from 
the arguments of his opposers, the weakness 
of his opinions. For in his last reply, pub- 
lished after his death, namely, A Vindica* 
tion of the free Inquiry, &c., Lond., 1751, 
4to, though he is here more contentious and 
contumelious than was proper, he plainly 
acknowledges himself vanquished, and sur- 
renders the palm to his antagonists. For 
he says, he did not mean to affirm, that no 
miracles were wrought in the ancient Chris- 
tian church, after the death of the apostles ; 
on the contrary, he concedes, he says, that 
God did confirm the truth of Christianity, as 
occasion required, by repeated manifesta- 
tions of his infinite power : all that he aimed 
to show, was, that the power of working 
miracles constantly and perpetually was not 
exercised in the church, after the apostolic 
age ; and therefore, that credit is not to be 
given to the statements of those ancient de- 
fenders of Christianity, who arrogate such 
a perpetual power ; that is, if I can un- 
derstand him, among the doctors of the 
second and third centuries, there was not 
one that could work miracles, whenever he 
pleased. But this is wholly changing the 
question. The learned author might have 
spared himself the labour of writing and de- 
fending his book, if this was all he intended 
when he commenced writing. For, so far 
as I know, it never came into the head of 
any Christian, to maintain that there were 
men among the Christians of the second, 
third, and fourth centuries, to whom God 
gave power to work miracles, as often as 
they pleased, and of what kind they pleased, 


comanni, [A.D. 174], which by its supplications procured a shower of 
rain when the Roman troops were ready to perish with thirst. But the re- 
ality of this miracle is a subject of controversy among the learned ; and 
those who think that the Christian soldiers misjudged, in regarding that 
sudden and unexpected shower by which the Roman army was saved, as a 
miraculous, divine interposition, are supported not only by very respectable 
authorities, but by arguments of no little weight.(lo) 

10. It is certain, that the Roman army when reduced to the greatest 
straits was relieved by a sudden shower ; and that this shower was regard- 
ed both by the pagans and the Christians as extraordinary and miraculous ; 
the latter ascribed the unexpected favour to Christ's being moved by the 
prayers of his friends, while the former attributed it to Jupiter, or Mercury, 
or to the power of magic. It is equally certain, I think, that many Chris- 
tians were then serving in the Roman army. And who can doubt that these, 
on such an occasion, implored the compassion of their God and Saviour ? 
Further, as the Christians of those times looked upon all extraordinary 
events as miracles, and ascribed every unusual and peculiar advantage en- 
joyed by the Romans to the prayers of Christians, it is not strange, that the 
salvation of the Roman emperor and his army, should be placed among the 
miracles which God wrought in answer to the prayers of Christians. But, 
as all wise men are now agreed that no event is to be accounted a miracle 
if it can be adequately accounted for on natural principles, or in the com- 
mon and ordinary course of divine providence ; and as this rain may be 
easily thus accounted for ; it is obvious what judgment ought to be formed 
respecting it. 

11. The Jews, first under Trajan, [A.D. 116], and afterwards under 
Adrian, [A.D. 132], led on by Bar Chochebas who pretended to be the Mes- 
siah, made insurrection against the Romans ; and again suffered the great- 
est calamities. A vast number of them were put to death ; and a new city, 
called Aelia Capitolina, was erected on the site of Jerusalem, which not 
an individual of the miserable race was allowed to enter.(16) This over- 
throw of the Jews confirmed in some measure, the external tranquillity of 

at all times, and in all places. Bella geri tium. See also P. E. Jablonski, Spicile- 

placuit, nulla hahitura triumphos. Thus gium de legione fulminatrice ; in the Mis- 

Mosheim, de Reb. Christ., &c., p. 221, &c. cellan. Lipsiens., torn, viii., p. 417, where 

Very candid remarks on this subject, may in particular, the reasons are investigated, 

also be found in Schrocckh, Kirchengesch., which led the Christians improperly to class 

vol. iv., p. 380, &c. ; and in Jortin's Re- this rain among the miracles. [See also 

marks on Eccl. Hist., vol. i., passim. Jr.] Mosheim, de Reb. Christ., &c., p. 249, &c. 

(15) The arguments on the two sides of The most important among the ancient 

the question may be seen in Herm. Witsius, accounts of this matter are, on the side of 

Diss. de Legione fulminatrice, subjoined to the pagans, Dion Cassius, Historia Roma- 

bis Aegyptiaca; he defends the reality of na, lib. Ixxi., c. 8. Julius Capitolinus, Life 

the miracle : and Dan. Laroque, Diss. de of Marcus Antonin., cap. 24. Aclius Lam- 

Legione fulminat., subjoined to the Adver- prid., Life of Heliogabalus, cap. 9. Clau- 

saria Sacra, of his father Matth. Laroque ; diem, Consulat. vi., Honorii v. and on the 

who opposes the idea of a miracle: but side of the Christians, Tertullian, Apologet., 

best of all in the controversy concerning the cap. 5, ad Scapulam, cap. 4. Eusebius, 

miracle of the thundering legion, between Hist. Eccles., 1. v., cap. 5, and Chronicon, 

Peter King [rather the Rev. Richard King, p. 82, 215. Xiphilinus, on Dion Cassius, 

of Topsham TV.] and Walter Moyle lib. Ixxi., cap. 9, 10. Tr.] 
which I have translated into Latin, and pub- (16) Justin Martyr, Dial, cum Tryph., p. 

lished, with notes, in my Syntagma Disser- 49, 278. [Dion Cassius, Hist. Rom., 1. 69, 

tationum ad disciplinas sanctiores pertinen- cap. 12-14. Tr.} 


the Christian community. For that turbulent nation had previously been 
everywhere the accusers of the Christians before the Roman judges ; and 
in Palestine and the neighbouring regions, they had themselves inflicted 
great injuries upon them, because they refused to aid them in their opposi- 
tion to the Romans. (17) But this new calamity rendered it not so easy 
for the Jews, as formerly, to do either of these things. 

$ 12. The philosophers and learned men, who came over to the Chris- 
tians in this century, were no inconsiderable protection and ornament to 
this holy religion by their discussions, their writings, and their talents. 
But if any are disposed to question whether the Christian cause received 
more benefit than injury from these men, I must confess myself unable to 
decide the point. For the noble simplicity and the majestic dignity of the 
Christian religion were lost, or, at least, impaired when these philosophers 
presumed to associate their dogmas with it, and to bring faith and piety 
under the dominion of human reason. 



$ 1, 2. The Persecution of Trajan. 3. That of Adrian. 4. That of Antoninus Pius. 
$ 5. That of Antoninus Philosophus. 6. Its Calamities. 7. The Reigns of 
Commodus and Severus. $ 8. Calumnies against Christians. 

$ 1. IN the beginning of this century there were no laws in force against 
the Christians ; for those of Nero had been repealed by the senate, and 
those of Domitian by his successor Nerva. But it had become a common 
custom to persecute the Christians, and even to put them to death, as often 
as the pagan priests, or the populace tinder the instigation of the priests, 
demanded their destruction. Hence, under the reign of Trajan, otherwise 
a good prince, popular tumults were frequently raised in the cities against 
the Christians, which were fatal to many of them.(l) When therefore such 
tumults were made in Bithynia, under the propraetor Pliny the younger, 
he thought proper to apply to the emperor for instructions how to treat the 
Christians. The emperor wrote back that the Christians were not to be 
sought after, but if they were regularly accused and convicted, and yet re- 
fused to return to the religion of their fathers, they were to be put to death 
as being bad citizens. (2) 

2. This edict of Trajan, being registered among the public laws of the 
Roman empire, set bounds indeed to the fury of the enemies of the Chris- 
tians, but still it caused the destruction of many of them, even under the 
best of the emperors. For whenever any one had courage to assume the 
odious office of an accuser, and the accused did not deny the charge [of 

(17) [Justin Martyr, Apolog. i., p. 72. which epistles many learned men have illus- 

Schl.] tratcd by their comments, and especially 

(1) Eutebius, Historia Eccles., lib. iii.f Vossius, Bochmer, Baldwin, and Hevmann. 
cap. 32. [See Mitncr's Hist, of the church of Christ, 

(2) Pliny, Epistol. lib. x., epist. 97, 98 ; century ii., ch. i. 7V.] 
VOL. I. O 


being a Christian], he might be delivered over to the executioner, unless 
he apostatized from Christianity. Thus by Trajan's law, perseverance in 
the Christian religion was a capital ofTence. Under this law, Simeon the 
son of Cleophas and bishop of Jerusalem, a venerable old man, being ac- 
cused by the Jews, suffered crucifixion. (3) According to the same law, 
Trajan himself ordered the great Ignatius, bishop of Antioch, to be thrown 
to wild beasts. (4) For the kind of death was left by the law to the pleas- 
ure of the judge. 

$ 3. Yet this law of Trajan was a great restraint to the priests, who 
wished to oppress the Christians ; because few persons were willing to 
assume the dangerous office of accusers. Under the reign of Adrian, there- 
fore, who succeeded Trajan A.D. 117, they evaded it by an artifice. For 
they excited the populace, at the seasons of the public shows and games, 
to demand with united voice of the presidents and magistrates, the destruc- 
tion of the Christians ; and these public clamours could not be disregarded, 
without danger of an insurrection.(5) But Serenus Granianus the proconsul 
of Asia, made representation to the emperor, that it was inhuman and un- 
just to immolate men convicted of no crime, at the pleasure of a furious 
mob. Adrian therefore addressed an edict to the presidents of the prov- 
inces, forbidding the Christians to be put to death, unless accused in due 
form, and convicted of offence against the laws ; i. e., as I apprehend, he re- 
instated the law of Trajan.(Q] Perhaps also the Apologies for the Chris- 
tians, presented by Quadratus and Aristides, had an influence on the mind 
of the emperor.(7) In this reign, Bar Chochebas a pretended king of the 
Jews, before he was vanquished by Adrian, committed great outrages on 
the Christians, because they would not join his standard. (8) 

4. In the reign of Antoninus Pius, the enemies of the Christians as- 
sailed them in a new manner ; for as the Christians, by the laws of Adrian, 
were to be convicted of some crime, and some of the presidents would not 
admit their religion to be a crime, they were accused of impiety or atheism. 
This calumny was met by Justin Martyr, in an Apology presented to the 

(3) Eusclius, Hist. Eccl., lib. iii., cap. 32. munity ; as we are expressly taught by Eu- 

(4) See the Acta martyrii Ignatiani ; pub- sebius, Hist. Eccl., 1. iv., cap. 7. See Mo- 
lished by Ruinart, and in the Patres Apos- sheim, de Rebus Christ., &c., p. 236. Tr.] 
tolici, and elsewhere. [See above, p. 92, (6) See Eusebius, Hist. Eccl., 1. iv., c. 9, 
note (31), and Milner's Hist, of the Chh., and Fr. Baldwin, ad Edicta Principum in 
cent, ii., ch. i., p. 138. TV.] Christianos, p. 73, &c. [This edict is also 

(5) [It was an ancient custom or law of given by Justin Martyr, Apolog. i., 68, 
the Romans, of which many examples occur 69. It was addressed, not only to Minutius 
in their history, that the people when assem- Fundanus the successor of Serenus, but to 
bled at the public games, whether at Rome the other governors of provinces ; as we 
or in the provinces, might demand what they learn from Eusebius, Hist. Eccl., 1. iv., c. 
pleased of the emperor or magistrates ; which 26. Schl.~\ 

demands could not be rejected. This right, (7) [These Apologies are mentioned by 
indeed, properly belonged only to Roman Eusebius, Hist. Eccles., 1. iv., c. 3, and Je- 
citizens. but it was gradually assumed and rome, Epist. ad Magnum, Opp., torn, iv., p. 
exercised by others, especially in the larger 656, ed. Benedict, and de Viris Illustr., c. 
cities. Hence, when assembled at the pub- 19, 20. From this indulgence of the em- 
lie games, the populace could demand the peror towards the Christians, arose the sus- 
destruction of all Christians, or of any indi- picion that he himself inclined to their reli- 
viduals of them whom they pleased ; and gion. Lampridius, Vita Alexandri Severi, 
the magistrates dared not utterly refuse these cap. 43. Schl.] 

demands. Moreover, the abominable lives (8) Justin Martyr, Apolog., ii., p. 72, ed. 

and doctrines of certain heretics of this age, Colon. [Jerome, de Viris Illustr., cap. 21. 

brought odium on the whole Christian com- TV.] 


emperor. And the emperor afterwards decreed that the Christians should 
be treated according to the law of Adrian. (9) A little after, Asia Minor 
was visited with earthquakes ; and the people regarding the Christians as 
the cause of their calamities, rushed upon them with every species of vio- 
lence and outrage. When informed of this, the emperor addressed an edict 
to the Common Council of Asia, denouncing capital punishment against ac- 
cusers of the Christians, if they could not convict them of some crime.(lO) 

5. Marcus Antoninus the philosopher, whom most writers extol immod- 
erately for his wisdom and virtue, did not indeed repeal this decree of his 
father, or the other laws of the preceding emperors ; but he listened too 
much to the enemies of the Christians, and especially to the philosophers, 
who accused them of the most horrid crimes, and particularly of impiety, 
of feasting on the flesh of murdered children, (Thyestearum epularum), and 
of incest, (Oedipodei incestus). Hence no emperor, after the reign of Nero, 
caused greater evils and calamities to light on Christians than this emi- 
nently wise Marcus Antoninus ; nor was there any emperor, under whom 
more Apologies for the Christians were drawn up, of which those by Justin 
Martyr, Athenagoras and Tatian, are still extant. (11) 

6. In the first place, this emperor issued unjust edicts against the Chris- 
tians, whom he regarded as vain, obstinate, deficient in understanding, and 
strangers to virtue ;(12) yet the precise import of these edicts is not now 
known. In the next place, he allowed the judges, when Christians were 
accused of the crimes already specified, by servants and by the vilest of 
persons, to put their prisoners to torture ; and notwithstanding their most 
constant denial of the charges alleged against them, to inflict on them cap- 
ital punishments. For, as the laws would not allow the Christians to be 
executed without a crime, the judges who wished to condemn them, had 
to resort to some method of making them appear to be guilty. Hence un- 
der this emperor, not only were several very excellent men most unjustly 
put to death, (among whom were Polycarp, the pious bishop of Smyrna, 
and the celebrated philosopher Justin, surnamed Martyr),(\3) but also sev- 

(9) Eusebius, Hist. Eccles., 1. iv., c. 26, p. 151, &c., and J. C. I. Gieseler's Text- 
{where Mdito tells Marcus Aurelius, that Book of Eccles. Hist, by Cunningham, 
his father (Anton. Pius) wrote to the Laris- Philad., 1836, vol. i., p. 79, note 4. TV.] 
scans, the Thessalonians, the Athenians, (11) [Dr. Mosheim, de Rebus Christ., 
and to all the Greeks, not to molest the &c., p. 244, characterizes Marcus Antoni- 
Christians. Schl.] nus as a well-disposed, but superstitious 

(10) Eusebius, Hist. Eccles., 1. iv., c. 13, man ; a great scholar, but an indifferent em- 
f where the edict is given at length. It may peror. His persecutions of the Christians 
also be seen in Milner, Hist of the Chh., arose from his negligence of business, his 
cent, ii., ch. ii, vol. i., p 158, &c., ed. ignorance of the character of Christians and 
Boston, 1822, where several pious reflec- of Christianity, and from his easy credulity 
tions are subjoined. It has been questioned and acquiescence in the wishes of others. 
whether this edict was issued by Marcus His character is also given by Milner, Hist. 
Anri-liiis, or by his father, Antonnnix Pins, of the Church, cent, ii., ch. 4, and very 
Y<ili:iins (on Euseb., H. Eccl., 1 iv., c. 13), elaborately, by A. Neander, Kirchengesch., 
decides for the former; and Mosheim (de vol. i., pt. i., p. 154, &c. TV.] 

Reb. Christ., &c., p. 240, &c.) is as deci- (12) See Mdito, as quoted by Eusebius, 

sive for the latter. Others have little doubt, Hist. Eccl., 1. iv., c. 26. 
that the whole edict is a forgery of some (13) The Acta Martyrii of both Polycarp 

early Christian. For this opinion they urge, and Justin Martyr are published by Kuin- 

that its language is not such as the pagan art, in his Acta martyr, sincera. [The for- 

emperors uniformly use, but is plainly that mer also, in the Patres Apostol. The life 

of an eulogist of the Christians. See A. and martyrdom of Polycarp, are the subject 

Ncandcrs Kirchengeschichte, vol. i., pt. i., of the 5th chapter of Milnefs Hist, of the 


eral Christian churches, and especially those of Lyons and Vienne in 
France, A.D. 177, were by his order nearly destroyed and obliterated, by 
various species of executions. (14) 

7. Under the reign of Commodus, his son, [A.D. 180-192], if we ex- 
cept a few instances of suffering for the renunciation of paganism, no great 
calamity befel the Christians (15) But when Severus was placed on the 
throne, near the close of the century, much Christian blood was shed in 
Africa, Egypt, and other provinces. This is certain from the testimonies 
of Tertullian,(l6) Clemens Alexandrinus,(l7) and others; and those must 
mistake the fact, who say that the Christians enjoyed peace under Severus, 
up to the time when he enacted laws that exposed them to the loss of life 
and property, which was in the beginning of the next century. For, as 
the laws of the [former] emperors were not abrogated, and among these, 
the edicts of Trajan and Marcus Antoninus were very unjust; it was in 
the power of the presidents to persecute the Christians with impunity 
whenever they pleased. These calamities of the Christians near the end 
of this century, were what induced Tertullian [A.D. 198] to compose his 
Apologeticum, and some other works. (18) 

8. It will appear less unaccountable, that so holy a people as the 
Christians should suffer so much persecution, if it be considered that the 
patrons of the ancient superstition continually assailed them with their rail- 
ings, calumnies, and libels. Their reproaches and calumnies, of which we 
have before spoken, are recounted by the, writers of the Apologies. The 
Christians were attacked, in a book written expressly against them by Cel- 
sus ; the philosopher whom Origen, in his confutation of him, represents 
as an Epicurean, but whom we for substantial reasons believe to be a Pla- 
tonist of the sect of Ammonius.(lQ) This miserable sophist deals in slan- 
der, as Origeri's answer to him shows ; nor does he so much attack the 
Christians, as play off his wit ; which is not distinguished for elegance and 
refinement. Fronto, the rhetorician, also made some attempts against the 
Christians ; but these have perished, with the exception of a bare mention 

Chh., century ii., vol. L, p. 176, &c., ed. martyrs of Scillita in Africa, A.D. 200, in 

Boston, 1822, as those of Justin Martyr, Ruinarfs Acta Martyr. Baronius Ann., 

are of ch. iii. of the same vol., p. 161, &c. A.D. 200, and Milner, Hist, of the Chh., 

Tr.] vol. i., p. 236. 7V.] 

(14) See the Letter of the Christians at (18) I have expressly treated of this sub- 
Lyons giving account of this persecution, ject in my diss. de vera aetate Apologetici 
in Eusebius, Hist. Eccles., lib. v., cap. 2, Tertulliani et initio persecutionis Severi ; 
[also in Fox, Book of Martyrs, and in Mil- which is the first essay in my Syntagma 
ner's History of the Church, cent, ii., ch. Diss. ad hist, eccles. pertinentium. 

vi., vol. i., p. 185, &c., ed. Boston, 1822. (19) [See Mosheim's preface to the Ger- 

Tr.~\ man translation of Origen's work. Tr. 

(15) Eusebius, Hist. Eccles., lib. v., cap. " The learned Dr. Lardner does not think 
24, and 16, 18, 19. it possible, that Cclsus could have been of 

(16) [Tertullian, ad Scapulam, cap. 4, the sect of Ammonius ; since the former 
and Apologet., cap 5., which show that See- lived and wrote in the second century, where- 
erus himself was, at first, favourable to the as the latter did not flourish before the third. 
Christians. But the same Apologeticum, And indeed, we have from Origen himself, 
cap. 35, 49, and 7, 12, 30, 37, shows that that he knew of two only of the name of Cel- 
Christians suffered before the enactment of sus, one who lived in the time of Nero, and 
the laws. SchL] the other in the reign of Adrian, and after- 

(17) [Clemens Alex., Stromat, 1. ii., p. wards. The latter was the philosopher, who 
4-94. ScM. See also the account of the wrote against Christianity." Macl.~\ 


of them by Minutius Felix.(2Q) To these may be added Crescens, a 
Cynic philosopher, who, though he seems to have written nothing against 
the Christians, yet was very eager to do them harm, and in particular did 
not cease to persecute Justin Martyr, till he compassed his death. (21) 





1. State of Learning in general. (j 2, 3. Learned Men. 4. Rise of the New Pla- 
tonics. 5. Eclectics at Alexandria. 6. Approved by the Christians. () 7. Ammo- 
nins Saccas. 8. His fundamental Principles. $ 9. His principal Doctrines. 10. 
His austere System of Moral Discipline. 11. His Opinions concerning God and 
Christ. 12. Ill Effects of this Philosophy on Christianity. 13. The State of Learn- 
ing among Christians. 

1. ALTHOUGH literature seemed in some measure to recover its for- 
mer dignity and lustre, during the reign of Trajan,(l) yet it could not long 
retain its influence under the subsequent emperors, who were indisposed to 
patronise it. The most learned among these Roman sovereigns, Marcus 
Antoninus, showed favour only to the philosophers, and especially to the 
Stoics ; the other arts and sciences, he, like the Stoics, held in contempt. (2) 

(20) Minutius Felix, Octavius, p. 266, cd. addicted to it; the pagan philosophers per- 

Herald. [Minutius mentions this calum- ceiving their reputations and their interests 

niator in two passages, -namely, chap. 10, p. to be at stake, now joined the populace and 

99, and chap. 31, p. 322; in the former of the priests in persecuting the Christians in 

which, he calls him Cirtensis noster ; im- general ; and they especially assailed the 

plying, that he was of Cirta, in Africa ; in Christian philosophers with their calumnies 

the latter passage, he speaks of him as an and accusations. Their chief motive was, 

orator, indicating what profession he follow- not the love of truth, but their own reputa- 

ed. It has been supposed by the learned, tion, influence, glory, worldly interest, and 

and not without reason, that this Pronto was advantage ; just the same causes as had be- 

Cornclius Pronto the rhetorician, who in- fore moved the pagan priests. This war of 

structed Marcus Antoninus in eloquence, the philosophers commenced in the reign of 

(and whose works were first published A.D. Marcus Antoninus, who was himself addict- 

1816, by Aug. Maius, Frankf. on Mayn, in ed to philosophy. And it is easy to See, 

2 parts). So. long as the Christian commu- what induced him to listen to his brother 

nity was made up of unlearned persons, the philosophers, and at their instigation to al- 

philosophers despised them. But when, in low the Christians to be persecuted. See 

the second century, some eminent philoso- Mosheim, de Reb. Christ., &c., p. 256, &c. 

phers became Christians, as Justin, Athe- Tr.J 

naporas, Pantacnus, and others, who retain- (21) Justin Martyr, Apologia ii., p. 21, 

ed the name, garb, and mode of living of phi- ed. Oxon. Tatian, Oral, contra Graecos, 

losophers, and who became teachers of youth, p. 72, ed. Worthii. 

and while they gave a philosophical aspect to (1) Pliny, Epistles, lib. iii., ep. 18, p. 134, 

Christianity, exposed the vanity of the pagan 135, ed. Cortii et Longolii. 
philosophy, and the shameless lives of those (2) Marcus Antoninus, Meditations, or, 


Hence the literary productions of this age among the Romans, are far infe- 
rior to those of the preceding century, in elegance, brilliance, and good taste. 

^ 2. Yet there were men of excellent genius, among both Greeks and 
Romans, who wrote well on almost every branch of learning then cultiva- 
ted. Among the Greeks, Plutarch was particularly eminent. He was a 
man of various, but ill-digested learning ; and besides was tainted with the 
principles of the academics. Rhetoricians, sophists, and grammarians had 
schools in all the more considerable towns of the Roman empire ; in which 
they pretended to train up youth for public life, by various exercises and dec- 
lamations. But those educated in these schools, were vain, loquacious, 
and formed for display ; rather than truly eloquent, wise, and competent to 
transact business. Hence the sober and considerate looked with contempt, 
on the education acquired in the schools of these teachers. There were 
two public academies, one at Rome founded by Adrian, in which all the 
sciences were taught, but especially jurisprudence ; the other at Berytus in 
Phenicia, in which jurists were principally educated. (3) 

3. Many philosophers of all the different sects, flourished at this time ; 
but to enumerate them belongs rather to other works than tothis.(4) The 
Stoic sect had the honour of embracing two great men, Marcus Antoninus, 
the emperor, and Epictetus.(5) But each of them had more admirers than, 
disciples and followers ; nor were the Stoics, according to history, held in 
the highest estimation in this age. There were larger numbers in the 
schools of the Platonists ; among other reasons, because they were less 
austere, and because their doctrines were more in accordance with the 
common notions respecting the gods. But no sect appears to have numbered 
more adherents than the Epicureans ; whose precepts led to an indulgent, 
secure and voluptuous life. (6) 

4. Near the close of this century, a new philosophical sect suddenly 
started up, which in a short time prevailed over a large part of the Roman 
empire, and not only nearly swallowed up the other sects, but likewise did 
immense injury to Christianity. (7) Egypt was its birthplace, and partic- 
ularly Alexandria, which for a long time had been the seat of literature and 
every science. Its followers chose to be called Platonics. Yet they did 
not follow Plato implicitly, but collected from all systems whatever seemed 
to coincide with their own views. And the ground of their preference for 
the name of Platonics, was, that they conceived Plato had explained more 
correctly than all others, that most important branch of philosophy which 
treats of God and supersensible things. 

5. That controversial spirit in philosophy, which obliges every one to 

ad se ipsum, lib. i., 7, p. 3, 4, $ 17, p. 17, &c., treats of M. Antoninus ; and ibid., p, 

ed. Lips. 260, &c., of Epictetus. TV.] 

(3) M. Antoninus, Meditations, or, ad se (6) Lucian, Pseudomantis ; Opp., torn, i., 
ipsum, lib. i., $ 7, 10, 17, p. 4, 7, 16, ed. p. 763. 

Lips. [See Giannone, Istoria Civile di Na- (7) [See Dr. Mosheim's Cornmentat. de 

poli, lib. i., c. 10. TV.] turbata per recentiores Platonicos ecclesia, 

(4) Justin Martyr, Dial, cum Trypho., in his syntagma Diss. ad Hist. Eccles. per- 
Opp., p. 218, &c. Many of the philoso- tinent., vol. i., p. 85, &c. ; and Brucker's 
phers of this age are mentioned by M. An- Hist. cnt. Philos., torn, ii., p. 162, &c. 
toninus, Meditat., or, ad se ipsum, lib. i. Schl. And, on the contrary, C. A. T. Keil, 

(5) [Concerning Marcus Antoninus, see Exercitatt. xviii. de Doctoribus veteris ec- 
Brucker's Hist. crit. Philos., torn, ii., p. 578, cles. culpa corrupts per Platonicas senten- 
and for Epictetus, ibid., p. 568. Schl. tias theologiae, liberandis, Lips., 1793-1807, 
Staeudlin, Gesch. der Moralphilos., p. 265, 4to. TV.] 


swear allegiance to the dogmas of his master, was disapproved by the more 
wise. Hence among the lovers of truth, and the men of moderation, a new 
class of philosophers had grown up in Egypt, who avoided altercation and a 
sectarian spirit, and who professed simply to follow truth, gathering up what- 
ever was accordant with it in all the philosophic schools. They assumed 
therefore the name of Eclectics. But notwithstanding these philosophers 
were really the partisans of no sect, yet it appears from a variety of testi- 
monies, that they much preferred Plato, and embraced most of his dogmas 
concerning God, the human soul, and the universe. (8) 

6. This philosophy was adopted by such of the learned at Alexandria, 
as wished to be accounted Christians, and yet to retain the name, the garb, 
and the rank of philosophers. In particular, all those who in this century 
presided in the schools of the Christians at Alexandria, (Athenagoras, Pan- 
taenus, and Clemens Alexandrinus,) are said to have approved of it. (9) 
These men were persuaded that true philosophy, the great and most salu- 
tary gift of God, lay in scattered fragments among all the sects of philoso- 
phers ; and therefore that it was the duty of every wise man, and especial- 
ly of a Christian teacher, to collect, those fragments from all quarters, and 
to use them for the defence of religion and the confutation of impiety. Yet 
this selection of opinions did not prevent their regarding Plato as wiser 
than all others, and as having advanced sentiments concerning God, the 
soul, and supersensible things, more accordant with the principles of Chris- 
tianity than any other.(lO) 

7. This [eclectic] mode of philosophizing was changed near the close 
of the century, when Ammonius Saccas with great applause, opened a 
school at Alexandria, and laid the foundation of that sect which is called 
the New Platonic. This man was born and educated a Christian, and per- 
haps made pretensions to Christianity all his life.(ll) Being possessed 

(8) [See Brucker's Hist. crit. Philos., who were attached to the ancient simple 
torn, ii., p. 189, &c. Schl.] faith, as taught by Christ and his apostles; 

(9) The title and dignity of philosopher so for they feared what afterward actually hap- 
much delighted those good men, that, when pened, that the purity and excellence of di- 
made presbyters, they would not abandon the vine truth would suffer by it. Hence the 
philosopher's cloak and dress. See Origan's Christians were divided into two parties, the 
letter to Euscbius, Opp., torn, i., p. 2, ed. friends of philosophy and human learning, 
de la Rue. [Justin Martyr, Dial, cum Try- and the opposers of them. The issue of the 
pho. initium. For proof that Pantanus long contest between them, was, that the 
studied philosophy, see Origen, in Euscbius, advocates of philosophy prevailed. Traces 
Hist. Eccles., 1. vi., c. 19. Jerome, de of this controversy may be seen in Eusebius, 
Scriptoribus Illustr., cap. 20. The prori- Hist. Eccles., 1. v., c. 28 ; and in Clemens 
ciency of Athcnagoras in philosophy, ap- Alex., Stromat., lib. i., cap. 1-5. See Mo- 
pears from his Apology, and his Essay on shcim, de Rebus Christ, ante Constant. M., 
the Resurrection. That Clemens Alex, was p. 276, &c. TV.] 

much addicted to philosophy, is very evi- (11) [The history of the philosopher Am- 
dent ; see his Stromata, passim. Concern- moitius is involved in great obscurity. All 
ing the Alexandrian Christian school, see that could be gathered from antiquity re- 
Hcrm, Conrmgiut, Antiquitates Academi- specting him, is given by Bruckcr, Historia 
cae, p. 29. J. A. Schmidt, Diss. prefixed crit. philos., torn, ii., p. 205. See also J. 
to A. Hyperii Libellum de Catechesi. Do- A. Fabricius, Biblioth. Graeca, lib. iv., c. 
min. Aulisius, delle Scuole sacre, libr. ii., 26. "Whether Ammonius continued a pro- 
cap. 1, 2, 21. Geo. Langemacfc, Historia fessed Christian, or apostatized, has been 
Catechiemorum, pt. i., p. 86. See Moshctm, much debated. Porphyry, who studied un- 
de Reb. Christ., &c., p. 273, &c. Tr.] der Plotinus, a disciple of Ammonius, (as 

(10) [This cultivation of philosophy by quoted by Eusefnus, Hist. Eccles., 1. vi., c. 
Christian teachers, greatly displeased those 19), says, he was born of Christian parents, 


of great fecundity of genius as well as eloquence, he undertook to bring all 
systems of philosophy and religion into harmony ; or, in other words, to teach 
a philosophy, by which all philosophers, and the men of all religions, the 
Christian not excepted, might unite together and have fellowship. And 
here especially, lies the difference between this new sect, and the eclectic 
philosophy which had before flourished in Egypt. For the Eclectics held 
that there was a mixture of good and bad, true and false, in all the systems ; 
and therefore they selected out of all, what appeared to them consonant 
with reason, and rejected the rest. But Ammonius held that all sects pro- 
fessed one and the same system of truth, with only some difference in the 
mode of stating it, and some minute difference in their conceptions ; so that 
by means of suitable explanations, they might with little difficulty be brought 
into one body. (12) He moreover held this new and singular principle, 
that the popular religions, and likewise the Christian, must be understood 
and explained according to this common philosophy of all the sects ; and 
that the fables of the vulgar pagans and their priests, and so too the inter- 
pretations of the disciples of Christ, ought to be separated from their re- 
spective religions. 

8. The grand object of Ammonius, to bring all sects and religions into 
harmony, required him to do much violence to the sentiments and opinions 
of all parties, philosophers, priests, and Christians ; and particularly, by 
means of allegorical interpretations, to remove very many impediments out 
of his way. The manner in which he prosecuted his object, appears in 
the writings of his disciples and adherents ; which have come down to us 
in great abundance. To make the arduous work more easy, he assumed 
that philosophy was first produced and nurtured among the people of the 
East ; that it was inculcated among the Egyptians by Hermes,(13) and 

but when he came to mature years, embraced openly renounce Christianity, but endeavour- 

the religion of the laws, i. e., the pagan re- ed to accommodate himself to the feelings of 

ligion. Eusebius taxes Porphyry with false- all parties ; and therefore he was claimed by 

hood in this ; and says, that Ammonius con- both pagans and Christians. Hence, if he 

tinued a Christian till his death, as appears was a Christian, he was a very inconsistent 

from his books, one of which was on the ac- one, and did much injury to its cause. See 

cordance of Moses with Jesus Christ. Je- Mosheim, de Rebus Christ., &c., p. 281. 

rome, de Scriptoribus Illustr., cap. 55, says Tr.] 

nearly the same. Valesius, Bayle, Bus- (12) [The views of this sect are very 

nage, and Dr. Mosheim, (when he wrote his clearly expressed by Julian, who was a 

essay de ecclesia turbata per recentiores Pla- great devotee of this philosophy, Oral, vi., 

tonicos), agreed with Eusebius and Jerome, contra Cynicos, Opp., p. 184. Schl. In 

But when he wrote his Commentarii de Reb. accordance with the prevalent views of the 

Christ., Dr. Mosheim fell in with the opin- oriental Platonists, " these philosophers, like 

ion of Fabricius, Brucker, and others, (and the Christian Gnostics, supposed all essen- 

which is now the general opinion), that Eu- tial truth to be derived, not from a process 

sebius and Jerome confounded Ammonius of thought, but from direct inward percep- 

the philosopher, with another Ammonius, the tion. " Gieseler's Text-book, translated by 

reputed author of a harmony of the Gospels, Cunningham, vol. i. , p. 112. See also 

and other works ; because it can hardly be Tennemanri's Grundriss der Gesch. der 

supposed, that this enthusiastic admirer of Philos., ed. Leipz., 1829, 200-202. TV.] 

philosophy, would have found time or incli- (13) [This appears from the writings of 

nation for composing such books. Besides, all his followers, Plotinus, Proclus, Porphy- 

it is said, Ammonius the philosopher pub- ry, Damascius, Simplicius, and others, 

lished no books. Still the question remains, And the learned, not without reason, con- 

what were the religious character and creed jecture that all the works of Hermes and 

of this philosopher, in his maturer years T Zoroaster, which we now have, originated in 

Dr. Mosheim thinks it probable, he did not the schools of these New Platonics. Schl.} 


thence passed to the Greeks ; that it was a little obscured and deformed 
by the disputatious Greeks ; but still by Plato, the best interpreter of the 
principles of Hermes and of the ancient oriental sages, it was preserved 
for the most part entire and unsullied ;(14) that the religions received by 
the various nations of the world were not inconsistent with this most ancient 
philosophy ; yet that it had most unfortunately happened, that what the an- 
cients taught by symbols and fictitious stories in the manner of the Orien- 
tals, had been understood literally by the people and the priests ; and thus, 
the ministers of divine providence, (those demons whom the supreme Lord 
of all had placed over the various parts of our world), had erroneously been 
converted into gods, and had been worshipped with many vain ceremonies ; 
that therefore the public religions of all nations should be corrected by this 
ancient philosophy : and that it was the sole object of Christ to set bounds 
to the reigning superstition, and correct the errors which had crept into 
religion, but not to abolish altogether the ancient religions. 

9. To these assumptions he added the common doctrines of the Egyp- 
tians, (among whom he was born and educated), concerning the universe 
and the deity, as constituting one great whole, [Pantheism ;](15) concern- 
ing the eternity of the world, the nature of the soul, providence, the gov- 
ernment of this world by demons, and other received doctrines, all of which 
he considered as true and not to be called in question. For it is most ev- 
ident that the ancient philosophy of the Egyptians, which they pretended 
to have learned from Hermes, was the basis of the New Platonic or Am- 
monian ; and the book of Jamblichus, de Mysteriis Aegyptiorum, is sufficient 
evidence of the fact. In the next place, with these Egyptian notions he 
united the philosophy of Plato ; which he accomplished with little diffi- 
culty, by distorting some of the principles of Plato, and by putting a false 
construction on his language. (16) Finally, the dogmas of the other sects 
he construed, as far as was possible, by means of art, ingenuity, and the 
aid of allegories, into apparent coincidence with these Egyptian and Pla- 
tonic principles. 

10. To this Egyptiaco-Platonic philosophy, the ingenious and fanati- 
cal man joined a system of moral discipline apparently of high sanctity 
and austerity. He permitted the common people, indeed, to live accord- 
ing to the laws of their country and the dictates of nature ; but he directed 
the wise to elevate, by contemplation, their souls, which were the off- 
spring of God, above all earthly things ; and to weaken and emaciate their 
bodies, which were hostile to the liberty of their souls, by means of hun- 
ger, thirst, labour, and other austerities ;(17) so that they might in the pres- 

(14) [Jamblichus, de Mysteriis Aegyptio- Pror.lus, Simplicius, Jamblichus, and all the 
rum, 1. i., c. 1, 2. Sclil.] New Platonics. See, for example, Porphyry, 

(15) [On this principle the whole philos- in his life of Plotinus, cap ii., p. 94. SchL] 
ophy of the ancient Egyptians was founded ; (16) [The principle of the Ammonian and 
and on it Ammonius erected his system. Egyptian philosophy, that God and the 
The book which goes under the title of Her- world constitute one indivisible whole, it 
metis TrisiHCgisli Sermo de Natura Deo- cost him much labour to reduce to harmony 
rum, ad Asclepium, which is extant in Latin with the system of Plato ; who, as we learn 
among the works of Apulcius, the supposed from his Timanis, taught the eternal exist- 
translator, is evidence of this fact. See also ence of matter, as a substance distinct from 
Euscfiins, Pracparatio evangel., lib. iii., c. 9, God. SceProclus on the Tmiacus of Plato, 
and the note on Cudworth's Intell. System, Schl.] 

torn, i., p. 404, &.c. And the same funda- (17) [See Porphyry, de Abstinentia, lib. 
mental principle is assumed by Plottmts, i., c. 27, &c., p. 22-34. SM-] 
VOL. I. P 



ent life, attain to communion with the Supreme Being, and might ascend 
after death, active and unencumbered, to the universal parent, and be for 
ever united with him. And, being born and educated among Christians, 
Ammonius was accustomed to give elegance and dignity to these precepts 
by using forms of expression borrowed from the sacred scriptures ; and 
hence these forms of expression occur abundantly in the writings of his 
followers.(18) To this austere discipline, he superadded the art of so pur- 
ging and improving the imaginative faculty, as to make it capable of seeing 
the demons, and of performing many wonderful things by their assistance. 
His followers called this art Theurgy. (19) Yet it was not cultivated by all 
the philosophers of Ammonius' school, but only by the more eminent.(20) 
11. That the prevailing religions, and particularly the Christian, might 
not appear irreconcilable with his system, Ammonius first turned the whole 
history of the pagan gods into allegory,(21) and maintained that those whom 
the vulgar and the priests honoured with the title of Gods, were only the 
ministers of God, to whom some homage might and should be paid, yet 
such as would not derogate from the superior homage due to the Supreme 
God ;(22) and in the next place he admitted that Christ was an extraordi- 
nary man, the friend of God, and an admirable Theurge.(23) He denied 
that Christ aimed wholly to suppress the worship of the demons, those 
ministers of divine providence ; that, on the contrary, he only sought to wipe 
away the stains, contracted by the ancient religions ;(24) and that his dis- 
ciples had corrupted and vitiated the system of their master.(25) 

(18) [See examples in Hicrocles, on the 
golden verses of Pythagoras ; and in Sim- 
plicius and Jamblichus. See also Mosheim's 
Diss. de studio Ethnicorum Christianos 
imitandi, in vol. i. of his Diss. ad Hist. Ec- 
cles. pertinent, p. 321. Schl.] 

(19) (This worthless science is very sim- 
ilar to what has been called allowable magic, 
and which is distinguished from necromancy, 
or unlawful magic. It was undoubtedly of 
Egyptian origin. As the Egyptians ima- 
gined the whole world to be full of good and 
evil spirits, they might easily be led to sup- 
pose there must be some way to secure the 
favour of these demons. See Augustine, 
de Civil. Dei, 1. x., c. 9, Opp., torn, vii., p. 
187. Schl. " Theurgy is the science con- 
cerning the gods and the various classes of 
superior spirits, their appearing to men and 
their operations ; and the art, by means of 
certain acts, habits, words, and symbols, of 
moving the gods to impart to men secrets 
which surpass the powers of reason, to lay 
open to them the future, and to become vis- 
ible to them. This theurgy, which goes 
farther and rises higher than philosophy, was 
first imparted and revealed to men in ancient 
times, by the gods themselves, and was 
afterwards preserved among the priests. So 
it is described in the book which bears the 
name of Jamblichus, de Mysteriis Aegyptio- 
rum, lib. i., c. 26-29." Staeudlin, Ges- 
chicbte der Moralphilosophie, p. 462. TV.] 

(20) [See concerning the moral system 
of the new Platonics, in all its material parts, 
Staeudlin, Geschichte der Moralphilosophie, 
p. 435, &c.Tr.] 

(21) [See, for example, Porphyry, de 
Antro Nymphar. apud Homerum de styge, 
&c. Schl.] 

(22) [Paul Orosius, Historia, lib. vi., cap. 
1, p. 364, 365. Schl.} 

(23) [It cannot be denied that the sect of 
Ammonius embraced some, who were ene- 
mies of Christ and of the Christians. The 
emperor Julian, and some others, are proof 
of this. But Ammonius himself honoured 
Christ. And Augustine contended against 
some philosophers of his time, who, as fol- 
lowers of Ammonius, honoured Christ, yet 
maintained that the Christians had corrupted 
his doctrine ; de Consensu Evangelistarum, 
Opp., torn, iii., pt. ii., lib. 1, c. 6, 11, p. 
5, and c. 8, $ 14, p. 6, and c. 15, p. 8. 

(24) [Augustine, de Consensu Evangel., 
lib. i., c. 16, p. 8, and c. 24, p. 18. Yet 
they admitted that Christ abolished the 
worship of certain demons of an inferior 
order, and enjoined upon men to pray to 
the celestial gods, and especially to the Su- 
preme God. This is evident from a passage 
of Porphyry, quoted by Augustine, de Civ- 
itate Dei, lib. xix., c. 23, 4, Opp., torn. 
vii., p. 430. Schl.] 

(25) What we have stated in these sec- 


t 12. This new species of philosophy, imprudently adopted by Origen 
ana other Christians, did immense harm to Christianity. For it led the 
teashers of it to involve in philosophic obscurity many parts of our religion, 
wuch were in themselves plain and easy to be understood ; and to add 
t< the precepts of the Saviour not a few things, of which not a word can be 
f)und in the Holy Scriptures. It also produced that gloomy set of men, 
tailed mystics ; whose system, if divested of its Platonic notions respect- 
iig the origin and nature of the soul, will be a lifeless and senseless corpse. 
It laid a foundation, too, for that indolent mode of life, which was after- 
vards adopted by many, and particularly by numerous tribes of monks; 
.nd it recommended to Christians various foolish and useless rites, suited 
mly to nourish superstition, no small part of which we see religiously ob- 
served by many even to the present day. And finally, it alienated the minds 
*f many in the following centuries, from Christianity itself, and produced 
a heterogeneous species of religion, consisting of Christian and Platonic 
priiciples combined. And who is able to enumerate all the evils and inju- 
rious effects, which arose from this new philosophy ; or, if you please, 
iron [this Syncretismus] this attempt to reconcile true and false religions 
with each other ? 

' 3. The number of learned men among the Christians, which was 
small ; n the preceding century, was larger in this. And yet we scarcely 
find anong them, rhetoricians, sophists, and orators. Most of those who 
obtained some reputation among them by their learning, were philosophers : 
and they as before stated, followed the principles of the Eclectics, and 
gave Plcf.o preference before others. But all Christians were not agreed 
as to the Jtility of learning and philosophy. Those who were themselves 
initiated ii the mysteries of philosophy, wished that many, and especially 
such as aspired to the office of pastors and teachers, might apply them- 
selves to U.e study of human wisdom, so that they might confute the ene- 
mies of truth with more effect, and teach and instruct others with more 
success. Biit a great majority thought otherwise ; they wished to banish 
all reasoning ind philosophy out of the confines of the church ; for they 
feared that suchlearning would injure piety. At this time, therefore, broke 
out the war between faith and reason, religion and philosophy, piety and in- 
telligence ; which \ias been protracted, through all succeeding centuries, 
down to our own tines, and which we by all our efforts cannot easily bring 
to an end. By degrees, those obtained the ascendency, who thought that 
philosophy and erudi;ion were profitable, rather than hurtful to religion and 
piety ; and rules were at length established, that no person entirely illiter- 
ate or unlearned, should be admitted to the office of teacher in the church. 
Yet the vices of the philosophers and learned men, among other causes, 

tions respecting the doctrines of Ammonius, New Platonics constantly affirm to have 

we have collected from the books and dis- been the author of their philosophy. [Dr. 

cussions of his followers, who are called Mos), in his Commentarii de Rebus 

New Platonics. Ammonius himself left no Christ, ante Constantin. M., 27-32, p. 

writings; and he forbid his followers ever 280-298, has given a more full account of 

publishing his doctrines, but they did not Ammonius and his doctrines, and has cited, 

obey him. See Pwjihi/ry, Vita Plotim, cap. particularly, his chi^f authorities ; but the 

3, p. 97, ed. Fnf>ricii, lib. iv . Uihlijt.h. substance of his statements is contained in 

Graeca. Yet there can be no doubt, that the preceding sections, and his most impor- 

all we have stated was invented by Ammo- tant authorities are referred to in the notes of 

tints himself, whom the whole family of the Scklcgel, which are all here preserved. 7V.J 


prevented the opposite party from ever being destitute of patrons and ^d- 
vocates. Ample proof of this will be found in the history of the following 
centuries. ? 




4 1. The form of Church Government. 2. Union of Churches in a Province. Origin, 
of Councils. 3. Their too great Authority gave rise to Metropolitans and Patriarchs. 
4. Parallel between the Jewish and Christian Priesthood. 5. The principal^ 
Writers. ft 

1. THE form of church government which began to exist in the p*te- 

ceding century, was in this century more industriously established and cf-in- 
firmed, in all its parts. One president, or bishop, presided over each church. 
He was created by the common suffrage of the whole people. With Uie 
presbyters for his council, whose number was not fixed, it was his business 
to watch over the interests of the whole church, and to assign to each pres- 
byter his station. Subject to the bishop and also to the presbyters. 1 , were 
the servants or deacons, who were divided into certain classes, bec'ause all 
the duties which the interests of the church required, could not Veil be at- 
tended to by them all. S, 

2. During a great part of this century, all the churches continued to 
be, as at first, independent of each other, or were connected by n/o consoci- 
ations or confederations^ 1 ) Each church was a kind of small in dependent 
republic, governing itself by its own laws, enacted or at least /sanctioned 
by the people. But in process of time, it became customary, for all the 
Christian churches within the same province, to unite and fo cm a sort of 
larger society or commonwealth ; and in the manner of confederated repub- 
lics, to hold their conventions at stated times, and there deliberate for the 
common advantage of the whole confederation. This cv.stom first arose 
among the Greeks, with whom a [political] confederation of cities, and the 
consequent conventions of their several delegates, had been long known ; 
but afterwards the utility of the thing being seen, the custom extended 
through all countries where there were Christian churches. (2) Such 

(1) [Yet by ancient custom, peculiar re- Christiani magna veneratione celebratur. 
spect was paid to the churches founded and From this passage of Tertullian, which was 
governed by the apostles themselves j and written near the beginning of the third cen- 
such churches were appealed to in contro- tury, Dr. Mo.<!icim(A& Rebus Christ., &c., 
versies on points of doctrine, as most likely p. 266, &c-), infers, 1, that provincial coun- 
to know what the apostles had taught. See cils had not then been held in Africa, nor 
IreruEit-s, adv. Haeres., lib. iii., c. 3, and anywhere except among the Greeks : 2, that 
Tertullian, de Praescript. adv. Haeres., c. councils v/ere considered as human institu- 
36. Thus Moshcim, de Reb. Christ., &c., tions, and as acting only by human authority; 
p. 258. TV.] 3, that \he provincial councils were held al- 

(2) Terlidlian, de Jejuniis, cap. 13, p. 711, ways in the same places ccrtis in locis ; 
[where we have this very important state- 4, that they did not interfere with the private 
ment : Aguntur praete.rea per Graecias, ilia concerns of individual churches, which were 
certis in locis Concilia ex universis ecclesiis, left to their own management ; but conferred 
per quae et altiora quaeque in commune trac- only on greater matters, or such as were 
tantur, et ipsa repreeentatio totius nominis of common interest altiora tractantur ; 5, 


conventions of delegates from several churches assembled for deliberation, 
were called by .the Greeks Synods, and by the Latins Councils ; and the 
laws agreed upon in them, were called canons, that is, rules. 

3. These councils, of which no vestige appears before the middle 
of this century, changed nearly the whole form of the church. For by 
them, in the first place, the ancient rights and privileges of the people 
were very much abridged ; and, on the other hand, the influence and au- 
thority of the bishops were not a little augmented. At first, the bishops 
did not deny, that they were merely the representatives of their churches, 
and that they acted in the name of the people ; but by little and little, they 
made higher pretensions, and maintained that power was given them by 
Christ himself, to dictate rules of faith and conduct to the people. In the 
next place, the perfect equality and parity of all bishops, which existed 
in the early times, these councils gradually subverted. For it was neces- 
sary that one of the confederated bishops of a province should in those 
conventions be intrusted with some authority and power over the others; 
and hence originated the prerogatives of Metropolitans. And lastly, when 
the custom of holding these councils had extended over the Christian world, 
and the universal church had acquired the form of a vast republic com- 
posed of many lesser ones, certain head men were to be placed over it in 
different parts of the world, as central points in their respective countries. 
Hence came the Patriarchs ; and ultimately a Prince of Patriarchs, the 
Roman pontiff. 

4. To the whole order of men who conducted the affairs of the 
church, no small honour and profit accrued, from the time they succeeded 
in persuading the people to regard them as successors of the Jewish priests. 
This took place not long after the reign of Adrian, when, upon the second 
destruction of Jerusalem, the Jews lost all hope of seeing their common- 
wealth restored. The bishops now wished to be thought to correspond 
with the high priests of the Jews ; the presbyters were said to come in 
place of the priests ; and the deacons were made parallel with the Levites. 
Those who first drew this parallel between offices so totally different, proba- 
bly made the misrepresentation, not so much from design as from ignorance. 

that the attending bishops acted as represent- called, as occasion required. Originally 
atives of their churches, and not as men these councils had no jurisdiction ; but were 
-clothed with authority from heaven, by vir- mere conventions of delegates, met to con- 
tue of their office rcprcsenlatio totius no- sider and agree upon matters of common 
minis Chrisliani. From Greece, the cus- concernment. But they soon began to claim 
torn of meeting in councils extended into power ; to enact and enforce laws, and to 
Syria and Palestine. Euscb., Hist. Eccl., 1. hear and decide controversies. And the 
v., c. 23. We have no certain accounts of lishopn, instead of appearing as the represent- 
any councils till after the middle of the sec- atives of their churches, claimed authority 
mul century. The earliest of which we from Christ, to bind and control the church- 
have authentic notice, were those which de- es. See W. C. Zeigler, on the Origin of 
liberated concerning the Montanists, about Synods, in Menken's Neuen Magazin, band 
A.D. 170 or 173, (Euscb., H. E., v. 16), i., st. i. G. J. Planck's Geschichte der 
and the next were those assembled to con- christl. kirchl. Gesellschafts-Verfassung, pe- 
sider the proper time for Easter. (Euscb., riod ii., chap, v., vol. i., p. 90, &c. C. W. 
H. E.,v. 23.) All these councils are placed F. Walch, Historic der Kirchenversamml., 
by Euscbius, under the reign of Commodus, Introd., 3, 4, and b. i., ch. i., sect, ii., p. 
or A.D. 180-192. In the third century, 82, &c., ch. ii., p. 118, &c. Jos. Bmgham, 
councils became frequent. Provincial coun- Origines Eccles., vol. vii., p. 45, &c., and 
cils were now held, perhaps throughout the Sir P. King, Constitution, &c., of the Prim. 
Christian world ; and special councils were Church, ch. 8. TV.] 



But this idea being once introduced and approved, drew after it other er- 
rors, among which I will mention only this, that it established a wider dif- 
ference between teachers and learners than accords with the nature of the 
Christian religion,(3) 

5. Among the doctors of this century, whose writings rendered them 
particularly famous in after ages, was Justin Martyr ; a converted phi- 
losopher, who had dipped into nearly every sect in philosophy. He was 
pious, and possessed considerable learning, but he was sometimes an in- 
cautious disputant, and was ignorant of ancient history. We have among 
other works of his, two Apologies for the Christians, which are justly held 
in great estimation.(4) Irenaeus, bishop of Lyons in France, whose only 

(3) [This comparison of Christian teach- 
ers with the Jewish priesthood, among other 
consequences, led the former to lay claim to 
tithes and first fruits ; of which we find 
mention, before the times of Constantine. 
Perhaps a desire to increase their revenues, 
which were both small and precarious, led 
some of the bishops to apply Jewish law to 
the Christian church. That they claimed 
first fruits, as of divine right, in this centu- 
ry, is clear from Ireneeus, contra Haeres., 1. 
iv., c. 17 and 34. That tithes were not yet 
claimed, at least in the Latin church, appears 
from the latter of these passages in Ireneau. 
Yet in the Greek and Oriental churches, 
tithes began to be claimed earlier than among 
the Latins ; and probably in this second cen- 
tury, for the Greek writers of the third cen- 
tury, and the apostolic constitutions, (which 
seem to contain the ecclesiastical laws of 
the Greek church), mention tithes as a thing 
then well known. See Moshcim, de Rebus 
Christianor., &c., p. 271. Tr.] 

(4) [Justin Martyr, was the son of Pris- 
cus and grandson of Bacchius, pagan Gre- 
cians, settled at Flavia Neapolis, (Naplous), 
the ancient Sichem in Samaria. See Apol- 
og. L, c. i. He had successive masters in 
philosophy, Stoic, Peripatetic, Pythagorean, 
and lastly Platonic. He travelled much, and 
was very eager in the pursuit of knowledge, 
and especially respecting the Divine Being. 
When about 23 years old, as is conjectured, 
and about A.D. 137, he was converted to 
Christianity, in consequence of being direct- 
ed by an aged Christian, to go to the Bible, 
as the source of true philosophy. He after- 
wards spent most of his time at Rome ; 
where he lived as a Christian philosopher, and 
devoted all his talents to the furtherance of the 
gospel. At last, about A.D. 168, he suffered 
jnartyrdom, one Cresccns, a pagan philoso- 
pher, being his accuser, and on the simple 
charge of his being a Christian. His wri- 
tings are numerous, erudite, all of them theo- 
logical, and all of a polemic character. His 
style is harsh and inelegant, his temper is ar- 
dent and decisive, and his arguments and 

opinions not always satisfactory. Yet being 
the first of the learned divines, and a very zeal- 
ous and active Christian, he merits our par- 
ticular attention. His life and writings are 
described by Eusebius, Hist. Eccles., 1. iv., c. 
11, 12, 16-18. Jerome, de Scriptor. Illustr., 
c. 23. Photius, Biblioth., ccxxxii., and oth- 
ers among the ancients ; and by Cave, Du 
Pin, Longerue, Maran, Milncr, (Hist, of the 
Chh., vol. i.,p. 161, &c.,ed. Boston, 1822.) 
J. Kaye, (account of the writings and opin- 
ions of Justin Martyr, Lond., 1829, 8vo), a 
writer in the Christian Examiner, for Nov., 
Cambridge, 1829 ; and others among the 
moderns. About A.D. 140, or as some 
think, much later in life, he composed two 
learned treatises against the pagans, as we 
learn from Eusebius, (Hist. Eccl., iv., 18), 
and Jerome, (ubi sup.), which are generally 
supposed to be the Cohortatio ad Graecos, 
and Oratio ad Graecos, still found in his 
printed works. The substance of the for- 
mer, which is the largest, is this : " The 
Greeks have no sources of certain and sat- 
isfactory knowledge of religion. What their 
poets state concerning the gods is ridiculous 
and absurd. Jupiter, for example, accord- 
ing to Homer, would have been incarcerated 
by the other gods, if they had not feared 
Briareus. And Jupiter himself betrayed 
his weakness by his amours. Mars and Ve- 
nus were wounded by Diomede, &c. Tha- 
Ics derived all things from water ; Anaxi- 
menes, from air ; Heraclitus, from fire, &c. 
But it is not possible for the human mind to 
search out divine things ; it needs aid from 
above ; it must be moved by the divine Spir- 
it, as the lyre must by the plectrum. This 
was the fact with the Hebrew prophets ; 
who besides, were much older than the 
Grecian poets, lawgivers, and philosophers. 
Even the heathen writers admit the high anti- 
quity of the Jewish legislation, e. g., Polemon, 
Appion, Ptolemy Mendesius, Hellanicus, 
&c., and Philo, Josephus, and Diodorus Sic- 
ulus confirms it. An Egyptian king, Ptolemy 
(Philadelphus), therefore, caused the ancient 
Hebrew books to be translated into Greek, 



remaining writings are his five Books against the Heretics ; which, though 
preserved only in a Latin translation from the original Greek, are a splen- 

the sick in a wonderful manner ; Christians 
assert the same of Christ, &c. The ground 
of this correspondence lies in this, that the 
demons, who are the authors of the pagan 
religions, and to whom the pagan worship'is 
paid, copied beforehand the history of Christ, 
in order to prejudice the truth. Yet they 
omitted to copy the cross, which is the ap- 
propriate sign of the power of Christ ; (and 
therefore it is found indispensable in nature, 
e. g., in the yards of a ship.) Also, by the 
ascent of Simon Magus to heaven, they 
sought to imitate the ascension of Christ ; 
and since the Romans themselves have erect- 
ed a statue to this Simon as a god ; they 
should more readily do the same to Christ. 
Christianity is true. This is demonstrable 
from the prophecies of the Old Testament. 
(Here again, the antiquity of the Old Tffsta- 
ment is asserted ; and the principle main- 
tained, that the Greeks borrowed from the 
Hebrews.) Also, the prophecies of Christ, 
concerning his ascension to heaven, and the 
destruction of Jerusalem, which have been 
fulfilled, prove the truth of Christianity. 
Christ is the Logos, (the reason or intel- 
ligence) of which all men participate ; so 
that every one who has ever lived according 
to Logos, (reason), was a Christian. The de- 
mons, whose worship is prostrated by Chris- 
tianity, are the authors of the persecutions 
against Christians." Some points in this 
Apology are here omitted, because contain- 
ed in the other summaries. 

The shorter Apology commences with an 
account of some persecutions ; which are 
ascribed to the malice of the demons. It 
then gives reasons why Christians do not 
shun martyrdom ; and also, why God per- 
mits persecution. " God intrusted the gov- 
ernment of the world to angels : these af- 
terwards apostatized from God, and taking 
human wives, begat the demons ; and by 
them and their offspring, the human race is 
now oppressed and ruined. God would be- 
fore this have destroyed the world, had he 
not spared it for the sake of the Christians. 
Yet it is to be destroyed hereafter, and by 
fire. Jesus Christ is superior to Socrates ; 
for no one ever died for the doctrine of the 
latter. The constancy of Christians under 
persecution is evidence of their innocence." 
These summaries of Justin's Apologies 
are specimens of the ground taken by all the 
ancient Apologists, whose works have come 
down to us. Besides the four works now 
mentioned, Justin wrote a book, de Monar- 
chia Dei, proving the divine unity in oppo- 
sition to polytheism, by testimonies from the 

by 70 men, who were enclosed in as many 
separate cells ; when they had finished their 
translations, they were found perfectly agree- 
ing, not only in the sense but in the words. 
Justin himself had seen the vestiges of 
these cells. The Greeks derived their best 
thoughts from the Hebrews. Thus Orpheus, 
Homer, Solon, Pythagoras, and Plato, are 
known to have acquired their best knowl- 
edge in Egypt. Hence, Orpheus, the Sib- 
yls, Homer, Sophocles, &c., were enabled 
to write about the unity of God, the judg- 
ment after death, &c. When Plato, for in- 
stance, says : Virtue must be given to men 
by the Deity ; he borrowed the idea from 
the prophets ; and to conceal the fact, he 
substituted virtue in place of the Holy Spirit. 
When he says : Time began with heaven ; 
it is clear that he borrowed from Moses' wri- 
tings, &c. Since therefore, the Grecian 
philosophers themselves confess their igno- 
rance, and the Sibyls direct to the coming of 
Christ, men should go to the prophets, as to 
the source of all truth." The shorter work, 
entitled Oratio ad Graecos, is similar in its 
contents. Indeed, this may serve as a fair 
specimen of the ground taken by the Chris- 
tian fathers generally, in their controversies 
with learned pagans. About A.D. 150, or 
as some think, 10 or 12 years earlier, Justin 
presented his earliest or long Apology for 
the Christians to the emperor Antoninus Pi- 
us : and a little before his death, or after 
A.D. 160, his other Apology, an imperfect 
copy of which is improperly called his first 
Apology. The substance of the larger Apol- 
ogy, which is written with little method, 
is this : " Why are Christians condemned 
merely for their name, without inquiry wheth- 
er they are malefactors 1 Let this be inves- 
tigated ; then punish the guilty, and let the 
innocent go free. The Christians are ac- 
cused of atheism; but unjustly. They wor- 
ship God the Father, the Son, and the pro- 
phetic or divine Spirit. They offer indeed 
no sacrifices ; but they believe God requires 
none. Christians are ridiculed for expect- 
ing a kingdom of Christ ; but unjustly. The 
kingdom which they expect, is not an earthly 
kingdom ; if it were, how could they so 
cheerfully meet death 1 Christianity is not 
so totally unlike everything believed by the 
pagans. The pagans expect a judgment af- 
ter death ; so do the Christians. The for- 
mer make Rhadamanthus the judge ; the lat- 
ter, Jesus Christ. The pagans believe, that 
many men were sons of Jupiter ; Christians 
believe, that Jesus was the Son of God. 
The pagans assert, that jEsculapius healed 



did monument of antiquity. (5) Athenagoras was no contemptible phi- 
losopher ; and his Apology for the Christians, and his treatise on the resur- 
rection of the body, display both learning and genius. (6) Theophylus, 

Old Testament and likewise from pagan 
writers, (Eusebius, H. E., iv. 18). The 
latter part of the book probably is preserved. 
Against the Jews he composed, in the 
latter part of his life, his Dialogus cum Try- 
phone JudEEo. He defends Christianity 
against the Jews, chiefly by arguments from 
the ancient prophecies and types of Christ 
in the Old Testament. He also wrote a 
book against Marcion, and another against 
all the heresies ; both of which are unfortu- 
nately lost. So are his book concerning the 
soul, (in which he collected the opinions of 
the philosophers on that subject), and his 
book entitled, Psaltes. There are several 
other works now extant under his name, 
which are either doubted or denied to be 
his : namely, an Epistle to Diognetus ; and 
another to Zenas and Serenus ; 146 Ques- 
tions and their solutions, to the Orthodox ; 
Exposition of the true Faith (on the Trin- 
ity) ; Metaphysical Questions (Questiones 
Graecanicae) and answers ; Questions to the 
Greeks, and their answers refuted ; a con- 
futation of some Aristotelian doctrines, &c. 
Justin's works make a considerable folio 
volume. They were well edited, Paris, 
1636, reprinted Cologne, 1636 : but still 
better in the Benedictine ed., by Prudent. 
Maran, Paris, 1742. Thirl by* s ed. of the 
dialogue, Lond., 1722, fol., is good. The 
two Apologies, with those of Tertullian 
and Minutius Felix, are given in English 
by W. Reeve, Lond., 1707, 2 vols. 8vo. 

(5) [Irenmis, who was active during the 
last half of this century, was bom and edu- 
cated in Asia Minor, under Poly carp and 
Papias. About A.D. 150, Pothinus and 
others went from Asia Minor to Lyons and 
Vienne in France ; and Iren&us, then a 
young man, is supposed to have been one 
of those missionaries. He remained a pres- 
byter till the death of Pothinus, A.D. 177, 
when he succeeded him in the episcopal 
chair at Lyons, which he filled till about 
A.D. 202, the time of his martyrdom. 
While a presbyter he was sent to Rome by 
his church, concerning the affair of Monta- 
nus. He is supposed to have composed 
the letter written in the name of the church- 
es of Lyons and Vienne, giving the graphic 
account of their persecution in A.D. 177. 
He likewise took an active part in the con- 
troversy respecting Easter, A.D. 196 ; and 
wrote to Victor, bishop of Rome, on the 
' subject ; and also to the presbyter Blastus, 
who was deposed at Rome during that con- 

test. Eusebius has also preserved part of 
a letter of his to Florinus, an apostate to 
Gnosticism, with whom Ircnceus had been 
intimate in his youth. Some other small 
works of his are mentioned by the ancients. 
See Eusebius, Hist. Eccles., 1. v., c. 15, 
20, 24, 26. Jerome, de Scriptor. illustr., 
cap. 35. But the great work of Iren&us 
is his Examination and Confutation of the 
misnamed (yvtiaif ) knowledge, in v. Books, 
commonly called Libri contra Hsereses. 
The work is altogether polemic ; and is di- 
rected particularly against Valcntinus ; yet 
so as to be a confutation of all the Gnostics, 
and a defence of the catholic faith against 
most of the heretics of that age. The book 
contains much information, respecting the 
early heretics, their origin, sentiments, and 
characters ; also respecting the state of the- 
ological science in that age, the doctrines 
generally received and taught, and the man- 
ner of stating and defending them. But un- 
fortunately, the original Greek is lost, ex- 
cept the extracts preserved by Eusebius, 
Epiphanius, and others ; and the Latin 
translation, which is very ancient, is ex- 
tremely barbarous, and sometimes scarcely 
intelligible. Irenaus was an ardent and 
sincere Christian, and a discreet and amiable 
man. He possessed considerable learning 
and influence ; but his mind does not ap- 
pear to have been one of the highest order. 
As an interpreter of Scripture, like all the 
early fathers, he was too fond of tracing al- 
legories ; and as a theologian, few of the 
moderns will account him entirely correct in 
principle, or perfectly conclusive in his rea- 
sonings. See, concerning his life and wri- 
tings, Cave, Du Pin, Massuet, (works of 
Irenaeus), the Acta Sanctor., torn. v.. June, 
p. 335. Histoire litteraire de la France, 
torn, ii., p. 51 ; and Milner, Hist, of the 
Chh., century iii., ch. i., vol. i., p. 215, ed. 
Boston, 1822. The best editions of his 
works, are, by Grabc, Lond., 1702, fol. ; 
and the Benedictine, by Massuet, Paris, 
1710, and Venice, 1734, 2 tomi, fol. TV.] 
(6) [Athenagoras, one of the most elegant 
and able writers the church has produced, 
is scarcely mentioned by any of the fathers. 
Methodius, about A.D. 285, quoted from 
him ; (See Epiph. Haeres., 65), Philip Si- 
detes, about A.D. 400, gives some account 
of him ; (in DodwcWs Diss. on Irenaeus, p. 
408), and Photius, (Bibliotheca), in the ninth 
century, speaks of him. This is all the fa- 
thers tell us. It appears from the title of his 
apology, that he was a Christian philosopher 



bishop of Antioch, has left us three Books, addressed to one Autolycus, in 
defence of Christianity, which are erudite but not well digested. (7) Clem- 
ens Alexandrinus, a presbyter and head of the catechetic school at Alex- 
andria, was a man of extensive reading, and especially in the works of 
ancient authors. This is manifest from the works of his that remain, 
namely, his Stromata, his Paedagogus, and ad Graecos Exhortatio. But 
he was infected with very great errors, into which he was betrayed by his 
excessive love of philosophy : nor are his works to be recommended, as 
exhibiting good arrangement and perspicuity of style. (8) In the Latin 

of Athens ; and that he wrote his Apology 
in the reign of the emperors Marcus and 
Commodus. Philip Sidctes, who is a wri- 
ter of little credit, says, he presided in the 
school at Alexandria, before Pantaenus ; 
which is contradicted by Euxcliiits ; and that 
he was converted to Christianity, by reading 
the Scriptures with a design to confute them ; 
which may be true. Dr. Moshcim, in his 
Diss. de vera aetate Apologetici Athenag. 
(Dissertt. ad Hist. Eccles., vol. i., p. 269, 
&c.), has proved, that the Apology was 
written A.D. 177, the very year of the per- 
secutions at Lyons and Vicnne. Athcnag- 
oras descants on the same topics as Justin 
Martyr, and employs the same arguments ; 
but his composition is immensely superior 
as to style and method. His other work, de 
Resurrectione, is written with equal ele- 
gance, and contains the arguments used in 
that age, to support the doctrine of the res- 
urrection of the body against the objections 
of philosophers. His works, besides being 
printed separately by Edw. Dcchair, Oxford, 
1706, 8vo, are commonly subjoined to those 
of Justin Martyr ; and the best editions are 
those of Grabe, Lond., 1802, and Massuct, 
Paris, 1710. Tr.] 

(7) [Theophylus was made bishop of Anti- 
och in Syria, A.D. 168, and died about A.D. 
182 or 183. The best accounts of him by the 
ancients, are those of Eusebius, Hist. Ec- 
cles, 1. iv., c. 20, 23, and Jerome, de Scriptor. 
Illustr, c. 25. He appears to have been a 
converted pagan, a man of reading, a decided 
and active Christian pastor, sound in faith, 
and zealous for the truth. He is not meta- 
physical, but still is rather a dry and argu- 
mentative writer. He composed a book 
against Hermorreiirs ; and another against 
Marcion ; and a Commentary on the four 
Gospels ; all of which are lost. His great 
work, and the only one which has reached 
us, is his three Books, addressed to his pagan 
friend Aittoh/nm, in vindication of Christian- 
ity. Here he takes much the same ground 
with Justin Martyr and the other Apolo- 
gists ; but he descends more into detail, in his 
proofs from Scripture and from history. He 
is fond of allegorical and fanciful interpreta- 

VOL. I. Q 

tions, and on them rests a large part of his 
arguments. For example : about the middle 
of the second book, he makes (kv upxy) in 
the beginning, Gen. i., 1, to mean, by Christ. 
The constitution by which vegetables spring 
up from seeds and roots, was designed to 
teach the resurrection of our bodies. The 
dry lands surrounded by seas, denote the 
church surrounded by enemies. The sun 
is a type of God ; as the moon is of man, 
that frail, changeable creature. The three 
days preceding the creation of the sun and 
moon, (rviroi elaiv rpiudof ra 6e), are 
typical of the Trinity of God and his Word 
and his Wisdom. (This is said to be the 
earliest occurrence of the word Trinity, in 
the writings of the fathers. ) The fixed stars, 
among which the sun moves, indicate righ- 
teous and holy men who serve God ; and the 
planets denote heretics and apostates, &c., 
&c. Yet the work is not all of this charac- 
ter. It contains much that is instructive 
and solid ; and is written in a plain, familiar 
style. Tr.] 

(8) [Titus Flavins Clemens, whether bom 
at Athens or Alexandria, was a pagan in early 
life, and devoted himself to philosophy. He 
travelled in Greece, in south Italy, in Coelo- 
Syria, in Palestine, and lastly in Egypt, 
where he was a pupil of Pantaenus the mas- 
ter of the Christian school at Alexandria. 
Becoming a Christian, he was made a pres- 
byter of the Alexandrian church, and suc- 
ceeded his preceptor Pantaenus, as master 
of the catechetic or divinity school. He 
taught with great applause during the reign 
of Sevcrus, (A.D. 193-21 1 ), and had Ongen 
and other eminent men of the third century, 
for pupils. About A.D. 202, he retired into 
Palestine and Syria, for a short time, to 
avoid persecution. He is supposed to have 
died about A.D. 220. Clement had vast 
learning, a lively imagination, great fluency, 
considerable discrimination, and was a bold 
and independent speculator. That he had 
true piety, and held the essential truths of 
the Gospel, is admitted by all ; but no one 
of the fathers, except Origen, has been more 
censured in modern times, for an excessive 
attachment to philosophy or metaphysical 



language, scarcely any writer of this century elucidated or defended the 
. Christian religion, except Tertullian. He was at first a jurisconsult, then 
a presbyter at Carthage, and at last a follower of Montanus. We have va- 
rious short works of his, which aim either to explain and defend the truth, 
or to excite piety. Which were the greatest, his excellences or his de- 
fects, it is difficult to say. He possessed great genius ; but it was wild 
and unchastened. His piety was active and fervent ; but likewise gloomy 
and austere. He had much learning and knowledge ; but lacked discre- 
tion and judgment : he was more acute than solid. (9) 

theology. He was a true Eclectic, which he 
also professed to be ; that is, he followed no 
master implicitly, but examined and judged 
for himself. Yet his education and the at- 
mosphere in which he lived, led him to lean 
towards Platonism and Stoicism. His great 
error was, that he overrated the value of phi- 
losophy or human reason, as a guide in mat- 
ters of religion. He also indulged his ima- 
gination, as all the learned of his age did, to 
excess ; and construed the Bible allegori- 
cally, and fancifully. His three principal 
works, which have reached us, constitute 
one whole. His Exhortatio ad Graces was 
intended to convince and convert pagans. 
It exposes the nakedness of polytheism, and 
demonstrates the truth and excellence of 
Christianity. His Paedagogus, in iii. Books, 
was intended to instruct a young convert in 
the practice of Christianity. It is an indif- 
ferent performance, dwells much on trivial 
rules of conduct, and does not go to the 
bottom even of external morality. His 
Stromata, in viii. Books, (the last of which 
is not the genuine 8th Book), are written 
without method, or in a most discursive 
manner. In them Clement attempts to give 
the world his most profound thoughts and 
speculations on theology, and on the kindred 
sciences. He has also left us a practical 
treatise, entitled Quis dives ille sit, qui sal- 
vetur ; in which his object is to show to 
what temptations and dangers the rich are 
exposed. There are ascribed to him, and 
printed with his works, Extracts from the 
writings of Theodotus and the Oriental philos- 
ophy, (the contents of some one's note-book, 
respecting the Gnostics) ; and Selections 
from the Prophets, (of no great value), which 
may have been taken from the loose papers 
of Clement, yet are dubious. Eusebius and 
Jerome mention works of his, which are now 
lost. Of these the principal, are libri viii. 
Hypotyposeon, a compendious exposition of 
the 0. and N. Testament. The others were 
tracts ; de Paschate, de Jejunio, de Obtrec- 
tatione, Exhortatio ad Patientiam, and Can- 
on Ecclesiasticus, or de Canonibus Eccle- 
$iasticis. The character and writings of 
Clement, have been elaborately investigated 

by various persons, among whom are -ZV. le 
Nourry (Apparat. ad Biblioth. Pair) ; J. G. 
Walch (Miscellanea Sacra) ; J. Brucker, 
(Hist. crit. philos.) ; and A. Neander, Kir- 
chengesch., vol. i. The best edition of his 
works, is that of Potter, Oxon., 1715, fol. 

(9) Those who wish further information 
concerning these writers, their defects, and 
their works, are directed, and the direction 
is given once for all, to consult those au- 
thors, who treat professedly of the Ecclesi- 
astical Writers ; namely, J. A. Fabricius, 
Bibliotheca Graeca, and Biblioth. Latina. 
W. Cave, Historia Litteraria Scriptor. Ec- 
cles. L. Ellies du Pin and Remigius Cel- 
lier, in their Bibliothecas of Eccles. Writers 
in French ; and others. 

[ Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullianus 
was the son of a pagan centurion of procon- 
sular rank, and born at Carthage about A. D. 
160. He was bred to the law ; but becom- 
ing a Christian, was made a presbyter in the 
church of Carthage, where he appears to 
have spent his whole life. About A.D. 200, 
he embraced the sentiments of the Montan- 
ists ; which he afterwards defended with his 
usual ardour. He is said to have lived to a 

reat age ; and yet he is supposed to have 
ied about A.D. 220. Jerome, de Scriptor. 
Illustr., c. 53. Eiisebius, Chronicon. ann. 
16 Severi, and others, give him a high char- 
acter. Jerome tells us, that Cyprian, bp. of 
Carthage, was, accustomed to read some por- 
tions of his works daily ; and in calling for 
this author, used to say : Da magistrum, 
bring my master. He wrote with great 
force, and displayed much both of erudition 
and acuteness ; but his style is concise, 
harsh, and extremely difficult for modern 
readers. His diction and his spirit too, it has 
been supposed, were extensively propagated 
in the Latin church. His works consist of 
about 30 short treatises, and are nearly all 
of a polemic cast, argumentative, vitupera- 
tive, and severe. They may be divided into 
three classes ; namely, apologetic, or in con- 
troversy with pagans and Jews ; doctrinal, 
or confutations of heretics ; and moral, in 
defence or confutation of certain practices 



or rules of conduct. Of the first class are 
his Apologcticum, and ad Nationes Lihri ii. 
These are only different editions of the 
same work ; and were composed about A.D. 
198 : de Tcstimonio animce. ; the testimony 
of conscience or common sense to the truths 
maintained by Christians : ad Scapulam, 
a pagan magistrate ; an expostulation with 
him, (A.D. 211) : adversus Judaeos ; pro- 
ving from the O. T. that Jesus was the 
Messiah, and Christianity true. In all these, 
he takes the same ground with Justin Mar- 
tyr and the other apologists of that age. 
Of the second or doctrinal class, are : de 
Baptismo ; against one Qumtilla, who re- 
jected baptism altogether : de Prascription- 
ibvs hcercticorum ; a confutation of all her- 
esies collectively, on general principles : 
Ltbri v. adv. Marcionem, (A.D. 207), and 
single books against the Valcntinians, Prax- 
eas and Hermogencs : Scorpiace, or Scor- 
piacum, adv. Gnoslicos, or de bono martyrii ; 
that is, an Antidote against the Scorpions, 
i. e., the Gnostics, who have no martyrs 
among them : de Came Chnsti ; that Christ 
truly died on the cross ; maintained against 
the Docetae : de Resurrectione ; of the same 
tenour with the last : de Anima ; against 
the philosophers ; their notions of the soul 
confuted. In attacking the heretics, he 
takes much the same ground with Ircnams. 
Most of his works of the third class, were 
written after he became a Montanist, and are 
in defence of the rigid principles of that 
sect, or in opposition to the opinions and 
practice of Christians in general. The two 
first, however, were written in his early life, 
and are of a different character : viz., de 
Oratwne ; on prayer in general, and the 
Lord's prayer in particular : Liber ad Mar- 
tyres ; designed to comfort and animate 
them in their dying moments : de Spectacu- 
lis, and de Idololatria ; warnings to Chris- 
tians against attending theatres, and other 
idolatrous rites : Libn ii. ad uxorem ; warn- 
ing her against a second marriage, if she 
should become a widow ; and especially 
against marrying a pagan : de Pvenitentia ; 
on penance and humiliation for sin : de Pa- 
tientia. All the preceding of this class, 
were probably written before he became an 
avowed Montanist : de corona militis ; jus- 
tifying and commending a soldier who re- 
fused a military crown, and was punished 
for it : de velandis virginibus ; against the 
custom of the young ladies appearing abroad 
unveiled : de habitu muliebri ; reprehension 
of the ladies for their attention to dress : 
de Cultu faminarum ; much the same ; 
on their adorning their persons : de Fiiga in 
persecutione ; that no one should retire for 
afety in time of persecution : Eihortatio 

Castitatis, and de Monogamia; two tracts 
on the same subject ; namely, the criminality 
of second marriages : de Jejuniis adv. Psy- 
chicos ; against the orthodox, in defence of 
the Montanist principles about fasting : de 
Pudicitia ; that offenders, especially by un- 
chastity, should never be restored to com- 
munion in the church : de Pallio ; against 
wearing the Roman toga, and recommend- 
ing in place of it, the Grecian pallium or 
cloak. These are all the works of Tertul- 
lian, which have reached us. Among his 
lost works, were seven Books in defence of 
the Montanists ; one on the Believer's hope ; 
one on Paradise, and one on Aaron's gar- 
ments. The best editions of his works, are, 
by Rigaltius, Paris, 1634, and 1641, fol. ; 
and by Semler, Halle, 1769-73, 5 vols. 8vo, 
with a 6th vol. by Windorf, containing in- 
dices and a glossary, 1776. 

Besides the writers above mentioned, 
whose works have been preserved, there 
were many others in this century, of whose 
works we have only extracts preserved by 
the fathers. Of these, a catalogue embra- 
cing such as are mentioned by Eusebius in 
his Eccles. History, and by Jerome, de Scrip- 
toribus Illustribus, is here subjoined. 

Papias, bp. of Hierapolis in Phrygia, con- 
temporary with Ignatius, in the beginning of 
the century. He wrote five Books, contain- 
ing traditional accounts of Christ, his apos- 
tles, and others of the primitive times. He 
is said to have advocated the doctrine of the 
Millennium. Euseb., iii. 39. Jerome, c. 18. 

Quadratus, bp. of Athens. He wrote an 
Apology for the Christians, presented to the 
Emperor Adrian, A.D. 123 or 131. Euseb., 
iv., 3. Jerome, c. 19. 

Aristides, an eloquent Christian philoso- 
pher of Athens, at the same time presented 
an Apology. Euseb., iv., 3. Jerome, c. 20. 

Agrippa Castor, contemporary with the 
two last. He was " a very learned man ;" 
and wrote a confutation of the 24 Books of 
Basilidcs the heretic. Euseb., iv., 7. Je- 
rome, c. 21. 

Hegesippus, a converted Jew, who resided 
at Corinth and at Rome. He wrote about 
A.D. 160, five Books of Eccles. Memoires, 
from the crucifixion of Christ to his own 
times. Euseb., iv., 8, 22, and iii., 19, 20, 
32. Jerome, c. 22. 

Melito, bp. of Sardis. He wrote an Apol- 
ogy, besides various short works ; namely, 
de Pascha (the time of Easter) ; de Vita 
Prophetarum ; de Ecclesia ; de Die Domin- 
ica ; de Sensibus ; de Fide ; de Plasmate ; 
de Anima et Corpore ; de Baptismate ; de 
Veritate ; de Generatione Christi ; de Pro- 
phetia ; de Philoxenia ; a book entitled Cla- 
vis ; de Diabolo, de Apocalypse Joannis, da 



Corporali Deo. Euseb., iv., 26. Jerome, 
c. 24. 

Apollinaris, bp. of Hierapolis in Phrygia, 
A.D. 170. He wrote an Apology ; five 
books against the pagans ; de Veritate, libri 
ii. ; adv. Cataphrygas ; adv. Judaeos, libri 
ii. Euseb., iv., 27. Jerome, c. 16. 

Dionysius, bp. of Corinth, from about 
A.D. 170. He was an active and influen- 
tial man, and wrote valuable epistles to sev- 
eral churches and their bishops ; namely, to 
the churches of Sparta, Athens, Nicomedia, 
Gortyna and others in Crete, Amastris and 
others in Pontus ; and to Pinitus, a Cretan 
bp., and Victor, bp. of Rome. Euseb., iv., 
23. Jerome, c. 27. 

Talian, a rhetorician, and disciple of Jus- 
tin Martyr. After the death of Justin, he 
swerved from the common path, and-became 
founder of a rigorous sect called Encratites. 
He flourished about A.D. 170, and wrote an 
Apology, under the title of Oratio contra 
Graecos, which is still extant and usually 
printed with the works of Justin Martyr. 
He is said to have composed many other 
works ; among which a Diatessaron, or Har- 
mony of the four Gospels, and a treatise on 
Perfection after the pattern of Christ, are 
particularly mentioned. Eusebius, iv., 29. 
Jerome, c. 29. Clem. Alex., Strom, iii., 12. 

Musanus, of the same age, wrote against 
the Encratites. Jerome, c. 31. Eusebius, 
iv., 23. 

Modestus, of the same age, wrote a book 
against Marcion, which Eusebius says ex- 
ceeded all other confutations of that heretic. 
Eusebius, iv., 25. Jerome, c. 32. 

Bardesanes, a Syrian of Edessa, of the 
same age, an eloquent and acute reasoner. 
He was first a Valentinian ; but afterwards, 
wrote against that and other sects. His 
works were numerous, which his admirers 
translated from Syriac into Greek. His 
dialogues against Marcion, and his treatise 
on Fate, are particularly commended. Eu- 
sebius, iv., 30. Jerome, c. 33. 

Victor, bp. of Rome, A.D. 194-203. His 
zeal respecting the right day for Easter, led 
him to write several epistles on that subject. 
Eusebius, v., 24. Jerome, c. 34. Nothing 
of his remains ; though two spurious epistles 
with his name, are still extant. 

Panta;nus, a Christian philosopher of Al- 
exandria, and head of the Catechetic school 
there, before Clement. He was a learned 
and active Christian ; and wrote much, par- 
ticularly in explanation of the Scriptures ; 
but none of his works remain. He visited 
India, or Arabia Felix, as a missionary, and 
had vast influence in the church. Euseb., 
v., 10. Jerome, c. 36. 

Rhodon, an Asiatic Greek, but educated 
at Rome under Tatian. He wrote much ; 
and in particular, on the Hexaemeron, (the 
six days of creation) ; a treatise against Mar- 
cion ; and another against the Phrygians or 
Cataphrygians, the disciples of Montanus. 
Euseb., v., 13. Jerome, c. 37. 

Miltiadcs, who flourished in the reign of 
Commodus, A.D. 180-192. He wrote an 
Apology ; a work against the Cataphrygians ; 
two books against the pagans ; and two oth- 
ers against the Jews. Euseb., v., 17. Je- 
rome, c. 39. 

Apollonius, an eloquent Greek writer, au- 
thor of a long and much valued confutation 
of the Cataphrygians. Euseb., v., 18. Je- 
rome, c. 40. 

Serapion, ordained bp. of Antioch A.D. 
191. He wrote an epistle concerning the 
Montanists or Cataphrygians ; another to 
Domninus, an apostate to Judaism ; and a 
tract concerning the spurious Gospel ascri- 
bed to Peter. Eusebius, vi., 12. Jerome, 
c. 41. 

Apollonius, a Roman senator and martyr 
under Commodus. His eloquent defence at 
his trial, was committed to writing. Euse- 
bius, v., 21. Jerome, c. 42. 

Under the reigns of Commodus and Seve- 
rus, or A.D. 180-211, lived several writers, 
mentioned summarily by Eusebius, v., 27, 
and by Jerome, c. 46-51 : namely, Heracli- 
tus, author of a Commentary on Paul's Epis- 
tles ; Maximus, who wrote on the Origin of 
Evil and the Creation of Matter ; Candidus 
and Appion, who wrote on the Hexae'meron, 
(Gen., ch. i.) ; Scxtus wrote on the resur- 
rection ; and Arabianus composed some 
docrinal tracts. 

All the preceding wrote in Greek, except 
Bardesanes, who composed in Syriac, and 
Victor and Apollonius the martyr, who 
wrote in Latin. TV.] 




1. Religion yet Simple. 2. Was gradually Changed. 3. This proved by an Exam- 
ple. 4. Attention to the Scriptures. . 5 Faults of Interpreters. 6. State of Dog- 
matic Theology. $ 7. Polemics of this Age. 8. Excellences and Defects of the Con- 
troversialists. t) 9. Writers on Practical Religion. t) 10. Merits of the Fathers in re- 
gard to Practical Religion. 11. Twofold System of Practical Religion. 12. Hence 
the Ascetics. 13. Causes of their Rise. 14. Their Progress. 15. Origin of 
pious Frauds. 16. Lives of Christians, and the Discipline of Offenders. 17. Pub- 
lic Penitence modelled according to the Rules of the Pagan Mysteries. 

1. THE whole Christian system was still comprised in a few precepts 
and propositions ; nor did the teachers publicly advance any doctrines be- 
sides those contained in what is called the Apostles' creed. In their man- 
ner of handling these doctrines, there was nothing subtile, profound, or dis- 
tant from common apprehension. This will not appear strange, if we re- 
flect that no controversy had yet been moved, respecting those important 
points of religion about which contests afterwards arose, and that the bish- 
ops were generally plain, unlearned men, more distinguished for their piety 
than for their genius and eloquence. 

2. Yet from this venerable simplicity, insensibly, there was a consid- 
erable departure ; many points were more critically investigated, and more 
artificially stated ; many principles also were imprudently adopted, which 
were derived from philosophy, and that too not of the most solid character. 
This change arose from two principal causes. The first lay in the dispo- 
sition of certain teachers, who wished to make Christianity appear in har- 
mony with the decisions of philosophy, and who thought it elegant to state 
Christian precepts in the language of philosophers, jurists, and rabbis. 
The other cause is found in the discussions with the opposers and corrupt- 
ers of the truth. To meet these, the Christian doctors were sometimes 
under a necessity to state with precision what was before undefined, and 
to exhibit their views with more discrimination. 

3. Whoever wishes for an example, need only consider what began 
to be taught in this age respecting the state of souls when separated from 
the body. Jesus and his apostles simply taught, that the spirits of holy 
men on leaving the body were received to heaven ; and that those of the 
wicked went to hell. And this satisfied the first disciples of Christ, in 
whom there was more piety than curiosity. But this plain doctrine was 
materially injured, when Christians were induced to agree with the Platon- 
ics and others, that only the souls of heroes and men of distinguished 
abilities were raised to heaven ; while those of others, being weighed down 
by their sensual propensities, sunk to the infernal regions, and could never 
attain to the world of light till cleansed from their pollutions.(l) From 
the time that this opinion began to prevail, the martyrs only were repre- 

(1)1 have treated largely of these senti- Platonics, in my notes on R. Cud-worth' t 
jnents of the ancients, and especially of the Intellectual System, torn, ii., p. 1036. 


sented and believed to be happy immediately after death ; and others were 
assigned to some obscure region, in which they were detained till the 
second coming of Christ, or at least, till their impurities which disqualified 
them for heaven should be removed from them. From this source, how 
numerous and how vast the errors ? what vain ceremonies ? what mon- 
strous superstitions took their rise ? 

4. But they all revered the holy scriptures, as the rule of faith and 
the standard of truth ; and therefore they wished them to be in the hands 
of all. Of the translations of the scriptures into other languages, we have 
already spoken. We shall here speak only of the expositors. The first 
Christian who composed explanations of the sacred volume, if I mistake 
not, was Pantanus, the master of the Alexandrine school. But divine 
providence has so ordered, that none of his writings have reached us. 
The Hypotyposes also, of Clemens Alexandrinus, in which he is said to 
have expounded detached passages from all the sacred books, have been 
lost ; and likewise his Commentaries on the canonical Epistles. Tatian 
composed a Harmony of the Gospels, which has [not] escaped the ravages 
of time. (2) Justin Martyr explained the Apocalypse ; Theophilos of An- 
tioch elucidated the four Gospels ; and [several] others expounded the 
Mosaic account of the creation. All these works are now lost. 

5. But this loss is the less to be regretted, since it is certain that no 
one of these expositors could be pronounced a good interpreter. They 
all believed the language of scripture to contain two meanings, the one ob- 
vious and corresponding with the direct import of the words, the other re- 
condite and concealed under the words, like a nut by the shell ; and neg- 
lecting the former, as being of little value, they bestowed their chief at- 
tention on the latter ; that is, they were more intent on throwing obscurity 
over the sacred writings by the fictions of their own imaginations, than on 
searching out their true meaning. Some also, and this is stated especial- 
ly of Clement, attempted to make the divine oracles teach and support the 
precepts of philosophy. The excessive and almost divine authority ascri- 
bed to the Alexandrine version of the Old Testament, called the Septua- 
gint, was a great obstacle to any valuable and suitable interpretation of that 
part of the Bible. 

6. A system of Christian theology, so far as we can learn, was com- 
posed by no one in this age. The tracts of Arabianus, (de dogmate 
Christiano), having been all lost, we cannot tell what they were. The 
five Books of Papias, (de Dictis Christi et Apostolorum, or, Explanatio 
oraculorum dominicorum), so far as can be learned from Eusebius,(3) 
must be regarded rather as a historical than a doctrinal work. Melito of 
Sardis is said to have written, de Fide, de Creatione, de Ecclesia, and de 
Veritate : but it does not appear from these titles, whether they were po- 
lemic or doctrinal treatises. Some points in theology were stated and de- 
fended, by those who engaged in religious controversies. But the doc- 

(2) [I cannot but think there must be a cap. xii., 5, 6, prefixed to his edition of 

great typographical error in the original of Justin Martyr, &c., and republished by 

this sentence. For it is not easy to believe, Sprenger, Thesaurus Rei Patristicae, torn, 

that Dr. Mosheim held to the long exploded ii. TV.] 

notion, that either of those Harmonies of the (3) [Euscbius, Hist. Eccles., lib. iii., c. 

four Gospels, which we have in the Biblio- 29. See also Irenaus, adv. Haeres., 1. v., 

theca Patrum, could be the genuine work of c. 33. Jerome, de Scriptoribus Illustr., cap. 

Tatian. See Prudentius Maran, Diss. xiii., 18. Tr.] 


trines which were not brought into controversy, were for the most part not 
so distinctly treated by the writers of that age, as to enable us fully to un- 
derstand what their views were. It is therefore not strange, that all sects 
of Christians can find in what are called the Fathers, something to favour 
their own opinions and systems. 

7. The controversial writers who distinguished themselves in this 
century, encountered either the Jews, or the worshippers of idol gods, or the 
corrupters of the Christian doctrine and the founders of new sects, that is, 
the heretics. With the Jews, contended in particular Justin Martyr, in his 
dialogue with Trypho ; and likewise Tertullian ; but neither of them, in 
the best manner ; because they were not acquainted with the language and 
history of the Hebrews, and did not duly consider the subject. The^a- 
gans were assailed by those especially, who wrote Apologies for the 
Christians ; as Athenagoras, Melito, Quadratus, Miltiades, Aristides, Ta- 
tian, and Justin Martyr ; or who composed Addresses to the pagans ; as 
Justin, Tertullian, Clement, and Theophilus of Antioch. All these vanquish- 
ed paganism, and answered the calumnies cast upon the Christians, solid- 
ly and dexterously ; but they were less able and successful in explain- 
ing the nature of the Christian religion, and in demonstrating its truth and 
divine origin. At least, we perceive that much is wanting in the explana- 
tions they give of Christian doctrines, and in the arguments they use in 
confirmation of religious truth. Those who chastised the heretics, make 
a numerous body ; but we have few of their writings left. The whole 
host of heretics were attacked by Iren&us in a work expressly against 
them ; by Clement in his Stromata ; and by Tertullian, de Praescriptionibus 
adversus htereticos ; not to mention Justin Martyr, whose confutation of 
them has been lost. Those who wrote against particular sects of heretics, 
it would be tedious to enumerate ; besides, the works of most of them are 
not preserved. 

$ 8. In these disputants there was something more of ingenuousness and 
good faith, than in those who undertook the support of truth in the follow- 
ing centuries. For the convenient wiles of sophistry and the dishonourable 
artifices of debate, had not yet gained admittance among Christians. Yet 
a man of sound judgment who has due regard for truth, cannot extol them 
highly. Most of them lacked discernment, knowledge, application, good 
arrangement, and force. They often advance very flimsy arguments, and 
such as are suited rather to embarrass the mind than to convince the un- 
derstanding. One, laying aside the divine scriptures, from which all the 
weapons of religious controversy should be drawn, bids us consult the 
bishops of those churches which were founded by apostles. Another, as 
if contending about the title or the boundaries of lands in a court of law, 
with an ill grace pleads prescription against his adversaries. A third imi- 
tates the silly disputants among the Jews, who offered as arguments the 
mystic powers of numbers and words. (4) Nor are those wholly in error, 
who think that the vicious mode of disputing which afterwards obtained 
the name of economical, was sometimes used even in this century. (5) 

(4) Examples may be seen in Ja. Bus- 21. [To do, or to say anything, /car* OIKO- 
nagc, Histoire des Juifs, tome Hi., p, 660, vofiiav, or ouovoftucuf, is to use deception 
694. or good policy, rather than fair honest deal- 

(5) R. Simon, Histoire critique des prin- ing ; yet with good intentions, or for a good 
cipaux Commentateurs dn N. T., cap. ii.,p. end. See Suicer, Thesaur. Ecclesiast.,tom. 


9. The principal parts of practical religion or morality, are treated of 
by Justin Martyr, or whoever it was that composed the Epistle to Zenas 
and Serenus, found among the works of Justin. Others took up particular 
duties in set treatises. Thus Clemens Alexandrinus composed tracts on 
Calumny, Patience, Continence, and other virtues ; which have not escaped 
the ravages of time. But the tracts of Tertullian on practical duties, 
namely, on Chastity, on Flight from Persecution, on Fasting, on Theatri- 
cal Exhibitions, on the Dress of Females, on Prayer, &c., have come safely 
to our hands ; and would be perused with greater profit, were it not for 
the gloomy and morose spirit which they everywhere breathe, and the 
excessively artificial and difficult style in which they are written. 

10. In what estimation these and other ancient writers on Christian 
morals ought to be held, the learned are not agreed. Some hold them to 
be the very best guides to true piety and a holy life ; others, on the con- 
trary, think their precepts were the worst possible, and that the cause of 
practical religion could not be committed to worse hands. (6) Competent 
judges will decide the question for themselves. To us it appears that 
their writings contain many things excellent, well considered, and well 
calculated to enkindle pious emotions ; but also many things unduly rigor- 
ous, and derived from the Stoic and Academic philosophy ; many things 
vague and indeterminate ; and many things positively false, and inconsis- 
tent with the precepts of Christ. If one deserves the title of a bad master 
in morals, who has no just ideas of the proper boundaries and limitations of 
Christian duties, nor clear and distinct conceptions of the different virtues 
and vices, nor a perception of those general principles to which recur- 
rence should be had in all discussions respecting Christian virtue, and 
therefore very often talks at random, and blunders in expounding the di- 
vine laws ; though he may say many excellent things, and excite in us 
considerable emotion ; then I can readily admit that in strict truth, this 
title belongs to many of the Fathers. 

11. In this century there was admitted, with good intentions no doubt, 
yet most inconsiderately, a great error in regard to morals, and pernicious 
to Christianity ; an error, which through all succeeding ages to our times, 
has produced an infinity of mistakes and evils of various kinds. Jesus our 
Saviour, prescribed one and the same rule of life or duty to all his disci- 

ii., p. 459. See also note 11, cent, iii., pt. Librum Jo. Barbeyraci, Libnrni, 1767, 4to. 
ii., ch. iii. TV.] Fassonius excuses the fathers for the fol- 
(6) On this subject in our day, the learned lowing opinions, charged upon them as er- 
and ingenious Jo. Barbeyrac held a con- rors by Barbeyrac ; namely, that they con- 
troversy with Remigius Cellier, a Benedic- demned taking interest for money loaned ; 
tine monk. A history of the controversy, placed too high a value on virginity, and ac- 
with his own opinion of it, is given by J. F. counted celibacy a more holy state than mat- 
Buddeus, Isagoge ad Theologian, lib. ii., rimony ; forbid husbands sleeping with their 
cap. iv., $ iv., p. 553, &c. Afterwards wives while pregnant ; deemed it unsuitable 
Barbeyrac published a more full defence of for clergymen to marry, and excluded from 
the severe judgment he had passed upon the the ministry such as married a second time ; 
fathers, under the title of Traitfi de la Morale commended a monastic life; made two 
des Pe'res, Amsterdam, 1723, 4to, which is systems of duty, one for the more perfect, 
well worth reading by those who wish to in- and another for common Christians ; and 
vestigate the subject ; yet T think, he charges held it lawful to persecute heretics with fire 
the fathers with some faults, which may easily and sword Most of the other faults charged 
be excused. [Liberatus Fassonius, a Cath- on the fathers by Barbeyrac, Fassonius 
olic, published an answer to Barbeyrac, in a maintains, should be charged solely on the 
Latin work, de inorali Patrum doctrina, adv. heretics. Tr.] 


pies. But the Christian doctors, either by too great a desire of imitating 
the nations among whom they lived, or from a natural propensity to aus- 
terity and gloom, (a disease that many labour under in Syria, Egypt, and 
other provinces of the East), were induced to maintain that Christ had 
prescribed a twofold rule of holiness and virtue ; the one ordinary, the other 
extraordinary ; the one lower, the other higher ; the one for men of busi- 
ness, the other for persons of leisure, and such as desired higher glory in 
the future world. They therefore early divided all that had been taught 
them either in books or by tradition, respecting a Christian life and morals, 
into Precepts and Counsels. They gave the name of Precepts to those 
laws which were universally obligatory, or were enacted for all men of all 
descriptions ; but the Counsels pertained solely to those who aspire after 
superior holiness and a closer union with God. 

12. There soon arose therefore a class of persons, who professed to 
strive after that extraordinary and more eminent holiness, and who of 
course resolved to obey the Counsels of Christ, that they might have in- 
timate communion with God in this life, and might, on leaving the body, 
rise without impediment or difficulty to the celestial world. They sup- 
posed many things were forbidden to them, which were allowed to oth- 
er Christians ; such as wine, flesh, matrimony, and worldly business.(7) 
They thought they must emaciate their bodies with watching, fasting, toil, 
and hunger. They considered it a blessed thing to retire to desert places, 
and by severe meditation to abstract their minds from all external objects 
and whatever delights the senses. Both men and women imposed these 
severe restraints on themselves, with good intentions, I suppose, but set- 
ting a bad example, and greatly to the injury of the cause of Christianity. 
They were of course denominated Ascetics, ^.-nsdaloc, r E/cAfKTOi, and also 
philosophers ; and they were distinguished from other Christians, not only 
by a different appellation, but by peculiarities of dress and demeanour.(S) 
Those who in this century embraced this austere mode of life, lived in- 
deed only for themselves, but they did not withdraw themselves altogether 
from the society and converse of men. But in process of time, persons 
of this description at first retired into deserts, and afterwards formed them- 
selves into associations, after the manner of the Essenes and Therapeutae. 

13. The causes of this institution are at hand. First, the Christians 
did not like to appear inferior to the Greeks, the Romans, and the other 
people ; among whom there were many philosophers and sages, who were 
distinguished from the vulgar by their dress and their whole mode of life, 
and who were held in high honour. Now among these philosophers, (as 
is well known), none better pleased the Christians than the Platonists and 
Pythagoreans ; who are known to have recommended two modes of living, 
the one for philosophers who wished to excel others in virtue, and the 
other for people engaged in the common affairs of life. (9) The Plato- 
nists prescribed the following rule for philosophers : The mind of a wise 

(7) A/hrnfifforas, Apologia pro Christian- (9) They made a distinction between liv- 
is, cap. 28, p. 129, ed. Oxon., and others. ing according to nature, C#v Kara <j>voiv, and 

(8) See C. Siilnumiiis, Comment, in Ter- living above nature, Criv inrep <j>vaiv. See 
tullian. de Pallio, p. 7, 8, [S f!a:aru.f. in Theophrasto, p. 29, ed. 
Exercit. de Ascetis Vet. in Observ. Sacr., Barthii. The former was the rule for all 
1. iii., and Jos. Bingham, Antiq. Eccles., men; the latter, only for philosophers who 
vol. iii., p. 3, &c. Schi] aimed at perfect virtue. 

VOL. I. R 


man must be withdrawn, as far as possible, from the contagious influ- 
ence of the body. And as the oppressive load of the body and social in- 
tercourse are most adverse to this design, therefore all sensual gratifica- 
tions are to be avoided ; the body is to be sustained, or rather mortified, 
with coarse and slender fare ; solitude is to be sought for ; and the mind 
is to be self-collected, and absorbed in contemplation, so as to be detach- 
ed as much as possible from the body. (10) Whoever lives in this manner, 
shall in the present life have converse with God ; and, when freed from 
the load of the body, shall ascend without delay to the celestial mansions, 
and shall not need, like the souls of other men* to undergo a purgation. 
The grounds of this system lay in the peculiar sentiments entertained by 
this sect of philosophers and by their friends, respecting the soul, demons, 
matter, and the universe. And as these sentiments were embraced by the 
Christian philosophers, the necessary consequences of them were of course 
to be adopted also. 

14. What is here stated will excite less surprise, if it be remember- 
ed, that Egypt was the land where this mode of life had its origin. For 
that country, from some law of nature, has always produced a greater 
number of gloomy and hypochondriac or melancholy persons than any 
other ;(11) and it still does so. Here it was that long before the Saviour's 
birth, not only the Esscnes and Therapeutae, those Jewish sects, com- 
posed of persons affected with a morbid melancholy, or rather partially 
deranged, had their chief residence ; but many others also, that they 
might better please the gods, withdrew themselves as by the instinct of 
nature from commerce with men and from all the pleasures of life. (12) 
From Egypt, this mode of life passed into Syria and the neighbouring coun- 
tries, which in like manner always abounded with unsociable and austere 
individuals :( 13) and from the East it was at last introduced among the 
nations of Europe. Hence the numerous maladies which still deform the 
Christian world ; hence the celibacy of the clergy ; hence the numerous 
herds of monks ; hence the two species of life, the theoretical and mystical; 
hence the many other things of a like nature, which we shall have occa- 
sion to mention in the progress of our work. 

15. To this great error of the Christians may be added another, not 
indeed of equal extent, but a pernicious one and productive of many evils. 
The Platonists and Pythagoreans deemed it not only lawful but commend- 
able to deceive and to lie, for the sake of truth and piety.(14) The Jews 
living in Egypt, learned from them this sentiment before the Christian era, 
as appears from many proofs. And from both, this vice early spread among 
the Christians. Of this no one will doubt, who calls to mind the numerous 
forgeries of books under the names of eminent men, the Sibylline verses, ( 15) 

(10) Consult here, by all means, that most Exhortatione castitatis, cap. 13. Athanasi- 
distinguished Platonist, Porphyry, irepl ano- us, Vita Antonii, Opp., torn, ii., p. 453. 
Xijf, or, on Abstinence from flesh, lib. i., $ (13) Jo. Chardin, Voyages in Perse, 
27 and 41, p. 22, 34, where he formally lays tome iv., p. 197, ed. Amsterd., 1735, 4to. 
down rules for these duties of a philosopher. (14) [Moshcim, on this subject, in his 

(11) See Bcned. Maillet, Description de Comment, de Reb. Christ., &c., p. 231, re- 
1'Egypte, tome ii., p. 57, &c., Paris, 1735, fers us to his Diss. de turbata per recentiores 
4to. Platonicas ecclesia, $ 41, &c. Tr.~\ 

(12) Herodotus, Historiar., 1. ii., p. 104, (15) [Concerning the Sibylline verses, 
ed. Gronov. Epiphanins, Expos, fidei, $ which were composed about "A.D. 138, /. 
13, Opp., torn, ii., p. 1092. Tertullian, de A. Fabricius has treated largely, Biblioth. 


and other similar trash,(16) a large mass of which appeared in this and 
the following centuries. I would not say that the orthodox Christians 
forged all the books of this character ; on the contrary, it is probable that 
the greater part of them originated from the founders of the Gnostic sects. 
Yet that the Christians who were free from heterodox views were not 
wholly free from this fault, is too clear to be denied. 

16. The more the boundaries of the church were enlarged, the great- 
er the number of vicious and bad men who thrust themselves into it ; as 
may be proved by the many complaints and censures of the writers of this 
age. The well-known custom of excluding transgressors from the commu- 
nion, was a barrier against the more flagrant and notorious crimes. Of all 
sins, those accounted the most heinous and the greatest, were these three, 
murder, idolatry, and adultery ; which terms, however, must here be under- 
stood in the broadest sense. Those guilty of these crimes, were in many 
churches cut off for ever from communion ; in other churches, they were 
received back after a long, severe, and painful probation. (17) 

17. It is worthy of particular notice, that this custom of excluding bad 
characters from the society of Christians, and of not receiving them back 
except upon full proof of reformation, was at first a simple process, or at- 
tended with very little formality ; but by degrees, the regulations for it 
.were greatly amplified and deformed by many rites borrowed especially 
from the discipline of the pagan mysteries. (18) That it was proper for 
the Christian bishops to increase the restraints upon the licentiousness of 
transgression, will be readily granted by all who consider the circumstances 
of those times. But whether it was for the advantage of Christianity, to 
borrow rules for this salutary ordinance from the enemies of the truth, and 
thus to consecrate, as it were, a part of the pagan superstition, many per- 

Graeca; torn. i. The latest editor of the Hist. Eccles. See Mosheim, do Rebus 
verses, is Servat. Gallaeus, who has cor- Christ., &c., p. 230. See also the refer- 
rected the text, and added copious notes, ences in Gicsder's Text-book, by Cunning- 
Amsterd., 1689, 4to. He has subjoined the ham, vol. i., p. 99, note 4. TV.] 
Magic Oracles ascribed to Zoroaster and (16) [That the books now circulated under 
others ; in which are many things of Chris- the name of Hermes, and particularly the 
tian origin. That the Sibylline verses were one called Pcemander, were a Christian for- 
fabrioated by some Christian, in order to gery, was first shown by 7*. Casaubon, Ex- 
bring idolaters to believe in the truth of ercit. 1, in Baronium. 18, p. 54, and after- 
Christianity, has been well shown by Dav. wards by H. Conringius, Beautobre, Cud- 
Blondell, among others ; and with a very worth, Warburton, and many others. Some 
few exceptions, there is no learned man at however, suppose the books were originally 
the present day, who thinks otherwise, composed by Platonists ; and afterwards in- 
BlondelVs work which is in French, was terpolated and corrupted by some Christian. 
first published under the title : Des Sibylles See Mosheim, de Reb. Christ., p. 230. TV.] 
celebrees tant par 1'Antiquite payenne, que (17) In this manner I think, we may rcc- 
par les saints Peres, Charenton, 1649, 4to. oncile the different opinions of learned men 
Two years after, the title was changed ; on this subject. See Jo. Morin, de Disci- 
doubtless to allure purchasers ; Traite, dela plina pcenitentiae, lib. ix., cap 19, p. 670, 
Creance des Peres touchant 1'Etat des ames &c. Ja. Sirmond, Historia poenitentiae pub- 
apres cette vie, &c., a 1'occasion de 1'Ecrit licse, cap. i., Opp., torn, iv., p. 323, and the 
attribue aux Sibelles, Charenton, 1651, 4to. recent Dissertation of Jo. Aug. Orsi, de 
That the pagans were indignant at this Criminum capitalium per tria priora saecula 
forgery, which they attributed to the Chris- absolutione, Mediolani, 1730, 4to. 
tians, appears from Origen, contra Celsum, (18) See Jo. Alb. Fabricius, Bibliogra- 
lib. v., p. 272, ed Spencer ; Lactantius, In- phias Antiquariae, p. 397. Jo. Monn, de 
stit. Divinor., 1. iv., c. 14 ; and Constantinc Poenitentia, lib. i., cap. 15, 16, &c. 
the Great, Oratio ad Sanctos, in Euscb., 


sons very justly call in question. The more candid will appreciate the 
good intention of those who introduced this sort of rules and ceremonies ; 
all beyond this they will ascribe to human weakness. x 



$ 1. Ceremonies much Increased. $2. Reasons; I. Desire to enlarge the Church. 
3. II. Hope that they would silence Calumnies. f) 4. III. Abuse of Jewish Terms. 
5. IV. Imitation of the Pagan Mysteries. 6. V. Mode of Instructing by Symbols. 
7. VI. Habits of the Converts. $ 8. The Assemblies for Worship. $ 9. Con- 
tests about the Time for Easter. 10. Their Importance. 11. The Asiatics and the 
Romans, the principal Parties. 12. Celebration of the Lord's Supper. $ 13. Baptism. 

1. IT is certain that to religious worship, both public and private, many 
rites were added, without necessity and to the great offence of sober and 
good men.(l) The principal cause of this, I readily look for in the per- 
versenes.s of mankind, who are more delighted with the pomp and splen- 
dour of external forms and pageantry, than with the true devotion of the 
heart, and who despise whatever does not gratify their eyes and ears. (2) 
But other and additional causes may be mentioned, which, though they 
suppose no bad design, yet clearly betray indiscretion. 

2. First, there is good reason to suppose that the Christian bishops 
purposely multiplied sacred rites for the sake of rendering the Jews and 
the pagans more friendly to them. For both these classes had been ac- 
customed to numerous and splendid ceremonies from their infancy, and had 
made no question of their constituting an essential part of religion. And 
hence, when they saw the new religion to be destitute of such ceremonies, 
they thought it too simple, and therefore despised it. To obviate this ob- 
jection, the rulers of the Christian churches deemed it proper for them to 
be more formal and splendid in their public worship.(3) 

(1) Tertullian, Liber de creatione, -Opp., ritum vulgus in simulacrorum cultus errors 
p. 792, &c. permaneret permisit eis, ut in memoriam 

(2) [To illustrate the influence of splendid ac recordationem sanctorum martyrum sese 
ceremonies on mankind, Dr. Maclaine here oblectarent et in letitiam effunderentur, quod 
states ; that, " The late Lord Bolingbroke, successu temporis aliquando futurum esset, 
being present at the elevation of the host in ut sua sponte ad honestiorem et accuratio- 
the Cathedral at Paris, expressed to a noble- rem vitae rationem transirent. When Greg- 
man who stood near him, his surprise that ory perceived, that the ignorant and simple 
the king of France should commit the pur- multitude persisted in their idolatry, on ac- 
formance of such an august and striking cer- count of the sensitive pleasures and delights 
emony to any subject." 7V.] it afforded he allowed them in celebrating 

(3) It will not be unsuitable to transcribe the memory of the holy martyrs, to indulge 
here, a very apposite passage, which I acci- themselves, and give a loose to pleasure, (i. 
dentally met with, in Gregory NysserCs life e., as the thing itself, and both what pre- 
of Gregory Thaumaturgus, in the Works of cedes and what follows, place beyond all 
Thaumaturgus, as published by Vossius, p. controversy, he allowed them at the sepul- 
312, who gives the Latin only: Cum ani- chres of the martyrs on their feast days, to 
madvertisset, (Greporius), quod ob corporeas dance, to use sports, to indulge conviviality, 
delectationes et voluptates simplex et impe- and to do all things that the worshippers of 


3. Secondly, the simplicity of the worship which Christians offered to 
the Deity, had given occasion to certain calumnies, maintained both by 
the Jews and the pagan priests. The Christians were pronounced Athe- 
ists, because they were destitute of temples, altars, victims, priests, and 
all that pomp, in which the vulgar suppose the essence of religion to con- 
sist. For unenlightened persons are prone to estimate religion by what 
meets their eyes. To silence this accusation, the Christian doctors thought 
they must introduce some external rites, which would strike the senses of 
people ; so that they could maintain that they really had all those things 
of which Christians were charged with being destitute, though under dif- 
ferent forms. 

4. Thirdly, it is well known, that in the books of the New Testa- 
ment, various parts of the Christian religion are expressed in terms bor- 
rowed from the Jewish laws, or are represented as in some measure par- 
allel with the Mosaic rites. This language, the Christian doctors and wri- 
ters not only imitated, but extended still farther ; and in this there was lit- 
tle to censure. But in process of time, either from inconsideration or from 
ignorance, or from motives of policy, the majority decided that such phra- 
seology was not figurative, but accordant with the nature of the things, and 
to be understood in its proper sense. The bishops were at tirst innocent- 
ly called high priests, and the presbyters, priests, and the deacons, Levites. 
But in a little time, those to whom these titles were given abused them ; 
and maintained that they had the same rank and dignity, and possessed the 
same rights and privileges with those who bore these titles under the Mo- 
saic dispensation. Hence the origin of Jirst fruits, and next of tithes; 
hence the splendid garments, and many other things. In like manner, the 
comparison of the Christian oblations with the Jewish victims and sacri- 
fices, produced many unnecessary rites ; and in time corrupted essentially 
the doctrine of the Lord's supper, which, ere they were aware of it, was 
converted into a sacrifice. 

5. Fourthly, among the Greeks and the people of the East nothing was 
held more sacred than what were called the Mysteries. This circumstance 
led the Christians, in order to impart dignity to their religion, to say, that 
they also had similar mysteries, or certain holy rites concealed from the 
vulgar ; and they not only applied the terms used in the pagan mysteries to 
the Christian institutions, particularly baptism and the Lord's supper ; but 
they gradually introduced also the rites which were designated by those 
terms. (4) This practice originated in the eastern provinces ; and thence, 
after the times of Adrian, (who first introduced the Grecian mysteries 
among the Latins), (5) it spread among the Christians of the West. A 

idols were accustomed to do in their temples, ed. Obrechti. [ Spartian speaks only of the 

on their festival days), hoping, that in pro- /m'mare Mysteries, into which Adrian was 

cess of time, they would spontaneously initiated at Athens. These, it may be, that 

come over to a more becoming and more Adrian first introduced among the Latins ; 

correct manner of life. yet he was not the first Roman initiated in 

(4) Examples are given by Is. Casaubon, them. That some Mysteries had before this 
Exercit. xvi., in Annales Baronii, p. 388. time, been introduced into the Roman wor- 
Ja. Tollius, Insignibus itineris Italici, notes ship, appears from the Epislles of Cicero to 
p. 151, 163. Ez. Spanheim, Notes to his Atticus, 1. v., 21, end; lib. vi., 1, end; 1. 
French translation of Julian's Caesars, p. xv., 25. Gronovius indeed understands 
133, 134. Dav. Clarkson, Discourse on these (mysteria Romana) to be the worship 
Liturgies, p. 36, 42, 43, and others. of the goddess Bona Dea. See his (Jbsei v , 

(5) Spartianus, Hadrian, c. 13, p. 15, 1. iv., c. 9. But on this worship, no male 


large part therefore of the Christian observances and institutions, even in 
this century, had the aspect of the pagan mysteries. 

6. Fifthly, many ceremonies took their rise from the custom of the 
Egyptians and of almost all the eastern nations, of conveying instruction 
by images, actions, and sensible signs and emblems. The Christian doc- 
tors, therefore, thought it would be advantageous to the cause of Christian- 
ity to place the truths which are necessary to be known in order to salva- 
tion, as it were before the eyes of the unreflecting multitude, who with dif- 
ficulty contemplate abstract truths. The new converts were to be taught, 
that those are born again, who are initiated by baptism into the Christian 
worship, and that they ought to exhibit in their conduct the innocence of 
little infants ; and therefore milk and honey, the common food of infants, 
was administered to them. Those who obtained admission to the king- 
dom of Christ, from being the servants of the devil, became the Lord's 
freed men ; and, like newly enlisted soldiers, swore to obey their com- 
mander. And to signify this, certain rites were borrowed from military 
usages, and from the forms of manumission. (6) 

7. Lastly, not to be tedious ; whoever considers that the Christians 
were collected from among the Jews and from the pagan nations who 
were accustomed from their earliest years to various ceremonies and su- 
perstitious rites, and that the habits of early life are very hard to be laid 
aside ; will perceive, that it would have been little short of a miracle, if 
nothing corrupt and debasing had found its way into the Christian church. 
For example ; nearly all the people of the East, before the Christian era, 
were accustomed to worship with their faces directed towards the sun 
rising. For they all believed that God whom they supposed to resem- 
ble light, or rather to be light, and whom they limited as to place, had 
his residence in that part of the heavens where the sun rises. When they 
became Christians they rejected indeed the erroneous belief; but the cus- 
tom that originated from it, and which was very ancient and universally 
prevalent, they retained. Nor to this hour, has it been wholly laid aside. 
From the same cause originated many Jewish rites, which are still reli- 
giously maintained by many Christians, and especially by those who live 
in eastern countries.(7) 

8. The rites themselves, I shall state only summarily ; for this ex- 
tensive subject deserves to be considered by itself, and can not be fully 
discussed in the narrow limits of our work. The Christians assembled 
for the worship of God in private dwelling-houses, in caves, and in the places 
where the dead were buried. They met on the first day of the week ; 
and here and there, also on the seventh day, which was the Jewish Sab- 
bath. Most of them likewise held sacred the fourth and sixth, the former 
being the day on which our Saviour was betrayed, and the latter that on 
which he was crucified. The hours of the day allotted to these meetings, 

person might attend ; and I see not why Ci- ad S. Baptismum translatis, Altdorf, 1738, 

cero should inquire so particularly of his and J. G. Zentgrav's Diss. at Jena, under 

friend, (as he does), about the time of these Dr. Wa!ch, 1749, de Ritibus Baptismalibus 

mysteries, if they were nothing but the wor- saeculi secundi. Schl.] 

ship of a deity, in which none but females (7) See Jo. Spencer, de Legibus ritualibus 

ever bore any part. Sf.hl.] Ebraeor. Prolegom., p. 9, ed. Cantab., and 

(6) See Edm. Merill, Observations, lib. all those who have explained the rites and 

iii., cap. iii. [C. G. Schwartz, Diss. de rit- usages of the Oriental Christians, 
ibus quibusdam formulisque a manumissione 



varied according to times and circumstances ; very many of them could 
assemble only in the evening, or in the morning before the dawn of day. 
When the Christians were assembled, prayers were recited ; (the purport 
of which, Tertullian gives us) ;(8) the holy scriptures were read ;(9) short 
discourses on Christian duties were addressed to the people ; hymns were 
sung ; and at last, the Lord's supper and the love-feasts were celebrated, 
the oblations of the people affording them the materials. (10) 

9. The Christians of this century consecrated anniversary festivals, 
in memory of the Saviour's death and resurrection, and of the descent of 
the Holy Spirit upon the apostles. The day in remembrance of Christ's 
dying and expiating the sins of men, was called the Passover or Easter, 
(Pascha), because they supposed that Christ was crucified on the same 
day in which the Jews kept their Passover. But in observing this festi- 
val, the Christians of Asia Minor differed from other Christians, and espe- 
cially from those of Rome. Both fasted on what was called the great 
week, that on which Christ died ;* and in remembrance of the last supper 
of our Saviour, they held a sacred feast or ate the paschal lamb, just as the 
Jews did ; which feast, as well as the time of Christ's death, they denom- 
inated the Passover or Easter. Now the Asiatic Christians held their pas- 
chal feasts on the fourteenth day, or full moon, of the first Jewish month, 
which was the very time on which the Jews ate their Passover ; and on 
the third day after this supper they kept the memorial of Christ's triumph 

(8) Tertullian, Apologeticum, cap. 39. 

(9) [That other religious books, besides 
the canonical scriptures, were read in several 
churches, appears from Eusebius, Hist. Ec- 
cles., lib. iv., 23, and iii., 3, who informs us, 
that the first Epistle of Clement, and that of 
Soter, bishops of Rome, were publicly read in 
the church of Corinth ; as was the Shepherd 
of Hermas, in very many churches. TV.] 

(10) [Pliny, (Epistolar., 1. x., ep. 97), 
gives some account of the public worship of 
the Christians, in the beginning of this cen- 
tury : and Justin Martyr, near the close of 
that Apology which he presented to Antoni- 
nus Pius, A.D. 150, gives the following more 
full and authentic account : " On the day 
which is called Sunday, all, whether dwelling 
in the towns or in the villages, hold meet- 
ings ; and the Memoires (cnrouvvfiOveiiuaTa) 
of the apostles, and the writings of the 
prophets, are read, as much as the time will 
permit ; then, the reader closing, the Presi- 
dent in a speech, exhorts and excites to an 
imitation of those excellent examples ; then 
we all rise, and pour forth united prayers ; 
and when we close our prayer, as was before 
said, bread is brought forward, and wine, and 
water ; and the President utters prayers and 
thanksgivings, according to his ability, (OCTT; dvrw), and the people respond, by 
saying amen ; and a distribution and parti- 
cipation of the things blessed, takes place to 
each one present, and to those absent, it is 
sent by the Deacons. And those who are 

prosperous and willing, give what they 
choose, each according to his own pleasure ; 
and what is collected, is deposited with the 
President ; and he carefully relieves the or- 
phans and widows, and those who from sick- 
ness or other causes are needy, and also those 
in _prison, and the strangers that are residing 
with us, and in short, all that have need of 
help. We all commonly hold our assemblies 
on Sunday, because it is the first day on 
which God converted the darkness and mat- 
ter, and framed the world ; and Jesus Christ 
our Saviour, on the same day, arose from the 
dead." Justin makes no mention here of 
sinhi!T, as a part of the public worship of 
Christians. But Pliny in his Epistle assures 
us ; " Quod essent soliti stato die ante lucem 
convenire ; carmcnyue Christo, quasi Deo, 
dicere sccum invicem:'' and both the N. 
Testament, and all antiquity, recognise sing- 
ing as a part of Christian worship. TV.] 

* [Dr. Mosheim seems to say, that all 
Christians agreed in observing the entire 
week preceding Easter Sunday as a fast. 
But there was in fact great diversity among 
them. For Ircnteus, in his Epistle to Victor, 
bp. of Rome, (quoted by Eusebius, H. E., 
v. 24), says expressly : " There is dispute 
not only respecting the day, but also respect- 
ing the form (t<5c) of the feast. For some 
think they ought to fast one day, others tiro 
days, others still more, and some limit their 
fast to twenty-four hours diurnal and noctur- 
nal." See Valetius, notes in locum. TV.] 


over death, or of his resurrection. This custom, they said they had re- 
ceived from the apostles John and Philip ; and they moreover supported 
it by the example of Christ himself, who celebrated his paschal feast, at 
the same time with the Jews. But the other Christians put off their 
Passover, that is, their paschal feast, until the evening preceding the festal 
day sacred to Christ's resurrection, [or Saturday evening], and thus con- 
nected the memorial of Christ's death, with that, of his resurrection. And 
they cited Peter and Paul as authors of their custom. 

10. The Asiatic custom of celebrating Easter, had two great incon- 
veniences, which appeared intolerable to the other Christians, and espe- 
cially to the Romans. First, by holding their sacred feasts on the very 
day, on which they supposed Christ ate the paschal lamb with his disci- 
ples, they interrupted the fast of the great week ; which appeared to the 
other Christians to fall little short of a crime. Again, as they always 
kept the memorial of Christ's rising from the dead, on the third day after 
their paschal supper, it unavoidably happened, that they more commonly 
kept, on some other day of the week than the first or Sunday, called the 
Lord's day, the festival of Christ's resurrection, which in after times was 
called and is now called the Passover or Easter. Now the greater part of 
the Christians deemed it wrong to consecrate any other day than the 
Lord's day, in remembrance of Christ's resurrection. Hence great con- 
tention frequently arose from this difference between the Asiatic and the 
other Christians. In the reign of Antoninus Pius, about the middle of 
this century, A.nicetus bishop of Rome, and Polycarp bishop of Smyrna, 
investigated this subject with great care at Rome. But the Asiatics 
could not be induced by any considerations, to give up their custom, which 
they believed to be handed down to them from St. John.(ll) 

11. Near the close of the century, Victor bishop of Rome, was of 
opinion that the Asiatic Christians ought to be compelled by laws and de- 
crees, to follow the rule adopted by the greater part of the Christian world. 
Accordingly, after ascertaining the opinions of foreign bishops, he sent an 
imperious letter to the Asiatic bishops admonishing them to follow the 
example of other Christians in observing Easter. They replied with 
spirit, by Polycrates bishop of Ephesus, that they would not depart from 
the holy institution of their ancestors. Irritated by this decision, Victor 
excluded them from his communion, and from that of his church, (not 
from that of the universal church, which he had not power to do), that is, 
he pronounced them unworthy to be called his brethren. The progress 
of this schism was checked by IrencBus bishop of Lyons, in letters wisely 
composed, which he directed to Victor and others, and by the Asiatic bish- 
ops, who wrote a long letter in their own justification. And thus both par- 
ties retained their respective customs, until the council of Nice, in the 
fourth century, abrogated the Asiatic usages. (12) 

(11) Eusebius, Hist. Eccles., lib. iv., c. he treats of the controversy indeed, but he 
14, and 1. v., c. 24. misunderstood the precise subject of it. 

(12) What is here stated briefly, is more The venerable Heumann's tract on this con- 
fully explained in my Comment, de Rebus troversy, is republished in the Sylloge of his 

' Christianor. ante Constantinum M., p. 435, minor works. [Dr. Moshcim thinks the true 

&.c. I there said, p. 439, that Peter Faydit statement of this controversy is that which 

saw the mistake in the common accounts of he has given ; and that many writers have 

this controversy. But my memory failed mistaken the points at issue, from not dis- 

me. On consulting the book, I find, that tinguishing between the ancient and the 



12. When the Christians celebrated the Lord's supper, which they 
were accustomed to do chiefly on Sundays, they consecrated a part of the 
bread and wine of the oblations, by certain prayers pronounced by the 
president, the bishop of the congregation. The wine was mixed with 
water, and the bread was divided into small pieces. Portions of the con- 
secrated bread and wine were commonly sent to the absent and the sick, 
in testimony of fraternal affection towards them. (13) There is much evi- 
dence that this most holy rite was regarded as very necessary to the attain- 
ment of salvation : and 1 therefore dare not accuse of error, those who be- 
lieve that the sacred supper was, in this century, given to infants. (14) 
Of the love-feasts, the notice before given, may be sufficient. 

13. Twice a year, namely, at Easter and Whtteuntide,(l5) (Pascha- 
tis et Pentecostis diebus), baptism was publicly administered by the bishop, 
or by the presbyters acting by his command and authority. The candidates 
for it were immersed wholly in water, with invocation of the sacred Trin- 
ity, according to the Saviour's precept, after they had repeated what they 
called the Creed, (Symboluni}, and had renounced all their sins and trans- 
gressions, and especially the devil and his pomp. The baptized were 
signed with the cross, anointed, commended to God by prayer and impo- 
sition of hands, and finally directed to taste some milk and honey. (1 6) 
The reasons for these ceremonies, must be sought in what has already 
been said respecting the causes of the ceremonies. Adults were to pre- 
pare their minds expressly, by prayers, fasting, and other devotional exer- 
cises. Sponsors or godfathers were, as I apprehend, first employed for 
adults, and afterwards for children likewise.(17) 

more modem application of the term Pass- 
over or Easter. See Eusclnus, H. E., v., 
c. 23, 24. Socrates, H. E., v., c. 22. A. 
Neander. Kirchengesch., pt. ii., p. 517, &c. 
H. Pridcaux, Connexions, pt. ii., b. v., ann. 
162. Adr. Baillet, Histoire des Festes, p. 
9, &.c. Tr.-\ 

( 13) See Henry Rixner, de Ritibus vete- 
rum Christianor. circa Eucharistiam, p. 155, 
&c., [and the quotation from Justin Martyr, 
in note 10 of this chapter. Jr.] 

(14) See Jo. Fr. Mayer, Diss. de eucha- 
ristia infantum ; and Peter Zornius, Histo- 
ria eucharistise infantum, Berol., 1736, 8vo. 

(15) See W. Wall, History of infant 
Baptism, vol., i., p. 277, 279, of the Latin 
edition by Schlosscr: Jos. Vicecomes, de Riti- 
bus baptism!, Paris, 1618, 8vo. 

(16) See especially, Tertnliian, de Bap- 
tismo, [and respecting the honey and milk, 
Tertullian, de Corona, c. 3 ; and Clemens 
Alex., Paedaa., 1. i., c. 6. Schl.] 

(17) See Ger. van Mustncht, de Suscep- 
toribus infantium ex baptismo, edit. 2d, 
Frankf., 1727, 4to. He thinks sponsors were 
used for children, and not for adults ; p. 15. 
See also W. H'//, Hist, of infant Baptism, 
vol. i., p. 69, 474, &c. [The manner of 
receiving new converts into the churches, 
about the year 150, is thus minutely de- 
Bcribed by Justin Martyr, in his (so called) 


second Apology, towards the conclusion. 
" In what manner we dedicate ourselves to 
God, after being renewed by Christ, we will 
now explain ; lest by omitting this, we should 
seem to dissemble in our statement. Those 
who believe and are persuaded, that the things 
we teach and inculcate are true, and who 
profess ability thus to live, are directed to 
pray, with fasting, and to ask of God the 
forgiveness of their former sins ; we also 
fasting and praying with them. Then we 
conduct them to a place where there is 
water ; and they are regenerated [baptized], 
in the manner in which we have been re- 
generated [baptized] ; for they receive a 
washing with water, in the name of the 
Father of all, the Lord God, and of our 
Saviour, Jesus Christ, and of the Holy 
Spirit. For Christ said ; Except ye be re- 
generated, ye shall not enter into the king- 
dom of heaven." " This washing is likewise 
called illumination ; because the minds of 
those who have learned these things, are en- 
lightened. And whoever is enlightened, is 
washed in the name of Jesus Christ, who 
was crucified under Pontius Pilate ; and in 
the name of the Holy Spirit, who by the 
prophets foretold all that relates to Christ." 
" And after thus washing the convinced 
and consenting person, we conduct him to 
where the brethren as we call them are as- 




$ 1. Discord among the Jewish Christians. $ 2. Hence the Nazareans and Ebionites. 
3. Their Impiety. 4. The Sects originating from the Oriental Philosophy. () 5. 
Elxai and Elcesaites. $ 6. Saturninus ; his Extravagances. 7. Cerdo and Marcion. 
$ 8. Bardesanes. 9. Tatian and the Encratites. <J 10. Peculiar Sentiments of the 
Egyptian Gnostics. 11. Basilides. <J 12. His Enormities. () 13. His Moral Princi- 
ples. $ 14. Carpocrates. 15. Valentinus. 16. His Extravagances. 17. Vari- 
ous Sects of Valentinians. () 18. The minor Sects of Valentinians. f) 19. The Ophites. 
20. Monarchians and Patripassians. 21. Theodotus, Artemon. I) 22. Hermoge- 
nes. 23. The illiterate Sects. Montanus. 24. The Success of Montanus, and 
his Doctrine. 

1. AMONG the Christian sects that arose in this century, the first place 
is due to those Jewish Christians, whose zeal for the Mosaic law severed 
them from the other believers in Christ. (I) The rise of this sect took 
place in the reign of Adrian. For, when this emperor had wholly destroyed 
Jerusalem a second time, and had enacted severe laws against the Jews, the 
greater part of the Christians living in Palestine, that they might not be 
confounded with Jews as they had been, laid aside the Mosaic ceremonies, 
and chose one Mark, who was a foreigner and not a Jew, for their bishop. 
This procedure was very offensive to those among them, whose attach- 
ment to the Mosaic rites was too strong to be eradicated. They therefore 
separated from their brethren, and formed a distinct society in Peraea, a 
part of Palestine, and in the neighbouring regions ; and among them, the 
Mosaic law retained all its dignity unimpaired. (2) 

sembled ; and there offer our united suppli- partake of the bread and the wine and water, 

cations, with earnestness, both for ourselves over which thanks were given : and to those 

and for the enlightened person, and for all not present, the Deacons carry it. And this 

others every where ; that we may conduct food is called by us the Eucharist ; which it 

ourselves as becomes those who have re- is unlawful for any one to partake of, unless 

ceived the truth, and by our deeds prove ' he believes the things taught by us to be 

ourselves good citizens, and observers of true, and has been washed with the washing 

what is commanded us ; so that we may be for the remission of sins in regeneration, and 

saved with an eternal salvation. And on lives according to what Christ has taught." 

ending our prayers, we salute each other TV.] 

with a kiss. Then, there is placed before (1) [The origin, names, and diversity of 

the President of the brethren, bread, and a opinion, of this class of sects, are well stated 

cup of water and wine ; which he taking, by A. Neartder, Kirchengesch., vol. i., part 

offers praise and glory to the Father of all, ii., p. 603-626. TV.] 

through the name of the Son and of the (2) See Sulpitius Scverus, Historia sacra, 

Holy Spirit, and gives thanks at great length, 1. ii , c. 31, p. 245, &c., [p. 381, ed. Hornii, 

that such blessings are vouchsafed us ; and 1647. He says : " Adrian stationed a re- 

when he ends the prayers and the thanks- giment of soldiers as a constant guard, to 

giving, all the people present respond, amen, prevent all Jews from entering Jerusalem ; 

Now the word amen, in the Hebrew tongue, which was advantageous to the Christian 

signifies so be it. And after the President faith ; because, at that time, nearly all [the 

has given thanks, and all the people have ut- Jewish Christians] believed in Christ as 

tered the response, those whom we call God, yet with an observance of the Law." 

Deacons, distribute to every one present, to Tr. ] 


2. This body of people who would unite Moses and Christ, was again 
divided into two classes, differing widely in their opinions and customs, the 
Nazareans and the Ebionites. The former are not reckoned, by the an- 
cient Christians, among heretics ;(3) but the latter are placed among those 
sects which subverted the foundations of religion. Both sects used a his- 
tory of Christ or a Gospel, which was different from our Gospels.(4) The 
word Nazarean was not the name of a sect, but was equivalent to the word 
Christian. For those who bore the title of Christians among the Greeks, 
were among the Jews called Nazareans ; and they did not esteem it a 
name of disgrace. Those who after their separation from their brethren, 
retained this original name imposed on the disciples of Christ by the 
Jews, believed Christ to be born of a virgin, and to be in some way united 
with the divine nature. And although they would not discard the ceremo- 
nies prescribed by Moses, yet they would not obtrude them upon the Gen- 
tile Christians. They moreover rejected the additions to the Mosaic 
ritual, made by the doctors of the law and by the Pharisees. (5) It is 
therefore easy to see, why the other Christians in general judged more 
favourably of them. 

3. Whether the Ebionites derived their name from a man [called 
Ebiori\, or were so denominated on account of their poverty either in re- 
gard to property or sentiment, is uncertain. (6) But they were much worse 
than the Nazareans. For though they supposed Christ to be an ambas- 
sador of God and endowed with divine power, yet they conceived him to 
be a man, born in the ordinary course of nature, the son of Joseph and 
Mary. They maintained that the ceremonial law of Mows must be ob- 
served, not by the Jews only, but by all who wished to obtain salvation ; 
and therefore, St. Paul, that strenuous opposer of the law, they viewed 
with abhorrence. Nor were they satisfied with the mere rites which 
Moses appointed, but observed with equal veneration the superstitious 
rites of their ancestors, and the customs of the Pharisees which were ad- 
ded to the law. (7) 

(3) The first that ranked the Nazareans (6) See Falricius, ad Philastr. de haeresi- 
among the heretics, was Epiphanius, a bus, p. 81. Thorn. Ittig, de hseresibus aevi 
writer of the fourth century, of no great Apostolici, [also note (22) on cent, i., part 
fidelity, or accuracy of judgment. [.4. Ne- ii., ch. v., p. 96, and A. Ncandcr, Kirchen- 
ander, Kirchengesch., vol. i., part ii., p. 619, gesch., vol. i., part ii., p. 612, &c. Tr.] 
620, thinks the Nazareans, described by (7) Irenaus, contra Haereses, lib. i., cap. 
Epiphanius, were descendants of the Ebi- 26. Epiphanius treats largely of the Ebi- 
onites, who had now imbibed some Gnostic onites, in his Panarium, haeres. xxx. But 
principles. The names Ebionites and A'a:- he is worthy of no credit ; for he acknowl- 
areans are often confounded, both by an- edges, ($ 3, p. 127, and 14, p. 141), that 
cients and moderns. Tr.] he has joined the Sampsacans and the El- 

(4) See J. A. Falririus, Codex Apoc- ccsaites with the Ebionites, and thai the first 
ryph. N. T., torn, i., p. 355, &c., and Mo- Ebionites did not hold the errors which he 
sheim, Vindicine, contra Tolandi Nazarenurn, attributes to the sects. [The correctness of 
p. 112, &c. [Jones, on the Canon of the Epiphanius, as a historian, is often called in 
New Test., vol. i., and the authors of Intro- question ; and perhaps justly. But if the 
ductions to the New Test. 2V.] term Elrionites designated a variety of minor 

(5) See Mich, le Quien, Adnotatt. ad Da- sects, all of them Jewish Christians ; and if 
mascenum, torn, i., p. 82, 83, and his Diss. some of these sects had, in the 4th century, 
de Nazarenis et eorum fide ; which is the imbibed Gnostic sentiments, unknown to the 
7th of his dissertations subjoined to his edi- original Ebionites ; then Epiphanius may 
tion of the Works of Damascenus. [ C. W. here be entirely correct ; which others sup- 
F. Walch, Historie der Ketzereyen, vol. i., pose to be the fact. See Ncander, as cited 
p. 101, &c. ScU.1 above, note (3). TV.] 


4. These little and obscure sects were not very detrimental "to the 
Christian cause. Much greater disturbance was produced by those, whose 
founders explained the doctrines of Christianity agreeably to the precepts 
of the Oriental philosophy in regard to the origin of evil. These lat- 
ter sects, concealed and unnoticed previously to this century, came forth 
from their obscurity during the reign of Adrian, (8) and gathered churches 
of considerable magnitude in various countries. A long catalogue of these 
semi-Christian sects, might be gathered out of the writings of the ancients : 
but of the greater part of them, we know no more than their names ; and 
perhaps some of them differed only in name, from each oiher. Those 
which acquired notoriety beyond others, may be divided into two classes. 
The first class originated in Asia, and maintained the philosophy of the 
East in regard to the origin of the universe, (if I may so say), pure and 
uncorrupt; the other class, founded among the Egyptians, and by Egyp- 
tians, mingled with that philosophy many monstrous opinions and princi- 
ples current in Egypt. The systems of the former were more simple 
and intelligible ; those of the latter were much more complicated, and more 
difficult of explication. 

5. In the Asiatic class, the first place seems to belong to Elxai, a Jew, 
who is said to have founded the sect of the Elcesaites in the reign of Tra- 
jan. Though he was a Jew, and both worshipped one God and revered 
Moses ; yet he corrupted the religion of his fathers by many false notions 
derived from the philosophy and superstition of the Orientals, and, after 
the example of the Essenes, expounded the Mosaic law according to rea- 
son, or in other words, made it an allegory. But Epiphanius, who had 
read one of Elxafs books, acknowledges himself in doubt whether the El- 
cesaites should be reckoned among the Christian sects, or among the Jew- 
ish. Elxai mentions Christ in his book, and speaks honourably of him ; 
but he does not add enough to make it manifest, whether Jesus of Naza- 
reth was the Christ of whom he speaks. (9) 

6. If Elxai be not reckoned, Saturninus of Antioch will justly stand 
at the head of this class ; at least he lived earlier than all the other Gnos- 
tic heresiarchs, [having taught his doctrine in the reign of Adrian. TV.] 
He supposed two first causes of all things, the good God, and matter ; the 
latter, evil in its nature, and subject to a Lord. The world and the first 
men were created by seven angels that is, by the rulers of the seven plan- 
ets, without the knowledge of God, and against the will of the lord of mat- 
ter. But God approved of the work when it was completed, imparted ra- 
tional souls to the men who before had only animal life, and divided the 
entire world into seven parts, which he subjected to the seven creators, of 
whom the God of the Jews was one, reserving however the supreme pow- 
er to himself. To these good men that is, men possessed of wise and good 
souls, the Lord of matter opposed another sort of men, to whom he imparted 
a malignant soul. And hence the great difference between good and bad 
men. After the creators of the world had revolted from the supreme God, 

(8) Clemens Alex., Stromat, 1. vii., c. [Of these Elcesaites, who were also called 
17, p. 898. Cyprian, epist. Ixxv., p. 144, Sampsaeans, every thing afforded by antiqui- 
and others. ty, that is important, has been collected by 

(9) Eusebius, Hist. Eccles., 1. vi., c. 38. C. W. F. Watch, Historie der Ketzereyen, 
Epiphanius, Haeres. xix., 3, p. 41. The- vol. i., p. 587, dec. He justly accounts 
odoret, Fabul. haeret., lib. ii., c. 7, p. 221. them enthusiasts. Schl.] 


he sent down Christ from heaven, clothed, not with a real body, but with 
the shadow of one, that in our world he might destroy the kingdom of the 
Lord of matter, and point out to the good souls the way of returning back to 
God. But this way is a hard and difficult one. For the souls that would 
ascend to God after the dissolution of the body, must abstain from flesh, 
wine, marriage, and from all things which either exhilarate the body or de- 
light the senses. Saturninus taught in Syria, which was his native coun- 
try, and especially at Antioch ; and he drew many after him, by his great 
show of virtue.(lO) 

fy 7. In the same class of Asiatic Gnostics, must be placed Cerdo, a 
Syrian, and Marcion, the son of a bishop of Pontus. The history of these 
men is obscure and uncertain. It appears, however, that they first began to 
found their sect at Rome ; that Cerdo taught his principles there before 
the arrival of Marcion ; that Marcion, failing to obtain some office in the 
church at Rome in consequence of some misconduct, went over to the 
party of Cerdo, and with great success they propagated their tenets over 
the world. In the manner of the Orientals, Marcion taught that there are 
two first causes of all things, the one perfectly good, the other perfectly evil. 
Intermediate between these two deities, ranks the Architect of this lower 
world, whom men worship, and who was the God and the Lawgiver of the 
Jews : for he is neither perfectly good nor perfectly evil, but of a mixed 
nature, or, as Marcion expressed it, he is just ; and therefore he can dis- 
pense punishments, as well as rewards. The evil Deity and the Creator 
of the world are perpetually at war. Each wishes to be worshipped as 
God, end to subject the inhabitants of the whole world to himself. The 
Jews are the subjects of the Creator of the world, who is a very powerful 
spirit or demon ; the other nations, which worship many gods, are subjects 
of the evil deity. Each is an oppressor of rational souls, and holds them 
in bondage. In order therefore to put an end to this war, and to give free- 
dom to human souls which are of divine origin, the Supreme God sent 
among the Jews Jesus Christ, who is very similar to himself in nature, or 
his Son, clothed with the appearance or shadow of a body, which would 
render him visible ; with commission to destroy both the kingdom of the 
world's Creator and that of the evil deity, and to invite souls back to God. 
He was assailed both by the prince of darkness [the evil deity], and by 
the God of the Jews, or the world's Creator ; but they were unable to hurt 
him, because he had only the appearance of a body. Whoever will ab- 
stract their minds from all sensible objects, according to his prescriptions, 
and, renouncing as well the laws of the God of the Jews as those of the 
prince of darkness, will turn wholly to the supreme God, and at the same 
time subdue and mortify their bodies by fasting and other means, shall, after 
death, ascend to the celestial mansions. The moral discipline which Mar- 
don prescribed to his followers was, as the nature of the system required, 
very austere and rigorous. For he condemned marriages, wine, flesh, and 
whatever is grateful and pleasant to the body. Marcion had numerous fol- 

(10) Ircnaus, 1. i., c. 24. Euscb., Hist. Historie der Ketzereyen,vol. i., p. 274, &c. 

Eccl., 1. iv., c. 7. Epiphan., Haeres. xxiii. lit iff, de Haeresiarch. saecul. ii., c. 1. 

Theodoret, Fabul. haeret., 1. i., c. 2, and the Tillcmont, Memoires pour servir a I'histoire 

other writers on the heresies. [Among the de 1'Eglise, torn, ii., p. 215, and A. Nran- 

modern writers, see Mosheim, de Reb. dcr, Kirchengesch., vol. i.,pt. ii., p. 759, <kc. 

Christ., &c., p. 336, &c. C. W. F. Walch, Tr.} 


lowers ; among whom Lucan, or Lucian, Severus, Blastes, and others, but 
especially Appelles, are said to have deviated in some respects from the 
opinions of iheir master, and to have established new sects.(ll) 

8. Bardesanes and Tatian are commonly supposed to have been of 
the school of Valentinus the Egyptian, but erroneously ; for their sys- 
tems differ in many respects from that of the Valentinians, and come 
nearer to the Oriental principle of two first causes of all things. Barde- 
sanes was a Syrian of Edessa, a man of great acumen, and distinguished 
for his many learned productions. Seduced by his attachment to the Ori- 
ental philosophy, he placed in opposition to the supreme God who is ab- 
solute goodness, a prince of darkness who is the author of all evil. The 
supreme God created the world free from all evil, and formed men possess- 
ed of celestial souls and of subtile, ethereal bodies. But when the prince 
of darkness had induced those first men to sin, God permitted the author 
of all evil to invest men with gross bodies formed out of sinful matter, and 
also to corrupt the world, in order that men might suffer for the iniquity 
they had committed. Hence the struggle between reason and concupis- 
cence in man. Jesus therefore descended from the celestial regions, 
clothed not with a real but with a celestial and ethereal body, and taught 
men to subdue their depraved bodies, and to free themselves from the 
bondage of vicious matter, by means of abstinence, meditation, and fast- 
ing ; and whoever will do so, shall on the dissolution of the body ascend 
to the mansions of the blessed, clothed in their ethereal vehicles or their 
celestial bodies. Bardesanes himself afterwards returned to sounder sen- 
timents ; but his sect long survived in Syria. (12) 

9. Tatian, by birth an Assyrian, a distinguished and learned man, 
and disciple of Justin Martyr, was more noted among the ancients for his 
austere moral principles, which were rigid beyond measure, than for 
the speculative errors or dogmas which he proposed as articles of faith to 
his followers. Yet it appears from credible witnesses, that he held mat' 
ter to be the source of all evil, and therefore recommended the abhorrence 
and the mortification of the body ; that he supposed the Creator of the 
world and the true God were not one and the same being ; that he denied 
to our Saviour a real body ; and corrupted Christianity with other doc- 
trines of the Oriental philosophers. His followers, who were numerous, 
were sometimes called from him, Tatiani or Tatianists ; but. more fre- 
quently they were designated by names indicative of their austere morals. 
For, as they discarded all the external comforts and conveniences of life, 
and held wine in such abhorrence as to use mere water in the Lord's sup- 
per, fasted rigorously, and lived in celibacy ; they were denominated 

(11) Besides the common writers on the ander, Kirchengeschichte, vol. i., pt. ii., p. 

heresies, as Irerueus, Epiphanius, Theodo- 779-807. Tr.J 

ret, &c., see Tertulliari's five Books against (12) Eusebius, Hist. Eccles., 1. iv., c. 30, 

Marcion ; and the Poem against Marcion, and the writers on the ancient heresies. Or- 

also in five Books, which is ascribed to igen, Dial, contra Marcionitas, 1) 3, p. 70, ed. 

Tertullian; and the Dialogue against the Wetstein. Fred. Strunzius, Historia Bar- 

Marcionites, which is ascribed to Origen. desanis et Bardesanistar. Wittemb., 1722, 

Among the modern writers, see Massuet, the 4to. Beausobre, Hist, du Manicheisme, vol. 

editor of Irenaeus ; Tillemont ; Is. de Beau- ii., p. 128, dec. [Moshcim, de Reb. Christ., 

sobre, Histoire du Manicheisme, torn, ii., p. &c., p. 394, &c. C. W. F. WaJch, His- 

69, &c. [C. W. F. Walch, Historie der torie der Ketzereyen, vol. i., p. 407-424. A. 

Ketzereyen, vol. i., p. 484-537. Mosheim, Neander, Kirchengesch., vol. i., pt. ii., p. 

de Reb. Christ., &c., p. 401-410. A. Ne- 743, &c. TV.] 


Encratitae or abstainers, Hydroparastatae or Water-drinkers, and Apotac- 
titae or Renouncers.(l3) 

10. The Gnostics of the Egyptian class, differed from those of the 
Asiatic, by combining the Oriental with Egyptian philosophy, and more 
especially in the following particulars. (I.) Although they supposed mat- 
ter to be eternal, and also animated ; yet they did not recognise an eter- 
nal prince of darkness and of matter, or the malignant deity of the Per- 
sians. (II.) They generally considered Christ, our Saviour, as consisting 
of two persons, the man Jesus, and the Son of God, or Christ : and the 
latter, the divine person, they supposed entered into Jesus the man, when 
he was baptized in Jordan by John, and parted from him, when he was 
made a prisoner by the Jews. (III.) They attributed to Christ a real, and 
not an imaginary body ; though they were not all of one sentiment on this 
point. (IV.) They prescribed to their followers a much milder system of 
moral discipline ; nay, seemed to give precepts which favoured the cor- 
rupt propensities of men. 

11. Among the Egyptian Gnostics, the first place is commonly as- 
signed to Basilides of Alexandria. He maintained, that the supreme and 
all perfect God produced, from himself, seven most excellent beings or 
Aeons. Two of these Aeons, namely Dynamis and Sophia, (Power and 
Wisdom), procreated the angels of the highest order. Those angels built 
for themselves a residence or heaven, and produced other angels of a na- 
ture a little inferior. Other generations of angels succeeded, and other 
heavens were built, until there were three hundred and sixty-five heavens, 
and as many orders of angels ; that is, just as many as there are days in 
a year. Over all these heavens and angelic orders, there is a Prince or 
Lord, whom Basilides called Abraxas ; a word which was doubtless in use 
among the Egyptians before Basilides, and which, when written in Greek, 
contains letters that together make up the number 365, i. e., the number 
of the heavens. (14) The inhabitants of the lowest heaven, contiguous to 

(13) The only work of Tatian that has Graecse, 1. ii., c. 8, p. 177, &c., and others, 
reached us, is his Oratio ad Graecos. His Learned men almost universally, think those 
opinions are spoken of by Clemens Alex., gems originated from Basilides; and hence 
Strom., 1. iii., p. 460. Epiphanius, Haeres., they are called gemms Basilidianae. But 
xlvi., c. 1, p. 391. Origen, de Oratione, c. very many of them exhibit marks of the most 
13, p. 77, ed. Oxon., and by others of the degrading superstition, such as cannot be at- 
ancients : but no one of them has attempted tributed even to a semi-Christian ; and like- 
to delineate his system. [Of the moderns, wise very manifest insignia of the Egyptian 
see C. W. F. Walch, Historic der Ketzer- religion. They cannot all therefore be at- 
eyen, vol. i., p. 445-447, and A. Neander, tributed to Basilidcs, who, though he held 
Kirchengesch., vol. i., pt. ii., p. 762-766. many errors, yet worshipped Christ. Those 
It should be remembered, that the names only must refer to him, which bear some 
Encratites, Apotactites, (E'y/cpar?rai, 'ATTO- marks of Christianity. The word Abraxas, 
TOKTOI), were applied to all the austere was unquestionably used by the ancient 
sects ; so that, though all Tatianists were Egyptians, and appropriated to the Lord of 
Encratites, yet all Encratites were not To.- the heavens ; so that Basilides retained it 
tiantsts. Tr.] from the philosophy and religion of his coun- 

(14) A great number of gems still exist, try. See Is. de Bcausobre, Histoire duMan- 
and quantities of them are daily brought to icheisme, vol. ii., p. 51. Jo. Bapt. Passeri, 
us from Egypt, on which, besides other fig- Diss. de Gemmis Basilidianis ; in his splen- 
ures of Egyptian device, the word Abraxas did work de Gemmis stelliferis, torn, ii., p. 
is engraved. See Jo. Macarius, Abraxas 221, &c , ed. Florent., 1750, /bl. P. E. 
seu de gemmis Basilidianis disquisitio ; en- Jabhnski, de Nominis Abraxas significa- 
larged by Jo. Chiftet, ed. Antwerp. 1657, tione ; in the Miscellan. Lipsiens. novis, 
4to. Bern, de Mantfaucon, Palaeograph. torn. vii. Passeri contends that none of 


eternal matter which is an animated and malignant substance, formed a 
design of constructing a world out of that disorderly mass, and of fabri- 
cating men. God approved the work when it was finished ; and imparted 
rational souls to the men whom the angels had formed, whereas, before 
they had only sensitive souls : he also gave to the angels, dominion over 
men. The Prince of these angels chose the Jewish nation for his sub- 
jects ; and he gave them a law by Moses. The other angels presided 
over other nations. 

12. The angels who created and governed the world, gradually be- 
came corrupt ; and they not only laboured to obliterate the knowledge of 
the supreme God, in order that they might themselves be worshipped as 
gods, but they waged war with each other, for the enlargement of their 
respective territories. The most arrogant and restless of them all, was 
he who governed the Jewish nation. Therefore the supreme God, in 
compassion to the souls endowed with reason, sent down from heaven his 
Son, or the prince of the Aeons, whose name is Nus, \yovq, mind], and 
Christ; that he, joining himself to the man Jesus, might restore the lost 
knowledge of his Father, and overturn the empire of the angels who gov- 
erned the world, and especially of the insolent Lord of the Jews. The 
God of the Jews perceiving this, ordered his subjects to seize the man 
Jesus, and put him to death: but against Christ, he had no power.(15) 
The souls that obey the precepts of the Son of God, will ascend to God 
when their bodies die : the rest will pass into other bodies. All bodies 
return back to vicious matter, whence they originated. 

13. The moral system of Basilides, if we believe most of the an- 
cients, favoured concupiscence, and allowed every species of iniquity. 
But from much surer testimony it appears, that he recommended purity of 
life and the practice of piety, and condemned even an inclination to sin. 
Still there were some things in his moral precepts which greatly offended 
other Christians. For he held it lawful to conceal our religion, to deny 
Christ when our life is in danger, to participate in the pagan feasts which 
followed their sacrifices ; and he detracted much from the estimation and 
honour in which the martyrs were held, and maintained that they were 
greater sinners than other men, and were visited by divine justice for their 
iniquities. For it was a principle with him, that none but sinners suffer 
any evil in this life. And hence arose the suspicions entertained respect- 
ing his system of morals, suspicions which seemed to be confirmed by 
the flagitious lives of some of his disciples. (16) 

these gems have reference to Basilides : he our Saviour had not a real body ; and that 

makes them all refer to the magicians, or Simon the Cyrenian was crucified in place 

the soothsayers, sorcerers, conjurers, and of him. But that this is erroneous, and that 

fortune-tellers. But this learned man, it ap- Basilides supposed the man Jesus and 

pears to me, goes too far ; for he himself Christ, united, to constitute the Saviour, is 

acknowledges, (p. 225), that he sometimes demonstrated in the Comment, de Rebus 

found on them some vestiges of the Basi- Christianor., &c., p. 354, &c. It may be, 

lidian errors. These celebrated gems still that here and there a follower of Basilides 

need an erudite, but cautious and judicious held otherwise. 

interpreter. [See the references in Giese- (16) Besides the ancient writers on the 

ler's Text-book, by Cunningham, vol. i., p. heresies, Basilides is particularly treated of, 

84, note 1. TV.] by Ben. Massuet, Dissert, in Irenaeum ; and 

(15) Many of the ancients tell us, on the /*. de Beausobre, Histoire du Manicheisme, 

authority of Irenceus, [adv. Hsereses, i., c. vol. ii., p. 8, &c. [C. W. F. Walch, His- 

23], that, according to Basilides' opinion, torie der Ketzereyen, vol. i., p. 281-309; 


14. But much viler than he, and said to be the worst of all the Gnos- 
tics, was Carpocrates, also of Alexandria, [who lived in the reign of Adrian]. 
His philosophy did not differ in its general principles, from that of the oth- 
er Egyptian Gnostics. For he held to one supreme God, Aeons the off- 
spring of God, eternal and malignant matter, the creation of the world from 
evil matter by angels, divine souls unfortunately enclosed in bodies, and 
the like. But he maintained that Jesus was born of Joseph and Mary in 
the ordinary course of nature, and that he was superior to other men in no- 
thing but fortitude and greatness of soul. He also not only gave his disci- 
ples license to sin, but imposed on them the necessity of sinning, by teach- 
ing that the way to eternal salvation was open to those souls only, which 
committed all kinds of enormity and wickedness. But it exceeds all cred- 
ibility, that any man who believes there is a God, that Christ is the Saviour 
of mankind, and who inculcates any sort of religion, should hold such sen- 
timents. Besides, there are grounds to believe that Carpocrates, like the 
other Gnostics, held the Saviour to be composed of the man Jesus and a 
certain Aeon called Christ ; and that he imposed some laws of conduct on 
his disciples. Yet undoubtedly, there was something in his opinions and 
precepts that rendered his piety very suspicious. For he held that concu- 
piscence was implanted in the soul by the Deity, and is therefore perfectly 
innocent ; that all actions are in themselves indifferent, and become good 
or evil only according to the opinions and laws of men ; that in the purpose 
of God, all things are common property, even the women, but that such 
as will use their rights are by human laws accounted thieves and adulter- 
ers. Now if he did not add some corrective to the enormity of these prin- 
ciples, it must be acknowledged, that he wholly swept away the foundations 
of all virtue, and gave full license to all iniquity. (17) 

15. Valentinus, also an Egyptian, exceeded all his fellow-heresiarchs 
both in fame and in the multitude of his followers. His sect had its birth 
at Rome, grew to maturity in the island of Cyprus, and with wonderful 
celerity traversed Asia, Africa, and Europe. Valentinus held the general 
principles common with his brother Gnostics, and he assumed the title of 
a (inostic ; yet he held several principles peculiar to himself. In the 
Pleroma, (which is the Gnostic name for the habitation of God), he sup- 
posed thirty Aeons, fifteen males, and as many females. Besides these, 
there were four unmarried ; namely, Horus, \opoq], the guardian of the con- 
fines of the Pleroma, Christ, the Holy Spirit, and Jes*s. The youngest 
of the Aeons, Sophia, (Wisdom], fired with vast desire of comprehending 
the nature of the supreme Deity, in her agitation, brought forth a daughter 

Moshrim, dc Rebus Christ., &c., p. 342- wrote a book, from which the world have 

361 ; and A. Ncandcr, Kirchengesch., vol. had to learn what they could of the tenets 

i., pt. ii., p. 679-704. Sec also Gieselers ot Carporrdtes. It is doubtful whether he. 

Text-book, by Cunningham, vol. i., p. 84, ought to be called a Christian. He was an 

&c. 7V.] Egyptian philosopher, who had perhaps bor- 

(17) See Ircnteus, contra Haores., 1. i , rowed some notions from the Christians, 

c. 25. Clemens Alex., Stromat., 1. iii., p- but still his philosophy was his cynosure. 

511, and the others. [Moshcim, de Rebus Two inscriptions, in the true spirit of this 

Christ., &c., p. 361-371. C. W. F. Watch, philosopher, recently discovered in Cyrene 

Historic dcr Krt?rr., vol. i., p. 309-327. in Africa, have given rise to a conjecture', 

nder, Kirchent'csch , vol i., part ii., that his sect continued till the sixth century. 

p. 767-773. Carpoerates left a young son, See the inscriptions, with comments, in the 

Eprpkanes, to propagate his system ; and Christmas Prograrnm of Dr. W. Gcscnius, 

this son, though he died at the age of 17, A.D. 1825. TV.] 

VOL. I. T 


called Achamoth [niDJn, the sciences or philosophy], who being excluded 

from the Pleroma, descended to the rude and shapeless mass of matter, 
reduced it to some degree of order, and by the aid of Jesus brought forth 
Demiurgus, [A^juwpyo^, Artificer], the builder and lord of all things. This 
Demiurgus separated the more subtile or animal matter, from the grosser 
or material ; and out of the former he framed the world above us, or the 
visible heavens, and out of the latter, the lower world, or this earth. Men he 
compounded of both kinds of matter ; and his mother, Achamoth, added to 
them a third substance which was celestial and spiritual. This is a brief 
outline of the complicated and tedious fable of Valentinus. It appears 
that he explained the origin of the world, and of the human race, in a more 
subtle manner than the other Gnostics ; yet that he did not differ from 
them in reality. And the same is true of the other parts of his system. 

16. The Architect of the world, gradually became so inflated, that he 
either thought himself to be, or at least wished men to regard him as the 
only God ; and by his prophets whom he sent among the Jews, he arroga- 
ted to himself the honours of the supreme God. And herein the other an- 
gels, who presided over parts of the created universe, imitated his exam- 
ple. To repress this insolence of Demiurgus, and to imbue souls with a 
knowledge of the true God, Christ descended, being composed of an animal 
and spiritual substance, and moreover clothed with an ethereal body. He 
passed through the body of Mary, just as water through a canal ; and 
to him Jesus, one of the highest Aeons, joined himself, when he was 
baptized in Jordan by John. The Architect of the world, who perceived 
that his dominion would be shaken by this divine man, caused him to be 
seized and crucified. But before Christ came to execution, not only Jesus 
the Son of God, but also the rational soul of Christ, forsook him ; so that 
only his sentient soul and his ethereal body were suspended on the cross. 
Those who renounce, as Christ directs, not only the worship of the pagan 
deities, but also that of the Jewish God, and surrender their sentient and 
concupiscent soul to reason, to be chastened and reformed, shall with both 
their souls, the rational and the sentient, be admitted to the mansions of the 
blessed near the Pleroma. And when all particles of the divine nature, or 
all souls, shall be separated from matter and purified, then a raging fire 
shall spread through this material universe, and destroy the whole fabric 
of nature. For the whole Oriental philosophy and the system of the Gnos- 
tics, may be reduced to this epitome : This world is composed of both 
good and evil. Whatever of good there is in it, was derived from the 
supreme God, the parent of light, and will return to him again ; and when 
this takes place, this world will be destroyed.(18) 

(18) Of the Valentinian system, we have cate and absurd system of Valentinus. See 

a full account in Irenaus, contra Haeres., Souvcrain, Platonisme devoile, cap. viii., p. 

lib. i., c. 1-7. Tcrtullian, Liber contra 63. Camp. Vilrmga, Observatt. Sacrae, 

Valentinianos ; Clemens Alex., passim ; and lib. i., c. ii., p. 131. Beausobre, Histoire 

in all the ancient writers on the heresies, du Manicheisme, p. 548, &c. Ja. Basnage, 

Among the moderns, see Jo. Fr. Buddeus, Hist, des Juifs, tome iii., p. 729, &c. Peter 

Diss. de Haeresi Valentiniana ; subjoined, Eclairciss. sur 1'Hist. Eccles. des ii. 

to his Introductio in Historiam philosoph. premiers siecles, p. 12, who also contempla- 

Ebraeorum ; which Diss. has occasioned ted writing an Apology for Valentinus. I 

much discussion respecting the origin of this pass by Godfrey Arnold, the patron of all 

heresy. Some of the moderns have attempt- the heretics. B ut how vain all such attempts 

ed to give a rational explanation of the intri- must be, is proved by this, that Valentinus 



17. The ancients represent the school of Valentinus as divided into 
many branches. Among these were the Ptolomaitic sect, whose author 
Ptolomy differed from his master respecting the number and nature of the 
Aeons ; the Sccundian sect, established by Secundus, one of the principal 
followers of Valentinus, who seems to have kept more closely to the Orien- 
tal philosophy, and to have held to two first causes of all things, light and 
darkness, or a prince of good, and a prince of evil ; the sect of Heracleon, 
from whose books Clement and Origen quote much ; the sect of Marcus 
and Calarbasus, called Marcosians, who, according to Irenasus, added much 
that was senseless and absurd, to the fictions of Valentinus, though it is 
certain, that they did not maintain all that is attributed to them. 1 pass by 
other sects, which appear to have originated from the Valentinian system. 
But whether all the sects which are called Valentinian, actually originated 
from disciples and followers of Valentinus, appears very doubtful, to such 
as consider how great mistakes the ancients have made in stating the or- 
igin of the heretics. (19) 

18. Of the smaller and more obscure Gnostic sects, of which the an- 
cients tell us little more than the names and perhaps one or two detached 
sentiments, it is unnecessary to say anything. Such were the Adamites, 
who are said to have wished to imitate the state of innocence :(20) the 
Cainites, who are represented as paying respect to the memory of Cain, 
Corah, Dathan, the inhabitants of Sodom, and Judas the traitor :(21) 
the Abelites, whom the ancients represent as marrying wives, but rais- 
ing up no children :(22) the Sethitcs, who regarded Seth as the Messi- 

himself professed that his religion differed 
fundamentally from that of the other Chris- 
tians. [Besides the authors above referred 
to, see Mosheim, de Rebus Christ., &c., p. 
371-389 ; C. W. F. Walch, Hist, der Ket- 
zereyen, vol. i., p. 335-386 ; and Aug. 
Ncander, Kircheng., vol. i., pt. ii., p. 704- 
731 ; also Gieseler's Text-book, by Cun- 
ningham, vol. i., p. 85, &c. Tr.] 

(19) Besides Irenaus, and the other an- 
cient writers ; see, concerning these sects, 
Jo. Ern. Grabe, Spicilegium Patrum et hae- 
reticorum, saecul. ii., p. 69, 82, &c. On 
the Marcosians, Ireneeus is copious, lib. i., 
cap. 14. That Marcus was out of his senses, 
is unquestionable ; for he must have been 
deranged, if he could hold even the greater 
part of the strange fancies, which are said to 
belong to his system. [Among the moderns 
who have treated of these sects, see C. W. 
F. .Walch, Historic der Ketzereyen, vol. i., 
p. 387-401 ; and A. Neandcr, Kirchenges- 
chichte. vol. i. pt. ii., p. 731-746. TV.] 

(20) [See, for an account of them, Clemens 
Alex., Stromat, lib. i., p. 357, lib. iii., p. 525, 
lib. vii., p. 854 : Tertullian, Scorpiacum, in 
Opp., p. 633, and contra Prax., cap. 3: 
Epiphanhis, Macros. Iii , Opp., torn, i., p. 
459 : Thcodoret, Haeret. Fabul., lib. i., c. 6 : 
Augustine, de Haeres., c. 31 : John Dam- 
ascfn, Opp., torn, i., p. 88 ; and among the 
moderns, C. W. F. Walch, Hist, der Ket- 

zereyen, vol. i., p. 327-335. P. Bayle, Dic- 
tionnaire historique, art. Adamites and Pro- 
dicus .- Tillemont, Memoires, &c., torn, ii., 
p. 256 : Bcausobre, Diss. sur les Adamites ; 
subjoined to Lenfanfs Histoire des Hus- 
sites. The accounts of the ancients are con- 
tradictory ; and several of the moderns doubt, 
whether there ever was a sect who perform- 
ed their worship in a state of nudity. 7V.] 

(21) [All the ancient writers mentioned 
in the preceding note, except John Damas- 
ccn, speak of the Cainites ; but what they 
state is very brief, and contradictory. The 
correctness of their accounts, is justly doubt- 
ed by Bayle, (Dictionnaire Historique, art. 
Cainites), and by others. Origen, (contra 
Celsum, lib. iii., p. 1 19), did not regard them 
as Christians. Yet they might be a sect of 
Gnostics, who holding the God of the Jews 
for a revolter from the true God, regarded 
Cain, Dathan, Corah, and others who resist- 
ed him, as being very praiseworthy. Tr.] 

(22) [The Abeltles are mentioned only by 
Augustine, de Haeres., cap. 87 ; and by the 
author of the book, Praedestinatus, cap. 87. 
It is represented, that every man married a 
female child, and every woman a little boy, 
with whom they lived, and whom they made 
their heirs ; hoping in this way to fulfil liter- 
ally, what Paul says, 1 Cor. vii., 29, that 
" They that have wives, be as though they 
had none." The sect is treated of by C. 



ah :(23) the Florinians, who originated at Rome, under Florinus and Blast- 
us ;(24) and many others. Perhaps the ancient Christian doctors divided 
one sect into several, deceived by the fact of its having several names ; 
they may also have had incorrect information respecting some of them. 

19. Among the Gnostics of the Egyptian class, no inconsiderable 
place must be assigned to the Ophites or Serpentians ; a senseless sect, ot 
which one Euphrates is said to be the father. The sect originated among 
the Jews, and before the Christian era. A part of them became professed 
Christians ; the rest retained their former superstition. Hence there were 
two sects of Ophites, a Christian sect, and an anti-Christian. The Chris- 
tian Ophites held nearly the same notions, with the other Egyptian Gnos- 
tics, concerning Aeons, the eternity of matter, the creation of the world 
without the knowledge or consent of the Deity, the rulers of the seven 
planets who presided over the world, the tyranny of Demiurgus, the de- 
scent of Christ joined to the man Jesus into our world to overthrow the 
kingdom of Demiurgus, &c. But they held this peculiarity, that they 
supposed the serpent which deceived our first parents, was either Christ 
himself, or Sophia, concealed under the form of a serpent : and this opin- 
ion, is said to have induced them to keep some sacred serpents, and to pay 
them a species of honour. Into such absurdities men might easily fall, if 
they believed the Creator of the world to be a different being from the su- 
preme God, and regarded as divine whatever was opposed to the pleasure 
of Demiurgus. (25) 

W. F. Watch, Hist, der Ketzer., vol. i., p. 
607 ; who doubts whether it were not alto- 
gether an imaginary sect. TV.] 

(23) [The Sethites are mentioned by the 
author of Praedestinatus, cap. 19, and Phi- 
lastrius,de Haeres., cap. 3. But Rhenferd, 
(Diss. de Sethianis, in his Opp. philolog., p. 
165); and Zorn, (Opuscul. sacra, torn, i., 
p. 614), consider this to be an imaginary 
sect. See C. W. F. Walch, loc. cit., p. 609, 
&c., and A. Ncander, Kirchengesch., vol. i., 
pt. ii., p. 758, &c.- TV.] 

(24) [Florinus and Blastus were by the 
ancients, reckoned among the Valentinians. 
Both were presbyters of Rome, intimate 
friends, and excommunicated by the Roman 
bishop Eleutherius. (Euseb., H. E., v. 15.) 
As Florinus in early life enjoyed the instruc- 
tion of Polycarp at Smyrna, and as Irenceus 
wrote a letter to Blastus, concerning the 
schism at Rome about Easter day ; C. W. 
F. Walch, (loc. cit., p. 404), supposes they 
both, and particularly Blastus, were opposed 
to the views of the Romish church respecting 
Easter. He also considers it most probable, 
that Florinus was inclined towards Gnos- 
ticism ; for Ircnaus wrote a book against 
him, concerning the eight Aeons ; and he 
actually had some followers. Schl. That 
Florinus was a Gnostic, is clear from Euse- 
bius, Hist. Eccles., lib. v., c. 20. That 
Blastus was so, is not so certain. TV.] 

(25) The "history and doctrines of this 

sect, so far as they are known, I have stated 
in a German work, printed at Helmstadt, 
1746, 4to, [bearing the title : Erster Versucb 
einer unpartheyischen und griindlichen Ket- 
zergeschichte. Afterwards, J. H. Schuma- 
cher published an Explanation of the obscure 
and difficult Doctrinal Table of the ancient 
Ophites ; Wolfenbiittel, 1756, 4to. Schu- 
macher maintained, that the doctrine of the 
Ophites embraced neither metaphysics nor 
theology, but merely the history of the Jew- 
ish nation couched in hieroglyphics. C. W. 
F. Walch, Historic der Ketzereyen, vol. i., 
p. 447-481, has epitomized both works; 
and we here give his leading thoughts, in 
further illustration of this sect. These peo- 
ple, called in Gr. Ophites, in Latin Serpent- 
ians, were by the Asiatics called Nahassians 
or Naasians. Iren&us, (1. ii., c. 34) ; the 
author of the supplement to Tertullian's 
book, de Praescript. haeret., (c. 47) ; Epi- 
phanius, (Haer. xxxvii.) ; Theodoret, (Hae- 
rct. Fabul., 1. i., c. 14) ; and Augustine, (do 
Haeres., c. 17) ; account them Christian 
heretics. But Origen, (contra Celsum, 1. 
vii., $ 28), holds them to be not Christians. 
Yet he speaks of them as pretended Chris- 
tians, in his Comment, on Matth , torn, iii., p. 
851, &c. Philastrius makes them more an- 
cient than Christianity. It is most probable, 
they were Jewish Gnostics, and that some of 
them embraced Christianity ; so that the sect 
became divided into Jewish and Christian 



20. The numerous evils and discords, which arose from combining 
the Oriental and Egyptian philosophy with the Christian religion, began to 
be increased about the middle of this century, by those who brought the 
Grecian philosophy with them into the Christian church. As the doctrines 
held by the Christians respecting the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and 
respecting the twofold nature of the Saviour, were least of all at agree- 
ment with the precepts of this philosophy, they first endeavoured so to ex- 
plain these doctrines, that they could be comprehended by reason. This 
was attempted by one Praxeas, a very distinguished man and a confessor, 
at Rome. Discarding all real distinction between the Father, Son, and 
Holy Spirit, he taught that the whole Father of all things joined himself 
to the human nature of Christ. Hence the followers were called Monar- 
chians and Patripassians. Nor was the latter an unsuitable name for 
them, if Tertullian correctly understood their sentiments. For they de- 
nominated the man Christ, the Son of God ; and held that to this Son, the 
Father of the universe or God so joined himself, as to be crucified and 
endure pangs along with the Son. Yet Praxeas does not appear to have 
erected a distinct church.(26) 

21. Nearly allied to this opinion, was that which was advanced about 
the same time at Rome, by Theodotus, a tanner, yet a man of learning 

Ophites. There are two sources of inform- 
ation on this part of ecclesiastical history. 
The first is, the accounts of Irenceus, Epi- 
phanius, and others. The second is, what 
Ongen tells us (contra Celsum, lib. vi., 
33, &c.) concerning the Diagram of the 
Ophites. This Diagram was a tablet, on 
which the Ophites depicted their doctrines, 
in all sorts of figures with words annexed. 
It probably contained the doctrines of the 
Jewish Ophites ; and is dark and unintelli- 
gible, unless we may suppose this symboli- 
cal representation contained that system, the 
principal doctrines of which are stated by the 
ancients. The theological system both of 
the Jewish and the Christian Ophites, cannot 
be epitomized, and must be sought for in 
Walch, p. 461. Their serpent-worship con- 
sisted in this ; they kept a living serpent, 
which they let out upon the dish, when cel- 
ebrating the Lord's supper, to crawl around 
and over the bread. The priest to whom the 
serpent belonged, now came near, brake the 
bread, and distributed it to those present. 
When each had eaten his morsel, he kissed 
the serpent, which was afterwards confined. 
When this solemn act, which the Ophites 
called their perfect sacrifice, was ended, the 
meeting closed with a hymn of praise to the 
supreme God, whom the serpent in para- 
dise had made known to men. But all the 
Ophites did not observe these rites, which 
were peculiar to the Christian Ophites, and 
confined to a small number among them. 
This worship must have been symbolic. 
The Ophites had also Talismans. Schl. 
See a lucid account of the Ophites, in A. 

Neandcr's Kirchengesch., vol. i., pt. ii., p. 
746-756. TV.] 

(20) See Tertullian, Liber contra Prax- 
eam ; and compare Peter Wesseling, Proba- 
bilia, cap. 26, p. 223, &c. [" Tertullian (to 
whom we are indebted for all certain knowl- 
edge of the views of Praxeas), was not only 
an obscure writer, but also a prejudiced one 
in regard to Praxeas. He not only rejected 
his doctrine, but hated him ; because Prax- 
eas had alienated the Roman bishop Victor 
from Montanus, whose partisan Tertullian 
was. Hence Tertullian, in his censures on 
Praxeas, is often extravagant and insulting. 
The opposition of Praxeas to Montanus, 
doubtless led the former into his error. 
Montanus had treated of the doctrine of 
three persons in the divine essence, and had 
insisted on a real distinction between the 
Father, Son, and Hdly Spirit. (Tertullian 
contra Praxeam, c. 13, p. 644.) Praxeas, 
who was hostile to Montanus, published his 
own doctrine in opposition to Montanus. 
From Tertullian, moreover, it appears clear- 
ly, that Praxeas discarded the distinction of 
persons in the divine essence ; and, as Ter- 
tulhan expresses it, contended for the mon- 
archy of God. But how he explained what 
the Scriptures teach, concerning the Son and 
the Holy Spirit, is not so clear. Of the va- 
rious conceptions we might gather from Tcr- 
tullidii, Moshcim gives a full investigation, 
in his Comment, de Rebus Christ., &c., p. 
426. See also C. W. F. Walch, Hist, der 
Ketzereyen, vol. i., p. 537-546." Schl. 
See also A. Neandcr, Kirchengesch., vol. i., 
pt. iii., p. 994, &c. TV.] 



and a philosopher ; and by one Artemas or Artemon, from whom originated 
the Artemonites. For, so far as can be gathered from not very distinct 
accounts of these men left us by the ancients, they supposed, that when 
the man Christ was born, a certain divine energy or some portion of the 
divine nature (and net the person of the Father, as Praxeas imagined) 
united itself to him. Which of these men preceded the other in time ; and 
whether they both taught the same doctrine, or differed from each other ; 
cannot at this day be decided, so few and obscure are the ancient accounts 
we have of them. But this is unquestionable, the disciples of both applied 
philosophy and geometry to the explication of the Christian doctrine. (27) 
22. The same attachment to philosophy induced Hermogenes, a painter, 
to depart from the sentiments of Christians, respecting the origin of the 
world and the nature of the soul, and to cause disturbance in a part of the 
Christian community. Regarding matter as the source of all evil, he could 
not believe, that God had brought it into existence by his omnipotent voli- 
tion. He therefore held, that the world and whatever is in the world, and 
also souls and spirits, were formed by the Deity out of eternal and vicious 
matter. There is much in this doctrine very difficult to be explained, and 
not in accordance with the common opinions of Christians. But neither 
Tertullian who wrote against him, nor others of the ancients, inform us 
how he explained those Christian doctrines which are repugnant to his 

(27) Eusebius, Hist. Eccles., lib. v., c. 
28. Epiphanius, Haeres. liv., p. 464. P. 
Wesseling, Probabilia, c. 21, p. 172, &c. 
[Several persons occur in the history of the 
heretics, bearing the name of Theodotus. 
( 1 ) Theodotus of Byzantium, a tanner ; of 
whom above. (2) Theodotus the younger, 
disciple of the former, and founder of the 
sect of Melchizedekians. This sect derived 
its name from its holding, agreeably to the 
doctrine of the elder Theodotus, that Mel- 
chizedek was the power of God, and supe- 
rior to Christ ; and that he sustained the of- 
fice of an Intercessor for the angels in heav- 
en, as Christ did for us men on earth. (3) 
Theodotus, the Valentinian. (4) Theodotus, 
the Montanist. Our Theodotus had saved 
his life, during a persecution at Byzantium, 
by a'denial of Christ; and thus had incur- 
red general contempt. To escape from dis- 
grace, he went to Rome. But there his of- 
fence became known. To extenuate his 
fault, he gave out that he regarded Jesus 
Christ as a mere man, and that it could be 
no great crime to deny a mere man. He 
was therefore excluded from the church, by 
Victor the bishop. Thus Theodotus came 
near to the system of the Sociuians, and held 
Christ fora mere man, though a virtuous and 
upright one. Whether he held the birth of 
Christ to have been natural or supernatural, 
the ancient accounts are not agreed. He 
rejected the Gospel of John ; and held his 
own doctrine to be apostolical, and that of 

the eternal divinity of Christ to be a novel 
doctrine. See C. W. F. Watch, loc. cit., 
p. 546-557. Artemon has, in modern times, 
become more famous than Theodotus ; since 
Samuel Crell assumed the name of an Ar- 
temonite, in order to distinguish himself from 
the odious Socinians, whose doctrines he did 
not fully approve. (See his book, with the 
title : L. M. Artemonii Initium Evangelii Jo- 
hannis ex antiquitate restitutum ; and his 
other writings. ) The history of this Artemon 
is very obscure. The time when he lived 
cannot be definitely ascertained ; and the 
history of his doctrine is not without diffi- 
culties. It is not doubted that he denied 
the divinity of Jesus Christ, as held by or- 
thodox Christians. But whether he swerved 
towards the system of the modern Socinians, 
or to that of Praxeas, is another question. 
Dr. Mosheim believed the latter ; de Rebus 
Christ., &c., 491. But, as this rests on the 
too recent testimony of Gennadius of Mar- 
seilles, (de Dogm. Eccles., c. 3), Dr. Walch 
(p. 564) calls it in question. See also Jo. 
Erh. Happen, Diss. de hist. Artemonis et 
Artemonitarum, Lips., 1737. Schl. See 
also A. Neander, Kirchengesch., vol. i., part 
iii., p. 996-1000. TV.] 

(28) There is extant a tract of Tertullian, 
Liber contra Hermogenem, in which he as- 
sails the doctrine of Hermogenes concerning 
matter and the origin of the world. But an- 
other tract of his, de Censu animae, in which 
he confuted the opinion of Hermogenes con- 


& 23. In addition to these sects which may be called the daughters of 
philosophy, there arose in the reign of Marcus Antoninus, an illiterate 
sect, opposed to all learning and philosophy. An obscure man of weak 
judgment, named Montanus, who lived in a poor village of Phrygia called 
Pepuza, had the folly to suppose himself the Comforter promised by Christ 
to his disciples, and to pretend to utter prophecies under divine inspira- 
tion. (29) He indeed attempted no change in the doctrines of religion ; 
but he professed to be divinely commissioned to perfect and give efficiency 
to the moral discipline taught by Christ and his apostles : for he supposed 
that Christ and his apostles had yielded uptaany points to the weakness 
of the people of their age, and thus had given only an incomplete and im- 
perfect rule of life. He therefore would have fasts multiplied and extend- 
ed, forbid second marriages as illicit, did not allow churches to grant ab- 
solution to such as had fallen into the greater sins, condemned all decora- 
tion of the body and all female ornaments, required polite learning and 
philosophy to be banished from the church, ordered virgins to be veiled, 
and maintained that Christians sin most grievously, by rescuing their lives 
by flight or redeeming them with money in time of persecution. I pass 
by some other of his austere and rigid precepts. 

24. A man who professed to be a holier moralist than Christ himself, 
and who would obtrude his severe precepts upon Christians for divine com- 
mands and oracles, could not be endured in the Christian church. Be- 
sides, his dismal predictions of the speedy downfall of the Roman repub- 
lic, &c., might bring the Christian community into imminent danger. He 
was therefore, first by the decisions of some councils and afterwards by 
that of the whole church, excluded from all connexion with that body. 
But the severity of his discipline itself led many persons of no mean con- 
dition, to put confidence in him. Pre-eminent among these, were two 

cerning the soul, is lost. [Tertullian is ex- them ; and held, that under the name of the 

ceedingly severe upon Hcrmogenes, who Paraclete, Christ indicated a divine teacher, 

was probably his contemporary, and fellow who would supply certain parts of the,reli- 

African. Yet he allows that he was an in- gious system which were omitted by the Sav- 

genious and eloquent man, and sound in the iour, and explain more clearly certain other 

principal doctrines of Christianity. Itseems, parts which for wise reasons had been less 

the morals of Hermogenes gave most offence perfectly taught. Nor was Montanus alone 

to Tertullian. He had married repeatedly, in making this distinction. For other Chris- 

and he painted for all customers what they tian doctors supposed the Paraclete, whose 

wished. To a Montanist these things were coming Christ had promised, was a divine 

exceedingly criminal. There is no evidence messenger to men, and different from the Ho- 

that Hermogenes founded a sect. See Mo- ly Spirit given to the apostles. In the third 

sheim, de Rebus Christ., &c., p. 432, &c. century, Manes interpreted the promise of 

C. W. F. Walch, Hist, der Ketzer., vol. i., Christ concerning the Paraclete in the same 

p. 476, &c., and ^4. Neander, Kirchengesch., manner; and boasted that he himself was 

vol. i., part iii., p. 976, &c. Tr.] that Paraclete. And who does not know, 

(29) They doubtless err, who tell us that that Mohammed had the same views, and 

Montanus claimed to be the Holy Spirit, applied the words of Christ respecting the 

He was not so foolish. Nor do those cor- Paraclete to himself! Montanus, therefore, 

rectly understand his views, whom I have washed to be regarded as the Paraclete of 

heretofore followed, and who represent him Christ, and not as the Holy Spirit. The 

as asserting, that there was divinely impart- more carefully and attentively we read Ter- 

ed to him, that very Holy Spirit or Comfort- tullian, the greatest of all Montanus' disci- 

er, who once inspired and animated the pies, and the best acquainted with his sys- 

apostles. Montanus distinguished the Par- tern, the more clearly will it appear that such 

achtt promised by Christ to the apostles, were his views, 
from the Holy Spirit that was poured upon 



opulent ladies, Priscilla and Maximilla ; who themselves, with others, ut- 
tered prophecies, after the example of their master, whom they denomi- 
nated the Paraclete, or Comforter. Hence it was easy for Montanus to 
found a new church, which was first established at Pepuza, a little town 
of Phrygia, but which spread in process of time through Asia, Africa, and 
a part of Europe. Of all his followers, the most. learned and distinguish- 
ed was Tertullian, a man of genius, but austere and gloomy by nature ; 
who defended the cause of his preceptor, by many energetic and severe 
publications. (30) 

(30) See Eusebius, Hist. Eccles., 1. v., 
cap. 16, and especially Tertullian, in his 
numerous books ; and then all the writers, 
both ancient and modern, who have treated 
professedly of the sects of the early ages. 
Quite recently, and with attention and great 
erudition, the history of the Montanists has 
been illustrated by Theoph. Wernsdorf, in 
has Commentatio de Montanislis saeculi se- 
cundi vulgo creditis haereticis, Dantzik, 
1751, 4to. [The Montanists were also 
called Phrygians, or Cataphrygians, from 
the country where they resided and origi- 
nated ; also Pepuzians, from the town 
where Montanus had his habitation, and 
which he pretended was the New Jerusa- 
lem spoken of in the Revelation of St. John. 
It appears likewise, that, from Priscilla they 
were called Priscillianists ; though this 
name, on account of its ambiguity, has in 
modern times been disused. Tertullian de- 
nominated those of his faith, the Spiritual, 
(Spirituales) ; and its opposers, the Carnal, 
(Psychikoi); because the former admitted 
Montanus'' inspirations of the Holy Spirit, 
which the latter rejected. The time when 
Montanus began to disturb the church, is 
much debated. Those who follow Eusebi- 
us, who is most to be relied upon, place 
this movement in the year 171, or 172. 
Wernsdorf's conjecture, that Montanus was 

the Bishop of Pepuza, is not improbable. 
He and Priscilla and Maximilla pretended 
to have divine revelations, which the Com- 
forter imparted to them, in order to supply 
by them what further instruction the Chris- 
tian church needed. The instruction, said 
they, which the Holy Spirit gives to men, is 
progressive. In the Old Testament, instruc- 
tion was in its infancy. Christ and his 
apostles advanced it to its youthful stature. 
By Montanus and his coadjutors, it is 
brought to its perfect manhood. In the Old 
Testament God conceded much to the hard- 
ness of the people's hearts, and Christ was 
indulgent to the weakness of the flesh, but 
the Comforter is unsparing to both, and 
presents the virtues of Christians in their 
full splendour. Their revelations related to 
no new doctrines of faith, but only to rules 
of practice. Some of them also were his- 
torical. But all these revelations seem to 
have been the effect of their melancholy 
temperament, and of an excessively active 
imagination. See, concerning Tertullian, 
Hamberger's account of the principal wri- 
ters, vol. ii., p. 492, and J. G. Walch, Hist. 
Eccles. N. Test., p. 648, &c., and concern- 
ing the Montanists, C. W. F. Walch, His- 
toric der Ketzereyen, vol. i., p. 611, &c. 
Schl. Also A. Neander, Kirchengesch., 
vol. i., pt. iii., p. 870-893. TV.] 





1. Rights and Immunities of Christians enlarged. $ 2. Under various Emperors. Good- 
will of Alexander towards Christ. 3. Other Emperors favourable to the Christians. 
The Religion of the Emperor Philip. 4. The Number of Christians augmented : from 
Causes, partly Divine, 5. and, partly human. 6. Countries added to the Kingdom 
of Christ. $ 7. State of the Church in France, Germany. 

1. THAT Christians suffered very great evils in this century, and were 
in perfect security during no part of it, admits of no controversy. For, 
not to mention the popular tumults raised against them by the pagan priests, 
the governors and magistrates could persecute them, without violating the 
existing imperial laws, as often as either superstition or avarice or cruelty 
prompted. Yet it is no less certain, that the rights and liberties of the 
Christians were increased, more than many have supposed. In the army, 
in the court, and among all ranks, there were many Christians whom no 
one molested at all ; and under most of the Roman emperors who reigned 
in this century, Christianity presented no obstacle to the attainment of pub- 
lic stations and honours. In many places also, with the full knowledge of 
the emperors and magistrates, they had certain houses in which they regu- 
larly assembled for the worship of God. Yet it is probable, or rather is 
more than probable, that the Christians commonly purchased this security 
and these liberties with money ; notwithstanding some of the emperors 
had very kind feelings towards them, and were not greatly opposed to their 

2. Antoninus, surnamed Caracalla, the son of Severus, came to the 
throne in the year 211 ; and during the six years of his reign, he neither 
oppressed the Christians himself, nor suffered others to oppress them.(l) 
Antoninus Heliogabalus, [A.D. 218-222], though of a most abandoned 
moral character, had no hostility towards the Christians. (2) His succes- 

(1) [From a passage in Tertullian, (ad that he was half a Christian, and on thatac- 

Scapul., cap. 4), asserting that Caracalla had count was indulgent to the followers of 

a Christian nurse : lacte Christiano educatum Christ. But it is much more probable, that 

fuisse ; and from one in Spartinns, (life of they purchased his indulgence with their 

Caracalla, in Scriptor. Histor. Aug., vol. L, gold. See Mosheim,de Rebus Christ., &c., 

p. 707, cap. 1), asserting that he was much p. 460. TV.] 

attached to a Jewish playfellow, when he (2) Lampndius, vita Heliogabali, cap. 3, 

was seven years old ; it baa been inferred p. 796. [Dicebat praeterea (Imperator) Ju- 
VOL. I. U 


sor, Alexander Severus, [A.D. 222-235], an excellent prince, did not in- 
deed repeal the laws which had been enacted against the Christians, so 
that instances occur of Christians' suffering death in his reign ; yet from 
the influence of his mother, Julia Mammaea, to whom he was greatly at- 
tached, he showed kind feelings towards them in various ways, whenever 
occasion was offered, and even paid some worship and honour to our Sa- 
viour. (3) For Julia entertained the most favourable sentiments of the 
Christian religion ; and at one time invited to the court, Origen, the cele- 
brated Christian doctor, that she might hear him discourse. But those 
who conclude that Julia and Alexander actually embraced Christianity, 
have not testimony to adduce, which is unexceptionable. Yet it is cer- 
tain, that Alexander thought the Christian religion deserved toleration, be- 
yond others ; and regarded its author as worthy to be ranked among the 
extraordinary men who were divinely moved. (4) 

3. Under Gordian [A.D. 238-244], the Christians lived unmolested 
and tranquil. His successors, the Philips, father and son, [A.D. 244-249], 
showed themselves so friendly to the Christians, that by many, they were 
supposed to be Christians. And there are some arguments which might 
render it probable, that these emperors did, though secretly and covertly, 
embrace Christianity. But as these arguments are balanced by others 
equally strong and imposing, the question respecting the religion of Philip 
the Arabian, and his son, which has exercised the sagacity of so many 
learned men, must be left undecided. (5) At least, neither party has ad- 
duced any evidence, either from testimony or from facts, which was too 
strong to be invalidated. Among the subsequent emperors of this century, 
Gallienus, [A.D. 260-268], and some others likewise, if they did not di- 
rectly favour the Christian cause, they at least did not retard it. 

4. This friendship of great men, and especially of emperors, was un- 
doubtedly not the least among the human causes, which contributed to en- 
large the boundaries of the church. But other causes, and some of them 

daeorum et Samaritanorum religiones et to hear him discourse on religion. But nei- 
Christianam devotionem illuc(Romam) trans- ther of them intimates, that she obeyed his 
ferandam, ut omnium cultarum secretum precepts and adopted the Christian faith. 
Heliogabali sacerdotium teneret : which Dr. And in the life of Julia, there are clear in- 
Mosheim, (deReb. Christ , &c., p. 460), un- dications of superstition, and of reverence 
derstands to mean, that Heliogabalus wished for the pagan gods. Scld. from Mosheim, 
the Jewish, Samaritan, and Christian reli- deReb. Christ., &c., p. 46].] 
gions to be freely tolerated at Rome, so that (4) See Fred. Spanheim, Diss. de Lucii 
the priests of his order might understand all Britonum regis, Juliae Mammaeae, et Philip- 
the arcana of them, having them daily before porom conversionibus, Opp., torn, ii., p. 400. 
their eyes. Tr.] P. E. Jablonski, Diss. de Alexandro Severo 
(3) See Lampridius, de Vita Severi, c. sacris Christianis per Gnosticos initiato, in 
29, p. 930, and Car. Hen. Zeibich, Diss. de Miscellan. Lips, nov., torn, iv., p. 56, &c. 
Christo ab Alexandro in larario culto ; which (5) See Spanheim, de Christianismo Phil- 
is found in the Miscell. Lips, novae, torn, iii., ipporum, Opp., torn, ii., p. 400. (P. de la 
p. 42, &c. [Most of the modern writers Faye), Entretiens historiques sur la Chris- 
make Julia Mammaea to have been a Chris- tianisme de 1'Empereur Philippe, Utrecht, 
tian. See J. R. Wetstein's preface to Ori- 1692, 12mo. Mammachius, Origines et An- 
gen's Dial, contra Marcionitas. But the an- tiq. Christianae, torn, ii., p. 252, &c. See 
cient writers, Eusebius, (H. E., vi., 21), and J. A. Fabriaus, Lux Evangelii toti orbi ex- 
Jerome, (de Scriptor. Illustr., c. 54), express oriens, p. 252, &c., [and Masheim, de Re- 
themselves dubiously. The former calls her bus Christ., &c., p. 471. The most impor- 
&Off/3aTUTrjv, and the latter rdigiosam, tant ancient testimonies, are Euseb., H. E., 
(devout) ; and both state that she invited Or- vi., 34, and Chronicon, ann. 246. Jerome, 
igen to her court, then at Antioch, in order de Script. Illust., c. 54. Tr.] 


divine, must be added. Among the divine causes, besides the inherent en- 
ergy of heavenly truth and the piety and constancy of the Christian teach- 
ers, conspicuous is that extraordinary providence of God, which, as we are 
informed, by means of dreams and visions, excited many persons who be- 
fore were either thoughtless or alienated from Christianity, to come out at 
once and enrol their names among the followers of Christ. (6) To this 
must be added, the curing of diseases and other miracles which very many 
Christians still performed, by invoking the name of the Saviour.(7) Yet the 
number of miracles was less in this age than in the preceding ; which may 
be ascribed not only to the wisdom of God, but also to his justice, which 
would not suffer men to make gain by the powers divinely given them. (8) 

5. Among the human causes which aided the progress of Christianity, 
may doubtless be reckoned the translation of the Scriptures into various 
languages, the labours of Origen in disseminating copies of them, and the 
various books composed by wise men. No less efficacy is to be ascribed 
to the beneficence of Christians, even towards those whose religion they 
abhorred. The idolaters must have had hearts of stone, not to have been 
softened and brought to have more friendly feelings towards the people, 
whose great sympathy for the poor, kindness to enemies, care of the sick, 
readiness to redeem captives, and numerous other kind offices, proved them 
to be deserving of the love and gratitude of mankind. If, what I would 
not pertinaciously deny, pious frauds and impositions deserve a place 
among the causes of the extension of Christianity, they doubtless hold the 
lowest place, and were employed only by a few. 

6. That the boundaries of the church were extended, in this century, 
no one calls in question ; but in what manner, by whom, and in what 
countries, is not equally manifest. Origen taught the religion he professed 
to a tribe of Arabs : I suppose, they were some of the wandering Arabs, 
who live in tents. (9) The Goths, a ferocious and warlike people, that in- 
habited Moesia and Thrace, and made perpetual incursions into the neigh- 
bouring provinces ; received a knowledge of Christ from certain Christian 
priests whom they carried away from Asia. As those priests, by the sanc- 
tity of their lives, and their miracles, acquired respectability and great in- 
fluence among these marauders, who were entirely illiterate ; such a 
change was produced among them, that a great part of the nation professed 
Christianity, and in some measure laid aside their savage manners. (10) 

(6) See Origen, adv. Celsum, lib. i., p. (10) Sosomen, Hist. Eccles., lib. ii., c. 6. 
35. Homil. in Lucae vii. Opp., torn, ii., p. Paul Diaconus, Hist. Miscellan., 1. ii., c. 14. 
216, ed. Basil. Tcrtullian, de Anima, cap. Philostorgius, Hist. Eccles., lib. ii., c. 5. 
14, p. 348, ed. Rigaltii. Eusebius, Hist. [Ptiloftorgnu says, that Ulphilas, who in 
Eccles., lib. vi., c. 5, and others. [See also, the fourth century translated the Christian 
note (14) on cent, ii., pt. i., ch. i., p. 102, Scriptures into the Gothic language, was a 
&c., of this work. TV.] descendant of the captives carried off by the 

(7) Ongen, adv. Celsum, 1. i., p. 5, 7. Goths from Cappadocia, in the reign of Gal- 
Eusebius, Hist. Eccl., 1. v., c. 7. Cyprian, lienus ; which is not improbable. By the 
Ep. i. ad Donatum, p. 3, and the note of S. influence of their Christian captives, the 
Rahizc, there, p. 376. Goths were induced to invite Christian teach- 

(8) W. Spencer, Notes on Origen adv. ers among them ; and numerous churches 
Celsum, p. 6, 7. were collected. A Gothic bishop, named 

(9) Eusebins, Hist. Eccles., lib. vi., cap. Thcophtlus, subscribed the Acts of the coun- 
19. [But Sender, Hist. Eccl. selecta cap., cilof Nice, (Socrates, Hist. Eccl , ii.. c.41). 
vol. i. , p 59, supposes they were not wander- Yet there is indubitable evidence, that a large 
ing Arabs. TV.] part of the nation remained pagans, long after 


7. To the few and small Christian churches in France, erected by 
certain Asiatic teachers in the second centjury, more and larger ones were 
added in this century, from the times of Decius, [A.D. 249]. For it was in 
the reign of this emperor, those seven devout men, Dionysius, Gratian, 
Trophimus, Paul, Saturninus, Martial, and Stremonius, migrated to this 
country ; and amid various perils founded the churches of Paris, Tours, 
Aries, [Narbonne, Toulouse, Limoges, Clermont], and other places. And 
their disciples gradually spread the Christian doctrine throughout Gaul.(l 1) 
To this age, likewise, must be referred the origin of the German churches, 
of Cologne, Treves, Metz, [Tongres, Liege], and others; the fathers of 
which were Eucharius, Valerius, Maternus, Clement, and others. (12) 
The Scotch also say, that their country was enlightened with the light 
of Christianity in this century ; which does not appear improbable in it- 
self, but cannot be put beyond controversy by any certain testimony. (13) 



$ 1. The Persecution of Severus. $ 2. Of Maximinus, the Thracian. 3. The Cruelty 
of Decius led many Christians to deny Christ. f) 4. Controversies in the Church on 
this Subject, Libelli Pacis. 5. Persecutions of Gallus and Volusian. f) 6. Of Valerian. 
t) 7. State of the Church under Gallienus, Claudius, and Aurelian. 8. Attempts 
of the Philosophers against the Christians. 9. Comparisons of some Philosophers with 
Christ. 10. Injury thence arising. 11. Attempts of the Jews against the Chris- 

1. IN the commencement of this century, the Christians were variously 
afflicted in many of the Roman provinces ; but their calamity was in- 
creased in the year 203, when the emperor Severus, who was otherwise 
not hostile to them, enacted a law that no person should abandon the re- 
ligion of his fathers, for that of the Christians, or even for that of the 
Jews.(l) Although this law did not condemn the [existing] Christians, 
but merely restrained the propagation of their religion, yet it afforded to 
rapacious and unjust governors and judges great opportunity for troubling 
the Christians, and for putting many of the poor to death, in order to in- 
duce the rich to avert their danger by donations. Hence, after the pass- 
ing of this law, very many Christians in Egypt, and in other parts of both 
Asia and Africa, were cruelly slain ; and among them were Leonidas, the 
father of Origen ; the two celebrated African ladies, Perpetua and Felici- 

this period. See Mosheim, de Rebus Christ., tome i., Diss. i., p. 7, &c. Jo. Nicol. de 

&c., p. 449. TV.] Hontheim, Historia Trevirensis. [See also 

(11) Gregory Turonens., Historia Fran- notes (6) and (7) on cent, ii., part i., ch. i., 
cor., lib. i., c, 28, p. 23. Theod. Ruinart, p. 99 of this work. TV.] 

Acta Martyrum sincera, p. 109, &c. [See (13) See Usher and Stillingflcet, on the 

note (9), on cent, ii., part i., ch. i., p. 100 Origin and Antiquities of the British church- 

of this work ; where the origin of the Gallic es ; and Geo. Mackenzie, de Regali Sco- 

or French churches, is considered, at some torum prosapia, cap. viii., p; 119, &c. 

length. Tr.] (1) Eusebius, Hist. Eccles., lib. vi., c. i. 

(12) Aug. Calmet, Histoire de Lorraine, Spartianus, Vita Severi, cap. 16, 17. 


tas, whose Acts [martyrdom] have come down to us ;(2) also Polamiena, 
a virgin ; Marcella, and others of both sexes, whose names were held in 
high honour in the subsequent ages. 

2. From the death of' [Septimus] Severus, till the reign of Maximin, 
called Thrax, from the country which gave him birth, [or, from A.D. 211 
to A.D. 235], the condition of Christians was everywhere tolerable, and 
in some places prosperous. But Maximin, who had slain Alexander Sev- 
erus, an emperor peculiarly friendly to the Christians, fearing lest the 
Christians should avenge the death of their patron, ordered their bishops, 
and particularly those that he knew had been the friends and intimates of 
Alexander, to be seized and put to death.(3) During his reign, therefore, 
many and atrocious injuries were brought upon the Christians. For al- 
though the edict of the tyrant related only to the bishops and the ministers 
of religion, yet its influence reached farther, and incited the pagan priests, 
the populace, and the magistrates to assail Christians of all orders. (4) 

3. This storm was followed by many years of peace and tranquillity. 
[From A.D. 237-249.] But when Decius Trajan came to the imperial 
throne, A.D. 249, war in all its horrors, again burst upon the Christians. 
For this emperor, excited either by fear of the Christians, or by attach- 
ment to the ancient superstition, published terrible edicts, by which the 
governors were commanded, on pain of forfeiting their own lives, either 
to exterminate all Christians utterly, or bring them back by pains and tor- 
tures to the religion of their fathers. During the two succeeding years, a 
great multitude of Christians, in all the Roman provinces, were cut oif by 
various species of punishment and suffering. (5) This persecution was 
more cruel and terrific than any that preceded it ; and immense numbers, 
dismayed, not so much by the fear of death, as by the dread of the long- 
continued tortures by which the magistrates endeavoured to overcome the 
constancy of Christians, professed to renounce Christ; and procured for 
themselves safety, either by sacrificing, i. e., offering incense before the 
idols, or by certificates purchased with money. And hence arose the op- 
probrious names of Sacrifaers, Licensers, and the Certificated, (Sacrifica- 
tores, Thurijicatores, and Libellatici), names by which the lapsed were 

(2) Thcod. Ruinart, Ada martyrum sin- might have prompted him. The persecuting 
cera, p. 90, &c. [See an affecting account Edict is not now extant ; that which was 
of the sufferings of these and other martyrs, published by Mcdon, Toulouse, 1664, 4to, 
in the reign of Severus, in Mil-tier's Hist, of is probably unauthentic. See Moshcim, de 
the Church, cent, iii., ch. v., p. 231, &c., Reb. Christ., &c., p. 476, &c. TV.] 

ed. Boston, 1822. Tr.] (6) See Prudentms Maran, Life of Cy- 

(3) Eusebius, Hist. Eccles., lib. vi., c. prian, prefixed to Cypriani Opp., $ vi., p. 
28. Orosms, Histor. lib. vii.,c. 19, p. 509. 54, &c. [For an interesting account of the 

(4) Origen, torn, xxviii. in Matth., Opp., sufferings of Christians in this persecution, 
torn, i., p. 137. Firmilian, in Opp. Cypri- the English reader is referred to Milncr's 
ani, ep. 75, p. 140, &c. Hist, of the Church, cent. iii.,ch. 8, p. 257, 

(5) Eusctrius, Hist. Eccles., lib. vi., c. and ch. 11, p. 293, ed. Boston, 1822, vol. i. 
39-41. Gregory Nyssen, Vita Thauma- This persecution was more terrible than 
turgi, Opp , torn, iii., p. 568, &c. Cyprian, any preceding one, because it extended 
de Lapsis, in Opp., p. 182, &c. [Euscbms over the whole empire, and because its ob- 
attributes the persecution by Dccuts, to his ject was to worry the Christians into apos- 
hatred of Philip, his predecessor, whom he tacy by extreme and persevering torture. 
had murdered, and who was friendly to the The Certificated, or Libellatici, are supposed 
Christians. Gregory attributes it to the to be, such as purchased certificates from the 
emperor's zeal for idolatry. Both causes corrupt magistrates, in which it was declared, 


4. From the multitude of Christians chargeable with defection in the 
reign of Decius, great commotions and sharp contests arose in different 
parts of the church. For the lapsed wished to be restored to Christian 
fellowship, without submitting to that severe penitence which the laws of 
the church prescribed ; and some of the bishops favoured their wishes, 
while others opposed them. (7) In Egypt and Africa, many persons, to 
obtain more ready pardon of their offences, resorted to the intercession of 
the martyrs, and obtained from them letters of recommendation, (libellos 
pacts), that is, papers in which the dying martyrs declared, that they con- 
sidered the persons worthy of their communion, and wished them to be 
received and treated as brethren. Some bishops and presbyters were too 
ready to admit offenders, who produced such letters. But Cyprian, bishop 
of Carthage, a decided and strenuous man, though he was not disposed to 
derogate at all from the honour of the martyrs, was nevertheless opposed 
to this excessive lenity, and wished to limit the effects of these letters of 
recommendation. Hence there arose a sharp contest between him and the 
martyrs, confessors, presbyters, the lapsed, and the people, which ended in 
his gaining the victory.(S) 

5. The successors of Decius, namely, Gallus and his son Volusian, 
[A.D. 251-253], renewed the persecution against the Christians, which 
seemed to be subsiding :(9) and, as their edicts were accompanied by 
public calamities, particularly by a pestilential disease which spread 
through many provinces, the Christians had again to undergo much suf- 
fering in divers countries. (10) For the pagan priests persuaded the pop- 
ulace, that the gods visited the people with so many calamities, on account 

that they were pagans, and had complied with such letters was unquestioned, and their in- 

the demands of the law, when neither of these fluence very great. Yet the abuses of them 

was fact. To purchase such a certificate were felt by the more discerning. Dr. Mo- 

was not only to be partaker in the fraudulent sheim, (de Rebus Christ., &c., p. 490-497), 

transaction, but it was to prevaricate before has collected the following facts, respecting 

the public in regard to Christianity, and was their misuse. (1) They were given, with 

inconsistent with that open confession of little or no discrimination, to all applicants. 

Christ before men, which he himself requires. Cyprian, ep. 14, p. 24; ep. 10, p. 20. (2) 

On the purport of these letters, see Mosheim, They often did not express definitely the 

de Rebus Christ., &c., p. 482-489. Tr.J names of the persons recommended, but 

(7) Eusebius, Hist. Eccles., lib. vi., c. said : " Receive A. B. (cum suis) and his 
44. Cyprian, Epistolae, passim. friends." Ibid., ep. 10, p. 20, 21. (3) 

(8) Gab. AlbaspincBUS, Observat. Eccles., Sometimes a martyr, before his death, corn- 
lib, i., obs. xx., p. 94. Jo. Dallaus, de po- missioned some friend, to give letters in his 
enis et satisfactionibus humanis, 1. vii., c. name, to all applicants. Ibid., ep. 21, p. 
16, p. 706. The whole history of this con- 30 ; ep. 22, p. 31. (4) Some presbyters 
troversy must be gathered from the Epistles obeyed these letters, without consulting the 
of Cyprian. [ Tertullian, de Pudicitia, cap. bishop, and thus subverted ecclesiastical 
22, and, ad Martyres, cap. 1, makes the ear- order. Ibid., ep. 27, p. 38 ; ep. 10, p. 20 ; 
liest mention of these letters : whence it is ep. 40, p. 52 ; ep. 22, p. 31, 32. It is easy 
conjectured, that they first began to be used to see what effects would follow, when the 
about the middle of the second century. almost deified martyrs, of every age and sex 
By martyrs here, must be understood, per- and condition, felt themselves to possess 
sons already under sentence of death for authority almost divine, and were besieged 
their religion, or at least, such as had en- by a host of persons writhing under the rig- 
dured some suffering, and were still in prison ours of the ancient discipline. Tr.] 

and uncertain what would befall them. In (9) Eusebius, Hist. Eccles., lib. vii., c. 

that age, when martyrs were almost idolized, 1. Cyprian, ep. Ivii., Iviii. 

and the doctrines of repentance towards (10) See Cyprian, Liber ad Demetrianum. 

God, and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, [Milner's Hist.. of the Church, cent, iii., ch. 

imperfectly understood; the propriety of 12, p. 308. TV.] 


of the Christians. The next emperor, Valerian, stilled the commotion, 
A.D. 254, and restored tranquillity to the church. 

6. Till the fifth year of his reign, Valerian was very kind to the Chris- 
tians ; but suddenly, in the year 257, by the persuasion of Macrianus, a 
most bigoted pagan who was his prime minister, he prohibited the Chris, 
tians from holding meetings, and ordered the bishops and other teachers 
into exile. The next year he published a far more severe edict ; so that 
no small number of Christians, in all the provinces of the Roman empire, 
were put to death, and often exposed to punishments worse than death. 
Eminent among the martyrs in this tempest, were Cyprian, bishop of Car- 
thage, Stilus, bishop of Rome, Laurentius, a deacon at Rome, who was 
roasted before a slow fire, and others. But Valerian being taken captive 
iu a war against the Persians, his son Gallienus, in the year 260, restored 
peace to the church. (11) 

7. Under Gallienus, .therefore, who reigned with his brother eight 
years, [A.D. 260-268], and under his successor Claudius, who reigned 
two years, [A.D. 268-270], the condition of the Christians was tolerable, 
yet not altogether tranquil and happy. Nor did Aurelian, who came to 
the throne A.D. 270, undertake to disquiet them, during four years. But 
in the fifth year of his reign, prompted either by his own superstition or 
by that of others, he prepared for war against them. But before his edicts 
had been published over the whole empire, he was assassinated in Thrace, 
A.D. 275. (12) Hence, few Christians were cut off under him. The re- 
mainder of this century, if we except some few instances of injustice, ava- 
rice, or superstition in the governors,(13) passed away, without any great 
troubles or injuries done to Christians living among Romans. 

8. While the emperors and provincial governors were assailing Chris- 
tians with the sword and with edicts, the Platonic philosophers, before de- 
scribed, fought them with disputations, books, and stratagems. And the 
more was to be feared from them, because they approved and adopted 
many doctrines and institutions of the Christians, and, following the exam- 
ple of Ammonius their master, attempted to amalgamate the old religion 
and the new. At the head of them in this century, was Porphyry, a Syr- 
ian, or Tyrian ; who composed a long work against the Christians, which 
was afterwards destroyed, in obedience to the imperial laws. (14) He was 
undoubtedly an acute, ingenious, and learned man, as his works which are 
extant evince ; but he was not a formidable enemy to the Christians. For 
he had more imagination and superstition, than sound argument and judg- 

(11) Eusebius, Hist. Ecclcs., 1. vii., cap. (14) See Lu. Holstcin, de Vita Porphyrii, 
10, 11. Ada Cypriani, in Hainan's Acta cap. 11. J. A. Fabricius, Lux. Evang. toti 
martyrum sincera, p. 216. Cyprian, epist. orbi exoriens, p. 154. J. F. Buddaus, Isa- 
Ixxvii., p. 17S ; epist. Ixxxii., p. 165, ed. goge in Theologiam, lib. ii., p. 877, &c., 
Baluz. [Milncr's Hist, of the Chh., cent, [and Ja. Brucker's Hist. crit. Philos., torn, 
iii., ch. xvi, vol. i., p. 347. TV.] ii., p. 236, <fcc. His fifteen books against 

(12) Eusebius, Hist. Eccles., 1. vii., c. the Christians were condemned to be burned, 
30. Lactantius, de Mortibus persequutor. by Theodosius II. and Valentinian HI., 
cap. 6. A.D. 449, (see the Codex Justin, de Sum- 

(13) One example is, the iniquity of the ma Tnnitate, 1. i., tit. i., cap. 3.) The work 
Caesar, Galerius Maximian, near the end was answered by Methodius, Eusebius, 
of the century, who persecuted the soldiers Apollinaris, and Philostvrgius ; but the 
and servants of his palace that professed answers are lost. Of the work of Porphyry, 
Christianity. See Eusebius, Hist. Eccles., extracts are preserved by Eusebius, Jerome, 
lib. viii., cap. 1 and 4. and others. Tr.] 


ment ; as his books that remain and the history of his life will show, 
without recurrence to the fragments of his work against the Christians, 
which are preserved and which are unworthy of a wise and upright man. 

9. Among the wiles and stratagems, by which this sect endeavoured 
to subvert the authority of the Christian religion, this deserves to be par- 
ticularly mentioned, that they drew comparisons between the life, mira- 
cles, and transactions of our Saviour, and the history of the ancient phi- 
losophers ; and endeavoured to persuade the unlearned and women, that 
these philosophers were in no respect inferior to Christ. With such 
views, Archytas of Tarentum, Pytliagoras, and ApoUonius Tyanaeus, a 
Pythagorean philosopher, were brought again upon the stage, and exhib- 
ited to the public dressed very much like Christ himself. The life of 
Pythagoras was written by Porphyry.(15) The life of ApoUonius, whose 
travels and prodigies were talked of by the vulgar, and who was a crafty 
mountebank, and the ape of Pythagoras, was composed by Philostratus, 
the first rhetorician of the age, in a style which is not inelegant. The 
reader of the work will readily perceive, that the philosopher is compared 
with our Saviour ; and yet he will wonder, that any man of sound sense 
could have been deceived by the base falsehoods and fictions of the wri- 

10. But as nothing is so irrational as not to find some patrons among 
the weak and ignorant who regard words more than arguments, there 
were not a few who were ensnared by these silly attempts of the philoso- 
phers. Some were induced by these stratagems to abandon the Christian 
religion, which they had before embraced. Others, being told that there 
was little difference between the ancient religion, rightly explained and 
restored to its purity, and the religion which Christ really taught, not that 
corrupted form of it which his disciples professed ; concluded it was best 
to remain among those who worshipped the [old] gods. Some were led 
by those comparisons of Christ with the ancient heroes and philosophers, 
to frame for themselves a kind of mixed or compound religion. Witness, 
among others, [the emperor] Alexander Severus ; who esteemed Christ, 
and Orpheus, ApoUonius, and the like, to be all worthy of equal honours. 

11. The Jews were reduced so low, that they could not, as formerly, 
excite in the magistrates any great hatred against the Christians. Yet 
they were not wholly inactive, as appears from the books written by Ter- 
tullian and Cyprian against them. There occur also in the Christian fa- 
thers several complaints of the hatred and the machinations of the Jews. (17) 
During the persecutions of Severus, one Domninus abandoned Christianity 
for Judaism ; undoubtedly, to avoid the punishments that were decreed 
against the Christians. Serapion endeavoured to recall him to his duty, 

(15) [And in the next century, by Jam- 42, &c. N. Lardncr^s Works, vol. viii., p. 
blichus. That both biographers had the 256-292. ApoUonius was born about the 
same object, is shown by Lud. Kuster, Ad- beginning, and died near the close of the first 
not. ad Jamblich., cap. 2, p. 7, and cap. 19, century. He travelled over all the countries 
p. 78. Schl.] from Spain to India ; and drew much atten- 

(16) See Godfr. Olearius, Praefat. ad tion by his sagacious remarks, and by his 
Philostrati vitam Apollonii ; and Mosheim, pretensions to superhuman knowledge and 
Notes on CudworMs Intellectual System, powers. He was a man of genius, but vain- 
p. 304, 309, 311, 834, [also J. Brucker's glorious and a great impostor. Tr.} 
Historia crit. philos., torn, ii., 98, &c., and (17) Hippolytus, Sermo in Susann. et 
EnfieWs Abridgment of Brucker, vol. ii., p. Daniel., Opp., torn, i., p. 274, 276. 


by some epistles.(lS) This example shows, that while the Christians 
were in trouble, the Jews were in safety : and therefore, though greatly 
depressed, they had not lost all power of doing injury to the Christians. 





$ 1. Decay of Learning. $ 2. State of Philosophy, especially the Platonic. Plotinus. 
$ 3. This Philosophy prevails everywhere. $ 4. Different Sects of it. $ 5. State of 
Learning among Christians. 

1. LITERATURE, which had suffered much in the preceding century, 
lost in this nearly all its glory. Among the Greeks, with the exception 
of Dionysius Longinus, an excellent rhetorician, Dion Cassius, a fine his- 
torian, and a few others, scarcely any writers appeared who can be recom- 
mended for their genius or their erudition. In the western provinces, still 
smaller was the number of men truly learned and eloquent, notwithstand- 
ing schools continued here and there devoted to the cultivation of genius. 
For very few of the emperors favoured learning ; civil wars kept the em- 
pire almost constantly in commotion ; and the perpetual incursions of the 
barbarous nations into the most cultivated provinces, extinguished with 
the public tranquillity even the thirst for knowledge. (1) 

2. As for the philosophers, about every sect of Grecian philosophy 
had some adherents that were not contemptible, and who are in part men- 
tioned by Longinus.(2) But the school of Ammonius, the origin and dog- 
mas of which have been already stated, gradually cast ^a\\ others into the 
back ground. From Egypt it spread in a short time over nearly the 
whole Roman empire ; and drew after it almost all persons inclined to at- 
tend to metaphysical studies. This prosperity of the sect was owing espe- 
cially to Plotinus, the most distinguished disciple of Ammonius, a man of 
intellectual acumen, and formed by nature for abstruse investigation. For 
lie i;mght, first in Persia and afterwards at Rome and in Campania, to vast 
concourses of youth ; and imbodied his precepts in various books, the 
greater part of which have come down to us. (3) 

3. It is almost incredible, what a number of pupils in a short time 
issued from the school of this man. But among them, no one is more cel- 

(19) Euscbius, Historia Eccles., lib. vi., (3) See Porphyrii VitaPlotini, republish- 

cap. 12. ed by J. A. Fabricius, in Biblioth. Graeca, 

(1) See Histoire Littcraire de la France, vol. iv., p. 91. Peter Bayle, Dictionnaire, 
par les Moines Benedictins, torn, i., part ii., torn, iii., art. Plotin, p. 757 ; and the learn- 
p. 317, &c. ed Ja. Brucker, Historia crit. philos., torn. 

(2) In Porphyry's life of Plotinus, cap. ii., p. 217, &c. 
20, p. 128, ed. Fabricii. 

VOL. I. X 


ebrated than Porphyry, a Syrian ; who spread over Sicily and many other 
countries, the system of his master, enlarged with new discoveries and 
sedulously polished. (4) At Alexandria, almost no other philosophy was 
publicly taught, from the times of Ammcnius down to the sixth century. 
It was introduced into Greece by one Plutarch, who was educated at Al- 
exandria, and who re-established the Academy at Athens, which subse- 
quently embraced many very renowned philosophers who will hereafter 
be mentioned. (5) 

4. The character of this philosophy has already been explained, as 
far as was compatible with the brevity of this work. It is here proper to 
add, that all who were addicted to it, did not hold the same opinions, but 
differed from each other on several points. This diversity naturally arose 
from that principle, which the whole sect kept in sight ; namely, that truth 
was to be pursued without restraint, and to be gleaned out of all systems. 
Hence the Alexandrian philosophers would sometimes receive, what those 
of Athens would reject. Yet there were certain leading doctrines, which 
were fundamental to the system, and which no one that claimed the name 
of a Platonist, dared to call in question. Such were the doctrines of one 
God, the source of all things, of the eternity of the world, of the depend- 
ence of matter on God, of the nature of the soul, of the plurality of Gods, 
of the method of explaining the popular superstitions, and some others. 

5. The estimation in which human learning should be held, was a 
question on which the Christians were about equally divided. For while 
jnany thought that the literature and writings of the Greeks ought to re- 
ceive attention ; there were others who contended, that true piety and re- 
ligion were endangered by such studies. But gradually the friends of 
philosophy and literature acquired the ascendency. To this issue Origen 
contributed very much ; for having early imbibed the principles of the 
new Platonism, he inauspiciously applied them to theology, and earnestly 
recommended them to the numerous youth who attended on his instruc- 
tions. And the greater the influence of this man, which quickly spread 
over the whole Christian world, the more readily was his method of ex- 
plaining the sacred doctrines propagated. Some also of the disciples of 
Plotinus, connected themselves with the Christians, yet retained the leading 
sentiments of their master :(6) and these undoubtedly laboured to dissem- 
inate their principles around them, and to instil them into the minds of the 

(4) Lu. Holstenius, Vita Porphyrii, repub- of this philosopher, that he attached himself 

lished by Fabricius, in Biblioth. Gr. ["For- entirely to him. See Plotin., Vit., p. 3. 

phyry was first the disciple of Longinus, au- Eunap., c. 2, p. 17." Mad.] 

thor of the justly celebrated Treatise on the (5) Marinus, Vita Procli, cap. 11, 12, p. 

Sublime. But having passed from Greece 25, dee. 

to Rome, where he heard Plotinus, he was (6) Augustine, Epistola Ivi., adDioscor., 

so charmed with the genius and penetration Opp., torn, ii., p. 260. 




1. Form of Church Government. 2. What Rank the Bishop of Rome held in this 
Century. $ 3. Gradual Progress towards a Hierarchy. 4. The Vices of the Clergy. 
$ 5. Hence the Inferior Orders of the Clergy. 6. Marriage of the Clergy. Their 
Concubines. $ 7. The principal Writers ; Grecian and Oriental. 8. Latin Writers. 

1. THE form of the ecclesiastical constitution and government which 
had been introduced, was more and more confirmed and strengthened, 
both as it related to individual churches and in regard to the whole reli- 
gious community. He must be ignorant of the history and the monuments 
of this age, who can deny that a person bearing the title of bishop presided 
over each church in the larger cities, and that he managed its public con- 
cerns with some degree of authority ; yet having the presbyters for his 
council, and taking the voice of the whole people on subjects of consider- 
able moment.(l) It is equally certain, that one bishop in each province 
was pre-eminent over the rest in rank and in certain prerogatives. This 
was necessary for maintaining that consociation of churches, which had 
been introduced in the preceding century, and for the more convenient 
celebration of the councils. Yet it must be added, that the prerogatives 
of these principal bishops were not everywhere accurately ascertained ; 
nor did the bishop of the chief city in a province, always hold the rank of 
first bishop. This also is beyond controversy, that the bishops of Rome, 
Antioch, and Alexandria, as presiding over the primitive and apostolic 
churches in the greater divisions of the empire, had precedence of all oth- 
ers, and were not only often consulted on weighty affairs, but likewise en- 
joyed certain prerogatives peculiar to themselves. 

2. As to the bishop of Rome in particular, he was regarded by Cfyp- 
rian,(2) and doubtless by others likewise, as holding something of primacy 
in the church. But the fathers who with Cyprian ascribed this primacy 
to the Roman bishop, strenuously contended for the equality of all bishops, 
in respect to dignity and authority ; and disregarding the judgment of the 

(1) Authorities are cited by David Elan- ep. v., p. 11 ; ep. xiii., p. 23; ep. xxviii., 

dell, Apologia pro sententia Hieronimi de p. 39 ; ep. xxiv., p. 33 ; ep. xxvii., p. 37, 

episcopis et presbyteris, p. 136, &c. [and 38. To the objection, that Cyprian did 

still more amply, by James Boileau, under himself ordain some presbyters and lectors, 

the fictitious name of Claudius Fonteius, in without the consent of his council and the 

his book de antique jure presbyterorum in laity, it is answered, that the persons so ad- 

regimine ecclesiastico, Turin, 1676, 12mo. vanced were confessors, who, according to 

The most valuable of these testimonies, are usage, were entitled to ordination without 

from the epistles of Cyprian, bishop of Car- any previous election. Cyprian, ep. xxxiv., 

thage, who was a warm advocate for episco- p. 46, 47 ; ep. xxxv., p. 48, 49. Tcrtullian, 

pal pre-eminence, yet did not presume to de- de Anima, c. 55, p. 353. &c. See Moskeim, 

termine any question of moment by his own Commentt. de Reb. Christ., &c., p. 575- 

authority, or without the advice and consent 579. 7V.J 

of his presbyters, and was accustomed to (2) Cyprian, ep. Ixxiii., p. 131 ; ep. lv., 

take the sense of the whole church on sub- p. 86 ; de Unitatc ecclesise, p. 195, ed. Ba- 

jects of peculiar interest. See Cyprian, luze. 


bishop of Rome, whenever it appeared to them incorrect, had no hesitation 
in following their own judgment. Of this Cyprian himself gave a striking 
example, in his famous controversy with Stephen, bishop of Rome, con- 
cerning the baptism of heretics. Whoever duly considers and compares 
all their declarations, will readily perceive that this primacy was not a pri- 
macy of power and authority, but only of precedence among associated 
brethren. That is, the primacy of the Romish bishop in regard to the 
whole church, was the same as that of Cyprian in the African church, 
which did not impair at all the equality of the African bishops, or curtail 
their liberties and rights, but merely conferred the right of convoking 
councils, of presiding in them, and admonishing his brethren fraternally, 
and the like. (3) 

3. Yet while the ancient mode of church government seemed in gen- 
eral to remain unaltered, there was a gradual deflection from its rules, and 
an approximation towards the form of a monarchy. For the bishops 
claimed much higher authority and power than before, and encroached 
more and more upon the rights not only of the brotherhood, but also of the 
presbyters. And to give plausibility to these usurpations, they advanced 
new doctrines concerning the church and the episcopal office ; which how- 
ever were so obscure for the most part, that it would seem they did not 
themselves understand them. The principal author of these innovations 
was Cyprian, the most bold and strenuous defender of episcopal power that 
had then arisen in the church. Yet he was not uniform and consistent, 
for in times of difficulty, when urged by necessity, he could give up his 
pretensions, and submit everything to the judgment and authority of the 
church. (4) 

(3) See Stephen Baluze, Annott. ad Cyp- bernatione, et de actu nostro judicandi. 

riani Epistt., p. 387, 389, 400, &c. And The passages referred to in the preceding 

especially Cyprian himself, who contends note, in which Cyprian not very intelligibly 

strenuously for the perfect equality of all speaks of a unity in the church and of a cer- 

bishops. Ep. lxxi.,p. 127. [Nam nee Pe- tain primacy of the Roman pontiff, must be 

trus vindicavit sibi aliquid insolenter, aut so understood as not to contradict these very 

arroganter assumpsit se primatum tenere, et explicit assertions of the absolute equality of 

obtemporari a novellis et posteris sibi opor- all bishops. See Mosheim, de Reb. Christ., 

tere.] Ep. Ixxiii., p. 137. [Unusquisque &c., p. 579-587. Tr.] 
Episcoporum quod putat facial, habens ar- (4) [No man can speak in higher terms 

bitrii sui liberam potestatem.] Ep. lv., ad of the power of bishops, than the arrogant 

Cornelium Rom., p. 86. [Cum statutum Cyprian that very Cyprian, who, when not 

et equum sit pariter ac justum, ut uniuscu- fired by any passion, is so condescending to- 

jusque causa illic audiatur, ubi est crimen wards presbyters, deacons, and the common 

admissum, et singulis pastoribus portio gre- people. He inculcates, on all occasions, 

gis sit adscripta, quam regat unusquisque et that bishops derive their office, not so much 

gubernet, rationem sui actus Domino reditu- from their election by the clergy and people, 

rus. Cyprian's address at the opening of as from the attestation and decree of God. 

the council of Carthage, A.D. 255, in his See ep. lii., p. 68, 69 ; ep. xlv., p. 59 ; ep. 

Works, p. 329, ed. Baluze. Neque enim lv.,p. 82; ep. lxv.,p. 113 ; ep. Ixix ,p. 121. 

quisquam nostrum Episcopum se esse Epis- He regards bishops as the successors of the 

coporum constituit, aut tyrannico terrore ad apostles, ep. xlii., p. 57. So that bishops 

obsequendi necessitatem collegas suos adigit, are amenable to none, but to God only ; 

quando habeat omnis Episcopus pro licentia while presbyters are amenable to the reli- 

libertatis et potestatis suae arbitrium pro- gious society, ep. xi., p. 19. Deacons were 

prium, tamque judicari ab alio non possit, created by the bishop ; and therefore they 

quam nee ipse potest alterum judicare. Sed can be punished by him alone, without the 

expectemus universi judicium Domini nostri voice of the society, ep Ixv., p. 114. Bish- 

Jesu Christi, qui unus et solus habet potesta- ops have the same rights with apostles, whose 

tern et praeponendi nos in ecclesiae suae gu- successors they are. And hence, none but 


4. This change in the form of ecclesiastical government was followed 
by a corrupt state of the clergy. For although examples of primitive 
piety and virtue were not wanting, yet many were addicted to dissipation, 
arrogance, voluptuousness, contention, and other vices. This appears dis- 
tinctly from the frequent lamentations of the most credible persons of those 
times. (5) Many bishops now affected the state of princes, and especially 
those who had charge of the more populous and wealthy congregations ; 
for they sat on thrones, surrounded by their ministers, and other ensigns 
of their ghostly power, and perhaps also dazzled the eyes and the minds 
of the populace with their splendid attire. The presbyters imitated the 
example of their superiors, and neglecting the duties of their office, lived 
in indolence and pleasure. And this imboldened the deacons to make en- 
croachments upon the office and the prerogatives of the presbyters. 

5. And hence, in my opinion, originated those minor orders of the 
clergy, which in this century were everywhere added to the bishops, pres- 
byters, and deacons. The words suhdeacons, acofythi, ostiarii, lectors, ex- 
orcists, and copiatae, designate officers, which I think the church would 
have never had, if the rulers of it had possessed more piety or true reli- 
gion. But when the honours and prerogatives of the bishops and pres- 
byters were augmented, the deacons also became more inflated, and refused 
to perform those meaner offices to which they once cheerfully submitted. 
The offices designated by these new titles, are in great measure explained 
by the words themselves. The exorcists owed their origin to the doctrine 
of the new Platonists, adopted by the Christians, that evil spirits have a 
strong desire after the human body, and that vicious men are not so much 
impelled to sin by their natural depravity and by the influence of bad ex- 
amples, as by the suggestions of some evil spirit lodging within them. (6) 
The copiatae were employed in the burial of the dead. 

God can take cognizance of their actions, apostles. But some of the most learned wri- 

op. Ixix., p. 121. The whole church is ters of the Romish communion, and the Prot- 

fonndod on the bishop ; and no one is a true estants generally, maintain that they were 

member of the church, who is not submissive first instituted in the third century. See 

to his bishop, ep. Ixix., p. 123. Bishops rep- Cardinal Bona, Rerum Liturgicar., 1. i., c. 

resent Christ himself, and govern and judge 25, 16, 17. Morin, de Ordinatione, pt. hi., 

in his name, ep. lv., ad Cornel., p. 81, 82. Exerc. 14, c. 1, and Bingham's Orig. Ec- 

Hence all bishops, in the following ages, cles., vol. i. G. J. Plane!;, Gesch. der 

styled themselves Vicars of Christ. See /. christl. kirchl. Gesellschafts-Verfanung., vol. 

Binpharri's Orig. Eccles., vol. i., p. 81, &c. i., p. 143-149. Not one of these orders is 

In the ninth century, a bishop of Paris is so even named by any writer who lived before 

styled in a letter of Servaius Luput, ep. Terticllian ; nor are all of them named by 

xcix , p. 149, ed. Baluze. After the ninth him. Cyprian, in the middle of the third 

century, the bishops of Rome assumed the century, mentions hypodiaconi, acolythi, and 

exclusive right to this as well as other hon- lectores. See his Epp., 14, 24, 36, 42, 49, 

orary episcopal titks. Schl. from Moshetm, 79, ed. Baluz. And Cornelius, bp. of Rome, 

de Rebus Christianor., p. 588, &c.] contemporary with Cyprian, in an epistle 

(5) Ongen, Comment, in Matthoeum, pt. which is preserved by Eusebius, H. E., vi., 
i., Opp., p. 420, 441, 442. Eusebius, His- c. 43, represents his church as embracing 
toria Eccles., lib. viii., cap. 1, p. 291. and 46 presbyters, (^peodvrip^) 7 deacons, 
others. [Cyprian, in many of his epistles. (<5zK<*rttf); 7subdeacons. (t'To&a/coi'Sf) ; 42 
Tr."\ acolythi, (KoA$fcf) ; and exorcists, (ffop**- 

(6) See J. Godofredus, ad Codicem The- fQf ), readers, (uvayvofOf), with doorkeepers, 
odosianum, torn, vi., p. 48. [Several of the (irv/iupolf), together 52 The particular 
Catholic writers, as u. p., Baroniits, Bcllar- functions of these inferior orders are but im- 
min, and Schelstrate, believed these minor perfectly defined by the writers of the third 
orders of the clergy were instituted by the century. From the epistles of Cyprian above 



6. Marriage was allowed to all the clergy, from the highest rank to 
the lowest. Yet those were accounted more holy and excellent, who lived 
in celibacy. For it was the general persuasion, that those who lived in 
wedlock were much more exposed to the assaults of evil spirits than oth- 
ers :(7) and it was of immense importance to the Christian cause that no 
impure or malignant spirit should assail the mind or the body of one who 
was to instruct and govern others. Such persons therefore wished, if pos- 
sible, to have nothing to do with conjugal life. And this many of the 
clergy, especially in Africa, endeavoured to accomplish with the least vio- 
lence to their inclinations ; for they received into their house, and even to 
their beds, some one of those holy females who had vowed perpetual chas- 
tity, affirming however, most religiously, that they had no disgraceful in- 
tercourse with these holy sisters. (8) These concubines were by the 
Greeks called ovveiadiCTOi, and by the Latins mulieres subintroduciae. 
Many of the bishops indeed sternly opposed this shameful practice ; but it 
was a long time before it was wholly abolished. 

7. Of the writers of this century the most distinguished for the celeb- 
rity of his name and for the extent of his writings, was Origen, a presbyter 
and catechist of Alexandria, a man truly great, and a luminary to the 
Christian world. Had his discernment and the soundness of his judgment 
been equal to his genius, his piety, his industry, his erudition, and his other 
accomplishments, he would deserve almost unbounded commendation. As 
he is, all should revere his virtues and his merits. (9) The second was 

cited, it appears that subdeacons and acoly- 
thi, singly or together, were frequently the 
bearers of public letters to and from bishops ; 
and that readers were employed to read the 
scriptural lessons in time of public worship. 
The writers and councils of the fourth centu- 
ry describe more fully the duties of all these 
petty officers. TV.] 

(7) Porphyrius, mpt UTTO;^, lib. iv., p. 

(8) See H. Dodwell, Diss. tertia Cyprian- 
ica ; and Lud. Ant. Muratorius, Diss. de 
Synisactis et Agapetis, in his Anecdota Grae- 
ca, p. 218 ; Steph. Baluze, ad Cypriarii 
Epistol., p. 5, 12, and others. [This shame- 
ful practice commenced anterior to this cen- 
tury. Slight allusions to it are found in the 
Shepherd of Hcrmas and in Tertullian ; but 
the first distinct mention of it is in Cyprian, 
who inveighs severely against it in some of 
his epistles. It is to be remembered, that 
none but virgin sisters in the church, and 
they under a vow of perpetual chastity, be- 
came avveiauKTOi. With these some of the 
single clergy attempted to live, in the manner 
in which certain married people then lived, 
dwelling and even sleeping together, but 
with a mutual agreement to have no conjugal 
intercourse. Such connexions they consid- 
ered as a marriage of souls, without the mar- 
riage of bodies. See Mosheim, de Rebus 
Christianor., &c., p. 599, &c. Tr.] 

(9) See P. D, Huet, Origeniana, a learn- 

ed and valuable work ; Lud. Doucin, Histoire 
d'Origene et des movemens arrivees dans 
1'egliseau sujet de sa doctrine, Paris, 1700, 
8vo ; and Boyle, Dictionnaire, torn, iii., art. 
Origene ; and many others. [Origen, sur- 
named Adamcmtius, was an Alexandrian 
Greek, born of Christian parents A.D. 185. 
His father Lconidas was a man of letters, a 
devout Christian, and took great pains with 
the education of his son, especially in the 
holy scriptures, some portion of which he 
required him daily to commit to memory. 
His education, begun under his father, was 
completed under Clemens Alexandrinus, and 
the philosopher Ammonius Saccas. Ori- 
gen was distinguished for precocity of ge- 
nius, early piety, and indefatigable industry. 
When his father suffered martyrdom A.D. 
202, Origen, then 17 years old, was eager to 
suffer with him, but was prevented by his 
mother. He wrote to his father in prison, 
exhorting him to steadfastness in the faith, 
and to be unsolicitous about his family. The 
whole property of the family was confiscated, 
and Origen, with his widowed mother and 
six younger sons, were left in poverty. But 
the persecution having exterminated or driv- 
en away all the Christian schoolmasters, Or- 
igen found no difficulty in procuring a school, 
for which his talents so well qualified him. 
The next year, A.D. 203, Demetrius, bp. of 
Alexandria, advanced him to the mastership 
of the catechetic school, though he was then 



Julius Africanus, a very learned man, most of whose labours and works 

but 18 years old. His talents as an instruct- Demetrius assembled two councils against 

er, his eminent piety, and his assiduous at- him, the first of which banished Origen from 

tention to those who suffered in the persecu- _Alexandria, and the second deprived him of 

tion, procured him high reputation and nu- his clerical office. Demetrius also wrote 

inerous friends among the Christians ; but letters to Rome and elsewhere, to excite odi- 

his great success in making converts to um against this unoffending man. Heraclas 

Christianity and forming his pupils to be in- now succeeded him in the school at Alexan- 

telligent and devoted Christians, rendered 
him odious to the pagans, who watched about 
his house and hunted him through the city, 
in order to assassinate him. The austerity 
of his life was great. He fed on the coars- 
est fare, went barefoot, and slept on the 
ground. He spent the whole day in teaching 
and in active duties, and devoted most of the 
night to his private studies and to devotion, 

dria, and Origen retired, A.D. 231, to Caes- 
area in Palestine. Here he resumed his 
office of instructor, and continued to write 
expositions of the Bible. But in the year 
235, a persecution in Palestine obliged him 
to flee to Caesarea in Cappadocia, where he 
lived concealed for two years. After his 
return to Palestine, he visited Athens ; and 
about the year 244, was called to attend a 

About this time he sold his large and valua- council at Bostra in Arabia, against Beryllus 
ble collection of pagan authors, for a perpet- bp. of that place, who was heretical in re- 
spect to the personal existence of Christ 
previous to his incarnation. Origen con- 

ual income of four oboli (about seven cents) 
per diem, which he regarded as a competent 
support. Construing the passage in Matth. 

verted him to the orthodox faith. Dcmetri- 

xix., 12, literally, he emasculated himself, in us his persecutor died A.D. 232, and was 
order to avoid temptation in his intercourse succeeded by Heraclas, a disciple of Origen, 
with his female pupils. About the year 212, after whom Dionysius the Great filled the 
he made a short visit to Rome. On his re- see of Alexandria from A.D. 248 to 265. 
turn he took his former pupil Heraclas to be The persecution of Origen died with his per- 
his assistant in the school, so that he might sonal enemy Demetrius ; and he was greatly 
devote more time to theology and the expo- beloved and honoured by all around hum till 
sition of the Scriptures. Many learned per- the day of his death. His residence was now 
sons, pagans and heretics, were converted by fixed at Csesarea in Palestine ; but he occa- 
him ; and among them, Ambrose, a Valenti- sionally visited other places. His time was 
nian and a man of wealth, who became a occupied in an extensive correspondence, in 
liberal patron of Origen, and at last died a preaching, and in composing books explana- 
martyr. In the year 215, the persecution tory of the Bible, and in defence of Christi- 
under Caracalla obliged Origen to flee from anity. Against the more learned pagans 
Alexandria. He retired to Caesarea in Pal- and the heretics of those times, he was a 
estine, where he was received with high re- champion that had no equal ; he was also 
spect ; and though not even a deacon at that considered as a devout and exemplary Chris- 
time, the bishops of Caesarea and Jerusalem tian, and was, beyond question, the first bib- 

allowed him to expound the Scriptures pub- 
licly in their presence. The next year, De- 
nfiriu-s called him back to Alexandria and 
to his mastership of the catechetic school. 
About this time an Arabian prince invi- 
ted him to his court, to impart to him Chris- 
tian instruction. Afterwards, Mammaea the 

lical scholar of the age. He was master of 
the literature and the science of that age, 
which he valued only as subservient to the 
cause of Christ ; but he was more skilful in 
employing them against pagans and here- 
tics, than in the explanation and confirma- 
tion of the truths of revelation. In the latter 

mother of the emperor Alexander Severns, part of his life, during the Decian persecu- 
sent for him to Antioch, in order to hear him tion A.D. 250, he was imprisoned for a con- 
siderable time, and came near to martyrdom, 
which he showed himself willing to meet. 
He was however released, but his sufferings 

preach. In the year 228, he was publicly 
called to Achaia, to withstand the heretics 
who disturbed the churches there. On his 

return through Palestine, Thcoctistus bp. of in prison, added to his intense literary la- 

Caesarca, and Alexander bp. of Jerusalem, 
who had before treated him with marked at- 

bours, had broken down his constitution, 
and he died A.D. 254, at Tyre, in the 69th 

tention, ordained him a presbyter, to the great year of his age. His winning eloquence, 

offence of Demetrius, who was envious of his great learning, his amiable temper, and 

the growing reputation of his catechist. De- his reputation for sincere and ardent piety, 

metrins had little to object against Origen, gave him immense influence, especially 

except that he was a eunuch, and that foreign among the well-informed and the higher 

bishops had no right to ordain his layman, classes in society. No man, since the apos- 

Controversy ensued, and in the year 230, ties, had been more indefatigable, and no 



The name of Hippolytus ranks very high among both the 

intended especially for the learned. A col- 
lection of Origen's Scholia, and scattered 
remarks on Scripture, compiled by Basil the 
Great and Gregory Nazianzen, is extant, 
bearing the title of ^fn/lo/ca/Ua. A large part 
of his Homilies and Commentaries are whol- 
ly lost, and some of the others have come to 
us only in the Latin translation of Rufinus. 

are lost. (10) 

one had done more to diffuse knowledge and 
make the Christian community intelligent, 
united, and respectable in the view of man- 
kind. He was in general orthodox, accord- 
ing to the standard of that age ; but, unfet- 
tered in his speculations and unguarded in 
his communications, he threw out some 
crude opinions, which the next age gathered 

up and blazoned abroad, and for which he The earlier editions of Origen's works are 

was accounted by some a heretic,. The 
principal errors ascribed to him, are derived 
from his four Books nepl apx&v, (de princip- 
iis, on the first principles of human knowl- 
edge), and are ( I) the pre-existence of hu- 
man souls, and their incarceration in mate- 
rial bodies, for offences committed in a for- 
mer state of being : (2) the pre-existence of 
Christ's human soul, and its union with the 

chiefly in Latin, and of little value. P. D. 
Huet, a Benedictine monk, first published, 
A.D. 1668, in 2 vols. fol., the expository 
works of Origen, Greek and Latin, with 
notes, and a valuable introduction entitled 
Origeniana. Bern, de Montfaucon, another 
Benedictine, collected and published what 
remains of his Hexapla and Tetrapla, Paris, 
1714, 2 vols. fol. But the best edition of 

divine nature anterior to the incarnation of all his works, except the Hexapla, is that of 

Christ : (3) the transformation of our ma- the Benedictines Charles and Charles Vin- 

terial bodies into ethereal ones, at the res- cent, de la Rue, Paris, 1733-59, 4 vols. fol. 

urrection : (4) the final recovery of all men The text of this edition, Gr. and Lat., with- 

and even devils, through the mediation of out the notes and dissertations, was repub- 

Christ. Origen could number among his lished by OierMiir, Wiirtzburg, 1780-93, 15 

pupils many eminent martyrs and divines, vols. 8vo. The principal modern writers 

among whom Firmilianus of Cappadocia, concerning Origen, besides Huet and the de 

Gregory Thaumaturgus, and Dionysius the la Rues, are Tillemont, Mem. a 1'Hist. de 

Great, bp. of Alexandria, are best known 1'Eglise, torn, iii., p. 216-264. Bayle, Diet., 

at the present day. His life and history art. Origene ; Cave, Hist. Lit., vol. i., p. 

are best related by Eusebius, Hist. Eccl., 
lib. vi., passim ; and by Jerome, de Viris 
Illustr., cap. 55, and ep. 41 or 65. The 
united work of Pamphilus and Eusebius 
in defence of Origen, in six Books, is un- 

112, &c. Lardncr, Credibility, pt. ii., vol. 
ii., p. 161, &c. Haloix, Defence of Origen ; 
Doucin, Histoire d'Origene, Paris, 1700, 
8vo. Mosheim, de Reb. Christ., p. 605- 
680 ; Schroeckh, Kirchengesch., vol. iv., p. 

fortunately lost, except the first book, of 29-145. Neander, Kirchengesch., vol. i., 

which we have a translation by Rufinus. 
Epiphanius, Haeres. 64, gives a philippic 
upon Origen and his followers. Photius, 
Biblioth. cxviii., affords us some knowledge 
of his lost works. Origen was a most volu- 
minous writer. Eusebius says he collected 
100 Epistles of Origen ; and that when 60 
years old, Origen permitted stenographers to 
write down his extempore discourses. Be- 
sides these he composed eight Books against 
Celsus, in defence of Christianity, which are 
still extant ; four Books Trepl apjuv, extant 
in a Latin translation by Rufinus ; ten Books 
entitled Stromata, which are lost : his Hex- 
apla and Tetrapla, of which little remains ; 
and tracts on prayer, martyrdom, and the 
resurrection. But his principal works are ex- 
positions of the scriptures. It is said he 
wrote on every book in the Bible, except the 
Apocalypse. His allegorical mode of inter- 

part iii., p. 1172-1214. Milner's account of 
Origen, Eccl. Hist., cent, iii., ch. 5, 6, 15, is 
not impartial. Tr.] 

(10) [Julius Afncanus, for erudition, and 
as an interpreter of scripture, is ranked with 
Clemens Alex, and Origen; by Socrates, 
Hist. Eccles., 1. ii., c. 35. The best ac- 
count of this distinguished man, is derived 
from Eusebius, Hist. Eccles., vi., c. 31, 
and Jerome, de Viris Illustr., c. 63. He was 
probably of Nicopolis, once called Emmaus, 
in Judea, and is supposed to have died, when 
a man in years, about A.D. 232. Of his 
life little is known, except that he once vis- 
ited Alexandria, to confer with Heraclas, 
head of the catechetic school after Origen ; 
and that, the city of Nicopolis having been 
burned about A.D. 221, Africanus was 
sent as envoy to the emperor, with a peti- 
tion that it might be rebuilt. His principal 

preting scripture is described by Mosheim, work was Annals of the world, from the cre 
in the next chapter. Origen's expositions ation down to A.D. 221, in five Books, 
are of three kinds ; (1) Homilies, or popu- 
lar lectures ; (2) Commentaries, divided into 
Books, which are full, elaborate, and learn- 
ed expositions ; (3) Scholia, or short notes, 

This work, of which only fragments now 
remain, was highly esteemed by the ancients, 
and was the basis of many similar works, 
namely, the Chronicons of Eusebius, Syn- 



writers and the martyrs ; but his history is involved in much obscuri. 
ty.(ll) The writings now extant bearing the name of this great man, 
are not without reason regarded by many as being either spurious or at 
least corrupted. Gregory, bishop of New Caesarea [in Pontus], was sur- 
named Thaumaturgus, on account of the numerous and distinguished mir- 
acles which he is said to have wrought. But few of.his writings are now 
extant; his miracles are questioned by many at the present day.(12) I 

haps he spent part of his life in the East, and 
part in the West. That he was a martyr, 
is generally conceded : though the poem of 
Prit/lentius on the martyrdom of Hippo/ytus, 
refers to another person, who was a Roman 
presbyter. Eusebius, 1. c., gives this ac- 
count of his writings : " Besides many other 
works, he wrote a treatise concerning Eas- 
ter, in which he describes the succession of 
events, and proposes a paschal cycle of 16 
years ; the work terminates with the first 
year of the emperor Alexander," (Severus, 
A.D. 222). " His other writings which 
have reached me, are these : on the Hexae- 
meron" (Gen., ch. i.) ; "on what follows 
the Hexaemeron ; against Marcwn; on the 
Canticles; on parts of Ezekiel ; concerning 
Easter ; against all the heresies." Besides 
these, Jcrume mentions his Commentaries on 
Exodus, Zechariah, the Psalms, Isaiah, Dan- 
iel, the Apocalypse, Proverbs, and Ecclesi- 
astes ; and tracts concerning Saul and the 
witch, Antichrist, the resurrection ; and his 
discourse in praise of our Lord and Saviour. 
Some other works of Hippoly/us are enu- 
merated in an inscription on the base of his 
statue, dug up near Rome in the year 1551 ; 
also by Photius, Biblioth., No. 121 and 122 ; 
and Ebedjesus, in Assemani, Biblioth. Ori- 
ent., torn, iii., pt. i. His Paschal Cycle is 
his only work that has come down to us en- 
tire. The dialogue concerning Christ and 
Antichrist, still extant, if really his, does 
him little credit as a theologian. The con- 
cluding part of his work against all the her- 
esies, still remains, and gives us the best ac- 
count we have, though a lame one, of the 
heresy of Noitus. All that remains of him, 
genuine and adulterated, and all that is as- 
cribed to him, are well edited by Fubricius, 
in two thin volumes fol., Hamb., 1716-18. 
For a more full account of him and his 
writings, besides the Histoire Litt. de la 
France, and Fabriaus, ad Hippol. Opera, 
see Tillemont, Memoires a 1'Hist. Eccles., 
torn, in., p. 104 and 309, &c. Care, Hist. 
Lit., vol. i., p. 102, &c. Lardner, Crcdib., 
pt. ii., vol. ii., p. 69, &c. Schroeckh, Kir- 
chengesch., vol. iv., p. 154, &c. Neander, 
Kircheng., vol. i., pt. iii., p. 11-17, &c. TV.) 
(12) See Anton, van Dale, Preface to his 
book de Oraculis, p. 6. [Schroeckh, Kir- 
chengesch., vol. ii., p. 351, &c., and p. 330 

cellits, Malala, Theopkanes, Cedrenus, and 
others. He was author of a letter to Aris- 
tides, reconciling the two genealogies of our 
Saviour. Of this work we have a long ex- 
tract in Eusebius, Hist. Eccl., i., 7, and a 
fragment in Routes Reliquiae Sacrae, vol. 
ii., p. 115. Africanus supposed Matthew 
to give the true descent of Joseph from Da- 
vid by Solomon, and Luke to give his legal 
descent from the same by Nathan, accord- 
ing to the law for raising up seed to a de- 
ceased brother. Jacob and Heli, the two 
reputed fathers of Joseph, he supposed, were 
half -brothers, having the same mother, but 
different fathers ; and Heli dying childless, 
Jacob married his widow and begat Joseph, 
whom the law accounted as the son of the 
deceased Heli. Another letter of Africa- 
mis, addressed to Ongen, is still extant in 
the works of Origen, vol. i., p. 10-12, ed. 
de la Rue. The object of this letter is, to 
prove the history of Susannah spurious, and 
the work of some person much younger than 
Daniel. His chief argument is, that the 
writer makes Daniel play upon the Greek 
words axlvof and Trpii'Of, in verses 54, 55, 
68, 59, while examining the witnesses 
against Susannah. Eusebius and others as- 
cribe to Africanus another and larger work, 
entitled Kearoi. It is a miscellany, and un- 
worthy of a Christian divine. Valcsius 
thinks Eusebius mistook, attributing the 
work of some pagan bearing the same name, 
to this Christian father. Others suppose it 
might have been written by Africanus, in 
his youth, or before his conversion. Many 
fragments of it have been collected by The- 
venot, and published in his Collection of the 
writings of the ancient Greek mathemati- 
cians, Paris, 1693, fol. TV.] 

(11) The Benedictine monks have, with 
great labour and erudition, endeavoured to 
dispel this darkness. See Histoire Litter. 
de la France, torn, i., p. 361, &c., Paris, 
1733, 4to. [Both Eusebius, Hist. Eccles., 
vi., c. 20, 22. and Jerome, de Viris Illustr., 
c. 61, make him to have flourished in the 
reign of Sererus, A.D. 222, &c., and to have 
been a bishop, but of what city they could 
not learn. Subsequent writers \\ < re divided, 
some representing him as an Arabian bishop, 
and others as bishop of Ostia near Rome, 
whence he is snruamcd Poriue?isis. Per- 

VOL. I. Y 



could wish that many writings of Dionysius, bishop of Alexandria, were 
now extant ; for the few fragments which have reached us, show that he 
was a man of distinguished wisdom and mildness of disposition, and prove 
that the ancients used no flattery when they styled him Dionysius the 
Great.(13) Methodius was a man of piety, and had some weight of char- 

392, and Lardner, Credibility, pt. ii., vol. moderns who give us his history, and enu- 

ii., p. 450, <fec. Gregory of New Caesarea merate his works, see Tillemont, Memoires 

in Pontus, whose original name was Theo- a 1'Hist. Eccl , torn, iv., p. 131, &c., and 

dorus, was born of heathen parents at New Notes sur St. Greg. Thaum., p. 47. Du 
Caesarea near the beginning of this century. 
His family was wealthy and respectable. 


After the death of his father, which was 
when he was fourteen years old, his mother 
and the children became nominally Chris- 
tians. But Gregory was a stranger to the 
Bible, and ambitious to make a figure in the 
world. About the year 231, he left Pontus, 
intending to study law in the famous law 
school at Berytus, but meeting with Origen 
at Caesarea, he was induced to change his 
purpose. He applied himself to the study 
of the' Bible, was baptized, assumed the 
name of Gregory, and continued under the 
instruction of Origen eight years, except that 
he fled to Alexandria for a short time to 
avoid persecution. He was now a devoted 
Christian, and a man of great promise. On 
leaving Origen, he composed and read in a 
public assembly an eulogy on his instructor, 
in which he gives account of his own past 
life and of the manner in which Origen had al- 
lured him to the study of the scriptures, and 
changed all his views. Taking an affection- 
ate leave of his master, he returned to Pon- 
tus, and became bishop of his native city, 
New Caesarea, where he spent the remain- 
der of his life. He was a laborious and 
successful pastor, and highly respected for 
his talents and piety, as well as for numer- 
ous miracles which he is said to have wrought. 
When created bishop, he found but seven- 
teen Christians in his very populous diocese. 
When he died, there was only about the 
same number of pagans in it. He and his 
flock endured persecution in the year 250. 
He attended the first council of Antioch, 
against Paul of Samosata in the year 264 
or 265, and died soon after. Some account 
of him is given by Euscbius, Hist. Eccles., 
vi., 30, and vii., 14, 28. Jerome, de Viris 
Illustr., c. 65, and Ep. ad Magnum. But 
his great eulogists among the ancients, were 
the two brothers Basil the Great, and Greg- 
ory Nyssen, whose grandmother sat under 
the ministry of Greg. Thaum., and furnished 
her grandchildren with an account of him. 
Basil speaks of him in his book on the Holy 
Spirit, and in his Epistles, No. 28, 110, 204, 
207, or 62, 64, 75, 63 ; and Nyssen, in his 
life of Gregory Thaum., inter Opp. Greg. 
Nys., torn, iii., p. 536, &c. Among the 

Pin, Nov. Biblioth. des Aut. Eccles., torn, 
i., p. 184, &c. Fabricius, Biblioth. Gr., 
vol. v., p. 247, &c. Cave, Hist. Lit., vol. i. 
A. Neandcr, Kirchengesch., vol. i., p. 1224, 
&c. Schroeckh, ubi supra, Lard., ubi su- 
pra, and Milner, Eccles. Hist., cent, iii., ch. 
18. The only genuine works of Gregory, 
that are extant, are his Eulogy on Origen, 
which has been mentioned ; a Paraphrase 
on Ecclesiastes ; a short Confession of faith, 
(the last part of which some have ques- 
tioned) ; and a Letter, containing counsel 
for the treatment of the lapsed. The spuri- 
ous works attributed to him, are, Capita xii. 
de Fide, with anathemas ; in Annuntia- 
tionem Sanctissimae Mariae Sermones 
tres ; in Sancta Theophania, sive de appari- 
tione Dei, et Christi Baptismo, Sermo ; de 
Anima disputatio ad Tatianum ; Expositio 
Fidei, (fj Kara fiipo^ mfif), relating only to 
the Trinity. All these were collected and 
published, with learned notes, by Gerard 
Vossius, Mayence, 1604, 4to, and Paris, 
1622, fol., with the works of Macarius, Ba- 
sil of Seleucia, and a tract of Zonaras, sub- 
joined. TV.] 

(13) The history of Dionysius is carefully 
written by Ja. Basnage, Histoire de 1'Eglise, 
tome i., livr. ii., cap. 5, p. 68. [He was 
probably born of heathen parents, but early 
converted to the Christian faith by Origen, 
under whom he had his education at Alex- 
andria. He became a presbyter there ; and 
succeeded Hcradas, as head of the cate- 
chetic school, about the year 232, and on 
the death of Heraclas, A.D. 248, he again 
succeeded him in the episcopal chair, which 
he filled till his death in the year 265. We 
know little of his history while a catechist, 
except that he then read carefully all the 
works of heretics and pagans, and made him- 
self master of the controversies of the day. 
(Euseb.,H. E.,lib. vii.,c. 7). As a bishop he 
was uncommonly laborious and faithful. He 
lived in stormy times, was called to almost 
continual contests with errorists, and had 
little rest from persecution, in which he and 
his flock suffered exceedingly. These suf- 
ferings are described in the copious extracts 
from his writings, preserved by Euscbius, in 
his Eccles. History, book vi. and vii. In 
the year 249, the pagans of Alexandria made 



acter ; but the few works of his yet remaining, prove him not to have 
been a man of an accurate and discriminating mind. (14) 

insurrection against the Christians, murdered personality to his divine nature. Dionysius 
several, assaulted, and plundered, and drove distinguished two persons, as well as two 

into hiding-places most of the rest. The 
next year the general persecution under 

natures in Christ ; and affirmed that the ac- 
tions and sufferings of the human nature 

Decius commenced, and Dionysius was could not be predicated of the divine nature. 

under arrest, and suffered much, with his 
flock, for a year and a half. Soon after his 
release, the pestilence began to' lay waste 

Natalis Alexander has a dissertation (Hist. 
Eccles., saecul. iii., Diss xix.), in vindication 
of the orthodoxy, though not of all the phra- 

the church and the city, and did not entirely seology of Dionysius. For a knowledge of 

cease till the end of twelve years. About 
the same time, Nepos an Egyptian bishop, 
embraced and disseminated millenarian prin- 
ciples; but was at length reclaimed by Dio- 
nysius. The warm contest respecting the 
rebaptism of converted heretics, about the 
year 256, was submitted by both parties to 
him, and drew forth several able productions 
from his pen. Not long after, he had to 
withstand the Sabellians, in a long and ar- 
duous controversy. In the year 257, the 
persecution under Valerian commenced ; 
and for about two years, Dionysius was in 
banishment, transported from place to place, 

the life and writings of Dionysius, the chief 
original sources are Eusebius, Hist. Eccles., 
1. vi., c. 29, 35, 40-42, 44-46 ; 1. vii., c. 1, 
4-11, 20-28. Praepar. Evang., 1. xiv., c. 
23-27. Jerome, de Viris Illustr., c. 69, and 
Prefatio ad Lib. 18, Comment, in Esaiam ; 
Athanasius, de Sententia Dionysii ; and de 
Synodi Nicasnse Decretis ; Basil, de Spiritu 
Sancto, c. 29. Epist. ad Amphiloeh., and 
Epist. ad Maximum. Of his works, only 
two short compositions have come to us en- 
tire ; namely, his very sensible letter to No- 
vatian, (apud Eusebii Hist. Eccles., vi., 
45), and his Epistola Canonica ad Basili- 

and subjected to great sufferings. After his dem, in which he gives his opinion respecting 

return, in the year 260, there was insurrec- 
tion among the pagans, and civil war and 
famine raged at Alexandria. Scarcely was 
quiet restored, when this aged and faithful 
servant of God was solicited to aid in the 
controversy against Paul of Samosata. His 
infirmities prevented his attending the coun- 

the proper hour for terminating the fast be- 
fore Easter, and the obligation of Christians 
to observe certain Jewish laws respecting 
personal uncleannesses. But we have val- 
uable extracts from many of his letters and 
books. Euselnus gives portions of the fol- 
lowing ; namely, his epistle to Gcrmanus, 

cil of Antioch in 265, where Paul was con- giving account of his flight and sufferings 

demned ; but he wrote his judgment of the 
controversy, sent it to the council, and died 
soon after, in the close of that year. In his 
controversy with the Sabellians, he was to 
say the least unfortunate. For in his zeal 
to maintain a -personal tiistinetion between 
the Father and the Son, he let drop expres- 
sions which seemed to imply, that the latter 
was of another and an inferior nature to the 

in the Decian persecution. (H. E., vi., 40, 
and vii., 11.) Ep. to Fabius bishop of An- 
tioch, describing the sufferings of his flock 
in the same persecution. (H. E., vi., 40- 
42, 44.) Ep. to Hermammon, on the char- 
acters of the emperors Decius and Valerian. 
(H. E., vii., 1, 10, 23.) Ep. to Stephen 
bishop of Rome, on the peace after the per- 
secution of Callus. (H. E., vii., 4, 5.) Ep. 

former. This led the Sahellians to accuse to Domitius and Didymus, describing the 

him" of heresy ; and a council assembled at Decian persecution at Alexandria, (H. E., 

Rome, called on him to explain his views, vii , 11.) Ep. to Hicrax, describing the se- 

He replied in several books or letters, ad- dition at Alexandria, (H. E., vii., 21.) Ep. 

dressed to Dionysius bishop of Rome, which to Sixtits bishop of Rome, on rebaptism of 
pretty well satisfied his contemporaries. 
Afterwards, when the Arians claimed him, 
Athanasius came forth in vindication of his 
orthodoxy. Dr. Mosheim, (de Rebus Chris- 

tianor., p. 696, &c.), supposes that Dio- 

heretics,. and on the Sabellians, (H. E., vii., 
5, 6.) Another ep. to the same, on rebap- 
tism, &c., (H. E., vii., 9.) Ep. to Phile- 
mon, a Roman presbyter, on the same sub- 
ject, (H. E., vii., 7.) Ep. to Dtonysius, 

nysius differed from the orthodox on the one then a presbyter at Rome, on the same sub- 
hand, and from Sabelliuson the other, in the ject, and concerning Novatian, (H. E., vii., 
following manner. They all agreed, that in 7, 8.) Two Books against Nepos and the 
Jesus Christ, two natures, the human and Millenarians, on the promises to the saints 
the divine, were united. The orthodox in the Apocalypse, the nature of that book, 
maintained, that both natures constituted and its author, (H. E., vii., 24, 25 )Ep. to 
but one perxcm, and denied personality to his own flock, after the plague, consolatory, 
the human nature. Sabcllius admitted the (H. E., vii., 22.) Libri iv. de Nature, 
.union of two natures in Christ, but denied against Epicurean doctrines, dedicated to 



8. Of the Latin writers of this century, Cyprian bishop of Carthage, 
deservedly stands first. The epistles and tracts of this distinguished and 
eloquent man, breathe such a spirit of ardent piety, that almost no one 
can read them without feeling his soul stirred within him. Yet Cyprian 
would doubtless have been a better writer, if he had been less studious of 
rhetorical ornaments, and a better bishop, if he had been more capable of 
controlling his temper and of discriminating between truth and error. (15) 

his son, (Euseb., Praep. Evang., xiv., 23- 
27.) Athanasius also gives extracts from 
various of his works. Eusebius mentions 
seyeral works of Dionysius, from which he 
gives no extracts, (H. E., vi., 46, and vii., 
26) ; namely, Epistles to the brethren in 
Egypt, de Pcenitentia to Cornelius bishop 
of Rome, de Pcenitentia to his own church, 
a monitory epistle to Origen, on Martyr- 
dom to the brethren of Laodicea to the 
brethren in Armenia to Cornelius bishop 
of Rome, concerning Novatian to the 
brethren at Rome, three epistles concerning 
the office of a deacon, concerning peace, and 
de Pcenitentia to the confessors at Rome, 
who favoured Novatian to the same, after 
they returned to the church, two letters to 
Sixtus and the church at Rome, on rebaptism, 
&c. to Dionysius of Rome, concerning Lu- 
cian and various Paschal Epistles, (a spe- 
cies of pastoral letters), addressed to Fla- 
vins to Domitius and Didymus to his own 
presbyters to his flock, after the persecution 
of Valerian to the brethren in Egypt, &c.] 
(14) [Methodius, Patarensis, Eubulius, 
was bp. of Olympus, or of Patara, in Lycia, 
and afterwards of Tyre. He lived during 
the last half of the third century ; and died a 
martyr, at Chalcis in Greece, probably A.D. 
311, during the Diocletian persecution. Je- 
rome, (de Viris Illustr., c. 83), ranks him 
among the popular writers, and commends 
him especially for the neatness of his style ; 
but Socrates, (in his Hist. Eccles., 1. vi., c. 
13), represents him as one of those low and 
contemptible scribblers, who endeavour to 
bring themselves into notice by assailing the 
characters of their superiors. His works, as 
enumerated by Jerome, are (1) Two Books 
against Porphyry, (a large work, now lost) 
(2) Feast of the Ten Virgins, (a dialogue 
of pious females, in praise of celibacy. It is 
still extant, though perhaps corrupted ; but 
it does its author little credit) (3) On the 
resurrection of the body, against Origen, 
opus egregium. (It is but an indifferent 
work ; much of it is preserved by Epipha- 
nius, Haeres. Ixiv. Phofius, Bibl. ccxxxiv., 
&c.) (4) On the Witch of Endor, against 
Origen ; (not extant) (5) On free will (and 
the origin of evil ; not from matter, but from 
abuse of human liberty. Extracts from it 
remain) (6) Commentaries on Genesis and 

Canticles, (almost wholly lost) (7) Many 
other popular works, (not described by Je- 
rome). The works of Methodius, so far as 
they remain, were edited with those of Am- 
philochius and Andreas Cretcnsis, by Fran- 
cis Cambefis, Paris, 1644, fol. But the 
Feast of Virgins first appeared in the original 
Greek, in Combejis, Auctar. noviss. Biblioth. 
Pair. Grsec., part i. Several discourses of 
the younger Methodius, patriarch of Constan- 
tinople in the 9th century, have been ascribed 
to the senior Methodius. 7Y.J 

(15) [Thascius Cacilius Cyprianus was 
born of heathen parents, and probably about 
the year 200, at Carthage in Africa. He 
was rather dissipated, but was a man of ge- 
nius, and a teacher of rhetoric. In the year 
244 or 245 he was converted to Christianity, 
by Ccecilius a presbyter of Carthage, whose 
name he assumed. An account of his con- 
version, we have in his tract, de Gratia Dei, 
ad Donatum. As soon as he became a 
Christian, he distributed all his property in 
charity to the poor, devoted himself much to 
the study of the Bible and of his favourite 
author Tcrtullian, and showed a zeal and 
earnestness in religion seldom equalled. He 
was made a presbyter a few months after his 
conversion, and was advanced to the episco- 
pal chair in the year 248. As a bishop he 
was indefatigable and efficient. Few men 
ever accomplished so much in a long life, as 
Cyprian did in the ten years of his episco- 
pacy. In the year 250 the Decian persecu- 
tion obliged him to leave Carthage, and live 
in concealment for more than a year. Du- 
ring his exile he wrote 39 epistles, which 
are extant, addressed to his church, to its 
officers collectively or individually, to other 
bishops, and to various individuals. On his 
return to Carthage A.D. 251, he had much 
to do to collect and regulate his flock : a 
controversy arose respecting the reception of 
the lapsed to Christian fellowship ; and Cy- 
prian had personal contests with some of his 
presbyters, who were opposed to hirn. He 
was also drawn into the Novatian contro- 
versy. The persecution was soon after re- 
newed by the emperor Callus ; and pesti- 
lence and famine spread wide ; and incur- 
sions of barbarians from the desert laid waste 
the back country. Cyprian wrote and 
preached incessantly ; and in the year 253, 



The Dialogue of Minucius Felix, which he entitled Octavius, answers the 
arguments by which the Christians were commonly attacked by their ad- 
versarics, in a manner so spirited and so handsome, that it cannot be dis. 
regarded except by those who are willing to be ignorant of the state of 
the church in this century.(16) The seven Books of Arnobius, the Afri. 
can, against the Gentiles, are more full and copious, and though obscure 
in several places, will not be read without both pleasure and profit. Yet 
this rhetorician, who was superficial in his knowledge of Christian doc- 

called a council and roused up the African 
churches to great efforts for redeeming 
Christian captives. For several years he 
was most laboriously employed in preach- 
ing, composing tracts, and directing the ec- 
clesiastical affairs, not only of Carthage and 
Africa, but of other countries. In the year 
257, the persecution under Valerian broke 
out, and Cyprian was banished to Curubis. 
The persecution was severe in Africa : many 
were imprisoned, condemned to the mines, or 
put to death. Cyprian gave what aid he 
could to his suffering brethren. The next 
year, A.D. 258, he was recalled from ban- 
ishment, summoned before the ne'.v gov- 
ernor, Maximum, and condemned to be be- 
headed. Cyprian lived but 12 years after 
he embraced Christianity, and during 10 of 
these he was incessantly engaged in active 
duties. It was impossible therefore, that he 
should become a very learned theologian. 
Though a man of genius, he was not a meta- 
physician or philosopher, and seems not 
formed for abstruse speculations. He was 
an orator and a man of business, rather than 
a profound scholar. The practical part of 
Christianity, and the order and discipline of 
the church, most engaged his attention. Nat- 
urally ardent, and poring daily over the wri- 
tings of Tcrtullian, he imbibed very much 
the spirit and the principles of that gloomy 
Montanist : and having high ideas of episco- 
pal power, and great intrepidity of character, 
he was an energetic prelate, and a severe 
disciplinarian. The best original sources for 
the history of this distinguished man, are his 
own numerous letters and tracts, and the 
Passio S. Cypriani, or account of his mar- 
tyrdom, written by Pontius, one of his dea- 
cons. He is very honourably mentioned by 
many of the fathers ; and Gregory Naz. wrote 
a professed eulogy of him. The moderns 
also, especially the Catholics and the English 
Episcopalians, have written elaborately con- 
cerning his history, his works, and his opin- 
ions. See bp. Pearson's Annales Cyprian- 
ici, and H. DodweWs Dissertationes Cypri- 
anicae, in the Oxford edition of Cyprian's 
works, 1682; Tillcmont,Memoiies a 1'His- 
toire Eccles., torn, iv., p. 19, &c , and Notes 
BUT St. Cyprien, p. 10, &c. ; Prud. Maran, 
Vita S. Cypriani, prefixed to Opp. Cypr., ed. 

Paris, 1726, p. 38-134; and J. Milner's 
Church Hist., cent, iii., ch. 7-15. His 
works consist of 81 Epistles, and 14 Trea- 
tises, which are accounted genuine. They 
are nearly all practical, hortatory, contro- 
versial, and official or friendly letters. His 
style is neither perspicuous nor chaste, but 
ardent and animated. He and Laclantius, 
it has been said, were the fathers of eccle- 
siastical Latinity. The earlier editions of 
his works by Erasmus and others, arranged 
his letters in Books, without regard to their 
dates or subjects. Tlie edition of Pamclius, 
1556, rcpublished by Rigaltius, 1664, at- 
tempted to arrange them in chronological 
order. The Oxford edition by bp. Fell, 1682, 
fol., perfected this arrangement. The edi- 
tion prepared by Bc.luze, and published by 
Prudentius Maran, Paris, 1726, fol., retains 
the order of Pamelius. The two last are 
the best editions. Tr.] 

(16) [Minucius Felix was a respectable 
Christian barrister at Rome, and is supposed 
to have been contemporary with Tertullian, 
and to have flourished about the year 220. 
He is mentioned by Jerome, de Viris Illustr., 
c. 58, and by Lactantius, Institut. Divinar., 
1. i., c. 11, and 1. v., c. 1. Little is known 
of his history. His elegant Dialogue, be- 
tween Ctecilius a pagan and Octanus a 
Christian, recounts the principal arguments 
urged for and against Christianity at that 
time, in a clear, concise, and forcible man- 
ner. The Latinity is pure and elegant. Je- 
rome informs us that another tract, de Fato 
vel contra Mathematicos, was ascribed to 
him ; but from its style, it was probably not 
his. This tract is now lost. In the middle 
ages, the Octavius of Minucius was mistaken, 
for the 8th Book (Liber Octavus) of Arnobi- 
us ; and it was so published in the earlier 
editions. It has been often republished. The 
best editions, cum notis variorum, arc those 
of Gronovius, Ley den, 1709, 8vo ; and of 
Davis, Cambridge, 1707 and 1711, 8vo. 
The Germans are fond of the edition of Cel- 
lar ins, 1698, 8vo, republished by Lindcr, 
1760, and by Ernest:, 1773, 8vo. It has 
been translated into French, Dutch, and 
English ; the last, by Reeves, among his 
Apologies in defence of the Christian reli- 
gion, vol. h'., Lond., 1709, 8vo. Tr.] 



trines, has intermixed great errors and great truths, and has set forth a, 
strange philosophical kind of religion, very different from that ordinarily 
received. (17) The writers of less eminence, I leave to be learned from 
those who have professedly enumerated the learned men among Chris- 

(17) [Arnobius, senior, was a teacher of 
rhetoric at Sicca in Africa, during the reign 
of Diocletian. See Jerome, de Viris Illustr., 
c. 79. He was at first an open adversary of 
the Christian religion, but at length being 
fully convinced of its truth, he undertook to 
defend it in a learned and elaborate work. 
But, either his knowledge of Christianity was 
then very limited, or he had studied the 
Scriptures only in private, and without seek- 
ing instruction from the Christian teachers, 
for he entertained many singular opinions. 
Jerome reports, (Chron. ad. ann. xx. Con- 
stantini), that when Arnobius applied to the 
bishop for baptism, the latter refused him, 
from doubts of the sincerity of his conver- 
sion ; and that Arnobius wrote his book to 
satisfy the mind of the bishop. This account 
is called in question by some. See Lardner, 
Credibility, &c , pt. ii., vol. iv., p. 7, and 
Neandcr, Kirchengesch., vol. i., p. 1161, 
&c. He probably wrote in the beginning 
of the 4th century, and died perhaps about 
A.D. 326. The best early editions of his 
work, are those printed at Ley den, 1651 and 
1657, 4to. The latest edition is that of 
Ore//, Lips., 1816, 8vo, in 2 parts, with an 
Appendix, 1817, 8vo. TV.] 

(18) [The following notices of other lead- 
ing men in this century, may be interesting 
to the literary reader. 

Caius, a learned ecclesiastic of Rome, in 
the beginning of this century, is mentioned 
by Jerome, de Viris Illustr., c. 59, and is 
quoted repeatedly by Eusebius. In his work 
against Proculus the Montanist, he assailed 
the Chiliasts, and ascribed but 13 epistles to 
St. Paul. Euseb,, H. E., ii., 25, iii., 28, 
and vi., 20. He has been supposed by some 
to be the author of the book against Artemon, 
quoted by Euseb., H. E., v., 28. 

Just before A.D. 200, Theophilus bp. of 
Antioch, Bacchylus bp. of Ccesarea in Pal- 
estine, and Polycrales bp. of Ephesus, called 
councils on the controversy respecting East- 
er day, and composed synodic epistles. See 
Jerome, de Viris Illustr., c. 43-45, and Eu- 
seb., H. E., v., 23 and 25. From the epistle 
of Folycratcs, valuable extracts are made by 
Jerome, I. c., and Euseb., H. E., iii., 31, 
and v., 24. 

At the commencement of this century, 
lived Hcraclitus, Maximus, Candidus, Ap- 
pion, Sextus, and Arabianus, who were dis- 
tinguished as writers, according to Jerome, 
de Viris Illustr., c. 46-51, and Euscb., H. E., 

v., 27. Hcraclitus commented on Paul's 
Epistles ; Maximus wrote concerning the 
origin of evil, (irepl TTJS v^t/f, from which we 
have a considerable extract, in Euseb. , Prae- 
par. Evang., vi., 22) ; Candidus and Appion 
explained the Hexaemeron, or six days' 
work, Gen., ch. i. ; Sextus wrote on the res- 
urrection ; and Arabianus composed some 
doctrinal tracts. 

Judas, of the same age, undertook a com- 
putation of the 70 weeks of Daniel ; and 
brought down his history of events to A.D. 
203. See Jerome, de Viris Illustr., c. 52, 
and Euseb., H. E., vi., 7. 

Ammonius was probably an Egyptian 
Christian, nearly contemporary with Origen ; 
and not the apostate philosopher Ammonius 
Saccas under whom Origen studied, though 
confounded with him by Euseb., H. E., vi., 
19, and by Jerome, de Viris Illustr., c. 55. 
See Fabricius, Biblioth. Gr., iv., p. 161 and 
172, and Mosheim, de Reb. Christianor., p. 
281, &c. He wrote a book on the agree- 
ment of Moses with Jesus, which is lost, and 
a Harmony of the four Gospels, which is 
supposed to be one of those still extant in 
the Biblioth. Max. Patrum. But whether 
the larger Harmony, in torn, ii., pt. ii., or the 
smaller, in torn, iii., is the genuine work, has 
been doubted. See Lardner, Credibility, 
&c., pt. h , vol. ii., p. 106, &c. 

Tryphon, a disciple of Origen, is said 
by Jerome (de Viris Illustr., c. 57) to have 
been very learned in the scriptures, and to 
have written many epistles and tracts, and 
particularly a treatise concerning the red 
heifer, in the book of Num., ch. xix. ; and 
another, on the dividing of the birds, in Abra- 
ham's sacrifice, Gen. xv., 10. Nothing of 
his is extant. 

Symmachus, originally a Samaritan, then 
a Jew, and at last an Ebionite Christian, 
gave a free translation of the 0. T. into 
Greek ; and also defended the principles of 
the Ebionites, in a Commentary on Mat- 
thew's Gospel. See Euseb., H. E., vi., 17. 

Narcissus was made bp. of Jerusalem 
A.D. 196. After four years of faithful ser- 
vice, he was falsely accused of immoral con- 
duct ; and, though generally accounted in- 
nocent, he voluntarily abdicated his office, 
and lived in retirement till A.D. 216, when 
he resumed his office and continued in it till 
his martyrdom, A.D. 237. It is stated, that 
he was then 116 years old. See Euseb., H. 
E., vi., c. 9, 10, 11. 



Alexander succeeded Narcissus, A.D. 
237, and held the chair 14 years. This em- 
inent man was bishop of a church in Cappa- 
docia, when called to the see of Jerusalem. 
He was a great patron of Origen ; and 
wrote several epistles, from which extracts 
are preserved. After important services to 
the church, he died a martyr, A.D. 251. 
See Jerome, do Viris Illustr., c. 62, and 
Euseb., H. E., vi., 11, 14, 19, 26, 39, and 

Firmilian, bp. of Caesarea in Cappado- 
cia, was a disciple and a great admirer of 
Origcn. He was a man of high eminence 
in the church, and died at Tarsus, on his 
way to the second council of Antioch against 
Paul of Samosata, about A.D. 266. A long 
and able epistle of his to Cyprian, on the 
rebaptism of Heretics, is preserved in a 
Latin translation, among the works of Cyp- 
rian, Ep. 75. See Euseb., H. E., vi., 26, 
27, 46, and vii., 5, 29. 

Pontius, a deacon of Carthage, attended 
Cyprian at his death, and wrote an account 
of his martyrdom, which has reached us, 
though perhaps interpolated. It is prefixed 
to Cyprian's works, and is found in Ruinart, 
Acta Selecta Martyrum. See Jerome, de 
Viris Illustr., c. 68. Pontius himself, it is 
said, suffered martyrdom shortly after ; of 
which an account is extant, professedly writ- 
ten by his fellow- deacon Valerius ; apud Ba- 
luzii Miscell., torn, ii., p. 124. 

Cornelius, bp. of Rome, was elected June 
2, A.D. 251, in opposition to Novatian ; and 
after 15 months, died in banishment at Cen- 
tumcellae, (Civita-Vecchia), Sept. 14, A.D. 
252. In the works of Cyprian, there are 
extant two epistles of Cornelius to Cyprian, 
and ten ep. of Cyprian to Cornelius. Cyp- 
rian describes him (Ep. 52, ed. Baluz.) as 
an unimpeachable character, a pious, sensi- 
ble, modest man, well qualified to be a bish- 
op. Jerome, (de Viris Illustr., c.'66), men- 
tions four epistles of Cornelius to Fabius bp. 
of Antioch; and Euseb. gives us a long and 
valuable extract from one of them, H. E., 
vi., 43. See Bower's Lives of the Popes, 
vol. i. 

Novatian, first a presbyter, and then the 
schismatical bp. of Rome, wrote, (according 
to Jerome, de Viris Illustr., c. 70), de Pas- 
cha ; de Sabbatho ; de Circumcisione ; de 
Sacerdote ; de Oratione ; de Cibis Judaicis, 
(extant, inter Opp. TertuSuma) ; de Instan- 
tia ; de Attalo ; de Trinitate, (a large book, 
being an abridgment of a work of Ten 
extant, inter Opp. Tertul. ), and many other 
works. An epistle written by him to Cyp- 
rian, in the name of the Roman clergy, A.D. 
250, is likewise extant, (inter Opp. Cypri- 
ani, ep. 31, ed. Baluz.), and shows that he 

was a man of talents, and a good writer. 
His rival, Cornelius, describes him as a very 
bad man ; see Euseb., H. E., vii., 43. 

Stephen, bp. of Rome, A.D. 253-257, is 
chiefly famous for his presumptuous attempt 
to excommunicate Cyprian and many other 
bishops of Africa and the East, for rebapti- 
zing converted heretics. See Euseb., Hist. 
Eccl., vii., 2-5, 7. Cyprian, Ep. 70-75. 
Bower's Lives of the Popes, vol. i. 

Sixtus II., bp. of Rome A.D. 257, 258, 
and a martyr, was more conciliatory than his 
predecessor. Euseb., vii., 5, 9 ; Bower's 
Lives of the Popes, vol. i. Various suppos- 
ititious writings are extant under his name. 
The most noted is a series of 460 moral Ap- 
othegms, translated by Rufinus. Jerome, (on 
Ezek., c. 18, and elsewhere), and Augustine, 
(Retract., 1. ii., c. 42), pronounce them the 
work of Sixtus, a pagan philosopher ; which 
they probably are, notwithstanding U. G. 
Sieber, their editor, (Lips., 1725, 4to), has 
laboured hard to fix them on this Roman 

Dionysius, bp. of Rome A.D. 259-269, 
was a learned man, and a good bishop. See 
Basil, ep. 220, and de Sp. Sancto, c. 29. 
Euseb., H. E., vii., 7. He wrote an ep. 
against the Sabellians, of which Athanasius 
(de Synodi Nicaenae Decretis) has preserved 
an extract ; also an ep. to Dionysius of Alex- 
andria, acquainting him with the dissatisfac- 
tion of a council of bishops at Rome, with 
some expressions concerning the Trinity 
used by that patriarch, and requesting of him 
an explanation ; which was given in four 
Letters or Books. Athanasius, pro senten- 
tia Dionys. Alex., and Euseb., H. E., vii., 
26. See Bower's Lives of the Popes, vol. i. 

Malchion, a presbyter and a teacher of phi- 
losophy at Antioch. He greatly distinguish- 
ed himself in the third council against Paul 
of Samosata, A.D. 269. Two previous 
councils had been unable to convict the 
crafty heretic ; but in this, Malchion en- 
countered him in presence of the council, 
while stenographers took down their dia- 
logue. Paul was now convicted ; and the 
Dialogue was published. Eusebius, H. E., 
vii., 29. Jerome, de Viris Illustr., c. 71. 

Commodianus, a Christian poet, was prob- 
ably an African and contemporary, or nearly 
so, with Cyprian. See Dodwell's Diss. de 
aetate Commodiani. He had a smattering 
of Greek and Latin learning ; but was a 
weak, though well-meaning man. His book 
comprises eighty paragraphs, called Instruc- 
tions. It is written acrostically, and in a 
loose kind of hexameter. The style is rude, 
and the matter trite. The first half of the 
book is directed against the pagans ; next h* 
assails the unbelieving Jews ; and then at, 



tempts to instruct all classes of Christians, 
and all ranks of ecclesiastical functionaries. 
It was first published by Rigaltius, subjoin- 
ed to Cyprian's works, AD. 1650; and 
again in 1666. The editions with notes, by 
Schurtzflcisch, 1710, and of Dam's, subjoined 
to his Minutius Felix, Cambr., 1711, 8vo, 
are the best. 

Anatolius, a very scientific ecclesiastic of 
Alexandria, who, by his address, once deliv- 
ered his townsmen from a siege. He was 
made bishop of Laodicea in Syria, about 
A.D. 270, and published canons for ascer- 
taining Easter, from which Eusebius, (H. 
E., vii., 32), has preserved an extract ; and 
Institutes of Arithmetic, in ten books, of 
which some fragments still remain. Euse- 
lius (1. c.) gives a long account of him. 
See also Jerome, de Viris Illustr., c. 73. 
What remains of his works, has been pub- 
lished, Gr. and Lat., by Bucherius, in his 
Doctrina Temporum, Antw., 1634, fol. 

Archelaus, bishop of Carrha in Mesopo- 
tamia, flourished about A.D. 278. He wrote 
in Syriac his disputation with Manes the 
heretic ; which was early translated into 
Greek, and thence into Latin. See Jerome, 
de Viris Illustr., c. 72. A large part of the 
Latin copy, was first published by Valcsius, 
subjoined to Socrates, Historia Eccles., af- 
terwards, together with what remains of the 
Greek, by Zaccagnius, in his Collection of 
rare works of the Greek and Latin church, 
Rome, 1698, 4to, p. 1-102: and lastly, by 
Fabricius, ad finem Opp. S. Hippolyti, 2 
Tols. fol. 

Pierius, a presbyter, and perhaps, cate- 
chist of Alexandria. He was of Origcn's 
school, very learned in the Scriptures, and 
wrote many discourses and expositions in a 
neat and simple style. He was called Origen 
Junior. His long discourse on the prophet 
Hosea, is particularly noticed by Jerome, 
Pholms (Biblioth. cxix.) mentions twelve 
books of his expositions. He was of an as- 
cetic turn, lived considerably into the fourth 
century, and spent his latter years at Rome. 
Nothing of his remains. See Jerome, de 
Viris Illustr., c. 76, and Eusebius, H. E., 
vii., 32. 

Thcognostus, of Alexandria, a friend of 
Origen, and perhaps successor to Pierius 
in the catechetic school. He wrote seven 
books of Hypotyposes ; of which Photius 
(Biblioth. cvi.) has preserved an abstract. 
Photius deemed him heretical, in regard to 
the Trinity : but Alhanasius makes quota- 
tions from him, in confutation of the Arians. 
See Fabricius, Biblioth. Gr., vol. ix., p. 408. 

Lucian, a learned presbyter of Antioch. 
He adhered for some time to Paul of Samos- 
ata. To him most of the churches from 

Syria to Constantinople, were indebted for 
corrected copies of the Septuagint. Jerome 
mentions him as the author of several theo- 
logical tracts and letters ; and a confession 
rff faith, drawn up by him, is still extant, in 
Socrates, Hist. Eccles., 1. ii., c. 10, and in 
Walch's Biblioth. Simbol. Vetus, p. 29, &c. 
He was a very pious man, and suffered mar- 
tyrdom at Nicomedia, A.D. 311. See Eu- 
sebius, H. E., viii., 13, and ix., 6, and Je- 
rome, de Viris Illustr., c. 77. 

Hesychius, an Egyptian bishop and mar- 
tyr, was famous at the same period for set- 
ting forth correct copies of the Septuagint in 
Egypt. Whether he was that Hesychius, 
who compiled a useful Greek Lexicon, still 
extant, is uncertain. He died a martyr, 
A.D. 311. SeeEuseb.,H. E., viii., 13, and 
Fabricius, Biblioth. Gr., vol. iv., p. 554, &c. 

Pamphylus the martyr, was a native of 
Berytus, but a presbyter of Cassarea in Pal- 
estine, where he established a school, and 
collected a theological library, which has 
been of immense service to the Christian 
world. This library afforded to Eusebius, 
Jerome, and many others, the means of be- 
coming learned divines, and of benefiting 
the world by their writings. To this estab- 
lishment, ecclesiastical history and biblical 
learning, are peculiarly indebted. Pamphy- 
lus was a pupil of Pierius, an admirer of 
Origen, and the great friend and patron of 
Eusebius. He transcribed most of the works 
of Origen, with his own hand ; and he com- 
posed a biography and vindication of Origen, 
in "five books, to which Eusebius added a 
sixth book. Only the first book is now ex- 
tant ; and that in a Latin translation of Ru- 
finus, printed inter Opp. Originis. Pam- 
phylus took great pains to multiply and spread 
abroad correct copies of the Holy Scriptures. 
His life was written by Eusebius, in three 
books, which are lost. He suffered martyr- 
dom, A.D. 309, at Cssarea in Palestine. 
See Euscbms, de martyribus Palasstinae, c. 
10 and 7, and H. E., vi., 32, vii., 32, and 
viii., 13. Jerome, de Viris Illustr., c. 75. 

Victorinus, bishop of Petavio in Upper 
Pannonia, (Petau in Steyermark,) wrote 
Commentaries on Gen., Exod., Levit., Isa., 
Ezek., Habak., Eccles., Can tic., and the 
Apocalypse ; also a book against all the Her- 
esies. He died a martyr, A.D. 303. Je- 
rome says, he understood Greek better than 
Latin ; and therefore his thoughts are good, 
but his style bad. Dr. Cave (Histor. Lit., 
vol. i.) published a fragment of his Com- 
mentary on Genesis. Whether the Com- 
mentary on the Apocalypse, now extant un- 
der his name, be his, has been much doubt- 
ed ; because this comment is opposed to 
Chiliasm, whereas Jerome (de Viris Illustr., 





1. State of Christian Theology. 2. Sources of the Mystical Theology. 3. Thence 
the Monks and Eremites. 4. Attention to the Holy Scriptures. t) 5. Origen's Prin- 
ciples of Interpretation. 6. Other Interpreters. 7. State of Dogmatic Theology. 
$ 8. Moral or Practical Theology. 9. Polemic Divines. 10. Faults of the Dis- 
putants. 11. Spurious Books. 12. The Chiliastic Controversy. 13. Contro- 
versy respecting the Baptism of Reclaimed Heretics. 14. Disputes concerning Origen, 

1. To the common people, the principal truths of Christianity were 
explained in their purity and simplicity, and all subtilties were avoided ; 
nor were weak and tender minds overloaded with a multitude of precepts. (1) 
But in their schools, and in their books, the doctors who cultivated litera- 
ture and philosophy and especially those of Egypt, deemed it elegant and 
exquisite, to subject divine wisdom to the scrutiny of reason, or rather to 
bring under the precepts of their philosophy, and to examine metaphysi- 
cally, the nature of the doctrines taught by Christ. At the head of this 
class of divines was Origen, who being fascinated with the Platonic phi- 
losophy, ventured to apply its laws to every part of religion, and persuaded 
himself that the philosophy which he admired, could assign the causes and 
grounds of every doctrine, and determine its precise form and nature. (2) 

c. 18) says, that Victorinus favoured the sen- 
timents of Ncpos and the Chiliasts. See 
Jerome, de Viris Illustr., c. 74. TV.] 

(1) See Origen, in Proef. libror. de Prin- 
cipiis, torn, i., Opp., p. 49, and lib. i., de 
Princip., cap. vii., p. 69, ed de la Rue ; also 
(Irr.rron/ Neocjesar. Expositio Fidei, p. 11, 
Opp., ed. G. Vossii. 

(2) In his Stromata, which are lost, and 
in his work d<~ I' fipiit, which is pn 

in the Latin tranM.ition of Rn_finus [See a 
long note of Dr. Mosneim, on the philosophy 
and the theology of Ongcn, in his Comment. 
de Rebus Christianor., p. 604, &c. It does 
not appear that Oriyrn rp^arded reason or 
philosophy as of higher authority than reve- 
lation. He believed indeed that there is a 
true philosophy as well as a false, and that 
the die' farmer are to be received 

and confided in. But he also believed that 
the scriptures contain a divine revelation, 
which is to be received and followed with 
implicit confidence ; and that no philosophy 
is true which contradicts the plain declara- 
tions of the scriptures. At the same time 
he believed, that the scriptures for the most 
part only state the simple truths and facts of 
religion, without explaining the grounds and 
reasons of them ; and that they state these 
truths and facts in a plain and popular man- 

VOL. I. Z 

ner, without acquainting us with the meta- 
physical nature of the subjects. In his opin- 
ion, it was the proper business of reason or 
philosophy to investigate more fully the 
causes and grounds of these religious truths 
and facts, and to examine and determine 
their metaphysical nature. Such, it ap- 
pears, were Origen's fundamental principles. 
And how few are they, who in this or in any 
age, have adopted more consistent views ? 
Yet he erred ; and erred, just as theologians 
have ever been prone to do, by relying too 
confidently on the correctness and certainty 
of what he regarded as the conclusions of 
true philosophy. For an illustration of the 
nature and extent of Origen's errors, let it 
be observed, that in the beginning of his 
book de Principiis, f) 3, p. 47, he gives the 
following list of fundamental truths, which 
he considers as plainly taught in the scrip- 
tures, and of course as never to be called in 
question; viz. (1) There is one God, the 
creator and father of all. (2) He, in these 
last days, sent Christ to call first the Jews 
and then also other people. (3) Jesus 
Christ was begotten of the Father before all 
creatures, and he aided (was the instrument 
of) the Father in the whole work of creation. 
(4) The same Christ becoming man, was 
incarnate, though he was God ; and having 


He must be acknowledged, indeed, to have proceeded in this matter, for the 
most part, with timidity and modesty ; but his example sanctioned this 
faulty mode of treating theology, and led his disciples to burst the barriers 
he established, and to become very licentious in explaining divine truths 
according to the dictates of philosophy. To these divines as the parents, 
that species of theology which is called philosophic or scholastic, owes its 
birth ; but it afterwards assumed various forms', according to the capacity 
and erudition of the men who delighted in it. 

2. It is a singular circumstance, that another species of theology which 
has been denominated mystic, and which has a natural tendency to destroy 
the former, originated from the same sources, and nearly at the same time. 
Its authors are unknown ; but its causes and the process of its formation 
are manifest. Its originators assumed that well-known doctrine of the 
Platonic school, which was approved also by Origen and his followers, that 
a portion of the divine nature was diffused through all human souls ; or to 
express the same thing in other words, that reason in us is an emanation 
from God himself, and comprehends the elements or first principles of all 
truths human and divine. Yet they denied that men, by their own efforts 
and care, can excite this divine spark within them ; and therefore they disap- 
proved of the endeavours of men to gain clear perceptions of latent truths 
by means of definitions, discrimination, and reflection. On the contrary 
they maintained, that silence, inaction, solitude, repose, the avoidance of 
all active scenes, and the mortification and subjugation of the body, tended 
to excite this internal word [Aoyof or reason] to put forth its hidden ener- 
gies, and thus to instruct men in divine things. For the men who neglect 
all human affairs, and withdraw their senses and their eyes from the con- 
tagious influence of material objects, do spiritually, or with the mind, re- 
turn back to God ; and being united with God, they not only enjoy vast 
pleasure, but they see in its native purity and undisguised that truth, which 
appears to others only in a vitiated and deformed state. (3) 

become man, he remained God, as he was tion for a moment. Yet, as before obser- 
before ; he assumed a body like to ours, and ved, their metaphysical nature and the 
differing only in this, that it was born of the grounds and reasons of them, he supposed 
virgin and of the Holy Spirit ; he really and it the proper business of reason or philosophy 
truly suffered, died, and rose again. (5) to investigate. And his errors were nearly 
The Holy Spirit, in honour and dignity, is all in relation to religious philosophy, or on- 
joined with the Father and the Son. (6) All tology and metaphysics. He reasoned, and 
rational minds possess entire freedom of believed, according to the reigning philoso- 
choice and volition, and when separated from phy of the age and country in which he lived, 
the body will be punished or rewarded ac- He therefore believed in the pre-existence 
cording to their merits. (7) Our bodies will of human souls, and their incarceration in 
be raised in a far more perfect state. (8) bodies, for offences previously committed ; 
The devil and his angels are realities, and that the senses are polluting to the soul, arid 
they seek to involve men in sin. (9) This must be all mortified ; that all rational be- 
world will be dissolved. (10) The scrip- ings are left of God to follow their own 
tures were dictated by the Spirit of God ; choice, and are restrained only by motives, 
and they contain a double sense, the one the most powerful of which is punishment ; 
manifest, the other latent. (11) There are and that ultimately God will thus bring all 
holy angels and powers, who minister to the his creatures to be wise and holy and happy, 
salvation of men. These Origen gives as TV.] 

specimens only ; for he says : Hae sunt spe- (3) [In hi? Comment, de Rebus Christia- 

cies (sorts or specimen*) eorum, quae per nor., p. 658-667, Dr. Mosheim endeavours 

praedicationem Apostolicam manifeste tra- to show, that Origen, by his religious phi- 

duntur. Now euch general truths as these, losophy, laid the foundations of mystic the- 

Origen did not permit to be called in que*- ology in the Christian church. But the ei- 


3. By such reasoning many in this age were induced to retire into 
deserts, and to emaciate their bodies by fasting and hardships. And by 
such motives, rather than by fear of the Decian persecution, I suppose 
Paul the hermit was led to roam in the deserts of Thebais, and to lead a 
life more proper for an irrational animal than for a human being.(4) This 
Paul is said to be the author of the institution of Eremites. But this mode 
of life prevailed among Christians long before Paul the hermit ; in fact it 
was practised long before the Christian era, in Egypt, Syria, India, and Mes- 
opotamia, and it still exists among the Mohammedans, no less than among 
the Christians, in those arid and burning climates. (5) For the heated at- 
mosphere which overspreads those countries naturally disposes the inhab- 
itants to repose and indolence, and to court solitude and melancholy. 

4. Among those who laudably employed themselves on the sacred 
volume, the first place is due to those who took earnest care, that copies 
of the Bible might everywhere be found accurately written and at a mod- 
erate price ; that it might be translated into other languages, and that 
amended and faultless editions might become common. Many opulent 
Christians of those times are known to have expended no small portion of 
their estates in furtherance of these objects. In correcting the copies 
of the Septuagint version, Pierius and Hesychias in Egypt, and Lucian at 
Antioch, employed themselves with laudable industry. Nor should the 
nearly similar efforts of Pamphylus the martyr, be passed without notice. 
But Origen surpassed all others in diligence and patient labour in this way. 
His Hexapla, though [nearly] destroyed by the ravages of time, will re- 
main an eternal monument of the incredible application, with which that 
great man laboured to subserve the interests of the church. (6) 

dence he adduces is by no means conclusive. (6) The fragments of this Herculean work 

TV.] which are preserved, have been collected 

(4) His life was written by Jerome. [See and published by that ornament of the once 
also the Acta Sanctorum, Antwerp, torn, i., learned Benedictines, Bernh. de Montfau- 
January 10, p. 602. Schl.] con, Paris, 1713, 2 vols. fol. See also J. 

(5) See the Travels of Paul Lucas, A.D. F. Buddcus, Isagoge in Theologiam, torn. 
1714, vol. ii., p. 363. [The reader will rec- ii., p. 1376, &c., and J. G. Carpzov, Crittca 
olloct the Drrvises and Fakirs, who roam Sacra Vet. Test., p. 574. [Origen pub- 
over the whole country from the shores of lished both a Tctrapla and a Hcxapla, that 
the Mediterranean to the Ganges. Jerome is, a fourfold and a sixfold Bible. The 
reports, in the preface to his life of Paul of former contained, in parallel columns (1) 
Thebais, on the questionable authority of Aquila's Gr. version ; (2) that of Symma- 
Amalhas and Miu-tirins, two disciples of St. chus ; (3) the Septuagint version; (4) the 
Anthony, that Paul the hermit of Thebais, Gr. version of Theodolion. The Hcxapla. 
was the first who practised this mode of life, contained, throughout, six columns, gener- 
But high ideas of the sanctity of renouncing ally eight, and occasionally nine; thus ar- 
social and civilized life and dwelling in des- ranged, (1) The Hebrew text in the Hebrew 
erts among beasts, were prevalent, before character ; (2) the Hebrew text in Greek 
the middle of this century, when Paul turned characters ; (3) Aquild's version ; (4) that 
hermit. Thus Narcissus, bishop of Jerusa- of Symmachus ; (5) the Septiiagint ; (6) that 
lem, obtained great reputation in the close of Theodotion ; (7) and (8) two other Greek 
of the second century, by secreting himself versions, whose authors were unknown ; (9) 
many years in the desert. Eusebius, H. E., another Greek version. The three last, be- 
lib. vi., c. 9, 10. The origin of religious ing anonymous versions, are denominated 
eremitism may perhaps be traced back to the Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Greek ver- 
the i-arly pagan philosophers ; for Porphyry sions. The most useful parts of Montfau- 
(irtpl (nrc\fic, <J 35) assures us, that the an- con's Hexapla, with additions, corrections, 
cicnt Pythagoreans were distinguished for and notes, have been published in two vols. 
their attachment to this mode of life. 8vo, by C. F. Bahrdt, Lips., 1769-70. 
TV.] TV.] 


& 5. The same Origen, unquestionably, stands at the head of the inter, 
preters of the Bible in this century. But with pain it must be added, he 
was first among those who have found in the scriptures a secure retreat 
for all errors and idle fancies. As this most ingenious man could see no 
feasible method of vindicating all that is said in the Scriptures, against the 
cavils of the heretics and the enemies of Christianity, provided he inter- 
preted the language of the Bible literally, he concluded that he must ex- 
pound the sacred volume in the way in which the Platonists were accus- 
tomed to explain the history of their gods. He therefore taught, that the 
words, in many parts of the Bible, convey no meaning at all ; and in some 
places, where he acknowledged there was some meaning in the words, he 
maintained that under the things there expressed, there was contained a 
hidden and concealed sense, which was much to be preferred to the literal 
meaning of the words. (7) And this hidden sense it is, that he searches 

(7) Here may be consulted the Preface of 
Charles de la Rue to the second volume of 
Origen' s works, ed. Paris, 1733, fol. With 
greater fulness and precision I have stated 
and explained Origen's system of biblical 
interpretation, in my Comment, de Rebus 
Christianor., &c., p. 629, &c., where also 
his philosophy, his theology, and his contest 
with Bishop Demetrius, are formally taken 
Tip and discussed. [With this may be com- 
pared the observations of that distinguished 
philologist, Professor Ernesti, in his Disser- 
tatio de Origene, interpretationis librorum 
S. S. grammaticae auctore, written A.D. 
1756. Ernesti shows that the merits of this 
Christian father, in regard to the criticism 
and exposition of the O. and N. Testaments, 
were by no means small. The leading 
thoughts of Dr. Mosheim, as stated in his 
Commentaries de Rebus, &c., are the fol- 
lowing. Origen was not the inventor of the 
allegorical mode of expounding the Scrip- 
tures. It was in use among the Jews, before 
the Christian era. (Ernesti goes farther, 
and seeks its origin in the schools of the 
prophets). Philo was a great allegorist, and 
Pantaenus and Clemens Alex, were the first 
Christian allegorists. Origen took greater 
liberties in this mode of interpretation ; and 
it was not simply his resorting to allegories, 
but his excesses in them, that drew upon 
him enemies. Before his day, all interpret- 
ers explained the narrations and the laws 
contained in the Bible, according to their lit- 
eral meaning. But Origen perversely turned 
a large part of biblical history into moral fa- 
bles, and many of the laws into allegories. 
Probably he learned this in the school of Am- 
monius, which expounded Hesiod, Homer, 
and the whole fabulous history of the Greeks 
allegorically. The predecessors of Origen, 
who searched after a mystical sense of scrip- 
ture, still set a high value on the grammati- 
cal or literal sense ; but he often expresses 

himself, as if he attached no value to it. 
Before him, allegories were resorted to, only 
to discover predictions of future events, and 
rules for moral conduct : but he betook him- 
self to allegories, in order to establish the 
principles of his philosophy on a scriptural 
basis. All this must have been offensive to 
many Christians. His propensity to allego- 
ries must be ascribed to the fertility of his 
invention, the prevailing custom of the Egyp- 
tians, his education, the instructions he re- 
ceived from his teachers, and the example 
both of the philosophers, of whom he was an 
admirer, and of the Jews, especially Philo, 
To these may be added other causes. He 
hoped, by means of his allegories, more easily 
to convince the Jews, to confute the Gnos- 
tics, and to silence the objections of both. 
This he himself tells us, de Principiis, 1. viii., 
c. 8, p. 164, &c. But we must not forget 
his attachment to that system of philosophy 
which he embraced. This philosophy could 
not be reconciled with the Scriptures, except 
by a resort to allegories ; and therefore the 
Scriptures must be interpreted allegorically, 
that they might not contradict his philoso- 
phy. The Platonic idea of a twofold world, 
a visible and an invisible, the one emble- 
matic of the other, led him to search for a 
figurative description of the invisible world, 
in the biblical history o f the nations of the 
earth. He also believed that it was doing 
honour to the Holy Scriptures, to consider 
them as diverse from all human compositions, 
and as containing hidden mysteries. See 
his Homil. xv., on Genesis, Opp., torn, ii., 
p. 99, and Homil. on Exod., Opp., torn, ii., 
p. 129. And finally, he thought many of 
the objections of the enemies of religion, 
could not be fully answered, without recur- 
rence to allegories. His general principles 
for the interpretation cf the sacred volume, 
resolve themselves into the following posi* 
tions. (1) The Scriptures resemble man. 



after in his commentaries, ingeniously indeed, but perversely, and generally 
to the entire neglect and contempt of the literal meaning. (8) This remote 
sense he moreover divides into the moral, and the mystical or spiritual ; the 
former containing instruction relative to the internal state of the soul and 

As a man consists of three parts, a rational 
mind, a sensitive soul, and a visible body ; 
so the Scriptures have a threefold sense, a 
literal sense, corresponding with the body, a 
moral sense, analogous to the soul, and a 
mystical or spiritual sense, analogous to the 
rational mind. Homil. v., on Levit, $ 5, 
Opp., torn, ii., p. 209. (2) As the body is 
the baser part of man, so the literal is the 
K\s* worthy sense of Scripture. And as the 
body often betrays good men into sin, so the 
literal sense often leads us into error. Stro- 
mata, 1. x., quoted by Jerome, b. iii. Com- 
ment, on Galat., ch. iii., Opp., torn, i., p. 41. 
(3) Yet the literal sense is not wholly use- 
less. De Principiis, 1. iv., 12, p. 169, and 
14, p. 173. (4) They who would see 
farther into the Scriptures than the common 
people, mcst search out the moral sense. 
(5) And the perfect, or those who have at- 
tained to the highest degree of blessedness, 
must also investigate the spiritual sense. 
De Principiis, 1. ir., $ 2, p. 168. (6) The 
moral sense of Scripture instructs us relative 
to the changes in the mind of man, and gives 
rules for regulating the heart and life. (7) 
The spiritual sense acquaints us with the 
nature and state and history of the spiritual 
world. For, besides this material world, 
there is a spiritual world, composed of two 
parts, the heavenly and the earthly. The 
earthly mystical or spiritual world, is the 
Christian church on earth. The heavenly 
mystical world is above, and corresponds 
in all its parts with the lower world, which 
was formed after its model. (8) As the 
Scripture contains the history of this twofold 
mystic world, so there is a twofold mystic 
sense of Scripture, an allegorical and an an- 
agogical. (9) The mystic sense is diffused 
throughout the Holy Scriptures. (10) Yet 
we do not always meet with loth the alle- 
gorical sense and the anagogical, in every 
passage. (11) The moral sense likewise 
pervades the whole Bible. (12) But the 
literal sense docs not occur everywhere : for 
many passages have no literal meaning. 

(13) Some passages have only two senses, 
namely, a moral and a mystical, [the mys- 
tical being either allegorical or anna 
rarely both], other passages have three senses, 
[the moral, the mystical, and the literal.} 

(14) The literal sense is perceived by 
every attentive reader. The moral sense is 
somewhat more difficult to be discovered. 

(15) But the mystic sense none can discover, 
with certainty, unless they are wise men, and 

also taught of God. (16) Neithercan even 
such men hope to fathom all the mysteries 
of the sacred volume. (17) In searching 
for the anagogical sense, especially, a person 
must proceed with peculiar care and caution. 
Schl. Dr. Mosheim states the following 
as Origen's general rule for determining 
when a passage of scripture may be taken 
literally, and when not ; viz., Whenever the 
words, if understood literally, will afford a 
valuable meaning, one that is worthy of God, 
useful to men, and accordant with truth and 
correct reason, then the literal meaning is to 
be retained : but whenever the words, if un- 
derstood literally, will express what is absurd, 
or false, or contrary to correct reason, or use- 
less, or unworthy of God, then the literal 
sense is to be discarded, and the moral and 
mystical alone to be regarded. This rule 
he applies to every part both of the Old Test. 
and the New. And he assigns two reasons 
why fables and literal absurdities are admit- 
ted into the sacred volume. The first is, 
that if the literal meaning were always ra- 
tional and good, the reader would be apt to 
rest in it, and not look after the moral and 
mystical sense. The second is, that fabu- 
lous and incongruous representations often 
afford moral and mystical instruction, which 
could not so well be conveyed by sober facts 
and representations. De Principiis, 1. iv., 
$ 15, 16 ; torn, x., Comment, in Job. TV.] 
(8) Origcn, in his Stromata, 1. x., cited 
by Ch. de la Rue, Opp., torn, i., p. 41, says: 
Multorum malorum occasio est, si quis in 
came Scripture maneat. Qute qui fecerint, 
regnum Dei non consequentur. Quamobrem 
spiritum ScriptursB/rwc/M-syKc qusramus, qui 
non dicuntur manifesti. He had said a little 
before : Non valde cos juvat Scripture, qui 
earn intelligunt, ut scriptum est. Who 
would suppose such declarations could fall 
from the lips of a wise and considerate 
person 1 But this excellent man suffered 
himself to be misled by the causes mention- 
ed, and by his love of philosophy. He could 
not discover in the sacred books all that he 
considered true, so long as he adhered to the 
literal sense ; but allow him to abandon the 
literal sense, and to search for recondite 
meanings, and those books would contain 
Plti/n. Aristotle, Zcno, and the whole tribe 
of philosophers. And thus, nearly all those 
who would model Christianity according to 
their own fancy or their favourite system of 
philosophy, have run into this mode of inter- 
preting Scripture. 


our external actions, and the latter acquainting us with the nature, the 
history, and laws of the spiritual or mystical world. He fancied that this 
mystical world was also twofold, partly superior or celestial, and -partly in- 
ferior and terrestrial, that is, the church ; and hence he divided the mysti- 
cal sense of scripture into the terrene or allegorical, and the celestial or 
anagogical. This mode of interpreting scripture, which was sanctioned 
by Jewish practice, was current among Christians before the times of Ori- 
gen. But as he gave determinate rules for it, and brought it into a sys- 
tematic form, be is commonly regarded as its originator. 

6. Innumerable expositors in this and the following centuries, pur- 
sued the method of Origen, though with some diversity ; nor could the 
few who pursued a better method, make much head against them. The 
commentaries of Hippolytus, which have reached us, show that this holy 
man went wholly into Origen's method. And no better, probably, were 
the expositions of some books of the Old and New Testaments, composed by 
Victorinus, but which are now lost. But the Paraphrase on the book of 
Ecclesiastes, by Gregory Thaumaturgus, which is still extant, is not liable 
to the same objection, although its author was a great admirer of Origen. 
Methodius explained the book of Genesis, and the Canticles ; but his labours 
have not reached us. Ammonius composed a Harmony of the gospels. 

7. Origen, in his lost work entitled Stromata, and in his four 
Books de Principiis, explained most of the doctrines of Christianity, or, to 
speak more correctly, deformed them with philosophical speculations. 
And these his Books de Principiis were the first compendium of scholastic 
or, if you please philosophic theology. Something similar was at- 
tempted by Theognostus, in his seven Books of Hypotyposes ; for a knowl- 
edge of which we are indebted to Photius,(9) who says, they were the 
work of a man infected with the opinions of Origen. Gregory Thauma- 
turgus, in his Expositio Fidei, gave a brief summary of Christian doc- 
trines. Certain points of the Christian faith were taken up by various in- 
dividuals, in reply to the enemies or the corrupters'of Christianity. Tracts 
on the Deity, the resurrection, antichrist, and the end of the world, were 
composed by Hippolytus. Methodius wrote on free will ; and Lucian on 
the creed. But as most of these treatises are no longer extant, their char- 
acter is little known. 

8. Among the writers on moral subjects, (or practical theology), 
passing by Tertullian, who was mentioned under the preceding century, 
the first place belongs perhaps to Cyprian. From the pen of this extra- 
ordinary man, we have treatises on the advantages of patience, on mor- 
tality, on alms and good works, and an exhortation to martyrdom. In these 
works there are many excellent thoughts, but they are not arranged neatly 
and happily, nor sustained by solid arguments. (10) Origen wrote, among 
other works of a practical nature, an exhortation to martyrdom ; a topic 
discussed by many in that age, with different degrees of eloquence and per- 
spicacity. Methodius treated of chastity, but in a confused manner, in his 

(9) [Photius, Biblioth., cod. cvi., p. 279. him, Fabricius, Biblioth. Gr., 1. v., c. 1, vol. 

Photius represents him as erring, with On- v., p. 276, and 1. v., c. 38, vol. ix., p. 408. 

gen, in regard to the character of the Son Schl.] 

of God. But G. Bull defends him against (10) See J. Barlcyrac, de la Morale des 

this charge, in his Defensio Fidei Nicaenae, Peres, c. viii., p. 104, &c, 
sec. 2, c. 10, 7, p, 135. See concerning 


Feast of Virgins. Dionysius of Alexandria wrote on penance and on temp, 
iatvms. To mention other writers in this department would be needless. 

9. Of polemic writers, a host might be mentioned. The idolaters 
were assailed by Minucius Felix, in his dialogue entitled Octavius ; by 
Origen, in his eight Books against Celsus ; by Arnobius, in his seven Books 
against the Gentiles ; and by Cyprian, in his tract on the Vanity of Idols. 
The Chronicon of Hippolytus, written against the Gentiles, and the work of 
Methodius in opposition to Porphyry, who attacked Christianity, are lost. 
We may also place among polemic writers, both those who wrote against 
the philosophers, as Hipjidytus, who wrote against Plato ; and those who 
treated of fate, of free will, and of the Origin of Evil, as Hippolytus, Me- 
thodius, and others. Against the Jews, Hippo/ytus attempted something, 
which has not reached us ; but the Testimonies [from scripture] against the 
Jews by Cyprian, are still extant. Against all the sectarians and here- 
tics, assaults were made by Origen, Victorinus, and Hippolytus ; but no- 
thing of these works has come down to us. It would be superfluous here 
to enumerate those who wrote against individual heretics. 

10. But it must by no means pass unnoticed, that the discussions in- 
stituted against the opposers of Christianity in this age, departed far from 
the primitive simplicity, and the correct method of controversy. For the 
Christian doctors, who were in part educated in the schools of rhetori- 
cians and sophists, inconsiderately transferred the arts of these teachers 
to the cause of Christianity ; and therefore considered it of no importance, 
whether an antagonist were confounded by base artifices, or by solid ar- 
guments. Thus that mode of disputing, which the ancients called econom- 
ical,(ll) and which had victory rather than truth for its object, was almost 
universally approved. And the Platonists contributed to the currency of 
the practice, by asserting that it was no sin for a person to employ false- 
hood and fallacies for the support of truth, when it was in danger of being 
borne down. A person ignorant of these facts will be but a poor judge 
of the arguments of Origen, in his book against Celsus, and of the others 
who wrote against the worshippers of idols. Terlullian's method of con- 
futing heretics, namely, by prescription, was not perhaps altogether un- 
suitable in that age. But they who think it always proper to reason in 
this manner, must have little knowledge of the difference which time and 
change of circumstances produce. (12) 

(11) Souvcrain, Platonisme devoile, p. heretics, or Presumptions against them. 
244. J. Daille, de vero usu Patrum, 1. i., The author attempts to confute alt the her- 
p. 160. J. C. Wolfo, Casauboniana, p. 100. etics at once, and by means of an historical 
On the phrase, to do a thing /car' otKOvopiav, argument. He maintains that the orthodox 
Tho. Gataker has treated largely, in his churches were founded by the apostles and 
Notes on M. Antoninus, 1. xi., p. 330, &c. their approved assistants, who ordained the 
[It signifies to do a thing artfully and dex- first pastors of these churches, and establish- 
terously, or with cunning and sagacity, as a ed in them all, one and the same faith, which 
shrewd manager of a household (biKovo/jtof) must of course be genuine Christianity ; and 
controls those under him. See note 4, p. that this faith, having been handed down 
126. Tr.~\ pure and uncorrupted, is now contained in 

(12) See Fred. Spanheim, Diss. de Prae- the creeds and inculcated in the assemblies 
scriptione in rebus Fidei ; Opp., torn, iii., p. of these churches. But that not one of these 
1079. [Tertullian's book was entitled de things can be said of the heretical churches, 
Praescriptione haereticorum, or Praescripti- which had not such an origin, and embrace 
onibus adversus haereticos ; which might be various differing creeds, and creeds derived 
translated, on the Presumption in regard to from other sources. Being bred an advo- 


11. This vicious inclination to circumvent and confound an adversa- 
ry, rather than confute him with sound argument, produced also a multi- 
tude of books falsely bearing on their front the names of certain distin- 
guished men. For the greater part of mankind, being influenced more by 
the authority of names, than by arguments and scripture testimony, the 
writers conceived they must prefix names of the greatest weight to their 
books, in order to oppose successfully their adversaries. Hence those canons 
which were falsely ascribed to the apostles :(13) hence those Apostolic Consti- 
tutions, which Clemens Romanuswas reputed to have collected :(14) hence 
too, the Recognitions of Clement,(15) as they are called, and the Clem- 
entina,(l6) and other works of the like character, which a too credulous 
world long held in high estimation. By the same artifice, the Mystics, as 
they are called, sought to advance their cause. Having no answer to 
give to those who demanded, who was the first author of this new sort of 
wisdom, they alleged that they received it from Dionysius, the Areopagite 
of Athens, a contemporary with the apostles ; and to give plausibility to 
the falsehood, they palmed upon this great man, books void of sense and 
rationality. (17) Thus they who wished to surpass all others in piety, 
deemed it a pious act to employ deception and fraud in support of piety. 

cate, and familiar with the proceedings of 
courts, he gives a forensic form to his argu- 
ment, not only by using the law term Prae- 
scriptio, but by maintaining that the orthodox 
were, and had always been, in right and law- 
ful possession of that invaluable treasure, 
true Christianity ; and that of course, the 
heretics, who were never in possession of it, 
in vain attempt now to oust them of what they 
thus hold by legal prescription. Tr.] 

(13) [The Apostolic Co/nans are eighty- 
five ecclesiastical laws or rules, professedly 
enacted by the apostles, and collected and 
preserved by Clemens Romanus. The mat- 
ter of them is ancient ; for they describe the 
customs and institutions of Christians, par- 
ticularly of the Greek and Oriental churches, 
in the second, and third, centuries. But the 
phraseology indicates a compiler living in the 
third century. See W. Beveridge's notes 
on these canons, and his Codex canonum 
eccles. primitivae vindicatus et illustrat., 
London, 1678, 4to. Schl.] 

(14) [The Apostolic Constitutions fill 
eight books. They prescribe the constitu- 
tion, organization, discipline, and worship of 
the church, with great particularity ; and 
avowedly are the work of the apostles them- 
selves. But they are supposed to have been 
compiled in the eastern or Greek church, in 
the latter part of the third or beginning of 
the fourth century. Some place them in 
the fourth or fifth century. They bear marks 
of an Arian hand. As describing the form, 
discipline, and ceremonies of the church 
about the year 300, they are of considerable 
value. These constitutions may be seen in 
Cotelerii Patres Apostohci, torn, ii., and ia 

Wm. Whiston's Primitive Christianity Re- 
vived, Lond., 1711, 4 vols. 8vo, where much 
learned labour is wasted in the vain attempt 
to prove them to be " the most sacred of the 
canonical books of the New Test." Tr.] 

(15) [The Recognitions, of which we have 
only the Latin translation of Rufinus, com- 
pose ten books, and describe the travels of 
the apostle Peter, and his contests with Si- 
mon Magus. The work is a pleasant one 
to read, and helps us to understand the doc- 
trines of the Gnostics. Dr. Mosheim, (Diss. 
de turbata per recentiores Platonicos eccle- 
sia., 34), conjectures, with much probabil- 
ity, that it was composed by an Alexandrian 
Jew, who was opposed to the Gnostics, but 
himself full of errors, under the forged name 
of Clemens Romanus. Schl.] 

(16) [The Clementina are nineteen Hom- 
ilies, first published, Gr. and Lat., by Cote- 
Her, in his Patres Apostol., torn, i., p. 603, 
&c. They are supposed to have been the 
work of some Ebionite. Schl. The Clem- 
entina and the Recognitions are works of a 
similar character. Both profess to give us 
the history of St. Peter's contests with Si- 
mon Magus, and his private instructions to 
his particular friend.s, respecting the myste- 
ries of nature and the deep things of theolo- 
gy. They are downright romance ; yet not 
uninteresting, as specimens of the specula- 
tions of semi-Christians of a philosophic 
turn, who lived about A.D. 200. Tr.] 

(17) [The spurious works ascribed to 
Dionysius the Areopagite, (who is men- 
tioned Acts xvii., 34), are the following : de 
Coelesti Hierarchia, lib. i. ; de Ecclesiastica 
Hierarchia, 1. i. ; de Divinis Nominibus, 1. i. ; 



12. Among the controversies which divided Christians in this cen- 
tury, the most considerable were, concerning the millennium, the baptism 
of heretics, and concerning Origen. That the Saviour is to reign a thou- 
sand years among men, before the end of the world, had been believed by 
many in the preceding century, without offence to any : all, however, had 
not explained the doctrine in the same manner, nor indulged hopes of the 
same kind of pleasures during that reign. (18) In this century the mil- 
lenarian doctrine fell into disrepute, through the influence especially of 
Origen, who strenuously opposed it, because it contravened some of his 
opiuions.(19) But Nepos, an Egyptian bishop, attempted to revive its au- 

de Mystica Theologia, 1. i., together with 
four epistles to Cams, one to Dorothcus, 
one to Sosipatcr, one to Polycarp, one to 
Demophylus, one to Titus, one to Apolloph- 
anes, and two to St. John the apostle. They 
all relate to mystic theology, and breathe 
a devout spirit, but are exceedingly obscure 
and difficult of comprehension. It is suppo- 
sed they were written in the fouth or fit'lh 
century, as they bear marks of that period, 
and are not mentioned by any writer prior to 
the sixth century. During the middle ages 
they were held in high estimation, and their 
genuineness scarcely if at all questioned. 
The more devout Catholics and most of the 
early Protestants, received them and relied 
upon them as genuine. In the 17th century, 
their spuriousness was abundantly demon- 
strated, and they are now universally re- 
garded as supposititious. The best edition 
of these works, Gr. and Lat., with copious 
notes, is that of Balthazar Cordcrius, Ant- 
werp, 1634, 2 vols. fol., embracing the Gr. 
echolia of St. Maximus the martyr, (A.D. 
659), and the paraphrase of George Pachym- 
eras, (A.D. 1280.) The MS. copies of these 
works are found in most of the great libraries 
of Europe. TV.] 

(18) [" vSee the learned Treatise concern- 
ing the true millennium, which Dr. \Vlii tin/ 
has subjoined to the second volume of his 
Commentary upon the New Testament. See 
also, for an account of the doctrine of the an- 
cient Millenanans, the fourth, fifth, seventh, 
and ninth volumes of Lardncr's Credibility, 
&c.'' Mad. Also H. Corodi's kritische 
Geschichte des Chiliasmus, 2d ed., 1794, 3 
vols. 8vo. Tr.] 

(19) See Origen, de Principiis, lib. ii.,c. 
11, Opp.,tom i.,p. 104, [and Prolog. Com- 
ment, in Cantic. Canticor., torn, iii., p. 28. 
The Cerinthians, Marciunites, Monta- 
nists, and Meletians, among the heretical 
sects, and among the orthodox fathers Pa- 
pias, Justin Martyr, and Ircna-u.t, held to a 
.millennial reign of Christ, and Irr.ti, 
derstood it in a very gross sense. Dr. Mo- 
sheim, in his Comment, de Rebus Christia- 
nor.,&c., p. 721, believed the doctrine had 

VOL. I. A A 

a Jewish origin ; and he supposed the 
Christian doctors received, or at least tol- 
erated it, because they hoped by it to make 
the Jews more willing to embrace Christian- 
ity. But Dr. Walch, in his Entwurf einer 
vollstandigen Hist, der Ketzereyen, vol. ii., 
p. 143, is more discriminating, and main- 
tains that the question, whether a millennial 
reign of Christ is to be expected, had a bib- 
lical origin, the earlier Chiliasts relying on 
the testimony of the Apocalypse : but the 
explanation of the doctrine, he admits, was 
derived from the Jewish opinions. There 
were two kinds of Chiliasts, the gross and 
the refined. The latter placed the chief dif- 
ference between the millennial reign of 
Christ and his present reign, in the higher 
enjoyment of spiritual advantages and pleas- 
ures, yet without wholly excluding the pleas- 
ures of sense. But the former expected, in 
the millennium, all kinds of sensual delights, 
and the free indulgence of all, even the most 
exorbitant lusts. And these gross Chiliasts 
are to be found not merely among the here- 
tics ; they may be found also among the or- 
thodox, as the example of Irenceus proves. 
According to the account of Gennadms of 
Marseilles, de Dogmatt ecclesiast., c. 55, p. 
3ii. the Chiliasts may be divided into /our 
classes. The first class were the most mod- 
erate. They are called Meletians ; and they 
expected a fulfilment of the divine promises 
here on the earth, without attempting to de- 
fine the nature of the bliss to be enjoyed 
during the millennium. The second class 
expected not only to enjoy the indispensable 
gratifications of the senses, but also marriage 
pleasures, and every species of sensual in- 
dulgence. The third class promised them- 
selves indeed sensitive delights, and these 
too as rewards for foregoing them now, and 
as a compensation for the outward sufferings 
of saints ; but they excluded from them the 
carnal pleasure of sexual intercourse. The 
fourth was composed of Nepos and his fol- 
lowers. The millennial doctrine did not pre- 
vail everywhere, and uncontradicted. Yet 
the believers and the rejecters of the doctrine 
treated each other with affection, and a per- 


thority, in a work written against the allegorists, as he contemptuously 
styled the opposers of the millennium. The book and its arguments were 
approved by many in the province of Arsinoe, and particularly by Co- 
radon, a presbyter of some respectability and influence. But Dionysius 
of Alexandria, a disciple of Origen, allayed the rising storm, by his oral 
discussions and his two Books on the divine promises. (20) 

13. As no law had determined in what manner those, who came over 
from heretical churches to the Catholic Christians, were to be received, dif- 
ferent customs prevailed in different churches. Many of the Oriental and 
African Christians classed reclaimed heretics among the catechumens, and 
admitted them to the Christian ordinances by baptism. But most of the 
European Christians regarded the baptism administered by errorists as 
valid ; and therefore received reclaimed heretics, simply with imposition 
of hands and prayer. This diversity long prevailed, without giving rise 
to contention. But in this century the Asiatic Christians determined in 
several councils, what before had been left at discretion, that all heretics 
coming over to the true church, must be rebaptized.(21) This com- 
ing to the knowledge of Stephen, bishop of Rome, he with little humanity 
or prudence, excluded those Asiatics from his fellowship and from that 
of his church. Notwithstanding this rashness of Stephen, Cyprian with 
other Africans, in a council called on the subject, embraced the opinion of 
the Asiatics, and gave notice of it to Stephen. Upon this, Stephen was 
very indignant ; but Cyprian replied with energy, and in a new council 
held at Carthage, again pronounced the baptism administered by heretics 
to be wholly invalid. The rage of Stephen now waxed hotter, and he 
most unjustly excluded the Africans from the rights of brotherhood. But 
the discord was healed, partly by the moderation with which the Africans 
conducted themselves, and partly by the death of Stephen. (22) 

son might believe or discard it, without bring- Christ, must be understood literally, and as 

ing his orthodoxy under suspicion. The first promising corporeal and sensitive pleasures. 

open opposer of Chiliasm, that we meet with, But he does not appear to have defined 

was Cains, a teacher in the church of Rome, clearly what these pleasures were to be, 

towards the end of the second century, though he excluded eating, and drinking, 

On this ground, he denied that the Apoca- and marriage, as Dr. Mosheim supposes, 1. 

lypse was written by John, and ascribed c., p. 726. The very obscure and defective 

it rather to Cerinthus. But he effected history of Ncpos, and the controversy with 

very little. Origen was a more powerful him, is explained, as far as it can be. by Dr. 

opposer of the doctrine. He did not, like Wcdch, \. c., p. 152-167. Schl. See also 

Caius, deny the canonical authority of the W. Muenscher's Handbuch der Dogmeng., 

Apocalypse, but explained the passages in it vol. ii., p. 408-434, and A. Neander's Kirch- 

which describe the millennial reign of Christ, eng., vol. i., pt. iii., p. 1088-1096. TV.] 

allciforically, as referring to spiritual delights, (21) Eusebius, Hist. Eccles , vii., c. 5 

suited to the nature of spirits raised to per- and 7. Firmilian, Epist. ad Cyprianum, 

fection, and these to be enjoyed, not on the inter Epp. Cypriani, 75. [The councils 

earth, but in the world to come. See Mo- which decided this point, before Stephen's 

sheim. Comment, de Rebus Christianor., p. rash procedure, were (1) the council of Car- 

720, &c., and Dr. WaLch, Historic der Ket- thage, about A.D. 215. See Epp. Cypr. 

zereyen, vol. ii.. p. 136-151. Schl.] 71 and 73 (2) that of Iconium in Phrygia, 

(20) See Eusebius, Hist. Eccles. vii., A.D. 235, Epp. Cypr. 75. Eusebius, H. 

24, and Gennadius Massiliensis, de Dog- E., vii., 4 (3) that of Synada, and (4) 

matibus ecclesiasticis, cap. 55, p. 32, ed. some others, which are barely mentioned in 

Elmenhorst. [Ncpos held the Apocalypse Epp. Cypr. 75, and Eusebius, uhi supra, 

to be an inspired book ; and he maintained, See Wnlch, Historic der Kirchenversamml., 

in opposition to the allegorists, that the pas- > p. 91, 94, and 96. Tr.J 

sages which speak of a millennial reign of ' (22) Cyprian, Epp. 70 and 73, and sev- 


14. The contests concerning Origen were moved by Demetrius bishop 
of Alexandria ; who is reported by the friends of Origen, to have been in- 
fluenced by envy and hatred ; which however is very doubtful. In the pro- 
ceedings of Demetrius against Origen, one may discover marks of a mind 
exasperated, impassioned, arrogant, and unreasonable, but none scarcely of 
envy. (2.3) In the year 228, Origen took a journey to Achaia, and on his 
way suffered himself to be ordained a presbyter by the bishops of Csesarea 
and Jerusalem. At this, Demetrius was greatly offended ; because he 
deemed Origen unfit for such an office, on account of his having emascu- 
lated himself; and because, being master of a school under him, he had 
been ordained without his knowledge and consent. The matter however 
was compromised, and Origen returned to Alexandria. But not long 
after, from some unknown cause, new dissension, arose between him and 
Demetrius, which became so great, that Origen left Alexandria and the 
school in the year 231, and removed to Csesarea [in Palestine]. Deme- 
trius accused him in his absence, before an assembled council, and de- 
prived him of his office without a hearing ; and afterwards, in a second 
council, divested him of his ministerial character. It is probable that De- 
metrius accused Origen before the council, particularly the last one, of 
erroneous sentiments in matters of religion ; which it was easy for him to 
do, as Origen's book de Principiis, which was full of dangerous sentiments, 
had been published not long before. The decision of the council at Al- 
exandria was approved by the majority of the Christian bishops, though 
rejected by those of Achaia, Palestine, Phenicia, and Arabia.(24) 

eral others, ed. Baluze. Augustine, de Bap- ginal sources, especially from EuseUus, H. 
tismo contra Donatistas, 1. vi. and vii., Opp., Eccles., vi., 23. P/iolius, Bibliolh., cod. 
torn, ix., where he gives the Acts of the cxviii. Jerome, de Viris Illustr., and Ori- 
council of Carthage, A.D. 256. Prudent, gen himself. It differs in some respects 
Maran, vita Cypriani, p. 107, and all the from that given by the common writers, Dow- 
writers of the life of Cyprian. [The whole cm, Huet, and others. [That Demetrius ac- 
history of this controversy is discussed at cused Origen of erroneous sentiments, is a 
large by Dr. Mosheim, Comment, de Rebus, conjecture of Dr. Mosheim. and others, which 
&c., p. 540-547, and still more fully by Dr. however is expressly denied by Jerome, (Ep. 
Walch, Historic der Ketzereyen, vol. ii., p. 29, ad Paulam, Opp., vol. iv., t. ii., p. 68 
328-384. Schl.] and 480, ed Martianay), Damnatur a Deme- 

(23) [Dr. Moaheim is singular in this opin- trio episcopo ; exceptis Palx>stinse et Arabia 
ion ; which he defends at great length, in et Phosnices atque Achaiae sacerdotibus, in 
his Comment, de Rebus, &c., p. 671, &c., damnationem ejus (leg. orbis) consentit : 
in opposition to the express testimony of urbs Roma ipsa contra hunc cogit senatum, 
Eusebins, H. E., vi., 8, and Jerome, Epist. non propter dogmafum novitatem, non prop- 
29, Opp., torn, iv., part ii., p. 68. If Dcmc- tcr hctresiit, ut nunc rabidi canes simulant, 
trius was not envious of the growing repu- sed quia gloriam eloquentia? ejus et scientise 
tation of Origen, or otherwise affected by ferre nonpoterant, et illo dicente omnes muti 
personal antipathy, it seems impossible to putabantur. Neither is it certain, that De- 
account for the rancour he manifested. metrius assembled two councils in the case 
Tr.] of Origen. See C. W. F. Walch, Historie 

(24) This account is derived from the ori- der Kirchenversamml., p. 92, &c. Tr.] 




$ 1. Rites multiplied. 2. Public Worship. 3. Administration of the Sacred Sup- 
per. 4. Baptism. 5. Various other Rites. 

1. ALL the monuments of this century which have come down to us, 
show that there was a great increase of ceremonies. To the causes here- 
tofore mentioned, may be added the passion for Platonic philosophy, or 
rather, the popular superstition of the Oriental nations respecting demons, 
which was adopted by the Platonists, and received from them by the Chris- 
tian doctors. For from these opinions concerning the nature and the pro- 
pensities of evil spirits, many of these rites evidently took their rise. 
Hence arose the public exorcisms, the multiplication of fasts, and the aver- 
sion to matrimony. Hence the caution not to have intercourse with those 
who were either not yet baptized, or had been excluded from the commu. 
nion of the church, because such were considered as under the power of 
some evil spirit. And to pass over other things, hence the painful auster- 
ities and penances which were enjoined upon oifenders.(l) 

2. That the Christians now had in most provinces certain edifices in 
which they assembled for religious worship, will be denied by no candid 
and impartial person. Nor would I contend strenuously, against those 
who think these edifices were frequently adorned with images and other 
ornaments.(2) As to the forms of public worship, and the times(3) set 
apart for it, it is unnecessary here to be particular, as little alteration was 
made in this century. Yet two things deserve notice. First, the public 
discourses to the people underwent a change. For not to mention Origen, 
who was the first so far as we know that made long discourses in public, 
and in his discourses expounded the sacred volume, there were certain 
bishops, who being educated in the schools of the rhetoricians, framed 
their addresses and exhortations according to the rules of Grecian elo- 
quence, and their example met the most ready approbation. Secondly ; 
the use of incense was now introduced, at least into many churches. Very 
learned men have denied this fact ; but they do it in the face of testimony 
which is altogether unexceptionable. (4) 

3. To the celebration of the Lord's supper, those who conducted re- 

(1) Whoever desires to look farther into (4) Wm. Beveridge, ad Canon, iii. Apos- 
this subject, may consult Porphyry, on Ab- tol., p. 461, and his Codex Canon, vindica- 
stinence from flesh, and various passages in tus, p. 78. [The Christians originally ab- 
Eusebius, Prseparat. Evang., and Theodoret ; horred the use of incense in public worship, 
and compare them with the Christian insti- as being a part of the worship of idols. See 
tutions. Tcrtullian, Apolog., c. 42, and de Corona 

(2) [Yet there is most ground for the neg- militis, c. 10. Yet they permitted its use 
ative. Von Ein.] at funerals, against offensive smells. After- 

(3) [The regular seasons for public wor- wards it was used at the induction of magis- 
ship were all Sundays, Good Friday, Easter, trates and bishops, and also in public worship, 
and Whitsunday. See Origr.n,ag. Celsus.b. to temper the bad air of crowded assemblies 
viii., p. 833. The anniversaries of the local in hot countries, and at last it degenerated 
martyrdoms were also observed. Von Bin.] into a superstitious rite. SchL] 


ligious worship annexed longer prayers and more of ceremony ; and this, 
I suppose, with no bad intentions. Neither those doing penance, nor those 
not yet baptized, were allowed to be present at the celebration of this or- 
dinance ; which practice, it is well known, was derived from the pagan 
mysteries. (5) That golden and silver vessels were used in the ordinance, 
is testified among others by Prudentius ;(6) and I see no reason to doubt 
the fact in respect to the more opulent Christian churches. The time of 
its administration was different, according to the state and circumstances 
of the churches. Some deemed the morning, some the afternoon, and 
some the evening, to be the most suitable time for its celebration. (7) 
Neither were all agreed, how often this most sacred ordinance should be 
repeated. (8) But all believed it absolutely necessary to the attainment of 
salvation ; and therefore they universally wished infants to partake of 
it. (9) In some places the sacred feasts preceded, and in others followed 
the Lord's supper. (10) 

4. Baptism was publicly administered twice a year, to such candi- 
dates as had gone through a long preparation and trial ;(11) and none 
were present as spectators, but such as had been themselves baptized. 
The effect of baptism was supposed to be the remission of sins : and it was 
believed that the bishop, by the imposition of hands and by prayer, confer, 
red those gifts of the Holy Spirit which were necessary for living a holy 
life. (12) Of the principal ceremonies attending baptism, we have before 
spoken ; [Century II., Part II., Ch. IV., 13, p. 137]. A few things how. 
ever must here be added. None were admitted to the sacred font, until 
the exorcist, by a solemn menacing formula, had declared them free from 
bondage to the prince of darkness and now servants of God. For when 
the opinion had become prevalent among Christians, ihat rational souls 
originated from God himself, and were therefore in themselves holy, pure, 
and possessed of free will, either the evil propensities in man must b^ con- 
sidered as arising from the body and from matter, or some evil spirit 
must be supposed to possess the souls of men, and impel them to sin. The 

(5) [See Christ. Matth. Pfaff, Diss. 2 de Antiquitates Eccles., b. xv., ch. 4, $ 7. 
praejudic. theolog., 13, p. 149, &c., and Schl.] 

Jos. Btngham, Antiquitates Eccles., 1. x., (10) [Ckrysostom, Homil. 22, oportet 

c. 5. Schl.] haereses esse, Opp., torn, v. Schl.] 

(6) Tlcpl fetiav. Hymn, ii., p. 60, ed. (11) [In the Apostolic Constitutions, b. 
Hei.isii, [and Optatu-* Mi'evit. de schismate viii., ch. 32, a three years' preparation was 
Doridti-t., c. 12, p. 17. Sr.hl.] enjoined; yet with allowance of some ex- 

(7) [See Cyp~ian,ep. 63, p. 104. Schl.] ceptions. SchL] 

(8) [It was commonly administered every (12) This may be placed beyond all con- 
Sunday, as well as on other festival days ; troversy by many passages from the fathers 
and in times of persecution, daily. See Cyp- of this century. And as it will conduce 
rian, de Oralione Domin., p. 209 ; ep. 56, much to an unders;and ; ng of the thcolog-/ of 
p. 90 ; cp. 54, p. 78 ; ed. Baluze. Schl.] the ancieiits, which diffeied in many respect* 

(9) [They believed that this ordinance from ours, I will adduce a single passage 
rendered persons immortal ; and that dueh from Cyprian. It is in his Epist. 73, p. 
as never partook of it, had no hopes of a res- 131 Manifestum est autem, ubi et per 
urrection. Hence Dionysius Alex., (cited quos rcmissa peccatorum dari poss : t, quae in 
by Euxcb., H. E., vii., 11), calls it aiatiijrriv baptismo scilicet datur. Qui vero praepos- 
fitTu. r Kvpi* <rn>^yvyf;v. That children itis ecclesiae orTeruntur, per noslram oratio- 
a!so pa-took of it, is testified by Cyprian, de ncm et impositionem Spiritnm Snnc- 
Lapsis, p. 184 and 189 ed. Baluze See turn ccmsequuntur. See also a passage from 
1'. Ztrrfs Historia Eucharist, infartum, c. Dionyfiu* Alex. iaEusebius, Hist. Lccles., 
4, $ 1, &.c., and c. 6, $ 3 ; also J. Bingham, 1. vii., c. 8. 


Gnostics all embraced the first supposition ; but the Catholics could in no 
wise embrace it, because they held that matter was created by God and 
was not eternal. They had therefore to embrace the second supposition, 
and to imagine some evil demon, the author of sin and of all evil, to be 
resident in all vicious persons. (13) The persons baptized returned home, 
decorated with a crown and a white robe ; the first being indicative of 
their victory over the world and their lusts, the latter of their acquired in- 

5. To fasting greater sanctity and necessity were now attributed, 
than heretofore ; because it was the general belief that demons laid fewer 
snares for the abstemious and those who fared hard, than for the full fed 
or such as lived generously. (15) The Latins were singular in keeping 
every seventh day of the week as a fast ;(16) and as the Greek and Ori- 
ental Christians would not imitate them in this, it afforded abundant matter 
for altercation between them. Ordinarily Christians prayed three times a 
day, at the third, sixth, and ninth hours, [9 A.M., 12 Noon, and 3 P.M.] 
as was the custom of the Jews. Besides these regular hours of prayer, 
they prayed much and often ; for they considered it the highest duty of a 
religious man to hold converse with God. (17) On joyful and festive oc- 
casions, while giving thanks to God, they thought it suitable to pray stand- 
ing, thus expressing their joy and confidence by the posture of their bod- 
ies. But on sorrowful occasions and seasons of fasting and humiliation, 
they were accustomed to make their supplications on their bended knees 
or prostrate, to indicate self-abasement. (18) That certain forms of prayer 
were everywhere used, both in public and in private, I have no doubt ;(19) 
but I am likewise confident, that many persons poured out the feelings of 
their hearts before God in free and unpremeditated effusions. In the sign 
of the cross, they supposed there was great efficacy against all sorts of 

(13) That exorcism was not annexed to (19) [In the earliest times, exclusive of 
baptism, till some time in the third century, the short introductory salutation : Pax vo- 
and after the admission of the Platonic phi- biscum, &c., no established forms of prayer 
losophy into the church, may almost be were used in public worship, but the bishop 
demonstrated. The ceremonies used at or presbyter poured forth extempore prayers, 
baptism in the second century, are described See Justin Martyr, Apology ii. The Lord's 
by Jus/in Martyr, in his second apology, and prayer was used, not only as a pattern, but 
by Tertullian, in his book de Corona militis. also as a formula of prayer. Yet only the 
But neither makes any mention of exorcism, baptized, and not the catechumens, might 
T'.is is a cogent argument, to prove that it utter it. Tertullian, de Oratione, c. 1, 9. 
was admitted by Christians, after the times Cyprian, de Oratione Domin. Constilutt. 
of these fathers, and of course in the third Apostol., 1. vii., c. 44. Afterwards various 
century. Egypt perhaps first received it. forms were gradually introduced, and partic- 

(14) [Perhaps also of their freedom. See ularly short prayers, derived from passages 
C. G. Sckwarz, Diss. de ceremoniis et for- of scripture. When greater uniformity in 
mulis a veterum manumissione ad Baptis- the as to ceremonies was intro- 
mum translatis. Cyprian refers to the white duced, the smaller churches had to regulate 
garments ; de I.apsis, p. 181. SchL] their forms of prayer conform ib!y to those 

(15) Clementina, Homil. ix., $ 9, p f>88, of the larger churches, and of course to adopt 
&c. Porphyry, de Abstine.itia, lib. iv., p. the formulas of the metropolitan churches. 
417, &c., and others. Origen, contra Celsnin, 1. vi., and Homilia 

(16) [See Concilium Eliberitanum, Can- xi. in Jerem. EuseUus, de Vita Constan- 
on 26. Schl.] tini Mag., 1. iv., c. 19, 20, 17. Hist. EC- 

(17) [See Cyprian, de Oratione, p. 214. cles., !. ii., c. 17. Lauantius. de Morte 
Schl.] persecutor., c. 46, 47. See Baumgarteri's 

(19) [See Cyprian, de Oratione, p 214, Erliiuterung der christlichen Alterthiimer, p. 
and Constitute Apostol., 1. ii., c. 59. ScU.] 432. Schl.] 


evils, and particularly against the machinations of evil spirits ; and there- 
fore no one undertook anything of much moment, without first crossing 
himself. (20) Other ceremonies I pass without notice. 



$ 1. Remains of the Ancient Sects. $ 2. Manes and the Manichaeans. $ 3. His Prin- 
ciples. 4. His Doctrine concerning\Man. $ 5. Concerning the Nature of Christ and 
of the Holy Spirit. $ 6. Concerning the Offices of Christ and the Comforter. $ 7. 
Concerning the Purification and Future Condition of Souls. $ 8. Concerning the State 
of Souls not Purified. $ 9. His Opinion of the Old and New Testaments 10. The 
Seventy of his Moral Principles, and the Classification of his Followers. $ 1 1 . The 
Sect of the Hieracites. <J 12. The Noetian Controversy. 13. gabellius. $ 14. Be- 
ryllus. 15. Paul of Samosata. 16. Disturbances in Arabia. $ 17. Novatian Con- 
troversy. 18. Severities of the Novatians towards the Lapsed. 

1. MOST of the sects which disquieted the church in the preceding 
centuries, caused it various troubles also in this. For the energies of the 
Montanists, Valentinians, Marcionites, and other Gnostics, were not wholly 
subdued by the numerous discussions of their tenets. Adelphius and Aqui- 
linus of the Gnostic tribe, but very little known, endeavoured to insinuate 
themselves and their doctrines into the esteem of the public at Rome and 
in Italy.(l) But these and others of the same clan, were resisted by Plo- 
linus himself, the coryphaeus of the Platonists of this age, and by his disci- 
pies, with no less boldness and energy than the orthodox Christians w^re 
accustomed to manifest. For the philosophical opinions of this faction, con- 
cerning God, the origin of the world, the nature of evil, and other subjects, 
could not possibly meet the approbation of the Platonists. These united 
forces of the Christians and the philosophers, were doubtless competent to 
bring the Gnostics, gradually, to lose all credit and influence among the 
well informed.(2) 

(20) [The Christians at first used the sign and Lactantiiis, Institut., 1. iv., c. 27, 28. 

of the cross, to bring to remembrance the Schl.] 

atoning death of Christ on all occasions. (1) Porphyry, Vita Plotini, c. 16, p. 118, 

Hence Tcrtullian, de Corona militis, c. 3, &c. 

p. 121, says: ad omnem progressum atque (2) The book of Plotinus against the Gnos- 

promotum, ad omnem aditum et exitum, ad tics, is still extant among his works. En- 

vestit'jrn, ad calciatum. ad lavacra, ad men- nead ii., lib. ix., p 213, &c. [Dr. Semler, 

s"s, ad lumina, ad cubilia, ad scdilia, quae- in his Historiae Eccies. Selecta Capita, vol. 

cunque nos conversatio exercct, fro-.item cru- i., p. 81, conjectures, and not without reason, 

cis sigraculo terimus. Compare alsq his that the Gnostics, and all the assailants of 

work, ad Uxorem, lib. ii. So Icte as the t!<e Gu' Tes'a.i.cnt, lost their power, after 

second ccnt-iry. the Ohristiars attached no Ori^en introduced the allegorical and tropo- 

partinidr virtue to the sign of the n .roas, and logica. m^dc o r PT- oundiug Scripture, and 

they paid it. no adoration. See Tertuiliar, extended it in soiiie measure to the history 

Apologet., c. 16, and ad Naticnes, c. 12. of Chri.-t. And as he further supposes, the 

But afterwards, powerful ffficacy began to labours of Dionysius Alex, and other !eam- 

be ascribed to it. See Cyprian, Testimo- ed fathers, e. g. Dorothcus, a presbyter of 

nia adv. Judaeos, 1. ii., c. 21, 22, p. 294, Aniioch. (who understood the Hebrew ; z?tf 



2. While the Christians were struggling with these corrupters of the 
truth, and were on the point of gaining the victory, [a little past the mid- 
dle of the century], a new enemy, more fierce and dangerous than those, 
suddenly appeared in the field. .Manes,(3) whom his disciples also called 
Manictuzus,(ty a Persian,(5) educated among the Magi, and himself one 
of the Magi before he became a Christian, was instructed in all the sci- 
ences and arts that were in repute among the Persians and the adjacent 
nations, and was an astronomer, (though a rude one), a physician, a paint- 
er, and a philosopher ; but he had an exuberant imagination, and, as ap- 
pears very probable, was delirious and fanatical. This man adventured 
to combine the principles of the Magi with Christianity, or rather to ex- 
plain the latter by the former. To facilitate the accomplishment of this 
object, he gave out that Christ had left the way of salvation imperfectly 
explained, and that he himself was the Paraclete whom the Saviour prom- 
ised to send to his disciples when he left the world. Many were seduced 
by his eloquence, his grave aspect, and the simplicity and innocence of his 
life ; and in a short time he established a sect. But at last, he was put to 
death by Varanes I., king of the Persians. The cause, time, and manner 
of his execution are variously stated by the ancients. (6) 

sebius, H. E., vii., 32), may have contributed 
much to diminish the Gnostic party, as they 
carried investigation farther, and more lucid- 
ly confuted the Jesvish notions, and at the 
same time approximated a little towards the 
Gnostic doctrines concerning the Son of 
God. Hence it is, we hear no more about 
the Gnostics in this century ; and the few 
who still remained, united themselves with 
the Manichaeans. Schl.] 

(3) [The Oriental writers call him Mani ; 
(Hyde, de Relig. vet. Persarum, c. 21, and 
de Herbelot, Bibliotheque Oriertale, art. Ma- 
ni) ; but the Greeks and Latins call him Ma- 
vris, Mavftf, and Manes. See Dr. Walch, 
Historic der Ketzereyen, vol. i., p. 691. 

(4) [See the Acta Archelai, c. 5, 49. 
Augustine, de Haeresib., c. 46, and contra 
Faustum, lib. xix., c. 22. SchL] 

(5) [Notwithstanding the Greek and Ori- 
ental writers represent Manes as being a 
Persian, Dr. Walch, (Historic der Ketzer- 
eyen, vol. i ,p. 71)8), and Beausobre, (Histoire 
critique de Maniche, tome i., p 66), think 
it more probable that he was a Chaldean ; 
because Ephraim Syrus expressly so states, 
Opp. Syro- Latin-, torn, ii., p 468, and be- 
cause Arr.hdaus, in his Acta cum Manete, 
c. 36, charges Manes with understanding no 
language but that of the Chaldees. Schl.] 

(6) All that is extant concerning the life, 
the deeds, and the doctrines of this very 
singular genius, has been carefully collect- 
ed, and reviewed ingeni 'jsly though often 
with more ingenuity and copiousness than 
weie necessary by James dc Beausobre, in 
his Histoire critique de Maoichee et du Ma- 

nicheisme, published at Amsterdam, 1734- 
39, 2 vols. 4to. [Whoever would gain the 
best acquaintance with the history of Manes 
and the Manic fueans, may consult, besides 
Beausobre, ubi supra, the long essay of 
Dr. Mosheim, in his Comment, de Rebus, 
&c., p. 728-903 ; Jo. Christ. Wolf, Maui- 
chaeismus ante Manichaeos, &c., Hamb., 
1707, 8vo ; Nath. Lardner's Credibility of 
the Gospel History, part ii., vol. iii., p. 364 
753; and Dr. C.'W. F. WalcWs Entwurf 
einer vollstandigen Historic der Ketzereyen, 
vol. i., p. 685-814. These principal writers 
being consulted, all the rest may be neglect- 
ed. The last of these works has the great 
advantage, that it concentrates, arranges 
properly, criticises acutely and solidly, and 
expresses in a lucid and agreenbli stj le, all 
that has been said on the subject by the 
useful Wolf, the agreeable and learned but 
prolix Beausobre, the acute Mosheim, and 
the solid and critical Lardner. Von Ein. 
More recent writers may be consulted, viz., 
A.Neander, Kirchengesc!)., bd. i., abth. ii., 
s. 813-856, and K. A. Frcih. v. Keichlinn 
Meldcgg, die Theclogie des Magiers Manes 
und ihr Ursprung, Frankfort a. M., 1825, 
8vo Tr. 

The original sources for the history of 
Manes and his sect according to Mosheim, 
Comment, de Rebus, &c.,p. 729, &c., are, 
besides the ancient historical writers, Epi- 
phanius, Augustine, Euscbius, Theodoret, 
Darnascenus, and Philastrius, (I.) what re- 
mains of the writings of Manes himself and 
his followers ; viz.. (a) Manctis Epistola 
Fundamenti, in Augustine, contra Ep. Fun- 
damenti ; (b) a fragment of his Sermo de 



3. The religious system of Manes is a compound of Christianity and 

Fide, in Epiphanius, Hacrcs. Ixvi., 14 ; (c) 
his Epistola ad Marcellum, in the Acta Ar- 
chclai cum Manete, p. 6, ed. Zaccag. ; (d) 
some fragments of his Epistola, ad Menoch. 
in Augustine, adv. Julianum Pelagian. ; (e) 
several extracts from his Epistles, in J. A. 
Fabricius, Biblioth. Gr., vol. v., p. 284 ; (f ) 
Acta disputationis Archclai, Eptsc. Mcso- 
pot. cum Manete, inter Collectanea monu- 
mentor. veteris Eccles. Graecae et Latinae, 
published by L.A. Zaccagnius, Rome, 1698, 
4to ; also, inter Opp. Hippolyti, vol. ii , ed. 
Fabricii. (The genuineness of these Acta is 
questioned by Beausobre ; but without good 
reason); (g) many quotations from Faus- 
tus the Manichaean, in Augustine's thirty- 
three Books contra Faustum Manichaeum ; 
(h) various statements of his antagonists, 
contained in Augustine's two Books, de Ac- 
tis cum Felice Manichaeo ; and in his book 
contra Fortunatum Manichaeum. (II.) the 
writings of the fathers, who attempted to 
confute Manes and his followers ; viz. (a) 

divine impulse. The king of Persia threw 
him into prison ; but for what cause is un- 
known. The Greek writers, (especially Ar- 
chclaus, in his Acta cum Manete, who fur- 
nished the other Greek and Latin writers 
with nearly all the historical facts they state), 
represent that he was imprisoned, because, 
having promised to cure the king's son, he 
failed, and caused the death of the young 
prince. A different account is given by the 
Oriental writers, (Persian, Syrian, and Ara- 
bian, cited by De Herbelot, Bibliotheque Ori- 
ent., art. Mani ; Tho. Hyde, Historia relig. 
veter. Persarum, c. 21. Euscb. Rcnaudot, 
Historia Patriarch. Alexandrinor., p. 42. 
Edw. Pocock, Specimen Hist. Arabum, p. 
149, &c.) They state that Manes, coming 
to the court of King Sapor, was received 
kindly ; and that his doctrines were em- 
braced by the monarch. Hereupon Manes 
became so bold as publicly to attack the Per- 
sian religion. This drew on him persecu- 
tion, and so endangered his life that he was 

^.vuauiiv .i'*U'/ti*o otiu ma twHwwyAV , *J>. V / nv/u, ai*u o^ ^iiuaii'(iv\j 1110 u*v t-uafc lie, n 09 

Augustine, de Haeresibus, and in the works obliged to flee into Turkistan. Here he col- 

above mentioned, (I. a, g, and h.) (b) Tilus 
of Dostra, libri iii., contra Manichaeos, Gr. 
and Lat., inter Lectiones Antiquas, ed. Ca- 
nisii; et denuo. J. Basnagii, torn, i., p. 156, 
&c. ; (c) Didymus Alexandrinus, Liber con- 
tra Manichaeos, Gr. and Lat., in the same 
Lectiones Antiq., torn, i., p. 197 ; (d) Al- 
exander Lycopolitanus, the philosopher, Li- 
ber contra Mamchaei opiniones, Gr. and Lat., 
in the Auctarium noviss. Biblioth. Patr., ed. 
Combejis, torn, ii., p. 260. Tr. 

In regard to the history of Manes, there is 
much disagreement between the Oriental and 
Grecian writers. Yet in the particulars sta- 
ted in the text, there is no disagreement. 
We will extract from Moshciin's Comment- 
aries, p. 734, &c., so much as is necessary 
to give a full history of this extraordinary 
man. Manes, on meeting with the books of 
the Christians, found that the religion they 
contained, coincided with his philosophy in 
some respects, and contradicted it in others. 
He determined to unite the two together, to 
enlarge and improve the one by the other, 
and thus to give the world a new religion. 
He began by giving out that he was the 
Paraclete, (6 irapu.K?.i]Toc, John xvi , 7, 13, 
&c.), and perhaps he really supposed he 
was so. But he was not so deranged and 
carried away by his imagination, as to be 
unable to frame a consistent system, and to 
discover what would tend to confirm it, and 
what to weaken it. He therefore rejected or 
altered snch books of the Christians as con- 
travened his opinions, and substituted others 
in their place, particularly those which he 
pretended were written by himself under a 
VOL. I. B B 

lected many followers, and spent a whole 
year in a cave, where he composed his book 
entitled Erteng or Arzeug, i. e., the Gospel, 
and which is adorned with splendid paintings. 
This book he represented to be a gift of God. 
In the mean time Sapor died, and was suc- 
ceeded by his son Hormisdas ; who was so 
favourable to Manes, as to embrace his reli- 
gion, and to allow him to build a castle in 
which he might be safe from all plots. Per- 
haps Hormisdas was a favourer of Manes, 
in the lifetime of his father. And Dr. Mo- 
sheim conjectures. (Comment., &c., p. 739), 
that the Grecian story of his fatal attempt to 
cure the king's son, was an Oriental allego- 
ry, which the Greeks construed literally ; 
that the disease was ignorance, the medicine 
instruction, the physician the teacher, and 
the death of the patient his apostacy from the 
religion of his progenitors : [all of which is 
very improbable, and indeed inconsistent ; 
for the king, having himself embraced the 
doctrine of Manes, would not have impris- 
oned him, for converting his son to the same 
religion.] After the death of Hormisdas, 
Veranes I. succeeded to the throne. He 
was at first well disposed towards Manes, 
but soon turned against him and determined 
on his destruction. For this purpose he al- 
lured him from his safe retreat, under pre- 
tence of a disputation with the Magi, and 
caused him to be put to death as a perverter 
of the true religion. This took place in the 
year 278 ; or, according to Dr. Walch, 
(Hist, der Ketzereyen, vol. i. p. 724), in the 
year 277. The shocking fate of Manes, 
rather animated than terrified his follower*. 


the ancient philosophy of the Persians, which he had imbibed in early life. 
What the Persians relate concerning their Mithras, Manes applied to Christ. 
According to his views and those of the Persians, there are two first princi- 
ples of all things, a subtile and very pure substance or light, and a gross 
and corrupt substance or darkness. Over each of these a Lord has reigned 
from all eternity. The Lord of light, is denominated God ; the regent of 
the world of darkness, is called Hyle [yXr], matter}, or dcemon [the devil.] 
These two lords are of opposite natures and dispositions. The Lord of 
light, as he is himself happy, so he is beneficent ; the Lord of darkness, 
being himself miserable, is malignant, and wishes others also to be miser- 
able. Each has produced a numerous progeny of his own peculiar char- 
acter, and distributed them over his empire. 

4. For a long period of time, the Prince of darkness was ignorant 
of the existence of light, and of the world of light. But on occasion of a 
war that arose in his kingdom, he gained some knowledge of the light ; and 
on discovering it, he was eager to get possession of it. The Lord of light 
opposed him with an army ; but the general of the celestial army, whose 
name was The first Man, was rather unsuccessful ; and the troops of dark- 
ness succeeded in getting possession of a considerable portion of the ce- 
lestial elements, and of light itself, which is an animate substance ; and 
these they mixed with depraved matter. The next general on the side of 
the world of light, called The living Spirit, conducted the war more suc- 
cessfully ; yet he was unable to liberate the celestial substance that was now 
in combination with the vicious elements. The vanquished Prince of dark- 
ness produced the parents of the human race. The men who are born of 
this stock, consist of a body formed from the depraved matter of the world 
of darkness, and of two souls, the one sensitive and concupiscent which 
they derived from the Prince of darkness, the other rational and immortal, 
it being a particle of that divine light which was plundered by the army 
of darkness and immersed in matter. 

5. Men being thus formed by the Prince of darkness, and minds, 
which were the daughters of eternal light, being enclosed in their bodies, 
God now, by the living Spirit who had before vanquished the Prince of 
darkness, formed this our earth out of vicious matter, that it might be- 
come the residence of the human race, and might afford God advantages 
for gradually delivering souls from their bodies, and separating the good 
matter from the bad. Afterwards God produced from himself two majestic 
beings, who should afford succour to the souls immured in bodies ; name- 
ly, Christ and the Holy Spirit. Christ is the being, whom the Persians 
call Mithras : he is a most splendid substance, consisting of the purest light 
of God, self-existant, animate, excelling in wisdom, and having his resi- 
dence in the sun. The Holy Spirit likewise is an animate and lucid sub- 
stance, which is diffused through the whole atmosphere that encompasses 
our earth, warms and enlightens the souls of men, fecundates the earth, eli- 
cits gradually from it the latent particles of divine fire, and wafts them up- 
ward, that they may return to their native world. 

The most able and eloquent of them roamed lytes. And notwithstanding all the persecu- 
through Syria, Persia, Egypt, Africa, and tions that have befallen them, their descend- 
over most parts of the world ; and by the ants exist to this day, in the mountains be- 
severity of their morals and the simplicity of tween Persia and India. Schl.] 
their religion, they everywhere made prose- 


6. After God had, for a long time, admonished the captive souls im- 
mured in bodies, by the ministry of angels and by men instructed by him- 
self; he at length, in order to accelerate their return to the heavenly coun- 
try, directed Christ his son to descend from the sun to this our world. He 
being clad in the form and shadow of a human body, but not joined to a 
real body, appeared among the Jews, pointed out the way in which souls may 
extricate themselves from the body, and proved his divinity(7) by his mir- 
acles. But the Prince of darkness instigated the Jews to crucify him. 
This punishment however he did not actually endure, because he had not 
a body ; but the people supposed he was crucified. Having accomplished 
his embassy, Christ returned to the sun, his former residence ; and left in 
charge to his apostles to propagate the religion he had taught them, through- 
out the world. Moreover, when about to depart, he promised to send, at 
some time, a greater and more perfect apostle whom he called the Para- 
clete, who should add many things to the precepts he had delivered, and 
dispel all errors in regard to religious subjects. This Paraclete promised 
by Christ, was Manes the Persian, who by command of God explained the 
whole doctrine of salvation, perfectly, and without any ambiguity or con- 

7. The souls which believe Jesus Christ to be the Son of God, cease 
from worshipping the God of the Jews, (who is no other than the Prince 
of darkness), obey the laws which were given by Christ and enlarged and 
explained by Manes the Paraclete, and perseveringly resist the lusts of the 
evil soul, these shall gradually become purified from the contaminations 
of base matter. Yet the entire purgation of the soul cannot be effected 
in the present life. Therefore souls, when freed from the body, must un- 
dergo a twofold purification after death, before they are admitted into the 
world of light ; the first purification is by sacred water, and the second by 
sacred fire. They first go to the moon, which consists of sacred water, 
and are there purified during fifteen days ; thence they proceed to the sun, 
whose \\o\yjire entirely removes all their remaining pollution. The bod- 
ies which they left behind, being formed of base matter, revert back to 
their original mass. 

8. But the souls which have neglected the means for their purgation, 
will, after death, pass into other bodies, either of animals or of other be- 
ings, until they become cleansed. Some also being peculiarly depraved, 
will be delivered over to the evil demons inhabiting our atmosphere, to be 
tormented for a season. When the greater part of the souls shall be lib- 
erated and be restored to the world of light, then, at the command of God, 
infernal fire will burst from the caverns in which it is contained, and 
will burn up and destroy the fabric of this world. After these events, the 
Prince and powers of darkness will be compelled to retire to their wretch- 
ed country, where they must remain for ever. For to prevent their again 
waging war against the world of light, God will encompass the world of 
darkness with an invincible guard. That is to say, the souls whose sal- 

(7) [Not his Divinity : for this, in the true p. 69. They believed that the light of the 

and proper sense of the word, the Manichae- Son might be obscured by intervening mat- 

ans could not predicate of Christ, nor of the ter, but that the light of the Father could 

Holy Ghost. They held neither of them to not. See Moshcim, Comment, de Rebus, 

be more ancient than the world. See For- <tc,, p. 775, &c. SchL] 
tunatus, in his dispute with Augustine I., 


vation has become desperate, will keep watch like soldiers about the world 
of darkness, so that its miserable inhabitants can no more go out. 

9. To give some plausibility to these monstrous opinions, Manes re- 
jected nearly all the sacred books, in which the Christians believed their 
religion was contained. The Old Testament especially, he pronounced to 
be the work, not of God, but of the Prince of darkness, whom he represent- 
ed the Jews as worshipping in place of the true God. The four histories 
of Christ which we call Gospels, he either denied to have been composed 
by the apostles, or he maintained that if they were so, they had been cor- 
rupted, interpolated, and stuffed with Jewish fables by crafty and deceitful 
men. In place of them he substituted another Gospel, which he denom- 
inated Erteng, and which he affirmed had been dictated to him by God him- 
self. The Acts of the Apostles he wholly rejected. The Epistles which 
are ascribed to St. Paul, he admitted to have been written by him, but 
maintained that they were adulterated. What he thought of the other books 
of the New Testament, we are not informed. 

10. The rules of life which Manes prescribed for his followers, were 
peculiarly rigorous and severe. For he directed them to mortify and ma- 
cerate the body, which he regarded as the very essence of evil, and the 
work of the Prince of darkness ; to deprive it of every convenience and 
gratification, to extirpate every sensual appetite, and to divest themselves 
of all the propensities and instincts of nature. But as he foresaw that he 
could expect few to embrace his system, if he imposed upon all without 
discrimination such severe rules of life, he divided his followers into two 
classes, the elect and the hearers, that is, the perfect Christians and the imper- 
fect.(8) The former, or the elect, were to abstain from flesh, eggs, milk, 
fish, wine, and every inebriating drink, from marriage, and from every indul- 
gence of sexual passions, to live in the most abject poverty, to sustain their 
emaciated bodies with bread, herbs, pulse and melons, to abstain from all 
active life, and to be devoid both of love and hatred. A milder rule was pre- 
scribed for the hearers. They might possess houses, lands, and goods, eat 
flesh, though sparingly, and marry wives : yet even these indulgences had 
their limitations. The whole body of Manichaeans were subjected to one 
president, who represented Jesus Christ ; with him were connected twelve 
masters, or rulers, who represented the twelve apostles ; next to these, there 
were seventy-two bishops, corresponding with the seventy-two disciples of 
Christ ; and under each bishop, there were presbyters and deacons. All 
these officers were from the class of the elect.(9) 

(8) [The elect were also called t\& faithful, der Ketzereyen, vol. i., p. 685-814. From 
or believers; and the hearers were called cat- both, we extract the following notices, re- 
echumens. The former were either baptized, specting the worship of this sect. They rev- 
or unbaptized. If baptized, they could not erenced the sun and the moon, though they 
change their condition ; if unbaptized, they did not account them deities. Their worship 
might return to the class of hearers, if they was so simple, that they claimed to be farther 
found themselves unable to endure the rig- removed from paganism, than all other Chris- 
orous discipline of the perfect. See Mo- tians. They had no temples, no altars, no- 
sheim, Comment, de Rebus Christianor., images, no oblations, and no burning of in- 
&c., p. 896, &c. Schl.] cense. They observed Sundays, which they 

(9) All these particulars are more fully kept as fasts. But they observed none of 
stated, and supported by citations from anti- the Christian festivals, which relate to the 
quity, in my Comment, de Rebus Christia- incarnation and baptism of Christ. They 
nor., &c., [pa. 728-903 with which, the celebrated the memorial of Christ's death, 
reader should compare Dr. Walch's Historie but with little of devotion. Whether they 


11. The sect of the Hieracites was formed in Egypt, near the close 
of this century, by Hierax of Leontopolis, who was a bookmaker by 
trade, a man of learning and venerable for the visible sanctity of his de- 
portment. Many have supposed that this sect was a branch of the Man- 
ichaean family, but erroneously ; for though Hierax held some notions in 
common with Manes, yet he differed from him in many respects. He be- 
lieved it was the great business of Christ to promulge a new law, more 
perfect and more strict than that of Moses. And hence he concluded that 
Christ had prohibited to his followers, marriage, flesh, wine, and whatever 
was grateful to the senses or the body : which things had been allowed of 
by Moses, but were abrogated by Christ. Yet if we duly consider all ac- 
counts, we shall conclude that Hierax, as well as Manes, did not suppose 
these severe injunctions were imposed by Christ on all his followers, but 
only on those who aspired after the highest attainments in virtue. To 
this radical error, he added others either growing out of it, or originating 
from other sources. For example, he excluded infants, who died before 
they came to the use of reason, from the kingdom of heaven ; because di- 
vine rewards could be due to none but such as had actually passed through 
regular conflicts with the body and its lusts. He also maintained, that 
Melchisedek, the king of Salem who blessed Abraham, was the Holy Spirit. 
The resurrection of the body, he denied ; and the whole sacred volume, 
especially its historical parts, he obscured with allegorical interpreta- 

12. The controversies respecting the divine Trinity, which commenced 
in the preceding century, from the time when Grecian philosophy got into 
the church, had a wider spread in this century, and produced various meth. 
ods of explaining that doctrine. First, [in the early part of the century], 
Noetus, a man of whom little is known, a native of Smyrna, maintained 
that God himself, whom he denominated the Father, and held to be abso- 
lutely one and indivisible ; united himself with the man Christ, whom he 
called the Son ; and, in him, was born and suffered. From this dogma of 
Noetus, his adherents were called Patripassians ; i. e., persons who held 
that the great Parent of the universe himself, and not merely some one per- 
son of the Godhead, had made expiation for the sins of men. Nor were 
they unfitly denominated so, if the ancients correctly understood their 

observed Easter, is uncertain. But they ob- exception, all they state. [See Moshcim, de 

served the anniversary of Manes' death, Rebus Christianor., &c., p. 903-910. Dr. 

which they called Bama, (/3^a), with great Walck, Historie der Ketzereyen, vol. i., p. 

devotion. Fasting was one of their most 815-823. Tillemont, Mem. pour servir a 

important religious exercises. They kept 1'Hist. Eccles., torn, iv., p. 411, and Lardr- 

sacred Sundays and Mondays. They made ner^s Credibility of the Gospel Hist., pt. ii., 

use of baptism; but did not baptize either vol. vi , p. 76, &c. Schl. Also A. Nean- 

children, or grown persons who were only der, Kirchengesch., b. i., abth. iii., s. 1218- 

hearers ; and even to the elect, it was left 1223. Tr.] 

optional, whether they would be baptized (11) See Hippolytus, Sermo contra Hae- 

or not. The elect observed likewise the resin Noeti, in his Opp., torn, ii., p. 5, ed. 

Lord's Supper ; though it is not known what Fabricii; Epiphanius, Haeres. Ivii., Opp., 

they used in place of wine, which was with torn, i., p. 479; Theodoret, haeret. Fabul., 

them altogether prohibited. ScW.] 1. iii., c. 3, Opp., torn, iv., p. 227. [Noe- 

(10) Eptphanius, Haeres Ixvii., [and An- tus so held the unity of God, as to discard 

gvstine, de Haeresib., c. 47], from whom the orthodox opinion of a plurality of persons 

nearly all others have borrowed, with little in the Godhead. In fact he acknowledged 



13. After the middle of the century appeared Sabellius, an African 
presbyter or bishop, at Ptolemais, the principal city in Pentapolis, a province 
of Libya Cyrenaica. He explained what the scriptures teach concerning 
the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, in a manner somewhat different from 
Noetus ; and notwithstanding he was confuted by Dionysius of Alexandria, 
he gathered a number of followers. Noetus had supposed that God the 
Father, personally, assumed the human nature of Christ ; but Sabellius held 
that only a certain energy, put forth by the supreme Parent, or a certain 
portion of the divine nature, being separated from it, became united with 
the Son or the man Christ. And the Holy Spirit he considered as being 
a similar portion or part of the eternal Father. (12) Hence it appears, 

but one person; who is designated in the 
Scriptures by the title of the Father. Noe- 
tus therefore was a Unitarian, as respects 
the doctrine of three persons ; but in regard 
to the character of Christ, he held better 
views than the Socinians. So far as relates 
to two natures united in one person, in Christ, 
he agreed with the orthodox ; but the divine 
person, which was united with the human 
nature, according to Noetus'' views, was no 
other than the person of the Father, because 
there was no other person in the Godhead. 
See Mosheim, de Rebus Christianor., p. 
681-687 ; and Dr. Walch, Historic der Ket- 
zereyen, vol. ii., p. 1-13. Schl.] 

(12) Most of the ancients who wrote 
against the heretics, speak of Sabellius ; [es- 
pecially Epiphanius, Haeres. Ixii., and The- 
odorct, haer. Fabul., 1. ii., c. 9. Tr.] To 
these, add Eusebius, Hist. Eccl , 1. vi., c. 6. 
Athanasius, de sententia Dionysii ; [and 
Basil the Great, Ep. 210 and 235. Tr.] 
Nearly all that is written by the ancients, 
has been collected by Christopher Wormius, 
in his HistoriaSabelliana, Francf. and Lips., 
1696, 8vo, a learned work, only a small part 
of which relates to Sabellius. [See Mo- 
tkeim, Comment, de Rebus Christianor., 
<kc.. p. 688-699. (J. Beausobre, Histoire 
de Manichee, &c., tome i., p. 533, &c. N. 
Lardner, Credibility of the Gosp. Hist., pt. 
ii., vol. , p. 553, fec.), and Dr. Walch, His- 
torie der Ketzereyen, vol. ii., p. 1449. 
The last of these differs some from Dr. 
Mosheim, in his description of the Sabellian 
doctrine. We would place the two accounts 
side by side, without attempting to decide 
so difficult a question. The most common 
opinion respecting the Sabellian doctrine, 
was this : Sabellius admitted but one person 
in the divine essence ; or he denied that the 
Father was one person, the Son another per- 
son, and the Holy Spirit a third ; of course 
he discarded the inherent distinction of three 
persons. He admitted a difference only of 
names, and of some external relations to 
creatures, in regard to the government of 
the world aud of the church ; and he ascribed 

to the Son, those works which we regard aa 
the personal acts of the Father; and on the 
other hand, he ascribed to the Father, the 
acts and the sufferings of the Son. Now 
Dr. Mosheim concedes, that Sabellius taught 
there was but one divine person ; but he 
maintains also, that Sabellius admitted a 
Trinity, and a real difference between the 
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost ; though this 
difference was neither an essential, nor a per- 
sonal one ; the divine three were not three 
distinct persons, but three portions of the di- 
vine nature, all depending on God, and at 
the same lime differing from God, and from 
each other. That portion, by which God 
made the world, is the Father ; and is also 
the father of Christ, inasmuch as it formed 
him in the womb of Mary. That portion, 
which united itself with the man Christ, in 
order to redeem men, is the Son ; inasmuch 
as it dwelt m the Son of God, (a designa- 
tion, which refers to his miraculous concep- 
tion), and by him gave instruction, wrought 
miracles, and, in a sense, made one person 
with him. The third portion of the divine 
nature, which imparts life to all living beings, 
enlightens men, regenerates them, and 
prompts them to what is good, is the Holy 
Ghost. These three are, in one view, sep- 
arate from God ; but in another, they are 
united with him. After a critical examina- 
tion of the correctness of this scheme, Dr. 
Walch cannot fully accord with the views 
of chancellor Mosheim. He therefore states 
the doctrine of Sabellius thus : the ancients, 
one and all, say that the Sabellian system 
marred the true doctrine concerning God, 
and concerning all the three persons. And 
so it appears to be proved, by the ancients, 
that Sabellianism was one of two directly 
opposite errors, of which Arianism was the 
other ; and that the true doctrine occupied 
the middle ground between them : indeed 
Arius, by pushing his opposition to Sabel- 
lius too far, was led into his error. It hence 
follows, that Subellius, who did not deny 
the existence of the Father, Son, and Holy 
Ghost, made too little distinction between 



that the Salettians must have been denominated Patripasgfuns by the 
ancients, in a different sense of the word from that in which the Noetians 
\\cn- so called. Yet the appellation was not wholly improper. 

14. Nearly at the same time, [about A.D. 244], Beryllus, bishop of 
Bo.stra in Arabia, a pious and learned man, taught that Christ, before his 
birth of the Virgin, had no distinct divinity, but only had the divinity of the 
Father. This proposition, if we duly consider what is reported concern, 
ing him by the ancients, contained the following sentiment ; that Christ 
had no existence before he was born of Mary ; that at his birth, a soul 
originating from God himself, and of course superior to all human souls, 
being a particle of the divine nature, entered into and was united with the 

them; while Arius made the distinction too 
wide. It is clear, that Sabctlius acknowl- 
edged but one person, and considered the 
Son of God as not being a distinct person : 
so that he could not have taught a personal 
distinction m the Trinity. By the Word 
(Aoyof), Sabellius understood an energy, 
by which the man Christ performed his 
works. So long as Christ remained on 
earth, this divine energy was in him ; but 
afterwards it ceased. It was therefore like 
a sunbeam, which operates on bodies and 
produces the effects of the sun, without be- 
ing itself a person. So also is it with the 
Holy Ghost, by which we are to understand 
the operations of God in men, tending to 
further their knowledge of the truth and 
their advancement in virtue. The manner 
of God's putting forth his energy, by which 
the Son was produced, and by which the 
Holy Ghost is still produced and continued, 
the ancients expressed by the words, to 
spread out, or extend (^Mruvca^ai, proten- 
dere, extendere), to send forth (TTf/iTreen^at), 
and to transform, or change one's form and 
appearance (ueTa.uopQetT&ai, /j.ETaa^rj/j.aTi- 
&iv). From what has now been stated, it 
may be perceived, how Sabellms could have 
taught the existence of three forms or as- 
pects (rpia TrpoauTTa) in the divine essence, 
without admitting the reality of three differ- 
ent persons ; and how his opposers could 
infer, that he admitted but one distinction 
under three different names. The greatest 
difficulty is in this, that according to some 
representations, Sabellius taught there was 
a difference or separation (diaipsaiv) between 
the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost ; but ac- 
cording to other accounts, he maintained 
such a unity, as was inconsistent with it. 
This difficulty is the most easily surmount- 
ed, by supposing the former to refer to an 
imagined or conceived distinction, and not 
any real one. Such are Dr. Watch's views 
of the Sabellian system ; [and very similar 
are those of Dr. Neander, Kirchengesch., 
vol. i.. pt. in , p. 1018-1025. TV.] Dr. 
Walch thinks, that Salellius ought not to be 

called a Patripassian : for these held Christ 
to be one person, in whom two natures were 
personally united ; and believed that, not the 
divine nature of the Son, as a person, but 
the divine nature of the Father who was the 
only person, was united with the human na- 
ture in Christ. Now as Sabellius held the 
Son to be no real part of the Father, and 
held still less to a personal union of two na- 
tures in Christ ; he cannot truly be called a 
Patripassian. According to Sabellius 1 opin- 
ion, Christ was a mere man, in whom re- 
sided a divine power, that produced those 
effects which we regard as the acts of the 
divine nature united to the human. Among 
the opposers of Sabellius, Dionysius of Al- 
exandria attracted the most notice. Yet the 
opposition made by this bishop, was not sat- 
isfactory to all. Offensive passages were 
found in his epistles against the Sabellians. 
As he there brought forward the doctrine of 
Christ's incarnation, and from that deduced 
his proof of the real distinction between the 
Father and the Son ; he was understood as 
holding, that the Son, in so far as he was a 
divine being, was a created one, or as deny- 
ing, that the Father and the Son were of the 
same essence. Dionysius defended him- 
self, and showed that he had been misunder- 
stood. Notwithstanding this, the Anans, 
after his death, claimed him as on their side ; 
which obliged Athanasius to vindicate the 
reputation of Dionysius against them. Still 
there continued to be some, to whom this 
defence appeared insufficient ; Basil the 
Great is an example. There can be no 
doubt that Dionysius thought with Athana- 
sius, in regard to the Trinity, but he used 
the language of Arius. In regard to the 
person of Christ, he expressed himself in 
the manner of Nettorius ; for he carried the 
distinction between the divine and the hu- 
man natures of Christ, so far, as wholly to 
exclude the former from a participation in 
those changes in the latter which were the 
result of the personal union of the two na- 
Dr. Walch, Historic der Ket- 
zcrcyi-n, vol. li ., p. 50-63. Schl.] 



man. Beryllus was so lucidly and energetically confuted by Origen, in a 
council assembled at Bostra, [A.D. 244], that he gave up the cause, and 
returned into the bosom of the church.(13) 

& 15. Very different from him both in morals and in sentiment was 
Paul of Samosata, a bishop of Antioch [in Syria], and at the same time 
clothed with the civil office of a ducenarius.(\) He was an ostentatious 
man, opulent and arrogant ;(15) and he greatly disquieted the eastern 
church, soon after the middle of this century, by his novel explanations of 
the doctrine concerning the divine nature and concerning Christ. The 
sect which embraced his opinions, were called Paulians or Paulianists. 
So far as can be judged from the accounts that have reached us, he sup. 
posed the Son and the Holy Spirit to exist in God, just as reason and ac- 
tive power do in a man ; that Christ was born a mere man, but that the 
wisdom or reason (A,<5yoc) of the Father descended into him, and enabled 
him to teach and to work miracles ; that on account of this union of the 
divine Word (Adyoo) with the man Christ, we might say Christ was God, 
though not in the proper sense of the word. He so concealed his real sen- 
timents under ambiguous forms of speech, that repeated ecclesiastical coun- 
cils were wholly unable to convict him ; but at last, in the council assem- 

(13) Eusebius, Hist. Eccles., lib. vi., c. 
20 and 33. Jerome, de Viris Illustr., c. 
60. Socrates, Hist. Eccles., lib. iii., c. 
7. Among the moderns, see Jo. le Clerc, 
Ars Critica, vol. i., pt. ii., sec. i., c. 14. 
Chaufepied, Nouveau Dictionnaire histoire 
crit., tome i., p. 268, &c. [See Mosheim, 
Comment, de Rebus Christianor., &c., p. 
699, &c., and Dr. Walch, Historic der Ket- 
zereyen, vol. ii., p. 126-136. Dr. Walch 
indeed does not place Beryllus among the 
heretics, because he is not chargeable with 
obstinacy in his errors, nor with establishing 
a sect or party ; both of which are necessary 
to constitute a heretic. Concerning his sen- 
timents, little is known, except that he main- 
tained that Christ, before his incarnation, 
did not exist as a divine person ; but that 
after his incarnation, he was a man in whom 
God, namely the Father, dwelt. Dr. Mo- 
sheim's assertion, that Beryllus represented 
Christ as possessing a soul derived from the 
divine essence, is a mere conjecture that can 
not be supported by proof. Schl. Dr. Ne- 
ander, Kirchengesch., vol. i., pt. iii., p. 1014, 
&.C., places Beryllus among that class of 
Patripassians, who considered the person- 
ality of the Son of God as originating from 
a radiation or emanation, from the essence 
of God, into a human body. He therefore 
places Beryllus and Sabellius in the same 
class. Tr.] 

(14) [The duccnarii were a species of 
procurators for the etnperor in the provinces, 
whose salary was two hundred sestertia, 
[dur.ena sestertia, equal to $7193,60], from 
which sum, these officers derived their title. 
See Dion Cassius, lib. 53. Suetonius, 

Claudian, c. 24, and Salmasius, Notes on 
Capitolinus, Pertinax, p. 125. From Sel- 
ler's Antiquities of Palmyra, Lond., 1696, 
8vo, p. 166, &c., it appears, that this office 
was much used in the province of Syria : 
and Dr. Mosheim conjectures, (Comment, de 
Rebus, &c., p. 705), that Paul obtained it 
by means of Zenobia, who had a high es- 
teem of him. Schl.} 

(15) Eusebius, Hist. Eccles., 1. vii., c. 30. 
[Eusebius here gives copious extracts from 
the circular letter of the council, which con- 
demned Paul and ordained Domnus, his 
successor. The council characterize Paul, 
as having risen from poverty to opulence by 
extortion and bribery ; as proud, and inso- 
lent, and ostentatious ; as choosing to be 
addressed by his civil title, and appearing in 
public attended by guards and all the splen- 
dour of worldly rank ; as affecting splendour 
and power, and abusing authority as an offi- 
cer in the church ; as intolerably vain, and 
coveting the adulations of the multitude ; as 
decrying the fathers of the church, exalting 
himself, and abolishing the hymns in com- 
mon use, and appointing women to sing 
psalms in praise of himself; as sending out 
bishops and presbyters to sound his praise, 
and to extol him as an angel from heaven ; 
as keeping several young and handsome 
women near his person, whom he enriched 
with presents, and as living in luxury with 
them. How much of colouring there may 
be in this picture, we have not the means of 
determining. But there can be little doubt, 
that the character of Paul was such as did 
not become a bishop. Tr.] 



bled A.D. 269, Makhion, a rhetorician, drew him from his concealment; 
and he was convicted and divested of his episcopal office. (16) 

16. In a very different way some little philosophers in Arabia, the 
disciples of a man unknown, marred a part of the Christian system. They 
denied the soul to be immortal ; maintaining that it died with the body, and 
that it would be resuscitated with it by the power of God.(17) The be- 
lievers in this doctrine were called Arabians, from the country in which 
they lived. Origen being sent from Egypt, disputed against them with 
such success in a full council, that they renounced their error. 

17. Among the sects which arose in this century, that of the Nova, 
tians is placed last. They did not indeed corrupt the doctrines of Christi- 
anity ; but by the severity of the discipline to which they adhered, they pro- 
duced a lamentable schism. Novatian,(l8) a presbyter in the church of 
Rome, a man of learning and eloquence, but of a stern and austere char- 
acter, maintained, that such as had fallen into the more heinous sins, and 
especially such as had denied Christ during the Decian persecution, ought 
never to be admitted again to the church. Most of the other presbyters, 
as well as Cornelius, whose influence was very great, were of a different 
opinion. Hence, in the year 250, when a new bishop was to be chosen 

(16) See Epistolam Concilii Antiocheni 
ad Paulum, in the Bibliotheca Patrum, torn, 
xi., p. 302, ed. Paris, 1644, fol., and Dio- 
nysii Alexandrini Ep. ad Paulum, ibid., p. 
273, and Decem Pauli Samosateni Quaes- 
tiones, ibid., p. 278. [See also Dr. Mo- 
sheim, Comment, de Rebus Christianor., 
etc., p. 701-718, and Dr. Watch, Historic 
der Ketzereyen, vol. ii., p. 64-125. From 
the hst writer, we extract the following, to 
give a more full and correct view of the 
Samosatenian doctrines. 1. Paul of Sa- 
mosata taught, that there is but one God, 
who in the Scriptures is denominated the 
Father. 2. He did not deny, that the 
Scriptures speak of the Father, Son, and 
Holy Ghost. 3. What he understood by 
the Holy Ghost, we do not know ; and 
Dr. Mosheim has attempted to supply this 
defect, by a mere conjecture. 4. Concern- 
ing the Word and the Wisdom of God, he 
has spoken largely : but whether he distin- 
guished between the Word in God, (Aoyof 
evdiu&erof), and the Word produced from 
God, (Aoyof wpo0op6f), is doubtful. 5. 
This Word or Wisdom in God, is not a sub- 
stance or a person. 6. But it is in the di- 
vine mind, as reason is in men. 7. Christ 
was a mere man. 8. He first began to ex- 
ist, when he was born of Mary. 9. Yet in 
this man, dwelt the divine Word or Wit- 
dom ; and it was operative in him. 10. The 
union commenced, when Christ was con- 
ceived in the womb of Mary. 11. By 
means of this Wisdom of God in him, Christ 
gradually acquired his knowledge and his 
practical virtues. By it, he became at once 
God and the Son of God ; yet both, in an 

VOL. I. C c 

improper sense of the terms. 12. This di- 
vine wisdom withdrew from him when he 
suffered. From this account it appears, 
that Photian, in the next age, came very 
near to Paul of Samosata, not indeed in his 
statements and expressions, but rather in 
his grand error, namely, that Christ was a 
mere man, and superior to other men only 
on account of his pre-eminent gifts. Schl. 
See also A. Neandcr, Kirchengesch., bd. i., 
abth. iii., p. 1007-1014 Tr.] 

(17) Eiisebius, Hist. Eccles., 1. vi., c. 37. 
[See Mosheim, Comment, de Rebus Chris- 
tianor., &c., p. 718, and Dr. Walch, Histo- 
ric der Ketzereyen, vol. ii., p. 167-171. 
As Euscbius, who is the only witness we 
have in regard to this sect, gives a very brief 
account of them, the learned in modern 
times have entertained two opinions con- 
cerning their system. Some suppose they 
held that the soul, though immaterial, sleep* 
while the body is m the grave : which how- 
ever, the words of Eusebius seem to contra- 
dict, for they describe the soul as dying, and 
being dissolved with the body, avvairo'&v^a- 
neiv rotf ouuaai KOI ovvdia(f>-&cipEodai. 
Others suppose more correctly, that they 
were Christian materialists, who regarded 
the soul as being a part of the body. And 
Dr. Mosheim conjectures, that their error 
originated from their combining the Epi- 
curean philosophy with Christianity. 

(18) [The Greeks always write his name 
Novatus or Navatus ; but the Latins gener- 
ally write it Novafianus, perhaps to distin- 
guish him from Novatus of Carthage, the 
names being really the same. Tr.] 



at Rome in place of Fabian, Novatian strenuously opposed the election of 
Cornelius. Yet Cornelius was chosen, and Novatian withdrew from com- 
muuion with him. On the other hand, Cornelius, in a council held at Rome 
A.D. 251, excommunicated Novatian and his adherents. Novatian there- 
fore founded a new sect, in which he was the first bishop. This sect had 
many adherents who were pleased with the severity of its discipline ; and it 
continued to flourish in many parts of Christendom, until thejifth century. 
The principal coadjutor of Novatian in this schism, was Novatus, a pres- 
byter of Carthage, who fled to Rome during the hsat of this controversy, 
in order to escape the wrath and the condemnation of Cyprian his bishop, 
with whom he was in a violent quarrel. (19) 

(19) [Dr. Walch, Historie der Ketzerey- 
en, vol. ii., p. 220, &c., after surveying the 
original accounts, gives the following con- 
nected view of these events. A great num- 
ber of those who in the Decian persecution 
had fallen from their steadfastness, having 
afterwards repented of their fall, arid sought 
to be admitted again to the communion 
of the church, gave rise to the question of 
conscience, how they ought to be treated. 
The episcopal chair at Rome was at that 
time vacant, in consequence of the death of 
Fabian ; and the clergy were divided in re- 
gard to this question, some advocating mild, 
and others more rigorous measures. Among 
the latter was Novatian, among the former 
Cornelius, both of them elders in the church 
of Rome. On the side of Novatian were 
several confessors ; that is, persons who had 
endured various corporeal punishments du- 
ring the persecution, without denying the 
faith ; and these were haughty and overbear- 
ing towards their fallen brethren. While 
this subject was in agitation at Rome, news 
came from Carthage, that the lapsed there 
would be received again, but only after en- 
during a long penance ; though, if in immi- 
nent danger of death, and they desired it, 
they might be restored without delay And 
these principles were approved at Rome, in 
an epistle composed by Novatian, (inter 
Epistolas Cypr., ep. 31). Now came on the 
election of a bishop of Rome ; and here the 
two parties were divided. Novatian sol- 
emnly declared, that he did not desire the 
office ; and Cornelius was chosen by a ma- 
jority of the votes. But as Cornelius was 
one of the milder party, not only Novatian but 
also the confessors and several of the elders, 
were dissatisfied with his election ; and, it 
would seem, separated themselves from him. 
About this time Novatus arrived from Car- 
thage. He had fallen out with Cyprian, his 
bishop ; and perhaps knew, that Cyprian 
was a friend of Cornelius ; but the former 
did not commit himself. Cornelius ac- 
quainted Cyprian with his election. Infor- 
mation had already reached Carthage, that 

Cornelius was not approved by all at Rome ; 
and Cyprian did not venture at once to de- 
clare in his favour, but sent two African bish- 
ops, Caldonius and Fortunatus, to Rome, 
with a letter addressed not to Cornelius as 
bishop, but to the clergy there, and to the 
neighbouring bishops who were present at 
the election. The Cornelian party again 
stated, that his election was regular; and 
the African envoys, with two envoys from 
Rome who accompanied them home, affirmed 
the same thing. Hereupon Cornelius was 
recognised at Carthage, as being the bishop 
of Rome. But at Rome the business was 
not so easily settled. The dissatisfied party 
urged on a new election ; and Novatus and 
Evaristus were the most suitable persons to 
persuade Novatian to consent to receive or- 
dination. As at least three bishops must 
impose hands on a bishop- elect, three such 
clergymen were drawn from some small 
towns in Italy, and by deception induced to 
perform this act. The ordination was also 
performed at an unusual hour. Novatian 
appears to have reluctantly consented to it ; 
but he afterwards endeavoured to support 
himself in office. He sent letters every- 
where, and twice despatched envoys to Af- 
rica. These could get no hearing from Cyp- 
rian and his adherents ; yet their mission 
was not without effect. In other countries 
likewise, he found persons, who considered 
his dissatisfaction with Cornelius and with 
his conduct towards the lapsed, as being 
well founded. In the mean time Cornelius 
held a council at Rome, which approved of 
the milder principles of discipline. Novatian 
was present, and resisted those principles 
before the council ; but he was excommuni- 
cated by it, together with his adherents. 
This caused his party to diminish, many of 
his friends choosing rather to be on the 
strongest side : and hence he may have been 
induced, when administering the sacrament 
of the supper to his follower.", to make them 
promise not to forsake him. Schl. As the 
dissensions at Carthage about the same time, 
had some connexion with those at Rome, 



18. Respecting the fundamental articles of the Christian faith, there 
was no disagreement between the Novatians and other Christians. Their 
peculiarity was, that they would not receive into the church persons, who 
after being baptized fell into the greater sins. They did not however exclude 
them from all hopes of eternal salvation. They considered the Christian 
church, therefore, as a society of innocent persons, who from their entrance 
into it had defiled themselves with no sin of any considerable magnitude ; 
and hence it followed, that all associations of Christians, which opened the 
door for the return of gross offenders, were in their view unworthy of the 
name of true churches of Christ. And hence they assumed the appellation 
of Catliari, that is, the pure ; and what was still more, they rebaptized such 
as came over to them from the Catholics. For such influence had the error 
they embraced upon their own minds, that they believed the baptism of 
those churches which readmitted the lapsed, could not impart to the sub- 
jects of it remission of sins. (20) 

and also tend to show the state of the church 
in the middle of this century ; the following 
account of them is extracted from Mosheim's 
Comment, de Rebus, &c., xiii , p. 497, 
&c., and xiv., p. 50:), &c. Novatus, a 
presbyter at Carthage, even before the De- 
cian persecution, had disagreed with Cyp- 
rian his bishop, and formed a party who were 
dissatisfied with him, and who would not 
yield to all his wishes. According to the 
representations of his adversaries, Novatus 
was not only arrogant, factious, vain, and 
rash, but chargeable with many offences and 
crimes. Cyprian therefore resolved to bring 
him to a trial, and to excommunicate him. 
The day for trial was appointed ; but the 
imperial edict [for the persecution] unexpect- 
edly intervened ; and as Cyprian was obli- 
ged to retire into concealment, Novatus con- 
tinued safe in his office. This was the first 
act in the long tragedy. While Cyprian 
was in retirement, and the African magis- 
trates fiercely persecuting the Christians, 
these contests were suspended. . But when 
the violence of the storm from without was 
past, and Cyprian was preparing to return 
to his church, Novatus fearing, r.o doubt, 
that the bishop would renew the prosecution 
against him, which was commenced before 
his retirement, deemed it necessary to raise 
a party against the bishop, which should pre- 
vent his reluming to his church, and thus de- 
prive him of the power of doing him harm. 
fey means of Fdicissimus, therefore, whom 
he had made his deacon, contrary to the will 
of the bishop, Nmatus alienated a part of 
the church from Cyprian. Fdicissimus, 
aided by one Augcndus, prevented the exe- 

cution of the plans of the bishop in regard to 
the poor. Many of the people came over to 
his party ; and also five presbyters, who had 
long been at variance with Cyprian. This 
turbulent party were able to retard a little, 
but not to prevent the return of Cyprian. 
After some delay, which prudence dictated, 
the bishop returned to Carthage ; and having 
assembled a council on the subject especially 
of the lapsed, he punished the temerity of 
his adversaries, and excommunicated Feli- 
cissimus, the author of the revolt, together 
with the five presbyters his associates. No- 
Tatus was not of the number, as he was ab- 
sent, having fled to Rome as soon as he 
found Cyprian would come to Carthage. 
The excommunicated persons, despising the 
censure passed on them, instituted a new 
church at Carthage, in opposition to that of 
Cyprian, and established as the bishop of it, 
Fortunatus, one of the presbyters whom 
Cyprian had condemned. But the party 
had more resolution than ability, and the 
schism was probably extinguished not long 
after its birth ; for no mention is made of its 
progress by any of the fathers. TV.] 

(20) Eusebius, Hist. Eccles., 1. vi., c. 43. 
Cyprian, in various of his Epistles, as Ep. 
49, 52, &c. Gabr. Albaspinaeus, Observat. 
Eccles., lib. ii., c. 20, 21. Jo*. Aug. Orsi, 
de criminum capital, inter veteres Christ. 
Absolutione, p. 254, &c. Steph. Kenckel, 
de haeresi Novatiana, Argentor., 1651, 4to ; 
[also, Moshcim, Comment, de Rebus Chris- 
tianor., &c , p. 512-537, and Dr. Walck, 
Historic der Ketzereyen, vol. ii , p. 185 
288. Schl. And A. Neatidrr, Kirchen- 
gesch., bd. i., abth. i., s. 387-407. TV.] 











$ 1. Peaceful State of Christians at the beginning of the Century. 2. Persecution of 
Diocletian. $ 3. The Causes and the Severity of it. () 4. The Christian Cause re- 
duced to great Extremities. 5. Tranquillity restored on the Accession of Constan- 
tino to Supreme Power. 6. Defeat of Maxentius 7, 8. Different Opinions con- 
cerning the Faith of Constantine. 9. The Cross seen by him in the Heavens. 
10. Persecution of Licinius. <J 11. State of the Church under the Sons of Con- 
stantine the Great. 12. Julian persecutes the Christians. 13. His Character. 
<) 14. The Jews attempt to rebuild their Temple in vain. $ 15. State of the Church after 
the Death of Julian. 16. Remains of the Pagans. $ 17. Efforts of the Philosophers 
against Christianity. 18. Injuries it received from them. 19. Propagation of 
Christianity among the Armenians. 20. The Abyssinians and Georgians. 21. The 
Goths. $ 22. The Gauls. 23. The Causes of so many Revolutions. 24. Slight 
Persecutions in Persia. 

1. THAT I might not separate too much those facts which are inti- 
mately connected with each other, I have determined here to exhibit the 
prosperous and the adverse events, not as heretofore in distinct chapters, 
but combined in one series, following as much as possible the order of 
time. In the beginning of this century, the Roman empire had four sover- 
eigns ; of whom two were superior to the others, and bore the title of 
Augustus, namely, [ Valerius] Diocletian, and [Marcus Aurelius Valerius] 
Maximianus Herculius : the two inferior sovereigns, who bore the title of 
Caesars, were Constantius Chlorus, and Galerius Maximianus [Armentarius]. 
Under these four [associated] emperors, the state of the church was peace- 
ful and happy.(l) Diocletian, though superstitious, indulged no hatred to- 
wards the Christians. (2) Constantius Chlorus, following only the dictates 
of reason in matters of religion, was averse from the popular idolatry, 
and friendly to the Christians. (3) The pagan priests therefore, from well- 

(1) Eusebius, Hist. Eccles., lib. viii., c. 1. sembled without fear : and they had nothing 

[Eusebius here describes th? prosperous to wish for, unless it were that one or more 

state of the Christians, and their consequent of the emperors might embrace their reli- 

security and vices. The imperial palaces gion. Schl.~\ 

were full of Christians, and no one hindered (2) [He had Christians in his court, who 

them from openly professing Christianity, understood how to lead him, and who would 

From among them, men were chosen to the probably have brought him to renounce idola- 

offices of imperial counsellors, provincial try, had not the suggestions of their enemies 

governors, magistrates and generals. The prevailed with him. His wife Prisca was, 

bishops and other clergy were held in honour, in reality, a concealed Christian ; and also 

even by those who adhered to the old religion his daughter Valeria, the wife of Galcnus 

of the state. And the number of Christians Murimianus. See Lactantius^ de Mortibus 

was seen to be increasing daily. Hence in Persequutorum, c. 15. Schl.~\ 
all the cities, spacious buildings were erected (3) [Some go still farther, and make him 

for public worship, in which the people as- to have been actually a Christian. But from 



grounded fears lest Christianity to their great and lasting injury should 
spread far and wide its triumphs, endeavoured to excite Diocletian, whom 
they knew to be both timid and credulous, by means of feigned oracles 
and other impositions to engage in persecuting the Christians. (4) 

2. These artifices not succeeding very well, they made use of the 
other emperor, Galerius Maximianus, who was son-in-law to Diocle- 
tian, in order to effect their purpose. This emperor, who was of a fe- 
rocious character and ill-informed in everything except the military art, 
continued to work upon his father-in-law, being urged on partly by his 
own inclination, partly by the instigation of his mother, a most super- 
stitious woman, and partly by that of the pagan priests, till at last, when 
Diocletian was at Nicomedia in the year 303, he obtained from him an 
edict, by which the temples of the Christians were to be demolished, 
their sacred books committed to the flames, and themselves deprived 
of all their civil rights and honours. (5) This first edict spared the 
lives of the Christians ; for Diocletian was averse from slaughter and 
bloodshed. Yet it caused many Christians to be put to death, particu- 
larly those who refused to deliver, up their sacred books to the magis- 

the representations of Eusebius, Hist. Ec- 
cles., lib. viii., c. 13, no more can be inferred 
than that he was disposed to look favourably 
upon the Christian religion. Sold.] 

(4) Eusebius, de Vita Constantini, lib. ii., 
c. 50. Lactantius, Institut. Divinar., lib. 

iv., c. 27, and de Mortibus Persequulor., c. 
10. [According to Eusebius, \. c., it was 
reported to the emperor, that the oracle of 
Apollo had declared, that he was prevented 
from giving true responses by the righteous 
men on the earth ; and this the pagan priests 
interpreted when questioned by the emperor, 

the Platonic philosophers had some influence 
in exciting the emperor's hostility ; for they 
represented the many sects among the 
Christians in a most odious light, and taxed 
them with having apostatized from the reli- 
gion of the early Christians. Eusebius, 
Hist. Eccles., viii., c. 17. But political 
considerations may likewise have influenced 
him. Galerius contemplated getting rid of 
his colleagues, and making himself sole em- 
peror. The Christians, who were attached to 
Constantius Chlorus and his son, seemed to 
him to stand in the way of his designs ; and 

with reference to the Christians. According he wished to weaken their power, or rather 

to Lactantius, ubi supra, while Diocletian 
was at Antioch, in the year 302, the priests 
who inspected the entrails of the consecrated 
victims, declared that they were interrupted 
in their prognostications by the sign of the 
cross made by several of the emperor's ser- 
vants. SchL] 

(5) Lactantius, de Mortib. Persequutor., 
c. 1 1 . Eusebius, Hist Eccles., 1. viii., c. 2. 
[This persecution should, properly, be named 

to annihilate it as far as practicable. But 
Diocletian was not disposed to further his 
cruel project. He was willing to exclude 
Christians from the palace and the army, 
and to compel all who served him at court 
or in the armies, to offer sacrifices to the 
gods ; but not to suspend over them penal 
laws and executions. Galerius would have 
them all brought to the stake. A council 
was called, composed of learned civilians 

that of Galerius Maximianus, and not that of and officers in the army, which declared 

Diocletian. For Diocletian had much the against the Christians. To this decision, 

least hand in it, and he resigned his authority Hierocles, the governor of Bithynia, the man 

before the persecution had continued quite who afterwards wrote against the Christians, 
moreover Maximianus, in his 

two years ; 
edict for putting an end to the persecution, 
a little before his death, acknowledges that 
he himself was the author of it. See Euse- 
bius, Hist. Eccles., viii., 17, and Lactantius, 
de Mortib. Persequutor., c. 34. Romufia, 
the mother of Galerius, who was a very su- 
perstitious and haughty woman, and who 
was offended that the Christians would not 
allow her to be present when they celebrated 
the Lord's supper, contributed to inflame the 

contributed not a little. But Diocletian 
would not yet give up entirely. He would 
consult the oracle of Apollo at Miletus ; 
which likewise directed to the extirpation of 
the Christians. But even Apollo could not 
move the superstitious emperor to the ex- 
treme of cruelty. He decreed indeed a per- 
secution ; but it was to cost no blood. It 
commenced with the demolition of the 
Christian temple at Nicomedia, and the burn- 
ing of the books found in it. See Mo.ihcim, 

rage of her son against them. Perhaps ^also Com. de Reb., &c., p. 916-922. SchL] 



trates.(6) Seeing this operation of the law, many Christians, and several 
even of the bishops and clergy, in order to save their lives, voluntarily 
surrendered the sacred books in their possession. But they were re- 
garded by their more resolute brethren as guilty of sacrilege, and were 
branded with the name of Traditors.(l) 

3. Not long after the publication of this first edict, there were two 
conflagrations in the palace of Nicomedia ; and the enemies of the Chris- 
tians persuaded Diocletian to believe, that Christian hands had kindled 
them. He therefore ordered many Christians of Nicomedia to be put to 
the torture, and to undergo the penalties due to incendiaries.(8) Nearly 
at, the same time, there were insurrections in Armenia and in Syria ; and 
as their enemies charged the blame of these also upon the Christians, the 
emperor by a new edict ordered all bishops and ministers of Christ to be 
thrown into prison ; and by a third edict, soon after, he ordered that all 
these prisoners should be compelled by tortures and punishments to offer 
sacrifice to the gods :(9) for he hoped, if the bishops and teachers were 
once brought to submission, the Christian churches would follow their ex- 
ample. A great multitude therefore, of excellent men, in every part of 
the Roman empire, Gaul only excepted, which was subject to Constantius 
Chlorus,(W) were either punished capitally, or condemned to the mines. 

4. In the second year of the persecution, A.D. 304, Diocletian pub- 
lished a. fourth edict, at the instigation of his son-in-law and the other ene- 
mies of the Christians. By this edict the magistrates were directed, to 
compel all Christians to offer sacrifices to the gods, and to use tortures 
for that purpose. (11) And as the governors yielded strict obedience to 

(6) Augustine, Breviculum collat. cum 
Donatistis, c. 15, 17, in his Opp., torn, ix., 
p. 387, 390, and Baluse, Miscellan., torn. 
ii., p. 77, 92. 

(7) Optatus Milevit. de Schismate Dona- 
tist., 1. i., 13, p. 13, ed. Du Pin. 

(8) Eusebius, Hist. Eccles., 1. viii., c. 6. 
Lactantius, de Mortib. Persequutor., c. 14. 
Constantine the Gr. Oratio ad Sanctorum 
coetum, c. 25. [After the second confla- 
gration, Gcderius left Nicomedia, pretending 
to be afraid of being burned up by the Chris- 
tians. Diocletian also compelled his wife 
and daughter to sacrifice to the gods, in proof 
that they were not Christians ; and caused 
many Christians of his household and court 
to be cut off, and Lonthimus the bishop of 
Nicomedia, with many of the clergy and 
common Christians, to undergo cruel deaths, 
because they refused to offer sacrifices to 
the gods. Schl.] 

(9) Ensebius, Hist. Eccles., 1. viii., c. 6, 
and de Marty nbus Palaestinae, [Introduc- 
tion.] [Some degree of probability could 
be attached to the charge against the Chris- 
tians of causing the insurrections, from the 
fact that their inconsiderate zeal sometimes 
led them to deeds which had an aspect of 
rebellion. At the commencement of this 
persecution, for example, a very respectable 
Christian tore down the imperial edict against 

VOL. I. D D 

the Christians, which was set up in a public 
place. See Eusebius, Hist. Eccles., 1. viii., 
c. 5 Schl.] 

(10) Lactantius, de Mortib. Persequuto- 
rum, c. 15. Eusebius, Hist. Eccles., 1. viii., 
c. 13, IS. [Constantius Chlorus presided 
over Spain and Britain, as well as Gaul. In 
Spain there were some martyrs, because 
Constantius not being present there in per- 
son, he could not prevent the rigorous exe- 
cution of the decree of the senior emperor. 
But in Gaul, where he was personally pres- 
ent, he favoured the Christians as much as 
sound policy would permit. He suffered 
some of the churches to be demolished, and 
most of them to be shut up. And when the 
last edict of Gcderius against the Christians 
was promulgated, he enjoined upon all his 
Christian servants, to relinquish either their 
mode of worship or their offices ; and when 
they had made their election, he deprived all 
those of their offices who resolved to adhere 
to Christian worship, and retained the others 
in his service. Schl.] 

(11) Eusebius, de Martyr. Palaestinae, c. 
3. [Diocletian was not yet willing the 
Christians should be put to death outright ; 
his orders to the governors were couched in 
general terms, that they should compel the 
Christians, by all kinds of corporeal suffer- 
ings, to give honour to the heathen gods. 



these orders, the Christian church was reduced to the last extremity. (12) 
Galerius Maximianus therefore no longer hesitated to disclose the secret 
designs he had long entertained. [A.D. 305.] He required his father. 
in-la\v, [Diocletian], together with his colleague, [Valerius] Maximianus 
Herculius, to divest themselves of their power, and constituted himself 
emperor of the East ; leaving the West to Constantius Chlorus, whose 
health he knew to be very infirm. He also associated with him in the 
government, two assistants, of his own choosing; namely, [C. Galerius] 
Maximinus, his sister's son, and [Flavins'] Severus ; excluding altogether 
Constantine, afterwards styled the Great, the son of Constantius Chlorus. (13) 
This revolution in the Roman government restored peace to Christians in 
the western provinces, which were under Constantius :(14) but in the east- 
ern provinces, the persecution raged with greater severity than before. (15) 

See Eusebius, de Vita Constantini, 1. ii., c. consisted of weak, poor, and timorous per- 
51 ; compare Lactantius, Instit. Divinar., 1. 
v., c. 11. Eusebius, Hist. Eccles., 1. ix., c. 
9, and 1. viii , c. 12. Hence, according with 
the disposition of the several governors, was 
their execution of the imperial edict. Some 
only sent the Christians into banishment, 
when the attempt to make them offer sacri- 
fices failed. Others deprived them of an 
eye, or lamed one of their feet by burning 
it : and others exposed them to wild beasts ; 
or lacerated their bodies with iron hooks or 
with the scourge ; and afterwards sprinkled 
vinegar and salt on the wounds, or dropped 
melted lead into them. In Phrygia, a whole 
city with all its inhabitants was burned to 
ashes, because not an individual in it would 
offer sacrifice. Lactantius, Instit. Divinar., 
lib. v., c. 11. Some Christians also brought 
death upon themselves, by holding religious 
meetings contrary to the emperor's prohibi- 
tion, or by voluntarily presenting themselves 
before the governors and requesting to be 
martyred. Sulpitius Severus, Hist. Sacra, 
lib. ii., c. 32, and Eusebius, de Martyr. Pal- 
aestinae, c. 3. Schl.] 

(12) Lactantius, Instit. Divinar., lib. v., c. 
11. [With the exception of Gaul, streams 
of Christian blood flowed in all the provinces 
of the Roman empire. Everywhere the 
Christian temples lay in ruins, and all as- 
semblies for worship were suspended. The 
major part had forsaken the provinces, and 
taken refuge among the barbarians. Such 
as were unable or unwilling to do this, kept 
themselves concealed, and were afraid for 
their lives if they appeared in public. The 
ministers of Christ were either slain, or mu- 
tilated and sent to the mines, or banished 
the country. The avaricious magistrates 
and judges had seized upon nearly all their 
church property and their private possessions. 

Many, through dread of undergoing torture, 
had made away with their own lives, and 
many had apostatized from the faith ; and 
what remained of the Christian community, 

sons. Schl.] 

(13) Lactantius, de Mortib. Persequutor., 
c. 18, 20. [Galerius Maximianus was in 
more fear of the young prince Constantine, 
than of his father Constantius ; the latter 
being a mild and sickly sovereign, while 
Constantine was of an ardent temperament, 
and at the same time greatly beloved by the 
people and the soldiers. Yet Galerius had 
this prince in his power ; for he detained 
him at his court in Nicomedia, and if he 
found occasion, might have put him out of 
his way by assassination or some other 
means. Indeed Galerius attempted this, es- 
pecially in the year 306. Lactantius, de 
Mortib. Persequutor., c. 24. But Constan- 
tine saved himself by flight, and repaired to 
his father in Britain. This sagacity of the 
prince overset the whole plan of the empe- 
ror, and was the means of rescuing the 
Christian religion from its jeopardy. See 
Mosheim, Comment, de Reb., &c., p. 942, 
&c. Schl.} 

(14) Eusebius, de Martyr. Palaestinae, c. 
13. [Eusebius says expressly that Italy, 
Sicily, Gaul, Spain, Mauritania and Africa, 
enjoyed peace, after the two first years of 
the persecution. Nor was this strange ; for 
Constantivs Chlorus, who governed Britain, 
Spain, and Gaul, was a friend to the Chris- 
tians ; and Scrterus, who in the character of 
a Caesar, held the other western provinces, 
was obliged to show deference to Constan- 
tino as the emperor of the West. Neither 
was the debauched Severus, of himself, in- 
clined to cruelty. Yet the Christians en- 
joyed less freedom under him, than under 
Constantius. See Optatus Milevilanus, de 
Schismate Donatist., 1. i., c. 14, comp. c. 
16. Schl.] 

(15) Lactantius, de Mortib. Persequutor., 
c. 21. [Lactanlius here states, that Gait- 
nun Maximianus gave orders, that such 
Christians as could not by tortures be in- 
duced to sacrifice, should be roasted over a 



5. But divine providence frustrated the whole plan of Galerius Max. 
imianus. For Constantius Chlorus dying in Britain the year 306, the sol- 
diery by acclamation made his son Constantine, who afterwards by his 
achievements obtained the title of the Great, Augustus or emperor : and 
the tyrant Galerius was obliged to submit, and even to approve this ad- 
verse event. Soon after, a civil war broke out. For, Maxentius [the son 
of the ex-emperor, Valerius Maximianus Herculius, and] the son-in-law 
of Galerius Maximianus, being indignant that Galerius should prefer Sev- 
erus before him, and invest him with imperial power, himself assumed 
the purple ; and took his father, Valer. Maxim. Herculius for his colleague 
'in the empire. In the midst of these commotions, Constantine, beyond 
all expectation, made his way to the imperial throne. The western Chris- 
tians, those of Italy and Africa excepted, enjoyed a good degree of tran- 
quillity and liberty, during these civil wars. (16) But the Oriental church- 
es experienced various fortune, adverse, or tolerable, according to the po- 
litical changes from year to year. (17) At length Galerius Maximianus, 
who had been the author of their heaviest calamities, being brought low 
by a terrific and protracted disease, and finding himself ready to die, in 
the year 311 issued a decree which restored peace to them, after they 
had endured almost unbounded sufferings. (18) 

slow fire. Maximin, who governed Syria 
and Egypt, at first showed himself quite 
mild towards the Christians. Eusebius, 
Hist. Eccles., 1. ix., c. 9. But afterwards, 
he seemed to wish to surpass all other en- 
emies of the Christians, in cruelty towards 
them. See Mosheim, Comment, de Reb., 
&c., p. 945, &c. Schl.~\ 

(16) [Constantine, as soon as he came 
into power, gave the Christians full liberty 
to profess and to practise their religion. 
Lactantius, de Mortib. Persequutor., c. 24, 
and Institut. Divinar., 1. i., c. 1. This he 
did, not from a sense of justice or from mag- 
nanimity, and still less from any attachment 
to the Christian religion, but from principles 
of worldly prudence. He wished to attach 
the Christians to his party, that they might 
protect him against the power and the mach- 
inations of Galerius Maximian. His broth- 
er-in-law, Maxentius, imitated his example, 
and with similar views ; and therefore the 
Christians under him in Africa and Italy, en- 
joyed entire religious liberty. See Optatus 
Milevitanus, de Schismate Donatist., 1. i., 
c. 16, and Eusebius, Hist. Eccles., 1. viii., 
c. 14. See Mosheim, Comment, de Reb. 
Christianor., p. 952, &c. Schl.] 

(17) [In the eastern provinces, which were 
under the government of Galerius Maximi- 
anus and C. Galerius Maximinus, Chris- 
tians were the most cruelly persecuted ; as 
is manifest from various passages in Euse- 
bius. Yet C. G. Maximin did not at all 
times treat them with equal severity. Ac- 
cording to Eusfb., (de Martyr. Palaestinae, 
c. 9), in the year 308, the persecution seem- 

ed to be at an end in Syria and Palestine : 
but it soon after recommenced, with in- 
creased severity. The cause of these vicis- 
situdes is to be sought in the political state 
of things. In this year, C. G. Maximin 
assumed the title of Casar in Syria, against 
the will of Galerius Maximianus ; and the 
latter appeared about to declare war against 
the former ; who therefore was indulgent to- 
wards the Christians, in order to secure their 
friendship. But as Galerius Maximianus 
was appeased, C. G. Maximin became more 
severe against the Christians, in order to in- 
gratiate himself more effectually with the 
emperor. After a while, however, he abated 
his severity ; and towards the end of the 
year 309 and in the beginning of 310, the 
Christians enjoyed great freedom : (Euseb., 
de Martyr. Palaestinae, c. 13), for Galerius 
Maximianus was now in declining health, 
and in such circumstances, C. G. Maximin 
wished not to alienate the Christians from 
himself. Yet when the governor of the 
province informed him, in the year 310, that 
the Christians abused their freedom, Maxi- 
min renewed the persecution. But soon 
after Galenus Maximianus was seized with 
his last and fatal sickness, and C. G. Maxi- 
min being apprehensive that the imperial 
power could be secured only by a success- 
ful appeal to arms, policy required him again 
to desist from persecuting the Christians. 
Ettsebius, Hist. Eccles., 1. viii., c. 16. See 
Mosheim, Comment, de Reb. Christianor., 
p. 955, &c. Schl.] 

(18) Eusebius, Hist. Eccles., 1. viii., c. 
16. Lactantius, de Mortib. Persequutor., 



6. After the death of Galerius Maximianus, [A.D. 311], C. Gale- 
rius Maximinus and C. Vol. Licinius, [who was created Augustus by Ga- 
lerius Maximianus, after the death of Flavins Severus, A.D. 307], divided 
between themselves the provinces which had been governed by Galerius. 
At the same time Maxentius, who held Africa and Italy, determined to 
make war upon Constantine who governed in Spain and Gaul ; in order 
to bring all the West under his authority. Constantine, anticipating his 
designs, marched his army into Italy in the year 312, and in a battle fought 
at the Milvian bridge near Rome, routed the army of Maxentius. In the 
flight, the bridge broke down, and Maxentius fell into the Tiber, and was 
drowned. After this victory, Constantine with his colleague C. Vol. Li- 
cinius, immediately gave full liberty to the Christians of living according 
to their own institutions and laws ; and this liberty was more clearly de- 
fined the following year, A.D. 313, in a new edict drawn up at Milan. (19) 
C. Gal. Maximin indeed, who reigned in the East, was projecting new ca- 
lamities for the Christians,(20) and menacing the emperors of the West 
with war ; but being vanquished by Licinius, he put an end to his own life 
by swallowing poison, at Tarsus, in the year 313. 

c. 33. [The decree is given us, in Greek, in their city ; and then granted them their 

by Euseb., Hist. Eccles., 1. viii., c. 17, and petition. Other cities followed this exam- 

in Latin, by Lactantius, de Mortib. Perse- pie, and thus a new persecution was set on 

quutor., c. 34. Schl.] foot. Perhaps Lactantius and Eusebius 

(19) Eusebius, Hist. Eccles., 1. x., c. 5. 
Lactantius, de Mortib. Persequutor., c. 48. 
[It is the second edict, or that of Milan, 
which is found in the passages here referred 
to : Eusebius gives it in Greek, Lactantius 
in Latin. The first edict is wholly lost ; yet 
from the second, we may learn what was ob- 
scure or indefinite in the first. The first 
edict gave religious freedom, not only to the 
Christians, but to all other sects ; yet it for- 
bid any person's abandoning the religion in 
which he had been born and brought up. 

erred, in representing Maximin as the origi- 
nal cause of these applications to himself. 
Such petitions were in fact presented ; and 
as the emperor was about engaging in war 
with Constantine, he used every means to 
secure the fidelity of cities in the East to 
himself ; and as the persecution of the Chris- 
tians was one of the means to be used, 
therefore he gratified their wishes. Subse- 
quently, when the first edict of Constantine 
and Licinius was brought to him, in the 
year 312, he would not suffer it to be pub- 

This prohibition operated disadvantageous- lishcd in his provinces ; probably from pride, 

ly to the Christian cause ; and occasioned 
many, who had recently embraced Christiani- 
ty, to return to their former religion, in obedi- 
ence to the imperial edict. This prohibition 
therefore, with all other restraints, was re- 
moved in the second edict. See Mosheim, 
Comment, de Rebus Christianor., p. 959. 
Schl ] 

(20) [C. Gal. Maximin did not at first 
venture to contravene the edict of Gal. Max- 
imianus, (giving full toleration to the Chris- 
tians), yet he did not publish it in his prov- 
inces ; but afterwards, by underhanded eva- 
sions he violated it. For if we may believe 
Lactantius, (de Mortib. Persequutor , c. 36), 

he deeming it unsuitable, for him to be the 
publisher of edicts given out by persons 
whom he regarded as his inferiors in rank. 
Yet, according to Eusebius, (Hist. Eccles., 
1. ix., c. 9), he sent a letter to his governors 
of provinces, which was very favourable to 
the Christians, and in which he requested 
his subjects to treat them kindly and tender- 
ly. The Christians however, put no confi- 
dence in this letter, and were still afraid 
openly to profess their religion. But. after 
he had been vanquished by Licinius, in the 
year 313, he published a new edict in favour 
of the Chiistians ; (Euseb., Hist. Eccles., 
1. ix., c. 10), in which he laments that the 

he slyly so managed, that what some cities judges and magistrates had misinterpreted 

petitioned for, namely, that the Christians 
might be prevented from erecting temples 
within their walls, was effected. Eusebius 
relates, (Hist. Eccles., 1. ix., c. 2), that 
through the medium of one Theotecnus, he 
induced the Antiochians to petition to him, 

the former law ; and he now expressly gives 
the Christians liberty to rebuild their tem- 
ples, and commands that the property taken 
from them should be restored. Soon after 
this, he died ; and the ten years' persecution 
ended. See Mosheim, Comment, de Rebus 

that no Christian might be allowed to reside Christianor., p. 961, &c. Schl.] 



7. About this time Constantine the Great, who was previously a man 
of no religion, is said to have embraced Christianity, being induced there- 
to, principally, by the miracle of a cross appearing to him in the heavens. 
But this story is liable to much doubt. For his first edict in favour of the 
Christians, and many other things, sufficiently evince indeed that he was 
at that time well disposed towards the Christians and their worship, but 
by no means that he regarded Christianity as the only true and saving re- 
ligion ; on the contrary, it appears that he regarded other religions, and 
among them the old Roman religion, as likewise true and useful to man- 
kind ; and he therefore wished all religions to be freely practised through- 
out the Roman empire. (21) But as he advanced in life, Constantine made 
progress in religious knowledge, and gradually came to regard Christianity 
as the only true and saving religion, and to consider all others as false and 
impious. Having learned this, he now began to exhort his subjects to em. 
brace Christianity ; and at length he proclaimed war against the ancient 
superstitions. At what time this change in the views of the emperor took 
place, and he began to look upon all religions but the Christian as false, 
cannot be determined. This however is certain, that the change in his 
views was first made manifest by his laws and edicts, in the year 324, after 
the death of Licinius, when Constantine became sole emperor.(22) His 
purpose however, of abolishing the ancient religion of the Romans and of 
tolerating only the Christian religion, he did not disclose till a little be- 
fore his death, when he published his edicts for pulling down the pagan 
temples and abolishing the sacrifices. (23) 

21) [This is evident from Eusebius, de 
Vita Constantini, 1. i., c. 27. In the com- 
mencement of the war with Maxcntius, he 
was still at a loss to what God he should 
trust himself and his affairs. He at length 
determined to honour that one God only, 
whom his father had worshipped, and to show 
no reverence to the ancient Roman deities. 
The grounds on which he came to this deci- 
sion, were feeble ; namely, the good fortune 
of his father who adhered to this worship ; 
and the ill fortune and lamentable end of 
Diocletian, Galerins Maximian, and other 
emperors, who had worshipped the pagan 
deities. And according to Eusebius (de 
Vita Constantini, 1. i., c. 28), he knew so 
little of the God of his father, that he prayed 
he might be able to know him. He was a 
deist of the lowest class, who considered 
the God of his father as a limited being, 
though more benevolent and powerful than 
any of the Greek and Roman deities. This 
is manifest from his regulations in favour of 
the Christians, and from his laws tolerating 
the pagan haruspices. Codex Theodos., 1. 
is., tit. 16, leg. 1, 2, and 1. xvi., tit. 10, 
leg. i. Compare Zosimus, lib. ii., p. 10, 
ed. Oxford, 1679, 8vo. See Mosheim, 
Comment, de Rebus Christianor., p. 971, 
&c Schl.] 

(22) Eusebius, de Vita Constantini, 1. ii., 
c. 20 and 44. [In this year, 324, all those 

who for their adherence to Christianity du- 
ring the preceding persecution had become 
exiles, or been sent to the mines, or been 
robbed of their property, were restored to 
their country, their liberty, and their posses- 
sions ; and the Christian temples were or- 
dered to be rebuilt and enlarged. Schl.] 

(23) See Ja. Gothofrcd, ad Codicem The- 
odos., torn, vi., pt. i., p. 290, &c. [The 
statement of Zosimus (lib. ii., p. 104) is 
not to be wholly rejected. He says that af- 
ter the death of Licinius, a certain Egyp- 
tian came to Rome from Spain, and convin- 
ced the emperor of the truth of the Chris- 
tian religion. No reason can be assigned, 
why Zosimus should have fabricated such a 
story. This Egyptian was probably Hos-ius, 
the bishop of Corduba ; who was a native 
Egyptian, and was then at the court of Con- 
stantine very probably soliciting the res- 
toration of the church goods which had 
been confiscated. At least, it is expressly 
stated that the money destined for Africa, 
was paid in consequence of his efforts. 
This conjecture is favoured by Baumgarten, der Kirchengesch., vol. ii., p. 691. 
The later Greeks ascribe the emperor's con- 
version to a courtier named Euphrates ; 
of whom however, the ancients make no 
mention. Theodoret, (Hist. Eccles., 1. i., 
c. 17), ascribes it to the influence of Helena 
hit mother; but she was brought to em- 



& 8. That the emperor was sincere and not a dissembler in regard to 
his conversion to Christianity, no person can doubt, who believes that men's 
actions are an index of their real feelings. It is indeed true, that Constan- 
tine's life was not such as the precepts of Christianity required ;(24) and 
it is also true that he remained a catechumen all his life, and was received 
to full membership in the church by baptism at Nicomedia only a few days 
before his death. (25) But neither of these is adequate proof, that the em- 
peror had not a general conviction of the truth of the Christian religion, 
or that he only feigned himself a Christian. For in that age many persons 
deferred baptism till near the close of life, that they might pass into the 
other world altogether pure and undefiled with sin ;(26) and it is but too 
notorious, that many persons who look upon the Christian religion as in- 
dubitably true and of divine origin, yet do not conform their lives to all its 
holy precepts. It is another question, whether worldly motives might not 
have contributed in some degree, to induce Constantine to prefer the Chris- 
tian religion to the ancient Roman, and to all other religions, and to rec- 
ommend the observance of it to his subjects. Indeed it is no improbable 

brace Christianity by her son, according Christianae. torn, ii., p. 232, &c. [Valesi- 
to Eusebius, de Vita Constantini, 1. hi., c. us, in his notes on Eusebius, de Vita Con- 
47. Zosimus relates that Constantine stantini, 1. iv., c. 61, where Eusebius relates, 
asked the pagan priests to absolve him from that Constantine first received imposition of 
the euilt of destroying Licinius, Fausta, hands, previous to his baptism, a little before 

his death ; infers, that the emperor then first 
became a catechumen, because he then first 
received imposition of hands. But the bish- 
ops laid hands on the catechumens, at vari- 
ous times, and for various purposes : and the 
connexion here shows, that Eusebius refers 
to that imposition of hands, which immedi- 
ately preceded, and was connected with bap- 
tism. See Tertullian, de Baptismo, c. 20. 
It will not follow, therefore, that Constan- 
tine had never before received imposition of 
hands, for other purposes. But suppose he 
had not, still we do not know that the only 
mode of constituting a catechumen, in that 
age, was by imposition of hands : and if it 

and Crispus ; and when they told him this 
was impossible, the Egyptian before men- 
tioned, undertook to show that the Chris- 
tian religion offered the means of cleansing 
away his guilt ; and this it was, induced the 
emperor to embrace Christianity. There 
is perhaps some degree of truth in this 
story ; perhaps Constantine did, in fact, 
after the death of Licinius first learn, either 
from this Egyptian or from some others, 
that the blood of Christ was expiatory for 
believers therein. It is at least certain, that 
in the first years after his victory over Max- 
entius, he had very incorrect ideas of Christ 
and of the Christian religion ; as is manifest 
from his Rescript to Anulmus, in Eusebius, 
Hist. Eccles., 1. x., c. 7. See Mosheim, 
Comment, de Rebus Christianor., p. 976, 
&c. Schl.] 

(24) [He put to death his own son Cm- 
pus, and his wife Fausta, on a groundless 
suspicion ; and cut off his brother-in-law 
Licinius, and his unoffending son, contrary 
to his plighted word ; and was much addict- 
ed to pride and voluptuousness. Schl.] 

(25) Eusebius, de Vita Constantini, lib. 
iv., c. 61, 62. -Those who, in reliance on 
more recent and dubious authorities, main- 
tain that Constantine received Christian bap- 
tism at Rome, in the year 324, and from the 
hands of Sylvester, then the bishop of Rome, 
do not at this day gain the assent of intelli- 
gent men, even in the Roman Catholic 
church. See Henry Noris, Historia Dona- 
tist., in his Opp., torn, iv., p. 650. Tho. 
Maria Mamachius, Origines et Antiqq. 

was, so great an emperor might be excused 
from the ceremony, which could plead no 
divine authority. That Constantine long 
before this time, declared himself a Chris- 
tian, and was acknowledged as such by the 
churches, is certain. It is also true that he 
had for a long time performed the religious 
acts of an unbaptized Christian, that is, of a 
catechumen ; for he attended public worship, 
fasted, prayed, observed the Christian Sab- 
bath and the anniversaries of the martyrs, 
and watched on the vigils of Easter, &c., 
&c. Now these facts show that he had, in 
fact, long been a catechumen ; and that he 
did not first become so, at the time hands 
were laid on him in order to his baptism. 
See Mosheim, Comment, de Rebus Christi- 
anor., p. 965, &c. Tr.] 

(26) [See Ant. Fred. Busching's Disput. 
de Procrastinatione Baptismi apud veteres, 
ejusque Causis. Schl.] 



conjecture, that the emperor had discernment to see that Christianity pos- 
sessed great efficacy, and idolatry none at all, to strengthen public author, 
ity and to bind citizens to their duty.(27) 

9. The sign of the cross, which Constantine most solemnly affirmed 
he saw in the heavens in broad daylight, is a subject involved in the greatest 
obscurities and difficulties. It is however an easy thing to refute those who 
regard this prodigy as a cunning fiction of the emperor, or who rank it 
among fables :(28) and also those who refer the phenomenon to natural 
causes, ingeniously conjecturing that the form of a cross appeared in a so- 
lar halo, or in the moon :(29) and likewise those who ascribe the transac- 

(27) See Eusebius, de Vita Constantini, 
1. i., c. 27. [The Romans had then lost 
nearly all their former virtue, fidelity, good 
sense and valour ; and in their place, tyran- 
ny, profligacy, and shameful vices and crimes 
succeeded and became prevalent, especially, 
during the persecution of the Christians. 
Among the more intelligent, very little of the 
ancient superstitious spirit remained ; so ef- 
fectually had the Christian and pagan phi- 
losophers exposed the turpitude of the old re- 
ligion. But among the Christians, who were 
spread far and wide in the Roman empire, 
and here and there had brought over some 
of the neighbouring nations to their religion, 
great firmness and stability of mind was 
manifest, together with good faith and hon- 
esty. Hence Constantine the Great might 
readily see, that the Christian religion would 
contribute much more to the tranquillity of 
the empire, and to the establishment of his 
dominion, than the old religion could do. 

(28) Joh. Hornbeck, Comment, ad Bui- 
lam Urbani viii., de Imaginum cultu, p. 182, 
&c. Ja. Oiselius, Thesaurus Numismat. 
antiquor., p. 463. Ja. Tollius, Preface to 
his French translation of Longinus ; and in 
his notes on Lactantius, de Mortib. Perse- 
quutor., c. 44. Christ. Tkomasius, Obser- 
vat. Hallens., torn, i., p. 380 ; and others. 
[There is difference of opinion as to the 
time when, and the place where the emperor 
saw this cross. Some follow Eusebius, (de 
Vita Constantini. 1. i., c. 28), and believe 
that he saw it while in Gaul, and when ma- 
king preparations for the war with Maxen- 
tius. Others rely on the testimony of Lac- 
tantius, (de Morlib. Persequut., c. 44), and 
believe that he saw the cross on the 26th 
day of October, A.D. 312, [the day before 
the battle, in which Maxentius was van- 
quished near Rome.] So thought Stephen 
Bduze ; (see his notes on this passage in 
Lactantius) ; whom Pagi, Fabncius, and 
.others have followed. The point is a diffi- 
cult one to decide ; and the brothers Balle- 
rini, (Observ. ad Norisii Hist. Donatist., 
Opp., torn, iv., p. 662), would compromise 

it, by supposing there were two appearances 
of the cross, both in dreams, the first in Gaul 
and the last in Italy : which is a miserable 
shift. Among those who regard the whole 
story as a fabrication, some suppose it was 
a pious fraud, and others that it was a trick 
of state. The first supposition is most im- 
probable. For at the time the cross is said 
to have appeared to him, Constantine thought 
nothing about spreading the Christian re- 
ligion, but only about vanquishing Maxen- 
tius. Besides he was not then a Christian, 
and did not use the event for the advance- 
ment of Christianity, but for the animation 
of his troops. The other supposition has 
more probability ; indeed, Licmius once re- 
sorted to something like this, according to 
Lactantius, de Mortib. Persequut., c. 46. 
But Constantine solemnly averred the real- 
ity of this prodigy ; and if he had been in- 
clined to use artifice in order to enkindle 
courage in his soldiers, he would far more 
probably, as his army was made up chiefly 
of barbarians and such as were not Chris- 
tians, (see Zosimus, 1. ii., p. 86), have rep- 
resented Mars or some other of the vulgar 
deities as appearing to him. See Mosheim, 
Comment, de Rebus Christianor., p. 978, 
&c. Schl.] 

(29) See Joh. Andr. Schmidt, Diss. do 
Luna in Cruce visa, Jena, 1681, 4to, and 
Joh. Albert. Fabncius, Diss. de Cruce a Con- 
stantino visa, in his Biblioth. Gr., vol. vi. f 
cap. i.,p. 8, &.c. [This opinion also has its 
difficulties. Fabricius himself admits, that 
on his hypothesis the appearance of visible 
words in the air cannot be explained. And 
he resorts to a new exposition of the lan- 
guage of Eusebius for relief, and believes 
that the words by this conqueror, (v raru 
vim?., hoc vince), were not actually seen, 
but that the sense of them was emblemati- 
cally depicted, in a crown of victory that ap- 
peared in the heavens. But (1) if the em- 
peror intended to say this, he expressed him- 
self very obscurely. (2) It is certain, that 
Constantine did not intend to be so under- 
stood ; for he caused the very words men- 
tioned to be affixed to the standards (Labara) 



tion to the power of God, who intended by a miracle to confirm the wa. 
vering faith of the emperor.(30) And these suppositions being rejected, 

of the legions, and to the medals and other 
monuments of the event ; which he would 
not have done, had he not designed it should 
be understood that these words were actually 
seen in the heavens. (3) All the ancient 
writers so understood the account given by 
Eusebius. (4) Such a halo about the sun, 
as that described by the emperor, has never 
been seen by man. For he did not see the 
sign or form of a real cross, but the Greek 
letter X. intersected perpendicularly by the 
letter P; thus, ;. [Euseb., de Vita Con- 
stant., 1. i., c. 31. ] See Mosheim, Comment. 
de Rebus Christ., p. 985. Schl.~\ 

(30) [Eusebius alone, (de Vita Constanti- 
ni, 1. i., c. 28-31), among the writers of that 
age, gives us any account of the vision of 
the cross ; though Lactantius, (de Mortib. 
Persequutor., c. 44), and others speak of the 
" dream," in which Constantine was direct- 
ed to use the sign of the cross. Eusebius 1 
account is as follows : " He conceived that 
he ought to worship only the God of his fa- 
ther. He therefore called upon this God in 
prayer, entreating and beseeching him, to 
manifest to him, who he was, and to extend 
his right arm on the present occasion. 
While he was thus praying with earnest 
entreaty, a most singular divine manifesta- 
tion (tieoffrjuia Ttf Trapado^oruT^) appeared : 
which, perhaps, had another declared it, 
would not easily be credited ; but the victo- 
rious emperor himself having related it to us 
who write this, when we had a long time af- 
terwards the privilege of knowing and con- 
versing with him, and having confirmed it 
with an oath ; who can hesitate to believe 
the account 1 and especially, as the subse- 
quent time [or the events which followed] 
affords evidence of its truth 1 He said that, 
about the middle hours of the day, as the 
sun began to verge towards its setting, he 
saw in the heavens, with his own eyes, the 
sun surmounted with the trophy of the cross, 
(inrepKeiuevov rS TjMufavpa rponaiov), which 
was composed of light, and had a legend (ypa- 
<j)v) annexed, saying, by this conquer. And 
amazement seized him, and the whole army, 
at the sight, (km ru deupari), and the be- 
holders wondered as they accompanied him 
in the march. And he said, he was at a 
loss what to make of this spectre, (rt Trore 
iiri TO (ftdafia), and as he pondered and re- 
flected upon it long, night came upon him 
by surprise. After this, as he slept, (v-nvuvn 
&VT$), the Christ of God appeared to him, 
together with the sign before seen in the 
heavens, and bid him make a representation 
of the sign that appeared in the heavens, and 

to use that as a protection ( 
Xprjo&cii) against the onsets of his enemies. 
As soon as it was day, he arose, related the 
wonder (rb aTroppr/Tov) to his friends ; and 
then assembling the workers in gold and 
precious stones, he seated himself in the 
midst of them, and describing the appearance 
of the sign, (r a^fieia), he bid them imitate 
it in gold and precious stones. This we 
were once so fortunate as to set our eyes 
upon." Eusebius then goes into a long de- 
scription of this sacred standard, which was 
called the Labarum. Its shaft was a very 
long spear, overlaid with gold. On its top, 
was a crown composed of gold and precious 
stones, and containing the sacred symbol, 
namely, the Greek letter X, intersected with 
the letter P. Just under this crown, was a 
likeness of the emperor, in gold ; and below 
that, a crosspiece of wood, from which hung 
a square flag, of purple cloth embroidered 
and covered with precious stones. Now if 
this narrative is all true, and if two connect- 
ed miracles were actually wrought, as here 
stated ; how happens it that no writer of that 
age, except Eusebius, says one word about 
the luminous cross in the heavens 1 How 
came it, that Eusebius himself said nothing 
about it in his Eccles. History, which was 
written twelve years after the event, and 
about the same length of time before his Life 
of Constantine 1 Why does he rely solely 
on the testimony of the emperor, and not 
even intimate that he ever heard of it from 
others ; whereas, if true, many thousands 
must have been eyewitnesses of the fact ? 
What mean his suggestions, that some may 
question the truth of the story ; and his cau- 
tion not to state anything as a matter of 
public notoriety, but to confine himself sim- 
ply to the emperor's private representation 
to himself! Again, if the miracle of the lu- 
minous cross was a reality, has not God 
himself sanctioned the use of the cross as 
the appointed symbol of our religion ! so that 
there is no superstition in the use of it, but 
the Catholics are correct and the Protestants 
in an error on this subject 1 If God intend- 
ed to enlighten Constantine's dark mind and 
show him the truth of Christianity, would he 
probably use for the purpose the enigma of a 
luminous cross, in preference to his inspired 
word or a direct and special revelation ] 
Was there no tendency to encourage a su- 
perstitious veneration for the sign of the 
cross, in such a miracle 1 And can it be 
believed, that Jesus Christ actually appeared 
to the emperor in a vision, directing him to 
make an artificial cross, and to rely upon that 



the only conclusion that remains is, that Constantine saw, in a dream while 
asleep, the appearance of a cross, with the inscription, by this conquer.(3l) 
Nor is this opinion unsupported by competent authorities of good credit.(32) 
10. The happiness anticipated by the Christians from the edicts of 
Constantine and Licinius, was a little afterwards interrupted by Licinius, 
who waged war against his kinsman Constantine. Being vanquished in 
the year 314, he was quiet for about nine years. But in the year 324, 
this restless man again attacked Constantine, being urged on both by his own 
inclination and by the instigation of the pagan priests. That he might se- 
cure to himself a victory, he attached the pagans to his cause by severely 
oppressing the Christians, and by putting not a few of their bishops to 
death.(33) But all his plans failed. For after several unsuccessful bat- 
tles, he was obliged to throw himself upon the mercy of the victor ; who 
nevertheless ordered him to be strangled in the year 325. After his vic- 
tory over Licinius, Constantine reigned sole emperor till his death ; and 
by his plans, his enactments, his regulations, and his munificence, he en- 
deavoured as much as possible to obliterate gradually the ancient super- 
stitions, and to establish Christian worship throughout the Roman em- 
pire. (34) He had undoubtedly learned from the wars and the machina- 

as his defence in the day of battle 1 But 
how came the whole story of the luminous 
cross to be unknown to the Christian world, 
for more than twenty-five years, and then to 
transpire only through a private conversation 
between Eusefnus and Conslantine 1 Is it 
not supposable, that Eusebius may have mis- 
understood the account the emperor gave 
him, of a singular halo about the sun which 
he saw, and of an affecting dream which he 
had the night after, and which induced him to 
make the Labarum, and use it as his stand- 
ard 1 Such are the arguments against this 
hypothesis. 7V.] 

(3 1 ) [Lactantius mentions only the dream ; 
and the same is true of Sozomen, lib. i., c. 
3, and Rvfinus, in his translation of the Ec- 
cles. History of Eusebius ; and likewise, of 
the author of the Chronicon Orientale, p. 57. 
Indeed the appeal of Eusebius to the solemn 
attestation of the emperor, (de Vita Constan- 
tini, 1. i , c 29), and the statement of Gela- 
sius Cyzicenits, (Acta Concilii Nicaeni, lib. 
i., c. 4, in Harduin's Concilia, torn, i., p. 
351), that the whole story was accounted 
fabulous by the pagans, confirm the suppo- 
sition that it was a mere dream. For the 
appeal of Eusebius would have been unne- 
cessary, and the denial of its reality by the 
pagans would have been impossible, if the 
whole army of Constantine had been eyewit- 
nesses of the event. Schl.] 

(32) The writers who treat of Conxtantine 
the Great, are carefully enumerated by Joh. 
Alb. Fabncius, Lux salutaris Evangelii toti 
orbi eroriens, c. 12, p. 260, &c. [The la- 
test and by far the best, (says Hceren, An- 
cient Hist., p. 475, ed. Bancroft, 1828), is, 

VOL. I. E E 

Leben Constantin des Grossen, von J. C. 
F. Manso, Bresl , 1817.] Fabricius more- 
over, (ibid, c. 13, p. 273, &c.), describes 
the laws of Constantine relating to religious 
matters, under four heads The same laws 
are treated of by Jac. Golhofred, Adnot. ad 
Codicem Theodosianum ; and in a partic- 
ular treatise, by Francis Baldwin, in his 
Constantinus Magn. seu de Legibus Con- 
stantini Ecclesiast. et civilibus, librii ii., ed. 
2d, by B. Gundling, Halle, 1727, 8vo. 

(33) Eusebius, Hist. Eccles., 1. x., c. 8, 
and de Vita Constantini, I. i., c. 49. Even 
Julian, than whtfm no one was more preju- 
diced against Constantine, could not but 
pronounce Licinius an infamous tyrant who 
was sunk in vices.and crimes. See Julian's 
Caesares, p. 222, ed. Spanheim. I would 
here observe, what appears to have been 
overlooked hitherto, that Aurelius Victor 
mentions this persecution of Licinius, in his 
Book de Caesaribus, c. 41, p. 435, ed. Arnt- 
zenii, where he says : Licinio ne insontium 
quidem ac nobillium philosophorum servili 
more cruciatus adhibiti modum fecere. The 
Philosophers, whom Licinius is here said to 
have tortured, were doubtless Christians ; 
whom many, from their slight acquaintance 
with our religion, have mistaken for a sect 
of philosophers. The commentators on Au- 
rclius have left this passage untouched ; 
which is apt to be the case with those, who 
are intent only on the enlargement of gram- 
matical knowledge derived from ancient 

(34) [Constantine doubtless committed 
errors, which in their consequences were in- 
jurious to the cause of Christianity. He 


tions of Licinius, that neither himself nor the Roman empire could remain 
secure while the ancient superstition continued prevalent, and therefore 
from this time onward, he openly opposed the pagan deities and their wor- 
ship, as being prejudicial to the interests of the state. 

11. After the death of Constantine, which happened in the year 337, 
his three surviving sons, Constantine II., Constantius, and Constans, agree- 
ably to his pleasure, assumed the empire, and were all proclaimed Augusti 
and emperors by the Roman senate. There were still living two brothers 
of Constantine the Great, namely, Constantius Dalmatius and Julius Con- 
stans, and they had several sons. But nearly all these were slain by the 
soldiers at the command of Constantine's sons, who feared lest their thirst 
for power might lead them to make insurrections and disturb the common- 
wealth. (35) Only Gallus and Julian, sons of Julius Constans, escaped 
the massacre ;(36) and the latter of these afterwards became emperor. 
Constantine II. held Britain, Gaul, and Spain ; but lost his life A.D. 340, 
in a war with his brother Constantius. Constans at first governed only 
Illyricum, Italy, and Africa ; but after the fall of his brother Constantine II. 
he annexed his provinces to his empire, and thus became emperor of all 
the West, until he lost his life A.D. 350, in the war with Maxentius a 
usurper. After the death of Constans, Maxentius being subdued, the third 
brother Constantius, who had before governed Asia, Syria and Egypt, in 
the year 353 became sole emperor, and governed the whole empire till the 
year 361, when he died. Neither of these brothers possessed the disposi- 
tion or the discernment of their father ; yet they all pursued their father's 
purpose, of abolishing the ancient superstitions of the Romans and other 
pagans, and of propagating the Christian religion throughout the Roman 
empire. The thing itself was commendable and excellent ; but in the 
means employed, there was much that was censurable. (37) 

12. The cause of Christianity which had been thus flourishing and 

gave to the clergy the former privileges of livelong; and Julian, being but eight years 
the pagan priests ; and allowed legacies to old, created no fear. Some years after, they 
be left to the churches, which were every- were sent to a remote place in Cappadocia, 
where erected and enlarged. He was grat- where they were instructed in languages, the 
ified with seeing the bishops assume great sciences, and gymnastics, being in a sense 
state ; for he thought, the more respect the kept prisoners ; and were at last designed 
bishops commanded, the more inclined the for the clerical office, having been made lee- 
pagans would be to embrace Christianity : tors or readers. Am.mia.nus MarcelL, 1. 
and thus he introduced the love of pomp and xxii., c. 9. ScW.] 
display among the clergy. SchL] (37) [Coercive measures were adopted, 

(35) [" It is more probable, that the prin- which only made nominal Christians. A 
cipal design of this massacre was to recover law was enacted, in the year 342, that all 
the provinces of Thrace, Macedon, and the heathen temples should be shut up, and 
Achaia, which in the division of the empire, that no person should be allowed to go near 
Constantine the Great had given to young them. All sacrifices, and all consultations 
Dalmatius, son of his brother of the same of the oracles and the soothsayers, were pro- 
name, and Pontus and Cappadocia, which he hibited on pain of death and confiscation of 
had granted to Annibalianus, the brother of property : and the provincial magistrates 
young Dalmatius. Be that as it will, Dr. were threatened with the same penalties, if 
Mosheim has attributed this massacre equal- they were dilatory in punishing transgressors 
ly to the three sons of Constantine ; whereas of the law. This was to compel the con- 
almost all authors agree, that neither young science, and not to convince it. The his- 
Constantine, nor Constans, had any hand in tory of these emperors may be found in the 
it at all." Mac!.] Universal History, and in Le Beau's History 

(36) [Because they were despised: Gallus of the Eastern Empire. <ScA/.] 
being sickly, it was supposed he would not 


prosperous, received immense injury and seemed on the brink of ruin, 
when Julian, the son of Julius Constans, brother of Constantine the Great, 
now the only surviving branch of the Constantinian family,(38) after a sue- 
cessful campaign in Gaul A.D. 360, was hailed emperor by his soldiers, 
and on the death of Constantius, A.D. 361, obtained possession of the whole 
empire. For Julian, though educated in the Christian religion, yet influ- 
enced partly by hatred of the Constantinian family, which had murdered 
his father, brother, and all his relatives, and partly by the artifices of the 
Platonic philosophers, who deceived this credulous and vainglorious prince 
with fictitious miracles and prophecies, apostatized from Christianity to 
paganism, and laboured to restore idolatry now ready to become extinct, 
to its former splendour. Julian seemed to abhor all violent measures, and 
to wish to give full liberty to the citizens of choosing their religion, and of 
worshipping God in the manner they pleased ; but at the same time he 
artfully and dexterously cut the sinews of the Christian cause, by abroga- 
ting the privileges granted to this religion and to its ministers, by shutting 
up the Christian schools in which philosophy and the liberal arts were 
taught, by not only tolerating but even encouraging and animating all 
sectarians, by writing books against the Christians, &c. He likewise had 
many projects in contemplation ; and would, doubtless, have done immense 
harm to Christianity, if he had returned victorious from the Persian war, 
which he undertook directly after he came to the throne. But in this war, 
which was both undertaken and carried on with little discretion, he fell by 
a wound received in battle, A.D. 363, when just entered the thirty-second 
year of his age, and after reigning sole emperor only twenty months from 
the death of Constantius. (39) 

13. Those who rank Julian among the greatest heroes the world has 
produced, nay, place him the first of all who ever filled a throne which 
many at this day do, and among them are persons of learning and discern. 
incut (40) must either be so blinded by prejudice, as not to see the truth ; or 

(38) [For, Gallus, who had been created the history of his life. He was born A.D. 
Caesar, was previously slain by order of Con- 331 ; and lost his mother Basilina, the same 
stantius, because of his cruelty, and being year ; and his father, Julius Constantius, a 
charged with aspiring after the supreme pow- few years after. Mardonius, a eunuch, and 
er. Ammian. MarcclL, 1. xiv.,c. 11. Schl.] Eusebius, bishop of Nicomedia, were his 

(39) See, besides Tillcmont ; [the Uni- first instructers. When Gallus was made a 
versal History ; Le Beau, Histoire du bas Caesar, Julian obtained permission to come 
Empire, torn, iii., livr. xii-xiv.J ; and other to Constantinople, where he attended the 
common writers ; the accurately written public schools ; afterwards he went to Bi- 
work of Bletterie, Vie de Julien, Paris, thynia, and everywhere attached himself to 
1734, and Amsterd., 1735, 8vo ; the Life the most noted teachers. He read and imi- 
and Character of Julian the Apostate, il- tated the orations of Libanius, a pagan 
lustrated in vii. Dissertations, by Des Voeux, sophist, whom he was strictly forbidden to 
Dublin, 1746, 8vo; Ez. Spanhcim, Preface hear. At Pergamus he became acquainted 
and Notes to the Works of Julian, Lips., with Acdc.iiits, an aged Platonic philosopher; 
1696, fol., and Joh. Alb. Fabricius, Lux and heard his scholars, Eusebius and Chry- 
salutaris Evangelii toti orbi exoriens, cap. santhes, as also Maximus of Ephesus ; which 
xiv., p. 294, &c. [Add Aug. Neander, last initiated him in theurgia, brought him to 
iiber Kayser Julianus und sein Zietalter, apostatize from Christianity, and presaged 
Hamb., 1812, 8vo TV.] his elevation to the throne. This change in 

(40) Montesquieu, Esprit des I^oix, livr. his religion, he was obliged to conceal from 
xiiv., c. 10, says: II n'y a point eu apres Constantius and Gallus. Julian therefore 
lui de Prince plus digne de gotiverner des devoted himself to a monastic life, assumed 
hommes. [To form a correct judgment of the tonsure, and became a public reader in 
Julian, it is necessary cursorily to survey the church at Nicomedia. In the year 354, 



they must have never read attentively Julian's writings which still remain ; 

after the death of Gallus, he was deprived 
of his liberty, and carried to Milan. After 
being in custody there seven months, by the 
intercession of the empress Eusebia, he ob- 
tained a release, and liberty to travel into 
Greece, where he applied himself at Athens 
to the sciences and to eloquence, and be- 
came acquainted with Basil and Gregory 
of Nazianzen. In the year 355, he was 
proclaimed Csesar, and had Gaul, Spain, and 
Britain intrusted to him. But Constantius 
greatly limited his power, and nominated 

not only the military commanders there, but 

also the officers of Julian's court, who were 

to keep strict watch over him. To this his 

elevation, Eusebia contributed much, she 

being anxious about the succession to the 

throne, on account of her continued barren- 
ness : and the rebellion of Sylvanus, which 

took place in the beginning of this year, as 

also the continual incursions of the bordering 

nations which required a general in Gaul, 

favoured the measure. Julian performed 

some successful campaigns in Gaul, which 

procured him the affections not only of the 

soldiery, but of all the Gallic subjects. This 

awakened the jealousy of Constantius, who, 

under pretext of the Persian war, recalled a 

great part of the troops from Gaul. In the 

spring of 360, the soldiers proclaimed Julian 

Augustus, and compelled him to assume 

that dignity. A reconciliation was attempted 

in vain. Constantius insisted upon it, that 

Julian should resign. Julian prosecuted 

the German war successfully, and strength- 
ened and fortified the frontiers ; and after 

vanquishing the Germans, whom Constan- 
tius had excited against him, and subduing 

Illyria and Italy, he marched unencumbered 

against Constantius ; who came forward to 

meet him, but was taken sick on the way, 

and died in Cilicia. Julian now took quiet 

possession of the whole Roman empire ; 

caused Constantius to be honourably bu- 
ried ; but called his principal officers to ac- 
count before a special court, as the authors 

of numerous acts of violence. He likewise 

attempted great reforms in the court, in 

which prodigality and pomp had risen to a 

great height. He also dismissed many use- 
less officers : and filled his court with phi- 
losophers and soothsayers, to whom he 

showed particular respect. During the II- 

lyrian campaign, in the year 36 1, he publicly 

sacrificed to the gods ; and after the death 

of Constantius, he let it be distinctly known, 

that it was his purpose to reinstate idolatrous 

worship. But as he was aware of the ill 

consequences which formerly resulted from 

direct persecution, and wished to avoid the 

repetition of them, and coveted the reputa- 
tion of being magnanimous and benevolent, 
and as, in prospect of his Persian campaign, 
he stood in fear of the numerous body of 
Christians ; he endeavoured to assail and 
to undermine them, by artifice. For this 
purpose, he adopted the following measures. 
First, he endeavoured to reform the pagan 
idolatry, and to introduce improvements in 
it derived from the Christian worship. With 
this view, he attended to his official duties 
as Pontifex Maximus, with more earnestness 
than any of his predecessors, and even treated 
them as of more consequence than the gov- 
ernment of the empire. He offered sacrifices 
daily, in his palace and garden ; attended the 
public sacrifices on all the pagan festivals, 
and officiated personally in them, without 
the least regard to decorum, even as to the 
meanest service. He re-established the 
public sacrifices of the cities and provinces. 
Where there were no temples, or where the 
destroyers of the ancient temples could not 
be found or were his own predecessors, there 
he erected temples at his own cost, and gave 
to the idolatrous priests high rank and large 
revenues. As he had been converted to 
paganism by philosophers, who were of the 
new Platonic School, and who held much to 
theurgia, magic, divination, and apparitions, 
and were willing to borrow from Christian- 
ity ; hence originated many burdensome pu- 
rifications, and prolix ceremonies of worship, 
together with a considerable aping of Chris- 
tian institutions. He was strenuous for the 
virtuous behaviour, the morality and benefi- 
cence of the priests ; and he forbid their 
going to theatres, or having much intercourse 
with those in civil authority. He wished 
to place the reading of useful books, giving 
public exhortations, and taking care of the 
poor, the sick, and funerals, on the same 
footing as they were among the Christians ; 
and he required, that the priests in many 
places should annually be supplied with 
corn, and wine, and money, which they 
were to distribute to the poor. Secondly, 
he supported and extended wider the inter- 
nal divisions among the Christians. For he 
restored all silenced and ejected teachers, 
and required that such parties as had been 
laid under ecclesiastical censures, should be 
reinstated in their privileges. He wrote let- 
ters to the most noted and most restless here- 
tics, and encouraged them to disseminate 
their doctrines. He allowed the leading 
members of the different parties to come to 
him, and under colour of attempting to recon- 
cile their differences, he inflamed them more 
against each other. Thirdly, he deprived 



or lastly, they do not know what constitutes true greatness and excellence. 
If we set aside genius which however, as his writings show, in him was 
not above mediocrity military courage, love of learning, acquaintance 
with that fanatical and vain philosophy called modern Platonism, and lastly 
patience of labour ; all that remains in Julian was certainly little and un- 
worthy of commendation. His excellences were counterbalanced by very 
great defects ; first, a monstrous and almost anile superstition the surest 
indication of a little mind then, a puerile pursuit of applause and vulgar 
popularity, extreme credulity and instability, a disposition to use dissimu- 
lation and underhanded means, and finally, ignorance of solid and sound 
philosophy. I will grant, that in some respects, he was superior to the 
sons of Constantine the Great ; but in many respects, he was inferior to 
Constantine himself, whom he censures so immoderately. 

14. As Julian affected to appear unwilling to trouble any of his sub- 
jects on account of their religion, and opposed to no sect whatever, he 
showed so much indulgence to the Jews, as to give them liberty to rebuild 
the temple of Jerusalem. The Jews commenced the work, but were 
obliged to desist before even the foundations were laid. For balls of fire 
issued from the ground, accompanied with a great explosion and a tremen- 
dous earthquake, which dispersed both the materials that were collected 
and the workmen. The fact itself is abundantly attested ;(41) though the 

year 363, and in part during his Persian 
campaign, is lost. Indeed the Marquis d j 
Ar 'gen's, in the Defense du paganisme, par 
1'Empereur Julien, en Grec et Fran9ois, 
avec des Dissertations et Notes, Berlin, 
1764, 8vo, has endeavoured to recover this 
work, by means of the Confutation of it by 
Cyril. But the recovery is very incomplete. 
Yet these remains of it show, that the book 
was more likely to injure Christianity by the 
style in which it was written, and by the 
perversion of scripture, than by either the 
strength or the originality of its arguments 
and objections. Ninth, and lastly, the em- 
peror showed much partiality to the Jews, 
and allowed them to rebuild the temple of 
Jerusalem, in order to confute by facts the 
prediction of Christ. Immediately after, 

the clergy of the franchises and permanent 
incomes, which they had enjoyed under the 
former emperors ; especially, of their ex- 
emption from burdensome civil duties, and 
of the distribution of corn to the churches 
from the emperor's storehouses ; and he 
compelled the monks and the ministers 
of religion by force, to perform military 
duty. Fourthly, he excluded the Christians 
from all promotions, and in terms of bitter 
sarcasm, forbid their access to the public 
schools, their studying the Greek authors 
and sciences, and their practising physic. 
Fifthly, he commanded the idolatrous tem- 
ples, images, and altars, to be rebuilt, at the 
cost of those who had pulled them down. 
Sixthly, acts of violence done by pagans to 
Christians, he either did not punish at all, or 
punished very slightly, only requiring them 
to make restitution. On the contrary, every 
tumult among Christians was punished most 
severely ; and commonly, the bishops and 
the churches were made accountable for 
them. Seventhly, he connected idolatry 
with all solemn transactions, and with the 
manifestations of respect due to himself, and 
made a participation in it unavoidable. The 
soldiers for instance, when extraordinary 
gratuities were presented to them, must 
strew incense upon an altar ; and to all the 
publicly exhibited pictures of the emperor, 
idolatrous deities were attached. Eighthly, 
he ridiculed the Christians and their wor- 
ship, scornfully ; and wrote books in confu- 
tation of their doctrines. His work against 

there were banishments, tortures, and execu- 
tions of Christians, under pretence that they 
had showed themselves refractory against 
the commands of the emperor ; and there 
were many, especially in the eastern provin- 
ces, who became apostates. Yet there were 
not wanting resolute confessors of the Chris- 
tian religion. See Baumgar ten's Auszug 
der Kirchengesch.,vol. ii., p. 763, 780, 792, 
&c. Sr.hL] 

(41) See Joh. Alb. Fabricius, Lux salu 
tar. Evangelii toti orbi exoriens, p. 124, 
where the testimonies are collected. See 
also the acute English knight, Walter Moyle, 
Posthumous works, p. 101, &c. [The prin- 
cipal authorities cited by Fabrieius are, 
Chrysostom, Homil. v. adv. Judaeos, et ali- 

Christianity, which was composed in the bi, saepius ; Ammianus Marccll., lib. uiu., 



Christians as often happens in such cases, appear to have inconsiderately 
amplified it with some additional miracles. As to the causes which pro- 
duced the event, there is room for debate, and there is debate. All how. 
ever who weigh the subject with an impartial mind, will easily perceive, 
that they must join with those who ascribe the phenomenon to the omnip- 
otent will of God ; and that they who choose to ascribe it to natural causes 
or to artifice and fraud, offer no objections which are insurmountable. (42) 
15. The soldiers elected Jovian to succeed Julian. He died in the 
year 364, after reigning seven months ; and therefore accomplished but 
little. (43) The other emperors of this century, who reigned after Jovian, 
were Flav. Valentinian I. [in the West, from A.D. 364-375, with] Flav, 
Valens [in the East, from A.D. 364-378], then Flav. Gratian [in the 
West, A.D. 375-383, with] Flav. Valentinian II. [also in the West, A.D. 
375-392, and Theodosius the Great, in the East, A.D. 379-395], Hono- 
rius, [in the West, A.D. 395-423, with Arcadius, in the East, A.D. 395 
408]. All these were Christians, and did much to advance the religion 
they professed. They all endeavoured, though not with equal zeal, to ex- 
tirpate wholly the pagan religions. In this particular, Theodosius the 
Great, the last emperor of this century [in the East, except Arcadius], ex- 

c. i. ; Gregory Naz., orat. iv. ; Ambrose, 
Ep. 40, (al. 29, written A.D. 388) ; Socra- 
tes, H. E., lib. iii., c. 20 ; Sozomen, H. E., 
lib. v., c. 21 ; Thcodoret, H. E., lib. iii., c. 
20 ; Riifinus, H. E., lib. i., c. 37 ; Philostor- 
gius, H. E., lib. vii., c. 9, 14 ; Hist. Eccles. 
Tripartite, 1. vi., c. 43 ; Nicephorus, 1. x., c. 
32 ; Zonaras, 1. xiii., c. 12 ; Rabbi David 
Gantz, Zemach David, pt. ii., p. 36; Rab- 
bi Gedaliah, Schalschelct Hakkabala, p. 
109. Dr. Lardncr, (Collection of Jewish 
and heathen Testimonies, vol. iv., p. 57- 
71, ed. Lond., 1767), maintains the whole 
story to be false. His chief arguments are 
that Julian only purposed to rebuild the 
temple, after his Persian expedition ; that 
he needed all his resources for that expedi- 
tion ; the silence of some of the fathers, 
living near the time ; and the decoration of 
the story by others of them. But these ar- 
guments seem wholly insufficient, against 
the explicit testimony of so many credible 
witnesses, Christians and pagans, and several 
of them contemporary with the event TV.] 

(42) Ja. Basnage, in his Histoire des 
Juifs, torn, iv., p. 1257, &c., contests the 
reality of this miracle. Against him appear- 
ed Gisb. Caperus, in his Epistolae, p. 400, 
edited by Bayer. Recently, Wm. Warbur- 
ton has maintained the reality of the mira- 
cle, sometimes with an excess of ingenuity, 
in an appropriate treatise, entitled : Julian, 
or a Discourse concerning the earthquake and 
fiery eruption, which defeated that emperor's 
attempt to rebuild the temple at Jerusalem ; 
London, 1750, 8vo. 

(43) See Blettcrie, Vie de Jovien, 2 vols. 
8vo, Paris, 1748, in which work he com- 

pletes the history of Julian, and gives a 
French translation of some of Julian's wri- 
tings. [The following notices are worth in- 
serting. Both during the lifetime of Julian, 
and after his death when the soldiers made 
him emperor, Jovian openly declared him- 
self on the side of Christianity. For when 
Julian gave orders to all the military officers 
who were Christians, to either quit the ar- 
my, or renounce their religion ; Jovian chose 
to relinquish his office. But Julian would 
not release him, but gave him promotion du- 
ring the Persian war. When chosen empe- 
ror, Jovian would not accept the office, 
until the army had declared themselves in 
favour of Christianity. When he arrived at 
Antioch, he repealed all the laws of Julian, 
adverse to Christianity : (Rufinus, lib. xi., 
c. 1, and Sozomen, 1. vi., c. 3), and wrote 
to all the provincial governors, commanding 
them to take diligent care that the Chris- 
tians should not be disturbed in their public 
assemblies. He restored to the churches, 
to the clergy, and to widows, all the fran- 
chises and privileges, which had been grant- 
ed them by Constantine and his sons, but 
which Julian had taken from them. He like- 
wise restored the use of the Labarum, or the 
standard with a cross : and he compelled one 
Magnus to rebuild the church of Bervtus, at 
his own cost, he having commanded it to be 
demolished. (Theodoret, lib. iv., c. 19.) 
In regard to the religious controversies of 
that day, he joined with the orthodox against 
the Arians ; and he treated Athanasius with 
peculiar respect. See Baumgartcri 1 s Aus- 
zug der Kirchenhistorie, vol. ii., p. 805, and 
the Universal History. SchL] 


ceeded all the rest. He came to the throne A.D. 389 and died A.D. 
395. And during his whole life, he did all he could to extirpate idolatry 
through all the provinces of the empire, and enacted severe laws against 
the adherents to it. The same design was prosecuted by his sons Arcadi- 
us and Honorius ; so that in the close of this century, the ancient super- 
stitions were ready to expire, and had lost all their respectability.(44) 

16. Yet this severity of the government could not prevent the exist- 
ence of some pagan fanes and ceremonies, especially in the remoter prov- 
inces. Indeed, these rigorous laws against the worshippers of the pagan 
deities, seem to have been aimed rather against the common people, than 
against persons of rank and distinction. For it appears, that during the 
reign of Theodosius, as well as after his death, individuals filled the highest 
offices, and continued in them till old age, who are known to have been 
averse from Christianity and attached to paganism. Of this Libanius is 
an example, who was very hostile to the Christians, and yet was made 
prefect of the praetorian guards by Theodosius himself. Perhaps greater 
indulgence was shown to philosophers, rhetoricians, and military com- 
manders, than to other people, on account of their supposed usefulness to 
the commonwealth. 

17. Yet these very rhetoricians and philosophers, whose schools were 
supposed to be so profitable to the community, exhausted all their ingenu- 
ity, both before the days of Constantine the Great, and afterwards, to ar- 
rest the progress of Christianity. In the beginning of this century, Hiero- 
cles, the great ornament of the Platonic school, composed two books against 
the Christians; in which he had the audacity to compare our Saviour witli 
Apollonius Tyanaeus, and for which he was chastised by Eusebius [Csesa- 
riensis] in a tract written expressly against him. (45) Lactantius speaks 

(44) See the laws of these emperors, in disciples, as disseminators of falsehood ; and 
favour of the Christian religion, and against he accuses them of being rude and illiterate 
the professors and friends of the ancient re- persons, because some of them had lived by 
ligion, in the Codex Theodosianus, torn, vi., fishing." " He affirms, that Christ was out- 
and Peter and Jerome Ballcrini, Diss. i. in lawed by the Jews ; and that he afterwards 
Zenonem Veronensem, p. 45, &c., Veronae, collected a company of 900 banditti, and 
1739, fol. became a robber." " Also, wishing to over- 

(45) [Hicrocles, who flourished about A.D. throw his miracles, (which he does not pre- 
303, was governor of Bithynia, and after- tend to deny), he attempts to show, that 
wards prsefect of Egypt. He was a zealous Apollonius had performed as great, and even 
persecutor of the Christians, and wielded greater." " I do not say, (he adds), that the 
both the sword and the pen against them, reason why Apollonius was never account- 
His character and his two Books addressed cd a God, was, that he chose not to be so 
to the Christians, are thus described by Lac- regarded : but I say, that we are wiser, in 
tantius, Institut. Divinar., 1. v., c. 2, 3. not attaching at once the idea of divinity to 
" He was one of the judges, and was the the working of miracles, than you are, who 
principal author of the persecution [under believe a person a God, merely on account 
Diocletian]. But not content with this of a few wonderful acts." " Having poured 
crime, he also attacked with his pen the peo- out such crudities of his ignorance, and hav- 
ple he persecuted : for he composed two ing laboured utterly to extirpate the truth, 
Books, not against the Christians, lest he he has the temerity to entitle his nefarious 
should seem to address them as an enemy, Books, which are hostile to God, (fytiaXr)- 
but to the Christians, that he might appear $f), devoted to the truth." Eusebius, Li- 
friendly to them and anxious for their good, her contra Hieroclem, Gr. and Lat., is sub- 
In these books he endeavours to prove the joined to his Demonstratio Evangelica, ed. 
falsehood of the scriptures, by making them Paris, 1628. See Lardner's Works, vol. 
appear full of contradictions." " He partic- viii., and Bayle, Dictionnaire Histor. et 
ularly assailed Fe/erand Paul and the other Crit., art. Hierocles (2d). TV.] 



of another philosopher who endeavoured to convince the Christians they 
were in error ; but his name is not mentioned. (46) After the reign of 
Constantine the Great, Julian wrote a large volume against the Christians, 
and Himerius(<n) and Libanius(48) in their public declamations, and Eu- 
napius in his lives of the philosophers, zealously decried the Christian re- 
ligion. (49) Yet no one of these persons was punished at all, for the li- 
centiousness of his tongue or of his pen. 

18. How much harm these sophists or philosophers, who were full of 
the pride of imaginary knowledge, and of hatred to the Christian name, 
did to the cause of Christianity in this century, appears from many exam- 
ples, and especially from the apostacy of Julian, who was seduced by men 
of this stamp. Among those who wished to appear wise, and to take mod- 
erate ground, many were induced by the arguments and explanations of 
these men, to devise a kind of reconciling religion, intermediate between 
the old superstition and Christianity ; and to imagine that Christ had en- 
joined the very same things, which had long been represented by the pagan 
priests under the envelope of their ceremonies and fables. Of these views 
were Ammianus Marcellinus, a very prudent and discreet man,(50) Chal- 

(46) Lactantius, Institut. Divinar., lib. v., 
c. 2. 

(47) See Photius, Biblioth. Cod. clxv., 
p. 355. [The works of Himerius are lost. 

(48) [Libanius, the sophist, was born at 
Antioch about A.D. 314, and lived proba- 
bly till about the end of the century. He 
taught rhetoric and declamation at Nice, Ni- 
comedia, Constantinople, Athens, and An- 
tioch. His schools were large, sometimes 
amounting to more than 80 pupils ; and rival 
sophists envied him. The emperor Julian, 
when young, was forbidden to attend the 
school of Libanius ; but he obtained and 
read his writings, and made them his model 
as to style. When Julian came to the 
throne he offered Libanius a public office, 
which the sophist proudly refused. Yet the 
emperor and he were very good friends. 
Libanius was an inflated, pedantic man, full 
of himself, yet independent in his feelings, 
and free in the expression of his opinions. 
He was an avowed pagan, yet a strenuous 
advocate for religious toleration. His nu- 
merous writings still remain, consisting of a 
prolix Life of himself, a large number of eu- 
logies and declamations, and more than a 
thousand letters. They seldom contain ei- 
ther profound or original thought, or display 
research ; and the style is concise, affected, 
and pedantic. Yet they are of some use, to 
throw light on the times in which he lived. 
They were published, Gr. and Lat., vol. i., 
Paris, 1606, and vol. ii., by Morell, 1627, 
fol. The most complete edition of his epis- 
tles, is by Wolf, Amsterdam, 1738, fol. A 
volume containing 17 of his Declamations, 
was published at Venice, 1755. See his 

Life, written by himself, in his Works, vol. 
ii., p. 1-84. Eunapius, Vitae Philos. et 
Sophistarum, p. 130, &c., and among the 
moderns, Tillemont, Histoire des Empe- 
reurs, torn, iv., p. 571, dec. Fabricius, 
Biblioth. Gr., torn, vii., p. 376-414. Lard- 
ner, Heathen Testimonies, vol. iv., p. 127 
163, and Gibbon, Decline and Fall of Rom. 
Emp., ch. xxiv. TV.] 

(49) [See Eunapius, Lives of Aedesius, 
Maximus, &c. Eunapius also wrote a 
chronicle, to which he frequently refers in 
his Lives of the Sophists ; the first edition 
of which is full of reproaches against the 
Christians and Constantine the Great ; the 
second edition is more temperate. Both edi- 
tions were extant in the times of Photius : 
see his Biblioth. Codex Ixxvii. Schl.] 

(50) [Ammianus Marcellinus, a celebrated 
Latin historian of Grecian extract, was a sol- 
dier for at least twenty years, from A.D. 350 
onward, and served in the honourable corps 
called Protectores Domestici. On retiring 
from military life, he fixed his residence at 
Rome, where he lived perhaps till the end 
of the century. There it was he composed 
his faithful and valuable history. The work 
originally consisted of thirty-one books, and 
gave the Roman history from the accession 
of Neroa, (where Suetonius ends), to the 
death of Valens. The first 13 books, which 
must have been very concise, are lost. The 
last 18, which are more full, include the pe- 
riod from A.D. 353-378. The style is harsh 
and unpolished, and sometimes difficult ; 
but the fidelity and accuracy of the narration 
render the work highly valuable. Marcclli- 
nus was probably a real pagan ; but he was 
not a bigot, and he was willing to give every 



cidius, a philosopher,(51) Themistius, a very celebrated orator,(52) and 
others who conceived that both religions were in unison, as to all the more 
important points, if they were rightly understood; and therefore held, that 
Christ was neither to be contemned, nor to be honoured to the exclusion 
of the pagan deities. (53) 

19. As Constantine the Great, and his sons and successors, took much 
pains to enlarge the Christian church, it is not strange that many nations, 
before barbarous and uncivilized, became subject to Christ. (54) Many 
circumstances make it probable, that the light of Christianity cast some of 
its rays into both Armenias, the greater and the less, soon after the estab- 
lishment of the Christian church. (55) But the Armenian church first re- 
ceived due organization and firm establishment, in this century, near the 
beginning of which, Gregory the son of Anax, commonly called the Illumi- 
nator, [</>&>c7/pa], because he dispelled the mists of superstition which be- 
clouded the minds of the Armenians ; first persuaded some private individ- 
uals, and afterwards Tiridates the king of the Armenians, as well as his 
nobles, to embrace and observe the Christian religion. He was therefore or- 
dained the first bishop of Armenia, by Leontius bishop of Cappadocia ; and 
gradually diffused the principles of Christianity throughout that country. (56) 

20. In the middle of this century, one Frumenlius proceeded from 

one his due, according to his best judgment. 
The best editions of his work, are, that of 
v.rcpublishcd by Granovius, Leyden, 
1693, fol. and 4to, and that of Erncsti, Lips., 
1775, 8vo. See Bayle, Dictionnaire histor. 
et critique, art. Marcellin. TV.] 

(51) [Chalcidius, a philosopher of the 4th 
century, was author of a Latin translation of 
the Timaeus of Plato, and of a Commentary 
on it, which were published by J. Mcnrxn/x, 
Ludg. Bat., 1617, 4to. Dr. Mnsheim's opin- 
ion of his religious faith is farther developed 
in his Diss. de turbata per recentiores Pla- 
tonicos Ecclesia, (f 31, and in his notes on 

rtfi's Intellectual System, vol. i., p. 
732, <Scc. J. A. Fabricius, (in his notes on 
Chalcidius, passim, and in his Biblioth. Lat- 
ina, 1. hi., c. 7, p. 557, &c.), and some oth- 
ers, hold that Chalcidins was a pagan. 
Brucker (Hist. crit. Philos., torn, iii,, p. 
472, &c.) makes him a Christian, though 
infected with the new Platonism of his age. 


(52) [Themistius, a Greek philosopher of 
Paphlagonia, called Euphrades, (the fine 
speaker), from his eloquent and command- 
ing delivery, was made a Roman senator, 
and enjoyed the favour of Constantius, Ju- 
lian, and the succeeding emperors, down to 
Theodosius the Great, who made him prae- 
fect of Constantinople, and appointed him 
tutor to his son Arradivs. He wrote, when 
young, some commentaries on Aristotle, 
fragments of which are still extant, and 33 
of his Orations. His works arc best edited 
by Harduin, Paris, 1684, fol. He was a 
strenuous advocate for the free toleration of 

VOL. I. F F 

all religions, as being all good, and tending 
to the same result by different ways. Con- 
cerning him and his religious views, see 
Brucker's Historia crit. philos., tome ii., p. 
484, &c. Tr.] 

(53) [This favourite opinion of Dr. Mo- 
shcim, he defends more at length in his Dis. 
de turbata per recenliores Platonicos eccle- 
sia, () 30, 31, 32 ; among his Dissert, ad Hist. 
Eccles. pertinentes, vol. i., p. 85-216, Al- 
tonae, 1733. But it seems not necessary to 
adopt this hypothesis, which has but slender 
support from argument ; because the Eclec- 
tic or new Platonic philosophy, might easily 
lead its votaries to speak in terms of moder- 
ation, and even of commendation, of the 
Christian religion, especially in an age when 
it prevailed almost universally, and was the 
religion of the state and of the imperial court. 

(54) Gaudenth/s, Vita Philastrii, $ iii. 
Philastrius, de Haeres., Praef., p. 5, ed. 
Fabricii. Socrate.s, Hist. Eccles., 1. i.,c. 19. 
Gconrius Ccdrenus, Chronograph., p. 234, 
ed. Paris : and others. 

(55) [For Eusebius, (Hist. Eccles., 1. vi., 
c. 46), informs us that Dionysius of Alex- 
andria, about the year 260, " wrote concern- 
ing penance, to the Brethren of Armenia, 
over whom Mcruzanes was bishop:" and, 
according to the Acta Martyrum, some Ar- 
menians suffered martyrdom in the persecu- 
tions under Decius, (A.D. 250), and Diocle- 
tian. (A.D. 304). Schl.] 

(56) See Narratio de Rebus Armenise, in 
Fr Combcfis, Auctarium Biblioth. Pair. 
Graecor., torn, ii., p. 287, &c. Mich, le 


Eoypt into the neighbouring country of Abyssinia or Ethiopia, the inhab- 
itants of which were called Auxumita, from their capital city Auxuma, and 
baptized both the king of the country, and very many of the nobles. Af- 
terwards returning to Egypt, he was consecrated by St. Athanasius, first 
bishop of the Auxumitae. From this circumstance, the Ethiopic church, 
even to this day, is dependant on that of Alexandria, and receives its 
bishop from it. (57) In Iberia, a province of Asia, which is now called 
Georgia, a Christian woman who had been carried captive into that coun- 
try, partly by the sanctity of her life, and partly by miracles, induced the 
king and his queen to renounce idolatry and embrace Christ, and also to 
send for priests from Constantinople, from whom they and their people 
might gain a more accurate and full knowledge of the Christian religion. (58) 
21. A part of the Goths inhabiting Thrace, Mcesia, and Dacia, [now 
the northeast part of Rumelia, with Bulgaria and Walachia, on the Dan- 
ube], had embraced Christianity before the commencement of this centu- 
ry ;(59) and Theophilus their bishop was present at the Nicene council.(GO) 
Constantine the Great, after having vanquished them and the Sarmatians, 
engaged great numbers of them to become Christians. (61) But still a 
large part of the nation remained estranged from Christ, until the times of 
the emperor Valens ; who permitted them to pass the river Ister, [or Dan- 
ube], and to inhabit Dacia, Mcesia, and Thrace, on condition that they 
would be subject to the Roman laws, and would embrace Christianity ; to 
which condition their king Fritigern consented. (62) The bishop of the 
Goths inhabiting Moesia, in this century, was the much celebrated Ulphilas ; 
who, among other laudable deeds, gave his countrymen an alphabet of 
his own invention, and translated the Bible for them into the Gothic lan- 

Quien, Oriens Christianus, torn, i., p. 419 (61) Socrates, Hist. Eccles., 1. i., c. 18. 

and 1356. J. J. Schroderi, Thesaur. Lin- (62) Socrates, Hist. Eccles., 1. iv., c. 33. 

Siae Armenicae, p. 149, &c. [Sozomen, Le Quien, Oriens Christ., torn, i., p. 1240. 

ist. Eccles., ii., 8. Moses Choronensis, Eric Benzel, Praef. ad iv. Evangelia Gcth- 

Historia Armenica, lib. iii., ed. Whistoni, ica, (ascribed to Ulphilas), c. \., p. zviii., 

Lond., 1736, 4to, p. 256, &c. Memoires &c., ed. Oxon., 1750, 4to. 

hist, et geogr. sur 1'Armenie, par M. I. St. (63) Joh. Jac. Mascovii, Historia Ger- 

Martin, Paris, 1818, 8vo. Tr.] manor., torn, i., p. 317, torn, ii., note, p. 

(57) Athanasius, Apologia ad Constan- 49. Acta Sanctor., March, vol. iii., p. 619. 
tium, Opp., torn, i., pt. ii., p. 315, ed. Bene- Eric Benzel, loc. cit, cap. viii., p. xxx. [J. 
diet. Socrates, Hist. Eccles., lib. i., c. 19. C. Zahn, Eirileitung in Ulfilas Bibeliiber- 
Sozomen, Hist. Eccles. , lib. ii.,c. 24. The- setzung, p. 4, &c., ed. Weissenfels, 1805, 
odoret, Hist. Eccles., I i., c. 23. Job Lu- 4to, where is condensed, all that is stated 
dolf, Comment, ad Histor. Aethiopic., p. of Upkilas, and his translation, by the an- 
281. Jerome Lobo, Voyage d'Abissinie, cients, viz., Philostorgins, H. Eccl., 1. ii., 
tome ii., p. 13, &c. Justus Fontaninus, c. 5. Socrates, H. Eccl., 1. ii., c. 41, and 
Historia litterar. Aquileiae, p. 174. [J. 1. iv., c. 33. Snzomen, H. Eccl., 1. iv., c. 
Bruce, Travels in Abyssinia, ed. 2d, Edinb., 24, 1. vi., c. 37. Theodoret, H. Eccl., I. 
1804, vol. v., p. 4, &c., and vol. vii., p. iv., c. 37, and others. Ulphi/as,(or UljUa, 
73, &c. Tr.] Urphilas, Gilfulas, &c., but should, accord- 

(58) Rufinus, Hist. Eccles., 1. i., c. 10. ing to written Wuljtta, i.e., 
Sozomen, Hist. Eccles., 1. ii., c. 7. Le Wolftein, diminutive of Wulf or Wolf, a 
Quien, Oriens Christianus, toni. i , p. 1333, wolf), is said by Fkilosstorpius, to have de- 
&c. [Theodoret, H. E., i., c. 24. Tr.] scended from Christian Greeks of Sadagol- 

(59) [Philostorgius, Hist. Eccles., 1. ii., tina in Cappadocia, who were carried into 
c. 5. SchL] captivity by the Goths in the year 266. 

(60) f Joh. Harduin, Conciliorum tomus Others suppose, from his name, that he was 
i., p. 319. Schl.] of Gothic extract. Philostorgius also makes 



22. In the European provinces of the Roman empire, there still re- 
mained a vast number of idolaters ; and though the Christian bishops en- 
deavoured to convert them to Christ, the business went on but slowly. In 
Gaul, the great Martin, bishop of Tours, was not unsuccessful in this work ; 
for travelling through the provinces of Gaul, he by his discourses, and by 
his miracles (if we may believe Sulpitius Severus), everywhere persuaded 
many to renounce their idols and embrace Christ ; and he destroyed their 
temples, and threw down their statues. (64) He therefore merited the title 
of the Apostle of the Gauls. 

23. It is very evident that the victories of Constantine the Great, and 
both the fear of punishment and the desire of pleasing the Roman emper- 
ors, were cogent reasons, in the view of whole nations as well as of individ- 
uals, for embracing the Christian religion. Yet no person well informed 
in the history of this period, will ascribe the extension of Christianity whol- 
ly to these causes. For it is manifest, that the untiring zeal of the bish- 
ops and other holy men, the pure and devout lives which many of the Chris- 
tians exhibited, the translations of the sacred volume, and the excellence 
of the Christian religion, were as efficient motives with many persons, as 
the arguments from worldly advantage and disadvantage were with some 
others. As for miracles, I cheerfully unite with those who look with con- 
tempt on the wonders ascribed to Paul, Antony, and Martin.(65) I also 

him first bishop of the Goths ; and says, he 
was ordained by the Arian, Euscbius of Ni- 
comedia, in the reign of Constantine the 
Great. Others make him to have succeeded 
Theophilus, and to have flourished from the 
year 360 to 380. He was a man of talents 
and learning, an Arian, (at least in the lat- 
ter part of his life), and possessed vast and 
salutary influence, among the Goths in Da- 
cia, Moesia, and Thrace. He was at the 
Arian Synod of Constantinople, in the year 
359 ; and was twice sent on embassies by 
the nation to the imperial court. His last 
embassy was in the reign of Valens, A.D. 
376, to obtain permission for the Goths to 
pass the Danube and settle in Moesia. He 
was successful ; and 200,000 Goths were 
admitted into the Roman empire, on condi- 
tions of obeying the Roman laws and join- 
ing the Arian interest. It is not known 
when he died ; but some time in the reign 
of Thcodosins the Great, (A.D. 379-395), 
he was succeeded in his episcopal office by 
Theotimus, or, as some report, by Selinns. 
He was author of a translation of the whole 
Bible, except the books of Kings, from 
Greek into the language of the Goths of 
Mcesia. The books of Kings were omitted 
by him, lest their history of wars and bat- 
tles should inflame the already too great 
thirst of the Goths for war and carnage. 
The alphabet he used, was of his own de- 
vising, and formed chiefly from the Greek 
and Latin. Nothing remains of this trans- 
lation, except a single copy, somewhat mu- 
tilated, of the iv. Gospels, called the Codex 

Argenteus, because written in letters of sil- 
ver, now at Upsal in Sweden ; and a few 
fragments of the Epistle to the Romans, re- 
covered from an erasure of a MS. of the 
eighth or ninth century. Ulphila's Gospels 
were first published by Fr. Junius, Dort, 
1665, 2 vols. 4to ; afterwards at Stockholm, 
1671, 4to ; and very learnedly, Oxford, 1750, 
fol., and lastly, in a very convenient Ger- 
man edition, by J. C. Zahn, Weissenfels, 
1805, 4to, with a complete Apparatus in the 
German language. TV.] 

(64) See Sulpitius Sevcrus, Dial, i., de 
Vita Martini, c. 13, 15, 17. Dial, ii., p. 
106, &c., ed. Hier. a Prato, Verona, 1741, 
fol. [This Martin was born in Sabaria in 
Pannonia, and brought up at Pavia in Italy. 
He embraced Christianity, contrary to the 
will of his parents ; and served in the army, 
following the occupation of his father. He 
afterwards left the military life, and commit- 
ted himself to the instruction of Hilary of 
Poictiers. From the Arians he suffered 
much persecution ; and he was principally 
instrumental in the introductven of monasti- 
cism among the Gauls. [He was ordained 
bishop of Tours, A.D. 374, and died in the 
year 397, aged 81.] For other particulars 
of his life, see his biographer, Sulpitius Sev- 
erus ; also Tillemont, Memoires pour ser- 
vir a 1'Histoire de 1'Eglise, tome x. ; and 
the Histoire Litteraire de la France, torn, 
i., pt. ii., p. 413. SM. The English read- 
er may consult Miner's church history, 
cent, iv., ch. 14. TV.] 
. (65) Hieran. a Prato, in his preface to Sul- 


grant, that many events were inconsiderately regarded as miracles, which 
were according to the laws of nature ; not to mention likewise pious frauds. 
Still I cannot join with such as believe, that in this age, God did never 
manifest his power by any extraordinary signs among Christians.(66) 

24. Although the Christian church within the Roman empire was in- 
volved in no severe calamities, from the times of Constantine the Great on- 
ward, except during the commotion of Licinius and the short reign of Ju- 
lian, yet slight tempests sometimes beat upon them in certain places. 
Athanaric, for instance, a king of the Goths, fiercely assailed for a time 
that portion of the Gothic nation which had embraced Christianity. (67) 
In the more remote provinces also, the adherents to idolatry often defend, 
ed their hereditary superstitions with the sword, and murdered the Chris- 
tians, who in propagating their religion were not always as gentle or as 
prudent as they ought to have been. (68) Beyond the limits of the Roman 
empire, Sapor II. surnamed Longavus, the king of Persia, waged three 
bloody wars against the Christians in his dominions. The first was in the 
eighteenth year of his reign, [A.D. 317] ; the second was in the thirtieth 
year ; and the third, which was the most cruel, and destroyed an immense 
number of Christians, commenced in his thirty-first year, A.D. 330, and last- 
ed forty years, or till A.D. 370. Yet religion was not the ostensible cause 
of this dreadful persecution, but a suspicion of treasonable practices among 
the Christians : for the Magi and the Jews persuaded the king to believe, 
that all Christians were in the interests of the Roman empire, and that 
Symeon, the archbishop of Seleucia and Ctesiphon, sent to Constantinople 
intelligence of all that passed in Persia. (69) 

pitius Scverus, p. xiii., &c., contends zeal- 8vo, and Church's Vindication of the mirac- 

ously for the miracles of Martin and the ulous powers, in answer to Middleton, 1750, 

others in this century. [An account of the 8vo ; likewise Dr. J. Jortin's Remarks on 

miracles of St. Martin, may be found in Eccles. History, vol. i., ed. Lond., 1805. 

Sidpit. Sever., Vita Martini ; and Epistles TV.] 

I. III., and Dialogues II., III. The mira- (67) See Theod. Ruinart, Acta Martyrum 

cles of some contemporary monks of Egypt sincera ; and among these, the Acta St i. Sa- 

and the East, are the subject of Dialogue I. bae, p. 598, &c. 

For the history of Paul, see Jerome, de Vita (68) See Ambrose, de Officiis, lib. i., c. 

Sti. Pauli Eremitae, in his Opp., torn, i., and xlii., 17 ; where is a noticeable statement, 

for that of Antony, see Athanasius, de Vita (69) See Sozomen, Hist. Eccles., lib. ii., 

Sti. Antonii Eremitae, in his Opp., torn, ii., c. 1-13, [where is a full account.] These 

ed. Paris, 1627. TV.] Persian persecutions are expressly treated 

(66) See Eusebius, Liber contra Hiero- of in the Biblioth. Oriental. Clement. Vati- 

clem, c. iv., p. 431, ed. Olearii ; Henr. can., torn, i., p. 6, 16, 181, and torn, iii., 

Doddwcll, Diss. ii. in Irenaeum, Iv., p. 195, p. 52, &c., with which however, should be 

[also Dr. Conyers Middleton's Free Inquiry compared Steph. Euod. Asseman, Praef. ad 

into the miraculous Powers, which are said Acta Martyrum Oriental, et Occidental., 

to have subsisted in the Christian Church, splendidly edited, Rome, 1748, 2 vols. fol., 

&c , Lond , 1747, 4to : and in defence of p. Ixxi., &c. He has published the Marty' 

miracles, Dr. Wm. DoddweWs Answer to rologium Persicum, in Syriac, with a Latin 

Dr. Middleton's Free Inquiry, &c., 1751, translation, and excellent Notes. 







1. State of Literature. $ 2. Progress of the Platonic Philosophy. 3. Its Fate. $ 4. 
State of Learning among Christians. $ 5. Many illiterate Christians. 

1 . THE Greeks and Romans of this century, who wished to pass for 
the literati of the age, devoted themselves particularly to eloquence, poetry, 
and history, among the fine arts. And not a few of both nations might be 
named, who acquired some reputation in these arts. Yet they all fell very 
far short of the highest excellence. The best of these poets, as Ausoni- 
*,(!) if compared with those of the Augustan age, are harsh and inele- 
gant. The rhetoricians, abandoning wholly the noble simplicity and ma- 
jesty of the ancients, taught the youth how to speak ostentatiously and de- 
ceptively on all subjects. And most of the historians were less attentive 
to method, perspicuity, and fidelity, than to empty and insipid ornaments. 

2. Nearly all who attempted philosophy in this century, were of the 
sect called Modern Platonists. It is not strange therefore, that some Pla- 
tonic notions are to be met with in the works of the Christians, as well as 
others. Yet there were fewer of these philosophers in the West, than in 
the East. In Syria, Jamblichus of Chalcis expounded Plato, or rather 
palmed his own conceptions upon that philosopher. (2) His writings show, 
that he was superstitious, cloudy, credulous, and of ordinary intellectual 
powers. He was succeeded by Aedesius,(3) Maximus,() and others ; of 

(1) [Decius (or Decimus) Magnus Auso- by Dr. Mosheim. He was a pagan, an en- 
nius, was a Latin poet, well born and edu- thusiast, and a great pretender to superior 
cated at Bourdeaux, who flourished in the talents and learning. Of his works, there 
last half of this century. He was probably remain a Life of Pythagoras, published Gr. 
a nominal Christian, was a man of poetic and Lat.,with Notes, by Kuster, Amstelod., 
genius, and much caressed and advanced to 1707, 4to ; Exhortation to the study of 
high honours by those in authority. His Philosophy ; Three Books on mathematical 
poems were chiefly short pieces, Eulogies, learning ; Commentary on Nicomachus ; In- 
Epigrams, &c., and not devoid of merit, stitutes of Arithmetic : and a Treatise on 
Yet the style attests the declining age of the Mysteries of the Egyptians and Chalde- 
Roman literature. Some of the pieces are ans of Assyria; published Gr. and Lat., with 
also very obscene. Edited by Tollitis, Notes, by Tho. Gait, Oxon., 1678, fol. See 
Lugd. Bat., 1671, 4to: and Lat. and Fr. Bruckcr, Hist. crit. Philos., torn, ii., p. 260- 
by Joubert, Paris, 1769, 4 vols. 12mo. 270. Fabricius, Biblioth. Gr , vol. iv., p. 
TV.] 282, &c., and Lardner's Works, vol. viii. 

(2) [Jamblichus. There were three of this TV.] 

name; the first lived early in the second (3) [Aedesiusof Cappadocia, a disciple of 

century ; his works are now lost : the second Jambhchus, and like his master, a devotee 

probably died about the year 333, and wrote of theurgia. See Bruckcr, Hist. crit. Phi- 

largely ; the third was contemporary with los., torn, ii., p. 270. &c. TV.] 

Julian, and wrote the life of Alypius the (4) [Maximus of Ephesus, called the Cyn- 

musician. The second is the one intended ic, another pretender to superhuman knowl- 


whose follies Eunapius gives us an account. In Egypt, Hypatia,(5) a dis- 
thifuished lady, Isidorus,(6) Olympiodorus,(7) Synesius a semi-Christian,(8) 
and others of less fame, propagated this kind of wisdom, or rather, folly. 

& 3. As the emperor Julian was a passionate admirer of this philoso- 
phy, (as his writings clearly show), very many were induced by his influ- 
ence to vie with each other in their endeavours to set it forth in the most 
alluring dress. (9) But when Julian died, a dreadful storm burst upon the 
Platonists, during the reign of Valentinian ; and several of them were ar- 
raigned and tried for their lives, on the charge of practising magic, and 
other crimes. In these commotions, Maximus the preceptor of Julian, 
among others, suffered death. (10) But it was rather the intimacy of these 
men with Julian, whose counsellors they had been, than the philosophy 
they embraced, which proved their ruin. Hence the rest of the sect, which 
had not been connected with the court, were exposed to very little danger 
or loss, in this persecution of the philosophers. 

4. The Christians, from the times of Constantine the Great, devoted 
much more attention to the study of philosophy and the liberal arts, than 
they had done before. And the emperors omitted no means which might 
awaken and cherish a thirst for learning. Schools were established in 
many of the towns ; libraries were formed, and literary men were encour- 
aged by stipends, by privileges, and by honours.(ll) All this was requi- 
site to the accomplishment of their object of gradually abolishing pagan 
idolatry ; for the old religion of the pagans derived its chief support from 
the learning of its advocates : and moreover, if the Christian youth could 
find no instructers of their own religion, there was danger of their apply- 

edge. He is said to have persuaded Julian er, Hist. crit. Philos., torn, ii., p. 490. 

to apostatize ; and he certainly had great in- Tr.] 

fluence over that emperor. He was put to (8) [Synesius, of Gyrene in Africa, studied 

death, for practising magic, in the reign of under Hypatia ; resided at Constantinople 

Valens. See Brucker, Hist. crit. Philos., from A.D. 397-400, as deputy from his na- 

tom. ii., 281, &c. Eunapius, (de Vitis live city; was made bishop of Ptolemais, 

Sophistarum), gives account of Jamblichus, A.D. 410. He wrote well for that age; 

Aedesius, and Maximus. Tr.] though he was too much infected with the 

(5) [Hypatia of Alexandria, a lady who reigning philosophy. His works, as edited 
was thought to excel all the philosophers of by Petavius, Gr. and Lat., Paris, 1612 and 
her age, and who publicly taught philosophy 1631, fol., are de Regno, ad Arcadium Im- 
with great applause, flourished in the close peratorem ; Dio, vel de ipsius vitae insti- 
of this century, and the first part of the next, tuto ; Calvitii encomium ; Aegyptius, sive 
She was murdered in a tumult, A.D. 415. de Providentia ; de Insomniis ; Epistolae 
See Socrates, Hist. Eccles., 1. vii., c. 15. civ.; and several Discourses and Hymns. 
Suidas, Art. 'Tirana, torn, iii., p. 533. TV.] 

Tillemont, Memoires, &c., a 1'Histoire EC- (9) See Ez. Spanheim, Praefatio ad Opp. 

cles., torn, xiv., p. 274. Menage, Hist. Juliani, et ad versionem Gallicam Ccesarum 

mulier. philosoph., $ 49, &c., p. 494, &c., Juliani, p. iii., et Adnotat., p. 234. Blet- 

and Brucker, Hist. crit. Philos., torn, ii., p. terie, Vie de 1'Empereur Julien, livr. i., p. 

351. Tr.] 26, &c. 

(6) [This Isidoru* was surnamed Gazae- (10) Ammianus Marcellin., Histor., lib. 
us, from Gaza in Palestine the place of xxix.,c. 1, p. 556, ed, Valesii ; and BirMerie, 
his birth. Concerning him, see Brucker, Vie de Julien, p. 30, &c., 155, 159, &c. ; 
Hist. crit. Philos., torn, ii., p. 341, &c. and Vie de Jovien, tome i., p. 194. 
Sett.] (11) See Ja. Gothofred, on the Codex 

(7) [Olympiodorus, author of a Commen- Theodos. Titles, de Professoribus et Arti- 
tary upon Plato, still preserved in MS. at bus liberalibus ; Fran. Balduin, Constanti- 
Paris ; and of a Life of Plato, of which a Lat- nus Magn., p. 122, &c. Herm. Conringius, 
in version has been published. There were Diss. de studiis Romae et Constantinop., 
several persons of this name. See Bruck- subjoined to his Antiquitatt. Academicae, 


ing to the pagan teachers of philosophy and rhetoric, to the injury of the 
true religion. 

5. Yet it must not be supposed, that the Christian church was full of 
literary, wise, and scientific men. For there was no law as yet, to pre- 
vent the ignorant and illiterate from entering the sacred office ; and it ap- 
pears from explicit testimony, that very many of both the bishops and presby- 
ters were entirely destitute of all science and learning. Besides, the party 
was both numerous and powerful, who considered all learning, and especially 
philosophical learning, as injurious and even destructive to true piety and 
godliness. All the ascetics, monks, and eremites, were inclined towards 
this party ; which was also highly favoured, not only by women, but by 
all those who estimate piety by the sanctity of the countenance, the sor- 
didness of the dress, and the love of solitude that is, by the many. 



1, 2. Form of the Christian Church. 3. Conformed to the Civil Establishment. 
$ 4. Administration, Internal and External, of the Church. t) 5. Rank of the Bishop of 
Rome. $ 6. Limits of his Jurisdiction. 7. The Bishop of Constantinople. 8. 
Vices of the Clergy. $ 9. Distinguished Writers in the Greek Church. f) 10. Prin- 
cipal Writers in the Latin Church. 

1. CONSTANTINE the Great let the form or organization of the church 
remain, substantially, as it had been ; yet he attempted in some respects to 
improve and extend it. While therefore, he suffered the church to continue 
to be, as before, a sort of republic within yet distinct from the political body, 
he assumed to himself the supreme power over this sacred republic, and the 
right of modelling and controlling it in such a manner as would best sub- 
serve the public good. Nor did any bishop call in question this power of 
the emperor. The people therefore, in the same manner as before, con- 
tinued to elect their own bishops and tcaclu-rs; and the bishops severally 
in their respective districts or cities, directed and regulated all eccl< 
tical affairs, using their presbyters as their council, and calling on the peo- 
ple for their assent. The bishops also met together in conventions or 
councils, to deliberate on the subjects in which the churches of a whole 
province were interested, on points of religious controversy, on the forms 
and rites of worship, and others of like import. To these minor councils 
of one or more provinces, there were now added, by authority of the em- 
peror, assemblies or grand councils of the whole church, called oecumeni- 
cal or general councils, the emperor having first summoned one of this 
character at Nice. For he deemed it .suitable, (very probably at the sug- 
gestion of the bishops), that causes of great moment, and affecting either 
the church universally, or the general principles of Christianity, should be 
examined and decided in conventions of the whole church. There were 
never, indeed, any councils held, which could strictly and properly be called 
universal; those however, whose decrees and enactments were received 
and approved by the whole church, or by the greatest part of it, have been 
commonly called oecumenical or general councils. 


2. Most of these rights and privileges, however, were gradually di- 
minished very much, from the time when various disturbances and quar- 
rels and threatening contests arose here and there, respecting ecclesiasti- 
cal affairs, religious doctrines, or the elections of bishops. For as the 
weaker parties generally appealed to the court, this afforded to the emper- 
ors the best opportunity of restricting the power of the bishops and the 
liberties of the people, and of variously changing the ancient customs of 
the church. The bishops likewise, whose wealth and influence were not 
a little augmented from the times of Constantine, gradually subverted and 
changed the ancient principles of church government. For they first exclu- 
ded the people altogether from having a voice in ecclesiastical affairs, and 
then deprived the presbyters of their former authority, so that they might con- 
trol everything at their discretion, and in particular appropriate the eccle- 
siastical property to themselves, or distribute it as they pleased. Hence, 
at the close of this century, only the shadow of the ancient form of church 
government remained ; and the former rights of the presbyters and the 
people were engrossed chiefly by the bishops ; while those of the whole 
church passed into the hands of the emperors or their provincial govern- 
ors and magistrates. 

3. Constantine, to render his throne secure and prevent civil wars, 
not only changed the system of Roman jurisprudence, but likewise altered 
in many respects the constitution of the empire.(l) And as he wished, 
for various reasons, to adapt the ecclesiastical administration to that of the 
commonwealth, it became necessary that new grades of honour and pre- 
eminence should be introduced among the bishops. The princes among 
the bishops, were those who had before held a pre-eminent rank, namely, 
the bishops of Rome, Antioch, and Alexandria; with whom the bishop of 
Constantinople was joined, after the imperial residence was transferred to 
that city. These four prelates answered to the four prcetorian prefects 
created by Constantine, and perhaps even in this century bore the Jewish 
title of Patriarchs. Next to these were the exarchs, corresponding with 
the civil exarchs, and presiding each over several provinces. The metro- 
politans came next, who governed only single provinces. After them 
ranked* the archbishops, who had the inspection only of certain districts of 
country. The bishops brought up the rear ; whose territories were not 
in all countries of the same extent, being in some countries more exten- 
sive, and in others confined to narrower limits. To these several orders 
of bishops, I should add that of the chorepiscopi or rural bishops, the su- 
perintendents of the country or suburbial churches, were it not that the 
bishops, in order to extend their own power, had caused this order to be 
suppressed in most places. (2) 

(1) See Bos, Hist, de la Monarchic Fran- following account of the civil distribution 
Soise, torn, i., p. 64. Giannone, Hist, de copied from an ancient Notitia Imperii, said 
Naples, torn, i., p. 94, 152. to have been written before the reign of Ar- 

(2) This is shown by Lutlm. Thomassi- cadius and Honorius, or before A.D. 395. 
nus, Disciplina ecclesias. vet. et nova cir- See Pagi, Critica in Barronii Annal. ad. 
ca beneficia, torn, i., various passages. Ann. 37, torn, i., p. 29, &c. 

[Though the ecclesiastical divisions of the I. Praefectus Practorio Orientis : et sub 

Roman empire, did not coincide exactly eo Dioeceses quinque, ss. 

with the civil divisions, yet a knowledge of 1. Dioecesis orientis, in qua Provinciae 

the latter will help us to form a better idea xv. nempe, Palaestina, Phoenice, Syria, Ci- 

of the former. Accordingly, we annex the licia, Cyprus, Arabia, Isauria, Palaestina Sal- 



4. The administration of ecclesiastical affairs, was divided by Con. 

utaris, Palaestina ii., Phoenice Libani, Eu- 
phratensis, Syria Salutaris, Osrhoena, Mes- 
opotamia, et Cilicia ii. 

2. Dioecesis Aegypti, in qua Provinciae 
vi. ncmpe, Libya superior, Libya inferior, 
Thebais, Aegyptus, Arcadia, et Augustan- 

3. Dioecesis Asiae, in qua Provinciae x. 
nempe, Pamphylia, Hellespontus, Lydia, Pi- 
sidia, Lycaonia, Phrygia Pacatiana, Phrygia 
Salutaris, Lycia, Caria, et Insulae. 

4. Dioecesis Ponti, in qua Provinciae x. 
nempe, Galatia, Bithynia, Honorias, Cappa- 
docia i., Paphlagonia, Pontus Polemoniacus, 
Helenopontus, Armenia i., Armenia ii., et 
Galatia Salutaris. 

5. Dioecesis Thraciae, in qua Provinciae 
vi. nempe, Europa, Thracia, Hemiomontis, 
Rhodope, Moesia ii., et Scythia. 

II. Praefectus Praetorio Ely rid : et sub 
eo Dioeceses duae, ss. 

1. Dioecesis Macedonia^ in qua Provin- 
ciae vi. nempe, Achaia, Macedonia, Greta, 
Thessalia, Epirus vetus, et Epirus nova. 

2. Dioecesis Daciae. in qua Provinciae v. 
nempe, Dacia Mediterranea, Dacia Ripensis, 
Moesia prima, Dardania Praevalitiana, et 
Pars Macedoniae Salutaris. 

III. Praefectus Praetorio Italiae : et sub 
eo Dioeceses tres, ss. 

1. Dioecesis Italiae, in qua Provinciae 
xvii. nempe, Venetiae, Aemilia, Liguria, 
Flaminia et Picenum Annonarium, Tuscia et 
Umbria, Picenum Suburbicarium, Campania, 
Sicilia, Apulia et Calabria, Lucania et Brutii, 
Alpes Cottiarum, Rhaetia prima, Rhaetia se- 
cunda, Samnium, Valeria, Sardinia, et Cor- 

2. Dioecesis Ulijrici, in qua Provinciae 
vi. nempe, Pannonia secunda, Savia, Dalma- 
tia, Pannonia secunda, Noricum Mediterra- 
neum, et Noricum Ripense. 

3. Dioecesis Africae, in qua Provinciae 
vi. nempe, Byzacium, Numidia, Mauritania 
Sitifensis, Mauritania Caesariensis, Tripolis, 
et Africa Proconsularis. 

IV. Praefectus Praetorio Galliarum : et 
sub eo Dioeceses tres, ss. 

1. Dioecesis Hi.ipaniae, in qua Provin- 
ciae vii. nempe, Boetica, Lusitania, Gallae- 
cia, Tarraconensis, Carthaginensis, Tingi- 
tania, ct Baleares. 

2. Dioecesis Galliarum, in qua Provin- 
ciae xvii. nempe, Viennensis, Lugdunensis 
i., Germaniai., Germania ii., Belgicai., Bel- 

S'ca ii., Alpes Maritimae, Alpes Penninaeet 
raiae, Maxima Seijuanorum, Aquilania i., 
Aquitania ii., Novempopuli, Narbonensis i., 
Narbonensis ii., Lugdunensis ii., Lugdunen- 
sis iii., et Lugdunensis Senonia. 

3. Dioecesis Britanniarum, in qua Pro- 
vinciae v. nempe, Maxima Caesariensis, Va- 
lentia, Britannia i., Britannia ii., et Flavia 

Thus the civil division of the Roman em- 
pire was, in this century, into iv. prefec- 
tures containing 13 dioceses, which em- 
braced lift provinces. The ecclesiastical 
division of the empire, though founded upon 
the civil division, was by no means so com- 
plete and so regular. The civil provinces 
were generally ecclesiastical provinces, and 
under the inspection severally of the metro- 
politans or archbishops of those provinces. 
Yet there were many bishops, who were ex- 
empt from the inspection or jurisdiction of 
the metropolitans, and were therefore called 
avTOKE^a^OL independent. They also bore 
the title of archbishops and of metropolitans ; 
although they had no suffragans cr bishops 
depending on them. Above the rtnk of me- 
tropolitans, there were properly none other 
than the patriarchs. For the exarchs of 
Asia, Cappadocia, and Pontus, were only the 
first metropolitans of those civil dioceses, 
while they belonged to no patriarchate. And 
the primates of certain countries, in after 
ages, were only the metropolitans that rank- 
ed first, or had precedence, among the me- 
tropolitans of their respective countries. 
Hence there were not properly fiee orders 
of bishops, above the rank of chorepiscopi, 
as Dr. Mosheim represents ; but only three, 
namely, patriarchs, metropolitans or arch- 
bishops, and simple bishops. Before the 
times of Constantnie, provincial councils 
were common ; and these gave rise to the 
order of metropolitans. Among the metro- 
politans, those of Rome, Antioch, and Alex- 
andria stood pre-eminent in honour and influ- 
ence. During the reign of Constantine the 
Great, the powers of these three metropoli- 
tan* were enlarged ; but whether they bore 
the title, or possessed the authority, of patri- 
archs, at that time, is not certain. They 
however became patriarchs, both in name 
and in power, before a century had elapsed. 
And these were the three original patriarchs. 
Towards the close of this century, the bish- 
ops of Constantinople obtained rank next to 
those of Rome, and extended their authority 
over several dioceses not subject to the other 
patriarchs. In the next century, the bishops 
of Jerusalem became independent of the pa- 
triarchs of Antioch ; and thus there were 
five patriarchates formed. Their respective 
limits were as follows. The patriarchal au- 
thority of the bishops of Rome, did not at 
first extend beyond Italy, perhaps not over 
the whole of that. For the bishops of Alii- 



stantine into the external and the internal. (3) The latter, he relinquished 
to the bishops and to councils. It embraced whatever was purely reli- 
gious, religious controversies, forms of worship, functions of the priests, 
the irregularities of their lives, &c. The external administration he took 
upon himself. It included whatever relates to the external condition of 
the church, or to its discipline, and also all contests and causes of the 
ministers of the church, both of the higher and of the lower orders, which 
did not respect religion and sacred functions, but property, worldly hon- 
ours, and privileges, and offences against the laws, and the like. (4) Hs 
therefore and his successors, assembled councils, presided in them, as- 
signed judges for religious disputes, decided contests between bishops and 
their people, determined the limits of the episcopal sees, and by the ordi- 
nary judges heard and. adjudged the civil causes and common offences 
among the ministers of the church ; but the ecclesiastical causes he left to 
the cognizance of the councils and bishops. Yet this famous partition of 
the ecclesiastical government into the external and the internal adminis- 
trations, was never clearly explained and accurately defined. Hence, both 

ca, Spain. Gaul, Britain, and Illyricum, ac- 
knowledged no ecclesiastical head or ruler, 
except their own metropolitans. But after 
the dissolution of the western empire, the 
bishop of Rome found means to bring all the 
bishops and metropolitans of the West under 
his authority. This he justified, partly by 
claiming to be patriarch of all the West, and 
partly by virtue of his assumed supremacy 
over the whole church. The patriarchs of 
Constantinople claimed dominion over the 
civil dioceses of Asia, Pontus, and Thrace, 
which belonged to the prefecture of the East, 
and also over the two dioceses composing 
the prefecture of Illyricum. No one of these 
dioceses had before belonged to any patri- 
archate ; the three former having been gov- 
erned by provincial councils, in which the 
metropolitans of Ephesus, Csesarea in Cap- 
padocia, and Heraclea i Thrace, had the 
precedence of all other metropolitans. The 
two other dioceses, those of Macedonia and 
Dacia, had been governed in a similar man- 
ner ; and being afterwards claimed by the 
bishops of Rome, were the cause of long and 
violent contests between those ambitious 

prelates. But the patriarchs of Constanti- 
nople retained them, and thereby extended 
their dominions northward over the Russian 
empire. The patriarchate of Anlioch em- 
braced, originally, the whole diocese of the 
East, and likewise extended over the church- 
es beyond the limits of the Roman empire in 
Asia, quite to India. But in the year 451, 
the patriarchate of Jerusalem was created 
out of it, embracing the whole of Palaestina 
i , ii., and iii., or Salutaris, and thence to 
Mount Sinai and the borders of Egypt. The 
patriarchate of Alexandria embraced the civil 
diocese of Egypt ; and thence extended into 
Abyssinia. Such were the territorial limits 

of the five patriarchates, from the 5th centu- 
ry onward to the reformation. In the llth 
century, Nilus Doxopatriiis, of Constantino- 
ple, gives them substantially the same bound- 
aries. From him we learn, that the patriarch 
of Constantinople then presided over 52 me- 
tropolitans, who had under them 649 suffra- 
gan bishops ; and over 13 titular metropoli- 
tans, i. e., bishops who were called metro- 
politans and uvTOKE<t>a2,oi, but had no suffra- 
gans ; and likewise 34 titular archbishops. 
The patriarch of Antioch presided over 13 
metropolitans, with 139 suffragans, besides 
8 titular metropolitans, and 13 titular arch- 
bishops. The patriarch of Jerusalem presi- 
ded over 4 metropolitans with suffragans, 
and 25 titular archbishops. And the patri- 
arch of Alexandria presided over 7 metro- 
politans with suffragans, and 5 titular me- 
tropolitans and archbishops. The number 
of suffragans in the two last patriarchates 
is not given. The civil distribution of the 
empire is given by Pictro Giannone, Istoria 
civile di Napoli, lib. ii., cap. i., and the ec- 
clesiastical distrib., ibid., lib. ii., cap. viii. 
See also Bingham's Origines Ecclesiast., I. 
ix., c. i., $ 5, 6. Tr.] 

(3) Eusebms, de Vita Constantini Magn., 
lib. iv., c. 24. 

(4) See the imperial laws, in both the Jus- 
tinian and Theodosian Codices ; and, among 
others, Ja. Gothofrcd, ad Codicem Theodos., 
torn, vi., p. 55, 58, 333, &c. [This whole 
system resulted, in part, from the office of 
Pontifex Maxtmus, which was retained by 
Constantine and all his successors till into 
the fifth century ; and, in part from the con- 
ception of Constantine, that the church was 
a society existing independently of the state. 
See Bos, Diss. de Pontificatu maximo Ira- 
perator. Christianor. Schl.] 


in this and in the following centuries, we see many transactions which do 
not accord with it, but contravene it. For the emperors, not unfrequent- 
ly, determined matters relating to the interior of the church ; and on the 
other hand, councils and bishops often enacted laws respecting things 
which seem to belong to the external form and affairs of the church. 

5. The first among the bishops, in respect to rank and dignity, was 
the bishop of Rome. And this pre-eminence was not founded solely on 
popular feeling and prejudice of long standing, to which various causes 
had given rise, but also on those grounds, which commonly give priority 
and greatness in the estimation of mortals. For he exceeded all other 
bishops, in the amplitude and splendour of the church over which he pre- 
sided, in the magnitude of his revenues and possessions, in the number of 
his assistants or ministers of various descriptions, in the weight of his in- 
fluence with the people at large, and in the sumptuousness and magnif- 
icence of his style of living.(5) These indications of power and worldly 
greatness were so fascinating to the minds of Christians, even in this age, 
that often most obstinate and bloody contests took place at Rome, when a 
new pontiff was to be created, by the suffrages of the priests and people. 
A shocking example of this is afforded by the disturbance at Rome in the 
year 366, after the death of Liberius. When they came to the choice of 
a new bishop, one party was for placing Damasus, and another for ap- 
pointing Ursicmus, a deacon, over the widowed church : and the conten- 
tion issued in a bloody warfare, in which there was fighting, burning of 
buildings, and many lost their lives. Damasus came off victorious in the 
contest ; but whether his claims were better, or his cause more righteous, 
than those of Ursicinus, does not appear. (6) I dare not pronounce either 
of them a good man. 

G. It is however abundantly attested, that the bishops of Rome did 
not, in this age, possess supreme power and jurisdiction in the church. 
They were citizens of the commonwealth ; and though higher in honour, 
they obeyed the laws and the mandates of the emperors, just like other cit- 
izens. The more weighty religious causes were determined, either by 
judges appointed by the emperor, or in ecclesiastical councils ; minor 
causes were decided by individual bishops. The laws relating to religion, 
were enacted either by the emperors or by councils. No one of the bish- 
ops acknowledged, that his authority was derived from the plenary power 
of the Roman bishop, or that he was constituted a bishop by the favour of 
the apostolic see. On the contrary, they all maintained, that they were 
the ambassadors and ministers of Jesus Christ, and that their authority 
was derived from above. (7) Yet it is undeniable, that even in this age, 

(5) Ammianus Marcellinus, Hist., 1. Peter de Marca, de Concordia Sacerdotii et 
xxvii., c. 3. Imperil; L. E. du Pin, de antiqua ecrlesiie 

(6) See the writers of Lives of the Popes, Disciplina ; and especially, Dav. Bloridell, 
among whom Arch. Bower has stated this de la Primaute dans 1'Eglise, a very learned 
matter ingenuously and impartially, in his work : [also Fred. Spanherm, Diss. de Pri- 
Hist. of the Popes, vol. i , p. 180, &c., ed. matu Paps, et Canone vi. Nicaeno. Schl. 
2, Lond., 1749. [Ammianus Marccllin., The sixth canon of the council of Nice, 
Hist., 1. xxvii., c. 3, says, that 137 corpses A.D. 325, gave to the bishops of Alexan- 
of the slain, were found in one day, in the dria, Rome, and Antioch, severally, the same 
church of Sicminus. Tr.] pre-eminence over their respective surround- 

(7) All these points are discussed at large, ing bishops. Melctius had encroached upon 
by many writers, among whom I will name the prerogatives of his metropolitan of Alex- 


several of those steps were laid, by which the Roman pontiffs afterwards 
mounted to the summit of ecclesiastical dominion ; and this, partly by the 
imprudence of the emperors, partly by the sagacity of the pontiffs them- 
selves, and partly by the hasty decisions of certain bishops. Among these 
steps however, I would assign either no place, or only the very last, to the 
fourth canon of the council of Sardica, in the year 347, to which the friends 
of the Roman pontiff assign the first and the most important place. For, not 
to mention that the authority and regularity of this council are very du- 
bious, and that not without reason the enactments of this council are re- 
garded by some as coming to us corrupted, and by others as forged ;(8) it 
can never be made to appear from that canon, that the bishops assembled 
at Sardica decided, that in all cases an appeal might be made to the Ro- 
man pontiff, as the supreme and final judge. But suppose they had so de- 
cided which yet can never be proved how weak must that right be, 
which is founded only on the decision of a single obscure council. (9) 

7. Constantine the Great, by transferring the imperial residence to 
Byzantium and there founding the new city of Constantinople, undesign- 
edly raised up against the rising power of the Roman pontiff a powerful 
competitor, in the bishop of the new metropolis. For as the emperor 
wished his Constantinople to be a new Rome, and had endowed it with all 
the privileges and honours and elegances of old Rome ; the bishop of so 
great a city, which was the imperial residence, also wished to be thought 
every way equal to the bishop of old Rome in rank, and to have precedence 
of all other bishops. Nor did the emperors disapprove of this ambition, 
because they considered their own dignity as involved in that of the bish- 
op of their metropolis. Therefore in the council of Constantinople, as- 

andrfa : and therefore the council ordain, were not confirmed by several subsequent 

(according to the translation of Dionysius councils, nor received by the whole church. 

Exiguus), Antiqua consuetude serveter per See De Marca, de Concordia Sacerdotii, 

^Egyptum, Libyam, et Pentapolim, ita ut &c., lib. vii., c. 4, 5, 11, 12, 15. By the 

Alexandrinus Episcopus horum omnium ha- 3d canon in the Greek or the 4th in the 

beat potestatem ; quia et Romse Episcopo Latin translation by Isidorus, it was or- 

parilis mos est. Similiter autem et apud dered. that if any bishop shall think himself 

Antiochiam, caeterasque provincias, suis unjustly condemned, and wish for a new 

privilegia serventur ecclesiis. To recon- trial, his judges shall acquaint the bishop of 

cile this canon with the papal claims of uni- Rome therewith, who may either confirm the 

versal empire, the Romanists tell us, it re- first judgment, or order a new trial before 

lates merely to the patriarchal or metropoliti- such of the neighbouring bishops as he may 

cal power of the bishop of Rome, and not to choose to name. The 4th canon, according 

his power as pope : a distinction, which to the Greek, adds that in such case the see 

does not appear to have occurred to the Ni- of the deposed bishop shall remain vacant, 

cene fathers. See Nat.alis Alexander, Hist, till the determination of the bishop of Rome 

Eccles.. cent, iv., Dissert, xx. Tr.] is known. By the 5th canon, according to 

(8) See Mich. Geddes, Diss. de Canoni- the Greek, and the 7th of Isidorus, it is or- 
bus Sardicensibus ; among his Miscellaneous dered, that if a condemned bishop apply to 
Tracts, vol. ii.. p. 415; [and Arch. Bower, Rome for relief, the bishop of Rome may, 
Lives of the Popes, Pope Julius, vol. i., if he see fit, not only order a new trial, but 
p. 120, &c., ed. 2, Lond., 1749, 4to. TV.] if the aggrieved bishop desire it, he may send 

(9) [This council was got up by Julius, one of his presbyters to sit and have a voice 
bishop of Rome ; and was designed to be a in the second trial See De Marca, loc. cit., 
general council, and was therefore held at cap. 3 Thus these canons do not give the 
Sardica in Illyricum, as accommodating both bishop of Rome even an appellate jurisdic- 
the East and the West ; but as most of the tion, but only the power to decide whether an 
eastern bishops withdrew from it, it was injured bishop shall have a new trial. 
rather a council of the West. Its decrees Tr.] 


sembled in the year 381 by authority of the emperor Theodosius the 
Great, the bishop of Alexandria not being present, and the bishop of Rome 
being opposed to it, the bishop of Constantinople, by the third canon, was 
placed in the first rank after the bishop of Rome ; the bishops of Alexandria 
and Antioch, of course, to take rank after him. The bishop who had this 
honour conferred on him, was Nectarius. His successor, John Chrysostom, 
went farther, and subjected all Thrace, Asia, [the Diocese of the western 
part of Asia Minor], and Pontus to his jurisdiction. (10) The subsequent 
bishops of Constantinople gradually advanced their claims still farther. 
But this revolution in the ecclesiastical government, and the sudden ele- 
vation of the Byzantine bishop to high rank, to the injury of others, in the 
first place fired the Alexandrine prelates with resentment against those of 
Constantinople ; and in the next place, it gave rise to those unhappy con- 
tests between the pontiffs of old and new Rome, which, after being pro- 
tracted through several centuries with various success, finally produced a 
separation between the Latin and the Greek churches. 

8. The vices and the faults of the clergy, especially of those who of- 
ficiated in large and opulent cities, were augmented in proportion to the 
increase of their wealth, honours, and advantages, derived from the em- 
perors and from various other sources : and that this increase was very 
great, after the times of Constantinej is acknowledged by all. The bish- 
ops had shameful quarrels among themselves, respecting the boundaries 
of their sees and the extent of their jurisdiction ; and, while they trampled 
on the rights of the people and of the inferior clergy, they vied with the 
civil governors of provinces, in luxury, arrogance, and voluptuousness. (11) 
The presbyters, in many places, arrogated to themselves a dignity and au- 
thority equal to bishops. Of the pride and effeminacy of the deacons, we 
often meet with various complaints. Those especially who ranked first 
among the presbyters and deacons, were unwilling to be considered as be- 
longing to the same order with the others ; and therefore, they not only 
assumed the titles of archpresbyters and archdeacons, but they thought 
themselves authorized to assume far greater liberties, than were allowed 
to the others. 

9. Among the eminent writers of this century who were an ornament 
to the eastern provinces and to Greece, the most distinguished were those 
whose names here follow. Eusebius Pamphili, bishop of Cacsarea in Pal- 
estine, a man of vast reading and erudition, and one who has acquired im- 
mortal fame by his labours in ecclesiastical history, and in other branches 
of theological learning. Yet he was not free from errors and defects ; 
and he leaned towards the side of those who think there is subordination 
among the three persons in the Godhead. Some rank him among the 

(10) See Peter de Marca, Diss. de Con- post Romanum Episcopum, proptcrca quod 

stantin. Patriarchatus institutione ; annexed ait nova Roma." TV.] 
to his work, de Concordia sacerdotii et im- (11) See Sulpitius Severus, Historia Sa- 

perii, vol. iv., p. 163, &c., ed. Bamb., 1789. era, lib. i., c. 23, lib. ii., c. 32, 51, Dialog, i., 

Mich. Ic Quien, Oriens Christianus, torn, i., c. 21. Add to this the account given by 

p. 15, &c. Sam. Porter, An account of the Dao. Clarkson, in his Discourse on Litur- 

Government of the Christian Church for the gies, p. 228, (of the French edition), of the 

first six hundred years, p. 245, Lond., 1683, extremely corrupt state of morals among the 

8vo. [The canon of the council was thus clergy ; and in particular of the eagerness of 

expressed: " Constant inopolitanae civitatis the bishops to extend the boundaries of their 

Episcopum habere oportet primatus honorem authority, p. 150, &c. 



Arians ; but they certainly err in so doing, if they intend by an Arian, 
one who embraces the opinions taught by Arius, the presbyter of Alex- 
andria.(12) Peter, bishop of Alexandria, who is highly extolled by Eu- 

(12) No one has with more zeal and learn- 
ing accused Eusebius of Arianism, than Joh. 
le Clerc, in his Epistolae Ecclesiast. annexed 
to his Ars Critica, ep. ii., p. 30, &c. To 
him, add Natalis Alexander, Hist. Eccles. 
N. Test., Saec. iv., Diss. xvii. All how- 
ever that these and others labour to prove is, 
that Eusebius thought there was some dis- 
parity and a subordination among the per- 
sons of the Godhead. And suppose this to 
have been his opinion, it will not follow that 
he was an Arian, unless the term be taken in 
a very extensive and improper sense. It is to 
be lamented that so many abuse this term, 
and apply it to persons who, though in error, 
are very far from holding the opinions of 
Arius. [Eusebivs Pamphili (ss. amicus, 
<J>itof) was born, probably, about the year 
270, and at Caesarea, where he spent nearly 
all his life. Till about forty years of age, he 
lived in great intimacy with the martyr Pam- 
phylus, a learned and devout man of Caesa- 
rea, and founder of an extensive library there, 
from which Eusebius derived his vast stores 
of learning. Pamphylus was two years in 

Erison, during which Eusebius was constant- 
/ with him. After the martyrdom of his 
friend, in the year 309, Eusebius fled first 
to Tyre, and thence to Egypt, where he 
lived till the persecution subsided. After 
his return to Caesarea, about the year 314, he 
was made bishop of his own city. In the 
year 325, he attended the council of Nice, 
was appointed todeliver the address to the em- 
peror on his entering the council, and then to 
be seated at his right hand. The first draught 
of the Nicene creed was made by him ; to 
which however, the term ououaiov and the 
anathemas were added by the council, and 
not without some scruples on the part of Eu- 
sebius. Afterwards Eusebius appeared to 
belong to a moderate party, who could not 
go all lengths with either side. About the 
year 330, he was offered the patriarchal chair 
of Antioch; which he refused, because the 
ancient customs forbid the removal of bish- 
ops from one see to another. He died about 
the year 340. The opinion advanced by 
Dr. Mosheim, respecting the Arianism of 
Eusebius, is supported at length, by Socra- 
tes among the ancients, Hist. Eccles., 1. ii , 
c. 21, and by W. Cave, in his Diss. de Eu- 
sebii Caesarien. Arianismo, adv. Joh. Cler- 
icum ; and in his Epistola apologet. ad eun- 
dem ; both are annexed to his Historia lite- 
rar. Scriptor. Ecclesiast. Of the numerous 
works of Eusebius, the following have been 

1. Chronicon: originally in two parts; 
the first, a brief history of the origin and rev- 
olutions of all nations ; and the second, a full 
chronological table of the same events. Lit- 
tle of the original Greek remains ; but we 
have the Latin translation of the second part, 
by Jerome ; which, with what could be glean- 
ed of the Greek, and considerable additions 
from other ancient chroniclers, was published 
by Jos. Scaliger, 1606, fol., and a 2d ed. by 
Morus, 1658. The entire Chronicon has 
been preserved in an Armenian translation ; 
and was published, Armen. and Lat., with 
notes, Venice, 1817, 2 torn. fol. 

2. Prceparatio Evangelica, in 15 books; 
intended to prepare the minds of pagans to 
embrace Christianity, by showing that the 
pagan religions are absurd, and far less wor- 
thy to be received than the Christian. It is a 
learned and valuable work ; published, Gr. 
and Lat., by F. Vigerus, Paris, 1628, fol., 
and again, Cologne (Leipsic), 1688. 

3. Demonstratio Evangelica, in 20 books, 
of which the last 10 are lost. This is an at- 
tempt to demonstrate the truth of the Chris- 
tian religion, by arguments drawn from the 
Old Test., and was therefore intended espe- 
cially for the Jews. It is far less valuable 
than the former : ed. Paris, 1628, and Co- 
logne, 16S8, fol. 

4. Contra Hieroclem Liber ; in defence 
of Christianity, against the attack of that 
pagan philosopher. See the article 
cles, supra, p. 223, note (45). It is pub- 
lished Gr. and Lat., annexed to the Demon- 
stratio Evang., and by Go/if. Otcarius, with 
the works of the two Philostratus, Lips., 
1709, fol. 

5. Historia Ecclesiastica, in 10 books, 
from the birth of Christ, to the death of Li- 
cinius in 324. A most valuable treasure ; 
though less full and complete, than could be 
wished. Eusebius was an impartial histo- 
rian, and had access to the best helps for 
composing a correct history which his age 
afforded. See Ch. Aug. Kestncr, Com- 
mentatio de Eusebii Historiae Eccles. con- 
ditoris Auctoritate et Fide diplomatica, sive 
de ejus Fontibus et Ratione, qua eis usus 
est ; Gotting., 1816, 4to. This work, with 
the three following, was best edited, Gr. and 
Lat., by Valesius, Paris, 1659 and 1671 ; 
Amsterd., 1695, and with improvements by 
W. Reading, Cambridge, 1720, 3 vols. fol. 
including the other Gr. Ecclesiastical his- 
torians ; namely, Socrates, Sozomen, The- 
odoret, Evagrius, Theodorus Lector, and 
Philostorgius. Those of Euseb., Socrat., 



sebius.(l3) Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria, famous, among other writings 
and acts, for his very strenuous opposition to the Arians.(14) Basil, sur- 

Sozom., and Evag., with the three following 
works, were translated into English, Cambr, 
1683, 1 vol. fol. 

6. De Martyribus Palaestinae Liber : usu- 
ally appended to the eighth Book of his Hist. 
Eccles. It gives account of the sufferers in 
the East and in Egypt, during the persecu- 
tion of Diocletian, or A.D. 303-313. 

7. De Vita Constantini Magni, libri iv. ; 
a panegyric, rather than a biography. 

8. Oratio de Laudibus Constantini ; de- 
livered on the emperor's vicennalia, A.D. 

9. Contra Marcellum. libri ii. ; composed 
by order of the council of Constantinople, 
A.D. 336, by which Marcellns was con- 
demned as a Sabellian : annexed, Gr. and 
Lat., to the Paris edition of the Praep. 
Evang., 1628. 

10. De Ecdcsiastica Theologia, libri iii. 
This also is in confutation of Marcellus' 
opinions ; and is printed with the former, 
Gr. and Lat., subjoined to the Praep. Evang. 

11. De Lncis Hehraicis ; a kind of Bib- 
lical Gazetteer of Palestine : edited with the 
Latin translation of Jerome, by Bonfrerius, 
Pans, 1631. 

12. Expositio in Canlica Canticorum ; 
ed. by Meursivs, Leyden, 1617, 4to. 

13. Vitae Prophetarum, ascribed to Eu- 
seb., Gr. and Lat., Paris, 1580, fol., with 
the Comment of Procopius in Isaiam. 

14. Canones sacrorum Evangeliorum : ta- 
bles showing what portions of the Gospel 
History are narrated by one, by two, by 
three, or by four Evangelists. The Latin 
translation of Jerome was published in the 
Orthodoxographia, in the Works of Jerome, 
and in Biblioth. Patrum. 

15. Apologiae pro Origene liber primus ; 
(the other live Books are wholly lost) ; the 
Latin translation of this, by Rufinus, is pub- 
lished among the works of Jerome. 

16. Cvmmcntarii in Psalmos cl. (but all 
beyond ps. 119 is lost), published, Gr. and 
Lat., by Montfaucon, Collect. Nov. Gr. Pa- 
trum, torn, i., Paris, 1706, fol. 

17. Comment arii in Isaiam ; ed., Gr. and 
Lat., by Montfaucon, ubi supra, torn. ii. 

18. Fourteen Latin Essays or Discourses 
against Sabellianism, &c., were published 
by Sirmond, Paris, 1643, 8vo, under the du- 
bious title of Eusebii Caesariensis Opuscu- 
la, xiv. 

19. Eclogarum propheticarum de Christo, 
libri iv., (a collection and explanation of the 
O. T. prophecies concerning Chrtsi), is said 
to exist in MS. in the Bibliotheca Viennensis. 

20. Epistola ad Cacsancnsct ; a letter to 

his own church, concerning the Nicene creed; 
extant, Gr. and Lat., in Socrates, Hist. Ec- 
cles., 1. i., c. 8. Theodoret, Hist. Eccles., 1. 
i., c. 12, et inter Opera Athanasii, torn, i., p. 
238, ed. Paris. 

Eusebivs wrote many other works which 
have not reached us : namely, de Praepara^- 
tione Ecclesiastica libri aliquot ; de Demon- 
stratione Ecclesiast. contra Porphyrium, 
libri xxv. ; de Evangeliorum dissonantia ; 
irepl QfoQaveiac, libri v. ; Comment, in i. 
Epist. ad Corinth. irepi TOTTIKUV OVO/J.UTUV, 
liber primus, (the first part of No. 11) ; de 
vita PamphUi, libri iii. ; Confutationis et 
Apologias, libri ii., (probably, a defence of 
himself against the charge of Arianism) ; 
Antiquorum Martyriorurn Collectio, (said to 
be in eleven Books) ; Acta Martyrii Sti. Lu- 
ciani ; Descriptio Basilicae Hierosolym. Do 
Festo Paschale Liber ; Epistola ad Constan- 
tiam de imagine Christi ; Epistola ad Alex- 
andrum Ep. Alex, de Ario ; Epistola adEu- 
phrationem, (extracts from these 3 Epistles 
are found in the Acta Concilii Niceui ii. 
Actione 6ta). Tr.J 

(13) Eusebivs, Hist. Eccles., lib. ix., c. 
6. [Peter succeeded Thomas in the chair 
of Alexandria, in the year 300 ; was impris- 
oned in the year 303, and whether released 
or not, before his martyrdom in 311, is un- 
certain. He is represented as a very learn- 
ed, pious, and active bishop. Of his wri- 
tings, nothing remains but some rules re- 
specting penance, and other points of eccle- 
siastical discipline, to be found in the col- 
lections of the ancient canons and decrees 
of councils. TV.] 

(14) The accounts given of Alhanasius 
by the oriental writers, are collected by 
Euseb. Renaudot, in his Historia Patriarch. 
Alexandrinorum, p. 83. All the works of 
Athanaxius were splendidly published in 
three volumes folio, by the Benedictine 
monk, Bernh. de Monifaucon. [Alhanasius 
was born at Alexandria about the year 298. 
He had a good education, and early dis- 
played great strength of mind, and uncom- 
mon sagacity as a disputant and a man of bu- 
siness. He was ordained a deacon in 319, 
and became the confidant and chief coun- 
sellor of his bishop Alexander, whom he ac- 
companied to the council of Nice in 325. 
In that council he was very active, and ac- 
quired great reputation. In the year 326, died ; and from his recommenda- 
tion, Alhanasius succeeded to the see of 
Alexandria, when only 27 or 28 years old. 
For half a century, he was the head of the 
orthodox party in the Arian controversy. 



named the Great, bishop of Csesarea [in Cappadocia], who was inferior to few 
of this century in felicity of genius, skill in debate, and eloquence.(15) Cy. 

This rendered him extremely odious to the 
Arians, and involved him in controversy and 
sufferings nearly all his life. False accusa- 
tions were raised against him ; and a coun- 
cil was held at Ca?sarea A.D. 334, before 
which he was summoned, but would not ap- 
pear. The next year, by peremptory com- 
mand of the emperor Constantine, he ap- 
peared before the council of Tyre, and an- 
swered to the charges of murder, unchastity, 
necromancy, encouraging sedition, oppres- 
sive exactions of money, and misuse of 
church property. Though his defence was 
good, he could not obtain justice ; and he 
therefore fled to Constantinople, imploring 
the protection of the emperor. Here a coun- 
cil was assembled in 336, and a new charge 
falsely preferred against him, namely, that he 
prevented the shipments of corn from Alex- 
andria to Constantinople. He was unjustly 
condemned, and banished to Treves in Bel- 
gium. Arius died that year, and Constan- 
tine the Great the year following. In the 
year 338, the sons of Constantine allowed 
Athanasius to return to Alexandria. He 
immediately began to displace Arians, and 
to recall the churches to the faith. Dis- 
turbances ensued ; Athanasius was again ac- 
cused ; and he made application to the bp. 
of Rome for aid. In 341, the council of 
Antioch decreed, that no bishop who had 
been deposed by a council, ought ever to 
return to his see ; and on this ground, the 
see of Alexandria was declared vacant, and 
one Gregory of Cappadocia appointed to it. 
Gregory took forcible possession of it, and 
Athanasius fled to Rome for protection. 
A provincial council held there, acquitted 
him on all the charges of his adversa- 
ries ; and three years after, A.D. 344, a 
much larger council held at Sardica, did the 
same. In 347, after an exile of 7 or 8 
years, Athanasius was permitted by the 
Arian emperor Constant.ius, to return to his 
see. But in 350, on the death of Constans, 
he was again accused and persecuted. Con- 
stantius caused him to be condemned in a 
council at Aries in 354, and at the council 
of Milan in 355. Athanasius concealed 
himself at Alexandria two years, and then 
retired among the hermits of Egypt, till the 
death of Constantius in 361. In this retire- 
ment, he wrote most of his best works. On 
the accession of Julian, in 361, he returned 
to his flock. But the next year, the pagans 
joining the Arians, induced Julian to banish 
him again. But Julian died the same year, 
and Athanasius returned immediately to his 
see. In the year 367, the Arian emperor 

Valens made some attempts to remove him, 
but without success. He died A.D. 373, 
aged about 75, having been a bishop 46 years. 
He was truly a great man, a good bishop, and 
a most able, persevering, and successful de- 
fender of the orthodox faith, in respect to 
the Trinity. His works are chiefly contro- 
versial, and in relation to that one doctrine. 
They consist of numerous letters and tracts, 
together with some brief expositions of the 
Scriptures, and a Life of St. Anthony. His 
four Orations, or Discourses, against the 
Arians, and his Discourse against the pagans, 
which are his largest works, were translated 
into English by Sam. Parker, and printed at 
Oxford, 1713, 2 vols. 8vo. His works, Gr. 
and Lai., two volumes in 3 parts, were best 
published by Montfaucon, Paris, 1698 ; and 
Padua, 1777, fol. But a great number of 
letters, tracts, comments, and narratives, the 
production of subsequent ages, are falsely 
ascribed to him, and printed with his works. 
Among these, beyond all question, is the 
creed, quicungue vult, falsely called the 
Athanasian Creed. See Cave, Historia Lit- 
terar., i., p. 189. Oudin, de Scriptor. Ec- 
cles., torn, i., p. 312. Fabricius, Biblioth. 
Gr., vol. v., p. 297. Montfaucon, Praef. ad 
Opp. Athanasii ; and Schroecfch, Kirchen- 
gesch., vol. xii., p. 93-252. Also Gibbon's 
Decline and Fall of the Rom. Empire, ch. 
xxi., vol. ii , p. 258-275, ch. xxiii., p. 355, 
&c., ch. xxiv., p. 406, &c., ed. 1826, in 6 
vols. 8vo. Tr.] 

(15) His works are published by the 
Benedictine monk, Julian Gamier, Paris, 
[1721-1730], 3 vols. fol. [Basil \\as born 
at Cassarea in Cappadocia, about A.D. 329, 
and died archbishop of that church, A.D. 
379, act. 50. His first instruction in reli- 
gion was from his grandmother Maerina, a 
hearer and admirer of Gregory Thaumatur- 
gus. His father, whose name was Basil, 
instructed him in the liberal arts. Thence 
he went to Constantinople or to Caesarea in 
Palestine, and studied under Libanius, the 
philosopher and rhetorician. Next he stu- 
died at Athens, under Himerius and Proac- 
resius, having Gregory Naz. and Julian the 
apostate, for fellow-students in language, el- 
oquence, poetry, history, and philosophy. 
In the year 355, he returned to Cappadocia, 
taught rhetoric a short time, and then re- 
tired for 13 years to a monastery in Pontus. 
From this time he became a most rigid as- 
cetic, and a very zealous monk. He found- 
ed several monasteries, and composed rules 
and regulations for monks. In 363 he was 
called to Caesarea, and ordained a presbyter ; 



rillus, bishop of Jerusalem, has left us some catechetical discourses, which he 
delivered at Jerusalem ; but many suspect him of intimacy with the Semi- 
arians.(16) John, for his eloquence surnamed Chrysostom, a man of ge- 
nius, who presided over the church of Antioch and that of Constantinople, 
and has left us various specimens of his erudition, among which his pub- 
lie discourses which he delivered with vast applause, stand conspicuous. (17) 

the next year, falling out with his bishop, 
Euscbius, he retired to his monastery, but 
was soon recalled by the bishop. He was 
now a very popular and efficient preacher. 
On the death of archbishop Euscbius, in the 
year 370, Basil was raised to the archiepis- 
copal chair. He still dressed and lived like 
a monk, but was a most active and effi- 
cient bishop. He reformed the morals of the 
clergy, established rigid discipline in the 
churches, promoted orthodoxy and harmony 
in that jarring age, established almshouses 
for the sick and indigent ; and died triumph- 
antly, on the first of January, 379. Eulogies 
of him were composed by Gregory Nai., 
Gregory Nyssen, (who was his brother), 
Ephracm Syrus, and Amphylochius. He 
was a fine belles lettres scholar, an elegant 
writer, and a good reasoner. His works 
that remain are numerous, consisting of near 
a hundred discourses, sermons, and homilies, 
365 epistles, various ascetic tracts, contro- 
versial pieces, a liturgy, &c. One of his 
best pieces is, his treatise on the person 
and offices of the Holy Spirit. He is un- 
equal in his performances, and comes much 
short of Chrysostom as an orator. Yet his 
enthusiasm, his flexibility of style, and his 
clear and cogent reasoning, notwithstanding 
the gloomy austerity of his monastic char- 
acter, entitle him to that high rank among 
the ancient clergy, which has ever been as- 
signed him. See Godf. Hcrmant, Vie de S. 
Basile le Grand, Archeveque de Cesaree en 
Cappadoce, et celle de S. Gregoire de Na- 
zianze, Archev. de Constantinople, Paris, 
1679, 2 vols. 4to. Ftibricius. Biblioth. Gr., 
vol. viii., p. 60, &c. Jul. Gamier, Vita Sti. 
Basilii, prefixed to the 3d vol. of his Opp. 
Basilii, Paris, 1730 ; and Schrocckh, Kir- 
chen., vol. xiii., p. 1-214. Milner's Church 
History, cent, iv., ch. 23. For his charac- 
ter as a pulpit orator, see Bernh. Eschen- 
berg, Gesch. der Religionsvortrag, p. 150 
-162, Jena, 1785, 8vo. and J. W. Schmidt, 
Anleitung zum popularen Kanzelvortrag, pt. 
iii., p. 87-90, ed. 2. Jena, 1800, 8vo. "TV.] 
(16) The later editions of his works, are, 
in England, by Tho. Mtllcs, [Oxford, 1703, 
fol.] and in France, by the Benedictine Au- 
gust. Touttcc, [Paris, 1720, fol. Cyril is 
supposed to have been born at Jerusalem 
about the year 315 He was made dea- 
con in the church of Jerusalem about A.D. 

VOL. I. H H 

335, and presbyter, perhaps 3 years after. 
On the death of Maximus the bishop, Cyr- 
il was raised to the episcopal chair. But 
the Arian controversy, and his contest with 
Acacius of Caesarea respecting the priori- 
ty of their episcopal sees, caused him to 
be twice deposed, (A.D. 357 or 358, and 
360), and to be expelled from his see by 
the emperor Valens in 367. But he re- 
turned after short intervals to his charge ; 
and from 378, sat peaceably in his chair, till 
his death A.D. 386. He appears to have 
been truly orthodox, though not disposed to 

fo to extremes. (Thcodoret, Hist. Eccles., 
ii., c. 26, and 1. v., c. 9.) Of his works, 
we have 23 Lectures to Catechumens ; the 
first 18, on the creed of his church, (which 
was very nearly the same with what we call 
the Apostles' Creed), and the other 5, to 
the newly baptized, on the ordinances, bap- 
tism, chrism (or confirmation), and the 
Lord's Supper. These lectures, though 
written when Cyril was a young man, and 
only a presbyter, about the year 348 or 349, 
are an invaluable treasure to us ; as they 
are the most complete system of theology, 
and most circumstantial account of the rites 
of the church, which have reached us from 
so early an age. They are plain, didactic 
treatises, well adapted to the object for 
which they were written. See Tzschirncr, 
de Claris Vet. Eccl. Oratoribus, Commenta- 
tio vii., Lips., 1821, 4(o. Besides these lec- 
tures, a letter of his to the emperor Con- 
stantius, giving account of a marvellous ap- 
pearance of a luminous cross in the heav- 
ens, A.D. 351 ; and a discourse he deliver- 
ed at Tyre ; are preserved. See Cave, 
Histor. Litterar. Tmtitcc, preface to Cyr- 
r/'s Works ; and Sckroeckh, Kirchengesch., 
vol. xii., p. 343-444. TV.] 

(17) For the best edition of the entire 
works of this most elegant and gifted man, 
in 11 [13] large folio volumes, we are in- 
debted to the industry of Bernh. de Mont- 
faucon, [Paris, 1718-38. John Chrysostom 
was the son of a respectable military gentle- 
man of Antioch in Syria, named Secundui. 
He was born in the year 354, and lost his 
father in his childhood. Early displaying 
marks of uncommon genius, his mother An- 
thusa, a pious and excellent woman, pro- 
cured for him the best instructers in all 
branches of learning. After spending three 



Epiphanius, bishop of Salamina in Cyprus, has described the various sects 
of Christians, as far down as his own times, in a large volume ; which 
however contains many defects and misrepresentations, arising from the 
credulity and ignorance of the author. (18) Gregory of Nazianzus, and 

years in the family, and under the religious exile. " When driven from the city, I cared 
instruction of Meletius the bishop of Anti- 
och, he attended the schools of Libanius, 
in rhetoric, of Andragathias, in philosophy, 
and of Carterius and Diodorus, (afterwards 
bishop of Tyre), in sacred literature, who 
taught him to construe the scriptures literal- 
ly. Distinguished as a scholar, he was also 
early pious ; and about the age of twenty, 
embracing a monastic life, he retired to the 
mountains and spent four years in the soci- 
ety of an aged hermit, and two years more 
in a solitary cave. Nearly worn out by his 
austerities, he was obliged to return to An- 
tioch, where he was made a deacon in 381, 
and commenced author at the age of 26. 
Five years after he was ordained a presby- 
ter, and began to preach. During twelve 
years he wrote and delivered an immense 
number of sermons, orations, and homilies. 
In A.D. 398, he was made patriarch of Con- 
stantinople, and in that station laboured and 
preached incessantly. But his life was too 
austere, his preaching too pungent, and his 
discipline too strict, for that corrupt metrop- 
olis. The empress, the lax clergy, and 
many courtiers combined against him. In 
the year 403, he was summoned before an 
irregular council, to answer to 46 frivolous 
or false charges ; and refusing to appear, he 
was condemned, deposed, and banished, for 
contumacy. But his people were so tumul- 
tuous, that his enemies were compelled to 
recall him. The next year, however, A.D. 
404, he was forcibly removed to Cucusus 
in Armenia, to the unspeakable grief of all 
good men. Here he suffered extremely, 
his health failed, and being removed to Pi- 
tyus in Colchis, he died on the road thither, 
the 14th of September, 407, aged 52 years 
and 8 months. For overpowering popular 
eloquence, Chrysostom had no equal among 
the fathers. His discourses show an inex- 
haustible richness of thought and illustration, 
of vivid conception, and striking imagery. 
His style is elevated, yet natural and clear. 
He transfuses his own glowing thoughts and 
emotions into all his hearers, seemingly 
without effort, and without the power of re- 
sistance. Yet he is sometimes too florid, 
he uses some false ornaments, he accumu- 

lates metaphors and illustrations, and carries 
both his views and his figures too far. The 
spirit of the man, and some idea of his style, 
may be learned from the following literal 
translation of a paragraph in one of his pri- 
vate letters to a friend, written during his 

nothing for it. But I said to myself, if the 
empress wishes to banish me, let her banish 
me : the earth is the Lord's, and the ful- 
ness thereof. If she would saw me in sun- 
der, let her saw me in sunder : I have Isa- 
iah for a pattern. If she would plunge me 
in the sea: I. remember Jonah. If she 
would thrust me into the fiery furnace : I 
see the three children enduring that. If she 
would cast me to wild beasts : I call to 
mind Daniel in the den of lions. If she 
would stone me, let her stone me : I have 
before me, Stephen the protomartyr. If she 
would take my head from me, let her take 
it : I have John the Baptist. If she would 
deprive me of my worldly goods, let her do 
it-: naked came I from my mother's womb, 
and naked shall I return. An apostle has 
told me, ' God respecteth not man's per- 
son ;' and ' if I yet pleased men, I should 
not be the servant of Christ.' And David 
clothes me with armour, saying, ' I will speak 
of thy testimonies before kings, and will not 
be ashamed.' " The works of Chrysostom, 
(including some falsely ascribed to him), 
consist of about 350 sermons and orations, 
on a great variety of subjects and occasions ; 
about 620 homilies, or exegetical discourses, 
on different books of the Old and New Tes- 
taments ; and about 250 letters ; together 
with several tracts on monasticism, and a 
treatise on the Priesthood, in six Books. 
There is also a Liturgy which bears his 
name, being that used at Constantinople, 
and which perhaps received some alterations 
from his hand. For an account of his life 
and writings, see Cave, Histor. Litteraria ; 
Tillemont, Memoires a THist. Eccles., 
torn, xi., p. 1-405, 547-626. Schrocckh, 
Kirchengesch., vol. x., p. 245-490. Mont- 
faucon, Opp. Chrysost, torn, xiii., p. 1-177. 
For the sentiments, character and influence 
of the man, see A. Neander's Johannes 
Chrysostom. und die Kirche in dessen Zeit- 
alter, Berlin, 1821-22, 2 vols. 8vo. Tr.~\ 

(18) His works, with a Latin translation 
and notes, were published by the Jesuit, Di- 
onys. Petavius, [Paris, 1622, 2 vols. fol., 
and Cologne (Lips.), 1682]. His life is 
given in a good sized volume, by Ja. Gerva- 
sius, Paris, 1738, 4to. [Epiphanius, of 
Jewish extract, was born at Bezanduca, a 
village near Eleutheropolis, some twenty 
miles from Jerusalem, about the year 310. 
He became a monk in early life, visited 
Egypt, fell into the toils of the Gnostics, 



Gregory of Nyssa, obtained much renown among the theologians and dis- 
putants of that age ; and their works show, that they were not unworthy to 
be held in estimation. (19) But after ages would have prized them higher, 

escaped, was intimate with St. Antony ; 
and returning to Palestine in his 20th year, 
about 330, became a disciple of Hilanon, 
established a monastery near his native vil- 
lage, called Ancient Ad, where he lived more 
than thirty years. He read much, and was 
ordained a presbyter over his monastery. In 
the year 367, he was made archbishop of 
Constantia (formerly Salamu) in Cyprus, 
but still lived by monastic rules. He en- 
gaged in all the controversies of the times, 
was an active and popular bishop, for 36 
years, and regarded as a great saint, and 
worker of miracles. In 376, he was at An- 
tioch, on the Apollinarian heresy ; and in 
382, at Rome, on the Meletian controversy. 
He had a long and fierce contest with John 
bishop of Jerusalem, respecting Origcmsm, 
which he regarded with strong abhorrence. 
His friend Theophilus, bishop of Alexandria, 
having expelled some monks from Egypt, on 
the charge of Origenism, in the year 401, 
Epiphamus held a provincial council of Cy- 
prus, against that error ; and as the expelled 
monks fled to Constantinople, Epiphamus 
followed them in 402, intending to coerce 
Chrysostom into a condemnation of those 
monks and of Origenism. But his enter- 
prise wholly failed, and he died on his way 
home, A.D. 403, aged above 90 years. He 
became an author when turned of 60. His 
first work, Anchoratus, (The Anchor), was 
written A.D. 374 ; to teach the world gen- 
uine Christianity, in opposition to the prevail- 
ing and especially the Arian heresies. Soon 
after he composed his great work contra oc- 
toaginta Haereses, in 3 Books, divided into 
7 parts or tomi. He also made an Epitome 
of -this work ; and wrote a treatise on (scrip- 
ture) Weights and Measures ; a Letter to 
John bishop of Jerusalem ; another to Je- 
rome ; and some other works of little value. 
It is said, he understood five languages, He- 
brew, Syriac, Egyptian, Greek, and Latin. 
His learning was great, his judgment rash, 
and his credulity and mistakes very abun- 
dant. See Cave, Histor. Litterar., p. 231- 
234 ; and Schroeckh, Kirchengesch., vol. x., 
p. 1-100. Tr.] 

(19) Tolerable editions of the writings of 
both these men, were published in France, 
duriiiL r the 17th century; but better editions 
are anticipated from the Benedictines. [Af- 
ter long delay, the first vol. of the e.\| 
Benedictine edition of Gregory Na:i<in:>n'x 
works appeared at Paris in 1778, edited by 
Clemencet, large fol. Of the old editions, 
the best is that of Billius, Gr. and Lat., 

Paris, 1609, 1630, and Cologne (Lips.), 
1690, 2 vols. fol. His works, as here pub- 
lished, consist of about 50 Orations, or Ser- 
mons ; near 250 Epistles ; and about 140 
poems. Besides these, Muratori has pub- 
lished 228 Epigrams and short poems of his ; 
in his AnecdotaGr.,p. 1-117, Petav., 1709, 
4to. Some of the orations are violent at- 
tacks upon Arians and others ; many others 
are eulogies on his friends and on monks ; 
and a few are discourses on practical sub- 
jects. Of the poems, one of the longest is 
an account of his own life. Most of them 
were written after he retired from public 
life, and are of a religious character, but of 
no great merit as specimens of genius. As 
an orator Gregory Naz. is considered supe- 
rior to Basil, for strength and grandeur. He 
also possessed a fertile imagination. But he 
has little method, and he abounds in false 
ornament. He was born about the year 325. 
His father, who was also named Gregory, 
was bishop of Nazianzus in Cappadocia for 
about 45 years, from A.D. 329 to 374. His 
mother Nonna, like the mother of Samuel, 
devoted her son to the Lord before he was 
born. His education was begun at Caesarea 
in Cappadocia, continued at Caesarea in Pal- 
estine and at Alexandria, and completed at 
Athens, at the age of 30, A.D. 355. He 
was at Athens about five years ; and there 
commenced that intimacy with Basil the 
Great, which lasted through life. On his 
return to Nazianzus, m 356, he was baptized, 
and betook himself to a retired and studious 
life, for which he always manifested a sirong 
predilection. In 361, his father compelled 
him to receive ordination as a presbyter ; 
and the next year he preached his first ser- 
mon. On the death of Julian, who had been 
his fellow-student at Athens, he composed 
two invectives against him. His friend, 
archbishop Basil, in the year 372, offered 
him the bishopric of Sasima. which he re- 
fused with indignation, on account of his 
aversion to public life. Yet he afterwards 
consented to be ordained as assistant to his 
aged father, on condition of not being obliged 
to succeed him. Soon after the death of his 
father, in 374, he retired to Seleucia, and 
spent three years in obscurity. In 379, be- 
ing pressed beyond the power of resistance, 
he went to Constantinople to preach to the 
remnant of the orthodox there. His success 
in converting Arians was here very great : 
and he was so popular, that the general coun- 
cil of Constantinople, and the emperor The- 
odosius, constrained him to accept the patri- 



if they had been less attached to Origenism, and more free from the false 
eloquence of the sophists. Among the Syrians, Ephraim has given im- 
mortality to his name by the sanctity of his life, and by a great number of 
writings, in which he confutes heretics, explains the scriptures, and treats 
on religious duties.(20) Among those of whom but few works have reach- 
ed us, are, Pamphylus, the martyr and intimate friend of Eusebius ;(21) 

archal chair of that metropolis. But before 
the council rose, it being objected to him, 
that it was irregular for a bishop to be trans- 
ferred from one see to another, he gladly re- 
signed. Returning to Nazianzus, he dis- 
charged the episcopal functions there for a 
short time. But in 383, he retired altogeth- 
er from public life, and after about seven 
years spent chiefly in writing religious poetry, 
he closed life, about A.D. 390. See Cave, 
Histor. Litteraria ; and Schroeckh, Kirchen- 
gesch., vol. xiii., p. 268-458. 

Gregory, bishop of Nyssa in Cappadocia, 
and younger brother of Basil the Great, was 
probably born about 331, at Caesarea in Cap- 
padocia. Of his early education little is 
known. He was no monk, and at first 
averse from the ministry. He was made 
bishop of Nyssa in Cappadocia, about the 
year 372. But soon after he was driven 
from his see, by the persecution of the Ari- 
ans, and for several years, travelled from 
place to place. In 378 he returned to his 
see. Afterwards, he was much employed 
on councils, and was greatly esteemed by 
the orthodox. The council of Antioch, 379, 
appointed him to visit the churches in A