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History for extraordinary research or powerful ability, is written Our accounts of Cyprian are chiefly derived from his Eccle. in a very lively, varied, elegant, and agreeable manner. Life, written by his Deacon, Pontius, (which we have
Writers of The arguments on both sides are set forth with grace before mentioned, *) the Acts of his Martyrdom, and the Ilod and force, and illustrated with learning and intelli- various passages in his Works.
and Illrd gence. In the tone of flowing declamation and of Cyprian appears, it must be acknowledged, to have centuries. poignant raillery, which pervades it, the style of a lawyer been extremely anxious to enforce the importance of is perhaps obvious; but it is not calculated to warp the Ecclesiastical authority. Much allowance ought, how, judgment rather than to stimulate the attention of the ever, to be made for his peculiar situation, surrounded reader. Minucius Felix was evidently versed in the by men, of whom some wished to relax, others to carry Writings of Cicero, which have imparted a superior to an unnecessary pitch of rigour the discipline of the degree of ease, correctness, and polish to his diction. Church, some to derogate from the Episcopal dignity,
and others to give undue influence to the Church of CYPRIAN.
Rome. It is much to his honour that he always main
tained the independence of the different Sees; and that CIRCITER A. D. 248.
he applauded in strong terms the custom of giving to Thascius Cæcilius* Cyprianus, a native of Africa, and the People their share in the election of Bishops. Disprobably of Carthage, was converted to Christianity, countenancing secret measures, he referred all matters according to Pearson,t in the year 246. Previously to of consequence to his clergy and congregation. that period he taught Rhetoric with great applause, and A Life of Cyprian has been written by Le Clerc,t in a Life by appears to have lived in a state of affluence and splen- manner very different from that in which Ecclesiastical Le Clerc.
Of the observations dour. Of his feelings after having received Baptism he memoirs are usually drawn up. Ad Dona- has given a description in a forid letter, addressed to which it contains, some are acute, some judicious, some, tum. Donatus: shortly after which it is probable that he we think, ill-tempered. De Vanitate wrote his Treatise on the Vanity of Idols, in which he
The style of Cyprian is oratorical.
It contains Style. Idolorum. shows the Unity of God, the absurdity of Paganism, scarcely any allusions to Philosophy. Though familiar
and the truth of the Mission of Jesus Christ the two with the Works of Tertullian, bis taste led him to
avoid the perplexed and uncouth style of that Writer,
The correspondence of Cyprian consists of eighty- Genuine change which his opinions and habits had experienced, one Letters, comprising Epistles addressed to him, (of Works. was a voluntary distribution of his property among the which an analysis may be found in Du Pin.) They cast Poor. He was appointed Presbyter, and afterwards great light on the History, both internal and external, rose to the dignity of Bishop of Carthage, which was
of the Church, particularly in Africa. conferred on him by the universal suffrage and pressing
The Book on the Discipline and Dress of Virgins, is wishes of the People. While the Persecution of chiefly an exhortation to avoid the ornamental attire and Decius raged, he took shelter in retirement; when it other corruptions of the Age. He speaks of virginity had subsided, he applied himself to remedy the relaxed
as being the state nearest to martyrdom; as removing state of discipline which it had occasioned. His conduct from its possessor the curse pronounced against the during the disastrous pestilence which afflicted Carthage, first woman—as raising her to an equality with the affords a noble example of piety and judgment united
The Treatise respecting the Lapsed, and that on the
The Treatise on the Lapsed was directed, with ex-
he represents as having been punished from Heaven for
The Treatise on the Unity of the Church contains
severe reflections on Schism and Heresy.
In the Book on the Lord's Prayer may be found
For an account of the Tract to Demetrian, see Eno
The Book of Mortality was composed in consequence
of the pestilence which raged in the reign of Gallus. * So called from a presbyter named Cæcilius, by whom he was
The Exhortation to Martyrdom, written during the converted. Hier. de Vir. Illust, c. 67.
Persecution of Gallus, is a collection of texts from Scrip† Ann. Cyprian. p. 6.
ture, calculated to animate the Christians to submit Lactant. Div. Inst. lib. v. c. 1. Hier. de Vir. Illust. c. 67, &c. $ Hier. de Vir. Illust. c. 67.
with courage to the sufferings which attended the pro|| Encyclopædia, p. 106.
fession of their Religion. [Ibid. p. 104. ** Ibid. p. 105.
* Encyclopædia, p. 107. + Biblioth, Univ. tom. xii,
EccleThe Treatise on Good Works and Alms was written Among the Books which have been wrongly ascribed
siastical probably in A. D. 254, when Cyprian collected consider- to Cyprian, are the following:- De Spectaculis ; De Bono
Writers of able sums to redeem some Christians captured by Pudicitiæ; De Laude Martyrii; Ad Novatianum He- the IInd Barbarians.
reticum ; De Baptismo Hæreticorum ; De Aleatoribus; and Ilird The Book on the Advantages of Patience, written in De Montibus Sinâ et Sion; Adversus Judæos; De Centuries. consequence of the disputes respecting the baptism of Singularitate Clericorum ; 8c. Heretics, was sent in the beginning of the year 256, The Works of Cyprian were translated into English, Editions, with a letter to Jubaianus. That on Emulation and not without care and elegance,by Nathaniel Marshall, &c.. Envy (de Zelo et Livore) appeared sometime afterwards. in 1727; and into French, with notes, by Lombert,
The Work of Testimonies to Quirinus, against the in 1672.
tiones Cyprianicæ of Dodwell ;) and that begun by
Baluzius and finished by Dom. Prudent. Maran, 1726, * Rivet considered the genuineness of this Tract doubtful (Crit
, in folio. This splendid edition was reprinted at Venice, Sacr. lib. ii. c. 15.) Baluzius, who examined various manuscripts, in 1758. admits that it has been interpolated. (Not. ad Cyprian. p. 596.) In the opinion of Lardner "there can be no doubt but St. Cyprian published a Work with this title ; but it seems that the Books of Testimo- objections that have not been fully cleared up." (Credibil. &c. Part. nig which we now have, or at least some part of them, are liable to ii. ch. xliv.)
OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH.
HERESIES OF THE SECOND AND THIRD CENTURIES.
History. To the Philosophic inquirer into the principles of has taken something, or to which he has added some- Heresies of Human nature, there is no portion of History which thing, till not a lineament remains the same.
the Ind Importance appears, at first sight, better calculated to extend his are truly desirous of a faithful likeness, we must have and IIIrd aud diffi.
Centuries. knowledge than that detail of mental disorders which recourse once more to the original Painting.”
an account of ancient Heresy presents. And, indeed, such means of verification remain for us in our re-
sies arose from
History. intermixture of Philosophical principles with the pecu- dered. The mind of the Philosopher, which had at first Heresies of
the Ilnd liar tenets of Christianity, that Tertullian has not grasped with avidity (if we may so express ourselves)
and IIIrd Reason that scrupled to call Philosophers the Patriarchs of Heretics. the new system, and remained fixed in momentary Centuries.
The fact is, perhaps, not difficult to explain. There tranquillity on its recent acquisition, soon broke from this number of early Here- exists in the Human mind an unquenchable desire unaccustomed state of rest. Questions which had long
of knowledge; a desire almost uniformly strong in all exercised its powers, and which are, perhaps, insoluble
states and gradations of Society, though its immediate in this our present circumscribed sphere of existence, Philosophy.
objects and channels, susceptible as they are of infinite insensibly suggested themselves again. Explanations
which may be added the short catalogue of Heresies
of some writers on particular Sects, as for instance, the
* J, G, Walch. Biblioth. Theolog. tom. iii. c. vii. sec. 10. See Fluquet, Diction, des Hérésies. Discours Préliminaire.
HERETICS OF THE SECOND CENTURY.
NAZARENES AND EBIONITES.
Heretics of History.
all Christians,* were not generally considered as being, Century.
the IInd THOUGH the Heresies of the IInd and IIIrd cen- strictly speaking, Heretics. They appear to have Sects aris. ing from
turies arose chiefly from an attempt to combine the believed that Christ was born of a Virgin, and partook, Nazarenes. attachment dogmas of Philosophy with the tenets of the Christian
at least in some manner, of the Divine nature. They to the. Mo- Religion, there were two Sects which sprang from an maintained that the Mosaic Ordinances were to be saic Law, attachment to the Mosaic Law, as far as we can trace, observed by the Jews, without pretending that they Early under the following circumstances. Till the time of were obligatory on other nations. They did not attach Jewish Hadrian, the Jewish converts of Palestine, of whom a
any importance to the additional ceremonies of the
Pharisees, or the interpreters of the Law.||
received this appellation from one Ebion, and by
Ebionites. still adhered, for the most part at least, to the rites and others, with more probability, from their poverty, proceremonies of the Mosaic Law.t When, however, that ceeded much further than the Nazarenes, and were Emperor had raised Ælia Capitolina on the ruins of accordingly regarded as decidedly hostile to genuine Jerusalem, and excluded the professors of the Jewish Faith from entering its precincts, the Christians seem Origen informs us that the Ebionites were divided into two classes ; to have divided themselves into two classes. One class some asserting, others denying, the miraculous conception of Christ. rejected those usages, the necessity of which they felt
(Cont. Cels. lib. v.) Compare Euseb. Hist. Eccles. lib. iii. c. 27.
Theodoret, Fabul. Heret. lib. i. c. 1. &c. could not be maintained consistently with a true know
* Epiph. Hær. 19 and 29. See, however, Mangey's Remarks
upon Nazaren, p. 9 and 53.
29.) ranks them among Heretics; but his account is very con-
fused and unsatisfactory. The state of feeling in the Ilnd and Ilird
Ages towards those, who, though they believed in Christianity, still Another, but far less numerous class, continued to observed the Mosaic Law, but did not force the observance of it on unite a belief in the chief doctrines of the Christian others, may be learned from Justin Martyr's Dialogue with Trypho. Religion with the maintenance of those practices in Η Ναζωραίοι οι Χριστόν ομολογούσιν Ιησούν υιον Θεού πάντα δε κατα which they had been educated. These last, in process
youlov Todotevóusvos. J. Damascen. de Hæres. sec. 29. On which see
the note of Mich. Le Quien, and also his VIIth Dissertation prefixed
to the Work.
So Tertullian, c. Marcion. lib. iv. c. 3. &c. and many other
writers. Compare, however, Orig. c. Cels. lib. ii. Euseb, Hist. Eccl.
better proved, than that there was once such a person (as Ehion,) and Epiph. de Mensuris et Ponderib. c. 15. Oper. tom. ii. p. 171, that he gave name to this Sect.” (Rem. upon Nazar. p. 56.) But ed. Petav.
the Ebionites themselves, who surely ought to have been acquainted † Et quia Christiani ex Julæis potissimum putabantur (namque with the subject, asserted that they were so called from their poverty: tum Hierosolymæ non nisi ex circumcisione habebat Ecclesia sacer- αυτοι δε δήθεν σεμνύνονται, εαυτούς φάσκοντες πτωχούς, δια το, φασιν, εν dotem) militum cohortcm custodias in perpetuum agitare jussit, φuα χρόνοις των Αποστόλων πωλεϊν τα αυτών υπάρχοντα, και τιθέναι παρά Julæos omnes Hierosolymæ aditu arceret. Quod quidem Christianæ τους πόδας των Αποστόλων, και εις πτωχείαν και αποταξίαν, μιτεληλυfidei proficiebat: quia tum pænè omnes Christum Deum sub legis θέναι και δια τούτο καλείσθαι υπό παντων φκσι πτωχοί. (Epiph. Har. observatione credebant. Nimirum id Domino ordinante dispositum, 30. c. 17.) Simon says it may well be that those writers who ut legis servitus à libertate Fidei atque Ecclesiæ tolleretur.
have thought that there was a man called Ebion, author of this Sect, primum Marcus ex gentibus apud Hierosolymam Episcopus fuit. had better grounds on which to establish the fact than a certain Sulp. Sever. Hist. Sacr. lib. ii. c. 31. See the manner in which Spanish Historian, (Illescas, lib. vi. de la Hist. Pontif.) who invented Mosheim lias explained this passage. (De Reb. Christian, ante Const. a man called Hugo, a Sacramentarian Arch-heretic, from whom the p. 325.)
Heretics of France have been named Hugonots. (Hist. Crit. du llence, perhaps, the different accounts of some writers, e.g. Nouv. Test, p. i. c. 8.)