Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

Life, &c.

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

siastical

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
first points treated in the same manner as they are

avoid the perplexed and uncouth style of that Writer,
by Minucius Felix, the latter as it is by Tertullian. and he is generally clear, flowing, and unembarrassed.
The first proof which he gave of the sincerity of the

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

Angels.
with the keenest sensibility. When the streets were

The Treatise respecting the Lapsed, and that on the
strewed with the carcasses of the dead, and the living Unity of the Church, were written after the Persecution
fled with selfish fear, abandoning their nearest and of Decius.
dearest friends, Cyprian assembled the Christians, and

The Treatise on the Lapsed was directed, with ex-
strongly, as well as successfully, inculcated the great pressions of deep censure, against those persons of the
duties of that humanity, which, like the beneficence of party of Felicissimus, who were desirous of extending re-
the Father of the Universe, embraces within its circle conciliation, on easy terms, to such as had fallen away.
not merely persons of the same persuasion, but the Cyprian observes, that Martyrs cannot give absolution
Gentile and the Persecutor. In the reign of Valerian, of sins, which is a power belonging to the Church
when Paternus was Proconsul of Africa, he was banished alone. He relates certain stories of apostates, whom
to Curubis, from whence he was recalled as soon as

he represents as having been punished from Heaven for
Galerius Maximus succeeded to the Proconsulate. His attempting to receive the Eucharist.
return was followed by his Martyrdom.

The Treatise on the Unity of the Church contains
The last scenes of his life,ll as well as the part which

severe reflections on Schism and Heresy.
lie took during the disputes concerning the Lapsed,

In the Book on the Lord's Prayer may be found
and the rebaptizing of Heretics, ** have been already many general remarks on Prayer.
described. The line of conduct which he adopted with

For an account of the Tract to Demetrian, see Eno
regard to Novatus, will be touched upon in a succeed- cyclopædia, p. 104.

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 ScripAnn. 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,

ing paper.

History.

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.
Jews, contains a variety of Scriptural passages : the The most complete Editions are that of Bishop Fell,
First Book treats of the temporary nature of the Jewish published at Oxford in 1682; (this contains the Annales
Law; the Second, of the Mission of Christ; the Third, Cyprianici of Pearson, to which are added the Disserta-
of the Moral Precepts of Revealed Religion.*

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.)

*

CHAPTER XLII.

OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH.

HERESIES OF THE SECOND AND THIRD CENTURIES.

INTRODUCTORY REMARKS.

If we

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

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.”

But no
culty of the
subject.

an account of ancient Heresy presents. And, indeed, such means of verification remain for us in our re-
an accurate sketch of the rise and progress of erro- searches into the tenets of the ancient Heretics. Their
neous opinions would throw considerable light on the Works have been destroyed by time, by accident, or by
operations of our faculties. But such a sketch, even injudicious zeal. The Fathers (however honest their
under the most favourable circumstances, would be a motives, and however pure their intentions) have handed
task of no ordinary difficulty. Few have the patience, dow to us a picture, drawn sometimes by inflamed,
and fewer still the ability, to examine in all its bearings, sometimes by ill-informed, adversaries; and who can
and to deliver in all its force, the reasoning of the pretend to trace where the resemblance lurks amid
author whose speculations they undertake to explain. darkened and distorted features ? Devoted to the
Even when not influenced by prejudices, an ingenious cause of Christianity, with an ardour to which the pre-
expositor will be always apt to blend his own senti- sent state of Society offers no parallel, and alarmed not
ments with the theories of others, and insensibly to merely at the dangerous doctrines, but sometimes, per-
substitute a brilliant hypothesis for a tedious copy. haps, at the disgraceful conduct of the various Sects,
Hence it is, that, even in modern times, under the exist- the orthodox Christians were too ready to admit reports
ing wide diffusion of Literature, we can hardly expect without patient and cautious investigation; hence they
to discover, with exactness, the system of one writer occasionally impute sentiments not held, and draw (a
from the representations of another. And this ob- fault of most controversial writers) consequences,
servation is true, if extended to authors whose cha- which, however logically deducible from certain prin-
racter forbids the suspicion of wilful deceit, and to ciples, were not contemplated by the persons who
subjects of a mere abstract nature, not involving any maintained those principles. The excellence of the end
personal interest, and not appealing to any particular in view, sometimes, we think, prevented them from
passion. A recent Metaphysician, of distinguished examining the nature of the means by which they
talents, after having forcibly shown, by numerous in- hoped to attain it. Without the remotest design of
stances of misconception, the necessity of consulting delivering what was positively false, they appear to us
the opinions of authors in their own Works, makes the not sufficiently anxious to ascertain what was exactly
following remarks, which will find an echo in the lan- true. In fact, their object was not to give a luminous
guage of every man who has calmly applied hinıself to view of the sources and windings of error, but to draw
the investigation of Truth :-“ From my own expe- a hasty outline of its hideousness, and to deter the
rience, I can most truly assure you, that there is scarcely Faithful from advancing a step into its impious circle.
an instance in which, on examining the Works of those Thus systems which, in their first state, were obscure
authors whom it is the custom more to cite than to and perplexed, are now become almost hopelessly unin-
read, I have found the view which I had received of telligible. Conjecture alone can now pretend to deli-
them to be faithful. There is usually something more neate the original structure of the strange labyrinth of
or something less, which modifies the general result; early Heresy; conjecture alone can discover the rela-
some mere conjecture represented as an absolute affir- tion of scattered and disjointed parts, and fill up the
mation, or some limited affirmation extended to analo- chasms of a mighty wreck. These expressions, the
gous cases, which it was not meant to comprehend. result of dispassionate examination, are not, however,
And, by the various additions or subtractions thus applicable to every particular relation of every parti-
made, in passing from mind to mind, so much of the cular Heresy, but to the general state of the inquiry.
spirit of the original doctrine is lost, that it may, in They are offered as an excuse for the very unsatis-
some cases, be considered as having made a fortunate factory analysis which we now present.
escape, if it be not at last represented as directly opposite So large a portion of error is to be ascribed to the
to what it is. It is like those cngraved portraits of the
eminent men of former Ages, the copies of mere * Dr. Thomas Brown's Lectures on the Philosophy of the Human
copies,- from which every new artist, in the succession, Mind, vol. ii. p. 46.

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
variety, will differ according to our different ages, capa- were sought in Christianity, and not found. The great
cities, and acquirements. The same desire which draws mystery, for instance, of the Existence of Evil in the
the early efforts of the Savage towards civilized life, works of Perfect Goodness, was thought still covered
urges on his more enlightened neighbour to specula- with obscurity. The Philosopher, therefore, without
tions of a higher order and more extensive range. rejecting his last acquired belief, returned back to his
The feeling is implanted by Nature; the direction is old opinions, and endeavoured to explain the facts
determined by circumstances. When Revealed Religion which were revealed on principles which he had long
first disclosed its truths to mankind, this desire of before embraced. And from this alliance of Philoso-
knowledge received a different bias, but lost nothing of phical works with Christian dogmas sprang most of the
its inherent activity. Announced with extraordinary Heresies of the IInd and IIIrd centuries.
zeal, by men whose manners were simple as their We shall endeavour, under each separate Heresy, to
morals were pure, recorded in Works bearing the most point out the principal Works in which it is more
incontrovertible marks of honesty and truth, supported, particularly examined. The chief ancient Treatises on
too, by a long chain of striking evidences, and adapted, Heresies in general are those of Irenæus, of Philaster,
moreover, to the wants and feelings of mankind, Chris- of Epiphanius, of Augustine, and of Theodoret; to
tianity gradually produced conviction even

which may be added the short catalogue of Heresies
Philosophic classes. Thus the effect of this new belief affixed to Tertullian's de Prescriptione, and the anony-
may for a time have been to calm the disquietude of mous Work entitled Prædestinatus, (which was first
thought, to suspend the restlessness of curiosity. But published by Sirmond, in 1643.) At a later period, the
the elements of agitation still existed, and were soon subject was treated by Joannes Damascenus, and several
again excited. The spirit of inquiry no longer turned other Writers.* In modern times, it has exercised
itself towards the discovery of general facts, but to- the learning of Ittigius, Langius, Lardner, Pluquet,
wards an investigation of all their possible bearings, and many others; but notwithstanding the high merits
consequences, and modifications. The Christian duties

of some writers on particular Sects, as for instance, the
were received ; the Christian doctrines were admitted; masterly production of Beausobre on Manicheism, we
but then arose the attempt to explain these duties in all know not of any general work which gives a full and
their brauches and relations, and to accommodate these luminous view of the History of Heresies, their causes,
doctrines to our present faculties and preconceptions. origin, connection, and extent.
The Passions still worked; the magination still wan-

* J, G, Walch. Biblioth. Theolog. tom. iii. c. vii. sec. 10. See Fluquet, Diction, des Hérésies. Discours Préliminaire.

on the

HERETICS OF THE SECOND CENTURY.

NAZARENES.
EBIONITES.
ELXAI.
SATURNINUS.
BARDESANES.
TATIAN,
CERDO.
MARCION.
BASILIDES.
CARPOCRATES.
VALENTINUS.... Different Sects of Valentinians.
OPHITES.
PRAXEAS.... .Patripassians.
THEODOTUS AND ARTEMON.
HERMOGENES.
MONTANUS.

NAZARENES AND EBIONITES.
seems to have been commonly applied by the Jews to

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
Christians,
great number had retired to the small town of Pella

Pharisees, or the interpreters of the Law.||
beyond the Jordan,* still cherished the hope that the The Ebionites, who are supposed by many to have
glory of their ancient Capital would be restored ; and

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
ledge of Christianity, and the observance of which served

upon Nazaren, p. 9 and 53.
to identify them with the Jews in the opinion of the + Epiphanius, however, who has written on the subject, (Hær.
Romans; and, as a pledge of their sincerity, they

29.) ranks them among Heretics; but his account is very con-
elected Marcus, who was a Gentile, as their Bishop.

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
of time, if not at first, were divided into two Sects,

to the Work.
the Nazarenes and the Ebionites,-a division which $ See, however, Augustin. in Faust. lib. xix. c. 18.
appears not to have been accurately observed by I Hieron. in c. 8. Esaiæ, v. 9. &c.
ancient Writers. I

So Tertullian, c. Marcion. lib. iv. c. 3. &c. and many other
The Nazarenes, a name which in the primitive times lib. iii.c. 27. &c. “ I do not know,” says Mangey, “any fact of antiquity

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.)

Ita tum

« ElőzőTovább »