« ElőzőTovább »
editors say, it is more reasonable to carry on the number, thirty-six, through the whole sentence, than to confine it to the first part of it, declared heretics, and to understand thereby some declaration, different from that of the council there spoken of. I do not therefore see any good reason why this passage of Athanasius should oblige us to think the Meletian controversy arose before the year 306.
AN ANSWER TO MR. JACKSON'S REMARKS UPON THE FIFTH VOLUME OF
THE FIRST EDITION OF THIS WORK.
SEE THE BELIEF OF A FUTURE STATE PROVED TO BE A FUNDAMENTAL ARTICLE OF
THE RELIGION OF THE HEBREWS, p. 120, &c.
I. The time of Sabellianism. II. The name of the presbyter of Rome, rival of Cornelius : whether
Novatus or Novatianus.
I. MR. JACKSON is not a little displeased at my placing the rise of Sabellianism so late as only two or three years before A. D. 257, when Dionysius of Alexandria wrote to pope Xystus upon that subject: though I am not therein singular, but only maintain the general opinion of learned men about it, as I shewed Vol. I. p. 616. To authors there mentioned I shall add one or two more: Hæresis Sabelliana erupit circa A. C. 257. J. A. Fabr. Annot. ad Philast. cap. liv. de Sabellio. Sabellius, Eusebio feste lib. 7. Histor. cap. vi. errores Ptolemaide in urbe Pentapoleos circiter annum 257, spargere coepit. Benedictin. not. ad Ambros. Tom. ii. p. 445. Scribit Eusebius libr. Ecc. Hist. 7. Sabellii hæresim sub tempora Decii-audire cæpisse, cum Romanæ sedi præesset Stephanus, aut Sixtus: hoc est, circa annum Christi cclvii, &c. Petav. Dogm. Theol. Tom, ii. i. c. 6, sect. iii.
I do not think myself obliged to say a great deal more here in vindication of that date: I can rely upon my argument from Dionysius, exhibited p. 58, 59: and I persuade myself that they, who will read it and carefully attend to it, will not think that Mr. Jackson has weakened it by what he has said, but has left it still in full force.
Mr. Jackson says, p. 121, that Dionysius, in his letter to Xystus, gives no account of the • rise of Sabellianism, but only of its being greatly spread.' But my argument does not depend upon that, but rather upon Dionysius's not having sooner sent an account of that affair to his correspondents at Rome; which he would have done if the controversy had been on foot a good while before: nevertheless, it happens that there are expressions in that letter of Dionysius which-imply that it was then but newly moved, advanced, or agitated. [Tepe yep 78 vuv xivýbevtos εν τη πτολεμαιδι της πενταπολεως δογματος. Αp. Euseb. Η. Ε. 1. vii. c. 6.
Besides, what avails it for Mr. Jackson to insist so much upon it, that Dionysius gives Xystus an account of the increase, not of the rise of Sabellianism, when the increase supposes the rise ? And it is the spreading of a doctrine that induces men to take notice of it, and send accounts of it to their friends. If Sabellianism had not spread in the country near him, Dionysius would not have thought it needful to make any mention of it in a letter to one at a distance: this therefore was what he was naturally led to speak of in his letter to Xystus.
Farther, Mr. Jaekson says, p. 122, 123, Sabellius himself was undoubtedly noted many years **before; and, upon the death of his master Noetus, about A. D. 220, spread his doctrinte in
several parts of Asia : p. 24, Sabellius was the most noted the most famous disciple of .Noetus.
These things are said with a good deal of positiveness: but upon what grounds? where is the evidence? Tillemont Mem. Ec. T. iv. Les Sabelliens, observes: • Philaster and Augustine saythat • Sabellius was a disciple of Noetus, which is not impossible, though the Greeks say nothing of
it.' Philaster's words are: Sabellius post illum [Noetum] de Libya discipulus ejus similitudinem sui doctoris itidem secutus est et errorem. Augustine's words are; Sabelliani ab illo Noeto, quem supra memoravimus, defluxisse dicuntur. Nam et discipulum ejus quidam perhibent fuisse Sabellium: so that he speaks doubtfully about it. Many might call Sabellius a disciple of Noetus, as he came not very long after him, and because of the resemblance of their opinions: but if it was a thing well known that Sabellius was a scholar of Noetus, why should the Greeks omit to mention it? And if they write nothing about it, how should the Latins know it? The silence of Greek authors is of much more importance than the sayings and reports of a few Latin writers. Had not Epiphanius and Theodoret, who write of heresies, and particularly of Noetianism and Sabellianism, an opportunity to say where Sabellius learned his doctrine if they knew it? Theodoret, H. F. l, iii. C. 3, mentions some predecessors of Noetus, and says that Callistus upheld his opinion after him: Ταυθης μετα τον Νοηθον υπερασπισε καλλιτος. But says nothing here or elsewhere, that I remember, of Sabellius being a disciple of Noetus. Epiphanius, H. 62, n. 1, says that • Sabellius's doctrine was the same with that of the Noetians, excepting only a few things.' Why does he not add that Sabellius learned his doctrine from Noetus, if he knew that also to be true.
Mr: Jackson says, p. 121, There is no evidence that Sabellianism had its rise in Ptolemais • in Egypt.'
Where then had it its rise ? It is generally concluded by learned men, from Eusebius's account of Dionysius's letter to Xystus, that it had its rise in Ptolemais. Sabellius himself is continually spoken of by the ancients, who give an account of him and his doctrine as a Libyan or African: so Philaster before cited: and so Theodoret, H. F. 1. ii. c. 9. Excernoos de a Aibus o αεναπολιτης. . If Sabellianism had its rise in Asia Minor, at Ephesus, or Smyrna, or thereabout, why have we no account of any writers of that country opposing it? Athanasius says that in the time of Dionysius, some of the bishops of Pentapolis held the doctrine of Sabellius, which occasioned his looking into the matter. Εν πενταπολει της ανυ Λιβυης τηνικαυτα τινες των επισκοπων εφρoνησαν. Tu ExbEN18. De Sent. Dionys. n. 5, p. 246. And Theodoret, in his article of Sabellius, takes particular notice that Dionysius of Alexandria wrote against him. If this principle had been first taught by Sabellius in some other parts before it was known in Egypt, why does not Dionysius himself; why did not Eusebius, nor Athanasius, nor Epiphanius, nor Theodoret, give any hint of it?
Mr. Jackson, p. 125, still insists upon the authority of two ancient chronologers, Isidore Hispalensis, and Ado Viennensis, who in their chronicles agree to place Sabellius about A. D.. € 220.' And indeed he had need to call them ancient.' Nevertheless Mr. Jackson does not deny the truth of what I said, p. 59, that they are Latin authors; • and that they wrote, one of
them in Spain in the seventh, the other in Gaul, in the ninth century:' that is, the earliest of them several hundred years after the supposed time of Sabellius. The authority of such chroniclers undoubtedly is very great. I likewise argued from several considerations, to which the reader is referred, that they confounded Noetus and Sabellius.
But Mr. Jackson's strongest argument seems to be, that his author could not write his cellent book on the Trinity, p. 126, his incomparable and invaluable' book, p. 132, after his schism; which yet he must have done if Sabellianism had not its rise till after 251. Nec, quantum cogito, verisimile est, illum condidisse tam egregium librum,-postquam in schisma detestandum se demersisset. Præf. p. 118. But the force of this argument depends upon a degree of uncharitableness in a man's mind, for which I can see no ground: a heretic, or schismatic, we may suppose, cannot write a good book in favour of his errors, or wrong conduct: but if he hold any truths in common with other 'men, I do not see why he may not be able to write well in defence of them: and I readily assent to Nicephorus in what he says of Eusebius, the famous bishop of Cæsarea ; that he left many writings useful for the church, though he often favours Arianism. Και αλλα διαφορα συγγραμματα καταλελοιπε, πολλην ονησιν τη εκκλησια εισφεροντα πλην τοι8τος αν εν πολλοις φαινεται τα αρεις πρεσβευων. Nic. Η. Ε. 1. vi. c. 37, p. 446, C.
I have here added thus much concerning the time of Sabellius, to please Mr. Jackson; though I am of opinion that what I said formerly was sufficient.
II. I must take some notice of what Mr. Jackson says concerning the name of Novatus,, otherwise called Novatianus.
I offered five arguments; the first of which was, that this presbyter of Rome is generally called N us by the Greek writers. This argument I did not much labour, because I supposed it to be allowed by learned moderns, that the Greek authors do generally so write his
name. However, Mr. Jackson, affirms, p. 131, that my opinion is contrary to the testimony
of the most ancient Greek, as well as Latin writers. Let us then see how Mr. Jackson shews this.
He allows, p. 126, that · Eusebius generally calls him Novatus; and the historian Socrates • likewise after Eusebius.' But why does he say. after Ensebius ? Doubtless Socrates had read Eusebius: but was he not also well acquainted with many of the Novatians at Constantinople ? And had they not there divers learned men, who could inform him in the history of their founder ?
At p. 126, Mr. Jackson says that though Eusebius himself calls him Novatus, he has preserved his true name in the seventh book of his Ecclesiastical History, and eighth chapter; where he is called Novatian in the letter which his contemporary, Dionysius bishop of Alexan• dria, wrote concerning his schism to his namesake of Rome. But I should think that Mr. Jackson might be reasonably led to conclude that must be a wrong reading, even though it should be allowed to be ancient. For the title of that chapter is, . Of the Heresy of Novatus:' and at the end of the preceding chapter Eusebius, introducing that letter to Dionysius of Rome, says : that • init Dionysius of Alexandria writes concerning Novatus after this manner.' Ipa Deu de dułw μεθ' ετερα, των καλα τον Νο8ατον μνημονευων εν τετοις. And in the 43d chapter of the sixth book of his Ecclesiastical History, giving an account of the affair at Rome, both Eusebius and Cornelius himself, in his letter to Fabius, often mention the Roman presbyter by the name Novatus: it must therefore be probable that in one place an error has crept in contrary to the original reading: accordingly, in the Latin translation of Eusebius's Ecclesiastical History, printed at. Basil in 1611, or 1612, is Novatus; the translator, I suppose, taking it for granted that the other was a wrong reading: Novato quidem merito succensemus. Moreover, in the 45th chapter of the same sixth book of Eusebius's Ecclesiastical History, is a letter of Dionysius to the presbyter of Rome himself, where he calls him Novatus: Διονύσιος Νακατω των αδελφω χαιρείν. Indeed as that letter is given by Niceph. l. vi. c. 4, it has Novatianus: but surely Eusebius's authority is better than that of so late a writer, if indeed we have his authority for it: but probably that reading did not come from Nicephorus himself; for he too, as well as other Greek authors, writes his name Novatus. Vid. Niceph. 1. vi. c. 3, T. i. p. 397. A. cap. 5, p. 394, c. 6, p. 395, et 396, c. 7, p.397, B. &c. et cap. 35, p. 436, C. Kav Ewsgætus o en Neuats.And, even introducing Dionysius's letter to Novatus, where we now have Novatian, Nicephorus says, that letter was written to Novatus.' Οποια δε και αυτω εκεινω Ναυατω την εν Ρωμη εκκλησιαν διασαλευονλι γεγραφε, παραθεσθαι δικαιον, L. 6. c. 4. p. 393. D. Insomuch that, though in the Greek copies of Nicephorus is Næuatiavw, the Latin: translator, sensible it must be a wrong reading, puts Novatus: Dionysius Novato fratri salutem : and so it is likewise in Rufinus's ancient Latin translation of Eusebius's Ecclesiastical History, as was shewn formerly see p. 66.
I hope I have now at once shewn that Dionysius of Alexandria, and Nicephorus, as well as Eusebius, write the name of the presbyter of Rome, Novatus.
Still Mr. Jackson says, p. 127, that in the Chronography of Georgius Syncellus, p. 374, • Dionysius calls the Roman presbyter to whom he wrote Novatian.' But then in the margin is put Novatus, as a various reading, or a correction of the text, as supposed to be corrupt, and with good reason; for elsewhere very often, perhaps forty or fifty times, that author writes Novatus.
- Mr. Jackson says, p. 127, • And Sozomen in his Ecclesiastical History, I. iii. c. 8, calls the • Roman presbyter Novatian, and so is expressly against Mr. I though he has alleged him * on his side.' But let any attentive person judge whether Mr. Jackson has reason for włet he says here: in that place indeed Sozomen has Novatian: but in another Novatus. Melw yop, Μακεδονιας τες σλειες ενθασε τα Ναυατα Φρονειν. κ. λ. 1. iv. c. 21, p. 571, D. And in another place he expressly says that the name of the leader of the sect was Νovatus. Ναυατος μεν γαρ, ος αρχηγος EYEVETO tus esperews. n. 1. 1. vi. c. 24, p. 670. A. It is likely therefore that, in the place referred to by Mr. Jackson, we have a wrong reading; for it is not reasonable to think that in that one place Sozomen intended. to contradict himself, or that he used a different writing of the name from. Eusebius and Socrates: but, however that be, should not the other places have been taken. notice of by Mr. Jackson? Was Mr. Jackson in the right to conceal them from his readers ? And was not I in the right to reckon Sozomen on my side, when he has left at least two places. to one for me?
At p. 66, I mentioned Athanasius among other Greek authors writing Novatus. And certainly he is an ancient author: nor does Mr. Jackson attempt to weaken his testimony: I referred to but one passage in Athanasius; but I might have referred to others; and he is a good witness, having lived some while in the west: and that he means the presbyter of Rome is apparent. Vid. Ap. cont. Arian, n. 25, p. 144, E. F. Vid. et Ep. iv. ad Serap. n. 13. p. 704. E. The author of the Paschal Chronicle, giving the history of Dionysius of Alexandria and the Roman presbyter, calls him Novatas several times. Εν οις αρθεις υπερηφανεια Ναυατος της Ρωματων εκκλησιας πρεσβυτερος edeyev. n. 1. p. 271, C. vid. ib. D. et p. 272. A. Theodoret expressly makes Novatus presbyter of Rome author of the sect. Ο δε Ναυατος Ρωμαιων της εκκλησιας πρεσβυτερος ην. Η. Fab. 1. iii. cap. 5, and I might allege Philostorgius, Epiphanius, Zonaras, and other Ġreek authors, writing the name after the same manner: but I forbear. If I have set Mr. Jackson's readers right as to Dionysius of Alexandria, and Sozomen, I have performed all that was needful for repairing my first argument.
My second argument, p. 66, 67, was, that there are still remaining in Latin authors traces of their agreement with the Greek writers upon this head.' I allow that some ancient writers did, though corruptly, write the Roman presbyter's name Novatian: but I think that many
others write it Novatus: of which we still have traces in the works of divers of them: but I am of opinion that in several passages the right reading has been altered; which has been owing to a notion, prevailing of late among moderns, that his name was Novatian.
Under that argument I produced passages of divers ancient Latin authors: one of those passages is from Hilary, at p. 249, which Mr. Jackson does not contest, because, as I suppose, he is sensible the Roman presbyter must be meant: other passages are from Jerom, Philaster, Augustine: these Mr. Jackson disputes; for he says those writers do not mean the presbyter of Rome, but the presbyter of Carthage. I argued that by Novatus Jerom must mean the Roman presbyter in several places of his works, because he speaks of him as an author, whereas Novatus of Carthage never was reckoned an author. In answer to this Mr. Jackson says, p. 129, that • Jerom certainly meant Novatus of Carthage in all the places referred to byʻme; and that * this Novatus he supposes to have been a writer in his 56th epistle to Tranquilinus, p, 589.' But I am apt to think that most readers, who look upon those passages of Jerom will be of a different mind, and think that probably Jerom means the Roman presbyter. Mr. Jackson has no reason for saying, that he certainly meant the presbyter of Carthage:' nor can I see that Jerom, in the epistle referred to by Mr Jackson, supposes Novatus to have been an author: I think he means the Roman presbyter, Mr. Jackson's author. The words are: Ego Origenem propter eruditionem sic interdum legendum arbitror, quomodo Tertullianum, Novatum, Arnobium.But who ever heard of the writings or the learning of Novatus of Carthage ?
Some may make a doubt whether Philaster and Augustine, when they say the Novatians were so called from Novatus, mean the presbyter of Carthage or him of Rome: but it seems to me most likely that they mean the latter, who was by much the more famous man: nor can there be any good reason assigned why they should not there mean the same person, even the presbyter of Rome, to whom their brethren, the Greek writers, continually ascribe the unmerciful doctrine of rejecting penitents; to whom likewise the Latins themselves ascribe it very frequently; and' I suppose it to be a common opinion, among learned and judicious moderns, that the party was notdenominated from the presbyter of Carthage, but from the presbyter of Rome. Nefandæ seditione tamen Novatianus, non Novatus nomen imposuit. Basnag. An. 251. n. vi. Indeed Jerom says: Hujus auctor Novatus Cypriani presbyter fuit: which I have translated: The first author of this rigid
principle was Novatus, Cyprian's presbyter,' p. 43. And Mr. Jackson, p. 128, translates it after this manner: The author of this sect was Novatus, one of Cyprian's presbyter's.' But think that we have neither of us translated very happily; for that sense does not agree with the preceding words, where Jerom expressly says that Novatian, or Novatus of Rome, formed' or constituted the sect of the Novatians. Novatianus Romanæ urbis presbyter, adversus Cornelium cathedram sacerdotalem conatus invadere Novatianum-dogma constituit, nolens apostatas suscipere pænitentes. Hujus auctor Novatus Cypriani presbyter fuit. It seems to me therefore that in these last words Jerom intends to say. his adviser was Novatus, one of Cyprian's pres• byters:' for, having before said that the presbyter of Rome formed the sect of the Novatians, he cannot be diposed to say, presently afterwards, that Novatus of Carthage was the author of
the same sect. The most, I think that he can mean is, that the presbyter of Carthage helped and concurred with him at Rome: and this too it is likely is said by him upon the authority of St. Cyprian only. Moreover, it is observable that Novatus, the presbyter of Carthage, so long at least as he was in Africa, was of a quite contrary principle from that which distinguished the Novatian sect: he was for receiving those who had lapsed upon very easy terms; and though he may afterwards have embraced the rigid principle of that sect, yet it is not likely that he should have been the first author and proposer of it. I shall represent this in the words of some others, that it
may not be suspected I state the case wrong. Secundum Baronii argumentum pariter infirmum, quod nempe cum duæ essent inter se contrariæ sectæ schismaticorum, Felicissimus ille sententiæ Novati adversarius erat, quod diceret, lapsos omnes absque poenitentiæ mora recipiendos. Nam hæc nihil probant. Quippe Novatus, quamdiu in Africa fuit
, semper se ejusdem cum Feliçissimo sententiæ de lapsis recipiendis professus est. Cum autem Romam venisset, et se Novatiano adjunxisset, ut Romanum schisma promoveret, illius sententiam amplexus esse videbatur, sive serio, sive ficte, ut et ipse Novatianus sententiam suam jam mutaverat, ut Cornelio fortius contradicet. Pagi in Baron. A. D. 250, n. xiv. Vid. et Basnag. Ann. P. E. 371. n. v. Qua quidem in re a nonnullis in duo peccatum est extrema. Nam, Carthagine, Felicissimus, cui Novatus se adjunxit, lapsos omnes absque ulla mora recipiendos dixit. Contra, Romæ, Novatianus, ad quem et postea Novatus, mutatis partibus, accessit, lapsos nunquam recipi voluit. *Turretin. Hist. Ec. Compend, p. 23. Novatus Carthagine, absente Cypriano, cum lapsis communicaverat-Paullo post Romam veniens Novatus simile inter Cornelium episcopum et Nova
tianum dissidium invenit, ex nimia Cornelii in lapsos indulgentia natum, et eousque excrescens, ut Novatianus a factiosis episcopus crearetur. Hic Novatum in aliud extremum pertraxit, suisque partibus junxit
, quæ Catharorum, seu purorem superbivere nomine. Lampe Synops. Hist. Ec. p. 120 And here I think it would not be amiss for my readers to recollect what I said. formerly, p. 51, 52, shewing that Cyprian beyond measure magnified the influence of his presbyter Novatus in the disturbances at Rome, and that Cyprian has been too much relied on by some,
My third argument was, • The common appellation of this people shews that the name of their leader was Novatus, not Novatianus. For they are generally called Novatians. If the name of their leader had been Novatianus, they would have been called Novatianenses, or somewhat like it; whereas there is but one instance of this, which is in Cyprian, and is cited from him by Augustine. I took (notice of it, p. 67, nor has Mr. Jackson produced any other instance: he has therefore left this argument in its full force.
My fourth argument was, that there never was, that we know of, any one, in any age, called Novatian, unless the person in dispute was so named. This argument Mr. Jackson has not touched, having no instance to allege; whilst Novatus is no uncommon name, as I shewed.
This argument must be of considerable weight in a point of this kind; for it is not likely that this famous presbyter of Rome should be called by a name which no other man ever had, neither before him nor after him. Indeed, this argument alone appears to me decisive, unless there is some clear evidence of another kind against it, which there is not,
In the fifth place I observed that some · learned moderns seem to have supposed the name of this person to be Novatus. ' And I referred to some, p. 69; to them ought to be added the author of the Roman edition of St. Ambrose's works, spoken of p. 67, The learned lawyer, Fr. Balduinus, likewise was of the same opinion: Ecclesiæ Romanæ presbyter Novatus, et Antiochenæ episcopus Paulus Samosatenus, magnas paulo ante turbas dederant. De Leg. C. M. 1. i. p. 48. Vid. et ib. p. 65, m.
I accounted for Cyprian's manner of writing this person's name, p. 69, and shall add nothing more here..
Upon the whole it still appears to me highly probable that Novatus was the name of the presbyter of Rome, Cornelius's rival, and that Novatianus, or Novatian; is the denomination of his followers.
I am sorry to have spent so much time upon this point: and if, for the sake of brevity, I have omitted to take particular notice of any difficulty in Mr. Jackson, I hope the reader will find it obviated in the note upon chap. xlvii. p. 66--69.