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F A T H E R S

O F T HE

C A T H O L I C C H U RC H .

A BRI EF EX AMI N AT I O N O F THE


F ALLI N G AWA Y O F THE .
CH U RCH

I N T H E FI RS T T H RE E C EN T URIES .

BY E j . . W GGO N E R .


fT o th e l aw an d t tim y ;
to th e on
cc d i t hi w d i t i b c
es

If th ey s p e ak n o t a or ng to s or s e a u se th e re

th
,

Is no l l gh t In e m 8 z 2 0.

P A C I F I C P RE S S PU B L I S H I NG C O M PANY ,

O A KLA N D, C A L ,

SAN F RA N C I S C O A N D N E W Y O RK .

1 888 .
P R E F A C E .

S boo k is t h e outgro w th o f some extracts w h ich I


TH I
copi d into a po k t s cr ap -
e boo k a f e w y e ars ago t h in k in g
c e ,

t h at it wou l d o ften b e convenient to h ave at h an d t h e ex act


wo rd s o f a f e w r e l i ab l e h isto r i ans con ce r nin g t h e F at h ers
,

an d t h ei r wo r k w h en t h e h isto r ies t h emse l ves mi gh t not b e


,

accessib l e I t soon o ccu rre d to me t h at somet h in g simi l ar


.

wou l d be o f val ue to ot h e rs espe ciall y sin ce t h e F at h e rs are


,

bein g appe al e d to mo r e an d mo r e an d it is impossib l e fo r


,

t h e m aj o rit y e ven o f ministe r s al w ay s to h ave access to


, ,

t h ei r w r itin gs A cco rd in gl y ext racts w e re ma d e on a mo re


.
,

extensive s cal e an d we r e w oven togeth e r t h e r esu l t b ein g


, ,

t h is boo k w h i ch is in re al it y a b rie f account o f t h e rise o f


,

t h at anti chr istian st r u ctu re call e d t h e papacy w h i ch w as ,

buil t on t h e foun d ation o t h e so call e d F at h ers t h e h ea


f -
,

th e n p h i l osop h e r Pl ato bein g t h e ch ie f co r ne r-stone .

I f an y apo l ogy is nee d e d fo r removin g t h e vei l of san ctit y


w h i ch h as b een t hr o w n ove r t h e earl y c h u rch as a w h ol e ,

I wi ll mak e it in t h e wo rd s of R ev Ral p h E me rson D .


,
.

D some time P r o fesso r o f E ccl esiasti cal H isto r y in A n d ove r


.
,

T h eo l o gi cal S emina r y : T h e fa ct t h at d ea d l y fal s e h oo d s we r e


ci rc u l ate d in t h e c h u r c h b y some men an d be l ieve d b y mu l
,

titu d es is itse l f a most impo rtant h isto r i c t r ut h ; an d to su p


,

p ress su ch a t r ut h instea d of bein g a me rit is a faul t w h i ch


, ,

s h ou l d r at h e r cr i m son t h e c h ee k an d set on r e t h e con

scien ce of a m od est a n d h onest h isto ri an I t is itse l f but a


. .

tacit r epetition of t h e crime of pious frau d s w h i ch so d eepl y


staine d not on l y h eat h en mo ral it y but t h e e arl y t h ough
, ,

not t h e p rimitive ch aracte r of t h e c h urch


.

A gain in t h e same arti cl e w h i ch is on t h e Earl y H isto r y


, ,

of M onasti cism B ibliotheca S a cr a May 1 8 44 a f te r speak in g



, , , ,

o f th e pol i cy of coverin g u p such t h in gs h e say s ,



T h is s h o r t-si gh te d an d wo r l d l y po l i c y of l ate y ea r s so ,

(111 )
iv P R E FA C E .

p reval ent amon g th e in cautious P r otes tant ch u rch es is in ,

t rut h t h e ve r y po l i cy o f Rom anism T h e Romanists p l ea d .

t h at t h e full an d fearl ess d iscl osu res o f t h e cr imes an d fo ll ies of


goo d men in t h e B ib l e wi ll be pe r i l ous to t h e vi r tue of th e
, ,

peopl e an d wi ll d isparage r e l i gion itsel f in popu lar estima


,

tion A n d so t h e y con ceal t h e goo d boo k A n d t h us P rot


. .

estan ts fea r t h at t h e uninspi r e d d is cl osu r es of l ater c rim e s

an d fo ll ies in t h e ch u rch may h ave a l i k e e ff e ct Su ch men


, .

as t h e ex ce ll ent M i l ner one age ago k new not fo r w h at


, ,

a c r isis t h e y w e re p reparin g th e ch u r ch b y supp ressin g o r


gi l d in g ove r t h e m ore r evol tin g fe atu r es o f h e r ea r l y h is
.

to r y Satan h imse l f cou l d not h ave p r om pte d suc h men to


.

d o h im so great a se r vi ce in an y ot h e r way H e is not on l y .

t h e fat h e r of l ies but t h e greatest supp resso r of a k now l e d ge


,

o f th ose l ies w h en t h e y come to be d ete cte d as l ies ; an d fo r


,

t h is pu rpose b e comes to goo d men in t h e guise of an an gel


, ,

o f l i gh t an d as t h e greatest fr ien d to t h e ch u r ch an d mak es


, ,

t h em h is r ead y an d d evote d too l s in a cause seemin gl y so


ch a r itab l e towa rd s m an an d l o y a l towa rd s G o d A n d t h en .
,

i f we suppose h im to po ssess t h e powe r w h at better th in g ,

fo r h is cause coul d t h e enem y o f t h e c h u rch d o t h an j ust ,

bi d h er a d vo cates to l oo k at h e r ea rl y state as w e ll -n i gh im
macu l ate an d fe arl ess l y to fo ll ow in h er pe ri l ous steps ?
,

T h is wo r k is d esi gne d es pe ciall y fo r peopl e wh o h ave not


th e time no r t h e me ans to be come t h o r ough l y in fo rme d in
matters of c h u rch h isto ry ; an d al so fo r itine rant ministe r s
an d B ib l e wo r k e r s w h o even t h ough t h e y be well read can
, , ,

not ca rr y a t h eo l ogi cal l ib rary wit h t h em from w h i ch to


q uote in time of nee d I t is h ope d al so t h at t h e boo k may
.
, ,

se r ve as an in centive to some to ma k e a s y stemati c stu d y o f


c h u r c h h isto r y an d ma y ai d t h em in so d oin A n d it is
, g .

not im possibl e t h at t h e grou pin g of subj e cts may suggest


n e w i d e as even to t h ose w h o h ave r ead t h e entire h isto r y o f
,

t h e earl y ch u rch I n d ee d t h e boo k is main l y suggestive


.
, ,

t h e most ex h austive p o rtion bein g th e ch apte r on S un - wo r



s h ip an d S un d ay H isto ry repeats itse l f ; an d on l y h e w h o
.

k n o w s t h e cou rse of e rro r in t h e past can be on h is gu ard


against its insi d ious app r oac h es in th e future .
P R E FA C E .

G reat care h as been tak en in ve r i fy in g th h isto r i cal re fe r e

on es so t h at t h e d isputant wh o uses t h is boo k mi gh t fee l


c ,

as con d ent as t h ough h e h ad th o r igin a wo r k s N eve re . .

th el ess, in fa ll i b i l ity is not an att r ibu te of eit h e r auth o r or


p r oo f-rea d e rs an d if an y one d ete cts an e rr o r in an y re fe r
,

en ce I s h all esteem it a favo r to be in fo rme d o f it I n t h e


,
.

appen d ix wi ll be foun d b rie f biograph i cal s k etc h es of some


of t h e men from w h ose w r itin gs ext racts h ave been m ad e .

I t is t h ough t t h at t h is a dd ition w i ll be of val ue to some wh o


wi ll u se t h e boo k .

I w ou l d not fo rget to ack now l e d ge t h e se r vi ce ren d e re d b y


m y fr ien d s E l d e r s E W F a rns w o rt h W C W h ite an d A
,
. .
,
. .
, .

T Jones w h o r ea d t h e boo k in manus cr ipt an d ma d e val u


.
, ,

ab l e suggestions .

A n d now t h e b oo k is sent fort h wit h t h e p ra y ers of t h e


w ri te r t h at it may b e inst r umental in causin g m an y to see
t h e fo ll y of m an s W is d om an d l ead in g t h em to p rize mo re

,

h igh l y t h an eve r be fo re t h e une rrin g wo rd of G od w h i c h ,

al one is ab l e to mak e t h em w ise unto sal vation .

E . J . W .

O ak lan d , C al .
,
A ugust 5, 1 8 8 8 .
T A B L E CH E C O N T E N T S

CH A PTER I .

T 11 E H EAT H EN W O R L D . 9 27

CH APT ER II .

H E AT I I E N PH I LO SO PH Y . 28 4 4

CH APT ER III .

THE A P O ST O L I C CH U RC I I .

CH APT ER I V .

T H E FA TH E RS . 57 73

CH A PTER V .

STLE B A RNA B A S

T H E E PI O F . 74-8 3

C H A P TE R V I

H E RM A S '
AN D CLE M ENT . 8 4 -9 6

CH APTER VII .

TH E

E PI S TLES O F I G NAT I U S .

9 7- 1 1 2

CH APT ER VI I I .

T H E

T EA C H ING O F TH E A P O STL E S .

1 1 3 1 24

CH APT ER IX
I RE N ZE U S .
-
1 25 1 4 5

JU ST I N M A RTY R . 1 4 6 1 64
V III TA B L E O F C O NT E NT S .

CH APT ER XI .

CLE M E N T O F A LE X A N DR I A . 1 651 8 3

CH APTE R XII .

T E R T U LL I AN . 184-21 6

CH A PTER XI I I .

O R IG EN . 21 7 24 ]

CH A PT ER XIV .

T H E G R E A T A PO STA S Y H eath e n an d Cat h ol i c M ys


.

ter ies Pe r ve r sion o f th e O rd in a n ce o f B apti sm


S i n of t h e C r oss a n d I ma es 242L 268
g g ,
.

CH A P T ER XV .

TH E G R EAT A P O STA S Y (C ontinue d ) Pu rg to r y . a an d

Pray ers fo r t h e De ad Pious


F rau d s I mmo
r al ity in t h e C h u r ch . 26928 5

CH A PTER XVI .

T H E G R EAT A PO STA S Y (C ontinu ed ) R el i c an d Mar .

t y r Wo rs h i p S un d ay an d C hristmas . 28 6-303

CH AP T ER XVI I .

T IIE G R EAT A PO STA S Y (C ontinue d ) .


S u n -
W o rs h i p
an d S un d ay . 304-328

CH A PTER XVIII .

T H E G R EAT A P O STA S Y (C on cl u d e d ) . G rowt h o f Pa


pal A s sumption .

329 345

A P P E N DI X .

T he T r ue a n d A bi d i ng S abb at h T h e A po stl es a n d
t h e F irst Day o f th e W ee k B iograp h i cal N otes . 34 7 363
C H A PT E R I .

T H E H E A T H EN W O RL D .

I N order clearly to comprehend the peculiar dangers


of the ear ly Christians we must kno w the conditio n of
,

the heathen world in the time of Christ and his apostles ,

since it was mainly from among the heathen that converts


to Christianity were ob tained If we kn ow the beliefs
.

which men held and the practices to whi ch they were


,

addicted before their conversion we can readily tell what


,

errors they would be most likely to adopt if they should


in any degree tur n from th e faith ; and we shall als o
kno w what would be the state of the church if any con
sid er ab l e n u mber of its communicants were conver ted

only in name .

In the rst chapter of Romans the apostle Paul h as


given a brief but comprehensive vie w of the state of
morals among the heathen and of the steps by which
,

they reached the depth of degradation which is there


revealed H e rst n otices the fact that at on e time the
.

people did kno w God Verse 21 F rom the M osaic


. .

record we lear n the same thing We know that in the .

years immediately f ollowing the creation and th e ood ,

all the i n habitants of the earth had the knowledge of the


true God A dam an d Noah the two fathers of the
.

race served the Lord and they would of co urse teach



,

their children about him and his requirements T he re .

could therefore be n o excuse for the gross ignoranc e


, ,

which af terward prevailed .

(9 )
10 F A T HE R S O F T H E CA T H O LIC C H U R C H .

E ven had this oral teaching been wanting there wou l d ,

h ave been n o excuse for the abominable idolatry and the


ignorance of God which characterized n early all of the
,
'

inhabitants of the earth because n atur e itsel f reveals


,

n ot only the existen c e but also the powe r of God


,
In .

S peaking of the heathen Paul indicates the j ustice of


,

God in pouring ou t his wrath upon them Because th at ,

which may be known of God is manifest i n [to] them ; ,


for God hath showed it u nto them Rom 1 : 1 9 The . . .

next verse tells how God revealed himself unto them .

A s we q uote it we transpose the clauses to s ave the


, ,


necessity of explanation by comment : F or from 6 .

since] the creation of the world the invisible things of ,

h im [God ] even his eternal power and Godhead are


, ,

clearly seen being understood by the things that are


,

m ade ; so that they [ those who deny God] are witho ut



excuse . M ore than this the same apostle tells us that
,


God left not himself without witness i n that he did ,

good and gave us rain from heave n and fruitful seasons


, , ,

lling our hearts with food an d gladness A cts 1 4 1 7 . .


The psalmist also tells us that the heavens declare the

glory of God and the rmamen t sh oweth his handiwork .

P S 19 : 1
. .S o plainly does n ature teach the existence of

G od that he wh o even i n his secret thought says
, There ,

is n o God i s ustl y called a fool P S 1 4 1 S uch an
, . . .

one may be said to be ignorant of the a b c of knowledge .

Nevertheless it is a fact that the n ations did forget


God ; and Rom -32 is an accurate description of
.

their condition in conse q uence The truthfulness of this .

d escription is attested by the heathen themselves They .

d ei fied the most proigate men and women and worship ed ,

vice inste ad of virtue Thei r god s were male and female


.
,
TH E H EA T HE N \VO R L D . 11

an d mythology i c the history of the gods is little else


,
. .
, ,

tha n a record of licentiousness The Baal and A shtoreth .

of the Canaanites were the JU piter and Venus of the


,

Romans and Greeks an d every heathen nation h ad gods


,

correspo n ding to them The temples erected to them .

were magnicent brothels and their priestesses were ,

prostitutes Li centiousness was n ot simply a llowed but


.
,

it was comman d ed as an ac t of rel igion A mong the .


Babylonians it is said that once at least i n her life , ,

every woman was obliged to prostitute herself in the



tempel of B el A mer ican C yclop ed ia ar t B a bylon
.
, . .


H eathenism had made lust into a religio n and the ,

worship of its gods a school of vice penetrating all ,


classes of society .

A S it is not ou r object in this discussion to give simply


our views b ut to give the reasons f or the vie ws which
,

we hold we shall invariably q uote from authorities so


, ,

that the reader may examine for himsel f Let the reader ,
.

rst read Rom .


32 and then compare it with the
,


quotation s that follow Professor S tuart i n his Com
.
,


mentary on the E pistle to the Romans says on the ,

-
twenty seventh verse of the rst chapter :
The evidences of the fact here stated by the apostle
are too n umerous and prominent among the heathen
writers to need even a reference to them Virgil himself .
,

the chaste Virgil as he has been often called has a


,

,

C orydon ama ba t A lex in [ Corydon loving A lexis] with ,

out seeming to feel th e necessity of a blush for it S uch .

a fact sets the wh ol e matter in the open day That

'
at A thens and Rom e n a zdsp a on a [sodomy] was a very '

common and habitual thing n eeds n o p roof to on e who ,

h as read the Greek and Latin classics especially the ,

amato ry poets to any considerable exten t Plutarch


, .

tells us that S olon practiced it ; and Diogenes L aer tius


12 F A T HE R S O F T H E CA T H O LI C CHU RC H .

says the same of the stoic Z eno Need we be surprised


.
,

then if the same horrible vice was frequent in the more


,

barbarous parts of Greece and the Roman E mpire ?

In the heathen worship there were mysteries to ,

which only the initiated were admitted These were .

c elebrated i n the inner temples and it is doubtless of,


them that the apostle Pa ul speaks when he savs : F or
it is a shame even to speak of those things which are

done of them i n secret E ph . If the things
.

recorded in the rst chapter of Romans were don e Openly ,

what must have been the depth of the wickedness that was
done in secret and of which it is a shame even to Speak ?
,

B ut let it be u nderstood that the heathen themselves f elt


n o Shame for any of their practices T hey gloried in .

them as things which brought the m nearer to th egods


, .

The more l icentious they were the more nearly they ,

resembled the gods which they worshiped The worst .

abomination s were done in secret n ot out of a sense of ,

sh ame but to Show that certain ones had advanced beyond


,


the common people in matters of religion O n this .

point Professor S tuart in commenting on Rom


, , .

says
The imp u tation is that i n apostatizing from the true
,

God and betaking themselves to the worship of idols


, ,

they h ad at the same time been the devoted slaves of


lust ; which indeed seems here also by implication to be , ,

assigned as the reason or ground of their apostasy .

E veryone knows moreover th at among almost all the


, ,

various form s of heathenism imp u rity has been either a


,

direc t or indirect servic e i n its pretended religious d uties .

Witness the s h ocking law among the Babylonians that ,

every woman sho u ld prosti tute herself at leas t once be f ore , ,

the S hrine of thei r Ven u s It is n eedless to say that the


.
,

wors hipers of Ven u s in Greec e and Rome practiced s u ch


TH E H EA T HE N W O R L D . 13

rites ; or that the mysteries of heathenism of whi c h ,

Paul says it is a sh ame even to S peak allowed a still



,

greater latitude of ind ulgence Nor is it ne cessary to .

describe the obscene and bloody rites practiced i n H in


dostan in the S outh S ea and the S and wich Islands and
, ,

generally among the heathen Polytheism and idolatry .

have nearly a l ways been a religion of obscenity and



blood .

S umming up the evidence against them P aul says tha t ,


they were lled with all unrighteousness fornication , ,

wi c kedness covetousness m ali ciousness ; ful l of envy


, , ,

murder debate deceit malignity ; whisperers backbiters


, , , ,

haters of G od despiteful proud b oasters inventors of


, , , ,

evil things disobedient to parents without understanding


, , ,

covenant breakers without natural aff ection implacable


, , ,


un me rciful R om .
31 A nd to crown all he
. .
,

adds that they not only did these things b ut had pleasure ,

in those who did the m Nothing could exceed such .

depravity A S Professor S tuart sa y s :


.

It is of ten the case that wicked men wh ose consciences


, ,

h ave been en l ightened speak reproachfully of others who ,

practi ce such v ices as they themselves indulge in F ew


r oi ate parents for examp l e are will that their


p g ,n ,

children should sustain the same character with them


selves But when we nd as in some cases we may d o
.
, ,

such parents en c ouraging and applauding their chi l dren


*
in a cts of wickedness we ustl y consider it as evidence ,

of the v ery highest kind of depravity .

It is of suc h depravity as this that the apostle accuses


the heathen A nd j ustly ; f or even their philosophers
.

and the best educated among them stood chargeable ,

with such an accusation F or example ; both the E pi .

Witn es s th e w ell -kn ow n c ase of th e S part an s w h o m ade it ,

a b u s i n es s t o t e ac h t h eir ch i l d r e n t o s t e al an d l ie an d am on
g
w h om th e h i gh est v i rt u e k n ow n was s k i l l in c ommitti n g an d
,

c on c e al i n
g w h at ar e ordi n ar i l y t er me d c ri mes .
14 F A T HE R S O F T HE CA T H O LIC CHU R C H .

and the S toics allowed and defended n a uiep m n a


c ur ean s z

[ sodomy] and incest n umberin g these



horrid c r imes,

among the d oz gp p a thin gs in dvcr cn t C ommen t on


a o
, .

R om .

This was the state of morals not alo n e of the lower .


, ,

unedu c ated classes but of the philosopher s those who


,

instructed the youth in virtue That the apostle uses



the te r m withou t understanding with respect to the
, ,
.

morals and not the intellect will be readily seen from


, ,

the following quotations :


F rom the ignorance and u n certainty which (we have ,

seen ) pr evai led among some of the greatest teachers of


antiquity concerning those fundamental truths whi c h
,

are the greatest barriers of v iI t u e and religion it is ,

evident that the heathens had n o perfect scheme of moral


rules for piety and good manners They .

accounted revenge to be n ot only lawful b ut commend ,

able Pride and the love of popular applause (the sub


.

d uing of which is the rst prin c iple of true virtue) were .

esteemed the best and greatest in centives to virtue and


noble actions ; suicide was regarded as the strongest mark
of heroism and the perpetrators of it instead of being
branded with infamy were com m
, ,

ended and celebrated,


.

as men of noble minds But the interior ac t of the soul .


s
,

the ad ultery of the eye and the murder of the heart


,

wer e li ttle regarded O n the contrary the philosophers


.
,

countenanced both by arguments and example the most


, ,

agitious practices Thus theft as is well known was


.
, ,

permit ted in E g y pt an d in S parta ; Plato taught the exp o


d ien cy and lawfulness of exposing children in particular
cases ; an d A ristotle also of a b ortion The exposure of
, , .

infants and the putting to d eath of children who were


,

weak or i mpe rf ect in form was allowed at S parta by ,

Lycurgus ; at A thens the great seat and n ursery of ,

philosophers the women were treated and disposed of as


,

slaves and it was enacted that infants which appeared


,

,

to be maimed should either be killed or exposed


, and
TH E H EA T HE N W O R L D . 15

that the A thenians might lawfully invade and ens l ave


any people wh o in their Opinion were t to be made


, , ,

slaves The in f amous traf c i n human b l ood was per


.

mitted to its utmost extent ; and on certai n oc c asions , ,

the o wners of slaves had ful l permission to kill them .

Customary swea r ing was commended if not by ,

the precepts yet by the example of the best moralists


,

among the heathen philosophers particularly S o crates , ,

P l ato S eneca an d th e E mperor Julian


, ,
The .

g r atication of the sensual appetites and of the most ,

u nnatural lusts was openly taught and a l lowed


,
A ris .

tippu s maintained that it was lawful for a wise man to


steal com mit ad ultery and sacrilege when opportunity
, , ,

o ff ered ; for th at n one of these actions were n aturally


evil set ting aside th e vulgar Opinion which was introduced
, ,

by silly and illiterate people ; an d that a wise man might



public l y gratify his libidinous propensities .


Truth was but of small acco unt among many even ,

of the best heathens ; for they taught that on many occa


sions a lie was to be preferred to the trut h itself I To
,

whic h we m ay add that the unlimited gratication of ,

their sensual ap pe tites and the c ommission of u nnatural ,

crimes was c ommon even among the most distinguished


,

teachers of philosophy and was practiced eve n by S oc ,

rates himsel f The most notorious vices says


.

,

Q u in ctil ia n Speaking ,
of the philosophers o f his time ,

are screened under that n ame ; and they d o not labor


to maintain the charac ter of philosophers by virtue and


study but conceal the most vicious lives under an austere
,

look and singularity of dress -


H or n e s I n tr oduction

,
.

vol 1, c ha 1
r
.
p . .

In conrmation of the statement that the philosophers


en couraged lying Dr Whitby collecte d many maxims
,
.

of the most eminent heathen sages from which Dr ,


.

H orne quotes the following


A lie is better than a hurtful truth Men a n d er

. .


Good is better t h an truth P r ocl us . .
16 F A T HE R S O F T HE CA T H O LIC CHU R C H .

'
\V li en telling a l ie wi l l be p r otable , let it be told .

Darius, in H er od otu s, l i b iii, 0 6 2 . . .


H e m ay lie who knows
,
h ow to do it in a suitable
,

time .P la to ~
.


There is noth ing decorous in truth b ut when it is ,

protable ; yea sometimes truth i s hurtful and lying is


, ,

protable to men
Max imu s T yr iu s . .

M osheim says of th e time u st preceding the in tr od u c


tion of Christianity
The lives of men of every class from the h ighest to ,

the lowest were consumed in the practice of the most


,

abomin able and agitiou s vices ; even crimes th ehorrible ,

turpitude of which was such th at it would be d elin g the


ear of decency b ut to n ame them were openly per pe ,

tr ated with the greatest impunity H istor ica l C om .

'

men tart es vol 1 c hap 1 sec 21 of I n tr odu ction


'
, .
, .
, .
, .

Notwithstanding the u npleasan t n ature of the theme ,

we shall p ursue it a little further for it is absolutely ,

necessary that we u nderstand that vice and immorality


everywhere prevailed S peaking of the domestic life of .

the heathen Dr Philip S chaff i n h is H istory of the


,

.
,

Christian Ch u rch (vol 1 sec says .
,
.


M onogamy was th e rule both i n Greece and in Rome ,

b ut did not exclude illegitima te C onnections Concubin .

age in its pr eper legal sense was a sort of secondary


, ,

marriage with a woman of ser vile or plebeian extraction ,

standing below the dignity of a matron and above the


infamy of a prostitute It was sanctioned and regulated .

by law ; it prevailed both in the E ast and the West from


the age of A ugustus to the tenth century and was ,

preferred to regular marriage by Vespasian an d the two ,

An tonines the best Roman emperors Adultery was


, .

severely p u nished at times even wit h sudden destruction ,

of the o f f ender ; but simply as an inter f eren ce with the


rights and property of a free man The wife had no .

legal or social prote ction against the indelity of h er


TH E H EA T HE N W O R L D . 17

husband The Romans worshiped a peculiar goddess of


.

domestic life ; but her name V ir ip laca the appeaser of , ,

hus bands indicates her part iality Besides it must be


,
.
,

remembered that the intercourse of a h usban d wit h the


slaves of his household and with public prostitutes was
excluded from the odium and punishment of adultery .

The women however See m to have been as corrupt


, ,

as their hus b ands at least i n the imperial age Ju ven al


, .

calls a chaste wife a r ar a ar ts in ter r is [ a rare bird i n


the earth] U nder A ugustus free-born daughters could


.
,

no longer be found f or the service of Vesta and even ,

the severest laws of Domitian could n ot prevent the S ix


priestesses of the pure g oddess from breaking their vow .

Divorce is said to have bee n almos t unknown in the


ancient days of the Roman republic But the custom .

ary civil and religious rites of marriage were gradually


disused ; apparent Open community of life between per
sons of simi lar rank was taken as suf f icient evidence
of their nuptials ; and m arriage af ter A ugustus fell to , ,

the level of any partnership which might be dissolved ,



by the abdication of on e of the associates .

If the thoughtful reader h as his mind almost in v ol un


tar il y directed by these statements to the loose con ditions
, ,

of society in our own time it will not be a matter of ,

surprise The l as t days said our S aviour will be as the


.
, ,


days b efore the ood when men took them wives of all
,


which they chose (Gen 6 : and when we consider
.

the ease with which divorce may be obtained the pleas ,

ure that is taken I n reading the details of scandal as ,

indi c ated by the prominence given them by the press ,

and the readiness with which men of kno wn licentious


ness are rec eived in good society we see strong evidence

,

that the end is near at hand .

I V e have stated that the more li c entious the people


were the more nearly they resembled the gods whom
,

2
18 F A T HE R S O F T H E CA T H O LIC CHU R C H .

they worshiped A few quotations con cerning the r e


.

l igion of heathenism will give u s a still deeper insight


'
into the morals of the people S ays S ch a : .


H ow could there be any proper conception and
.

abhorrence of the sin of licentiousness an d adultery if ,

the very gods a Jupiter a M ars and a Venus were


, , , ,

believed to be guilty of those crimes ? M odesty forbids


the mention of a still more odious vice which even ,

depraved n ature abhors which yet was freely discussed


,

and praised by ancient poets and philosophers practiced ,

with neither punishment n or dishonor and likewise ,

divinely sanctioned by the lewdness of Jupiter wit h



Ganymede . H istory of the C hu r ch vol 1 sec 9 1 , .
, . . .

A nother wri ter says



A s to th e r eligion of heathenism it is a wild gro wt h ,

on the soil of fallen h uman n ature a darkening of the ,

original consciousness of G od a d ei cation of the ,

rational and irrational creature and a corresponding ,

corruption of the moral sense giving the sanction of


, ,

religi on to natural and u nn atural vices The .

gods are involved by their marriages in perpet u al j eal


ou sies an d q uarrel s Though called holy and j ust they
.
,

are I l l of envy and wrath hatred and lust and provoke


, ,

each other to lying and cruelty perj ury and adultery , .

Me C lin toclc a n d S tr ong s C yclop edia ar t H eathen



,
. .

S uch being the n ature of the gods it canno t be expected ,

that the religion of the heathen could possess any high


m oral tone . S ays Gibbon

The devotion of the pagans was n ot incompatible
with the most licentious Skepticism Instead of an indi .

v isible and regular syste m which occupies the whole


,

extent of the believing mind the mythology of the ,

Greeks was composed of a thousand loose and exible


parts and the servant of the gods was at liberty to dene
,

the degree and measure of his religious faith Declin e



.

a n d F a l l o the R oman E m ir e c ha
f p p 23 p ar a
g p
r a h 3 , .
,
.
TH E H EA T HE N \VO R L D . 19

: same
T he author in the twelfth paragraph of the chap
,

ter mentioned above in speaking of the attempts of the


,

E mperor Julian to restore the ancient worship of the


gods char acterizes it as a religion whi c h was destitute
, ,

of theological pr in c iples of moral precepts and of eccle


, ,


siastic al discipline .

In harmony with the q uotation last m ade Professor ,

VV orm an says

Polytheism was always a religion of mere ceremony ,

unassociated as a religion with any moral law H en ce


, ,
.

the most religious man in the sense of polytheism might


be a shameless pr oigate emulating the gods to whom ,

he sacriced in their reputed licentiousness and guilty


, ,

(as was S ocrate s ) of cri m es against which even nature


revolts Mc C lin tock an d S tr on g art P aganism

.
,
. .

Dr M osheim i n the introd uction to his H istorical


.
,


Commentaries gives us a view of the peculiar religion
,

of each of the various nations and in summing up says : ,

None of these various sys tems of religion appear to


have contributed in the least toward s an amendment of
the moral principle a reformation of manners or to the
, ,

exciting a love or even a respect for virtue of an y sort


, , .

The gods and goddesses who were held u p as obj e cts of


,

adoration to th e common people instead of exhibiting in ,

themselves examp l es of a rened and supereminent virtue ,

d isplayed in illustrio u s actions stood forth to public view ,

the avowed autho r s of the most agrant and enormou s


crimes The priests likewise took n o sor t of interest
.

whatever in the regulation of the public morals neither ,

directing the people by their precepts nor inviting them ,

by exhortation and example to the pursuit of a wise and ,

honorable co urse of life ; but on the contrary indulged


themselves in the mos t unwarrantable licentiousness ,

maintaining that the whole of religion was comprised in


the rites and ceremoni es instituted by their ancestors and ,
20 F A T HE R S O F T H E CA T H O LIC CHU R C H .

that every sort of sensual graticatio n was liberally


allowed by the gods to those who regularly mini stered

to them i n this way C hap 1 sec 20
. .
, . .

A lthough each nation had its own pec u liar gods the ,

gods of all other nations were respected and their worship ,

was tolerated S ays Gibbon (chap 2 paragraph


. .
,

The various modes of worship which prevailed i n the ,

Roman world were all considered by the people as


, ,

equally true ; by the philosopher as equally false ; and ,



by the magistrate as equally useful
,
.

If it be objected to this statemen t that the Jews and


Christians were o f ten persecuted with relentless severity ,

and their religi on proscribed a s uff icient answer will be


,

found in the fact that the worshipers of the true God


abhorred the heathen worship and would n ot counte ,

nance it in any manner Not content with worshiping


.

God in secret they (especially the Christians) taught the


,

people that they be no gods which are mad e with



,


hands . Indeed the simple worship of Jehovah was a
standing rebuke to the licentious worship of the idolaters .

B ut idolatry was the S tate religion and all who opposed ,

it were considered as plotting against the government .

In persecuting the Christians the emperors did n ot con


,

sider th at they were warring against a religion but ,

against treasonable fanaticism Noth ing but idolatry


.

was ca l led religion and the Jews and Ch ristians were


,

perse cuted as instigators of treason .

O n this point Neander says :



All the ancient religions were national and State
religions an d this was espe cially the case with the
,

Romans among whom the political point of view pre


,

dominated in everything n ot ex cepting religion The


, .

p u b l ic apostas y of citizens from the S tate religion and ,


TH E H EA T HE N W O R L D . 21

the introduction of a foreign reli gion or a n ew on e not ,

legalized by the S tate (r eligio i llicita) appeared as an ,

a ct of high treason In this light was regarded the con


.

version of Roman citizens or s ubj ects to Christianity .

Y our religion is il l egal (n on licet esse c os) was the


,

reproach commonly cast on Christians without referring ,

to the contents of their re l i gion Memor ia ls of C hr istia n



.

L if e c hap 3 p ar agr ap h 2
, .
, .

The fact also that the worship of Jehovah would if


, , ,

tolerated tend to check the free ind ulgen ce of their


,

passions acted as an additional spur to the zeal of the


,

h eathen persecuto rs .

The following quotation has quite an important bear


ing on our future investigation I n speaking of the .

sacrices and other rites of the heathen M osheim says : ,


O f the prayers of pagan worshipers whether we r e ,

gard the matter or the mode of expression it is impossi ,

ble to Speak favorably ; they were n ot on l y destitute in


general of eve rything allied to the spirit of genuine
piety but were sometimes framed expressly for the pur
,

pose of obtaining the countenan ce of H eaven to the most


abominable and agitious u ndertakings In fact the .
,

greater par t of their religious Ob servances were of an


absurd and ridiculous n ature and in many instances ,

strongly tinctured with the most disgraceful barbarism


and obscenity Their festivals and other solemn days
.

were polluted by a licentious indulgence in every species


of libidinous e x cess ; and on the se occasions they were

not prohibited even from making the sa c red mansion s of



their gods the scenes of vile and beastly gratication .

H istor ica l C ommen tar ies, I n tr odu ction , c ha


p . 1, sec . 11 .

When even the religion which men profess tends to


deepen their n atural depravity what good can be ex ,

ected of them ? No man can fully c omprehend su c h


p
wickedness ; for the man who h as had no ex perience in
22 F A T H E R S O F T H E C A T H O LIC CHU R C H .

such debasing forms of sin can not understand how any


body c an Si nk so low ; an d the m an who h as descended
to the depths of vice has his moral sense so blunted that
sin n o longer appears sinful We might quote pages
.

u pon pages of matter similar to the above but we do n ot ,


wish to harrow the reader s mind with any more than is
actually necessary to impress upon it the condition of the
world i nto which the apostles were sent out as sheep
among wolves A S showing the degeneracy of the ancie n t
.

h eathen and also h ow S in can obliterate fr o m the heart


,

all true conception of right and w rong the follo wing is ,

to the point
O ne of the most formidable obstacles whi c h Christian
missionaries h ave encountered in teaching the doctrines
and precepts of the gospel to the heathen h as been the ,

absence from their languages of a spiritual and ethical


n o menclature . It is in vai n that the religious teachers of
a people present to them a doctrinal or ethical system in
c ul catin g virtues and addressed to faculties whose very ,

existence their language and consequently the conscious


,

self-knowledge of the people d o n ot recognize The


, .

Greeks and Romans for example h ad a clear conception


, ,

of a moral id eal b u t the Christian idea of sin was u tterly


,

unknown to the pagan mind Vice they regarded as .

S imply a relaxed energy of the will by which it yielded ,

to th e allurements of sensual pleasure ; and vir tu e literally ,

manliness was th e determined spirit the courage and


, ,

vigor with whi c h it resisted such temptations But the .

idea of h olin ess a n d the antithetic idea of sin were such


u t te r strangers to the pagan mind that it would have
been impossible to express them i n either of the cl assical
tongues of antiquit y
Wil liam Matthews L L D in
. .
,
. .
,

Wor ds ; T heir Use an d A buse ,



pp 7 0,
.

In leaving this part of the subj ect we present a sum ,

mary in the shape of some extracts from Dr E dersh eim s .



TH E H EA TH E N W O R L D . 23
'

great work The Life and Times of Jesus the M essiah
, .

In it he has admirably portrayed the condition of the


Roman world in the time of C h rist S peaking of the .

city of Rome the mistress of the world he says


, ,

O f a population of about two million s well-nigh on e ,

half were slaves ; and of the rest the greater part either
, ,

freedmen and their descendants or foreigners E ach , .

c l as s contributed its share to the co mmon decay S lavery .

was n ot eve n what we kno w it b ut a seething mass of ,

cruelty and oppression on the one side and of cunning ,

and corruption on the other M ore than any other .

ca use it contributed to the r uin of Roman society The


, .

freedmen who h ad very o ften acquired their liberty by


,

the most disreputable courses and had prospered i n them , ,

combined in Sh ameless manner the vices of the free with


the vileness of the slave The foreigners specially.

Greeks and S yrians who crowded the city poisoned the ,

Springs of its life by the corruption which they brought .

The free citizens were idle dissipated sunken ; their chief


, ,

thoughts of the theater and the arena ; and they were


mostly supported at the public cost While even in the .
,

time of A ugustus more than two hundred thousand per


,

sons were thus maintained by th e S tate what of the old ,

Roman stock remained was rapidly decaying partly from ,

corruption b ut chiey from th e increasing cessation of


,

marriage and the nameless abominations of what re


,

main ed of family l ife V ol 1 book 2 c hap 2
. .
, , . .

A gai n in the same chapter he says



Without tracing the various phas es of ancient
thought it may be generally said that in Rome at least
, , ,

the iss ue lay bet ween S toicis m and E picureanism The .

on e attered its pride the other gratied its sensual ity ;


,

the on e was in accordance with the original national


character the other with its later decay and corr u ption
,
.
24 F A T HE R S O F T HE CA T H O LIC C H U R C H .

Both ul timately led to atheism and despair the one by ,

turning all higher aspirations selfward the other by , ,

quenching them i n the enj oyment of the mome n t ; the


on e by making the extincti on of all feeling and sel f -
,
d ei
c ation the other the indulgence of every passion and the
, ,

worship of matter its ideal ,
.

Lastly fro m the same chapter from which the above


,

is taken we quote the following :


,

Rome tolerated and indeed incorporated all nation al


, , , ,

rites B ut among the populace religion had degenerated


.
,

into abj ect superstition I n the E ast much of it consisted


.
,

of the vilest rites ; while among the philosophers all , ,

religions were considered equally false or e q ually true


the outcome of ignorance or else the un conscious modi,

c ation s of some one fundamental tho ught The only .

religio n on whi ch the S tate insisted was the d ei cation


and worship of the emperor These apotheoses attained .

almost incredible development S oon n ot only th e em .

p or e rs b ut their wives paramours children and the


, , , ,

creatures of their vilest l usts were deied ; nay any pri , ,

vate perso n might attain tha t distinction if the survivors ,

a ossessed suf cient means M ingled with all this


. was an
i ncreasing amount of superstition b y which ter m some
understood the worship of foreign gods the most part the ,

existence of fear in religion The ancient Roman relig .

ion h ad l ong given place to foreig n rites the more myste ,

r io u s and unintelligible the more enti cing It was thus .

that Judais m made its converts in Rome ; its chief recom


men d ation with many being its contrast to the old and ,

the unknown possibilities which its seemingly in c redible


doctrines Opened A mong the most repulsive symptoms
.

of the general religious de c ay may be re c koned prayers

for the death of a ri c h relative or even for the satisf ac ,

tion of u nnatural lus ts along with horrible blasphemies


,
TH E H EA T HE N W O R L D . 25

when such prayers remained unanswered : We may here


contrast the Spirit of the O ld and N ew Testaments with
such sentiments as this on the tomb of a child : To the ,

unj ust gods wh o robbed me of li f e or on that of a girl


of t wenty : I lift up my hands against the god who took

me away innocent as I am ,
.


It would be unsavory to describe how far the worship
of indecency was carried ; how public morals were cor

r u ted by the mimic representations of everything that


p
was vile and even by the pandering of a corrupt art
,
.

The personation of gods ora cles divination dreams , , , ,

astrology magic necro mancy and theurgy all contrib


,
*
, , ,

utod to the general decay It has been rightly said that .


,

the idea of conscience as we understand it was unknown , ,

to heathenism A bsolute right did not exist M ight . .

was right The social relations exhibited if possible


.
, ,

even deeper corruption The sanctity of marriage h ad .

ceased F emale dissipation and the general dissoluteness


.

led at last to an almost entire cessation of marriage .

A bortion and the exposure and murder of newly-born


,

children were common and tolerated ; unn atural vices


, ,

whi c h even the greatest philosophers practiced if not ,



advocated a ttained proportions which defy description
, .

The picture is not a pleasant on e yet it but faintly ,

represents the moral condition of the world when Christ


commissioned the apostles to preach the gospel We say .


the moral condition of the wor ld because the whole ,

*
In a f oot -
n ot e Dr . E d er sh eim sa ys :

A w or k h as e en reser b
v d i wh i c h f m l i t u ct ip gi v
e h wn or a ns r on s ar e en , o
t mp l
e es lt an d a ars a r e t o b e
n t
p t d i d t p d u c f l co m i c l ru c e n or o ro
d b y wh t m f th i k i d m y b u cc fu ll y p c t i c d
er e a se ra es,
an i mp tu
a ean s os r es o s n a ra
l t d b y B W d c ft ) T h w t
e s es s e

(C m p u m ti c f H t
w -
Th P
.

"
o e ne a s o er o , ran s a e oo ors
th t t h i k i d f i mp tu t p pu l c w p ly p
. ro e
ig
. .

as , a s n th o os r e on e n or an o as o e n

p v d b th d u c t d (Dolli g p
a e a
ro e v e e a e n er ,
Th i wi ll v t p l i m y R m C th l i c m i c l T h p g
.

s s er e o ex a n an o an a o ra es a an
t mp l th t i th t i m f C t t i f ll i t th h d f C h i i
. e
e es a n e e o on s an ne e n o e an s o r s t an s ,
w u d c hu c h
er e se as d th ld pl c r of w h i p must h v b
es , an e ot th a es ors a e e en , o e
new c v t v y u gg t i v
on er s , f erld f m f w
s hip es e o o or s o ors .
26 F A T HE R S O F T HE CA T H O L I C C HU R C H .

world was at th at time essentially heathen A compar a- .


I

tiv el y small n umber of Jews formed the only exception ,

and the greater part of them had b een corrupted by th e


S peculations of heathen philosophers The t wenty-third
.

chapte r of M atthe w Shows that the Jews as a class were , ,

b ut little if any better than the Gentiles who m they


,
.
,

d espised.

It was from this state of degradation that the gospel


essayed to li f t men ; fro m pe ople addic ted to such pr ac
tices the early Christian churches were formed W hen
,
.

we consider this instead of wondering at the heresies


,

that crept into the church and the disorderly conduct


,

that was sometimes tolerated even i n the apostoli c


churches (see 1 Cor . we are amazed at the
heights of piety to which many attained The fact that .

even among that corrupt mass thousands were found


who would give not only their property b ut themselves
, ,

also for the advancement of the cause of truth and holi


n ess is a wonderful mon u ment to the regenerati n g power
,

of Christianity

But great changes are not made instantaneously .

E ven though men are converted they need instruction


, ,

since they are then b u t babes in the tr u th ; and this fact


shows that old habits of thought and practice cannot at
once be entirely forgotten We do not mean to intimate
.

th at the converted man h as any license to sin or any ,

excuse for it ; but pardon for Sins is not san ctication


the on e who has been par d on ed is not perfect but is to
O ,


go on to perfection ; and he still needs an advocate
o

with the F ather that his imperfections may still b e par


,

cloned and overcome N ow men are al ways tempted on


.

the side of their natural inclinations ; if the converted


TH E H EA T H E N W O R L D . 27

man gives way to temptation it will be his ol d sins that


,

he will commit ; and when as is too o ften the c ase a


, ,

man j oins the chur c h without having been thoroughly


converted of course the ol d habits will continue u n
,

changed .

L et the student of church history remember this and ,

at the same time bear in mind what h as been quoted

concerning the moral condition of the people amo n g


whom the gospel gained its vi ctories and it will throw
,

light on many phases of professed Christianity It will .

also prevent him from attaching too much importance to


the precepts and practices of even the foremost of those
in the Christian church who had bee n brought u p i n
heathenism H e will al ways compare every act or saying
.

of those men with the Bible to see to what extent their


,

early training was allo wed to bias their course .


C H APTE R II .

H EA TH EN P H IL OSO PH Y .

I N th e preceding chapter we ha ve briey considered


the wickedness of the ancient heathen wo r ld ; in this we
sh all i nvestigate the primary cause of that degradation .

I n this investigation the Bible must still be our guide


, .

A fter Paul h ad stated that all might know God from his .

works he thus set forth the cause of the blind ness of the
,

heathen : \Vhen they knew God they gloried him not ,

as God neither were thankful ; but became vain in their


,

imaginations and their foolish heart was d arkened


, .

Professing themselves to be W l se they became fool s and , ,

changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an .

image m ade like to corruptible man and to birds and , ,


fourfooted beasts and creeping things
,
Rom 1 2123 . . .


They became fools That is they lost that knowl
.
,

edge of God which they liad possesSed ; for it is the fool


.


who says There is no G od
, The gods of the heathen.

were of their own making and h ad n o inuence over ,

them to keep them from evil and so while the heathen


, , ,

believed i n the gods and had forms of worship they


, ,

acted as though there were n o G od N ow it is not n ec .

essaril y with his lips th at the fool denies the existence of

God ; he may deny God in his heart and actions are the ,

language of the heart S o in the sight of H eaven the


.
, ,

heathen i n Spite of thei r philosophy were fools We


, ,
.

may here remind the reader that these word s of the


apostle are not n ecessarily conned in their application
(28 )
H EA T HE N PH IL O S OP HY . 29

to people resident in heathen lands The inhabitants of .

so called Christian countries if when they kno w of God



, ,

do not glorify h im as God b ut professing themselves to , ,

be wi se glorify only themselves are in the Bible sense


, , , ,

heathen A nd if they persist in their course there is


.
,

nothing to prevent the m from sinking to the same depths


of vice that the ancient heathen did .

We said above that the heathen in S pite of the wisdom ,

of their philosophers were c ounted as fools ,


We should .

say that their professed wisdom was the direct cause of

their foolis h degradation Paul says Professing them.


,


selves to be wise they became f ools ,In order to dem .

on str ate this it will be necessary to t a


,
ke a brief glance
at ancient heathen philosophy In so doing we shall .

take as a sample of the world n ot the poorest b ut that , ,

which is universally acknowledged to be the most elevated


in its tone Thus we shall avoid the imputation of in
.

j ustice .

Plato was the most illustrious philosopher of anc ient


times H e I s regarded as in a sense the father of philos
.
, ,

O h
p y for
, he was the rst philosopher who founded a
school H e was born about B C 4 27 and died about
. . .
,

B
. C 34 7 at the age of eighty I n his twentieth year he
.
,
.

formed the acquaintance of S o c rates whose disciple he ,

became Plato continued with S ocrates until the death


.
,

of the latter when he found it necessary to leave


,

A thens lest he should sh are the fate of his master F or


,
.

a time he was the guest of E uclid at M egara whose , ,


doctrines he imbibed to some extent A fter several years .

wandering in various countries he returned to A th ens , ,

where he opened a school of philosophy H is school .

was held in the grove of th e hero A cad emus for which ,


30 F A T HE R S O F T HE CA T H O LI C CHU R C H .


reason he called it the A cademy ; and subsequently h is

system of philosophy became known as the A cademic

Philosophy E
( n cyc Brit art A cademy ) A fter his
. . .
, . .

death he was worshiped as a god and many of the ,

A thenians sacriced to him See Seneca s sixth letter .



,

q uoted in M c C lin tock and S trong s E n cyclopedia article



,


Plato .

A lthough Plato is sai d to have developed and systema


tiz ed the phi l osophy of S ocrates and of others who had
preceded him it is well known that he himself had n o
,


real system That is he had n o xed prin ciples of
.
,

truth by which he tested and around which he gathered , ,

n ew ideas S ays Pro f G F H olmes (McC lin tock and


. . . .


S trong s E ncyc art Plato ) : There is little in Plato of

.
,
.


a dogmatic character and much of tentative skeptical , , ,


and undened exploration A gain we read in the same .
,

article

Very few of the treatises of Plato are constr u ctive or
dogmatical Nearly al l of them are simply negative or
.

inquisitorial The latter do not seek to maintain any de


.

p en d en ce on the former H is obj ect was n ot the .

establishment of a doctrine but the stimulation of candid ,

investigation in order to free his hearers from the stagna


,

tion of thought an d the obsession of vulgar or treach


er ou s errors H e was not a d octr in air e, but an in q uirer ;
.

or rather he taught the need and practice of investig a


, ,

tion ; not a body of conclusion s .

The testimony which we qu ote is from a so u rce pr ej u ,

d iced if i n either direction in favor of Plato so ou r read


, , ,

ers may be sure that we are doing him no inj ustice N ow .

let us notice the above paragraph F irst Plato s treatises .


,

are nearly all negative S econd there i s no attempt at .


,

u niformity Third as would nat u rally be supposed he


.
, ,
H EA T HE N PH IL O S OP HY . 31

did n ot seek to establis h any doctrine b ut only to stimu ,

late in q uiry Now we would not appear to deprecate the


.

stimulation of candid investigation b ut when the in


v estigator has n o xed principles of truth as th e b asi s ,

of his investigation and his i nvestigation lead s to no d e


,

nite conclusions ; when on e thought i s not in harmony


with tha t whi ch preceded it and is itself contradi cted
,

by that which follows we cannot look u po n it with


,

much respect We cannot see that such investigation is


.

good for anything indeed we think it can be S hown tha t


,


it is worse than nothing When a person is so u n prej u
.


diced that he regards everything as e q ually good and i s ,

not certain that anything is good he certainly is not a ,

safe man to follow The position of modern agnostics


.

is precisely the same as that of Plato Indeed b e de .


,


serves the name of the rst great agnostic rather than ,


that of philosopher While cal l ing himself a phil oso
.


pher lo ver of wisdom he did n ot profess to k n ow any
, ,

thing and he held no idea with su f f icient rmness to be


,

willing to be held responsible for its promul gation S ays .

the author above quoted :


H e never appears in p r op r ia p er son a [in his own per
son .
] There is nothing to connect him before the A tb o
nian dicasteries with any tenet in his writings T her e is .

e n ite d octrin e a frequent cen


a consta n t avoid a n ce of
d ,

sure of written i n struction a continu al reference to the


,

obstetrical pro ced ure and a deliberate renun c iation of


,


all responsibility .

This was the man who had the chief in u ence in mo u ld


ing the minds of the heathen for several hundred years .

H ow could it be expected that they would h ave any


xed moral prin cipl eS? If the blind lead the bli nd shall ,

they not both fal l into th e di tch ? W hat shall we say


32 F A T HE R S O F T H E CA T H O LIC CHU R C H .

then when we learn that by multit ud es of professed


, ,

Christians Plato h as been regarded as little less than in


,

spired ? and that many of the E ath of the rst cent e

u ries regarded the Platonic philosophy as preliminary

and even paramount to Christianity ? M u st we n ot c on



elude that such Christiani ty wou l d have radical de
feets ? We shall nd that suc h was the case \V e .

might even here cite as proof of the demoral izing ef f ect


, ,

of the writings of Plato and other philosophers the condi ,

tion of the church in the twelf th to the f teenth centuries ,

when philosophy took the place of th e Bible in the theo


-
logical schools It was against this soul withering phi
.


l osoph y that Luther struck some of his h ardest blows ;
and but for th e inuence it had gained in the church the
, ,

Ref ormation wo uld not have been ne cessary It is b e .

cause of Plato s great in uence on the Christian church



,

as well as on the heathen world that we devote space to ,

the characteristics of his philosophy A gain we q uote .

The subjects which he handled were not only deep ,

b ut u nfathomed by hi m ; not only dark but undened ,


.

Their imperfect apprehension by himself was reected by


the indistinctness of his utterances There was also a .

misguiding star by which he was o f ten led astray and ,

tempted into pathless intricacies T he imagin a tion of .

P la to was th e comman din g fa cu lty of his in tellect and he ,



followed its beams too far .

T h e ph il osoph y of Plato is essentially mystical an d


v
,

conseq uently u nsubstantial ; and though mysticis m m ay ,

iname spiritualize and rene natures already spiritual


, , .

and rened it i s heady and i ntoxicating and apt to


, ,

j ustify willful aberrations and to place every fantastic


,

conviction on the same level with conrmed truth Mc


.

C lin tock an d S tr on g .

That Plato s mysticism had this e f f ect we sh all


,
see a
s
H EA T HE N PH IL O S O PH Y . 33

we proceed It is impossible that mysticism should have


.

any positive inuence for good ; b ut even allowing that it


can spiritualize :13nrene natures already Spiritual and
rened (an u n necessary task ) it can accompli sh noth ,

ing S ince in this World such natures d o not exist Wh at


,
.

more is needed to s no w th at Plato could n ot be a safe


guide in anything t han the statement that the controll ing
,

part of his intellect was his imagination ? S urely this


cannot af f ord a basis solid enough to elevate on e t o
'

Christ B ut mystical as Plato was we shall see in d ue


.
,

time that he was e qualed an d even surpassed by so m e , ,

of his followers wh o are honored by the appellatio n of


,


F athers of the Christian Church .

A ccording to Plato all things were not directly framed ,

and regulated by the S upreme Divinity F or the gov .


er n men t of the sensible u niverse (that is the por tion ,

appreciable by th e senses ) he created a subordinate ,

deity and plac ed it over the natural creation This guid


, .

in g Spirit or d emiu r ge was a mixture of the i deal and


, ,

the natural The world he taught was not m ade from


.
, ,

nothing that is not created b ut formed from eternally


, , ,

existing matter .

But the fatal defect in his philosophy was the positi on


he took concerning the mind and its relation to the body ,

and to the whole universe H e held that the mind or .

soul holds the same relation to the body that G od does


tothe world The preexistence of souls was a cardinal
.

point in his philosophy and it is to him that the M ormons ,

are indebted for the theory which is the foundation of


their polygamy Like the M ormons he held th at not
.
,

only men but plants and all in amin ate objec ts als o have
, ,

souls which exis ted prior to themselves Th us Prof W


, .
, . .

S Tyler of A mherst Coll ege says


.
, ,
34 F A T HE R S O F T HE CA T H O LI C CHU R C H .

There is no doctrine on which Plato more fr equently


or more strenuous l y insists than this tha t soul is not ,

only superior to body but prior to it in order of time and


, ,

that not merely as it exists i n the being of God but i n ,

every order of existen c e The soul of the wo r ld existed .

rst and then it was clothed with a material bod y The


,
.

souls which animate the su n moon and stars existed b e , , ,

fore the bodies whi c h they inhabit The pre-existence of .

h uman souls is on e of the arguments on which he relies


"
to prove their im mortality S c ha H er z og E n cyclop e .

dia, ar t . P l aton ism .

A nd that was the only means by which he could prove


the immortality of the soul If the soul is by nat ure .

immortal the doctrine of the preexisten ce of souls m u st


,

be tr ue Like modern scientists howeve r who invent a


.
, ,

hypothesis upon which they build a beautiful structure ,

and then proceed as t houg h t heir hypothesis were a fact ,

Plato did not bother himself with p r ovin g the pre-exist


ence of souls S o also Christians who adopt from Plato
.
, ,

the doctrine of the natural immortality of the soul have ,

co nveniently lost sight of the absurd and atheistical doc


trine on which it rests S ome of the most eminent of the .


Church F athers however and espe c ially O rigen ao
, , ,

ce ted without question all the vagaries of Plato con


p
cerning the pro-existence of souls Proof of this will be .

given later on .

In a preceding quotation mention was made of Plato s ,


frequent referen ce in his treatises to the obstetrical pro


ced u re

The following extract from Mc C l in tock and
.

S trong (art Platonic Philosophy) will serve to explain


.

th at term
The midwifery of the mind which S ocrates professed ,

and whi c h Plato represented h im as professing n ocessi ,

tated the a ssumption that truth was present potentially in


H EA T HE N PH IL O S OP HY . 35

the mind and that it only required to be drawn fr o m its


,

latent state by ad roit handlin g It could not be laten t .


,

nor c ou l d it be brought forth un l ess it la y there like a,

c hrysalis and descended fro m an anterior condition of


,

b eing
. It was in a superterrestrial an d antemundan e
existence that souls had acquired [ether ia l sen se] but ,

before their demission or return to ea r th they had


, ,

been steeped in oblivion The a c quisition of genuine


.

knowledge was thus the restoration of the obliterated



memories of supernal realities .

This theory was the logical outcome of his theory of


the pre-existence of souls In their preexistent state
.
,

as a pa r t of God they knew all things ; in coming into


,

bodies that knowledge was concealed ; it was as though


, ,

they had been stunned ; still the kn owledge was there ,

and the mind could of itself determine truth or error .

Thus the mind of man is according to Plato the cr ite


rion to determine right and w
, ,


rong It is the lord of .


itself and of all the world besides .

It will n ot be denied that Plato uttered some truths .

It would be di f cult indeed for any man to be a teacher


, ,

for so many years and not occasionally stumb l e i n to


,

truth especially when he had no scruples against r eceiv


,

ing anything provided it was new But the theory


,
.

mentioned in the last quotatio n is more than su f cient


to overbalance any good that h e might ac cidental ly
teac h There is n o abo minable wickedness th at could
.

not nd s helter under it It absolved the possessor of it


.

from all sens e of obligation to God or of necessity of ,

looking to h im for wisdom ; every man thus became his


own god his own lawgiver and his own j udge
,
The
,
.

consequen ce would most naturally be the con clusion that



whatever is is right ; and sin ce the heart is de ceitful
,
36 F A T HE R S O F T HE CA T H O LIC CHU R C H .


above all things and desperately wicked evil came to
, ,

be regarded as good This theory and its results are di


.

r ectl pointed out by these words of the apostle


y :

Professing the mselves to be wise they became fools , ,

and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an


image made like to corruptible man and to birds and , ,

fourfooted beasts an d creeping things \V h er ef ore God


, .

also gave them u p to uncleanness through the lusts of ,

their own hearts to di shonor their own bodies between


,

themselves
Rom 1 : 22 24
. . .


Whoever reads the fth book of Plato s Republic

will nd su f c ient eviden ce of h is blunted moral sense ,

or rather his total la c k of


, ,
moral sense In that book .
,

which like all Plato s works is in the form of conversa
, ,

tions with the young men of A thens he teaches that ,

women should engage in warfare an d all other a ff airs ,


.

equally with the men an d should go through the same


,
.

course of training as the men and in the same manner , ,

n amely n aked S ays b e : B ut as for the man who


,
.

laughs at the idea of undressed women going through


gymnasti c exercises as a means of utilizing what is most
,

perfect his ridicule is but unripe fr uit plucked fro m the


,


tree of wisdom .

H e further teaches that in the model rep u blic the


women as well as al l property shall be held in common
, , ,


and he adds : I t follows from what h as been already
granted that the best of both sexes ought to be b ro ught
,

together as o ften as possible and the worst as seldom as,

possible and that th e issue of the former union ought to


,


be reared and that of the lat ter abandoned .

Those c h ildren that should be thought t to be saved


al ive were to be brought up by the S tate in a general
, ,
H EA T HE N PH IL O S OP HY . 37

nursery and we r e never to know their parents n either


, ,

were the parents ever to have any further knowl ed ge of


their own children Thus the people we re to be with
.


out natural aff ection Af ter people attained a certai n
age the S tate was to rele ase its control of their mar
,


r ia es and they were to be allowed r omisc u ou s in ter
g , p
course only the issue if any resu l ted fro m such u nions
, , ,


was to be destroyed We beg the reader s pardon for in
.

tr ud in g such things upon his noti c e but i t is absolute l y ,

necessary in order to dispel the glamor that h as bee n


thrown around Plato There is a growing tenden cy to
.

regard Plato as almost a Christian and as really a fore ,

runner of Christianity We wish to disab use as many as


.

possible of this idea for his inuence will be as fatal n ow


,

as it ever was to whoe ver comes under its spell


, .

\V e have n ow all the data necessary to enable us to


u nderstand how the philosophy of which Plato s is the

best sample would naturally lead to the most absurd and


,

even abominable actions In the rst place we call to .


mind the fact that the philosophers started out in their

searc h af ter truth with no prec on ceived id eas con ce r n


ing it and with n o standard but their own minds by
, ,

which to test the truthfulness of what they might learn .

They professed to be pe rfectly unp r ej udiced A cco r ding .

to the S cripture record they spent their time in nothing


,


else b ut either to tell or to hear some new thing
,
A cts .

1 7 : 21 Like children with to y s they eagerly seized


.
,

upon each n ew thought n o m atter how contrary it might,

be to that which they had previously entertained F or .

the time th is n ew thought ex cluded everything else and ,

then it gave pla ce to another n ew idea


M any so-called scientists of m
.


odern times are pu r
38 F A T HE R S O F T HE CA T H O LIC C H U RC H .

suing a S imilar erratic c ourse A s a c onsequen ce many


.


things th at a f e w years ago were he l d by scientists as
sa cred truth are now by the same men s c outed as fo l ly
,


and there is n o eviden ce that m any truths which a r e

n ow so surely demonstrated may n ot a few yea r s
,

hen ce be regarded as palpab l e errors and be repla ced by ,

others equally e rroneous Indeed t h ere has never bee n


.
,


any agreement among emi nent s c ientists even on the
most v ital points especia l ly as to the formation and age
,

of the world and the means by which men and anima l s


,

were placed upon it .

We believe most heartily in true s cie n ce and ph il oso


phy . S cience is knowle d ge d uly arranged and refe rr ed
to general truths and prin c iples upon whi c h it was

founded and from whi c h it is derived
, This is a true .

den ition of true science A nything which ha s not the


.

characteristics n oted in this d e n ition anythi n g into


whi c h conjecture enters is n ot properly scienc e A c .

cording to the denition of scien ce there are certain wel l ,

established truths and principles upon which the kno wl


edge which constitutes any science must be founded and ,

with which it m ust agree These principles therefore


.
, ,

m ust precede all investigation They must be so clear to


.

th e mind of the would -b e scien tist and so rmly believed,

by him that they are regarded as self-evident A ll doubt


, .

c oncerning them must be settled before he can proceed .

They are the foundation of the stru cture which he is to


rear ; and no wise me c hanic wo uld p r o ceed to lay ti mbers
and build a house upon a foundation of whose stability
he was d oubtful .

H aving settled the rst prin c ip l es the scientist is read y ,

to investigate phenomen a A new thought is p r esented


.
H EA T HE N PH IL O S OP HY . 39

to him H e grasps it but in so doing he must n ot j u mp


.
,

off fr om foundation prin c iples H e m ust not forsake his


.

p r in cip l es for the n e w thought but must bring the n e w ,

idea to those well-established principles that it ma y be ,

tested by them If it is in harmony with them he adopts


.
,

it ; if it is antagonistic to those principles he must u n ,

hesitatingly rej ect it no m atter h ow pl easmg I t may ap


,

p ear or how strongly it m ay commend itself to his fan cy


, .

H e is not to measure it by his fan cy b ut by facts In , .

this manner he must proceed with every new thought ,

rej ecting those wh ich do not agree with fundamental


truth and placing i n their proper position those which
,

do so agree until he has a beautiful symmetrical and


, , ,

perfect structure .

The false scientist may be likened to a wild explorer


of new countries H e starts ou t into the d ense forest or
.
,

across the trackless waters until he reaches a c ountry ,

never before visited by man But unfortunately he has .


, ,

negle cted to keep his bearings and therefore has no idea ,

of the relation of this new discovery to the country

from which he started Leaving this he proceeds


.
,

to new explorations b ut has n o idea of their relation


,

to countries already settled O f what value are his


.

dis c overies ? O f no value wh atever ; and the explo r er


will be extremely fortunate if he ever nds his way back
to civilization .

Now the rst gre at princip l e upon which all true


science m ust rest is that there is a God who created all
,

.
-
things This is a self evident truth a truth that is pa

tent to the mind even of the uneducated savage Pope s .


familiar lines ,

L o th e poor I n di a ! w h ose u t u t or e d m i n d
n n

S e es G od i c l ou d or h e ar s h im i th e wi d

n s, n n ,
4O F A T HE R S O F T HE C A T H O LIC CHU R C H .

E xpress the fact that the existence and power of G od are


so plainly reveale d i n nature that the idolater is without

ex c use and so the psalmist j ustly calls the atheist a fool


, ,

as on e who cannot appreciate even the alphabet of evi


den ce God being the Creator of all m ust necessarily
.
, ,

be the Ruler of all an d the on e whom all should obey


,
.

The M aker of all worlds m ust necessarily be superior to


all things created and must be the standard of truth
,

and perf ection That being admitted (and n one will


.

deny it ; for all who admit that there is a God also ac ,

knowl edge his pe rfection ) it follows that his will the


, ,

law by which he governs his creatures must a l so be ,

perfect Now if we can nd anything which if followed


.
, ,

will produce a perfect character we shall know that it is ,



God s perfect will ; for a perfect character can be formed
only by obedien ce to a perfect law S uch a thing is .

found in the Bible E ven the atheist will allow that if


.

the Bible were strictly obeyed it would prod uce perf ec


tion of character .

The truth of the Bible may also be demonstrated I n



another manner Th us : The thi n gs which are made
.

reveal the fundamental truth that there is a God and ,

that he i s all wise an d all-powerful B ut the Bible is


- .

the only book that coincides with this revel ation of n at


u re an d makes known to us the existence of God and
, ,

his ch aracteristics as s h own by his works Therefore .

since the Bible and th at alone is correct on this great


, ,

fund amental truth it m ust be regarded as the surest


,

guide an d as giving the only perfect revelation of the


,

will of H im whom it so accurately describes .

Thus briey we h ave shown that the existence of God ,

and the truthfuln ess of th e Bible as the revelation of his


H EA T HE N PH IL O S OP HY . 41

will , are undeniable tr uths the rst self-evident and , ,

the second a n ecessary conse quence of the rst These .

truths are fundamental and must be the basis of all true


,

science Instead then of testi n g the Bible by so-called


.
, ,


science everything must be brought to the test of the
,

Bible to determine whether or not it is worthy to be


,

called scien ce A nd since God is the origin ator of all


.

things it follows that true science is simply a stud v of


,

God a seeking to know his person and attrib utes



, .

S cience therefore is endless since G od is innite


, , \V e , . .

would not be understood as claiming that the Bible is


.

primarily a book of science according to the common ,

acceptation of the term and that from it we may learn ,

the facts of geography mathematics physiology astron , , ,

omy etc , But we d o mean t hat it is the sure f ou nd a


. ,

tion of all real science ; that all of its statements are


scientically correct ; that everything may and should
be brought to its test ; and that whatever disagrees with
it is to be unhesitatingl y rej ected as false
, .

F rom this standpoint it is easy to see why Plato and


all the other heathen philosophers did n ot su cceed in
nding the truth and why they did not have any well
,

dened and systematic theory In the very beginning .


they departed from the only source of wisdom : When
they knew God th ey gloried hi m not as God neither
, ,

were thankful ; b ut became vain in their imaginations ,

and their foolish heart was darkened Professing t h em .


selves to be wise they became fools , .

It may be urged that Plato and the other philosophers


held some things that were in the mselves true even if ,

they were n ot systematically arranged with reference to


some great central truth , and therefore it may be asked
42 F A T HE R S O F T HE CA T H O LIC C H U R C H .

h ow the horrible wickedness whi c h is portrayed in the


r st c h apter of Romans can be dire ctly c hargeab l e to
the teachings of philosophy A f e w quotation s from .

S c r ipture make this point clear and complete the argu ,

ment c oncerning heathen philosophy :



A nd you hath he q uickened who were dead in tres ,

passes and sins wherei n in time past ye walked according


to the course of this world according to the prin ce of ,

the power of the air the S pirit that n ow worketh i n the


,

children of disob edience ; among whom also we a l l had


ou r conversation [ manner of li f e] in times past in the

lusts of our esh fullling the desires of the es h a n d


,

o th e min d; an d were b n a tu r e the children of wrath


f y ,


even as others E ph 2 : 1-3 . . .


Now the wor k s of the f l es h are manifest which a r e ,

these : A dultery forni c ation unclea n ness lasciviousness


, , , ,

idolatry W itchcraft hatred variance emulations w r ath


, , , , ,

s trife sed itiou s heresies envyings m urders drunke n ness


, , , , , ,


revelings and such like ,
Gal 5 : 1 9 21 . . .


A nd the Lord said in his heart I will not again ,
:

cu r se the ground any more for man s sake ; f or th e i mag


in ation of man s hear t is evil fr om his youth Gen

. .

8 : 21 .

T h e h ear t is d eceitfu l

a bove a l l thin gs, an d d esp er ately

wick ed Jer 1 7 9
. . .


F or ou t o
f th e hear t p r oceed e vil thoughts, mu r d er s ,

forn ication s thefts fa lse witn ess blasp hemies :


a d u l ter ics, , , ,


these a r e the things which dele a man M att 1 5 : 1 9 . .
,

20 .


The c arna l mind is e n mity against God ; for it i s not

su bje c t to the l aw of God nei ther indeed c an be Rom ,
. .
H EA T HE N PH IL O S OP HY . 43

These scrip tures mos t clearly prove that man is by


nature c orrupt and depraved The evi l things re corded .


in Gal 5 : 1 8 21 are the works of the esh not those
.

which man has acquired b u t things which proceed out


,

of his heart ; things which are in h erent i n his very


nature This being the c ase it will be seen at once that
.
,

whenever a person follows his n atu r a l i n clination and ,

makes his own mind the criterion of right and wrong ,

he must inevitably do that whi c h is evil O ne of Bacon s .


rules for guarding against certain fo r ms of error is based ,

on a recognition of this fact H e says : .

In general let every student of nature take this as a


rule that whatever his mind seizes and dwells upon with
,

particular satisfaction is to be held in suspi cion .


A s we have already seen P l ato s philosophy made the
,

h uman mind the lord of itself and of al l of the world


beside ; he held that the un aided h uman intel l ect was
competent to decide bet wee n truth and error Therefore .

his disciples trusting in the mselves alone


,
professing
themselves to be wise could not fail to choose error
,

and that of the wors t description because error is most ,

congenial to the h uman mind The nat ural heart will .


choose that whic h is most like itse l f ; and since the ,


heart is deceitful above al l things when tr uth and error ,

are placed Side by S ide the heart that is not renewed by


,

divine grace and complete l y subj e ct to the law of God


, ,

will turn away from the truth and cling to the error .

True some things may be done that in themselves are all


,

right but being done fr om a selsh motive they become


, , ,

really evil Love love to God and to ou r fellow-men


.
, ,

is the su m of all good Whatever is not the result of


.

such love is only evil We need not therefore be as


.
, ,
44 F A T HE R S O F T HE CA T H O LIC CHU R C H .

t on ish edat any error that is held or has been held by


mankind Plato s positively immoral tea c hing was on l y
.


the logical res ult of his philosophy .

By this time the rea d er will h ave n o hesitancy in de ~

ciding that the heathen philosophers were ver y unsafe


men to follow Indeed he will not be at all out of the
.
,

way if he concludes that any idea advanced by them is


to be held in s uspicion ; that the very fact that Plato or
S ocrates or A ristotle or E picurus advocated a given
princip l e is to be considered as strong evidence that such
principle is incorrect ; an d that whatever stands on the
sole authority of those philosophers is to be rej ected as
,

fal se Not only will these conclusions hold good as r e


.

gar d s the heathen philosophers themselves but also c on ,

cerning those who put g r eat condence in those ph il oso


p h e rs . A nd when we learn as we shall
, very soon that ,

many who professed Christianity still adhered to the


,

pagan philosophy an d regarded it as the foreru n ner of


,

Ch r istianity we can better appreciate the earnestness


,

with which the apostl e made this exhortation :



Beware lest an y m an spoil you through phi l osophy
and vai n deceit af ter the tradi tion of men after the rudi
, ,


ments of the world and not after Christ
,
Col 2 : 8 . . .
C H A P T E R I I I

T H E AP C S T O LI C CH U RC H .

I N the second paragraph of his famous fteenth chap


ter Gibbon uses the followin g language :
,

The th eologian m ay indulge the pl easing task of


describing religion as S he descended fro m H eaven arrayed ,

in her native purity A m ore melancholy d uty is im


.

posed on the historian H e must discover the inevitab le


.

mixture of error and corruption which sh e contracted in


a long residence upo n earth among a weak and degener
,

ate race of beings .

S o far as the Simple religion of Christ is concerned ,


it is ever the same The apostle James says : Pure
.

religion and u nd el ed before God and the F ather is this ,

To visit the fatherless and wi dows in their a f iction and ,

to keep himself u nsp otted fr om the wor l d


James 1 : 27 . .

This is ever the characteristic of pure and u n d e l ed r e


ligion ; but unfortunately every good thing is counter
, ,

f eited an d
,
among a weak and degenerate race of

bei n gs even though they may be sincere religion o f ten
, ,

fails of being correctly represented ; and it is therefore


the lot of the theologian as well as of the historian to
, ,


dis cover the inevitable mixture of error an d corruption .

F rom a failure properly to discriminate between pure


reli gion and the practices of many who p r ofessed religion ,

two grave errors have arisen : 1 I n d el s have concluded.

that Christianity is b ut little if any in advance of many


, ,

forms of heathenis m or of atheism Judging Christian


,
.

ity by false professors thereof they lose Sight of the fact


,

(4 5)
46 F A T HE R S O F T H E C A T H O LI C CHU R C H .


that there is such a thing as pure religion 2 B el iev . .

ers are in danger of thinking that whatever has been



done by the ch urch must of necessity be in harmony
with rel igion This second error is as bad as the rst ;
.

for i n either case the individual will fall far short of th e


true stan d ar d / T o know what true religion is we must ,

look only at the Bible and the life of Christ as therein


po rtraye d O f all those who have trod this earth he ,

alone had n o sin ; in him religion was revealed pure and



u n d el ed . There have been m en of wh om the world

was not worthy and yet the record of their lives is not
,

altoge ther perfe ct If we should take for a m odel the


.

most perfect mortal we should be led into error ; h ow


,

mu c h greater then must be our danger if we follow


, , ,

th ose whose lives were f ar below the standard of pure


and u n d el ed religion )
I t is not to be supposed of course that Christians
, ,

would think of taking the course of irreligious people as


models f or their own lives ; b ut a chai n is n o stronger
than its weakest li n k and since there have al ways been
,

irreligious and erring even though conscientious people


, ,

in the professed church it is e v ident that whosoever fol


,


lows the church instead of Christ will be led into er
ror That the p r ofessed c hurch of Christ h as al ways had
.

in it elements of corruption which would make it an n u


safe guide is as e v ident as is the fact that Christ has a
,

church here on ear th which i s composed of frail erring ,

mortals .

If we go back to the rst followers of Christ we nd ,

one who was so utterly base as to sell his Lord for a pal
try sum of money Natu r ally avari c ious Judas yielded
.
,

little by litt l e to the temptations of S atan who al ways ,


TH E A PO S T O LIC CHU R C H . 47

attacks men on the side of their n atural in c lination u h ,

til the devil nally had compl etc c ontrol of h im ; ye t all


this time he was numbered a mong the foll owers of Christ .

But the weakness of the early disciples was n ot con


ne d to Judas They were all men and c onsequently
.
,

were liable to err eve n when full of zeal for the M aster .

James a n d Joh n wish ed to call down re from heaven t o


consume the S a maritans because these people were not ,

willing to receive Christ Jes u s reb uked his rash follo w


.


ers saying
,
Y e know not what manner of spirit ye are
,


of. S ee Luke 56 Peter who was so often r e .
,

proved by Jesus for his hasty S pirit at one time denied ,

his Lord with oaths ; and still later h e u sed dissim ula , ,

tion to su c h a degree that Paul was forced to withsta n d


h im to th e face Gal 2 : 1 11 4 E ven the grave a n d
. . .

upright Barnabas was carried away with this dissimula


tion whi c h met with such a stern reb uke from Paul
, .

A nd l ater these t wo yoke-fe l lows who had labored to ,

gether under the dire c tion of H eaven showed that they ,

were still human by falling into so S harp a contention


,

that they wer e oblige d to separate A cts 5 36 4 1


1 . .

L et n o one th ink that we speak S l ightingly of these


men They were divinely appointed to the work and
.
,

we honor the m as devoted men who hazarded their lives


for the sake of C h rist whose chose n serva nts th eywere
,
.

We love the m for what they were as well as for their ,

work s sake I t was ne cessary that Christ should commi t



.

to men the prea c h ing of the gospel and those to whom ,

he rs t committed it were m en of like passi ons with


others They were me n who like those to whom they
.
,

preached had to dep end on Christ a n d go on u n to p er


,

f ection A nd we
. kno w of no reaso n why I n spiration h as
48 F AT H E R S O F TH E C A T H O LIC CHU R C H .

placed on record some of their fail ures except that we ,

might learn not to look even to the best of men for a n


example The message which they bore Was pure b ut
.
,

they in common with all mankind stood in need of its


, ,


san ctifying in uence ; and while they strove to be en

samples to the ock they directed th e minds of all only
,

to Jesus the author and nisher of the faith


, .

If there were imperfections among the i mmediate dis


c i l es of Christ it is no more than could be expected
p ,

that those who believed on him th rough their word


would also exhibit h u man i mperfections before they were
perfectly sanctied through the truth A nd i f among .

the t welve there was on e who had a devil why need we ,

wonder th at hypocrites should contin ually conta minate


the ch urch by their presence ? S aid the apostle Peter ,

in his letter to the church : B ut there were f alse pr O ph


ets also among the people even as there shall be fal se ,

teachers among you who privily shall bring in damna


,

ble heresies even denying the Lord th at bought them


, ,

and bring upon themselves swi f t destruction A nd many .

Sh all follo w their pernicious ways ; by reason of whom


the way of tru th shall be evil spoken of A nd through .

covetousness Sh all they with feigned words make mer



h
c a n dise of
you 2 .Peter 2 : 1 3 .

Paul in his address to the elders of the church at


,

E phes us said :
,
Take heed therefore unto yourselves an d ,

to all the ock over the which the H oly Ghos t hath
,

made you overseers to feed the ch urch of God which he


, ,

hath purchased with his own blood F or I know this .


,

that a fter my departing sha l l grievous wolves enter i n .

among you not Sparing the ock A lso of your own


.
,

selves sh all men arise Speaking perverse things to dra w


, ,


awa y disciples af ter them A cts 20: 28 30 . .
TH E A PO S T O LIC CH U R C H . 49

These two script ures S ho w that the inspired apostles


knew that there would be n ot only imperfect erring ,

me mbers in the church b ut also false teachers wh o like


, ,

Judas would deny the Lor d that bought them A mong


, .

the elders of the church there were to arise unprincipled



men who would bring in damnable heresies We .

need not be surprised therefore when we nd the pro


, ,

fessed ch urch soon af ter the days of the apostles largely ,

lled with the abomination s of heathendom .

E ven in th e days of the apostl es while their straight ,

testimony was being deli v ered this spirit of corruption


,

crept into the ch urch To the Thessalonians Paul wrote


.

that long before Christ s second advent there would come



a falling away and th at the m an of sin would be re
,

vealed sitting in the temple of God virtually professing


, ,

to be God and opposing all th at pertai ns to God and


,


his true worship and the n he added th at the mystery
,


of iniquity doth already work 2 Thess 2 : 3 7
. Paul . .

knew that even in the churches of his own planting there


were eleme nts of corruption that would eventually con
tamina to the whole body If we examine the record we
.
,

can d etect these incipient evils f or ourselves .

The church at Corinth was raised up by the personal


labors of Paul yet h e was obliged to reprove the mem
,

bers for the Spirit of con tention and division (1 Cor 1 : .

11 which was carried so far that they went to law


with one another i n the heathen cour ts (1 Cor 6 : 6 .

S o little spiritual discernment did they have that they

made the Lo rd s S upper a n occasion for feasting a nd


drunkenness (1 Cor 1 1 1 7 . and they tolerated inces t


of a kind that was disap proved even by the licentious
heathe n (1 Cor 5 : 1
. and did not feel that for it they
,

had any cause for Shame .


5O F A T HE R S O F T HE CA T H O LI C CHU RC H .

In Paul s second letter to Timothy we nd mention of



on e of the damnable heresies which were brought into
the church S ays Paul : But sh un profane and vai n
.

babblings ; for they will in crease u nto more u ngodliness .

A nd their word will eat as doth a canker : of who m is


H ymen aeus and Philetus ; wh o concer ning the trut h
have erred saying that the resurrection is past already ;
,


and overthrow the faith of some 2 Tim 2 : 1 61 8 . . .


A single passage in Paul s letter to the ch urches in
Galatia shows the danger to which all the converts from
among the h eathen were exposed S aid he : \Vhen ye .

kne w not God ye did service unto them whi ch by natur e


,

are n o gods B ut now af ter th at ye have known God


.
, ,

or rather are known of God how turn ye again to the ,

weak and beggarly elements whereunto ye desire again ,

to be in bondage ? Y e observe days and months and , ,

times and years I am afraid of you lest I have b e


, .
,


stowed upon yo u labor in vain Gal 4 : 8 1 1 We . . .

have already noted some of the immoral practices and


senseless ceremom es I n the worship of the heathen O f .

course the Galat ians i n common with all heathen were


, ,

given to these before their conversion A n d as men .

when they lose their fait h and love begin to go back ,

to the things to which they were addicted before conver


sion so the Galatians were on the point of going back
,

to the weak and beggarly elements to which they h ad


f ormerly been in bondage They h ad gone so far back as
.

to observe days and months and times [see Deut 1 8 :


, , .


and years and Paul feared that his labor for the m
,

had all been thrown away .

S till later the apostle John wrote .


F or many de

ceiv er s are entered into the world who confess not that ,
TH E A PO S T O LIC CHU R C H . 51

Jesus Christ is come in the esh This is a deceiver and .


an antichrist 2 Joh n 7
. .

-
A gain he wrote to the we l l beloved G ain s : I wrote

unto the chur c h ; b ut Diotrephes who loveth to have the ,

p ie - eminence a m ong them re c eiveth us not \V,h eref b r e .


,

if I come I wil l remember his deeds which he doeth


, ,

prating against us with mal icious wor d s ; and n ot con


tent therewith neither doth he himself receive the breth
,

ren and forbiddeth the m that wo uld and casteth them


, ,


out of the church 3 John 9 1 0
.
, .

H ere was a man in the church setting himself in di


rect opposition to the apostle John H e was not a pri .

vate member but on e who h ad to such a degree the pre


,

eminence which he loved that he could ca use people to


,

be cast ou t of the ch urch This leader in the church .

refused to receive the instruction which the apostle had


written and cast out of the church t h ose who were will
,

ing to recei ve it Not content with this he railed against


.
,

the inspired ser vant of the Lord S urely it cannot with .


reason be c l aimed that the chur c h even in the apos ,

tolic age ought to be taken as a model


, .

O n e more testimony concerning some in the early


c hur c h must su f c e A nother apostle thought it n eces
.

sar y to exhort the faithful to contend earnestly for the


faith which was on ce de l ivered unto the saints and the ,

fo l lowing is the reason : F or there are certain men


crept in unawares who were before of old ordained to
,

this condemnation ungodly men turning the grace of


, ,

ou r God into las c iviousness and denying the only Lord ,


God and ou r Lo r d Jesus Christ
,
Jude 4 F ur ther on . .


he brings this fearful charge against these men : But
these S pe ak evil of those things which they k now not ;
52 F A T HE R S O F T H E CA T H O L I C CHU R C H .

but what they kno w naturally as brute beasts in those, ,


things they corrupt themselves Jude 1 0 A nd sti l l
. .

further on the apostle plainly states that bribery was


,

practiced in the church H e says : These are mur


.

m ur ers complainers walking after their own lusts ; and


, ,

th eir m outh speaketh great swelling words having men s ,



persons in admiration because of advantage Verse 1 6 .

O ur obj ect i n q uoting t hese passages has n ot been to


dwell upon the shortcomings of men in the early c h urch ,

b ut simply to make prominent the fa ct that bad men


were in th e ch u rch from the earliest period There were

many good men also in th e church at that time ; but the


question is H ow are we to decide as to who were bad and
,

who were good ? To the l aw and to the testimony ; if


they speak not according to this word it is because there ,


is n o light in them By comparing their lives with the
.

standard of the Bible we readily ascertain what actions


,

were good and what were evil .

The true c hurch is the body of Christ ; it is composed of


those wh o are indeed u nited to Christ wh o dra w s trength ,

from him and who walk as he walked To the E phesians


,
.

the apostle Paul wrote of the mighty po wer of God ,

which he wrought in Christ when he raised him from ,

the dead an dset him at his own right hand in the h eavenly
,

pla ces far above all principality and power and might
, , , ,

and dominion and every name that is named not only


, ,

i n this world b ut also i n th at which is to come ; and


,

b ath put all thin gs u nder his feet and gave him to be the ,

head over all things to the church whi ch is his body the , ,


f ulln ess of h im that ll eth all in all E ph 1 : 20 23
. . .

To the Co l ossians he wrote th us concerning Christ



A nd he is the head of the bod y the church who is ,
TH E A PO S T O LI C CHU R C H . 53

the beginning the ,


rst-born
from th e dead ; that in all

thin gs he might have the pre eminen ce Col 1 1 8 . . .

To the Galatian b r eth r en he wrote F or as man y of ,


you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Ch r ist .

G al 3 : 27
. A nd to the c h ur c h at Co r inth he wrote :
.


F or as the body is one and hath many members , ,

and al l the members of that on e bod y being many are , ,

on e body ; so also is Christ F or by on e S pirit are we all


.

baptized i nto one body whether we be Jews or Gentiles


, ,

whether we be bond or free ; and h ave been all made to



drink into one S pirit 1 Cor 1 2 : 1 2 1 3
. .
,
.

F rom this text it appears that although literal baptism


is the Sign of u nion with the chur c h of Christ the out ,

ward S ign may exist without the reality sin ce the real ,

u nion is a S piritual union The one who puts on Christ


.
,

and thus becomes a son of God must be born of the ,

S pirit as well as of water Joh n 3 5 . Now if an y man .

h ave n ot the S pirit of Christ he is none of his (Rom 8 , .

no m atter what his profession may be Nor is it suf cient .

to have on ce received the S pirit of God Paul exhorts .

u s not to g r ieve the S pirit of God (E ph 4 : 30 ) and warns . .

us against doing despite to it (H eb 1 0 and our .

S aviour himself says :



A bide in me and I in you A s th e branch cannot
, .

bear fruit of itself except it abide in the vine ; n o more


,

c an ye except ye abide in me
,
I am the vine ye are the .
,

bran c hes H e that abideth i n me and I in him the same


.
, ,

bringeth forth mu ch fruit ; for without me ye can do



nothing Joh n 1 5 : 4 5
.
, .

The fruit whi c h the real member of Christ s body wi l l

bear is the same as that which chara cte r ized the life of
,


Christ for the beloved disciple says :
,
H e that saith
54 F ATH ERS on T HE CA T H O L IC C HU RC H .

he abideth in him [ Christ] ought himself also so to walk ,


even as he walked 1 John 2 6
. .

Now it is evident from the texts which we have


quoted that the pr ofessed chur c h is not necessarily iden
,

ti c al with the ch ur c h which is the body of Ch rist .

There are many who profess Christ and who teach i n his ,

n ame whom Christ does n ot recognize M att 7 : 21 23


,
. . .

The gospel net is cast into the sea and gathers of every ,


kin t. M att 1 3 : 4 7 B ut it is not for u s always to
. .

decide wh o are and who are n ot really members of



Christ s body ; and therefore for convenience sake we


spe ak of the body of professed believers as the chur c h .

Let it be u n derstood that when this term is u sed it is n ot ,


n ecessarily synonymous with Christians .

But these men of whom we have j ust read in the



Bible were all in th e ch urch ; the evil pra ctices to
,


which they gave themselves were all performed in the

ch urch ; and many of their false do ctrines were put

forth as the do ctrines of the ch ur c h with which they

were connected N ow if we set out to follo w
.
, th e

church we h ave no more right to rej ect the do ctrines
,

and practices of these men than we have to rej ect any


,


d o ct r ine or practice of the church To be sure there.

were many at this time n o doubt a maj orit y of those in


, ,

t h e c hurch wh o c ondemned these m en and their ways .

But these men also condemned the other class even ,

c asting them ou t of the church ; and all to ether helped


g

to form th e church .

I t is t r ue that our S avio u r himself sa i d (M att 1 8 1 7 ) .

that whoever would n ot hear the c hur c h S hould be c on



sid e red as an heathen man and a pub l ican But this .

does not in the least militate against what has j ust been
TH E A PO S T O LIC C H U R C H . 55

said abo ut following the church The action of the


. .

church of Christ is indeed ratied in H eaven an d n o ,

man should lightly esteem its counsels ; yet this is an en


tir ely di f f eren t thi n g from taking a human model Christ .


said to the apostles Neither be ye called masters ; for
,

on e is yo u

- r M aster even Christ
, M att I Ve
. .


are n ot to follo w the exa mple of the apostles but the ,

example and words of Christ H e who would continue .


in the Christian life m ust ever be looking u nto Jesus .

Jesus is our Pattern ; the members of his church become


me mbers of his church S imply that they may learn of
h im. A boy goes to s c hool to learn to write and h is ,

teacher writes a line in a beautiful h and at the top of a ,

page for him to copy While h e is mak ing his rst


, .

line he closely scans the master s line and d oes very


,

,

well The n ext time he looks less closely at the copy


.
,

and that line is a little poorer than the other With .

each successive line he looks l e ss at the copy and more ,

at his own work u nti l by the time he is half way down


,

the page he is following not the master s beautifully ,


w r itten copy b ut his own scar cely legible scrawl and


, ,

eac h line is a little worse th an the on e preceding it .

Those lines are a tting emblem of the lives of those who


follow the learners i n the school of Christ instead of ,

following only the life of the great M aster himsel f .

B ut since there is n o man whose life we may take as


a model it is very evident that we cannot follow the
,

entire professed church To do so wo uld be an impossi


.

b il ity for even in apostolic ti mes there wer e in some


,

churches factions th at we r e di r ectly opposed to on e


a n other Therefore if it were claimed that although it
.
,

is not al lowable to follow the p r actice of any man we may ,


56 FA T H E R S O F T H E C A T H oL I C CHU RC H .

follo w the belief of the pro f essed church in any age one ,

impb r tan t question would have to be settled and th at is, ,

which portion of the church Shall be followed ? for the


entire professed church has never b een a unit in matters
of belie f We must know wh ich portion has been in the
.

right for we do n ot wish to be led astray The Bible


, .

alone can decide this matter Th at alone can tell u s


.

wh at is right and wha t is wron g A nd since we must go


.

to the Bible to determine what part of the professed


church was following in th e footsteps of Christ and ,

what part was bringing in damnable heresies it n ecessa ,


rily follows that the Bible itself and not the church
, ,


or any part of it is our only guide
,
Thy word is a
.

lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path


,

P S 119 . .

1 05 . A nd it is for the purpose of emphasizing this im


portant truth that we have asked the reader to look for a
moment at the d ark side of the church in the d ays of
the apostles .
C H APTE R IV .

E RS

T H E F A T H .

I N his epistle to the Galatians the apostle Paul said : ,


Though we or an angel from H eaven p reac h any
,
.

other gospel unto you than t h at whi c h we h ave p r eached



unto you let him be accursed ,
Gal 1 : 8 A lth ough . . .

the apostles were fallible men the gospel whi c h they ,

preached and which they have delivered to us was per


, ,

f ec t The reason for this is thus give n by Paul : F or


.


we preach not ourselves but Christ Jesus the Lord , 2 .

C or 4 5 . The apostl es in their teachi n g adhered closely


.

to the terms of their divine commission as uttered by



Christ Go ye therefore and teach all nations
, , ,

teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have



com m an ded you M att . 20 S o long as they . .

did this they simply transmitted the light which came to


,

them direct from H eaven and so their teaching could be ,

nothi n g other than perfect If the y had preached them .

selves it would have been far di ff ere nt for they were


, ,

h u man .

h e precedi n g C
W on the apostolic church
'

) ,

m we mean sim ply the church in the days of


'
and n ot th at part of the professed church

that strictly to the apostl es do ctrine we have
,
/
seen that th e presence of the apostles themselves did not
insu re pgrf ection in the church It insured perfect te ach .

ing to the church ; b ut the fact th at men h ave perfect


teaching does n ot make them perfect u nless they follow
(57 )
58 _
F A T H ER S on T H E C A T H OLI C C HU R C H .

t
it an d othi ng el se N ow t h ere ar e cert ai n men who
n .


h ave ac q uired great celeb r ity as C h urch F at h e rs .

This ter m str an gely e n ou gh is n ever applied to t h e


, ,

a po stle s to wh o m it would see m to be m ore applic able


,

th an to any other m en but to cert ai n m en who lived in


,

th e r st f ew ce n turies of th e C hri sti an er a an d wh o ex ,

er ted a gre at i n ue n ce on the ch urch A s a m atter of .

fact the true c h urch h as b u t on e F ather eve n God ;


, ,

therefo r e wh atever chu r ch recogn izes an y men as its


F at h ers m u st be a church of merely hu m an plan ti n g
, ,

h av i ng o n ly h u ma n ordi n an ces .


It is cl ai med th at the F athers mu st be co mpete n t

guide s si n ce they li ved so n e ar the d ay s of C hri st an d


,

the apostle s Thi s is a t acit ad mi ssio n t h at the gospel


.

which was pre ac h ed by C hri st an d th e apostle s is the


true st an dard But th at h as bee n recorded in the New
.

Test ame n t ; an d therefore i n ste ad of bei n g obli ged to


,

depe n d on the te sti m o n y of an y who li v ed this side of


their ti me we can go direct to the fou n t ai n -head an d can
, ,

d r aw theref ro m the go spel in as pure a st ate as though


we h ad liste n ed in pers o n to th e te achi n g of i n spired
men . The c ases of De mas of H y me n aeus an d P h iletu s
, ,

of Diotrephes an d other s sh ould be su f cie n t to te ach


, ,

an ybody th at mere proxi mity to the apo stles did n ot f ill

people with th e light of di vi n e t r ut h Those men ar e .

p roof s th a t th e light m a y sh i n e in d ar k n e ss an d th e ,

d ark n e ss m ay n ot co mpr ehe n d it Therefore we m ust .

udge of the -c alled F athe rs n ot by the ti me in which


j s o ,

t h ey lived but by wh at they did an d s aid : F ir strh ow


,

wh c/{iepu tab l e m 4 1 W
v '
k

P e rha ps we

can
-
best b egi w t
n i l w t h e
-
wor s e f Dr
d .
TH E F A T H ER S . 59

A d am C l arke who in h is co mme n t on Prove rbs


, , 8 , spe ak s
of th e F at h er s as f ollo ws :

But of those we may safely st ate th at t h ere is n ot a ,

t r uth in the m ost o rthodox c r eed th at c an n ot be p r oved ,

by t h eir aut h o rity n or a here sy t h at h as di sgr aced the


,

Ro mi sh C h u r c h t h at m ay n ot c h alle n ge t h e m as its
,

abetto r s .I n poi n t s of doctri n e t h eir aut h o rity is with ,



me n ot h i n g
,
.

It is thi s ch ar acteri stic of the F ather s wh ich m ake s the m


so v alu able to advoc ates of a c au se wh ich h as n o S c ri pt
u r e evide n ce in its suppo r t Let a per son o n ce get the
.

ide a t h at th e te sti mo n y of th e F at he r s is of v alue an d ,

vou m ay prove a n ythi n g to him th at you choos e In .

the N ation a l B apf ist there appeared an article by th e


,

Rev Levi Philetu sDobbs D


.
Dr W ayl an d th e
,
. .
,

editor in reply to a you n g m i n i ster who h ad asked h ow



,

he could prove a thi n g to his co n gregatio n whe n t h e r e


was n oth i n g with wh ich to prove it A mon g ot h er t h i n gs .

the writer s aid


I r egard however a udiciou s u se of th e F ather s as b e
, ,

in g on t h e wh ole th e be st reli an ce f or an yo n e wh o is in t h e
situ atio n of m queri st T h e a dv an t age s of the F at h e rs
y .

are t wofold : F i r st t h ey car r y a good de al of wei gh t wit h


,

th e m asse s ; an d seco n dly you can n d wh atever you


wan t in the F at h er s I do n ot believe t h at an y opi n ion


.

could be adv an ced so fooli sh so m an ife stly ab su r d but , ,

t h at you c an n d p assages to su st ai n it on t he p ages of


t h e se ven er able st age r s A n d to th e co mm o n m i n d on e
.

of the se is j u st as good as an ot h e r If it happe n s t h at .

th e poi nt t h at you wan t to pr o v e is on e t h at n e v er


c h an ced to occur to th e F at h ers wh y you c an e asily , ,

s h o w t h at t h ey would h ave t ake n your side if they h ad


o n ly thou ght of the m atter A n d if pe r c h an ce t h e r e is
.
, ,

n ot h i n be a ri n g eve n re m o tely or co n st r uctively on th e


g
poi n t do n ot be di scouraged ; get a g ood stro ng q u ot a
, ,
60 FA T H ER S OF TH E C A T H OL I C C HU R C H .

tio n an d put the n ame of the F ath ers to it an d ut te r it


, ,

with an air of t r iu mph ; it will be al l j u st as well ; n i n e


te n t h s of th e people do n ot stop to ask wh et h e r a quot a
tio n be ar s on th e m atte r in h an d Y es my b rot h e r th e .
, ,

F athe rs ar e yo u r st r on gh old They ar e H e av e n s be st .


g i f t to the m an w h o h as a c a u se t h at c an n ot be su st ai n ed

in an y ot h er way V ar ch 7 1 8 7 8 .
, .

\V h il e the above is writte n in a h u morou s vei n it is ,

st r ictly in h armon y with the quot atio n t ake n fro m Dr .

C l arke an d is in h ar mo n y wit h th e fact s in th e c ase


, .

' j
T he reader sh al l hav e a c h an ce to udgm f t hif matter l

for hi msel f as we pr o ce ed .

We quote agai n fro m Mo sh ei m S pe aki n g of ce rtai n .

work s by C le me n t Ju sti n Martyr T ati an Theop h il us


, , , ,

an d oth ers h e s ays th at these work s ar e lo st an d adds :


, ,


But this loss is the le ss to be regretted si n ce it is cer ,

tai n th at no on e of these exposito rs could be pro n o u n ced


a good i n ter preter They all believed the l an gu age of
.

S c r iptu r e to co n t ai n two me an i n gs the on e obviou s an d ,

corre spon di ng wit h the direct i mport of th e wo r d s th e ,

other reco n dite an d co n ce aled u n der the words like a ,

n ut by th e shell ; an d n e lecti n g the f or mer as bei n g of


g ,

little value they be sto wed t h ei r c h ief atten tion on the


,

l atter ; t h at is they we r e more i n te n t on t h rowi ng oh


,

scu rity over the sacred writi n gs by th e ctio n s of t h eir

own i magin atio n s t h an on se arc h i n g ou t their t r ue m e an


,

in g E cc lesia8 tica l H istory, b ook 1 , cen t 2, p ar t 2, c ha
p

. . .

3, sec . 5 .


In on e of his latest work s The H i sto ry of I n terpre ,


t atio n A rchdeaco n F arr ar s ays of the F at h e r s :
,

There ar e b ut f ew of the m w h o se p age s ar e n ot ri f e


with error s e rr o r s of met h od e r ro rs of fact erro r s of
, , ,

hi story of gr ammar an d eve n of doct r i n e T h i s is th e


, ,
.

l an gu age of si mple t r ut h n ot of sligh ti ng di spar age ,

P 1 6 2, 1 6 3
p . .
TH E F A T HE R S . 61

A gai n ,
on p age 1 64 of th e sam e book F a rr ar , sa ys :
Wit h out deep le arn i ng wit h o u t li n gu istic k n o wled ge
, ,

wit h out lite rar y cult u r e wit h out an y n al pri n ciple s


,

eit h er as to t h e n atu r e of th e sac r ed wri ti n gs or th e


met h od by wh ich t h ey sh ould be i n terpreted su r

r ou n ded by P agan i sm J ud ai sm an d he r e sy of e v e r y de
, ,

sc riptio n an d wh olly de pe n de n t on a f au l ty t r an sl atio n


,

th e e ar lie st F at h er s an d a pologi sts add little or n ot h i n g


to our u n derst an di n g of S c r i pt u re Their ao .

n corr ect p o ul ar
\
p , ,

st akes ; t h eir sc r iptur al argu me nts ar e


t h eir exege sis n ovel in applic atio n o n ly


eleme n ts u n co n scio u sly bor r owed o n t h e \

P hilo and on th e ot h er fro m R abbi s an d


,

ex po sitio n wh ich ,

e re sults t h ey off er an d t h ey su ppo se ,

posse ssio n of a C h r i stia n G n o si s of


wh ic h/ th e sp of f ered ar e for the most part e n tirely



u n ten able .

T h ese quot atio n s fr o m F arr ar sh ould h ave m o r e t h an


ordi n ar y we igh t in t h i s m atter f or be sides th e C at h olic , ,

C h urc h th e r e is n o oth e r c h u r c h t h at depe n d s so m uc h


,

u po n th e F at h er s as doe s th e C h u r ch of E ngl an d or ,

E pi sco pal C h u r c h .

I n th e l ast quot atio n f r o m F arr a r this exp r e ssio n oc ,

c u r s : S ur rou n ded by Pagan i sm Jud ai sm an d h e re sy



, ,

of eve r y de sc r i ptio n

etc Th i s see ms to b efo rgotte n by
, .

m o st peo ple wh o l a ud th e F at h ers They speak of t h e m .

as livi n n e ar the ti m e of th e apo stle s but overlook th e


g ,

fact t h at t h ey lived still n earer to an oth e r ti me n amely , ,

the ti m e of gr oss pagan ism if t h eir ch ar acter were


.

to be dete r mi n ed by th e c h ar to wh o m
they we r e n e are st in poi n t 0 t h at th e
an tecede n t p r obability t the c o l o r
62 FA T HE R S O F TH E C A T H OL I C C HU R C H .

of p a
g T a n sm, i s
gre ate
/ K

r th an t h at they woul d as su m?
th e
r istian it
y .


a
y th e r e is thi s ele me n t in their f avo r
s on e, ,

an d agai n st th e ide a th at they were i n ue n ced m ore by

p agan i sm th an by C h ri sti an ity : t h ey profe ssed C h ri sti an


ity an d co mb ated p ag an i sm ; t h ey studied the wo rk s of
,


th e a po stle s an d so took on their ch ar acter
, .

T h i s is a gre at m i st ake A S a matter of f a ct th e so


.
,

c alled F athe r s st udi ed th e wo r k s of p agan philosopher s


f ar m ore t h an they did tho se of th e apo tle s T h ey af
s .

f ec ted to be philo sopher s t h e mselves ; an d while t h ey did


i n deed m ake a sho w of co mb ati n g p agan i sm the we apo n s ,

which t h ey u sed were dr awn fro m p agan p h ilosoph y


more fre q uen tly t h an fr o m the eve n whe n
they quoted fro m th e Bible th , on s w arpe d

their i n te r pret atio n S O in t h ei


. r s with pa a n
g
ism we h ave for the m o st pa
.

, _ r t n othi n g but on e fo r m of

p ga a m sm ar r ayed ag ai n st an other fo r m of p agan i sm .

w
O n this poi n t De Q ui n cey in h i s ess ay on The P ag an
,


O r acle s says :,

B ut here a nd every where speaki ng of the F at h ers as


,

a body we c h arge the m with a n tic h r i sti an pr actice s of


,

a t wofold orde r : S o meti me s as s up po r ti ng t h eir gre at


c au se in a spi r it alie n to its own retorti ng in a te mpe r,

n ot le ss u n ch arit able th an t at of t h eir o ppo n e n t s ; so m e


h
ti me s ag ai n as ado pti ng argume n ts t h at are u n chri sti an
, ,

in t eir ulti mate grou d s ; re sti g u po e ror h -


h n t e
i aj 2
t
n n r s r e z

tio n of e r r or s upon super stitio n s the overt h ro w Of s uper


,

stition s ; a n d d r a wi n u o n th e a r mo r ie s of d ark n e ss for


g p
we apo ns t h at to be d ur able ou gh t to h ave bee n of cele s
, ,

ti al tem
agai n st

m ovi n g
TH E F A T H ER S . 63

ch aracterize th e Fathers as; a bod y con


'

I
,

As c an h ardly h e ch all enged as O ve r
/
r
,

tan c e w
ere
rie s
God t h ey we r e de ,

n de m o n str atio n O f

s c r i pt u r al po we r to adv an ce doct r i n e s which the S c r i t


,

p
ure s h ad n o wh e r e war r an ted .

M uc h mm s m on y toj h e s ama e eet will b e ad


'

g
r

listen t o anot h er
he C h r isti an

;
n
g uish ed
th em
J ews , or th e
of the C hri stian
h at is t h e h er eL'
,

icu l ar J u sti n
like wi se T erL
tulli an ; b ut n eit h er of t h e m in ,

t h ey We r e n ot a cqu ai n ted wi th th e l an guage h i sto r y


an d

of the H ebrew s an d d id ,
su bj ect .
f

O wr ote
Melito ,

I
us

C l em en tf
T h eO ph il us ofan d

A m an of sou n d j ud gme n t who h as d ue regar d f or


t r uth c an n ot extol t h e m high ly Most of t h e m l ac k ed
,
.

di scer n me n t k n o wled ge applic ation good arr an ge me n t


, , , ,

an d f o r ce . T h ey O f te n adv an ce very i msy argu me n ts ,

an d su ch as ar e s uited r at h er to e mb ar r ass th e mi n d t h an

to co n vi n ce th e u n der st an d i g
n E ccl esia8 tica l H istor y ,

b ook 1 , cen t . 2, p ar t 2, c ha
p.3 ,
sec . 7 .

I n th e ame ch apter (sectio n


s M o sh ei m su ms up
the c ase co n cern i n g th e F athers as fo llo ws
64 FA T H ER S O F TH E C A T H OL I C C HU R C H .


To u s it appe ar s t h at their writi n gs co n t ai n m an y
thi n gs excelle n t well co n side r ed an d well c alcul ated to
, ,

e n ki n dle piou s e motio n s ; but al so m an y thi n gs u nd uly rig


or ou s an d de r i v ed fr o m t h e stoic an d ac ade mic h ilo s
, p
oph y ; man y t h i n gs v ague an d i n dete r mi n ate ; an d man y

thi n gs positively fal se an d i n co n si ste n t with the prece pts


,

of C h ri st If on e de serve s th e title of a b ad m aste r in


.

m or al s wh o h as n o j u st ideas of the p r o per bo un d ar ie s


,

an d li mit atio n s of C h r i sti an d u ties n or cle ar an d di sti n ct ,

co n ceptio n s O f th e di f f ere n t vi r tues an d vices n or a per ,

ception of tho se ge n er al pri n ciples to w h ich recu rre n ce

should be h ad in all d i scu ssio n s re specti n g C h r i sti an


virtue an d therefo r e very Ofte n t al k s at r an do m an d
, ,

blu n de r s in expou n di n g the divi n e l aws ; t h ou gh he


m ay say man y excelle n t thi n gs an d excite in us con sid ,

e r a l m
b e e otio ; t e I ca
n h n n r ead y ad f n it t h at in st r ict
il


truth this title belon gs to man y of the F ath er s
, .

A fter re adi n g the above we ar e n ot su r p ri sed t h at in


, ,

harmo n y with Dr C l arke an d the Rev Levi P h iletu s


.

.

Dobb s Mo sh ei m say s

,

It is therefo r e n ot str an ge t h at all sect s of C h ri sti an s


,

c an n d in wh at ar e c alled th e F at h er s so met h i n g to ,

favor their own opi n io n s an d sy ste ms .


This is st rictly true ; b ut althou gh t h ese ve n er a b le
st ager s so meti me s stu mbled u p o n th e trut h t h ey fur n i sh ,

th e most aid an d co mfort to t h ose sect s which pur s ue th e


m o st u n sc r iptur al pr actice s as f or i n st an ce th e C atholic s
, , ,

an d the Mo r mo n s It is very seldom th at t h eir te sti


.

mo n y is quoted in beh alf of an y re ally scri ptur al doct r i n e


or custo m . 1 .

7 60 show th at the se so-c alled F ather s ar e n ot o n ly

faulty in m atte rs of doctri n e but ar e al so u n tru st wo rt h y


,

as to m atters of fact we q uote fro m Moshei m who as serts


, ,

th at ,
TH E F A T HE R S . 65

I
O DS I N T HE I R C O N T R O V E RSIE S z

no m e an s
pass u n n oticed t h at the ,

d iS C U S S iO I l S i n stitute d agai n st t h e O ppo se r s of C h ri sti an ity


in thi s age de par ted f ar f r o m th e pr i mitive si mplicity
, ,

a n d th e co r r ect m et h od of co n t r over sy F or th e C h ris .

ti and octo rs wh o we r e in p ar t educ ated in th e sc h ool s of


,

rheto r ici an s an d So phi sts i n co n side r ately t r an sf e rr ed th e


,

arts of t h e se te ache r s to th e c a u se of C h r i sti an ity ; a n d

the ref or e co n side r ed it of n o i m port an ce wh et h er an ,

an t a on i st we r e co n fou n ded by b ase ar ti ces or by solid


g ,

argu me n ts Thu s t h at mode Of di sputi n g w h ic h th e


.
,

a n cie n t s c alled econ omica l an d wh ich h ad victory r at h e r


,

th an t r uth f or its Obj ect was al mo st u n ive r sally a pproved


, .

A n d th e Pl ato n i sts co n t r ibuted to th e cu r re n cy of th e


pr actice by asse r ti n g t h at it was n o sin for a perso n to
e mploy f al se h ood an d fall acie s f or th e su ppo r t of t r ut h ,

w h e n it was in d an ge r of bei n g bor n e do wn E cclesi .

astica l H istor y, b ook 1 , cen t . 3, p ar t 2, c ha


p.3,
sec . 10
.

I n h is E ccle siastic al C o mme n t arie s,



Mo shei m also
y
sa s :


By so me of th e we aker b reth re n in their an xiet y to ,

assi st God wi th al l thei r m i gh t in th e pro pagatio n of th e


[
C h ri sti an fait h ] su ch di sh o n e st ar ti ces we r e occ asio n ally
,

reso rted to as could n ot u n der an y cir cu mstap ces ad mit


, , ,

of excuse a n d we r e u tte r ly u n wo r t h y of t h at sacred c a u se


,

which t h ey we r e u n que stio n ably i n te n ded to su ppo rt .

Pe r ceivi n g f or i n st an ce in w h at v ast re pute th e poetic al


, ,

e ff usio n s Of t h o se an cie n t p r o ph ete sses ter med S ybil s , ,

we r e h eld by th e G reeks an d Ro man s so me C h ri sti an , ,

or r at he r e r h a s an ass o c i atio n of C h r i sti an s in t h e


p , p , ,

re i n of A n to n i n us Pi us c om o sed ei gh t boo k s of S yb il lin e


g p ,

ve rse s m ad e u p O f p r o ph ecie s r e specti n g C h r i st an d h is


,

ki n gdo m . Man y ot h er de ce ptio n s of t h i s so r t ,

to wh ic h c usto m h as v e ry i mpro pe rly gi v e n th e d en omi


natio n o f p ious fr a ud s are k now n t o hav e bee n pr acticed
,

5
66 FA T H ER S OF TH E C A T H OL I C C HU R C H .

in thi s an d the succeedi ng ce ntury The aut h o r s of t h e m


.

were in al l prob ability actu ated by n o ill i n te n tio n but


, , ,

this is al l th at c an be said in t h eir favor for t h eir co n duct ,

in thi s re spect was cert ai n ly m o st ill-advi sed a n d n u war


r an tab l e A lth ou gh the greater p art of t h ose wh o we re
.

co n ce rn ed in the se fo rge r ies on the public u n doubtedly ,

belo nged to so me heretic al sect or other an d p articul arly ,

to t h at cl ass which arrog ated to itself th e po mpou s de n o m


in ation of G n ostics I yet c an n ot t ake upo n me to acquit
,

eve n the mo st st r ictly o rthodox fr o m al l p articip a tio n in


t h is species of cri mi n ality ; for it appe ar s fro m evide n ce
sup erior to all exceptio n th at a per n icious maxi m which
, ,

was curren t in the sc h ools n ot o n ly of the E gy pti an s the ,

Pl ato n i sts an d the Pyth agore an s b ut al so of th e Je ws


, , ,

was ve r y e ar ly recogn ized by t h e C h ri sti an s an d soo n ,

fou n d amo n gst the m n u merou s patro n s n amely th at those , ,

wh o m ade it their b u si n e ss to deceive with a view of pr o


moting the cau se Of truth were de se r vin g rather o f com
,

men d ation th an ce n sure C en tu r y 2 sec 7


.
, . .

Let the re ader refre sh his me mory with why h as bee n


writte n co n cern i n g he athe n philosophy an d how it te n ded ,

directly towar d a l ax co n ditio n of mor al s an d the n w h e n ,

he lear n s th at the so-called C h ri sti an F athers made


t h is he ath e n philoso phy their co n st an t study he will n ot ,

be surpri sed th at they should h ave but little regard for


strict truth T h at so me Of the m ost r en o wn ed F athers
.

n ot o n ly stutied philo sophy but al so we r e k n o wn as


,

te ach ers of philoso phy eve n af ter they p r ofe ssed C hris
tian ity is n ot a m atter of questio n
, M oshei m afte r sho w
.
,

in g as we h ave quoted how r apidly the church dege n


, ,

e r ated says,


The exter n al c h ange thus wr ou gh t in the co nstitutio n
of th e church would h ave bee n h o weve r f ar le ss d etr i
, ,

m e n t al to th e i n te r e sts of C h risti an ity h ad it n ot bee n ,

acco mp an ied by others Of an i nter n al n ature whic h ,


TH E FA T HE R S . 67

t ck at th e ver y V it al s of r eli gio n an d te nded in n o


s ru , ,

small de gr ee to af f ect t h e c r edit of t h o se sacred writi n s


, g
on wh ich the e n ti r e system of C h r i sti an di sci plin e relie s
for support O f t h ese the most co n sider able an d im
.

po r t an t ar e to be att r ib u te d to a t aste f or th e c u ltiv atio n


of p h ilo sophy an d h u m an le ar n i n w hic h du i t h
g r n
g e , ,

p recedi n g ce n tu r y if n ot altoget h er t re ated with n eglect


,

an d co n te m t by th e C h r i sti an s h ad at l eas t bee n wi sely


p ,

kept u n der an d by no me an s pe r mitted to ble n d itsel f


,

wit h reli gio n ; but in th e age of w h ich we are n ow t r e at


in g b ur st fo rth on a sudde n i n to a ame an d spre ad
, ,

itself with th e ut m o st r apidity t h ro ugh o ut a co n side r able


p ar t of th e ch u r ch T h i s m ay be acco un ted f or in so me
.
,

m e asu r e f r o m its h avi n g bee n the pr a ctice of th e m an y


,

G r eek philo sopher s wh o in th e course of t h is ce n t u ry


, , ,

we r e i n d u ced to e mb r ace C hri sti an ity n ot o n ly to ret ai n ,

t h eir pri sti n e de n o m i n atio n gar b an d mode of livi ng , , ,

but al so to pe rsi st in reco mme n di n g th e st udy of philos


O ph
y an d i n iti ati n g youth t h e r ei n
, I n p r oo f of t h i s we .
,

m ay fr o m amid st n u me r ou s other ex ample s adduce in


, ,

ar ticul ar t h at of Ju sti n th e celeb r ated h ilo opher a nd


p p s ,

mar ty r T h e i mm edi ate n u r se r y an d ve r y cr adle as it


.
,

we r e O f C h r i sti an p h ilo so ph y m u st ho weve r be pl aced


, , , ,

in th e celeb r ated se mi n ar y wh ich lo n g ou r i sh ed at


Alex an d ri a u n de r th e de n o mi n atio n of t h e c atec h etical
sc h ool F or th e pe rson s wh o pre sided t h e r ei n in the
.
,

cou rse of th e age of w h ic h we are t r e ati n g n amely , ,

P a n taen us A t h e n agor as an d C le men t of A lex an dri a


, , ,

n ot o n ly e n a ed with a r dor in t h e cultiv atio n of h ilo s


g g p
oph y t h e m selve s b ut al so exe r ted t h eir i n ue n ce in per
,

su ad in
g t h o se w h o m t h ey we r e e d u c ati n
g f or the O f ce of

te ac h e r s in th e c h urch to f ollo w t h eir ex ample in t h i s


,

r e s ect an d m ake it t h ei r r a ctice to a ss oci ate h ilo o h


p , p p s p

ic al p ri n ci ple s wit h t h o se of r eli gio n H istor ica l C om .

men tar ies , cen t . 2, sec . 25 .

T he sa me wr ite r sa ys Of t he F ather s O f th e s eco n d


ce n t ury :

T he p h ilo sop h e rs an d le arn ed m en , wh o ca me o ver to
68 FA T HE R S O F TH E C A T HO LI C C HU R C H .

th e C h r i sti an s in t h i s ce n tur y we r e n o i n co n side r able,

p r otectio n an d o r n ame n t to t h i s h oly r eligion by t h eir d is


e u ssio n s t h eir writi n gs a n d t h eir t ale n t s
, ,
B ut if an y .

a r e di spo sed to que stio n wh et h er the C h r i sti an c au se r e

c eived m ore be n et t h an i nj u r y fr o m t h e se m e n I m u st ,

co n f e ss my sel f u n able to decide th e poi n t F or t he n oble .

Si mplicity an d th e m aj e stic dign ity O f the C h ri sti an re


l igion we r e lo st or at le ast i mpaired wh e n the se philo s
, , ,

O ph e rs p resu med to associ ate their do gm as wit h it an d ,

to b ri ng f ait h an d piety u n de r th e do mi n io n of hu man


r e aso n

Mos h eim s E ccl esiastica l H istor

b ook 1 cen t 2
.
y , , .
,

p ar t I ,
c hap . 1, sec
. 12.

T h i s is ce rt ai n ly a ve ry m ild vie w of the c ase T he r e .

c an be no que stio n b ut t h at the p h ilo so her s wh o c am e


p
o v e r to th e church bri n gi n g their p h ilosophic al dogm as
,

wit h t h e m we r e an u n mitigated c u r se to C h r i sti an ity


, .

De ad ies c au se th e oi n t me nt of th e apothec ar y to

se n d f o rt h a sti n ki n g savor S o th e h e at h e n cu sto ms
.

an d m an n e r s of thou gh t w h ich t h e se m en i n co r por ate d

in to th e C h r i sti an chu r ch co rr u pted the wh ole body , .

T h eir ve r y le ar n i ng made t h e m th e mo r e det r i me n t al


to t r ue C h r i sti an ity ; for it c au sed t h e m to be looked

u p to as le ad e rs of C hri sti an t h ough t an d thei r phi ,


l O S O ph y was b ut v ai n deceit an d their scie n ce o n ly
,


t h at wh ich is fal sely so c alled
o
.

T h i s co n clu sion will be th e mo re appare n t whe n we


r e me m ber t h a t t h e se men we r e i gn o r an t of t h e Bible j us t

so hy

about in p r o o r tio n as t h ey we r e skilled in p h ilo p
p .

Dr K ille n gi v e s a b rie f h i sto ry of e ac h on e of th e e arly


.

F ath e rs an d t he n add s
,

T h e pr e ce di n g accou n t of th e F at h e rs of th e seco n d
a n d t h i r d ce n t u r ie s m ay e n able u s to f or m so m e i d e a O f

t h e v alue o f t h e se wr ite r s as eccle si astic al auth o ritie s .

Most of the m had r each ed ma tu ri ty befo re they embraced


TH E F A T H ER S . 69

the fait h of th e go spel S O t h at wit h a f ew exceptio n s


, , ,

t h ey w an ted th e ad v an tage s of a n e arly C h ri sti an e d uca


tio n S o m e of the m bef o r e t h eir co n versio n h ad b e
.
, ,

sto wed m uch ti me an d atten tio n on th e b ar re n spe cul atio n s


of th e p agan p h iloso ph e rs ; an d after t h eir receptio n i n to ,

th e b o so m of t h e c h ur c h t h ey still co n ti n ued to pu r su e
,

th e same u n pr ot able st udie s C y pr i an o n e of the mo st


.
,

eloque n t of the se F ath e r s h ad bee n b aptized o nly about


,

two ye ars be f o r e he was elected bi sh op O f C arth age ; a n d ,

d u ri n g h is co mp aratively sh o rt e pi sco pate he was ge n er ,

ally in a tur m oil of excite me n t a n d h ad co n seque n tly , , ,

little lei sure f or read i n g or me n t al cultiv atio n S uc h a .

w r ite r is n ot e n titled to co mm an d con de n ce as an expos


itor of th e fait h o n ce delivered to th e s ai n ts E ve n in .

ou r own d ay with al l th e fac ilitie s su pplied by pri n ti n g


,

for th e r apid accu mul atio n of k n o wled ge n o on e would ,

ex pect m uch S pi ritu al i n structio n fr o m an author wh o


would u n d e r t ake th e of ce of an i n ter pr eter of S criptu r e
two ye ar s af te r h is co n versio n fro m h e at h e n is m T he .

F ath ers of th e seco n d an d t h ird ce n tu rie s we r e n ot re


garded as saf e guide s even by thei r C h ri stian co n te mpo
r arie s . Te rtulli an wh o in poi n t O f le ar n i n g
, , ,

vi gor an d ge n i us st an d s at th e he ad of the L ati n w rite rs


, ,

of t h i s pe r iod was co n n ected wit h a p ar ty O f gloo m y


,

fan atics O r i ge n th e m o st volu mi n ou s an d erudite Of th e


.
,

G reek F athe rs was exco mm u n ic ated as a he r etic I f


,
.

we e sti mate t h e se a ut h o r s as they we r e appreci ated by


,

the e ar ly C h urch O f Rome we m u st p r on ou n ce t h eir ,

writi n gs of little v alue Tertulli an as a M on t an i st was


.
, ,

u n der th e b an of th e Ro m an bis h o p H i ppolytu s could .

n ot h ave bee n a f avo rite with eithe r Z ep h y r i n us or C alli s

t us f or he d e n ou n ced both a
,
s h e r etic s O r ige n was .

t r e ated by the Ro m an C h u r ch as a m an u n der se n te n ce


of exco mm u n ic a tio n S te ph e n dee med eve n C ypr i an u n
.

wo rt h y of eccle si astic al f ello wsh i p bec au se th e G arth a ,

g i n i a n p r el ate m ai n t ai n ed t h e pro pr iety of reb aptizi n


g

h e retics .
70 FA T H ER S O F TH E C A T H O L I C C HU R C H .

R I ES HE R S
I
M A O F TH E F AT .

Noth i n g can be m ore u n sati sfactory or rather child ,

ish t h an th e ex pl an atio n s of H oly W r it so meti me s give n


,

by t h ese an cie n t ex po sito r s A cco r di n g to Te r tulli an .


,

the two sp arro ws me n tio n ed in the N ew Te st ame n t sig


n if th e so u l an d th e body ; an d C le me n s A lex an d r i n u s
y
g r avely ple ad s for m ar ri age fr o m t h e p r o mise Where

two or three are g at h ered together in my n ame the r e am ,

I in th e mid st of t h e m C yp ri an p r oduce s as an a rgu


.

m e n t in sup po r t of th e doct r i n e of th e Tri n ity t h at t he ,

Jews Ob served the t h i r d sixth an d n i n t h h our s as



, ,

t h eir xed an d l awful se aso n s for pr aye r



O r ige n .

rep re se nts th e he ave n ly bodie s as lite r ally e n gaged in


act s of devotio n If t h e se auth or ities ar e to be credited
.
,

th e Gi h o n on e of th e ri v e r s Of P ar adi se was n o ot h e r
, ,

t h an the Nile liV ery f e w of th e F at h e rs O f thi s pe riod


j
.

we r e acqu ai n ted wit h H ebre w so t h at as a cl ass t h ey , , ,

we r e mise r ably qu alied f or th e i n ter pr et atio n of th e


S c r i pture s E v e n O r i ge n hi m self m u st h ave h ad a ve r y
.

i mperf ect k n o wled ge O f the l an gu age of th e O ld Te st a


men t . I n co n seque n ce of their liter ar y decie n cie s th e ,

F at h ers of th e seco nd an d t h i rd ce n turie s occ asio n ally


co mmit the mo st ridi c u lou s blu n de r s Thu s I r e n aeu s .
,

tell s u s t h at th e n am e Jes us in H ebrew co n si st s O f t wo


lette r s an d a ha lf an d d e scribes it as si gn i f yi ng th at
,

Lo r d wh o co n t ai n s H e av e n an d e ar th ! T h i s F ather

asse r t s al so t h at t h e H eb r e w wo r d a d on a i or t h e Lo r d , ,

de n otes utte r able an d wo n derful C le me n s A lex an d ri



.

n u s is n ot m ore succe ssful as a n i n ter pr eter of th e sac r ed

to n gue of th e cho se n peo ple ; f or he assert s th at J acob


was c alled I sr ael bec au se he h ad see n th e Lo r d God

,

an d h e a ve r s t h at A br a ham me an s th e elect f ather O f a


A n cien t C hur c h, p eriod 2, sec . 2 , c ha


p . 1,
p ara
g p hs 3 1 , 32
ra .

U pon thi s the same wr ite r make s the f ollo wi ng mo st


j u st co mm e n t s wh ic h m ake a tti ng clo se to t h i s collee
,

tio n of st ate me n t s co n cer n i n g the F ather s


TH E F A T H ER S . 71


It w o uld see m as if the gre at H ead of the church
permitted t h ese e arly writers to co mmit th e gro ssest mis
tak es an d t o propou n d the m o st fooli sh t h eo r ies f or the
, ,

express purpo se of te achi ng us th at we are n ot i mplicitly


to follo w t h eir guid an ce It mi ght h ave bee n t h ought
.

th at authors who ouri shed on t h e borde rs of apo stolic


,

ti me s k n e w m ore of th e m i n d of th e S pirit th an oth er s


,

who appe ared in succeedi n g ages ; but th e t r ut h s Of


S criptu r e like the phe n ome n a of th e vi sible cre atio n are
, ,

equ ally i n telligible to al l ge n er atio n s If we po ssess .

S piritu al di sce r n me n t the t rees an d th e owers will d is


,

pl ay the wi sd o m an d the go od n e ss of God as di sti n ctly


to u s as t h ey did to ou r r st p are n t s ; an d if we h av e ,

th e u n ctio n fro m th e H oly O n e we m ay e n ter i n to the



,

me an i n g o f the S c r iptures as fully as did Ju sti n Mar tyr


an d to a f ar gre ater degree for th ei r m i n d s
or Ire n aeus
[ ,

were bli n ded an d fettered by t h eir fal se philoso ph y] .

To assi st u s in the i n terpret ation Of th e N ew Test a


me n t we h ave at co mman d a c r itic al app ar atu s Of whic h
,

they were u n able to av ail t h e mselves Jehov ah is j eal .

ous of t h e ho n or of h is wo r d an d h e h as i n scribed in ,

lette r s of light over the l abor s Of the most an cie n t i n te r


C m m

p r eterS ea se
y f
e r o a n The Ope n i n
g Of th e .

S criptures so as to exhibit their be auty their co n si st



, ,

e n cy their purity their wi sdo m an d t h eir po wer is th e


, , , ,

cle arest p r oof t h at the comme n t ato r is posse ssed Of th e

key of k n o wledge Wh e n t ried by t h i s test T h o mas


.

,

S cott or Matt h ew H e n r y is better e n titled to co n de n ce


th an eit h er O r i gen or G regory T h au maturgus The Ri .

ble is its own saf est expositor T h e l aw of the Lord is .

pe r fect co n verti n g th e soul ; th e testi mo n y of th e Lor d


,

is su re maki ng wi se th e si mple A n cien t C hur ch



, .

sec 2, ch a 1 , l ast p ar agr ap h


.
p . .


TH E A PO S T OL I C F A T HE R S ,

articul ar a f e w word s m u st b e
p
f rom t hei E n cyclopedia B r itan


72 F A T HE R S O F TH E C A T H OL I C C HU R C H .


nic a will in tr od uce an d outli n e t h i s part O f th e s ub ject
better th an an yt h i ng t h at we could write :

T h e A postolic F at h er s is a n ame gi v e n to cert ai n
wr iter s i n the e arlie st pe r iod of C h r i sti an ity , who were
.

believed to h ave bee n th e di sciple s of th e apo stle s, an d to


h ave h ad i n te r cou rse with the m T h o se ge n er ally ih
.

cluded u n der th e title a re C le m e n s Ro m an u s, Ign atiu s,


Polyc arp , B ar n ab as, an d H e r mas S o meti me s the n a me
.

is exte n ded to P api as Of H ie r apoli s, an d th e w r iter Of


th e epi stle to Diogn etu s A critic al ex ami n atio n of th e
.

writi n g s attributed to these men , an d a c r itical si fti n g of


the tr aditio n s w h ich we h ave in rel atio n to t h eir h i sto r y ,
bri ng out t h e circu mst an ce th at the n ame is u n su it able .

C le me n s Ro man u s, B ar n ab as , an d H er mas we r e sup po sed


to be pe rso n s me n tio n ed in th e N ew Te st ame n t ; b u t c r it
icism prove s co n clu sively th at thi s is a m i st ake in regard
to B ar n ab as an d H er m as , an d po ssibly al so in re gard to
C le me n s . Polyca r p , in al l prob ability, an d acco r di ng to
th e be st te sti mo n y , h ad i n tercour se with apostle s, but
it was in h is e ar ly youth ; an d h is letter belon gs to a
pe riod co n sider ably l ater t h an th at of th e apo stles T h e .

s s Of Ig n atiu s, as well as the pe r so n al hi sto r y of


\ epi tle
t h at mar tyr , are i n volved in gre at O b scurity, an d critic s

di f f er widely in regard to both .


In his I n troductory Notice to the A postoli c F ath

er s,
Bi shop C oxe says of the m :

Di sappoi n t me n t m ay be the rst e motio n of the
stude n t who co me s d o wn fro m th e m ou n t wh e re he h as

d welt in the t abe r n acle s Of ev an geli st s and apostle s ; f or


t h ese di sci ples a re co n fes sedly i n fe r ior to th e maste r s ;
they spe ak with the voice s of i n rm an d f allible men ,

a n d n ot like th e N ew Te st ame n t writer s wit h the ery ,



to n gues of the H oly Ghost .


Their ve ry m i st ak e s e n able u s to att ach a higher
v alue to the su pe rio r ity of i nspi re d wr ite rs T h ey we r e .

n ot wi se r t h a n t h e n atu r ali st s of t h ei r d ay wh o t au gh t

t h e m the hi story of th e P h oe n ix an d ot h er fable s ; b ut


TH E F A T HE R S . 73

n othi n g O f thi s so r t is fo u n d in S c ri pt u r e T h e F ath .


ers ar e i n ferior in ki n d as well as de gree .

Ne an der Spe ak s of the wr iti ngs att ributed to the so


called A postolic F at h e r s as follo ws : ,


The n ext ecclesi astic al w r ite r s wh o co me af ter the
apo stle s, ar e the soc alled A po stolic F at h ers (P a tr es
Ap ostolici) wh o co me fr o m th e apo stolic age an d m u st
, ,

h a v e bee n th e di sciples of th e apostle s T h e re mark able .

d ier en ce bet wee n t h e W r iti n gs of th e apo stle s an d t h o se


of th e A po stolic F athe r s wh o ar e yet so clo se u po n th e
,

for m er in poi n t of ti me is a re m ark able ph e n o me n o n of


,

its ki n d. While in other c ase s su ch a t r ansitio n is usu


ally q u ite r adu al i n t h i s c ase we n d a sudde n on e
g , .

H e r e t h e r e is n o gradu al t r an sitio n b u t a sudde n spri n g ; ,

a re m ar k which is c alcul ated to le ad u s to a reco n itio n


g
of th e peculi ar ac tivity of t h e divi n e S pi r it in th e soul s

of the apo stle s R ose s N ean der p 407



.
,
. .

Agai n he s ays

The writi n gs of the soc alled A postolic F athers are '
,

al as ! co m e do wn to u s f or th e m o st par t in a ve ry n u
, ,

ce r t ai n co n dition ; p artly bec au se in e arly ti me s wr iti n gs


,

we r e cou n ter f eited u nder t h e n ame of t h o se ve n e r able


m en of th e Ch ur c h in orde r to p r o pagate ce r t ai n O pi n i o n s
,

or pri n ci ple s ; p ar tly bec au se t h o se w r iti n gs wh ic h t h ey


,

h ad re ally publi sh ed we r e ad ulte r ated an d e speci ally so ,

to ser ve a J ud a -h ie r ar c h ic al p ar ty which would fai n ,



c r u sh th e free ev an gelic al Spi r it I b . .

It will be see n th at Ne an de r su ppo se s t h at th e wr iti n gs


ar e p ar tly at le ast th e e n ui n e p r oductio n s of th e men
, , g
wh o se n ame s t h ey be ar ; b ut he ack n o wledge s t h at eve n ,

if ge n ui n e t h ey h ave bee n cou n terfeited an d adulterated


,

till t h e r e is n o co n de n ce to be pl aced in t h e m eit h e r as ,

to matte r s O f doct r i n e or m atte r s of fact 3T h is c on cl u .

s io n we m a n ow ve r i f y as we ex am i n e t h e m in det ai l
y ,
.
C H A PT E R V .

TH E
E FI S T L E O F B A RN ABAS .


TH fam ou s e ssay on S n akes in Irel an d con si sted
E

O f but three wor d s n a mel T h e r e ar e n o ne I n li k e

y , ,

m an n e r mi ght We di spo se of th e so c alled -


E pi st le of
t h ere is no such t hi ng I n p r oof of t h i s ,

st ate me n t we o f f e r t h e f ollo wi n te sti m o n y


g

An co m e down to us be ar i ng the n ame Of
epi stle h as
B ar n ab as b ut cle ar ly n ot wr itte n by h im
,
T he .

writer e v ide n tly was u n acqu ai n ted W 1th the H ebre w


S c ripture s an d h as co mmitted t h e blu n der of su pposmg
,

t h at A brah am was famili ar with the G r eek al ph abet



som e ce n turie s be f ore it exi sted Jl{ c C lin tock a n d
.

S tr on g s E n cycl op ed ia ar t B ar n a bas E p istl e of



. .
, ,


T h e E n cy clopedi a B r it an n ic a say s
T he i n ter n al evide n ce is co n clusive again s t its ge n u

in en ess .

Mo sh ei m y
sa s

The epi stle th at h as com e dow n to us with the n ame


Of B ar n ab as af xed to it an d wh ic h co n si sts of two p ar ts
, ,

t h e on e co m p r i si n g p r oofs of th e divi n ity of the C h r i s


ti an r eligio n de r ived fro m the book s of t he O ld Te st a
m e n t th e ot h er a collectio n O f m or al precept s is u n
, , ,

que stio n ably a co mpositio n of gre at an tiquity b ut we are ,

lef t in u n cert ai n ty as to its author F or as to wh at is .

su gge sted by so m e of its h avi n g bee n writte n by t h at


,

B arn ab as wh o was the fr ie n d an d co mp an io n of S t P aul .


,

th e f utility of such a n otio n is e asily to be m ade appare n t


f r o m t h e letter it self ; seve r al O f th e O pi n io n s an d in
te rpretation s of S cri ptu r e wh ich it co n t ai n s h avi n g in '

in t h e m so little Of eit h er trut h di gn ity or force as to , , ,

(74 )
TH
'

E E PI ST L E O F B A R NA B A S . 75

ren der i t i mpo ssible th at they co uld ever h ave p r ocee d ed


fro m th e pen of a man d ivi n ely i n st ru cted E cc l C om

. .
,

cen t . 1, sec . 53 .

Ne ander s ays

It I S I mpo ssible t h at we should ack n owled ge t h i s
epi stle to b el on g to t h at B arn ab as wh o was wort hy to be ,

th e co mp an io n of t h e apo stolic l abo r s Of S t P aul an d .


,

h ad received h is n ame f r o m th e po wer of his an i mate d


di sco u rse s in th e n d a di ff ere n t spi rit
b re at hi n g t h r ou gh out it th an t h at Of such an apostolic ,

man .We perceive in it a Jew of A lex an d ri an e d uc a


tio n wh o h ad e mbraced C h r isti an ity wh o was p re pared
, ,

by his A lexa nd ri an educ ati on f or a spi r it u al con ce ptio n of


C h ri sti an ity ; but who set too high a v alue on h is A lex
an dri an a n d Je wi sh G n o si s wh o looked f or e speci al wis ,

d om in a mystic al an d fan ciful i n te r pr et atio n of th e O ld


Te st ame n t more r esembli ng th e spi rit Of P h il O t h an t h at
,

Of S t P aul or e v e n t h at of th e e pi stl eto th e H eb re ws


.
, . ,
\
a n d wh o i n d u l ed hi mself in suc h i n te r r et atio n s in a
g p
silly P
40X . .

In h is
E ccle si astic al H i story ,

Mo sh ei m aga n i
s ays 27 b


T h e epi stle of B ar n ab as as it is c alled , was, in my
j ud gme n t, th e p r od uction of so m e Je wi sh C h r i sti an who
lived in t h i s ce n tury [ th e rst] or th e n ext , who h ad n o
b ad i n te n tio n s, b ut po sse ssed little ge n i us an d was i n f ected
with th e fabulou s O pi n io n s of th e Je ws H e was cle arly .

a di ff e r e n t person fro m B ar n ab as t he co mpan io n of S t ,


.


Paul B ook 1 , cen t 1 , p ar t 2, c hap 2, sec 21
. . . . .

Yet so little is re ally k n own of th e on e who re ally


wrote t h is epi stle t h at wh ile these wr ite r s su ppo se h im to
h ave bee n a Jew an d of th e r st ce n tury th e S ch af f
, ,

H e r zog E n cyclopedi a says H


da
T h e O pi n io n to- y is t h at B ar n ab as was n ot the au ,

thor The epi stle was prob ably writte n in A lex an d ri a at


.
,
76 F A T HE R S O F TH E C A T H OL I C C HU R C H .

th e begi n n i ng O f th e s eco n d ce n tu ry ,
an d by a Ge n tile

C h ri sti an .

Dr S eh a in h is.
"
,

H i sto r y of the C h ri st ian C h u r c h

(sectio n sa ys
The w r iti ngs w h ich h ave come dow n to u s u n der
th e n am es of B ar n ab as a n d H e r m as ar e of u n ce r t ai n

or iginf ' a n d i n f e rior to th e ot h er pr od uctio n s of th e A p es

tolic F at h e rs in m atter as well as in sou n d si m plicity an d ,

co n t ai n m an y ele me n ts whic h we mu st as cribe to a l ater



ge n e ratio n .


A ge n ui n e p r oduction of Bar n ab as would doubtle ss
h av e fou n d a pl ace in the C an o n with t h e writi n gs of ,

Mar k an d L u k e an d th e e pi stle to th e H eb re ws , Be .

side s the co n te n t s of t h is epi stle ar e n ot wort h y of h im


, .

It h as man y good ide as an d v alu able te sti mo n ies su c h as , ,

t h at in favor of th e Ob ser v an ce of th e C h r i sti an S ab b at h .

But it goe s to ext re me s in op positio n to Jud aism an d in ,

d ul ges in al l so rt s of artici al so m eti me s ab su rd al legori , ,



c al f an cie s .

TO be su r e he doe s but wh at of 1 t ? Wh at I f th e ,

epi stle is a fo rge r y m ade by so me l in k n own an d irrespon


sible pe r so n ? W h at if its wri ter was a n i gn o r amu s wh o
i nd ul ged in th e most ab su r d f an cie s ? S o lo n g as it

ive s v alu able te sti mo n ie s in f av O r O f th e ob serv an ce of
g

th e C h ri sti an S abb ath it will u n doubtedly be con sid ,

ered wo rthy of an h o n ored pl ace in C h ri sti an lite r a


T h e f r ie n d s of th e S u nd ay s abb at h could n ot

ture .

make a m o r e perfect ex h ibit of the sc ar city of argu me n t


-
in its beh alf th an by sayi n g th at t h e so c alled E pi stl e
,


of B ar n ab as co n tai n s v alu able te sti m o n ie s in its f a
v or H ow v al u able tho se te sti m o n ies a re we sh all soo n
.

see .

K itto s E n cyclo pe d i a Reli gio u s K n o wled ge ( rti



of a

cl e B ar n ab as) sa ys of the w riter of t h i s epi stle .


H
TH E E P I ST L E O F BA R NA B A S . ( 7

H e make s u n au t h o r ize d ad d itio n s to v ar iou s par ts


of t h e Je wi sh C ultu s ; h is vie ws of th e O ld E co n o my are


co n fused an d er r o n eo us ; an d h e adopts a mode O f in
ter pretation cou n te n an ced by n o n e of th e i n spi r ed writers ,

an d to t h e l ast d e gree pue r ile an d ab su rd T h e i nf er .

e n ce is u n avoi d able t h at B ar n ab as th e son of pr op h ec y


, , ,

the m an f ull O f th e H oly S pi r it an d of faith was n ot th e



,


author of thi s epi stle
. .

T h e Lo r d s Day th e se-c alled



A n d in th e article on

,

E pi stle Of B ar n ab agis spoke n of as p r ob ably a f orgery




of th e seco n d ce n tu r y .

B i sh op A r th u r C level an d C oxe in h is i n troductory ,

n ote to th e e i stle as publi sh ed by t h e C h r i sti an Liter a


p
tu r e Publi shi n g C o mp an y says , .


The w r iter of t h i s e pi stle is sup posed to h av e bee n
a n A lex an d r i an J e w of t h e ti m e s of T r aj an an d H ad r i an .

H e was a l ay man ; b u t possibly he bo r e th e n am e of


B ar n ab as an d so h as been con fou n ded wit h h is h oly

,


apo stolic n am e- sire .

A n d l h e o r i gi n al i n t r od u cto r y n ote by the t r n sl ato r s


A a v

th e epi stle f or th e E di n burgh ed ition c on lain s the


/
of r r

L
Not h i ng ce rt ai n is k n own as to th e aut h or of th e
e pi stle T h e wr ite r s n am e is B ar n ab as but
.

sc a r cely an sc h ol ar s n ow asc r ibe it to t h e illu st r io u s


y
f rie n d an d co m pan io n of S t P au l . O n pe r t
.

in g t h e e pi stle th e r e ade r will be in ci r c u mst an ce s to


,

j ud ge of t h i s m atte r f or h i msel f H e will be l ed to c on


.

si d e r wh et h e r t h e S i r it an d to n e of t h e w r iti n
p g as so ,

deci d e d l y o ppo sed to al l re spect f or J ud aism the n u


merous i n acc u racie s wh ich it co n t ai n s wit h r e spect to
Mo sai c e n act me n t s an d Ob se r v an ce s th e ab su r d a n d
t r ii n g i n te rpr et atio n s O f S c r i pt ur e wh ic h it suggest s
an d th e m an y silly v au n t s of s u e r ior k n o wled e in wh ic h
p g
its Writer i n dul ge s c an po ssibl y co mpo r t with its use r i p

78 FA T H ER S O F TH E C A T H OL I C C HU E
! H .

tio n to th e fe l low-l aborer of S t P aul \Vhe n it is r e . .

m e mbe r ed t h at no\ o n e asc r ibes th e e pi stle to t h e a po s


tolic B arn ab as till the ti mes of C le me n t O f A le x an d r i a ,

an d t h at it is r an ked by E u sebi u s am o n g th e S purio us


writi n gs wh ic h ho wev er m
,
uc h k n o wn an d re ad iii t h e
/

c h u r c h we r e n ever regard er as aut h o r it at iv e little



, ,

c an re mai n t h at th e exte r n a ev ide n ce is O f it sel f


a n d sh o u ld n ot m ake u s h esitate f or a m o m e n t in

t o asc r ibe t h i s w r iti n g to B ar n ab as t h e apo stle .

I n poi n t of style bot h as re spect s t h ough t an d exp r e ssio n


, ,

a ve r y l ow pl ace m u st be a ssi gn ed it We k n o w n oth i n g .

ce r t ai n of th e r e gio n in w h ic h th e a ut h or lived or wh e r e ,

th e rst r e ader s we r e to be f ou n d .

It will n ow be in pl ace to quote a f ew p assage s fro m th e


famo u s docu m e n t th at ou r re ade r s may j ud ge f or t h e m
,

sel v e s of its c h ar acte r A n d rst we sh all quote th e .


v alu able te sti mo n ies in favor Of th e ob serv an ce of

S un d ay A ll t h at is said on t h i s su bj ect is co n t ai n ed in
.

c h apte r 1 5 of th e epi stle which we quote e n tire ,


F ur the r al so it is wr itte n con cer n i n g the S abb ath in
, ,

th e dec alogue w h ic h (th e Lo r d ) spoke face to f ace to , ,

Mo se s on M ou n t S i n ai A n d s an ctify ye t h e S abb at h of
,

th e Lo r d with cle an h an d s an d a pu re he ar t

A nd he .

says in an other pl ace If my so n s kee p th e S abb at h


,

,

t h e n will I c au se my mercy to r e st upo n t h e m T he .


S abb at h is me n tio n ed at th e begi n n i n g of the cre atio n


t h u A n d God m ade in six d h w o r k s O f h is
( )

s : a
ys t e

h an d s an d made an en d o n t h e seve n th d ay an d r ested


, ,

o n it ,
a n d s an ctied it A tte n d my c h ild re n to th e
.

, ,

me an i ng of t h i s C X P I C S S l O l l H e n i sh ed i n six d ay s

.
,

T h i s impl ieth t h at t he Lo r d will n i sh all t h i n gs in six


t hou san d y e a rs f or a d ay is , t h oil san d ye ars .

A n d h e hi m sel f will be
as a t h o usa n d in six
d ays t h at is in
, , will be
n i sh ed A n d he re sted on the seve nth d ay This

. .
(

TH E E P I ST L E O F B A R NA B A S . 79
d 7 I a

me an eth : whe n his S on , c o mi n g (agai n ) sh all destroy the ,

ti me of the wicked m an an d j ud ge the u ngodly, an d ,

cha nge the sun an d the moo n , an d the star s the n sh all
, ,

he t r uly re st on th e seve n th d ay More o ver he says .


, ,

Thou sh alt san ctify it with pure h an d s an d a pu r e he art .

I f therefore ; an yo n e c an n ow s an ctify the d ay which God


,

h as san ctied except he is pure in h e art in all t h i n gs we


, ,

ar e deceived Behold there f ore : ce r tai n ly then on e prop


.
,

erly re sti n g san cti es it whe n we ourselve s h avi ng re , ,

ceiv ed th e pro mi se wicked n ess no lo n ger exi sti n g an d al l


, ,

t h i ngs h avi n g bee n made n ew by th e Lo r d sh all be able ,

to wo r k ri gh teo u s n ess T h e n we sh all be able to san cti f y


.

it h avi n g bee n rst san ctied ourselve s F urther he says


,
.
,

to t h e m Y our n ew moon s an d your S abb at h s I c an n ot


,

e n dure . Y e pe r ceive h ow he spe aks : Y our pre se n t S ab


b ath s are n ot accept able to me but th at is w h ich I h ave ,

made (n amely thi s) whe n givi ng r est to all t h i n gs I


, , ,

sh all m ake a begi nn i n g of th e ei ghth d ay th at is a b e , ,

gi n n i ng of an o ther world W h eref ore also we keep th e .


, ,

eighth d ay wit h j oyful n ess the d ay al so on which Jesus ,

rose agai n fro m th e de ad A n d wh e n he h ad manif ested


.


hi mself he a ce n d ed in to the heave n s
,
s .

Th at is the whole to try to an alyze


T h e writer mis

it bec au se it doe sn
, an ythi n g .

quotes S cripture an d m an ufactures it whe n h e doesn t n d


,

an
y to s uit his purpo se H e a l s o a llego
. r ize s the pl ai n e st

st ate m e n ts of fact an d stri n gs words to et h er in such a


, g
way as to de f y co mpreh e n sio n by the most acute gram
mari an . B ut al l of t h is c an be o v e r looked so lo n g as he

me n tio n s th e ei ghth d ay an d thu s fu rn i sh es v al u able
,


te sti mo n y f or the ob serv an ce of S u n d ay M .
,

Thi s ch apter alo n e suf cie n tly p r ove s the trut h of the
st ate me n t t h at t h e e pi stle co n t ai n s ab sur d an d t r ii n
g

i n ter pret atio n s of S c r iptu re but we will give a f ew mo r e ,

i n st an ce s I n th e l ast p art of c h apter 9 there is so me in


.
8O FA T HE R S O F TH E C A T H OL I C C HU R C H .

f or m atio n wh ich th e wr iter e pi stle co n sidered theof th e


'

m o st v alu able of an y he h ad to bestow I ve quote .

Le ar n the n m y ch ild r e n co n cern i n g al l t h i n gs rich ly


, , ,

t h at A br ah am th e rst wh o e nj oi n ed ci r cu mci sio n look


, ,

in g fo r war d in spi r it to Je s u s pr acticed t h at rite h avi n g , ,

r eceived th e m y ste r ies of t h e th ree lette rs F or (th e .

S c r i ptu re ) s ait h A n d A b r ah am circu mci sed ten an d


,

,

ei gh t an d t h r ee hu n d r ed me n of h is h ou sehold
,
W h at .

,

t h e n was th e k n owled ge give n to him in t h i s ? Le ar n


,

th e ei gh tee n r st an d t h e n the t h r ee h u n d r ed
,
T h e ten .

an d th e ei ght ar e th u s d o n ated T en by I an d eig h t by ,

H Y ou h ave (the i n iti als of th e n ame of ) Je su s A n d


. .

bec au se th e c r o ss was to exp r e ss th e grace (of ou r re


de mptio n ) by th e letter T he says al so T h r ee H u n d r ed , ,

.

H e si gn ies t h e r ef ore Je su s by two lette rs an d th e c r o ss


, , ,

by on e H e k n o ws thi s wh o h as put withi n u s th e en


.
,

r af ted gi f t of h is doct r i n e N on e h as bee n ad m itted


g O .

by me to a m ore excelle n t piece of k n owled ge th an t h i s ,



but I k n o w th at ye ar e wort h y .

T h i s is truly an asto n i shi n g an d m o st excelle n t pl ece


Of i n for m atio n ! A rchde aco n F ar rar says of it

It n ever eve n occurred to B arn ab as or to an y who
adopted t h is si n gul ar speci me n of expo sitio n t h a t t h e re

was a ny ab surdity in attributi n g to a C h alde an E mir an


a lic atio n of m ystic proce sse s a n d n u me r ic al v al u e s to
pp
th e lette rs of an alp h abet w h ic h h ad no exi ste n ce till

h u n d r ed s of ye a r s af te r he h ad retu rn ed to d u st H is .

tory of I n terp r eta tion p 1 68 ,


. .

But althou gh th e e goti stical pseudo-B ar n ab as con



sid e re d t h i s th e m o st excelle n t pie c e of k n o wled ge
t h at h e h ad co n de sce n ded to sh are wit h th e co mmo n
c r o wd th e c h apter i mmedi ately f ollo wi ng (c h apter 1 0)
,

ce rt ai n ly su r passe s it in t h at so r t of wi sdo m A l tho ug h .

it is quite l o n g we q u ote th e wh ole Of it t h at


, ,

may see the c aliber of the m an wh o w r ote t


\
TH E E PI S T L E O F BA R NAB A S . 81


T he chapter is e n titled S piritu al S ign ic an ce of th e ,

P recepts of Mo ses Re specti ng Di f f ere n t K i n d s of F ood


,

an d r eads as foll o w s

Now whe refore did Moses say Th ou shalt n ot eat


, ,

th e swi n e n or the e agle n or th e h awk n or the r ave n


, , , ,

f em

n or an
y sh which is n o t po sse ssed o sc ale s ? H e
br aced th r ee doctri n es I n h is mi n d (in doi n g so) Mo r e .

over th e Lord s aith to t h e m in Deutero n o m y A n d I


, ,

will e st abli sh my ordi n an ce s amo n g th is people Is t h e r e .


the n n ot a co mman d of God t h at t h ey sh ould n ot eat


( t h e se t h i n s ?
g) There is b ut M o se s sp oke with a s pirit,

u al refe r e n ce F or t h i s re aso n he n amed the s wi n e as


, ,

m uch as to say Thou sh alt n ot j oin t h y se l f to men who


,

rese mble swi n e F or whe n they live in ple asu re t h ey for


.

,

e t their Lo r d ; b u t whe n t h ey co me to w an t t h ey ac
g ,

k n owledge the Lord A n d (in like m an n er ) the s wi n e .


,

w h e n it has e ate n does n ot recogn ize its master ; b ut


,

w h e n h u n gry it c r ies out an d on receivi n g food is quiet ,

ag ai n . Neit h er s h alt thou eat s ays h e the e agle n or ,



.
,

,

th e ha wk n or the kite n or th e r ave n



, Thou shalt n ot
, .

j oi n thyself he me an s to such men as k n o w n ot how to


,

,

procu re food for t h e mselves by l abor an d swe at but ,

seize on that of others in t h eir i n iquity an d alt h ough ,

we ari n g an a spect of Si mplicity ar e on the w atch to ,

plu n der others S O these bi r d s while they sit idle in



.
, ,

quire h ow they may devour the e sh O f ot h ers provi n g ,

t h e mselves pests (to all ) by their wicked n ess A nd .


t h ou sh alt n ot e at he s ays th e l amprey o r the polypu s


,

, , ,

or the cuttle sh H e me an s Thou sh alt n ot j oi n thy



.
,

self or be like to such men as ar e u n godly to the en d ,

an d ar e co n de mn ed to de ath I n like man n er as t h o se



.

sh es above acc u r sed o at in the deep n ot s wi mmi n g (on


, , ,

the su r face) li k e the re st b ut make their abode in th e ,

mud which lies at the botto m Moreover Th ou sh alt .


,

n ot,
'

he s ays eat the h ar e
,

Wherefo r e ? Tho u s h alt .


n ot b e a corrupter of boy s n or like unto such B ec au se ,
.

the h ar e multipl ie s year by ye ar the pl ace s Of its con


, ,

6
82 FA T H ER S O F TH E C A T H O LI C C HU R C H .

ception ; f or as m an y
years as it lives S O m an y [plac es of
c o n ceptio n ] it h as Moreover Thou sh alt n ot eat th e
.
,

H e me an s

hye n a . Thou sh alt n ot be an ad ulterer
,

,

n or be like to t h e m t h at ar e suc h

n or a corrupter , .

Wherefo r e ? Bec ause th at an i mal an n u ally c h an ge s its


sex , an d is at on e ti m e male an d at an other f e male , .

Moreover he h as ri ghtly detested th e we asel F or h e


, .

m ean s Thou s h alt n ot be like to tho se who m we he ar of


,

as co mm itti n g wi cked n e ss with the m outh on accou n t of ,

their u n cle an n e ss ; n or sh alt thou be j oi n ed to th ose im


pure wo me n who commit i n iquity with th e m outh F or

m
.

this an i m al co n cei v es by the m outh Moses then -is .

/
s ued co n ce r n i n g me ats with a spi rit u al
sign i received t h e m accordi n g to esh l y
desi r e as ,
ely spo k e n of (l iteijal ) me ats ,
.

David h owev e ,
r eh en d s th e k n o wled e Of t h e t h ree
g
doctri n e s an d ,
in like m an n e r : Ble ssed is th e

m an who h at h n ot in th e cou n sel of th e u n godly



,

eve n as th e shes n e ss to t h e

depth s (of th e sea) in th e way of



si n n e r s eve n as tho se
,
to fe ar the Lo rd b u t ,

go ast r ay like swi n e ; ot sat in th e se at of

scor n e rs eve n as thos,



lie in w ait for p r ey .

Take a full an d r m spiritu al k n o wledge .

But Mo ses says still sh all eat every an i

mal that is 010 W h at does he


me an ? (The who on r e ,

ceiv in g food r ,
im an d b e ,

in g sati sed b Well spake

the n ,

those the Lord those wh ,

he art omm an d men t whic h

those utter the j udgmen


'
O b serv e th em those wh o k n ow ,
is a

wor k O f gl ad n ess an d who ru mi n ,
rd of
But wh at m e an s the T h at
3
1 3 Lord

5
.

e ri ghteou s m an also w alks in l o oks


TH E E P I ST L E O F B A R NA B A S . 83

for war d to th e holy st ate (to co me ) Be h old h ow well .

Mo se s legisl ated But h ow was it possible for the m to


.

u n derst an d or co mpr e h e n d t h e se t h i n gs ? We t h e n ,

rightly u n der st andi n g h is co m mand me n ts expl ai n t h e m ,

as th e Lord in te n ded F or t h i s p u r po se he ci r cu m ci sed


.

ou r e ars an d our he ar ts th at we mi gh t u n de r tand the se



,
s
th ings.

S u clr is th e v

nat ura nf p th is epis tle


/
which eve n to d ay is
q uoted as c on tain in //v al u ab l e m
te ti o y in beh alf O f
s
g n

S u n d ay ob serv an ce C e r t ai n ly the t h ough tful re ade r


.

c an n ot fail to see that sc ar cely an y stro n ger i n dict me n t


could be b r o ugh t agai n st the S u n d ay i n stitutio n th an the
f act th at it d r aws te sti m o n y for its suppo r t fro m su ch a
source . It i s true th at S u n d ay advoc ates say t h at t h ey
do n ot depe n d upo n this te sti mo n y ; b ut we n otice t hat
th ey n ever fail to quote it T h e si mple k n o wledge th at
.

the so-c alled E pi stle of B ar n ab as is quoted in beh al f


of a n doct r i n e or r a ctice s h o u ld be suf cie n t evide n ce
y p ,

t h at such doct ri n e or p r actice is u n wort h y of belief .

With t h i s we le ave th e p seudo-B ar n ab as ,


.

f
1 0
%
d
?
1

J "
F

*
C i
, 1
:

J
z 1

M t : L 8 M V 6 ,
C H A P T E R V I .

H E R MA S A N D C L E ME N T .


PA S T OR tO R S H E P H E R O F I I E R M A S
.

)
TH I S is the title of a of vi sio n s co mma n d ,

me n t s an d si militudes w h ich we r e w r itte n so m eti me in


, ,

the seco n d ce n tury by so m e per son n ot k n o wn F r o m


~

the fact th at the writer c all s hi mself H e rm as so me h ave


j u m ped to the co n cl u sio n th at the writer w
,

as th e frie n d

of P a ul b ut n o on e n ow attrib u tes its


prod uctio n to h im It is n ow quite ge n e r ally su pposed
.

t h at he was a b rother of Pi us I who was bishop Of Ro me .


,

fr o m 1 4 3 to 1 57 A D Mo shei m says :
. .


T h e book e n titl ed T h e S hepherd of H er mas (so

c alled bec au se an an gel in the fo r m an d h abit of a sh e p


, ,

herd is the le adi n g c h ar acter in the d r ama) was co mposed


, ,

in t h e seco n d ce n tu r y by H er m as the brother of Piu s the ,

Ro man bi sh op The writer if he was i n deed san e


.
, ,

dee med it p r oper to forge di alogues held with G od an d


an gel s in order to i n si n u ate w h at he reg arded as salut ary

truth s more e ff ectu ally i nto the mi n ds of h is re ade rs


,
.

But h is celesti al Spirits tal k more i n sipidly th an o ur



sc ave n gers an d porters E cclesiastica l H istory book 1
.
, ,

cen t 1 , p art 2, c ha 2 sec 21


p
m
. . . .
,


Inthe E cclesi as tic al C o me n taries (ce n t . 1 , sec 54) .

he agai n says of the book :


The r e is such an ad mi folly an d superstitio n
of
with piety such a r id ic
, as soci atio n O f the most
egr egio us n o n se n se with mom e n tou s an d u seful ,

n ot o nly in the c elesti al v wh ich co n stitute the sub

\
st an ce of his rst book but ,
a lso in the p recepts an d

(84 ) I
H ER MA S AN D C L EM ENT . 85

p ar ables which are put i n to the m outh of the a ngel in


the t wo ot h e rs as to re n d er it a matter of asto n i sh me n t
,

th at men of le ar n i n g Sh oul d e v er h ave t h o ugh t O f givi ng


H er mas a pl ace amo ngst the i n s i red w r iters
p To m e i t .

'
appe a r s cle ar t h at he m ust h ave bee n either a wild d isor ,

dered f an atic or el se as [is m o r e likel y a man wh o by


, , , ,

way of m o r e re ad ily d r awi n g th e atte n tio n of h is bret h


r en to cert ai n m axi m s a n d p r ece t s w h ich he dee med
p
j u st an d s alut ar y co n ceived hi mse lf to be warr an ted in
,

p rete n di n g to h ave de r i v ed t h e m fr o m co n ve r s ation s wit h



God an d the a n gels .

Tun ete the above sectio n M oshei m says :


2 to ,


S eve ra l thi n gs which I c an n ot well e n ter i n to in t h i s
,

i mpr e ss -
me wit h th e opi n io n t h at
n ever h ave bee n so f ar t h e d u pe of a n

ove r h e ated i ma g i n atio n a s to f an cy t h at he saw a n d


,

h e ard t h i n gs w h ic h in re ality h ad n o exi ste n ce b u t t h at ,

h e k n owi n gly an d willf ully was guilty of a c h e at an d ,

i n v e n ted t h ose divi ne co n ver sation s an d vi sio n s which he


asserts hi mself to h ave e nj oyed with a vie w to Obt ai n a ,

more re ady reception f or ce r t ai n p r ece pt s an d ad mon i


tio n s which b e co n ceived wo uld prove s alut ar y to th e

Ro man C hu r c h A t th e ti me wh e n he wr ote it was an


.
,

e st abli sh ed maxi m with many of th e C h r i sti an s t h at i t ,

was p ardo n able in an ad v o c ate f or reli gio n to av ail h im


self O f fr a ud a n d dece tio n if it we r e li kely t h at t h ey
p ,

migh t con duce to ward s th e att ai n me t of an y co n side r able



n
good f
the n ote con clude s as f oll ows z -
A nd e

T h e P astor of H e r m as is a ctitiods wo r k of m uch



,

t h e sam e k in d with wh at re te r m ed th e C le me n ti n a a n d

a
th e Recogn itio n s of C le me n t I n its pl a n h o wever it is

.

so me wh at i n f e r ior to t h e se as i n ste ad of m o rt al c h ar acte rs


,

co n ve rsi ng we h ave th e Deity h i msel f an d h is min i ste rs


, ,
4
9 1 an gel s i n t r od u ced o n t h e sce n e .


Ther e is no refe r e n ce in th e
Pastor of H e r m as t o
86 FA T H ER S O F TH E C A T H OL I C C HU R C H .

S u n d ay or to S u n d ay Ob se r v an ce ,
but ,
as the tr an sl ator
say s in h is i n t r od u cto r y n ote


T h e work is ve r y i mpo rt an t in man y respect s ; b ut
e speci ally as reecti ng th e to n e an d style O f book s wh ic h
i n te re sted an d i n st r ucted th e C h ri sti an s of th e seco n d

a n d t h i rd ce n tu r ie s .

I ts i mpo r t an ce in thi s re spect will be mo r e app are n t ,

afte r we h ave ive n a few speci m e n s of its style But


g .

rst we wi sh to Sh o w how it was regarded by the church es


of t h at d ate F ro m th e tran sl ator s i n troductory n o
.

tice we extr act the followi n g :



The P astor of H e r mas was on e of the mo st popuJ

l ar book s if n ot t h e m o st popul ar book in th e C h ri sti an


, ,

church d uri ng the seco n d t h i rd an d fou r th ce n tu r i e s


, , .

It occupied a po sitio n a n alogous in so me re spects to t h at


o f B u n y an s Pil r i m s P r og r e ss in m oder n ti me s a nd

g ,

c r itics h ave freque n tly co mpar ed th e two wo rk s .

ar e of O pi ally
lex
a n d r in u divi n el y ;

a nd O r i e regarded .

by so me es it as h is
s me n tio n s

to the in
n d ot h e r s

m ai n t ai n i n g i ts divi n e O ri gi n especi , bec au se i t form ed


an ad mir a ble i n t r oductio n to t he C h ti an faith F or
t h i s l atter re aso n it w
.

as re ad publicly lie tells u s in t h e , ,



c h urche s .

\Vith t h i s i n t r od uctio n we will proceed to th e book


,

itself It O pen s thu s


.

H e wh o h ad b r o u ght m e u p sold me to on e R h ode ,

in Ro me . Man y a ft e r t h i s I recogn ized h er an d ,

I began t r S o me ti me af te r I saw
.
,

h e r b at h e a n d I ga v e h er m h an d
y ,

an d dr ew her ou t of th e iver The sig h t of her be a uty


r .
H ERMA S AN D C L E M E NT . 87

mad e me thi n k wit h my sel f I s h ould be a h ap py m an ,

if I could but get a wife as h an d so me an d good as sh e


18. This was t h e o n ly t h ought t h at p assed t h r ou gh me :
thi s an d n ot h i n g mo re B ook 1 visi on 1 c hap 1 , ,
. .

S i n ce in
the n ext ch apter but on e th e wr iter spe ak s of
h is so n s an d q u ite fr eque n tly af ter ward s of h is wife we
, ,

c an n ot feel th at his rst appe ar an ce to us is to his credit .

The followi n g will serve to Show t h at th e wr iter is j ustly


c alled by Mosh ei m a wild di sordered fan atic It is

,

fro m the r st p ar t Of V 1S I O n 3 :

The vision which I saw my b ret h r e n was of th e , ,

followi n g n ature H av i n g fasted freque n tly an d h av i n g


.
,

p r ayed to th e Lord t h at e would sh o w me th e revel a


tio n w h ich he p r o mi sed o Sho w me th r ou gh th at ol d
wo man th e same n i ght t h at O l d wom an appe ared to me
, ,

an d s aid to m e S i n ce yoh are so a n xious an d e ager to


,

k n o w al l thi n gs go i n to th e p ar t of th e cou n t r y w h e r e
,

you t ar ry ; an d about the f th hour I sh all appe ar u n to


you an d sho w you al l t h at you ou gh t to see I asked
, .

h er sayi n g L ady i n to w h at p art of the cou n try am I


, , ,

to go ?
A n d sh e s aid I n t o an y p ar t y o u wi sh
,
Th en .

I cho se a Spot w h ic h was suitable an d retired B efore ,


.
,

h oweve r I beg an to spe ak an d to me n tio n the pl ace sh e


, ,

said to me I will co m e Whe r e you wi sh


,

A ccordi n gly .

,

I we n t to th e cou n t r y an d c o u n ted th e hours an d re ac h ed


the pl ace w h e r e I h ad p r o m
, ,

i sed to meet her A n d I see an .

ivory se at re ady pl aced and on it a l in e n cu sh io n an d above


, ,

th e li n e n cu sh io n was Spread a coveri n g Of n e li n e n .

S eei n g t h e se l aid out an d yet n o on e in th e pl ace I beg an


, ,

to feel awe an d as it we r e a t re mbl in g seized hol d of me


, ,

an d m h ir stood o d a n d as it were a horror c ame


y a n en ,

u po n m e w h e n I saw th at I was al l alo n e But on com.


.

in g b ack to mysel f an d c al li n g to mi n d the glory of God ,

I took cou r age be n t m y k nee s an d agai n co n fe ssed m y si n s


, ,

to God as I h ad do n e be f or e Wher eupo n th e Old woman


.

app r o ac h ed a cc o mp an ied by six you n g m en who m I h ad


,
88 FA T H ER S O F TH E C A T H OLI C C HU R C H .

l o seen before ; an d sh e stood behi n d me and l i ste n ed


a s ,

to me as I pr ayed an d co n fe ssed my si n s to the Lo rd


, .

A n d touch i ng me sh e s aid H e rm as ce ase pr ayi n g c on , ,

tin u al l y f or yo u r si ns ; pr ay f or r i gh teou sn e ss th at you ,

m ay have a portio n of it i mmediately in your hou se



.

O n this sh e took m e up by th e h and an d brought me to


, ,
'
th e se at an d said to t h e you ng m en GO an d build
, , .
,

\Vhe n t h e you n g men h ad go n e an d we were alo n e sh e ,

s aid to me S it here I say to her L ady per mit my


,

.

,

,

eld er s to be se ated rst Do w hat I bid you said sh e ; .



,

sit do wn

W h en I would h ave sat do wn on her right,


.

sh e did n ot pe r mit m e but with her h an d becko n ed to m e ,

to sit dow n on th e left While [I was thi n ki n g about .

thi s an d feeli n g vexed th at sh e d l d n ot let me sit on th e


,

righ t sh e said A re you vexed H er mas ? The pl ace


, ,

,

to the right is for othe r s who h aye alre ady ple ased God ,

an d h ave su ff e r ed for h is n ame s s ake ; an d u h ave yet


y o
'

m uch to acco mplish ef ore you c an sit with the m
p l
.

Pas si n g by a gre at de al Of n o nsen se for the b o ok con ,

tai n s little el se we co me tothe seve n th ch apter of vi sio n


,

3 where we n d the follo wi n g b it o f te achi n g co n cer n i n g


,

purgatory

S h e n ished her expo sitio n ; of the to wer B ut I .
,

sh a mele ss as I yet was a sked her I s repe n t an ce po ssi , ,


'
ble for al l those sto bee n c ast away an d
did n ot t i n to the tower an d will t h ey ,

Repe n t an ce said ghe,



yet h ave a pl ace in t h is to wer ?

is yet p o ssible but in this tower th ey c ann ot n d a suit


,

able pl ace But in a n other a . i n fe rior pl ace


t h ey wil l be l aid an d th a they h av e bee n
,

to r tu red an d co mp l eted t si n s A n d on
.

thi s accou n t will th ey b e they h ave


p art ake n Of t h e r igh te o n ly wil l
they be re moved fr o m th e t h ough t
of re e n ti ng of th e evil deeds wh h ave do n e h as
p
co me i n to t hei r h e arts B u t if it c ome in to their .

he arts they will n ot be saved on


, of th e har d n ess ,

of their heart

.
H ER M A S AN D C L E M E NT . 89

Thus was th e p agan n otio n of purgatory e arly i n tro


d uced i n to the church .

I n book 2 co mman d me n t 3 th i s te acher w h o se writ


, , ,

i n gs were re ad in the chu rc he s an d were co n side r ed ih,

S pired repr ese n ts hi mself as we


,
epi n g bec au se he h ad al l
his li f e bee n guilty of fal se h ood s a n d th e an gel give s h im
,

th e wo n derful ass ura n ce t h t if he keep s t h e words of


p
t r uth w h ich he he ar s eve n th e fal sehood s w h ich you
,

f or merly told in yo u r t r an sactio n s may co m e to be b e


l ieved throu gh the truthf ul n ess of your pre se n t st ate

m e n ts .

I n book 3 si militude ,
apter 2 he is told a sto r y of ,

a m an wh o pl an ted a po 11 of a f ield to vi n e s a n d le f t ,

on e of his sl aves to st an d to do n othi n g el se w h ile

the master was go n e sl ave was to receive h is free


.

d om if h e did as B ut af ter the Sl ave


h ad do n e wh at d le f t for h im to do h e ,

cle ared the vi n e an d di ggi n g up the r e ,

m ai n i n g portio n of the eld he pl an ted th at to vi n e s al so


,
.

Whe n the m aster r etur n ed he made t h e sl a v e his hei r


, ,

f or h avi n g do n e so m uch m o r e t h an he was co mman ded


,

to do Th is p ar able is expl ai n ed as follo ws in the n ext


.

ch apter :

If you d o an y good beyon d what is co mman ded by


God you will gai n f or yourself m o r e abu n d an t glory
, ,

an d will be m o r e h o n ored by God t h an you would ot he r

wi se be I f t h e r efore in keepi n g th e co m man d me n t s of


.
, ,

God you do in addi tio n t h e se ser v ices you will h ave j oy


, , , ,

if you ob se r ve the m acco r di n g to my co mm an d .

Bishop C oxe wh o is the e speci al apologi st f or H er mas


, ,

say s t h at to re ad i n to this p assage th e ide a of s uperc


rogato r y mer i t is an u n p ardo nab l e an achro n is m



T ha t .
90 FA T HE R S O F TH E C A T H OL I C C HU R C H .

is, he cl ai ms t h at t h i s p assage c an n ot te ach supere r ogatory


me r it bec au se n o such doct ri n e was held at t h at ti me !
,

But we may n ot re aso n in th at way We c an deter mi n e .

w h at doct r i n e s men believed at th at ti me o n ly y w h at


b
they t augh t The st at eme n t t h at m en did n ot h old t hat
.

doct r i n e at t h at e arly da te is overth ro wn by t h i s p assage


, ,

whe r e it is cle arly t au gh t ; for t h e u n p r ej udiced re ader


will see in dogm a t h at m en m ay be better
th an th e Lo r d requi em to be T h i s is th e f oun d a .

tio n of th e an tic h ri sti an doctri n e of i n d ul ge n ce s for S in .

It is n ot at al l s urp r i si n g to n d t h i s doct r i n e t a u gh t by
a se mi - he athe n wr ite reve n in th e secOn d ce n tu ry f or it ,

is pe rfectly in kee pi ng with he athe n co n ceit .

T h e e f f ect of the follo wi n g childi sh silly an d W i cked , ,

p assage upo n t h ose wh o regarded the writi n gs of H er mas


as i n spi r ed can b e better i m agi n ed
,
t h an described .

W h em wem me to co n sider th e gre at apo st asy we sha l l ,


see t h at the readi n g of s uc h st uf f in the chur ch bor e its
legi ti mate fruit
H avi n g spoke n the se wo r d s he wish ed to dep art ; but
I l aid h old of h im by th e wallet a nd began to adj ure h im ,

by th e Lord t h at he would ex pl ai n wh at he h ad sh o wed


me . H e s aid to me I m ust rest a little an d t h e n I
,

,

sh all explai n to you everythi n g ; w ait for me h ere u n til I

ret u r n I said to h im S ir w h at can I do he re alo n e ?


.

, ,

Y ou are n ot alo n e he said f or t h e se v i r gi n s a r e with



, ,

you .Give me in c h arge to t h e m t h e n I re plied



, ,

.

T h e S he ph erd c alle d the m to h im an d said to t h e m I , ,

i ntru st h im to you u n til I co me an d we n t away A n d ,



.

I was alo n e with th e virgi n s ; an d they we re r at h er


me rr y but we r e frie n dly to me e speci ally th e fou r mo r e
, ,

di sti n gui shed of t he m .


T h e vi rgi n s said to m e The S he ph e r d doe s n ot co me
,

he r e to-d ay Wh at t h e n said I am I to do ?
.

,
T h ey
,

,

D C L E M E NT . 91

replied W ait , he co me s ; an d if he c o mes


h e will co n ver se wit h n d if h e does n ot co m e you
will re mai n h e r e with il h e d oes co me I said to
.

t h e m I wil l wait f or
, a n d if he d oe s

n ot a rrive I will
go a ,
t h e hou s e an d co m e b ack ,

e arl they an swered an d said to


m e Y ou we r e
,

3 ; you c an n ot go a way fro m

Whe r e am I to Y ou

us .
,

will sleep with r e lie d


p a s a brot h er an d n ot as ,

,

a h u sb an d : f O ou r b r ot h er an d f or th e ti me to ,

co me we i n te n d to abi de wit h you f or we lo v e you ex ,

B ut I was ash amed to re mai n wit h t h e m



ceed i n gly ! .

A n d sh e wh o See med tobe th e rst amo n g t h e m began to


ki ss me (A n d th e oth e rs seei ng h er ki ssi n g me b egan
.
, .

al so to ki ss m e) an d le ad me rou n d th e to we r an d
, ,

o pl ay with m e A I o bec am e like a yo u n g m an


t n to .
, , ,

a n d be an to
g pl ay w it t h e m : f o r s o m e o f t h e m for m ed
a c h o r u s an d ot h e r s ameed an d ot h e rs san g ; an d I

, , ,

keepi n g sile n ce w alke wit h t h e m arou n d th e to we r an d


, ,

was m e r ry wit h t h e m A n d wh e n it gr ew l ate I wi sh ed .

d t h ey wo uld n ot let me but de ,

wit h t h e m du ri n g t he n i gh t ,

a n d sle t N o w t h e vi r i n s s r e ad t h eir
p g p
li n e n t u n an d m ade m e lie do wn in th e

mid st of t h e m ; a did n ot h i n g at al l but p r ay ;


an d I wit h o u t ce a ed wit h t h e m an d n ot le ss
y ,

t h an they A n d . rej oiced bec ause I t h u s


pr ayed A n d I . with th e vi rgi n s u n til
th e n ext d ay at th e T h e n th e S h eph erd
r etu r n ed an d said to t ,
Did you O f f er h im an y
i n su lt ? A sk him

d I said to h im S ir I ,

.
,

,

m

w s deli ghted t at I
a h ed with t e h B ook 3 .
,

s imilitu d e 9 , c ha
p . 1 0,

O ur re ason for pl aci m atte r bef o r e th e re ader is


th at he may lf of th e c h ar a cter O f the

e arly writi n gs at he

m ay see the st wer e


92 FA T H ER S O F TH E C A T H OL I C C HU R C H .


fed The t r an sl ator says of the book th at it is very
.

i mpor tan t in man y re spect s ; but e speci ally as reecti n g


th e to n e an d style of b ook s wh ic h i n tere sted an d ia
n


st r ucted the C h r i sti an s of th e seco n d an d t h i r d ce n t u r ie s .

A n d it is to c h u r che s which we re i n te r e sted an d in


structed by s uch stu ff ; t h at we ar e u r ged to look f or a n

ex ample of C h ri sti an faith an d p r actice we are to ld .

t h at th e S u n d ay sabb ath is wo rt h y of regar d bec au se it


origi n ated in th e e ar ly hi sto r y of th e chu r ch ; b ut whe n

we re ad t h at t h e P astor Of H erm as was on e of th e

m ost popul ar book s if n ot the m o st pop u l ar book in th e


, ,

C hr i sti an chu r ch d u r i n g the seco n d third an d fourth


:

, ,


ce n tu r ie s an d th at the ear ly w rite rs are of opi n io n
,


th at it was r e ally in spired l we prefer to go el sewhe r e for
,

a model . we c an feel o n ly pity f or t h e bli n d n e ss of


a m an will : de f e n d such a work as does ,

Bi shop C oxe ,
were the si mple folk
h e p u r e an d se ar chi n g
m o r ality of the an d se ar c h i n g m or alitv

w
i n deed ! H ow viciou s o u ld t h eir te achi n g h ave to be
before he would cal l it immdr al ?
I n spe aki n g thu s of t h e ch u r c h e s in th e seco n d t h i rd , ,

an d fou rth ce n turie s th e wri er would n ot be u n de r stood


,
t
as h oldi n g t h at there was the n no pure an d u n d e l ed r e

l igion T h e r e were as pure C h ri sti an s the n as there h a ve


.

e v er bee n be f o r e or si n ce ; t h ey did n ot co n stitute the


bulk of th e c h urche s we r e the f ew amo n g who m
.

th e B ib l e was th e m o st a r book an d who f o ,


llo wed
its cle ar li ght i n ste ad of of n o m i n ally c on

ve rted h e ath e n ph ilo soph e rs ,


d di so r de red f an at
,


ics . I f the r e ade r wi sh e s t cu sto ms Of the se
re al C hristi an s he will n d
,
H ER C L E M E NT . 93

te achi n gs oi C h r i st ap so tles as f ou n d in the


,

B ible , which is the on l e f or the C h r isti an s of every


age .

TH E

E PI S T L E O F C L EM E NT .
W .

Th ere ar e two epi stle s an d se v e r al ot h er produc tio n s


att ributed t o C le me n t of Ro me b ut as t h e rst epi stle is ,
l
the o n ly one th at is by a n yo n e regarded as ge n ui n e it is ,

the o n ly on e th at we n eed to n otice Thi s e pi stle O pe n s .

t h u s : The c h u rch of tG od wh ich soj our n s at Ro me to



,

the chu r ch 0 ing at C ori n th Thi s is the


o n ly si gn atu r e it in the c at alogue of co n te n t s
pre xed to the m t th e a ut h or ship is attributed
,

to on e C le me n t . is known of h im is th at he is
su osed t o h ave b o n e who m th e C atholic s cl ai m
pp
as the t h ird
(by s fth ) po p e of Ro m e It is .

t h erefo r e supp osed t h is epi stle was writte n abo u t


t h e clo se of the r st ce n tu r y of the C h r i sti an er a
[ F ol .

lo wi n g is wh at Mo sh eim h as to say of thi s mat ter :


Next af ter the apo stle s C le me n t the bisho p Of R ome
, , ,

Obt ai n ed ve r y h i gh re put atio n as on e of the write rs of t h i s


ce n tury T h e accoun ts we h ave at thi s d ay of h is li f e
.
,

a ctio n s an d de ath
,
are for th e mo st p art u n certai n
, , , .

T h e r e are still ext an t two e pi stle s to th e C ori n th i an s


,

be ar i n g his n ame w r itte n in Greek ; Of the se it is ge n er


, ,

ally su po sed t h at th e r t is ge n u i n e a n d th at th e
p s
,

seco n d is f al sely upo n th e holy man by so me de


ceiv er . Y et eve n epi stle see ms to have bee n
cor r u pted by so me per so n wh o was so r r y to see ,

n o m ore mar ks Of a nd
ge n ius in a productio n

of so gre at a m an .

be ar the n ame of C le me n t ,

on s th e A po stolic C on stitu

,

t an d th e C lem e n ti n a ,

,

94 FA T H ER S O F TH E C A T H OL I C C HU R C H .

s o me deceiver for th e purpose Of procu r i n g t h e m gre ater


,

authority T h i s all n ow co n cede


.
, T h e ei gh t .

book s of A postolic al C o n stitutio n s ar e th e work of so me


au ste r e an d mel an c h oly a u tho r who de si gn ed to re f o r m ,

th e wo rsh i p an d di sci pli n e of th e c h u rc h which h e th ough t ,

we r e falle n fro m t h eir ori gi n al pu r ity an d san ctity an d


-
,

wh o ve tured to prex the n ames Of th e apo stles to his


n

p r ece pts an d regul atio n s in order to give the m cu r re n cy , .

The Recogn itio n s of C le m e n t whi ch di ff er b ut little fro m ,



the C le me n ti n a are i n ge n ious an d p retty fable s E c

,

.

c l esiastica l H istory, book 1 , cen t . 1 , p art 2, c hap . 2, sec .

18 , 19 .

Ne an de r sa s y .
3

A fter B ar n abas we co me to C le men t pe r h ap s the , ,

sa m e w h o m P a u l m e n tio n s (P h il h e was at th e .

en d of t h e r st ce n tu r y b ilsh op of Ro me U n der h is .

n ame we h ave on e epi stle to th e ch urch Of C o r i n t h an d ,

th e fragme n t of an other
T he r st was re ad in t h e r st .

ce n t ur ies aloud at d ivi n e service in man y c h u r che s eve n ,

with the writi n gs Of the N eiw Te st ame n t ; i t co n t ai n s an r

'
ex h o r t atio n to u n ity i n ter wo ven with ex ample s an d gen
,

e ral reectio n s add ressed t ,


a t C ori n th whic h ,

was sh ake n by divi sio n s letter althou gh on the .


, ,

whole ge n ui n e is n ev er th
,
n ot fr ee fro m i mport an t
, ,

i n terpol atio n s P 408 . . .
l

The Obj ect in maki n g th id quot ation is to Sh o w how


highly the epi stle was regarde d T h ere is re ally n othi ng .

striki n g in the epi stle ; but w e n m en dep art fr o m th e


h
li ght of God s wo rd t h ey are in a co n ditio n to acce pt of

,

the m ost puerile stu ff We make o n ly on e extr act fro m .

thi s epi stle n amely C le me n t s pr bof of the resu r rectio n


, ,


Let u s co n sider beloved h owth e Lord co n ti n u ally , ,

prove s to u s t h at the r e sh al l be a futu r e resu rr ectio n of ,

which h e h as re n de r ed th e Lo r d Je su s C h ri st th e rst
f ruits by r ai si ng h im fro m th e de ad Let u s co n te m .

pl ate beloved the re su rrectio n which is at al l ti me s tak


, ,
H E R MA S AN D C L E ME NT .
.
95

ing pl ace . Dy a an d
i ght decl are to u s a resur rectio n
n .

sihk s to sleep an d the d ay ar i se s ; t h e d ay


'
T h e n i ght ,

a ai n dep arts an d th e n i gh t co m es on Let us b e


(g ) , .

hold the f r uits (of th e e art h ) h ow the se wing of gr ai n


,

t akes pl ace T h e sower goes fort h an d casts it i nto the


.
,

r ou n d ; a n d the see d bei n g th u s sc attered thou gh d r


g y ,

an d n a ked wh e nit f ell u o n th e e art h is r ad u ally d is


p g ,

solved .T h e n Out of its dissolutio n th e migh ty po wer


of the pro v ide n ce of the L p r d r ai ses it up a ai n and
g ,

fro m on e seed ma n y a ri se a n d bri n


g fo r th f r uit .

Let us 0 on d er f u l Si g n (of t h e r esu rr ec

tio n ) which in E aste r n l an d s t h at is in , ,

A r abi a an d rou n d about T h e r e is a cer .

t ai n bi rd wh p h oen ix T hi s is th e o n ly on e .

of its ki n d an d , ye ars A n d w h e n .

the ti me Of its di dr aws n e ar t h at it mu st die ,

it builds it self a fr an ki n ce n se an d my r rh an d , ,

other spices i n to ,
h en th e ti me is fullled it en ,

te rs an d dies B . e sh dec ays a ce r t ai n ki n d of ,

wo r m is prod uced ,
d by th e j uices of
th e de ad bird b r i ,

acq u i red st r e n gth it th at n e st in which ar e th e


,

bo n es O f its p ar e n t n the e it p asse s fro m th e


g , s

l an d of A r abia i n to E gypt to th e city c alled H eliopoli s


, .

A n d in Ope n d ay y in g in th e si ght of al l men it pl aces


, , ,

t h em on the alt ar of the sun an d h avi n g do n e t h i s , ,



h aste n s b ack to its fo rmer abode T h e p riests the n in .

spect th e re i ster s of th e d ate s an d n d t h at it h as r e


g ,

t u rn ed ex actly as th eve hu n dredth ye ar was com


pl eted .

Do we t h e n dee m an y e t an d wo n de rf ul t h i n g
gr a

f or th e M ak er O f al l n s to r ai se u p agai n t h o se th at
g
h ave piou sly served h in the assur an ce of a good faith ,

w h e n eve n by a bi r d s h o ws u s th e mi gh ti n ess of h is

po wer to fulll his p ise ? l 9istle 1 c hap 24 25 , .
, ,

an d 26 .

E ve r y Bible stu de n t k n o ws th at both the O l d Testa n


96 F A T H ER S O F TH E C A T H OL I C C H U RC H .

me n t an d l o th e N ew abou n d in re f ere n ces to th e r es


a s ,

u rr e ction . With the ap ostle P a ul e speci all y i t is a


, ,

pro mi n en t t h e me N ow we ask if it is at al l p r ob able


.

th at an y m an wh o was famili ar with th e Bible would


p ass by its we alth O f te sti mo n y on the subj ect of th e r es
ur r ection ,
an d p r oduce as p r oof of it o n ly a r idiculous

fable ? \V h eth er thi s epi stle was writte n by C le me n t or ,

by so mebody who lived l ater an d who fo rged h is n ame ,

on e thi n g is cert ai n an d th at is t h at as a book of C h r i s


, ,

ti an doct ri n e it is n ot wo r th the p aper on w h ich it is


w r itte n We are tot ally at alo ss to u n de rst an d th e r ev
.

ere n ce W i th which SO m an y peo ple regar d t h i s stuf f B ut .

we would e speci ally ask the re ader to fo rm in h is mi n d a


pictu r e Of the co n ditio n of ch urc h e s t h at took it down
week afte r week as i n spi r ed t eachi n g The i n evit able r e
.

sult of feedi n g upo n such apid stu f f m u st h ave bee n


v ,

me n t al dege n e r atio n an d an i n ability to di sti n gui sh real


,

ar gu me n t fro m fan cy

.
C H A PT E R V I I .

T H E
E PI S T LE S O F I GN A T I US .

I
J
t te me n ts or quot atio n s con
c an y s a

ce r n i n g th e epi stle s ascribed to h im we will ,

give th e o n ly p assage in th e e pi stle s wh ich is suppo sed to


te ach the Ob se r v an ce of S u n d ay It is the n i n th ch apter
.

O f the epistle to the Magn esian s an d as tr an slated reads , , ,

as follo ws


If therefore those who were brought u p in the an
, ,

cie n t o r der of t h i n gs h ave co me to the po sse ssio n of a n ew


hope n o lo nger Ob se r vi n g th e S abb ath b ut livi n g in th e
, ,

Observ an ce Of th e Lord s d ay on wh ich al so our l ife h as



,

spr u n g up agai n by h im an d by his de ath who m so me

de n y by w h ich myste r y we h ave obt ai n ed faith an d


, ,

t h er efore e n dure t h at we may be fou n d th e di sciples of


,

Je sus C ri st our o ly Master how s h all we be able to


h ,
n

live ap ar t fr o m h im wh o se di sciples th e p r ophets the m


,

selves in th e S pi r it did w ait for him as t h eir te acher ?

A n d t h ere f o r e h e w h o m they ri ghtly w aited for bei n g ,



come r ai sed t h e m fr o m the de ad
, .

The writer of th e article The Lord s Day in K itto s



,

,


after me n tio n

E n cyclopedi a of Religious Lite r ature ,

in g sever al alleged te sti mo n ies in favor of S u n d ay says : ,

We m u st heren otice on e other passage of e arlier d ate


th an an y Of t h e se which h as O fte n bee n r e f e rr ed t o as
,

be ar i n g on th e subj ect of th e Lo rd s d ay t h ough it cer


,

tain l y con tain s no me n tio n of it It occur s in th e epi stle


.

of I gn atiu s to th e M agn esian s (about A D The . .

whole pa ssage is co n fe ssedly Ob scu r e an d the text may ,

be c o rrupt . The passage is as fo llo ws :


7 (97)
98 FA T H ERS O F TH E C A T H OL I C C HU R C H .


El b v wa l l a cof g

0 of n d
p yp aow
'
ow
p a ar
p vr s e 2
, 9 a x ae

my
'
/l m dog
o a faa r z i ovr s g

l /l ot

vor
n ra x er z
,
oi z ar a

Can ) nd cl att e r l av
"
( 37

n t if

v y c

vr e g u x az
xv
p n
t x v
y / (

a br ob

x a z r ob da yd r ou , etc .


N ow m an y
comme n tato rs assu me (on what grou n d
does n ot appear ) th at af ter z up mx yv th e word np a y is to

be u n derstood O n this hypothesis they e n de avor to


.

make the re st of th e sen ten ce accord with a refe r e n ce to


th e Ob servan ce of th e Lo r d s d ay by further sup po si ng

,

Eu to re f er to nepa u n de rstood an d th e whole to be put


,

in c o n trast with in the for mer clause .


Let u s n ow look at the pas sage si mply as it st an ds .

The def ect of the se n te n ce is the wan t Of a subst an tive to


which a br ob can refer Thi s defect so f ar fro m bei ng .
,

re medied is re n dered still more gl ari n g by the in tr od uc


,

tio n Of hp p a N ow if we t ake x op mx w; Can j as Si mply th e




.

life O f the Lord havi ng a m ore perso n al me ani n g it cer


,

,

tainl y goes n e arer to supplyi n g the substa n tive t o a b r ob .

Agai n 37 may well refer to ( m i and z up mz ) Cwn mea n



,
v
,
r
'

in g our Lo rd s lif e as e mphatic ally in cludi n g his re sur



,

recti o n (as in Rom prese n ts precisely the .

s ame an alogy t o the spiritual life of the C hristian as is


co n veyed both in Rom 5 C ol 4 an d man y other .
,
.
,

p ass ages Thus up on the wh o le the mean i ng might be


.

give n thus
If those who lived u nder the O l d dispen sati o n have
c o me to the n ew n e ss of h O pe no lo nger keepi n g sabbath s , ,

but livi n g accordi ng to our Lord s life (in which as it


,

we r e ou r life h as ri se n agai n through h im an d his death


, , ,

wh ich so me de n y ) how shall we be able t o ,

liv e without h im ?


I n thi s way (all o wi n g for the i n volved style of the
wh ole ) th e me an i n g see ms to us si mple co n siste n t an d , ,

g r am m atic al without an
y g r atuitou
, s i n troductio n of
words u n derstood ; an d thi s vie w h as bee n f ol lowa l by
ma n y t h ou gh it is a subj ect on whic h co n siderable c on
,

troversy h as exi sted O n this vie w the p as sage does n ot .


G N AT I U S . 99

refe r at al l to th e Lo r d s d ay ; but eve n on th e o ppo site


s u ppo sitio n it c an n ot be regarded as af f o rdi n g an y po si

tive evide n ce to the e ar ly use of th e te r m Lord s d ay

r w h ich it is Ofte n cited Si n ce th e m ate r i al wo r d


( f o

) ,

- d b l
n oa is p u r ely co nj ectur al E n c c
y p l o e ia
f
o B. i lica

L iter a tur e, ar t
. L or d

s Day .

Th u s h ave the te sti mo n y of an u n prej udiced wit


we
n e ss a schol ar a n d critic an d an Ob se r ver of t h e r st
, ,

d ay of the week to t he e f f ect t h at th e of t-


,
quoted passage
fr o m Ig n ati us m ake s n o ref e r e n ce w h atever to th e r st

d ay Of th e week so meti mes e rr o n eou sly c alled

,
Lo r d s

d ay . But wh eth er it doe s or n ot is a m atter of ve r y
l ittle i mpo r t an ce as we S h all see wh e n we h av e ex ami n ed
,

all t h e wit n e sse s in th e c ase We h ave give n t h i s ex .

tract t h at the re ader m ay see th at ho wever th e epi stle be ,

regarded it aff o r ds no aid or co mf ort to the ad h ere n ts Of


,

S u n d ay si n ce it m ake s n o all u sio n wh atever to th e d ay


, .

But th e c an did m an wh o k n ows th e t r u th about the


writi n gs O f I gn ati u s would n ot co n side r th e S u n d ay c au se
stre n gt h e n ed in the le ast eve n if t h ey co n t ai n ed th e mo st
,

explicit an d u n equivoc al re f ere n ce to it We sh all n ow .

proceed to le arn wh at we c an of Ign atius an d his


epi stle s .


T h e E n cyclopedi a B r it an n ic a says

T he i n f o r m atio n we get in regar d to I gn atiu s up to ,

th e ti me of E u sebiu s is exceedi n gly sc an ty
,
.

Mc C l in tock an d S tro n g s E n cyclopedi a



ys :
sa


\V e h ave no t r u st wo rt h y a cco un ts of th e li f e an d
'
m i n i st ry of Ign ati us T h e c h ief au t h o r ity is the I ll ar
.

tyr iu m I gn atii, but eve n t h o se wh o asse r t th e ge n ui n e



n e ss of t h at work ad m i t th at it is r e atly i n te r pol ated
g .

S cha f f-

U hlhor n ,
in the H erzog E n cyclopedi a, sa ys
1 00 FA T H ER S O F TH E C A T H OL I C C HU R C H .


The o nly sou r ce s fro m which any i n for matio n can be
d rawn about t hi s celeb r ated pe rso n are th e e pi stles circu
l ati ng u n der h is n ame E u sebiu s k n ow s n othi n g mo r e
.

Of him t h an wh at can be ext r acted fro m the e pi stles ,

with th e exce ptio n of a f e w short n otice s by I r e n aeus an d


by O ri ge n wh ic h he al so k n o ws But th e li st w h ich he
,
.

g ive s of t h e bi sh ops O f A n tioch is doubt f ul with re s ect to


p
its c h ro n ology . W h at t r aditio n el se h as p r e served
co n cer n i ng Ign atiu s t h e sto ry t h at he was t h e c h ild
s poke n of in Matt an d ot h er ctio n s by S i meo n
.

Metaph r astes an d Vi n ce n tiu s is co mpletely wo rth less .

Nor are th e v ariou s A cta Mar tyr ii of an y hi sto ric al v alue



.

\V e h ave two which are co mpletely i ndepe n de n t of e ach


o t h er
. But all the se A cta I ll ar tyr ii are spu r iou s ;

t h ey con t r adict th e epi stle s ; they sw ar m wit h u n hi sto ric al


st ate men t s ; t h ey we r e n ot k n ow n to an y Old wr ite r n ot ,

eve n to E usebiu s ; they d ate prob ably fr om th e fth , ,

ce n tu r y T h u s the epi stle s ar e th e o n ly sou r ce of i n fer


.

matio n left to us T h ey cl ai m to h ave bee n wr itte n by


.

Ign atiu s on his j ourn ey fro m A n tioch (where h e h ad been


,

co n de mn ed to de ath ) to Ro me wh e r e he was to su f f er the


,

pu n i sh me n t Of bei n g tor n to piece s by wild beast s .


A nd the E n cyclopedia Brit an n ic a s ays till fur
s

the r :

The letters of Ig n atiu s c ause gre at di ff iculty to th e

critic .

F r o m th e ab o ve t h e n it would see m as if n ot very


, ,

m uch would be k n o wn with ce r t ai nty si n ce we get all ,

our i n fo r matio n fr o m the epi stle s an d the epi stle s t h e m ,

selve s a re O f so me wh at doubt f ul authority But let us .

he ar m o re co n ce r n i n g t h e m I n th e i n t r od uc to r y n o
.

tice to th e epi stles we n d th e follo wi n g st ate me nts by


,

the tran sl ator :



T here are in al l f tee n e pi stle s whic h be ar th e n ame
, ,

o f Ig natius T hese are the followi ng : O n e to t he v irgi n


.
TH E E P I S T L ES O F I G NA T I US . 101
\
Mary two to the apo stle Jo h n on e te Mar y of C ass e
, ,

bel ae one to th e T ar sian s on e to th e A n tioc hi a ns on e to


, , ,

H ere a de aco n of A n tioc h on e to t h e P hilippi an s on e


, , ,

to th e E ph e si ans on e to th e Magn esian s on e to th e T r al


, ,

li an s on e to/ the Ro m an s on e to the P h il adelphi an s on e


, , ,

to th e S myr n aean s an d on e to Polyc arp T he rst


,
.

th ree exi st o n ly in L ati n ; al l the rest are extan t also in



It is n ow the u n i v ersal O pi n io n of critics th at the ,

rst eigh t O f t h e se prof e ssedly Ign ati an lette rs are Spu r i


ou s . y be ar in t h e mselve s i

w by co mm o n con se n t
at v a riou s d ate s an d to ,

u n der the n ame of the


c el c

B ut ter the questio n h as bee n thu s si mplied it still


af ,

re mai ns su f cie n tly co mplex O f th e seve n e pistle s wh ic h


.

a re a ck n owled ed by E u sebiu s E ccl w e


g .

po sse ss t wo Gr eek rece n sio n s a sh o r ter an d a lo nge r It


,
.

is pl ai n t h at on e or th e ot h er of t h e se ex h ibit s a co rr u pt
text an d sc h ol ar s h ave f or th e m o st par t agreed to acce pt
,

t he sh o r te r fo r m as rep r e se n ti n g th e ge n ui n e letters of

Ign atiu s .

B ut alth ou gh th e s h o r ter fo r m of th e I gn ati an letter s


h ad bee n ge n e r ally a cce pted in p r e f ere n ce to th e lo n ger ,

th ere was still a pretty prev ale n t Opi n io n amo n g sph olar s ,

t h at ev erf it could n ot be regarded as ab solute ly fr ee f ro m ,

i n terpol atio n s or as of u n doubted au th en ticityg T ns



i
,

said L ardn er in h is C r edibilit y Of t h e Go spel H i story


L .
'
,

I h ave c ar e f ully co mpar ed th e two editio n s an d ,

am very well sati sed upo n t h at co m p ar i so n


,
t h at th e ,

l arger are an i n te r pol atio n of th e smalle r an d n ot the ,

smalle r an e ito m e or ab rid m e n t O f th e l ar e r


p g g .

B ut wh et h e r th e sm alle r t he mselve s ar e th e ge n ui n e
wr iti n gs of Ign atiu s bi sh o p O f A n tioc h is a q ue stio n
, ,

th at h as been m uch disputed an d h as e mployed the pe n s ,


1 02 F A T H ER S O F TH E C A T HO LI C C HU R C H .

of th e blest c ritics A n d w h atever positive n e ss so me


a .

may h ave sh o wn on eit h er side I m u st own I h ave f ou n d ,



it a very di f cult que stio n .

Dr K ille n thu s b r iey an d cle arly set s forth the hist o ry


.

O f the I gn atian epi stle s :


The hi story of th e Ign ati an epi stles may well r e
mi n d u s of t h e story of t h e S ibylli n e book s A fe male .

in str an ge atti r e is said to h ave appe ared before Tarqui n


Of Ro me o ff eri n g to sell n i n e m an u sc r i pts w h ic h sh e h ad
,

in h er po sse ssio n ; but th e ki n g di scour aged by the pr ice, ,

dec l i n ed th e applic atio n T h e wo ma n wit h dre w ; de


.

st r oyed th e on e- t h i r d of h er liter ary tre asu r e s ; an d r e ,

tu rn i ng agai n i n to th e r oy al p r e se n ce de manded th e ,

sam e price for wh at we r e le f t T he m o n ar ch o n ce m o r e


r e f used to c me u to h er ter ms ; an d th e m y ste r iou s
p p
vi sitor retired agai n an d bu r n t th e on e-h al f of her
,

re m ai n i n g store H er ext r aordi n ar y co n d uct excited


.

m uc h asto n i sh me n t ; an d on co n sulti n g with h is au gu rs


, ,

T arqui n was i n fo r med t h at th e docu m e n t s w h ich sh e h ad


at her di spo sal we r e m o st v al u able an d t h at he should ,

by all me an s e nde avor to secu r e such a p r ize The ki n g .

n ow willi n gly p aid f o r t h e t h r ee book s n ot yet co m mitted ,

to th e ame s th e full price ori gi n ally de m an ded for al l


,

t h e m a n u scripts T h e l gn atian e pi stle s h ave experie n ced


.

so met h i ng like the f ate of t h o se S ibylli n e or acl es


l n th e

Sixtee n th ce n tury f i f tee n lette r s we r e brought ou t fro m


,

be n e ath the man tle of a ho ary an tiq u ity an d O f f ered to ,

t h e world as th e prod u ctio n s of th e p astor Of A n tioc h .

S c h ol ars re f used to receive t h e m on th e ter ms requi red ,

a n d fo r th wit h ei h t of the m we r e ad mitted to be for gerie s


g .

I n the seve n tee n th ce n tu ry th e seve n re m ai n in g letter s


, ,

in a so me wh at altered fo r m agai n c a me fort h fro m O b ,

sc ur ity an d cl ai med to be th e wo r k s of I gn atiu s


, A gai n .
,

di sce r n i ng critic s re f u sed to ack n o wle dge t h eir p rete n


sio n s ; b ut c urio sity was rou sed b y thi s seco n d app ar itio n ,

an d m an y ex re ssed an e ar n e st de si re to Obt ai n a si h t
p g
of the re al epi stles G r eece S yri a P alesti n e an d E gypt
.
, , ,
TH E E P I ST L E S O F I G NA T I US . 1 03

were ra n sacked in Search of the m an d at le n gth three ,

letters are fou n d The di scove r y cre ates ge n er al gratul a


.

tion ; it is co n fessed that four of the epi stles SO l ately ,

as serted to be ge n ui n e are apocryp h al ; an d it is boldly


,

said t h at the t h r ee n e w forthco mi n are above ch alle n ge


g .

But trut h still refuses to be co mpro mi sed an d ster n ly ,

di so wn s these cl ai m ants for her approb atio n T h e in .

te r n al evide n ce O f t h e se t h ree epistle s abu n d an tly attests


th at l ike the l ast three b ook s of the S ibyl they are o n ly
,
~
,

th e l ast shi f ts Of a gr ave i mpo sture .

the C uretonian
in ci r cul atio n ,

n ew dres s h as ,

p assage s of the epistl es which were formerly felt to be so


,

Obj ectio n able ar e yet tobe fou n d here in all their u n mit
,

igated folly Ign atius is still the s ame a ti ev an gelical


. n -
\
,

f or malist the sa me pueril e b oaster the s ame dre ami n g


, , ,
\

mystic an d the sa me crazy f a atic These ar e weighty


,
n
.

c rges a d yet t ey can be sub st a ti ated


h a n ,
h n A n cien t .

C hu r ch, p er iod 2, sec 2, c ha 3 \ a hs 1 2


.
p , p
ar a
g p
.r , .

S o m e m ay sh ake their he ads a t th is l ast par agr aph ,


\
an d say t h at they c an n ot believe th at J gn atius was such

a man ; they h ave the idea rmly x ed in their mi n d s


\
th at Ig n atiu s was a wise bi shop an d a holy man an d

t h ey c an n ot gi ve it up N or n ee .

/
m ake s n o ch arge ag ai n st Ig natius b i mse gai n st
th e Ign atius who is m ade to appe ar in the epi st which
are ascribed to h im .
[

Let u s get this m atter clearly in our mi n ds B ut little .

is k n ow n of I gn atius except wh at is le ar n ed from t h ese


e pi stles an d it is c h arged that these epistles are spuriou s
, .

H ow the n it may be asked do we k n o w th at such a


, , ,

pe rso n exi sted ? 1 The r e is sli ght referen ce made to


.

h im in on e or two other docu me n ts 2 If there had n ot . .


1 04 FA T HE R S O F TH E C A T H OL I C C HU R C H .

bee n such a perso n it is n ot prob able that lette rs would


,

h ave been p ut fo rth be ari n g h is n ame The C at h olic .

C h urch h as n ever hesit ated t o man ufacture hi story or


doctri n e wh e n it could n ot n d wh at it w an ted alre ady
writte n . These d ocu ments h ave alw ays bee n give n th e
n ame of so me pers o n Of good repute an d they served th e ,

purpose of the c h urch as well as if they were ge n ui n e .

Now when we re membe r th at thi s s am e my stery of in


iquity was w o r ki n g eve n as far b ack as the d ays Of P aul ,

we n eed n ot be surpri sed th at less th an a ce n tury l ate r


, ,

writi ngs al r e ady in existen ce were g ar bled ,an d that de


si gn i n g per so n s wrote epi stles an d si gn ed t h e n ame s of

e mi n e n t men to t h e m in o r der to give t h em cu r r e n cy


,
.

I ndeed we n d a h at thi s very t h i n g was do n e l n the


,

days O f P aul and that his own n ame was used to give
,

cur r e n cy to fal se doctri n e I n 2 T h ess 2 : 1 3 we r ead


. .

his own w or ds ;
N o w we beseech you brethre n
py t h e , ,

co mi n g of our Lord Jesus C h r i st an d by our gathe r i ng ,

together u n t o h im th at ye be n ot soon sh ake n ini mi n d


, ,

or be troubled n either by spi rit n or by word n or b


, , y ,

l etter as f r om u s as th at the d ay of C hri st is at


,

L et n o man d eceive you by an y mean s for t h at shall

n ot co m e exce t the r e co m e a falli n g away rst an d that


, p ,

man of sin b e revealed etc


,
.

H ere we n d th at the Thessal on i an s h ad received let


ters purporti n g to co me fr o m P aul whi ch decl are d th at ,

the co mi ng of C hri st was i mmi n e n t Thi s was coh tr ary.

to h is rst epi stle an d h e hi mself after telli n g wh at


should t ake pl ace befo r
,
\
e the co mi n g Of th e Lord s ays :
,

, ,

Re me mber ye n ot th at wh en I was yet with you I told


, , ,

you the se thi n gs ? 2 Th ess 2 : 5 Y et n otwith st a di n g
.

n .
,

the i nstructio n which P aul had give n t h e m t h e se l etter s ,


TH E E P I S T L ES O F I G N A T I US . 1 05

c am e so direct fr o m Pahl t h at the T h es al o


,
s

\
n ian s we istu rb ed P aul c au t io n s t h e m agai n st
.

" r
bei n g in closi n g thi s epi stle he give s t h e m ,

they may k n ow th at an epi stle pur


p o r ti n g to co m e f ro m h im is ge n ui n e W h e n .he co m es
e he says T h e sal ut atio n of Paul with min e
,

wh ich is th e toke n in every e pi stle ; so I write :


T h e gr ace of ou r

8 C hri st be with you all .

F ro m thi s we 11 t h at

O b ab l y a lways with ex cep ,

tio n the G al ati an s see G al 6 1 1 ) em


, ;

ploy he al ways wr ote the be n edictio n


th his owh an so t h at n one
'

an d si gn e d his n ame
h
x

An be ari n g a\ sign ature ot her


be k m to be spuriotis .

Theref or e while we ay believe th at such a man as


Ign atiu s li v ed an d th he suf f ered m artyrdo m f or his
,

faith we n eed n ot
, v e th a t he wr ote th e egoti stic al
tr ash t h at is to h im I n deed we can n ot b e
.
,

lieve t h at he wrote we regar d h im as a holy man .

We n ow proceed the testi m o n y I n th e pr eface .


to h is A n cien t C h Dr K ille n s ays Of th e Ign ati an
.

e pi stle

If we accredit docu me n t s the h i st o ry of the
,

e arly ch u rc h to a st ate of h opele ss co n fusio n ;


an d men , by th e apostles the mselves ,

f ul critici sm man y cl oud s wh ich h ave h i t herto d ar ke n ed


,

the ecclesi astic al atm osph e r e di sap pe ar ; an d th e progr ess


of cor r u ptio n c an be t r aced on scie n tic pri n ci le s The
p .

speci al atte n tio n of all i n terested in th e Ign ati an con t r o


v ersy is i n vited to the two chapters of t h is work in which
1 06 FA T H ER S O F TH E C A T H OL I C C HU R C H .

the subj ect is i n v esti gated ce is t h ere produced


.

to pro v e t h at t h e se I gn ati an eve n as edited by t he


ve ry le arn ed an d l abo r iou s C ureto n ar e utterly ,

spu r iou s an d t h at t h ey s h oul


,
away fr o m am o n g

th e ge n ui n e re mai n s Of e arly ch liter ature with th e



beso m O f sco r n .

Mosh eim says :



There are ext an t sever al e tles with the n a me Of .

Ign atius pre xed to the m ; b a question h avi ng bee n


m ade as to tlieir a a de al of le ar n ed an d

el abo rate di scu ssio n pl ace on th e subj ect


a mo n gst men of he poi n t h as bee n con
te sted by th e m wit h co n side r able vehe me n ce ; so me as

se r ti n g the m to be sp u rious oth ers i n si sti n g on it th at


h
t ey are ge ui e
h n n T h e\
most prevail i n g Opi n io n appe ar s to
.

be th at the seve n wh ich are reputed to h ave bee n writte n


\
by him in th e course O f his j ou r n ey to Ro me n amely ,

t hose - re spectively addressed to th e S myrn aean s to Poly ,

c ar p to th e E p h e si an s to th e Magn esian s to th e P hil ad el


, , ,

hi an s an d to th e Tr alli an s as t h ey st an d in the editio n


p , ,

of the m publi sh e d in th e seve n teen th ce n tury fro m a ,

ma nu sc r ipt in t h e Medice an libr a ry at F lo r en ce ar e u n ,

que stio n ably ge n ui n e t h ou gh there are n ot w an ti ng tho se


,

wh o on accou n t of its di ssi militude of style co n sider th e


, ,

authe nticity of th e epi stle to Polyc arp as le ss t o be de

pe n ded ou th an th at of the o ther six A s for the re st O f .

t h ese epi stle s O f w h ich n o me n tio n wh atever is made by


,

an
y Of the e ar ly C hri sti an writer s they a r e co m m
,
o n ly re

j e ct ed as a lto g ether s puriou s The di sti n


. ctio n thus ge n

er al l
y r eco n ized in favor O f the above -
g m e n tio n ed
p ar

tic ul a r lette r s is gr ou n ded on reaso n s Of n o little fo r ce


an d wei h t but at the same ti m e t h ey ar e n ot of such a
g ,

co n clusive n atu r e as to sile n ce all Obj ectio n ; on the con


t rary a regar d for t r uth require s it to be ac k n o wled ged
, ,

t h at so co n sider able a degree of ob scurity h an gs o v er th e


que stio n re specti ng the authe n ticity Of n ot o nly a p art ,

but the whole Of th e e pi stles ascribed to Ign atiu s as to


, ,

re nder it al together a c ase of much i n tric acy an d doubt .

E cclesias tica l C ontmen tar ies, cen t . 1, sec . 52 .


TH E P I S T L ES O F I G N A T I US . 1 07


Ne an der sa ys f th e se- a
c lled E pi stle s of I gn atl us z

E ve n th e an d m ore tru stworth y edition is very


m uch
tory Of the C hristi an C hurch , vol . 1,
sec . 119

chur chly vie ws of the Ign ati an


an d

epi stle s on a peculi ar co m bi n atio n an d so m e


app r e h e n sio n of Joh n s doctri n e of t h e

s ide a of th e c h u r ch as t h e body of

Je u s C ri st I n th e C atholi c C u c h an exp r e ssio n


s h . h
r

i n t r od u ced by h im th at is th e E pi sc op al orth odox or



o

a n iz ation of his d a t h t h or ee s as it we r e t h e c on
g y e au ,
s , ,

tin u ation of th emystery of th e i n c arn atio n o n th e re ality


,
of which he l aid gr e at e mph asi s agai n st th e doceti sts ; an d

in every bi sh op a vi sible re pre se n t ative of C h r i st an d a


, ,

pe r so n al ce n ter Of ecclesi astic al u n ity wh esses ,

h o me upon h is re aders with th e g r e ate st an d

al mo st passio n ate ze al He .

th e apo stles directly to th e


m ake s t h e m sub ser v ie nt to th e pri n ci ple a
of th e
g ro wi n
g hie ra r chy H er .

of t h e se epi stle s ; an d in t h i s h ave f ou n d it


n ece ssar y to di sti n u i sh the m al r e ady in th e sectio n on
g
t h e o rgan iz atio n of t h e chu r c h .


It is re mar k able th at th e ide a of the epi scop al hie r
l
ar chy sh ould be r st cle arly an d bo dly bro u h t ou t n ot
:

g ,

by th e co n te mpo rar y Ro m an bi sh o p C le me n t b ut by a , ,

bi sh op Of th e E aste r n ch urch ; t h ough it was t r anspl an ted


by h im to th e soil of Ro me an d t h e r e se aled with h is ,

m ar ty r blood .

t h at t h e se Olde

p
so i n ter pol ated curt ailed an d m til ated by pious
, ,

t h at it is to-d ay al m ost impossib e to di sco v er wit


-
an d pseudo Ig n atiu s Of
h
t ai nty the ge n u i n e I gn ati u s of i story u n der th e

A n d Dr . K ille n cl o ses up his remark s on j


ub ect ,
A
f o llows
"

as l \
1 08 FA T H ER S O F TH E C A T H OL I C C HU R C H .

It is no me an p r oo f of

th e s agacity O f th e gr e at C al
v in t h at up war d s of t h r ee
, ,
h u n dred ye ars ago, he
p assed
a sweepi n g se n t en ce of t h e se Ign ati an
epi stle s A t th e ti me
.
,

s o me wh at
j ud gme n t .

f e ar le ssly . a f ar m o r e
i n ti mate co n n ectio n t h an
man y ar e d belie v e betwee n sou n d t h eology an d
ri ght k n o wledge O f th e word Of God
lectu al vi sio n an d a ssi sts in the de ,

tection of error w h erever it m ay re v e al it self .

C alvi n k n e w Olic man m u st h av e bee n ac


u ain ted wit h tri n e a n d he saw t h at t h e se
q ,

let ters m u st h d u ction s of an age wh e n


th e pure l igh was gr e atly ob sc u red .

H en ce he mph atic all y ; an d ti me


h as v eri re specti n g
the m h as b an n ot m o r e

appropri ately clo se ou r ob serv atio n s on this subj ect t h an

by an other r e petitio n of it The r e is n ot h i n g mo re


.

abo mi n able th an t h at tr ash which is in circul atio n u n der

the n ame O f Ig n atiu s r 1n ci en t C hu rc h



i d 2
.
p er o s ec , , .

2, c ha 3 r a ra h 1 2
p .
, p a
g p . a

Af ter these str o n g st ate me n t s th e re ader will doubt ,

le ss h ave so me curio sity to iead a little of thi s t r ash




.

A ccordi ngly we give a few ext r acts fr o m it I n the


, .

epistle to the E phesi ans ch hpter 1 we n d the follo w


, ,

ing :

O n he ar i n g t h at I c am e bou n d fro m S y r i a for th e
co m mo n n ame a n d h ope t r u sti n g t h r ou gh your p r ayers
,

to be pe rmitted to gh t with be as t s a t Ro me , th at so by
marty rd o m I m ay i n deed beco me th e di sci ple of h im wh o

a v e h i mself f or u s a n O ff e ri n an d sac r ice to God y e



g , g (
h aste n ed to see

The writer see ms to h ave an ide a t h at o n ly by martyr


TH E E P I S T L ES O F I G NA T I US . 1 09

d om could h e be a tr ue di sci ple O f th e Lord an d he man i


fe sts an u n see mly h aste for it which we ar e sure would ,

n ot be th e c ase wit h a hol yman wh o was re ally expect

ing m arty r do m O n t his p in t we quote agai n


.

d /

7
A

toward s you as a man


as al so ye ple ase h im .

F or 11 ch (an othe r) O ppor tu


n it O r will ye if e sh all n ow be
y y ,

sile n t ever be en
,
ho n or Of a better wo r k F or .

if ye are sile n t me I s h all beco me God s ;


but if you Sho w my e sh I sh all agai n h ave ,

to r u n my r ace . n ot seek to co n f er an
y
r e ater fa vor u I be sa c r iced to God
g p
wh ile the alt ar is t h at bei n g g athe r ed to ,

g et h er in love ye ,

C h ri st Je sus t h at God
,

S y r i a wort h y to be se n t
,

It is good to set fro m I


may

ri se agai n to h im E p istle to the . 2 .

I n th e follo he agai n expresse s his ar

de n t de sire to be
I write to the i mp r e ss on t h em al l t h at ,

I sh all willi ngly d le ss ye hi n der me I b e .

seec h of you n ot ood - will to


g
war d me . S u f f er h e wild be ast s ,

th r ou gh who se will be gr an ted m e to


att ai n to God I am
. of G od an d let m e be
,

g rou n d by th e teet h of be ast s t h at I may be


,

f o un d the p u r e b r e ad Of R at h er e n tice th e wild


be asts t h at t h e y m ay be
,
to mb an d may le ave
,

n ot h i n g O f m body ; so 11 I h ave falle n a slee


y p
in de at h ) I m a be n o an y o n e T h e n sh all
( , y .

I t r uly be a r i st wh e n t h e wo r ld sh all n ot
,

see so m uc h E n t r e at C h r i st for me th at ,

by t h ese i n st a
y b e f o und a sacric e
( t o
110 F A T H ER S O F TH E C A T H OL I C C HU R C H .

May I e nj oy be ast s t h at are prepared for


th e wild
m e ; an d I pr ay t h e y m ay be fou n d e ager to ru sh upo n
m e wh ich al so I will e n tice to devour me speedily an d
, ,

n ot de al wit h m e as wit h so m e wh o m out O f fe ar t h ey , , ,

h ave n ot touch ed B u t if t h ey be u n willi ng to assail me


.
,

I will co mpel t h e m to do so P ard o n me (in t h i s) : I .

k n o w wh at is f or my be n et N ow I begi n to be a d is.


cipl e .
Ep istl e to th e Roman s, c ha
p 4
. 5 , .

Ther e are m an y pass ages si mil ar to th e above T h ey .

p r o v e wh at we sh all l ater on n d fr o m th e m ost u n ex


,

c e tion ab l e te sti m o n y is t h e case t h at th e ide a ve r y e a r ly


p ,

began to p r ev ail th at a m ar tyr was m o r e su r e of g ai n i n g


H e ave n th an on e who si mply lived a good li f e an d died ,

a n at u r al d e ath The ide a was th at wh atever si n s the


i n divid u al h ad upo n h imwe r e washed a way by th e s h ed
.

d i ng of h is own blood A s a co n seque n ce m a n y fan at


.

ic al peo ple e age r ly sought mar ty r do m an d i t c ame to be ,

co n sidered as al most a mo r t al sin to ee in ti me of per se


c u tion T h e ide a th at the m artyrs were cle an sed fro m sin
.
'

by t h eir own blood n d s its m odern cou n ter p ar t in the


famous blood aton e me nt amo n g th e Mor mon s It is

.

u nn ecess ary to d o m ore th an r em m d the re ader of the


li mited vie ws Of th e ato n e me n t of C h ri st which mu st ,

h ave bee n held by such people .


T hat the E pi stle s of I gn atiu s we r e wr itte n by so me
on e wh o was a n xiou s t h at th e bi sh o s sh ould h ave a
p
c h an ce to lo r d it o v er God s he rit age is evide n t fr o m th e

,

follo wi ng ext racts


\V h e ref ore it is tti n g t h a t ye sh o uld r un toget h e r in
ac c o rd a n ce with th e will O f your bi shop , wh ic h t hi n s
g

al so ye d o .

Let us be c are f ul t h e n n ot to , ,
o u rselve s in o ppo si
se t

tio n to th e bishop in or d er t h at , we may be subj ec t to


n
TH E E P I S T L ES O F I G NA T I US . 111


It is m an i f e st t h e refo re th at we sho u ld look upo n
, ,

th e bi sho p eve n as we would upon the Lo rd hi msel f .

E p istl e to the E p hesian s, c hap 4, 5 , .


It is well to r evere n ce both God an d the bi shop H e .

wh o ho n o r s the bi sh op h as bee n ho n o red Of G od ; he wh o


doe s a n ythi ng wit h out th e k n o wled ge of t h e bi sh o p, doe s

(i n re ality ) serve the de v il E p istl e to t he S myrn o
e an s, .

c hap .

/
B ut j t beco mes bot h m en an d wo m e n who m arry , to
fo r m t h eir u nion wit h th e approv al Of th e bi sho p, t h at
t h eir mar ri age may be accordi n g to God , an d n ot after

t h eir own lu st .


Give ye heed to th e bi sh op t h at God al so may gi v e ,

heed to you My so ul be for t h ei rs t h at ar e su b m i ssive


.

to th e bi sh op to th e pre sbyters an d to th e de aco n s an d


, , ,

m ay my po rtio n be alo n g wit h th e m in God ! E p istle


i

to P ol ca r
y p c hap 5,
i
,


The followi ng g re at mystery which t h i s p seudo

Ign atiu s rev ho ws t h at the writer was a t co mpau


ion for H er mas an d the pseudoB ar n abas :

N ow the virgi n ity of Mar y was hidde n fro m th e
'
of this wo r ld as was al so h er ospr in g an d th e
, ,

t h r ee my ste r ie s O f r e n ow n w h ich were ,

by G od H ow t h e n was he man ife sted .


, ,

st ar sh o n e fo r th in he ave n abo v e all

of w h ich w as in expre ssible ,

wh il e i en wit h asto n i sh me n t A n d .

all t h e he sun an d m oo n formed a ,

c h oru s to th ht was exceedi n gly gre at


above t h e m al l A n d t h e r e was agit atio n f elt as to
,
.


whe n ce t h i s n ew spec tacl e c ame so u n like to eve r yth i ng

el se (in th e he ave n s) H e n ce eve r y ki n d of m agic was


.

de stroyed an d every bo n d Of wicked n e ss di sappe ared ;


,

i gn o ran ce was r emoved an d th e old ki n gdom aboli sh ed , ,

God h i msel f bei n g man i f e sted in h u man fo r m for th e re


n e wal of eter n al life A n d n ow t h at took a be gi n n i n g
.

which h ad bee n p rep ared by God H e n cefort h all thi n gs .


1 12 F A T H ER S O F TH E C A T HO L I C C HU R C H .

we r e in a st ate Of tu mult , bec au se he m edit ated th e boli


a

tion O f d eath
E istle to th e E hesia n s c ha 1 9
.
p p , p . .

A ndl astly we q uiote th e follo wi n g j argo n


, ,
asevide n ce
of the se nseless egoti sm of the on e wh o wrote th iS ,

t
r ash z


Am I n ot a write to you of he ave n ly thi ngs ?
ble to
But I fe ar to do so, est I s h ould i n ict i nj u r y on you wh o
are b u t b abes (in C hri st) P ardon me i n t h i s respect , le st,
.

as n ot bei n g ab receive (such doctri n es) , ye sho uld


be st rangled by F or eve n I , t h ou gh I am bou n d
f r C h r ist , yet n t h at accou n t able to u n der
( o ) n ot o

st an d he ave n ly t an d th e pl aces of th e an el s, an d
g
t h eir gatheri n gs t heir re spective pri n ces, t h i n gs
visible an d i n y i Without ref ere n ce to su ch ah
st r use subj ect s, I a m b ut a lear n er (in other respect s) ;
f or man y t h i n gs ti n g to u s, th at we co me n ot shor t

of God E/ istl e to T r a l lian s, c h a 5
.
p p .

If this were the hen i n s an e per so n s we r e r egarded


as s acred bei ngs a ,
bei ng po sse ssed of di v i n e i n spira
tio n we Should n ot
, er at the gre at e stee m wi th w h ich
t h is stuf f is held b people ; b ut as it is there is a
,

mystery about it . people wh o h ave acce ss to the



work s of the wor ld s s to sa n ot h i n g Of th e
, y
s ubli me truths Of th n d their precious ti m e

studyi n g the w riti n s


g F athers it see ms as
,

th ou gh t hey m ust be (1 of so methi n g aki n to t h at

me n t al an d mo r al d w h ich leads the sc h ool -boy


to devour the di m e W
C H A P T E R V I I I .

T H E T E A C H I N G O F T H E A P OS T LE S .

ALL th at is k n own of this docu me n t m ay be given in .

brief as follows : I n 1 8 7 3 P h il oth eos B ryenn ios at th at ,

ti me he ad master of th ehigher G r eek school at C on sta n ti


n O pl e b ut n ow metropolit an at Nico medi a discovered a
, ,


collection Of man usc r ipts in the libr ary of the Jeru sale m
Mo n astery of the Mo st H oly S epulcher at C o n st anti

n O pl e The collection was bou n d in one v o lu me an d


.
,

was all writte n by the same h an d It bore the sig n ic an t .


sig n ature Leo n n otar y an d si n n er and the G reek date
, , ,

6 564 which equals A D 1 056


,
The man uscripts that
. . .

formed th e remain der o f the c o llecti o n are the foll o w


o
,

in g :


o f the O ld an d N ew Testa me nts by S t
S y n opsis , .


C hrysosto m ; The E pistle o f B ar n abas The Two E pis
tles Of C le men t to the C ori nt h i an s The E pistle O f Mary

of C assob oli to Ig n atius Twelve E pi stles o f Ig n a tiu s .

The matter was tran sl ated i n to Ger man an d publi shed ,

F ebru ary 3 1 8 8 4 ; an d was tr an sl ated fro m the Ger man


,

i n to E n gli sh an d published in A meric a F ebru ary 28


, , ,

1884 . A rchde aco n F arrar published in the C on temp o


r ary Review M ay 1 8 8 4 a ver si o n fro m the Greek
, , , .

The se are the si mple facts co n cer n i n g the discovery



an d public atio n of the Teachi n g as given in th e i n tr o ,

d uctory n otice t o the editio n publi shed by the C hr istian


Literature C o mpan y The excite men t which its rst
.

appeara n ce caused in the religi o us w o rld was i n te n se ,

8 (1 13)
1 14 FA T H ER S O F TH E C A T H OL I C C HU R C H .

equ al at le ast to th at whi ch would be produced in the


C atholic C hurch by th e di scovery Of on e of the bo n es Of
an apo stle The N ew Y ork I n dep en d ent said th at it was
.


by al l Odds the most i mport an t writi n g exterior t o the ,

New Te st ame n t n ow in the posse ssio n of th e C hristia n


,

world an d so me other j our n als see med to regard it as


fully e q u al to the N ew Te st ame n t O n e thi n g is cert ai n .
,

an d th at is th at for a few mo n th s after the public atio n of

the Teachi n g they devoted mo ie space an d atte n tio n



,

to it t h an to the Bible .

O f course n o on e supposes that the ap o stle s the mselve s


-
ever saw or heard O f the se c al l ed Teachi n g of the

A postles S ays Profe ssor Riddle in h is i n troductory
.
,


n otice : O f apo stolic origi n no on e Should pre su me to
spe ak si n ce the text of the docu me n t make s no su ch
,

clai m an d i n ter n al eviden ce is o bvi o usly agai n st an y


,


such su ggestio n A s to whe n it was writte n n obody
.
,

k n o ws an d there is n o mean s of k n owi n g S o me gu ess


, .

that it was writte n as early as A D 8 0 while others with . .


, ,

f ar more reaso n pl ace it m uch later at dates v aryi n g


, ,

fro m 1 20 to 1 90 A D C o n cer n i ng the ch ar ac ter of the


. .

w o rk Bishop C oxe in his prefatory n ote says


, , ,


L actan tius in his In stitutes sh apes his i n structio n s to
, ,

C o n st an ti n e by the Du ce vice w h ich see m to h ave been ,

fo r mulated in the e arlie st ages for the trai n i ng of c ate


ch u men s T he ele me n t ary n ature an d the childi sh n e ss
.

Of the wo rk are thu s accou n ted for an d I am s ure th at ,

th e my st ago gic te achi n g Of C yril receive s li gh t fro m t h i s


v ie w Of the matte r T h is work was fo od for l amb s ; it


.

was n ot me an t to meet th e w an ts Of t h o se Of full age It


.

m ay p rove as Dr Riddle hi n t s t h at the te ac h i ng as we


, .
,

h ave it in the B ryen n ios docu me n t is t ai n ted by the


, ,

vie ws of so me n asce n t sect or he r e sy or by the incompe ,

te n ey of so me Obscure local ch urch as yet u n visited by


TH E TE A C H I N G O F TH E A PO S T L ES . 115

le ar n ed te ac h er s an d ev angelists It see ms to me n ot.

i mp rob ably i n ue n ced by vie ws O f the c har ismata wh ic h ,

pe n ed i n to M o n t an i sm an d which are illustr ated by the


,

war n i n gs an d ad mo n itio n s O f H e r mas .

The questio n whi ch would n atur ally ari se is Why ,

should we t ake thi s docu me n t as an expo n e n t of th e


belief an d te ac h i ng of th e apostle s r ath er t h an th e ,

e n ui n e W riti ngs of th e apostle s ? T h e o n ly po ssible an


g
s wer is We sh ould n ot
,
If we wi sh to beco m e acqu ai nted
.

with the te achi n gs an d belief Of Joh n We sley we go to ,

his own pub l iSh ed wo r ks and n ot to w h at so me an o n y


,

m ous writer may have said O f h im S O with the apo stle s


. .

The New Te st ame n t an d th at alo n e con t ai n s their doc


, ,

tri n e an d upon th at alo n e we must de pe n d for our k n o wl


,

edge of wh at they t au ght A n ythi n g el se purp o rti ng to


.

c o me fro m the m is a b ase forgery .

We should n ot O mit to st ate that that which recom


me n ded the Te ac h i n g to th e religious world as so me

,

t h i ng O f gre at v alue was th e f act th at it was di scovered


,


in co mpany with the E pi stle of B ar n ab as an d twelve

,


of the

E pi stle s of Ign atiu s Th at might be a good
.

recomme n d atio n to so me but to on e who h as le ar n ed the


,

si mple t r ut h co n cer n i n t h o se prod u ctio n s it will be al mo st


g ,

s ui cien t g r ou n d on w h ich to co n de mn th e whole thi n g .

To be fou nd in such comp an y is p r ima f acie evide n ce of


b ad char acter
T h ere is n o-
.

m ore thorough stude n t an d none better ,

acqu ai n ted with P at r istic liter ature th an Prof e sso r ,

H ar n ack of Berli n It was he who rst c alled t he at


, .

te n tio n of the we ster n t h eologic al world to the disc o very


Of B ryen n ios an d he h as carefully exami n ed eve r ythi n g
,

of i mporta n ce that h as bee n said about that docu me nt .


1 16 FA T H ER S OF TH E C A T H OLI C C HU R C H .

In the T heologische Diter atu rz eitu n y Of Ju n e 12 1 8 8 6 he , , ,

publ i shed the rst of a serie s of articles on th e c h ar acter


an d result of the di scu ssio n s th at h ave bee n publi sh ed on

the Te achi ng an d fro m that article the New Y ork I n



,

d ep en den t O f A ugu st 26 1 8 8 6 m ade a le ngthy ext r act


, , , ,

th e gre ater p art of whic h we reprod uce It p uts together .


,

without co mme n t th e co n icti ng opi n io n s that ar e held


,

in regar d to it S ays H ar n a ck
.


O n e i n ve stig ato r put s the n ewly disc o vered writi ng
before th e P auli n e letters or eve n be f o r e the C ou n cil of
,

the A postles (S ab atier) ; the seco n d in th e n ame of P aul ; ,

the t h ird soo n after the destruction of Je r u sale m (Be sti


,

n an n ) ; the fou r t h in the l ast dec ades of the r st ce n tury


,

n ide a t h at n d s ve ry m uch favor ; th e f th in the


(a ) ,

d ays of Tr aj an (al so a favorite ide a) ; th e sixt h in the ,

d ays of B ar-cochb a ; th e seve n th in the ti me of A n to ,

n i n e s ; th e ei gh th about the ti m e Of C o mmodus ; the n i n th


, ,

in th e third ce n tu r y ; the te n th in the fou r th ce n tury ; ,

an d t h ere are so m e wh o favo r the fth or a l ater ce n tury . .

S O m uch in refere n ce to th e ti me O f co mpo sitio n .

I n other poi n t s m atter s st an d no better O n the .

history of its tra n s mi ssion on e s ays th at it is the bo o k


,

k n own to th e F athers fro m the d ays O f C le m e n t ; others


de n y thi s ; a th ird p arty seek s a middle p ath .

I n reg ard to the i n teg rity of th e book so me say the ,

book is fro m one author an d o r igi n al ; other s th at it is a


,

co mpilatio n an d is cro wded with i n terpol atio n s ; t h at it


,

co n si sts of two or m ore p ar t s th at origi n ally did n ot belo n g


togeth er I n regard to th e ch ar acter Of the book so me
.
,

cl ai m th at it is well arra n ged others th at it is poorly ,

ar ranged ; so me th at in p arts it is well arra nged an d in ,

p ar ts poorly ar ran ged ; so me that the skill of the author


m u st be ad mired ; ot h ers th at the author h as no idea of
the li te r ary ar ts .


With regard to the source s so m e say th at o n ly the ,

O ld Tes tame n t served as a source an d that al l th e re st ,

is ori gi n al becau se Older th an all oth er C hristian writ


,
TH E TE A C H I N G O F TH E A PO ST L ES . 1 17

i ngs ; ot h ers say th at the r e is n oth i ng ori gi n al in th e


book but tne w h ole is t ake n fr o m other so ur ce s ; so me
,

t h at th e N ew Te st ame n t receives no wit n e ss fro m th e

Did ache ; other s t h at n e ar ly all the N ew Te st ame n t


books are used in it an d t h at the book it self t h ereby


,

see ms th e be st proof of its an tiquity ; so m e th a t B a r n ab as

a n d H e r m as a re u sed ; ot h e r s t h at B ar n ab as is u sed but ,

t h at H er mas in tu rn u sed th e D1d ach e ; other s on t he


,

ot h er h an d t h at H e r mas was u se d an d th at B ar n ab as is
, ,

a l ater p r oductio n ; ot h e r s t h at P h ilo the S ibylli n e book s , ,

an d th e Ge n tile m or ali st s we r e u sed ; ot h er s t h at in ri m


p
itive apostolic si mplicity the aut h or h as reprod uced o n ly
th e pu r e go spel .


I n re gar d to th e st an dpoi n t of th e au th o r so me cl ai m ,

t h at it is p r i mitive apo stolic fro m the vie w of the Je wish


C h r i sti an s ; others t h at it is a po st-apo stolic an d Je wi sh
C ri ti
h h -
s an ; ot ers a ti P aulin e ; ot h e r s t h at it is st r o n gly
n , ,

i n ue n ced by Paul ; othe r s th at it is S ad d usaic ; others


, ,

v ul gar h eath en ish ; oth er s d an ger ou sl y E bio n itic ; othe r s


, , ,

Mar ci o n itic ; ot h e rs Mo n t an i stic ; ot h ers Theodoti an


, ,

oth e rs quite m or alizi n g ; othe r s en cratistic ; othe rs t h or


, , ,

o ugh ly Byz an ti n e but u n der a t r an spare n t mask ; others


, ,

t h at th e st an d poi n t c an n ot be di sco v ered si n ce the auth or ,

h as n ot tre ated of h is fa ith ot he rs cl assic ally ev angelic al


, .

\Vit h re gard to th e i m port an ce O f t h e book so m e say ,

th at it is the most i mpo r t an t di scove r y Of th e ce n tu ry ,

a n d sh ould be received i n to the c an o n of th e N ew Te st a

men t ; t h at it is th e whole Bible in n u ce ; t h at it solves


the gre ate st p r oble ms ; t h at it is peculi ar an d Sh ould be ,

u sed wit h c are ; th at it sh o ws th e average C hri sti an ity ;


t h at as a co m pil atio n it c an n ot be u sed in pictu ri ng any
e riod ; t h a t it sh o w po e t y of co n te nt s ; th e C h ri s
p s v r

tian ity of t h e aut h or can o n ly be l ame n ted ; th at it is


r atio n ali stic b arr e n an d at b u t n eve r t h eles s i n tere sti n
, , , g;
t h at it is a mi se rable p rod uctio n wit h out an y i mpo rtan ce
,

f or th ese or our ti me s ; th e book is c h ar acte r i stic o n ly of


th e Byz an ti n e forge r Pl aces assign ed for th e writi ng :
.

E gy pt G reece S y r i a Je r u sale m R o me A sia Mi n o r


, , , , , ,

C o n stan ti n ople .
1 18 FA T H ER S O F TH E C A T H OL I C C HU R C H .


The n so me regard it as setti ng fort h the A po stolic ,

th e P re sbyteri an t h e E pi sco pal or no syste m of c h u r ch


, ,

o v e r n me n t wh ate v er It is co n sidered of
g re a t v a lue
g .

bec au se it f avo rs the Pr ote st an t or th e C atholic or th e , ,

B apti st or th e an ti -B apti st or th e C h ili astic or the an ti


, , ,

C h ili astic or th e I r v in gian or so m e other c h u r ch p art y ;


, ,

bec a u se it is still A postolic an d an ti-C at h olic an d at the ,

sa me ti me C at h olic ; bec au se its pr o ph et s ar e still apo stle s

of t he r e al pri mitive C h r i sti an ity ; ot h er s t h e n cl ai m , ,

t h at they are n ew pr o ph ets or n o pro phets at al l but , ,

r at her i n ve n tive s wi n dlers an d par asite s ; ot h e r s t h at t h ey



are n o s wi n dle r s b ut h omu n cu li produced by a forger
, .

AS the sho wm an said Y ou p ays your m o n ey an d,


.

you t akes your c h oice T h ere are o pi n io n s e n ough here ,

fro m which on e can c h oo se We see n o re aso n for r e .

g ardi n g it an y more highly t h an th e matter ascribed t o



B arn ab as H er mas an d C le me n t or th e tr ash attrib
, , ,

u ted to I gn atiu s Th at it co n t ai n s so me truth c an n ot be


.

questio n ed b ut the r e is none t h at is n ot co n t ai n ed in f ar


,

better form in th e N ew Te stame n t an d so it is n ot worth ,

wh ile to try to wi n n o w it out fro m th e error It c an n ot .

ad d an ythi n g to t h e li ht th at shi n e s fro m God s word ;


g
its o n ly e ff ect c an be to Ob scu r e it .


But why was it t h at th e Te achi n g was received with
such e n t h u si a m ? sIt was chiey bec au se t h e r e was on e
c h apter in it wh ic h by j udiciou s man ip ul atio n could be
made to do se r vice in the S u n d ay c au se T h e p assage .

which was h ailed with such j oy was the fourtee n th


c h apte r wh ic h in the editio n p ubli sh ed by th e C h ri stian
, ,

Lite ratu re C o mp an y is t ran sl ated as f l lows :


,
q

B ut eve r y Lo rd s d ay d o ye/ gath er you rselves to

get h e r , a n d b r e ak b re ad , an d gi v e t h an k sgi v i n
g afte r
h a v i n g co nfessed y our t ran sgre ssio n s t h at your sacrice ,

may be pure .B ut let no one t h at is at varia n ce wit h hl s


TH E TE A C H I N G O F TH E A PO ST L ES . 1 19

fell o w co me together w ith you u n til they be reco n ciled , ,

t h at your s ac r ice m ay n ot be profaned F or t h is is .

th at which was spoke n by t he Lord I n every pl ace an d .

ti me O ff er to me a pure sac rice ; f or I am a gr e at ki n g ,

saith th e Lord an d my n am e is wo n de rful amo n g the


,

n atio n s .

N ow if thi s docu me n t is to be accepte d as e mbodyi ng


the cor r ect te ac h i ng of the apo stle s it mu st be accepted ,

as a whole A S soo n as we di sc ri mi n ate agai n st an y


.

portio n as bei n g i n correct we throw di scredit upo n the ,

whole .If th e above refe re n ce is to be t ake n as proof


th at the apo stles Ob se r ved th e r st d ay Of the week an d ,

thu s marked ou t ou r duty for u s it al so proves j u st as ,

co n clu sively th at they p artook Of the co mm u n ion every


rst d ay of th e week an d that al l C hri sti an s should d o
,


like wi se The fact th at tho se who l aud the Teachi ng
.

the m ost highly do n ot follow its i nj u n ctio n in thi s re


spect is proof th at t h ey do n ot att ach an re al v alue to
y
the docu me n t They will follow it ust so f ar as it see ms
.

to support th eir precon ceived opi n ion s ; an d they n d it


very co n ve n ie n t to h ave eve n a forgery to which to ap
pe al in suppor t o f the pr actices which they are deter mi n ed
to f ollo w .

B ut it will be n oticed tha t the p assage doe s n ot de n e



the Lord s d ay an d t h ose wh o wi sh to nd in it authority
,

n a -
for S u d y kee pi n g m u st rst pro v e t h at th e Lord s d ay
,

is a proper te r m f or th e rst d ay of the week wh ich they ,

c an n ot do It will n ot be n ece ssar y in this case h ow


.
,

ever for t h e m to try f or we h ave be f o r e us n ot o n ly the


, ,

E ngli sh t r an sl atio n of the text b u t th e G r eek text itself , ,

an d we k n o w w h e r eof we spe a k whe n we sa th at the


y
Wo rd f or day n amely Ir
a

m
a doe s n ot o n ce occur i n
, ,

the e n tire chap ter n either is there ag y w o rd correspo n d


1 20 FA T H ER S OF TH E C A T H OLI C C HU R C H .

ing to it n or an ythi n g to i n dic ate th at it rather th an


, ,

so m e other word should be supplied ,


\Y b y the n was the .
, ,


wo r d d ay i n ser ted by the tr an sl ators ? We le ave the m
to an swe r .

It will be a sked If you thro w out the ter m L o rd s



,

d ay wh at wo rd or word s should be sup plied to make th e



,


se n se co mplete ? Re ad the p assage o n ce m ore c aref ully ,

ou wi l l s ee O f wh at does it tre at ? O f the Lord


an d s
y .


Su an d th at alo n e The Greek word for t able
pper ,
.

agree s with the adj ective k u r ia k n an d if supplied m ake s ,


better se n se th an doe s the word d ay F or while there .

is re aso n in s ayi n g th at tho se who are at v ari an ce should


n ot approach the Lord s t able u n til t h ey beco me reco n

ciled there is none in s ayi n g th at such should n ot Observe


,

a cert ai n day or meet toget h er on it


, .

But let thi s p ass It is n ot worth while to argue lo n g


.

over the q uestio n whether or n ot th e Teac h i n g of the



A postle s so c alled spe aks of the Lord s d ay Whe n
, ,

.

th e docu m en t r st appe ar ed a pro mi n e n t reli gious j our n al


,


said th at it te n ded stro n gly t o make keepers of the rst

d ay m ore co n de n t of their po sitio n th an heretofore .

Wh at mu st h ave bee n t h eir for mer co n de n ce in their


positio n ? If a Si n gle c asu al expressio n in an an o n y mou s
docu me n t th at is k n o wn to be a forgery an d whic h was ,

fou n d with so me o th er fo r geries th at are worse th an


tr ash te nd s to make S u n d ay-keeper s m ore co n de n t of
,

their positio n wh at beco mes of their boasted New Test a


,

me n t a uthority for S u n d ay-k eepi n g ? C an it be th at .


they regar d the Te ac h i ng as superior to the N ew
Test ame n t an d the re f ore c ap able of st r e n gt h e n i ng its
,

positio ns ? N O th e st ate me n t was si mply a n ad mi ssion :

o f w h at everyo n e who can read may nd out for hi mself ;


TH E TE A C H I N G O F TH E AP O ST L ES . 1 21

n amely th at the N ew Testame n t gives n ot the slightest


,

w arran t for S u n d ay-keepi n g S urely it wo ul d be a pity


.

to t ake fro m S u n d ay advocates the stro n g grou n d of


co n de n ce th at they h ave in the se-c alled Te achi n g of

th e A postles ! We will n ot dispute the p ass age wit h
t h e m an y further They are welco me to all that they
.

can get out Of it .

A sectio n fr om ch apter 8 will serve to Show the


proclivities of the u n k n o wn writer of this n ow famous
docu me n t It is as follows : But let n ot your fasts be
.

with the hypoc r i tes ; for they fast on the seco n d and fth
d ays of the week but d 9 ye fast on the f our th d ay an d
, _

the prep aration


Now here is a plai n co mman d an d we wait to see ,

h ow man y of those who are al m ost willi n g to s wear by



the Te achi n g will Obey it A S yet we h ave seen n o
.

i n dicatio n of an y such desi gn on th e part O f an yo n e .

Nobody see ms to h ave an y speci al i n terest in this portio n


of the precious relic A n d this agai n proves our st ate
.


me n t th at n obody really be l ie v es th at the Te ac h i n g
c arr ies with it an y weight of authority It si mply gives .

the moder n Athe n ian s so methi n g n ew to t alk about an d a ,


n ew ch an ce to exercise their wi t s in n di n excu se s f or


g
not obeyi n g the co mman d me n t of th e Lord It would .

be i mpossible to con vi n ce the religiou s world th at they


ou gh t to fast on Wed n e sd ays an d F rid ays ; if such a
thi n g we r e atte mpted t h ey would i mmedi ately ask for
S c ri pture p r oo f A n d yet there is as m uch re ason for
.

f asti n g regul arly on tho se day s or eve n f or keepi n g the m


,

holy as the r e is for kee pi n g S u n d ay


, .

If on e were SO di spo sed he migh t Sho w t h at the


,


Teachi ng recog n izes the seve n th d ay as the true S ab
1 22 FA T H ER S O F TH E C A T H OL I C C HU R C H .

b ath ; f or i t c all s F rid ay the prep ar atio n But we hope .

t h at no on e wh o regard s with r evere n ce the co mmand


me n t Of Je h ov ah will e v er h u mili ate th e S abb at h w h ic h
, ,

h as f or its b acki n g th at sacred word by quoti ng in its ,

beh alf fr o m such a source as the docu me n t n ow u nder


co n sider atio n .

'

I n ch ap ter 6 we h ave this co mforti n g bit of advice



I f thou art able to bear all the yoke of the Lo r d ,

tho u wilt be perfect ; b u t if thou art not able w h at thou ,



art able th at do .

Which stro ngly re mi n ds u s of the Q uaker s reputed

cou n sel to h is son S aid he : Joh n t h ee mu st be ho n e st ;


.
,


but if thee c an n be ho n e st be as ho n est as thee can
, .

Dr Riddle is o t h e O pi n io n t h at the si mplicity of


.


the Te achi n g al mo st a mou n ti ng to c h ildi sh n es s
, is ,

proof that it is n ot a forgery his ide a evide n tly bei n g ,

th at a man who would forge a docu me n t would try to ,

make it appe ar wort h y of accept an ce H o wever th at .

may be its si mplicity is appare n t an d an i n sta n ce o f it


, ,

is here with give n



Let eve r y apostle t h at co meth to you be received as
th e Lord But he sh all not re mai n except on e d ay ; b u t
.

if t h ere be n eed al so the n ext ; but if he re mai n three


,

d ays h e is a f al se prop h et
, C hap 1 1 . . .


The seve n th ch apter of the Teachi n g is as follo ws

A n d con cer mn g b apti sm thu s b aptize ye : H avi ng
,

rst said al l t he se thi n gs ba ptize i n to the n ame of the


,

F at h e r an d of the S on an d of th e H oly S pi r it in livi ng


, , ,

water But if thou h ave n ot livi n g water b aptize i n to
.
,

o the r water ; an d if thou c an st n ot in cold in warm , .

But if t h o u h a v e n ot eith e r pour out water th r ice upon


,

th e he ad in the n ame of F at h er an d S on a n d H oly S pi rit .

But be f ore the b apti sm let the b aptizer fast and the b ap ,
TH E T EA CH I N G O F TH E A PO S T L ES . 1 23

tiz ed , an d othe r s can ; but th o u sh alt order the


wh atever

b aptized to fast on e or two d ay s be f ore .

The w r iter of t h i s docu me n t was wh at would in these



d ay s be called a ve ry libe r al man H is advice is

.
,

B aptize in ru n n i n g w ater if you can ; if you c an n ot ,

t h e n in so me ot h er ; if you c an t get cold wate r use war m ;



,

an d if you c an t b aptize at all do so met h i n g el se an d



, ,


it will d o j u st as well If we k ne w whe n thi s was
.

writte n it might throw so me ligh t on the dat e at which


,

spri n kli n g or pouri n g c am e to be s ub stituted for b a pti sm .

But we h ave the be st of evide n ce th at as l ate as the


middle of th e thi r d ce ntury n ot h i n g but i mmersio n was
regarded as b apti sm ; an d the refore we k n o w t h at at le ast
the seve nth ch apter of the soc alled Te achi n g of the

A postle s was writte n not le ss t h an two h u n dred ye ar s
af ter the de ath of th e apo stle s .

But the we ak n e ss or wicked n e ss of th e docu me n t is


e v ide n t in th e ve r y r st ch apte r wh ic h co n tai n s the f ol
,

lo wi ng :

Woe to Him t h at t aket h f or if one th at is in n eed
t aketh h e Sh all be guiltless ; but he t h at is n ot in n eed
,

sh all i v e a ccou n t wh e r efo r e h e took an d wh ereu n to ; a n d


g
b eing i n d ur an ce S h all be questio n ed touc h i n g wh at h e
did an d he sh all not go out t h en ce u n ti l h e gi v e b ack
,

the l ast far t h i n g .


H e r e t h i s pr eciou s Te achi ng te ac h es th at it is all righ t
f or a m an to ste al if he is in n eed T h e man wh o n eed s
.

clot h es may ste al t h e m ; an d th e m an wh o n eed s ah orse



m ay t ake

it an d both sh all be guiltle ss
,
F ortu .

n atel f o r society ou r l aws h ave n ot bee n modeled after


y ,


the st an d ard of thi s mu c h prized Te achi n g
.

It is b ut j u st to say th at in the C h r isti an Liter ature


C o mp an y s editio n it say s : F or if on e havi n g n eed r e


,
1 24 FA T H ER S O F TH E C A T H OL I C C HU R C H .


ceiveth, he is guiltless etc u si ng the word receive in
,
.
,


ste ad of

t ake . T h i s is evide n tly out of sym p at h y for the

reput atio n of the writer Of the Te achi ng f or bot h the ,

o r i gi n al an d the co n text Show th at n othi n g b ut ste ali n g is


me an t . F or th e n ext cl au se says of the on e who t akes
whe n he h as no n eed th at co mi n g i n to str ait s (con ne
,


me n t) he sh all pay the pe n alty ; an d Bi sho p C oxe c alls
,

speci al atte n ti o n to thi s sayi n g t h at it p r obably m e an s


,

i mpri so n me n t This sho ws t h at ste ali n g is mean t an d


.
,

n ot Si mply the receivi n g of a thi n g as a gi ft .

The follo wi n g ho wever is a t acco mpan i me n t of the


, ,

i n structio n co n cer n i n g ste ali ng



Be not a stretcher forth of th e h an d s to receive an d
a dra wer of t h e m b ack to give I f t h ou has t a ught .
,

t h r ough thy h a nd s t h ou shalt gi ve r an s om for thy si n s .

H ere we h ave th e Ro man C at h olic doctri n e of ato n i n g


for si n s by th e p ay me n t of mo n ey It is n o wo n der th at .

th e write r of t h is docu me n t ; h oldi n g such a doctri n e as


t h is should cou n sel a n eedy m an to ste al s i n ce by pay
, ,

in g to the prie st a part of h is ill -gotte n g ai n he could free


hi mself fr o m sin .

But wh at more n eed be said ? E n ough h as bee n give n


to co n vi n ce an ybody wh o is ope n to co n victio n th at the S O ,


c alled Te achi n g of the A postle s like the writi ngs att rib ,

u ted to H er mas B ar n ab as an d Ig n atius is n othi n g but a


, , ,

C atholic docu me n t one of those writi n gs which grew ou t


,


of the wo r ki n g O f the mystery Of i n iquity an d w hich ,

for m the f oun d atio n of t h at MYS T E R Y B A B Y L O N ,

T H E GR E A T T H E M O T H E R O F H A RL O TS A N D
,

A B O MIN A TI O N S O F T H E E A RT H
.
C H A P T E R I X .

I RE N f E U S .

TH E I r e n aeus is pl aced by some autho rs as


bi rth of

e ar ly as 6 7 A D an d by ot h e rs as l ate as 1 4 0 A D A s
. .
,
. .

e v ide n ce t h at the re is no ex act k n owled ge in r egar d to the


m atte r it is n ece ssary o n ly to st ate th at the ye ars 1 08 an d
,

1 20 A D an d sever al other d ates are al so give n


. .
,
B ut ,
.

th e ex act d ate is a mat ter Of little m o me n t ; it is e n ou gh


to k n o w th at he lived so meti m e in the seco n d cen t ur y .

The wr iti n gs of Iren aeus are quite exte n sive an d ar e ,

ve r y gre atly l auded ; yet it h as bee n well said th at th eir



p reciousn e ss be ar s no p r opo r tio n to their b ulk A .

wr iter in th e B r itis h an d F or eign E va ngelica l Review


c om

( J an u ar y s
,
ay s : It would be po ssible to
p res s i n to a very few p ages al l the state me n ts of fact t h at

can b e dee m ed re ally v aluable to us at the pre se n t d ay .

I n spite of al l th e pr ai se th at is l avi shed upo n the F a


L

th ers th e same t h i n g m ay be s aid of all of the m


, I n deed .
,

we may go fur th er an d say t h at although their writi ngs


,

co n tai n as a matte r of n ece ssity so me st ate me n ts of fact


, , ,

an d so me p r i n ci le s Of t r uth if n ot one of th e so- c alled


p ,

C hristi an F athe r s h ad ever writte n a li n e the amou n t ,

of u seful k n o wledge in th e wo r ld would not be on e iota


'

less th an it n ow is an d the C h risti an ch urch would be


,

f ar better of f .

'
K ille n Spe ak s of I r e naeus thus :

Ire naeu s is co mmo n ly called the di sciple of Polyc arp ;
but it is reported t h at he was also u n der the t u itio n of
(125)
1 26 FA T H ER S OF TH E C A T H OLI C C HU R C H .

a le ss i n telli ge n t precepto r P apias of H ier apoli s Thi s ,


.

te ac h er is n oted as th e e ar lie st eccle si astic al


writer wh o held t h e d o ct r i n e of th e pe rso n al rei gn of
C hrist at Jeru sale m du r i n g th e mille n n iu m The se
.

vie ws says E u sebiu s he appe ar s to h ave ado pted in


,

,

co n seque n ce of h avi n g misu n derstood the apostolic n ar


r ativ es . F or he was a man of ve r y sle n der .

i n tellect as is evide n t fr o m h is d i scourse s


,
H is pu pil .

Ire naeu s po sse ssed a m u ch superior c apacity ; b ut eve n


his wr iti n gs are n ot de stitute Of puerilitie s ; an d it is n ot
i mprobable th at he derived so me of the errors to be fou n d

in the m fr o m his we ak -m i n ded te acher A n cien t C hu r c h .
,

p er io d 2, sec . 2, c ha
p . 1 , p ar a gr ap h 1 0 .

It may be in tere sti n g to the reader to k n ow a little


m ore of the we ak -
m i n ded m an who se i n st r uctio n Ire n aeu s
e nj oyed Dr S ch af f (H isto r y of the C h r i sti an C hurc h
. .
,

vol 1 sec
.
,
s ays of h im
.

Papi as a di sci ple of John


, an d frie n d of Polyc ar p ,

bish o p of H ier apoli s in Phrygi a till toward s the m iddle


, ,

O f the seco n d ce n tury was a piou s m an an d well r e ad , ,

in the S criptures but credulou s an d we ak -,


m i nded He .

e n tert ai ned a grossly m ateri ali stic vie w of the mille n n iu m .

H e collected with great ze al the or al traditio n s of the


ap o stles re spe cti n g th e di scour se s an d wo r k s of Jesus an d

p ublished t h e m u n der t h e title : E xpl a n atio n s Of th e


Lord s Dis courses -in ve books A lt h ou gh t h i s wo r k


,

.

(a ccordi n
g to G all an di an d Pitr a) mai n t ai n ed it se l f d o wn
to the thirtee n th ce n tury yet we possess o n ly so me f rag ,

me n t s of it in Ire n ae u s an d E u sebiu s w h ic h togeth er , ,

wit h a few v alu able n otice s in reg ard f or exam ple to , , ,

the Go spel s of Matthew and Mark c o n t ai n perfectly ,

mo n strou s an d fabulou s i n ve n tio n s


.

The truthful ne ss of this l ast re mark is am ply proved


by the follo wi n g prophecy w h ich P api as puts into the
m outh of th e Lord :

A S th e elders who saw John th e di sciple of the Lord
I RE N E US . 127

rt
'
ue mb ered th at t h ey h ad h e ard fr o m h im h ow th e Lo r d
t a u ght in r egar d to tho se ti me s, an d said : T h e d ays

will co me in wh ic h vi n e s sh all gro w, h avi n g e ach ten


t h o u san d br an c h es, an d in e ach b r an c h ten t h ou san d
t wi gs, an d in e ach true t wig ten thou san d shoot s, an d in
e v e r y on e of th e sh oot s ten t h ou san d clu sters, an d on
e ve ry on e O f the cl u ste r s ten t h ou san d r a pe s a n d eve r y
g ,

ra e wh e n pre ssed will give ve- an d t w e n ty m etretes of


g p
in c . A n d w h e n an y on e of th e sai n t s Sh all l ay hold of
a cl uster an ot h er sh all cry ou t
, I am a better clu ster ,
,

take m e ; ble ss the Lo r d t h r ou gh m e I n like man n e r ,
.

h id t h t r ai n O f whe at would roduce t h ou


( e sa
) a a g p t en

a n d e ar s, an d t h at eve r y ear would h ave ten t h ou san d

g r ai n s, an d eve r y gr ai n would yield ten pou n ds of cle ar ,


ure n e our

F r a men t
p ,
.
g 4 .

It would perh aps be u nj u st to c al l P api as a ph en om e


1 al li ar but we can s afely sa th a t he ave u n bou n ded
, y g
l ice n se to h is i magi n atio n an d took g r e at liberties with
,

t he truth S uch was the ch ar acter of the man who


.

as i sted to p r ep are I r e n a
s eu s for h is po sition as a F ath er
of the ch urch T h at Ire n aeus was a worthy pu pil of
.

su ch a m aster I S i n dic ated by the follo wi n


g
:


I n theology I r e n aeu s is the r st who if he be r igh tly ,

i n ter pr eted su gge sts the di sast r o us view t h at C h ri st s


,

r an so m Of ou r r ace was p aid to S at an a n otio n w h ich


f
occu rs in th e wr iti n gs of t h eologi an s al m ost u n questio n ed
till th e d ays Of A n sel m E v e n as regard s even t s w h ich
.


were the n rece n t I r e n aeu s is a mo st u n saf e authority .

H istor y of I n terp r etation (F arr ar ) p , .

Mo shei m m akes the followi n g st atem e n t co n cer n i n g the


n u mber an d co n ditio n of the w r iti n s of Ire n a eu w h ich
g s ,

h ave re ac h ed u s

O f his writi n gs in su ppo r t of the C h r i sti an faith ,

whic h were n ot a f ew none be side s his ve book s agai n st


,

he re sie s h ave co me do wn to our ti m e ; an d i n deed th ese


1 28 FA T H E RS O F TH E C A T H OLI C C HU R C H .

(with the exceptio n of the r st) h ave re ached u s merely


through the mediu m Of a wretchedly b arb ar ou s an d ob

scure L ati n tr a sl tio
n a n E ccl esiastica l C ommen ta r ies .
,

cen t . 2, sec . 37 .

O this l ast poi n t the t r an sl ators of Iren aeus h ave


n

made a v e ry telli ng st ate m e n t in t h eir i n t r oducto r y


n otice It is one which t h ose who so high ly extol th e
.

v alue of h is writi n gs see m t o h ave e n tirely overlooked , .

H ere is wh at they say : ,


The gre at work of Ire n aeus n ow for the rst ti me ,

tran sl ated i n to E nglish is u n fortu n ately n o lo n ger ext an t ,

in the o ri gi n al It h as co me do wn to u s o n ly in an

an cie n t L ati n ver sio n with t h e exceptio n of th e g r eater ,

p art of the rst book which h as bee n p re served in the ,

origi n al Greek through me an s of copiou s quot ation s


,

mad e by H i ppolytus an d E piph an ius T h e text both .


,

L ati n an d Greek is oft en mo st u n cer tai n O n ly th ree


,
.

MMS of the work A gai n st H eresies ar e at pre se n t


.

k n own to exi st O thers h owever were u sed in the earl i


.
, ,

est pri n ted editio n s put fort h by E r asmus A n d as the se .

codices were more an cie n t than any n ow av ail able it is ,

g re atly to be re gretted that they h ave di sappe ared or


pe r i shed O n e of ou r di f culties th rou ghout h as bee n
.
,

to x th e re adi n gs we sh ould adopt especi ally in the rst ,

book V arieties O f re ad i n g actu al or co nj ectural h ave


.
, ,

bee n n oted o nly whe n s o me p o i n t of special i mport an ce


see med to be i n volved .

A fter the text h as bee n settled accordi ng to the best ,

j ud gme n t which can be for med the work Of t r an sl atio n ,

re mai n s ; an d th at is in this c ase a matter Of n o sm all , ,

di f culty I re n aeu s e v e n in the ori gi n al Greek is o fte n


.
, ,

a very Obscu re w rite r A t ti mes he expre sses hi mself .

with re mark able cle ar n e ss an d terse n e ss ; but upo n the ,

whole h is style is v ery i n volved an d prolix


, A n d th e .

L ati n ve rsio n adds to the se di f cultie s of the ori gi n al by ,

bei ng itself of the m ost b arb ar ous char acter I n fact it .


,

is Ofte n n eces sary to make a co nj ectur al r e- tran slatio n of


I RE N E US . 1 29

it into Greek in order to obtain some in k lin g of what


,

the author wrote Dodwel l supposes this L atin v ersion


.

to have been made about the end of the fourth century ;


but as Tertullian see ms to h ave u se d it we must rather ,
'
place it in the beginning of the third Its author is u n .

known but he was certainly little qualied for his task


,
.

\ V e h ave en deavored to gi v e as close and accurate a


translation of the work as possible but there are not a ,

f ew passages in which a guess can only be made as to the



probable meaning .

O ne way of arri v ing at a knowledge of an unknown


quantity is to guess wh at the half of it is and then ,

m ultiply that by two This process will in v ariably give


.

the correct result pro v ided you make n o mistake in


,

guessing at the hal f We h ave also heard that when


.

farmers who li v e in the woods far from ci v ilization wis h, ,

to ascertain the exact wel gh t of a hog and hav e n o ,

scales they lay a plan k across a l og place the am mal on


, ,

on e end of the plank pile stones on the other end until


,

they exactly balance the h og and then they guess how ,

much the stones weigh This h as ne v er been k nown to


.

f ail to gi v e the exact weight of a hog unless a mistake ,

was made in guessing the weight of the stones .

V ery simila r to these methods was th e means adopted


by the translators of Iren aeus The original of his writ .

ings (with a single exception ) nowhere exists The small .

portion that has come to us in the original Greek shows ,

that Iren aeus could with di f culty express him self so as to


be understood This obscurity is greatly increased by the
.

wretched L atin translation in which his writings are ex


tant So whene v er the translators came to a passage out
.

of which they could not for their l i v es m ak e any sen se ,

they wrote out a Gree k senten ce which they guessed


9
1 30 FA TH E RS O F TH E CA T H O L I C C H U RC H .

might b e what Iren aeus said and then translated that into ,

E nglish and lo ! we ha v e the writings of Iren aeus Whe n


,
.

writings may be reproduced in that way there is cer ,

tain l y no reason for an y man s writings to be lost



.

O f course the abo v e method was n ot pursued with all


of the wor k s of Iren aeus and there is n o doubt but that ,

we have some things j ust as he wrote them ; but the ques


tion is Which are the genuine and which are not ? The
,

guess- wor k of the translators throws doubt upon every


thing B ut it really makes v ery little di f f erence If it
. .

were all conj ecture or if all were lost the world would be
, ,

better off No do ubt the part which the translators


.

evolv ed from their own imagination is better than what ,

Iren aeus actually wrote .

With the fac ts recorded in the last quotation before


u s it is scarcely wort h while to make any extracts from
,

Iren aeus E ach re ad er might do a little guessing on his


.

own account and produce the writings of


,
that F ather
in a style to suit his own ind iv idual taste B ut th at we .

may kno w something of the character of tha t which is


generally credited to him a few specimens are appended , .


The following is fr om Iren aeus against H eresies :

Wherefore it is i ncumbent to obey the presbyters who
are in the church those who as I h av e shown possess

, , ,

the succession from the apostles ; those who together with ,

the succession of the episcopate have recei v ed the certain ,

gi f t of truth according to the good-pleasure of the F a


,

ther B ut (it is also incu mbent) to hold in suspicion


.

others who depart fro m the primitive succession and as ,

semble themsel v es together in any place whatsoever ,

(looking upon them ) either as heretics of perverse minds ,

or as schismatics pu f f ed u p and self-


pleasing or again as ,

hy pocrites acting thus for the sake of l ucre and v ain


,

glory B ook 4 c hap
.
p ar 2 , . . .
I RE N E US . 1 31

This it will be seen tends solely to the


, ,
building of u p-

the hierarchy of the Catholic Church While O rigen .

and Tertullian were v ery v ersatile introducing many ,

heresies Iren aeus did his chief ser v ice to the R oman Cath
,

olic Church in the line of establishi n g the E piscopal suc


cession and prepari n g the minds of the pe ople for the
,


acceptan ce of on e universal bishop .

The following which teaches obedience to the Church


,

of R ome shows h ow early the R omish leav en bega n to


,

work :

Since h owe ver it would be v er y tedious in such a
, , , .

v olume as this to reckon u p the successions of al l the


,

churches we do put to confusion all those wh o i n what


, ,

ever manner whether by an e v il self-plea ing by v ain


,
s
,

glory or by blindness and pe rverse O pinion assemble in


, ,

unauthorized meetings ; (we do this I say) by indicating ,

that tradition deri v ed from the apostles of the very great , ,

the very ancient and universally known church founded


,

and organized at R ome by the two most glorious apostles ,

Peter and P aul ; as also (by pointing ou t) the faith


preached to men which comes down to our time by
,

means of the s u ccessions of the bishops F or it is a mat .

ter of necessity that every church should agree with this


church on account of its pre-eminent authority that is
, , ,

the fai thful everywhere in asmuch as the apostolic tradi


,

tion has been preser ved continuously by those (faithful


men ) who exist everywhere .


The blessed apostles then h aving founded and built
, ,

u p the church committed into the hands of L inus the


,

o f ce of the episcopate O f this L inus P aul makes .


,

mention in the epistles to Timothy To him succeeded .

Anacletus ; and after him in the third place from the ,

apostles Clement was allotted the bishopric This man


, .
,

as he had seen the blessed apostles and had been con ,

v ersant with them migh t be said to have the preach ing


,

of the apostles still echoing in h i ears and their tr di


( s
) a ,
1 32 FA TH E RS O F TH E C A T H OL I C C HU R C H .

tions before his eyes Nor was he alone (in this) for
.
,

there were many still remaining who had recei v ed in


str u ction s from the apostles In the time of this Clem
.

ent n o small dissensio n ha ving occurred among the


,

brethren at Corinth the church in R ome dispatched a


,

most powerful letter to the Corinthians exhorting them ,

to peace renewn their faith and declaring the tradi


, ,

tion which it had lately recei v ed fro m the apostles pro ,

claiming the on e God omnipotent the M aker of hea v en


, ,

an d earth the Creator of man who brought on the deluge


, , ,

and called Abraham who led the people from the land
,

of Egypt S pake with Moses set forth the law sent the
, , ,

prophets and who has prepared re for the d evil and his
,

a n gels F rom this document wh osoe v er chooses to d o so


.
, ,

m ay learn that he the F ather of ou r L ord Jesus Christ


, ,

was preached by the churches and m ay also u nderstand ,

the apostolical tradition of the ch urch sin ce this epistle ,

is of older d ate th an these men who are n ow propagating


falsehood and who conj ure into existence another God
,

beyond the Creator and the Maker of all existing things .

To this Clement there succeeded E varistus Alexander .

followed E varistus ; then sixth from the apostles Sixtus


, ,

was appointed ; a fter him T el eph or us who was gloriously


, ,

martyred ; then H yginus ; after him P iu s ; th en after him , ,

Anicetus Soter having succeeded Anicetus E leutherius


.
,

does n ow in the twelfth place from the apostles hold the


, ,

inheritance of the episcopate In this order and by this .


,

succession the ecclesiastical tradition fro m the apostles


, ,

and the preaching of the truth h ave come do wn to us ,


.

And this is most abundant p roof that there is on e and


the same vivifying faith whic h h as been preserved in the
,

church from the apostles u ntil now and handed down ,



in truth .
I d b ook 3 c hap 3 p ar agr ap hs 2 3
.
, , .
, , .

St ill further we read to the same intent :


Since therefore we h ave such proofs it is n ot n eces ,

sary to seek the truth among others which it is easy to


ob tain from the church ; since the apostles like a rich ,
I RE N ZE U S . 1 33

man (depositing his money) in a bank lodged in her ,

hands most C opiously all things pertaining to the truth :


so that e v ery man whosoever will can dra w from her the
, ,

water of life F or she is the entrance to l ife ; all others


.

are thieves and robbers O n this accoun t are we bound


.

to a v oid them b ut to make choice of the things pertaining


,

to the church wit h the utmost diligence and to lay hold ,

of the tradition of the truth F or how stands the case ? .

Suppose there arise a dispute rel ative to some important


question among us should we n ot have recourse to the
,

most ancient churches with which the apostles held con


stant intercourse and learn from them what is certain
,

and clear in regard to th e present question ? F or h ow


should it be if the apostles themselves had not lef t us
writings ? Would it not b e necessary (in that case) to
follow the course of the tradition which they handed

down to those to whom they did commit the churches ?
Id .
,
c ha
p ; 4 p ar agr ap h 1
,
.

It may be claimed that Iren aeus did n ot write this but ,

that it is the work of someone who lived at a later d ate ,

and who wished to have the weight of Iren aeus s inuence

in behalf of R oman supremacy O f course the on e who .

makes that clai m wil l never be found quoting from


Iren aeus in behalf of anything else for if this is a forgery , ,

any other portion may be a forgery also B ut the fact .

remains that the writings of Iren aeus whoe ver prod uced ,

them favor the R o m an Catholic usurpation Tradition


, .

is by them exalted and the peopl e are exhorted to h ave


,


recourse to the most ancient churches instead of to ,

the Bible .

In proof of the statement m ade by K illen that the ,

writings of Iren aeus are n ot destitute of puerilities we



,


quote the f ollowing reasons which he gi ves to show
why there are only four Gospels
It IS not p ossible that the Gosp els can be eith er more
1 34 FA T H ER S O F TH E C A T H O LI C C HU R C H .

or fewer in number than they are F or since there are .


,

four zones of the world in which we live and four princi ,

pal winds while the church is scattered throughout all


,

the world and the pillar and ground of the church is


,

the gospel and the spirit of life ; it is tti n g that sh e


should have four pillars breathing ou t immortality on
,

every side and v ivifyin g m en afresh F rom which fact


,
'
.
,

it is evident that the \V or d the A r ti cer of all he that


, ,

sitteth upon the cherubim and contains all things he , ,

who was m anifested to men has given us the gospe l under,

four aspects but bound together by one Spirit As also


,
.

David says when entreating his m anifestation Thou


, ,

that sittest between the cherubim shine forth F or the ,


.

cherubim too were f our-faced and their faces were


, , ,

images of the dispensation of the Son of G od F or (as .

the Scripture) says The rst livi n g creature was like a


,

lion symbolizing his ef f ectual working his leadership


,

, ,

an d royal power ; the second (livi ng creature) was like a


calf sign iyin g (his) sacricial and sacerdotal order ; but
,

f
the third h ad as it were the face as o a man an evi


, , ,

dent description of his ad vent as a human being ; the

fourth was like a ying eagle pointing out the gift of ,


the Spirit hovering with h is wings over the church .

And therefore the Gospels are in accord with th ese things ,



among which Christ Jesus is seated I d book 3 . .
, ,

c ha 1 1 ar a r a h 8
p , p
.
g p .

That is fanciful enough but it is not so bad as the ,

following which sh ows Iren aeus to have been a t com


,

panio n of the one who stole the name of Barnab as to


foist his idle imaginings upon the church :

Now the law has guratively predicted all these de ,

l in eatin g man by the (various) animals : whatsoever of


these says (the Scriptu re) ha v e a double hoof and rumi
, ,

nate it proc l aims as clean ; but whatsoever of the m do


,

not possess on e or other O f th ese (properties) i t sets aside by ,

themselves as unclean Who then are the clean ? Those


.

who mak e their way by faith stead ily towards the F ather
and the S on ; for this is denoted by the steadiness of those
which di v ide the hoof ; and they me ditate day and n ight
upon the words of God that they may be adorned with
,

good works ; for this is the meaning of the r uminants .

The u nclean howe ver are those who do neither divide


, ,

the hoof n or ruminate ; that is those persons who ha v e ,

neither faith in God nor do meditate on his words ; and


,

such is the abomination of the Gentiles But as to those


animals which do indeed che w the cud but hav e n ot the ,

double hoof are themsel v es un clean we h ave in them a


, ,

gurative description of the Je ws wh o certai n ly ha v e the ,

words of God in their mouth but wh o do n ot x their ,

rooted steadfastness in the F ather and in the Son ; where


fore they are an unstable generation F or those animals .

which have the h oof all in on e piece easily slip but


those which h ave it di v ided are more sure-footed their ,

cleft hoofs succeeding each other as they advance and ,

the one hoof supporting the other In like manner too .


, ,

those are unclean which h av e the double hoof but do n ot


ruminate : this is plainly an indication O f all heretics ,

and of those who d o not meditate on the words of G od ,

neither are adorned with works of righteousness ; to whom


also the L ord says Why call ye me L ord L ord and
, , ,

do not the things which I say to you ? F or men of this

stamp d o indeed say that they believ e in the F ather and


the Son but they nev er meditate as they should upon the
,

things of God neither are they adorned wit h works of


,

righteous ness ; but as I hav e already obser v ed they h ave


, ,

ad opted the lives of s wine and of dogs giving themselves ,

over to l thin ess to gluttony and recklessness of all sorts


, ,
.

J ustl y therefore did the apostle call all such carnal


, ,

(all those namely) wh o through their own



and animal
, ,

u nbelief and luxury do n ot receive the divine Spirit and ,

in their v arious phases cast out from themsel v es the life


giving word and walk stupidly after their own lusts : the
,

prophets too S pake of them as beasts of burden and wild


, ,

beasts ; custom likewise has v ie wed them in the light of


cattle and irrational creatures ; and the l aw h as pro

n oun ced them unclean b ook 5 c hap 8 p ar 4
.
, .
.
,
1 36 FA T HE R S OF TH E C A T H OL I C C HU R C H .

We are now prepared to listen to what Iren aeus has to


sa
y about the Sabbath and Sunda y althou gh what we ,

ha v e already read does not tend to make us li sten with a


'
great deal of re v erence either for his O pinion or his pr ac
tice In n u mber 7 of the F ragments fro m the L ost
. .


Writi n gs of I r en aaus we read ,

This (custom ) of not bendi n g the k nee upon Sunday


, ,

is a symbol of the res urrection through which we h av e ,

b een set free by the grace of Christ from sins and from
, , ,

death which has bee n put to death u nder h im N ow


, .

this custom too k its rise from apostolic times as the ,

blessed Iren aeus the martyr and bishop of L yons declares


, ,

in his treatise O n E aster in which he makes me n tion of


,

Pentecost also ; upon which (feast) we d o not bend the


knee because it is of equal signicance with the L ord s
,


day f or the reason already alleged con cerning it
, .

N O exp l anation of this passage is needed Whoe ver .

wishes to accept it along with all that I ren aeas has writ
ten is welcome to do so I f it is not a forgery and it
, .
,

was writt en at the time that Iren aeus is supposed to ha v e


l i v ed then it simply shows that some slight re v erence f or
,

Sunday existed quite early in the church together with ,

the other beginnings of apostasy from the Bible religion .

In a foot-note to fragment number 50 we nd the ,

following

This extract is intr oduced as follows : F or Iren aeus

bishop of Lyons who was a contemporary of the disci


,

ple of the apostle P olycarp bishop of Smyrna and


, ,

martyr and for this reason is held in j ust estimation


, ,

wrote to an Alexandrian to the e ff ect that it is right with ,

respect to the feast of the resurrection that we sho ul d ,

celebrate it upon the rst day of the week .


That is to say that somebody says that Iren aeus who


, ,

acqu ired great renown from the fact that he l i v ed at the


I RE N E US . 1 37

same time that P olycarp did wrote to somebody else to ,

the e f f ect that the feast of the resurrection ought to be


celebrated on the rst day of the week H ow he found .


out th at any feast of the resurrection should ever be
cel ebrated this u nknown deponent saith n ot
,
.

Whether the following is favorable to the Sabbath of


the fourth commandment or O pposed to it the writer is ,

un able -to determine Whoev er thinks that it is worth


.

anything is welcome to it :
,

And therefore the L ord reproved those who n u


j ustly blamed him for having healed upon the Sabbath
days F or he did not m ake void but fullled the law by
.
, ,

performing the O f ces of the h igh priest propitiating God ,

for men and cleansi n g the lepers healing the sick and
, , ,

himself su ff ering death that exiled man might go forth


,

from condemn ation and might return without fear to his


,

own inheritan ce I r en ams again st H er esies book 4 , ,

c hap . 8 , p ar agr ap h 2 .

The f ollowing however most clearly teaches the n eces


, ,

sity O f obedience to all the commandments


They (the Jews) h ad therefore a law a course of dis ,

cipl in e and a prophecy O f future things F or God at


,
.

the rst indeed warning the m by means of natural pre


, ,

cepts which from the begin n ing he had implanted in


,

mankind that is by means O f the decalog ue (which if


, , ,

anyone does not Observe he h as n o sal v ation ) d id then , ,

demand nothing more of them As Moses says in Deu .

ter on omy These are al l the words which the L ord spake
,

to the whole assembly of the sons of Israel on the mount ,

and he ad ded no more ; and he wrote them on two tables


of stone and gave them to me

, F or this reason (he did .

so) that they who are willi n g to follow him might keep
,

these commandments I d book 4 c hap 1 5 p ar a . .
, , ,

ra
g p h 1 .

And the following does most emphaticall y assert th e


p erpetuity of the l aw of G od
1 38 FA T H ERS OF T H E C A T H OL I C C HU R C H .


P reparing man for this l ife the L ord himself did ,

s pea k in his o wn person to all alike the words O f the


decalogue ; an d theref ore in like man ner d o they remain , ,

permanently with us receivi n g by means of his advent


,

in the esh exte n sion and increase but not abrogation
, , .

I d,, b ook 4, c ha
p 1
. 6 , p ar a r a h
g p 4 .

It is to be hoped that n o commandment-keeper will


e v er refer to these passages in Iren aeus as evidence that
.

Christ did n ot abrogate the law of God the ten com ,

m an d men ts It is true th at h e d id not abate on e j ot of


.

the law but the testimony of Iren aeus does n ot make that
,

fact any more certain I V e k now it because C hrist him


.

sel f h as said so I V e may n ot quote the F athers as au


.

th ority e v en w h en they tell the truth f or that would oblige ,

us to accept their heresies The abov e extracts are useful .

howe v er to quote for the benet of those who would fain


,

deri v e comfort from Iren aeus for the custom of observing


Su n day in O pposition to the fourth precept of the deca
,

logue .

Those who wish to take Iren aeus as authority on any


poin t m u st accept his teachi n g on al l points an d so in
, , ,

addition to the exalta tion O f R o me they must accept ,

the doctrine of purgatory for Iren aeus says ,

It was for this reason too that the L ord descended


.
, ,

into the regions be n eath the earth preaching his advent ,

there also an d (decl aring) the remission of Sins received


,

by those who believ e in him I d c hap 3 7 p ar agr ap h 3
. .
,
.
,
. .

The above doctrine of purgatory an d probatio n after


death is of course based upon the doctrine of the immor
tality of th e soul ; yet the following is a virtu al contra
diction of that theory It is at any rate a plain state .

me n t of the fact that p eople d o not go to H ea v en at


death :
I RE N E US . 1 39

If then the L ord O bserved the l aw of the dead that


, , ,

he might become the r st-begotten from the dead and ,

tarried u ntil the third d ay in the lower parts of the

earth then after wards rising in the esh so th at he ,

even showed the print of the nails to his disciples he thus ,

ascended to the F ather ; (if all these things occurred ,

I say ) how must these men n ot be put to confusion


, ,

who allege that the lower p arts refer to this world of


ours but that their inner man leaving the body here
, , ,

ascends into the super - celestial place ? F or as the L ord


went away in the midst of the sh adow of death where

,

the souls of the dead were yet afterwards arose in the ,

body and after the resurrection was taken u p (into


,

H eaven ) it is manifest that the souls of his disciples also


, ,

u pon whose account the L ord underwent these things ,

S hall go away into the invisible place allotted to them by


God an d there remain until the resurrection awaiting
, ,

that e v ent ; then receiving their bodies and rising in ,

their entirety that is bodily j ust as the L ord arose they


, , ,

S h all come thus into the presence of God F or n o d is .


c ipl e is above th e Maste r but e v er yone that is perfect,

shall be as his M as ter A S ou r Master therefore did



.
, ,

not at once depart taking ight (to H eaven ) but awaited


, ,

the time of his resu rrection prescribed by the F ather ,

which had been also shown forth through Jonas and ,

risi n g again af ter three days was taken u p (to H eav en ) ,

so ought we also to await the time of our resurrection

prescribed by God an d foretold by the prophets an d so , ,

rising be taken U p as m any as the Lord shall account


, ,

worthy of this I d b ook 5 c hap 3 1 p ar a .


, , .
,

g p h
ra3 .

The following extract is rather long but it is a good ,

example of the style of Iren aeus and although it may , ,

be called a point of minor importance it shows how read ,

ily false theories O btain credence and are propagated ,

among the peO pl e:



They howe v er that they may establish their fa lse
, ,
1 40 F A T H ER S O F TH E C A T H OL I C C HU R C H .

opinion regardi n g that which is written to proclaim the ,


acceptable year of th e L ord maintain that he preached ,


for on e year only and then s uff ered in the twelfth m onth
,
.

( In speaking thus ) they are forgetfu l to their own d isad


,

vantage de stroying his whole work and robbing him of


, ,

that age which is both more n ecessary and more honora


ble th an any other ; that more ad v anced age I mean , ,

d uring which also as a teacher he excelled all others .

F or h ow could he have h ad disciples if he did not teach ? ,

And h ow could he h ave taught unless he had reached the ,

age of a master ? F or when he came to be baptized he ,

had not yet completed his thirtieth year but was begin ,

n i n g to be about thirty years of age for thus L uke who


( ,

has m entioned his years has expressed it : N ow Jesus ,


was as it were beginning to be thirty years ol d when he


, , ,

came to recei v e b aptism) ; and (according to these men )


he preached only on e y ear reckoning from his baptism .

O n completing his thirtieth year he su ff ered bei n g in fact ,

still a young man and who had b y n o means attained to


,

advanced age Now that the rst stage of early life em


.
,

braces thirty years and that this extend s onwards to the


,

fortieth year e veryone will admit ; b u t from the fortieth


,

and ftieth year a man begins to decline towards O ld age ,

which ou r L ord possessed while he still fullled the Of ce


of a teacher e v en as the gospel an d all the elders testify ;
,

those who were con v ersant in Asia with John the d isci ,

ple of the L ord (af rming) that John conveyed to them


,

that i n formation And he remained among them u p to


.

the times of Traj an Some of them moreover saw not .


, ,

only John but the other apostles also and heard the v er y
, ,

same account from them and bear testimony as to the ,

(validity of ) the statement Whom then s h ould we .

rather believe ? Whether su ch men as these or P tol e ,

maeus who never saw the apostles and who ne v er even in


, ,

h is dreams attained to the slightest trace of an apostle ?


But besides this those very Jews wh o then disputed
, ,

with the L ord Jesus Christ h ave most clearl y indicated


the same thing F o r when the L ord said to th em
.
I RE N E US . 1 41

Y our father Abraham rej oiced to see my d ay ; and he


saw it and was glad
,
they answered him Th ou art n ot
,

,

N ow

y et fty years O ld and hast tho u seen Abraham ?
, ,

such language is ttin gl y applied to on e who has already


passed the age of forty without hav ing as yet reached ,

his ftiet h year yet is n ot far from this latter period


,
.

But to one who is only thirty years O l d it would u n ques


tion ab l y b e said Thou art n ot yet forty years ol d F or

.
,

those who wished to convict him of falsehood would


certainly not extend the number of his years far b e
yond the age which they saw he had attained ; but
they mentioned a period near his real age whether they ,

had truly ascertained this out of the entry in the public


register or simply m ade a conj ecture fro m w hat they oh
,

served that he was above forty yearS ol d and that he cer ,

tain l y was n ot on e of only thirty years of age F or it is .

altogether unreasonable to suppose that they were mis


taken by twenty years when they wished to pro v e h im
,

younger than the ti mes of Abraham F or wh at they .

saw that they also expressed ; an d he whom they beheld


,

was not a mere phantasm but an actual being of esh ,

and blood H e did n ot then want mu c h of being f ty


.

years ol d ; and in accordance with that fact they said


, ,

to him Thou ar t n ot yet f ty years O ld and hast tho u


,

,

seen Abraham ? I d book 3 c hap 33 p ar agr ap hs 5



.
, , .
, ,

With respect to the assertion of Iren aeus that the


apostle John told the elders in Asia that when Jesus ,

taught he was u pwards O f forty years ol d H arvey who , ,

got out an edition of Iren aeus says ,


.


The reader may h ere receive the unsatisfactory
character of tradition where a mere fact is concerned
, .

F rom reasonings founded upon th e e v a n gelical history ,

as well as from a preponderance of external testimony it ,

is most certai n that ou r L ord s ministry extended but

little over three years ; yet here Iren aeus states that it in
cluded more than ten years and appeals to a tradition ,

deri v ed as he says fro m those wh o h ad con v ersed with


, ,

an apostle
.
Qu oted in a foot-n ote b
y B is hop C ox e , .
14 2 FA T H E RS OF TH E C A TH OLI C C HU R C H .

And Bishop Coxe also adds a note to the statement


that Jesus did not lack m uch of being fty years ol d
whe n the conve rsation occurred which is recorded in the
eighth chapter of John H e says : .


This statement is simply asto unding and might seem ,

a providentia l illustration of the worthlessness O f mere


tradition unsustained by the written word N O mere .


trad ition could be more creditably authorized than this .

It is a pity that the bishop and other admirers of the


F athers ha ve n ot always kept this fact in mind If they .

had they would not have l an d ed the F athers as they


,

ha v e for their writings are mostly tradition or specula


,

tion Since it is admitted that everything must be su s


.

tained by the Bible in orde r to be of any v alue h ow


, ,

much better it would be to go to the Bible direct for ou r


j n f or mation with out oundering thro ugh the bogs of pa
,

tristic literature .

In his preface to the writings O f Iren aeus Bishop Coxe ,


says : Not a little of what is contained in the following
pages wil l seem almost u nintelligible to the E nglish
reader And it is scarcely more comprehensible to those
.


who h av e pondered long on the original Whoever .

wades through the e n tire m ass will be con v inced of th e


truth of that statement an d the following is on e of the
,

p assages which will ser v e to con vince him



Moreover Jesu s which is a word belonging to the
, ,

proper tongue of the H ebrews contains as the learned , ,

among them declare two letters and a h alf and signies


, ,

tha t L ord wh o contains hea v en and earth ; f or Jesus in


the ancient H ebre w language means heav en while
,

again earth is ex pressed by the words sa r a a sser



The .

word therefore which contains heaven and earth is j ust


, ,

Jesus -I r emeus again st H er esies book 3 c hap 34 p ar
.
, , ,

a r
g pa h3 .
I RE N IEU S . 1 43

The bishop truly says that nothing can be made of



these words A n d the words sa r a a sser betray not
.

m uch more ignorance on the part of the writer than


does his attempt to handle the H ebrew Such ignorance .

and pedantry on the part of a modern writer wo ul d make


him the laughing stock of all who sho uld take the trouble

to rea d his writings But Iren aeus is a F ather of the
.


chu rch and so forsooth his senseless j argon must be
, , ,

looked u pon with re v erence and awe .

It appears moreover that Iren aeus was almost as ig


, ,

n or an t of Greek as h e was of H eb rew although he wrote ,

in Greek That is he was an ignorant scribbler who


.
,

made great pretensions to k nowledge In boo k 2 chap .


,


ter 35 paragraph 3 O f his work Against H eresies he
, ,

says :

I n like m anner also S a baoth when it is spelled by a
, ,

Greek O mega in the last syllable (Sabaoth ) denotes a ,



v oluntary agent ; b ut when it is spelled with a Greek
O micron as f or instance Sabaoth it expresses the
, ,

rst heav en In the same way too the word Jaoth


.

, , ,

when the last syllable is made long and aspirated denotes ,

a predetermined measure ; but when it is written

shortly by the Greek letter O micron namely Jabih it , ,


signies O n e who puts evils to ight


A s Coxe says :
The author is here utterly mista k en .

The term Sabaoth is ne v er written wi th an


O micron either in the L X X or by the Greek F athers
, .
, ,

but always with an O mega But j us t thin k



of the absurdity of writ ing s uc h stu f f against heresies .

With on e more example of the expository S k ill of


Iren aeus we will take leave of him It is from h is won
, .

d er f ul refutation of all heresies :

Moreo v er by the words they used this fact was pointed


,
1 44 F A T H ER S OF TH E C A T H OLI C C HU R C H .

ou t that there is no other on e who can confer upo n the


elder and younger church the (power of ) giving birt h
to children besides ou r F ather N ow the father O f the
,
.

human race is the Word of God as Moses points out ,

when he says Is n ot he thy father who hath obtained


,
.

thee (by generation ) and formed thee an d created thee ? , ,


At what time then did he pour out upon the human


, ,

race the life-giving seed that is the Spirit of the r e ,

mission O f sins through mean s of who m we are qui ck


,

ened ? Was it not then when he was eating with men , ,

and drinking wine upon the earth ? F or it is said The ,


S on of man came eating and drinking ; and when h e


had lain do wn he fell asleep and took repose As he


, , .

does himsel f say in David I S lept and took repose ,



,
.

And because he used thus to act while he dwelt and


li v ed a mong us he says again And my sleep became , ,

sweet u nto me N ow this wh ole matter was indicated



.

through L ot that the s ee d of the F ather of all th at is


,

,

of the Spirit of God by whom all things were m ade ,

was commingled and u nited with esh that is with his ,

own workmanship ; by which commixtu re a n d unity the

t wo synagogues that is the two churches produced ,

fro m their own father living sons to the li ving God .


And while these things were taking place h is wi f e ,

remained in (the territory of ) Sodom n o longer corrupt ,

ible esh but a pillar of salt which end ures forever ; and
,

by those n atural processes which appertain to the h um an


race indicating that the church also which is the salt of
, ,

the earth has been lef t behind within the connes of the
,

earth and sub ject to human su ff erings ; and while entire


,

members are O ften taken away from it the pillar of salt ,

still endures thus typifying the foundation of th e faith


,

which m aketh strong an d sends for ward children to their , ,



F ather B ook 4 c hap
.
p ar a r a hs 3 3
g p , .
, .

In this Iren aeus sho w


s himself worthy to rank with
the worst of the F athers as a perverter of the simple

statements of the Bible H ow true it is that the world .
I RE N j E U S. 1 45


by wisdom k new n ot G od . Those men were so imbued
with the spirit of heathen philosophy which consisted,

simply in a S how of l earning to mystify and awe the


,

simple-minded that they could n ot come down to the


,

plain common -sense teaching O f the Bible L ot s drink


,
~
.

ing wine m ust needs be made a type of Christ ; the chi l


dren begot ten by incestuous intercourse with his d augh
ters is taken as a type Of the church proceeding from
God ; and with the usual disregard of consistency the ,

pillar of sal t in to which L ot s wife was t urned is made


,

,

to rep resent th e church which preser v es the world al ,

though that did not pre ser v e anything And th at is a


.

sample of the stu f f that was written against heresies .

Such childish triing with the sacred text is well adapted


to produce heresy an d indelity and nothing else And
,
.

therefore the same v erdict will h av e to be pronounced


upon Iren aeus as upon the other so-called F athers H is .

intentions may hav e been good but whate v er inuence


,

his wor k h as had h as been blighting to pure Christian


,


ity and to re v erence for the sincere mil k of the word .

No wonder he is an honored F ather in the C atholi c


Chur ch .

10
C H A P T E R X .

JUS T I N M A RT Y R .

BU T litt l e is known about the li f e of this man except ,

what is found in his own writings That which is gen .

er all y accepted is that he was born in the c ty of Shechem


i
( the m odern Na h lous ) in Samaria about
,
1 14 A D H e , . .

was a Gentile however and e v idently fro m a family of


, ,

some wealth and social standing for he tra v eled exten ,

siv el y and was liberall y educated in the learnin g of


,

those times Before adopting C hristianity he was a pro


.
,

f ession al heathen philosopher According to E usebiu s .

and some other historians he su ff ered martyrdom at ,

R ome in A D 1 65 as the result of a plot laid for h im


, . .
,

by the philosophers of that city The following extracts .

from reputable church historians gi v e a good idea of h is


character as a man and as a professed leader of the
,

Christian religion Bishop Coxe in his introductory


.
,


note to the F irst Apology says : ,


Justin was a Gentile but born in Samaria near , ,

Jacob s well H e must ha v e been well educated : he had



.

traveled extensively and he seems to ha v e been a person


,

enj oying at least a competen ce After trying all other .

sys tems his elevated tastes and rened perceptions made


,

him a disciple of Socrates and P lato .

It is to be hoped that f ew will indorse the statemen t



immediately following the abo v e that so he climbed ,

towards Christ If it is really true that Socrates and
.

P lato were the steps by which Justin c l imbed to ward


(146 )
JUST I N MA R T Y R . 1 47

Christ then he never reached C hrist ; for one might as


,

soon expect to reach the top of a mountain by going


d own into a mine or to reach H eaven by descending into
,

the bottomless pit as to reach Christ by st udying S ocra


,

tes and P lato The great trouble with Justin and the
.


others who are misnamed Christian F ath ers is that ,

their Christianity consisted largely of heathen philosophy .

This it was that clouded their minds to the simple truth


of the gospel and made them s uch blind leaders of the
,

blind Whatever they learned of Christ they learned


.
,

in S pite of their study of philosophy and not because ,

of it .

Bishop Coxe says further



H e wore his philosopher s gown after his con v ersion

,

as a token that he had attained the only true philosophy .

And seeing that after the conicts and tests of ages it is


, , ,

the only philosophy th at lasts and lives and triumphs ,



its disco v erer deser v es the homage of mankind .

The b iSh O p S note on the philosopher s go wn is worthy



of more than passing notice H e says : It survi v es in
.

the pulpits of Christendom Greek L atin Anglican L u



, , ,


theran etc to this day in slightly dif f erent forms

, ,
This .

is a remarkable admission to co me from a bishop of the


Anglican Church that the surplice of the E piscopal
, ,

Catholic or L utheran clergyman is a link th at connects


,

his religion with that of ancient paganism a S ign that he


is not fully emancipated from the bondage of supersti
tion O f course there are very f ew nowadays who stop
.

to think of the S ignicance of the vestments of the

church ; but we may be sure that Justi n Martyr had a


distinct pur pose in retaining his philosopher s gown aer

he professed Christianity It was not a matter O f con


.
148 FA T H ER S OF TH E C A T H OL I C C HU R C H .

v en ien ce merely but it signied that he was a phil oso


,

pher still but with a n ew idea


,
It signi ed that h e .

could discern n o incompatibility bet ween Christianity


and pagan philosophy This conclusion is sustained by .

Dr K illen who says


.
,


Justin e v en af ter his con v ersion still wore the phil oso
, ,

h r s cloak and contin ued to cherish an u ndue regard


p e ,

f or the wisdom of the pagan sages H is mind never was .

completely emancipated fro m the in uence of a system

of false metaphysics ; and thus it was that whilst his


'

V l ews of v arious doctrines of the gospel remained con

fused his allusions to them are equivocal if not contra


, ,

d ictory .

i
A n cien t Chu rch , p er iod 3, sec
. 3, c hap . 1 , p ar
a ra h 6
g p .

The learned N ean der testies as follows :



Justin Martyr is remarkable as the rst among these ,

apologists whose writings have reached us and as the ,

rst of those bet ter known to us who became a teacher ,

of the Christian church in who m we observe an approx ,

imation bet ween Christianity and the Greci an but es ,



i l l the P latonic philosophy Rose s N ean d er

pe c a
y p .
, .

41 0 .

Mosheim says :

\V ith the Jews contended in particular Justin Mar ,

tyr in his dialogue wit h T ryph o ; and likewise Tertullian ;


,

but neither of them in the best manner ; because they ,

were not acquainted with the language and history of the



H ebrews and did n ot duly consider the subj ect
, .

Mos heim , E cclesia stica l H istory, book 1 , cen t . 3, p ar t 3,


c hap . 3, sec . 7 .

And S ch af f b ears the following testimony :



Justin was a man of very extensive readi n g enormous ,

memory inquiring spirit and many profound ideas but


, , ,

wanting in critical discern ment H is mode of reasoning .

is ofte n ingenio us an d c on v incing but sometimes l oosea n d ,


JUST I N MA R T Y R . 149

ram b l ing fanciful and puerile H is style is easy and v i


, .

v aciou s but di ff use and careless


,
H e is the rst of the .

ch urch F athers to bring classical scholarship and P la



tonic philosophy in contact with the Christian theology .

V ol 1 .
,
s ec . 1 33 .

In .
v iew of
these facts it is e v ident that Justin Martyr
is really as unsafe a guide in m atters O f religion as -P lato ,

or Socrates or any other heathen philosopher


,
Nor can .

it be said that although he himself may not be a saf e ,

teacher of theology he may be relied on as a delineator ,

of ch urch customs in the second century which may be ,

followed ; for (1 ) The customs of the church at that time


,

must necessarily hav e been per v erted by the inux of pa


gans an d by the teaching and example of su ch men as
,

Justin ; and (2) Justin cannot be depended on as to mat


ters of fact Says F arrar .


F ollowing in the footsteps of the rabbis he denies

the plainest historical facts H istor y of I n terp r etation .
,

p . 1 73 .

This being the case it evidently will n ot do to place ,

much reliance upon h is word whate v er he may say , .

We can therefore rate the following as it deser ves



And on the d ay called Sunday all who li v e in cities ,

or in the country gather together to one place and the ,

memoirs of the apostles or the writings of the prophets


are read as long as time permits ; then when the read er
, ,

h as ceased the president verbally instructs an d exhorts


, ,

to the imitation of these good things Then we all rise .

together an d pray and as we before said when our , ,

prayer is ended bread and wine and wate r are brought , ,

and the president in like m anner O ff ers prayers and


thanksgi v ings according to his ability and the people as
, ,

sent sayin g Amen ; and there is a distribution to each


, ,

and a participation of that over which thanks ha v e been


1 50 FA T H ER S OF TH E C A T H OL I C C HU R C H .

gi v en and to those wh o are absent a portion is sent by th e


,

deacons And they who are well to do and willing give


.
, ,

wh at each thinks t ; and what is collected is deposited


with the president who succors the orphans an d widows
, ,

and those wh o through sickness or any other cause are


, ,

in want and those who are in bonds an d the strangers


, ,
,

soj ourning among u s and in a word takes care of all who


i
,

are in n eed But Sunday is the d ay on which we all hold


.

ou r common assembly because it is the rst day on w h ich


,

God having wrought a change in the darkness and m at


,

ter made the world ; and Jesus Christ ou r Saviour on the


,

same d ay rose from the dead F or he was cru cied on .

the day before th at of Saturn (S aturday) ; and on the day


af ter that of Saturn which is the d ay of the sun having
, ,

appeared to his apostles and disciples he taught them ,

these things which we h ave submitted to you also for


,

your consideration F ir st Ap ology c hap 6 7
.
,
. .

Al though Justin is so unreliable as to matters of fact ,

we may readily grant th at this is a true statement of the


custom of worship by some professed Christians in the
latter part of the second century U nfortunately Justin .

was not the only heathen philosopher who cam e into the
church bri n ging his heathen philosophy and customs with
him and v ery m any common people would naturally fol
,

l ow the lead of such men so that the few who continued ,


steadfastly in the apostles doctrine and practice were

lost to sight and the chu rch began to assume the color of
,

pagan ism This was the case whene v er and where ver
.

heathen philosophers accepted Christianity as merely


another phase of their ol dtime philosophy In the abo v e .

account the degeneration from primitive ordinances is


,

further seen i n the a d dition of water to the wine of the



Lord s Supper This perversion of the ordinance also
.

appears in the f ollowing


JUST I N MA R T Y R . 1 51

H av ing ended the p rayers we sal ute on e an other ,

with a k iss There is then brought to the president of the


.

brethren bread and a cu p of wine mixed with water ; and


he taking them gi v es praise and glory to the F ather
,

of the universe through the n ame of the S on and of the


,

H oly Ghost and o f f ers than k s at considerable length for


,

ou r being counted worthy to recei v e these things at

his hands And when he has con cluded the prayers and
.

thanksgi vings all the people present express their assent


,

by saying Amen This word Amen answers in the H e


.

brew language to (so be it ) And when the president .

has gi v en thanks and all the people ha v e expressed their


,

assent those who are called by us deacons give to each


,

of those present to part ake of the bre ad and wi n e mixed

with water o v er which the thanksgi ving was pronounced ,



and to those who are absent they carry away a p ortion .

F ir st A olo c hap 65
p g y , . .

It wil l b e see n h owe v er that Justin did n ot regard


, ,

Sunday as a rest day or a sacred day H e had always .

been accustomed to regard the rst day of the week as a


festi v al day and had n ot changed his v iews when he
,

adop ted the form of Christianity O nly instead O f pagan .

sacrices on that day he substituted the (per v erted ) ,

forms of Christian worship But he well k new that there .

was a di ff erence b etween Sunday and Sabbath as appears ,

from the following :



The command of cir cu mcision agai n bidding (them ) , ,

al ways circumcise the child ren on the eighth d ay was a ,

type of the true circumcision by which we are circum ,

cise d fro m deceit and iniquity thro ugh him who rose

from the dead on the rst day after the Sabbath (namely
through ) our L ord Jesus Christ F or the rst day af ter .

the Sabbath remaining the rst of all the days is called


, , ,

ho wev er the eighth according to the number of all the


, ,

days of the cycle and (yet) remains the rst Dia logu e
.


, .

with T ryp ho, chap 41 . .


1 52 FA T H ER S OF TH E C A T H OL I C C HU R C H .

The origin of the absurdity of calling Sunday the rst


day and the eighth day also m ay be learned from the ,

above It is j ust such a piece of theological uggl ery as


.

m i ght be expected from a semi-heathen philosopher .

Gibbon s statement that the philosophers r egarded all


systems of philosoph y as equally false is corroborated by ,

the following three extracts from Justin s writings which


,

S how th at although a professed C hristian he assumed the ,

right to dispense with all the requirements of the Bible .

In h is tal k with T ryph o the Jew he says :


The n ew l aw requires you to k eep perpet ua l Sabbath ,

and you because you are idle for on e day suppose you
, ,

are pious n ot discerning why this has been commanded


,

ou : and if you eat u nlea v ened bread you say th e will


y ,

of God h as been fullled The L ord ou r God does not


.

take pleasure in such O bservances ; if there is any per


j ured person or a thief among you let him cease to be ,

so ; if any adulterer let him repent ; then he has k ept


,

the sweet and true Sabbaths of G od If anyo n e h as im .


pure hands let him wash and be pure -I d chap 1 3
, . .
, . .

This shows that al though he recognized the di f f erence


between Sabbath and Sunday as h as already been ,

shown he did not belie v e in keeping any Sabbath The


, .

same appears in the follo wing



F or tell me did God wish the priests to sin when
, ,

they of f er the sacrices on the Sabb aths ? O r those to


sin who are circumcised and d o circumcise on the Sab
,

baths ; sin ce he comma ds t hat o the eighth day even


n n

though it h appen to be a Sabbath those wh o are born


sh all be always circumcised ? or could n ot the infants be
O perated u pon on e day previous or on e day subsequent
to the Sabbath if he kne w that it is a sinful act upon the
,

Sabbath ? O r why did h e not tea ch those who are


called righ teous and pleasing to him who li v ed before ,

Moses and Abraham who were not circ umcised in their


,
JUST I N MA R T YR . 1 53

foreskin and O bser ved no Sabbaths


,
to k eep th ese in

stitution s ? Id .
,
c hap . 37 .

Some may rej oice to learn that Justin declares th at the


righteous ones who li v ed before Moses a nd Abrah am did
not k eep Sab bath ; b ut the more cautious ones wh o d e ,

sire only the truth will ask where he obtained th at in ,

formation and will question his right to set himself up as


,

on e whose unsuppor ted word m u st be accepted I n the .

follo wing he teaches the a b olition of al l law :



F or the law prom u lgated on H oreb is now O ld an d ,

belon gs to yoursel ves alone ; but this is for all uni v er


sally . N ow law placed against law has abrogated
,

that which is before it and a co v enant which comes


.
,

af ter in like manner h as put an end to the previous on e ;


and an eternal and nal l aw namely Christ has been ,

gi v en to us and the coven ant is trustworthy after which


, ,

there shall be no law n o commandment n o ordinance , , .


Id c ha 11
.
, p . .

Let no one presume to quote Justin Mart y r as aut hor


ity for Sunday-keeping unless he is willing also to ac ,

cept his d ictum th at the l aw of God is abolished .

Compare the following with E ze 14 : 1 4 and Justin s .


,

u ntrustwort hiness as a quoter of Scripture will be ap

parent
Some inj unctions and acts were likewi se mentioned in
re erence to the mystery of Christ on account of the ,

hard n ess of your people s hearts And that this is so


.
,

G od makes known in E zekiel (when ) he said con cern ,

ing it : If Noah and Jacob and Daniel should beg either


sons or daughters the request would not be granted ,

I d c hap
.
, .
44 .

This is not an isolated instance Surely a man who .

cannot quote Scripture correctly is not to be trusted as a


teacher of it .
1 54 FA T H ER S O F TH E C A T H O LI C C HU R CH .

Again compare the following with the Scripture rec


0rd :

Moreo v er the prescription that twel v e b ells be at



,

tach ed to the (robe ) of the high priest which h u n g down ,

to the feet was a symbol of the twel ve apostles who de


, ,

pend on the power of Christ the eternal P riest ; and ,

through their v oice it is that all the earth has been lled
with the glory and grace of God an d of his C hrist

Id .
,
c hap .
43 .

N ot content with mak ing a far -fetched com ment upon


Scripture h e h as manipulated the text to accommodate
,

h is proposed comment The Scripture nowhere tells the


.

number of bells that were upon the high priest s robe


.

L ike all the F athers Justin was v ery sh y of accept ,

in g any part of the Bible as literal Speaking of the ao .

count of the three angels who came to Abraham and for ,

who m the patriarch prepared a meal which they ate , ,

J u stin says
I would say that the Script ure which af rms they ate
bears the same meaning as when we would say a b out
re that it has de v oured all things ; yet it is not cer
tain l y understood th at they ate masticating wit h teeth ,

and j aws S O that n ot e v en here should we be at a loss


.

about anything if we are acquainted even slightly with


,

gurati v e modes of expressio n and able to rise abo v e ,



them I d c hap 57
. .
, . .

E xactly ; n ot here nor anywhere el se should we be at


a loss to interpret the Scriptures if we adopted the ,

methods of Justin and the other F athers Just teach .

that they mean something d ieren t fro m what they say ,

and you will be all right ; and the farther you get from
the plain declaration of th e text the nearer right you ,

are according to the F athers


,
That method is a v ery .

easy on e b ut it will e v er fail to promote Christian


,
JUS T I N MA R T Y R . 1 55


growth The sincere milk of the word alone can
.

bring men up to the measure of the stature of the full



n ess of Christ .

F ollowing is another instance of Justin s speculative

ex p osition :
Y ou k now then s irs I said that God h as said in

, , , ,

I saiah to Jerusalem : I sa v ed thee in the deluge of Noah .

By this which God said was meant that the mystery of


saved men appeared in the deluge F or righteous Noah .
,

al ong with the other mortals at the deluge i with his , .

own wife his three so n s and their wives being eight in


, ,

number were a symbol of th e eighth d ay wherein Christ


, ,

appeared when he arose fro m the dead forever the rst ,

in power F or Christ being the rst-born of every creat


.
,

ure became agai n the chief of another race regenerated


,

by himself through water and faith and wood containing


, , ,

the mystery of the cross ; e v en as Noah was saved by


wood when he rode over th e waters with his household .

Accordingly when the prophet says I sav ed thee in the


, ,

times of Noah as I have already remarked he addresses
, ,

the people wh o are equal ly f aithful to God and possess ,

the same I d c hap 1 38 .


,
. .

O ne hardly k nows whether to be amused or in d ignan t


at the cool assumption which this half-heathen phil oso
pher shows in attempti n g to give a Jew instruction out of
the O ld Testament Scriptures We m ay be quite sure .

that his fanciful theories did not make any great i mpres
sion on T ryph o But they ser v ed to pu f f up Justin with
.

a wonderf ul sense of his own importance and have fur ,

n ish ed weak -
kneed P rotestants with material with which
to prove doctrines that cannot be found in the Bible .

The careful reader will see h owever that in the above , ,

p assage Justin has no referen ce whatever to the rst day


of the week as a day of rest ; of such a thing he seems
1 56 FA T H ER S OF TH E C A T H OLI C C HU R C H .

to ha v e had no k nowledge But he is simply making .

the best argument that he knows how to make to p rove


that Jesus was the Christ O f the prophecies which .

directly foretold the coming of Christ the character of ,

his work and the time and obj ect of his death and resur
,

rection he seems to h av e been ignorant and all his inge


, ,

n uit
y w as expended in trying to make somethi n g ou t of

n othing H is argument amounts to this : There were
.

eight persons sav ed in the ark ; therefore Christ rose on



the eighth d ay as the Saviour of men V ery profound .
,

isn t it ? Whoe v er is at all familiar with Roman C ath o


lic controversial writings will recognize the source whence


,

Catholic theologians learn to dispute .

But Justin nds i n the ark two lines of proof con


cerning Christ The rst is that the eight persons sigui
.

ed that C hrist was to rise on the eighth day and the ,

second is that the wood of which the ar k was composed


symbolized the wood of the cross In this also we dis .

co v er the Roman Catholi c dev otion to the gure and


S ign of the cross The heathen h ad n o k nowledge of a
.

religion which chan ges man s nature ; e v erythi n g was

formal with them So when they nominally accepted


.

Christianity they looked upon the cross as th e symbol of


,

the n ew religion and practically substituted it for the


,

ch arms and S h rines (see Acts which they had


re v erenced while professed pagans To those who r e .

gard Justin as so illustrious a F ather the following ,

four p assages from his writings are recommended



When the people replied I waged war with

, ,

A malek and the son of Nave (N u n ) by name Jes us


,

(Josh ua ) led the ght


, Moses himself prayed to G,od ,

stretching out both h ands and H ur with Aaron supported ,


.
JUS T I N MA R T Y R . 1 57

them during the whole day so th at they might not hang ,

down when he got wearied F or if he gave up any part .

of this S ign which was an imitation of the cross the


, ,

people were beaten as is recorded in the writings of


,

Moses ; but if he remained in this form Amale k was ,

proportionally defeated and he who pre v ailed prevail ed ,

by the cross F or it was not because Moses SO prayed


.

that the eO pl e were stronger b ut because while on e , ,

who bore t e n ame of Jesus (Joshua) was in the f or efront


of the battle he himself made the Sign of th e cross
,
.

F or who of you knows n ot that the prayer of one who


accompanies it with lamentation and tears with the body ,

prostrate or with bended knees propitiates God most of


, ,

all ? But in such a manner neither he n or any other


on e while sitting on a stone prayed
,
N or e ven the stone ,
.

symbolized Christ as I hav e shown Dia b gu e with


, .

T r yp ho, c ha
p 9 0
. .

That is to say that the army of Israel pre v ailed not ,

because Moses prayed but because he stretched ou t his,

hands in the form of a cross Th is is expressly stated in .

the abo v e and also in the latter part of the foll owing
,

passage

Let h im be gloried a mong his brethren ; his beau ty

is (l ik e) the rstlin g of a b ulloc k ; his horns the h orns


.

of an unicorn ; with these shall he push the natio n s from

on e end of the earth to another Now n o on e could say


.
,

or prove tha t the horns of an u nicorn represent any other

fact or gure than the type which portrays the cross .

F or the on e beam is placed u pright from which the ,

highest extremity is raised up into a horn when the other ,

beam is tted onto it and the ends appear on both sides


,

as horns j oined onto the on e h orn A n d the part which .

is xed in the center on which are suspended those wh o


,

are crucied also stands out like a horn ; and it also


,

looks like a horn conj oined and xed with the other
horns And the expression With these shall he push
.
,

as with h orns the n ati on s fr om on e en d of th e ea rt h to


1 58 FA T H ER S O F TH E C A T H OL I C C HU R C H .

another is indicative of what is now the fact among all


,

the n ations F or some ou t of all the n ation s through the


.
,

power of this mystery having been so pushed that is , , ,

pricked in their hearts h ave turned from v ain idols and ,

demons to serve God But the same gure is revealed .

for the destru ction and condemnation of the unbelie v ers ;


even as Amalek was defeated and Israel v ictorio u s when
the people came out of Egypt by means of the type of ,

the stretching ou t of Moses s hands and the name of


,

Jesus (Joshua) by which the son of Na v e (Nun ) was


,

called -I d c hap 9 1
. .
, . .

The reader is requested to gi v e s pecial attention to the


rst part of the abo v e which purports to be an ex posi ,

tion of the blessing which Moses pronounced upo n


Joseph (See Duet 33 :
. No matter what the proph
.

ecy Justin could see nothing more in it than some like


,

ness to the form of the m aterial cross O f the p ower of .

the cross as standing for the atoni n g sacrice of C hrist ,

he seems to have had little if any conception ; the m ate


rial cross was e v erything to him taki n g the place of the ,

charms and images of his ol d heathen d ays .

It seems almost a waste of v aluable space to quote so


much of this stu ff and yet it is only b y so doing that t he
,

reader can be able for himself properly to rate Justin as


an e xpositor The following is a notable instan ce of
.

Justin s n arro w v ie w of the Scriptures and of the feeble


arguments by which he an d the best of his class attempted


to convince the Jews and the heathen .


And when I had q uoted this I added H ear then , ,

, ,

h ow this man of whom the Scriptures declare that he


,

will come again in glory af ter his crucixion was symbol ,

iz ed both by the tree of life which was said to h av e been ,

planted in P ara dise and by those events which sh ould,

h ap pen to all the j ust Moses was sent with a rod to .


JUS T I N MA R T Y R . 1 59

ef f ect the redemption of the people ; and with this in his


hands at the head of the people h e d ivided the sea By . .

this he saw the water gushing O nt of th e rock ; and when


he cast a tree into the waters of Marah which were bitter , ,

he made the m swe et Jacob by putting rods into th e .


,

watertroughs caused the sh ee p of h is un cl e to conceive


, ,

so that h e should O btain their y oun \V i th h is rod the


g .

same Jacob boasts that h e had crossed the river H e .

said that he had seen a l adder and the Scripture h as d e ,

cl ared that God Stood above it But that this was not .

the F ather we h a v e pro v ed from the Scr iptures And


,
.

Jacob h aving poured oil on a stone in the same place is


, ,

testied to by the v ery G od who appeared to him that ,

he had anointed a pillar to the God who appeared to him .

And that the stone symbolically proc l aimed Christ we ,


'

have also prov ed by man y scriptures ; and that the u n


guent whet h er it was of oil or of stacte or of any other
, , ,

compounded sweet balsams had reference to him we , ,



hav e also pro ved inasmuch as the word says : Therefore
,

God e v en thy G od hath anointed thee with the oil of


, ,

gladness abov e thy fellows F or indeed all kings and .

anoi nted persons obtaine d from him their share in the


names of kings and anointed : j ust as he himself received
from the F ather the titles of K ing and Christ and P riest , , ,

and Angel an d such like other titles which he bears or


,

did h ear Aaron s rod which blossomed declared him


.

, ,

to be the high priest Isaiah prophesied that a rod would,

come forth from the root of Jesse (and this was ) Christ ,
.

And David says that the righteous man is like the tree

that is planted by the chan n els of waters which S hould ,

yield its fruit in its season and whose leaf S hould not ,

fade. Again the righteous is said to ourish like the
,

palm tree God appeared from a tree to Abraham as it


.
,

is written near the oak in Mamre The people found


, .

se v enty willows and t welve springs af ter crossing the


Jordan David af rms that God comforted him with a
.

r od and sta ff E lisha by casting a stick into the R iver


.
,

Jordan recovered the iron part of the ax with which the


,
1 60 FA T H ER S OF TH E C A T H OL I C C HU R C H .

sons of the prophets had gone to cut down trees to build


the house in which they wished to read and study the law
and commandments of God ; even as ou r Christ by b e ,

ing crucied on the tree and by purifying (us) with


,

water has redeemed u s though plu n ged in the direst O f


, ,

f en ses which we have com mitted and has made (us ) a ,

house of prayer and adoration Moreover it was a rod .


,

that p ointed out Judah to be the father of Tamar s sons

by a great I d c ha
p 8 6 .
,
. .

O ne more extract shall su ff i ce on the subj ect of the



cross In this apology to the rulers he made the fol
.
,

l owing nal appeal



But in n o instance n ot even in any of those called
,

sons of Jupiter did they intimate the being crucied ; for


,

it was not understood by them all the things said of it ,

ha ving bee n put symbolically And this as the prophet .


,

foretold is the greatest symbol of his power and rule ; as


,

is also pro v ed by the things which fall under ou r observa


tion F or consider all the things in the world whether
.
,

without this form they could be ad mmistered or have any


community F or the sea is not tra v ersed except that
.

trophy which is called a sail abide safe in the ship ; and


the earth is not ploughed without it ; diggers and me
ch an ics do not their work except with tools which have

this shape And the human for m di f f ers fro m that of the
.

irrational animals in nothing else tha n in its being erect


and having the hands extended and ha v ing on the face ,

ex tending from the forehead what is called th e nose ,

through which there is respiration for the living creature ;


and this shows no other form than that of the cross .

And so it was said by the prophet The b reath before ,


ou r face is the L ord Christ And the power of this


.

form is shown by your own symbols on what are called


vexilla (banners) and trophies with which all your ,

state processions are made u sing these as the insignia of


,

your power and government e v en though you d o so u n ,

wittingly A n d with this form you consecrate th e images


.
JUST I N MA R T YR . 1 61

of your emperors when they die and you name them ,

god s by inscriptions Since therefore we have urged


.
, ,

y ou both by reason and by an e v ident form and to the ,

utmost of our ability we k n ow that now we are blame


,

less even though you disbelieve ; for our part is done and

n ish ed .
F ir st Ap ol ogy, c hap . 55 .

Surely that S hould h ave con v inced them of the truth


of the Christian religion as J ustin understood it In .

fact it was j ust such arguments that did bring the heathen
,

world over to the p r ofession of Christianity When the .

C hristian religion was n arrowed dow n to the material


cross and to the making of the S ign of the cross and
, ,

the heath en were told that this cross was represented


e v erywhere and in e v eryth ing and that whate v er pros ,

p e rit
y they had while heathen was due to the ubiquitous
'

gure of the cross wh at was there to k eep them fro m


,

adopting it ? They were convinced that Christianity was


the universal religion the religion of nature and so
they turned their temples into ch urches ; the image which
they had worshiped as Jupiter they now worshiped as ,

Christ ; the cross became their household god ; the v estal


v irgi n s gav e place to n uns ; the peripatetic philosophers
becam e mendicant friars and SO eventually paganis m ,

became R oman Catholicism .

But Justin was not limited in his arguments to the Sign


of the cross H e knew h ow to reach the minds of the
.

heathen F or example read the following


.
,


But since sensation remains to all who ha v e e v er
lived and eternal punishmen t is laid up (i e f or the
,
. .
,

wicked ) s ee that ye n eglect n ot to b e convinced and to


, ,

hold as your belief that these things are true F or let


,
.

even necromancy and the di vinations you practice by


,

i mmaculate children and th e e v ok ing of departed h u


,

l l
1 62 FA T H ER S OF TH E C A T H OL I C C HU R C H .

man souls and those wh o are called among the magi


, ,

Dream senders and Assistant Spirits (F a miliars) and all


- - ,

that is done b y those who are skilled in such matters


let these persuade you that e v en after deat h souls are in
a state of sensation ; and those who are seized and cast
about by the spirits of the dead whom all call demoniacs ,

or madmen ; and what you repute as oracles b oth of ,

Amphilochus Dodona Pyth o and as many other such


, , ,

as exist ; and the opinions of your auth ors E mpedocles ,

and Pythagoras P lato and Socrates and the pit of , ,

H omer and the descent of U lysses to inspect these


,

things and all that h as been uttered of a like kind
,
.

Id .
,
chap . 18 .

Notice that in this as in the other instances he does , ,

not argue fro m any high standard but S imply labors to ,

sho w th at their ol d religion is practically the same as


C hristianity This quotation shows that Justin had nev er
.

gi ven up his belief in necromancy and it shows also that ,

the C hristian church was e ven then being corrupted by


heathen magic which is what was n ow seen in the mani
,

f estation s of modern Spiritualism Yet although Justin .

thus speaks of th e soul as sur v i v ing the body and act ,

ing consciously independent of it the following is an ,

evidence of h is inconsist en cy as a teacher H e was n ot .

abo v e taking positions that were directly contradictory .


F or as in the case of a yo k e of oxen if on e or other ,

is loose d from the yoke neither of them can plough ,

alone ; so neither can soul or b ody alone eect anything ,



if they be u nyok ed fro m their com munion Justin on .

the R esurr ection , c ha


p 8 . .

But if this is true the other is not and if he told the , ,

truth when he said that the dead are conscious and do


communicate with the li ving then he did not tell the ,

tr uth here Which ev er v iew of the matte r is tak en


.
,
JUS T I N MA R T Y R . 1 63

Justi n stands convicted of teachi n g contradictory v iews ,

and therefore of being an unreliable man As a matter .

of fact h e told the truth in the latter instance ; if he


,

had n ot taught anything inconsistent wi th that he might ,

not have attained the dignity of a F ather of the Roman


Catholic Church but he m ight have had the higher
,
'
honor O f being a h u mble disciple a do er of the word .

L astly as nal proof that Justin used the Bible as a


,

curiosity box and nothing more we cite the following


, ,


Attend therefore to what I say The marriages O f .

Jacob were types of that which Christ was about to ac


co mplish F or it was n ot lawful for Jacob to marry two
.

sisters at once And he serves L aban for (one of ) the


.

daughters ; and being deceived in (the obtaining of ) the


y o u n ger h e agai n served seven years
,
. N ow L eah is .

your people and synagogue ; but R achel is our ch u rch .

And for these and for t h e servants in both Christ even


, ,

n ow serves F or while Noah gave to the two sons the


.

se e d of the third as servants n ow on the other han d ,

Christ has come to restore both the free sons and the
servants amongst them conferring the same honor on all
,

of the m who keep h is commandments ; even as the chil

dren of the free women an d the children of the bond!


wome n born to Jacob were all sons and equ al in dig ,

n it
y . And it w as foretold what each should
'
be accord
ing to rank an d accor d in g to foreknowledge Jaco b .

served L aban for S peckled and m any-spotted sheep ; and


Christ served even to the Sla v ery of the cross for the
, ,

various and many formed races of mankind acquiring ,

the m by the blood and m ystery of the cross L eah was .

weak-eyed ; for the eyes of your souls are excessively


weak Rach el stole the gods of L aban and h as hid
. .
,

them to this day ; and we have lost ou r paternal and


materia l gods Jacob was hated for all time by his
.

brother ; and we n ow and our L ord himself are hated, ,

b y you and b y al l men though we are br others by nat ,


1 64 FA T HE RS OF TH E CATH O H C C HU R C H .

ure .
Jacob was called Israel ; and Israel has been dem

on str ated to be the Christ who is and is called Jesus
, , ,
.

Dia logu e with T ryp ho ,


c hap 1 34
. .

It is submitted in all candor that if Justin had been


,

a real student of the Bible and had had any real knowl
,

ed ge O f Christianity h e could not have though t to ad


,

v ance its claims by such imsy and childish arguments .

They are v ery interesting as an exhibition of his ih


g en uit ; but sharpness is neither depth n or bread th
y A .

person of v ivid imagination m ay see all m anner of g


u res in the burning coals and thus it was wi th Justin
, .

The Bible was to h im only a book full of curiosities ;


therefore the nal v erdict must be that while he su rpasses
most of the other F athers in knowledge of the wor ds of
the Bible he rarely quotes it in a sensible manner H e
, .

quotes in a parrot like manner what he had committed


to memory O f th e meaning of the Scripture he was
.

more ignorant than any child ten years of age would be ,

th at has had the benet of Christian training We m ay .

n ot censure him or any other man for his ignorance ; b ut

we may j ustly censure those wh o set forth his ignorance


as wisdom and who would h ave the people look to v a
,

cancy for substan ce to ignorance for wisdom to darkness


, ,

for light and to error for righteousness Justin must


, .

stand as a striking example of the impossibility for an y


man to fathom the d e ep things of God by unaided ,

h uman reason .
C H A P T E R X I .

C LE ME N T O F A LE X A N DRI A .

TH I S on e of the F a thers was born about the middle


of the second century although whether in Athens or
,

Alexandria is not known It is most probable that he


.

was a Greek but as a writer he is connected only with


,

Alexandria O f his worthiness to be called on e of the


.

F athers of the Christian ch urch the reader can decide


,

for himself after reading what the best writers say of him ,

in connection with a few extracts from his own writings .

f -
The Scha f H erzog E ncyclopedia says of him

Though he never succeeds in dening the Of ce of
reason on th e eld of authority or in fully separating
,

that O f pagan thought which Christianity can assimilate ,

from that which it must rej ec t he is nevertheless ex


, , ,

ceedin gl y suggestive and often eminently striking
, .

That is to say he did not distinguish any di f f erence


,

between paganism and Christianity N ow exceedingl y .


suggestive and eminently striking ideas may make
very interesting reading b ut we want something more
,

than that alone in a leader of Christian thought Nearly .

all the pagan writings which have been preser v ed con ,


tai n exceedingly suggestive and eminently striking
ideas (some of them altogether too but
shall we therefore call them Christian F athers ? O f
course not ; an d yet this is all the claim that Clement has
to that title because as the above quotation teaches he
, , ,

never became Christian enough to distinguish fairly b e


tween paganism and Christianity .

(1 65 )
1 66 FA T H ER S OF TH E C A T H OL I C C HU R C H .

It was this lack of perception in the so-called Chris


tian F athers that lled the church with pagan ide as ,

and resulted in th e great apostasy N O matter h ow .

honest Clement s intentions may h ave been his pagan


notions certainly made him most unt to be a teacher in


the Christian church .

McC l intock and Strong s E ncyclopedia says of Clem

ent :

O f the early Christian writers Clement was the most ,

learned in the history philosophy and science O f the


, ,

nations of his day and the inuence of his studies is


,

apparent in h is writings which displ ay rather the specu


, ,

lati v e philosopher than the accurat e theologian m ore


the fan ciful interprete r than the careful expou n der of



the Scriptures on true exegetical principles .

L earning and Christianity are by n o means i dentical ,

nor is l earning a substitute for Christianity If a man .

is indeed a Christian thoroughly settled in th e simple


,

principles of Christianity then the more learning he has

the better But if a ma n is an O pponen t of Christianity


.
,

his learning can be only a curse ; and even though he be


friendly to Christianity and a professed Christian if he
, ,

is ignorant of th e simple fundamental princip l es of the ,

gospel his learning i s a curse to the cause which he pro


,

fesses ; for many wil l h e d azzled by th e S plendor of his


genius and will fo l low h im into error ; h is learning is the
,

ign is-fatu us wh ich beguiles th e con d ing wayfarer to his


destruction T O sho w that thi s was the case with Clem
.

ent of Alexandria we h av e only to quote the fol l owing


,


from Mosheim s E cclesiastical Commentaries :


When once this passion for philosophizing h ad taken
posse ssion of the minds of th e Egyptian teachers and
certain others an d had bee n gradually di f f use d by them
,
C LE M E N T OF A L EX AN DRI A . 1 67

in v arious directions throughout the ch urch the holy and ,

beautiful S implicity of early times v ery quickly d isap


e ared and was f o llowed by a most remarkable and dis
p ,

astrous al teration in nearly the whole system of Christian


discipl ine This v ery important and deeply-to-b e-regretted
.

change h ad its commencement in the century n ow under


review [the second ] but it will be in the succeeding one
,

that we shall hav e to mark its chief progress O ne of .

the earliest evils that owed from this immoderate attach


ment to philosophy was the violen ce to which it gave
,

rise in the interpretation of the H oly Scriptures F or .


,

where as the Christians had from a v ery early pe riod


, , ,

imbibed the notion that i md er the words laws and fact , ,


s
,

recorded in the sacred volume there is a latent sense ,

concealed an O pinion which they appear to have deri v ed


,

from the Jews n o sooner did this passion for ph il oso


,

p h iz in
g take possession of their minds than they began ,

with wonderful subtilty to press the Scriptures into their


service in support of all such principles and maxims as
,

appeared to them consonant to reason ; and at the same


time most wretchedly to per v ert and twist e v erypart of
those divine oracles which O pposed itself to their philo
sophical tenets or n otions The greatest pr o cien ts in
.

this pernicious practice were those E gyptian teachers who


rst directed the attention of the Christians towards
philosophy namely P an taen us and Cl ement
, ,

C en t 3 . .
,

sec . 33
.

In another place (Commentaries cent 2 sec 25 , .


, .
,

no te 2) Mosheim speak s of Cl ement as blind and mis


guided Thus .


There can be no question howe v er b ut th at Clement
, ,

I S to be ranked amongst the rst and principal Christian

defenders and teachers of philosophic science ; indeed that


he may e ven be placed at the he ad of those who de v oted
themselves to the culti v ation of philosophy with an ardor
that knew no bounds and were so blind and misguided
,

as to eng age in the ho pe l ess attempt of prod ucing an ao


1 68 FA T H ER S OF T H E C A T H OLI C C HU R C H .

commodation between the principles of philosophic sci


en ce and those of the Christian religion H e himsel f .

expressly tells us in his Stromata that he would not hand



,

down Christian truth pure and unmixed but associated ,


with or rather v eiled by and shrouded under the pre


, , ,

cepts of philosophy F or according to him the rudi



.
, ,

ments or seeds of celestial wisdo m communicated by :

Christ to th e world l ay hid in the philosophy of the


,

Greeks after th e same manner as the esculent p art of a


,

nut lies concealed withi n a shell F or he appears .

to hav e been rmly persuaded that the essence of th e


Greek philosophy was sound wholesome and salutary . , .

In fact that it was perfectly consonant to the S pirit of


,

Ch ristian wisdom but that it was compassed about and


,

v eiled from immediate observation by a clo u d of super


stition and idle ctions j ust in the same way as the k er
,

nel of a n ut is con cealed by the shell and that we should , ,

therefore make it ou r b usiness ind ustrio u sly to penetrate


,

this exterior co v ering so as to disco v er the true relation


,

ship between h u man and div ine wisdom The origin of .

the Greek philosophy he without scruple attributes to, ,

the Deity hi m self


.

Surely s uch an one cannot be a safe man to follow for ,


'

all the ideas which h e ad v an ces will be pagan ideas and ,

whoever accepts them as representati v es of Christianity ,

wil l ha v e a pagani z ed Christianity or a Christianized ,

paganism whiche v e r one chooses to call it The thought


, .

ful reader can easily picture from the abo v e quotation ,

h ow the papacy (which has bee n aptly called paganism



baptized ) arose upon the teachi n g of th e F athers .

But teaching from which the papacy was de v eloped is ,

n ot the teaching from which pure Christianity can be

de v eloped The same fountain cannot send forth both


.

sweet wa ter and bitter .

K il len s idea of Clement as an expositor of Scripture


is expressed in the following paragraph :


C L EM E NT O F A L E X A N DR I A . 1 69


Clement as is apparent from his writi n gs was exten
, ,

siv el y acquainted with profane literature But he formed .

quite too high an estimate of the value O f the h eathen


philosophy whilst he allegorized Scripture in a way as
,

dangerous as it was absurd By the serpent whi ch de .

c eiv ed E ve according to Clement l easu r e an earthly



, p , ,

v ice which creeps upon the belly is allegorically r epr e ,

sented Moses speaking allegorically if we may believe


.

, ,

this writer called the divine wisdom the tr ee of life


,
'
planted in paradise ; by which paradise we may under
stand the world in whic h all the works of creation were
,

called into being H e e v en interprets the ten command


.

ments allegorically Th us by a du lter y he understands .


, ,

a departu re from the true knowledge of the Most H igh ,

and by mu r d er a v iolation of the truth respecting God


,

and h is eternal existence It is easy to s ee how Scripture .


,

b y such a system of interpretation might be tortured ,

A n cien t Chu r c h
-
into a witness for any extra v agance .
,

rt 3, sec 3, c ha 1 ar a r a h 1 5
p a .
p.
, p g p .

And Archdeacon F arrar S hows in the following para


graph that although Clement possessed great learning
, ,

he lacked the most essential wisdom that O f the Bible


H is attitude towards the inspired writings is that of
his age H e makes roo m for legends e v en in the New
.

Testament story H is quotations are loose and para


.

h r as tic and are sometimes attributed to a wrong author


p ,
.

H e quotes verses which h ave n o existence H e refers to .

apocryphal writings as though they were inspired H e .

attributes the b O O k of Wisdo m to Solomon and the ,

book of Baruch to Jeremiah H e quotes even the .

Revelation and P reaching of P eter as well as th e



,

Epistle of Barn abas and the Teaching of the T wel v e

Apostles as ha v ing scriptural authority H e belie v es



.

in the miraculous inspiration of the Septuagint the ,

Sibyl an d H ystaspes and he calls Plato all but an


, ,

e v angelical prophet H istory of I n terp r etation p 1 8 4


.

, . .

'

With this much by way of preliminary we may intro ,


170 FA T H ER S OF TH E C A T H OL I C C HU R C H .

duce ou r readers to Clement himself as he appears in his ,

own writings .


The rst quotation which we will give is from The

Instructor a series of homilies covering almost every
,

subj ect The translator R ev William \V ilson ranks it


.
, .
,

among the most valuable remains of Christian an



tiqu ity ; and it cannot be denied that there are some
good t hings i n it There are some points concerning
.

hygiene and good manners that would not be out O f


place in any book intended as a manual for the young ,

j ust such things as we may suppose were taught to the


children of all educated and rened heathen of ancient

times But even in The Instru ctor the good things are
.

intermingled with so much that is utterly destitute of


sense that on e minute the reader will thin k that Clement
,

was a wise instructor of youth and the next will be ,

ready to a v er th at he was a fool In the rst chapter of .

book 2 he gives the following as a reason why people


should stint themselves in the quantity of food which
they eat :

And they say that the bodies of children when ,

shooting u p to their height are made to gro w right by


,

deciency in nourishment F or then the spirit which


.
,

perv ades the body in order to its growth is n ot checked ,

by abundan ce of food obstructing the freedom of its



course .

The proprietor of Dotheb oy s H all would have called

that sound gospel but sensible people kn ow that temper


,

ate healthful living is not starvation


, .

The fo l lowing from the same chapter is a good


, ,

sample of the way i n which he mixes with that which is


sensible the allegorical the fan ciful and the nonsens
, , ,

ic al z o
C LE M E N T O F A L E X A N D R I A . 17 1


F rom all slavish habi ts and excess we must abstain ,

and touch what is set before uS in a decorous way ; keep


ing the hand and couch and chin free of stain s ; preserv
ing the grace of the countenance u n disturbed and com ,

mitting no indecorum in the act of swallowing ; b ut


stretching out the h and at intervals in an orderly m an
ner We must guard against speaking anything while
.

eating ; for the voice beco m es disagreeable and in artic u


late when it is conned by full j aws ; and the tongue ,

pressed by the food and impeded i n its natural energy ,

gi ves forth a compressed utterance N or is it suitable to .

eat and drin k simultaneously F or it is the v ery extreme .

of intemperance to confound the times whose uses are dis


cordant And whether ye eat or d rin k d o all in the glory
.
,

O f G od aiming after true frugality which the L ord also


,

,

seems to me to h ave hinted at when he b l essed the loaves


and cooked shes with which he feasted the disciples in ,

t rod u cin g a beautiful example of simple food That sh .

then which at the command of the L ord Peter caught


, , ,

points to digestible and God -gi v en and moderate food .

A n d by those who rise from the water to the bait of


righteousness he admonishes us to take away luxury and
,

a v arice as the coin fro m the sh ; in order that he might


,

displace v ainglory ; and by giving the stater to the tax


gatherers and rendering to Caesar the things which are
,

C aeear s might preserve to G od the things which are



,

God s
. The stater is capable of other explanations not

u n known to us b ut the present is n ot a suitable occasion


,

for their treatment L et th e mention we m ake for ou r


.

present purpose su f ce as it is n ot unsuitable to the


,

owers of the Word ; and we have o f ten done this draw ,

ing to the urgent point of the question the most benecial


fountain in order to water those who have been planted
,

by the Word .

F rom the above it will be see n that he had a wonder


ful gif t of imagination which he exercised freely in the
,

interpretation of Scripture As he intimates this is only


.
,
1 72 FA T H ER S OF T H E C A T H OLI C C HU R C H .

a small portio n of the fancies th at he has on the S imple


mat ter of Peter s catching a sh But we sh all n ote still

.

greater manifestations of his genius Speaking of the .

miracle of turning water into wine he says of Christ ,


H e gave life to the watery elemen t of the meaning
of the law lling with his blood the doer of it who is of
,

Adam that is the whole world ; supplying piety with


, ,

drin k from the v ine of truth the mixture of the ol d law ,

and O f the n ew word in order to the fulllment of the pre


,

destined time T he I n str u ctor book 3 c hap 3
.
, , . .

This is S imply a collection of words witho u t sense .

What edi c ation sensible people can nd in su ch stu f f is


a mystery An d what we h ave quoted might be multi
.

plied many times if we h ad space to give long extracts


,
.


The Stromata or Miscellanies is as its title indi
, , ,

cates of a miscellaneous character According to E use


, .

bins the full title was Titus F lavius Clement s Miscel


,

,

l an eous Collections of Speculative Notes Bearing upon ,


the True P hilosophy Says the translator in his intro
.

duction :

The aim of the work in accordance with this title is , , ,

in O pposition to gnosticism to furnish the m aterial for ,

the construction of a true gnosis a Christian philosophy , ,

on the basis of faith and to lead on to this higher knowl


,

ed ge those who by the discipline of the P cedagogu s [ The


,

h ad been trained for it He .

descri b es philosophy as a divinely ordered preparation of


the Greeks for faith in Christ as the law was for the H e ,

brews ; and shows the necessity and v alue of literature


and phil osophic culture for the attainment of true Chris

tian knowledge .

Again the translator says :


Clement s quotations from Scripture are made from
the Septuagint v ersion o f te n inaccurately from memory
, ,
C L E M E NT O F A L EXA NDRI A . 173

sometimes from a diff erent text fro m what we possess ,

often with verbal adaptations ; an d not rarely di f f erent



texts ar e blended together .

And it is to suc h amix tu re as this of conj ectural ,


Scripture arranged and adapted according to his
own ideas and the speculations of heathen philosophy
, ,

that peo p le are being directed for their knowledge of


Christianity The man who gets his light fro m such a
.

fog ban k is truly to be pitied ,


.

But Bishop Coxe is willing to vouch for the orthodoxy


of Cle ment In a foot-note to the paragraph last quoted
.
,

after speaking of the supposition of P hotius that one of ,

the works of Clement (now lost ) contained many things



'

un worthy of his or th od ox y an d piety he says ,


:


But his great repute in the Catholic Church after his
decease is su f cient to pla ce his character f ar above all
,

suspicions of his having ever swer v ed from the faith O f

the church .

Ah yes ; j ust so ; perhaps an apology will be expected


,

from those wh o have spoken S lightingly of his value as a


teacher of Christianity Who could doubt the orthodoxy
.

of a man who has always been held in high repute by the

Catholic Church ? This is all the indorsement that


Clement really has L et P rotestants change their name
.

before they presume to quote Clement of Alexandria as


authority for anything .

The translators in their introductory note say further


of Cle ment s writings :

O f course there is throughout plenty of false science ,



and frivolous and fanciful speculation .

Indeed there is and without further ado we will let


,

our readers j udge for thems el v es The heading of the .


1 74 FA T HE R S O F TH E C A T HO LI C C HU R C H .


sixt h chapter of book 5 i s The Mystic Meaning of the ,


Tabernacle and its F urniture and the following is part ,

of what he gives on th at subj ect


Again there is the v eil of the entrance i nto the holy of
,

holies F our pillars there are the S ign of the sacred tetrad
.
,

of the ancient covenants F urt her the mystic name of


.
,

four letters which was af xed to those alone to whom the


adytu m was accessible is called Jave which is inter ,

p r eted who , is and


shall be The n ame of God too .

, ,

among the Greeks contains four letters .


N ow the L ord having come alone into the intellect
,

ual world enters by his su ff erings in trod u ced in to the


, ,
'

k nowledge of the inef f able ascending above every n ame ,

which is kn own by sound The lamp too was placed to .


, ,

the sout h of the altar of incense ; and by it were shown


the motions of the seven planets that perfor m their rev ,

ol ution s to war d the south F or three branches rose on .

either s id e of the lamp and lights on them ; sin ce also


,

the sun like the lam p set in the midst of all the planets
, , ,

dispenses with a kind of di v ine music the light to those



above and to those below .

After the reader h as pondered on the abo ve to his


heart s content he may proceed to this which is from the

, ,

same ch apter
North of the altar of incense was placed a table on ,

which there was the exhi b ition of the loaves for the

most nourishing of the winds are those of the north .

And thus a r e s ignied certain seats of churches con spir


ing so as to form one body and on e assemblage
,
.


And the t hings recorded of the sacred ark signify the
pro perties of the world of thought which is hidden and ,

closed to the many .


t


And those golden gures each of them with six ,

wings signify either the two bears as some will h ave it


, , ,

or rather the two hemispheres And the n ame cher u .

b im meant m u ch k nowledge But both together hav e



.
C L E M E NT O F A L EXA N DR I A . 175

twelve wings and hy t he zodiac and time which moves on


,

it point out the world of sense
,
.

And when the r eader has thoroughly assimilated all


the instruction conveyed in this he may re v el in the fol ,


l owing wonderfu l elucidation of the deep things of the
Bible :

But I thin k it bette r to regard the ark so called ,

from the H ebrew word T hebotha as signifying something ,

else It is interpreted on e in stead of on e in a l l p laces


.
, .

Whether then it is the eighth regio n an d the world of


, ,

thought or God all -embracing and without shape and


, , , ,

invisible that is indicated we m ay for the present defer


, ,

saying But it signies the repo se which dwells with the


.

adoring spirits which are meant by the cheru bi m


, .


F or he who prohibited the making of a gra v en image ,

would ne v er himself h ave m ad e an image i n the likeness


O f holy things Nor is t here at all any composite thing
.
,

and creature endowed with sensation of the sort in heaven ,


.

But the face is a symbol of the rational so ul and the ,

wings are the l of ty ministers and energies of powers


right and lef t ; and the v oice is delightsome glory in
ce as eless contemplation L et it su f ce that the mysti c
.

in terpretation h as advanced so far .

Now the high priest s robe is the symbol of the

world of sense The seven planets are represented by


.

the ve stones and the two carbuncles for Saturn and the ,

moon The former is southern and moist and earthy


.
, , ,

and hea vy ; the latter aerial whence sh e is called by some ,

Ar temis as if A erotomos (cu tting the air) ; an d the air


,

is cloudy And cooperating as they did in the prod uc


.

tion of things here below those that by divine provi ,

dence are set over the planets are rightly represented as


placed on the breast and shoulders ; and by them was th e
work of creation the rst week And the breast is the
,
.


seat of the heart and soul .

The twel v e stones set in four rows on the breast d e


, ,

scribe for us the cir cl e of th e z od iac in th e four changes ,

of the y ear

.
176 FA T HE R S O F TH E C A T H OL I C C HU R C H .

Some may think that this is enough ; but we now have


to present the most valuable part of the whole book -the'

part which so many are anxiously longing to have in


convenient form for general circulation in order to settle ,

the minds of doubters It is what Clement has to say


.

concerning the O bser v ance of Sunday In book 5 chap .


,


ter 14 O f the Stromata he says ,


And the L grd s day P l ato prophetically speaks of in

the tenth boo k of the R epublic in these words : And



,

when seven d ays h a v e passed to each of them in the


meado w on the eighth day they are to set out and arrive
,

in four By the meado w is to be understood the


xed sphere as being a mild and genial spot and the
, ,

locality of the pious ; and by the se v en days each motion


of th e se v en p lanets and the whole practical ar t which
,

S pee d s to the end of r est But a fter the wandering orbs


.

the j ourney leads to H eav en that is to the eighth m otion


, ,

and d ay And he says that souls are gone on the fourth


.

day pointing out the passage through the four elements


,
.

But the seventh day is recognized as sacred not by the ,

H ebrews only b ut also by the Greeks ; according to which


,

the whole world of all animals and planets re v olve .

O n this Bishop Coxe has the following in a foot-note :



The bearing of this passage on questions of Sabbat
ical and dominical O bser v ances needs only to be indi ,

c ated .

No doubt ; but we cannot help wishing that the good


bishop h ad take n the trouble to indicate the bearing that
it has on those questions for we don t s e e h ow common
,

people are going to nd out for themselves Truly the .

S u n d ay in stitution must be reduced to desperate straits ,


whe n it h as to depend in any measure upon a prophecy

utte red b y a heathen philosopher especially when neither ,


that prophecy n or its i nterpretatio n by the specula
ti v e Cl ement contains any mention of Sunday .
Again in his exposition of the ten commandmen ts
, .

Clement says :

And the fourth word is that which intimates that the
world was created by G od and that he ga v e u s the ,

se venth day as a rest on account of the trouble that


,

there is in life F or G od is incapable of weariness and


.
,

su f f ering and want But we who hea r esh need rest


, . .

The seventh day therefore is p roclaimed a rest ah


, ,

str a ction from ills preparing for the P rimal Da o ur


y ,

true rest ; which in truth is the rst creation of light in


, , ,

which all things are v iewed and possessed F rom this .

day the rst wi sdo m and k nowledge illuminate u s F or .


\

the l ight of truth a light true casting n o shadow is the



, ,

Spirit of God indivisibly divided to all who are sanctied ,

by f aith h olding the place of a l umin ary in order to the


, ,

k nowledge of real existences By fol lowing him there .


,

fore t hrough ou r whol e life we become impassible ; and


, ,

S tr omdta book 6 ch ap

this is to rest .
, , .

It really mak es n o di ff erence wha t Clement says upon


any subj ect but for the benet of those who imagine th at
,

in the above he throws his feeble inuen ce in favor of


Sunday observance we quote the f oll ow mg from the very
,

next paragraph :

H aving reached this point we must mention these ,

thi n gs b y the way ; since the discourse has turned on the


seven th and the eighth F or the eighth may possibly .

turn out to be properly the se v enth and the se v enth mani ,

f estl y the sixth and the latter properly the Sabbath and
, ,

the seventh a day of work F or the creation of the worl d .


was concluded in six days .

It wil l be s ee n that by this hocuspocus Clement if his , ,

j umble of words can be said to have any meaning m akes ,

out that th e seventh day is really the true Sabbath .


The statement seems to be that that which some call the

eighth day namely Sunday may be the seventh day
, , ,

12
1 78 FA T H ER S O F TH E C A T H OL I C C HU R C H .

and a day of work and that the real seven th day may be ,

the sixth and the true Sabbath as it really is That is


, , .

what his words mean if they mean anything which we , ,

greatly doubt If anyone howe ver think s that a d if


.
, ,

f er en t meaning should be attached to these words we ,

shall n ot d ispute with him for it is on e of those passages ,

so characteristic of the F athers to which each individu al ,


'
may attach his O wn meaning and all b e equally correct , .

There is j u st one more reference in Clement s writings


to the L ord s day and it is on this wise
,


H e [the gn oStic] in fulllment of the precept ao , ,

cording to the gospel k eeps the L ord s day when he ,



,

abandons an e v i l disposition an d assumes that of the


H "

gnostic glorifying the L ord s resurrection in h imsel f


,

.

F urther also when he has received the comprehension of


, ,

scientic speculation he deems that he sees the L ord di , ,

r ectin g his eyes towards things invisible although he seems ,



to look on what he does not wish to look o n I d b ook . .
,

7, c hap J3 . .

Bishop Coxe thinks th at the original of Clement s

argument seems to imply that he is here speaking of the


P aschal festival instead of a weekly rest day It makes
,
.

little diff erence Those wh o wish to count it as evide n ce


.
'

in favor of Sunday-keeping are welcome to do so but ,

they must also accept the following heathen interpreta


tion of Scripture :

Wherefore the L ord preached the gospel to those in
ha d es .Accordingly the Scrip ture says H a des says to
,
,

Destruction we have n ot see n h is form b ut we h av e


, ,

heard his v oice It is not plainly the place which the
.
, ,

words above say heard the v oice but those wh o ha v e, ,

bee n put in ha d es and h ave abandoned themselves to


destruction as persons who h ave thrown themselves
,

v oluntarily from a ship into the sea They then are .


, ,
C L E M E NT O F A L EXA NDR I A . 179

those that hear the divine po wer and v oice F or who in .

his senses can suppose the souls of the righteous and


those of sinners i n the same condemnation charging ,

P rovidence with inj ustice ?



But how ? Do n ot (the Scriptures) show that the
L ord preached the gospel to those that perished in the
ood or rather had been chained and to those k ept (in
, ,

ward and guard ) ? A n d i t has bee n shown also in the ,

second book of the Stromata that the apostles following



,

,

the L ord preached the gospel to those in ha d e


, F or s.

it was requisite i n my opinion th at as here so also there


, , , ,

the best of the disciples should be imitators of the Mas


ter ; so that he should bring to repentance those belong
ing to the H ebrews and they the Gentiles ; that is those
, ,

that had l ived in righ teousness according to the l aw and


philosophy who h ad ended life not perfectly b ut sinful ly
, ,
.

F or it was suitable to the di v ine administration that those ,

possessed of greater worth i n righ teousness and whose ,

life h ad been pre eminent on repenting O f their trans



,

ression s tho u gh fo u nd in another place yet being confess


g , ,

ed l y O f the nu mber of the people of God Almighty should ,



be saved each on e accord ing to his individual knowledge
,
.

Id .
,
b ook 6 , c ha
p.6 .


F ro m this we see that the n ew theology of a pro

b ation after death is very ol d There is n o doubt but .

that man y will be rej oiced to n d in Clement such testi


mony for the l arger hope ; -

but let those who feel in
c l in ed to accept such teaching make up their mind to ,

accept also that to which it leads n amely purgatory and , ,

prayers and masses for the dead F or if the dead are .

on probation it needs no argument to S ho w that they


,

should be prayed for This doctrine has been the means


.

of bringing a v as t amount of treasure into the R oman

Catholic Church and it is n ot to be wondered at that


,

that church h as al ways held Clement in so great repute .


180 FA T H ER S O F TH E C A T H OL I C C HU R C H .

We have j ust on e more excellent piece of knowledge


to present fro m the writings of Cleme n t It is v ery long .
,


but it is so good an example of the false science and ,


frivolous and fanciful speculation of which the tr an sl a ,


tor rightly says there is a plenty throughout all Cle m
en t s writings that we give it If it were omitted the

, .
,

reader could not for m a correct idea of the beauty an d


clearness of Cleme n t s style and his value as a Christian

interpreter It is chapter 1 1 O f boo k 6 of the Stro


.


m ata and is entitled The Mystical Meanings in the P ro
, ,

portions of Numbers Geometrical R atios and Music : , ,


As then in astronomy we have Abraham as an ih
stan ce so also in arithmetic we have the same Abraham
, .

F or hearing that L ot was taken captive and h aving


, ,

numbered his own servants born in his house 318 , ,

he defeats a v ery great number of the enemy .

They say then that the character representing 300


, ,

is as to shape the type of the L ord s S ign and that the


, ,

I ota and the E ta indicate the Saviour s n ame ; that it was


indicated accordingly that Abraham s domestics were


, ,

in salvation wh o h aving ed to the S ign and the n ame


,

became l ords of the captives and of the v ery many u n ,

believing nations that follo wed them .


N ow the n umber 300 is 3 by 1 00 Ten is allowed , .

to be the perfect n umber And 8 is the rst cu be which .


,

is equality i all the dimensions length breadth d epth


n
, , .

The days of men shall be it is said 1 20 (p ) years ,



,

z .

And th e su m is made u p of the numbers from 1 to 1 5


added together A n d the moon at 1 5 d ays is full
. .


O n another principle 1 20 is a triangular n umber , ,

and consists of the equality of the number 6 4 (which


consists of eight of the od d numbers beginning with
u nity ) the addition of which (1 3 5 7 9 1 1 1 3 1 5)
, , , , , , , ,

in su ccessio n generate squares ; and of the inequality of


the n umber 56 consisting of seven of the even n umbe rs
,

beginning with 2 (2 4 6 8 1 0 1 2 which produce


, , , , , ,

the n umbers th at are n ot squares .


C LE M E N T O F A L EX A ND R I A . 18 1


Again according to another way of indicat ing the
, ,

number 1 20 consists O f four n umbers of on e triangle ,

1 5 ; of another a square 25 O f a third a pentago n 35 ;


, , , ,

and of a fourth a hexagon 45 The ve is taken accord


, ,
.

ing to the same ratio in each mode F or in triangul ar .

numbers from the unit 5 comes 1 5 ; and in squares 25 ;


, ,

and of those in succession proportion ally Now 25 ,


.
,

which is the n u mber 5 from u nity is said to be the sym ,

bol of the L evitical tribe and the n umber 35 depends al so ,

on the arith metic geometric and harmonic scale of


, ,

doubles 6 8 9 1 2 ; the addition of which m akes 35


, , , .

In these days the Jews say that seven months children


,

are formed And the number 4 5 depends on the scale of


.

triples 6 9 1 2 1 8 the addition of which makes 4 5 ;


, , ,

and similarly in these days they say that nine months


,

children are formed .


Such then is the style of the example in arithmetic
, ,
.

And let the testimony O f geometry be the tabernacle


that was constructed and the ar k that was fashion ed , ,

constr ucted in most regular proportions and through di ,

v ine ideas by the gi f t O f understanding which leads us


, ,

fro m things of sense to intellect u al obj ects or rather ,

from these to holy things and to the holy of holi es F or ,


.

the sq uares of wood indicate that the s quare form pro ,

d ucing right angles pervades all and points ou t security


, ,
.

A n d the length of the structure was three h undred


cubits and the breadt h f ty and the h eight thirty ; and
, ,

above the ark e n ds in a cubit narro wing to a cubit fro m


, ,

the broad base like a pyramid the symbol of those who ,

are puried and tested by re And this geometrical .

proportion has a place for the transport of those holy ,

abodes whose di f f erences are indicated by the di ff erences


,

of the n umbers set down belo w .


And the n umbers intro d uced are sixfold as three ,

hundred is six times fty ; and tenfold as three hund red ,

is ten times thirty ; and co n t aining on e and two-thirds


m df p o zp o c) for fty is on e and t wo-thirds of thirty
,
.


N ow there are some who say three hu nd red c ubits
18 2 FA T H ER S O F TH E C A T H OL I C C HU R C H .

are the symbol of the L ord s S ign ; and f ty of hope and



,

of the remissio n given at P entecost ; and thirty or as in ,

some twelve they say points out the preaching (of the
, ,

gospel ) ; because the L ord preached in his thirtieth year ;



and the apostles were t welve And the structure s termi .

nating in a cubit is the symbol of the advan cement of


the righteous to oneness and to the unity of the faith .


And the table which was i n the temple was six
cubits ; and its four feet were about a cubit and a hal f .

They add then the twel v e cubits agreeably to the


, , ,

revolution of the twelve months in the annual circle , ,

during which the earth produces and matures all things ;


adapting itself to the four seaso n s And the table in .
,

my O pinion exhibits the image of the earth supported as


, ,

it is on fou r feet summer autumn spring winter by


, , , , ,

whic h the year travels Wherefore also it is said that


.

the table has wavy chains ; either because the universe


revolves in the circuits of the times or perhaps it indi ,



c ated the earth surrounded with ocean s tide

.

And this is the m an of whom Bishop C oxe says that

a f ter Justin and Iren aeus he is to be recko ned the ,




founder of C h ristian literature H is writings are said .


to introd uce us to a n ew stage of the church s progress
.


H eaven save the mark ! If this be progress l et us ,

h ave retrogression It does indeed sho w rapid progress


.

toward the S inks and quagmires O f R omanism ; and



only he wh o spurns all such Christian literature as
poison and returns to the simple truths of the gospel as
, ,

unfolded by Christ an d his apostles can hope to walk in ,

the light But no one who quotes Clement in behalf of


.

Sund ay-keeping can consistently refuse to accept all the


,

heresy and tras h which Clement wrote .

In the following explanation we nd R ome s authority

for withholding the Bible from the common p eop le


C LE M E N T O F A L E XA N D R I A . 183


F or many reasons then the Scriptures hide the
, ,

sense F irst that we may become inquisitive and be


.
, ,

ever on the watch for the discovery O f the wo rds of sal


vation Then it was not suitable f or all to understand
.
,

so that the y m i ght not receive harm in consequence of

taking I n another sense the things declared for sal v ation



by the H oly Spirit -I d c hap 1 5
. .
, . .

That is to say that the Scriptures are veiled in O h


,

scu r ity because peopl e wo ul d be apt to misundersta nd


,

them if they were written in simple language ! An d


Clement h as the sublime egot ism to suppose that his

insane rav ings are an exposition of the v eiled Script
ures ! Worse than all scores and hundreds of professed
,

P rotestant m inisters are willing to concede his claim .

Again we say Let no on e who is not willing to write


,

himself down a R oman Catholic presume to quote with ,

appro v al the wr itings O f Clement of Alexandria .


C H A P T E R X I I .

T E RT U L L I A N .

I F I were asked which of the so-called C hristian


F athers is in my j udgment th e best I S hould say
, , , ,

Tert ullian H e seems to hav e clearer ideas of things


.
,

and he is certainly the most intelligible Although he .

is as unorthodox as any of the F athers on e can under ,

stand his heresy and th at is more th an can be said O f


,

the othe rs Y et notwithstanding his clearness as com


.

pared with most of the other F athers K i l len could truth ,

fu lly say of h im :

The extant prod uctions of this writer are n umerous ;
an d if rendered into ou r language would form a v ery
, ,

portly v olume But though se v eral parts of them h ave


.

found translators the whole hav e ne v er yet appeared in


,

E nglish ; and of some pieces the most accomplished


, ,

scholar would scarcely undertake to furnish at once a


li teral and an intelligible v ersion H is style is h arsh his .
,

trans itions are abrupt and his innuendoes an d allusions


,

most perplexing H e m ust ha v e been a man of v ery


.

bilio us temperament who could scarcely distinguish a


,

theological O pponent from a personal enemy ; for he pours


forth upon those who di ff er fro m him whole torrents of
sarcas m and in v ecti v e H is strong passion acting upon
.
,

a fer v id imagination completely o v erpo wered his j udg


,

ment ; and hence he deals so largely in exaggeration ,

that as to many matters of fact we cannot safely d e


, ,

pend u pon his testimony H is tone is dictatorial and .

dogmatic ; and though we cannot d oubt his piety we


, ,

must feel that his spirit is somewhat repulsi v e an d u h ~

genial Whi lst h e was sadly deficient in sagacity he


.
,

( )
1 8 4
TE R T U LL I A N . 185

was v ery much the creature of impulse ; and thus it was



that he was so superstitious so bigoted and so choleric , ,
.

A n cien t Chu r ch p er iod 3 sec 3, c ha 1 ar a r a h 1 1


, , .
p , p.
g p .

Tertullian exhibits also the most k nowledge of Script


u re
,
although as F arrar says b e practically makes
,

,


Scripture say exactly what he himself chooses So that .

after all that may be said in his favor he cannot be de ,

pended u pon to any extent whatever as an expositor O f



Scripture Indeed it is a truth that the best of the
.

,

F athers are the worst Whoe v er reads the m dispassion .

ately without his j udgment warpe d by prej udice or a


,

determination to nd support for some pet theory will , ,

as a general thin g con clude that each on e is the worst


.
,

of all .

Tertullian was born at Carthage about A D 1 6 0 H e , . . .

is supposed to ha v e been converted from heathenism


about the year 200 A D and he was af terward ordained . .
,

a presbyter of the church in Carthage H e was a very .

proli c writer and altho ugh there are m any good things
,

in his writings they are the greatest stronghold of RO


,

m an Catholicism The Schaf f-H erzog E ncyclopedia



.

says that his writings form the foundation of L atin the



ology T hat means that they form the foundation of
.

R oman Catholic theology This statement alone should .

make P rotestants resolve to have nothing to d o with


him . F or it is certain that no pure Christianity can be
found in writings which form the foundation of R oman
Catholicism We propose to gi v e our readers a chance
.

to j udge for themselves of the tr uth of the statement


that T ertu llian s writings were largely instr umental in


developing the growth of that myste ry of iniquity

W hi c h had begun to work in the days of P aul an d ,


18 6 FA T H ER S OF T H E C A T H OL I C C HU R C H .

which resulted in that m an of sin the son of perdi


'


tion the antichristian papacy But rst we shall see
,
.

how he is regarded even by those who are willing to quote


from him in support of pet theories w h ich cannot be sus
tain ed by the Bible .

Archdeacon F arrar says of him :


The eloquent ery uncompromising African prae
, ,

tically makes Scripture say exactly what -h e himself



chooses Insisting on the v erse God h ath chosen
.
,

the wea k things of the world to confound the strong he ,


adopted the paradox C r ed o qu ia a bsu r d u m est [ I believe


,

that which is absurd ] and t h e wild conclusion that the


,

more repugnant to sound reason a statement was it ought ,

so muc h the more to be deemed worthy of God



-H is .

tory of I n terp r eta tion pp 1 7 8 1 7 9 1 8 0 ,


.
, , .

F ollowing is the brief biography of Tertullian gi v en



by Moshei m in his E cclesiastical H istory :

In the L atin l anguage scarcely any writer O f this ,

century elucidated or defended the Christian religion ex ,

c ept Tertullian H e was at rst a j urisconsult then a


.
,

presbyter at Carthage and at last a follower of Mon ,

tan us I V e h ave v arious sh ort works of h is which aim


.
,

either to explain and defend the truth or to excite piety , .

W hic h were the greatest his excellen cies or his defects , ,

it is d ii c ul t to say H e possessed great genius ; but it


.

was wild an d un chastened H is piety was active and .

fervent ; b ut likewise gloomy and austere H e h ad much .

learning and knowledge; but lacked discretion and j udg



ment ; he was more acute than solid B ook 1 cen t 3 .
, .
,

ar t 3, c hap 3, sec 5
p . . .

Those who read mu ch about Tertullian will nd f re


quent reference to his Montanism and therefore it may ,

n ot be amiss i n this introduction to learn something of the

teachings of Montanus whose follo wer Tertullian became , .


T he following is fro m K illen s Ancient Church :

TE R T U LL I A N . 18 7


Shortly af ter the m iddle of the second centur y the
church began to be troubled by a heresy i n some re
s ects very di f f erent from gnosticism At that time the
p .

persecuting spirit displayed by Marcus Aurelius lled the


Christians throughout the empire wit h alarm and those of ,

them who were gi v en to despondency began to entertain


the most gloomy anticipations An individual named .
,

Montanus who l aid claim to prophetic endowments


,

now appeared in a v illage on the borders of P hrygia ;


and though he seems to have possessed a rather mean
capacity his discipline was so suited to the taste of many
, ,

and the predictions which he uttered so accorded with


prevailing apprehensions th at he soo n created a d ee p im
,

pression When he rst came forward in the ch aracter


.

of a di v ine instr u ctor he h ad been recently converted to


Christianity ; and he seems to ha v e strangel y misappre


hended the n ature of the gospel When h e deli v ered .

his pretended communications from H ea v en he is said ,

to ha v e wrought himself u p into a state of frenzied ex


citemen t H is countrymen who had been accustomed
.
,

to witness the ecstasies of the priests of Bacchus and


Cybele saw proofs of a divine impulse in his bodily con
,

tortio u s ; and some O f them at O nce acknowledged his


extraordinary mission By means of t wo wealthy female
.

associates named P riscilla and Max imill a who also pro


, ,

fessed to utter prophecies Montanus was enabled rapidly


,

to extend his in uence H is fame spread abroad on all


.

sides ; and in a f ew years he had followers in E urope


, ,

and in Africa as well as in Asia , .


It cannot be said that this heresiarch attempted to
overturn the creed of the church H e was neither a .

profou nd thinker nor a logical reasoner an d he certainly


had not maturely studied the sci ence of theology B ut .

h e possessed an ardent tempera ment a nd he seems to ,

h ave mistaken the suggestions of his own fanaticis m for


the dictates of inspiration The doctrine O f the personal
.

reign of Christ during the millennium appears to have


formed a p rominent to p ic in his ministrations H e main .
18 8 FA T H ER S OF TH E C A T H OLI C C HU R C H .

tained that the discipline of the church had been lef t


incomplete by the apostles and th at h e was empowered ,

to supply a better code of regulations Accordin g to .

some he proclaimed himself the P ar ac lete ; b ut if so he , ,

most g rievo usly belied h is assumed n ame for his syste m ,

was far better tted to induce despondency than to in


S pire comfort All his precepts were con ceived i n the
.

sour an d contracted S pirit of mere ritualism H e in .

sisted upon long fasts ; h e condemned secon d m arriages ;


he inveighed agains t all wh o endeavored to save them
selves by ight i n times of persecution ; and he asserted
that such as h ad on ce been guilty of any heinous trans
r ession should ne v er agai n be ad mitted to ecclesiasti
g
cal fellowship Whilst he promulgated this stern dis
.

cipl in e he at th e same ti m e delivered th e most dismal


,

predictions announcing among other things the speedy


, , ,

cata trophe of the R oman E mpire H e also gav e out


s
.

that the P hrygia n v illage where he ministered was to b e



come the N ew Jerusalem of reno v ated Christianity .

P er iod 3, sec . 3, c ha
p 4 p.ar a r a hs
,g p 8, 9 .

When we come to examine the writings of Tertullian ,

we shall nd that he was a worthy disciple of such a


m aster and al though his apologists claim that his writ
,

ings were mostly completed befor e he became a Montanist ,

there is v ery little if any di ff erence in the S pirit O f his


earlier and his later productions ; so that we are forced to
conclude that he beca me a Montanist S imply because he
was such in reality from the beginning of his career .

The theology of Montanus found in Tertullian congenial


soil.

There can be no one who holds the F athers in higher


estee m than does Bishop Coxe yet in his introduction to ,


the P astor of Hermas he speaks of Tertullian as
, ,


The great founder of L atin Christianity whose v ery

,

ashes breathed contagion into the life of such as handled


TE R T U LL I A N . 189

his relics with a ff ection save only those who like Cyprian
, , , ,

were gi fted with a character as stro n g as his own The .

genius of Tertullian inspired his v ery insanity with power ,

and to the discipline of the L atin ch urches he commu


, ,

micated something of th e rigor of Montanism wit h the ,

natural reactionary relaxation O f morals in actu al life .

O f this we S hall learn en ough when we come to read the


,

fascinati n g pages of that splendid but infatuated author .

Surely su ch an author Ought to be put into perpetua l


quarantine If it had been done centuries ago it would
.
,

have saved P ro testantis m to a great extent fro m b ecom


in g tainted with his R oman Catholic contagion ; for no
F ather has done more than he to establish the R oman
Catholic Church Indeed as in th e case of Clement of
.
,

Alexandria Bishop Coxe seems exceedingly anxious to


,

vindicate Tertullian from the charge O f being recreant to


the Catholic faith In his introduction to T ertull ian s
.

writings he says

Let us reect that St Bernard and after him the
.

schoolmen whom we so deservedly honor separated


, ,

themselves far more absolutely than ever Tertullian did


from the orthodoxy of primitive Christendom The .

schism which withdrew the West from communion with


the original seats of Christendom and from Nicene C ath o
l icity was formidable beyond all expression in compari
, ,

son with T ertul l ian s entanglements with a del usion which


the see of R ome itself had momentarily patronized


To Dolli n ger with the O ld Catholic remnant only
, ,

1 s left the right to name the Monta n ists heretics or to u


p ,

braid Tertullian as a lapser from Catholicity .

That is to say that Tertullian did not bac kslide from


Catholicism nearly so far as some other eminent G atho
lies did L et the reader bear in mind that the highest
.

recommendation that T ertul l ian s champion can give him



1 90 FA T H ER S O F T H E C A T H OL I C C HU R C H .

is that he ne v er strayed v ery far from the R oman C ath o


lic faith There are still many P rotestants wit h who m
.

such a recomm endation would hav e little weight except ,

in turning them against h im .

In keeping with th e quotation which ch arges T er tul ,


n

lian with insanity is the statement of the Wester n Chu r c h


,

man (Den ver which in an article entitled The


,

, ,


R ight to Administer the Sacraments (v ol 1 No .
,
.


called T er tull ian this zealous brilliant illogical u n , , ,


stable F ather N ot a v ery good found ation to build on
.
,

is it ?
We have already read that Tertullian was the founder
of L atin (R oman Catholic ) theology ; the following quota

tions name some of the peculiar features of Catholicism


which were deri ved from him K illen says : .


Tertullian ourished at a period wh en ecclesiastical
usurpation was beginning to prod uce some of its bitter
frui ts and when religion was rapidly degenerating fro m
,

its primiti v e purity H is works which treat of a great


.
,

v ariety of topics interesting to the Christian student ,

thr ow immense light on the state of the church in his


generation . B ut the way of salvation by faith
seems to ha v e been v ery indistinctly apprehended by
him so that h e cannot be safely trusted as a th eol o
,

gian H e had evidently n o clear conception of the place


.

which works ought to occupy according to the scheme of


the gospel ; and hence he sometimes speaks as if pardon

could be purch ased by penan ce by fasting or by martyr , ,



dom P er iod 3 sec 3 chap 1 p ar agr ap h 1 3
.
, .
,
.
, .

H ere is the clo v en foot of antich ri st Sal v ation by .

work s is the doctrine which puts m an on a level with


Jesus Christ and so crowds Christ out altogether With
, .

out this idea R oman Catholicism could not exist


, It is .

the sand bank upon which that church is built Notice .


TE R T U LL I A N . 1 91

that while T er tull ian s writings are said to throw great light

on the state of the ch urch in his generation it is declared ,

to be a generation when religion was rapidly degenerati n g


from its primiti v e purity So w h ile his writings may be
.

interesting as sh owing the degree of degeneration which


the church h ad reached within less than two hundred years
after the days of the apostles they are worth nothing for ,

any other purpose And indeed we cannot al ways


.
, ,

d epend upon them for a knowledge of the c ustoms of


the church in his d ays for as we have already quoted
, ,

from Dr K illen he deals so largely i n exaggeration


.
,

that as to many m atters of fact we cannot safely depend


, ,


upon his testimony .


T he following from Neand er as to T ertull ian s warm

, ,


u ngo verned imagination corroborates the abo v e
,


Tertullian is a writer of peculiar importance both as ,

the rst representative of the theological character of the


North Af rican Church and as the representati v e of the
,

Montanistic O pinions H e was a man of ardent min d


.
,

warm disposition and deepl y serious character acc ustomed


, ,

to gi v e himself up with all his soul and strength to the


obj ect of his love an d haughtily to rej ect all which was
,

uncongenial to that obj ect H e h ad a fund of great and .

m ultifarious knowledge but it was confusedly heaped up


,

in his mind without scientic arrangement H is depth


,
.

of thought was n ot united with logical clearness and


j udgment ; a warm ungover,
n ed imagination that dwelt ,

in sensuous images was his ruling power H is im


,
.

p e tu ou S and haughty disposition and his earl y educa ,

tion as an advocate or a rhetorician were prone to carry ,



him especial ]y in controversy to rhetorical exaggerations
, ,
.

R ose s N ean d er sec 5 ed ition o 5


f 1 4 4 4 43

,
8
. 3 pp,
3 , .
,
.

It is v ery evident therefore that T ertul l ian s testimony


, ,

will hav e to be regarded with suspicion .


1 92 FA T H ER S OF TH E C A T H OL I C C HU R CH .

The following from Dr Schaf f sets Tertullian forth as .

a father of monkery and the R oman Catholic distinction


between mortal and venial sins :

The heathen gnostic prin ciple of separation from the
world an d from the body as a mean s of self-redemption ,

a f te r being theoretically exterminated stole into the ,

church by a back door of practice directly in face O f the ,

Christian doctrine of the high destiny of the body and ,

perfect redemption through Christ .


The -Alexandrian F athers rst furnished a theoretical
basis f or this asceticism in the distinction suggested e v en, ,

by the pastor H erm as of a lower and a higher morality ; ,

a distinction which like that introdu ced at the same


, ,

period by Tertullian of mortal an d v enial S ins gave rise to


, ,

many practical errors and favored both mortal laxity and


,

ascetic extrav agance


Chu r c h H istory vol 1 sec 9 4
.
, .
, . .

Tertullian also stands as sponsor or on e of the spon ,

sors for the R oman Catholic doctrine of prayers to the


,

d ead This as the reader doubtless well k nows was


.
, ,

simply the baptized form O f the pagan custom of mak


ing gods of departed heroes Bingh am (A n tiquities of .

the Christian C h urch book 1 chap 4 ) says , , .


Tertullian adds to these [i a the martyrs] the n ame .
,

of c ha r i Dei the fa v orites of H ea v en ;


,
because their
prayers and intercessions were po werful with God to O h ,

tain pardon for others that S hou l d address H eav en by ,

them Therefore in his instructions to the penitents he


.
, ,

bids them c har is Dei adgen icu lar i fall do w


,
n at the ,

feet of these fa v orites and commend their suit to all the


,

brethren desiring them to intercede with God for them
,
.

And K illen speak ing of th e exposition of Matt


,
.

1 6 : 1 61 8 which m akes P eter the head of the church


, ,

says .

Tertullian an d Cyprian in the third century the two ,


T ER T U LL I A N . 1 93

most eminent F athers of the West countenanced the ex ,

position ; and though both these writers were lamentably


decient in critical sagacity men O f in f erior standi n g
,

were slow to impugn the v erdict of such champions of



the faith A n cien t Chur c h p er iod 3 sec 1 c hap 5 p ar
.
, , .
, .
,

a ra
g p h 1 9 .

T hat was the way that the papacy established itself ;


certain men came to be looked upon as au thorities and ,

the people leaving the plain declarations of the Bible


, ,

blindly accepted their dictum The bishops many of .


,

whom were pagan philosophers when chosen to p reside


o v er the churches came v ery naturally to occupy this


,

position and the way was th us pa v ed for the most pow


,

e r f ul bishop to become pope exercising lordship o v er


,

men s consciences

.

B ut the reader is doubtless anxio us to be entertained


with some of T ertullian s peculiarities fresh fro m the

,

original source and so he S hal l now be allowed to s pea k


,

for himself As a good example of his ery impetuosity ,

which could l ead him to rej oice in anticipation of


'

witnessing the su ff erings of the lost we quote from ,


his treatise The Shows
,
A f ter hav ing spo k en of
.

the wic k edness of the S hows which many professed ,

Christians were v ery fond of attending he likens (chap ,


.

30) the J udgmen t- d ay to a v ast S how in which the actors


wil l be the illustrio us men of earth and he a delighted ,

spectator
H ow v ast a spectacle then b ursts upo n the eye !
What there excites my admi ration ? what my derision ?
Which S ight gi v es me j oy ? which rouses me to exulta
tion as I see so many illustrious monarchs whose r e ,

ception into the heav ens was publicly announced groan ,

ing n Ow in the lowest darkness with great Jo v e himself ,

13
1 94 FA T H ER S OF TH E C A T HO LI C C HU R C H .

and those too who bore witness of their exultation ; go v


, ,

e r n ors of pro vinces t oo who persecuted the Christian


, ,

name in res more erce than those with which in the


,

days of their pride they raged against the followers of


Christ What world s wise men besides the very philos
.

O ph ers in fact who taught their followers that God had


, ,

n o concern in au h t t h at is sublunary and were wont to


g ,

assure them that either they had n o souls or that they ,

would ne v er return to the bodies which at death they


had l eft n ow co v ered with S hame before the poor deluded
,

ones as on e re consumes them ! P oets also trembling


, ,

not before the j udgment-seat of R hadamanthus or Minos ,

but of the unexpected C hrist ! I shall ha v e a better O p


o t u n it then of hearing the tragedians louder -
v oiced
p r y ,

in their own calamity ; of viewing the play actors much


-
,

more dissolute in the dissol v ing ame of l ooking upo n



,

the charioteer all glowing in his chariot of re ; of b e


,

holdi n g the wrestlers not in their gymn asia b ut tossing in


, ,

the ery bill ows .

Thi s certainly does not re v eal Tertul l ian in a v ery


amiable aspect .

Since T ur tullian is the F ather who perhaps to a ,

greater extent tha n any other is depended on for author ,

ity to uphold Sunday O bser v ance we will at t h e outset ,

examine wh at he has to say on that subj ect It may n ot .

be amiss howe v er again to remind the reader that T er


, ,

tullian is the great champion of R oman Catholicism and ,

to recall the statements already quoted that his warm , ,


u ngo v erned imagination acted upo n by strong pas ,


sion, completely o v erpowered his j udgment and that ,

he d eals so largely in exaggeration that as to many ,

matters of fact we cannot safely depend upon his testi


,


mony . This being the case we are perfectly willing ,

that Sunday ad v ocates should ha v e the full benet of


T ertul l ian s testimony always remembering that e v en

,
TE R T U LL I A N . 1 95

though it could be proved th at Sunday was observed in


T er tu ll ian s time that would not connect the d ay with

,

the Bible but only with the custom of a people only half
,

C ln istian at best .


In his Apology (chap an ad dress written to .

the rulers and magis trates of the empire he says : ,


O thers again certainly with more information and
, ,

greater verisimilitude believe that the s un is our god


, .

\V e shall be counted P ersians perhaps though we do ,

n ot worship the or b of d ay painted on a piece of linen


cloth having himself e v erywhere in his own disk The
, .

idea no d oubt has originated from our bei n g known to


turn to the east in prayer B ut you many of you also .
, ,

un d er pretense sometimes of worshiping the hea venly


bodies mo v e your lips i n the direction of the sunrise
, .

In the same way if we devote Sun -day to rej oicing from


'

, ,

f f
a far di erent reason than Sun worship we have some
-
,

resemblance to those of you who devote the d ay of Sat


urn to ease and luxury though they too go far away ,

from Jewish ways of which indeed they are ignorant
,
.

H ere h e admits that there was considerable reason in