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AN INQUIRY INTO THE HERESIES, OF

THE APOSTOLIC AGE,

IN

EIGHT SERMONS

PREACHED BEFORE

THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD,

IN THE YEAR MDCCCXXIX.

AT THE

LECTURE

FOUNDED BY

THE REV. JOHN BAMPTON, M. A.

CANON OF SALISBURY.

BY

THE REV. EDWARD BURTON, D.D.

REGIUS PROFESSOR OF DIVINITY AND CANON OF CHRIST CHURCH.

P OXFORI

PRINTED BY SAMUEL COLLINGWOOD, PRINTER TO THE UNIVERSITY,

FOR THE AUTHOR.

SOLD BY J. PARKER; AND BY C. AND J. RIVINGTON, LONDON,

MDCCCXXIX.

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CONTENTS.

LECTURE I.

Subject proposed. An investigation into the early heresies
will illustrate passages and expressions in the New Testament.
The orthodoxy of these heretics has sometimes been maintained.
Definition of the term Heresy, and its meaning as used by the
Fathers. Not unreasonable that heresies should appear so early.
Length of time which elapsed before the apostles quitted Ju-
dæa. Brief sketch of the first propagation of Christianity, and
particularly by St. Paul.

LECTURE II.

Means of ascertaining the doctrines of the early heretics.
Necessity and utility of consulting the Fathers. The early here.
tics were Gnostics. Outline of the Gnostic philosophy. It has
been traced to three sources. Examination of two of them, the
Eastern doctrine of two Principles, and the Jewish Cabbala.

Col. ii. 8.

Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit,

after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and

not after Christ. -

29.

LECTURE III.

Examination of the third and principal source, the Platonic
philosophy. Effect of the foundation of Alexandria upon Gre-
cian philosophy. Jews in Alexandria. Essenes. Rise of the

eclectic philosophy and of Gnosticism. Peculiar use of the term
Knowledge. Allusions to this knowledge in the New Testament.

LECTURE IV.

Simon Magus the parent of Gnostic heresies. His history.
Doctrine of Æons. Passages in the New Testament concerning
Æons.

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LECTURE V.

Tertullian mistaken concerning Elements. Opinion of the
Gnostics concerning the Pleroma. Allusions to this opinion in
the New Testament. Gnostics denied the inspiration of the
prophets; and the Resurrection. Heretics mentioned by name
in the New Testament. Moral practice of the Gnostics of two
opposite kinds.

Fatal effect of their licentiousness upon Chris-
tianity. Nicolaitans.

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i John v. 6.

This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ ; not by
water only, but by water and blood.

157.

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