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Apelles, and some others, made in their copies, in order to suit them to their several opinions, must have put the catholic Christians early upon their guard, and induced them to preserve, with the greatest care, their copies genuine and entire, in order to shew the falsity of those notions which their opposers had embraced, and the sinister arts they made use of, by corrupting and mutilating the sacred writings, the better to conceal the erroneousness of their opinions, and their inconsistency with the genuine dictates of Divine revelation. A practice thus represented as base in their opponents, and continually held up to public view in all their treatises against heretics as most vile, they themselves would be sure to avoid with the greatest caution.
Secondly, The many heretics which we now hear of, and the nuinber and variety of divisions which there were of old among Christians, may serve to satisfy us that the religion of Jesus had made great progress in the world. Besides the more regular and orthodox professors, there were divers others who made a shift to form societies, and to create trouble to the main body of Christians. This may
convince us, that altogether they must amount to a very great number. At the same time, this diversity of opinion is so far from overthrowing the truth of the Christian religion, that it greatly confirms it. For it is to be observed, that all these, though cordially hating one another on account of their mutual opposition, and though differing from each other in a multitude of more minute circumstances, still agreed in the main points, as is very apparent from several preceding articles.
Curiosity and an Inquisitiveness of Mind were Dispositions frequently indulged by Heretics.
HERETICS were in the general men of a curious and inquisitive turn of mind, and greatly indulged this disposition, which led them to speculate upon many points of doctrine, concerning which the scriptures had afforded little or no light; which however, according to the philosophy then in vogue, and with which their minds were but too deeply tinctured, ' were esteemed matters of importance, and points that would lead them to many curious and sublime speculations. By giving way to these they imbibed a set of notions which were dignified with the. name of wisdom, and which they regarded as true: and unhappily set about engrafting these on the religion of Jesus, to which they were by no means suitanle. When the scriptures were in some cases plainly inconsistent with these notions, they were for making them yield to their philosophical opinions. Thus the simplicity of truth was banished, and endless divisions arose. Though in many cases their curiosity and inquisitiveness were carried to an improper extent ; yet they set out with just views in order to have a rational and firm foundation for their faith: and they called upon the catholic Christians to examine, that they inight also be well established in their belief. This is testified by Tertullian ` in a great variety of places.
· Hæ sunt doctrinæ hominum et dæmoniorum, prurien- 205.
205. Cæterum si quia et alia tanta ab aliis suint instituta, tibus auribus natæ de ingenio sapientiæ secularis, quam propterea in tantum quærere debemus, in quantum possuLlominus stultitiam vocans, stulta mundi in confusionem etiam mus invenire, semper quæremus, et nunquam omnino crede. philosophiæ ipsius elegit. Ea est enim materia sapientiæ se
Ubi eniin erit finis quærendi ? Ubi statio credendi? cularis, temeraria interpres divinæ naturæ et dispositionis. Ubi expuuctio inveniendi ? Apud Marcionem ? Sed et VaIpsæ denique hæreses a philosophiâ subornantur. Inde æones lentinus proponit, • Quærite et invenietis. Apud Valenet formæ, nescio quæ, et trinitas hominis apud Valentinum, tinum? Sed et Apelles hac me pronuntiatione pulsabit, et &c. Ter. De Pr. H. c. vii. p. 232. D. Fran. p. 203. Vic. sup. Ebion, et Simon, et omnes ordine non habent aliud, quo se p. 526, note 8.
mihi insinuantes me sibi addicant. Ibid. cap. x. p. 234. C.D. • This will plainly appear hereafter in the instance of Mar- Fran. 204. Venio itaque ad illum articulum, quem et nostri cion, and some others, who rejected many particular passages prætendunt ad ineundam curiositaten, et hæretici inculcant in the New Testament, as well as three of the gospels, and ad importandam scrupulositatem. Scriptum est, inquiunt, the whole Old Testament, in order the better to establish • Quærite et invenietis.' Ibid. c. viii. p. 233. B. Fran. 203. their peculiarities.
Notata sunt etiam commercia hæreticorum cum magis quamc Cum enim quærunt adhuc, nondum tenent: cum autem pluribus, cum circulatoribus, cum astrologis, cum philosophis, non tenent, nondum crediderunt: cum autem nondum cre. curiositati scilicet deditis. · Quærite et invenieris,' ubique diderunt, non sunt Christiavi. At cuin tenent quidem et meminerunt. Ibid. c. xliii. p. 248. B. Fran. 213. Nam et credunt, quærendum tamen dicunt, ut defendant: antequam mathematici plurimum Marcionitæ ; nec hoc erubescentes de defendant, negant quod credunt; coufitentes se nondum cre- ipsis etiam stellis vivere creatoris. Adv. Mar. 1. i. c. xvii. 442. didisse, dum quærunt. De Pr. Hær. c. xiv p. 236. B. Fran. B. Fran. 358.
The catholics said that they likewise were for inquiry and examination into the foundation of their faith." But when once they had received the Christian religion as coming from God, they thought they ought to be satisfied, and to suppress all further inquiries; because it did not appear to them a right method to mix philosophical speculations with the plain facts and important discoveries of the gospel.
Heretics were not in general solicitous about little Matters, and were moderate towards those
who differed from them.
Things which related to external order • and church discipline were not the things which greatly drew the attention of those called heretics; they regarded these as matters of rather a trifling nature ; such, for instance, as not keeping up regular orders and different classes among the several members of the churches; such as admitting catechumens to be present while the Lord's supper was administering, and permitting even heathens to remain in their churches while these religious services were carrying on. This, it should seein, was contrary to the custom of the catholic Christians. They also formed churches,' each according to his own plan, both as to discipline and doctrine : and this variety the catholics unreasonably objected to as a mark of error ; & forgetting that the very same arguments which they used against the heathens might be retorted upon themselves with equal force by the heretics. They however bear witness to the moderation and charity which these people manifested in their religious differences with each other ; whilst they ascribe this good temper, very uncharitably, to their desire of making an united opposition to the truth.
a Omnibus dictum sit, Quærite et invenietis ' Sed in injungunt. Ibid. Simplicitatem volunt esse prostrationem primis hoc propono, unum utique et certum aliquid institutum disciplinæ, cujus penes nos curam lenocinium vocant. Ibid. esse a Christo, quod credere omni modo debeant nationes, et « Μυσηρια δη δηθεν παρ' αυτω επιτελείται των κατηχομενων idcirco quærere, ut possint, cum invenerint, credere. Unius įpwetur. Epipha. Hær. xlii. n. iii. p. 304. B. porro et certi instituti infinita inquisitio non potest esse: quz- e Etiam ethnici si supervenerint, sanctum canibus, et porcis Sendum est donec invenias, et credendum ubi inveneris , et margaritas, licet non veras, jactabunt. Ter. De Pr. H. cap.. nihil amplius nisi custodiendum quod credidisti; dum hoc xli. p. 247. Fran. 213. insuper credis, aliud non esse credendum, ideoque nec requi- Cæterum nec suis præsidibus rererentiam noveruntrendum, cum id inveneris et credideris, quod ab eo institutum regulis suis variant inter se, dum unusquisque proinde stio arest, qui non aliud tibi mandat inquirendum, quam quod insti- bitrio modulatur quæ accepit, quemadmodum de arbitrio suo lituit. De Pr. Hær. c. ix. p. 234. Fr. 204. Nobis curiositate ea composuit ille qui tradidit-Idem licuit Valentinianis opus non est post Christum Jesum, nec inquisitione post quod Valentino, idem Marcionitis quod Marcioni, de arbitrio evangelium. Cum credimus nibil desideramus ultra credere. suo fidem innovare. Denique, penitus inspectæ, hæreses Hoc enim prius credimus, non esse quod ultra credere debea- omnes in multis cum auctoribus suis dissentientes depreben-, inus. Ibid. c. viii. p. 233. Fran. 203. Fides in regulâ posita duntur. Plerique nec ecclesias habent; sine matre, sine sede, eit-Cedat curiositas fidei, cedat gloria saluti. Certe aut orbi fide, extorres, sine lare vagantur. Ibid. c. xlii. p. 248. non obstrepant, aut quiescant. Adversus regulam nihil scire, A. B. Fran. 213. omuia scire est. Ib. c. xiv. p. 236. Fr. 205.
8 Nihil enim interest, illis licet diversa tractantibus, dum b Non omittam ipsius etiam conversationis hæreticæ de- ad unius veritatis expugnationem conspirent. Omnes tuscriptionem, quam futilis, quam terrena, quam humana sit ; ment, omnes scientiam pollicentur. Ante sunt perfecti catesine gravitate, sine auctoritate, sine disciplinâ, ut fidei suæ chumeni, quam edocti. Jpsæ mulieres hæreticæ quam procongruens. In primis quis catechumenus, quis fidelis, incer- caces, quæ audeant docere, contendere, exorcismos agere, cutum est. Pariter adeunt, pariter audiunt, pariter orant. Ter. rationes repromittere, forsitan et tingere. Ordinationes eorum De Pr. Hær. cap. xli. p. 247. Fran. 213..
temerariæ, leves, inconstantes. Ibid. cap. xli. p. 247. Fran. © Nunc neophytos conlocant, nunc seculo obstrictos, nunc 213. apostatas nostros, ut gloriâ eos obligent, quia veritate non "Schismata apud hæreticos fere non sunt : quia cum sint, possunt. Nusquam facilius proficitur, quam in castris rebel- non patent schismata : est enim unitas ipsa. Ibid. cap. xlii. lium, ubi ipsum esse illic promereri est. Itaque alius hodie Pacem quoque passim cum omnibus miscent. Nihil enim inepiscopus, cras alius : hodie diaconus, qui cras lector : hodie icrest, &c. Ibid. cap. xli. presbyter, qui cras laïcus. Nam et laïcis sacerdotalia munera
Pernicious Consequences supposed to arise from some of their Doctrines, wcre charged upon them,
though they did not admit them.
ONE of the calumnies thrown out against some of the ancient heretics by their enemies wasthat they considered themselves as bound by no law, and therefore gave themselves a license to sin. This their adversaries pretended to have a sufficient foundation for, because Marcion and his followers had said that God needed not to be feared, meaning the good God. Though
Tertullian declaims vehemently against this principle, especially if it should be considered by any as affording a ground on which to build the impious consequences before mentioned: yet it appears from the very place where he is arguing against it, as held by Marcion, that those consequences drawn from it in favour of a license for sinning, were never allowed by him, and were contrary to his avowed opinion and settled practice; for Tertullian's view is to prove the absurdity of the principle from the virtue and integrity of Marcion's own conduct. It should therefore seem probable in this instance, as well as in some others, that the true import and meaning of his principles were either mistaken or misrepresented by his adversaries.
The Seeds of these Heresies were sown in the Days of the Apostles. Several of the ancient fathers understand the apostle Paul as referring to some appearances of this kind, when he exhorts the primitive Christians to avoid philosophy, and questions about endless genealogies, and oppositions of science falsely so called.
Negant Deum timendum, itaque libera sunt illis omnia et in omnem libidinem ebullis ? Quid non frequentas tam soluta. Ter. De Pr. H. cap. xliii. p. 248. B. Fran. 213. Sic solennes voluptates circi furentis, et caveæ sævientis, et scenæ enim neque æmulatur, neque irascitur, neque damnat, neque lascivientis ? Quid non et in persecutionibus statim, oblatâ vexat, utpote qui nec judicem præstat ; non invenio quomodo acerrâ animam negatione lucraris ? Absit, inquis, absit. Ergo illi disciplinarum ratio consistat
Quale est enim, ut præ- jam times delictum, et timendo probâsti illum timeri, qui procepta constituat, non executurus ? ut delicta prohibeat, non hibet delictum. Ibid. p. 450. Fr. 364. vindicaturus ? quia non judicaturus : extraneus scilicet ab e Hinc illæ fabulæ et genealogiæ interminabiles, et quæsomnibus sensibus severitatis et animadversionis. Cur enim tiones infructuosæ, et sermones serpentes velut cancer, a prohibet. admitii, quod non defendit admissum - Imo et quibus nos apostolus refrænans, nominatim philosophiam conpermisisse directo debuit, sine causâ prohibiturus, ut non de- testatur caveri oportere, scribens ad Colossenses Ter. De Pr. fensurus. Ejusdem adv. Mar. 1. i. c. xxvi. p. 449. D. Fran. Hær. c. vii
. p. 233. A. Fran. 203. Adhibeo, super hæc, ip363. Aut si hoc erit divinæ virtutis, sive bonitatis, nolle qui- sarum doctrinarum recognitionem, quæ tunc sub apostolis dem fieri, et prohibere fieri, non moveri tamen si fiat. Ibid. fuerunt, ab iisdem apostolis demonstratæ—Paulus, in prima Atqui nihil Deo tam indignum, quam non exsequi quod no- ad Corinthios epistolâ, notat negatores et dubitatores resurrecluit et prohibuit admitti. Ibid. p. 450. Sed judicat plane tionis. Hæc opinio propria Sadducæorum : partem ejus malum nolendo, et damnat prohibendo: dimittit autem non usurpat Marcion, et Apelles, et Valentinus Ad Galatas vindicando, et absolvit non puuiendo. Ibid. cap. xxvii. p. scribens, invehitur in observatores et defensores circumcisionis 450. Fran. 364.
et legis. Hetionis hæresis est. Timotheum instruens, nupAtque adeo præ se ferunt Marcionitæ, quod Deum suum tiarum quoque interdictores suggillat: ita instituunt Marcion, omnino non timeant. Malus autem, inquiunt, timebitur ; et Apelles ejus secutor- -Et cum genealogias indeterminatas bonus autem diligetur. Ibid. c. xxvii. p. 450. Fr. 364. Nisi nominat, Valentinus agnoscitur- - Joannes vero in Apocalypsi quod Marcion Deum suum timeri negat, dicens bonum non idolothyta edentes et stupra committentes jubetur castigare. timeri, sed vindicem tantum, apud quem ira æstuat. Ibid. p. Sunt et nunc alii Nicolaïtæ. Caiana hæresis dicitur. Ib. 510. Fran. 424. Sane nominatur mitissimus Deus, quia nec C. 33. p. 243. D. 244. A. Fran. 210. Emo Tyy aardelar judicat nec irascitur. Ib. I. iv. c. xix. p. 509. Fr. 423. παραπεμπομενοι τινες, επεισαγάσι λογος ψευδεις και γενεαλο
© Audite peccatores, quique nondum hoc estis, ut esse γιας ματαιας, αί τινες ζητησεις μαλλον παρεχεσι, καθως και possitis : Deus melior inventus est, qui nec offenditur, nec αποςολος φησιν, η οικοδομης Θε8 την εν πιςει. κτ.λ. Iren. Αdν. irascitur, nec ulciscitur ; cui nullus ignis coquitur in Gehennâ; Hær. lib. i. præ. in. Dubitabitne idem pronuntiare, bas esse cui nullus dentium frendor horret in exterioribus tenebris ; fabulas et genealogias indeterminatas, quas apostoli spiritus, bonus tantum est. Denique prohibet delinquere, sed in literis his jam tunc pullulantibus seminibus hæreticis, damnare præsolis. In vobis est, si velitis, illi obsequium subsignare, ut venit. Tert. Adv. Valen. c. iii. p. 284. Fran. 284. honorem Deo habuisse videamini : timorem enim non vult. f Col. ii. 8.
1 Tim. vi. 20. ch. i. 4. 2 Tim. i. 16, 17. Ibid. lib. i. cap. xxvii. p. 450. Fran. 364.
Tit. iii. 9. Age itaque, qui Deum non times quasi bonum, quid non
Eusebius relates that Ignatius, · in his way from Antioch to Rome, exhorted the churches to beware of the heresies which were then springing up, and which would increase; and that he afterwards wrote his epistles in order to guard them against these corruptions, and to confirm them in the faith.
This opinion that the seeds of these heresies were sown in the times of the apostles, and sprang up immediately after, is an opinion probable in itself, and is embraced by several learned moderns; particularly by Vitringa, and by the late Rev. Mr. Brekel of Liverpool.
* Εν πρωτοις μαλιςα προφυλαττεσθαι τας αιρεσεις, αρτι © In his answer to Mr. Deacon, against the pretended τοτε πρωτον αναφυείσας και επιπολαζεσας σαρώνει. His. purity of the three first centuries, he observes, that, if this Eccl. lib. iii. cap. xxxvi. p. 130..ed. Reading.
point were thoroughly examined, it would appear that the b Ita enim ubi Paulus iu ep. 1 ina ad Tim. c. vi. 20. dehor- Christian church preserved her virgin purity no longer than tatur ab αντιθεσεσι της ψευδωνυμα γνωσεως, oppositis paral- the apostolic age, at least if we may give credit to Hegesip• lelismis scientiæ falso sic diciæ, et a fabulis et yeyearoylans pus. Vid. Eus. H. E. lib. iii. c. 32. Another ancient writer, atepaytais, successionibus infinitis.' 1 Tim. i. 4. non est'ideo Paphias by name, speaks of some persons in his time who quo illud commodius referri queat quam ad subtilissimas dispu- inculcated other precepts than those that were delivered by tationes de divinitate ejusque variis emanationibus, quibus se the Lord, and proceeded from the truth itself. Ap. Eu. Ibid. Judæi, aliique Platonicae et Pythagoricæ philosophiæ studiosi, c. xxxix. p. 111. A. To mention the corruptions and innooccupatos habebant, et in quibus arcanæ et sublimioris scien- vations in religion of the four first centuries, is wholly supertiæ maximam constituebant partem. Quo modo etiam Ire- fuous; when it is so very notorious, that, even before the næus et Tertullianus Pauli mentem accepisse, et mihi recte reign of Constantine, there sprang up a kind of heathenish quidem accepisse videntur. Vid. Ter. De Pr. Hær. c. xxxiii. Christianity, which mingled itself with the true Christian p. 244. A.
Et Iren. adv. Hær. I. i. in præ. in. Vitringæ obs. religion. Socr. H. Ec. lib. i. cap. 22. Brekel's MS. in Tit. iii. 9. Tom. ii. p. 161.
Irenæus having given some account of Simon and Menander, proceeds: • Troin these Satur• ninus of Antioch, and Basilides of Alexandria, took occasion to form different schemes. • Saturninus, like Menander held one Father, unknown to all, who made angels, archangels, • principalities and powers. He said that the world and all things therein were made by certain • (seven) angels: man too was made by them. The Saviour he taught to be unbegotten, and incorporeal, and that he was man in appearance only. The God of the Jews,' he says, was one of the angels. And because all the principalities opposed his Father, Christ came to the • overthrow of the God of the Jews, and for the salvation of those who believe in him, which are
such as have in them the spark of life. For this person first taught that there are two kinds of • men made by the angels, some good, otbers bad. And because dæmons assisted the worst, the • Saviour came to the condemnation of bad men and dæmons, and to the salvation of good men. • He says that marriage and generation are of Satan. And many of his followers abstain from • animal food, by such a feigned temperance deceiving many. They will have it that some pro• phecies came from the angels who made the world; others from Satan, whom they also reckon • an adversary to the Maker of the world, especially to the God of the Jews.
He was an obscure person, and had probably but few followers. I HAVE thought it not amiss to transcribe this article of Irenæus, hoping that we may make some good use of it in the chapter of Basilides. For I do not intend to enlarge on the history
* Ex iis Saturninus, qui fuit ab Antiochia ea, quæ est apud orum Dei, et ad salutem credentium ei; esse autem hos qui Dapbnen, et Basilides, occasiones accipientes, distantes doc- habent scintillam vitæ ejus. Duo enim genera bic primus trinas ostenderunt; alter quidem in Syria, alter vero in hominum plasmata esse ab angelis dixit; alterum quidem Alexandrià. Saturninus quidem, similiter ut Menander, unum nequam, alterum autem bonum. Et quoniam dæmones pesPatrem incognitam omnibus ostendit, qui fecit angelos, arch- simos adjuvant, venisse salvatorem ad dissolutionem malorum angelos, virtutes, potestates: a septem autem quibusdam hominum, et dæmoniorum, ad salutem autem bonorum. Nuangelis mundum factum, et omnia quæ in eo: hominem bere autem et generare, a Satanâ dicunt esse. Multi autem, autem angelorum esse facturam, desursum a sumınâ potestate qui sunt ab eo, et ab animalibus abstinent, per fictam hujuslucidâ imagine apparente-Salvatorem autem innatum de- modi continentiam seducentes multos. Prophetias autem monstravit et incorporalem, et sine figura, putative autem quasdam quidem ab iis angelis, qui mundum fabricaverint, visum hominem. Et Judæorum Deum unum ex angelis esse dictas, quasdam autem a Satana ; quem et ipsum angelum dixit. Et propter boc, quod dissolvere voluerint patrem ejus adversarium mundi fabricatoribus ostendit, inaxime autem omnes principes, ada jisse Christum ad destructionem Judæ- Judæorum Deo. Iren. I. i. c, 24. al. xxii, n. i. ii. p. 100, 101