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the source of much persecution and annoyance. No doubt the motives of his friends were of the highest kind, and among them may have been the desire to take away the ground of objection formerly raised by Demetrius against the public preaching of a mere layman in the presence of a bishop. But they little dreamed of the storm which this act of theirs was to raise, and of the consequences which it was to bring upon the head of him whom they had sought to honour. After completing his journey through Greece, Origen returned to Alexandria about the year 230. He there found his bishop greatly incensed against him for what had taken place at Cæsarea. Nor did his anger expend itself in mere objurgations and rebukes. In the year 231 a synod was summoned by Demetrius, composed of Egyptian bishops and Alexandrian presbyters, who declared Origen unworthy to hold the office of teacher, and excommunicated him from the fellowship of the church of Alexandria. Even this did not satisfy the vindictive feeling of Demetrius. He summoned a second synod, in which the bishops alone were permitted to vote, and by their suffrages Origen was degraded from the office of presbyter, and intimation of this sentence was ordered to be made by encyclical letter to the various churches. The validity of the sentence was recognised by all of them, with the exception of those in Palestine, Phoenicia, Arabia, and Achaia,-a remarkable proof of the position of influence which was at that time held by the church of Alexandria. Origen appears to have quitted the city before the bursting of the storm, and betook himself to Cæsarea, which henceforth became his home, and the seat of his future labours for a period of nearly a quarter of a century. The motives which impelled Demetrius to this treatment of Origen have been variously stated and variously criticised. Eusebius' refers his readers for a full account of all the matters involved to the treatise which he and Pamphilus composed in his defence; but this work has not come down to us, although we possess a brief notice of it in the Bibliotheca of Photius, from which we derive our knowledge of the proceedings of the two synods. There
1 Hist. Eccles. b. vi. c. 22 and c. 33. 2 With the exception of the first book; cf. Migne, vol. ix. pp. 542-632. 3 Cf. Photii Bibliotheca, ed. Hoeschel, p. 298.
seems little reason to doubt that jealousy of interference on the part of the bishops of another diocese was one main cause of the resentment displayed by Demetrius; while it is also possible that another alleged cause, the heterodox character of some of Origen's opinions, as made known in his already published works, among which were his Stromata and De Principiis, may have produced some effect upon the minds of the hostile bishops. Hefele’ asserts that the act of the Palestinian bishops was contrary to the Church law of the time, and that Demetrius was justified on that ground for his procedure against him. But it may well be doubted whether there was any generally understood law or practice existing at so early a period of the Church's history. If so, it is difficult to understand how it should have been unknown to the Palestinian bishops; or, on the supposition of any such existing law or usage, it is equally difficult to conceive that either they themselves or Origen should have agreed to disregard it, knowing as they did the jealous temper of Demetrius, displayed on the occasion of Origen's preaching at Cæsarea already referred to, and which had drawn from the Alexandrine bishop an indignant remonstrance, in which he had asserted that such an act was 6 quite unheard-of before.”3 To this statement the Caesarean bishops had replied in a letter, in which they enumerated several instances of laymen who had addressed the congregation. The probabilities, therefore, are in favour of there being no generally understood law or practice on the subject, and that the procedure, therefore, was dictated by hierarchical jealousy on the part of Demetrius. According to Eusebius, indeed, the act of mutilation already referred to was made a ground of accusation against Origen ; and there seems no doubt that there existed an old canon of the Church, based upon the words in Deut. xxiii. 1, which rendered one who had committed such an act ineligible for office in the Church. But there is no trace
1 Eusebius expressly mentions that both these works, among others, were published before he left Alexandria.—Hist. Eccles. b. vi. c. 24.
2 s.v. Origenes.
8 Ibid, b. vi. c. 8. 8 ó expurnpidous fautòy Meni Yevésbw xanpixos. Cf. Redepenning, vol. i. pp. 208, 216, 218.
of this act, as disqualifying Origen for the office of presbyter, having been urged by Demetrius, so far as can be discovered from the notices of the two synods which have been preserved by Rufinus and Photius; and it seems extremely probable, as Redepenning remarks, that if Demetrius were acquainted with this act of Origen, as Eusebius says he was, he made no public mention of it, far less that he made it a pretence for his deposition.
Demetrius did not long survive the execution of his vengeance against his unfortunate catechist. He died about a year afterwards, and was succeeded by Heraclas, the friend and former pupil of Origen. It does not, however, appear that Heraclas made any effort to have the sentence against Origen recalled, so that he might return to the early seat of his labours. Origen devoted himself at Cæsarea chiefly to exegetical studies upon the books of Scripture, enjoying the countenance and friendship of the two bishops Alexander and Theoctistus, who are said by Eusebius “to have attended him the whole time as pupils do their master.” He speedily raised the theological school of that city to a degree of reputation which attracted many pupils. Among those who placed themselves under his instructions were two young Cappadocians, who had come to Cæsarea with other intentions, but who were so attracted by the whole character and personality of Origen, that they immediately became his pupils. The former of these, afterwards Gregory Thaumaturgus, Bishop of New Cæsarea, has left us, in the panegyric which he wrote after a discipleship of five years, a full and admiring account of the method of his great master.
The persecution under the Emperor Maximin obliged Origen to take refuge in Cæsarea in Cappadocia, where he remained in concealment about two years in the house of a Christian lady named Juliana, who was the heiress of Symmachus, the Ebionite translator of the Septuagint, and from whom he obtained several mss. which had belonged to him. Here, also, he composed his Exhortation to Martyrdom, whicli was expressly written for the sake of his friends Ambrosius and Protoctetus, who had been imprisoned on account of their Christian pro
2 Cf. Redepenning, vol. i. p. 409, note 2. ? Hist. Eccles. b. vi. c. 8.
fession, but who recovered their freedom after the death of Maximin,-an event which allowed Origen to return to the Palestinian Cæsarea and to the prosecution of his labours. A visit to Athens, where he seems to have remained some time, and to Bostra in Arabia, in order to bring back to the true faith Bishop Beryllus, who had expressed heterodox opinions upon the subject of the divinity of Christ, and in which attempt he proved successful, were the chief events of his life during the next five years. On the outbreak of the Decian persecution, however, in 249, he was imprisoned at Tyre, to which city he had gone from Cæsarea for some unknown reason, and was made to suffer great cruelties by his persecutors. The effect of these upon a frame worn out by ascetic labours may be easily conceived. Although he survived his imprisonment, his body was so weakened by his sufferings, that he died at Tyre
in 254, in the seventieth year of his age. ; The character of Origen is singularly pure and noble; for his moral qualities are as remarkable as his intellectual gifts. The history of the church records the names of few whose patience and meekness under unmerited suffering were more conspicuous than his. How very differently would Jerome have acted under circumstances like those which led to Origen's banishment from Alexandria ! and what a favourable contrast is presented by the self-denying asceticism of his whole life, to the sins which stained the early years of Augustine prior to his conversion! The impression which his whole personality made upon those who came within the sphere of his influence is evidenced in a remarkable degree by the admiring affection displayed towards him by his friend Ambrose and his pupil Gregory. Nor was it friends alone that he so impressed. To him belongs the rare honour of convincing heretics of their errors, and of leading them back to the church,—a result which must have been due as much to the gentleness and earnestness of his Christian character, as to the prodigious learning, marvellous acuteness, and logical power, which entitle him to be regarded as the greatest of the Fathers. It is singular, indeed, that a charge of heresy should have been brought, not only after his death, but even during his life, against one who rendered such eminent services to the cause of orthodox Chris
tianity. But this charge must be considered in reference to the times when he lived and wrote. No General Council had yet been held to settle authoritatively the doctrine of the church upon any of those great questions, the discussion of which convulsed the Christian world during the two following centuries; and in these circumstances greater latitude was naturally permissible than would have been justifiable at a later period. Moreover, a mind so speculative as that of Origen, and so engrossed with the deepest and most difficult problems of human thought, must sometimes have expressed itself in a way liable to be misunderstood. But no doubt the chief cause of his being regarded as a heretic is to be found in the haste with which he allowed many of his writings to be published. Had he considered more carefully what he intended to bring before the public eye, less occasion would have been furnished to objectors, and the memory of one of the greatest scholars and most devoted Christians that the world has ever seen would have been freed, to a great extent at least, from the reproach of heresy.
Origen was a very voluminous author. Jerome says that he wrote more than any individual could read; and Epiphanius (Hæres. lxiv. 63) relates that his writings amounted to 6000 volumes, by which statement we are probably to understand that every individual treatise, large or small, including each of the numerous homilies, was counted as a separate volume. The admiration entertained for him by his friend Ambrosius, and the readiness with which the latter bore all the expenses of transcription and publication, led Origen to give to the world much which otherwise would never have seen the light.
The works of the great Adamantinus may be classed under the following divisions :
These comprise Exória, brief notes on Scripture, of which only fragments remain : Tóuoi, Commentaries, lengthened expositions, of which we possess considerable portions, including those on Matthew, John, and Epistle to the Romans; and about 200 Homilies, upon the principal books of the Old and New Testaments, a full list of which may be seen in Migne's