Early Church Fathers
59 Anrtelmi, who ascribed the Athanasian Creed to Vincentius, thought that document a fulfilment of the promise here made. Nova de Symbola Athanasiano Disquisitio.-See Appendix I.
60 Origen was born of Christian parents, at Alexandria, about the year 186. His father, Leonidas, suffered martyrdom in the persecution under Severus, in 202; and the family estate having been confiscated, his mother, with six younger children, became dependent upon him for her support, At the age of eighteen he was appointed by the bishop Demetrius over the Catechetical School of Alexandria, the duties of which place he discharged with eminent ability and success. He remained a layman till the age of forty-three, when he was admitted to priest's orders at Caesarea, greatly to the displeasure of Demetrius, by whose hand, according to the Church's rule, the office ought to have been conferred, and he was in consequence banished from Alexandria. Returning to Caesarea, he taught there with great reputation, and had many eminent persons among his disciples. He suffered much in the Decian persecution in 250, when he was thrown into prison and subjected to severe tortures. His works, as Vincentius says, were very numerous, including among them the Hexapla, a revised edition of the Hebrew Scriptures and of the Septuagint version, together with three other versions, the Hebrew being set forth in both Hebrew and Greek characters. His writings were corrupted in many instances, so that, as Vincentius says, opinions were often imputed to him which he would not have acknowledged. He died in his sixty-ninth year at Tyre, and was buried there.
61 "Quis nostrum," says St. Jerome, "potest tanta legere quanta ille conscripsit."-Hieron. ad Pam. et Occan.
62 He died, as was said in the preceding note, in his sixty-ninth year.
63 Among these were Gregory Thaumaturgus, Bishop of NeoCaesarea in Pontus, and Firmilian, Bishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia.
65 These are St. Jerome's words, from whose book, De Viris illustribus c. 54, Vincentius's account of Origen is taken. The vexed question of Philip's claim to be ranked as a Christian is discussed by Tillemont.-Histoire des Empereurs, T. iii. pp. 494 sqq.
66 Errare malo cum Platone quam cun istis vera sentire.-Cicero, Tuscul. Quoest. 1.
67 Deuteronomy xiii. 1.
68 "The great Origen died after his many labors in peace. His immediate pupils were saints and rulers in the Church. He has the praise of St. Athanasius, St. Basil, and St. Gregory Nazianzen, and furnishes materials to St. Ambrose and St. Hilary; yet, as time proceeded a definite heterodoxy was the growing result of his theology, and at length, three hundred years after his death, he was condemned, and, as has generally been considered, in an Oecumenical Council."- Newman on Development, p. 85, First Edition.
69 Hardly anything is known of Tertullian, besides what may be gathered from his works, in addition to the following account given by St. Jerome (De Viris Illustribus), which I quote from Bishop Kaye's work on Tertullian and his writings: "Tertullian, a presbyter, the first Latin writer after Victor and Apollonius, was a native of the province of Africa and city of Carthage, the son of a proconsular centurion. He was a man of a sharp and vehement temper, flourished under Severus and Caracalla, and wrote numerous works which, as they are generally known, I think it unnecessary to particularize. I saw at Concordia, in Italy, an old man named Paulus who said that, when young, he had met at Rome with an aged amanuensis of the blessed Cyprian, who told him that Cyprian never passed a day without reading some portion of Tertullian's works, and used frequently to say, `Give me my master,0' meaning Tertullian. After remaining a presbyter of the Church till he had attained the middle of life, Tertullian was by the cruel and contumelious treatment of the Roman clergy driven to embrace the opinions of Montanus, which he has mentioned in several of his works, under the title of' `The New Prophecy.0' He is reported to have lived to a very advanced age." He was born about the middle of the second century, and flourished, according to the dates indicated above, between the years 190 and 216.
70 Fidelior, Baluz, Felicior, others.
71 In Mat. v.
72 Montanus, with his two prophetesses, professed that he was intrusted with a new dispensation,-a dispensation in advance of the Gospel, as the Gospel was in advance of the Law. His system was a protest against the laxity which had grown up in the Church, as has repeatedly been the case after revivals of religious fervor, verifying Tertullian's apophthegm, "Christiani fiunt, non nascuntur" (men become Christians, they are not born such). Its characteristics were extreme ascetism, rigorous fasting, the exaltation of celibacy, the absolute prohibition of second marriage, the expectation of our Lord's second advent as near at hand, the disparagement of the clergy in comparison with its own Paraclete-inspired teachers. It had its rise in Phrygia, and from thence spread throughout Asia Minor, thence it found its way to Southern Gaul, to Rome, to North Western Africa, in which last for a time it had many followers.
73 1 Cor, ii. 9.
74 Prov. xxii. 28.
75 Ecclus. vii. 14.
76 Ecclus. x. 8.
77 1 Tim. vi. 20.
78 Prov. ix. 16-18.
79 Exod. xxxi. 1, etc.
80 For instance, the proper Deity of our Blessed Lord by the word "Homousios," consubstantial, of one substance, essence, nature.
81 2 Cor. v. 11.
82 2 John 10.
83 Pelagius, a monk, a Briton by birth, resident in Rome where by the strictness of his life he had acquired a high reputation for sanctity, was led, partly perhaps by opposition to St. Augustine's teaching on the subject of election and predestination, partly by indignation at the laxity of professing Christians, who pleaded, ii excuse for their low standard, the weakness of human nature, to insist upon man's natural power, and to deny his need of divine grace.Pelagius was joined by another monk, Coelestius, a younger man with whom about the year 410, the year in which Rome was taken by the Goths, he began to teach openly and in public what before he had held and taught in private. After the sack of Rome, the two friends passed over into Africa, and from thence Pelagius proceeded to Palestine, where he was in two separate synods acquitted of the charge of heresy which had been brought against him by Orosius, a Spanish monk, whom Augustine had sent for that purpose. But in 416, two African synods condemned his doctrine, and Zosimus bishop of Rome, whom he had appealed to, though he had set aside their decision, was eventually obliged to yield to the firmness with which they held their ground, and not only to condemn Pelagius, but to take stringent measures against his adherents. "In 418, another African synod of two hundred and fourteen bishops passed nine canons, which were afterwards generally accepted throughout the Church, aud came to be regarded as the most important bulwark against Pelagianism." The heresy was formally condemned, in 431, by the General Council of Ephesus. Canons 2 and 4.The Pelagians denied the corruption of man's nature, and the necessity of divine grace. They held that infants new-born are in the same state in which Adam was before his fall; that Adam's sin injured no one but himself, and affected his posterity no other wise than by the evil example which it afforded; they hold also that men may live without sin if they will and that some have so lived.Those who were afterwards called semi-Pelagians (they belonged chiefly to the churches of Southern Gaul) were orthodox except in one particular: In their anxiety to justify, as they thought, God's dealings with man, they held that the first step in the way of salvation must be from ourselves: we must ask that we may receive, seek that we may find, knock that it may be opened to us; thenceforward in every stage of the road, our strenuous efforts must be aided by divine grace. They did not understand, or did not grant, that to that same grace must be referred even the disposition to ask, to seek, to knock. See Prosper's letter to Augustine, August. Opera, Tom. x.The semi-Pelagian doctrine was condemned in the second Council of Orange (a.d.. 529), the third and fifth canons of which are directed against it.
84 Gal. ii. 9.
85 Matt. vii. 15.
86 2 Cor. xi. 12.