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We are made a body by common religious feeling, unity of discipline, and the bond of hope. We come together in a meeting and assembly, that we may as it were form a troop, and so in prayer to God beset Him with our supplications. This violence is well-pleasing to God. We pray 5 also for emperors, for their ministers and for them that are in power, for the welfare of the world, for peace therein, for the delay of the end. We meet together for the reading of the divine writings, if the character of the times compels us in any way to forewarning or reminder. 10 However that may be, with the holy words we nourish our faith, lift up our hope, confirm our confidence, and no less make strong our discipline by impressing the precepts. At these meetings we have also exhortations, rebukes, and a Divine censorship. For judgement also is executed 15 with much gravity, as before men who are sure that they are in the sight of God; and it is a notable foretaste of judgement to come if a man has so sinned as to be banished from the communion of our prayer and meeting and all holy intercourse. Our presidents are the approved elders, obtain- 20 ing that honour not for a price, but by attested character; for indeed the things of God are not sold for a price. Even if there is a sort of common fund, it is not made up of money paid in fees, as for a worship by contract. Each of us puts in a trifle on the monthly day, or when he 25 pleases; but only if he pleases, and only if he is able, for no man is obliged, but contributes of his own free will. These are as it were deposits of piety; for it is not paid out thence for feasts and drinkings and thankless eatinghouses, but for feeding and burying the needy, for boys and 30 girls deprived of means and parents, for old folk now confined to the house: also for them that are shipwrecked, for any who are in the mines, and for any who in the islands or in the prisons, if only it be for the cause of God's people, become the nurslings of their own confession.
DENIQUE ut a baptismate ingrediar, aquam adituri, ibidem, sed et aliquanto prius in ecclesia sub antistitis manu contestamur, nos renuntiare diabolo et pompae et angelis eius. Dehinc ter mergitamur amplius aliquid 5 respondentes quam dominus in evangelio determinavit. Inde suscepti, lactis et mellis concordiam praegustamus', exque ea die lavacro quotidiano per totam hebdomadem abstinemus. Eucharistiae sacramentum, et in tempore victus et omnibus mandatum a domino, etiam antelucanis 10 coetibus, nec de aliorum manu quam praesidentium sumimus. Oblationes pro defunctis, pro natalitiis, annua die facimus. Die dominico ieiunium nefas ducimus vel geniculis adorare. Eadem immunitate a die Paschae in Pentecosten usque gaudemus. Calicis aut panis etiam 15 nostri aliquid decuti in terram anxie patimur.
Ad omnem progressum atque promotum, ad omnem aditum et exitum, ad vestitum et calceatum, ad lavacra, ad mensas, ad lumina, ad cubilia, ad sedilia, quaecunque nos conversatio exercet, frontem crucis signaculo terimus.
Harum et aliarum ejusmodi disciplinarum si legem expostules scripturarum, nullam invenies; traditio tibi praetendetur auctrix, consuetudo confirmatrix, et fides observatrix.
ID. De Corona Mil. 3, 4.
IPSAE denique haereses a philosophia subornantur. Inde 15 aeones et formae, nescio quae, et trinitas hominis apud Valentinum: Platonicus fuerat. Inde Marcionis deus melior de tranquillitate: a Stoicis venerat. Et uti anima interire dicatur, ab Epicureis observatur; et ut carnis restitutio negetur, de una omnium philosophorum schola
1 Apol. 9. Non prius discumbitur, quam oratio ad deum praegustetur.
[FOR Customs not prescribed in Scripture, but sanctioned by usage,] I will begin with baptism. Before we enter the water we make our protest, both on the spot and a little before in the church and under the bishop's hand, that we renounce the devil, his pomp and his 5 angels. Thereupon we are thrice immersed, making a somewhat longer answer than the Lord prescribed in the Gospel. Thence we are received (by sponsors), and taste first of all a mixture of milk and honey; and from that day we abstain from our daily bath for a whole 10 week. The sacrament also of Thanksgiving, which the Lord delivered at a meal time and to all of us, we receive in meetings before daybreak, but from the hand of none but our presidents. On the proper day of the year we make our offerings for the dead and for the 'birthdays' 15 (of martyrs). On the Lord's day we count it unlawful to fast or to worship on our knees; and in the same privilege we rejoice from Easter Day till Pentecost. Of this cup, aye, and of this bread of ours, we are careful that none be cast on the ground. At every step and advance, in all 20 our going out and coming in, when we dress and put on our shoes, at the bath and at the table, when we light our lamps, or go to bed, or take a seat, in every action of our lives, we sign our forehead with the cross. For these and the like observances, if you ask for the Scripture 25 rule, there is none for you to read. You will be told, Tradition has originated, Custom has sanctioned, Loyalty observes them.
Philosophy the Mother of Heresy.
FINALLY the heresies themselves are equipped by philo. sophy. Thence came the aeons, the-I know not what- 30 infinite forms, and the trinity of man taught by Valentinus: he had been a Platonist. Thence came Marcion's better god, the better for his tranquillity: he had come from the Stoics. The statement that the soul dies is a note taken from the Epicureans, and the denial of the restoration of the flesh 35 is assumed from the entire school of all the philosophers.
sumitur; et ubi materia cum deo aequatur, Zenonis dis-
(APOSTOLUS prohibet) haereticum post unam correptionem convenire, non post disputationem. Adeo inter10 dixit disputationem ... quoniam nihil proficiat congressio scripturarum, nisi plane aut stomachi quis ineat eversionem aut cerebri . . .
Ergo non ad scripturas provocandum est. . . . Nunc solum disputandum est, quibus competat fides ipsa cujus sint scripturae, a quo, per quos et quando, et quibus sit tradita disciplina, qua fiunt Christiani.
Christus Jesus . . . undecim . . . jussit ire et docere nationes ... statim igitur apostoli .. ecclesias apud unamquamque civitatem condiderunt, a quibus traducem 20 fidei et semina doctrinae ceterae exinde ecclesiae mutuatae sunt et quotidie mutuantur, ut ecclesiae fiant. Ac per hoc et ipsae apostolicae deputabuntur ut soboles apostolicarum ecclesiarum. Omne genus ad originem suam censeatur necesse est. Itaque tot ac 25 tantae ecclesiae una est illa ab apostolis prima, ex qua omnes. Sic omnes primae et omnes apostolicae, dum una omnes probant unitate communicatio pacis et appellatio fraternitatis et contesseratio hospitalitatis, quae iura non alia ratio regit, quam eiusdem sacramenti una traditio.
Where matter is made equal to God, it is the teaching of Zeno; and where anything is stated about a god of fire, it is Heraclitus who comes in. We have the same subjects repeatedly discussed by heretics and philosophers with the same complicated reconsiderations. Whence is 5 evil, and why? Whence is man, and how? and-the very latest problem of Valentinus-whence is God? From enthymesis and ectroma, no doubt.
The Argument of Tertullian from Tradition.
IT is after a single rebuke, not after a discussion, that the Apostle forbids us to converse with a heretic. Discus- 10 sion then he has forbidden... for (amongst other reasons) a debate over Scripture plainly does no good, unless it be to disturb either temper or brains. Therefore we must not appeal to Scripture. The only question we just now have to discuss is, With whom is that very 15 faith to which Scripture belongs? From whom, through whom, when and to whom was the rule delivered by which men become Christians?
Christ Jesus . . commanded the Eleven to go and teach the nations . . . straightway therefore the Apos- 20 tles . . . founded in the several cities Churches from which the rest have thenceforth borrowed and daily borrow the shoot of faith and seeds of teaching, in order that they may become Churches; and it is from this fact that they too will be counted Apostolic, as the 25 offspring of Apostolic Churches. Every kind of thing must be estimated by reference back to its origin. Therefore the Churches, whatever their size or number, form but the single primitive Church which comes from the Apostles, and its offspring are they all. Thus they are all 30 primitive and all Apostolic, since they are all approved together by their union in the communion of peace, the title of brotherhood, and the interchange of hospitality-rights which are governed by no other rule than the single tradition of the same mystery in all. Here then we enter 35