They observed the law part from all its sacrificial injunctions, and ate no flesh, holding that the books of, Moses had been falsified. Are we really to believe that there was a pre-Christian Jewish sect across the Jordan, called Nazarenes, who rejected sacrifice and the eating of flesh? And, supposing this were credible, what could be the connection between them and Jesus, since their sole characteristic, noted by Epiphanius, viz.
Synonyms and antonyms of neronisch in the German dictionary of synonyms
Or is there some confusion here between Nazirites and Nazarenes? They show how the new community felt itself to be heir to all the promises and privileges of the Jewish nation. Felix , Hence the latter is applied by Papias to false Christians Eus. The pagan in Macarius Magnes 3. Pars Poster. At the same time they acquired a deeper content in his teaching. This cannot be made out, either from 1 Tim.
The latter possessed not merely a real but a personal character of their own. For the former, see 1 Cor. I do not enter into the question of the names taken by separate Christian sects and circles such as the Gnostics, the Spiritualists, etc. After Paul, this title became so common that the pagans soon grew familiar with it, ridiculing and besmirching it, but unable, for all that, to evade the impression which it made.
For the term did correspond to the conduct of Christians. Thus they are not merely brethren, but his brethren. This was familiar to Paul cp. Theoretically, of course, the name still survived for a considerable time; cp. This was a masterly stroke. But ere long it was applied to the individual communities, and then again to the general meeting for worship. It possesses regulations and traditions of its own, special functions and forms of organization, and these become authoritative; withal, it supports the individual and at the same time guarantees to him the content of its testimony.
Thus, as early as 1 Tim. This transcendental meaning of the term still retained [] vigor and vitality during the second century, but in the course of the third it dropped more and more into the rear. Jesus did not coin the term; for it is only put into his lips in Matt. In Acts It also has, of course, Old Testament associations of its own. It was not nervously eschewed, but it never became technical, except in one or two cases.
On the other hand, it is said of the Jewish Christians in Epiph. These Pauline ideas were never lost sight of. Tertullian writes de Paenit. It was not technical, of course, but a wholly neutral term. As this was not innate but an innovation, it is not unsuitable to speak of pre-catholic and catholic Christianity. In Mart. From Iren. After the Mart. Alex Strom. Pionii 2. Pionii Elsewhere the word appears in different connections throughout the early Christian literature.
In the early Roman symbol it does not occur. This is plain from the writings of Origen; cp. The Roman authorities certainly employed it from the days of Trajan downwards cp. Luke has told us where this name arose. After describing the foundation of the Gentile Christian church at Antioch , he proceeds It is needless to suppose that the name was given immediately after the establishment of the church, but neither need we assume that any considerable interval elapsed between the one fact and the other.
The essentially inexact nature of the verbal form precludes any such idea. And for the same reason it could not have originated with the Jews. By the days of Trajau the Christians of Asia Minor had probably been in possession of this title for a considerable period, but its general vogue cannot he dated earlier than the close of Hadrian's reign or that of Pius.
Tertullian, however, employs it as if it had been given by the Christians to themselves.
If one wishes to be very circumspect, one may conjecture that the name was first coined by the Roman magistrates in Antioch , -- and then passed into currency among the common people. The Christians themselves hesitated for long to use the name; this, however, is far from surprising, and therefore it cannot be brought forward as an argument against the early origin of the term.
But it is not necessary to assume this. Justin's Apol. Aristides, Apol. Eusebius Demonstr. Justin Dial. I long to be and to be called a Christian, in spirit and in deed. Are not philosophers called after the founder of their philosophies-Platonists, Epicureans, and Pythagoreans? A word in closing on the well-known passage from Tacitus Annal. Yet even this doubt seems to me unjustified.
If Christians were called by this name in Antioch about CE, there is no obvious reason why the name should not have been known in Rome by 64 CE, even although the Christians did not spread it themselves, but were only followed by it as by their shadow. Nor does Tacitus or his source aver that the name was used by Christians for their own party: he says the very opposite; it was the people who thus described them. This is an enigma which I once proposed to solve by supposing that the populace gave the title to Christians in an obscene or opprobrious sense.
But this hypothesis was unstable, and in my judgment the enigma has now been solved by means of a fresh collation of the Tacitus MS. Andresen, Wochenschr. Philologie, , No. This clears up the whole matter. Was it because he wished to indicate that everyone nowadays was well aware of the origin of the name? We come across the same figure again in the pastoral epistles 1 Tim.
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Two military principles were held as fixed, even within the first century, for apostles and missionaries. Zeitschrift , , pp. Let none of you be found a deserter. Let your baptism abide as your shield, your faith as a helmet, your love as a spear, your patience as a panoply. He not only employs military figures e.
It passed from the military language into that of ordinary people in the course of the first two centuries. Kirchengeschichte , 1 p. Paganes , praef. Schulze, however cp. Berliner Akad. About CE -- to leave out the inscription in C. Once the state assumed a hostile attitude towards Christians, the figure of the military calling and conflict naturally arose also in this connection. God looks down, says Cyprian Ep. Nor are detailed descriptions of the military figure awanting ; cp. The African Acts of the Martyrs are full of military expressions and metaphors; see, e. On the other hand, it is likely that Christians in the Roman army desired the same treatment and consideration which was enjoyed by adherents of Mithra in the same position.
Hence the action of the soldier described by Tertullian in the de Corona. Schulze, p. A building in the country devoted to public purposes? Or has the reference to the country even here become obliterated? The answer to this will be found in the second Excursus appended to the present chapter.
The prophets occasionally shared this title, cp. Zeitung , , No. Ramsay in Journal of Hellenic Studies , 24, , p. We know the significance which came to attach to friendship in the schools of Greek philosophy. No one ever spoke more nobly and warmly of friendship than Aristotle. Never was it more vividly realized than in the schools of the Pythagoreans and the Epicureans. The intercourse of Socrates with his scholars -- scholars who were at the same time his friends -- furnished a moving picture of friendship. Men could not forget how' he lived with them, how he labored for them and was open to them up to the very hour of his death, and how everything he taught them came home to them as a friend's counsel.
The Stoic ethic, based on the absence of any wants in the perfect wise man, certainly left no room for friendship, but as is often the case the Stoic broke through the theory of his school at this point, and Seneca was not the only Stoic moralist who glorified friendship and showed how it was a moral necessity to life. But this is the only passage in the primitive literature which can be adduced.
Luke, with his classical culture, has permitted himself this once to use the classical designation. In answering this question, we come upon several instructive data. Upon consulting the earliest synodical Acts in our possession, those of the North African synod in CE preserved in Cyprian's works , we find that while the names of the eighty seven bishops who voted there are for the most part Latin, though a considerable number are Greek, not one Old Testament name occurs. Only two are from the New Testament, viz.
Thus, by the middle of the third century pagan names were still employed quite freely throughout Northern Africa , and the necessity of employing Christian names had hardly as yet arisen. The same holds true of all the other regions of Christendom. As inscriptions and writings testify, Christians in East and West alike made an exclusive or almost exclusive use of the old pagan names in their environment till after the middle of the third century, employing, indeed, very often names from pagan mythology and soothsaying.
Now this is remarkable! Here was the primitive church exterminating every vestige of polytheism in her midst, tabooing pagan mythology as devilish, living with the great personalities [] of the Bible and upon their words, and yet freely employing the pagan names which had been hitherto in vogue!
We may be inclined to seek various reasons for this indifference displayed by the primitive Christians towards names. We may point to the fact that a whole series of pagan names must have been rendered sacred from the outset by the mere fact of distinguished Christians having borne them. We may further recollect how soon Christians got the length of strenuously asserting that there was nothing in a name. No; surely this does not serve to explain the indiflerence felt by Christians towards mythological titles.
But if not, then how are we to explain it? Hardly any other answer can be given to the question than this, that the general custom of the world in which people were living proved stronger than any reflections of their own. The result was that people retained the old names, just as they had to endorse or to endure much that was of the world, so long as they were in the world.
It was not worth while to alter the name which one found oneself bearing. It is the exception, not the rule, to find a man like Bishop Ignatius calling himself by the additional Christian title of Theophorus at the opening of the second century.
Tertullian : Early Printed Editions, Translations and Studies
And [] the surprising thing is that the change, for which the way had been slowly paved, came, not in an epoch of religious elevation, but rather in the very period during which the church was corning to terms with the world on a larger scale than she had previously done. In the days when Christians bore pagan names and nothing more, the dividing line between Christianity and the world was drawn much more sharply than in the days when they began to call themselves Peter and Paul!
As so often is the case, the forms made their appearance just when the spirit was undermined. It remained extraordinarily significant. For the name indicates that one has to take certain measures in order to keep hold of something that is in danger of disappearing. Ratisbon , p. Cyprian according to Jerome, de Vir. Cumont Les Inscr. Of the forty martyrs of Sebaste two bear double names of this kind, viz.
In many cases people may not have been conscious of this. On the contrary, three reasons were operative. One of these I have already mentioned, viz. The second lay in the practice of infant baptism, which was now becoming quite current. As a name was conferred upon the child at this solemn act, it naturally seemed good to choose a specifically Christian name. Thirdly and lastly, and -- we may add -- chiefly, the more the church entered the world, the more the world also entered the church.
Such a form of superstition has never been quite absent from Christianity, for even the primitive Christians were not merely Christians but also Jews, Syrians, Asiatics, Greeks, or Romans. But then it was controlled by other moods or movements of the Spirit. During the third century, however, the local strain again rose to the surface. People no longer called their children Bacchylus or Arphrodisius with the same readiness, it is true. But they began to call themselves Peter and Paul in the same sense as the pagans called their children Dionysius and Serapion.
The process of displacing mythological by Christian names was carried out very slowly.
It was never quite completed, for not a few of the former gradually became Christian, thanks to some glorious characters who had borne them; in this way, they entirely lost their original meaning. One or two items from the history of this process may be adduced at this point in our discussion. At the very time when we find only two biblical names those of Peter and Paul in a list of eighty-seven episcopal names, bishop Dionysius of Alexandria writes that Christians prefer to call their children Peter and Paul. It is noted in Eus. They all bore Egyptian names. But when the first of them was questioned by the magistrate, he replied not with his own name but with that of an Old Testament prophet.
This is corroborated by an inscription from the third century de Rossi, in Bullett. The inscription is additionally interesting on account of the fact that Seneca came from this gens. Acta Pionii , 9; this instance, however, is hardly relevant to our purpose, as Pionius instructed Sabina to call herself Theodota, in order to prevent herself from being identified. Obviously, the ruling idea here is not yet that of patron saints; the prophets are selected as models, not as patrons. Even the change of name itself is still a novelty. This is borne out by the festal epistles of Athanasius in the fourth centur y , which contain an extraordinary number of Christian names, almost all of which are the familiar pagan names Greek or Egyptian.
Biblical names are still infrequent, although in one passage, writing. It is very remarkable that down to the middle of the fourth century Peter and Paul are about the only New Testament names to be met with, while Old Testament names again are so rare that the above case of the five Egyptians who had assumed prophetic names must be considered an exception to the rule. On the other hand, we must not here adduce a passage from Dionysius of Alexandria, which has been already under review. Many [Christian] Greeks call themselves Peter and Paul, and yet behave in a most disgraceful fashion.
This state of matters lasted till the second half of the fourth century. But in giving this counsel he does not mention its, most powerful motive, a motive disclosed by Theodoret, bishop of Cyprus in Syria , thirty years afterwards. It is this: that people are to give their children the names of saints and martyrs, in order to win them the protection and patronage of these heroes. The result was a selection of names varying with the different countries and provinces; for the calendar of the provincial saints and the names of famous local bishops who were dead were taken into account together with the Bible.
As early as the close of the fourth century, e. Withal, haphazard and freedom of choice always played some part in the choice of a name, nor was it every ear that could grow accustomed to the sound of barbarian Semitic names. As has been observed already, the Western church was very backward in adopting Old Testament names, and this continued till the days of Calvinism. According to the Acta Johannis Prochorus , Basilius and Charis called the child given them by means of John, after the apostle's name, but these Acts belong to the post-Constantine age.
We find it first of all as the name of a gnostic Christian of Antioch, who stayed with young Origen at the house of a wealthy lady in Alexandria Eus. Then there is Paul of Samosata, and the martyr Paul Mart. Of the names which have come down to us, six-sevenths are common pagan names; there are even some like Aphrodisius, Orion, etc. Eusebius five times , Hosius, Theodorus, Theodotus, Diodorus, Theophilus; of these, however, Pistus twice, both times from the Balkan peninsula may be regarded with a certain probability as Christian.
The other iq names show Paul six times Palestine, Coele-Syria, proconsular Asia, Phrygia, Isauria, and Cappadocia Peter four times Palestine twice, Coele-Syria, Egypt: it is interesting to notice the absence of Asia , Mark three times Lydia, Calabria, Achaia -- but it is extremely questionable, at least, if the name was taken from the evangelist , John cake Persia and James once Nisibis , -- though in both cases it is doubtful if the apostles were taken as the originals, since Jewish names would be common in the far East, -- Moses once in Cilicia, perhaps a Jew by birth , Stephen twice Cappa.
It is quite possible that the last-named may have been called after the great bishop of Smyrna, but there was also a Polycarp among the 87 bishops of the Synod of Carthage, As for the Old Testament names, the earliest instances, which are still very rare in the second half of the third century , ere almost all from Egypt. A list may be appended here, at Lietzmann's suggestion, Hilary, in the extant fragments of his collection of documents relating to the Roman controversy 2 and 3 , gives episcopal names for the council of Sardica 61 orthodox and 73 semi-Arian , while Athanasius gives orthodox names for the same synod Apol.
All these bishops must have got their names between and CE. Among Hilary's , there is a Moses, an Isaac, a Jonah? All the rest bear current and in part purely pagan names the latter may have been quite probably Jews by birth. As for the names of Athanasius, the same holds true of The other 14 i. This confirms what we have just said. The pagan names have remained untouched.
The Old Testament names are still confined to Egypt , and even there they are not yet common. Primarily, this union was one which consisted of the disciples of Jesus. But, as we have already seen, these disciples were conscious of being the true Israel and the ecclesia of God. Such they held themselves to be. Hence they appropriated to themselves the form and well-knit frame of Judaism, spiritualizing it and strengthening it, so that by one stroke we may say they secured a firm and exclusive organization. But while this organization, embracing all Christians on earth, rested in the first instance solely upon religious ideas, as a purely ideal conception it would hardly have remained effective for any length of time, had it not been allied to local organization.
Christianity, at the initiative of the original apostles and the brethren of Jesus, began by borrowing this as well from Judaism, i. Throughout the Diaspora the Christian communities developed at first out of the synagogues with their proselytes or adherents. Designed to be essentially a brotherhood, and springing out of the synagogue, the Christian society developed a local organization which was of double strength, superior to anything achieved by the societies [] of Judaism.
It was this: every community was at once a unit, complete in itself; but it was also a reproduction of the collective church of God , and it had to recognize and manifest itself as such. In any case, it can only have affected certain forms , not the essential fact itself or its fixity. It did not originate in Judaism, since -- to my knowledge -- the individual Jewish synagogue did not look upon itself in this light. Nor did the conception spring up at a single stroke. He is their father and their schoolmaster.
Here the apostolic authority, and, what is more, the general and special authority, of the apostle as the founder of a church invade and delimit the authority of the individual community, since the latter has to respect and follow the rules laid down and enforced by the apostle throughout all his churches.
This he had the right to expect. But, as we see from the epistles to the Corinthians, especially from the second, conflicts were inevitable. Then again in 3 John we have an important source of information, for here the head of a local church is openly rebelling and asserting his independence, against the control of an apostle who attempts to rule the church by means of delegates. When Ignatius reached Asia not long afterwards, the idea of the sovereignty of the individual church had triumphed.
Such a religious and social organization, destitute of any political or national basis and yet embracing the entire private life, was a novel and unheard of thing upon the soil of Greek and Roman life, where religious and social organizations only existed as a rule in quite a rudimentary form, and where they lacked any religious control of life as a whole.
All that people could think of in this connection was one or two schools of philosophy, whose common life was also a religious life. But here was a society which united fellow-believers, who were resident in any city, in the closest of ties, presupposing a relationship which was assumed as a matter of course to last through life itself, furnishing its members not only with holy unction administered once and for all or from time to time, but with a daily bond which provided them with spiritual benefits [] and imposed duties on them, assembling them at first daily and then weekly, shutting them off from other people, uniting them in a guild of worship, a friendly society, and an order with a definite line of life in view, besides teaching them to consider themselves as the community of God.
Neophytes, of course, had to get accustomed or to be trained at first to a society of this kind. It ran counter to all the requirements exacted by any other cultus or holy rite from its devotees, however much the existing guild-life may have paved the way for it along several lines. That its object should be the common edification of the members, that the community was therefore to resemble a single body with many members, that every member was to be subordinate to the whole body, that one member was to suffer and rejoice with another, that Jesus Christ did not call individuals apart but built them up into a society in which the individual got his place -- all these were lessons which had to be learnt.
Paul's epistles prove how vigorously and unweariedly he taught them, and it is perhaps the weightiest feature both in Christianity and in the work of Paul that, so far from being overpowered, the impulse towards association was most powerfully intensified by the individualism which here attained its zenith. Brotherly love constituted the lever; it was also the entrance into that most wealthy inheritance, the inheritance of the firmly organized church of Judaism.
In addition to this there was also the wonderfully practical idea, to which allusion has already been made, of setting the collective church as an ideal fellowship and the individual community in such a relationship that whatever was true of the one could be predicated also of the other, the church of Corinth or of Ephesus, e. Quite apart from the content of these social formations, no statesman or politician can hesitate to admire and applaud the solution which was thus devised for one of the most serious problems of any large organization, viz. What a sense of stability a creation of this kind must have given the individual!
What powers of attraction it must have exercised, as soon as its objects came to be understood!
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It was this, and not any evangelist, which proved to be the most effective missionary. In fact, we may take it for granted that the mere existence and persistent activity of the individual Christian communities did more than anything else to bring about the extension of the Christian religion. Acts, indeed, is not interested in the local churches. It is only converted brethren that come within its ken; its pages reflect but the onward rush of the Christian mission, till that mission is merged in the legal proceedings against Paul.
The apocryphal Acts are of hardly any use. But from 1 Thessalonians, 1 Corinthians, and Acts we can infer one or two traits. Those who were first converted naturally stand in an important relation to the organization of the churches Clem. But what holds true of the Macedonian churches is by no means true of all the churches, at least during the initial period, for it is obvious that in Galatia and at Corinth no organization whatever existed for a decade, or even longer.
At first and indeed always there were naturally some people who imagined that one could secure the holy contents and blessings of [] Christianity as one did those of Isis or the Magna Mater, and then withdraw. Or, in cases where people were not so short-sighted, levity, laziness, or weariness were often enough to detach a person from the society.
A vainglorious sense of superiority and of being able to dispense with the spiritual aid of the society was also the means of inducing many to withdraw from fellowship and from the common worship. Many, too, were actuated by fear of the authorities; they shunned attendance at public worship, to avoid being recognized as Christians. The means to this end is an increased significance attaching to the church. In the church alone all blessings are to be had, in its ordinances and organizations.
It is only the church firmly equipped with bishop, presbyters, and deacons, with common worship and with sacraments, which is the creation of God. The absolute subordination of Christians to the local community has never been more peremptorily demanded, the position of the local community itself has never been more eloquently laid down, than in these primitive documents. At this point even the heroes of the church were threatened by a peril, which is singled out also for notice. Thus, when the haughty martyrs of Carthage and Rome , both during and after the Decian persecution, started cross-currents in the churches and began to uplift themselves against the officials, the great bishops finally resolved to reduce them under the laws common to the whole church.
No other cultus could point to such a ceremony, with its sublimity and unction, its brotherly feeling and many-sidedness. Here every experience, every spiritual need, found nourishment. The collocation of prayer, praise, preaching, and the reading of the Word was modelled upon the worship of the synagogue, and must already have made a deep impression upon pagans; but with the addition of the feast of the Lord's supper, an observance was introduced which, for all its simplicity, was capable of being regarded, as it actually was regarded, from the most diverse standpoints.
It was a mysterious, divine gift of knowledge and of life; it was a thanksgiving, a sacrifice, a representation of the death of Christ, a love-feast of the brotherhood, a support for the hungry and distressed. No single observance could well be more than that, and it preserved this character for long, even after it had passed wholly into the region of the mysterious. The members of the church took home portions of the consecrated bread, and consumed them during the week. I have already pp. While the individual Christian had a position of his own within the organization of the church, he thereby lost, however, a part of his autonomy along with his fellows.
The so-called Montanist controversy was in the last resort not merely a struggle to secure a stricter mode of life as against a laxer, but also the struggle of a more independent religious attitude and activity as against one which was prescribed and uniform. The outstanding personalities, the individuality of certain people, had to suffer in order that the majority might not become unmanageable or apostates.
Such has always been the case in human history. It is inevitable. Only after the Montanist conflict did the church, as individual and collective, attain the climax of its development; henceforth it became an object of desire, coveted by everyone who was on the look-out for power, inasmuch as it had extraordinary forces at its disposal. It now bound the individual closely to itself; it held him, bridled him, and dominated his religious life in all directions. Yet it was not long before the monastic movement originated, a movement which, while it recognized the church in theory doubt upon this point being no longer possible , set it aside in actual practice.
This church arose through the co-operation of the Christian ideal with the empire, and thus every great force which operated in this sphere had also its part to play in the building up of the church, viz. Within the church-organization the most weighty and significant creation was that of the monarchical episcopate.
After the close of the second century bishops were the teachers, high priests, and udges of the church. Ignatius already had compared their position in the individual church to that of God in the church collective. But this analogy soon gave way to the formal quality which they acquired, first in Rome and the West, after the gnostic controversy.
In virtue of this quality, they were regarded as representatives of the apostolic office. On their conduct the churches depended almost entirely for weal or woe. As the office grew to maturity, it seemed like an original creation; but this was simply because it drew to itself from all quarters both the powers and the forms of life.
It was with the monarchical episcopate that this office first became a polder in Christendom, and it does not fall within the scope of the present sketch to investigate the initial stages -- a task of some difficulty, owing to the fragmentary nature of the sources and the varieties of the original organization throughout the different churches. Cyprian Ep. When Cyprian lingered in retreat during the persecution of Decius, the whole community threatened to lapse. Without being properly a missionary, [] the bishop exercised a missionary function. We have instances of this, e.
On the one hand, this association of the bishops entirely took away the rights of the laity, who found before very long, that it was no use now to leave their native church in order to settle down in another. The correspondence of Cyprian resents several examples of individual bishops being thus arraigned by synods for arbitrary or evil conduct. The synods which expanded in the course of the third century from provincial synods to larger councils, and which would seem to have anticipated Diocletian's redistribution of the empire in the East, naturally gave an extraordinary impetus to the prestige and authority of the church, and thereby heightened its powers [] of attraction.
Yet the entire synodal system really flourished in the East alone and to some extent in Africa. In the West it no more blossomed than did the system of metropolitans, a fact which was of vital moment to the position of Rome and of the Roman bishop. Along with the higher class of heroic figures ascetics, virgins, confessors , the church also possessed a second upper class of clerics, as was well known to pagans in the third century. Thus the pagan in Macarius Magnes 3. For if the shepherds themselves be found scattered, how will they answer for these sheep? Will they say that they were themselves worried by the flock?
Jahrhunderts , I simply note that the ever-increasing dependence of the Eastern Church upon the redistributed empire a redistribution which conformed to national boundaries imperilled by degrees the unity of the Church and the universalism of Christianity. The church began by showing harmony and vigor in this sphere of action, but centrifugal influences soon commenced to play upon her, influences which are perceptible as early as the Paschal controversy of CE between Rome and Asia, which are vital by the time of the controversy over the baptism of heretics, and which finally appear as disintegrating forces in the fourth and fifth centuries.
In the West the Roman bishop knew how to restrain them admirably, evincing both tenacity and clearness of purpose. One other problem has finally to be considered at this point, a problem which is of great importance for the statistics of the church. It is this: how strong was the tendency to create independent forms within the Christian communities, i. Does the number of communities which were episcopally organized actually denote the number of the communities in general, or were there, either as a rule or in a large number of provinces, any considerable number of communities which possessed no bishops of their own, but had only presbyters or deacons, and depended upon an outside bishop?
Its aim is to show that the creation of complete episcopal communities was the general rule in most provinces excluding Egypt down to the middle of the third century, however small might be the number of Christians in any locality, and however insignificant might be the locality itself. As important, if not even more important, was the tendency, which was in operation from the very first, to have all the Christians in a given locality united in a single community. This original relationship is, of course, as obscure to us as is the evaporation of such churches.
Nor is it quite certain whether, even after the formation of the monarchical episcopate, there were not cases here and there of two or more episcopal communities existing in a single city. But even if this obtained in 'certain cases, their number must have been very small; nor do these avail to alter the general stamp of the Christian organization throughout its various branches, i.
No doubt, the community was soon obliged to direct the full force of its [] anti-pagan exclusiveness against such brethren of its own number as refused submission to the church upon any pretext whatsoever. Hebrews is most probably addressed to a special community in Rome. The one theory does not exclude the other. But this does not amount to a clear view of the situation, for we learn very little apart from the fact that such schools existed. Anyone might essay to prove that by the second half of the second century there was a general danger of the church being dissipated into nothing but schools.
Anyone else might undertake to prove that even ordinary Christianity here and there deliberately assumed the character of a philosophic school in order to secure freedom and [[ b ]] safeguard its interests against the state and a hostile society as was the case, we cannot doubt, with some circles; cp. Both attempts would bring in useful material, but neither would succeed in proving its thesis. The materials are scanty, but the question deserves investigation by itself.
And plainly he also appointed other individuals to other provinces in the same way, each of whom was to take charge of a whole province, making circuits through all the churches, ordaining clergy for ecclesiastical work wherever it was necessary, solving any difficult questions which had arisen among them, setting them right by means of addresses on doctrine, treating sore sins in a salutary fashion, and in general discharging all the duties of a superintendent -- all the towns, meanwhile, possessing the presbyters of whom I have spoken, men who ruled their respective churches.
Thus in that early age there existed those who are now called bishops, but who were then called apostles, discharging functions for a whole province which those who are nowadays ordained to the episcopate discharge for a single city and a single district. Such was the organization of the church in those days. They were not equal to their predecessors, however, nor could they certify themselves, as did the earlier leaders, by means of miracles, while in many other respects they showed their inferiority.
These formed the majority, owing, in the first instance, to the necessity of the case, but subsequently also, on account of the generous spirit shown by those who arranged the ordinations. As time went on, however, bishops were ordained not merely in towns, but also in small districts, where there was really no need of anyone being yet invested with the episcopal office.
So Theodore of Mopsuestia in his commentary upon First Timothy. Theodore's idea is, in brief, as follows. From the outset, he remarks -- i. The motives assigned for this by Theodore are twofold: in the first place, the spread of the Christian religion, and in the second place, the weakness felt by the second generation of the apostles themselves. That state of matters was the rule until quite recently in most of the Western provinces, and it still survives n several of them.
In the East, however, it has not lasted. Partly owing to the. Pauli comentarii , vol. Theodore says nothing about what became of them after they gave up their name and rights. We must in the first instance credit Theodore with being sensible of the fact that the organization of the primitive churches was originally on the broadest scale, and only cane down by degrees to the local communities. He continued to get his truth from others, from the great men of the past with whom he had lived and upon whose thought he had feasted.
All that he believed he had drawn from them; he produced nothing new for himself, and his creed was a traditional creed. And yet he had at the same time imbibed from his surroundings the habit of questioning and even criticising the past, and, in spite of his abiding respect for it, had learned to feel that the voice of the many is not always the voice of truth, and that the widely and anciently accepted is sometimes to be corrected by the clearer sight of a single man. Though he therefore depended for all he believed so completely upon the past, his associations had helped to free him from a slavish adherence to all that a particular school had accepted, and had made him in some small measure an eclectic in his relations to doctrines and opinions of earlier generations.
A notable instance of this eclecticism on his part is seen in his treatment of the Apocalypse of John. He felt the force of an almost universal tradition in favor of its apostolic origin, and yet in the face of that he could listen to the doubts of Dionysius, and could be led by his example, in a case where his own dissatisfaction with the book acted as an incentive, almost, if not quite, to reject it and to ascribe it to another John.
Instances of a similar mode of conduct on his part are quite numerous. While he is always a staunch apologist for Christianity, he seldom, if ever, degenerates into a mere partisan of any particular school or sect. One thing in fact which is particularly noticeable in Eusebius' works is the comparatively small amount of time and space which he devotes to heretics.
With his wide and varied learning and his extensive acquaintance with the past, he had opportunities for successful heresy hunting such as few possessed, and yet he never was a heresy hunter in any sense. This is surprising when we remember what a fascination this employment had for so many scholars of his own age, and when we realize that his historical tastes and talents would seem to mark him out as just the man for that kind of work. May it not be that the lofty spirit of Origen, animating that C'sarean school, had something to do with the happy fact that he became an apologist instead of a mere polemic, that he chose the honorable task of writing a history of the Church.
It was not that he was not alive to the evils of heresy. He shared with nearly all good church-men of his age an intense aversion for those who, as he believed, had corrupted the true Gospel of Christ. Like them he ascribed heresy to the agency of the evil one, and was no more able than they to see any good in a man whom he looked upon as a real heretic, or to do justice in any degree to the error which he taught. His condemnations of heretics in his Church History are most severe. Language is hardly strong enough to express his aversion for them.
And yet, although he is thus most thoroughly the child of his age, the difference between him and most of his contemporaries is very apparent. He mentions these heretics only to dismiss them with dis-. He seldom, if ever, discusses and refutes their views. His interests lie evidently in other directions; he is concerned with higher things.
A still more strongly marked difference between himself and many churchmen of his age lies in his large liberality towards those of his own day who differed with him in minor points of faith, and his comparative indifference to the divergence of views between the various parties in the Church. In all this we believe is to be seen not simply the inherent nature of the man, but that nature as trained in the school of Pamphilus, the disciple of Origen.
The Persecution of Diocletian. In this delightful circle and engaged in such congenial tasks, the time must have passed very happily for Eusebius, until, in , the terrible persecution of Diocletian broke upon the Church almost like a thunderbolt out of a clear sky. The causes of the sudden change of policy on Diocletian's part, and the terrible havoc wrought in the Church, it is not my intention to discuss here see below, Bk. We are concerned with the persecution only in so far as it bears upon the present subject. In the first year of the persecution Procopius, the first martyr of Palestine, was put to death at C'sarea Eusebius' Martyrs of Palestine, Cureton's ed.
Eusebius himself was an eyewitness of many martyrdoms there, of which he gives us an account in his Martyrs of Palestine. The little circle which surrounded Pamphilus did not escape. In the third year of the persecution Mart. It seems that without the knowledge of his friends, concealing his design even from those who dwelt in the same house with him, he laid hold of the hand of the governor, Arbanus, who was upon the point of sacrificing, and endeavored to dissuade him from offering to "lifeless idols and wicked devils.
Although Eusebius speaks with such admiration of his conduct, it is quite significant of the attitude of himself, and of most of the circle of which he was one, that Apphianus felt obliged to conceal his purpose from them. He doubtless feared that they would not permit him to perform the rash act which he meditated, and we may conclude from that, that the circle in the main was governed by the precepts of good common sense, and avoided that fanaticism which so frequently led men, as in the present case it led Apphianus, to expose themselves needlessly, and even to court martyrdom.
It is plain enough from what we know of Eusebius' general character that he himself was too sensible to act in that way. It is true that he speaks with admiration of Apphianus' conduct, and in H. Indeed, in H. Pamphilus also possessed too much sound Christian sense to advocate any such fanaticism, or to practice it himself, as is plain enough from the fact that he was not arrested until the fifth year of the persecution. This unhealthy temper of mind in the midst of persecution was indeed almost universally condemned by the wisest men of the Church, and yet the boldness and the very rashness of those who thus voluntarily and needlessly threw their lives away excited widespread admiration and too often a degree.
In the fifth year of the persecution Pamphilus was arrested and thrown into prison, where he remained for two years, when he finally, in the seventh year of the persecution, suffered martyrdom with eleven others, some of whom were his disciples and members of his own household. Cureton's ed. During the two years of Pamphilus' imprisonment Eusebius spent a great deal of time with him, and the two together composed five books of an Apology for Origen, to which Eusebius afterward added a sixth see below, p.
Danz p. There is, however, no other evidence that he was thus imprisoned, and in the face of Eusebius' own silence it is safer perhaps to assume with most historians that he simply visited Pamphilus in his prison. How it happened that Pamphilus and so many of his followers were imprisoned and martyred, while Eusebius escaped, we cannot tell. In his Martyrs of Palestine, chap. It is not surprising, therefore, that Eusebius should have done the same. Nevertheless, it is somewhat difficult to understand how he could come and go so frequently without being arrested and condemned to a like fate with the others.
It is possible that he possessed friends among the authorities whose influence procured his safety. This supposition finds some support in the fact that he had made the acquaintance of Constantine the Greek in Vita Const. He could hardly have made his acquaintance unless he had some friend among the high officials of the city. Influential family connections may account in part also for the position of prominence which he later acquired at the imperial court of Constantine.
If he had friends in authority in C'sarea during the persecution his exemption from arrest is satisfactorily accounted for. It has been supposed by some that Eusebius denied the faith during the terrible persecution, or that he committed some other questionable and compromising act of concession, and thus escaped martyrdom. In support of this is urged the fact that in , at the council of Tyre, Potamo, bishop of Heraclea, in Egypt, addressed Eusebius in the following words: "Dost thou sit as judge, O Eusebius; and is Athanasius, innocent as he is, judged by thee?
Who can bear such things? Pray tell me, wast thou not with me in prison during the persecution? And I lost an eye in behalf of the truth, but thou appearest to have received no bodily injury, neither hast thou suffered martyrdom, but thou hast remained alive with no mutilation. How wast thou released from prison unless thou didst promise those that put upon us the pressure of persecution to do that which is unlawful, or didst actually do it?
For if ye tyrannize here, much more do ye in your own country" Epiphan. It must be noticed, however, that Potamo does not directly charge Eusebius with dishonorable conduct, he simply conjectures that he must have acted dishonorably in order to escape punishment; as if every one who was imprisoned with Potamo must have suffered as he did! As Stroth suggests, it is quite possible that his peculiarly excitable and violent temperament was one of the causes of his own loss. He evidently in any case had no knowledge of unworthy conduct on Eusebius' part, nor had any one else so far as we can judge.
For in that age of bitter controversy, when men's characters were drawn by their opponents in the blackest lines, Eusebius must have suffered at the hands of the Athanasian party if it had been known that he had acted a cowardly part in the persecution. Athanasius himself refers to this incident Contra Arian.
Moreover, he never calls Eusebius "the sacrificer," as he does Asterius, and as he would have been sure to do had he possessed evidence which warranted him in making the accusation cf. Lightfoot, p. Still further, Eusebius' subsequent election to the episcopate of C'sarea, where his character and his conduct during the persecution must have been well known, and his appointment in later life to the important see of Antioch, forbid the supposition that he had ever acted a cowardly part in time of persecution. And finally, it is psychologically impossible that Eusebius could have written works so full of comfort for, and sympathy with, the suffering confessors, and could have spoken so openly and in such strong terms of condemnation of the numerous defections that occurred during the persecution, if he.
It is quite possible, as remarked above, that influential friends. For it would seem natural to refer that imprisonment to the latter part of the persecution, when in all probability he visited Egypt, which was the home of Potamo. We must in any case vindicate Eusebius from the unfounded charge of cowardice and apostasy; and we ask, with Cave, "If every accusation against any man at any time were to be believed, who would be guiltless?
From his History and his Martyrs in Palestine we learn that Eusebius was for much of the time in the very thick of the fight, and was an eyewitness of numerous martyrdoms not only in Palestine, but also in Tyre and in Egypt. The date of his visits to the latter places H. They are described in connection with what seem to be the earlier events of the persecution, and yet it is by no means certain that chronological order has been observed in the narratives. The mutilation of prisoners--such as Potamo suffered--seems to have become common only in the year and thereafter see Mason's Persecution of Diocletian, p.
In confirmation of this might be urged the improbability that he would leave C'sarea while Pamphilus was still alive, either before or after the latter's imprisonment, and still further his own statement in H. It is therefore likely that Eusebius did not make his journey to Egypt, which must have occupied some time, until toward the very end of the persecution, when it raged there with exceeding fierceness during the brief outburst of the infamous Maximin.
Eusebius' Accession to the Bishopric of C'sarea. Not long after the close of the persecution, Eusebius became bishop of C'sarea in Palestine, his own home, and held the position until his death. The exact date of his accession cannot be ascertained, indeed we cannot say that it did not take place even before the close of the persecution, but that is hardly probable; in fact, we know of no historian who places it earlier than His immediate predecessor in the episcopate was Agapius, whom he mentions in terms of praise in H.
Some writers have interpolated a bishop Agricolaus between Agopins and Eusebius see e. Tillemont, Hist. But, as Hefele shows Conciliengesch. On the other hand, as Lightfoot points out, in the Zibellus Synadicus Conc. Though perhaps no great reliance is to be. At what time Agapius died we do not know. That he suffered martyrdom is hardly likely, in view of Eusebius' silence on the subject. It would seem more likely that he outlived the persecution. However that may be, Eusebius was already bishop at the time of the dedication of a new and elegant Church at Tyre under the direction of his friend Paulinus, bishop of that city.
Upon this occasion he delivered an address of considerable length, which he has inserted in his Ecclesiastical History, Bk. He does not name himself as its author, but the way in which he introduces it, and the very fact that he records the whole speech without giving the name of the man who delivered it, make its origin perfectly plain.
It is plain from Eusebius' speech that it was uttered before Licinius had begun to persecute the Christians, and also, as G"rres remarks, at a lime when Constantine and Licinius were at least outwardly at peace with each other. In the year the two emperors went to war, and consequently, if the persecution of Licinius began soon after that event, as it is commonly supposed to have done, the address must have been delivered before hostilities opened; that is, at least as early as , and this is the year in which G"rres places it Kritische Untersuchungen ueber die licinianische Christenverfolgung, p.
But if G"rres' date A. There is nothing in the speech itself which prevents this later date, nor is it intrinsically improbable that the great basilica reached completion only in or later. In fact, it must be admitted that Eusebius may have become bishop at any time between about and The persecution of Licinius, which continued until his defeat by Constantine, in , was but local, and seems never to have been very severe.
Indeed, it did not bear the character of a bloody persecution, though a few bishops appear to have met their death on one ground or another. Palestine and Egypt seem not to have suffered to any great extent see G"rres, ib. The Outbreak of the Arian Controversy. The Attitude of Eusebius. About the year , while Alexander was bishop of Alexandria, the Arian controversy broke out in that city, and the whole Eastern Church was soon involved in the strife.
We cannot enter here into a discussion of Arius' views; but in order to understand the rapidity with which the Arian party grew, and the strong hold which it possessed from the very start in Syria and Asia Minor, we must remember that Arius was not himself the author of that system which we know as Arianism, but that he learned the essentials of it from his instructor Lucian.
The latter was one of the most learned men of his age in the Oriental Church, and rounded an exegetico-theological school in Antioch, which for a number of years stood outside of the communion of the orthodox Church in that city, but shortly before the martyrdom of Lucian himself which took place in or made its peace with the Church, and was recognized by it.
He was held in the highest reverence by his disciples, and exerted a great influence over them even after his death. Among them were such men as Arius, Eusebius of Nicomedia, Asterius, and others who were afterward known as staunch Arianists. According to Harnack the chief points in the system of Lucian and his disciples were the creation of the Son, the denial of his co-eternity with the Father, and his immutability acquired by persistent progress and steadfastness.
His doctrine, which differed. It will be seen that we have here, at least in germ, all the essential elements of Arianism proper: the creation of the Son out of nothing, and consequently the conclusion that there was a time when he was not; the distinction of his essence from that of the Father, but at the same time the emphasis upon the fact that he "was not created as the other creatures," and is therefore to be sharply distinguished from them. There was little for Arius to do but to combine the elements given by Lucian in a more complete and well-ordered system, and then to bring that system forward clearly and publicly, and endeavor to make it the faith of the Church at large.
His christology was essentially opposed to the Alexandrian, and it was natural that he should soon come into conflict with that church, of which he was a presbyter upon Lucian's teaching and its relation to Arianism, see Harnack's Dogmengeschichte, II.
Socrates H. Eusebius of Nicomedia at once became his firm supporter, and was one of the leading figures on the Arian side throughout the entire controversy. His influential position as bishop of Nicomedia, the imperial residence, and later of Constantinople, was of great advantage to the Arian cause, especially toward the close of Constantine's reign. The exact date of the letter we do not know, but it must have been written at an early stage of the controversy.
Arius himself, in an epistle addressed to Eusebius of Nicomedia Theodoret, H. More than this, Sozomen H. A fragment of a letter written by our Eusebius to Alexander is still extant, and is preserved in the proceedings of the Second Council of Nic'a, Act. Labbei et Cossartii Conc. In this epistle Eusebius strongly remonstrates with Alexander for having misrepresented the views of Arius. It is probable, though not certain, that our Eusebius is one of the persons meant. Finally, many of the Fathers above all Jerome and Photius , and in addition to them the Second Council of Nic'a, directly accuse Eusebius of holding the Arian heresy, as may be seen by examining the testimonies quoted below on p.
In agreement with these early Fathers, many modern historians have attacked Eusebius with great severity, and have endeavored to show that the opinion that he was an Arian is supported by his own writings. Among those who have judged him most harshly are Baronins ad ann. On the other hand, as may be seen from the testimonies in Eusebius' favor, quoted below on, p. He has been defended in modern times against the charge of Arianism by a great many prominent scholars; among others by Valesius in his Life Eusebius, by Bull Def. Lightfoot also defends him against the charge of heresy, as do a great many other writers whom it is not necessary to mention here.
Confronted with such diversity of opinion, both ancient and modern, what are we to conclude? It is useless to endeavor, as Lee does, to clear Eusebius of all sympathy with and leaning toward Arianism.
It is impossible to explain such widespread and continued condemnation of him by acknowledging only that there are many expressions in his works which are in themselves perfectly orthodox but capable of being wrested in such a way as to produce a suspicion of possible Arianistic tendencies, for there are such expressions in the works of multitudes of ancient writers whose orthodoxy has never been questioned.
Nor can the widespread belief that he was an Arian be explained by admitting that he was for a time the personal friend of Arius, but denying that he accepted, or in any way sympathized with his views cf. Newman's Arians, p. There are in fact certain fragments of epistles extant, which are, to say the least, decidedly Arianistic in their modes of expression, and these must be reckoned with in forming an opinion of Eusebius' views; for there is no reason to deny, as Lee does, that they are from Eusebius' own hand.
On the other hand, to maintain, with some of the Fathers and many of the moderns, that Eusebius was and continued through life a genuine Arian, will not do in the face of the facts that contemporary and later Fathers were divided as to his orthodoxy, that he was honored highly by the Church of subsequent centuries, except at certain periods, and was even canonized see Lightfoot's article, p. It is impossible to enter here into a detailed discussion of such passages in Eusebius' works as bear upon the subject under dispute. Lee has considered many of them at great length, and the reader may be referred to him for further information.
A careful examination of them will, I believe, serve to convince the candid student that there is a distinction to be drawn between those works written before the rise of Arius, those written between that time and the Council of Nic'a, and those written after the latter. It has been very common to draw a distinction between those works written before and those written after the Council, but no one, so far as I know, has distinguished those productions of Eusebius' pen which appeared between and , and which were caused by the controversy itself, from all his other writings.
And yet such a distinction seems to furnish the key to the problem. Eusebius' opponents have drawn their strongest arguments from the epistles which Eusebius wrote to Alexander and to Euphration; his defenders have drawn their arguments chiefly from the works which he produced subsequent to the year ; while the exact bearing of the expressions used in his works produced before the controversy broke out has always been a matter of sharp dispute.
Lee has abundantly shown his Contra Marcel. In his Hist. But if there is seen to be a lack of emphasis upon the divinity of the Son, or rather a lack of clearness in the conception of the nature of that divinity, it must be remembered that there was at this time no especial reason for emphasizing and defining it, but there was on the contrary very good reason for laying particular stress upon the subordination of the Son over against Sabellianism, which was so widely prevalent during the third century, and which was exerting an influence even over many orthodox theologians who did not consciously accept Sabellianistic tenets.
That Eusebius was a decided subordinationist must be plain to every one that reads his works with care, especially his earlier ones. It would be surprising if he had not been, for he was born at a time when Sabellianism monarchianism was felt to be the greatest danger to which orthodox christology was exposed, and he was trained under the influence of the followers of Origen, who had made it one of his chief aims to emphasize the subordination of the Son over against that very monarchianism.
It must not be forgotten that at the beginning of the fourth century the problem of how to preserve the Godhood of Christ and at the same time his subordination to the Father in opposition to the monarchianists had not been solved. Eusebius in his earlier writings shows that he holds both he cannot be convicted of denying Christ's divinity , but that he is as far from a solution of the problem, and is just as uncertain in regard to the exact relation of Father and Son, as Tertullian, Hippolytus, Origen, Dionysius, and Gregory Thaumaturgus were; is just as inconsistent in his modes of expression as they, and yet no more so see Harnack's Dogmengeschichte, I.
Eusebius, with the same immature and undeveloped views which were held all through the third century, wrote those earlier works which have given rise to so much dispute between those who accuse him of Arianism and those who defend him against the charge. When he wrote them he was neither Arian nor Athanasian, and for that reason passages may be found in them which if written after the Council of Nicaea might prove him an Arian, and other passages which might as truly prove him an Athanasian, just as in the writings of Origen were found by both parties passages to support their views, and in Gregory Thaumaturgus passages apparently teaching Arianism, and others teaching its opposite, Sabellianism see Harnack, ib.
Let us suppose now that Eusebius, holding fast to the divinity of Christ, and yet convinced just as firmly of his subordination to the Father, becomes acquainted through Arius, or other like-minded disciples of Lucian of Antioch, with a doctrine which seems to preserve the Godhood, while at the same time emphasizing strongly the subordination of the Son, and which formulates the relation of Father and Son in a clear and rational manner. That he should accept such a doctrine eagerly is just what we should expect, and just what we find him doing. In his epistles to Alexander and Euphration, he shows himself an Arian, and Arius and his followers were quite.
There is that in the epistles which is to be found nowhere in his previous writings, and which distinctly separates him from the orthodox party. How then are we to explain the fact that a few years later he signed the Nicene creed and anathematized the doctrines of Arius? Before we can understand his conduct, it is necessary to examine carefully the two epistles in question. Such an examination will show us that what Eusebius is defending in them is not genuine Arianism. He evidently thinks that it is, evidently supposes that he and Arius are in complete agreement upon the subjects under discussion; but he is mistaken.
The extant fragments of the two epistles are given below on p. It will be seen that Eusebius in them defends the Arian doctrine that there was a time when the Son of God was not. It will be seen also that he finds fault with Alexander for representing the Arians as teaching that the "Son of God was made out of nothing, like all creatures," and contends that Arius teaches that the Son of God was begotten, and that he was not produced like all creatures.
We know that the Arians very commonly applied the word "begotten" to Christ, using it in such cases as synonymous with "created," and thus not implying, as the Athanasians did when they used the word, that he was of one substance with the Father compare, for instance, the explanation of the meaning of the term given by Eusebius of Nicomedia in his epistle to Paulinns; Theod. It is evident that the use of this word had deceived our Eusebius, and that he was led by it to think that they taught that the Son was of the Father in a peculiar sense, and did in reality partake in some way of essential Godhood.
And indeed it is not at all surprising that the words of Arius, in his epistle to Alexander of Alexandria see Athan. The words are as follows: "The God of the law, and of the prophets, and of the New Testament before eternal ages begat an only-begotten Son, through whom also He made the ages and the universe. And He begat him not in appearance, but in truth, and subjected him to his own will, unchangeable and immutable, a perfect creature of God, but not as one of the creatures.
Meanwhile Alexander in his epistle to Alexander of Constantinople Theod. Alexander undoubtedly thought that that was the legitimate result to which the other views of Arius must lead; but Eusebius did not think so, and felt himself called upon to remonstrate with Alexander for what seemed to him the latter's unfairness in the matter. When we examine the C'sarean creed which Eusebius presented to the Council as a fair statement of his belief, we find nothing in it inconsistent with the acceptance of the kind of Arianism which he defends in his epistle to Alexander, and which he evidently supposed to be practically the Arianism of Arius himself.
In his epistle to Euphration, however, Eusebius seems at first glance to go further and to give up the real divinity of the Son. His words are, "Since the Son is himself God, but not true God. In the epistle to Alexander he clearly reveals a belief in the real divinity of the Son, while in the other fragment of his epistle to Euphration he dwells upon the subordination of the Son and approves the Arian opinion, which he had defended also in the other epistle, that the "Father was before the Son.
That Eusebius misunderstood Arius, and did not perceive that he actually denied all real deity to the Son, was due doubtless in part to his lack of theological insight Eusebius was never a great theologian , in part to his habitual dread of Sabellianism of which Arius had accused Alexander, and toward which Eusebius evidently thought that the latter was tending , which led him to look with great favor upon the pronounced subordinationism of Arius, and thus to overlook the dangerous extreme to which Arius carried that subordinationism.
We are now, the writer hopes, prepared to admit that Eusebius, after the breaking out of the Arian controversy, became an Arian, as he understood Arianism, and supported that party with considerable vigor; and that not as a result of mere personal friendship, but of theological conviction. At the same time, he was then, as always, a peace-loving man, and while lending Arius his approval and support, he united with other Palestinian bishops in enjoining upon him submission to his bishop Sozomen, H. As an Arian, then, and yet possessed with the desire of securing, if it were possible, peace and harmony between the two factions, Eusebius appeared at the Council of Nic'a, and there signed a creed containing Athanasian doctrine and anathematizing the chief tenets of Arius.
How are we to explain his conduct? We shall, perhaps, do best to let him explain his own conduct. In his letter to the church of C'sarea preserved by Socrates, H. But lest in such reports the circumstances of the case have been misrepresented, we have been obliged to transmit to you, first, the formula of faith presented by ourselves; and next, the second, which the Fathers put forth with some additions to our words.
Our own paper, then, which was read in the presence of our most pious Emperor, and declared to be good and unexceptionable, ran thus And in One Lord Jesus Christ, the Word of God, God from God, Light from Light, Life from Life, Son Only-begotten, first-born of every creature, before all the ages, begotten from the Father, by whom also all things were made; who for our salvation was made flesh, and lived among men, and suffered, and rose again the third day, and ascended to the Father, and will come again in glory to judge quick and dead, And we believe also in One Holy Ghost; believing each of These to be and to exist, the Father truly Father, and the Son truly Son, and the Holy Ghost truly Holy Ghost, as also our Lord, sending forth His disciples for the preaching, said, Go, teach all nations, anathematizing every godless heresy.
That this we have ever thought from our heart and soul, from the time we recollect ourselves, and now think and say in truth, before God Almighty and our Lord Jesus Christ do we witness, being able by proofs to show and to convince you, that, even in times past, such has been our belief and preaching. And such were the theological remarks of our most wise and most religious Emperor; but they, with a view to the addition of 'One in substance,' drew up the following formula But those who say, "Once He was not," and "Before His generation He was not," and "He came to be from nothing," or those who pretend that the Son of God is "Of other subsistence or substance," or "created," or "alterable," or "mutable," the Catholic Church anathematizes.
And they professed that the phrase 'of the substance' was indicative of the Son's being indeed from the Father, yet without being as if a part of Him. And with this understanding we thought good to assent to the sense of such religious doctrine, teaching, as it did, that the Son was from the Father, not, however, a part of His substance. On this account we assented to the sense ourselves, without declining even the term 'One in substance,' peace being the object which we set before us, and steadfastness in the orthodox view.
In the same way we also admitted 'begotten, not made'; since the Council alleged that 'made' was an appellative common to the other creatures which came to be through the Son, to whom the Son had no likeness. Wherefore, said they, He was not a work resembling the things which through Him came to be, but was of a substance which is too high for the level of any work, and which the Divine oracles teach to have been generated from the Father, the mode of generation being inscrutable and incalculable to every generated nature. And so, too, on examination there are grounds for saying that the Son is 'one in substance' with the Father; not in the way of bodies, nor like mortal beings, for He is not such by division of substance, or by severance; no, nor by any affection, or alteration, or changing of the Father's substance and power since from all such the ingenerate nature of the Father is alien , but because 'one in substance with the Father' suggests that the Son of God bears no resemblance to the generated creatures, but that to His Father alone who begat Him is He in every way assimilated, and that He is not of any other subsistence and substance, but from the Father.
So much, then, be said concerning the faith which was published; to which all of us assented, not without inquiry, but according to the specified senses, mentioned before the most religious Emperor himself, and justified by the fore-mentioned considerations. And as to the anathematism published by them at the end of the Faith, it did not pain us, because it forbade to use words not in Scripture, from which almost all the confusion and disorder of the Church have come. Since, then, no divinely inspired Scripture has used the phrases, 'out of nothing' and 'once He was not,' and the rest which follow, there appeared no ground for using or teaching them; to which also we assented as a good decision, since it had not been our custom hitherto to use these terms.
Moreover, to anathematize 'Before His generation He was not' did not seem preposterous, in that it is confessed by all that the Son of God was before the generation according to the flesh. Nay, our most religious Emperor did at the time prove, in a speech, that He was in being even according to His divine generation which is before all ages, since even before he was generated.
This we have been forced to transmit to you, Beloved, as making clear to you the deliberation of our inquiry and assent, and how reasonably we resisted even to the last minute, as long as we were offended at statements which differed from our own, but received without contention what no longer pained us, as soon as, on a candid examination of the sense of the words, they appeared to us to coincide with what we ourselves have professed in the faith which we have already published.
It will be seen that while the expressions "of the substance of the Father," "begotten not made," and "One in substance," or "consubstantial with the Father," are all explicitly anti-Arianistic, yet none of them contradicts the doctrines held by Eusebius before the Council, so far as we can learn them from his epistles to Alexander and Euphration and from the C'sarean creed.
His own explanation of those expressions, which it is to be observed was the explanation given by the Council itself, and which therefore he was fully warranted in accepting,--even though it may not have been so rigid as to satisfy an Athanasius,--shows us how this is. It still remains to explain Eusebius' sanction of the anathemas attached to the creed which expressly condemn at least one of the beliefs which he had himself formerly held, viz.
It is quite possible to suppose that a real change of opinion on his part took place during the sessions of the Council. Indeed when we realize how imperfect and incorrect a conception of Arianism he had before the Council began, and how clearly its true bearing was there brought out by its enemies, we can see that he could not do otherwise than change; that he must have become either an out and-out Arian, or an opponent of Arianism as he did. When he learned, and learned for the first time, that Arianism meant the denial of all essential divinity to Christ, and when he saw that it involved the ascription of mutability and of other finite attributes to him, he must either change entirely his views on those points or he must leave the Arian party.
To him who with all his subordinationism had laid in all his writings so much stress on the divinity of the Word even though he had not realized exactly what that divinity involved it would have been a revolution in his Christian life and faith to have admitted what he now learned that Arianism involved. Sabellianism had been his dread, but now this new fear, which had aroused so large a portion of the Church, seized him too, and he felt that stand must be made against this too great separation of Father and Son, which was leading to dangerous results.
Under the pressure of this fear it is not surprising that he should become convinced that the Arian formula--"there was a time when the Son was not "--involved serious consequences, and that Alexander and his followers should have succeeded in pointing out to him its untruth, because it led necessarily to a false conclusion. It is not surprising, moreover, that they should have succeeded in explaining to him at least.
He says toward the close of his epistle to the C'sarean church that he had not been accustomed to use such expressions as "There was a time when he was not," "He came to be from nothing," etc. And there is no reason to doubt that he speaks the truth. Even in his epistles to Alexander and Euphration he does not use those phrases though he does defend the doctrine taught by the first of them , nor does Arius himself, in the epistle to Alexander upon which Eusebius apparently based his knowledge of the system, use those expressions, although he too teaches the same doctrine.
The fact is that in that epistle Arius studiously avoids such favorite Arian phrases as might emphasize the differences between himself and Alexander, and Eusebius seems to have avoided them for the same reason. We conclude then that Eusebius was not an Arian nor an adherent of Lucian before , that soon after that date he became an Arian in the sense in which he understood Arianism, but that during the Council of Nic'a he ceased to be one in any sense.
His writings in later years confirm the course of doctrinal development which we have supposed went on in his mind. In fact he represents a mild orthodoxy, which is always orthodox- when measured by the Nicene creed as interpreted by the Nicene Council--and yet is always mild. He therefore studiously avoided it in his own writings, although clearly showing that he believed fully in what the Nicene Council had explained it to mean.
The world was to him a comedy and a tragedy, in which he was to be the chief actor. He had an insane passion for popular applause; he played on the lyre; he sung his odes at supper; he drove his chariots in the circus; he appeared as a mimic on the stage, and compelled men of the highest rank to represent in dramas or in tableaux the obscenest of the Greek myths. But the comedian was surpassed by the tragedian. He heaped crime upon crime until he became a proverbial monster of iniquity. The murder of his brother Britannicus , his mother Agrippina , his wives Octavia and Poppaea , his teacher Seneca , and many eminent Romans, was fitly followed by his suicide in the thirty-second year of his age.
With him the family of Julius Caesar ignominiously perished, and the empire became the prize of successful soldiers and adventurers. For such a demon in human shape, the murder of a crowd of innocent Christians was pleasant sport. The occasion of the hellish spectacle was a fearful conflagration of Rome, the most destructive and disastrous that ever occurred in history. It broke out in the night between the 18th and 19th of July, among the wooden shops in the south-eastern end of the Great Circus, near the Palatine hill.
The calamity was incalculable. Only four of the fourteen regions into which the city was divided, remained uninjured; three, including the whole interior city from the Circus to the Esquiline hill, were a shapeless mass of ruins; the remaining seven were more or less destroyed; venerable temples, monumental buildings of the royal, republican, and imperial times, the richest creations of Greek art which had been collected for centuries, were turned into dust and ashes; men and beasts perished in the flames, and the metropolis of the world assumed the aspect of a graveyard with a million of mourners over the loss of irreparable treasures.
This fearful catastrophe must have been before the mind of St. John in the Apocalypse when he wrote his funeral dirge of the downfall of imperial Rome Apoc. The cause of the conflagration is involved in mystery. Public rumor traced it to Nero, who wished to enjoy the lurid spectacle of burning Troy, and to gratify his ambition to rebuild Rome on a more magnificent scale, and to call it Neropolis. To divert from himself the general suspicion of incendiarism, and at the same time to furnish new entertainment for his diabolical cruelty, Nero wickedly cast the blame upon the hated Christians, who, meanwhile, especially since the public trial of Paul and his successful labors in Rome, had come to be distinguished from the Jews as a genus tertium , or as the most dangerous offshoot from that race.
They were certainly despisers of the Roman gods and loyal subjects of a higher king than Caesar, and they were falsely suspected of secret crimes. The police and people, under the influence of the panic created by the awful calamity, were ready to believe the worst slanders, and demanded victims. What could be expected of the ignorant multitude, when even such cultivated Romans as Tacitus, Suetonius, and Pliny, stigmatized Christianity as a vulgar and pestiferous superstition. It appeared to them even worse than Judaism, which was at least an ancient national religion, while Christianity was novel, detached from any particular nationality, and aiming at universal dominion.
Some Christians were arrested, confessed their faith, and were "convicted not so much," says Tacitus, "of the crime of incendiarism as of hating the human race. An infuriated mob does not stop to reason, and is as apt to run mad as an individual. Under this wanton charge of incendiarism, backed by the equally groundless charge of misanthropy and unnatural vice, there began a carnival of blood such as even heathen Rome never saw before or since.
A "vast multitude" of Christians was put to death in the most shocking manner. Some were crucified, probably in mockery of the punishment of Christ, some sewed up in the skins of wild beasts and exposed to the voracity of mad dogs in the arena. The satanic tragedy reached its climax at night in the imperial gardens on the slope of the Vatican which embraced, it is supposed, the present site of the place and church of St.
Peter : Christian men and women, covered with pitch or oil or resin, and nailed to posts of pine, were lighted and burned as torches for the amusement of the mob; while Nero, in fantastical dress, figured in a horse race, and displayed his art as charioteer. Burning alive was the ordinary punishment of incendiaries; but only the cruel ingenuity of this imperial monster, under the inspiration of the devil, could invent such a horrible system of illumination. This is the account of the greatest heathen historian, the fullest we have—as the best description of the destruction of Jerusalem is from the pen of the learned Jewish historian.
Thus enemies bear witness to the truth of Christianity. Tacitus incidentally mentions in this connection the crucifixion of Christ under Pontius Pilate, in the reign of Tiberius. With all his haughty Roman contempt for the Christians whom he knew only from rumor and reading, he was convinced of their innocence of incendiarism, and notwithstanding his cold stoicism, he could not suppress a feeling of pity for them because they were sacrificed not to the public good, but to the ferocity of a wicked tyrant.
Some historians have doubted, not indeed the truth of this terrible persecution, but that the Christians, rather than the Jews, or the Christians alone, were the sufferers. It seems difficult to understand that the harmless and peaceful Christians, whom the contemporary writers, Seneca, Pliny, Lucan, Persius, ignore, while they notice the Jews, should so soon have become the subjects of popular indignation. It is supposed that Tacitus and Suetonius, writing some fifty years after the event, confounded the Christians with the Jews, who were generally obnoxious to the Romans, and justified the suspicion of incendiarism by the escape of their transtiberine quarter from the injury of the fire.
But the atrocious act was too public to leave room for such a mistake. Both Tacitus and Suetonius distinguish the two sects, although they knew very little of either; and the former expressly derives the name Christians from Christ, as the founder of the new religion. Moreover Nero, as previously remarked, was not averse to the Jews, and his second wife, Poppaea Sabina, a year before the conflagration, had shown special favor to Josephus, and loaded him with presents.
Josephus speaks of the crimes of Nero, but says not a word of any persecution of his fellow-religionists. It is not unlikely that in this as in all previous persecutions, and often afterwards the fanatical Jews, enraged by the rapid progress of Christianity, and anxious to avert suspicion from themselves, stirred up the people against the hated Galilaeans, and that the heathen Romans fell with double fury on these supposed half Jews, disowned by their own strange brethren. The heathen historians, if we are to judge from their silence, seem to confine the persecution to the city of Rome, but later Christian writers extend it to the provinces.
If the Apocalypse was written under Nero, or shortly after his death, John's exile to Patmos must be connected with this persecution. It mentions imprisonments in Smyrna, the martyrdom of Antipas in Pergamus, and speaks of the murder of prophets and saints and all that have been slain on the earth. And Peter, in his first Epistle, which may be assigned to the same year, immediately after the outbreak of the persecution, and shortly before his death, warns the Christians in Asia Minor of a fiery trial which is to try them, and of sufferings already endured or to be endured, not for any crime, but for the name of "Christians.
Christianity, which had just reached the age of its founder, seemed annihilated in Rome. With Peter and Paul the first generation of Christians was buried. Darkness must have overshadowed the trembling disciples, and a despondency seized them almost as deep as on the evening of the crucifixion, thirty-four years before. But the morning of the resurrection was not far distant, and the very spot of the martyrdom of St. Peter was to become the site of the greatest church in Christendom and the palatial residence of his reputed successors.
None of the leading apostles remained to record the horrible massacre, except John. He may have heard of it in Ephesus, or he may have accompanied Peter to Rome and escaped a fearful death in the Neronian gardens, if we are to credit the ancient tradition of his miraculous preservation from being burnt alive with his fellow-Christians in that hellish illumination on the Vatican hill.
This mysterious book—whether written between 68 and 69, or under Domitian in 95—was undoubtedly intended for the church of that age as well as for future ages, and must have been sufficiently adapted to the actual condition and surroundings of its first readers to give them substantial aid and comfort in their fiery trials. Owing to the nearness of events alluded to, they must have understood it even better, for practical purposes, than readers of later generations.
John looks, indeed, forward to the final consummation, but he sees the end in the beginning. He takes his standpoint on the historic foundation of the old Roman empire in which he lived, as the visions of the prophets of Israel took their departure from the kingdom of David or the age of the Babylonian captivity. He describes the heathen Rome of his day as "the beast that ascended out of the abyss," as "a beast coming out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads" or kings, emperors , as "the great harlot that sitteth among many waters," as a "woman sitting upon a scarlet-colored beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns," as "Babylon the great, the mother of the harlots and of the abominations of the earth.
Recent commentators discover even a direct allusion to Nero, as expressing in Hebrew letters Neron Kesar the mysterious number , and as being the fifth of the seven heads of the beast which was slaughtered, but would return again from the abyss as Antichrist. But this interpretation is uncertain, and in no case can we attribute to John the belief that Nero would literally rise from the dead as Antichrist. He meant only that Nero, the persecutor of the Christian church, was like Antiochus Epiphanes the forerunner of Antichrist, who would be inspired by the same bloody spirit from the infernal world.
The Accounts of the Neronian Persecution. We have chiefly two accounts of the first imperial persecution, from Tacitus , who was born about eight years before the event, and probably survived Trajan d. Caesares a little later, about a. Dion Cassius born circa a. The description of Tacitus is in his terse, pregnant, and graphic style, and beyond suspicion of interpolation, but has some obscurities.
We give it in full, from Annal. Therefore, in order to suppress the rumor, Nero falsely charged with the guilt, and punished with the most exquisite tortures, those persons who, hated for their crimes, were commonly called Christians subdidit reos, et quaesitissimis poenis affecit, quos per flagitia invisos vulgus 'Christianos' appellabat. The founder of that name, Christus, had been put to death supplicio affectus erat by the procurator of Judaea, Pontius Pilate, in the reign of Tiberius; but the pernicious superstition exitiabilis superstitio , repressed for a time, broke out again, not only through Judaea, the source of this evil, but also through the city [of Rome], whither all things vile and shameful flow from all quarters, and are encouraged quo cuncta undique atrocia aut pudenda confluunt celebranturque.
Accordingly, first, those only were arrested who confessed. Nero had offered his own gardens [on the Vatican] for this spectacle, and also exhibited a chariot race on the occasion, now mingling in the crowd in the dress of a charioteer, now actually holding the reins. Whence a feeling of compassion arose towards the sufferers, though justly held to be odious, because they seemed not to be cut off for the public good, but as victims to the ferocity of one man. The account of Suetonius , Nero, c.
Juvenal , the satirical poet, alludes, probably as an eye-witness, to the persecution, like Tacitus, with mingled feelings of contempt and pity for the Christian sufferers Sat. Clement of Rome , near the close of the first century, must refer to the Neronian persecution when he writes of the "vast multitude of the elect "who suffered, many indignities and tortures, being the victims of jealousy; "and of Christian women who were made to personate "Danaides" and "Dirces," Ad Corinth. I have made no use of this passage in the text. Renan amplifies and weaves it into his graphic description of the persecution L'Antechrist, pp.
According to the legend, Dirce was bound to a raging bull and dragged to death. The scene is represented in the famous marble group in the museum at Naples. But the Danaides can furnish no suitable parallel to Christian martyrs, unless, as Renan suggests, Nero had the sufferings of the Tartarus represented. Tertullian d. If that prince was a pious man, then the Christians are impious; if he was just, if he was pure, then the Christians are unjust and impure; if he was not a public enemy, we are enemies of our country: what sort of men we are, our persecutor himself shows, since he of course punished what produced hostility to himself.
Now, although every other institution which existed under Nero has been destroyed, yet this of ours has firmly remained—righteous, it would seem, as being unlike the author [of its persecution]. Sulpicius Severus , Chron. He and Orosius Hist. Nero, owing to his youth, beauty, dash, and prodigality, and the startling novelty of his wickedness Tacitus calls him " incredibilium cupitor, " Ann.
Hence, after his suicide, a rumor spread among the heathen that he was not actually dead, but had fled to the Parthians, and would return to Rome with an army and destroy the city. Three impostors under his name used this belief and found support during the reigns of Otho, Titus, and Domitian. Even thirty years later Domitian trembled at the name of Nero. Among the Christians the rumor assumed a form hostile to Nero.
Lactantius De Mort. Augustin De Civil. Dei, XX. The former is the Christian, the latter the heathen belief. Augustin rejects both. Sulpicius Severus Chron. Some commentators make the Apocalypse responsible for this absurd rumor and false belief, while others hold that the writer shared it with his heathen contemporaries. The passages adduced are Apoc. But this is said of the beast, i. In Daniel, too, the beast is collective.
Moreover, a distinction must be made between the death of one ruler Nero and the deadly wound which thereby was inflicted on the beast or the empire, but from which it recovered under Vespasian. The Jewish War and the Destruction of Jerusalem. And Jesus said unto him, Seest thou these great buildings? There shall not be left here one stone upon another, which shall not be thrown down.
Josephus : Bell. The history of the Jewish war was written by him as eye-witness about a. English translations by W. Whiston , in Works of Jos. Traill, ed. Hoffmann, Stuttgart, ; and Paret, Stuttg. Tacitus : Hist. A mere fragment, full of errors and insults towards the vanquished Jews. The fifth book, except this fragment, is lost. While Josephus, the Jew, is filled with admiration for the power and greatness of Rome, Tacitus, the heathen, treats Jews and Christians with scorn and contempt, and prefers to derive his information from hostile Egyptians and popular prejudice rather than from the Scriptures, and Philo, and Josephus.
Sulpicius Severus : Chronicon, II. New York ed. Lewin : The Siege of Jerusalem by Titus. London, Charles Merivale : History of the Romans under the Empire, ch. Paris, Renan : L'Antechrist ch. Paris, second ed. He also gives the literature.