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It is thought, by many, that Caius was a disciple of Irenæus. This has been concluded from some words at the end of a manuscript copy of the epistle of the church of Smyrna, concerning the martyrdom of St. Polycarp, where it is said : • This i was transcribed from the copy of Ire

næus, disciple of Polycarp, hy Caius, who also was • acquainted with Irenæus. I Socrates, living in Corinth, * transcribed from the copy of Caius. But it may be questioned whether this note may be relied upou: if it may, here is no certain proof that this is our Caius.

As this was a common name, all that can be hence concluded is, that the transcriber of that epistle lived about the same time with our author. Indeed Caius, as we shall see by and by, does not reckon the epistle to the Hebrews among St. Paul's epistles; which agrees well enough to a disciple of Irenæus, as Tillemont has observed. But this might be common, at that time, to many in several parts of the world.

It is also generally allowed, that Caius was a presbyter of the church of Rome; and bishop k Pearson says directly, that Eusebius, as well as Photius, gives him that title. Du' Pin too says, that Eusebius and St. Jerom call Caius presbyter, but without saying of Rome; these learned men do not refer to any particular place, where this is said : and I am not aware that Eusebius or Jerom say any thing more, than that Caius was an ecclesiastical man, and had a dispute with Proculus, at Rome, in the time of Zephyrinus. Though therefore it may be allowed to have some probability, from Photius, that Caius was a presbyter of Rome, it can by no means be reckoned a certain thing:

There are three or four books ascribed to Caius; A Dialogue, or Disputation, with Proculus or Proclus, a follower of Montanus; another, Of the Universe; a third, called the Labyrinth, and the Little Labyrinth; a fourth, written against the Heresy of Artemon. These are all mentioned together by m Photius, as distinct works; but the two last are generally thought to be only different titles of one and from 201, or 202, to 219. See St. Zephyrine. Mem. Ecc. T. iii. P. ii. p. 1. and note, p. 336; as also Caius, Mem. Ecc. T. iii. P. i. p. 294. But Pagi says, from 197 to 217. Vid. Crit. in Baron. 197. n. v. 219. n. ii.

Ταυτα μετεγραψατο μεν Γαϊος εκ των Ειρηναιο, μαθητε το Πολυκαρπ8, ος και συνεπoλευσατο τω Ειρηναιω. Εγω δε Σωκρατης εν Κορινθω εκ τ8 Tais avrıypapwv eypawa. k. 1. Ep. Eccles. Smyrn. sect. 23. apud Patr. Apost. et Vales. Annot. in Euseb. H. E. p. 73. D.

k Hunc Caium tum Eusebius tum Photius Romanæ ecclesiæ presbyterum fuisse asserunt. Pearson, Op. Post. Diss. ii. sect. 3. p. 148.

1 Eusébe et Saint Jerôme disent bien, qu'il étoit prêtre, et qu'il a vécu du tems du Zéphirin ; mais ils ne disent pas, qu'il fut Romain. Du Pin, Bibl. Caius.

m Cod. 48.


the same work. Theodoret" says, that Caius wrote against Cerinthus; but I apprehend he means the book against the Montanists, in which Caius also opposed Cerinthus, as we shall soon see, from a passage to be transcribed from Eusebius. If Caius had composed a distinct work against that heretic, it is likely it would have been mentioned by Eusebius and Jerom.

There are therefore three books said to be written by Caius, of which we have some fragments remaining. I shall speak of each distinctly: and, first of all, of the Dialogue with Proculus, by which work Caius is best known; which is undoubtedly his, and which I take to be the only piece rightly ascribed to him. And since St. Jerom says that the dispute with the Montanists was held at Rome in the time of Caracalla, we cannot well place it before the year 212. It is probable, from the considerations mentioned by“ Tillemont, that this Dialogue was written in Greek; which was also the opinion of'p Valesius.

1. Eusebius having spoken of the martyrdoms of St. Peter and St. Paul at Rome, and the inscriptions on their tombs, says:

• And 9 Caius, an ecclesiastical man, who • lived in the time of Zephyrinus, bishop of the Romans,

in his book written against Proculus, a leader of the . Cataphrygian sect, confirms this, speaking after this manner

of the places where the sacred tabernacles of the fore* mentioned apostles are deposited: “I am able to show

the trophies of the apostles: for whether you go to the • Vatican, or to the Ostian Way, you will find the trophies 6 of those who founded this church.”,

This passage is now produced chiefly as the testimony of Eusebius to our author's character and time, and the book against the Montanists; which was particularly written against Proculus, who is supposed to be the same Proculus whom Tertullian' has commended.

2. In another place, Eusebius, speaking of the writings of ancient ecclesiastical men, who flourished about the times of Severus and Antoninus Caracalla, says: “There

Κατα τοτε δε ου μονον οι προρρηθεντες συνεγραψαν, αλλα συν εκεινους και Taios. Theodoret, Hær. Fab. 1. ii. cap. 3. De Cerintho. • As before.

p Annot. in Eus. 1. vi. cap. 20. p. 123. 4 Ουδεν δ' ήττον και εκκλησιαστικος ανηρ Γαϊος ονομα, κατα Ζεφυρινον Ρωμαιων γεγονως επισκοπον. ος δη Προκλο της κατα Φρυγας προισαμενω γνωμης εγγραφως διαλεχθεις, κ. λ. Εuseb. Η. Ε. 1. ii. c. 25. p. 67. D.

Tertullian adv. Valent. cap. v. p. 291. B. See also before in this volume, p. 269.


3 Ηλθε δε εις ήμας και Γαϊe λογιωτατε ανδρος διαλογος, επι-εν ω των δι' εναντιας την περι το γραφας προπετειαντε και τολμαν επισομιζων, των το ιερα απoσoλε δεκατριων

συνταττειν καινας


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* is also come to our hands a dialogue (or disputation] of • Caius, a most eloquent man, held at Rome in the time of

Zephyrinus, with Proculus, a patron of the Cataphrygian . heresy; in which also, reproving the rashness and auda

l • ciousness of the adversaries, in composing new writings,

[or scriptures,] he makes mention of but thirteen epistles • of the holy apostle, not reckoning that to the Hebrews, • with the rest. And indeed to this very time, by some of • the Romans this epistle is not thought to be the apostle's.'

By the new writings,' or scriptures composed by the Montanists, it is reasonable to suppose, are intended some of their prophecies, which they had not only spoken, but written and published, with a design, as it seems, to have then received with the same or like respect with that paid to the scriptures received and owned by christians as sacred. Upon this occasion Caius gave a list or catalogue of the apostle Paul's epistles received by himself and the church in general. One may be apt to think, that Caius reckoned up all the scriptures in general received by christians from ancient time, in opposition to these new scriptures' of the Montanists. But supposing that he put down only the epistles of St. Paul, we should have been glad to have had this passage at length. It would have been a great pleasure to see thirteen of St. Paul's epistles expressly named, with the churches, or particular persons, to whom they were sent; or however described, at least, by their several characters, in the order then used, all together in one catalogue, composed by this ingenious writer, at the beginning of the third century. And I cannot but think that Eusebius deserves to be censured for this omission.

The observation which Eusebius makes, at the conclusion of this passage, concerning some of the Romans, in his own time, not receiving the epistle to the Hebrews as Paul's, is somewhat remarkable. It may be considered, whether the occasion of it be, that Caius had some particular relation to the church of Rome; or whether it be only owing to this dispute having been held in that city, which was expressly mentioned before. If the former, this would afford some ground of suspicion that Caius was a presbyter of the church of Rome; which, we are informed by Photius, was a common opinion in his time.

As this testimony to St. Paul's epistles is very considerμονων επισολων μνημονεύει, την προς Εβραιες μη συναριθμησας ταις λοιπαις. επει και εις δευρο, παρα Ρωμαιων τισιν, ε νομιζεται το αποκολα τυγχανειν. H. E. 1. vi. c. 20.

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able, I shall transcribe also the passages of St. Jerom and Photius relating to the same matter; though they add little or nothing to the account given by Eusebius.

• Caius, says St. Jerom, in the time of Zephyrinus, bishop of Rome, that is, in the time of Antoninus, son of • Severus, had a very notable dispute with Proculus, a • follower of Montanus, charging him with rashness in de• fending the new prophecy. And in the same book • reckoning up only thirteen epistles of Paul, he says the

fourteenth, which is inscribed to the Hebrews, is not his : 6 and with the Romans, to this day, it is not looked upon • as Paul's.' This is St. Jerom's whole chapter concerning Caius, in his book of Illustrious Men.

St. Jerom, in this last sentence, says more than Eusebius, whose account is only, that • by some of the Romans, that epistle was not thought to be Paul's. And when St. Jerom writes, that Caius says, the fourteenth epistle, which is inscribed to the Hebrews, is not Paul's, it is likely he ought to be explained by Eusebius, that when Caius mentioned thirteen epistles of Paul, he did not reckon that to the Hebrews with them, saying nothing about it.

Photius, at the conclusion of what he says of this writer, having mentioned the other books ascribed to him, adds: • That he' is also said to have composed an elaborate

disputation against Proculus, a follower of Montanus, in • which he enumerates only thirteen epistles of Paul, not ' reckoning that to the Hebrews.' So Photius. And I think he has better represented Eusebius's sense than St. Jerom.

It has been supposed by' some, that Caius rejected the epistle to the Hebrews, because the Montanists, with whom he was disputing, made use of it in support of their peculiar sentiments. So Mr. Twells; whose words I shall transcribe, that the reader may see the force of this argument. Besides," Caius's adversary in that dispute was a

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• Caius sub Zephyrino, Romanæ urbis episcopo, id est, sub Antonino Severi filio, disputationem adversus Proculum, Montani sectatorem, valde insignem habuit ; arguens eum temeritatis, super novâ prophetiâ defendendâ: et in eodem volumine epistolas quoque Pauli tredecim tantum enumerans, decimam quartam, quæ fertur ad Hebræos, dicit ejus non esse. Sed et apud Romanos, usque hodie, quasi Pauli apostoli non habetur. De V. I. cap. 59.

- Εν η τρις και δεκα μονας επιςολας αριθμειται Παυλε, εγκρινων την apos 'Eßpaiss. Phot. Cod. 48. col. 37.

v Vid. Grot. in Ep. ad Hebr. cap. vi. ver. 4-6.

* A Critical Examination of the late New Text and Version of the N. T. in Greek and English, Part ii. p. 50. London, 1731.



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. Montanist, as Eusebius tells us.

Now there is a passage ' in this epistle, ch. vi. 4–6, which at first sight favours • Montanus's opinion, against restoring , lapsers' after

baptism. This place was appealed to by these heretics, • in defence of that singularity; (thus Tertullian, in his

book De Pudicitiâ, c. 20; cites this very passage, to prove • that there is no room for a second repentance ;) as it was · afterwards by the Novatians, who maintained the same

It is not therefore to be doubted but Proculus • made his advantage of that same passage; which easily • accounts for the others leaving the epistle to the Hebrews • out of the number of those written by St. Paul.'

But I am of opinion that this was not the reason of Caius's omitting this epistle: or, that this does not account for • leaving it out of the number of those written by St. Paul. For, 1. If this epistle had been till then universally received by christians, Caius could not have omitted it here. If a heretic's appealing to a book of scripture, in defence of any singular opinion maintained by him, had been a reason for rejecting such book, the catholics would have been obliged to reject most, if not all the books of the New Testament. But this could not be done, with regard to any book universally received. Therefore Caius's omission of this epistle affords an argument, that it was not then universally received as an epistle of the apostle Paul. 2. We know that at that time, or thereabout, this epistle was not universally received by catholic christians, from the express testimony and * acknowledgment of Tertullian himself, a Montanist. 3. This way of arguing makes Caius a mean and contemptible writer, which is not his character in antiquity. Mr. Iwells is sensible of this consequence. Therefore he adds, in the words immediately following those already transcribed : It was perhaps easier to the eloquent Caius to cut this difficulty by rejecting the entire work, than to dissolve it by a critical discussion of • the passage. We have such controvertists in our own 6 times, men who judge of ancient writings according to * modern prejudices; allowing no book or passage to be

genuine, but what favours their own singularities; and condemning nothing for spurious that tends to support o them.'

I suppose, then, that Caius here gave a candid and unprejudiced enumeration of the epistles of St. Paul; and that he did not think the epistle to the Hebrews to have been written by that apostle. Whether he ascribed it to

* See before, chap. xxvii. p. 288–291.





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