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Origen's masters. It is undoubted, however, that Clement, k then catechist at Alexandria, was one. He likewise heard for some time, occasionally at least, the celebrated philosopher Ammonius Saccas, as Porphyry! relates expressly, and owns that Origen made good proficience in the knowledge of philosophy under that master. Theodoret mentions m the same thing as a common report. But it must have been long after this time, when Origen himself had been catechist some while, as may be concluded from what he says in a fragment of a letter preserved in Eusebius, where he defends himself against those who accused bim of too great affection for secular literature. Basnageo thinks, Origen might be then about 30 years of age.
There was another of this name among the disciples of Ammonius, and one of the most eminent of them. It is certain that p he ought to be distinguished from our Origen: he published but two 9 pieces, and the latter of them in the reign of Gallienus, after the death of him whose history we are now writing.
Leonides suffered martyrdomn' in the year 202, the tenth of Severus, leaving behind him a wife and seven children, of which Origen was the oldest, but not quite seventeen years of age. In the very beginning of this persecution, Origen showed great zeal for christianity, and was ready to offer himself to martyrdom. Being detained at home by the prudent care of his mother, he sents a letter to his father in prison, earnestly entreating him to be constant.
* Ως και τον Ωριγενην των φοιτητων αυτε παιδα οντα γενεσθαι. Εus. 1. vi. cap. 6.
Ακροατης γαρ ούτος Αμμωνια τ8 πλεισην εν τοις καθ' ημας χρονους επιδοσιν εν φιλοσοφια εσχηκοτος γεγονως εις μεν την των λογων εμπειριαν, πολλην παρα το διδασκαλε την ωφελειαν εκτησατο. Porphyr. ap. Eus. 1. vi. cap. 19. p. 220. A.
m Theodoret. Gr. Aff. 1. vi. p. 573. D.
n Eus. 1. vi. c. 19. p. 221. B. Conf. cap. 18. fin.
• Ann. 203. n. 15. P Vid. Vales. Annot. p. 120. in Eus. 1. vi. c. 19. Huet. Origenian. I. i. cap. 1. num. vii. et Fabric. Bibl. Gr. T. v. p. 213. et T. iv. p. 97. in not. ad Porphyr. cap. 3. de Vit. Plotini ; et Tillemont, Mem. Ecc. T. iii. P. ii. p. 86. Ammone Saccas. Vid. et Pagi, Crit. Ann. 246. n. ii. 4 Vid. Porphyr. de Vit. Plotin. cap. 3, et 20. Ως δε ηδη αυτω ο πατηρ μαρτυριω τετελειωτο, και βραχυτερους αδελφους τον
ó αριθμον εξ, επτακαιδεκατον 8 πληρες αγων ετος καταλειπεται. Εus. 1. vi. cap. 3. p. 203. B. Vid. et cap. 1. Origenes, qui et Adamantius, decimo Severi Pertinacis anno adversum christianos persecutione commotâ, a Leonide patre, Christi martyrio coronato, cum sex fratribus, et matre vidua, pauper relinquitur, annos natus circiter decem et septem : rem enim familiarem, ob confessionem Christi, fiscus occupaverat. Hieron. De V. I. cap. 54. in.
Διαπεμπεται το πατρι προτρεπτικωτατην περι μαρτυρια συνταξας επιςολης, εν η κατα λεξιν αυτω παραινει, λεγων Επεχε, μη δι' ημας αλλο τι φρονησης. Eus. ibid. c. 2. p. 102. B. C.
Eusebius has preserved but one line of it; but, as Tillemont justly observes, it is worth many volumes : ' Take heed, father, that you do not change your mind for our sake.'
Upon the death of Leonides, the family was reduced to great straits, the estate being confiscated. Origen however was taken care of by a rich and honourable lady of Alexandria : but in a short time he was able to provide for him. self by teaching grammar.
At this time u the chair of the catechetical school was empty. Nor was there any one at Alexandria to teach the principles of the christian religion; the terror of the
persecution had caused so many to abscond, or flee out of the city. There came' then some heathens to Origen, desiring to be taught by him the christian doctrine. The first of these, as he writes himself, was Plutarch, who, after having lived well, obtained the honour of martyrdom. The second was Heraclas, Plutarch's brother, who was bishop of Alexandria after the death of Demetrius. Origen was not above eighteen years
when he was set over the catechetical school by appointment of Demetrius; in which office he was eminently useful, and besides gained the universal esteem of the faithful, by his frequent visits, and other kind offices, to the confessors in prison, whether strangers or of his particular acquaintance.
Having alone the whole care of the school, and the number of bis disciples increasing, he left off teaching grammar, and confined himself entirely to religious instructions; in which he continued to be so successful, that there were no less than y seven of his scholars who suffered martyrdom, one of which was a woman.
There must have been at that time no stated salary for the president of that school at Alexandria; and Origen was unwilling to receive a gratuity from those whom he instructed in the rudiments of the christian religion. For,' as Eusebius? says, prudently considering with himself . how he might be able to stand in no need of assistance ! Eus. ib. p. 203. B. C.
u Eus. ibid. c. 3. p. 204. A. v Ibid. A. B.
οκτωκαιδεκατον, καθ' ο το της κατηχησεως προεση διδασκαλειο, κ. λ. Εus. ibid. p. 204. B. D. Hic, Alexandriæ dispersâ ecclesiâ, decimo octavo ætatis suæ anno karnXNowv opus aggressus, postea a Demetrio, ejus urbis episcopo, in locum Clementis presbyteri confirmatus, per multos annos floruit. Hieron. de Vir. Ill. ibid.
* Επειδη δε έωρα φοιτητας ηδη πλειος πρoσιoντας αυτω μονη της το κατηχειν διατριβης υπο Δημητριο τα της εκκλησιας προεσωτος επιτετραμμενης, κ. λ. Id. сар. p. 205. B.
y Ibid. cap. 4, 5. Cap. 3. p. 205. C.
• from others, he sold all his volumes of ancient authors, • which he had collected with great care, and contented • himself with four oboli (or five-pence] to be paid him • daily by the purchaser.'
Not long after this, or however whilst be was but young, in the 21st year of his age, as is supposed,a of Christ 205 or 206, he was guilty of that b rash and indiscreet action so well known. For being in his early youth obliged to teach women as well as men, and being desirous to put himself out of the reach of scandal, and to deliver himself from temptations, he was induced to fulfil upon him, self, in a literal sense, the saying of our Saviour, Matt. xix. 12, where he speaks of those who " make themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven.” It might be said, by way of apology for him, that those words have been so understood also by others : but, as the action is in itself unjustifiable, so Origen was afterwards convinced of his error, and publicly confuted in his writings the literal interpretation of that text, in such a manner as to show that he condemned himself; saying, beside other things, But © we, who once understood Christ according to the flesh, and according to the letter, but now knowing him no more in that manner, approve not of that interpretation, which he there mentions.
Notwithstanding his important employment in the school, Origen went d to Rome in the time of Zephyrinus, bishop of that city,' having a desire, as he somewhere writes, to see the most ancient church of the Romans.'
Having made there a short stay, he returned to Alexandria, and applied himself again with the greatest diligence to his ordinary work of teaching the principles of religion ; Demetrius still favouring his endeavours, and even quickening his zeal by earnest exhortations to promote the edification of the church. The exact time of this f journey cannot be determined, only it must bave been performed before 217; some think about the
Origen finding that he was not able to apply himself to the study of the scriptures, and the interpretation of them, as he desired, and to satisfy all those who from morning till evening came flocking to the school, took in Heraclas
a Vid. Basnag. 203. n. xiii. Pagi, 206. n. ii. b. Vid. Eus. I. vi. c. 8.
c In Matt. Tom. xv. p. 368, 369. Huet.
d Eus. l. vi. cap. 14. p. 216. D. Ευξαμενος την αρχαιοτατης Ρωμαιων εκκλησιαν ιδειν. Ιbid. * Vid. Pagi, Crit. 215. n. ii. · Tillemont, Mem. Ecc. T. iii. P. iii. Origene, art. 8.
& Vid. Basnag. 203. sect. 14.
before mentioned to be his partner in that work; committing to him the instruction of the younger scholars, and reserving to his own care those who had made some proficience.
The next thing mentioned by h Eusebius is Origen's learning the Hebrew tongue: upon which occasion he also speaks of his editions of the Old Testament, in one of which he placed in several columns the original Hebrew text, and the Greek versions of the Seventy, Aquila, Symmachus, Theodotion, and some others, the names of which are not known. St. Jerom i likewise says, that such was Origen's desire to understand and promote the knowledge of the scriptures, that, contrary to the custom of his time and country, he learned the Hebrew language; nay, he says he wask admired by all Greece upon that account. However, divers' learned moderns have observed, that Origen's skill in Hebrew was not exact.
Eusebius m adds, ' About this time Ambrose, who followed * the Valentinian heresy, was brought over to the orthodox • doctrine of the church by the preaching of Origen. St. Jerom, in his Catalogue of Ecclesiastical Writers, gives" this account of Ambrose : " That he was at first a Mar* cionite; afterwards, having been convinced of his error by Origen, he became a deacon of the church, and had the
honour of suffering for Christ, as a confessor: to whom, . and. to Protoctetus, Origen inscribed his book, Of Martyr
dom: and that Origen dedicated to Ambrose many of his 'volumes, which were published at his desire, care, ard • charge. Ambrose was a man of a good family, and of
no small wit, as his letters to Origen show. He died be• fore Origen, and is blamed by many, that, though he was
rich, he did not at his death remember his friend ; who . was not only poor, but likewise in his old age.'
So writes Jerom. Epiphanius informs us, that in his h L. vi. cap. 16.
i Quis ignorat et quod tantum in scripturis divinis habuerit studii, ut etiam Hebræam linguam, contra ætatis gentisque suæ naturam, edisceret? De Vir. Ill. cap. 54. k Vid. Hieron. 3. ep. 22. al. 25. init.
i Huet. Origenian. 1. ii. c. i. sect. ii. p. 26. Tillemont, Mem. Ecc. in Origene, art. ii
. et note 3. Vid. et Fabric. Bib. Gr. T. v. p. 224.
m lbid. c. 18. in. Ambrosius, primum Marcionites, deinde, ab Origene correctus, ecclesiæ diaconus, et confessionis Dominicæ gloriâ insignis fuit; cui, et Protocteto presbytero, liber Origenis de Martyrio scribitur. Hujus industrià, et sumptu, et instantiâ, ad hunc infinita Origenes dictavit volumina. Sed et ipse, quippe ut vir nobilis, non inelegantis ingenii fuit ; sicut ejus ad Originem epistolæ indicio sunt. Obiit ante mortem Origenis; et in hoc a plerisque reprehenditur, quod, vir locuples, amici sui senis et pauperis moriens non recordatus sit. Hieron. de Vir. Ill. cap. 56.
ο Τινες δε τετον
time it was said by some that Ambrose was at first a Mar cionite, by others that he was a Sabellian; but I suppose Eusebius's account is the most credible, who calls him a Valentinian : his conversion might be made P about the year 212. Protoctetus was a presbyter of the church of Cæsarea in Palestine : his and Ambrose's confession for Christ was in the persecution under Maximin, about the year 236. Eusebius, in his Ecclesiastical History, 9 speaks of their sufferings, as does likewise Origen in several places of his Exhortation to Martyrdom, inscribed to both of them, which is still extant, And there are besides remaining several other works of Origen dedicated to Ambrose : as his Commentaries upon St. John's gospel, the Treatise of
, Prayer, and the eight books against Celsus : wbich last shows, though Ambrose died before Origen, yet he lived to the
year 250, or near it. St. Jerom says that Ambrose was a deacon of the church; at Alexandria, as is generally sup: posed. But Eusebius says nothing of this: and somer are rather inclined to think he was a deacon of the church of Cæsarea, where Protoctetus was presbyter. Origen, in a letter of which we have now only a fragment, calls Ambrose s . a man indeed devoted to God;' and speaks of his earnest desire to understand the scriptures, and his great application in the study of them. Ambrose had a wife named Marcella, by whom he had several children; she is commended by Origent as a true christian, and faithful wife.
Eusebius u informs us, that Ambrose was the person who excited Origen to write commentaries upon the scriptures, and that not only by words and entreaties, but by supplies of all things necessary : for there were seven notaries or more procured by him to attend Origen when he dictated, who relieved each other by turns: and besides there was a like number of young women, or others, skilful in the art of fair writing, all which were handsomely maintained by v Ambrose.
τον Αμβροσιον έφασαν οι μεν Μαρκιωνιςην, οι δε Σαβελλιανoν. Epiph. Her. 64. p. 526. 4.
P See Tillemont, T. iii. P. ii. p. 59. q Ibid. cap. 28.
Ambrosium, ecclesiæ diaconum fuisse scimus ex Hieronymo; cujus vero ignoramus; eo tamen inclinat conjectura, ut in Cæsariensi diaconum egerit. Origeni comes erat, qui plurimum Cæsareæ versatus est. Protocteto quoque Cæsariensi conjungit Ambrosium, dum ambobus librum de martyrio suum nu at. Basnag. Ann. 203. n. 22. s Vid. Orig. Op. T. i. p. 3. edit. Bened.
Ασπαζεται δε σε και η πιςοτατη συμβιος αυτο Μαρκελλα αμα τους τεκνοις. Orig. Ep. ad African. sub fin.
u L. vi. cap. 23. " Ambrosius, quo chartas, sumtus, notarios ministrante, tam innumerabiles