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Dionysius of Alexandria in one of his letters, and y by the council of Antioch by which Paul of Samosata was deposed. Theodoret gives this Cappadocian bishop the character ? of
an illustrious person, equally master of divine and human knowledge. It is a further argument of his great reputation, that both Eusebius and Jerom have so particularly insisted upon his respect for Origen, as a considerable testimony to the extraordinary merit of that great man.
This may suffice for the history and character of Firmilian. I proceed to observe the quotations of the books of the New Testament which are to be found in bis fore. mentioned letter to St. Cyprian.
I. Hence b we may be able to understand what Christ said to Peter only: "Whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth, , shall be also bound in heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, shall be also loosed in heaven,"' Matt. xviii. 18.
II. · The Lord himself declaring, “ Many shall come in my name, saying, I am Cbrist, and shall deceive many."!! See Mark xiii. 6. But it must be owned that there are exactly the same words in Matt. xxiv. 5.
111. : Ford union, and peace, and concord, afford the greatest joy not only to “ faithful men, and those that know the truth, but also to the “ heavenly angels,” who, the divine word says, “ rejoice over one sinner that repentetb, Luke xv. 10. And in the preceding words is a plain reference to 1 Tim. iv. 3.
IV. ' And again in the gospel, when Christ breathed on the apostles only, saying, “ Receive the Holy Ghost," John xx. 22. He has likewise quoted" John xvii. 21.
V. Accordinglys the blessed apostle Paul baptized
Ibid. cap. 30. p. 279. D.
* Και Φιρμιλιανος ο Καισαρεων της Καππαδοκιας επισκοπος, περιφανης ανηρ, και γνωσιν εκατεραν εχων, kal mnv Ivpalev, kai tnv Jelav. Theodoret
. Hæret. Tab. I. iv. cap. 8. p. 222. D.
a See the preceding chapter, p. 476. . Hinc intelligi potest quod soli Petro Christus dixerit : Quæcunque ligaveris super terram, erunt ligata et in cælis ; et quæcunque solveris super terram, erunt soluta et in cælis.' Inter. Ep. Cyprian. 75. p. 225. Oxon.
Dominus ipse manifestat, dicens, Multi venient in nomine meo, dicentes, Ego sum Christus, et multos fallent.' Ibid. p. 222.
d Adunatio enim, et pax, et concordia, non solum hominibus fidelibus et cognoscentibus veritatem, sed et angelis ipsis coelestibus voluptatem maximam præstat; quibus dicit divinus sermo esse gaudium in uno peccatore penitentiam agente.' p. 217.
e Et iterum in evangelio, quando in solos apostolos insufflavit Christus, dicens, Accipite Spiritum Sanctum,' p. 225.
f P. 219. 8 Secundum quod et beatus Paulus apostolus eos qui ab Joanne baptizati fuerant, priusquam missus esset a Domino Spiritus Sanctus, baptizavit denuo
» 2 Cor.
again with a spiritual baptism those who had been baptized by John, before the Holy Spirit had been sent by the Lord; and then laid his hands upon them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost.' See Acts xix. 147.
VI. • Thoughh the Jews were in great ignorance, and guilty of much wickedness, the apostle owns they “ had a zeal of God," Rom. x. ii.
VII. “ This i will be the wisdom which Paul writes to be in them that are perfect," 1 Cor. ii. 6. He likewise quotesk 1 Cor. xiv. 30, and 1 Cor. xi. 27.
VIII. . Norm are there many spouses of Christ, since the apostle says, “ I have espoused you unto one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin unto Christ, xi. 2. He also refers to n ver. 13 of the same chapter.
IX. • Foro if the apostle does not lie when he says, many of you as have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ," · Gal. iii. 17.
X. But what says the apostle Paul ? “ One Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God," Eph. iv. 5, 6. A little before 9 he quoted the first four verses of this same chapter.
XI. • But as to what they pretend in favour of beretics, that the apostle has said, “ Whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached ;" we must answer, that it is imperti nently alleged. Which, he says, will appear to any one who reads the epistle of the apostle whence those words are taken.
XII. He says of all heretics in general,t . It is manifest they are condemned of themselves, and before the day of judgment they have passed an incontestable sentence spiritali baptismo, et, sic manum imposuit, ut acciperent Spiritum Sanctum, &c. p. 221.
h Judæos tamen, quamvis ignorantiâ cæcos et gravissimo facinore constrictos, zelum Dei' apostolus habere profitetur. p. 225.
i Deinde, hæc erit sapientia, quam scribit Paulus esse in his qui perfecti sunt. p. 221. k P. 219.
1 P. 227. Neque enim multæ sponsæ Christi, cum dicat apostolus, · Despondi vos uni viro, virgini castam assignare Christo.' p. 224.
n P. 229 • Nam si non mentitur apostolus, dicens, · Quotquot in Christo tincti estis, Christum induistis :'- p. 223.
P Sed quid ait apostolus Paulus ? « Unus Dominus, una fides, unum baptisma, unus Deus.' 9 P. 228.
r Ad illud autem quod pro hæreticis ponunt, et aiunt apostolum dixisse, . Sive per occasionem, sive per veritatem, Christus annuntietur,' ut respondeamus, ineptum est.
$ Quando manifestum sit apostolum, in epistolâ suâ, quâ hoc dicit, neque hæreticorum, neque baptismi eorum, mentionem fecisse, sed locutum esse de fratribus tantum. Nec oporteat hoc longo tractatu excutere, sed ipsam satis sit epistolam legere, &c. Ibid.
Quos omnes manifestum est a semetipsis damnatos esse, et ante diem judicii inexcusabilem sententiam adversus semetipsos dixisse. p. 220.
against themselves.' It is very probable be refers to Tit. iii. 10, 11: and we before u saw a plain reference to St. Paul's first epistle to Timothy.
XIII. This writer says, that Noah's ark was a figure of the church of Christ. He adds, • Asv also the apostle Peter teaches, saying, “ In like manner also will baptism save you :" or us, as in some copies. 1 Pet. iii. 21.
XIV. • And moreover abusing the blessed apostles Peter and Paul, as if they also had delivered this doctrine; though they in their epistles bave cursed heretics, and admonished us to avoid them. This passage may be
' thought to show that Firmilian owned two epistles of Peter, because he speaks of epistles in the plural number: and, besides, what is here said does well enough suit the second epistle ascribed to that apostle.' Here one cannot help wishing that we had this letter in its original language. It would be a particular satisfaction to know, that Firmilian received two epistles of St. Peter.
XV. He seems to refer to the first epistle of St. John, when he says of heretics in general, “That* since they have not the true Lord the Father, they cannot bave the true Son, nor the true Spirit:' and of the Cataphrygians or Montanists, in particular. Thaty they have not the Father, nor the Son, nor the Holy Spirit; and that they 2 have not in them the “ spirit of truth, but the spirit of error.” See 1 John ii. 22, 23; and iv. 6.
XVI. I forbear transcribing any more, though I might insist on some other allusive expressions. Here are sufficiently clear references to the gospels of St. Matthew, St. Luke, and St. John; to the Acts of the Apostles; to the epistle to the Romans; the first and second to the Corinthians; the epistles to the Galatians, the Ephesians, the Philippians; the first to Timothy, and to Titus; the first, if not also the second, of St. Peter; and the first epistle of St. John: and sometimes the names of the apostles Peter and Paul are expressly mentioned when their words are quoted. And there appear marks of a peculiar respect for • At num. iii. p. 580.
» Quemadmodum et apostolus Petrus posuit, dicens, Sic et vos similiter salvos faciet baptisma.'
W Adhuc etiam infamans Petrum et Paulum beatos apostolos, quasi hoc ipsi tradiderint; qui in epistolis suis hæreticos execrati sunt, et, ut eos evitemus, monnerunt. p. 220.
* Satis est illud in compendio dicere, eos, qui non teneant verum Dominum Patrem, tenere non posse nec Filii nec Spiritûs Sancti veritatem. p. 220. fin,
Nec Patrem possunt habere, nec Filium, nec Spiritum Sanctum. p. 221. init.
2 In quibus cum animadvertamus non veritatis spiritum, sed erroris fuisse. Ibid.
these books, since they are quoted as writings of authority. It cannot be well questioned but Firmilian's canon of the New Testament was much the same as ours. It is plain that our scriptures were well known at that time in Cappadocia: and in particular it may be observed, that the epistle of St. Paul to the churches of Galatia, and the first epistle of St. Peter, both addressed to christians in that country, or near it, were received as genuine and divine scriptures by this learned and discreet bishop, who had his residence in those parts.
DIVERS WRITERS IN THE FORMER PART OF THE
I. Judas. II. Anonymous author of the Passion of Per
petua and Felicitas. III. Proculus. IV. Geminianus. V. Tryphon.
1. 'AT that time,' says a Eusebius in bis Ecclesiastical • History, lived also Judas, another writer, who published a • Commentary upon Daniel's Seventy Weeks, concluding his
computation of the times at the tenth year of Severus; - who likewise thought, that the so much talked of coming
of Antichrist was then at hand. So strangely did the • raising of that persecution disturb the minds of many.'
St. Jerom, likewise, in bis Catalogue of Ecclesiastical Writers, has a chapter for this person. But he mentions no other work of his beside this. He says, tható Judas commented largely upon Daniel's Seventy Weeks, and brought down his Chronology of former times to the tenth year of Severus. This writer is placed by Cave at the year of Christ 202, where his Chronology 'ended. It is probable, this Commentary would afford many testimonies to the New Testament, if it were still extant. It might be useful also on other accounts. a Euseb. I. vi. cap. 7.
b Judas de septuaginta apud Danielem hebdomadibus plenissime disputavit, et chronographiam superiorum temporum usque ad decimum Severi produxit annum. De Vir. Ill. cap. 52.
II. In that persecution suffered in Africa, at Tuburbium,
some have thought, or, as d others more probably, at Carthage, Perpetua, Felicitas, Revocatus, Saturninus, saturus, and Secundulus. The year is not certain, Ruinart e thinks their martyrdom happened in 202 or 203; Basnage, in 203; Tillemont,& in 203 or 205.
Perpetua is celebrated h by Tertullian as a martyr who suffered with great firmness. St. Augustine published i three discourses pronounced by him on the anniversary of those martyrs, which are still extant k among his sermons. The day was called by the names of Perpetua and Felicitas, such fortitude being esteemed, as ? he says, more admirable
1 in the weaker sex than the other.
St. Augustine m has also in other places made mention of Perpetua and her passion. We still have such a piece, entitled," The Passion of the Saints Perpetua and Felicitas, with their Companions. Basnage allows it to be ancient;
o and p. Tillemont says it is one of the finest monuments of antiquity. Indeed, the story is affecting, and the piece is curious in divers respects : but I must not stay to transcribe particulars; it may suffice to say, that Secundulus 9 died in prison; Saturninus, Revocatus, Saturus, and the two women, according tof the sentence pronounced by the judge,s were exposed to the wild beasts in the amphitheatre, on the birth-day of Antoninus Geta, Cæsar, and son of the emperor Severus, supposed to be the seventh day of March. Vivia Perpetua u was about two and twenty years
c Vid. Ruinart. Act. Mart. Admonit. in Passionem S. Perpetuæ, &c. sect. 2. p. 90.
d Ruinart. ibid. et sect. 3. Basnag. ann. 203. n. iv. Tillemont, Mem. Ecc. Tom. 3. part i. p. 233. Sainte Perpetue, &c. art. i. et note iv. p. 503. Pagi, 198. n. v. et 203. n. v. e Ibid. n. iv. p. 91.
f Basn. ibid. 8 Tillem. ibid. et note iii.
h Quomodo Perpetua, fortissima martyr, sub die passionis in revelatione paradisi solos illic commartyres suos vidit. Tertull. de Animâ, cap. 55. p. 353. D.
i De natali Perpetuæ et Felicitatis, tractatus tres. Possid. Ind. Opusc. S. Aug.
k Serm. 280, 281, 282. Refulget et præeminet inter comites martyres et meritum et nomen Perpetuæ et Felicitatis, sanctarum Dei famularum. Nam ibi est corona gloriosior, ubi sexus infirmior. Aug. Serm. 281. in.
m Quam multos parentes filii prohibebant mori, sicut novimus et legimus in passione beatæ Perpetuæ. August. in Ps. 47. p. 423. B. T. iv. Bened. Vid. eund. de Animâ. I. i. cap. 10. 1. iii. cap. 9. 1. iv. cap. 18. T. x. Bened. " Ap. Act. Mart. p. 92, &c.
o Basn. ibid. n. viii. D As before, art. i.
? Pass. Perpet. &c. num. xiv. p. 99. Act. Mart. Ruinart.
Ibid. n. vi. p. 95. * N. xix. et seqq. p. 100, 101.
+ Munere enim castrensi eramuis pugnaturi. Natale tunc Getæ Cæsaris, ibid. n. vii. p. 96.
u N. ii. p. 93.