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Rome, required the bishops of Asia to follow the custom of other churches. Polycrates, having consulted the bisho s of Asia, wrote a letter with their approbation to Victor an the
'church of Rome, declaring their resolution to kee Easter at the time they had hitherto observed it: w 1ereupon Victor excommunicated b all the churches of Asia, and those in their neighbourhood. Of this epistle there are two fragments in Eusebius. This is in short the history of Polycrates. It will be confirmed by that part of his letter which I am now about to transcribe, so far as is suitable to our purpose.
Only I would first of all observe, that6 confirms the account given by Eusebius: and farther speaks of Polycrates as a person of considerable ca acity and authority; and says, he flourished in the time o the emperor Severus, who began his reign in 193.
‘ We therefore,’ says“l Polycrates, ‘ observe the true and genuine day, neither adding nor detracting any thing. For in Asia there are great lights buried, which shall be raised up in the day of the Lord’s advent, in which he shall come with glory from heaven, and shall raise up all his saints; as Philip, one of the twelve apOstles ; and moreover John,e who leaned upon the Lord’s breast. And what need I mention Melito, the eunuch, who conducted himself in all things by the Spirit; who rests in Sardis, expecting the visitation from heaven, at which he shall rise from the dead? Allf these have kept the day of Easter on the fourteenth day according to the gospel ; not transgressing in the least, but following the rule [or canon] of faith. And so have I Polycrates, who am the least of all, according to the tradition of my relations, some of whom also I have followed ; for seven of my relations have been bishops, and I am the eighth: and my relations always kept the day, when the eople [of the Jews] cast away their leaven. I therefore, brethren, whog am sixty-five years of age in the Lord, and who have conversed with the brethren in many parts of the world, and have read over all the holy scripture, am not moved at what I am threatened with. For they who are greater than me have said: “ We ought to obey God rather than men,” ’ Acts v. 29.
° Bus. 1. v. c. 24. p. 192. B. C. et Sociat. H. E. l. v. c. 22. p. 284. B.
1‘ Haec propterea posui, ut ingenium et auctoritatem viri ex parvo opusculo demonstrarem. Floruit temponbus Severi principis. De Vir. Ill. cap. 45.
d Ap. EDS. p. 191. 9 EH 5: 0cm Imam/17g (i cm. 1'0 sqflog Kvpia avarrwwv. ' Obi-oi mwrsg ernpmmv rm! filtepau mg reuaapemcaulam'rng 'ra 1mch ram 1'0 evayyelttov, pnbsv wapexfiawov-rsg, aMa ram rov navova r1]; 1n;st archway-reg. p. 191. D.
3 Eye: ovv, abzbipot, EEmcovra 1011': am Ele/ w Kvpup, Kat rrvftfit/S'chwg rot; mm m; ourovang absMSoig. mi raaav dytav 7pa¢11v atmvewg, e WT‘UQO'ttlt em for; xararltrlaa'opevotg. Oi yap cps pctloveg upmcao‘t, 1m9apxew Bu Gap pukhov 1; anpwaorg. p. 192. A.
We are at present to observe only what has a relation to any particular books of the New Testament, or to the collection of them in general.
When Polycrates calls Melito an eunuch, possibly he refers to Matt. xix. 12, where our Lord says: “ There he eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake.”
When he observes of John, that he ‘ leaned on the Lord’s breast :’ he very probably refers to those places of St. John’s gospel where this particular is mentioned: as ch. xiii. 25; xxi. 20.
Where he says, that greater than he had said: “ We ou ht to obey God rather than men,” there is an undoubted re erence to Acts v. 29.
He moreover speaks of many who had observed this feast on the fourteenth day ‘ according to the ospel ;’ probably meanin thereby the collection of gospe s, which he likewise ca ls the rule of faith.
Lastly, he says, he had ‘ read over all the holy scripture;’ meaning, it is likely, the scripture of the Old and the New Testament, and perhaps those of the New in particular.
This testimony needs not be summed up: it lies in a short compass.
HERACLITUS, saysa Cave, flourished about the year 196. He is mentioned by Eusebius in hisb Ecclesiastical History, together with several other writers of the church, who lived in the reign of Commodus and Severus, or about t iat time.
- Hist. Lit. p. 60. h L. v. cap. 27.
‘ Moreover,’ says he, ‘ there still remain, in the hands of ‘ many, divers monuments of the laudable industry of those ‘ ancient and ecclesiastical men. Of such of them as have ‘ come to our knowledgec are the writings [or commen‘ taries] of Heraclitus upon the apostle: and of Maximus, ‘ concerning the question so much discoursed of among the ‘ heretics, Whence proceeds evil ? and concerning the ‘ creation of matter: and of Candidus upon the six days’ ‘ work, and of Appion upon the same argument. Likewise ‘ the treatise of Sextus on the resurrection, and a book of ‘ Arabianus, and innumerable other :’ Whose time, Eusebius says, he did not know. He goes on: ‘ There are besides ‘ treatises of many others, whose names we have not been ‘ able to learn;‘1 orthodox and ecclesiastical men, as the ‘ interpretations of the divine scripture given by each one ‘ of them manifest.”
St. Jerom has inserted a short account, in his Book of Illustrious Men, of all these writers, whom Eusebius has mentioned by name; of eHeraclitus, fMaximus, g Candidus, hAppion, i Sextus, and kArabianus. And Eusebius in another workl has preserved a large fragment of Max; imus, of. whom he there gives a great encomium.
Of Heraclitus St. Jeromm says, agreeably to Eusebius, ‘ In the time of Commodus and Severus he wrote commen‘ taries upon the apostle :’ by which is generally understood, tha't Heraclitus wrote commentaries upon the epistles of St. Paul. It is pity Eusebius, or Jerom, if they had read Heraclitus, did not give us a more particular account of his performance, and how many of the apostle’s epistles he had explained.
I have nothing farther to add here, but that it may be probably concluded that all, or most, of those writers, who, as Euse ius says, had manifested their orthodoxy by their ‘ interpretations of the divine scriptures,’ had taken some notice of the books of the New, as well as of the Old Testament.
95mg ypaipng e'ppm/ua. Ibid. 8 ap. 46. I Cap. 47. 8 Cap. 48. " Cap. 49. i Cap. 50. k Cap. 51. ‘ Prazp. Evan. 1. vii. p. 337. A. &c.
'“ Heraclitus sub Commodi Severique imperio in apostolum commentaries composuit. De Vir. Ill. cap. 46.
HERMIAS has left us a short, but elegant discourse, called,3 A Derision, or Banter, of the Gentile Philosophers. 1n the inscription of this work he has the title of Philosopher; but who he was, and when he lived, is unknown. Some have thought him to be a writerb of the fourth or fifth century: Cave supposes that he wrote in the second century; whose arguments appear to me sufficient to render his opinion probable. The work itself seems to show, as that learned authorc observes, that Gentilism still prevailed: and Du Pind agrees with him, that it was written before the fall of paganism. Tillemonte likewise thinks the argument of his book gives ground to suppose, it was written in the first ages of the church. I have therefore placed him here in the last year of the second century.
1 have not observed, in this discourse, any reference to the books of the New Testament, except a quotation at the very beginning of it, to this purpose: ‘ Thef blessed apostle Paul, writin to the Corinthians in Laconic Greece, did not s eak besi e the urpose, when he said: “ The wisdom 0 this world is fooiishness with God,” ’ 1 Cor. iii.
b Vid. Cave, Lit. Pg. i. p. 50. ¢P. iilupp. 35, 36. Fabric. Bib. Gr. Tom. v. p. 96. c Ex toto opusculi contextu constare videtur, vigente adhuc gentilismo scriptum fuisse. Hist. Lit. P. ii. p. 36.
'1 ll n‘y a pas de doute, qu'il est ancien, et qu‘il vivoit avant que la religion payenne rm détruite. Bib]. Eccl. Tom. i.
° Tout ce que nous en pouvons dire, c'est que son sujet donne lieu de croire, qu‘il écrivoit dans les premiers siécles de l'Eglise, 01) You s‘occupoit a détruire le paganisme. Mem. Ecc. T. iii. p. i. en Hermogene.
f Havhog iv paxapiog arosokag, 101g mu ‘EMada 117v Aaxwvumv 1rap0uceln Kopwewlg 1pa¢wv, w aya'lrrrrot, a1rs¢gvaro Myaw' 'H aoqml 1'8 KOUle Tera pwpuz 1rapa up 9:11), a: aaromog imam. p. 175. B. Paris.
WE have already seen the testimony of two bisho s of the church of Antioch, Ignatius and Theophilus; un er which last we observed the succession of the bishops of that church from the time of the apostles. Theophilus was succeeded1 by Maximin, about the year 181; and he by Serapion, the eighth in that succession, who was bishop from aboutb the year 190 to 211, or somewhat later. I may therefore well place him here, at the year 200.
Eusebius ” says, Serapion wrote many pieces: but he had not seen any of them, beside a letter to Caracus and Ponticus, concerning the Montanists; another to Domninus, who in the time of the ersecution [probably that of Severus] forsook the faitli of Christ, and turned Jew; and some other epistles. ‘ There is also,‘ says Eusebius, ‘ an‘ other book of his concerning the gos el, entitled, according ‘ to Peter, wherein he confutes the fafsities of that Gospel ; ‘ which book he composed for the sake of some in the parish ‘ of Rhossus, [in Cilicia,] who by means of that writing were ‘led into heterodox opinions. It cannot be improper to ‘transcribe some short passages, in which he declares his ‘ sentiment of that book. “ We,“ brethren, receive Peter, ‘ and the other apostles, as Christ: but, as skilful men, we ‘ reject those writings which are falsely ascribed to them; ‘ well knowing, that we have received no such. When I ‘ was with you, I supposed ou had all held the right ‘ faith : and, not having read' the Gospel offered to me ‘ under the name of Peter, I said, if that be the only thing ‘ that causeth a difference among you, let it be read. But ‘ now having understood, by what has been told me, that ‘ their minds are secretly filled with some heresy, I will do
‘ Vid. Ens. H. E. l. iv. cap. 24. l. v. cap. 19.
b Vid. Cave, Hist. Lit. p. 52. Du Pin, Bibl. Tillemont, Mem. Ecc. T. ii. Les Montanistes, Art. iv. et T. iii. Serapion. c H. E. 1. vi. c. 12.
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