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books for the defence of the Christians, against the reproaches of the heathen Autolycus. In this work he shews himself a thinking and a learned man.


Amintus Septimius Florens Tertullianus was born at the latter end of the second century, probably at Carthage, where his father served the proconsul as centurion. He was first an advocate, and, in more mature age, was converted to Christianity. After his conversion, the office of presbyter was offered him, but whether this was in Rome or Carthage is doubtful, though probably in the latter. He was the first Latin writer among the Christians who exercised any important influence on the North African church. He was a man of remarkable piety, shining powers, extraordinary attainments, and famous for zeal for the extension of Christianity ; but his glowing imagination led him astray, so that he followed the enthusiastic doctrines of the Montanist sect, which prided itself on higher illumination, and caused great commotions in many parts of the church. The numerous writings of this father which have come down to us, relate partly to the connection between Christians and heathens, partly to the manifold circumstances of Christian life. He died A. D. 220.


Tascius Cyprianus of Carthage, received from his father, a rich and careful heathen officer, a solid education, and was originally a teacher of eloquence in his own city. Cecilius, presbyter of Carthage, was, in God's hand, the instrument of bringing him to the knowledge of Christ, and from gratitude to him he took the surname of Cecilius. His conversion took place in the year 246 ; and two years after the church of Carthage, to which he had become endeared by his piety and zeal, gave him the dignity of bishop. He long resisted, before he decided on accepting so important an office, the heavy responsibilities of which he regarded more than its honour. But after he had undertaken it, he administered it with a marked wisdom, power, and fidelity, which fully justified the confidence which the church had reposed in him. During a severe persecution which raged under the emperor Decius, Cyprian deemed it advisable to withdraw for two years from Carthage, and remove himself from the search of the enemies of Christianity ; but as soon as the rage of persecution had in some degree abated, he returned from his place of refuge to his church, which, during its time of afflic. tion, he had incessantly strengthened in courage by his consolatory epistles. Amid many difficulties he administered his office with great Christian wisdom, afterwards safely escaped a second persecution, but was at last led to martyrdom under the emperor Valerian, and suffered courageously in the year 257.(Sermon ix). Among the many writings of this distinguished man, his letters are particularly remarkable, for they give us a true picture of the spirit, discipline, manners, and habits of the Christians of that time, and are a glorious testimony of his love to Christ, his piety and zeal for the true faith. Besides this, we may adduce as one of his most remarkable works his three books of testimonies, a collection of the most important

texts, to prove that Jesus is the Messiah promised in the Old Testament, and which serve for a foundation of Christian faith and morals.


Titus Flavius Clemens was born, according to some at Athens, according to others at Alexandria. He was born and bred a heathen, and only became a Christian after arriving at manhood, on which account he reckons himself among those who came from heathen sin to faith in the Redeemer, and who from Him received forgiveness of their sins. By free and honest inquiry he was convinced of the truth of Christianity. Even after his conversion, he sought the instruction of distinguished Christian teachers in various places. At last he remained in Alexandria, where he became first a catechist, and afterwards received the office of presbyter. In the year 202, he was forced by a severe persecution under the Emperor Septimius Severus to withdraw from Alexandria. We have but little information concerning his life and residence after this period. We only know that at the beginning of the reign of the Emperor Antoninus Caracalla he was at Jerusalem, from whence, provided with letters of recommendation from the bishop Alexander, he went to Antioch. He died probably about A. D. 218. We possess different writings of his, especially three valuable and learned works, which have a certain connection one with another. Of his other compositions a few fragments only remain.

7. ORIGEN. Originis, named Adamantius, was born at Alexandria, A. D. 185. He was the first teacher of the church who tried to reduce Christian doctrine to a scientific connection. His pious father Leonidas, who conscientiously cared for his learned and Christian education, was torn from him in the persecution which the Emperor Septimius Severus instituted A. D. 202 against the Christians. Origen was then seventeen years old, and was left in great poverty by the death of his father, whose income was limited, with a helpless mother and six brothers and sisters still children. A rich and influential lady of Alexandria then took him under her protection; but he soon left her house, and used his gifts and acquirements so as to gain a livelihood by tuition. In his eighteenth year he had already become teacher in the catechetical school at Alexandria. His small income subjected him to many privations, to which, however, le added voluntary and extraordinary bodily chastisements, that he might exhibit the perfect life of a Christian philosopher. By this he became of extraordinary repute for sanctity. His glowing zeal in striving for perfection, not being directed by a proper exposition of the Scriptures, led him into many errors, through understanding literally figurative expressions of Christ, and considering precepts applicable only to certain circumstances as valid in ali times and places. The most striking error of this kind, which caused him afterwards great sorrow, was his understanding literally the passage, Matthew xix. 12, and practising on himself what he understood as a precept for those who wished to enter most surely into God's kingdom. Origen at first enjoyed the friendship and favour of the bishop Demetrius. But afterwards a time of great sorrow and affliction came on him, when this bishop was roused to jealousy by his great fame, and the honours paid to him. It was especially the honour paid to him by his friends Alexander bishop of Jerusalem, and Theoktistus of Cesarea in Palestine, which produced this. Before this time the proud Demetrius had attacked them for allowing Origen, a layman, to preach in their churches. Origen, however, was afterwards recalled to Alexandria by his bishop, and their friendship was resumed on its old footing. But when, in the year 228, Origen, in a journey to Achaia on church business, visited his friends in Palestine, and they consecrated him presbyter, Demetrius was so angry at this encroachment on his episcopal rights, that he brought the matter before a synod of bishops and presbyters, in which he charged Origen with the before-mentioned error. The laws of the church, indeed, excluded him from clerical office for this youthful enthusiasm, but yet it should have been considered that he had since altered his views of the passage, and condemned the step to which the impetuosity of youth had led him. He was nevertheless deprived of his dignity of presbyter, and forbidden to exercise the office of public teacher in the Alexandrian church. He then repaired to Cesarea, from which place he justified himself against his opponents in letters to his friends. His circle of usefulness became daily more extended, and notwithstanding that his enemies accused him of heresy, he exercised by his writings a most decided influence on the development of church doctrine. The persecution under the Emperor Decius (249–251) appeared as though it would give him the crown of martyrdom. His firmness was severely tried by tortures of every kind, but nothing could shake his faith. He died a few years afterwards, probably from the results of the cruelties he had suffered, A. D. 252 or 253. According to Jerome he died at Tyre, where he was buried.

Origen was doubtless one of the most distinguished teachers and writers of his time, and has exercised a most decided influence on after ages by his various writings. The ancients divided his works into two classes, theological treatises and biblical criticism. They are part of them preserved entire in the original, part are fragmentary, part exist only in Latin versions. He dedicated one work to oppose the heathen Celsus, in eight books, of which the title is, “ True discourses against the writings of the Epicurean Celsus.”

Out of Origen's school proceeded many famous teachers, and, among others,

8. DIONYSIUS, First catechist, afterwards bishop of Alexandria (A. D. 247) a man of Christian moderation and mildness, who, as he confesses himself, arrived at belief in the gospel by free investigation, Even as Christian and teacher of the church he preserved the freedom of the spirit in search and inquiry. He read and studied, uncorrupted, all the writings of heretical teachers, and only threw them aside when he knew them well, and was able to overthrow them by argument. In the year 257, he was driven away by the persecution under the Emperor Valerian, but even during the three years of his banishment his flock was unceasingly under his care and guidance. In the year 260 he returned to Alexandria, where new cares and sorrows awaited him. Not only were there factions and parties in the city, but famine and pestilence broke out there, and grievous differences arose in his own flock, which required his interference. In these difficult circumstances, Dionysius behaved always with the dignity, wisdom, and mildness which become a Christian bishop, and succeeded in restoring the unity and peace of his church. He died A. D. 264.

Of the many epistles of this bishop, unhappily all but a few perfect remains and numerous fragments are lost.





Sermon I. p. 5, 1. 28, Just. M. Ap. i. 45.

p. 5, 1. 33, Iren. Adv. Hæret. L. ii. c. 22.

p. 9, 1. 29, Celsus, B. iii. 152, 3.
Sermon II. p. 27, 1. 7, Composer of Letter to Diognetes.
p. 28, 1. 8, Just. M. Ap. i. p. 20. ed. Thirlb.

[Ap. ii. C. 17.]
p. 28, 1. 23, Origen c. Celsum. i. 67. [p. 53. ed.

Sermon III. p. 36, 1. 31, Tert. Apologeticus, C. xxxix.

p. 37, 1. 37, Clem. Al. Pædagog. L. iü. 256, 257.
p. 39, 1. 22, Cypr. Ep. lx. [Ep. Ixii. ed. Ox.]
p. 41, 1. 15, Cypr. p. 205, ed. Ox.
p. 41, l. 37, Euseb. vii. 22.

p. 42, l. 31, Cypr. Lib. de Mortalitate.
Sermon IV. p. 47, 1. 32, Clem. A. Stromat. L. vii. p. 722.
p. 48, l. 6,

Stromat. L. vii. p. 728.
1. 14, Origen, de Orat. $ 12 ($ 57, ed. Read-


C. 22 ($ 57, ed. Read-

p. 49, 1. 16, Tert. C. xxviii. de Orat. : in the pieces

first published by Muratori, vol.

iii. Anecdotorum Bibl. Ambros.
p. 51, 1. 7, Cyprian, Ep. vii.

1. 23, Origen, de Orat. C. xxxi.
p. 53, 1. 25, Tert. C. xxvii.
p. 54, l. 4, Origen, de Orat. § 13[$ 35, ed. Read-

ing. Lond. 1728.]
p. 56, 1. 9, Tert. de Orat.
Sermon VI. p. 77, 1. 34, Tert. Apologet. C. xlii.

p. 80, 1. 21, Clem. A. Strom. L. iii. p. 446, &c.

p. 81, l. 6, Clem. A. Tos ó owSouevos 280105, § 11.
Sermon VII. p. 91, 1. 3, Tert. de Idololatria, C. vi.

1. 34, Tert. Apologet. C. xxxiv.
p. 92, 1. 12, Tert. De Idololatria, C. xv.

1. 22, Celsus, Lib. viii. p. 435.

1. 22,

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