An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine
Part 2, Chapter 10: Application of the Fifth Note of a True Development
APPLICATION OF THE FIFTH NOTE OF A TRUE DEVELOPMENT.
ANTICIPATION OF ITS FUTURE.
It has been set down above as a fifth argument in favour of the fidelity of developments, ethical or political, if the doctrine from which they have proceeded has, in any early stage of its history, given indications of those opinions and practices in which it has ended. Supposing then the so-called Catholic doctrines and practices are true and legitimate developments, and not corruptions, we may expect from the force of logic to find instances of them in the first centuries. And this I conceive to be the case: the records indeed of those times are scanty, and we have little means of determining what daily Christian life then was: we know little of the thoughts, and the prayers, and the meditations, and the discourses of the early disciples of Christ, at a time when these professed developments were not recognized and duly located in the theological system; yet it appears, even from what remains, that the atmosphere of the Church was, as it were, charged with them from the first, and delivered itself of them from time to time, in this way or that, in various places and persons, as occasion elicited them, testifying the presence of a vast body of thought within it, which one day would take shape and position.
§ 1. _Resurrection and Relics._
As a chief specimen of what I am pointing out, I will direct attention to a characteristic principle of Christianity, whether in the East or in the West, which is at present both a special stumbling-block and a subject of scoffing with Protestants and free-thinkers of every shade and colour: I mean the devotions which both Greeks and Latins show towards bones, blood, the heart, the hair, bits of clothes, scapulars, cords, medals, beads, and the like, and the miraculous powers which they often ascribe to them. Now, the principle from which these beliefs and usages proceed is the doctrine that Matter is susceptible of grace, or capable of a union with a Divine Presence and influence. This principle, as we shall see, was in the first age both energetically manifested and variously developed; and that chiefly in consequence of the diametrically opposite doctrine of the schools and the religions of the day. And thus its exhibition in that primitive age becomes also an instance of a statement often made in controversy, that the profession and the developments of a doctrine are according to the emergency of the time, and that silence at a certain period implies, not that it was not then held, but that it was not questioned.
Christianity began by considering Matter as a creature of God, and in itself "very good." It taught that Matter, as well as Spirit, had become corrupt, in the instance of Adam; and it contemplated its recovery. It taught that the Highest had taken a portion of that corrupt mass upon Himself, in order to the sanctification of the whole; that, as a firstfruits of His purpose, He had purified from all sin that very portion of it which He took into His Eternal Person, and thereunto had taken it from a Virgin Womb, which He had filled with the abundance of His Spirit. Moreover, it taught that during His earthly sojourn He had been subject to the natural infirmities of man, and had suffered from those ills to which flesh is heir. It taught that the Highest had in that flesh died on the Cross, and that His blood had an expiatory power; moreover, that He had risen again in that flesh, and had carried that flesh with Him into heaven, and that from that flesh, glorified and deified in Him, He never would be divided. As a first consequence of these awful doctrines comes that of the resurrection of the bodies of His Saints, and of their future glorification with Him; next, that of the sanctity of their relics; further, that of the merit of Virginity; and, lastly, that of the prerogatives of Mary, Mother of God. All these doctrines are more or less developed in the Ante-nicene period, though in very various degrees, from the nature of the case.
And they were all objects of offence or of scorn to philosophers, priests, or populace of the day. With varieties of opinions which need not be mentioned, it was a fundamental doctrine in the schools, whether Greek or Oriental, that Matter was essentially evil. It had not been created by the Supreme God; it was in eternal enmity with Him; it was the source of all pollution; and it was irreclaimable. Such was the doctrine of Platonist, Gnostic, and Manichee:--whereas then St. John had laid it down that "every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is the spirit of Antichrist:" the Gnostics obstinately denied the Incarnation, and held that Christ was but a phantom, or had come on the man Jesus at his baptism, and left him at his passion. The one great topic of preaching with Apostles and Evangelists was the Resurrection of Christ and of all mankind after Him; but when the philosophers of Athens heard St. Paul, "some mocked," and others contemptuously put aside the doctrine. The birth from a Virgin implied, not only that the body was not intrinsically evil, but that one state of it was holier than another, and St. Paul explained that, while marriage was good, celibacy was better; but the Gnostics, holding the utter malignity of Matter, one and all condemned marriage as sinful, and, whether they observed continence or not, or abstained from eating flesh or not, maintained that all functions of our animal nature were evil and abominable.
"Perish the thought," says Manes, "that our Lord Jesus Christ should have descended through the womb of a woman." "He descended," says Marcion, "but without touching her or taking aught from her." "Through her, not of her," said another. "It is absurd to assert," says a disciple of Bardesanes, "that this flesh in which we are imprisoned shall rise again, for it is well called a burden, a tomb, and a chain." "They execrate the funeral-pile," says Cæcilius, speaking of Christians, "as if bodies, though withdrawn from the flames, did not all resolve into dust by years, whether beasts tear, or sea swallows, or earth covers, or flame wastes." According to the old Paganism, both the educated and vulgar held corpses and sepulchres in aversion. They quickly rid themselves of the remains even of their friends, thinking their presence a pollution, and felt the same terror even of burying-places which assails the ignorant and superstitious now. It is recorded of Hannibal that, on his return to the African coast from Italy, he changed his landing-place to avoid a ruined sepulchre. "May the god who passes between heaven and hell," says Apuleius in his _Apology_, "present to thy eyes, O Emilian, all that haunts the night, all that alarms in burying-places, all that terrifies in tombs." George of Cappadocia could not direct a more bitter taunt against the Alexandrian Pagans than to call the temple of Serapis a sepulchre. The case had been the same even among the Jews; the Rabbins taught, that even the corpses of holy men "did but serve to diffuse infection and defilement." "When deaths were Judaical," says the writer who goes under the name of St. Basil, "corpses were an abomination; when death is for Christ, the relics of Saints are precious. It was anciently said to the Priests and the Nazarites, 'If any one shall touch a corpse, he shall be unclean till evening, and he shall wash his garment;' now, on the contrary, if any one shall touch a Martyr's bones, by reason of the grace dwelling in the body, he receives some participation of his sanctity."[404:1] Nay, Christianity taught a reverence for the bodies even of heathen. The care of the dead is one of the praises which, as we have seen above, is extorted in their favour from the Emperor Julian; and it was exemplified during the mortality which spread through the Roman world in the time of St. Cyprian. "They did good," says Pontius of the Christians of Carthage, "in the profusion of exuberant works to all, and not only to the household of faith. They did somewhat more than is recorded of the incomparable benevolence of Tobias. The slain of the king and the outcasts, whom Tobias gathered together, were of his own kin only."[404:2]
Far more of course than such general reverence was the honour that they showed to the bodies of the Saints. They ascribed virtue to their martyred tabernacles, and treasured, as something supernatural, their blood, their ashes, and their bones. When St. Cyprian was beheaded, his brethren brought napkins to soak up his blood. "Only the harder portion of the holy relics remained," say the Acts of St. Ignatius, who was exposed to the beasts in the amphitheatre, "which were conveyed to Antioch, and deposited in linen, bequeathed, by the grace that was in the Martyr, to that holy Church as a priceless treasure." The Jews attempted to deprive the brethren of St. Polycarp's body, "lest, leaving the Crucified, they begin to worship him," say his Acts; "ignorant," they continue, "that we can never leave Christ;" and they add, "We, having taken up his bones which were more costly than precious stones, and refined more than gold, deposited them where was fitting; and there when we meet together, as we can, the Lord will grant us to celebrate with joy and gladness the birthday of his martyrdom." On one occasion in Palestine, the Imperial authorities disinterred the bodies and cast them into the sea, "lest as their opinion went," says Eusebius, "there should be those who in their sepulchres and monuments might think them gods, and treat them with divine worship."
Julian, who had been a Christian, and knew the Christian history more intimately than a mere infidel would know it, traces the superstition, as he considers it, to the very lifetime of St. John, that is, as early as there were Martyrs to honour; makes the honour paid them contemporaneous with the worship paid to our Lord, and equally distinct and formal; and, moreover, declares that first it was secret, which for various reasons it was likely to have been. "Neither Paul," he says, "nor Matthew, nor Luke, nor Mark, dared to call Jesus God; but honest John, having perceived that a great multitude had been caught by this disease in many of the Greek and Italian cities, and hearing, I suppose, that the monuments of Peter and Paul were, secretly indeed, but still hearing that they were honoured, first dared to say it." "Who can feel fitting abomination?" he says elsewhere; "you have filled all places with tombs and monuments, though it has been nowhere told you to tumble down at tombs or to honour them. . . . . If Jesus said that they were full of uncleanness, why do ye invoke God at them?" The tone of Faustus the Manichæan is the same. "Ye have turned," he says to St. Augustine, "the idols" of the heathen "into your Martyrs, whom ye honour (_colitis_) with similar prayers (_votis_)."[406:1]
It is remarkable that the attention of both Christians and their opponents turned from the relics of the Martyrs to their persons. Basilides at least, who was founder of one of the most impious Gnostic sects, spoke of them with disrespect; he considered that their sufferings were the penalty of secret sins or evil desires, or transgressions committed in another body, and a sign of divine favour only because they were allowed to connect them with the cause of Christ.[406:2] On the other hand, it was the doctrine of the Church that Martyrdom was meritorious, that it had a certain supernatural efficacy in it, and that the blood of the Saints received from the grace of the One Redeemer a certain expiatory power. Martyrdom stood in the place of Baptism, where the Sacrament had not been administered. It exempted the soul from all preparatory waiting, and gained its immediate admittance into glory. "All crimes are pardoned for the sake of this work," says Tertullian.
And in proportion to the near approach of the martyrs to their Almighty Judge, was their high dignity and power. St. Dionysius speaks of their reigning with Christ; Origen even conjectures that "as we are redeemed by the precious blood of Jesus, so some are redeemed by the precious blood of the Martyrs." St. Cyprian seems to explain his meaning when he says, "We believe that the merits of Martyrs and the works of the just avail much with the Judge," that is, for those who were lapsed, "when, after the end of this age and the world, Christ's people shall stand before His judgment-seat." Accordingly they were considered to intercede for the Church militant in their state of glory, and for individuals whom they had known. St. Potamiæna of Alexandria, in the first years of the third century, when taken out for execution, promised to obtain after her departure the salvation of the officer who led her out; and did appear to him, according to Eusebius, on the third day, and prophesied his own speedy martyrdom. And St. Theodosia in Palestine came to certain confessors who were in bonds, "to request them," as Eusebius tells us, "to remember her when they came to the Lord's Presence." Tertullian, when a Montanist, betrays the existence of the doctrine in the Catholic body by protesting against it.[407:1]
§ 2. _The Virgin Life._
Next to the prerogatives of bodily suffering or Martyrdom came, in the estimation of the early Church, the prerogatives of bodily, as well as moral, purity or Virginity; another form of the general principle which I am here illustrating. "The first reward," says St. Cyprian to the Virgins, "is for the Martyrs an hundredfold; the second, sixtyfold, is for yourselves."[407:2] Their state and its merit is recognized by a _consensus_ of the Ante-nicene writers; of whom Athenagoras distinctly connects Virginity with the privilege of divine communion: "You will find many of our people," he says to the Emperor Marcus, "both men and women, grown old in their single state, in hope thereby of a closer union with God."[408:1]
Among the numerous authorities which might be cited, I will confine myself to a work, elaborate in itself, and important from its author. St. Methodius was a Bishop and Martyr of the latter years of the Ante-nicene period, and is celebrated as the most variously endowed divine of his day. His learning, elegance in composition, and eloquence, are all commemorated.[408:2] The work in question, the _Convivium Virginum_, is a conference in which ten Virgins successively take part, in praise of the state of life to which they have themselves been specially called. I do not wish to deny that there are portions of it which strangely grate upon the feelings of an age, which is formed on principles of which marriage is the centre. But here we are concerned with its doctrine. Of the speakers in this Colloquy, three at least are real persons prior to St. Methodius's time; of these Thecla, whom tradition associates with St. Paul, is one, and Marcella, who in the Roman Breviary is considered to be St. Martha's servant, and who is said to have been the woman who exclaimed, "Blessed is the womb that bare Thee," &c., is described as a still older servant of Christ. The latter opens the discourse, and her subject is the gradual development of the doctrine of Virginity in the Divine Dispensations; Theophila, who follows, enlarges on the sanctity of Matrimony, with which the special glory of the higher state does not interfere; Thalia discourses on the mystical union which exists between Christ and His Church, and on the seventh chapter of the first Epistle to the Corinthians; Theopatra on the merit of Virginity; Thallusa exhorts to a watchful guardianship of the gift; Agatha shows the necessity of other virtues and good works, in order to the real praise of their peculiar profession; Procilla extols Virginity as the special instrument of becoming a spouse of Christ; Thecla treats of it as the great combatant in the warfare between heaven and hell, good and evil; Tysiana with reference to the Resurrection; and Domnina allegorizes Jothan's parable in Judges ix. Virtue, who has been introduced as the principal personage in the representation from the first, closes the discussion with an exhortation to inward purity, and they answer her by an hymn to our Lord as the Spouse of His Saints.
It is observable that St. Methodius plainly speaks of the profession of Virginity as a vow. "I will explain," says one of his speakers, "how we are dedicated to the Lord. What is enacted in the Book of Numbers, 'to vow a vow mightily,' shows what I am insisting on at great length, that Chastity is a mighty vow beyond all vows."[409:1] This language is not peculiar to St. Methodius among the Ante-nicene Fathers. "Let such as promise Virginity and break their profession be ranked among digamists," says the Council of Ancyra in the beginning of the fourth century. Tertullian speaks of being "married to Christ," and marriage implies a vow; he proceeds, "to Him thou hast pledged (_sponsasti_) thy ripeness of age;" and before he had expressly spoken of the _continentiæ votum_. Origen speaks of "devoting one's body to God" in chastity; and St. Cyprian "of Christ's Virgin, dedicated to Him and destined for His sanctity," and elsewhere of "members dedicated to Christ, and for ever devoted by virtuous chastity to the praise of continence;" and Eusebius of those "who had consecrated themselves body and soul to a pure and all-holy life."[410:1]
§ 3. _Cultus of Saints and Angels._
The Spanish Church supplies us with an anticipation of the later devotions to Saints and Angels. The Canons are extant of a Council of Illiberis, held shortly before the Council of Nicæa, and representative of course of the doctrine of the third century. Among these occurs the following: "It is decreed, that pictures ought not to be in church, lest what is worshipped or adored be painted on the walls."[410:2] Now these words are commonly taken to be decisive against the use of pictures in the Spanish Church at that era. Let us grant it; let us grant that the use of all pictures is forbidden, pictures not only of our Lord, and sacred emblems, as of the Lamb and the Dove, but pictures of Angels and Saints also. It is not fair to restrict the words, nor are controversialists found desirous of doing so; they take them to include the images of the Saints. "For keeping of pictures out of the Church, the Canon of the Eliberine or Illiberitine Council, held in Spain, about the time of Constantine the Great, is most plain,"[410:3] says Ussher: he is speaking of "the representations of God and of Christ, and of Angels and of Saints."[410:4] "The Council of Eliberis is very ancient, and of great fame," says Taylor, "in which it is expressly forbidden that what is worshipped should be depicted on the walls, and that therefore pictures ought not to be in churches."[411:1] He too is speaking of the Saints. I repeat, let us grant this freely. This inference then seems to be undeniable, that the Spanish Church considered the Saints to be in the number of objects either of "worship or adoration;" for it is of such objects that the representations are forbidden. The very drift of the prohibition is this,--_lest_ what is in itself an object of worship (_quod colitur_) should be worshipped _in painting_; unless then Saints and Angels were objects of worship, their pictures would have been allowed.
This mention of Angels leads me to a memorable passage about the honour due to them in Justin Martyr.
St. Justin, after "answering the charge of Atheism," as Dr. Burton says, "which was brought against Christians of his day, and observing that they were punished for not worshipping evil demons which were not really gods," continues, "But Him, (God,) and the Son who came from Him, and taught us these things, and the host of the other good Angels who follow and resemble Him, and the prophetic Spirit, we worship and adore, paying them a reasonable and true honour, and not grudging to deliver to any one, who wishes to learn, as we ourselves have been taught."[411:2]
A more express testimony to the _cultus Angelorum_ cannot be required; nor is it unnatural in the connexion in which it occurs, considering St. Justin has been speaking of the heathen worship of demons, and therefore would be led without effort to mention, not only the incommunicable adoration paid to the One God, who "will not give His glory to another," but such inferior honour as may be paid to creatures, without sin on the side whether of giver or receiver. Nor is the construction of the original Greek harsher than is found in other authors; nor need it surprise us in one whose style is not accurate, that two words should be used in combination to express worship, and that one should include Angels, and that the other should not.
The following is Dr. Burton's account of the passage:
"Scultetus, a Protestant divine of Heidelberg, in his _Medulla Theologiæ Patrum_, which appeared in 1605, gave a totally different meaning to the passage; and instead of connecting '_the host_' with '_we worship_,' connected it with '_taught us_.' The words would then be rendered thus: 'But Him, and the Son who came from Him, who also gave us instructions concerning these things, and concerning the host of the other good angels we worship,' &c. This interpretation is adopted and defended at some length by Bishop Bull, and by Stephen Le Moyne; and even the Benedictine Le Nourry supposed Justin to mean that Christ had taught us not to worship the bad angels, as well as the existence of good angels. Grabe, in his edition of 'Justin's Apology,' which was printed in 1703, adopted another interpretation, which had been before proposed by Le Moyne and by Cave. This also connects '_the host_' with '_taught_,' and would require us to render the passage thus: '. . . and the Son who came from Him, who also taught these things to us, and to the host of the other Angels,' &c. It might be thought that Langus, who published a Latin translation of Justin in 1565, meant to adopt one of these interpretations, or at least to connect '_host_' with '_taught these things_.' Both of them certainly are ingenious, and are not perhaps opposed to the literal construction of the Greek words; but I cannot say that they are satisfactory, or that I am surprised at Roman Catholic writers describing them as forced and violent attempts to evade a difficulty. If the words enclosed in brackets were removed, the whole passage would certainly contain a strong argument in favour of the Trinity; but as they now stand, Roman Catholic writers will naturally quote them as supporting the worship of Angels.
"There is, however, this difficulty in such a construction of the passage: it proves too much. By coupling the Angels with the three persons of the Trinity, as objects of religious adoration, it seems to go beyond even what Roman Catholics themselves would maintain concerning the worship of Angels. Their well-known distinction between _latria_ and _dulia_ would be entirely confounded; and the difficulty felt by the Benedictine editor appears to have been as great, as his attempt to explain it is unsuccessful, when he wrote as follows: 'Our adversaries in vain object the twofold expression, _we worship and adore_. For the former is applied to Angels themselves, regard being had to the distinction between the creature and the Creator; the latter by no means necessarily includes the Angels.' This sentence requires concessions, which no opponent could be expected to make; and if one of the two terms, _we worship_ and _adore_, may be applied to Angels, it is unreasonable to contend that the other must not also. Perhaps, however, the passage may be explained so as to admit a distinction of this kind. The interpretations of Scultetus and Grabe have not found many advocates; and upon the whole I should be inclined to conclude, that the clause, which relates to the Angels, is connected particularly with the words, '_paying them a reasonable and true honour_.'"[414:1]
Two violent alterations of the text have also been proposed: one to transfer the clause which creates the difficulty, after the words _paying them honour_; the other to substitute στρατηγὸν (_commander_) for στρατὸν (_host_).
Presently Dr. Burton continues:--"Justin, as I observed, is defending the Christians from the charge of Atheism; and after saying that the gods, whom they refused to worship, were no gods, but evil demons, he points out what were the Beings who were worshipped by the Christians. He names the true God, who is the source of all virtue; the Son, who proceeded from Him; the good and ministering spirits; and the Holy Ghost. To these Beings, he says, we pay all the worship, adoration, and honour, which is due to each of them; _i. e._ worship where worship is due, honour where honour is due. The Christians were accused of worshipping no gods, that is, of acknowledging no superior beings at all. Justin shows that so far was this from being true, that they acknowledged more than one order of spiritual Beings; they offered divine worship to the true God, and they also believed in the existence of good spirits, which were entitled to honour and respect. If the reader will view the passage as a whole, he will perhaps see that there is nothing violent in thus restricting the words _worship and adore_, and _honouring_, to certain parts of it respectively. It may seem strange that Justin should mention the ministering spirits before the Holy Ghost: but this is a difficulty which presses upon the Roman Catholics as much as upon ourselves; and we may perhaps adopt the explanation of the Bishop of Lincoln,[414:2] who says, 'I have sometimes thought that in this passage, "_and the host_," is equivalent to "_with the host_," and that Justin had in his mind the glorified state of Christ, when He should come to judge the world, surrounded by the host of heaven.' The bishop then brings several passages from Justin, where the Son of God is spoken of as attended by a company of Angels; and if this idea was then in Justin's mind, it might account for his naming the ministering spirits immediately after the Son of God, rather than after the Holy Ghost, which would have been the natural and proper order."[415:1]
This passage of St. Justin is the more remarkable, because it cannot be denied that there was a worship of the Angels at that day, of which St. Paul speaks, which was Jewish and Gnostic, and utterly reprobated by the Church.
§ 4. _Office of the Blessed Virgin._
The special prerogatives of St. Mary, the _Virgo Virginum_, are intimately involved in the doctrine of the Incarnation itself, with which these remarks began, and have already been dwelt upon above. As is well known, they were not fully recognized in the Catholic ritual till a late date, but they were not a new thing in the Church, or strange to her earlier teachers. St. Justin, St. Irenæus, and others, had distinctly laid it down, that she not only had an office, but bore a part, and was a voluntary agent, in the actual process of redemption, as Eve had been instrumental and responsible in Adam's fall. They taught that, as the first woman might have foiled the Tempter and did not, so, if Mary had been disobedient or unbelieving on Gabriel's message, the Divine Economy would have been frustrated. And certainly the parallel between "the Mother of all living" and the Mother of the Redeemer may be gathered from a comparison of the first chapters of Scripture with the last. It was noticed in a former place, that the only passage where the serpent is directly identified with the evil spirit occurs in the twelfth chapter of the Revelation; now it is observable that the recognition, when made, is found in the course of a vision of a "woman clothed with the sun and the moon under her feet:" thus two women are brought into contrast with each other. Moreover, as it is said in the Apocalypse, "The dragon was wroth with the woman, and went about to make war with the remnant of her seed," so is it prophesied in Genesis, "I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her Seed. He shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise His heel." Also the enmity was to exist, not only between the Serpent and the Seed of the woman, but between the serpent and the woman herself; and here too there is a correspondence in the Apocalyptic vision. If then there is reason for thinking that this mystery at the close of the Scripture record answers to the mystery in the beginning of it, and that "the Woman" mentioned in both passages is one and the same, then she can be none other than St. Mary, thus introduced prophetically to our notice immediately on the transgression of Eve.
Here, however, we are not so much concerned to interpret Scripture as to examine the Fathers. Thus St. Justin says, "Eve, being a virgin and incorrupt, having conceived the word from the Serpent, bore disobedience and death; but Mary the Virgin, receiving faith and joy, when Gabriel the Angel evangelized her, answered, 'Be it unto me according to thy word.'"[416:1] And Tertullian says that, whereas Eve believed the Serpent, and Mary believed Gabriel, "the fault of Eve in believing, Mary by believing hath blotted out."[416:2] St. Irenæus speaks more explicitly: "As Eve," he says . . . "becoming disobedient, became the cause of death to herself and to all mankind, so Mary too, having the predestined Man, and yet a Virgin, being obedient, became cause of salvation both to herself and to all mankind."[417:1] This becomes the received doctrine in the Post-nicene Church.
One well-known instance occurs in the history of the third century of St. Mary's interposition, and it is remarkable from the names of the two persons, who were, one the subject, the other the historian of it. St. Gregory Nyssen, a native of Cappadocia in the fourth century, relates that his name-sake Bishop of Neo-cæsarea, surnamed Thaumaturgus, in the preceding century, shortly before he was called to the priesthood, received in a vision a Creed, which is still extant, from the Blessed Virgin at the hands of St. John. The account runs thus: He was deeply pondering theological doctrine, which the heretics of the day depraved. "In such thoughts," says his name-sake of Nyssa, "he was passing the night, when one appeared, as if in human form, aged in appearance, saintly in the fashion of his garments, and very venerable both in grace of countenance and general mien. . . . Following with his eyes his extended hand, he saw another appearance opposite to the former, in shape of a woman, but more than human. . . . When his eyes could not bear the apparition, he heard them conversing together on the subject of his doubts; and thereby not only gained a true knowledge of the faith, but learned their names, as they addressed each other by their respective appellations. And thus he is said to have heard the person in woman's shape bid 'John the Evangelist' disclose to the young man the mystery of godliness; and he answered that he was ready to comply in this matter with the wish of 'the Mother of the Lord,' and enunciated a formulary, well-turned and complete, and so vanished."
Gregory proceeds to rehearse the Creed thus given, "There is One God, Father of a Living Word," &c.[418:1] Bull, after quoting it in his work upon the Nicene Faith, refers to this history of its origin, and adds, "No one should think it incredible that such a providence should befall a man whose whole life was conspicuous for revelations and miracles, as all ecclesiastical writers who have mentioned him (and who has not?) witness with one voice."[418:2]
It is remarkable that St. Gregory Nazianzen relates an instance, even more pointed, of St. Mary's intercession, contemporaneous with this appearance to Thaumaturgus; but it is attended with mistake in the narrative, which weakens its cogency as an evidence of the belief, not indeed of the fourth century, in which St. Gregory lived, but of the third. He speaks of a Christian woman having recourse to the protection of St. Mary, and obtaining the conversion of a heathen who had attempted to practise on her by magical arts. They were both martyred.
In both these instances the Blessed Virgin appears especially in that character of Patroness or Paraclete, which St. Irenæus and other Fathers describe, and which the Medieval Church exhibits,--a loving Mother with clients.
[404:1] Act. Arch. p. 85. Athan. c. Apoll. ii. 3.--Adam. Dial. iii. init. Minuc. Dial. 11. Apul. Apol. p. 535. Kortholt. Cal. p. 63. Calmet, Dict. t. 2, p. 736. Basil in Ps. 115, 4.
[404:2] Vit. S. Cypr. 10.
[406:1] Act. Procons. 5. Ruinart, Act. Mart. pp. 22, 44. Euseb. Hist. viii. 6. Julian, ap. Cyr. pp. 327, 335. August. c. Faust. xx. 4.
[406:2] Clem. Strom. iv. 12.
[407:1] Tertull. Apol. fin. Euseb. Hist. vi. 42. Orig. ad Martyr. 50. Ruinart, Act. Mart. pp. 122, 323.
[407:2] De Hab. Virg. 12.
[408:1] Athenag. Leg. 33.
[408:2] Lumper, Hist. t. 13, p. 439.
[409:1] Galland. t. 3, p. 670.
[410:1] Routh, Reliqu. t. 3, p. 414. Tertull. de Virg. Vel. 16 and 11. Orig. in Num. Hom. 24, 2. Cyprian. Ep. 4, p. 8, ed. Fell. Ep. 62, p. 147. Euseb. V. Const. iv. 26.
[410:2] Placuit picturas in ecclesiâ esse non debere, ne quod colitur aut adoratur, in parietibus depingatur. Can. 36.
[410:3] Answ. to a Jes. 10, p. 437.
[410:4] P. 430. The "colitur _aut_ adoratur" marks a difference of worship.
[411:1] Dissuasive, i. 1, 8.
[411:2] Ἐκεῖνον τε, καὶ τὸν παρ' αὐτοῦ υἱὸν ἐλθόντα καὶ διδάξαντα ἡμᾶς ταῦτα, [καὶ τὸν τῶν ἄλλων ἑπομένων καὶ ἐξομοιουμένων ἀγαθῶν ἀγγέλων στρατὸν,] πνεῦμα τε τὸ προφητικὸν σεβόμεθα καὶ προσκυνοῦμεν, λόγῳ καὶ ἀληθείᾳ τιμῶντες καὶ παντὶ βουλομένῳ μαθεῖν, ὡς ἐδιδαχθημεν, ἀφθόνως παραδιδόντες.--_Apol._ i. 6. The passage is parallel to the Prayer in the Breviary: "Sacrosanctæ et individuæ Trinitati, Crucifixi Domini nostri Jesu Christi humanitati, beatissimæ et gloriosissimæ semperque Virginis Mariæ fœcundæ integritati, et omnium Sanctorum universitati, sit sempiterna laus, honor, virtus, et gloria ab omni creaturâ," &c.
[414:1] Test. Trin. pp. 16, 17, 18.
[414:2] Dr. Kaye.
[415:1] Pp. 19-21.
[416:1] Tryph. 100.
[416:2] Carn. Christ. 17.
[417:1] Hær. iii. 22, § 4.
[418:1] Nyss. Opp. t. ii. p. 977.
[418:2] Def. F. N. ii. 12.
Chapter 11: Application of the Sixth Note of a True Development
An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine - Part 1: Doctrinal Developments Viewed in Themselves
Chapter 1: On the Development of Ideas
Chapter 2: On the Antecedent Argument in Behalf of Developments in Christian Doctrine
Chapter 3: On the Historical Argument in Behalf of the Existing Developments
Chapter 4: Instances in Illustration
An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine - Part 2: Doctrinal Developments Viewed Relatively to Doctrinal Corruptions
Chapter 5: Genuine Developments Contrasted with Corruptions
Chapter 6: Application of the Seven Notes to the Existing Developments of Christian Doctrine
Chapter 7: Application of the Second Note of a True Development
Chapter 8: Application of the Third Note of a True Development
Chapter 9: Application of the Fourth Note of a True Development
Chapter 10: Application of the Fifth Note of a True Development
Chapter 11: Application of the Sixth Note of a True Development
Chapter 12: Application of the Seventh Note of a True Development
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