C. Dodgson, Tertullian Vol. 1. Apologetic and Practical Treatises. (1842). pp.107-130. Notes A, B, C, D
Note A - use of blood as food; Note B - images in churches; Note C - Purgatory; Note D - The Millennium
|Apostolic decree. Acts xv, binding upon later times. 107
108 Things strangled----African deviation sanctions the principle.
Apostolic decree obeyed very long in West; in the East until now. 109
110 Principles of early Christians on image-worship.
Scanty traces of pictures in four first centuries. 111
112 Pictures, when introduced, of histories, not of individuals.
Mistaken evidence----contrast of genuine and spurious works. 113
114 Irrelevance of illustrations urged in defence of image-worship;
not so used by Fathers; would prove worship not merely relative. 115
116 Intermediate state held by the Fathers as distinct from Heaven;
state of rest and joy; being with Christ; yet short of Heaven, 117
118 presence of angels; sight of God; where Paradise is, unknown;
in Ades, or in Heaven; change, in doctrine at Florence. 119
120 Bliss of martyrs; not yet perfect.
Doctrine of Millennium traditionary, rests not on Papias; 121
122 preparation to receive God: parable cited Eucharistic;
nothing earthly looked for: agreement of Justin Martyr. 123
124 Doctrine held by Melito;
by great majority in three first centuries----Tertullian. 125
126 Doctrine first opposed by Origen, as adhering to the letter.
exaggerated form of doctrine in Egypt opposed by Dionysius. 127
128 Doctrine popular in time of S. Jerome; held once by S. Augustine.
Form of doctrine held unobjectionable by S. Augustine. 129
130 Difficulties of the question----modesty due either way.
Note A, p. 23. chap. ix.
THE use of blood as food, is spoken of as prohibited to Christians, in all Churches, from the earliest to the latest times. The early authorities are, Ep. Lugd. et Vienn. l. c. Clem. Paedag. iii. 3. fin. Strom. iv. 15. Tert. here and de Monogam. c. 5. Orig. c. Cels. viii. 30. p. 763. ed. de la Rue in Num. Hom. 16. v. fin. p. 334. Can. Ap. 63. Minut. F. p. 300. Cyril Jer. iv. 28. xvii. 29. S. Ambrose, (apparently) in Ps. 118. Serm. 13. §. 6. Gaudentius (de Maccab. Tr. 15. Bibl. Patr. Max. t. v. p. 967.) Ambrosiaster (ad Gal. ii. 3.) even while arguing against the Greeks, as if tw~n pniktw~n had been interpolated by them, "it having," he says, "been already expressed," [i. e. things strangled were virtually comprised in the prohibition of blood; quia jam supra dictum erat, quod addiderunt.] Jerome (in Ezek. xliv. 31. which, he says, "according to the letter, is properly referred to all Christians, as being a royal priesthood," and that "the letter of the Apostles from Jerusalem directs" that these things "are of necessity to be observed," et quae necessario observanda... .monet) the Author of the Quaestt. et Respons. ad Orthod. qu. 145. Vigilius Taps. (A. D. 484.) employs the text (Acts xv.) as a proof of the Divinity of the Holy Spirit, "the Holy Spirit having promulgated these things, all the Churches of Christ have kept them," whereas "no created thing had been allowed to give law to the world," (de Trin. 1. xii. fin.) S. Chrysostom (Hom. 33. in Actt. §. 3.) says the Apostles "shew that it was no matter of condescension to infirmity (sugkataba&sewj), nor because they spared them as weak, but the contrary; for these had a great reverence for their teachers; but that that [i. e. all beside] was a superfluous [as opposed to a necessary] burthen."
Of Councils, that of Gangra (A. D. 364.) seems to assume that it is not used, Can. 2. "If any condemn one who with reverence and faith eats flesh, save blood and things offered to idols and strangled," (Conc. t. ii. p. 496. ed. Reg.) In the second Council of Orleans (A. D. 533.) Catholics are excommunicated, "who should use food offered to idols, or feed on what had been slain by beasts, or died of any disease or accident." Can. 20. (Conc. t. xi. p. 164.) The Council of Trullo, (Quini-Sext.) A. D. 692. Can. 67. rehearses, "Divine Scripture hath commanded to abstain from blood, and strangled, and fornication, wherefore we punish proportionably |108 those who for appetite's sake, by any act prepare the blood of any anima] whatsoever, so as to be eatable. If then henceforth any essay to eat the blood of an animal in any way soever, if a clerk, let him be deposed, if lay, excommunicated." Balsamon (ad Can. 67. p. 444.) notes that this Canon was directed against such as maintained that they observed the injunction of Holy Scripture in that they did not eat mere blood, but food prepared of other things with it; against which he says the Novell. 58. of the Emperor Leo, the philosopher, (A.D. 886.) was also directed, severely punishing all such.
"Things strangled" are either mentioned with blood, (as in Clem. Strom. l. c. Orig. c. Cels. l. c. Minut. F. l. c. Cyril J. l. c. &c. or are counted as included in it, as in Ambrosiaster l. c. and Aug. c. Faust. 32. 13. " ' and from blood,' i. e. that they should not eat any flesh, the blood whereof was not poured out." There would however be the difference, that blood was forbidden by a law antecedent to the Mosaic (which ground is given in the Const. Ap. vi. 22.) and it may have an inherent sacredness, or there may be an inherent impropriety in eating it. Some distinction, accordingly, seems to be made; as when S. Augustine, controverting Faustus, maintains the Apostolic decree to be temporary only, and appeals to the practice of Christians, he instances "things strangled" only, and of these the smaller animals, in which the blood would not be perceptible. "Who among Christians now observes this, as not to touch thrushes, or other birds however small, (minutiores aviculas,) unless their blood had been poured out, or a hare, had it been struck on the back of the neck with the hand, not killed so as to let out blood?" (l. c.) S. Augustine's principles go further, but he seems to have been restrained by a sort of instinct: the instances, which he gives of the violation of the Apostolic decree, are such as scarcely touch upon the use of "blood;" in which there would be the least possible blood, and that unknown to those who used the food.
In like way, Balsamon (l. c. A. D. 1124.) speaking of the Latin practice as opposed to the Greek, names "things strangled" only. "The Latins eat things strangled as being a matter indifferent."
As to the later practice, in the Eastern Churches, Balsamon notes, "the Adrianopolitans, as I hear, use the blood of animals with some food; else they uniformly abstain." The Canonists, Zonaras, Alexius Aristenus, (A.D. 1166.) Matt. Blastarius, (A.D. 1335.) ap. Beveridg. Pandectae?, Canon, i. 41. 237. agree with Balsamon: Leo Allatius, de Eccl. Or. et Occ, consensu, iii. 14. p. 1167. adds Macarius Hieromonachus, and cites Leo Abp. of Bulgaria, Ep. 1. (A.D. 1051.) Joann. Citrius, (A. D. 1203.): Curcellaeus de esu Sang. c. 13. quotes, "as to the Greeks, Nilus, Abp. of Thessalonica (A.D. 1360.) de primatu papae; on the Muscovites and Russians, Herberstein; on the Abyssinians, a Gorr, de Mor. Aeth.; on the Maronites of Syria, Brerewood de divers. Ling. et Relig. The practice of the Aethiopians is attested by Scaliger, de Emend. Temp. 1. vii. p. 683. (quoted by Bev.)
In the West, it is noticed that Zacharia, Bishop of Rome, (A.D. 741.) in a letter to Boniface, the Abp. of Germany, (Conc. t. xvii. p. 413.) forbids several animals, probably on the ground of their being things strangled. |109 Humbert, Cardinal under Leo IX. (A. D. 1054.) in answering the charge of the Greeks, that they ate "things strangled," limits the defence to cases of necessity. "Nor, so saying, do we claim to ourselves, against you, the use of blood and things strangled. For, diligently following the ancient practice or tradition of our ancestors, we also abhor these things, so that a heavy penance is, among us, from time to time, imposed upon such as, without extreme risk of this life, eat blood, or any thing which hath died of itself, or been strangled in water, or by any carelessness of man; chiefly, because, in things not against the faith, we deem ancient customs, and the traditions of ancestors, to be Apostolic rules. For as to the rest, which die either by hawking, or by dogs or snares, [smaller animals, according to S. Augustine's distinction,] we follow the Apostle's precept, 1 Cor. x. (cont. Graec. Calumn. Bibl. P. t. xviii. p. 403.) In A.D. 1124, Otto, with the sanction of Callistus II. among other rules delivered to the newly converted Pomeranians, ordains "that they should not eat any thing unclean, or which died of itself, or was strangled, or sacrificed to idols, or the blood of animals," (Urspergensis Abbas ap. Baron. A. E. t. xii. p. 156. who adds, "more after the Greek, than the Roman, practice.") The imposition of penance is mentioned in Greg. 3. Can. poenit. c. 30. Bede de Remed. Pecc. 4. (ap. Bev. Vindic. Can. Ap. 63. p. 342. ed Cotel.) the Capitula Theodori, xv-xix. and others there quoted, Poenitentiale Theodori, t. i. p. 26. Richard Wormaciensis, Ep. Decret. l. 19. cap. 85. &c. (ap. Elmenhorst. ad Minut. F. l. c.) and the Concil. Wormac. c. 64, 65. (though not accounted genuine). Beveridge sums up the account, "so that what is sanctioned by this Canon, the Western Church also very long observed, the Eastern ever," (Cod. Can. Vind. ii. 6.) see further his notes on the Ap. Can.; Curcellaeus, l. c. Leo Allât. l. c. Natalis Alex. H. E. t. i. Diss. xi. Suicer, v. ai]ma Elmenhorst l. c.
The application of this Apostolic injunction, which S. Augustine mentions, to designate the three heaviest sins, murder, adultery, and idolatry, does not exclude the literal sense, as appears from a trace of it in Tertullian himself, (de Pudicit. c. 32.) It occurs also in S. Cyprian Testim. iii. 119. Pacian. Paraen. ad Poenit. init; perhaps in Theophilus Ant. quoted by Mill, ad loc. and in some ap. Pseudo-Eucherium ad loc.
Note B, p. 37.
The same distinct statement of the entire absence of images among the early Christians, and that, as a reproach made against them by the heathen, occurs in Origen, (c. Cels. via. 17.) "after this, Celsus says that we abstain from setting up altars, images, temples." Caecilius ap. Minuc. F. p. 91. "Why have they no altars, no temples, no known images?" Arnobius, 1. vi. "Ye are wont to charge us, as with the greatest impiety, that we neither erect sacred buildings for the offices of worship, or set up the images or likeness of any of the gods, or make altars, &c." Lact. de Mortib. Persec. 12. "an image of God is sought for," (as it is implied, |110 in vain; for had any image been found, the heathen would have thought it to be of God.) The assertions in Tertullian, Origen, and Minucius especially, are too distinct to be evaded; they attest a state of the Church very different from that of modern Rome; so could not men have spoken, had the use of images been such as the Deutero-Nicene Council would have it. The modern Romanist excuse (e. g. Feuardent, ad Iren. Pamel. ad loc.) that the ancient Christians were denying that they employed latria, though they did shew reverence, or that they had images of the dead, inasmuch as the saints were alive, certainly cannot in any way be made to fit to the passages which speak of their having no statues.
Over and above these positive statements of facts, the Benedictine editor of Origen thus sums up the principles of the early Christians. 1. "They held that no image of God was to be made." Clem. Al. Strom, vi. [vii. 5.] Orig. c. Cels. l. c. Minuc. F. p. 313. "Why should I form an image to God, when, if thou thinkest rightly, man himself is the image of God?" Lactantius ii. 2., who also argues like Tertullian, "what avail, lastly, images, which are the monuments either of the dead or the absent? images are superfluous, they [the Gods] being every where present; because they are the images of the dead: they are like the dead; for they are devoid of all sensation." This was continued, as to The Father, Conc. Nic. ii. Actt. 4. 5. 6. and Greg. 2 Ep. ad Leon. Isaur. ap. Petav. 15.14. 1. add Aug. de Fid. et Symb. c. 7. 2. The second commandment extends to Christians. Clem. Al. Strom. vi. [v. 5.] Orig. c. Cels. iv. [v. 6.] vi. [14. vii. 64.] Tert. de Spect. 23. de Idol. 3, 4. [add Cypr. Test. iii. 59.] S. Augustine says, that all the decalogue is binding except as to the sabbath, c. Faust, xv. 4. 7. xix. 18. c. 2 Epp. Pelag. iii. 4.] 3. Painting and sculpture are forbidden to Christians as to Jews. Clem. Al. Protr. [§. 4. p. 18. ed. Sylb.] Orig. c. Cels. iv. [31.] Tertull. de Idol. l. c. c. Hermog. [init.] 4. They blamed the Encratites for having images of Christ, which they venerated after the manner of the Gentiles. Iren. l. 25. 6. and from him Epiph. Haer. 27. e. 6. Romanists answer, (e. g. Bellarm. de Eccl. Triumph. 1. ii. c. 16. t. i. p. 2143,) that what S. Irenaeus is here blaming, is the using heathenish rites, towards these images and those of the philosophers which they set up with them, as sacrificing, burning incense: (which S. Augustine adds, de Haer. c. 7. "worshipping and burning incense,") S. Irenaeus, however, says nothing of this, but only, "And they crown them, and set them up with the images of the philosophers of the world, and shew other signs of reverence to them, in like way as the Gentiles," and S. Epiphanius expressly singles out for censure, the outward act of reverence, "with whom (the philosophers) they place other images of Jesus, and having set them up, they fall down before them (worship, proskunou~si) and in other ways do after the customs of the heathen." Epiph. (if it be not a gloss) adds "sacrifices" to the account of Irenaeus, but it seems, on a conjecture only; "what are customs of the heathen, but sacrifices and the rest?"
To this statement, however, he subjoins that there was some allowed use of images in the three first centuries, alleging Euseb. vii. 18. Philost. |111 vii. 3. Niceph. vi. 15. Sozom. v. 21. Aug. de Cons. Ev. i. §. 16. Tertull. de Pudic. §. 7. Photius, cod. 271. and the amount of this supposed testimony in favour of their use confirms the argument against it. For that of Eusebius, (followed hy the other Greek historians,) and Photius, relates chiefly to the fact of the statue at Paneas, which Eus. supposes to have been that of our Lord, and set up in gratitude by the Syro-Phoenician woman, "after the heathen manner of honouring deliverers," (e0qnikh~| swth~raj tima~n) so that this has no relation to Christians at all. Modern Romanists, however, (as Bellarm. L c. c. Petav. de Incarn. 15. 13. 4.) lay stress on the fact mentioned by Sozomen, (l. c.) that "when the heathen had insulted it and broken it in pieces, the Christians gathered up the fragments and laid them up in a Church, where they remain to this day." "Whence," Petavius infers, "we see that Christians at that time, so far from disliking images, prized and honoured their very fragments, when broken in pieces by the heathen." Yet since they were persuaded that this statue, though the work of a heathen, was a likeness of their Lord, how could they but lay up the fragments safe from further insult? This is very different from setting it up in a place of worship as an object of reverence. 2. Eusebius mentions that he had learnt (i9storh&samen) that paintings of Paul, Peter, nay, of Christ himself, had been preserved. (The expression implies their rareness and obscurity.) S. Augustine speaks of them, as commonly existing, but with disapprobation; "so did they deserve to err," he says of those imposed upon by Apocryphal books, "who sought for Christ and His Apostles, not in the sacred volumes, but on painted walls." Tertullian speaks of the symbol of the good shepherd on the Eucharistic cup, (c. 7. coll. c. 10.) not of images or statues; hut the use of symbols has ever been recognized among us. This last is the only instance of any sacred use, or any recognized by the Church; and in it there is no question even of the human figure, much less of worship, or of outward obeisance.
The instances adduced by Pamelius on this place, Feuardent on Irenaeus, Bellarmine, 1. ii. c. 10. t. i. p. 2113, are also instructive, as evincing the absence of any genuine testimony. They adduce the story of the image at Paneas, the later fables of the picture of Christ sent to Abgarus, that made by Nicodemus, the picture sent to the king of Persia, the picture of S. Mary, and again of S. Peter and S. Paul, by S. Luke. Their other authorities are not even said to belong to these times. Paulinus in speaking of those with which he had adorned the oratory of S. Felix, finds it necessary to account for having so done, by an unusual practice [raro more] in order to withdraw the rude multitude who assembled thither on the festival, from excess. The introduction of any paintings into Churches may date about his time, the close of the fourth century. The prohibition of them, however, by the Council of Eliberis, at the beginning of the same century, (Can. 38.) implies a disposition to introduce them. That Council prohibits all pictures; "We will not have pictures placed in Churches;" although the reason which they assign only extends (as Romanists argue) to those representing the Holy Trinity, "lest That to which our worship |112 is paid, be seen on the walls." A little earlier than Paullinus, Epiphanius in Palestine, in a Church, which he had entered to pray, with John, Bishop of Jerusalem, destroyed a hanging representing "Christ or some saint;" "abhorring, that contrary to the authority of the Scriptures, the image of a man should be suspended in the Church of Christ." He gave it for a winding sheet for some poor, himself replacing the hanging by one from Cyprus; the only objection made to the action was the loss of the hanging. (Ep. ad Joann. Ep. Hieros. translated by S. Jerome 1, Ep. 51.) Contemporary with Paullinus, S. Augustine denies that Christians had any images in their Churches, (in Ps. 113. §. 6. see below, p. 116.)
Coming then to later times, we find the first sacred use in Churches, not of statues but of pictures, and those not of Martyrs, but of Martyrdoms 2. They are not memorials of individuals, but painted histories of sufferings for Christ's sake, to animate Christians; such as the martyrdom of S. Cassianus, (Prudentius, Perist. ix. 5 sqq. where he says expressly Historiam pictura refert, v. 19.) of S. Hippolytus, (ib. xi. 126,) of S. Felix, (Paullinus Poem. 25. v. 20 sqq.) Barlaam the Martyr, (S. Basil, S. in Barlaam v. fin. if indeed there be any reference of actual painting at all. S. Basil seems rather to be speaking of the hymns of others, who could paint more vividly what he had depicted faintly.) S. Theodorus, (Greg. Nyss. Orat. in Theod. t. iii. p. 579.) S. Euphemia (Asterius ep. 7. Syn. Act. 4, p. 6Î7. quoted by Petav. l. c.) This is the more illustrated by the account of other pictures in Churches; the most common was Abraham sacrificing Isaac, (again a history.) Greg. Nyss. Orat. 44. de Fil. et Sp. Div. t. iii. p. 476, [he is quoted as proving the existence of images of the Passion of Christ, whereas he only says he had seen ei0ko&na tou~ pa&qouj, either a picture of the sufferings of Isaac, or if it relates to the Passion, then it means that offering of Isaac, as a type of the Passion; in neither case, any direct representation of the Passion.] Aug. c. Faust, xxii. 73. ("tot locis pictum.") Or again, the histories of Job, Tobit, Judith, Esther, mentioned by Paullinus, l. c. together with those of the Martyrdoms, and (if genuine) recommended by Nilus, a disciple of S. Chrysostom, 7 Syn. Act. 4, p. 628. ap. Petav. l. c. This difference is important. 1. As shewing the object to be not to set forth the individual, but to instruct by the history. 2. The risk of idolatry is towards the individual saints; a history could not be the object of worship 3. |113 3. The martyrdoms were depicted in no other way, than histories of the O. T. which were never the objects of outward reverence. 4. Pictures also of the living, as well as of the departed, were placed in the Churches, as that of Paullinus himself, with S. Martin, (Epist. 32. ad Severum,) yet since the pictures of the living were not placed to have any sort of worship paid them, so neither those of the departed.
Though it makes no difference in principle, whether there be more or fewer of such instances, it is worth noticing, how eagerly proof has been grasped at, even where there is none, so that we may be the more satisfied that no real proof has been neglected. Thus S. Augustine, (quoted by Petav. l. c. §. 6.) Serm. 2. de S. Steph. is not referring to a picture of S. Stephen, but to his own discourse, in which he tells his hearers, that they had seen, i. e. had set before their eyes, his martyrdom. S. Chrysostom in Encom. Melet. is speaking of engravings on rings, cups, &c. not of Churches; Theodoret, in vit. Symeon, mentions only a report that in Italy the picture of that saint was set over workshops as a safeguard. This fact (strangely enough) is seriously alleged by Bellarm. l. c. ii. 9.
Other mistakes have been more serious, as when Eusebius, de vit. Const. iii. 40, is quoted in proof that images of Christ were set up in Churches, whereas he only says, "that the symbol of the Saving Passion [the Cross] was set up, formed of precious stones, (e0mpeph~xqai to_ tou~ swthri/ou pa&qouj su&mbolon) Or iii. 3, that there were a number of gold and silver images in Constantine's Churches, (Bellarm. l. c. ii. 9.) while he only mentions treasures [sacred utensils] (toi=j e0c a)rgu&rou kai\ xrusou~ keimhli/oij): or Paullinus of the use of the crucifix, where he is distinctly speaking of the cross only,----the ancient symbol of the cross with the crown of thorns over, (coronatam, vers, in Ep. 32. [ol. 12.] ad Sev. §. 12. crucibus minio superpictis, §. 14.
It is remarkable also to contrast the distinct statements of later works, now acknowledged, to, be spurious, with the absence of such statements in the genuine works. Thus in the spurious Ep. to Julian attributed, in the Deutero-Nicene Council, to S.Basil, [Ep. 360,] "whence I honour also and reverence 4 exceedingly the likenesses of their images [the Blessed Virgin's, Apostles, Prophets, and Martyrs,] these having been delivered down from the holy Apostles, and not forbidden, but painted in all our Churches." In the de Visit. Infirm. ii. 3, in S, Augustine's works, is an account of a crucifix; the treatise is spurious, and its author wholly unknown. In the spurious Epistle of S. Ambrose, (de Invent. Gerv. et Protas,) (quoted by Damasc. p. 755, and Petav. l.c.) he is made to speak of a vision of S. Paul, whom he recognized by the likeness to a picture of the Apostle |114 which he had by him; in the genuine Epistle, (Ep, xxii. ad Sororem,) he speaks of a certain presaging glow. In the celebrated passage alleged from S. Gregory, (Ep. ix. 52.) mention is made of a picture of Christ, and of reverence paid to it, and the principle is laid down, "we prostrate not ourselves before it, as before the Divinity, but we worship Him Who is represented in the picture." The passage is certainly spurious, for the letter had already been brought to a close, and, according to the admission of the. Benedictine Editor, it is absent from all MSS. The modern Romanist plea for image worship is strikingly at variance with S. Gregory's sentiments in his genuine works, as in his Epp. to Serenus, Bp. of Marseilles, Epp. ix. 105. xi. 13. He says he had heard that "his brother Serenus, seeing certain worshippers of images, had broken those same images in the Church, and cast them out;----and I praise this, that you were zealous, that nothing made with hands should be worshipped." He then draws the distinction between the use of pictures as means of instructing the unlettered, and the abuse of worshipping them; advises that they be retained to the former end, and care be taken "that the people sin not in worshipping a picture." Gussanville admits candidly that this is somewhat harshly (duriuscule) spoken; another commentator explains it away by reference to the distinction of absolute and relative worship of the images of the saints, (Thorn. 2. 2. qu. 94. art. 2. ad 1mum). Yet the same person would never have used both sorts of language.
On such authorities however, and the then received practice, was the Deutero-Nicene Council determined, in which unhappily the two distinct questions of the lawfulness of pictures in Churches, (which we fully admit,) and the outward reverence to them, were blended together.
Still weaker, if possible, is the evidence of outward reverence; on the cross, see above, p. 37. n. c. but besides this, no one genuine document is quoted in behalf of any sort of outward reverence; the quotations from the genuine works of the Fathers on the head of worship in the Deutero-Nicene Council, relate only to the principle of the honour paid to the type being referred to the prototype, where they are not speaking of images made with hands. Thus S. Ambrose in Ps. 118. Serm. x. §. 25. "God is honoured in good men, His image, as the emperor in his statue; the Gentiles worship wood as the image of God; the image of the invisible God is in that which is unseen," [i. e. the spirits of good men]. In like way S. Augustine de Doctr. Christ, iii. 9. "he who reverences any sign [signum] divinely instituted, venerates not what is seen and transitory, but that whereto they are all referred;" add S. Athanas, 1. iii. c. Ariann. c. 5. where to illustrate how "the Divinity of the Father is seen in the Son," [the Image of the invisible God] he uses the likeness of an Emperor being seen in the image, so that he who sees the image, in it sees the Emperor. "So then he who worships the image, in it worships the king also; for the image is his form and likeness. Since then the Son is the Image of the Father, we must needs understand that the Divinity and Property of the Father is the Being of the Son. And this is the meaning of 'Who being in the Form of God,' and, 'the Father is in Me.' In like way, S. Basil, de Sp. S. c. 18. |115 answers the question, "If the Father be God and the Son God, how are there not two Gods?" "because the image of the king is also called the king, for the power is not severed, nor the glory divided. For as the rule and power which controlleth us is one, so is our glorifying one, and not many. Wherefore the honour to the image passeth to the prototype. What then in the one case the image is by imitation, the Son is in the other by Nature." add Horn. 14. c. Sabell. §. 4. Now it is observable that the very object of these illustrations implies that the reverence is not merely relative, but is paid to the image in itself, only not distinct; as the reverence paid to the Son is not simply relative to the Father. The inversion then of these comparisons proves nothing, unless it could be shewn that as the Son is worshipped in Himself, although with the Father as being One with the Father, so the image made with hands may be worshipped in itself. This also the language of S. Athanasius implies; he says, "worships the king also," the worship then of the image is again nothing merely relative; for had it been so, it had been an unfit illustration. Lastly, to justify the application of these illustrations, used in the Ancient Church, to image-worship, it ought to have been shewn that the Fathers so applied them; for they sanction only the application which they themselves make. But, so applied to a subject wholly foreign to what they had in view, these illustrations would become the very excuses of the Heathen, against which the early Christians argued, and against which they could not have argued, as they did, had they, with the modern Romanists, had an image-worship which they excused in the same way. The heathen excuse in Lactantius, (ii. 2. see also Athenag. §. 18.) "they say, we do. not fear them, (the images,) but those (the gods) after whose likeness they are formed and in whose names they are consecrated," is exactly the same as the distinction of the Pseudo-Gregory (see above), or S. Thomas l. c. "the images of saints may not be worshipped with an absolute though but inferior adoration, but with a relative only may they and ought they to be worshipped." In like way, it is inconceivable that S. Augustine should argue in the way he does (in Ps. 113.) against the images of the heathen, had they been used in Christian worship. He could not have thus nakedly censured arguments so like what Romanists now use. "Holy Scripture guards in other places, that no one, when images were mocked, should say, I worship not this visible thing, but the Deity which invisibly dwelleth there," [S. 2. §. 3.] if the Heathen should have retorted, that so "Christians worshipped not that visible thing, but the Deity, God and man, thereby represented:" or again, (§. 4.) "They deem themselves of apurer religion who say, 'I worship neither image nor daemon; but I gaze on the bodily image of that which I ought to worship.'" Again, both here (§. 5.) and Ep. 102. ad Deogratias, (qu. 3. §. 18.) he speaks of thee special danger of images, when the mind in prayer was directed towards them, "Who worships or prays, looking upon an image, and does not become so affected as to think that he is heard by it, as to hope that what he longs for will be granted him by it?----Against this feeling, whereby human and carnal infirmity may easily be ensnared, the Scripture of God utters things well |116 known, whereby it reminds and rouses as it were the minds of men, slumbering in the accustomed things of the body; 'The images of the heathen,' it says, 'are silver and gold.'" He then (§. 6.) meets the objection, that the Christians too had vessels of silver and gold, the works of men's hands, for the service of the Sacraments. "But," he asks, "have they mouths, and speak not? have they eyes, and see not? do we pray to them, in that through them, we pray to God? This is the chief cause of that frantic ungodliness, that a form, like one living, has more power over the feelings of the unhappy beings, causing itself to he worshipped, than the plain fact that it is not living, so that it ought to he despised by the living. For images are of more avail to how down the unhappy mind (in that they have mouth, have eyes, have ears, have nostrils, have hands, have feet,) than it hath to correct it that they speak not, see not, hear not, smell not, touch not, walk not." It seems impossible that S. Augustine could so have written, had the Church in his day permitted the use of images, whereon Christians might gaze while they prayed.
To sum up the historical statement; 1. in the three first centuries it is positively stated that the Christians had no images. 2. Private individuals had pictures, but it was discouraged. (Aug.) 3. The Cross, not the Crucifix, was used; the first mention of the Cross in a Church is in the time of Constantine. 4. The first mention of pictures in Churches (except to forbid them) is at the end of the fourth century; and these, historical pictures from the O. T. or of martyrdoms, not of individuals. 5. No account of any picture of our Lord being publicly used occurs in the six first centuries, (the first is in Leontius Neap. l. v. Apol. pro Christian. A.D. 600.) 6. Outward reverence to pictures is condemned. (Greg.)
Note C. on c. xlvii. p. 98.
The ancient Fathers 5 uniformly speak of the intermediate state under the Scriptural name of "Paradise," (Tert. de Paradiso, in Lib. de Anima, c. 55. Orig. de Princ. 1. ii. v. fin. Chrys. Hom. i. and ii. de Cruc. et Latron. §. 2. Prudent. pro Exeq. def. Cathem. x. 151.) or "Abraham's bosom," (Tert. adv. Marc. iii. 24. iv. 34. de Anima, c. 7. 55.) [in the "refreshment of awaiting the Resurrection," de An. c. 55. distinguishing it from Paradise, or the dwelling beneath the Altar, as open to Martyrs (de Res. Cam. c. 43.) only, and the Patriarchs, (de An. c. 55. Scorp. c. 12.)] Auct. Carm. de Judic. Dom. ap. Tert. Orig. de Princ. 1. iv. 23. Quaestt. et Resp. ap. Just. M. q. 75. 76. Greg. Naz. Orat. in S. Caesar. Greg. Nyss. Orat. 2. in 40. Mart. fin. t. i. p. 513. (even of Martyrs) Chrys. Hom. 7. in Heb. iv. Hom. ii. de Lazaro, t. i. p. 726. ed. Ben.; Hom. 53. in Matt.; Hom. 40. in Gen.; Pseudo-Dionys. Eccl. Hier. vii. 4. Athanas, Expos. Fid. §. 1. Auct. Quaestt. ad Antioch. q. 19. Hil. in Ps. 2. fin. and Ps. 120. fin. Ambrosiast. in Phil. 1. Prudent. l. c. Aug. in |117 Ps. 36, 10. (see on Conf. ix. §. 6. ed. Oxf.) Arethas. in Apoc. vi. 10. Theoph. ad Heb. xi. add Liturg of S. James. They speak of those gone before, as "at rest in a hidden receptacle," Aug. Ench. c. 108. de Civ.D.xii.9. "in eternal rest," Hil. in Ps.57.§. 6. "in the keeping of the Lord," Id. in Ps. 53. 6. 10. 120. §. 16. "in an invisible place appointed them by God," S. Iren. v. 31. "somewhere in a better place, as the bad in a worse, awaiting the day of Judgment," Justin M. Dial. §. 5. "cherished in peaceful abodes," Zeno de Res. 1. i. Tr. 6. §. 2. of the Martyrs as being "under the altar," Prud. Hymn. de 18. Mart. Caesaraug. Perist iv. 190. Pseudo-Victorinus in Apoc. c. 6. of a "place where the souls of the righteous and the ungodly are carried, feeling the anticipations of the judgment to come." Novatian de Trin. c. 1. They say mostly, that the very Apostles and Patriarchs are not yet crowned, Chrys. Hom. 28. in Heb. xi. Hom. 39. in 1 Cor. §. 4. Theodoret in Heb. xi. Orig. in Lev. Hom. vii. Euthym. in Luc. 23.; they teach that they "wait for us," (Heb. xi. 40.) Orig. in Lev. l. c. Ambros. de Bono Mort. c. 10. Greg. Nyss. de Hom. Opif. c. 22. Theod. and Theoph. ad loc. Arethas. l. c. that the reward is not before the resurrection; Tert. de An. c. 55. adv. Marc. iv. 34. that "they now, beholding their way to immortality more clearly, as being near it, praise the gifts of the Godhead, and exult with a Divine joy; not now fearing that they should turn aside to evil, but well knowing that they shall have safely and for ever the good things laid up," Pseudo-Dionys. Eccl. Hier. i. 7. that "the judgment is not at once after death," Ambr. de Cain et Abel, ii. 2. Tert. de An. c. ult. Hil. in Ps. 2. fln. Lact. vii. 21; Novat. de Trin. c. 2. that "the heavens are not open, until the earth pass away," Tert. de An. c. 55. that they "see not the unchangeable Good, as the holy Angels see Him," Aug. de Gen. ad lit. xii. 35. "that they see the good things" [laid up for them] "only through faith and hope," Greg. Nyss. l. c. S.Aug. assumes, as known to all, that they are not in heaven; "after this life, thou wilt not yet be there, where the saints will be, to whom it will be said, Corne ye blessed of My Father, &c.; thou will not yet be there, who knows not? but thou mayest already be there where that proud rich man in the midst of torments saw the poor, once full of sores, resting afar off. In that rest assuredly thou wilt, without anxiety, await the day of judgment," in Ps. 36. (comp. Hil. in Ps. 62. §. 7. Retr. i 14.) that they will not see the face of God until after the resurrection, Jerome, ap. Aug. 148. ad Fortunian. §. 8. Yet they say also that they "see Christ face to face," Chrys. Hom. 4. ad Phil. Quaestt. et Resp, ap. Justin M. q. 75. "are with Christ," S. Chrys. Horn. 16. in Rom. And thus S. Hilary distinguishes between the "kingdom of the Lord," in which the saints shall be with the Lord until the Resurrection, and the "kingdom of God," "the eternal kingdom," (in Ps. 144. §. 16. Ps. 148. §. 8.) "the heavenly kingdom," "kingdom of heaven," "the eternal and blessed kingdom," in (Ps. 120. §, 16.) into which they are to enter after the Resurrection, advancing to the kingdom of God the Father by the kingdom of the Son, (Prol. in Ps. §. 11. in Ps.' 119. Lit. 12. §. 14. and more fully in Ps. 148. §. 7. 8.) so that then shall they see God. (see Benedict. |118 Pref. to St. Hil. §. vi. p. lxi sqq.) Even as late as S. Bernard, it was held that, in the intermediate state, the saints see the Humanity of our Lord, not His Divinity until after the Resurrection: (Serm. 3. in Fest. Omn. Sanct.) Again since it seems probable that S. Paul (2 Cor. xii. 2. 4.) speaks of "Paradise," and "the third heaven," as the same, they speak of this "place of rest," as being in heaven, without implying that the saints are in heaven, in the same way, as they shall be after the Resurrection; thus S. Basil, l. c. speaks in the same sentence of Heaven and Paradise; S. Cyprian, (de Mort. §. ult.) and S. Ambrose, (de Bono Mort, c. 12.) of "paradise and the heavenly kingdom." S. Chrys. (de Cruc. et Latr. ii. 3. t. ii. p. 416.) of the thief "mounting instantly from the Cross to heaven;" S. Antony sees the soul of Amus borne through the air, [not heaven, as Bell. de Sanct. Beat. i. 4.] Athanas. de Vit. Ant. §. 60. S. Greg. Nyss. Orat. in S. Ephrem. (v. fin. t. 3. p. 614.) speaks of S. Ephrem's being "in the heavenly tabernacles, where are the orders of Angels, and choirs of the Patriarchs," &c. and (fin. p. 616.) of his "standing by the Divine altar, and together with the Angels, offering oblations to the life-giving and All-holy Trinity." The Angels, however, may be in Paradise whither they conduct souls, and of this S. Jerome speaks, Ep. 23. ad Marcell. de Ob. Leae; "she is received by the choirs of Angels, is cherished in Abraham's bosom," and also of their enjoying the intercourse of Angels, Ep. 39. ad Paulam de Ob. Blaes. Epiphanius, Haer. 78. fin. of their being at rest in glory, exulting with the Angels, living in heaven; S. Augustine of their being "able in that heaven ineffably to see and hear the very Substance of God, and God the Word, by Whom all things were made, in the Love of the Holy Spirit," de Gen. ad Litt. xii. 34. §. 67, where he thinks it likely that Abraham's bosom, Paradise, the third heaven, are different names for the one place where are the souls of the blessed, ib. §. 66. With this passage of S. Augustine agrees S. Gregory of Nazianzum, who supposes that departed saints contemplate the Blessed Trinity wholly, Orat. 43. in Basil, fin. Or. 8. in Gorgoniam, fin.: to this, however, S. Augustine held that they were admitted in Paradise. More commonly, however, the Fathers confine themselves to the words of Holy Scripture, and speak of "being with Christ," and in Him seeing God.
Another difference of language arises from our uncertainty, where Paradise is. Hence S. Ambrose says, that the Latins used "infernum," the "place below," for the Greek, "Ades," as the place of departed spirits, de Bono Mortis, c. 10., and S. Jerome, 1. 3. in Os. 13, 14. The infern us "is a place in which souls are laid up, either in a state of refreshment, or in punishment, according to their deserts." The Author of the Ancient work, de universi natura, says that the souls of all are contained in the same place, until the time which God shall appoint; that "the righteous are contained in Ades, but not in the same place as the unrighteous, but in Abraham's bosom," Galland. Bibl. PP. t. 2. p. 451. add Novatian, l. c. Pseudo-Victorin. in Apoc. 6. S. Greg. Nyss. de An. et Res. t. iii. p. 20.9. attests that "all think that the souls are removed hence |119 to Ades as a receptacle," (although he himself thinks that "Ades designates not any place so called, but a certain unseen and incorporeal state of life," ib. p. 219, 20. yet will he not contend with those who hold a definite place under the earth to be extended by St. Paul, Phil. 2, 10. as the receptacle of departed souls;) as the author of the Definitt. ap. Athan. t. ii. c. 9. says that "Christ rose from Ades, in like way as we also shall rise at the second Advent;" then we must be there. (To the same end, Colomesius (keim. lit. c. 28.) cites Theodoret as saying that "there was one Ades to all, but light to some, dark to others;" and an author in Suidas, that "in Ades it must needs be well with some, worse with others." Olympiodorus in Eccl. 3. speaks of both opinions, that Paradise was in inferno and in heaven, as being held by previous writers.) Others speak of Paradise as above, and distinct, and say that the spirits of the righteous, Abraham and the Patriarchs, were removed thither by our Lord. Thus S. Chrysostom, that the penitent thief was admitted to Paradise "before Abraham, before the whole human race," (de Cruce et Latr. ii. §. 2.) and S. Cyril Jer. says, "The faithful Abraham had not yet entered, but the robber enters," (xiii. 15. §. 31.) and S. Jerome in another place (Ep. 39. ad Paul, dc Ob. Blaes. §. 3.) says that the Patriarchs were in a state of refreshment in the "inferi," because Christ had not yet opened the gate of Paradise; (whence he explains the parable of Lazarus.) So that he must have thought that they were no longer there; (comp. S. Aug. de Civ. D. xx. 15;) but they do not speak, as though they knew where Paradise was, nor (as the modern Romanists,) as though the Patriarchs were in heaven, as they shall be after the resurrection. On the contrary, S. Aug. says he knows not where Paradise is. Tertullian, on the other hand, (de Anima, c. 55. de Res. Carn. c. 43.) supposes the Martyrs only to be admitted to Paradise, (see below,) the rest to be kept safe in a place of refreshment (Abraham's bosom) or of torment, as in the parable of Dives, (adv. Marc. iii. 24. de An. c. 7. de Res. Carn. c. 17.) Tertullian, however, infers from the words "lift up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off," that "Abraham's bosom" was, relatively to the place where the wicked awaited their doom, far on high; so that he comes to much the same as S. Ambrose. S. Aug. again says, that if the promise to the dying thief, "To-day thou shall be with Me in Paradise," related to our Lord's human nature, then Paradise must be the same as "Abraham's bosom" in the Inferi, since His soul was there, not in heaven, but he thinks it more easily explained of His Divine Nature, since the Inferi, he thinks, are not used in Scripture in a good sense. He concludes "wherever then Paradise may be, whoever of the blessed is there, is with Him, Who is every where," Ep. 187. ad Dard. §. 5. 7. add Ep. 164. ad Euod. §. 7. 8. In the main, then, all this harmonizes together; that they are at rest; with the Lord; in His keeping; seeing Him; (though we know not the place which Scripture designates as "Paradise," or "Abraham's bosom," or "the Altar,") yet not seeing God as they shall see Him after the Resurrection, nor having as yet their full reward. The Council of Florence, however, defined, that the ''souls which have either contracted no spot of sin after Baptism, or which after contracting it, have been, |120 either in or out of the body, cleansed, are received presently into heaven, and clearly behold the Triune Lord, differently according to their merits; those, who die in actual mortal sin, or in original sin, descend presently into heil, yet are differently punished." It places departed souls then either in Heaven, Purgatory, or Hell, and has no room for this teaching of the Fathers, which Romanists accordingly reject 6.
Whether the Martyrs had a special privilege of being at once admitted into the higher heaven, as some have inferred, is a distinct question. S, Ignatius (ad Rom. §. 7.) speaks in one word as though he knew that he was going to "the Father," ("There is a living water, speaking in me, which saith to me within, 'hither to the Father,'") although in the rest of the Epistle, he dwells upon being "with Christ" only. Moyses et Max. Ep. ad Cyprian, Ep. 31. "to obtain the kingdom of heaven without any delay," Cypr. Ep. 55. ad Antonian. "to be crowned at once by the Lord," [unless this means that their course is finished at once, in contrast with those who remain to struggle through a whole life.] Tert assigns them an especial reward, but only the admission into Paradise: Dionysius Alex. (ap. Eus. vi. 42.) speaks of them as "assessors with Christ, and partakers of His kingdom." Yet even of them S. Augustine strongly says, "This life, which the blessed Martyrs now have, although it cannot be compared with any happiness or enjoyment of this world, is but a slight particle of the promise, nay, rather a consolation for the delay. For the day of retribution will come, when the body being restored, the whole man will receive his reward. For as there is much difference between the gladness and sorrow of people dreaming or waking, so is there much between the torments or joys of the dead or the risen,----because the rest of the souls without the bodies is one thing, the brightness and bliss of Angels with celestial bodies, to which the multitude of the risen faithful "shall be equal," is another. Serm. in Nat. Mart. Perp. et Felic. i. §. 5. add Serm. 328. in Nat. Mart. fin. where he speaks of them, (as, before, of the other dead,) that the things which eye hath not seen, &c. are "prepared for them at the Resurrection," and Serm. 298. in Nat. Apost. Pet. et Paul. iv. he states his ignorance where they are, as he does of the other departed, as not knowing where Paradise is, "Where are those saints, think we? There where it is well. What seekest thou more? Thou knowest not the place, but think on their desert. Wherever they are, they are with God. 'The souls of the just are in the hand of God.'"
Note D on c. xlviii. p. 101.
Tertullian alludes to the doctrine of the Millennium in the de Spectac. c. ult., in the de Res. Cam. c. 25. and more explicitly, (though mingled with Montanist errors,) adv. Marc. Hi. 24. where he refers also to a work, "De spe |121 fidelium," in which he had treated of it more fully. Before him, both S. Irenaeus and Justin M. speak of it, as belonging to the full soundness of faith. S. Irenaeus speaks of those who "being thought to believe rightly, pass over the order of the advancement of the righteous, and know not the gradations by which they are practised for incorruption," as "admitting heretical sentiments;" (5.31.1.) of "sentiments, borrowed from heretical discourses, in ignorance of the dispensations of God, and the mystery of the resurrection of the just, and of the kingdom, which is the beginning of incorruption, by which kingdom, they who are accounted worthy, are gradually habituated to receive God." (capere Deum, 5. 32. 1.) He speaks of it as something undoubted, questioned only by "some of those accounted orthodox," and the opposed views, as novel apparently in the Church, "transplanted (transferuntur) from heretical discourses." He speaks also of some, "essaying to transfer the prophecy of Isaiah," (5. 31. 4.) of "some, essaying to allegorize" other prophecies. (5. 35. 1.) The traditionary saying of our Lord, which he alleges from Papias, and other presbyters, relates but to a subordinate point, and is manifestly not the ground upon which he rests his doctrine. He quotes it only in connection with his exposition of the blessing of Isaac upon his younger son, Jacob. The estimate then of the judgment of Papias, (who however is praised by S. Jerome, [Ep. 71. ad Licinium,] and his writings accounted of value,) does not affect the question; nor though this parable be not our Lord's, (as it is unlike His words in the Gospel,) is support withdrawn from the doctrine, which is not indeed contained in the parable. The words are, "The days shall come in which vines shall grow, each having 10000 boughs, and on each bough 10000 branches, and to each branch 10000 switches, and on each switch 10000 clusters, and on each cluster 10000 grapes, and each grape, when pressed, shall yield 25 measures of wine. And when one of the saints shall take hold of a cluster, another shall cry out, 'I am a better cluster, take me; through me bless the Lord.' "Irenaeus subjoins, "And that in like manner a grain of wheat should produce 10000 ears, and each ear shall have 10000 grains, and each grain ten pounds of fine clean flour; and the other fruits and herbs according to the proportion befitting them, and that all animals, using this food which is obtained from the earth, shall be at peace and harmony, subject to men with all subjection." The words, though not from our Lord 7, no more exclude a spiritual interpretation than Is. xxv. 6. and so many others. The doctrine itself S. Irenaeus states to be traditionary, as also he implies it to have been that received in the Church. The doctrine in S. Irenaeus is briefly this, that after the resurrection, the saints should also, in different degrees of nearness according to their deserts, in the holy City, in Paradise, or in Heaven, enjoy the sight of the Lord; "for every where shall the Saviour be seen, as they who see Him, shall be worthy." (5. 36. 1.) And for this he quotes the Presbyters before-mentioned, who had seen and heard from St. John, and whom |122 he distinguishes from Papias. This, both from the frequency with which he repeats it, and the place which it occupies as opposed to the Gnostics, who denied the resurrection of the body, appears to have been the centre of the doctrine, that, during this 1000 years, the Christians were to be prepared to bear the sight of God. Thus again, "All these and other sayings [of Isaiah] are without controversy spoken of the resurrection of the just, which takes place after the coming of Anti-Christ, and the destruction of all nations who are under him, in which the Christians shall reign in the earth, growing by the sight of the Lord, and through Him shall they be habituated to receive the Glory of God the Father, and shall in 'the kingdom' receive a conversation and communion and unity of spiritual things with the holy Angels." (5. 35. 1.) And, "As God who raiseth men from the dead, really is, so also doth man really, and not allegorically, rise from the dead, as we have shewn at such length. And as he truly riseth, so also shall he truly be practised for incorruption, and shall be enlarged and strengthened in the periods of 'the kingdom,' so as to become capable of receiving the Glory of the Father." (5. 35. 2.) And again, (5. 36. 1.) "In this new heaven and new earth, men shall abide ever new, and having intercourse with God." And again, (5. 36. 2.) after speaking of the threefold habitations of the saints, as they had brought forth thirty, sixty, or a hundred-fold, "That then shall those who are saved, be ranked and ordered, (the Presbyters, the disciples of the Apostles say,) and by gradations such as these shall they advance; and that by the Spirit do they ascend to the Son, and by the Son to the Father, the Son thereupon giving up His work to the Father, as it is written, 1 Cor. 15, 25. 26."
The sort of parable also, which Irenaeus mentions on the authority of Papias and the Presbyters, and which is the only ground for Gennadius' statement, that Papias and the others "looked for things pertaining to meat and drink," relates only to the vine and wheat, both of which are throughout the Old Testament, singled out as symbolical of the Eucharist. (Iren. v. 33. 3 and 4.) And this is the more confirmed by Irenaeus' citation of our Lord's words, as being then to be fulfilled. "I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until I drink it new with you in the kingdom of God 8," (Matt. 26, 29. Mark 14, 25.) The miraculous nature of the food, further, leads us the more to think of a sacramental eating and drinking. "He hath promised to drink of the fruit of the vine with His disciples; shewing both, as well the inheritance of the earth, in which the new fruit of the vine is drunk, as a resurrection of His disciples in the flesh. For the new flesh which riseth, is the same which also receiveth the new Cup." (v. 33. 1.) S. Irenaeus argues that it must take place "in the flesh;" that "drinking" is an office of the flesh, as the vine is a product of the earth; yet it needed not (one should have hoped) to say that he looked not for any thing earthly and fleshly, who looked to share it with his risen Lord. In like way, S. Irenaeus says, that the righteous shall in this their true sabbath have |123 "a table prepared for them by God;" (ib. §. 2.) yet that were no earthly feast.
Together, however, with the risen saints, S. Irenaeus supposed that those who had resisted Anti-Christ, would live on; those would be multiplied by a natural birth (v. 35. 1. and 34. 2. quoting Is. vi. 12.): yet the curse being-removed, "the seed," Lactantius says, (vii. 34.) "will be holy and dear to God." Even for these, then, what they look for is a restoration of Paradise; so that, although not yet "like the angels of God in heaven," the defilement entailed by the fall would be removed. But since this did not belong-to the risen saints, it is not even imputed to him that he looked to marriage as one of the joys of the Millennium. (See Gennadius below, p. 124.)
S. Irenaeus expected also that Jerusalem would be rebuilt, ("the earth being restored by Christ, and Jerusalem rebuilt," v. 35. 2.) and he quotes the prophecies of the restoration of the children of Israel; but these he understands of the Christian Church. "We have shewn a little before, that the Church is the seed of Abraham, and therefore that we may know that in the New Testament, after the Old, He shall out of all nations gather together those who shall be saved, ' raising up from the stones children to Abraham,' Jeremiah says, &c. (xxiii. 7. 8.)" There is then no proof, that he looked for a restoration of the yet unconverted Jews to their own land. He insists on Isaac's blessing not having been literally fulfilled in himself, and therefore as awaiting a literal completion, and in this prophecy he specifies the promise, "Nations shall serve thee, &c." as having received no literal fulfilment, whence, (since from the whole he infers that "this blessing, without contradiction, belongs to the times of the kingdom, when the just rising from the dead shall reign," v. 32. 2.) he must have looked for some literal fulfilment of it then: but whether he looked for more than is implied by the very word "reign," or in what way those who had not yet died were to serve the risen saints, he does not specify. There is then no reason to say that he thought of any subjection, after the manner of men, or that they were to "minister to their delights," (Orig. de Princ. ii. 10.)
Justin M. although prior to, and so independent of Irenaeus, agrees with him, in those points wherein he expresses himself. He too looked upon a belief in the Millennium, as a part of the entireness of faith; for, though he states that "many of pure and godly Christian sentiments did not acknowledge tins," [the Millennium,] he says, "I and whosoever are, in all things, of sound Christian doctrine, know that there shall be both a resurrection of the flesh, and 1000 years in Jerusalem, built, and adorned, and enlarged, as the prophet Ezekiel and Isaiah and the rest confess." (Dial. §. 80.) It is plain that Justin M. here contrasts those "who are in all things sound," with those whom he had described generally as "of pure and godly sentiments," not with the heretics who denied the Resurrection, and to whom he had just denied the name of Christians. "If ye meet with some called Christians, but who confess not this, but even dare to blaspheme the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, who say also that there is no resurrection of the dead, but that |124 immediately upon death, their souls are received up into heaven, think not these to be Christians."
As to his views of the Millennium, he assents to the statement in Trypho's question, "do ye confess that this place of Jerusalem shall be rebuilt, and your people gathered together, and be in joy with Christ, together with the Patriarchs and the Prophets, and those of our race, and even those who become proselytes before your Christ came?" (Dial. §. 80.) But this joy he expressly states to be spiritual; "They from every nation, slaves or free, who believe in Christ and know the truth in His words and in those of His prophets, know that they shall be with Him in that land, and shall inherit the things eternal and incorruptible." (ib. §. 139.) He also looked to it, as a fulfilment of our Lord's words; "He said, that He should come again to Jerusalem, and then again eat and drink with His disciples;" (§. 51.) and so, when he quotes Is. lxv. 17-25 as a prophecy of the Millennium, the words therein comprised, "they shall plant vineyards and eat the fruit of them 9," will be to be understood in the same way as in S. Irenaeus.. Of the conversion of the Jews, Justin M. says nothing decisive. Trypho asks him, "What sayest thou? that no one of us shall inherit any thing in the holy mount of God?" Justin answers, "I say not so; but they who persecuted and do persecute Christ, and repent not, shall inherit nothing in the holy mount; but the Gentiles which have believed in. Him, and repented for their sins, these shall inherit with the patriarchs, and the prophets, and the righteous, who are sprung from Jacob, though they sabbatize not, nor are circumcised, nor keep the feasts. Assuredly shall they inherit the holy inheritance of God." (§. 26.) He seems here to speak only of such lineal descendants of Jacob as had embraced the Faith. Again, when he says, (§. 40.) "Ye shall in the same place of Jerusalem acknowledge Him, Who was put to shame by you;" it does not appear whether he means this of the converted, or of the unconverted who should be compelled to acknowledge Him (as in Matt. xxvi. 64.) In neither case is any general return of the unconverted Jews implied.
Similar is the view of Melito, Bp. of Sardis, (A.D. 170,) a man, whom many Catholics, according to Tertullian, accounted "a Prophet," (ap. Hieron. de Virr. Ill. in vit.) of whom it was said, "he had his whole conversation in the Holy Ghost," (Polycrates, Ep. ad Victor. ap. Eus. H. E. v. 24.) He took a journey to Palestine to ascertain the Canon of the O. T. (Ep. ej. ap Eus. H. E. iv. 27.) and wrote on the Apocalypse, as Bishop of one of the seven Churches addressed in it. The meaning of S. John may well be thought to have been yet preserved there, within seventy years of his decease. Gennadius places Melito apparently as the most spiritual of |125 the maintainers of the Millennium; at least, he charges him with nothingj except expecting what should be in time, not eternal; as the Millennium must necessarily be. "In the divine promises, we look for nothing earthly or transitory, as the Melitans hope; no marriage-union, according to the phrensy of Cerinthus and Marcus; nothing pertaining to meat or to drink, as Irenaeus, Tertullian, and Lactantius, assenting to Papias; nor do we hope that, for 1000 years after the Resurrection, the reign of Christ will he on the earth, and that the saints will reign with Him amid delights, as Nepos taught, who feigned a first resurrection of the righteous, and a second of the ungodly, and that between these two, the nations who know not God, will be kept in the flesh in the corners of the earth. Which after the 1000 years of the reign of the righteous upon earth, are to he excited by the instigation of the devil to war against the righteous reigning, and to be restrained by the Lord fighting for the righteous with a shower of fire, and thus dying are, together with the rest who before died in ungodliness, to be raised in an incorruptible body to eternal punishments." (de Dogm. Eccles. c. 52.) It is observable also that as Gennadius detaches Melito from the followers of Papias, so neither does Jerome any where mention him among them, so that he seems to stand as an independent witness.
This doctrine Eusebius states to have been the prevailing doctrine in the Church, owing, as he thinks, to the respect for the antiquity of Papias. "Among which" [things approaching to the fabulous] "he said that there would be a period of 1000 years after the Resurrection from the dead, during which the kingdom of Christ should subsist in the body upon this earth. Which I think that he supposed, having misunderstood the Apostolic relations, not comprehending what was by them mystically .uttered in similitudes. For he appears to have been a person of very confined mind, to judge from his sayings. Nevertheless he was the occasion that by far the greatest number of Church-writers after him (plh_n kai\ toi=j met' au)to_n plei/stoij o#soij tw~n e0kklhsiastikw~n) held the like doctrine, pleading the antiquity of the man; such as Irenaeus, and whoever besides has openly maintained the same things." (H. E. iii. 39.)
In this statement also, no account is given of any thing earthly in the doctrine, except that the kingdom was looked for upon the earth.
Tertullian himself, as might be expected from his character, distinctly limits the joys of the Millennium to spiritual joys. "This [Jerusalem] we say is provided by God for receiving the saints upon the resurrection, and refreshing them with the abundance of all, (only spiritual 10,) good things, in compensation for those which in the world we have either despised, or lost." (adv. Marc. iii. 24.) He admits also (which is to be observed) a spiritual fulfilment of these same prophecies in the Church. "As to the restoration of Judaea, which the Jews themselves, led by the mention of names of places and countries, hope for, as it is described, [i. e. to the letter;]----how the allegorical interpretation spiritually belongs to Christ and |126 the Church and its character and fruits, it were long to follow out, and has been already set in order in another work which we have entitled, 'On the hope of the Faithful;' and it were for the present superfluous, when the question relates to things promised in heaven, not on earth. For we confess also a kingdom promised to us upon the earth, but before heaven, but in a different state of being; namely, after the resurrection, for 1000 years, in the city of Jerusalem, divinely built, 'brought down from heaven,' which the Apostle also calls, ' our mother from above.' This both Ezekiel knew and the Apostle John saw." Tertullian supposed that all the righteous would "rise within the Millennium," only, "sooner or later, according to their deserts." (adv. Marc. l. c,)
Such was the state of the doctrine until the early part of the third century; held by most 11, questioned by some, but by none, whose name has been preserved. The first whom we know of, who openly impugned the doctrine, was Origen. His charges are founded not on the language of its maintainers, but on the passages of Scripture, whose literal meaning they contended for. And thus he blames them as "disciples of the letter alone," as "refusing the labour of understanding, and as following a certain surface of the letter of the law;" (de Princ. ii. 11. 2. as on the other hand, S. Irenaeus blames some for "attempting to allegorize," Nepos wrote "a confutation of the Allegorists." Eus. H. E. vii. 24.) In this way, Origen charges them with thinking, that "strangers should be given to them as ministers of their delights, whom they were to have as ploughmen, or builders of the walls, by whom their destroyed city should be built up," in reference to Is. 61, 4. 5., whereas they speak of a heavenly city which shall come down from heaven; or again that "they shall receive the riches of the Gentiles to eat, and that the camels of Midian and Kedar should come to them, &c." from Is. 60, 5 sqq. 61, 6. (other references are Rev. 21, 18 sqq. Is. 65, 13. 14.) He charges them also with "looking for promises consisting in bodily pleasure and luxury," and that "they therefore chiefly long to have again after the resurrection such flesh, as shall never fail in the power of eating and drinking, and doing all which belongeth to flesh and blood"----with holding that there would be "even after the resurrection, marriage-union, and begetting of children,"----a manifest misconception of the doctrine, if he means to speak of that held in the Church.
It may have been owing to his influence, that his great disciple, |127 S. Dionysius of Alexandria, (A. 247.) set himself so earnestly to withstand the doctrine. He brings the same charge h as Origen, that they understood the Scriptures in a Jewish way, and held forth unworthy views of the Divine truth. It is not clear, what form of the doctrine Dionysius opposed. He himself speaks with much respect of Nepos, Bishop of Egypt, against whose work he wrote and argued. "In many other things I accept and love Nepos, both for his faith and laboriousness and his study in the Scriptures, and for his copious psalmody, wherewith many of the brethren are cheered until now; and altogether I reverence the man, so much the more, as he is gone before to rest.'' It is unlikely that one, of whom Dionysius so spoke, should have had gross and carnal notions of the Millennium; and so it may be, that, his work was only abused by certain teachers, who for a time made divisions in the Church. These at all events exaggerated the doctrine of the Millennium, perhaps perverted it. Dionysius says, that they disparaged the Scriptures, and "held out the expectation of this book as of some great and hidden mystery, and allow our simpler brethren to have no great and lofty thoughts, either of the glorious and truly Divine Appearing of our Lord, nor of our resurrection from the dead, nor of our gathering together to Him, and conformity with Him; but persuade them to hope, in the kingdom of God, for petty and mortal things, and such as they now are." He speaks of these doctrines having been "of long time, spread widely in the Arsenoitis, so that there had been divisions and fallings away of whole Churches." He held a disputation for three days, at the close of which, "Coracion, the chief upholder of these views, publicly protested that he would for the future neither hold, nor discuss, nor mention, nor teach, these things, as having been sufficiently convinced by what had been said against them," and so harmony was restored, (ap. Eus. l. c.) Dionysius' own words might apply to the doctrine, as set forth by the previous fathers. In this case one must suppose that he, like Origen, misconceived the doctrine; for, in that it relates only to an intervening state, it does not affect any of the doctrines, which he says it occasioned to be held in a low sense. If we might have taken to the letter what S. Jerome says, it would be clear that it was not the doctrine of the earlier fathers, but one very different, which Dionysius opposed. S. Jerome, however, begins with an inaccuracy, saying that the book was written against S. Irenaeus; the tone also in which he describes it as having been written is very different from (Praep. ad lib. 18. in Is.) "Against whom" (Irenaeus) "Dionysius, Bp. of Alexandria, writes an elegant book, ridiculing the fable of 1000 years, what would seem likely from Dionysius' own words, S. Jerome says, |128 and the Jerusalem of gold and gems upon the earth, the restoration of the temple, the blood of sacrifices, the rest of the sabbath, the mutilation of circumcision, marriages, childbearings, bringing up of children, delights of banquetings, and servitude of all nations; and again wars, armies and triumphs, and deaths of the vanquished, and the death of the sinner a hundred years old." It seems however certain that these details are not taken from Dionysius, but are only his own way of expanding the charge of Judaism, since in other places (in Ezek. 36.) speaking in his own person, he uses the same language as to all who hold the doctrine, and as he says 'especially Tertullian,' although we know from Tertullian's own words that he looked only for joys purely spiritual, (see also in Joel 1 and 3.)
The ancient doctrine, however, of the Millennium equally suffered, whether Dionysius opposed it in itself, or as disguised in a new form; they who abandoned it, abandoned it altogether. Yet it still continued, even in the East, until the time of S. Jerome, and was held by many. S. Jerome writes, "Apollinarius answered him [Dionysius] in two volumes; whom not only those of his own sect, but a very great multitude [plurima multitude] of our people follows in this single question;" so that he anticipates much odium from opposing it. (l. c.) He speaks of it also as a question still undecided, and one in which it was apparently perplexing even to himself, to have to go against the opinions of so many of the ancients. "I am not ignorant what diversity of opinions there is among men, I speak not of the mystery of the Trinity, (the right confession whereof is to be ignorant of [human] knowledge,) but of other Church doctrines; of the Resurrection namely, and of the state of souls, and of the human flesh, of the promises of the things to come, how they are to be taken, and in what way the Revelation of John is to be understood, which if we take according to the letter, we must judaize; if we discourse spiritually, as it is written, we shall seem to go contrary to the sentiments of many ancients, of the Latins, Tertullian, Victorinus, Lactantius; of the Greeks, to pass over others, I will mention only Irenaeus, Bp. of Lyons." (l. c.) To these he elsewhere adds Severus, a contemporary, "which things many of ours have held out, and lately, our Severus in the dialogue, which he entitled Gallus." S. Jerome speaks also of a chain of Greek writers, when he adds, "And to name Greeks also, and join the first and the last, Irenaeus and Apollinarius." (in Ezek. 36.)
It is remarkable, also, that S. Augustine at one time looked for a spiritual Millennium, and delivers it as an undoubted truth. "That eighth day (Joh. xx. 26.) signifies the new life at the end of the world; the seventh the rest of the saints, which shall be on the earth. For the Lord will reign on the earth with His saints, as the Scriptures say, and will have a Church here, where no evil shall enter. For the Church shall appear first in great brightness and dignity and righteousness." (Serm. 259, in die Dom. octav. Pasch. §. 1. 2.) He differs from Irenaeus, in that he supposes the Millennium to succeed the Judgment; "After the |129 sifting of the Day of Judgment, the mass of the saints will appear [separated from the chaff] resplendent in dignity, very mighty in good deeds, and shewing forth the mercy of their Redeemer. And this shall be the seventh day. When that sixth day" [of the reformation of men after the image of our Creator in Christ] "shall have passed away, then shall come the rest after that sifting, and the saints and righteous of God shall have their sabbath. But after the sabbath, we shall pass into that life and that rest of which it is written, "That eye hath not seen, nor ear heard." (ib.) S. Augustine, even when he had changed his view, speaks very tenderly of the spiritual Millennium. "They who on account of the first words in this book [Rev. xx. 1 sqq.] have imagined that there will be a first corporeal resurrection, have among other things been chiefly moved by the number of '1000 years,' as though there ought thus to be fulfilled in the saints as it were a sabbath of such duration, a holy rest namely after the labours of 6000 years since man's creation, and ejection from the bliss of paradise, entailed by that great sin, into the sorrows of this mortal life: so that, since it is written, 'One day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day,' the 6000 years [of the duration of the world] being accomplished, as it were six days, there should follow as it were the seventh day of the sabbath in the last 1000 years, the saints namely rising again to celebrate their sabbath. Which opinion would be at all events unobjectionable, if it were believed that the saints should in that sabbath have spiritual joys through the presence of the Lord. For we too so thought once. But since they say that they who shall then rise again, shall be wholly given up to most immoderate carnal feasts [epulis vacaturos], in which there shall be so much eating and drinking, as not only to preserve no moderation, but even to pass the bounds of Heathenism [incredulitatis] itself, these things cannot be believed except by carnal men. But they who are spiritual call those who believe these things by a Greek term, Chiliasts, whom we, rendering literally, may term Millarians." (de Civ. D. xx. 7.)
In like way Epiphanius says (Haer. 77. §. 26.) that he had heard it confidently affirmed of Apollinarius, (though he did not believe it,) that he said that in the first resurrection, we shall pass a space of 1000 years, in the same manner of life as now, keeping the law and other things, making use of the same things as now, partaking of marriage, circumcision, and the rest."
If the doctrine of the Millennium had thus degenerated, it is not surprising that it sunk, even independently of the influence of three such names as S. Dionysius, S. Augustine, and S. Jerome; nor need these, on the other hand, be necessarily supposed to object to the doctrine as set forth by S. Irenaeus, to which S. Augustine at least sees no objection, even while he prefers another interpretation. In later times, the doctrine of purgatory took the place of this as well as of that of the intermediate state; the characteristic of both these doctrines being the inculcation of the gradual preparation of the soul (in S. Irenaeus' words) to "receive God;" for this the Church of Rome has substituted the fierce purifying |130 fire of purgatory, so that these have no place in her system; and the doctrine of the Millennium also is, by her writers, generally treated as contrary to sound faith 12. The teaching of the early fathers has however been well cleared by a Romanist writer, Le P. Lambert, Exposition des prédictions et des promisses faites à l'Eglise, &c. (Paris, 1806.) c. 16.
The subject has many difficulties. If the Millennium be placed (as by S. Irenaeus) before the Day of Judgment, (and one sees not how the Apocalypse (c. 20.) admits of its being placed otherwise,) and include (as in him) all those who shall then be accepted, it seems to forestall the sentence of that Day; but it may be safe perhaps to separate what S. Irenaeus declares to be traditionary, from what he gives as his own exposition of Holy Scripture, to anticipate that there may be a Millennium, without defining whom it shall include. The doctrine of the Millennium depends upon the book of the Revelations, and so is independent of the question whether the latter parts of Isaiah 13 and Ezekiel are then to find a more complete fulfilment. It cannot be doubted that they have received a large fulfilment in the Church and its gifts, its privileges, holiness and peace; a larger fulfilment of the same kind, though fuller in degree, may yet be in store for her. The more modest way seems to be, not peremptorily to decide either way; either way we may be prescribing to the Wisdom of the All-Wise; it may be that the prophecies, after their first partial temporal fulfilment, are to have no other than their spiritual fulfilment, which is their highest meaning; and we should not require more, as if God must be adebtor to our interpretations: on the other hand, one shouldnot decide peremptorily that it may not please Him to give them a second literal fulfilment; it were but analogous to an expectation, which is found in the Fathers, that Elias may yet come personally before the second advent of our Lord, although we know, on Divine authority, that the prophecy of his coming was fulfilled (i. e. had one complete fulfilment, so as to require no other) before His first Advent. |131
[Footnotes moved to end and numbered. Running headers placed at head]
1. a Bellarmine (l. c.) argues the paragraph to be supposititious, but it is in all MSS.
2. b S. Gregory of Nazianzum Ep. 49. ad Olymp, is manifestly speaking of statues, wherewith the cities, not Churches, were adorned. He contrasts the destruction of the statues with the destruction of the whole city, "for if the statues shall be cast down, (katinexqh&sontai) this is not so grievous though it is otherwise grievous----but if with them an ancient city shall be cast down." (sunkatenexqh&setai) They were then the statues on the buildings of the city, which would be overthrown with it. Besides since the Greeks to this day do not set up statues, how much less then! Bellarmine, l.c. alleges the passage; Petav. de Inc. 15. 14. 3. gives it up.
3. c It is remarkable, on the same ground, that even where pictures were used, statues were avoided, as the Greek Church continues to do, though forgetting the reason. Thus the author of the Quaestt. et Resp. ad Antioch. (ap. Athan.) qu. 39, says, "Whence [to prevent idolatry] frequently taking off the surface, wherein the likeness consists (tou~ xarakth~roj leianqe/ntoj) we burn what was formerly the image, as useless wood." The editions, before the Benedictine, omitted this clause.
4. b proskunw~. It is not here to be used of outward reverence, nor is it so understood by the Benedictine editors, who render "honoro et osculor eximie." They acknowledge the spuriousness of the Epistle.
5. c Most of these passages are collected by Sixt. Senens. Biblioth. S. 1. vi. Adn. 264. and 345. Huet Origenian. 1. ii. qu. xi. §. 15. Bellarm. de Sanct. Beat. i. 4. Pearson Expos, of Creed, Art. v.
6. d Tertullian's statement that the souls of the saints remain in Abraham's bosom or Paradise or some place short of heaven, until the Day of Judgment, is placed by Pamelius among his Paradoxa (n. 9.); and the corresponding doctrine in other Fathers is excused by Romanisis on the ground that the Church had not then decided on the question, so that it might be held before the Council of Florence, (A.D. 143.9.) not since. See e. g. Pam. l.c.
7. d It may still be that the basis of the parable may be from Him, though not the form. One would not like to judge, lest one should be pronouncing on à priori grounds, against what might be from Him.
8. e Origen himself (as has been pointed out to me) understands these words of a real and sacramental eating and drinking. Comm. in Matt. §. 86. Lat.
9. f Dr. Whitby, as, in his "Treatise on the Millennium" he is altogether unfair towards the Fathers who held it, so in this, that, where the Fathers have quoted passages of Scripture, without dwelling upon them, he affixes his own meaning to them, and quotes them as the words of the Fathers themselves. Thus, iv. 1. note o, he quotes Jerem. xxvii. 8. as Irenaeus; and again, Is. vi. 12. in note u, on iv. 5.; thus again (iv. 3.) he singles this verse, on which Justin M. does not comment, out of a long passage which he quotes.
10. g Dr. Whitby says, (iv. 4.) "Of this opinion" (viz. of the earthly delights of the Millennium) "doubtless was Tertullian in his book De spe Fidelium; " yet without evidence, and against it.
11. h Du Pin adds to the above the names of S. Athenagoras and S. Clement of Alexandria, (Nouvelle Biblioth. Art. Papias, not. c, t. i. p, 146.) but without references, and apparently without authority. The statement as to S. Clement is probably founded on the spurious Eclogae Theodoti, i. c. 63. Whitby adds S. Barnabas. "S. Barnaby is very positive, 'That the very temple which was destroyed by their enemies shall be rebuilt gloriously,'" but the words referred to, ("Now the very servants of the enemies shall rebuild it," c. 16.) are explained by S. Barnabas himself, within a few lines, of the building up of the Christian Church, wherein they who were "the house of devils," having" received remission of sins, and placed their hope in the name of the Lord, became new men, built again from the beginning, wherefore God is truly in our dwelling, dwelleth in us."
12. h Origen thus sums up: "They thus think who, believing indeed in Christ, but understanding the Scriptures in a certain Jewish sense, looked for nothing worthy of the Divine promises." l. c. Eusebius (but it does not appear whether he is here using Dionysius' own words) says, that "Nepos taught that the promises in the Divine Scriptures would be realized rather after Jewish notions, ('Ioudaikw&teron) and that there would be a certain space of 1000 years, passed in bodily enjoyment on this earth." H, E. vii. 24.
13. i Hence (as Feu-ardent admits) the five last chapters of S. Irenaeus were omitted in most MSS. and in those from which his work was first published. Feu-ardent restored them.
14. k It is remarkable, that the objections to the doctrine, in Origen, (ses p. 126.) and S. Jerome, (p. 127.) are almost entirely founded on the literal application of the prophecies of Isaiah, not of the Revelations.
This page has been accessed by people since 26th December 2003.
Return to the Tertullian Project / About these pages