Previous PageTable Of ContentsNext Page

C. Dodgson, Tertullian Vol. 1. Apologetic and Practical Treatises. (1842). pp.158-186. De Corona.

|158

OF THE CROWN.


[The "de Corona" was written probably A.D. 201, when Severus gave a "very large donative to his soldiers, the whole booty of Ctesiphon," on occasion of their saluting his son Caracalla as Augustus, and Geta as Caesar. Spartian in Severo, c. 16. Of two other liberalities of Severus, the first, A. 198, was to the people, (see Notice on Apol.) the last, A. 202, was an increase of pay, not a largess, Spart. l. c. The date A. 201 of this largess is obtained, 1. From Eusebius, who places the victories over the Parthians, A. 200; (Chron. 1. 2.) but Ctesiphon was taken at the approach of winter, (Spart. l. c.) and so at the end of that year. 2. Caracalla was then in his thirteenth year, (Spart. l. c.) but he was killed after six years' reign, A. 217, aged 29. (Dio Cass. 1. 77.) 3. A Coin, A. 200, 1. gives Severus the title Parthicus Max., one A. 201, 2. exhibits Caracalla as Augustus, Geta as Caesar. See Lumper, l. c. c. 2. Art. ii. §. 1. and Art. i. §.5. It is probably the earliest treatise containing any trace of Montanism, see c. 1. The mention of the "long peace" which Christians had enjoyed, (c. 1.) may be accounted for, in that the scene lay not in Africa but in the East.]


I. It came to pass the other day, the bounty of the most illustrious Emperors 1 was being paid off at the camp. The soldiers were coming up wearing their laurel crowns. A certain man there, more the soldier of God, more firm of purpose, than the rest of his brethren who had presumed that they could serve two masters, stood conspicuous, his single head untrammelled, his crown hanging idle in his hand, the Christian being already, by this very ordering of himself, proclaimed. Every man began to point at him; the distant to mock 2, the near to gnash their teeth upon him. The murmur reacheth the ears of the Tribune, and the person had now quitted his place. Immediately the Tribune saith, "Why so different from the rest in thy dress?" He answered that he might not act with the rest. Being asked his reasons, he answered, 'I am a Christian.' O 'soldier boastful 3' of God! Straightway the votes were taken, and the business |159 remanded 4, and the accused sent for trial before the Prefects. On the spot he laid down the cloak, wherewith he was so heavy laden,5 now beginning to receive his rest: he put off his shoe 6, so troublesome, from his feet, now beginning to stand upon holy 7 ground: he delivered up the sword, not needed even for the defence of the Lord: the laurel crown fell even from his hand : and now, his robe empurpled with the earnest expectation of his own blood, his feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel,8 girt with the sharper word of God,9 his whole armour put on 10 according to the Apostle, and looking for a better crown, in the white robe of martyrdom, he awaiteth in his prison the free gift 11 of Christ. Opinions were then pronounced upon him, (whether those of Christians I know not, for none other are those of Heathens,) as though he had been headlong, and hasty, and too eager to die, in that, because questioned touching his dress, he brought trouble upon the Christian name. As though he alone were brave; among so many brethren and fellow-soldiers alone a Christian! Clearly nothing remains but that those intend to refuse martyrdom also, who have rejected the prophecies 12 of the same Holy Spirit. Finally they murmur that so long and happy a peace hath been endangered; and I doubt not that some are removing their Scriptures, making ready their baggage, preparing to flee from one city to another;13 for they care not to remember any other part of the Gospel. I know their shepherds also: lions in peace, stags in fight 14. But on the questions |160 respecting the avowal of our Faith I shall speak in another place 15: on this occasion, inasmuch as they advance this objection also, 'Where are we forbidden to wear crowns?' I shall attack this "where;"----the more specific shape of the present question,----that both those, who ask it from the anxiety of ignorance, may be instructed, and those, who argue it in excuse of the sin, may be refuted, (and that especially by this very man's example 16,)----laurel-crowned Christians whom this question serveth to sooth 17, as though that may be thought to be either no sin, or a doubtful one, which admitteth of a question. But that it is neither no sin, nor a doubtful one, I shall now in the meanwhile shew.

II. I say that no believer alloweth a crown upon his head 18 at any other time, except the time of this sort of temptation. All observe this rule from their novitiate up to their confession and martyrdom, or their apostasy. Whence the authority for this rule, which is now made the chief question, is for thee to look to. Moreover, when it is made a question why a thing is observed, it is meanwhile granted that it is observed. Wherefore that cannot be thought to be no sin, or no certain sin, which is committed against a rule, which, as such, ought to be maintained for its own sake, and is sufficiently authorized by the support of general consent. Doubtless; yet in such wise 19, of course, that the reason may be enquired into 20!----yes, but without hindrance of its observance, and not to overthrow, but rather to build it up, in order that thou mayest the more observe it, when thou art easy even with respect to the reason of it. But what sort of thing is it for a man then to call the observance of the rule into question, when he hath abandoned it, and to ask why he is bound to the observance, when he hath ceased from it? since although he may wish it |161 

to be thought that he therefore calleth it in question, that he may shew that he hath not done wrong in ceasing to observe it, yet nevertheless he sheweth that he did wrong before, in taking upon himself to observe it. For if he hath not done wrong in wearing the crown to-day, he hath at some time done wrong in refusing it. And therefore this treatise is not for them, to whom the question doth not belong, but for those who, from a desire to learn, proffer the question, not to dispute it, but to ask advice upon it. For the question on this point is endless, and I commend the faith which believeth 21 that the rule ought to be observed, before it hath learned why 22. It is easy moreover to ask on the instant where it is written that we may not be crowned. But where is it written that we may be crowned? for they who demand the support of Scripture on the other side, already judge that their own side also ought to have the support of Scripture. For if it shall be said that we may be crowned because Scripture forbiddeth it not, it may be equally retorted that we may not be crowned, because Scripture commandeth it not 23. What shall Religion do? shall it admit both, because neither is forbidden? or refuse both, because neither is commanded? But (thou wilt say) that which is not forbidden is freely permitted. Nay, but that is forbidden, which is not freely permitted.

III. And how long shall we go on, sawing backwards and forwards upon this line, when we have an old established observance, which, in preventing the question, hath decided it? If no Scripture hath determined this, assuredly custom hath confirmed it, which, doubtless, hath been derived from tradition 24. For how can a thing be used unless it be first delivered to us? But, thou sayest, even where tradition is pleaded, written authority ought to be required. Wherefore let us enquire whether none, save a written tradition, ought |162 to be received 25. Certainly we shall deny that it ought to be received, if there be no precedents to determine the contrary in other observances, which, without any Scripture document, we defend on the ground of tradition alone, and by the supports of consequent custom. In fact, to begin with Baptism, when we are about to come to the water, in the same place, but at a somewhat earlier time 26, we do in the Church testify, under the hand of a chief minister, that we renounce the Devil and |163 his pomp and his angels 27. Then are we thrice 28 dipped, pledging ourselves to something more than the Lord hath prescribed in the Gospel 29: then, some undertaking the charge of us 30, we first taste a mixture of honey and milk 31, and from that day we abstain for a whole week from our daily washing. The Sacrament of the Eucharist, commanded |164 

by the Lord at the time of supper, and to all, 32 we receive even at our meetings before day-break 33, and from the hands of no others than the heads 34 of the Church. We offer, on one day every year, oblations 35 for the dead as birth-day 36 honours. On the Lord's day we account it unlawful to fast or to worship upon the knees 37. We enjoy the same freedom from Easter Day even unto Pentecost 38. We feel pained if any of the wine, or even of our bread 39, be spilled upon the ground. |165 In all our travels and movements, in all our coming in and going out, in putting on our shoes, at the bath, at the table, in lighting our candles, in lying down, in sitting down, whatever employment occupieth us, we mark our forehead with the sign 40 of the cross 41.

IV. For these and such like rules if thou requirest a law in the Scriptures, thou shalt find none. Tradition will be pleaded to thee as originating them, custom as confirming them, and faith as observing them. That reason will support tradition, and custom, and faith, thou wilt either thyself perceive, or learn from some one who hath perceived it. Meanwhile thou wilt believe that some reason there is, to which submission is due. I will add yet one example, if it be fitting to teach by examples of the olden times also. Among the Jews the veil upon the head of their women is so sacred a custom, that by it they may be distinguished. I demand a written law for this. The Apostle I lay for the present out of the case.42 If Rebecca, when she beheld her spouse at a distance, betook herself to her veil, her individual modesty could not make this law, or made it for her own case: 'Let virgins alone be covered, and that, when they come to be married, and not before they recognize their spouses.' If Susanna also, in unveiling herself at her trial, furnisheth an argument for wearing the veil, I might say, 'here too the veil was of her own choice.' 43 She had come an accused woman, blushing for the dishonour cast upon her, with good cause hiding her beauty, or because now afraid of pleasing. But in her husband's walks I cannot think a woman who attracted admirers could have walked veiled. Be it now that she was always veiled. In her case also, or in any other, I demand the written authority for the dress. If I no where find such authority, it followeth that tradition hath given this rule to custom, which was hereafter to receive the authority of an Apostle, according to the interpretation of |166 reason 44. By these examples therefore it will be declared, that even an unwritten tradition may be maintained in its observance, being confirmed by custom, a sufficient witness of a tradition at the time approved by the continuance of the observance 45. But even in civil matters custom is taken for law, where there is no law 46: nor is there any difference whether it be founded on any writing or on reason, since it is reason which commandeth even written authority 47. Moreover if law be founded in reason, then will all that is founded in reason, by whomsoever first brought forward, be law 48. Dost thou not think that any believer may have the power to conceive and to establish a thing, so it be agreeable to God, conducive to true Religion, profitable to salvation, when the Lord saith, And why even of yourselves judge ye not what is right? 49 and this not as touching judgment only, but every opinion also on things coming under examination. So also saith the Apostle : If in any thing ye be ignorant, God shall reveal it unto you; 50 he himself having been accustomed to supply counsel, when he had no commandment of the Lord,51 and to ordain certain things of himself, yet himself also having the Spirit of God, That guideth into all truth.52 Wherefore his counsel and his ordinance have now obtained the likeness of a Divine command, because supported by the reason which cometh of God 53. Question now this reason, saving however thy respect for tradition, from whomsoever dated as having delivered it: and regard not the author, but the authority, and chiefly that of custom itself, which ought for this cause to be respected, because it may be the witness of reason : so that if it be God, Who hath given reason also, thou mayest learn, not, whether the custom ought to be observed |167 by thee, but why the reason of Christian observances becometh greater than that of others, seeing that even nature, which is the first rule of all, defendeth them 54.

V. And therefore it is this which first prescribeth that a crown is not meet for the head. But methinks our God is the Lord of nature, Who formed man, and for the seeking, judging, and obtaining the enjoyment of things, hath disposed within him certain senses through those members which are in some sort their proper instruments. He hath formed a passage for hearing in the ears, hath kindled vision in the eyes, hath shut up taste in the mouth, hath wafted smell into the nostrils, hath placed touch in the extremities of the hands. Through these ministers of the outer man, the perceptions of the gifts of God arc derived from the soul. Wherein then consisteth the enjoyment of flowers? for the proper, at all events the chief, material of crowns is the flowers of the field. Either in the scent, thou sayest, or in the colour, or in both together. What will be the senses concerned with colour and scent? sight, methinks, and smell. What parts of the body have these senses allotted to them? the eyes, if I mistake not, and the nose. Use therefore flowers by the sight and smell, in which senses their enjoyment lieth: use by means of the eyes and nose those senses of which they are the members. The thing itself was given thee by God: the fashion by the world; although an extraordinary fashion doth not oppose the ordinary use of the material. Let flowers be to thee, when set in a garland and bound either by thread or by rush, what they are when free and unconfined,----things, that is, to be looked at and inhaled. If perchance thou regardest a crown as a bunch of flowers gathered together in a certain order, in order that thou mayest carry the more at once, that thou mayest use all together, then stick them in thy bosom, if such be their neatness; strew them on thy bed, if such be their delicacy; commit them to thy cup 55, if such be their harmlessness. Enjoy them in as many ways as thou hast |168 senses. But what savour is there in the flower, what perception of the crown (except only as a bandage) on the head, whereby colour is not perceived 56, nor scent inhaled, nor softness commended? It is as much against nature to follow after flowers by the head, as to follow after food by the ear, sound by the nose. But every thing which is against nature, deserveth to be noted as a monstrous thing among all men; but among us to be styled also sacrilege against God, the Lord and Author of nature.

VI. Dost thou look then for a law from God? thou hast that universal one, in the public record of the world, in the tables of Nature, to which even the Apostle is wont to appeal. As when he saith touching the veil of the woman, Doth not even nature teach you? as when he writeth to the Romans, saying that the Gentiles do by nature the things contained in the law,57 and putteth them in mind that there is a law given by nature, and a nature which is law. But in the former part of this Epistle also, when he declareth that men and women had changed amongst themselves the natural use of their being, into that which is against nature,58 their sin being by a just recompense turned into their punishment, he manifestly advocateth the natural use. Even God Himself we first begin to know by nature, both when we call Him the God of gods, and assume that He is good, and call upon Him as our Judge 59. Dost thou question whether, in the enjoyment of His creatures, nature ought to be our guide, lest we be carried away by that way, by which the enemy of God hath corrupted, together with man himself, the whole creation 60 put in subjection to man for certain uses; whence also the Apostle saith that it was made subject to vanity, not willingly 61, being subverted first through vain |169 uses, and then through such as were vile, and unrighteous, and ungodly? It is thus that, as touching the pleasures of the shows, the creation hath been dishonoured by those, who by nature indeed know that all the things, wherewith the shows are furnished, are of God, but lack knowledge to understand this also, that all these things have been changed by the Devil 62. But on this subject, I have, for the sake of our play-lovers, written fully in Greek also.

VII. Let then these advocates of crowns meanwhile acknowledge the authority of nature, under the name of common wisdom, in that they are men, but as the tokens of their own religion, in that they are the nearest worshippers of the God of nature. And so let them, as over and above, examine the other reasons also, which forbid crowns, and those of every sort, to our heads especially. For indeed we are now compelled to turn from the rule of nature, which all have in common, to maintain all the specialties of the Christian rule, by considering other kinds of crowns also, which seem to be provided for other uses, as being framed of other materials; lest, because they are not made of flowers, the use of which nature hath pointed out, (as, for instance, this laurel crown of the soldiers,) they may be thought not liable to the prohibition of our sect, because they fall without the preclusive rule of Nature. I see therefore that we must deal more nicely and more fully with the question, from the first beginnings to the progress and the |170 end of the matter. For this some worldly learning will be necessary, for worldly things must be shewn by their own documents. What little I have attained unto will, I believe, be sufficient. If there was ever a certain Pandora, whom Hesiod mentions as the first of woman-kind, her's was the first head that was crowned by the Graces, when she received gifts from all the gods, whence her name Pandora. But to us Moses, a prophetic, not a poetic 63, shepherd, describeth the first woman Eve, as having her loins girt with leaves rather than her head with flowers. Pandora therefore there was none. But the origin of the crown is a thing to be ashamed of, even for its false history; yea, and it will soon appear, for its true one also. For of the rest 64 it is known for certain that they were the originators or illustrators of the thing. Pherecydes relateth that Saturn was crowned before all others: Diodorus that Jupiter was, after conquering the Titans. The same writer giveth to Priapus also fillets for the head, and to Ariadne a garland of gold and Indian jewels, the work of Vulcan, the gift of Bacchus, and afterwards a constellation. Callimachus hath put the vine-branch upon Juno. So also her statue at Argos, crowned with vine-leaves, with the skin of a lion placed beneath its feet, displayeth the step-mother boasting over the spoils of both her step-sons 65. Hercules carrieth on his head the leaves sometimes of the poplar 66, sometimes of the wild olive 67, sometimes of parsley 68. Thou hast the tragedy of Cerberus: thou hast Pindar: and Callimachus, who relateth that Apollo also, after killing the serpent at Delphi, put on a laurel crown, in that he was a suppliant; for among the ancients suppliants wore crowns 69: Harpocration argueth that |171 Bacchus, the same who among the Aegyptians is Osiris, is purposely crowned with ivy, because it is the nature of ivy to protect the brain 70 from stupor. But besides this, even the vulgar acknowledge that Bacchus is the author without doubt of the laurel crown, in which he triumphed after his Indian wars, in that they call his solemn feast days, "the Great Crown." If thou turnest over the writings of Leo the Aegyptian 71 also, Isis first carried on her head the ears of corn, her own discovery, a thing rather pertaining to the belly. To those who seek for more examples, Claudius Saturninus, the very best commentator on this as on other subjects, will furnish all that can be had. For he hath a book upon crowns so fully treating of their origins, and their causes, and their varieties, and the solemnities pertaining to them, that there is not one beautiful flower, not one luxuriant leaf, not one sod or tendril which thou mayest not find consecrated to the head of some one. Whereby we are sufficiently taught, how foreign a thing from us we ought to consider the custom of crowning the head, first brought forward by those, and afterwards employed to the honour of those, whom the world hath believed to be gods 72. For if the Devil, who was a liar from the beginning,73 doth in this thing also work out his lying pretensions to divinity, without doubt he had himself also provided those, who might become his agents in pretending to divinity. What then must be thought among the people of the true God of a thing, which, being introduced by the Devil's suitors, hath been also dedicated to the same from the beginning 74, and which even then was initiated into the service of idolatry by idols, and those idols yet alive? Not as though the idol |172 was any thing,75 but because the things, which others do unto idols, pertain to devils. Moreover if the things, which others do unto idols, pertain to devils, how much more that which the idols, while yet alive, have done unto themselves! In truth the devils themselves have provided for themselves through those, in whose persons they before hungered for that which they have provided.

VIII. Do thou maintain then this belief in the mean time, while I sift an objection which meeteth me. For already I hear it said that many other things also, which were first brought to light by those whom the world hath believed to be gods, are nevertheless found in daily use, both among ourselves and the ancient saints, and in the things of God, and in Christ Himself, Who lived the life of a man, through no other than the common means of human life. Be it so by all means: nor will I enquire any farther back into the origin of these things. Let Mercury have been the first teacher of letters: I shall allow that they are necessary for our intercourse with the world, and in our services towards God. And if it be he also who tuned the strings of instruments to music, T must not deny, while I listen to David, that the saints had the same talent on their side, and that it ministered unto God. Let Aesculapius be the first that invented medicines: I remember that Esaias also prescribed something medicinal to Hezekiah, when he was sick.76 Paul also knoweth that a little wine is profitable for the stomach.77 But let Minerva too be the first who built a ship: I cannot but see Jonah and the Apostles sailing in ships. And more than this----even Christ must have His robe; even Paul must have his cloak.78 If they name , some one of the gods of the world as the inventor of every single article of furniture, and of each particular vessel, they must needs remember Christ, both when He sat upon a couch, and when He proffereth the basin for the feet of His disciples, and when He poureth water therein out of a pitcher, and when He girdeth Himself with a linen towel, the very clothing proper to Osiris 79. To this sort of argument I can answer thus: I allow indeed the common use of |173 such implements, but demand that it shall be tested by the rule of distinction between things reasonable and things not reasonable, because this generalizing of the subject is fallacious, keeping out of sight the corruption of the creature, whereby it is made subject to vanity.80 For we say, in a word, that those things are meet both for our own uses, and for those of our fathers, and for the things of God, and for Christ Himself, which provide mere benefits, and certain helps, and honourable comforts in things necessary to human life: so that they may be thought to have been first inspired by God Himself, Who first prepared provision, and instruction, and, if you will, pleasure for His own creature, man : while the things, which transgress this line, are not meet for our uses, especially such things as are, for this reason I mean, not to be found either in the world, or in the things of God, or in the conversation of Christ.

IX. Finally, what Patriarch, what Prophet, what Levite, or Priest, or Ruler, what Apostle in after times, or Evangelist, or Bishop is found to have been crowned? Nor, methinks, was even the temple of God, nor the ark of the covenant, nor the tabernacle of the testimony, nor the altar, nor the candlestick, which it would have surely been meet should be crowned, both in the solemnity of their first dedication, and next in the rejoicings at their restoration, if this had been worthy of God. But if they were figures of ourselves, (for we are both temples of God, and His altars, and lights, and vessels,)81 this also they foreshewed in a figure, that the men of God ought not to be crowned. The reality ought to answer to the image. If so be thou objectest that Christ was crowned, to this thou shalt now hear a short answer: 'Be thou also crowned in like manner: it is lawful for thee.' Nevertheless the people did not contrive even this crown of impious mockery. It was a device of the Roman soldiers, according to the custom of the world, which the people of God have never allowed either under the name of public rejoicing or of inborn luxury: that people, which returned from the captivity in Babylon with cymbals and pipes and psalteries 82 rather than with crowns, and who after eating and drinking rose up to play 83 without crowns. For neither the description of their rejoicing, nor the reproof of their wantonness, would have been silent concerning either the |174 honour or the dishonour of the crown. So also Esaias saith, since they drink wine with cymbals and pipes and psalteries,84 he would have said also 'with crowns,' if this custom had ever been used in the things of God.

X. Wherefore, in alleging that the ornaments of the gods of this world are found to pertain also to the true God, in order that thou mayest claim for common use, among these ornaments, a crown also for the head, in this thou layest down a rule for thyself, that whatsoever is not found in the things of God must not be applied to common use. For what is so unworthy of God, as that which is worthy of an idol? and what so worthy of an idol, as that which is worthy also of a dead man? for it belongeth to the dead also to be so crowned 85, since they themselves also immediately become idols, both in their dress and in the worship paid in their consecration, which with us is but a second sort of idolatry. It will be therefore the part of those, who are without sense, so to use that of which they have no sense, as though they would abuse it if they were not without sense. For when the real use of a thing ceaseth, from the ceasing of the natural sense, there is nothing between this and its abuse. Let any one abuse a thing as he will, when he hath not wherewith to use it. But for us it is not lawful to abuse things, according to the Apostle, who teacheth us rather not to use them : unless we say that they who have no sense do not even abuse them, but that the whole work is nothing, and is itself also dead as regardeth the idols, though clearly not dead as regardeth the daemons, to whom the superstition appertained. The idols of the nations, saith David, are silver and gold. They have eyes, and see not; noses, and smell not; hands, and handle not.86 For it is by these members that one must enjoy flowers. But if he declareth that they that make idols shall he like unto them,87 then are they like unto them, who use any thing according to the fashion of idols. To the pure all things are pure; so also to them that are defiled all things are impure.88 Now nothing is more defiled than idols. But all substances are pure, as being the creatures of God, and, in this their character, meet |175 for the use of all: but the application of this very use maketh the difference. For even I kill a fowl for myself, no less than Socrates did for Aesculapius: and if the savour of any place offendeth me, I burn something from Arabia, but not with the same ceremony, nor in the same dress, nor with the same outward show with which men deal with idols. For if the creature is defiled by a bare word, (as the Apostle teacheth, But if any man say this is offered in sacrifice to idols, touch it not; 89) much more is it defiled, when thou dancest in the dress, and with the ceremony and the outward show pertaining to things offered unto idols. Thus the crown also becometh a thing offered to idols; for it is with this dress, and ceremony, and outward show, that the offering is made to the idol by those who first invented it, to whom, on this account especially, the use thereof properly belongeth, that nothing may be allowed for common use, which is not found in the things of God. For this reason the Apostle crieth out, flee from idolatry,90 of every kind, doubtless, and altogether. Examine all the branches of the matter, and see how many thorns lurk therein. Nothing must be given to an idol; so neither must any thing be taken from an idol. If to sit in the idol's temple,91 be foreign to the faith, what is it to be seen in the idol's dress? What communion hath Christ with Belial? 92 Wherefore flee therefrom. For he commandeth that we be far separate 93 from idolatry : in nothing must we come nigh unto it. Even an earthly serpent sucketh in men from a distance with its breath. John proceedeth still farther: Little children, saith he, keep yourselves from idols.94 He saith not now, from idolatry, as from a service, but from idols, that is from their very likeness. For it is not meet that thou, being the image of the living God, shouldest become the image of an idol and a dead man. Thus far do we claim for idols the sole property in this dress, both because of the origin, to which it is traced, and because of the superstitious use of it; and moreover from this also, that since it is not numbered among the things of God, it is reckoned more and more the representation of those, in whose ancient and solemn rites and services it is met with. Of these even the very doors, and the very victims and altars, and the very ministers and priests are crowned. Thou hast in Claudius the crowns of all the various colleges of priests. |176 But we have interposed this distinction of the difference between things reasonable and things unreasonable, to meet those who by occasion of some particular instances maintain a communion in all. With a view therefore to this part of our subject, it remaineth that the causes for wearing crowns be now themselves examined, that, whilst we shew that they are foreign, yea, contrary to true Religion, we may prove that not one of them is so supported by the voice of Reason, that any dress of this kind can be claimed for the use of all; although there be some whose examples are objected to us.

XI. For to begin with the cause of the military crown itself, I think we must first enquire whether military service generally be meet for Christians 95. Otherwise what availeth to treat of incidental circumstances, when there is a fault in first principles? Do we believe that a human sacrament may supersede a Divine one 96, and that a man may pledge his faith to another lord after Christ? and renounce father and mother 97 and all that are nearest to him, whom the Law teacheth should be honoured and loved next to God, whom the Gospel also hath in like manner honoured, only not valuing them more than Christ? Shall it be lawful for him to deal with the sword, when the Lord declareth 98 that he that useth the sword shall perish by the sword 99? And shall the son of peace 100 act in battle, whom it will not befit even to go to law? 101 Shall he administer bonds and imprisonment, and tortures, and punishments, who may not avenge 102 even his own injuries 103. Again, shall he keep his station either for any others rather than for Christ 104, or on the Lord's Day, when he doth it not even for Christ 105? And shall he keep watch before those temples 106 which he hath renounced? And shall he sit at meat 107 where the Apostle would not have him? And shall he defend by night those, whom in the day-time he hath put to flight by his exorcisms 108, leaning and resting |177 upon a spear, wherewith the side of Christ was pierced? shall he also carry the standard, the rival of Christ? and shall he ask a sign from his general, who hath already received one from God 109? Shall he also when dead be disturbed by the trumpet of the trumpeter, who waiteth to be awakened by the trump of the Angel? and shall the Christian be burned, according to the rules of the camp, to whom it was not lawful to burn 110 any thing? to whom Christ hath give remission of the fire which he hath deserved? How many other things may we see around us, among those committed in the service of the camp, which must needs be construed as sin! The very transferring his enrolment from the army of light to the army of darkness is sin. Clearly if their after-conversion to the Faith findeth any preoccupied in military service, their case is a different one, as was that of those whom John admitted to baptism, as was that of those most true believers the Centurions, him whom Christ approved, and him whom Peter instructed : though notwithstanding, when the Faith hath been embraced and sealed, a man must either straightway quit the service, as hath been done by many, or must in every way demur to doing any thing against God, which things are not allowed, no, not on the ground of military service;, or finally he must suffer for God's sake, to which also the faith of one who is not a soldier 111 hath pledged him. For the service of war will not promise him either impunity in sinning or immunity from martyrdoms. A Christian is no where any thing but a Christian. The Gospel is one, and Jesus is the Same; Who will deny every one that denieth God, and will confess every one that confesseth Him 112: and Who will save that life, which hath been lost for His Name's sake;113 but on the other hand will destroy that, which hath been gained against His Name. In His sight, the believer who is no soldier is as much a soldier, as the unbeliever who is a soldier is no soldier. A state of faith alloweth no pleas of necessity. |178 They have no necessity for sinning who are under the single necessity of not sinning. For a man is urged by the necessity imposed by tortures or penalties, both to sacrifice and directly to deny his faith. But our Religion doth not even wink at this necessity; because the necessity of fearing to deny the faith, and of undergoing martyrdom, is stronger than that of escaping suffering and fulfilling the required task. But an excuse of this sort overthroweth the whole substance of our sacramental vow in loosening the check even upon wilful sins. For even the will may be maintained to be necessity, in that it admittcth of being compelled 114. I might, as a first step, set up this very necessity in bar of all other reasons for crowns of office, in which the plea of necessity is most common. Since there is a necessity that the offices be shunned for this reason, that we fall not into sins, or else that martyrdoms be endured that we may break through the offices. On the first head of the question, whether even military service in itself be not unlawful, I shall say no more, in order that the second may be brought forward: lest, if, using my whole strength, I put military service out of the question, I should then be uselessly challenging a dispute touching the military crown. Suppose then that military service is lawful even to the point of its being the cause for wearing the crown.

XII. But let us first speak of the crown itself. This laurel is sacred to Apollo or to Bacchus: to the one as the God of arrows, to the other as the God of triumphs. So teacheth Claudius, when he saith that soldiers are wont to be crowned with the myrtle also: for that the myrtle belongeth to Venus the mother of the race of Aeneas, the mistress also of Mars, who, through Ilia and the twin Romuli, is of Roman kin. But I do not believe that Venus is, like Mars, attached to Rome, through the quarter in which her grievance as his mistress lieth 115. Since the soldiery are crowned with the olive also, this is idolatry to Minerva, who is equally the goddess of arms, but crowned with this tree for the peace also which she made with Neptune. In these respects the superstition of the military wreath will be every where 116  |179 defiled and defiling; and so the whole will be directly defiled in the very source. Behold now! what think ye of the yearly recitation of vows, first in the head-quarters, secondly in the Capitoline temples? Next to the 'places,' hear what are the 'words' used: 'Then have we vowed, O Jupiter, that an offering shall be made to thee with an ox having his horns crowned 117 with gold.' What do the words import? surely a denial of the Faith. Although in such a case the Christian be silent with the mouth, yet by wearing the crown on his head he hath responded. The same laurel, in the distribution of the bounty-money, is denounced as idolatry, certainly not without hire, since it selleth Christ for certain pieces of gold, as Judas did for pieces of silver. Shall this be the meaning of, Ye cannot serve God and Mammon,118 to give the hand to Mammon and to forsake God? Shall this be the meaning of Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's,119 not to render the man to God, and to take the penny from Caesar? Is the triumphal laurel crown strewed with leaves, or with corpses? Is it adorned with plates of metal, or with tombs? Is it bedewed with ointments, or with the tears of wives and mothers? perhaps even of some Christians, for Christ is among barbarians also. Hath not he, who weareth on his head the cause of all this, himself also assailed them? There is also another kind of soldiery in the royal households 120; they are called also 'of the camp,' being moreover themselves bound to do service at the imperial solemnities. But thou also art henceforth the soldier and the servant of another: and if of two, of God and of Caesar, thou art surely not Caesar's at the time when thou owest thyself to God, the greater Master of the two, methinks, even in things not sacred.

XIII. There are also state-occasions for crowning orders of the state with laurel, and magistrates moreover with golden crowns, as at Athens, as at Rome 121. Above even these are placed the Tuscan : this is the name of those crowns, which, distinguished by jewels and oak-leaves of gold, in honour of Jupiter, they use, together with striped cloaks, in accompanying the procession of the cars. There are also provincial crowns of gold which now require the larger heads of statues |180 and not of men 122. But thy order, and thy magistracies, and the very name of thy court, is the Church of Christ. His thou art, being enrolled in the books of life. There is thy purple, the Blood of the Lord, and thy broad 'clavus 123' in His Cross: there is the axe, laid unto the root of the tree,124----there are the rods, out of the root of Jesse.125 No matter also for the public horses with their crowns. Thy Lord, when He would enter Jerusalem according to the Scriptures, had not even an ass of His own. These in chariots, and these in horses, but we will call on the name of the Lord, our God.126 In the Revelation of John we are withheld even from dwelling in this Babylon; much more from her pomp.127 The common people also are crowned, sometimes out of joy for the prosperity of their princes, sometimes according to the special custom of the solemnities of their cities: and extravagance layeth hold of , all public rejoicing. But thou art a stranger in this world, a citizen of Jerusalem which is above.128 Our citizenship, saith he, is in Heaven. Thou hast thine own enrolment, thine own solemn days.129 Thou hast no concern with the rejoicings of the world, yea thou oughtest to do the contrary; for the world shall rejoice, and ye shall lament.130 And methinks He saith, Blessed are they that mourn,131 not 'they that are crowned.' Marriage also crowneth the betrothed 132: wherefore let us not marry with heathens, lest they bring us even to idolatry, with which marriage among , them beginneth. Thou hast a law even from the Patriarchs 133: |181 thou hast an Apostle commanding thee to marry in the Lord. 134 The making also a freeman in this world is an occasion of crowning. But thou art already redeemed by Christ, and that at a great price.135 How shall the world set free another's servant? Although it seemeth to be freedom, yet was it seen also to be a state of service. In the world all things are imaginary, and nothing real: for even then, when thou wert redeemed by Christ, thou wert free from man, and now although made free by man, thou art Christ's servant. 136 If thou thinkest that the freedom of this world is true liberty, so that thou even distinguishest it by a crown, thou hast returned to the service of man, which thou thinkest to be liberty: thou hast lost the liberty of Christ, which thou thinkest to be service. Will the occasions furnished by the games also be disputed, which their own titles at once condemn? as pertaining, that is, to sacred and funereal rites. For it remaineth only that the Olympian Jupiter, and the Nemean Hercules, and the poor little Archemorus 137, and the unhappy Antinous 138 be crowned in the Christian, that he himself may become the spectacle, where he ought to be the spectator. We have, methinks, enumerated all the occasions: and not one of them are our concern: all are foreign to us, profane, unlawful, renounced once for all in our sacramental profession. For these were the pomps of the Devil and his angels 139, the offices of the world, its honours, its solemnities, its popular arts, its false vows, its human services, its vain praises, its shameful glories. And in all these things there is idolatry, if only in the character of the crowns, with which all these things are adorned.140 Claudius will begin by telling us that, in the verses of Homer,141 even the Heaven is crowned |182 with stars : certainly by God; certainly for man : wherefore man himself also ought to be crowned by God. But by the world are crowned brothels, and baths, and the mill, and the prison, and the school 142, and the very amphitheatres, and the very places for stripping the slain, and the very funerals themselves. How doubly sacred, how honourable and pure is this dress, judge not from the "heaven" of the Poet alone, but by the conversation of the whole world! But the Christian will not dishonour even his door with laurels 143, if he knoweth how many gods the Devil hath fabricated even for doors; Janus, from 'janua 144,' Limentinus, from 'limen 145,' Forculus and Carda, from 'fores 146' and 'cardines 147;' and among the Greeks, Apollo 'Thyrseus,' 'of the door,' and the Daemons called Antelii, 'facing the sun.'

XIV. So far must the Christian be from putting this work of idolatry upon his own head, yea, I might even say, upon Christ, if so be that Christ is the head of the man, 148 which head is as free as Christ Himself, not obliged to wear even a veil, far less a bandage. Moreover also the head which is obliged to wear a veil, the head of the woman, being already occupied by the veil, hath not room for the bandage also : she beareth. the burden of her own subjection. If she ought not to be seen with her head uncovered, because of the Angels,149 much more, having her head crowned, will she offend those who are perhaps at the same time wearing their crowns.150 For what is a crown on the head of a woman but the pander of her beauty, the highest mark of lewdness, the extreme denial of modesty, the contriver of allurement? Wherefore also the woman will not be too carefully adorned, according to what the Apostle provideth, that she be not crowned even by the plaiting of the hair. But He that is both the Head of the man, and the Beauty of the woman, the Husband of the Church, Christ Jesus,151 what sort of crown, I pray thee, did He put on for both man and woman 152? 'Twas one, methinks, of thorns and briers, as a figure of those sins, which the earth of our flesh |183 hath brought forth unto us, but the power of the Cross hath taken away, overcoming the sharpness of every sting of death, in the sufferings of the head of the Lord. Surely, setting aside the figure, there is on the face of it mockery, and debasement, and dishonour, and mixed with these cruelty, which then defiled and tore the brow of the Lord, that thou mayest now be crowned with thy laurel, and thy myrtle, and thy olive, and every famous branch, and what is of more frequent use, with roses also of an hundred leaves culled from the garden of Midas, and lilies of either kind, and every sort of violets, even with jewels perchance and gold, that thou mayest rival also that crown of Christ, which came unto Him afterwards, because it was after the gall that He tasted the honey also, nor was He saluted as the King of Glory by the hosts of Heaven, before He had been proscribed upon the cross as the King of the Jews.153 Being first made by the Father a little lower than the angels, and so crowned with glory and worship.154 If for these things thou owest thy head to Him, pay Him if thou canst with such an head as His own was, when He offered it up for thine: or wear not a crown of flowers, if thou art not able to wear one of thorns 155; for thou art able not to wear one of flowers.

XV. Preserve undefiled for God that thing which is His own. He shall crown it, if He will 156. Yea and He doth will; He even inviteth thee thereto. To him that overcometh, saith He, I will give a crown of life. Be thou also faithful unto death. Fight thou also, the good fight, whereof the Apostle likewise with good cause trusteth that there is laid up for him a crown. The Angel also receiveth a crown of victory, going forth on a white horse to conquer.157 And another is adorned with a rainbow encircling him, like a meadow in the Heavens. The elders also sit wearing crowns; and with a like crown of gold the Son of man Himself shineth above the cloud. If such be the images in the |184 

vision, what will be the realities when truly presented? These be thy sights, these thy sweet savours! Why condemnest them to the garland and the wreath, that head which is designed for a kingly crown? for Christ Jesus hath made us even kings unto God and His Father.158 What hast thou to do with a flower that dieth? Thou hast a flower 159 out of the rod of Jesse, on which all the grace of the Spirit of God hath rested;160 a flower incorruptible, unwithering, everlasting, by choosing which, this good soldier hath been promoted to honour in the ranks of Heaven. Blush ye, his fellow-soldiers, who shall now stand condemned, not by him, but even by any soldier of Mithra, who, when he is enrolled in the cavern, the camp, in very truth, of darkness, when the crown is offered him, (a sword being placed between him and it, as if in mimicry of martyrdom,) and then fitted upon his head, is taught to put it aside from his head, meeting it with his hand, and to remove it, it may be, to his shoulder, saying that Mithra is his crown.161 And thenceforth he never weareth a crown, and he hath this as a sign whereby he is approved, if at any time he is tried touching his military oath: and he is forthwith believed to be a soldier of Mithra, if he throweth down his crown, if he declareth that he hath it in his God. See we the wiles of the Devil, who pretendeth to some of the ways of God for this cause, that, through the faithfulness of his own servants, he may put us to shame and condemn us.

 

Greek text is rendered using the Scholars Press
SPIonic font, free from here.


[Page headers and notes moved here for formatting reasons.  Also marginal notes given now as footnotes.]

158 Occasion of the Treatise.

1. a Severus and Caracalla; see above, Notice.

2. 1 eludere om. et

3. b Alluding to the title of a play of Plautus, Miles gloriosus.

Current complaints----dread of persecution.  159

4. c Older Edd. "apud Acta" "was set down in the public Acts, documents."

5. Mat. 11, 28.

6. d Speculatoriam, the heavy military boot.

7. 1 sanctae Ex.3,5. Mat.26, 52.

8. Eph. 6, 17.

9. Heb. 4, 12.

10. Eph. 6, 13.

11. e Lit. the donative; the bounty of Christ for that of the Emperors.

12. f Those of Montanus, de Fug. in Pers. c. 1.

13. Mat. 10, 23.

14. g Baronius A. 173. supposes Victor, Bp. of Rome, to be intended. But Victor took no prominent part against the Montanists; on the contrary, he sided with them against the Asiatic Bishops, whose communion he had renounced, about the keeping of Easter, acknowledged the prophecies of Montanus, Prisca, Maximilla, communicated with them, giving them letters of peace, until he was better informed by Praxeas, when he recalled them, (adv. Prax. c. 1.) The Montanists were excommunicated by a Council of Hierapolis, under S. Apollinarius with twenty-six other Bishops; (Conc. t. i. p. 599.) the martyrs of Lyons wrote warnings against them to the Bishop of Rome, [Eleutherus,] and to the Christians in Asia, (Eus. v. 3.) Serapion, Bishop of Antioch, also sent (apparently a synodical) Epistle against them, in which there were the subscriptions of several other Bishops; among them, one of Thrace. (Eus. H. E. v. 19.) see Tillemont, H. E. Art. Montanists, Art. 2-4. t. ii. p. 193 sqq. The Church then, having thus generally declared against the Montanists, this taunt is probably directed against the Bishops generally, on the ground of their withdrawing in persecution, when their lives alone were sought. See S. Cypr. de Laps. c. 8. p. 159. Oxf. Tr. not. g.

160 Grounds of Church's practice to be sought, while obeying it.

15. h Scorpiace.

16. i ipsius vel maxime exemplo from Cod. Gorz. Rig. (from Cod. Ag.) has ipsi vel maxime Christiani, "very specially the laurel-crowned Christians;" it is difficult to decide whether A. has taken from, or G. added to, the text.

17. 1 quibus in solatium quaestio est

18. j Apol. c. 42.

19. 2 Plane; sic tamen ut restored

20. k Plane; sic tamen ut ratio quaerenda sit; sed salva observatione; the words Plane; sic tamen &c. seem to be those of an opponent; T. "You must obey what general consent establishes." Opp. "But that does not preclude enquiry." T. " Provided you enquire, while obeying, not when you have ceased to obey."

Actions not prohibited in H. Scr., are not therefore permitted, 161

21. 1 credit

22. l according to the words Nisi credideritis, non intelligetis, Is. 7,9. LXX. adv. Marc. iv. 21. 25. 27. v. 11. Cypr. Test. i. 5. iii. 42.

23. m S. Basil uses the same argument against the marriage of a wife's sister; (Ep. 160. ad Diodor.) and it seems, on the ground, that if an action be in any wise doubtful, the absence of positive permission will, to a dutiful mind, be decisive against it.

24. n "First of all, which is of greatest moment in things of this sort, the practice amongst us, which we can produce, hath the form of law, because our rules have been handed down to us by holy men." Basil. l. c.

162 Enumerations of unwritten traditions.

25. ° The duty of observing ecclesiastical ordinances, (the reason of which is not apparent,) because transmitted, is stated by Orig. Hom. 5. in Num. §. 1. S. Jerome, (adv. Lucif. §. 8.) adopts the instances and even the words of Tert. S. Basil has a like enumeration, in support of the traditional doxology, "To the Father----with the Holy Spirit," to which the heretics objected, (de Sp. S. c. 27.) S. Cyprian, Ep. 63. [Fell and Pam.] ad Caecil. init. contends that the older universal and Divine tradition [in mingling water with the wine in the Holy Eucharist] is to be retained against the "human and novel." S. Augustine (Ep. 54. ad Januar. init.) declares the rites received by the universal Church to be binding, as being Apostolic or having the authority of Oecumenical Councils; (de Bapt. c. Don. ii. 7. §. 12. iv. 24. init. add v. 23.) that things, neither mentioned in Scripture nor Councils, but universally received, were accounted Apostolic; (ib. iv. 6. §. 9.) that what those of older date knew not to have been introduced by those subsequent to the Apostles, was Apostolic; (de Unit. Eccl. c. 22. §. 63.) that where Scripture was silent, the universal Church was to be obeyed, as being accredited by the Lord Christ; (c. Cresc. Don. i. 33.) that a practice so supported had the authority of Scripture. The traditions for which this authority is claimed are, 1. primitive, 2. universal; not modern, nor of a branch of a Church, as those of Rome. When traditions vary, S. Augustine, (Ep. 54.) on the authority of S. Ambrose, and S. Jerome, (Ep. 71. ad Lucian. v. fin.) lay down that those of the local Church are to be observed.

26. p The renouncing of Satan is part of the service for making Catechumens in the Gelasian Liturgy, (Assem. Cod. Lit. i. 17.) and it is there marked that an interval was to take place before Baptism was to be bestowed; in another form, (ib. p. 21.) this is not marked. There is a trace of the same separation in the Gellone Sacramentary, (ib. ii. 53.) Rheims, (ii. 58.) It is equally part of the same service in the Gregorian, (ib. p. 22.) although this is directly united with the Baptismal Service. In the Greek Liturgy it also occurs in the Service for Catechumens, (ib. p. 114. and 137, 8.) which was originally distinct but is also joined on to the Baptismal. (It is so adapted in a MS. quoted ib. ii. 129.) Also in the Coptic, (ib. 158.) Armenian, (i. 172. add ii. 203.) in the revised Syriac, (i. 237. which is used as introductory to the Antiochene and Jerusalem Baptismal liturgies, ii. 214. note 1.) and the Apostolic translated from the Greek by James of Edessa, (i. 250.) All these are now practically joined on to the Baptismal service, (see Coptic, ii. 150. Armen. ii. 194. Syr. ii. 214 and 226. Apostolic by Severus, ii. 280.) since none are now admitted as Catechumens. Hence in the old Gallican, ib. ii. 39. 42. Jerus. Syriac, for Infants, (ii. 251.) in the Roman Office for Infants by Paul V. (as in our own,) it is inserted in the Baptismal office; (ib. ii. 17.) in theirs for Adults, it remains as part of the service of Catechumens, though blended in one with the Baptismal, (ib. p. 22.) In the Malabar, (as there given,) it is not specified, although referred to in a prayer, (i. 183.) Bingham, however, (11. 7. 1.) speaks of this statement as something peculiar to Tertullian, and in the de Spect. c. 13. T. says explicitly, "we who have twice renounced idols," (i. e. both when made Catechumens, and when about to be baptized.) In S. Cyril. Jer. Lect. 19. Myst. 1. the Renunciation is spoken of as having taken place at the Baptism.

Unwritten traditions universally observed in Baptism. 163

27. q Tertullian repeats this form of Renunciation, de Idol. c. 6. and de Spect. c. 4. and refers to it de Cult. Fem. i. 2. The "angels" of Satan are also renounced in the Greek liturgy, "I renounce Satan and all his works, and all his service, and all his angels, and all his pomp; (Ass. i. 114. 137, 8.) and in a different order Constt. Ap. vii. 41. "I renounce Satan, and his works, and his pomps, and his services, and his Angels, and his inventions, and all which are under him;" in the Coptic, "I renounce thce, Satan, and all thy unclean works, and all thy wicked daemons, and thy evil ministers, and all thy might, and thy defiled service, and all thy malicious crafts and seductions, and all thy army, and all thy power, and all other thy impieties; (ib. 158.) in the Armenian, "We renounce thee, Satan, and all thy crafts, and all thy snares, and thy ministers, and thy angels, and thy steps;" (ib. 172. and ii. 203.) and in the Apostolic Syriac, " I, N. who am to be baptized, renounce Satan, and all his hosts, and all his works, and all his doings, and all his might, and all his worldly error, and all those who follow him and his vile counsels," (ib. i. 250, 1.) and the revised Syriac, (Ass. i. 237.) also in S. Basil de Sp. S. c. 27. where the renunciation of the Devil and his angels is instanced as an unwritten tradition. They are omitted by S. Cyril of Jerusalem, (Lect. 19. Myst. 1.) Chrys. Catech. ad Ilium, ii. §. 4. 5. t. ii. p. 242, 3. The Gelasian and Gregorian yet briefer, "Dost thou renounce Satan? I renounce. And all his works P I renounce. And all his pomps? I renounce." (i. 17. 21. 22.) add Gellone(ii.52.57.) Chelles, (ii. 62.) In the Malabar, (i. 183.) "renouncing Satan and all his works." Old Gallican, (ii. 39.) "Dost thou renounce Satan, the pomps of the world, and the pleasures of the flesh," or ii. 42. "Satan, his pomps, his luxuries, this world?" Ambrosian, (ii. 44.) "Dost thou renounce the Devil? I renounce. Dost thou renounce the world and its pomps? I renounce."

28. r Adv. Prax. c. 26. Can. Ap. 49. Basil de Sp. S. c. 27. Ambr. de Sacr. ii. 7 and 21. Jerome adv. Lucif. c. 8. Greg. Nyss. de Bapt. Christi, t. iii. p. 372. Cyril Jer. Cat. Myst. ii. 4. Leo Ep. 4. ad Episc. Sic. c. 3. Gelasian Sacramentary, Ass. ii. 5. 7. Gregorian, (ib. 9.) Ambrosian, ii. 46. Gellone, (ii. 54.) Rheims, (ii. 59.) Chelles, (ii. 63.) S. Germain des Près, (ii. 66.) Moisac (ii. 68.) Gladbach. dioc. Coln. (ii. 72.) Pontif. Apam. Syr. (ii. 76.) Lodi Ital. (ii. 78.) Vienne, (ii. 81.) Limoges, (ii. 83, 87.) Old Rom. altered, (ii. 91.) Greek, (ii. 145.) Coptic, (ii. 180.) Armenian, (ii. 200.) Malabar, (ii. 212.) Antioch and Jerus. (ii. 225.) Jerus. (ii. 236.) abridged form by Severus, (ii. 304.) La Cerda says that "this tradition is continued among the Greeks, but among the Latins almost disused, for they are mostly content with single immersion." This, however, must be individual neglect, for the trine immersion is prescribed in the ritual of Paul V.; (ii. 17.) only, in case of emergency, single is allowed, (ii. 19.)

29. s the whole Creed, not the single confession of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Matt. 28, 19.

30. t suscepti ,received by the susceptores, God-parents; the word "suscipere" being used first of the adoption on the natural birth, then, by analogy, on the spiritual.

31. u Jerome adv. Lucif. c. 8. adding to Tertullian's words, "to signify infancy." Tert. says, adv. Marc. i. 14. that the Marcionites retained the practice. It is mentioned by Clem. Al. Paedag. i. 6. They were placed on the altar on Easter Eve, Conc. Carth. 3. can. 24. and consecrated with a peculiar benediction, (see Bingham 12. 4. 6.) and in the Ordo Romanus in Sa.bb. Paschae. In Syn. Trull. Can. 57. it is forbidden to place them on the Altar, which implies the continuance of the custom.

164 Traditions on the Holy Eucharist, fasting, postures of prayer,

32. Mat. 26, 27.

33. x Apol. 2. and on c. 39. Cypr. ep. 63. [Fell and Pam.] ad Caecil. fin. S. Aug. speaks of the rite of receiving the Eucharist fasting, as universal, Ep. 54. ad Januar. c. 6. and so implied by S. Chrys. Hom. 27 in 1 Cor. Ep. 125. ad Cyriac. It is prescribed in the third Council of Carthage, Can. 29. S. Greg. Naz. Or. 40. de Bapt. speaks as Tert. see farther Bingham, 15. 7. 8. 

34. y Apol c. 39.

35. z The Eucharistic oblation, for the enlargement of their bliss, deliverance from hell, that they may attain to the resurrection, have a merciful judgment at the last day, not for their deliverance from purgatory, for they were held to be at rest, "this oblation, which we humbly offer unto Thee for the commemoration of the souls that sleep in peace, we beseech Thee, O Lord, receive graciously : and of Thy goodness, grant that both the affection of this piety may profit us, and obtain for them everlasting bliss," Offic. Greg. Opp. t. 5. col. 235, 6. ed. Par. 1605. and (Sacr. Greg. p. 227. ed. Menard.) "For them, O Lord, and for all who are at rest in Christ, we pray for a place of refreshment, and the gracious grant of light and peace." See at length Abp. Usher, Answer to Challenge of a Jesuit, c. 7. in Tracts for the Times, No. 72. Even in the Roman Missal, in the Missa pro defunctis, the prayers are for "attaining to everlasting rest," "that they be not delivered into the hands of the Enemy, not forgotten for ever, not suffer eternal punishment, but obtain everlasting joy," "escape the judgment of vengeance, and enjoy the bliss of everlasting light," "obtain forgiveness and eternal life," or "refreshments," "a share with the saints and the elect, and the perpetual dew of Thy mercy," "that if any spot of earthly contagion cleave to them, it be effaced by the mercy of Thy remission," "that they be placed in the bosom of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, that when the day of Thy appearing cometh, Thou mayest command them to be raised among Thy saints and elect," "that by Thy mercy, they may receive an everlasting participation of Him in Whom they hoped and believed," "that God would give them their reward," "make them partakers of eternal bliss in the congregation of the righteous;" "Absolve the soul of Thy servant from every bond of sin, that, raised to life among Thy saints and elect, he may have refreshment in the glory of the resurrection," "that to those to whom Thou hast given the merit of Christian Faith, Thou wouldest give also a reward." To 63 such prayers, which have no allusion to purgatory, but when they refer to punishment, pray against that of hell, has been joined one only, praying the Blessed Virgin, that her "compassion may aid those languishing in purgatory, who are purged by exceeding heat, and tormented without remedy." Its rhythmical character in itself marks its modern date; it ends, "Blessed through thy merits, we pray thee, raise the dead, and forgiving their debts, be to them the way to rest." In the Roman Breviary also, the only prayer against suffering in the "Officium Defunctorum," is, "From the gates of hell, O Lord, reserve their souls."

36. a the day of their departure from this life, see Bingh. 20. 7. 2.

37. b Iren. in Quaestt. ad Orth. q. 115. Jerome adv. Lucif., Prol. Comm. in Eph. Aug. Ep. 119. ad Januar. c. 15. 17. Bingham 13. 8. 3.

38. c as one continued festival of the resurrection, Iren. l. c. Hil. Praef. in Ps. Aug. l. c. Bingham l. c.

39. d The consecrated elements, as in the Lord's prayer "our daily bread." Romanists (Rhen. Pam. La C.) explain it of common food, which was treated reverently, as a sort of type of the Eucharist; and Rhen. refers to Clem. Al. Paedag. [ii. l. p. 63.] but Clem. is there speaking of the decency due to Christians' own persons, not to food. Here also the whole context relates to religious rites.

signing the Cross.----Jews also had authoritative traditions. 165

40. e or omitting "crucis," "with the seal." Rev. vii. 3. ix. 4.

41. f See on Cyr. Jerus. iv. 13. p. 40. xiii. 36. p. 161. ed. Oxf. (a passage resembling this) add Chrys. c. Jud. quod Christus sit Deus, c. 9. t. i. p. 571. ed. Ben. Hieron. Ep. 22. ad Eustoch. de Cust. Virg. §. 37. Ep. 130. ad Demetriad. §. 9. vita S. Paul. §. 7. Aug. Tr. 118. in Joh. fin. in Ps. 50. §. 1. Ps. 141. §.9.

42. 1 Cor. 11,5.

43. Sus. 32.

166 Customs, civil, religious, written or no, based on reason, from God.

44. f i.e. himself appealing to the ground of the custom in reason, which made it a law of nature.

45. g i. e. the Church, by continuing the custom, attests its approval of the tradition, whence the custom is derived.

46. h Common law. Ulp. 1. xxxiii. de leg. ap. Her. Digr. ii. 3. "ancient custom is wont to be observed as law and right in those things, which come not down in written law."

47. i i. e. all good law, written or unwritten, Divine or human, is founded in some principle or reason, whether, as in Divine law, of the Divine Mind, and not cognizable always by men, or in human reason, as far as it is sound, derived from the Divine.

48. k as having its authority in itself, independent of the accidents which elicited it.

49. Luke 12, 57.

50. Phil. 3. 15.

51. 1 Cor. 7, 25. 17. v. 40.

52. John 16, 13.

53. l i. e. being guided by the Spirit of God, to see the reasons in the Divine Mind, which gave a fitness to these things, his counsel became, as it were, a transcript of the Divine Mind, and so a command of God.

Use of chaplets contrary to nature, as not adapted to its organs. 167

54. m i. e. holding fast the tradition, examine into its principles, not as the ground of its observance, but to see its wisdom, as founded in nature itself, which when, as in Christianity, purified from error, is the gift of God.

55. n which was encircled with them, de Res. Carn. c. 16, &c. hence the phrase "coronas bibere," see Hoffm. v. Flos. and Plin. xxi. 3. ib. where Cleopatra tinges the tips of the flowers with poison.

168 St. Paul refers to law of nature; safeguard against its corruption.

56. n Clem. Al. Paedag. ii. 8. Minuc. F. p. 347.

57. 1 Cor. 11, 14. Rom. 2, 14.

58. Rom. 1, 26.

59. ° See de Test. An. c. 2.

60. Rom. 8, 20.

61. p Comp. adv. Herm. c. 11. The Apostle is understood to speak of a restoration of the natural creation by S.  Irenaeus, (5.32. 1.) S. Hilary, (in Ps. 148. §. 2.) S. Ambrose, (Prol. in Expos. Ev. sec. Luc. Hexaem. i. 7. §. 22. but including the human soul, Ep. 34. ad Horont.) Origen, (Hom. 4. in Ezek. §. 2.) S. Gregory Naz. (Orat. 1. in Julian, iv. 15.) S. Chrysostome, (in loc.) Theodoret, (in loc. and Gal. 6,  15.) Proclus ap. Epiphan. (Haer. lxiv. 31.) Oecumenius, (ad 2 Pet. iv.) Gaudentius, (Serm. 3. init. Bibl. P. v. p. 948.) S. Jerome, (in Is. 24. fin. 51, 6 sqq.) Maximus Taur. (Bibl. Pat. t. vi. p. 48.) Ambrosiaster, (ad loc.) Auct. de Prom. Dimid. Temp. (ap. Prosper. c. 20.) the later Sedulius, (Collectanea, ad loc. B. P. vi. p. 518.) This liberation of the creature they state, according to Scripture, will take place through its destruction. "For good will He destroy the world. For there will be a new heaven, and there shall be no more night." Ambr. de Elia, c. 21. fin. §. 80. " From which (Ps. 102, 26.) it appears that the perishing of the heavens denotes not their utter destruction, but change for the better," Jerome in Is. 51, 6. Comp. S. Aug. de Civ. D. xx. 16. Chrys. ad loc. Method, de lies. §. 32. S. Cyril Jer. xv.2. S. Athanas., Euseb., Prosper., Cassiodorus, in Ps. 101, 26. Proclus, l. c. and §. 32. Oecumen. l. c. Gaudentius, l. c. Greg. M. Moral, xvii. 9. in Job 25, 24. Auct. de Prom. Dimid. Temp. l. c. Hesychius also, l. v. in Lev. (c. 18.) understands by "the creature," the natural creation. On the other hand, S. Augustine understands it to be "human nature," in those who actually, or who shall hereafter, believe, (Quaestt. 83. qu. 67. Propos. de Ep. ad Rom. Prop. 53. in Prisc. et Orig. e. 8. in Ps. 125. §. 2.) in which he is followed by Greg. M. (Mor. iv. 34. in Job 3, 18.) and Gelasius i. (Tr. 3. c. Pelag. ap. Labbe Conc. t. i. p. 1248.) Origen (ad loc.) seems, in like way, to suppose it chiefly to relate to the soul sympathizing with the body; but also (wherein he is followed by Sedulius, l. c.) to include Angels and even Archangels, in that they "fight" for us. (Dan. 10.) S. Hilary (de Trin. xii. 5.) and S. Cyril Alex. (Thes. xiv. 1. t. v. p. 170. ed. Par.) employ the text against the Arians, since the Son, if created, must have been liable to all here spoken of; they must then have held all creatures even the highest, to be included; the holy Angels are also regarded by Theodoret (ad loc.) as included in the "whole creation," and apparently by S. Greg. Naz. l. c. 

Adherence to nature, wisdom in Heathen, religion in Christians. 169

62.  q De Spect. c. 2.

170 Earliest account of crowns, fabulous or historical.

63. p Hesiod, who speaks of Pandora, calls himself a shepherd, Theog. init so Ovid, and Dio Chrys. ap. Lac.

64. q caeteros, MSS. or certos. Graecos is a conjecture of Rigaltius. The meaning seems, " whereas the story of Pandora is a fable, as contradicted by Scripture, it is known that 'the rest,' those which follow, Saturn, &c. were real men, and originated or improved upon the making of garlands.

65. r Hercules and Bacchus.

66. s Plin. xii. 1.

67. t Id. xvi. 44.

68. u hence used at the Nemean games, Id. xix. 8.

69. x As an expiatory rite. Rig. rejects the words "qua supplicem. Erant enim supplices coronarii apud veteres," against authority. For the fact, Livy, xl. 37. says, on occasion of a solemn supplication for the removal of an epidemic, "all, above twelve, became suppliants (supplicabant), crowned and holding laurel in their hands." Hoffmann, v. Corona, p. 992. says, suppliants used crowns of myrtle. The infulae were crowns, which suppliants bore in their hands, see Hoffm. in v. Lac. also refers to Appian in Ibericis, where suppliants are introduced, "crowned." (stefanwsa&menoi.).

Connection of crowns with idolatry. 171

70. y Plin. xxiv. 10.

71. z A contemporary of Alexander, (Aug. de Cons. Ev. i. 23.) quoted by Clem. Al. Strom, i. 21. p. 139. as a writer about the Egyptian Gods; S. Aug. calls him "a priest," (de Civ. D. viii. 27. 2.) a chief priest, (ib. c. 5.) and states that he made known to Alexander that even the Dii majorum gentium had been men. S. Aug. adds, (c. 5.) that, afraid of the disclosure, he begged Alexander, after he had conveyed what he had written to his mother, to have it burnt.. This book pro_j th_n mhte/ra is quoted by the Schol. on Apollon. iv. 262. see Fabric. Bibl. Gr. t. vi. p. 380. who thinks him the same as Leo Pellaeus, ap. Arnob. [1. iv. p. 147.] which is the more likely, since he too is quoted among authors proving the human origin of gods.

72. a Plin. xvi. 4. xxi. 3.

73. John 8, 44.

74. b Clem. Al. Paedag. ii. 8.

172 Things abused or attributed to idols, may be used, if necessaries,

75. 1 Cor. 10, 19.

76. Is. 38, 21.

77. 1 Tim.5, 23.

78. Mat. 27, 2 Tim.4. 13.

79. c The Egyptian Priests wore linen only, Herod, ii. 37. and others ap. Schweigh. ib.

or comforts, not if vanities----no crowns in Jewish ritual or idolatry. 173

80. Rom. 8, 20.

81. 1 Cor. 3, 16. Rom. 12,1. Phil. 2, 15. Rom. 9, 23, 24.

82. Neh.12, 27.

83. Ex. 32, 6.

174 Heathen rite of crowning dead illustrates idolatry of crowns.

84. 1 Cor.7, 31.

85. a An institution of Lycurgus, which passed to Athens, thence to Rome. Hoffm. v. Corona. "The crown was given them, as having gone through the struggle of life." Suidas ib.

86. Ps. 115, 4.

87. Ps. 115, 8.

88. Tit. 1, 15.

Things not used in God's service, but in idolatry, to be avoided. 175

89. 1 Cor. 10, 28.

90. 1 Cor. 10, 14.

91. 1  Cor. 8, 10.

92. 2 Cor. 6, 15.

93. 2 Cor. 6, 17.

94. 1 John 5, 21.

176 Grounds against serving in armies under Heathen Emperors.

95. b See Note E. end of this Treatise,p.184.

96. c the "oath of fealty" or promise in Baptism, to "keep His will and commandments," &c.

97. d Suetonius Calig. c. 15. has the formula of the oath, "nor will I account myself and my children dearer than Caius." Arrian. 1. l. c. .14. ap. Lac. "We also ought to swear to God the oath which the soldiers do to the Emperor. For they, when they receive their pay, swear to prefer the safety of the Emperor to all things."

98. Mat. 10, 37.

99. e De Idol. c. 19.

100. Mat. 26, 52.

101. 1 Cor. 6, 7.

102. Rom. 12, 19.

103. f Soldiers being also executioners.

104. g De Orat. c. 14. Statio 1. military duty, 2. Christian stationary-days, so called from the long continuance of the service, until 3 in the afternoon.

105. h As being fasts.

106. i Apol. c. 29.

107. 1 Cor.8, 10.

108. k Ib. c. 23.

Converts may remain in military service, keeping from its sins. 177

109. l The Cross in Baptism.

110. m Incense to idols, de Res. Carnis beg. Martial, x. 35. In matutina nupur spectatus arenâ, &c.

111. n Fides pagana, as below, fidelis paganus, i. e. there is one faith, whether soldier or citizen. Others "his fealty as a heathen," i. e. he is bound to God as a Christian, as to the Emperor as a heathen;" but this lies not in the words, and this sense of "paganus" belongs to a later time, when the only heathen were villagers (pagani).

112. Mat. 10, 32.33.

113. Mat. 16, 15.

178 Necessity no plea in any case; else, in all sin.

114. o "Want of will is the cause; want of power is pleaded." Senec. Ep. 116. ap. Lac. 

115. p Ilia.

116. 1 ubique restored

Crown, part of heathen rites, involves wearer in the rest; and blood. 179

117. 1 decoronatis

118. Mat. 6, 24.

119. Mat. 22, 21.

120. q See on S. Aug. Conf. viii. 6.

121. 2 ut Athenis, ut Romae restored

180 Crowns relate to honours, pomps, joys of world, not the Christian's.

122. r A sort of tax or fine on the conquered or those who needed Roman aid; at first, "of slight weight," Liv. 3, 57. afterwards they weighed 100, (ib. 36, 25.) 246, (ib. 32, 27.) 900, or even 1000 lb. Lips. de Rom. Magn. c. 9. 124 crowns were borne in one triumph over Spain. Liv. 40, 43. It was afterwards called aurum coronarium.

123. s The laticlave, as the Heathen's badge of honour; and the "nails" of the Cross, as the Christian's. The latus clavus had some reference to the form of the "nail," but, whether as studded, or otherwise, is uncertain, See Hoffm. Facciol.

124. Mat. 3, 10.

125. Is. 11,1.

126. Ps.20,7. 

127.  c. 18,4.

128. Heb. 11, 13. Gal. 4, 26

129. Phil. 3, 20. Eph. 2, 19.

130. John 6, 20.

131. Mat. 5, 4.

132. t Adopted by Christians, as a symbol of previous chastity. S. Chrys. ap. Bingh. 22. 4, 6. hence it was properly confined to the first marriage. Allusions to the same rite occur in S. Greg. Nyss. Hom. 1. de Orat. Dom. t. 1. p. 724, 5. Basil Seleuc. Vit. S. Theclae. [1. 1. p. 250. ed. Par. but this may be Heathen.] Palladius Hist. Laus. c. 7. (ol. 8.) Bibl. Patr. t. 7. p. 1534. (ap. P. Sherlog. Cantic. Vestig. 27. §. 16.) and a prayer on the imposition of the Crown by the priest enters into the Greek Ritual, (Selden Uxor. Ebr. ii. 24. p. 172. at length.) In the Greek Church, it is still continued, (see Bingham 22. 4. 6.) In the Latin Church, a trace of it occurs about 430, (Sidonius Apollin. 1. 1. Ep. 5. and ad Anthem. ii. 503. ap. Bingham l. c.) and the blessing of the Crown occurs in the Latin liturgies, (Selden ii. 25. p. 182.) The rite occurs later (A.D. 860.) in the answer of Nicolas I. to the Bulgarians, (Seld. p. 179 sqq.) and among the Swiss in the 16th century, when it was praised by P. Martyr "as a laudable ceremony, for the reason given by S. Chrys." Traces of it in the Old Testament are Cant. 3, 11. (in the literal sense, so S. Greg. Nyss. ad loc. t. i.p. 675.) Is. 61, 10. (@@@ being the ornament of the head, and interpreted "a crown" by the LXX, Aq. Theod. Symm. Jer. &c.) and probably Lam. 5, 15. (coll. v. 14.) Ezek. 16, 12. Where then T. says (above, c. 9. p. 173, 4.) that there is no mention of any sacred use of crowns in the Old Testament, he must have meant, in the direct worship of God or in idolatry, (and his words go no further,) or, (since the Talmud says that the use of crowns was forbidden after the war of Vespasian; see Selden ii. ] 5.) must have overlooked these allusions to a discontinued rite.

133. Gen.24, 2.28,1.

Human freedom no cause for crowns, for things of the world unreal. 181

134. 1 Cor. 7, 39.

135. v. 23. 

136.  v. 22.

137. u The infant son of Lycurgus, in memory of whom the Nemean games, were said to have been instituted.

138. x See Apol. c. 13. Hence is coronae Antinoeae of the "lotus rosea," Athen. 1. 3. ap. Salm. ad Solin. pp. 975, 6.

139. y See on c, 3.

140. Phil. 3,19 

141.  Il. Σ. 485,

182 Heathenism crowns the exalted & debased: Xt the Xtian's crown.

142. z here, of gladiators; the places here named are of sin, or punishment, or cruelty, or death. Else, schools were crowned, de Idol. c. 10.

143. a See Apol. c. 35.

144. 1  door

145. 2  threshhold

146. 3 doors

147. 4 hinges

148. 1 Cor. 11,3. v. 7.

149. 1 Cor. 11, 10.

150. Rev. 4, 4.

151. 1 Pet. 3, 3.1 Tim. 2, 9. 1  Cor. 11, 3. 2  Cor. 11,2. Is. 54, 5. Gen. 3, 17. 18.

152. b "It were devoid of reason that we, disciples of the Lord Who was crowned with thorns, should, insulting the holy Passion of the Lord, he encircled with flowers. For the crown of the Lord, prophetically designated us, aforetime unfruitful, who are placed around Him through the Church, whereof He is the Head." Clem. Al. Paed. ii. 8.

Christ's crown, of thorns; glorious crowns worn in, kept for, heaven. 183

153. Ps. 24, 7-10. Mat. 27, 37.

154. Ps. 8, 5.

155. b Thorns are a type of sin in S. Greg. Nyss. de Vit. Mos. i. 207. and indeed in Horace Ep. 1. 14. 4. Moreau (t. 2. p. 348.) quotes from a sermon given to S. Aug. t. 9. "Wilt thou answer that thou art not a thorny land? hadst thou not thorns, thou wouldest not place a crown of thorns on thy Creator's head. Wherefore being such, thou art weighed down by the multitude of thorns, that is, of sins." See also Clem. l. c. p. 79. ed. Sylb. Orig. in Matt. §. 125. ed.de la Rue. 

156. c "Neither is the living image of God to be crowned like dead idols. For the beautiful crown of amaranth is laid up for the well-doer." Clem. l. c.

157. Rev. 2, 7. 10. 2 Tim. 4, 7. 8. Rev. 6, 2. Rev. 10, 1. Rev. 4, 4. Rev. 14, 14.

184 Christian who accepts crown but from God, shamed by Heathen.

158. Rev. 5, 10.

159. c The LXX. have a!nqoj, which Hesych. explains bla&sthsij our "branch;" the Latin fathers and Vulgate render "flos." Others suppose the LXX rendered as though it were @@.

160. Is. 11,2.

161. d This is alluded to by Lamprid. vit. Comm. "He defiled by real homicide the Mithriac rites, wherein something is wont to be said or feigned after a form of fear."

Previous PageTable Of ContentsNext Page

This page has been accessed by people since 1st January 2005.


Return to the Tertullian Project / About these pages