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called the privileges of the Metropolitans, the ancient customs, (τὰ ἀρχαῖα ἔθη.) And indeed the Nicene council establishes nothing on this subject as a new arrangement; but, rather, directs that the ancient usages continue. As the testimony in this case can in no way be weakened, it is right to conclude that the privileges of the Metropolitans were in use long before the Nicene council.
All agree in acknowledging the antiquity of canons XXXVI. and XXXVIL; nor have I anything which I might bring forward against the origin of them in the apostolic age. [But still we ought to bear in mind the following considerations: 1. That here the distinction between a bishop and a presbyter is such as is no where found in the genuine writings of the apostles. 2. That here cities and countries are spoken of as being subject (vnoneipevα) to a bishop; and bishops are spoken of as holding, possessing, or governing those cities or countries, (xarézovres ràs nóLeis éxeivas ras zopas,)-whereas, in the Acts of the Apostles, 20: 17-28, a very different style is used in reference to the elders or presbyters (neoßvrigovs) of the church at Ephesus, whom the apostle Paul charged to take heed to themselves and to all the flock over which the Holy Ghost had made them overseers or bishops, (éniozóлovs). In the age of the apostles, the pastor took oversight of the flock, and was bishop of the church in this or that place. In the age of these canons, he claimed jurisdiction over the whole place. 3. That the arrogant and lordly tone with which the thirty-seventh canon closes, indicates not the apostolic but later times]. Indeed, I can say nothing against canon XXXVIII, although there is in it a mention of Pentecost. For in ancient ecclesiastical writers, Pentecost is found in a double sense. Besides one festive day, it signifies also the whole interval of fifty days between the Passover and Pentecost; and in this more extended sense there is sometimes mention of Pentecost in the ecclesiastical writers of the second century.
Concerning the canons which follow next we have already given an opinion. Here it will be sufficient to remark that even in canons XLIV. and XLV, there is nothing dissonant from apostolic doctrine; [but in respect to all these canons, (from the forty-second to the forty-fifth, inclusive,) and to others where
1 Can. XXXVIII. Δεύτερον τοῦ ἔτους σύνοδος γινέσθω τῶν ἐπισκόπων, καὶ ἀνακρινέτωσαν ἀλλήλους τὰ δόγματα τῆς εὐσεβείας καὶ τὰς ἐμπιπτούσας ἐκκλησιαστικὰς ἀντιλογίας διαλυέτωσων· ἅπαξ μὲν τῇ τετάρτῃ ἑβδομάδι τῆς πεντηκοστῆς, δεύτερον δὲ ὑπερβερεταίου δωδεκάτῃ.
Canons upon Baptism.
bishops are introduced as belonging to an order entirely distinct from that of presbyters, and where sub-deacons, readers, and others of the minor clerical orders are mentioned, we must be permitted to doubt their having come from the apostolic age, until some proof be adduced.]
In canons XLVI, XLVII and XLVIII, the baptism of heretics is represented as a defilement by which every one who participates with them becomes exposed to damnation; and, under penalty of being deposed, a Bishop or Presbyter is forbidden to re-baptize one who has been truly baptized. To what age, then, would we adjudge these canons? We refer them, most confidently, to the end of the third century, there having arisen, at length, in the third century, controversies respecting the baptism. of heretics. Nor did any controversy on this subject arise before the two councils at Carthage had confirmed the ancient custom of baptizing heretics, and Stephen, bishop of Rome, had rejected their decrees. It would here be out of place to expatiate on this discord concerning the baptism of heretics. But every one will understand that our canons could not have been written at any other time than about the end of the third century, when there was enkindled on this subject a most bitter controversy.
We must now speak concerning canons XLIX. and L. Canon XLIX. inculcates that baptism be administered in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit; and canon L forbids that any bishop or presbyter, under penalty of being deposed, perform merely one immersion given in reference to the death of the Lord, instead of three immersions pertaining to one initiation. All must acknowledge it to have been a very ancient custom to immerse three times those who were baptized. But nevertheless, we deny the apostolic origin of these canons. without any doubt, they are directed against that kind of heretics, who, instead of the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, used this formula in baptizing: 'I baptize thee into the death of Christ. Eunomius, an Arian, as he denied the divinity of the
' Can. XLVII. 'Επίσκοπος ἢ πρεσβύτερος τὸν κατ' ἀλήθειαν ἔχοντα βάπτισμα ἐὰν ἄνωθεν βαπτίση, ἢ τὸν μεμολυσμένον παρὰ τῶν ἀσεβῶν ἐὰν μὴ βαπτίσῃ, και θαιρείσθω, ὡς γελῶν τὸν σταυρὸν καὶ τὸν τοῦ κυρίου θάνατον, καὶ μὴ διακρίνων ἱερέας τῶν ψευδιερέων.
* Can. L. Εἴ τις ἐπίσκοπος ἢ πρεσβύτερος, μὴ τρία βαπτίσματα μιᾶς μυήσεως ἐπιτελέσῃ, ἀλλ' ἐν βάπτισμα τὸ εἰς τὸν θάνατον τοῦ κυρίου διδόμενον, καθαιρείσθω· οὐ γὰρ εἶπεν ὁ κύριος, Εἰς τὸν θάνατόν μου βαπτίσατε, ἀλλὰ πορευθέντες μαθητεύσατε πάντα τὰ ἔθνη, βαπτίζοντες αὐτοὺς εἰς τὸ ὄνομα τοῦ πατρὸς καὶ τοῦ υἱοῦ καὶ τοῦ ἁγίου πνεύματος.
Son and of the Holy Spirit, wished not to baptize by trine immersion, but only into the death of Christ. Of this fact Socrates informs us in his Ecclesiastical History, B. V. c. 24. From this account, therefore, it is exceedingly clear when these canons were brought into existence. For they were framed for the purpose of abolishing the perverse practice of those heretics.
Let us now pass to the second part of the canons, which, for a long time, was not received at all in the Latin church, but obtained among the Greeks the same authority which they accorded to the first part.
It has seemed to me right to agree with the learned men who have treated concerning them, that in canons LI, LIII. and the eight next following, nothing opposes our referring their origin to the apostolic age. For they exhibit certain general regulations which can be promulgated at almost any time. But the case is different with canons LII. and LXII, which are expressly opposed to those who affirm that a returning penitent ought not to be readmitted. They examine this error, and direct that those who had fallen away, be received. We know very well, that, in the third century, this rigor against the lapsed arose from the Novatian controversies. To this time, therefore, we assign both these
Several of the other canons (LXIII, LXV, LVI, LXVII, LXX, LXXI, and LXXII,) no one has assailed; but all allow them a very high antiquity....
But our canon LXIV. must be subjected to a more careful examination. It forbids that any one fast on the Lord's day or on the Sabbath except one only, to wit, the great or ante-Paschal,— [the Saturday before Easter.]2 Although the observance which our canon exhibits in respect to fasting, is not so ancient as to reach the apostolic age, yet we cannot refer it to so late a time as Daillé assigns to it. For Tertullian, (De coron. Milit. c. 3.) assures us that, in his time, the observance prevailed which our canon commends. And also from Epiphanius and other writers of the fourth century, it can easily be seen that not only among the Montanists but also among the orthodox, this custom was very common in the third century. Canon LXIX. enjoins, under the hea
1 Can. LII. Εἴ τις ἐπίσκοπος ἢ πρεσβύτερος τὸν ἐπιστρέφοντα ἀπὸ ἁμαρτίας οὐ προσδέχεται, ἀλλ' ἀποβάλλεται, καθαιρείσθω, ὅτι λυπεῖ χριστὸν τὸν εἰπόντα, χαρὰ γίνεται ἐν οὐρανῷ ἐπὶ ἑνὶ ἁμαρτωλῷ μετανοοῦντα.
2 Can. LXIV. Εἴ τις κληρικὸς εὑρεθῇ τὴν κυριακὴν ἡμέραν νηστεύων ἢ τὸ σάββατον πλὴν τοῦ ἑνὸς μόνου, καθαιρείσθω· εἰ δὲ λαϊκὸς, ἀφοριζέσθω.
1847.] The seventy-third to the eighty-fourth Canons.
viest penalty, the fast of Lent, commencing the fortieth day (Quadragesima) before Easter, and the fasts on Wednesday and Friday, (the fourth day of the week, and the day of the Preparation). Besides, in this canon itself, the inferior clerical orders are mentioned, which not obscurely indicates the time of its origin; and the rest of its contents, indeed, confirms this indication. I am fully convinced that the ecclesiastical law, here presented, was not received earlier than in the third century. There are, however, among the learned, some who endeavor to vindicate the apostolic origin of this Fast of Lent, appealing to passages of Jerome and Augustin, who derive this custom from apostolic tradition. But with these Fathers, the expressions used in those passages are general forms of speaking, which are by no means to be perverted. It is evident, on the contrary, from the concurring statements of writers in the third century and in the fourth, that the Fast, as here regulated, was not observed till in the third century.1
Against the antiquity of canon LXXIII, learned men have mentioned well founded objections. For when, in this canon, it is forbidden that any one appropriate to his own use a vessel of silver or of gold, or a curtain, that has been consecrated, it follows that at the time when the canon was framed, the Christians had sacred edifices and precious vessels.2... We therefore place this canon in the beginning of the third century, when it is most certain that spacious and costly buildings for Christian worship were erected.
But we readily acknowledge the very high antiquity of the next following canons, as far as to the eighty-fourth; since, [in most points,] they do not depart from the simplicity of the apostolic age. Only this it seems proper to remark against canon LXXXII, that in the words as our Onesimus appeared, (olos 'Ovýσιμος, ὁ ἡμέτερος ἀνεφάνη,) it endeavors to impose on the reader a false author. This, although it does not pertain to the subject of which the canon treats, throws upon it an unfavorable suspi cion: [which is not a little increased by the apparent assumption of unlimited power for councils of bishops in canon LXXIV,
* Can LXX. Εἴ τις ἐπίσκοπος ἢ πρεσβύτερος ἢ διάκονος ἢ ἀναγνώστης ἢ ψάλτῆς τὴν ἁγίαν τεσσαρακοστὴν τοῦ πάσχα ἢ τετράδα ἢ παρασκευὴν οὐ νηστεύοι, και θαιρείσθω, ἐκτὸς εἰ μὴ δι' ἀσθένειαν σωματικὴν ἐμποδίζοιτο· εἰ δὲ λαϊκὸς εἴη, ἀφοριζέσθω.
* Can. LXXIII, Σκεῖος χρυσοῦν ἢ ἀργυροῦν ἁγιασθὲν ἢ ὀθόνην μηδεὶς ἔτι εἰς οἰκείαν χρήσιν σφετεριζέσθω· παράνομον γὰρ· εἰ δὲ τις φωραθείη, ἐπιτιμάσθω
and by the mention of 'the sacerdotal administration' in canon LXXXIII].
The eighty-third canon rejects the practice of those who obtain at the same time an office in the Roman government and in the church. In this, regard is probably had to the proceeding in the council at Antioch, which deposed Paul of Samosata, because, among other offences, he was occupied as a secular magistrate.
It remains that we speak concerning the last of these canons. Scarcely any one of them bears upon itself more openly than this the vestiges of a later time. It is therefore easy to fix the time of its origin. This canon presents a catalogue of the sacred books of the New Testament, enumerating all those which it deems canonical . . . . Even the two epistles of Clement, and the constitutions are set forth in our canon as being apostolical. If now we institute a comparison between this canon and the catalogue of canonical books which Eusebius, in his Ecclesiasti. cal History, B. III. c. 25, has given us, we readily perceive that our canon was not made up till in the end of the fourth century, when the books just now mentioned, which it proclaims to be canonical, were brought into the canon of the sacred Scriptures. And if we inquire why this last canon was framed, the answer is easy and prompt,-that by its aid spurious books might be commended.
In view of this discussion, who is there that will not maintain with us, that our canons were formed at different times in the churches denominated apostolical as having been planted by apostles, and that they were afterwards gathered into the collection which we now possess?
1 Can. LXXXIII. Ἐπίσκοπος ἢ πρεσβύτερος ἢ διάκονος στρατείᾳ σχολάζων καὶ βουλόμενος ἀμφότερα κατέχειν, Ῥωμαϊκὴν ἀρχὴν καὶ ἱερατικὴν διοίκησιν, καθαιρείσθω· τὰ γὰρ τοῦ καίσαρος καίσαρι, καὶ τὰ τοῦ θεοῦ τῷ θεῷ.