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Galatians were in the first century, Montanus and Novatian became in the second and third ; both authors of a harsh and arrogant discipline, both natives of the country in questions, and both meeting with special success in that country, although the schism of the latter was organized at Rome, of which Church he was a presbyter. It was, moreover, the peculiarity, more or less, of both Montanists and Novatians in those parts, to differ from the general Church as to the time of observing Eastero ; whereas, neither in Africa nor in Rome did the two sects dissent from the received rule ?. What was the principle or origin of this irregularity, does not clearly appear; unless we may consider as characteristic, what seems to be the fact, that when their neighbours of the Proconsulate were Quartodecimans, they in the words of Socrates) “shrank from feasting on the Jewish festival?," and after the others had conformed to the Gentile rule, they, on the contrary, openly judaized . This change in their practice, which took place at the end of the fourth century, was mainly effected by a Jew, of the name of Sabbatius, who becoming a convert to Christianity, rose to the episcopate in the Novatian Church. Sozomen, in giving an account of the transaction, observes that it was a national custom with the Galatians and Phrygians to judaize in their observance of Easter. Coupling this remark with Eusebius's mention of Churches in the neighbourhood of the Proconsulate, as included among the Quarto-decimans whom Victor condemned“, we may suspect that the perverse spirit which St. Paul reproves in his Epistle, and which we have been tracing in its Montanistic and Novatian varieties, still lurked in those parts in its original judaizing form, till after a course of years it was accidentally brought out by circumstances upon the public scene of ecclesiastical history. If further evidence of the connexion of the Quartodeciman usage with Judaism be required, I may refer to Constantine's Nicene Edict, which forbids it, among other reasons, on the ground of its being Jewish.
8 Vales. ad loc. Socr. [Philostorg. viii. 15.] 9 Socrat. Hist. v. 22. Sozom. Hist. vii. 18. i Tertull. de Jejun. 14. Vales. ad Sozom. vii. 18. Socrat. Hist. v. 21. 2 Valesius ad. loc. applies this differently. 3 Socrat. Hist. v. 21.
4. The evidence, which has been adduced for the existence of Judaism in the Church of Antioch, is not without its bearing upon the history of the rise of Arianism. I will not say that the Arian doctrine is the direct result of a judaizing practice; but it deserves consideration whether a tendency to derogate from the honour due to Christ, was not created by an observance of the Jewish rites, and much more, by that carnal, self-indulgent religion, which seems at that time to have prevailed in the rejected nation. When the spirit and morals of a people are materially debased, varieties of doctrinal error spring up, as if self-sown, and are rapidly propagated. While Judaism inculcated a superstitious, or even idolatrous dependence on the mere casualties of daily life, and gave licence to the grosser tastes of human nature, it necessarily indisposed the mind for the severe 4 Euseb. Hist. ut supra.
5 Theod. Hist. i. 10.
and unexciting mysteries, the large indefinite promises, and the remote sanctions, of the Catholic faith; which fell as cold and uninviting on the depraved imagination, as the doctrines of the Divine Unity and of implicit trust in the unseen God, on the minds of the early Israelites. Those who were not constrained by the message
mercy, had time attentively to consider the intellectual difficulties which were the medium of its communication, and heard but “a hard saying” in what was sent from heaven as “tidings of great joy.” “The mind,” says
says Hooker, “ feeling present joy, is always marvellously unwilling to admit any other cogitation, and in that case, casteth off those disputes whereunto the intellectual part at other times easily draweth. The people that are said in the sixth of John to have gone after our Lord to Capernaum . . leaving Him on the one side of the sea of Tiberias, and finding Him again as soon as they themselves by ship were arrived on the contrary side . . as they wondered, so they asked also, 'Rabbi, when camest Thou hither ?' The Disciples, when Christ appeared to them in a far more strange and miraculous manner, moved no question, but rejoiced greatly in what they saw The one, because they enjoyed not, disputed; the other disputed not, because they enjoyed 6."
It is also a question, whether the mere performance of the rites of the Law, of which Christ came as antitype and repealer, has not a tendency to withdraw the mind from the contemplation of the more glorious and real images of the Gospel ; so that the Christians of Antioch would diminish their reverence towards the true Saviour of man, in proportion as they trusted to the media of worship provided for a time by the Mosaic ritual. It is this consideration which accounts for the energy with which the great Apostle combats the adoption of the Jewish ordinances by the Christians of Galatia, and which might seem excessive, till vindicated by events subsequent to his own day'. In the Epistle addressed to them, the Judaizers are described as men labouring under an irrational fascination, fallen from grace, and self-excluded from the Christian privileges ® ; when in appearance they were but using, what on the one hand might be called mere external forms, and on the other, had actually been delivered to the Jews on Divine authority. Some light is thrown upon the subject by the Epistle to the Hebrews, in which it is implied throughout, that the Jewish rites, after their Antitype was come, did but conceal from the
6 Eccles. Pol. v. 67.
of faith His divinity, sovereignty, and all-sufficiency. If we turn to the history of the Church, we seem to see the evils in actual existence, which the Apostle anticipated in prophecy; that is, we see, that in the obsolete furniture of the Jewish ceremonial, there was in fact retained the pestilence of Jewish unbelief, tending (whether directly or not, at least eventually) to introduce fundamental error respecting the Person of Christ.
Before the end of the first century, this result is disclosed in the system of the Cerinthians and the
7 [Eusebius says, that St. Paul detected humanitarianism in the Galatian Judaism. Contr. Marcell. i. 1, p. 7.]
8 Socrat. Hist. v. 22.
Ebionites. These sects, though more or less infected with Gnosticisin, were of Jewish origin, and observed the Mosaic Law; and whatever might be the minute peculiarities of their doctrinal views, they also agreed in entertaining Jewish rather than Gnostic conceptions of the Person of Christ'. Ebion, especially, is characterized by his Humanitarian creed; while, on the other hand, his Judaism was so notorious, that Tertullian does not scruple to describe him as virtually the object of the Apostle's censure in his Epistle to the Galatians ?
The Nazarenes are next to be noticed ;—not for the influence they exercised on the belief of Christians, but as evidencing, with the sects just mentioned, the latent connexion between a judaizing discipline and heresy in doctrine. Who they were, and what their tenets, has been a subject of much controversy. It is sufficient for my purpose—and so far is undoubted—that they were at the same time “zealous of the Law” and unsound in their theology; and this without being related to the Gnostic families : a circumstance which establishes them as a more cogent evidence of the real connexion of ritual with doctrinal Judaism than is furnished by the mixed theologies of Ebion and Cerinthus'. It is worth observ
9 Burton, Bampt. Lect., notes 74. 82.
• Burton, Bampt. Lect., note 84. · 3 For the curious in ecclesiastical antiquity, Mosheim has elicited the following account of their name and sect (Mosheim de Reb. Christ. ante Constant. Sæcul. ii. § 38, 39). The title of Nazarene he considers to have originally belonged to the body of Jewish converts, taken by them with a reference to Matt. ii. 23, while the Gentiles at Antioch assumed the Greek appellation of Christians. As the Mosaic ordinances gradually fell into disuse among the former, in process of time it became the pecu.