« ForrigeFortsett »
allowed to read the Holy Scriptures.
7. Here I shall only remark further, that they allowed them to read some portions of the Scripture; for the moral and historical books were thought most proper at first for their instruction; and the chief use of those, which are now called apocryphal books, was then to instil. moral precepts into the catechumens. Upon this account Athanasius says 35, though they were not canonical books, as the rest of the books of the Old and New Testament, yet they were such as were appointed to be read by those who were new proselytes and desirous to be instructed in the ways of godliness: such were the Wisdom of Solomon, the Wisdom of Sirach, Esther, Judith, Tobit;' to which he also adds 'the book called the Doctrine of the Apostles, and the Shepherd,' that is, Hermes Pastor. The Author of the Synopsis of the Holy Scripture 36 also, under the name of Athanasius, has much the same observation, that besides the canonical books there were other books of the Old Testament, which were not in the canon, but only read to or by the catechumens.' But this was not allowed in all Churches: for it seems to have been otherwise in the Church of Jerusalem, at the time when Cyril 37 wrote his Catechetical Discourses. For he forbids his catechumens to read all apocryphal books whatsoever, and charges them to read those books only which were securely read in the Church, viz. those books which the Apostles and ancient bishops, who were wiser than the catechumens, had handed down to them. Then he specifies particularly the canonical books of the Old and New Testament, all the same as are now in our Bibles, except the Revelation, because I presume it was not then read in the Church; and at last concludes with this charge to the catechumens, that they
35 Ep. Heortast. [al. Ep. ad Amun. Monach.] t. 2. p. 39. (t. I. part. 2. p. 768 a.) "Εστι καὶ ἕτερα βιβλία τούτων ἔξωθεν· οὐ κανονιζόμενα μὲν, τετυπωμένα δὲ παρὰ τῶν πατέρων ἀναγινώσκεσθαι τοῖς ἄρτι προσερχομένοις, καὶ βουλομένοις κατηχεῖσθαι τὸν τῆς εὐσεβείας λόγον Σοφία Σολομῶνος, καὶ Σοφία Σιράχ, καὶ Ἐσθήρ, καὶ Ιουδίθ, καὶ Τοβίας, καὶ Διδαχὴ καλουμένη τῶν ̓Αποστόλων, καὶ ὁ Ποιμήν.
36 Synops. Script. t. 2. p.55. (t. 2. p.98 c.) Εκτὸς δὲ τούτων [τῶν κανονιζομένων] εἰσὶ πάλιν ἕτερα βιβλία
τῆς αὐτῆς παλαιᾶς διαθήκης, οὐ κανονιζόμενα μὲν, ἀναγινωσκόμενα δὲ μόνον τοῖς κατεχουμένοις.
37 Catech. 4. n. 22. [al. 35.] p. 66. (p. 68 e.) Πρὸς τὰ ἀπόκρυφα μηδὲν ἔχε κοινόν. Ταύτας μόνας μελέτα σπουδαίως, ἃς καὶ ἐν ἐκκλησίᾳ μετὰ παρρησίας ἀναγινώσκομεν· πολύ σου φρονιμώτεροι ἦσαν οἱ ̓Απόστολοι καὶ οἱ ἀρχαῖοι ἐπίσκοποι, οἱ τῆς ἐκκλησίας προστάται, οἱ ταύτας παραδόντες. Ibid. [n. 36.] p. 67. (p. 69 d.) "Oσa év ἐκκλησίαις μὴ ἀναγινώσκεται, ταῦτα μηδὲ κατὰ σαυτὸν ἀναγίνωσκε.
should not read any other books privately by themselves, which were not read publicly in the church.' From whence I conclude, that as the books which we now call apocryphal were not then read in the Church of Jerusalem, so neither were they allowed to be read by the catechumens, though they were read both publicly and privately in many other Churches.
I know some learned persons are of a different opinion, and think that Cyril, by apocryphal books, means not those which we now call apocryphal, viz. Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, &c., but other pernicious and heretical books, which were absolutely reprobated and forbidden to all Christians. But if that had been his meaning, he would not have said, that the canonical books were the only books that were read in the Church of Jerusalem, but would have distinguished, as other writers in other Churches do, between canonical, ecclesiastical, and apocryphal books, and have intimated that the ecclesiastical books were such as were allowed to be read in the church, as well as the canonical, for moral instruction, though not to confirm articles of faith. Whereas he says nothing of this, but the express contrary, that none but the canonical books were read publicly in the church, nor were any other to be read privately by the catechumens.' Which, at least, must mean thus much, that in the Church of Jerusalem there was a different custom from some other Churches; and that, though in some Churches the catechumens were allowed to read both the canonical books and the apocryphal, or, as others call them, the ecclesiastical, yet in the Church of Jerusalem they were allowed to read only the canonical Scriptures, and no other. However it is observable, that no Church anciently denied any order of Christians the use of the Holy Scriptures in the vulgar tongue, since even the catechumens themselves, who were but an imperfect sort of Christians, were exhorted, and commanded to read the canonical books in all Churches, and the apocryphal books in some Churches, for moral instruction. Nay, if we may believe Bede, they were obliged to get some of the Holy Scriptures by heart, as a part of their exercise and discipline, before they were baptized. For he 3s commends it as a laud
38 De Tabernac. 1. 2. c. 13. (t. 4. p. 887.) Unde pulcher in ipsa ecclesia mos antiquitus inolevit, ut his, BINGHAM, VOL. III.
qui catechizandi, et Christianis sunt sacramentis initiandi, quatuor Evangeliorum principia recitentur, ac de G g
Four orders or degrees
able custom in the ancient Church, that such as were to be catechized and baptized were taught the beginnings of the four Gospels, and the intent and order of them, at the time when the ceremony of opening their ears was solemnly used; that they might know and remember what and how many those books were, from whence they were to be instructed in the true faith.'
So far were they from locking up the Scriptures from any order of men in an unknown tongue, that they thought them useful and instructive to the meanest capacities; according to that of the Psalmist, (119, 130.) "The entrance in of thy word giveth light; it giveth understanding to the simple :" and therefore they allowed them to be vulgarly read, not only by the more perfect and complete Christians, but even by the very catechumens, among whom, as St. Austin3s and others have observed, those were commonly the most tractable and the best proficients, who were the most conversant in the Holy Scriptures. For which reason they made it one part of the catechumens' care to exercise themselves in the knowledge of them, and did not then fear that men should turn heretics by being acquainted with the word of truth.
Of the several classes or degrees of catechumens, and the gradual exercises and discipline of every order.
1. THAT there were different orders or degrees of catechuof catechu. mens in all such Churches, as kept to the term of catechizing
figuris et ordine eorum in apertione
38 [From the vagueness of this
Serm. 97 of Cæsarius, which is Serm. 303 of the Benedictine, (ibid. p. 508.) where even the countryman, though he should say Ego homo rusticus sum et terrenis operibus jugiter occupatus sum, is exhorted to read, while in other places those who cannot read are exhorted to listen to others reading the Scriptures to them.-See also Ad Fratres in Eremo Serm. 38. (Ed. Bened. t. 6. append. p. 345.) De sacra Scriptura ingentibus præconiis cum exhortatione ad diligentem ipsius lectionem. Or simply, as the MS. gives the title, De Sacra Scriptura legenda. ED.]
for two or three years together, is acknowledged on all hands mens among the by learned men; but what was the precise number of these ancients. orders, is not so certainly agreed. The Greek expositors of the ancient canons usually make but two sorts, the ἀτελέστεροι and the τελειώτεροι, [τελεώτεροι oι τελειότεροι would be more classically correct,] the imperfect and the perfect, the beginners and the proficients, who were the immediate candidates of baptism. So Balzamon 39 and Zonaras 40, Alexius Aristenus 41 and Blastares 42, and in this opinion they are followed by many modern writers. Dr. Cave 43 makes no other distinction but this of the perfect and imperfect, and says of the imperfect 'that they were as yet accounted heathens;' which, for the reasons given in the foregoing chapter, I cannot subscribe to: for I have showed, that from the time that they received imposition of hands to make them catechumens, they were always both called and accounted Christians, though but in an imperfect state, till they were completed by baptism. Bishop Beveridge 44 makes but two sorts of catechumens likewise, the
39 Not. in C. Neocæsar. c. 5. p. 789 b. (ap. Bevereg. t. Ι. p. 405 f.) Δύο τάξεις τῶν κατηχουμένων εἰσίν· οἱ μὲν γὰρ ἄρτι προσέρχονται, καὶ, ὡς ἀτελέστεροι, μετὰ τὴν ἀκρόασιν τῶν γραφῶν καὶ τῶν θείων εὐαγγελίων, εὐθὺς ἐξίασιν· οἱ δὲ ἤδη προσῆλθον, καὶ γεγόνασι τελειώτεροι· ὅθεν καὶ τὴν ἐπὶ τοῖς κατηχουμένοις εὐχὴν ἀναμένοντες, τὸ γόνυ κλίνουσιν ἐν ταύτῃ.
40 In eund. loc. (ap. Bevereg. ibid. p. 406 b.) Δύο τάξεις ἦσαν τῶν κατηχουμένων τὸ παλαιόν· οἱ μὲν γὰρ πιστοὶ ὄντες, ὑπερτιθέμενοι δὲ τὸ βάπτισμα, μετὰ τῶν κατηχουμένων ἵσταντο, καὶ, τῆς ἐπὶ κατηχουμένοις εὐχῆς λεγομένης, ἔκλινον τὸ γόνυ· ὅτε δὲ ἐξεφωνήθη τὸ, οἱ κατηχούμενοι προέλθετε, τότε ἐξήρχοντο· οἱ δὲ ἄρτι προσελθόντες, καὶ ἀτελέστεροι ὄντες, τῶν ἁγίων γραφῶν ἤκουον, καὶ μετὰ τὴν ἀνάγνωσιν τοῦ εὐαγγελίου ἀπῄεσαν.
41 In C. Ancyr. c. 14. (ap. Bevereg. ibid. p. 406 d.) Δύο εἴδη τῶν κατηχουμένων εἰσίν· οἱ μὲν γὰρ ἄρτι προσέρχονται· διὸ καὶ, ὡς ἀτελέστεροι, μετὰ τὴν ἀκρόασιν τῶν γραφῶν καὶ θείων εὐαγγελίων, εὐθὺς ἐξίασι· οἱ δὲ πρὸ καιροῦ προσῆλθον, καὶ γεγόνασι τελειώτεροι.
42 [Ap. Suicer. Thes. Eccles. (t. 2.
p. 72 a.) Εἰς δύο τάξεις οἱ κατηχού-
43 Primitive Christianity, part. I.
44 In C. Nicæn. c. 14. (t. 2. append. p. 80.) Horum [catechumenorum] duo fuisse genera, ex hoc ipso canone demonstrari potest; alios nimirum ἀκροωμένους fuisse, alios εὐχομένους. Hic enim decernitur, . ut si quis catechumenus lapsus sit, tribus ille annis sit inter ἀκροωμένους, audientes; postea autem εὔχεται, orat
ἀκροώμενοι, and the εὐχόμενοι, or γονυκλίνοντες, that is, the hearers, who only stayed to hear the sermon and the Scriptures read, and the kneelers or substrators, who stayed to receive the minister's prayers and benediction also. Suicerus 45 and Basnage 46 go much the same way, dividing them into two classes, the audientes and competentes. Maldonate 47 adds to these a third class, which he calls catechumeni pœnitentes, such catechumens as were under the discipline and censures of the Church. Cardinal Bona 48 augments the number to four kinds, viz. the audientes, genuflectentes, competentes, and electi. And indeed it appears, that there were four kinds of them; yet not exactly the same as Bona mentions; for the competentes and electi were but one and the same order. But there was another order antecedent to all these, which none of these writers mention, which we may call the ¿¿włoúμevoi, that is, such catechumens as were instructed privately, and without doors, before they were allowed to enter the Church.
First, the 2. That there was such an order or degree of catechumens ἐξωθούμενοι, as this, is evidently deduced from one of the canons of the Council of Neocæsarea 49, which speaks of several sorts of catechumens, and this among the rest, in these words: If any
or catechumens instructed privately
cum catechumenis, nimirum oranti-
45 Thes. Eccles. voce, karηxéw (t.
46 Exercit. in Baron. An. 44. (p. 484.) Duo catechumenorum ordines exhibentur coram oculis, yovukλivóvτων et ἀκουόντων.
47 De Bapt. c. 1. (t. 1. p. 78, 79.) Erant autem tres gradus catechumenorum. Qui valde erant tirones, vocabantur a Græcis ἀκουόμενοι, et a Latinis auditores sive audientes.... Qui autem ita instituti jam erant, ut
digni viderentur baptismo, vocabantur competentes, quasi ambientes jam baptismum. . . . Álii erant, qui, postquam cœperant catechizari, lapsi erant in peccatum aliquod publicum. Quod censebatur esse summum nefas, et propterea relegabantur in numerum pœnitentium Christianorum, et exspectare debebant tres annos.
48 Rer. Liturg. 1. 1. c. 16. n. 4. (p. 211.) Porro catechumenos in varias olim classes distinctos reperio. ... In Latina ecclesia, omnes classes ad quatuor redacta sunt, quæ in sermonibus et tractatibus Latinorum patrum passim occurrunt. Quidam enim, ab infidelitate ad fidem converti desiderantes, audiebant in ecclesia verbum Dei, sed nondum petebant baptismum; et ii dicebantur audientes.... Alii, in fide recte instituti, baptismum petebant, et dicti sunt competentes. Qui vero ex istis in albo baptizandorum descripti erant, electi nuncupari solebant.
49 C. 5. (t. 1. p. 1481 c.) Karn