Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

6

The cate- 7. Here I shall only remark further, that they allowed them chumens allowed to

to read some portions of the Scripture; for the moral and hisread the torical books were thought most proper at first for their inHoly Scriptures.

struction; 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

[ocr errors]

35 Ep. Heortast. [al. Ep. ad Amun. της αυτής παλαιάς διαθήκης, ου κανοMonach.], t. 2. p. 39. (t. 1. part. 2. νιζόμενα μεν, αναγινωσκόμενα δε μόνον p. 768 a.) "Έστι και έτερα βιβλία του- τοις κατεχουμένοις. των έξωθεν" ου κανονιζόμενα μεν, τετυ- 37 Catech.4. n. 22. [al. 35.] p.66. πωμένα δε παρά των πατέρων αναγι- (p. 68 e.) Προς τα απόκρυφα μηδέν νώσκεσθαι τοις άρτι προσερχομένοις, έχε κοινόν. Ταύτας μόνας μελέτα και βουλομένοις κατηχείσθαι τον της σπουδαίως, ας και εν εκκλησία μετά ευσεβείας λόγον Σοφία Σολομώνος, παρρησίας αναγινώσκομεν πολύ σου και Σοφία Σιράχ, και Εσθήρ, και φρονιμώτεροι ήσαν οι Απόστολοι και Ιουδίθ, και Tοβίας, και Διδαχή καλου- οι αρχαίοι επίσκοποι, οι της εκκλησίας μένη των Αποστόλων, και ο Ποιμήν. προστάται, οι ταύτας παραδόντες.

36 Synops. Script. t. 2. p.55. (t.2. Ibid. (n. 36.) p. 67. (p. 69 d.) 'Ooa év p. 98 c.) 'Εκτός δε τούτων [των κανο- εκκλησίαις μη αναγινώσκεται, ταύτα νιζομένων] εισί πάλιν έτερα βιβλία μηδε κατά σαυτόν αναγίνωσκε

.

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 38 commends it as a laud

[ocr errors]

38 De Tabernac. l. 2. c. 13. (t. 4. qui catechizandi, et Christianis sunt p. 887.) Unde pulcher in ipsa eccle- sacramentis initiandi, quatuor Evansia mos antiquitus inolevit, ut his, geliorum principia recitentur, ac de

BINGHAM, VOL. III.

GS

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. Austin 38 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.

CHAP. II.
Of the several classes or degrees of catechumens, and the

gradual exercises and discipline of every order. Four orders 1. That there were different orders or degrees of catechuor degrees of catechu.

mens in all such Churches, as kept to the term of catechizing

figuris et ordine eorum in apertione Serm. 97 of Cæsarius, which is aurium suarum solenniter erudiren- Serm. 303 of the Benedictine, (ibid. tur: quo sciant exinde ac memine- p.508.) where even the countryman, rint, qui et quot sint libri, quorum though he should say Ego homo rusverbis maxime in fide veritatis de- ticus sum et terrenis operibus jugiter beant erudiri.

occupatus sum, is exhorted to read, 38 (From the vagueness of this while in other places those who cancitation I am not able to cite the pre- not read are exhorted to listen to cise passage which the Author had others reading the Scriptures to in mind, when he made this state them.-See also Ad Fratres in Eremo ment. The exhortations, however, Serm. 38. (Ed. Bened. t. 6. append. which Augustine makes relative to p. 345.) De sacra Scriptura ingenti, the general reading of Scripture are bus præconiis cum exhortatione ad most frequent. See for example diligentem ipsius lectionem. Or simSerm. de 'Temp. 112, which is Serm. ply, as the MS. gives the title, De 302 of the Appendix of the Benedic- Sacra Scriptura legenda. Ed.] tine, (t. 5. append. p. 507.) and

[ocr errors]

for two or three years together, is acknowledged on all hands mens a

mong

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 ατελέστεροι and the τελειώτεροι, [τελεώτεροι or 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 10, Alexius Aristenus 41 and Blastares 42, and in this opinion they are followed by many modern writers. Dr. Cave 13 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. Neocesar. c. 5. p. p. 72 a.) Εις δύο τάξεις οι κατηχού789 b. (ap. Bevereg. t. Ι. p. 405 f.) μενοι πάλαι ετέθειντο. ED.] Δύο τάξεις των κατηχουμένων εισίν οι 43 Primitive Christianity, part. I. μεν γάρ άρτι προσέρχονται, και, ως ch. 8. p. 21Ι. (p. Ιοτ.) The first were ατελέστεροι, μετά την ακρόασιν των the catechumens, and of these there γραφών και των θείων ευαγγελίων, were two sorts, the τελειότεροι, or ευθύς εξίασιν οι δε ήδη προσήλθον, more perfect: such as had been και γεγόνασι τελειώτεροι· όθεν και την catechumens of some considerable επί τοις κατηχουμένοις ευχήν αναμέ- standing, and were even ripe for

το γόνυ κλίνουσιν εν ταύτη. baptism : these might stay not only 40 In eund. loc. (ap. Bevereg. the reading of the Scriptures, but to ibid. p. 406 b.) Δύο τάξεις ήσαν των the very last part of the first service; κατηχουμένων το παλαιόν οι μεν γάρ the others were the ατελέστεροι, the πιστοι όντες, υπερτιθέμενοι δε το βάπ- more rude and imperfect, who stood τισμα, μετά των κατηχουμένων ίσταν- only amongst the hearers, and were το, και, της επί κατηχουμένοις ευχής to depart the congregation as soon λεγομένης, έκλινον το γόνυ ότε δε as the lessons were read. These εξεφωνήθη τό, οι κατηχούμενοι προέλ- were as yet accounted heathens who θετε, τότε εξήρχοντο οι δε άρτι προσ- applied themselves to the Christian ελθόντες, και ατελέστεροι όντες, των faith, and were catechised and inαγίων γραφών ήκουον, και μετά την structed in the more plain grounds ανάγνωσιν του ευαγγελίου απήεσαν. and rudiments of religion. 41 Ιn C. Ancyr. c. 14. (ap. Beve

44 In C. Nicen. c. 14. (t. 2. apreg. ibid. p. 406 d.) Δύο είδη των pend. p. 8ο.) Horum [catechumenoκατηχουμένων εισίν οι μεν γάρ άρτι rum] duo fuisse genera, ex hoc ipso προσέρχονται διό και, ως ατελέστεροι, canone demonstrari potest ; alios μετά την ακρόασιν των γραφών και nimirum ακροωμένους fuisse, alios θείων ευαγγελίων, ευθύς εξίασιν οι δε εύχομένους. Ηic enim decernitur, . προ καιρού προσήλθον, και γεγόνασι ut si quis catechumenus lapsus sit, τελειώτεροι.

tribus ille annis sit inter ακροωμένους, 42 (Ap. Suicer. Thes. Eccles. (t. 2. audientes; postea autem eŰxetai, orat

VOVTES,

ακροώμενοι, and the ευχόμενοι, 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 poenitentes, such catechumens as were under the discipline and censures of the Church. Cardinal Bona 18 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 èfwooúmevou, 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 εξωθούμενοι, dfwbotuevos, as this, is evidently deduced from one of the canons of the

Council of Neocæsarea 49, which speaks of several sorts of catestructed

chumens, and this among the rest, in these words : • If any privately

or catechu mens in

[ocr errors]

cum catechumenis, nimirum oranti- digni viderentur baptismo, vocabanbus; qui etiam yovuklivovres, genu- tur competentes, quasi ambientes jam flectentes, vocantur a Concilio Neo- baptismum. ... Alii erant, qui, postcæsariensi c. 5.

quam cæperant catechizari, lapsi 45 Thes. Eccles. voce, katnyéw (t. erant in peccatum aliquod publicum. 2. p. 72 a, b.) Catechumenorum vero Quod censebatur esse summum neduo erant genera. Unum eorum, fas, et propterea relegabantur in nuqui audiebant verbum Dei, et Chris- merum pænitentium Christianorum, tiani fieri volebant, sed baptismum et exspectare debebant tres annos. nondum petierant; atque hi dice- 48 Řer. Liturg. 1. 1. c. 16. n. 4. bantur audientes, sive auditores. (b.) (p. 211.) Porro catechumenos in Alterum eorum, qui jam pridem ac- varias olim classes distinctos reperio. cesserant, et, in fide recte instituti, ... In Latina ecclesia, omnes classes baptismum petebant, et præscripto ad quatuor redactæ sunt, quæ in tempore exspectabant. Hi diceban- sermonibus et tractatibus Latinorum tur ouvALTOŪVTES, competentes. patrum passim occurrunt. Quidam

46 Exercit. in Baron. An. 44. (p. enim, ab infidelitate ad fidem con484.) Duo catechumenorum ordines verti desiderantes, audiebant in ecexhibentur coram oculis, yovuklıvóv- clesia verbum Dei, sed nondum των et ακουόντων.

petebant baptismum; et ii diceban47 De Bapt. c. 1. (t. 1. p. 78, 79.) tur audientes. ... Alii, in fide recte Erant autem tres gradus catechu. instituti, baptismum petebant, et menorum. Qui valde erant tirones, dicti sunt competentes. Qui vero ex vocabantur a Græcis åkovópevol, et a istis in albo baptizandorum descripti Latinis auditores sive audientes... erant, electi nuncupari solebant. Qui autem ita instituti jam erant, ut 49 C. 5. (t. I. p. 1481 c.) Karn

« ForrigeFortsett »