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a lighted taper in
which was peculiar in their opinion to the African Church, viz. their hands the use of a lighted taper put into the hands of the catechuin the time mens in time of exorcism, to signify, as Mr. Basnage explains it, the illustration of the Holy Ghost;' or, as Vicecomes would have it, the power of exorcism in expelling Satan.' But their .observation, I think, is grounded upon a mere mistake, interpreting some words of St. Cyprian and St. Austin in a literal sense, which are only figurative and metaphorical. Cyprian 13 speaking of the power of Christians over unclean spirits, says, among many other things, that they could oblige them by their powerful stripes to forsake the persons they had possessed; that they could put them to the rack, and make them confess, and cry out, and groan; that they could scourge them with their whips, and burn them with their fire.' Where it is plain enough to any unprejudiced reader, that the fire of exorcism here spoken of is of the same kind with the whips, and stripes, and rack; that is, the spiritual and invisible power of the Holy Ghost; as Cyprian himself immediately explains them, when he < says, all this was done, but not seen; the stroke was invisible, and the effect of it only appeared to men.' So that it was not a material fire, or a lighted taper in the hands of the catechumens, that Cyprian speaks of, as Vicecomes fancies,
illuminatur, gratia scilicet resurrec-
semper ad superiora contendit, et expiationis symbolum, quod eo veteres in purgationibus maxime utebantur.
12 Exercit. in Baron. an. 44. (p. 488.) In Africa, ni fallor, usus luminis adhibebatur in catechismo: Augustin. in Ps. 67. Noli festinare ad aquam, ut transeas ad aquam; propterea et in sacramento, et in catechizando et in exorcizando, adhibetur prius ignis. Eo tendebat et ille ritus, ut igne significaretur Spiritus Sancti illustratio.
13 Ad Donat. p. 4. (p. 3.)... Facultas datur...immundos et erraticos spiritus... ad confessionem minis increpantibus cogere; ut recedant duris verberibus urgere; conflictantes, ejulantes, gementes, incremento pœnæ propagantis extendere; flagris cædere, igne torrere. Res illic geritur, nec videtur; occulta plaga, et pæna manifesta.
but the invisible fire or power of the Holy Ghost. And it is the same fire that St. Austin means, whose authority only is urged by Mr. Basnage to found this custom on. He11 speaks of a fire indeed in the sacraments, and in catechizing, and in exorcizing. For whence otherwise should it be,' says he, 'that the unclean spirits so often cry out, I burn! if there be not a fire that burns them? From the fire of exorcism we pass to baptism, as from fire to water, and from water to a place of rest. There is nothing in all this that can signify a lighted taper in the hands of the catechumens, which certainly has no power to burn an unclean spirit: but the fire of exorcism is the invisible fire of the Holy Ghost, that is, the energy and powerful operation of God's Spirit, which casts out devils with a word, and makes Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Though I deny not but that this custom might come into the Church in after ages: for Albinus Flaccus 15, a ritualist of the eighth century, speaks of a custom like to it, as used at least the night before the catechumens were to be baptized. For, describing the ceremonies of the vigil of the great Sabbath before Easter, he says, 'A wax taper was used to be carried before the catechumens, which signified the illumination wherewith Christ enlightened that night, by the grace of his resurrection, and the catechumens coming to baptism.' And this was it that deceived Vicecomes, who would have all modern customs appear with a face of antiquity, and therefore wrested the words of St. Cyprian and St. Austin to patronise a novel ceremony, which in their days was not so much as thought of. 16. There is another mistake, which runs through the writ- What meant by ings of many modern authors, concerning what the Ancients call the sacrament of the catechumens. They suppose, that ment of the though the catechumens were not allowed to participate of the eucharist, yet they had something like it, which they call eulogiæ, or panis benedictus, consecrated bread, taken out of
14 Enarrat. in Ps. 65. p.277. (t. 4. p.651 a.) Propterea et in sacramentis et in catechizando et in exorcizando adhibetur prius ignis. Nam unde immundi spiritus plerumque clamant, Ardeo! si ille ignis non est? Post ignem autem exorcismi venitur ad baptismum, &c.
15 Al. Alcuin. de Divin. Offic. c. 19. (p. 1059 d.) Nostra columna id est cereus præcedit catechumenos nostros. Lumen ipsius Christum significat, quo præsens nox illuminetur, [al. illustratur,] gratia scilicet resurrectionis, et catechumeni ad baptismum venturi.
the same oblations, out of which anciently the eucharist itself was taken. Baronius 16 was the first that maintained this opinion; and after him Bellarmin 17, Vicecomes 18, Albaspiny 19, Petavius 20, Bp. Beveridge 21, Estius 22, Maldonate 23, and many
16 An. 313. n. 55. (t. 3. p. 120 c.) Sanctus Augustinus nominat sacramentum panem benedictum, ipsis catechumenis impertiri solitum, &c.
17 De Sacrament. Matrimon. 1. 1. c. 3. (t. 3. p. 1300 b.) Quæ sunt sacramenta, improprie et largo quodam sensu, non solent, nisi raro et cum addito, sacramenta nominari. Exemplum esse potest in eo pane sanctificato, qui dabatur catechumenis loco eucharistiæ; nam eum panem vocat Augustinus sacramentum, 1. 2. de Peccatorum Merit. et Remiss. c. 26.: sed id semel tantum fecit, et in eodem loco admonuit, eum panem non esse corpus Christi, et catechumenis non sufficere ad
18 De Rit. Bapt. 1. 2. c. 9. (p. 258. lin. ult. et p. 259.) Cum autem eucharistiæ sacramento, fidelium more, expiari non possent, optimo jure factum est, ut sanctificato pane (sic enim vocant) vel sale, instar cœlestis pabuli, reficerentur. Cujus rei multos locupletes et idoneos authores habeo; ut Concilium Carthaginense I. cujus hæc sunt ex c. 5.: Item placuit, ut etiam post [per] solennissimos paschales dies sacra mentum catechumenis non detur, nisi
solitum sal; quia si fideles per illos dies sacramentum non mutant, nec catechumenis oportet mutari. Et S. Augustinum, qui Lib. de Peccat. Merit. et Remiss. c. 26., dum varias rationes sanctitatis acquirendæ, et in principem amicitiæ et gratiæ Dei locum perveniendi refert, ita loquitur: Non uniusmodi est sanctificatio. Nam et catechumenos, secundum quendam modum suum, per signum Christi et orationem manus impositionis puto sanctificari; et quod accipiunt, quamvis non sit corpus Christi, sanctum est tamen, et sanctius quam cibi, quibus alimur, quoniam sacramentum est. Ubi quamvis ejus rei, quam probamus, expressa men
tio non fiat, tamen et ex eo, quod corporis alimento comparatur, panem, et quia sanctum, sive sanctius appellatur, a communi usu certis precibus exemptum fuisse, perspicuum est; ut non immerito nostri scriptores, conjunctis nominibus, panem sanctificatum appellaverint. 19 Observ. ult. 1. 2. c. 36. (pp. 106, 107.) Inter cæteros ritus, &c.
20 Animadvers. in Epiphan. Expos. Fid. (p. 366.) Quum sal catechumenis præberi consuetum esset, appetentibus Paschatis feriis extraordinarium quiddam concessum illis est. Non utique eucharistia ; nec enim tantum insanivisse quenquam arbitror. Neque vero per sacramentum intelligi puto symbolum : sed panem ipsum ac vinum, ex quo eucharistia consecrata fuerat.
21 Not. in Can. 2. C. Antioch. (t. 2. append. p. 189.) Nimirum non consecrati sunt hi panes, sed tantum cum benedictione inter populos distributi. Unde et monachi, in pœnis existentes, participes eorum esse possunt ; ut ex Nicephori confessoris canonibus patet, ubi dicitur, Tous ovras, K. T. λ. De hoc pane etiam, ut a catechumenis accepto, D. Augustinus meminisse videtur, ubi ait, Nam et catechumenos, se
cundum quemdam modum suum, per signum Christi et orationem manus impositionis, puto sanctificari: et quod accipiunt, quamvis non sit corpus Christi, sanctum est tamen et sanctius quam cibi, quibus alimur.
22 In Sentent. 1. 4. dist. 10. s. 5. [The reference is not clear. Conf. (t. 4. p. 131 f.) Curantem Augustinus, &c. ED.]
23 [De Bapt. c. I. (t. 1. p. 78.) Secunda cæremonia erat, ut daretur catechumenis statim panis quidam sanctificatus per benedictionem ecclesiæ, qui dicebatur panis catechumenorum, et figura corporis Christi, sed non erat corpus Christi, quale est in eucharistia. ED.]
others, follow him in the same assertion. But the opinion is wholly grounded on a mistaken passage in St. Austin, who speaks indeed of something that, according to the language of his age, was then called the sacrament of the catechumens; but he does not say that it was consecrated bread, or part of the same eulogia out of which the eucharist was taken. His words are these 24: That which the catechumens receive, though it be not the body of Christ, is yet an holy thing, and more holy than the common meat which sustains us, because it is a sacrament.' He gives it the name of sacrament according to the custom of that age, which was to call every thing a sacrament that had either any thing of mystery, or of spiritual signification in it. But that this sacrament was not the consecrated bread, but only a little taste of salt, we may learn from the same St. Austin 25, who, speaking of himself as a catechumen, says, 'at that time he was often signed with the cross of Christ, and seasoned with his salt.' And that it was this and no more, appears further from a canon of the third Council of Carthage 26, at which St. Austin was present, which orders, 'that no other sacrament should be given to the catechumens on the most solemn days of the Paschal festival, except their usual salt;' giving this reason for it, that for as much as the faithful did not change their sacraments on those days, neither ought the catechumens to change theirs.' From whence it is easy to be inferred, that the sacrament of the catechumens means no more than this ceremony of giving them a little taste of the salt, like milk and honey that was given after baptism, as Cardinal Bona 27, and Mr. Aubertine 28, and Basnage 29, have
24 Peccat. Merit. 1. 2. c. 26. (t. 10. 62 f.)....... Et quod accipiunt [catechumeni], quamvis non sit corpus Christi, sanctum est tamen, et sanctius quam cibi, quibus alimur, quoniam sacramentum est.
25 Confess. l. 1. c. 11. (t. 1. p. 75 f.) Audieram enim ego adhuc puer de vita æterna nobis promissa per humilitatem [Filii tui] Domini Dei nostri, et signabar jam signo crucis, et condiebar ejus sale, &c.
26 C. 5. (t. 2. p. 1167 b.) Item placuit ut etiam per solennissimos paschales dies sacramentum cate
chumenis non detur, nisi solitum sal: quia si fideles per illos dies sacramenta non mutant, nec catechumenis oportet mutari.
27 Rer. Liturg. l. 1. c. 16. n. 3. (p. 201.) Etiam eulogiæ, sive panis reliquiæ, quæ distribui solebant post missam, negabantur catechumenis, &c.
28 De Eucharist. 1. 2. (p. 650. ad dextr. circ. med.) Perronius et Coffetellus id de sale exponunt, et quidem, ni fallor, rectissime.-Ibid. (p. 711. ad summ.) Locus ergo ille non de panis et vini consecrati reli
How the catechu
rightly concluded: the design of the thing being not to give them any thing in imitation of the eucharist, or introductory to that, which they always kept hid as a secret from them; but that by this symbol they might learn to purge and cleanse their souls from sin; salt being the emblem of purity and incorruption.
17. I have but two things more to observe concerning the discipline used towards the catechumens. The one relates punished, if to those ecclesiastical censures and punishments, which were they fell usually inflicted on them, in case they were found to have lapsed into any gross and scandalous offences. These being not yet admitted into full communion with the Church, could not be punished as other offenders, by being subjected to those several rules of penance as other offenders were; nor did the Church think fit to be so severe upon them, as upon other penitents that lapsed after baptism: but their punishment was commonly no more but a degradation of them from one degree of catechumenship to another, or at most a prorogation of their baptism to the hour of death. This appears plainly from the fifth canon of the Council of Neocæsarea 30, which speaks thus of the several degrees of catechumens, and their punishment: If any catechumen, who comes to church, and stands in any order of catechumens there, be found guilty of sin; if he be a kneeler or prostrator, let him become a hearer, if he sins no more but if he sin while he is an hearer, let him be cast out of the Church.' After the same manner it was decreed by the great Council of Nice 31, that if any of the catechumens,' (by
quis, sed de sale est intelligendus,
29 Exercit. in Baron. an. 44, (p.
ejus sale. Hoc unum fuit sacramentum, quod in vicem corporis Christi dabatur catechumenis, &c. [See also Steph. Morin., Dissert. 3. p. 109., cited by Fabricius, Bibl. Antiq. c. 25. (p. 393. ult. lin.) Catechumenis, ante quam ad sacram cœnam admitterentur, datum sal, velut in symbolum futuræ communionis, de quo ritu vide Steph. Morini Dissert. 3. p. 109. ED.]
30 C. Neocæsar. c. 5. See before, 8. 2. p. 452. n. 49.
31 Č. 14. (t. 2. p. 36 c.) Пepì тâv κατηχουμένων καὶ παραπεσόντων ἔδοξε τῇ ἁγία καὶ μεγάλῃ συνόδῳ, ὥστε τριῶν ἐτῶν αὐτοὺς ἀκροωμένους