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upon that account the ancient apologists, Origen 26, Minucius Felix 27, Arnobius 28, and Lactantius 29, when the Heathens object to them, “ that they had no altars,' roundly and freely confess it in the sense that the objection was made ; that is, that they had no altars furnished with idol-gods and fitted for idol-worship,' such as the Heathens pleaded for. In like manner they denied that they had any altars in the Jewish sense, for offering bloody sacrifices upon; but for their own mystical unbloody sacrifice, as they called the eucharist, they always owned they had an altar, which they scrupled not to term indifferently Ovocaotplov, ara, altare, and sometimes βωμός. For though Mr. Mede thinks they never used that name, yet it appears that with the addition of avaluartos, they

αναίμακτος sometimes did; for Synesius 30, speaking of the holy table, expressly styles it avaluaktov Bwuòy, the unbloody altar.

14. Yet these same authors, to distinguish their notion more of the exactly, commonly use the name table for the altar, with the

holy table, addition of some singular epithet, implying the peculiar use of mystical it in the Christian Church. In Chrysostom 31 it is most usually

table, &c. termed τράπεζα μυστική and φρικτή, the mystical and tremendous table; sometimes the spiritual, divine, royal, immortal, heavenly table; of which the reader may find instances enough collected by Suicerus #2 out of that author.


26 Cont. Cels. 1. 8. p. 389. (t. 1.

of the name altar is to be underp. 754 b. ult. lin.).... Ημας βωμούς stood of θυσιαστήριον, not of βωμός. και αγάλματα και νεώς ιδρύσθαι φεύ- θυσιαστήριον is the altar of the true γειν.

God; Bwuòs, the altar of an idol, 27 Octav. c. 10. (p.61.) Cur nullas &c., to the end of the section. Ed.] aras habent, templa nulla, nulla nota 31 Hom. 21. Quod oportet hæresimulacra?

ses esse, t. 5. p. 313. (t. 3. p. 246 d.) 28 Cont. Gent. 1. 6. (p. 189.) Non Elra éti TNV MUOTIKNY Tpátečav Fayel altaria fabricemur, non aras. See τον λόγον, μειζόνως αυτους φοβήσαι before, ch. I. B. 16. p. 33. nn. 59, Boo Guevos.–Ibid. (d. Io.) Eỉ vip бо.

τράπεζα ή φρικώδης κοινή πάσι πρό29 Instit. 1. 2. c. 2. (t. Ι. p. 16.) κειται και πλουσίω και πένητι, κ. τ.λ. Quid sibi templa, quid aræ volunt, -It. Hom. 39. [al. 1.] de Pentecost. &c.

p: 553. (t. 2. p. 463 b.) "Orav tapà 30 Catastas. p. 303. (p. 304 b. 10.) onu iepàv taútnu egtńky Tpátrecave Ου μην όγε θεός περιόψεται τον όταν την φρικτήν εκείνην θυσίαν αναβωμόν τον αναίμακτον ιερέος αίματι φέρειν μέλλη. μιαινόμενον. [See Mede on the name 32 Thes. Ëccles. voce Tpáteča. (t. Altar or Ovolagtýpov, &c., 8. 3. 2. p. 1280.) A Chrysostomo vocatur (Lond. 1637. p. 31.) But there is poßepà kai uvotinn spátega.-In one thing yet behind, by no means Psalm. 140. Πνευματική τράπεζα.to be forgotten in this argument. In Psalm. 90. MUOTIKÝ Tpáteča.That what I have hitherto spoken Sic etiam a Gregorio Nazienzo, Orat.

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St. Austin 33 usually gives it the name of mensa Domini, the
Lord's table ; whence mensa Cypriani, in that author 34, signi-
fies either the altar or the church erected in the place of St.
Cyprian's martyrdom. It were easy to add a thousand other
testimonies out of Athanasius, Synesius, Socrates, Sozomen,
Paulinus, and the rest of that age, where the altar is called
the holy table, to signify to us their notion of the Christian
sacrifice and altar at once, that it was mystical and spiritual,
and had no relation either to the bloody sacrifices of the Jews,
or the more absurd idolatries of the Gentiles, but served only

for the service of the eucharist and oblations of the people. Altars 15. If


be desirous to know the matter and form of the generally

ancient altars or tables, St. Austin will inform him that they

were of wood, in his time, in the African churches. For,
the time of
Constan-speaking of a great outrage committed by the Donatists

against a Catholic bishop, whilst he stood ministering at the
altar, he says 35, 'they beat him cruelly with clubs and such
like weapons, and, at last, with the broken pieces of the timber
of the altar.' This is further confirmed by the testimony of
Optatus 36, who, objecting to the Donatists their sacrilegious
abuse of the Catholic altars, says, 'they broke them in pieces
in such places as would afford them plenty of wood to make
new ones of; but in places where there was a scarcity of wood,
they contented themselves with scraping or shaving them, by
way of pretended expiation.' Nay, the workmen who wrought

made of wood till


II. p. 660. Aidéo Ontı tv uvotiKDV quam illud, quod est in Domini
τράπεζαν, ή προσήλθες τον άρτον, mensa, incipiat benedici.
ου μετείληφας το ποτήριον, ου κε- 34 Hom. 26. ex editis a Sirmond.
κοινώνηκας, του Χριστού πάθεσι τε- [al. Serm. 305.] (t. 5. p. 1236 e.)
λειούμενος. - Βασιλική τράπεζα, a Habitus ad Mensams. Cypriani.
Chrysostomo, Hom. 24. in 1 ad See before, ch. 1. s. 9. p. 15. and
Corinthios, et Hom. 17. in Epist. n. 77. the word preceding.
ad Hebræos.--'Adávatos tpáteča, ab 35 Ep. 50. [al. 185.] ad Bonifac.
eodem, Hom. 13. in Epist. ad He- c. 7. (t. 2. p. 654 f.) .... Stantem
bræos.—'Iepà rpáteča, ab eodem [Maximianum episcopum] ad altare
Hom. 10. t. 5. p. 40.- plkTV Tpá- ....fustibus et cujuscemodi [
Treca, ab eodem Hom. 21. t. 5. p. jusmodi] telis, lignis denique ejus-
129.–øpiktų kai Dela Tpáteča, Hom. dem altaris effracti, immaniter ceci-
72. tomi ejusd. p. 518.- plkóðns derunt.
Tpáteča, ab eodem Hom. 21. t. 5. 36 L. 6. p. 94. (p. 112.) Alio loco
Edit. Paris. p. 313.

copia lignorum frangi jussit; alio,
33 Ep. 59. [al. 149.) ad Paulin. ut altaria raderent, lignorum inopia
(t. 2. p.509c.)... Ut precationes ac- imperavit. .... Calida de fragmentis
cipiamus dictas, quas facimus in altarium facta est.–Vid. p. 95. (p.
celebratione sacramentorum, ante- 113.) ibid.


in this egregious service, had wine given them, heated with fires made of the fragments of the altars. Athanasius 37 has likewise occasion to tell us, their communion tables were of wood, in a parallel story upon the Arians, ' who, in one of their mad humours,' as he complains, ' went into a church, and took the throne and seats of the presbyters, and the table, which was of wood, and the veils, and whatever other combustible matter they could find, and carried them out and burned them.' So that there is no question to be made, but that, about this time, the altars were only tables of wood in Afric and Egypt, as these testimonies plainly imply. Bona 38 thinks they had stone altars before, even in times of persecution; but he offers no proof but his own opinion. Yet it is generally thought, by Hospinian 39 and other learned men, that they began to come in from the time of Constantine, together with the stateliness and magnificence of churches.

The Pontifical speaks of silver altars dedicated by Constantine; and Gerson and others, alleged by Hospinian, make Pope Silvester, who lived in the time of Constantine, to be the author of a decree, that all altars should be of stone. But these authorities are of no weight, and the stories contradict one another. What is certain in the case is this,—that about the time of Gregory Nyssen, altars in some places began to be of stone; for he, in his Discourse of Baptism 40, speaks of a stone altar. This altar,' says he, 'whereat we stand, is, by nature, only common stone, nothing different from other stones, whereof our walls are made and our pavements adorned: but after it is consecrated and dedicated to the service of God,



37 Ep. ad Solitar. Vit. Agent. t. 1. multis in locis originem sumpsisse, p. 847.

See before, s. 8. p. 84. n. eaque fixa et de lapidibus aut simili 81.

materia exstructa fuisse. 38 Rer. Liturg. I. 1. c. 2. n. 1. (p. 40 De Bapt. Christ. (t. 3. P: 369 222.) Primis ecclesiæ sæculis an d.) Tò Avolaothplov TOÛTO TÒ ãylov, lignea fuerint vel lapidea [altaria], ω παρεστήκαμεν, λίθος εστί κατά την non liquet. Utraque crediderium term- φύσιν κοινός, ουδεν διαφέρων των pore persecutionis usitata, prout re- άλλων πλακών, αι τους τοίχους ημών rum locorumque opportunitas fere- οικοδομούσι, και καλλωπίζουσι τα έbat.

δάφη. 'Επειδάν δε καθιερώθη τη του 39 De Templ. Grecor. 1. 2. c. 6. θεού θεραπεία, και την ευλογίαν εδέP. 34. (p. 86. col. dextr.) Nec tamen tato čoti tpámeça ảyia, Avolaothnegare ausim, Constantino Magni ριον άχραντον, ουκέτι παρά πάντων tempore, cum magnificis templis Yondapáuevov, allà uovwy twv ieetiam magnifica et splendida altaria ρέων, και τούτων ευλαβουμένων.

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it becomes an holy table, an immaculate altar, which may not be promiscuously touched by all, but only by the priests, in time of divine service. In the next age, in France, we find a general decree made in the Council of Epone 41, anno 509, * that no altars should be consecrated, but such as were made of stone only :' and this seems to be the first public act of this nature, that we have upon authentic record in ancient history. And from the time of this change in the matter of them, the form or fashion of them changed likewise : for, whereas, before they were in the form of tables, they now began to be erected more like altars, either upon a single foot, or pillar, in the midst, or upon an edifice erected like a tomb, as if it were some monument of a martyr; as Bona 42 tells us there are some such now to be seen in the catacombs of Rome,

and other places. But one

16. It will perhaps be something more material to remark altar anciently in

here, that anciently there was never above one altar in a a church. church. One bishop and one altar in a church,' is the known

aphorism of Ignatius 43. And Eusebius is supposed upon this account to call the altar in the church of Paulinus, at Tyre, povoyevès Ovocaotýplov, the single altar, as Habertus 44 truly

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41 C. 26. (t. 4. p. 1579 c.) Altaria, superposita ædificio tumuli formam nisi lapidea, infusione chrismatis [al. referebant, tanquam martyruin sechrismatis unctione] non sacrentur. pulchra : quæ proprie altaria, quasi

42 Rer. Liturg. 1. 1. c. 20. n. 1. (p. altæ aræ, dicebantur. 223.) Erant autem olim diversæ al- 43 Ep. ad Philadelph. n. 4:--Ep. tarium structuræ. Nam aliquando ad Magnesian. n. 7. See before, s. uni tantum columnæ mensa lapidea 12. p.91. nn. 14, 15. superjacebat, quale describitur, Lib. 44 Archierat. ad Rit. Var. Altar. 20. Historiæ Miscellæ, altare Dei- observ. 1. ex Euseb. 1. 10. C. 4. paræ Virginis in Bla ernis; qualia (p. 661.) Unitas altaris ab unitatis sunt etiam hodie altaria quædam Christi analogia : unde eleganter Avsubterranea Romæ, in Ecclesia S. ciaothplov povoyevès, vocat vetus Cæciliæ. Aliquando quatuor colum- ecclesiæ Tyriorum orator, in Panenis eadem mensa suffulta erat ; et de gyrico Encæniorum, qui Paulino his altaribus loquitur Synesius in Tyri episcopo dictus est; quem adeo fine Catastasis : Sacratas columnas magni fecit Eusebius Cæsariensis, amplectar, que puram et incontami- ut eam Historiæ suæ libro 10. innatam a terra mensam sustinent. In- sereret. ..... Græci ab illo patres, terdum duæ solæ columnæ ex utro- tractatores et historici, unius in una que latere ipsum altare sustinebant: ecclesia altaris meminerunt. S. Asuntque adhuc Romæ in cryptis et thanasius in Apologia ad Constancæmeteriis quædam liujusmodi al- tium, S. Gregor. Nazianz. Orat. 32. taria duabus vel pluribus innixa co- in Concilio Cpolitano habita. Sylumnis, quibus Christiani, tempore nesius in Catastasi, Badiowpai apôpersecutionis, ibidem latentes ute- τον επί τον νεών του θεού, κυκλώσοbantur: denique nonnulla quadro μαι το θυσιαστήριον, δάκρυσι βρέξω observes upon it, who ingenuously confesses, that it has ever been the constant custom of the Greek Churches to have but one altar in a temple; in confirmation of which he cites Athanasius, Nazianzen, Synesius, Socrates, Theodoret, Evagrius, and

many others. Cardinal Bona 45 also owns he could find no footsteps of the contrary practice till the time of Gregory the Great, and then only in the Latin Church; for the Greeks have always kept to the ancient custom. He thinks, indeed, the contrary custom was in the Latin Church of old; but he only shews his willingness to believe it without proof: and Schelstrate 16 very justly censures him for it, shewing, out of

το τιμαλφέστατον έδαφος, κ. τ.λ. Εt nec fas esse putant, intra septa postea idem altare ad eum modum, ejusdem templi sacrum eadem die quo in hoc ritu describitur, innuit, iterare. Ideo patres et historici Προσφύσομαι των κιόνων των ιερών, Greci unius tantum altaris in una αι την άσυλον από γης ανέχουσι τρά- ecclesia mentionerm faciunt, &c. πεζαν, βωμόν τον αναίμακτον. ... Sic 46 C. Antioch. Restitut. dissert. unius altaris meminere Socrates, lib. 3. c. 4. n. 12. de Can. 2. (p. 193.) 1. de Alexandro CP., Els Avoin Cum vero altaris mentio facta est, αστήριον εισελθών, υπό την ιεράν notandum cum Christiano Lupo, τράπεζαν εαυτόν επί στόμα εκτείνας, olim in basilicis unicum duntaxat K.T... Ita Theodoretus, lib. 4. cap. fuisse altare, idque alte clamare an20.; Evagrius, lib.5. cap. 21.; Theo- tiquas Romanorum basilicas, in quiphylactus, Histor. Mauric. lib.5.cap. bus altare inverso modo constructum 14.; Nicephorus, Patr. Constantinus videmus ad initium sacrarii, unde et Porphyrogenneta, Zonaras, Cedre- celebrans non respicit ad tribunal nus, Nicetas, et alii passim. Codinus aut synthronum, sed potius ad fidein Originibus ad finem, in descrip- les et populum. Africæ basilicas tione S. Sophiæ.

describit S. Optatus Milevitanus e45 Rer. Liturg. I. 1. c. 14. n. 3. piscopus, libro 1. contra Parmeni(p. 206.) Non leve tandem indicium anum: Conferta, inquit, erat ecmissæ peculiariter actæ præbet alta- clesia populis ; plena erat cathedra rium multitudo in eadem ecclesia, episcopalis: erat altare loco suo, in de quibus Veterum Patrum testimo- quo pacifici episcopi retro temporis

unt. Gregorius Mag- obtulerunt, Cyprianus, Lucianus, et nus, Libr. 5. Ep. 50., ad Palladium cæteri. Sic eritum est foras et alSantonensem episcopum : Veniens, tare contra altare erectum est. Ac inquit, lator præsentium insinuavit si diceret, Carthaginensem basilinobis, fraternitatem vestram eccle- cam, in qua Cyprianus et Lucisiam construxisse, atque illic trede- anus obtulerant, unicum duntaxat cim altaria collocasse, ex quibus habuisse altare loco suo collocatum. quatuor necdum dedicata comperi- Hinc et magnus Hipponensis anmus remansisse. Loquitur autem de tistes Augustinus, Tractatu 3. in altaribus ad usum sacrificii... Plura Epistolam Joannis : Si cum Donaitem altaria Romæ fuisse in basilica tistis in unitate sumus, quid in hac Principis Apostolorum, non solum civitate faciunt duo altaria? Altaria ad orientem juxta ritum ecclesiæ, pro basilicis sumit Augustinus, ac si sed et in alias partes distributa scri- diceret, duas basilicas habuisse duo bit Walfridus, c. 4. .... Græcorum duntaxat altaria, quorum unum alalia est consuetudo; unicum enim teri esset oppositum ; unde scripsit altare in singulis ecclesiis habent; S. Optatus, altare contra altare fuBINGHAM, VOL. III.



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