Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

instruction had continued perhaps for two or three years before.

This was the whole of that discipline, we read so much of among the Ancients, of concealing the sacred mysteries from the catechumens. Among all which we have never the least intimation given that the practice of image-worship, or the adoration of saints and angels, or the doctrine of seven sacraments, were the mysteries they intended to conceal from them. For in those days there were no such mysteries in the Christian Church, and therefore the late invention of Schelstrate is a mere fiction and sophism to cover the nakedness of the present Roman Church. And the pretence of Bona 71, concerning the prohibition of images in churches, made by the Council of Eliberis, that it was only to conceal the secrets of religion from the knowledge of the heathen, is an absurd supposition, which neither Albaspinæus nor Petavius could digest, as I have showed more fully in another place 72, where I speak of the ornaments

of the ancient churches, Reasons for 10. As to those things which they really concealed from the concealing these things

catechumens, the true reasons were, first that the plainness from the and simplicity of the Christian rites might not be contemned catechumens. First, by them, or give any occasion of scandal or offence to them, that the

before they were thoroughly instructed about the nature of plainness and simpli- the mysteries. For both Jews and Gentiles, out of whom city of them Christian converts were made catechumens, were apt to deride might not be con- the nakedness and simplicity of the Christian religion, as void temned.

of those pompous ceremonies and sacrifices, with which those other religions abounded. The Christian religion prescribed but one washing in water, and one oblation of bread and wine, instead of that multitude of bloody sacrifices, which the other religions commanded. Therefore, lest the plainness of these few ceremonies should offend the prejudiced minds of catechumens, before they were well instructed about them, the Christian teachers usually adorned these mysteries with great and magnificent titles, such as would convey noble ideas to the minds of men concerning their spiritual effects, but concealing their other names lest the simplicity of the things should offend

71 Rer. Liturg. I. 1. c. 16. n. 2. 72 B. 8. ch. 8. s. 6. p. 160. But See before, b. 8. ch.8. s. 6. p. 159. yet this does not satisfy either Alba

spinæus, or Petavius, &c.

n. 90.

6

[ocr errors]

them. When they speak of the eucharist, they never mentioned bread and wine, but the sacrifice of the body and blood of Christ; and styled baptism, illumination, and life, the sacrament of faith and remission of sins, saying little in the mean time of the outward element of water. This was one plain reason, why they denied catechumens the sight of their sacraments, and always spake in mystical terms before them. We shut the doors,' says Chrysostom 73, when we celebrate our mysteries, and keep off all uninitiated persons from them, not because we acknowledge any imperfection in the things themselves, but because many are weakly affected toward them.' And so St. Cyril 74, in the place mentioned above, · We speak not openly of our mysteries before the catechumens, but say many things mystically and obscurely, that they who know them may understand us, and they who know them not may receive no harm.' In like manner the Synod of Alexandria 75, charging the Miletians for publishing the mystery of the eucharist before the catechumens, and what was worse, before the heathens, contrary to those rules of Scripture, “ It is good to conceal the secrets of a king;” and “ Give not that which is holy unto dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine;" they add, that it is not lawful to bring mysteries upon the open stage before the uninitiated, lest the heathen through their ignorance should deride them, or the catechumens by their curiosity should be offended.' Therefore there was an ancient rule in the Church, that if any uninitiated person had by any mistake been admitted to partake of the eucharist, he should be immediately instructed and baptized, that he might not go forth a contemner or despiser, as the author of the Apostolical Constitutions 76 words it. And the fourth Council of Toledo 77 gives a like reason why such Jews, as had been baptized by force, should continue in the Christian profession, ‘lest the

73 Hom. 23. in Matth. See n. 47, tel. vol. 1. p. 370.) Es tis Katà preceding.

άγνοιαν μεταλάβοι, τούτον τάχιον στοι74 Catech. 6. n. 16. See n. 34, χειώσαντες μυήσατε, όπως μη καταpreceding.

φρονητής εξελθοι. 75 Ap. Athanas. Apol. 2. t. I. p.

77 C. 56. [al. 57-) (t. 5. p. 1719 c.) 131. (t. 1. part. I. p. 105 b. n. 11.) Oportet ut fidem etiam, quam ví vel Où xpn uvotýpua duvŕtous tpayq- necessitate susceperunt, tenere codeiv, iva un "EXânves mèv åyvooûvtes gantur, ne nomen Domini [al. nomen yello1, Karn Xoupero de replepyou ye divinum] blasphemetur, et fides, νόμενοι σκανδαλίζωνται.

quam susceperunt, vilis ac 76 L. 7. c. 25. (Labb. c. 26.] (Co- temptibilis habeatur.

con

a reverence for them.

6

name of God should be blasphemed, and the faith which they had received should be reputed vile and contemptible.' Though they made a severe decree against obliging any Jews to be

baptized by force or compulsion for the future. Secondly,

11. Another reason assigned for this discipline of silence to conciliate

was to conciliate a reverence in the minds of men for the mysteries which they kept so concealed from them. For, as St. Basil 78 observes, 'the veneration of mysteries is preserved by silence ;' and as things that are trite and obvious, are easily contemned, so those that are uncommon and reserved are naturally adapted to beget in men an esteem and veneration; and therefore, he thinks, the Apostles and Fathers of the Church, who made laws about these matters, prescribed secresy and silence, to preserve the dignity of the mysteries. St. Austin 79 gives the same reason for this practice, when he says, “it was the honour that was due to the mysteries, which made him pass them over in silence, and not explain

them.' Thirdly, to

12. St. Austin adds to this a third reason, which is, that make the

the mysteries of baptism and the eucharist were therefore catechu

chiefly concealed from the catechumens, to excite their curiodesirous to sity, and inflame their zeal, and make them more earnest and know them.

solicitous in hastening to partake of them, that they might come to an experimental knowledge of them. Though the

• sacraments,' says he 50, are not disclosed to the catechumens, it is not always because they cannot bear them, but that they may so much the more ardently desire them, by how much they are the more honourably hidden from them.' And again 8),

mens more

78 De Spir. Sanct. c. 27. (t. 3. honorem silentii. [The Benedictine part. 1. p. 76 b. n. 66.)... Kalās Editor informs us that Sirmondus εκείνο δεδιδαγμένοι των μυστηρίων το judged both this as well as the other σεμνόν σιωπή διασώζεσθαι.

two Sermons he published with it, 79 Serm. ï. inter [post] Quadra- to be spurious, though attributed to ginta a Sirmondo editos. (juxt. Ed. Augustine by the Codex FloriacenBened., Sermo de eo, quod Neophytis sis. Ed.] et oleo sancto aures et nares a sacer- 80 Id. Hom.96. ap. [al. Tract. 96.] dotibus illiniantur. (t. 6. append. p. in Ioan. (t. 3. part. 2. P. 735.) Quid 288 d.) juxt. Sirmond., Serm. 1. et si non eis (catechumenis] fidelium append.] Non autem mirari debetis, sacramenta produntur? non ideo fit fratres carissimi, quod inter ipsa quod ea ferre non possint, sed ut ab mysteria de mysteriis nihil diximus, eis tanto ardentius concupiscantur, quod non statim ea quæ tradidimus quanto eis honorabilius occultantur. interpretati sumus. Adhibuimus 81 In Ps. 109. (t. 4. p. 1241 c.) enim tam sanctis rebus atque divinis Hæc nec Judæi habent. Vident

* The Jews acknowledge not the priesthood according to the order of Melchisedek. I speak to the faithful: if the catechumens understand it not, let them cast away their slowness and hasten to the knowledge of it. They that do not yet eat of this banquet 82, let them hasten upon invitation. The feast of Easter is at hand. Give in your name to baptism. If the festival does not excite you, let curiosity draw you, that you

, may know that which is said, “ He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him." »

These were the reasons which engaged the Ancients to conceal their mysteries from the catechumens; which, we plainly see, have no relation to such doctrines as that of transubstantiation, or the number of seven sacraments, or such superstitious practices as the worship of images, and saints, and angels, which are mere novelties, and the modern inventions of the Romish Church.

I have now gone through all things relating to the discipline of the catechumens in their preparation for baptism. We are next to take a view of baptism itself, and inquire into the manner how the Church administered it, and what rites and customs were observed in the celebration of it.

periisse jam sacerdotium secundum bibunt ad tales epulas invitati festiordinem Aaron et non agnoscunt nent-Ibid. (p. 646 b.) Ecce Pascha sacerdotium secundum ordinem Mel- est, da nomen ad baptismum. Si chisedek. Fidelibus loquor: si quid non te excitat festivitas, ducat ipsa non intelligunt catechumeni, aufe- curiositas, ut scias quid dictum sit, rant pigritiam, festinent ad notitiam. Qui manducat carnem meam et

82 De Verb. Dom. Hom. 46. [al. bibit sanguinem meum, manet in me, Serm. 132.] (t. 5. p. 645 f.) Qui au

et ego in illo.' tem nondum manducant et nondum

The end of page 142 of the fourth volume of the original edition,

London, 1715, 8vo.

THE INDICES

Of the Provinces and of the Episcopal Sees mentioned in the Ninth

Book between pages 218 and 437 of this Volume.

The italics indicate the orthography of the names according to Ferrarius and

Baudrand, where there is any difference.

[ocr errors]

АсHAIA

327

Bracarensis, see Gallæcia Prima.. 370
Adiabene Assyriæ

292 Bituricensis, see Aquitania Prima. 367
Ægyptus Prima..

263 Burdigalensis, see Aquitania Sec. 367
Ægyptus Secunda

263 Blemyes, Blemye, in Æthiopia .. 299
Æmilia
358 Britannia Prima .

381
Æthiopia..
297 Britannia Secunda

381
Africa Proconsularis
257 Brutia, or Bruttia

355
Alpes Cottiæ
359 Byzacena

257
Alpes Graiæ, or Penninæ 365
Alpes Maritimæ .
365 Calabria

354
Apulia ....
354 Campania

351
Aquensis, see Narbonensis Sec... 366 Cappadocia Prima

303
Aquileiensis, see Venetia 362 Cappadocia Secunda

305
Aquitania Prima...
367 Cappadocia Tertia

305
Aquitania Secunda..
367 Caria

315
Arabia Petræa, or Palæstina Tert. 274 Carthaginensis Hispaniæ
Arabia Philadelphiæ

370
272 Chaldæa

292
Arcadia ...
263 Cilicia Prima

321
Arelatensis, see Viennensis Sec... 366 Cilicia Secunda

321
Armenia Prima

306 Colchis, or Lazica
Armenia Secunda

321
306 Comagene, see Euphratensis 382
Armenia Magna, or Persica 291 Corsica Insula ..

357
Asia Lydiana, or Proconsularis. . 313 Creta Insula

329
Assyria ...
292 Cyclades Insulæ.

322
Augustamnica Prima.
263 Cyprus Insula

283
Augustamnica Secunda. 263
Axumitis, see India

297 Dacia Mediterranea
Axumitica ...

330
297 Dacia Ripensis

330

Dacia Antiqua, or Gothia .
Baleares Insulæ .

330
372 | Dalmatia.
Bætica

331
370 | Dardania

330
Belgica Prima

368 Diospontum, see Hellenopontus. 308
Belgica Secunda

368
Bithynia Prima

311 Ebredunensis, Ebrodunensis, see Alpes
Bithynia Secunda

311 Maritimæ

365

« ForrigeFortsett »