C. Dodgson, Tertullian Vol. 1. Apologetic and Practical Treatises. (1842). Preface.
OF the life of Tertullian little is known, except what is contained in the brief account of St. Jerome 1. "Tertullian a presbyter, the first Latin writer after Victor and Apollonius, was a native of the province of Africa and city of Carthage, the son of a proconsular centurion: he was a man of a sharp and vehement temper 2, flourished under Severus and Antoninus Caracalia, and wrote numerous works, which as they are generally known, I think it unnecessary to particularize. I saw at Concordia in Italy an old man named Paulus. He said that, when young, he had met at Rome with an aged amanuensis of the blessed Cyprian, who told him that Cyprian never passed a day without reading some portion of Tertullian's works, and used frequently to say, Give me my master, meaning Tertullian. After remaining a presbyter of the Church until he had attained the middle age of life, Tertullian was by the envy and contumelious treatment of the Roman clergy driven to embrace the opinions of Montanus, which he has mentioned in several of his works under the title of the New Prophecy; but he composed, expressly against the Church, the Treatises de Pudicitiâ, de Persecutione, de Jejuniis, de Monogamiâ, and six books de Ecstasi, to which he added a seventh against Apollonius. He is reported to have lived to a very advanced age, and to have composed many other works which are not extant." |ii
In addition to these circumstances, it is known from his own writings that he was a convert from heathenism 3, and that he once despised the Gospel 4, which he afterwards embraced. As a Heathen, he had taken pleasure in the savage sports of the gladiators 5, and had fallen into the gross sins of Heathenism 6, but with these he contrasts his subsequent state 7, although with a deep consciousness of abiding sinfulness 8, and of his weakness of faith 9. Of special infirmities, he 10 takes occasion of writing upon patience, to mention his own impatience. His conversion was probably A.D. 196 11; his continuance in the Church can thus have been scarcely five years, since in A.D. 201 12, it seems certain that he was a Montanist. He had then, at all events, reached middle age 13. His Treatises addressed "to his wife," written while in the Church 14, imply the likelihood of continued life; the whole |iii tenor of the two books implies that he was living in the ordinary course of married life. Previous to his conversion, he seems to have been engaged in the practice of the law 15, his accurate acquaintance with which Eusebius has occasion distinctly to specify 16; on his conversion he abandoned it 17, and in the interval before his secession, was admitted to the Priesthood 18. In this short interval, besides the works belonging to it now extant, he "detected, and as it seemed uprooted, the heresy of Praxeas," which had spread to Carthage, and brought Praxeas himself to sign a formal, though, it subsequently appeared, a hypocritical recantation, which was preserved in the Church 19. In the same period probably he wrote two treatises against Marcion, the first a sketch, the second a fuller work, lost through the treachery of an apostate Catholic 20. A later author 21 mentions that he had "practised Rhetoric at Carthage for many years, with much distinction," and this is perhaps borne out by the very varied character of his learning 22. An early work of his is also mentioned by S. Jerome 23, written as |iv an exercise after the manner of Rhetoricians. The greater part of his life was spent at Carthage, for although he mentions incidentally his having been at Rome 24, the chief allusions in his writings are Carthaginian 25; the small sect which bore his name, lingered on, until S. Augustine's time, in Carthage 26.
Of his mental qualities, the Ancient Church seems to have been much impressed with his acuteness, energy, learning, and eloquence 27; what we have left, are apparently but a small portion of the great number of works which he composed; and these indicate no ordinary fertility of mind, in that he so little repeats himself, or recurs to favourite thoughts, as is so frequently the case even with the great St. Augustine. His character of mind is thus vividly described by Vincentius 28: "As Origen among the Greeks, so is Tertullian among the Latins to be accounted far the first of all our writers. For who was more learned than he? Who in divinity or humanity more practised? for by a certain wonderful capacity of mind, he attained to, and understood, all philosophy, all the sects of philosophers, all their founders and supporters, all their systems, all sorts of histories and studies. And for his wit, was he not so excellent, so grave, so forcible, that he almost undertook the overthrow of nothing, which either by quickness of wit or weight of reason he crushed not? Further, who is able to express the praises which his style of speech deserves, which is fraught (I know not how) with that force of reason, that such as it cannot persuade, it compels to assent: whose so many words almost are so many sentences; whose so many senses, so many victories. This know Marcion and Apelles, Praxeas and Hermogenes, Jews, Gentiles, Gnostics, and divers others; |v whose blasphemous opinions he hath overthrown with his many and great volumes, as it had been with thunderbolts. And yet this man after all this, this Tertullian, I say, not holding the Catholic doctrine, that is, the universal and old faith, being far more eloquent than faithful, changing afterwards his mind, at last did that which the blessed confessor Hilary in a certain place writeth of him; 'He discredited (quoth he) with his later error his worthy writings:' and he also was a great temptation in the Church. But hereof I would not say more; only this I will add, that by his defending, against the precept of Moses, for true prophecies the new madness of Montanus springing up in the Church, and those mad dreams about new doctrine of frantic women, he deserved that we should also say of him and his writings, 'If a prophet shall rise up in the midst of thee,' and straight after, 'thou shalt not hear the words of that prophet.' Why so? 'Because (quoth he) your Lord God doth tempt you, whether you love Him or no.' "
It is then the more strange, though the more solemn warning, that such an one, so gifted, so honoured, should not only have fallen into heresy, but into one, which would seem to have such little temptation; that he, who had seen his way clearly amid so much error, should have fallen, where there was so little apparently to attract, so much to repel. For it came not in a state of relaxed discipline, as in these latter days, when one might readily suppose that a mind ardent as Tertullian's might be led by the appearance of holiness, amid the degeneracy of the Church; he had not to advocate fasting when neglected or discountenanced, or the restoration of discipline, when sins the most grievous passed unnoticed. Tertullian himself even insists upon the slight difference between the Montanist fasts and those of the Church 29; he does not even complain that the |vi Church discountenanced their optional use, but that she objected to their being imposed of necessity 30; the picture which he himself gives of the penitence publicly imposed 31, and the nature of the offences which were visited by excommunication, certainly imply no relaxation of discipline; nor does it appear clearly that the Montanists followed out their own principles, so as to exclude all guilty of mortal sin from reconciliation with the Church. The only cases which he presses are sins of the flesh 32. Again, how few comparatively the cases of second marriages at all times, and then the widowed state which the Montanists would enforce was held in honour by the Church. Yet this slight increase in fasting, the prohibition of second marriages, the extension of a discipline already strict, and the denial of the right to flee in persecution, were the only outward temptations to forsake the Church. On the other hand, they for whom he forsook it, had early the reputation of "making a gain of godliness," systematically levying money on their followers, under the character of Oblations, and that even on the poor, the orphans, and the widows, and of other acts of luxury, pomp, avarice, dissipation 33. Tertullian himself also joined them |vii for a while only, and then rejected the authority of the founders of the sect 34, notwithstanding that he seems to have put forward, to himself, the external authority of the spiritual gifts claimed by the Montanists, not the substance of their doctrine, as the ground of his secession35, and so long regarded the revelations they claimed, as the inspiration of the Holy Ghost. Yet, we know not on what ground, retaining those points of discipline, which had probably originally recommended themselves to him, he separated from the Montanists, and formed a small local communion of his own 36. If also, as seems probable, the Adversus omnes haereses be his, he had himself been alive to the blasphemies circulated among some sections of them; and we have external testimony, that he at the first wrote against them 37. His strong perception also of the validity of the "rule of faith," or, as is now said, "Catholic truth,"as a definite substantial body of truth not to be departed from; his own well-recognised maxim that what was prior was Apostolic, that innovations branded themselves, as being such; his strong recognition of the Church, as the depository of Apostolic tradition;----would have seemed strong safeguards against his falling into error, and declaring against the Church 38.
In the absence of fuller information, the source of that strange and lamentable fall can only be conjectured. Something there may have been in Montanism, at the outset, more attractive than it now seems, when laid bare. Heresy, like all other sin, is attractive in the present, revolting when past, and the mask turned. Something there must have |viii been, since even a Bishop of Rome 39 was on the point of acknowledging the prophecies of Montanus, Prisca, and Maximilla, even when they had been condemned by his predecessors, and by the Asiatic Churches; and actually restored communion with them. They seem also in a very short time to have found adherents in the parts of the world the most distant 40, and some even among those ready to endure martyrdom 41. It may be that at first they did not declare against the Church, and seemed only reformers within her 42. The very rule of Tertullian may also have been, in some degree, the means of ensnaring him, both by leading him to a false security, and, in its application, fixing his mind exclusively on greater deviations from the Faith. For, if one may so judge of one so highly endowed, Tertullian's mind seems remarkable rather for its great acuteness, power, condensed strength, energy, than for its comprehensiveness. His characteristic seems to be the vivid and strong perception and exhibition of single truths or principles. These he exhausts, bares them of every thing extrinsic to them, and then casts them forth the sharper and the more penetrating. They seem to flash on his mind like lightning, and to go forth with its rapidity and clearness. As in the well-known description, "he flashed, he thundered, he shook Greece." But single powers of mind, the more vividly they are possessed and developed, the more, generally, do they impair the even |ix balance of the whole. Men's very excellences, lest they forget their humility and "be as gods," are often purchased at the expense of other endowments. It is with God Alone to possess all things perfectly. Thus we see how strength of memory and learning are mostly bought by forfeiture of originality or even judgment; inventiveness by want of precision; imaginativeness by absence of accuracy in reasoning; clearness by want of depth; what lies deep struggles to the surface, yet cannot reach it; contemplativeness and practical wisdom are severed; and so on. In this way the very intensity with which Tertullian's mind grasped single truths may have the rather hindered him from seeing their bearings upon other truth. While gazing intently upon one object, a person cannot for the time see others which surround it, or, at most, is only indistinctly conscious of their presence. On each occasion Tertullian seems to be wholly taken up with, and immersed in, the one truth which he is contemplating; and to see other things as they bear upon it, rather than its bearings upon others. It seems for the time the centre, around which his thoughts are revolving. This habit was perhaps augmented by his previous profession. To this habit of mind perhaps belong his frequent argumenta ad hominem; they stop the mouth of an adversary, and with this he seems for the time content; whether he have maintained his position or silenced an adversary seems to him indifferent 43. One seems to see the habits of a mind, accustomed to bend all its energies to make out its case,----not, of course now, as in Heathenism and on secular subjects, irrespectively of truth or falsehood,----yet, even the more,because fully persuaded of the truth of what it advocates, seizing whatever will fortify its position, without fully considering whether it may not thereby be dismantling some other post, and pressing into its service what really does not belong thither. On different occasions, he seems to look on the same truth upon opposite sides, and each time |x exclusively, so that from the different point of view, its form seems not only different, but inconsistent and contradictory. He seems at no pains to guard or qualify his statements either to his own mind or that of others; rather he exhibits them unqualified, as being more effective. As an instance of this sort, it has been noticed in the body of the work, how he represents the end of the world, on different occasions, as the object exclusively of hope or fear, so that persons must needs pray for it or against it, long for its coming or its delay 44.
One form in which this habit of mind shewed itself was his very mode of employing his wonted test of heresy----the "rule of faith."The "rule of faith"or body of Apostolic teaching committed to the Church, and concentrated in the Creeds, is as a whole inviolable, either by the Church or by individuals. What has been "delivered once for all"must in its minutest details remain to the end. What is really Apostolical, admits neither of increase nor diminution, without blame. Other things may be true so that they contradict it not, but they cannot form part of it, nor may be ranked with it, because they did not originally belong to it; and what did once belong to it, must, of course, to the end remain a part of it. The doctrine of the Millennium may be true, but cannot be part of that body of truth, because it was not so at the first; the Roman doctrine of Purgatory cannot be true, because it is at variance with the Apostolical tradition of Paradise and a state of rest for those departed in the faith and fear of Christ; the value of almsdeeds or fasting, however of late disparaged, must continue a part of Catholic truth, because it was such. But Tertullian's view of the "rule of faith" seems to have been narrowed by his exclusive consideration of those, to refute whose errors he applied it. These were such as violated it in very gross eases, denying the Creator of the world or the resurrection of the flesh. Against these he urged vividly the extent of their departure from the Apostolic rule, as using the Scriptures |xi of God, but denying the God Whose they were; presupposing that, until themselves taught, Christians had not known, Who that Christ was, Whose Name they bore 45. But in this way, he seems to have habituated himself to regard Apostolic tradition as identical with the "rule of faith" or the Creed, so that what did not contradict this, might, although held by the whole Church, be contradicted or corrected. This he lays down after the summary of the Apostles' Creed, which he gives as a Montanist 46. "This law of faith remaining, all other matters of faith and conversation admit of the novelty of correction, the grace of God namely working and advancing, unto the end. For what a thing were it, that whereas the devil ever worketh and daily addeth to the inventions of iniquity, the work of God should either have ceased, or failed to advance!" and, again 47, he represents the Montanists as aggrieved, because blamed for new doctrines which did not touch on these points. "These raise disputes against the Paraclete; for this are the new prophecies rejected, not because Montanus and Priscilla and Maximilla preach another God, or annul Christ Jesus, or overthrow any rule of faith or hope, but because they teach to fast oftener than to marry;" and, elsewhere 48, he distinctly lays down that no change in discipline can be heretical, except it flow from heresy in doctrine. "They reproach the discipline of single-marriage as a heresy. Nor are they reduced to deny the Paraclete so much on any ground, as that they think He is the Framer of a new discipline, and that most burdensome to them"----and then |xii having put the question quoted already, he objects to himself, " 'In this way of arguing,' sayest thou, 'any thing however novel and burdensome may be ascribed to the Paraclete, although it be from the opposing spirit.' Not so. For the opposing spirit would discover himself from the difference of teaching, first adulterating the rule of faith, and then adulterating the order of discipline, because that must first be corrupted, which precedes in order, i. e. faith as going before discipline. A person must first be a heretic as to God, and then as to the institute of God." There may be truth in this observation of Tertullian, so far that, (could it be traced,) practical heresy always implies doctrinal; but his theory implies yet further, that unless the doctrinal heresy can be shewn, the received tradition as to Apostolic practice may not only be modified by the Church on grounds of expediency, but may on private revelation be corrected as erroneous. Single-marriage was, according to the Montanists, not only an ordinance which might be imposed by the Church, restricting Christian liberty, but a point of faith; so that second-marriage was not only a less excellent way, but was adultery; a change analogous to that in the Council of Trent, which not only imposed the necessity of private confession, but declared it to be de fide, that all mortal sins, even of thought, must be confessed. In this way, Tertullian facilitated his fall; but its primary source, from within as from without, appears to have been the failing, over which he himself mourns, impatience. St. Jerome hints at this in the external circumstances, when he says 49, that he "was by the envy and contumelious treatment of the Roman Clergy driven to embrace the opinions of Montanus." Internally, he seems to have been irritated at the refusal of the Church to recognise the spiritual claims of the Montanists, and what he deemed the manifestation of the Paraclete. He seems to have regarded it as a rejection of the Spirit 50, and to have thought himself |xiii compelled to remain outwardly separated from the body which so rejected It. Yet he may have persuaded himself that, the faith remaining entire, though visibly divided, they remained invisibly one Church, even as the several portions of the Church, whose communion is interrupted, Eastern, Western, our own, now do,----only that in the case of Tertullian, it was not merely a misunderstanding between Churches, each having the Apostolic constitution and succession, but the formation of a sect de novo, opposed to the Church. This at least seems the most natural meaning of a passage written by him as a Montanist, when, speaking of the agreement of the Eastern and Western Churches, he includes himself in the Western 51. He may also in part have been carried away by his sympathies with an individual, Proculus, whose continency and eloquence he admired 52. But the difference of his tone in and out of the Church, the remarkable expressions of deep self-abasement on many occasions, while within it, the arrogant and self-confident language after his secession 53, the calm and subdued tone, prevalent in the former, the irritated and impatient temper, visible in the latter period, seem to imply some moral fault, which his secession carried out into |xiv action, and, as do decisive acts, fixed. A painful analogy has, before our own eyes, been furnished by the change of temper, and, as one should fear, judicial blindness, which secession from our own Church has, in some saddening cases, brought over persons' minds. Any way, it is a solemn warning, that one, who had possessed himself of a rule of faith against heresy, or, as we should say, of Catholic truth, should, probably the rather through no unnatural misapplication of that rule, be betrayed into heresy; that the most powerful mind perhaps of antiquity should be ensnared by a heresy, intellectually the least attractive; that a heresy, which soon shewed the characteristic of heresy, (as Tertullian himself had pointed out 54,) in dividing into lesser sects 55, and which at no time numbered any eminent persons within it, should have been reserved to ensnare one, who was in other points on his guard, and but for this would have been a chief defender of the faith and Doctor in the Church; that, as far as it seems, one single uncorrected fault should have been the chief instrument of his fall. "The more," says Tillemont 56, "Tertullian seems to have been removed from the vices of men, the more reason had he to dread falling into those of devils," [pride and impatience, see de pat. c. 5.] Of a truth, the "deceivableness" of Satan and his cunning in adapting his snares, in doctrine as in life, to each man's peculiar temperament and failings, seem far greater than they probably suspect, who in these days fear it most. The fall of Tertullian was the one great triumph of Montanism. The warning seems to come the more providentially in an age, which on the one hand is so recklessly careless as to heresy on the highest doctrines, as though it were as difficult to fall into it, as the Church in the first ages, which knew what those doctrines were, found it to guard men against it; on the other hand, patience seems, in many ways, the grace which God is especially forming in our Church, which they who keep will abide, they who lose will be driven away. Instructive is it, |xv again, in another way, to observe how nearly Tertullian, on other doctrine, was betrayed into heresy, while defending the truth; how, contending against the heretic Praxeas, he so expressed himself, as to fall into suspicion of heresy, even on the doctrine of the Trinity, though indeed sound; proving against Plato, that the soul has a beginning, he narrowly escaped materialism, and the doctrine of transmigration of the soul 57; arguing against those who denied Baptism, he so wrote, as to seem to deny original sin 58.
To the right use of Tertullian, then, more care and judgment are required than for other fathers. His testimony to facts and doctrines, to the rites of the Church, is, of course, always of the highest value. Tn these respects he is of value even when writing against the Church, whereby some of his statements are elicited. Nor, in other respects, will any question his great instructiveness, whom S. Cyprian entitled his "Master." Still ho requires a mature judgment; and it is on this account, perhaps, that his influence upon the Church has rather been mediated through those whose minds were formed by his writings, than direct. Among these, we may count not S. Cyprian only, but Pacian and S. Jerome, in both of whom the sayings of Tertullian re-appear in a form, which shew how great an influence his writings must have had upon them. The more, however, this mediate influence increased, and his writings moulded other minds within the Church, the more did the apparent necessity for them cease, and the office once assigned them was suspended. The rareness of MSS. of his works, with the single exception of the Apology, (and even these are in no great number,) illustrates what S. Hilary 59 says on his Treatise on Prayer, that it was indeed "excellently to the purpose, but that the subsequent error of the man had taken from the authority even of what he had written well." And this, not without reason; for the maxims of Tertullian are often so |xvi fascinating from their very condensation, as readily to gain admission although involving unperceived consequences. Thus even S. Jerome admits the maxim, that what a man hath received, that he may impart 60, which, although it may, in cases of necessity, apply to the immediate subject, Holy Baptism, would equally justify presbyterian ordination.61 In other instances, it is observable how Tertullian, as a Montanist, misapplies the principles which were perhaps just safe in a Catholic sense, as that "Three formed a Church;" again, the maxim of the undeservedness of repentance becomes a ground why it should not be believed to be bestowed 62. Even on the ground of the evident maxim, that priority was in some sense the test of truth, since what was first in order would be truth, what was added subsequently was the error, he at least lightly hints that the Greek Church was more to be relied upon than the Roman, as being the prior 63, whereas both were Apostolic.
Since, then, the abuse of Tertullian lies so very near the use, the young especially should be cautioned, how they use or apply his maxims, and that they apply them not according to any private judgment. With this caution, however, it was thought that the energy and fervor of Tertullian might have their office in a relaxed age; and that the more, since our dangers do not lie in the same direction. And with this caution he should be read for edification also, since it were manifestly a perverted use of any Christian writer to read him (as some seem to do) merely as bearing testimony to facts or doctrines, to the disregard of the moral effect which he ought to have upon our own minds.
The Treatises in the present Volume, with the exception of the de Corona, have no traces of Montanism; all the rest were also written probably before Tertullian's fall, (see Notices to each,) except the "address to Scapula," which furnishes no occasion for any allusion either way. |xvii
With respect to the execution of the present work, the Editor found reason to adhere for the most part to the text of Rigaltius; the text accordingly, where not otherwise specified, is his. The previous Editions and most existing MSS. have, however, been collated, and where Rigaltius made alterations on mere conjecture, the older text has been restored. It was intended that the present text should rest entirely upon authority. One exception, however, was unavoidable. This relates to the readings, published by Wouwer, under the title, "Emendationes Epidicticae in Tertullianum,"as having been taken from ancient MSS. by F. Ursinus. These Rigaltius much relied upon and adopted into his text, there being no apparent ground to doubt their genuineness. M. Heyse, however, after searching in vain in the Vatican, at the request of the Editor, for the more ancient MSS. which F. Ursinus is said to have used, with a happy ingenuity discovered at last the original, from which Wouwer had printed his Emendationes. From this it appeared that they were never intended for any thing else than conjectural emendations, except here and there, where a MS. was quoted. They are then only ingenious conjectures of a good critic, often very probable, at other times mistaken, as applying classical criticism to Tertullian. This was not discovered until the treatise "on Idolatry"(p. 252.) had been printed; in the subsequent treatises, the use of these corrections was relinquished; and certainly in the case of these, as of other conjectures, readings which one should at first be inclined to lay aside as desperate, have seemed to the Editor to have more of the character of Tertullian, than what at first sight seemed very preferable. And this, may be satisfactory amid the great dearth of MSS. of Tertullian, that as little can be done for rendering the text easier, so less is probably required than would at first sight appear to be the case.
The object of the Translator has been to transfuse as faithfully as possible the whole and the precise meaning of the original: a task, as all know who are acquainted with |xviii Tertullian, of exceeding difficulty, and in executing which the Translator has often sacrificed his own ideas of English style. Faithfulness and a conciseness which might follow as nearly on the condensed style of Tertullian, as the genius of the two languages would permit, appeared a prior object; and the Editor cannot but hope that the work will thus become a good introduction to the study of the Author in the original, the very austerity and stern conciseness of whose style binds yet more to him those not deterred by its first exterior. With the same view of faithfully representing the original, the quotations from Holy Scripture have been rendered as they stand in Tertullian's version. The Translator has purposely abstained from the use of any previous translation, in order to give his own view of the meaning unbiassed. Of these, the translation of the Apology by the Rev. T. Chevallier might, from its elegance, almost have superseded any other; yet, in exhibiting together the chief works of Tertullian, it did not seem right to omit what has been the most celebrated and the most popular. Of his other Treatises, the book of "prescription against heretics"and "the address to Scapula" alone (the Editor believes) have been hitherto translated into English. The notes (for which, as for the alterations in the text of Rigaltius, the immediate Editor is alone responsible) have been added more largely, partly, as once before, on account of the copious materials ready to hand in the collections of Pamelius and La Cerda, and, on the Apology, of Havercamp, partly on account of the allusive style of Tertullian, and to strengthen his authority as not making allusions at random; again, partly to defend his statements, partly to guard against their abuse. In so doing, the Editor has freely used the existing materials, only verifying the references, (for aid in which on the Apology the Editor has to express his thanks to the Rev. J. B. MORRIS, Fellow of Exeter, to whom he is indebted for the Index, and the Rev. T. MORRIS, Student of Christ Church,) and since it would have been wearisome to note on every occasion the source or sources from which references were derived, these have mostly been omitted. |xix
Thus guarded, it is hoped that the present volume, the first in which any number of the Treatises of Tertullian have been made accessible to English readers, may tend, under God's blessing, to form in them the earlier rather than the later character of that great mind, his sternness against self, and "boldness in rebuking sin," his uncompromising adherence to the lightest admonition of God's law, and ready submission of his will, at whatever cost, so that his very fall was in misdirected submission to an authority without him;
And Cyprian's Master, as in age high-soul'd
Yet choosing as in youth the better part 64,
may act alike as a fire to kindle, a light to guide, and a beacon to warn against what he now, his slough cast away, would most wish to warn, his own errors and the tempers in which they originated. So may the scandal caused by his fall be compensated, and he, with the rest of the holy company, from whom on earth he was disunited, be employed in "preparing"for the coming of his Lord, for Whom he looked so ardently, "by the preaching of repentance 65" in holy austerity and self-discipline.
E. B. P.
Feast of St. John the Baptist,
[Footnotes moved to end and numbered.]
1. a Catal. Scriptt. Eccles.
2. b "acris et vehementis ingenii." Bp. Kaye's translation has been retained; the words, however, appear to me indicative of intellectual as well as of moral qualities.
3. a Apol. c. 18. p. 41. de Pnit. init. p. 349. Two other passages quoted, de Fuga in Pers. c. 6. and adv. Marc. iii. 21. only imply Gentile origin.
4. b Apol. l. c.
5. c de Spect. c. 19.
6. d de Res. Carnis c. 59.
7. e l. c.
8. f de Cult. Fem. ii. 1. de Pnit. c. 4. and fin.
9. g de Bapt. c. 10. p. 267.
10. h de Pat. c. 1. p. 327.
11. i It seems clear, from the conclusion of the de Pallio, that it was written on his conversion to Christianity, the pallium being the dress of Christians. "Thus far speaketh the Pallium. But as for me, I now transfer my life to that sect and discipline, which is [not merely philosophical but] Divine also. Rejoice, Pallium, and be glad; a better philosophy hath accepted thee, from the time that thou becamest the Christian's dress."But the date of the de Pallio itself, in connection with Tertullian's other writings, then becomes fixed by the passage, in which he speaks of the peace consequent upon the harmony of the three Augusti, "How many cities hath the triple excellence of the existing rule either produced, or enlarged, or restored? God favouring so many Augusti, making them as one, how many census have been formed! how many people purified! how many ranks ennobled! how many barbarians driven out! Of a truth, the world, that most cultivated demesne of this Empire, all the aconite of hostility having been rooted out, with the cactus and brambles of treacherous intimacy, is adorned and agreeable above the orchards of Alcinous, or the rose-gardens of Midas." c. 2. The chief events alluded to, seem to have been the suppression of the revolt of Niger, the victories over the Arabians, Parthians, Adiabenians, the capture of Byzantium. The three Augusti, Severus, Antoninus Caracalla, and Albinus. The only other date would be two years later, when after the revolt and death of Albinus, Geta was made Caesar; but they of whom T. speaks were three Augusti, Geta was not entitled Augustus until A. 208. This is subsequent to the date of some of T.'s Apologetic writings. (Pamelius and Scaliger agree in the above.)
12. k The date (as it seems) of the de Corona, (see notice, below, p. 158.) He was certainly a Montanist in A.D. 207. the date of the first book against Marcion. In the fifteenth year of Severus."(c. 15.)
13. l S. Jerome above.
14. m Tillemont (Note 3. sur Tertullien) on this ground infers that T. wrote these Treatises in the interval between his conversion and his ordination. In the absence of any marks of their precise date, the assumption cannot be disproved.
15. n The passage, quoted by Pamelius, (de Pallio, c. 5.) does not directly prove this; for it is spoken by the Pallium personified; it relates to other offices, judicial and military, ("non judico, non milito,") and declares that they which wore it had abandoned public life altogether. ("I have gone aloof from the people. My only business is within myself.") Yet, doubtless T. had reference to himself also, and the great prominence given to the law in the description makes it probable that he was previously engaged in it.
16. o H. E. ii. 2. "Tertullian, a man accurately acquainted with the Roman laws, and in other respects distinguished, and among those in great repute at Rome." This is said on occasion of the history of Tiberius' proposal to rank oar Lord among the deities of Rome.
17. p de Pallio 1. c.
18. q S. Jerome above. The way in which in the de An. c. 9 he distinguishes himself from the people, implies plainly that he was a priest. In the de Monog. c. 12. and the de Exh. Cast. c. 7. in which he includes himself among the laity, he must be speaking communicative.
19. r adv. Prax. c. 1.
20. s adv. Marc. i. 1.
21. t Trithemius Abbas, de Script. Eccl.
22. u Especially in the Apology and the de Corona. Yet in the de Idol. c. 4. p. 224. he speaks of the weakness of his memory.
23. x adv. Jov. i. 7. "Here would be the place to descant on the straits of marriage, and to give full play to the language of Rhetoricians in their common-places. Certainly Tertullian also, when yet young, disported in this subject,"and Ep. 22. ad Eustoch. §. 22. "Would you know from how many troubles the unmarried is free, by how many the wife beset, you may read 'Tertullian to a philosophic friend.' " Baronius, A. 197. §. 14. supposes that Tertullian was already a Christian, since S. Jerome in this very Epistle and elsewhere dissuades from reading Heathen writings. But this seems almost too large an inference, knowing, as we do, nothing of the circumstances of his conversion. Tertullian speaks of his own adult, but heathen, sins. (see ab. not. d.) It seems more probable that he was not converted until middle age. Like S. Augustine, he may have long been lingering on the borders of Christianity.
24. y de Cult. Fem. i. 7.
25. z In the de Pallio, c. 1. the Apology, c. 9. 45. fin. ad Scap. c. 3. ad Ux. i. 6. de Praescr. c. 36. adv. Marc. iv. 5. de Res. Carni, c. 45. Scorp. c. 6.
26. a S. Aug. de Haer.
27. b "What more learned than Tertullian? what more acute?" S.Jerome, Ep. 60. ad Magn. §. 5. "Tertullian of whom many Treatises, written most eloquently, are commonly read." S. Aug. de Haer. "He published most eloquent and fervid Treatises in defence of the truth." Auct. de Haer,
28. c c. 18. p. 54. Oxf. Tr.
29. b de Jejun. c. 15. "How very slight among us is the prohibition of meats! two weeks of dry-food do we offer unto God, and those too not entire, the Sabbaths and Lord's Days being excepted, abstaining too from things, which we do not reject but defer only."
30. c ib. c. 13. "Ye answer that these things are to be done by choice, not by command."
31. d de Poenit. c. 9. 11. see below, p. 364, 5, 367.
32. e de Pudic. c. 19. 21. He declares them unpardonable as being "sins unto death." (1 John 5, 16.) "You have no choice left, but either to deny that adultery and fornication are mortal sins, or to confess that they are irrémissible ; for which it is not even permitted to pray." He does not however specify other mortal sin.
33. f Apollonius, who wrote about A. 211. ap. Eus. v. 18. says, "But who is this upstart teacher [Montanus]? His deeds and teaching shew one.... . . it was he who appointed people to levy money, who under the name of offerings devised the new way of getting bribes, who supplies salaries to those that preach his doctrine, that by gluttony the teaching of that doctrine may gain support." "If they maintain that their prophets have not received presents, let them acknowledge this, that if convicted of having received them, they are no prophets; and then we will bring proofs innumerable that they have received them. And since all the fruits of a prophet must needs be put to the test, tell me, does a prophet dye his hair? does a prophet blacken his eyebrows? is a prophet fond of dress? does a prophet play with tables and dice? does a prophet lend on usury? let them confess whether these things are lawful or not: and that they have taken place with them I will prove." And of Priscilla and Maximilla. "We shew then that these very first prophetesses from the time that they were filled with the Spirit, left their husbands." ....."Thinkest thou not that all Scripture forbids a prophet to receive gifts or money? When then I see that a prophetess has received both gold and silver and costly apparel, how shall I do else than reject her?"
34. g "He discharged from him all the idle pretence of Phrygia, and formed conventicles of Tertullianists. But in doctrine he changed nothing." Praedest.
35. h "Ourselves, after that time, the recognition and maintaining of the Paraclete separated from the Carnal." adv. Prax. c. 1.
36. i S. Aug. de Haeres.
37. k S. Aug. de Haer. "passing over to the Cataphrygas whom he had before overthrown." This seems to he an allusion to the adv. omn. Haer.; possibly, however, (as Tillemont perhaps means to suggest, art. 9.) it only signifies that he "overthrew" them by teaching the truths opposed to their errors, the lawfulness of second marriage, (ad Ux. ii. l. i. 3. de Pat. c. 13.) of flight in persecution, (ad Ux. i. 3. de Pat. 1. c.) of the Church's right to remit all mortal sin, (de Poen. c. 7.)
38. l See the de Praescr. and notice below, p. 434, 5.
39. m adv. Prax. c. 1. Episcopum Romanum, agnoscentem jam prophetias Montani, Priscae, Maximillae, et ex ea agnitione pacem Ecclesiis Asiae et Phrygiae inferentem, falsa de ipsis prophetis et Ecclesiis eorum adseverando, et praecessorum ejus auctoritates defendendo, coegit et literas pacis revocare jam emissas, et a proposito recipiendorum charismatum concessare.
40. n They seem even to have displaced the Church in Phrygia, (S. Hil. ad Const, ii. §. 9.) in Thyatira, (Epiph. Hser. 51. c. 53.) Their early extent may also be perhaps inferred from the notice of them in S. Clem. Alex. Strom. vii. c. xvii.p. 900. the frequent mention of them in Origen, (see Tillemont, art. 13.) from the letter written against them by Serapion Bp. of Antioch, (Eus. H. E. v. 19.) and by the martyrs of Lyons, (ib. v. 3.) as also from Tertullian. Their subsequent extent is indicated by the frequent notice of them in the decisions on heretical Baptism, (see above, Note G. on the de Bapt. p.284, &c.)and the statement in Sozomen. (ii. 32.) that they suffered by Constantine's laws against heretics except in Phrygia and the neighbouring provinces, where from the time of Montanus they had existed in great numbers, (Tillem. 1. c.)
41. o ad Mart. c. 1. p. 151. and note c.
42. p They were excommunicated in Asia, did not separate themselves from the Church, and would gladly have been restored, see note m.
43. q It is perhaps out of reverence that he thus contents himself with retorting the charge of worshipping the Cross, (Apol. c. 16.) or the Sun because they prayed towards the East, (ib.)
44. r Apol. c. 31. p. 27. note u.
45. s de Praecr. c. 29.
46. t de Virg. vel. c. 1. see more below in Notice on "Prescription a.gainst Heretics," p. 434.
47. u de Jej. c. 1. add c. 11. "Undoubtedly heresy and false-prophecy will among us, who are all ministers [antistites] of One God, the Creator, and of His Christ, be judged such by differing as to the Godhead, and therefore I maintain this position unconcerned, leaving them to choose their own point of attack. Thou sayest, carnal one, 'it is the spirit of the devil.' How then does it command duties to our God, to be offered to none but our God? Either maintain that the devil takes part with our God, or be Satan accounted the Paraclete."
48. x de Monog. c. 2. see further p. 434. and init. where he distinguishes the 1) Catholics, 2) Montanists, 3) heretics. "The heretics take away, the Carnal heap up marriages.----But among us, whom the recognising of spiritual gifts rightly causes to be termed 'spiritual.----' "
49. y See above, p. i.
50. z "On no other ground, are they compelled so much to deny the Paraclete." de Monog. c. 2. "Subsequently the recognition and maintaining of the Paraclete separated us from the Carnal." adv. Prax. c. 1.
51. a "In Greece and some barbarous nations belonging to her, many Churches keep their virgins concealed. This same practice exists also in some parts in these climates; that persons may not ascribe that custom to Greek or Barbarian heathenism. But I have set before them Churches, [the Grecian] which the Apostles themselves or Apostolic men have founded, and I suppose before certain [the Roman]. They then also have the same authority of custom; they oppose periods [of observance] and [practice of] predecessors, more than those later. Which shall we observe? which choose? We cannot reject that custom, which we cannot condemn, not being alien, as not of aliens, inasmuch as we share [communicamus] with them the rights of peace and the name of brotherhood, [comp. de Praescr. c. 20.] We and they have one faith, One God, the Same Christ, the same hope, the same sacraments of Baptism. (Eph. 4,5.) To say all at once, we are one Church. So then whatever is of ours, is ours. But thou dividest the body."de Virg. vel. c. 2.
52. b "as Justin, Philosopher and Martyr, Miltiades, Philosopher of the Church, Irenaeus, most careful examiner of all doctrine, our Proculus, of virgin old-age and the glory of Christian eloquence, all of whom (quos) I should wish to follow in every work of the faith, as in this." adv. Val. c. 5. This, however, does not imply any special preference for Proculus, (as Tillemont implies, Tertull. art. 8.) although it is probable that he was the same as Proclus or Proculus the Montanist, as is thought by Baronius, 201. §. 10. Tillemont 1. c. and Note 15.
53. c S. Augustine seems to refer to this changed tone where he says, (de bon. vid. c. 4. §. 6.) "The Cataphrygian and Novatian heresies, which Tertullian also filled out with swelling cheeks not with wisdom's breath, cutting off, as unlawful, with contumelious speech, second marriages, which the Apostle, with calm judgment, concedes to be wholly lawful."
54. a de praescr. c. 42. bel. p. 477.
55. b adv. omn. haer. c. 52. S. Epiph. Haer. 48. c. 14. 49. c. 1. 2.
56. c Tertull. art. 8.
57. d "Some object to Tertullian, that he said that the soul came by transmission, i. e. that soul was generated of soul as body of bodies." Praedest.
58. e See on the de Bapt.c. 18. p. 277. n.o.
59. f in Matt. cap. 5.
60. g See on the de Bapt. c. 17. p. 275. not. d.
61. h See de Bapt. c, 6. p. 263. not. p.
62. i comp. de Poen. c. 7. and de Pudic. c. 10.
63. k de Virg. Vel. quoted above, p. xiii.
64. l Lyra Apostolica, No. 91.
65. m Collect for St. John Baptist's Day.
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