Page images

culty; they argue, from some expressions in his works, that he was a native of what is now called Provence in France. The opinion of his being a Scythian, seems to have arisen from bis having been some while in the desert of Scete, or Schetis, or Scitis, in Egypt; and having also written an account of conferences in that country : and learned men, I suppose, do now generally m assent to this account. But Du Pin still hesitates. And since him another agreeable writer" very lately speaks of him as a * native of Tbrace ;' because, perhaps, he had not observed what has been said by Pagi, or the authors referred to by bim. Indeed, the other opinion has prevailed very much; and the common title of these Conferences, in the printed editions, is • Collationes Patrum in Scythicâ Eremo commo• rantium ;' though it is plain, from the work itself, that all those monks or fathers dwelt in Egypt. Moreover, the title of this work in Gennadius, is,o Conferences held with Egyptian Monks.

It might have been added, as I apprehend, to other observations relating to this point, that P the Greeks were wont to write the name of that desert, Scitis ; at least it is so written in Valesius's edition of Socrates : which word might be easily turned into Scythia by some, who were not well acquainted with the geography of Egypt; and they would be carelessly followed by many others. Besides, ing the first chapter of the first Conference, and in the title of that chapter, the desart is called Schyti, or Schytis, which cannot denote Scythia. Tbis, if duly attended to, might have induced learned men to think of Scete, or Sciti, or Scitis, in Egypt, where the fathers spoken of certainly dwelt; and then they needed not to have gone to Scythia, in quest of Cassian's native country. I have stayed thus long upon this, because mistakes and inaccuracies are too common; and I think it may be of some use to correct them, when there is a fair opportunity,

III. Cassian entered early into a monastic course of life. He was, when young, for some while in a monastery at Bethlehem; afterwards, he and his friend German made a visit to the monks in Egypt. In the year 403, they were at Constantinople, wherer Cassian was ordained deacou by St. Chrysostom. In 404, or 405, he came to Rome, and was ordained presbyter by Pope Innocent, as it seems. In the year 410, or soon after, as some think, or, as otbers, several years before, le came into Gaul, and settled at Marseilles, where he erected two monasteries, one for men, another for women. The year of his death is uncertain. However, Cavet says, he died in 448, in the 97th year of his age : Basnage," about 450.

In eremo Scythiæ, seu in eremo Scythicâ :' si ne ullâ controversiâ scribendum esse • in eremo Scheti, seu in eremo Scheticà,' hoc est, ut in ver, sione Græcâ recte legitur, Ev ans ExNTEWÇ. Pagi Ann. 404. n. 22.

m Vid. Fabr. Bib. Gr. T. vii. p. 551, 552. "Mr. Bower in his Hist. of the Popes, Vol. i. p. 389. o Digessit etiam Collationes cum Patribus Ægyptiis. Genn. ubi supra.

P Και κατα μερος επληρωθη το της Νιτριας ορος, και το της Σκιτεος των povaywy. Socr. l. iv. c. 23. p. 232. F.

9 Caput primum. De habitatione Schyti, et proposito Abbatis Möysis.' Cum in eremo Schyti, ubi monachorum probatissimi Patres, et omnium sanctorum morabatur perfectio, &c. Collat. 1.

IV. It has been questioned, whether Cassian wrote in Greek or Latin. Tillemont says, that' the Institutions 6 and Conferences, wbich were composed for the sake of • the monks in Gaul, of which perbaps there were not ten • who understood Greek, were certainly written in Latin. • If, therefore, a doubt be admitted concerning any of his

works, it can only relate to his books of the Incarnation ; • in which, near the end, be addresseth himself to the peo• ple of Constantinople. Nevertheless, I think it very plain, that w they also were written in Latin.

V. Cassian quotes not only the four gospels, the Acts of the Apostles, and other books of the New Testament, which . had been all along universally received by catholic christians; but likewise the* epistle to the Hebrews, as Paul's; they epistle of James; the second epistle of Peter; thea epistle of Jude; and the Revelation: whence we may conclude, that be received all the same books of the New Testament, which we now receive; which is worthy of observation. Cassian, who had been in Palestine, and Egypt, and at Constantinople, as well as in the western part of the

I studium tamen discipuli affectumque præsumo. Adoptatus enim a beatissimæ memoriæ Joanne episcopo in ministerium sacrum, atque oblatus Deo. De Incarn. I. vii. c. 31. sub. in. s Pagi Ann. 433. n. 18. See also Tillem. Cassien, art. 14.

Scribere orsus est ab anno 424. Obiit A. 448, ætatis suæ 97. Ubi supra. u Ann. 429. n. 4.

Ubi supra.

# Vid. De Incarn. I. vi. c. 3.

* Vid. Institu. I. vi. c. 16. De Incarn. Chr. 1. v. c. 6. et passim.

y efficiamur secundum apostolum . non factores, sed judices legis.' [Jac. iv. 11.] Collat. 16. c. 16. Vid. Coll. 5. c. 4. et alibi.

? Secundum apostoli namque sententiam. • A quo quisque superatur, ejus servus efficitur.' [2 Pet. 2. 19.] Collat. 7. c. 25. Conf. Inst. I. v. c. 13.

a Unus quoque apostolorum evidentius dicit: Angelos, qui non servaverunt suum principatum, sed dereliquerunt domicilium suum, &c. [Jud. ver. 6.] Coll. 8. c. 8.

Et in Apocalypsi: Ego, quos amo, arguo et castigo.' [Cap. iii. 19.] Col. 6. cap. 11. Vid. et Inst. I. 4. c. 17. I. v. c. 17. Col. 22. c. 7. et alibi.

empire, did not follow the peculiar opinions of any of those places; but he received all those books of the New Testament, which appeared to have been received upon good grounds by, any christians.

VI. General titles of books of scripture, and marks of respect for them, are such as these.

In his books against Nestorius he proves what he asserts byo divine testimonies; from the prophets and apostles ; from the words of prophets, apostles, and evangelists. And he thinks that those testimonies are sufficient to satisfy any man; nevertheless, having endeavoured to prove his doctrine by the authority of scripture, be refers Nestorius to the Creed of the church of Antioch, where he had been educated; and quotes alsos divers ecclesiastical writers; particularly Hilary, Ambrose, Jerom, Rufinus, Augustine, Athavasius, and John, bishop of Constantinople, or St. Chrysostom.

VII. I shall now select a few other things.

1. Hei styles John the Baptist, the sacred boundary of the Old and New Testament,

2. Hek speaks of the evangelist Mark, as the first bishop of the city of Alexandria.

3. The apostle Paul, he calls the master of the whole world.

4. Hem sometimes compares the Greek and the Latin copies of the New Testament.

c Nunc interim et Christum Deum, et Mariam matrem Dei, divinis testibus approbemus. De Inc. Chr. 1. ii. c. 2.

a Quid ais tu nunc, hæretice? Sufficiuntne hæc testimonia fidei? An aliquid adhuc addendum est ? Et quid vel post prophetas, vel post apostolos, addi potest? Ib. I. iii. c. 16. in.

e Ergo quia superioribus libris Dominum Jesum Christum non propheticis tantum, atque apostolicis, sed etiam evangelicis atque angelicis testimonis, cum in carne atque in terrà esset, Deum probavimus. Ib. 1. iv. c. 1. et passim.

Igitur, quia neganti Deum hæretico abunde jam, ut reor, cunctis superioribus scriptis divinorum testimoniorum auctoritate respondimus; nunc ad fidem Antiocheni symboli virtutemque veniamus. L. vi. c. 3.

8 Sed tempus tandem est, finem libro, imo universo operi, imponere, si paucorum tamen sanctorum virorum atque illustrium sacerdotum dicta subdidero ; ut id, quod auctoritate testimoniorum sacrorum jam approbavimus, etiam fide præsentis temporis roboremus. Ib. I. vii. c. 24.

" Joannes, Constantinopolitanorum antistitum decus. Ibid. c. 30.

· De Joanne quoque, qui Veteris Novique Testamenti, velut quidam sacratissimus limes, finis initiumque processit. Inst. I. i. c. 2. * Inst. I. ii. c. 5.

Disce ergo primum ab apostolo totius mundi magistro. De Inc. Chr. I. iv. c. 1.

m« Habentes autem alimenta et operimenta, his contenti simus.' [1 Tim. vi. 8.] • Operimenta' inquiens, non ' vestimenta,' ut in quibusdam Latinis exemplaribus non proprie continetur ; id est, quæ corpus operiant tantum, non quæ amictûs gloriâ blandiantur. Inst. I. i.c. 3.

5. In citing the Old Testament, he follows the ancient Latin translation that had been made from the Seventy, and was then in general use. However, once at least," he has quoted Jerom's version as the more exact, or more agreeable to the Hebrew.

6. Heo quotes the epistle to the Ephesians with that title.

7. Cassian is always reckoned an opposer of the Augus. tinian doctrine; nevertheless, lie was also very averse to Pelagianism, which he describes in this manner: • He says P they do not so much consider Christ to be the Redeemer of inankind, as their teacher, and example, delivering to them precepts of virtue, and setting them an excellent pattern ; that obeying him, and following him in the same path of virtue, they may obtain rewards, like those which have been bestowed upon him : thus, he says, setting aside, as far as in them lies, the great design of Christ's coming.'

8. In the year 428, Nestorius was made bishop of Constantinople, who' scrupled to call the virgin · Mary, mother • of God;' thinking it more proper to call her, “ mother of • our Lord,' or ' mother of Jesus Christ,' In 430, as before shown, Cassian wrote against him in seven books; und he treats him with great severity. He calls" him an apostate,

* Dicente Scriptura :- Si in sanctis suis non confidit, et in angelis suis reperit pravitatem ;' sive, ut emendatior translatio habet : Ecce inter sanctos ejus nemo immutabilis, et celi non sunt mundi in conspectu ejus. (Job xv. 15.] Coll. 23. c. 8.

In epistolâ quoque ad Ephesios de hoc ipso opere ita præcipit, dicens. Inst. I. x. c. 17. Vid. et Coll. 13. c. 14. et alibi.

P Illud sane unum prætereundum non arbitramur, quod peculiare ac proprium supradictæ illius hæreseos, quæ ex Pelagiano errore descenderat, fuit.-Quo factum est, ut in majorem quoque ac monstrosiorem insaniam prorumpentes, dicerent, Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum hunc in mundum non ad præstandam humano generi redemptionem, sed ad præbenda bonorum actuum exempla venisse : videlicet, ut disciplinam ejus sequentes homines, dum per eandem viam virtutis incederent, ad eadem virtutuni præmia pervenirent; evacuantes, quantum in ipsis fuit, omne sacri adventûs donum, et omnem divinæ redemtionis gratiam, &c. De Inc. Ch. I. i. c. 3.-quæ eruditorem eum fecit humani generis, magis quam redemtorem fuisse; quia non redemtionem vitæ hominibus, sed vivendi dederit exemplum. Ibid. I. vi. c. 14.

4 Dicis itaque, quisquis es ille hæretice, qui Deum ex virgine natum negas, Mariam autem matrem Domini nostri Jesu Christi Jeotokov, id est, matrem Dei appellari non posse, sed Xpisotokov, id est, Christi tantum matrem non Dei. Cass. de Incarn. Ch. l. ii. c. 2.

'- dic mihi, quæso, si Judæorum quispiam aut Paganorum catholicæ fidei symbolum neget, num audiendum eum existimes esse? Non utique. Quid si id ipsum hæreticus aut apostata ? Multo certe minus ; quia intolerabilius est veritatem cognitam relinquere, quam incognitam negare. Duos igitur in te videmus, catholicum et apostatam. Quid facis in ecclesiâ catholica ? catholicorum prævaricator? Cur cætum populi polluis, qui fidem populi denegásti ? Insuper et consistere in altari, et conscen

perfidious; a blasphemer, impious, and impudent: ands earnestly exhorts the people of Constantinople to separate theinselves from him, and have no communion with him, but to shun him as a wolf, or pest, lest they should be devoured or infected by him.

9. And he sets out, at the beginning of that work, with an invective against all who had been called heretics in former and latter times; as low as Apollinarius and Pelagius. Such is the temper of some men; indeed, of very many! They behave as if they were infallible : they are, it seems, exactly right; and if any man differs from them never so little, he is presently a heretic and a blasphemer; impious, impudent, perfidious, and the like.

10. I never intended to insert in this work a history of Nestorius: I now therefore take this opportunity to refer my readers tot Socrates, and u some other ancient writers ; and to' Mr. Bower, and other learned moderns; where they who are desirous, may receive information.

dere tribunal, et offerre impudentissimum et perfidissimum os tuum populo Dei ausus! De Inc. I. v. c. 10. vid. et. I. iii. c. 10.—Exi itaque, effuge hmc, si potes, tu quisquis es, qui rabido ore, ac blasphemo spiritu turens, nihil interesse inter Adam et Christum putas. Ib. I. v. c. 9.-Et tu, O impussime, atque impudentissime, præclaræ urbis contaminator, catholicæ ac sanctæ plebis gravis et exitiosa contagio, stare in ecclesiâ Dei ac loqui audes? L. VI. c. 30.

$ Unde obsecro ac deprecor omnes vos, qui intra Constantinopolitanæ urbis ambitum sit -ut separetis vos ab illo, ut scriptum est, lupo rapaci, qui devoret Dei populum, sicut cibum panis. Ne tetigeritis, neque gustaveritis quidquam illius, quia sunt omnia ad interitum. Exite de medio ejus, ac separamini, et immundum ne tetigeritis. L. vii. c. 31. i Socr. H. E. I. vil. c. 29, 31, 32.

u Theodoret. H. F. l. iv. c. 12. Evagr. Schol. H. E. I. i c. 2–7. M. Mercat. P. ii, ex edit. J. Garnier, Par. 1673. Phot. Ep. 1. p. 7, 8. Ep. 35. p. 95. Vincent. Lir. Com. c. 16.

"History of the Popes, Vol. i. p. 386 – 406.

* Asseman. Bib. Or. T. i. p. 203, 346, 354, 547. T. iii. P. i. p. 35, 611. et alibi. et T. iii. P. ii. Pagi Ann. 428. n. 11. et alıbı. S. Basnag. Ann. 428. n. 8, &c. et in Præfat. ad Annal. p. antepenult. T. i. J. Basnag. H. de l'Eglise, 1. x. c. 4. I. xx. c. 2. n. 7, &c. et c. 4. n. 22. et alıbı. Cav. H. L. T. i. Du Pın, Bib. des Aut. Ec. T. iii. P. ii. Tillemont, S. Celestin, Pape et St. Cyrille d' Alex. art. 8, 13, 17, &c. Mem. Ec. T. xiv.

« PreviousContinue »