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An Ecclesiastical History To The 20th Year Of The Reign Of Constantine by Eusebius

“VALENTINE came to Rome under Hyginus, was in his prime under Pius, and lived until the time of Anicetus. But Cerdon, who preceded Marcion, and flourished under the episcopate of Hyginus, the ninth in succession, coming to the church, and acknowledging his error, continued in this way; at one time secretly teaching his doctrines, at another renouncing them again; and sometimes also, convicted of his perverse doctrines, prevented from assembling with the brethren.” Such is the account of Irenæus in the third book against the heresies. In the first, however, he relates the following respecting Cerdon: “A certain man, however, by name Cerdon, who derived his first impulse from the followers of Simon, and who made some stay at Rome, under Hyginus, the ninth that held the episcopate in succession from the apostles; taught that the God who had been proclaimed by the law and prophets, was not the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, for the latter was revealed, the other was unknown; the former, also, was just, but the other was good. Marcion, who was from Pontus, having succeeded Cerdon, augmented his school by uttering his blasphemies without a blush. But the same Irenæus, having most dexterously unravelled the bottomless abyss of the errors enveloped in the Valentinian heresy, laid bare the wickedness concealed in it, like a serpent lurking in his nest.” Besides these, he says there was another (Marcus was his name), about the same time, who was a most perfect adept in magical illusions; and he describes also, their profane rites of initiation, and their abominable mysteries, in the following language: “Some of them,” says he, “prepare a nuptial bed, and perform the mystery of initiation with certain forms addressed to the initiated. This, they say, is the spiritual marriage that has taken place with them, bearing form and resemblance to the marriages in heaven. Some conduct them to water, and baptizing them, repeat these words, ‘into the name of the unknown Father of the universe, into the truth, the mother of all, into Jesus, into him that descended.’ Others, again, repeated Hebrew names in order the better to confound the initiated.” But Hyginus dying after the fourth year of his office, Pius received the episcopate, but at Alexandria Marcus was appointed the pastor, after Eumenes had filled the office thirteen years in all. Marcus also dying, after ten years of his ministrations, Celadin had charge of the church of Alexandria, and Pius dying at Rome in the fifteenth year of his episcopate, the church there was governed by Anicetus. At this time Hegesippus writes that he was at Rome, and continued there until the episcopate of Eleutherus. But Justin was the most noted of those that flourished in those times, who, in the guise of a philosopher, preached the truth of God, and contended for the faith, also, in his writings. In a work that he wrote against Marcion, he mentions, that at the time he wrote, the man was yet living. He states that there Was a certain Marcion from Pontus, still teaching those that believed him, to think that there is another God greater than God the creator; that the same person by the assistance of demons, persuaded many throughout the whole world, to utter blasphemy, and to deny that the Creator of all things was the Father of Christ; and that another who was greater than He, was the creator. But, as we said before, all the followers of these were called Christians, just as the name of philosophy is applied to philosophers, although they may have no opinions in common. To these he adds: “We have also written a work against all the heresies that have arisen, which we will give you to peruse if you wish.” But this same Justin, after having contended with great success against the Greeks, addressed also other works, containing a defence of our faith, to the emperor Antonine, surnamed the Pious, and to the senate of Rome. He also had his residence at Rome, but he shows who and whence he was in the following extracts in his Apology.








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