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

HEGESIPPUS, indeed, in the five books of commentaries that have come down to us, has left a most complete record of his own views. In these he states that he conversed I with most of the bishops when he travelled to Rome, and that he received the same doctrine from all. We may also add what he says, after some observations on the Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians: “And the church of Corinth,” says he, “continued in the true faith, until Primus was bishop there; with whom ] had familiar conversation (as I passed many days at Corinth) when I was on the point of sailing to Rome, during which time also we were mutually refreshed in the true doctrine. After coming to Rome, I made my stay with Anicetus, whose “deacon was Eleutherus. After Anicetus, Soter succeeded, and after him Eleutherus. In every succession, however, and in every city, the doctrine prevails according to what is declared by the law and the prophets and the Lord.” The same author also treats of the beginnings of the heresies that arose about his time, in the following words: “But after James the Just had suffered martyrdom, as our Lord had for the same reason, Simeon, the son of Cleophas, our Lord’s uncle, was appointed the second bishop, whom all proposed, as the cousin of our Lord. Hence they called the church as yet a virgin, for it was not yet corrupted by vain discourses. Thebuthis made a beginning secretly to corrupt it, on account of his not being made bishop. He was one of those seven sects among the Jewish people. Of these, also, was Simeon, whence sprung the sect of Simonians; also, Cleobius, from whom came the Cleobians; also, Dositheus, the founder of the Dositheans. From these also sprung the Gorthœonians, from Gorthœus, and the Masbothoeans, from Masbothœus. Hence, also, the Menandrians, and Marcionists, and Carpocratians, and Valentinians, and Basilidians, and the Saturnilians, every one introducing his own peculiar opinions, each differing from the other. From these sprung the false Christs and false prophets and false apostles, who divided the unity of the church, by the introduction of corrupt doctrines against God and against his Christ.” The same author also mentions in his history, the ancient heresies prevalent among the Jews, as follows: “There were also different opinions in the circumcision among the children of Israel, against the tribe of Judah and the Messiah, viz., the Essenes, the Galileans, Hemerobaptists, the Masbothœans, the Samaritans, the Sadducees and Pharisees.” He also speaks of many other matters, which we have in part already quoted, and introduced in their appropriate places. He also states some particulars from the gospel of the Hebrews and from the Syriac, and particularly from the Hebrew language, showing that he himself was a convert from the Hebrews. Other matters he also records as taken from the unwritten tradition of the Jews. And not only he, but Irenæus also, and the whole body of the ancients, called the Proverbs of Solomon “Wisdom, comprehending every virtue.” Also in discoursing on the books called Apocrypha, he relates that some of them were forged in his day, by some of the heretics. But it is now time to proceed to another.








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