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

THE spirit of wickedness, however, being unable to shake some in their love of Christ, and yet finding them susceptible of his impressions in other respects, brought them over to his purposes. These are properly called Ebionites by the ancients, as those who cherished low and mean opinions of Christ. For they considered him a plain and common man, and justified only by his exalted virtue, and that he was born of the Virgin Mary by natural generation. With them the observance of the law was altogether necessary; as if they could not be saved only by faith in Christ and a corresponding life. Others, however, besides these, but of the same name, avoided the absurdity of the opinions maintained by the former; not denying that the Lord was born of the Virgin by the Holy Ghost; and yet in like manner, not acknowledging his pre-existence, though he was GOD, the word and wisdom, they turned aside into the same irreligion; and evinced, as well as the former, great zeal in the observance of the ritual service of the law. They thought that all the epistles of the apostle (Paul) ought to be rejected; calling him an apostate from the law; and only using the gospel according to the Hebrews; they esteemed the others as of but little value. They also observe the Sabbath and other rites of the Jews, just like them, but on the other hand, they also celebrate the Lord’s days very much like us, in commemoration of his resurrection. Whence, in consequence of such a course, they have also received their epithet, the name of Ebionites, exhibiting the poverty of their intellect. For it is thus that the Hebrews call a poor man.








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