Cyprian (Cont.)The Treatises of Cyprian. (Cont.)

Treatise XII. – Three Books of Testimonies Against the Jews. (Cont.)

Third Book. (Cont.)


96. That we must labour not with words, but with deeds.

In Solomon, in Ecclesiasticus: “Be not hasty in thy tongue, and in thy deeds useless and remiss.” (Sirach 4:29) And Paul, in the first to the Corinthians: “The kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.” (1Co_4:20) Also to the Romans: “Not the hearers of the law are righteous before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.” (Rom_2:13) Also in the Gospel according to Matthew: “He who shall do and teach so, shall be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (Mat_5:19) Also in the same place: “Every one who heareth my words, and doeth them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house upon a rock. The rain descended, the floods came, the winds blew, and beat upon that house, and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one who heareth my words, and doeth them not, I will liken him to the foolish man, who built his house upon the sand. The rain descended, the floods came, the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and its ruin became great.” (Mat_7:24-27)


97. That we must hasten to faith and to attainment.

In Solomon, in Ecclesiasticus: “Delay not to be converted to God, and do not put off from day to day; for His anger cometh suddenly.” (Sirach 5:7)


98. That the catechumen ought now no longer to sin.367

In the Epistle of Paul to the Romans: “Let us do evil until the good things come; whose condemnation is just.” (Rom_3:8)


99. That judgment will be according to the times, either of equity before the law, or of law after Moses.

Paul to the Romans: “As many as have sinned without law, shall perish without law; and as many as have sinned in the law, shall be judged also by the law.” (Rom_2:12)


100. That the grace of God ought to be without price.

In the Acts of the Apostles: “Thy money be in perdition with thyself, because thou hast thought that the grace of God is possessed by money.” (Act_8:20) Also in the Gospel: “Freely ye have received, freely give.” (Mat_10:8) Also in the same place: “Ye have made my Father’s house a house of merchandise; and ye have made the house of prayer a den of thieves.” (Mat_21:13)368 Also in Isaiah: “Ye who thirst, go to the water, and as many as have not money: go, and buy, and drink without money.” (Isa_55:1) Also in the Apocalypse: “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to him that thirsteth from the fountain of the water of life freely. He who shall overcome shall possess these things, and their inheritance; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.” (Rev_21:6, Rev_21:7)


101. That the Holy Spirit has frequently appeared in fire.

In Exodus: “And the whole of Mount Sinai smoked, because God had come down upon it in fire.” (Exo_19:18) Also in the Acts of the Apostles “And suddenly there was made a sound from heaven, as if a vehement blast were borne along, and it filled the whole of that place in which they were sitting. And there appeared to them cloven tongues as if of fire, which also settled upon each of them; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost.” (Act_2:2-4) Also in the sacrifices, whatsoever God accounted accepted, fire descended from heaven, which consumed what was sacrificed. In Exodus: “The angel of the Lord appeared in a flame of fire from the bush.” (Exo_3:2)


102. That all good men ought willingly to hear rebuke.

In Solomon, in the Proverbs: “He who reproveth a wicked man shall be hated by him. Rebuke a wise man, and he will love you.” (Pro_9:8)


103. That we must abstain from much speaking.

In Solomon: “Out of much speaking thou shall not escape sin; but sparing thy lips, thou shalt be wise.” (Pro_10:19)


104. That we must not lie.

“Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord.” (Pro_12:22)


105. That they are frequently to be corrected who do wrong in domestic duty.

In Solomon: “He who spareth the rod, hateth his son.” (Pro_13:24 And again: “Do not cease from correcting the child.” (Pro_19:18)


106. That when a wrong is received, patience is to be maintained, and vengeance to be left to God.

Say not, I will avenge me of mine enemy; but wait for the Lord, that He may be thy help.” (Lev_19:18) Also elsewhere: “To me belongeth vengeance; I will repay, saith the Lord.” (Deu_32:35) Also in Zephaniah: “Wait on me, saith the Lord, in the day of my rising again to witness; because my judgment is to the congregations of the Gentiles, that I may take kings, and pour out upon them my anger.” (Zep_3:8)


107. That we must not use detraction.

In Solomon, in the Proverbs: “Love not to detract, lest thou be taken away.” Pro_20:13. LXX) Also in the forty-ninth Psalm: “Thou sattest, and spakest against thy brother; and against the son of thy mother thou placedst a stumbling-block.” (Psa_50:20) Also in the Epistle of Paul to the Colossians:369 “To speak ill of no man, nor to be litigious.” (Tit_3:2)


108. That we must not lay snares against our neighbour.

In Solomon, in the Proverbs: “He who diggeth a pit for his neighbour, himself shall fall into it.” (Pro_26:27)


109. That the sick are to be visited.370

In Solomon, in Ecclesiasticus: “Be not slack to visit the sick man; for from these things thou shall be strengthened in love.” (Sirach 7:39) Also in the Gospel: “I was sick, and ye visited me; I was in prison, and ye came unto me.” (Mat_25:36)


110. That tale-bearers are accursed.

In Ecclesiasticus, in Solomon: “The talebearer and the double-tongued is accursed; for he will disturb many who have peace.” (Sirach 28:15) 


111. That the sacrifices of the wicked are not acceptable.

In the same: “The Highest approveth not the gifts of the unrighteous.” (Sirach 34:19)


112. That those are more severely judged, who in this world have had more power.

In Solomon: “The hardest judgment shall be made on those who govern. For to a mean man mercy is granted; but the powerful shall suffer torments mightily.” (Wisdom of Solomon 6:6) Also in the second Psalm: “And now, ye kings, understand; be amended, ye who judge the earth.” (Psa_2:10)


113. That the widow and orphans ought to be protected.

In Solomon: “Be merciful to the orphans as a father, and as a husband to their mother; and thou shalt be the son of the Highest if thou shalt obey.” (Sirach 4:10) Also in Exodus: “Ye shall not afflict any widow and orphan. But if ye afflict them, and they cry out and call unto me, I will hear their cryings, and will be angry in mind against you; and I will destroy you with the sword, and your wives shall be widows, and your children orphans.” (Exo_22:22-24) Also in Isaiah: “Judge for the fatherless, and justify the widow; and come let us reason, saith the Lord.” (Isa_1:17, Isa_1:18) Also in Job:” have preserved the poor man from the hand of the mighty, and I have helped the fatherless who had no helper: the mouth of the widow hath blessed me.” (Job_29:12, Job_29:13) Also in the sixty-seventh Psalm: “The Father of the orphans, and the Judge of the widows.” (Psa_68:5)


114. That one ought to make confession while he is in the flesh.

In the fifth Psalm: “But in the grave who will confess unto Thee?” (Psa_6:5)371 Also in the twenty-ninth Psalm: “Shall the dust make confession to Thee?” (Psa_30:9) Also elsewhere that confession is to be made: “I would rather have the repentance of the sinner than his death.” (Eze_33:11) Also in Jeremiah: “Thus saith the Lord, Shall not he that falleth arise? or shall not he that is turned away be converted?” (Jer_8:4)


115. That flattery is pernicious.

In Isaiah: “They who call you blessed, lead you into error, and trouble the paths of your feet.” (Isa_3:12)


116. That God is more loved by him who has had many sins forgiven in baptism.

In the Gospel according to Luke: “To whom much is forgiven, he loveth much; and to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.” (Luk_7:47)


117. That there is a strong conflict to be waged against the devil, and that therefore we ought to stand bravely, that we may be able to conquer.

In the Epistle of Paul to the Ephesians: “Our wrestle is not against flesh and blood, but against the powers and princes of this world, and of this darkness; against the spiritual things of wickedness in the heavenly places. Because of this, put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to resist in the most evil day; that when ye have accomplished all, ye may stand, having your loins girt in the truth of the Gospel, putting on the breastplate of righteousness, and having your feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace; in all things taking the shield of faith, in which ye may extinguish all the fiery darts of the most wicked one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (Eph_6:12-17)


118. Also of Antichrist, that he will come as a man.

In Isaiah: “This is the man who arouseth the earth, who disturbeth kings, who maketh the whole earth a desert.” (Isa_14:16)


119. That the yoke of the law was heavy, which is cast off by us, and that the Lord’s yoke is easy, which is taken up by us.

In the second Psalm: “Wherefore have the heathen been in tumult, and the peoples meditated vain things? The kings of the earth have stood up, and their princes have been gathered together against the Lord, and against His Christ. Let us break their bonds asunder, and cast away from us their yoke.” (Psa_2:1-3) Also in the Gospel according to Matthew: “Come unto me, ye who labour and are burdened, and I will make you to rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me: for I am meek and lowly of heart,372 and ye shall find rest for your souls. For my yoke is good, and my burden is light.” (Mat_11:28-30) Also in the Acts of the Apostles: “It seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to impose upon you no other burden than those things which are of necessity, that you should abstain from idolatries, from shedding of blood, and from fornication. And whatsoever you would not to be done unto you, do not to others.” (Act_15:28, Act_15:29)


120. That we are to be urgent in prayers.

In the Epistle of Paul to the Colossians: “Be instant in prayer, and watch therein.” (Col_4:2) Also in the first Psalm: “But in the law of the Lord is his will, and in His law will he meditate day and night.” (Psa_1:2)373




(On the unity of the Church)

The epistles have already been elucidated as the best exposition of this treatise. Little need be added. But, to illustrate the bearings of this treatise upon the history of Christian unity, we need only refer to the manner in which the subject was treated as soon as the papacy was created by Nicholas I. Thus, he astounded the Greeks by his consummate audacity (A.D. 860) in the matter of the disputed succession in Constantinople.374 “It is our will,” he says, “that Ignatius should appear before our envoys,” etc. He declares it the rule of the Fathers, that, “without the consent of the Roman See and the Roman pontiff, nothing should be decided.” Also, he affirms, “The Creator of all things has established the Princedom of the Divine Power, which He granted to His chosen apostles. He has firmly established it on the firm faith of the Prince of the Apostles, – that is to say, Peter, – to whom he pre-eminently granted the first See,” etc. He was now speaking on the strength of the forged Decretals, to which he appeals, and which he succeeded in making law for the West. He thus created the lasting schism with the Easterns, who had never heard the like before his time.

Obviously, therefore, had Cyprian entertained such ideas, his treatise could never have been written; for it is a masterly exposition of a curious point, viz., the fact that (1) the Apostle Peter received the first grant alone, and yet (2) all the apostles received precisely the same; while (1) Peter had thus a primacy of honour, but (2) in no respect any power or authority over his brethren. On these admitted facts he constructs his theory of unity, expounding by it the actual state of the Church’s constitution. Peter’s memory he honours, but without any less reverence for all the apostolic Sees, which over and over again he maintains to be of equal authority and sanctity. That the Church was founded on Stephen any more than on the Bishop of Carthage, he never imagines; for it is one thing to allow that a bishop has succeeded an apostle at the place of his last labours, and quite another to assume that therefore such a bishop is virtually the apostle himself. Yet this assumption is the ground of all Roman doctrine on this point.375

Had such been Cyprian’s idea, his Treatise on Unity must have proceeded thus: (1) “Our Lord said to Peter only, I will give unto thee the keys; (2) to the rest of the apostles He gave only an inferior and subject authority; (3) to the successor of Peter, therefore, at Rome, all other bishops and churches must be subject; for (4) in this subjection the law of unity consists; and

(5) if even all the other apostles were alive to this day, they would be subject to Stephen, as Prince of the Apostles, or would be rebels against Christ.”

Compare this treatise of Cyprian, then, with any authorized treatise on the subject proceeding from modern Rome, and it will be seen that the two systems are irreconcilable. Thus, in few words, says the Confession376 of Pius IV.: “I acknowledge the Holy Catholic Apostolic Roman Church for the mother and mistress of all churches; and I promise true obedience to the Bishop of Rome, successor to St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles, and Vicar of Jesus Christ.” This is the voice of Italy in the ninth century; but Cyprian speaks for (Ecumenical Christendom in the third, and the two systems are as contrary as darkness and light.



(Falsifying of the text)

Cyprian is often innocently quoted by Romanist controvertists against the very principles of Cyprian himself, of his life and his writings. This is due to the fact that they have in their hands vitiated and interpolated copies. Thus, take a famous passage as follows: – 




Loquitur Dominus ad Petrum, Ego tibi dico Tu es Petrus, etc.(a) (a) Et iterum eidem, post resurrectionem suam dicit, Pasce ores meas.   

Super unum (b) aedificat ecclesiam. (b) Super illum unum … et illi pascendas mandat oves suas.   

Hoc erant utique et caeteri apostoli quod fuit Petrus, qui consortio praediti et honoris et potestatis, sed exordium ab unitate proficisitur, (c) ut (d) Christi ecclesia (e) una monstretur.(f) (c) Et primatus Petro datur. (d) Una. (e) Et cathedra. (f) Et pastores sunt omnes et grex unus ostenditur, qui ab apostolis omnibus, unanimi consensione pascatur, etc.   

Qui Ecclesiae resistitur et resistit, (g) in ecclesia se esse confidit? (g) Qui cathedram Petri, super quem fundata est ecclesia deserit, etc.  


This is but a specimen of the way in which Cyprian has been “doctored,” in order to bring him into a shape capable of being misinterpreted. But you will say where is the proof of such interpolations? The greatly celebrated Benedictine edition reads as the interpolated column does, and who would not credit Baluzius? Now note, Baluzius rejected these interpolations and others; but, dying (A.D. 1718) with his work unfinished, the completion of the task was assigned to a nameless monk, who confesses that he corrupted the work of Baluzius, or rather glories in the exploit.377 “Nay, further,” he says, “it was necessary to alter not a few things in the notes of Baluzius; and more would have been altered if it could have been done conveniently.” Yet the edition came forth, and passes as the genuine work of the erudite Baluzius himself.

An edition of this treatise, with valuable annotations, appeared (A.D. 1852) from the press of Burlington, NJ, under the very creditable editorship of Professor Hyde, who was soon after called to depart this life. It exhibits the interpolations, and gives a useful catalogue of codices and of editions. Though its typographical execution is imperfect, I know not where so much condensed information on the subject is to be had at so little cost.378 I am grateful for the real advantage I derived from it on its first appearance. 



(If ye do not forgive, etc.)

The Jewish liturgies contained the petitions of the Lord’s Prayer essentially; but our divine Lord framed this comprehensive and sublime compend, and gave it to His children for ever, with His own seal upon it in the exceptional petition which imparts to it the impress of His own cross and passion. In the Gospel of St. Matthew (Mat_6:14) we find our Master commenting on the fifth petition in a very striking manner, as if it were the essence of the whole prayer; and, indeed, it is so, regarded as its evangelical feature, i.e., something added to the law in the spirit of the Atonement. As such, it surprised the apostles; and He who knew their thoughts instantly anticipated their inquiries: “For if ye forgive men,” etc.

From the criticism of a very able editorial hand,379 I feel it a privilege to insert the following valuable comments: – 

“The petitions of the Lord’s Prayer, as is well known, are to be found for the most part in the Talmud and Jewish liturgies. In the latter we have frequently the phrases, ‘our Father, our King,’ ‘our Father, Father of mercies,’ and ‘our Father that art in heaven.’ The third petition in the Shemone esre is, ‘Let us hallow the Name in the world as it is hallowed in the high heaven. We will hallow Thee, and Thy praise, O God, shall not leave our mouth for ever and ever; since Thou, O God, art a great and holy King. Praised be Thou, O Lord, thou holy God. Thou art holy, and Thy name is holy, and holy men praise Thee everlastingly every day.’ The ineffable name of God represented all His attributes, and is consequently frequently substituted for Him. The end of the first petition in the Kaddish prayer runs thus: ‘May He extend His kingdom in your days, and in those of the whole house of Israel very soon.’ In Berakhoth (29 b) we have, ‘What is a short prayer? Rabbi Eliezer said, “Thy will be done in heaven, and peace of heart be unto those who fear Thee on earth.”’ The same tract gives another prayer: ‘The needs of Thy people Israel are many, but its discernment is small. Do Thou, O everlasting One, our God, give to each man what he needs for his support, and what his body wants; but do what seemeth Thee good.’ In the Mekhilta we read that Rabbi Eliezer of Modin, near Jerusalem, said: ‘Whosoever has enough for the day to eat, and says, What shall I eat to-morrow? is of little faith.’ This passage seems to illustrate the meaning of the Greek ἐπιούσιον. The third petition in the Shemone esre runs “Forgive us, O our Father, for we have sinned; forgive us, O our King, for we have transgressed: since Thou art He that forgiveth and pardoneth.’ In reference to this the Midrash Shemoth (par. 3r) states, ‘There is no creature who does not owe thanks to the Lord; but He is pitiful and long-suffering, and remitteth old debts.’ The daily morning prayer of the Jews contains this petition: ‘Lead us not into the power of sin, of transgression and crime, of temptation and shame. Let not passion have dominion over us, and keep us far from wicked men and evil Company.’ In one of the prayers composed in Aramaic for the rabbis and leading men of the Jewish community, the passage occurs, ‘Defend and deliver them from all evil, and from all evil hap,’ which may be compared with the petition, ‘Deliver us from evil.’ The Doxology at the end of the Lord’s Prayer has equally Jewish parallels. Thus, one of the daily evening prayers concludes with the words, ‘For Thine is the kingdom;’ i.e., God alone is ruler of the world. The words ‘the power and the glory’ seem to come from 1Ch_29:11, which is quoted in the Talmud; and the Mishna Berakhoth (ix. 5) states, ‘In the temple all blessings did not end with “Amen,” but with the words “for ever and ever”’ When the heretics multiplied, however, there was only one world; so the concluding formula became ‘from everlasting to everlasting.’”



(Lift up your hearts)

It is demonstrated by Sir William Palmer that the Sursum Corda is of a date to which no history runneth contrary, and is to be found in all the primitive liturgies of whatever family. For a very early example of its use, I must refer to the Alexandrian liturgy cited by Bunsen;380 and, in short, I beg to refer the reader to all the resources of the fourth volume of his Hippolytus. Little as I can approve of the magisterial air with which Dr. Bunsen undertakes to decide all questions, and little as I sympathize with his abnormal religion, which seems to coincide with that of no existing church or sect in the world, I feel grateful for his industry in collecting materials, and am always interested in the ingenuity with which he works them into his theories. Although he possesses some touchstone unknown to the rest of mankind, by which he reaches and utters pontifical decisions as to what is genuine and what is corrupt, I must record my doubts as to many of his facts, and my dissent from most of his inferences. But, unwilling to refer to Anglican authorities on points so much disputed, I cordially turn to the learned Chevalier, and to the treasures he has collected. See the Greek forms on p. 335 of his fourth volume, followed by the preface on p. 336, and the Tersanctus on p. 337: Ἃγιος, ἅγιος, ἅγιος, κύρι Σαβαώθ, κ.τ.λ..



(To pray and give thanks)

Here comes into view that reference of the apostle (1Co_14:16) to the usages of the primitive assemblies: “How shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks.” Though Cyprian omits the final Amen from his express commentary, it is to be noted that our Lord makes it virtually part of this prayer, by His precept (St. Joh_16:23, Joh_16:24), to ask in His name. Now, He makes this word Amen one of His own names (Rev_3:14) in the Apocalypse; throwing back a new character upon His frequent use of it, especially in St. John’s Gospel, and giving it as a sort of appropriation of 2Co_1:20, when He calls Himself “The Amen, the faithful and true Witness.” He thus makes it infinitely dear to Christians.381 As in the Jewish usages, (Num_5:22; Deu_27:15; 1Ki_1:36, 1Ch_16:36; Jer_28:6; in the Psalms passim.) with which the disciples were familiar, it was a matter of course, we may suppose they added Amen in reciting this prayer, but not with their subsequent knowledge that it implies the merits, and claims the mediation, of the Great Intercessor. Rev_5:8, Rev_8:3, Rev_8:4; St. Joh_17:8.

Tertullian [Vol. 3. cap. xxvii. p. 690, this series] refers to the responsive “Hallelujah” as “enriched prayer,” and the Amen usually accompanied this ejaculation.



(Its failing estate)

Hippolytus [p. 178] foresaw the democratic age into which the feudal era of iron should pass, corroding in the toes by contact with the miry clay of the despised plebs, “the seed of men.” No lasting strength was to be imparted to imperialism by the plebiscite (Dan_2:43); and the prophet might almost be supposed to have the epoch of dynamite in his sight, as he speaks of the unwillingness of the people to cleave to the effete system of empire. Now, then, if “the failing estate” of the world was apparent in the days of Philip and Decius, how much more in our own! Sixteen human lives span the gulf of time between us and them, for we have many centenarians among us; and with the Lord “a thousand years are as one day.” Compare 2Pe_3:9. And, putting such Scriptures together, is it not clear that “the last time” (i.e., the last of the seven times of the Gentiles) is drawing to its close? The three and a half times of Daniel extend to the convulsive epoch of Mohammed; the second moiety (of the seven) to our own age. See Faber, Sacred Calendar,382 vol. i. cap. iii. pp. 308, 309, etc. 



(Peter, upon whom, etc.)

Launoi, the eminent Gallican, found but seventeen of the Fathers and Doctors of the Church (among whom he reckons “Fathers” down to the twelfth century) who understand St. Peter to be “the rock,” and he cites forty of the contrary opinion.383 Yet of the “seventeen,” most of them speak only rhetorically, and with justifiable freedom. I have often done the same myself, on the principle which the same apostle applies to all Christians: “Ye also as lively stones,”384 etc. But it is quite noteworthy that the Council of Trent itself momentarily adopts the prevailing patristic and therefore the Catholic interpretation, speaking of the Nicene Creed:385 “In quo omnes qui fidem Christi profitentur necessario conveniunt, ac fundamentum firmum et unicum, contra quod portae inferi nunquam praevalebunt (Mat_16:18).” Thus, the faith of Peter is confessed the only foundation, in a direct exposition of the text so often quoted with another intent. In spite of all this, the Creed of Pius IV. was enjoined as soon as that council closed; and every member of the late Vatican Council was made to profess the same verbally before any other business was undertaken. Now, even this spurious creed forced them to swear concerning the Holy Scriptures,” I will never take and interpret them otherwise than according to the unanimous consent of the Fathers.” Obviously, according to this rule, there is no Catholic doctrine on the subject; much less any Catholic teaching to the effect that the modern bishops of Rome are “the rock,” as really as St. Peter himself.



(The Eucharist carried in it)

The modern usage of the Latin churches is for the priest to put the wafer into the communicant’s mouth, an ordinance dating no farther back than A.D. 880. A new doctrine having been forged, and faith in the corporal presence of Christ being forced upon the conscience, a change of ceremonial followed, which indicates the novelty of the idea. Contrast the teaching of St. Cyril of Jerusalem,386 informing his catechumens how they should receive, as follows: – 

“Approaching, therefore, come not with thy wrists extended, or thy fingers open; but make thy left hand a sort of cushion for thy right, which is about to receive the King. And having hollowed thy palm, receive the Body of Christ, saying after it, Amen.” “Not discerning the Lord’s body,” etc., is the language of Scripture; but, had the apostles taught transubstantiation, this could not be said, for everybody can discern the host when it is uplifted. The Lord’s Body is therefore discerned by faith, and so taken and received.



(Which should be greatest)

How differently our Lord must have settled this inquiry had He given the supremacy to one of the Apostles, or had He designed the supremacy of any single pastor to be perpetual in His Church! “Who should be greatest?” ask this question of any Romanist theologian, and he answers, in the words of the Creed of Pius IV., “the Bishop of Rome, successor to St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles, and Vicar of Christ.” But why was no such answer given by our Lord? And why does St. Peter know nothing of it when he says, “The elders who are among you I exhort, who am also an elder … feed the flock of God, taking the oversight … not as being lords over God’s heritage,” etc. So also in the Council of Jerusalem, how humbly he sits under the presidency of James, (Act_15:13) and gain how cheerfully he permits the apostles to send him forth, and “give him mission” to Samaria! (Act_8:14) St. Paul, moreover, who was “not a whit behind the chiefest of the Apostles,”387 overrules him, and reforms his judgment. (Gal_2:11-14)

If I have forborne in these notes to refer frequently to the Treatise of Bishop Sage, who often elucidates our author in a very learned manner, it is because he is almost wholly a controvertist, and therefore not to my purpose in this work. For his Cyprian,388 however, I entertain a sincere respect; and, as it might seem otherwise should I omit all reference to that work, I place its title in the footnote. Profoundly do I feel what another Scottish Doctor389 has beautifully said, “It is a loss, even to those that oppose errors and divisions, that they are forced to he busied that way.”



(From the slender twig, my son, thou hast ascended)

The text of Cyprian390 is: “Catulus leonis Juda, de frutice fill mi ascendisti, recubans obdormisti velut leo, et velut catulus leonis.” Now, with this compare the comment of Calmet, citing the Septuagint (ἐκ βλαστοῦ = e germine), and rendering by metaphrase, “e medio plantarum, sive herbarum germinantium, ascendisti.”

Here, then, we have the idea precisely equivalent to Jer_49:19: “Ecce quasi leo ascendet de superbia Jordanis.” The lion is recumbent among the sprouting twigs (frutice, or foliage) of the Jordan’s banks in the springtime. The swelling of the river, which the melting of snows from Lebanon causes to overflow, rouses the reposing creature; and he goes up into the mountains. But Cyprian had in hand the old African,391 which seems to follow the LXX., and St. Jerome’s vulgate did not; and this word frutice animates Cyprian’s poetic genius. Its spring-tide imagery corresponding with Easter,392 he reads into it all the New Testament fulfilment: “Thou layedst down and sleepedst as a lion, and as a lion’s whelp – but, from the shooting of the first verdure in spring, thou hast gone up on high – thou hast ascended.” “Quis excitabit illum” is separated from this in the Paris text, and in the Septuagint, which the Old Latin followed, and so I have pointed it, though the Edinburgh reads: “and as a lion’s whelp; who shall stir him up?”



(Third Book … religious teaching of our school)

Quirinus, Cyprian’s “son” in the Gospel, seems to me to have been a eatechumen of the competent class, i.e., preparing for baptism at Easter; or possibly of the higher sort, preparing for the first communion. Many tokens lead me to surmise that he may have been of Jewish birth; and, if so, he was probably baptized Quirinus after St. Luk_2:2, as St. Paul borrowed his Roman name from Sergius Paulus. (Act_13:7-9) The use of the word secta, here rendered “school,” suggests to me that the Vulgate got it (and so our English version) out of the old African Latin in Act_28:22. If Quirinus was a Hebrew, there is a playful irony in Cyprian’s use of the word in expounding the pure morality of “the sect” everywhere spoken against.

Origen’s treatise Against Celsus shows how cunningly the adversaries of the Gospel could assume a Jewish position against it;393 and the first two books of that work are designed to establish a perfect harmony between the Old Testament and the New, proving Christ to be the substance and sum of both. Cyprian may have foreseen the perils menacing the Church from the school of Plotinus, already rising, and which soon sent forth the venomous Porphyry. He was but a presbyter when he wrote this excellent defence of the faith; and his earnest pastoral care for his pupil is shown by his addition of a third book, entirely practical. The catechetical system of St. Luke’s day (Luk_1:4, Greek) had become a developed feature of the Church (St. Cyril’s lectures in the succeeding century show how it was further expanded), and it also illustrates the purity of her moral teaching. Our author harmonizes faith and works, and presents her simple scriptural precepts in marked contrast with the putrid casuistry394 which Pascal exposes, and which grew up in the West with the enforcement of auricular confession by Innocent III., A.D. 1215. The theory of transubstantiation was also made a dogma at the same time, and operated, with the other, to the total extinguishment of the primitive discipline and worship. The withholding of the chalice in the Holy Communion followed, A.D. 1415.



(Good works and mercy)

Clement was able to remind the heathen, half a century before, (Vol. 1. p. 202) that Christ had “already made the universe an ocean of blessings.” Here we have the moral canons of Christianity reflecting the Light of the World, and they show us how practically it operated. As I have noted, the first Christian hospital was founded (A.D. 350) by Ephraem Syrus. His example was followed by St. Basil, who also rounded another for lepers. The founding of hostels as refuges for travellers was an institution of the Nicene period. “In the time of Chrysostom,” says one not too well disposed towards the Gospel,395 “the church of Antioch supported three thousand widows and virgins, besides strangers and sick. Legacies for the poor became common; and it was not infrequent for men and women who desired to live a life of especial sanctity, and especially for priests who attained the episcopacy, as a first act, to bestow their properties in charity. A Christian, it was maintained, should devote at least one-tenth of his profits to the poor. A priest named Thalasius collected blind beggars in an asylum on the banks of the Euphrates. A merchant named Apollinus founded on Mount Nitria a gratuitous dispensary.”

So here our author’s canons enforce (1) works of mercy; (2) almsdeeds; (3) brotherly love; (4) mutual support; (5) forgiveness of injuries; (6) the example of Christ’s holy living; (7) forbearance; (8) suppression of idle talk; (9) love of enemies; (10) abhorrence of usury, (11) and avarice, (12) and carnal impurity: also, (13) obedience to parents; (14) parental love; (15) consideration of servants; (16) respect for the aged; (17) moderation, even in use of things lawful; (18) control of the tongue; (19) abstinence from detraction; (20) to visit the sick; (21) care of widows and orphans; (22) not to flatter; (23) to practise the Golden Rule; and (24) to abstain from bloodshed. In short, we have here the outgrowth of the Sermon on the Mount, and of St. Paul’s epitome, “Whatsoever things are true,” etc. (Phi_4:8) 



(In the thirteenth Psalm)

The note says that the Oxford edition gives it as the fourteenth, while in our English Bibles it is the fifteenth. As I find that some of the readers of these works are puzzled by such confusions, I note retrospectively, as well as for future reference, the origin of such apparent blunders.

1. Our English version follows the Hebrew numbering, which is reputed the most accurate. By that a psalm is cited in the New Testament as if the numbering itself were important, and the product of inspired wisdom. (Act_13:33)

2. But the Greek Psalter differs from the Hebrew; Psalms 9 and 10 being made into one, as confessedly their material suggests. The Seventy joined also Psalms 114 and 115. But they divided Psa_116:1-19, and also Psa_147:1-20.

3. The Vulgate Latin follows the LXX.; and our Ante-Nicene Fathers usually quote the Septuagint, or else the Old Latin, by which the Vulgate was probably governed. In the Vulgate, also, the Hebrew prefaces are often numbered as if they were verses, which is another source of confusion.

4. By the fusion of Psalms 9 and 10, our Psa_15:1-5 becomes the 14th, and so the Vulgate gives it; and the Oxford translators follow that.

5. But our text says “Psa_13:1-6,” and for this it is not easy to account. The Oxford editors regard it as a mere corruption of the text, and change it accordingly. 





367 [Converts preparing for baptism. Apostolical Constitutions, and Bunsen’s Hippolytus, vol. iii. pp. 3-24.]

368 The latter clause of this quotation is omitted by the Oxford editor.

369 Oxford edition, “to Titus.”

370 [Elucidation XII. See p. 528, supra.]

371 [Here, as often, the grave is represented as enjoying a temporary victory, for the flesh is no longer capable of worship. Not till the whole man is restored comes 1Co_15:54, 1Co_15:55.]

372 In one codex, from this point all the rest is wanting.

373 The Oxford edition continues: “Likewise in Solomon: ‘Be not hindered from praying ever, and delay not unto death to be justified; for the repayment of the Lord abideth for ever.’” [In a day when there were few Bibles, and no printed books, no concordances, and no published collections of this sort, reflect on the value of this treatise to a young believer, and on the labour of his pastor in making it.]

374 For the Ultramontane side, consult the Histoire de Photius, etc. par M. l’Abbé Jager, p. 41, ed. Paris, 1854. For the Greeks, La Papaueé Schismatique, etc. par M. l’AbbéGuettée (pp. 286, 288, etc.), Paris, 1863.

375 “Whatever is said in commendation of St. Peter is at once transferred to the occupant of the papacy, as if pasce oves meas had been said to Pius IX.” Burgon, Letters from Rome, p. 411, ed. 1862.

376 Compendium Ritualis Romani, etc., Baltimori, 1842, p. 195.

377 Burgon, Letters from Rome, p. 417.

378 Th. C. Cypriani de Unitate Ecclesiae ad optimorum librorum fidem expressa, cum variis lectionibus, ad notationibus Felii, ad Baluzii, etc., instructa. Curante M. F. Hyde, M. A., etc., Burlingtoniae, MDCCCLII.

379 New-York Independent, April 25, 1878.

380 Hippolytus, vol. iv. p. 161.

381 Note a striking use of it, as a name of Christ, by Commodian, vol. 4. 43, p. 211.

382 A most instructive work, though I by no means accept his theories in full.

383 Guettée, p. 143, ed. New York.

384 Compare Peshito Syriac, where Cephas is the very word applied to all believers. Ed. Trostii, 1621.

385 Richter, Canones et Decreta, etc., p. 10, ed. Lipsiae, 1853.

386 A.D. 348.

387 See Barrow, Works, vol. iii. p. 95, ed. New York, 1845.

388 The Principles of the Cyprianic Age, etc., A.D. 1695. Reprinted, Edinburgh, 1846.

389 Leighton, On St. Peter, i. 2, Works, i. p. 30, London, 1870.

390 Ed. Paris, 1574.

391 Scrivener, Introduction, etc., p. 302. ed. 1874.

392 Jordan overflows its banks at the time of the passover, Jos_3:15, Jos_5:10, Jos_5:11.

393 Vol. 4. p. 462.

394 See that very useful little publication of the S.P.C.K., Dr. Littledale’s Plain Reasons against Joining the Church of Rome, pp. 18 and 205.

395 Lecky, History of European Morals, vol. ii. p. 86, ed. New York, 1872. See vol. 2. p. 202, note 73.