JOVINIAN AND HIS COMPANIONS.
"And he said unto him, I am a prophet also as thou art, and an Angel spoke unto me by the Word of the Lord, saying, Bring him back with thee into thine house, that he may eat bread and drink water. But he lied unto him."
Wk sometimes hear it said that, true though it be, that the Catholic system, as we Anglicans maintain it, existed in the fourth century, yet that nevertheless it was a system foreign to the pure Gospel, though introduced at a very early age; a system of Pagan or Jewish origin, which crept in unawares, and was established on the ruins of the Apostolic faith by the episcopal confederation, which mainly depended on it for its own maintenance. In other words, it is considered by some persons to be a system of priestcraft, destructive of Christian liberty.
Now, it is no paradox to say, that this would be a sufficient answer to such a speculation, were there no other, that no answer can be made to it. I say, supposing it could not be answered at all, that fact would be an answer. All discussion must have data to go upon; without data, neither one party can dispute nor the other. If I maintained there were negroes in the moon, I should like to know how these same philosophers would answer me. Of course they would not attempt it: they would confess they had no grounds for denying it, only they would add, that I had no grounds for asserting it. They would not prove that I was wrong, but call upon me to prove that I was right. They would consider such a mode of talking idle and childish, and unworthy the consideration of a serious man; else there would be no end of speculation, no hope of certainty and unanimity in anything. Is a man to be allowed to say what he will, and bring no reasons for it? Even if his hypothesis fitted into the facts of the case, still it would be but an hypothesis, and might be met perhaps, in the course of time, by another hypothesis, presenting as satisfactory a solution of them. But if it would not be necessarily true, though it were adequate, much less is it entitled to consideration, before it is proved to be adequate,—before it is actually reconciled with the facts of the case; and when another hypothesis has, from the beginning, been in the possession of the field. From the first it has been believed, that the Catholic system is Apostolic; convincing reasons must be brought against this belief, and in favour of another, before that other is to be preferred to it.
Now the new and gratuitous hypothesis in question does not appear, when examined, even to harmonize with the facts of the case. I will give two instances of this. First, if the Church system be not Apostolic, it must, some time or other, have been introduced; and then comes the question, when? We maintain, that the known circumstances of the previous history are such as to preclude the possibility of any time being assigned, ever so close upon the Apostles, at which it did not exist. Not only cannot a time be shown when the free-and-easy system now in fashion did generally exist, but no time can be shown in which it can be colourably maintained that the Church system did not exist. It will be said, of course, that the Church system was gradually introduced. I do not say there have never been introductions of any kind; but let us see what they amount to here. Select for yourself your doctrine, or your ordinance, which you say was introduced, and try to give the history of its introduction. Hypothetical that history will be, of course; but we will not scruple at that;—we will only ask one thing, that it should cut clean between the real facts of the case, though it bring none in its favour; but it will not be able to do even this. The rise of the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, of the usage of baptizing infants, of the eucharistic offering, of the episcopal prerogatives, do what one will, cannot be made short of Apostolical times. This is not the place to prove all this; but so fully is it felt to be so, by those who are determined not to admit these portions of Catholicism, that in their despair of drawing the line between the first and second centuries, they make up their minds to intrude into the first, and boldly pursue their supposed error into the very presence of - some Apostle or Evangelist. Thus St. John is sometimes made the voluntary or involuntary originator of some portions of our creed. Dr. Priestley, I believe, conjectures that his amanuensis played him false, as regards the sacred doctrine which that philosopher opposed. Others denounce St. Barnabas the Apostle as a puerile and nonsensical writer, on the ground of the epistle, which many think is not his, but which these persons sire eager in ascribing to him. Others have gone a step further, and have said, "Not Paul, but Jesus." Infidel, Socinian, and ultra-Protestant, agree in assailing the Apostles, rather than submitting to the Church.
This, then, is one obstacle in the way of the opponents of the Catholic system: they cannot disconnect it from Apostolic times. Another, which leads to the subject of this paper, is as follows :— That, let them go to what quarter of Christendom they will, let them hunt among heretics, or schismatics, into Gnosticism outside the Church, or Arianism within it, still they will find no hint or vestige anywhere of that system which they are now pleased to call scriptural. Granting that Catholicism be a corruption, is it possible that it should be a corruption springing up everywhere at once? Is it conceivable, that at least no opponent should have retained any remnant of the system it supplanted ?—that no tradition of primitive purity should remain in any part of Christendom ?—that no protest, or controversy, should have been raised, as a monument against the victorious error? This argument, conclusive against modern Socinianism, is still more cogent and striking, when directed against Puritanism. At least, there were divines in those early days who denied the sacred doctrine which Socinianism disowns, though they did not profess to do so on authority of tradition; but who ever heard of Erastians, Supralapsarians, Independents, Sacramentarians, and the like, before the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries? It would be too bold to go to prove a negative: I can only say, that I do not know in what quarter to
search for the representatives, in the early Church, of that peculiarity, or peculiarism, in religion, (if I may give it a significant appellation,) which is now so much in favour. At first sight one is tempted to say that all errors come over and over again; that this and that notion, now in vogue, has been refuted in times past. This is indeed a general truth—nay, for what I know, these same bold speculatists will bring it as an argument of their not being in error, that their opinions cannot be found in antiquity. I cannot answer for the extent to which they will throw the onus probandi on us; but I protest—be it for us, or be it against us—I cannot find this very peculiarism of theirs in ancient times, whether in friend or foe, Jew or Pagan, Montanist or Novatian; though I find surely enough, and in plenty, the general characteristics which are conspicuous in their philosophy of self-will, eccentricity, and love of paradox.
So far from it, that if we wish to find the rudiments of the Catholic system clearly laid down in writing, those who are accounted least orthodox will prove as liberal in their information about it as the strictest Churchman. We can endure even the heretics better than our opponents can endure the Apostles. Tertullian, though a Montanist, gives no sort of encouragement to the so-called Bible Christian of this day; rather he would be the object of their decided abhorrence and disgust. Origen is not a whit more of a Protestant, though he, if any, ought, from the circumstances of his history, to be a witness against us. It is averred that the alleged revolution of doctrine and ritual was introduced by the influence of the episcopal system; well, here is a victim of episcopacy, brought forward by our opponents as such. Here is a man who was persecuted by his bishop, and driven out of his country; and whose name, after his death, has been dishonourably mentioned, both by councils and fathers. He surely was not in the episcopal conspiracy, at least; and perchance may give the latitudinarian, the anabaptist, the Erastian, and the utilitarian, some countenance. Far from it; he is as high, and as keen, as removed from softness and mawkishness, as ascetic and as reverential, as any bishop among them. He is as superstitious, (as men now talk,) as fanatical. as formal, as Athanasius or Augustine. Certainly, there seems something providential in the place which Origen holds in the early Church, considering the direction which theories about it are now taking; and much might be said on that subject.
Take another instance :—there was, in the fourth century, a party of divines who were politically opposed to the line of ecclesiastics, whose principles had been, and were afterwards, dominant in the Church, Athanasius, Jerome, and Epiphanius; I mean such as Eusebius, Cyril of Jerusalem, and others who were more or less connected with the Semi-Arians. If, then, we see that in all points, as regards the sacraments and sacramentals, the Church and its ministers, the form of worship, and other religious duties of Christians, Eusebius and Cyril agree entirely with the most orthodox of their contemporaries, with those by party and country most separated from them, we have a proof that that system, whatever it turns out to be, had become Catholic before their time—i. e., before the establishment of Christianity under Constantine; in other words, that we must look for the gradual corruption of the Church, if it is to he found, not when wealth pampered it, and power and peace brought its distant portions together, but while it was poor, humble, and persecuted, in those times which are commonly considered pure and primitive. Again, the genius of Arianism, as a party and a doctrine, was to discard antiquity and mystery; that is, to resist and expose what is commonly called priestcraft. In proportion, then, as Cyril and Eusebius partook of that spirit, so far would they be indisposed to the Catholic system, both considered in itself and as being imposed on them.
Now have the writers in question any leaning or tenderness for the theology of Luther and Calvin? rather they are as unconscious of its existence as of modern chemistry or astronomy. That faith was a closing with Divine mercy, not a submission to a Divine announcement, that justification and sanctification were distinct, that good works did not benefit the Christian, that the Church was not Christ's ordinance and instrument, and that heresy and dissent were not necessarily and intrinsically evil: notions such as these they do not oppose, simply because, to all appearance, they never heard of them. To take a single passage, which first occurs, in which Eusebius gives us his notion of the Catholic Church. "These attempts," he says, "speaking of the arts of the enemy, " did not long avail him, Truth ever consolidating itself, and, as time goes on, shining into broader day. For, while the devices of adversaries were extinguished at once, undone by their very impetuosity,—one heresy after another striking out its own novelty, the former specimens ever dissolving and wasting variously in manifold and multiform shapes,—the brightness of the Catholic and only true Church went forward increasing and enlarging, yet ever in the same things and in the same way, beaming on the whole race of Greeks and barbarians with the awfulness, and simplicity, and nobleness, and sobriety, and purity of its divine polity and philosophy. Thus the calumny against our whole creed died with its day, and there continued alone our discipline, sovereign among all, and acknowledged to be pre-eminent in awfulness, sobriety, and divine and philosophical doctrines; so that no one of this day dares to cast any base reproach upon our faith, nor any such calumny such as it was once usual for our enemies to use."—Hist. iv. 7.
Or to take a passage on a different subject, which almost comes first to hand from St. Cyril:—" Only be of good cheer, only work, only strive cheerfully; for nothing is lost. Every prayer of thine, every psalm thou singest is recorded; every alms-deed, every fast is recorded; every marriage duly observed is recorded; continence kept for God's sake is recorded; but the first crowns in record are those of virginity and purity; and thou shalt shine as an Angel. But as thou hast gladly listened to the good things, listen without shrinking to the contrary. Every covetous deed of thine is recorded; every fleshly deed, ever)' perjury, every blasphemy, every sorcery, every theft, every murder. All these things are henceforth recorded, if thou do these after baptism; for thy former deeds are blotted out."— Cat. xv. 23.
Cyril and Eusebius, I conceive, do not serve at all better than Origen to show that faith is a feeling, that it makes a man independent of the Church, and is efficacious apart from baptism or works. I do not know any ancient divines of whom more can be made. However, in a hopeless case, as it seems to me, let us turn to what promises best at first sight for modern divinity,—the history of Aerius, Jovinian, and Vigilantius, who may be called, though by a very lax analogy, the Luther, Calvin, and Zwingle, of the fourth century. And they have been so considered both by ultra-Protestants and their opponents; so covetous after all are innovators of precedent, so prepared are Catholics to believe that there is nothing new under the sun. Let me, then, briefly state the history and tenets of these three religionists.
Aerius was an intimate friend of Eustathius, bishop of Sebaste, in Armenia, of whom we have already heard in the history of St. Basil. Both had embraced a monastic life; and both were Arians in creed. Eustathius, being raised to the episcopate, ordained bis friend presbyter, and set him over the almshouse, or hospital of the see. A quarrel followed, from whatever cause; Aerius left his post, and accused Eustathius of covetousness, as it would appear, unjustly. Next he collected a large number of persons of both sexes in the open country, where they braved the severe weather of that climate. A congregation implies a creed, and Aerius founded or formed his own on the following: 1. That there was no difference between bishop and presbyter. 2. That it was Judaical to observe Easter, because Christ is our 1
Passover. 3. That it was useless, or rather mischievous, to name the dead in prayer, or to give alms for them. 4. That fasting was Judaical, and a yoke of bondage. If it be right to fast, he added, each should choose his own day; for instance, Sunday rather than Wednesday and Friday; while Passion Week he spent in feasting and merriment. And this is pretty nearly all we know of Aerius, who flourished between A. D. 360 and 370.
Jovinian was a Roman monk, and was condemned, first by Siricius at Rome, then by St. Ambrose, and other bishops, at Milan, about A.d. 390. He taught, 1. That eating with thanksgiving was just as good as fasting. 2. That, cteteris paribus, celibacy, widowhood, and marriage, were on a level in the baptized. 3. That there was no difference of rewards hereafter for those who had preserved their baptism; and, 4. That those who had been baptized with full faith could not fall; if they did, they had been baptized, like Simon Magus, only with water. He persuaded persons of both sexes at Rome, who had for years led a single life, to desert it. The emperor Honorius had him transported to an island on the coast of Dalmatia; he died in the beginning of the fifth century.
Vigilantius was a priest of Gaul or Spain, and flourished just at the time Jovinian died: he taught that those who reverenced relics were idolaters; that continence and celibacy were wrong, as leading to the worst scandals; that lighting candles in churches during the day, in honour of the martyrs, was wrong, as being a heathen rite; that apostles and martyrs had no presence at their tombs; that it was useless to pray for the dead; that it was better to keep wealth, and practise habitual charity, than to strip one's self of one's property once for all; and that it was wrong to retire into the desert. This is what we learn of these three (so-called) reformers, from the writings of Epiphanius and Jerome.
Now it may be argued, "What can you require more than this? Here you have at the time of a great catastrophe, Scriptural truth preserved, as it were, fossile, in the burning matter which destroyed it, in the persecuting language of Epiphanius and Jerome. When corruptions began to press themselves on the notice of Christians, here you find three witnesses, raising their distinct and solemn protest in different parts of the Church, independently of each other, in Gaul, in Italy, and in Asia Minor, against prayers for the dead, veneration of relics, candles in the daytime, the merit of celibacy, the need of fasting, the observance of days, the difference 01 future rewards, the defectibility of the regenerate, and the divine origin of episcopacy. Here is pure and scriptural Protestantism." Such is the phenomenon on which a few remarks are now to be offered.
1. I observe then, first, that this case so presented to us, does not answer the purpose required. The doctrine of these three Protestants, if I am to be forced into calling them so, is, after all, but negative. We know what they protested against, not what they protested for. We do not know their own system of doctrine and ritual which they substituted for the Catholic, or whether they had one. Though they differed from the ancients, there is no proof that they agreed with the moderns. Parties which u
differ from a common third, do not necessarily agree with each other; from two negative propositions nothing is inferred. The moral temper and doctrinal character of the sixteenth century is best symbolized by its views about faith and justification, to which I have already referred. This is its positive shape, as far as it may be considered positive at all. Now, does any one mean to maintain, that Aerius, Jovinian, or Vigilantius, held justification by faith only in the sense of John Wesley, or of John Newton? Did they consider that baptism was a thing of nought; that faith did every thing; that faith was trust, and the perfection of faith assurance; that it consisted in believing that "I am pardoned;" and that works might be left to themselves, to come as they might, as being necessary fruits of faith without our trouble? Did they know any thing of the "apprehensive" power of faith, or of man's proneness to consider his imperfect services, done in and by grace, as adequate to purchase eternal life? There is no proof they did. Let them, these three protesters, be ever so cogent an argument against the Catholic creed, this does not bring them a whit nearer to the Protestant; though in fact they are little of an argument, even at first sight, against the Catholic, since most of the views and practices which they oppose in the fourth century, had been held in the Church in the first, second, and third.
Further, even if a modern wished to confine himself to the negative creed of these primitive protesters, he could not, whatever his particular persuasion might be. Their protest suits no sect whatever of this day. It is either too narrow or too liberal. The Episcopalian, as he is styled, will not go along with Aerius's notions about bishops; nor will the Lutheran subscribe to the final perseverance of the saints; nor the strict Calvinist allow that all fasting is Judaical; nor the Baptist admit the efficacy of baptism: one man will wonder why none of the three protested against the existence of the Church itself; another, that none of them denied the received doctrine of penance; a third, that all three let alone the doctrine of the Eucharist. Their protestations are either too much or too little for any one of their present admirers.
Or, on the other hand, do we wish to fix upon what can be detected in their creed of a positive character, and distinct from their protests? We happen to be told what it was in the case of one of them. Aerius was an Arian; does this mend matters? Is there any agreement between him and Luther here? If Aerius is an authority against bishops, or against set fasts, why is he not an authority against the Creed of St. Athanasius?
2. What has been last said, leads to a further remark. I observe, then, that if two or three men in the fourth century are sufficient, against the general voice of the Church, to disprove one doctrine, then, still more, are two or three of an early century able to disprove another. Why should protesters in century four be more entitled to a hearing than protesters in century three? Now it so happens, that as Aerius, Jovinian, and Vigilantius in the fourth protested against austerities, so did Praxeas, Noetus, and Sabellius in the third protest against the Catholic or Athanasian doctrine of the Holy Trinity. A much stronger case surely could be made out in favour of the latter protest than of the former. Noetus was of Asia Minor, Praxeas taught in Rome, Sabellius in Africa. Nay, we read, that in the latter country it prevailed among the common people, then, and at an earlier date, to a very great extent, and that the true doctrine was hardly preached in the Churches.
3. Again, the only value of the protest of these three men would be, of course, that they represented others; that they were exponents of a state of opinion which prevailed either in their day or before them, and which was being overpowered by the popular corruptions. What are Aerius and Jovinian to me as individuals? They are worth nothing, except as organs and witnesses of an expiring cause. Now, it does not appear that they had any notion themselves that they were speaking in behalf of any living or dead besides themselves. They argued against prayers for the departed from reason, and against celibacy, hopeless as the case might seem, from Scripture. They ridiculed one usage, and showed the ill consequence of another. All this might be very cogent in itself, but it was the conduct of men who stood by themselves and were conscious of it. If Jovinian had' known of writers of the second and third centuries holding the same views, Jovinian would have been as prompt to quote them, as Lutherans are to quote Jovinian. Why, then, is the fourth century to prove what the second and third disavow? Surely we may fairly ask for pure and primitive heretics, independents of the Apostolic age, before we defer to them, and must not be put off with the dark and fallible protests of the Nicene era.
Far different is the tone of Epiphanius in his answer to Aerius: "If one need refer," he says, speaking of fasting, "to the constitution of the Apostles, why did they there determine the fourth and sixth day to be ever a fast, except Pentecost? and concerning the six days of the Pascha, why do they order us to take nothing at all but bread, salt, and water? Which of these parties is the rather correct? this deceived man, who but now has come into public, and is still alive, or they who were witnesses before us, possessing before our time the tradition in the Church, and they, having received it from their fathers, and those very fathers again having learned it from those who lived before them. The Church has received it, and it is unanimously confessed in the' whole world, before Aerius and Aerians were born." —Hter. 75. § 6.
4. Once more, there is this very observable fact in the case of each of the three, that their respective protests seem to have arisen from some personal motive. Certainly what happens to one's self often hrings a thing home to one's mind more forcibly, makes one contemplate it steadily, and leads to a successful investigation into its merits. Yet still where we know personal feelings to exist in the maintenance of any doctrine, we look more narrowly at the proof for ourselves; thinking it not impossible that the parties may have made up their minds on grounds short of reason. It is natural to feel distrust in controversialists, who, to all appearance, would not have been earnest against a doctrine or practice, except that it galled them. Now it so happens, that each of these three Reformers lies open to this imput at inn. Aerius is expressly declared by Epiphanius to have been Eastathius's competitor for the see of Sebaste, and to have been disgusted at failing. . He is the preacher against bishops. Jovinian was bound by a monastic vow, and he protests against fasting and coarse raiment. Vigilantius was a priest; and, therefore, he disapproves the celibacy of the clergy. No opinion at all is here expressed by me in favour of clerical celibacy; still it is remarkable that in the latter, as in the two former cases, private feeling and public protest should have gone together. These distinct considerations are surely quite sufficient to take away our interest in these three Reformers. These men are not an historical clue to a lost primitive creed, more than Origen or Tertullian; and much less do they afford any support to the creed of those moderns who would fain shelter themselves behind them. That there were abuses in the Church then, as at all times, no one, I suppose, will deny. There may have been extreme opinions and extreme acts, over-honour paid to relics, extravagance in praising celibacy, formality in fasting; and such errors would justify a protest: but they would not justify that utter reprobation of relics, of celibacy, and of fasting, of episcopacy, of prayers for the dead, and of the doctrine of defectibility, which these men avowed,—avowed without the warrant of the first ages, on grounds of private reason, under the influence of personal feeling, and with the accompaniment of but suspicious orthodoxy. For the present, then, I give up the search after Protestantism in Antiquity as a failure;—however, before ending the chapter, it may be as well to give a specimen of the
kind of answer which the Catholic writers made to these heretics; so I will extract passages from St. Jerome in behalf of fasting against Jovinian, and of the martyrs against Vigilantius. The Scriptural tone of both should be observed.
1. Adam, he observes to Jovinian, received the , command in Paradise to observe fast as to one tree, while he ate of the rest. The blessedness of Paradise could not be confirmed to him without abstinence from food. As long as he fasted, he was in Paradise: he ate, and was cast out. How lost Esau his birthright? for the sake of food, with an impatience which tears would not wash away. Israel, when making for the land flowing with milk and honey, longs after the flesh, gourds, and leeks of Egypt, and despises the food of Angels. Moses, fasting on Sinai for forty days and nights, proved, in the very letter, that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word of God; whereas the full people were the while fashioning their idol. Nor were the tables of the law inscribed a second time without a second fast. What excess had lost, abstinence regained; to show us that as eating forfeited Paradise, fasting recovers it. Elias, after a forty days' fast, saw God in Horeb. Samuel and Hezekiah gained victory over the enemy by a fast; by a fast, Nineveh averted God's wrath; by a fast, impious Ahab delayed it. Hannah, by fasting, gained a son; by fasting, Daniel gained to interpret the king's dream. After an abstinence of three weeks from pleasant meat, an Angel was sent to him. David humbled himself with fasting. The prophet from Judah lost his life from not fasting; and the lion shamed him by not eating the ass. In
the New Testament, Anna by fasting gained a sight of her Lord. The Baptist lived on locusts and wild honey. Cornelius fasted, and was rewarded by Baptism. Paul adds fastings to his shipwrecks and perils. Timothy, his disciple, drank water only. "Once," he presently continues, addressing Jovinian, "once, your foot was bare; now it has not only a shoe, but an ornamental one. Then you wore a shaggy tunic and a black vest; you were in mourning garb, pale in face, and rough in hand; now you parade in linen, in silk, in the figured stuffs of Atrebate, and the attire of Laodicea. Your cheeks are red; your skin is sleek; your hair is dressed behind and before; your paunch is protuberant; your shoulders are round; your throat is full; and your jaws are so fat that your words are almost strangled. Certainly, in such a contrast of food and clothing, there must, be fault on one side or the other. Not that I will impute sin to food or to dress; but that the variation and change for the worse is next door to a reproach."—ii. 21.
2. The same Father is even more energetic in defence of the martyrs against Vigilantius:—" Who, madman, ever at any time, adored the martyrs? who took man for God? did not Paul and Barnabas, when thought to be Jupiter and Mercury by the Lycaonians, who would sacrifice to them, tear their garments, and say they were men? We read the same of Peter, who raised Cornelius when desirous to worship him, saying, 'Rise, for I also am a man.' And do you venture to talk of that 'something or other which we honour by carrying about in a small urn?' I want to know what you mean by 'something or other.' Speak out, and blaspheme freely. 'Some dust or other,' you say, 'wrapped up in precious linen in a small urn.' He grieves that the remains of martyrs have a precious covering, and are not tied up in rags or sackcloth, or cast on the dunghill; that Vigilantius alone may be worshipped in his liquor and his sleep! What! are we sacrilegious in entering the Basilicas of the Apostles? Then was the Emperor Constantius so, who translated the sacred remains of Andrew, Luke, and Timothy to Constantinople, at which demons howl, yea, the tenants of Vigilantius acknowledge their presence. Sacrilegious, too, is Arcadius, Augustus at this time, who has translated, after so long a period, the bones of blessed Samuel from Judea into Thrace? All the bishops, not only sacrilegious but infatuate, who carried in silk and gold a vile thing and crumbling ashes. Fools, the people of all the Churches, who met the sacred relics, and received them as joyfully as if they saw the prophet present and alive; so that, from Palestine even unto Chalcedon, swarms of people intermingled continuously, and with one voice resounded the praises of Christ. It seems they were adoring Samuel, not Christ, whose Levite and prophet Samuel was!
"' You reverence the dead, and therefore you blaspheme.' Read the Gospel, 'I am the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; He is not God of the dead, but of the living.' If, then, they live, they are not shut up in an honourable prison, as you would have it. For you say that the souls of Apostles and martyrs rest either in Abraham's bosom, or under the altar of God, nor can be present from their tombs and where they will. It seems they have a sort of senatorial dignity, not shut up, indeed, with murderers in the most horrible prison, but in free and honourable confinement in isles of the blessed and the Elysian fields! Are you the man to prescribe laws to God? will you put chains on Apostles? so that, till the judgment-day, those are kept in ward, and are not with their Lord, of whom it is written, 'They follow the Lamb, whithersoever He goeth?' If the Lamb be everywhere, they, too, must be considered everywhere who are with the Lamb. And, whereas the devil and the demons range the whole earth, and by their extreme rapidity are everywhere present, shall martyrs, after the outpouring of their blood, be shut up under the altar so as to be unable to leave it?
"You say, in your book, that 'while we live we can pray for each other, but after death no one's prayer for another is to be heard; especially since martyrs, though praying for the vengeance of their own blood, have not availed to obtain it.' If Apostles and martyrs, while in the body, can pray for others, when they ought as yet to be solicitous about themselves, how much rather after their crown, thenvictory, and their triumph? Paul, the Apostle, says, that two hundred and seventy-six souls in the ship were granted to him; shall Vigilantius, a living dog, be better than he a dead lion? So I might rightly argue from Ecclesiastes, could I confess that Paul was dead in spirit. In short, saints are not said to be dead, but asleep. <
"We do not light wax tapers in the broad day, as you idly slander us, but to relieve the darkness of night by this substitute; and we watch unto the light, lest, blinded with you, we may sleep in the dark. If any secular men, or at least religious women, through ignorance and simplicity, of whom we may truly say, 'They have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge ;' if such have done this for the honour of martyrs, what do you lose by it? Once, even Apostles complained of the loss of the ointment, but they were reproved by the Lord's voice. Not that Christ needed ointment, nor the martyrs wax lights; and yet that woman so acted in Christ's honour, and her devotion was accepted. And whoever light wax tapers are rewarded according to their faith, as the Apostle speaks, 'Let every one be fully persuaded in his own mind.' Do you call such men idolaters? I do not deny that all of us who believe in Christ have come out of the errors of idolatry; for we are not born, but new-born Christians. And because we once honoured idols, ought we now not to honour God, lest we seem to venerate Him with an honour like that paid to idols? That was done to idols, and therefore was detestable; this is done to martyrs, and therefore is allowable. For, even without the remains of martyrs, throughout the Churches of the East, when the Gospel is read, lights are lit, while the sun is bright, not at all to chase away the dark, but as a sign of rejoicing. Whence, too, those Virgins in the Gospel have always their lamps lit. And the Apostles are told to have their loins girded, and burning lights in their hands: and John Baptist is said to be a ' burning and shining light:' that under the type of material light
300 JOVINIAN AND HIS COMPANIONS. [CHAP. XV.
might be signified that Light of which we read in the Psalter, ' Thy word, O Lord, is a lanthorn unto my feet, and a light unto my paths.'" 5—8.
I have already allowed that there are points in Jerome's tone of mind which I receive at the Church's hands without judging; and, again, that superstitions existed in the Church of his day about the holy relics, as, indeed, he seems to grant in the above extract; yet, after all allowances on this, and the other subjects which have here come before us, I do not see that our Protestant brethren gain much by their appeal to the history of Aerius, Jovinian, and Vigilantius.