Now the strong meats which are proper for men ought not to be mixed with the milk which is to be given to babes. The Church has no authority to alter the foundation upon which she was built by Christ & his Apostles All the articles of faith necessary to baptism were put into the Creed by the Apostles & nothing unnecessary nothing disreputable or mystical was to be added afterwards. Men may vary the language in which the articles of the Creed are expressed (keeping to authentic forms of words) but must not vary the sense. They have no authority to increase diminish or alter the faith into which baptism was instituted by Christ: for the servant is not above his Master. By being baptized into this faith the Christians of all nations were united in the beginning into one Church Catholic & one mystical body of Christ , & to alter this faith is to loosen the bond of the union & endanger the dissolution of the whole. To impose any new condition of communion which all Christians cannot admit is to deny communion to those who by the institution of Christ have a right to it. To alter the symbol of the Christian religion by the recital of which the Christians of all nations knew one another to be Christians is to make it difficult for Christians to know one another. Hereticks have their Creeds & Christians which differ in their Creeds may be apt to take one another for hereticks. And therefore all alterations of the Creed tend to discord schism & dissolution of the Church Men may be anathematized or excommunicated for blasphemy idolatry profaneness neglect of Gods worship or other impiety & for faction lying, deceiving, injustice uncleannes or other immorality & for impiety & for immorality or for denying or corrupting the faith into which they were baptized or introducing any opinions which tend to ungodly or immoral practices But where they are ignorant of other truths not requisite to baptism & by consequence not requisite to salvation they are only to be, instructed & admonished to study the scriptures & informe themselves better. And such teachers are to be chosen in the Churches as are best able to instruct them. And Articles or systemes of Christian faith & knowledge may be drawn up to be taught next after the Creed & subscribed by teachers. As for instance

1 That God the ffather is an infinite, eternal, omniscient, immortal & invisible spirit whom no eye hath seen nor can see, & all other spirits are sometimes visible.

7 That Iesus was beloved of God before the foundation of the world & had glory with the father before the world began & was the principle of the creation of God, the Agent by whom God crea
ted this world & who is now gone to prepare another place or mansion for the blessed; for in Gods house there are many mansions, & God does nothing by himself which he can do by another.

8 That Iesus is the seed of the woman who should bruise the serpents head, the Shiloh predicted by Iacob, the Prophet predicted by Moses, the Paschal Lamb, the son of David whose throne should be established for ever, the son of God mentioned in the Psalms, the son of Man predicted in Daniels prophesy of the four Beasts, the Messiah predicted in Daniels prophesy of the weeks, the Prince of Princes predicted in Daniels prophesy of the Ram & He Goat, the great Prince Michael mentioned in the end of Daniel & in the Apocalyps, & the Word or Oracle of God whose testimony is the spirit of prophesy.


12 That all men are sinners & as we may forgive our enemies freely without injustice so God may forgive us freely without injustice. ffor we pray to him to forgive our trespasses as we forgive them that trespass against us. But if Christ had not merited a kingdom no men could have been his subjects; & therefore that any of us shall be rescued from the fate of other men & translated into his kingdom is due to his merits, & this his meriting to chuse any of us to be his subjects is called appeasing & satisfying Gods wrath & making an attonement for us.

13. That all pious & vertuous & good dispositions of the mind are from above as well as from our own endeavours, & therefore they are called graces favours or gifts to put us in mind of praying for them & of returning thanks for what we receive.

4. That as we may give the name of kings to Viceroys but may not say that a king & his Viceroy are two kings so we may give the name of Gods to Angels & mortal kings notwithstanding the 1st commandment but we may not call them Gods before God almighty or in conjunction with him so as to say there are more Gods then one yet we neither may we worship Angels or Saints as Gods in his presence or in conjunction with him by prayers, praises, thanksgiving, or sacrifices for the blessings of this life 5 Nor may we invoke Angels or the souls of dead men as Mediators between God & Man ffor as there is but one God so there is but one Mediator between God & man, the Man Christ Iesus. For tho there be that are called Gods whether in heaven or in earth (as there be Gods many & Lords many,) yet to us there is but one God, the father, of whom are all things & we in him, & one Lord Iesus Christ by whom are all things & we by him. There is, but one God whom we are to worship as our God the father almighty & one Lord whom we are to worship as our Lord & King & Messiah the Prince. We are to give glory & honour & thanks to God for cretaing all things & for our daily bread & to the Lamb of God for redeeming us with his blood, & to direct our prayers to God in the name of the Lamb, but not to the Lamb in the name of God.

6 That as the father hath life in himself & hath given the son to have life in himself so the father hath knowledge & wisdom & power & will & counsel & substance in himself & hath given the son to have knowledge1 & wisdom2 & power5 will4 & counsel3 & substance6 in himself

10 That Ierusalem must be troden down of the Gentiles till the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled & Israel must continue in blindness till the fulness of the Gentiles be come in, & the heavens must contein Iesus till the times of refreshing & restitution of all things shall come from the presence of the Lord. And then he shall come from heaven to judgment & reign till God shall put all enemies under his feet. ffor being next to God in dignity and {illeg} he sits at the right hand of God till God makes his enemies his footstool & the last enemy to be subdued is death. And therefore he must reign till all the dead be raised & judged & the day of judgment be ended. ffor reigning & judging are words of the same importance & signi <68r> fication & the day of judgment is the day of his kingdom. He must reign {illeg} & execute judgment in the kingdom of heaven And when death is subdued & the day of judgment is ended then shalll he deliver the kingdom to his father that God may be all in all & shall return with the blessed into heaven to the place which he is now gone to prepare for them that they may be with him & behold the glory which God hath given him & which he had with God before the world began.

11 That the dead shall rise again with bodies spirituall & immortal but whether with all the body which they ever had, or with all which they had at their death, or with all which constantly remained in them from the time of their conception to the time of their death or with any other part of their mortal bodies is a question as hard to determin as unnecessary to be known in order to salvation.

2 That the God who said in the 1st Commandment Thou shalt have no other Gods before me was the God of the Iews who made heaven & earth in six days as is said in the 4th Commandment & whom we call God almighty, signifying thereby that by his almighty power he made heaven & earth & is the first author or father of all things. ffor God almighty, God the first author, & God the father are equipollent expressions, & therefore this God has no equalls.

3. That Idolatry is the worshipping of a fals God a God who is not what your worship supposes him to be, a fictitious God, a Vanity. The praying to & trusting in a God which cannot help or is not allowed to do it The thanking & praising a God for what he did not or was not able to do, is idolizing a creature & worshipping a false God. There is an obedience & worship which is due to kings suitable to the power & dominion which God has lodged in them. There is a worship of giving thanks & praise & honour & glory to the Lamb for being slain & redeming us with his blood. There is a worship which is due to Iesus as our Lord & King the Messiah the Prince. ffor because he was obedient to death even the death of the cross therefore God hath highly exalted him & set him at his own right hand far above all principality & power & might & dominion & given him a name above every name not only in this world but also in that which is to come; that at the name of Iesus every knee should bow of things in heaven & in earth & under the earth & confess that Iesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the ffather. There is a worship also which is due to God for creating all things by his almighty power & giving us our daily bread. He is to be worshipped as the ffather almighty, the supreme potentate, the first author of all things, the Lord God omnipotent: other Potentates are to be worshipped according to the power & dominion which he has given them over us & the benefits which we receive fom them & with such a worship only as he has granted them in order to his own glory ffor all things should be done in due order to the glory of God the father.

9 That the Christian religion was in its purity in the Apostles days & after their death was to decay & degenerate & grow more & more corrupt till the second coming of Christ. Paul told the of Ephesus that after his departure grievous wolfes should enter in among them not sparing the flock & that of themselves men should arise speaking perverse things <68v> to draw away the disciples after them. Acts 20.29, 30. And that before the second coming of our Lord {there shall} come an Apostasy & the man of sin should be revealed the son of perdition who exalteth himself above all that is called God or that is worshipped changing times & laws & sitteth as a God in the Temple or Church of God & whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power & signes & lying wonders & with all deceivableness of unrighteousness. And that this mystery of iniquity began to work in the Apostles days & so soon as that which letted (the heathen Roman Empire which hindred the rise of this wicked Ecclesiastical dominion) should be taken out of the way that wicked one should be revealed & should continue till the Lord should destroy him with the brightness of his second coming. 2 Thess. 2. For in the last days perillous times should come & men (the professors of Christianity) should be lovers of themselves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemous, disobedient to parents, unthankfull, unholy, without natural affection, truce-breakers fals accusers, incontinent, fierce despisers of those that are good traytors heady high minded lovers of pleasures more then lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof – – – ever learning & never able to come to the knowledge of the truth, men of corrupt minds reprobate concerning the faith. & evil men shall wax worse & worse deceiving & being deceived 2 Tim. 3. For the time will come when the Churches will not endure sound doctrine but after their own lusts heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; & they shall turn away from the truth & be turned unto fables. 2 Tim. 4. And there shall come in the last days scoffers walking after their own lusts & saying, Where is the promise of his coming? But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night. 2 Pet. 3. For the Apostles taught that Antichrist should come & even before the death of Iohn the Apostle there were many Antichrists or enemies to the true Church of Christ who went out from it because they were not of it. And these being the forerunners of the great Antichrist whose reign is called the last time the Apostle from these fore-runners that the last time was at hand & so far as it respected the fore-runners of Antichrist was already begun.

14. That as faith without works is dead so doctrines or opinions which do not tend to good works are unprofitable & useless, & all such as tend to evil {illeg} deserve an anathema. Moral Philosophy & religion consist in practical opinions. And It is not enough that opinions be fals but they must be dangerous & mischievous to deserve an anathema.

16. That men are admitted into the visible Church of Christ by baptism & into the invisible by a true & lively faith & sincere & effectual repentance from dead works. The government of the visible Church of Christ may be taken away by Antichrist, tis the invisible Church, the sincere mystical body of Christ against which the gates of hell (or magistracy of the wicked) shall not prevail.

15 When Iesus commissioned his eleven disciples to disciple all nations baptizing them in the name of the f. s. & h. g. & teaching them to observe all things whatsoever he had commanded them & promised to be with them alway even to the end of the world: the commission & promise were generall to ll who were or should become disciples. He authorized not only the eleven disciples to make other disciples but also their disciples to make others & those to make others & promised to be with them all to the end of the world. ffor where two or three are gathered together in his name he has promised to be in the midst of them. ffor the more effectual propagation of the Gospel, it was requisite that this commission should be general, & by vertue thereof all Christians were authorized to chuse out of themselves the ablest men to teach & baptize in their publick places of worship & in defect of {other} teachers to teach & baptize themselves Apostasy. 15 Church ffaith & works


Now the mystery of iniquity which consisted in these heresies began to work in the days of the apostles & apostolick men who had conversed with Christ, but by their authority was kept under. In the days of the next generation who had seen the Apostles it worked very much & grew populous but without making a breach upon the Church. In the third generation recconing about 70 years to a generation it made a breach in the Church. In the fourth it made a wider breach. In the fift it prevailed.

The hereticks of the first age were either Iews or Samaritans as Nicolaus, Simon, Cerinthus Menander. Those of the second were Gnosticks as Saturninus, Basilides, Carpocrates, Valentinus, Secundus, Ptolomæus, Marcus, Colarbasus, Heracleon, Cerdon, Marcion, Apelles Tatian. Those of the third & fourth age refining the heresies of the Gnosticks from the grosser absurdities which had been refuted by the Christians of the second age, proposed heresies much more plausible & dangerous then the former, as Montanus, Tertullian, Noetus, Praxeas, Artemon, Paul of Samosat & Sabellius. In the first age there were also the sects of the Nazarenes & Ebionites who being converted Iews were zealous of the law But these being circumcised & thereby made debtors to the law & being of the Church of Iames who were all zealous of the law & whose zeale was tolerated by the Apostles & for whose use Matthew wrote his Gospel in hebrew I cannot call them hereticks, unless any of them endeavoured to impose the law upon the Gentiles as necessary to salvation. Certainly Nazarenes was the name by which the Iews called the Christians of the circumcision in those days . For they called Paul a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes. Act 24.5. But the Ebionites accounted Paul an apostate from the Law & rejected his Epistles & therefore were for imposing the Law upon the Gentiles.

The first age I extend to the death of Iohn the Apostle A.C. 100, or rather to the death of Symeon the son of Cleopas bishop of Ierusalem who was crucified A.C. 107, being 120 years old. This was in the virgin age of the Church, as Hegesippus informs us. For hitherto saith Hegesippus[1] the Church continued like a Virgin pure & incorrupt being not yet corrupted with vain speeches. but after the holy company of Apostles were dead, errors & heresies began to spring up very fast. Euseb. Hist.


The second age I extend to the death of Polycarp the disciple of Iohn A.C. 169. In his days the Gnosticks arose & grew numerous but without breaking in upon the Church. For Irenæus who wrote against heresies in the days of Eleutherus Bishop of R. testifies that the faith in his days was one & the same in all the Churches as you have heard above. And Hegesippus[2] a travellour that in his way to Rome he conversed with the Bishop of Corinth about the faith to his comfort & when he came to Rome (which was in the days of Anicetus) he conversed with many bishops & found them all agree exactly in one & the same doctrine, things remaining in the several cities as they had been taught by our Lord.

The third age may extend to the Persecution of Decius A.C. 250 & the fourth to the end of the heathen Empire A.C. 324. In the beginning of the third the very dangerous heresy of the false Prophets Montanus & his weomen Prisca & Maximilla arose in Phrygia & in a short time prevailed so much in those parts as to subvert whole cities & be called the Phrygian & Cataphrygian heresy. And particularly it subverted & exhausted the Church of Thyatira: in relation to which as Epiphanius observes[3] Christ saith in his prophetic Epistle to the Angel or Bishop of that Church: I have a few things against thee because thou sufferest that woman Iezabel who calleth her self a prophetess to teach & to seduce my servants to commit fornication & to eat things sacrificed to idols and I gave her space to repent of her fornication & she repented not. By things sacrificed to idols he means the Eucharist of the Cataphrygians offered to a fals God, & by committing fornication he means the committing spiritual fornication with the Prophetess Maximilla who taught the worship of that God: a God composed of the Bythos & two Æons of the Gnosticks & recommended to the Christians by the {specious} name of the Trinity or ffather Son & holy Ghost. And hence the Cataphrygians are called those that say they are Iews (that is Christians) & are not & their Churches are called the synagogue of Satan. This heresy by putting on a form of Godliness spread it self in all places & in a short time gained so much upon the Church of Rome as to pervert the bishop of that city, as Tertullian a Montanist in his book against Praxeas written about the year 201 thus mentions. Idem [Praxeas] tunc Episcopum Romanum, agnoscentem jam prophetias Montani Priscæ et Maximillæ et ex ea agnitione pacem Ecclesijs Asiæ & Phrygiæ inferentem, falsa defendendo, coegit et literas pacis revocare jam emissas, et a proposito recipiendorum charismatum concessare. Ita duo negotia diaboli Praxeas Romæ procuravit, prophetiam expulit et Patrem crucifixit. This Bishop of Rome was either Victor or his successor Zepherinus &                                His predecessors who had opposed the Montanists were Soter & Eleutherus. For Soter wrote against them at their first rise & was succeeded by Eleutherus the immediate predecessor of Victor, & Irenæus a sharp enemy to all heresies & a Presbyter of Lions in France upon some questions arising in that city about the Cataphrygians, was sent by that Church to confer with Eleutherus about the matter. & what Eleutherus & Irenæus agreed upon was no doubt against that hæresy. Hitherto therefore the Church of Rome continued firm in the faith, but after the death of Eleutherus began to stagger. For his successor Victor with a Council of the Bishops of Italy excommunicated the Churches of Asia & the neighbouring Provinces for keeping Easter on the 14th day of the Moon, a thing in its own nature indifferent, & practised <71r> in the Churches of Asia & Syria from the days of the captivity. Whereupon Ireneus now bishop of Lions, called a council {of the} neighbouring bishops & in the name of the council wrote to Victor reprehending him for his rashness in disturbing the peace of the church upon so slight an occasion, & telling him that Polycarp a few years before came to Rome to confer with Anicetus bishop of that City about this & some other questions which had been then moved, & when neither would forsake the customes of their churches they communicated with one another & parted very good friends not thinking it a matter of such consequence that they should contend about it. And herein Polycarp, Anicetus & Irenæus showed themselves men of the same spirit with the Apostle Paul who advised to avoid foolish questions vain jangling Iewish fables, endless genealogies, oppositions of science, & strifes of words whereof cometh envy strifes railings, evil surmisings pervers disputings of men of corrupt minds & destitute of the truth.

When Victor excommunicated the Churches of Asia on account of this festival he seems to have been turned a Montanist, & being corrupted in his mind with the superstitious principles of that heresy, to have laid stres upon fasting days holydays bodily exercises & ceremonies of religion, & soon after he had excommunicated the true Churches of Asia on this account, to have sent out communicatory letters to the corrupt Churches of Asia & Phrygia with a designe to have united the Church of Rome to that of the Montanists in opposition to the excommunicated Churches had not Praxeas perswaded him to recall his letters as contrary to what his predecessors Soter & Eleutherius had taught. For the bishop of Rome who turned first Montanist & then Praxean is in the Appendix to Tertullians book de præscriptiones called Victorinus in these words: Sed post hos omnes etiam Praxeas quidam hæresin introduxit quam Victorinus corroboravit. By Victorinus I understand (with Basnagius) Pope Victor. ffor Tertullian was a Montanist a[4] beforethe year 201 & & had been at Rome ashe mentions in his book de habitu muliebri c. 7 & upon his being ill used by the clergy of the Roman Church turned Montanist as Ierome affirms. Which makes it probable that what he wrote about the Bishop of Rome & Praxeas, he learnt at Rome before he turned Montanist, & by consequence in the days of Victor. ffor he wrote against Praxeas presently after he turned Montanist.

The hereticks allowed one anothers baptism, & admitted one another into communion by imposition of hands alone. And according to this doctrine the Roman Church b[5] allowed the baptism of Praxeas: But the churches of the East & Afric dissallowed the baptism of all hereticks. And hence at length arose a great controversy between the Church of Rome, & those other churches the first in process of time allowing the Baptism of all hereticks, & excommunicating the last for disallowing the same. This controversy was in the days of Pope Stephen A.C. 255. & gave the Church more disturbance & laid her more open to heresies then any thing which had happened before, [the sacraments of hereticks being in them here allowed in the Church of Rome which was the greatest step that could be made towards a reconciliation with the mystery of iniquity. And at this time also anniversary holydays <72r> festivals to saints began to be instituted in the Churches, for inviting heathens into the Christian religion by the pleasure of such festivals as has been said above. And auricular confession & corporal pennance came into use at the same time for avoiding the shame of publick trialls before the Courts of Presbyters & of publick punishments inflicted by the Courts. Now these changes in doctrine & discipline were so very considerable that a new age of the Church may be reconned to begin therewith & therefore I begin the fourth age of the Church with the persecution of Decius which introduced them.

The institution of auricular confession & pennance is thus described by Sozomen. [6]Cum in petenda venia peccatum necessario confiteri oporteat: grave ac molestum ab initio juremerito visum est sacerdotibus, tanquam in theatro, circumstante totius ecclesiæ multitudine, crimina sua evulgare. Itaque ex Presbyteris aliquem qui vitæ integritate spectatissimus esset, & taciturnitate ac prudentia polleret, huic officio præfecerunt: ad quem accedentes ij qui deliquerant, actus suos confitebantur. Ille vero pro cujusque delicto, quid aut facere singulos, aut luere oporteret, pænæ loco indicens, absolvebat confitentes, a se ipsis pænas criminum exacturos. And Socrates thus describes the time when this institution began. [7]Postquam Novatiani se ab Ecclesia sejunxissent, eo quod cum illis qui persecutione Deciana lapsi fuerant, communicare noluissent, ex illo tempore Episcopi pænitentiarium præsbyterum albo Ecclesiastico adjecerunt, ut qui post baptismum lapsi essent, coram presbytero ad eam rem constituto, delicta sua confiterentur.

The contention about the baptism of hereticks was as follows. When the Novatians refused to communicate with those who lapsed in the presecution of Decius, & on that account made a schism, a council of many African Bishops convened by Cyprian agreed that since the Novatians were no part of the Church of Christ they had no authority from him to baptize. ✝ < insertion from f 71v > ✝ & wrote their sense to Ianuary & other bishops of Numidia & Cyprian wrote their sense in an Epistle to Quintus. And when Cyprian had called another Council of 71 Bishops he wrote their sentence to Stephen Bishop of Rome, & explained the matter more at large in a letter to Iubaianus, in which he saith: Apud nos autem non nova aut repentina – – – – – – 80 or 100 years. When Cyprian had received an answer from Stephen Bishop of Rome he wrote a letter to Pompeius in which he makes this mention of Stephens answer: Quia desiderasti in notitiam tuam – – – – – – filios Dei nasci. After these things Cyprian called a third Council of 87 bishops of Africa Numidia & Mauritania &c. < text from f 72r resumes > And Cyprian in their name wrote their sentence to Stephen Bishop of Rome & to others, & received an answer from Stephen of which he makes this mention in his epistle to Pompeius: [8] Quia desiderasti in notitiam tuam perfeci quæ mihi eo literas nostras Stephanus frater noster rescripserit – – – – – filios Dei nasci. And when Cyprian had called another Council of 71 bishops he wrote a letter to Iubaianus[9] in which he saith: Apud nos autem non nova aut repentina res est ut baptzandos censeamus eos qui ab hæreticis ad ecclesiam veniunt quando multi jam anni sunt et longa ætas ex quo sub Agrippino bonæ memoriæ viro convenientes in unum Episcopi plurimi hoc statuerunt – – – – consequerentur.[10] Agrippinus was bishop of Carthage & called this Council of the bishops of Afric & Numidia in the lifetime of Polycarp or soon after his death ffor multi anni & longa ætas can scarce signify less then 80 or 100 years. Cyprian called also a third council of 87 Bishops of Africa Numidia & Mauritania about his matter And before the bishops gave their opinions, Cyprian thus put them in mind of their freedom & equality with himself. Superest, saith he, ut de hac ipse re singuli quid sentiamus, proferamus, neminem judicantes, aut a jure communionis aliquam si <73r> diversum senserit amoventes. Neque eam quisquam nostrum Episcopum se esse Episcoporum constituit aut tyrannico terrore ad obsequendi necessitatem collegas suos adigit; quando habeat omnis episcopus pro licentia libertatis & potestatis suæ arbitrium proprium, tamque judicari ab alio non possit quam nec ipse potest judicare. Sed expectemus universi judicium. Domini nostri Iesu Christi, qui unus et solus ha{bet} potestatem & præponendi nos in Ecclesiæ suæ gubernati{one} & de actu nostro judicandi. All this relates to the pride facti{on} Bishop of Ro{me} who exalted himself above his brethren & called himself Bishop of Bishops, & tyrannically compelled them by excommunications to assent to him having newly excommunicated the African Bishops & others for differing from him. After this exhortation all the 87 Bishops voted unanimously against the Baptism of hereticks & Cyprian gave his vote in the last place in these words Meam sententiam plenissime exprimit Epistola quæ ad Iubaianum collegam nostrum scripta est; hæreticos secundum Evangelicam & Apostolicam contestationem adversarios Christi & Antichristos appellatos, quando ad ecclesiam venerint, unico Ecclesiæ baptismate baptizandos esse, ut possint fieri de adversarijs amici et de Antichristis Christiani. The votes of the rest of the Bishops are published in Cyprians works, I shall content my self with reciting a few of them. Primus a Misgirpa dixit: Deus unus & fides una et Ecclesia una est in qua stat unum baptisma. Nam quæ foris exeveintur nullum habent salutis effectum. Polycarpus ab Adrumeto dixit: Qui hæreticorum baptisma probant nostrum evacuant. Secundinus a Cedias dixit: Cum Dominus noster Christus dicat: Qui non est meum adversus me est : et Ioannes Apostolus eos qui ab Ecclesia exeunt Antichristos dicat: indubitanter hostes Christi, quique Antichristi nominati sunt, gratiam baptismi salutaris ministrare non possunt. Privatianus a Sufatela dixit: Qui hæreticos potestatem baptizandi habere dicit, dicat prius {quis} hæresin condiderit? Si enim hæresis a Deo est, habere et {ind}ulgentiam divinum potest. Si verò a Deo non est, quomodo {gratia}m Dei aut habere aut conferre alicui potest? Privatus a {Susi}bus dixit Qui hæreticorum baptismum probat, quid aliud quam {hæretic}is communicat? Secundinus a Carpis dixit: Hæretici {Christiani} sunt, an non? Si Christiani sunt cur {in ecclesia d}ei non sunt? Si Christiani non sunt, quomodo Christ{ianos faciunt.} Victoricus a Thabraca dixit: Si licet hæreticis bap{tizare &} remissam peccatorum dare, quid illos infamamus, ut hæ{reti}co{s}[11] appellemus? Ianuarius Muzulensis dixit: Miror cum omnes confiteantur unum esse baptisma non omnes intelligant ejusdem baptismatis unitatem: Ecclesia enim & hæresis duæ et diversæ res sunt. Si hæretici habent baptisma nos non habemus. Si autem nos habemus hæretici habere non possunt. Dubium autem non est Ecclesiam solam baptismum Christi possidere quæ sola possideat et gratiam Christi et veritatem. Victor a Gor dixit: Cum peccato non nisi in Ecclesia baptismo remittantur, qui hæreticum ad communicationem sine baptismo admittit, utrumque contra rationem facit, nec hæreticos purgat et Christianos inquinat. Saturninus a Theca dixit: Gentiles quamvis idola colant; tamen summum <74r> Deum patrem creatorem cognoscunt & confiitentur. In hanc Marcion blasphemat, et quidam non erubescunt Marcionis, baptismum probare. Quomodo tales sacerdotes sacerdotium Dei aut servant aut vindicant, qui hostes Dei non baptizant & sic illis communicant Rogatianus a Nova dixit: Ecclesiam Christus instituit hæresin diabolus, quo modo potest habere baptismum Christi Synagoga Satanæ? Saturninus ab Auitinis dixit: Si potest Antichristus dare alicui gratiam Christi, possunt et hæretici baptizare qui appellati sunt Antichristi. And this was the sense of the bishops of Africa Numidia & Mauritania about this matter.

After this Council Cyprian wrote to ffirmilian Bishop of Cæsaria in Cappadocia sending him a copy of Stephens letter. And ffirmilian wrote back a notable epistle in which there are these passages. Per singulos annos, seniores et præpositi in unum convenimus ad disponenda ea quæ curæ nostræ commissa sunt: ut siqua graviora sunt communi concilio dirigantur; lapsis quoque fratribus et post lavacrum salutare a diabolo vulneratis per pœnitentiam medela quæratur; non quasi a nobis remissionem peccatorum consequantur sed ut per nos ad intelligentiam delictorum suorum convertantur et Domino pleninius satisfacere cogantur. —— Qui κατάφρυγας appellantur & novas prophetias usurpare conantur, nec patrem possunt habere nec filium nec spiritum sanctum quibus si quæramus quem Christum prædicant, respondebunt eum se prædicare qui miserit spiritum per Montanum & Priscam locutum. In quibus cum animadvertamus non veritatis spiritum sed erroris fuisse, cognoscimus eos qui falsam illorum prophetiam contra Christi fidem vindicant Christum habere non posse Sed et cæteri quique hæretici si se ab Ecclesia sciderint nihil habere potestatis aut gratiæ possunt, quando omnis potestas & gratia in Ecclesia constituta sit ubi præsident majores natu qui et baptizandi et manum imponendi & ordinandi possident potestatem. Hæretico enim sicut ordinare non licet, nec manum imponere, ita nec baptizare, nec quicquam sancte nec spiritualiter gerere, quando alienus sit a spiritali et deifica sanctitate. Quod totum nos jampridem in Iconio, qui Phygiæ locus est collecti in unum convenientibus ex Galatia et Cilicia & cæteris proximis regionibus confirmavimus tenendum contra hæreticos firmiter & vindicandum, cum a quibusdam de ista re dubitaretur. —— Si non mentitur Apostolus dicens, quotquot in Christo tincti estis, Christum induistis: utique qui illic in Christo baptizatus est, induit Christum: si autem induit Christum, accipere potuit et spiritum sanctum qui a Christo missus est. —— Homo animosus parit lites & vir iracundus exaggerat peccata. Litas enim & dissentiones [O Stephane] quantas parasti per ecclesias totius mundi? Peccatum vero quam magnum tibi exaggerasti, quando te a tot gregibus scidisti? Occidisti enim teipsum: noli te fallere siquidem ille est vere schismaticus qui se a communione ecclesiasticæ unitatis apostatam fecerit. Dum <75r> enim putas omnes a te abstinere posse, solum te ab omnibus abstinuisti nec te informare ad regulam veritatis et pacis vel Apostoli præcepta potuerunt monentis et dicentis, Obsecro ergo vos ego vinctas in domino digne ambulare vocatione qua vocati estis cum omni humilitate sensus & lenitate, cumpatientia sustinentes invicem in dilectione, satis agentes servare unitatem spiritus in conjunctione pacis. Vnum corpus & unus spiritus, sicut vocati estis in una spe vocationis vestræ. Vnus dominus, una fides, unum baptisma, unus Deus et pater omnium qui super omnes et per omnia et in omnibus nobis. Hæc Apostoli mandata et monita salutari, quàm diligenter Stephanus implevit, humilitatem sensus et lenitatem primo in loco servans? Quid enim humilius aut lenius quam cum tot episcopis per totum mundum dissensisse, pacem cum singulis vario discordiæ genere rumpentem, modo cum Orientalibus (quod nec vos latere confidimus) modo vobiscum, qui in meridie estis? A quibus legatos episcopos patienter satis et leniter suscepit; ut eos nec ad sermonem saltem colloquij communis admitteret: adhuc insuper dilectionis et charitatis memor, præciperet fraternitatis universæ nequis eos in domum suam reciperet, ut venientibus non solum pax & communio, sed et tectum et hospitium negaretur. Hoc est servasse unitatem spiritus in conjunctione pacis, abscindere se a charitatis unione et alienum se per omnia fratribus facere, et contra sacramentum et fidem contumacis furore discordiæ rebellare.

By these things it appears that to satisfy the doubts of some persons, a numerous Council of the bishops of Asia & Cappadocia met at Iconium & condemned the baptism & sacraments of the Montanists & of all other hereticks & schismaticks some years before the disputes between Cyprian & Stephen began, & that Stephen quarreled as well with the oriental Churches as the African about this matter, & brake peace with all the churches about it except the western bishops of Europe to whom he wrote not to receive those of the eastern & African communion into their houses: but the eastern & African Bishops did not excommunicate the western. It appears also that Stephen defended the baptism not only of the Cataphrygians & Novatians but also that of Marcion Valentinus, Apelles & all other hereticks, as Basnage in his Annals has abundantly proved.[12]

After the death of Stephen the Church of Rome abated of her heats, let the excommunication drop & returned into communion with the other Churches but continued to allow the baptism of all hereticks. For Ierome an hundred years after defended the doctrine of the Roman Church against Hilary a Deacon of Rome in this manner.[13] Ad eos venio hæreticos qui evangelia laniaverunt, Saturninum quendam & <75v> eosque ad jurgia et contentiones excitare equidem nolim. Scriptum est enim non commutabis terminos proximi tui quos parentes tui constituerunt. About 50 years after this controversy Peter bishop of Alexandria having excommunicated the Meletians admitted not their baptism. And Athanasius long after refused the baptism of the Arians. Qui quæso – – – – – – hæreseos – – – – – –


Ophites & Chaldæos & Cheitum et Carpocratem et Cerinthum & hujus successorem Ebionem & cæteras pestes quorum plurimi vivente adhuc Ioanne Apostolo eruperunt & tamen nullum eorum legimus rebaptizatum —— Si Hæretici baptisma non habent et deo rebaptizandi ab Ecclesia sunt quia in ecclesia non fuerunt, ipsi quoque Hilarius non est Christianus. In ea quippe Ecclesia baptizatus est quæ semper ab hæreticis baptismum recepit. Antequam Ariminensis Synodus fieret, antequam Lucifer exularet, Hilarius Romanæ Ecclesiæ diaconus ab hæreticis venientes, in eo quod prius acceperant baptismate suscipiebat. Nisi forte tantum Ariani hæretici sunt et ab his solis baptizatum recipere non licet, ab alijs licet. Diaconus eras o Hilari, et a Manichæis baptizatos recipiebas. Diaconus eras et Hebionis baptisma comprobabas, repente postquam exortus est Arius totius tibi displicere cœpisti. Then he makes the Church of Rome speak thus to Hilary. Meretrix sum, sed tamen mater tua sum. Non servo tovi unius castitatem, talis eram quando conceptus es. Cum Ario adulteria committo, feci et antea cum Praxea cum Hebione cum Cerintho, Novato. Hos amplexans, hos in matris tuæ domum jam adulteros recipis. Nescio quid te unus adulter offendat. Quod si negandum quisquam putaverit hæreticos a majoribus nostris semper fuisse susceptos, legat — ipsius Hilarij libellos quos adversus nos de hæreticis rebaptizandis ædidit, et ibi reperiet ipsum Hilarium confiteri a Iulio Malcho Silvestro et cæteris veteribus episcopis similiter in pœnitentiam omnes hæreticos susceptos. What Ierome saith here of Ebion & Cerinthus is præcarius. [14]There is no ground in antiquity to beleive that the baptism of hereticks began to be allowed in the Church of Rome before the days of Praxeas, & its probable that when he introduced his heresy he introduced the communion doctrine of the hereticks who admitted one anothers baptism.

As the Church of Rome adhered to her custome of allowing the baptism of hereticks, so the rest of the Churches adhered to theirs of disallowing it, as Basnage has proved.[15] But when the Churches of Afric became divided into two parties headed by Cæcilian & Donatus the party of Cæcilian, which in the beginning of the schism was very small, fell off from the tradition of the African Churches about baptism to that of the Church of Rome & for that reason was supported by the Church of Rome against the other party which retained the ancient tradition of the" churches of Afric, And in the reign of Iulian the Apostate when the Churches of the whole Roman Empire were in the communion of the Bishops of the Councils of Ariminum & Seleucia, Athanasius & Eusebius Vercellensis & about 14 or 15 other bishops returning from banishment & meeting at Alexandria, agreed to receive the Arians as penitents without new baptism & by this means the western doctrine became universal. In Alexandrina Synodo constitutum est, saith Ierome,[16] ut exceptis authoribus hæreseos quos error excusare non poterit pœnitentes ecclesiæ sociarentur: non quod episcopi possunt esse qui hæretici fuerant, sed quod constaret eos qui reciperentur hæreticos non fuisse. Assensus est huic sententiæ Occidens: et per tam necessarium concilium Satanæ faucibus mundus ereptus est.


After Dioclesians persecution, the Church of Afric became divided into two parties headed by Cæcilian & Donatus, one of which constituted Cæcilian Bishops of Carthage & the other meeting in a Council deserted him & the party of Cæcilian which at first was very small, fell off from the tradition of the African churches about baptism to that of the Church of Rome & before a Council at Rome A.C. 313 accused the other party of rebaptizing & — & [for that reason was supported by the Church of Rome against the other party [which retained the ancient tradition of the African Churches] about this matter]. For the difference between the two parties being referred to the Bishop of Rome & some other Bishops of Italy & Gallia: these Bishops would heare no living evidence against the < insertion from the left margin of f 76v > the said Council at Rome, the Council would hear no living evidence against the party of Cæcilian & therefore favoured him. < text from f 76v resumes >

The Council of Arles in Gallia collected A.C. 314 ‡ < insertion from lower down f 76v > ‡ & The next year a Council convened at Arles in Gallia made this canon De Afris, quòd propria lege sua utuntur, ut rebaptizent, placuit ut si ad Ecclesiam aliquis de hæresi venerit, interrogent eum symbolum: et si præviderint illum in Patre et ffilio & Spiritu S. esse baptizatum manus ei tantum imponant, ut accipiat Spiritum S. < text from higher up f 76v resumes > ordeined that the Africans should only lay their hands upon such hereticks as had been baptized in the Trinity. But this was observed only by the party of Cæcilian.

The Council of Nice A.C. 325 ordeined that the Paulinianists coming to the Church should be baptized. And Basil thus describes the practise of the churches of Asia in his days: Encratitæ & Saccophori et Apotactitæ eidem subjiciuntur rationi, cui et Novatiani, quia de illis Canon editus est, etsi diversus. . . . . . . . . Nos autem una ratione eos rebaptizamus. Basil epist. can. c. 47

Peter the predecessor of Alexander in the bishopric of Alexandria having excommunicated the Meletians, admitted not their baptism. And Athanasius refused the baptism of the Arians. Qui quæso igitur, saith he, non plane vanum ac inutile fuerit baptisma, quod ab illis [Arianis] datur, cum id non nisi species sit et inane simulachrum, ipsique ea re nil solidæ opis afferant ad pietatem? Non enim in patre et filio Ariani baptisma tribuunt sed in Creatore et Creatura [Athanas. Orat.3. cont. Arian. t. 1. 413. The Arians baptized in a right form of words, but because they had not a right notion of what the words signified therefore Athanasius & his followers disallowed their baptism. But a few years after Athanasius retracted his opinion & in the reign of Iulian the Apostate in a small council at Alexandria decreed that the Arians were to be received as penitents without rebaptizing them. And now by that joint authority of the Churches of Rome & Alexandria this doctrine in a little time overspread all the Roman Empire . In Alexandrina Synodo constitutum est saith Ierome, ut exceptis authoribus hæreseos.

In the year 311 Cæcilian was made bishop of Carthage by one Felix & his ordination disallowed by a Council of about 70 African bishops, & two years after the matter being referred by the Emperor Constantine to the Bishop of Rome & some other Bishops of Italy & Gallia, they met in a Council at Rome & the party of Cæcilian which at that time was very smal, to gain the favour of this Council fell of from the tradition of the African Churches about Baptism & before the Council accused them of rebaptizing. After which this Council would heare no living evidence against Cæcilian. And the next year a Council convened at Arles in Gallia made this Canon: De Afris – – – – Donatists.

As for the Church of Egypt, Dionysius, who was bishop of Alexandria in the days of Stephen & at that time wrote several letters about the controversy, concluded one of them in this manner: Illud præterea didici, non ab Afris solis hunc morem nunc primum positum fuisse, sed et multo antea superiorum episcoporum temporibus in ecclesijs populosissimis & in concilijs fratum apud Iconium & Synoda et apud {illeg} plurimos idem sanatum fuisse. Quorum sententias & statu subvertere

[1] Heges. Euseb. Hist. l. 3. c. 32. et l. 2. c. 22

[2] Euseb. Hist l. 4. c. 22.

[3] Epiphan Hæres. 51. sec. 33.

[4] a Basnag. ad A.D. 200. sect. 3.

[5] b Ierome Epist. 68 c. 9

[6] Hist. l. 7 c.16

[7] Hist. l 5 c. 19

[8] Cyp. Epist. 74

[9] Epist 73.

[10] Cypr. Epist. 71

[11] these

[12] Basnage an. 256 sec. 4, 5 6, 7, 8.

[13] Epist. 68 adv. Lucif.

[14] Vide Basnag. Annal. ad an. 256 sect 8

[15] Ad an. 256. sect 11, 12.

[16] Epist 68 adv. Luciferos

© 2022 The Newton Project

Professor Rob Iliffe
Director, AHRC Newton Papers Project

Scott Mandelbrote,
Fellow & Perne librarian, Peterhouse, Cambridge

Faculty of History, George Street, Oxford, OX1 2RL - newtonproject@history.ox.ac.uk

Privacy Statement

  • University of Oxford
  • Arts and Humanities Research Council
  • JISC