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ginian presbyter, their opinions gained ground throughout a considerable part of the christian church, and flourished till the fifth century. Thus, without excluding apostates and great offenders from the possibility of salvation, the Novatians would not permit them to partake a second time of the privileges of christian fellowship.* Contending for this high degree of purity in the church “ they assumed the title
“ of Cathari, i. e. the pure,” says Mosheim, and required other christians who joined their society to be baptized. As, notwithstanding these particulars with regard to discipline, their other religious tenets were correct, Constantine permitted the Novatians to build a church at Constantinople, and invited their bishop Acesius to be present at the council of Nice. А very
different treatment awaited the Novatians under the emperor Constantius, who,
* It is probable that an awful passage in the tenth chapter to the Hebrews, verse 19th to 39th, led the Nova. tians to establish their austere rule with regard to churcbdiscipline; and that the peculiar interpretation of the pas. sage adopted by the Novatians occasioned the rejection of that epistle by other members of the church of Rome; so apt is private prejudice, especially when the passions bear sway over the judgment during the violence of debate, to suspect or reject truth, in opposition to an overwhelming weight of evidence.
countenancing the opinions of the Arians, persecuted those who maintained the Nicene doctrine of the Trinity with unrelenting cruelty. Accordingly they were involved in the massacres which received the sanction of that emperor. In the territory of Mantinium, a large district of Paphlagonia, the Novatians were extremely numerous, and a body of 4,000 troops was sent to externinate them. The Novatian peasants, however, arming themselves with scythes and axes, fought the invaders of their homes in so desperate a manner, that they even vanquished and destroyed the disciplined soldiery.
As those early separatists, the Novatians, were objects of extreme dislike to the other members of the church of Rome, it is not surprising that Roman catholic writers during the dark ages should designate others who protested against the growing superstitions of the church of Rome, by the odious name of Cathari. So prejudiced, and indeed so ignorant with regard to an accurate distinction of different sects, were the monkish writers, that they confound the Waldenses with the Cathari, and the Cathari with the Manichees, and both the Manichees and Cathari with the Arians whereas in the earlier and in the middle
ages, a variety of opinions existed, just as in the
present century, in different churches and sects opposed to the church of Rome. Whilst they coincided with each other on many points, on many other points they differed. Egbert, abbot of Sconauge, (cited by Dr. Allix*) who wrote against the Cathari, though he attacks them as Manichees, yet admits that a variety of sentiments prevailed,—“ Divisi etiam sunt contra semetipsos, quia nonnulla quæ ab aliquibus eorum dicuntur, ab aliis negantur.” A specimen of the extreme inaccuracy of such writers is found in a sermon by Galdinus, archbishop of Milan, (who lived in the twelfth century :)--forged, it is supposed, by Ripamontius the historian of Milan,-in which the Catharif are called both Manichees and Arians. Yet we have just seen, that Constantius, in the fourth century, persecuted the Novatian Cathari because they resisted Arianism. The disingenuous artifice of branding churches and sects, that have neither a common origin, nor entertain similar doctrines, with the names of early heretics, (as Manichees)
* Remarks, ch. xvii.
+ The Paulicians, a sect that arose in the eastern divi. sion of the Roman empire, and afterwards sought refuge in Europe, were sometimes called Cathari, a term which Mosheim supposes rather meant Gazari, " when applied to the Paulicians ;—Gazaria, being the country we now call the Lesser Tartary."- vol. ii. 580.
leads the reader into a labyrinth of inextricable perplexity, if he ventures to take monkish writers, or Roman catholic authors who build upon monkish accusations, as a guide. The
. . only clew that conducts us through the labyrinth, is the resolution to form our opinion of churches, sects, and individuals, by their own authorized documents. To admit such fair and legitimate evidence, instead of the undesigned mistakes, or wilful misrepresentations of adversaries, is highly important, as it respects rescuing the Waldenses from the odious and unjustifiable charges brought against them. Upon this subject, M. Peyran has already produced overwhelming argument and evidence, (pp. 15—23.) The method adopted by such disingenuous authors as those who blend the Manichees, Arians, Cathari, Patarins, * Paulici
Gregory VII. having instituted severe laws against the clergy who had entered into the state of matrimony; considerable resistance was made against this unreasonable and unscriptural interference with their liberty. When that pope sent legates to enforce his decrees at Milan, the clergy persuaded the people to oppose them, and assert the ancient independence of their church,
Non debere Ambrosianam ecclesiam Romanis legibus subjacere, nullumque judicandi vel disponendi jus Romano pontifici in illa sede competere. Two parties arose in consequence, those who allowed and those who opposed the marriage of the clergy. The married clergy had their religious services in a district of the city called
ans, and Waldenses, in one common mass, would find its parallel, and appear in all its absurdity, if any modern Roman catholic author, writing against the supposed errors of protestants, should identify the church of England with that of Scotland, the Lutherans with the Calvinists, the Baptists with the Socinians, because they equally reject tradition, and appeal to scripture, and are often comprehended under the general name of protestants. P. 246. “ La doctrine d'Origéne.”—The im
. mense erudition, towering genius, fervid piety, and extensive critical labours of this celebrated catechist of the school of Alexandria, conspired to secure him a high renown at the period in which he lived, (the third century,) which has descended to future ages. Sincere and ardent as was his attachment to christianity, he has been often censured for tarnishing its simple
Pataria, and were reproachfully called Patarini. As the Subalpini, in the diocess of Turin, always approved of the marriage of the clergy, it is not surprising that they were classed with Patarins, according to Dr. Allix, who relies partly on Sigonius for information. Dr. Mosheim, relying on Arnulph and other historians, contends that the Roman pontiff's party, who condemned the marriage of the clergy, were the persons called Patarini, and that they were reproached by the married clergy for resembling the Manichees in their attempt to prevent lawful wedlock.