John De Soyres on the Montanist doctrine of prophecy

Source
Soyres, John De. Montanism and the Primitive Church: A Study in the Ecclesiastical History of the Second Century. Cambridge: Deighton, Bell, 1878. 58-68. Web. 27 Oct. 2014. <https://archive.org/details/montanismprimiti00deso>.
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The New Revelation

Montanus and his followers claimed to have received a revelation of God, of a nature supplementary to that communicated by Christ and His apostles. Its foundation is to be found in a literal and exclusive acceptation of the
promise of the Paraclete, “who will guide you into all truth,”and “shew you things to come”(John xvi. 13). The belief in the superiority of this new revelation is put very clearly by Tertullian. “If Christ abrogated what Moses commanded, because from the beginning it was not so…why should not the Paraclete alter what Paul permitted1“Si euim Christus abstulit quod Moyses prrecepit, quia ab initio non fuit sic, nee ideo ab alia veuisse virtute reptitabitur Cliristus, curnon et Paracletus abstulerit quod Paulus iudulsit.”(De Monogamia, cap. 14.) Although, strictly speaking, Tertullian is only treating of one special point, viz. the permission of second marriages by St Paul,
all writers (Mosheim, Wernsdorf, Neander, Kaye, Schwegler, Eitschl) agree that this may be taken as a general axiom, put in the form of a question.
?” The same order of development is defined in another of Tertullian’s treatises, as (1) the prophetic voice Book II. of the Old Testament; (2) the “disciplina Domini;”and (3) the Holy Spirit by (the mouth of) the holy prophetess Prisca2“Prophetica vox veteris Testamenti, . . . discipliua Domini, ….
Spiritus Sanctus per sauctam prophetidem Priscam.”De Exhort. Castit. c. 10.
. This is also the view reprobated by the opponents of Montanism, who strove to aggravate what they declared heresy by asserting that the prophets claimed to be not merely the mouth-piece, but the very incarnation of the Paraclete. This point will be specially discussed afterwards ; at present it will be sufficient to quote three witnesses in support of the former position.

Adversaries of the Montanist prophecies


HIPPOLYTUS. PHILASTER. AUGUSTIN.
“They are beguiled by two females whom they consider prohetesses…They pretend that these see certain things by means of the Paraclete in them. They implicitly believe what these utter, and give out that they learnt
more from their revelations than from the law, the prophets, and the gospels.” Adv. omn. Haer.VIII. 19.
“They hold that the full gift (plenitudinem) of the Holy Spirit was not granted by Christ to His Apostles, but to their false prophets, and thus separate themselves from the Catholic Church.” Liber de Haeres. XLIX.
(Migne, XII. 1165.)
“They declare that the promised advent of the Holy Spirit took place in themselves, rather than in the case of the Apostles.” Haeres. xxvi. (Opp. VI. 17.)

The Montanist’s Nature of Prophecy and the Paraclete

Tertullian never loses an opportunity of asserting in unqualified terms the superior insight enjoyed by those who hearkened to the Paraclete through the mouth of the prophets or prophetesses. He understands the mysterious οἰκονομία of the Trinity, as better instructed by the Paraclete3“Nos et semper, et nunc magis, ut instriictiores per Paracletum, deductorem scilicet omuis veritatis, unicum quidem Deum credimus, sub Lac tamen dispeusatione, quam aeconomiam dicimus, ut sermo ex ipso processerit, qui deiude miserit a Patre Spiritum Sanctum Paracletum.” [Adv. Prax. cap. 2.]. He declares himself the pupil of no man, but only of the same divine instructor4“Nos, qui et tempera et causas scripturarum per Dei gratiam inspicimus, maxiync Paracleti non hominum discijndi.”[Ibid. cap. 13.]. He accepts the visible coming of the New Jerusalem on the same authority5“Hierosolymam de coelo delatam, qui apud fidem nostram est, nova prophctia sermo testatur.”[Adv. Marc. iii. 24.]. The Paraclete counsels martyrdom6“Si pro Deo occumbas, ut Paracletus monet, in martyriis, &c.” [De Anima, cap. 55.]; finally, the Paraclete teaches those things which the apostles even were not able to understand7Cf. the 2nd chapter (passim) of the De Monogamia.. And yet there is no revolution organized against the institutions which, in their first form, undoubtedly furnished the fittest media for the agency of the Holy Spirit. The prophetic office, commended so highly by St Paul, and witnessed to by Justin and Irenseus, this was no innovation. Nor does Tertullian shrink from a
criterion of true or false prophetic claim, which he states thus. He had imagined an opponent to moot the very pertinent objection : “It follows that, by this line of argument, anything you please which is novel and burthensome may be ascribed to the Paraclete, even if it have come from the adversary spirit.””No (replies the Montanist), for the adversary spirit would be apparent from the diversity of his preaching, beginning by adulterating the rule of faith, and so (going on to) adulterating the order of discipline.”8“Ergo hac argumentatione quidvis novum Paraeleto adscribi potent; etsi ab adversario spiritu fuerit. Non utique ; adversarius enim spiritus ex diversitate praedicationis appareret, primo regulam adulterans fidei, et ita ordiuem adulterans disciplinae.”[De Monoy. cap. 2.] Accordingly it is to the practical effects in life of the new teachings that he appeals, just as he and his fellow apologists had appealed to the heathen world in the same way. Thus the spirits might be proved, whether they were of God or not. Nor even does Tertullian admit, as valid against himself, the stern legal rule of Praescription, which he had wielded with such inexorable rigour against heretics. Or rather, he claims its benefit once more ! “Paracletus solus antecessor, quia solus post Christum”9De Virg. velandis, cap. 1. Accordingly the last stage is merely a revival of what was truly first, and unites the strength of youth with the dignity of age. Tertullian states the problem of revelation by stages by aid of a splendid image, which will best complete this sketch: “Nothing is without stages of growth; all things await their season…Look how creation itself advances little by little to fructification! First comes the grain, and from the grain arises the shoot, and from the shoot struggles out the shrub ; thereafter boughs and leaves gather strength, and the whole that we call a tree expands; then follows the swelling of ‘the bud, and from the bud bursts the flower, and from the flower the fruit opens ; that fruit itself, rude for a while, and unshapely, little by little, keeping the straight course of its development, is trained to the mellowness of its flavour. So too righteousness (for the God of righteousness and of creation is the same) was first in a rudimentary state, having a natural fear of God ; from that stage it advanced, through the Law and the Prophets, to infancy; from that stage it passed, through the Gospel, to the fervour of youth ; now, through the Paraclete, it is settling into maturity. He will be, after Christ, the only one to be called and revered as Master; for He speaks not from Himself, but what is commanded by Christ….They who have received him set truth before custom”10Ibid. Twice in this chapter Tertullian repeats the noble thought, the great truth, that Christ is Truth rather than Tradition. [“Sed Dominus noster Chi’istus veritatem se, non consuetudinem cognominavit.”] Mohler made no error when he saw in the combat between Montanism and the Church the first (and perhaps the most logical) expression of the eternal opposition between the Protestant Idea in its highest sense, and what he called the “Catholic”principle. Such was the faith, such the claims, of the New Prophets.11See Baronius, ii. 267; Mosheim, De Rebus, &c. p. 416; Walch, i. 620; Wernsdorf, p. 11 ff.; Eitschl, p. 462 ff.; Schwegler, 15 ff.

The Montanist’s Form of Prophecy

The next point in the investigation is the “Form”of these alleged revelations. In pursuance of our plan, let us first cite the following witnesses:


Anonymus (ap. Euseb. ). Epiphanius. Miltiades (ap. Euseb.).
“So then he [sc. Montanus] was carried away in spirit, and wrought up into a certain kind of frenzy and irregular ecstasy, raving, and speaking, and uttering strange things, and proclaiming what was contrary to the institutions that had prevailed in the Church….. He excited two others, females, and filled them with the spirit of delusion, so that they also spake like the former, in a kind of ecstasy, out of all season, and in a manner strange and novel.” H. E. hb. v. cap. 16. “Behold, [—this is the Paraclete speaking through Montanus,] man is as a lyre, and I hover round him as the plectrum; the man sleeps and I watch; behold, it is the Lord who transports the hearts of men, and gives hearts to men.”12I am not sure whether my translation of the last clause is correct. The original passage is as follows: “‘I5oi> Sivdpujiros wael \vpa, Kq.-yu} lifTap-aL wad irXriKTpov’ 6 dvOpUTros Koi.fx3.Tai, Kayui ypr]yopu>, l8od Kvpios icTTiv 6 eKarcLviov Kupdlai dvdpdnruii’, Kal SiSovs KapSias dpOpicTrois.'”[In another place we have: “i<picrTafj.ai kuI TrXiiacrui, Kal ypriyopw, Kal i^icTTa Kvpios Kap5/a?.”] Is the sense, “the Lord who created men’s hearts, also can excite or transport them”? Haeres. xlviii. § 4. [ Maximilla says : “oiTriaTeCKi /xe Kvpios ‘fji’dyKacTfiivov, OiXovra Kai /XT] O^XofTU.”] Ibid. § 13. [ After mentioning the work of Miltiades on the subject “vepl Tov fiT] deip irpo(f>’r)Tr}v ev €K<TTa.<Tei XaXelv, “Eusebius quotes him as saying:—] “But the false prophet is carried away by a vehement ecstasy, accompanied by want of all shame and fear. Beginning, indeed, with a designed ignorance, and terminating, as before said, in involuntary madness.They will never be able to shew that any of the Old or New Testament were thus agitated and carried away.” H. E. lib. V. cap. 11.13Many writers consider the speaker thus quoted to be not Miltiades, [in any case “Alcibiades”is wrong,] but the Anonymus of the former chapter. I confess that I cannot agree with them.

Tertullian’s account

Our next step is to consult Tertullian, in order to see whether he admits or traverses these statements. The first passage quoted shall be the narrative which he gives us in his treatise De Anima, concerning a prophetic vision. This is specially important as furnishing us, at first hand, with a complete notion of the manner in which these alleged revelations were received, both by the “medium,”and by the congregation or those to whom it was revealed. “We have now,”Tertullian relates, 14De Anima, cap. 9. The special value of this evidence is that Tertullian gives it, as it were parenthetically, and does not indulge in any rhetoric. His object is to explain his curious theory about the nature of the soul. “amongst us a sister whose lot it has been to be favoured with certain gifts of revelation, which she experiences in the Spirit by ecstatic vision [“per ecstasin in spiritu,”] amidst the sacred rites of the Lord’s day in the Church : she converses with angels, and sometimes even with the Lord ; she both sees and hears mysterious communications [sacramenta] ; some men’s hearts she understands, and to them who are in need she distributes remedies. Whether it be in the reading of the Scriptures, or in the chanting of Psalms, or in the preaching of sermons, or in the offering up of prayers, in all these religious services matter and opportunity are afforded to her of seeing visions. It may possibly have happened to us, whilst this sister of ours was rapt in the Spirit, that we had discoursed about the soul. After the people are dismissed at the conclusion of the services, she is in the habit of relating to us whatever things she may have seen in vision; for all her communications are most carefully examined, in order that they may be proved.”15“Est hodie soror apud nos revelationum charismata sortita, quas
in ecclesia inter dominica solemuia per ecstasin in spiritu patitur ; conversatur cum angelis, aliquando etiam cum Domino, et videt et audit sacramenta, et quorundam corda dignoscit, et medieinas desiderantibus submittit. Jam vero prout scripturse leguntur, aut Psalmi canuntur, ant adlocutiones proferuutur, aut petitiones delegantur, ita inde materiae visionibus Bubministrantur. Forte nescio quid de auima disseruimus, cnm ea sorer in spiritu erat. Post transacta solennia, dimissa plebe, quo usn solet nobis renuntiare quae viderit, nam et diligentissime digeruutur, ut etiam probentur. “After relating the vision itself, to which we shall recur later, Tertullian concludes with the emphatic asseveration: “visio et Deus testis et Apostolus charismatum in ecclesia futiirorum idoneus sponsor.”

Tertullian expressly admits here the complete passivity of the prophetess : the only element other than the operation of the Spirit being the subject of the prayer or discourse. We can compare other of his statements on the same subject : “The soul receives motion from some other thing when it is swayed (from the outside, of course, by something else) by prophetic influence or by madness.”16“Ostendimus . . . moveri animam ab alio, cum vaticiuatur, cum
furit, utique extrinsecus.”(De Anim. c. 6.
) Even Adam is supposed to have experienced the same influence and ecstasy, as well as all the prophets17“Accidentiam spiritus passus est; occidit enim ecstasis super ilium, sancti spiritus vis, operatrix prophetise.”(Cap. 11.) And, “In ilium Deus amentiam immisit, spiritualem vim, qua constat prophetia.” (Cap. 21.); in fact, nothing is more clear than Tertullian’s confidence not only in the genuineness of the condition, but also of its agreement with God’s will and dispensation. It must be added that Tertvillian places the Divine origin of all visions and dreams upon an equally lofty foundation : — “But from God, who has promised to pour out the grace of His Holy Spirit upon all flesh, and ha,s ordained that His servants and His handmaids should see visions as well as utter prophecies [Joel iii. 1], must all these visions be regarded as emanating, which may be compared to the actual gi’ace of God, as being honest, holy, prophetic, inspired, instructive, inviting to virtue, the bountiful nature of which causes them to overflow even to the profane18Be Anima, cap. 47. &c.” There was no monopoly claimed for Priscilla or Maximilla. Tertullian mentions in no place having received any such Divine intimations himself19It is impossible not to think of Edward Irving as a parallel instance, never laying claim himself to the gifts, but gladly welcoming them in others. Another case is that of Petersen (cf. Appendix C), who received the higher light through the Fraulein von Asseburg., but he frequently records the experiences of others. He relates how “a brother was chastised in a vision, because on the announcement of public rejoicings his servants had decorated his gates20“Scio fratrem per visionem castigatum graviter, quod januam ejus, Bubito anuunciatis gaudiis publicis, servi coronassent.”(De Idolol. cap. 15.) See also De Spectac. 26.” This is mentioned as “a witness on the authority of God.” The Acts of Martyrdom of Perpetua and Felicitas relate many other instances of the same nature21There are many collected in Noesselt’s treatise on the Writings of Tertullian. (De vera AEtate, &c. p. 184 ff.)] and they must have been considered of common occurrence.

Questions on agreement about prophecy between Montantists and Catholics on prophecy

Seeing then that the facts are undisputed, the only Primitive question remaining is the theological one, or rather two questions of this nature arise : —

I. Did, or did not, the Primitive Church, up to the time of Montanus, admit the gift of prophecy and vision to all its members ?

II. Was the character of this prophetic inspiration recognised as passive, or were the individual faculties active ?

Non-Montanist beliefs compared to Montanists

The former of these questions hardly needs discussion. It is indisputable that Clement, Ignatius, Hermas, Justin Martyr, and Irenseus, unanimously affirm their belief in, or even their experience of, the continued distribution of these charismata22See the old authorities collected and discussed in John Smith’s famous Select Discourses, No. 6, and also Hagenbach’s Dogmcngeschichte, and other collections.. In fact the earlier opponents of Montanism were too prudent to take issue on the point at all, or else denounced, not the claim of prophetic gift, but its discontinuance. The writer quoted by Eusebius demands :—”If, after Quadratus and Ammia in Philadelphia, the women that followed Montanus succeeded in the gift of prophecy, let them shew us what women among them succeeded Montanus and his women. For the apostle shows that the gift of prophecy should be in all the church until the coming of the Lord, but they can by no means shew any one at this time, the 14th year from the death of Maximilla23Miltiades (?) ap. Eusebius, H. E. lib. v. cap. 17.”In a later section we may notice the remarkable change of opinion in the Church on this point ; we now turn to the other. What was the theory of Inspiration recognised by writers of the Second Century? Did they reject as impious the claims of “ecstatic vision,”of complete passivity under spiritual influence?

Athenagoras presented his Apology to the emperors Aurelius and Commodus about A.D, 176, when the manifestations of Montanism were fully known. He describes the inspiration of the Prophets in an often-quoted passage:—”…Moses, or Isaiah, or Jeremiah, and the other prophets who, lifted in ecstasy above the natural operations of their minds by the impulses of the Divine Spirit, uttered the things with which they were inspired, the Spirit making use of them as a flute-player breathes into a flute24“oi irpo<priTat kwt’ ^Kffraaiv rCov ev avrois XoyiaixQiv, KcvrjcravTOi avrovs Tou Oeiov irvevfiaros, & evrjpyovvTO, i^e^upijcrav (ri’7x/3r;(Ta/ie’vou rod wvevpLaros, iicrel Kal avXrjTiis avXbv ifnrveCaai.”(Legat. cap. 9.) The same image occurs in the 7th chapter, “… OeoO vvevfxaTi us ipyava KeKLvr^KoTL to, TWi> irpo<pr]r(2v aTo/xara.”.”

Justin Martyr expresses the same view with equal clearness. He did not consider that inspiration was a mere increase in the productivity of human intelligence, nor did he allow to human faculties any share other than simple reproduction of the truth received25I am indebted for my references in Justin to Semisch’s able monograph. (Vol. I. pp. 263 ff.). He asserted that the prophets never delivered their own thoughts, but only what they had received by Divine revelation26“Mrjdev dirb ttjs iSias avTwi> (pavraaias Ziddt^avres Tifxas dX\’ &(pi\oveiK(i3S Kal dcracndcrTCjos t7]v wapd Oeou de^afienov yfuaiv Kal Tavr-qv 5t5daKovT€s 7]pLds.”Coh. ad Grac. cap. 8. [And see Dial. c. Tr. cap. 7.]. Like Athenagoras, he comj^ared their state during the period of inspiration by the image of the lyre struck by the plectrum ; he denied in fact that they retained any natural consciousness during inspiration : in other words, it was a state of ecstasy27” ToLis ayiovs dVSpas o?s oy X6yov iSeyjae t^x”‘?’ • • • • aW Kidapoiis iavToiis ttj rod Oelov irvevixaTO^ vapaax^’^’^ ivepyeig., iV avrb to Oeiov ef oipavou Karibv ir’hTJKTpov, watrep opydvip Kiddpas Tivbs ij \vpas rots SiKalois dvSpdffi xpti^e’^OJ’, TTjv Ti2v Oeiuu Tjfuu Kal ovpavlwv d7roKa\v\pri yvuaw.” [Coll. ad Gr. c. 8.] The same view is expressed with even greater plainness in tlxe Dialogue; where the revelation to Zechariah is declared to have “not been when unexcited, but when in ecstasy.”[rbv StdpoXov Kal rbv ToO Kvptov ayyeXov ovk avTO\piq., iv Karaffraffei ci’c, eupaKei, dXX’ ev iKcrdan, dTroKoKv^ews avTC}ytyevr)ixivy)i. Dial. c. Tr. cap. 115.]. It is clear, then, that Justin and Athenagoras held no other doctrine of inspiration than that which the Montanists asserted, and for asserting have been condemned as heretics by the Church since the Fourth Century28In addition to Justin and Athenagoras, (not to mention Tertullian,) we find that Theophilus [cf. Ad Autol. ii. 9, 10], Clement Alex. [Strom. VI. 18], and Macarius [Homil. xlvii. 14], adopt the same view of inspiration.
The last-named writer employs the identical image :—”HX^k- Tpov T7> deias xa/”‘^oJ> . . • • wj yap Slo. roO aiiXov rb Trvev/xa SiepxifJ-^vov XaXe?, ovTu 8id tup dyiwv koL TvvevixaTOcpbpuv dvdpiinroiv rb irvevfxa to dyibv
iaTiv vfivovv.”
.. The defenders of the “Quod semper, quod ubique,”are reduced to lamentable straits in the matter ; but, what is more surprising, not a few Protestant theologians have failed or refused to see this change of front. The writer of a modern text-book thus deals with the difficulty :—”It is true that Athenagoras considers the Prophets of the Old Testament to have uttered their predictions while in a state of ecstasy, thus adopting the sentiments of Philo ; but that he held, on any point, the extravagant opinions of Montanus, cannot, I apprehend, be alleged with any justice29Lee, On the Inspiration of Holy Scripture, (4th edition,) p. 78 ff. Anything so astounding as the “argument”adopted by Dr Lee I have never met. He ignores the perfect agreement of Justin Martyr with the Montanistic view, and he actually appeals to Hippolytus as a witness to the Church’s antagonism to the “ecstatic”view. Now Hippolytus does not touch the question at all : his only words on the subject of the inspiration claimed for the prophetesses arc : “They pretend that these see certain things by means of the Paraclete in them.”\^Adv. omn. Hares. VIII. 19.] Dr Lee’s theory is that the ecstatic view is derived from the heathen idea of the /xavris, and that the Christian church opposed it uncompromisingly from the very first ! ‘ ‘ With reasoning similar to that adopted when rejecting the heathen divination, the Church rose in opposition to this fanaticism, (so. that of the Montanists,) and here also it was argued that the exercise of a state of unconsciousness proved that Montanism was, in no sort, allied to the true prophetic spirit,”{Ibid.) Dr Westcott admits freely that “the language of Athenagoras has been regarded, with good reason, as expressing the doctrine of Montanism.” [Quoted by Lee, Ibid.].”Now assertions of this sort may be safely left to battle with inexorable facts which we have already adduced, and really deserve no refutation. We have seen that the work of Miltiades, itself a mere private treatise, and carrying with it no character of authority, was the very first declaration against the previous universal and orthodox sentiment. Later, in the Third Century (although even here the catenas are dubious) and in the Fourth, it is quite true that a vast
change had taken place. The once orthodox doctrine of Justin and Athenagoras and Montanus was now branded as a heresy ; and that which had been undoubtedly the private airesis of Miltiades was now the doctrine of the
Catholic Church. From this time it is easy to collect a most unanimous list. Epiphanius is perhaps the first to lay down, as a canon and criterion of true prophecy, that it must be conscious and intelligent. [“”Oo-o. ol irpoiprJTaL
elprjKaat, jxera avveaew<i 7rapaKoXov6ovvTO<i,”or ‘^ /xera Karaar/ iaeco^i Xoyiafxov koI 7rapaKo\ovdr]aea}<i … ic^deyyovro.” .Epiph. Haeres. xlviii. § 2, 3.] This was adopted universally, and no doubt is, theologically, more correct than the opinion which it opposed. But we are concerned here only with the truth of history ; and it would involve the grossest departure from that truth were we to slur over, or attempt to explain away, the remarkable facts
which have been the subject of this chapter.

Footnotes   [ + ]

1. “Si euim Christus abstulit quod Moyses prrecepit, quia ab initio non fuit sic, nee ideo ab alia veuisse virtute reptitabitur Cliristus, curnon et Paracletus abstulerit quod Paulus iudulsit.”(De Monogamia, cap. 14.) Although, strictly speaking, Tertullian is only treating of one special point, viz. the permission of second marriages by St Paul,
all writers (Mosheim, Wernsdorf, Neander, Kaye, Schwegler, Eitschl) agree that this may be taken as a general axiom, put in the form of a question.
2. “Prophetica vox veteris Testamenti, . . . discipliua Domini, ….
Spiritus Sanctus per sauctam prophetidem Priscam.”De Exhort. Castit. c. 10.
3. “Nos et semper, et nunc magis, ut instriictiores per Paracletum, deductorem scilicet omuis veritatis, unicum quidem Deum credimus, sub Lac tamen dispeusatione, quam aeconomiam dicimus, ut sermo ex ipso processerit, qui deiude miserit a Patre Spiritum Sanctum Paracletum.” [Adv. Prax. cap. 2.]
4. “Nos, qui et tempera et causas scripturarum per Dei gratiam inspicimus, maxiync Paracleti non hominum discijndi.”[Ibid. cap. 13.]
5. “Hierosolymam de coelo delatam, qui apud fidem nostram est, nova prophctia sermo testatur.”[Adv. Marc. iii. 24.]
6. “Si pro Deo occumbas, ut Paracletus monet, in martyriis, &c.” [De Anima, cap. 55.]
7. Cf. the 2nd chapter (passim) of the De Monogamia.
8. “Ergo hac argumentatione quidvis novum Paraeleto adscribi potent; etsi ab adversario spiritu fuerit. Non utique ; adversarius enim spiritus ex diversitate praedicationis appareret, primo regulam adulterans fidei, et ita ordiuem adulterans disciplinae.”[De Monoy. cap. 2.]
9. De Virg. velandis, cap. 1.
10. Ibid. Twice in this chapter Tertullian repeats the noble thought, the great truth, that Christ is Truth rather than Tradition. [“Sed Dominus noster Chi’istus veritatem se, non consuetudinem cognominavit.”] Mohler made no error when he saw in the combat between Montanism and the Church the first (and perhaps the most logical) expression of the eternal opposition between the Protestant Idea in its highest sense, and what he called the “Catholic”principle.
11. See Baronius, ii. 267; Mosheim, De Rebus, &c. p. 416; Walch, i. 620; Wernsdorf, p. 11 ff.; Eitschl, p. 462 ff.; Schwegler, 15 ff.
12. I am not sure whether my translation of the last clause is correct. The original passage is as follows: “‘I5oi> Sivdpujiros wael \vpa, Kq.-yu} lifTap-aL wad irXriKTpov’ 6 dvOpUTros Koi.fx3.Tai, Kayui ypr]yopu>, l8od Kvpios icTTiv 6 eKarcLviov Kupdlai dvdpdnruii’, Kal SiSovs KapSias dpOpicTrois.'”[In another place we have: “i<picrTafj.ai kuI TrXiiacrui, Kal ypriyopw, Kal i^icTTa Kvpios Kap5/a?.”] Is the sense, “the Lord who created men’s hearts, also can excite or transport them”?
13. Many writers consider the speaker thus quoted to be not Miltiades, [in any case “Alcibiades”is wrong,] but the Anonymus of the former chapter. I confess that I cannot agree with them.
14. De Anima, cap. 9. The special value of this evidence is that Tertullian gives it, as it were parenthetically, and does not indulge in any rhetoric. His object is to explain his curious theory about the nature of the soul.
15. “Est hodie soror apud nos revelationum charismata sortita, quas
in ecclesia inter dominica solemuia per ecstasin in spiritu patitur ; conversatur cum angelis, aliquando etiam cum Domino, et videt et audit sacramenta, et quorundam corda dignoscit, et medieinas desiderantibus submittit. Jam vero prout scripturse leguntur, aut Psalmi canuntur, ant adlocutiones proferuutur, aut petitiones delegantur, ita inde materiae visionibus Bubministrantur. Forte nescio quid de auima disseruimus, cnm ea sorer in spiritu erat. Post transacta solennia, dimissa plebe, quo usn solet nobis renuntiare quae viderit, nam et diligentissime digeruutur, ut etiam probentur. “After relating the vision itself, to which we shall recur later, Tertullian concludes with the emphatic asseveration: “visio et Deus testis et Apostolus charismatum in ecclesia futiirorum idoneus sponsor.”
16. “Ostendimus . . . moveri animam ab alio, cum vaticiuatur, cum
furit, utique extrinsecus.”(De Anim. c. 6.
17. “Accidentiam spiritus passus est; occidit enim ecstasis super ilium, sancti spiritus vis, operatrix prophetise.”(Cap. 11.) And, “In ilium Deus amentiam immisit, spiritualem vim, qua constat prophetia.” (Cap. 21.
18. Be Anima, cap. 47.
19. It is impossible not to think of Edward Irving as a parallel instance, never laying claim himself to the gifts, but gladly welcoming them in others. Another case is that of Petersen (cf. Appendix C), who received the higher light through the Fraulein von Asseburg.
20. “Scio fratrem per visionem castigatum graviter, quod januam ejus, Bubito anuunciatis gaudiis publicis, servi coronassent.”(De Idolol. cap. 15.) See also De Spectac. 26.
21. There are many collected in Noesselt’s treatise on the Writings of Tertullian. (De vera AEtate, &c. p. 184 ff.)]
22. See the old authorities collected and discussed in John Smith’s famous Select Discourses, No. 6, and also Hagenbach’s Dogmcngeschichte, and other collections.
23. Miltiades (?) ap. Eusebius, H. E. lib. v. cap. 17.
24. “oi irpo<priTat kwt’ ^Kffraaiv rCov ev avrois XoyiaixQiv, KcvrjcravTOi avrovs Tou Oeiov irvevfiaros, & evrjpyovvTO, i^e^upijcrav (ri’7x/3r;(Ta/ie’vou rod wvevpLaros, iicrel Kal avXrjTiis avXbv ifnrveCaai.”(Legat. cap. 9.) The same image occurs in the 7th chapter, “… OeoO vvevfxaTi us ipyava KeKLvr^KoTL to, TWi> irpo<pr]r(2v aTo/xara.”
25. I am indebted for my references in Justin to Semisch’s able monograph. (Vol. I. pp. 263 ff.
26. “Mrjdev dirb ttjs iSias avTwi> (pavraaias Ziddt^avres Tifxas dX\’ &(pi\oveiK(i3S Kal dcracndcrTCjos t7]v wapd Oeou de^afienov yfuaiv Kal Tavr-qv 5t5daKovT€s 7]pLds.”Coh. ad Grac. cap. 8. [And see Dial. c. Tr. cap. 7.]
27. ” ToLis ayiovs dVSpas o?s oy X6yov iSeyjae t^x”‘?’ • • • • aW Kidapoiis iavToiis ttj rod Oelov irvevixaTO^ vapaax^’^’^ ivepyeig., iV avrb to Oeiov ef oipavou Karibv ir’hTJKTpov, watrep opydvip Kiddpas Tivbs ij \vpas rots SiKalois dvSpdffi xpti^e’^OJ’, TTjv Ti2v Oeiuu Tjfuu Kal ovpavlwv d7roKa\v\pri yvuaw.” [Coll. ad Gr. c. 8.] The same view is expressed with even greater plainness in tlxe Dialogue; where the revelation to Zechariah is declared to have “not been when unexcited, but when in ecstasy.”[rbv StdpoXov Kal rbv ToO Kvptov ayyeXov ovk avTO\piq., iv Karaffraffei ci’c, eupaKei, dXX’ ev iKcrdan, dTroKoKv^ews avTC}ytyevr)ixivy)i. Dial. c. Tr. cap. 115.]
28. In addition to Justin and Athenagoras, (not to mention Tertullian,) we find that Theophilus [cf. Ad Autol. ii. 9, 10], Clement Alex. [Strom. VI. 18], and Macarius [Homil. xlvii. 14], adopt the same view of inspiration.
The last-named writer employs the identical image :—”HX^k- Tpov T7> deias xa/”‘^oJ> . . • • wj yap Slo. roO aiiXov rb Trvev/xa SiepxifJ-^vov XaXe?, ovTu 8id tup dyiwv koL TvvevixaTOcpbpuv dvdpiinroiv rb irvevfxa to dyibv
iaTiv vfivovv.”
29. Lee, On the Inspiration of Holy Scripture, (4th edition,) p. 78 ff. Anything so astounding as the “argument”adopted by Dr Lee I have never met. He ignores the perfect agreement of Justin Martyr with the Montanistic view, and he actually appeals to Hippolytus as a witness to the Church’s antagonism to the “ecstatic”view. Now Hippolytus does not touch the question at all : his only words on the subject of the inspiration claimed for the prophetesses arc : “They pretend that these see certain things by means of the Paraclete in them.”\^Adv. omn. Hares. VIII. 19.] Dr Lee’s theory is that the ecstatic view is derived from the heathen idea of the /xavris, and that the Christian church opposed it uncompromisingly from the very first ! ‘ ‘ With reasoning similar to that adopted when rejecting the heathen divination, the Church rose in opposition to this fanaticism, (so. that of the Montanists,) and here also it was argued that the exercise of a state of unconsciousness proved that Montanism was, in no sort, allied to the true prophetic spirit,”{Ibid.) Dr Westcott admits freely that “the language of Athenagoras has been regarded, with good reason, as expressing the doctrine of Montanism.” [Quoted by Lee, Ibid.]

Seth Fuller has written 21 articles

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