Many Eminent Christian Writers have Carefully and Fully Refuted the Heresy These the Author Makes his Own Guides.
My own path, however, lies along the original tenets [6665] of their chief teachers, not with the self-appointed leaders of their promiscuous [6666] followers. Nor shall we hear it said of us from any quarter, that we have of our own mind fashioned our own materials, since these have been already produced, both in respect of the opinions and their refutations, in carefully written volumes, by so many eminently holy and excellent men, not only those who have lived before us, but those also who were contemporary with the heresiarchs themselves: for instance Justin, philosopher and martyr; [6667] Miltiades, the sophist [6668] of the churches; Irenæus, that very exact inquirer into all doctrines; [6669] our own Proculus, the model [6670] of chaste old age and Christian eloquence. All these it would be my desire closely to follow in every work of faith, even as in this particular one. Now if there are no heresies at all but what those who refute them are supposed to have fabricated, then the apostle who predicted them [6671] must have been guilty of falsehood. If, however, there are heresies, they can be no other than those which are the subject of discussion. No writer can be supposed to have so much time on his hands [6672] as to fabricate materials which are already in his possession.


[6665] Archetypis.

[6666] Passivorum.

[6667] [See Vol. I. pp. 171, 182, this series].

[6668] In a good sense, from the elegance of his style.

[6669] [See Vol. I. p. 326, of this series. Tertullian appropriates the work of Irenæus, (B. i.) against the Gnostics without further ceremony: translation excepted.]

[6670] Dignitas. [Of this Proculus see Kaye, p. 55.]

[6671] 1 Corinthians 11:19.

[6672] Otiosus.

chapter iv the heresy traceable to
Top of Page
Top of Page