Ante-Nicene Father Quote of the Day

To all these heretics is added one Tatian, a brother-heretic.  This man was Justin Martyr’s disciple.  After Justin’s death he began to cherish different opinions from his. For he wholly savours of Valentinus; adding this, that Adam cannot even attain salvation:  as if, when the branches become salvable, the root were not!

Tertullian

Appendix: Against All Heresies

Trans. by Rev. S. Thelwall

Ch. vii

Note: This quote is a good warning for us. It doesn’t matter who your teacher is, you can still fall from faith and become a heretic or unbeliever. 

Ante-Nicene Father Quote of the Day

This is one of the odder heresies I read about this morning:

After these there were not wanting a Marcus and a Colarbasus, composing a novel heresy out of the Greek alphabet. For they affirm that without those letters truth cannot be found; nay more, that in those letters the whole plenitude and perfection of truth is comprised; for this was why Christ said, “I am the Alpha and the Omega.” In fact, they say that Jesus Christ descended, that is, that the dove came down on Jesus; and, since the dove is styled by the Greek name περιστερά —(peristera), it has in itself this number DCCCI. These men run through their Ω, Ψ, Χ, Φ, Υ, Τ—through the whole alphabet, indeed, up to Α and Β—and compute ogdoads and decads.  So we may grant it useless and idle to recount all their trifles. What, however, must be allowed not merely vain, but likewise dangerous, is this:  they feign a second God, beside the Creator; they affirm that Christ was not in the substance of flesh; they say there is to be no resurrection of the flesh.

Schaff, Philip (2009-06-08). Ante-Nicene Fathers Volume 3 – Enhanced Version (Kindle Locations 41170-41181). Christian Classics Ethereal Library. Kindle Edition.

Tertullian

Appendix: Against All Heresies

Trans. by Rev. S. Thelwall

Ch. V Marcus and Colarbasus

Ante-Nicene Father Quote of the Day

Peter, (1 Peter 2:13) no doubt, had likewise said that the king indeed must be honoured, yet so that the king be honoured only when he keeps to his own sphere, when he is far from assuming divine honours; because both father and mother will be loved along with God, not put on an equality with Him. Besides, one will not be permitted to love even life more than God.

Tertullian

Scorpiace (Antidote for the Scorpion’s Sting)

Trans. by Rev. S. Thelwall

Ch. xiv

Ante-Nicene Father Quote of the Day

God had foreseen also other weaknesses incident to the condition of man,—the stratagems of the enemy, the deceptive aspects of the creatures, the snares of the world; that faith, even after baptism, would be endangered; that the most, after attaining unto salvation, would be lost again, through soiling the wedding-dress, through failing to provide oil for their torchlets—would be such as would have to be sought for over mountains and woodlands, and carried back upon the shoulders. He therefore appointed as second supplies of comfort, and the last means of succour, the fight of martyrdom and the baptism—thereafter free from danger—of blood.  And concerning the happiness of the man who has partaken of these, David says: “Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.  Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.” For, strictly speaking, there cannot any longer be reckoned ought against the martyrs, by whom in the baptism (of blood) life itself is laid down. Thus, “love covers the multitude of sins;” and loving God, to wit, with all its strength (by which in the endurance of martyrdom it maintains the fight), with all its life (which it lays down for God), it makes of man a martyr. Shall you call these cures, counsels, methods of judging, spectacles, (illustrations of) even the barbarity of God? Does God covet man’s blood? And yet I might venture to affirm that He does, if man also covets the kingdom of heaven, if man covets a sure salvation, if man also covets a second new birth. The exchange is displeasing to no one, which can plead, in justification of itself, that either benefit or injury is shared by the parties making it.

Tertullian

Scorpiace (Antidote for the Scorpion’s Sting)

Trans. by Rev. S. Thelwall

Ch. vi

Ante-Nicene Father Quote of the Day

This among Christians is a season of persecution. When, therefore, faith is greatly agitated, and the Church burning, as represented by the bush, then the Gnostics break out, then the Valentinians creep forth, then all the opponents of martyrdom bubble up, being themselves also hot to strike, penetrate, kill. For, because they know that many are artless and also inexperienced, and weak moreover, that a very great number in truth are Christians who veer about with the wind and conform to its moods, they perceive that they are never to be approached more than when fear has opened the entrances to the soul, especially when some display of ferocity has already arrayed with a crown the faith of martyrs. Therefore, drawing along the tail hitherto, they first of all apply it to the feelings, or whip with it as if on empty space. Innocent persons undergo such suffering. So that you may suppose the speaker to be a brother or a heathen of the better sort. A sect troublesome to nobody so dealt with! Then they pierce. Men are perishing without a reason. For that they are perishing, and without a reason, is the first insertion. Then they now strike mortally. But the unsophisticated souls know not what is written, and what meaning it bears, where and when and before whom we must confess, or ought, save that this, to die for God, is, since He preserves me, not even artlessness, but folly, nay madness. If He kills me, how will it be His duty to preserve me? Once for all Christ died for us, once for all He was slain that we might not be slain. If He demands the like from me in return, does He also look for salvation from my death by violence? Or does God importune for the blood of men, especially if He refuses that of bulls and he-goats? Assuredly He had rather have the repentance than the death of the sinner. And how is He eager for the death of those who are not sinners? Whom will not these, and perhaps other subtle devices containing heretical poisons, pierce either for doubt if not for destruction, or for irritation if not for death? As for you, therefore, do you, if faith is on the alert, smite on the spot the scorpion with a curse, so far as you can, with your sandal, and leave it dying in its own stupefaction? But if it gluts the wound, it drives the poison inwards, and makes it hasten into the bowels; forthwith all the former senses become dull, the blood of the mind freezes, the flesh of the spirit pines away, loathing for the Christian name is accompanied by a sense of sourness. Already the understanding also seeks for itself a place where it may throw up; and thus, once for all, the weakness with which it has been smitten breathes out wounded faith either in heresy or in heathenism. And now the present state of matters is such, that we are in the midst of an intense heat, the very dog-star of persecution,—a state originating doubtless with the dog-headed one himself. Of some Christians the fire, of others the sword, of others the beasts, have made trial; others are hungering in prison for the martyrdoms of which they have had a taste in the meantime by being subjected to clubs and claws besides. We ourselves, having been appointed for pursuit, are like hares being hemmed in from a distance; and heretics go about according to their wont. Therefore the state of the times has prompted me to prepare by my pen, in opposition to the little beasts which trouble our sect, our antidote against poison, that I may thereby effect cures. You who read will at the same time drink. Nor is the draught bitter. If the utterances of the Lord are sweeter than honey and the honeycombs, the juices are from that source. If the promise of God flows with milk and honey, the ingredients which go to make that draught have the smack of this. “But woe to them who turn sweet into bitter, and light into darkness.” For, in like manner, they also who oppose martyrdoms, representing salvation to be destruction, transmute sweet into bitter, as well as light into darkness; and thus, by preferring this very wretched life to that most blessed one, they put bitter for sweet, as well as darkness for light.

Tertullian

Scorpiace (Antidote for the Scorpion’s Sting)

Trans. by Rev. S. Thelwall

Ch. i

Ante-Nicene Father Quote of the Day

It is therefore by His mighty works, and by the words of His doctrine, that the Father who dwells in the Son makes Himself visible—even by those words and works whereby He abides in Him, and also by Him in whom He abides; the special properties of Both the Persons being apparent from this very circumstance, that He says, “I am in the Father, and the Father is in me.”

Tertullian

Against Praxeas

In Which He Defends, in all Essential Points, the Doctrine of the Holy Trinity

Translated by Dr. Holmes

ch. xxiv

Ante-Nicene Father Quote of the Day

In what sense, however, you ought to understand Him to be another, I have already explained, on the ground of Personality, not of Substance—in the way of distinction, not of division.

Tertullian

Against Praxeas

In Which He Defends, in all Essential Points, the Doctrine of the Holy Trinity

Translated by Dr. Holmes

ch. xii

Footnote 7904: Kaye thinks the Athanasian hymn (so called) was composed by one who had this treatise always in mind.