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MONTANISTS


523


MONTANISTS


a prudent and most orthodox view. It is probable that they disapproved of the prophets, but were not inclined to extreme measures against their followers. It was not dcnieti that the Montanists could count many martyrs; it waii replied to their boast, that all the heretics had many, and especially the Marcionites, but that true martyrs like Gaius and Alexander of Eumenea had refused to communicate with fellow- martyrs who had approved the new prophecy (Anon, in Eusebius, V, xvi, 27). The acts of Carpus, Papy- lus, and Agathonice (the last of these threw herself into the fire), martyrs of Thyatira under Marcus Aurelius (about 161-9), may exhibit an influence of Montan- ism on the martyrs.

MoNTANisM IN THE West. — A sccond-century pope (more probably Eleutherius than Victor) was inchned to approve the new prophecies, according to Tertul- lian, but was dissuaded by Praxeas (q. v.). Their de- fender in Rome was Proclus or Proculus, much rever- enced by TertuUian. A disputation was held by Gaius against him in the presence of Pope Zephyrinus (about 202-3, it would seem). As Gaius supported the side of the Church, Eusebius calls him a Church- man (II, XXV, 6), and is delighted to find in the min- utes of the discussion that Gaius rejected the Johan- nine authorship of the Apocalypse, and attributed it to Cerinthus. But Gaius was the worse of the two, for we know from the commentary on the Apocalypse by Bar Salibi, a Syriac writer of the twelfth century (see Theodore H. Robinson in "Expositor", VII, sixth series, June, 1906), that he rejected the Gospel and Epistles of St. John as well, and attributed them all to Cerinthus. It was against Gaius that Hippolytus wrote his "Heads against Gaius" and also his "De- fence of the Gospel and the Apocalypse of John" (un- less these are two names for the same work). St. Epiphanius used these works for his fifty-first heresy (cf. Philastrius, "Haer.", Ix), and as the heresy had no name he invented that of 'AXo7oi, meaning at once "the unreasoning" and "those who reject the Aivos". We gather that Gaius was led to reject the Gospel out of opposition to Proclus, who taught (Pseudo-Tertul- lian, " De Praesc", lii) that " the Holy Ghost was in the Apostles, but the Paraclete was not, and that the Paraclete published through Moiitanus more than Christ revealed in the Gospel, and not only more, but also better and greater things"; thus the promise of the Paraclete (John, xiv, 16) was not to the Apostles but to the next age. St. Irenteus refers to Gaius with- out naming him (III, xi, 9): "Others, in order that they may frustrate the gift of the Spirit, which in the last days has been poured upon the human race ac- cording to the good plea-sure of the Father, do not ad- mit that form [the lion] which corresponds with the Gospel of John in which the Lord promised to send the Paraclete; but they reject the Gospel and with it the prophetic Spirit. Unhappy, indeed, in that, wish- ing to have no false prophets [reading with Zahn pseudoprophetas esse nolunl for psctiJoijrop)td(E esse I'olunt], they drive away the grace of prophecy from the Church; resembling persons who, to avoid those who come in hypocrisy, withdraw from communion even with brethren." The old notion that the Alogi were an Asiatic sect (see Alogi) is no longer tenable; they were the Roman Gaius and his followers, if he had any. But Gaius evidently did not venture to re- ject the Gospel in his dispute before Zephyrinus, the account of which was known to Dionysius of Alexan- dria as well as to Eusebius (cf. Eu.sebius, III, xx, 1, 4). It is to be noted that Gaius is a witness to the sojourn of St. John in Asia, since he considers the Johannine writings to be forgeries, attributed by their author Cerinthus to St. John; hence he thinks St. John is represented by Cerinthus a-s the ruler of the Asiatic Churches. Another Montanist (about 200), who seems to have separated from Proclus, was ^schinea, who taught that "the Father is the Son", and i.i


counted as a Monarchian of the type of Noetus or Sabellius.

But TertuUian (q. v.) is the most famous of the Montanists. He was born about 150-5, and became a Christian about 100-5. His exce.ssive nature led him to adopt the Montanist teaching as soon as he knew it (about 202-3). His writings from this date on- wards grow more and more bitter against the Catholic Church, from which he definitively broke away about 207. He died about 223, or not much later. His first Montanist work was a defence of the new proph- ecy in six books, "DeEcstasi", written probably in Greek; he added a seventh book in reply to ApoUonius. The work is lost, but a sentence preserved by Pra!des- tinatus (xxvi) is important: "In this alone we differ, in that we do. not receive second marriage, and that we do not refuse the prophecy of Montanus concern- ing the future judgment." In fact TertuUian holds as an absolute law the recommendations of Montanus to eschew second marriages and flight from persecu- tion. He denies the possibility of forgiveness of sins by the Church; he insists upon the newly ordained fasts and abstinences. Catholics are the Psychici :is opposed to the "spiritual" followers of the Paraclete; the Catholic Church consists of gluttons and adulter- ers, who hate to fast and love to remarry. TertuUian evidently exaggerated those parts of the Montanist teaching which appealed to himself, caring little for the rest. He has no idea of making a pilgrimage to Pepuza, but he speaks of joining in spirit with the celebration of the Montanist feasts in Asia Minor. The Acts of Sts. Perpetua and Felicitas are by some thought to reflect a period at Carthage when the Montanist teaching was arousing interest and sym- pathy, but had not yet formed a schism.

The following of TertuUian cannot have been large; but a TertuUianist sect survived him and its remnants were reconciled to the Church by St. Augustine (Ha?r., Ixxxvi). About 392-1 an African lady, Octaviana, wife of Hesperius, a favourite of the Duke Arbogastes and the usurper Maximus, brought to Rome a Tcrtul- lianist priest who raved as if possessed. He obtained the use of the church of Sts. Processus and Martini- anus on the Via Aurelia, but was turned out by Theo- dosius, and he and Octaviana were heard of no more. Epiphanius distinguished a sect of Montanists as Pepuzians or Quintillians (he calls Priscilla also Quin- tilla). He says they had some foolish sayings which gave thanks to Eve for eating of the tree of knowledge. They used to sleep at Pepuza in order to .see Christ as Priscilla had done. Often in their church seven vir- gins would enter with lamps, dressed in white, to prophesy to the people, whom by their excited ac- tion they would move to tears; this rciiiinds us of some modern missions rather than of tlie Irvingite "speaking with tongues", with which the Montanist ecstasies have often been compared. Tlicsc heretics were said to have women for their bishoi)s and priests, in honour of Eve. They were caUed ".\rtolyrites", because their sacrament was of bread anil cheese. Prajdestinatus says the Pepuzians did not really differ from other Montanists, but despised all who did not actually dwell at the "new Jeru.salem". There is a well-known story that the Montanists (or at least the Pepuzians) on a certain feast took a baby child whom they stuck all over with brazen pins. They used the blood to make cakes for sacrifice. If the iliild died it was looked upon as a martyr; if it lived, as a high- priest. This story was no doubt a pure invention, and was especially denied in the "De Ecstasi" of Ter- tuUian. An absurd nickname for the sect was Tusco- druyitae, from Phrygian words meaning jieg and nosi', because they were said to put tlicir forchiif^er up llicir nose when praying "in onler to appear dcjecti'd and pious" (Epiphanius, Iher., xlviii, 14).

It is interesting to take St. Jerome's account, writ- ten in 384, of tlie doctrines of Montanisni as lie be-