THE following are the contents of the seventh book of the Refutation of all Heresies :- What the opinion of Basilides is, and that, being struck with the doctrines of Aristotle, he out of these framed his heresy. And what are the statements of Saturnilus, who flourished much about the time of Basilides. And how Menander advanced the assertion that the world was made by angels. What is the folly of Marcion, and that his tenet is not new, nor taken out of the Holy Scriptures, but that he obtains it from Empedocles. How Carpocrates acts sillily, in himself also alleging that existing things were made by angels.
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Please help support the mission of New Advent and get the full contents of this website as an instant download. The following are the contents of the ninth book of the Refutation of all Heresies : —. What the blasphemous folly is of Noetus, and that he devoted himself to the tenets of Heraclitus the Obscure, not to those of Christ.
And how Callistus, intermingling the heresy of Cleomenes, the disciple of Noetus, with that of Theodotus, constructed another more novel heresy , and what sort the life of this heretic was. What was the recent arrival at Rome of the strange spirit Elchasai, and that there served as a concealment of his peculiar errors his apparent adhesion to the law, when in point of fact he devotes himself to the tenets of the Gnostics , or even of the astrologists, and to the arts of sorcery.
What the customs of the Jews are, and how many diversities of opinion there are among them. A lengthened conflict, then, having been maintained concerning all heresies by us who, at all events, have not left any unrefuted, the greatest struggle now remains behind, viz.
For it seems expedient that we, making an onslaught upon the opinion which constitutes the prime source of contemporaneous evils , should prove what are the originating principles of this opinion , in order that its offshoots, becoming a matter of general notoriety, may be made the object of universal scorn.
There has appeared one, Noetus by name, and by birth a native of Smyrna. This person introduced a heresy from the tenets of Heraclitus. Now a certain man called Epigonus becomes his minister and pupil, and this person during his sojourn at Rome disseminated his godless opinion.
But Cleomenes, who had become his disciple , an alien both in way of life and habits from the Church , was wont to corroborate the Noetian doctrine. At that time, Zephyrinus imagines that he administers the affairs of the Church — an uninformed and shamefully corrupt man. And he, being persuaded by proffered gain, was accustomed to connive at those who were present for the purpose of becoming disciples of Cleomenes. But Zephyrinus himself, being in process of time enticed away, hurried headlong into the same opinions; and he had Callistus as his adviser, and a fellow-champion of these wicked tenets.
But the life of this Callistus , and the heresy invented by him, I shall after a little explain. The school of these heretics during the succession of such bishops , continued to acquire strength and augmentation, from the fact that Zephyrinus and Callistus helped them to prevail. Never at any time, however, have we been guilty of collusion with them; but we have frequently offered them opposition, and have refuted them, and have forced them reluctantly to acknowledge the truth.
And they, abashed and constrained by the truth , have confessed their errors for a short period, but after a little, wallow once again in the same mire. But since we have exhibited the succession of their genealogy, it seems expedient next that we should also explain the depraved teaching involved in their doctrines. For this purpose we shall first adduce the opinions advanced by Heraclitus the Obscure, and we shall next make manifest what are the portions of these opinions that are of Heraclitean origin.
Such parts of their system its present champions are not aware belong to the Obscure philosopher , but they imagine them to belong to Christ. But if they might happen to fall in with the following observations, perhaps they thus might be put out of countenance, and induced to desist from this godless blasphemy of theirs. Now, even though the opinion of Heraclitus has been expounded by us previously in the Philosophumena , it nevertheless seems expedient now also to set down side by side in contrast the two systems , in order that by this closer refutation they may be evidently instructed.
I mean the followers of this heretic , who imagine themselves to be disciples of Christ , when in reality they are not so, but of the Obscure. Heraclitus then says that the universe is one , divisible and indivisible; generated and ungenerated; mortal and immortal ; reason, eternity ; Father, Son, and justice , God. For those who hearken not to me, but the doctrine, it is wise that they acknowledge all things to be one, says Heraclitus; and because all do not know or confess this, he utters a reproof somewhat in the following terms: People do not understand how what is diverse nevertheless coincides with itself, just like the inverse harmony of a bow and lyre.
But that Reason always exists, inasmuch as it constitutes the universe , and as it pervades all things, he affirms in this manner. But in regard of this Reason, which always exists, men are continually devoid of understanding, both before they have heard of it and in first gearing of it.
For though all things take place according to this Reason, they seem like persons devoid of any experience regarding it. Still they attempt both words and works of such a description as I am giving an account of, by making a division according to nature, and declaring how things are. And that a Son is the universe and throughout endless ages an eternal king of all things, he thus asserts: A sporting child, playing at his dice, is eternity ; the kingdom is that of a child.
And that the Father of all things that have been generated is an unbegotten creature who is creator, let us hear Heraclitus affirming in these words: Contrariety is a progenitor of all things, and king of all; and it exhibited some as gods, but others as men, and made some slaves, whereas others free.
And he likewise affirms that there is a harmony, as in a bow and lyre. That obscure harmony is better , though unknown and invisible to men , he asserts in these words: An obscure harmony is preferable to an obvious one. He commends and admires before what is known , that which is unknown and invisible in regard of its power. And that harmony visible to men , and not incapable of being discovered, is better, he asserts in these words: Whatever things are objects of vision, hearing, and intelligence, these I pre-eminently honour , he says; that is, he prefers things visible to those that are invisible.
From such expressions of his it is easy to understand the spirit of his philosophy. Men, he says, are deceived in reference to the knowledge of manifest things similarly with Homer, who was wiser than all the Greeks.
For even children killing vermin deceived him, when they said, 'What we have seen and seized, these we leave behind; whereas what we neither have seen nor seized, these we carry away. In this manner Heraclitus assigns to the visible an equality of position and honour with the invisible, as if what was visible and what was invisible were confessedly some one thing.
For he says, An obscure harmony is preferable to an obvious one; and, Whatsoever things are objects of vision, hearing, and intelligence, that is, of the corporeal organs — these, he says, I pre-eminently honour , not on this occasion, though previously , having pre-eminently honoured invisible things. Therefore neither darkness, nor light, nor evil , nor good, Heraclitus affirms, is different, but one and the same thing. At all events, he censures Hesiod because he knew not day and night.
For day, he says, and night are one, expressing himself somehow thus: The teacher, however, of a vast amount of information is Hesiod, and people suppose this poet to be possessed of an exceedingly large store of knowledge , and yet he did not know the nature of day and night, for they are one. As regards both what is good and what is bad, they are, according to Heraclitus, likewise one.
Physicians, undoubtedly, says Heraclitus, when they make incisions and cauterize, though in every respect they wickedly torture the sick, complain that they do not receive fitting remuneration from their patients, notwithstanding that they perform these salutary operations upon diseases.
And both straight and twisted are, he says, the same. The way is straight and curved of the carders of wool; and the circular movement of an instrument in the fuller's shop called a screw is straight and curved, for it revolves up and circularly at the same time. One and the same, he says, are, therefore, straight and curved.
And upward and downward, he says, are one and the same. The way up and the way down are the same. And he says that what is filthy and what is pure are one and the same, and what is drinkable and unfit for drink are one and the same. Sea, he says, is water very pure and very foul, drinkable to fishes no doubt , and salutary for them , but not fit to be used as drink by men , and for them pernicious.
And, confessedly, he asserts that what is immortal is mortal, and that what is mortal is immortal , in the following expressions: Immortals are mortal, and mortals are immortal , that is , when the one derive life from death, and the other death from life.
And he affirms also that there is a resurrection of this palpable flesh in which we have been born; and he knows God to be the cause of this resurrection, expressing himself in this manner: Those that are here will God enable to arise and become guardians of quick and dead. And he likewise affirms that a judgment of the world and all things in it takes place by fire, expressing himself thus: Now, thunder pilots all things, that is, directs them , meaning by the thunder everlasting fire.
But he also asserts that this fire is endued with intelligence, and a cause of the management of the Universe, and he denominates it craving and satiety.
Now craving is, according to him, the arrangement of the world , whereas satiety its destruction. For, says he, the fire, coming upon the earth , will judge and seize all things. But in this chapter Heraclitus simultaneously explains the entire peculiarity of his mode of thinking, but at the same time the characteristic quality of the heresy of Noetus. And I have briefly demonstrated Noetus to be not a disciple of Christ , but of Heraclitus.
For this philosopher asserts that the primal world is itself the Demiurge and creator of itself in the following passage: God is day, night; winter, summer; war , peace; surfeit, famine. All things are contraries — this appears his meaning — but an alteration takes place, just as if incense were mixed with other sorts of incense , but denominated according to the pleasurable sensation produced by each sort. Now it is evident to all that the silly successors of Noetus, and the champions of his heresy , even though they have not been hearers of the discourses of Heraclitus, nevertheless, at any rate when they adopt the opinions of Noetus, undisguisedly acknowledge these Heraclitean tenets.
For they advance statements after this manner — that one and the same God is the Creator and Father of all things; and that when it pleased Him, He nevertheless appeared, though invisible, to just men of old. For when He is not seen He is invisible; and He is incomprehensible when He does not wish to be comprehended, but comprehensible when he is comprehended.
Wherefore it is that, according to the same account, He is invincible and vincible, unbegotten and begotten, immortal and mortal. How shall not persons holding this description of opinions be proved to be disciples of Heraclitus? Did not Heraclitus the Obscure anticipate Noetus in framing a system of philosophy , according to identical modes of expression?
Now, that Noetus affirms that the Son and Father are the same, no one is ignorant. But he makes his statement thus: When indeed, then, the Father had not been born, He yet was justly styled Father; and when it pleased Him to undergo generation, having been begotten, He Himself became His own Son, not another's. For in this manner he thinks to establish the sovereignty of God , alleging that Father and Son, so called, are one and the same substance , not one individual produced from a different one, but Himself from Himself; and that He is styled by name Father and Son, according to vicissitude of times.
But that He is one who has appeared among us , both having submitted to generation from a virgin , and as a man having held converse among men. And, on account of the birth that had taken place, He confessed Himself to those beholding Him a Son, no doubt ; yet He made no secret to those who could comprehend Him of His being a Father.
That this person suffered by being fastened to the tree, and that He commended His spirit unto Himself, having died to appearance , and not being in reality dead. And He raised Himself up the third day, after having been interred in a sepulchre, and wounded with a spear, and perforated with nails. Cleomenes asserts, in common with his hand of followers , that this person is God and Father of the universe , and thus introduces among many an obscurity of thought such as we find in the philosophy of Heraclitus.
Callistus attempted to confirm this heresy — a man cunning in wickedness , and subtle where deceit was concerned, and who was impelled by restless ambition to mount the episcopal throne. Now this man moulded to his purpose Zephyrinus, an ignorant and illiterate individual, and one unskilled in ecclesiastical definitions. And inasmuch as Zephyrinus was accessible to bribes , and covetous , Callistus , by luring him through presents, and by illicit demands, was enabled to seduce him into whatever course of action he pleased.
And so it was that Callistus succeeded in inducing Zephyrinus to create continually disturbances among the brethren, while he himself took care subsequently, by knavish words, to attach both factions in good-will to himself.
And, at one time, to those who entertained true opinions, he would in private allege that they held similar doctrines with himself , and thus make them his dupes; while at another time he would act similarly towards those who embraced the tenets of Sabellius.
But Callistus perverted Sabellius himself, and this, too, though he had the ability of rectifying this heretic's error. For at any time during our admonition Sabellius did not evince obduracy; but as long as he continued alone with Callistus, he was wrought upon to relapse into the system of Cleomenes by this very Callistus , who alleges that he entertains similar opinions to Cleomenes.
Sabellius , however, did not then perceive the knavery of Callistus ; but he afterwards came to be aware of it, as I shall narrate presently. Now Callistus brought forward Zephyrinus himself, and induced him publicly to avow the following sentiments : I know that there is one God , Jesus Christ ; nor except Him do I know any other that is begotten and amenable to suffering.
And on another occasion, when he would make the following statement: The Father did not die, but the Son. Zephyrinus would in this way continue to keep up ceaseless disturbance among the people. And we, becoming aware of his sentiments, did not give place to him, but reproved and withstood him for the truth's sake.
And he hurried headlong into folly, from the fact that all consented to his hypocrisy — we, however, did not do so — and called us worshippers of two gods, disgorging, independent of compulsion, the venom lurking within him. It would seem to us desirable to explain the life of this heretic , inasmuch as he was born about the same time with ourselves, in order that, by the exposure of the habits of a person of this description, the heresy attempted to be established by him may be easily known , and may perchance be regarded as silly, by those endued with intelligence.
This Callistus became a martyr at the period when Fuscianus was prefect of Rome, and the mode of his martyrdom was as follows. Callistus happened to be a domestic of one Carpophorus, a man of the faith belonging to the household of Caesar. To this Callistus , as being of the faith , Carpophorus committed no inconsiderable amount of money, and directed him to bring in profitable returns from the banking business. And he, receiving the money , tried the experiment of a bank in what is called the Piscina Publica.
And in process of time were entrusted to him not a few deposits by widows and brethren, under the ostensive cause of lodging their money with Carpophorus. Callistus , however, made away with all the moneys committed to him , and became involved in pecuniary difficulties. And after having practised such conduct as this, there was not wanting one to tell Carpophorus, and the latter stated that he would require an account from him.
Refutation of All Heresies (Book IX)
Please help support the mission of New Advent and get the full contents of this website as an instant download. The following are the contents of the ninth book of the Refutation of all Heresies : —. What the blasphemous folly is of Noetus, and that he devoted himself to the tenets of Heraclitus the Obscure, not to those of Christ. And how Callistus, intermingling the heresy of Cleomenes, the disciple of Noetus, with that of Theodotus, constructed another more novel heresy , and what sort the life of this heretic was.
Bryn Mawr Classical Review
THE following are the contents of the sixth book of the Refutation of all Heresies:- What the opinions are that are attempted to be established by Simon, and that his doctrine derives its force from the lucubrations of magicians and poets. What are the opinions propounded by Valentinus, and that his system is not constructed out of the Scriptures, but out of the Platonic and Pythagorean tenets. And what are the opinions of Secundus, and Ptolemaeus, and Heracleon, as persons also who themselves advanced the same doctrines as the philosophers among the Greeks, but enunciated them in different phraseology. And what are the suppositions put forward by Marcus and Colarbasus, and that some of them devoted their attention to magical arts and the Pythagorean numbers. Whatever opinions, then, were entertainedby those who derived the first principles of their doctrine from the serpent, and in process of time deliberately brought forward into public notice their tenets, we have explained in the book preceding this, and which is the fifth of the Refutation of Heresies. But now also I shall not be silent as regards the opinions of heresiarchs who follow these Ophites in succession ; nay, not one speculation will I leave unrefuted, if it is possible to remember all their tenets , and the secret orgies of these heretics which one may fairly style orgies,--for they who propagate such audacious opinions are not far distant from the anger of God ,--that I may avail myself of the assistance of etymology. It seems, then, expedient likewise to explain now the opinions of Simon, a native of Gitta, a village of Samaria; and we shall also prove that his successors, taking a starting-point from him, have endeavoured to establish similar opinions under a change of name.
Hippolytus of Rome
It catalogues both pagan beliefs and 33 gnostic Christian systems deemed heretical , making it a major source of information on contemporary opponents of Catholic orthodoxy. The work was long attributed to the early Christian theologian Origen. Hippolytus's work is divided into ten books, 8 of which have survived more or less intact. Books II and III, however, have not been unearthed, and their contents remain the subject of conjecture . Book I offers a summary of the thought of various ancient Greek philosophers. An outline of the philosophies of the Brahmins of India, Zamolxis of Thrace and the Celtic druids and also of the mythological poetry of Hesiod is given here. Book IV details and seeks to refute the various beliefs and practices of various diviners and magicians, i.