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Pagan Origin of Partialist Doctrines by Pitrat

He was too much of a Platonician philosopher


Theophile

was promoted to the episcopal see of Antioch, in 168. We have from his pen but three Books to Autolic; they have been edited by Don Prudent Marand. He is the first Father who used the word Trinity. His works are a refutation of Paganism, and an apology of Christianism. We could not find in them the dogma of endless hell; he only vaguely speaks of rewards and pains hereafter.

We have seen that the above Fathers, who compose the complete list of the Fathers of the second century, neither taught the dogma of endless hell, nor have recorded that the first Christians held such a dogma. Therefore we may draw the conclusion that the first Christians did not believe the doctrine of endless hell.

We pass to the Fathers of the third century. Titus Flavius Clement, of Alexandria, a Platonician philosopher, became a Christian, and succeeded to Pantenus, a professor of the school of Alexandria, in 190; and he died in 217. Alexander of Jerusalem and the celebrated Origen were his disciples. He wrote many works, the principal thereof are: Exhortations to Pagans; his Pedagogue; his Hypotyposes; and his Stromatas, which are divided into eight books. It is said that the best edition of his works is that of Potter, published at Oxford, in 1715, in two vols. folio. I read only the Paris edition, published in 1696. In his Exhortations to Pagans, he pointed out the absurdity of idolatry, and of the fables of Paganism. In his Stromatas

he compared the doctrines of the philosophers with those of Jesus Christ. In the treatise headed, Which rich man will be saved? he shows that he who will use his riches properly will obtain salvation: he does not say salvation from endless hell. His Pedagogue is a treatise of morals in which he relates how the first Christians righteously lived and fervently served the Lord. In all these works it is not a question of the dogma of endless hell, either taught to the Christians or believed by them.

According to Le Clerc, Beausobre, d'Argens, Barbeyrac, Scultet, Daille, Mosheim, Brucker, Semler, etc., this Father did not believe the spirituality of God and of man's soul.... It is a fact that, in his Stromatas, he says that God is composed of a body and of a soul, and that so is our soul. He believed in the Pagan fable that the angels had sexual intercourse with human females, and had begotten giants; he refers probably to the Giants who had fought against the Titans. All the Catholic theologians themselves admit the above, and say, that, though a Christian, he was too much of a Platonician philosopher. This is the reason why the Pope, Benedict XIV., opposed his worship, as a saint, in the Romish Church. These statements show how far this Father was from holding the dogma of endless hell.

Tertullian was one of the Fathers who wrote at the end of the second century; however, as he died in 216, we class him among the Fathers of the beginning of the third century. His works are on Prayer, on Baptism; also he wrote Exhortation to Patience; two Books to his Wife; Testimony of the Soul; treatises on Spectacles and Idolatry; treatise on Prescription; two books against the Gentiles; one against the Jews; one against Hermogenes; one against the Valentinians; one against the Gnostics; one on the Crown; one to Scapula; books against Praxeas; books on Pudicity, on Persecutions, on Fast, against the Physics, on Monogamy. These works we had not the advantage to read; but we have studied the following in our theological school: his treatise on Penance; his five books against Marcion; his treatise on the Flesh of Jesus Christ; his book on the Resurrection of the Flesh; and his Apology of the Christian Religion.


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