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ANF05. Fathers of the Third Century: Hippolytus, Cyprian, Caius, Novatian, Appendix
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Chapter VI.—Conduct of Callistus and Zephyrinus in the Matter of Noetianism; Avowed Opinion of Zephyrinus Concerning Jesus Christ; Disapproval of Hippolytus; As a Contemporaneous Event, Hippolytus Competent to Explain It.

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.986986    [Elucidation IX.] Now this man moulded to his purpose Zephyrinus, an ignorant and illiterate individual, and one unskilled in ecclesiastical definitions.987987    [Elucidation X.] 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 private988988    The ms. reads καθ᾽ ἡδίαν, obviously corrupt. Dr. Wordsworth suggests κατ᾽ ιδιαν, i.e., “he, under pretext of arguing with them, deluded them.” 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,989989    It is to be noticed how the plural number is observed in this account, as keeping before the reader’s mind the episcopal office of him who was thus exercising high ecclesiastical authority. [Elucidation XI.] 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,990990    It is to be noticed how the plural number is observed in this account, as keeping before the reader’s mind the episcopal office of him who was thus exercising high ecclesiastical authority. [Elucidation XI.] however, did not do so—and called us worshippers of two gods, disgorging, independent of compulsion,991991    Or, “with violence.” 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.992992    Hippolytus is obviously sneering at the martyrdom of Callistus, who did not in reality suffer or die for the truth. Nay, his condemnation before Fuscianus enabled Callistus to succeed entirely in his plans for worldly advancement. [The martyrdom of Callistus, so ludicrous in the eyes of our author, is doctrine in the Roman system. This heretic figures as a saint, and has his festival on the 14th of October. Maxima veneratione colitur, says the Roman Breviary.]


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