La Non-violence selon l'Ecriture et la Tradition



Download 1.24 Mb.
Page1/9
Date conversion15.02.2016
Size1.24 Mb.
  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9
Notes

Introduction 1. As J. Daniélou has rightly remarked ("La Non-violence selon l'Ecriture et la

Tradition," Action Chrétienne et Non-violence, Compte rendu du Congrès national Pax Christi, Paris, March 19-20, 1955 [Paris, 1955], 9), "Almost all [the books on Christian nonviolence] are falsified by their justificatory aims, whether they are trying to justify war or to defend conscientious objection. So long as we stay at this level, we shall be lost in sterile debate."

2. The firs w

t few pages of A. Philip's pamphlet, Le Christianisme et la Paix (Paris 1933) were a revelation to me, even though they made no claim to be scientific. I had not previously realized that in this area the first Christians had in any sense been "nonconformist." Then there was G. J. Heering's famous book, The Fall of Chris­tianity: A Study of Christianity, the State, and War (New York, 1943), the original Dutch edition of which was analyzed by F. J. Leenhardt in an article (" Le Chris­tianisme primitif et la guerre," CS, 43 [ 1930], 331-337) which was both insightful and objective. More recently, the article by Mgr. H. F. Davis ("The Early Christian At­titude to War," Blackfriars, 30 [1949], 477-482) asked whether the time was not ripe for a renewal of conscientious objection. One may sympathize with his approach, but as a historical study it was not very strong. Among the recent authors who, broadly speaking, have defended the traditional Christian attitude to war, special place must be given to E. A. Ryan ("The Rejection of Military Service by Early Christians," TS, 13 [1952], 1-32) and to H. von Campenhausen ("Christians and Military Service in the Early Church," in his Tradition and Life in the Early Church: Essays and Lec­tures in Church History [London, 1968], 160-170). Both Ryan and von Cam­penhausen have come to the same general historical conclusions as I have. But both of them were convinced that the political and social developments following Constantine's conversion completely transformed the situation, thereby justifying the adoption by Christians of very different and apparently opposite answers to the ques­tions of war and military service. Although I cannot follow these scholars in their ethical conclusions, their presuppositions concerning historical method seem to me to be the only ones possible. I was also delighted to read in a book by a Mennonite author (H. A. Fast, Jesus and Human Conflict [Scottdale, Pa., 1959]) that Christian nonviolence must not be made into a code for automatic application.

3. J. Lasserre, War and the Gospel, transl. O. Coburn (London and Scottdale,

Pa., 1962). Also noteworthy are F. Leenhardt, Le Chrétien doit-il servir l'Etat? (Ge­neva, 1939) and O. Cullmann, The State in the New Testament, rev. ed. (London,1963). Both of these authors adopted an approach which is slightly different from that of Lasserre. They were also less concerned to draw concrete conclusions.

4. Examples of this method of interpreting the facts will be found in the Ap­pendix to this volume.

5. H. Leclercq ("Militarisme," DAL, XI [1933], cols. 1108-1181, which at points is virtually a verbatim rendering of P. Batiffol, " Les Premiers Chrétiens et la Guerre," Revue du Clergé français, 67 [1911], 222-242), attempted to contrast the teaching of Tertullian the Catholic (who in 197 purportedly accepted military service) with that of Tertullian the "Montanist" heretic after 210. But Leclercq was then forced to admit, "On the first occasion following the proclamation of the gospel on which a Christian writer declared himself on the subject of war, he condemned it in the name of the gospel." A. Vanderpol asserted even more clearly (La Doctrine scolastique du Droit de Guerre [Paris, 1925], 180) that "one cannot find in any of the Christian writers prior to Constantine a word of praise for the military profession, or even a passage stating plainly that it was permissible for Christians to fight."

6. Vanderpol, Doctrine scolastique, 171; Campenhausen, "Christians and Military Service," 162.

7. In contrast to the numerous writings which forbade Christians to take part in war and which denounced it as an evil, there is not a single surviving text from the same period which invited Christians to take part in it or which recommended it as a lesser evil. In his review of the French edition of this book (henceforth cited as EL), M. Villey (RHDF, 40 [1962], 268) wrote that "for all his good intentions M. Hornus cannot avoid hiding under a bushel the texts which may be advanced against his theory." But with all his good intentions in the opposite direction, Villey was unable to produce a single one 0f the patristic texts which I had purportedly disregarded. He fell back upon "the Holy Scriptures which are the origin of tradition," but confined his scriptural citations to those (Matthew 8; Acts 10) referring to the two centurions. He also recommended that I take St. Augustine's City of God more seriously than Hippolytus's Canons. Villey's last prescription would lead to an astonishing meth­odology for discovering the position of the pre-Constantinian Church! All that one can find in the relevant patristic texts is either a consciousness of membership in an empire which also had soldiers, or an acknowledgement of the presence of some Christians in the military camps. But while these Christians were not always explicitly denounced for this, never was their behavior in any sense commended. Significantly, too, the early Christians never conjoined the two subjects-of living in the empire, and of being in the army; they would surely have done so had the latter been the normal consequence of the former.

8. ASS, October, XII (1867), 533-536, provides a detailed discussion of this contradiction, with specific reference to the case of Ferrutius. The author of the article considered the attitude of conscientious objection to have been not so much the exaggerated viewpoint of certain intellectuals as the unintelligent stance of certain recent converts. After citing as examples of this (p. 533) the three Gallic saints, Martin, Victricius, and Paulinus (see below, pp. 142-152), he went on to state more broadly (p. 536) that those soldiers who took literally the commands "Thou shall not kill" and "No man can serve two masters" were uninstructed peasants (viri utique agrestes et non eruditi). But in the same sentence he stated that these soldiers' error came From their having read Origen, St. Cyprian, Lactantius, and Titus of Bostra, and from having detected in these writings the echo of Tertullian. Of course, they heard this echo wrongly (p. 536). But on p. 533 our author had seemed to take the opposite


252

point of view when he conceded that before "the Church Peace" some learned Chris­tians had shared Tertullian's position on this matter. Who can these men have been if not those named above? It is admittedly difficult to conceive of these unlettered peasants who were simultaneously patristic scholars. But if they had indeed existed, they would be proof that the "rank and file" in the Church was far more open to conscientious objection than is often conceded.

9. Without realizing that he was thereby destroying the rest of his argument, Vanderpol wrote (Doctrine scolastique, 180), "The end of military service, war, is the shedding of blood; and even if this happens without guilt, it defiles the one who is responsible for it or who executes it. . . . And the early Church . . . had a horror of bloodshed."

Chapter l

1. M. Lods, "L'Eglise du IIIe Siècle devant le Service de l'Etat " Bulletin de la Faculté libre de Théologie protestante de Paris, 13, no. 35 (1950), 18; L. Homo, Les Empereurs romains et le Christianisme (Paris, 1931), 42n.; M.D. Chenu, "L'Evolu­tion de la Théologie de la Guerre," LV 7, no. 38 (1958), 78-79; M. Durry, Les Cohortes prétoriennes (Paris, 1938), 349. On the general question of military service in this period, see C. J. Cadoux, The Early Church and the World (Edinburgh, 1925), 116 and especially 116n. In his review, Villey (pp. 267-268) stressed how completely different the situation of the early Church was from that of our own times, in which in many countries conscription has become an accepted tradition.

2. J. Lebreton and J. Zeiller, The History of the Primitive Church, transl. E. C. Messenger (London, 1942-1948), IV, 1028; Ryan, "Rejection," 9-10; W. Seston, Dioclétien et la Tétrarchie (Paris, 1946), I, 300; F. Lot, Nouvelles Recherches sur l'Impot foncier et la Capitation personnelle sous le Bas-Empire (Paris, 1955), 28; A. J. Visser "Christianus sum, non possum militare, Soldatenmartyria uit de derde eeuw," Nederlandsch Archief voor kerkelijke Geschiedenis, 48 (1967), 18. This has been studied in particular in connection with the three cases to which I shall be referring later: those of Maximilian (see p. 287 for bibliography), Victricius (E. Vacandard, Saint Victrice, Evêque de Rouen [Paris, 1903], 7), and Martin (Sulpicius Severus, Vita Mart., 2, 5, which episode has been studied in detail by A. Régnier, Saint Martin, 6th ed. [Paris, 1925], 34-35). See also P. Ménard, "Profil de Saint Martin," Revue de l'Université de Laval, 8 [1953], 9; H. C. Babut, "Saint Martin de Tours," RHL, 1 (1910), 173; and now J. Fontaine, SCH, CXXXIV, 453-460. It must be remembered that the system of veterans consisted of settling former soldiers on the empire's boundaries by making them owners of land given by the state. This was not primarily a matter of rewarding them for past services but of providing a permanent cover for the frontiers. The law of Septimius Severus, which ordered the confiscation of an ag­ing veteran's land if the veteran's son upon reaching manhood refused to enlist (Scrip­tores Historiae Augustae, LCL, 58), was therefore perfectly logical. No doubt this ar­rangement was accompanied by moral and social pressures which made enlistment practically compulsory. Constantine, however, in the second half of his reign still left a choice between the army and the onerous civil office of decurion (Cod. Theod., VII, 22, 2). The strict obligation for the son to enlist, which imposed sanctions upon the father if the son failed to do so, dates from 365 (Cod. Theod., VII, I, 8).

3. Joseph us Antiquities, XIV, 10, 6; Batiffol, "Les premiers Chrétiens et la Guerre," 223. Ryan ("Rejection," 4) stated that the exemption of the Jews from service in the Roman army was not a matter of their avoiding killing but merely of

their escaping from the pagan law. This is beside the point. He also remarked that J. Juster (Les Juifs dans l'Empire romain [Paris, 1914], II, 268ff. ), who admitted that this exemption had been in effect in 49 BC, was of the opinion that it was later withdrawn by Augustus or Tiberius. But Ryan, even though he did not specifically discuss this thesis, did not seem himself to be in agreement with it.

4. Joseph us, Antiquities, XVIII, 5. Even the Christian emperor Valens in a mo­ment of fury, resorted again to this punishment against recalcitrant monks (L. Du­chesne, Early History of the Christian Church [London, 1922], 412)

5. M. Goguel, The Life of Jesus, transl. O. Wyon (London, 1933), 464-467; idem, Jésus, 2nd ed. (Paris, 1950), 385-386, and 392-393 for the appendix which traces the development of this tradition through primitive Christianity; see also the same author's "Juifs et Romains dans l'Histoire de la Passion," RHR, 62 (1910), 165-182, 295-322, and his The Birth of Christianity, transl. H. C. Snape (London, 1953), 440­442. Oscar Cullmann (The State in the New Testament, 34-39) gave the historical background to the controversy and firmly supported the position of H. Lietzmann (first argued in "Der Prozess Jesu," Sitzungsbericht der preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaften [1931], 313 ff.) on the essential point-that it was the Romans, not the Jews, who condemned Jesus. M. Simon (Verus Israël [Paris, 1948], 147) also showed how this distortion of the accounts of the Passion was designed to spare Rome. More recently Miss A. Jaubert (La Date de la Cène [Paris, 1957], 128) has argued that the solution which she proposed would restore"to the Jewish trial, in accordance with the synoptic tradition, a legal character which scholars had denied." This solution remains very much in dispute. Even if we were to accept it, we would still have to insist that Roman law would have started the trial all over again, and would not merely have ratified the sentence which had already been pronounced. The same intention of acquitting the Roman state-this time without placing the blame on the Jews-is also to be found in "the popular legend which has Jesus struck during the Passion not by a Roman soldier but by an Ethiopian" (F. Lovsky, Antisémitisme et Mystère d'Israël [Paris, 1955], 152, quoting John Moschus, Pratum Spirituale, 30). The strange silence of Acts 28 concerning the death of St. Paul has also sometimes been explained by the author' s desire not to make it obvious that the apostle was condemned to death by Roman justice.

6. Simon, Verus Israël, 127-128; Fast, Jesus and Human Conflict, 200. W. H. C. Frend, "The Persecutions: Some Links between Judaism and the Early Church," JEH, 9 (1958), 142, maintained that this confusion lasted until the end of the second century, at least in the mind of the ordinary public.

7. S. Case, The Revelation of John (Chicago, 1919), 31; Goguel, Birth, 500-504; W. Hobhouse The Church and the World in Idea and in History (London, 1910), 41­48; Homo, Les Empereurs, 50-51; P. H. Menoud, L'Evangile de Jean, 2nd ed. (Neuchâtel-Paris, 1947), 63; Ryan, "Rejection " 7 Simon, Verus Israël 144-145. The last of these, relying essentially on Justin, attributed to the Jews alone the initiative for the rupture. The responsibility for the persecution, Simon contended, was therefore theirs.

8. Frend "Persecutions," 142-148, 155. 9. Ibid., 157.

lo. Ibid., 153. 11. Ibid., 158.

12. Ryan, "' Rejection," 16, 30. 13. Ibid. 11.

14. Arnobius, Adv. Nat., 4, 7.





15. Archelaus, Controversy, 1 (end).

16. Clement of Alexandria, Stromata, VI, 18, 167. 17. Ignatius of Antioch, Letter to the Romans, 5, 1. 18. Mart. Pol., 6, 2 [Hornus transl.].

19. Mart. Pionii, 15 (Musurillo, 157). 20. Ibid., 21 (Musurillo, 163).

21. Passio Mariani, 2, 2-4 (Musurillo, 195-197). 22. Ibid., (Musurillo, 197).

23. Ibid., 2, 4-5 (Musurillo, 199).

24. Eusebius, Martyrs, 4, 8-13, and 7, 2.

25. See, for example the case of the virgin Ennathas of Scythopolis, who suf­fered an appalling martyrdom solely as a result of the initiative of the tribune Maxys (Eusebius, Martyrs, 9, 7).

26. Ibid., 11, 6. "Barbarous" can here be understood in both the ethnic and the moral senses of the term.

27. Eusebius, HE, V, 1, 17 ff.

28. Ibid., VII, 3, 4 in which there is a detailed description; or VIII, 10, 3 ff. and VIII, 11, 1 which tells of a terrible massacre in Phrygia.

29. Ibid., VIII, 14, 3.

30. Lactantius, De Mort. Pers., 27, 5 ff. As a matter of fact, in this passage there is also some trace of an opposition between the Dacian patriotism of Galerius and the strict "Romanism" of Lactantius. See J. Moreau's notes in his edition of De Mort. Pers., SCH, XXXIX, ii, 256, 360-361.

31. Didascalia, V, 1, 1.

32. Clement of Alexandria, Paedagogus, II, 13, 121, slightly misquoting Homer, Iliad, I I, 872-873.

33. Seston, Dioclétien, 261, 295; Moreau, La Persécution du Christianisme dans l'Empire romain (Paris, 1956), 112.

34. Lactantius, De Mort. Pers., 7, 5. On Diocletian's army, see Moreau's footnote in SCH, XXXIX, ii, 234-235.

35. Lactantius, De Mort. Pers., 37, 5. 36. See Chapter 2 below, p. 68 ff.

37. Acta Carpi, 4 (Musurillo, 33). 38. Acts of St. John, 6.

39. Martyrdom of Perpetua, 9, 16, 21 (Musurillo, 117, 125, 131). 40. Pontius, Vita Cypriani, 16.

41. Eusebius, HE, VI, 41, 16.

42. Gregory the Wonder-Worker,PanegyrictoOrigen,5,67-72.

43. A. Hamman, ed., La Ceste du Sang (Paris, 1953), 324. Here, as in similar cases elsewhere, it is not clear whether it was the sight of the martyrs which brought about the soldiers' conversion or whether the converts were former Christians who were recalled to faithfulness by seeing the sacrifice of their brethren.

44. For this question in general, the work by L. Cerfaux and J. Tondriau (Un Concurrent du Christianisme, le Culte des Souverains [Tournai, 1958]) takes precedence over the bibliography which I provided in my "Etude sur la Pensée poli­tique de Tertullien," RHPR, 38 (1958), 14n. See also Seston, Dioclétien, 212-228; Homo, Les Empereurs, 204-206, 211, 226-227; E. Stauffer, Christ and the Caesars (London, 1955), 208-211.

45. K. M. Setton, Christian Attitude Towards the Emperor in the Fourth Century (New York, 1941 ), 17; Cerfaux and Tondriau, Concurrent, 262-267.

46. Cerfaux and Tondriau, Concurrent, 395.

47. Roman tolerance is shown precisely in the fact that Judaism was recognized as a religio licita and that the Jews were exempt from a ceremony which would have offended their religious feelings (Cerfaux and Tondriau, Concurrent, 384-386). "But the Christians were in quite a different situation: they were either Jews by birth or converted Gentile subjects of the empire. So officially they had the choice only between the God of the Jews and the gods of the empire" (Homo, Les Empereurs, 51 ). At the beginning of this chapter I demonstrated that for opposite reasons Jews and Christians alike refused to consider Christianity a Jewish sect. As a result, the Christians' anomalous position was bound to give rise to question; and the Roman au­thorities would have needed extraordinary prescience to allow to a small Galilean sect the same privileges which they allowed to Judaism, an ancient religion already prac­ticed extensively throughout the empire (M. Goguel, Les Chrétiens et l'Empire romain à l'Epoque du Nouveau Testament [Paris, 1905], 23). Moreover, the exemp­tion of the Jews was essentially an empirical measure, for experience had shown that this was the best way to obtain peace and order in the regions where they lived. This exemption could not apply to a religion which was new and universalist and thus would inevitably be on the offensive and cause upheavals (T. M. Parker, Christianity and the State in the Light of History [London, 1955], 33).

48. Jerome wrote, "Pagans commit the error of considering as a god any man who rules over them" (Commentary on Daniel, 3, 46). See Cerfaux and Tondriau, Concurrent, 439-440, and R. Schilling, La Religion romaine de Vénus depuis les origines jusqu'au temps d'Auguste (Paris, 1954), 316-317, the latter of whom gave detailed references to Cicero, Varro, and Lucretius. R. Mehl (" Le Christianisme primitif et le problème de la guerre," Le Monde, December 26, 1961), on the other hand, wrote, "It seems difficult for us to accept the idea that in pagan antiquity there was no radical difference between gods and men, and that, therefore, to proclaim the divinity of the emperor meant merely to recognize the scope of his power." He then went on to comment that "for Christian sensibility . . . to swear a religious oath to the emperor . . . meant an impossible betrayal."

49. "The cult of the emperor is only the mark of an exceptional respect for a man above other men. It does not necessarily imply faith in the reality of his divinity" (P. Monceaux, Histoire littéraire de l'Afrique chrétienne [Paris, 1901-1902], I, 27n. ). It is true, however, that pagan manifestations tended to center increasingly on the person of the emperor. But at the same time official paganism was increasingly losing its strictly religious character. See H. Mattingly, "The Later Paganism," HThR, 35 (1942), 171-179.

50. Stauffer, Christ and the Caesars, 211; D. van Berchem, "Le 'De Pallio' de Tertullien et le Conflit du Christianisme et de l'Empire," Museum Helveticum, 1 ( 1944 ), 102.

51. Setton, Christian Attitude, 21.

52. Van Berchem, "Le 'De Pallio,' " 102.

53. A. D'Alès, Théologie de Tertullien (Paris, 1905), 394; Homo, Les Em­pereurs, 28; Stauffer, Christ and the Caesars, 236.

54. I. T. Beckwith, The Apocalypse of John (New York, 1919), 198.

55. Detailed studies of this double terminology occur in Setton, Christian At­titude, 18-21, and in Cerfaux and Tondriau, Concurrent, 446-451. The latter pointed out, however, that this factor, although it undoubtedly existed, should not be overesti­mated. Similarly, C. Mohrmann (" Epiphania," in Etudes sur le Latin des Chrétiens, 2nd ed., I [Rome, 1961], 249), showed that since the time of the Ptolemies the terms Epiphania and Parousia were frequently used to indicate the arrival of a visiting political ruler, who was himself referred to as Soter. But these words did not go with


256

any strictly religious ceremonial. They were simply the technical vocabulary of im­perial etiquette. It was precisely for this reason, because for him Christ is the Lord, that St. Paul borrowed these words, which originally had applied to the Hellenistic rulers (Ibid., 253).

56. Setton, Christian Attitude, 18, 22; Cerfaux and Tondriau, Concurrent, 449; Ryan, "Rejection," 11. [Cf. Arthur Darby Nock, "The Roman Army and the Roman Religious Year," HThR, 45 (1952), 1S7-252.] ,,

57. Because the crowns have been inaugurated by the false gods, believers should scorn them as the work of the devil (De Corona, 7). Furthermore, because the crowns, in the very ceremony of the donativum, have been explicitly related to the idols, they have become repugnant to the Christian (Ibid., 10-12)..There has been a good deal of debate about the validity of these arguments. Monceaux (Histoire, 271), followed by d'Alès (Théologie, 414), considered them to be one long sophism and re­jected them completely. But if the Christians did not refuse military service because they rejected idolatry, it must have been because they rejected violence; and this is something which the above authors do not seem to realize. For in the last resort, no matter how much one accuses Tertullian of false reasoning, the fact remains that there actually were soldier martyrs, and men do not die for a sophism. E. Vacandard, on the other hand (" La Question du Service militaire chez les Chrétiens des Premiers Siècles," Etudes de Critique et d'Histoire religieuse, 2nd ser: [1910], 139), took exactly the opposite line to Monceaux, declaring that to take part in a donativum was to declare oneself a pagan. Finally, A. von Harnack (Militia Christi: Die christliche Religion und der Soldatenstand in den ersten drei Jahrhunderten [Tübingen, 1905; repr., Darmstadt, 1963], 66-68) saw the action by the hero of this story as merely re­claiming for Christianity a privilege already allowed to the initiates of Mithras. The last lines of the treatise, on which Harnack relied exclusively, do have this sense. But it would be a mistake to treat the whole treatise solely along these lines. On this point one may refer to a short note by G. de Plinval ("Tertullien et le Scandale de la Couronne," Mélanges de Ghellinck [Gembloux, 1951], 183-188) which recalled the precedents of Clement of Alexandria and Minucius Felix, and which showed how a Christian soldier might be tempted, where the crown was concerned, to imitate his fellow soldiers who were initiates of Mithras.

58. Eusebius, HE, VI, 5, 3-6.

59. Seston, Dioclétien, 211-230; Lods, "L'Eglise," 25.

60. Seston, "A Propos de la Passio Marcelli Centurionis," in Aux Sources de la Tradition chrétienne, Mélanges M. Goguel (Neuchâtel, 1950), 244. See also Moreau, La Persécution, 115.

61. Lods (" L'Eglise," 24) thought that this measure was only applied effectively in the armies of the Danube and Asia Minor, both of which were under the direct con­trol of Galerius.

62. Epiphanius, Panarion, 68, 2.

63. Homo, Les Empereurs, S0. The relevant texts are: Eusebius, HE, VIII, 1, 7; VIII, 4, 2-3; Lactantius, De Mort. Pers., 10.

64. Cerfaux and Tondriau, Concurrent, 392-396. 65. Acta Fructuosus,2,2-3[Hornustransl.].

66. Lods, "L'Eglise," 15. G. Giannelli (" La Primitiva Chiesa cristiana di Fronte alle Persecuzioni e el Martirio," Nuovo Didaskaleion, 3 [1949], 5-22) indicated clearly that the refusal of the cult was something important, but he failed to bring out its full significance.

67. Clement of Rome, Letter, 60, 4.

68. J.-R. Palanque, Le Christianisme et l'Occident barbare (Paris, 1945), 2.

69. Parker (Christianity and the State, 37) contended that the apocalyptic tendency was to be found chiefly among the "lower-class" Christians, while believers from more cultivated circles tried theologically to justify their emotional attachment to a society in which they were among the privileged. I do not feel that such a socio­logical interpretation applies convincingly in the present case. See the excellent re­marks of Hobhouse (The Church and the World, 64) on the differences between the political approaches of the Book of Revelation and the writings of St. Paul.

70. In Chapter 2 I shall deal at greater length with this prayer, its bases, and its development in Christian thinking.

71. Hippolytus, Commentary on Daniel, III, 24, 7. 72. Origen, Contra Celsum, VIII, 65.

73. Origen mentioned in passing the problem raised by the fact that some kings betray their mission. In this passage, however, he did not try to solve it. He simply referred the reader to his commentary on the Epistle to the Romans.

74. The title had already been used by Justin during the reign of Antoninus, Marcus's predecessor (Justin, Second Apology, 2). See Setton, Christian Attitude, 36­37, on the care with which the apologists addressed the emperors by their official titles and on the great hopes which they placed in Marcus's intelligence and kindness.

75. Athenagoras, Legatio, 37.. As Moreau (La Persécution, 73) wrote, "During the first two centuries of the empire the Christians lived in a hostile world which hated them. But Roman peace and order ensured for them the minimum of security which allowed the Church to expand and consolidate; so it can be said without paradox that the state protected them more than it persecuted them." See R. L. P. Milburn, Early Christian Interpretations of History (New York, 1954), 54-55, for the persistence in the third century, before the Church Peace, of this view "of the good order and political stability which had favored the growth and expansion of the missionary Church."

76. Legei gar toi dikaiõs ho kurios (Hermas, Similitudes, 1, 4). See the discussion of this text on p. 100 below.

77. Justin, First Apology, 12, 1; 16, 14.

78. Justin, Second Apology, 9, 1 [Hornus translation]. 79. Acta Achatii, 3, 2.

80. Tertullian, Apology, 4, 5.

81. Ibid., 4, 13. Tertullian (ibid., 10) labeled as stulta (idiotic) the law which punished the name of Christian.

82. This divine law is to some extent the Decalogue, for God, the universal Crea­tor, gave his law through Moses for all peoples according to his lovingkindness. However, this ancient law despite everything has a historical character, i.e., it has full validity only for a certain time and place. Taking the concrete example of circumci­sion, Tertullian showed that this is contingent upon God's sovereign grace and upon the believer's loyal obedience to him, which alone are normative. The true and im­mutable law is the newly revealed law of mercy and love (Adv. lud., 2-3).

83. Origen, Contra Celsum, V, 37 and VIII, 56. W. A. Banner ("Origen and the Tradition of Natural Law Concept," Dumbarton Oaks Papers, 8 [1954], 49-82) showed clearly the apologetic function which this natural law had for Origen and traced its origins in. pagan philosophy. His examination of these sources led him, however, unduly to minimize Origen's originality.

84. Basil of Caesarea, Homilies, XII (in Princip. Proverb.), 2.

85. G. Bardy, in the notes to his French edition of Theophilus (SCH, XX, i [ 194$], 69 n. ), pointed to parallel passages in Mart. Pol., 8, 2; Acta Cypriani, 2; Acta Apollonii, 3; Tertullian, Apology, 28, 3, and 32, 2-3. An infinite number of other


258

references could be adduced on a question of this importance. I would mention only the dialogue, which I shall quote below (p. 82), between the martyr Achatius and his judge Marcian, a dialogue which has a very direct bearing on the pax Romana and the army. Achatius ended his comments by saying, "I pray to the great and true God for the safety of the emperor, but he cannot demand sacrifice of us and we cannot give it to him. Who indeed could offer sacred honors to a man?" (Acta Achatii, 1, 5 [Ham­man, 107]).

86. Theophilus of Antioch, I, 11. The quotation at the end is from Proverbs 24:21-22.

87. Irenaeus, Ado. Haeres., 11, 32, 2. Again Origen conceded to Celsus that "probably . . . in the so-called wars of the bees there lies teaching that among men wars, if they are ever necessary, are to be just and ordered" (Contra Celsum, IV, 82).

88. Irenaeus, Adv. Haeres., IV, 30, 3. Cf. DTC, VII (1923), col. 2440. 89. Irenaeus, Adv. Haeres., IV, 36, 6.

90. Ibid., V, 24, 1-3. For comment on this long and very important text, see DTC, VII, ii, col. 2440, and P. Allard, Histoire des Persécutions pendant la Première Moitié du IIIe Siècle (Paris, 1886), 152.

91. Hippolytus, Commentary on Daniel, III, 23, 1-3. 92. Tertullian, Scorpiace, 14.

93. Tertullian, De Anima, 33, 6. 94. Tertullian, Apology, 30, 1-2. 95. Ibid., 5, 2 and 21, 2.

96. Ibid., 5, 6.

97. Tertullian, Ad Scapulam, 4. In the same chapter, as proof of the benevolent attitude of Severus towards the Christians, Tertullian cited the fact that the emperor always kept near him a certain doctor who had once saved his life, although he was well aware that the doctor belonged to the sect. But as C. Guignebert (Tertullien [Paris, 1901], 111) remarked, such action was by no means a proof of his benevolence towards Christianity: "It was mere gratitude and also prudence." In all this Tertullian's aim seems clear: he was harassing the local authorities, who were still directly responsible for the persecution, and hoped thereby to make them hesitate before taking measures of which the emperor might disapprove; he was also clearing the Christians from the a priori suspicion of guilt which would arise if the supreme au­thority had condemned them beforehand; finally, he was allowing the believers to resist persecution without thereby having to assume the attitude of rebels. On these three objectives of Tertullian, see my "Etude," 15-16. Many Christian apologists prior to and including Eusebius attempted to excuse the emperors as far as possible from any direct responsibility in the persecutions. For Eusebius, however, the primary object was no longer to secure relief for the Christians but to remove any suspicion that the imperial authority itself might have been wrong (J. Sirinelli, Les Vues histo­riques d'Eusèbe de Césarée durant la Periode prénicéenne [Université de Dakar, Faculté des Lettres et Sciences Humaines, Publications de la Section de Langues et Littératures, X] [Dakar, 1961], 414-416).

98. Van Berchem, "Le `De Pallio,' " 110. 99. Ibid., 104.

100. Hornus, "Etude," 38.

101. Clement of Alexandria, Stromata, I, 26 and I, 168. 102. Pseudo-Melito, 10.

103. This may seem to be a rather broad generalization, but in its justification I would mention that: (a) Cyprian was a fervent disciple of Tertullian, whose position on this point is beyond doubt (see below, p. 284); (b) Cyprian was the master who

inspired the martyr Maximilian, who was executed for refusing to bear arms, and whose mother brought his body back for burial at the foot of Cyprian's tomb; (c) Cyprian's writings contain both positive and negative statements which are exactly congruent with the position of conscientious objection.

104. Cyprian, Testimonia, III, 13. 105. Cyprian, Ad Dem., 3 and 17.

106. Origen, Contra Gelsum, IV, 83. (See above, p. 258).

107. Eusebius, Praep. Ev., 6, 6. Eusebius's text, which I quote here, attacks the doctrine of destiny which would render such punishment and reward impossible. I felt entitled to remodel the sentence and to formulate it in a positive way.

108. Ibid., 4, 2. See also HE, IX, 5 ff.

109. Eusebius, Praep. Ev., 2, 6. Half a century later-or earlier if we take into account the periodoi Petrou of which they are only a summary (Cadoux, Early Church, 457)-the Clementine Recognitions were just as practical and pessimistic as Eusebius in their estimate of human nature: "Who is there among men that does not covet his neighbor's goods? And yet they are restrained, and act honestly, through fear of the punishment which is prescribed by the laws. Through fear, nations are sub­ject to their kings, and armies obey with arms in their hands" (Recognitions, IX, 15).


  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9


The database is protected by copyright ©essaydocs.org 2016
send message

    Main page