And the church of the Corinthians continued in the orthodox faith13 up to the time when Primus was bishop in Corinth. I had some intercourse with these brethren on my voyage to Rome, when I spent several days with the Corinthians, during which we were mutually refreshed by the orthodox faith.
On my arrival at Rome, I drew up a list of the succession of bishops down to Anicetus, whose deacon was Eleutherus. To Anicetus succeeded Soter, and after him came Eleutherus. But in the case of every succession,14 and in every city, the state of affairs is in accordance with the teaching of the Law and of the Prophets and of the Lord.…
And after James the Just had suffered martyrdom, as had the Lord also and on the same account, again Symeon the son of Clopas, descended from the Lord’s uncle, is made bishop, his election being promoted by all as being a kinsman of the Lord.
Therefore was the Church called a virgin, for she was not as yet corrupted by worthless teaching.15 Thebulis it was who, displeasedbecause he was not made bishop, first began to corrupt her by stealth. He too was connected with the seven sects which existed among the people, like Simon, from whom come the Simoniani; and Cleobius, from whom come the Cleobiani; and Doritheus, from whom come the Dorithiani; and Gorthaeus, from whom come the Gortheani; Masbothaeus, from whom come the Masbothaei. From these men also come the Menandrianists, and the Marcionists, and the Carpocratians, and the Valentinians, and the Basilidians, and the Saturnilians. Each of these leaders in his own private and distinct capacity brought in his own private opinion. From these have come false Christs, false prophets, false apostles—men who have split up the one Church into parts16 through their corrupting doctrines, uttered in disparagement of God and of His Christ.…
There were, moreover, various opinions in the matter of circumcision among the children of Israel, held by those who were opposed to the tribe of Judah and to Christ: such as the Essenes, the Galileans, the Hemerobaptists, the Masbothaei, the Samaritans, the Sadducees, the Pharisees.
Dionysius, Bishop of Corinth.
Fragments from a Letter to the Roman Church.
[a.d. 170.] Eusebius is almost diffuse in what he tells us of this Dionysius,1 “who was appointed over the church at Corinth, and imparted freely, not only to his own people, but to others, and those abroad also, the blessings of his divine labours.” He wrote “Catholic Epistles; ”he addressed an epistle to the Spartans and the Athenians; and, as Eusebius says, Dionysius the Areopagite, the convert of St. Paul, was the first bishop of Athens.2 He wrote to the Nicomedians, refuting Marcion, and closely adhering to “the rule of faith.” In an epistle to the Gortynians and others in Crete, he praises Philip for his courageous ministry, and warns them against the heretics. He seems to recognise Palmas as bishop of Amastris and Pontus, and adds expositions of Scripture, and rules regarding marriage, its purity and sanctity. He also inculcates tenderness to penitent lapsers and backsliders. With Pinytus, bishop of the Gnossians, he corresponds on similar subjects; but Pinytus, while he thanks him and commends his clemency, evidently regards him as too much inclined to furnish “food for babes,” and counsels him to add “strong meat for those of full age.” He also writes to Chrysophora, his most faithful sister, imparting spiritual instruction.
For this has been your custom from the beginning, to do good to all the brethren in various ways, and to send resources to many churches which are in every city, thus refreshing the poverty of the needy, and granting subsidies to the brethren who are in the mines.1 Through the resources which ye have sent from the beginning, ye Romans, keep up the custom of the Romans handed down by the fathers, which your blessed Bishop Sorer has not only preserved, but added to, sending a splendid gift to the saints, and exhorting with blessed words those brethren who go up to Rome, as an affectionate father his children.