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the sake of this book (which he had chosen to be the companion and counsellor of his life), Nazianzen professes he had willingly undervalued and relinquished all other things; this was the mine where they enriched themselves with divine treasures, a book where they furnished themselves with a true stock of knowledge : as St. Jerome speaks of Nepotian, that by daily reading and meditation he had made his soul a library of Christ, and he tells us of Blesilla, a devout widow, that though she was so far overrun with weakness and sickness, that her foot would scarce bear her body, or her neck sustain the burden of her head, yet she was never found without a Bible in her hand."

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The term Father is applied to those ancient authors who have preserved in their writings traditions of the church. No author who wrote later than the twelfth century is dignified with this title. The most distinguished of the fathers were the following characters :

1. Clemens Romanus, who was born at Rome, and was the fellow labourer of Paul, was distinguished both as a minister, and a zealous defender of the faith. He sustained a truly apostolic character. There is remaining of his writings a very fine epistle to the church of Corinth, which (next to holy writ) has been esteemed one of the most valuable monuments which have come down to us from ecclesiastical antiquity. He died at the advanced age of one hundred.

2. Ignatius was bishop of Antioch. In the year 107, Trajan, being on his way to the Parthian war, came to Antioch. Ignatius, hoping to avert any storm which might be arising against the Christians there, presented himself before the emperor, and offered to suffer in their stead. Trajan, being exasperated at the frankness and independence of Ignatius, ordered him to be sent to Rome, and thrown to the wild beasts. Being detained at Smyrna, while on his way to Rome, he had the pleasure of visiting Polycarp, who had been

a fellow-disciple with him of St. John. Their mingled emotions of joy and grief can scarcely be imagined. While at Smyrna, he addressed four epistles to various churches. At length he arrived at Rome, was thrown to the wild beasts, and devoured. A few bones were left, which were collected by the deacons, his attendants, and buried at Antioch.

3. Polycarp lived in the reign of Marcus A. Antonius, and was a companion of Ignatius. He was pastor of a church in Smyrna eighty years. Being marked as the victim of persecution, he was persuaded by his friends to retire for a season from the fury of his enemies ; upon which, they proceeded to torture some of his friends, to extort from them a disclosure of the place of his retreat. This was too much for Polycarp to bear , who accordingly surrendered himself, a prey to his enemies. Being brought before the proconsul, efforts were made to induce him to abjure his faith, and swear by the fortune of Cæsar. Refusing, he was threatened with being made a prey to wild beasts. 66 Call for them,” said he ; "it does not well become us to turn from good to evil.” The consul rejoined, “Seeing you inake so light of wild beasts, I will tame you with the more terrible punishment of fire.”.

To this he replied, “ You threaten me with a fire that is quickly extinguished, but are ignorant of the eternal fire of God's judgment, reserved for the wicked in another world.” As they were about to nail him to the stake, he said, “ Let me remain as I am ; for he who giveth me strength to sustain the fire, will enable me to remain unmoved." The fire was kindled; but after a while, fearing he might not certainly be despatched, an officer drew a sword, and plunged it into his body. His bones were afterwards gathered up by his friends, and buried.

4. Justin Martyr, so called from his being a martyr, was born at Neapolis, in Palestine, and became a convert to Christianity in the sixteenth year of 'Trajan. From this time, he employed his pen in defence of Christianity. He drew up two apologies, addressed

to the emperor Marcus, and the Roman senate, which very much irritated the temper of the times. He was accordingly, with six others, apprehended, whipped, and beheaded. Thus fell Justin Martyr, a man of dis tinguished powers, and the first who had adorned the church with his learning, since the apostle Paul.

5. Irenæús, by birth a Greek, was born at or near Smyrna. He was a disciple of Polycarp, and for about forty years he was the bishop of Lyons; in which office he suffered much from foes without and heretics within. Against the latter, he employed his pen. Five of his books are now extant. He suffered martyrdom, in the reign of Severus, A. D. 202.

6. Clemens Alexandrinus, so called to distinguish him from Clemens Romanus, was born at Alexandria, in the second century. He was distinguished for his literature, and exact and enlarged views of the Christian religion.

Three of his works remain. 7. Tertullian, by birth a Carthagenian, was bred up at the bar; but afterwards became a Christian. He possessed great abilities and learning, which he vigorously employed in the Christian cause; but toward the latter part of his life, being naturally credulous and superstitious, he became a heretic, Eusebius says that he was one of the ablest Latin writers which had existed.

8. Origen, one of the most conspicuous characters belonging to the age in which he lived, was born at Alexandria, A. D. 185. In his youth, he saw his father beheaded for the profession of Christianity, and the family estate confiscated. Being taken under the patronage of a rich lady, he applied himself to study, and-soon acquired great stores of learning. At the age of forty-five, he was ordained, and delivered theological lectures in Palestine. He was the author of the Hexapla, which filled fifty large volumes. This work was mostly destroyed in the capture of Tyre, in 653. He maintained that the Scriptures were not to be explained in a literal, but in an allegorical mar ; that is, it had a hidden or figurative meaning. This

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sense he endeavoured to give, but often at the expense of the truth. He first introduced the practice of selecting a single text, as the subject of discourse. He suffered martyrdom under Decius, about 254.

9. Cyprian was bred a lawyer, received a liberal education, and was distinguished as an orator. he was elected bishop of Carthage. His first efforts were to re tore the long neglected discipline of the church. Very soon the flames of persecution burst forth in Carthage; from which he repaired to a retreat provided by his friends, where he remained two years. From this place he continued to send forth epistles to his distressed and persecuted brethren. During his exile, an unhappy schism took place in the churches of Alexandria and Rome, called “the Novatian schism;" against which he successfully employed his pen. Being threatened with death, if he continued in his zeal and activity, he abated nothing; but continued in his boldness and zeal for the Christian cause, until he was banished by the - proconsul of Carthage. 259 he was permitted to return, but not to remain long in peace; for orders had been given by Valerian, that all ministers should be put to death. He was conducted to a spacious plain : on his arrival, he fell on his knees, and worshipped. He then laid aside his garments, a napkin was bound over his eyes, and a sword severed his head from his body.

10. Ambrose was born in ul, A. D. 333. He was appointed governor over several small provinces, and settled at Milan. In 374, the bishop dying, a great contest arose between the Catholics and Arians concerning his successor. He thought it his duty, as governor, to go to the church, in order to compose the tumult. On addressing the multitude, they with one voice exclaimed, “ Let Ambrose be bishop.' He yielded, and was ordained. He died at Milan, leaving behind him several choice works on religious subjects.

11. Jerome was born at Strido, near Pannonia. His father took care he should have all the advantages of learning, sacred and profane. After a while he retired

into a desert in Syria, scarcely inhabited by a human being. Here he applied himself to the study of the Scriptures (which he is said to have gotten by heart) and to the oriental languages. After four years' solitude, his reputation for piety and learning began to be spread abroad. He visited Rome, where he composed several works. He translated the Bible into Latin, which was afterwards exclusively adopted by the Romish.church; and of all the Latin fathers, he was con- * sidered the most able in unfolding the Scriptures. He finished his days in a monastery, in Bethlehem, near to Jerusalem, A. D. 420, aged ninety years.

12. Augustine was born in Africa, A. D. 354. His father, designing him for some of the learned professions, placed him at school. But such was his vicious make, that he neglected study, and substituted gaming, and attendance at shows, &c. &c., and invented a thousand false stories, to escape the rod, with which he was often severely chastened. After a while, he acquired a taste for learning.

While on his way to Rome, at a certain time, he stopped at Milan, and heard the preaching of Ambrose. He became a convert, and was elected bishop of Hippo. From this date, he set himself for the defence of the gospel, and became the admiration of the Christian world. From his writings was formed a body of theology, which for centuries after was the guide of those who desired the truth. 'He died A. D. 430, aged seventy-six years.

13. John Chrysostom was born at Antioch, A. D. 354. At an early age, he determined to adopt a monastic life, and accordingly spent six years in this way; until, worn out with watchings, fastings, and other severities, he was forced to return to Antioch. Afo ter he was elected bishop of Constantinople, he began to attempt a reformation in his diocese, which greatly enraged the clergy, and through their influence he was banished, But soon after, the emperor recalled him, and restored him to his bishopric. No sooner was he established in his office, than he began to display his customary zeal; whereupon, his ene

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