Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol VI:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
(Substance or accident, p. 54.)
This essay is "rather the work of a philosopher than a bishop," says Dupin. He assigns it to an age when "Aristotle began to be in some reputation,"-a most important concession as to the estimate of this philosopher among the early faithful. We need not wonder that such admissions, honourable to his candour and to his orthodoxy, brought on him the hatred and persecutions of the Jesuits. Even Bossuet thought he went too far, and wrote against him. But, the whole system of Roman dogma being grounded in Aristotle's physics as well as in his metaphysics, Dupin was not orthodox in the eyes of the society that framed Aristotle into a creed, and made it the creed of the "Roman-Catholic Church." Note, e.g., "transubstantiation," which is not true if Aristotle's theory of accidents, etc., is false.25 It assumes an exploded science.
(Prerogative of the soul, p. 56.)
If this Discourse be worthy of study, it may be profitably contrasted, step by step, with Tertullian's treatises on kindred subjects.26 That the early Christians should reason concerning the Soul, the Mind, the immortal Spirit, was natural in itself. But it was also forced upon them by the "philosophers" and the heretics, with whom they daily came into conflict. This is apparent from the Anti-Marcion27 of the great Carthaginian. The annotations upon that treatise, and those On the Soul's Testimony and On the Soul, may suffice as pointing out the best sources28 of information on speculative points and their bearings on theology. Compare, however, Athenagoras29 and the great Clement of Alexandria.30
Next: Four Homilies.
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