Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. XIV:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
The Second Ecumenical Council: The First Council of Constantinople.: Canon VII
Those who from heresy turn to orthodoxy, and to the portion of those who are being saved, we receive according to the following method and custom: Arians, and Macedonians, and Sabbatians, and Novatians, who call themselves Cathari or Aristori, and Quarto-decimans or Tetradites, and Apollinarians, we receive, upon their giving a written renunciation [of their errors] and anathematize every heresy which is not in accordance with the Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church of God. Thereupon, they are first sealed or anointed with the holy oil upon the forehead, eyes, nostrils, mouth, and ears; and when we seal them, we say, “The Seal of the gift of the Holy Ghost.” But Eunomians, who are baptized with only one immersion, and Montanists, who are here called Phrygians, and Sabellians, who teach the identity of Father and Son, and do sundry other mischievous things, and [the partisans of] all other heresies—for there are many such here, particularly among those who come from the country of the Galatians:—all these, when they desire to turn to orthodoxy, we receive as heathen. On the first day we make them Christians; on the second, catechumens; on the third, we exorcise them by breathing thrice in their face and ears; and thus we instruct them and oblige them to spend some time in the Church, and to hear the Scriptures; and then we baptize them.
Ancient Epitome of Canon VII. 233
Quarto-decimans or Tetradites, Arians, Macedonians, Sabbatians, and Apollinarians ought to be received with their books and anointed in all their organs of sense.
Ancient Epitome of Canon VIII.
Eunomians baptized with one immersion, Sabellians, and Phrygians are to be received as heathen.
Aristemus (inCan. vij.).
Those giving up their books and execrating every heresy are received with only anointing with chrism of the eyes, the nostrils, the ears, the mouth, and the brow; and signing them with the words, “The Seal of the gift of the Holy Ghost.”
For the “Cathari,” see Notes on Canon viij. of I. Nice.
Sabbatians. Sabbatius was a presbyter who adopted the sentiments of Novatius, but as it is clear from the histories of Socrates and Sozomen, that he did not do so till at least eight years after the celebration of this council, it is of course equally clear that this canon could not have been framed by this council.
p. 186 Aristeri. This is probably a false reading for Aristi, i.e. the best. In the letter above mentioned the expression is Cathari and Catheroteri, i.e. the pure, and the more pure.
The Quarto-decimans, or Tetradites, were those persons who persisted in observing the Easter festival with the Jews, on the fourteenth day of the first month, whatever day of the week it happened to be.
Montanists. One of the older sects, so called from Montanus, who embraced Christianity in the second century. He professed to be inspired in a peculiar way by the Holy Ghost, and to prophesy. He was supported in his errors by two women, Priscilla and Maximilla, who also pretended to prophesy. His heresy infected many persons, amongst others Tertullian, but being condemned by the Church. his followers formed a sect remarkable for extreme austerity. But although they asserted that the Holy Ghost had inspired Montanus to introduce a system of greater perfection than the Church had before known, and condemned those who would not join them as carnal, they did not at first innovate in any of the articles of the Creed. This sect lasted a long time, and spread much in Phrygia and the neighbouring districts, whence they were called Phryges and Cata-phryges, and latterly adopted the errors of Sabellius respecting the Trinity.
The other heresies mentioned in this canon have been treated of in the excursus to Canon j.
This canon is broken into two by the Ancient Epitome.
Next: Excursus on the Authority of the Second Ecumenical Council.
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