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of celibacy. "The apostle saith, it is good neither to eat flesh nor to drink wine, if any one eateth with offence. And again, it is good to remain unmarried, even as I. But nevertheless," continues Clement, "he who uses these things, giving God thanks, and he who uses them not, giving God thanks, do both live rightly, if governed by moderation and temperance." (Clem. Alex. Strom. lib. iii. p. 462.)

Again, saith this eminent father, "The apostle plainly allows every one to be the husband of one wife, whether he be a priest, or a deacon, or a layman, so that he use marriage without reprehension." (Ib. 464.)

Again, opposing the error of the Gnostic heretics, Clement saith, "Do these men not hesitate to reprove even the apostles? For Peter and Philip had sons, and Philip (the deacon) gave his daughter in marriage. And Paul certainly does not blush to call her his wife in a certain epistle, whom, nevertheless, he did not lead about, because she could not aid him in the work of his ministry. Therefore, he saith in this epistle, Have not we power to lead about a wife who is a sister, like the rest of the apostles? But these, indeed, as was suitable to their ministry, did not lead about their partners so much in the capacity of wives, as sisters; for their wives exercised a useful ministry themselves among the women that remained at home, so that in the most private apartments of the females, the doctrine of the Lord was brought without censure or suspicion." (Ib. 448.)

Again: "There are certain persons," saith Clement, (ib. 446) "who openly say, that matrimony is sinful;" (fornication) "and glorify themselves by pretending that they imitate our Lord, who neither was married, nor possessed any earthly goods, boasting that they understand the Gospel better than others. But they are ignorant of the reason why the Lord did not marry. First, then, let them remember, that he has his own spouse, which is the Church. Next, that he was not a

comman man, who needed a helpmate according to the flesh. Neither was it necessary for HIM to marry, who can create, and who is eternal, being born the only Son of God.”

And once more: Clement tells an interesting anecdote of St. Peter, which is worthy of commemoration. "They relate," saith he, "that the blessed Peter, when he saw his wife led to death, rejoiced that she was called, and was about to return to her home; and when he had exhorted and comforted her, he finally addressed her by name, and said, O thou! remember the Lord. Such," observes Clement, "was the marriage of these saints, and their perfect affection." (Ib. 756.)

Now, in these extracts, brethren, you plainly perceive, that the disposition to depreciate marriage, and to make celibacy the law of the clergy at least, began, like every other corruption of primitive Christianity, to show itself very carly; and at length it gained the victory, and maintains it in the Church of Rome to this day. But I shall next show you, from the works of Jerome himself, that it had not in his time become the established law, even in Rome: and you will remember, that he died, A. D. 422, so that he belongs to the latter part of the fourth and the beginning of the fifth century.

Thus, for example, in his epistle to Nepotian on the life of the clergy, he tells him, "that the preacher of continence ought not to seek marriage. For since it is he," saith Jerome, "who reads the apostle, saying: 'It remains that those that have wives should be as those that have none,' why should he prevail upon a maiden to marry him?" This language, brethren, is only consistent with the fact, that a clergyman in Jerome's days might enter into matrimony if he pleased; for no such exhortation would be needed after a positive law of the Church had taken the liberty away.

In his first book against Jovinian, however, he speaks still more plainly. "If Samuel, nourished in the tabernacle, took a wife," saith Jerome, "what does that prove against celibacy?

As if there were not, in our own day also, many priests who are in the married state, and the apostle himself describes a bishop as the husband of one wife, having his children in subjection with all gravity." (Tom. II. Op. om. Hieron. p. 25, D.)

Again, Jerome expressly saith, "I do not deny that married men are chosen for bishops, because there are not as many single as are necessary for the priesthood." "But how happens it, you will say, that frequently in the sacerdotal order, the single man is passed by, and the married man is elected? Because he may be wanting in the other qualities which the sacred office requires." (Ib. p. 30, E.)

Nothing can be plainer, brethren, than these passages, to prove that Jerome, with all his zeal for celibacy and antipathy to marriage, was still surrounded by married clergy; and that as yet the Word of God had not been overborne, in this respect, by the wisdom of men.

To show still more clearly, however, how far Jerome's doctrine was, from being the established opinion of his day, I shall quote a passage from his epistle to Pammachius, where he thanks his friend for having bought up the books which he wrote in depreciation of matrimony, and regrets that it was too late. "I am well aware," saith he, "of what you have prudently and affectionately done, in withdrawing from circulation the copies of my little work against Jovinian. But your diligence has profited me nothing, for I am informed that the book has been in circulation at Rome, and as you have yourself read: 'the word once uttered, cannot return."" (Ib. p. 81, D.)

Our next evidence upon the subject is extracted from Gelazius of Cyzicen's history of the great council of Nice, which met in A. D. 325, upon the subject of the Arian heresy, at the summons of Constantine, the Roman emperor, a few years before Jerome was born, and consisted of three hundred and eighteen bishops.

"It was proposed," says the historian, "in this council, to declare, that it was not fit for ecclesiastical persons, whether bishops, or presbyters, or deacons, or sub-deacons, or any others of the sacred order, to live with the wives whom they had married when they were laymen. And, as they were about to pass this rule accordingly, the holy Paphnutius, rising in the full council of the bishops, said with a loud voice: 'Forbear, brethren, to lay this heavy yoke upon ecclesiastics. For marriage is honourable among all, (saith the apostle,) and the bed undefiled. Do not, therefore, injure the Church, by the unreasonable excess of so severe a law, for all cannot bear that mode of life which allows nothing to the human affections. In my judgment, none (of us) will be saved in love, if (we decree) that husbands shall separate themselves from their wives. I hold that marriage deserves to be esteemed the best continence, nor can we separate the woman whom God has joined to her husband, when he was a reader, or a singer, or a layman.' Thus," continues the historian, "did the great Paphnutius argue, although he was himself an unmarried man, and had been educated in a monastery from his childhood. And accordingly, being persuaded by his counsel, the whole assembly of the bishops held their peace, and left it to the free will of the married clergy to act as they thought proper." (Mansi Concil. Tom. ii. p. 759.)

Another very direct and strong proof of the state of the matter in the early part of the fourth century, is furnished by the Council of Gangris, which was, indeed, a provincial council, but approved by pope Leo IV. The following canons will show this distinctly.


"If any one shall contend that a priest, who has married a wife, is therefore not fit to celebrate the sacred rites, and offer the holy eucharist, let him be anathema."



"If any one of those who have professed celibacy for the Lord's sake, shall insult over those who have taken wives, let him be anathema."

Here we see, at once, both the boastful pride of the advocates for clerical celibacy, and the vigorous determination of the council to protect the rights of the married clergy; plainly showing that two parties were already formed in the Church, of whom the innovators grew stronger, until they gained their point. But not without many struggles and much opposition was this done, even in the Church of Rome, while the great Council of Trullo, so late as A. D. 706, recorded this solemn condemnation of the new doctrine, in their thirteenth canon; the language of which is as follows:

"Forasmuch as we are informed, that the Roman Church has put forth a canon, ordering that all those who are to be promoted to the office of deacon or priest, shall profess that they will no longer live together with their wives: we, on the contrary, keeping the rule of apostolic perfection and order, decree, that the legitimate marriages of all persons in holy orders shall be held firm and established, by no means dissolving their union with their wives, nor depriving them of any matrimonial privilege. Wherefore, if any one be found worthy to be ordained a subdeacon, or a deacon, or a presbyter, let him by no means be prohibited from that sacred order because he cohabits with his lawful wife. Nor shall he be asked at the time of his ordination, whether he intends to separate from his wife. For otherwise we should do injury to that marriage, which God has constituted, and blessed by his presence. The voice of the gospel exclaims, Those whom God hath joined together, let no man put asunder. The apostle teaches, that marriage is honourable and the bed undefiled: and again he saith, Art thou tied to a wife? Seek not to be loosed.' - If any one, therefore, shall dare, against the apostolic canons, to



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