Translated by the Rev. J. H. Macmahon, M.a.
Text edited by Rev. Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson and first published by T&T Clark in Edinburgh in 1867. Additional introductionary material and notes provided for the American edition by A. Cleveland Coxe, 1886.
Hippolytus seems to me to have felt the perils to the pure Gospel of many admissions made by Clement and other Alexandrian doctors as to the merits of some of the philosophers of the Gentiles. Very gently, but with prescient genius, he adopts this plan of tracing the origin and all the force of heresies to "philosophy falsely so called." The existence of this "cloud of locusts" is (1) evidence of the antagonism of Satan; (2) of the prophetic spirit of the apostles; (3) of the tremendous ferment produced by the Gospel leaven as soon as it was hid in the "three measures of meal" by "the Elect Lady," the Ecclesia Dei; (4) of the fidelity of the witnesses, that grand, heroic glory of the Ante-Nicene Fathers, who never suffered these heresies to be mistaken for the faith, or to corrupt the Scriptures; and (5) finally of the power of the Holy Spirit, who gave them victory over errors, and enabled them to define truth in all the crystalline beauty of that "Mountain of Light," that true Koh-i-noor, the Nicene Symbol. Thus, also, Christ s promises were fulfilled.
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See Irenaeus, p. 350, vol. i., this series, where I have explained this jargon of heresy. But I think it worth while to make use here of two notes on the subject, which I made in 1845,  with little foresight of these tasks in 1885.
Fleury (tom. ii.) makes this statement: "Les Nicolaites donnaient une infinite de noms barbares aux princes et aux puissances qu ils mettaient en chaque ciel. Ils en nommaient un caulaucauch, abusant d un passage d Isaie, ou se lisent ces mots hebreux: cau-la-cau, cau-la-cau, pour representer l insolence avec laquelle les impies se moquaient du prophete, en repetant plusieurs fois quelques-unes de ses paroles." Compare Guerricus, thus: "Vox illa taedii et des-perationis, quaeapud Isaiam (Isaiah 28:13) legitur, quia, viz., moram faciente Domino, frequentibus nuntiis ejus increduli et illusores insultare videntur: manda remanda, " etc. See the spurious Bernardina, "de Adventu Dom., serm. i.," S. Bernard., opp. Paris (ed. Mabillon), vol. ii. P. 1799.
Hippolytus had little idea, when he wrote this, what the word Papa was destined to signify in mediaeval Rome. The Abba of Holy Writ has its equivalent in many Oriental languages, as well as in the Greek and Latin, through which it has passed into all the dialects of Europe. It was originally given to all presbyters, as implied in their name of elders, and was a title of humility when it became peculiar to the bishops, as (1 Peter 5:3) non Domini sed patres. St. Paul (1 Corinthians 4:15) shows that "in Christ" that is, under Him we may have such "fathers; "and thus, while he indicates the true sense of the precept, he leads us to recognise a prophetic force and admonition in our Saviour's words (Matthew 23:1), "Call no man your father upon the earth." Thus interpreted, these words seem to be a warning against the sense to which this name, Papa, became, long afterwards, restricted, in Western Europe: Notre St. Pere, le Pape, as they say in France. This was done by the decree of the ambitious Hildebrand, Gregory VII. (who died a.d. 1085), when, in a synod held at Rome, he defined that "the title Pope should be peculiar to one only in the Christian world." The Easterns, of course, never paid any respect to this novelty and dictation, and to this day their patriarchs are popes; and not only so, for the parish priests of the Greek churches are called by the same name. I was once cordially invited to take a repast "with the pope," on visiting a Greek church on the shores of the Adriatic. It is said, however, that a distinction is made between the words ; the latter being peculiar to inferiors, according to the refinements of Goar, a Western critic. Valeat quantum. But I must here note, that as "words are things," and as infinite damage has been done to history and to Christian truth by tolerating this empiricism of Rome, I have restored scientific accuracy, in this series, whenever reference is made to the primitive bishops of Rome, who were no more "Popes" than Cincinnatus was an emperor. It is time that theological science should accept, like other sciences, the language of truth and the terminology of demonstrated fact. The early bishops of Rome were geographically important, and were honoured as sitting in the only apostolic see of the West; but they were almost inconsiderable in the structural work of the ante-Nicene ages, and have left no appreciable impress on its theology. After the Council of Nice they were recognised as patriarchs, though equals among brethren, and nothing more. The ambition of Boniface III. led him to name himself "universal bishop." This was at first a mere name "of intolerable pride," as his predecessor Gregory had called it, but Nicholas I. (a.d. 858) tried to make it real, and, by means of the false decretals, created himself the first "Pope" in the modern sense, imposing his despotism on the West, and identifying it with the polity of Western churches, which alone submitted to it. Thus, it was never Catholic, and came into existence only by nullifying the Nicene Constitutions, and breaking away from Catholic communion with the parent churches of the East. Compare Casaubon (Exercit., xiv. p. 280, etc.) in his comments on Baronius. I have thus stated with scientific precision what all candid critics and historians, even the Gallicans included, enable us to prove. Why, then, keep up the language of fiction and imposture,  so confusing to young students? I believe the youthful Oxonians whom our modern Tertullian carried with him into the papal schism, could never have been made dupes but for the persistent empiricism of orthodox writers who practically adopt in words what they refute in argument, calling all bishops of Rome "Popes," and even including St. Peter's blessed name in this fallacious designation.  In this series I adhere to the logic of facts, calling (1) all the bishops of Rome from Linus to Sylvester simply bishops; and (2) all their successors to Nicholas I. "patriarchs" under the Nicene Constitutions, which they professed to honour, though, after Gregory the Great, they were ever vying with Constantinople to make themselves greater. (3) Nicholas, who trampled on the Nicene Constitutions, and made the false decretals the canon law of the Western churches, was therefore the first "Pope" who answers to the Tridentine definitions. Even these, however, were never able to make dogmatic  the claim of "supremacy," which was first done by Pins IX. in our days. A canonical Primacy is one thing: a self-asserted Supremacy is quite another, as the French doctors have abundantly demonstrated.
Here begins that "duplicating of our knowledge" of primitive Rome of which Bunsen speaks so justly. A thorough mastery of this book will prepare us to understand the great Cyprian in all his relations with the Roman Province, and not less to comprehend the affairs of Novatian.
Bunsen, with all respect, does not comprehend the primitive system, and reads it backward, from the modern system, which travesties antiquity even in its apparent conformities. These conformities are only the borrowing of old names for new contrivances. Thus, he reads the cardinals of the eleventh century into the simple presbytery of comprovincial bishops of the third century,  just as he elsewhere lugs in the Ave Maria of modern Italy to expound the Evening Hymn to the Trinity.  In a professed Romanist, like De Maistre, this would be resented as jugglery. But let us come to facts. Bunsen's preliminary remarks  are excellent. But when he comes to note an "exceptional system" in the Roman "presbytery," he certainly confuses all things. Let us recur to Tertullian.  See how much was already established in his day, which the Council of Nicaea recognised a century later as old primitive institutions. In all things the Greek churches were the exemplar and the model for other churches to follow. "Throughout the provinces of Greece," he says, "there are held, in definite localities, those councils," etc. "If we also, in our diverse provinces, observe," etc. Now, these councils, or "meetings," in spite of the emperors or the senate who issued mandates against them, as appears from the same passage, were, in the Roman Province, made up of the comprovincial bishops: and their gatherings seem to have been called "the Roman presbytery; "for, as is evident, the bishops and elders were alike called "presbyters," the word being as common to both orders as the word pastors or clergymen in our days. According to the thirty-fourth of the "Canons Apostolical," as Bunsen remarks, "the bishops of the suburban towns, including Portus, also formed at that time an integral part of the Roman presbytery." This word also refers to all the presbyters of the diocese of Rome itself; and I doubt not originally the laity had their place, as they did in Carthage: "the apostles, elders, and brethren" being the formula of Scripture; or, "with the whole Church," which includes them, omni plebe adstante.  Now, all this accounts, as Bunsen justly observes, for the fact that one of the "presbytery" should be thus repeatedly called presbyter and "at the same time have the charge of the church at Portus, for which (office) there was no other title than the old one of bishop; for such was the title of every man who presided over the congregation in any city, at Ostia, at Tusculum, or in the other suburban cities.
Now let us turn to the thirty-fourth  "Apostolical Canon" (so called), and note as follows: "It is necessary that the bishops of every nation should know who is chief among them, and should recognise him as their head by doing nothing of great moment without his consent; and that each of them should do such things only as pertain to his own parish and the districts under him. And neither let him do any thing without the consent of all, for thus shall there be unity of heart, and thus shall God be glorified through our Lord Jesus Christ." I do not pause to expound this word parish, for I am elucidating Hippolytus by Bunsen's aid, and do not intend to interpolate my own theory of the primitive episcopate.
Let the "Apostolical Constitutions" go for what they are worth:  I refer to them only under lead of Dr. Bunsen. But now turn to the Nicene Council (Canon VI.) as follows: "Let the ancient customs prevail in Egypt, Libya, and Pentapolis, so that the Bishop of Alexandria have jurisdiction in all these provinces, since the like is customary in Rome also. Likewise in Antioch and the other provinces, let the churches retain their privileges." Here the Province of Rome is recognised as an ancient institution, while its jurisdiction and privileges are equalized with those of other churches. Now, Rufinus, interpreting this canon, says it means, "the ancient custom of Alexandria and Rome shall still be observed; that the one shall have the care or government of the Egyptian, and the other that of the suburbicary churches." Bunsen refers us to Bingham, and from him we learn that the suburbicary region, as known to the Roman magistrates, included only "a hundred miles about Rome."  This seems to have been canonically extended even to Sicily on the south, but certainly not to Milan on the north. Suffice it, Hippolytus was one of those suburbicarian bishops who sat in the Provincial Council of Rome; without consent of which the Bishop of Rome could not, canonically, do anything of importance, as the canon above cited ordains. Such are the facts necessary to a comprehension of conflicts excited by "the contemporaneous heresy," here noted.
"Zephyrinus imagines that he administers the affairs of the Church an uninformed and shamefully corrupt man." This word imagines is common with Hippolytus in like cases, and Dr. Wordsworth gives an ingenious explanation of this usage. But it seems to me to be based upon the relations of Hippolytus as one of the synod or "presbytery," without consent of which the bishop could do nothing important. Zephyrinus, on the contrary, imagined himself competent to decide as to the orthodoxy of a tenet or of a teacher, without his comprovincials. This, too, relieves our author from the charge of egotism when he exults in the defeat of such a bishop.  He says, it is true, "Callistus threw off Sabellius through fear of me," and we may readily believe that; but he certainly means to give honour to others in the Province when he says,"We resisted Zephyrinus and Callistus; We nearly converted Sabellius; All were carried away by the hypocrisy of CalIistus, except ourselves." This man cried out to his episcopal brethren, "Ye are Ditheists," apparently in open council. His council prevailed over him by the wise leadership of Hippolytus, however; and he says of the two guilty bishops, "Never, at any time, have we been guilty of collusion with them." They only imagined, therefore, that they were managing the "affairs of the Church." The fidelity of their comprovincials preserved the faith of the Apostles in apostolic Rome.
Here we see that Hippolytus had no idea of the sense some put upon the convenire of his master Irenaeus.  It was not "necessary" for them to conform their doctrines to that of the Bishop of Rome, evidently; nor to "the Church of Rome" as represented by him. To the church which presided over a province, indeed, recourse was to be had by all belonging to that province; but it is our author's grateful testimony, that to the council of comprovincials, and not to any one bishop therein, Rome owed its own adhesion to orthodoxy at this crisis.
All this illustrates the position of Tertullian, who never thinks of ascribing to Rome any other jurisdiction than that belonging to other provinces. As seats of testimony, the apostolic sees, indeed, are all to be honoured. "In Greece, go to Corinth; in Asia Minor, to Ephesus; if you are adjacent to Italy, you have Rome; whence also (an apostolic) authority is at hand for us in Africa." Such is his view of "contemporaneous affairs."
"Well might he weep," says Tayler Lewis, "as Lucian represents him, over his overflowing universe of perishing phenomena, where nothing stood; nothing was fixed, but, as in a mixture, all things were confounded." He was "the weeping philosopher."
Here let me add Henry Nelson Coleridge's remarks on the Greek seed-plot of those philosophies which were begotten of the Egyptian mysteries, and which our author regards as, in turn, engendering "all heresies," when once their leaders felt, like Simon Magus, a power in the Gospel of which they were jealous, and of which they wished to make use without submitting to its yoke. "Bishop Warburton," says Henry Nelson Coleridge, "discovered, perhaps, more ingenuity than sound judgment in his views of the nature of the Greek mysteries; entertaining a general opinion that their ultimate object was to teach the initiated a pure theism, and to inculcate the certainty and the importance of a future state of rewards and punishments. I am led by the arguments of Villoison and Ste. Croix to doubt the accuracy of this." In short, he supposes a "pure pantheism," or Spinosism, the substance of their teaching. 
This and the foregoing chapter offer us a most overwhelming testimony to the independence of councils. In the late "Council of Sacristans" at the Vatican, where truth perished, Pius IX. refused to all the bishops of what he accounted "the Catholic universe" what the seven suburbicarian bishops were able to enforce as a right, in the primitive age, against two successive Bishops of Rome, who were patrons of heresy. These heretical prelates persisted; but the Province remained in communion with the other apostolic provinces, while rejecting all communion with them. All this will help us in studying Cyprian's treatise On Unity, and it justifies his own conduct.
The simple primitive cathedra,  of which we may learn something from the statue of Hippolytus, was, no doubt, "a throne" in the eyes of an ambitious man. Callistus is here charged, by one who knew him and his history, with obtaining this position by knavish words and practices. The question may well arise, in our Christian love for antiquity, How could such things be, even in the age of martyrdoms? Let us recollect, that under the good Bishop Pius, when his brother wrote the Hermas, the peril of wealth and love of money began to be imminent at Rome. Tertullian testifies to the lax discipline of that see when he was there. Minucius Felix lets us into the impressions made by the Roman Christians upon surrounding heathen: they were a set of conies burrowing in the earth; a "light-shunning people," lurking in the catacombs. And yet, while this fact shows plainly that good men were not ambitious to come forth from these places of exile and suffering, and expose themselves needlessly to death, it leads us to comprehend how ambitious men, studiosi novarum rerum, could remain above ground, conforming very little to the discipline of Christ, making friends with the world, and yet using their nominal religion on the principle that "gain is godliness." There were some wealthy Christians; there were others, like Marcia in the palace, sufficiently awakened to perceive their own wickedness, and anxious to do favours to the persecuted flock, by way, perhaps, of compounding for sins not renounced. And when we come to the Epistles of Cyprian,  we shall see what opportunities were given to desperate men to make themselves a sort of brokers to the Christian community; for selfish ends helping them in times of peril, and rendering themselves, to the less conscientious, a medium for keeping on good terms with the magistrates. Such a character was Callistus, one of "the grievous wolves" foreseen by St. Paul when he exhorted his brethren night and day, with tears, to beware of them.How he made himself Bishop of Rome, the holy Hippolytus sufficiently explains.
It has been sufficiently demonstrated by the learned Dollinger, than whom a more competent and qualified witness could not be named, that the late pontiff, Pius IX., was in this respect, as a bishop, very much like Callistus. Moreover, his chief adviser and prime minister, Antonelli, was notoriously Callistus over again; standing towards him in the same relations which Callistus bore to Zephyrinus. Yet, by the bull Ineffabilis, that pontiff has retrospectively clothed the definitions of Zephyrinus and Callistus with infallibility; thus making himself also a partaker in their heresies, and exposing himself to the anathemas with which the Catholic councils overwhelmed his predecessor Honorius and others. That at such a crisis the testimony of Hippolytus should come to light, and supply a reductio ad absurdum to the late papal definitions, may well excite such a recognition of divine providence as Dr. Bunsen repeatedly suggests.
The Edinburgh editor supposes that the use of the plural we, in this place, is the official plural of a bishop. It has been already explained, however, that he is speaking of the provincial bishops with whom he withstood Callistus when the plebs were carried away by his hypocrisy. In England, bishops in certain cases, are a "corporation sole; "and, as such, the plural is legal phraseology. All bishops, however, use the plural in certain documents, as identifying themselves with the universal episcopate, on the Cyprianic principle Episcopatus unus est, etc.
In Acts 5:13 is a passage which may be somewhat explained, perhaps, by this: "All consented we did not." The plebs joined themselves to the apostles; "but of the rest durst no man join himself to them: howbeit, the plebs magnified them, and believers were added," etc. "The rest" here means the priests, the Pharisees, and Sadducees, the classes who were not the plebs, as appears by what immediately follows. 
Again: Hippolytus refers to the action of the suburbicarian bishops in provincial council. And here is the place to express dissatisfaction with the apologetic tone of some writers, who seem to think Hippolytus too severe, etc. As if, in dealing with such "wolves in sheep's clothing," this faithful leader could show himself a true shepherd without emphasis and words of abhorrence. Hippolytus has left to the Church the impress of his character  as "superlatively sweet and amiable." Such was St. John, the beloved disciple; but he was not less a "son of thunder." Our Divine Master was "the Lamb," and "the Lion; "the author of the Beatitudes, and the author of those terrific woes; the "meek and gentle friend of publicans and sinners," and the "lash of small cords" upon the backs of those who made His Father's house a "den of thieves." Such was Chrysostom, such was Athanasius, such was St. Paul, and such have ever been the noblest of mankind; tender and considerate, gentle and full of compassion; but not less resolute, in the crises of history, in withstanding iniquity in the persons of arch-enemies of truth, and setting the brand upon their foreheads. Good men, who hate strife, and love study and quiet, and to be friendly with others; men who never permit themselves to indulge a personal enmity, or to resent a personal affront; men who forgive injuries to the last farthing when they only are concerned, may yet crucify their natures in withstanding evil when they are protecting Christ's flock, or fulfilling the command to "contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints." What the Christian Church owes to the loving spirit of Hippolytus in the awful emergencies of his times, protecting the poor sheep, and grappling with wolves for their sake, the Last Day will fully declare. But let us who know nothing of such warfare concede nothing, in judging of his spirit, to the spirit of our unbelieving age, which has no censures except for the defenders of truth
"Eternal smiles its emptiness betray,
As shallow streams run dimpling all the way."
Bon Dieu, bon diable, as the French say, is the creed of the times. Every one who insults the faith of Christians, who betrays truths he was sworn to defend, who washes his hands but then gives Christ over to be crucified, must be treated with especial favour. Christ is good: so is Pilate; and Judas must not be censured. My soul be with Hippolytus when the great Judge holds his assize. His eulogy is in the psalm :  "Then stood up Phinehas, and executed judgment: and so the plague was stayed.And that was counted unto him for righteousness unto all generations, for evermore."
There is an ambiguity in the facts as given in the Edinburgh edition, of which it is hard to relieve the text. The word is rendered to retain (their places) in the first instance, as if the case were all one with the second instance, where is justly rendered to continue. The second case seems, then, to cover all the ground. What need to speak of men "twice or thrice married," if a man once married, after ordination is not to be retained? The word retained is questionable in the first instance; and I have adopted Wordsworth's reading, to be enrolled, which is doubtless the sense.
This statement of our author lends apparent countenance to the antiquity of the "Apostolic Constitutions," so called. Perhaps Hippolytus really supposed them to be apostolic. By Canon XVII. of that collection, a man twice married, after baptism cannot be "on the sacerdotal list at all." By Canon XXVI., an unmarried person once admitted to the clergy cannot be permitted to marry. These are the two cases referred to by our author. In the Greek churches this rule holds to this day; and the Council of Nice refused to prohibit the married clergy to live in that holy estate, while allowing the traditional discipline which Hippolytus had in view in speaking of a violation of the twenty-sixth traditional canon as a sin. As Bingham has remarked, however, canons of discipline may be relaxed when not resting on fundamental and scriptural laws.
The Callistians, it seems, became a heretical sect, and yet presumed to call themselves a "Catholic Church." Yet this sect, while Callistus lived, was in full communion with the Bishop of Rome. Such communion, then, was no test of Catholicity. Observe the enormous crimes of which this lawless one was guilty; he seems to antedate the age of Theodora's popes and Marozia s, and what Hippolytus would have said of them is not doubtful. It is remarkable that he employed St. Paul's expression, however, ho a ,  "that wicked" or that "lawless one," seeing, in such a bishop, what St. Gregory did in another, "a forerunner of the Antichrist."
Bunsen remarks that Theodoret speaks of this sect  under the head of the "Noetians." Wordsworth quotes as follows: "Callistus took the lead in propagating this heresy after Noetus, and devised certain additions to the impiety of the doctrine." In other words, he was not merely a heretic, but himself a heresiarch. He gives the whole passage textually,  and institutes interesting parallelisms between the Philosophumena and Theodoret, who used our author, and boldly borrowed from him.
When one looks at the infinite variety of opinions, phrases, ideas, and the like, with which the heresies of three centuries threatened to obscure, defile, and destroy the revelations of Holy Scripture, who can but wonder at the miracle of orthodoxy? Note with what fidelity the good fight of faith was maintained, the depositum preserved, and the Gospel epitomized at last in the Nicaeno-Constantinopolitan definitions, which Professor Shedd, as I have previously noted, declares to be the accepted confession of all the reformed, reputed orthodox, as well as of Greeks and Latins. Let us not be surprised, that, during these conflicts, truth on such mysterious subjects was reflected from good men's minds with slight variations of expression. Rather behold the miracle of their essential agreement, and of their entire harmony in the Great Symbol, universally accepted as the testimony of the ante-Nicene witnesses. The Word was Himself the cause of all created things; Himself increate; His eternal generation implied in the eternity of His existence and His distinct personality.
I am a little surprised at the innocent statement of the learned translator, that "Dr. Wordsworth justifies Hippolytus use of this word." It must have occurred to every student of the Greek Testament that St. Peter justifies this use in the passage quoted by Wordsworth, which one would think must be self-suggested to any theologian reading our author's text. In short, Hippolytus quotes the second Epistle of St. Peter  (2 Peter 2:4) when he uses this otherwise startling word. Josephus also employs it;  it was familiar to the Jews, and the apostle had no scruple in adopting a word which proves the Gentile world acquainted with a Gehenna as well as a Sheol.
Dr. Wordsworth justly censures Bunsen for his rendering of this passage,  also for manufacturing for Hippolytus a "Confession of Faith" out of his tenth book.  I must refer the student to that all-important chapter in Dr. Wordsworth's work (cap. xi.) on the "Development of Christian Doctrine." It is masterly, as against Dr. Newman, as well; and the respectful justice which he renders at the same time to Dr. Bunsen is worthy of all admiration. Let it be noted, that, while one must be surprised by the ready command of literary and theological materials which the learned doctor and chevalier brings into instantaneous use for his work, it is hardly less surprising, in spite of all that, that he was willing to throw off his theories and strictures, without any delay, during the confusions of that memorable year 1851, when I had the honour of meeting him among London notabilities. He says to his "dearest friend, Archdeacon Hare, Dr. Tregelles informed me last week of the appearance of the work (of Hippolytus) I procured a copy in consequence, and perused it as soon as I could; and I have already arrived at conclusions which seem to me so evident that I feel no hesitation in expressing them to you at once." These conclusions were creditable to his acumen and learning in general; eminently so. But the theories he had so hastily conceived, in other particulars, crop out in so many crudities of theological caprice, that nobody should try to study his theoretical opinions without the aid of that calm reviewal they have received from Dr. Wordsworth's ripe and sober scholarship and well-balanced intellect.
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