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The first apology of Justin Martyr, addressed to the Emperor Antoninus Pius : prefaced by some account of the writings and opinions of Justin Martyr online

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Dr. Grabe observes), but in the Epistle to the Hebrews, iii. i, from
whence he justly concludes that this Epistle was known to, and approved
by, Justin Martyr.



The First Apology of Jnstin Martyr. (8 1 )

Father but the Son, nor the Son, but them to Whom the Son
will reveal Him." The Jews therefore, for maintaining that
it was the Father of the universe Who had the conference
with Moses, when it was the very Son of God Who had it,
and Who is styled both Angel and Apostle, are justly accused
by the prophetic Spirit, and Christ Himself, for knowing neither
the Father nor the Son ; for they who affirm the Son to be
the Father are guilty of not knowing the Father, and likewise
of being ignorant that the Father of the universe has a Son,
Who being the Logos and First-begotten of God is God.^
And He it is Who heretofore appeared to Moses and the
rest of the prophets, sometimes in fire and sometimes in the
form of angels ; but now, under your empire, as I mentioned,
was born of a virgin, according to the will of His Father,
to such as should believe in Him, and was content to be
made of no reputation, and to suffer, that by His death and
resurrection He might conquer death. And whereas it was
said to Moses out of the bush, " I Am that I Am, the God
of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob, and the
God of your fathers ; " the design of these words is to prove
that, notwithstanding these men were dead, yet were they in a
state of happiness ; and that Christ is the God of these men,
and their mighty deliverer ; for these men of old sequestered
themselves from the world to seek after God ; and as Moses
relates, Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father
of Jacob.

LXXXIV. Moreover, that it was a contrivance of the devils
to erect the image of Kdre upon fountains of water, whom they
reported to be Jove's daughter, to ape Moses, you may easily
collect from what I have quoted before : " In the beginning

^ '* Who being the Logos, and First-begotten of God, ««) ddi v'rup^if^u,
is God." I desire to know what the worst of Justin's adversaries can say to
this ; whether words can be more express for the divinity of the Son than
Ku) 6-1; v-rdpxu, ** He is the very God."



(82) The First Apology of Jnstin Martyr.

God created the heaven and the earth, and the earth was
without form, and the Spirit of God moved upon the face
of the waters." In imitation of this Spirit moving upon
the waters, they set up the idol Kore or Proserpina upon
the waters, and gave her out to be the daughter of Jove.
Just such another forgery was the setting up Minerva for
Jove's daughter, not by any carnal mixture, but because
they found that God, reflecting upon Himself, made the world
by His Logos or Wisdom, they framed this Minerva to be
the issue of Jove's brain, or his first-begotten notion. Though
I cannot but think it extremely ridiculous to represent the
notion of a mind by the form of a woman. In hke manner,
the actions which are attributed to the sons of Jove evidently
proves the sons to be of the same stamp with the daughters.

LXXXV. After the believer is baptized, and so incorporated
or made one with us, we lead him to the congregation of the
brethren, as we call them, and then with great fervency pour
out our souls in common prayers ^ both for ourselves, for the

^ Koivu; il^k; ^aiijffeifitivoi — ^etvra-^ov ^dvreov ivrovu;. They are Called
common prayers, because the whole congregation did join with the bishop
in them. This therefore must be a set form of prayer, or else they could
not join in it ; and therefore St. Cyprian, speaking of the Lord's Prayer,
which was that form which the whole congregation repeated together, says,
"Publicaest nobis et communis oratio : a public and common prayer is
in use among us." Cypr. de Orat. Doniin. What this form of prayer
was, Justin does not tell us, but he tells us in general, '* that they prayed
for themselves, for the person baptized, and for all others all the world
over," etc. More particulars of this Liturgy you may see quoted out of
the Apostolic Constitutions by Dr. Grabe in his notes upon this place. But
I observe that Irenaeus is as shy as Justin of publishing the forms in any
of the Christian Offices, though he speaks both of baptism and of the
Eucharist, and of the prayers and praises there in general. Only when
some heretics had drawn false conclusions from the Doxology to support
their own opinions he is forced to say, 'AxXa x.au rifzoi; W) ret; ivxt^pia-riu;
XiyovTcc;, il; tov; etluvec; ruv etiuvuv, *' They allege that we in our thanks-
givings do say, world without end." Iren. ad adv. Hcbv. \. i, c. i. p. 1 6.



The First Apology of Justin Martyr. (83)

person baptized, and for all others all the world over ; that
having embraced the truth, our conversation might be as
becometh the Gospel, and that we may be found doers of the
world, and so at length be saved with an everlasting salvation.
Prayers being over, we salute each other with a kiss.^ After

From hence we may conclude that in Irenaeus's time, A.D. 179, the Chris-
tians praised God in public by this very form which we now use, " Glory
be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost : as it was in the
beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen." And
TertuUian, in his Apology, frequently says, **We pray for the emperors
and their ministers, for secular potentates," etc. And Clement says, " Let
the deacon pray for the universal Church, the whole world, for the priests
and governors, for the chief priests and kings, and the general peace,"
Constit. 1. 2, c. 51. And to mention but one more ; Cyril, declaring the
practice of his time at the celebration of the Eucharist, says thus, £t/ t«,-
(v(Tia.i iKiUm rov iXaa-fzov, etc. " Over this propitiatory sacrifice we call
upon God for the general peace of all Churches, for the tranquillity of the
world, for emperors, their armies, and all that fight for them," Catech. 10.
Now that which I would infer from these quotations is this, that the
primitive Fathers could not have insisted upon these particulars, as a proof
of the Christian loyalty, and universal charity, if they had not constantly
made these things the subjects of their prayers ; and if they had used
no stated forms, extempore prayer had been too various and uncertain to
have been a proof in this or any other case.

^ The a.ya.-TTa.i OX love-feasts, which at first were always joined with the
Eucharist, degenerating into abuse and scandal (which were the spots
perhaps St. Jude alludes to), were soon laid aside in the Greek Church, and
probably in the time of Justin, because he says nothing of them ; and the
Lord's Supper was celebrated in the morning fasting. Though it is certain
these feasts continued in the African Church till Tertullian's time, as you
will find in his Apology, c. 39. However, that the blessed communion
might still lay claim to the title of a love-feast, it was attended with cere-
monies of the like import ; whence upon the entrance into this holy
mystery the deacon was appointed to cry aloud, ft-yj ng kkto. tIvos, " Let no
man be at strife one with another." And this proclamation once past,
the holy kiss and embraces immediately followed, xXX^Xovi (fnx^f^an
KiTxix.'C,'oy.-Ja, -TravffKfAivoi tmv ihx^^y that is, " Prayers ended, we salute one
another with an holy kiss ; " . but dxxr,Xov; ol eiv^ptc, kk) xXX^Xa? «/
'yvvctTxis, " Men salute men, and women women, and the clergy the
bishop," as the Constitutions have it, 1. ii. c. 57. And it could not



(84) The First Apology of Justin Martyr,

this, bread and a cup of wine and water are brought to the
president or bishop/ which he takes, and offers up praise and

indeed be well otherwise, considering the different apartments in the
church for each sex. Const. Apost. 1. ii. c. 57.

^ "'EfT£/T« Tpao'^ipiTiiti TO) <^poi(rTuri ruv a,oiX(puv, The "Tefoiffrui^ and the
Probati Seniores in Tertullian, Apol, c. 39, and the Majores Natu in St.
Cyprian, Epist. 75, were undoubtedly bishops, and so the o\ -TrpoiTTura
-7rpi(T(->vripot in St. Paul, I Tim. v. 17, which we translate, though I think
not well, " ruling elders," were the same with -^poiffTu; in Justin ; such elders
as had the power " Baptizandi et manuum imponendi et ordinandi : of
baptizing, confirming, and ordaining," as Cyprian assures us, privileges
never pretended to at that time by lay elders. Nor were they presbyters
as distinct from bishops, but bishops in chief, and presbyters in a fraternal
consociation: for thus the same Father, Epist. 6, "a primordio Epis-
copatus mei statui nihil sine consilio vestro privata sententia gerere ;
from the beginning of my episcopate I resolved to do nothing of my own
head without your advice ; " which shows that the presbyters were
admitted as joint-commissioners, but did nothing without leave from the
bishop ; for without his leave neither Presbyters nor deacons were per-
mitted to baptize, except in cases of necessity, as not only Ignatius but
Tertullian expressly tells us, Epist. ad Sinynieos, p. 6 ; Tert. de Bapt.
c. 17, p. 230. And we find in Tertullian that they never received the
sacrament but from the hand of the president, de Cor. Mil. c. 3, p. 102,
which must either be understood of the particular custom of the African
Church, or of consecration only. For here in Justin Martyr we find that
when the bishop or president had consecrated the sacramental elements by
solemn prayers and blessings, the custom was for the deacon to distribute
them to the people, both to the absent as well as present. See more
of the word Tpoiffrug in that excellent treatise of Dean Hickes concerning
"The Dignity of the Episcopal Order," p. 182. 'rorripiov v^aros kou
Kpa.i/.ccTo;, etc. That wine mixed with water was constantly made use of by
the primitive Christians is beyond dispute from this passage, and likewise
from Dr. Grabe's notes upon Irenseus, 1. v. c. 2. The reason of this
mixture was partly in imitation of our Saviour's act in the first institution of
the Eucharist, agreeable to the custom of that warm climate, which used to
temper the heat of the wine with water ; and partly because that when
our Saviour's side was pierced with a lance, there issued out both water
and blood (John xix. 34). And agreeable to this primitive practice, "a little
pure and clear water " was put into the chalice of wine at the Reformation, as
you may see in the Rubric of the Communion Office of the first Common
Prayer-Book of Edward VI. The bread and the wine and water, Tpo(T(pipi'ra.i



The First Apology of Jit st in Martyr. (85)

glory to the Father of all things, through the name of His
Son and the Holy Spirit ; and this thanksgiving ^ to God for

Tw TponrruTt, " are brought to the bishop." These words seem to me to make
for that practice which Dr. Hickes, with such incomparable zeal and
learning, argues for in his preface against *' the Rights ; " for he tells us,
" that in the alterations made in the Office for administering the Lord's
Supper, in King Edward VI. 's Service-Book, the Rubric was left out,
which commanded the minister * to set the bread and wine upon the altar,'
as an offering ; but this Rubric was restored in the Office for the Church of
Scotland, and likewise in the Office of Holy Communion of our present
Liturgy, established by the Act of Uniformity after the Restoration." And
having justly censured the general neglect of this act, and the great
indecency of having the bread and wine placed upon our Lord's table by
the clerk, sexton, or perhaps some unfitter person, he adds, "that this
practice of the officiating priests setting the bread and wine in the sight of
the people, with reverence upon the holy table, was so inviolably observed
in ancient times, that they had in their churches a buffet or sideboard on
the right or left hand of the altar, upon which a priest or deacon set the
bread and wine, from whence they were carried by the deacon or priest,
when there were two, to the officiating priest, who reverently placed ihem
as an offering on the Lord's table." This sideboard for the elements and
holy vessels was called in the Greek Church Tpohffis, in the Latin Church
Paratorium, and in Italy Credenza, in France Credence. And this ancient
Credenza or side-table was made one article against Archbishop Laud, to
prove that he endeavoured " to subvert God's true religion by law estab-
lished in this realm, and instead thereof to set up popish superstition and
idolatry." But I refer you to the excellent preface aforesaid, pp. 52, 53,
etc., where you will find this at large, with many other discoveries truly
valuable.

1 Our blessed Saviour at the institution of the Sacrament is said to have
taken bread and wine and blessed them, ivXoy^a-et;, xa.) il^.ttpiffrrKru; (Matt.
xxvi. 26, 27 ; Mark xiv. 22, 23), but the form of blessing is not recorded
by the evangelists, nor any of the apostles. However, the primitive Fathers
concluded that Christ did as the Jews were wont to do ; the Passover was
a sacrifice, and therefore the viands here, as in all other feasts, were first
offered to God. Now the bread and wine which our Saviour took, when
He blessed and gave thanks, was the Mincha, or meat-oflering of the
Passover. If, then, Christ did as the Jews used to do, He agnized His
Father, and blessed Him, by oblation of these His creatures unto Him ;
using the like or the same form of words, " Blessed be Thou, O Lord our
God, the King of the world. Which bringest forth bread out of the earth : "



(86) TJie First Apology of Justin Martyr.

vouchsafing us worthy of these His creatures, is a prayer ot
more than ordinary length. When the bishop has finished
the prayers and the thanksgiving service, i all the people present

and over the wine, " Blessed be Thou, O Lord our God, the King of the
world, Which Greatest the fruit of the vine." Vide Mede, p. 375, and Dr.
Grabe's notes upon this place. In the Christian sacrifice there were. two
distinct parts, the ivxO'pto'Tta, " Thanksgiving " to God for His good
creatures of bread and wine ; and ilxoylx, " Invocation " of His blessing
upon them. That these two were distinct things, the consecration of the
elements made with thanksgiving, not by it, but with blessing joined with
thanksgiving, in one continued prayer, or in two distinct forms ; this,
I say, is evident both from Justin in his Dialogue with Trypho, and from
this place ; in his Dialogue he describes the Eucharist or thanksgiving
part thus, 'O xvpios Tecpi^uxtf 'tvx ccfjitx, n ih^upKrrufjciv rZ 6iw v9ro rov rey
x'offjtov tKTixiyoa ffvv 'Xa.ffi toI? Iv eivrZ oia rov a.v0po^ov, xa) vTo rod d-TTo tJj;
Kxxixs iv n ytyovifjt.iv IkivhpMXivut iif/.as, xai ru; xp^ct;, xa) rxg i^ovffia,?,
xaTCiXiXuxivai ri?^uav xctvaKviriv ^loc rov tethrov yivofjt-'ivov Kara rnv fiovXr.v
xu-ov, " The Lord hath commanded that together we should give thanks
to God for the creation of the v/orld, and all things therein for the benefit
of man ; and for delivering us from the misery wherein we were born, and
for His destroying principalities and powers with a perfect destruction, by
Him "Who suffered according to His will." And elsewhere he says, " That
prayers and thanksgivings made by those that are worthy are the only
sacrifices that are perfect and acceptable." And these he says (speaking
of the Eucharist) It elvafAi^(rii 5s rvs rpo<pyi5 cchruv ^fipei; ri xa.) vypa,;,
iv « xx] rov fahvi cr'i'Xovh 5/ xvrov hos rov hou f/,ifiV7irxi. " In that
thankful remembrance of their food both dry and wet, wherein also is
commemorated the passion which the God of God suffered by Himself."
And so again in this place of the Apology, ivxxpiar'ixv Tpo rov xxm^iutrSxt
rovruv, etc. ' ' That God did vouchsafe them worthy of bread and
wine." So that in the Eucharist we have a twofold commemoration ; the
one of our meat and drink, by agnizing and recording God to be the
Lord and Giver of the same, in opposition to those heretics who denied
Him to be the Maker of the world ; the other an 'Ava^vjjc-/?, or commemora-
tion, in the same bread and wine, of the passion of the Son of God ; but
for a fuller explanation of this I refer to the G^eat Duty of frequenting
the Christian Sacrifice, written by the author of The Fasts and Festivals.
As to the ilxoy'ix, the invocation of a blessing or consecratory part, I shall
speak of that presently.

^ 'Evx,xi xx) rhv ivp^xptffrixv. Here, besides the thanksgiving or prayer
Eucharistical, we find other prayers, but what they were Justin says not,



The First Apology of Justin Martyr. (^^)

conclude with an audible voice, saying Amen.^ Now Amen
in the Hebrew tongue is, " So it be." The Eucharistical

but no doubt he means the prayer of consecration ; for when Christ so
solemnly took bread and wine, sJxo^wVa?, "calling upon God for His
blessing;" kou eJ-^a^/o-Tso-aj, "and giving thanks," and commanding this
to be done in remembrance of Him until His second coming ; it cannot
be supposed, I say, that He used a common form of grace, as at other
ordinary meals, but had a peculiar form, with relation to those ends for
which He instituted this holy feast. Accordingly all the ancient Liturgies,
not to mention that of Basil or Chrysostom ; the Clementine Constitu-
tions, elder than both, are very express to this purpose, where, having
premised the words of institution, he adds : 'A|/o2^£v ait 'otui iu/u.svu;
iTsfiXiTfjs i'f^ TO, ^poxiifAiva ^uffo. raZra, IvtuTtov ffov, tru o otvivhiris hog' koc) xktci-
vifjt.-^yii TO olyiov ffov "Xvivfjix l^} tjjv ^vfflxv Txvryiv /u.a.pTvpa tuv ■^a^fif^.oiTeuv rod
KVpiov Iriffov o'Tu; a'Tfo^tivri rov oiprov ffuf^a too "Kpiffrou ffov xa,i to TOT'/ipiov tovto
alfjLo. Tov XpiffTov ffov, etc. ** We beseech Thee that Thou wouldest
graciously be pleased to look down upon these oblations presented before
Thee, Thou God that wantest nothing, and send down Thy Holy Spirit
upon this sacrifice, commemorative of the sufferings of our Lord Jesus,
that this bread may be unto us the body of Thy Christ, and this cup the
blood of Thy Christ." Agreeable to this primitive form of invocation is
that in the Scotch and English Liturgy in the First Book of Edward VI.,
where, after these words, " Hear us, O merciful Father, we beseech Thee,"
it follows, "And with Thy Holy Spirit and Word vouchsafe to bless and
sanctify these Thy creatures and gifts of bread and wine, that they may be
unto us the body and blood of Thy most dearly beloved Son Jesus Christ,
Who in the same night," etc.

^ Ua; Xa.oi i<Tiv(pnXu /u-iyav \\uy,v. Here we see that the president
alone pronounced the prayer, and the people ended with the acclamation
of Amen ; which further proves it to be the consecrating prayer, which
none but the minister had authority to pronounce. For, as Dr. Potter
observes in his learned discourse of Church Government, p. 249, '* In
the former prayers the people repeated xotv'^ -ravri; " (as Justin has it), *'all
together," following the minister, and for a proof of this he refers to the
ancient Liturgies, particularly to the Apostolic Constitutions, 1. viii. c. 6,
8, 9, II, and elsewhere. And moreover adds, that "this distinction seems
to be made in Scripture, where, when our Lord consecrates the Eucharist,
He alone is said to bless or to give thanks ; whereas in the Acts iv. 24,
when prayer is made, wherein the whole assembly are equally concerned,
we are told, 'they lift up their voice with one accord.'" And this I
the rather take notice of, because I generally find the common people



(88) The First Apology of Jiistin Martyr.

office being thus performed by the bishop, and concluded
with the acclamation of all the people, those we call deacons
distribute to every one present to partake of this Eucharistical
bread and wine and water, and then they carry it to the
absent.^

LXXXVI. This food we call the Eucharist,^ of which none
are allowed to be partakers, but such only as are true be-

ignorantly joining not only in the consecration, but in the absolution also,
both M'hich are peculiarly appropriated to the priestly office.

1 * ' The deacons distribute to every one present, and then carry it to the
absent." The custom of turning their backs upon the Lord's Supper was
not known among the faithful in time of old ; and those who came to the
sermon, and went out before the communion, were excommunicated ;
" Laici fideles Ecclesiam ingredientes et Scripturas audientes, si non per-
maneant in Precatione, et Sacra Communione egregantur," Can. Apost. 9.
In the primitive Church so much bread and wine was taken from a large
table as the officiating priest judged sufficient for the communicants.
These elements thus separated from the rest were consecrated, and what
remained after the communion was carried by the deacon to the sick, and
sent about to absent friends, as pledges and tokens of love and agreement
in the unity of the same faith. But because this carrying the sacramental
elements up and down the world was thought not so well to comport with
the reverence due to this sacred ordinance, it was abolished by the
Laodicean Synod ; and the Eulogiae, or pieces of bread which remained of
the offerings of the people, were appointed at Easter to be sent up and
down in their room, Can. 14. One thing more is too obvious not to be
noted in this place, namely, that the bread and wine, the communion in
both kinds, was given to the laity, a practice so notorious, that even the
patrons of dry communion have not the face to deny it.

2 "This food we call the Eucharist, of which none are allowed to par-
take but true believers." It was called the Eucharist, because thanksgiving
was made to God for these benefits, and n5t from any words constituting
consecration, as is commonly supposed. Here likewise is another instance
of " Imperii in Imperio," of Church authority independent on the civil
magistrate, and visible in a state of persecution ; which authority, there-
fore, as it must always enjoy, so the exercise of it must especially appear
when it is resolved into such a state again ; an authority of letting in and
shutting out of Christian communion, according as the spiritual governors
judge of the merits or demerits of the respective persons.



The First Apology of Justin Martyr. (89)

lievers, and have been baptized in the laver of regeneration
for the remission of sins, and Hve according to Christ's pre-
cepts j for we do not take this as common bread and common
wine;^ but as Jesus Christ our Saviour was made. flesh by the

^ " We do not take this as common bread and wine," etc. Justin Martyr
just before had called the Eucharistical food after consecration, barely
bread and wine, and here he says it is not common bread and wine, which
shows that he thought it was still so in substance ; and then he goes on
to illustrate the sanctification of the elements by the incarnation of Christ,
in which the human nature did not lose its substance by its union with
the divine ; so the bread and wine, according to this illustration, do not
lose their proper substance when they become the flesh and blood of
Christ. It must be acknowledged that the ancient Fathers, Justin Martyr
and Irenceus in particular, do teach that in the Eucharist the bread and
wine are by or upon consecration made the body and blood of Christ ;
but then they explain themselves in such a manner as makes not the
least for the doctrine of transubstantiation. Their notion in short was this,
that as John the Baptist was said to be Elias because he was endued with
the same spirit and power that Elias was, so upon the sacerdotal bene-
diction the Spirit of Christ or a divine virtue descends upon the elements,
and accompanies them to all worthy communicants, and therefore are said
to be the body and blood of Christ ; the same divinity which is hypostati-
cally united to the body and blood of Christ in heaven being virtually
united to the elements of bread and wine upon earth. And this I have
already proved to be the sense of all the ancient Liturgies, wherein it is
prayed, " that God would send down His Holy Spirit upon His creatures
of bread and wine in the Eucharist." But that transubstantiation was a
thing never dreamed of, is evident from this very passage of Justin, where
he says, \\ n? ou^a xat ffcipxss x«ra fisrafio^yiv rpi(povrat ri/Mv, " that our
bodies are nourished, and that the bread and wine are turned into the
substance of our bodies ; " which to affirm of the glorified body of Christ
is certainly impious blasphemy. Moreover, our Justin in his most excellent
Dialogue with Trypho the Jew, tells him that it was foretold by the prophets
that the time was coming when they should no longer "offer upon the altar


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Online LibraryMartyr JustinThe first apology of Justin Martyr, addressed to the Emperor Antoninus Pius : prefaced by some account of the writings and opinions of Justin Martyr → online text (page 23 of 24)