1. COMMONITORY. I have retained the original title in its anglicised form, already familiar to English ears in connection with the name of Vincentius. Its meaning, as he uses it, is indicated sufficiently, in § 3, "An aid to memory." Technically, it meant a Paper of Instructions given to a person charged with a commission, to assist his memory as to its details.
2. Peregrinus. It does not appear why Vincentius writes under an assumed name. Vossius, with whom Cardinal Noris evidently agrees, supposes that his object was to avoid openly avowing himself the author of a work which covertly attacked St. Augustine. Vossius, Histor. Pelag. p. 40. Ego quidem ad Vossii sententiam plane accessissem, nisi tot delatæ a sapientissimis Scriptoribus Commonitorio laudes religionem mihi pene injecissent.--NORIS, Histor. Pelag. p. 246.
3. Deut. 32:7.
4. Prov. 22:17.
5. Prov. 3:1.
6. Noris, from this word, "villula," a grange or country house, concludes that Vincentius, at the time of writing, though a monk, was not a monk of Lérins, for there could be no "villula" there then, Honoratus having found the island desolate and without inhabitant, when he settled on it but a few years previously, "vacantem insulam ob nimictatem squaloris, et inaccessam venenatorum animalium metu." Histor. Pelag. p. 251. Why, however, may not the "villula" have been built subsequently to Honoratus's settlement, and indeed, as a part of it? Whether Vincentius was an inmate of the monastery of Lérins at the time of writing the Commonitory or not, he was so eventually, and died there.
7. Ps. 46:10.
8. "Il dit qu'il l'a voulu écrire d'un style facile et commun, sans le vouloir orner et polir; et je voudrois que les ouvrages qu'on a pris le plus de peine à polir dans ce siecle (le 4me) et dans le suivant, ressemblassent à celui-ci."--Tillemont, T. xv. p. 144.
9. There were two persons of this name, both intimately connected with the schism,--the earlier one, bishop of Casa Nigra in Numidia, the other the successor of Majorinus, whom in the year 311 the party had elected to be bishop of Carthage in opposition to Cecilian, the Catholic bishop, the ground of the opposition being that the principal among Cecilian's consecrators lay under the charge of having delivered up the sacred books to the heathen magistrates in the Dioclesian persecution, and of having thereby rendered his ministerial acts invalid. It was from the last-mentioned probably that the sect was called.
The Donatists affected great strictness in life, and ignoring the plain declarations of Scripture, and notably the prophetic representations contained in our Lord's parables of the Tares, the Draw-net, and others, they held that no church could be a true church which endured the presence of evil men in its society. Accordingly they broke off communion with the rest of the African Church and with all who held communion with it, which was in effect the rest of Christendom, denying the validity of their sacraments, rebaptizing those who came over to them from other Christian bodies, and reordaining their clergy.
The sect became so powerful that for some time it formed the stronger party in the church of North Western Africa, its bishops exceeding four hundred in number; but partly checked through the exertions of Augustine in the first years of the fifth century, and of Pope Gregory the Great at the close of the sixth, and partly weakened by divisions among themselves, they dwindled away and became extinct.
10. The rise of Arianism was nearly contemporaneous with that of Donatism. It originated with Arius, a presbyter of Alexandria, a man of a subtle wit and of a fluent tongue. He began by calling in question the teaching of his bishop, when discoursing on a certain occasion on the subject of the Trinity. For himself he denied our blessed Lord's coeternity and consubstantiality with the Father, which was in effect to deny that He is God in any true sense, though he made no scruple of giving Him the name. His doctrine may be best inferred from the anathema directed against it, appended to the original Nicene Creed: "Those who say, that once the Son of God did not exist, and that before He was begotten He did not exist, or who affirm that He is of a different substance or essence (from that of the Father), or that His nature is mutable or alterable, those the Catholic and Apostolic Church anathematises."
Arianism spread with great rapidity; and though condemned by the Council of Nicæa in 325, it gained fresh strength on the death of Constantine and the accession of Constantius, so that for many years thenceforward the history of the Church is occupied with nothing so much as with accounts of its struggle for supremacy.
"Arians and Donatists began both about one time, which heresies, according to the different strength of their own sinews, wrought, as the hope of success led them, the one with the choicest wits, the other with the multitude, so far, that after long and troublesome experience, the perfectest view that men could take of both was hardly able to induce any certain determinate resolution, whether error may do more by the curious subtlety of sharp discourse, or else by the mere appearance of zeal and devout affection."--Hooker, Eccles. Pol. v. 62. § 8.
11. The Catholic bishops, in number more than four hundred, who were at Ariminum, in 359, after having subscribed the Creed of Nicæa, were induced, partly by fraud, partly by threats, to repudiate its crucial terms and sign an Arian Formulary. It was in reference to this that St. Jerome wrote, "Ingemuit orbis, et Arium se esse miratus est." "The world groaned and marvelled to find itself Arian." He continues, "The vessel of the apostles was in extreme danger. The storm raged, the waves beat upon the ship, all hope was gone. The Lord awakes, rebukes the tempest, the monster (Constantius) dies, tranquillity is restored. The bishops who had been thrust out from their sees return, through the clemency of the new emperor. Then did Egypt receive Athanasius in triumph, then did the Church of Gaul receive Hilary returning from battle, then did Italy put off her mourning garments at the return of Eusebius (of Vercellæ)."--Advers. Luciferianos, § 10.
12. Constantius, the Emperor of the West.
13. Though Vincentius' account of the Arian persecutions refers to those under the Arian emperors, Constantius and Valens, the former especially, yet he could not but have had in mind the atrocious cruelties which were being perpetrated, at the time when he was writing, by the Arian Vandals in Africa. Possidius, in his life of St. Augustine, who lay on his death-bed in Hippo while the fierce Vandal host was encamped round the city (c. xxviii.), gives a detailed account of them, belonging to a date some four years earlier, entirely of a piece with Vincentius' description in the text. Victor, bishop of Vite, himself a sufferer, has left a still ampler relation, De Persecutione Vandalorum.
14. St. Ambrose. De Fide, l. 2, c. 15, § 141. See also St. Jerome adv. Luciferianos, § 19.
15. Ibid. l. 3, § 128, St. Ambrose speaks of the Gothic war as a judgment upon Valens, both for his Arianism and for his persecution of the Catholics. He had permitted the Goths to cross the Danube, and settle in Thrace and the adjoining parts, with the understanding that they should embrace Christianity in its Arian form. They had now turned against him, and Gratian was on the eve of setting out to carry aid to him. St. Ambrose's book, De Fide, was written to confirm Gratian in the Catholic faith, in view especially of the Arian influence to which he might be subjected in his intercourse with Valens. Valens was killed the following year, 378, at the battle of Adrianople.
16. Rev. 5:1-5.
17. "The Apostolic see" (Sedes Apostolica) here means Rome of course. But the title was not restricted to Rome. It was common to all sees which could claim an apostle as their Founder. Thus St. Augustine, suggesting a rule for determining what books are to be regarded as Canonical, says, "In Canonicis Scripturis Ecclesiarum Catholicarum quamplurium auctoritatem sequatur, inter quas sane illæ sint quæ Apostolicas Sedes habere et Epistolas accipere meruerunt." "Let him follow the authority of those Catholic Churches which have been counted worthy to have Apostolic Sees; i.e., to have been founded by Apostles, and to have been the recipients of Apostolic Epistles."--De. Doctr. Christiana, II. § 13. But the title, even in St. Augustine's time, had even a wider meaning. "Anciently every bishop's see was dignified with the title of Sedes Apostolica, which in those days was no peculiar title of the bishop of Rome, but given to all bishops in general, as deriving their origin and counting their succession from the apostles."--Bingham, Antiq. II., c. 2, § 3.
18. Agrippinus. See note 20, below.
19. Stephen's letter has not come down to us, happily perhaps for his credit, judging by the terms in which Cyprian speaks of it in the letter in which he quotes the passage in the text.--Ad Pompeian, Ep. 74.
20. The Council held under the presidency of Cyprian in 256. Its acts are contained in Cyprian's works, Ed. Fell. pp. 158, etc. An earlier council had been held in the same city in the beginning of the century under Agrippinus. Both had affirmed the necessity of rebaptizing heretics, or, as they would rather have said, of baptizing them. The controversy was set at rest by a decision of the council of Arles, in 314, which ordered, in its Eighth Canon, that if the baptism had been administered in the name of the Trinity, converts should be admitted simply by the imposition of hands that they might receive the Holy Ghost.
21. See Hooker's reference to this passage.--Eccles. Pol. v, 62, § 9.
22. The condemnation of St. Cyprian's practice of rebaptism.
23. Gen. 9:22.
24. Gal. 1:6.
25. 2 Tim. 4:3, 4.
26. 1 Tim. 5:12.
27. Rom. 16:17, 18.
28. 2 Tim. 3:6.
29. Tit. 1:10.
30. 2 Tim. 3:8.
31. 1 Tim. 6:4.
32. 1 Tim. 5:13.
33. 1 Tim. 1:19.
34. 2 Tim. 2:16, 17.
35. 2 Tim. 3:9.
36. Gal. 1:8.
37. Gal. 5:25.
38. Gal. 5:16.
39. 2 Cor. 12:2.
40. Deut. 13:1, etc.
41. Nestorius was a native of Germanicia, a town in the patriarchate of Antioch, of which Church he became a Presbyter. On the See of Constantinople becoming vacant by the death of Sisinnius, the Emperor Theodosius sent for him and caused him to be consecrated Archbishop. He was at first extremely popular, and so eloquent that people said of him (what was much to be said of a successor of Chrysostom), that there had never before been such a bishop. He was condemned by the Council of Ephesus, in 431. The emperor, after ordering him to return to the monastery to which he formally belonged, eventually banished him to the great Oasis, whence he was harried from place to place till death put an end to his sufferings, in 440. Evagrius, I. 7.
42. Photinus, bishop of Sirmium in Pannonia, was a
native of Galatia, and a disciple of Marcellus of Ancyra. Bishop
Pearson (on the Creed, Art. II) has an elaborate note, in which he
collects together many notices of him left by the ancients. These
agree with Vincentius in representing him as a man of extraordinary
ability and of consummate eloquence. His heresy consisted in the
denial of our blessed Lord's divine nature, whom he regarded as man,
and nothing more,
43. Apollinaris the younger (a contemporary of Photinus), bishop of Laodicea in Syria, was one of the most distinguished men of the age in which he lived. Epiphanius (Haer. lxxvii. 2), referring to his fall into heresy, says that when it first began to be spoken of, people would hardly credit it, so great was the estimation in which he was held. His heresy, which consisted in the denial of the verity of our Lord's human nature, the Divine WORD supplying the place of the rational soul, and in the assertion that his flesh was not derived from the Virgin, but was brought down from heaven, was condemned by the Council of Constantinople, in 381 (Canon I.). It was in reference to the latter form of it that the clause "of the Holy Ghost and the Virgin Mary" was inserted in the Nicene Creed.
44. This work, of which St. Jerome speaks in high terms (de Viris Illustr., c. 104), has not come down to us, nor indeed have his other writings, except in fragments.
45. "Et hoc ipsum non plena fidei sanitate"--The Cambridge Ed., 1687, with Baluzius's notes appended, reads, "et hoc ipsum plena fidei sanctitate."
46. Rom. 7:13.
47. Unum Christum Jesum non duos, eundemque Deum pariter atque Hominem confitetur. Compare the Athanasian Creed, "Est ergo fides recta et credamus et confiteamur, quia Dominus Noster Jesus Christus. Dei Filius, Deus pariter et Homo est."
48. In Trinitate alius atque alius, non aliud atque aliud. In Salvatore aliud atque aliud, non alius atque alius.
49. Aliud atque aliud, non alius atque alius.
50. Quia scilicet alia est Persona Patris, alia Filii, alia Spiritus Sancti sed tamen Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti non alia et alia sed una eadunque natura. So the Athanasian Creed, "Alia est enim Persona Patris, alia Filii, alia Spiritus Sancti, sed Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti una est Divinitas, etc." The coincidence between the whole of this context and the Athanasian Creed is very observable, though the agreement is not always exact to the very letter.
51. Idem ex Patre ante sæcula genitus, Idem in sæculo ex matre generatus. Compare the Athanasian Creed, "Deus est ex substantia Patris ante sæcula genitus; Homo ex substantia Matris in sæculo natus." See Appendix I.
52. The word "Person" is used in this and the preceding section in a way which might seem at variance with Catholic truth. Christ did not assume the Person of a man; but, being God, He united in His one divine Person, the Godhead and the Manhood. This Vincentius himself teaches most explicitly. But his object here is to show that our blessed Lord, while conversant among us as man, and being to all appearance man, did not personate man, but was man in deed and in truth. The misconception against which Vincentius seeks to guard arises from the ambiguity of the Latin Persona, an ambiguity which is not continued in our derived word Person. Persona signifies not only Person, in our sense of the word, but also an assumed character. Though however we have not this sense in Person, we have it in Personate.
53. "If the Son of God had taken to Himself a man now made and already perfected, it would of necessity follow that there are in Christ two persons, the one assuming and the other assumed; whereas, the Son of God did not assume a man's person unto His own, but a man's nature to His own person, and therefore took semen, the seed of Abraham, the very first original element of our nature, before it was come to have any personal human subsistence. The flesh, and the conjunction of the flesh with God, began both in one instant. His making and taking to Himself our flesh was but one act, so that in Christ there is no personal subsistence but one, and that from everlasting. By taking only the nature of man He still continueth one person, and changeth but the manner of His subsisting, which was before in the mere glory of the Son of God, and is now in the habit of our flesh."--Hooker, Eccl. Pol. v. 52, § 3.
54. "A kind of mutual commutation there is, whereby those concrete names, God and man, when we speak of Christ, do take interchangeably one another's room, so that for truth of speech, it skilleth not, whether we say that the Son of God hath created the world, and the Son of man by His death hath saved it, or else, that the Son of man did create, and the Son of God die to save the world. Howbeit, as oft as we attribute to God what the manhood of Christ claimeth, or to man what His Deity hath right unto, we understand by the name of God and the name of man neither the one nor the other nature, but the whole person of Christ, in whom both natures are."--Hooker, Eccl. Polity, v. 53, § 4. This is technically called "The Communication of Properties," Communicatio idiomatum.
55. St. John 3:13.
56. 1 Cor. 2:8.
57. Ps. 22:16.
58. Sicut Verbum in carne caro, ita Homo in Deo Deus est. Compare the Athanasian Creed, v. 33, in what is probably the true reading, "Unus autem, non conversione Divinitatis in carne, sed assumptione Humanitatis in Deo."
59. Antelmi, who ascribed the Athanasian Creed to Vincentius, thought that document a fulfilment of the promise here made. Nova de Symbolo Athanasiano Disquisitio.--See Appendix I.
60. Origen was born of Christian parents, at Alexandria, about the year 186. His father, Leonidas, suffered martyrdom in the persecution under Severus, in 202; and the family estate having been confiscated, his mother, with six younger children, became dependent upon him for her support. At the age of eighteen he was appointed by the bishop Demetrius over the Catechetical School of Alexandria, the duties of which place he discharged with eminent ability and success. He remained a layman till the age of forty-three, when he was admitted to priest's orders at Cæsarea, greatly to the displeasure of Demetrius, by whose hand, according to the Church's rule, the office ought to have been conferred, and he was in consequence banished from Alexandria. Returning to Cæsarea, he taught there with great reputation, and had many eminent persons among his disciples. He suffered much in the Decian persecution in 250, when he was thrown into prison and subjected to severe tortures. His works, as Vincentius says, were very numerous, including among them the Hexapla, a revised edition of the Hebrew Scriptures and of the Septuagint version, together with three other versions, the Hebrew being set forth in both Hebrew and Greek characters. His writings were corrupted in many instances, so that, as Vincentius says, opinions were often imputed to him which he would not have acknowledged. He died in his sixty-ninth year at Tyre, and was buried there.
61. "Quis nostrum," says St. Jerome, "potest tanta legere quanta ille conscripsit."--Hieron. ad Pam. et Occan.
62. He died, as was said in the preceding note, in his sixty-ninth year.
63. Among these were Gregory Thaumaturgus, Bishop of Neo-Cæsarea in Pontus, and Firmilian, Bishop of Cæsarea in Cappadocia.
65. These are St. Jerome's words, from whose book, De Viris illustribus c. 54, Vincentius's account of Origen is taken. The vexed question of Philip's claim to be ranked as a Christian is discussed by Tillemont.--Histoire des Empereurs, T. iii. pp. 494 sqq.
66. Errare malo cum Platone quam cum istis vera sentire.--Cicero, Tuscul. Quæst. I.
67. Deuteronomy 13:1.
68. "The great Origen died after his many labors in peace. His immediate pupils were saints and rulers in the Church. He has the praise of St. Athanasius, St. Basil, and St. Gregory Nazianzen, and furnishes materials to St. Ambrose and St. Hilary; yet, as time proceeded, a definite heterodoxy was the growing result of his theology, and at length, three hundred years after his death, he was condemned, and, as has generally been considered, in an Oecumenical Council."--NEWMAN on Development, p. 85, First Edition.
69. Hardly anything is known of Tertullian, besides what may be gathered from his works, in addition to the following account given by St. Jerome (De Viris illustribus), which I quote from Bishop Kaye's work on Tertullian and his writings: "Tertullian, a presbyter, the first Latin writer after Victor and Apollonius, was a native of the province of Africa and city of Carthage, the son of a proconsular centurion. He was a man of a sharp and vehement temper, flourished under Severus and Caracalla, and wrote numerous works, which, as they are generally known, I think it is unnecessary to particularize. I saw at Concordia, in Italy, an old man named Paulus, who said that, when young, he had met at Rome with an aged amanuensis of the blessed Cyprian, who told him that Cyprian never passed a day without reading some portion of Tertullian's works, and used frequently to say, `Give me my master,' meaning Tertullian. After remaining a presbyter of the Church till he had attained the middle of life, Tertullian was by the cruel and contumelious treatment of the Roman clergy driven to embrace the opinions of Montanus, which he has mentioned in several of his works, under the title of `The New Prophecy.' He is reported to have lived to a very advanced age." He was born about the middle of the second century, and flourished, according to the dates indicated above, between the years 190 and 216.
70. Fidelior, Baluz, Felicior, others.
71. In Mat. v.
72. Montanus, with his two prophetesses, professed that he was intrusted with a new dispensation,--a dispensation in advance of the Gospel, as the Gospel was in advance of the Law. His system was a protest against the laxity which had grown up in the Church, as has repeatedly been the case after revivals of religious fervor, verifying Tertullian's apophthegm, "Christiani fiunt, non nascuntur" (men become Christians, they are not born such). Its characteristics were extreme asceticism, rigorous fasting, the exaltation of celibacy, the absolute prohibition of second marriage, the expectation of our Lord's second advent as near at hand, the disparagement of the clergy in comparison with its own Paraclete-inspired teachers. It had its rise in Phrygia, thence it found its way to Southern Gaul, to Rome, to North Western Africa, in which last for a time it had many followers.
73. 1 Cor. 2:9.
74. Prov. 22:28.
75. Ecclus. 8:14.
76. Eccles. 10:8.
77. 1 Tim. 6:20.
78. Prov. 9:16-18.
79. Exod. 31:1, etc.
80. For instance, the proper Deity of our Blessed Lord by the word "Homoousios," consubstantial, of one substance, essence, nature.
81. 1 Cor. 5:11.
82. 2 John 10.
83. Pelagius, a monk, a Briton by birth, but resident in Rome, where by the strictness of his life he had acquired a high reputation for sanctity, was led, partly perhaps by opposition to St. Augustine's teaching on the subject of election and predestination, partly by indignation at the laxity of professing Christians, who pleaded, in excuse for their low standard, the weakness of human nature, to insist upon man's natural power, and to deny his need of divine grace.
Pelagius was joined by another monk, Coelestius, a younger man, with whom about the year 410, the year in which Rome was taken by the Goths, he began to teach openly and in public what before he had held and taught in private. After the sack of Rome, the two friends passed over into Africa, and from thence Pelagius proceeded to Palestine, where he was in two separate synods acquitted of the charge of heresy, which had been brought against him by Orosius, a Spanish monk, whom Augustine had sent for that purpose. But in 416, two African synods condemned his doctrine, and Zosimus, bishop of Rome, whom he had appealed to, though he had set aside their decision, was eventually obliged to yield to the firmness with which they held their ground, and not only to condemn Pelagius, but to take stringent measures against his adherents. "In 418, another African synod of two hundred and fourteen bishops passed nine canons, which were afterwards generally accepted throughout the Church, and came to be regarded as the most important bulwark against Pelagianism." The heresy was formally condemned, in 431, by the General Council of Ephesus. Canons 2 and 4.
The Pelagians denied the corruption of man's nature, and the necessity of divine grace. They held that infants new-born are in the same state in which Adam was before his fall; that Adam's sin injured no one but himself, and affected his posterity no other wise than by the evil example which it afforded; they held also that men may live without sin if they will, and that some have so lived.
Those who were afterwards called semi-Pelagians (they belonged chiefly to the churches of Southern Gaul) were orthodox except in one particular: In their anxiety to justify, as they thought, God's dealings with man, they held that the first step in the way of salvation must be from ourselves: we must ask that we may receive, seek that we may find, knock that it may be opened to us; thenceforward in every stage of the road, our strenuous efforts must be aided by divine grace. They did not understand, or did not grant, that to that same grace must be referred even the disposition to ask, to seek, to knock. See Prosper's letter to Augustine, August. Opera, Tom. x.
The semi-Pelagian doctrine was condemned in the second Council of Orange (A.D. 529), the third and fifth canons of which are directed against it.
84. Gal. 2:9.
85. Matt. 7:15.
86. 2 Cor. 11:12.
87. Matt. 4:5, etc.
88. See Appendix II.
89. 1 Cor. 12:27, 28.
90. Acts 11:28.
91. "Tractatores." St. Augustine's Expository Lectures on St. John's Gospel are entitled "Tractatus."
92. 1 Cor. 1:10.
93. 1 Cor. 14:33.
94. 1 Cor. 14:33.
95. Julian, bishop of Eclanum, a small town in Apulia or Campania, was one of nineteen bishops, who, having espoused the cause of Pelagius, and having refused to subscribe a circular letter issued by Zosimus, now adopting the decisions of the African Council (see above note 83) were deposed and banished. St. Augustine at his death left a work against Julian unfinished, "Opus imperfectum contra Julianum," in which he had been engaged till the sickness of which he died put an end to his labours.
96. The Council of Ephesus, summoned by the Emperor Theodosius to meet at Whitsuntide, 431 (June 7), held its first sitting on June 22, in the Church of St. Mary, where the blessed Virgin was believed to have been buried.
97. See note above, n. 11.
98. This marks Vincentius's date within very narrow limits, viz. after the Council of Ephesus, and before Cyril's death. Cyril died in 444.
99. Vincentius's copy of the acts of the Council appears to have contained extracts from no more than ten Fathers. But the Fathers from whose writings extracts were read were twelve in number; the two omitted by Vincentius being Atticus, bishop of Constantinople, and Amphilochius, bishop of Iconium. In Labbe's Concilia, where the whole are given, it is remarked that in one manuscript the two last mentioned occupy a different place from the others.
Dean Milman (Latin Christianity, vol. 1, p. 164) speaks of the passages read, "as of very doubtful bearing on the question raised by Nestorius." It is true only two, those from Athanasius and Gregory Nazianzen, contain the crucial term "Theotocos" but all express the truth which "Theotocos" symbolizes. That the word was not of recent origin, Bishop Pearson (Creed, Art. 3) shows by quotations from other writers besides those produced at the Council going back as far as to Origen.
The Fathers cited may certainly be said to fulfil to some extent Vincentius's requirement of universality. They represent the teaching of Alexandria, Rome, Carthage, Milan, Constantinople, and Asia Minor; but his appeal would have been more to his purpose if antiquity had been more expressly represented. With the exception of Cyprian, all the passages cited were from writers of comparatively recent date at the time, though, as Vincentius truly remarks, others might have been produced.
Petavius (De Incarn. l. xiv. c. 15), in defending the cultus of the blessed Virgin and of the saints generally, lays much stress on this omission of citations from earlier Fathers at the Council, as he does also on similar omissions in the case of the fourth, fifth, and sixth Councils, with what object is sufficiently obvious. Bishop Bull points out Petavius's disposition to disparage or misrepresent the teaching of the earlier Fathers, in another and still more important instance. (Defens. Fid. Nic.) Introd. § 8.
100. The letter of Capreolus is given in Labbe's Concilia, vol. 3, col. 529 sqq. The Emperor Theodosius had written to Augustine, requiring his presence at the Council which he had summoned to meet at Ephesus in the matter of Nestorius. But Augustine having died while the letter was on its way, it was brought to Capreolus, bishop of Carthage and Metropolitan. Capreolus would have summoned a meeting of the African bishops, that they might appoint a delegate to represent them at the Council; but the presence of the hostile Vandals, who were laying waste the country in all directions, made it impossible for the bishops to travel to any place of meeting. Capreolus therefore could do no more than send his deacon Besula to represent him and the African Church, bearing with him the letter referred to in the text. The letter, after having been read before the Council, both in the original Latin and in a Greek translation, was, on the motion of Cyril, inserted in the acts.
101. Sixtus III. See the Epistle in Labbe's Concilia, T. iii. Col. 1262.
102. Celestine's letter will be found in the appendix to Vol. X., Part II., of St. Augustine's Works, col. 2403, Paris, 1838. See the remarks on Vincentius's mode of dealing with Celestine's letter, Appendix III.
103. Tim. 6:20.
104. Gal. 1:9.