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SermonIndex.net : Christian Books : Chapter XIV.--The Circumstances related of Polycarp, a Friend of the Apostles.

Church History by Eusebius Pamphilius

Chapter XIV.--The Circumstances related of Polycarp, a Friend of the Apostles.

1. At this time, while Anicetus was at the head of the church of Rome, Irenæus relates that Polycarp, who was still alive, was at Rome, and that he had a conference with Anicetus on a question concerning the day of the paschal feast.

2. And the same writer gives another account of Polycarp which I feel constrained to add to that which has been already related in regard to him. The account is taken from the third book of Irenæus' work Against Heresies, and is as follows:

3. |But Polycarp also was not only instructed by the apostles, and acquainted with many that had seen Christ, but was also appointed by apostles in Asia bishop of the church of Smyrna.

4. We too saw him in our early youth; for he lived a long time, and died, when a very old man, a glorious and most illustrious martyr's death, having always taught the things which he had learned from the apostles, which the Church also hands down, and which alone are true.

5. To these things all the Asiatic churches testify, as do also those who, down to the present time, have succeeded Polycarp, who was a much more trustworthy and certain witness of the truth than Valentinus and Marcion and the rest of the heretics. He also was in Rome in the time of Anicetus and caused many to turn away from the above-mentioned heretics to the Church of God, proclaiming that he had received from the apostles this one and only system of truth which has been transmitted by the Church.

6. And there are those that heard from him that John, the disciple of the Lord, going to bathe in Ephesus and seeing Cerinthus within, ran out of the bath-house without bathing, crying, Let us flee, lest even the bath fall, because Cerinthus, the enemy of the truth, is within.'

7. And Polycarp himself, when Marcion once met him and said, Knowest thou us?' replied, I know the first born of Satan.' Such caution did the apostles and their disciples exercise that they might not even converse with any of those who perverted the truth; as Paul also said, A man that is a heretic, after the first and second admonition, reject; knowing he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.'

8. There is also a very powerful epistle of Polycarp written to the Philippians, from which those that wish to do so, and that are concerned for their own salvation, may learn the character of his faith and the preaching of the truth.| Such is the account of Irenæus.

9. But Polycarp, in his above-mentioned epistle to the Philippians, which is still extant, has made use of certain testimonies drawn from the First Epistle of Peter.

10. And when Antoninus, called Pius, had completed the twenty-second year of his reign, Marcus Aurelius Verus, his son, who was also called Antoninus, succeeded him, together with his brother Lucius.

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