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The Prescription Against Heretics - Tertullian

Title Page

Introduction, by the American Editor.

Chapter I.--Introductory. Heresies Must Exist, and Even Abound; They are a Probation to Faith.

Chapter II.--Analogy Between Fevers and Heresies Heresies Not to Be Wondered At: Their Strength Derived from Weakness of Men's Faith. They Have Not the Truth. Simile of Pugilists and Gladiators in Illustration.

Chapter III.--Weak People Fall an Easy Prey to Heresy, Which Derives Strength from the General Frailty of Mankind. Eminent Men Have Fallen from Faith; Saul, David, Solomon. The Constancy of Christ.

Chapter IV.--Warnings Against Heresy Given Us in the New Testament Sundry Passages Adduced. These Imply the Possibility of Falling into Heresy.

Chapter V.--Heresy, as Well as Schism and Dissension, Disapproved by St. Paul, Who Speaks of the Necessity of Heresies, Not as a Good, But, by the Will of God, Salutary Trials for Training and Approving the Faith of Christians.

Chapter VI.--Heretics are Self-Condemned Heresy is Self-Will, Whilst Faith is Submission of Our Will to the Divine Authority. The Heresy of Apelles.

Chapter VII.--Pagan Philosophy the Parent of Heresies The Connection Between Deflections from Christian Faith and the Old Systems of Pagan Philosophy.

Chapter VIII.--Christ's Word, Seek, and Ye Shall Find, No Warrant for Heretical Deviations from the Faith All Christ's Words to the Jews are for Us, Not Indeed as Specific Commands, But as Principles to Be Applied.

Chapter IX.--The Research After Definite Truth Enjoined on Us When We Have Discovered This, We Should Be Content.

Chapter X.--One Has Succeeded in Finding Definite Truth, When He Believes Heretical Wits are Always Offering Many Things for Vain Discussion, But We are Not to Be Always Seeking.

Chapter XI.--After We Have Believed, Search Should Cease; Otherwise It Must End in a Denial of What We Have Believed. No Other Object Proposed for Our Faith.

Chapter XII.--A Proper Seeking After Divine Knowledge, Which Will Never Be Out of Place or Excessive, is Always Within the Rule of Faith.

Chapter XIII.--Summary of the Creed, or Rule of Faith No Questions Ever Raised About It by Believers. Heretics Encourage and Perpetuate Thought Independent of Christ's Teaching.

Chapter XIV.--Curiosity Ought Not Range Beyond the Rule of Faith Restless Curiosity, the Feature of Heresy.

Chapter XV.--Heretics Not to Be Allowed to Argue Out of the Scriptures The Scriptures, in Fact, Do Not Belong to Them.

Chapter XVI.--Apostolic Sanction to This Exclusion of Heretics from the Use of the Scriptures Heretics, According to the Apostle, are Not to Be Disputed With, But to Be Admonished.

Chapter XVII.--Heretics, in Fact, Do Not Use, But Only Abuse, Scripture No Common Ground Between Them and You.

Chapter XVIII.--Great Evil Ensues to the Weak in Faith, from Any Discussion Out of the Scriptures Conviction Never Comes to the Heretic from Such a Process.

Chapter XIX.--Appeal, in Discussion of Heresy, Lies Not to the Scriptures The Scriptures Belong Only to Those Who Have the Rule of Faith.

Chapter XX.--Christ First Delivered the Faith. The Apostles Spread It; They Founded Churches as the Depositories Thereof. That Faith, Therefore, is Apostolic, Which Descended from the Apostles, Through Apostolic Churches.

Chapter XXI.--All Doctrine True Which Comes Through the Church from the Apostles, Who Were Taught by God Through Christ All Opinion Which Has No Such Divine Origin and Apostolic Tradition to Show, is Ipso Facto False.

Chapter XXII.--Attempt to Invalidate This Rule of Faith Rebutted The Apostles Safe Transmitters of the Truth. Sufficiently Taught at First, and Faithful in the Transmission.

Chapter XXIII.--The Apostles Not Ignorant The Heretical Pretence of St. Peter's Imperfection Because He Was Rebuked by St. Paul. St. Peter Not Rebuked for Error in Teaching.

Chapter XXIV.--St. Peter's Further Vindication St. Paul Not Superior to St. Peter in Teaching. Nothing Imparted to the Former in the Third Heaven Enabled Him to Add to the Faith. Heretics Boast as If Favoured with Some of the Secrets Imparted to Him.

Chapter XXV.--The Apostles Did Not Keep Back Any of the Deposit of Doctrine Which Christ Had Entrusted to Them St. Paul Openly Committed His Whole Doctrine to Timothy.

Chapter XXVI.--The Apostles Did in All Cases Teach the Whole Truth to the Whole Church No Reservation, Nor Partial Communication to Favourite Friends.

Chapter XXVII.--Granted that the Apostles Transmitted the Whole Doctrine of Truth, May Not the Churches Have Been Unfaithful in Handing It On? Inconceivable that This Can Have Been the Case.

Chapter XXVIII.--The One Tradition of the Faith, Which is Substantially Alike in the Churches Everywhere, a Good Proof that the Transmission Has Been True and Honest in the Main.

Chapter XXIX.--The Truth Not Indebted to the Care of the Heretics; It Had Free Course Before They Appeared. Priority of the Church's Doctrine a Mark of Its Truth.

Chapter XXX.--Comparative Lateness of Heresies. Marcion's Heresy Some Personal Facts About Him. The Heresy of Apelles. Character of This Man; Philumene; Valentinus; Nigidius, and Hermogenes.

Chapter XXXI.--Truth First, Falsehood Afterwards, as Its Perversion Christ's Parable Puts the Sowing of the Good Seed Before the Useless Tares.

Chapter XXXII.--None of the Heretics Claim Succession from the Apostles New Churches Still Apostolic, Because Their Faith is that Which the Apostles Taught and Handed Down. The Heretics Challenged to Show Any Apostolic Credentials.

Chapter XXXIII.--Present Heresies (Seedlings of the Tares Noted by the Sacred Writers) Already Condemned in Scripture This Descent of Later Heresy from the Earlier Traced in Several Instances.

Chapter XXXIV.--No Early Controversy Respecting the Divine Creator; No Second God Introduced at First. Heresies Condemned Alike by the Sentence and the Silence of Holy Scripture.

Chapter XXXV.--Let Heretics Maintain Their Claims by a Definite and Intelligible Evidence This the Only Method of Solving Their Questions. Catholics Appeal Always to Evidence Traceable to Apostolic Sources.

Chapter XXXVI.--The Apostolic Churches the Voice of the Apostles Let the Heretics Examine Their Apostolic Claims, in Each Case, Indisputable. The Church of Rome Doubly Apostolic; Its Early Eminence and Excellence. Heresy, as Perverting the Truth, is Conne

Chapter XXXVII.--Heretics Not Being Christians, But Rather Perverters of Christ's Teaching, May Not Claim the Christian Scriptures. These are a Deposit, Committed to and Carefully Kept by the Church.

Chapter XXXVIII.--Harmony of the Church and the Scriptures Heretics Have Tampered with the Scriptures, and Mutilated, and Altered Them. Catholics Never Change the Scriptures, Which Always Testify for Them.

Chapter XXXIX.--What St. Paul Calls Spiritual Wickednesses Displayed by Pagan Authors, and by Heretics, in No Dissimilar Manner. Holy Scripture Especially Liable to Heretical Manipulation. Affords Material for Heresies, Just as Virgil Has Been the Groundw

Chapter XL.--No Difference in the Spirit of Idolatry and of Heresy In the Rites of Idolatry, Satan Imitated and Distorted the Divine Institutions of the Older Scriptures. The Christian Scriptures Corrupted by Him in the Perversions of the Various Heretics

Chapter XLI.--The Conduct of Heretics: Its Frivolity, Worldliness, and Irregularity The Notorious Wantonness of Their Women.

Chapter XLII.--Heretics Work to Pull Down and to Destroy, Not to Edify and Elevate Heretics Do Not Adhere Even to Their Own Traditions, But Harbour Dissent Even from Their Own Founders.

Chapter XLIII.--Loose Company Preferred by Heretics Ungodliness the Effect of Their Teaching the Very Opposite of Catholic Truth, Which Promotes the Fear of God, Both in Religious Ordinances and Practical Life.

Chapter XLIV.--Heresy Lowers Respect for Christ, and Destroys All Fear of His Great Judgment The Tendency of Heretical Teaching on This Solemn Article of the Faith. The Present Treatise an Introduction to Certain Other Anti-Heretical Works of Our Author.


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