SELECTIONS FROM EARLY CHRISTIAN WRITERS: ILLUSTRATIVE OF CHURCH HISTORY TO THE TIME OF CONSTANTINE by Henry Melvill Gwatkin, M.A. First Edition, Macmillan & Co., Ltd., 1893. Reprinted with additions and corrections, 1897, 1902, 1905. Prepared for katapi by Paul Ingram, 2013.
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XLIV. TERTULLIAN, Adv. Prax. 1.


The Misdeeds of Praxeas


Nam iste primus ex Asia hoc genus perversitatis intulit Romae, homo et alias inquietus, insuper de iactatione martyrii inflatus ob solum et simplex et breve carceris taedium, quando, etsi corpus suum tradidisset exurendum, nihil profecisset, dilectionem dei non habens, cuius charismata quoque expugnavit. Nam idem tunc episcopum Romanum agnoscentem iam prophetias Montani, Priscae, Maximillae, et ex ea agnitione pacem ecclesiis Asiae et Phrygiae inferentem, falsa de ipsis prophetis et ecclesiis eorum adseverando et praecessorum eius auctoritates defendendo coegit et literas pacis revocare iam emissas et a proposito recipiendorum charismatum concessare. Ita duo negotia diaboli Praxeas Romae procuravit, prophetiam expulit et haeresim intulit, paracletum fugavit et patrem crucifixit.

For Praxeas it was who first imported from Asia to Rome this kind of perversity – a man in other ways unquiet, and moreover puffed up with pride of confessorship merely on the strength of a short annoyance of imprisonment without further hardship; whereas even though he had given his body to be burned, he would have gained nothing by it, not having the love of God, whose gifts too he has fought against. For he it was again, who when the then bishop of Rome was ready to recognize the prophecies of Montanus, Prisca and Maximilla, and in consequence of that recognition to give his peace to the Churches of Asia and Phrygia – he by making false statements about the prophets themselves and their Churches, and by urging the authority of the bishop's predecessors, obliged him to recall the letters of peace he had already sent out, and to give up his purpose of acknowledging the gifts. Thus Praxeas managed two of the devil's businesses in Rome: he drove out prophecy and brought in heresy; he put to flight the Comforter and crucified the Father.


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