4. Remarks of chrysostom, Jerome, and Gregory Nazianzen, relating to the character and duties of christian ministers
Antiquities of the Christian Church
CHAPTER VIII. Of Ordination
4. Remarks of chrysostom, Jerome, and Gregory Nazianzen, relating to the character and duties of christian ministers
Bingham has inserted in his Antiquities a large collection of quotations from the Fathers, especially Chrysostom, Jerome, and Gregory Nazianzen, relating to the character and duties of christian ministers; from which I make the following selection. The subject is one of more than ordinary interest; and many of the observations of these pious writers of former times will be found to possess an uncommon degree of intrinsic weight and value. It may also be a seasonable relief to us, in the midst of this collection of testimonies from the early writers concerning the external constitution and practices of the church, to hear the evidence of the same writers concerning something of a more internal character; to learn what was their standard of moral and spiritual excellence in the character of a christian minister, as well as to consider their institutions concerning the different orders of clergy, their appointments, the offices assigned to them, their revenues, and dress.
"Some," says Gregory Nazianzen, "do, with unwashen hands and profane minds, press to handle the holy mysteries, and affect to be at the altar before they are fit to be initiated to any sacred service; they look upon the holy order and function, not as designed for an example of virtue, but only as a way of supporting themselves; not as a trust, of which they are to give an account, but in a state of absolute authority and exemption. And these men's examples corrupt the people's morals, faster than any cloth can imbibe a color, or a plague infect the air; since men are more disposed to receive the tincture of vice than virtue from the example of their rulers." In opposition to this, he declares it to be incumbent upon all spiritual physicians, "that they should draw the picture of all manner of virtues in their own lives, and set themselves as examples to the people; that it might not be proverbially said of them, that they set about curing others, while they themselves are full of sores and ulcers." He urges, also, the necessity of purity in the life and conversation of the clergy, from the consideration of the dignity and sacredness of their office.
"A minister's office places him in the same rank and order with angels themselves; he celebrates God with archangels, transmits the church's sacrifice to the altar in heaven, and performs the priest's office with Christ himself;. he reforms the work of God's hands, and presents the image to his maker; his workmanship is for the world above; and therefore he should be exalted to a divine and heavenly nature, whose business is to be as God himself, and make others gods also." (Greg. Naz. Oral. 1, Apologet. de Fuga.) And Chrysosiom makes use of the same argument, "that the priesthood, though it be exercised upon earth, is occupied wholly about heavenly things; that it is the ministry of angels put by the Holy Ghost into the hands of mortal men; and therefore a priest ought to be pure and holy, as being placed in heaven itself, in the midst of those heavenly powers." (Chrysostom, Be Sacerdot. lib. 3, c. 4.) He dwells, also, upon the dangerous influence of bad example. "Subjects commonly form their manners by the patterns of their princes. How then should a proud man be able to assuage the swelling tumors of others? or an angry ruler hope to make his people in love with moderation and meekness? Bishops are exposed, like combatants in the theatre, to the view and observation of all men; and their faults, though never so small, cannot be hid; and therefore, as their virtuous actions profit many by provoking them to the like zeal, so their vices will render others unfit to attempt or prosecute anything that is noble and good. For which reason, their souls ought to shine all over with the purest brightness, that they may both enlighten and stimulate the souls of others, who have their eyes upon them. A priest should arm himself all over with purity of life, as with adamantine armour; for if he leave any part naked and unguarded, he is surrounded both with open enemies and pretended friends, who will be ready to wound and supplant him. So long as his life is all of a piece, he needs not fear their assaults; but if he be caught in a fault, though but a small one, it will be laid hold of, and improved, to the prejudice of all his former virtues. For all men are most severe judges in his case, and treat him not with any allowance for being encompassed with flesh, or as having an human nature; but expect that he should be an angel, and free from all infirmities." (Ibid. lib. iii. c. 14.) " He cannot, indeed, with any tolerable decency and freedom discharge his office in punishing and reproving others, unless he himself be blameless and without rebuke." (Ibid. lib. v.c. 3.)
The peculiar virtues of the external life and conversation of the clergy, which these pious writers most frequently commend, are the following; – hospitality and kindness to the poor, – frugality, and a holy contempt of the world, – harmless and inoffensive discourse; – and care to avoid all suspicion of evil. – Jerome says, "It is one of the glories of a bishop to provide for the poor; but a disgrace to the sacred function, to seek only to enrich himself." (Hieron. Ep. 2 ad. Nepotian.) Chrysostom highly extols his bishop Flavian upon account of this virtue. He says that "his house was always open to strangers, and to such as were obliged to have recourse to flight for the sake of religion; where they were received and entertained with such liberality and kindness, that his house might as properly be called 'The house of strangers,' as 'The house of Flavian.' Yea, it was so much the more his own, for being common to strangers; for whatever we possess is so much the more our property for being communicated to our poor brethren; there being no place where we may so safely lay up our treasure, as in the hands of the poor." (Ghrysos. Serm. 1 in Gen,) On the other hand, Jerome observes, in his instruction to Nepotian, "You must avoid giving great entertainments to secular men, and especially to those who are high in office. For it is not very reputable to have the lictors and guards of a consul stand waiting at the doors of a priest of Christ, who himself was crucified and poor; nor that a judge of a province should dine more sumptuously with you, than in a palace. If it be pretended that you do this only to be able to intercede with him for poor criminals; there is no judge but will pay a greater deference and respect to a poor clergyman than to a rich one, and show greater reverence to your sanctity than lo your riches. Or if he be such an one as will hear a clergyman's intercession only at his table, I should willingly be without this benefit, and rather beseech Christ for the judge himself, who can more speedily and powerfully help than any judge." (Hieron. Ep. 2 ad Nepotian.) Again, "The laity should rather find us to be comforters in their mournings, than companions in their feasts. That clergymen will soon be despised, who never refuses any entertainments when he is frequently invited to them." (Ibid.) – The virtues of the tongue were also considered of great importance in the life of a clergyman, in the times of which we are treating. Jerome gives a particular caution to ministers, against the sin of detraction and calumny, and especially against giving encouragement to evil speaking, by a patient hearing. "No slanderer," says he, "tells his story to one who is not willing to hear him. An arrow never fixes in a stone, but often recoils, and wounds him that shoots it. Therefore let the detractor be less forward and busy, by your unwillingness to hear his detraction." (Hieron. Ep. 2 ad Nepotian.)
The same writer recommends another virtue of the tongue to clergymen; namely, the habit of keeping secrets, and of observing a becoming silence, especially about the affairs of public persons. "Your office," says he, "requires you to visit the sick, and thereby you become acquainted with the families of matrons and their children, and are entrusted with the secrets of noble men. You ought, therefore, to keep not only a chaste eye, but a chaste tongue. .... You ought not to let one house know from you what may have been done in another." (Ibid.) Chrysoslom gives some excellent advice respecting the great duty of avoiding every appearance of evil, – a duty especially incumbent upon Christian ministers. "If," says he, "the holy apostle St. Paul was afraid lest he should have been suspected of theft by the Corinthians; and upon that account took others into the administration of their charity with himself, that no one might have the least pretence to blame him; how much more careful should we be to cut off all occasions of sinister opinions and suspicions, however false or unreasonable they might be, or disagreeable to our character. For none of us can be so far removed from any sin, as St. Paul was from theft; yet he did not think fit to contemn the suspicions of the vulgar; he did not trust to the reputation which both his miracles, and the integrity of his life, had generally procured for him; but, on the contrary, he imagined that such suspicions and jealousies might arise in the hearts of some men, and therefore he took care to prevent them; not suffering them to arise at all, but timely foreseeing them and prudently forestalling them; providing, as he says, for honest things, not only in the sight of God, but also in the sight of men. The same care, and much greater, should we take, not only to dissipate and destroy the ill opinions men may have entertained of us, but to foresee afar off from what causes they may spring, and to cut off beforehand the occasions and pretences from which they may arise. And it is much easier to do this, than to extinguish them when they are risen, which will then be very difficult, and perhaps impossible; besides that their being raised will give great scandal and offence, and wound the conscience of many." (Chrysost. de Sacerdot. lib. vi. c. 9.) Jerome in like manner, represents it as the duly of a minister to avoid all suspicions; and to take care before hand that there should be no probable grounds for fictitious stories to the disadvantage of his moral character. (Hieron. Ep. 2 ad Neoplian.) But it might happen, as Bingham truly observes, that a man, after the utmost human caution and prudence that could be used, might not be able to avoid the malevolent suspicions of ill-disposed persons; for our blessed Lord, whose innocence and conduct were both equally divine could not in his converse with men wholly escape them. Now, in this case, the church could prescribe no other rule than that of patience and christian consolation, given by our Saviour to his apostles, "Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely for my sake; rejoice, and be exceeding glad; for great is your reward in heaven." (Matt. 5:11.) "When we have done," says Augustin, "all that in justice and prudence we could, to preserve our good name, if, after that, some men will notwithstanding endeavor to blemish our reputation, and blacken our character, either by false suggestions or unreasonable suspicions, let conscience be our comfort, and even our joy, that great is our reward in heaven." (Augustin. De Bono Viduitat. c. 22.)
From these observations respecting the general life and conversation of the clergy, let us pass to others more immediately relating to the exercise of the duties and offices of their sacred function.
The fathers frequently insist upon the necessity of due study and application, in order to the right discharge of the ministerial office. For since, as Gregory Nazianzen observes, (Orat. 1. Be Fuga,) a man could not become master of the meanest arts without the cost of much time and pains, it were absurd to think that the art of wisdom, which comprehends the knowledge of things human and divine, and comprises everything that is noble and excellent, was so light and vulgar a thing, as that a man needed no more than a wish or a will to obtain it. Some indeed, he complains, (Ibid.) were of this fond opinion; and, therefore, before they had well passed the time of their childhood, or knew the names of the books of the Old and New Testament, or how well to read them, if they had learnt but two or three pious words by heart, or had read a few of the Psalms of David, and put on a grave habit, which made some outward show of piety, they had the vanity to think themselves qualified for the government of the church. They then talked of nothing but the sanctification of Samuel from his cradle, and thought themselves profound scribes, great rabbies and teachers, sublime in the knowledge of divine things; and were for interpreting the Scripture, not by the letter, but after a spiritual way, propounding their own dreams and fancies, instead of the divine oracles, to the people. This, he complains, was for want of that study and labor which ought to give continual employment to those persons who take upon them the offices of the sacred function. Chrysostom pursues this matter a little further; and shows the necessity of continual labor and study in a clergyman, from the nature of the work which he has upon hand, each part of which requires great and sedulous application. For, says he, first, he ought to be qualified to minister suitable remedies to the several maladies and disorders of men's souls; the cure of which requires greater skill and labor than the cure of their bodily distempers. And this can be done only by the doctrine of the gospel; with which, therefore, it is necessary that he should be intimately acquainted. Then again, secondly, he must be able to stop the mouths of all gainsayers, Jews, gentiles, and heretics, who employ different arts and different weapons in their attacks upon the truth; and unless he exactly understands all their fallacies and sophisms, and knows the true art of making a proper defence, he will be in danger not only of suffering each of them to make havoc of the church, but of encouraging one error while combating another. For nothing was more common, in Chrysostom's time, than for ignorant and unskilful disputants to run from one extreme to another; as he shows in the controversies which the church had with the Marcionites and Valentinians on the one hand, and the Jews on the other, about the law of Moses; and the dispute about the Trinity, between the Arians and the Sabellians. Now, unless a man were well skilled and exercised in the word of God, and the true art and rules of disputation, which could not be attained without continual study and labor, he concludes that "it would be impossible for him to maintain his ground, and the truth, as he ought, against so many subtle and wily oppose rs," He then inculcates that instruction of St. Paul to Timothy, "Give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine: meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them, that thy profiting may appear to all men." Thirdly, he shows "how difficult and laborious a work it was to make continual homilies and regular discourses to the people, who were become very severe judges of the preacher's compositions, and would not allow him to rehearse any part of another man's work, nor so much as to repeat his own upon a second occasion. Here his task was something the more difficult, because men had generally nice and delicate palates, and were inclined to hear sermons as they heard plays, more for pleasure than profit. Which added to the preacher's study and labor; who, though he was to contemn both popular
applause and censure, yet was also to have such a regard to his auditory, as that they might hear him with pleasure, to their edification and advantage." Some persons having been ready to plead the apostle's authority for their ignorance, and even to pride themselves upon their want of learning, to this Chrysostom very properly replies, that "this was a misrepresentation of St. Paul's meaning, and was vainly urged in excuse for any man's sloth and negligence in not attaining to those necessary parts of knowledge which the clerical life required. If the utmost heights and perfections of foreign eloquence had been rigidly exacted of the clergy; – if they had been required to speak always with the smoothness of Isocrates, or the loftiness of Demosthenes, or the majesty of Thucydides, or the sublimity of Plato, – then indeed it might be pertinent to allege this testimony of the apostle. But rudeness of style, in comparison with such eloquence, may be allowed; provided men be otherwise qualified with knowledge, and furnished with ability to preach and dispute accurately concerning the doctrines of faith and religion, as St. Paul was; whose talents in that kind have made him the wonder and admiration of the whole world; and it would be unjust to accuse him of rudeness of speech, who by his discourses confounded both Jews and Greeks, and wrought many into the opinion that he was the Mercury of the gentiles. Such proofs of his power of persuasion were sufficient evidence that he had bestowed some pains upon this matter; and therefore his authority was vainly abused to patronize ignorance and sloth, whose example was so great a reproach to them." The same writer afterwards proceeds to show, that a good life alone is not a sufficient qualification for a minister, nor ought to be regarded as any valid ground of excuse for want of knowledge and study, and the art of preaching and disputing. "Both these qualifications," says he, "are required in a priest; he must not only do, but teach, the commands of Christ, and must guide others by his word and doctrine as well as by his practice; each of these have their part in his office, and are necessary to assist one another, in order to complete men's edification. For otherwise, when any controversy may arise about the doctrines of religion, and Scripture may be pleaded in behalf of error; what will a good life avail in this case? What will it signify to have been diligent in the practice of virtue, if, after all, a man through gross ignorance and unskilfulness in the word of truth, fall into heresy, and cut himself off from the body of the church? And I know many that have done so. But, suppose that a man should stand firm himself, and not be drawn away by the adversaries; yet, when the plain and simple people who are under his care shall observe their leader to be baffled, and that he has nothing to say to the arguments of a subtle opponent, they will be ready to impute this not so much to the weakness of the advocate, as to the badness of his cause: and so, by one man's ignorance, a whole people will be carried headlong to utter destruction: or, at least, will be so shaken in their faith, that they will not stand firm for the future." (Chrysost. De Sacerdot. lib. iv. 5.) And, in like manner, Jerome observes in his Epistle to Nepotian, "that the plain rustic brother should not value himself upon his sanctity, and despise knowledge; neither should the skilful and eloquent speaker measure his holiness by his tongue. For, though of two imperfections it was better to have a holy ignorance than a vicious eloquence; yet both qualifications were necessary to complete a priest, and he ought to have knowledge as well as sanctity to fit him for the several duties of his function." (Hieron. Ep.2 ad Nepotian.)
But it was the study of the Holy Scriptures which was especially enjoined upon christian ministers by these pious writers. Chrysostom says, "In administering spiritual remedies to the souls of men, the word of God is instead of everything that is used in the cure of bodily distempers. It is instrument, and diet, and air; it is instead of medicine, and fire, and knife; if caustics and incisions are necessary, they are to be done by this; and if this do not succeed, it were in vain to try other means. This is it which is to raise and comfort the dejected soul; and to take down and suppress the swelling humors and presumptions of the confident. By this they are both to cut off what is superfluous, to supply what is wanting, and to do everything that is necessary to be done in the cure of souls. By this all heretics and unbelievers are to be convinced, and all the plots of Satan to be countermined: and therefore it is necessary that the ministers of God be very diligent in studying the Scriptures, that the word of Christ might dwell richly in them." (Chrysost. De Sacerdot. lib. iv. c. 3, 4.) Jerome commends his friend Nepotian for this, "that at all feasts it was his practice to propound something out of the Holy Scriptures, and entertain the company with some useful disquisition from it. And, next to the Scriptures, he employed his time upon the study of the best ecclesiastical authors, whom by continual reading and frequent meditations he had so treasured up in the library of his heart, that he could repeat their words on any proper occasion; saying, thus spake Tertullian,thus Cyprian, so Lactantius, after this manner Hilary, so Minucius Felix, so Victorinus, these were the words of Arnobius, and the like." (Hieron. Epitaph. Nepot. J. ad Heliodor.)
We find the following observations, among many others, respecting the public discharge of ministerial duties: – "With what exact care," says Chrysostom, "ought he to behave himself, who goes in the name of a whole city, nay, in the name of the whole world, as their orator and ambassador, to intercede with God for the sins of all? But especially when he invocates the Holy Ghost, and offers up the tremendous sacrifice of the altar;. with what purity, with what reverence and piety, should his tongue utter forth those words; whilst the angels stand by him, and the whole order of heavenly powers cries aloud, and fills the sanctuary in honor of him who is represented as dead and lying upon the altar." Chrysost. De Sacerdot. lib. vi. c. 4.)
Concerning preaching, the following rules are laid down by Gregory Nazianzen, Chrysostom, and Jerome. – First, that the preacher be careful to make choice of an useful subject. Gregory Nazianzen (Oral. 1 de Fuga), specifies some particular and leading subjects, – such as the doctrine of the world's creation, and the soul of man; the doctrine of providence, and the restoration of man; the two covenants; the first and second comings of Christ; bis incarnation, sufferings, and death; the resurrection, the end of the world, and the future judgment; the different rewards of heaven and hell; together with the doctrine of the blessed Trinity, which is the principal article of the Christian faith. Such subjects as these are fit for edification, to build up men in faith and holiness, and the practice of all piety and virtue.
But then, secondly, these subjects must be treated in a suitable way; not with too much art or loftiness of style, but with great condescension to men's capacities, who must be fed with the word as they are able to bear it. This is what Gregory Nazianzen so much commends in Athanasius, when he says, "He condescended and accommodated himself to mean capacities, whilst to the acute his notions and words are more sublime," (Greg, Naz. Orat. 21, de Laud. Athan.) Jerome also observes upon this head, "that a preacher's discourse should always be plain, intelligible, and affecting; and rather adapted to excite men's groans and tears by a sense of their sins, than their admiration and applause by speaking to them what neither they, nor he himself perhaps, do truly understand. For they are chiefly ignorant and unlearned men who affect to be admired for their speaking above the capacities of the vulgar. A bold man often interprets what he himself does not understand; and yet he has no sooner persuaded others to they know not what, than he assumes to himself the title of learning upon it. While yet there is nothing so easy as to deceive the ignorant multitude, who are always most prone to admire what they do not understand." (Hieron, Ep. 2 ad Nepotidn.) Chrysostom spends almost a whole book (De Sacerdot. lib. V.) in cautioning the christian orator against the fault of courting popular applause; and points out the necessity of his despising both the applauses and censures of men, and all other things which might tempt him to flatter his hearers, rather than edify them. "In a word," says he, "his chief end in all his compositions should be to please God: and then, if he also gained the praise of men, he might receive it; if not, he needed not to court it nor torment himself because it was denied him. For it would be consolation enough for all his labors, that in the application of his doctrine and eloquence he had always sought to please his God." (De Sacerdot. lib. v. c. 7.)
A third rule was, that preachers should carefully adapt their doctrine to the actual wants and necessities of their hearers. Chrysostom, in describing this part of a minister's duty, says, that "he should be watchful and clear-sighted, and have a thousand eyes about him, as living not for himself alone, but for a multitude of people. To live retired in a cell is the part of a monk; but the duty of a watchman is to converse among men of all degrees and callings; to take care of the body of Christ, the church, and have regard both to its health and beauty; carefully observing lest any spot, or wrinkle, or other defilement, should sully its grace and comeliness. Now this obliges spiritual physicians to apply their medicines, that is, their doctrines, as the maladies of their patients chiefly require; to be most earnest and frequent in encountering those errors and vices which are most predominant, or by which men are most in danger of being infected. (Chrysost. De Sacerdot. lib. iii. c. 12; lib. iv. c. 2, 3.)
In private addresses to the persons under their charge, the clergy were enjoined to exercise prudence, as well as fidelity and diligence. "Man," says Gregory Nazianzen, "is so various and uncertain a creature, that it requires great art and skill to manage him. For the tempers of men's minds differ more than the features and lineaments of their bodies; and, as all meats and medicines are not proper for all bodies, so neither is the same treatment and discipline proper for all souls. Some are best moved by words, others by examples; some are of a dull and heavy temper, and so have need of the spur to stimulate them; others, that are brisk and fiery, have more need of the curb to restrain them. Praise works best upon some, and reproof upon others, provided that each of them be ministered in a suitable and seasonable way, otherwise they do more harm than good. Some men are drawn by gentle exhortations to their duty; others by rebukes and hard words must be driven to it. And even in this business of reproof some men are affected most with open rebuke, others with private. For some men never regard a secret reproof, who yet are easily corrected, if chastised in public: others again cannot bear a public disgrace, but grow either morose, or impudent and implacable, under it; who, perhaps, would have hearkened to a secret admonition, and repaid their monitor with their conversion, as presuming him to have accosted them out of mere pity and love. Some men are to be so nicely watched and observed, that not the least of their faults are to be dissembled; because they seek to hide their sins from men, and arrogate to themselves thereupon the praise of being politic and crafty: in others it is better to wink at some faults, so that seeing we Will not see, and hearing we will not hear, lest by too frequent chidings we bring them to despair, and so make them cast off modesty and grow bolder in their sins. To some men we must put on an angry countenance, and. seem to deplore their condition, and to despair of them as lost and pitiable wretches, when their nature so requires it: others again must be treated with meekness and humility, and be recovered to a better hope by more promising and encouraging prospects. Some men must be always conquered and never yielded to; whilst to others it will be better to concede a little. For all men's distempers are not to be cured the same way; but proper medicines are to be applied, as the matter itself, or occasion, or the temper of the patient will allow. And this is the most difficult part of the pastoral office, to know how to distinguish these things nicely, with an exact judgment, and with as exact a hand to administer suitable remedies to every distemper. It is a master-piece of art, which is not to be attained but by good observation, joined with experience and practice." (Greg. Naz. Oral. 1. de Fuga; Conf. Oral. 2\,de Laud Athan.) In like manner, Chrysostom, speaking of the qualification of a christian minister, observes, that "he ought to be wise, as well as holy; a man of great experience, and that understands the world; and, because his business is with all sorts of men, he should be*, one that can appear with different aspects, and act with a great variety of skill. But when I say this, I do not mean," says he, "that he should be a man of craft or servile flattery, or a dissembling "hypocrite; but a man of great freedom and boldness, who knows, notwithstanding, how to condescend and accommodate himself to men's advantage, when occasion requires, and who can be mild as well as austere. For all men are not to be treated in the same way; no physician uses the same method with ail his patients." (Chrysost. De Sacerdot. lib. iii. c. 16.)
Zeal and courage in defending the truth is an other quality which the ancients correctly represent as requisite in a christian minister. "In other cases," says Gregory Nazianzen, "there is nothing so peaceable, so moderate, as christian bishops; but in this case they cannot bear the name of moderation to betray their God by silence and sitting still; here they are exceedingly eager warriors and fighting champions, that are not to be overcome." (Greg. Naz. Or at. 21, De Laud. Athan.: Conf. Oral. 20, De Laud. Basil.) But in speaking thus, they made it to be, at the same time, distinctly understood that "the weapons of our warfare are not carnal."
Such are among the truly excellent remarks of Chrysostom, Gregory Nazianzen, and Jerome, concerning the character and duties of a christian minister. These specimens of practical piety and wisdom from the writings of the Fathers, while they convey important instruction on the particular subject to which they relate, may also serve to direct our attention, in general, to the true value and use of those precious records of the early church. Let us not be unwilling to avail ourselves of the piety, learning, and experience of ancient christian teachers; nor be disposed to overlook what is really important in their writings, merely because they were subject to human infirmity, and were involved in some of those errors which gradually gathered round the church from the second century, until the days of the blessed Reformation.
This mistaken view of the ministerial office is one of the errors of the times in which Gregory wrote. Misrepresentations concerning the real nature of the christian ministry are not peculiar to the church of Rome; they arose as early as the third and fourth centuries. But while we discard the errors of the men of those times, let us not throw aside their reverent regard for that which constitutes the real dignity and usefulness of the sacred offtce as a minister in holy things.
There is great danger in the use of such language as this. Doubtless there is a sense in which it may be rightly employed; but it must be carefully remembered that the only mediator between God and man, – the only intercessor on behalf of the church, – is the Lord Jesus Christ. Many practical errors, however, were interwoven with the Christian faith during the third and fourth centuries.
That ig, celebrates the Lord's Sopper in the congregation.
(* denotes Greek text in Rev. Lyman Coleman's translation.)