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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 5

Testimony of Moshbim

Testimony of Moshbim.

"The most famous controversies that divided the Christians during this (the third) century were those concerning the Millennium, or reign of a thousand years, the baptism of heretics, and the doctrine of Origen. Long before this period an opinion had prevailed that Christ was to come and reign a thousand years amongst men before the entire and final dissolution of the world. This opinion which had hitherto net with no opposition was differently interpreted by different persons; nor did all promise themselves the same kind of enjoyments in that future and glorious kingdom. But in this century its credit began to decline, principally through the influence and authority of Origen, who opposed it with the greatest warmth because it was incompatible with some of his favourite sentiments, Nepos, an Egyptian bishop, endeavoured to restore this opinion to its former credit, in a book written against the allegorists, for so he called, by way of contempt, the adversaries of the Millenarian system. This work, and the hypothesis it defended, was extremely well received by great numbers in the canton of Arsinoe. But Dionysius of Alexandria, a disciple of Origen, stopped the growing progress of this doctrine by his private discourse, and also by two learned and judicious dissertations concerning the divine promises."—Moshcim's "Ecclesiastical History," vol. L p. 234.