62 The practice alludes to the counting on the fingers, in which all the tens up to ninety were reckoned on the fingers of the left hand, but with the number of a hundred the reckoning began with the same arrangement of the fingers on the right hand. S. Jerome had a similar allusion to the practice in his work against Jovian I. i. and compare also Juvenal Satire. X. l. 247, 248.
2 The earliest writer to allude to an "Ebion" as the supposed founder of the Ebionites is Tertullian (Praescriptio c. xxxiii. ). He is followed in this by Epiphanius (1. xxx.); Rufinus (In Symb. Apost. c. xxxix.), and others; but the existence of such a person is more than doubtful, and the name is now generally believed to have been derived from the Hebrew "Ebhion"=poor.
5 Photinus, the pupil of Marcellus of Ancyra, appears to have taught a form of Sabellianism, teaching that Christ Himself, the Son of God, had not existed from all eternity but only from the time when He became the Son of God and Christ, viz., at the Incarnation.
6 Et maxima Belgarum urbe (Petschenig). Gazaeus edits: Et maxime Beligarum urbe. The city must be Trêves and the allusion is to the heresy of Leporius, which was an outcome of Pelagianism. Leporius was apparently a native of Trêves who propagated Pelagian views in Gaul, ascribing his virtues to his own free will and his own strength; and going to far greater lengths than his master in that ho connected this doctrine of human sufficiency with heretical views on the Incarnation; thus combining Pelagianism with what was practically Nestorianism, teaching that Jesus was a mere man who had used His free will so well as to have lived without sin, and had only been made Christ in virtue of His Baptism, whereby the Divine and Human were associated so as virtually to make two Christs. He taught further that the only object of His coming into the world was to exhibit to mankind an example of virtue; and that if they chose to profit by it they also might be without sin. For these errors he was rebuked by Cassian and others in Gaul and on his refusal to abandon them was formally censured by Proculus Bishop of Marseilles and Cylinnius (Bishop of Fréjus?). He then left Gaul and came to Africa, where he was convinced by Augustine of the erroneous character of his teaching, and under his influence signed a recantation, which was perhaps drawn up by Augustine himself, and from which Cassian quotes below (c. v.). This recantation was read in the Church of Carthage, and subscribed by four bishops as witnesses (including Augustine). It was then sent to the Gallican Bishops accompanied by a letter from the four attesting bishops (Epp. August. no. ccxxix.) commending the treatment which Leporius had previously received, tent recommending him once more to their favour as having retracted his errors. See further Fleury H. E. Book XXIV. c. xlix. and Dictionary of Christian Biography, Art. Leporius.
8 The after history of Leporius appears to have been this. Having come under Augustine's influence, he was persuaded by him to give up all his property, and renounce the temporal care a monastery which he had previously founded in a garden at Hippo; here also he had begun to build a xenodochium or house of refuge for strangers, partly at his own expense, and partly out of the alms of the faithful. He also at Augustine's suggestion, built a church in memory of the "eight martyrs" (see Aug. Serm. 356). This complete renunciation of the world must have taken place about 425; and in the following year we find that he was present at the election of Eraclius to sueeeed Augustine (Aug. Ep. 213); but subsequent to this nothing is known of his history except that he was still living when Cassian wrote. It is right to mention that doubts have been raised by Tillemont whether the presbyter of Hippo is identical with the quondam heretic, but on scarcely sufficient grounds.
12 The meaning of course is not that the manhood was endowed with the properties of Deity, or conversely the Deity with the properties of Humanity, but simply that two whole and perfect natures were joined together in the one Person.
14 This phrase gives some countenance to the idea that the recantation was actually drawn up by Augustine, as the thought which it contains is a favorite one with him, as excluding any notion that Christ ever for one moment ceased to be God. See Serm. 184. "Intelligerent . . . Eum . . . in homine ad nos venisse et a Patre non recessisse." 186 "manens quod erat." Similar language is used by S. Leo, Serm. 18. c. 5. In Natio. 2. C. Z. and S. Thomas Aquinas in the well-known Sacramental hymn "Verbum supernum prodiens, Nec Patris linquens dexteram." Cf. Bright's S. Leo on the Incarnation, p. 220.
15 Homo is here used as frequently by Augustine and other early writers for "Manhood," and not an "individual man." In this way it was freely used till the Nestorian Controversy, after which it went out of favour as capable of a Nestorian interpretation, and gave place to "humanitas" or "humane nature," when the manhood of Christ was spoken of. See the Church Quarterly Review vol. xviii. p. 10; and Bright's S. Leo on the Incarnation, p. 165.
18 The allusion is to Ps. xviii. (xix.) 5, where the Latin (Gallican Psalter) has "Exultavit ut gigas, ad currendam viam." The mystical interpretation which takes the words as referring to Christ is not uncommon. So in a hymn "De Adventu Domini" (Mone. Vol. i. p. 43) we have the verse, "Procedit a thalamo suo Pudoris aula regia Geminae gigas substantiae, Alacris ut currat viam," and in another "De natali Domini" (p. 58) "Ut gigas egreditur ad currendam viam."