Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Cerinthus Was The Next After Menander Who Denied That God Was The Creator Of The World

St John The Apostle Leaving Bath House

3. Cerinthus was the next after Menander, but he began to broach his doctrine in the same year (7). His errors can be reduced to four heads : he denied that God was the creator of the world ; he asserted that the law of Moses was necessary for salvation ; he also taught that after the resurrection Jesus Christ would establish a terrestrial kingdom in Jerusalem, where the just would spend a thousand years in the enjoyment of every sensual pleasure ; and, finally, he denied the divinity of Jesus Christ. The account Bernini gives of his death is singular (8). The Apostle St. John, he says, met him going into a bath, when, turning to those along with him, he said, let us hasten out of this, lest we be buried alive, and they had scarcely gone outside when the whole building fell with a sudden crash, and the unfortunate Cerinthus was overwhelmed in the ruins. One of the impious doctrines of this heretic was, that Jesus was a mere man, born as all other men are, and that, when he was baptized in the river Jordan, Christ descended on him, that is, a virtue or power, in form of a dove, or a spirit sent by God to fill him with knowledge, and communicate it to mankind ; but after Jesus had fulfilled his mission, by instructing mankind and working miracles, he was deserted by Christ, who returned to heaven, and left him to darkness and death. Alas ! what impiety men fall into when they desert the light of faith, and follow their own weak imaginations.

(7) N. Alex. t. 5, c. 11, or. 5 ; Fleury, t. 1, L 2, n. 42; Berti, loc. cit. : Orsi, t. 1, /. 2, n. 43.

(8) Bernin. Istor. del Eresia, t. 1, c. 1 ; loc. cit. art. 2. St. Iren. /. 3, c. 4, de S.


The History of Heresies and Their Refutation by Alphonsus M Liguori.

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