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were Ferreolus a presbyter, Ferrution a deacon, Felix a presbyter, Fortunatus and Achilles deacons. The two first were sent to preach the Gospel at Bezançon, and the three last, at Valence in Dauphiné. It is probable that they converted a large number of the inhabitants of these towns, and suffered martyrdom A.D. 211 or 212'. The church of Lyons, therefore, from her foundation, sent missionaries into various parts of Gaul to the north, south, and west; and their labours extended over a space of three or four hundred miles in length. Without doubt, the piety and knowledge of Irenaeus gave a new vigour to the Gallican church. He himself says, that in his time there were churches among the Celts, and in Germany ". Tertullian, a few years after, says, that divers nations of the Gauls were submitted to Jesus Christ", yet there is no reason to think that what was done there, had been effected by any but by the disciples of the church of Lyons. Whatever churches, then, were founded during the second and early part of the third century in Gaul, seem to have received their ministry and ecclesiastical rites from Lyons. Thus room was left for a gradual extension of the liturgy of Lyons through a large part of France; and under these circumstances we may reasonably suppose, that the missionaries who appear to have come from Rome to Gaul, about the middle of the third century or not long after", did not insist on introducing the Roman rite, but acquiesced in the ancient liturgy and rites of the Gallican church. That they did so, we can have little or no doubt; for how otherwise can we account for all the churches of Gaul in two centuries afterwards' cordially agreeing in one form of liturgy, and that form quite different from the Roman 2 If these missionaries had introduced the Roman liturgy, we should assuredly have found that some great disputes on the subject of the liturgy occurred in Gaul about the third or fourth century. There would have been a tradition in Gaul, that at some remote period the liturgy was in some places altered, the Roman abolished, and the Gallican introduced; but there is no trace of any such tradition. If then these missionaries received the liturgy of Gaul, and if it has appeared probable that the liturgy they received was no other than that which was used at Lyons; we see that the church of Lyons may well be regarded as the source from which the ancient Gallican liturgy was derived.
y Tillemont, tom. iii. part i. * Tertull. in Jud. c. vii. p. p. 163, &c. 189. ed. Rigalt. Paris, 1674. * Adv. Haeres. lib. i. c. 3. b Gregor. Turonens. Hist.
See Tillemont, tom. iv. part 3. lib. i. c. 28. lib. x. c. 31. Liber p. 987. de Gloria Confessorum, c. 30.
It may next be inquired, Whence did the church of Lyons derive her liturgy? To trace the liturgy of this church is to trace her origin. In the present instance, there is but little difficulty in the task. It is admitted by all the learned, and supported by irresistible evidence, that the church of Lyons was founded by missionaries from Asia. Irenaeus, bishop of Lyons, was a disciple of Polycarp of Smyrna. Several missionaries of the church of Lyons and the neighbourhood are also said in memorials of authority to have been disciples of Polycarp". Pothinus, the predecessor of Irenaeus, seems to have come from the east; and several of the early members of the church testify by their names an eastern origin". Accordingly when the great persecution took place in A. D. 177, and their bishop, with many other Christians, suffered martyrdom, the church of Vienne and Lyons wrote an account of their sufferings to the churches of Asia and Phrygia, and to no others. It was therefore from Asia that the church of Lyons derived her ecclesiastical traditions; and there can be no doubt that they of Asia received their traditions from St. John the beloved disciple. It appears from authentic history, that St. John exercised a diligent superintendence over the churches of Asia and Phrygia"; and hence probably, in conjunction with the civil rank of Ephesus, arose the authority of the bishop of that city, who sat in the chair of John, and exercised patriarchal or metropolitical jurisdiction over the churches of Asia, Phrygia, and other adjoining provinces. We need not wonder, then, that the churches of Asia contended sharply in the second century for that custom of observing Easter, which had been delivered to them from ancient times". United to the natural unwillingness to change ancient customs, which men have generally felt, was the reverence with which they thought of their apostolical ruler St. John, and of the holy men who had been his disciples and followers. Polycrates, bishop of Ephesus, in his Epistle to Victor of Rome, and the Roman church, says, that “John, who rested on the
* I think the expression of Gregory of Tours, above quoted, antiquus canon, implies as much. If the Gallican canon, or rule of liturgy, was ancient in the sixth century, when
Gregory wrote, we may carry
“bosom of the Lord, who was a priest, and wore “the Petalon, who was a martyr and teacher, and fell “asleep at Ephesus; Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna; “Thraseas, bishop of Eumenia; Sagaris, bishop of “Laodicea; the blessed Papirius; Melito, bishop “of Sardis; all kept the feast of Easter on the “fourteenth day".” It is plain, from all these things, that the churches of Asia received their ecclesiastical customs and liturgy from St. John, rather than from any other of the Apostles. Under these circumstances, it would appear probable that the ancient Gallican liturgy and rites were originally derived from St. John ; and some testimonies may be found which will confirm this idea. In the seventh century the churches of Britain and Ireland differed from the Roman and other western churches in the celebration of Easter. This difference was caused by the adoption of different paschal cycles. In the celebrated conference on this subject, held at Strenaeshalch in Britain, between Colman and Wilfrid, Colman defended the British and Irish rule, saying, that they derived it by tradition from St. John. Wilfrid very justly replied, that they did not derive this tradition from St. John, for they did not, like him, keep the feast on the fourteenth day of the first month, without any regard to the day of the week on which it fell'. It might appear from this, that Colman had knowingly stated an untruth: but Aldhelm, abbas Meldensis, afterwards bishop of Sherborn, about the end of the same century, enables us to redeem the character of Colman from this charge. It appears
* Euseb. Hist. Eccl. lib. v. * Beda, Hist. Eccl. lib. iii. c. 24. c. 25.
from him, that the British and Irish derived their paschal cycle from that of Severus Sulpitius, a monk of Gaul', and it is this tradition which the Irish and British ascribed to St. John. The simple reason, then, for Colman's reference to St. John was, that the ancient Gallican customs were esteemed to be derived from that Apostle. The cycle of Sulpitius might have been introduced into Ireland by Patrick, who conversed with the holy Martin, bishop of Tours; and amongst the disciples of the latter was Sulpitius, and also Germanus, the principal instructor of Patrick". The same Germanus may have introduced the cycle of Sulpitius into the British church, when, at the request of the British clergy, and by direction of the council of Arles, he came, A.D. 429 and 447, with Lupus and Severus, to oppose the Pelagian heresy in Britain'. However this may appear, we are certain that the tradition of the Irish, and probably of the British churches was, that St. John actually originated the Gallican rites. The ancient Irish author, whose tract was published by Spelman, is by all critics allowed to have written not later than the beginning of the eighth century. He affirms it
! Aldhelmi Epistola ad Geruntium, &c. apud Bonifacii Mogunt. Ep. num. 44. “Porro isti (Britanni) secundum decennem novennemgue Anatolio computatum, aut potius juxta Sulpicii Severi regulam, qui 84 annorum cursum descripsit, 14 lunae cum Judaeis paschale sacramentum celebrant.” On the subject of the
paschal controversy, between