When, some forty-five years ago, a treatise on Heresies, which is now assigned to Hippolytus, was discovered and published a the "Philosophumena" of Origen, there was a dispoition among anti-Roman controversialists to accept en bloc, as unimpeachable evidence, its bitter attacks on the two Roman bishops who came next after Victor. We can now see rather more clearly that, whatever view be taken of the episcopal position of Hippolytus - whether it was to the full extent, or in a modified sense, sectarian and schismatical, - whether he was, in Döllinger's phrase, the first "antipope," or, as Salmon thinks, the head of a separate Greek congregation in Rome [1] - for that he somehow did act as a bishop in Rome, [2] and was not the regular bishop of Portus Romanus, may be considered as an accepted fact, - his tone as to bishops Zephyrinus and Callistus, both in regard to doctrine and to administration, is the tone


of a hostile partisan, and must be largely discounted as such. He himself may at that time have laid himself open to the suspicion of heresy in one direction, while he charged Callistus with having incurred it in another; [3] and his asperity in judging of a discipline milder than severe rigorists would approve, may warrant us in questioning, or more than questioning, his fitness to represent the spirit of the Church or of the Gospel. "Onesided, hot-tempered, inequitable," even "arrogant," are epithets suggested by his tirades: but their interest to us, with regard to our present inquiry, is independent of the repulsive features which remind us of Tertullian in his Montanist phase; [4] the point is, that he nowhere comes near claiming for himself, as bishop for Rome, in the position which he denied to Callistus, anything like a papal jurisdiction over other Churches; and that he speaks of acknowledged bishops of Rome with a freedom of censure which he could never have used if


the Church in general had regarded them as her Popes.


[1] Hippol. and Callist. c. 2; Dict. Chr. Biogr. iii. 90.

[2] "Rome," says Lightfoot, "was the sphere of his activity." Yet Lightfoot thinks he was bishop for a fluctuating population in Portu of varius nationalities (St. Clement, ii. 433), and does not admit that he viewed the actual bishops of Rome as not bishops de jure.

[3] He thought Callistus a Sabellian; Callistus thought him an ultra-Subordinationist, and Döllinger considers that the latter opinion was justified (Hippolytus and Callistus, c. 4).

[4] It is apparently Callistus whom Tertullian ironically described as "pontifex maximus" and "bishop of bishops" (De Pudic. 1), phrases which Mr. Rivington seems to take seriously (p. 92).