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Gallican was still used. This ancient liturgy afterwards fell into obscurity; and until the time of Bona, who found a MS. of it, the opinions of learned men as to its nature were various and uncertain.
I have thus presented the substance of Mabillon's investigations relative to the antiquity of the Gallican missal, and added whatever remarks seemed to me calculated to illustrate the subject. The result of the whole may be briefly stated as follows; that at the end of the eighth century there was a liturgy used in the churches of Gaul so universally, as to be called the Gallican liturgy, or rite; and so anciently, as to be esteemed coeval with the introduction of Christianity into that country. We are not to suppose, when we are informed that Musæus, Sidonius, and Hilary composed books of sacraments, missæ, or mysteries, that they effected any alteration in the liturgy of Gaul. In ecclesiastical writings such expressions imply nothing more than the composition of a variety of collects and prayers for the various feast days, to be used on those days instead of the ordinary portions of the liturgy which corresponded to them. Thus we find that Gregory the Great is said to have composed a book of sacraments; but this is explained to mean nothing more than the composition of new collects instead of old ones, or the alteration and abbreviation of those previously extant. There is therefore no sort of proof that Musæus, Sidonius, or Hilary made any alteration in the Gallican liturgy extant before their time; but it is utterly improbable, if not impossible, that they should have done so. If these persons had each composed a different liturgy, three liturgies would have been used in Gaul; but we find,
that in the following ages there was only one rite prevalent there, which was esteemed very ancient°; and that too without any intimation then, or in later times, that a different liturgy had formerly prevailed in any part of Gaul. Besides this, we have no reason to think that the persons above named had such influence as to cause their own liturgy to be universally received by the Gallican church. And, finally, if any liturgy composed by an individual in the fourth or fifth century had been adopted by the whole Gallican church, we should assuredly have found the name of the author affixed to the Gallican liturgy; but of this we find no sort of trace in the monuments of that church. We may therefore conclude, that the main order and substance of the liturgy was not altered by any of these authors, but remained substantially the same in the fifth century, as it had been before the time of Hilary of Poictiers.
If then it appears probable that the same rite had been used all through Gaul from time immemorial, and if no decree of any council, no authority of any patriarch or prince, can be cited to explain this general conformity, we must look to the only remaining cause by which it could have been produced, namely, to the derivation of all the Gallican churches and liturgies from some one source. That
• "Advenit dies Dominicus, et ecce rex cum his qui ab hoc sacerdote communioni abesse jussi fuerunt, ecclesiam est ingressus. Lectis igitur lectionibus, quas canon sanxit antiquus, oblatis muneribus super altare Dei," &c. Gregor. Turon. cap. 17. de Vit. Patrum.
"Altera consuetudo missarum in s. Rom. eccl. atque altera in Galliarum tenetur." Beda, lib. i. c. 27. Interrogatio Augustini ad Gregor. Magnum. "Missales libri continentes missæ ordinem more Gallico." Hilduin. Abb. Areopagitica. ap. Surium, Oct. 9.
source could not have been the church of Rome, or the church of Milan; for the Gallican rites differed materially from theirs: but the church of Lyons may well claim the Gallican liturgy as her own.
If it should be true that Lyons was the first Christian church of Gaul, and that she sent missionaries through a large portion of that country long before any missionaries from Rome there; it will appear certain that her influence must have been extensively diffused through Gaul, which would render it probable that any missionaries from Rome would conform themselves to her liturgy. I proceed to shew, in the first place, that Lyons was the first Christian church in Gaul. The question which has been debated with vehemence by French divines, as to whether there were any sees in France, founded by the Apostles, seems to me capable of an easy termination. No authority on this subject can be so powerful as that of Irenæus, who lived in Gaul, and was separated by only one link from the Apostles themselves. Now in his work against heresies, amongst other arguments against the Valentinians, who had obtained a footing even in Gaul, he refers to the doctrines or traditions of the churches founded by the Apostles; such as Rome, Smyrna, and Ephesus; as a sufficient means of proving the falsehood of the Valentinian doctrines". If there had been any apostolical churches in Gaul, at Lyons, Arles, Vienne, or Paris, as has been alleged, Irenæus would not have referred the Valentinians only to Rome, and the eastern apostolical churches, but would have directed them to the nearest repositories of apostolical
Irenæus adv. Hæres. lib. iii. c. 3.
tradition. His subject required him to mention any such churches in Gaul, had they been in existence; and yet neither he nor Tertullian, who shortly after used a similar argument, ever alluded to any apostolical church in Gaul. If no Gallican church be of apostolical antiquity, there is no difficulty in proving Lyons the oldest church in Gaul. It is universally admitted that Lyons was founded at least in the age after the apostolic. Pothinus, bishop of Lyons, died in prison A.D. 177, at upwards of ninety years of age. Irenæus, a disciple of Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna, succeeded; and Eusebius, in little more than a hundred years after his time, says that he was bishop of the churches of Gaul'. This expression implies at least that he was Metropolitan of Gaul, but it more probably means that he was the only bishop in Gaul. This last interpretation is supported by eminent divines, and confirmed by the silence of all authentic history, with regard to the existence of any other bishop in Gaul at that time, or even long after. The two ecclesiastical historians, Sulpitius Severus and Gregory of Tours, who both lived in Gaul, the former in the fourth, the latter in the sixth century, confirm this opinion. Sulpitius speaks of the martyrdoms of Lyons, A.D. 177, as being the first martyrdoms seen in Gaul; "for,” he adds, "the religion of God was received late beyond the Alps"." Gregory of Tours mentions no
a Tertull. de Præscript. adv. tonini filio, persecutio quinta Hæreticos, c. 36. agitata. Ac tum primum inter Gallias martyria visa, serius trans Alpes Dei religione suscepta." Sulp. Sever. Hist. Sacr. lib. ii. c. 32.
φέρεται δ' εἰσέτι νῦν—γραφὴ—τῶν κατὰ Γαλλίαν δὲ παροικιῶν ἃς Εἰρηναῖος ἐπεσκόπει. Euseb. Hist. Eccl. lib. v. c. 23.
"Sub Aurelio deinde An
bishop of Gaul, as living before the time of Pothinus, bishop of Lyons, and places the foundation of all the principal sees of Gaul a hundred years after that period. The authentic acts of the martyrdom of Saturnius, mention that on his arrival at Toulouse, (about the year 250, or not long after,) only a few churches had risen in some cities by the devotion of a few Christians ". If Christian churches were rare in Gaul in the third century, they must have been still more so in the second; and in fact, Lyons is the only see which can shew an unquestionable succession from the second century. "We wish," says the learned Tillemont, "that we could
shew from history, that there were really several "bishops in Gaul, but we find nothing on which we "can depend in this affair with any certainty." Lyons may therefore justly be considered the oldest Christian church in Gaul. Secondly, it appears that the church of Lyons very early sent missionaries to convert the pagan nations of Gaul. It seems probable that Benignus, Andochius, Thyrsus, and Felix, disciples of Polycarp, preached the Gospel at Marseilles, Lyons, Langres, Saulieu, and Dijon". At Autun they converted Symphorian, who suffered martyrdom in the reign of Aurelius, about A.D. 180, according to Ruinart*. It appears that Irenæus, at a later period, instructed several disciples to preach the Gospel in Gaul; amongst whom
t Gregor. Turonens. Hist. iii. part i. p. 455. edit. BrusFranc. lib. i. c. 28, 29. sels, 1699.
Passio S. Saturnini ap. Ruinart. Acta Martyrum sincera, p. 130. edit. Amsterdam, 1713.
v Tillemont, Hist. Eccl. tom.
w Tillemont, Hist. Eccl. tom. iii. part i. p. 63, &c. Ruinart. Acta Martyrum, p. 79, 80. * Ruinart. p. 80.