Alexander

, bishop of Cappadocia, and afterwards of Jerusalem, in the early part of the third century, was the scholar of Pantaenus and Clement of Alexandria, to whom he acknowledges his obligations. About the year 204, when bishop of Cappadocia, he suffered imprisonment for the profession of the Christian faith, and remained in prison for some years, under the reign of Severus. His faithfulness and constancy in suffering induced the church at Jerusalem, after his release from prison, to appoint him colleague to their bishop Narcissus, who was now an hundred and sixteen years old. The account which Jerom and Eusebius give of his election, and of his arrival, being supernaturally revealed to Narcissus and the clergy, will not now probably obtain belief; but it is certain that he was gladly welcomed thither, and afterwards succeeded Narcissus in the see, over which he presided for the long space of forty years, with zeal, approbation, and success, in his ministry. When Decius revived the persecution of the Christians, Alexander was again cast into prison, where, from ill usage or old age, he died about the year 25 1. None of his writings remain, except some fragments of letters in Eusebius, who also informs us that Alexander founded a library in Jerusalem into which he collected all the Christian epistles and documents that could be procured; and as this was extant in the time of Eusebius, the latter acknowledges his obligations to it in the compilation of his history.

Lardner, who has given a long account of this bishop from various sources, observes that his piety and humility are conspicuous in the fragments left, and his meekness is celebrated by Origen. If he was not learned, he was at least a patron of learning. Above all, we are indebted to him for his glorious testimony to the truth, of the Christian religion, and his remarkable example of steadiness in the faith, of which he made, at least, two confessions, before heathen magistrates. 2

2

Cave. Lardner’s Works, vol. II.