Bardesanes

, a native of Edessa, a city in Syria, in the country of Mesopotamia, flourished in the second century. He is held up to us as a man of very acute genius, and acquired a shining reputation by his numerous writings. He first followed the doctrine of Valentine, and afterwards retracted from it. He gave rise to a considerable sect known in ecclesiastical history by the name of the Barclesanists. His sentiments were, that there is one supreme God, perfectly good and benevolent, who made | the world and all its inhabitants in a state of perfection, all souls being clothed with bodies celestial and pure but the prince of darkness, having seduced men into sin, God permitted them to fall into gross bodies, formed of malignant and corrupt matter by the evil principle, and hence permitted the inward disorder of their breasts, as the punishment of their sin. At last, Jesus Christ, the son of God, descended to this world, clothed with an aerial body, and taught men how to subdue their bodies, and by abstinence, fasting, and contemplation, disentangle themselves from the dominion of malignant matter, that at death they may ascend to immortal happiness. His followers continued in these opinions for a considerable time He was a man of acute genius, and acquired great reputation by his writings, which were numerous and learned. 1

1

Chaufepie. Lardner’s Works. Mosheim. Cave. Dup'>tu