Dionysius

, bishop of Corinth, flourished under the reigns of Marcus Antoninus and Commodus; and is supposed to have suffered martyrdom about the year 178. We know little more of him than what appears from some of his epistles, preserved by Eusebius: from which we learn, that he was not only very diligent in his pastoral care over the flock committed to him, but that he extended this care likewise to the inhabitants of all other countries and cities. He wrote a letter to the Lacedaemonians, in which he exhorts them to peace and concord; another to the Athenians, in which he recommends purity of faith and evangelical holiness; a third to the Nicomedians, to guard them against the heresy of Marciou; a fourth to the churches of Crete; a fifth to the churches of Pontus; a sixth to the Gnossians, in which he admonishes Pinytus, their bishop, not to impose too severely upon the brethren the heavy burden of continence, but to consider the frailties and infirmities of the flesh; a proof that monastic austerities were beginning at this early period of the church. He wrote also a seventh letter to the Romans, in which he mentions the famous epistle of Clemens to the Corinthians; which, as we learn from him, was wont at that time to be publicly read in their churches. He recommends to them also to continue a charitable custom, which, from their first plantation, they had always practised; namely, to send relief to divers churches throughout the world, and to assist particularly those who were condemned to the mines; a strong proof, says a recent historian, both that the Roman church continued opulent and numerous, and that they still partook much of the spirit of Christianity. None of these epistles are now | extant, but Eusebius has preserved some fragments of them. 1

1 Cave. Dupin. Milner’s Church History, vol. I. p. 233.