Euphrates

, a heretic of the second century, was the founder of the sect of Ophites or Serpentarians, one of whose dogmas was, “that the serpent by which our first parents were deceived, was either Christ himself or Sophia (wisdom) concealed under that form,” for which reason they paid a kind of divine honours to certain serpents kept for that purpose. In most points he adhered to the Oriental or Gnostic philosophy, of two opposite principles with the Æons, and other dreams of those sects. Origen did not consider the disciples of Euphrates as Christians, but as calumniators of Jesus Christ; but Dr. Lardner, in their defence, has proved that they believed in Jesus, as an excellent man, and the true Messiah. 2

2

Lardner’s Works.—Mosheim’s Hist.