Patripassians (from Patre Passo, "a suffering Father"), a title given by their opponents to those Christians who deny the distinct personality of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. The first to whom it was applied were the followers of Praxeas, against whom Tertullian published, about the year 200, one of his celebrated treatises. Praxeas was a Phrygian, who had come to Rome, and exerted himself there with great effect against the Montanists, whom the Roman bishop was almost on the point of admitting into the communion of the Church. His peculiar views on the Trinity were overlooked at the time. But Tertullian shortly afterwards became a Montanist, and as such had a double motive for attacking Praxeas and his followers. His treatise is our chief authority for the opinions they held, but there is some obscurity about it. From some passages it would appear that Praxeas admitted no distinctions in the Godhead previous to the appearing of God in the person of Christ. From others it rather seems that he supposed him to have manifested himself as the Son under the old dispensation. But there can be no doubt that Praxeas believed, as the Sabellians did after him, that Father, Son, and Holy Ghost were merely names for the different modes under which one and the same person operated or was manifest. Tertullian argued that if this view was carried out to its legitimate consequences, it must be admitted that the Father was born of the Virgin Mary, and suffered on the cross. SEE MONARCHIANS; SEE NOETUS; SEE SABELLIANS; and SEE SABELLIUS. The followers of Praxeas were also called Monarchians, because of their denying a plurality of persons in the Deity; and Patripassians, because they believed that the Father was so intimately united with the man Christ, his Son, that he suffered with him the anguish of an afflicted life, and the torments of an ignominious death. It does not appear that this sect formed to itself any separate place of worship, or removed from the ordinary assemblies of Christians. See Neander, Hist. of Dogmas (see Index); Planting and Training, vol. 2; Milman, Hist. of Latin Christianity, 1:73; Alzog, Kirchengesch. 1:112; Schaff, Church Hist. vol. 1; Liddon, Divinity of Christ (see Index); Haag, Hist. des Dogmes; Hagenbach, Hist. of Doctrines (see Index in vol. 2).

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