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Tertullian

ELPENOR EDITIONS IN PRINT

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Page 9

Of Stations, and of the Hours of Prayer

CHAPTER X

In like manner they censure on the count of novelty our Stations as being enjoined; some, moreover, (censure them) too as being prolonged habitually too late, saying that this duty also ought to be observed of free choice, and not continued beyond the ninth hour,-(deriving their rule), of course, from their own practice. Well: as to that which pertains to the question of injunction, I will once for all give a reply to suit all causes. Now, (turning) to the point which is proper to this particular cause-concerning the limit of time, I mean-I must first demand from themselves whence they derive this prescriptive law for concluding Stations at the ninth hour. If it is from the fact that we read that Peter and he who was with him entered the temple "at the ninth (hour), the hour of prayer," who will prove to me that they had that day been performing a Station, so as to interpret the ninth hour as the hour for the conclusion and discharge of the Station? Nay, but you would more easily find that Peter at the sixth hour had, for the sake of taking food, gone up first on the roof to pray; so that the sixth hour of the day may the rather be made the limit to this duty, which (in Peter's case) was apparently to finish that duty, after prayer.

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