The same King placed holiness in abstinence from marriage. Eusebius in his Ecclesiastical history tells us, that Musanus wrote a tract against those who fell away to the heresy of the Encratites, which was then newly risen and had introduced pernicious errors; and that Tatian, the disciple of Justin, was the author thereof; and that Irenaeus in his first book against heresies teaches this, writing of Tatian and his heresy in these words: A Saturnino & Marcione profecti qui vocantur Continentes, docuerunt non contrahendum esse matrimonium; reprobantes scilicet promitivum illud opificium Dei, & tacite accusantes Deum qui masculum & faeminam condidit ad procreationem generis humani. Induxerunt etiam abstinentiam ab esu eorum quae animalia appellant, ingratos se exhibentes erga eum qui universa creavit Deum. Negant etiam primi hominis salutem. Atque hoc nuper apud illos excogitatum est. Tatiano quodam omnium primo hujus impietatis auctore: qui Justini auditor, quamdiu cum illo versatus est, nihil ejusmodi protulit. Post martyrium autem illius, ab Ecclesia se abrumpens, doctoris arrogantia elatus ac tumidus, tanquam praestantior caeteris, novam quandam formam doctrinae conflavit: AEonas invisibiles commentus perinde ac Valentinus: asserens quoque cum Saturnino & Marcione, matrimonium nihil aliud esse quam corruptionem ac stuprum: nova praeterea argumenta ad subvertendam Adami salutem excogitans. Haec Irenaeus de Haeresi quae tunc viguit Encratitarum.
Thus far Eusebius. But although the followers of Tatian were at first condemned as heretics by the name of Encratites, or Continentes; their principles could not be yet quite exploded: for Montanus refined upon them, and made only second marriages unlawful; he also introduced frequent fastings, and annual fasting days, the keeping of Lent, and feeding upon dried meats. The Apostolici, about the middle of the third century, condemned marriage, and were a branch of the disciples of Tatian. The Hierocitae in Egypt, in the latter end of the third century, also condemned marriage. Paul the Eremite fled into the wilderness from the persecution of Decius, and lived there a solitary life till the reign of Constantine the great, but made no disciples. Antony did the like in the persecution of Dioclesian, or a little before, and made disciples; and many others soon followed his example.