The Cataphrygians brought in also several other superstitions: such as were the doctrine of Ghosts, and of their punishment in Purgatory, with prayers and oblations for mitigating that punishment, as Tertullian teaches in his books De Anima and De Monogamia. They used also the sign of the cross as a charm. So Tertullian in his book de Corona militis: Ad omnem progressum atque promotum, ad omnem aditum & exitum, ad vestitum, ad calceatum, ad lavacra, ad mensas, ad lumina, ad cubilia, ad sedilia, quacunque nos conversatio exercet, frontem crucis signaculo terimus. All these superstitions the Apostle refers to, where he saith: Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils, the Daemons and Ghosts worshipped by the heathens, speaking lies in hypocrisy, about their apparitions, the miracles done by them, their relics, and the sign of the cross, having consciences seared with a hot iron; forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, &c. 1 Timothy 4:1, 2, 3. From the Cataphrygians these principles and practices were propagated down to posterity. For the mystery of iniquity did already work in the Apostles’ days in the Gnostics, continued to work very strongly in their offspring the Tatianists and Cataphrygians, and was to work till that man of sin should be revealed; whose coming is after the working of Satan, with all power and signs, and lying wonders, and all deceivableness of unrighteousness; colored over with a form of Christian godliness, but without the power thereof, 2 Thessalonians 2:7-10.
For though some stop was put to the Cataphrygian Christianity, by Provincial Councils, till the fourth century; yet the Roman Emperors then turning Christians, and great multitudes of heathens coming over in outward profession, these found the Cataphrygian Christianity more suitable to their old principles, of placing religion in outward forms and ceremonies, holy-days, and doctrines of Ghosts, than the religion of the sincere Christians: wherefore they readily sided with the Cataphrygian Christians, and established that Christianity before the end of the fourth century. By this means those of understanding, after they had been persecuted by the heathen Emperors in the first three centuries, and were holpen with a little help, by the conversion of Constantine the great and his sons to the Christian religion, fell under new persecutions, to purge them from the dissemblers, and to make them white, even to the time of the end.