The celibacy of the clergy during the first five or six centuries is a subject of discipline, and indeed of controversy, which has been very diligently examined. See in particular Thomassin Discipline de l'Eglise, tom. i. l. ii. c. lx. lxi. p. 886-902; and Bingham's Antiquities,1. iv. c. 5. By each of these learned but partial critics one half of the truth is produced, and the other is concealed.