| Tertullian is the most
famous of the Montanists. He was born about 150-5, and became a Christian about 190-5. His excessive nature led
him to adopt the Montanist teaching as soon as he knew it (about 202-3). His writings from this date onwards grow
more and more bitter against the Catholic Church, from which he definitively broke away about 207. He died about
223, or not much later.
Tertullian's first Montanist work was a defense of the new prophecy in six books, "De Ecstasi", written probably in Greek; he added a seventh book in reply to Apollonius. The work is lost, but a sentence preserved by Prædestinatus (xxvi) is important: "In this alone we differ, in that we do not receive second marriage, and that we do not refuse the prophecy of Montanus concerning the future judgment."
In fact Tertullian holds as an absolute law the recommendations of Montanus to eschew second marriages and flight from persecution. He denies the possibility of forgiveness of sins by the Church; he insists upon the newly ordained fasts and abstinences. Catholics are the Psychici as opposed to the "spiritual" followers of the Paraclete; the Catholic Church consists of gluttons and adulterers, who hate to fast and love to remarry.
(Excerpted from H. Leclercq, transcribed by Herman F. Holbrook, The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume VII, Copyright © 1910 by Robert Appleton Company.)