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The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - Volume 4
by Edward Gibbon
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[Footnote 26: Oyster shells were plentifully strewed on the sea-beach before the Caesareum. I may therefore prefer the literal sense, without rejecting the metaphorical version of tegulae, tiles, which is used by M. de Valois ignorant, and the assassins were probably regardless, whether their victim was yet alive.]

[Footnote 27: These exploits of St. Cyril are recorded by Socrates, (l. vii. c. 13, 14, 15;) and the most reluctant bigotry is compelled to copy an historian who coolly styles the murderers of Hypatia. At the mention of that injured name, I am pleased to observe a blush even on the cheek of Baronius, (A.D. 415, No. 48.)]

Superstition, perhaps, would more gently expiate the blood of a virgin, than the banishment of a saint; and Cyril had accompanied his uncle to the iniquitous synod of the Oak. When the memory of Chrysostom was restored and consecrated, the nephew of Theophilus, at the head of a dying faction, still maintained the justice of his sentence; nor was it till after a tedious delay and an obstinate resistance, that he yielded to the consent of the Catholic world. [28] His enmity to the Byzantine pontiffs [29] was a sense of interest, not a sally of passion: he envied their fortunate station in the sunshine of the Imperial court; and he dreaded their upstart ambition. which oppressed the metropolitans of Europe and Asia, invaded the provinces of Antioch and Alexandria, and measured their diocese by the limits of the empire. The long moderation of Atticus, the mild usurper of the throne of Chrysostom, suspended the animosities of the Eastern patriarchs; but Cyril was at length awakened by the exaltation of a rival more worthy of his esteem and hatred. After the short and troubled reign of Sisinnius, bishop of Constantinople, the factions of the clergy and people were appeased by the choice of the emperor, who, on this occasion, consulted the voice of fame, and invited the merit of a stranger.

Nestorius, [30] native of Germanicia, and a monk of Antioch, was recommended by the austerity of his life, and the eloquence of his sermons; but the first homily which he preached before the devout Theodosius betrayed the acrimony and impatience of his zeal. "Give me, O Caesar!" he exclaimed, "give me the earth purged of heretics, and I will give you in exchange the kingdom of heaven. Exterminate with me the heretics; and with you I will exterminate the Persians." On the fifth day as if the treaty had been already signed, the patriarch of Constantinople discovered, surprised, and attacked a secret conventicle of the Arians: they preferred death to submission; the flames that were kindled by their despair, soon spread to the neighboring houses, and the triumph of Nestorius was clouded by the name of incendiary. On either side of the Hellespont his episcopal vigor imposed a rigid formulary of faith and discipline; a chronological error concerning the festival of Easter was punished as an offence against the church and state. Lydia and Caria, Sardes and Miletus, were purified with the blood of the obstinate Quartodecimans; and the edict of the emperor, or rather of the patriarch, enumerates three-and-twenty degrees and denominations in the guilt and punishment of heresy. [31] But the sword of persecution which Nestorius so furiously wielded was soon turned against his own breast. Religion was the pretence; but, in the judgment of a contemporary saint, ambition was the genuine motive of episcopal warfare. [32]

[Footnote 28: He was deaf to the entreaties of Atticus of Constantinople, and of Isidore of Pelusium, and yielded only (if we may believe Nicephorus, l. xiv. c. 18) to the personal intercession of the Virgin. Yet in his last years he still muttered that John Chrysostom had been justly condemned, (Tillemont, Mem. Eccles. tom. xiv. p. 278—282. Baronius Annal. Eccles. A.D. 412, No. 46—64.)]

[Footnote 29: See their characters in the history of Socrates, (l. vii. c. 25—28;) their power and pretensions, in the huge compilation of Thomassin, (Discipline de l'Eglise, tom. i. p. 80-91.)]

[Footnote 30: His elevation and conduct are described by Socrates, (l. vii. c. 29 31;) and Marcellinus seems to have applied the eloquentiae satis, sapi entiae parum, of Sallust.]

[Footnote 31: Cod. Theodos. l. xvi. tit. v. leg. 65, with the illustrations of Baronius, (A.D. 428, No. 25, &c.,) Godefroy, (ad locum,) and Pagi, Critica, (tom. ii. p. 208.)]

[Footnote 32: Isidore of Pelusium, (l. iv. Epist. 57.) His words are strong and scandalous. Isidore is a saint, but he never became a bishop; and I half suspect that the pride of Diogenes trampled on the pride of Plato.]

In the Syrian school, Nestorius had been taught to abhor the confusion of the two natures, and nicely to discriminate the humanity of his master Christ from the divinity of the Lord Jesus. [33] The Blessed Virgin he revered as the mother of Christ, but his ears were offended with the rash and recent title of mother of God, [34] which had been insensibly adopted since the origin of the Arian controversy. From the pulpit of Constantinople, a friend of the patriarch, and afterwards the patriarch himself, repeatedly preached against the use, or the abuse, of a word [35] unknown to the apostles, unauthorized by the church, and which could only tend to alarm the timorous, to mislead the simple, to amuse the profane, and to justify, by a seeming resemblance, the old genealogy of Olympus. [36] In his calmer moments Nestorius confessed, that it might be tolerated or excused by the union of the two natures, and the communication of their idioms: [37] but he was exasperated, by contradiction, to disclaim the worship of a new-born, an infant Deity, to draw his inadequate similes from the conjugal or civil partnerships of life, and to describe the manhood of Christ as the robe, the instrument, the tabernacle of his Godhead. At these blasphemous sounds, the pillars of the sanctuary were shaken. The unsuccessful competitors of Nestorius indulged their pious or personal resentment, the Byzantine clergy was secretly displeased with the intrusion of a stranger: whatever is superstitious or absurd, might claim the protection of the monks; and the people were interested in the glory of their virgin patroness. [38] The sermons of the archbishop, and the service of the altar, were disturbed by seditious clamor; his authority and doctrine were renounced by separate congregations; every wind scattered round the empire the leaves of controversy; and the voice of the combatants on a sonorous theatre reechoed in the cells of Palestine and Egypt. It was the duty of Cyril to enlighten the zeal and ignorance of his innumerable monks: in the school of Alexandria, he had imbibed and professed the incarnation of one nature; and the successor of Athanasius consulted his pride and ambition, when he rose in arms against another Arius, more formidable and more guilty, on the second throne of the hierarchy. After a short correspondence, in which the rival prelates disguised their hatred in the hollow language of respect and charity, the patriarch of Alexandria denounced to the prince and people, to the East and to the West, the damnable errors of the Byzantine pontiff. From the East, more especially from Antioch, he obtained the ambiguous counsels of toleration and silence, which were addressed to both parties while they favored the cause of Nestorius. But the Vatican received with open arms the messengers of Egypt. The vanity of Celestine was flattered by the appeal; and the partial version of a monk decided the faith of the pope, who with his Latin clergy was ignorant of the language, the arts, and the theology of the Greeks. At the head of an Italian synod, Celestine weighed the merits of the cause, approved the creed of Cyril, condemned the sentiments and person of Nestorius, degraded the heretic from his episcopal dignity, allowed a respite of ten days for recantation and penance, and delegated to his enemy the execution of this rash and illegal sentence. But the patriarch of Alexandria, while he darted the thunders of a god, exposed the errors and passions of a mortal; and his twelve anathemas [39] still torture the orthodox slaves, who adore the memory of a saint, without forfeiting their allegiance to the synod of Chalcedon. These bold assertions are indelibly tinged with the colors of the Apollinarian heresy; but the serious, and perhaps the sincere professions of Nestorius have satisfied the wiser and less partial theologians of the present times. [40]

[Footnote 33: La Croze (Christianisme des Indes, tom. i. p. 44-53. Thesaurus Epistolicus, La Crozianus, tom. iii. p. 276—280) has detected the use, which, in the ivth, vth, and vith centuries, discriminates the school of Diodorus of Tarsus and his Nestorian disciples.]

[Footnote 34: Deipara; as in zoology we familiarly speak of oviparous and viviparous animals. It is not easy to fix the invention of this word, which La Croze (Christianisme des Indes, tom. i. p. 16) ascribes to Eusebius of Caesarea and the Arians. The orthodox testimonies are produced by Cyril and Petavius, (Dogmat. Theolog. tom. v. l. v. c. 15, p. 254, &c.;) but the veracity of the saint is questionable, and the epithet so easily slides from the margin to the text of a Catholic Ms]

[Footnote 35: Basnage, in his Histoire de l'Eglise, a work of controversy, (tom l. p. 505,) justifies the mother, by the blood, of God, (Acts, xx. 28, with Mill's various readings.) But the Greek Mss. are far from unanimous; and the primitive style of the blood of Christ is preserved in the Syriac version, even in those copies which were used by the Christians of St. Thomas on the coast of Malabar, (La Croze, Christianisme des Indes, tom. i. p. 347.) The jealousy of the Nestorians and Monophysites has guarded the purity of their text.]

[Footnote 36: The Pagans of Egypt already laughed at the new Cybele of the Christians, (Isidor. l. i. epist. 54;) a letter was forged in the name of Hypatia, to ridicule the theology of her assassin, (Synodicon, c. 216, in iv. tom. Concil. p. 484.) In the article of Nestorius, Bayle has scattered some loose philosophy on the worship of the Virgin Mary.]

[Footnote 37: The item of the Greeks, a mutual loan or transfer of the idioms or properties of each nature to the other—of infinity to man, passibility to God, &c. Twelve rules on this nicest of subjects compose the Theological Grammar of Petavius, (Dogmata Theolog. tom. v. l. iv. c. 14, 15, p 209, &c.)]

[Footnote 38: See Ducange, C. P. Christiana, l. i. p. 30, &c.]

[Footnote 39: Concil. tom. iii. p. 943. They have never been directly approved by the church, (Tillemont. Mem. Eccles. tom. xiv. p. 368—372.) I almost pity the agony of rage and sophistry with which Petavius seems to be agitated in the vith book of his Dogmata Theologica]

[Footnote 40: Such as the rational Basnage (ad tom. i. Variar. Lection. Canisine in Praefat. c. 2, p. 11—23) and La Croze, the universal scholar, (Christianisme des Indes, tom. i. p. 16—20. De l'Ethiopie, p. 26, 27. The saur. Epist. p. 176, &c., 283, 285.) His free sentence is confirmed by that of his friends Jablonski (Thesaur. Epist. tom. i. p. 193—201) and Mosheim, (idem. p. 304, Nestorium crimine caruisse est et mea sententia;) and three more respectable judges will not easily be found. Asseman, a learned and modest slave, can hardly discern (Bibliothec. Orient. tom. iv. p. 190—224) the guilt and error of the Nestorians.]

Yet neither the emperor nor the primate of the East were disposed to obey the mandate of an Italian priest; and a synod of the Catholic, or rather of the Greek church, was unanimously demanded as the sole remedy that could appease or decide this ecclesiastical quarrel. [41] Ephesus, on all sides accessible by sea and land, was chosen for the place, the festival of Pentecost for the day, of the meeting; a writ of summons was despatched to each metropolitan, and a guard was stationed to protect and confine the fathers till they should settle the mysteries of heaven, and the faith of the earth. Nestorius appeared not as a criminal, but as a judge; he depended on the weight rather than the number of his prelates, and his sturdy slaves from the baths of Zeuxippus were armed for every service of injury or defence. But his adversary Cyril was more powerful in the weapons both of the flesh and of the spirit. Disobedient to the letter, or at least to the meaning, of the royal summons, he was attended by fifty Egyptian bishops, who expected from their patriarch's nod the inspiration of the Holy Ghost. He had contracted an intimate alliance with Memnon, bishop of Ephesus. The despotic primate of Asia disposed of the ready succors of thirty or forty episcopal votes: a crowd of peasants, the slaves of the church, was poured into the city to support with blows and clamors a metaphysical argument; and the people zealously asserted the honor of the Virgin, whose body reposed within the walls of Ephesus. [42] The fleet which had transported Cyril from Alexandria was laden with the riches of Egypt; and he disembarked a numerous body of mariners, slaves, and fanatics, enlisted with blind obedience under the banner of St. Mark and the mother of God. The fathers, and even the guards, of the council were awed by this martial array; the adversaries of Cyril and Mary were insulted in the streets, or threatened in their houses; his eloquence and liberality made a daily increase in the number of his adherents; and the Egyptian soon computed that he might command the attendance and the voices of two hundred bishops. [43] But the author of the twelve anathemas foresaw and dreaded the opposition of John of Antioch, who, with a small, but respectable, train of metropolitans and divines, was advancing by slow journeys from the distant capital of the East. Impatient of a delay, which he stigmatized as voluntary and culpable, [44] Cyril announced the opening of the synod sixteen days after the festival of Pentecost. Nestorius, who depended on the near approach of his Eastern friends, persisted, like his predecessor Chrysostom, to disclaim the jurisdiction, and to disobey the summons, of his enemies: they hastened his trial, and his accuser presided in the seat of judgment. Sixty-eight bishops, twenty-two of metropolitan rank, defended his cause by a modest and temperate protest: they were excluded from the councils of their brethren. Candidian, in the emperor's name, requested a delay of four days; the profane magistrate was driven with outrage and insult from the assembly of the saints. The whole of this momentous transaction was crowded into the compass of a summer's day: the bishops delivered their separate opinions; but the uniformity of style reveals the influence or the hand of a master, who has been accused of corrupting the public evidence of their acts and subscriptions. [45] Without a dissenting voice, they recognized in the epistles of Cyril the Nicene creed and the doctrine of the fathers: but the partial extracts from the letters and homilies of Nestorius were interrupted by curses and anathemas: and the heretic was degraded from his episcopal and ecclesiastical dignity. The sentence, maliciously inscribed to the new Judas, was affixed and proclaimed in the streets of Ephesus: the weary prelates, as they issued from the church of the mother of God, were saluted as her champions; and her victory was celebrated by the illuminations, the songs, and the tumult of the night.

[Footnote 41: The origin and progress of the Nestorian controversy, till the synod of Ephesus, may be found in Socrates, (l. vii. c. 32,) Evagrius, (l. i. c. 1, 2,) Liberatus, (Brev. c. 1—4,) the original Acts, (Concil. tom. iii. p. 551—991, edit. Venice, 1728,) the Annals of Baronius and Pagi, and the faithful collections of Tillemont, (Mem. Eccles. tom. xiv p. 283—377.)]

[Footnote 42: The Christians of the four first centuries were ignorant of the death and burial of Mary. The tradition of Ephesus is affirmed by the synod, (Concil. tom. iii. p. 1102;) yet it has been superseded by the claim of Jerusalem; and her empty sepulchre, as it was shown to the pilgrims, produced the fable of her resurrection and assumption, in which the Greek and Latin churches have piously acquiesced. See Baronius (Annal. Eccles. A.D. 48, No. 6, &c.) and Tillemont, (Mem. Eccles. tom. i. p. 467—477.)]

[Footnote 43: The Acts of Chalcedon (Concil. tom. iv. p. 1405, 1408) exhibit a lively picture of the blind, obstinate servitude of the bishops of Egypt to their patriarch.]

[Footnote 44: Civil or ecclesiastical business detained the bishops at Antioch till the 18th of May. Ephesus was at the distance of thirty days' journey; and ten days more may be fairly allowed for accidents and repose. The march of Xenophon over the same ground enumerates above 260 parasangs or leagues; and this measure might be illustrated from ancient and modern itineraries, if I knew how to compare the speed of an army, a synod, and a caravan. John of Antioch is reluctantly acquitted by Tillemont himself, (Mem. Eccles. tom. xiv. p. 386—389.)]

[Footnote 45: Evagrius, l. i. c. 7. The same imputation was urged by Count Irenaeus, (tom. iii. p. 1249;) and the orthodox critics do not find it an easy task to defend the purity of the Greek or Latin copies of the Acts.]

On the fifth day, the triumph was clouded by the arrival and indignation of the Eastern bishops. In a chamber of the inn, before he had wiped the dust from his shoes, John of Antioch gave audience to Candidian, the Imperial minister; who related his ineffectual efforts to prevent or to annul the hasty violence of the Egyptian. With equal haste and violence, the Oriental synod of fifty bishops degraded Cyril and Memnon from their episcopal honors, condemned, in the twelve anathemas, the purest venom of the Apollinarian heresy, and described the Alexandrian primate as a monster, born and educated for the destruction of the church. [46] His throne was distant and inaccessible; but they instantly resolved to bestow on the flock of Ephesus the blessing of a faithful shepherd. By the vigilance of Memnon, the churches were shut against them, and a strong garrison was thrown into the cathedral. The troops, under the command of Candidian, advanced to the assault; the outguards were routed and put to the sword, but the place was impregnable: the besiegers retired; their retreat was pursued by a vigorous sally; they lost their horses, and many of their soldiers were dangerously wounded with clubs and stones. Ephesus, the city of the Virgin, was defiled with rage and clamor, with sedition and blood; the rival synods darted anathemas and excommunications from their spiritual engines; and the court of Theodosius was perplexed by the adverse and contradictory narratives of the Syrian and Egyptian factions. During a busy period of three months, the emperor tried every method, except the most effectual means of indifference and contempt, to reconcile this theological quarrel. He attempted to remove or intimidate the leaders by a common sentence, of acquittal or condemnation; he invested his representatives at Ephesus with ample power and military force; he summoned from either party eight chosen deputies to a free and candid conference in the neighborhood of the capital, far from the contagion of popular frenzy. But the Orientals refused to yield, and the Catholics, proud of their numbers and of their Latin allies, rejected all terms of union or toleration. The patience of the meek Theodosius was provoked; and he dissolved in anger this episcopal tumult, which at the distance of thirteen centuries assumes the venerable aspect of the third oecumenical council. [47] "God is my witness," said the pious prince, "that I am not the author of this confusion. His providence will discern and punish the guilty. Return to your provinces, and may your private virtues repair the mischief and scandal of your meeting." They returned to their provinces; but the same passions which had distracted the synod of Ephesus were diffused over the Eastern world. After three obstinate and equal campaigns, John of Antioch and Cyril of Alexandria condescended to explain and embrace: but their seeming reunion must be imputed rather to prudence than to reason, to the mutual lassitude rather than to the Christian charity of the patriarchs.

[Footnote 46: After the coalition of John and Cyril these invectives were mutually forgotten. The style of declamation must never be confounded with the genuine sense which respectable enemies entertain of each other's merit, (Concil tom. iii. p. 1244.)]

[Footnote 47: See the acts of the synod of Ephesus in the original Greek, and a Latin version almost contemporary, (Concil. tom. iii. p. 991—1339, with the Synodicon adversus Tragoediam Irenaei, tom. iv. p. 235—497,) the Ecclesiastical Histories of Socrates (l. vii. c. 34) and Evagrius, (l i. c. 3, 4, 5,) and the Breviary of Liberatus, (in Concil. tom. vi. p. 419—459, c. 5, 6,) and the Memoires Eccles. of Tillemont, (tom. xiv p. 377-487.)]

The Byzantine pontiff had instilled into the royal ear a baleful prejudice against the character and conduct of his Egyptian rival. An epistle of menace and invective, [48] which accompanied the summons, accused him as a busy, insolent, and envious priest, who perplexed the simplicity of the faith, violated the peace of the church and state, and, by his artful and separate addresses to the wife and sister of Theodosius, presumed to suppose, or to scatter, the seeds of discord in the Imperial family. At the stern command of his sovereign. Cyril had repaired to Ephesus, where he was resisted, threatened, and confined, by the magistrates in the interest of Nestorius and the Orientals; who assembled the troops of Lydia and Ionia to suppress the fanatic and disorderly train of the patriarch. Without expecting the royal license, he escaped from his guards, precipitately embarked, deserted the imperfect synod, and retired to his episcopal fortress of safety and independence. But his artful emissaries, both in the court and city, successfully labored to appease the resentment, and to conciliate the favor, of the emperor. The feeble son of Arcadius was alternately swayed by his wife and sister, by the eunuchs and women of the palace: superstition and avarice were their ruling passions; and the orthodox chiefs were assiduous in their endeavors to alarm the former, and to gratify the latter. Constantinople and the suburbs were sanctified with frequent monasteries, and the holy abbots, Dalmatius and Eutyches, [49] had devoted their zeal and fidelity to the cause of Cyril, the worship of Mary, and the unity of Christ. From the first moment of their monastic life, they had never mingled with the world, or trod the profane ground of the city. But in this awful moment of the danger of the church, their vow was superseded by a more sublime and indispensable duty. At the head of a long order of monks and hermits, who carried burning tapers in their hands, and chanted litanies to the mother of God, they proceeded from their monasteries to the palace. The people was edified and inflamed by this extraordinary spectacle, and the trembling monarch listened to the prayers and adjurations of the saints, who boldly pronounced, that none could hope for salvation, unless they embraced the person and the creed of the orthodox successor of Athanasius. At the same time, every avenue of the throne was assaulted with gold. Under the decent names of eulogies and benedictions, the courtiers of both sexes were bribed according to the measure of their power and rapaciousness. But their incessant demands despoiled the sanctuaries of Constantinople and Alexandria; and the authority of the patriarch was unable to silence the just murmur of his clergy, that a debt of sixty thousand pounds had already been contracted to support the expense of this scandalous corruption. [50] Pulcheria, who relieved her brother from the weight of an empire, was the firmest pillar of orthodoxy; and so intimate was the alliance between the thunders of the synod and the whispers of the court, that Cyril was assured of success if he could displace one eunuch, and substitute another in the favor of Theodosius. Yet the Egyptian could not boast of a glorious or decisive victory. The emperor, with unaccustomed firmness, adhered to his promise of protecting the innocence of the Oriental bishops; and Cyril softened his anathemas, and confessed, with ambiguity and reluctance, a twofold nature of Christ, before he was permitted to satiate his revenge against the unfortunate Nestorius. [51]

[Footnote 48: I should be curious to know how much Nestorius paid for these expressions, so mortifying to his rival.]

[Footnote 49: Eutyches, the heresiarch Eutyches, is honorably named by Cyril as a friend, a saint, and the strenuous defender of the faith. His brother, the abbot Dalmatus, is likewise employed to bind the emperor and all his chamberlains terribili conjuratione. Synodicon. c. 203, in Concil. tom. iv p. 467.]

[Footnote 50: Clerici qui hic sunt contristantur, quod ecclesia Alexandrina nudata sit hujus causa turbelae: et debet praeter illa quae hinc transmissa sint auri libras mille quingentas. Et nunc ei scriptum est ut praestet; sed de tua ecclesia praesta avaritiae quorum nosti, &c. This curious and original letter, from Cyril's archdeacon to his creature the new bishop of Constantinople, has been unaccountably preserved in an old Latin version, (Synodicon, c. 203, Concil. tom. iv. p. 465—468.) The mask is almost dropped, and the saints speak the honest language of interest and confederacy.]

[Footnote 51: The tedious negotiations that succeeded the synod of Ephesus are diffusely related in the original acts, (Concil. tom. iii. p. 1339—1771, ad fin. vol. and the Synodicon, in tom. iv.,) Socrates, (l. vii. c. 28, 35, 40, 41,) Evagrius, (l. i. c. 6, 7, 8, 12,) Liberatus, (c. 7—10, 7-10,) Tillemont, (Mem. Eccles. tom. xiv. p. 487—676.) The most patient reader will thank me for compressing so much nonsense and falsehood in a few lines.]

The rash and obstinate Nestorius, before the end of the synod, was oppressed by Cyril, betrayed by the court, and faintly supported by his Eastern friends. A sentiment or fear or indignation prompted him, while it was yet time, to affect the glory of a voluntary abdication: [52] his wish, or at least his request, was readily granted; he was conducted with honor from Ephesus to his old monastery of Antioch; and, after a short pause, his successors, Maximian and Proclus, were acknowledged as the lawful bishops of Constantinople. But in the silence of his cell, the degraded patriarch could no longer resume the innocence and security of a private monk. The past he regretted, he was discontented with the present, and the future he had reason to dread: the Oriental bishops successively disengaged their cause from his unpopular name, and each day decreased the number of the schismatics who revered Nestorius as the confessor of the faith. After a residence at Antioch of four years, the hand of Theodosius subscribed an edict, [53] which ranked him with Simon the magician, proscribed his opinions and followers, condemned his writings to the flames, and banished his person first to Petra, in Arabia, and at length to Oasis, one of the islands of the Libyan desert. [54] Secluded from the church and from the world, the exile was still pursued by the rage of bigotry and war. A wandering tribe of the Blemmyes or Nubians invaded his solitary prison: in their retreat they dismissed a crowd of useless captives: but no sooner had Nestorius reached the banks of the Nile, than he would gladly have escaped from a Roman and orthodox city, to the milder servitude of the savages. His flight was punished as a new crime: the soul of the patriarch inspired the civil and ecclesiastical powers of Egypt; the magistrates, the soldiers, the monks, devoutly tortured the enemy of Christ and St. Cyril; and, as far as the confines of Aethiopia, the heretic was alternately dragged and recalled, till his aged body was broken by the hardships and accidents of these reiterated journeys. Yet his mind was still independent and erect; the president of Thebais was awed by his pastoral letters; he survived the Catholic tyrant of Alexandria, and, after sixteen years' banishment, the synod of Chalcedon would perhaps have restored him to the honors, or at least to the communion, of the church. The death of Nestorius prevented his obedience to their welcome summons; [55] and his disease might afford some color to the scandalous report, that his tongue, the organ of blasphemy, had been eaten by the worms. He was buried in a city of Upper Egypt, known by the names of Chemnis, or Panopolis, or Akmim; [56] but the immortal malice of the Jacobites has persevered for ages to cast stones against his sepulchre, and to propagate the foolish tradition, that it was never watered by the rain of heaven, which equally descends on the righteous and the ungodly. [57] Humanity may drop a tear on the fate of Nestorius; yet justice must observe, that he suffered the persecution which he had approved and inflicted. [58]

[Footnote 52: Evagrius, l. i. c. 7. The original letters in the Synodicon (c. 15, 24, 25, 26) justify the appearance of a voluntary resignation, which is asserted by Ebed-Jesu, a Nestorian writer, apud Asseman. Bibliot. Oriental. tom. iii. p. 299, 302.]

[Footnote 53: See the Imperial letters in the Acts of the Synod of Ephesus, (Concil. tom. iii. p. 1730—1735.) The odious name of Simonians, which was affixed to the disciples of this. Yet these were Christians! who differed only in names and in shadows.]

[Footnote 54: The metaphor of islands is applied by the grave civilians (Pandect. l. xlviii. tit. 22, leg. 7) to those happy spots which are discriminated by water and verdure from the Libyan sands. Three of these under the common name of Oasis, or Alvahat: 1. The temple of Jupiter Ammon. 2. The middle Oasis, three days' journey to the west of Lycopolis. 3. The southern, where Nestorius was banished in the first climate, and only three days' journey from the confines of Nubia. See a learned note of Michaelis, (ad Descript. Aegypt. Abulfedae, p. 21-34.) * Note: 1. The Oasis of Sivah has been visited by Mons. Drovetti and Mr. Browne. 2. The little Oasis, that of El Kassar, was visited and described by Belzoni. 3. The great Oasis, and its splendid ruins, have been well described in the travels of Sir A. Edmonstone. To these must be added another Western Oasis also visited by Sir A. Edmonstone.—M.]

[Footnote 55: The invitation of Nestorius to the synod of Chalcedon, is related by Zacharias, bishop of Melitene (Evagrius, l. ii. c. 2. Asseman. Biblioth. Orient. tom. ii. p. 55,) and the famous Xenaias or Philoxenus, bishop of Hierapolis, (Asseman. Bibliot. Orient. tom. ii. p. 40, &c.,) denied by Evagrius and Asseman, and stoutly maintained by La Croze, (Thesaur. Epistol. tom. iii. p. 181, &c.) The fact is not improbable; yet it was the interest of the Monophysites to spread the invidious report, and Eutychius (tom. ii. p. 12) affirms, that Nestorius died after an exile of seven years, and consequently ten years before the synod of Chalcedon.]

[Footnote 56: Consult D'Anville, (Memoire sur l'Egypte, p. 191,) Pocock. (Description of the East, vol. i. p. 76,) Abulfeda, (Descript. Aegypt, p. 14,) and his commentator Michaelis, (Not. p. 78—83,) and the Nubian Geographer, (p. 42,) who mentions, in the xiith century, the ruins and the sugar-canes of Akmim.]

[Footnote 57: Eutychius (Annal. tom. ii. p. 12) and Gregory Bar-Hebraeus, of Abulpharagius, (Asseman, tom. ii. p. 316,) represent the credulity of the xth and xiith centuries.]

[Footnote 58: We are obliged to Evagrius (l. i. c. 7) for some extracts from the letters of Nestorius; but the lively picture of his sufferings is treated with insult by the hard and stupid fanatic.]



Chapter XLVII: Ecclesiastical Discord.—Part III.

The death of the Alexandrian primate, after a reign of thirty-two years, abandoned the Catholics to the intemperance of zeal and the abuse of victory. [59] The monophysite doctrine (one incarnate nature) was rigorously preached in the churches of Egypt and the monasteries of the East; the primitive creed of Apollinarius was protected by the sanctity of Cyril; and the name of Eutyches, his venerable friend, has been applied to the sect most adverse to the Syrian heresy of Nestorius. His rival Eutyches was the abbot, or archimandrite, or superior of three hundred monks, but the opinions of a simple and illiterate recluse might have expired in the cell, where he had slept above seventy years, if the resentment or indiscretion of Flavian, the Byzantine pontiff, had not exposed the scandal to the eyes of the Christian world. His domestic synod was instantly convened, their proceedings were sullied with clamor and artifice, and the aged heretic was surprised into a seeming confession, that Christ had not derived his body from the substance of the Virgin Mary. From their partial decree, Eutyches appealed to a general council; and his cause was vigorously asserted by his godson Chrysaphius, the reigning eunuch of the palace, and his accomplice Dioscorus, who had succeeded to the throne, the creed, the talents, and the vices, of the nephew of Theophilus. By the special summons of Theodosius, the second synod of Ephesus was judiciously composed of ten metropolitans and ten bishops from each of the six dioceses of the Eastern empire: some exceptions of favor or merit enlarged the number to one hundred and thirty-five; and the Syrian Barsumas, as the chief and representative of the monks, was invited to sit and vote with the successors of the apostles. But the despotism of the Alexandrian patriarch again oppressed the freedom of debate: the same spiritual and carnal weapons were again drawn from the arsenals of Egypt: the Asiatic veterans, a band of archers, served under the orders of Dioscorus; and the more formidable monks, whose minds were inaccessible to reason or mercy, besieged the doors of the cathedral. The general, and, as it should seem, the unconstrained voice of the fathers, accepted the faith and even the anathemas of Cyril; and the heresy of the two natures was formally condemned in the persons and writings of the most learned Orientals. "May those who divide Christ be divided with the sword, may they be hewn in pieces, may they be burned alive!" were the charitable wishes of a Christian synod. [60] The innocence and sanctity of Eutyches were acknowledged without hesitation; but the prelates, more especially those of Thrace and Asia, were unwilling to depose their patriarch for the use or even the abuse of his lawful jurisdiction. They embraced the knees of Dioscorus, as he stood with a threatening aspect on the footstool of his throne, and conjured him to forgive the offences, and to respect the dignity, of his brother. "Do you mean to raise a sedition?" exclaimed the relentless tyrant. "Where are the officers?" At these words a furious multitude of monks and soldiers, with staves, and swords, and chains, burst into the church; the trembling bishops hid themselves behind the altar, or under the benches, and as they were not inspired with the zeal of martyrdom, they successively subscribed a blank paper, which was afterwards filled with the condemnation of the Byzantine pontiff. Flavian was instantly delivered to the wild beasts of this spiritual amphitheatre: the monks were stimulated by the voice and example of Barsumas to avenge the injuries of Christ: it is said that the patriarch of Alexandria reviled, and buffeted, and kicked, and trampled his brother of Constantinople: [61] it is certain, that the victim, before he could reach the place of his exile, expired on the third day of the wounds and bruises which he had received at Ephesus. This second synod has been justly branded as a gang of robbers and assassins; yet the accusers of Dioscorus would magnify his violence, to alleviate the cowardice and inconstancy of their own behavior.

[Footnote 59: Dixi Cyrillum dum viveret, auctoritate sua effecisse, ne Eutychianismus et Monophysitarum error in nervum erumperet: idque verum puto...aliquo... honesto modo cecinerat. The learned but cautious Jablonski did not always speak the whole truth. Cum Cyrillo lenius omnino egi, quam si tecum aut cum aliis rei hujus probe gnaris et aequis rerum aestimatoribus sermones privatos conferrem, (Thesaur. Epistol. La Crozian. tom. i. p. 197, 198) an excellent key to his dissertations on the Nestorian controversy!]

[Footnote 60: At the request of Dioscorus, those who were not able to roar, stretched out their hands. At Chalcedon, the Orientals disclaimed these exclamations: but the Egyptians more consistently declared. (Concil. tom. iv. p. 1012.)]

[Footnote 61: (Eusebius, bishop of Dorylaeum): and this testimony of Evagrius (l. ii. c. 2) is amplified by the historian Zonaras, (tom. ii. l. xiii. p. 44,) who affirms that Dioscorus kicked like a wild ass. But the language of Liberatus (Brev. c. 12, in Concil. tom. vi. p. 438) is more cautious; and the Acts of Chalcedon, which lavish the names of homicide, Cain, &c., do not justify so pointed a charge. The monk Barsumas is more particularly accused, (Concil. tom. iv. p. 1418.)]

The faith of Egypt had prevailed: but the vanquished party was supported by the same pope who encountered without fear the hostile rage of Attila and Genseric. The theology of Leo, his famous tome or epistle on the mystery of the incarnation, had been disregarded by the synod of Ephesus: his authority, and that of the Latin church, was insulted in his legates, who escaped from slavery and death to relate the melancholy tale of the tyranny of Dioscorus and the martyrdom of Flavian. His provincial synod annulled the irregular proceedings of Ephesus; but as this step was itself irregular, he solicited the convocation of a general council in the free and orthodox provinces of Italy. From his independent throne, the Roman bishop spoke and acted without danger as the head of the Christians, and his dictates were obsequiously transcribed by Placidia and her son Valentinian; who addressed their Eastern colleague to restore the peace and unity of the church. But the pageant of Oriental royalty was moved with equal dexterity by the hand of the eunuch; and Theodosius could pronounce, without hesitation, that the church was already peaceful and triumphant, and that the recent flame had been extinguished by the just punishment of the Nestorians. Perhaps the Greeks would be still involved in the heresy of the Monophysites, if the emperor's horse had not fortunately stumbled; Theodosius expired; his orthodox sister Pulcheria, with a nominal husband, succeeded to the throne; Chrysaphius was burnt, Dioscorus was disgraced, the exiles were recalled, and the tome of Leo was subscribed by the Oriental bishops. Yet the pope was disappointed in his favorite project of a Latin council: he disdained to preside in the Greek synod, which was speedily assembled at Nice in Bithynia; his legates required in a peremptory tone the presence of the emperor; and the weary fathers were transported to Chalcedon under the immediate eye of Marcian and the senate of Constantinople. A quarter of a mile from the Thracian Bosphorus, the church of St. Euphemia was built on the summit of a gentle though lofty ascent: the triple structure was celebrated as a prodigy of art, and the boundless prospect of the land and sea might have raised the mind of a sectary to the contemplation of the God of the universe. Six hundred and thirty bishops were ranged in order in the nave of the church; but the patriarchs of the East were preceded by the legates, of whom the third was a simple priest; and the place of honor was reserved for twenty laymen of consular or senatorian rank. The gospel was ostentatiously displayed in the centre, but the rule of faith was defined by the Papal and Imperial ministers, who moderated the thirteen sessions of the council of Chalcedon. [62] Their partial interposition silenced the intemperate shouts and execrations, which degraded the episcopal gravity; but, on the formal accusation of the legates, Dioscorus was compelled to descend from his throne to the rank of a criminal, already condemned in the opinion of his judges. The Orientals, less adverse to Nestorius than to Cyril, accepted the Romans as their deliverers: Thrace, and Pontus, and Asia, were exasperated against the murderer of Flavian, and the new patriarchs of Constantinople and Antioch secured their places by the sacrifice of their benefactor. The bishops of Palestine, Macedonia, and Greece, were attached to the faith of Cyril; but in the face of the synod, in the heat of the battle, the leaders, with their obsequious train, passed from the right to the left wing, and decided the victory by this seasonable desertion. Of the seventeen suffragans who sailed from Alexandria, four were tempted from their allegiance, and the thirteen, falling prostrate on the ground, implored the mercy of the council, with sighs and tears, and a pathetic declaration, that, if they yielded, they should be massacred, on their return to Egypt, by the indignant people. A tardy repentance was allowed to expiate the guilt or error of the accomplices of Dioscorus: but their sins were accumulated on his head; he neither asked nor hoped for pardon, and the moderation of those who pleaded for a general amnesty was drowned in the prevailing cry of victory and revenge.

To save the reputation of his late adherents, some personal offences were skilfully detected; his rash and illegal excommunication of the pope, and his contumacious refusal (while he was detained a prisoner) to attend to the summons of the synod. Witnesses were introduced to prove the special facts of his pride, avarice, and cruelty; and the fathers heard with abhorrence, that the alms of the church were lavished on the female dancers, that his palace, and even his bath, was open to the prostitutes of Alexandria, and that the infamous Pansophia, or Irene, was publicly entertained as the concubine of the patriarch. [63]

[Footnote 62: The Acts of the Council of Chalcedon (Concil. tom. iv. p. 761—2071) comprehend those of Ephesus, (p. 890—1189,) which again comprise the synod of Constantinople under Flavian, (p. 930—1072;) and at requires some attention to disengage this double involution. The whole business of Eutyches, Flavian, and Dioscorus, is related by Evagrius (l. i. c. 9—12, and l. ii. c. 1, 2, 3, 4,) and Liberatus, (Brev. c. 11, 12, 13, 14.) Once more, and almost for the last time, I appeal to the diligence of Tillemont, (Mem. Eccles. tom. xv. p. 479-719.) The annals of Baronius and Pagi will accompany me much further on my long and laborious journey.]

[Footnote 63: (Concil. tom. iv. p. 1276.) A specimen of the wit and malice of the people is preserved in the Greek Anthology, (l. ii. c. 5, p. 188, edit. Wechel,) although the application was unknown to the editor Brodaeus. The nameless epigrammatist raises a tolerable pun, by confounding the episcopal salutation of "Peace be to all!" with the genuine or corrupted name of the bishop's concubine: I am ignorant whether the patriarch, who seems to have been a jealous lover, is the Cimon of a preceding epigram, was viewed with envy and wonder by Priapus himself.]

For these scandalous offences, Dioscorus was deposed by the synod, and banished by the emperor; but the purity of his faith was declared in the presence, and with the tacit approbation, of the fathers. Their prudence supposed rather than pronounced the heresy of Eutyches, who was never summoned before their tribunal; and they sat silent and abashed, when a bold Monophysite casting at their feet a volume of Cyril, challenged them to anathematize in his person the doctrine of the saint. If we fairly peruse the acts of Chalcedon as they are recorded by the orthodox party, [64] we shall find that a great majority of the bishops embraced the simple unity of Christ; and the ambiguous concession that he was formed Of or From two natures, might imply either their previous existence, or their subsequent confusion, or some dangerous interval between the conception of the man and the assumption of the God. The Roman theology, more positive and precise, adopted the term most offensive to the ears of the Egyptians, that Christ existed In two natures; and this momentous particle [65] (which the memory, rather than the understanding, must retain) had almost produced a schism among the Catholic bishops. The tome of Leo had been respectfully, perhaps sincerely, subscribed; but they protested, in two successive debates, that it was neither expedient nor lawful to transgress the sacred landmarks which had been fixed at Nice, Constantinople, and Ephesus, according to the rule of Scripture and tradition. At length they yielded to the importunities of their masters; but their infallible decree, after it had been ratified with deliberate votes and vehement acclamations, was overturned in the next session by the opposition of the legates and their Oriental friends. It was in vain that a multitude of episcopal voices repeated in chorus, "The definition of the fathers is orthodox and immutable! The heretics are now discovered! Anathema to the Nestorians! Let them depart from the synod! Let them repair to Rome." [66] The legates threatened, the emperor was absolute, and a committee of eighteen bishops prepared a new decree, which was imposed on the reluctant assembly. In the name of the fourth general council, the Christ in one person, but in two natures, was announced to the Catholic world: an invisible line was drawn between the heresy of Apollinaris and the faith of St. Cyril; and the road to paradise, a bridge as sharp as a razor, was suspended over the abyss by the master-hand of the theological artist. During ten centuries of blindness and servitude, Europe received her religious opinions from the oracle of the Vatican; and the same doctrine, already varnished with the rust of antiquity, was admitted without dispute into the creed of the reformers, who disclaimed the supremacy of the Roman pontiff. The synod of Chalcedon still triumphs in the Protestant churches; but the ferment of controversy has subsided, and the most pious Christians of the present day are ignorant, or careless, of their own belief concerning the mystery of the incarnation.

[Footnote 64: Those who reverence the infallibility of synods, may try to ascertain their sense. The leading bishops were attended by partial or careless scribes, who dispersed their copies round the world. Our Greek Mss. are sullied with the false and prescribed reading of (Concil. tom. iii. p. 1460:) the authentic translation of Pope Leo I. does not seem to have been executed, and the old Latin versions materially differ from the present Vulgate, which was revised (A.D. 550) by Rusticus, a Roman priest, from the best Mss. at Constantinople, (Ducange, C. P. Christiana, l. iv. p. 151,) a famous monastery of Latins, Greeks, and Syrians. See Concil. tom. iv. p. 1959—2049, and Pagi, Critica, tom. ii. p. 326, &c.]

[Footnote 65: It is darkly represented in the microscope of Petavius, (tom. v. l. iii. c. 5;) yet the subtle theologian is himself afraid—ne quis fortasse supervacaneam, et nimis anxiam putet hujusmodi vocularum inquisitionem, et ab instituti theologici gravitate alienam, (p. 124.)]

[Footnote 66: (Concil. tom. iv. p. 1449.) Evagrius and Liberatus present only the placid face of the synod, and discreetly slide over these embers, suppositos cineri doloso.]

Far different was the temper of the Greeks and Egyptians under the orthodox reigns of Leo and Marcian. Those pious emperors enforced with arms and edicts the symbol of their faith; [67] and it was declared by the conscience or honor of five hundred bishops, that the decrees of the synod of Chalcedon might be lawfully supported, even with blood. The Catholics observed with satisfaction, that the same synod was odious both to the Nestorians and the Monophysites; [68] but the Nestorians were less angry, or less powerful, and the East was distracted by the obstinate and sanguinary zeal of the Monophysites. Jerusalem was occupied by an army of monks; in the name of the one incarnate nature, they pillaged, they burnt, they murdered; the sepulchre of Christ was defiled with blood; and the gates of the city were guarded in tumultuous rebellion against the troops of the emperor. After the disgrace and exile of Dioscorus, the Egyptians still regretted their spiritual father; and detested the usurpation of his successor, who was introduced by the fathers of Chalcedon. The throne of Proterius was supported by a guard of two thousand soldiers: he waged a five years' war against the people of Alexandria; and on the first intelligence of the death of Marcian, he became the victim of their zeal. On the third day before the festival of Easter, the patriarch was besieged in the cathedral, and murdered in the baptistery. The remains of his mangled corpse were delivered to the flames, and his ashes to the wind; and the deed was inspired by the vision of a pretended angel: an ambitious monk, who, under the name of Timothy the Cat, [69] succeeded to the place and opinions of Dioscorus. This deadly superstition was inflamed, on either side, by the principle and the practice of retaliation: in the pursuit of a metaphysical quarrel, many thousands [70] were slain, and the Christians of every degree were deprived of the substantial enjoyments of social life, and of the invisible gifts of baptism and the holy communion. Perhaps an extravagant fable of the times may conceal an allegorical picture of these fanatics, who tortured each other and themselves. "Under the consulship of Venantius and Celer," says a grave bishop, "the people of Alexandria, and all Egypt, were seized with a strange and diabolical frenzy: great and small, slaves and freedmen, monks and clergy, the natives of the land, who opposed the synod of Chalcedon, lost their speech and reason, barked like dogs, and tore, with their own teeth the flesh from their hands and arms." [71]

[Footnote 67: See, in the Appendix to the Acts of Chalcedon, the confirmation of the Synod by Marcian, (Concil. tom. iv. p. 1781, 1783;) his letters to the monks of Alexandria, (p. 1791,) of Mount Sinai, (p. 1793,) of Jerusalem and Palestine, (p. 1798;) his laws against the Eutychians, (p. 1809, 1811, 1831;) the correspondence of Leo with the provincial synods on the revolution of Alexandria, (p. 1835—1930.)]

[Footnote 68: Photius (or rather Eulogius of Alexandria) confesses, in a fine passage, the specious color of this double charge against Pope Leo and his synod of Chalcedon, (Bibliot. cod. ccxxv. p. 768.) He waged a double war against the enemies of the church, and wounded either foe with the darts of his adversary. Against Nestorius he seemed to introduce Monophysites; against Eutyches he appeared to countenance the Nestorians. The apologist claims a charitable interpretation for the saints: if the same had been extended to the heretics, the sound of the controversy would have been lost in the air]

[Footnote 69: From his nocturnal expeditions. In darkness and disguise he crept round the cells of the monastery, and whispered the revelation to his slumbering brethren, (Theodor. Lector. l. i.)]

[Footnote 70: Such is the hyperbolic language of the Henoticon.]

[Footnote 71: See the Chronicle of Victor Tunnunensis, in the Lectiones Antiquae of Canisius, republished by Basnage, tom. 326.]

The disorders of thirty years at length produced the famous Henoticon [72] of the emperor Zeno, which in his reign, and in that of Anastasius, was signed by all the bishops of the East, under the penalty of degradation and exile, if they rejected or infringed this salutary and fundamental law. The clergy may smile or groan at the presumption of a layman who defines the articles of faith; yet if he stoops to the humiliating task, his mind is less infected by prejudice or interest, and the authority of the magistrate can only be maintained by the concord of the people. It is in ecclesiastical story, that Zeno appears least contemptible; and I am not able to discern any Manichaean or Eutychian guilt in the generous saying of Anastasius. That it was unworthy of an emperor to persecute the worshippers of Christ and the citizens of Rome. The Henoticon was most pleasing to the Egyptians; yet the smallest blemish has not been described by the jealous, and even jaundiced eyes of our orthodox schoolmen, and it accurately represents the Catholic faith of the incarnation, without adopting or disclaiming the peculiar terms of tenets of the hostile sects. A solemn anathema is pronounced against Nestorius and Eutyches; against all heretics by whom Christ is divided, or confounded, or reduced to a phantom. Without defining the number or the article of the word nature, the pure system of St. Cyril, the faith of Nice, Constantinople, and Ephesus, is respectfully confirmed; but, instead of bowing at the name of the fourth council, the subject is dismissed by the censure of all contrary doctrines, if any such have been taught either elsewhere or at Chalcedon. Under this ambiguous expression, the friends and the enemies of the last synod might unite in a silent embrace. The most reasonable Christians acquiesced in this mode of toleration; but their reason was feeble and inconstant, and their obedience was despised as timid and servile by the vehement spirit of their brethren. On a subject which engrossed the thoughts and discourses of men, it was difficult to preserve an exact neutrality; a book, a sermon, a prayer, rekindled the flame of controversy; and the bonds of communion were alternately broken and renewed by the private animosity of the bishops. The space between Nestorius and Eutyches was filled by a thousand shades of language and opinion; the acephali [73] of Egypt, and the Roman pontiffs, of equal valor, though of unequal strength, may be found at the two extremities of the theological scale. The acephali, without a king or a bishop, were separated above three hundred years from the patriarchs of Alexandria, who had accepted the communion of Constantinople, without exacting a formal condemnation of the synod of Chalcedon. For accepting the communion of Alexandria, without a formal approbation of the same synod, the patriarchs of Constantinople were anathematized by the popes. Their inflexible despotism involved the most orthodox of the Greek churches in this spiritual contagion, denied or doubted the validity of their sacraments, [74] and fomented, thirty-five years, the schism of the East and West, till they finally abolished the memory of four Byzantine pontiffs, who had dared to oppose the supremacy of St. Peter. [75] Before that period, the precarious truce of Constantinople and Egypt had been violated by the zeal of the rival prelates. Macedonius, who was suspected of the Nestorian heresy, asserted, in disgrace and exile, the synod of Chalcedon, while the successor of Cyril would have purchased its overthrow with a bribe of two thousand pounds of gold. [Footnote 72: The Henoticon is transcribed by Evagrius, (l. iii. c. 13,) and translated by Liberatus, (Brev. c. 18.) Pagi (Critica, tom. ii. p. 411) and (Bibliot. Orient. tom. i. p. 343) are satisfied that it is free from heresy; but Petavius (Dogmat. Theolog. tom. v. l. i. c. 13, p. 40) most unaccountably affirms Chalcedonensem ascivit. An adversary would prove that he had never read the Henoticon.]

[Footnote 73: See Renaudot, (Hist. Patriarch. Alex. p. 123, 131, 145, 195, 247.) They were reconciled by the care of Mark I. (A.D. 799—819;) he promoted their chiefs to the bishoprics of Athribis and Talba, (perhaps Tava. See D'Anville, p. 82,) and supplied the sacraments, which had failed for want of an episcopal ordination.]

[Footnote 74: De his quos baptizavit, quos ordinavit Acacius, majorum traditione confectam et veram, praecipue religiosae solicitudini congruam praebemus sine difficultate medicinam, (Galacius, in epist. i. ad Euphemium, Concil. tom. v. 286.) The offer of a medicine proves the disease, and numbers must have perished before the arrival of the Roman physician. Tillemont himself (Mem. Eccles. tom. xvi. p. 372, 642, &c.) is shocked at the proud, uncharitable temper of the popes; they are now glad, says he, to invoke St. Flavian of Antioch, St. Elias of Jerusalem, &c., to whom they refused communion whilst upon earth. But Cardinal Baronius is firm and hard as the rock of St. Peter.]

[Footnote 75: Their names were erased from the diptych of the church: ex venerabili diptycho, in quo piae memoriae transitum ad coelum habentium episcoporum vocabula continentur, (Concil. tom. iv. p. 1846.) This ecclesiastical record was therefore equivalent to the book of life.]

In the fever of the times, the sense, or rather the sound of a syllable, was sufficient to disturb the peace of an empire. The Trisagion [76] (thrice holy,) "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of Hosts!" is supposed, by the Greeks, to be the identical hymn which the angels and cherubim eternally repeat before the throne of God, and which, about the middle of the fifth century, was miraculously revealed to the church of Constantinople. The devotion of Antioch soon added, "who was crucified for us!" and this grateful address, either to Christ alone, or to the whole Trinity, may be justified by the rules of theology, and has been gradually adopted by the Catholics of the East and West. But it had been imagined by a Monophysite bishop; [77] the gift of an enemy was at first rejected as a dire and dangerous blasphemy, and the rash innovation had nearly cost the emperor Anastasius his throne and his life. [78] The people of Constantinople was devoid of any rational principles of freedom; but they held, as a lawful cause of rebellion, the color of a livery in the races, or the color of a mystery in the schools. The Trisagion, with and without this obnoxious addition, was chanted in the cathedral by two adverse choirs, and when their lungs were exhausted, they had recourse to the more solid arguments of sticks and stones; the aggressors were punished by the emperor, and defended by the patriarch; and the crown and mitre were staked on the event of this momentous quarrel. The streets were instantly crowded with innumerable swarms of men, women, and children; the legions of monks, in regular array, marched, and shouted, and fought at their head, "Christians! this is the day of martyrdom: let us not desert our spiritual father; anathema to the Manichaean tyrant! he is unworthy to reign." Such was the Catholic cry; and the galleys of Anastasius lay upon their oars before the palace, till the patriarch had pardoned his penitent, and hushed the waves of the troubled multitude. The triumph of Macedonius was checked by a speedy exile; but the zeal of his flock was again exasperated by the same question, "Whether one of the Trinity had been crucified?" On this momentous occasion, the blue and green factions of Constantinople suspended their discord, and the civil and military powers were annihilated in their presence. The keys of the city, and the standards of the guards, were deposited in the forum of Constantine, the principal station and camp of the faithful. Day and night they were incessantly busied either in singing hymns to the honor of their God, or in pillaging and murdering the servants of their prince. The head of his favorite monk, the friend, as they styled him, of the enemy of the Holy Trinity, was borne aloft on a spear; and the firebrands, which had been darted against heretical structures, diffused the undistinguishing flames over the most orthodox buildings. The statues of the emperor were broken, and his person was concealed in a suburb, till, at the end of three days, he dared to implore the mercy of his subjects. Without his diadem, and in the posture of a suppliant, Anastasius appeared on the throne of the circus. The Catholics, before his face, rehearsed their genuine Trisagion; they exulted in the offer, which he proclaimed by the voice of a herald, of abdicating the purple; they listened to the admonition, that, since all could not reign, they should previously agree in the choice of a sovereign; and they accepted the blood of two unpopular ministers, whom their master, without hesitation, condemned to the lions. These furious but transient seditions were encouraged by the success of Vitalian, who, with an army of Huns and Bulgarians, for the most part idolaters, declared himself the champion of the Catholic faith. In this pious rebellion he depopulated Thrace, besieged Constantinople, exterminated sixty-five thousand of his fellow-Christians, till he obtained the recall of the bishops, the satisfaction of the pope, and the establishment of the council of Chalcedon, an orthodox treaty, reluctantly signed by the dying Anastasius, and more faithfully performed by the uncle of Justinian. And such was the event of the first of the religious wars which have been waged in the name and by the disciples, of the God of peace. [79]

[Footnote 76: Petavius (Dogmat. Theolog. tom. v. l. v. c. 2, 3, 4, p. 217-225) and Tillemont (Mem. Eccles. tom. xiv. p. 713, &c., 799) represent the history and doctrine of the Trisagion. In the twelve centuries between Isaiah and St. Proculs's boy, who was taken up into heaven before the bishop and people of Constantinople, the song was considerably improved. The boy heard the angels sing, "Holy God! Holy strong! Holy immortal!"]

[Footnote 77: Peter Gnapheus, the fuller, (a trade which he had exercised in his monastery,) patriarch of Antioch. His tedious story is discussed in the Annals of Pagi (A.D. 477—490) and a dissertation of M. de Valois at the end of his Evagrius.]

[Footnote 78: The troubles under the reign of Anastasius must be gathered from the Chronicles of Victor, Marcellinus, and Theophanes. As the last was not published in the time of Baronius, his critic Pagi is more copious, as well as more correct.]

[Footnote 79: The general history, from the council of Chalcedon to the death of Anastasius, may be found in the Breviary of Liberatus, (c. 14—19,) the iid and iiid books of Evagrius, the abstract of the two books of Theodore the Reader, the Acts of the Synods, and the Epistles of the Pope, (Concil. tom. v.) The series is continued with some disorder in the xvth and xvith tomes of the Memoires Ecclesiastiques of Tillemont. And here I must take leave forever of that incomparable guide—whose bigotry is overbalanced by the merits of erudition, diligence, veracity, and scrupulous minuteness. He was prevented by death from completing, as he designed, the vith century of the church and empire.]



Chapter XLVII: Ecclesiastical Discord.—Part IV.

Justinian has been already seen in the various lights of a prince, a conqueror, and a lawgiver: the theologian [80] still remains, and it affords an unfavorable prejudice, that his theology should form a very prominent feature of his portrait. The sovereign sympathized with his subjects in their superstitious reverence for living and departed saints: his Code, and more especially his Novels, confirm and enlarge the privileges of the clergy; and in every dispute between a monk and a layman, the partial judge was inclined to pronounce, that truth, and innocence, and justice, were always on the side of the church. In his public and private devotions, the emperor was assiduous and exemplary; his prayers, vigils, and fasts, displayed the austere penance of a monk; his fancy was amused by the hope, or belief, of personal inspiration; he had secured the patronage of the Virgin and St. Michael the archangel; and his recovery from a dangerous disease was ascribed to the miraculous succor of the holy martyrs Cosmas and Damian. The capital and the provinces of the East were decorated with the monuments of his religion; [81] and though the far greater part of these costly structures may be attributed to his taste or ostentation, the zeal of the royal architect was probably quickened by a genuine sense of love and gratitude towards his invisible benefactors. Among the titles of Imperial greatness, the name of Pious was most pleasing to his ear; to promote the temporal and spiritual interest of the church was the serious business of his life; and the duty of father of his country was often sacrificed to that of defender of the faith. The controversies of the times were congenial to his temper and understanding and the theological professors must inwardly deride the diligence of a stranger, who cultivated their art and neglected his own. "What can ye fear," said a bold conspirator to his associates, "from your bigoted tyrant? Sleepless and unarmed, he sits whole nights in his closet, debating with reverend graybeards, and turning over the pages of ecclesiastical volumes." [82] The fruits of these lucubrations were displayed in many a conference, where Justinian might shine as the loudest and most subtile of the disputants; in many a sermon, which, under the name of edicts and epistles, proclaimed to the empire the theology of their master. While the Barbarians invaded the provinces, while the victorious legion marched under the banners of Belisarius and Narses, the successor of Trajan, unknown to the camp, was content to vanquish at the head of a synod. Had he invited to these synods a disinterested and rational spectator, Justinian might have learned, "that religious controversy is the offspring of arrogance and folly; that true piety is most laudably expressed by silence and submission; that man, ignorant of his own nature, should not presume to scrutinize the nature of his God; and that it is sufficient for us to know, that power and benevolence are the perfect attributes of the Deity." [83]

[Footnote 80: The strain of the Anecdotes of Procopius, (c. 11, 13, 18, 27, 28,) with the learned remarks of Alemannus, is confirmed, rather than contradicted, by the Acts of the Councils, the fourth book of Evagrius, and the complaints of the African Facundus, in his xiith book—de tribus capitulis, "cum videri doctus appetit importune...spontaneis quaestionibus ecclesiam turbat." See Procop. de Bell. Goth. l. iii. c. 35.]

[Footnote 81: Procop. de Edificiis, l. i. c. 6, 7, &c., passim.]

[Footnote 82: Procop. de Bell. Goth. l. iii. c. 32. In the life of St. Eutychius (apud Aleman. ad Procop. Arcan. c. 18) the same character is given with a design to praise Justinian.]

[Footnote 83: For these wise and moderate sentiments, Procopius (de Bell. Goth. l. i. c. 3) is scourged in the preface of Alemannus, who ranks him among the political Christians—sed longe verius haeresium omnium sentinas, prorsusque Atheos—abominable Atheists, who preached the imitation of God's mercy to man, (ad Hist. Arcan. c. 13.)]

Toleration was not the virtue of the times, and indulgence to rebels has seldom been the virtue of princes. But when the prince descends to the narrow and peevish character of a disputant, he is easily provoked to supply the defect of argument by the plenitude of power, and to chastise without mercy the perverse blindness of those who wilfully shut their eyes against the light of demonstration. The reign of Justinian was a uniform yet various scene of persecution; and he appears to have surpassed his indolent predecessors, both in the contrivance of his laws and the rigor of their execution. The insufficient term of three months was assigned for the conversion or exile of all heretics; [84] and if he still connived at their precarious stay, they were deprived, under his iron yoke, not only of the benefits of society, but of the common birth-right of men and Christians. At the end of four hundred years, the Montanists of Phrygia [85] still breathed the wild enthusiasm of perfection and prophecy which they had imbibed from their male and female apostles, the special organs of the Paraclete. On the approach of the Catholic priests and soldiers, they grasped with alacrity the crown of martyrdom the conventicle and the congregation perished in the flames, but these primitive fanatics were not extinguished three hundred years after the death of their tyrant. Under the protection of their Gothic confederates, the church of the Arians at Constantinople had braved the severity of the laws: their clergy equalled the wealth and magnificence of the senate; and the gold and silver which were seized by the rapacious hand of Justinian might perhaps be claimed as the spoils of the provinces, and the trophies of the Barbarians. A secret remnant of Pagans, who still lurked in the most refined and most rustic conditions of mankind, excited the indignation of the Christians, who were perhaps unwilling that any strangers should be the witnesses of their intestine quarrels. A bishop was named as the inquisitor of the faith, and his diligence soon discovered, in the court and city, the magistrates, lawyers, physicians, and sophists, who still cherished the superstition of the Greeks. They were sternly informed that they must choose without delay between the displeasure of Jupiter or Justinian, and that their aversion to the gospel could no longer be distinguished under the scandalous mask of indifference or impiety. The patrician Photius, perhaps, alone was resolved to live and to die like his ancestors: he enfranchised himself with the stroke of a dagger, and left his tyrant the poor consolation of exposing with ignominy the lifeless corpse of the fugitive. His weaker brethren submitted to their earthly monarch, underwent the ceremony of baptism, and labored, by their extraordinary zeal, to erase the suspicion, or to expiate the guilt, of idolatry. The native country of Homer, and the theatre of the Trojan war, still retained the last sparks of his mythology: by the care of the same bishop, seventy thousand Pagans were detected and converted in Asia, Phrygia, Lydia, and Caria; ninety-six churches were built for the new proselytes; and linen vestments, Bibles, and liturgies, and vases of gold and silver, were supplied by the pious munificence of Justinian. [86] The Jews, who had been gradually stripped of their immunities, were oppressed by a vexatious law, which compelled them to observe the festival of Easter the same day on which it was celebrated by the Christians. [87] And they might complain with the more reason, since the Catholics themselves did not agree with the astronomical calculations of their sovereign: the people of Constantinople delayed the beginning of their Lent a whole week after it had been ordained by authority; and they had the pleasure of fasting seven days, while meat was exposed for sale by the command of the emperor. The Samaritans of Palestine [88] were a motley race, an ambiguous sect, rejected as Jews by the Pagans, by the Jews as schismatics, and by the Christians as idolaters. The abomination of the cross had already been planted on their holy mount of Garizim, [89] but the persecution of Justinian offered only the alternative of baptism or rebellion. They chose the latter: under the standard of a desperate leader, they rose in arms, and retaliated their wrongs on the lives, the property, and the temples, of a defenceless people. The Samaritans were finally subdued by the regular forces of the East: twenty thousand were slain, twenty thousand were sold by the Arabs to the infidels of Persia and India, and the remains of that unhappy nation atoned for the crime of treason by the sin of hypocrisy. It has been computed that one hundred thousand Roman subjects were extirpated in the Samaritan war, [90] which converted the once fruitful province into a desolate and smoking wilderness. But in the creed of Justinian, the guilt of murder could not be applied to the slaughter of unbelievers; and he piously labored to establish with fire and sword the unity of the Christian faith. [91]

[Footnote 84: This alternative, a precious circumstance, is preserved by John Malala, (tom. ii. p. 63, edit. Venet. 1733,) who deserves more credit as he draws towards his end. After numbering the heretics, Nestorians, Eutychians, &c., ne expectent, says Justinian, ut digni venia judicen tur: jubemus, enim ut...convicti et aperti haeretici justae et idoneae animadversioni subjiciantur. Baronius copies and applauds this edict of the Code, (A.D. 527, No. 39, 40.)]

[Footnote 85: See the character and principles of the Montanists, in Mosheim, Rebus Christ. ante Constantinum, p. 410—424.]

[Footnote 86: Theophan. Chron. p. 153. John, the Monophysite bishop of Asia, is a more authentic witness of this transaction, in which he was himself employed by the emperor, (Asseman. Bib. Orient. tom. ii. p. 85.)]

[Footnote 87: Compare Procopius (Hist. Arcan. c. 28, and Aleman's Notes) with Theophanes, (Chron. p. 190.) The council of Nice has intrusted the patriarch, or rather the astronomers, of Alexandria, with the annual proclamation of Easter; and we still read, or rather we do not read, many of the Paschal epistles of St. Cyril. Since the reign of Monophytism in Egypt, the Catholics were perplexed by such a foolish prejudice as that which so long opposed, among the Protestants, the reception of the Gregorian style.]

[Footnote 88: For the religion and history of the Samaritans, consult Basnage, Histoire des Juifs, a learned and impartial work.]

[Footnote 89: Sichem, Neapolis, Naplous, the ancient and modern seat of the Samaritans, is situate in a valley between the barren Ebal, the mountain of cursing to the north, and the fruitful Garizim, or mountain of cursing to the south, ten or eleven hours' travel from Jerusalem. See Maundrel, Journey from Aleppo &c.]

[Footnote 90: Procop. Anecdot. c. 11. Theophan. Chron. p. 122. John Malala Chron. tom. ii. p. 62. I remember an observation, half philosophical. half superstitious, that the province which had been ruined by the bigotry of Justinian, was the same through which the Mahometans penetrated into the empire.]

[Footnote 91: The expression of Procopius is remarkable. Anecdot. c. 13.]

With these sentiments, it was incumbent on him, at least, to be always in the right. In the first years of his administration, he signalized his zeal as the disciple and patron of orthodoxy: the reconciliation of the Greeks and Latins established the tome of St. Leo as the creed of the emperor and the empire; the Nestorians and Eutychians were exposed. on either side, to the double edge of persecution; and the four synods of Nice, Constantinople, Ephesus, and Chalcedon, were ratified by the code of a Catholic lawgiver. [92] But while Justinian strove to maintain the uniformity of faith and worship, his wife Theodora, whose vices were not incompatible with devotion, had listened to the Monophysite teachers; and the open or clandestine enemies of the church revived and multiplied at the smile of their gracious patroness. The capital, the palace, the nuptial bed, were torn by spiritual discord; yet so doubtful was the sincerity of the royal consorts, that their seeming disagreement was imputed by many to a secret and mischievous confederacy against the religion and happiness of their people. [93] The famous dispute of the Three Chapters, [94] which has filled more volumes than it deserves lines, is deeply marked with this subtile and disingenuous spirit. It was now three hundred years since the body of Origen [95] had been eaten by the worms: his soul, of which he held the preexistence, was in the hands of its Creator; but his writings were eagerly perused by the monks of Palestine. In these writings, the piercing eye of Justinian descried more than ten metaphysical errors; and the primitive doctor, in the company of Pythagoras and Plato, was devoted by the clergy to the eternity of hell-fire, which he had presumed to deny. Under the cover of this precedent, a treacherous blow was aimed at the council of Chalcedon. The fathers had listened without impatience to the praise of Theodore of Mopsuestia; [96] and their justice or indulgence had restored both Theodore of Cyrrhus, and Ibas of Edessa, to the communion of the church. But the characters of these Oriental bishops were tainted with the reproach of heresy; the first had been the master, the two others were the friends, of Nestorius; their most suspicious passages were accused under the title of the three chapters; and the condemnation of their memory must involve the honor of a synod, whose name was pronounced with sincere or affected reverence by the Catholic world. If these bishops, whether innocent or guilty, were annihilated in the sleep of death, they would not probably be awakened by the clamor which, after the a hundred years, was raised over their grave. If they were already in the fangs of the daemon, their torments could neither be aggravated nor assuaged by human industry. If in the company of saints and angels they enjoyed the rewards of piety, they must have smiled at the idle fury of the theological insects who still crawled on the surface of the earth. The foremost of these insects, the emperor of the Romans, darted his sting, and distilled his venom, perhaps without discerning the true motives of Theodora and her ecclesiastical faction. The victims were no longer subject to his power, and the vehement style of his edicts could only proclaim their damnation, and invite the clergy of the East to join in a full chorus of curses and anathemas. The East, with some hesitation, consented to the voice of her sovereign: the fifth general council, of three patriarchs and one hundred and sixty-five bishops, was held at Constantinople; and the authors, as well as the defenders, of the three chapters were separated from the communion of the saints, and solemnly delivered to the prince of darkness. But the Latin churches were more jealous of the honor of Leo and the synod of Chalcedon: and if they had fought as they usually did under the standard of Rome, they might have prevailed in the cause of reason and humanity. But their chief was a prisoner in the hands of the enemy; the throne of St. Peter, which had been disgraced by the simony, was betrayed by the cowardice, of Vigilius, who yielded, after a long and inconsistent struggle, to the despotism of Justinian and the sophistry of the Greeks. His apostasy provoked the indignation of the Latins, and no more than two bishops could be found who would impose their hands on his deacon and successor Pelagius. Yet the perseverance of the popes insensibly transferred to their adversaries the appellation of schismatics; the Illyrian, African, and Italian churches were oppressed by the civil and ecclesiastical powers, not without some effort of military force; [97] the distant Barbarians transcribed the creed of the Vatican, and, in the period of a century, the schism of the three chapters expired in an obscure angle of the Venetian province. [98] But the religious discontent of the Italians had already promoted the conquests of the Lombards, and the Romans themselves were accustomed to suspect the faith and to detest the government of their Byzantine tyrant.

[Footnote 92: See the Chronicle of Victor, p. 328, and the original evidence of the laws of Justinian. During the first years of his reign, Baronius himself is in extreme good humor with the emperor, who courted the popes, till he got them into his power.]

[Footnote 93: Procopius, Anecdot. c. 13. Evagrius, l. iv. c. 10. If the ecclesiastical never read the secret historian, their common suspicion proves at least the general hatred.]

[Footnote 94: On the subject of the three chapters, the original acts of the vth general council of Constantinople supply much useless, though authentic, knowledge, (Concil. tom. vi. p. 1-419.) The Greek Evagrius is less copious and correct (l. iv. c. 38) than the three zealous Africans, Facundus, (in his twelve books, de tribus capitulis, which are most correctly published by Sirmond,) Liberatus, (in his Breviarium, c. 22, 23, 24,) and Victor Tunnunensis in his Chronicle, (in tom. i. Antiq. Lect. Canisii, 330—334.) The Liber Pontificalis, or Anastasius, (in Vigilio, Pelagio, &c.,) is original Italian evidence. The modern reader will derive some information from Dupin (Bibliot. Eccles. tom. v. p. 189—207) and Basnage, (Hist. de l'Eglise, tom. i. p. 519—541;) yet the latter is too firmly resolved to depreciate the authority and character of the popes.]

[Footnote 95: Origen had indeed too great a propensity to imitate the old philosophers, (Justinian, ad Mennam, in Concil. tom. vi. p. 356.) His moderate opinions were too repugnant to the zeal of the church, and he was found guilty of the heresy of reason.]

[Footnote 96: Basnage (Praefat. p. 11—14, ad tom. i. Antiq. Lect. Canis.) has fairly weighed the guilt and innocence of Theodore of Mopsuestia. If he composed 10,000 volumes, as many errors would be a charitable allowance. In all the subsequent catalogues of heresiarchs, he alone, without his two brethren, is included; and it is the duty of Asseman (Bibliot. Orient. tom. iv. p. 203—207) to justify the sentence.]

[Footnote 97: See the complaints of Liberatus and Victor, and the exhortations of Pope Pelagius to the conqueror and exarch of Italy. Schisma.. per potestates publicas opprimatur, &c., (Concil. tom. vi. p. 467, &c.) An army was detained to suppress the sedition of an Illyrian city. See Procopius, (de Bell. Goth. l. iv. c. 25:). He seems to promise an ecclesiastical history. It would have been curious and impartial.]

[Footnote 98: The bishops of the patriarchate of Aquileia were reconciled by Pope Honorius, A.D. 638, (Muratori, Annali d' Italia, tom. v. p. 376;) but they again relapsed, and the schism was not finally extinguished till 698. Fourteen years before, the church of Spain had overlooked the vth general council with contemptuous silence, (xiii. Concil. Toretan. in Concil. tom. vii. p. 487—494.)]

Justinian was neither steady nor consistent in the nice process of fixing his volatile opinions and those of his subjects. In his youth he was, offended by the slightest deviation from the orthodox line; in his old age he transgressed the measure of temperate heresy, and the Jacobites, not less than the Catholics, were scandalized by his declaration, that the body of Christ was incorruptible, and that his manhood was never subject to any wants and infirmities, the inheritance of our mortal flesh. This fantastic opinion was announced in the last edicts of Justinian; and at the moment of his seasonable departure, the clergy had refused to subscribe, the prince was prepared to persecute, and the people were resolved to suffer or resist. A bishop of Treves, secure beyond the limits of his power, addressed the monarch of the East in the language of authority and affection. "Most gracious Justinian, remember your baptism and your creed. Let not your gray hairs be defiled with heresy. Recall your fathers from exile, and your followers from perdition. You cannot be ignorant, that Italy and Gaul, Spain and Africa, already deplore your fall, and anathematize your name. Unless, without delay, you destroy what you have taught; unless you exclaim with a loud voice, I have erred, I have sinned, anathema to Nestorius, anathema to Eutyches, you deliver your soul to the same flames in which they will eternally burn." He died and made no sign. [99] His death restored in some degree the peace of the church, and the reigns of his four successors, Justin Tiberius, Maurice, and Phocas, are distinguished by a rare, though fortunate, vacancy in the ecclesiastical history of the East. [100]

[Footnote 99: Nicetus, bishop of Treves, (Concil. tom. vi. p. 511-513:) he himself, like most of the Gallican prelates, (Gregor. Epist. l. vii. 5 in Concil. tom. vi. p. 1007,) was separated from the communion of the four patriarchs by his refusal to condemn the three chapters. Baronius almost pronounces the damnation of Justinian, (A.D. 565, No. 6.)]

[Footnote 100: After relating the last heresy of Justinian, (l. iv. c. 39, 40, 41,) and the edict of his successor, (l. v. c. 3,) the remainder of the history of Evagrius is filled with civil, instead of ecclesiastical events.]

The faculties of sense and reason are least capable of acting on themselves; the eye is most inaccessible to the sight, the soul to the thought; yet we think, and even feel, that one will, a sole principle of action, is essential to a rational and conscious being. When Heraclius returned from the Persian war, the orthodox hero consulted his bishops, whether the Christ whom he adored, of one person, but of two natures, was actuated by a single or a double will. They replied in the singular, and the emperor was encouraged to hope that the Jacobites of Egypt and Syria might be reconciled by the profession of a doctrine, most certainly harmless, and most probably true, since it was taught even by the Nestorians themselves. [101] The experiment was tried without effect, and the timid or vehement Catholics condemned even the semblance of a retreat in the presence of a subtle and audacious enemy. The orthodox (the prevailing) party devised new modes of speech, and argument, and interpretation: to either nature of Christ they speciously applied a proper and distinct energy; but the difference was no longer visible when they allowed that the human and the divine will were invariably the same. [102] The disease was attended with the customary symptoms: but the Greek clergy, as if satiated with the endless controversy of the incarnation, instilled a healing counsel into the ear of the prince and people. They declared themselves Monothelites, (asserters of the unity of will,) but they treated the words as new, the questions as superfluous; and recommended a religious silence as the most agreeable to the prudence and charity of the gospel. This law of silence was successively imposed by the ecthesis or exposition of Heraclius, the type or model of his grandson Constans; [103] and the Imperial edicts were subscribed with alacrity or reluctance by the four patriarchs of Rome, Constantinople, Alexandria, and Antioch. But the bishop and monks of Jerusalem sounded the alarm: in the language, or even in the silence, of the Greeks, the Latin churches detected a latent heresy: and the obedience of Pope Honorius to the commands of his sovereign was retracted and censured by the bolder ignorance of his successors. They condemned the execrable and abominable heresy of the Monothelites, who revived the errors of Manes, Apollinaris, Eutyches, &c.; they signed the sentence of excommunication on the tomb of St. Peter; the ink was mingled with the sacramental wine, the blood of Christ; and no ceremony was omitted that could fill the superstitious mind with horror and affright. As the representative of the Western church, Pope Martin and his Lateran synod anathematized the perfidious and guilty silence of the Greeks: one hundred and five bishops of Italy, for the most part the subjects of Constans, presumed to reprobate his wicked type, and the impious ecthesis of his grandfather; and to confound the authors and their adherents with the twenty-one notorious heretics, the apostates from the church, and the organs of the devil. Such an insult under the tamest reign could not pass with impunity. Pope Martin ended his days on the inhospitable shore of the Tauric Chersonesus, and his oracle, the abbot Maximus, was inhumanly chastised by the amputation of his tongue and his right hand. [104] But the same invincible spirit survived in their successors; and the triumph of the Latins avenged their recent defeat, and obliterated the disgrace of the three chapters. The synods of Rome were confirmed by the sixth general council of Constantinople, in the palace and the presence of a new Constantine, a descendant of Heraclius. The royal convert converted the Byzantine pontiff and a majority of the bishops; [105] the dissenters, with their chief, Macarius of Antioch, were condemned to the spiritual and temporal pains of heresy; the East condescended to accept the lessons of the West; and the creed was finally settled, which teaches the Catholics of every age, that two wills or energies are harmonized in the person of Christ. The majesty of the pope and the Roman synod was represented by two priests, one deacon, and three bishops; but these obscure Latins had neither arms to compel, nor treasures to bribe, nor language to persuade; and I am ignorant by what arts they could determine the lofty emperor of the Greeks to abjure the catechism of his infancy, and to persecute the religion of his fathers. Perhaps the monks and people of Constantinople [106] were favorable to the Lateran creed, which is indeed the least reasonable of the two: and the suspicion is countenanced by the unnatural moderation of the Greek clergy, who appear in this quarrel to be conscious of their weakness. While the synod debated, a fanatic proposed a more summary decision, by raising a dead man to life: the prelates assisted at the trial; but the acknowledged failure may serve to indicate, that the passions and prejudices of the multitude were not enlisted on the side of the Monothelites. In the next generation, when the son of Constantine was deposed and slain by the disciple of Macarius, they tasted the feast of revenge and dominion: the image or monument of the sixth council was defaced, and the original acts were committed to the flames. But in the second year, their patron was cast headlong from the throne, the bishops of the East were released from their occasional conformity, the Roman faith was more firmly replanted by the orthodox successors of Bardanes, and the fine problems of the incarnation were forgotten in the more popular and visible quarrel of the worship of images. [107]

[Footnote 101: This extraordinary, and perhaps inconsistent, doctrine of the Nestorians, had been observed by La Croze, (Christianisme des Indes, tom. i. p. 19, 20,) and is more fully exposed by Abulpharagius, (Bibliot. Orient. tom. ii. p. 292. Hist. Dynast. p. 91, vers. Latin. Pocock.) and Asseman himself, (tom. iv. p. 218.) They seem ignorant that they might allege the positive authority of the ecthesis. (the common reproach of the Monophysites) (Concil. tom. vii. p. 205.)]

[Footnote 102: See the Orthodox faith in Petavius, (Dogmata Theolog. tom. v. l. ix. c. 6—10, p. 433—447:) all the depths of this controversy in the Greek dialogue between Maximus and Pyrrhus, (acalcem tom. viii. Annal. Baron. p. 755—794,) which relates a real conference, and produced as short-lived a conversion.]

[Footnote 103: Impiissimam ecthesim.... scelerosum typum (Concil. tom. vii p. 366) diabolicae operationis genimina, (fors. germina, or else the Greek in the original. Concil. p. 363, 364,) are the expressions of the xviiith anathema. The epistle of Pope Martin to Amandus, Gallican bishop, stigmatizes the Monothelites and their heresy with equal virulence, (p. 392.)]

[Footnote 104: The sufferings of Martin and Maximus are described with simplicity in their original letters and acts, (Concil. tom. vii. p. 63—78. Baron. Annal. Eccles. A.D. 656, No. 2, et annos subsequent.) Yet the chastisement of their disobedience had been previously announced in the Type of Constans, (Concil. tom. vii. p. 240.)]

[Footnote 105: Eutychius (Annal. tom. ii. p. 368) most erroneously supposes that the 124 bishops of the Roman synod transported themselves to Constantinople; and by adding them to the 168 Greeks, thus composes the sixth council of 292 fathers.]

[Footnote 106: The Monothelite Constans was hated by all, (says Theophanes, Chron. p. 292). When the Monothelite monk failed in his miracle, the people shouted, (Concil. tom. vii. p. 1032.) But this was a natural and transient emotion; and I much fear that the latter is an anticipation of the good people of Constantinople.]

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