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cipice where it was impossible to recede, dangerous to stand, dreadful to fall; and the manifold inconveniences of their creed were aggravated by the sublime character of their theology. They hesitated to pronounce; that God himself, the second person of an equal and consubstantial trinity, was manifested in the flesh;" that a being who pervades the universe, had been confined in the womb of Mary; that his eternal duration had been marked by the days, and months, and years of human existence; that the Almighty had been scourged and crucified; that his impassible essence had felt pain and anguish; that his omniscience was not exempt from ignorance; and that the source of life and immortality expired on Mount Calvary. These alarming consequences were affirmed with unblushing simplicity by Apollinaris,' bishop of Laodicea, and one of the luminaries of the church. The son of a learned grammarian, he was skilled in all the sciences of Greece; eloquence, erudition, and philosophy, conspicuous in the volumes of Apollinaris, were humbly devoted to the service of religion. The worthy friend of Athanasius, the worthy antagonist of Julian, he bravely wrestled with the Arians and Polytheists, and, though he affected the rigour of geometrical demonstration, his commentaries revealed the literal and allegorical sense of the Scriptures. A mystery, which had long floated in the looseness of popular belief, was defined by his perverse diligence in a technical form ; and he first
* This strong expression might be justified by the language of St. Paul (1 Tim. iii. 16); but we are deceived by our modern Bibles. The word 3 (which) was altered to dies (God) at Constantinople in the beginning of the with century: the true reading, which is visible in the Latin and Syriac versions, still exists in the reasoning of the Greek, as well as of the Latin fathers; and this fraud, with that of the three witnesses of St. John, is admirably detected by Sir Isaac Newton. (See his two letters translated by M. de Missy, in the Journal Britannique, tom. xv. p. 148–190.351—390). I have weighed the arguments, and may yield to the authority of the first of philosophers, who was deeply skilled in critical and theological studies.
* For Apollinaris and his sect, see Socrates, l. ii. c. 46. l. iii. c. 16. Sozomen, 1. v. c. 18. 1. vi. c. 25. 27. Theodoret, l. v. 3. 10, 11. Tillemont, Memoires Ecclesiastiques, tom. vii. p. 602–638. Not. p. 789–794, in 4to. Venise, 1732. The contemporary saints always mention the bishop of Laodicea as a friend and brother. The style of the more recent historians is harsh and hostile : yet Philostorgius compares him (l. viii. c. 11–15) to Basil and Gregory.
proclaimed the memorable words, “One incarnate
nature of Christ,” which are still re-echoed with hostile clamours in the churches of Asia, Egypt, and AEthiopia. He taught that the Godhead was united or mingled with the body of a man; and that the Logos, the eternal wisdom, supplied in the flesh the place and office of a human soul. Yet as the profound doctor had been terrified at his own rashness, Apollinaris was heard to mutter some faint accents of excuse and explanation. He acquiesced in the old distinction of the Greek philosophers, between the rational and sensitive soul of man; that he might reserve the Logos for intellectual functions, and employ the subordinate human principle in the meaner actions of animal life. With the moderate Docetes, he revered Mary as the spiritual, rather than as the carnal, mother of Christ, whose body either came from heaven, impassible and incorruptible, or was ab
sorbed, and as it were transformed, into the essence.
of the Deity. The system of Apollinaris was strenuously encountered by the Asiatic and Syrian divines, whose schools are honoured by the names of Basil, Gregory, and Chrysostom, and tainted by those of Diodorus, Theodore, and Nestorius. But the person of the aged bishop of Laodicea, his character and digrity, remained inviolate; and his rivals, since we may not suspect them of the weakness of toleration, were astonished, perhaps, by the novelty of the argument, and diffident of the final sentence of the Catholic church. Her judgment at length inclined in their favour; the heresy of Apollinaris was condemned, and the separate congregations of his disciples were proscribed by the imperial laws. But
V. Orthodox consent and verbal disputes.
his principles were secretly entertained in the mo-
, their adversaries. To escape from each other, they CHAP. wandered through many a dark and devious thicket, XLVII. till they were astonished by the horrid phantoms of Cerinthus and Apollinaris, who guarded the opposite issues of the theological labyrinth. As soon as they beheld the twilight of sense and heresy, they started, measured back their steps, and were again involved in the gloom of impenetrable orthodoxy. To purge themselves from the guilt or reproach of damnable error, they disavowed their consequences, explained their principles, excused their indiscretions, and unanimously pronounced the sounds of concord and faith. Yet a latent and almost invisible spark still lurked among the embers of controversy: by the breath of prejudice and passion, it was quickly kindled to a mighty flame, and the verbal disputes" of the Oriental sects have shaken the pillars of the church and state.
The name of CYRIL of Alexandria is famous in Cyril, pa
controversial story, and the title of saint is a mark Koi. that his opinions and his party have finally prevailed. §o In the house of his uncle, the archbishop Theophilus, 3. #! he imbibed the orthodox lessons of zeal and dominion, and five years of his youth were profitably spent in the adjacent monasteries of Nitria. Under the tuition of the abbot Serapion, he applied himself to ecclesiastical studies with such indefatigable ardour, that in the course of one sleepless night he has perused the four gospels, the Catholic epistles, and the epistle to the Romans. Origen he detested; but the writings of Clemens and Dionysius, of Athanasius and Basil,
* I appeal to the confession of two Oriental prelates, Gregory Abulpharagius the Jacobite primate of the East, and Elias the Nestorian metropolitan of Damascus (see Asseman. Bibliothec. Oriental. tom. ii. p. 291. tom. iii. p. 514, &c.), that the Melchites, Jacobites, Nestorians, &c. agree in the doctrine, and differ only in the easpression. Our most learned and rational divines—Basnage, Le Clerc, Beausobre, La Croze, Mosheim, Jablonski—are inclined to favour this charitable judgment; but the zeal of Petavius is loud and angry, and the moderation of Dupin is conveyed in a whisper.
were continually in his hands: by the theory and practice of dispute, his faith was confirmed and his wit was sharpened; he extended round his cell the cobwebs of scholastic theology, and meditated the works of allegory and metaphysics, whose remains, in seven verbose folios, now peaceably slumber by the side of their rivals. Cyril prayed and fasted in the desert, but his thoughts (it is the reproach of a friend)" were still fixed on the world; and the call of Theophilus, who summoned him to the tumult of cities and synods, was too readily obeyed by the aspiring hermit. With the approbation of his uncle, he assumed the office, and acquired the fame, of a popular preacher. His comely person adorned the pulpit, the harmony of his voice resounded in the cathedral, his friends were stationed to lead or second the applause of the congregation, and the hasty notes of the scribes preserved his discourses, which, in their effect, though not in their composition, might be compared with those of the Athenian orators. The death of Theophilus expanded and realised the hopes of his
nephew. The clergy of Alexandria was divided;
the soldiers and their general supported the claims of the archdeacon; but a resistless multitude, with voices and with hands, asserted the cause of their favourite; and, after a period of thirty-nine years, Cyril was seated on the throne of Athanasius."
* La Croze (Hist. du Christianisme des Indes, tom. i. p. 24) avows his contempt for the genius and writings of Cyril. De tous les ouvrages des anciens, ily en a peu qu'on lise avec moins d'utilité: and Dupin (Bibliothéque Ecclesiastique, tom. iv. p. 42–52), in words of respect, teaches us to despise them. u Of Isidore of Pelusium (l. i. epist. 25. p. 8). As the letter is not of the most creditable sort, Tillemont, less sincere than the Bollandists, affects a doubt whether this Cyril is the nephew of Theophilus (Mem. Eccles, tom. xiv. p. 268). * A grammarian is named by Socrates (l. vii. 13) Żuarvees 3s azeozorns row sortarzozow Kvel»xov xzésorrows, 2.024 wrig, To xeorous sy orals 2,320x2xuals actorato tyuguy 21y wrovězioraros. w See the youth and promotion of Cyril, in Socrates (l. vii. c. 7), and Renaudot (Hist. Patriarch. Alexandrin. p. 106.108). The Abbé Renaudot drew his materials from the Arabic history of Severus, bishop of Hermopolis Magna, or