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CHAP. were acknowledged as the lawful bishops of ConstanXLVII.
tinople. 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,* 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. 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, de
- 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 τερατωδους διδασκαλιας, was designed ώς αν ονειδεσι προβληθεντες αιωνιον υπομενοιεν τιμωριαν των αμαρτηματων, και μητε ζωντας τιμωριας, μητε θανοντας ατιμιας εκτος υπαρχειν. Yet these were Christians ! who differed only in names and in shadows.
b The metaphor of islands is applied by the grave civilians (Pandect. 1. 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. Ægypt. Abulfedæ, p. 21-34).
voutly tortured the enemy of Christ and St. Cyril : CHAP. and, as far as the confines of Ethiopia, 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 honours, or at least to the communion, of the church. The death of Nestorius prevented his obedience to their welcome summons; and his disease might afford some colour 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 ;" 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. 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.
© The invitation of Nestorius to the synod of Chalcedon is related by Zacharias, bishop of Melitene (Evagrius, 1. ii. c. 2. Asseman. Bibliot. 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.
Consult D'Anville (Memoire sur l'Egypte, p. 191), Pocock (Description of the East, vol. i. p. 76), Abulfeda (Descript. Ægypt. 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.
· Eutychius (Annal. tom. ii. p. 12) and Gregory Bar-Hebræus, or Abulpharagius (Asseman, tom. ii. p. 316), represent the credulity of the xth and xiiith centuries. * We are obliged to Evagrius (1. i. c. 7.) for some extracts from the letters of VOL. VI.
The death of the Alexandrian primate, after a
reign of thirty-two years, abandoned the Catholics to Heresy of the intemperance of zeal and the abuse of victory. A. D. 448. The monophysite doctrine (one incarnate nature) was
rigorously preached in the churches of Egypt and the monasteries of the East; the primitive creed of Apollinaris 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 clamour 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 judiEphesus, ciously composed of ten metropolitans and ten bishops A.D. 449, from each of the six dioceses of the eastern empire:
Second council of
Aug. 8 _ll.
Nestorius; but the lively picture of his sufferings is treated with insult by the hard and stupid fanatic.
Dixi Cyrillum dum viveret, auctoritate suâ effecisse, ne Eutychianismus et Monophysitarum error in nervum erumperet : idque verum puto ... aliquo... honesto modo radiodicky 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 æquis rerum æstimatoribus sermones privatos conferrem (Thesaur. Epistol. La Crozian. tom. i. p. 197, 198), an excellent key to his dissertations on the Nestorian controversy !
some exceptions of favour or merit enlarged the CHAP. 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 burnt alive!” were the charitable wishes of a Christian synod. The innocence and sanctity of Eutyches were acknowledged without hèsitation ; 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. mean to raise a sedition ?” exclaimed the relentless tyrant. 6. 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,
h “Η άγια συνοδος ειπεν, αρον, καυσον Ευσεβιον, ούτος ζων καη, ουτος εις δυο γενηται, ως εμερισε μερισθη. .... ει τις λεγει δυο αναθεμα. At the request of scoru those who were not able to roar (Bonoan) stretched out their hands. At Chalcedon, the Orientals disclaimed these exclamations; but the Egyptians more consistently declared ταυτα και τοτε ειπομεν και νυν λεγομεν (Concil. tom. iv. p. 1012).
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CHAP. 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: 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 behaviour.
The faith of Egypt had prevailed: but the vanChalcedon, A.D. 451, quished 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
i Ελεγε δε (Eusebius, bishop of Doryleum) τον Φλαβιανον και δειλαιως αναιρεθηναι προς Διοσκορου ωθουμενον τε και λακτιζομενον : and this testimony of Evagrius (1. ii. c. 2) is amplified by the historian Zonaras (tom. ii. l. xiii. p. 44), who affirms
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-εσφαξε τον μακαριον Φλαυιανου AUTOS SOTAXE'XQ1 sdeye, opažov. (Concil. tom. iv. p. 1413).
that Dioscorus kicked like a wild ass.