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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 favourite 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 honour was reserved for twenty laymen of consular or senatorian rank. The gospel was ostentatiously dis
CHAP. XLVII. CHAP. XLVII.
played 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.' 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 averse 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 CHAP. and revenge. To save the reputation of his late ad. “*. herents, 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 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." For these scandalous offences Dioscorus was de-Faith of posed 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,’ we shall find that a great majority of the bi
3 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 it 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.
I am ignorant whether the patriarch, who seems to have been a jealous lover, is
the Cimon of a preceding epigram, whose rios to razos was viewed with envy and
wonder by Priapus himself.
shops 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 theo
logy, 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" (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 l Let them repair to Rome!”" The legates threatened, the CHAP.
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 proscribed reading of ox ray puriov (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. of the Axolanzo, 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.
* 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). -
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.
Far different was the temper of the Greeks and Disord of
Egyptians under the orthodox reigns of Leo and
Marcian. Those pious emperors enforced with arms-4*
and edicts the symbol of their faith;" and it was declared by the conscience or honour 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
* Eéonaray on 3 ãeos xezrural n arsezooida. . . . on avrixtyovris £aviga, yovaorai, o, ayroxeyevris Norreguava, urly, ou avrixsyovris sis Paany arsadariv (Concil. tom. iv. p. 1449). Evagrius and Liberatus present only the placid face of the synod, and discreetly slide over these embers suppositos cinere doloso.
• 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).