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not desert our spiritual father; anathema to the §§ Manichaean tyrant! he is unworthy to reign.” Such XLVII.
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 honour of their God, or in pillaging and murdering the servants of their prince. The head of his favourite monk, the friend, as they styled him, of the enemy of the Holy Trinity, was borne aloft on a spear; and the fire-brands, 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 sixtyfive thousand of his fellow Christians, till he obtained the recal 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." Justinian has been already seen in the various lights of a prince, a conqueror, and a lawgiver: the theologian" still remains, and it affords an unfavourable prejudice, that his theology should form a very prominent feature of his portrait. The sovereign sympathised 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 as
First religious war,
A. D. 514.
Theological character and government of Justinian, A. D. 519 –565.
* 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 Popes (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 for ever 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.
b 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.
siduous and exemplary; his prayers, vigils, and fasts,
" ‘O; 38 xzén'rol apvaazrog is as sori Asaxons rivos 2001 vux'roy juov rous roy isgow •yseowow arzorov avozvrasiy ra. Xeurriavov Aoya arovony szow. Procop. de Bell.
Goth. 1. iii. c. 32. In the life of St. Eutychius (apud Aleman. ad Procop.
VOL. VI. E
barians invaded the provinces, while the victorious legions 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 scrutinise 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.” 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 an uniform yet various scene of persecution; and he appears to have surpassed his indolent predecessors, both in the contrivance of his laws and the rigour of their execution. The insufficient term of three months was assigned for the conversion or exile of all heretics;' 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 birthright of men and Christians. At the end of CHAP. four hundred years, the Montanists of Phrygia" still XLVII. 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 the 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 of Pagans; still lurked in the most refined and the 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 disguised 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
• 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 haeresum omnium sentinas, prorsusque Atheos— abominable Atheists, who preached the imitation of God's mercy to man (ad Hist. Arcan. c. 13).
* 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 judicentur: jubemus, enim ut . . . convicti et aperti ha-retici justae et idoneae animadversioni subjiciantur. Baronius copies and applauds this edict of the Code (A. D. 527. No 39, 40).