[ocr errors][ocr errors]

discontent of the Italians had already promoted the CHAP. conquests of the Lombards, and the Romans themselves were accustomed to suspect the faith, and to detest the government, of their Byzantine tyrant.

Justinian was neither steady nor consistent in the Heresy of nice process of fixing his volatile opinions and those A.D. 564. 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 phantastic 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 anathematise 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." His death restored in some church of Spain had overlooked the vth genera council with contemptuous silence (xiii. Concil. Toletan. in Concil. tom. vii. p. 487–494).

u Nicetius, bishop of Treves (Concil. tom. vi. p. 511_513): he himself, like most of the Gallican prelates (Gregor. Epist. 1. vii. ep. 5. in Concil. tom. vi. p. 1007), was separated from the communion of the four patriarchs by his refusal


CHAP. 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." The Mo The faculties of sense and reason are least capable nothelite controversy

, of acting on themselves; the eye is most inaccessible A. D. 629. 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. W 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 into condemn the three chapters. Baronius almost pronounces the damnation of Justinian (A. D. 565, No 6).

After relating the last heresy of Justinian (1. iv. c. 39, 40, 41) and the edict of his successor (1. v. c. 3), the remainder of the history of Evagrius is filled with civil, instead of ecclesiastical, events.

w 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

μιαρος Νεστοριος καιπερ διαιρον την θειαν του Κυριου ενανθρωπησιν, και δυο εισαγων υιους (the common reproach of the Monophysites), δυο θεληματα τουτων ειπειν ουκ ετολμησε, τουναντιον δε ταυτο βουλιαν των . δυο προσωπων εδοξασε (Concil. tom. vii. p. 205).

ecthesis. 'O

sis of He

variably the same.* The disease was attended with CHAP.

XLVII. 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 im- The ectheposed by the ecthesis or exposition of Heraclius, the

raclius, type or model of his grandson Constans; and the A,D. 639. imperial edicts were subscribed with alacrity or re- of Conluctance by the four patriarchs of Rome, Constan- A. D. 648. tinople, 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


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 anathematised the perfidious

* See the orthodox faith in Petavius (Dogmata Theolog. tom. v. I. ix. c. 6. 10. p. 433—447): all the depths of this controversy are sounded in the Greek dialogue between Maximus and Pyrrhus (ad calcem tom. viii. Annal. Baron. p. 755—794), which relates a real conference, and produced as short-lived a conversion,

Impiissimam ecthesim . scelerosum typum (Concil. tom. vii. p. 366) diabolicæ operationis genimina (fors. germina, or else the Greek yevnata, in the original. Concil. p. 363, 364) are the expressions of the xvijith anathema. The epistle of pope Martin to Amandus, a Gallican bishop, stigmatises the Monothelites and their heresy with equal virulence (p. 392).


CHAP. 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.' But the same invincible spirit survived in their successors, and the triumph of the Latins avenged

their recent defeat, and obliterated the disgrace VIth gene. of the three chapters. The synods of Rome were Ild of Con: confirmed by the sixth general council of ConstanAanviobo; tinople, in the palace and the presence of a new ConNov. 7-stantine, a descendant of Heraclius. The royal conA. D. 681, Sept. 16.

vert converted the Byzantine pontiff and a majority of the bishops ; & 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

z The sufferings of Martin and Maximus are described with pathetic sim. plicity 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, εξορια And σωματος αικισμος, had been previously announced in the Type of Constans (Concil. tom. vii. p. 240).

a 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 fatherş.

what arts they could determine the lofty emperor of CHAP.

XLVII. the Greeks to abjure the catechism of his infancy, and to persecute the religion of his fathers. Perhaps the monks and people of Constantinople were favourable 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.

Before the end of the seventh century, the creed Union of of the incarnation, which had been defined at Rome and Latin and Constantinople, was uniformly preached in the churches.

b The Monothelite. Constans was hated by all, dia Tou TAUTO (says Theophanes, Chron. p. 292) sposobn o podga Taga HartWV. When the Monothelite monk failed in his miracle, the people shouted, å anos avsbonos (Concil. tom. vii. p. 1032). But this was a natural and transient emotion; and I much fear that the latter is an anticipation of orthodoxy in the good people of Constantinople.

¢ The history of Monothelitism may be found in the Acts of the Synods of Rome (tom. vii. p. 77–395. 601-608) and Constantinople (p. 609—1429). Baronius extracted some original documents from the Vatican library; and his chronology is rectified by the diligence of Pagi. Even Dupin (Bibliothéque Eccles. tom. vi. p. 57—71). and Basnage (Hist. de l'Eglise, tom. i. p. 541-555) afford a tolerable abridgınent.


« ForrigeFortsett »