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CHAP. XLVII.

V. THE
COPTS OR
EGYP-
TIANS.

court. As soon as they have performed the liturgy,
they cultivate the garden; and our bishops will hear
with surprise, that the austerity of their life increases
in just proportion to the elevation of their rank. In
the fourscore thousand towns or villages of his spi-
ritual empire, the patriarch receives a small and vo-
luntary tax from each person above the age of fifteen;
but the annual amount of six hundred thousand crowns
is insufficient to supply the incessant demands of cha-
rity and tribute. Since the beginning of the last cen-
tury, the Armenians have obtained a large and lu-
crative share of the commerce of the East: in their
return from Europe, the caravan usually halts in the
neighbourhood of Erivan; the altars are enriched
with the fruits of their patient industry; and the
faith of Eutyches is preached in their recent con-
gregations of Barbary and Poland."
V. In the rest of the Roman empire, the despotism

of the prince might eradicate or silence the sectaries
of an obnoxious creed. But the stubborn temper of
the Egyptians maintained their opposition to the sy-
nod of Chalcedon, and the policy of Justinian con-
descended to expect and to seize the opportunity of
discord. The Monophysite church of Alexandria"
was torn by the disputes of the corruptibles and in-
corruptibles, and on the death of the patriarch, the
two factions upheld their respective candidates.”
Gaian was the disciple of Julian, Theodosius had
been the pupil of Severus: the claims of the former

The patri-
arch Theo-
dosius,
A. D. 537
—568.

* The travelling Armenians are in the way of every traveller, and their mother church is on the high road between Constantinople and Ispahan: for their present state see Fabricius (Lux Evangelii, &c. c. xxxviii. p. 40–51), Olearius (l. iv. c. 40), Chardin (vol. ii. p. 232), Tournefort (lettre xx), and, above all, Tavernier (tom. i. p. 28–37. 510–518), that rambling jeweller, who had read nothing, but had seen so much and so well.

* The history of the Alexandrian patriarchs, from Dioscorus to Benjamin, is taken from Renaudot (p. 114–164), and the second tome of the Annals of Eutychius.

° Liberat. Brev. c. 20. 23. Victor. Chron. p. 329, 330. Procop. Anecdot. c. 26, 27.

were supported by the consent of the monks and CHAP. senators, the city and the province; the latter de-_* pended on the priority of his ordination, the favour of the empress Theodora, and the arms of the eumuch Narses, which might have been used in more honourable warfare. The exile of the popular candidate to Carthage and Sardinia inflamed the ferment of Alexandria; and after a schism of one hundred and seventy years, the Gaianites still revered the memory and doctrine of their founder. The strength of numbers and of discipline was tried in a desperate and bloody conflict; the streets were filled with the dead bodies of citizens and soldiers; the pious women, ascending the roofs of their houses, showered down every sharp or ponderous utensil on the heads of the enemy; and the final victory of Narses was owing to the flames, with which he wasted the third capital of the Roman world. But the lieutenant of Justinian had not conquered in the cause of a heretic; Theodosius himself was speedily, though gently, removed; and Paul of Tanis, an orthodox Paul; monk, was raised to the throne of Athanasius. The *** powers of government were strained in his support; he might appoint or displace the dukes and tribunes of Egypt; the allowance of bread, which Diocletian had granted, was suppressed, the churches were shut, and a nation of schismatics was deprived at once of their spiritual and carnal food. In his turn, the tyrant was excommunicated by the zeal and revenge of the people; and none except his servile Melchites would salute him as a man, a Christian, or a bishop. Yet such is the blindness of ambition, that, when Paul was expelled on a charge of murder, he solicited, with a bribe of seven hundred pounds of gold, his restoration to the same station of hatred and ignominy. His successor Apollinaris entered Apollinaris, the hostile city in military array, alike qualified for A. D. 551. prayer or for battle. His troops, under arms, were distributed through the streets; the gates of the cathedral were guarded, and a chosen band was stationed in the choir, to defend the person of their chief. He stood erect on his throne, and throwing aside the upper garment of a warrior, suddenly appeared before the eyes of the multitude in the robes of the patriarch of Alexandria. Astonishment held them mute; but no sooner had Apollinaris begun to read the tome of St. Leo, than a volley of curses, and invectives, and stones, assaulted the odious minister of the emperor and the synod. A charge was instantly sounded by the successor of the apostles; the soldiers waded to their knees in blood; and two hundred thousand Christians are said to have fallen by the sword: an incredible account, even if it be extended from the slaughter of a day to the eighteen years of the reign of Apollinaris. Two succeeding patriarchs, Eulogius" and John", laboured in the conversion of heretics, with arms and arguments more worthy of their evangelical profession. The theological knowledge of Eulogius was displayed in many a volume, which magnified the errors of Eutyches and Severus, and attempted to reconcile the ambiguous language of St. Cyril with the orthodox creed of pope Leo and the fathers of Chalcedon. The bounteous alms of John the eleemosynary were dictated by superstition, or benevolence, or policy. Seven thousand five hundred poor were maintained at his ex

CHAP.

XLVII.

Eulogius,
A. D. 580.

John,
A. D. 609.

P Eulogius, who had been a monk of Antioch, was more conspicuous for subtlety than eloquence. He proves that the enemies of the faith, the Gaianites and Theodosians, ought not to be reconciled; that the same proposition may be orthodox in the mouth of St. Cyril, heretical in that of Severus; that the opposite assertions of St. Leo are equally true, &c. His writings are no longer extant, except in the Extracts of Photius, who had perused them with care and satisfaction, cod. ccviii, ccxxv, ccxxvi, ccxxvii. ccxxx. cclxxx.

* See the Life of John the eleemosynary by his contemporary Leontius, bishop of Neapolis in Cyprus, whose Greek text, either lost or hidden, is reflected in the Latin version of Baronius (A. D. 610, No 9. A. D. 620, No 8). Pagi (Critica, tom. ii. p. 763) and Fabricius (l. v. c. 11. tom. vii. p. 454) have made some critical observations. -

pense; on his accession, he found eight thousand
pounds of gold in the treasury of the church; he
collected ten thousand from the liberality of the
faithful; yet the primate could boast in his testa-
ment, that he left behind him no more than the
third part of the smallest of the silver coins. The
churches of Alexandria were delivered to the Ca-
tholics, the religion of the Monophysites was pro-
scribed in Egypt, and a law was revived which ex-
cluded the natives from the honours and emoluments
of the state.
A more important conquest still remained, of the
patriarch, the oracle and leader of the Egyptian
church. Theodosius had resisted the threats and
promises of Justinian with the spirit of an apostle
or an enthusiast. “Such,” replied the patriarch,
“were the offers of the tempter when he showed
the kingdoms of the earth. But my soul is far
dearer to me than life or dominion. The churches
are in the hands of a prince who can kill the body;
but my conscience is my own; and in exile, poverty,
or chains, I will stedfastly adhere to the faith of my

holy predecessors, Athanasius, Cyril, and Dioscorus.

Anathema to the tome of Leo and the synod of Chalcedon! Anathema to all who embrace their creed! Anathema to them now and for evermore! Naked came I out of my mother's womb, naked shall I descend into the grave. Let those who love God follow me and seek their salvation.” After comforting his brethren, he embarked for Constantinople, and sustained, in six successive interviews, the almost irresistible weight of the royal presence. His opinions were favourably entertained in the palace and the city; the influence of Theodora assured him a safe conduct and honourable dismission; and he ended his days, though not on the throne, yet in the bosom, of his native country. On the news of his death,

CHAP. XLVII.

Their separation and decay.

CHAP. XLVII.

Apollinaris indecently feasted the nobles and the clergy; but his joy was checked by the intelligence of a new election; and while he enjoyed the wealth of Alexandria, his rivals reigned in the monasteries of Thebais, and were maintained by the voluntary oblations of the people. A perpetual succession' of patriarchs arose from the ashes of Theodosius; and the Monophysite churches of Syria and Egypt were united by the name of Jacobites and the communion of the faith. But the same faith, which has been confined to a narrow sect of the Syrians, was diffused over the mass of the Egyptian or Coptic nation; who, almost unanimously, rejected the decrees of the synod of Chalcedon. A thousand years were now elapsed since Egypt had ceased to be a kingdom, since the conquerors of Asia and Europe had trampled on the ready necks of a people, whose ancient wisdom and power ascend beyond the records of history. The conflict of zeal and persecution rekindled some sparks of their national spirit. They abjured, with a foreign heresy, the manners and language of the Greeks: every Melchite, in their eyes, was a stranger, every Jacobite a citizen; the alliance of marriage, the offices of humanity, were condemned as a deadly sin; the natives renounced all allegiance to the emperor; and his orders, at a distance from Alexandria, were obeyed only under the pressure of military force. A generous effort might have redeemed the religion and liberty of Egypt, and her six hundred monasteries might have poured forth their myriads of holy warriors, for whom death should have no terrors, since

life had no comfort or delight. But experience has

proved the distinction of active and passive courage; the fanatic who endures without a groan the torture of the rack or the stake would tremble and fly before the face of an armed enemy. The pusillanimous temper of the Egyptians could only hope for a change

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