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tics. A thousand shades may be devised in the nature aud character of Ahriman, from a rival god to a subordinate daemon, from passion and frailty to pure and perfect malevolence: but, in spite of our efforts, the goodness, and the power,
of < )rmusd are placed at the opposite extremities of the line; and every step that approaches the one must leeede in equal proportion from the other.'
The apostolic labors of Constantine Sylvanus soon multi pliad the number of his disciples, the secret recompense of spiritual ambition. The remnant of the Gnostic sects, and especially the Manichaeans of Armenia, were united under his standard; many Catholics were converted or seduced by his arguments; and he preached with success in the regions of Pontus10 and Cappadocia, which had long since imbibed the religion of Zoroaster. The Paulician teachers were distinguished only by their Scriptural names, by the modest title of Fellow-pilgrims, by the austerity of their lives, their zeal or knowledge, and the credit of some extraordinary gifts of the Holy Spirit. But they were incapable of desiring, or at least of obtaining, the wealth and honors of the Catholic prelacy; such anti-Christian pride they bitterly censured; and even the rank of elders or presbyters was condemned as an institution of the Jewish synagogue. The new sect was loosely spread over the provinces of Asia Minor to the westward of the Euphrates; six of their principal congregations represented the churches to which St. Paul had addressed his epistles; and their founder chose his residence in the neighborhood of Colonia,11 in the same district of Pontus which had been celebrated by the altars of Bellona1" and the mira
• Two learned critics, Beausobre (Hist. Critique du Manicheisme, 1 i. iv. v. vi.) and Mosheim, (Institut Hist. Eccles. and de Rebus Cbristianis ante Constantinum, sec. i. ii. iii.,) have labored to explore and discriminate the various systems of the Gnostics on the subject of the two principles.
u The countries between the Euphrates and the Halys were posses eed above 350 years by the Medes (Herodot. 1. i. c. 103) and Persians; and the kings of Pontus were of the royal race of the Achapmenidea, (Sallust. Fragment. 1. iii. with the French supplement and notes of the president de Brosses.)
11 Most probably founded by Pompey after the conquest of Portus. This Colonia, on the Lycus, above Neo-Caesarea, is named by the T.irki Coulei-hisar, or Chonac, a populous town in a strong country, (D'Antiile, Geographic Ancienne, torn. ii. p. 34. Tournefort, Voyage du Levant torn. iii. lettre xxi p. 293.)
12 The temple of Belloua, at Comana in F mtu* was a powerful ana
dies of Gregory.1' After a mission of twenty-seven years, Sylvanus, who had retired from the tolerating government of the Arabs, fell a sacrifice to Roman persecution. The laws of the pious emperors, which seldom touched the lives of less odious heretics, proscribed without mercy or disguise the tenets, the books, and the persons of the Montanists and Manichseans: .he books were delivered to the flames; and all who should presume to secrete such writings, or to profess such opinions, were devoted to an ignominious death." A Greek minister, armed with legal and military powers, ap peared at Colonia to strike the shepherd, and to reclaim, if possible, the lost sheep. By a refinement of cruelty, Simeon placed the unfortunate Sylvanus before a line of his disciples, who were commanded, as the price of their pardon and the proof of their repentance, to massacre their spiritual father. They turned aside from the impious office; the stones dropped from their filial hands, and of the whole number, only one executioner could be found, a new David, as he is styled by the Catholics, who boldly overthrew the giant of heresy. This apostate (Justin was his name) again deceived and betrayed his unsuspecting brethren, and a new conformity to the acts of St. Paul may be found in the conversion of Simeon: like the apostle, he embraced the doctrine which he had been sent to persecute, renounced his honors and fortunes, and Acquired among the Paulicians the fame of a missionary and •\ martyr. They were not ambitious of martyrdom,16 but in
wealthy foundation, and the high priest was respected as the second -terson in the kingdom. As the sacerdotal office had been occupied by his mother's family, Strabo (1. xii. p. 809, 835, 836, 837) dwells with peculiar complacency on the temple, the worship, and festival, which was twice celebrated every year. But the Bellona of Pontus had the features and character of the goddess, not of war, but of love.
11 Gregory, bishop of Neo-Ctesarea, (A. D. 240—265,) surnamed Thaumaturgus, or the Wonder-worker. An hundred years after wards, the history or romance of his life was composed by Gregory of Nyssa, his namesake and countryman, the brother of the great Si Basil.
14 Hoc caeterum ad sua egregia facinora, divini atque orthodoxi Imperatores addiderunt. ut Manichaeos Montanosque capitali puniri Bententia juberent, eorumque libros, quocunque in loco inventi essent, fiammis tradi; quod siquis uspiam eosdem occultasse deprehenderetur, hunc eundem mortis poenae addici, ejusque bona in fiscum inferri. fPetr. Sicul. p. 759.) What more could bigotry and persecution desire *■
** It should seem, that the Paulicians allowed themselves som«
a calamitous period of one hundred and fifty years, their patience sustained whatever zeal could inflict; and power was insufficient to eradicate the obstinate vegetation of fanaticism and reason. From the blood and ashes of the first victims, a succession of teachers and congregations repeatedly arose: amidst their foreign hostilities, they found leisure for domestic quarrels: they preached, they disputed, they suffered; and the virtues, the apparent virtues, of Sergius, in a pilgrimage of thirty-three /ears, are reluctantly confessed by the orthodox historians.18 The native cruelty of Justinian the Second was stimulated by a pious cause; and he vainly hoped to extinguish, in a single conflagration, the name and memory of the Paulicians. By their primitive simplicity, their abhorrence of popular superstition, the Iconoclast princes might have been reconciled to some erroneous doctrines; but they themselves were exposed to the calumnies of the monks, and they chose to be the tyrants, lest they should be accused as the accomplices, of the Manichseans. Such a reproach has sullied the clemency of Nicephorus, who -relaxed in their favor the severity of the penal statutes, nor will his character sustain the honor of a more liberal motive. The feeble Michael the First, the rigid Leo the Armenian, were foremost in the race of persecution; but the prize must doubtless be adjudged to the sanguinary devotion of Theodora, who restored the images to the Oriental church. H^r inquisitors explored the cities and mountains of the Lesser Asia, and the flatterers of the empress have affirmed that, in a short reign, one hundred thousand Paulicians were extirpated by the «word, the gibbet, or the flames. Her guilt or merit has perhaps been stretched beyond the measure of truth: but if the iccount be allowed, it must be presumed that many simple Iconoclasts were punished under a more odious name; and that some who were driven from the church, unwillingly took refuge in the bosom of heresy.
The most furious and desperate of rebels are the sectaries
latitude of equivocation and mental reservation; till the Catholics discovered the pressing questions, which reduced them to the alternative of apostasy or martyrdom, (Petr. Sicul. p. 760.)
l* The persecution is told by Petrus Siculus (p. 579—763) with satisfaction and pleasantry. Justus justa persolvit. Simeon was not -iros, but Kri'oi, (the pronunciation of the two vowels have been nearly the same,) a great whale that drowned the mariners who mistook h\n fnr an island See likewise Cedrenus, (p. 4:52—135.1
of a religion long persecuted, and at length provoked. In a holy cause they are no longer susceptible of fear or remorse: the justice of their arms hardens them against the feelings of humanity; and they revenge their fathers' wrongs on the children of their tyrants. Such have been the Hussites of Bohemia and the Calvinists of France, and such, in the ninth .entury, were the Paulicians of Armenia and the adjacent provinces.17 They were first awakened to the massacre of a governor and bishop, who exercised the Imperial mandate of converting or destroying the heretics; and the deepest recesses of Mount Argseus protected their independence and revenge. A more dangerous and consuming name was kindled by the persecution of Theodora, and the revolt of Carbeas, a valiant Paulician, who commanded the guards of the general of the East. His father had been impaled by the Catholic inquisitors; and religion, or at least nature, might justify his desertion and revenge. Five thousand of his brethren were united by the same motives; they renounced the allegiance of anti-Christian Rome; a Saracen emir introduced Carbeas to the caliph; and the commander of the faithful extended his sceptre to the implacable enemy of the Creeks. In the mountains between Siwas and Trebizond he founded or fortified the city of Tephrice,1* which is still occupied by a fierce or licentious people, and the neighboring hills were covered with the Paulician fugitives, who now reconciled the use of the Bible and the sword. During more than thirty years, Asia was afflicted by the calamities of foreign and domestic war; in their hostile inroads, the disciples of St. Paul were joined with those of Mahomet; and the peaceful Christians, the aged parent and tender virgin, who were delivered into barbarous servitude, might justly accuse the intolerant spirit of their sovereign. So urgent was the mischief, so intolerable the shame, that even the dissolute Michael, the son of Theodora, was compelled to march in person against the Paulicians: he was defeated under the
"Petrus Siculns, (p. 763, 764,) the continuator of Theoplanes, (1 iv. c. 4, p. 103, 104,) Cedrenus, (p. 541, 542, 545, ) and Zonaras, (two ii. 1. xvi p. 156,) describe the revolt and exploits of Carbeas ar.d 1 life Paulicians.
18 Otter ^ Voyage en Turquie et en Perse, torn, ii.) is probably tin only Frank who has visited the independent Barbarians of Tephrice •ow Divrigni, from whom he fortunately escaped in the train of » Turkish officer
walls of Samosata; and the Roman emperor fled before the heretics whom his mother had condemned to the flames. The Saracens fought under the same banners, but the victory was ascribed to Carbeas; and the captive generals, with more than a hundred tribunes, were either released by his avarice, or tortured by his fanaticism. The valor and ambition of Chrywcheir," his successor, embraced a wider circle of rapine
and revenge. In alliance with his faithful Moslems, he boldly penetrated into the heart of Asia; the troops of the frontier and the palace were repeatedly overthrown; the edicts of persecution were answered by the pillage of Nice and Nicomedia, of Ancyra and Ephesus; nor could the apostle St. John protect from viciation his city and sepulchre. The cathedral of Ephesus was turned into a stable for mules and horses; and the Paulicians vied with the Saracens in their contempt and abhorrence of images and relics. It is not unpleasing to observe the triumph of rebellion over the same despotism which had disdained the prayers of an injured people. The emperor Basil, the Macedonian, was reduced to sue for peace, to offer a ransom for the captives, and to request, in the language of moderation and charity, that Chrysocheir would spare his fellow-Christians, and content himself with a royal donative of gold and silver and silk garments. "If the emperor," replied the insolent fanatic, "be desirous of peace, let him abdicate the East, and reign without molestation in the West. If he refuse, the servants of the Lord will pre cipitate him from the throne." The reluctant Basil suspended the treaty, accepted the defiance, and led his army into the land of heresy, which he wasted with fire and sword. The open country of the Paulicians was exposed to the same calamities which they had inflicted; but when he had explored the strength of Tephrice, the multitude of the Barba rians, and the ample magazines of arms and provisions, he desisted with a sigh from the hopeless siege. On his return to Constantinople, he labored, by the foundation of convents and churches, to secure the aid of his celestial patrons, of Michael the archangel and the prophet Elijah; and it was his
'• In the history of Chrysocheir, Genesius (Chron. p. 67—70, edit, Venet.) has exposed the nakedness of the empire. Constantine Porphyrogenitus ( in Vit. Basil, c. 37—iS, p. 166—171) has displayed the glory of his grandfather. Cedrenus (p. 570—573) is without then DMsions or their knowledge.