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practice of the ancient church, and that of his own at this day, images, but only paint is, that the Ancients did not approve of massy images, or staings and tues of wood, or metal, or stone, but only pictures or paintings pictures, and those
to be used in churches, This he proves from the testimonies symbolical of Germanus, bishop of Constantinople, and Stephanus Bostrenany other. sis, both alleged in the Acts of the second Council of Nice 24 :
which shews, that massy images or statues were thought to look too much like idols even by that worst of Councils. But some plead the authority of Gregory Nazianzen 25 for statues in churches, to whom Petavius 26 answers, “ that he speaks not of statues in temples, but of profane statues in other places;' which is a very just and true observation. For it is most certain, from the writings of St. Austin 27 and Optatus 28, that there were no statues in that age in their churches, or upon their altars, because they reckon both those to be mere heathenish customs : and Cassander 29 observes the same out of the writ
24 German. Ep. ad Thom. Claudi- ει ανδριάντες κατεινεχθήσοντ
νται, τουτο opol. in Act. 4. ut supr. (CC. t. 7. p. δεινόν, ει και άλλως δεινόν μηδε περί 316 e.) Ου τούτο δε λέγομεν ημείς, τούτων νομίσης ημίν είναι τον λόγον, ώστε τας εκ χαλκού στήλας επιτηδεύ- οις περί τα κρείττονα η σπουδή. ειν ημάς, άλλ' ή μόνον δηλώσαι, ότι 26 [Petav. 1. 15. de Incarnat. c. 14. και το κατ' εθνικής συνήθειαν μη απο- 8. 3. p. 325. (t. 5. p. 238. col. dextr.) ποιησομένου του Κυρίου, αλλ' ευδοκή- Sed perspicuum est, profanas illic σαντος εν αυτώ επιδείκνυσθαι εφ' ικανόν statuas intelligi, que ad magnarum χρόνον την αυτού αγαθότητος την θαυ- urbium ornamentum in locis publiματουργίαν, το παρ' ημίν ευαγέστερών cis collocari solebant. Quod et ipsa πως κρατησαν έθος κακίζειν ουχ όσιον. verba Gregorii palam ostendunt : -Steph. Bostrens. ibid. Act. 2. (ap. quibus negat, se de templo et ejus Hadrian. Epist. ibid. p. 112 e.) 0i- ornatu omni solicitum esse; de staτινες δή περί των εικόνων των αγίων tuis vero nihil admodum ; eo quod ομολογούμεν, ότι πάν έργον, το γινό- longe praestantiore studio detineaμενον εν ονόματι του θεού, αγαθόν tur. Ιtaque sibi ipse contradiceret, έστι και άγιον άλλο γάρ έστιν εικών, si de sacris imaginibus loqueretur : και άλλο άγαλμα, τουτέστι ζώδιον. ac de quibus solicitum se "Οτι γαρ ο θεός τον 'Αδάμ έπλασε, dixit, mox negaret se esse solicitum. τουτέστι εδημιούργησεν, έλεγε, Ποι- Grischου.] ήσωμεν άνθρωπον κατ' εικόνα και καθ' 27 In Ps. 113. Concio, al. Serm. ομοίωσιν ημών και εποίησεν άνθρω- 2. (t. 4. p. 1259 f.).... Quia invisiπον εν είκόνι θεού· τί γάρ και ότι είκών bileim colimus Deum, qui nullorum θεού έστιν άνθρωπος, άγαλμά εστι, corporis oculis, cordibus autem pauτουτέστιν ειδωλολατρεία, και ασέβεια; corum mundissimis notus est: &c. μηδαμώς γένοιτο,
28 L. 2. (p. 53.) Nam et prioribus Ep. 49; (t. 1. p. 810 c.) Tiungov sæculis ut templa fabricarentur et δε την ημετέραν πολιάν οις δεινόν, εί- idola fierent, quid vestro populo diποτε την μεγάλην πόλιν έχοντες, νυν albolus potuit amplius facere? μηδε πόλιν έχοιμεν και θηρίων οικη- 29 Consultat. sect. de Imagin. p. τήριον γένοιτο μετά την σην αρχήν, ό, 165. (p. 974.) Ea quibus apparet, τε ναός, όν ηγείραμεν τω θεώ, και η Christum magis in typum agni, περί τούτον ημίν φίλοκαλία: ουδε γάρ quam efhgie humana depingi con
ings of Gregory the Great. He also notes, that till the time of the sixth General Council the images of Christ were not usually in the effigies or figure of a man, but only symbolically represented under the type of a lamb; and so the Holy Ghost was represented under the type or symbol of a dove: but that Council 30 forbad the picturing of Christ any more in the symbol of a lamb, and ordered it only to be drawn in the effigies of a man. I presume, by this time the worship of images was begun, anno 692; and it was now thought indecent to pay their devotions to the picture of a lamb, and therefore they would no longer endure it to be seen in the church.
I have been the more particular in recounting and explaining these things distinctly, that the reader might have in one short view the rise and progress of that grand superstition, which has so overspread the Church and defaced its worship in the matter of images, which were introduced at first only for historical use, to be laymen's books, and a sort of ornaments for the church, though, as the event proved, the most dangerous of any other.
. 12. There was one way more of adorning churches, which I Of adornshould not have thought worth mentioning, but for its inno
church with cency and natural simplicity; that is, the custom of garnishing flowers and
branches. and decking them with flowers and branches : which was not done at any certain times for any pretended mystery, but only to make them more decent and fit for a body of men to meet
suevisse, quod usque ad tempus τύπους και τας σκιάς, ως τη αληsexti Concilii Generalis obtinuisse θείας συμβολά τε και προχαράγματα, videtur; in quo statuitur, ut pasto- παραδεδομένους τη εκκλησία καταres [leg. pictores] in posterum non σπαζόμενοι, την χάριν προτιμώμεν in agni typo, ut fieri consuevit, sed και την αλήθειαν, ως πλήρωμα νόhumano charactere Christum expri- μου ταύτην υποδεξάμενοι. Ως αν ουν mant; et satis apparet ex scriptis το τέλειον καν ταίς χρωματουργίαις Gregorii, quamvis ejus etate super- εν ταις απάντων όψεσιν υπογράφηstitio in cultu sanctorum non parum ται, τον του αίροντος την αμαρτίαν invaluerat, tamen pictaras tantum του κόσμου αμνού, Χριστού του θεού in ecclesiis admissas fuisse, non item ημών, κατά τον ανθρώπινον χαρακτήρα, statuas vel simulachra.
και εν ταις εικόσιν από του νυν αντί 30 C. Gen. 6. s. Trullan. c. 82. του παλαιού αμνού αναστηλούσθαι o(t. 6. p. 1178 e.) "Εν τισι των σεπ- ρίζομεν, δι' αυτού το της ταπεινώσεως των εικόνων γραφαίς αμνός δακτύλο ύψος του θεού λόγου κατανοούντες, του προδρόμου δεικνύμενος εγχαράτ- και πρός μνήμην της εν σαρκί πολιτείτεται, ός εις τύπον παρελήφθη της ας, του τε πάθους αυτού και του σωτηχάριτος, τον αληθινόν ημίν διά του ρίου θανάτου χειραγωγούμενοι, και της νόμου προϋποφαίνων αμνόν, Χριστόν εντεύθεν γεγομένης τω κόσμω απολυτον θεόν ημών. Τους oύν παλαιούς τρώσεως.
in. St. Austin 31 takes notice of the custom, speaking of one who carried away with him some flowers from off the altar ; and Paulinus :)2, in his poetical way, refers to it likewise. But St. Jerom 33 does it the greatest honour, to give it a place in his panegyric upon his friend Nepotian, making it a part of his commendable character, that he took care to have every thing neat and clean about the church, the altar bright, the walls whited, the pavement swept, the gates veiled, the vestry clean, and the vessels shining; and so far did his pious solicitude about these matters extend, that he made flowers, and leaves, and branches of trees contribute to the beauty and ornament of the churches.' These were but small things in themselves, St. Jerom says, but a pious mind devoted to Christ is intent upon things great and small, and neglects nothing that may deserve the name of the very meanest office in the Church. And it is plain St. Jerom had a greater value for such sort of natural beauty and comeliness in churches, than for rich ornaments of costly pictures and paintings, and silver, and gold, and precious stones : and therefore, as I observed before 31, he rather advised his rich friends to lay out their wealth upon the living temples of God, the backs and bellies of the poor, and commended the rich lady, Paula 35, for so doing, rather than for hanging up needless and superfluous gifts, as others did, upon the pillars of the temple. And it is no wonder then he should commend Nepotian's frugal care, who had divested himself of all his estate to relieve the poor, and left himself no ability to adorn the church any other way, but that which was most to St. Jerom's liking and approbation.
31 De Civitat. Dei, 1. 22. c. 8. (t. si niteret altare, si parietes absque 7. p.669 a.) Deinde abscedens ali- fuligine, si pavimenta tersa, si janiquid de altari forum, quod occurrit, tor creber in portis, vela semper in tulit, &c.
ostiis, si sacrarium mundum, si vasa 32 Natal. 3. Felic. (p. 541.) luculenta, et in omnes ceremonias Ferte Deo, pueri, laudem, pia solvite pia solicitudo disposita.... Basilicas vota,
ecclesiæ et martyrum conciliabula Et pariter castis date carmina festa diversis floribus, et arborum comis, choreis.
vitiumque pampinis adumbravit. Spargite fore solum, prætexite li- 34 S. 5. p. 155. n. 78. mina sertis :
35 Ep. 27. [al. 108.) Epitaph. PauPurpureum ver spiret hiems, et flo- læ. (t.1. p.701 d.) Nolebat in his la
pidibus pecuniam effundere, qui cum Ante diem, sancto cedat natura diei. terra et sæculo transituri sunt: sed
33 Ep. 3. [al. 60.] Epitaph. Nepo- in vivis lapidibus, qui volvuntur sutian. (t. 1. p. 338 b.) Erat solicitus per terram.
Of the consecration of churches. 1. Anciently when churches were finished and adorned, it What the
ancients was then usual to proceed to a dedication or consecration of
meant by them; which was a thing that was sometimes performed with the conse
cration of a great deal of pious solemnity, and therefore it will be proper, churches. in the next place, to make a little inquiry into the nature and circumstances of it. Now I must observe, first of all, that by the consecration of a church, the Ancients always mean the devoting or setting it apart peculiarly for divine service; but the manner and ceremony of doing this was not always exactly one and the same: therefore we are chiefly to regard the substance of the thing, which was the separation of any building from common use to a religious service. Whatever ceremony this was performed with, the first act of initiating and appropriating it to a divine use was its consecration; and therefore in allusion to this the first beginning of any thing is many times called its dedication. As when Cyprian 36, speaking of Aurelius the confessor, whom he had ordained a reader, says, • he dedicated his reading,' he means no more but that he performed the first act of his office in the church, which in his phrase was its dedication. Whether churches had any other ceremony besides this in their dedication for the three first ages, is not certain : though it is highly probable they might have a solemn thanksgiving and prayer for a sanctified use of them also, over and besides the usual liturgy of the Church, because this was in use among the Jews; who thus dedicated not only their Temple, (1 Kings 8,) but also their private houses and walls of their cities, when they were finished, as appears from the title of the 3oth Psalm, which is inscribed “ A Psalm or Song at the Dedication of the House of David;" and from the account which is given by Nehemiah, (12, 27,) of the dedication of the walls of Jerusalem. It is further probable, from the constant practice of Christians in consecrating their ordinary meat by thanksgiving and prayer, before they begin to
36 Ep. 33. [al. 38.) ad Cler. Carth. bis, id est, auspicatus est pacem, (p. 223.) Dominico legit interim no- dum dedicat lectionem.
use it; and from the manner of consecrating churches in the following ages, after the time of Constantine: all which makes it highly probable, that the Christians of the three first ages used the same ceremony of particular prayers and thanksgiving to God in the dedication of their churches. But having no express testimonies for this I will not pretend positively to assert it. Durantus 37 and Bona 38 are indeed very confident it was always so from the time of the Apostles; but they build upon no better foundation than the feigned Epistles of Clemens Romanus, Evaristus, and Hyginus, and the Acts of St. Cæcilia in Simeon Metaphrastes, [in Surius,] which are writings of no authority, when the question is about matters of fact in the first and apostolical ages.
2. Therefore leaving this matter, for want of better evidence,
as a thing only probable, but not certain, I proceed to consider this to be it as practised in the next age, when, in the peaceable reign of
Constantine, churches were rebuilt over all the world, and fourth cen- dedicated with great solemnity. “Then it was a desirable tury.
sight, as Eusebius 39 words it, “to behold how the consecrations of the new-built churches and the feasts of the dedications were solemnized in every city.' That which made these solemnities the more august and venerable was, that commonly a whole synod of the neighbouring or provincial bishops met at the dedication. The church of Jerusalem, which Constantine built over our Saviour's sepulchre, was consecrated in a full synod of all bishops of the East, whom Constantine called first to Tyre and then to Jerusalem, anno 335, for this very purpose, as Eusebius 40 and all the other
The first authentic accounts of
fetched from the
37 De Ritibus, &c. l. 1. c. 24. n. 1. sola traditione ab antecessoribus ac(p. 81.) Ecclesias consecrandi con- ceperat. suetudo ab ipsis Apostolis usque ad 39 L. 10. c. 3. (v. 1. p. 463. 36.) nostram manavit ætatem.
'Επί δε τούτοις, το πασιν ευκταίον 38 Rer. Liturg. I. 1. c. 20. n. 3. nuiv kaì troboýuevov Ouvekpoteito (p. 223.) Templorum autem conse- θέαμα, εγκαινίων εορται κατά πόλεις, cratio, e Veteri Testamento ad No- και των άρτι νεοπαγών προσευκτηρίων νum, ab Apostolis ad successores e- αφιερώσεις επισκόπων τε επί ταυτό manavit ; atque hunc ritum serva- ouve EVOELS.-- De Laud. Constant. vit ecclesia totius Orientis et Occi- c. 17. (ibid. p. 770. 31.) .... Naois dentis consensu. Sunt, qui Evaristo τε αγίοις και προσευκτηρίων σεμνούς Papæ ejus originem ascribunt, sed eplepouasi, k.t... multo certius est, apostolicum insti- '40 De Vit. Constant.l.4.c.43. (ibid. tutum esse ; nisi dicamus, ab hoc p. 650. 22.) ... Kateláußavev arlos Pontifce scripto promulgatum, quod βασιλικός ανήρ, επισπέρχων την σύν