Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

1

to each other in the communion-service, as a testimony of their
cordial love and affection for one another. And therefore it
cannot be supposed that such salutations of the church or altar
were intended as acts of religious worship, but only as civil
indications of their love and respect for them. And by this
rule we are to interpret all other places of ancient authors,
which frequently speak of this custom, as Sidonius Apollina-
ris 12, Paulinus 13, Prudentius 14, Chrysostom 5, Athanasius 16,
Cassiodore 17, and the author of the Ecclesiastical Hierarchy 18,
under the name of Dionysius the Areopagite, and several
others, who wrote before the superstitious adoration of images
had gained any credit in the church : the like respect to this
having been also shewed to the book of the Gospels, without

any suspicion of adoring the materials of it.
Churches 10. I think it not improper also to observe under this head,

that churches were many times chosen as the properest places private meditation and for private devotion and prayer upon extraordinary occasions. prayer, as well as

Theodoret 19 observes of Theodosius the Emperor, ‘that the public. night before he was to engage Eugenius the Tyrant, was by

him wholly spent in an oratory, which happened to be in the
place where he had pitched his camp. And in like manner
both Athanasius 20 and Socrates 21, and the other historians,

used for

[ocr errors]

8us, &c.

12 L. 1. Ep. 5. (p. 28.) Triumpha- 499 b. sub fin.).... IIpoolóvres TQ libus Apostolorum liminibus afu- αγίω θυσιαστηρίω, και μετά φόβου

και χαράς ασπαζόμενοι. 13 Natal. 6. Felic. (p. 569.)

17° Hist. Tripart. 1. 9. c. 30. (t. 1. Sternitur ante fores, et postibus os. p. 309.) Imperator (Theodosius], incula figit,

gredi limina præsumens, non stans Et lachrymis rigat omne solum, pro Domino supplicavit, neque genua limine sancto

fexit, sed, pronus in pavimento jaFusus humi.

cens, Davidicam proclamavit vo14 Peristeph. Hymn. 2. in Lau- cem, Adhesit pavimento anima mea, rent. (v. J. p. 210.)

&c. Apostolorum ac martyrum

18 Eccles. Hierarch. c. 2. part. 2.
Exosculantur limina.

n. 4. p. 252. (t. 1. p. 168 d.)....
15 Hom. 29. [corrige, Hom. 30.] Kai metà TOūro, trv iepàv dotacáve-
in 2 Cor. (t. 1o. p. 650 d.) Tà toi- νος τράπεζαν, προς τον άνδρα παρόντα
νυν πρόθυρα φιλούμεν του ναού, και πρόεισι, κ.τ.λ.
Thy cigodov, k. 7.1. [Conf. Hom. 26. 19 L. 5. c. 24. (v. 3. p. 227. 11.)
in 2 Cor. (ibid. p. 625 b.) where he Ευρών οικίσκoν ευκτήριον εν τη
speaks of the Emperor himself as του όρους ακρωνυχία, ενώ το στρατό-
kissing the tombs of the martyrs- πεδoν ήν, πάννυχος διετέλεσε τον των
Και γάρ αυτός, και την αλουργίδα περι- όλων Δεσπότην αντιβολών.
κείμενος, απέρχεται τα σήματα εκείνα 20 Ep. ad Serapion. p. 671. (t. 1.
περιπτυξόμενος, κ. τ.

τ.λ. ED.] part. I. p270 b. n. 3.) O Toivu
'16 Hom. Adv. eos, qui in homine éniOKOTOS 'Alégavdpos åkovoas rav-
spem figunt. t. 2. p. 304. (t. 2. p. τα, και πάνυ λυπηθείς, εισελθών εις

.

tell us of Alexander, bishop of Constantinople, that when the faction of Eusebius had threatened to oblige him upon a certain day to receive Arius into communion, he betook himself the night before to the church, and there prostrating himself before the altar, continued all night in prayer, begging of God that, if the faith which he held was truth, and the opinion of Arius false, he would punish Arius as his impiety justly deserved. Which was accordingly fulfilled : for the next day Arius, as he was going triumphantly to church, having occasion to turn aside to go to stool, voided his entrails with his excrements, and so perished by a most ignominious death.' I mention these things only to shew that the ancients paid such a respect to their churches, that upon special occasions they thought them the properest places as well for private devotion as for public. And I have already noted 22, that many of their churches were so framed, as to have private cells or recesses for men to retire to, and exercise themselves at leisure times in private reading of the Scriptures, and meditation, and prayer.

11. As to their public behaviour in the church, it was gene- Their rally such as expressed great reverence for it, as the sanctuary haviour in

public be. of God, and the place of his immediate presence.

• They en- the church tered it as the palace of the Great King, where the angels of great

expressive attended, and heaven opened itself, and Christ sat upon his reverence. throne, and all was filled with incorporeal powers,' as Chrysostom 23 words it in some of his elegant descriptions. It is

6

mny ékk nolav, Tás te xeipas értelvas intererat diem, sub altari jacens, at-
προς τον θεόν, αποδύρετο, και ρίψας que in oratione et lacrimis totam
εαυτόν επί πρόσωπον εν τω ιερατείω, pervigilem ducens, ecclesiae causam
κείμενος επί του εδάφους, ηύχετο. Domino commendabat.
21 L. 1. c. 37.. (v. 2. p. 73; 47.)

22 See ch.5. s. 8. p. 74.
'Εν τη εκκλησία, ή επώνυμον Ειρήνη, 23 Hom. 15. in Hebr. (t. 11. P:
μόνον εαυτόν κατακλειστόν ποιήσας, 156 a.) Εις μεν βασίλεια εισιών, και
και εις το θυσιαστήριον εισελθών, υπό σχήματι, και βλέμματι, και βαδίσματα,
την ιεράν τράπεζαν εαυτόν επί στόμα και πάσι τοις άλλοις κοσμείς σαυτόν
εκτείνας, εύχεται δακρύων νύκτας τε ενταύθα δε, ένθα τα όντως έστι βα-
πολλάς έφεξής και ημέρας τούτο ποι- σίλεια, και τοιαύτα οία τα ουράνια,
ών διετέλει.-Conf. Rufin. 1. 1. [al. και γελάς; συ μεν ουν, οίδα, ότι ουχ
το.] c. 12. (p. 229 a. 18.) Ad ulti- ορας άκουε δε ότι άγγελοι πάρεισι
mum, certam ei (Alexandro] diem navraxov, kał walcota év tớ ožką
statuentes, denuntiant, ut aut ipse του θεού παρεστήκασι το Βασιλεί,
Arium susciperet, aut si reniteretur, kai trávta futen notal tõv årwuá.
se ecclesia pulso et in exilium truso, Twv ékeivov Ouvápewv. [Conf. Hom.
ab alio eum recipiendum sciret. 3. in Eph. (t. 11. p. 23 b.) Tpáreça
Cum ille nocte, que ad constitutam πάρεστι βασιλική, άγγελοι διακονού-

.

6

particularly remarked by Gregory Nazianzen 23 of his own mother Nonna, that the zeal of her devotion was always so flaming and fervent, that she never spake a word in the church, but what was necessary to be done in joining in the sacred service; she never turned her back upon the altar, nor ever allowed herself to spit upon the pavement of the church.' But I cannot say these were necessary laws for all to observe; for Nazianzen intimates she did something above the common pitch, and consequently that it was choice and zeal, and not any binding rules of the Church that obliged her to it.

We might here have considered further their reverent postures of devotion, standing, kneeling, and prostration; and have exposed the practice of sitting at prayers and at the communionservice, which Perron 24 and some others for different reasons contend for, as a posture of devotion used in the ancient Church; but I shall have a more proper occasion to speak of these things hereafter, when we come to the particular offices

and services of the Church. Churches 12. The last instance of their reverence for churches which the safest

I shall take notice of, is, that the sacredness of them made repository for things them commonly the safest repository for things of value, and of any value, and the best security and retreat in times of common calamity and

distress. The church had not only her own private archives, retreat in times of her treasury, and her ceimeliarchium, for preserving her own distress.

writings, her utensils, and her treasures, but was a place of common tuition and defence, both for things and persons, in many other cases. Thus it is noted by Ruffin 25, and Socrates 26, and Sozomen 27, that the cubit wherewith they were used to

the best

μενοι τη τραπέζη, αυτός πάρεστιν ο mensura ascendentis Nili Auminis Βασιλεύς, και συ έστηκας χασμώμε- ad templum Serapis deferretur, velut vos; Ed.]

ad incrementi aquarum et inunda23 Orat. 19. in Funer. Patr. (t. 1. tionis auctorem. ... . Ulna ipsa, id p. 292 a.) Το μήποτε φωνήν αυτής εν est, aquae mensura, quam πήχυν νοιεροίς ακουσθήναι συλλόγους, ή τόποις, cant, ad aquarum Dominum in ecέξω των αναγκαίων και μυστικών"... clesiam cepta deferri. το σιωπή τιμάσθαι τα άγια, το μήποτε 26 L. 1. c. 18. (v. 2. p. 47: 37.) νωτα δοθήναι τη σεβασμίω τραπέζη, Λεγόντων των Ελλήνων ως άρα και μηδε καταπτυσθήναι θείον έδαφος. Σέραπις είη και τον Νείλον ανάγων επί

[See afterwards, b. 13. ch. 8. 8. αρδεία της Αιγύπτου, τω τον πήχυν 7. and b. 15. ch.5. 8.3. As to sitting, els tòv vaòv toỦ Sepánidos Kouiceodal, there is no example, &c. Cardinal αυτός εις την εκκλησίαν τον πήχυν Perron indeed, &c. Ed.]

'Αλέξανδρον μετατιθέναι εκέλευσε. 25 L. 2. [al. 11.) c. 30. (p. 259 a.

27 L. 1. c. 8. (ibid. p. 18. 31.) 3.).. Moris erat in Egypto, ut 'Αμέλει του, παρά μεν Αιγυπτίοις,

24

measure the increase of the waters of the Nile, when it overflowed, having been before usually kept in the temple of Serapis, was by the order of Constantine laid up in the Christian church, where it continued till Julian, the apostate, caused it to be removed to the temple of Serapis again.

But persons, as well as things, found a safe retreat and security in the sacredness of churches, when many times in barbarous invasions no other places would protect them against the insolence and fury of a conquering enemy. Nay, the very Heathens themselves often found their account in flying to the Christian churches, as St. Austin glories over them, beginning his famous book against the Pagans, De Civitate Dei, with this observation. There 28 he tells them what ungrateful wretches they were to the religion of Christ, to clamour and inveigh so bitterly against it, when yet, had it not been for the protection of their lives in places dedicated to Christ, whither they fled from the swords of their enemies, they had never been able at that day to have moved their tongues against it. For when Alaric, the Goth, took and sacked Rome, he gave orders that all the churches should be inviolable, and whoever fled thither should be spared; the sanctity of the place should be their protection. By which means

. the Heathens escaped as well as the Christians : for the soldiers inviolably observed their general's commands, and when they had barbarously plundered and murdered in all other places, they did not pretend to meddle with churches, or offer the least violence to any who betook themselves thither for safety

ουκέτι εις τους ειωθότας Ελληνικούς invenirent. Annon etiam illi Roναούς, εις δε τας εκκλησίας εξ εκείνου mani Christi nomini infesti sunt, φέρεται ο πήχυς, και σημαίνεται των quibus propter Christum barbari του Νείλου υδάτων η επίδοσις. pepercerunt? Testantur hoc Mar

28 L. 1. c. 1. (t.7. p. 3 a.) Ex hac tyrum loca et basilicæ Apostolorum, namque existunt inimici, adversus quæ, in illa vastatione urbis, ad se quos defendenda est Dei civitas : confugientes suos alienosque recequorum tamen multi, correcto im- perunt. Huc usque cruentus sæpietatis errore, cives in ea fiunt satis viebat inimicus; ibi accipiebat limiidonei: multi vero in eam tantis ex- tem trucidatoris furor ; illo duceardescunt ignibus odiorum, tamquebantur a miserantibus hostibus, quimanifestis beneficiis Redemptoris e- bus etiam extra ipsa loca pepercejus ingrati sunt, ut hodie contra rant, ne in eos incurrerent, qui eam linguas non moverent, nisi fer- similem misericordiam non haberum hostile fugientes, in sacratis bant, &c. ejus locis vitam, de qua superbiunt,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

and protection. Nay, they carried some into churches themselves, whom they intended to spare, and so secured them from the violence of others that might have assaulted them.' So great a veneration had even the barbarous Arian Goths for churches, in the midst of all their anger and fury against the Romans, as not only St. Austin, but Orosius 29, and St. Jerom 30, and Cassiodore 31, and Sozomen 32, with other ancient writers, relate the story. And it can hardly be doubted, then, but that the Catholics had the same veneration for churches; especially when it is considered also, how both by general custom and law, under the Christian Emperors, every church was invested with the privilege of an asylum, or place of sanctuary and refuge in certain cases : of the original of which, and the ancient laws relating to it, because some abuses have been added in after-ages by the canon law, I will give a particular account in the following Chapter.

CH AP. XI.

Of the first original of asylums, or places of sanctuary

and refuge, with the laws relating to them, in Christian

churches. The ori- 1. All that is necessary to be known of this privilege, so ginal of this far as concerns the use of it in the ancient Church, either privilege to be deduced relates to the original of the custom; or the place itself where

sanctuary might be had; or the persons who were entitled to the benefit; or lastly, the conditions they were to observe in

from the time of Constantine.

29 L. 7. c. 39. (ap. Galland. t. 9. 1. p. 183.).... Quum rex Alaricus, P. 153 c.) Adest Alaricus, trepidam urbis Romæ deprædatione satiatus, Romam obsidet, turbat, irrumpit. Apostoli Petri vasa suis deferentibus Dato tamen præcepto prius, ut si excepisset, mox ut rei causam, haqui in sancta loca, præcipueque in bita interrogatione, cognovit, sacris sanctorum Apostolorum Petri et liminibus deportari diripientium maPauli basilicas, confugissent, hos in nibus imperavit. primis inviolatos securosque esse 32 L. 9. c. 10. (v. 2. p. 376. 21.) sinerent.

'Επει δε πάλιν ο βάρβαρος, και φο30 Ep. 16. [al. 127.] ad Princi- βερώτερον έπιών, ουδέν πλέον ήνυε, piam. (t. 1. p. 954 b.) Quum et il- daváoas aŭtñs my owppooúvnv, lam et te ad beati Apostoli Pauli ήγαγεν εις το Πέτρου αποστολείον" basilicarm barbari deduxissent, ut και παραδούς τοίς φύλαξη της εκκληvel salutem vobis Ostenderent, vel σίας, και χρυσούς εξ εις αποτροφών sepulchrum, &c.

αυτής, εκέλευσε τώ ανδρί φυλάτ31 Variar. 1. 12. c. [al. ep.] 20. (t.

TELV.

« ForrigeFortsett »