The restoration of the Jewish temple was secretly connected with

y the ruin of the Christian church. Julian still continued to of Julian. maintain the freedom of religious worship, without distinguishing whether this universal toleration proceeded from his justice or his clemency. He affected to pity the unhappy Christians, who were mistaken in the most important object of their lives; but his pity was degraded by contempt, his contempt was embittered by hatred; and the sentiments of Julian were expressed in a style of sarcastic wit, which inflicts a deep and deadly wound whenever it issues from the mouth of a sovereign. As he was sensible that the Christians gloried in the name of their Redeemer, he countenanced, and perhaps enjoined, the use of the less honourable appellation of GALILÆANS.85 He declared that, by the folly of the Galilæans, whom he describes as a sect of fanatics, contemptible to men and odious to the gods, the empire had been reduced to the brink of destruction; and he insinuates in a public edict that a frantic patient might sometimes be cured by salutary violence. 86 An ungenerous distinction was admitted into the mind and counsels of Julian, that, according to the difference of their religious sentiments, one part of his subjects deserved his favour and friendship, while the other was entitled only to the common benefits that his justice could not refuse to an obedient people.87 According to a principle pregnant with

of this famous miracle (Jewish and Heathen Testimonies, vol. iv. p. 47-71). The silence of Jerom would lead to a suspicion that the same story which was celebrated at a distance might be despised on the spot.

& Greg. Naz. Orat. iii. p. 81. And this law was confirmed by the invariable practice of Julian himself. Warburton has justly observed (p. 35) that the Platonists believed in the mysterious virtue of words; and Julian's dislike for the name of Christ might proceed from superstition as well as from contempt.

8 Fragment. Julian. p. 288. He derides the respice aninaiwn (Epist. vii.), and so far loses sight of the principles of toleration as to wish (Epist. xlii. [p. 4241) dxoytas izola.

87 ου γάρ μοι Θέμις έστι κομιζόμεν ή ελιαίρειν

"Avigas, o xs Iscion drix bwyt ébavétoio. These two lines, which Julian has changed and perverted in the true spirit of a bigot (Epist. xlix. [p. 432]), are taken from the speech of Æolus, when he refuses to grant

explanation is confirmed by the relation of that related by Ammianus and the of an event nearly similar by Josephus. contemporary writers.-G. King Herod having heard that immense To the illustrations of the extent of treasures had been concealed in the se- the subterranean chambers adduced by pulchre of David, he descended into it Michaelis may be added, that when John with a few confidential persons: he found of Gischala, during the siege, surprised in the first subterranean chamber only the Temple, the party of Eleazar took jewels and precious stuffs; but, having refuge within them. Bell. Jud. vi. 3, i. wished to penetrate into a second cham. The sudden sinking of the Hill of Sion, ber which had been long closed, he was when Jerusalem was occupied by Bar repelled, when he opened it, by flames chocab, may have been connected with which killed those who accompanied him. similar excavations. Hist. of Jews, vol. (Ant. Jud. xvi. 7, i.) As here there is iii. 122 and 186.-M. no room for miracle, this fact may be a Gibbon has forgotten Basnage, to considered as a new proof of the veracity whom Warburton replied.-M.

mischief and oppression, the emperor transferred to the pontiffs of his own religion the management of the liberal allowances from the public revenue which had been granted to the church by the piety of Constantine and his sons. The proud system of clerical honours and immunities, which had been constructed with so much art and labour, was levelled to the ground; the hopes of testamentary donations were intercepted by the rigour of the laws; and the priests of the Christian sect were confounded with the last and most ignominious class of the people. Such of these regulations as appeared necessary to check the ambition and avarice of the ecclesiastics were soon afterwards imitated by the wisdom of an orthodox prince. The peculiar distinctions which policy has bestowed, or superstition has lavished, on the sacerdotal order, must be confined to those priests who profess the religion of the state. But the will of the legislator was not exempt from prejudice and passion; and it was the object of the insidious policy of Julian to deprive the Christians of all the temporal honours and advantages which rendered them respectable in the eyes of the world. 88

A just and severe censure has been inflicted on the law which prohibited the Christians from teaching the arts of grammar and rhetoric.89 The motives alleged by the hibits the emperor to justify this partial and oppressive measure from teachmight command, during his lifetime, the silence of slaves" and the applause of flatterers. Julian abuses the ambiguous meaning of a word which might be indifferently applied to the language and the religion of the GREEKS : he contemptuously observes that the men who exalt the merit of implicit faith are unfit to claim or to enjoy the advantages of science; and he vainly contends that, if they refuse to adore the gods of Homer and Demosthenes, they ought to content themselves with expounding Luke and Matthew in the churches of the Galilæans.90 In all the cities of the Roman world the education of the youth was intrusted to masters of grammar and rhetoric, who were elected by the magistrates, maintained at the public expense, and distinguished by many lucrative and honourUlysses a fresh supply of winds (Odyss. x. 73). Libanius (Orat. Parent. c. lix. p. 286) attempts to justify this partial behaviour by an apology, in which persecution peeps through the mask of candour.

He pro


86 These laws, which affected the clergy, may be found in the slight hints of Julian himself (Epist. lii. [p. 433, 899.]), in the vague declamations of Gregory (Orat, iii. p. 86, 87), and in the positive assertions of Sozomen (1. v. c. 5).

89 Inclemens ... perenni obruendum silentio, Ammian, xxii, 10, xxv. 5.

90 The edict itself, which is still extant among the epistles of Julian (xlii. [p. 4227) may be compared with the loose invectives of Gregory (Orat. iii. p. 96). Tillemont (Mém. Ecclés, tom. vii. p. 1291-1294) has collected the seeming differences of ancients and moderns. They may be easily reconciled. The Christians were directly forbid to teach, they were indirectly forbid to learn; since they would not frequent the schools of the Pagans.

ing schools.

able privileges. The edict of Julian appears to have included the physicians, and professors of all the liberal arts; and the emperor, who reserved to himself the approbation of the candidates, was authorised by the laws to corrupt, or to punish, the religious constancy of the most learned of the Christians. As soon as the resignation of the more obstinate*2 teachers had established the unrivalled dominion of the Pagan sophists, Julian invited the rising generation to resort with freedom to the public schools, in a just confidence that their tender minds would receive the impressions of literature and idolatry. If the greatest part of the Christian youth should be deterred by their own scruples, or by those of their parents, from accepting this dangerous mode of instruction, they must, at the same time, relinquish the benefits of a liberal education. Julian had reason to expect that, in the space of a few years, the church would relapse into its primæval simplicity, and that the theologians, who possessed an adequate share of the learning and eloquence of the age, would be succeeded by a generation of blind and ignorant fanatics, incapable of defending the truth of their own principles, or of exposing the various follies of Polytheism.93 It was undoubtedly the wish and the design of Julian to deprive the

Christians of the advantages of wealth, of knowledge, and

S of power; but the injustice of excluding them from all Christians, offices of trust and profit seems to have been the result of his general policy, rather than the immediate consequence of any positive law.94 Superior merit might deserve and obtain some extraordinary exceptions; but the greater part of the Christian officers were gradually removed from their employments in the state, the army, and the provinces. The hopes of future candidates were

Disgrace and oppression of the

91 Codex Theodos. 1. xiii. tit. iii. de medicis et professoribus, leg. 5 (published the 17th of June, received, at Spoleto in Italy, the 29th of July, A.D. 363) with Godefroy's Illustrations, tom. v. p. 31.

Orosius celebrates their disinterested resolution: Sicut a majoribus nostris compertum habemus, omnes ubique propemodum .... officium quam fidem degerere maluerunt, vii. 30. Proæresius, a Christian sophist, refused to accept the partial favour of the emperor. Hieronym, in Chron. p. 185, edit. Scaliger [tom. vii. p. 805, ed. Vallars.]. Eunapius in Proæresio, p. 126 (p. 160, ed. Comm.).

93 They had recourse to the expedient of composing books for their own schools. Within a few months Apollinaris produced his Christian imitations of Homer (a sacred history in xxiv. books), Pindar, Euripides, and Menander; and Sozomen is satisfied that they equalled, or excelled, the originals."

94 It was the instruction of Julian to his magistrates (Epist. vii.) TPOTimãoba pirto Tous Is00s6sīs vai rús onu div. Sozomen (1. v. č. 18) and Socrates (1.'iii. c. 13) must be reduced to the standard of Gregory (Orat. iii. p. 95), not less prone to exaggeration, but more restrained by the actual knowledge of his contemporary readers.

a Socrates, however, implies that, onde o závou, by Tom Tou Minh yeaçõuan, hogi forma. the death of Julian, they were contemptu- Socr. Hist. ii. 16.-M. ously thrown aside by the Christians. Tân

ched by the declareon lawful for a Christo cuarded the campo

extinguished by the declared partiality of a prince who maliciously reminded them that it was unlawful for a Christian to use the sword, either of justice or of war, and who studiously guarded the camp and the tribunals with the ensigns of idolatry. The powers of government were intrusted to the Pagans, who professed an ardent zeal for the religion of their ancestors; and as the choice of the emperor was often directed by the rules of divination, the favourites whom he preferred as the most agreeable to the gods did not always obtain the approbation of mankind.95 Under the administration of their enemies, the Christians had much to suffer, and more to apprehend. The temper of Julian was averse to cruelty; and the care of his reputation, which was exposed to the eyes of the universe, restrained the philosophic monarch from: violating the laws of justice and toleration which he himself had so recently established. But the provincial ministers of his authority were placed in a less conspicuous station. In the exercise of arbitrary power, they consulted the wishes, rather than the commands, of their sovereign; and ventured to exercise a secret and vexatious tyranny against the sectaries on whom they were not permitted to confer the honours of martyrdom. The emperor, who dissembled as long as possible his knowledge of the injustice that was exercised in his name, expressed his real sense of the conduct of his officers by gentle reproofs and substantial rewards.96

The most effectual instrument of oppression with which they were armed was the law that obliged the Christians to make full and ample satisfaction for the temples which they had condemned destroyed under the preceding reign. The zeal of the the Pagan triumphant church had not always expected the sanction of me the public authority; and the bishops, who were secure of impunity, had often marched at the head of their congregations to attack and demolish the fortresses of the prince of darkness. The consecrated lands, which had increased the patrimony of the sovereign or of the clergy, were clearly defined, and easily restored. But on these lands, and on the ruins of Pagan superstition, the Christians had frequently erected their own religious edifices: and as it was necessary to remove the church before the temple could be rebuilt, the justice and piety of the emperor were applauded by one party, while the other deplored and execrated his sacrilegious violence. 97

They are

to restore


95 Vinpea Iswv kai didáus vai vis didávs. Libanius, Orat. Parent. c. 88, p. 314.

so Greg. Naz. Orat. iii. p. 74, 91, 92. Socrates, I. iii. c. 14. Theodoret, 1. iii. c. 6. Some drawback may however be allowed for the violence of their zeal, not less partial than the zeal of Julian.

97 If we compare the gentle language of Libanius (Orat. Parent. c. 60, p. 286) with the passionate exclamations of Gregory (Orat. iii. p. 86, 87), we may find it difficult to persuade ourselves that the two orators are really describing the same events.

berson of the bstitutes, in used the rigoe Pagan n

After the ground was cleared, the restitution of those stately structures which had been levelled with the dust, and of the precious ornaments which had been converted to Christian uses, swelled into a very large account of damages and debt. The authors of the injury had neither the ability nor the inclination to discharge this accumulated demand : and the impartial wisdom of a legislator would have been displayed in balancing the adverse claims and complaints by an equitable and temperate arbitration. But the whole empire, and particularly the East, was thrown into confusion by the rash edicts of Julian; and the Pagan magistrates, inflamed by zeal and revenge, abused the rigorous privilege of the Roman law, which substitutes, in the place of his inadequate property, the person of the insolvent debtor. Under the preceding reign, Mark, bishop of Arethusa, 98 had laboured in the conversion of his people with arms more effectual than those of persuasion.99 The magistrates required the full value of a temple which had been destroyed by his intolerant zeal; but as they were satisfied of his poverty, they desired only to bend his inflexible spirit to the promise of the slightest compensation. They apprehended the aged prelate, they inhumanly scourged him, they tore his beard ; and his naked body, anointed with honey, was suspended, in a net, between heaven and earth, and exposed to the stings of insects and the rays of a Syrian sun.100 From this lofty station, Mark still persisted to glory in his crime, and to insult the impotent rage of his persecutors. He was at length rescued from their hands, and dismissed to enjoy the honour of his divine triumph. The Arians celebrated the virtue of their pious confessor; the catholics ambitiously claimed his alliance ;101 and the

com their tent raon* still

98 Restan, or Arethusa, at the equal distance of sixteen miles between Emesa (Hems) and Epiphania (Hamath), was founded, or at least named, by Seleucus Nicator. Its peculiar æra dates from the year of Rome 685, according to the medals of the city. In the decline of the Seleucides, Emesa and Arethusa were usurped by the Arab Sampsiceramus, whose posterity, the vassals of Rome, were not extinguished in the reign of Vespasian. See D'Anville's Maps and Géographie Ancienne, tom. ii. p. 134; Wesseling, Itineraria, p. 188; and Noris. Epoch. Syro-Macedon., p. 80, 481, 482.

99 Sozomen, 1. v. c. 10. It is surprising that Gregory and Theodoret should suppress a circumstance which, in their eyes, must have enhanced the religious merit of the confessor.

100 The sufferings and constancy of Mark, which Gregory has so tragically painted (Orat. iii. p. 88-91), are confirmed by the unexceptionable and reluctant evidence of Libanius. Μάρκος εκείνος κρεμάμενος, και μαστιγούμενος, και του πώγωνος αυτώ τιλλομένου, reyta ivsyxày ävdesiws, vūv irodsós loti rais Tipuis, xüv pavin rou, respiráxntos súbús. Epist. 730, p. 350, 351. Edit. Wolf. Amstel. 1738.

101 Tegopáxntos, certatim eum sibi (Christiani) vindicant. It is thus that La Croze and Wolfius ad loc.) have explained a Greek word whose true signification had been mistaken by former interpreters, and even by Le Clerc (Bibliothèque Ancienne et Moderne, tom. iii. p. 371). Yet Tillemont is strangely puzzled to understand (Mém. Ecclés. tom, vii. p. 1309) how Gregory and Theodoret could mistake a Semi-Arian bishop for a saint.

« ForrigeFortsett »