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most celebrated of the ancient Greeks, were united by the ties of the strictest friendship. They had cultivated, with equal ardour, the same liberal studies in the schools of Athens; they had retired, with equal devotion, to the same solitude in the deserts of Pontus; and every spark of emulation or envy appeared to be totally extinguished in the holy and ingenuous breasts of Gregory and Basil. But the exaltation of Basil, from a private life to the archiepiscopal throne of Cæsarea, discovered to the world, and perhaps to himself, the pride of his character; and the first favour which he condescended to bestow on his friend was received, and perhaps was intended, as a cruel insult.29 Instead of employing the superior talents of Gregory in some useful and conspicuous station, the haughty prelate selected, among the fifty bishoprics of his extensive province, the wretched village of Sasima,30 without water, without verdure, without society, situate at the junction of three highways, and frequented only by the incessant passage of rude and clamorous waggoners. Gregory submitted with reluctance to this humiliating exile: he was ordained bishop of Sasima ; but he solemnly protests that he never consummated his spiritual marriage with this disgusting bride. He afterwards consented to undertake the government of his native church of Nazianzus, 31 of which his father had been bishop above five-andaccepts the forty years. But as he was still conscious that he deserved
another audience and another theatre, he accepted, with
no unworthy ambition, the honourable invitation which was November. addressed to him from the orthodox party of Constan
29 Gregory's Poem on his own Life contains some beautiful lines (tom. ii. p. 8 (ed. Paris, 1609]), which burst from the heart, and speak the pangs of injured and lost friendship:
.. πόνοι κοινοί λόγων,
Αύραι φέρoυσι τας παλαιάς ελπίδας. In the Midsummer Night's Dream, Helena addresses the same pathetic complaint to her friend Hermia:
Is all the counsel that we two have shared,
The sisters' vows, &c. Shakspeare had never read the poems of Gregory Nazianzen; he was ignorant of the Greek language; but his mother-tongue, the language of Nature, is the same in Cappadocia and in Britain.
30 This unfavourable portrait of Sasima is drawn by Gregory Nazianzen (tom. ii. de Vita sua, p. 7, 8). Its precise situation, forty-nine miles from Archelais, and thirty-two from Tyana, is fixed in the Itinerary of Antoninus (p. 144, edit.
31 The name of Nazianzus has been immortalised by Gregory; but his native town, under the Greek or Roman title of Diocæsarea (Tillemont, Mém. Ecclés. tom. ix. p. 692), is mentioned by Pliny (vi. 3), Ptolemy, and Hierocles (Itinerar. Wesseling, p. 709). It appears to have been situate on the edge of Isauria.
e distinct and equaesented his doctrine ovoked by the
tinople. On his arrival in the capital, Gregory was entertained in the house of a pious and charitable kinsman; the most spacious room was consecrated to the uses of religious worship; and the name of Anastasia was chosen to express the resurrection of the Nicene faith. This private conventicle was afterwards converted into a magnificent church ; and the credulity of the succeeding age was prepared to believe the miracles and visions which attested the presence, or at least the protection, of the Mother of God.32 The pulpit of the Anastasia was the scene of the labours and triumphs of Gregory Nazianzen ; and in the space of two years he experienced all the spiritual adventures which constitute the prosperous or adverse fortunes of a missionary.33 The Arians, who were provoked by the boldness of his enterprise, represented his doctrine as if he had preached three distinct and equal Deities; and the devout populace was excited to suppress, by violence and tumult, the irregular assemblies of the Athanasian heretics. From the cathedral of St. Sophia there issued a motley crowd “ of common beggars, who had forfeited “ their claim to pity; of monks, who had the appearance of goats or “ satyrs; and of women, more terrible than so many Jezebels.” The doors of the Anastasia were broke open; much mischief was perpetrated, or attempted, with sticks, stones, and firebrands; and as a man lost his life in the affray, Gregory, who was summoned the next morning before the magistrate, had the satisfaction of supposing that he publicly confessed the name of Christ. After he was delivered from the fear and danger of a foreign enemy, his infant church was disgraced and distracted by intestine faction. A stranger, who assumed the name of Maximus 34 and the cloak of a Cynic philosopher, insinuated himself into the confidence of Gregory, deceived and abused his favourable opinion, and, forming a secret connection with some bishops of Egypt, attempted, by a clandestine ordination, to supplant his patron in the episcopal seat of Constantinople. These mortifications might sometimes tempt the Cappadocian missionary to regret his obscure solitude. But his fatigues were rewarded by the daily increase of his fame and his congregation ; and he enjoyed the pleasure of observing that the greater part of his numerous audience retired from his sermons satisfied with the eloquence of the
ant. Christiana, the Virgin Mary:ontly collects, enlarges, and
32 See Ducange, Constant. Christiana, 1. iv. p. 141, 142. The Isía durapers of Sozo. men (1. vii. c. 5) is interpreted to mean the Virgin Mary.
3 Tillemont (Mém. Ecclés. tora. ix. p. 432, &c.) diligently collects, enlarges, and explains, the oratorical and poetical hints of Gregory himself.
34 He pronounced an oration (tom. i. Orat. xxiii, p. 409) in his praise; but after their quarrel the name of Maximus was changed into that of Heron (see Jerom, tom. i. in Catalog. Script. Eccles. p. 301 [tom. ii. p. 930, ed. Vallars.]). I touch slightly on these obscure and personal squabbles.
preacher,35 or dissatisfied with the manifold imperfections of their faith and practice. 36
The catholics of Constantinople were animated with joyful conRuin of fidence by the baptism and edict of Theodosius ; and they
n. impatiently waited the effects of his gracious promise.
Their hopes were speedily accomplished; and the emperor, Nov. 26. as soon as he had finished the operations of the campaign, made his public entry into the capital at the head of a victorious army. The next day after his arrival he summoned Damophilus to his presence, and offered that Arian prelate the hard alternative of subscribing the Nicene creed, or of instantly resigning, to the orthodox believers, the use and possession of the episcopal palace, the cathedral of St. Sophia, and all the churches of Constantinople. The zeal of Damophilus, which in a catholic saint would have been justly applauded, embraced, without hesitation, a life of poverty and exile, 37 and his removal was immediately followed by the purification of the Imperial city. The Arians might complain, with some appearance of justice, that an inconsiderable congregation of sectaries should usurp the hundred churches which they were insufficient to fill, whilst the far greater part of the people was cruelly excluded from every place of religious worship. Theodosius was still inexorable ; but as the angels who protected the catholic cause were only visible to the eyes of faith, he prudently reinforced those heavenly legions with the more effectual aid of temporal and carnal weapons, and the .church of St. Sophia was occupied by a large body of the Imperial guards. If the mind of Gregory was susceptible of pride, he must have felt a very lively satisfaction when the emperor conducted him through the streets in solemn triumph, and, with his own hand, respectfully placed him on the archiepiscopal throne of Constantinople. But the saint (who had not subdued the imperfections of human virtue) was deeply affected by the mortifying consideration that his entrance into the fold was that of a wolf rather than of a shepherd ; that the glittering arms which surrounded his person were necessary for his safety; and that he alone was the object of the imprecations of a great party, whom, as men and citizens, it was
city. The residerable connej were insurecluded fi
35 Under the modest emblem of a dream, Gregory (tom. ii. Carmen ix. p. 78) de. scribes his own success with some human complacency. Yet it should seem, from his familiar conversation with his auditor St. Jerom (tom. i. Epist. ad Nepotian. p. 14 [tom. i. p. 261, ed. Vallars.]), that the preacher understood the true value of popular applause
36 Lacrimæ auditorum laudes tuæ sint, is the lively and judicious advice of St. Jerom [loc. cit.).
37 Socrates (1. v. c. 7) and Sozomen (l. vii. c. 5) relate the evangelical words and actions of Damophilus without a word of approbation. He considered, says Socrates, that it is difficult to resist the powerful; but it was easy, and would have been profit. able, to submit.
impossible for him to despise. He beheld the innumerable multitude, of either sex, and of every age, who crowded the streets, the windows, and the roofs of the houses ; he heard the tumultuous voice of rage, grief, astonishment, and despair; and Gregory fairly confesses that on the memorable day of his installation the capital of the East wore the appearance of a city taken by storm, and in the hands of a barbarian conqueror. 38 About six weeks afterwards, Theodosius declared his resolution of expelling from all the churches of his dominions the bishops and their clergy who should obstinately refuse to believe, or at least to profess, the doctrine of the council of Nice. His lieutenant Sapor was armed with the ample powers of a
In the East, general law, a special commission, and a military force ;39 A.D. 381, and this ecclesiastical revolution was conducted with so Ja much discretion and vigour, that the religion of the emperor was established, without tumult or bloodshed, in all the provinces of the East. The writings of the Arians, if they had been permitted to exist,40 would perhaps contain the lamentable story of the persecution which afflicted the church under the reign of the impious Theodosius ; and the sufferings of their holy confessors might claim the pity of the disinterested reader. Yet there is reason to imagine that the violence of zeal and revenge was in some measure eluded by the want of resistance; and that, in their adversity, the Arians displayed much less firmness than had been exerted by the orthodox party under the reigns of Constantius and Valens. The moral character and conduct of the hostile sects appear to have been governed by the same common principles of nature and religion : but a very material circumstance may be discovered, which tended to distinguish the degrees of their theological faith. Both parties, in the schools, as well as in the temples, acknowledged and worshipped the divine majesty of Christ; and, as we are always prone to impute our own sentiments and passions to the Deity, it would be deemed more prudent and respectful to exaggerate than to circumscribe the adorable perfections of the Son of God. The disciple of Athanasius exulted in the proud confidence that he had entitled himself to the divine favour, while the follower of Arius must have been tormented by the secret apprehension that he was guilty perhaps of an unpardonable
38 See Gregory Nazianzen, tom. i. de Vitâ suâ, p. 21, 22. For the sake of posterity, the bishop of Constantinople records a stupendous prodigy. In the month of November, it was a cloudy morning, but the sun broke forth when the procession entered the church.
39 Of the three ecclesiastical historians, Theodoret alone (1. v. c. 2) has mentioned this important commission of Sapor, which Tillemont (Hist. des Empereurs, tom. v. p. 728) judiciously removes from the reign of Gratian to that of Theodosius.
40 I do not reckon Philostorgius, though he mentions (1. ix. c. 19) the expulsion of Damophilus. The Eunomian historian has been carefully strained through an ortho. dox sieve. VOL. III.
offence by the scanty praise and parsimonious honours which he bestowed on the Judge of the World. The opinions of Arianism might satisfy a cold and speculative mind; but the doctrine of the Nicene Creed, most powerfully recommended by the merits of faith and devotion, was much better adapted to become popular and successful in a believing age. The hope that truth and wisdom would be found in the assemblies
of the orthodox clergy induced the emperor to convene, at of Constanti. Constantinople, a synod of one hundred and fifty bishops, 4.D. 381, who proceeded, without much difficulty or delay, to com
plete the theological system which had been established in the council of Nice. The vehement disputes of the fourth century had been chiefly employed on the nature of the Son of God; and the various opinions which were embraced concerning the Second, were extended and transferred, by a natural analogy, to the Third person of the Trinity.41 Yet it was found, or it was thought, necessary, by the victorious adversaries of Arianism, to explain the ambiguous language of some respectable doctors; to confirm the faith of the catholics ; and to condemn an unpopular and inconsistent sect of Macedonians, who freely admitted that the Son was consubstantial to the Father, while they were fearful of seeming to acknowledge the existence of Three Gods. A final and unanimous sentence was pronounced to ratify the equal Deity of the Holy Ghost : the mysterious doctrine has been received by all the nations, and all the churches, of the Christian world; and their grateful reverence has assigned to the bishops of Theodosius the second rank among the general councils.42 Their knowledge of religious truth may have been preserved by tradition, or it may have been communicated by inspiration ; but the sober evidence of history will not allow much weight to the personal authority of the Fathers of Constantinople. In an age when the ecclesiastics had scandalously degenerated from the model of apostolical purity, the most worthless and corrupt were always the most eager to frequent and disturb the episcopal assemblies. The conflict and fermentation of so many opposite interests and tempers inflamed the passions of the bishops : and their ruling passions were, the love of gold and the love of
41 Le Clerc has given a curious extract (Bibliothèque Universelle, tom. xviii. p. 91. 105) of the theological sermons which Gregory Nazianzen pronounced at Constantinople against the Arians, Eunomians, Macedonians, &c. He tells the Macedonians, who deified the Father and the Son, without the Holy Ghost, that they might as well be styled Tritheists as Ditheists. Gregory himself was almost a Tritheist, and his monarchy of heaven resembles a well-regulated aristocracy.
42 The first general council of Constantinople now triumphs in the Vatican; but the popes had long hesitated, and their hesitation perplexes and almost staggers the humble Tillemont (Mém. Ecclés. tom. ix. p. 499, 500).