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The example of fraud most excite suspicion; and the specious miracles by which the African Catholics have defended the truth and justice of their cause, may be ascribed, with more reason, to their own industry, than to the visible protection of Heaven. Yet the historian, who views this religious conflict with an impartial eye, may condescend to mention one preternatural event, which will edify the devout, and surprise the incredulous. Tipasa/ a maritime colony of Mauritania, sixteen miles to the east of Caesarea, had been distinguished in every age, by the orthodox zeal of its inhabitants. They had braved the fury of the Donatists ;s they resisted, or eluded, the tyranny of the Arians. The town was deserted on the approach of an heretical bishop: most of the inhabitants who could procure ships passed over to the coast of Spain; and the unhappy remnant, refusing all communion with the usurper, still presumed to hold their pious, but illegal assemblies. Their disobedience exasperated the cruelty of Hunneric. A military count was dispatched from Carthage to Tipasa: he collected the Catholics in the Forum, and, in the presence of the whole province, deprived the guilty of their right hands and their tongues. But the holy confessors continued to speak without tongues; and this miracle is attested by Victor an African bishop, who published a history of the persecution within two years after the event.*1 If any one (says Victor) should doubt of the truth, let him repair to Constantinople, and listen to the clear and perfect language of Restitutus, the sub-deacon, one of these glorious sufferers, who is now lodged in the palace of the emperor Ze.no, and is respected by the devout empress. At Constantinople we are astonished to find a cool, a learned, and unexceptionable witness, without interest, and without passion. /Eneas of Gaza, a Platonic philosopher, has accurately described his own observations on these African sufferers. I saw them myself: I heard them speak: I diligently inquired by what means such an articulate voice could be farmed without any organ of speech: I used my eyes to examine the report of my ears: I opened their mouth, and saw that the whole tongue had been completely torn away by the roots; an operation which the physicians generally suppose to be mortal.* The testimony of jEneas of Gaza might be confirmed by the superfluous evidence of the emperor Justinian, in a perpetual edict; of count Marcellinus, in his chronicle of the times; and of pope Gregory I. who had resided at Constantinople, as the minister of the Roman pontiff.k They all lived within the compass of a century; and they all appeal to their personal knowledge, or the public notoriety, for the truth of a miracle, which was repeated in several instances, displayed on the greatest theatre of the world, and submitted, during a series of years, to the calm examination of the senses. This supernatural gift of the African confessors, who spoke without tongues, will command the assent of those, and of those only, who already believe that their language was pure and orthodox. But the stubborn mind of an infidel is guarded by secret, incurable, suspicion; and the Arian, or Socinian, who has seriously rejected the doctrine of the Trinity, will not be shaken by the most plausible evidence of an Athanasian miracle.
'Plin. Hist. Natural. 5. 1. Itinerar. Wesseling.p. 15. Cellarius, Geograpn. Antiq. torn. 2. part 2. p. 127. This Tipasa (which must not be confounded with another in Numidia) was a town of some note, since Vespasian endowed it with a right of Latium.
* Optatus Milevitanus dc Schism. Donatis. lib. Z. p. 58.
The Vandals and the Ostrogoths persevered in the
'.•Kneiis Gazceus in Theophrasto,in Biblioth. Patrum, tom. 8. p. 664, 665. He was a Christian and composed this Dialogue (the Theophrastus) on the immortality of the soul, and the resurrection of the body: besides twenty-five epistles, still extant. See Cave (Hist. Litteraria, p. 297.) and Fabricius. (Bibl. Graec. tom. 1. p. 422.)
k Justinian Codex, lib. 1. tit. 27. Marcellin. in Chron. p. 45. in Thesaur. Temporum. Scaliger. Procopius, de Bell. Vandall. lib. 1. c. 7. p. 196. Gregor. Magnus. Diagol. 3. 32. None of these witnesses have specified the number of the confessors, whichis fixed atsixty in an old menology. (apud Ruinart, p. 486.) Two of them lost their speech by fomication; but the miracle is enhanced by the singular instance of a boy who had never spoken before his tongue was cut out.
The ruin o profession of Arianism till the final ruin of the f kingdoms which they had founded in Africa and Ital7- The barbarians of Gaul submitted —zoo. to the orthodox dominion of the Franks; and Spain was restored to the Catholic church by the voluntary conversion of the Visigoths. Revolt and This salutary revolution1 was hastened by the example of a royal martyr, whom our calmer reason may style an ungrateful rebel. Leovigild, the Gothic monarch of Spain, deserved "b3 the respect of his enemies, and the love of his subjects; the Catholics enjoyed a free toleration, and his Arian synods attempted, without much success, to reconcile their scruples by abolishing the unpopular rite of a second baptism. His eldest son Hermenegild, who was invested by his father with the royal diadem, and the fair principality of Bretica, contracted an honourable and orthodox alliance with a Merovingian princess, the daughter of Sigibert, king of Austrasia, and of the famous Brunechild. The beauteous Ingundis, who was no more than thirteen years of age, was received, beloved, and persecuted, in the Arian court of Toledo; and her religious constancy was alternately assaulted with blandishments and violence by Goisvintha, the Gothic queen, who abused the double claim of maternal authority."1 Incensed by her resistance, Goisvintha seized the Catholic princess by her long hair, inhumanly dashed her against the ground, kicked her till she was covered with blood, and at last gave orders that she should be stripped, and thrown into a basin or fish-pond." Love and honour might excite Hermenegild
1 See the two general historians of Spain, Mariana, (Hist. de Rebus tom. 1. lib. 5. c. 12 — 15. p. 182 — 194.) andFerreras. (French translation, tom. t. p. 206 — 947.) Mariana almost forgets that he is a Jesuit, to assume the style and spirit of a Roman classic. Ferreras, an industrious compiler, reviews his facts, and rectifies his Chronology.
m Goisvintha successively married two kings of the Visigoths; Athanigild, to whom she bore Brunechild, the mother of Ingundis and Leovigild, whose two sons, Hermenegild and Recared, were the issue of a former marriage.
0 Iracundia; furore succensa, adprehensam per coman capitis pucllam in terram conlidit, et diu calcibus verberatam, ac sanguine cruentatam, jussit expoliari, rt
to resent this injurious treatment of his bride; and he was gradually persuaded that Ingundis suffered for the cause of divine truth. Her tender complaints, and the weighty arguments of Leander, archbishop of Seville, accomplished his conversion; and the heir of the Gothic monarchy was initiated in the Nicene faith by the solemn rites of confirmation.0 The rash youth, inflamed by zeal and perhaps by ambition, was tempted to violate the duties of a son, and a subject; and the Catholics of Spain, although they could not complain of persecution, applauded his pious rebellion against an heretical father. The civil war was protracted by the long and obstinate sieges of Merida, Cordova, and Seville, which had strenuously espoused the party of Hermenegild. He invited the orthodox barbarians, the Suevi, and the Franks, to the destruction of his native land: he solicited the dangerous aid of the Romans, who possessed Africa, and a part of the Spanish coast; and his holy ambassador, the archbishop Leander, effectually negotiated in person with the Byzantine court. But the hopes of the Catholics were crushed by the active diligence of a monarch who commanded the troops and treasures of Spain; and the guilty Hermenegild, after his vain attempts to resist or to escape, was compelled to surrender himself into the hands of an incensed father. Leovigild was still mindful of that sacred character; and the rebel, despoiled of the regal ornaments, was still permitted, in a decent exile, to profess the Catholic religion. His repeated and unsuccessful treasons at length provoked the indignation of the Gothic king; and the sentence of death, which he pronounced with apparent reluctance, was privately executed in the tower of Seville. The inflexible constancy with which he refused
piscinz immergi. Greg. Turon. lib. 5. c' 39. in tom. 2. p. 255. Gregory is one of our best originals for this portion of history.
0 The Catholics who admitted the baptism of heretics, repeated the rite, or, as it was afterward styled, the sacrament of confirmation, to which they ascribed many mystic and marvellous prerogatives, both visible and invisible. See Chardon, Hist. des Sacremens, tom. 1. p. 405—552.
VOL. IV. 2 F
to accept the Arian communion, as the price of his safety, may excuse the honours that have been paid to the memory of St. Hermenegild. His wife and infant son were detained by the Romans in ignominious captivity : and this domestic misfortune tarnished the glories of Leovigild, and embittered the last moments of his life.
Conversion His son and successor, Recared, the first Ca ... ... king of Spain, had imbibed the faith of Visigoths his unfortunate brother, which he supported A. D. 586 with more prudence and success. Instead of ~589' revolting against his father, Recared patiently expected the hour of his death. Instead of condemning his memory, he piously supposed, that the dying monarch had abjured the errors of Arianism, and recommended to his son the conversion of the Gothic nation. To accomplish that salutary end, Recared convened an assembly of the Arian clergy and nobles, declared himself a Catholic, and exhorted them to imitate the example of their prince. The laborious interpretation of doubtful texts, or the curious pursuit of metaphysical arguments, would have excited an endless controversy; and the monarch discreetly proposed to his illiterate audience two substantial and visible arguments, the testimony of earth and of heaven. The earth had submitted to the Nicene synod: the Romans, the barbarians, and the inhabitants of Spain, unanimously professed the same orthodox creed; and the Visigoths resisted, almost alone, the consent of the Christian world. A superstitious age was prepared to reverence, as the testimony of heaven, the preternatural cures, which were performed by the skill or virtue of the Catholic clergy, the baptismal fonts of Osset in Bcetica,p which were spontaneously replenished each year, on the vigil
* Osset, or Julia Constantia, was opposite to Seville, on the northern side of "the Bictis: (Plin. Hist. Natur. S. S.) and the authentic reference of Gregory of Touts, (Hist. Francor. lib. 6. c. 43. p. 288.) deserves more credit than the name of Lnsitania (da Gloria Martyr. c. 24.) which has been eagerly embraced by the vain and superstitious Portuguese. (Ferraras, Hut. d'Espagne, torn. 2. p. 166.)