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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
expressive tered it as the palace of the Great King, where the angels of great 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
TNV ékkinolav, rás te xeipas é teivas intererat diem, sub altari jacens, at-
22 See ch.5. s. 8. p. 74.
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 2+ 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 repository
I shall take notice of, is, that the sacredness of them made 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
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
μενοι τη τραπέζη, αυτός πάρεστιν ο mensura ascendentis Νili luminis Baocheus, kai où éotykas yaouwue 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, aque mensura, quam πήχυν νοιεροίς ακουσθήναι συλλόγους, ή τόποις, cant, ad aquarum Dominum in ecEw twv kvaykalwv kaì uvotikv... clesiam cæpta 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
24 [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 vadv toỦ Lepánidos komiteobal, 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, 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, ώ σημαίνεται των φuibus propter Christum barbari του Νείλου υδάτων ή επίδοσις. pepercerunt? Testantur hoc Mar
28 L. I. 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, tamque bantur 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,
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 from the
sanctuary might be had; or the persons who were entitled to time of
the benefit; or lastly, the conditions they were to observe in
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. Ι. p. 954 b.) Quum et il- θαυμάσας αυτής την σωφροσύνην, lam et te ad beati Apostoli Pauli ήγαγεν εις το Πέτρου αποστολείον basilicam barbari deduxissent, ut και παραδούς τους φύλαξη της εκκληvel saluterm vobis Ostenderent, vel σίας, και χρυσούς εξ εις αποτροφών sepulchrum, &c.
αυτής, εκέλευσε τα ανδρί φυλάτ31 Variar. 1. 12. c. [al. ep.) 20. (t. TELV.
order to obtain and enjoy it. And therefore under these four heads we will briefly consider it.
As to the original of it, there is no dispute made by any author, but that it began to be a privilege of churches from the time of Constantine, though there are no laws about it older than Theodosius, either in the Justinian or the Theodosian Code. But the law of Theodosius is sufficient evidence itself, that it was the custom or practice of the Church before; for his law was not made to authorize the thing itself, but to regulate some points relating to it, which supposes the thing to be in use before. But whether Constantine made
law to establish it, it is very much doubted by learned men. Baronius 33 affirms it upon the credit of the Acts of Pope Sylvester ; but those are known to be spurious and forged writings, no older than the ninth or tenth age, by the acknowledgment of Papebrochius 34 and Pagi 35, who have accurately examined and refuted Baronius's vindication of them.. However, Gothofred allows what seems to be the truth of the case, that practice and custom established this privilege by degrees, even from the time of Constantine; for before Theodosius made any law about it, the thing was certainly in use in the church, as appears from the account which Gregory Nazianzen gives of it in the Life of Basil 36, where he tells us, how St. Basil
33 An. 324. n. 61. (t. 3. p. 257 a.) sacerdotes ad disputationem de reliQuinta die concessam esse ab eodem gione ineundam Quos duodecim imperatore immunitatem ecclesiis, Rabbinos ab Isachar summo saceribi (in Actis Sylvestri] traditur, ut dote delectos sibi fingat, qui conad eas confugientes securi in omni- tra Christianam fidem disputarent ; bus essent.
quum a tempore excidii Hieroso34 Conat. Chronico-Histor. dis- lymitani desierint creari summi ponsert. 8. n. 4 et seqq. (p. 49.) Porro tifices. Quare S. Sylvestri Acta plane ipse Rasponus, relaturus verba Syl- supposititia esse minime dubitanvestro ascripta, &c.
dum. 35 Crit. in Baron. an. 315. n. 4.
36 Orat. 20. de Laud. Basil. (t. 1. (t. 1. p. 378.) Narrant Acta St. Syl- P. 353 c.) Tuvaīká riva Tô én Davwv vestri factam hoc anno Rome syno- εξ ανδρός ου προ πολλού τον βίον dum, cui diversarum provinciarum απολιπόντος και του δικαστου σύνεδρος episcopi, numero 75, interfuerint, Buágero, apos yauov @kwv áraciou
εβιάζετο, πρός γάμον έλκων απαξιούet Helenam tunc adhuc Gentilem, σαν ή δε, ουκ έχουσα όπως διαφύγη sed a Judeis pene Judearm effectam, την τυραννίδα, βουλήν βουλεύεται, ου Constantinum filium ad Judeorum τολμηράν μάλλον ή συνετήν, τη ιερά religionem amplectendam invitasse. τραπέζη προσφεύγει, και θεόν ποιείQuæ similiave narrasse, confutasse ται προστάτην κατά της επηρείας. Τί est. Quis enim sibi persuadeat, in oύν έδει ποιείν, ώ πρός της Τριάδος unum concilium convenisse Chris- αυτής ίν' είπω τι και δικανικώς μεtianorum antistites, et Judaeorum ταξύ των επαίνων" μή ότι τον μέγαν