« ForrigeFortsett »
several of these were dispensed, by the distance and danger of the way, from the duty of personal attendance, on the easy condition that every six years they should testify their faith and obedience to the catholic or patriarch of Babylon, a vague appellation, which has been successively applied to the royal scats of Seleucia, Ctesiphon, and Bagdad. These remote branches are long since withered, and the old patriarchal trunk” is now divided by the Elijahs of Mosul, the representatives, almost in lineal descent, of the genuine and primitive succession, the josephs of Amida, who are reconciled to the church of Rome,” and the Simeons of Van or Ormia, whose revolt, at the head of forty thousand families, was promoted in the sixteenth century by the Sophists of Persia. The number of three hundred thousand is allowed for the whole body of the Nestorians, who, under the name of Chaldaeans or Assyrians, are confounded with the most learned or the most powerful nation of Eastern antiquity. According to the legend of antiquity, the gospel was preached in India by St. Thomas.” At the end of the ninth century, his shrine, perhaps in the neighbourhood of Madras, was devoutly visited by the ambassadors of Alfred, and their return with a cargo of pearls and spices rewarded the zeal of the English monarch, who entertained the largest projects of trade and discovery.” When the Portuguese
A. D. 883.
120 The division of the patriarchate may be traced in the Bibliotheca Orient of Assemanni, tom. i. p. 523.549. tom. ii. p. 457, &c. tom. iii. p. 603. p. 621...623. tom. iv. p. 164...169, p. 423. p. 622.629, &c. 121 The pompous language of Rome on the submission of a Nestorian patriarch, is elegantly represented in the viith book of Fra-Paola, Babylon, Niniveh, Arbela, and the trophies of Alexander, Tauris, and Ecbatana, the Tigris and Indus. 122 The Indian missionary St. Thomas, an apostle, a Mamichaean, or an Armenian merchant (La Croze, Christianisme des Indes, tom. i. p. 57....70), was famous, however, as early as the time of Jerom (ad Marcellam epist. 148). Marco Polo was informed on the spot that he suffered martyrdom in the city of Maabar, or Meliapour, a league only from Madras (d’Anville, Ecclaircissemens sur l’Inde, p. 125), where the Portuguese founded an episcopal church under the same of St. Thomé, and where the saint performed an annual miracle, till he was silenced by the prophane neighbourhood of the English (La Croze, tom. ii. p. 7....16). 123. Neither the author of the Saxon Chronicle (A. D. 883) nor william of Malmsbury (de Gestis Regum Angliae, l. ii. c. 4, p.44) were capable in the twelfth century, of inventing this extraordinary fact; they are incapable of explaining the motives and measures of Alfred; and their hasty notice serves only to provoke our curiosity. William of Malmsbury feels the difficulty of the enterprise, quod quivis in hoc socculo miretur; and I almost suspect that
the English ambassadors collected their cargo aid legend in Egypt. The
first opened the navigation of India, the Christians of St. Thomas had been seated for ages on the coast of Malabar, and the difference of their character and colour attested the mixture of a foreign race. In arms, in arts, and possibly in virtue, they excelled the natives of Hindostan: the husbandmen cultivated the palm-tree, the merchants were enriched by the pepper trade, the soldiers preceded the nairs or nobles of Malabar, and their hereditary privileges were respected by the gratitude or the fear of the king of Cochin and the Zamorin himself. They acknowledged a Gentoo sovereign, but they were governed, even in temporal concerns, by the bishop of Angamala. He still asserted his ancient title of metropolitan of India, but his real jurisdiction was exercised in fourteen hundred churches, and he was entrusted with the care of two hundred thousand souls. Their religion would have rendered them the firmest and most cordial allies of the Portuguese, but the inquisitors soon discerned in the Christians of St. Thomas the unpardonable guilt of heresy and schism. Instead of owning themselves the subjects of the Roman pontiff, the spiritual and temporal monarch of the globe, they adhered, like their ancestors, to the communion of the Nestorian patriarch; and the bishops whom he ordained at Mosul, traversed the dangers of the sea and land to reach their diocese on the coast of Malabar. In their Syriac liturgy, the names of Theodore and Nestorius were piously commemorated; they united their adoration of the two persons of Christ; the title of Mother of God was of. fensive to their ear, and they measured with scrupulous avarice the honours of the Virgin Mary, whom the superstition of the Latins had almost exalted to the rank of a Goddess. When her image was first presented to the disciples of St. Thomas, they indignantly exclaimed, “We are Christians, not idolaters!” and their simple devotion was content with the veneration of the cross. Their separation from the western world had left them in ignorance of the improvements or corruptions of a thousand years; and their conformity with the faith and practice of the fifth century, would equally disappoint the prejudices of a papist or a protestant. It was the first care of the ministers of Rome to intercept all
royal author has not enriched his Orosius (see Barrington's Miscellanies) with an Indian, as well as a Scandinavian voyage.
A. D. 1500, &c.
correspondence with the Nestorian patriarch, and several of his bishops expired in the prisons of the holy office. The flock, without a shepherd, was assaulted by the power of the Portuguese, the arts of the Jesuits, and the zeal of Alexes de Menezes, archbishop of Goa, in his personal visitation of the coast of Malabar. The synod of Diamper, at which he presided, consummated the pious work of the reunion, and rigorously imposed the doctrine and discipline of the Roman church, without forgetting auricular confession, the strongest engine of ecclesiastical torture. The memory of Theodore and Nestorius was condemned, and Malabar was reduced under the dominion of the pope, of the primate, and of the Jesuits who invaded the see of Angamala or Cran
A. D. 1599 ganor. Sixty years of servitude and hypocrisy were pa
tiently endured; but as soon as the Portuguese empire was
124 Concerning the Christians of St. Thomas, see Assemanus Bibliot. Orient. tom. iv. p. 391.407,435.451. Geddes's Church History of Malabar; and above all, La Crozo, Histoire du Christianisme des Indes, in two vols. 12: o, La Haye, 1758, a 'carned and agreeable work. They have drawn from the same source, the Portuguese and Italian narratives; and the prejudices of the Jesuits are sufficiently corrected by those of the protestants.
of the Henoticon, the adverse heresies of Nestorius and Eutyches, maintained against the latter the reality of the body of Christ, and constrained the Greeks to allow that he was a liar who spoke truth.” But the approximation of ideas could not abate the vehemence of passion; each party was the more astonished that their blind antagonist could dispute on so trifling a difference; the tyrant of Syria enforced the belief of his creed, and his reign was polluted with the blood of three hundred and fifty monks, who were slain, not perhaps without provocation or resistance, under the walls of
Apamea.” The successor of Anastasius replanted the or- A.D. 518.
thodox standard in the East: Severus fled into Egypt; and his friend, the eloquent Xenaias,” who had escaped from the Nestorians of Persia, was suffocated in his exile by the Melchites of Paphlagonia. Fifty-four bishops were swept from their thrones, eight hundred ecclesiastics were cast into prison,” and notwithstanding the ambiguous favour of Theodora, the Oriental flocks, deprived of their shepherds, must insensibly have been either famished or poisoned. In this spiritual distress, the expiring faction was revived, and united, and perpetuated, by the labours of a monk; and the name of James Baradaeus” has been preserved in the ap
125 Otoy sizrety *!evoaxzén; is the expression of Theodore, in his treatise of the incarnatiou, p. 245. 247. as he is quoted by La Croze (Hist. du Christianisme d’Ethiope et d’Armenie, p. 35), who exclaims, perhaps too hastily, “Quel pits able raisonnement!” Renaudot has touched (Hist. Patriarch. Alex. p. 127.138.) the Oriental accounts of Severus; and his authenic creed may be found in the epistle of John the Jacobite patriarch of Anticch, in the xth century, to his brother Mennas of Alexandria (Asseman. Bibliot. Orient. tom. ii. p. 132.141). 126 Epist. Archimandritarum et Monachorum Syria. Secundae ad Papam Horm’sdam, Concil. tom. v. p. 598.602. The courage of St. Sabas, ut leo animosus, will justify the suspicion that the arms of these monks were not always spiritual cr defensive (Baronius, A. D. 513, No. 7, &c.). 127 Assemanni (Bibliot. Orient. tom. ii. p. 10...46), and La Croze (Christianisme d’Ethiopic, p. 36.40.) will supply the history of Xenaas, or Philoxetus, bishop of Mabug, or Hierapolis, in Syria. He was a perfect master of the Syriac language, and the author or editor of a version of the New Testament. 128 The names and titles of fifty-four bishops who were exiled by Justin, are preserved in the Chronicle of Dionysius (apud Asseman. tom. ii. p. 54). Severus was personally summoned to Constantinople...for his trial, says Liberatus (Brev. c. 19)...that his tongue might be cut out, says Evagrius (l. iv. c. w). The prudent patriarch did not stay to examine the difference. This ecclesiastical revolution is fixed by Pagi to the month of September of the year 518 (Critica, tom. ii. p. 506). 129 The obscure history of James, or Jacobus Baradzeus, or Zanzalus, may be gathered from Eutychius (Annal. tom. ii. p. 144. 147), Renaudot (Hist, Patriarch Alex. p. 133), and Assemannus (Bibliot. Orient. tom. i. p. 424. tom ii. p. 62.69. 324.332. p. 414. tom. iii. p. 385.388). He seems to be un
pellation of Jacobites, a familiar sound which may startle the ear of an English reader. From the holy confessors in their prison of Constantinople, he received the powers of bishop of Edessa and apostle of the East, and the ordination of four-score thousand bishops, priests, and deacons, is derived from the same inexhaustible source. The speed of the zealous missionary was promoted by the fleetest dromedaries of a devout chief of the Arabs; the doctrine and discipline of the Jacobites were secretly established in the dominions of Justinian; and each Jacobite was compelled to violate the laws and to hate the Roman legislator. The successors of Severus, while they lurked in convents or villages, while they sheltered their proscribed heads in the caverns of hermits, or the tents of the Saracens, still asserted, as they now assert, their indefeasible right to the title, the rank, and the prerogatives of patriarch of Antioch; under the milder yoke of the infidels, they reside about a league from Merdin, in the pleasant monastery of Zapharan, which they have embellished with cells, aqueducts, and plantations. The secondary, though honourable place, is filled by the maphrian, who, in his station at Mosul itself, defies the Nestorian catholic with whom he contests the supremacy of the East. Under the patriarch and the maphrian, one hundred and fifty archbishops and bishops have been counted in the different ages of the Jacobite church; but the order of the hierarchy is relaxed or dissolved, and the greater part of their dioceses is confined to the neighbourhood of the Euphrates and the Tigris. The cities of Aleppo and Amida, which are often visited by the patriarch, contain some wealthy merchants and industrious mechanics, but the multitude derive their scanty sustenance from their daily labour: and poverty, as well as superstition, may impose their excessive fasts; five annual lents, during which, both the clergy and laity abstain not only from flesh or eggs, but even from the taste of wine, of oil, and of fish. Their present numbers are esteemed from fifty to fourr score thousand souls, the remnant of a populous church, which has gradually decreased under the oppression of twelve centuries. Yet in that long period, some strangers of merit have been converted to the Monophysite faith, and
known to the Greeks. The Jacobites themselves had rather deduce their name and pedigree from St. James the apostle.