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In ore est omnium Galliarum,' quoth he. These Gauls were what the French call · des temoins Normans,'Norman witnesses.
It is strange, says Le Clerc, that no Christian author hath mentioned these angels whom God sent to assist Constantine, and that Nazarius, who speaks of this miracle, says nothing of that of the cross. Bibl. Chois. iii. 352.
Constantine transferred the seat of empire to Byzantium, which he embellished, enlarged, and made equal to an. tient Rome, and to which he gave his own name; by which he certainly disobliged the Roman senate and people. This change contributed to weaken the western part of the empire, and to bring on its dissolution. But whether it were prudent or no, politically considered, it seems to have been of no moral import; virtue and religion and liberty neither gained nor lost by it; nor, in all probability, could the Roman empire have continued entire upon the foot that it was in the time of Constantine, though Rome had remained the unrivalled city, and the usual place of the emperor's residence.
Constantine had a divine revelation to build Constanti. nople, says Sozomen, and the emperor himself affirmed the samez in one of his laws; and according to Philostorgius, he declared that he was guided by a heavenly vision in tracing the extent of the new city. In this city no Pagan temples, rites, and ceremonies were permitted, say Eusebius, Sozomen, and Orosius : Zosimus
the contrary. Thus much is certain, that Christianity prevailed far more there than at Rome. Soz. i. 3.
When Constantine went to war, he carried with him a tent, in form of a chapel, where he prayed to God, and had presbyters and deacons to perform divine service; and thence began the custom in the Roman army for each legion to have a chaplain. Sozom. i. 8.
As he was on many occasions generous and liberal,
Ź Or seemed to affirm it. ( Pro commoditate Urbis quam æterno nomine, jubente Deo, donavimus, hæc vobis privilegia credidimus deferenda,' &c. Cod. Th. l. xii. tit. v. p. 63. where see Cothofred.
and did so much for the church, and gave so much to ecclesiastics, Soz. i. 8. he might have extended his favours also to men of letters ; but it appears not that he signalized himself that way.
In his reign, and in the fourth century, as religious and metaphysical quarrels ran high, and monkery grew and prospered, and miracles abounded, so liberal arts
and sciences, and polite literature, fell into a declining condition.
He seems to have been possessed with the building spirit, and spent immense sums upon houses, palaces, and churches a; and particularly upon Constantinople. This, and his profuse gifts to some who deserved them, and to others who deserved them not, obliged him to burden his people with taxes.
He built a church, and dedicated it to the twelve apostles, and intended to be buried there for the benefit of his soul. ως αν και μετα τελευτην αξιωτο των ένταυθοί μελλουσών επί τιμή των αποστόλων συντελείσθαι ευχών -ωφέλειαν ψυχής Ονησιφόρος την τωνδε μνήμην ποιείσθαι αυτό πιστεύων:
quo scilicet precationum quæ in honorem apostolorum ibi celebrandæ erant, etiam mortuus particeps fieret.pro certo sibi persuadens, horum memoriam non parum utilitatis animæ suæ esse allaturam.' Eusebius Vit. Const. iv. 60.
These things Eusebius mentions with approbation, and they show how even such men as he were not free from superstition.
Constantine was perhaps the first Christian who was buried in a church; which afterwards became a common practice.
There is a story about him in Chrysostom, t. i. orat. 20. related by Flavian, which is much to his credit ; that some rioters having done outrage to one of his statues, and they who excited him to revenge and severity having told him, amongst other things, that his face had been pelted with stones, and all over bruised and battered, he put his hand to his face, and said that he did not feel it.
He was neither so good as Christian writers describe
Jeances Ciampini gives an aecount of them in a Treatise, “De Sacris £dificiis a Constantino Magno constructis.'
him, nor so bad as some Pagans represent him. He must have greatly offended the latter, since he not only establish. ed Christianity, but began the destruction of Paganism by various discouragements; by shutting up some temples, pulling down some, and stripping others of their gods and ornaments. He was indeed guilty of several faults, but upon the whole, his good qualities may perhaps outweigh the bad. Fleury observes very prettily, 'On ne se trompera point sur Constantin, en croyant le mal qu'en dit Eusebe, et le bien qu'en dit Zosime.'
Eutropius hath judged freely of him, and not amiss. 6. Insolentia rerum secundarum aliquantum Constantinum ex illa favorabili animi docilitate mutavit. Primum necessitudines persecutus, egregium virum et sororis filium, omnimodæ indolis juvenem interfecit ; mox uxorem, post numerosos amicos. Vir primo imperii te npore optimis principibus, ultimo mediis comparandus.' 1. x.
Excessive honours, and little short of divine, were paid by the Christians to his name, to his tomb, and to his statue, after his death. He was called a saint, and a saint equal to the apostles, and as Proculus forsware himself to make Romulus a God, so Nicephorus had the effrontery to declare that God had endued the urn and the statue of Constantine with miraculous powers, and that whosoever touched them was healed of all diseases and infirmities. The Pa. gans, who scorned to be less complaisant than the Christians, made him a God. Philostorg. ii. 17. Theodoret i. 34. Nicephorus viï. 55. Eutropius.
Eustathius bishop of Antioch, a great friend of Athanasius, was deposed by the synod of Antioch, for Sabellianism, A. D. 327. Some relate,' says Socrates, that it was for other faults, which yet they have not mentioned : and indeed it is a custom with our spiritual rulers, when they depose a man, to load him with general accusations, and to call him irreligious and impious, but never to specify and declare particularly of what impiety he is guilty. 125 μεν ούν τινες φασίν, δι' άλλας ουκ αγαθας ατίας: φανερώς γαρ ουκ ειρήκασι. τούτο δε επί πάντων ειώθασι των καθαιρουμένων ποιείν οι επίσκοποι, κατηγορούντες μεν και
ασεβείν λέγοντες, τας δε αιτίας της ασεβείας ου προστιθέντες, i. 24.
Whsooever sits down to examine the state of the Christian world, civil and religious, in the fourth and fifth centuries, if he be not strangely prejudiced, will find his veneration for those days to wear off apace, and, if he lives in a Pro, testant country, will learn perhaps to be contented with his own times, which, such as they are, deserve the prefer,
Rufinus, and from him Socrates, Sozomen, and The odoret, give us an account of the conversion of some Indian nations b in the time of Constantine, of which the substance is as follows:
These Indians, being at variance with the Romans, slew all the passengers in a ship which put into one of their harbours, except two boys, Frumentiųs and Ædesius, whom Meropius, a Christian and a philosopher, of Tyre, and a relation of theirs, had taken along with him. These boys were presented to the king of the country, who made Fru. mentius his secretary, and Ædesius his cup-bearer. The king died, leaving a wife and a young child, and Frumentius administered the affairs of the kingdom, together with Ædesius, during the minority of the young king. Frumentius, inquiring amongst the Roman merchants who traded there, found some Christians, who under his protection assembled together, and built a church, and cate: chized some of the Indians. Frumentius, resigning his office, which he had filled with credit and integrity, got leave to return home with Ædesius, and, coming to Alex, andria, exhorted Athanasius to send over some ecclesiastics to that country. He was prevailed upon to go back himself, as the most proper person; and being made a bishop, he preached the gospel there with great suc
Or of a people of Æthiopia, whose capital was Auxumis. Tillemont hath collected many things concerning Frumentius, H. E. vii. 284. Ludolphus in his "Historia Æthiopica' says, that, according to the Greek, Latin, and Æthiopic writers, the Abyssines were converted by Frumentius, and that Cedrenus and Nicephorus were mistaken in placing the conversion of this people so low as the reign of Justinian.
cess, healing the sick, and working many miracles. This account Rufinus received from Ædesius, who was returned home to Tyre, and was there a presbyter of the church. Socrates i. 19. Sozomen ii. 24. Theodoret i. 29. Rufinus.
About the same time the Iberi received Christianity, as we learn from Rufinus, and after him from Socrates, Sozomen, and Theodoret. The Iberi inhabited a country between the Euxine sea and the Caspian, which is now called Georgia. A Christian woman, who was a captive, had gained the esteem and respect of the people by hes good behaviour. It was a custom there to carry sick: children from house to house, to ask advice of the neighe bourhood. A child being brought to her, she put him upon her bed, and prayed for him, and restored him to health. The queen of the country, being very ill, and hearing of this, came to her, and was healed in like man
The king and the queen offered her great rewards, which she would not accept, but exhorted them to embrace her religion. Thus far the story has a good face; but
• Desinit in piscem mulier formosa superne.' For the present the exhortations of the female captive had no effect upon the king. Afterwards, as he was hunting in a forest, it grew quite dark on a sudden, and he knew not which way to go, and was in great distress : he called upon Jesus Christ, and the day-light instantly returned. Upon this he sent for the woman, was instructed by her in Christianity, recommended it to his subjects, and sent for proper teachers to Constantine , who received his messengers with great kindness, and appointed a bishop to go with them. In the mean time the king erected a church, at the building of which a very improbable miracle is related to have been wrought; a piilar was moved, and raised up, and suspended in the air, by the prayers
of the Rufinus says that he had this account from Ba
< To this Constantine seems to allude in his Epistle to the Council of Tyre. Mea certe opera divino Numini inserviente, ubique terrarum pax viget; ipsis etiam barbaris Dei nomer sincere venerantibus, qui ad hoc usque tempus veritatem ignoraverant Socr. i. 34, Soz. ii. 28.