Page images
PDF
EPUB

all from every quarter to impiety, going about in all directions, and like the devil, the proper father of heresy, they sought whom they might devour.1

mark of the sacred cross upon his brow; with none to aid and none to tempt him he was despatched to the copper mines of Phennesus. During the tortures inflicted by the magistrate on the tender bodies of little In all, after many fruitless efforts, they boys, some have been left lying on the drove into exile to Dio-Cæsarea, a city inspot deprived of holy rites of burial, though habited by Jews, murderers of the Lord, parents and brothers and kinsfolk, and in- eleven of the bishops of Egypt, all of them deed the whole city, begged that this one con- men who from childhood to old age had solation might be given them. But alas for lived an ascetic life in the desert, had subthe inhumanity of the judge, if indeed he dued their inclinations to pleasure by reason can be called judge who only condemns! and by discipline, had fearlessly preached They who had contended nobly for the true the true faith of piety, had imbibed the religion were assigned a worse fate than a pious doctrines, had again and again won murderer's, their bodies lying, as they did, victory against demons, were ever putting unburied. The glorious champions were the adversary out of countenance by their thrown to be devoured by beasts and birds virtue, and publicly posting the Arian heresy of prey. Those who were anxious for con- by wisest argument. Yet like Hell, not science' sake to express sympathy with the satisfied with the death of their brethren, parents were punished by decapitation, as fools and madmen as they were, eager to win though they had broken some law. What a reputation by their evil deeds, they tried to Roman law, nay what foreign sentiment, leave memorials in all the world of their ever inflicted punishment for the expression own cruelty. For lo now they roused the of sympathy with parents? What instance imperial attention against certain clerics of is there of the perpetration of so illegal a the catholic church who were living at Andeed by any one of the ancients? The male tioch, together with some excellent monks children of the Hebrews were indeed once who came forward to testify against their evil ordered to be slain by Pharaoh, but his edict deeds. They got these men banished to was suggested by envy and by fear. How Neocæsarea in Pontus, where they were far greater the inhumanity of our day than soon deprived of life in consequence of the of his. How preferable, if there be a choice sterility of the country. Such tragedies in unrighteousness, their wrongs to ours. were enacted at this period, fit indeed to be How much better; if what is illegal can be consigned to silence and oblivion, but given a called good or bad, though in truth iniquity place in history for the condemnation of the is always iniquity. men who wag their tongues against the Only begotten, and infected as they were with the raving madness of blasphemy, strive not only to aim their shafts at the Master of the universe, but further waged a truceless war against His faithful servants.

I am writing what is incredible, inhuman, awful, savage, barbarous, pitiless, cruel. But in all this the votaries of the Arian madness pranced, as it were, with proud exultation, while the whole city was lamenting; for, as it is written in Exodus, "there was not a house in which there was not one dead." 2

The men whose appetite for iniquity was never satisfied planned new agitation. Ever wreaking their evil will in evil deeds, they darted the peculiar venom of their iniquity at the bishops of the province, using the aforesaid treasurer Magnus as the instrument of their unrighteousness.

Some they delivered to the Senate, some they trapped at their good pleasure, leaving no stone unturned in their anxiety to hunt in

4

CHAPTER XX.

Of Mavia, Queen of the Saracens, and the ordination of Moses the monk.

Ar this time' the Ishmaelites were devastating the country in the neighbourhood of

1 I. Peter v. 8.

2 Now Sefurieh, anciently Sepphoris; an unimportant place till erected by Herod Antipas into the capital of Galilee. 3 Proverbs xxvii. 20.

4 Now Niksar, on the river Lykus, the scene of two councils; (i.) a.d. 315, when the first canon ordered every priest to forfeit

his orders on marriage (Mansi ii. 539) (ii) a.d. 350, when
Eustathius of Sebaste was condemned (Mansi, iii. 291).
5 cf. Soz. vi. 38, and Soc. iv. 36.

1 ct. Soph. Ant. 30, Where the corpse of Polyneikes is (Dict. Christ. Ant. ii. 1501) as follows.
"unwept unsepulchred

described as left

A prize full rich for birds." (Plumptre.) Christian sentiment is still affected by the horror felt by the Greeks at deprivation of the rites of burial which finds striking expression in the dispute between Teucer and Menelaos about the burial of Ajax.

2 Ex. xii. 30.

The word used is xeiporovia, of which it is well to trace the varying usages. These are given by the late Rev. E. Hatch "This word is used (a) in the N. T. Acts xiv, 24, χειροτονήσαντες δὲ αὐτοῖς κατ' ἐκκλησίαν πρεσβυτέρους : II. Cor. viii. 19 (of Titus) χειροτονηθεὶς VпÒ TWV ŠKKAŋov; (b) in sub-apostolic Greek, Ignat. ad Philad. c. 10; (c) in the Clementines, Clement. Ep. ad Jacob. c. 2; (d) in the Apostolical Constitution; (e) in the Canon Law; (f) in the Civil Law. Its meaning was originally "to

i. e. about 375.

They were led by

CHAPTER XXI.

men on another craft with orders to set the

presbyters' boat on fire. So, fighting at the

same time against both sea and flames, at last they were delivered to the deep, and won the martyrs' crown.

the Roman frontier. These then were the deeds done by Lucius Mavia, a princess who regarded not the sex in Alexandria under the dispensation of the which nature had given her, and displayed providence of God. the spirit and courage of a man. After many engagements she made a truce, and, on receiving the light of divine knowledge, AT Constantinople the Arians filled a boat begged that to the dignity of high priest of with pious presbyters and drove her without her tribe might be advanced one, Moses by ballast out to sea, putting some of their own name, who dwelt on the confines of Egypt and Palestine. This request Valens granted, and ordered the holy man to be conveyed to Alexandria, and there, as the most convenient place in the neighbourhood, to receive episcopal grace. When he had arrived and At Antioch Valens spent a considerable saw Lucius endeavouring to lay hands on him—“God forbid" said he "that I should under cover of the Christian name, pagans, time, and gave complete license to all who, be ordained by thine hand: the grace of Jews and the rest, preached doctrines contrary the Spirit visits us not at thy calling." to those of the gospel. The slaves of this "Whence," said Lucius, "are you led to error even went so far as to perform pagan conjecture this?" He rejoined "I am not speaking of conjecture but of clear know-rites, and thus the deceitful fire which, after ledge; for thou fightest against the apostolic decrees, and speakest words against them, and for thy blasphemous utterances thy lawless deeds are a match. For what impious man has not on thy account mocked the meetings of the Church? What excellent man has not been exiled? What barbarous

savagery is not thrown into the shade by
thy daily deeds?"
So the brave man said,
and the murderer heard him and desired
to slay him, but was afraid of kindling
once again the war which had come to an
end. Wherefore he ordered other bishops
to be produced whom Moses had requested.
After receiving the episcopal grace of the
right worthy faith Moses returned to the
people who had asked for him, and by his
apostolic teaching and miracles led them in
the way that leads to truth.1

elect," but it came afterwards to mean even in classical Greek,
simply "to appoint to office," without itself indicating the
particular mode of appointment (cf. Schömann de Comitüs, p.
122). That the latter was its ordinary meaning in Hellenistic
Greek, and consequently in the first ages of church history, is
clear from a large number of instances; e. g. in Josephus vi.
13, 9, it is used of the appointment of David as King by God;
id. xiii, 22, of the appointment of Jonathan as High Priest by
Alexander; in Philo ii, 76 it is used of the appointment of
Joseph as governor by Pharaoh; in Lucian, de morte Pere.

grini c. 41 of the appointment of ambassadors. «In Sozomen
vii, 24 of the appointment of Arcadius as Augustus by Theo-
dosius." "In later times a new connotation appears of which
there is no early trace; it was used of the stretching out of the
bishop's hands in the rite of imposition of hands." The writer

of the above seems hardly to do justice to its early use for or
dination as well as for appointment. In the Pseudo-Ig. ad.
Her. c. iii, it is said of bishops εκείνοι χειροτονοῦσι, χειροθετοῦσι
and Bp. Lightfoot comments while xecpoderia is used of
laying on of hands, e. g. in confirmation, xeporоvia is said of
ordination, e. g. Ap. Const. viii. 27. ERIσKONOS UND Tρ
δύο ἐπισκόπων χειροτονεῖσθω. Referring originally to the
election of the Clergy xetporovia came afterwards to be applied
commonly, as here, to their ordination." Theodoretus uses
the word in both senses, and sometimes either will fit in with
the context.

1 Sozomen (vi. 38) describes Lucius as remonstrating in moderate language. "Do not judge of me before you know what my creed is. Socrates (iv. 36) makes Moses charge Lucius with condemning the orthodox to exile, beasts, and burning. On Socrates Valesius annotates "Hanc narrationem

now rekindled by permission of Valens. The
Julian, had been quenched by Jovian, was
rites of Jews, of Dionysus, and of Demeter
were now no longer performed in a corner,
as they would be in a pious reign, but by
revellers running wild in the forum. Valens

was a foe to none but them that held the
from their churches, the illustrious Jovian
First he drove them
apostolic doctrine.
having given them also the new built church.
And when they assembled close up to the
mountain cliff to honour their Master in
hymns, and enjoy the word of God, putting
up

of rain, now of snow and cold, and now of
with all the assaults of the weather, now
violent heat, they were not even suffered this
poor protection, and troops were sent to

scatter them far and wide.

[blocks in formation]

church of the orthodox in Antioch. Now Flavianus and Diodorus, like breakwaters, broke the force of the advancing

Waves.

Meletius their shepherd had been constrained to sojourn far away. But these looked after the flock, opposing their own Courage and cunning to the wolves, and bestowing due care upon the sheep. Now that they were driven away from under the cliff they fed their flocks by the banks of the neighbouring river. They could not brook, like the captives at Babylon, to hang their

de episcopo Saracenis dato et de pace cum iisdem facta, desumpsit quidem Socrates, ex Rufini lib. ii. 6." Lucius was ejected from Alexandria when the reign of Valens ended with his death in 378. Theodoretus appears to confound this Lucius with an Arian Lucius who usurped the see of Samosata. Vide chap. xviii.

1Cf. ante, ii. 19. page 85.

1

harps upon the willows,' but they continued towers on either side. Between the palace to hymn their maker and benefactor in all and the river lies a public way open to places of his dominion. But not even in passengers from the town, through the gate this spot was the meeting of the pious pas- in this quarter, and leading to the country in tors of them that blessed the Lord suffered the suburbs. The godly Aphraates was once by the foe to be assembled. So again this passing along this thoroughfare on his way pair of excellent shepherds gathered their to the soldiers' training ground, in order to sheep in the soldiers' training ground and perform the duty of serving his flock. The there tried to show them their spiritual food emperor happened to be looking down in secret. Diodorus, in his wisdom and from a gallery in the palace, and saw him courage, like a clear and mighty river, going by wearing a cloak of undressed watered his own and drowned the blasphemies of his opponents, thinking nothing of the splendour of his birth, and gladly undergoing the sufferings of the faith.

tests.

3

66

goat's skin,' and walking rapidly, though of advanced age. On its being remarked that this was Aphraates to whom all the town was then attached, the emperor cried out The excellent Flavianus, who was also of "Where are you going? Tell us." Readily the highest rank, thought piety the only and cleverly he answered "To pray for nobility, and, like some trainer for the your empire." "You had better stop at games, anointed the great Diodorus as home " said the emperor "and pray alone though he had been an athlete for five con- like a monk." "Yes," said the divine man, so I was bound to do and so At that time he did not himself preach at I always did till now, as long as the the services of the church, but furnished an Saviour's sheep were at peace; but now abundant supply of arguments and scriptural that they are grievously disturbed and in thoughts to preachers, who were thus able great peril of being caught by beasts, I to aim their shafts at the blasphemy of Arius, while he as it were handed them the arrows of his intelligence from a quiver. Discoursing alike at home and abroad he easily rent asunder the heretics' nets and showed their defences to be mere spiders' webs. He was aided in these contests by that Aphraates whose life I have written in my Religious History, and who, preferring the welfare of the sheep to his own rest, abandoned his cell of discipline and retirement, and undertook the hard toil of a shepherd. Having written on these matters in another work I deem it now superfluous fire to our Father's house and we are runto recount the wealth of virtue which he amassed, but one specimen of his good deeds I will proceed now to relate, as specially appropriate to this history.

[blocks in formation]

needs must leave no means untried to save the nurslings. For tell me, sir, Had I been a girl sitting in my chamber, and looking after the house, and had seen a flash of flame fall and my father's house on fire, what ought I to do? Tell me; sit within and never mind the house being on fire, and wait for the flame to approach? or bid my bower good bye and run up and down and get water and try to quench the flame? Of course you will say the latter, for so a quick and spirited girl would do. And that is what I am doing now, sir. You have set

ning about in the endeavour to put it out." So said Aphraates, and the emperor threatened him and said no more. One of the grooms of the imperial bedchamber, who threatened the godly man somewhat more violently, met with the following fate. He was entrusted with the charge of the bath, and immediately after this conversation he came down to get it ready for the emperor. On entering he lost his wits, stepped into the boiling water before it was mixed with the cold, and so met his end. The emperor sat waiting for him to announce that the bath was ready for him to enter, and after a considerable time had gone by he sent other officers to report the cause of the delay. After they had gone in and looked all about the room they discovered the chamberlain

1 The word Sisura was used for a common upper garment, but according to the grammarian Tzetzes (Schol. Ad. Lyc. 634) its accurate meaning is the one given in the text.

slain by the heat, and lying dead in the boiling water. On this becoming known to the emperor they perceived the force of the prayers of Aphraates. Nevertheless they did not depart from the impious doctrines but hardened their heart like Pharaoh, and the infatuated emperor, though made aware of the miracle of the holy man, persisted in his mad rage against piety.

CHAPTER XXIV.

Arian faction were enemies of the truth. So those godly men knew how to adapt themselves to each particular opportunity, when to remain inactive, and at rest, and when to leave the deserts for towns.

CHAPTER XXV.

Of what other monks were distinguished at this period.

THERE were also other men at this period who emitted the bright rays of the philosophy of solitary life. In the Chalcidian desert Avitus, Marcianus and Abraames,3 and more besides whom I cannot easily enumerate, strove in their bodies of sense to live a life superior to sense. In the district of Apamea, Agapetus, Simeon," Paulus and others reaped the fruits of the highest wis

dom.

[ocr errors]

5

Of the holy monk Julianus. Ar this time too the celebrated Julianus, whom I have already mentioned, was forced to leave the desert and come to Antioch, for when the foster children of lies, the facile framers of calumny, I mean of course the Arians, were maintaining that this great man was of their faction, those lights of the truth Flavianus, Diodorus, and Aphraates sent In the district of the Zeugmatenses' were Acacius, an athlete of virtue who afterwards Publius and Paulus. In the Cyrestian" very wisely ruled the church at Beroa, to the famous Acepsemas had been shut the famous Julianus with the entreaty that he would take pity on so many thousands of up in a cell for sixty years without being either seen or spoken to. The admirable men, and at the same time convict the enemy Zeumatius, though bereft of sight, used to go of lies and confirm the proclamation of the about confirming the sheep, and fighting truth. The miracles worked by Julianus with the wolves; so they burnt his cell, but on his way to and from Antioch and in that the right faithful general Trajanus got anvast city itself are described in my Religious other built for him, and paid him besides History, which is easily accessible to all who other attentions. In the neighbourhood of wish to become acquainted with them. But Antioch, Marianus,10 Eusebius," AmmiaI am sure that no one who has enquired into nus, Palladius,13 Simeon," Abraames, and human nature will doubt that he attracted all others, preserved the divine image unimthe population of the city to our assembly, for paired; but of all these the lives have been the extraordinary is generally sure to draw all recorded by us. But the mountain which is men after it. The fact of his having wrought in the neighbourhood of the great city was great marvels is attested even by the enemies decked like a meadow, for in it shone Petrus, the Galatian, his namesake the Egyptian,

of the truth.

Before this time in the reign of Constantius the great Antonius had acted in the same way in Alexandria, for he abandoned the desert and went up and down that city, telling all men that Athanasius was the preacher of the true doctrine and that the

1 A monk of Gindarus near Antioch (Theod. Vit. Pat. ii.) af. terward envoy from the Syrian churches to Rome, and Bishop of Beroa, (Aleppo) A.D. 378. He was at Constantinople in 3S1, (cf. v. S.) and is famous for his opposition to Chrysos

tom.

2 Julianus Sabas (i. e. Abba) an ascetic solitary of Osrhoëne, the district south of the modern Harran. He is the second of the saints of Theodoret's" Religious History," where we read that he lived on millet bread, which he ate once a week, and performed various miracles, which are recorded by Theodoret on the authority of Acacius.

3 Antonius, St. Anthony, the illustrious and illiterate ascetic, friend and correspondent of Constantine (Soc. i. 13), the centre of many wild legends, was born in 250 A.D. in upper Egypt. Athanasius calls him the "founder of Asceticism." In 335 he revisited Alexandria to oppose the Arians, as nar rated in the text. He died in his cell in 355, bequeathing his "hair shirt, his two woollen tunics, and his bed, among Amathas and Macarius who watched his last hours, Serapion, and Athanasius."

Vide Ath. Vit. S. Ant.

12

15

1 i.e. the district round Chalcis in Syria, to be distinguished

from the Macedonian Chalcidice.

2 Native of Theodoret's see of Cyrus. He built himself a cell like the "Little Ease" of the Tower of London, and promoted orthodoxy by the influence of his austerities.' 385. cf. Tillemont, viii. 483.

† c.

A. went on missionary journeys disguised as a pedlar, and eventually unwillingly became bishop of Carræ. Theod. Relig. Hist. 3. 4 Presumably Apamea ad Orontem. (Famiah.)

5 Bishop of Apamea, a comrade and disciple of Marcianus. (Relig. Hist. iii.)

Also a disciple of Marcian. For fifty years he maintained a school of ascetic philosophy. cf. Chrysost. Ep. 55. and Tillemont. ix. 304. Apparently not the same as Simeones Priscus of Relig. Hist. vi.

7i.e. near Zeugma, on the Euphrates, opposite Apamea. vide Relig. Hist. v.

9i.e. round Theodoret's see of Cyrus.

10 Uncle of Eusebius, a "faithful servant of God." Relig. Hist. iv.

11 Relig. Hist. iv. Abbot of Mt. Coryphe, nephew of Marianus. He chained his neck to his girdle that he might be compelled to violate the prerogative of his manhood (cf. Ovid. Met i. S) and keep his eyes on the ground.

12 Vide Relig. Hist. iv. He had a monastery near Antioch. 13 Relig. Hist. vi.

14 cf. the Symeones Priscus of Relig. Hist. vi.

15 The disciple of Ephrem Syrus. Vide Soz. iii. 16, and Eph. Syr. Act. S. Abraam.

1

Romanus 2 Severus, Zeno, Moses, and the one of Nazianzus and the other of Malchus, and many others of whom the Nyssa, the latter the brother and the former world is ignorant, but who are known to the friend and fellow worker of the great God. Basilius. These were foremost champions of piety in Cappadocia; and in front rank with them was Peter, born of the same

CHAPTER XXVI.

Of Didymus of Alexandria and Ephraim parents with Basilius and Gregorius, who

4

the Syrian.

though not having received like them a foreign education, like them lived a life of brilliant distinction.

In Pisidia Optimus, in Lycaonia Amphilochius, fought in the front rank on behalf of their fathers' faith, and repelled the enemies' assaults.

5

Ar that period at Edessa flourished the admirable Ephraim, and at Alexandria Didymus, both writers against the doctrines that are at variance with the truth. Ephraim, employing the Syrian language, shed beams of spiritual grace. Totally un- In the West Damasus, Bishop of Rome, tainted as he was by heathen education 5 and Ambrosius, entrusted with the governhe was able to expose the niceties of ment of Milan, smote those who attacked heathen error, and lay bare the weakness them from afar. of all heretical artifices. Harmonius the bishops forced to dwell in remote regions, In conjunction with these, son of Bardesanes' had once composed cer- confirmed their friends and undid their foes tain songs and by mixing sweetness of by writings — thus pilots able to cope with melody with his impiety beguiled the the greatness of the storm were granted by hearers, and led them to their destruction. the governor of the universe. Against the Ephraim adopted the music of the songs, violence of the foe He set in battle array the but set them to piety, and so gave the virtue of His captains, and provided means hearers at once great delight and a healing meet to ward off the troubles of these diffimedicine. These songs are still used to en-cult times, and not only were the churches liven the festivals of our victorious martyrs. Didymus, however, who from a child had ing Lord, but deemed worthy of yet another granted this kind of protection by their lovbeen deprived of the sense of sight, had kind of guidance. been educated in poetry, rhetoric, arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, the logic of Aristotle, and the eloquence of Plato. Instruction in all these subjects he received by the sense of hearing alone, not indeed as conveying the truth, but as likely to be weapons for the truth against falsehood. Of holy scriptures he learnt not only the sound but the sense. So among livers of ascetic lives and students of virtue, these men at that time were conspicuous.

[blocks in formation]

AMONG the bishops were the two Gregorii,

1 Born at Rhosus. His life is given in Relig. Hist. xi. Relig. Hist. xii. He lived" without bed, lamp, fire, pitcher, pot, box, or book, or anything."

3 Met in his old age by Jerome, to whom he told the story of his life. Born at Edessa, he ended his days at Maronia, near Antioch. Vide Jer. vita Malchi.

Flourished c. 309-399. Blind from the age of four, he edu. cated himself with marvellous patience, and was placed by Athanasius at the head of the catechetical school of Alex. andria. Jerome called him his teacher and seer and translated his Treatise on the Holy Spirit. Jer. de Vir. Illust. 109.

54 παιδείας Ελληνικής. His ignorance of languages weakens the force of his dialectic and illustrations. Vid. Dict. Christ. Biog. s. v.

Harmonius wrote about the end of the 2nd century, both in Greek and in Syriac. cf. Theod. Hæret. Fabul. Compend. i. 22, where he is said to have learned Greek at Athens.

Bardesanes, or Bar Daisan, the great Syrian gnostic, was born in 155. cf. the prologue to the Dialogues.'

CHAPTER XXVIII.

Of the letter written by Valens to the great Valentinianus about the war, and how he replied.

THE Lord roused the Goths to war, and drew on to the Bosphorus him who knew only how to fight against the pious. Then for the first time the vain man became aware of his own weakness, and sent to his brother to ask for troops. But Valentinian replied that it were impious to help one fighting against God, and right rather to check his rashness. By this the unhappy man was filled with yet greater infatuation, yet he did not withdraw from his rash undertaking,

1 Gregorius of Nazianzus (in Cappadocia, on the Halys) was so called not as bishop of Nazianzus. He was bishop successively of Sasima, "a detestable little village," - (Carm. xi. 439-446) -and of Constantinople, and was called "Nazianzenus" because his father and namesake was bishop of that see. On his acting as bishop at Nazianzus after his withdrawal from Constantinople, vide note on page 136.

2 A younger brother of Basil, bishop of Cæsarea, born about 335; he was bishop of Nyssa, an obscure town of Cappadocia, from 372 to 395. Their parents were Basil, an advocate, and Emmelia. Petrus, the youngest of ten children, was bishop of Sebaste.

3 Bishop of Antioch in Pisidia; was present at Constantinople in 381. He was a witness to the will of Gregory of Nazianzus.

4 Vide note on p. 114.
5 Vide note on p. 82.

« PreviousContinue »