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knowing the falsehood, or at least the uncertainty of what they alleged against these infidels, we must look upon their writings rather as intended to deter the Christians from apostacy, than to give a rational refutation of the Saracen doctrine. xiv. The contests of the Christians among themselves
were carried on with greater eagerness and aniThe contro: mosity than the disputes in which they were en
gaged with the common enemies of their faith ; ine Greeks and these contests were daily productive of new calamities and disorders which dishonoured their profession, and cast a heavy though undeserved reproach upon the cause of true religion. After the banishment of Irene, the controversy concerning images broke out anew among the Greeks, and was carried on by the contending parties, during the half of this century, with various and uncertain success. The emperor Nicephorus, though he did not abrogate the decrees of the council of Nice, nor order the images to be taken out of the churches, yet deprived the patrons of image worship of all power to molest or injure their adversaries, and seems upon the whole to have been an enemy to that idolatrous service. But his successor, Michael Curopalates, surnamed Rhangebe, acted in a very different manner. Feeble and timorous, and dreading the rage of the priests and monks that maintained the cause of images, he favoured that cause during his short reign, and persecuted its adversaries with the greatest bitterness and cruelty. The scene changed again, upon the accession of Leo the Armenian to the empire, who abolished the decrees of the Nicene council relating to the use and worship of images, in a council assembled at Constantinople, a. D. 814; without however enacting any penal laws against their idolatrous worshippers. This moderation, far from satisfying the patriarch Nicephorus, and the other partisans of image worship, only served to encourage their obstinacy, and to increase their insolence; upon which the emperor removed the haughty prelate from his office, and chastised the fury of several of his adherents with a deserved punishment. His successor Michael, surnamed Balbus, or the Stammerer, was obliged to observe the same conduct, and to depart from the clemency and indulgence
y Fleury and some other writers place the meeting of this council in the year
which, in the beginning of his reign, he had discovered toward the worshippers of images, whose idolatry however he was far from approving ; the monks more especially provoked his indignation by their fanatical rage, and forced him to treat them with particular severity. But the zeal of his son and successor Theophilus, in discouraging this new idolatry, was still more vehement; for he opposed the worshippers of images with great violence, and went so far as to put to death some of the more obstinate ringlead- } ers of that impetuous faction.
xv. Upon the death of Theophilus, which happened in the year 842, the regency was intrusted with the empress Theodora during her son's minority. This superstitious princess, fatigued with the importunate solicitations of the monks, deluded by their forged miracles, and not a little influenced also by their insolent threats, assembled, in the year above mentioned, a council at Constantinople, in which the decrees of the second Nicene council were reinstated in their lost authority, and the Greeks were indulged in their corrupt propensity to image worship by a law which encouraged that wretched idolatry. So that aftera controversy, which had been carried on during the space of an hundred and ten years, the cause of idolatry triumphed over the dictates of reason and Christianity; the whole east, the Armenians excepted, bowed down before the victorious images; nor did any of the succeeding emperors attempt to cure the Greeks of this superstitious phrensy, or restrain them in the performance of this childish worship. The council that was held at Constantinople under Photius, in the year 879, and which is reckoned by the Greeks the eighth general council
, gave a farther degree of force and vigour to idolatry, by maintaining the sanctity of images, and approving, confirming, and renew- , ing the Nicene decrees. The superstitious Greeks, who were blinded by the monks in the most ignominious manner, esteemed this council as a most signal blessing derived to them from the immediate interposition of heaven, and accordingly instituted in commemoration thereof an anniversary festival, which was called the Feast of Orthodoxy."
z See Fred. Spanheim, Historia Imaginum, sect. viii. p. 845. tom. ii. opp. L'Enfant, Preservatif contre la Reunion avec le Siege de Rome, tom. iji. lett. xiv. p. 147, lett. xviii. xix. p. 509.
a See Gretser Obserrat. in Codinum de officiis Aulæ et Eccles. Constantinopolitana,
Among the Latins.
xvi. The triumph of images, notwithstanding the zealous
efforts of the Roman pontiffs in their favour, was
obtained with much more difficulty among the Latins, than it had been among the Greeks, for the former maintained as yet that invaluable, and indeed unalienable privilege of judging for themselves in religious matters, and were far from being disposed to submit their reason implicitly to the decisions of the pontiff, or to look upon any thing as infallible and true, which had authority for its only foundation. The most of the European Christians, as we have seen already, steered a middle course between the idolaters and the iconoclasts, between those who were zealous for the worship of images on the one hand, and those who were averse to all use of them on the other. They were of opinion that images might be suffered as the means of aiding the memory of the faithful, and of calling to their remembrance the pious exploits and the virtuous actions of the persons they represented; bụt they detested all thoughts of paying them the least marks of religious homage or adoration. Michael Balbus, when he sent, in the year 824, a solemn embassy to Lewis the Meek, to renew and confirm the treaties of friendship and peace that had been concluded between his predecessors in the empire and Charlemagne, charged his ministers in a particular manner to bring over the king of the Franks” to the party of the iconoclasts, that they might gradually suppress, by their united influence, the worship of images, and thus restore concord and tranquillity to the church. Lewis upon
this occasion assembled a council at Paris, A. D. 824, in order to examine the proposal of the Grecian emperor, in which it was resolved to adhere to the decrees of the council of Frankfort, which allowed the use of images in
lib. iii. cap. viii. as also the Ceremoniale Byzantinum, lately published by Reisk, lib. i. c. xxviii. p. 92.
Ob So Michael and his son Theophilus style Lewis in their letter to him, refusing him the title of emperor, to which however he had an undoubted right in consequence of the treaties which they now desired to renew.
Dc Fleury, Le Sueur, and other historians, place unanimously this council in the year 825. It may be proper to observe here, that the proceedings of this council cvidently show, that the decisions of the Roman pontiff were by no means looked upon at this time either as obligatory or infallible. For when the letter of Pope Adrian, in favour of images, was read in the council, it was almost unanimously rejected as containing absurd and erroneous opinions. The decrees of the sccond council of Nice, relating to image worship, were also censured by the Gallican bishops ; and the authority of that council, though received by several popes as an æcumenical one, absolutely rejected. And what is remarkable is, that the pope did not on this account declare the Gallican bishops heretics, nor exclude them from the communion of the apostolic see. See Fleury, liv. xlvii.
Several Iconoclasts a piong the Latias.
the churches, but severely prohibited the treating them with the smallest marks of religious worship. But in
process of time the European Christians departed gradually from the observance of this injunction, and fell imperceptibly into a blind submission to the decisions of the Roman pontiff
, whose influence and authority grew more formidable from day to day; so that toward the conclusion of this century, the Gallican clergy began to pay a certain kind of religious homage to the saintly images, in which their example was followed by the Germans and other nations.
XVII. Notwithstanding this apostacy, the Iconoclasts were not destitute of adherents among the Latins. The most eminent of these was Claudius, bishop of Turin, by birth a Spaniard, and also a disciple of Felix, bishop of Urgel. This zealous prelate, as soon as he had obtained the episcopal dignity through the favour of Lewis the Meek, began to exercise the duties of his function in the year 823, by ordering all images, and even the cross, to be cast out of the churches, and committed to the flames. The year following he composed a treatise, in which he not only defended these vehement proceedings, and declared against the use as well as the worship of images, but also broached several other opinions that were quite contrary to the notions of the 'multitude, and to the prejudices of the times. He denied, among other things, in opposition to the Greeks, that the cross was to be i honoured with any kind of worship; he treated relics with the utmost contempt, as absolutely destitute of the virtues that were attributed to them, and censured with much freedom and severity those pilgrimages to the holy land, and those voyages to the tombs of the saints, which in this century were looked upon as extremely salutary, and particularly meritorious. This noble stand, in the defence of true religion, drew upon Claudius a multitude of adversaries, the sons of superstition rushed upon him from all quarters ; Theodemir Dungallus, Jonas of Orleans, and Wallafridus Strabo," united to overwhelm him with their voluminous answers.
But the learned and venerable pre
d Mabillon Annal. Benedictin. tom. ii. p. 488. Id. Præf. ad Sæc. iv. Actor. SS. Ord. Benedicti. Sæc. iv. part. i. p. 7, 8. Le Cointe, Annal. Eccles. Francor. tom. iv. ad h. &. 824.
e In order to do justice to the adversaries of Claudius here mentioned, it is necessary to observe, that they only maintained the innocence and usefulness of images, without pretending to represent them as objects of religious worship.
late maintained his ground,' and supported his cause with such dexterity and force that it remained triumphant, and gained new credit. And hence it happened, that the city of Turin and the adjacent country were, for a long time after the death of Claudius, much less infected with
superstition than the other parts of Europe. xvIII. The controversy that had been carried on in the
preceding century concerning the procession, if we of the controu may be allowed that term, of the Holy Ghost from versy concerns the Father and the Son, and also concerning the sion or pets word filioque, foisted by the Latins into the creed
of Constantinople, broke out now with redoubled vehemence, and from a private dispute became a flaming contest between the Greek and Latin churches. The monks of Jerusalem distinguished themselves in this controversy, and complained particularly of the interpolation of the word filioque, i. e. and from the Son, in the abovementioned symbol; nor did they stop here, but despatched to Charlemagne, in the year 809, a certain ecclesiastic of their order, whose name was John, to obtain satisfaction in this matter. The affair was debated in due form, both in a council assembled this same year at Aix la Chapelle, and at Rome, in presence of the sovereign pontiff, Leo III. to whom the emperor had sent ambassadors for that purpose. Leo adopted the doctrine which represented the Holy Ghost as proceeding from the Father and the Son, but he condemned the addition that had been made to the symbol," and declared it as his opinion, that the word filioque, or from the Son, as it was a glaring interpolation, ought to be omitted in reading the symbol, and at length struck out of it entirely, not every where at once, but in such a prudent manner as to prevent disturbance. His succcessors were of the same opinion; the word however being once admitted, not only kept its place in opposition to the Roman pontiffs, but was by degrees added to the symbol in all the Latin churches.
f Mabillon, Annal. Benedictin. tom. ii. p. 488. Præf. ad Sæc. iv. SS. Ord. Benedict. p. 8. Histoire Liter. de la France, tom. iv. p. 491, and tom. v. p. 27, 64. Jaq. Basnage, Histoire des Eglises Reformees, tom. i. period iv. p. 38, ed. in 4to. g See Steph. Baluzii Miscellanea, tom. vii. p. 14.
b This addition of the word filioque to the symbol of Nice and Constantinople was made in the fifth and sixth centuries by the churches of Spain, and their example was followed by most of the Gallican churches, where the symbol was read and sung with this addition,
i See Le Cointe, Annal. Eccles. Francor. tom. iv. ad. A. S09. Longueval, Histoire de 7. Eglise Gallicane, tom. v. p. 151.