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by the cross.' It is no longer a question in our days, from whence these methods of deciding dubious cases and accusations derived their origin ; all agree that they were mere delusions drawn from the barbarous rites of Paganism ;" and not only opposite to the precepts of the gospel,

somewhat surprising that Mr. Bower has taken no notice of it in his history of that pontiff. Baluzius has inserted in the second volume of his Capitularia, the solemn forms of prayer and protestation, that Eugenius had caused to be drawn up as an introduction to this superstitious practice, and Fleury and Spanheim look upon that pontiff as its first inventor. On the other hand, father Le Brun, a priest of the oratory, maintains, in his Histoire Critique des Pratiques Superstitieuses, tom. ii. p. 140, &c. edit d'Amsterdam, that this custom was much more ancient than Eugenius, and his reasons are not unworthy of attention. Be that as it may, this custom was condemned and abrogated at the request, or rather by the authority of Lewis the Meek about the year 829. It was, however, revived afterward, and was practised in the tenth, eleventh, and twelfth centuries, as we shall see in the progress of this history. For an account of the trial of cold water, Dr. Mosheim refers us in a note, to Mabillon's Analecta veteris ævi, tom. i. p. 47, and Roye's De missis dominicis, p. 152.

& The trial by duel, or single combat, was introduced toward the conclusion of the fifth century by Gondebaud, king of the Burgundians, after that the abuse of oaths had occasioned the most horrible perjuries, and opened a door to all sorts of injustice. The duel was then added to the oath by Gondebaud; the successful combatant was supposed to be in the right, and this barbarous test of truth and justice was, in spite of humanity and common sense, adopted by the Lombards, French, and Germans, and derived from them to other nations. It was probibited first in the year 855, in the third council of Valence in Dauphiny.

The fire ordeal was practised in various ways. The accused either held a burning ball of iron in his hand, or was obliged to walk barefoot upon beated ploughshares ; whose number was increased in proportion to the number or enormity of the crimes imputed to him; and sometimes a glove of red hot iron was used on this occasion, as we see in the tenth book of the history of Denmark, by Saxon the Grammarian. If in these trials the person impeached remained unhurt, and discovered no signs of pain, he was discharged as innocent; otherwise he was punished as guilty. The first account we have of Christians appealing to this kind of trial as a proof of their innocence, is that of Simplicius, bishop of Autun, who lived in the fourth century. This prelate, as the story goes, before his promotion to the episcopal order, had married a wife who loved hima tenderly, and who, unwilling to quit him after his advancement, continued to sleep in the same chamber with her spouse. The sanctity of Simplicius suffered, at least in the voice of fame, by the constancy of his wife's affection, and it was rumoured about that the holy man, though a bishop, persisted, in opposition to the ecclesiastical canons, to taste the sweets of matrimony. Upon which, the dame, in presence of a great concourse of people, took up a considerable quantity of burning coals, which she held in her clothes, and applied to her breast, without the least hurt to her person or damage to her garments, as the legend says, and her example being followed by her husband with like success, the silly multitude admired the miracle, and proclaimed the innocence of the loving pair. Bricius, or St. Brice, whom Mr. Collier, in his Ecclesiastical History of England, vol. i. p. 231, represents by mistake as the first Christian who endeavoured to clear himself in this way, played a trick of much the same nature in the fifth century.

The trial by the cross was made by obliging the contending parties to stretch out their arms, and be that continued the longest in this posture gained his cause.

Jo. Loccenii Antiquit. Sueo Gothicæ, lib. ii. cap. vii. viii. p. 144. This barbarous method of deciding controversies by duel was practised even by the clergy. See Just. Hen. Boemeri Jus Eccles. Protestantium, tom. v. p. 88.

h Petr. Lembecius, Rerum Hamburgh. lib. ii. p. 39. Usserii Sylloge Epist. Hibernic. p. 81. Jonse, Leges Eccles. Britannia. Michael de la Roche, Memoires Liter. de te Grande by agne, tom. viii. p. 391.

i See Agobardus, Contra Jadicium Dei, tom. i. opp. et Contra legem Gundobadi, cap. ix. p. 114. Hier. Bignonius, Ad formulas Marculphi, cap. xii. Baluzius, Ad Agobardum,

k Strabo tells us in the fifth book of his Geography, that while the sacred rites of the goddess Feronja were celebrated in a grove not far from mount Soracte, several per

p. 104.

but absolutely destructive of the spirit of true religion. The pontiffs, however, and the inferior clergy, encouraged these odious superstitions, and went so far as to accompany the practice of them with the celebration of the Lord's supper and other rites, in order to give them a Christian aspect, and to recommend them to the veneration and confidence of the multitude.

CHAPTER V.

CONCERNING THE DIVISIONS AND HERESIES THAT TROUBLED THE CHURCH

DURING THIS CENTURY.

The anciept sects still in

1. The sects, that had sprung up in the earlier ages

of the church, subsisted still, without almost any change in their situations or circumstances that is worthy of mention. Such of them as were being. considerably numerous, fixed their settlements beyond the limits both of the Greek and Latin empires, and thus out of the reach of their enemies. The Nestorians more especially, and the Monophysites, secure under the protection of the Arabians, were extremely industrious in maintaining their credit, and also discovered a warm and active zeal in the propagation of Christianity among those who were yet unacquainted with that divine religion. Some learned men are of opinion, that it was only in this century that the Abyssinians or Ethiopians embraced the sentiments of the Monophysites, in consequence of the exhortations addressed to them by the doctors of that sect who resided in Egypt. But this is undoubtedly a wrong account of the matter; for it is certain that the Abyssinians, who were accustomed to receive their spiritual guide from the bishop of Alexandria, commenced Monophysites in the seventh century, if not sooner. For in that period the Arabians made themselves masters of Egypt, oppressed the Greeks, and granted to the Monophysites such a powerful protection, as enabled them to reduce under their jurisdiction

sons, transported with the imaginary presence of this pretended divinity, fell into fits of enthusiasm, and walked barefooted over beaps of burning coals without receiving the least damage. The historian adds, that a spectacle so extraordinary drew a prodigious concourse of people to this annual solemnity. Pliny relates something of the same nature concerning the Hirpii. See his Nat. Xist. book vii. ch. ii. VOL. II.

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almost all the churches that had been established in Egypt.

11. The Greeks, during the greatest part of this century, The Pauli. were engaged in a most bitter controversy, or to

speak more properly, in a bloody and barbarous war with the Paulicians, a sect that may be considered as a branch of the Manichæans, and which resided principally in Armenia. This pernicious sect is said to have been formed in Armenia by two brothers, Paul and John, sons of Callinices, and inhabitants of Samosatena, from the former of whom it derives its name; though others are of opinion that the Paulicians were so called from another Paul, an Armenian by birth, who lived under the reign of Justinian II. Be that as it may, a certain zealot called Constantine, revived, in the seventh century, under the government of Constans, this drooping faction, which had suffered deeply from the violence of its adversaries, and was ready to expire under the severity of the imperial edicts, and of those penal laws which were executed against its adherents with the utmost rigour. Constans, Justinian [I. and Leo the Isaurian, exerted their zeal against the Paulicians with a peculiar degree of bitterness and fury, and left no method of oppression unemployed, no means of accomplishing their ruin that were not put in execution; but their efforts were ineffectual, nor could all their power, nor all their barbarity, exhaust the patience, or conquer the obstinacy of that inflexible people, who, with a fortitude worthy of a better cause, made light of the calamities to which their erroneous doctrine exposed them. The face of things changed, however, to their advantage toward the commencement of this century, and their affairs carried a more prosperous aspect under the protection of the emperor Nicephorus, who favoured them in a particular manner, and restored to them their civil privileges, as well as their religious liberty." III. Their tranquillity however, was but of short dura

tion; it was a transient scene that was soon to be

succeeded by yet more dreadful sufferings than they had hitherto experienced. The cruel rage of perse

Persecuted anew.

I Nouceaux Memoires de la Campagnie de Jesus dans le Levant, tom. iv. p. 283, 284, Le Grand, Dissert. iv. Lobo, Voyage Historique de l'Abyssinie, tom. ii. p. 18.

m Photius, lib. i. Contra Manichæos, p. 74, in B. Wolfi. Anecdotis Græcis, tom. i. n See Georg. Cedrenus, Compend. Historiar. tom. ii. p. 480, edit. Paris, p. 379.

cution which had for some years been suspended, broke forth with redoubled violence under the reigns of Michael Curopalates, and Leo the Armenian, who caused the strictest search to be made after the Paulicians in all the provinces of the Grecian empire, and inflicted capital punishment upon such of them

as refused to return to the bosom of the church. This rigorous decree turned the afflictions of the Paulicians, who dwelt in Armenia, into vengeance, and drove them into the most desperate measures. They massacred Thomas, bishop of New Cæsarea, and also the magistrates and judges which the emperors had established in Armenia ; and after avenging themselves thus cruelly, they took refuge in the countries that were governed by the Saracens, and from thence infested the neighbouring states of Greece with perpetual incursions." After these reciprocal acts of cruelty and vengeance, the Paulicians, as it would seem, enjoyed an interval of tranquillity, and returned to their habitations in the Grecian provinces.

iv. But the most dreadful scene of persecution and bloodshed that was exhibited against these wretched the fate of heretics, arose from the furious and inconsiderate the Paulizeal of the empress Theodora. This impetuous Theodora woman, who was regent of the empire during the minority of her son, issued out a decree, which placed the Paulicians in the perplexing alternative either of abandoning their principles, or of perishing by fire and sword. The decree was severe, but the cruelty with which it was put in execution by those who were sent into Armenia for that purpose, was horrible beyond expression; for these ministers of wrath, after confiscating the goods of above an hundred thousand of that miserable people, put their possessors to death in the most barbarous manner, and made them expire slowly in a variety of the most exquisite tortures. Such as escaped destruction fled for protection and refuge to the Saracens, who received them with compassion and humanity, and permitted them to build a city for their residence, which was called Tibrica. Upon this they entered into a league with the Saracens, and choosing for their chief an officer of the greatest resolution and valour, whose name was Carbeas, they declared against the Greeks a war which was carried on with the utmost vehe

o Photius lib. i. Contra Manichæos, p. 125. Petri Siculi Historia Manichæorum, 7. 71.

mence and fury. This bloody war continued during this whole century ; the victory seemed often doubtful, but the slaughter was terrible, and the numbers that perished on both sides prodigious. Many of the Grecian provinces felt, in a more particular manner, the dire effects of this cruel contest, and exhibited the most moving scenes of desolation and misery. During these commotions, some Paulicians, toward the conclusion of this century, spread abroad among the Bulgarians their pestilential doctrines, which were received with docility, and took root speedily, as might naturally be expected, among a barbarous people that were but lately made converts to the Christian faith.! v. The Greeks treated the Paulicians, of whom we have

been now speaking, as Manichæans; though if we ciaus were dia. may credit the testimony of Photius, the Paulicians

expressed the utmost abhorrence of Manes and his doctrine. Most evident it is that they were not altogether Manichæans, though they embraced some opinions that resembled certain tenets of that abominable sect. They had not, like the Manichæans, an ecclesiastical government administered by bishops, priests, and deacons; they had no sacred order of men distinguished by their manner of life, their habit, or any other circumstance from the rest of the assembly; nor had councils, synods, or such like institutions any place in their religious polity. They had certain doctors whom they called sunecdemi,i.e. companions in

Whether or not the Pauli

nichæans.

p Georg. Cedrenus, Compend. Ilist. p. 541, ed. Paris, p. 425, ed. Venet. p. 547, et 429, &c. Zonaras, Annal. lib. xvi. tom. ii. p. 122, ed. Venet. The principal authors who bave given accounts of the Paulicians, are Photius, lib. i. Contra Manichæos, and Petrus Siculus, whose history of the Manichæans was published in Greek and Latin at Ingolstadt, in 1604, by Matth. Raderus. By the account of Petrus Siculus that is given by himself, we learn that in the year 870, under the reign of Basilius the Macedonian, he was sent ambassador to the Paulicians at Tibrica, to treat with them concerning the exchange of prisoners, and lived among them during the space of nine months ; this is sufficient to give us a bigh idea of the power and prosperity of the Paulicians at the time. It is from this eminent writer that Cedrenus seems to have taken what he has advanced in his Compend. Histor. p. 431. What we learn concerning the Paulicians from more modern writers, such as Bayle, in his Dictionary, and B. Jo. Christ. Wolfius, in his Manichæismus ante Manichæos, p. 247, seems to be derived from Bossuet's Hisloire des Variations des Egliscs Protestantes, tom. ii. p. 129. But this authority is highly exceptionable ; for Bossuet himself did not consult the true sources of knowledge upon this point: and what is still worse, the spirit of party seems manifestly to have led him into voluntary errors.

q It is not improbable that there are yet in Thrace and Bulgaria, Paulicians, as they are called hy some. It appears at least certain, that in the last century some of that sect still subsisted, and dwelt at Nicopolis, as we learn from the testimony of Urb. Cerri, in his Etat present de l'Eglise Romaine, p. 72, who tells us, that Peter Diodati, archbishop of Sophia, caused them to abandon their errors, and return to the Catholic faith ; but whether this latter part of the account be true or false, is more than we shall pretend to determine.

Photius, lib. i. Contra Manichæos, p. 17, 56, 65. Petr. Sicul. Hist. Manich. p. 43.

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