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sea and land. The Turkish land forces advanced, under the fire of their cannon, with surprising resolution, and were re. ceived with equal resistance by the Greeks, who performed prodigies of valour. The ditches were soon filled with the dead bodies of the Turks that were slain ; and the emperor and Justinian exhibited such skill and heroic bravery, that the assailants were obliged to retire back. But the Janizaries coming to their assistance, they rallied, renewed the charge, and through the most violent fire of the besieged, and a storm of darts and stones, they gained the top of the wall, where a Janizary immediately planted the Turkish standard. This unexpected success inspired the Turks with new vigour, and damped the spirit of the Greeks.
The Mahometans had likewise the advantage on the side of the sea. But what completed the ruin of the besieged, was their being abandoned by their general, Justinian, who finding himself wounded, retired without appointing any one to command in his room; nor could he be prevailed upon to return by the most pressing remonstrances of the emperor. This retreat of Justinian so discouraged the Greeks, that they began to give way, and presently fled in great disorder and precipitation. The Turks immediately pouring in, like a torrent, at the breach, pursued the fugitives, slaughtering them, and pressing them so closely, that eight hundred of them were trodden to death. Among these was the emperor, who having placed himself at the breach, and made prodigious efforts to stop the inundation of the barbarians, was carried away by the multitude, and perished with them.
T'hus ended the reign of Constantine Palæologus in 1453 ; and in him expired the empire of the Greeks, that is, the eastern Roman empire, which had lasted 1123 years from its first establishment by Constantine the Great, in the year 330.
After the death of the emperor, the Turks met with no more resistance; and those, who had attacked the town at the side of the port, having also made good their entrance, the Greeks had their enemies, both before and behind, and were slaughtered without mercy. Then the ruffians transferred their fury against the inhabitants, of whom they butchered such a number, that it is reckoned there perished in this sack of Constantinople, forty thousand Greeks, and sixty thousand were afterwards sold for slaves. On this unhappy occasion, the churches were profaned; bishops were seen prisoners in their pontifical habits; and nuns, in their religious dress, tied as slaves. The holy vestments were used as trappings for the horses. Meat was served up to the table in the sacred vessels, and chalices were used to drink out of. In fine, the barbarians gave a loose to all the human passions, and rioted with such licentiousness for three days, that they committed all kinds of excesses, and the most enormous and execrable crimes, that history has ever informed us to have been perpetrated on such occasions.
Thus Mahomet and his successors added to their conquest many other countries, both in Asia and Europe, which the
Turks are still in possession of. To pursue this history any further, seems therefore unnecessary, and we may conclude with observing in general, that the Mahometan power and religion have prevailed to a prodigious extent, taking in the greatest part of Asia, many spacious countries in Africa, and not a small share of Europe; so that the event demonstrates that power was given to him, to Mahomet and his successors, over the fourth part of the earth, that is, already over the fourth part of the old world.
The sounding of the fourth Trumpet. Apoc. chap. viii, 12. “And the fourth angel sounded the trumpet, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and third part of the stars, so that the third part of them was darkened, and the day did not shine for a third part of it, and the night in like manner."
At the sounding of the fourth trumpet, behold! the third part of the sun, and of the moon, and of the stars, is eclipsed, or struck with darkness: a noble figure, indicating, that, while the Church of Christ is in the most flourishing state, and shining like those glorious luminàries, a third part of it becomes unfortunately obscured by the fatal heresy and schism of the Greeks. This schism was first broached by Photius at Constantinople in the year 866. It infected all orders of Christians, the clergy, the princes, and the body of the faithful, signified respectively by the sun, moon, and stars; and it lopped off nearly one third part of the Church, spreading itself from Constantinople over a great number of the eastern Christian countries. Hence it happened that the Catholic Church was robbed of a third part nearly of her members of all ranks and degrees, and was consequently despoiled of a third part of her lustre, which the prophet expresses by saying, that the. day did not shine for a third part of it, and the night in like manner
It is plain the defection of the Greeks gave such a shock to the Catholic Church, and tore away such a large portion of her, that it may by a just metaphor be called a great earthquake. Apoc. viii. 5. See p. 35.
At the opening of the fourth seal, we saw the rise of Mahometanism, which ushered in the fourth age: here we see the birth of the Greek schism, a second remarkable event, which distinguishes what may be deemed another period of the same age, commencing about the year 866. The preceding Explication elucidated by a succinct History
of the Greek Schism. Photius, a eunuch, a man equally remarkable for his high birth, his abilities, and learning, was honoured with considerable employments at the imperial court of Constantinople: but he disgraced his talents and dignities by his base fraudulent practices and ambition.
He was a favourite of Bardas Cæsar, who was uncle to the young emperor, Michael, and governed the state for him. This Bardas having been reprimanded and even excommunicated by St. Ignatius, patriarch of Constantinople, for his scandalous debauched life, resolved upon this prelate's ruin. Having much influence with his nephew, the emperor, he prevailed upon him to banish the patriarch from Constantinople. All means were then used to extort from Ignatius the resignation of his see, but he constantly refusing, Bardas had the presumption to nominate Photius, then a layman, to the patriarchate, in the year 858. But this nomination not being warranted by a previous election, and consequently contrary to the canons of the Church, no bishop would ordain Photius, till he had promised upon oath to acknowledge Ignatius as lawful patriarch, and not to act without his concurrence and direction. Nevertheless, in less than two months after his ordination he persecuted, violently all those of the clergy that adhered to Ignatius, and some he caused to be scourged, and others otherwise tormented. And in order to destroy Ignatius, he persuaded Bardas to commence an information against him, as having secretly conspired against the state. But nothing could be proved against the holy patriarch; who nevertheless was removed to a prison in the suburbs of Constantinople, and there cruelly tortured.
In consequence of such unchristian proceedings, several bishops of the province of Constantinople assembled and excommunicated Photius. On the other side, Photius, supported by Bardas, in a synod of some of his adherents, pronounced sentence of deposition and excommunication against Ignatius, who thereupon was loaded with chains, and banished to Mytelene in the isle of Lesbos. To colour so unjustifiable a step, Photius sent messengers with a letter to Pope Nicholas, in which he signified, that Ignatius had resigned his see on account of his age and infirmities, and that himself had been chosen for it by the metropolitan bishops, and had been compelled by the emperor to undertake that heavy burthen: then he desired, that the pope would ratify both the resignation and election. As the pope received no account from Ignatius, who was not suffered by his cnemies to send any, his holiness despatched two legates with orders only to take informations, and transmit them to him. The legates being arrived at Constantinople, Photius and the emperor found means to gain them over after a long resistance. Upon this a synod was held at Constantinople in 861, in which, by the prevarication of the legates, St. Ignatius, who had been sent for, was unjustly deposed, and afterwards imprisoned and most barbarously treated. Photius even advised the emperor to compel Ignatius to read his own condemnation in the Church, and then to have his eyes pulled out and his hand cut off. But Ignatius, suspecting some sinister design was hatched against him, disguised himself, made his escape out of prison, and fled.
Ignatius had by this time found means to inform the pope of what had passed at Constantinople. His holiness complained of the prevarication of his legates, condemned what had been done, and in his letters to the emperor and Photius, insisted that Ignatius was the lawful patriarch, and Photius's nomination every way irregular and void. Then in a letter addressed to all the faithful in the east, the pope orders the patriarchs of Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem, and the metropolitans and other bishops, to hold the same sentiments with himself in regard to Ignatius and the intruder. Photius, like a daring impostor, suppressed the letter he had received from the pope, and forged another, couched in terms favourable to himself; but the cheat was discovered. In fine, finding it impossible to make the pope propitious to his cause, he resolved to wreak his revenge upon him : for which purpose, having secured the emperor in his interest, he held a council of his adherents at Constantinople in 866, in which he presumed to pronounce sentence of deposition and excommunication against Pope Nicholas: and this was the origin of the Greek Schism.* He got the acts of this pretended synod, signed by twenty-one bishops; but he added false subscriptions of others to the number of about a thousand. Then he wrote a circular letter to the eastern patriarchs and bishops, containing a charge against the Latin Church. First, he found fault with some points of discipline which before his rupture with the Church he had approved in his confession of faith which he sent to the pope seven years before this period. Then he proceeded to accuse the Latins of an error in faith, for teaching that the Holy Ghost proceeds, not from the Father only, but from the Father and the Son : which tenet had been taught by the Greek Fathers as well as the Latin. It had been approved in the third general council held at Ephesus, and in several subsequent general councils, and was expressly defined in the Ecumenical council of Florence in 1439. By rejecting this article, Photius, and those Greeks who adhered to him, added heresy to schism. But as their separation from the unity of the Catholic Church began by schism, it has retained that name.
Basil becoming emperor in 867, banished Photius to the isle of Scepe, and restored St. Ignatius to his see of Constantinople after an exile of nine years. At this prelate's solicitation with the pope and emperor, a general council of the Church was held at Constantinople in 869, at which presided the legates of pope Adrian II. who had succeeded Nicholas. The schismatical synod, which had been held by Photius as mentioned before, was here condemned ; and he himself having been sent for to appear before the council, after a long hearing, was excommunicated. Then Photius, by the emperor's orders, was sent back into banishment; but eight years after he prevailed upon the emperor to permit him to return to Constantinople.
Upon the death of St. Ignatius in 878, Photius, with armed men, took possession of the Church of St. Sophia, and kept possession of the see of Constantinople, though repeatedly condemned by different popes, till Leo the wise succeeding Basil in the empire in 886, banished Photius into a monastery in Armenia, where he died, after having lived full twenty years in open schism.
* As the body of the Roman dominions had been divided into two empires; the western, having Rome for its metropolis; and the eastern, which had Constantinople for its capital: so the same division was usually
dmitted in the Church; the western part being often called the Latin Church, from the language used there; and the eastern was styled the Greek Church, likewise from its language.