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tablished in Cappadocia, Cilicia, Cyprus, and Syria, and hath twelve archbishops under his jurisdiction. He also, at present, acknowledges his subordination to the patriarch of Echmiazin. The third and last in rank of the patriarchs above mentioned, who has no more than eight or nine bishops under his dominion, resides in the island of Aghtamar, which is in the midst of the great lake of Varaspuracan, and is looked upon by the other Armenians as the enemy of their church.
Beside these prelates, who are patriarchs in the true sense of that term, the Armenians have other spiritual leaders, who are honoured with the title of patriarchs ; but this indeed is no more than an empty title, unattended with the authority and prerogatives of the patriarchal dignity. Thus the archbishop of the Armenians, who lives at Constantinople, and whose authority is respected by the churches established in those provinces that form the connexion between Europe and Asia, enjoys the title of patriarch. The same denomination is given to the Armenian bishop who resides at Jerusalem; and to the prelate of the same nation, who has his episcopal seat at Caminec in Poland, and governs the Armenian churches that are established in Russia, Poland, and the adjacent countries. These bishops assume the title of patriarchs on account of some peculiar privileges conferred on them by the great patriarch of Echmiazin. For by an authority derived from this supreme head of the Armenian church, they are allowed to consecrate bishops, and to make, every third year, and distribute among their congregations, the holy chrism, or ointment, which, according to a constant custom among the eastern Christians, is the privilege of the patriarchs alone.' XV. The Nestorians, who are also known by the deno
mination of Chaldeans, have fixed their habitaThe Nesto- tions chiefly in Mesopotamia, and the adjacent Chaldeans. countries. They have several doctrines, as well as some religious ceremonies and institutions that are peculiar to themselves. But the main points that distinguish them from all other Christian societies, are, their persua. sion that Nestorius was unjustly condemned by the council of Ephesus, and their firm attachment to the doctrine of that prelate, who maintained that there were not only two natures, but also two distinct persons in the Son of God. In the earlier ages of the church, this error was looked upon as of the most momentous and pernicious kind; but in our times it is esteemed of less consequence, by persons of the greatest weight and authority in theological matters, even among the Roman catholic doctors. They consider this whole controversy as a dispute about words, and the opinion of Nestorius as a nominal, rather than a real heresy; that is, as an error arising rather from the words he employed, than from his intention in the use of them. It is true indeed that the Chaldeans attribute to Christ two natures, and even two persons; but they correct what may seem rash in this expression, by adding, that these natures and persons are so closely and intimately united, that they have only one aspect. Now the word barsopa, by which they express this aspect, is precisely of the same signification with the Greek word #poratov, which signifies a person," and from hence it is evident, that they attached to the word aspect the same idea that we attach to the word person, and that they understood by the word person, precisely what we understand by the term nature. However that be, we must observe here, to the lasting honour of the Nestorians, that of all the Christian societies established in the east, they have been the most careful and successful in avoiding a multitude of superstitious opinions and practices that have infected the Greek and Latin churches.*
t See the Nureveaur Memoires des Missions de la Compagnie de Jesus, tom iii. p. 1218, where there is an ainple and circumstantial account, both of the civil and religious state of the Armenians. This account has been highly applauded by M. de la Croze, for the fidelity, accuracy, and industry, with which it is drawn up, and no man was more conversant in subjects of this nature than that learned author. See La Croze, Histoire du Christianisine d'Ethiope, p. 315.
xvi. In the earlier ages of Nestorianism the various branches of that numerous and powerful sect Their Patriwere under the spiritual jurisdiction of the same archs. pontiff, or catholic, who resided, first at Bagdat, and afterward at Mousul. But in this century the Nestorians were
word barsopa, me significationem hence it is
the Greek word, is pre
ea that we
attached to person," and from
u It is in this manner that the sentiments of the Nestorians are explained in the inscriptions wbich adorn the tombs of their patriarchs in the city of Mousul. See Assemandi Biblioth. Oriental. Vatican. tom. ii. part ii. p. 210. R. Simon, Histoire de la Creance des Chretiens Orientaux, ch. vii. p. 94. Petrus Strozza, De dogmatibus Chaldeorum, published in 8vo. at Rome, in the year 1617.
x See the learned dissertation of Assemanni de Syris Nestorianis, which occupies entirely the fourth volume of his Biblioth. Oriental. Vatican. and which seems to have been much consulted and partly copied, by Mich. Le Quien, in the eleventh volume of his Oriens, Christianus, p. 1078.
divided into two sects. They had chosen, in the year 1552, as has been already observed, two bishops at the same time, Simeon Barmana and John Sulaka, otherwise named Siud. The latter, to strengthen his interest, and to triumph over his competitor, went directly to Rome, and acknowledged the jurisdiction, that he might be supported by the credit of the.Roman pontiff. In the year 1555, Simeon Denha, archbishop of Gelu, adopted the party of the fugitive patriarch, who had embraced the communion of the Latin church; and, being afterward chosen patriarch himself, fixed his residence in the city of Ormia, in the mountainous parts of Persia, where his suca cessors still continue, and are all distinguished by the name of Simeon. So far down as the last century, these patriarchs persevered in their communion with the church of Rome, but seem at present to have withdrawn themselves from it. The great Nestorian pontiffs, who form the opposite party, and look with a hostile eye on this little patriarch, have, since the year 1559, been distinguished by the general denomination of Elias, and reside constantly in the city of Mousul.” Their spiritual dominion is very extensive, takes in a great part of Asia, and comprehends also within its circuit the Arabian Nestorians; as also the Christians of St. Thomas, who dwell along the coast of Malabar. XVH. Beside the Christian societies now mentioned, who
still retained some faint shadow at least of that s system of religion delivered by Christ and his
apostles, there were other sects dispersed through a great part of Asia, whose principles and doctrines were highly pernicious. These sects derived their origin from the Ebionites, Valentinians, Manicheans, Basilidians, and other separatists, who, in the early ages of Christianity, excited schisms and factions in the church. Equally abhorred by Turks and Christians, and thus suffering oppression from all quarters, they declined from day to day, and fell at length into such barbarous superstition and ignorance, as extinguished among them every spark of true religion. Thus were
The remains of ancient sects.
y See Jos. Sim. Assemanni Biblioth. Orient. Vatican. tom. I. p. 538, and tom. ii. p. 456.
z A list of the Nestorian pontiff's is given by Assemanni, in bis Biblioth. Orient. Vatic. tom. iii. part i. p. 711, which is corrected however in the same volume, part ii. p. macl. See also Le Quien, Oriens, Christianus, tom. ii. p. 1078.
a The rcader will find an ample account of the Christians of St. Thomas in La Croze, Histoire du Christianisme des Indes. See aiso Assemanni loc. citat. tom. iii. part ii. cap. is. p. ccccxiii.
they reduced to the wretched and ignominious figure they at present make, having fallen from the privileges, and almost forfeited the very name of Christians. The sect, who pass in the east under the denomination of Sabians, who call themselves mendai ijahi, or the disciples of John, and whom the Europeans entitle the Christians of St. John, because they yet retain some knowledge of the gospel, is probably of Jewish origin, and seems to have been derived from the ancient Hemerobaptists, of whom the writers of ecclesiastical history make frequent mention. This at least is certain, that John, whom they consider as the founder of their sect, bears no sort of similitude to John the Baptist, but rather resembles the person of that name whom the ancient writers represent as the chief of the Jewish Hemerobaptists. These ambiguous Christians, whatever their orgin be, dwell in Persia and Arabia, and principally at Bassora; and their religion consists in bodily washings, performed frequently and with great solemnity, and attended with certain ceremonies which the priests mingle with this superstitious service."
p a The sect of Hemerobaptists among the Jews were so called from their washing themselves every day, and their performing this custom with the greatest solemnity, as a religious rite necessary to salvation. The account of this sect given by Epipbanius, in the introduction to his book of heresies, has been treated as a fiction, in consequence of the suspicions of inaccuracy and want of veracity under which that author too justly labours. Nay, the existence of the Hemerobaptists has been denied, but without reason ; since they are mentioned by Justin Martyr, Eusebius, and many other ancient writers, every way worthy of credit. That the Christians of St. John were descended from this sect, is rendered probable by many reasons, of which the principal and the most satisfactory may be seen in a very learned and ingenious work of Dr. Mosheim, entitled Moshemii De Rebus Christianorum ante Constantinum Magnum Come mentarii, p. 44.
isab see the preceding note.
ibac The Mendæans at present perform these ablutions only once in a year. See Mosheim, De Rebus Christian. ante Const. Mag. Comment. p. 45.
d See the work of a learned Carmelite, named Ignatius a Jesu, published at Rome, in 8vo. in the year 1652, under the following title ; “Narratio originis rituum et errorum Christianorum S. Johannis ; cui adjungitur discursus, per modum Dialogi, in quo confutantur xxxiv. errores ejusdem nationis." Engelb. Kaemferi Amanitates Exoticæ, Fascic. II. Relat. XI. p. 35. Sale's Preface to his English Translation of the Koran, p. 15. Assemanni Biblioth. Orient. tom. iii. part ii. p. 609. Thevenot, Voyages, tom. iv. p. 584. Herbelot, Biblioth. Orient. p. 725. The very learned Bayer bad composed an historical account of these Mendæans, which contained a variety of curious and interesting facts, and of which he designed that I should be the editor, but a sudden death prevented bis executing his intention. He was of opinion, as appears from the Thesaurus Epistolicus Crozianus, tom. i. p. 21, that these Mendæans, or disciples of St. John, were a branch of the ancient Manicheans; which opinion La Croze himself seems to have adopted, as may be seen in the work now cited, tom. iii. p. 31, 52. But there is really nothing, either in the doctrines or manners of this sect, that resembles the opinions and practice of the Manicheans. Hence several learned men conjecture, that they derive their origin from the ancient idolaters who worshipped a plurality of gods, and more especially from those who paid religious adoration to the stars of heaven, and who were called, by the Arabians, Sabians or Sabcans, Sabini. This opinion has been maintained with much erudition by the famous Fourmont, in a
XVIII. The Jasidians, or Jezdæans, of whose religion and TheJasidiang manners many reports of a very doubtful nature or Jezdxans. are given by voyage writers, are an unsettled wandering tribe, who frequent the Gordian mountains, and the deserts of Kurdistan, a province of Persia; the character of whose inhabitants has something in it peculiarly fierce and intractable. The Jezdæans are divided into black and white members. The former are the priests and rulers of the sect, who go arrayed in sable garments; while the latter, who compose the multitude, are clothed in white. Their system of religion is certainly very singular, and is not hitherto sufficiently known; though it be evidently composed of some Christian doctrines, and a motley mixture of fictions drawn from a different source. They are distinguished from the other corrupt sects that have dishonoured Christianity, by the peculiar impiety of their opinion concerning the evil genius. This nialignant principle they call karubin, or cherubim, i. e. one of the great ministers of the Supreme Being. And if they do not directly address religious worship to this evil minister, they treat him at least with the utmost respect, and not only abstain themselves from offering him any marks of hatred or contempt, but moreover will not suffer any contumelious treatment to be given him by others. Nay, they are said to carry this reverence and circumspection to such an excessive height, that no efforts of persecution, no torments, not even death itself, can engage them to conceive or express an abhorrence of this evil genius; and that they will make no scruple to put to death such persons as express in their presence an aversion to him.e
Dissertation, inserted in the eighteenth volume of the Memoires de l'Academie des Inscriptions et des Belles Lettres, p. 23. But it is absolutely groundless, and has not even a shadow of probability, if we except the name which the Mahometans usually give to this sect. The Mendæans themselves acknowledge that they are of Jewish origin, and that they were translated out of Palestine into the country they at present inhabit. They have sacred books of a very remote antiquity; among others, one which they attribute to Adam, and another composed by John, whom they revere as the founder of their sect. As these books have been some years ago added to the library of the king of France, it is to be hoped that they may contribute to give us a more authentic account of this people than we have hitherto received.
e See Hyde, Historia Relig. Veter. Persarum in Append. p. 549. Otter, Voyage en Turquie et en Perse, tom. i. p. 121 ; tom. ii. p. 249. In the last century, Michael Nau, a learned Jesuit, undertook to instruct this profane sect, and to give them juster notions of religion, sce D'Arvieux, Memoires au Voyages, tom. vi. p. 362, 377, and after him another Jesuit, whose name was Monier, embarked in the same dangerous enterprise, see Memoires des Missions des Jesuites, tom. iii. p. 291 ; but how they were received, and what success attended their ministry, is hitherto unknown. Rhenferdius, 23 appears from the letters of the learned Gisbert Cuper, published by Bayer, see p.