7 ecumenical councils - Canon XIX.
After the sermons of the Bishops, the prayer for the catechumens is to be made first by itself; and after the catechumens have gone out, the prayer for those who are under penance; and, after these have passed under the hand [of the Bishop] and departed, there should then be offered the three prayers of the faithful, the first to be said entirely in silence, the second and third aloud, and then the [kiss of] peace is to be given. And, after the presbyters have given the [kiss of] peace to the Bishop, then the laity are to give it [to one another], and so the Holy Oblation is to be completed. And it is lawful to the priesthood alone to go to the Altar and [there] communicate.
Ancient Epitome of Canon XIX.
After the prayers of the catechumens shall be said those of the Penitents, and afterwards those of the faithful. And after the peace, or brace, has been given, the offering shall be made. Only priests shall enter the sanctuary and maize there their communion
The Greek commentators throw but little if any light upon this canon. A question has been raised as to who said the prayers mentioned. Van Espen, following Isidore’s translation “they also pray who are doing penance,” thinks the prayer of the penitents, said by themselves, is intended, and not the prayer said by the Bishop. But Hefele, following Dionysius’s version— “the prayers over the catechumens,” “over those who are doing penance”—thinks that the liturgical prayers are intended, which after the sermon were wont to be said “over” the different classes. Dionysius does not say “over” the faithful, but describes them as “the prayers of thefaithful,” which Hefele thinks means that thefaithful joined in reciting them.
Excursus on the Worship of the Early Church. (Percival, H. R.: Johnson’s Universal Cyclopoedia, Vol. V., S. V. Liturgics).
St. Paul is by some learned writers supposed to have quoted in several places the already existing liturgy, especially in 1Co ij. 9.,1 and there can be no doubt that the Lord’s prayer was used and certain other formulas which are referred to by St. Lc in the Ac of the Apostles2 as “the Apostles’ prayers.” How early these forms were committed to writing has been much disputed among the learned, and it would be rash to attempt to rule this question. Pierre Le Brun3 presents most strongly the denial of their having been written during the first three centuries, and Probst4 argues against this opinion. While it does not seem possible to prove that before the fourth century the liturgical books were written out in full, owing no doubt to the influence of the disciplina arcani, it seems to be true that much earlier than this there was a definite and fixed order in the celebration of divine worship and in the administration of the sacraments. The famous passage in St Justin Martyr5 seems to point to the existence of such a form in his day, shewing how even then the service for the Holy Eucharist began with the Epistle and Gospel. St. Augustine and St. Chrysostom bear witness to the same thing.6
Within, comparatively speaking, a few years, a good deal of information with regard to the worship of the early Church has been given us by the discovery of the Didachv, and of the fragments the Germans describe as the K. O., and by the publication of M. Gamurrini’s transcript of the Peregrinatio Silvice.7
From all these it is thought that liturgical information of the greatest value can be obtained. Moreover the first two are thought to throw much light upon the age and construction of the Apostolical Constitutions. Without in any way committing myself to the views I now proceed to quote, I lay then before the reader as the results of the most advanced criticism in the matter. (Duchesne. Origines du Culte Chretien, p. 54 et seq).
All known liturgies may be reduced to four principal types—the Syrian, the Alexandrian, the Roman, and the Gallican. In the fourth century there certainly existed these four types at the least, for the Syrian had already given rise to several sub-types which were clearly marked.
The most ancient documents of the Syrian Liturgy are:
1. The Catechetical Lectures of St, Cyril of Jerusalem, delivered about the year 347.
2. The Apostolic Constitutions (Bk. II., 57, and Bk. VIII., 5—15).
3. The homilies of St. Jn Chrysostom.
St. Jn Chrysostom often quotes lines of thought and even prayers taken from the liturgy. Bingham8 was the first to have the idea of gathering together and putting ill order these scattered references. This work has been recently taken in hand afresh by Mr. Hammond.9 From this one can find much interesting corroborative evidence, but the orator does not give anywhere a systematic description of the liturgy, in the order of its rites and prayers.
The Catechetical Lectures of St. Cyril are really a commentary upon the ceremonies of the mass, made to the neophytes after their initiation. The preacher does not treat of the missa catechumenorum because his hearers had so long been familiar with it; he presupposes the bread and wine to have been brought to and placed upon the altar, and begins at the moment when the bishop prepares himself to celebrate the Holy Mysteries by washing his hands.
In the Apostolic Constitutions a distinction must be drawn between Book II. and Book VIII. The first is very sketchy; it only contains a description of the rites without the words used, the other gives at length all the formulas of the prayers, but only from the end of the Gospel.
We know now that the Apostolical Constitutions in the present state of the Greek text represent a melting down and fusing together of two analogous books—the Didaskale of the Apostles, of which only a Syriac version is extant; and the Didake of the Apostles, recently discovered by the metropolitan, Philotheus Bryennius. The first of these two books has served as a basis for the, first six books of the Apostolical Constitutions. The second, much spread out, has become the seventh book of the same collection. The eighth book is more homogeneous. It must have been added to the seven others by the author of the recension of the Didaskale and of the Didake. This author is the same as he who made the interpolations in the seven authentic letters of St. Ignatius, and added to them six others of his own manufacture. He lived at Antioch in Syria, or else in the ecclesiastical region of which that city was the centre. He wrote about the middle of the fourth century, at the very high tide of the Subordination theology, which finds expression more than once in his different compositions. He is the author of the description of the liturgy, which is found in Book II.; in fact, that whole passage is lacking in the Syriac Ddaskale. Was it also he who composed the liturgy of the VIIIth book? This is open to doubt, for there are certain differences between this liturgy and that of the IID book.10
I shall now describe the religious service such as these documents suppose, noting, where necessary, their divergences).
The congregation is gathered together, the men on one side the women on the other, the clergy in the apsidal chancel. The readings immediately begin; they are interrupted by chants. A reader ascends the ambo, which stood in the middle of the church, between the clergy and the people, and read two lessons; then another goes up in his place to sing a psalm. This he executes as a solo, but the congregation join in the last modulations of the chant and continue them. This is what is called the “Response” (psalmus responsorius), which must be distinguished carefully from the “Antiphon,” which was a psalm executed alternately by two choirs. At this early date the antiphon did not exist, only the response was known. There must have been a considerable number of readings, but we are not told how many. The series ended with a lection from the Gospel, which is made not by a reader but by a priest or deacon. The congregation stands during this lesson.
When the lessons and psalmodies are done, the priests take the word, each in his turn, and after them the bishop. The homily is always preceded by a salutation to the people, to which they answer, “And with thy spirit.”
After the sermon the sending out of the different categories of persons who should not assist at the holy Mysteries takes place. First of all the catechumens. Upon the invitation of the deacon they make a prayer in silence while the congregation prays for them. The deacon gives the outline of this prayer by detailing the intentions and the things to be prayed for. The faithful answer, and especially the children, by the supplication Kyrie eleison. Then the catechumens rise up, and the deacon asks them to join with him in the prayer which he pronounces; next he makes them bow before the bishop to receive his benediction, after which he sends them home.
The same form is used for the energumens, for the competentes, i.e., for the catechumens who are preparing to receive baptism, and last of all for the penitents.
When there remain in the church only the faithful communicants, these fall to prayer; and prostrate toward the East they listen while the deacon says the litany— “For the peace and good estate of the world; for the holy Catholic and Apostolic Church; for bishops, priests; for the Church’s benefactors; for the neophytes; for the sick; for travellers; for little children; for those who are erring,” etc. And to all these petitions is added Kyrie eleison. The litany ends with this special form “Save us, and raise us up, O God, for thy mercy’s sake.” Then the voice of the bishop rises in the silence—he pronounces a solemn prayer of a grave and majestic style.
Here ends the first part of the liturgy; that part which the Church had taken from the old use of the synagogues. The second part, the Christian liturgy, properly so-called, begins by the salutation of the bishop, followed by the response of the people. Then, at a sign given by a deacon, the clergy receive the kiss of peace from the bishop, and the faithful give it to each other, men to men, women to women.
Then the deacons and the other lower ministers divide themselves between watching and serving at the altar. The one division go through the congregation, keeping all in their proper place, and the little children on the outskirts of the sacred enclosure, and watching the door that no profane person may enter the church. The others bring and set upon the altar the breads and the chalices prepared for the Sacred Banquet; two of them wave fans backwards and forwards to protect the holy offerings from insects. The bishop washes his hands and vests himself in festal habit; the priests range themselves around him, and all together they approach the altar. This is a solemn moment. After private prayer the bishop makes the sign of the cross upon his brow and begins,
“The grace of God Almighty, and the love of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the communion of the Holy Ghost be with you always!”“And with thy spirit.”
“Lift up your hearts.”
“We lift them up unto the Lord.”
“Let us give thanks unto our Lord.”
“It is meet and right so to do.”
“It is very meet,” etc.
And the eucharistic prayer goes on ... concluding at last with a return to the mysterious Sanctuary where God abides in the midst of spirits, where the Cherubims and the Seraphims eternally make heaven ring with the trisagion.
Here the whole multitude of the people lift up their voices and joining their song with that of the choir of Angels, sing, “Holy, Holy, Holy,” etc.
When the hymn is done and silence returns, the bishop continues the interrupted eucharistic prayer.
“Thou truly art holy,” etc., and goes on to commemorate the work of Redemption, the Incarnation of the Word, his mortal life, his passion; now the officiant keeps close to the Gospel account of the last supper; the mysterious words pronounced at first by Jesus on the night before his death are heard over the holy table. Then, taking his inspiration from the last words, “Do this in remembrance of me,” the bishop develops the idea, recalling the Passion of the Son of God, his death, his resurrection, his ascension, the hope of his glorious return, and declaring that it is in order to observe this precept and make this memorial that the congregation offers to God this eucharistic bread and wine. Finally he prays the Lord to turn upon the Oblation a favourable regard, and to send down upon it the power of his Holy Spirit, to make it the. Body and Blood of Christ, the spiritual food of his faithful, and the pledge of their immortality.
Thus ends the eucharistic prayer, properly so-called. The mystery is consummated. ... The bishop then directs the prayers ... and when this long prayer is finished by a doxology, alI the congregation answer “Amen,” and thus ratify his acts of thanks and intercession.
After this is said “Our Father,” accompanied by a short litany. ... The bishop then pronounces his benediction on the people.
The deacon awakes the attention of the faithful and the bishop cries aloud, “Holy things for holy persons.” And the people answer, “There is one only holy, one only Lord Jesus Christ, to the glory of God the Father,” etc.
No doubt at this moment took place the fraction of the bread, a ceremony which the documents of the fourth century do not mention in express terms.
The communion then follows. The bishop receives first, then the priests, the deacons, the sub-deacons, the readers, the singers, the ascetics, the deaconesses, the virgins, the widows, the little children, and last of all the people.
The bishop places the consecrated bread in the right hand, which is open, and supported by the left; the deacon holds the chalice—they drink out of it directly. To each communicant the bishop says, “The Body of Christ”; and the deacon says, “The Blood of Christ, the Cup of life,” to which the answer is made, “Amen.”
During the communion the singers execute Psalm XXXIII). [XXXIV. Heb. numbering] Benedicam Dominum, in which the words “O, taste and see how gracious the Lord is,” have a special suitability.
When the communion is done, the deacon gives the sign for prayer, which the bishop offers in the name of all; then all bow to receive his blessing. Finally the deacon dismisses the congregation, saying, “Go in peace.”11
IT is not right for a deacon to sit in the presence of a presbyter, unless he be bidden by the presbyter to sit down. Likewise the deacons shall have worship of the subdeacons and all the [inferior] clergy.
Ancient Epitome of Canon XX.
A deacon shall not sit down unless bidden.
This is another canon to curb the ambition of Levites who wish to take upon themselves the honours of the priesthood also. Spiritual Cores seem to have been common in early times among the deacons and this is but one of many canons on the subject. Compare Canon XVIII of the Council of Nice. Van Espen points out that in the Apostolic Constitutions (Lib. II., cap. lvij), occurs the following passage, “Let the seat for the bishop be set in the midst, and on each side of him let the presbyters sit, and let the deacons stand, having their loins girded.”
Here it should be noted, by the way, that in this canon there is presented a hierarchy consisting of bishops, presbyters, and deacons and other inferior ministers, each with their mutual subordination one to the other.
This canon is found in the Corpus Juris Canonici, Gratian’s Decretum, Pars I., Dist. xciii., c. xv., in Dionysius’s version.
The subdeacons have no right to a place in the Diaconicum, nor to touch the Lord’s vessels.
Ancient Epitome of Canon XXI.
A subdeacon shall not touch the vessels.
The “Lord’s vessels” are the chalice and what we call the sacred vessels.
The ecclesiastical ministers shall not take into their hands the Lord’s vessels, but they shall be carried to the Table by the priests or deacons.
Both Balsamon and Zonaras agree that by uJpevretai is here meant subdeacons.
It is doubtful whether by diaconicum is here meant the place where the deacons stood during service, or the diaconicum generally so called, which answers to our sacristy of the present day. In this diaconicum the sacred vessels and vestments were kept; and as the last part of the canon especially mentions these, I have no doubt that the diaconicum must mean the sacristy. For the rest, this canon is only the concrete expression of the rule, that the subdeacons shall not assume the functions of the deacons.
With regard to the last words of this canon, Morinus and Van Espen are of opinion that the subdeacons were not altogether forbidden to touch the sacred vessels, for this had never been the case, but that it was intended that at the solemn entrance to the altar, peculiar to the Greek service, the sacred vessels which were then carried should not be borne by the subdeacons.
This canon is found in the Corpus Juris Canonici, Gratian’s Decretum, Pars I., Dist. xxiii., c. xxvj.
The subdeacon has no right to wear an orarium [i.e., stole], nor to leave the doors.
Ancient Epitome of Canon XXII.
A subdeacon must not wear an orarium nor leave the doors.
The “orarium” is what we call now the stole.
In old times, so we are told by Zonaras and Balsamon, it was the place of the subdeacons to stand at the church doors and to bring in and take out the catechumens and the penitents at the proper points in the service. Zonaras remarks that no one need be surprised if this, like many other ancient customs, has been entirely changed and abandoned.
This canon is found in the Corpus Juris Canonici, Gratian’s Decretum, Pars I., Dist. xxxii., canon xxvij., but reads hostias instead of ostia, thus making the canon forbid the subdeacons to leave the Hosts; and to make this worse the ancient Glossator adds, “but the subdeacon should remain and consume them with the other ministers.” The Roman Correctors indeed note the error but have not felt themselves at liberty to correct it on account of the authority of the gloss. Van Espen remarks “To-day if any Hosts remain which are not to be reserved, the celebrant consumes them himself, but perchance in the time the gloss was written, it was the custom that the subdeacons and other ministers of the altar were accustomed to do this, but whenever the ministers present gradually fell into the habit of not receiving the sacrament, this consumption of what remained devolved upon the celebrant.”1
Excursus on the Vestments of the Early Church.
It would be out of place to enter into any specific treatment of the different vestments worn by the clergy in the performance of their various duties. For a full discussion of this whole matter I must refer my readers to the great writers on liturgical and kindred matters, especially to Cardinal Bona, De Rebus Liturgicis; Pugin, Ecclesiastical Glossary; Rock, Church of our Fathers; Hefele, Beitrage zu Kircheschichte, Archaologie und Liturgik (essay in Die Liturgschen Gervander, vol. ij. p. 184) sqq).. And I would take this opportunity of warning the student against the entirely unwarranted conclusions of Durandus’s Rationale Divinorum Officiorum and of Marriott’s Vestiarium Christianum.
The manner in which the use of the stole is spoken of in this canon shews not only the great antiquity of that vestment but of other ecclesiastical vestments as well. Before, however, giving the details of our knowledge with regard to this particular vestment I shall need no apology for quoting a passage, very germane to the whole subject, from the pen of that most delightful writer Curzon, to whose care and erudition all scholars and students of manuscripts are so deeply indebted. (Robert Curzon, Armenia, p. 202).
Here I will remark that the sacred vestures of the Christian Church are the same, with very insignificant modifications, among every denomination of Christians in the world; that they have always been the same, and never were otherwise in any country, from the remotest times when we have any written accounts of them, or any mosaics, sculptures, or pictures to explain their forms. They are no more a Popish invention, or have anything more to do with the Roman Church, than any other usage which is common to all denominations of Christians. They are and always have been, of general and universal—that is, of Catholic—use; they have never been used for many centuries for ornament or dress by the laity, having been considered as set apart to be used only by priests in the church during the celebration of the worship of Almighty God.
Thus far the very learned Curzon. As is natural the distinctive dress of the bishops is the first that we hear of, and that in connexion with St. John, who is said to have worn a golden mitre or fillet.2 (Duchesne, Origines du Culte Chretien, p. 376 et) sqq).
It was not the bishops alone who were distinguished by insignia from the other ecclesiastics. Priests and deacons had their distinctive insignia as well. There was, however, a difference between Rome and the rest of the world in this matter. At Rome it would seem that but little favour was extended at first to these marks of rank; the letter of Pope Celestine to the bishops shews this already. But what makes it evident still more clearly, is that the orarium of the priest and of the deacon, looked upon as a visible and distinctive mark of these orders, was unknown at Rome, at least down to the tenth century, while it had been adopted everywhere else.
To be sure, the orarium is spoken of in the ordines of the ninth century; but from these it is also evident that this vestment was worn by acolytes and subdeacons, as well as by the superior clergy, and that its place was under the top vestment, whether dalmatic or chasuble, and not over it. But that orarium is nothing more than the ancient sweat-cloth (sudarium), the handkerchief, or cravat which has ended up by taking a special form and even by becoming an accessory of a ceremonial vestment: but it is net an insignia. I know no Roman representation of this earlier than the twelfth century. The priests and deacons who figure in the mosaics never display this detail of costume.
But such is not the case elsewhere. Towards the end of the fourth century, the Council of Laodicea in Phrygia forbade inferior classes, subdeacons, readers, etc., to usurp the orarium. St. Isidore of Pelusium knew it as somewhat analogous to the episcopal pallium, except that it was of linen, while the pallium was of wool. The sermon on the Prodigal Son, sometimes attributed to St. Jn Chrysostom [Migne’s Ed., vol. viij., 520], uses the same term, ojqovnh; it adds that this piece of dress was worn over the left shoulder, and that as it swung back and forth it called to mind the wings of the angels.
The deacons among the Greeks wear the stole in this fashion down to to-day, perfectly visible, over the top of the upper vestment, and fastened upon the left shoulder. Its ancient name (wjravrion) still clings to it. As for the orarium of the priests it is worn, like the stole of Latin priests, round the neck, the two ends falling in front, almost to the feet. This is called the epitrachilion (ejpitrachvlion).
These distinctions were also found in Spain and Gaul. The Council of Braga, in 561, ordered that deacons should wear these oraria, not under the tunicle, which caused them to be confounded with the subdeacon, but over it, over the shoulder. The Council of Toledo, in 633, describes the orarium as the common mark of the three superior orders, bishops, priests, and deacons; and specifies that the deacon should wear his over his left shoulder, and that it should be white, without any mixture of colours or any gold embroidery. Another Council of Braga forbade priests to say mass without having a stole around their necks and crossed upon the breast, exactly as Latin priests wear it to-day. St. Germanus of Paris speaks of the insignia of a bishop and of a deacon; to the first he assigns the name of pallium, and says that it is worn around the neck, and falls down upon the breast where it ends with a fringe. As for the insignia of a deacon he calls it a stole (stola); and says that deacons wear it over the alb. This fashion of wearing the stole of the deacon spread during the middle ages over nearly the whole of Italy and to the very gates of Rome. And even at Rome the ancient usage seems to have been maintained with a compromise. They ended up by adopting the stole for deacons and by placing it over the left shoulder, but they covered it up with the dalmatic or the chasuble.
The priest’s stole was also accepted: and in the mosaics of Sta. Maria in Trastevere is seen a priest ornamented with this insignia. It is worthy of notice that the four popes who are represented in the same mosaic wear the pallium but no stole. The one seems to exclude the other. And as a matter of fact the ordines of the ninth century in describing the costume of the pope omit always the stole. One can readily understand that who bore one of these insignia should not wear the other.
However, they ended by combining them, and at Revenue, where they always had a taste for decorations, bishop Ecclesius in the mosaics of San Vitale wears both the priest’s stole and the Roman pallium. This, however, seems to be unique, and his successors have the pallium only. The two are found together again in the Sacramentary of Autun (Vide M. Lelisle’s reproduction in the Gazette Archeologique, 1884, pl. 20), and on the paliotto of St. Ambrose of Milan; such seems to have been the usage of the Franks.
In view of these facts one is led to the conclusion that all these insignia, called pallium, omophorion, orarium, stole, epitrachilion, have the same. origin. They are the marks of dignity, introduced into church usage during the fourth century, analogous to those which the Theodosian code orders for certain kinds of civil functionaries. For one reason or another the Roman Church refused to receive these marks, or rather confined itself to the papal pallium, which then took a wholly technical signification. But everywhere else, this mark of the then superior orders of the hierarchy was adopted, only varying slightly to mark the degree, the deacon wearing it over the left shoulder, the bishop and priest around the neck, the deacon over the tunicle which is his uppermost vestment, the priest under the chasuble; the bishop over his chasuble.3 However, for this distinction between a bishop and priest we have very little evidence. The Canon of III Brags, already cited, which prescribes that priests shall wear the stole crossed over the breast, presupposes that it is worn under the chasuble, but the council understands that this method of wearing it pertains distinctively to priests, and that bishops have another method which they should observe; for the word sacerdotes, used by the council, includes bishops as well as priests. The rest of the Spanish ecclesiastical literature gives us no information upon tile point. In Gaul, St. Germanus of Paris (as we have seen) speaks of the episcopal pallium after having described the chasuble, which makes one believe that it was worn on top. I have already said that Bishop Ecclesius of Ravenna is represented with the stole pendant before, under the chasuble and at the same time with the pallium on top of it; and that this usage was adopted in France in the Carlovingian times. Greek bishops also wear at the same time the epitrachilion and the omophorion. This accumulation of insignia was forbidden in Spain in the seventh century (Vide IV Toledo, Canon XXXIX), and (as we have stated) the Pope abstained from it until about the twelfth century, contenting himself with the pallium without adding to it the stole.*
The pallium, with the exception of the crosses which adorn its ends, was always white; so too was the deacon’s stole and also that of the priest and bishop. The pallium was always and everywhere made of wool; in the East the deacon’s stole was of linen; I cannot say of what material the priest’s and deacon’s stole was in the West.
The readers and singers have no right to wear an orarium, and to read or sing thus [habited].
Ancient Epitome of Canon XXIII.
Cantors and rectors shall not wear the orarium.
Rightly Zonoras here remarks, “for the same reason (that they should not seem to wish to usurp a ministry not their own) it is not permitted to these to wear the stole, for readers are for the work of reading, and singers for singing,” so each one should perform his own office.
This canon is found in the Corpus Juris Canonici, Gratian’s Decretum, Pars I., Dist. xxiii., can. xxviij.
No one of the priesthood, from presbyters to deacons, and so on in the ecclesiastical order to subdeacons, readers, singers, exorcists, door-keepers, or any of the class of the Ascetics, ought to enter a tavern.
Ancient Epitome of Canon XXIV.
No clergyman should enter a tavern.
Compare this with Apostolic Canon LIV., which contains exceptions not here specified.
This canon is contained in the Corpus Juris Canonici, Gratian’s Decretum, Pars I., Dist. 44,c. jj.
Excursus on the Minor Orders of the Early Church. (Lightfoot, Apostolic Fathers, Ignatius, Vol. 1P 258).
Some of these lower orders, the subdeacons, readers, door-keepers, and exorcists, are mentioned in the celebrated letter of Cornelius bishop of Rome (a.d. 251) preserved by Eusebius (H.E., vi., 43), and the readers existed at least half a century earlier (Tertull. de Praescr., 41). In the Eastern Church, however, if we except the Apostolic Constitutions, of which the date and country are uncertain, the first reference to such offices is found in a canon of the Council of Antioch, a.d. 341, where readers, subdeacons, and exorcists, are mentioned, this being apparently intended as an exhaustive enumeration of the ecclesiastical orders below the diaconate; and for the first mention of door-keepers in the East, we must go to the still later Council of Laodicea, about a.d. 363, (see (III., p. 240, for the references, where also fuller information is given). But while most of these lower orders certainly existed in the West, and probably in the East, as early as the middle of the third century the case is different with the “singers” (yavltai) and the “labourers” (kopia`tai). Setting aside the Apostolic Constitutions, the first notice of the “singers” occurs in the canons of the above-mentioned Council of Laodicea. This, however, may be accidental. The history of the word copiatai affords a more precise and conclusive indication of date. The term first occurs in a rescript of Constantius (a.d. 357), “clerici qui copiatai appellantur,” and a little later (a.d. 361), the same emperor speaks of them as “hi quos copiatas recens usus instituit nuncupari.”
(Adolf Harnack, in his little book ridiculously intituled in the English version Sources of the Apostolic Canons, page 85).
Exorcists and readers there had been in the Church from old times, subdeacons are not essentially strange, as they participate in a name (deacon) which dates from the earliest days of Christianity. But acolytes and door-keepers (pulwroiv) are quite strange, are really novelties. And these acolytes even at the time of Cornelius stand at the head of the ordines minores: for that the subdeacons follow on the deacons is self-evident. Whence do they come? Now if they do not spring out of the Christian tradition, their origin must be explained from the Roman. It can in fact he shown there with desirable plainness.
With regard to subdeacons the reader may also like to see some of Harnack’s speculations. In the volume just quoted he writes as follows (p. 85 note):
According to Cornelius and Cyprian subdeacons were mentioned in the thirtieth canon of the Synod of Elvira (about 305), so that the sub diaconate must then have been acknowledged as a fixed general institution in the whole west (see (Dale, The Synod of Elvira, Lond., 1882). The same is seen in the “gesta apud Zenophilum.” As the appointment of the lower orders took place at Rome between about the years 222–249, the announcement in the Liber Pontificalis (see (Duchesne’s edition, fasc. 2, 1885, p. 148) is not to be despised, as according to it Bishop Fabian appointed seven subdeacons: “Hic regiones dividit diaconibus et fecit 7,subdiaconos.” The Codex Liberianus indeed (see (Duchesne, fasc. 1, pp. 4 and 5; Lipsius, Chronologie d. rom Bischofe, p. 267), only contains the first half of the sentence, and what the Liber Pontif. has added of the account of the appointment of subdeacons (... qui vii notariis imminerent, ut gestas martyrum in integro fideliter colligerent) is, in spite of the explanation of Duchesne, not convincing. According to Probst and other Catholic scholars the subdiaconate existed in Rome a long time before Fabian (Kirchl. Disciplin, p. 109), but Hippolytus is against them. Besides, it should be observed that the officials first, even in Carthage, are called hypo-deacons, though the word subdiaconus was by degrees used in the West. This also points to a Roman origin of the office, for in the Roman church in the first part of the third century the Greek language was the prevailing one, but not at Carthage.
But to return to the Acolythes, and door-keepers, whom Harnack thinks to be copies of the old Roman temple officers. He refers to Marquardt’s explanation of the sacrificial system of the Romans, and gives the following resume (page 85 et seqq).:
1. The temples have only partially their own priests, but they all have a superintendent (oedituus-curator templi). These ceditui, who lived in the temple, fall again into two classes. At least “in the most important brotherhoods the chosen oedituus was not in a position to undertake in person the watching and cleaning of the sacellum. He charged therefore with this service a freedman or slave.” “In this case the sacellum had two oeditui, the temple-keeper, originally called magister oedituus, and the temple-servant, who appears to be called the oedituus minister.” “To both it is common that they live in the temple, although in small chapels the presence of the servant is sufficient. The temple-servant opens, shuts, and cleans the sacred place, and shows to strangers its curiosities, and allows, according to the rules of the temple, those persons to offer up prayers and sacrifices to whom this is permitted, while he sends away the others.”
2. “Besides the endowment, the colleges of priests were also supplied with a body of servants”—the under official—; “they were appointed to the priests, ... by all of whom they were used partly as letter-carriers (tabellarii), partly as scribes, partly as assistants at the sacrifices.” Marquardt reckons, (page 218 and fol). the various categories of them among the sacerdotes publici, lictores, pullarii, victimarii, tibicines, viatores, sixthly the calatores, in the priests’ colleges free men or freedmen, not slaves, and in fact one for the personal service of each member.
Here we have the forerunners of the Church door-keepers and acolytes. Thus says the fourth Council of Carthage, as far as refers to the former: “Ostiarius cure ordinatur, postquam ab archidiacono instructus fuerit, qualiter in dome dei debeat conversari, ad suggestionem archidiaconi, tradat ei episcopus claves ecclesiae de altari, dicens. Sic age, quasi redditurus deo rationem pro his rebus, quae hisce clavibus recluduntur.” The ostiarius (pulwrov") is thus the aedituus minister. He had to look after the opening and shutting of the doors, to watch over the coming in and going out of the faithful, to refuse entrance to suspicious persons, and, from the date of the more strict separation between the missa catechumenorum and the missa fidelium, to close the doors, after the dismissal of the catechumens, against those doing penance and unbelievers. He first became necessary when there were special church buildings (there were such even in the second century), and they like the temples, together with the ceremonial of divine service, had come to be considered as holy, that is, since about 225. The church acolytes are without difficulty to be recognised in the under officials of the priests, especially in the “calatores,” the personal servants of the priests. According to Cyprian the acolytes and others are used by preference as tabellarii. According to Cornelius there were in Rome forty-two acolytes. As he gives the number of priests as forty-six, it may be concluded with something like certainty that the rule was that the number of the priests and of the acolytes should be equal, and that the little difference may have been caused by temporary vacancies. If this view is correct, the identity of the calator with the acolyte is strikingly proved. But the name “acolyte” plainly shows the acolyte was not, like the door-keeper, attached to a sacred thing, but to a sacred person.
(Lightfoot. Apostolic Fathers. Ignatius, ad Antioch, xj., note. Vol. II., Sec. II., p. 240).
The acolytes were confined to the Western Church and so are not mentioned here. On the other hand the “deaconesses” seem to have been confined to the Eastern Church at this time. See also Apost. Const., iii., 11.; viii., 12; comp. viii., 19–28, 31; Apost. Can., 43; Conc. Laodic., Can. 24; Conc. Antioch, Can. 10. Of these lower orders the “subdeacons” are first mentioned in the middle of the third century, in the passage of Cornelius already quoted and in the contemporary letters of Cyprian. The “readers” occur as early as Tertullian de Proescr. 41 “hodie diaconus, qui cras lecfor,” where the language shows that this was already a firmly established order in the Church. Of the “singers” the notices in the Apostolical Constitutions are probably the most ancient. The “door-keepers,” like the sub-deacons, seem to be first mentioned in the letter of Cornelius. The kopiw`nte" first appear a full century later; see the next note. The “exorcists,” as we have seen, are mentioned as a distinct order by Cornelius, while in Apost. Const., viii., 26, it is ordered that they shall not be ordained, because it is a spiritual function which comes direct from God and manifests itself by its results. The name and the function, however, appear much earlier in the Christian Church; e.g., Justin Mart., Apol. ii., 6 (p. 45). The forms ejporkisth;" and ejxorkisth;"are convertible; e.g., Justin Mart., Dial., 85 (p. 311). The “confessors” hardly deserve to be reckoned a distinct order, though accidentally they are mentioned in proximity with the different grades of clergy in Apost. Const., viii., 12, already quoted. Perhaps the accidental connexion in this work has led to their confusion with the offices of the Christian ministry in our false Ignatius. In Apost. Const., viii., 23, they are treated in much the same way as the exorcists, being regarded as in some sense an order and yet not subject to ordination. Possibly, however, the word oJmologhtai; has here a different sense, “chanters,” as the corresponding Latin “confessores” seems sometimes to have, e.g., in the Sacramentary of Gregory “Oremus et pro omnibus episcopis, presbyteris, diaconibus, acolythis, exorcistis, lectoribus, ostiariis, confessoribus, virginibus, viduis, et pro omni populo sancto Dei;” see Ducange, Gloss. Lat., s. 5,(11. p. 530, Henschel).
In a law of the year 357 (Cod. Theod., xiii., 1) mention is made of “clerici qui copiatae appellantur,” and another law of the year 361 (Cod. Theod. xvi., 2, 15) runs “clerici vero vel his quos copiatas recens usus instituit nuncupari,” etc. From these passages it is clear that the name kopiw`nte" was not in use much before the middle of the fourth century, though the office under its Latin name “fossores” or “fossarii” appears somewhat earlier. Even later Epiphanius (Expos. Fid., 21) writes as if the word still needed some explanation. In accordance with these facts, Zahn (I. 5,, A. p. 129), correctly argues with regard to our Ignatian writer, urging that on the one hand he would not have ascribed such language to Ignatius if the word had been quite recent, while on the other hand his using the participle (tou;" kopiw`nta") rather than the substantive indicates that it had not yet firmly established itself. For these “copiatae” see especially de Rossi, Roma Sotteranea, III., p. 533 sq., Gothofred on Cod. Theod., II., cc., and for the Latin “fossores” Martigny, Dict. des Antiq. Chret. s.v. See also the inscriptions, C. I, G., 9227, Bull. de Corr. Hellen., 7,, p. 238, Journ. of Hellen. Stud., vi., p. 362.
A Subdeacon must not give the Bread, nor bless the Cup,
Ancient Epitome of Canon XXV.
A subdeacon may not give the bread and the cup.
Subdeacons are not allowed to perform the work of presbyters and deacons. Wherefore they neither deliver the bread nor the cup to the people.
According to the Apostolic Constitutions, the communion was administered in the following manner: the bishop gave to each the holy bread with the words: “the Body of the Lord,” and the recipient said, “Amen.” The deacon then gave the chalice with the words: “the Blood of Christ, the chalice of life,” and the recipient again answered, “Amen.” This giving of the chalice with the words: “the Blood of Christ,” etc., is called in the canon of Laodicea a “blessing” (eujlogei`n). The Greek commentator Aristenus in accordance with this, and quite rightly, gives the meaning of this canon.
This canon is found in the Corpus Juris Canonici, Gratian’s Decretum, Pars I., Diet. XCIII., c. xix.; but reads “Deacons” instead of “Subdeacons.” The Roman Correctors point out the error.
They who have not been promoted [to that office] by the bishop, ought not to adjure, either in churches or in private houses.
Ancient Epitome of Canon XXVI.
No one shall adjure without the bishop’s promotion to that office.
Some were in the habit of “adjuring,” that is catechising the unbelievers, who had never received the imposition of the bishop’s hands for that purpose; and when they were accused of doing so, contended that as they did not do it in church but only at home, they could not be considered as deserving of any punishment, For this reason the Fathers rule that even to “adjure” (ejforkivzen) is an ecclesiastical ministry, and must not be executed by anyone who shall not have been promoted thereto by a bishop. But the “Exorcist” must be excepted who has been promoted by a Chorepiscopus, for he can indeed properly catechize although not promoted by a bishop; for from Canon X. of Antioch we learn that even a Chorepiscopus can make an Exorcist.
Zonaras notes that from this canon it appears that “Chorepiscopi are considered to be in the number of bishops.”
“Promoted” (proacqevnta") by the bishops, by which is signified a mere designation or appointment, in conformity with the Greek discipline which never counted exorcism among the orders, but among the simple ministries which were committed to certain persons by the bishops, as Morinus proves at length in his work on Orders (De Ordinationibus, Pars III., Ex XIV., cap. ij)..
Double is the power of devils over men, the one part internal the other external. The former is when they hold the soul captive by vice and sin. The latter when they disturb the exterior and interior senses and lead anyone on to fury. Those who are subject to the interior evils are the Catechumens and Penitents, and those who are subject to the exterior are the Energumens. Whoever are occupied with the freeing from the power of the devil of either of these kinds, by prayers, exhortations, and exorcisms, are said “to exorcize” them; which seems to be what Balsamon means when he says—“‘exorcize’ that is ‘to catechize the unbelievers.’” Vide this matter more at length in Ducange’s Glossary (Gloss., s. 5,Exorcizare).
This canon is found in the Corpus Juris Canonici, Gratian’s Decretum, Pars I., Dist. LXIX. c. ij., Isidore’s version.
Neither they of the priesthood, nor clergymen, nor laymen, who are invited to a love feast, may take away their portions, for this is to cast reproach on the ecclesiastical order.
Ancient Epitome OF Canon XXVII.
A clergyman invited to a love feast shall carry nothing away with him; for this would bring his order into shame.
Van Espen translates: “no one holding any office in the Church, be he cleric or layman,” and appeals to the fact that already in early times among the Greeks many held offices in the Church without being ordained, as do now our sacristans and acolytes. I do not think, however, with Van Espen, that by “they of the priesthood” is meant in general any one holding office in the Church, but only the higher ranks of the clergy, priests and deacons, as in the preceding twenty-fourth canon the presbyters and deacons alone are expressly numbered among the iJeratikoi`" and distinguished from the other (minor) clerics. And afterwards, in canon XXX., there is a similar mention of three different grades, iJeratikoiv, klhrikoiv, and askhtaiv.
The taking away of the remains of the agape is here forbidden, because, on the one hand, it showed covetousness, and, on the other, was perhaps considered a profanation.
This canon is found in the Corpus Juris Canonici, Gratian’s Decretum, Pars I., Dist. XLII., c. iij.
IT is not permitted to hold love feasts, as they are called, in the Lord’s Houses, or Churches, nor to eat and to spread couches in the house of God.
Ancient Epitome OF Canon
Beds shall not be set up in churches, nor shall love feasts be held there.
Eusebius (H. E., Lib. IX., Cap. X). employs the expression kuriakav in the same sense as does this canon as identical with churches. The prohibition itself, however, here given, as well as the preceding canon, proves that as early as the time of the Synod of Laodicea, many irregularities had crept into the agape. For the rest, this Synod was not in a position permanently to banish the usage from the Church; for which reason the Trullan Synod in its seventy-fourth canon repeated this rule word for word.
This canon is found in the Corpus Juris Canonici, Gratian’s Decretum, Pars I., Disk XLII., c. iv.
Christians must not judaize by resting on the Sabbath, but must work on that day, rather honouring the Lord’s Day; and, if they can, resting then as Christians. But if any shall be found to be judaizers, let them be anathema from Christ.
Ancient Epitome of Canon XXIX.
A Christian shall not stop work on the Sabbath, but on the Lords Day.
Here the Fathers order that no one of the faithful shall stop work on the Sabbath as do the Jews, but that they should honour the Lord’s Day; on account of the Lord’s resurrection, and that on that day they should abstain from manual labour and go to church. But thus abstaining from work on Sunday they do not lay down as a necessity, but they add, “if they can.” For if through need or any other necessity any one worked on the Lord’s day this was not reckoned against him.
None of the priesthood, nor clerics [of lower rank] nor ascetics, nor any Christian or layman, shall wash in a bath with women; for this is the greatest reproach among the heathen.
Ancient Epitome of Canon XXX.
It is an abomination to bathe with women.
This canon was renewed by the Synod in Trullo, canon lxxvij.
Zonaras explains that the bathers were entirely nude and hence arose the objection which was also felt by the heathen.
This canon is found in the Corpus Juris Canonici, Gratian’s Decretum, Pars I., Dist. LXXXI, c. xxviij.
IT is riot lawful to make marriages with all [sorts of] heretics, nor to give our sons and daughters to them; but rather to take of them, if they promise to become Christians.
Ancient Epitome of Canon XXXI.
It is not right to give children in marriage to heretics, but they should be received if they promise to become Christians.
By this canon the faithful are forbidden to contract marriage with heretics or to join their children in such; for, as both Balsamon and Zonaras remark, “they imbue them with their errors, and lead them to embrace their own perverse opinions.”
It is unlawful to receive the eulogiae of heretics, for they are rather ajlogivai [i.e., fol-lies], than eulogiae [i.e., blessings].
Ancient Epitome of Canon XXXII.
The blessings of heretics are cursings.
To keep the Latin play upon the words the translator has used bene-dictiones and male-dictiones, but at the expense of the accuracy of translation.
This canon is found in the Corpus Juris Canonici, Gratian’s Decretum, Pars IL., Causa II., Quaest. I., Can. lxvj.
No one shall join in prayers with heretics or schismatics.
Ancient Epitome of Canon XXXIII.
Thou shalt not pray with heretics or schismatics.
The underlying principle of this canon is the same as the last, for as the receiving of the Eulogiae which were sent by heretics as a the same communion, and therefore to be sign of communion, signified a communion avoided. This is also set forth in Apostolical with them in religious matters, so the sharing Canon number 45,with them common prayer is a declaration
No Christian shall forsake the martyrs of Christ, and turn to false martyrs, that is, to those of the heretics, or those who formerly were heretics; for they are aliens from God. Let those, therefore, who go after them, be anathema.
Ancient Epitome of Canon XXXIV.
Whoso honours an heretical pseudo-martyr let him be anathema.
This canon forbids the honouring of martyrs not belonging to the orthodox church. The number of Montanist martyrs of Phrygia was probably the occasion of this canon.
The phrase which I have translated “to those who formerly were heretics” has caused great difficulty to all translators and scarcely two agree. Hammond reads “those who have been reputed to have been heretics;” and with him Fulton agrees, but wrongly (as I think) by omitting the “to.” Lambert translates “to those who before were heretics” and correctly. With him agrees Van Espen, thus, vel eos qui prius heretici fuere.
Christians must not forsake the Church of God, and go away and invoke angels and gather assemblies, which things are forbidden. If, therefore, any one shall be found engaged in this covert idolatry, let him be anathema; for he has forsaken our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and has gone over to idolatry.
Ancient Epitome of Canon XXXV.
Whoso calls assemblies in opposition to those of the Church and names angels, is near to idolatry and let him be anathema.
Whatever the worship of angels condemned by this canon may have been, one thing is manifest, that it was a species of idolatry, and detracted from the worship due to Christ.
Theodoret makes mention of this superstitious cult in his exposition of the Text of St. Paul, Col ii., 18, and when writing of its condemnation by this synod he says, “they were leading to worship angels such as were defending the Law; for, said they, the Law was given through angels. And this vice lasted for a long time in Phrygia and Pisidia. Therefore it was that the synod which met at Laodicea in Phrygia, prohibited by a canon, that prayer should be offered to angels, and even to-day an oratory of St. Michael can be seen among them, and their neighhours.”
In the Capitular of Charlemagne, a.d. 789 (cap. xvi)., it is said, “In that same council (Laodicea) it was ordered that angels should not be given unknown names, and that such should not be affixed to them, but that only they should be named by the names which we have by authority. These are Michael, Gabriel, Raphael.” And then is subjoined the present canon. The canon forbids “to name” (ojnomavzein) angels, and this was understood as meaning to give them names instead of to call upon them by name.
Perchance the authors of the Capitular had in mind the Roman Council under Pope Zachary, a.d. 745, against Aidebert, who was found to invoke by name eight angels in his prayers.
It should be noted that some Latin versions of great authority and antiquity read angulos for angelos. This would refer to doing these idolatrous rites in corners, hiddenly, secretly, occulte as in the Latin. But this reading, though so respectable in the Latin, has no Greek authority for it).
This canon has often been used in controversy as condemning the cultus which the Catholic Church has always given to the angels, but those who would make such a use of this canon should explain how these interpretations can be consistent with the cultus of the Martyrs so evidently approved by the same council; and how this canon came to be accepted by the Fathers of the Second Council of Nice, if it condemned the then universal practice of the Church, East and West. Cf. Forbes, Considerationes Modestoe.
They who are of the priesthood, or of the clergy, shall not be magicians, enchanters, mathematicians, or astrologers; nor shall they make what are called amulets, which are chains for their own souls. And those who wear such, we command to be cast out of the Church.
Ancient Epitome of Canon XXXVI. Whoso will be priest must not be a magician, nor one who uses incantations, or mathematical or astrological charms, nor a putter on of amulets.
Some interesting and valuable information on charms will be found in Ducange (Glossarium, s. 5,Phylacterea).
“Magicians” are those who for any purpose call Satan to their aid. “Enchantors” are those who sing charms or incantations, and through them draw demons to obey them. “Mathematicians” are they who holdthe opinion that the celestial bodies rule the universe, and that all earthly things are ruledby their influence. “Astrologers” are they who divine by the stars through the agency of demons, and place their faith in them.
Zonaras also notes that the science of mathematics or astronomy is not at all hereby forbidden to the clergy, but the excess and abuse of that science, which even more easily may happen in the case of clergymen and consecrated persons than in that of laymen.
IT is not lawful to receive portions sent from the feasts of Jews or heretics, nor to feast together with them.
IT is not lawful to receive unleavened bread from the Jews, nor to be partakers of their impiety.
IT is not lawful to feast together with the heathen, and to be partakers of their godlessness.
Ancient Epitome of Canons XXXVII., XXXVIII, and XXXIX.
Thou shalt not keep feasts with Hebrews of heretics, nor receive festival offerings from them.
Read canon lxx. and canon lxxj. of the HolyApostles, and Canon lx1 of the Synod of Carthage.
Light hath no communion with darkness. Therefore no Christian should celebrate a feast with heretics or Jews, neither should he receive anything connected with these feasts such as azymes and the like).
Bishops called to a synod must not be guilty of contempt, but must attend, and either teach, or be taught, for the reformation of the Church and of others. And if such an one shall be guilty of contempt, he will condemn himself, unless he be detained by ill health.
Ancient Epitome of Canon XL.
Whoso summoned to a synod shall spurn the invitation, unless hindered by the force of circumstances, shall not be freefrom blame.
By ajnwmaliva, illness is commonly understood, and Dionysius Exiguus and Isidore translated it, the former oegritudinem, and the latter infirmitatem. But Balsamon justly remarks that the term has a wider meaning, and, besides cases of illness includes other unavoidable hinderances or obstacles.
This Canon is found in the Corpus Juris Canonici, Gratian’s Decretum, Pars I., Dist. XVIII., c. 5,
None of the priesthood nor of the clergy may go on a journey, without the bidding of the Bishop.
None of the priesthood nor of the clergy may travel without letters canonical.
Ancient Epitome OF Canons XLI). And XLII.
No clergyman shall undertake a journey without canonical letters or unless he is ordered to doso.
(On Canon xli).
It is well known that according to the true discipline of the Church no one should be ordained unless he be attached to some church, which as an ecclesiastical soldier he shall fight for and preserve. As, then, a secular soldier cannot without his prefect’s bidding leave his post and go to another, so the canons decree that no one in the ranks of the ecclesiastical military can travel about except at the bidding of the bishop who is in command of the army. A slight trace of this discipline is observed even to-day in the fact that priests of other dioceses are not allowed to celebrate unless they are provided with Canonical letters or testimonials from their own bishops. (On Canon xlii).
The whole subject of Commendatory and other letters is treated of in the note to Canon VIII. of the Council of Antioch.
Canon xlj. is found in the Corpus Juris Canonici, Gratian’s Decretum, Pars Ill., Dist. V., De Consecrat, can. xxxvj.
Canon xlij. is appended to the preceding, but, curiously enough, limited to laymen, reading as follows: “a layman also without canonical letters,” that is “formed letters,” should not travel anywhere. The Roman Correctors remark that in the Greek order this last is canon xli., and the former part of Gratian’s canon, canon xlij. of the Greek, but such is not the order of the Greek in Zonaras nor in Balsamon. The correctors add that in neither canon is there any mention made of laymen, nor in Dionysius’s version; the Prisca, however, read for canon xlj., “It is not right for a minister of the altar, even for a layman, to travel, etc.”
The subdeacons may not leave the doors to engage in the prayer, even for a short time).
Ancient Epitome of Canon XLIII.
A subdeacon should not leave the gates, even for a short time, to pray.
On this canon the commentators find nothing to say in addition to their remarks onCanons xxj., and xxij., except that the“prayer” is not their own private prayer, but the prayer of the Liturgy. It has struck methat possibly when them was no deacon tosing the litany outside the Holy Gates whilethe priest was going on with the holy actionwithin, subdeacons may have left their placesat the doors, assumed the deacon’s stole and done his part of the office, and that it was to prevent this abuse that this canon was enacted, the “prayer” being the litany. But as this is purely my own suggestion it is probably valueless.
Women may not go to the altar.
Ancient Epitome of Canon XLIV.
The altar must not be approached by women.
The discipline of this canon was often renewed even in the Latin Church, and therefore Balsamon unjustly attacks the Latins when he says; “Among the Latins women go without any shame up to the altar whenever they wish,” For the Latins have forbidden and do forbid this approach of women to thealtar no less than the Greeks; and look uponthe contrary custom as an abuse sprung of the insolence of the women and of the negligence of bishops and pastors.
If it is prohibited to laymen to enter the Sanctuary by the lxixth canon of the Sixth synod [i.e. Quinisext], much more are women forbidden to do so who are unwillingly indeed, but yet truly, polluted by the monthly flux of blood.
[Candidates] for baptism are not to be received after the second week in Lent.
Ancient Epitome of Canon XLV.
After two weeks of Lent no one must be admitted for illumination, for all such should fast from its beginning.
To the understanding of this canon it must be remembered that such of the Gentiles as desired to become Catholics and to be baptized, at first were privately instructed by the catechists. After this, having acquired some knowledge of the Christian religion, they were admitted to the public instructions given by the bishop in church; and were therefore called Andientes and for the first time properly-speaking Catechumens. But when these catechumens had been kept in this rank a sufficient time and had been theretried, they were allowed to go up to the higher grade called Genuflectentes.
And when their exercises had been completed in this order they were brought by the catechists who had had the charge of them, to the bishop, that on the Holy Sabbath [Easter Even] they might receive baptism, and the catechumens gave their names at the same time, so that they might be set down for baptism at the coming Holy Sabbath.
Moreover we learn from St. Augustine (Serm. xiii., Ad Neophitos,) that the time for the giving in of the names was the beginning of Lent.
This council therefore in this canon decreesthat such as do not hand in their names at the beginning of Lent, but after two weeks are past, shall not be admitted to baptism on the next Holy Sabbath).
They who are to be baptized must learn the faith [Creed] by heart, and recite it to the bishop, or to the presbyters, on the fifth day of the week.
Ancient Epitome of Canon XLVI.
It is doubtful whether by the Thursday of the text was meant only the Thursday of Holy Week, or every Thursday of the time during which the catechumens received instruction. The Greek commentators are in favour of the latter, but Dionysius Exiguus and Isidore, and after them Bingham, are, and probably rightly, in favour of the former meaning. This canon was repeated by the Trullan Synod in its seventy-eighth canon.
They who are baptized in sickness and afterwards recover, must learn the Creed by heart and know that the Divine gifts have been vouchsafed them.
Ancient Epitome of Canons XLVI. And XLVII.
Whoso is baptised by a bishop or presbyter let him recite the faith on the fifth feria of the week. Also anyone baptized clinically a short while afterwards.
Some unbelievers were baptized before they had been catechized, by reason of the urgency of the illness. Now some thought that as their baptism did not follow their being carechumens, they ought to be catechized and baptized over again. And in support of this opinion they urged Canon XII. of NeoCaesarea, which does not permit one clinically baptized to become a priest rashly. For this reason it is that the Fathers decree that such an one shall not be baptized a second time, but as soon as he gets well he shall learn the faith and the mystery of baptism, and to appreciate the divine gifts he has received, viz., the confession of the one true God and the remission of sins which comes to us in holy baptism.
They who are baptized must after Baptism be anointed with the heavenly chrism, and be partakers of the Kingdom of Christ.
Ancient Epitome OF Canon XLVIII.
Those illuminated should after their baptism be anointed.
That this canon refers to the anointing with chrism on the forehead of the baptized, that is to say of the sacrament of confirmation, is the unanimous opinion of the Greek commentators, and Balsamon notes that this anointing is not simply styled “chrism” but “the heavenly chrism,” viz.: “that which is sanctified by holy prayers and through the invocation of the Holy Spirit; and those who are anointed therewith, it sanctifies and makes partakers of the kingdom of heaven.”
(Lib. i., Observat. cap. xv).
Formerly no one was esteemed worthy of the name Christian or reckoned among the perfect who had not been confirmed and endowed with the gift of the Holy Ghost.The prayers for the consecration of the Holy Chrism according to the rites of theEast and of the West should be carefully read by the student. Those of the East are found in the Euchologion, and those of the West in the Pontificale Romanum, De Officio in feria 5,Coena Domini).
During Lent the Bread must not be offered except on the Sabbath Day and on the Lord’s Day only.
Ancient Epitome of Canon XLIX.
In Lent the offering should be made only on the Sabbath and on the Lord’s day.
This canon, which was repeated by the Trullan Synod in its fifty-second canon, orders that on ordinary week days during Lent, only a Missa Proesanctificatorum should take place, as is still the custom with the Greeks on all days of penitence and mourning, when it appears to them unsuitable to have the full liturgy, and as Leo Allatius says, for this reason, that the consecration is a joyful act. A comparison of the above sixteenth canon, however, shows that Saturday was a special exception.
To the Saturdays and Sundays mentioned by Hefele must be added the feast of the Annunciation, which is always solemnized with a full celebration of the Liturgy, even whenit falls upon Good Friday.
The fast must not be broken on the fifth day of the last week in Lent [i.e., on Maunday Thursday], and the whole of Lent be dishonoured; but it is necessary to fast during all the Lenten season by eating only dry meats.
Ancient Epitome of Canon L.
It is not right on the fifth feria of the last week of Lent to break the fast, and thus spoil the whole of Lent; but the whole of Lent should be kept with fasting on dry food.
That long before the date of the Quinisext Synod the fasting reception of the Holy Eucharist was the universal law of the Church no one can doubt who has devoted the slightest study to the point. To produce the evidence here would be out of place, but the reader may be referred to the excellent presentation of it in Cardinal Bona’s De Rebus Liturgicis.
I shall here cite but one passage, from St. Augustine:
“It is clear that when the disciples first received the body and blood of the Lord they had not been fasting. Must we then censure the Universal Church because the sacrament is everywhere partaken of by persons fasting?Nay, verily; for from that time it pleased the Holy Spirit to appoint, for the honour of so great a sacrament, that the body of the Lord should take the precedence of all other food entering the mouth of a Christian; and it is for this reason that the custom referred to is universally observed. For the fact that the Lord instituted the sacrament after other food had been partaken of does not prove that brethren should come together to partake ofthat sacrament after having dined or supped, or imitate those whom the Apostle reprovedand corrected for not distinguishing between the Lord’s Supper and an ordinary meal. The Saviour, indeed, in order to commend thedepths of that mystery more affectingly to his disciples, was pleased to impress it on their hearts and memories by making its in stitution his last act before going from them to his passion. And, therefore, he did notprescribe the order in which it was to be observed, reserving this to be done by the Apestles, through whom he intended to arrange all things pertaining to the churches. Had he appointed that the sacrament should be always partaken of after other food, I believe that no one would have departed from that practice. But when the Apostle, speaking of this sacrament, says, ‘Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another, and if any man hunger let him eat at home, that ye come not together unto condemnation,’ he immediately adds, ‘And the rest will I set in order when I come.’ Whence we are given to understand that, since it was too much for him to prescribe completely in an epistle the method observed by the Universal Church throughout the world it was one of the things set in order by him in person; for we find its observance uniform amid all the variety of other customs.”1
In fact the utter absurdity of the attemptto maintain the opposite cannot better beseen than in reading Kingdon’s Fasting Communion, an example of special pleading and disingenuousness rarely equalled even in controversial theological literature. A brief but crushing refutation of the position taken by that writer will be found in an appendix to a pamphlet by H. P. Liddon, Evening Communions contrary to the Teaching and Practice of the Church in all Ages.
But while this is true, it is also true that in some few places the custom had lingered on of making Maundy Thursday night an exception to this rule, and of having then a feast, in memory of our Lord’s Last Supper, and after this having a celebration of the Divine Mysteries. This is the custom which is prohibited by this canon, but it is manifest both from the wording of the canon itself andfrom the remarks of the Greek commentators that the custom was condemned not because it necessitated an unfasting reception of theHoly Eucharist, but because it connoted afeast which was a breaking of the Lenten fast and a dishonour to the whole of the holy season.I.It is somewhat curious and a trifle amusing to read Zonaras gravely arguing the point as to whether the drinking of water is forbidden by this canon because it speaks of “dry meats,” which he decides in the negative!
Those, therefore, who without being ill, fast on oil and shell-fish, do contrary to this law; and much more they who eat on the fourth and sixth ferias fish.
The nativities of Martyrs are not to be celebrated in Lent, but commemorations of the holy Martyrs are to be made on the Sabbaths and Lord’s days.
Ancient Epitome of Canon LI.
Commemorations of Martyrs shall only be held on Lord’s days and Sabbaths.
By this canon all Saints-days are forbidden to be observed in Lent on the days on which they fall, but must be transferred to a Sabbath or else to the Sunday, when they can be kept with the festival service of the full liturgy and not with the penitential incompleteness of the Mass of the Presanctified. Compare canon 49,of this Synod, and canon lij. of the Quinisext Council.
The whole of Lent is a time of grief for our sins, and the memories of the Saints are not kept except on the Sabbaths.
Van Espen remarks how in old calendars there are but few Saints-days in those months in which Lent ordinarily falls, andthat the multitude of days now kept by the Roman ordo are mostly of modern introduction.
Marriages and birthday feasts are not to be celebrated in Lent.
Ancient Epitome of Canon LII.
Marriage shall not be celebrated in Lent, norbirthdays.
By “birthday feasts” in this canon thenatalitia martyrum is not to be understood as in the preceding canon, but the birthday feasts of princes. This, as well as the preceding rule, was renewed in the sixth century by Bishop Martin of Bracara, now Braga, in Portugal.
Christians, when they attend weddings, must not join in wanton dances, but modestly dine or breakfast, as is becoming to Christians).
Ancient Epitome of Canon LIII.
It is unsuitable to dance or leap at weddings.
This canon does not call for explanation it for re reflexion, and greatly it is to be desired that it should be observed by Christians, and that through like improprieties, wedding-days, which should be days of holy joy and blessing, be not turned, even to the bride and groom themselves, into days of cursing. Moreover the Synod of Trent admonishes bishops (Sets. xxiv., De Reform. Mat., cap. x). to take care that at weddings there be only that which is modest and proper.
Members of the priesthood and of the clergy must not witness the plays at weddings or banquets; but, before the players enter, they must rise and depart.
Ancient Epitome of Canon LIV.
Priests and clerics should leave before the play.
Christians are admonished to feast modestly when they go to weddings and not to dance nor ballivzein, that is to clap their hands and make a noise with them. For this is unworthy of the Christian standing. But consecrated persons must not see the play at weddings, but before the thymelici begin, they must go out.
Compare with this Canons XXIV. and LI., of the Synod in Trullo.
This canon is found in the Corpus Juris Canonici, Gratian’s Decretum, Pars III., De But Consecrat. Dist. 5,, can. xxxvij.
Neither members of the priesthood nor of the clergy, nor yet laymen, may club together for drinking entertainments.
Ancient Epitome of Canon LV.
Neither a layman nor a cleric shall celebrate a club feast.
These meals, the expenses of which were defrayed by a number clubbing together and sharing the cost, were called “symbola” by Isidore, and by Melinus and Crabbe “comissalia,” although the more ordinary form is “commensalia” or “comessalia.” Cf. Ducange Gloss., s.v. Commensalia and Confertum.
This Canon is found in the Corpus Juris Canonici, Gratian’s Decretum, Pars I., Dist. XLIV., c. 10,(Isidore’s version), and c. xij., (Martin of Braga’s version).
Presbyters may not enter and take their seats in the bema before the entrance of the Bishop: but they must enter with the Bishop, unless he be at home sick, or absent.
Ancient Epitome of Canon LVI.
A presbyter shall not enter the bema before the bishop, nor sit down.
It is difficult to translate this canon without giving a false idea of its meaning. It does not determine the order of dignity in an ecclesiastical procession, but something entirely different, viz., it provides that when the bishop enters the sanctuary he should not be alone and walk into a place already occupied, but that he should have with him, as a guard of honour, the clergy. Whether these should walk before or after him would be a mere matter of local custom, the rule juniores priores did not universally prevail.
This canon is found in the Corpus Juris Canonici, Gratian’s Decretum, Pars I., Dist. XCV., can. viij.
Bishops must not be appointed in villages or country districts, but visitors; and those who have been already appointed must do nothing without the consent of the bishop of the city. Presbyters, in like manner, must do nothing without the consent of the bishop.
Ancient Epitome of Canon LVII.
A bishop shall not be established in a village or in the country, but a periodeutes. But should one be appointed he shall not perform any function without the bishop of the city.
On the whole subject of Chorepiscopi see the Excursus to Canon VIII. of Nice, in this volume.
Compare the eighth and tenth canons of the Synod of Antioch of 341, the thirteenth of the Synod of Ancyra, and the second clause of the sixth canon of the Synod of Sardica. The above canon orders that from henceforth, in the place of the rural bishops, priests ofhigher rank shall act as visitors of the country dioceses and country clergy. Dionysius Exiguus, Isidore, the Greek commentators, Van Espen, Remi Ceillier, Neander, and others thus interpret this canon; but Herbst, in the Tubingen Review, translates the word (periodeutai;) not visitors but physicians—physicians of the soul,—and for this he appeals to passages from the Fathers of the Church collected by Suicer in his Thesaurus.
This canon is found in the Corpus Juris Canonici, Gratian’s Decretum, Pars I., Dist. LXXX., c. 5,
The Oblation must not be made by bishops or presbyters in any private houses.
Ancient Epitome of Canon LVIII.
Neither a bishop nor a presbyter shall make the offering in private houses.
By “the oblation” here is intended the oblation of the unbloody sacrifice according to the mind of the Greek interpreters. Zonaras says: “The faithful can pray to God and be intent upon their prayers everywhere, whether in the house, in the field, or in any place they possess: but to offer or perform the oblation must by no means be done except in a church and at an altar.”
No psalms composed by private individuals nor any uncanonical books may be read in the church, but only the Canonical Books of the Old and New Testaments.
Ancient Epitome of Canon LIX.
Psalms of private origin, or books uncanonical are not to be sung in temples; but the canonical writings of the old and new testaments.
Several heretics, for instance Bardesanes, Paul of Samosata, and Apollinaris—had composed psalms, i.e., Church hymns. The Synod of Laodicea forbade the use of any composed by private individuals, namely all unauthorized Church hymns. Luft remarks that by this it was not intended to forbid the use of all but the Bible psalms and hymns, for it is known that even after this Synod many hymns composed by individual Chris- tians, for instance, Prudentius, Clement, Ambrose, came into use in the Church. Only those not sanctioned were to be banished.
This idea was greatly exaggerated by some Gallicans in the seventeenth century who wished that all the Antiphons, etc., should be in the words of Holy Scripture. A learned but somewhat distorted account of this whole matter will be found in the Institutions Liturgiques by Dom Prosper Gueranger, tome ij., and a shorter but more temperate account in Dr. Batiffol’s Histoire du Breviaire Romain, Chap. vj.
[N. B.—This Canon is of most questionable genuineness.]
These are all the books of Old Testament appointed to be read: 1, Genesis of the world; 2, The Exodus from Egypt; 3, Leviticus; 4, Numbers; 5, Deuteronomy; 6, Joshua, the son of Nun; 7, Judges, Ruth; 8, Esther; 9, Of the Kings, First and Second; 10, Of the Kings, Third and Fourth; 11, Chronicles, First and Second; 12, Esdras, First and Second; 13, The Book of Psalms; 14, The Proverbs of Solomon; 15, Ecclesiastes; 16, The Song of Songs;17, Job; 18, The Twelve Prophets; 19, Isaiah; 20, Jeremiah, and Baruch, the Lamentations, and the Epistle; 21, Ezekiel; 22, Daniel.
And these are the books of the New Testament: Four Gospels, according to Matthew, Mark, Lc and John; The Ac of the Apostles; Seven Catholic Epistles, to wit, one of James, two of Peter, three of John, one of Jude; Fourteen Epistles of Paul, one to the Romans, two to the Corinthians, one to the Galatians, one to the Ephesians, one to the Philippians, one to the Colossians, two to the Thessalonians, one to the Hebrews, two to Timothy, one to Titus, and one to Philemon.
Ancient Epitome of Canon LX.
But of the new, the four Gospels—of Matthew, of Mark, of Luke, of Jn ; Acts; Seven Catholic epistles, viz. of James one, of Peter two, of John three, of Jude one ; of Paul fourteen, viz.: to the Romans one, to the Corinthians two, to the Galatians one, to the Ephesians one, to thePhillipians one, to the Colossians one, to the Thessalonians two, to the Hebrews one, to Timothy two, to Titus one, and to Philemon one.
It will be noticed that while this canon has often been used for controversial purposes it really has little or no value in this connexion, for the absence of the Revelation of St. Jn from the New Testament to all orthodox Christians is, to say the least, as fatal to its reception as an ecumenical definition of the canon of Holy Scripture, as the absence of the book of Wisdom, etc., from the Old Testament is to its reception by those who accept the books of what we may call for convenience the Greek canon, as distinguished from the Hebrew, as canonical.
We may therefore leave this question wholly out of account, and merely consider the matter from the evidence we possess.
In 1777 Spittler published a special treatise1 to shew that the list of scriptural books was no part of the original canon adopted by Laodicea. Hefele gives the following resume of his argument:2
(a) That Dionysius Exiguus has not this canon in his translation of the Laodicean decrees. It might, indeed, be said with Dallaeus and Van Espen, that Dionysius omitted this list of the books of Scripture because in Rome, where he composed his work, another by Innocent I. was in general use.
(b) But, apart from the fact that Dionysius is always a most faithful translator, this sixtieth canon is also omitted by Jn of Antioch, one of the most esteemed and oldest Greek collectors of canons, who could have had no such reasons as Dionysius for his omission.
(c) Lastly, Bishop Martin of Braga in the sixth century, though he has the fifty-ninth, has also not included in his collection the sixtieth canon so nearly related to it, nor does the Isidorian translation appear at first to have had this canon.3 Herbst, in the Tubingen Review, also accedes to these arguments of Spittler’s, as did Fuchs and others before him. Mr. Ffoulkes in his article on the Council of Laodicea in Smith and Cheetham’s Dictionary of Christian Antiquities at length attempts to refute all objections, and affirms the genuineness of the list, put his conclusions can hardly be accepted when the careful consideration and discussion of the matter by Bishop Westcott is kept in mind. (History of the Canon of the New Testament, IIID. Period, chapter 2,[p. 428 of the 4th Edition.])
The Second Ecumenical Council. The First Council of Constantinople.
In the whole history of the Church there is no council which bristles with such astonishing facts as the First Council of Constantinople. It is one of the “undisputed General Councils,” one of the four which St. Gregory said he revered as he did the four holy Gospels, and he would be rash indeed who denied its right to the position it has so long occupied; and yet
1. It was not intended to be an Ecumenical Synod at all.
2. It was a local gathering of only one hundred and fifty bishops.
3. It was not summoned by the Pope, nor was he invited to it.
4. No diocese of the West was present either by representation or in the person of its bishop; neither the see of Rome, nor any other see.
5. It was a council of Saints, Cardinal Orsi, the Roman Historian, says: “Besides St. Gregory of Nyssa, and St. Peter of Sebaste, there were also at Constantinople on account of the Synod many other Bishops, remarkable either for the holiness of their life, or for their zeal for the faith, or for their learning, or for the eminence of their Sees, as St. Amphilochius of Iconium, Helladius of Cesarea in Cappadocia, Optimus of Antioch in Pisidia, Diodorus of Tarsus, St. Pelagius of Laodicea, St. Eulogius of Edessa, Acacius of Berea, Isidorus of Cyrus, St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Gelasius of Cesarea in Palestine, Vitus of Carres, Dionysius of Diospolis, Abram of Bathes, and Antiochus of Samosata, all three Confessors, Bosphorus of Colonia, and Otreius of Melitina, and various others whose names appear with honour in history. So that perhaps there has not been a council, in which has been found a greater number of Confessors and of Saints.”2
6. It was presided over at first by St. Meletius, the bishop of Antioch who was bishop not in communion with Rome,3 who died during its session and was styled a Saint in the panegyric delivered over him and who has since been canonized as a Saint of the Roman Church by the Pope.
7. Its second president was St. Gregory Nazianzen, who was at that time liable to censure for a breach of the canons which forbade his translation to Constantinople.
8. Its action in continuing the Meletian Schism was condemned at Rome, and its Canons rejected for a thousand years.
9. Its canons were not placed in their natural position after those of Nice in the codex which was used at the Council of Chalcedon, although this was an Eastern codex.
10. Its Creed was not read nor mentioned, so far as the acts record, at the Council of Ephesus, fifty years afterwards.
11. Its title to being (as it undoubtedly is) the Second of the Ecumenical Synods rests upon its Creed having found a reception in the whole world. And now—mirabile dictu—an English scholar comes forward, ready to defend the proposition that the First Council of Constantinople never set forth any creed at all!4
The Holy Creed Which the 150 Holy Fathers Set Forth, Which is Consonant with the Holy and Great Synod of Nice.1
(Found in all the Collections in the Ac of the Council of Chalcedon).
The reader should know that Tillemont (Memoires, t. ix., art. 78 in the treatise on St. Greg. Naz). broached the theory that the Creed adopted at Constantinople was not a new expansion of the Nicene but rather the adoption of a Creed already in use. Hefele is of the same opinion (Hist. of the Councils, II., p. 349). and the learned Professor of Divinity in the University of Jena, Dr. Lipsius, says, of St. Epiphanius: “Though not himself present at the Ecumenical Council of Constantinople, a.d.: 381, which ensured the triumph of the Nicene doctrine in the Oriental Churches, his shorter confession of faith, which is found at the end of his Ancoratus, and seems to have been the baptismal creed of the Church of Salamis, agrees almost word for word with the Constantinopolitan formula.” (Smith and Wace, Dict. Chr. Biog., s. 5,Epiphanius). “The Ancoratus,” St. Epiphanius distinctly tells us, was written as early as a.d. 374, and toward the end of chapter cxix., he writes as follows. “The children of the Church have received from the holy fathers, that is from the holy Apostles, the faith to keep, and to hand down, and to teach their children. To these children you belong, and I beg you to receive it and pass it on. And whilst yon teach your children these things and such as these from the holy Scriptures, cease not to confirm and strengthen them, and indeed all who hear you: tell them that this is the holy faith of the Holy Catholic Church, as the one holy Virgin of God received it from the holy Apostles of the Lord to keep: and thus every person who is in preparation for the holy laver of baptism must learn it: they must learn it themselves, and teach it expressly, as the one Mother of all, of you and of us, proclaims it, saying.” Then follows the Creed as on page 164.
We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, begotten of his Father before all worlds, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made. Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost and the Virgin Mary, and was made man, and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate. He suffered and was buried, and the third day he rose again according to the Scriptures, and ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the Right Hand of the Father. And he shall come again with glory to judge both the quick and the dead. Whose kingdom shall have no end. (I)
And [we believe] in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver-of-Life, who proceedeth from the Father, who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified, who spake by the prophets. And [we believe] in one, holy, (II) Catholic and Apostolic Church. We acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins, [and] we look for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen.
This clause had already, so far as the meaning is concerned, been added to the Nicene Creed, years before, in correction of the heresy of Marcellus of Ancyra, of whose heresy a statement will be found in the notes on Canon I. of this Council. One of the creeds of the Council of Antioch in Encaeniis (a.d. 341) reads: “and he sitteth at the right hand of the Father, and he shah come again to judge both the quick and the dead, and he remaineth God and King to all eternity.”2
The word “Holy” is omitted in some texts of this Creed, notably in the Latin version in the collection of Isidore Mercator. Vide Labbe, Conc., II., 960. Cf. Creed in English Prayer-Book.
The Creed Found IN Epiphanius’s Ancoratus (Cap. cxx).3
We believe in one God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible: and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds, that is of the substance of the Father, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten not made, consubstantial with the Father: by whom all things were made, both in heaven and earth who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, and was incarnate of the Holy Ghost and the Virgin Mary, and was made man, was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered, and was buried, and on the third day he rose again according to the Scriptures, and ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father, and from thence he shall come again with glory to judge both the quick and the dead, whose kingdom shall have no end. And in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of life, who proceedeth from the Father; who, with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified, who spake by the prophets: in one holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; we look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. And those who say that there was a time when the Son of God was not, and before he was begotten he was not, or that he was of things which are not, or that he is of a different hypostasis or substance, or pretend that he is effluent or changeable, these the Catholic and Apostolic Church anathematizes.
Epiphanius thus continues:
“And this faith was delivered from the Holy Apostles and in the Church, the Holy City, from all the Holy Bishops together more than three hundred and ten in number.”
“In our generation, that is in the times of Valentinus and Valens, and the ninetieth year from the succession of Diocletian the tyrant,4 you and we and all the orthodox bishops of the whole Catholic Church together, make this address to those who come to baptism, in order that they may proclaim and say as follows:”
Epiphanius then gives this creed:
We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of all things, invisible and visible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ the Son of God, begotten of God the Father, only begotten, that is of the substance of the Father, God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made, both which be in heaven and in earth, whether they be visible or invisible. Who for us men and for our salvation came down, and was incarnate, that is to say was conceived perfectly through the Holy Ghost of the holy ever-virgin Mary, and was made man, that is to say a perfect man, receiving a soul, and body, and intellect, and all that make up a man, but without sin, not from human seed, nor [that he dwelt] in a man, but taking flesh to himself into one holy entity; not as he inspired the prophets and spake and worked [in them], but was perfectly made man, for the Word was made flesh; neither did he experience any change, nor did he convert his divine nature into the nature of man, but united it to his one holy perfection and Divinity.
For there is one Lord Jesus Christ, not two, the same is God, the same is Lord, the same is King. He suffered in the flesh, and rose again, and ascended into heaven in the same body, and with glory he sat down at the right hand of the Father, and in the same body he will come in glory to judge both the quick and the dead, and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
And we believe in the Holy Ghost, who spake in the Law, and preached in the Prophets, and descended at Jordan, and spake in the Apostles, and indwells the Saints. And thus we believe in him, that he is the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God, the perfect Spirit, the Spirit the Comforter, uncreate, who proceedeth from the Father, receiving of the Son (ejk tou` Patro;" ejkporeuovmenon, kai; ejk tou` UiJou` lambanovmenon), and believed on. (kai; pisteuovmenon, which the Latin version gives in quem credimus; and proceeds to insert, Proeterea credimus in unam, etc. It certainly looks as if it had read pisteuvomen, and had belonged to the following phrase).
[We believe] in one Catholic and Apostolic Church. And in one baptism of penitence, and in the resurrection of the dead, and the just judgment of souls and bodies, and in the Kingdom of heaven and in life everlasting.
And those who say that there was a time when the Son was not, or when the Holy Ghost was not, or that either was made of that which previously had no being, or that he is of a different nature or substance, and affirm that the Son of God and the Holy Spirit are subject to change and mutation; all such the Catholic and Apostolic Church, the mother both of you and of us, anathematizes. And further we anathematize such as do not confess the resurrection of the dead, as well as all heresies which are not in accord with the true faith.
Finally, you and your children thus believing and keeping the commandments of this same faith, we trust that you will always pray for us, that we may have a share and lot in that same faith and in the keeping of these same commandments. For us make your intercessions you and all who believe thus, and keep the commandments of the Lord in our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom and with whom, glory be to the Father with the Holy Spirit for ever and ever. Amen.
Historical Excursus on the Introduction into the Creed of the Words “And the Son.”
The introduction into the Nicene Creed of the words “and the Son” (Filioque) has given rise to, or has been the pretext for, such bitter reviling between East and West (during which many statements unsupported by fact have become more or less commonly believed) that I think it well in this place to set forth as dispassionately as possible the real facts of the case. I shall briefly then give the proof of the following propositions:
1. That no pretence is made by the West that the words in dispute formed part of the original creed as adopted at Constantinople, or that they now form part of that Creed.
2. That so far from the insertion being made by the Pope, it was made in direct opposition to his wishes and command.
3. That it never was intended by the words to assert that there were two AEArcai; in the Trinity, nor in any respect on this point to differ from the teaching of the East.
4. That it is quite possible that the words were not an intentional insertion at all.
5. And finally that the doctrine of the East as set forth by St. Jn Damascene is now and always has been the doctrine of the West on the procession of the Holy Spirit, however much through ecclesiastico-political contingencies this fact may have become obscured.
With the truth or falsity of the doctrine set forth by the Western addition to the creed this work has no concern, nor even am I called upon to treat the historical question as to when and where the expression “and the Son” was first used. For a temperate and eminently scholarly treatment of this point from a Western point of view, I would refer the reader to Professor Swete’s On the History of the Doctrine of the Procession of the Holy Spirit. In J. M. Neale’s History of the Holy Eastern Church will be found a statement from the opposite point of view. The great treatises of past years I need not mention here, but may be allowed to enter a warning to the reader, that they were often written in the period of hot controversy, and make more for strife than for peace, magnifying rather than lessening differences both of thought and expression.
Perhaps, too, I may be allowed here to remind the readers that it has been said that while “ex Patre Filioque procedens” in Latin does not necessitate a double source of the Holy Spirit, the expression ejkporeuovmenon ejk tou` patro;" kai; ejk tou` UiJou` does. On such a point I am not fit to give an opinion, but St. Jn Damascene does not use this expression.
1. That no pretence is made by the West that the words in dispute ever formed part of the creed as adopted at Constantinople is evidently proved by the patent fact that it is printed without those words in all our Concilias and in all our histories. It is true that at the Council of Florence it was asserted that the words were found in a copy of the Ac of the Seventh Ecumenical which they had, but no stress was even at that eminently Western council laid upon the point, which even if it had been the case would have shewn nothing with regard to the true reading of the Creed as adopted by the Second Synod.5 On this point there never was nor can be any doubt.
2. The addition was not made at the will and at the bidding of the Pope. It has frequently been said that it was a proof of the insufferable arrogancy of the See of Rome that it dared to tamper with the creed set forth by the authority of an Ecumenical Synod and which had been received by the world. Now so far from the history of this addition to the creed being a ground of pride and complacency to the advocates of the Papal claims, it is a most marked instance of the weakness of the papal power even in the West.
“Baronius,” says Dr. Pusey, “endeavours in vain to find any Pope, to whom the ‘formal addition’ may be ascribed, and rests at last on a statement of a writer towards the end of the 12th century, writing against the Greeks. ‘If the Council of Constantinople added to the Nicene Creed, ‘in the Holy Ghost, the Lord, and Giver of life,’ and the Council of Chalcedon to that of Constantinople, ‘perfect in Divinity and perfect in Humanity, consubstantial with the Father as touching his Godhead, consubstantial with us as touching his manhood,’ and some other things as aforesaid, the Bishop of the elder Rome ought not to be calumniated, because for explanation, he added one word [that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Son] having the consent of very many bishops and most learned Cardinals.’ ‘For the truth of which,’ says Le Quien, ‘be the author responsible!’ It seems to me inconceivable, that all account of any such proceeding, if it ever took place, should have been lost.”6
We may then dismiss this point and briefly review the history of the matter.
There seems little doubt that the words were first inserted in Spain. As early as the year 400 it had been found necessary at a Council of Toledo to affirm the double procession against the Priscillianists,7 and in 589 by the authority of the Third Council of Toledo the newly converted Goths were required to sign the creed with the addition.8 From this time it became for Spain the accepted form, and was so recited at the Eighth Council of Toledo in 653, and again in 681 at the Twelfth Council of Toledo.9
But this was at first only true of Spain, and at Rome nothing of the kind was known. In the Gelasian Sacramentary the Creed is found in its original form.10 The same is the case with the old Gallican Sacramentary of the viith or viiith century.11
However, there can be no doubt that its introduction spread very rapidly through the West and that before long it was received practically everywhere except at Rome.
In 809 a council was held at Aix-la-Chapelle by Charlemagne, and from it three divines were sent to confer with the Pope, Leo III, upon the subject. The Pope opposed the insertion of the Filioque on the express ground that the General Councils had forbidden any addition to be made to their formulary.12 Later on, the Frankish Emperor asked his bishops what was “the meaning of the Creed according to the Latins,”13 and Fleury gives the result of the investigations to have been, “In France they continued to chant the creed with the word Filioque, and at Rome they continued not to chant it.”14
(So firmly resolved was the Pope that the clause should not be introduced into the creed that he presented two silver shields to the Confessio in St. Peter’s at Rome, on one of which was engraved the creed in Latin and on the other in Greek, without the addition. This act the Greeks never forgot during the controversy. Photius refers to it in writing to the Patriarch of Acquileia. About two centuries later St. Peter Damian15 mentions them as still in place; and about two centuries later on, Veecur, Patriarch of Constantinople, declares they hung there still.16
It was not till 1014 that for the first time the interpolated creed was used at mass with the sanction of the Pope. In that year Benedict VIII. acceded to the urgent request of Henry II. of Germany and so the papal authority was forced to yield, and the silver shields have disappeared from St. Peter’s.
3. Nothing could be clearer than that the theologians of the West never had any idea of teaching a double source of the Godhead. The doctrine of the Divine Monarchy was always intended to be preserved, and while in the heat of the controversy sometimes expressions highly dangerous, or at least clearly inaccurate, may have been used, yet the intention must be judged from the prevailing teaching of the approved theologians. And what this was is evident from the definition of the Council of Florence, which, while indeed it was not received by the Eastern Church, and therefore cannot be accepted as an authoritative exposition of its views, yet certainly must be regarded as a true and full expression of the teaching of the West. “The Greeks asserted that when they say the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father, they do not use it because they wish to exclude the Son; but because it seemed to them, as they say, that the Latins assert the Holy Spirit to proceed from the Father and the Son, as from two principles and by two spirations, and therefore they abstain from saying that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son. But the Latins affirm that they have no intention when they say the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father and the Son to deprive the Father of his prerogative of being the fountain and principle of the entire Godhead, viz. of the Son and of the, Holy Ghost; nor do they deny that the very procession of the Holy Ghost from the Son, the Son derives from the Father; nor do they teach two principles or two spirations; but they assert that there is one only principle, one only spiration, as they have always asserted up to this time.”
4. It is quite possible that when these words were first used there was no knowledge on the part of those using them that there had been made any addition to the Creed. As I have already pointed out, the year 589 is the earliest date at which we find the words actually introduced into the Creed. Now there can be no doubt whatever that the Council of Toledo of that year had no suspicion that the creed as they had it was not the creed exactly as adopted at Constantinople. This is capable of the most ample proof.
In the first place they declared, “Whosoever believes that there is any other Catholic faith and communion, besides that of the Universal Church, that Church which holds and honours the decrees of the Councils of Nice, Constantinople, I. Ephesus, and Chalcedon, let him be anathema.” After some further anathemas in the same sense they repeat “the creed published at the council of Nice,” and next, “The holy faith which the 150 fathers of the Council of Constantinople explained, consonant with the great Council of Nice.” And then lastly, “The holy faith which the translators of the council of Chalcedon explained.” The creed of Constantinople as recited contained the words “and from the Son.” Now the fathers at Toledo were not ignorant of the decree of Ephesus forbidding the making of “another faith” (eJtevran pivstin) for they themselves cite it, as follows from the acts of Chalcedon; “The holy and universal Synod forbids to bring forward any other faith; or to write or believe or to teach other, or be otherwise minded. But whoso shall dare either to expound or produce or deliver any other faith to those who wish to be converted etc.” Upon this Dr. Pusey well remarks,17 “It is, of course, impossible to suppose that they can have believed any addition to the creed to have been forbidden by the clause, and, accepting it with its anathema, themselves to have added to the creed of Constantinople.”
But while this is the case it might be that they understood eJtevran of the Ephesine decree to forbid the making of contradictory and new creeds and not explanatory additions to the existing one. Of this interpretation of the decree, which would seem without any doubt to be the only tenable one, I shall treat in its proper place.
We have however further proof that the Council of Toledo thought they were using the unaltered creed of Constantinople. In these acts we find they adopted the following; “for reverence of the most holy faith and for the strengthening of the weak minds of men, the holy Synod enacts, with the advice of our most pious and most glorious Lord, King Recarede, that through all the churches of Spain and Gallaecia, the symbol of faith of the council of Constantinople, i.e. of the 150 bishops, should be recited according to the form of the Eastern Church, etc.”
This seems to make the matter clear and the next question which arises is, How the words could have got into the Spanish creed? I venture to suggest a possible explanation. Epiphanius tells us that in the year 378 “all the orthodox bishops of the whole Catholic Church together make this address to those who come to baptism, in order that they may proclaim and say as follows.”18 If this is to be understood literally of course Spain was included. Now the creed thus taught the catechumens reads as follows at the point about which our interest centres:
Kai; eji" to; a\(gion pneu`ma pisteuvomen, ... ejk tou; patro;" ejkporeuovmenon kai; ejk tou` UiJou` lambanovmenon kai; pisteuovmenon, eij" mivan kaqolikh;n k.t.l. Now it looks to me as if the text had got corrupted and that there should be a full stop after lambanovmenon, and that pisteuovmenon should be pisteuvomen. These emendations are not necessary however for my suggestion although they would make it more perfect, for in that case by the single omission of the word lambanovmenon the Western form is obtained. It will be noticed that this was some years before the Constantinopolitan Council and therefore nothing would be more natural than that a scribe accustomed to writing the old baptismal creed and now given the Constantinopolitan creed, so similar to it, to copy, should have gone on and added the kai; ejk tou` UiJou` , according to habit.
However this is a mere suggestion, I think I have shewn that there is strong reason to believe that whatever the explanation may be, the Spanish Church was unaware that it had added to or changed the Constantinopolitan creed.
5. There remains now only the last point, which is the most important of all, but which does not belong to the subject matter of this volume and which therefore I shall treat with the greatest brevity. The writings of St. Jn Damascene are certainly deemed entirely orthodox by the Easterns and always have been. On the other hand their entire orthodoxy has never been disputed in the West, but a citation from Damascene is considered by St. Thomas as conclusive. Under these circumstances it seems hard to resist the conclusion that the faith of the East and the West, so far as its official setting forth is concerned, is the same and always has been. And perhaps no better proof of the Western acceptance of the Eastern doctrine concerning the eternal procession of the Holy Spirit can be found than the fact that St. John Damascene has been in recent years raised by the pope for his followers to the rank of a Doctor of the Catholic Church).
Perhaps I may be allowed to close with two moderate statements of the Western position, the one by the learned and pious Dr. Pusey and the other by the none less famous Bishop Pearson.Dr. Pusey says:
“Since, however, the clause, which found its way into the Creed, was, in the first instance, admitted, as being supposed to be part of the Constantinopolitan Creed, and, since after it had been rooted for 200 years, it was not uprooted, for fear of uprooting also or perplexing the faith of the people, there was no fault either in its first reception or in its subsequent retention.”
“The Greeks would condemn forefathers of their own, if they were to pronounce the clause to be heretical. For it would be against the principles of the Church to be in communion with an heretical body. But from the deposition of Photius, a.d. 886 to at least a.d. 1009, East and West retained their own expression of faith without schism.19 ”
“a.d. 1077, Theophylact did not object to the West, retaining for itself the confession of faith contained in the words, but only excepted against the insertion of the words in the Creed.20 ”
And Bp. Pearson, explaining Article VIII. of the Creed says: “Now although the addition of words to the formal Creed without the consent, and against the protestations of the Oriental Church be not justifiable; yet that which was added is nevertheless a certain truth, and may be so used in that Creed by them who believe the same to be a truth; so long as they pretend it not to be a definition of that Council, but an addition or explication inserted, and condemn not those who, out of a greater respect to such synodical determinations, will admit of no such insertions, nor speak any other language than the Scriptures and their Fathers spoke.”
Historical Note on the Lost “Tome” Of the Second Council.
We know from the Synodical letter sent by the bishops who assembled at Constantinople in a.d. 382 (the next year after the Second Ecumenical Council) sent to Pope Damasus and other Western bishops, that the Second Council set forth a “Tome,” containing a statement of the doctrinal points at issue. This letter will be found in full at the end of the treatment of tiffs council. The Council of Cholcedon in its address to the Emperor says: “The bishops who at Constantinople detected the taint of Apollinarianism, communicated to the Westerns their decision in the matter.” From this we may reasonably conclude, with Tillemont,21 thatthe lost Tome treated also of the Apollinarian heresy. It is moreover by no means unlikely that the Creed as it has come down to us, was the summary at the end of the Tome, and was followed by the anathemas which now form our Canon I. It also is likely that the very accurate doctrinal statements contained in the Letter of the Synod of 382 may be taken almost, if not quite, verbatim from this Tome. It seems perfectly evident that at least one copy of the Tome was sent to the West but how it got lost is a matter on which at present we are entirely in the dark).
Letter of the Same Holy Synod to the Most Pious Emperor Theodosius the Great, to Which are Appended the Canons Enacted by Them.
(Found in Labbe, Concilia, Tom. II., 945).
To the most religious Emperor Theodosius, the Holy Synod of Bishops assembled in Constantinople out of different Provinces. We begin our letter to your Piety with thanks to God, who has established the empireof your Piety for the common peace of the Churches and for the support of the true Faith. And, after rendering due thanks unto God, as in duty bound we lay before your Piety the things which have been done in the Holy Synod. When, then, we had assembled in Constantinople, according to the letter of your Piety, we first of all renewed our unity of heart each with the other, and then we pronounced some concise definitions, ratifying the Faith of the Nicene Fathers, and anathematizing the heresies which have sprung up, contrary thereto. Besides these things, we also framed certain Canons for the better ordering of the Churches, all which we have subjoined to this our letter. Wherefore we beseech your Piety that the decree of the Synod may be ratified, to the end that, as you have honoured the Church by your letter of citation, so you should set your seal to the conclusion of what has been decreed. May the Lord establish your empire in peace and righteousness, and prolong it from generation to generation; and may he add unto your earthly power the fruition of the heavenly kingdom also. May God by the prayers (eujkai`" tw`n aJgiwvn) of the Saints,1 show favour to the world, that you may be strong and eminent in all good things as an Emperor most truly pious and beloved of God).
Introduction on the Number of the Canons.
(Hefele, History of the Councils, Vol. II., p. 351).
The number of canons drawn up by this synod is doubtful. The old Greek codices and the Greek commentators of the Middle Ages, Zonaras and Balsamon, enumerate seven; the old Latin translations—viz. the Prisca, those by Dionysius Exiguus and Isidore, as well as the Codex of Luna—only recognize the first four canons of the Greek text, and the fact that they agree in this point is the more important as they are wholly independent of each other, and divide and arrange those canons of Constantinople which they do acknowledge quite differently.
Because, however, in the Prisca the canons of Constantinople are only placed after those of the fourth General Council, the Ballerini brothers conclude that they were not contained at all in the oldest Greek collections of canons, and were inserted after the Council of Chalcedon. But it was at this very Council of Chalcedon that the first three canons of Constantinople were read out word for word. As however, they were not separately numbered, but were there read under the general title of Synodicon Synodi Secundae, Fuchs concluded they were not originally in the form in which we now possess them, but, without being divided into numbers, formed a larger and unbroken decree, the contents of which were divided by later copyists and translators into several different canons. And hence the very different divisions of these canons in the Prisca, Dionysius, and Isidore may be explained. The fact, however, that the old Latin translations all agree in only giving the first four canons of the Greek text, seems to show that the oldest Greek manuscripts, from which those translations were made, did not contain the fifth, sixth, and seventh, and that these last did not properly belong to this Synod, but were later additions. To this must be added that the old Greek Church-historians, in speaking of the affairs of the second General Council, only mention those points which are contained in the first four canons, and say nothing of what, according to the fifth, sixth, and seventh canons, had also been decided at Constantinople. At the very least, the seventh canon cannot have emanated from this Council, since in the sixth century Jn Scholasticus did not receive it into his collection, although he adopted the fifth and sixth. It is also missing in many other collections; and in treating specially of this canon further on, we shall endeavour to show the time and manner of its origin. But the fifth and sixth canons probably belong to the Synod of Constantinople of the following year, as Beveridge, the Ballerini, and others conjectured. The Greek scholiasts, Zonaras and Balsamon, and later on Tillemont, Beveridge, Van Espen and Herbst, have given more or less detailed commentaries on all these canons).
Canons of the One Hundred and Fifty Fathers
Who Assembled at Constantinople During the Consulate of Those Illustrious Men, Flavius Eucherius and Flavius Evagrius on the VII of the Ides of July.1
The Bishops out of different provinces assembled by the grace of God in Constantinople, on the summons of the most religious Emperor Theodosius, have decreed as follows:
The Faith of the Three Hundred and Eighteen Fathers assembled at Nice in Bithynia shall not be set aside, but shall remain firm. And every heresy shall be anathematized, particularly that of the Eunomians or [Anomoeans, the Arians or] Eudoxians, and that of the Semi-Arians or Pneumatomachi, and that of the Sabellians, and that of the Marcellians, and that of the Photinians, and that of the Apollinarians.
Ancient Epitome of Canon I.
Let the Nicene faith stand firm. Anathema to heresy.
There is a difference of reading in the list of the heretics. The reading I have followed in the text is that given in Beveridge’s Synodicon. The Greek text, however, in Labbe, and with it agree the version of Hervetus and the text of Hefele, reads: “the Eunomians or Anomaeans, the Arians or Eudoxians, the Semi-Arians or Pneumatomachi, the Sabellians, Marcellians, Photinians and Apollinarians.” From this Dionysius only varies by substituting “Macedonians” for “Semi-Arians.” It would seem that this was the correct reading. I, however, have followed the other as being the more usual.
By the Eudoxians, whom this canon identifies with the Arians [according to his text, vide supra,] is meant that faction who, in contradistinction to the strict Arians or Anomaeans on one side, and the Semi-Arians on the other side, followed the leadership of the Court Bishop Eudoxius (Bishop of Constantinople under the Emperor Valens), and without being entirely Anomaean, yet very decidedly inclined to the left of the Arian party—probably claiming to represent the old and original Arianism. But this canon makes the Semi-Arians identical with the Pneuma-tomachians, and so far rightly, that the lattersprang from the Semi-Arian party, and applied the Arian principle to their doctrine of the Holy Ghost. Lastly, by the Marcelliansare meant those pupils of Marcellus of Ancyra who remained in the errors formerly propounded by him, while afterwards others, and indeed he himself, once more acknowledged the truth.
Excursus on the Heresies Condemned in Canon I.
In treating of these heresies I shah invert the order of the canon, and shall speak of the Macedonian and Apollinarian heresies first, as being most nearly connected with the object for which the Constantinopolitan Synod was assembled.
The Semi-Arians, Macedonians or Pneumatomachi.
Peace indeed seemed to have been secured by the Nicene decision but there was an element of discord still extant, and so shortly afterwards as in 359 the double-synod of Rimini (Ariminum) and Selencia rejected the expressions hemousion and homoeusion equally, and Jerome gave birth to his famous phrase, “the world awoke to find itself Arian.” The cause of this was the weight attaching to the Semi-Arian party, which counted among its numbers men of note and holiness, such as St. Cyril of Jerusalem. Of the developments of this party it seems right that some mention should be made in this place, since it brought forth the Macedonian heresy. (Wm. Bright, D.D., St. Leo on the Incarnation, pp. 213 et seqq).
The Semi-Arian party in the fourth century attempted to steer a middle course between calling the Son Consubstantial and calling him a creature. Their position, indeed, was untenable, but several persisted in clinging to it; and it was adopted by Macedonius, who occupied the see of Constantinople. It was through their adoption of a more reverential language about the Son than had been used by the old Arians, that what is called the Macedonian heresy showed itself. Arianism had spoken both of the Son and the Holy Spirit as creatures. The Macedonians, rising up out of Semi-Arianism, gradually reached the Church’s belief as to the uncreated majesty of the Son, even if they retained their objection to the homoousion as a formula. But having, in their previously Semi-Arian position, refused to extend their own “homoiousion” to the Holy Spirit, they afterwards persisted in regarding him as “external to the one indivisible Godhead,” Newman’s Arians, p. 226; or as Tillemont says (Mem. vi., 527), “the denial of the divinity of the Holy Spirit was at last their capital or only error.” St. Athanasius, while an exile under Constantius for the second time, “heard with pain,” as he says ( Serap, 1) that “some who had left the Arians from disgust at their blasphemy against the Son of God, yet called the Spirit a creature, and one of the ministering spirits, differing only in degree from the Angels:” and soon afterwards, in 362, the Council of Alexandria condemned the notion that the Spirit was a creature, as being “no true avoidance of the detestable Arian heresy.” See “Later Treatises of St. Athanasius,” p. 5. Athanasius insisted that the Nicene Fathers, although silent on the nature of the Holy Spirit, had by implication ranked him with the Father and the Son as an object of belief (ad Afros, 11). After the death of St. Athanasius, the new heresy was rejected on behalf of the West by Pope Damasus, who declared the Spirit to be truly and properly from the Father (as the Son from the Divine substance) and very God, “omnia posse et omnia nosse, et ubique esse,” coequal and adorable (Mansi, iii., 483). The Illyrian bishops also, in 374, wrote to the bishops of Asia Minor, affirming the consubstantiality of the Three Divine Persons (Theodoret, H. E., iv., 9). St. Basil wrote his De Spirits Sancto in the same sense (see (Swete, Early History of the Doctrine of the Holy Spirit, pp. 58, 67), and in order to vindicate this truth against the Pneumatomachi, as the Macedonians were called by the Catholics, the Constantinopolitan recension of the Nicene Creed added the words, “the Lord and the Life-giver, proceeding from the Father, with the Father and the Son worshipped and glorified” etc., which had already formed part of local Creeds in the East.
From the foregoing by Canon Bright, the reader will be able to understand the connexion between the Semi-Arians and Pneumatomachi, as well as to see how the undestroyed heretical germs of the Semi-Asian heresy necessitated by their development the condemnation of a second synod.
(Philip Schaff, in Smith and Wace, Dict. Christ. Biog., s. 5, Apollinaris).
Apollinaris was the first to apply the results of the Nicene controversy to Christology proper, and to call the attention of the Church to the psychical and pneumatic element in the humanity of Christ; but in his zeal for the true deity of Christ, and fear of a double personality, he fell into the error of a partial denial of his true humanity. Adopting the psychological trichotomy of Plato (sw`ma yukh;, pneu`ma), for which he quoted 1. Thess. 5,23 and Ga 5,17, he attributed to Christ a human body (sw`ma) and a human soul (the yukh; a[logo", the anima animans which man has in common with the animal), but not a rational spirit (nou`", pneu`ma, yukh;, logikh;, anima rationalis,) and put in the place of the latter the divine Logos. In opposition to the idea of a mere connection of the Logos with the man Jesus, he wished to secure an organic unity of rite two, and so a true incarnation; but he sought this at the expense of the most important constituent of man. He reached only a Qeo;" sarkofovro"as Nestorianism only an a[nqrwpo" qeofovro" instead of the proper qeavndrwto". He appealed to the fact that the Scripture says, “the Word was made flesh”—not spirit; “God was manifest in the flesh” etc, To which Gregory Nazianzen justly replied that in these passages the term savrx was used by synecdoche for the whole human nature. In this way Apollinaris established so close a connection of the Logos with human flesh, that all the divine attributes were transferred to the human nature, and all the human attributes to the divine, and the two merged in one nature in Christ. Hence he could speak of a crucifixion of the Logos, and a worship of his flesh. He made Christ a middle being between God and man, in whom, as it were, one part divine and two parts human were fused in the unity of a new nature. He even ventured to adduce created analogies, such as the mule, midway between the horse and the ass; the grey colour, a mixture of white and black; and spring, in distinction from winter and summer. Christ, said he, is neither whole man, nor God, but a mixture (mivxi") of God and man. On the other hand, he regarded the orthodox view of a union of full humanity with a full divinity in one person—of two wholes in one whole—as an absurdity. He called the result of this construction ajnqrwpovqeo", a sort of monstrosity, which he put in the same category with the mythological figure of the Minotaur. But the Apollinarian idea of the union of the Logos with a truncated human nature might be itself more justly compared with this monster. Starting from the Nicene homoousion as to the Logos, but denying the completeness of Christ’s humanity, he met Arianism half-way, which likewise put the divine Logos in the place of rite human spirit in Christ. But he strongly asserted his unchangeableness, while Arians taught his changeableness (treptovth").
The faith of the Church revolted against such a mutilated and stunted humanity of Christ which necessarily involved also a merely partial redemption. The incarnation is an assumption of the entire human nature, sin only excluded. The ejnsavrkwsi" is ejnanqrwvphsi". To be a full and complete Redeemer, Christ must be a perfect man (tevleio" a[nqrwpo"). The spirit or rational soul is the most important element in man, his crowning glory, the seat of intelligence and freedom, and needs redemption as well as the soul and the body; for sin has entered and corrupted all the faculties.
In the sentence immediately preceding the above Dr. Scruff remarks “but the peculiar Christology of Apollinaris has reappeared from time to time in a modified shape, as isolated theological opinion.” No doubt Dr. Schaff had in mind the fathers of the so-called “Kenoticism” of to-day, Gess and Ebrard, who teach, unless they have been misunderstood, that the incarnate Son had no human intellect or rational soul (nou`") but that the divine personality took its place, by being changed into it.By this last modification, they claim to escape from tire taint of the Apollinarian heresy.2
The Eunomians or Anomoeans.
(Bright, Notes on the Canons, Canon I. of I. Const).
“The Eunomians or Anomoeans.” These were the ultra-Arians, who carried to its legitimate issue the original Arian denial of the eternity and uncreatedness of the Son, while they further rejected what Arius had affirmed as to the essential mysteriousness of the Divine nature (Soc., H. E., iv., 7; comp. Athan., De Synod., 15). Their founder was Aetius, the most versatile of theological adventurers (cf. Athan, De Synod., 31; Soc., H. E., ii., 45; and see a summary of his career in Newman’s Arians, p. 347); but their leader at the time of the Council was the dating and indefatigable Eunomius (for whose personal characteristics, see his admirer Philostorgius, x., 6) He, too, had gone through many vicissitudes from his first employment as the secretary of Aetius, and his ordination as deacon by Eudoxius; as bishop of Cyzicus, he had been lured into a disclosure of his true sentiments, and then denounced as a heretic (Theod., H.. E., ii., 29); with Aetius he had openly separated from Eudoxius as a disingenuous time-server, and had gone into retirement at Chalcedon (Philostorg., ix., 4). The distinctive formula of his adherents was the “Anomoion.” The Son, they said, was not “like to the Father in essence”; even to call him simply “like” was to obscure the fact that he was simply a creature, and, as such, “unlike” to his Creator. In other words, they thought the Semi-Arian “homoiousion” little better than the Catholic “homoousion”: the “homoion” of the more “respectable” Arians represented in their eyes an ignoble reticence; the plain truth, however it might shock devout prejudice, must be put into words which would bar all misunderstanding: the Son might be called “God,” but in a sense merely titular, so as to leave an impassable gulf between him and the uncreated Godhead (see (Eunomius’s Exposition in Valesius’s note on See., H. E., 5,, 10). Compare Basil (Epist., 233, and his work against Eunomius), and Epiphanius (Hoer., 76).
The Arians or Eudoxians.
(Bright. Ut supra).
“The Arians or Eudoxians.” By these are meant the ordinary Arians of the period, or, as they may be called, the Acacian party, directed for several years by the essentially worldly and unconscientious Eudoxius. His real sympathies were with the Anomoeans (see (Tillemont, Memoires, vi., 423, and compare his profane speech recorded by Socrates, H. E., ii., 43): but, as a bishop of Constantinople, he felt it necessary to discourage them, and to abide by the vague formula invented by Acacius of Caesarea, which described the Son as “like to the Father,” without saying whether this likeness was supposed to be more than moral (cf. Newman, Arians, p. 317), so that the practical effect of this “homoion” was to prepare the way for that very Anomoeanism which its maintainers were ready for political purposes to disown.
(Bright. Ut supra).
“The Sabellians,” whose theory is traceable to Noetus and Praxeas in the latter part of the second century: they regarded the Son and the Holy Spirit as aspects and modes of, or as emanations from, the One Person of the Father (see (Newman’s Arians, pp. 120 et seqq).. Such a view tended directly to dissolve Christian belief in the Trinity and in the Incarnation (Vide Wilberforce, Incarnation, pp, 112, 197). Hence the gentle Dionysius of Alexandria characterised it in severe terms as involving “blasphemy, unbelief, and irreverence, towards the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit” (Euseb., H. E., 7,. 6). Hence the deep repugnance which it excited, and the facility with which the imputation of “Sabellianizing” could be utilised by the Arians against maintainers of the Consubstantiality (Hilary, De Trinit., iv., 4; De Synod., 68; Fragm., 11; Basil, Epist., 189, 2). No organized Sabellian sect was in exist- ence at the date of this anathema: but Sabellian ideas were “in the air,” and St. Basil could speak of a revival of this old misbelief (Epist., 126). We find it again asserted by Chilperic I., King of Neustria, in the latter part of the sixth century (Greg. Turon., Hist. Fr., 5,, 45).
(Bright. Ut supra).
“The Marcellians,” called after Marcellus bishop of Ancyra, who was persistently denounced not only by the Arianizers, but by St. Basil, and for a time, at least, suspected by St. Athanasius (Vide Epiphan., Hoer., 72, 4) as one who held notions akin to Sabellianism, and fatal to a true belief in the Divine Sonship and the Incarnation. The theory ascribed to him was that the Logos was an impersonal Divine power, immanent from eternity in God, but issuing from him in the act of creation, and entering at last into relations with the human person of Jesus, who thus became God’s Son. But this expansion of the original divine unity would be followed by a “contraction,” when the Logos would retire from Jesus, and God would again be all in all. Some nine years before the council, Marcellus, then in extreme old age, had sent his deacon Eugenius to St. Athanasius, with a written confession of faith, quite orthodox as to the eternity of the Trinity, and the identity of the Logos with a pre-existing and personal Son, although not verbally explicit as to the permanence of Christ’s “kingdom,”—the point insisted on in one of the Epiphanian-Constantinopolitan additions to the Creed (Montfaucon, Collect. Nov., ii., 1). The question whether Marcellus was personally heterodox—i.e. whether the extracts from his treatise, made by his adversary Eusebius of Caesarea, give a fair account of his real views— has been answered unfavourably by some writers, as Newman (Athanasian Treatises, ii., 200, ed. 2), and Dollinger (Hippolytus and Callistus, p. 217, E. T. p. 201), while others, like Neale, think that “charity and truth” suggest his “acquittal” (Hist. Patr. Antioch., p. 106). Montfaucon thinks that his written statements might be favourably interpreted, but that his oral statements must have given ground for suspicion.
(Bright. Ut supra. )
“The Photinians,” or followers of Marcellus’s disciple Photinus, bishop of Sirmium, the ready-witted and pertinacious disputant whom four successive synods condemned before he could be got rid of, by State power, in a.d. 351. (See St. Athanasius’s Historical Writings, Introd. p. lxxxix). In his representation of the “Marcellian” theology, he laid special stress on its Christological position—that Jesus, on whom the Logos rested with exceptional fulness, was a mere man. See Athanasius, De Synodis, 26, 27, for two creeds in which Photinianism is censured; also Soc). H. E. ii., 18, 29, 30; 7,, 39. There is an obvious affinity between it and the “Samosatene” or Paulionist theory.
The bishops are not to go beyond their dioceses to churches lying outside of their bounds, nor bring confusion on the churches; but let the Bishop of Alexandria, according to the canons, alone administer the affairs of Egypt; and let the bishops of the East manage the East alone, the privileges of the Church in Antioch, which are mentioned in the canons of Nice, being preserved; and let the bishops of the Asian Diocese administer the Asian affairs only; and the Pontic bishops only Pontic matters; and the Thracian bishops only Thracian affairs. And let not bishops go beyond their dioceses for ordination or any other ecclesiastical ministrations, unless they be invited. And the aforesaid canon concerning dioceses being observed, it is evident that the synod of every province will administer the affairs of that particular province as was decreed at Nice. But the Churches of God in heathen nations must be governed according to the custom which has prevailed from the times of the Fathers.
Ancient Epitome of Canon II.
No traveller shall introduce confusion into the Churches either by ordaining or by enthroning. Nevertheless in Churches which are among the heathen the tradition of the Fathers shall be preserved.
In the above Ancient Epitome it will be noticed that not only is ordination mentioned but also the “inthronization” of bishops. Few ceremonies are of greater antiquity in the Christian Church than the solemn placing of the newly chosen bishop in the episcopal chair of his diocese. It is mentioned in the Apostolical Constitutions, and in the Greek Pontificals. Also in the Arabic version of the Nicene Canons. (No. lxxi).. A sermon was usually delivered by the newly consecrated bishop, called the “sermo enthronisticus.” He also sent to neighbouring bishops sullabai; ejnqronistikai;, and the fees the new bishops paid were called ta; ejnqronistika;.
(Note on Socrates, H.E., 5,, 8).
This rule seems to have been made chiefly on account of Meletius. Bishop of Antioch, Gregory Nazianzen, and Peter of Alexandria. For Meletius leaving the Eastern diocese had come to Constantinople to ordain Gregory bishop there. And Gregory having abandoned the bishoprick of Sasima, which was in the Pontic diocese, had removed to Constantinople. While Peter of Alexandria had sent to Constantinople seven Egyptian bishops to ordain Maximus the Cynic. For the purpose therefore of repressing these [disorders], the fathers of the Synod of Constantinople made this canon.
Take notice from the present canon that formerly all the Metropolitans of provinces were themselves the heads of their own provinces, and were ordained by their own synods. But all this was changed by Canon xxviij of the Synod of Chalcedon, which directs that the Metropolitans of the dioceses of Pontus, Asia, and Thrace, and certain others which are mentioned in this Canon should be ordained by the Patriarch of Constantinople and should be subject to him. But if you find other churches which are autocephalous as the Church of Bulgaria, of Cyprus, of Iberia, you need not be astonished. For the Emperor Justinian gave this honour to the Archbishop of Bulgaria. ... The third Synod gave this honour to the Archbishop of Cyprus, and by the law of the same synod (Canon viii)., and by the Sixth Synod in its xxxixth Canon, the judgment of the Synod of Antioch is annulled and this honour granted to the bishop of Iberia.
(Mem. ix., 489).
The Council seems likewise to reject, whether designedly or inadvertently, what had been ordained by the Council of Sardica in favour of Rome. But as assuredly it did not affect to prevent either Ecumenical Councils, or even general Councils of the East, from judging of matters brought before them, so I do not know if one may conclude absolutely that they intended to forbid appeals to Rome. It regulates proceedings between Dioceses, but not what might concern superior tribunals.
(Hist. Qo in loc)..
This Canon, which gives to the councils of particular places full authority in Ecclesiastical matters, seems to take away the power of appealing to the Pope granted by the Council of Sardica, and to restore the ancient right.
An exception to the rule against interference in other patriarchates was made with regard to those Churches newly rounded amongst barbarous nations (not belonging to the Roman Empire), as these were of courseobliged to receive their first bishops fromstrange patriarchates, and remained after wards too few in number to form patriarchates of their own and were therefore governed as belonging to other patriarchates, as, for instance, Abyssinia by the patriarchate of Alexandria).
The Bishop of Constantinople, however, shall have the prerogative of honour after the Bishop of Rome; because Constantinople is New Rome.
Ancient Epitome of Canon III.
The bishop of Constantinople is to be honoured next after the bishop of Rome.
It should be remembered that the change effected by this canon did not affect Rome directly in any way, but did seriously affect Alexandria and Antioch, which till then had ranked next after the see of Rome. When the pope refused to acknowledge the authority of this canon, he was in reality defending the principle laid down in the canon of Nice, that in such matters the ancient customs should continue. Even the last clause, it would seem, could give no offence to the most sensitive on the papal claims, for it implies a wonderful power in the rank of Old Rome, if a see is to rank next to it because it happens to be “New Rome.” Of course these remarksonly refer to the wording of the canon whichis carefully guarded; the intention doubtlesswas to exalt the see of Constantinople, the chief see of the East, to a position of as near equality as possible with the chief see of the West.
In this place the Council takes action concerning Constantinople, to which it decrees the prerogative of honour, the priority, and the glory after the Bishop of Rome as being New Rome and the Queen of cities. Some indeed wish to understand the preposition meta; here of time and not of inferiority of grade. And they strive to confirm this interpretation by a consideration of the XXVIII canon of Chalcedon, urging that if Constantinople is to enjoy equal honours, the preposition “after” cannot signify subjection. But on the other hand the hundred and thirtieth novel of Justinian,1 Book V of the Imperial Constitutions, title three, understands the canon otherwise. For, it says, “we decree that the most holy Pope of Old Rome, according to the decrees of the holy synods is the first of all priests, and that the most blessed bishop of Constantinople and of New Rome, should have the second place after the Apostolic Throne of the Elder Rome, and should be superior in honour to all others.” From this therefore it is abundantly evident that “after” denotes subjection (uJpobibasmo;n) and diminution. And otherwise it would be impossible to guard this equality of honour in each see. For in reciting their names, or assigning them seats when they are to sit together, or arranging the order of their signatures to documents, one must come before the other. Whoever therefore shall explain this particle meta; as only referring to time, and does not admit that it signifies an inferior grade of dignity, does violence to the passage and draws from it a meaning neither true nor good. Moreover in Canon xxxvj of the Council in Trullo, meta; manifestly denotes subjection, assigning to Constantinople the second place after the throne of Old Rome; and then adds, after this Alexandria, then Antioch, and last of all shall be placed Jerusalem.
If we enquire the reason why this Council tried to change the order of rank of the great Sees, which had been established in the sixth Nicene canon, we must first take into consideration that, since the elevation of Constantinople to the Imperial residence, as New Rome, the bishops as well as the Emperors naturally wished to see the new imperial residence, New Rome, placed immediately after Old Rome in ecclesiastical rank also; the rather, as with the Greeks it was the rule for the ecclesiastical rank of a See to follow the civil rank of the city. The Synod of Antioch in 341, in its ninth canon, had plainly declared this, and subsequently the fourth General Council, in its seventeenth canon, spoke in the same sense. But how these principles were protested against on the side of Rome, we shall see further on in the history of the fourth General Council. For the present, it may suffice to add that the aversion to Alexandria which, by favouring Maximus, had exercised such a disturbing influence on Church affairs in Constantinople, may well have helped to effect the elevation of the See of Constantinople over that of Alexandria. Moreover, for many centuries Rome did not recognize this change of the old ecclesiastical order. In the sixteenth session of the fourth General Council, the Papal Legate, Lucentius, expressly declared this. In like manner the Popes Leo the Great and Gregory the Great pronounced against it; and though even Gratian adopted this canon in his collection the Roman critics added the following note: Canon hic ex iis est, quos Apostolica Romana Sedes a principio et longo post tempore non recepit. It was only when, after the conquest of Constantinople by the Latins, a Latin patriarchate was founded there in 1204, that Pope Innocent III, and the twelfth General Council, in 1215, allowed this patriarch the first rank after the Roman; and the same recognition was expressly awarded to the Greek Patriarch at the Florentine Union in 1439.T. W). Allies.2
Remarkable enough it is that when, in the Council of Chalcedon, appeal was made to this third Canon, the Pope St. Leo declared that it had never been notified to Rome. As in the mean time it had taken effect throughout the whole East, as in this very council Nectarius, as soon as he is elected, presides instead of Timothy of Alexandria, it puts in a strong point of view the real self-government of the Eastern Church at this time; for the giving the Bishop of Constantinople precedence over Alexandria and Antioch was a proceeding which affected the whole Church, and so far altered its original order—one in which certainly the West might claim to have a voice. Tillemont goes on: “It would be very difficult to justify St. Leo, if he meant that the Roman Church had never known that the Bishop of Constantinople took the second place in the Church, and the first in the East, since his legates, whose conduct he entirely approves, had just themselves authorized it asa thing beyond dispute, and Eusebius of Dorylaeum maintained that St. Leo himself hadproved it.” The simple fact is, that, exceedingly unwilling as the Bishops of Rome were to sanction it, from this time, 381, to say the least, the Bishop of Constantinople appears uniformly as first bishop of the East.
Cardinal Baronius in his Annals (a.d. 381, n. 35, 36) has disputed the genuineness of this Canon! As already mentioned it is found in the Corpus Juris Canonici, Decretum, Pars I., Dist. XXII, c. iij. The note added to this in Gratian reads as follows:Note IN Gratian’s “Decretum.”
This canon is of the number of those which the Apostolic See of Rome did not at first nor for long years afterwards receive. This is evident from Epistle LI. (or LIII). of Pope Leo I. to Anatolius of Constantinople and from several other of his letters. The same thing also is shewn by two letters of Leo IX.’s, the one against the presumptuous acts of Michael and Leo (cap. 28) and the other addressed to the same Michael. But still more clearly is this seen from the letter of Blessed Gregory (xxxj., Lib. VI). to Eulogius of Alexandria and Anastasius of Antioch, and from the letter of Nicholas I. to the Emperor Michel which begins “Proposueramus.” However, the bishops of Constantinople, sustained by the authority of the Emperors, usurped to themselves the second place among the patriarchs, and this at length wasgranted to them for the sake of peace and tranquillity, as Pope Innocent III. declares (in cap. antiqua de privileg)..3
This canon Dionysius Exiguus appends to Canon 2, and dropping 5, 6, and 7 he has but three canons of this Synod.
Concerning Maximus the Cynic and the disorder which has happened in Constantinople on his account, it is decreed that Maximus never was and is not now a Bishop; that those who have been ordained by him are in no order whatever of the clergy; since all which has been done concerning him or by him, is declared to be invalid.
Ancient Epitome of Canon IV.
Let Maximus the Cynic be cast out from among the bishops, and anyone who was inscribed by him on the clergy list shall be held as profane.
(Smith and Wace, Diet. Christ. Biog)). Maximus the Cynic; the intrusive bishop of Constantinople, a.d. 380. Ecclesiastical history hardly presents a more extraordinary career than that of this man, who, after a most disreputable youth, more than once brought to justice for his misdeeds, and bearing the scars of his punishments, by sheer impudence, clever flattery, and adroit manage-merit of opportunities, contrived to gain the confidence successively of no less men than Peter of Alexandria, Gregory Nazianzen, and Ambrose, and to install himself in one of the first sees of the church, from which he was with difficulty dislodged by a decree of an ecumenical council. His history also illustrates the jealousy felt by the churches of Alexandria and Rome towards their young and vigorous rival for patriarchal honours, the church of Constantinople; as well as their claim to interfere with her government, and to impose prelates upon her according to their pleasure. Alexandria, as the chief see of the Eastern world, from the first asserted a jurisdiction which she has never formally relinquished over the see of Constantinople, more particularly in a vacancy in the episcopate (Neale, Pair. of Alexandria, i, 206). The conduct of Peter, the successor of Athanasius, first in instituting Gregory Nazianzen bishop of Constantinople by his letters and sending a formal recognition of his appointment and then in substituting Maximus, as has been remarked by Milman (History of Christianity, iii., 115, note) and Ullman (Greg. Naz., p. 203 [Cox’s translation]), furnish unmistakable indications of the desire to erect an Oriental papacy, by establishing the primacy of Alexandria over Constantinople and so over the East, which was still further illustrated a few years later by the high-handed behaviour of Theophilus towards Chrysostom.
Maximus was a native of Alexandria of low parentage. He boasted that his family had produced martyrs. He got instructed in the rudiments of the Christian faith and received baptism, but strangely enough sought to combine the Christian profession with Cynic philosophy.
When he presented himself at the Eastern capital he wore the white robe of a Cynic, and carried a philosopher’s staff, his head being laden with a huge crop of crisp curling hair,dyed a golden yellow, and swinging over hisshoulders in long ringlets. He represented himself as a confessor for the Nicene faith, and his banishment to the Oasis as a sufferingfor the truth (Orat. xxiii., p. 419). Beforelong he completely gained the ear and heart of Gregory, who admitted him to the closest companionship. Maximus proclaimed the most unbounded admiration for Gregory’s discourses, which he praised in private, and, according to the custom of the age, applauded in public. His zeal against heretics was most fierce, and his denunciation of them uncompromising. The simple-hearted Gregory became the complete dupe of Maximus.
All this time Maximus was secretly maturing a plot for ousting his unsuspicious patron from his throne. He gained the ear and the confidence of Peter of Alexandria, and induced him to favour his ambitious views. Gregory, he asserted, had never been formally enthroned bishop of Constantinople; his translation thither was a violation of the canons of the church; rustic in manners, he had proved himself quite unfitted for the place. Constantinople was getting weary of him. It was time the patriarch of the Eastern world should exercise his prerogative and give New Rome a more suitable bishop. The old man was imposed on as Gregory had been, and lent himself to Maximus’s projects. Maximus found a ready tool in a presbyter of Constantinople, envious of Gregory’s talents and popularity (de Vit., p. 13). Others were gained by bribes. Seven unscrupulous sailor fellows were despatched from Alexandria to mix with the people, and watch for a favourable opportunity for carrying out the plot. When all was ripe they were followed by a bevy of bishops, with secret instructions from the patriarch to consecrate Maximus.
The conspirators chose the night for the accomplishment of their enterprise. Gregory they knew was confined by illness. They forced their way into the cathedral, and commenced the rite of ordination. By the time they had set the Cynic on the archiepiscopal throne, and had just begun shearing away his long curls, they were surprised by the dawn. The news quickly spread, and everybody rushed to the church. The magistrates appeared on the scene with their officers; Maximus and his consecrators were driven from the sacred precincts, and in the house or shopof a flute-player the tonsure was completed. Maximums repaired to Thessalonica to lay his cause before Theodosius. He met with a cold reception from the emperor, who committed the matter to Ascholius, the much respected bishop of that city, charging him to refer it to pope Damasus. We have two letters of Damasus’s on this subject. In the first, addressed to Ascholius and the Mace- donian bishops, he vehemently condemns the “ardor animi et feeds presumptio” which had led certain persons coming from Egypt, in violation of the rule of ecclesiastical discipline, to have proposed to consecrate a restless man, an alien from the Christian profession, not worthy to be called a Christian, who wore an idolatrous garb (“habitus idoli”) and the long hair which St. Paul said was a shame to a man, and remarks on the fact thatbeing expelled from the church they were compelled to complete the ordination “intra parities alienos.” In the second letter addressed to Ascholius individually (Ep. vi). he repeats his condemnation of the ordination of the long-haired Maximus (“comatum”) and asks him to take special care that a Catholic bishop may be ordained (Migne, Patrolog., xiii., pp. 366–369; Ep 5 Ep 5,6).
Maximus returned to Alexandria, and demanded that Peter should assist him in re-establishing himself at Constantinople. But Peter had discovered the man’s true character, and received him as coldly as Theodosius had done. Determined to carry his point he presented himself to the patriarch at the head of a disorderly mob, with the threat that if he did not help him to gain the throne of Constantinople he would have that of Alexandria. Peter appealed to the prefect, by whom Maximus was driven out of Egypt. The death of Peter and the accession of Timotheus are placed Feb. 14, 380. The events described must therefore have occurred in 379. When the second ecumenical council met at Con- stantinople in 381, the question of Maximus’s claim to the see of Constantinople came up for consideration. His pretensions were unanimously rejected.
(Notes on the Canons, in loc).
Maximus, however, having been expelled from Egypt, made his way into Northern Italy, presented to Gratian at Milan a largework which he had written against the Arians (as to which Gregory sarcastically remarks—“Saul a prophet, Maximus an author!” Carm. adv. Mar., 21), and deceived St. Ambrose andhis suffragans by showing the record of hisconsecration, with letters which Peter had once written in his behalf. To these prelates of the “Italic diocese” the appeal of Maximus seemed like the appeal of Athanasius, and more recently of Peter himself, to the sympathy of the church of Rome; and they re quested Theodosius to let the case be heard before a really General Council (Mansi, iii.631). Nothing further came of it; perhaps, says Tillemont, those who thus wrote in favour of Maximus “reconnurent bientot quel il etait” (ix., 502): so that when a Council did meet at Rome towards the end of 382, no steps were taken in his behalf.
(Probably adopted at a Council held in Constantinople the next year, 382. Vide. Introduction on the number of the Canons).
IN regard to the tome of the Western [Bishops], we receive those in Antioch also who confess the unity of the Godhead of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
Ancient Epitome of Canon V.
The Tome of the Westerns which recognizes the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit as consubstantial is highly acceptable.
Beveridge and Van Espen translate this canon differently, thus, “With regard to the tome of the Westerns, we agree with those in Antioch [i.e. the Synod of 378] who (accepted it and) acknowledged the unity of theGodhead of the Father etc,” In oppositionto this translation Hefele urges that ajpodevcesqai in ecclesiastical language usually refers to receiving persons and recognizing them, not opinions or doctrines.
This canon probably does not belong to the second General Council, but to the Synod held in the following year at Constantinople consisting of nearly the same bishops.
It is certain that by the “Tome of the Westerns” a dogmatic work of the Western bishops is to be understood, and the only question is which Tome of the Westerns is here meant. Several—for instance, the Greek commentators, Balsamon and Zonaras, and the spokesman of the Latins at the Synod of Florence in 1439 (Archbishop Andrew of Rhodes)—understood by it the decrees of the Synod of Sardica; but it seems to me that this canon undoubtedly indicates that theTome of the Westerns also mentioned the condition of the Antiochian Church, and the division into two parties of the orthodox of that place—the Meletian schism. Now, as this was not mentioned, nay, could not have been, at the Synod of Sardica —for this schism at Antioch only broke out seventeen years later—some other document of the Latins must certainly be meant. But we know that Pope Damasus, and the synod assembled by him in 369, addressed a Tome to the Orientals, of which fragments are still preserved, and that nine years later, in 379, a great synod at Antioch of one hundred and forty-six orthodox Oriental bishops, under Meletius, accepted and signed this Tome, and at the same time sought to put a stop to the Meletian schism. Soon afterwards, in 380, Pope Damasus and his fourth Roman Synod again sent a treatise on the faith, of which we still possess a portion, containing anathemas, to the Orientals, especially to Bishop Paul of Antioch, head of the Eustathians of that city. Under these circumstances, we are justified in referring the expression “the tome of the Westerns” either to the Roman treatise of 369 or to that of 380, and I am disposed to give the preference to the former, for the following reasons:—
(1). As has been already observed, this canon belongs to the Synod held at Constantinople in 382.
(2). We still possess in Theodoret a Synodal Letter to the Latins from this later Synod.
(3). The canon in question, as proceeding from the same source, is, of course to a certain extent, connected with this letter.
(4). In this Synodal Letter, the Eastern bishops, in order to convince the Latins of their orthodoxy, appeal to two documents, the one a “tome” of an Antiochian Synod, and the other a “tome” of the Ecumenical Council held at Constantinople in 381.
(5). By the Antiochian Synod here mentioned, I understand the great synod of 378, and, as a necessary consequence, believe the “tome” there produced to be none other than the Roman Tome of 369, which was then accepted at Antioch.
(6). It is quite certain that the Synod of Antioch sent a copy of this Tome, with the declaration of its acceptance and the signatures of the members, back to Rome, as a supplement to its Synodal Letter; and hence Lucas Holstenius was still able to find fragments of it in Rome.
(7). The Synod of Constantinople of 382 might well call this Tome, sent back to Rome with the acceptance and signatures of the Easterns, a “Tome established at Antioch,” although it was really drawn up at Rome.
(8). If, however, the Synod of Constantinople in its Synodal Letter speaks of this Tome, we are justified in supposing that the one mentioned in its canon is the same.
(9). That which still remains of the Roman Tome of 369, treats expressly of the oneness of the Godhead of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; and such were the contents of the Tome according to this canon.
(10). It is true that the fragments still preserved of this Tome contain no passage directly referring to the Antiochian schism; but, in the first place, very little remains of it, and there is the more reason to suppose that the Meletian schism was spoken of in the portion which has been lost, as it was the same Antiochian Synod that accepted the Tome which urged the putting an end to that schism. It is still more to the purpose that the Italian bishops, in their letter to the Easterns in 381, expressly say that they had already long before (dudum) written to the Orientals in order to put an end to the division between the orthodox at Antioch. By this “dudum” I conclude that they refer to the Roman Tome of 369; and if the Westerns in their letter to the Easterns in 381 pointed to this Tome, it was natural that the Synod ofConstantinople of 382 should also have re ferred to it, for it was that very letter of the Latins which occasioned and called the synod into being.
Lastly, for the full understanding of this canon, it is necessary to observe that the Latins, in their letter just mentioned of 381, say that “they had already in their earlier missive (i.e. as we suppose, in the Tome of 369) spoken to the effect that both parties at Antioch, one as much as the other, were orthodox.” Agreeing with this remark of the Westerns, repeated in their letter of 381, the Easterns in this canon say, “We also recognise all Antiochians as orthodox who acknowledge the oneness of the Godhead of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.”
(Probably adopted at a Council held in Constantinople the next year, 382. Vide Introduction on the number of Canons).
Forasmuch as many wishing to confuse and overturn ecclesiastical order, do contentiously and slanderously fabricate charges against the orthodox bishops who have the administration of the Churches, intending nothing else than to stain the reputation of the priests and raise up disturbances amongst the peaceful laity; therefore it seemed right to the Holy Synod of Bishops assembled together in Constantinople, not to admit accusers without examination; and neither to allow all persons whatsoever to bring accusations against the rulers of the Church, nor, on the other hand, to exclude all. If then, any one shall bring a private complaint against the Bishop, that is, one relating to his own affairs, as, for example, that he has been defrauded, or otherwise unjustly treated by him, in such accusations no examination shall be made, either of the person or of the religion of the accuser; for it is by all means necessary that the conscience of the Bishop should be free, and that he who says he has been wronged should meet with righteous judgment, of whatever religion he may be. But if the charge alleged against the Bishop be that of some ecclesiastical offence, then it is necessary to examine carefully the persons of the accusers, so that, in the first place, heretics may not be suffered to bring accusations touching ecclesiastical matters against orthodox bishops. And by heretics we mean both those who were aforetime cast out and those whom we ourselves have since anathematized, and also those professing to hold the true faith who have separated from our canonical bishops, and set up conventicles in opposition [to them]. Moreover, if there be any who have been condemned for faults and cast out of the Church, or excommunicated, whether of the clergy or the laity, neither shall it be lawful for these to bring an accusation against the bishop, until they have cleared away the charge against themselves. In like manner, persons who are under previous accusations are not to be permitted to bring charges against a bishop or any other clergyman, until they shall have proved their own innocence of the accusation brought against them. But if any, being neither heretics, nor excommunicate, nor condemned, nor under previous accusation for alleged faults, should declare that they have any ecclesiastical charge against the bishop, the Holy Synod bids them first lay their charges before all the Bishops of the Province, and before them prove the accusations, whatsoever they may be, which they have brought against the bishop. And if the comprovincials should be unable rightly to settle the charges brought against the bishop, then the parties must betake themselves to a greater synod of the bishops of that diocese called together for this purpose; and they shall not produce their allegations before they have promised in writing to undergo an equal penalty to be exacted from themselves, if, in the course of the examination, they shall be proved to have slandered the accused bishop. And if anyone, despising what has been decreed concerning these things, shall presume to annoy the ears of the Emperor, or the courts of temporal judges, or, to the dishonour of all the Bishops of his Province, shall trouble an Ecumenical Synod, such an one shall by no means be admitted as an accuser; forasmuch as he has east contempt upon the Canons, and brought reproach upon the order of the Church.
Ancient Epltome of Canon VI.
Even one that is of ill repute, if he have suffered any injury, let him bring a charge against the bishop. If however it be a crime of ecclesiastical matters let him not speak. Nor shall another condemned before, speak. Let not one excommunicated, or cast forth, or charged with any crimes speak, until he is cleared of them. But those who should bring the charge are the orthodox, who are communicants, uncondemned, unaccused. Let the case be heard by the provincials. If however they are not able to decide the case, let them have recourse to a greater synod and let them not be heard, without a written declaration of liability to the same sufferings [i.e. of their readiness to be tried by the lex talionis.] But should anyone contrary to the provisions appeal to the Emperor and trouble him, let such be cast forth.
The phrase “who have the administration of the Churches,” Hatch in his Bampton Lectures (Lect. 1P 41) erroneously supposes to refer only to the administration of the Church’s alms. But this, as Dr. Bright well points out (“ Notes on the Canons,” in loc). cannot be the meaning of oijkonamei`n when used absolutely as in this canon. He says, “When a merely ‘economic’ function is intended, the context shows it, as in Chalcedon, Canon xxvj.” He also points out that in Canon ij., and in Eusebius (H. E. iv., 4), and when St. Basil wishes his brother to oijkonomei`n a church suited to his temperament (Epist. xcviij., 2) the meaning of the word is evidently spiritual stewardship.
By “those who were cast out of the Church” are to be understood those who were altogether cut off from the Church; butby those who were “excommunicated” theholy fathers intend all those, whether clericsor laymen, who are deprived of communion for a set time.
It is evident from the context of this canon that “Diocese” here does not signify the district or territory assigned to any one bishop, as we to-day use the word; but for a district, which not only contained many episcopal districts, as today do ecclesiastical provinces, but which contained also many provinces, and this was the meaning of the word at the time of this Council’s session.
We call Adrianople, for example, or Philopopolis with the bishops of each a “Province,” but the whole of Thrace or Macedonia we call a “Diocese.” When these crimes were brought forward to be corrected, for the judging of which the provincial bishops were by no means sufficient, then the Canon orders the bishops of the diocese to assemble, and determine the charges preferred against the bishop.
Both the Canon and the Civil Law require the accusers to submit themselves to the law of retaliation (lex talionis). Vide Gratian, Pt. II., Causa II., Quaest. III., 2 and 3, where we read from the decree of Pope Hadrian; “Whoever shall not prove what he advances, shall himself suffer the penalty due the crime he charged.” And under the name of Damasus, “The calumniator, if he fail in proving his accusation, shall receive his tale.” The Civil Law is in L. x., Cod. de Calumniatoribus, and reads, “Whoso charges a crime, shall not have licence to lie with impunity, since justice requires that calumniators shall endure the punishment due the crime which they failed to prove.”
The Council wishes that all accusations of bishops for ecclesiastical offences shall be kept out of the secular courts, and shall be heard by synods of bishops, in the manner and form here prescribed, which is in accordance with the Constitution which under the names of Valens, Gratian, and Valentinian, the Emperors, is referred to in law xxiij. of the Code of Theodosius, De Episcopis et Clericis.
Whatever may be said of the meeting of bishops at which this canon was enacted, this is clear, no mention was made of the Roman Pontiff, nor of the Council of Sardica, as Fleury notes in his Histoire Ecclesiastique, Lib. xviij., n. 8. From this it is evident either that at that time the Orientals did not admit, especially for bishops, appeals to the Roman Pontiff; nor did they accept the authority of the Synod of Sardica, in so far as it permitted that the sentence given in a provincial synod, should be reopened by the neighbouring bishops together with the bishops of the province, and if it seemed good, that the cause might be referred to Rome.
Warning to the Reader Touching Canon VII.
(Beveridge, Synodicon, Tom. II., in loc.)
This canon, I confess, is contained in all the editions of the Commentaries of Balsamon and Zonaras. It is cited also by Photius in Nomocanon, Tt 12,ch. xiv., besides it is extant in a contracted form in the Epitome of Alexius Aristenus. But it is wanting in all the Latin versions of the Canons, in the ancient translations of Dionys. Exig., Isidore Mercator, etc.; also in the Epitome of Sym. Logothet., and the Arabic paraphrase of Josephus Aegyp., and what is particularly to be observed, in the collection and nomocanon of Jn of Antioch; and this not through want of attention on his part, as is clear from this namely, that in the order of the Canons as given by him he attributes six Canons only to this second General Council, saying “... of the Fathers who assembled at Constantinople, by whom six Canons were set forth,” so that it is clear the present was not reckoned among the canons of thiscouncil in those days. Nay, the whole composition of this canon clearly indicates that it is to be ascribed, neither to this present council, nor to any other (unless perhaps to that of Trullo, of which we shall speak afterwards). For nothing is appointed in it, nothing confirmed, but a certain ancient custom of receiving converted heretics, is here merely recited. (Hefele, History of the Councils, Vol. II., p. 368).
As we possess a letter from the Church at Constantinople in the middle of the fifth century to Bishop Martyrius of Antioch, in which the same subject is referred to in a precisely similar way, Beveridge is probably right in conjecturing that the canon was only an extract from this letter to Martyrius; therefore in no way a decree of the second General Council, nor even of the Synod of 382, but at least eighty years later than the latter. This canon, with an addition, was afterwards adopted by the Quinisext Synod as its ninety-fifth, without, however, giving its origin.
Those who from heresy turn to orthodoxy, and to the portion of those who are being saved, we receive according to the following method and custom: Arians, and Macedonians, and Sabbatians, and Novatians, who call themselves Cathari or Aristori, and Quarto-decimans or Tetradites, and Apollinarians, we receive, upon their giving a written renunciation [of their errors] and anathematize every heresy which is not in accordance with the Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church of God. Thereupon, they are first sealed or anointed with the holy oil upon the forehead, eyes, nostrils, mouth, and ears; and when we seal them, we say, “The Seal of the gift of the Holy Ghost.” But Eunomians, who are baptized with only one immersion, and Montanists, who are here called Phrygians, and Sabellians, who teach the identity of Father and Son, and do sundry other mischievous things, and [the partisans of] all other heresies—for there are many such here, particularly among those who come from the country of the Galatians:—all these, when they desire to turn to orthodoxy, we receive as heathen. On the first day we make them Christians; on the second, catechumens; on the third, we exorcise them by breathing thrice in their face and ears; and thus we instruct them and oblige them to spend some time in the Church, and to hear the Scriptures; and then we baptize them.
Ancient Epitome of Canon VII.
1 Quarto-decimans or Tetradites, Arians, Macedonians, Sabbatians, and Apollinarians ought to be received with their books and anointed in all their organs of sense.
Ancient Epitome of Canon VIII.
Eunomians baptized with one immersion, Sabellians, and Phrygians are to be received as heathen.Aristemus (in Can. vij)..
Those givingup their books and execrating every heresy are received with only anointing with chrism of the eyes, the nostrils, theears, the mouth, and the brow; and signing them with the words, “The Seal of the gift of the Holy Ghost.”
For the “Cathari,” see Notes on Canon 8,of I. Nice.
Sabbatians. Sabbatius was a presbyter who adopted the sentiments of Novatius, but as it is clear from the histories of Socrates and Sozomen, that he did not do so till at least eight years after the celebration of this council, it is of course equally clear that this canon could not have been framed by this council).
Aristeri. This is probably a false reading for Aristi, i.e. the best. In the letter above mentioned the expression is Cathari and Catheroteri, i.e. the pure, and the more pure.
The Quarto-decimans, or Tetradites, were those persons who persisted in observing the Easter festival with the Jews, on the fourteenth day of the first month, whatever day of the week it happened to be.
Montanists. One of the older sects, so called from Montanus, who embraced Christianity in the second century. He professed to be inspired in a peculiar way by the Holy Ghost, and to prophesy. He was supportedin his errors by two women, Priscilla and Maximilla, who also pretended to prophesy. His heresy infected many persons, amongst others Tertullian, but being condemned by the Church. his followers formed a sect remarkable for extreme austerity. But although they asserted that the Holy Ghost had inspired Montanus to introduce a system of greater perfection than the Church had before known, and condemned those who would not join them as carnal, they did not at first innovate in any of the articles of the Creed. This sect lasted a long time, and spread much in Phrygia and the neighbouring districts, whence they were called Phryges and Cata-phryges, and latterly adopted the errors of Sabellius respecting the Trinity.
The other heresies mentioned in this canonhave been treated of in the excursus to Canon j.
Excursus on the Authority of the Second Ecumenical Council. (Hefele, History of the Councils, Vol. II., Pp. 370, Et Seqq).
Lastly, to turn to the question of the authority of this Council, it appears, first of all, that immediately after its close, in the same year, 381, several of its acts were censured by a Council of Latins, namely, the prolongation of the Meletian schism (by the elevation of Flavian), and the choice of Nectarius as Bishop of Constantinople, while, as is known, the Westerns held (the Cynic) Maximus to be the rightful bishop of that city.
In consequence of this, the new Synod assembled in the following year, 382, at Constantinople, sent the Latins a copy of the decrees of faith composed the year before, expressly calling this Synod oijkoumenikhv and at the same time seeking to justify it in those points which had been censured. Photius2 maintains that soon afterwards Pope Damasus confirmed this synod; but, as the following will show, this confirmation could only have referred to the creed and not to the canons. As late as about the middle of the fifth century, Pope Leo I. spoke in a very depreciatory manner of these canons, especially of the third, which concerned the ecclesiastical rank of Constantinople, remarking that it was never sent to the See of Rome. Still later, Gregory the Great wrote in the same sense: Romana autem Ecclesia eosdam canones vel gesta Synodi illius hactenus non habet, nec accepit ; in hoc autem eam accepit, quod est per earn contra Macedonium definitum.3
Thus, as late as the year God, only the creed, but not the canons of the Synod of Constantinople were accepted at Rome; but on account of its creed, Gregory the Great reckons it as one of the four Ecumenical Councils, which he compares to the four Gospels. So also before him the popes Vigilius and Pelagius II, reckoned this Synod among the Ecumenical Councils.
The question is, from what date the Council of Constantinople was considered ecumenical by the Latins as well as by the Greeks. We will begin with the latter. Although as we have seen, the Synod of 382 had already designated this council as ecumenical, yet it could not for a long time obtain an equal rank with the Council of Nicaea, for which reason the General Council of Ephesus mentions that of Nicaea and its creed with the greatest respect, but is totally silent as to this Synod. Soon afterwards, the so-called Robber-Synod in 449, spoke of two (General) Councils, at Nicaea and Ephesus, and designated the latter as hJ deutevra suvnodo", as a plain token that it did not ascribe such a high rank to the assembly at Constantinople. It might perhaps be objected that only the Monophysites, who notoriously ruled the Robber-Synod, used this language; bill the most determined opponent of the Monophysites, their accuser, Bishop Eusebius of Doylaeum, in like manner also brought forward only the two Synods of Nicaea and Ephesus, and declared that “he held to the faith of the three hundred and eighteen Fathers assembled at Nicaea, and to all that was done at the great and Holy Synod at Ephesus.”
The Creed of Constantinople appears for the first time to have been highly honoured at the fourth General Council, which had it recited after that of Nicaea, and thus solemnly approved it. Since then this Synod has been universally honoured as ecumenical by the Greeks, and was mentioned by the Emperor Justinian with the Councils of Nicaea, Ephesus, and Chalcedon, as of equal rank.4
But in the West, and especially in Rome, however satisfied people were with the decree of faith enacted by this Synod, and its completion of the creed, yet its third canon, respecting the rank of Constantinople, for a long time proved a hindrance to its acknowledgment. This was especially shown at the Council of Chalcedon, and during the time immediately following. When at that Council the creed of Constantinople was praised, repeated, and confirmed the Papal Legates fully concurred; but when the Council also renewed and confirmed the third canon of Constantinople, the Legates left the assembly, lodged a protest against it on the following day, and declared that the rules of the hundred and fifty bishops at Constantinople were never inserted among the Synodal canons (which were recognised at Rome). The same was mentioned by Pope Leo himself, who, immediately after the close of the Council of Chalcedon wrote to Bishop Anatolius of Constantinople: “that document of certain bishops (i.e. the third canon of Constantinople) was never brought by your predecessors to the knowledge of the Apostolic See.”5 Leo also, in his 105th letter to the Empress Pulcheria, speaks just as depreciatingly of this Council of Constantinople; and Quesnel is entirely wrong in maintaining that the Papal Legates at the Synod of Chalcedon at first practically acknowledged the validity of the third canon of Constantinople. Bishop Eusebius of Doylaeum was equally mistaken in maintaining at Chalcedon itself, that the third canon had been sanctioned by the Pope; and we shall have occasion further on, in the history of the Council of Chalcedon, to show the untenable character of both statements.
Pope Felix III. took the same view as Pope Leo, when, in his letter to the monks at Constantinople and Bithynia in 485, he only spoke of three General Councils at Nicaea, Ephesus, and Chalcedon; neither did his successor Gelasius (492–496) in his genuine decree, De libris recipiendis, mention this Synod. It may certainly be said, on the other hand, that in the sixth century its ecumenical character had come to be most distinctly acknowledged in the Latin Church also, and, as we have seen above, had been expressly affirmed by the Popes Vigilius, Pelagius II., and Gregory the Great. But this acknowledgment, even when it is not expressly stated, only referred to the decrees on faith of the Council of Constantinople, and not to its canons, as we have already observed in reference to the third and sixth of them).
Council of Constantinople: the Synodical Letter.1
To the right honourable lords our right reverend brethren and colleagues, Damasus, Ambrosius, Britton, Valerianus, Ascholius, Anemius, Basilius and the rest of the holy bishops assembled in the great city of Rome, the holy synod of the orthodox bishops assembled at the great city of Constantinople sends greeting in the Lord.
To recount all the sufferings inflicted on us by the power of the Arians, and to attempt to give information to your reverences, as though you were not already well acquainted with them, might seem superfluous. For we do not suppose your piety to hold what is befalling us as of such secondary importance as that you stand in any need of information on matters which cannot but evoke your sympathy. Nor indeed were the storms which beset us such as to escape notice from their insignificance. Our persecutions are but of yesterday. The sound of them still rings in the ears alike of those who suffered them and of those whose love made the sufferers’ pain their own. It was but a day or two ago, so to speak, that some released from chains in foreign lands returned to their own churches through manifold afflictions; of others who had died in exile the relics were brought home; others again, even after their return from exile, found the passion of the heretics still at the boiling heat, and, slain by them with stones as was the blessed Stephen, met with a sadder fate in their own than in a stranger’s land. Others, worn away with various cruelties, still bear in their bodies the scars of their wounds and the marks of Christ. Who could tell the tale of fines, of disfranchisements, of individual confiscations, of intrigues, of outrages, of prisons? In truth all kinds of tribulation were wrought out beyond number in us, perhaps because we were paying the penalty of sins, perhaps because the merciful God was trying us by means of the multitude of our sufferings. For these all thanks to God, who by means of Such afflictions trained his servants and, according to the multitude of his mercies, brought us again to refreshment. We indeed needed long leisure, time, and toil to restore the church once more, that so, like physicians healing the body after long sickness and expelling its disease by gradual treatment, we might bring her back to her ancient health of true religion. It is true that on the whole we seem to have been delivered from the violence of our persecutions and to be just now recovering the churches which, have for a long time been the prey of the heretics. But wolves are troublesome to us who, though they have been driven from the fold, yet harry the flock up and down the glades, daring to hold rival assemblies, stirring seditious among the people, and shrinking from nothing which can do damage to the churches. So, as we have already said, we needs must labour all the longer. Since, however, you showed your brotherly love to us by inviting us (as though we were your own members) by the letters of our most religious emperor to the synod which you are gathering by divine permission at Rome, to the end that since we alone were then condemned to suffer persecution, you should not now, when our emperors are at one with us as to true religion, reign apart from us, but that we, to use the Apostle’s phrase, should reign with you, our prayer was, if it were possible, all in company to leave our churches, and rather gratify our longing to see you than consult their needs. For who will give us wings as of a dove, and we will fly and be at rest? But this course seemed likely to leave the churches who were just recovering quite uncle-fended, and the undertaking was to most of us impossible, for, in accordance witch the letters sent a year ago from your holiness after the synod at Aquileia to the most pious emperor Theodosius, we had journeyed to Constantinople, equipped only for travelling so far as Constantinople, and bringing the consent of the bishops remaining in the provinces of this synod alone. We had been in no expectation of any longer journey nor had heard a word about it, before our arrival at Constantinople. In addition to all this, and on account of the narrow limits of the appointed time which allowed of no preparation for a longer journey, nor of communicating with the bishops of our communion in the provinces and of obtaining their consent, the journey to Rome was for the majority impossible. We have thereforeadopted the next best course open to us under the circumstances, both for the better administration of the church, and for manifesting our love towards you, by strongly urging our most venerated, and honoured colleagues and brother bishops Cyriacus, Eusebius and Priscianus, to consent to travel to you.
Through them we wish to make it plain that our disposition is all for peace with unity for its sole object, and that we are full of zeal for the right faith. For we, whether we suffered persecutions, or afflictions, or the threats of emperors, or the cruelties of prince, s, or any other trial at the hands of heretics, have undergone all for the sake of the evangelic faith, ratified by the three hundred and eighteen fathers at Nicaea in Bithynia. This is the faith which ought to be sufficient for you, for us, for all who wrest not the word of the true faith; for it is the ancient faith; it is the faith of our baptism; it is the faith that teaches us to believe in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. According to this faith there is one Godhead, Power and Substance of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost; the dignity being equal, and the majesty being equal in three perfect hypostases, i.e. three perfect persons. Thus there is no room for the heresy of Sabellius by the confusion of the hypostases, i.e. the destruction of the personalities; thus the blasphemy of the Eunomians, of the Arians, and of the Pneumatomachi is nullified, which divides the substance, the nature, dud the godhead, and super-induces on the uncreated consubstantial and co-eternal Trinity a nature posterior, created and of a different substance. We moreover preserve unperverted the doctrine of the incarnation of the Lord, holding the tradition that the dispensation of the flesh is neither soulless nor mindless nor imperfect; and knowing full well that God’s Word was perfect before the ages, and became perfect man in the last days for our salvation.
Let this suffice for a summary of the doctrine which is fearlessly and frankly preached by us, and concerning which you will be able to be still further satisfied if you will deign to read the tome of the synod of Antioch, and also that tome issued last year by the Ecumenical Council held at Constantinople, in which we have set forth our confession of the faith at greater length, and have appended an anathema against the heresies which innovators have recently inscribed.
Now as to the particular administration of individual churches, an ancient custom, as you know, has obtained, confirmed by the enactment of the holy fathers of Nicaea, that in every province, the bishops of the province, and, with their consent, the neighbouring bishops with them, should perform ordinations as expediency may require. In conforming with these customs note that other churches have been administered by us and the priests of the most famous, churches publicly appointed. Accordingly over the new made (if the expression be allowable) church at Constantinople, which, as through from a lion’s mouth, we have lately snatched by God’s mercy from the blasphemy of the heretics, we have or-dained bishop the right reverend and most religious Nectarius, in the presence of the Ecumenical Council, with common consent, before the most religious emperor Theodosius, and with the assent of all the clergy and of the whole city. And over the most ancient and truly apostolic church in Syria, where first the noble name of Christians was given them, the bishops of the province and of the eastern diocese have met together and canonically ordained bishop the right reverend and most religious Flavianus, with the consent of all the church, who as though with one voice joined in expressing their respect for him. This rightful ordination also received the sanction of the General Council. Of the church at Jerusalem, mother of all the churches, we make known that the right reverend and most religious Cyril is bishop, who was some time ago canonically ordained by the bishops of the province, and has in several places fought a good fight against the Arians. We beseech your reverence to rejoice at what has thus been rightly and canonically settled by us, by the intervention of spiritual love and by the influence of the fear of the Lord, compelling the feelings of men, and making the edification of churches of more importance than individual grace or favour. Thus since among us there is agreement in the faith and Christian charity has been established, we shall cease to use the phrase condemned by the apostles, I am of Paul and I of Apollos and I of Cephas, and all appearing as Christ’s, who in us is not divided, by God’s grace we will keep the body of the church unrent, and will boldly stand at the judgment seat of the Lord).
The Third Ecumenical Council.; The Council of Ephesus.
Emperors.—Theodosius II). And Valentinian III.
(Bossuet, Def. Cler. Gall., Lib. vij., Cap. 9,et seqq. Abridged. Translation by Allies).
The innovation of Nestorius, Bishop of Constantinople, is known; how he divided into two the person of Christ. Pope St. Celestine, watchful, according to his office, over the affairs of the Church, had charged the blessed Cyril, Bishop of Alexandria, to send him a certain report of the doctrine of Nestorius, already in bad repute. Cyril declares this in his letter to Nestorius; and so he writes to Celestine a complete account, and sets forth the doctrines of Nestorius and his own; he sends him two letters from him self to Nestorius, who likewise, by his own letters and explanations, endeavoured to draw Celestine to his side. Thus the holy Pontiff, having been most fully informed by letters from both sides, is thus inquired of by Cyril. “We have not confidently abstained from Communion with him (Nestorius) before informing you of this; condescend, therefore, to unfold your judgment, that we may clearly know whether we ought to communicate with him who cherishes such erroneous doctrine.” And he adds, that his judgment should be written to the other Bishops also, “that all with one mind may hold firm in one sentence.” Here is the Apostolic See manifestly consulted by so great a man, presiding over the second, or at least the third, Patriarchal See, and its judgment awaited; and nothing remained but that Celestine, being duly consulted, should perform his Apostolic office. But how he did this, the Ac have shewn. In those Ac he not only approves the letters and doctrine of Cyril, but disapproves, too, the perverse dogma of Nestorius, and that distinctly, because he was unwilling to call the blessed Virgin Mother of God: and he decrees that he should be deprived of the Episcopate and Communion unless, within ten days from the date of the announcing of the sentence, he openly rejects this faithless innovation, which endeavours to separate what Scripture joineth together—that is, the Person of Christ. Here is the doctrine of Nestorius expressly disapproved, and a sentence of the Roman Pontiff on a matter of Faith most clearly pronounced under threat of deposition and excommunication: then, that nothing be wanting, the holy Pope commits his authority to Cyril to carry into execution that sentence “associating,” he saith to Cyril, “the authority of our See, and using our person, and place, with power.” So to Cyril; so to Nestorius himself; so to the clergy of Constantinople; so to Jn of Antioch, then the Bishop of the third or fourth Patriarchal See; so to Juvenal, Bishop of the Holy City, whom the Council of Nice had ordered to be especially honoured: so he writes to the other Bishops also, that the sentence given may be duly and in order made known to all. Cyril proceeds to execute his office, and performs all that he had been commanded. He promulgates and executes the decrees of Celestine; declares to Nestorius. that after the ten days prescribed and set forth by Celestine, he would have no portion, intercourse, or place with the priesthood. Nothing evidently is wanting to the Apostolical authority being most fully exercised.
But Nestorius, bishop of the royal city, possessed such influence, had deceived men’s minds with such an appearance of piety, had gained so many bishops and enjoyed such favour with the younger Theodosius and the great men, that he could easily throw everything into commotion; and thus there was need of an Ecumenical Council, the question being most important, and the person of the highest dignity; because many bishops, amongst these almost all of the East—that is, of the Patriarchate of Antioch, and the Patriarch John himself—were ill disposed to Cyril, and seemed to favour Nestorius: because men’s feelings were divided, and the whole empire of the East seemed to fluctuate between Cyril and Nestorius. Such was the need of an Ecumenical Council.
The Emperor, moved by these and other reasons, wrote to Cyril,— “It is our will that the holy doctrine be discussed and examined in a sacred Synod, and that be ratified which appeareth agreeable to the fight faith, whether the wrong party be pardoned by the Fathers or no.”
Here we see three things: First, after the judgment of St. Celestine, another is still required, that of the Council; secondly, that these two things would rest with the Fathers, to judge of doctrine and of persons; thirdly, that the judgment of the Council would be decisive and final. He adds, “those who everywhere preside over the Priesthood, and through whom we ourselves are and shall be professing the truth, must be judges of this matter.” See on whose; faith we rest. See in whose judgment is the final and irreversible authority.
Both the Emperor affirmed, and the bishops confessed, that this was done according to the Ecclesiastical Canons. And so all, and Celestine himself, prepared themselves for the Council. Cyril does no more, though named by Celestine to execute the pontifical decree, Nestorius remained in his original rank; the sentence of the universal Council is awaited; and the Emperor had expressly decreed, “that before the assembling and common sentence of the most holy Council, no change should be made in any matter at all, on any private authority.” Rightly, and in order; for this was demanded by the majesty of an universal Council. Wherefore, both Cyril obeyed and the bishops rested. And it was established, that although the sentence of the Roman Pontiff on matters of Faith, and on persons judged for violation of the Faith, had been passed and promulged, all was suspended, while the authority of the universal Council was awaited.
Having gone over what preceded the Council, we review the acts of the Council itself, and begin with the first course of proceeding. After, therefore, the bishops and Nestorius himself were come to Ephesus, the universal Council began, Cyril being president, and representing Celestine, as being appointed by the Pontiff himself to execute his sentence. In the first course of proceeding this was done. First, the above-mentioned letter of the Emperor was read, that an Ecumenical Council should be held, and all proceedings in the mean time be suspended; this letter, I say, was read, and placed on the Acts, and it was up-proved by the Fathers, that all the decrees of Celestine in the matter of Nestorius had been suspended until the holy Council should give its sentence. You will ask if it was the will of the Council merely that the Emperor should be allowed to prohibit, in the interim, effect being given to the sentence of the Apostolic See. Not so, according to the Acts; but rather, by the intervention of a General Council’s authority (the convocation of which, according to the discipline of those times, was left to the Emperor), the Council itself understood that all proceedings were of course suspended, and depended on the sentence of the Council. Wherefore, though the decree of the Pontiff had been promulged and notified, and the ten days had long been past, Nestorius was held by the Council itself to be a bishop, and called by the name of most religious bishop, and by that name, too, thrice cited and summoned to take his seat with the other bishops in the holy Council; for this expression, “to take his seat,” is distinctly written; and it is added, “in order to answer to what was charged against him.” For it was their full purpose that he should recognise in whatever way, the Ecumenical Council, as he would then afterwards be, beyond doubt, answerable to it; but he refused to come, and chose to have his doors besieged with an armed force, that no one might approach him.
Thereupon, as the Emperor commanded, and the Canons required, the rule of Faith was set forth, and the Nicene Creed read, as the standard to which all should be referred, and then the letters of Cyril and Nestorius were examined in order. The letter of Cyril was first brought before the judgment of the Council. That letter, I mean, concerning the Faith, to Nestorius, so expressly approved by Pope Celestine, of which he had declared to Cyril, “We see that you hold and maintain all that we hold and maintain”; which, by the decree against Nestorius, published to all Churches, he had approved, and wishes to be considered as a canonical monition against Nestorius: that letter, I repeat, was examine, at the proposition of Cyril himself, in these words: “I am persuaded that I have in nothing departed from the orthodox Faith, or the Nicene Creed; wherefore I beseech your Holiness to set forth openly whether I have written this correctly, blamelessly, and in accordance with that holy Council.”
And are there those who say that questions concerning the Faith, once judged by the Roman Pontiff on his Apostolical authority, are examined in general Councils, in order to understand their contents, but, not to decide on their substance, as being still a matter of question? Let them hear Cyril, the President of the Council; let them attend to what he proposes for the inquiry of the Council; and though he were conscious of no error in himself yet, not to trust himself, he asked for the sentence of the Council in these words “whether I have written correctly and blamelessly, or not.” This Cyril, the chief of the Council, proposes for their consideration. Who ever even heard it whispered that, after a final and irreversible judgment of the Church on a matter of Faith, any such inquiry or question was made? It was never done, for that would be to doubt about the Faith itself, when declared and discussed. But this was done after the judgment of Pope Celestine; neither Cyril, nor anyone else, thought of any other course: that, therefore, was not a final and irreversible judgment.
In answer to this question the Fathers in order give their judgment — “that the Nicene Creed, and the letter of Cyril, in all things agree and harmonise.” Here is inquiry and examination, and then judgment. The Ac speak for themselves—we say not here a word.
Next that letter of Nestorius was produced, which Celestine had pronounced blasphemous and impious. It is read: then at the instance of Cyril it is examined, “whether this, too, be agreeable to the Faith set forth by the holy Council of the Nicene Fathers, or not.” It is precisely the same form according to which Cyril’s letter was examined. The Fathers, in order, give judgment that it disagreed from the Nicene Creed, and was, therefore, censurable. The letter of Nestorius is disapproved in the same manner, by the same rule, by which that of Cyril was approved. Here, twice in the same proceeding of the Council of Ephesus, a judgment of the Roman Pontiff concerning the Catholic Faith, uttered and published, is reconsidered. What he had approved, and what he had disapproved, is equally examined, and, only after examination, confirmed.
In the mean time, the bishops Arcadius and Projectus, and the presbyter Philip, had been chosen by Celestine to be present at the Council of Ephesus, with a special commission from the Apostolic See, and the whole Council of the West. So they come from Rome to Ephesus, and appear at the holy Council, and here the second procedure commences.
After reading the letter of Celestine, the Legates, in pursuance, say to the bishops: “Let your Holiness consider the form of the letters of the holy and venerable Pope Celestine the Bishop, who hath exhorted your Holiness, not as instructing those who are ignorant, but as reminding those who are aware: in order that you may command to be completely and finally settled according to the Canon of our common Faith, and the utility of the Catholic Church, what he has before determined, and has now the goodness to remind you of.” This is the advantage of a Council; after whose sentence there is no new discussion, or new judgment, but merely execution. And this the Legates request to be commanded by the Council, in which they recognise that supreme authority.
It behoved, also, that the Legates, sent to the Council on a special mission, should understand whether the proceedings against Nestorius had been pursued according to the requisition of the Canons, and due respect to the Apostolic See. This we have already often said. Wherefore, with reason, they require the Ac to be communicated, “that we, too,” say they, “may confirm them.” The proceedings themselves will declare what that confirmation means. After that, at the request of the Legates, the Ac against Nestorius were given them, they thus report about them at the third procedure: “We have found all things judged canonically, and according to the Church’s discipline.” Therefore judgments of the Apostolic See are canonically and, according to the Church’s discipline, reconsidered, after deliberation, in a General Council, and judgment passed upon them. After the Legates had approved the Ac against Nestorius communicated to them, they request that all which had been read and done at, Ephesus from the beginning, should be read afresh in public Session, “in order,” they say, “that obeying the form of the most holy Pope Celestine, who hath committed this care to us, we may be enabled to confirm the judgment also of your Holiness.” After these all had been read afresh, and the Legates agreed to them, Cyril proposes to the holy Council, “That the Legates, by their signature, as was customary, should make plain and manifest their canonical agreement with the Council.” To this question of Cyril the Council thus answers, and decrees that the Legates, by their subscription, confirm the Acts; by which place tiffs confirmation, spoken of by the Council, is clearly nothing else but to make their assent plain and manifest, as Cyril proposed.
Finally, Celestine himself, after the conclusion of the whole matter, sends a letter to the holy Council of Ephesus, which he thus begins: “At length we must rejoice at the conclusion of evils.” The learned reader understands where he recognizes the conclusion; that is, after the condemnation of Nestorius by the infallible authority of an Ecumenical Council, viz., of the whole Catholic Church. He proceeds: “We see, that you, with us, have executed this matter so faithfully transacted.” All decree, and all execute, that is, by giving a common judgment. Whence Celestine adds, “We have been informed of a just deposition, and a still juster exaltation:” the deposition of Nestorius, begun, indeed, by the Roman See, but brought to a conclusion by the sentence of the Council; to a full and complete settlement, as we have seen above: the exaltation of Maximianus, who was substituted in place of Nestorius immediately after the Ephesine decrees; this is the conclusion of the question. Even Celestine himself recognises this conclusion to lie not in his own examination and judgment, but in that of an Ecumenical Council. And this was done in that Council in which it is admitted that the authority of the Apostolic See was most clearly set forth, not only by words, but by deeds, of any since the birth of Christ,. At least the Holy Council gives credence to Philip uttering these true and magnificent encomiums, concerning the dignity of the Apostolic See, and “Peter the head and pillar of the Faith, and foundation of the Catholic Church, and by Christ’s authority administering the keys, who to this very time lives ever, and exercises judgment, in his successors.” This, he says, after having seen all the Ac of the Council itself, which we have mentioned, so that we may indeed understand, that all these privileges of Peter and the Apostolic See entirely agree with the decrees of the Council, and the judgment entered into afresh, and deliberation upon matters of Faith held after the Apostolic See).
Note on the Emperor’s Edict to the Synod.
Neither of the Emperors could personally attend the Council of Ephesus and accordingly Theodosius II. appointed the Count Candidian, Captain of the imperial bodyguard, the protector of the council, to sit in the room of the Emperors. In making this appointment he addressed an edict to the synod which will be found in the Concilia and of which Hefele gives the following synopsis. (Hefele, Hist. of the Councils, Vol. III., p. 43).
Candidian is to take no immediate part in the discussions on contested points of faith, for it is not becoming that one who does not belong to the number of the bishops should mix himself up in the examination and decision of theological controversies. On the contrary, Candidian was to remove from the city the monks and laymen who had come or should afterwards come to Ephesus out of curiosity, so that disorder and confusion should not be caused by those who were in no way needed for the examination of the sacred doctrines. He was, besides, to watch lest the discussions among the members of the Synod themselves should degenerate into violent disputes and hinder the more exact investigation of truth; and, on the contrary, see that every statement should be heard with attention, and that every one put forward in view, or his objections, without let or hindrance, so that at last an unanimous decision might be arrived at in peace by the holy Synod. But above all, Candidian was to take care that no member of the Synod should attempt, before the close of the transactions, to go home, or to the court, or elsewhere. Moreover, he was not to allow that any other matter of controversy should be taken into consideration before the settlement of the principal point of doctrine before the Council).
Extracts from the Acts. Session I.
[Before the arrival of the Papal Legates.]
(Labbe and Cossart, Concilia Tom. III., col. 459 et seqq).
The Nicene Synod set forth this faith: We believe in one God, etc.
When this creed had been recited, Peter the Presbyter of Alexandria, and primicerius of the notaries said:
We have in our hands the letter of the most holy and most reverend archbishop Cyril, which he wrote to the most reverend Nestorius, filled with counsel and advice, on account of his aberration from the right faith. I will read this if your holiness [i.e., the holy Synod] so orders. The letter began as follows:Katafluarou`si me;n, wJ" ajkjouvw, k.t.l.Intelligo quosdam meae, etc.
The Epistle of Cyril to Nestorius.
(Labbe and Cossart, Concilia, Tom. III., col. 315; Migne, Patr. Groec., Tom. LXXVII. [Cyril., Opera, Tom. X.]; Epist. iv., co]. 43).
To the most religious and beloved of God, fellow minister Nestorius, Cyril sends greeting in the Lord.
I hear that some are rashly talking of the estimation in which I hold your holiness, and that this is frequently the case especially at the times that meetings are held of those in authority. And perchance they think in so doing to say something agreeable to you, but they speak senselessly, for they have suffered no injustice at my hands, but have been exposed by me only to their profit; this man as an oppressor of the blind and needy, and that as one who wounded his mother with a sword. Another because he stole, in collusion with his waiting maid, another’s money, and had always laboured under the imputation of such like crimes as no one would wish even one of his bitterest enemies to be laden with.1 I take little reckoning of the words of such people, for the disciple is not above his Master, nor would I stretch the measure of my narrow brain above the Fathers, for no matter what path of life one pursues it is hardly possible to escape the smirching of the wicked, whose months are full of cursing and bitterness, and who at the last must give an account to the Judge of all.
But I return to the point which especially I had in mind. And now I urge you, as a brother in the Lord, to propose the word of teaching and the doctrine of the faith with all accuracy to the people, and to consider that the giving of scandal to one even of the least of those who believe in Christ, exposes a body to the unbearable indignation of God. And of how great diligence and skill there is need when the multitude of those grieved is so great, so that we may administer the healing word of truth to them that seek it. But this we shall accomplish most excellently if we shall turn over the words of the holy Fathers, and are zealous to obey their commands, proving ourselves, whether we be in the faith according to that which is written, and conform our thoughts to their upright and it-reprehensible teaching.
The holy and great Synod therefore says, that the only begotten Son, born according to nature of God the Father, very God of very God, Light of Light, by whom the Father made all things, came down, and was incarnate, and was made man, suffered, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven. These words and these decrees we ought to follow, considering what is me. ant by the Word of God being incarnate and made man. For we do not say that the nature of the Word was changed and became flesh, or that it was converted into a whole man consisting of soul and body; but rather that the Word having personally united to himself flesh animated by a rational soul, did in an ineffable and inconceivable manner become man, and was called the Son of Man, not merely as willing or being pleased to be so called, neither on account of taking to himself a person, but because the two natures being brought together in a true union, there is of both one Christ and one Son; for the difference of the natures is not taken away by the union, but rather the divinity and the humanity make perfect for us the one Lord Jesus Christ by their ineffable and inexpressible union. So then he who had an existence before all ages and was born of the Father, is said to have been born according to the flesh of a woman, not as though his divine nature received its beginning of existence in the holy Virgin, for it needed not any second generation after that of the Father (for it would be absurd and foolish to say that he who existed before all ages, coeternal with the Father, needed any second beginning of existence), but since, for us and for our salvation, he personally united to himself an human body, and came forth of a woman, he is in this way said to be born after the flesh; for the was not first born a common man of the holy Virgin, and then the Word came down and entered into him, but the union being made in the womb itself, he is said to endure a birth after the flesh, ascribing to himself the birth of his own flesh. On this account we say that he suffered and rose again; not as if God the Word suffered in his own nature stripes, or the piercing of the nails, or any other wounds, for the Divine nature is incapable of suffering, inasmuch as it is incorporeal, but since that which had become his own body suffered in this way, lie is also said to suffer for us; for he who is in himself incapable of suffering was in a suffering body. In the same manner also we conceive respecting his dying; for the Word of God is by nature immortal and incorruptible, and life and life-giving; since, however, his own body did, as Paul says, by the grace of God taste death for every man, he himself is said to have suffered death for us, not as if he had any experience of death in his own nature (for it would be madness to say or think this), but because, as I have just said, his flesh tasted death. In like manner his flesh being raised again, it is spoken of as his resurrection, not as if tie had fallen into corruption (God forbid), but because his own body was raised again. We, therefore, confess one Christ and Lord, not as worshipping. a man with the Word (lest this expression “with the Word” should suggest to the mind the idea of division), but worshipping him as one and the same, forasmuch as the body of the Word, with which he sits with the Father, is not separated from the Word himself, not as if two sons were sitting with him, but one by the union with the flesh. If, however, we reject the personal union as impossible or unbecoming, we fall into the error of speaking of two sons, for it will be necessary to distinguish, and to say, that he who was properly man was honoured with the appellation of Son, and that he who is properly the Word of God, has by nature both the name and the reality of Sonship. We must not, therefore, divide the one Lord Jesus Christ into two Sons. Neither will it at all avail to a sound faith to hold, as some do, an union of persons; for the Scripture has not said that the Word united to himself the person of man, butthat he was made flesh. This expression, however, “the Word was made flesh,” can mean nothing else but that he partook of flesh and blood like to us; he made our body his own, and came forth man from a woman, not casting off his existence as God, or his generation of God the Father, but even in taking to himself flesh remaining what he was. This the declaration of the correct faith proclaims everywhere. This was the sentiment of the holy Fathers; therefore they ventured to call the holy Virgin, the Mother of God, not as if the nature of the Word or his divinity had its beginning from the holy Virgin, but because of her was born that holy body with a rational soul, to which the Word being personally united is said to be born according to the flesh. These things, therefore, I now write unto you for the love of Christ, beseeching you as a brother, and testifying to you before Christ and the elect angels, that you would both think and teach these things with us, that the peace of the Churches may be preserved and the bond of concord and love continue unbroken amongst the Priests of God).
Extracts from the Acts. Session I. (Continued).
(Labbe and Cossart, Concilia, Tom. III., col. 462).
And after the letter was read, Cyril, the bishop of Alexandria, said: This holy and great Synod has heard what I wrote to the most religious Nestorius, defending the right faith. I think that I have in no respect departed from the true statement of the faith, that is from the creed set forth by the holy and great synod formerly assembled at Nice. Wherefore I desire your holiness [i.e. the Council] to say whether rightly and blamelessly and in accordance with that holy synod I have written these things or no.
[A number of bishops then gave their opinion, all favourable to Cyril; after these individual opinions the Ac continue (col. 491):]
And all the rest of the bishops in the order of their rank deposed to the same things, and so believed, according as the Fathers had set forth, and as the Epistle of the most holy Archbishop Cyril to Nestorius the bishop declared.
Palladius, the bishop of Amused, said, The next thing to be done is to read the letter of the most reverend Nestorius, of which the most religious presbyter Peter made mention; so that we may understand whether or no it agrees with the exposition of the Nicene fathers. ...
And after this letter was read, Cyril, the bishop of Alexandria, said, What seems good to this holy and great synod with regard to the letter just read? Does it also seem to be consonant to the faith set forth by the holy Synod assembled in the city of Nice?
[The bishops, then as before, individually express their opinion, and at last the Ac continue (col. 502):]
All the bishops cried out together: Whoever does not anathematize Nestorius let him be anathema. Such an one the right faith anathematizes; such an one the holy Synod anathematizes. Whoever communicates with Nestorius let him be anathema! We anathematize all the apostles of Nestorius: we all anathematize Nestorius as a heretic: let all such as communicate with Nestorius be anathema, etc., etc.
Juvenal, the bishop of Jerusalem said: Let the letter of the most holy and reverend Coelestine, archbishop of the Church of Rome, be read, which he wrote concerning the faith.
[The letter of Coelestine was read and no opinion expressed.]
Peter the presbyter of Alexandria, and primicerius of the notaries said: Altogether in agreement with the things just read are those which his holiness Cyril our most pious bishop wrote, which I now have at hand, and will read if your piety so shall order.
[The letter was read which begins thus:]
Tou` Swth`ro" hJmw`n levgonto" ejnargw`", k.t.l.Cum Salvator noster, etc.
Historical Introduction to St. Cyril’s Anathematisms.
There has been some difference of opinion among the learned as to whether St. Cyril’s Synodal letter which has at its end the anathemas against Nestorius, which hereafter follow, was formally approved at the Council of Ephesus. The matter is one only of archeological and historical interest for from a theological point of view the question is entirely uninteresting, since there is no possible doubt that the synod endorsed St. Cyril’s teaching and for that express reason proceeded at their first session to excommunicate Nestorius. Further there is no one that disputes that the anathematisms were received at the next General Council. i.e., of Chalcedon, only twenty years later, and that Theodoret was condemned by the Fifth Ecumenical Council because he wrote against these very Anathemas. This being the case, to those who value the decrees of Ecumenical Councils because of their ecumenical character, it is quite immaterial whether these anathematisms were received and approved by the third Council or no, provided, which is indisputably the case, they have been approved by some one council of ecumenical authority, so as to become thereby part and parcel of the ecumenical faith of the Church.
But the historical question is one of some interest, and I shall very briefly consider it. We have indeed the “Acta” of this council, but I cannot but agree with the very learned Jesuit Petavius and the Gallican Tillemont in thinking them in a very unsatisfactory condition. I am fully aware of the temerity of making such a suggestion, but I cannot help feeling that in the remarks of the Roman representatives, especially in those of the presbyter-legate, there is some anachronism. Be this as it may, it is a fact that the Ac do not recite that this letter of Cyril’s was read, nor do they state that the Anathemas were received. I would suggest, however, that for those who defend Jn of Antioch, and criticise the action of St. Cyril, it is the height of inconsistency to deny that the Council adopted the Anathemas. If it was the bitterly partisan assembly that they would have us believe, absolutely under the control of Cyril, there is nothing that, a priori, they would have been more sure to do than adopt the Anathemas which were universally looked upon as the very fulcrum on which the whole matter turned.
Bishop Hefele was at first of opinion that the letter was merely read, being led to this conclusion by the silence of the Ac with regard to any acceptance of it, and indeed at first wrote on that side, but he afterwards saw grounds to change his mind and expresses them with his usual clearness, in the following words: (Hefele, Hist. of Councils. Vol. III., p. 48, note 2).
We were formerly of opinion that these anathematisms were read at Ephesus, but not expressly confirmed, as there is hardly anything on the subject in the Acts. But in the Fifth Ecumenical Council (collatio vj). it is said: “The holy Council at Chalcedon approved this teaching of Cyril of blessed memory, and received his Synodical letters, to one of which are appended the xij. anathemas” (Mansi, t. ix., p. 341; Hardouin, t. iij., p. 167). If, however, the anathematisms of Cyril were expressly confirmed at Chalcedon, there was even more reason for doing so at Ephesus. And Ibas, in his well-known letter to Maris, says expressly that the Synod of Ephesus confirmed the anathematisms of Cyril, and the same was asserted even by the bishops of Antioch at Ephesus in a letter to the Emperor.
From all these considerations it would seem that Tillemont’s1 conclusion is well rounded that the Synod certainly discussed the anathemas of Cyril in detail, but that here, as in many other places, there are parts of the Ac lacking. I shall add the opinion of Petavius. (Petavius, De Incarnatione, Lib. VI., cap. xvij).
The Ac do not tell us what judgment the Synod of Ephesus gave with respect to the third letter of Cyril, and with regard to the anathemas attached to it. But the Ac in other respects also have not come down to us in their integrity. That that third letter was received and approved by the Ephesine Council there can be no doubt, and this the Catholics shewed in their dispute with the Acephali in the Collation held at Constantinople under the Emperor Justinian in the year of Christ 811. For at that memorable meeting some-tiring was shewn forth concerning this letter and its anathemas, which has a connexion with the matter in hand, and therefore must not be omitted. At that meeting the Opposers, that is the Acephali, the enemies of the Council of Chalcedon, made this objection against that Council: “The [letter] of the Twelve Anathemas which is inserted in the holy Council of Ephesus, and which you cannot deny to be synodical, why did not Chalcedon receive it?” etc., etc.
From this it is evident that the prevailing opinion, then as now, was that the Twelve Anathemas were defined as part of the faith by the Council of Ephesus. Perhaps I may close this treatment of the subject in the words of Denziger, being the caption he gives the xij. Anathematisms in his Enchiridion, under “Decrees of the Third Ecumenical Council, that of Ephesus.” “The Third Synod received these anathematisms; the Fourth Synod placed them in its Acts and styled the Epistles of Cyril ‘Canonical’ ; the Fifth Synod defended them.”
The Epistle of Cyril to Nestorius with the XII. Anathematisms.
(Labbe and Cossart, Concilia, Tom. III., col. 395; Migne, Parr. Groec., Tom. LXXVII. [Cyril, Opera, Tom. X.], col. 105 et seqq).
To the most reverend and God-loving fellow-minister Nestorius, Cyril and the synod assembled in Alexandria, of the Egyptian Province, Greeting in the Lord.
When our Saviour says clearly: “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me,” what is to become of us, from whom your Holiness requires that we love you more than Christ the Saviour of us all? Who can help us in the day of judgment, or what kind of excuse shall we find for thus keeping silence so long, with regard to the blasphemies made by you against him? If you injured yourself alone, by teaching and holding such things, perhaps it would be less matter; but you have greatly scandalized the whole Church, and have cast among the people the leaven of a strange and new heresy. And not to those there [i.e. at Constantinople] on]y; but also to those everywhere [the books of your explanation were sent]. How can we any longer, under these circumstances, make a defence for our silence, or how shall we not be forced to remember that Christ said: “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother.” For if faith be injured, let there be lost the honour due to parents, as stale and tottering, let even the law of tender love towards children and brothers be silenced, let death be better to the pious than living; “that they might obtain a better resurrection,” as it is written.
Behold, therefore, how we, together with the holy synod which met in great Rome, presided over by the most holy and most reverend brother and fellow-minister, Celestine the Bishop, also testify by this third letter to you, and counsel you to abstain from these mischievous and distorted dogmas, which you hold arid teach, and to receive the right faith, handed down to the churches from the beginning through the holy Apostles and Evangelists, who “were eye-witnesses, and ministers of the Word.” And if your holiness have not a mind to this according to the limits defined in the writings of our brother of blessed memory and most reverend fellow-minister Celestine, Bishop of the Church of Rome, be well assured then that you have no lot with us, nor place or standing (lovgon) among the priests and bishops of God. For it is not possible for us to overlook the churches thus troubled, and the people scandalized, and the right faith set aside, and the sheep scattered by you, who ought to save them, if indeed we are ourselves adherents of the right faith, and followers of the devotion of the holy fathers. And we are in communion with all those laymen and clergymen cast out or deposed by your holiness onaccount of the faith; for it is not right that those, who resolved to believe rightly, should suffer by your choice; for they do well in opposing you. This very thing you have mentioned in your epistle written to our most holy and fellow-bishop Celestine of great Rome.
But it would not be sufficient for your reverence to confess with us only tile sym- bol of the faith set out some time ago by the Holy Ghost at the great and holy synod convened in Nice: for you have not held and interpreted it rightly, but rather perversely; even though you confess with your voice the form of words. But in addition, in writing and by oath, you must confess that you also anathematize those polluted and unholy dogmas of yours, and that you will hold and teach that which we all, bishops, teachers, and leaders of the people both East and West, hold. The holy synod of Rome and we all agreed on the epistle written to your Holiness from the Alexandrian Church as being right and blameless. We have added to these our own letters and that which it is necessary for you to hold and teach, and what you should be careful to avoid. Now this is the Faith of the Catholic and Apostolic Church to which all Orthodox Bishops, both East and West, agree:
“We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of all things visible and invisible, and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only-begotten Son of God, begotten of his Father, that is, of the substance of the Father; God of God, Light of Light, Very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made, both those in heaven and those in the earth. Who for us men and for our salvation, came down, and was incarnate, and was made man. He suffered, and rose again the third day. He ascended into the heavens, from thence he shall come to judge both the quick and tile dead. And in the Holy Ghost: But those that say, There was a time when he was not, and, before he was begotten he was not, and that he was made of that which previously was not, or that he was of some other substance or essence; and that the Son of God was capable of change or alteration; those the Catholic and Apostolic Church anathematizes.”
Following in all points the confessions of the Holy Fathers which they made (the Holy Ghost speaking in them), and following the scope of their opinions, and going, as it were, in the royal way, we confess that the Only begotten Word of God, begotten of the same substance of the Father, True God from True God, Light from Light, through Whom all things were made, the things in heaven and the things in the earth, coming down for our salvation, making himself of no reputation (kaqei;" eJauto;n eij" kevnwsin), was incarnate and made man; that is, taking flesh of the holy Virgin, and having made it his own from the womb, he subjected himself to birth for us, and came forth man from a woman, without casting off that which he was; but although he assumed flesh and blood, he remained what he was, God in essence and in truth. Neither do we say that his flesh was changed into the nature of divinity, nor that the ineffable nature of the Word of God has laid aside for the nature of flesh; for he is unchanged and absolutely unchangeable, being the same always, according to the Scriptures. For although visible and a child in swaddling clothes, and even in the bosom of his Virgin Mother, he filled all creation as God, and was a fellow-ruler with him who begat him, for the Godhead is without quantity and dimension, and cannot have limits.
Confessing the Word to be made one with the flesh according to substance, we adore one Son and Lord Jesus Christ: we do not divide the God from the man, nor separate him into parts, as though the two natures were mutually united in him only through a sharing of dignity and authority (for that novelty and nothing else), neither do we give separately to the Word of God the name Christ and the same name separately to a different one born of a woman; but we know only one Christ, the Word from God the Father with his own Flesh. For as man he was anointed with us, although it is he himself who gives the Spirit to those who are worthy and not in measure, according to the saying of the blessed Evangelist John.
But we do not say that the Word of God dwelt in him as in a common man born of the holy Virgin, lest Christ be thought of as a God-bearing man; for although the Word tabernacled among us, it is also said that in Christ “dwelt all the fulness of the Godhead bodily”; but we understand that be became flesh, not just as he is said to dwell in the saints, but we define that that tabernacling in him was according to equality (kata; ton i[son ejn aujtw`/ trovpon). But being made one kata; fuvsin,1 and not converted into flesh, he made his indwell- ing in such a way, as we may say that the soul of man does in his own body.
One therefore is Christ both Son and Lord, not as if a man had attained only such a conjunction with God as consists in a unity2 of dignity alone or of authority. For it is not equality of honour which unites natures; for then Peter and John, who were of equal honour with each other, being both Apostles and holy disciples [would have been one, and], yet the two are not one. Neither do we understand the manner of conjunction to be apposition, for this does not suffice for natural oneness (pro;" e\(nwson fusikhvn). Nor yet according to relative participation, as we are also joined to the Lord, as it is written “we are one Spirit in him.” Rather we deprecate the term of “junction” (sunafeiva") as not having sufficiently signified the oneness. But we do not call the Word of God the Father, the God nor the Lord of Christ, lest we openly cut in two the one Christ, the Son and Lord, and fall under the charge of blasphemy, making him the God and Lord of himself. For the Word of God, as we have said already, was made hypostatically one in flesh, yet he is God of all and he rules all; but he is not the slave of himself, nor his own Lord. For it is foolish, or rather impious, to think or teach thus. For he said that God was his Father, although he was God by nature, and of his substance. Yet we are not ignorant that while he remained God, he also became man and subject to God, according to the law suitable to the nature of the manhood. But how could he become the God or Lord of himself? Consequently as man, and with regard to the measure of his humiliation, it is said that he is equally with us subject to God; thus he became under the Law, although as God he spake the Law and was the Law-giver.
We are careful also how we say about Christ: “I worship the One clothed on account of the One clothing him, and on account of the Unseen, I worship the Seen.” It is horrible to say in this connexion as follows: “The assumed as well as the assuming have the name of God.”For the saying of this divides again Christ into two, and puts the man separately byhimself and God also by himself. For this saying denies openly the Unity according to which one is not worshipped in the other, nor does God exist together with the other; but Jesus Christ is considered as One, the Only-begotten Son, to be honoured with one adoration together with his own flesh.
We confess that he is the Son, begotten of God the Father, and Only-begotten God; and although according to his own nature he was not subject to suffering, yet he suffered for us in the flesh according to the Scriptures, and although impassible, yet in his Crucified Body he made his own the sufferings of his own flesh; and by the grace of God he tasted death for all: he gave his own Body thereto, although he was by nature himself the life and the resurrection, in order that, having trodden down death by his unspeakable power, first in his own flesh, he might become the first born from the dead, and the first-fruits of them that slept. And that he might make a way for the nature of man to attain incorruption, by the grace of God (as we just now said), he tasted death for every man, and after three days rose again, having despoiled hell. So although it is said that the resurrection of the dead was through man, yet we understand that man to have been the Word of God, and the power of death was loosed through him, and he shall come in the fulness of time as the One Son and Lord, in the glory of the Father, in order to judge the world in righteousness, as it is written.
We will necessarily add this also. Proclaiming the death, according to the flesh, of the Only-begotten Son of God, that is Jesus Christ, confessing his resurrection from the dead, and his ascension into heaven, we offer the Unbloody Sacrifice in the churches, and so go on to the mystical thanksgivings, and are sanctified, having received his Holy Flesh and the Precious Blood of Christ the Saviour of us all. Andnot as common flesh do we receive it; God forbid: nor as of a man sanctified and as sociated with the Word according to the unity of worth, or as having a divine indwelling, but as truly the Life-giving and very flesh of the Word himself. For he is the Life according to his nature as God, and when he became united to his Flesh, he made it also to be Life-giving, as also he said to us: Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his Blood. For we must not think that it is flesh of a man like us (for how can the flesh of man be life-giving by its own nature?) but as having become truly the very own of him who for us both became and was called Son of Man. Besides, what the Gospels say our Saviour said of himself, we do not divide between two hypostases or persons. For neither is he, the one and only Christ, to be thought of as double, although of two (ejk duvo) and they diverse, yet he has joined them in an indivisible union, just as everyone knows a man is not double although made up of soul and body, but is one of both. Wherefore when thinking rightly, we transfer the human and the divine to the same person (parAE eJno;" eijrh`sqai).
For when as God he speaks about himself: “He who hath seen me hath seen the Father,” and “I and my Father are one,” we consider his ineffable divine nature according to which he is One with his Father through the identity of essence— “The image and impress and brightness of his glory.” But when not scorning the measure of his humanity, he said to the Jews: “But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth.” Again no less than before we recognize that he is the Word of God from his identity and likeness to the Father and from the circumstances of his humanity. For if it is necessary to believe that being by nature God, he became flesh, that is, a man endowed with a reasonable soul, what reason can certain ones have to be ashamed of this language about him, which is suitable to him as man? For if he should reject the words suitable to him as man, who compelled him to become man like us? And as he humbled himself to a voluntary abasement (kevnwsin) for us, for what cause can any one reject the words suitable to such abasement? Therefore all the words which are read in the Gospels are to be applied to One Person, to One hypostasis of the Word Incarnate. For the Lord Jesus Christ is One, according to the Scriptures, although he is called “the Apostle and High Priest of our profession,” as offering to God and the Father the confession of faith which we make to him, and through him to God even the Father and also to the Holy Spirit; yet we say he is, according to nature, the Only-begotten of God. And not to any man different from him do we assign the name of priesthood, and the thing, for be became “the Mediator between God and men,” and a Reconciler unto peace, having offered himself as a sweet smelling savour to God and the Father. Therefore also he said: “Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not; but a body hast thou prepared me: In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me) to do thy will, O God.” For on account of us he offered his body as a sweet smelling savour, and not for himself; for what offering or sacrifice was needed for himself, who as God existed above all sins? For “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God,” so that we became prone to fall, and the nature of man has fallen into sin, yet not so he (and therefore we fall short of his glory). How then can there be further doubt that the true Lamb diedfor us and on our account? And to say that he offered himself for himself and us,could in no way escape the charge of impiety. For he never committed a fault at all, neither did he sin. What offering then did he need, not having sin for which sacrifices are rightly offered? But when he spoke about the Spirit, he said: “He shall glorify me.” If we think rightly, we do not say that the One Christ and Son as needing glory from another received glory from the Holy Spirit; for neither greater than he nor above him is his Spirit, but because he used the Holy Spirit to show forth Iris own divinity in his mighty works, therefore he is said to have been glorified by him just as if any one of us should say concerning his inherent strength for example, or Iris knowledge of anything, “They glorified me.”For although the Spirit is thesame essence, yet we think of him by himself, as he is the Spirit and not the Son; but he is not different from him; for he is called the Spirit of truth and Christ is the Truth,and he is sent by him, just as, moreover, he is from God and the Father. When then the Spirit worked miracles through the hands of the holy apostles after the Ascension of Our Lord Jesus Christ into heaven, he glorified him. For it is believed that he who works through his own Spirit is God according to nature. Therefore he said: “He shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.” But we do not say this as if the Spirit is wise and powerful through some sharing with another; for he is all perfect and inneed of no good thing. Since, therefore, he is the Spirit of the Power and Wisdom of the Father (that is, of the Son), he is evidently Wisdom and Power.
And since the holy Virgin brought forth corporally God made one with flesh according to nature, for this reason we also call her Mother of God, not as if the nature of the Word had the beginning of its existence from the flesh.
For “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was God, and the Word was with God,” and he is the Maker of the ages, coeternal with the Father, and Creator of all; but, as we have already said, since he united to himself hypostatically human nature from her womb, also he subjected himself to birth as man, not as needing necessarily in his own nature birth in time and in these last times of the world, but in order that he might bless the beginning of our existence, and that that which sent the earthly bodies of our whole race to death, might lose its power for the future by his being born of a woman in the flesh. And this: “In sorrow thou shalt bring forth children,”being removed through him, he showed the truth of that spoken by the prophet, “Strong death swallowed them up, and again God hath wiped away every tear from off all faces.”3 For this cause also we say that he attended, having been called, and also blessed, the marriage in Cana of Galilee, with his holy Apostles in accordance with the economy. We have been taught to hold these things by the holy Apostles and Evangelists, and all the God-inspired Scriptures, and in the true confessions of the blessed Fathers.
To all these your reverence also should agree, and give heed, without any guile. And what it is necessary your reverence should anathematize we have subjoined to our epistle.4
The XII. Anathematisms of St. Cyril Against Nestorius.
(Found in St. Cyril’s Opera. Migne, Pat. Graec, Tom. LXXVII. Col 119 and the Concilia).
7 ecumenical councils - Canon XIX.