Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

b

office. On this account he was deposed, by the council holden at Tyre, in the year 335, and was afterwards banished into Gaul, while Arius and his followers were, with great solemnity, reinstated in their privileges, and received into the communion of the church. The people of Alexandria, unmoved by these proceedings in favour of Arius, persisted in refusing to grant him a place among their pres

the church. The controversy concerning the time of cele- || brating Easter was terminated; the troubles which Novatian had excited, by opposing the re-admission of the lapsed to the communion of the church, were composed; the Meletian schism was condemned, and the jurisdiction of the greater bishops precisely defined and determined, with several other matters of a like nature. But, while these good prelates were employing all their zeal and attention to cor-byters; upon which the emperor invited him to Constanrect the errors of others, they were upon the point of falling into a very capital one themselves; for they had almost come to a resolution of imposing upon the clergy the yoke of perpetual celibacy, when Paphnutius put a stop to their proceedings, and warded off that unnatural law."

XIII. But, notwithstanding all these determinations, the commotions excited by this controversy remained yet in the minds of many, and the spirit of dissension triumphed both over the decrees of the council and the authority of the emperor. For those who, in the main, were far from being attached to the party of Arius, found many things reprehensible, both in the decrees of the council, and in the forms of expression which it employed to explain the controverted points; while the Arians, on the other hand, left no means untried to heal their wounds, and to recover their place and their credit in the church. And their efforts were crowned with the desired success: for, a few years after the council of Nice, an Arian priest, who had been recommended to the emperor, in the dying words of his sister Constantia, found means to persuade him, that the condemnation of Arius was utterly unjust, and was rather occasioned by the malice of his enemies, than by their zeal for the truth. In consequence of this, the emperor recalled him from banishment in the year 330, repealed the laws that had been enacted against him, and permitted his chief protector Eusebius of Nicomedia, and his vindictive faction, to vex and oppress the partisans of the Nicene council in various ways. Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria, was one of those who suffered most from the violent measures of the Arian party. Invincibly firm in his purpose, and deaf to the most powerful solicitations and entreaties, he obstinately refused to restore Arius to his former rank and

[ocr errors]

e

The decision, with respect to Easter, was in favour of the custom of the western churches; and accordingly all churches were ordered to celebrate that festival on the Sunday which immediately followed the 14th of the first moon that happened after the vernal equinox. Meletius, bishop of Lycopolis in Egypt, was accused and convicted of having offered incense to idols; and, in consequence thereof, was deposed by Peter, bishop of Alexandria, whose jurisdiction extended over all Egypt. Meletius, upon this, became the head of a schism in the church, by assuming to himself the power of ordination, which was vested in the bishop of Alexandria, and exercised by him in all the Egyptian churches. Epiphanius attributes the dissensions between Meletius and Peter to another cause (Hær. 68.): he alleges, that the vigorous proceedings of Peter against Meletius were occasioned by the latter's refusing to re-admit into the church those who had fallen from the faith during Diocletian's persecution, before their penitential trial was entirely finished. The former opinion is maintained by Socrates and Theodoret, whose authority is certainly more respectable than that of Epiphanius.

The confusion that Meletius introduced, by presuming (as was observed in the preceding note) to violate the jurisdiction of Peter, the metropolitan of Alexandria, by conferring ordination in a province where he alone had a right to ordain, was rectified by the council of Nice, which determined that the metropolitan bishops, in their respective provinces, should have the same power and authority that the bishops of Rome exercised over the suburbicarian churches and countries.

d Socrates, Hist. Eccles. lib. i. c. viii. compared with Franc. Balduinus, in Constant. Magn. and George Calixtus, de Conjugio Clericorum. The precise time in which Arius was recalled from banishment, has not been fixed with such perfect certainty as to prevent a diversity of sentiment on that head. The Annotations of the learned Valesius (or Valois) upon Sozomen's History, will throw some light upon this mat

tinople in the year 336, and ordered Alexander, the bishop of that city, to admit him to his communion. But, before this order could be put in execution, Arius died in the imperial city in a very dismal manner; and his sovereign did not long survive him.

XIV. After the death of Constantine the Great, one of his sons, Constantius, who, in the division of the empire, became ruler of the east, was warmly attached to the Arian party, whose principles were also zealously adopted by the empress, and, indeed, by the whole court. On the other hand, Constantine and Constans, emperors of the west, maintained the decrees of the council of Nice in all the provinces over which their jurisdiction extended. Hence arose endless animosities and seditions, treacherous plots, and open acts of injustice and violence between the contending parties: Council was assembled against council; and their jarring and contradictory decrees spread perplexity and confusion through the Christian world.

In the year 350, Constans was assassinated; and, about two years after this, a great part of the western empire, particularly Rome and Italy, fell into the hands of Constantius. This change was extremely unfavourable to those who adhered to the decrees of the council of Nice. The emperor's attachment to the Arians animated him against their adversaries, whom he involved in various troubles and calamities, and he obliged many of them, by threats and punishment, to come over to the sect which he esteemed and protected. One of these forced proselytes was Liberius, the Roman pontiff, who was compelled to embrace Arianism in the year 357. The Nicene party meditated reprisals, and waited only a convenient time, a fit place, and a proper occasion, for executing their resentment. ter, and make it probable, that Dr. Mosheim has placed the recall of Arius, too late, at least by two years. Valesius has proved, from the authority of Philostorgius, and from other most respectable monuments and records, that Eusebius of Nicomedia, and Theognis, who were banished by the emperor about three months after the council of Nice, (i. e. in 325) were recalled in 328. Now, in the writing by which they obtained their return, they pleaded the restoration of Arius, as an argument for theirs, which proves that he was recalled before the year 330. The same Valesius proves, that Arius, the first head of the Arian sect, was dead before the council of Tyre, which was transferred to Jerusalem; and that the letters which Constantine addressed to that council in favour of Arius and his followers, were in behalf of a second chief of that name, who put himself at the head of the Arians, and who, in conjunction with Euzoius, presented to Constantine such a confession of their faith as made him imagine their doctrine to be orthodox, and procured their re conciliation with the church at the council of Jerusalem.

The dismal manner in which Arius is said to have expired, by his entrails falling out as he was discharging one of the natural funetions, is a fact that has been called in question by some modern writers, though without foundation, since it is confirmed by the unexceptionable testimonies of Socrates, Sozomen, Athanasius, and others. The causes of this tragical death have, however, furnished much matter of dispute. The ancient writers, who considered this event as a judgment of Heaven, miraculously drawn down by the prayers of the just, to punish the impiety of Arius, will find little credit in our times, among such as have studied with attention and impartiality the history of Arianism. After having considered this matter with the utmost care, it appears to me extremely probable, that this unhappy man was a victim to the resentment of his enemies, and was destroyed by poison, or some such violent method. A blind and fanatical zeal for certain systems of faith, has in all ages produced such horrible acts of cruelty and injustice.

Thus the history of the church, under the emperor Con- || taught simply, "That the Son was not begotten of the stantius, presents to the reader a perpetual scene of tumult and violence, and the deplorable spectacle of a war, carried on between brothers, without religion, justice, or humanity. XV. The death of Constantius, in the year 362, changed considerably the face of religious affairs, and diminished greatly the strength and influence of the Arian party. Julian, who, by his principles, was naturally prevented from taking a part in the controversy, bestowed his protection on neither side, but treated them both with an impartiality which was the result of a perfect indifference. Jovian, his successor, declared himself in favour of the Nicene doctrine; and immediately the whole west, with a considerable part of the eastern provinces, changed sides, conformed to the decrees of the council of Nice, and abjured the Arian system.

[graphic]

b

Father, (i. e. produced out of his substance,) but was only created out of nothing." This class was opposed by the Semi-Arians, who, in their turn, were abandoned by the Eunomians, or Anomeans, the disciples of Aëtius and Eunomius, of whom the latter was eminent for his knowledge and penetration. The Semi-Arians held, that the Son was ouorádios, i. e. similar to the Father in his essence, not by nature but by a peculiar privilege; and the leading men of this party were George of Laodicea and Basilius of Ancyra. The Eunomians, who were also called Aëtians and Exucontians, and may be reckoned in the number of pure Arians, maintained, that Christ was reposios, or dvéporos, i. e. unlike the Father, as well in his essence, as in other respects. Under this general division, many other subordinate sects were comprehended, whose subtil. ties and refinements have not been clearly developed by the ancient writers. The Arian cause suffered as much from the discord and animosities that reigned among these sects, as from the laboured confutations and the zealous efforts of the orthodox party.

XVII. The Arian controversy produced new sects, occasioned by the indiscreet lengths to which the contending parties pushed their respective opinions; and such, indeed, are too generally the unhappy effects of disputes, in which human passions have so large a part. Some, while they were careful in avoiding, and zealous in opposing, the senti

The scene, however, changed again in the year 364, when Valentinian, and his brother Valens, were raised to the empire. Valentinian adhered to the decrees of the Nicene council; and hence the Arian sect, a few churches excepted, suffered extirpation in the west. Valens, on the other hand, favoured the Arians; and his zeal for their cause exposed their adversaries, the Nicenians, in the eastern provinces, to many severe trials and sufferings. These troubles, however, ended with the reign of this emperor, who fell in a battle which was fought against the Goths in the year 378, and was succeeded by Gratian, a friend to the Nicenians, and the restorer of their tranquillity.ments of Arius, ran headlong into systems of doctrine of an His zeal for their interests, though fervent and active, was surpassed by that of his successor, Theodosius the Great, who raised the secular arm against the Arians, with a terrible degree of violence; drove them from their churches; enacted laws whose severity exposed them to the greatest calamities; and rendered, throughout his dominions, the decrees of the council triumphant over all opposition; so that the public profession of the Arian doctrine was confined to the barbarous and unconquered nations, such as the Burgundians, Goths, and Vandals.

During this long and violent contest between the Nicenians and Arians, the attentive and impartial will acknowledge that unjustifiable measures were taken, and great excesses committed, on both sides: so that when, abstractedly from the merits of the cause, we only consider with what temper, and by what means, the parties defended their respective opinions, it will be difficult to determine which of the two exceeded most the bounds of probity, charity, and moderation.

XVI. The efforts of the Arians to maintain their cause, would have been much more prejudical to the church than they were in effect, had not the members of that sect been divided among themselves, and torn into factions, which viewed each other with the bitterest aversion. Of these, the ancient writers make mention under the names of SemiArians, Eusebians, Aëtians, Eunomians, Acacians, Psathyrians, and others; but they may all be ranked with propriety in three classes. The first of these were the primitive and genuine Arians, who, rejecting all these forms and modes of expression which the moderns had invented to render their opinions less shocking to the Nicenians,

See the Theodosian Code, tom. vi. p. 5, 10, 130, 146; as also Godofred's annotation upon it.

b See Prud. Maran's Dissert. sur les Semi-Arians, published in Voigt's Biblioth. Hæresiolog. tom. ii.

See Basnage's Dissert. de Eunomio, in the Lectiones Antiquæ of

equally dangerous and pernicious nature. Others, in defending the Arian notions, went farther than their chief, and thus fell into errors much more extravagant than those which he maintained. Thus does it generally happen in religious controversies: the human mind, amidst its present imperfection and infirmity, and its unhappy subjection to the empire of imagination and the dictates of sense, rarely follows the middle way in search of truth, or contemplates spiritual and divine things with that accuracy and simplicity, that integrity and moderation, which alone can guard against erroneous extremes.

Among those who fell into such extremes by their inconsiderate violence in opposing the Arian system, Apollinaris the younger, bishop of Laodicea, may be justly placed, though otherwise a man of distinguished merit, and one whose learned labours had rendered to religion the most important services. He strenuously defended the divinity of Christ against the Arians; but, by indulging himself too freely in philosophical distinctions and subtilities, he was carried so far as to deny, in some measure, his humanity. He maintained, that the body which Christ assumed, was endowed with a sensitive, and not a rational, soul; and that the Divine Nature performed the functions of reason, and supplied the place of what we call the mind, the spiritual and intellectual principle in man; and from this it seemed to follow, as a natural consequence, that the divine nature in Christ was blended with the human, and suffered with it the pains of crucifixion and death itself. This great man was led astray, not only by his love of disputing, but also by an immoderate attachment to the Platonic doctrine, concerning the two-fold nature of the Canisius, tom. i. where we find the confession and apology of Eunomius yet extant. See also Jo. Alb. Fabric. Bibliotheca Græc. vol. viii. and the Codex Theodos. tom. vi. However erroneous the hypothesis of Apollinaris may have been, the consequences here drawn from it are not entirely just; for if it

d

soul, which was too generally adopted by the divines of this age; and which, undoubtedly, perverted their judgment in several respects, and led them into erroneous and extravagant decisions on various subjects.

Other errors, beside that now mentioned, are imputed to Apollinaris by certain ancient writers; but it is not easy to determine how far they deserve credit upon that head.a Be that as it may, his doctrine was received by great numbers in almost all the eastern provinces, though, by the different explications that were given of it, its votaries were subdivided into various sects. It did not, however, long maintain its ground; but, being attacked at the same time by the laws of the emperors, the decrees of councils, and the writings of the learned, it sunk by degrees under their united force.

XVIII. Marcellus, bishop of Ancyra, in Galatia, may be ranked in the same class with Apollinaris, if we are to give credit to Eusebius of Cæsarea, and the rest of his adversaries, who represent his explication of the doctrine of the Trinity as bordering upon the Sabellian and Samosatenian errors. Many however are of opinion that this Eusebius, and that bishop of Nicomedia who bore the same name, represented with partiality the sentiments of Marcellus, on account of the bitterness and vehemence which he discovered in his opposition to the Arians, and their protectors. But though it should be acknowledged, that, in some particulars, the accusations of his enemies carried an aspect of partiality and resentment, yet it is manifest that they were far from being entirely groundless; for, if the doctrine of Marcellus be attentively examined, it will appear, that he considered the Son and the Holy Ghost as two emanations from the Divine Nature, which, after performing their respective offices, were at length to return into the substance of the Father; and every one will perceive, at first sight, how incompatible this opinion is with the belief of three distinct Persons in the Godhead. Beside this, a particular circumstance, which augmented considerably the aversion of many to Marcellus, and strengthened the suspicion of his erring in a capital manner, was his obstinately refusing, toward the conclusion of his life, to condemn the tenets of his disciple Photinus."

XIX. Photinus, bishop of Sirmium, may, with propriety, be placed at the head of those whom the Arian controversy was the occasion of seducing into the most extravagant errors. This prelate published, in the year 343, his opinions concerning the Deity, which were equally repugnant to the orthodox and Arian systems. His notions, which have been obscurely, and indeed sometimes inconsistently represented by the ancient writers, amount to this, when attentively examined: "That Jesus Christ was born of the Holy Ghost and the Virgin Mary; that a certain divine emanation, or ray (which he called the word) descended upon this extraordinary man; that, on account of the union of the divine word with his human nature, Jesus

is true that the human soul does not, in any respect, suffer death by the dissolution of the body, the same must hold good with respect to the divine nature.

See Basnage's Histor. Hæres. Apollin. published by Voigt in his Bibliotheca Hæresiologica, tom. i. fascic. i. p. 1-96, and improved by some learned and important additions. See also tom. i. fascic. iii. and p. 607 of the latter work. The laws enacted against the followers of Apollinaris, are extant in the Theodosian Code, tom. vi. See an account of Apollinaris, and his heresy, in the English edition of Bayle's Dictionary.

b See Montfaucon's Diatriba de Causâ Marcelli in Novâ Collectione

was called the Son of God, and even God himself; and that the Holy Ghost was not a distinct person, but a celestial virtue proceeding from the Deity." The temerity of this bold innovator was chastised, not only by the orthodox in the councils of Antioch and Milan, holden in the years 345 and 347, and in that of Sirmium, whose date is uncertain, but also by the Arians in one of their assemblies at Sirmium, convoked in 351. In consequence of all this, Photinus was degraded from the episcopal dignity, and died in exile in 372.d

XX. After him arose Macedonius, bishop of Constantinople, a very eminent Semi-Arian doctor, who, through the influence of the Eunomians, was deposed by the council of Constantinople, in 360, and sent into exile, where he formed the sect of the Macedonians, or Pneumatomachians. In his exile, he declared with the utmost freedom those sentiments which he had formerly either concealed, or, at least, taught with much circumspection. He considered the Holy Ghost as "a divine energy, diffused throughout the universe, and not as a person distinct from the Father and the Son." This opinion had many partisans in the Asiatic provinces; but the council assembled by Theodosius, in 381, at Constantinople, (to which the second rank, among the cecumenical or general councils, is commonly attributed,) put a stop by its authority to the growing evil, and crushed this rising sect before it had arrived at maturity. A hundred and fifty bishops, who were present at this council, gave the finishing touch to what the council of Nice had left imperfect, and fixed in a full and determined manner, the doctrine of three persons in one God, which is still received among the generality of Christians. This venerable assembly did not stop here; they branded with infamy all the errors, and set a mark of execration upon all the heresies, that were hitherto known; they advanced the bishop of Constantinople, on account of the eminence and extent of the city in which he resided, to the first rank after the Roman pontiff, and determined several other points, which they looked upon as essential to the well-being of the church in general.

f

XXI. The phrensy of the ancient Gnostics, which had been so often vanquished, and in appearance removed, by the various remedies that had been used for that purpose, broke out anew in Spain. It was transported thither, in the beginning of this century, by a certain person named Marc, of Memphis in Egypt, whose converts at first were not very numerous. They increased, however, in process of time, and counted in their number several persons highly eminent for their learning and piety. Among others, Priscillian, a layman, distinguished by his birth, fortune and eloquence, and afterwards bishop of Abila, was infected with this odious doctrine, and became its most zealous and ardent defender. Hence he was accused by several bishops, and, by a rescript obtained from the emperor Gratian, he was banished with his followers from

Patrum Græcorum, tom. ii. p. 51; as also Gervaise, Vie de S. Epip. p. 42.

According to Dr. Lardner's account, this council of Antioch, in 345, was holden by the Arians, or Eusebians, and not by the orthodox, as our author affirms. See Lardner's Credibility, &c. vol. ix. p. 13; see also Athanas. de Synod. N. vi. vii. compared with Socrat. lib. ii. cap. xviii. xix.

à Or in 375, as is concluded from Jerome's Chronicle.-Matt. Larroque, de Photini, et ejus multiplici condemnatione.-Thom. Ittigius, Historia Photini, in Ap. ad librum de Hæresiarchis Evi Apostolici. Socrat. Hist. Eccles. lib. iv. cap. iv.

[ocr errors]

Socrat. lib. v. cap. viii. Sozomen, lib. vii. cap. vii.

Spain; but he was restored, some time after, by an edict || of passion and of prejudice is too apt to confound the principles and opinions of men with their practice.

c

XXIII. To what we have here said concerning those sects which made a noise in the world, it will not be inproper to add some account of those of a less considerable kind.

of the same prince, to his country and his functions. His sufferings did not end here; for he was accused a second time, in 384, before Maximus, who had procured the assassination of Gratian, and made himself master of Gaul; and by the order of that prince, he was put to death at Treves with some of his associates. The agents, however, Audæus, a man of remarkable virtue, being excommuby whose barbarous zeal this sentence was obtained, were nicated in Syria, on account of the freedom and importujustly regarded with the utmost abhorrence by the bishops nity with which he censured the corrupt and licentious of Gaul and Italy; for Christians had not yet learned, manners of the clergy, formed an assembly of those who that giving over heretics to be punished by the magistrates, were attached to him, and became, by his own appointwas either an act of piety or justice. [No: this abomin-ment, their bishop. Banished into Scythia by the empeable doctrine was reserved for those times, when religion was to become an instrument of despotism, or a pretext for the exercise of pride, malevolence, and vengeance.] The death of Priscillian was less pernicious to the progress of his opinions, than might naturally have been expected. His doctrine not only survived him, but was propagated through the greatest part of Spain and Gaul; and even so far down as the sixth century, the followers of this unhappy man gave much trouble to the bishops and clergy in those provinces.

ror, he went among the Goths, where his sect flourished, and augmented considerably. The ancient writers are not agreed about the time in which we are to date the ori gin of this sect. With respect to its religious institutions we know that they differed in some points from those observed by other Christians; and, particularly, that the followers of Audæus celebrated Easter, or the Paschal feast, with the Jews, in repugnance to the express decree of the council of Nice. With respect to their doctrine, several errors have been imputed to them, and this, among others, that they attributed to the Deity a human form.

f

XXII. No ancient writer has given an accurate account of the doctrine of the Priscillianists. Many authors, XXIV. The Grecian and Oriental writers place, in on the contrary, by their injudicious representations of it, this century, the rise of the sect of the Messalians, or Euhave highly disfigured it, and added new degrees of obscu-chites, whose doctrine and discipline were, indeed, much rity to a system which was before sufficiently dark and more ancient, and subsisted, even before the birth of Christ perplexed. It appears, however, from authentic records, in Syria, Egypt, and other eastern countries, but who do that the difference between their doctrine, and that of the not seem to have been formed into a religious body before Manicheans, was not very considerable. For "they de- the latter part of the century of which we now write. nied the reality of Christ's birth and incarnation; main- These fanatics, who lived after the monkish fashion, and tained, that the visible universe was not the production of withdrew from all commerce and society with their fellowthe Supreme Deity, but of some dæmon, or malignant creatures, seem to have derived their name from their habit principle; adopted the doctrine of æons, or emanations of continual prayer. "They imagined that the mind of from the divine nature; considered human bodies as prisons every man was inhabited by an evil dæmon, whom it was formed by the author of evil, to enslave celestial minds; impossible to expel by any other means than by constant condemned marriage, and disbelieved the resurrection of prayer and singing of hymns; and that, when this maligthe body." Their rules of life and manners were rigid nant spirit was cast out, the pure mind returned to God, and severe; and the accounts which many have given of and was again united to the divine essence from which it their lasciviousness and intemperance deserve not the least had been separated." To this leading tenet they added credit, as they are totally destitute of evidence and authori- many other enormous opinions, which bear a manifest ty. That the Priscillianists were guilty of dissimulation resemblance to the Manichean doctrine, and are evidently upon some occasions, and deceived their adversaries by drawn from the same source whence the Manicheans dericunning stratagems, is true; but that they held it as a ved their errors, even from the tenets of the Oriental philosomaxim, that lying and perjury were lawful, is a most no- phy. In a word, the Euchites were a sort of Mystics, who torious falsehood, without even the least shadow of proba- imagined, according to the Oriental notion, that two souls bility, however commonly this odious doctrine has been resided in man, the one good, and the other evil; and who laid to their charge. In the heat of controversy, the eye were zealous in hastening the return of the good spirit to

This banishment was the effect of a sentence pronounced against Priscillian, and some of his followers, by a Synod convened at Saragossa in 380; in consequence of which, Idacius and Ithacius, two cruel and persecuting ecclesiastics, obtained from Gratian the rescript above mentioned. See Sulpit. Sever. Hist. Sacr. lib. ii. cap. xlvii.

b Upon the death of Gratian, who had favoured Priscillian toward the latter end of his reign, Ithacius presented to Maximus a petition against him; whereupon this prince appointed a council to be holden at Bourdeaux, from which Priscillian appealed to the prince himself. Sulp. Sever. lib. ii. cap. xlix. p. 287.

It may be interesting to the reader to hear the character of the first person that introduced civil persecution into the Christian church. "He was a man abandoned to the most corrupt indolence, and without the least tincture of true piety. He was talkative, audacious, impudent, luxurious, and a slave to his belly. He accused as heretics, and as protectors of Priscillian, all those whose lives were consecrated to the pursuit of piety and knowledge, or distinguished by acts of mortification and abstinence," &c. Such is the character which Sulpitius Severus, who had an extreme aversion to the sentiments of Priscillian, gives

g

us of Ithacius, bishop of Sossuba, by whose means he was put to death. See Sulp. Sever. Hist. Sacr. edit. Leips. 1709, where Martin, the truly apostolical bishop of Tours, says to Maximus, 'novum esse et inauditum nefas ut causam ecclesiæ judex seculi judicaret.' See also Dial. iii. de vitâ Martini, cap. xi. p. 495.

See Simon de Vries, Dissert. Critica de Priscillianistis, printed at Utrecht, in 1745. The only defect in this dissertation is the implicit manner in which the author follows Beausobre's History of the Manicheans, taking every thing for granted which is affirmed in that work. See also Franc. Girvesii Historia Priscillianistarum Chronologica, published at Rome in 1750. We find, moreover, in the twenty-seventh volume of the Opuscula Scientifica of Angelus Calogera, a treatise entitled Bachiarius Illustratus, seu de Priscillianâ Hæresi Dissertatio; but this dissertation seems rather intended to clear up the affair of Bachiarius, than to give a full account of the Priscillianists and their doctrine.

Epiphanius, Hæres. lxx. p. 811.-Augustin. de Hæres. cap. 1.-Theodoret. Fabul. Hæret. lib. iv. cap. ix.-J. Joach. Schroder, Dissertat. de Audæanis, published in Voigt's Bibliotheca Historia Hæresiolog. tom. i. Epiphanius, Hæres. lxxx. p. 1067.-Theodoret. Hæret. Fabul. lib. iv.

God, by contemplation and prayer. The external air of piety and devotion, which accompanied this sect, imposed upon many, while the Greeks, on the other hand, opposed it with vehemence in all succeeding ages.

It is proper to observe here, that the title of Messalinians or Euchites had a very extensive application among the Greeks and the Orientals, for they gave it to all those who endeavoured to raise the soul to God by recalling and withdrawing it from terrestrial and sensible objects, however these enthusiasts might differ from each other in their opinions upon other subjects.

XXV. Toward the conclusion of this century, two opposite sects involved Arabia and the adjacent countries in the

cap. x. p. 672.-Timotheus, Presbyter, de receptione Hæreticor. published in the third volume of Cotelerius' Monumenta Eccles. Græcæ.-Jac.

troubles and tumults of a new controversy. These jarring factions went by the names of Antidico-Marianites and Collyridians. The former maintained, that the Virgin Mary did not always preserve her immaculate state, but received the embraces of her husband Joseph after the birth of Christ. The latter, on the contrary, (who were singularly favoured by the female sex), running into the opposite extreme, worshipped the Blessed Virgin as a goddess, and judged it necessary to appease her anger, and seek her favour and protection, by libations, sacrifices, oblations of cakes, (collyridæ,) and the like services.a

Other sects might be mentioned here; but they are too obscure and inconsiderable to deserve notice.

Tollii Insignia Itineris Italici, p. 110.-Assemani, Bibliotheca Orientalis | Vaticana, tom. i. et iii. See Epiphan. Hæres. lxxviii. lxxix.

« AnteriorContinuar »