The History of the Popes: From the Foundation of the See of Rome, to the Present


Foundation of the SEE of ROME,


Heretofore Public Professor of Rhetoric, History, and Philosophy, in the
Universities of Rome, Fermo, and Macerata,
And, in the latter Place, Counsellor of the Inquisition.

The Third Edition.
Printed for the AUTHOR.

M. DCC. L.


It is not only as having the Happiness to be Your subject, that I beg Your permission to lay this Book at Your feet. In whatever part of the world I had been born, or had resided, I should have desired to present it to Your Majesty, as the Great Protector of the Reformed Religion, and worthily filling that Throne, which, above any in Europe, is the chief Bulwark against the Papal Power, and all IIIits pernicious attendants. The wonderful rise, and monstrous growth of that Power, almost to the ruin of all true Religion, and all the Civil rights of mankind, will be delineated in the course of this Work, which I flatter myself may be of some Use to the Protestant Cause. For, next to the light of the Gospel, there is nothing that Popery has more to fear, than that of historical Truth: It is a test which the pretensions and doctrines of Rome can never abide; and therefore she has used her utmost endeavours, not only to lock up the Gospel from the eyes of the Laity, and prefer her own Comments, Decrees, and Traditions, to the authority of the Scriptures, but to corrupt, disguise, and falsify History, in which necessary business her ablest pens have been employed. To take off those disguises, and discover those falsehoods, is consequently a task becoming the zeal of a good Protestant; and my intention at least, though not my performance encourages me to hope for Your Majesty’s Gracious Protection.

In the latter part of this History I shall have often the pleasure to shew, how great an Instrument under God the Power and Strength of this kingdom has been, to maintain and support IVthe Reformation all over Europe. But I must also shew with concern, that from the death of our wise Queen Elizabeth, the Princes of the House of Stuart, instead of pursuing that glorious Plan, which she had traced out, were either remiss in the cause, or wholly forsook it; so that had not the Revolution providentially happened, and in consequence of it, the House of Brunswick been called to the Throne of these kingdoms, the Reformed Religion would, in all probability, have not only been lost in Great Britain, or at least under a fate of severe persecution, but would have been in great danger every-where else, from such a change in the Balance of Power as that event must have produced. The support of Your Royal Family is therefore most necessary, even upon motives of self-preservation, to every Protestant both here and abroad. May a due sense of that important connection between Your safety and Theirs, be always kept alive in their minds. May our Holy Religion continue to flourish under Your Majesty’s Care, and that of Your Royal Posterity, to the latest times. May neither the open attacks, nor secret machinations of Rome prevail against it. And may it produce all the Fruits that ought to spring from it, the truly-christian spirit of Toleration, Vuniversal charity, good morals, good learning, freedom of thought, and candour of mind. I need add no other wishes or prayers to these: They comprehend all happiness to Your Majesty, to Your Royal Family, and to my Country; and they come from the heart of,

Your Majesty’s
Most Loyal,
Most Faithful,
And most devoted Subject,
Archibald Bower.



he Work, which I now offer to the Public, I undertook some years since at Rome, and brought it down to the Pontificate of Victor, that is, to the close of the Second Century. As I was then a most zealous champion for the Pope’s Supremacy, which was held as an article of Faith by the body I belonged to, my chief design, when I engaged in such a work, was, to ascertain that Supremacy, by shewing, century by century, that, from the Apostles times to the present, it had ever been acknowleged by the Catholic Church. But alas! I soon perceived, that I had undertaken more than it was in my power to perform. Nay, while, in order to support and maintain this cause, I examined, with particular attention, the writings of the Apostles, and of the many pious and learned men who had flourished in the three first centuries of the church, I was so far from finding any thing that seemed the least to countenance such a doctrine, that, on the contrary, it appeared evident, beyond all dispute, that, during the above-mentioned period of time, it had been utterly unknown to the Christian world. In spite then of my endeavours to the contrary, Reason getting the better of the strongest prejudices, I began to look upon the Pope’s Supremacy, not only as a prerogative quite chimerical, but as the most impudent attempt that had ever been made: I say, in spite of my endeavours to the contrary; for I was very unwilling to give up a point, upon which I had been taught by Bellarmine, that the whole of Christianity iidepended[1]; especially in a country, where a man cannot help being afraid even of his own thoughts, since, upon the least suspicion of his only calling in question any of the received opinions, he may depend upon his being soon convinced by more cogent arguments, than any in Mood and Figure. But great is the power of truth; and at last it prevailed: I became a proselyte to the opinion which I had proposed to confute; and sincerely abjured, in my mind, that which I had ignorantly undertaken to defend.

Being thus fully convinced, that the Pope’s so much boasted Supremacy was a bold and ungodly usurpation, I could not help censuring with myself the men of learning, who had countenanced such a pretension, especially the two great champions of the Papal power Bellarmine and Baronius. Did they not see what every man, who but dips into the primitive writers, must see; what is obvious to common sense? The poor shifts they are often put to, their ridiculous evasions and cavils, their unmeaning distinctions, their wresting several passages, contrary to the plain and natural meaning of the authors they quote, and, above all, their unsatisfactory answers to the objections of the adverse party, shew but too plainly, that they wrote not from conviction, nor aimed at truth, but, perhaps, at the red Hat, which was afterwards bestowed upon them, as a reward for betraying the truth. Few have written in defence of the Pope’s Supremacy, that have not been preferred; and none perhaps who had not preferment in view. Æneas Sylvius, afterwards Pius II. being asked, before he was raised to the Papal Chair, How it happened, that, in all disputes between the Popes and the Councils, many Divines sided with the former, and very few with the latter? Because the Popes, answered he, have benefices to give, and the Councils have none. Had he been asked the same question after he was Pope, he would not perhaps have returned the same answer; but said, upon his being put in mind of it, as Gregory XIII. did afterwards on a like occasion, that, being raised higher, he saw better and farther. Those therefore who have stood up in defence of the liberty of the Church against Papal Usurpation, iiicannot be supposed to have had any other inducement to espouse the cause of truth, but truth itself. And this some have had the Christian courage to do even in Italy, and almost in the Pope’s hearing, at the peril of their liberty, of their lives, of all that was dear to them; as I shall have occasion to shew hereafter. But to return, in the mean time, to the present History: I no sooner found myself in a Country where truth might be uttered without danger, than I resolved to resume and pursue, in my native tongue, as soon as I recovered the use of it, the work I had begun in a foreign language. On the one side I saw the only obstruction to an undertaking, which had already cost me no small pains and labour, happily removed; while I flattered myself on the other, that as a complete History of the Popes was still wanting, such a performance might meet with a favourable reception from the public. I am well apprised, that others have, at different times, and in different languages, treated the same subject: but whether any of their several works may deserve the name of a complete, or even of a tolerable History, I leave those to judge who have perused them; and shall only say in respect to myself; that, instead of diverting me from undertaking the same province, they have more than any thing else encouraged me to it. Anastasius and Platina, the two Classics, as they are deemed, in this branch of History, have indeed given us the Lives of the Popes, from the foundation of the See of Rome to their times, but in so broken, imperfect, and unsatisfactory a manner, that from them we learn but very little, even concerning those of whom they have said most. It was not their design to write a History, but only to draw, as it were in miniature, the portraits of the Roman Bishops, by relating, in a summary way, such of their actions, as appeared to them most worthy of being recorded; and, to say the truth, they have both betrayed no less want of discernment in chusing what they should relate, than of exactness in relating what they had chosen.

Anastasius the Monk, surnamed Bibliothecarius, that is, Library-keeper, Secretary, and Chancellor of the Church of Rome (for all these employments antiently centred in one person, and were ivcomprised under the common name of Bibliothecarius) flourished in the ninth century, under Nicolas I. Adrian II. and John VIII. He wrote a succinct account of the Bishops, who governed the Church of Rome, from St. Peter to Nicolas I. who died in 867. But the memoirs he made use of were none of the best. In his time the world was over-run with forged or corrupted Pontificals, Martyrologies, Legends, &c. which were then no less universally received, than they have been since rejected by the learned of all persuasions. However, that from these the Bibliothecarian borrowed the greater part of his materials, at least for the six first centuries, is but too apparent from his overlooking, nay, and often contradicting, the unexceptionable testimonies of contemporary writers; as will be seen in the sequel of the present History. As therefore the records, which he copied, are so justly suspected, and his own authority can be of no weight with respect to those distant times, the reader must not be surprised to find, that, in this History, I have paid no manner of regard to an author, who has been hitherto blindly followed by those, who have written on the same subject. There may indeed be some truth in what he relates; but his frequent mistakes render that truth too precarious to be relied on, unless confirmed by the concurring testimonies of other more credible and less credulous authors. However, in the times less remote from his own, I shall readily allow his authority its due weight; the rather, as he seems not to have written with a design of imposing upon others, but to have been imposed upon himself by frauds and forgeries; for he wrote in an age, when the world lay involved in the thickest mist of ignorance, when superstition and credulity triumphed without controul, and spurious pieces, filled with idle and improbable stories, had thrust every grave writer, nay, and the Gospels themselves, out of doors.

Platina, so called from the Latin name of Piadena, a village in the Cremonese, the place of his nativity (for his true name was Battista, or Bartolomeo Sacchi) flourished six hundred years after Anastasius, that is, in the fifteenth century, under Calixtus III. Pius II. Paul II. and Sixtus IV. Under Pius II. he was Secretary vof the Datary, the office where vacant benefices are disposed of; but, being dismissed by Paul II. tho’ he had purchased the place, in the height of his resentment, he appealed to the future Council. What he suffered under that Pope, first in prison, and afterwards on the rack, we shall hear from himself, in a more proper place. Sixtus IV. the successor of Paul, well apprised of his innocence, took him into favour, and, having enlarged, endowed, and enriched the Vatican library with a great number of valuable books, in different languages, he committed the care of them to him. It was probably at this time that he wrote, or rather transcribed, the Lives of the Popes from St. Peter, whom he supposes the founder of that See, to Paul II. who died in 1471. I say transcribed; for, if we except the few Popes who lived in or near his own times, viz. Eugene IV. Nicolas V. Calixtus III. Pius II. and Paul II. he copied, almost verbatim, all he has said of the rest, only interweaving now and then the profane history with the ecclesiastic[2]. The Lives of the fourteen succeeding Popes, from Paul II. to Pius V. elected in 1566. were compiled by Onuphrius Panvinius, of the Augustin order, a man more commendable for his learning, than for his candor and veracity. These are, as we may style them, the original compilers of the Lives of the Popes: Platina adopted Anastasius’s concise method of writing, and Panvinius, Platina’s, contenting themselves with bare hints; and thereby putting their readers to the trouble of consulting other writers, in order to gratify the curiosity they had raised. Much has been said of the Popes by other Historians, but very little by their own, as the learned Pagi observed, after comparing the authors I have mentioned, with the contemporary Historians of other nations. I might well add, that the vivery little they have said has been thought too much; whence some of them, and Platina in particular, have been made, in all their Editions since the middle of the sixteenth century, to speak with more reserve, and to suppress or disguise some truths they had formerly told.

As for those who in later times have engaged in the same province, we need only dip into their works to be satisfied, that to search out truth was not their business. Some are all praise and panegyric, others all satire and gall: some have made it their study to excuse the worst of Popes, others to arraign the best. That many of the Popes have been wicked men, abandonedly wicked, is undeniable, notwithstanding the pains that have been taken to extenuate their crimes; but neither are there wanting some good men among them, of innocent lives, and unblemished characters, whose only crime is their having been Popes; and to misrepresent or misconstrue the virtuous actions of these, as some have done, is no less blameable in an Historian, than to dissemble or gloss over the criminal actions of the others. This partiality may be easily accounted for with respect to one great period of the present History. During the quarrels and wars between the Popes and Emperors, which lasted many years, and occasioned, in seventy-eight battles, the destruction of an infinite number of innocent people, two powerful factions reigned, as is well known, both in Germany and Italy, distinguished by the names of Guelphs and Ghibbelines; the former being zealously attached to the Papal and the latter to the Imperial interest. In the midst of these distractions few writers stood neuter, but, siding, according to their different interests or inclinations, with one party or the other, drew their pens, each against the head of the party he opposed, with more rage than the soldiers did their swords. And hence it is, that we find the same facts related by contemporary authors with such different circumstances; the same persons, the Emperors especially and the Popes, painted in such different colours. Of this very few Writers in the later times have been aware; and therefore have, as their bias led them to favour one cause more than the other, adopted as undoubted viitruths the many groundless aspersions and undeserved reproaches which party zeal had suggested to the Ghibbelines against the Popes, or to the Guelphs against the Emperors. I wish I could intirely clear an eminent Italian historian of our own times from this imputation.

But, after all, as it was not merely with a view to supply the want of a complete History of the Popes, that I formerly undertook so laborious a task; neither is it now with that view alone I resume it. What I proposed to myself, when I first undertook it, I have said already; but, being convinced that I laboured in vain, and convinced by such evidence as the strongest prejudice could not withstand, I thought it a duty owing to truth, to set it forth to others in the same irresistible light; and to defend, at least with as much zeal, the best of causes, as I had done the worst. A disloyal subject, who had taken up arms against his lawful Sovereign, would not be thought intirely to comply with his duty, by only laying them down: he ought, if actuated by a true spirit of loyalty, and truly convinced of the badness of his cause, to range himself under the banners of his injured Lord, and devote to his service and defence the sword he had drawn against him. By a like obligation, a writer, who has, even ignorantly, combated truth, is bound, not only to lay down his pen, as soon as he finds himself engaged in a bad cause, but, when occasion offers, to turn against error in favour of truth the very weapon he had employed against truth in favour of error.

But to give the reader some account of the History itself, and the method I have pursued in delivering it: I have intituled it, The History of the Popes; but might as well have styled it, The History of Popery; since it not only contains an account of the Lives and Actions of the Popes, but of every Popish tenet; when, by whom, on what occasion, and to serve what purpose, each of them was broached; those more especially which relate to the Pope as Christ’s Vicar upon earth, as the Supreme Head of the Church, as an Infallible Guide to salvation; for these are the prerogatives he claims, as entailed upon, and inseparable from the viiiRoman See. But that no such doctrines were known in the first and purest ages of Christianity; that the Bishop of Rome was then, nay, and thought himself, upon the level with other Bishops; that the Catholic Church acknowleged no power, authority, or jurisdiction in the Bishop of Rome, but what was common to him with all other Bishops, will appear so plain from the following History, that I can hardly conceive it possible for any man, however prejudiced in favour of the Papal Power, and Popish Religion, to peruse it without abjuring the one and the other: I am but too well apprised of the strength of prejudice; but, strong as it is, it can never be proof against plain matter of fact. For who can believe, for instance, in the Pope’s Infallibility, who can help looking upon such an article of belief as the grossest affront that ever was offered to human understanding, when he reads of a Liberius admitting and signing the Arian creed, or confession of faith, declared heretical by all his Successors; of an Honorius condemned by the Fathers of the sixth Oecumenical Council, as an organ of the devil, for holding the heresy of the Monothelites; of John XXII. preaching up and propagating, both by his Missionaries and his Legates a latere, a doctrine, which he himself retracted on his death-bed; of seven Popes[3] cursing and damning, in emulation of one anther, all who denied a certain tenet[4], and another Pope[5] as heartily cursing and damning all who maintained it, nay and recurring to the Ultima Ratio of the later Popes, the Fagot, in order to root out of the Church (these are his very words) so pestilential, erroneous, heretical, and blasphemous a doctrine? This occasioned great scandal in the Church, insomuch that some even took the liberty to represent to his Holiness, that the Decrees and ixConstitutions of one Pope could not be reversed by another. The Pope replied (and what other reply could he make?) That they were mistaken, since it might be proved by innumerable instances, that what had been decreed wrong or amiss by one Pope or Council, could be rectified and amended by another. This answer silenced them at once, says our Historian: And well it might; I am only surprised, that the word Infallibility has ever been since heard of. The Franciscan Friers, who had occasioned the dispute, paid dear for it: As they continued to plead the Infallibility of seven Popes against that of one, and obstinately adhered to their doctrine, Pope John, losing all patience, ordered all to be burnt alive, who did not receive his Constitution; which was done accordingly, and many of those unhappy wretches chose rather to expire in the flames than to yield. These remarkable transactions are related by several contemporary writers of unquestionable authority, and among the rest by Nicolaus Eymericus, who was Inquisitor of the province of Tarragon, and has inserted them in his Directorium Inquisitorum[6]. Other facts without number, of the same nature, and alike irreconcileable with the other prerogatives claimed by the Popes, as well as with the chief articles of the Roman Catholic religion, will occur in this History, and all so well attested, that nothing, I think, can withstand the force of Truth thus displayed. Logical arguments and controversial reasoning cannot be well adapted to every understanding, and therefore are not always attended with the desired effect, however skilfully managed; but historical facts lie level to the meanest capacities, and the consequences thence deducible are to the meanest capacities plain and obvious. It is true, the Sticklers for the See of Rome have endeavoured to darken the clearest facts, since they could not deny them, as being vouched by their own approved authors; but they have done it in so aukward a manner, with such absurd, ridiculous, xand unintelligible interpretations, comments, distinctions, &c. that, were it not well known it was their interest to defend that cause, one would be apt to think they intended rather to ridicule than defend it.

But if the Popes were originally mere Bishops, upon the level with other Bishops; if they had no power but what was common to them with all other Bishops; by what means could they thus exalt themselves above their Collegues, nay, above all that is called God? What could induce their Collegues, and with them the greater part of the Christian world, to acknowlege such an unheard-of power, and submit to a yoke of all others the most heavy and tyrannical? For an answer to these questions I refer the reader to the following History, where he will find every branch of power, authority, or jurisdiction claimed by the Popes, traced from its first origin, and the various steps pointed out, by which they raised themselves from the lowest beginnings to the highest pitch of greatness; which is opening a school of the most refined policy, that ever was known or practised upon earth. In this respect we must own the Popes to have been, generally speaking, men of extraordinary talents, the ablest Politicians we read of in History, Statesmen fit to govern the world, and equal to the vast dominion they grasped at; a Dominion over the Minds as well as the Bodies and Estates of mankind; a Dominion, of all that ever were formed, the most wide and extensive, as knowing no other Bounds but those of the Earth; nay, and not even those, since these mighty Princes claim to themselves all power in Heaven as well as in Earth, all power over the Dead as well as the Living. To establish the spiritual part of this wondrous Authority upon the Gospel of Christ, which contradicts it in every line, was an undertaking of no little difficulty, and that required no common skill: to establish the temporal dominion without a fleet, without an army; to subject to it not only the ignorant and superstitious multitude, but Kings themselves, nay and to prevail upon them to employ both their arms and their interest in promoting a power evidently derogatory to and inconsistent with their own; was a work not to be accomplished xibut by men of superior talents, thoroughly acquainted with all the arts of insinuation and address, and steady in pursuing, by the best concerted measures, the great point that they constantly had in their view.

Two things, however, concurred to facilitate, in some degree, the establishing the one and the other; viz. the profound ignorance of the times, and the matchless cunning of the persons employed by the Popes as their Emissaries and Agents; without which helps no imposture was ever carried on with success.

It was in the night, while men slept, while the earth was overspread with the darken night of ignorance, that the enemy came, and sowed his tares. From the Beginning of the Seventh Century to the time of the Reformation, Letters were utterly neglected; and in proportion to that neglect, Credulity and Superstition, the inseparable companions of Ignorance, prevailed among the Laity even of the highest ranks: the little knowlege that still remained (and very little did remain) was wholly confined to the Clergy, chiefly to the Monks, men most zealously attached to the interest of the Pope, as well knowing, that by promoting his interest, they promoted at the same time their own. It was in this period of time, in this long darkness of ignorance, credulity, and superstition, that the Pope and his Agents introduced maxims and notions concerning the Papal Prerogatives, very different from those which the world had entertained to that time. In the beginning of the Seventh Century, that is, in the year 606. Pope Boniface III. a man of great address, having craftily insinuated himself into the favour of Phocas, obtained of that Traitor and Murderer[7], the famous Rescript settling the Supremacy on the See of Rome, in opposition to the claim of the Patriarch of Constantinople. As Phocas bore an irreconcileable hatred to Cyriacus, who was then vested with the Patriarchal dignity, he was the more easily prevailed upon to decide the Controversy, which had already lasted a long time xiibetween the two Sees, in favour of the See of Rome. If this hatred in the Usurper was owing to the zeal of Cyriacus in laying before him the enormity of his crime, and exhorting him to repentance, Boniface, nay and his predecessor St. Gregory the Great[8], knew better how to make their court to men in power, than to take the least notice of their sins, however public, or mention Repentance in their hearing. Be that as it will, it is certain, that to this monster of wickedness the Church of Rome owes her Supremacy. And it was this Grant from Phocas, that more than any thing else inspired the Bishops of Rome with pride and presumption; which increasing as their power increased, they were carried by degrees to all the excesses an unbounded ambition can suggest, when free from all Curb of Conscience, Morality, and Religion.

Yet, after all, the Supremacy granted by Phocas was but a Supremacy of Order and Dignity; it gave no new power to the Bishop of Rome, but only raised him above his Collegues, especially his Rival, the Patriarch of Constantinople; and made him, as some express it, the First amongst his Equals. But his Successors, thirsting after power, and scorning to hold their dignity by so precarious a tenure as the Emperor’s pleasure, which might hereafter revoke the decision of Phocas, and give the Precedence in rank to Constantinople instead of Rome, began to disown the favour they had received, to set up for themselves, and to claim the Supremacy, as inherent by Divine Right in their See, and derived from St. Peter, as Chief of the Apostles, and Head of the Church. Thus was the foundation of the Supremacy changed; and wisely changed, according to the rules of human policy. The old foundation was no-ways proportioned to the immense superstructure, which they now began to design; since they could claim but very little power, if any at all, in virtue of the Emperor’s Grant. But the new foundation was capable of bearing whatever the most unbounded and aspiring ambition could build on it. Besides, the Bishop of xiiiRome could not challenge, by a Rescript of the Roman Emperor, any Superiority over the Churches, that had no Dependence on the Roman Empire. But a Supremacy, inherent by Divine Right in the Papal Dignity, raised him at once above all the Bishops of the Catholic Church. What therefore now remained was, to improve this extensive Supremacy into a no less extensive Power and Jurisdiction. And here no time was lost, many circumstances concurring to promote and forward the execution of their attempt. Besides the ignorance of the times, and the influence of the Monks, which operated strongly in their behalf, the Princes of Europe were quarrelling among themselves about the Western parts of the Roman Empire, and all glad to purchase, at any rate, the friendship of the Bishop of Rome, who, after the famous Donation of Pepin in 754. had taken great state upon him, and bore a considerable sway in all public affairs. As for the Bishops, and the rest of the Secular Clergy, they looked upon the Pope, especially after he had added the Sword to the Keys, as their protector and defender; and were on that consideration disposed to concur in strengthening his power, and rendering it formidable, tho’ at the expence of their own; chusing rather to subject themselves to an Ecclesiastical master, than to submit to the Civil authority. I might add, that some now began to mind the Fleece more than the Flock; and with That it was some time before the Popes thought it proper to meddle; but, when they did, they soon retrieved, by the haste that they made, the time they had lost.

Yet I do not believe, that they designed at first to run those lengths, or carry the Papal Prerogative to that extravagant height they afterwards did. The success, that attended them in the pursuit of one claim, encouraged them to set up and pursue another. Of this no one can doubt, who peruses with the least attention the Records of those Ages, and compares the Popes in the beginning of the Seventh Century with the Popes in the latter end of the Eleventh. We shall find them, in the first-mentioned period of time, submitting with all humility to Princes; claiming no kind xivof authority or jurisdiction whatsoever but in virtue of the Canons of Councils, or the Rescripts of Emperors; glorying, or pretending to glory, in the humble title of Servants of Servants; acknowlegeing themselves Subjects and Vassals of the Emperors, and patiently waiting the will and pleasure of their liege Lords to take upon them the Episcopal dignity, or exercise the functions of that office. Such were the Bishops of Rome in the beginning of the Seventh Century. How different from those in the latter end of the Eleventh! They were then vested with the Plenitude of all power, both Spiritual and Temporal; above Councils, and uncontrouled by their Canons; the fountain of all pastoral jurisdiction and authority; and, by Divine Sanction, impowered to enact, establish, abrogate, suspend, all Ecclesiastical Laws and Constitutions: they were then become Lords and Masters, the most haughty and imperious Lords, the most severe Masters, mankind had ever groaned under: they no more begged, but dispensed titles, boasting a power of setting up Kings, and pulling them down at pleasure; of calling them to an account, absolving their subjects from their allegiance, divesting them of their dominions, and treating in every respect as their slaves and vassals, those, whom one of their best and greatest Predecessors[9] had acknowleged superior to all Men, and thought himself in duty bound to obey. This Plenitude of power, as they style it, was not acquired at once, but by degrees, as I have observed above; some of the Popes being more, and some less active, crafty, and aspiring. But what is very remarkable, of the one hundred and fourteen between Boniface III. who laid the foundation of the Papal grandeur, and Gregory VII. who raised it to the highest pitch, not one ever lost an inch of ground his Predecessors had gained. And thus, by constantly acquiring, and never parting with what they had acquired, nay, and tying the hands of their Successors by the irreversible entail of a Divine Right, they became the sole Spiritual Lords, and had almost made xvthemselves the greatest Temporal Lords of the whole Christian world.

But by what particular means they rose to such an height of grandeur and majesty, by what artifices and subtle contrivances they maintained what they had usurped, and strove to retrieve what they had lost, when it pleased Divine Providence to check and restrain within more narrow bounds their overgrown power, the reader will learn from the following History. Some of the arts they have made use of, are of the most refined, and some of the blackest nature; and both I have endeavoured, in this work, to set forth in their truest light, without disguise or exaggeration; those more especially which the Popes and their Agents have formerly employed, and still employ, to bring anew under their yoke, such nations as have had the Christian courage to shake it off, and assert that Liberty, wherewith Christ hath made us free. If I shall be so happy as thereby to keep awake and alive, in the breast of every true Englishman, that noble ardour, which has, on a late occasion, exerted itself in so distinguished a manner; if it shall please Heaven to second my Undertaking so far, as to alarm by it those Protestants (I wish I might not say those many Protestants) who are not aware of, nor sufficiently guarded against, the crafty insinuations, the secret views and attempts of the Papal Emissaries; I shall think the time and pains it has cost me abundantly paid.

I am well apprised of the reception a work of this nature must meet with, and of the treatment its author must expect, both at home and abroad, from the Popish Zealots. But let them vent their zeal in what manner they please, I shall neither answer nor relent their reproaches and censures, however malignant and groundless: nay, I shall hear them with as much pleasure and satisfaction as I should the praises and commendations of others; it being no less meritorious in a writer to have displeased the enemies of Truth, than to have pleased the friends. And these, I flatter myself, will find no great room for censure: it would grieve me if they should, since I have done all that lay in my power to leave none. I have advanced nothing for which I have not sufficient vouchers: and xvithese I have taken care to quote in the margin, that the reader, by recurring to the places pointed out in each author, may be convinced of my sincerity and candor. I have always preferred the contemporary writers, when equally credible, to those who wrote after, tho’ not without taking notice of their disagreement; and such as flourished nearest the times when the transactions happened, which they relate, to those who lived at a greater distance. Pursuant to this Rule, in delivering the Lives of the Bishops who governed the Church of Rome during the First Ages of Christianity, I have confined myself wholly to the Primitive writers, trusting no Modern any farther, than as he wrote from the Antients. From these there is no Appeal; it is by them, and them alone, that the Papal Supremacy must stand or fall. If they have all conspired to misrepresent the sense of the ages in which they lived (and it is only by this hypothesis that the Supremacy can be supported), in what other monuments shall we search for it?

The Partiality, which I have so much complained of above in the works of others, I have taken all possible care to avoid in my own; checking the very first emotions of that zeal, which, on my reflecting how long, and how grosly I had been imposed upon, would, if not carefully watched, have proved as strong a biass in me against the Pope, and the Popish Religion, as the opposite zeal has proved for them in others. The vices and vicious actions of the bad Popes I have not dissembled; but neither have I magnified them: the virtues and commendable actions of the good Popes I have neither lessened nor misconstrued; nay, I have more than once justified the conduct and character of some pious men among them, greatly injured by their own Historians, because they lived, and suffered mankind to live, in peace; applying themselves solely, as it became good Bishops, to the discharge of their Pastoral duty. These their Historians have strangely misrepresented, measuring the merit of each Pope by the great Things they atchieved, no matter by what means, for the exaltation of their See; which, in other terms, is measuring their Merit by their Pride and Ambition.

xviiThe Length of this History requires, I presume, no Apology. Every one knows, that the Popes acted, for several ages, as the Umpires of Europe, or rather as the Sovereigns; several Princes being actually their vassals, and the rest affecting to pay them the same respect as if they were. This emboldened them to intermeddle in the public affairs of each State and Kingdom; insomuch that no remarkable event happened, no revolution, no change of government or constitution, which they did not either promote or oppose, as it suited their interest, with too many of them the only standard of right and wrong; and their authority, through the ignorance, credulity, and superstition of those unhappy times, was, generally speaking, of such weight, as to turn the scale into which it was thrown. Besides, they had, in every Kingdom and Nation, their Legates or Vicars, who, together with the Clergy, formed, as it were, a separate State, and one Kingdom or Empire within another. These, at the instigation of the Popes, their Lords and Masters, were constantly encroaching on the Civil Authority and Jurisdiction, on the Rights of the People, and Prerogatives of Princes. Hence arose innumerable Disputes, which, if Princes did not comply with their demands, ended in Anathemas, Interdicts, Civil Wars, Rebellions, private Assassinations, and public Massacres. Those who are versed in the Histories of other Nations, as well as in that of our own, and know what a considerable part the detail of these fatal disputes takes up in the particular Histories of each State and Kingdom, will not find fault with the Length of this, which, if complete, and as such I offer it to the public, must comprise them all. Besides, I have given a summary account of the many Heresies that have sprung up in the Church; of the Councils that have been held; of the religious and military Orders; of their Founders, institutions, fundamental laws, &c.; subjects all, in some degree, connected with the History of the Popes.

I do not doubt, but this Work will meet with a favourable Reception from Protestants of all denominations; such a Reception, I mean, as is due to Truth. It will, I flatter myself, retard, at least, the daily increase of the Papal interest in these happy Kingdoms. xviiiAs for the Roman Catholics here, would they but lay aside their prejudices, so far as to peruse it with the least degree of candor and attention, I am confident Truth would exert its power no less efficaciously upon some of them, than it has done upon me. They cannot surely be more biassed in favour of the errors they had been brought up in, than I was. In them Truth has but one enemy to contend with, Education; in me it had two, Education and Interest; and the latter is but too often the more powerful of the two. What I forfeited by adhering to Truth, most of the Roman Catholics in England well know; and I am very confident none of them can say, that I have ever yet reaped, or sought to reap, the least temporal benefit from it. If therefore the Power of Truth, when duly displayed, is so great, as to triumph thus over the combined force of Education and Interest, we may well hope, that it will, at least in some, triumph over Education alone: I most heartily wish it may in all.


t is out of some Regard to an antient Tradition, that I have placed St. Peter at the Head of the Bishops of Rome, though I am well apprised, that this, like most other Traditions, will hardly stand the Test of a strict and impartial Examination. That St. Peter was
ever at Rome,
known only by
Tradition.To avoid being imposed upon, we ought to treat Tradition as we do a notorious and known Lyer, to whom we give no Credit, unless what he says is confirmed to us by some Person of undoubted Veracity. If it is affirmed by him alone, we can at most but suspend our Belief, not rejecting it as false, because a Lyer may sometimes speak Truth; but we cannot, upon his bare Authority, admit it as true. Now that St. Peter was at Rome, that he was Bishop of Rome, we are told by Tradition alone, which, at the same time, tells us of so many strange Circumstances attending his coming to that Metropolis, his staying in it, his withdrawing from it, &c. that, in the Opinion of every unprejudiced Man, the Whole must favour strongly of Romance. Tradition not to be
depended upon.Thus we are told, that St. Peter went to Rome chiefly to 2oppose Simon, the celebrated Magician; that, at their first Interview, at which Nero himself was present, he flew up into the Air, in the Sight of the Emperor, and the whole City; but that the Devil, who had thus raised him, struck with Dread and Terror at the Name of Jesus, whom the Apostle invoked, let him fall to the Ground, by which Fall he broke his Legs. Should you question the Truth of this Tradition at Rome, they would shew you the Prints of St. Peter’s Knees in the Stone, on which he kneeled on this Occasion, and another Stone still dyed with the Blood of the Magician[N1].

N1. This Account seems to have been borrowed from Suetonius, who speaks of a Person that, in the public Sports, undertook to fly in the Presence of the Emperor Nero; but, on his first Attempt, fell to the Ground; by which Fall his Blood sprung out with such Violence, that it reached the Emperor’s Canopy [1].

1. Suet. l. 6. c. 12.

Fabulous Accounts
of St. Peter.
The Romans, as we are told, highly incensed against him for thus maiming, and bringing to Disgrace, one to whom they paid divine Honours, vowed his Destruction; whereupon the Apostle thought it adviseable to retire for a while from the City, and had already reached the Gate, when, to his great Surprize, he met our Saviour coming in, as he went out, who, upon St. Peter’s asking him where he was going, returned this Answer, I am going to Rome to be crucified anew: which, as St. Peter understood it, was upbraiding him with his Flight; whereupon he turned back, and was soon after seized by the provoked Romans, and, by an Order from the Emperor, crucified. These, and a thousand like Stories, however fabulous and romantic they may seem, we cannot, without great Incoherency, reject, if we admit St. Peter to have been at Rome; since the Whole is equally vouched by the same Authority, and has been upon the same Authority equally believed by those, who are called in by the Advocates for the See of Rome, to witness St. Peter’s having preached the Gospel in that City. The greatest Men
imposed upon by
false Traditions.These are Arnobius[10], Cyril of Jerusalem[11], Eusebius[12], Irenæus[13], Tertullian[14], Jerom[15], and Justin the Martyr[16]. These have all supposed St. Peter to have been at Rome, and, together with St. Paul, to have planted Christianity in that great Metropolis of the World; but this they took upon Tradition, and consequently their Authority is of no greater Weight than Tradition itself, which had they duly examined, they would not perhaps have so readily 3pinned their Faith upon it. False and lying Traditions are of an early Date, and the greatest Men have, out of a pious Credulity, suffered themselves to be imposed upon by them. How many Traditions, after having reigned for Ages without Controul, were upon the Reformation, when Men took the Liberty to examine what they believed, rejected by the Church, ashamed to own them, and degraded into popular Errors! But that of St. Peter’s having been at Rome, and the first Bishop of that City, was a Tradition of too great Consequence not to be maintained at all Events, since upon that chiefly was founded the Claim of his pretended Successors to an uncontrouled Authority, and universal Jurisdiction; a Foundation infinitely too weak for such an immense Superstructure.

How little regard
paid to them by
some Popes.
And here I cannot help observing the little Regard that the Popes themselves have shewn to Tradition, though received by the greatest Lights of the Church, when it did not promote the Honour or Interest of their See. Of this we have a glaring Instance in a parallel Case; for as St. Peter, according to Tradition, travelled to Rome, so did St. Paul, according to Tradition, travel into Spain: the former Tradition was received by the Writers I have quoted above, and the latter by some of the same Writers, viz. by Cyril of Jerusalem[17], and Jerom[18], and by Athanasius[19], Chrysostom[20], Theodoret[21], Gregory the Great[22], and many others; yet such a Tradition was rejected, perhaps justly, by Pope Innocent I. who would not allow St. Paul to have ever been in Spain[23]. Have we not an equal Right to question, or even to deny, St. Peter’s having ever been at Rome? Are not the Authorities at least equal on both Sides? Why then must the Travels of one Apostle be looked upon as an Article of Faith, and those of the other be deemed fabulous?

No Mention in the
Scripture of St.
Peter’s having ever
been at Rome.
And truly, if we examine narrowly into this matter, the former Tradition will appear no less groundless to us, than the latter did to that Pope: for, in the first place, neither St. Peter himself, nor any of the Sacred Writers, give us the least Hint or Intimation of his having ever been at Rome. We are told of his being at Antioch, at Jerusalem, at Corinth, at Babylon[24]; but of the great Metropolis of the Empire, where he is supposed to have fixed his See, not the 4least Mention is made. And may we not from that Silence question, to say no more, his having ever been there? I know that by Babylon, from whence St. Peter wrote his first Epistle[25], Eusebius,[26] Jerom[27], the Venerable Bede[28], Oecumenius[29], and Grotius[30], understood Rome; but this is a bare Conjecture, and no better grounded than that of others, who thought that by Babylon was meant Jerusalem[31]. The learned Doctor Pearson, Bishop of Chester, seeing no Occasion here to recur to a figurative Sense, is of Opinion, that the above-mentioned Epistle was written not from Babylon in Chaldæa, which then lay in Ruins, but from Babylon in Egypt; and no Man has taken more Pains to make the World believe, that St. Peter preached at Rome, and founded that See[32]. But, in this Controversy, the Silence of St. Paul in particular, if duly attended to, must be thought, by every unbiassed Man, a far more convincing Proof of St. Peter’s not having been at Rome, than all the Authorities that have been yet alleged, are of his having been there. St. Paul, in the
many Letters he
wrote from Rome,
never mentions
St. Peter.For that Apostle, while at Rome, had frequent Opportunities of mentioning his fellow Apostle, and fellow Labourer; and yet, naming several others, he is quite silent as to him. From Rome he wrote to the Galatians, to the Ephesians, to the Philippians, to the Colossians, to Timothy, and to Philemon, without ever mentioning Peter, or sending any Salutation from him; nay, it is certain, that St. Peter was not at Rome when the Apostle of the Gentiles wrote to the Colossians; for, mentioning Tychicus, Onesimus, Aristarchus, Marcus, and Justus, he adds, These alone, my Fellow-workers unto the Kingdom of God, who have been a Comfort unto me[33]. Peter was not there, when St. Paul wrote his second Epistle to Timothy, where he says, At my first Answer no Man stood with me, but all Men forsook me[34]: nor was he there immediately before St. Paul’s Death, when the Time of his Departure was at hand; for he tells Timothy, that all the Brethren did salute him; and, naming Eubulus, Pudens, Linus, and Claudia[35], he omits Peter, whom we may thence conclude not to have been there. And yet it is a received Tradition in the Church of Rome, that St. Peter was then not only in that Metropolis, but confined and bound in the same Prison with St. Paul. As that Apostle, 5in writing from Rome, sends no Salutations from Peter, so in writing to Rome he greets many others, but never mentions him[36]. Now who would not sooner chuse to reject such Traditions, than to suppose St. Paul guilty of such an unfriendly and unaccountable Omission?

St. Peter, though at
Rome, not Bishop
of Rome.>
From what has been hitherto said, every impartial Judge must conclude, that it is, at least, very much to be doubted whether St. Peter was ever at Rome; but, allowing him to have been there, it still remains to be proved, that he was Bishop of that See. This the Sticklers for the Papal Authority spare no Pains to make out, being well apprised, that the Whole of their Cause lies here at stake; and yet I find nothing alleged by them in so material a Point, but a few misinterpreted Passages out of the Ecclesiastical Writers: for the right understanding of which it is to be observed, that such of the Antients as called Peter Bishop of Rome, and Rome the Place, the Chair, the See of Peter, meant no more than that he was Superintendent of that Church, that he founded it by converting Men to the Faith, and erected the Episcopal Chair, by appointing the first Bishops. That this was their true Meaning, is apparent from what we read in Ruffinus; who, having mentioned Linus, Cletus, and Clemens, as succeeding each other in the See of Rome, while Peter was still alive, thus accounts for their Episcopacy: They were, says he, appointed Bishops by Peter, to the end that, they taking upon them the Episcopal Charge, he might be at Leisure to discharge the Duties of his Apostolical Office. And this, he tells us, was not a Notion of his own, but the common Opinion[37]. Irenæus speaks to the same Purpose: The Apostles, says he, founding that Church, delivered the Episcopal Office into the Hands of Linus[38]. Hence the most antient Writers, who lived nearest the Fountain of Tradition, never stile St. Peter Bishop of Rome, but only say, that, by ordaining Bishops, he founded that Church[39]. In what sense
St. Peter and
St. Paul stiled
Bishops of
Rome.St. Peter therefore was not Bishop of Rome in the strict Sense, to which that Word is now confined, but in the more large Sense, of which I have taken notice above: and in that St. Paul has as good a Claim to the high-sounding Titles of Pope, Bishop of Rome, &c. as St. Peter, since, together with him, he is said to have founded that Church. The Popes indeed will not allow him that Honour, nor condescend to reckon 6him among their Predecessors; but Epiphanius and Eusebius have been more complaisant; of whom the former says, Peter and Paul were the first at Rome, both Bishops and Apostles[40]; and the latter speaking of the Succession of the Bishops of Rome, Alexander derived his Succession in the fifth Place from Peter and Paul[41]. Both therefore were Bishops of Rome, or neither; both in the Sense of the antient Writers, but neither in that, which is now annexed to the Word Bishop. The Duties of a
Bishop and an
Apostle incon-
sistent.And truly the Office of an Apostle, and that of a Bishop, as the Word is now understood, are incompatible. An Apostle, says Chrysostom[42], is charged with the Instruction not of any particular Nation or City, but of the whole World; but a Bishop must reside, says the same Writer[43], and be employed in one Place: and therefore St. Peter, who knew these two Duties to be inconsistent, if he was ever at Rome, committed there, as he did in other Places, the Episcopal Charge to others, and pursued his Apostolical Office, which required a more extensive Care.

Whether James the
Apostle was Bishop
of Jerusalem.
But St. James, say the Popish Writers, though an Apostle, was appointed Bishop of Jerusalem; and why might not St. Peter, though an Apostle, undertake the Episcopacy of Rome? It is surprising they should lay so much Stress as they do on this Objection, since they must know it to be grounded on an Uncertainty; as Eusebius the greatest Antiquary of former Times[44], Hegesippus the most antient Historian[45], Epiphanius[46], Jerom[47] Gregory of Nysse[48], Chrysostom[49], and many others, reckon James Bishop of Jerusalem, not among the Apostles, but the Seventy Disciples. Of the same Opinion among the Moderns, are Grotius[50], Dr. Hammond[51], Valesius[52], Blondel[53], and Salmasius[54]. The last of these saying, after his positive and confident manner, It is certain that he was not one of the Twelve, I may at least say, it is not certain that he was; and consequently the Objection can be of no considerable Weight. But allowing him to have been one of the Twelve, as some of the Antients seem to think[55], there was a special Reason, why one of the Apostles should be appointed to reside at Jerusalem, that City being the Metropolis, the Fountain, the Centre of the Christian Religion; our Faith had 7there had its Birth; the Church was there very numerous, consisting of many Thousands of believing Jews[56]; and thither resorted great Numbers of those of that Nation, who were converted to Christ in other Countries. On these Considerations it might seem expedient, that a Person of the greatest Authority should preside there. But there was no special Reason why an Apostle should constantly reside at any other Place, nor does it appear that any did: St. Peter especially could not reside at any one Place, since to him, as the Apostle of the Circumcision, was committed the Charge of converting the dispersed Jews in all Parts of the World.

What meant by
the Apostolic See,
Chair, Throne, &c.
As for the Appellations of the Apostolic See, Chair, Throne, &c. given by the Antients to the See of Rome, they import no more than that it was erected by an Apostle; for they are bestowed indiscriminately on all the Sees, in which Bishops had been placed by the Apostles; viz. of Ephesus[57], of Smyrna[58], of Alexandria[59], of Corinth, Thessalonica, Philippi[59], &c. The Title of Apostolic See, common to many, was, in Process of Time, by the Ambition of the Bishops of Rome, appropriated to their own. They had, as they thought, till the Year 1662. a pregnant Proof not only of St. Peter’s erecting their Chair, but of his sitting in it himself; for till that Year, the very Chair, on which they believed, or would make others believe, he had sat, was shewn and exposed to public Adoration on the 18th of January, the Festival of the said Chair. But while it was cleaning, in order to be set up in some conspicuous Place of the Vatican, the Twelve Labours of Hercules unluckily appeared engraved on it. Our Worship however, says Giacomo Bartolini, who was present at this Discovery, and relates it, was not misplaced, since it was not to the Wood we paid it; but to the Prince of the Apostles St. Peter[60]. An Author of no mean Character, unwilling to give up the holy Chair, even after this Discovery, as having a Place and a peculiar Solemnity among the other Saints, has attempted to explain the Labours of Hercules in a mystical Sense, as Emblems representing the future Exploits of the Popes[61]. But the ridiculous and distorted Conceits of that Writer are not worthy our Notice, tho’ by Clement X. they were judged not unworthy of a Reward.

St. Peter how, or
by whom, placed
in the See of Rome.
8But to return to our Subject; it may be inquired, If St. Peter was Bishop of Rome, who placed him in that See? Did our Lord appoint him? Did the Apostles name him? Did the People chuse him? Did he assume it himself? To these Queries no Answers have been yet given, but such as are so ridiculously weak, that it is not worth my while to relate them, nor the Reader’s to hear them. Bellarmine, in one Place, positively affirms, that God commanded St. Peter to fix his See at Rome[62]; but elsewhere contents himself with saying, It is not improbable that God commanded St. Peter to fix his See at Rome[63]. Is it is no more than not improbable, it is uncertain; it may be a mere Conjecture, a Dream.

Other Bishops of
Rome appointed
by St. Peter.
St. Peter, either alone, or jointly with St. Paul, as we read in Irenæus, and in the Apostolical Constitutions[64], appointed other Bishops of Rome. Now, when he appointed others, did he resign his Episcopacy, or retain it? If he resigned it, he did not die Bishop of Rome; which shakes the very Foundation of the Pope’s Claim to Supremacy: if he retained it, there were Two Bishops on the same See at one time; which Pope Innocent I. in his Epistle to the Clergy and People of Constantinople, condemned as an Irregularity never known till his Time[65]: he did not, it seems, recollect that it had been practised by his Predecessor Pope Peter. Theodoret tells us, in his Ecclesiastical History, that when the Emperor Constantius would have had Felix to sit in the See of Rome, together with Liberius, upon the Return of the latter from Banishment, the People of Rome would not content to it, crying out, One God, one Christ, one Bishop. Felix died soon after, and upon his Death Theodoret makes the following Remark: It was, says he, a special Providence, that Peter’s Throne might not suffer Infamy, being held by Two Prelates[66]. He did not consider, or rather did not believe, that it had been held by St. Peter and St. Paul, by St. Pater and by Linus.

St. Peter Bishop at
Rome, not of Rome.
To conclude, St. Peter was perhaps Bishop at Rome, not of Rome[N2]. He was Bishop at Rome, if he ever was there, being, in virtue of his Apostleship, impowered to discharge, at Rome, and every-where else, all Episcopal Functions; but was not specially Bishop of Rome, or any other Place; that is, he did not take upon him the Charge of 9any particular Bishop, the Administration of any particular Bishoprick, that being inconsistent both with the Dignity and Office of an Apostle, or universal Bishop.

N2. ‘Tis a Distinction made by a Pope, King in Etruria, not of Etruria.

Otho, LINUS,
First Bishop of Rome. Vitellius,
Year of Christ 66.
Linus, and not
Clemens, the Bishop
of Rome.
There is a great Disagreement among the Antients about the first Bishops of Rome: Tertullian makes Clement, whom he supposes to have been ordained by St. Peter, the immediate Successor of that Apostle[67]. He was followed therein by Ruffinus[68], and Ruffinus by the Latins in general; among whom that Opinion universally prevailed towards the End of the Fourth Century. But Jerom, rejecting the Opinion of the Latins, places Linus immediately after the Apostles, Anacletus next to him, and Clement in the third Place[69]. His Opinion is supported by the Authority of Irenæus[70], Eusebius[71], Theodoret[72], and likewise of Epiphanius[73], Optatus Milevitanus[74], and St. Augustin[75], with this Difference, that Epiphanius gives the Name of Cletus to the Successor of Linus, and both Optatus and St. Augustin place him after Clement; but in this they all agree, that Linus was the first, after the Apostles, who governed the Church of Rome. To the Authority of these Writers I may add that of the Apostolic Constitutions, telling us, in express Terms, that Linus was ordained Bishop of Rome by St. Paul[76]. Whether Clement
appointed by St.
Peter to succeed him.As to what we read in Tertullian and Ruffinus, viz. that Clement was ordained by St. Peter, and named to succeed him; Dr. Hammond answers, That Clement governed with Episcopal Power and Jurisdiction the converted Jews, while Linus and Anacletus governed, with the same Power, the converted Gentiles. He adds, That, upon the Death of Anacletus, both Churches were united under him[77]. Thus he strives to reconcile the Opinion of the Latins, placing Clement immediately after the Apostles, with that of the Greeks, allowing him only 10the third Place: for, granting what he advances to be true, and Reasons are not wanting to support it, Clement was, agreeably to the Opinion of the Latins, the immediate Successor of the Apostles, with respect to the Jews; but, with respect to the Gentiles, he succeeded Anacletus, agreeably to the Opinion of the Greeks[78]. This Answer Cotelerius applauds as an ingenious, learned, and probable Solution; but, at the same time, rejects it as contradicting, in his Opinion, the Apostolic Constitutions, and not supported by the Authority of any antient Writer[79]. The learned Dr. Pearson will admit no Opinion that supposes Two Bishops to have presided together in one City[80], that being an Irregularity, according to St. Cyprian[81], contrary to the Ecclesiastic Disposition, contrary to the Evangelic Law, contrary to the Rules of the Catholic Institution, and condemned as such by the Council of Nice[82]. It is very much to be doubted, as I have shewn above, whether St. Peter ever was at Rome, and consequently whether Clement was ordained, by him, Bishop of that City. His not succeeding him is a Proof, that he was not; for who can imagine, that the People and Clergy of those Days would have thought of chusing any other, or that any other, though chosen, would have accepted of a Dignity, to which Clement had been named by St. Peter himself, and which he was actually possessed of at the Apostle’s Death? Be that as it will, Linus is now universally acknowleged both by the Greeks and Latins for the first Bishop of Rome.

As for the Life and Actions of Linus, all I can find in the Antients concerning him, is, that it was he whom St. Paul mentioned in his Epistle to Timothy[83]; that, upon the Authority of the Apostolic Constitutions, he was supposed, by some, to have been the Son of Claudia, whom the Apostle mentions in the same Place[84]; and that his Life and Conversation were much approved of by the People[85]. Linus no Martyr,
tho’ placed among
the Martyrs.The Church of Rome allows him, in the Canon of the Mass, a Place among the Martyrs; but no mention is made of his having suffered for the Faith, either in the antient Martyrologies, or in Irenæus, who, speaking of him, and his immediate Successors, distinguishes none but Telesphorus with the Title of Martyr. Baronius, determined to maintain, right or wrong, the Credit of the sacred 11Canon, in Opposition to all the Antients, nay, and to his own System, cuts off one Year from the Pontificate of Linus, that he may place his Death under Vespasian, and not, as Eusebius has done[86], under Titus, in whose Reign he owns none to have suffered for the Faith[87]. Had he remembered what he must have read in Tertullian and Eusebius, he had saved himself that Trouble: for Tertullian assures us, that Vespasian made no Laws against the Christians[88]; and Eusebius, that he did not molest them, though he caused a diligent Search to be made after those who were of the Race of David, which occasioned a dreadful Persecution against the Jews[89]. Linus governed the Church of Rome, according to Eusebius[90] and Epiphanius[91], Twelve Years; so that, if we place, with them, the Death of St. Peter in 66. Linus must have died in the Year 78. of the Christian Æra. Books ascribed to him.We have, under the Name of Linus, Two Books of the Martyrdom of St. Peter and St. Paul[92]; but they are generally looked upon as supposititious[93]. Trithemius makes him the Author of the Life of St. Peter, in which a particular Account was given of the Dispute between that Apostle, and Simon the Magician. This Piece has not reached our Times, and was perhaps of the same Stamp with the other, since it is never mentioned either by Eusebius, or St. Jerom. The Decrees, that are ascribed to him, are no-where to be found, but in Anastasius Bibliothecarius, and such-like Writers, whose Authority is of no Weight in Matters so distant, unless supported by the Testimony of the Antients.

Second Bishop of Rome. Domitian.
Year of Christ 78.
Linus was succeeded by Cletus, or Anacletus, whom the Greeks constantly style Anencletus, that is, Irreprehensible. An Opinion has long obtained in the Church of Rome, distinguishing Cletus and Anacletus as Two Popes, nay, as Two Saints; the 12Festival of the one being kept on the 26th of April, and that of the other on the 23d of July[94]. Cletus and Ana-
cletus not two,
but one Pope.But this Distinction is now given up by the most learned Men of that Church, not only as groundless, but as plainly contradicting the most celebrated Writers of Antiquity, Irenæus, Eusebius, and St. Jerom, to whom we may add Caius, a Priest of Rome, who, writing in the Beginning of the Third Century, reckoned Victor the Thirteenth Bishop of that City[95]. Baronius, however, spares no Pains to keep up that Distinction; but alleges nothing to countenance it, except the Poem against Marcion, ascribed to Tertullian, the Pontifical of Anastasius, and some Martyrologies[96]. Who was the Author of that Poem is not well known, but all agree, that it was not written by Tertullian[97]. Besides, the Author, whoever he was, places both Cletus and Anacletus before Clement; which Baronius condemns as a gross Mistake. As for the Pontifical, the Annalist often finds fault with it; and complains, in this very Place, that Anastasius’s whole Chronology is overcast with an impenetrable Mist[98]. The Martyrologies he quotes are of too modern a Date to deserve any Regard, since none of them were heard of before the Ninth Century[99]. How they were
first disting-
uished.But how, says Baronius, was this Distinction first introduced? We may, perhaps, account for it thus: Irenæus, with all the Greeks, and St. Jerom, among the Latins, place Anacletus, as we have observed above, before Clement; whereas St. Austin and Optatus Milevitanus place him after. This, and his being called Cletus by Epiphanius, and in several Copies of Ruffinus, might induce some to imagine, that as the Names and Places were different, so were the Persons. Thus, as we conjecture, of one Pope Two Popes were made, Two Saints, and Two Martyrs; for, in the Canon of the Mass, he has a Place with Linus among the Martyrs; though neither was acknowleged for such by Irenæus, or any of the Antients; nay, Anacletus is said, in some Pontificals, to have died in Peace, that is, according to the Phrase of those Days, of a natural Death[100]. Bollandus, after having much laboured, but laboured in vain, to maintain the Distinction between Cletus and Anacletus, yields at last, and gives up the Point. But yet, unwilling to make the least Alteration in the Catalogue of the Popes, which places, with the Approbation of the Holy See, Clement between Cletus 13and Anacletus, he strives to save it with a new and pretty extraordinary Invention; for he pretends Anacletus or Cletus to have resigned the Chair to Clement, and Clement, in his Turn, to have yielded it to him again. Thus, according to him, though Cletus and Anacletus are one and the same Person, yet no Fault is to be found with the Catalogue; and Clement is rightly placed both after and before him[101]. This is a Speculation of his own, altogether groundless, and therefore not worthy of a Place here, were it not to shew what low Shifts and Subterfuges even Men of Parts, in the Church of Rome, chuse to submit to, rather than to yield to Reason, in Points that seem to derogate from the Authority of that See. Anacletus governed the Church Twelve Years, according to Eusebius[102]; to which some add Two Months, some Three, and some only one; so that he must have died in the Year 91. He is supposed to have been buried next to St. Peter, in the Vatican, where his supposed Body is shewn, and worshiped to this Day[103]. Decretals ascribed
to him.We find, in the Collection of Isidorus Mercator, Three Decretals, under the Name of Cletus; but such Decretals as are anterior to the Pontificate of Pope Syricius, who was elected in the Year 384 are now universally looked upon as bare-faced Forgeries[104][N3].

N3. All the decretal Epistles of the Popes, before Syricius, are so filled with Absurdities, Contradictions, Anachronisms, &c. that they are now given up, even by the most sanguine Advocates for the Papal Supremacy. And yet these very Decretals, absurd as they are, and inconsistent with themselves, as well as with all the genuine Writings of those Times, whether sacred or profane, were, for several Ages, the main Stays of the whole Fabric of the Papal Power. By them that Power was established; by them it was supported; for, in the Days of Ignorance, they were universally received as the genuine Writings of the antient Bishops of Rome, in whose Names they were published. And, truly, were we to rank them, as they were ranked in the monkish and ignorant Ages, with the Decisions of the Oecumenical Councils, and the Canonical Books of the Scripture, no room would be left to question any Branch of the unlimited Power claimed by the Popes. They were held in the greatest Esteem and Veneration from the Beginning of the 9th Century to the Time of the Reformation, when, upon the first Dawn of Learning, the Cheat was discovered, and the Stays removed, which till then had supported the unwieldy Edifice. But it was then in a Condition to stand by itself, at least till new Frauds were devised to prop it up; and this was accordingly done, without Loss of Time.

The Decretals of the first Popes are quoted by Bellarmine, to prove, that the Supremacy of the Bishops of Rome was universally acknowleged in the earliest Times[1]: but, at the same time, he owns, that he dares not affirm them to be of undoubted Authority. And what can be more absurd than to quote a Forgery, or what he himself owns may be a Forgery, in Vindication of so darling a Point as the Supremacy? But he did it for want of better Evidences, and must therefore be excused. Baronius, ashamed to lay any Stress on such gross and palpable Forgeries, contents himself with only saying, that the Popes had no hand in forging them; and that they never made use of their Authority to support their own. That they were concerned in, or privy to, the forging of those Letters, I dare not affirm: but that they countenanced them, as they did all other Forgeries tending to the Advancement of their See; that they received them as genuine, and endeavoured to impose them upon others; nay, that they made use of them soon after their first Appearance in the World, to establish and promote the Authority of their See; are undoubted Matters of Fact: witness the Letter, which Nicolas I. wrote, in the Year 865. to Hincmarus Archbishop of Rheims, and to the other Bishops of France, who, refusing to comply with some exorbitant Demands of the Pope, had rejected the Decretals, on which those Demands were founded, as Writings that had been lately counterfeited. Nicolas, in his Answer to them, maintains the Authenticity of those Letters, exhorts all, who profess the Catholic Faith, to receive them with due Veneration, and claims, in virtue of such sacred and authentic Writings, an uncontrouled Authority over all the Churches of the World, as lodged from the Beginning in his See[2]. And was not this making use of the supposed Authority of those Decretals to promote his own? Nicolas seems to have believed the Letters to be genuine: and, if he did, he was certainly mistaken, and erred in proposing, as he does, spurious Pieces for a firm and strong Foundation of our Belief, as well as our Practice. If he did not believe them to be genuine, and yet endeavoured to persuade the Bishops of France that they were so; nay, and claimed, upon the Authority of such Pieces, a Power over them, and their Churches; a worse Epithet would suit him better than that of fallible, which is common to all Men.

The first who published these Decretals was, according to Hincmarus, Riculphus Bishop of Mentz, who was supposed to have brought them from Spain; because the Name of Isidore was prefixed to the Collection, and a famous Writer of that Name, viz. Isidore Bishop of Seville, had flourished in Spain some Centuries before. But such a mean and scandalous Undertaking is altogether unworthy of so great a Prelate; and besides the Author of the supposed Decretals has copied, verbatim, some Passages from the Council of Toledo in 675. and from the Sixth Council in 681. whereas Isidore of Seville died in 636. The learned Ellies du Pin lays this Forgery at the Door of some German or Frenchman, the Letters being all written in the Style of the Germans and French, of the 9th Century, and many of them addressed to Persons of these two Nations. Hincmarus was mistaken, in supposing the forged Decretals to have been first published by Riculphus of Mentz; for in some of them are found Fragments of the Council held at Paris in 829. and he died in 814. They were first ushered into the World, and forged too, in all likelihood, by one Benedict, Deacon of the Church of Mentz, though, in his Preface to that Collection, he would fain make us believe, that Autcarius, the Successor of Riculphus, found them in the Archives of that Church, and that they had been placed there by Riculphus, who had brought them from Spain. Autcarius, in whose Time Benedict published his Collection, is thought to have been privy to the Imposture. The Name of Isidore, which was then very common in Spain, was prefixed to it, to persuade the World, that the Decretals were brought from that Country, and not forged at Mentz, where they first appeared. However, they were suspected by some, even in that dark Age, and absolutely rejected by Hincmarus of Rheims, as Writings of no Authority. But the Popes, whose Pretensions they were calculated to favour, exerting all their Authority to bring them into Repute, they were in the End universally received, and inserted into all the Collections of Canons. At present they are so universally exploded, that there is not a single Writer, no, not even in the Church of Rome, who is not ashamed to patronize or defend them. But the Work is done, for which they were intended; and now that the Edifice can stand by itself, no matter what becomes of the Stays that supported it, when it could not. These Decretals may be justly looked upon as a standing Monument of the Ignorance, Superstition, and Credulity, that universally prevailed in the Church, from the Beginning of the Ninth Century to the Time of the Reformation. I shall conclude with observing, that, from these Decretals, Anastasius the Bibliothecarian, and after him Platina, have chiefly copied what they relate of the first Popes, supposing them to have really done what, in those spurious Pieces, they are said to have done.

1. Bell. de Rom. Pont. l. 2. c. 14.

2. Nic. I. ep. 42.

Third Bishop of Rome. Trajan.
Year of Christ 91.
Clement mentioned
by St. Paul.
Clement, the Successor of Anacletus, is, according to Origen[105], Eusebius[106], and all the Antients, the Person whom St. Paul, in his Epistle to the Philippians[107], names among those who had laboured with him in the Gospel, and whose Names were in the 15Book of Life. Hence Chrysostom concludes, that, together with St. Luke and Timothy, he attended the Apostle of the Gentiles in all his journeys[108]. Irenæus assures us, that he had not only seen the Apostles, and conversed with them; but that, when he was appointed Bishop of Rome, he still heard their Voices sounding in his Ears, still had before his Eyes the Rules and good Example they had given him[109]. Origen styles him the Disciple of the Apostles[110]; Ruffinus, almost an Apostle[111]; and Clement of Alexandria, an Apostle[112]. That he was well versed in every Branch of Learning, especially in polite Literature, descended of a Senatorian Family, and nearly related to the Cæsars, is what we read in Eucherius[113] and Nilus[114], who seem to have followed therein the Recognitions, a Book of no Authority. Some confound
him with Flav-
ius Clemens.Eucherius perhaps confounded, as others have done, Pope Clement with Flavius Clemens, who was Son to Flavius Sabinus, the only Brother of Vespasian, and suffered Death for the Christian Religion in the Persecution of Domitian[115]; for Pope Clement was, as himself seems to insinuate, rather of the Race of Jacob than of the Cæsars[116]. Chosen Bishop
of Rome.Upon the Death of Anacletus he was unanimously chosen by the People and Clergy of Rome to succeed him. He had been named, say some, to that Dignity by St. Peter himself, preferably 16to Linus and Anacletus[117]; but had declined it, finding that the Faithful were not all equally disposed to submit to the Judgment and Authority of St. Peter. He therefore withdrew; and, as he was of a mild and pacific Disposition, led a retired Life to the Death of Anacletus, when he was forced to accept of the Dignity, which he had before declined. Thus Ruffinus, upon the Authority of the Recognitions; which appears to me, I must own, a very improbable Tale. During his Pontificate happened an impious and detestable Division, to use his own Terms, among the Christians of Corinth, which obliged them to have recourse to other Churches, especially to that of Rome; His famous Epistle
to the Corinthians.and on this occasion was written that famous Epistle to the Corinthians, so much magnified by the Antients and publicly read, not only in the Church of Corinth, as Dionysius assures us, who was Bishop of that City in 180, but in many other Churches, to the Time of Eusebius, and St. Jerom[118], and perhaps long after. It was by some ranked among the Canonical Books of the Scripture, and by all reverenced next to them[119]. It was written in the Name of the whole Church of Rome, and to the whole Church it is, in express Terms, ascribed by Irenæus[120], and Clement of Alexandria, who calls it the Epistle of the Romans to the Corinthians[121]. However, it was composed by Clement, in the Name of the Church; for, in the primitive Times, Bishops did nothing by themselves, but every thing jointly with their Churches: We advise, We exhort, We recommend, &c. was their usual Style; which the Popes still observe, though they mean only themselves; for they scorn to join either with the People or Clergy. The Style of this excellent Letter is plain, clear, full of Energy, without any useless Ornaments; and the Whole written with the Simplicity, as Photius observes[122], that the Church requires in Ecclesiastical Writers. There is so great an Affinity, both as to the Sense and the Words, between this Epistle, and the Epistle to the Hebrews, that some have concluded Clement to have been the Translator, nay, and the Author of that Epistle[123]. Unjustly criticized
by Photius.In Clement’s Epistle Photius discovers, as he thinks, Three Faults; viz. that he supposes other Worlds beyond the Ocean; that he speaks of the Phœnix as a real Bird; and that he uses Words expressing the Humanity of our Saviour, and not his Divinity. But, as 17to the first of these Objections, there can be no Difficulty now, that we know for certain what was but doubtfully advanced by the Antients: in speaking of the Phœnix he complies with the Opinion universally received in those Days by the Learned, both among the Christians and Pagans. As to the Third Objection, Photius must not have observed, that he styles our Saviour’s Sufferings, the Sufferings of God, which was acknowleging his Divinity. Thought lost, but
appears again.This Epistle, the most precious and valuable Treasure the Church can boast, after the holy Scriptures, was for many Ages bewailed as lost; but, in 1633. it was again restored to the Christian World, by Patricius Junius, a North Briton, who published it from a Manuscript, written by an Egyptian Lady, named Thecla, about the Time of the great Council of Nice, and afterwards brought over into England[124]. That this Piece is genuine, appears from a great many Passages quoted out of it by the Antients.

The most remarkable Event that happened in the Pontificate of Clement, was the Persecution of Domitian; but what Part he bore in it we can learn from no credible Author. Clement dies.He died, according to Eusebius[125], in the Third Year of Trajan’s Reign, that is, in the 100th of the Christian Æra. In the Canon of the Mass he has a Place, with his Two Predecessors, among the Martyrs; but Telesphorus, the Seventh Bishop of Rome, is the first, as I have observed above, who was acknowleged as such by Irenæus, whose Authority is of far greater Weight than that of Ruffinus, or Pope Zosimus, who suppose him to have died for the Confession of the Faith[126]. His fabulous Acts.In the Acts of Clement, to which Gregory of Tours gave an intire Credit[127], and after him many others, especially the Two credulous Annalists, Baronius[128], and Alford[129] in his Annals of the British Church, we read, that Clement was banished, by Trajan, into the Chersonesus, beyond the Euxine Sea; that there he caused a Fountain to spring up miraculously, for the Relief of the Christians confined to the same unhospitable Region; that he converted the whole Country to the Faith, which provoked the Emperor to such a degree, that he ordered him to be thrown into the Sea, with an Anchor fastened to his Neck. It is added, that, on the Anniversary of his Death, the Sea retired to the Place where he had been drowned, though Three long Miles 18from the Shore; that upon its retiring, there appeared a most magnificent Temple, all of the finest Marble; and in the Temple a stately Monument, in which was found the Body of the Saint; that the Sea continued thus retiring every Year on the same Day, not daring, for the Space of Seven Days, to return to its usual Bounds, that the Christians might, at their Leisure, and without Apprehension of Danger, perform their Devotions in Honour of the Saint. The Miracles he
wrought, unknown
to Irenæus.To crown the Whole, they add, that, one Year, a Mother having heedlessly left her young Child in the Temple, upon her Return, next Year, she found it not only alive, but in perfect Health[130]. No Mention is made of such stupendous Miracles by Irenæus, who was brought up under Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna, in Asia, at the very Time Clement is supposed to have suffered, and who speaks of him at Length. His Silence is a plain Demonstration, that they were unknown to him; and they must have been known, had they been true.

Other Writings
ascribed to Clement.
A second Letter to
the Corinthians.
Five other Letters.
Besides the Letter to the Corinthians, of which I have spoken above, several other Pieces are ascribed to Clement; viz. a second Letter to the Corinthians; which is, without all Doubt, very antient; but Eusebius doubts whether it was written by Clement[131]; and both St. Jerom[132], and Photius[133], absolutely reject it. Five other Letters, placed among the Decretals, whereof the first, more antient than the rest, was translated by Ruffinus, and is quoted by the Council of Vaison, held in 442[134]. However, it is generally looked upon as a spurious Piece; for the Author of it, whoever he was, acquaints St. James, Bishop of Jerusalem, who died long before St. Peter, with St. Peter’s Death[135]. His Itinerary.Clement’s Itinerary, which, in Photius’s Time, was prefixed, by way of Preface, to the Recognitions[136]. The Recognitions, relating, under the Name of Clement, the Actions of St. Peter, his Interview with Simon the Magician, how Clement himself knew again his Father and his Brothers, whom he had forgot; The Recognitions.whence the whole Work took the Name of Recognitions, that is, of knowing again: it is likewise called the Itinerary of St. Peter, the Acts of St. Peter, the Acts of St. Clement[137]. The Recognitions are quoted by Origen[138], Epiphanius[139], and Ruffinus[140], as the Work of Clement, but these Writers, at the same time, own them to have been altered 19in several Places, and falsified by the Heretics; nay, Epiphanius tells us, that the Ebionites scarce left any thing found in them[141]. The Author was well versed in Philosophy, Mathematics, Astrology, and most other Sciences, but not so well acquainted with the Doctrine of the Church; whence his Work is absolutely rejected by Athanasius[142]; and now generally looked upon as a Piece falsely ascribed to Clement. St. Peter’s Dia-
logues with Apion.St. Peter’s Dialogues with Apion were probably written in the Third Century, and to gain Credit fathered upon Clement; for Eusebius writes, that there had lately appeared a long Work, under the Name of Clement, containing Dialogues between St. Peter and Apion[143]. The Apostolic
Constitutions.As to the Apostolic Constitutions, if that Work is different from the Doctrine of the Apostles mentioned by Athanasius and Eusebius; Epiphanius is the first who speaks of it: it appears at least, from Dionysius of Alexandria, that, in the Year 250. the Constitutions either had not yet appeared, or were of no Repute in the Church[144]. Epiphanius tells us, that many suspected them; but, as for himself, he received them, since he found nothing in them repugnant to the Faith, or the Discipline of the Church[145]. But as be quotes several Passages out of them, which are not to be found now, we may well conclude, that, since his Time, they have been either altered or curtailed. The Greeks indeed, in the Second Canon of the Council, that, in 692. was held at Constantinople, in a Tower of the Imperial Palace, called Trullus, that is, the Cupola, declare, that they had been falsified, in several Places, by the Heretics. Photius thinks that, with respect to the Style, they fall short of the Recognitions, but far excel them in the Purity of the Doctrine, adding, at the same time, that it is no easy Task to clear them from the Imputation of Arianism[146]. Dr. Pearson takes them to be a Collection of several Pieces, published in the earliest Times, under the Name of the Apostles, and containing, as was pretended, the Instructions they had given[147]. Albaspinæus, Bishop of Orange, thinks the Matter they contain excellent, and the Whole agreeable to the Discipline observed by the Greek Church, during the Four first Centuries; bur nevertheless he looks upon them only as a Collection of the different Customs, that were established, by degrees, in the Church, and some of which were disputed even in the Fourth Century[148]; so 20that they can by no means be ascribed either to the Apostles, or to Clement. The Canons of
the Apostles.The Constitutions end with 85 Canons, long known by the Title of The Canons of the Apostles; but, as they contain several things that were not received in the Apostles Time, nor in Clement’s, the ablest Critics are of Opinion, that they likewise are but a Collection of several Decrees made in the first Ages of the Church, and that they were not collected into one Body till the Third Century[149]. I don’t find them quoted before the Council of Constantinople in 394. The Greeks, in the Council of the Year 692. mentioned above, bound themselves to the Observance of them; but they are all rejected by Pope Gelasius: however, Dionysius Exiguus having, not long after, placed the first Fifty at the Head of his Collection, they were received by degrees; but the other Thirty-five have not been admitted to this Day.

Upon the Whole, of the many Writings ascribed to Clement, the first Letter to the Corinthians is the only one undoubtedly his: and what a wide Difference appears, as to the Spirit and Style, between that excellent Piece, and the Briefs, Bulls, Mandates, &c. of his Successors: He does not command, but exhorts; he does not threaten, but intreats; he does not thunder Anathema’s and Excommunications, but employs the most mild and gentle Persuasives, even with the Authors of the Schism. Clement’s Infal-
libility unknown to
him, and to the
Corinthians.Had he known himself to be the infallible and unerring Judge of Controversies, from whose Tribunal lay no Appeal; had the Corinthians believed themselves bound, on Pain of Damnation, to submit to his Decisions; there had been no Room for Reasons, Arguments, and Persuasives; he ought to have exerted the Power, with which he was vested, and put an End to all Disputes, in the peremptory Style of his Successors, We declare, and command all Men to comply with this our Declaration, on pain of incurring the Indignation of the Almighty; and, as if that were not enough, of his blessed Apostles Peter and Paul. But it was not till some Ages after, that the Popes found out their Infallibility, or rather their flattering Divines found it out for them; so that this invaluable Privilege lying dormant, Men were obliged, for a long time, to make use of their Reason, in deciding religious Controversies.

Fourth Bishop of Rome.
Year of Christ 100.
Clement was succeeded by Evaristus, Evaristes, or Aristus, as he is called in the most antient Catalogue of the Popes[150], in the Third Year of Trajan’s Reign, that is, in the Close of the First Century of the Christian Æra. Evaristus governs
Nine Years.He governed about Nine Years, that is, to the Twelfth Year of Trajan, and the 109th of Christ[151]. Eusebius, in his Chronicle, supposes him to have died in the Year 107[152]; and, in his History, says, that his Death happened about the Year 109[153]: but, in the Series and Succession of the Popes, that Writer is every-where consistent with himself in his History, and quite otherwise in his Chronicle. Several things as-
cribed to him, without
sufficient Foundation.Besides, the History ought to correct the Chronicle, as being posterior to it. To Evaristus are ascribed Two Decretals, the Distribution of the Titles or Parishes of Rome, on which Baronius makes a long Descant[154], and an Order, that Bishops, when they preached, should be always attended by Seven Deacons[155]. But these, and many other things of the same Nature, we read only in Baronius, Platina, Anastasius, Ciaconius, &c. and my Design is, as I have declared in the Preface, to follow the Antients alone, in the History of the antient Popes; and therefore I shall take no notice of what the Moderns advance, unless I find it supported by the Authority of the original Writers.

Fifth Bishop of Rome. Adrian.
Year of Christ 109.
Sixtus is placed, by Optatus Milevitanus[156], immediately after Evaristus; but that is certainly a Mistake, owing, in all likelihood, to those who transcribed him, since Irenæus[157], Eusebius[158], Epiphanius[159], and even St. Augustin[160], who follows Optatus in every thing else relating to the Popes, place Alexander between Evaristus and Sixtus. Irenæus reckons Alexander the Fifth Bishop of Rome; so 22that we agree with the most authentic and unexceptionable Writer of Antiquity in excluding St. Peter, and supposing Cletus and Anacletus to be one and the same Person[161]. Alexander governed Ten Years, and some Months; and died in the Third Year of Adrian, and 119 of Christ[162]. Alexander not
a Martyr.We can learn nothing of the Antients concerning him: he is worshiped indeed by the Church of Rome as a Martyr; but that Title is not given him by Irenæus: and as for the Venerable Bede, who ranks him among the Martyrs, he was led into that Mistake by The Acts of St. Alexander, which, in the Opinion of Dr. Pearson, were composed in the Seventh Century, but are now universally rejected as fabulous. The Institution of
Holy Water falsly
ascribed to him.Platina ascribes to Pope Alexander the Institution of Holy Water[163], which Baronius takes very much amiss of him, since he thereby robs the Apostles of an Honour due to them; for by the Apostles, in his Opinion, was first introduced the Use of Holy Water[164]. But if we trace up this Holy Water to the Fountain-head, we shall find that it arises from an unhallowed Spring, from the Lustral Water of the Pagans; for peace being restored to the Church by Constantine, the Christians began, as a modern Writer well observes[165], to adopt the Ceremonies of the Gentiles. Several Cities in Italy, France, Germany, Spain, &c. pretend to have Reliques of this Pope, insomuch that, were they all put together, they would form at least twenty intire Bodies[166].

Adrian. SIXTUS,,
Sixth Bishop of Rome.
Year of Christ 119.
The Successor of Alexander is named Sixtus by Optatus[167], and St. Augustin[168]; but by Irenæus[169], Eusebius[170], Epiphanius[171], and Jerom[172], Xystus: which Word has some Signification annexed to it in Greek; whereas Sixtus has none either in Greek or Latin. He presided Ten Years according to Eusebius[173], but not complete; for he was raised to the See in the Third Year of Adrian, of Christ 119. and died in the Twelfth Year of the same Prince, about the latter End 23of the Year of Christ 128[174]. He is ranked among the Martyrs in the Canon of the Mass, and in all the Martyrologies: but his immediate Successor is the first to whom that Title is given by Irenæus. Decretals falsly
ascribed to Sixtus.To Sixtus are ascribed two Decretals, but both forged in latter Ages, as plainly appears from De Marca, from Baluzius, and, above all, from the haughty Title of Universal Bishop, which Sixtus is made to assume in one of them: a Title, as F. Pagi is forced to confess, unknown to the Bishops of the primitive and best Times[175]. His Reliques. The Title of Universal would be better adapted to the Reliques of this Pope, than to his Episcopacy; for they are dispersed all over the Roman Catholic World: but Baillet himself looks upon them as false, and unworthy of the Worship that is paid to them, not excepting even those that were given by Clement X. to Cardinal De Retz, who caused them to be placed with great Solemnity in the Abbey of St. Michael in Lorrain[176].

Seventh Bishop of Rome. Antonius Pius.
Year of Christ 128.
Sixtus was succeeded by Telesphorus (or, as some style him, Thelesphorus), the Seventh Bishop of the See of Rome[177]. To him is ascribed, in some Editions of the Chronicle of Eusebius, the Institution of Lent[178]; but in none of the best Editions Mention is made of such an Institution, and scarce in any Manuscripts[179]. Baronius endeavours to prove, that this Fast was instituted by the Apostles, and that Telesphorus established it for ever by a Decree; but his Arguments are so weak, that he deserves rather to be pitied than answered. He introduces too early the Bishops of Rome issuing Decrees, and prescribing Laws to the whole Church. Telesphorus the first
Bishop of Rome
Martyr.Telesphorus was the first Bishop of Rome who suffered Death for the Christian Religion, seeing Irenæus distinguishes him with the Title of Martyr[180], which this Author gives to none of his Predecessors; but, as to the Particulars of his Death, the 24Antients have left us quite in the Dark. He suffered in the Eleventh Year of his Pontificate, the First of Antoninus Pius, and 139 of Christ[181].

Antoninus Pius. HYGINUS,,
Eighth Bishop of Rome.
Year of Christ 139.
Hyginus, the Successor of Telesphorus, governed the Church but Four Years, and those not complete; for, in 142. we find Pius already in that See[182]. The Two Heretics,
Valentine and
Cerdo, come to
Rome.In his Time the two famous Heretics, Valentine and Cerdo, came to Rome; the former from Egypt, and the latter from Syria, to display their new Doctrine in that great Metropolis. Hyginus no doubt opposed them with all the Zeal of a primitive Bishop; but, in spite of his Zeal, they gained a great many Proselytes to their heterodox Opinions[183]. His Infallibility, had it been then known and believed, would have soon put a Stop to the growing Evil. The Church of Rome honours Hyginus among her Martyrs; but none of the Antients give him that Title. To him is ascribed the Use of Godfathers and Godmothers in Baptism, and the Ceremony of Consecrating Churches; but upon no better Grounds than the Two Decretals are fathered upon him, which are, by all the Learned, rejected as spurious. Hyginus died in the Year 142. the Fourth or Fifth of Antoninus Pius; and is supposed to have been buried near St. Peter[184].

Antoninus Pius. PIUS,
Ninth Bishop of Rome.
Year of Christ 142.
Anicetus is placed next to Hyginus by Optatus[185], St. Augustin[186], and Epiphanius[187]: But who would not, with Eusebius[188], rather follow Irenæus[189], and Hegesippus[190], naming Pius immediately after Hyginus, since the former wrote in the Time of Eleutherius the Second 25Bishop after Anicetus; and the latter lived at Rome in the Time of Anicetus, and continued there till the Pontificate of Eleutherius.

Marcion comes to
In the Time of Pius, Marcion, a Native of Pontus, and the Son of a Bishop of the holy Catholic Church, says Epiphanius[191], being excommunicated by his Father for debauching a Virgin, and finding he could by no means prevail upon the venerable Prelate to receive him again into the Church, abandoned his native City, supposed to be Sinope, and fled to Rome. Upon his Arrival there, he applied to the Elders of that Church, intreating them to admit him to their Communion. But those holy Men, who had been taught by the Disciples of the Apostles, instead of complying with his Request, returned him this Answer; The Power of
receiving Appeals
disowned by the
Church of Rome.We cannot admit you without Leave from your holy Father; nor can we, as we are all united in the same Faith, and the same Sentiments, undo what our holy Collegue your Father has done.–Thus Epiphanius[192]. Had Bellarmine lived in those Days, he had taught them another Doctrine, a Doctrine which, however necessary, the Apostles had forgot to deliver to their Disciples; viz. That the See of Rome was raised above all other Sees; that the Appeals of the whole Catholic Church were to be brought to it; that no Appeals were to be made from it; that it was to judge of the whole Church, but be judged by none. Marcion did not apply to Pius, as the Reader must have observed, or at least did not apply to him alone, but to the Elders, who disclaimed all Power of reversing the Sentence of a particular Bishop or Judge. And is not this an evident and incontestable Proof that the Power of receiving Appeals was not known, or thought of, in those Days? And yet, who would believe it? Bellarmine has the Assurance to allege this very Case as an Argument to prove in the Pope a Power of receiving Appeals[193]. But what would become of this Prerogative, should the Pope return the same Answer to every Appellant?

Pius no Martyr.
Pius governed the Church for the Space of Fifteen Years, and died in 157. the Twentieth of Antoninus[194]. The Roman Martyrology tells us, that he was martyred in the Persecution of Antoninus Pius; but in that Prince’s Reign there was no Persecution; nor is the Title of Martyr given him by Irenæus. Writings ascribed
to him.Baronius ascribes to this Pope a Decree, commanding the Festival of Easter to be kept on Sunday, and quotes the Chronicle of Eusebius[195]. This Decree is indeed mentioned 26in some Editions of that Writer; but Scaliger assures us, that no Mention is made of it in any Manuscript Copy; and therefore he has left it out in his Edition[196]. As to the Celebration of Easter, it is manifest from Irenæus, that though Pius, as well as his Predecessors Sixtus, Telesphorus and Hyginus, differed from the Bishops of Asia, yet they did not on that Account separate themselves from their Communion[197]. On this Pope are fathered several spurious Pieces, viz. some Decrees, Two Letters ranked among the Decretals, and Two more written to Justus Bishop of Vienne in Dauphiné. The Decrees, as well as the Decretals, are universally rejected; and yet F. Pagi quotes one of them to prove the real Presence in the Sacrament[198]. The two Letters to Justus are deemed genuine by Baronius[199], by Cardinal Bona[200], and by Blondel in his Treatise of the Sibyls[201], who nevertheless suspects them elsewhere[202]. On the other hand, they are absolutely rejected as false by Dr. Pearson[203], by Cotelerius[204], and Natalis Alexander[205], who discover several Expressions in them that were not in Use till some Ages after, and a great many Incoherences. To say with Le Sueur, That they were written originally in Greek, and in latter Times translated into Latin[206], is but a poor Evasion. As for the Fable of Hermes, the Brother of Pius, who, by the Command of an Angel appearing to him in the Disguise of a Shepherd, is said to have written a Book shewing, that Easter ought to be kept on Sunday, I refer the Reader to Platina, and such-like Writers.

Antoninus, ANICETUS,
Tenth Bishop of Rome. M. Aurelius.
Year of Christ 157.
St. Polycarp comes
to Rome, and re-
claims many from
the Errors of
Pius was succeeded by Anicetus, in whose Time Valentine the Heretic, who came to Rome in the Pontificate of Hyginus, and had gained many Proselytes under Pius, continued sowing his pestilential Errors among the Members of that Church: but many whom he had seduced, were reclaimed by St. Polycarp, formerly the Disciple of St. John the Evangelist, and then Bishop of Smyrna. His declaring to 27them, that the Doctrine taught by the Church was the Doctrine he had learnt of the Apostles, made such an Impression on their Minds, that they abjured the Errors of Valentine, and returned to the Communion of the Faithful[207]. They preferred the bare Word of Polycarp, who claimed no Infallibility, to the infallible Authority of Hyginus, Pius, and Anicetus. This is a plain Proof, that the Popes had not yet begun to exert their Infallibility; or, if they had, that it was not acknowleged. What brought St. Polycarp to Rome was the Controversy about the Celebration of Easter, which at this Time began to grow very warm between the Eastern and Western Churches[208]. All the Churches of the East, and amongst the rest that of Smyrna, kept Easter on the 14th Day of the Moon of the first Month, in Conformity to the Custom of the Jews: on the other hand, Anicetus would neither conform to that Custom himself, nor suffer any under his Jurisdiction to conform to it, obliging them to celebrate that Solemnity on the Sunday next following the 14th of the Moon. That this Dispute might not occasion a Schism in the Church, Polycarp undertook a Journey to Rome, in order to confer with the Bishop of that City, who was the chief Opposer of the Quartodecimans[209]. Anicetus and he
disagree about the
Celebration of
Easter, but part
without Breach of
Charity.But it happened in this, as it does in most religious Disputes, they parted, each retaining his own Way of thinking; but at the same time, what happens but seldom, without the least Breach of that Charity which is the great and fundamental Law of our holy Religion. In Token whereof they communicated together at the holy Sacrament; nay, Anicetus, out of Respect to St. Polycarp, yielded to him the Eucharist[210]; that is, gave him Leave to consecrate the Eucharist in his own Church: after which they parted in Peace, though both determined to follow the antient Practice of their respective Churches[211]. St. Polycarp, though well acquainted with the Doctrine of the Apostles, was a Stranger, it seems, to that of Bellarmine, Baronius, &c. viz. that the whole Catholic Church is bound to conform to the Rites, Ceremonies, and Customs of the Church of Rome.

Hegesippus and St.
Justin at Rome.
In the Time of Anicetus, Hegesippus, and the celebrated Martyr St. Justin, came to Rome, upon what Occasion is uncertain. The former continuing there to the Pontificate of Eleutherius, wrote a Book on the Doctrine which in that Church had been conveyed down from the Apostles to Anicetus, and was still observed, says he, in all its 28original Purity[212]. The latter opposed with great Zeal Marcion, and his Followers, publishing a Book against his pernicious Tenets, and against Heresies in general[213]. It was at Rome that he had frequent Conferences with Crescens the Cynic, a Man of some Note at that Time; but, according to the Genius of his Sect, proud, surly, conceited, and a declared Enemy to all who professed the Christian Religion, which he painted in the blackest Colours[214]. The Malice of this Cynic procured in the End for our zealous and learned Apologist what he had long and most ardently wished, the Glory of sealing with his Blood the Truth, which he had so strenuously defended and promoted with his Pen[215]. He suffered under Marcus Aurelius and L. Verus about the Year 167. towards the End of the Pontificate of Anicetus.

To this Pope are ascribed by Anastasius, Platina, Ciaconius, and other modern Writers, several Ordinances and Decrees; but as they are not mentioned by any of the Antients, we do not think them worthy of our Notice. Anicetus governed the Church, according to Eusebius[216], Eleven Years, from the Year 157. to the 8th Year of M. Aurelius, that is, to 168. of the Christian Æra. Raban, Florus, and Anastasius, suppose him to have died for the Profession of the Faith; which was, it seems, unknown to Irenæus. Anicetus not a
Martyr.He was buried, according to some, near St. Peter, in the Vatican, according to others, in the Burying-place of Calixtus[217]; out of which, though it is uncertain whether he was buried there or no, His Reliques.his Head was taken in 1590. and given by Urban VII. to the Jesuits of Munich in Bavaria, where it is yearly, with great Solemnity, exposed to public Adoration on the 17th of April, the Anniversary, as is supposed, of his Death: his Body was taken out of the same Place in 1604. and given by Clement VIII. to the Duke of Altaemps, who caused it to be conveyed to the Chapel of his Palace in Rome, and to be deposited there in a Marble Tomb, formerly the Tomb of the Emperor Alexander; where it is worshiped to this Day.

M. Aurelius. SOTER,
Eleventh Bishop of Rome.
Year of Christ 168.
Soter, the Successor of Anicetus, is highly commended on account of his extensive Charity towards the Poor of other Churches, but more especially towards those who were condemned for the Confession of their Faith to work in the Mines[218]. His Charities to the
distressed Christians.These he is said not only to have relieved in their Distress with generous Gatherings made for that Purpose at Rome, wherein he followed the Example of his Predecessors, but moreover to have sent Letters to them in their afflicted Condition. This we learn from a Letter of Dionysius, then Bishop of Corinth, which was an Answer to a Letter from Soter, and the Church of Rome. Dionysius returns Thanks to the Romans, and their Bishop, for their Generosity to the Poor of Corinth; acquaints Soter that his Letter had been publicly read; adds, that he shall cause it to be read for the future; and closes his Epistle with great Encomiums on the Romans, who had so generously contributed to the Support of the indigent Corinthians[219]. This laudable Custom did not end with the Second Century of the Church; for Dionysius of Alexandria, writing about the Year 254. to Stephen Bishop of Rome, says, that all Syria and Arabia felt the good Effects of the Generosity of the Romans[220]. And some Years after, that is, about the Year 260. Pope Dionysius being informed, that the City of Cæsarea in Cappadocia had been ruined by the Wars, and many Christians carried into Captivity, he sent large Sums to ransom them, with a Letter to the Church of Cæsarea, which was still read in St. Basil’s Time[221]. Eusebius tells us, that this Custom continued till the last Persecution[222]. How differently the immense Revenues of the See of Rome are employed now, those know who have seen the extravagant Pomp, Luxury, and Parade of that Court. The Heresy of
Montanus broached
in his Time.In the Year 171. the Fourth of Soter, was broached the Heresy of the Montanists, so called from their Ringleader Montanus[223]. Against these Soter is said, by an anonymous Writer of some Antiquity, to have composed a Book, which was answered, according to the same Writer, by Tertullian, become 30the Defender of that Sect[224]: but, according to the best Chronologists, Tertullian did not turn Montanist till many Years after the Death of Soter; and, besides, both Soter’s Book, and Tertullian’s Answer to it, were quite unknown to Eusebius, and even to St. Jerom, who took great Delight in reading Tertullian. Soter presided Eight Years, according to Eusebius[225]; that is, from the Year 168. to 176. or to the Beginning of 177. the 17th Year of the Reign of M. Aurelius. He did not die a
Martyr.The Title of Martyr is given him by the modern Writers, but not by Irenæus, or any of the Antients. To him are falsly ascribed Two Epistles, which have been placed among the Decretals. Where he was buried is uncertain; but his Body is worshiped, at present, in the Church of St. Sylvester at Rome, and in the Cathedral of Toledo in Spain[226].

Twelfth Bishop of Rome. Commodus.
Year of Christ 176.
Eleutherius was Deacon of the Church of Rome in 168. when Hegesippus came to that City[227]; but Soter, the Successor of Anicetus, being dead, he was chosen to govern the Church in his room[228]. The Martyrs of
Lions write to
Eleutherius.It is certain, that his Election was known in Gaul before the Death of the Martyrs of Lions, so famous in ecclesiastical History; for the Controversy, which had been raised some Years before in the Churches of Asia, by Montanus and his Followers, concerning the prophetic Spirit, to which they pretended, making at that time a great Noise in the Church, the Martyrs of Lions, desirous to contribute, so far as in them lay, to the public Peace, wrote Letters, from their Prisons, to the Churches of Asia, and likewise to Eleutherius, Bishop of Rome, declaring their Judgment and Opinion in the Case[229]: for great Honour was paid, in those Times, to the Martyrs, and their Opinion was always received with Esteem and Veneration. It were much to be wished, that Eusebius had set down their Opinion at Length; but he contents himself only with saying, that it was intirely agreeable to true Piety, and to the orthodox 31Faith[230]; which, in my Opinion, is enough to make us reject the Notion of Dr. Pearson, who takes it for granted, that they wrote in Favour of those Fanatics, and that for no other Reason but because they are said, by Eusebius, to have written for the Peace of the Church[231]. Was the admitting of false Prophets, and false Prophecies, giving Peace to the Church? The same Writer adds, that Eleutherius was induced, by the Reverence and Regard he had for the holy Martyrs, to receive the Prophecies of Montanus, and his Two Prophetesses[232]. Eleutherius did not
approve the Proph-
ecies of Montanus.But herein I must beg Leave to disagree with that learned Writer, and likewise with Dr. Cave[233]; for it was not, in my Opinion, Eleutherius, but his Successor Victor, who received the Prophecies of Montanus. Tertullian, the only Author who informs us, that the Dreams of that Enthusiast were approved by the Bishop of Rome, does not distinguish that Bishop by his Name; so that he is to be found out only by Reasoning and Chronology. Now, on one hand, we read in Tertullian, that Montanus had been opposed by the Predecessors of the Bishop, who embraced his Opinions[234]; and, on the other, in Eusebius[235], that the Heresy of Montanus was first broached in the Year 171. the Eleventh of the Reign of M. Aurelius, and the Fourth of the Pontificate of Soter, the immediate Predecessor of Eleutherius; these Two therefore, and these alone, were the Bishops, who could oppose Montanus; and, since the first Broaching of that Heresy, the only Predecessors of the Bishop who embraced it. Victor, the Successor of Eleutherius, was greatly provoked against the Asiatic Bishops, on account of their refusing to comply with the Custom of the Church of Rome, in the Celebration of Easter; and therefore might, out of Spite to them, approve of the Opinions which they had condemned: for Montanus, and his Followers, had been already condemned, as Eusebius informs us[236], by several Synods held in Asia Minor. Councils held without
consulting the Bishop
of Rome.No Opinion is now deemed heretical, unless condemned by the Bishop of Rome, who claims that Prerogative as peculiar to himself; but the Synods of Asia, the first mentioned in History, after that of the Apostles at Jerusalem, condemned the Opinions of Montanus, and cut him off from their Communion, without consulting or even acquainting therewith, the Bishop of Rome. But, to return to the Martyrs; some are of Opinion, that they condemned, in their 32Letters, the Tenets of Montanus, and his Followers; but, at the same time, wrote in their Favour, to far as to intreat the Bishops of Asia, and Eleutherius Bishop of Rome, to treat them with Indulgence, and admit them, upon Repentance, to their Communion[237]. This is but a bare Conjecture, not authorized by any of the Antients; and we don’t find, that the Montanists ever shewed the least Inclination to return to the Communion of the Church.

Florinus and Blastus
broach their new
It was in the Pontificate of Eleutherius, that Florinus and Blastus first broached their new Doctrine; which was readily embraced by many at Rome; for they were both Presbyters of that Church[238]. Florinus was first one of the Emperor’s Officers in Asia, afterwards the Disciple of St. Polycarp, then famous all over that Province; and, lastly, Presbyter of the Church of Rome; but both he and Blastus were degraded on account of their heretical Opinions, and cut off from the Communion of the Faithful[239]. Against Florinus, Irenæus, then Bishop of Lions, wrote a Letter, intituled, Of Monarchy, or that God is not the Author of Evil[240]; and another Piece called, De Ogdoede, that is, of the Eight; meaning, perhaps, the Eight Eons, or Persons that composed the chimerical Divinity of the Valentinians; for Florinus fell at last into that Heresy[241]. Against Blastus, whom Pacian surnames the Greek[242], Irenæus wrote a Book, intituled, Of Schism[243]. Ado[244] and Bede[245] tell us, that Eleutherius issued a Decree, ordaining Easter to be kept on the Sunday after the 14th of the first Moon; but as no mention is made of such a Decree, by any Writer of those Times, their Authority is of no Weight.

The Conversion of
Lucius, a British
Lucius, a British King, is said, by Bede, to have written to Pope Eleutherius, intreating him to send a proper Person into Britain, to instruct him in the Mysteries of the Christian Religion; which the Pope readily granted[246]. But as this is vouched only by Bede, who lived many Ages after him, and by a Pontifical, supposed to have been written about the Middle of the Sixth Century, what Credit the whole History of Lucius may deserve, I leave the Reader to judge. Such a remarkable Event could not have escaped Eusebius, who, speaking of this very Period of Time, tells us, that, at Rome, many Persons, eminent for their Birth and Wealth, embraced the Christian 33Religion, with their whole Families[247]. A solemn Embassy from a British King, and his Conversion, surely deserved a Place in the History of the Church. The whole Account
fabulous.He informs us, that, in the Reign of Commodus, and the Pontificate of Eleutherius, the Christian Religion enjoyed a profound Tranquillity all over the World; that it flourished, and attracted, to use his Expression, the Minds of many People[248]. Had he not here a favourable Opportunity of mentioning our Royal Proselyte, who, in the Reign of Commodus, is supposed to have written to Eleutherius, and by his means to have been converted to the Christian Religion? To what can we ascribe the Silence of such an exact and accurate Writer, concerning an Event which would have greatly recommended both his History, and the Christian Religion? To an invincible Antipathy, says the Jesuit Alford[249], which he bore to the Name of Britain, and which was so prevalent in him, that he chose rather to suppress the Conversion of Lucius than mention it. But what could thus set Eusebius against Britain? Had he been ever injured by the Britons? Does he not elsewhere mention both them and their Country? This jesuitical, absurd, and groundless Speculation, which must expose the Author of it to the Ridicule of every Reader, I should perhaps have let pass unobserved, had he not in this very Place insulted, beyond the Bounds of common Decency, the Reformers of Religion, for rejecting some idle Ceremonies, which he supposes to have been practised at the Conversion of Lucius. But, not to lay the whole Stress on the Silence of Eusebius, and other antient Writers, to whom King Lucius was utterly unknown, why should he have been at the Trouble of sending to Rome for an Instructor? Were there not many in his own Kingdom as capable of instructing him as any Rome could send? The Christian Religion had been planted in this Island long before the Reign of Lucius, in the Time of the Apostles, as Gildas seems to insinuate[250], at least very early in the Second Century; for Origen, who flourished in the Beginning of the Third, tells us, that the Virtue of the Name of Jesus had passed the Seas, to find out the Britons in another World[251].

Several Monkish
Fables concerning
King Lucius.
The short Account, which Bede gives us of the Embassy and Conversion of King Lucius, has not only been greedily swallowed by the Monkish Writers, who came after him, but has served as a Ground-plot to the innumerable Fables with which they have filled this Part 34of their Histories. They even tell us the Names of the Embassadors sent by Lucius to the Pope, and of the Legates a Latere sent by the Pope to Lucius. The former were Elvanus and Medwinus, who, being ordained Bishops by Eleutherius, returned to Britain, and greatly contributed to the Conversion of this Island. These Fables gained Credit, by Degrees, in those Ages of Ignorance and Superstition, insomuch that the Two Embassadors were at last ranked among the Saints; and their Bodies, where or when found, nobody knows, exposed to public Veneration, in the Monastery of Glassenbury, on the First of January[252]. The Pope’s Legates were Fugacius and Damianus, who, as we are told, went back to Rome, to obtain of Eleutherius a Confirmation of what they had done; and, from Rome, returned into Britain, with a Letter from the Pope to King Lucius[253]. As for the King himself, he is said to have quitted his Kingdom, and, turning Missionary, to have preached the Gospel in Germany, especially at Ausburgh; to have travelled from thence into the Country of the Grisons; and, lastly, to have been ordained Bishop of Coire, their Metropolis; and to have died there a Martyr[254]. To these Monkish Fables King Lucius owes a Place among the Saints; for on the Third of December is kept, in the Church of Rome, the Festival of Lucius, King of the Britons, who died at Coire in Germany[255]: these are the Words of the Roman Martyrology; but Bede does not so much as mention him in his; a plain Proof, that what is said of his Preaching, of his Martyrdom, &c. was invented after that Writer’s Time. And yet Alford has not only filled his Annals with these, and suchlike fabulous Accounts, giving an intire Credit to them, but inveighs, with great Acrimony, against those who have not the Gift of Belief in the same Degree with himself, especially against Dempster, telling, him, that till his Time the Conversion of Lucius had never been questioned by any Man of Sense or Learning[256]. And truly, the Story of King Lucius has been credited even by the greater Part of Protestant Writers, out of Respect to our venerable Historian; but as he wrote many Ages after the pretended Conversion of that Prince, and none of the Writers of those Days, whom such a remarkable Event could hardly have escaped, give us the least Hint of it, we may be well allowed to question the Whole, notwithstanding the Authority 35of Bede, which can be of no Weight with respect to Transactions that are said to have happened in Times so remote.

Eleutherius governed, according to the best Chronologers, Fifteen Years; and died in 192. the last of the Emperor Commodus[257]. To him are ascribed a Decretal, addressed to the Bishops of Gaul, and a Decree, declaring against Montanus, and his Followers, that no Food was forbidden to the Christians; but both are deemed spurious. He was buried, according to some, in the Salarian Way, according to others, in the Vatican; but, in what Place soever he was buried, his Body is now worshiped in the Vatican at Rome, in the Cathedral of Troia in Apulia, and in several other Places[258]. The Title of Martyr is given him by the Church of Rome, but not by any of the antient Writers. Under him flourished Hegesippus, who wrote, in Five Books, an Account of what had happened in the Church since our Saviour’s Death, to his Time[259]. He came to Rome in the Pontificate of Anicetus, who was chosen in 157. and, remaining there to the Time of Eleutherius, who succeeded Anicetus and Soter in 177. he wrote a Book on the Doctrine received by Tradition in that Church[260]; but neither of these Works has reached our Times.

Pertinax, VICTOR,
Thirteenth Bishop of Rome. Severus.
Year of Christ 192.
Victor, the Successor of Eleutherius, is counted by a Writer, who at this very time lived in Rome, the Thirteenth Bishop of that City[261]: so that neither is St. Peter reckoned among them, nor is Cletus distinguished from Anacletus. The Heresy of
Theodotus.In Victor’s Time a new Heresy was broached at Rome by one Theodotus of Byzantium, denying the Divinity of Christ[262]. The Theodotians gave out, that Victor favoured their Doctrine[263]; which he did, perhaps, at that Time[264]; though he cut them off afterwards from his Communion. Victor approves
the prophetic Spirit
of Montanus.Be that as it will, he can by no means be cleared from another Imputation, namely, that of owning and approving the prophetic Spirit of Montanus, and his Two Prophetesses, Prisca and Maximilla: for Tertullian, 36his Contemporary, tells us, in express Terms, that he received their Prophecies; that, upon receiving them, he gave Letters of Peace to the Churches of Asia and Phrygia; but that one Praxeas, just come from those Parts, giving him a false Account of those Prophets, and their Churches, and remonstrating, that by approving them, he condemned his Predecessors, prevailed upon him to revoke the Letters, which he had already written in their Behalf. His Infallibility,
how defended by
Baronius and
Bellarmine.Thus Tertullian, who was then himself become a Follower of Montanus[265]. Here Baronius and Bellarmine, the Two great Advocates for the Pope’s Infallibility, are put to a Stand: they own, and cannot help owning, that the Pope was deceived, and imposed upon; but, for all that, will not give up his Infallibility. How great is the Power of Prejudice and Prepossession! They find the Pope actually erring, and yet maintain, that he cannot err. But this Apostacy from common Sense, if I may be allowed the Expression, is not, perhaps, so much owing to Prejudice, as to something worse; for no Prejudice, however prevalent, can withstand the indisputable Evidence of plain Matters of Fact. It is no new thing, says Baronius, nor what ought to cause in us the least Surprize, that a Pope should be over-reached by Impostors[266]. A Pope over-reached in Matters of Faith! What then becomes of Infallibility? or what is the Use of it? But the Montanists, says Bellarmine[267], craftily concealed from the Pope what was erroneous and heretical in their Prophecies; so that he, discovering nothing in their Doctrine repugnant to that of the Church, believed they had been unjustly accused to, and condemned by, his Predecessors. But, in the first Place, Tertullian tells us, in express Terms, that the Prophecies of Montanus, and his Followers, were approved by the Pope; whereas the Prophecies, which he is supposed by Bellarmine to have approved, were not the Prophecies of Montanus, but others, quite different, and in every respect orthodox. In the second Place, if Victor believed, that the Montanists had been unjustly condemned by his Predecessors, he did not believe them infallible; so that, in every Light, this Fact oversets the pretended Infallibility. We may add, that, if the Pope’s Infallibility depends upon a right Information, and neither he nor we can know whether he has been rightly informed, his Infallibility is thereby rendered quite useless; since, in every particular Case, we may 37doubt, and that Doubt cannot be removed, whether the Information, upon which he acts, was right, or no.

The famous Contro-
versy about the Cele-
bration of Easter.
But what most of all distinguished the Pontificate of Victor was, the famous Controversy about the Celebration of Easter, between the Eastern and Western Bishops; the former keeping that Solemnity on the 14th Day of the first Moon, on what Day soever of the Week it happened to fall; and the latter putting it off till the Sunday following. This, surely, could not be a Point of any Consequence, since the Apostles had not thought fit to settle any thing concerning it; nay, by observing the Paschal Solemnity themselves, some on the one Day, and some on the other, as it is manifest they did[268]; they plainly declared, that it was quite indifferent on what Day it was observed. Accordingly, from the Apostles Time to Victor’s, each Church had followed the Custom and Practice established by their respective Founders, without giving the least Disturbance to others, or being, on that Account, disturbed by them[269]. Pope Anicetus even suffered such of the Asiatics as happened to be at Rome, to celebrate Easter after the manner of Asia[270]: Soter, indeed; and his Successor Eleutherius, obliged those who lived at Rome to conform to the Custom of that Church; but that did not prevent their sending the Eucharist, or Sacrament, to the Bishops who followed the opposite Practice[271]; for a Custom then obtained among Bishops to send the Eucharist to each other, especially at Easter, in Token of Communion and Peace; but this Custom was suppressed by the 14th Canon of the Council held in the Fourth Century at Laodicea[272]. Victor’s haughty
Conduct.Victor, not satisfied with what his Two immediate Predecessors had done, took upon him to impose the Roman Custom on all the Churches that followed the contrary Practice. Is opposed by the
Bishop of Ephesus,But, in this bold Attempt, which we may call the first Essay of Papal Usurpation, he met with a vigorous and truly Christian Opposition from Polycrates, at that Time Bishop of Ephesus, and one of the most eminent Men in the Church, both for Piety and Learning. He had studied, says Eusebius[273], the Scriptures with great Attention, had conferred with Christians from all Parts of the World, and had ever conformed his Life to the Rules of the Gospel. Jerom speaks of him as a Man of excellent Parts, and one universally respected[274]. In the present Controversy, he peremptorily refused 38to relinquish the Practice of his own Church, which had been first introduced by the Apostles St. John and St. Philip, and had been handed down to him by Seven Bishops of his own Family[275]. Hereupon Victor, impatient of Contradiction, wrote a Letter, threatening to cut him off from his Communion, unless he forthwith complied with the Practice of the Church of Rome[276]. and by a Council of
all the Bishops of Asia minor.Polycrates, greatly surprised at the hasty Proceedings of his Fellow Bishop, assembled in Ephesus a Council of all the Bishops of Asia minor, when it was unanimously resolved, that the Practice, which they had received from their Predecessors, ought not to be changed[277]. Agreeably to this Resolution, Polycrates writ to Victor, acquainting him therewith; and, at the same time, modestly insinuating, that, as to his Menaces, he had better forbear them, since they had no manner of Effect upon him, or his Brethren[278]. He cuts them off
from his Communion.Upon the Receipt of this Letter Victor, giving the Reins to an impotent and ungovernable Passion, published bitter invectives against all the Churches of Asia, declared them cut off from his Communion, sent Letters of Excommunication to their respective Bishops; and, at the same time, in order to have them cut off from the Communion of the whole Church, writ to the other Bishops, exhorting them to follow his Example, and forbear communicating with their refractory Brethren of Asia[279]. They all complied, to be sure, with the Desire of the Head of the Church, who had Power to command; but, out of his great Moderation, chose to exhort and advise! No Regard had to
his Excommunication.No; not one followed his Example, or Advice; not one paid any sort of Regard to his Letters, or shewed the least Inclination to second him in such a rash and uncharitable Attempt; but, on the contrary, they all joined, as Eusebius assures us[280], in sharply censuring and rebuking him, as a Disturber of the Peace of the Church. He is censured by Irenæus.Among the rest Irenæus, then Bishop of Lions, writ him an excellent Letter, putting him in mind of the Moderation of his Predecessors, and telling him, that though he agreed with him in the Main of the Controversy, yet he could not approve of his cutting off whole Churches, for the Observance of Customs, which they had received from their Ancestors. He writ, at the same time, to many other Bishops[281], no doubt, to dissuade them from joining the Bishop of Rome. However that be, it is certain, that, by this means, the 39Storm was laid, a Calm was restored to the Church, and the Asiatics allowed to follow undisturbed their antient Practice[282]. But Pope Victor, says Baronius[283], excommunicated the Asiatics, which he would never have ventured to do, had he not known, that he had Power and Jurisdiction over them. Had no Power over
the Asiatics.The Argument may be thus retorted against him: The Asiatics made no Account of his Excommunication; which they would not have ventured to do, had they not known, that he had no Power nor Jurisdiction over them. Besides, Victor did not excommunicate them, as that Word is now understood; that is, he did not cut them off from the Communion of the Catholic Church; for all the other Bishops continued to communicate with them, as they had done before; he only separated himself from their Communion; which was no more than every Bishop had Power to do. Victor being thus baffled in his Attempt, his Successors took care not to revive the Controversy; so that the Asiatics peaceably followed their antient Practice till the Council of Nice, which, out of Complaisance to Constantine the Great, ordered the Solemnity of Easter to be kept every-where on the same Day, after the Custom of Rome[284].

This Dispute happened, not in the Reign of Commodus, as we read in the Synodicon[285], but in the Fourth Year of the Reign of Severus, as St. Jerom informs us[286], of Christ 196. Victor dies.Victor, of whom we find nothing else in the Antients worthy of Notice, died Five Years after[287], that is, in the Ninth of the Emperor Severus, and in the End of 201. or the Beginning of 202. of Christ, having governed the Church Ten Years. He is named, by St. Jerom, the first among the Ecclesiastical Authors that wrote in Latin[288]. His Works.He published a Piece, on the Controversy about the Celebration of Easter, and some other Books on religious Subjects, which were still extant in St. Jerom’s Time[289]. Pieces falsly
ascribed to him.As for the Two Decretals that are ascribed to him, and the Two Letters to Desiderius and Paracoda, both Bishops of Vienne, they are universally rejected[290]. He is sainted.The Church of Rome has placed Victor among her Saints; and truly, his Attempt, however unsuccessful, to promote the Power and extend the Jurisdiction of that See, deserved no less a Reward.

Fourteenth Bishop of Rome. Macrinus,
Year of Christ 201.
A dreadful Per-
secution against
the Christians.
In the first Year of the Pontificate of Zephyrinus, who succeeded Victor, a dreadful Persecution was raised against the Christians by the Emperor Severus, and carried on with great Cruelty in all Parts of the Empire. Zephyrinus, however, had the good Luck to escape it, and to see the Church, by the Death of that Prince, happily delivered from the Evils, which the Rage of her foreign Enemies had brought upon her. Zephyrinus opposes
the Theodotian
Heretics.But her domestic Enemies gave her no Respite; the Theodotian Heretics continued sowing, and not without Success, their pestilential Errors at Rome. Zephyrinus, it seems, opposed them with great Vigour and Zeal; for they reproached him, as we read in Eusebius[291], as the first who had betrayed the Truth, by maintaining against them the Divinity of Christ: hence he is ranked, by Optatus, with Tertullian, Victorinus, &c. among those who have successfully defended the Catholic Church[292]. Baronius, to extol Zephyrinus, ascribes to him the first Condemnation of Praxeas[293], which was followed by a solemn Retractation under his own Hand. But it was in Africa, and not at Rome, that Praxeas was condemned, as appeared plain to me, from the Words of Tertullian[294], before I had seen either Pamelius or Moreau, who understood them in that Sense. Praxeas, as we have observed above, had done an eminent Piece of Service to the Church of Rome, by reclaiming Pope Victor from the Heresy of Montanus: but the Good he had done on that Occasion was over-balanced by the Mischief his new Heresy occasioned both at Rome and in Africa; for in both Places he gained many Proselytes. The Heresy of
Praxeas.He denied all Distinction of Persons in the Godhead, so that the Father being, according to his Doctrine, the same Person with the Son, it was he who took upon him human Nature, and suffered on the Cross; whence his Followers were called Patropassians[295].

Origen at Rome.
In the Pontificate of Zephyrinus, and, as Eusebius seems to insinuate, in the Beginning of the Reign of Caracalla, that is, towards the Year 211 or 212. came to Rome the celebrated Origen, being 41desirous, as he himself declared, to see that Church, so venerable for its Antiquity and Renown; but, after a very short Stay there, he returned to Alexandria[296]. Famous Dispute, at
Rome, between Caius
and Proclus.About the same time happened, at Rome, the famous Dispute between Caius, a Presbyter of that Church and Proclus, a leading Man among the Montanists[297]. Caius committed to Writing the Reasons and Arguments on both Sides[298]: but that Piece has not reached our Times, though it was well known to Eusebius, who styles it a Dialogue[299] and likewise to Theodoret[300].

Tertullian falls
off from the Church.
It was during the Pontificate of Zephyrinus that Tertullian, the great Defender of the Christian Religion, fell off from the Catholic Church. His Fall, which was lamented by all the Faithful as a common Loss, is ascribed, by St. Jerom, to the Envy and ill Usage he met with from the Roman Clergy[301]. The Titles of High
Pontiff, &c. whether,
and in what Sense,
given by Tertullian
to the Bishop of
Rome.But how ill soever he was used by them in those Days, he has perhaps met with worse Treatment at their Hands in latter Times; for they call upon him as an Evidence, to witness the Pope’s universal Jurisdiction, and to confirm to him the haughty Titles, which he assumes; but with how little Reason, will appear from the following Relation: A Catholic Bishop had, by a public Declaration, admitted Persons guilty of Adultery and Fornication to a Place among the Penitents. As Tertullian was a strict Observer of Rites and Discipline, and a most zealous Asserter of the greatest Rigours of Religion, he could not brook so much Moderation and Indulgence: and therefore, in his Book De Pudicitia, which he wrote on that Occasion, he extols the Severity of the antient Discipline, aggravates the Greatness of those Offences, undertakes to confute the Arguments for Remission and Indulgence; and, speaking of the above-mentioned Declaration, he calls it a peremptory Decree, and styles the Bishop, who made it, high Pontiff, and Bishop of Bishops[302]. Hence the Advocates for the See of Rome infer, that, even in those early Times, such Titles were given to the Bishop of Rome, and that his Decrees were even then deemed peremptory[303]. But in the first Place, it is uncertain whether that Declaration was published by the Bishop of Rome, or by some other great Bishop, perhaps of Carthage, of Alexandria, or Antioch; for no Bishop is named by Tertullian. In the second Place, it is evident from the Context, that, in the above-mentioned Passage, Tertullian 42speaks ironically; and consequently all that can be inferred from thence is, that he gave those Titles to the Catholic Bishop, whoever he was, by way of Derision; or if the Bishop had assumed them in his Declaration, he took from thence Occasion to expose his Vanity and Ambition. Baronius, and the Flatterers of the Bishops of Rome, triumph in this Passage of Tertullian; from which however nothing can be inferred in Favour of that See, unless they prove, which they can never do, that the above-mentioned Declaration or Decree was published by the Bishop of Rome; that those Titles, which raise him above other Bishops, were Part of the Decree; and lastly, that Tertullian mentioned them as due to him, and not by way of Sarcasm, ironically reflecting on his Pride and Ambition.

As to the Actions of Zephyrinus, the Antients have left us quite in the Dark; and we cannot depend on what we read in the modern Writers. Zephyrinus not a Martyr.He governed about Seventeen Years, and died in the first Year of Heliogabalus, and 218. of the Christian Æra[304]. In the Roman Martyrology he has a Place among the Martyrs, which puts Baronius himself to a Stand[305], since the Church enjoyed a profound Tranquillity from the Death of Severus to the End of his Pontificate.

Heliogabalus, CALLISTUS,
Fifteenth Bishop of Rome. Alexander Severus.
Year of Christ 219.
Zephyrinus was succeeded by Callistus, or Callixtus, as he is styled by Optatus[306], and St. Austin[307]. In his Time the Church enjoyed a long, happy, and uninterrupted Peace, as Tertullian calls it[308], which lasted from the Death of Severus in 211. to the Reign of Maximinus in 235. as did also the State from the Death of Macrinus in 218. to the Year 233. The Emperor Alex-
ander favourable to
the Christians.Alexander, who succeeded Heliogabalus in 222. proved extremely favourable to the Christians, and even allowed them, if I mistake not the Meaning of a profane Writer, the free Exercise of their Religion[309]: it is at least certain, that he adjudged to them, against the Tavern-keepers, a Piece of Ground, which it is pretended they 43had usurped upon the Public, laying, when he gave Sentence in their Favour, that it was better God should be served on it in any Manner, than that it should be occupied by Tavern-keepers[310]; which was giving them Leave to serve God on it after their own Manner. On this Spot of Ground Baronius supposes Callistus to have built a Church in Honour of the Virgin Mary, known at present by the Name of Santa Maria in Trastevere, that is, Saint Mary beyond the Tyber[311]. But the Pontifical of Damasus, upon which alone he sounds his Opinion, deserves no Credit, as I shall shew in the Life of that Pope. Callistus is said by Anastasius[312] to have inclosed a large Piece of Ground on the Appian Way, to serve as a Burying-place for the Christians. Callistus’s Burying-place.This Ground is frequently mentioned in the Martyrologies, and described at Length by Arringhus, who tells us, that 174,000 Martyrs, and 46 Popes, were buried in it[313]. Though Alexander was of all the Pagan Emperors the most favourable and indulgent to the Christians, as is evident from all the antient Writers, both Christians and Pagans, yet he is represented in the Martyrologies, and in the Acts of some Martyrs, especially of Callistus, to which Bede gave an intire Credit[314], as the most barbarous and inhuman Tyrant that ever shed Christian Blood. The Acts of Callistus
deserve no Credit.If we reject these Acts, and we must either reject them, or the Authority of the most unexceptionable Writers among the Antients, we expunge at once above 300 Martyrs out of the Catalogue of Saints worshiped to this Day by the Church of Rome, upon the bare Authority of such Acts. Many Saints out to
be expunged out of
the Catalogue.Among these are the Consul Palmatius, with his Wife, his Children, and Forty-two of his Domestics; the Senator Simplicius, with his Wife, and Sixty-eight of his Domestics: and, what will be an irreparable Loss, the so much celebrated St. Cæcilia, in whose Honour Churches have been erected in every Christian Kingdom. Baronius, not presuming on one Side to question the Emperor Alexander’s Kindness to the Christians, which would be giving the Lye to all the Antients, but, on the other, looking upon it as a Sacrilege to rob the Church of so many valuable Reliques, ascribes the cruel Usage they are supposed to have met with in that Prince’s Reign, not to him, but to Ulpian the celebrated Civilian, who flourished under him[315]. But in those Acts the Martyrs are said to have suffered unheard of Torments, there minutely described, 44by the express Command of the Emperor Alexander. Besides, could Alexander be said to have favoured the Christians, could the Christians be said to have enjoyed a happy Tranquillity under him, had one of his Officers persecuted them with the utmost Cruelty in his Name, and by his Authority? Baronius, not remembring, it seems, that in this Place he had charged Ulpian with all the Cruelties against the Christians, supposes elsewhere[316] several Martyrs to have suffered in the Reign of Alexander, after the Death of Ulpian. Bede, ’tis true, has followed these Acts; but they are not on that Account at all the more credible, since he often follows Pieces which are now universally given up as supposititious. The very first Words of these Acts are sufficient to make us suspect the Truth of them; for they begin thus; in the Time of Macrinus and Alexander–How come these two Princes to be joined together? Macrinus reigned with his Son Diadumenus, and Heliogabalus between them and Alexander. Soon after the Consul Palmatius is said to have been condemned without any Form of Judgment, without so much as being heard; whereas Herodian assures us, that Alexander was a strict Observer of the Laws; and that no Criminal was condemned in his Reign, but according to the usual Course of Law, and by Judges of the greatest Integrity[317]. Callistus, if we give Credit to his Acts, was kept a long time Prisoner in a private House, where he was every Day cruelly beaten by the Emperor Alexander’s Orders, and at last thrown headlong out of the Window into a Well. Callistus not a Martyr.The Acts are evidently fabulous, but Callistus nevertheless is worshiped among the Martyrs; and the Waters of the Well, which is to be seen at Rome in the Church that bears his Name, are said to cure all sorts of Diseases to this Day. He governed the Church Five Years, and died in the Latter-end of the Year 223[318]. the Third of the Emperor Alexander. His Body is exposed to public Adoration on the Tenth of May, in the Church of St. Mary, beyond the Tyber, at Rome[319] and in that of our Lady at Rheims[320]. Two Decretals are ascribed to Callistus, and likewise the Institution of the Ember-Weeks, but without the lean Foundation.

Alexander. URBANUS,
Sixteenth Bishop of Rome.
Year of Christ 223.
The Acts of Urbanus
All I can find in the Antients concerning Urban, the Successor of Callistus, is, that, during the whole Time of his Pontificate, both Church and State enjoyed a profound Peace under the Emperor Alexander; that he held the Chair near Seven Years, and died about the Middle of the Year 230[321]. Great and wonderful Things are related of him in his Acts, and in those of St. Cecilia, but such Acts[322] are evidently fabulous, since, in Opposition to all the Antients, they represent the Emperor Alexander as a most cruel Persecutor of the Christian Name. Urban himself is supposed to have suffered under him, and placed accordingly by the Church of Rome among her Martyrs. His Body is now worshiped in an Abbey of his Name in the Diocese of Chalons on the Marne, and in the Church of St. Cæcilia at Rome[323].

Alexander, PONTIANUS,
Seventeenth Bishop of Rome. Maximinus.
Year of Christ 230.
Pontianus succeeded Urban in 230. and governed, according to the Pontifical of Bucherius[N4], Five Years, Two Months, and Seven Days; that is, from the 22d of July 230. to the 28th of September 235[324]. Origen deposed.In the Second Year of his Pontificate, the 46famous Origen was deposed and excommunicated by Demetrius Bishop of Alexandria, and the Sentence approved of by most other Bishops, especially by the Bishop of Rome, who assembled, it seems, his Clergy 47on that Occasion: For what else could St. Jerom mean, by telling us, that Rome assembled her Senate against Origen[325]? The Persecution
ofMaximinus.The calm and quiet Days, which the Church had for some Years enjoyed, especially under Alexander, expired almost with the Pontificate of Pontianus; for that excellent Prince being assassinated in the Month of May 235. Maximinus, who succeeded him, out of Hatred to him, began to persecute with great Cruelty the Christians, whom he had so much favoured, especially the Bishops[326]. Pontianus banished
to Sardinia.Pontianus among the rest was banished Rome, and confined to the unwholsome Island of Sardinia[327], where he died the same Year on the 28th of September, but of what Kind of Death is not well known[328].

N4. This Pontifical, well known to Cuspinian, F. Petau, and other Chronologers, was published by Bucherius the Jesuit, in 1633. with the Paschal Cycle of Victorius. It is a Catalogue of the Bishops of Rome, from the Foundation of that See to the Time of Liberius, who was chosen in 352. As the Election of Liberius is marked, and not his Death, the Catalogue is supposed by some to have been written in his Time. His Election is marked thus; Liberius fuit temporibus Constancii ex die xi. Kalendas Junias in diem–a Consulibus Constantio V. & Constantio Cæsare–By Constantius Cæsar is meant Gallus, the Son of Julius Constantius, who, by his Father Constantius Chlorus, was Half-brother to Constantine the Great. Gallus was raised by the Emperor Constantius to the Dignity of Cæsar in the Year 351. on which Occasion he gave him his own Name[1], and the following Year took him for his Collegue in his Fifth Consulship, as appears from Idatius, from Prosper, and from the Alexandrian Chronicle. The above-mentioned Pontifical is very faulty in the Times preceding the Pontificate of Pontianus, who was chosen in 230. nay, if we believe Bucherius, Anicetus, Eleutherius, and Zephyrinus, are omitted in it. I said, If we believe Bucherius; for Bollandus, another Jesuit, who perused the same Manuscript, assures us, that he found there the Names of those three Bishops, which Bucherius assures us were not to be found there[2]. Which of the two Jesuits is the honester is hard to determine in any Case, but impossible in this, unless the original Manuscript should be produced, which both perused. F. Pagi, the Franciscan, seems to favour Bucherius; for he complains of Bollandus for interpolating the Manuscript, and not publishing it with all its Faults and Charms, as Bucherius had done. But then he does not tell us, that he had seen the original Manuscript. Bollandus on the other hand complains of Bucherius for undervaluing such an unvaluable Piece; and settles by it his whole Chronology of the Popes, pretending it to have been sent by Pope Damasus to St. Jerom[3]. But for this the only Ground he has are some Letters from Damasus to St. Jerom, and from Jerom to Damasus, which, by the best Judges, are all thought supposititious. But even allowing it to have been sent by Damasus to St. Jerom, that ought not to recommend it more to our Esteem than it did to his; and he seems to have paid very little Regard to it: for in his Book of Illustrious Men, which he wrote after the Death of Damasus, he places Clement after Anacletus, though that Pontifical puts Anacletus after Clement[4]. What I have hitherto said is to be understood with respect to the Times preceding the Pontificate of Pontianus; for, from his Time, the Pontifical of Bucherius is almost quite exact to the End, that is, to the Election of Liberius; and the more exact, the nearer it comes to his Time. I said almost, for it is not even thenceforth free from all Faults; but it has fewer than any other antient Record that has reached us; and it is on this Consideration that, from the Time of Pontianus, I have preferred it to all others. With respect to his Predecessors, I have adopted the Chronology of Eusebius, where it does not appear that he was mistaken; for that he was mistaken in some Points, is but too plain; and, for aught we know, he may have been so in many others. But as in those dark Times we have no authentic Records, no indisputable Authorities, to depend on, I thought it more adviseable to tread in the Footsteps of so famous and antient a Writer, than, by attempting to open a new Way, perplex and confound both myself and the Reader, as Pearson, Dodwell, and Pagi, have done. And it was not, I must own, without some Concern, that I found a Man of Dr. Pearson’s Learning reduced, by undervaluing the Authority of Eusebius, to take for his Guide a Writer of no Authority at all, viz. Eutychius of Alexandria, who flourished so late as the Tenth Century, and is only famous for his Blunders, even in what relates to his own Church. To the Pontifical were annexed, in the same antient Manuscript, several other small Pieces; viz. 1. A List of the Consuls from the Year 205. to 354. with the Epacts, Bissextile Years, and the Day of the Week, with which each Year began. There are some Mistakes in the Epacts, but the rest is done with great Exactness. 2. Another List of the Consuls and Governors of Rome, from the Year 254. to 354. 3. A short Necrology of the Bishops of Rome, in which are marked, according to the Order of the Months, the Day on which each of them died, and the Place where he was buried. It begins with Lucius, and ends with Julius. In this List, Sixtus II. and Marcellus are omitted; the latter probably by a Mistake of the Transcriber, confounding him with his Predecessor Marcellinus; and the former, perhaps, because he is set down in the Calendar of Martyrs annexed to the Necrology. These Pieces, as well as the Pontifical, all end at the Year 354. whence Cardinal Noris[5] and others are of Opinion, that they were written that Year.

1. Aurel. Vict. p. 518. Socr. l. 2. c. 28.

2. Bolland. Apr. t. 1. p. 22-24.

3. Bolland. ib. p. 3. n. 10.

4. Hier. de vir. illustr. c. 15.

5. Fast. consular. p. 23.

Maximinus. ANTERUS,
Eighteenth Bishop of Rome.
Year of Christ 235.
Anterus, the Successor of Pontianus, presided only One Month and Ten Days, and died on the 3d of January 236[329]. Some modern Writers place one Cyriacus between him and Pontianus; but their Opinion, founded on the Authority of the fabulous Acts of St. Ursula, is sufficiently confuted by Eusebius[330], Optatus[331], St. Augustin[332], and Nicephorus[333], who all Name Anterus as the immediate Successor of Pontianus. Anterus probably
dies a Martyr.The Shortness of his Pontificate, and the cruel Persecution carried on by Maximinus, give us room to believe, that he died a Martyr, which Title is given him in the Martyrologies of St. Jerom and Bede[334].

Gordian, FABIANUS,
Nineteenth Bishop of Rome Philip,
Year of Christ 236.
Fabianus, called by the Greeks, Fabius, by Eutychius[335], and in the Chronicle of Alexandria, Flavianus[336], was, according to Eusebius, miraculously chosen for Successor to Anterus; for he tells us, 48His miraculous
Election.That the People and Clergy being assembled in order to proceed to a new Election, a Dove, unexpectedly appearing, settled, to the great Surprize of all present, on the Head of Fabianus, who was not so much as thought of, being but a Layman, as appears from the Account, and not an Inhabitant of Rome, but just then come out of the Country. At this Prodigy the whole Assembly cried out with one Voice, Fabianus is our Bishop; and, crouding round him, placed him without further Delay on the Episcopal Throne.–Thus Eusebius[337]: and to his Account is owing the modern Notion, that the Pope is always chosen by the Holy Ghost. Not all popes
thus chosen.What happened in the Election of St. Fabianus (says Cardinal Cusani) happens in the Election of every Pope. ‘Tis true we do not see the Holy Ghost with our corporeal Eyes; but we may and must see him, if we are not quite blind, with those of the Mind. In vain therefore, O eminent Electors, are all your Intrigues; the Person, on whose Head the heavenly Dove is pleased to perch, will, in spite of them, be chosen[338]. In the Sequel of this History, we shall see such Monsters of Iniquity elected, and by such scandalous Practices, that to imagine the Holy Ghost any-ways concerned in the Election would be absolute Blasphemy.

Fabianus worthy of
the Dignity to
which he was raised.
As for Fabianus, he seems to have been well worthy of the Post to which he was raised; for the famous Bishop of Carthage, St. Cyprian, in Answer to the Letter, wherein the Clergy of Rome gave him an Account of the glorious Death of their Bishop, calls him an excellent Man; and adds, that the Glory of his Death had answered the Purity, Holiness, and Integrity of his Life[339]. Some of his
Regulations.From the Pontifical of Bucherius we learn, that he appointed Seven Deacons over the Fourteen Regions, or Wards, into which Rome was then divided[340], to take care of the Poor, says Baronius[341]. We read in other more modern Pontificals, that he named Seven Subdeacons to overlook the Seven Notaries, who are supposed to have been first appointed by Pope Clement, and whose Province it was to commit to Writing the Actions and Speeches of the Martyrs. It is manifest from St. Cyprian[342], as Dr. Pearson well observes, that in the Time of Cornelius, the Successor of Fabianus, the Church of Rome had Seven Subdeacons, to whom St. Cyprian recommended the strictest Exactness in marking the Day of each Martyr’s Death[343]. As for taking down their Speeches, which 49some seem to object to, the Art of writing in Short-hand was well known in those Times. Eusebius tells us, that by Tiro, Cicero’s Freed-man, were first invented certain Marks, which stood not only for whole Words, but intire Sentences[344]. But this Invention is, by Dio, ascribed to Mæcenas, who ordered his Freed-man Aquila to make them known to all who cared to learn them[345]. Of their wonderful Quickness in writing, with the Help of these Marks, Martial takes notice, in one of his Distichs, saying, How fast soever the Tongue may run, the Hand runs faster[346].

Said to have
converted the
Emperor Philip.
Baronius[347] and Bollandus[348] ascribe to Fabianus the Conversion of the Emperor Philip, and his Son; adding, from the Acts of Pontius the Martyr, that he pulled down the great Temple of the Romans, that he dashed to Pieces their Idols, and converted the whole City. What a Pity that such wonderful Feats should have been passed over in Silence by Eusebius, and all the Antients! As for the Conversion of Philip, and his Son, it is questioned by many, and very justly, the Silence of Eusebius alone being an unanswerable Evidence against it; but all agree, that if he was instructed and converted by Fabianus, he did no great Honour either to his Instructor, or his Religion. In the Latter-end of the Year 249, the Emperor Philip being killed by the rebellious Soldiery at Verona, Decius, who was raised to the Empire in his room, began his Reign with the most dreadful Persecution that had ever yet afflicted the Church. Fabianus martyred in
the Persecution of
Decius.Fabianus was one of the first that fell a Victim to the implacable Hatred this Emperor bore to the Christian Name. He was put to Death on the 20th of January 250. while Decius was Consul the second time, together with Gratus, after having governed the Church Fourteen Years, one Month, and Ten Days[349].

The See vacant.

Year of Christ 250.
The Death of Fabianus was followed by a Vacancy, which lasted at least Sixteen Months, the Christians being either imprisoned, or so dispersed, that they could not assemble to chuse a new Bishop. During this Interval, the Clergy, that is, the Presbyters and Deacons, took upon themselves the Care and Administration of all Ecclesiastical Matters; and, being informed by Clementius, Subdeacon of the Church of Carthage, who came to Rome about Easter in 250. that St. Cyprian had been obliged, by the Fury of the Persecution, to withdraw for a 50while from his See, they writ to that Clergy, exhorting them to follow their Example[350]. Several excellent Letters passed on this Occasion between the Clergy of Rome, and St. Cyprian and his Clergy, especially concerning the Method they were to hold with the Lapsed; that is, with those who had either obtained of the Pagan Magistrates Protections, or Libels of Safety, whence they were called Libellatici, or had actually sacrificed to Idols, and were thence named Sacrificati. In one of these Letters, the Roman Clergy, after having maturely examined so material a Point, and advised not only with the neighbouring Bishops, but with others, who, from the distant Provinces, had fled for Concealment to Rome, declare it was their Opinion, The Opinion of the
Roman Clergy
concerning the
Lapsed.That such of the Lapsed as were at the Point of Death, should, upon an unfeigned Repentance, be admitted to the Communion of the Church, but that the Cause of others should be put off till the Election of a new Bishop, when, together with him, with other Bishops, with the Priests, Deacons, Confessors, and Laymen, who had stood firm, they should take their Case into Consideration; adding, that a Crime committed by many ought not to be judged by one; and that a Decree could not be binding without the Consent and Approbation of many[351]. They disown the
Pope’s Infallibility.Could they in more plain and express Terms disown the Infallibility of the Pope their Bishop? Could they upon mature Deliberation write thus, and at the same time believe his Judgment an infallible Rule? Such a Proposition would, in these Days, be deemed heretical; and no Wonder; the Pope’s Infallibility must be maintained at all Events; and to maintain it is impossible, without condemning, as heretical, the Doctrine taught by the Church in the first and purest Ages.

Twentieth Bishop of Rome. Gallus.
Year of Christ 251.
After the See had been vacant for the Space of Sixteen Months, Cornelius, a Presbyter of the Church of Rome, was at last elected[352], on the 4th of June 251. according to the most probable Opinion[353]. The Character of
Cornelius by St.
Cyprian.He was, according to St. Cyprian[354], a Man of an unblemished Character, and, on account of his peaceable Temper, his great Modesty, his Integrity, and many other eminent Virtues, well worthy of the Dignity to which he was raised. He did not attain at once, says the same Writer, to the Height of the Priesthood, but after he had passed through all the inferior Degrees, agreeably to the Discipline of the Church. He was so far from using Intrigues, from intruding himself by Violence, as some have done, that Violence was necessary to make him accept the Dignity offered him. He was ordained Bishop, continues St. Cyprian, by some of our Collegues, who, being then at Rome, conformed to the Judgment of the whole People and Clergy[355]. As Decius was still alive, who had declared, that he had rather bear with a Competitor to his Crown, than with a Bishop of Rome[356], the Christians, in all Likelihood, laid hold of the Opportunity, which the Revolt of Valens gave them, to chuse a new Bishop; for this very Year Julius Valens revolting, caused himself to be proclaimed Emperor in Rome[357]; and though he held the Empire but a very short time, yet his Revolt might divert Decius for a while from persecuting the Christians.

Though Cornelius was chosen by the unanimous Voice of the People and Clergy, yet Novatian, a Presbyter of the Church of Rome, who aspired to the same Dignity, not only refused to acknowlege him; but having gained a considerable Party among the People, Five Presbyters, and some Confessors, he wrote in their Name and his own to St. Cyprian, and no doubt to many other Bishops, laying heinous Crimes to the Charge of Cornelius; namely, his having sued for a Protection from the Pagan Magistrates, which was ranking him among the Libellatici, who were excluded from all Dignities and 52Employments in the Church. St. Cyprian having received this Letter, and at the same time one from Cornelius, acquainting him with his Election, as was customary in those Times among Bishops, he caused the one to be read in a full Assembly of the People and Clergy, but suppressed the other, looking upon it as a scandalous Libel[358]. St. Cyprian calls a
Council,However, to prevent the Calumnies and false Reports that might be spread abroad by Novatian and his Partisans, he assembled a Council of all the Bishops of his Province, who, hearing of the Schism in the Church of Rome, resolved to send thither two of their Body, who should carefully inform themselves of what had passed in the late Election, and on their Return make a faithful Report of all they had learnt. Pursuant to this Resolution, Caldonius and Fortunatus, Two African Bishops, were dispatched to Rome with Letters from the Council to the Clergy of that City, and to the Bishops who had been present at the Ordination of Cornelius. The Bishops no sooner received these Letters than they answered them, assuring their Brethren in Africa, that Cornelius had been lawfully chosen; and at the same time commending him as a Person, on account of his extraordinary Piety, and exemplary Life, most worthy of the Dignity to which he had been raised. which acknowleges
Cornelius.Their Testimony was soon after confirmed by Caldonius and Fortunatus returning from Rome, and like wise by Stephanius and Pompeius, Two African Bishops, who had assisted at the Ordination of Cornelius; so that he was universally acknowleged all over Africa[359].

The African Bishops no sooner acknowleged Cornelius than they acquainted him with the Resolutions, which they had taken in their late Council, with respect to the Lapsed. Resolutions of the
Council of Africa
concerning the
Lapsed.The Substance of these was, That such as had yielded to the Fury of the Persecution ought not to be abandoned, lest, giving themselves up to Despair, they should fall into a total Apostasy; but should be re-admitted to the Union of the Church upon a sincere Repentance, and after a long Penance; that the Time of their Penance should be shortened, or prolonged, according to the Nature of their Crimes; that is, the Libellatici should have a shorter Time assigned them; and the Sacrificati, called also Thurificati, who had actually offered Sacrifice, or Frankincense, to Idols, should not be admitted till they had expiated their Offence by a very long Penance; but that both the Libellatici and Sacrificati 53should be taken in, before the Time of their Penance was expired, if at the Point of Death, or even thought to be in Danger[360]. As to fallen Bishops, they were to be dealt with in the same Manner; and, after due Penance, or, as it is sometimes called, Satisfaction, be admitted only in a Lay Capacity[361]. Cornelius did not, upon the Receipt of these Determinations or Decrees, step into his oracular Chair, and thence, as an infallible Judge, condemn or approve them. Such arbitrary Proceedings would not have been well relished by the Bishops of Africa, nor even by his own Clergy, who not long before had declared, That a Decree could not be binding without the Consent and Approbation of many. Which are approved
by the Council
of Rome.He therefore acted on this Occasion as St. Cyprian had done, as other Bishops did afterwards; that is, he assembled a Council, which Eusebius calls a great Council[362]; for it consisted of Sixty Bishops, and a great Number of Priests, Deacons, and Laymen, who, in those Times, were admitted to all Councils[363]. By this Venerable Assembly were the Decrees of the Council of Africa examined and approved, and then sent to be in like manner examined and approved by other Bishops, till the whole Church had agreed to them[364].

Novatian excommun-
At the Council of Rome assisted among other Presbyters Novatian: but as he maintained, in Opposition to the whole Assembly, that the Lapsed were to be admitted upon no Terms or Satisfaction whatsoever, but should be left to the Divine Tribunal, he was himself cut off from that Communion, which with an invincible Obstinacy he denied to others[365]. Provoked at this Sentence, he readily gave Ear to the Insinuations of Novatus, a Presbyter of the Church of Carthage, who had fled from thence to Rome, to avoid the Sentence of Excommunication, with which he was threatened by St. Cyprian, and the other Bishops of Africa, for his scandalous Doctrine, and irregular Practices[366]. Pacianus paints him in the blacked Colours: Novatus his Wicked
ness.He stripped the Orphans, says he, plundered the Widows of the Church of Carthage, and appropriated to himself the Money belonging to the Poor and the Church[367]: He turned his Father out of Doors, and let him die of Hunger in the Streets, and would not even be at the Trouble of burying him after his Death. With a Kick in the Belly he made his Wife miscarry, and bring forth a dead Child: whence Pacianus calls 54him a Traitor, an Assassin, the Murderer of his Father and Child[368]. As for his Doctrine, he held, while at Carthage, Tenets diametrically opposite to those he taught at Rome: for, at Carthage, he was for admitting to the Communion of the Church not only the Lapsed, but all other Sinners, let their Crimes be ever so heinous, without any Sort of Penance; and, at Rome, for excluding them, let their Penance be ever so long, let their Repentance be ever so sincere[369]. At Carthage he found Felicissimus, of whom I shall speak hereafter, inclined to Lenity; and Novatian, at Rome, to Severity: and therefore, as he was a Man of great Vanity, and no Principles, he suited himself to the different Tempers of such as he judged the most capable of raising him. He gains many
Followers, and some
Confessors, to the
Party of Novatian.At Rome, by a Pretence to an uncommon Sanctity and Severity, he gained a great many Followers, and among them some Confessors lately delivered out of Prison, from whom he extorted Letters directed to Novatian, wherein they consented to the Ordination of the said Novatian. In virtue of these Letters he was accordingly ordained, some say in Rome[370], others in a neighbouring Village[371], by Three Bishops sent for by Novatus out of the Country for that Purpose, and quite unacquainted with his Views. Novatian the
first Anti-pope.Being thus ordained Bishop, he was set up by the Party against Cornelius, whom they charged with relaxing the Discipline of the Church, and communicating with the Lapsed, especially with one Trophimus. This St. Cyprian calls a false and groundless Charge; for, as to Trophimus, though he was in the Number of the Thurificati, that is, though he had offered Frankinsense to Idols, and even persuaded his Flock (for he was a Presbyter, if not a Bishop) to follow his Example, yet he had sufficiently atoned for his Crime, by a sincere Repentance, by a long Penance, and, above all, by bringing back his People with him, who would not have returned without him[372]. As for the others, ’tis true, he communicated with some who had not fulfilled the Time of Penance assigned them, but such only as, being admitted at the Point of Death, had afterwards recovered; which can no otherwise be avoided, says St. Cyprian[373], but by killing those to whom we granted the Peace of the Church, when we apprehended them to be in Danger. Novatian having thus, by a pretended Zeal for the Discipline of the Church, and the artful Insinuations of Novatus, seduced a great many at Rome, who styled themselves the Cathari, 55He acquaints the
other Churches with
his Ordination.that is, the pure, undefiled Party; he wrote in their and his own Name to the other Churches, acquainting them with his Ordination, exhorting them not to communicate with the Lapsed upon any Terms, and bitterly complaining of the scandalous Lenity and Remisness of Cornelius[374]. At the same time Cornelius wrote to the other Bishops, giving them a faithful Account of all that had happened at Rome, especially of the uncanonical Ordination of Novatian. However, the Letters of Novatian, signed by several Confessors, who were greatly respected in those Days, made no small Impression on Antonianus an African Bishop, and Fabius Bishop of Antioch[375], but quite gained over to the Party Marcianus Bishop of Arles[376]. His Deputies rejected
and excommunicated
in Africa.The other Bishops declared all to a Man for Cornelius, especially St. Cyprian, and those of his Province, who, being assembled in a Council when the Deputies of Novatian arrived, excommunicated without farther Examination both him and them[377]; and well they might, since they had taken so much Pains to inform themselves of the Lawfulness of Cornelius’s Election, as we have related above. The Deputies, though thus rejected with Scorn and Disgrace by the Council, did not abandon the Enterprize, but proselyting from Town to Town, nay, from House to House, inveigled a great many, under colour of communicating with the Confessors[378]. St. Cyprianendeav-
ours to reclaim
the Confessors.St. Cyprian therefore, whose Zeal was not confined within the Bounds, however extensive, of Africa, Numidia, and the Two Mauritania’s, to withdraw this main Support from the Party, writ a short but nervous Letter to the Confessors, deploring the Fault they had committed, by consenting to the unlawful Ordination of Novatian, and exhorting them to return with all Speed to the Catholic Church[379]. Dionysius Bishop of Alexandria writ them a pathetic Letter to the same Purpose[380]; and these Letters had at last the desired Effect; but not before Novatus, who had drawn them into the Schism, left Rome; which happened on the following Occasion:

Novatian sends new
Deputies into Africa.
Novatian, being informed that the Deputies he had sent into Africa were every-where rejected and despised, resolved to send others, whom he judged, on account of their Rank and Authority, more capable of promoting his Design[381]. The Persons he pitched upon were Nicostratus, Novatus, Evaristus, Primus, and Dionysius. Of 56the Two last I find no farther Mention made in History; of Novatus I have spoken above; and as for Evaristus and Nicostratus, the former was a Bishop, and is supposed to have been one of the Three that ordained Novatian. Nicostratus was a Deacon of the Church of Rome[382], and had been imprisoned with the Two Presbyters Moses and Maximus, for the Confession of the Faith[383], which intitled him to a Place among the Confessors.Their Characters. To these Three St. Cyprian ascribes the excellent Letter, as he styles it, which the Confessors of Rome writ to those of Carthage[384]. He was likewise one of the Confessors, who writ to St. Cyprian himself, as appears from the Title of that admirable Letter, which runs thus: The Presbyters Moses and Maximus, the Deacons Nicostratus and Ruffinus, and the other Confessors, who are with them, to Pope Cyprian[385]. The Name of Pope
antiently common to
all Bishops.We may here observe, by the way, that the Name of Pope, which signifies no more than Father, was antiently common to all Bishops; but was afterwards, by a special Decree of Gregory VII. appropriated to the Bishop of Rome. To return to Nicostratus, the Character given him by St. Cyprian and Cornelius, bespeaks him quite unworthy of being joined with the others, who are named in that Letter, and were all Men of great Piety: for he had squandered away the Money belonging to the Church, that was lodged in his Hands, embezzled that of the Widows and Orphans, and defrauded a Lady, who had trusted him with the Management of her Affairs[386].

The Deputies are
everywhere rejected
in Africa.
These new Deputies met with no better a Reception than the former had done: for St. Cyprian, being informed of their Departure from Rome, by the Confessor Augendus[387], and soon after of their Characters by the Acolyte Nicephorus, both sent, for that Purpose, by Cornelius[388], he acquainted therewith the other Catholic Bishops, who, upon that Intelligence, rejected them with the greatest Indignation, as Apostates, and Firebrands of Sedition. Hereupon the Deputies having, by the Means and Contrivance of Novatus, procured some of their Party to be ordained Bishops, and Nicostratus among the rest, they named them to the Sees of the Catholic Bishops; which bred great Confusion and Disorder in the Church, it being a difficult Matter for the Bishops in the distant Provinces to distinguish between their lawful Brethren and the Intruders, and consequently to know whom they should admit to, and whom they should exclude 57from their Communion. But against this Evil a Remedy was found by St. Cyprian, and the other African Bishops, who, to arm him against the Craft and Arts of those subtle Impostors, transmitted to him a List of all the Catholic Bishops of that Province[389].

The Confessors return
to the Communion of
the Church.
The Storm, which Novatus had raised in Rome, was laid by his Departure; for he was no sooner gone, than the Confessors, whom he had seduced, viz. Maximus, Urbanus, Sidonius, and Macarius, signified to Cornelius their eager Desire of quitting his Party, and returning to the Communion of the Church. Cornelius questioned, at first, their Sincerity; but, being convinced of it at last, he assembled his Clergy, not caring to trust to his own Judgment, in order to advise with them, in what manner he should proceed, in the present Case. At this Council assisted, besides the Roman Clergy, Five Bishops, who either happened to be then at Rome; or, on this Occasion, had been invited thither by Cornelius. They were scarce met, when the Confessors, attended by a great Croud, appeared before them, testifying, with a Flood of Tears, the Sincerity of their Repentance, and begging they would forget their part criminal Conduct. How received.The Council did not think it adviseable to come to any Resolution, till they had acquainted the People with the Request of the Confessors; which they no sooner did, than the People flocked to the Place, and, not upbraiding, but embracing, with Tears of Joy, their retrieved Brethren, and with the same Tenderness as if they had been just then delivered out of Prison, pointed out to the Council the Method they were to pursue. Accordingly Cornelius, having, with the Approbation of the Council, made them renounce the Errors of Novatian, and acknowlege him for the only lawful Bishop of Rome, readmitted them, without farther Satisfaction, to the Communion of the Church[390]. From this Account I should imagine, that those who accompanied the Confessors, at their first appearing before the Council, were Novatians, whom they had brought back with them; but I dare not affirm it, since St. Cyprian, in his Answer to Cornelius, speaks only of the Four above-mentioned Confessors. Cornelius acquaints
St. Cyprian with
their Return.The Confessors being thus returned, to the inexpressible Joy of the whole People, Cornelius, impatient to impart the good News to St. Cyprian, writ to him, as soon as the Council broke up, to acquaint him with what had happened, and invite him to partake of the common Joy, to which he had so much contributed[391]. With this Letter Nicephorus 58the Acolyte embarked, without Delay, for Africa; and thence returned soon after with an Answer, wherein St. Cyprian assured Cornelius, that, the Return of the Confessors had caused an universal Joy in Africa, both for their Sake, and because it might open the Eyes of many, and prove in the End the Ruin of the schismatic Party[392]. The Confessors themselves writ to St. Cyprian, upon their Return[393], who immediately answered them[394]; and, in all Likelihood, to the other chief Bishops of the Church; since Eusebius informs us, that Dionysius, Bishop of Alexandria, writ twice to them after their Return[395]. In what manner
Novatian endeavoured
to keep the rest
steady.In the mean time Novatian, seeing great Numbers, moved by the Example of the Confessors, daily fall off from his Party, to keep the rest steady by the most sacred Ties, used, in administring the Eucharist, to hold the Hands of those who received it, with the holy Bread in them, between his, and oblige them to swear, by the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, that they would never abandon him, nor return to Cornelius[396].

A Schism in the
Church of Carthage.
As the Church of Rome was rent by the Schism of Novatian, so was the Church of Carthage by that of Felicissimus; and as the former, upon his being excommunicated by Cornelius, and the Council of Rome, had recourse to St. Cyprian, in like manner the latter, being cut off from the Communion of the Church by St. Cyprian, and the Council of Carthage, had recourse to Cornelius. But as the Doctrine of Felicissimus, though diametrically opposite to that of Novatian, was equally repugnant to the Catholic Truth, and to the Discipline established in the Church, as I have observed above, he was at first rejected by Cornelius, with great Steadiness and Resolution. But the Bishop of Rome had, at last, been frightened into a Compliance, had he not been animated and encouraged by St. Cyprian: for the Followers of Felicissimus having, in Imitation of the Novatians, appointed one of their own Faction, named Fortunatus, Bishop of Carthage, Felicissimus took upon himself to carry to Cornelius the Letters of the new and Third Bishop of that City. Accordingly he set out for Rome, attended by a Troop of seditious, desperate, and abandoned Men, says St. Cyprian[397]. Cornelius rejected them at first with great Firmness, and immediately acquainted St. Cyprian with what had passed; but Felicissimus threatening to read publicly the Letters he had brought, if Cornelius did not receive them, and to 59discover many scandalous Things, he was not a little intimidated. He therefore writ a second Letter to St. Cyprian, but betrayed in it a great deal of Fear and Weakness: however, the excellent Letter, which St. Cyprian writ in Answer to his, inspired him with new Vigour, and kept him steady[398].

The Persecution
renewed by Gallus.
In the mean time, Decius being killed, the Persecution was carried on, or rather renewed, with more Fury than ever, by Gallus his Successor. As the Roman Empire was, at this Time, afflicted with a dreadful Plague, Gallus, who, it seems, had not molested the Christians during the first Months of his Reign[399], issued an Order, injoining Men of all Ranks and Professions to offer Sacrifice to the Gods, hoping, by that means, to appease their Wrath, and put a Stop to the raging Evil. It was on Occasion of this Plague that St. Cyprian writ his excellent Discourse on Mortality, wherein he so eloquently teaches a Christian to triumph over the Fears of Death, and shews with how little Reason we mourn for those Friends and Relations who are snatched from us. Cornelius
apprehended.Such of the Christians as refused to comply with the Emperor’s Edict, were either banished or executed. Cornelius, among the rest, was apprehended at the first breaking out of the Persecution, and made a glorious Confession of his Faith, as appears from St. Cyprian, who, on that Occasion, writ him a Letter of Congratulation[400]. What happened to him afterwards is uncertain; for his Acts are evidently fabulous, though they have been received by Bede, by Ado, by Anastasius, and many others, far more considerable for their Number than their Authority. We read in the Pontifical of Bucherius, that he was banished to Centumcellæ, now Civita-vecchia, and died of a natural Death, according to the Expression used there[401] (Dormitionem accepit). As to the Title of Martyr, with which he is distinguished by St. Jerom[402], it was antiently given to all those who, for the Confession of Faith, died in Prison, which in all Likelihood happened to Cornelius[N5].

N5. Cornelius is reckoned, by St. Jerom, among the Ecclesiastic Writers, on account of the Four Letters, which he writ to Fabius Bishop of Antioch, who seemed not to dislike the Tenets of Novatian[1]. He writ several other Letters, whereof Two are still extant among those of St. Cyprian[2]; and some Fragments of his Fourth Letter to Fabius have been transmitted to us by Eusebius. As for the Letter to Lupicinus, Bishop of Vienne, which was found in the Archives of that Church, and published by Father du Bosc, the Cardinals Baronius[3] and Bona[4] think it genuine; but it is, without all Doubt, supposititious: for, according to Ado and Baronius himself[5], Florentius, whom Lupicinus is supposed to have succeeded, was raised to that See in the Reign of Maximus, or Gordian, about the Year 240. and held it till the Reign of Valerian, and about the Year 258. so that in 252. when Cornelius died, Lupicinus was not yet Bishop. Besides, in the Title of the Letter, which Baronius has suppressed, Lupicinus is styled Archbishop; which Title was not known then, nor long after. The Letter is therefore rejected by Launoy[6], and Dr. Pearson[7], as a forged and spurious Piece. Erasmus ascribes to Cornelius the Treatise on Charity[8]; and du Pin both that, and the other on the public Shews, with the Discourse against Novatian[9], which are all to be found among St. Cyprian’s Works.

1. Hier. vir. ill. c 66. p. 290.

2. Cypr. ep. 46. 48.

3. Bar. ad ann. 255. n. 47.

4. Bona lit. 1. c. 3. p. 13.

5. Bar. ad ann. 262. n. 58.

6. Laun. Ger. l. 4. c. 6.

7. Pears. Cyp. ann. p. 37.

8. Eras. Cyp. p. 417.

9. Du Pin, t. 1. p. 469.

60Cornelius died on the same Day of the Month and the Week, on which St. Cyprian was martyred Six Years after[403]; that is, on the 14th of September 252. according to the most probable Opinion, having held the Pontificate one Year, Three Months, and Ten Days. His Reliques.His Body is supposed to have been translated from Civita-vecchia to the Cemetery of Callistus; for near that Place Pope Leo I. is said to have built, in Honour of Cornelius, a Basilic, or magnificent Church[404]. His Body was believed to be still at Rome in the End of the Eighth Century; for Anastasius tells us, that Pope Adrian placed it in a Church, which he had built in Capracoro[405]; but it was soon after removed from thence, and brought into France, by Charlemagne, as Pamelius assures us, upon the Authority of a small Life of St. Cyprian, written, as he supposes, by Paulus Diaconus[406][N6].

N6. There is a famous Abbey, bearing his Name, at Compeigne in the Isle of France, where his Reliques, and those of St. Cyprian, are supposed to be kept in the same Shrine. But how can we reconcile this with what we read in the Council of Reims, held in 1049. under Leo IX. viz. that the Body of St. Cornelius was removed by the Clergy of Compeigne, from that City to Reims; and received there by the Pope[1]? But, on the other hand, the Council is contradicted by Aubertus de Mira, who assures us, that, in 860. the Reliques of Pope Cornelius were translated from the Abbey of Inde, standing about Four Miles South of Aix la Chapelle, to that of Rosnay, which is, at present, a Collegiate Church in Flanders, between Oudenarde and Tournay. In this Church is still to be seen a Shrine, supposed to contain, as appears from the Inscription, the Bones of St. Cornelius and St. Cyprian[2].

1. Conc. t. 9. p. 1033. 1042.

2. Vide Bolland. 12 Feb. p. 607. et Pamel, p. 23.

Eusebius observes, that, in the Time of Cornelius, the Church of Rome was in a most flourishing Condition; for, not to mention the People, who were almost without Number, it consisted of 46 Presbyters, 7 Subdeacons, 42 Acolytes, 52 Exorcists, Lectors, and Janitors, or Door-keepers, and 1500 Widows, and other Poor, who were all maintained by the Alms and Offerings of the Faithful[407].

Gallus, LUCIUS,
Twenty-first Bishop of Rome. Volusianus.
Year of Christ 252.

He is banished.
Lucius was no sooner named to succeed Cornelius, than he was apprehended, and sent, with many others, into Banishment; for St. Cyprian wrote him a Letter, in the Name of his Collegues, and his own, congratulating him, at the same time, on his Promotion, and his Exile, as appears from St. Cyprian’s Second Letter to him[408]; for his First has not reached our Times. Lucius had been but a very short time in Banishment, when he was recalled, to the inexpressible Joy of his Flock, who, it seems, crouded out to meet him[409]. On this Occasion St. Cyprian wrote him a Second Letter, still extant[410], wherein he testifies the Joy with which the News of his Return had been received by him, and his Brethren in Africa. Returns to Rome.He returned to Rome during the Heat of the Persecution; but what occasioned his Return, we are no-where told. St. Cyprian says, in his Second Letter to him, that he was perhaps recalled to be immolated in the Sight of his Flock, that they might be animated and encouraged by the Example of his Christian Constancy and Resolution[411]; which happened accordingly; for he had not governed Eight whole Months, says Eusebius[412], no, nor Six, according to the most probable Opinion, but only Five, and a few Days, when he died a Martyr; for that Title is given him by St. Cyprian[413]. and dies a Martyr.He was beheaded, say the Martyrologies; but on this Point the Antients are silent; and his dying in Prison had given him a just Claim to that Title. His Body is supposed to have been discovered intire, in the Church of St. Cæcilia at Rome, in 1599. though the Church of Roskild, in the Isle of Zeland, had long before pretended to his Head[414].

Twenty-second Bishop of Rome.
Year of Christ 253.
The Bishops of Gaul
write to Stephen.
Stephen, who succeeded Lucius, in 253. soon after his Election, received a Letter from Faustinus, Bishop of Lions, written in the Name of all his Collegues in Gaul, informing him, that Marcian, Bishop of Arles, having embraced the Doctrine of Novatian, had denied the Communion of the Church to the Lapsed, even at the Point of Death. At the same time they writ to St. Cyprian, and on the same Subject[415], not caring to come to any vigorous Resolution against their Collegue, without the Advice and Approbation of other Bishops, especially of Rome and Carthage; the former being eminent for the Dignity of his See, and the latter for his known Zeal, Piety, and Learning. But Faustinus did not find in the Bishop of Rome the Zeal he expected; and therefore he writ a second Letter to St. Cyprian, exhorting him to animate the others by his Example[416]; which that zealous Prelate did accordingly: for he writ immediately to Stephen, pressing him to dispatch, without Delay, full and ample Letters to the Bishops of Gaul; that, finding themselves thus backed and supported, they might thereby be encouraged to depose Marcian, and name another in his room. It is not to be doubted but the Bishop of Carthage, who had the Welfare of the Church, at least, as much at Heart as the Bishop of Rome, did himself what he encouraged the others to do; but I cannot positively affirm it, since his Answer to Faustinus is lost. As to the Issue of this Affair, the Antients have left us quite in the Dark[N7].

N7. Marcian’s Name is not in the List of the Bishops of Arles, published by F. Mabillon: whence some modern Writers have concluded, that he was actually deposed; but that List is very imperfect, the Names of many Bishops being wanting there, whom we certainly know to have governed that Church.

St. Cyprian did not doubt in the least but that Marcian would be deposed; for, in his Letter to Stephen, he desires him to let him know the Name of the Person who should be chosen in his room, that he may not be at a Loss, to whom he should direct his Letters, and his Brethren[417].

63Faustinus, and the other Bishops of Gaul, did not apply, on this Occasion, to Stephen alone, but to him, and to St. Cyprian. Why then should their applying to the Bishop of Rome be construed, as it is, by all the Roman Catholic Writers, into a tacit Acknowlegement of his universal Jurisdiction, and not the like Construction be put on their applying to the Bishop of Carthage? But, in Truth, neither can bear such a Construction, since the Bishops of Gaul did not refer the Cause of Marcian either to Stephen, or to St. Cyprian: they writ to both only for their Advice and Approbation. Stephen was backward, for Reasons unknown to us, in giving his; and therefore St. Cyprian, in a Letter, which he writ on this Occasion, pressed him to encourage with his Letters the People of Arles, and the Bishops of Gaul, to depose Marcian, and appoint another in his room[418]. Was not this plainly acknowleging, not in the Bishop of Rome, but in the People and Clergy, the Power of deposing one Bishop, and appointing another in his room?

Stephen’s rash Con-
But to return to Stephen: His rash Conduct had involved the Churches of Spain in endless Calamities, had not St. Cyprian, and the other Bishops of Africa, zealously interposed. The Bishops of Spain, having judged Two of their Collegues unworthy of the Episcopacy, viz. Basilides of Leon and Astorga, and Martial of Merida, had disposed of their Sees to others, appointing Sabinus in the room of the former, and Felix in that of the latter. They were both Libellatici, and guilty of many other Crimes, for which Martial had been deposed; but Basilides, returning to himself, and conscious of his own Guilt, had voluntarily resigned, declaring he should think it a great Happiness to be readmitted, after due Satisfaction, to the Communion of the Church, even in the Capacity of a Layman. But, Ambition getting the better of all his good Resolutions, he soon began to pant after his former Condition; and, thinking the Favour and Interest of the Bishop of Rome might greatly contribute to his Re-establishment, he undertook a Journey to that City; He suffers himself
to be imposed upon.and there, as St. Cyprian expresses himself, imposed upon our Collegue Stephen, who lived at a great Distance, and was ignorant of the Truth, seeking unjustly to be restored to his Bishoprick, from which he had been justly deposed[419]. Being thus admitted to the Communion of the Bishop of Rome, he returned well satisfied to Spain, and there exercised all Episcopal Functions, as he had formerly done. St. Cyprian does not 64tell us, in express Terms, that Martial too had recourse to Rome; but that he had, may, perhaps, be gathered from his Words; for he writes, that, notwithstanding the Craft and Deceit Martial had used, probably in imposing upon Stephen, he had not been able to preserve his Episcopacy[420]. Besides, he acted as a Bishop after he had been deposed by a Synod; which he would have hardly attempted, had he not been countenanced by some Bishop of Rank and Dignity. Be that as it will, the Churches of Leon, Astorga, and Merida, applied, in this their Distress, to the Bishops of Africa, imploring, both by Letters and Deputies, their Advice and Assistance. The Deputies were the Two new Bishops Felix and Sabinus; and their Deputation was backed by a pressing Letter from Felix, Bishop of Saragosa, whom St. Cyprian styles a Propagator of the Faith, and Defender of the Truth[421]. Martial of Merida
excommunicated by
the Bishops of Africa,
tho’ admitted by
Stephen to his
Communion.These Letters being read at Carthage, in a Council of 28 Bishops, with St. Cyprian at their Head, it was concluded, that Basilides and Martial ought not to be acknowleged as Bishops; that it was not lawful to communicate with them; that such Bishops as did, ought to be excommunicated themselves; and, finally, that their imposing upon Stephen, instead of giving them any kind of Right to the Sees they had forfeited by their Wickedness, added to their Guilt. By the same Council, the Election of Sabinus and Felix was confirmed, and they acknowleged by all the African Bishops as their Collegues[422].

Appeals to Rome,
no Proof of the Pope’s
It is surprising, that Bellarmine, Baronius, Davidius, and other Advocates for the Pope’s Supremacy, should lay so much Stress as they do, on the Recourse to Rome of the Two deposed Bishops. If their recurring, or appealing, as they are pleased to style it, to the Bishop of Rome, is any Proof of his being acknowleged by them for the Head of the Church, the Appeal of the other Bishops of Spain from him to St. Cyprian, and their acquiescing to his, and not to the Judgment of Stephen, will be a stronger Proof of St. Cyprian’s being acknowleged by them for the Head of the Church. Had Basilides and Martial recurred not to Rome, but to Carthage, had the Bishops of Spain appealed from St. Cyprian to Stephen, as they did from Stephen to St. Cyprian, and acquiesced to his Judgment, no Notice had been taken of the Appeal of the Two Apostates; that only of the Catholic Bishops had been set forth with great Pomp and Flourish of 65Words. But, as the Case stands, they must be satisfied with the Evidence of the Apostates, and leave the Catholic Bishops to bear Testimony for us, which we shall not misuse; we shall not build upon it the Supremacy of the Church of Carthage; we shall not set up St. Cyprian for a Judge, to whose Tribunal all Appeals must be brought; in short, we shall not make him an universal Judge, an universal Pastor, a Pope; though, to the Testimony of the Spanish Bishops, that of Gregory Nazianzene should be added, and I defy the Champions for the See of Rome to allege one in their Favour more plain and expressive: St. Cyprian, says he, presided not only over the Church of Carthage, or that of Africa, on which he reflected an extraordinary Lustre, but over all the West, nay, and over all the Nations of the East, of the North, and the South[423]. Had Gregory said as much of the Bishop of Rome, the Passage had been employed as a Corner-stone to support the Pope’s universal Jurisdiction.

The famous Dispute
about the Baptism
of Heretics.
Not long after the Affair of the Spanish Bishops, that is, about the Year 256. according to the most probable Opinion, happened the famous Contest about the Baptism of Heretics, which rent the whole Church into Two Parties, the one headed by St. Cyprian, and the other by Stephen. St. Cyprian maintained, that Baptism administred by Heretics, was null and invalid; and, consequently, that such as came over from them, from what Sect soever they came, ought to be baptized by a Catholic Minister: he owned there was but one Baptism, and therefore avoided the Word Rebaptization; but thought that Heretics had not the Power of conferring it. Both Opinions
erroneous.On the other hand, Stephen, and those who adhered to him, pretended, that Baptism conferred by Heretics, of whatever Sect or Persuasion, was valid; so that by avoiding one Error, they fell into another; for some Heretics of those Times, namely, the Montanists and Marcionites, did not baptize, as is commanded by the Gospel, in the Name of the Three Persons; whence their Baptism was declared null by Two Oecumenical Councils, as I shall relate hereafter. I know great Pains have been taken to excuse Stephen; but his own Words, quoted by St. Cyprian, from his own Letter to him, can, in my Opinion, admit of no Dispute; for he there forbids, in express Terms, the Baptizing of Heretics, from what Heresy soever they should come[424]. And here we may observe, by the way, that the whole Church erred, 66either at this Time, or afterwards; for afterwards both Opinions were condemned, and both were held at this Time, by the one or the other of the Two Parties, into which the whole Church was divided. The Point in Dispute had been canvassed long before, and differently settled in different Provinces. The Churches of Africa and Numidia had formerly admitted Heretics, without baptizing or rebaptizing them; but the contrary Practice was established in a Council of the Bishops of these Two Provinces, summoned about the Close of the Second Century, by Agrippinus Bishop of Carthage[425]. The Custom of
baptizing Heretics
practised by several
Churches, and
established by
Councils.The same Practice of baptizing Heretics was followed by the Churches of Cappadocia, and the other Provinces of Asia, as a Tradition handed down to them from the Apostles Times; whence it was confirmed in a Council, which was held at Iconium in Phrygia, about the Year 230. and consisted of all the Bishops of Cappadocia, Galatia, Cilicia, and the neighbouring Provinces[426]. The same Practice was approved of by another Council, assembled, much about the same time, at Synnades in Phrygia[427]. The Bishops of Pontus and Egypt agreed, it seems, with those of Cappadocia and Galatia[428]; but all the other Bishops, especially those of Italy, Gaul, and Spain, held the contrary Opinion, and followed the opposite Practice. This Disagreement, both in Opinion and Practice, had hitherto created no Disturbance in the Church, each Bishop conforming to the Custom of his particular Church, as received by Tradition, or settled by Synods, without censuring those who disagreed with him, or being censured by them. It is confirm’d
by two Councils held
by St. Cyprian;But the Question was now revived by Eighteen Bishops of Numidia, who writ to a Council, held at this time by St. Cyprian, to know whether they had done well in rebaptizing Heretics, agreeably to the antient Practice of their respective Churches. What raised this Doubt now, we know not; but it is certain, the Council answered, that they ought to follow the Practice which they had hitherto observed[429]. The same Answer was returned by St. Cyprian, to Quintus Bishop of Mauritania, who had asked the same Question[430]. Soon after, another Council was held at Carthage, composed of 71 Bishops, wherein the Decrees of the former Council, concerning the Baptism of Heretics, were confirmed; and besides, it was ordained, that such Presbyters and Deacons as had received Ordination at the Hands of Heretics, or who, after receiving Orders in the Church, had fallen into 67Heresy, should be admitted to Communion only as Laymen[431]. who acquaints
Stephen with their
Decrees.The Council, by a synodal Letter, acquainted Stephen with these Resolutions, hoping he would approve and embrace them; but at the same time declaring, that if any Bishop should think fit to reject them, and follow different Opinions, agreeably to the Liberty they all claimed, no Breach of Peace and Unity should thence follow on their Side[432]. With this Letter St. Cyprian sent those he had written to Quintus, and to the Bishops of Numidia[433].

St. Cyprian’s famous
letter to Jubaianus.
It was after this Council, and before Stephen’s Answer, that St. Cyprian wrote the famous Letter to Jubaianus, who was a Bishop; but in what Province, or of what City, we know not. Jubaianus had, by a Letter, asked St. Cyprian’s Opinion about the Baptizing of Heretics; and, at the same time, sent him the Copy of a Letter, which he had received; wherein many Reasons were alleged to prove, that Baptism, by whomsoever administred, not even the Marcionites excepted, ought to be deemed valid. The Author of this Letter inveighs bitterly against St. Cyprian, and those of his Party, styling them Betrayers of the Truth, and Enemies to the Peace and Unity of the Church[434]. Baronius, and likewise Pamelius, ascribe that Piece to Stephen, not apprised that they must consequently own the Doctrine held by Stephen to have been no less erroneous than that which was held by St. Cyprian, if the Doctrine of the Church be true, as I have observed above. But we have not sufficient Grounds to suppose Stephen the Author of it, since many besides him writ in favour of that Opinion. St. Cyprian, in Answer to Jubaianus, sent him his Letter to Quintus, that of the first Council to the Bishops of Numidia; and, moreover, wrote him a long Letter, with a great many Arguments in favour of his Opinion, and the Answers to what was objected against it; especially in the Letter, whereof Jubaianus had transmitted him a Copy[435]. His Desire to
live in Peace and
Unity with those who
held the opposite
Opinion.He ends his Letter by a most solemn Protestation of Unity and Charity with those who should differ from him; which is related at Length by St. Jerom[436], and likewise by St. Austin, who tells us, that he was never tired with reading over and over again those Words of Peace and Charity, breathing nothing but the sweetest Odour of that Union, in which the holy Prelate anxiously sought to live with his Brethren[437]. To this Letter Jubaianus returned Answer, that he had fully convinced him, and that 68he willingly embraced his Opinion[438]. In that Letter St. Cyprian seems to have mustered all the Arguments that could be alleged in favour of his Opinion; and therefore St. Austin has employed his Third, Fourth, and Fifth Books on Baptism, in confuting them.

We have hitherto seen with how much Temper, Moderation, and Candor, the Dispute was managed on St. Cyprian’s Side: he determined nothing without the Advice and Approbation of his Collegues assembled in Council; the Determinations of the Council he imparted to other Bishops, leaving them at full Liberty to embrace or reject them, and declaring, that no Disagreement in Opinion should occasion in him the least Breach of Charity. How different was the Conduct of the Bishop of Rome! Stephen’s Pride
and Arrogance.He condescended, indeed, to answer the synodal Letter of the African Bishops; but did it with that Pride and Arrogance, that in After-ages became the Characteristic of his Successors. He begins with the Dignity of his See, and his pretended Succession to St. Peter, which he takes care to put them in mind of: in the next Place, he rejects their Decrees with the utmost Indignation, and attempts to confute the Arguments alleged to support them: he then proceeds to Commands and Menaces, ordering St. Cyprian to quit his Opinion, and threatening to cut off, from the Communion of the Church, all those who should presume to differ from him, and rebaptize Heretics: he concludes his Letter with a bitter Invective against St. Cyprian, branding that great Luminary of the Church with the reproachful Names of false Christ, false Apostle, deceitful Workman[439]. Such was Pope Stephen’s Answer to a most respectful Letter from a Council of 71 Bishops. Pompeius, Bishop of Sabrata in the Tripolitana, hearing of this Letter, and being desirous to peruse it, as he had done all the rest on the same Subject, He is severely
censured by St.
Cyprian.St. Cyprian, in Compliance with his Desire, sent him a Copy of it; and at the same time writ him a Letter, wherein he treats Stephen, upon the just Provocation he had given him, with more than ordinary Sharpness and Acrimony, charging him with Pride and Impertinence, with Self-contradiction and Ignorance, with Indiscretion, Obstinacy, Childishness; nay, he styles him a Favourer and Abetter of Heretics against the Church of God[440]. St. Cyprian was more provoked at Stephen’s abusive Language, than moved either by his Authority or Menaces. St. Austin supposes the Opinion he held 69to have been false and erroneous; and yet owns, that he was not obliged to yield to the Authority of Stephen, nor give up the Point, till he was convinced by dint of Reason, or by the Decision of an Oecumenical Council[441]. St. Cyprian
assembles a great
Council at Carthage;However, as St. Cyprian sought nothing but Truth, upon the Receipt of Stephen’s Letter, he summoned a great Council, in order to have the Question canvassed anew, and examined with more Care and Attention. The Council met accordingly, on the First of September 256. consisting of 85 Bishops, a great Number of Presbyters and Deacons, and a considerable Part of the People[442]. To this Assembly were read the Letter of Jubaianus to St. Cyprian, his Answer to it, and Jubaianus’s Reply; with the Letter of the former Council to Stephen, and Stephen’s Answer to the Council. These Pieces being read, St. Cyprian made a short Discourse, exhorting his Collegues to speak their Mind freely: the Words he used on this Occasion alluded, without Doubt, to the Pride and Arrogance of the Bishop of Rome; Let none of us, says he, set up for the Bishop of Bishops; let none of us presume to reduce our Collegues by a tyrannical Fear to the Necessity of obeying: he concluded with protesting anew, in the most solemn manner, that he left every one the full Liberty of following what Opinion he liked best; and that no Man should, on that score, be judged by him, or separated from his Communion[443]. which confirms the
antient Practice.The Discourse being finished, each Bishop delivered his Opinion, and St. Cyprian the last, all approving, with one Consent, the Baptizing of Heretics. Pamelius and others count 87 Bishops present at the Council, because Natalis of Oea spoke for the Two other Bishops of Libya Tripolitana, viz. Pompeius of Sabrata, and Dioga of Leptis the Great[444], who were absent.

The Third Council of Carthage having thus confirmed the Decrees of the Two former, notwithstanding the Threats and Menaces of the Bishop of Rome, it was thought adviseable for the Peace of the Church to acquaint him therewith; and at the same time to inform him more particularly of the Reasons, on which their Opinion was grounded. Deputies sent
to Stephen, how
treated.Deputies were accordingly dispatched to Rome for that Purpose; but Stephen not only refused to see or hear them, but would not allow any of his Flock to correspond with them, to supply them with the Necessaries of Life, or even to admit them under the same Roof; excluding them not only from his Communion, 70but from common Hospitality, says, Firmilian, who wrote this very Year[445]. He excommunicates
all who held the
opposite Opinion.He did not stop here; but, transported with Rage, or Zeal, as Baronius is pleased to style it, he cut off from his Communion all the Bishops who had assisted at the Council, and all those who held the same Opinion, that is, the Bishops of Africa, Numidia, Mauritania, Cilicia, Cappadocia, Galatia, and Egypt[446]. But Stephen’s Anathemas proved, as those of Victor’s had done before, bruta fulmina; no Regard was had to them, no, not even by those of his own Party; who, by continuing in Communion with those whom he had cut off from his, sufficiently declared their Thoughts touching his rash and unchristian Conduct. This Dispute, says St. Austin, occasioned no Schism in the Church, the Bishops continuing united in Charity, notwithstanding their Disagreement in Opinion[447]. No Thanks to Stephen, who did all that lay in his Power to set the Bishops at Variance, and involve the whole Church in Confusion and Disorder: The Peace of Christ, continues St. Austin, triumphed in their Hearts, and put a Stop to the growing Schism; not in the Heart of Stephen, where Rage, Ambition, and Envy lodged; Guests incompatible with Peace and Charity; but in the Hearts of the other Bishops, who were thereby restrained from following his Example. How many Schisms had been prevented, had Bishops in After-ages trod in the Footsteps of those great Prelates!

Stephen’s Conduct
disapproved by
Dionysius of
Dionysius, afterwards Pope, and Philemon, both then Presbyters of the Church of Rome, acquainted, no doubt, by Stephen’s Direction, the great Dionysius, Bishop of Alexandria, with what had passed, hoping to gain him over to their Party, and extort from him an Approbation of Stephen’s Conduct: but that illustrious Prelate, foreseeing, and well weighing, the evil Consequences that might attend it, declared his Sentiments with all the Freedom and Zeal that became a Man of his Rank in the Church. He told them plainly, that the condemning a Practice, which had been established by so many Councils, was what he could by no means approve of; that an Affair of such Consequence required long and mature Deliberation; and that the deciding it over-hastily might raise eternal Disputes, and end at last in a Schism: he therefore begged Stephen, in a Letter, which he writ to him on this Occasion, that he would, upon Reflection, alter his Conduct; and in an Affair upon which so much depended, take different Measures from those which he had hitherto pursued[448]. As 71Stephen wrote to Dionysius, so did St. Cyprian to Firmilian, giving him a particular and candid Account both of Stephen’s Conduct and his own. Firmilian was Bishop of Cæsarea in Cappadocia, and one of the most eminent Prelates at that Time in the Church both for Piety and Learning: he had a singular Veneration for St. Cyprian, maintained with great Zeal the same Cause, and consequently had been equally ill used and excommunicated by Stephen. He therefore received with extraordinary Joy the Letter, which St. Cyprian sent him by Rogatian one of his Deacons, often read it with great Satisfaction[449], and answered it with a long Letter[450], which is still extant, though St. Cyprian’s to him has been lost long since. and severely censured
by Firmilian.In this Letter Firmilian, amazed and provoked at Stephen’s unaccountable Conduct, expresses his Detestation of it in sharper Terms than the Laws of Charity can well allow; for, not content to charge him with sacrificing the Peace of the Church to a petulant Humour, he compares him to Judas, and stigmatizes him with the Epithets of inhuman, audacious, insolent, wicked, impious Schismatic; for he is a true Schismatic, says Firmilian, who departs from the Unity of the Church, which thou hast done, O Stephen; for, by attempting to separate others from thee, thou hast separated thyself from all other Churches. How much Sin hast thou heaped upon thyself by cutting thyself off from so many Flocks[451]! Firmilian’s Letter was translated into Latin by St. Cyprian himself, as is manifest from the Style. It was unknown, it seems, to St. Austin; for he never quotes it, nor, in confuting the Opinion of Sr. Cyprian, takes any notice of some Reasons alleged in that Letter to support it.

Stephen dies, but not
a Martyr.
There was no Hope of seeing an End put to this Dispute, so long as Stephen lived; but he dying, his Successor, who was a Man of a quite different Temper, laid the Storm, which his furious and ungovernable Passion had raised. He died on the 2d of August 257. according to the most probable Opinion[452]. The Church of Rome, upon the Authority of his Acts, ranks him among the Martyrs; but that Honour is not paid him either by St. Austin, or by Vincentius Lirinensis, who, naming him together with St. Cyprian, as they often do, give constantly the Title of Martyr to the latter, and never to the former. His Acts fabulous.As for his Acts, they flatly contradict, in several Points, the most unexceptionable Writers among the Antients[453], and therefore by no means 72deserve the Credit which Baronius would have us give them[454]. Even Anastasius seems to have made no Account of them, if in his Time they were yet composed, which may be questioned; for the Account he gives us of Stephen’s Death differs widely from that which we read in those Acts[455]. But he had made a bold Attempt towards extending the Power and Authority of the See of Rome, and therefore was to be placed among the Saints for the Encouragement of others. To say he had merited that Honour by his Virtues, either as a Christian or a Bishop, had been carrying the Imposture too far: the only Means therefore left of making him a Saint, was to make him a Martyr, that, by his glorious Death, he might be thought to have deserved what it was manifest from the Records of those Times he had not deserved by his Christian Life. Hence Acts were forged, setting forth his heroic Confession of the Faith before the Emperor, his Sufferings on that Account, the stupendous Miracles he wrought, &c. which, however incredible, might, in Process of Time, by their Antiquity alone, gain Credit with the greater Part of Mankind. His Reliques.Stephen was buried in the Cœmetery of Callistus[456]; whence his Body was translated about the Year 762. by Paul I. to a Monastery of Greek Monks, which that Pope had built in Rome, as we read in Anastasius[457]. How it got from thence to Trani in Apulia nobody knows; but from that City it was conveyed with great Pomp in 1682. to Pisa in Tuscany, where it is still worshiped in a Church bearing the pretended Saint’s Name[458]. According to the most probable Opinion, Stephen governed Four Years, and about Six Months.

Valerian, SIXTUS II.
Twenty-third Bishop of Rome. Gallienus.
Year of Christ 257.
Dionysius of Alex-
andria interposes in
the famous Dispute.
Stephen being dead, Sixtus or Xystus II. a Deacon of the Church of Rome, was chosen to succeed him. As the late Dispute was not yet ended, Dionysius Bishop of Alexandria no sooner heard of his Promotion, than he began to press him with great Earnestness to relinquish the wild Pretensions of his Predecessor, and concur with 73the other Bishops in restoring Peace and Tranquillity to the Church[459]. He writ Three Letters to him on the same Subject, whereof the last was from Dionysius and the whole Church of Alexandria, to Sixtus and the whole Church of Rome[460]. He writ likewise to Dionysius and Philemon, two Presbyters of the Church of Rome, whom we have mentioned above, and who upon Stephen’s Death seem to have abandoned his Party; for Dionysius of Alexandria, in his first Letter to Sixtus, writes, That these two Presbyters had been formerly of Stephen’s Opinion[461], a plain Indication that they were not then. The Bishop of Alexandria had at last the Satisfaction to see his pious Endeavours crowned with Success; for we find no farther Mention of this Dispute till it was revived by the Donatists. Peace restored to
the Church by his
means.In what manner it ended, we are no-where told; but it is manifest from the Writers of those Times, that the African and Asiatic Bishops continued the same Practice of baptizing Heretics, till it was condemned by the two great Councils, of Arles in 314. and of Nice in 325[462]. Whence we may well conclude, that the Terms proposed at the Beginning of the Dispute by Dionysius and St. Cyprian were agreed to by Sixtus, viz. That no Restraint should be laid on the Bishops of either Side, but that every one should be allowed to follow undisturbed which of the two Opinions he thought most agreeable to the Scripture and to Reason. This was allowing the Bishops to consult the Scriptures, and make use of their own Reason, in a Point already judged and decided by the Bishop of Rome. But the Successors of Sixtus have not been so complaisant; for they pretend, that a blind Faith ought to be yielded to all their Decisions as infallibly true, a blind Obedience to all their Decrees as unquestionably holy.

But now the Persecution, which had begun some Months before the Decease of Stephen, raged with more Violence than ever: Valerian persecutes
the Church.For Valerian having, at the Instigation of an Egyptian Magician, changed the Kindness he once had for the Christians into an implacable Hatred, he ordered, by a Rescript to the Senate, all Bishops, Priests, and Deacons, to be carefully sought for, and executed without Mercy[463]. Sixtus martyred.Pursuant to this Order, Sixtus, who among the first fell into the Hands of the Persecutors, was immediately either beheaded, as we read in the Pontifical of Bucherius[464], or crucified, as we are told by Prudentius[465]; 74having held the Chair only Eleven Months, and some Days. Pontius, a Deacon of the Church of Carthage, styles him a good and pacific Prelate[466], no doubt on account of his Conduct quite opposite to that of his ambitious and quarrelsome Predecessor[N8].

N8. Ruffinus published, under the Name of Sixtus Bishop of Rome, the Book of a Pythagorean Philosopher, named Sixtus. St. Jerom reproaches him in two Places with that Imposture, as he styles it, supposing him to have known the Work, which he ascribed to Pope Sixtus, not to be his[1]. St. Austin was imposed upon among the rest; for, in his Treatise of Nature and Grace, he quotes that Book as the Work of Pope Sixtus; but he afterwards owned and corrected his Mistake[2]. It was ranked by Pope Gelasius among the Books of Heretics; so that he supposed it to have been written by a Christian, which was more than he could know, there not being a single Word in it whence we can argue the Author to have believed in, or to have had any Knowlege of Christ: and it is on this Consideration that it has been thought unworthy of a Bishop of those times.

1. Ep. ad Ctesiph. contr. Pelag. c. 22. & in cap. 18. Ezech.

2. Aug. l. 2. retract. c. 42.

Gallienus, DIONYSIUS,
Twenty-fourth Bishop of Rome. Claudius II.
Year of Christ 258.
The See vacant almost
a whole Year.
Sixtus being dead, and the Christians prevented by the Persecution from assembling to chuse another in his room, the See remained vacant almost a whole Year, that is, from the 6th of August 258. to the 22d of July 259. when Dionysius, a Presbyter of the Church of Rome, whom we have mentioned above, was elected, to the great Satisfaction of the Faithful; for he was one of the most eminent Men of his Time both for Piety and Learning[467]. During his Pontificate, the Goths broke into the Empire, over-ran all Asia Minor, and, having almost utterly destroyed the City of Cæsarea, they carried with them into Captivity most of its Christian Inhabitants. Firmilian was then Bishop of the Place, who had censured the Conduct of Stephen with so much Sharpness and Acrimony; Dionysius’s Charity to
the distressed Chris-
tians of Cæsarea.but the Remembrance of what had passed on that unhappy Occasion had not that Effect on Dionysius, which far less Provocations have had on many of his Successors; for he no sooner heard of the Distress that Church was in, than, laying hold of so favourable an Opportunity to exert his Charity, he writ a 75Letter to comfort them in their Calamity, and at the same time dispatched proper Persons with large Collections to ransom the Christians who had fallen into the Hands of the Barbarians[468]. The Letter, which Dionysius wrote on this Occasion, was carefully kept in the Archives of the Church of Cæsarea, as an authentic Monument of his Goodness and Charity[469]. The great Dionysius Bishop of Alexandria having, at this Time, composed a learned Treatise to prove against Sabellius the Distinction of the Divine Persons, some over-zealous Catholics, misconstruing several Passages in that Work, and concluding that he had run into the opposite Error, accused him to the Bishop of Rome, as if he denied the Son to be consubstantial with the Father[470]. Dionysius of Alex-
andria, accused at
Rome over him.Hereupon the Bishop of Rome, having assembled a Council, acquainted Dionysius with the Sentiments of the other Bishops, and his own, expressing his Concern, that the Divinity of the Word should have been questioned by him, and at the same time desiring him to answer the Accusation[471]. This Dionysius readily did in Four Books, which he styled Confutation and Apology; shewing therein that his Opinion was very different from what it had been represented at Rome, and explaining those Passages which had given Ground for the Accusation. This Work he addressed to the Bishop of Rome[472]. Here Baronius exults. Behold, says he, one of the most eminent Prelates of the Church, upon Suspicion of Heresy, arraigned at Rome, judged at Rome. That argues no
Jurisdiction in the
Bishop of Rome.Who does not see a supreme Tribunal erected there, to which all Causes must be brought; a sovereign Judge residing there, by whom all Persons must be absolved or condemned; is either blind and cannot see, or shuts his Eyes and will not see[473]. And does not the sharp-sighted Annalist himself see what every one the least conversant in Ecclesiastical History must see, if he is not either blind and cannot, or shuts his Eyes and will not see, viz. Bishops, when guilty, or only suspected of Heresy, accused to some of their Collegues, who neither had nor claimed any Jurisdiction over them? Thus was the famous Paul of Samosata, Bishop of Antioch, at this very Time, accused by his whole Church, first to Dionysius Bishop of Alexandria, and soon after to Firmilian Bishop of Cæsarea[474]. That such an Accusation argued any Jurisdiction in those Bishops over the Bishop of Antioch, is what Baronius himself dares not affirm; and yet a like 76Accusation brought to Rome is enough for him to transform that See into a supreme Tribunal; that Bishop, though far from such ambitious Thoughts, into a sovereign Judge. But the Bishop of Rome, says Baronius, required of Dionysius a Confession or Declaration of his Faith: And does not that argue Superiority and Jurisdiction? Baronius himself knew it does not: for it is impossible he should not know, that when a Bishop was suspected of Heresy, all his Collegues had a Right to require of him Confession of his Faith, and not to communicate with him till they had received it.

Paul Bishop of
Antioch condemned
and deposed,
In the Time of Dionysius was held the famous Council of Antioch, which condemned and deposed Paul Bishop of that City, who denied the Distinction of the Divine Persons, and the Divinity of Christ. Of the Deposition of Paul, and the Election of Damnus, who was placed in his room, Notice was immediately given to the whole Church, by a Synodal Letter addressed to Dionysius Bishop of Rome, and to Maximus, who had succeeded the great Dionysius in the See of Alexandria[475]. And here it will not be foreign to my Purpose to observe, that the Bishop of Antioch was summoned to appear before the Council, and not at the supreme Tribunal erected by Baronius at Rome; without the Consent
or Knowlege of the
Bishop of Rome.that he was condemned and deposed without the consent or Concurrence, nay, and without the Knowlege of the sovereign Judge residing at Rome; that he did not appeal to him, which he certainly would have done, as he was a Man of unparalleled Impudence and Ambition, had such a Custom obtained in those Days; and lastly, that the Fathers of the Council writ to the Bishop of Rome in the same Manner as they did to other Bishops, letting him know, that for the future he was to communicate with Damnus, and not with Paul. All this is manifest from the Account which St. Basil gives us of that Council[476]. And yet Baronius brings in that Father, even on this Occasion, as an Evidence for the Papal Supremacy[N9].

N9. For by wrong pointing a Passage in the Latin Translation of that Author, he makes him contradict himself, and ascribe the deposing of Paul to Dionysius Bishop of Rome, and the Great Dionysius Bishop of Alexandria, though the latter was dead before Paul was deposed, as is evident from the Letter which was written by the Council on that Occasion, and is addressed to Maximus the Successor of Dionysius in the See of Alexandria[1]. The Passage runs thus; Duo enim Dionysii diu ante eos septuaginta fuere, qui Samosatensem sustulere, quorum alter Romæ, alter Alexandriæ Præsul erat[2]. The Meaning of St. Basil is, that the two Dionysius’s flourished before the Council of Antioch, which consisted of Seventy Bishops, and deposed Paul of Samosata; that is, before the Second Council that was assembled against him; for another had been convened in the same City about eight Years before to depose him; but upon his pretending to renounce his Errors, the Sentence had been suspended. The above-quoted Passage Baronius stops thus; Duo enim Dionysii diu ante eos septuaginta fuere; qui Samosatensem deposuere, &c. so that the Relative qui refers, according to this Method of Pointing, to the Two Dionysius’s, and not to the Seventy Bishops: as if St. Basil had said, The Two Dionysius’s, who deposed Paul of Samosata, flourished before the Council of Antioch, which was composed of Seventy Bishops[3]. So that Paul must be twice deposed, St. Basil must contradict himself, all the Writers of those Times must be arraigned as guilty of an unpardonable Omission, lest the Bishop of Rome should appear to have been, what he really was, an idle Spectator of a Transaction so famous in the History of the Church. A Writer of any Honour or Honesty had rather give up a Cause, than expose himself thus by attempting to defend it.

1. Euseb. l. 7. c. 30.

2. Basil. de syn. p. 918.

3. Bar. ad ann. 265. n. 10.

77From St. Basil, Baronius runs to the Emperor Aurelian, begging of a Pagan Prince what he could not extort from a Catholic Bishop, a Declaration and Acknowlegement of the Pope’s Supremacy. Paul keeps Possession
of the Bishop’s
Habitation.The Reader must know, that Paul having kept, by Force, Possession of the Bishop’s Habitation in Defiance of the Council, the Catholic Bishops had recourse to the Emperor, who, after hearing both Parties with great Attention, adjudged the House to him, who should be acknowleged by the Bishop of Rome, and the other Bishops of Italy[477]. This Baronius interprets as an open Acknowlegement of the Pope’s Supremacy; and that his Readers may not overlook it, as most of them would be apt to do, he takes care to bespeak their Attention, by marking it in the Margin with the following Words in Capitals, The Emperor Aurelian acknowleges the Supremacy of the Church of Rome[478]. From this one would expect to find Aurelian not only turned Christian, but prostrate at his Holiness’s Feet, and bowing down to kiss them: but our Annalist, to the great Disappointment of his Readers, after having thus raised their Attention, only repeats out of Eusebius the Sentence pronounced by the Emperor, which he would have us suppose with him to have been owing to the Knowlege that Prince had of the Pope’s Supremacy. The Emperor’s Sen-
tence whether favour-
able to the Pretensions
of the See of Rome.And why must the Pope’s Supremacy be brought in here rather than the Supremacy of the Bishops of Ravenna, of Milan, of Aquileia, &c. and, above all, the Supremacy of the collective Body of the Italian Bishops? for to them, and not to any particular Bishop, the Cause was referred by the Emperor. As for the Emperor’s Conduct on this Occasion, it may be thus accounted for: That just and wise Prince observed the Bishops in the East greatly animated against Paul; and therefore apprehending them more sway’d 78by Passion and Prejudice than by Justice and Equity, he referred the Cause to the Bishops of Italy, who, he thought, would judge more impartially, as being placed at a Distance, and not engaged, at least not so warmly, in the Dispute[479]. Dionysius dies,But this happened Two Years after the Death of Dionysius; for he died on the 26th of December 269. Claudius and Paternus being Consuls, after having governed the Church of Rome for the Space of Ten Years, Five Months, and Four Days, according to the most probable Opinion[480]. As he died in the Reign of Claudius II. surnamed the Gothic, who is represented in the Acts of some pretended Martyrs as an implacable Enemy to the Christian Name, he is in some Martyrologies honoured with the Title of Martyr; not a Martyr.but as neither Eusebius, nor any other antient Writer, takes notice of that Prince’s having ever persecuted or molested the Christians, those Acts ought to be looked upon as fabulous, and Dionysius with 375 more expunged out of the Catalogue of Martyrs; though some of them, namely, Marcus, Priscus, Valentine, and Quirinus, are honoured by the Church of Rome, as Saints of the first Class, and have filled with their Reliques most of the Provinces of Europe.

Claudius II. FELIX,
Twenty-fifth Bishop of Rome. Aurelian.
Year of Christ 269.
Felix dies a Martyr
in the Persecution of
Dionysius was succeeded by Felix, in whose Time a furious Persecution being raised by Aurelian, he may be supposed to have suffered among the rest, since he is distinguished by the Council of Ephesus[481], by St. Cyril[482], and by Vincentius Lirinensis[483], with the Title of Martyr. He presided, according to Eusebius[484], Syncellus[485], and Eutychius[486], Five Years, to which Baronius adds Eleven Months, and Twenty-five Days[487]. He writ a Letter addressed to Maximus Bishop of Alexandria, which is quoted by Cyril, and the Council of Ephesus[488]. The Acts of the Martyrs, who are supposed to have suffered under Aurelian, are without all doubt supposititious; for in 79them frequent Mention is made of the Emperor’s Son, whereas the Writers of those Times tell us in express Terms, that he had a Daughter, but no Male Issue[489].

Twenty-sixth Bishop of Rome. Probus,
Year of Christ 275.
Eutychianus not
Felix being dead, Eutychianus was chosen in his room in the very Beginning of the Year 275[490]. Several Things are said of him, by Anastasius, and other Writers of no Authority; but all I can learn of the Antients concerning him is, that he governed Eight Years, and Eleven Months[491]; and consequently died in the Close of the Year 283. He is honoured by the Church of Rome as a Martyr, and said in the Roman Martyrology to have suffered under Numerian; but it is certain that in 283. when Eutychianus died, Numerian was not Emperor, but only Cæsar, and at that very time engaged with his Father Carus in a War with the Persians in the East, where he was assassinated by Aper his Father-in-Law. As for his Brother Carinus, who remained in the West, neither he, nor the two preceding Emperors, Tacitus and Probus, ever gave the least Disturbance to the Christians; so that the Church of Rome must be at the Trouble of finding out a distinct Place in Heaven from that of the Martyrs for Eutychianus, Trophimus, Sabbacius, and the illustrious Senator Dorymedon, who are supposed to have suffered under those Princes.

Numerian, CAIUS,
Twenty-seventh Bishop of Rome. Diocletian,
Year of Christ 283.Vbracket
As little is said by the Antients of Caius as is said of his Predecessor. A few Days after the Death of Eutychianus, Caius was chosen to succeed him, Carus and Carinus being Consuls[492]. Caius not a Martyr,
tho’ honoured as
a Martyr.He presided Twelve Years, Four Months, and Seven Days; that is, from the 8017th of December 283. to the 22d of April 296. Caius too is counted by the Church of Rome among her Martyrs, upon the Authority of Bede, and of the Acts of St. Susanna, by which that Writer seems to have been misled. In those Acts Caius is said to have suffered with Susanna his Niece, and many others, under Numerian: but that Prince in his Father’s Life-time had no great Power, being only Cæsar, and very young, and was killed on his March out of Persia soon after his Father’s Death; so that he never reigned in the West, and but a very short time in the East. Caius therefore could not suffer under him at Rome, where his elder Brother Carinus governed. But the Vulgar have a particular Veneration for Martyrs, and, what turns to a very good Account, are glad to purchase their Reliques at any rate. The Church of Rome
why so fond of
Martyrs.The Church of Rome therefore, to provide herself with great Store of them, has multiplied beyond Belief the Number of her Martyrs; which she could not well do without multiplying at the same time the Number of the Persecutors of the Christian Religion. And hence it is that several Princes, who never molested, nay, who greatly favoured the Christians, have been by the Church of Rome transformed in her Martyrologies and Legends into Persecutors. As for the Acts of the supposed St. Susanna, they are full of Mistakes and Absurdities, and contradict the best Historians of those Times.

Twenty-eighth Bishop of Rome. Constantius,
Year of Christ 296.
Marcellinus unjustly
aspersed by the
Church of Rome.
Marcellinus succeeded Caius on the 30th of June 296. and governed Eight Years, Three Months, and Twenty-five Days, according to the most antient Records[493]: so that he must have died on the 24th of October 304. The Love of Truth, which an Historian ought never to swerve from, obliges me to undertake the Defence of this Pope against the Church of Rome herself, and most of her Divines, who, joining the Donatists of Africa, have endeavoured to blacken his Memory with Aspersions equally wicked and groundless. For the Church of Rome tells us, both in her Breviary and Martyrology, and her Divines must chime in with her, that Marcellinus being apprehended 81during the Persecution of Dioclesian, he was persuaded by that Prince to deliver up the Holy Scripture to be burnt by the Pagans, agreeably to a late Edict, and at the same time to offer Incense to the Gods. This they found on the Acts of the Council of Sinuessa, which is supposed to have been summoned on that Occasion, and before which Marcellinus is said to have been convicted by Seventy-two Witnesses of the above-mentioned Crimes. That such a scandalous Story, invented by the Donatists of Africa, as St. Austin affirms[494], should not only have been credited, but industriously propagated, by the Successors of Marcellinus, must seem very strange and surprising to those, who recollect with how much Zeal they have strove on other Occasions to conceal or excuse the least Imperfections in their Predecessors. If therefore they not only readily own the Apostasy of Marcellinus, but are the first to divulge it, and take care to make it known in the Breviary to those who scarce know any thing else, we may be well assured there is a Snake hid in the Grass; the more as it is certain almost beyond doubt, that no such Council was ever held; and consequently that the Acts upon which alone that Apostasy is founded, are supposititious. To unravel the Whole, the Reader must know, that the Fall of Marcellinus made such a Noise in the Church, as we read in those Acts, that immediately a grand Council met, composed of no fewer than 300 Bishops. Before this Council Marcellinus appeared; but, at his first Appearance, the Bishops, struck with Horror at the very Thought of judging the Head of the Church, the Judge of all, cried out with one Voice, The first See is to be judged by nobody: accuse yourself, judge yourself, condemn yourself. Their View, therein.To this Testimony, so favourable to the ambitious Views of the Bishops of Rome, is intirely owing the Sanction which they have given to such Fables, highly injurious to the Memory of one of their best Predecessors. Without this Lenitive the Acts of the pretended Council of Sinuessa, supposing the Apostasy of a Pope, had been condemned; the Absurdities and Contradictions, which it is wholly made up of, had been set forth in a proper Light; and the Testimonies of Theodoret and St. Austin had been alleged to vindicate the Character of Marcellinus: Marcellinus com-
mended and vindicated
by the Antients.for of these two Writers the former tells us, that he acquired great Glory by his Conduct during the Persecution[495]; and the latter, in writing against Petilian the Donatist, has the following Words: Why should I answer the Calumnies with which he loads the Bishops of Rome? Why 82should I clear them from the Crimes which he lays to their Charge? Marcellinus, and his Presbyters Melchiades, Marcellus, and Sylvester, are accused by him as if they had delivered up the sacred Books, and offered Incense to the Gods: Are they therefore to be thought guilty? Does he prove what he advances against them? He brands them with the Epithets of wicked, and sacrilegious; but I say they are innocent: And why should I produce Reasons to support my Defence, since he brings none to make good his Charge[496]? But a solemn Declaration, that the See of Rome is to be judged by nobody, made in those early Times, by 300 Bishops, carries with it such Marks of Truth, as quite invalidate the Testimonies of Theodoret and St. Austin, and render the Apostasy of Marcellinus, which gave room to that Declaration, undeniable! St. Austin looks upon the Apostasy of Marcellinus, and his Presbyters Melchiades, Marcellus, and Sylvester, who were all afterwards Bishops of Rome, as a mere Calumny, as an Invention of the Donatists; but their Successors, trampling upon all Authority that stands in the Way of their Ambition, chuse rather to have Four of their Predecessors thought Apostates and Idolaters, than part with the Decree of that pretended Council, exalting them so high above all other Bishops.

The Acts of the
Council of
Sinuessa fabulous.
If Marcellinus acquired great Glory during the Persecution, as Theodoret assures us; if his Apostasy was a mere Calumny, broached by the Donatists, as we read in St. Austin; the pretended Council of Sinuessa must be given up, since it is supposed to have been assembled on occasion of Marcellinus’s Fall: but, abstracting from the Fall of Marcellinus, the Circumstances attending that Council are in themselves so absurd and incredible, that there needs no other Argument to convince a Man, who has any Understanding, and dares to use it, that no such Council ever was, or could be held. No such Council
ever held.For who can conceive it possible, that, during the most cruel Persecution the Church ever suffered, 300 Bishops should assemble, not in Rome, where they might more easily have met unobserved, but in a small Country Town, where a much less numerous Assembly must immediately have been observed and suspected? But, after the Death of Fabianus, says Baronius[497], the Clergy of Rome, and the Bishops, met to chuse him a Successor, notwithstanding the Persecution that raged then. He ought to have said some Bishops, as St. Cyprian does[498], whom he 83quotes; but I shall say so for him, that his Argument may appear in its full Strength, and save me the Trouble of answering it; for it will then run thus: Some Bishops, perhaps 15 or 20, met unobserved in the great and populous City of Rome: Ergo, 300 might meet unobserved in a small Country Town; for such was Sinuessa.

The many Absurdities
contained in the Acts
of that Council.
This Council is supposed to have been held in a Grotto, or Cave, where there was no room but for 50 at a time; and yet they are all said to have been present when Marcellinus owned his Crime, and divested himself of his Dignity. And what a despicable Figure does he make on that Occasion! At first he denies the Charge; but, being convicted by 72 Eye-witnesses, he owns it at last, but in Terms more becoming a School-boy, trembling at the Sight of a Rod, than a penitent Bishop, before so grave an Assembly. But the most remarkable Passage in that Piece is the Dispute between Urbanus High Pontiff of Jupiter, and Marcellinus High Pontiff of the Christians. Urbanus, to convince his Fellow-Pontiff that he ought not to scruple offering Incense to Jupiter, alleges the Example of the Mages offering Incense to Christ. Marcellinus answers, That the offering of Incense on that Occasion was mysterious; and unravels the Mystery. Hereupon Urbanus, unacquainted with Mysteries, appeals to the Judgment of the Emperors Dioclesian and Maximian; to this Appeal Marcellinus agrees; and the Controversy is referred by both Pontiffs to be decided by the Two Emperors. They, no doubt, gave Sentence in favour of Jupiter and Urbanus; and then Dioclesian, taking Marcellinus with him into the Temple of Vesta, persuaded him there to offer Incense to Jupiter, Hercules, and Saturn. How these Three Deities came to have a Place in the Temple of Vesta, the Compiler of these Acts alone knows. Such are the Absurdities and Contradictions, of which that Piece is wholly made up. But it flatters the Ambition of the Successors of Marcellinus; on occasion of his Fall it exalts the See of Rome above all other Sees: its Authority therefore must not be called in question: all the Absurdities and Contradictions it contains, must be blindly believed; the Memory of Marcellinus most unjustly slandered; the Testimonies of Theodoret, and St. Austin, clearing him from all Guilt, disregarded and rejected. And may not this be interpreted as a tacit Declaration, that they had rather he had been guilty than innocent, provided his Guilt could any-ways contribute to the Aggrandizing of their See? What can we think their Ambition will spare, since they have thus sacrificed to it 84the Character of one of their Predecessors, whose Memory is revered by all Antiquity? The Church of Rome honours Marcellinus as a Saint; and, not withstanding his pretended Apostasy, allows him a Place amongst her Martyrs; probably by way of Reparation for the Injustice done him. Marcellinus falsly
supposed to have died
a Martyr.But his Martyrdom may be justly questioned; at least it seems to have been utterly unknown to St. Austin, who flourished not long after his Time, since he never mentions it, tho’ it would have afforded him the strongest Argument he could possibly use to silence the Donatists. His Martyrdom, ’tis true, is vouched by Bede, who tells us, that he was beheaded at Rome, by Dioclesian’s Order; but that Historian is often led into gross Mistakes by a Pontifical, supposed to have been written in the Sixth Century, which he frequently copies, with all its Anachronisms, and other Faults.

Vacancy of
Three Years.
That, upon the Death of Marcellinus, there happened a Vacancy of some Years, seems undeniable, since it is marked in the Pontificals, even in that of Bucherius[499], and mentioned by all those who, till Baronius’s Time, have written the History of the Popes: but what at this time should occasion a Vacancy at least of Three Years, is what I will not take upon me to account for: the Persecution lasted but Two Years in Italy, according to Eusebius[500], which expired soon after the Death of Marcellinus: some pretend that it raged there so long as Galerius was Master of that Country. Be that as it will, it is certain, that Maxentius usurped the Empire in 306. and that he not only favoured the Christians, but pretended to be of the same Religion himself; and yet the See remained vacant, according to the Pontifical of Bucherius[501], till the Tenth Consulate of Maximian Hercules, and the Seventh of Maximian Galerius, that is, till the Year 308. Baronius indeed admits of no Vacancy; but, in Opposition to all those who have written before him, places the Election of Marcellus immediately after the Decease of his Predecessor Marcellinus[502]. This I should readily agree to, but for the Authority of the above-mentioned Pontifical, which had not yet appeared in Baronius’s Time, and is thought to have been written about the Year 354. As for the Chronicle of Eusebius, it can be here of no Weight on the one Side or the other, since Marcellus is there quite left out; and his Successor Melchiades is said to have died before Constantine made 85himself Master of Rome; whereas it is certain, that, under Melchiades, a Council was held at Rome, by that Prince’s Order, as we shall see hereafter.

Constantius, MARCELLUS,
Twenty-ninth Bishop of Rome. Galerius,
Year of Christ 308.
Upon the Death of Marcellinus, the See remained vacant somewhat above Three Years and an half; that is, from the 24th of October 304. to the 19th of May 308. when Marcellus was chosen in his room. Thus says the Pontifical of Bucherius, where, instead of Seven Years, which is a Mistake of the Transcribers, as is manifest from the Consulships mark’d there, we must read Three[503]. Marcellinus and
Marcellus confounded
by some Writers;The Similitude of the Two Names has misled some Writers to confound Marcellinus with Marcellus; for Eusebius, as well as St. Jerom, only mention the former; and Theodoret, omitting both Marcellus and Eusebius, who succeeded him, names Melchiades as the immediate Successor of Marcellinus[504]; which has made Dr. Pearson doubt, whether Marcellus was ever Bishop of Rome[505]. but distinguished
by others.But Marcellinus and Marcellus are evidently distinguished in the Pontifical of Bucherius, by the different Times, in which they governed, and the different Consuls, under whom their Government began and ended[506]. They are, besides, distinguished both by Optatus Milevitanus[507], and St. Austin[508], who speaks of Marcellus, not only as a Presbyter of the Church of Rome, but as Bishop of that See. To these Testimonies I may add the Epitaph of Marcellus by Pope Damasus, supposing him to have been Bishop of Rome[509]. Damasus flourished about the Year 366. Many things are said of Marcellus; but they are all founded either on his Acts, or the modern Pontificals, and consequently have no Foundation at all. Pope Damasus, in his Epitaph, tells us, that his Steadiness in keeping up the Discipline of the Church, and obliging such as had fallen, during the Persecution, to give due Satisfaction, stirred up against him a general Hatred, which, not confined to private Disputes and Invectives, ended in Tumults, Bloodshed, 86and Murders[510]. Marcellus is banished.Damasus adds, that the Crime of one, who had renounced the Faith, while the Church enjoyed a profound Peace, induced the Tyrant Maxentius to send Marcellus into Banishment. But of these Transactions the Antients either have not thought fit to give us a more particular Account, or, if they did, their Writings have not reached our Times. Marcellus died on the 16th of January 310. having held the Pontificate One Year, Seven Months, and Twenty Days[511]; but whether he died in Banishment, or was recalled to Rome, is uncertain. His Acts are fabulous.The Church of Rome, upon the Authority of his fabulous Acts, has added him, with many others, to the Number of her Martyrs: but Maxentius, who reigned at Rome during his Pontificate, and under whom he is said to have suffered, had no sooner made himself Master of that City, than he put an End to the Persecution, as we are told, in express Terms, by Eusebius[512]. His Reliques.He is said to have been buried in the Cœmetery of Priscilla, on the Salarian Way[513]: but his Body, like the Bodies of most other Saints, is now worshiped in several Places; viz. in a Church, bearing his Name, at Rome; in the Abbey of Omont in Hainault, not far from Maubeuge; at Cluni, in a Parish-Church of the Diocese of Elne in Roussillon[514], &c.

Constantine, EUSEBIUS,
Thirtieth Bishop of Rome. Licinius.
Year of Christ 310.
Marcellus was succeeded by Eusebius, who governed Seven Months, according to Eusebius[515], but only Four Months and Sixteen Days according to the Pontifical of Bucherius[516]. Stands up in De-
fence of the Discip-
line of the Church,
and is banished.From an antient Epitaph on this Pope we learn, that he opposed, with great Vigour and Zeal, one Heraclius, pretending that those who had fallen during the Persecution, ought to be readmitted to the Communion of the Church, without giving such Satisfaction as was then required; and that hereupon great Divisions happening among the People, Maxentius, to put an End to those Disturbances, banished Eusebius into Sicily[517]. Many other things are said of him by Anastasius, 87Platina, Ciacconius, and such-like Writers; but what we read in them has no better Foundation than what is advanced by Baronius; viz. that he instructed Eusebius the celebrated Bishop of Vercelli, and gave him his own Name[518]; which is founded on the Acts of that Bishop, now universally rejected as supposititious.

Constantine, MELCHIADES,
Thirty-first Bishop of Rome. Licinius.
Year of Christ 311.
Melchiades, or Miltiades, as he is called in the antient Manuscripts, was chosen to succeed Eusebius, on the 2d of July 311. after a Vacancy of Nine Months, and upwards [519]; which Historians do not account for. Constantine con-
verted to the Christ-
ian Religion.

His Edicts in favour
of the Christians.In his Time happened the ever memorable Conversion of Constantine to the Christian Religion. That Prince, having overcome and utterly defeated the Usurper Maxentius, on the 28th of October 312. soon after issued an Edict, jointly with Licinius, who was upon the point of marrying his Sister, allowing the Christians the free Exercise of their Religion, and likewise the Liberty of building Churches[520]. By the same Edict he ordered the Places, where they had held their Assemblies before the Persecution, and which had been taken from them, to be restored[521]. He left Rome in the Beginning of the Year 313. and, arriving at Milan, he there issued a Second Edict, to correct some Mistakes that had given Offence in the former[522]. What these Mistakes were, we know not; for the Decree itself has not reached our Times; but Valesius conjectures, that the high Commendations bestowed on the Christian Religion alarmed the Pagans, imagining, that the Intention of the Two Princes was to suppress theirs; and likewise, that some Christians had taken Offence at the odious Name of Heretics; given in that Decree to the various Sects sprung from them[523]. Be that as it will, it is certain, that, by the Second Decree, an intire Liberty of Conscience was granted to all sorts of Persons, every one being allowed to honour and worship what Deity he pleased; and in what manner soever he thought best. The Second Edict strictly injoins all those, who had purchased of the Exchequer, or held by Grant, any Place formerly 88destined for the Assemblies of the Christians, to restore them forthwith, and apply to the Exchequer; where they should be indemnified[524]. The same Year 313. Licinius, having gained a complete Victory over Maximinus, a sworn Enemy to the Christians, made himself Master of Nicomedia, and there caused the Edict of Milan to be proclaimed, and set up in the Market-place, on the 13th of June[525]. Thus Peace was restored to the Church, in the East as well as in the West, after a most cruel and bloody Persecution of Ten Years, and almost Four Months; for the First Edict against the Christians had been published in that very City on the 24th of February 303[526]

The Schism of the
Donatists in Africa.
Another remarkable Incident of this Pontificate was, the famous Schism, formed in Africa against Cæcilianus, the Catholic Bishop of Carthage; whereof a succinct Account will not be foreign to my Subject, as Melchiades was chiefly concerned in most of the Transactions relating to it. The first Decree against the Christians, published by Dioclesian, which I have just now mentioned, ordered the Churches to be every-where laid level with the Ground, the Books of the Scripture to be carefully sought for, and publicly burnt; and that such Persons of Quality as should persist in the Profession of the Christian Faith, should be deemed infamous, and excluded from all Honours and Employments. This Edict was executed with such Rigour in Africa, that it was a capital Crime in the Magistrates of the Cities, and punishable with Death, to shew any Mercy or Compassion to a Christian, who, owning he had the sacred Books, should refuse to deliver them into the Hands of the proper Officers. Traditores who.Those who, in Compliance with this Edict, delivered them up, which great Numbers did, were styled Traditores, a Name, which afterwards became famous in the History of the Church, by affording the Donatists a plausible Pretence to separate themselves from the Communion of the Catholic Bishops[527]. Of this Crime Mensurius, Bishop of Carthage, was falsly accused; but, though the Charge could not be proved against him, yet some of his Flock, encouraged by Donatus, Bishop of Casænigræ in Numidia, separated from his Communion[528]. Mensurius dying some Years after, Cæcilianus, Deacon of the Church of Carthage, was chosen in his room, in Spite of the Cabals and Intrigues of Botrus and Cælesius, Two chief Presbyters, who aspired to 89that Dignity. The chief Authors
of the Schism
against Cæcilianus.Cæcilianus, soon after his Election, summoned some Persons, in whose Custody his Predecessor had left the Money of the Church, to deliver it up to him: but they not only refused to comply with his Demand, but began to stir up the People, and form a Party against him. Botrus and Cælesius were not idle on this Occasion; but, animated with Jealousy and Envy, lest no Art unpractised to blacken his Character, and discredit him with those who had preferred him to them. But the chief Support of this Faction was Lucilla, a Woman of great Quality, Wealth, and Interest, and an avowed Enemy to Cæcilianus, who, while he was yet Deacon, had publicly reprimanded her for kissing the Relique of a Martyr, as she was upon the Point of receiving the Eucharist. An undeniable Proof, that the Worship of Reliques was at this time disapproved by the Church. Such Liberty taken with a Person of her Rank, was what she could not brook; and therefore she laid hold of the first Opportunity that offered, and no better could offer, to revenge the Affront[529]. It is not to be doubted but those, who had separated from Mensurius, joined this Faction; since the Second Schism owed its Origin to the First, as St. Austin says, speaking of the Two Schisms under Mensurius and Cæcilianus[530].

The Bishops of
Numidia summoned
to depose him.
The Schismatics, to give an Appearance of Justice and Authority to their Proceedings, summoned Secundus Bishop of Tigisis, and the other Bishops of Numidia, to depose Cæcilianus, and chuse another in his room; for the Bishops of Numidia claimed the Privilege of assisting at the Election of the Bishop of Carthage, and ordaining him after he was elected[531]. They readily complied with the Summons; but, upon their Arrival, they found, to their great Surprize, that the whole City, except a small Number of Schismatics, the avowed Enemies of Cæcilianus, communicated with him as their lawful Bishop[532]. They were 70 in Number; but as many of them were Traditors, and some guilty of other enormous Crimes, as appears from the Acts of the Council of Cirtha[533], they were easily prevailed upon by Lucilla, who is said to have spent an immense Sum on this Occasion[534], to declare the Election of Cæcilianus void, and the See of Carthage vacant. They declare his
Election null.The only thing they could lay to his Charge 90was, that he had been ordained by Felix Bishop of Aptungus, whom they falsly accused as a Traditor. Cæcilianus refused to Appear before them; and truly to trust himself to such an Assembly, had been acting a very imprudent Part; for Purpurius, Bishop of Limata, had said, If he comes among us, instead of laying our Hands upon him, by way of Ordination, we ought to knock out his Brains, by way of Penance[535].

The Schismatics
separate themselves
from the Communion
of the Church.
The Party having thus declared Cæcilianus illegally elected and ordained, they separated themselves from his Communion, and from the Communion of all who communicated with him[536]; that is, from the Communion of the Catholic Church; for Cæcilianus was acknowleged by the other Bishops of Africa, by the Bishop of Rome, and by all the Bishops of the World, says St. Austin[537]. Such was the Rise of the famous Schism, which, for the Space of 300 Years, and upwards, occasioned great Disturbances in the Churches of Africa. Called Donatists,
and from whom.Donatus, Bishop of Casænigræ in Numidia, was the first Author of it, according to St. Austin[538]; but it was not from him, but from Donatus, the Schismatic Bishop of Carthage, that they took the Name of Donatists; for, till his Time, they styled themselves the Party of Majorinus[539], whom they chose and ordained Bishop of Carthage, in the room of Cæcilianus; though he was then only Lector of that Church, and had been formerly one of Lucilla’s menial Servants[540]. To justify their Conduct, and their electing a new Bishop, they writ Letters to all the Churches of Africa, filled with Calumnies against Cæcilianus, and those who had ordained him. By these Letters great Numbers were imposed upon, and misled; insomuch that, the People being every-where divided, most Churches had Two Bishops, the one ordained by Majorinus, and the other by Cæcilianus[541].

Edicts enacted by
Constantine, in fav-
our of the Christian
About this time, that is, about the Year 313. Constantine, out of his Zeal for the Christian Religion, issued Two Decrees, addressed to Anulinus, Proconsul of Africa, the one commanding all the Places in that Province to be restored, which had once belonged to the Catholic Church, and might have been usurped during the Persecution[542]; and the other, exempting the Ecclesiastics from all civil Functions[543]. This Privilege was granted only to the Ecclesiastics of the Catholic Church, whereof Cæcilianus was the Head, as was expresly 91declared in the Edict; and therefore to him alone the Proconsul imparted it. It was a great Mortification to the Donatists to see themselves thus disregarded by the Emperor: they therefore assembled a few Days after, and drawing up a Petition to Constantine, they delivered it, unsealed, to Anulinus, together with a Bundle of Papers, sealed up in a Leather Bag, with this Title: The Petition of the Catholic Church, containing the Crimes of Cæcilianus; by the Party of Majorinus. The Donatists petition
Constantine, that the
Dispute may be re-
ferred to the Bishops
of Gaul.The Substance of the Petition was, that the Controversy between them and the other Bishops of Africa might be referred to the Bishops of Gaul, who were free from the Imputation of having delivered up the sacred Books to the Pagans[544]. Anulinus immediately dispatched a Messenger to the Emperor, both with the Request, and the Papers, giving him, at the same time, by a Letter still extant[545], an Insight into the Dispute, that made so great a Noise in Africa. Constantine, who was then in Gaul, having received and read all those Pieces, expressed great Concern to find the Christians thus divided among themselves, and the Bishops at Variance with one another[546]. The Bishops named
by Constantine.However, he readily granted to the Donatists the Judges they demanded, naming, for that Purpose, Maternus Bishop of Cologne, Rheticius Bishop of Autun, and Marinus Bishop of Arles[547]; all Men of known Integrity, great Learning, and unblemished Characters. To these, by a Letter under his own Hand, he gave Notice of their new Commission; and, at the same time, for their better Information, he caused Copies to be transmitted to them, of all the Papers he had received from Anulinus[548]. The Three Bishops were ordered to repair, with all Speed, to Rome, and there, jointly with Melchiades, Bishop of that City, to sit as Judges of the Controversy. Cæcilianus likewise was ordered to Rome, and allowed to take with him Ten Bishops of his Party, such as he should judge the most capable of defending his Cause; and the same Liberty was granted to the adverse Party[549]. His Letter to Melchiades.Constantine, in the Letter he writ on this Occasion to Melchiades, after appealing to him as a Witness of the Respect and Veneration he had for the Catholic Church, declares, he had nothing so much at Heart as to see her Members happily united: he therefore earnestly intreats him to examine the Affair with the utmost Attention, and, jointly with the 92Bishops of Gaul, to judge it according to the strictest Laws of Justice and Equity[550]. In this Letter Constantine names no other Judges but the Three Bishops of Gaul, Melchiades, and one Mark, supposed to have been Bishop of Milan, whom he joins with Melchiades; but afterwards he ordered Seven more to be added to the Number, and as many as could soon and conveniently assemble; so that they were at last 19 in all[551]. The Council of Rome.They met, for the first time, on Friday the Second of October 313. Constantine and Licinius being the third time Consuls[552]. The Place they met in was the Apartment of Fausta, in the Lateran Palace[553], she being then, in all Likelihood, absent in Gaul, with the Emperor her Husband. Before this Assembly Cæcilianus appeared as the Person accused, and Donatus of Casænigræ as the Accuser. Cæcilianus absolved,
and Donatus
condemned.They had but Three Meetings: in the First the Characters of the Accusers and Witnesses were strictly inquired into, and their Depositions heard; in the Second the Acts of the Council of Carthage, which had condemned Cæcilianus, as I have related above, were examined; and in the last Cæcilianus, against whom nothing had been proved, was absolved, and Donatus condemned as a Slanderer, and the chief Author of the Schism[554]. An Account of the Whole, together with the Acts of the Council, was immediately transmitted to Constantine, who began to flatter himself, that he had put an End to the Dispute; for he could not imagine, that the Donatists would appeal from the Judgment of such unexceptionable Judges, of Judges whom they themselves had demanded. But the good Prince was yet a Stranger to the Nature of religious Disputes, to the Heat, Animosity, and enthusiastic Rancour, with which they are commonly carried on. Notwithstanding the Pains he took, and his Successors after him, and no Pains they spared, to heal these unhappy Divisions, they continued, to the great Scandal of the Pagans, rending the Church into most furious Parties and Factions, for the Space of near 300 Years. Melchiades dies.The Council of Rome was held in the Month of October 313, and Melchiades died on the Tenth of January ensuing, Volusianus and Anienus being Consuls, having presided for the Space of Two Years, Six Months, and Eight Days[555]. About an hundred Years after, the Donatists charged him with having delivered up the sacred Books, and offered Incense to the Pagan Gods; but this St. Austin calls a groundless Charge, a mere Calumny, a 93malicious Invention of the Donatists of his Time to justify the Conduct of their Predecessors, in appealing, as they did, from the Council of Rome, at which Melchiades assisted, and probably presided, as Bishop of the Imperial City[556].

Whether the Lateran
Palace was given by
Constantine to
Baronius, impatient to see the Pope raised to the Rank of a Prince, endeavours to prove, that Melchiades was placed in that Station by Constantine, and argues thus: The Council of Rome was held in the Lateran Palace; therefore that Palace had been given by Constantine to Melchiades, and belonged to him; for that an Assembly of Nineteen Bishops only should meet in so spacious a Place, can no otherwise be accounted for, but by supposing the Pope to have resided there. This he calls a Demonstration[557]. Having thus got him a Palace, and, no doubt, magnificently furnished, he finds no Difficulty in equipping him in every other respect as a Prince: For who can imagine, says he, that Constantine, so pious, so generous a Prince, would have given to the Head of the Church a Royal Palace to live in, and not allow him at the same time a suitable Retinue, with suitable Appointments? To act otherwise, had not been honouring, but disgracing the Christian Religion, since its High Pontiff, stalking about all alone in a huge Palace, could be but an Object of Ridicule to the Pontiffs of the Pagan Superstition, who lived in magnificent Houses, with answerable Grandeur[558]. Thus is the Bishop metamorphosed at once into a Sovereign. But the Metamorphosis is somewhat premature. If Constantine, yet a Neophyte, was not well acquainted with the true Spirit of the Christian Religion, Melchiades was; and therefore, had that Prince offered to distinguish him by any such Marks of worldly Grandeur, I do not question but, as he was a very good Man, he would have taken from thence an Opportunity of instructing him better in the Principles of his new Profession, and shewing him in what Contempt the Christian Prelates had, and he himself ought to have, all worldly Grandeur. But no such Offer was ever made or dreamt of: For what at length is all this founded on? On the Meeting of the Council in the Lateran Palace. The French Academy meet in the Louvre: Are they therefore Princes? And does not Optatus, of whom we have the whole Account, call it in express Terms the House of Fausta[559]? Fausta perhaps lived there, says Baronius, during the long and flourishing 94Reign of her Father Maximian, and thence it might be called the House of Fausta. Thus in the End is his Demonstration dwindled away to a mere Conjecture, and a very groundless one too: But, waving that, why might not Fausta continue in the same Palace after her Father’s Death, with her Husband Constantine, when he was at Rome, or alone, when she did not attend him in the Wars? The Annalist seems to have forgot that Fausta was Constantine’s Wife. But after all, the Empress, as it appears to me, had only an Apartment in the Lateran; for in this Sense I understand Optatus saying, The Council was held in the House, or Habitation, of Fausta in the Lateran. But her being any-ways there excludes Melchiades. Their sitting in the Imperial Palace gave a kind of Authority and Sanction to their Decisions; and besides, there might not be room in the House of Melchiades, if he had a House, for the Council, and those who were to attend it, they being in all Forty Bishops; so that we need not put Melchiades in Possession of that Palace to account for the Council’s meeting in it, as Baronius has done.

Constantine. SYLVESTER,
Thirty-second Bishop of Rome.
Year of Christ 314.
The Donatists com-
plain of the Council
of Rome.
Sylvester was chosen in the room of Melchiades on the last of January 314[560]. In his time were held the two great Councils of Arles and Nice. The former was convened by Constantine’s Order at the Request of the Donatists, who, instead of acquiescing to the Judgment of the Council of Rome, loudly complained to the Emperor of the Bishops who composed it, as partial, prejudiced, and over-hasty in deciding a Controversy of the greatest Importance[561]. Constantine heard them with great Patience; and that he might leave them no Colour or Pretence whatsoever to continue in their Schism, The Council of Arles.he summoned a second Council to meet at Arles, inviting several Bishops to it with most pathetic Letters under his own Hand, and ordering the Proconsuls and Governors of Provinces to acquaint the rest with his Desire and Intention. Chrestus, or Crescentius, Bishop of Syracuse, was allowed, and so, without all doubt, were the rest, 95to bring two Presbyters with him, and three Attendants, as we learn from the Emperor’s Letter to him, which is still extant[562]. They were all to be supplied with Conveniences for traveling, and every thing else, at the public Expence. The Time appointed for their Meeting was the first of August 314. and on that Day they met accordingly[563], not from all Parts of the World, as we read in the Acts of the Second Council of Arles[564], but from Africa, and most other Provinces of the West. Sylvester Bishop of Rome was invited to it; but he excused himself on account of his Age, and sent in his room the two Presbyters, Claudianus and Vitus, with Eugenius and Cyriacus, Deacons; the Bishop of Ostia sent likewise two Presbyters in his room[565]. Cæcilianus declared
innocent.By this Assembly Cæcilianus was again declared innocent, and those who should falsly accuse their Brethren cut off from the Communion of the Church, without Hopes of being ever re-admitted, except at the Point of Death[566]. As to the schismatic Bishops, it was agreed, that such of them as abandoned the Schism should not forfeit their Dignity, but sit alternatively with the Catholic Bishop till one of them died[567]. The Council, before they broke up, acquainted the Bishop of Rome with their Proceedings, and at the same time sent him the Decrees they had made concerning the Discipline of the Church, not to be confirmed by him, as Baronius would make us believe[568], but that by his means, as he held larger Dioceses, they might be the sooner known. These are the very Words of the Council[569][N10].

N10. Several Canons were made by this Council relating to the Discipline of the Church. 1. It was ordained, that Easter should be kept on the same Day, and on a Sunday, by all the Churches in the World; and that the Bishop of Rome should acquaint the other Churches with the Day. But it was afterwards ordained, that the Bishop of Alexandria should fix the Day, and give timely notice of it to the Bishop of Rome, that by his means it might be notified to the whole Church. This Ordinance St. Cyril seems to ascribe to the Council of Nice; for he says, that it was so enacted by the Synod composed of all the Saints of the Earth; which, at the Time he writ, that is, about the Year 360. could be said of no other Synod but that of Nice. Pope Leo the Great, speaking of this Custom in a Letter to the Emperor Marcian, only says, that it was established by the holy Fathers[1]. He meant, perhaps, the Fathers of Nice. But as they took no notice of such a Custom in their Letter to the Church of Egypt, I cannot suppose it to have been introduced by them. The Care of fixing the Day, and acquainting the Bishop of Rome with it, was probably committed to the Bishop of Alexandria, because the Egyptians were thought to be better acquainted with the Motions of the heavenly Bodies than any other Nation. In other Provinces the Bishops seem to have been utter Strangers to Astronomy, and to that Ignorance was chiefly owing their Disagreement with respect to the Celebration of Easter. This Custom still obtained in the Fifth Century, as appears from a Letter of Leo the Great, dated the 28th of July 454. For by that Letter he acquaints the Bishops of Gaul and Spain, that the following Year 455, Easter would fall on the 24th of April, as it had been settled in the East[2]. Before his Time Innocent I. being at a Loss to know on what Day Easter should be kept in 414. had recourse to Aurelius Bishop of Carthage, intreating him to examine that Point in a Council, and let him know what they determined, that he might notify it, as was customary, to other Churches. Innocent had quarreled, on Chrysostom’s Account, with the Eastern Bishops; and therefore chose rather to be informed and directed by the African Bishops than by them. 2. It was decreed, that such as had been baptized by Heretics in the Name of the Trinity, should not be rebaptized, but admitted into the Church only by the Imposition of Hands. But to this Decree of the Council no greater Regard was paid, than had been paid in St. Cyprian’s Time to the Decisions of Pope Stephen. For in the Year 370. the same Practice of rebaptizing Heretics still obtained in several Churches of Africa, as appears from Optatus, who writ about that time. In the East some held, and some denied, the Validity of Baptism administred by an Heretic. Of the latter Opinion was the great Athanasius, who flourished from the Year 326. to 373. and St. Basil, who writ about the Year 369. after examining, in his Letter to Amphilochus, the two opposite Practices, seems inclined to think the Baptism of Heretics null. According to the present Doctrine of the Church of Rome, Baptism, by whomsoever administred, whether Jew, Gentile, Heretic, Mohammedan, &c. whether Man or Woman, or even a Child, is valid, provided it be only administred with an Intention of administring it, without which every Sacrament, say they, is null. This Doctrine, with respect to the Intention, proves daily to timorous Consciences the Source of endless Doubts and Perplexities, which can never be removed: for tho’ they may know for certain, that the Ceremony was performed, yet they can never know whether or no it was performed with the due Intention. In Confession, for Instance, they may hear the Words of the Absolution pronounced by the Priest; but they know nothing of his Intention, of the Intention of the Minister who baptized him, of the Bishop who ordained him, of the Priest who baptized, or the Bishops who ordained that Bishop, and so up to the Apostles, by whom the first Bishops were ordained. Should the right Intention have been wanting in any of these; should the Priest, while he pronounces the Words of Absolution, have his Thoughts employed on some other Object, as it may easily happen; the penitent Sinner would depart from his Tribunal with the whole Load of his Sins, and be damned, notwithstanding his Repentance, for, or, more properly speaking, thro’ want of Attention in the Priest. A most unchristian and impious Doctrine, placing our eternal Salvation in the Hands of others, and not in our own. 3. The Council decreed, that excommunicated Persons should be no-where absolved from the Excommunication but in the Places where they had been excommunicated. The Bishops of Rome did not yet know, it seems, that they were vested with an unlimited Power of binding and loosening, of excommunicating and absolving, with respect to all Persons and Places; for had Sylvester but dreamt of such a Power, we may well suppose he would never have suffered it to be thus controuled. Several other Canons were made by this Council, in all Twenty-two; but it is foreign to my Purpose to take notice of them. I shall only observe, that the Council consisted of Thirty-three Bishops, and not of Two hundred, as Baronius supposes, upon the Authority of St. Austin, whom he misunderstood; and that Marinus Bishop of Arles presided, his Name being placed at the Head of the Subscriptions, and the Names of Sylvester’s Legates after his.

1. Leo, ep. 94. c. 1.

2. Leo, ep. 109.

96The other grand Council that was held during the Pontificate of Sylvester was that of Nice, so famous in the History of the Church: 97but the Bishop of the reigning City, says Eusebius[570], being prevented by his great Age from undertaking so long a Journey, he sent Vitus and Vincentius, Two Roman Presbyters, to supply his room[571], with Orders to agree in his Name to the Decisions of the Council[572]. In Process of Time such Orders grew out of Date, and the modest Name of Roman Presbyters, given to those who were sent by the Bishops of Rome, either to Councils or Princes, was changed into the lofty Title of Legates a latere. Osius did not assist
at the Council of
Nice as the Pope’s
Legate.Baronius[573], and after him most Writers of the Church of Rome, maintain Osius, the celebrated Bishop of Cordoua, to have assisted, nay, and presided at the Council of Nice as the Pope’s Legate. Vitus and Vincentius, say they, represented the Person of the Pope; but Osius held his Place, and the Place of all the Bishops of the West. That Osius assisted at the Council with the Character of the Pope’s Legate, is affirmed, I own, by Gelasius of Cyzicus, who flourished about the End of the Fifth Century[574]: but Eusebius, who was present, mentions only Vitus and Vincentius as sent thither by Sylvester. In like manner all the Historians, who have written of that Council after Eusebius till the Time of Gelasius, in naming those Two Presbyters and Osius, which they all do, constantly distinguish the former by the Title of the Deputies, the Representatives, &c. of the Bishop of Rome, and never the latter. Besides, Vitus and Vincentius, in subscribing to the Canons of the Council, declare, that they do it in the Name of the venerable Pope, or Father, Sylvester their Bishop[575]; whereas Osius subscribes, like the other Bishops, in his own Name. As to his presiding at that great Assembly, his Name, ’tis true, is marked the first by Socrates[576], among those who subscribed to the Definitions and Canons of the Council; but yet I am inclined to believe that Honour not to have been conferred upon him, but upon Eustathius Bishop of Antioch; Nor did he preside.for John, Bishop of the same City, writing to Proculus about the Year 435. styles him the first of the Fathers assembled at Nice[577], and Facundus calls him the first of the Council[578]. In the Chronicle of Nicephorus he is styled the Head of the Fathers of Nice[579]: and from Theodoret we learn, that he sat the first on the Right-hand in the Assembly, and harangued the Emperor[580], which it was the President’s Province to do[N11].

N11. The Title of President is given him in a Letter, which is commonly ascribed to Pope Felix III[1]. But I am well apprised, that no great Stress should be laid on that Piece, since some surmise it to have been composed in the Eighth Century.

1. Concil. t. 1. p. 1072.

98The Honour of presiding belonged of Right to Alexander Bishop of Alexandria; but he, it seems, declined it, perhaps to obviate the Complaints of the Arians, who looked upon him as a Party concerned, and one highly prejudiced against them. I know that the haranguing of Constantine is ascribed to Eusebius the Historian, in the Title of the Chapter in which he mentions it[581], that Sozomen positively affirms it, and that the learned Valesius thinks there is no room to doubt of it, since Eusebius was the most eloquent Bishop of those Times; and besides, he himself tells us, that he pronounced a Speech in Praise of Constantine, on occasion of his entering into the Twentieth Year of his Reign, while he was sitting in the midst of the Ministers of God[582]; meaning thereby, no doubt, the Bishops assembled at Nice. Eusebius of Cæsarea
did not harangue the
Emperor at the Opening of the
Council,That Eusebius harangued the Emperor before that venerable Assembly, is not at all to be questioned; but that the Bishops, who composed it, should have pitched upon one who was suspected, or rather convicted, of Arianism, to address the Emperor in their Name, at the Opening of the Council, seems to me highly improbable. The Orator, whoever he was, sat in the first Place, or at least in the second (that I may not quarrel with Baronius, who will have the Place on the Left-hand to have been the most honourable[583]): And what Right had the Bishop of Cæsarea to that Honour? but on another
Occasion.I may add, that a short Compliment, such as is that which the Presbyter Gregory ascribes to Eustathius of Antioch[584], had been far more proper on that Occasion than Eusebius’s long and tedious Panegyric, which therefore some suppose to have been pronounced on Occasion of the magnificent Entertainment which Constantine gave the Bishops, as they were preparing to return to their respective Sees; for he then entered into the Twentieth Year of his Reign, which began on the 25th of July 325. and it was on that Occasion that Eusebius writ, and delivered his Panegyric before the Emperor, and the Fathers of the Council, as he himself declares[585]. To conclude, had Eusebius been appointed by that great Assembly to address the Emperor in their Name, his Modesty had not prevented him from describing the Spokesman so as to leave no room to doubt on whom that Honour had been conferred.

The Council of Nice
not convened by the
Before I dismiss this Subject, it may not be improper, nor foreign to my Purpose, to observe, that the Council of Nice, the first General 99or Oecumenical Council held in the Church, was convened by the Emperor, and not by the Bishop of Rome; that the Bishop of Rome did not preside in it either in Person, or by his Legates, as they are pleased to style them; and consequently that the Privilege which they assumed in After-ages of assembling General Councils, and presiding in them, ought to be deemed a most insolent and unwarrantable Usurpation. The Council commands all Causes
to be finally de-
termined by Prov-
incial Synods.The Second Thing worthy of notice with respect to this Council is its Fifth Canon, commanding all Ecclesiastical Causes to be finally decided in each Province by a Provincial Synod. The Words of the Canon are clear in themselves, and besides have been understood in this Sense by all the Councils that were held, by all the Authors that writ, for several Ages after[586]; nay, it was understood in this Sense by some of the Popes themselves, namely, by Innocent I. who, in one of his Letters to Victricius Bishop of Roan, writes thus; If any Controversy should arise among the Clerks, whether they be of an inferior or superior Rank, let it be decided, agreeably to the Council of Nice, in an Assembly of the Bishops of the same Province[587]. ‘Tis true, he adds, without prejudicing the Rights of the Roman See. But that Restriction is his own, and not the Council’s. Hence this Canon, directing all Causes to be thus tried, all Disputes to be thus ended, was often quoted on occasion of Appeals made to Rome, and employed as a Bulwark to restrain the incroaching Power of the Popes within due Bounds; but in Process of Time their Ambition, supported by the Favour of Princes, and the great Temporalities they acquired, bore all down before them.

The Ecclesiastical
Hierarchy first
It was in the Pontificate of Sylvester, and under the benign Auspices of Constantine, that the Ecclesiastical Hierarchy was first formed and settled in the Manner it continues to this Day; the new Form of Government, introduced by that Prince into the State, serving as a Model for the Government of the Church. In the Three first Centuries no other Hierarchy was known, no other Degrees thought of, but those of Bishops, Presbyters, and Deacons. Of these alone was composed the whole Body of the Clergy; but with this Difference, that the Bishop or Supervisor was the general Disposer and Manager of all Things within the Bounds of his Jurisdiction, nothing being done there without his Consent and Approbation, and the Presbyters and Deacons 100his Assistants, or his Counsellors and Senate, as St. Jerom[588], and before him St. Ignatius[589], styled them. This Order was probably introduced, according to Grotius[590], in Imitation of the Jewish Synagogues; for each Synagogue had its Ruler, who presided over the rest, its Pastors, and its Eleemosynaries; to the Ruler succeeded the Bishop, to the Pastors the Presbyters, and to the Eleemosynaries the Deacons. The Office and
Duty of Bishops.It was the Bishop’s Office and Duty to preach the Word[591], to pray with his People[592] to administer the Sacraments[593], to ordain Ministers[594], to excommunicate Offenders[595], to absolve Penitents[596], and to regulate and settle every thing relating to his particular Church[597], with the Consent and Concurrence of the Presbytery; for the Presbyters were his Counsellors or Senate, and, together with him, presided in the Consistories of those Times, as we learn from Tertullian telling us, that in those Courts approved Elders presided[598]. Hence Petrus de Marca concludes the original Government of the Church to have been mixt of Monarchy and Aristocracy; or, to use his own Words, the Monarchical Government of the Church to have been tempered with the Aristocratical. As the Bishop could not discharge, as he ought, the above-mentioned Functions, without residing among those who were committed to his Care, his Residence was deemed absolutely necessary, and Non-residence a most heinous Transgression; insomuch that St. Cyprian, enumerating the Sins that brought the Wrath of God upon the Church in the bloody Persecution of Decius, mentions Non-residence in the Bishops as one[599]. How chosen,
and ordained.Upon the Vacancy of a See a new Bishop was chosen in the room of the deceased in some Places by the Clergy and People of that Church alone, in others by the neighbouring Bishops, the People and the Clergy only expressing their Desire, and giving Testimony of the Life and Manners of the Person proposed, and in some by the joint Suffrages of the Clergy, of the People, and of the neighbouring Bishops. These three different Methods of electing we find practised at different Times with respect to the same Church; but on no Occasion was the Choice of the neighbouring Bishops sufficient without the Consent of the Clergy and People, nor the Election of the Clergy and People without the Approbation of the neighbouring Bishops. The Bishop being thus elected 101and confirmed, he was in the next Place ordained; and this Ceremony was performed by the neighbouring Bishops, in his own Church, and in the Presence of his Flock, by the Imposition of Hands. The new Bishop, agreeably to a Custom which obtained then, immediately gave Notice of his Promotion to other Bishops, especially to those of the greater Sees, who, by receiving and answering his Letters, were said to communicate with him, and to acknowlege him lawfully chosen.

The Office and Duty
of Presbyters.
In the Second Degree were the Presbyters or Priests, whose Office or Province it was to assist the Bishop in the Discharge of his Pastoral Commission, whence they are often styled the Bishop’s Assistants: with his Consent and Approbation they preached the Word, they prayed with the People, they administred the Sacraments, they absolved Penitents, and, in short, discharged every Office which the Bishop did, except those of ordaining, confirming, and excommunicating; I say, with the Bishop’s Consent and Approbation; for no spiritual Function could they perform without his Leave, as is manifest from Tertullian[600], Origen[601], St. Cyprian[602], and above all from St. Ignatius, in his famous Letter to the Church of Smyrna[603]. The Church, in those happy Days, admitted none to the sacred Functions, but such as were known by a long Trial to be well qualified for so great a Charge. Qualifications re-
quisite in a Presbyter.The Qualifications requisite in a Presbyter, so far as I can learn from the Antients, may be reduced to these Four Heads, his Condition in the World, his Conversation, his Learning, and his Age. He was not to be intangled with any worldly Affairs, with any secular Employments, but at perfect Liberty to apply himself wholly to the Functions of his Office[604]. He was to be of an unspotted and exemplary Life[605]; and therefore, before Ordination, he was proposed to the Presbytery and People for their Testimony and Approbation. He was to be well versed in the Scripture, and capable of teaching others, and instructing them in the Mysteries of the Christian Religion. As for human Learning, it was not required in a Presbyter; nay, by some it was condemned, particularly Logic and Philosophy, as in a manner inconsistent with Christianity[606], but at the same time highly commended and applauded by others as conducive to the right understanding of the Scripture, and necessary for confuting the Sophisms 102of Heretics[607]; whence Logic especially is recommended by Clemens Alexandrinus to all Ecclesiastics, as a Hedge to defend the Truth from being trod down by Sophists[608]. As for the Age of a Presbyter, he was to be stricken in Years, as the very Name of a Presbyter or Elder sufficiently declares. However, if a young Man was endowed with extraordinary Gifts and Talents, his Age was dispensed with in respect both to the Sacerdotal and Episcopal Dignity. Thus was Aurelius, though young in Years, raised, in regard of his great Merit, to the Rank of a Presbyter, as we read in St. Cyprian[609]; and the Bishop of Magnesia, in St. Ignatius’s Time, was, it seems, but a young Man, since Ignatius, in his Letter to the Magnesians, exhorts them not to despise their Bishop’s Age, but to yield him all due Respect and Reverence[610]. These were the Qualifications requisite in a Candidate for the Ministry: if he was recommended by them (for no other Recommendation could avail him), he was admitted to holy Orders; if not, he was rejected as unfit for the sacred Function. The Person ordained was at Liberty to serve the Church where he had received his Orders, or any other where his Assistance might be wanted; for he was not ordained Minister of any particular Church, but of the Church universal.

The Institution and
Office of Deacons.
In the Third and last Degree were the Deacons, whose original Institution was to serve Tables, as we read in the Acts[611]; that is, to inspect the Poor, and relieve them by a proper Distribution of the Offerings made by the Faithful, which were committed to their Charge, though they could not dispose of them without the Bishop’s Knowlege[612]. They were ordained by the Imposition of Hands[613], and therefore deemed Ministers of the Altar, as well as Dispensers of Alms; and with a great deal of Reason, for they assisted the Bishops or Presbyters in administring the Eucharist, by delivering the Elements to the Communicants[614]; they carried the Eucharist to such as had not been able to assist with the rest at Divine Service[615]; they preached, and, in the Absence of the Bishop and Presbyters, conferred the Sacrament of Baptism[616]. Their Number.The Presbyters of a Church were not confined to a set Number; but the Deacons were, no Church having more than Seven 103in the primitive Times, that being the original Number instituted by the Apostles. Thus the Church of Rome had but Seven in the Times of Pope Cornelius[617], and Pope Sixtus II[618], the Church of Saragosa the same Number in the Time of Vincentius, who flourished under Dioclesian[619]. The Fourteenth Canon of the Council of Neocæsarea, or the Fifteenth, according to the Greek, forbids this Number to be inlarged, even in the greatest and most populous Cities[620]; whence St. Jerom writes, that great Respect was paid to the Deacons, because they were few in Number[621].

Readers,3] &c.
As for the Subdeacons, Acolytes, Lectors, Janitors, and Exorcists, they were not considered as any-ways belonging to the Ecclesiastical Hierarchy, being employed only in the meaner Offices of the Church, by the due Discharge of which they were to give Proof of their Integrity and Attention, in order to be raised to a higher Degree; for in those Days very few, and none but upon some very extraordinary Occasion, arrived at once, or, as they call it, per saltum, at the Episcopal Dignity.

Each Church inde-
During the Three first Centuries each Church was in a manner independent, that is, could make such Regulations relating to its Discipline and Government as were judged proper and expedient, without the Concurrence and Authority of other Churches[622]. However, in all Matters of Moment, the Bishops used to advise with one another, especially with those of the same Province, who frequently met to settle all Ecclesiastical Affairs within their respective Limits. Frequent Synods held.Firmilian, Bishop of Cæsarea in Cappadocia, writes, that in his Province they met every Year[623]; and from the frequent Synods mentioned by St. Cyprian, we may conclude them to have been held in that Province at least once a Year. Of whom composed.These Synods or Assemblies were composed of Bishops, Presbyters, Deacons, and Laymen, representing the People of their several Churches[624]. They met by their own Appointment and Authority, there being no Christian Magistrates in those Days to convene Synods. Being thus assembled, they chose in the first place one, and sometimes two Bishops, to preside[625]. The Method they held.It was their Office and Duty to see the Point in question calmly and fairly debated, to sum up in each Debate what had been urged on both Sides, to take 104the Votes and Suffrages of the Members of the Synod, and last of all to give their own[626]. In these Assemblies all Ecclesiastical Affairs were settled by the Majority of Votes, and their Decrees and Decisions were binding with respect to those Churches whose Representatives were present[627]; but were not so with respect to other Churches.

The Ecclesiastical
Policy adapted to
the Civil.
Such was the Hierarchy, such the Government of the Church, during the Three first Centuries. But in the Fourth and following Ages great Alterations were made in both, the Church adapting her Government to that of the State, namely, to the new Form of Government introduced by Constantine, who had settled her in Peace, and taken the Priesthood into his immediate Protection. For it was in his Reign that the Titles of Patriarchs, Exarchs, Metropolitans, were first heard of, or at least had any Power, Authority, or Privileges, annexed to them. That this Conformity between the Civil and Ecclesiastical Polity may appear more plainly, I shall premise a succinct Account of the former, as established by Constantine throughout the Empire. That Prince divided the whole Roman World into four Prefectures, viz. the East, Illyricum, Gaul, and Italy, which were governed by four Prefects, called Præfecti Prætorio. The new Form of
Government intro-
duced by Con-
stantine.Till his Time the whole Empire was governed under the Emperors by Two Prefects only, as Zosimus informs us[628]; and this Division is supposed to have been made by Constantine, jealous of the too great Power of those Magistrates. Each Prefecture was subdivided into several Dioceses, and each Diocese into several Provinces. Thus the Prefecture of the East contained Five Dioceses; viz. the East divided into Ten Provinces, Egypt into Six, Pontus into Eleven, Asia into Ten, and Thrace into Six. Under the Prefecture of Illyricum were Two Dioceses; Macedon, consisting of Eight Provinces; and Dacia, consisting of four. The Prefecture of Gaul comprised Three Dioceses, Gaul made up of Seventeen Provinces, Spain of Seven, and Britain of Five. The Prefecture of Italy was divided into Two Vicarages or Lieutenancies; the one of Rome, comprehending Ten Provinces, under the Vicar of Rome, whence they were called Suburbicarian Provinces; the other of Italy, containing Seven Provinces, governed by the Vicar of Italy, who resided at Milan, whence they were simply called Provinces of Italy. Under the Prefect of Italy was likewise West Africa, and after Constantine’s Death West Illyricum. The Prefects had other Officers under them, by whom the Provinces were more immediately governed. 105These were, to name them according to their Rank and Dignity, Proconsuls, Vicars, Consulars, Correctors, and Presidents. Each Diocese had its Metropolis, and likewise each Province contained in the Diocese.

The Civil and
Polity compared.
Now, if we compare the Civil Polity, thus described, with the Ecclesiastical, we shall find them in most Places answering each other, in every respect, and one Bishop raised above the rest, according to the Rank that was given by this new Division to the City in which he presided. Thus, for Instance, the chief Cities of the Five Dioceses of the Oriental Prefecture were; Antioch, the Metropolis of the Oriental Diocese; Alexandria, of the Egyptian; Ephesus, of the Asiatic; Cæsarea, of the Pontic; and Heraclea, of the Thracian. Now the Bishops of these Cities, in regard of the Eminence of their Sees, were exalted above all other Bishops, and distinguished with the Title of Exarchs; nay, and by Degrees they acquired, not to say usurped, a kind of Authority and Jurisdiction over the Bishops of the inferior Sees, which was afterwards confirmed to them by several Councils. In like manner the Bishop of the Metropolis of each Province was, on account of the Dignity of his See, honoured with the Title of Metropolitan, to which were annexed several Privileges, of which I shall speak hereafter. When one Province was divided into Two, which often happened, the Ecclesiastical Polity was likewise altered, and the Bishop of the new Metropolis raised to the Dignity of a Metropolitan. Several Instances might be alleged of ambitious Bishops applying to the Emperors for a Division of the Province, that their City might acquire the Title of Metropolis, and they, of course, that of Metropolitans. When the City of Byzantium was declared the Metropolis of another Empire, the Exarchate of Heraclea, the Metropolis of the Thracian Diocese, was, by that Change, transferred from Heraclea to the new Metropolis; so that the Bishop of Heraclea became Suffragan to the Bishop of Byzantium, or, as it was then called, Constantinople, who, till that Time, had been Suffragan to him. Upon the Division of a Province, the Churches were likewise divided, and the Bishop of the new Metropolis acquired all the Privileges and Power of a Metropolitan over the Churches taken by the Change in the Civil Government from the antient Metropolis. But it was afterwards decreed, by the Council of Chalcedon, that if any City should be raised to the Dignity of a Metropolis, the Bishop of that City should enjoy the Title, but not the Privileges of a Metropolitan. Thus the Bishops of Nice and Berytus were honoured with the Title of Metropolitans, and took Place 106of all the other Bishops of those Provinces; but nevertheless continued to be Suffragans to their antient Metropolitans the Bishops of Nicomedia and Tyre. For the same Reason several Bishops in the Kingdom of Naples enjoy, to this Day, the Title of Metropolitans; but neither have, nor ever had, any Province or Suffragans. The above-mentioned Decree was enacted by the Council of Chalcedon, to prevent the Bishops from recurring, as they often did, to the Emperors,and to obviate the frequent Changes that were thereby introduced into the Church.

The Prefectures of
Illyricum, Gaul, and
The Prefecture of Illyricum had but one Exarch, the Bishop of Thessalonica, the Metropolis of the Macedonian Diocese. In the Prefecture of Gaul there was no Exarch, but in the Two Dioceses of Gaul and Spain as many Metropolitans as Provinces. Some there were, without all Doubt, in the Diocese of Britain, which was divided into Five Provinces, viz. Maxima Cæsariensis, Britannia Prima, Britannia Secunda, Valentia, and Flavia Cæsariensis. But in this Island an intire Change was made, by the Saxons, both in the Ecclesiastical and Civil Polity.

The Prefecture of
Under the Prefect of Italy were Three Dioceses, viz. Italy, West Illyricum, and West Africa. The Diocese of Italy was divided into Two Vicarages, as I have observed above, and governed by Two Vicars; the one called the Vicar of Rome, and residing in that City, the other styled the Vicar of Italy, and residing at Milan. Under the former were Ten Provinces, viz. Campania, Apulia, Lucania, Hetruria, Umbria, Picenum Suburbicarium, Sicily, Sardinia, Corsica, and Valeria; and Seven under the latter, viz. Liguria, Æmilia, Flaminia or Picenum Annonarium, Venetia, Istria, Alpes Cottiæ, and the Two Rhætiæ. The Ecclesiastical
Polity there intirely
agreeable to the Civil.Such was the Civil Government of Italy, and intirely agreeable to the Civil was the Ecclesiastical. Thus the Bishop of Rome enjoyed all the Privileges of a Metropolitan, with respect to the Bishops of the Provinces subject to the Vicar of that City, or the Suburbicarian Provinces, as they are styled by Ruffinus. In like manner the Bishop of Milan exercised the Power and Authority of a Metropolitan over all the Bishops under the Vicar of Italy. But the Power of both was confined within the Limits of their respective Vicarages. As neither had the Charge of a whole Diocese, they were not, like several Bishops in the East, distinguished with the Title of Exarch, which they had no Right to, but with that only of Metropolitan. However, the Power of the Bishop of Rome far exceeded, within the Bounds of his Jurisdiction, that of other Metropolitans, as I shall shew hereafter.

The Ecclesiastical
Polity in Africa.
107In Africa the Ecclesiastical Polity varied greatly from the Civil. Carthage indeed, in the Proconsular Province of Africa, properly so called, was the Metropolis of all West Africa, and the Bishop of that City the Primate and Exarch. But in the other Five Provinces of that Diocese, viz. Numidia, the Two Mauritanias, Cæsariensis and Sitifensis, Tingitana, Bizacena, and Tripolitana, the senior Bishop, in what City soever he presided, enjoyed the Title and Privileges of Metropolitan, Regard being had to his Seniority, or the Time of his Ordination, and none to the Dignity of his See. And hence it is that, at different times, we find Bishops of different Cities, within the same Province, acting as Metropolitans. Of West Illyricum, the Third Diocese under the Prefect of Italy, I shall have Occasion to speak hereafter.

The Dignities of
Exarchs, Metropol-
itans, &c. not of
divine Institution.
Some Writers, namely Petrus de Marca, Archbishop of Paris[629], Christianus Lupus[630], Emmanuel Schelstrat[631], Two eminent Divines, the one of Louvain, the other of Antwerp, and Leo Allatius[632], have taken a great deal of Pains to prove, that these Ecclesiastical Dignities owe their Origin to Christ, or the Apostles. But their Arguments are unanswerably confuted by the learned Ellies du Pin[633]; and, besides, it is evident, from the intire Conformity which the Ecclesiastical Government had, in most Places, with the Political State of the Empire, as established by Constantine, that the Church, in forming the Hierarchy I have described, adopted his Plan; and consequently, that such Dignities are not of divine, but of human Institution. I might add, that it cannot be proved from Scripture, that the Apostles, in appointing Bishops, gave more Power to one than to another, or any Power at all to one over the others.

The new Dignities
added to the antient
Hierarchy of the
The new Dignities or Degrees, added to the antient Hierarchy of the Church, in the Fourth and following Centuries, were those of Metropolitan, Primate, Archbishop, Exarch, and Patriarch. The Title of Metropolitan was given to the Bishop of the chief City of a Province, and likewise that of Primate, he being primus, or the first of the Province; for such was the original Signification of that Word in an Ecclesiastical Sense; but, in Process of Time, the Title of Primate was restrained to the Bishops of some great Cities. On the contrary the Title of Archbishop was originally bestowed on Metropolitans 108only of great Eminence and Distinction; but, in the Eighth Century, it began to be given indifferently to all Metropolitans, and even to some Bishops, distinguished by no other Title. As the Bishop of the Metropolis, or chief City, of a Province, was dignified with the Title of Metropolitan, so was the Bishop of the Metropolis, or chief City of a Diocese, with that of Exarch; which, however, we find sometimes given to Metropolitans. As for the Title of Patriarch, it was first common to all Bishops, but afterwards confined to the Exarchs; and lastly, to the Bishops of the Five following Cities, viz. Rome, Constantinople, Antioch, Alexandria, and Jerusalem. It was first bestowed on the Bishop of Rome, by the Council of Chalcedon[634], after it had been long common to all the Exarchs of the East, as the learned Du Pin well observes[635].

The Rights and Priv-
ileges of Metropolitans.
The Titles of Metropolitans, Primates, Exarchs, and Patriarchs, were not bare Names of Honour, but had several Rights and Prerogatives attending them. Thus the Metropolitans and Primates had, by their Prerogative, a Right to ordain the Bishops of their respective Provinces, to convene provincial Synods, and to have a general Superintendency or Inspection over the whole Province. The ordaining of Bishops was a Privilege common to the Metropolitan, with the other Bishops of the same Province; but with this Difference, that the Presence, or at least the Consent and Approbation of the Metropolitan was absolutely necessary; for, according to the Fourth and Sixth Canons of the Council of Nice, He who was not ordained, or approved, by the Metropolitan, was not to be a Bishop. This Privilege was confirmed to the Metropolitans by many subsequent Councils, namely, by those of Arles, Laodicea, Carthage, Chalcedon, Ephesus[636], and many others. However, in the Fifth Century, the Patriarchs of Alexandria and Constantinople began, in the East, to usurp this Prerogative, pretending, that no Bishops ought to be ordained in their respective Dioceses, without their Knowlege, Consent, and Approbation; and the Patriarch of Rome, still more ambitious and encroaching, claimed a Right to ordain the Bishops throughout all the Provinces of the West, which occasioned endless Disputes, as we shall see in the Sequel of this History. As to the Second Privilege peculiar to the Metropolitans, they had a Right to summon the 109Bishops of their respective Provinces to meet when they thought proper; to appoint the Time and Place of their Meeting; to punish such as did not, without just Cause, comply with their Summons; and to preside in the Assembly. The general Care and Inspection, which they were charged with over the whole Province, imported, First, That all Complaints against, all Contests with or between the Bishops of the Province, were to be brought to their Tribunal; and there heard, judged, and determined, not by the Metropolitan alone, but by him and the other Bishops of the Province, in a Provincial Synod. Innumerable Instances might be alleged of Bishops thus deposed by their Metropolitans. Secondly, The Metropolitans had a Right to receive Appeals from the Sentence of inferior Bishops, and with the other Bishops, to confirm or reverse their Decrees. And, lastly, each Metropolitan was to keep a watchful Eye over the Bishops of his Province, and take care that they discharged, as they ought, the Functions of their Office. These Privileges were, in express Terms, granted to the Metropolitans, by almost innumerable Councils, which it is needless, and would be too tedious, to name.

The Rights and Priv-
ileges of Patriarchs,
or Exarchs.
As for the Patriarchs, or Exarchs; by their Prerogative, they were impowered to ordain the Metropolitans, to convene Diocesan Synods, and to have a general Superintendency over their respective Dioceses, such as the Metropolitans had over their respective Provinces. The Bishop of Rome
not a Patriarch.The Bishop of Rome had not the Charge of a whole Diocese, and therefore was not, properly speaking, Exarch or Patriarch: his Jurisdiction did not extend beyond the Limits of the Vicarage of Rome, or the Suburbicarian Provinces; and no Instance can be produced of Metropolitans or Bishops ordained by him, out of those Provinces, till the Time of Valentinian III. Even in the Vicarage of Italy the Metropolitans of each Province ordained all the Bishops, and were themselves ordained by the Bishops of the Province. But over the Suburbicarian Provinces the Bishop of Rome exercised greater Power and Authority, than the Exarchs of the East did over the Provinces of their Dioceses; for the latter left the Ordination of the Bishops to their Metropolitans, whereas the former ordained not only the Bishops of the Metropolitan Cities, but all those of the fore-mentioned Provinces: and the Reason of this was, because these Provinces had no Metropolitans, to whom the Ordination of Bishops would of Right have belonged; so that the Prerogatives of the Metropolitans were all vested in the Bishop of Rome alone. The Bishops of Rome
have no Right to
ordain the Metro-
politans.As there were no Exarchs 110or Patriarchs in the West, the Bishops of each Province were, by several Councils, vested with the Power of ordaining their own Metropolitans; and that they were thus ordained in Gaul, Spain, and West Africa, is so manifest as to admit of no Dispute[637]. And yet the Sticklers for the See of Rome pretend the Bishops of that City to have a divine and inherent Right of ordaining all the Metropolitans throughout the Christian World, by themselves, their Vicars, or Delegates. To maintain this chimerical Right against the uncontestable Evidence of Facts, they tell us, that the Popes, for some Ages, neglected to exert the Power they had[638]. But from this Charge all Mankind will clear them, it being but too well known, that they never neglected the least Opportunity of exerting to the utmost the Power they had, and usurping the Power they had not. But, Cavils aside, it is evident beyond Dispute, that the Popes never knew, nor dreamt of, any such Right or Prerogative, till they were told of it by their flattering Divines; at least Pope Leo, surnamed the Great, did not; for in one of his Letters to the Bishops of Gaul he disclaims, in express Terms, the Right of ordaining the Bishops of that Diocese[639]. To conclude, the Bishop of Rome was the only Metropolitan in that Vicarage; and, as such, had a Right to ordain all the Bishops of the Suburbicarian Provinces, or the Provinces subject to the Vicar of Rome; but, for a considerable Tract of Time, there is no Instance of their ordaining either Bishops or Metropolitans out of that District.

The Title of Arch-
bishop in itself a bare
Name of Honour.
As for the Title of Archbishop, it is in itself a bare Name of Honour; whence, in some Countries, especially in Italy, several are distinguished with that Title, who indeed take place of, but have no Power or Authority over, other Bishops. And thus far of the Ecclesiastical Hierarchy, as settled in the Fourth and following Centuries, of the different Degrees that compose it, and the Prerogatives peculiar to each Degree, the Knowlege whereof is absolutely necessary for the right understanding of the many Contests and Disputes in point of Jurisdiction, which I shall have Occasion to touch upon in the Sequel of this History; for it was not at once, but by Degrees, and not without great Opposition, that the Bishops of Rome, extending their Authority beyond the Limits of that Vicarage, which was at that time the Boundary of their Jurisdiction, acquired the unlimited Power they now enjoy, with the arrogant Title of Universal Bishop.

The Donation of all
Italy made by
Constantine to the
Pope, a Forgery.
111But to return to Sylvester, in whose Pontificate this great Change began; I need not employ many Words to shew the Forgery of the so much boasted Donation of all Italy, supposed to have been made by Constantine to Sylvester, in the Spring of the Year 324. Four Days after he had been baptized by that Pontiff, since the Instrument of that Donation is now looked upon as supposititious, by all who have the least Tincture of Learning. The Arguments they allege against it are: 1. That more than Twelve Copies of that Instrument are still extant, all differing from one another. 2. That it evidently appears, from Two Constitutions of Constantine, still to be seen in the Theodosian Code[640], that he was not at Rome, but at Thessalonica, in the Spring of the Year 324. 3. That neither Eusebius, who has given us a very minute and particular Account of the Actions of that Prince, nor any other contemporary Writer, has so much as hinted at so memorable a Fact. 4. That all the antient Writers, both Greek and Latin, agree, that Constantine was not baptized at Rome, but at Nicomedia, when he lay at the Point of Death[641]. Let those, who stand up in Defence of that Donation, give satisfactory Answers to these Reasons, and I shall conclude with them, that Italy being, by such a Donation, disjoined from the Empire, the Emperors who succeeded Constantine, had no Claim or Title to that Country; that none of their Constitutions were binding there; and consequently that, by the Inhabitants of Italy, Recourse ought to be had, in all Cases, not to the Civil, but to the Canon Law: for such pernicious Doctrines have been broached, published, and maintained, as natural Deductions from Constantine’s great Generosity to Sylvester[642]. In Rome is still to be seen, in a most sumptuous Chapel, close to the Lateran, the Baptistery or Font in which Constantine is said to have been baptized. The Chapel is adorned with noble Paintings, representing that august Ceremony, as performed by Sylvester, in the magnificent Drapery, and stately Apparel, of the present Popes. Four Days after this Ceremony, Constantine, sensible of his Obligations to Sylvester, rewarded him for his Trouble with a Fee, as Luchesini the Scolopian expresses it, answering in some Degree to the Greatness of the Favour he had received at his Hands; a Fee worthy of so great a 112Prince, of so great a Pope[643]. Constantine baptized
at Nicomedia, and
not at Rome.The Fee, which that Writer, otherwise a Man of Learning, makes a long and tedious Descant upon, was no less than the City of Rome, and all Italy. That Constantine was baptized at Nicomedia, and not at Rome, is affirmed, in express Terms, by Theodoret[644], Sozomen[645], Socrates[646], and Photius[647], among the Greeks; and, among the Latins, by St. Ambrose[648], St. Jerom[649], and the Council of Rimini[650]. Emmanuel Schelstrat, on one Side, ashamed to reject, or even to question such Authorities, but, on the other, unwilling to rob Sylvester of that Glory, will have Constantine to have been baptized in both Places. It is well known, says he, that Constantine, in the Latter-end of his Life, was greatly biassed in favour of the Arians, and their Tenets. Now a Practice obtained among them of rebaptizing such as came over to their Sect from the Catholic Church; and, to conform to this Custom, Constantine was, in all Likelihood, prevailed upon by Eusebius, the Arian Bishop of Nicomedia, who assisted him on his Death-bed[651]. Thus Schelstrat. But it is certain, that, in Constantine’s Time, the Arians allowed the Validity of Baptism administred by the Catholics; for, long after, we find St. Austin upbraiding them with the Practice of rebaptizing, as a Novelty lately introduced among them[652]. Besides, who is so little versed in the History of the Church, as not to know, that, in those early Times, a very bad Custom universally prevailed, at least among Persons of Distinction, who embraced the Christian Religion, namely, that of putting off their Baptism to their Death-bed, or till they were upon the Point of exposing themselves to some great Danger? Thus Theodosius the Great, though he had not only openly professed the Christian Religion, but given many Instances of an extraordinary Piety, yet did not chuse to be baptized till he fell dangerously ill at Thessalonica[653]. In like manner Valentinian II delayed his Baptism till the Approach of a Battle with the Barbarians, when he sent, in great Haste, for St. Ambrose to administer that Sacrament to him. But while the good Bishop was crossing the Alps, on his Way to Vienne, where the Emperor then was, he received the melancholy News of his having been inhumanly murdered by some of his own Officers, at the Instigation of Arbogastus. His Death was greatly 113lamented by St. Ambrose, who, in the elegant Oration, which he pronounced on Occasion of his Obsequies, maintained, that the fervent Desire of Baptism had the same Effect as the Sacrament itself; and consequently, that the Sins of the deceased Prince being thereby cancelled, it was not to be doubted, but from this Life he had passed to eternal Bliss[654]. Innumerable Instances of the same Nature occur in History, which were, it seems, utterly unknown to the Author of the Acts of Pope Sylvester, upon whose sole Authority the Fable has been credited of Constantine’s receiving Baptism at the Hands of Sylvester, soon after his Conversion. That Impostor, whoever he was, is supposed to have lived in the Eighth Century, long after the Custom of deferring Baptism to the Point of Death had been utterly abolished. What gave Count-
enance to the Custom
of deferring Baptism
to the Point of Death.What gave Countenance to such a Custom, was an Opinion then generally received, and still held by the Church of Rome; viz. That by the Waters of the sacred Font Men were washed clean, not only from the original, but from all other Sins. This proved a great Encouragement to Vice when Piety began (and it began but too early) to decay among Christians; and therefore the Fathers of the Church, especially Basil, his Brother Gregory of Nyssa, and St. Ambrose[655], employed all the Oratory they were Masters of, in crying down such a pernicious and wicked Custom, as they style it; so that it was at last quite laid aside. Whether Confession ought not, on the same Account, to be put down, I shall leave the Reader to judge; and only observe here, by the way, that had the Virtue and Efficacy, ascribed now to Confession, been known in those Times, Sinners needed not have delayed Baptism to the Point of Death, since their Sins had been no less effectually cancelled by Confession, than by Baptism.

Spurious Pieces
ascribed to Sylvester.
As for the Letter from the Council of Nice to Sylvester, his Answer, the Acts of a Council of 275 Bishops, supposed to have been held by him, at the Request of the Fathers of Nice, to confirm their Canons and Decrees[N12], his Letter to the Bishops of Gaul, in favour 114of the Church of Vienne; the Acts of Two other Councils, said to have been held by him at Rome; they are all Pieces universally rejected by Men of Learning, and deemed no less fabulous than the Instrument of Constantine’s Donation, and that Prince’s Journey with Sylvester to the Council of Nice, as it is related in the Acts of the latter, even in those which F. Combesis published in 1660. They are in Greek, and that Writer undertakes to defend them as genuine[656]; but we need no other Proof than the Account they give of that Journey, to conclude them incapable of being defended. Sylvester died on the 31st of December 335. after having governed the Church of Rome for the Space of Twenty-one Years, and Eleven Months[657].

N12. The Style of the Letter from the Council to Sylvester is quite barbarous and unintelligible. It begins thus: Gloriam corroborata de Divinis Mysteriis. Ecclesiasticæ utilitatis quæ ad robur pertinent Ecclesiæ Catholicæ & Apostolicæ ad sedem tuam Romanam explanata & de Græce redacta scribere confitemur–Nunc itaque ad vestræ sedis argumentum accurrimus roborari. The rest is written in the same Style; the Consuls are called Sovereigns, and the Letter is dated Five or Six Days after the Opening of the Council. The Design of the Impostor was, to make the Fathers of Nice recur to Sylvester for a Confirmation of their Decrees. Sylvester’s Answer is of a piece with the Letter of the Council; it supposes him to have added something to the Council; mentions the Cycle of Victorinus, who was not born in Sylvester’s Time, nor many Years after; and bears a false Date. As for the Council said, and by some still maintained, to have been held at Rome, to confirm the Canons of Nice, it was utterly unknown to all the Antients. And who can believe, that none of the Antients should ever have heard of a Council held in the Metropolis of the Empire, and consisting, as we are told, of Two hundred and Seventy-five Bishops, or, if they had heard of it, that they would never have mentioned it? Besides, it is said to have been held at Rome, in the Presence of Constantine; and it is certain, that the Emperor was not in Rome at the Time the Council is supposed to have been held. The Canons, which are supposed to have been made on this Occasion, contain Regulations repugnant to the Practice of those Times, and which it was then impossible to observe. The first Canon relates to the Time when Easter was to be kept; but what is there determined no Man can know. The Second is no less unintelligible than the First: Ut unusquisque Episcopus rediens ad Parochiam suam Compaginem Salutationis plebi tuæ innotescat. These are the Words of this Canon. The Third forbids the Ecclesiastics to appear before secular Judges, let the Action be what it will; which is repugnant to the Discipline of those Times. The Fourth will have those, who enter themselves among the Clergy, to pass through all the Degrees, and fixes the Time which they are to continue in each Degree. They are to be Janitors or Door-keepers one Year, Lectors or Readers Twenty, Exorcists Ten, Acolytes Five, Subdeacons Five, Deacons Five, and Priests Six; so that none under Threescore could attain to the Episcopal Dignity; which is highly absurd in itself, and contrary to the Practice of those Times.

Constantine. MARK,
Thirty-third Bishop of Rome.
Year of Christ 336.
Sylvester was succeeded by Mark, on the 18th of January 336. He is passed over by Theodoret[658], but named by Optatus[659], Ruffinus[660], St. Austin[661], St. Jerom[662], and Sozomen[663]. We know 115nothing certain either of his Life or Administration. The Bishop of Rome
ordained by the
Bishop of Ostia.Anastasius indeed tells us, that by him the Bishop of Ostia was first appointed to ordain the Bishop of Rome, and to carry the Pallium or Pall; where Baronius observes, that the Pall is here mentioned for the First time[664]. But Anastasius is not a Writer we can depend upon. It is certain, however, that the Bishops of Ostia have long enjoyed this Privilege; for it is mentioned by St. Austin[665], and likewise in a Memorial presented by the Clergy of Rome in 418. to the Emperor Honorius, on Occasion of the Election of Pope Zosimus[666]. The Letter which the Bishops of Egypt are said to have written to this Pope, and his Answer to them, are rejected even by Baronius[667], and very justly; for the Pope’s Answer is dated Eighteen Days after his Death. He died on the 7th of October the same Year he had been chosen[668], and was buried in the Cœmetery of Balbina, which was thenceforth called after his Name[669]. His Body is now worshiped in the Church of St. Laurence at Florence, though no Mention is made by any Writer of its having ever been translated thither[670].

and his Three
Thirty-fourth Bishop of Rome. Constantine,
and Constans.
Year of Christ 337.
Falsely said to have
held a great Council
at Rome.
Upon the Death of Mark the See was vacant for the Space of Four Months, that is, to the 6th of February 337. when Julius was chosen[671]. He is said to have held a Council of an Hundred and Sixteen Bishops in the December of the same Year[672]. But the Date of this Council puts Baronius to a Stand; for in the Date are marked the Consuls, the Year of the Emperors, and the Indiction. Now, according to the Consuls, it must have been held in 337. according to the Year of the Emperors, in 340. and, according to the Indiction, in 116347. The Annalist spares neither his Words nor his Labour to solve, or rather to patch up, this Difficulty; but, being sensible, after a long, tedious, and puzzling Descant, that he labours in vain, he concludes, that the Text has been altered[673]. He might have saved himself a great deal of Trouble, by owning at once what has been plainly proved since by Blondel[674], viz. that no such Council was ever held.

When Julius was raised to the Pontificate, the celebrated Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria, lived in Banishment at Treves; but the Year following he was allowed to return to his Church by the Three Emperors, Constantine, Constantius, and Constans, who had succeeded their Father in 337. The Arians write to
Julius against Athan-
asius.The Eusebians, that is, the Arian Faction headed by Eusebius Bishop of Nicomedia, at whose Instigation he had been banished by Constantine, alarmed at his Return, writ bitter Letters against him to the Three Princes, and likewise to the Bishop of Rome. To the latter they dispatched with their Letters Macarius a Presbyter, and the Two Deacons Martyrius and Hesychius. Athanasius no sooner heard of this Embassy than he, in his Turn, dispatched some Presbyters to oppose the Attempts of his Enemies, and defend his Innocence against the Calumnies, which he well knew they were sent to spread against him, not only at Rome, but all over the West[675]. They desire Julius
to assemble a Council.Upon their Arrival, Macarius privately withdrew from Rome, and the other Two were so confounded by the Deputies of Athanasius, at a private Conference held before the Pope, that, to gain Time, they had no other Resource but to appeal to a Council, which they begged the Pope to assemble, and to give timely notice thereof both to Athanasius and the Eusebians. They bragged that, before the Council, they would make good the Charge they had brought against Athanasius, and offered to take Julius himself for their Judge[676]. This Offer, we may be sure, was readily accepted by the Bishop of Rome, who immediately writ to Athanasius inviting him to the Council, and at the same time desired the Deputies of the Eusebians to acquaint their Party, that, agreeably to their Request, a Council should be soon convened. Athanasius, upon the Receipt of the Pope’s Letter, set out, without Delay, for Rome, where he arrived in the Latter end of the Year 339. After his Arrival the Bishop of Rome dispatched Elpidius and Philoxenes, Two of his Presbyters, with Letters to the Eusebians, summoning them to the Council, which their Deputies had demanded, 117and acquainting them with the Time and Place in which it was to be held[677]. The Place was Rome, and the Time the Month of June 341. according to the most probable Opinion. They decline appear-
ing at the Council of
Rome; assemble one
at Antioch; and there
depose Athanasius;The other Bishops assembled at the Time appointed; but the Eusebians, instead of appearing at the Council of Rome, which had been convened at their Request, assembled one at Antioch, and there, without waiting for the Determination of Julius, whom they had chosen for their Judge, deposed Athanasius, and appointed Gregory Bishop of Alexandria in his room; nay, they even detained the Deputies sent by the Pope till the Time appointed for the Meeting of the Council was expired, that they might afterwards plead, as they did, the Shortness of the Term prescribed for them to meet in[678]. who is declared
innocent in the
Council of Rome.In the Council of Rome the Cause of Athanasius was examined, and he, after the strictest Scrutiny, declared innocent with one Voice by the Fifty Bishops who composed it[679]; so that Julius and the rest continued to communicate with him as a Bishop[680], which was declaring him unlawfully deposed. Several other Bishops, who had been deposed by the Arians, came to lay their Complaints before the Council, and, among the rest, Marcellus Bishop of Ancyra, and Paul Bishop of Constantinople. The former had been condemned as an Heretic by a Council held at Constantinople in 336. and consisting intirely of Arian Bishops. As nobody appeared against him during the Fifteen Months he continued at Rome, and the Declaration of his Faith, which, at the Request of Julius, he gave under his own Hand, was judged quite orthodox by the Pope and the Council, he was readmitted to the Communion of the Catholic Church[681]. But whether they did not judge too favourably of his Belief, may be very much questioned: Epiphanius at least was no-ways satisfied with it[682]. And truly it would be no easy Task to clear him from the Heresy of Sabellius and Samosatenus, denying the Trinity of the Divine Persons[683]: but to examine so perplexed and intricate a Point, would be foreign to my Purpose. Neither Athanasius
nor any other
Bishop restored by
Julius.Socrates[684] and Sozomen[685] write, that Julius, by the Authority of his See, reinstated all the Bishops who had been displaced by the Arians; that he supported and defended their Innocence with Letters full of Vigour and Liberty; severely reprimanded those who had deposed them; summoned some 118of them to appear at Rome, in a limited Time, to justify their Conduct; and, lastly, that he threatened to treat them as they deserved, if they did not forbear raising Disturbances in the Church. In virtue of these Letters, says Socrates, the Bishops were restored to their Sees. But Sozomen names only Athanasius, and Paul Bishop of Constantinople. It is surprising, that the Advocates for the See of Rome should allege the Testimony of these two Writers, to prove that the Authority of the Bishop of Rome was acknowleged by the Orientals; that his Jurisdiction was universal; when they themselves must know (for I cannot suppose them so ignorant as not to know) that the Historians whom they quote were grosly mistaken. For it is manifest from Athanasius[686], that Julius writ only two Letters to the Eusebians; one before the Council met, inviting them to it; and the other, while the Council was still sitting, which I shall speak of hereafter; and in neither of these does Julius take upon him either to threaten or command. The above-mentioned Historians seem to have jumbled these two Letters together, and to have made a Third out of them, with some Improvements of their own. As to his restoring the deposed Bishops to their Sees, it is certain he did not, since Athanasius continued in the West till the Year 349. when he was restored by the Council of Sardica. Paul indeed was reinstated sooner, but not till the See of Constantinople became vacant by the Death of Eusebius, who had been translated from Nicomedia to that City. I appeal to the Roman Catholics themselves, and leave them to judge whether it is at all probable, that the Emperor Constantius, and the Oriental Bishops, incensed as they were against Paul and Athanasius, whom they had condemned and deposed in Two Synods, should, out of Respect to the Pope, suffer them thus tamely to return to their Sees, and drive out those whom they had placed in their room. This had been owning themselves guilty, and reversing the Sentence they had but lately pronounced, which, as will appear, they were no-ways in an Humour to do.

The Eusebians write
to Julius;
While the Council of Rome was yet sitting, the Pope’s two Deputies, Elpidius and Philoxenes, returning from the East, delivered to Julius a Letter from the Eusebians, which may pass for a Master-piece of the Kind; for, without departing from, or intrenching upon, the Respect that was due to the Bishop of the Imperial City, they, at the same time, commend, censure, menace, and rally him in a most cruel Manner. They begin with alleging several frivolous Excuses for 119not appearing at the Council, such as the Persian War, which, by the way, did not prevent their assembling at Antioch; the Shortness of the Term prescribed for their Meeting; the Pope’s writing only to some of them, and not to all, as he ought to have done; and finally, his writing to them in his own Name alone, which was tacitly taxing him with taking too much upon him. They then launch out ironically, it seems, into the highest Encomiums on the Church of Rome, styling her the first of all Churches, the School of the Apostles, the Metropolis of true Piety. However, the first Preachers of the Gospel, add they, came out of the East; and, after all, we ought to be looked upon as Inferiors to none, though perhaps we may not have such numerous and flourishing Churches as some have, since the want of Numbers may be abundantly supplied by the Piety of a few. As to Rank, we are all equal, the Greatness of the Cities, in which we preside, adding nothing to the Dignity we all enjoy. In the next place, they express great Concern at the little Regard shewn by some to the Decisions of Councils, which ought to be revered by all, and deemed immutable. This was modestly censuring the Pope for not acquiescing to the Decrees of the Councils of Tyre and Constantinople condemning Athanasius. and threaten to
separate themselves
from his Communion.In the End they allege several Things both against Athanasius, and Marcellus Bishop of Ancyra; and conclude with telling Julius, that if he renounced all Correspondence and Intercourse with the Bishops they had deposed, and acknowleged those they had placed in their room, they would continue to communicate with him; but if he refused to comply with their Decisions and Decrees, they should think themselves obliged to act in a very different Manner[687]. Julius was so mortified with this Letter, that he suppressed it for some time, hoping the Eusebians would send Deputies, who, he presumed, would express their Sentiments by Word of Mouth, and in a different Style. But, none appearing, he was obliged to lay the Letter he had received before the Fathers of the Council, who, after expressing the greatest Indignation against the Eusebians, advised the Pope to answer it; which he did accordingly, by that excellent Letter, which has been preserved intire among the Works of Athanasius. Julius’s Answer
to their Letter.He begins with complaining, in very modest Terms, of the Animosity they betrayed in their Letter, to which he thought he had given no Occasion; unless they had taken it amiss, that he had summoned 120them to the Council; which he could not persuade himself they did, since, at the Request of their Deputies, he had appointed the Council to meet, and, at their Request, invited them to it. As for the Regard due to the Decrees and Decisions of Councils, he told them, that they had trespassed the first against the Decrees of the Oecumenical Council of Nice, by admitting the Arians to their Communion, which he conceived to be more criminal in them, than it was in him to receive Athanasius and Marcellus. He reproaches them with another Transgression of the Canons of the Church, namely with that of passing from one Bishoprick to another, which Eusebius had done. He then justifies his Conduct with regard to Athanasius and Marcellus; exhorts the Eusebians, with great Zeal and Earnestness, to find out some Remedy against the Evils and Disorders that reigned in the East, which he describes at Length; and concludes with complaining of the Orientals for condemning and deposing Bishops, those especially of the Apostolic Sees, without the Concurrence or Knowlege of their Brethren in the West[688].

Julius, finding his Letter made no Impression on the Eusebians, applied with several other Bishops to the Emperor Constans, who, at their Request proposed to his Brother Constantius the assembling of an Oecumenical Council, in order to put an End to those unhappy Divisions. The Council of
Sardica.To this Proposal Constantius agreed; and accordingly, by the Command of the two Princes, a numerous Council met in 347. at Sardica, the Metropolis of Dacia in Illyricum[689]. Julius, apprehending it dangerous to abandon his Flock at that Juncture, did not assist in Person, but by his Deputies Archidamus and Philoxenes, who signed in his Name[690]. The Orientals came, but withdrew soon after, upon the Council’s refusing to exclude Athanasius, and some others, whom they had condemned[691]. But by the orthodox Bishops, who remained, the Acts of the Council of Rome were confirmed, Athanasius and Three other Bishops declared innocent; and those, who had been placed in their room, not only deposed, but anathematized, and intirely cut off from the Communion of the Catholic Church[692]. The Council, before they broke up, writ several Letters; and, among the rest, one to the Emperors; one to the Bishop of Rome; and a circular 121Letter to all the Bishops of the Catholic Church, acquainting them with what had passed, and exhorting them to join the Council, and declare to the World, that they accepted their Decrees by subscribing to them[693]. The circular Letter was subscribed first by the great Osius Bishop of Cordoua, and in the Second place by the Pope’s Legates[694]. In their Letter to Julius they beg him to notify their Decrees to the Bishops of Sardinia, Sicily, and Italy, lest any of them should receive Letters of Peace and Communion from the Bishops they had condemned[695]. In this Letter the Council says, or rather is made to say, That it is very meet or reasonable, that all Bishops should acquaint their Head, that is, the See of St. Peter, with what passes in their respective Provinces[696]. I agree with Blondel[697], that this Passage is foisted in; but cannot acquiesce to the only Reason he alleges to support his Opinion, viz. the Barbarity of the Latin Expression (valde congruentissimum est); for such a Slip might easily escape Men wholly bent on defending the Truth, and speaking it; and besides, we are not certain, that this Letter was originally written in Latin. The want of Connexion between that Sentence, and what is said both before and after it, is, I think, a more convincing Proof of Forgery.

Canons of the Council
of Sardica relating to
the Bishop of Rome.
By the Council of Sardica several Canons were made; but I shall only take notice of those that regard the Bishop of Rome. By the Third Canon in the Greek, or the Fourth in the Latin Translation by Isidorus, it is ordered, that if any Bishop shall think himself unjustly condemned, his Judges shall acquaint the Bishop of Rome therewith, who may either confirm the first Judgment, or order his Cause to be re-examined by such of the neighbouring Bishops as he shall think fit to name[698]. Osius, who was greatly addicted to the See of Rome, begged the Council to grant this Honour to the Memory of St. Peter. The Fourth Canon, according to the Greek, adds, That the See of the deposed Bishop shall remain vacant till his Cause shall be judged by the Bishop of Rome. By the Fifth Canon, which by some Mistake is the Seventh in Dionysius Exiguus, it is ordered, that if a Bishop, condemned in his own Province, shall chuse to be judged by the Bishop of Rome, and desires him to appoint some of his Presbyters to judge him in his Name, together with the Bishops, the Bishop of Rome may grant him his Request. The Practice of ap-
pealing to the Pope
first introduced.

Several Circumstances
concur in his Favour.Thus was the pernicious Practice of appealing to the Pope first introduced and authorized. It must be 122observed, that the Oriental Bishops had all left the Council: those who remained were all zealous Opposers of Arianism. At the Head of their Party was the Bishop of Rome. In the Heat of their Zeal they thought they could not confer too much Power upon him; and so made a Concession intirely repugnant to the Discipline of the primitive Church, and which he could never have obtained, had not those Dispositions worked strongly in his Favour. This will not be surprising to those, who have attended to History, and seen how much the Ambition of Princes, and Heads of Factions, is often advanced beyond its due Bounds by the indiscreet Fervour of Party-Zeal. To the Council of Sardica, acting under this Influence, the See of Rome is indebted for the so much boasted Privilege of receiving Appeals; and Julius was very thankful for it. The Popes claim
as their original
Right, what was
granted them as a
Favour.But his Successors, looking upon such an Obligation as a Diminution of their pretended Sovereignty, have had the Assurance to claim it as their original Right: but that such a Right was unknown to their great Friend Osius, to the Fathers of the Council, nay, and to the Pope himself, and his Legates, is manifest, since what they now claim as their original and inherent Right, was by Osius begged of the Council as a Favour, and, as such, granted by the Council, and accepted by the Pope and his Legates. This Power of receiving Appeals, only with respect to the judging and deposing of Bishops, has been extended by the Popes to all Causes; and great Encouragement has been given to such as recurred to their Tribunal on the slightest Occasions. Concerning Appeals in the smallest Causes, we would have you to know, that the same Regard is to be had to them, for how slight a Matter soever they be made, as if they were for a greater, says Pope Alexander III. in his Letter to the Bishop of Worcester[699]. The scandalous and intolerable Abuse of this Power in the Popes has obliged several Princes, even when Superstition most prevailed, to restrain their Subjects by severe Laws from recurring to Rome. Nay, other Councils of far greater Authority than that of Sardica, finding no other Means to put a Stop to the daily Encroachments of the See of Rome, have thought it necessary to revoke the Privilege, which that Council had too rashly granted, as we shall see in the Sequel of the present History.

Decrees of the
Council of Antioch
revoked by the
Council of Sardica.
It had been decreed but Six Years before, by the Council of Antioch, that, if the Bishops of the same Province disagreed in judging one of 123their Brethren, the Metropolitan might call in those of the neighbouring Province to judge with them; but if they agreed, and were unanimous either in condemning or absolving, their Judgment should be irreversible. Both these Decrees were revoked by the present Council, though intirely agreeable to the antient Practice and Discipline of the Church. The Pope has no
Power to summon
Bishops to Rome.But yet this Council, however favourable to the Pope, did not grant him the Power of summoning Bishops to Rome, in order to be judged there by him. He was only impowered to examine the Judgment given in the Province; and, in case he found it to be wrong, to order another in the same Province, to invite to this new Synod the Bishops of the next Province, and to send his Legates to it as he thought fit.

Osius did not preside
at the Council of
Sardica as the Pope’s
At this Council the Pope’s Legates assisted; but Osius presided, as we are told in express Terms by Theodoret[700], by Sozomen[701], and by the Fathers of the Council of Chalcedon[702]. Besides, his Name is the first in the Subscriptions, as they have been transmitted to us by Athanasius, who assures us, that Osius was the Chief, and presided in all the Councils at which he assisted. He signed the first, and in his own Name: after him signed the Legates, not in their own, but in the Pope’s Name; Julius Romæ per Archidamum & Philoxenum Presbyteros; which is a sufficient Confutation of De Marca, and the other Popish Writers, pretending, without the least Foundation, that Osius presided in the Name of Julius.

The Council of
Sardica a Council of
no great Authority.
It is to be observed, that the Canons of this Council were never received in the East, nor even in the West by the Bishops of Africa; and that they were not inserted by the Council of Chalcedon into the Code of Canons approved by them, as Rules to be universally observed: so that, after all, the so much boasted Council of Sardica is a Council of no great Authority. Of this the Popes themselves were well apprised; and therefore, recurring to Fraud, attempted, as we shall see hereafter, to impose upon the World the Canons of Sardica as the Canons of Nice.

Athanasius retires to
Athanasius, though declared innocent by the Council, did not think it adviseable to return to his See, being informed, that the Eusebians had prevailed upon the Emperor Constantius to issue an Order, impowering and commanding the Magistrates of Alexandria to put him to Death, without further Tryal, in what Place soever he should 124be found within the Precincts of that Jurisdiction[703]. Is recalled by
Constantius.He therefore retired to Naissus in Upper Dacia, and there continued from the year 347. to 349. when Constantius chose rather to recall him, and the other exiled Bishops, than engage in a Civil War, with which he was threatened by his Brother, if he did not[704]. Before his Departure for the East he went to Rome, to take his Leave of that Church, and his great Protector Julius, who, on that Occasion, writ an excellent Letter of Congratulation to the Presbyters, Deacons, and People of Alexandria. Of this Letter we have Two Copies, the one in Socrates[705], and the other in Athanasius[706]. The former contains great Commendations of that Prelate, which, out of Modesty, were, as I conjecture, omitted by him.

Ursacius and Valens
retract all they had
said against
Julius had, soon after, the Satisfaction of receiving a solemn Retractation made by Ursacius Bishop of Singidunum, and Valens Bishop of Mursus, Two of Athanasius’s most inveterate Enemies, publicly owning, that whatever they had said or written against him was utterly false, groundless, and invented out of pure Malice: at the same time they embraced his Communion, and anathematized the Heresy of Arius, and all who held or defended his Tenets. This Act Valens writ with his own Hand, and Ursacius signed it; whereupon they were both admitted by Julius to the Communion of the Church[707][N13]. This Retraction, 125though not at all sincere, but merely owing to Policy, greatly contributed to the Justification of Athanasius. I find nothing else in the Antients, concerning Julius, worthy of Notice. Julius dies.He died on the 12th of April 352. having governed the Church of Rome Fifteen Years, Two Months, and Six Days[708]. He is said to have been buried in the Cœmetery of Callistus, on the Aurelian Way, where he had built a Church[709], and to have been removed from thence in 817. by Pope Paschal I. to the Church of St. Praxedes, and again from that, by Innocent II. in 1140. to St. Mary’s beyond the Tyber[710]. Bede, whom the Authors of the modern Pontificals have followed, tells us, in his Martyrology[711], that Julius was sent into Banishment, where he suffered much for the Space of Ten Months, till the Death of Constantius, a zealous Promoter of Arianism. Julius was not
banished by
Constantius.But that Historian was certainly mistaken, since Constantius was never Master of Rome in Julius’s Time, and his Brother Constans was a great Friend to Julius, and all the orthodox Bishops. Spurious Pieces
ascribed to him.Of the many Writings ascribed to Julius, none, except his Two Letters, are authentic, the one to the Eusebians, and the other to the Church of Alexandria, of which we have spoken above. Leontius of Byzantium mentions Seven Epistles, which, in the Latter-end of the Sixth Century, were ascribed to Julius[712]; but, at the same time, he assures us, that they were not written by him, but by Apollinaris the Heresiarch; and the Monks of Palæstine, in the Account they gave of the Eutychians, in the Time of the Emperor Anastasius, assure us, that they seduced great Numbers of People, by ascribing the Works of Apollinaris to the Fathers, namely to Athanasius, to Gregory Nazienzen, and to Julius[713]. Gennadius ascribes to Julius a Letter to Dionysius Bishop of Corinth, greatly favouring of the Heresy of Eutyches and Timotheus[714]; 126but Leontius of Byzantium evidently proves that Letter to have been written by Apollinaris; and as his it is quoted by his Two Disciples Valentine and Timotheus[715]. The Orientals have a Liturgy, which they suppose to have been composed by Julius: this Supposition, however groundless, shews him to have been in great Repute in those Parts[716].

N13. Ursacius and Valens first abjured, or rather pretended to abjure, their Errors at Milan, before the Council, that at this Time was sitting there. From Milan they repaired to Rome, and there abjured anew their Errors, in the Presence of Julius, and the whole Roman Church. Here Baronius observes, that as this was a Matter of too great Moment to be finally decided by the Council of Milan, though the Roman Presbyters were present, they sent them to Julius, that they might abjure their Errors in his Presence, agreeably to the antient Custom of the Catholic Church; viz. that eminent Heretics should abjure their Heresies only at Rome[1]. But, in the first Place, they were not sent by the Council; but went to Rome of their own Accord, as Osius assures us, in express Terms, Illi ultre Romam venerunt[2]. In the second Place, the Matter was finally determined by the Council of Milan; for the Council received their Recantation, and restored them to the Communion of the Church. And what else was to be done? what else could Julius do? But if the Matter was finally determined by the Council, what could induce them, says Baronius, to travel to Rome, and abjure anew their Heresy there? The Answer is obvious: They had imposed upon the Council by a pretended Abjuration, and went to Rome to impose, in like manner, on Julius, and obtain by that means his Communion; which they did accordingly, notwithstanding his Infallibility. Besides, as both Athanasius and his Enemies had referred their Cause to the Arbitration of Julius, he was the fittest Person to receive the Retraction of the false Evidence, which they had formerly given. As to the Custom, mentioned by Baronius, that eminent Heretics should abjure their Heresies only at Rome, no Man can be so little versed in Ecclesiastical History as not to know, that no such Custom ever obtained in the Catholic Church. Not to recur to more antient Times, the Arian Bishops, that is, Bishops guilty of the same Heresy as Ursacius and Valens, abjured their Errors before the Council that was held at Jerusalem in 335. There they renounced their Heresy; there they were all restored to the Communion of the Church, without going, or offering to go, to Rome. And many of those Bishops were surely more eminent Heretics than either Ursacius or Valens.

1. Bar. ad ann. 350. n. 23.

2. Apud Ath. ad Solitar.

Thirty-fifth Bishop of Rome. Jovian,
Year of Christ 352.
Liberius his own
Liberius was chosen on the 22d of May 352. in the room of Julius[717]. He had trampled under-foot (to use his own Terms) all worldly things, to observe the Gospel, and obey the Dictates of his Faith. He had been employed, before his Election, in several Ecclesiastical Ministries, and discharged them with Reputation, though he was not conscious to himself of having ever done the least Thing for the sake of Praise and Glory. He was at last raised to the Episcopal Dignity, but much against his Will, as he calls God and the Church to witness. He protests, that it was his ardent and only Wish, that he might keep himself pure and undefiled in the Administration of his new Dignity, that he might inviolably maintain and defend the Faith, which he had received from his illustrious Predecessors, among whom were many Martyrs[718]. No easy Matter to
form a true Idea of
his Character.Were we to judge of his Conduct from his Words, we should equal him to the best of his Predecessors; but there appears, throughout his whole Administration, such an odd Mixture of opposite Qualities, that it is no easy Matter to form a true Idea of his Character: at one time we shall find him bold, intrepid, and inflexible; at another timorous, faint-hearted, and compliant; insomuch that one can hardly conceive him to be the same Man. The latter Qualities he betrayed in the very Beginning of his Pontificate, by separating himself from the Communion of Athanasius. Constans, the great Support of the Orthodox Party, being murdered, and Constantius upon the Point of becoming Master of Rome, by a complete Victory he had gained over the Two Brothers Magnentius and Decentius, the Eusebians thought this a proper 127Juncture to try whether the Fear of that Prince had not rendered Julius somewhat more tractable. For Constantius was more incensed than ever against Athanasius, being assured by the Eusebians, to whom he gave an intire Credit, that he had influenced his Brother to threaten him with a Civil War[719]. The Eusebians write
a second Letter to
Julius against
Athanasius:They writ therefore to Julius a second Letter, filled with new Complaints and Calumnies against Athanasius; but Julius dying in the mean time, their Letter, together with another to the same Purpose from the Arians of Alexandria, was delivered to Liberius, who caused them both to be publicly read in a full Assembly of the People, and in the Council, which was then sitting at Rome[720]. which is answered
by Liberius:His Answer to these Letters has not reached our Times; but a Copy of the Letter, which he writ on that Occasion to Athanasius, has, to his eternal Disgrace, been transmitted to us, among the Fragments of Hilarius Bishop of Poitiers. who summons
Athanasius to Rome.In that Letter he summons him to appear forthwith at Rome, to clear himself there of the heavy Accusations brought against him; and threatens to cut him off from the Communion of that Church, if he refused to comply with the Summons[721]. With this Letter he dispatched Three of his Presbyters, Lucius, Paulus, and Ælianus; strictly injoining them, by all means, to prevail upon Athanasius to repair, without Delay, to Rome[722]. This Conduct, so very different from that of his Predecessor, was, no doubt, owing to the Dread he was in of the Emperor Constantius, by this Time probably Master of Rome, and all Italy; for what else could tempt or induce him to act so preposterously? Be that as it will, Athanasius was greatly surprised and concerned to find himself so unworthily treated and threatened by the Bishop of Rome; but did not think himself, on that Account, obliged to abandon his Flock. He remained therefore in Alexandria; but begged his Collegues in Egypt to write in his Favour to the Pope; which they did accordingly. Liberius commun-
icates with the Arians,
and excommunicates
Athanasius.But Liberius wanted to ingratiate himself with the Arians, and, by their means, with the Emperor; and therefore, without any Regard to the Testimony of the Orthodox Bishops, or the known Innocence of the oppressed Athanasius, he writ to the Eusebians, acquainting them, that he communicated with them; but, as to Athanasius, he had cut him off from his Communion, and from that of his Church[723]. His Letter to them
not supposititious.Baronius[724], 128and after him the Benedictines, in their last Edition of the Works of Hilarius and Athanasius[725], maintain this Letter of Liberius to have been forged by the Arians, and inserted into the Works of Hilarius. But they allege no convincing Reason why the other Pieces, among which it has been conveyed to us, should be admitted as genuine, and this alone rejected as supposititious. Athanasius, indeed, never reproached the Bishop of Rome with his scandalous Conduct, as they observe; but may not that be ascribed to his Moderation? The more, as he was sensible, that Liberius acted thus not out of Ill-will, but Fear. As to the want of Connexion between that Letter and the Pieces preceding and following it, I should not have expected such an Objection from any who had ever perused the Fragments of that Writer, which every one knows to have been patched together without any Regard to Time or Order[N14].

N14. Thus the very Letter of Liberius is put in the Place where the Letter of the Council of Sardica to the Emperor Constantius ought to have been, as is manifest from what is said immediately before it. A few Lines after, instead of the Letter from the Council of Egypt to Liberius, which Hilarius promises, we find one from Liberius to the Bishops of Italy, written after the Death of Constantius upon a quite different Subject. What comes immediately after the Letter of Liberius to the Eusebians, ought, in all Likelihood, to have been placed after the above-mentioned Letter of the Council of Sardica to Constantius: for to me it appears no less improbable than it does or can do to Baronius[1], that Hilarius, a most zealous Stickler for the Orthodox Faith, should approve of the Pope’s scandalous Letter, tending utterly to subvert it, and express his Approbation in these Terms; What is there in this Letter that is not holy? What is there that does not proceed from the Fear of God? However, I cannot conclude, and much less demonstratively, with the Annalist, that the Letter has been forged by the Arians. All I think can be inferred from thence is, that the Letters, like most other Pieces there, have been misplaced; and that the above-mentioned Words of Hilarius ought to be put after the Letter of the Council to Constantius, and not after that of Liberius to the Arians.

1. Bar. ad ann. 352. n. 13.

The Council of Arles.
In the mean time Constantius, now in quiet Possession of the whole Empire by the Death of Magnentius, who, after his Defeat, had laid violent Hands on himself, summoned a Council to meet at Arles. At this Council Liberius did not assist in Person, but by his Legates, Vincentius Bishop of Capua, and Marcellus Bishop of Campania, who, together with some others, had been sent by Liberius some time before to meet the Emperor at Arles, and beg him in the Pope’s Name to assemble a Council at Aquileia[726]. As the Bishop of Capua was a Man of great Parts, and long Experience, Liberius reposed 129an intire Confidence in him, not doubting but he would maintain the Dignity of his Legation, and support the Innocency of Athanasius with that Firmness which he had shewn on several other Occasions [N15].

N15. For Liberius, ashamed of what he had done against Athanasius, not only readmitted him soon after to his own Communion, but with great Zeal undertook his Defence.

As the Council consisted chiefly of Arians, their great Point in view was, to extort from the Italian Bishops a solemn Condemnation of Athanasius. The Emperor’s Edict.This therefore was in the first place proposed in the Council; and, because the orthodox Bishops would not consent to it, an Edict was issued by the Emperor, sentencing all those to Exile who should refuse to sign the Condemnation of Athanasius[727]. The Pope’s Legates
sign the Condem-
nation of Athanasius.The boasted Firmness and Constancy of Vincentius were not Proof against such a Trial. He did all that lay in his Power to divert the Emperor from the Execution of a Decree utterly inconsistent with the Liberty of a Council; but finding him deaf to all Remonstrances, he began to capitulate, offering to sign the Condemnation of Athanasius, on condition the Eusebians signed that of Arius, and publicly abjured his Doctrine. This he thought would be some Alleviation of his Guilt, and therefore the Proposal which he had made by Word of Mouth he gave in Writing to the Heads of the Arian Faction, signed by himself and his Fellow-legates. But the Arians, too well acquainted with their Weakness to grant them any Terms, peremptorily insisted upon their condemning Athanasius, and referring the Cause and Doctrine of Arius to a more proper Juncture. Vincentius and his Collegues, finding the Enemies of Athanasius thus inflexible, and, on the other hand, determined at all Events to keep their Bishopricks, and avoid the Hardships of a painful Exile, complied at last, and yielded to the troublesome Times, to use their softening Expression[728]. They were the more inexcuseable, as they had before their Eyes the Example of a great Prelate, whose Constancy was proof against all the Threats and Menaces of a provoked Prince. This was the celebrated Paulinus Bishop of Treves, who, after perusing the Formulary, drawn up by the Eusebians, to be signed by him and the other Bishops, rejected it with the utmost Indignation, declaring that nothing they could do should ever induce him to betray the Truth, and his own Conscience, 130by setting his Hand to such a scandalous Piece. The Eusebians left no Art unattempted to gain him, as they had done the Pope’s Legates, but finding he was a Man of a quite different Disposition, and despairing of being ever able to prevail upon him either by Hopes or Fear, they at last had recourse to the Emperor, who, putting his Decree in Execution, sent him into Exile; and in order to tire out his Patience, ordered him to be constantly conveyed from one inhospitable Place to another. The glorious Behaviour
of Paulinus.But in every Place Paulinus was the same, the Conscience of his suffering for the sake of Justice enabling him to bear, not only with Patience, but Chearfulness, the inexpressible Hardships he underwent[729]. He died in Phrygia in the Fifth Year of his Exile[730], that is, in 358. But his Body is supposed to have been discovered in a Church of his Name at Treves, in the Year 1071[731]. How and when it was conveyed thither, let those inquire who adore it.

To return to Liberius, he was so sensibly affected with the Fall of Vincentius and his Collegues, that he wished for an Opportunity of losing his Life in so good a Cause, and washing out with his Blood the Stain which the scandalous Conduct of his Legates had brought upon his Character[732]. Thus he expresses himself in the Letter, which he writ on that Occasion to the great Friend of his See Osius[733]. However, in the Height of his Affliction, he found great Relief in the Courage and Steadiness of Cæcilianus Bishop of Spoleto, of Eusebius Bishop of Vercelli, and of Lucifer Bishop of Cagliari in Sardinia. The latter advised the Pope to demand of the Emperor another Council, and generously took upon himself to go to Arles, where Constantius then was, and make that Demand. Liberius readily accepted his Offer, and named Pancratius and Hilarius for his Collegues, the one a Presbyter, the other a Deacon of the Church of Rome. Liberius writes to
the Emperor for an-
other Council;By these he writ an excellent Letter to the Emperor, wherein, with the Liberty that became a Catholic Bishop, but at the same time with all the Respect that is due from a Subject to his Sovereign, he justifies his Conduct in the Defence of Athanasius, lays open the Arts and Views of the adverse Party, and begs that a new Council might be assembled, there being no other Means to put a Stop to so many Evils, and restore Peace and Tranquillity to the Catholic Church[734]. At the same time Liberius writ to Eusebius Bishop of Vercelli, and Fortunatianus 131Bishop of Aquileia, intreating them to assist his Legates with their Advice, and even with their Presence, should it be thought necessary. The Three Legates, on their Arrival at Vercelli, in their Way to Arles, were not only kindly received, but joined by Eusebius, who repaired with them to the Emperor. which is granted,
and assembles at Milan.As the Arians were no-ways averse to the Proposal, nay, had even solicited the Emperor to convene a new Council, the Request of the Legates met with no Difficulty; so that a Council was appointed to meet at Milan, where it met accordingly in the Beginning of the Year 355[735]. We are told, that it consisted of Three hundred Western Bishops, and that from the East there came but very few[736]. But Constantius and his Army may be said to have supplied their room. For the Council no sooner met, than the Emperor absolutely insisted upon their signing the Condemnation of Athænasius, and an Edict, containing the chief Tenets of Arius, which had been published in his Name. But in this Attempt he met with a vigorous Opposition from Dionysius Bishop of Milan, Eusebius of Vercelli, Lucifer of Cagliari, and the Two other Legates, Pancratius and Hilarius; which provoked him to such a Degree, that he was upon the Point of commanding them to be executed upon the Spot as Rebels. Some Bishops banished.But, upon second Thoughts, he contented himself with sending them into Exile, Dionysius into Cappadocia, or Armenia, where he died a few Years after, Eusebius to Scythopolis in Palestine, and Lucifer to Germanicia in Syria. To what Place Pancratius and Hilarius were confined, we know not; but the latter was most cruelly whipped before he was banished[737]. As for the other Bishops, I shall only say, with Ruffinus[738], that, out of Three hundred, Dionysius, Lucifer, and Eusebius, alone shewed a Firmness and Intrepidity becoming Men of their Rank and Dignity. Among the rest Fortunatianus Bishop of Aquileia signed the Condemnation of Athanasius; which greatly added to the Grief and Concern of Liberius, who, till that Time, had entertained the highest Opinion of him.

And now Constantius had the Satisfaction of seeing Athanasius condemned by the far greater Part of the Western Bishops. But the Bishop of Rome still declared openly in his Favour, and did all that lay in his Power to gain others to his Party. Constantius endeavours in
vain to gain Liber-
ius;To deprive him therefore of so powerful a Protector, the Emperor resolved to spare no Cost nor Labour. With this View he dispatched to Rome the Eunuch Eusebius, 132his great Chamberlain, with rich Presents in one Hand, and a threatening Letter in the other: but with an invincible Firmness Liberius withstood both; so that the Eunuch, who was himself a sworn Enemy to Athanasius, returned to Court baffled and disappointed; and there, by the Account he gave of his unsuccessful Embassy, added new Fuel to the Fire, which burnt already with great Violence. The Emperor, who pretended to govern the Church no less despotically than he did the State, transported with Rage at the stout Opposition he met with from the Bishop of Rome, immediately dispatched an Order to Leoncius, Prefect of that City, injoining him to apprehend Liberius, and send him under a strong Guard to Court. who is sent Pris-
oner to Milan.Pursuant to this Order, Liberius was seized in the Night-time, lest the People, by whom he was greatly beloved, should attempt his Rescue, and conveyed to Milan, where the Court then resided[739]. Soon after his Arrival he was brought before the Emperor, when, undaunted and unawed by the Presence of so great a Prince, he spoke with all the Liberty of an Apostle, and with all the Eloquence of a great Orator[740]. His Interview with
the Emperor.At this Interview were present Eusebius the Eunuch, and Epictetus Bishop of Centumcellæ, now Civita Vecchia, who, for his ready Compliance with the Emperor’s Will, had been raised by him to great Preferments[741]. The latter told Liberius, when he had ended the excellent Speech he made before the Emperor, That he had indeed expressed great Zeal for the Purity of the Faith, and the Liberty of Councils; but the Whole was mere Mummery; and that he only wanted to be looked upon by his Party as a Person of some Significancy, and to brag among the Senators, on his Return to Rome, that he had had the Honour to dispute with the Emperor[742]. The Eunuch too thought he must speak, but it was only to betray his Ignorance; for he reproached Liberius with defending Athanasius, who had been condemned, he said, as an Heretic, by the Council of Nice[743]. As for Constantius, the only Reply he made to the Reasons alleged by Liberius in favour of Athanasius, and the Faith of Nice, was, That the wicked and impious Athanasius, as he styled him, had been condemned by the whole World; that, by his arrogant Conduct, he had provoked all Mankind, and himself in particular, by constantly stirring up his Brother against him; that therefore he looked upon the Defeat of Magnentius and Sylvanus, 133who had attempted to bereave him of his Crown, as less important to him than the deposing and condemning of a Man, by whom he had been so highly injured[744]. In answer to this, Liberius begged, that, of all Men, he would not chuse Bishops for the Instruments of his private Revenge. Constantius made no Reply, but only told him, that he must either sign the Condemnation of Athanasius, or be sent into Exile; and that he allowed him Three Days to deliberate which of the Two he would chuse. His Steadiness.Liberius answered, with great Intrepidity, that he had already chosen, and was resolved; that in Three Days he should not change his Resolution; and therefore the Emperor might send him that Minute to what Place soever he pleased[745]. The Three Days were not yet expired when the Emperor sent for him anew to Court, hoping the Fear of Banishment had softened him, as it had done most others, into a Compliance. But he found him unalterably fixed in the same Resolution; and therefore, despairing of being ever able to succeed in his Attempt, he ordered him to be conveyed forthwith to Berœa in Thrace[746]. He is banished to
Berœa in Thrace.Liberius had not yet left the Palace, when the Emperor sent him a Present of Five hundred Pieces of Gold to defray his Charges: which he sent back by the same Person who brought them, saying, that the Emperor might want Money to pay his Troops. The like Sum was sent him by the Empress Eusebia; which, with the same Answer, he desired might be conveyed to the Emperor, adding, that if he knew not how to employ that Sum better, he might bestow it on Epictetus, or Auxentius the Arian Bishop of Milan, who would be very thankful for it[747]. He left Milan Three Days after, and set out for the Place of his Exile. His Fate was no sooner known at Rome, than the Clergy, assembling the People, bound themselves by a solemn Oath, in their Presence, not to acknowlege any other for their Bishop so long as Liberius lived[748].

Felix is chosen in his
Liberius being thus driven from his See, another was placed on it in his room; and the Person, whom the Emperor and the Arian Faction pitched upon, was one Felix, then only Deacon of the Church of Rome[749]. But the Clergy could not proceed to a new Election, without an open Violation of the Oath they had taken; the People began to mutiny, and, assembling in Crouds, would suffer none of the Arian 134Faction to enter their Churches. The Imperial Palace therefore served instead of a Church; Three of the Emperor’s Eunuchs represented the People; and Three Bishops, Slaves of the Court, viz. Epictetus of Centumcellæ, Acacius of Cæsarea, and Basilius of Ancyra, ordained the new-elected Bishop[750]. Thus was Felix chosen, and thus ordained. As Liberius was greatly beloved by the People, chiefly on account of his vigorous Opposition to Constantius, the Intrusion of Felix occasioned a great Sedition, in which many lost their Lives[751]. The Clergy were not so zealous in the Cause as the People; for great Numbers of them, unmindful of the Oath they had taken, were by degrees reconciled to Felix, and communicated with him[752]; whereas the People continued to abhor and avoid him at least till the Year 357. When Constantius came to Rome[753]. Constantius goes
to Rome.For that Prince, being desirous to see the Metropolis of his Empire, undertook a Journey to Rome in the above-mentioned Year, and entered it in Triumph on the 28th of April[754]. During his short Stay in that City, the Roman Ladies gave a signal Instance of the Zeal and Affection they still retained for their exiled Bishop. They thought a more favourable Opportunity could never offer to solicit the Emperor for his Return; and therefore, by a private Agreement among themselves, they pressed their Husbands, with great Earnestness, to lay hold of it, threatening to abandon them, if they did not, and repairing to their Bishop to share with him the Hardships of his Exile. The Husbands, unmoved by such Menaces, which they well knew would never take place, answered, that by such an Application they might incur the Displeasure of the Prince, which would prove fatal to them, as well as to the Person in whose Behalf they interposed; whereas, should they themselves take such a pious and commendable Office upon them, the Respect due to their Sex would, in all Likelihood, extort from the Prince the desired Favour, at least it would restrain his Resentment, and stifle all Thoughts of Revenge. The Proposal was universally applauded by the Ladies, unwilling to expose their Husbands to the dire Effects of the Emperor’s Indignation. The Roman Ladies
intercede for Liberius.On an appointed Day therefore, attiring themselves in an Apparel suitable to their Rank, that the Emperor in seeing them might know who they were, and treat them accordingly, they repaired to Court; and being immediately admitted to the Prince’s Presence, they conjured 135him, with Tears in their Eyes, to take Pity of that great City, of that numerous Flock, bereft of its Pastor, and, in his Absence, devoured by ravenous Wolves. This was not at all a courtly Language: however, Constantius, without betraying the least Emotion, said, I thought you had a Pastor. Is not Felix as capable of discharging the Pastoral Office as any other? Felix, replied they, is detested, and avoided by all. The Emperor promises
to recall him.At these Words the Emperor first looked grave; but, immediately changing his Gravity into a Smile, If so, said he, with great Complaisance, you must have Liberius again: I shall, without Delay, dispatch the proper Orders for his Return. An Edict was accordingly issued the very next Day, recalling Liberius to govern the Church jointly with Felix; for Constantius thought it inconsistent with his Honour, and the Imperial Dignity, to drive Felix from the See, on which he himself had placed him.

The Edict recalling
him to govern jointly
with Felix, raillied
by the Roman People.
When this Edict was read, in the Presence of the Emperor, to the People assembled in the Circus, they applauded it at first, by way of Raillery, saying, That since the Spectators, at the public Sports, were divided into Two Parties, it was just and reasonable there should be Two Bishops to head them. The Multitude, not satisfied with thus pleasantly expressing their Dissatisfaction, cried out, immediately after, with one Voice, There is but One God, One Christ, One Bishop[755]. And yet the Emperor was rather delighted than displeased with the Humour of the People, and the Liberty they took; for to what happened on this Occasion Ammianus Marcellinus probably alludes, where he writes, that Constantius, in exhibiting public Sports at Rome, was pleased with the Liberty they took to railly him, knowing it did not proceed from Pride or Ill-nature[756]. Theodoret tells us, that to Acclamations so worthy of the Roman Piety the Emperor granted the Return of Liberius[757]; and with him agree Sulpitius Severus[758], and Ruffinus[759]. But Sozomen[760], and all the Writers of those Times, assure us, that his Return did not happen this, but the following Year 358. when he bought it dear, by signing the Condemnation of Athanasius, and the Symbol or Creed, composed by the Semi-Arians at Sirmium, now Sirmish in Sclavonia. Constantius, at the Request of the Roman Ladies and People, promised to recall him, as I have related; but it was on Condition, says Sozomen[761], that he should agree with the Bishops of the Court, that is, with the Semi-Arians. 136The Firmness which Liberius had hitherto shewn, left no room to doubt of his rejecting such a Proposal with the greatest Indignation. But he now felt what before he had only beheld at a Distance: he began to compare the Ease and Plenty in which he had lived at Rome, with the Inconveniencies and Hardships of his present Exile. Besides, from the Menaces thrown out against him by the Emperor’s Officers, he apprehended his Life to be in Danger[762]. ‘Tis true, he had wished for an Opportunity of shedding his Blood in so good a Cause, as I have related above. But who is not brave at a Distance from Danger? The Jealousy he had of Felix, who, sitting in his Chair, acted the High Pontiff at Rome, was the Dalila, says Baronius[763], speaking of his signing the Condemnation of Athanasius, who bereft this Samson of all his Strength and Courage. Liberius signs the
of Athanasius, and
embraces the Doct-
rine of Sirmium.However that be, it is certain, that the Strength and Courage, which he had with great Glory exerted on other Occasions, vanished at once. For he not only signed the Condemnation of Athanasius, but moreover approved and received as Catholic, the Confession or Symbol of Sirmium[764]. Thus, to ingratiate himself with the Emperor, and return to Rome, did Liberius abandon, at last, his persecuted Friend, renounce the Catholic Faith, and solemnly promise to maintain inviolable the Doctrine of Sirmium[765]. As he was impatient to be reinstated in his See, he took care immediately to acquaint the Emperor with the Steps he had taken. With this Letter he dispatched Fortunatianus Bishop of Aquileia, charging him to solicit Constantius for his Return, since he had done all he had required of him[766]. Constantius took no Notice of, nor returned any Answer to, this Letter. On the other hand, Liberius was heartily sick of his Exile, heartily sick of suffering for the sake of Justice. His Letter to the
Eastern Bishops.In Hopes therefore of putting a speedy End to his Exile, and the Hardships attending it, he writ in a most submissive and cringing Style to the Eastern Bishops, assuring them, that it was merely out of Respect to his Predecessor Julius, and to maintain his Judgment, that he had undertaken the Defence of Athanasius; that as soon as it had pleased God to open his Eyes, and discover to him how justly he had been condemned, he had separated himself from his Communion, and joined them; that all their Decrees concerning him should be inviolably observed by the Apostolic See, as indeed they ought to be; 137that he sincerely and willingly received the true Catholic and Orthodox Faith, as it had been expounded and defined by several of his Brethren and Collegues at Sirmium, and had been proposed to him by his Collegue Demophilus; that he received every Article of that Symbol, and had nothing to object against any. This remarkable Letter he concludes thus: And now that I agree with you in every Point, let me earnestly intreat your Holinesses to employ your joint Interest in my Behalf, that I may be recalled from Banishment, and suffered to return to the See, which God has been pleased to commit to my Care[767]. He is anathematized
by Hilarius. His Letter
to the Bishops at
Court;This Letter has been conveyed to us by the great Hilarius, Bishop of Poitiers, who, in relating it, not able to restrain the just Indignation it kindled in his Breast, interrupts the Recital Three times, to anathematize the Author of it, the prevaricating Liberius, as he styles him[768]. He writ likewise to Ursacius, Valens, and Germinius, who bore great Sway at Court, and were at the Head of the Arian Faction in the West, to acquaint them, that he communicated with them, and also with Auxentius and Epictetus, Two of the most inveterate Enemies the Orthodox had; and that whoever did not communicate with them, that is, every Catholic Bishop, was cut off from his Communion. These Words Hilarius cannot repeat without anathematizing anew Liberius, and all the Arians with him. In the same Letter he lets them know, that he has separated himself from the Communion of Athanasius, late Bishop of Alexandria, acknowleging him, by that Expression, lawfully deposed. He declares, in the Beginning of his Letter, and calls God to witness, that it is not by Compulsion, but merely for the sake of Peace and Charity, far preferable to Martyrdom itself, that he writes to them. He conjures them, by the omnipotent God, by his Son Jesus, by the Holy Ghost, to intercede for him with the Emperor, that, by his Return, Peace and Tranquillity may be restored to the Church committed to his Care; assuring them, that the Zeal they exert in so pious, so just a Cause, will meet with a proportionable Reward in Heaven[769].

As the Emperor had not yet taken the least Notice of his Letter; as the Eastern Bishops, as well as the Bishops at Court, did not act, as he thought, with all the Zeal and Expedition he expected, and his ready Compliance well deserved; and to Vincentius,
Bishop of Capua.he writ a Third Letter, directed to Vincentius, Bishop of Capua, acquainting him, that he had abandoned the Defence of Athanasius, and desiring him to give Notice 138thereof to all the Bishops of Campania; and, at the same time, to use his utmost Endeavours to persuade them to dispatch some of their Body with a Letter, in their common Name, to the Emperor, begging Constantius to deliver him, without further Delay, from his present most melancholy and deplorable Situation. To this Letter he adds the following Paragraph, in his own Hand: We live in Peace with all the Bishops of the East, and with you. As for me, I have discharged my Conscience before God. Will you suffer me to perish in my present Exile? The same God will judge us both[770]. The Bishop of Capua had been formerly sent by Liberius to the Council of Arles, with the Character of his Legate, as I have observed above, and had there signed the Condemnation of Athanasius; on which Occasion Liberius wished for an Opportunity of washing out, with his own Blood, the Stain which the Conduct of his Legate had brought upon his Character. But his only Wish now was to see himself delivered from his painful Exile, and restored to his former State, upon any Terms. Vincentius, touched with his Complaints, prevailed upon the Bishops of Campania to send a solemn Deputation to the Emperor in his Behalf; which Constantius complied with, so far as to recall him from the Place of his Exile to Sirmium, where the Court then was[771]. He is recalled from
his Banishment to
Sirmium.Upon his Arrival there, Constantius, who had lately embraced the Doctrine of the Semi-Arians, taking Advantage of his Weakness, and of the eager Desire he had betrayed of returning to his See, obliged him, as well as the Bishops of the Court, and Four African Bishops, who happened to be then at Sirmium, to sign the same Doctrine[772]. He signs the Doctrine
of the Semi-Arians.Thus did the infallible Liberius sign, and embrace, at least in Appearance, both the Arian and Semi-Arian Heresy; the Arian at Berœa, the Place of his Exile, and the Semi-Arian at Sirmium. That the Confession he signed at Berœa was Arian, cannot be doubted; for it was the Second of Sirmium, which all agree to have been Arian[N16]. Besides, it was proposed to him 139by Demophilus Bishop of Berœa, who was a most zealous Stickler for Arianism, and greatly attached to Ursacius and Valens, the Two leading Men among the Arians in the West; and it is not at all probable, that he would have required Liberius to sign a Doctrine different from that which he himself held.

N16. Three Councils were held at Sirmium, one in 349. another in 352. and the Third in 357. In the First, Photinus, Bishop of that City, was condemned, for reviving the Heresy of Paul of Samosata. This Council was intirely composed of the Western Bishops, who attempted to depose Photinus, but were vigorously opposed by the People. The Second Council of Sirmium was convened by the Emperor Constantius, and consisted of the Eastern Bishops only, who condemned anew, and deposed Photinus. By this Council a Symbol, or Creed, was composed, which has been transmitted to us in Greek by St. Athanasius, and in Latin by St. Hilarius; and is intirely Orthodox. In the Third Council of Sirmium a new Creed was composed by Potamius Bishop of Lisbone, and signed by Ursacius, Valens, Germinius, and the other Bishops there present. This Creed was altogether Arian; for not only the Word Consubstantial was rejected by it, but the Son was declared to be unlike the Father in Essence, to be less than the Father, and to have had a Beginning. And it was this Second Symbol of Sirmium that Liberius signed at Berœa. Upon his Arrival at Sirmium he found there Basilius of Ancyra, Eleusius of Cyzicus, and the other Semi-Arian Bishops, who were lately come from the Council of Ancyra, where they had condemned the Doctrine of the Pure Arians, and established that of the Semi-Arians, holding the Son to be like the Father in Nature and Essence, but not Consubstantial, or of the same Substance. And this Doctrine Liberius signed out of Complaisance to the Emperor, that nothing might obstruct his Return to Rome. He signed it in a kind of Council, consisting of the Semi-Arian Bishops, whom I have mentioned above.

The Advocates for the Pope’s Infallibility are here quite at a Loss what to say in Defence of that Prerogative. That Liberius signed the Condemnation of Athanasius, that he communicated with the Arians, and, what above all galls them, that he received the Sirmian Confession of Faith as Catholic and Orthodox, are undeniable Matters of Fact. To reconcile them with Infallibility, is what they have been long drudging at: and to what pitiful Shifts, what eluding and unmeaning Distinctions, have they not been obliged to recur! Like a Man struggling for Life in deep Water, and catching at every Twig to save it, they flounce from Quibble to Quibble, from one Subterfuge to another, but all in vain; sink they must, and their Infallibility with them. To shew their Distress, I shall briefly transcribe what I find offered on this Occasion, by the most learned among them, in Defence of the Cause they have undertaken. What alleged by
Baronius in his
Defence;Baronius[773], after relating and owning the above-mentioned Facts, addresses his Readers thus: We have hitherto sailed among dangerous Rocks, among treacherous Sholes; but fear not, I shall at last pilot you safe into the Port of Truth. Then, dropping his Allegory, he makes a long Descant to prove, that the Sirmian Confession of Faith, signed by Liberius, was, in every Article, Catholic and Orthodox. A rare Pilot indeed! If this (to pursue his Allegory) is the Port of Truth, who can help pitying Jerom, Hilarius, Athanasius, and in short all the Antients? for they certainly missed it, and, falling in among those dangerous 140Rocks, those treacherous Sholes, which Baronius had the Skill and good Luck to avoid, were there unfortunately shipwrecked. For Jerom says, in express Terms, and in Two Places[774], that Liberius signed an Heresy; Hilarius, that he approved of the Arian Perfidy[775]; Athanasius, that he joined the Arians[776]; and all the Antients, that he apostatized from the Faith: nay, Liberius himself, in his Letter to the Orientals, which is still to be seen, under his own Hand, in the Vatican Library, gives them Notice, that in all things he agrees with Demophilus, a most zealous Arian, and with them; which Words Hilarius could not repeat without anathematizing him. It is therefore manifest, beyond all Dispute, that the Confession of Faith, signed by Liberius, was not Catholic, but Arian. Of this Baronius himself was, without doubt, well apprised, and into this Port he had piloted his Reader, had Truth alone been his Land-mark. and by Bellarmine.Bellarmine, the other great Stickler for Infallibility, pursues a different Method, but with worse Success, in my Opinion, than his Fellow-Champion Baronius; for, by striving to support that chimerical Prerogative, he evidently oversets it. The Pope, according to him, may sign and receive heretical Opinions, as Liberius did, without prejudicing in the least his Infallibility, provided he does not internally assent to them[777]; so that the so much boasted Infallibility is by him reduced at last to this; that the Pope cannot internally assent to an Error: which is confining his Infallibility to himself, and consequently disqualifying him for the Office of a Teacher. Infallibility, even thus curtailed, is, no doubt, a most valuable Treasure to the Owner, but of no more Use to the rest of Mankind than a Treasure concealed under-ground; and, on that very Account, it ought in common Sense to be exploded. But it is scarce worth the while to quarrel with Bellarmine about it, since he cannot be so unreasonable as to require us, in virtue of such a Prerogative, to pay any Regard to the Decisions of the Pope, till such time, at least, as we know them to be agreeable to his private Opinion: and this is what we can never know, since every Pope may, like Liberius, externally admit an Opinion as true; and, at the same time, internally reject it as false.

Liberius returns to
But, to return to Liberius; he was at last, in regard of his ready Compliance with the Will of the Emperor, allowed to return to 141Rome; but on Condition, that he should govern jointly with Felix[778]. Letters were accordingly dispatched both to Felix, and the Roman Clergy, to acquaint them therewith. Sozomen seems to insinuate, that they both governed thus for some time[779]. Felix is driven out.But, according to St. Jerom, and the Two Presbyters Marcellinus and Faustinus, who lived then at Rome, and were Eye-witnesses of what they relate, Felix was driven not only from the See, but out of the City, as soon as Liberius entered it; which he did on the 2d of August 358. in a kind of Triumph, being met and received by the whole People, with loud Acclamations of Joy[780]. Felix returned soon after, at the Instigation of a few of the Ecclesiastics, who had, contrary to their Oath, adhered to him; and even attempted to perform Divine Service in the Basilic of Julius, beyond the Tiber; but the enraged Multitude drove him out a second time, and, with him, all the Ecclesiastics, who had acknowleged him[781]. Socrates writes, that the Emperor himself was in the End obliged to give him up, and consent to his Expulsion[782]. Mention is made in the Pontificals of a bloody Persecution, raised in Rome by Liberius, and his Party, against the Partisans of Felix, who, it is said, were inhumanly murdered in the Streets, in the Baths, in all public Places, and even in the Churches[783]. But as none of the Antients take the least Notice of such Cruelties, I will not charge Liberius with them, upon the bare Authority of such Records. Felix, being driven from Rome, withdrew to a small Estate he had on the Road to Porto, and there spent the remaining Part of his Life in Retirement[784]. Sozomen supposes him to have died soon after[785]. But the Two Presbyters Marcellinus and Faustinus, who must have been better informed, assure us, that he lived Seven Years after the Return of Liberius, and died on the 22d of November 365[786].

The Judgment of the
Antients concerning
Concerning Felix, all the Antients agree, that he was unlawfully elected and ordained; that he communicated with the Arians; that, to ingratiate himself with them, and the Emperor, he signed the Condemnation of Athanasius; that he was guilty of Perjury in accepting the Episcopal Dignity, having bound himself, with the rest of the Clergy, by a solemn Oath, to acknowlege no other Bishop while Liberius lived; and, lastly, that he strove to keep Possession of the 142Roman See, after the Return of the lawful Bishop, and to sit in it, together with him, in open Defiance of the Canons of the Church. Socrates adds, that he not only communicated with the Arians, but was infected with the Arian Heresy[787]. Athanasius styles him a Monster, raised to the See of Rome by the Malice of Antichrist, one worthy of those who raised him, and in every respect well qualified for the Execution of their wicked Designs[788]. He is honoured by
the Church of Rome
as a Saint and a
Martyr.And yet this Heretic, this Monster, this Intruder, or Antipope, is honoured (the Reader will be surprised to hear it, is honoured) by the Church of Rome as a Saint; nay, as a Martyr; and his Festival is kept to this Day, on the 29th of July. This Honour was conferred on him in the Ages of Darkness and Ignorance, upon the Authority of his fabulous Acts, and a more fabulous Pontifical, from which his Acts seem to have been copied. In the Pontifical it is said, that Felix declared Constantius, who had been twice baptized, an Heretic; and was therefore, by an Order from the incensed Emperor, apprehended, and privately beheaded, with many Ecclesiastics and Laymen, under the Walls of Rome, on the 11th of November. It is added, that the Presbyter Damasus privately conveyed his Body to a Church, which Felix had built, and there interred it; and that, upon his Death, the See remained vacant for the Space of Thirty-eight Days[789]. His fabulous Acts.In the Acts of Felix we read, that Constantius was rebaptized by Eusebius Bishop of Nicomedia; that Felix having, on that Account, declared him an Heretic, he was driven from the See of Rome, and Liberius replaced on it; that Felix thereupon retired into the Country, but was brought back by the Emperor’s Orders, and beheaded on the 10th of November; that his Body was interred on the 20th of the same Month in a Church, which he had built while he was a Presbyter: And we keep his Festival, adds the Author, on the 29th of July[790]. Anastasius has copied the Pontifical Word for Word, except that he pretends Felix to have been beheaded at Cora, in the Campagna of Rome[791]; though he has told us, in the foregoing Page, that he died in Peace, a Phrase never used in speaking of Martyrs, on the 29th of July, at his Estate on the Road to Porto[792]. The City of Cere, now Cerventera, in Tuscany, honours Felix to this Day, as their chief Patron or Protector. In those dark Times Legends alone were in request, and all other Books, even the Scripture itself, quite out of 143Date, and neglected. How he came to be
honoured as a Saint.No Wonder therefore that such Absurdities, however inconsistent with History, were swallowed without straining; and Felix, for his pretended Zeal and Constancy, ranked among the holy Martyrs. For I may venture to affirm, that the most learned Men, at that time, in the Church, knew nothing of Felix but what they had learned from his fabulous Acts, and from the above-mentioned Pontifical. That I may not be thought to exaggerate, I shall allege one Instance of the Ignorance of past Times: Gulielmus a Sancto Amore, one of the most learned Men of the 13th Century, knew that, in the Time of Hilarius Bishop of Poitiers, a Pope, with most of the Bishops, had fallen into Heresy. He did not even pretend to be so well versed in History as to know for certain who the Pope was; but, indulging a Conjecture, which he thought probable enough, he named Anastasius II. who died in 498. about 150 Years after the Time of Hilarius: so that he was an utter Stranger to the History of Pope Liberius, and consequently to that of the Antipope Felix. Had it not been for the like Ignorance in more early Times, the Apotheosis of our pretended Martyr had never taken place. His Sanctity called in
question;Be that as it will, during the Ages of Darkness he held undisturbed the Rank, to which he had been thus raised: but when the Dawn of Knowlege began to appear, and it was discovered at last from contemporary and unexceptionable Writers, who Felix was, the Church of Rome was ashamed to own him among her Saints. On the other hand, to degrade him had been giving a fatal Blow to the Pope’s Authority, and rendering it for ever precarious, in so material a Point as that of Canonization. Felix therefore was, at all Events, to keep his Place in Heaven; his Sanctity was to be confirmed, and the World imposed upon by some Contrivance or other, capable of utterly defeating the Testimony of the Antients.

This Point being settled, to prevent all Suspicion of Deceit, or underhand Dealings, Pope Gregory XIII. declared, in 1582. his Intention of having the Cause of Felix impartially examined. and his Cause re-
examined.In order to ? this, he appointed Baronius, employed at that Time in reforming the Roman Martyrology, to put in Writing whatever could be objected against Felix, and Cardinal Santorio to answer his Objections, and collect likewise in Writing all that could be said in favour of his new Client, that the Pope might be thoroughly acquainted with the Merits of the Cause before he came to a final Decision. This Conduct in Gregory has been censured by some over-zealous Divines of the Church 144of Rome, as if he had thereby given the World Occasion to think that he questioned the Infallibility of his Predecessors, who had honoured Felix as a Saint[793]. But Gregory well knew what he was doing, and how the Whole would end. In Compliance with his Orders, Baronius writ a Dissertation, which he himself calls a Volume, and not a short one[794], to prove that Felix was neither a Saint nor a Martyr. As he had Truth on his Side, Cardinal Santorio, though a Man of Learning, could neither answer his Arguments, nor offer any thing in so desperate a Cause worthy of himself. He often addressed himself in his Prayers to his Client, intreating him to undertake his own Cause, by suggesting to him what might be alleged in his Defence. But the Client was no less at a Stand than the Advocate. Some other Person therefore must interpose: And whom did the carrying or losing such a Cause more nearly concern than the Pope, since his Authority in a most essential Point was at Stake? This was a nice Affair, and to be managed with great Art and Dexterity. Gregory, therefore, having often heard both Sides, in a full Congregation of Cardinals, without betraying the least Partiality for Felix, appointed them to meet for the last time on the 28th of July, the Eve of the pretended Saint’s Festival, judging that the most proper Time to play off with good Success the Trick, which he had kept the whole Time in petto. His Sanctity and
Martyrdom confirmed
by the Discovery of
his Body.The Cardinals met on the Day appointed; Baronius quite silenced his Adversary; the whole Assembly was fully convinced, that Felix was no Saint, no Martyr; the Pope himself seemed to fall in with the rest, and accordingly rose up to declare, as was thought, the unhappy Felix fallen from Heaven; when a great Noise was all on a sudden heard at the Door, and immediately a Messenger entered, who, after uttering these Words, Holy Felix, pray for us, acquainted the Pope and the Cardinals, that the Body of Felix was just discovered. Hereupon they all repaired in great Haste to the Church of Cosmas and Damianus, where the miraculous Discovery had been made; and there saw, in a Marble Coffin of an extraordinary Size, on one Side the Bodies of Mark, Marcellianus, and Tranquillinus; and on the other that of Felix, with this Inscription on a Stone that lay by it, The Body of Saint Felix, who condemned Constantius[795]. Hereupon the Te Deum was sung with great Solemnity for the Triumph of Truth: Felix was declared worthy of the Veneration and Worship that had till then been 145paid him, and a Place was allowed him among the other Saints in the Roman Martyrology, where it is said, that he was driven from his See for defending the Catholic Faith, by Constantius an Arian Emperor, and privately put to Death at Cere, now Cervetera, in Tuscany. Baronius, transported with Joy, as he himself declares[796], at so miraculous and seasonable a Discovery, immediately yielded, not to his Antagonist Santorio, but to Felix, who had evidently interposed; and, taking that Interposition for a satisfactory Answer to all his Arguments, he immediately retracted whatever he had said, and consigned to the Flames whatever he had written in Opposition to Felix[797]. Thus, to maintain a chimerical Prerogative, they sport with Truth; betray into Error those who confide in them; and, turning the worst of Men into Saints, honour Vice with the greatest Reward they can bestow on Virtue.

His Legend proved to
be fabulous.
That this pretended Discovery was nothing but a Contrivance to confirm the Martyrdom of Felix, and impose upon the World, is manifest; and that the Pontifical, and his Acts, on which his Martyrdom was originally founded, were a no less palpable and gross Imposition, may be easily demonstrated. For, in the first place, Marcellinus and Faustinus, who lived in the Time of Felix and Liberius at Rome, tell us, in express Terms, that Felix, who had been substituted to Liberius, died on the 22d of November 365[798]. that is, Four Years after the Death of Constantius, by whom he is said, in his Acts, and in the Pontifical, to have been martyred. Athanasius assures us[799], and with him agree Philostorgius[800], and the Chronicle of Alexandria[801], that Constantius was not baptized till at the Point of Death, when he received that Sacrament at the Hands of Euzoius, the Arian Bishop of Antioch. And yet both the Acts of Felix, and the Pontifical, will have him to have been twice baptized before his Death; for it was on this Account that Felix is said to have declared him an Heretic. This Declaration Baronius improves into a solemn Excommunication; and, being become, after the above-mentioned Discovery, a most zealous Advocate for Felix, tells us, that the holy Martyr was no sooner placed on the Throne of St. Peter, than, changing his Conduct, he separated himself from the Communion of those by whom he had been raised, and boldly thundered an Anathema against the Emperor himself[802]. 146He did not excom-
municate Constantius.What a Pity that Athanasius was not better acquainted with the Conduct of Felix! for if he had, he would never have styled him a Monster placed on the See of Rome by the Malice of Antichrist. Such an Attempt, unheard of till that Time, must have made a great Noise; and yet I find it was heard by none but Baronius, who lived at so great a Distance. I may add, that there was no room for an Excommunication against Constantius, who was still a Catechumen, and consequently did not partake of the sacred Mysteries.

Whether a lawful
Pope or an Antipope.
The Roman Catholic Writers, to save the Credit of Felix, maintain him to have been, at least for some time, lawful Pope. But, to confute whatever has been or can be said by them in his Favour, without entering into a Detail of the many sophistical and unconclusive Arguments, false Assertions, and groundless Suppositions, with which they endeavour to disguise the Truth, and confound their Readers, I argue thus: That Liberius was lawfully chosen, and Felix unlawfully, is past all Dispute. Now, upon the Fall of Liberius, either there was, or there was not, a new Election: if there was not, Liberius continued to be lawful Bishop; or if by his Fall he forfeited his Dignity, as some think he did, the See became vacant; for nothing subsequent to the unlawful Election of Felix could render it lawful. If there was a new Election, and Felix was lawfully chosen, Liberius from that Minute either ceased to be Pope, or there were two lawful Popes at a time. The latter they will not admit, lest they should turn the Church into a Monster with Two Heads. They must therefore allow Felix to have been lawful Pope, and Liberius an Antipope, till the See became vacant by the Death of the former. Felix an Antipope.But on the other hand, this new Election is quite groundless, highly improbable, and absolutely repugnant to what we read in the antient and contemporary Writers. It is quite groundless; for though Bellarmine speaks of a new Election with as much Confidence as if he had been one of the Electors[803], yet we find not the least Hint of it in any of the Writers of those Times, who would not have passed over in Silence so remarkable an Event, had it come to their Knowlege. It is highly improbable; for Liberius was greatly beloved by the whole People, and the far greater Part of the Clergy, and Felix hated to such a Degree, that of all the Inhabitants of Rome, not one ever 147appeared in the Church while he was in it[804]; nay, he was by all avoided, even in the Streets and other public Places, as if he had carried about with him a Contagion[805]. Is it not therefore altogether improbable, that the People and Clergy should depose the Man, whom in a manner they adored, for communicating with the Arians, and appoint one in his room, who likewise communicated with them, and was universally detested, avoided, and abhorred? And yet all this is gravely supposed by Bellarmine[806]. Lastly, the Election of Felix is repugnant to what we read in the antient Writers, who all speak of him as an Antipope, and an Intruder. Optatus, who lived at that very Time, and St. Austin, who flourished soon after, have not allowed him a Place in their Catalogues of the Bishops of Rome. Theodoret takes no notice of him in his Catalogue of the Bishops of the chief Cities. St. Jerom and Prosper count Liberius the Thirty-fourth Bishop of Rome, and Damasus, who succeeded him, the Thirty-fifth; a plain Indication that they did not look upon Felix as lawful Bishop. Among the Moderns, Onuphrius Panvinius, in his Lives of the Popes, printed in 1557. some Years before the Discovery of Felix’s Body, calls Novatian the First Antipope, and Felix the Second. But his Book was prohibited in 1583. the Year after the Second Canonization of Felix. The Writers, who came after, took Warning; and such of them as thought it base to concur in deceiving Mankind, since it was not safe to undeceive them, chose to wave this Subject, but not without giving some broad Hints of what they believed in their Hearts. Thus F. Labbé[807], and Cardinal Bona[808], take no notice of this Felix, but call Pope Felix, who was raised to the See of Rome in 485. the Second Pope of that Name. Felix I. was martyred under Aurelian in 274. as we have related elsewhere[809]. F. Labbé, at the Death of Felix II. which happened in 492. adds, that he was the Third of that Name, according to Baronius[810]. Acknowleged as such
by some Roman
Catholic Writers.Had Felix never been canonized, no Man would have been so regardless of his own Reputation as to undertake his Defence; but Gregory having declared him a Saint, and, by such a Declaration, linked his Cause with Infallibility in a most essential Point, the hired Champions of that See found themselves under an indispensable Obligation of entering the Lists; which I need not say they have done to no Purpose.

The Emperor under-
takes the establishing
of Arianism.
148The Fall of the Bishop of Rome, who was at the Head of the Orthodox Party, inspired the Emperor with great Hopes of succeeding in the Design he had formed of utterly abolishing the Orthodox Faith: he found there were but few Bishops whose Virtue was Proof against the Frowns and Resentment of the Court. In the Council held at Arles in 353. they had all to a Man chosen rather to communicate with the Arians, than be driven from their Sees: in that which was convened Two Years after, at Milan, only Three Bishops were found, viz. Dionysius Bishop of that City, Lucifer of Cagliari, and Eusebius of Vercelli, who, equally unmoved by Threats and Promises, had maintained the Truth with the Loss of their Dignity. The Example of the Bishop of Rome had been followed by the far greater Part of the Bishops of Italy. But what above all encouraged the Emperor to pursue the Scheme he had so much at heart, was the Fall of the celebrated Osius Bishop of Cordoua, in the Hundredth Year of his Age, and Sixty-second of his Episcopacy. As the Name of Osius is one of the most famous in the Ecclesiastical History of those Times, and his Fall is alleged by the Antients as a memorable Instance of the Weakness of human Nature, however strengthened and improved by a long Practice of the most eminent Virtues, a succinct Account of so remarkable an Event will not, I hope, be unacceptable to the Reader, or thought foreign to the Subject in hand.

A succinct Account
of the Life of Osius
Bishop of Cordoua.
Osius was a Native of Spain[811], born, according to some, in Cordoua, about the Year 256. and raised, in regard of his extraordinary Merit, to the See of that City in 295[812]. He was even then conspicuous for the Firmness of his Faith, and the Purity of his Life, says Sozomen[813]. Athanasius, who was well acquainted with him, speaks of him with the greatest Respect and Esteem, calling him a Man truly holy, according to the Greek Signification of his Name; one in whose Conduct even his most inveterate Enemies could discover nothing that was not commendable, his Life being irreprehensible, and his Reputation unspotted[814]. Theodoret[815], and Eusebius[816], extol him on Account of his extraordinary Prudence, Wisdom, and Learning, which gave great Weight to his Opinion in the many Councils at which he assisted, and often presided. In the Year 300. he was present at the Council of Eliberis, or Illeberis, in Spain, famous for the Severity of its Canons; and, in all Likelihood, made even then a 149considerable Figure; since, in the Acts of that Council, he is named in the Second Place after Felix of Acci, now Guadix, in Andalusia, who probably presided[817]. He is imprisoned
under Maximian for
the Confession of
the Faith.Three Years after broke out the Persecution of Maximian Hercules, in which Osius distinguished himself by his Zeal, his Constancy, and his Sufferings; for, having with great Intrepidity confessed his Faith before the Pagan Magistrates, he was by them imprisoned, and kept under a very close and painful Confinement for the Space of Two Years, that is, from the Year 303. to 305. when, upon the Abdication of Maximian and Dioclesian, he was set at Liberty by Constantius Chlorus, the Father of Constantine the Great[818]. He is honoured by Athanasius[819], by the Council of Sardica, and by most of the Antients, with the Title of Confessor, which was given to such as had suffered Imprisonment, Torments, or Exile, but had not died, for the Confession of the Faith. He was highly esteemed and revered by Constantine, not only as a Confessor, but as a Person of extraordinary Wisdom and Probity[820]; whence he is thought to have been one of the Prelates whom that Prince consulted in 311[821]. and kept with him to instruct him in the Mysteries of the Christian Religion. He instructs
Constantine.Some think that Osius was meant by the Egyptian Priest come from Spain, to whom Zosimus ascribes the Change made by Constantine in point of Religion[822]. The Church of Cordoua was, out of Regard to him, enriched by Constantine with many valuable Presents, whence he is said to have been very rich[823]. But what Use he made of his Wealth we may learn from Athanasius, who assures us, that no one in Want ever applied to him without being relieved, and receiving the Supply he demanded[824]. In the famous Dispute, which I have taken notice of in its proper Place, between Cæcilianus and the Donatists of Africa, Osius undertook, with great Zeal, the Defence of the former, and prevailed in the End upon Constantine to espouse his Cause, and declare against the Donatists[825], whom he thenceforth punished with great Severity, taking their Churches from them, and sending the most obstinate among them into Exile. Constantine being become Master of the East in the Year 323. his first Care was to put an End to the unhappy Divisions that reigned in those Churches about the Celebration of Easter, and some other controverted Points. He is sent by him
to compose some
Disputes there.With 150this View he dispatched Osius into the East, who, upon his Arrival there, summoned a Council to meet at Alexandria, which, under his Influence, condemned the Heresy of Sabellius, put a Stop to the Schism of one Colluthus, and greatly allayed the Animosity of the contending Parties about the Day on which Easter was to be kept[826]. On his Return to Court, the Account he gave of the Arians, whose Heresy he had endeavoured in vain to suppress, made so deep an Impression in the Mind of the Emperor, that, for a long time, he continued highly prejudiced against them[827]. It was at the Suggestion of Osius that Constantine assembled the Council of Nice in 325. at which he assisted, and distinguished himself above the rest[828]; for of all Councils he was the Head and Leader, as Athanasius styles him[829]. He assists at the
Council of Nice and
draws up the Nicene
Creed.By him was worded and drawn up the famous Nicene Symbol or Creed, as we are told in express Terms by Athanasius[830]. He presided at the Council of Sardica, which, at his Request, was assembled by the Emperor Constans in 347[831]. From that Council he retired to his Bishoprick, and continued there undisturbed till the Year 355. when Constantius seeing himself Master of the West, as well as of the East, undertook to oblige all the Bishops to condemn Athanasius, whose Cause was looked upon as inseparable from that of the Orthodox Faith. As Osius had on all Occasions declared highly in his Favour, and the Example of a Prelate so venerable for his Age, for the glorious Title of Confessor, and the Figure he had made for many Years in the Church, greatly prejudiced the World against the Enemies of the persecuted Bishop, the Emperor resolved to deprive, if possible, the Orthodox Party of so powerful a Support. Constantius attempts
in vain to gain him
over to the Arian
Party.With this View he ordered Osius to repair to Milan, where the Court then was, well knowing that he was not, like most other Bishops, to be terrified with threatening Letters. Osius, in Compliance with the Emperor’s Orders, set out without Delay from Cordoua, notwithstanding his great Age; and, arriving at Milan, was there received by the Emperor with all the Respect that was due to the Father of Bishops, as he was styled. Constantius entertained him for some Days with the utmost Civility, hoping by that means to bring him into his Views; but he no sooner named Athanasius to him, than the zealous Prelate, well knowing the Drift of his Discourse, and armed against all Temptations, interrupted 151him with declaring, that he was ready to sacrifice not one, but a Thousand Lives, in so just a Cause; nay, he even reprimanded the Emperor with great Freedom, who, out of an awful Reverence for a Prelate of his Years, Authority, and Figure, heard him with great Patience, and not only forbore offering him any Violence, but gave him Leave to return unmolested to his See[832].

His second Attempt
to gain him.
The mild Treatment Osius met with gave great Uneasiness to the Arian Party, especially to the Two Bishops, Ursacius and Valens, who thereupon never ceased soliciting the Emperor to proceed with Vigour against the only Man, who, they said, was capable of obstructing his great and pious Designs. They were powerfully seconded by the Eunuchs, who prevailed in the End upon the Emperor, as they bore a great Sway at Court, to try anew the Firmness and Constancy of so celebrated a Champion. Constantius therefore writ several Letters to him, treating him in some with great Respect, and styling him his Father, but menacing him in others, and naming to him the Bishops, whom he had banished for refusing to condemn a Man whom most Bishops, and several Councils, had already condemned[833]. His Letter to the
Emperor.Osius, inflexible and unmoved, answered the Emperor by a Letter worthy of himself, and the great Reputation he had acquired. It has been conveyed to us by Athanasius, and nothing can be said stronger in that Bishop’s Defence; for he there shews unanswerably, that, whatever Crimes might be alleged against him, his only Guilt was a steady Adherence to the Faith of Nice[834]. He is sent to
Sirmium.But Constantius, without hearkening to the Reasons he urged in Justification of his own and Athanasius’s Conduct, without paying the least Regard to the earnest Prayers and Intreaties, to the paternal Exhortations and Admonitions, of so venerable a Prelate, ordered him to quit his See forthwith, and repair to Sirmium, where he was kept a whole Year in a kind of Exile. But, unaffected with the many Hardships he suffered there, with the Loss of his Dignity, with the inhuman Treatment of his Relations, who were all persecuted, stripped of their Estates, and reduced to Beggary on his Account, Osius still stood up in Defence of Athanasius, still rejected with Indignation the Proposals of his Enemies[835], striving to induce him at least to communicate with them. They therefore resolved to proceed to open Force, and either to gain over to their Party a Man of his Figure and Rank, or, by removing him out of the 152Way, to deprive the Orthodox of their main Support[836]. Confined and racked.Accordingly, with the Emperor’s Consent and Approbation, they caused him first to be closely confined, and afterwards to be cruelly beaten; and lastly to be put to the Rack, and most inhumanly tortured, as if he had been the worst of Criminals[837]. He yields at last.Even against such exquisite Torments the Firmness of his Mind was proof for some time; but the Weakness of his Body obliged him in a manner to yield at last, and communicate with Ursacius and Valens[838]. Athanasius seems to insinuate in some Places, that he signed his Condemnation[839]; but in another he expresly denies it[840]. Sulpitius Severus thinks he was guilty of no other Crime but that of communicating with the Arians[841]. Athanasius only says, that he consented to communicate with Ursacius and Valens[842]. He signs the Sirmian
Confession of Faith.However, that he did not stop there, but signed the Arian Confession of Sirmium, is but too manifest from several unexceptionable and contemporary Writers. Phœbadius Bishop of Agen, in France, in his Answer written at this very Time to the Arians, bragging that their Doctrine had been approved and embraced by the great Osius, allows the Fact; but adds, that he was induced thereunto by Force, and not Conviction[843]. Marcellinus and Faustinus, who writ at the same time, say, that Osius set his Hand, but never yielded his Heart, to the Arian Impiety[844]. Nay, Hilarius Bishop of Poitiers supposes the Sirmian Confession of Faith to have been drawn up by Osius and Potamus; for he often calls it, The Heresy, the Blasphemies, the wild and mad Conceits of Osius and Potamus[845]. Vigilius Tapsensis ranks Osius with Ursacius, and the other wicked Men, who composed the sacrilegious Confession of Sirmium[846]. Socrates writes, that he signed the Sirmian Symbol[847]; Sozomen, that he consented to the Suppression of the Words Omoousion, and Omoiousion[848]; and Eusebius of Vercelli bestows high Encomiums on Gregory Bishop of Elvira, for opposing the great Transgressor Osius[849]. Potamus, whom I have mentioned above, was Bishop of Lisbone, and a most sanguine Stickler for the Orthodox Party; but upon the Emperor’s yielding to him some Lands of the Imperial Demesne, that lay very convenient for him, he changed Sides, and became a most zealous 153Champion of the Arian Doctrine[850]; insomuch that he is ranked by Phœbadius with Ursacius and Valens, the Two great Apostles of the Arians[851].

The Arians Triumph.
The Fall of the great Osius, whom the Orthodox Party looked upon as their invincible Hero, surprised the whole World[852]. Some could not believe it; others ascribed it to his great Age, which might have weakened his Judgment[853]. It was immediately published all over the East, and great Rejoicings were made on the Occasion, by the Bishops in those Parts, who looked upon such a Conquest as a signal Victory over the Orthodox[854]. Phœbadius tells us, that the chief Argument alleged by the Arians, in favour of their Doctrine, against the Bishops of Gaul, was the Conversion of Osius, as they styled it[855]. Here Davidius pleases himself with ridiculing, and indeed very justly, this and several other Conversions, greatly boasted by the Arians; but he must give me Leave to put him in mind, that he ridicules, at the same time, the many Conversions which his Church is constantly boasting, since most of them, especially those thus made in the new World, have been owing to Arguments of the same Nature as that of Osius, and other Arian Proselytes, and were not perhaps at all more sincere. Hilarius not well
informed as to the
Circumstances of his
Fall.Hilarius, Bishop of Poitiers, who lived at this time in Exile, amidst the Arians in Phrygia, seems not to be well informed as to the Circumstances of the Fall of Osius; else he had made some Allowance for the barbarous and inhuman Treatment the unhappy Prelate met with, and not reflected on him with so much Bitterness and Severity, saying, that it had pleased God to prolong his Life till he fell, that the World might know what he had been before he fell[856]. That a Man in the Hundredth Year of his Age should yield to most exquisite and repeated Torments, is not at all to be wondered at; and therefore had Hilarius been better informed, he had rather pitied than reproached him. But the Arians, among whom he lived, took care to conceal whatever could any ways depreciate their boasted Victory: at least that Hilarius was a Stranger to what Osius had suffered, is manifest, from his ascribing the Fall of that great Prelate not to the Cruelty of his Enemies, but to the too great Love he had for his Sepulchre[857], meaning, I suppose, the Desire he had of dying in his native Country, and not in Exile.

He is restored
to his See.
154Osius having thus gratified the Emperor, by communicating with the Arians, and signing the Sirmian Confession of Faith, he was immediately reinstated in his See, and suffered to return to his native Country, where he gave some Trouble, it seems, to the Orthodox Bishops; for Gregory Bishop of Elvira is highly commended by Eusebius of Vercelli, who lived then in Exile, for opposing the Transgressor Osius, as I have observed above. The unfortunate Prelate did not live long after his Fall, but died in the Latter-end of the same Year 357. according to the most probable Opinion. He did not forget the Crime he had committed, says Athanasius[858]; but grievously complained, at the Point of Death, of the Violence that had been offered him, anathematized the Heresy of Arius, and exhorted, as by his last Will, all Mankind to reject it[859]. To his Repentance Athanasius, no doubt, alludes, where he writes, that Osius yielded only for a time[860]; which he says of no other, not even of Liberius. As for the Account, which some Writers give of his tragical End[861], it is not worthy of Notice. The Greek Church honours him as a Saint, and his Festival is kept on the 27th of August[862]; but they are certainly mistaken in supposing him to have died in Banishment. The Case of Osius deserves, without all Doubt, to be greatly pitied. But it would be still more worthy of our Pity and Compassion, had he been himself an Enemy to all Persecution. But it must be observed, that he was the Author and Promoter of the First Christian Persecution. For it was he who first stirred up Constantine against the Donatists; many of whom were sent into Exile, and some even sentenced to Death, nay, and led to the Place of Execution. I dare not interpret the very severe Treatment he met with, or his Fall and Apostasy, as a Judgment; but cannot help thinking him, on that Consideration, less worthy of our Compassion and Concern, than a Man of his Years and Merit would otherwise have been.

Constantius appoints
a Council to meet at
Constantius, having thus gained over to the Heterodox Party the celebrated Bishop of Cordoua, and sent those into Exile, whom he apprehended most capable of traversing his Design, resolved to assemble a Council, not doubting but he should be able, by some means or other, to prevail upon the Members, that composed it, to approve and embrace the Doctrine, which he was labouring with indefatigable Pains to establish. Accordingly he writ to the chief Bishops of each 155Province, injoining them to meet in the Name of the rest, at an appointed Time, in the City of Nicomedia[863]. which City is destroyed by an Earthquake.In Compliance with his Orders the Bishops immediately set out; but, while they were on the Road, they were stopped by the News that was brought them of the utter Destruction of the City of Nicomedia by a sudden and most dreadful Earthquake. This public Calamity happened on the 24th of August 358[864]. and the Arians, in the Account which they transmitted of it to Court, assured the Emperor, that several Bishops, who were for Consubstantiality, had been buried under the Ruins of the great Church[865]. It was probably, by this Account, that Philostorgius was deceived and misled, when he writ, that Fifteen Bishops, who were all Defenders of Consubstantiality, were crushed to Pieces by the Fall of the Church, together with Cecrops Bishop of the City[866]. But Sozomen assures us, that, when the Church fell, there was not a single Person in it; and that Two Bishops only perished in the Earthquake, viz. Cecrops, who was an Arian, and a Bishop of Bosporus[867]. The Council ap-
pointed to meet at Nice.This Misfortune obliged the Emperor to change the Place of the Council; and accordingly Letters were immediately dispatched to all the Bishops, ordering them to repair to Nice, which City was suggested to him by Basilius, the Semi-Arian Bishop of Ancyra, with a Design, says Theodoret[868], to eclipse the Glory and Authority of the First Council by the Confusion of Two. Be that as it will, the Bishops were ordered to meet there early in the Summer of the Year 359. Such as were not in a Condition to undertake such a Journey, on account of their Age or Infirmities, were to send Priests or Deacons, as their Deputies, to vote and act in their Name; and the Council was strictly injoined to transmit to the Emperor such Decrees as they should enact, that he might examine them, and see whether they were agreeable to Scripture: for this Purpose Ten Deputies were to be appointed by the Bishops of the East, and the like Number by those of the West[869]. Two Councils
appointed to meet
instead of one.But while the World was expecting to see a second Oecumenical Council assembled at Nice, the Emperor all on a sudden changed his Mind, and instead of one, resolved to convene Two, the one in the East, and the other in the West[870]. This Change was owing to the Intrigues of the Anomeans, or Pure Arians, who, finding the far greater Part of the Bishops either for the Orthodox 156Faith of Nice, or, the Semi-Arian, as established in a Council at Antioch, concluded, that there would be no Means to divert them, when assembled together, from condemning their Doctrine; whereas if they were divided, they did not despair of being able to manage both Assemblies, or at least one of the Two[871]. This Design of dividing the Council they privately imparted to the Eunuch Eusebius, their great Friend, and the Emperor’s chief Favourite, who, highly applauding the Scheme, took upon him to get it approved by Constantius. The Occasion of this
Change.And this he easily effected, by representing, that a General Council would put the Bishops to greater Trouble and Inconveniences than most of them could well bear, and, at the same time, the Treasury to an immense Charge; for on such Occasions their Expences were defrayed by the Emperor[872]. He therefore advised him to assemble Two Councils at the same time, one in the East, and the other in the West, which, he said, would be less troublesome to the Bishops, and less expensive to the Exchequer. To these Reasons Constantius acquiesced; but, as he was a zealous Semi-Arian, Eusebius kept him in the Dark, as to the true Motive of such a Change. Thus was Constantius, and thus have many Princes been, since his Time, led, as it were, hoodwinked, by some in whom they reposed an intire Confidence, into Measures tending to promote Designs quite opposite to their own.

Rimini chosen for the
Western Bishops;
This Point being settled, to the great Satisfaction of the Anomeans, Ariminum, now Rimini, on the Adriatic Sea, was thought the most proper Place for the Western Bishops to meet at. But the City of Nice, where the General Council was to assemble, having suffered much by the late Earthquake, the Emperor desired the Eastern Bishops might not meet there, but in whatever other Place they should agree among themselves to be the most proper and convenient[873]. This Theodoret ascribes to a particular Providence, that would not suffer the great Council of Nice to be ever confounded with a Conventicle of Heretics[874]. and Seleucia in
Isauria for those of
the East.As the Bishops could not agree about the Place, and it was not at all probable they should, the Emperor, by the Advice of a few, who were then with him at Sirmium, named the City of Seleucia in Isauria[875]. And now that the Place was settled for both Councils, Constantius issued an Order, injoining not only the chief Bishops of each Province, as he had done the Year before, but all, 157without Exception, to repair to one of the Two[876]; nay, he dispatched Officers into the Provinces, with a strict Charge to see his Order punctually obeyed, and put in Execution[877]. The Bishops therefore set out from all Parts; the public Carriages, Roads, and Houses, were every-where crouded with them; which gave great Offence to the Catechumens, and no small Diversion to the Pagans, who thought it equally strange and ridiculous, that Men, who had been brought up from their Infancy in the Christian Religion, and whose Business it was to instruct others in that Belief, should be constantly hurrying, in their old Age, from one Place to another, to know what they themselves should believe[878]. Ammianus Marcellinus complains, that the necessary Funds for the Maintenance of the public Carriages were quite drained and exhausted, by the roaming about of the Christian Bishops[879]. Their Charges were defrayed by the Emperor, as I have observed above; but the Bishops of Gaul and Britain, that they might be the more independent, insisted upon travelling at their own Expence; only Three of the latter, not having wherewithal to support themselves, chose rather to be obliged to the Emperor than burdensome to their Collegues, who generously offered to contribute to their Maintenance, every one according to his Ability[880].

The Western Bishops, that is, those of Illyricum, Italy, Africa, Spain, Gaul, and Britain, being assembled at Rimini, in all 400 and upwards[881], the Emperor writ to Taurus, the Præfectus Prætorio of Italy, charging him to be present at all the Debates, and not to suffer the Bishops to separate, till, in Points of Faith, they had all agreed: if he succeeded therein, he was to be rewarded with the Consular Dignity[882]. The Emperor’s Letter
to the Western
Bishops.At the same time he writ to the Bishops, injoining them to treat only of such Matters as related to the Faith, Unity, and Order of the Church, and forbidding them to meddle, on any Pretence whatsoever, with what concerned the Eastern Bishops, who, he said, would take care to settle their own Affairs, since they were met for that Purpose[883]. This was to prevent their entering upon the Cause of Athanasius, whom he well knew the Western Bishops would have declared innocent. The Emperor’s Letter is dated the 27th of May 359[884]. At this Council Restitutus Bishop 158of Carthage is supposed to have presided, as he was, both for Piety and Learning, the most conspicuous in the Assembly. The Arians propose
a new Confession
drawn up at
Sirmium;At their first Meeting, the Two Arian Bishops, Ursacius and Valens, appeared with a Paper in their Hands, containing a new Confession of Faith, composed lately at Sirmium by the Emperor, by a small Number of Arian and Semi-Arian Bishops, and several Presbyters and Deacons, who, after a Debate, which lasted the whole Day, had at length agreed to suppress the Word Consubstantial; and introduce the Word like in its room; so that the Son was no more to be said consubstantial, but like to the Father in all Things; the Three last Words Constantius added, and, by obliging all who were present to sign them, defeated, say the Semi-Arians, the wicked Designs of the Heretics, meaning the Pure Arians[885]. However, excepting those Words, the whole Confession was thought to favour their Doctrine[886]; whence the Semi-Arians held out till Night, when the Emperor, well satisfied with the Words like in all things, obliged them to sign it. This Confession of Faith was drawn up, and signed, on the Eve of Pentecost[887], that is, on the 22d or 23d of May 359[888]. Easter having fallen that Year on the 4th of April[889][N17]. Ursacius and Valens read 159it to the Council, adding, when they had done, that it had been approved of by the Emperor, and therefore that they ought all to be satisfied with it, without recurring to any other Councils or Creeds, without demanding any other Confession of the Heretics, or inquiring too narrowly into their Doctrine and Opinions, which would be attended with much Trouble, endless Disputes, and eternal Divisions; that the Catholic Truths, which all Men were bound to believe, ought not to be darkened with Metaphysical Terms, but expressed by Words, which all Men understood; and, lastly, that it was quite idle to quarrel and make so much Noise about a Word (meaning the Word consubstantial) which none of the inspired Writers had thought fit to make use of in explaining the Mysteries of our holy Religion[890]. What Answer the Council returned, I can find no-where recorded. But a Motion being made soon after to condemn and anathematize the Arian and all other Heresies, Ursacius and his Party opposed it; which alarmed the Orthodox Bishops, concluding from thence, that whatever Expressions they made use of, their Belief was different from that of the Catholic Church. which is rejected;They therefore resolved to hearken to them no longer; and accordingly, without the least Regard to their Remonstrances and Protestations, they condemned, with one Consent, all Heresies in general, and that of Arius in particular; declared heretical the Confession of Faith presented by Ursacius and Valens; confirmed that of Nice, and ordered the Word consubstantial to be retained, since the true Meaning of it might be sufficiently gathered from several Passages in Scripture[891]. and they condemned
and deposed.They did not stop here; but, transported with Zeal on the Arians attempting to impose upon them by a Second Confession of Faith, they declared them all, and their Leaders Ursacius, Valens, Germinius, and Caius, by Name, ignorant and deceitful Men, Impostors, Heretics, deposed them in the Council, and signed all to a Man this Declaration on the 21st of July of the present Year 359[892].

N17. It was signed by the few Bishops, who were present, and by a good Number of Presbyters and Deacons. The Bishops were Marcus of Arethusa, George, who had been intruded into the See of Alexandria, Basilius of Ancyra, Germinius of Sirmium, Hypatianus of Heraclea, Valens, Ursacius, and Pancratius of Pelusium[1]. Valens, in signing it, added to his Name these Words; I believe the Son to be like to the Father. He was unwilling to acknowlege the Son like to the Father in all things, agreeably to the Confession, which he was to sign, and therefore suppressed these Words. But the Emperor insisting upon his adding them, he took his Will for the Rule of his Faith, and added them accordingly. Basilius of Ancyra, suspecting some Meaning contrary to the Doctrine which he held, to lie concealed and disguised under those Words, declared, that he understood by them a Likeness in Substance, in Existence, and in Essence; and that he signed in this, and no other Sense, the present Symbol. Not satisfied with this Declaration, he writ, some time after, an Exposition of the Faith that was professed by him, and the other Semi-Arian Bishops. This Exposition is, by Epiphanius, styled a Letter, and was placed by him after the circular Letter of the Council of Ancyra. The present Confession of Sirmium is commonly styled the Third, but was, properly speaking, the Fourth: For before this, Three different Symbols had been composed at Sirmium; viz. one intirely Orthodox, in 351. another altogether Arian, in 357. a Third Semi-Arian, in 358. and the present in 359. The Second Liberius signed at Berœa, and the Third at Sirmium, upon his Arrival in that City.

1. Athan. de syn. p. 873. Epi. 73. c. 22. Socr. l. 2. c. 29.

Deputies sent by the
Council to the
With this Act they put an End to the Sessions, and immediately dispatched Ten Deputies to acquaint the Emperor with what had passed, pursuant to his express Command. The like Number was sent by the Arians, who had assisted at the Council. These, traveling with great Expedition, arrived at Constantinople, where the Court then was, some time before the others; and, being immediately admitted to the 160Emperor, they prejudiced him to such a Degree against the Orthodox Party, that he would not so much as see their Deputies, pretending to be wholly taken up with the Affairs of the State. They were therefore obliged to deliver the Letter, which the Council had written on this Occasion, to one of his Ministers[893]. They expected every Day to be admitted to an Audience, or, at least, to receive an Answer, and be dismissed. who leaves
without seeing them.But, after they had been thus kept for some time in Expectation, the Emperor all on a sudden left Constantinople, in order to head his Army against the Barbarians, who had broken into the Empire. He was no sooner gone than one of the Ministers came to acquaint them, that it was the Emperor’s Pleasure they should repair forthwith to Adrianople, and there wait his Return[894]. However, before he set out, he writ to the Council, giving them notice of his sudden Departure from Constantinople; and alleging, by way of Excuse for not having seen or heard their Deputies, the present Situation of public Affairs, which had engrossed his whole Attention, whereas, the discussing and settling of spiritual Affairs required a Mind quite free and disengaged from all worldly Cares. He endeavours to tire
their Patience with
Delays.He concluded his short Letter with intreating them not to think of separating till he was at Leisure to settle, in Conjunction with them, Matters of so great Importance to the Church, and the whole Christian World[895]. The Design of the most wicked Constantius, as Athanasius styles him[896], was to tire out the Bishops with such Delays, hoping they would, in the End, chuse rather to sign the last Sirmian Confession, which he was bent upon establishing in the room of the Nicene, than to be long kept, as it were, in Exile, at a Distance from their Sees[897]. But this he could not compass for the present, the Bishops declaring, in their Answer to his Letter, that they could not, and hoped they never should, upon any Consideration whatsoever, depart from what they had so unanimously settled and decreed[898]. Socrates writes, that the Bishops, after having waited some time in vain for the Emperor’s Answer to their Letter, left Rimini, and retired to their respective Sees[899]. And here he ends his Account of that Council. It were greatly to be wished, that nothing else could be said of it; but several contemporary and unexceptionable Writers, and Hilarius among the rest[900], assure us, that Constantius 161changed at last the Faith of the Western Bishops into Impiety. Of this deplorable Change they give us the following Account.

Their Deputies ordered
to Nice in Thrace;
The Arians, taking Occasion from the last Letter of the Bishops at Rimini to incense Constantius against them, prevailed upon him to order their Deputies to a City in Thrace, known at that Time by the Name of Nice, but formerly called Ostudizus, and placed by Sanson a few Leagues to the East of Adrianople. This Place they chose, that the Symbol, which they designed to impose upon them, might be confounded by the ignorant People with that of the great Council of Nice in Bithynia[901]. The Deputies no sooner arrived there, than a Confession of Faith was proposed to them intirely agreeable to the last made at Sirmium, except that in this new Creed the Son was declared like to the Father, without the Addition of the Words in all Things. This they rejected at first with great Resolution and Intrepidity; but the Arians were no less resolute, and therefore left nothing unattempted they could think of to carry their Point[902]. But finding Hope and Fear, Threats and Promises, equally ineffectual, they proceeded at last to open Force and Violence[903]. What Kind of Violence was employed against them, the Author does not tell us; but Marcellinus and Faustinus ascribe their retracting what they had declared to be holy, and approving what they had condemned as impious, to the Love of their Sees, and the Dread they were in of being driven from them[904]. where they sign the
Sirmian Confession.Be that as it will, it is certain, that they yielded at last; that they accepted and signed, without the least Limitation or Restriction, the above-mentioned Confession of Faith; consented to the Suppression of the Word Consubstantial; declared void and null all the Acts and Proceedings of the Council of Rimini; anathematized, as heretical, all Opinions contrary to the Doctrine contained in the said Confession; and, finally, admitted to their Communion Ursacius, Valens, Germinius, and Caius, whom they had not long before deposed as Heretics[905]. Restitutus, Bishop of Carthage, and one of the most eminent Prelates at that Time in the Church, signed the first, and the other Deputies after him, according to the Dignity of their Sees. The Emperor, transported with Joy at the News of their Compliance, which he looked upon as a signal Victory, gave them immediately Leave to return to Rimini. At the same time he wrote to Taurus, charging him anew not to suffer the Bishops to depart till 162they had all signed the same Confession of Faith, and impowering him to send into Exile such as by their Obstinacy should distinguish themselves above the rest, provided they were not above Fifteen in Number[906]. Constantius orders
the Bishops at Rimini
to suppress the Words
Substance and
Consubstantial.He likewise writ to the Bishops, commanding them, on Pain of incurring his Indignation, to suppress for ever the Words Substance and Consubstantial, severely reprimanding them for presuming to depose Ursacius and his Collegues, and assuring them, that they should not be allowed to return to their Sees, till they had intitled themselves to his Favour by an intire and unreserved Compliance with his Will[907]. To this Letter the Arians, who had assisted at the Council, to the Number of Eighty, returned a most submissive Answer, and even thanked the Emperor for the great Pains he took to establish the true Doctrine[908]. However, Taurus declared that he could by no means suffer them to depart till the rest had agreed with them, and the whole Assembly was of one Mind. The orthodox Bishops shewed at first some Resolution, and even refused to communicate with their own Deputies. But this Resolution soon vanished; they were eager to return to their Sees; the Emperor was inflexible; Taurus took care to render the Place both inconvenient and disagreeable to them. The greater Part
yield.Some therefore fell off, others followed their Example, the rest began to waver, and, being so far got the better of, yielded soon after, and went over to the Arian Party in such Crouds, that in a very short time the Number of the orthodox Bishops, who continued steady, was reduced to 20[909]. At the Head of these was Phœbadius, the celebrated Bishop of Agen, who seemed invincible; but nevertheless was overcome in the End, not by the Menaces of the Emperor, or his Prefect, but by the Craft and Subtilty of Ursacius and Valens, who, finding they could by no other Means prevail upon him to accept the Sirmian Confession, declared, that to put an End to the unhappy Divisions that had so long rent the Church, they had at last resolved to agree to such Alterations and Additions as should be judged proper and necessary by him and his Collegues. This Declaration was received by all with great Joy: Phœbadius triumphed, thinking he had carried his Point, and saved the Reputation of the Council. The others imposed
upon by the Arians.To the Symbol were immediately added several Anathemas against the Arian Heresy, and an Article declaring the Son equal to the Father, without Beginning, 163and before all Time. When this Article was read, Valens desired, that, in order to leave no room for new Disputes or Chicanery, they would add, that the Son was not a Creature like other Creatures[910]. This was evidently supposing the Son to be a Creature only exalted above all other Creatures; so that by admitting such an Article they condemned the Doctrine which they designed to establish, and established that which they designed to condemn. And yet of this neither was Phœbadius aware, nor any of his Party, as they afterwards solemnly declared[911]. A most unaccountable Oversight, and hardly credible! But Theodoret[912], Ambrose[913], Sulpitius Severus[914], and Fulgentius[915], took it upon their Word, and so must we. Neither Party could brag of the Victory; for the Arians had anathematized the Heresy of Arius; and on the other hand the orthodox Bishops had deliberately agreed to the suppressing of the Words Substance and Consubstantial, and inadvertently acknowleged the Son to be a Creature; which was all the Arians aimed at, or could desire. The Council being thus ended, new Deputies were sent to acquaint the Emperor with what had passed, who being highly pleased with the Report made by Ursacius and Valens (for they were at the Head of the Deputation) immediately granted the Bishops Leave to return to their respective Sees, after they had been about Four Months at Rimini.

The Council no sooner broke up than the Arians began to proclaim aloud the Victory they had gained, bragging, that it had not been defined in the Council of Rimini, that the Son was not a Creature, but only that he was not like other Creatures; and declaring it was, and had always been their Opinion, that the Son was no more like the Father, than a Piece of Glass was like an Emerald[916]. They discover their
Mistake.Phœbadius, and the other Bishops who had adhered to him, were returned to their Sees with great Joy, flattering themselves that they had sufficiently established the Catholic Doctrine, and prevented all future Disputes: but, finding that the Arians pretended their Tenets had been confirmed by this very Council, and seriously reflecting on the Articles, which they themselves had agreed to, they discovered at last how grosly they had been imposed upon, and publicly retracted all they had said, done, or signed, repugnant to the Truths of the Catholic Church[917]. However, Gregory Bishop of Elvira refused to communicate with any of the 164Bishops who had assisted at the Council of Rimini, and was on that account commended by Eusebius of Vercelli[918]. Are judged Guilty by
the exiled Bishops.The exiled Bishops, and those who lay concealed, agreed among themselves by Letters, to declare them for ever incapable of performing any Episcopal or Sacerdotal Functions, and to admit them to the Communion of the Church only in the Capacity of Laymen[919]. When Peace was restored to the Church by the Death of Constantius in 361. most of the orthodox Bishops were for deposing all those of the Council of Rimini, and placing others in their room. But this Sentence the People would not suffer to be put in Execution, rising every-where in Defence of their Pastors, and in some Places insulting, beating, and even killing, those who came to depose them[920].

Great Disagreement
in the Council of
As for the Council of Seleucia, it met on the 27th of September 359. and consisted only of One hundred and Sixty Bishops, all Arians, or Semi-Arians, except Twelve or Thirteen orthodox Bishops from Egypt[921]. This Assembly Gregory Nazianzen calls the Tower of Calane, or Babel, the Council of Caiaphas[922]. And indeed with a great deal of Reason; for nothing was there seen but Tumult, Confusion, and Disorder. The Anomeans and Semi-Arians appeared so irreconcilably incensed against each other, and carried on their Debates with so much Animosity and Bitterness, that the Quæstor Leonas, whom the Emperor had appointed to assist at the Council, thinking it impossible they should ever agree in any one Point, rose up at their Fourth Meeting, while they were in the Heat of the Dispute, and, withdrawing abruptly, put an End to that Session, nay, and to the Council; for, being invited the next Day, the First of October, to the Assembly, he refused to go, saying, that he did not conceive his Presence to be at all necessary, since they might quarrel and scold as much as they pleased without him[923]. This he did, says Sozomen, to favour the Anomeans, who thence took Occasion to absent themselves from the Council, which, as it was chiefly composed of Semi-Arians, seemed determined to condemn their Doctrine[924]. The Semi-Arians
condemn and depose
the Arians.However, the Semi-Arians met by themselves; and, finding they could by no means prevail upon the Anomeans to return to the Council, they condemned their Doctrine as heretical and blasphemous, excommunicated and deposed the leading Men of their Party, appointed others in their room, 165and gave Notice thereof to their respective Churches[925]. Before they broke up, they dispatched Ten Deputies to acquaint the Emperor with the Transactions of the Council. But the Bishops whom they had deposed, arriving at Court before them, and being by their Friends there immediately introduced to Constantius, they prejudiced him against the Council of Seleucia to such a Degree, that it was some time before he could prevail upon himself to hear the Deputies. They sign the last
Confession of Sirmium.However, he heard them at last, and, by threatening them with Exile if they did not comply, obliged them to sign the last Confession of Sirmium, which had been rejected by the Council as Arian[926]. In this he spent the whole Day, and great Part of the Night, preceding the First of January, though he was obliged to make the necessary Preparations for entering on that Day his Tenth Consulate with the usual Pomp and Solemnity[927].

The Arians,in their
Turn, condemn and
depose the Semi-Arians,
and also sign the last Confession of Sirmium.
In the Beginning of the Year 360. the Anomeans assembling by themselves at Constantinople as the Semi-Arians had done at Seleucia, in order to ingratiate themselves with the Emperor, not only received the last Sirmian Confession, but condemned all other Confessions or Symbols that had been made till then, or should be made for the future. They then declared all the Acts of the Council of Seleucia void and null; and, to be even with the Semi-Arians, deposed, under various Pretences, such of their Party as had most contributed to the deposing of them, and even prevailed upon the Emperor to send them into Exile[928].

An Order from the
Emperor injoining all
Bishops to sign the
Sirmian Confession.
They did not stop here, but obtained of Constantius an Order, which was published throughout the Empire, commanding all Bishops to sign the Sirmian Confession, on pain of forfeiting their Dignity, and being sent into Exile[929][N18]. This Order was executed with the utmost 166Rigour in all the Provinces of the Empire, and very few were found, who did not sign with their Hands what they condemned in their Hearts[930]. Many, who till then had been thought invincible, were overcome, and complied with the Times; and such as did not, were driven, without Distinction, from their Sees, into Exile, and others appointed in their room, the signing of that Confession being a Qualification indispensably requisite both for obtaining and keeping the Episcopal Dignity[931]. Thus were all the Sees throughout the Empire filled with Arians, insomuch that in the whole East not one orthodox Bishop was left, and in the West but one, viz. Gregory Bishop of Elvira in Andalusia, and he, in all Likelihood, obliged to absent himself from his Flock, and lie concealed, as were probably Pope Liberius, and Vincentius of Capua, if what Theodoret relates of them be true, viz. that they never consented to the Decrees of Rimini[932], and thereby retrieved the Reputation they had lost, the former by signing the Sirmian Confession of the Year 357. and the other by communicating with the Arians in 353. as I have related above. It was probably
signed by Liberius.But what Theodoret writes may be justly called in question; for it is not at all probable, that the Emperor, and the Arian Party, so warmly bent on establishing that Confession throughout the Empire, would have suffered the Bishop of the Imperial City, of the first See, to reject it, without deposing him, as they had done the Bishops of all the other great Sees, and appointing another more compliant in his room. This could not be prevented by his concealing himself in the Caverns and Cœmeteries about Rome, as he is said to have done in his Acts quoted by Baronius[933], though he might by that means have escaped being sent into Exile. Besides, had he, instead of complying with the Emperor’s express Command, withdrawn and absconded, I cannot think that his Antagonist Felix, who was still alive, and had done nothing we know of to disoblige the Emperor, and the Arian Party, 167by whom he had been formerly raised to that See, would have neglected so favourable an Opportunity of recovering his antient Dignity. If what Theodoret says be true, Gregory Nazianzen is highly to blame for not excepting Liberius; when he writ, that the Bishops either all complied, or were driven into Exile, excepting a few, who were too insignificant to be taken notice of by the Emperor, or his Ministers[934]. Arianism universally
obtains.Be that as it will, it is certain, that at this time the Arian Doctrine universally obtained; that the Face of the Church appeared quite deformed and disfigured[935], that the whole World saw itself, with Astonishment, all on a sudden become Arian[936]; that the Boat of St. Peter, to use St. Jerom’s Expression, tossed by furious Winds, by violent Storms, was upon the Point of sinking, and no Hopes of Safety seemed to be left[937].

N18. This Confession is called sometimes the Confession of Nice in Thrace, and sometimes the Confession of Rimini; but it differed from both. By the Confession of Nice, the Son was acknowleged to be like to the Father, without the Addition of the Words in all Things, which were an essential Part of the last Confession of Sirmium. In that of Rimini the Son was said not to be a Creature like other Creatures, and there were no such Words in the Confession of Sirmium. But by all Three the Word Consubstantial was rejected, and no other would satisfy the Orthodox, acknowleging the Son to be of the same Substance with the Father. Both the Arians and Semi-Arians allowed the Son to be like to the Father: but that Likeness was by them very differently understood and interpreted. The Arians held him to be like rather by Grace than by Nature, and as like as a Creature could be to the Creator[1]. The Semi-Arians confessed him to be like in Nature, in Existence, in Essence, in Substance, and in every thing else. But the Orthodox maintained him to be of the same Substance with the Father, and consequently of the same Existence, Essence, &c. and, to express this Sameness or Identity, they chose the Word Consubstantial.

1. Ruff. l. 1. c. 25.

The following Year 361. the Anomeans, not fully satisfied with the Confession of Faith, which, at their Suggestion, the Emperor had taken so much Pains to establish throughout the Empire, assembled, with his Leave, at Antioch, and there drew up a new Symbol, or Creed, wherein it was expresly said, that the Son was in every thing unlike to the Father, and that He was made out of nothing. Constantius designs
to establish the
Doctrine of the Pure
Arians;Constantius had formerly expressed the greatest Abhorrence to this Doctrine, and had even banished those who held, and refused to anathematize, such impious Blasphemies, as he then styled them[938]. But, having lately changed his Opinion, which was chiefly owing to the great Influence the Eunuch Eusebius had over him, he was now no less sanguine for the Unlikeness of the Son to the Father, than he had been hitherto for the Likeness[939]. In order therefore to abolish the antient, and establish this new Creed in its room, he appointed a Council to meet at Nice in Bithynia[940], which, without all Doubt, he would have treated in the same manner as he had done that of Rimini. but is prevented by
Death.But, as the Bishops were preparing to set out for the appointed Place, they were stopped by the sudden and unexpected News of the Emperor’s Death, which put an End to all his Councils, and was heard with equal Joy by those of the Orthodox and Semi-Arian Party. He was succeeded by Julian, surnamed the Apostate, who immediately recalled all those who had been banished by Constantius on account of their Religion[941]. The exiled Bishops
recalled by Julian.Whatever was his Motive, the 168Church reaped great Advantages from the Return of so many eminent Prelates, who, in the worst of Times, had, with an invincible Firmness and Constancy, stood up in her Defence. Among the rest returned, on this Occasion, the famous Meletius Bishop of Antioch, Eusebius of Vercelli, Lucifer of Cagliari, who had been all Three confined to the most distant Parts of Thebais in Egypt, Cyril of Jerusalem, Pelagius of Laodicea in Phœnicia, and, to the inexpressible Joy of the Orthodox Party, their great Champion Athanasius Bishop of Alexandria[942], who immediately resumed, undisturbed, his Episcopal Function; George, the Usurper of his See, having been assassinated a little while before by the Pagans of Alexandria, on account of his Avarice and Cruelty[943]. In other Places the Orthodox Bishops, finding the Arians in Possession of their Sees, contented themselves with being acknowleged by those of their Communion, without attempting to drive out their Antagonists, which would have created great Confusion, and endless Disturbances in the Church. Julian refused to interpose his Authority in favour of either Party, saying, that as he was not so well acquainted with the Nature of their Disputes as a just and impartial Judge ought to be, he hoped they would excuse him, lest he should be guilty of some Injustice, and settle Matters of such Importance among themselves. Athanasius entered Alexandria in a kind of Triumph, which is described in a lively manner by Gregory Nazianzen, who seems to have pleased himself with displaying, in that Description, all the Eloquence he was Master of[944].

The Council of
The Bishop of Alexandria being thus reinstated, and again at full Liberty to exert his Zeal for the Catholic Cause, his first Care was to retrieve his fallen Brethren, and reunite them to the Church. With this View he assembled, in 362. a Council at Alexandria, composed only of Confessors, that is, of such Bishops as had chosen rather to forfeit their Dignities and Sees, than receive or sign the Arian Confession of Rimini or Sirmium. This was one of the most respectable Councils that was ever held in the Church, not so much in regard of the Numbers (for I find not above Twenty named) as of the Merit, Virtue, and Sanctity of the Members that composed it. The chief Subject of their Debates, or rather Inquiries, was to find out the most proper Means of restoring Tranquillity to the Church, after so 169dreadful a Storm. Some, and among the rest Lucifer Bishop of Cagliari, who did not assist in Person, but by his Deputies, the Two Deacons Herennius and Agapetus, were for deposing all those who had signed the Confession of Rimini, and cutting them off from the Communion of the Church. But this unseasonable Severity was condemned by the far greater Part, as tending to raise a new Storm, and involve the Church in greater Troubles than ever, which the Emperor Julian would take care to improve, to the total Ruin of the Christian Religion. Athanasius therefore was for using Severity only with the Authors, and chief Promoters, of the late general Defection: and his Opinion prevailed; for a Decree was enacted, importing, that the Authors of the late general Prevarication should, even upon their Repentance, be received to the Communion of the Church only in the Capacity of Laymen, but that the rest should be all kept in, or restored to, their Sees, upon their publicly renouncing the Arian Communion, and embracing the Faith of Nice[945]. A Schism formed by
Lucifer, Bishop of
Cagliari.This Decree was every-where received with the greatest Joy, the Bishop of Cagliari being the only Man, either in the East or West, who opposed it, and that with so much Obstinacy, that, rather than yield, he chose to separate himself from the Communion of the rest, and to form a new Schism, which bore his Name, and soon gained a considerable Footing, especially in the West; several Persons no less distinguished for Piety than Learning, and among the rest Gregory, the famous Bishop of Elvira, having adopted the Sentiments of a Man, who had suffered so much for the Purity of the Faith. As Lucifer is honoured by the Church of Rome as a Saint, and his Festival is kept on the 20th of May[946], Baronius pretends, that he abandoned his Schism, and returned to the Communion of the Church, before his Death[947]. He never returned
to the Communion of
the Church.But his Contemporary Ruffinus, who probably knew him, assures us, that he died in the Schism, which he had formed[948]. Jerom often speaks of his Schism, but no-where gives us the least Hint of his having ever quitted it; which would have afforded him a strong Argument against the Luciferians, and he would not have failed to urge it, in the Book which he wrote to convince them of their Error. That Writer speaks of Lucifer, on all Occasions, with the greatest Respect, even in the Book which he writ against his Followers: he owns, 170that his Intention was pure and upright; that it was not Pride, Thirst after Glory, or a Desire of transmitting his Name to Posterity, but a mistaken Zeal, that led him astray, and made him disapprove what the others approved; he even distinguishes him with the Title of the Blessed Lucifer[949]. And hence Baronius concludes, that he returned to the Communion of the Church; for otherwise, says the Annalist[950], St. Jerom had never given him the Title of Blessed, or Saint. But that he did not return, is manifest, from the Silence of St. Jerom on that Head, and from the Authority of a contemporary Writer quoted above: and hence I may draw a Conclusion far better grounded than that of Baronius; viz. that St. Jerom excused him on account of his good Intention; and, consequently, that he did not hold the uncharitable Doctrine of the Church of Rome, excluding from Salvation all who die out of her Communion, let their Intention be never so good. It is to be observed, that the Luciferians not only excluded from their Communion those who had received the Arian Confession, but all who communicated with them, even after they had anathematized that Confession, and publicly embraced the Faith of Nice.

The Council of
Alexandria saves the
Church from Ruin.
The Resolution taken by the Confessors in the Council of Alexandria, is said to have saved the Church from utter Ruin. For had that prevailed, which was urged with so much Warmth by Lucifer, the Bishops, who had chosen rather to sign the Arian Confession than forfeit their Sees, would have kept them in Defiance of a Decree made by a small Number of their Collegues, and in all Likelihood excommunicated and deposed, in their Turn, those who had excommunicated and deposed them: and, in that Case, the Arian Party, comprehending almost all the Bishops of the Church, must have prevailed. But as nothing was required of them, to keep their Sees, besides their renouncing the Confession of Rimini, which they had embraced, and embracing that of Nice, which they had renounced, they readily complied with the Decree of the Council; insomuch that the following Year 363. Athanasius, in a Letter, which he wrote to the Emperor Jovian, immediately after the Death of Julian, could assure that Prince, that the Faith of Nice had been received, and was professed, in all the Provinces of the Empire, which he enumerates; but omits those of Thrace, Bithynia, and the Hellespont[951], the Bishops 171there still continuing obstinately to maintain the Doctrine of Arius, and to reject the Faith of Nice, as we learn from Sozomen[952], Socrates[953], and Basil[954]; nay, at Constantinople, the Orthodox had but a small Chapel to assemble in, all the Churches being in Possession of the Arians, under Eudoxius, a leading Man among the Pure Arians, who had usurped that See[955]. The Faith of Nice
established.For the better establishing of the Orthodox Faith, after the violent Shock it had lately received, Councils were held in several Provinces of the Empire[N19], and by 172all was received the Faith of Nice, the Confession of Rimini condemned, and the Words Substance and Consubstantial re-established[956]. A very strong Proof, that the Assent given before to the Arian Doctrines had been solely the Effect of Force, or of Interest, which being now removed, and all left at Liberty to act as their Consciences only directed, the Orthodox Faith prevailed as much as the other had done under Constantius.

N19. The Bishops of Gaul assembled at Paris in 362. and, having first owned their Crime, in approving and signing the Confession of Rimini, they acknowleged the Three Persons of the Trinity to be of the same Nature and Substance, and condemned Ursacius, Valens, and Auxentius the Arian Bishop of Milan. This Council was convened by St. Hilarius, Bishop of Poitiers; and a Letter, which the Council writ on this Occasion, has been transmitted to us, among the Fragments of his Works. He is said to have assembled several other Councils in Gaul, for the re-establishing of the Faith of Nice, which is all we know of them. The same Year 362. the Bishops of Italy assembling, declared void and null the Acts of the Council of Rimini, embraced the Faith of Nice, and, with one Accord, anathematized Ursacius and Valens, as the leading Men of the Arian Party. There is, among the Fragments of St. Hilarius, a Letter on this Subject, from the Italian to the Illyrian Bishops. Where this Council was held I find no-where recorded. In the Year 363. the Emperor Jovian desiring to be instructed in the Faith of the Catholic Church, by Athanasius and the Egyptian Bishops, who were come to wait on him, they assembled in Council, and agreed to propose no other Creed to him but that of Nice. At the same time they condemned the Heresy of Macedonius, denying the Divinity of the Holy Ghost. This Council is generally thought to have been held at Alexandria. But, from the Letter, which they presented to the Emperor, it appears to have consisted of some Egyptian Bishops, who, as it is there said, were appointed to represent all the others of the same Province[1]. Had the Council been held at Alexandria, they had, I should think, been all present. It must therefore have assembled in some Place out of Egypt; and where more likely than at Antioch? For there the Emperor was this very Year, and there Athanasius waited on him. The same Year another Council was held at Antioch, under Melecius Bishop of that City. In that Council Acacius, Bishop of Cæsarea in Pælestine, who had been at the Head of the Arian Party, in the Latter-end of the Reign of Constantius, and his Followers, commonly styled Acacians, embraced the Faith of Nice, and admitted the Term Consubstantial. Acacius had no other Faith but that of the Party which prevailed. Hence, in the Time of Jovian, who favoured the Orthodox Party, he professed the Faith of Nice; but Two Years after he had signed it, he joined the Arians anew, seeing them in great Favour with the Emperor Valens. Several other Councils were held, from the Year 363. to 368. of which we have no particular Account. For Athanasius tells us, in general Terms, that many Councils assembled in France, in Spain, at Rome, in Dalmatia, in Dardania, in Macedonia, in Epirus, in Greece, in Candia, and the other Islands, in Sicily, in Cyprus, in Lycia, in Isauria, in Egypt, and in Arabia; and that they all met to maintain the Orthodox Faith, the Faith of the Council of Nice[2]. In his Letter to the Emperor Jovian he assures him, that the Symbol of Nice was received in the above-mentioned Provinces, and besides, in Britain, in Africa, in Pamphylia, in Libya, in Pontus, in Cappadocia, and in the East, that is, in the Patriarchate of Antioch[3]. But in the Provinces of Thrace, of Bithynia, and the Hellespont, the Semi-Arians prevailed, till they were overpowered by the Arians, strongly supported by the Emperor Valens, a most zealous Defender of Arianism.

1. Theod. l. 4. c. 3.

2. Athan. de Afr. & ad Epict.

3. Id. ad Jov.

A Council convened
by the Semi-Arians.
As every one was allowed by Julian to believe what he pleased, and to own his Belief, whatever it was, the Semi-Arians convened a Council, soon after the Death of Constantius, who, in the Latter-end of his Life, had begun to persecute them as much as he had favoured them before. This Council was composed of those chiefly who had assisted at that of Seleucia, of which I have spoken above; and they all agreed to condemn and anathematize the Doctrine of the Pure Arians, with the Confession of Rimini, and to sign anew the Confession of Antioch, establishing a Likeness in Substance between the Son and the Father. Thus they pretended to keep a due Mean between the Two opposite Extremes, of the Western Bishops, whose Consubstantiality, they said, left no room for the Distinction of Persons; and of the Pure Arians, who denied all Likeness[957]. The Sect of the
Macedonians.It was after this Council that the Semi-Arians, separating themselves from the Communion of the Pure Arians, began to form a distinct Sect, and to be called Macedonians; which Name was given them from Macedonius, late Bishop of Constantinople, but deposed by the Pure Arians, in the Council they held in that City in 360. to make room for their great Champion Eudoxius, translated formerly from Germanicia to Antioch, and now from Antioch to Constantinople. They were also named Marathonians, from Marathonius, Bishop of Nicomedia, who, together with Macedonius, was at the Head of the Party; and Pneumatomachi, that is, Enemies to the Holy Ghost, whose Divinity they denied, which was their chief, if not their only Error; for some are of Opinion, that tho’ they rejected the Word Consubstantial, yet they agreed with the Orthodox in the Meaning of it. They led very regular, austere, and edifying Lives; and are, on that Score, highly commended and extolled by Gregory Nazianzen[958]. No Wonder therefore, that they soon spread all over the East, and gained every-where great Numbers of Followers. At Constantinople, and in the neighbouring Cities and Provinces, they 173were followed not only by the greater Part of the People, but by some Persons of Distinction, by such as were most remarkable for their Piety, by intire Monasteries, both of Men and Women[959]. The Inhabitants of Cyzicus in the Propontis were almost all of this Sect, and we are told of some Miracles wrought by a Macedonian of that Place[960], which Baronius will not allow, though as well attested as any he relates.

They are persecuted
by the Emperor
The Emperor Valens, who reigned in the East, which had been yielded to him by his Brother Valentinian, when he took him for his Collegue in the Empire, spared no Pains to reconcile this Sect with that of the Arians, which he greatly favoured. But, finding them no less averse to the Arians than the Orthodox themselves, he began in the Year 366. to persecute them with great Cruelty. To avoid this Persecution they resolved to recur to the Emperor Valentinian, and, embracing the Faith professed by him and the Western Bishops, to put themselves under his Protection. Accordingly they dispatched Three of their Body, viz. Eustathius Bishop of Sebaste, Sylvanus of Tarsus, and Theophilus of Castabala, to acquaint the Emperor, in the Name of the rest, with the Resolution they had taken, and implore his Protection[961]. These, being informed, on their Arrival in Italy, that Valentinian was waging War with the Barbarians on the Borders of Gaul, instead of repairing to him, which they apprehended might be attended with no small Danger, went strait to Rome, and there delivered to Liberius Letters from their Brethren, directed to him, and to the other Bishops of the West, whom they earnestly intreated to use their Interest with the Emperor, in their Behalf, assuring them, that they sincerely renounced the Errors they had hitherto held, and embraced the Catholic Faith, as explained and defined by the Council of Nice[962]. Deliver to Liberius
their Confession of
Faith;But Liberius, notwithstanding these Assurances, suspected their Sincerity; and therefore could not, by any means, be prevailed upon to communicate with them, or even to hear them, till they had delivered to him a Confession of Faith, under their Hand, and in the Name of the whole Party, wherein they anathematized those of Rimini, and Nice in Bithynia; condemned the Heresy of Arius, with all other Heresies; and received the Definitions of the Council of Nice, those particularly that related to Consubstantiality. To this Confession they added a solemn Protestation, declaring themselves ready to submit to the Sentence of 174such Judges as the Pope should think fit to appoint, should they, or those by whom they had been sent, be ever for the future accused or suspected of swerving in the least from the Faith they now embraced and professed[963]. who admits them to
his Communion.In virtue of this Confession, whereof the Original was carefully lodged in the Archives of the Church of Rome, Liberius admitted the Deputies to his Communion; and, upon their Departure, writ, in the Name of all the Bishops of Italy, and the West, to the Macedonian Bishops, of whom he names 59, signifying the great Joy, which their Letters, and the Confession of Faith, signed by their Deputies, had occasioned at Rome, and in all the Western Churches, since by such a Confession they were all again happily united in one Faith. In this Letter Liberius assures them, that all the Bishops, who had assisted at the Council of Rimini, had retracted the Doctrine, which they had been forced to sign there; and were more than ever incensed against the Arians, on account of the Violence, which, at their Instigation, had been offered them[964]. The Macedonians admitted the Divinity of the Son, but denied that of the Holy Ghost; nay, this was their favourite Doctrine, and, as it were, the Characteristic of their Sect; but Liberius, and the other Western Bishops, not suspecting them of such an Error, which in all Likelihood they had not yet publicly owned, admitted them to their Communion, without examining them on that Head.

Liberius dies.
Liberius died soon after, that is, on the 23d or 24th of September, of the present Year 366. as we are told by Marcellinus and Faustinus, whose Authority is preferable to that of any other, since, at this very time, they lived at Rome[965]. He had been chosen on the 22d of May 352. so that he governed the Church of Rome Fourteen Years, Four Months, and a Day or Two. The deplorable
Condition of the
Church in his Time.Liberius lived in troublesome Times, the worst the Church had ever yet seen. She had Two dangerous Enemies to contend with at the same time, the Power of the Prince then on the Imperial Throne, and the Craft of a most subtle and deceitful Party. The Prince employed all his Power to overcome, with Oppression, those whom the Party could not over-reach with their Craft; and the Party to over-reach with their Craft such as the Prince could not overcome with Oppression. On the other hand, the Prelates, even some who were reputed the Pillars of the Church, seemed to have lost that Zeal, Firmness, and Intrepidity, which they had so 175gloriously exerted under the Pagan Princes, and few were found among them, whose Virtue was proof against the Loss of their Dignity, or Exile. Hence the Defection became general, and the Orthodox Party was brought so low, that it must have been utterly quashed, had Constantius lived a few Years longer. But Providence interposed; Constantius died while he was pursuing his Scheme with the greatest Success; and Julian, his Successor, by betraying an equal Hatred and Aversion to Christians of all Denominations, obliged them to forget their Quarrels among themselves, to lay aside their Animosity against each other, and to unite in their mutual Defence against him, as a common Enemy. Jovian, who succeeded him, proved no less favourable to the Orthodox, than Constantius had been to the Arians. Many therefore of the latter, and among the rest Acacius, who was at the Head of the Pure Arians, to gain the Favour of the Emperor, publicly renounced the Doctrine of Arius, and embraced that of Nice. Jovian, after a short Reign of Seven Months and Twenty Days, was succeeded by Valentinian, who continued to countenance the Orthodox, as his Predecessor had done, though he did not use the Arians with that Rigour which some Zealots expected from a Confessor, which Title he had deserved under Julian. However, as he professed the Orthodox Faith, that Party universally prevailed; insomuch that, in a very short time, no Traces of Arianism were left in the West, except at Milan, under the Arian Bishop Auxentius, and in a few Cities of Illyricum, where it was kept up by Ursacius, Valens, Germinius, and their Disciples, till the following Century, when it was every-where re-established there by the Goths.

By whom Arianism
was banished out of
the West.
Baronius ascribes to Liberius the banishing of Arianism out of the West, and the establishing of the Orthodox Faith in its room; but that Glory was owing, according to Ruffinus, to Hilarius of Poitiers, and Eusebius of Vercelli, who, like the Two great Luminaries of the Universe, to use his Words, enlightened with their Rays Illyricum, Gaul, and Italy, dispelling every-where the Darkness of Heresy[966]. He minutely describes the great Success that attended them, with the Difficulties and Obstructions they met with in so pious and commendable an Undertaking[967]. But, as for Liberius, he does not so much as mention him. And truly, from the Year 357. in which he fell, to his admitting the Macedonians to his Communion in 366. which was the 176last of his Life, the only thing I find recorded of him in the Antients, is his writing a Letter to the Catholic Bishops of Italy, wherein he exhorts them to atone for their past Conduct by renouncing the Errors of the Arians, and receiving anew the Symbol of Nice. He adds, that as this is the only Atonement, which it has been thought proper to require of them, they ought to exert their Zeal against the Authors of the Fault they committed, in proportion to the Grief they must feel for committing it[968]. This Letter has been transmitted to us among the Fragments of Hilarius. Neither Vincentius of
Capua, nor Liberius,
assisted at the
Council of Rimini.It is hard to guess what could induce Baronius to write so confidently as he does, that Vincentius of Capua assisted at the Council of Rimini with the Character of the Pope’s Legate[969]. In what antient Author did he find the least Intimation or distant Hint of such a Legation? Vincentius of Capua, though a Person of great Eminency, is not even mentioned by any of the contemporary Writers, who relate the Transactions of that Council, and name the chief Prelates who composed it. ‘Tis true we read of him, in one Author, that he never consented to the Confession of Rimini[970]: but that is said of Liberius too[971], whom Baronius owns not to have been present at that Assembly.

Liberius is honoured
as a Saint.
Liberius, notwithstanding his Fall, is honoured both by the Latin and Greek Churches as a Saint. By the former his Festival is kept on the 23d of September, and by the latter on the 27th of August[972]. The Founding of the
Church of St. Mary
the Greater.He erected a Church on the Esquiline Mount at Rome, which bore his Name, and was called the Basilic of Liberius, till it was consecrated to the Virgin Mary by Sixtus III. when it took the Name of Sancta Maria Major, or Saint Mary the Greater. It owes its Foundation, as is universally believed in the Church of Rome, to the following Miracle. A Roman of the Patrician Order, and of Wealth equal to his Rank, named John, having no Children, resolved to make a free Gift of his whole Estate to the Virgin Mary. This Resolution he imparted to his Wife, who consenting to it with great Alacrity, the Estate was immediately made over to the holy Virgin, whom they thenceforth jointly intreated, in their daily Prayers, to let them know by some Token in what Manner she chose to dispose of it. Their Prayers were heard, and, on the Night preceding the 5th of August, when the Heat is most violent at Rome, a miraculous Snow fell from Heaven, which covered Part of the Esquiline Mount. The same 177Night the Patrician and his Wife were admonished in a Dream to build a Church on the Spot of Ground which they should find covered with Snow. Early next Morning they went to acquaint Pope Liberius with what had happened, whom they found to have had the same Dream; so that no room being now left to doubt of the Revelation, the Pope appointed a grand Procession of the whole Clergy, in which he walked himself, attended by Crouds of People, to the above-mentioned Mount; and there, having caused the Snow, which still lay unmelted, to be removed, on the Spot, which it had covered, he laid the Foundation of that magnificent Basilic, which was reared at the Expence of the Patrician, and is now known by the Name of Saint Mary the Greater, and Saint Mary in the Snow[973]. I should not have thought such an idle Tale worthy of a Place in a grave History, were it not recorded in the most authentic Book the Church of Rome has after the Scripture, the Roman Breviary, a Book approved and commended by the Council of Trent, and by the special Bulls of Three Popes, Pius V. Clement VIII. and Urban VIII. of whom the latter declares every thing it contains to be extracted from antient and approved Authors, and to be agreeable to Truth[974]. So that it would be less dangerous, at least in Italy, to deny any Truth revealed in the Scripture, than to question any Fable related in the Breviary. The Feast of the Snow, or St. Mary in the Snow, is kept annually at Rome, on the 5th of August, with the greatest Solemnity. The College of Cardinals assists that Day at Divine Service in the Church of Saint Mary the Greater; and the Pope, if not indisposed, or otherwise prevented, officiates in Person: the Primicerio, or Dean of that Church, reads the Account, which I have delivered above; and, that nothing may be wanting to complete the Farce, Numbers of Children are employed, during the Service, to drop Jessamins from the Gallery on the Congregation, in Remembrance and Imitation of the miraculous Snow. And truly by Children alone such Fables are proper to be acted and believed.

The Writings of
Several Pieces have reached our Times, which were either written by, or have been falsly ascribed to, Liberius. Among the former are, his Letter in Answer to the Macedonian Bishops; another to the Catholic Bishops of Italy; which have been both mentioned above; 178and a Discourse, which he pronounced on Christmas-day in the Church of St. Peter, on Occasion of his giving the sacred Veil to Marcellina the Sister of St. Ambrose when she embraced the State of Virginity. This Discourse St. Ambrose has inserted in his Third Book on Virgins, but in his own Style, which is very different from that of Liberius, who had not the Gift of Eloquence[975]. Writings falsly
ascribed to him.Among the Pieces falsly ascribed to Liberius, most Men of Learning reckon the Confession of Faith, written in Greek, which he is supposed to have sent to Athanasius. This Piece Baronius will, by all means, have to be genuine; and the Use he makes of it is somewhat extraordinary. The Council of Alexandria, to which the Church owed her Safety, was convened by Athanasius, upon his Return from Exile, as I have related above. By that small Assembly, consisting only of Confessors, was enacted the famous Decree with respect to those, who had communicated with the Arians, and signed the Confession of Rimini. To that Decree the whole Church readily conformed; so that the Honour of saving the Church was chiefly owing to Athanasius, and wholly to him and the other Confessors. Of Liberius not the least Mention is made; so that he had no Share in that Glory. Strange Conjectures
of Baronius.The Annalist therefore, not being able to bring in his Sovereign Pontiff upon the Authority of any Records now extant, has recourse to those that probably never were; or, if they ever were, are now no more. He supposes Part of the above-mentioned Confession of Faith, sent by Liberius to Athanasius, to be wanting; and Liberius, in the Part that is wanting, to have impowered Athanasius to convene a Council, and to have appointed Eusebius of Vercelli, and Lucifer of Cagliari, to assist at that Council with the Character of his Legates. Such wild and extravagant Suppositions require a very strong Proof to support them, some plausible Conjectures at least to give them an Appearance of Truth. But that we must not expect of Baronius. The only Argument, if it may be so called, which he pretends to offer on this Occasion, is, that he cannot conceive Athanasius, and the other holy Confessors, would have taken upon them to act as they did, and enact a Decree extending to the whole Church, had they not received such a Power from him, to whom all Power was given[976], meaning the Pope. The other Pieces, falsly ascribed to Liberius, are another Letter to Athanasius, 179and one to all the Catholic Bishops; which are both reputed supposititious, being dated by Consuls who never existed.

Valens, DAMASUS,
Thirty-sixth Bishop of Rome. Gratian,
Year of Christ 366.
Damasus a Native of Rome,
Liberius was succeeded by Damasus, whom the Spanish Writers, upon the Authority of Anastasius, suppose to have been a Native of Spain[977]; though there is no room to doubt of his being born in Rome, since it appears, from an Inscription quoted by Baronius[978], that his Father had been Lector, Deacon, and Presbyter, of the Church of St. Laurence in that City, and consequently must have lived there from his Youth. Damasus had a Sister named Irene, who embraced the State of Virginity, and died before she was Twenty, as we read in her Epitaph[979]. It is not therefore probable, that her Death happened in the Twelfth Year of her Brother’s Pontificate, as the Spanish Author of her Life tells us, he being then Seventy. Damasus served, as his Father had done, the Church of St. Laurence, till he was stricken in Years; for he was upwards of Sixty when raised to the Episcopal Dignity. and Deacon of that
Church.He was Deacon of Rome in 355. when Liberius was sent into Exile; on which Occasion he not only bound himself, with the rest of the Clergy, by a solemn Oath not to acknowlege any other Bishop so long as Liberius lived, but attended him on his Journey to the Place of his Banishment[980]. Whether he aban-
doned Liberius,and
sided with Felix.Marcellinus and Faustinus seem to insinuate, that soon afterwards, giving way to his Ambition, he forgot the Oath he had taken, abandoned Liberius, for whom he had professed the greatest Friendship, and sided with Felix his Antagonist[981]. But these Two Presbyters were zealous Partisans of the Antipope Ursinus, of whom hereafter; and therefore we ought to be very cautious of what they write to the Prejudice of Damasus. Jerom, who lived then at Rome, and in great Intimacy with Damasus, reproaches such of the Ecclesiastics as forsook Liberius, and joined Felix, with the Breach of a most solemn Oath; styles them 180Perjurers, Deserters, Time-servers, &c. which I cannot think he would have done so freely, had Damasus been one of the Number. I am therefore not a little surprised, that Baronius should blindly acquiesce to the Accounts of the above-mentioned Writers, and, without further Inquiry, condemn Damasus as guilty of Perjury, by ranking him among the Followers of Felix[982]. And yet the Annalist supposes him to have been appointed Great Vicar of Rome by Liberius, upon his withdrawing from the City to avoid the Persecution raised by Constantius after the Council of Rimini[983]: so that, according to him, he must have changed Sides anew, and, abandoning Felix, returned to Liberius, which is representing him as a Man swayed by no other Principles but those of Interest and Ambition, and therefore always siding with those who were uppermost. This is all we know of Damasus before his Election.

He is chosen Bishop
of Rome, and likewise
Liberius dying on the 23d or 24th of September 366. as I have related above, great Disturbances were raised in Rome by the Election of Two Bishops to succeed him, viz. Damasus and Ursinus, whom the later Writers style Ursicinus, a Deacon of that Church. This double Election gave Rise to a dangerous Schism, and a kind of Civil War, within the Walls of the City, which did not end without a great deal of Bloodshed. I shall impartially relate what I find concerning this important Transaction in the contemporary Writers of either Side; leaving the Reader to judge which of the Two Pretenders was the Cause of so much Mischief, and which legally chosen. I shall begin with the Account which Marcellinus and Faustinus, who were then at Rome, give us of these Elections. They were both Presbyters of that Church, but, being strict Followers of Lucifer Bishop of Cagliari, of whom I have spoken above, they and their whole Party were deemed Schismatics, and consequently cruelly persecuted by the Catholic Bishops, especially Damasus. Finding themselves thus oppressed, the Two Presbyters, between 383. and 388. drew up a Petition in Behalf of themselves and their afflicted Brethren, addressed to Valentinian II. Theodosius, and Arcadius, intreating those Princes to protect their Innocence, and put a Stop to the unbridled Rage of their Enemies. With this Request the Two Presbyters repaired to Constantinople, being driven from Rome by Damasus, and there presented it to Theodosius, 181who, pitying their Condition, in his Rescript directed to Cynegius the Præfectus Prætorio, treated them as Catholics, granted them the free Exercise of their Religion, and declared all those wicked Men, nay, and Heretics, who had presumed, or should for the future presume, to persecute or molest them[984]. In the Preface, prefixed to this Petition, I find the following Account of both the above-mentioned Elections. Ursinus, say they, was chosen in the Basilic of Julius by the Deacons Amantius and Lupus, and the People, who had continued in the Communion of Liberius; but Damasus, by those who had adhered to Felix, assembled for that Purpose in the Church of St. Laurence, called in Lucinis. Ursinus was ordained the first, by Paul Bishop of Tivoli; which Damasus, who had always panted after the Episcopal Dignity, no sooner knew, than he hired a great Number of Chariot drivers, and other such despicable Wretches, who, violently breaking into the Basilic of Julius, massacred a great many People there. Seven Days afterwards they made themselves Masters of the Lateran Basilic, and there was Damasus ordained Bishop[985]. Different Accounts of
these Elections.This Account charges Damasus alone with the Schism, and the Evils attending it. On the other hand, the Council of Rome, held about Twelve Years after, lays the whole Blame on Ursinus, who, say they, boldly attempted to usurp a Dignity, which on no Score was due to him[986]; and that which met at Aquileia in 381. and consisted of all the most eminent Bishops of the West, ascribes to Ursinus, and his Temerity, the many Calamities the Church had suffered; paints him as a Man of no Credit, Character, or Reputation; and adds, that he seized by Force what he had no Hopes of attaining by lawful Means[987]. Ambrose writes, that the Suffrage of Heaven concurred in the Election of Damasus[988]. According to these Authorities Damasus was lawfully elected, and Ursinus unlawfully. As to the Particulars of his Election, Jerom, who perhaps was then at Rome, tells us, that Damasus was first chosen, and then Ursinus, who, after his Election, seized by Force on the Basilic of Sicinus[989], that is, according to the most probable Opinion, the Basilic of Liberius, now Saint Mary the Greater. Socrates says, that Ursinus having near as many Votes as Damasus, he was thereby encouraged to hold separate Assemblies, and to get himself ordained in a dark and retired Corner of 182the Basilic of Sicinus[990]. Ruffinus assures us, that Damasus was already ordained, when Ursinus, transported with Rage at his being preferred to him, assembled a great Number of seditious People, and, supported by them, caused himself, in Defiance of the Canons of the Church, to be ordained, in the Basilic of Sicinus, by Paul Bishop of Tivoli; whereas the Bishops of Rome were always ordained and consecrated by those of Ostia. After his Consecration, continues this Author, he ordained several Persons; which was adding a Sacrilege to his unlawful Election[991]. Both Ruffinus, and Socrates, who follows him, were certainly mistaken as to the Place of this Ordination, since we are told by Marcellinus and Faustinus, that Ursinus was ordained, not in the Basilic of Sicinus, but in that of Julius[992]. These Two Writers, who were in Rome at the Time of the Elections, tell us, in express Terms, that Ursinus was chosen before Damasus; and Jerom, who was probably in Rome at the same Time, assures us, in Terms no less express, that Damasus was chosen before Ursinus. The former were greatly addicted to Ursinus, and the latter no less attached to Damasus. As for the Two Councils, which I have quoted above, they were held some Years after, when the Party of Damasus had universally prevailed, and it was a Crime to acknowlege Ursinus. Jerom has been followed by most of the Writers who came after, and the Authority of the other Two quite disregarded, for no other Reason but because they were Schismatics; for they joined Lucifer, as I have observed above, and refused to communicate with the Bishops who had signed the Confession of Rimini, nay, and with those who communicated with them.

Great Disturbances in
Rome, occasioned by
this double Election.
By this double Election the Citizens of Rome saw themselves, before they were aware, involved in a Civil War. The whole People were divided, some siding with Damasus, and some with Ursinus; and neither of the Competitors shewed the least Inclination to yield to the other. No Day passed without Skirmishes and Bloodshed; insomuch that Juventius Governor of the City, and Julian the Præfectus Annonæ, to put a Stop to the present, and prevent greater Disturbances, agreed to banish Ursinus, whose Party seemed less powerful, together with his Two Deacons Amantius and Lupus. The Two Authors I have often quoted write, that both Juventius and Julian were bribed by Damasus, who, taking Advantage of the Absence of 183his Competitor, armed his Followers with Clubs and Swords, hoping thus to intimidate the Friends of the exiled Bishop, and bring them in the End to acknowlege him. Seven Presbyters of the Party of Ursinus were seized, at the Request of Damasus, in order to be sent into Exile, but rescued by the People of the same Party, and carried in Triumph to the Basilic of Liberius; which Damasus no sooner heard, than, arming all his Followers, both Clergy and Laymen, with Clubs, Swords, Axes, &c. he marched at the Head of the seditious and enraged Multitude to the Basilic, which he and his Partisans immediately invested, and attacked with the utmost Fury. Several Persons
massacred.It was set on fire in several Places; the Doors were forced, the Roof uncovered, and thence Showers of Tiles discharged on the People assembled there: great was the Massacre; One hundred and Sixty Persons, Men and Women, were inhumanly murdered on the Side of Ursinus, and a great many more wounded, some of whom died of their Wounds. On the Side of Damasus not one single Person was killed. This Riot began on the 25th of October 366. at Eight in the Morning.

The Sedition becomes
Thus the above-mentioned Writer[993] Ruffinus writes in general Terms, that the illegal Election of Ursinus, in Opposition to Damasus, occasioned such a Tumult, or rather Civil War among the People, some siding with the one, and some with the other, that the Places destined for Prayer streamed with Human Blood[994]. The Heathen Ammianus Marcellinus assures us, that the Partisans of Damasus and Ursinus were so implacably incensed against each other, that several Persons were wounded in the Quarrel, and some killed: nay, it is certain, adds he, that in the Basilic of Sicinus One hundred and Thirty-seven Persons were found dead, all killed the same Day: but Damasus in the End, by the Efforts of his Party, got the better of his Antagonist[995]. Jerom, however partial, owns, that Ursinus having got Possession of the Basilic of Sicinus, the Partisans of Damasus repaired thither in Crouds, and that several Persons were thereupon inhumanly massacred[996]. The Sedition became general, and the Seditious on either Side so numerous and powerful, that Juventius, not thinking it adviseable to punish, nor being able to appease, the enraged Populace, abandoned the City, and retired to the Country[997]. He was perhaps for Ursinus, whose Party being over-matched by that of Damasus, he might not think it safe to continue in Rome. Three Days after the Massacre in the 184Basilic of Liberius, that is, on the 28th of October, the Partisans of Ursinus, say Marcellinus and Faustinus, assembling, cried out aloud against Damasus, complaining of his Conduct, and begging that a sufficient Number of Bishops might be convened, and the Controversy referred to their Judgment and Decision[998]. Damasus was greatly favoured, and chiefly supported, by the Roman Ladies, which probably gave Occasion to the Charge of Adultery that was brought against him. But Jerom, either to clear him of this Charge, or to obviate the like Suspicions, naturally arising from his familiar Conversation with the Female Sex, styles him a Virgin Doctor of the Virgin Church[999].

Damasus not easily
cleared from all
Baronius, finding he can neither disguise nor extenuate the Cruelties committed by those who adhered to Damasus, is at a great deal of Trouble to disculpate him, and lay the whole Blame on Maximinus, who, as appears from History, discharged the Office of Præfectus Annonæ from the Latter-end of the Year 367. to the Beginning of 370. and was noted for his Cruelty. Baronius is supported herein by the Authority of Jerom and Ruffinus, of whom the former writes, that Damasus remained Conqueror, without hurting the Conquered[1000]; and the latter, that the Cruelties practised by the Prefect Maximinus, who had espoused the Cause of Damasus, upon those of the adverse Party, rendered the Name of that virtuous Prelate odious, though he had no Share in them[1001]. But who is to be charged with the Massacre in the Basilic of Sicinus or Liberius? On whom are the Murders to be laid, committed there? Maximinus was not then in Power, and perhaps not at Rome. I cannot help thinking but Damasus might at least have restrained his Followers from such Excesses; and consequently, as he did not, I cannot, with Ruffinus, conclude him to have had no Share in them; I say, at least restrained; for I will not charge him with heading and encouraging the riotous Multitude in that wicked Attempt, upon the bare Authority of Marcellinus and Faustinus, both zealous Partisans of Ursinus. But neither ought Baronius, Bellarmine, Davidius, &c. upon the bare Testimony of Two Writers, no less sanguine in the Cause of Damasus, suppose him to have been no-ways concerned in those Disorders. The famous Ammianus Marcellinus, who lived at this very time in Rome, and, as a Pagan, was no-ways concerned in the Quarrel, nor more inclined 185to one Side than the other, assures us, that both were equally ambitious of the Episcopal Dignity, and both equally guilty[1002]. The Authority of a Writer, thus unbyassed, and in every other respect unexceptionable, ought to be preferred, without the least Hesitation, to that of any other, whom we have just Reason to suspect of Partiality. Jerom indeed speaks with more Modesty and Reserve than Ruffinus, and those who have copied after him; for he only says, that Damasus did not hurt his Enemies after he had conquered them. But, in relating the above-mentioned Massacre, and the Skirmishes that happened before the Party of Damasus prevailed, he always describes his Partisans as the Aggressors, without ever pretending to excuse him, as having no Share in those Riots; which he would not have failed to do, had he not paid a greater Regard to Truth than Ruffinus seems to have done.

The Luxury of the
Bishops of Rome.
The Heathen Marcellinus, after telling us, that Damasus and Ursinus aspired with equal Ambition to the Episcopal Chair, adds this famous Remark, which I shall set down in his own Words: I must own, says he, that when I reflect on the Pomp attending that Dignity, I do not at all wonder, that those, who are fond of Shew and Parade, should scold, quarrel, fight, and strain every Nerve to attain it; since they are sure, if they succeed, to be enriched with the Offerings of the Ladies; to appear no more abroad on foot, but in stately Chariots, and gorgeously attired; to keep costly and sumptuous Tables; nay, and to surpass the Emperors themselves in the Splendor and Magnificence of their Entertainments. But how happy would they be, if, despising the Grandeur of the City, which they allege to excuse their Luxury, they followed the Example of some Bishops in the Provinces, who, by the Temperance and Frugality of their Diet, the Poverty and Plainness of their Dress, the Modesty of their Looks fixed on the Ground, the Purity of their Lives, and the Regularity of their whole Conduct, approve themselves to the eternal God, and all his true Worshipers[1003]! Thus Ammianus. And that Damasus was fond of all that Pomp, Grandeur, and Parade, that he led such a voluptuous Life, as Ammianus here so justly censures and condemns in the Bishops of Rome, is not to be doubted, since Prætextatus, a Man of the first Quality, honoured with the greatest Employments of the Empire, and zealously attached to Paganism, in 186conversing familiarly with him, used pleasantly to say, Make me Bishop of Rome, and I’ll immediately turn Christian[1004]. But, as I shall have Occasion to speak of this Subject hereafter, I shall only observe here, that the Offerings of those devout Women, and other pious Christians, were no better employed in the Days of Damasus, than the immense Wealth, which the Church of Rome acquired in After-Ages, by the voluntary Contributions of all the Christian Nations, is disposed of in ours. How the Oblations of
the Faithful disposed
of.With these Offerings the Bishops of Rome used in more early Times, to maintain the Poor of their own Church, and send the Overplus to other Churches, where the Poor were numerous, and the Offerings small. Of this generous Practice I have mentioned some Instances, that well deserve to be recorded. But when Ambition began to take place of Charity, the Poor were forgotten, and nothing thought of but splendid Equipages, numerous Retinues, princely Apparel, sumptuous Tables, and whatever else could feed the Vanity of these upstart Princes, and put them upon the Level with the greatest Monarchs. To such Purposes were the Oblations of the Faithful perverted. Baronius takes it very much amiss of Ammianus, that he should find Fault with the costly Tables and Entertainments of the Popes, since it is manifest from St. Austin, that the Christians at Rome, and, no doubt, the Pope with the rest, kept a rigorous Fast Three Days in the Week[1005]; so that, in his Opinion, they ought not to be blamed for rioting Four Days in the Week, provided they fasted Three. But to this Doctrine Ammianus was a Stranger, and therefore, notwithstanding the Fasts they might keep, he justly censured their expensive Tables and Banquets, as no-ways suited to their Profession and Character.

Ursinus recalled by
But to return to Ursinus; he had been banished Rome by the Prefect Juventius, before the 26th of October 366. as I have related above; but the Emperor Valentinian, who was at this time in Gaul, having, at the Request of his Friends, granted him Leave to return, he entered the City on the 15th of September 367. in a kind of Triumph, being met and received with loud Acclamations by those of his Party[1006]. At the same time the Emperor directed a Rescript to Prætextatus, who had succeeded Juventius in the Prefecture of Rome, injoining him to recall all those, who had been banned for the late Riots, and reinstate them in their former Condition, after 187warning them, that if, for the future, they disturbed the Peace of the Public, they should be punished without Mercy[1007]. but banished anew.But notwithstanding this Warning, new Disturbances must have happened, since Ursinus was, by an Order from the Emperor, banished again on the 16th of November of the same Year 367. together with Seven of his Followers, who were all confined to different Places in Gaul, where they continued till the Year 371[1008]. The Two Presbyters tell us, that Damasus, having, with large Sums, gained the Ministers and Favourites at Court, by their Means extorted from the Emperor the above-mentioned Order. They add, that the Friends of Ursinus were resolved to stand by him; but that he, to prevent Bloodshed, delivered himself up into the Hands of the Officers of Justice[1009]. However that be, by the Banishment of Ursinus, and some of the leading Men of his Party, Tranquillity was restored for a while, and the Disturbances composed, says Ammianus, which the Christians had raised by quarreling among themselves[1010].

The Bishop of Rome
impowered by the
Emperor to judge
other Bishops.
About this Time the Emperor Valentinian enacted a Law, impowering the Bishop of Rome to examine and judge other Bishops, that religious and ecclesiastical Disputes might not be decided by profane or secular Judges, but by a Pontiff of the same Religion, and his Collegues[1011]. A very imprudent Law, considering the Nature and Consequences of such a Concession. The Bishops assembled in Council at Rome, in 378. after declaring, in the strongest Terms, their Approbation of this Law, agreed to present an Address to the Emperor Gratian, wherein they earnestly recommended to him the Execution of it, because it greatly redounded, say they, to the Honour of the sacred Ministry; because the Judgment of Bishops was more sure and certain than that of any Civil Magistrate; and, lastly, because it delivered the Prelates of the Church from the just Concern they were under, to find that they could not make their Innocence appear without Racks and Tortures, which innocent Persons were put to by the Secular Judges[1012]. This Exemption seems to have been understood by the Council as extending to all Cases, whether Civil or Ecclesiastical. Be that as it will, whatever Exemption was by the above-mentioned Law granted to the Bishops, whatever Power was by that Law vested in the Bishop of Rome, and his Collegues, the Council, with a due Sense of Gratitude, acknowleged such Power and Immunity 188to be intirely owing to the Indulgence of the Emperor: a plain Proof that the absurd and chimerical Notion of a Divine Right was not yet broached. The Bishops chose rather to be judged by the Pope and his Collegues, that is, by their own Brethren, than by Lay Judges, for the Reasons they allege in their Address to Gratian. Hence they chearfully submitted to his Judgment, and applauded every new Power that was granted him, as redounding to the Honour of the Episcopal Order. But, alas! they were not aware, that every new Power, yielded to the Bishop of Rome, was a new Link added to the Chain they were forging, if not for themselves, for those, at least, who were to succeed them. They little apprehended, that the Bishop of Rome would, in Process of Time, claim all the Power vested in him, and his Collegues, as due to him alone, and that too by Divine Right; that, in virtue of such a Claim, he would set up for universal and sole Monarch of the Church, exercise an unbounded Authority and Jurisdiction, and degrade all other Bishops from his Collegues to his Vassals and Slaves. Blondel is of Opinion, that the Bishop of Rome was, by that Law, only impowered to judge the Bishops within the Limits of his Jurisdiction, that is, those of the Suburbicarian Provinces[1013]. Others think that such a Power was only for a time, and extended to those Bishops alone who were concerned in the present Schism; which seems most probable, since Valentinian declares, that he enacted the above-mentioned Law to settle the Church, shaken by the Fury of the Schism[1014].

The Followers of
Ursinus driven out of
Ursinus, and the leading Men of his Party, being driven out of the City, the Inhabitants began to enjoy their former Peace and Tranquillity. But yet his Followers continued to assemble in the Cœmeteries of the Martyrs, and even kept Possession of a Church, supposed to be that of St. Agnes, without the Walls[1015]. Of this Damasus took care to transmit an Account to the Emperor, in a Memorial; who, fearing that, from such a Spark, the Fire might break out again, which he had been striving to extinguish, injoined Prætextatus to put Damasus forthwith in Possession of that Church; and, in the Execution of this Order, probably happened what we find related, perhaps with some Exaggeration, by the Two Writers I have often quoted; for they tell us, that one Day, while the Followers of Ursinus were assembled, in great Numbers, in the Church of St. Agnes, Damasus, 189falling unexpectedly upon them with his Satellites, made a dreadful Havock of the innocent and defenceless Multitude[1016]. After this Second Massacre Prætextatus, to secure the Tranquillity of the City, sent several more of the Party of Ursinus into Exile. Valentinian, however, would not consent to their being confined to any particular Place; but gave them full Liberty to live where they pleased, provided they kept out of Rome[1017]. The two Writers add, that the Cruelties exercised in the Church of St. Agnes gave great Offence to the Bishops of Italy; and that Damasus having invited some of them to Rome, to solemnize with him the Anniversary of his Consecration, he laid hold of that Opportunity to solicit them with Intreaties, nay, and to tempt them with Money, to condemn Ursinus; but all in vain; the Bishops equally unmoved by his Prayers and Offers, refusing, with great Firmness and Resolution, to condemn a Man whom they had not heard. Marcellinus and Faustinus close their Preface with a short Account of themselves, telling us, that the Presbyters of Ursinus’s Party were imprisoned, racked, banished, dispersed, and sent into different Countries; and that they themselves, who were of that Number, presented a Petition to the Emperors, begging them to put a Stop to so cruel a Persecution[1018].

Damasus assembles a
Council at Rome.
Damasus having thus, in the End, by the Favour of the Emperors, intirely got the better of the adverse Party, and secured his Dignity, he turned his Thoughts to Ecclesiastical Matters. In the West there were now but Three Bishops, who still maintained the Doctrine of Arius; viz. Ursacius Bishop of Singidunum, Valens of Mursa, and Auxentius of Milan. Ursacius and Valens
Auxentius why spared.Damasus, however, convened a numerous Council at Rome; and there examined anew, and anew condemned, the Tenets of Arius, and all who held them, namely Ursacius and Valens[1019]. Auxentius was a pure, and no less zealous, Arian, than either of these Two; but as he was in favour with Valentinian, whom he had deceived by an equivocal Confession of Faith, Damasus, and his Council, thought it adviseable not to name him. The Council writ a synodal Letter to the other Bishops, acquainting them with what had passed; which was answered by Athanasius, and the Bishops of Egypt, then assembled at Alexandria. In their Answer they thank Damasus for condemning Ursacius and Valens; but, at the same time, express no small Surprize to find, that Auxentius was 190not yet deposed, tho’ guilty not only of Arianism, but of many other Crimes, which they enumerate[1020]. Damasus and his Collegues paid, no doubt, great Regard to the Remonstrances of Athanasius; but, as Auxentius was supported by the Emperor, and they were better Courtiers than Athanasius, they never attempted to depose him; nay, they carried their Complaisance so far as to condemn Ursacius and Valens, as if they had been the only Arian Bishops in the West, without ever naming Auxentius. He therefore kept, for many Years, quiet Possession of the See he had usurped, and was at last deprived of it by Death alone.

The Avarice of the
Roman Clergy
restrained by
The many Abuses and Disorders, that reigned at this Time among the Ecclesiastics of Rome, offered a larger Field to the Zeal of Damasus, than the Heresy of Arius, now confined in the West to a Corner of Illyricum. But he was by no means a fit Person to set up for a Reformer of Manners, and the Evil required a more powerful Remedy than he could apply. The Prelates of the Church, even the Bishops of Rome, could yet only preach against Vice, admonish the Vicious, and inflict ecclesiastical Censures on such as gave no Ear to their Admonitions: all other Power was still lodged in Lay Hands, and only imparted to the Ecclesiastics in some extraordinary Cases. The insatiable Avarice of the Roman Clergy, the mean and scandalous Arts they were daily practising to circumvent the Orphans, plunder the Widows, and rob the lawful Heirs of their just Inheritance, cried loudly for a Reform; but were Evils too strong for the Curb of Exhortation, Admonition, or Censures merely ecclesiastical; and Damasus himself was not quite free from Imputations of this Nature. It was therefore necessary, that the Secular Power should interpose in Defence of the deluded Laity, against the Craft and Rapines of the ravenous Clergy. Law enacted by him.A Law was accordingly enacted by the Emperor Valentinian, in the Year 370. addressed to Damasus Bishop of Rome, and read, on the 29th of July, in all the Churches of that City, strictly forbidding the Ecclesiastics, and such as professed Celibacy, meaning the Monks, to frequent the Houses of Orphans or Widows, or to accept from those, whom they attended under the Veil of Religion, any thing whatsoever by way of Donation, Legacy, or Feoffment in Trust. Whatever was thus given or accepted, is declared forfeited to the public Treasury[1021].

191This Law, taken in a literal Sense, only forbids the Ecclesiastics to accept such Donations as were made by the Women whom they attended in spiritual Matters as their Guides or Directors; but it was either understood and interpreted as extending to all Donations from pious Persons, or a new Law was made at this Time excluding the Ecclesiastics from all such Donations, as plainly appears from Jerom and Ambrose, of whom the former, in one of his Letters, writes thus: The Sentiments of St.
Jerom and Ambrose
concerning this Law.I am ashamed to say it, the Priests of the Idols, the Stage-players, Charioteers, Whores, are capable of inheriting Estates, and receiving Legacies; from this common Privilege, Clerks alone, and Monks, are debarred by Law; debarred, not under persecuting Tyrants, but Christian Princes[1022]. And Ambrose; We are excluded by Laws, lately enacted, from all Inheritances, Donations, and Legacies; yet we do not complain: And why should we? By such Laws we only lose Wealth; and the Loss of Wealth is no Loss to us. Estates are lawfully bequeathed to the Ministers of the Heathen Temples; no Layman is excluded, let his Condition be ever so low, let his Life be ever so scandalous: Clerks alone are debarred of a Right common to the rest of Mankind. Let a Christian Widow bequeath her whole Estate to a Pagan Priest, her Will is good in Law; let her bequeath the least Share of it to a Minister of God, her Will is null. I do not mention these Things by way of Complaint, but only to let the World know, that I do not complain; for I had rather we should want Money, than Virtue or Grace[1023]. From these Testimonies it is manifest, that either by the above-mentioned Law, or by some other published at this Time, the Ecclesiastics were restrained from receiving any Donations or Legacies whatever, by whomsoever bequeathed: and that such a Law was absolutely necessary, is no less manifest from the unquestionable Authority of Jerom, who lived at this very Time in Rome, and describes, as an Eye-witness, the Arts that were practised with great Success, by the Roman Clergy, to circumvent rich Widows, and old Men. The Clerks, says he, who ought to instruct and awe the Women with a grave and composed Behaviour, first kiss their Heads, and then, stretching out their Hand, as it were to bestow a Blessing, slily receive a Fee for their Salutation. The Women in the mean time, elated with Pride in seeing themselves thus courted by the Clergy, prefer the Freedom of Widowhood to the Subjection attending 192the State of Matrimony. Some of the Clergy make it the whole Business and Employment of their Lives to learn the Names of the Ladies, to find out their Habitations, to study their Humour. One of these (perhaps Antimus or Sophronius, two Monkish Harpyes, of whom he speaks elsewhere), an Adept in the Art, rises with the Sun, settles the Order of his Visits, acquaints himself with the shortest Ways, and almost breaks into the Rooms of the Women before they are awake. If he sees any curious Piece of Houshold Furniture, he extols, admires, and handles it; and, sighing that he too should stand in need of such Trifles, in the End, rather extorts it by Force, than obtains it by Goodwill, the Ladies being afraid to disoblige the prating old Fellow, that is always running about from House to House[1024]. The same Writer, speaking elsewhere of the Monks, displays the Arts which they practised to deceive, captivate, and plunder, the rich Widows, and old Men; and adds, that, by professing Poverty, they were become rich, and that the Church grieved to see many acquire great Wealth by serving her, who had been Beggars, while they lived in the World[1025]. So that the Monastic Profession was in those early Times what it is now, a gainful Trade, under the Mask of Religion. As for the mean, nay, and nauseous Offices, to which they were prompted by their Avarice, and the greedy Expectation of Legacies, to submit, about the childless old Men and Women in their Sickness, it would be forgetting the Dignity of an Historian to mention them. The Reader will find them described by Jerom, and perhaps too minutely, in the Letter he writ to his Friend Nepotian[1026]. In the same Letter he informs us, how the Wealth thus acquired was disposed of. I, says he, applying to himself what he levelled at others, to render the Truth he spoke less disagreeable; I, who was born in a poor Country Cottage, who had scarce Millet enough, and coarse Bread, to satiate my craving Stomach, now despise the finest Flour, the choicest Honey, am well acquainted with the different Kinds and Names of Fishes, and can tell by the Taste from what Coast each Shell-fish was brought, from what Province each Bird[1027]. A Law was therefore necessary to restrain the insatiable Avarice of the Roman Clergy, and obviate the unhallowed Use they made of the Wealth, which by such scandalous Means they had acquired. This Law Jerom calls a Caustic; and adds, that he does not complain of it, but of the Sore that required it[1028]. However, that he complains, 193and Ambrose too, not only of the Sore, but the Caustic, is manifest from their Words, and Manner of writing. To exaggerate the pretended Hardship, they both observe, that the Pagan Priests lay under no such Restraints: An unseasonable Observation! Since it shews the Difference between the Pagan and Christian Priesthood in a mortifying Light. The former gave no Occasion to such a Law, their Avarice wanted no such Restraints; if it had, we may be sure they had met with no Quarter from a Christian, nay, from an Orthodox Prince; and if he had spared them, such Partiality had not been tamely put up, and passed over in Silence, by the Ecclesiastical Writers of those Times, namely, by the Two I have mentioned.

That Law probably
not procured by
Baronius is of Opinion, that the above-mentioned Law was procured by Damasus, who, finding his Clergy no longer awed by the Spiritual Sword, had recourse to the Temporal: for the Temporal, adds he, though in the Emperor’s Hands, was given by our Saviour to St. Peter and his Successors, as well as the Spiritual[1029]. Thus he puts at once both Swords into the Popes Hands, though he has not yet been able to allege one single Instance of their having either. They got both, ’tis true, in After-ages; and we shall see, in the Sequel of this History, how they came by them. But that Law, says Baronius, was read in all the Churches of Rome. And so have others been, when they concerned the Clergy, and were addressed to, though not procured by, the Bishop of that City[1030]. Besides, as Damasus loved Pomp and Grandeur, it is not at all probable, that he was instrumental in the enacting of a Law, which deprived him of the main Fund to support them, the Generosity of the Roman Ladies.

It is extended to
sacred Virgins, and
to Bishops.
Two Years after, that is, in 372. the Law I have mentioned above was extended by the same Prince, viz. Valentinian, to the sacred Virgins and Bishops, so as to exclude the former from the Right of giving, and the latter from that of receiving, any thing whatsoever by way of Donation, Legacy, &c[1031]. But this Law, with another still more severe, published Twenty Years afterwards by the Emperor Theodosius, was abrogated by the Emperor Marcian in the Year 455. as I shall have Occasion to relate hereafter. The primitive Rigour
and Discipline utterly
neglected at Rome.In the mean time I cannot help observing with Astonishment, how early the primitive Rigour of Discipline and Manners was utterly neglected and forgotten by the Ecclesiastics of Rome; how early the most exorbitant Luxury, 194with all the Vices attending it, was introduced among them, and the most scandalous and unchristian Arts of acquiring Wealth universally practised. They seem to have rivalled, in riotous living, the greatest Epicures of Pagan Rome, when Luxury was there at the highest Pitch. For Jerom, who was an Eye-witness of what he writ, reproaches the Roman Clergy with the same Excesses, which the Poet Juvenal so severely censured in the Roman Nobility, under the Reign of Domitian. And how much more worthy were the former of the severest Censure, not only in regard of their Calling, and the Religion they professed, teaching them to curb and subdue all irregular Passions and Appetites, but from this aggravating Circumstance, that the Estates they so squandered and wasted were not their own, but the Patrimony of the Poor, the Substance of the Orphans, Widows, and unhappy Persons, whom, under the Cloke of Religion, they robbed of their just Inheritance! And herein they conformed to the Example of their Chief, who, finding an inexhaustible Fund in the Generosity of the Roman Ladies to support his Extravagance, lived in that Pomp and Grandeur which Ammianus has described above.

The Orthodox
persecuted in the
But he was roused from the easy and indolent Life he led at Rome, by Letters from the famous Basil, lately raised to the See of Cæsarea in Cappadocia, the Metropolis of Pontus, imploring his Assistance, and that of the other Western Bishops, in the present unhappy Condition of the Churches in the East. Arianism was almost utterly extirpated in the West under the Orthodox Emperor Valentinian, as I have observed above; but in the East it triumphed under his Brother Valens, a most zealous Favourer of the Arians, a most implacable Enemy to the Orthodox, who were by him every-where driven from their Sees, and sent into Exile: nay, he gave full Power to the Arian Bishops and Magistrates to imprison, fine, beat, rack, and banish, at Pleasure, such of the Orthodox Clergy as they could not win over by more gentle Methods. This Power they used so tyrannically, especially at Constantinople, that the Clergy of that City resolved to apply to Valens himself for Relief, not doubting but the Miseries they groaned under might, if duly represented, even move him to Compassion. Accordingly they appointed Eighty of their Body, all Men of unblemished Characters, and known Piety, to repair to Nicomedia, where that Prince then was, and lay their Grievances before him. Upon their Arrival at Court, they were introduced to the Emperor, who heard them with great Attention, without shewing the least Emotion either 195of Resentment or Compassion. However, as, upon his dismissing them, he immediately sent for Modestus the Præfectus Prætorio, they concluded that he had given Ear to their just Complaints, and began to expect a speedy Redress of their Grievances. Inhumanly treated by
the EmperorValens.But the Charge he gave him, very different from what they expected, was to dispatch them all without Mercy or Delay. The Prefect, apprehending the Death of so many eminent Ecclesiastics might occasion a Tumult in the City, gave out that the Emperor had ordered them into Exile; and accordingly caused them to be put on board a Vessel, in order to be conveyed, as he pretended, to the Place of their Banishment. But the Vessel was no sooner out of Sight, than the Mariners, pursuant to their private Instructions, set Fire to it, and, betaking themselves to their Boat, left those they had on board to the Mercy of the Flames and Waves[1032].

The Orthodox divided
among themselves.
But Athanasius, Basil, and the other Champions of the Orthodox Party, were not so much alarmed at the cruel Persecution raised against them by their Enemies, as at the unhappy Divisions that reigned at this very time among themselves. It was to procure a Remedy for these Divisions, to heal a dangerous Schism, that rent the Orthodox Party into two opposite Factions, that Basil, by the Advice of Athanasius, writ the above-mentioned Letter to Damasus, and that the Orthodox Bishops of the East writ in common a Letter to all their Brethren in the West. As this Schism did more Hurt to the Orthodox Cause than it was in the Power of their Enemies to have done, I shall not think it foreign to my Purpose to insert a succinct Account of its Rise and Progress. What occasioned
this Division.Eustathius, the Orthodox Bishop of Antioch, being deposed by the Arians in 331. and one of their own Party put in his room, the greater Part of the Clergy and People of that City, acknowleging the new-chosen Bishop, and his Arian Successors, assisted at their Assemblies, mixed with the Arians, and received the Sacraments at their Hands, though they disagreed with them in Belief. But some more zealous than the rest, refusing to own any other Bishop so long as Eustathius lived, held their Assemblies apart, under the Direction of Presbyters animated with the like Zeal. These, from their steady Attachment to Eustathius, were called Eustathians, and with them alone Athanasius communicated while he was at Antioch[1033]. This Schism or Separation continued even after the Death of Eustathius, those of his Party declining not only the 196Communion of the Arians and their Bishops, but of the Orthodox, who communicated with them. In the Year 360. the See of Antioch being vacant, by the Translation of Eudoxius the Arian to that of Constantinople, the Arians, and the Orthodox, who communicated with them, chose with one Consent the famous Meletius to succeed him. Both Parties joyfully concurred in this Election; the Orthodox, because they knew his Doctrine to be no less pure than his Manners; and the Arians, because they hoped, by such a distinguishing Mark of their Friendship and Esteem, to win him, and by his Means to gain over to their Party the whole City of Antioch, nay, and the Eustathians themselves[1034]. But they soon found, to their great Mortification, that the Orthodox were better acquainted with Meletius than they, that he was most zealously attached to the Orthodox Party, and was not to be swayed by Friendship or Enmity, by Hopes or Terrors. Meletius the new
Bishop of Antioch
declares in favour of
the Orthodox.He was no sooner installed, which Ceremony was performed with the greatest Solemnity, than he loudly declared in favour of Consubstantiality, and boldly cut off from his Communion, as rotten and incurable Members, all who held the opposite Doctrine. The Arians of Antioch were thunderstruck with the Boldness of the Attempt; the whole Party took the Alarm; Eudoxius Bishop of Constantinople, and the neighbouring Bishops, forgetful of every thing else, hastened to Antioch; Hopes, Fears, Prayers, Menaces, were successively employed, and nothing left unattempted to divert, at least to allay, the impending Storm. But all in vain; the Zeal of Meletius was incapable of Controul: he openly declared, that nothing should, nothing could, make him desist from, or relent in, the Work he had undertaken, till he had utterly extirpated the Arian Heresy, without leaving the least Shoot of so poisonous a Weed in the Field, which by Divine Appointment he was to guard and cultivate[1035]. The Arians finding him immovably fixed in his Resolution, and, what doubled their Concern, the whole Party in imminent Danger from one of their own chusing, they applied with better Success to the Emperor Constantius; and, charging the new Bishop of Antioch with Sabellianism, which Charge the credulous and unwary Prince believed upon their Word, He is banished.they extorted from him a Rescript banishing Meletius from Antioch about Thirty Days after his Installment, and confining him to Melitene in Armenia, his native City[1036]. Euzoius was preferred in his room, formerly 197the chief Favourite of Arius, and the most antient of all his Disciples; for together with him he was condemned by the great Council of Nice.

Great Divisions in
that Church.
The Orthodox, who had hitherto communicated with the Arians, were so disobliged and scandalized at these Proceedings, that, in the End they renounced the Arian Communion; and, assembling by themselves, proposed an Union with the Eustathians. But their Proposal was rejected by the leading Men of that Party, alleging, that they could not admit them to their Communion, because they had for so many Years communicated with the Arians, received the Sacraments at their Hands, and still seemed to acknowlege Meletius as lawful Bishop, though he had been chosen by the Arian Faction: for the Eustathians, notwithstanding the heroic Firmness of Meletius in defending and promoting the common Cause, refused to own him, for no other Reason but because the Arians had had a chief Share in his Election[1037]. As this Disagreement greatly weakened the Orthodox Cause in Antioch, and might, in time, be attended with fatal Consequences, no Pains were spared by the apostolic Men of those Times, to induce the Eustathians to abate somewhat of their Zeal and Severity. As for the other Party, notwithstanding their Attachment to Meletius, whence they had the Name of Meletians, they were greatly inclined to an Accommodation, and seemed to court the Communion of the Eustathians, almost upon any Terms. Lucifer, the famous Bishop of Cagliari, on his Return from Thebais in Egypt, to which Place he had been confined by Constantius, was prompted by his Zeal to take Antioch in his Way, with a Design to mediate an Accommodation between the dissenting Parties. Being arrived in that City, he had several Conferences with the leading Men of the one and the other Party; and, finding neither averse to an Accommodation, he conceived great Hopes of succeeding in his Design; and therefore begged the Fathers of the Council of Alexandria, which was already sitting, and to which he had been invited by Athanasius, to dispense with his assisting at that Assembly, since his Presence seemed more necessary at Antioch. However, he appointed Two of his Deacons to be present as his Deputies, injoining them to agree, in his Name, to the Decisions of the Council[1038]. Baronius owns here, which I cannot help observing by the way, that Lucifer never appeared 198in the Council of Alexandria[1039]; forgetting, no doubt, what he elsewhere so strenuously maintains[1040]; viz. that Lucifer assisted at that Assembly, in the Name of Pope Liberius, and as his Legate.

The Council of
Alexandria strive
to heal these Divisions.
The Fathers of the Council not only approved of the Bishop of Cagliari’s Resolution, but appointed Eusebius of Vercelli, and Asterius of Petra in Arabia, to assist him in so pious an Undertaking. What seemed chiefly to obstruct the so much wished for Union, was a great Attachment on one Side to Meletius, and an equal Obstinacy on the other, in refusing to acknowlege one preferred by the Arians. The Confessors therefore assembled in Alexandria (for of Confessors alone that Assembly was composed) were of Opinion, that, if every other Remedy proved ineffectual, their Deputies should apply to Meletius; and, having persuaded him to resign his Dignity, chuse another in his room, equally acceptable to both Parties. They did not in the least doubt but Meletius would readily, nay, with great Joy, sacrifice his Dignity, and every other private View, to the public Tranquillity[1041]; so great was the Opinion they entertained of his Virtue. Had this wise Resolution taken place, it had, in all Likelihood, been attended with the desired Effect. All Means of an
Accommodation cut
off by the imprudent
Conduct of the Bishop
of Cagliari.But before the Deputies could reach Antioch, Lucifer, more commendable for Zeal than Prudence, had cut off all means of an Accommodation, by conferring, of his own Authority, the Episcopal Dignity on the Presbyter Paulinus, who was at the Head of the Eustathians, and had with more Warmth than any other opposed Meletius, and those who adhered to him. He was assisted in that irregular Ordination by Two other Confessors[1042]; viz. Gorgonius of Germanicia, and Cymatius of Gabala, or rather of Paltos[1043]. This Step he took to oblige the Eustathians, when he found that they could by no means be induced to acknowlege Meletius. But, instead of closing, he thereby widened, the Breach, the Meletians declaring, that they would never abandon a Bishop of their own Party, to acknowlege one of another, chosen without their Consent, or even their Knowlege[1044]. This unhappy Division, thus settled and confirmed between the Two Orthodox Parties in Antioch, did not continue long confined to that particular Church, but soon extended to the Church universal; some owning Meletius for lawful Bishop of Antioch, and others Paulinus. Athanasius communicated with Paulinus, 199and not with Meletius; and his Example was followed by the Bishops of Egypt, of Cyprus, and all the Bishops in the West[1045]. On the other hand, all the Orthodox Bishops in the East, except Athanasius, and those I have mentioned, espoused, with great Warmth, the Cause of Meletius[1046]. They all continued, however, notwithstanding this Disagreement, to communicate with each other, though with some Indifference and Coldness. The Ordination of Paulinus gave Rise to another Schism; for Eusebius of Vercelli, finding, on his Arrival at Antioch, all Hopes of an Accommodation cut off, and no room left for the Measures concerted and agreed to by the Council, immediately quitted the City, without communicating with either Party. This was condemning the Conduct of Lucifer; which he could not brook; and therefore, full of Resentment, he renounced the Communion of Eusebius, with whom he had hitherto lived in the greatest Intimacy, and suffered together with him a most painful Exile for the common Cause[1047].

St. Basil Bishop of
Cæsarea applies to
Basil Bishop of Cæsarea in Cappadocia, one of the great Lights of the Church, left nothing unattempted, which he apprehended could any-ways contribute to the reuniting of the Orthodox among themselves, and putting an End to the present Schism. But, despairing at last of Success, and finding the Prelates in the East all warmly engaged in the Dispute, some in favour of Meletius, and some of Paulinus, he resolved to apply to the Bishop of Rome, who had not yet declared for either of the Competitors, his Thoughts being wholly employed in securing his Dignity against a Competitor at Home. He writ therefore to Damasus, intreating him to dispatch Deputies into the East, who, in Concert with the Prelates there, inclined to an Accommodation, might settle the proper Means of accomplishing so desirable a Work, and uniting in Charity those, who were already united in Faith. He added, that it was from his Zeal alone they expected Relief, from that Zeal which he had made so eminently appear on other Occasions; that Dionysius, one of his Predecessors, had afforded them a seasonable Assistance, when their Wants were less pressing, and their Condition not so deplorable; and therefore that there was no room left to doubt of his readily conforming to so glorious an Example[1048]. With this Letter, and another from the Bishops in the East, soliciting the Advice, Assistance, and Mediation of 200their Collegues in the West, Dorotheus, Deacon of the Church of Antioch, was dispatched into Italy: whence he returned in the Beginning of the following Year 372. with an Answer from the Bishops of Illyricum, Italy, and Gaul[1049]. The haughty Conduct
of Damasus resented
by St. Basil.But Damasus did not condescend to return an Answer to Basil, or take the least Notice of his Letter; which haughty Conduct he justly resented, and in pretty sharp Terms, taxing Damasus, in one of his Letters[1050], with a Spirit of Pride and Vanity, which made him overlook other Bishops as below his Attention, and expect to be accosted by them with the meanest Flattery. But his thus disregarding the Request and Intreaties of the Bishop of Cæsarea, was not owing to his Pride alone. He was so little acquainted with the State of the Churches in the East, and what passed there, that he looked upon Eusebius Bishop of Samosata, and Meletius, with whom Basil lived in great Intimacy, as rank Arians, tho’ they both lived at that very time in Exile, having been driven from their Sees by the Arians, on account of the Zeal, which they had, with an invincible Firmness, exerted in Defence of the Orthodox Faith[1051]. The Bishop of Rome might, with very little Trouble, have been better informed; but his Mind, it seems, was so deeply engaged in worldly Affairs, and his Thoughts so taken up with State, Pomp, and Grandeur, that he was never at Leisure to mind those Matters, which justly claimed, and ought to have engrossed, his whole Attention. By him the Western Bishops were led into the same Mistake concerning Eusebius and Meletius; and hence the Backwardness they shewed to correspond with Basil, as if he designed to impose upon them, or was himself imposed upon by others. St. Basil complains of
Damasus, and the
Western Bishops.Of this Basil justly complained in a Letter he writ to Eusebius of Samosata. If the Wrath of God, says he, is in the End appeased, if Mercy takes place, what other Help do we stand in need of? But, if his Anger continues, what Relief will the Pride of the West afford us? They neither know the Truth, nor can they patiently bear it. They are ever prepossessed with idle Jealousies, ever swayed by groundless Surmises; and therefore act now the same Part they lately acted in the Case of Marcellinus; that is, they quarrel with those, who inform them of the Truth, and, being left to themselves, they introduce and establish Heresies. As for my own Part, I had once some Thoughts of writing a private Letter to their Chief (that is, to Damasus), and, waving all Mention of Church Affairs, only tell him, that they 201neither know what passes here, nor take the right Method to be informed; and that they ought not to oppress those who are already humbled by Affliction, nor mistake Pride for Dignity, since that Sin alone is capable of Setting a Man at Enmity with God[1052]. From these Words it is pretty plain, that the Notion of the Pope’s Infallibility was not yet broached, or at least was not yet known to Basil. The Bishop of the Metropolis of the Empire was deservedly looked upon, in regard of the Dignity of his See, as the Chief and Head of all the Western Bishops; and to him as such, not as an infallible and unerring Judge, the Eastern Bishops frequently applied in the Disputes, that happened to rise among them; so that all we can infer from their applying to him is, that his Authority bore a great Sway; which was owing to the Pre-eminence of his See, and not to any Power or Prerogative peculiar to him, and superior to others.

Damasus takes on him
the Office of Judge,
being only chosen
It was long ere Damasus could be brought to give any Attention to the Affairs of the East; and when he did, it was only to add Fewel to the Fire, which had lately begun to rage with great Violence. For, looking upon the Office of a bare Mediator, which alone had been offered him, as no-ways suitable to his Dignity, he arrogantly assumed that of a Judge, and not only acknowleged Paulinus for lawful Bishop of Antioch, but, misled by false and groundless Reports, declared Meletius a Transgressor of the Canons, an Intruder, a Schismatic, and even an Heretic[1053]; that Meletius, who had suffered Exile, and innumerable Hardships, in Defence of the Orthodox Faith, who was then revered all over the East, as a Man of extraordinary Sanctity, and is now honoured by the Church of Rome as a Saint of the first Class. His Conduct con-
demned by St. Basil.But his thus openly declaring in favour of Paulinus, his treating in such a base and unworthy manner one of the most eminent Prelates in the East, served only to engage the Followers of Meletius more warmly in his Cause; and the great Basil, among the rest, who could not help censuring the Conduct of Damasus as rash, partial, and injudicious: he even repented his having ever applied to him; for, in one of his Letters to Eusebius of Samosata, he expresses himself thus: The Saying of Diomedes occurs to my Mind; Intreaties are not to be used with Achilles, he is too haughty[1054]; and truly the more you flatter haughty and insolent Men, the more haughty and insolent they become[1055]. As no Regard was had to the 202Authority of Damasus, and the Western Bishops, who, following his Example, acknowleged Paulinus, and not Meletius, the Orthodox Bishops in the East not only continued divided among themselves, but a new Division arose between the Western Bishops, and those of the Party of Meletius, at the Head of which was Basil Bishop of Cæsarea. But, of these unhappy Divisions, so far as the Bishops of Rome were concerned in them, we shall have Occasion to speak hereafter.

New Disturbances
raised in Rome, by
the Partisans of
Damasus was far more successful in suppressing the Schism of Ursinus, which about this time was revived at Rome. The Emperor Valentinian, some time before, by a Rescript addressed to Ampelius Governor, and Maximinus Vicar of Rome, had allowed Ursinus, and the leading Men of his Party, who had been confined with him to Gaul, Liberty to live where they pleased, provided they kept out of Rome, and the Suburbicarian Provinces[1056]. This Indulgence shewn by the Emperor to Ursinus, encouraged his Followers in Rome to declare openly in his Favour, and even to assemble apart from those who communicated with Damasus. But, being therein opposed by the Party of Damasus with their usual Violence, new Disturbances arose, and the City was upon the point of becoming again the Scene of a Civil War. who are banished.Simplicius, then Vicar of Rome, at the Request of Damasus, gave the Emperor immediate Notice of the approaching Danger; and the Emperor, in Answer to his Letter, sent him a Rescript, commanding all those who, in Contempt of Religion, held or frequented unlawful Assemblies, to be banished an Hundred Miles from Rome, that their Obstinacy might hurt none but themselves[1057]. Thus for the present a Stop was put to the Disorders that had begun to reign in the City.

The Luciferians per-
secuted by Damasus.
The two Presbyters Marcellinus and Faustinus pretend, that this Law was levelled at the Ursinians alone, but was interpreted by Damasus, as comprehending the Luciferians, or the Followers of Lucifer Bishop of Cagliari, who, refusing to communicate with the Bishops who signed the Confession of Rimini, and with all who communicated with them, had separate Assemblies at Rome, and even a Bishop of their own, named Aurelius. But Damasus, say they, using them, in virtue of the above-mentioned Law, with no less Cruelty than he did the Ursinians, they thenceforth assembled only in the Night, under a Presbyter, named Macarius, of whose Sanity and 203Austerities they relate wonderful Things. But Night and Darkness could not protect them against the persecuting Spirit of Damasus, whose Clerks, breaking one Night in upon them, while they were performing Divine Service in a private House, dispersed the Congregation, seized Macarius, and dragging him along with them over the sharp Flints, by which he was cruelly bruised, and dangerously wounded in the Thigh, they kept him the remaining Part of the Night closely confined. Next Morning he was carried before the Judge, who, finding him inflexible in rejecting the Communion of Damasus, condemned him to Exile; but the holy Presbyter, being arrived at Ostia, died there of his Wounds[1058]. The same Authors add, that Damasus caused several Catholic Presbyters to be sent into Exile, and some Laymen; but that Aurelius, the Luciferian Bishop, in spite of all his Efforts, continued in Rome to the Hour of his Death[1059].

Apollinaris the
Heresiarch. An
Account of him.
About this Time, that is, in the Year 377. a great Council was held at Rome, in which the famous Apollinaris, Bishop of Laodicea in Syria, was condemned and deposed with his Two Disciples Vitalis and Timotheus. Apollinaris was a Man of uncommon Parts, great Penetration, universal Knowlege; and had at first been so zealous a Defender of the Orthodox Faith, that he was looked upon by all, particularly by Epiphanius and Athanasius, as one of the great Champions of that Cause[1060], and ranked by Philostorgius with Basil, and Gregory Nazianzen[1061]. He contracted a strict Friendship with Athanasius, when that Prelate passed through Laodicea in 349. on his Return to Egypt, and ever after maintained a close Correspondence with him, on which Account he was excommunicated by Gregory the Arian Bishop of that City[1062]. When the Arians began to prevail in the East, Apollinaris was cruelly persecuted by the Men in Power of that Party, and at last driven into Exile[1063]. Basil writ several Letters to him, and in those he writ to others, often mentions him as a Person for whom he had the greatest Esteem[1064]. He is said to have excelled in the Knowlege of the Scriptures, which he publicly interpreted at Antioch, where he had Jerom among the many Disciples, who flocked from all Parts to hear him[1065]. But he was equally versed in human Learning, especially in Poetry; and his Knowlege in that Branch of Literature proved very useful in the Time of the Emperor Julian. For that Prince having 204by a Law debarred the Christians from perusing or studying the Pagan Authors, Apollinaris, to supply the want of those Writers, composed several Pieces in Imitation of them, and, among the rest, a Poem comprising the History of the Jews to the Time of Saul, and divided into Twenty-four Books, which he distinguished by so many Letters of the Greek Alphabet, as Homer had done[1066]. He likewise writ Comedies, Tragedies, Lyric Verses, &c. imitating Pindar in the latter, and Menander and Euripides in the Two former[1067]. Sozomen thinks his Compositions fell in no respect short of the Works of the Antients; who, upon the Whole, says he, were far inferior to him, since they excelled, each in one Kind only, but he equally in all[1068]. The Tragedy, intituled, Christ suffering, which is to be found among the Works of Gregory Nazianzen, is by some ascribed to Apollinaris; but that Piece does not at all answer the great Opinion Sozomen seems to have entertained of him. His Paraphrase in Hexameter Verse on the Psalms, the only intire Work of his that has reached our Times, is an elegant, exact, and sublime Translation of them, greatly commended and admired by the best Judges[1069]. His Poetry proved very serviceable to him, when he began to broach his Heresy; for great Numbers of People, especially Women, embraced his Doctrine, being taken, and in a manner inchanted, with the Sweetness of his Verses; for he composed a great many Songs and Odes equally pious and elegant, adapted to all Occasions, and on all Occasions sung with suitable Airs by his Followers[1070]. To these Gregory Nazianzen no doubt alludes, where he speaks of the Psalms of the Apollinarists, to which the Psalms of David had given place; of those sweet and so much admired Verses, which were looked upon by them as a Third Testament[1071]. It was chiefly to oppose the Progress Apollinaris made, by the insinuating Means of his Poetry, that Gregory Nazianzen applied himself to the same Study. About the Year 362. Apollinaris was raised, in Consideration of his great Piety and Learning, to the See of Laodicea in Syria, in which City he was born, according to the most probable Opinion, and had spent the greater Part of his Life.

The Doctrine held by
Apollinaris, and his
As for the Doctrine held by Apollinaris, and his Followers, called from him Apollinarists; they maintained at first, that Christ had human Flesh, but not a human Soul, the Want of which was supplied, 205according to them, by the Divinity. But being afterwards convinced, that such a Doctrine was repugnant to several plain and express Passages of Scripture, they abandoned it in Part, and, distinguishing, with some Philosophers, the Soul, by which we live, from the Intelligence, by which we reason, they allowed the former in our Saviour, but denied the latter; the Operations of which, said they, were performed by the Divinity[1072]. Thus they allowed him, says St. Austin, the Soul of a Beast, but denied him that of a Man[1073]. By means of this Doctrine they avoided the Absurdity with which they reproached the Catholics, admitting in Christ, as they falsly imagined, Two opposite and distinct Natures, without any Union or Subordination between them[1074]. The Catholics indeed acknowleged Two distinct and complete Natures in Christ; but at the same time maintained an Union between them, such an Union as was admitted by the Apollinarists between the Flesh and the Divinity. The latter upbraided the Catholics with adoring a Man, styling them Anthropolaters; and the Catholics reproached in their Turn the Apollinarists with adoring the Flesh, calling them Sarcolaters[1075]. The Apollinarists distinguished themselves from the Catholics, by causing the following Words to be fixed on the Front of their Houses; We must not adore a Man that bears a God, but a God that bears Flesh. The Errors of the Apollinarists were not only concerning the Soul, but likewise the Body of our Saviour; for they maintained, that his Body, like other Bodies only in Appearance, was coeval with the Divinity, and of the same Substance with the eternal Wisdom[1076]. Hence it followed, by a natural Consequence, that the Body of our Saviour was impassible and immortal; that it was not taken of the Virgin Mary; that he was not born of her; that his Birth, Passion, Death, and Resurrection, were mere Illusions; or else, that the Divine Nature was passible: both which Absurdities were admitted by some of the Sects into which the Apollinarists were afterwards divided[1077].

Apollinaris not known
nor suspected to be
the Author of the
Heresy he broached.
This Doctrine was first heard of in 362. and condemned the same Year in the Council of Alexandria. In 373. it began to make a great Noise in the Church; but it was not known even then by whom it had been broached: for Apollinaris was so far from owning himself 206the Author of those Tenets, that, in one of his Letters to Serapion Bishop of Thmuis in Egypt, which is still extant[1078], he expresses, in the strongest Terms, his Approbation of a Letter from Athanasius to Epictetus Bishop of Corinth, confuting the very Errors he held; and at the same time condemns the Folly of those, who maintained the Flesh to be consubstantial to the Divine Nature. In another Letter to the same Serapion, he owns the Body of our Saviour to have been taken of the Virgin Mary, to have been formed in her Womb, and his Flesh to have been of the same Substance with ours; adding, And these are Truths not to be called in question[1079]. In a Third Letter he assures Serapion, that he has ever denied in his Writings the Flesh of our Saviour to have descended from Heaven, or to be of the same Substance with the Divinity[1080]. Apollinaris, by thus publicly declaring against the Doctrine, which at the same time he was privately propagating, eluded the Vigilance of Athanasius himself, who, in confuting his Errors, never mentions his Name, nor seems to have entertained the least Suspicion of him; nay, he recommended Timotheus, a favourite Disciple of his, to Damasus, as a Person whose Orthodoxy was not to be questioned; and as such he was received, not only by the Bishop of Rome, but by all the Western Bishops, of whom he obtained Letters, on his Return, directed to Apollinaris, as to a Bishop of the Catholic Communion[1081].

His Errors con-
demned in a Council
at Rome.
In the Year 374. or 375. Damasus convened a great Council at Rome, in which the Errors of Apollinaris were condemned; but neither was he nor any other named as the Broacher or Author of that Doctrine. Damasus imposed
upon by Vitalis one
of his Disciples.The very Year that Damasus condemned the Doctrine of Apollinaris, he was deceived and over-reached by one of the Disciples of that Heresiarch, named Vitalis. He was a Presbyter of the Church of Antioch, and of the Communion of Meletius, by whom he had been ordained; but afterwards, renouncing his Communion, he joined Apollinaris, and, being in high Esteem with the People, drew great Numbers over with him to that Side. Of these, called from him Vitalians, Apollinaris some Years after appointed him Bishop, adding thereby a Fourth Party to the Three that already divided the Church of Antioch, viz. the Arians, Paulinians, and Meletians[1082]. Before he threw off the Mask, and publicly maintained the Tenets of Apollinaris, he strove to be admitted with his Followers to the Communion 207of Paulinus of Antioch, and of Damasus; and with this View he undertook a Journey to Rome in the Year 375. As he had been suspected, and even accused, of holding the Doctrine of Apollinaris, Damasus required of him, before he admitted him to his Communion, a Confession of his Faith, which he gave under his Hand, but in such Terms as bore a double Meaning. Damasus, however, well satisfied with it, gave him a Letter for Paulinus of Antioch, and sent him back to be admitted by that Bishop to the Communion of the Church[1083]. But Damasus soon after, either upon his own Reflection, or at the Suggestion of others, apprehending himself imposed upon, writ another Letter to Paulinus, by the Presbyter Petronius, and afterwards a Third, which Holstenius has inserted at Length in his Roman Collection[1084]. Together with this Letter Damasus sent to Paulinus a Confession of Faith, drawn up by a Council summoned for that Purpose, desiring him to admit none to his Communion, but such as should sign that Confession, and the Confession of Nice[1085]. To this Piece the Fathers of the Council of Chalcedon no doubt allude, in commending Damasus for pointing out, in his Letters to Paulinus, the Rules all Catholics ought to be guided by in reasoning of the Mystery of the Incarnation[1086]. What Baronius observes here is true, viz. that Vitalis, by the same ambiguous Confession of Faith, imposed upon Gregory Nazianzen, who received the Apollinarists as Brethren, and not as Enemies[1087]. He adds, And no Wonder that Vitalis imposed upon Damasus, since by the same Confession he imposed upon Gregory Nazianzen: he ought rather to have said, No Wonder that he imposed upon Gregory, who did not pretend to Infallibility, since he imposed upon Damasus, who was infallible. As Vitalis refused to sign the Confession sent by Damasus, Paulinus would not admit him to his Communion; upon which he pulled off the Mask, publicly renounced the Communion both of Damasus and Paulinus, and, bidding Defiance to the Canons, accepted the Title and Dignity of Bishop of Antioch, offered him by Apollinaris. Apollinaris openly de-
clares against the
Church.At the same time that Heresiarch, finding he could conceal himself no longer, openly declared, that he would communicate with none who held, that our Saviour had taken a human Soul, and human Understanding: which was separating himself from the Communion of the Catholic Church[1088]. 208It was long before it was believed in the Church that those Tenets had been broached, or were held, by Apollinaris: no Credit was given, at first, even to his Disciples, most People being inclined to think, that they were mistaken, and did not comprehend the sublime Thoughts of that great Man[1089]. But when no room was left for any further Doubt, the Surprize and Concern of the whole Catholic Party were equal to the high Opinion they had entertained of him till that Time[1090]. When Epiphanius writ against the Apollinarists, he well knew Apollinaris to be the Author of that Sect; for he reproaches him with this unwarrantable Separation from the Church; and yet he speaks of him with the greatest Respect; seems to think, that many Things had been unjustly fathered upon him; and takes a great deal of Pains to assure his Reader, that what he writes is Truth, and not Calumny proceeding from any private Pique, Malice, or Grudge[1091].

A great Schism in the
The Schism, which the establishing of a new Bishop occasioned in the Church of Antioch, was not confined to that alone, but extended to most other Churches, over which Apollinaris appointed Bishops of his own Sect, who held separate Assemblies, practised different Rites, and, instead of the sacred Hymns commonly sung at Divine Service by the rest of the Church, introduced Canticles composed by their Leader, and containing the Substance of his Doctrine[1092]. The many perplexed Questions and Difficulties, which he and his Emissaries were daily starting about the Incarnation, bred such Confusion in the Minds of Men, that many began to question the Truth of that Mystery[1093]. The Objections they moved against our Saviour’s taking Flesh, and being born of the Virgin Mary, seemed calculated merely to raise improper Ideas, and sully the Thoughts of chaste Minds; for they themselves held his Body to be coeval with the Divinity, and to have only been conveyed into the World by means of the Virgin Mary[1094]. Their Doctrine was applauded and received by many, and few who read their Books were content with, or kept to the plain and antient Doctrine of the Church[1095]. Basil recurs to the
Western Bishops;Basil therefore, and the other orthodox Bishops in the East, to put a Stop the more effectually to the growing Evil, not only declaimed against it in all their Writings, but dispatched the Two Presbyters Dorotheus and Sanctissimus with Letters to Damasus, and the other Western Bishops, intreating them to condemn 209without Delay the Doctrine of Apollinaris, and Apollinaris himself, since he had at last openly declared against the Church, and owned himself the Author of the new Sect[1096]. who condemn the
Doctrine of Apol-
linaris, and depose
him with Vitelis
and Timotheus.In Compliance with this Request, a great Council was convened at Rome the following Year 378. in which Apollinaris was not only condemned with great Solemnity, but deposed, with his Two favourite Disciples, Vitalis and Timotheus; the former Bishop of the Apollinarists at Antioch, and the latter at Berytus in Phœnicia[1097]. By the same Council it was defined, that Jesus was true Man, and true God; and whoever maintained or asserted any thing to be wanting either to his Humanity or Divinity, was declared an Enemy to the Church[1098]. Vitalis had deceived Damasus, as I have observed above, by a Confession of Faith, in which, under equivocal Terms, he had artfully concealed his Heresy. The Bishop of Rome therefore, now undeceived, caused the Confession he had formerly approved of to be anathematized by the Council, together with its Author, exerting himself, says Gregory Nazianzen, with so much the more Vigour against them, as they had formerly taken Advantage of his Candour and Sincerity to impose upon him[1099]. Gregory Nazianzen therefore supposes, that the Pope could be imposed upon in a Matter concerning the Faith. Indeed the Sticklers for Infallibility must either give up that Prerogative, or allow all the Fathers to have talked Nonsense.

A Mistake of Baronius.
Baronius is certainly mistaken, and so was Ruffinus[1100], whom he follows, in asserting the Heresy of Apollinaris to have been first condemned by the Council of Rome, since it is manifest, that the Doctrine of that Heresiarch had been condemned long before by Athanasius, Basil, and Epiphanius, in their Writings, and by the Council held at Alexandria in 362. But Ruffinus probably meant no more, than that those Errors were first condemned by the Council of Rome, under the Name, and together with the Person, of Apollinaris; which is undeniable. Another Mistake of
the same Writer.I cannot help observing here another Mistake of Baronius, pretending that Damasus (for whatever was done by the Council is by him ascribed to Damasus alone) in condemning Apollinaris condemned all the Errors he held; and consequently the Opinion of the Millenarians, holding that Christ was to return upon the Earth, and reign over the Faithful a Thousand Years before the End of the World. 210The Doctrine of the
Millenarians held by
the greatest Men in
the Church.This Opinion was first broached about the Year 118. by Papias Bishop of Hierapolis, a Man of great Piety, honoured by the Church of Rome as a Saint[1101]. He declares, in the few Fragments of his Works, which have been conveyed to us by Eusebius[1102], that, as he lived near the Times of the Apostles, he made it his chief Business to learn of their Disciples whatever they could recollect to have been done or said by them, on different Occasions, that was not recorded in Holy Writ. Thus he learned the above-mentioned Doctrine[1103], which, upon the Authority of such a Tradition, countenanced by some Passages in the Revelations[1104], and one Text in St. Paul, was embraced and held by the most eminent Men for Piety and Learning, at that time, in the Church; and, among the rest, by Irenæus, and Justin the Martyr. And yet such a Doctrine is now rank Heresy in the Church of Rome. But, by declaring it such, have they not overset their own System, which places Tradition upon a Level with the Canonical Books of the Scripture? How little Tradition to
be depended upon.Can they allege a more antient Tradition, one more universally received, or equally countenanced by Scripture, in favour of the many traditional Articles of Faith, which they have obtruded upon the World? Papias declares, he received the above-mentioned Doctrine of those who had learned it immediately of the Apostles. If such a Tradition be rejected as false, what other has a Right to be admitted as true? If we deny or question St. Peter’s having been at Rome, Tradition, and the Authority of Irenæus (for all the others have copied from him), are immediately produced against us. But what Weight either ought to bear, the Case before us sufficiently demonstrates.

To return to Apollinaris: It is very certain, that he held and taught the Doctrine of the Millenarians; but it is no less certain, that such a Doctrine was not condemned, as Baronius pretends[1105], by the Council of Rome in 378. since many eminent Men in the Church held it, and Sulpitius Severus among the rest, after that Council, without being deemed Heretics on that score. The Apollinarists con-
demned by several
Councils.The Sentence pronounced against Apollinaris, and his Disciples, by the Council of Rome, was confirmed by a Council held the same Year at Alexandria[1106], by an Oecumenical Council assembled at Constantinople in 381. and by the Council of Antioch in 379[1107]. However, the Apollinarists, though 211thus condemned and deposed by all the Councils of the East and West, as we read in Gregory Nazianzen[1108], still kept their Ground, till Recourse was had to the Secular Power. Penal Laws enacted
against them.For the Emperor Theodosius, at the Request of Nectarius Bishop of Constantinople, enacted a Law, dated the Tenth of March 388. forbidding the Apollinarists to hold Assemblies, to have any Ecclesiastics or Bishops, or to dwell in the Cities[1109]. As this Law was executed with the utmost Rigour, at least against the leading Men of the Party, who were banished the Cities, and confined to the Deserts[1110], the Apollinarists were in a few Years reduced to a very small Number, when they begged to be admitted to the Communion of the Catholic Church, which was in the End granted them by Theodotus[1111], who governed the Church of Antioch, from the Year 416. to 428. But as their Conversion was owing not to Conviction, but Persecution, they still held in their Hearts the same Sentiments, which ever must happen in the like Case; nay, and privately instilled their Errors into the Minds of many, whose Faith had been, till that time, untainted[1112]. It was to these pretended Catholics, or disguised Apollinarists, that the Eutychian Heresy, and that of the Monothelites, of whom I shall speak hereafter, owed their Birth[1113]. Hence the Emperor Marcian, by an Edict in 455. declared the Eutychians to be Apollinarists, and consequently liable to the same Penalties[1114]. As for Apollinaris himself, he died about the Year 392. having maintained, to the Hour of his Death, the same Sentiments, in which he had lived; and, with them, the same outward Appearance, at least, of a most holy and exemplary Life[1115]; which is all the Authors of those Times Will allow him.

New Disturbances
raised by Ursinus.
While Damasus, and the other Western Bishops, were wholly intent upon suppressing the Heresy of Apollinaris, and restoring the Eastern Churches to their former Tranquillity, the Antipope Ursinus, laying hold of that Opportunity, arrived privately at Milan, and there joined the Arians, upon their promising to support him with the whole Power of their Party[1116]. But Ambrose, who then governed that Church, and kept a watchful Eye over the Flock committed to his Care, gave immediate Notice of their clandestine Meetings, and pernicious Designs, to the Emperor Gratian, who soon after ordered Ursinus 212to quit Italy, and confined him to Cologne[1117]. During his Exile his Partisans were not idle; they found the Emperor Gratian, who in 375. had succeeded his Father Valentinian I. warmly engaged in favour of Damasus: they well knew, that so long as he continued in that Disposition, it would be in vain to solicit the Return of Ursinus, or to put up any Petition in his Behalf. Damasus falsly ac-
cused, but cleared by
the Emperor.In order therefore to estrange the Mind of the Emperor from Damasus, they suborned a Jew, named Isaac, who had embraced the Christian Religion, but was then returned to Judaism, to accuse him before the Civil Magistrate of an heinous Crime, which I find not specified by any of the Antients. But the Emperor, taking upon himself the judging of that Cause, soon discovered the Innocence of the Accused, and the Malice of the Accuser; and therefore, honourably acquitting the former, and punishing the latter according to his Deserts, confined him to a Corner of Spain[1118].

This Attempt on the Reputation of Damasus was not the only Thing that gave him great Uneasiness at this time. The Emperor Valentinian had transferred, as I have related above, the Power of judging Bishops, such at least as were concerned in the Schism of Ursinus, from the Civil Magistrate to the Bishop of Rome. Some Bishops, de-
posed by Damasus,
keep their Sees.But several Bishops, though deposed by him, still maintained themselves in their Sees, with open Force, in Defiance of his Sentence, and the Imperial Law. Among these were the Bishop of Parma, and Florentius Bishop of Puzzuolo, who, for their Attachment to Ursinus, had been both deposed by Damasus, and other Bishops assembled at Rome[1119]. The Donatists too, notwithstanding the severe Laws enacted against them by several Emperors, had got Footing in Italy, and in Rome itself, where they were known by the Names of Montenenses, and Rupenses, on account of their assembling in a Church or Oratory, which they had among the neighbouring Rocks and Mountains[1120]. They had a Bishop of their own, either sent from Africa, or ordained by Bishops sent from thence for that Purpose. Claudian, who governed them at this time, was their Fifth Bishop of Rome[1121]. The Emperor ordered him to be sent back to Africa, whence he came. But though he had been several times imprisoned, in order to oblige him by that means to return, he could not even 213so be prevailed upon to abandon his Flock; but continued at Rome, perverting many there, and rebaptizing all he could pervert[1122]. The Italian Bishops
recur to the Emperor.To put a Stop to these Evils, the Bishops of Italy, assembling at Rome, had recourse to the Emperor Gratian, acquainting him with the Conduct of the contumacious Bishops, and earnestly intreating him to cause the Law, commanding the Bishops to be judged by the Bishop of Rome, and not by the Civil Magistrate, which he himself had enacted with his Father, to be put in Execution. By that Law, the Emperor, in all Likelihood, only intended to confirm, with respect to the Bishop of Rome, the Canons of the Church, appointing the Metropolitan, with his Council, Judge of the Bishops of his Province in Ecclesiastical Causes. But the Bishops, assembled on this Occasion at Rome, attempted to extend the Authority of the Bishop of Rome, far beyond the Bounds to which the Emperors and Canons had confined it. Their letter to him.For, in their Letter to Gratian, they suggested the following Regulations as necessary for the Tranquillity of the Church, and intreated him to establish them by Law: 1. That if any, who had been condemned by the Bishop of Rome, or other Catholic Bishops, should, after such Condemnation, presume to keep their Churches, they should be banished from the Territories of the Cities, where they had been Bishops. 2. That such as should refuse, when lawfully summoned, to appear before the Bishops, should be obliged, by the Prefect of Italy, or his Vicar, to repair to Rome, to be judged there. 3. That, if the accused Bishop resided in a distant Province, he should be obliged, by the Judges of the Place, to appear before his Metropolitan; and, if his Metropolitan was suspected as partial, or prejudiced against him, he might be allowed to appeal to the Bishop of Rome, or to a Council of Fifteen neighbouring Bishops; but, if the Accused was himself a Metropolitan, he should either repair to Rome, or appear before such Judges as the Bishop of Rome should appoint; and, when thus condemned, submit to the Sentence[1123]. What they demand in
particular for the
Bishop of Rome.In Behalf of the Bishop of Rome in particular they begged, in the same Letter, that, as he was above other Bishops by the Prerogative of the Apostolic See, though upon a Level with them as to the Ministry, he might not be obliged to appear before the Civil Magistrate, since other Bishops had been exempted from their Jurisdiction, but before a Council, or that the Emperor would reserve to himself the Cognisance of what concerned him, leaving to the ordinary Judges the 214Power of examining Facts and Witnesses, but not the Authority of pronouncing Sentence[1124]. The Emperor’s
Answer.What Answer the Emperor returned to the Council, we know not; but, in a Rescript, addressed to the Vicar Aquilinus, after summing up the Heads of the Letter from the Council, and severely reprimanding his Officers for their Neglect, in not causing the Imperial Law to be put in Execution, he confirms the Rescript address’d to Simplicius, which I have mentioned above; commands the Bishop of Parma, Florentius of Puzzuolo, and Claudian the Donatist, with all those who shall be condemned by the Councils, as Disturbers of the Quiet of the Church, to be driven from their Dioceses, and banished an Hundred Miles from Rome: he grants all the Council had desired, with respect to the judging of Bishops; but requires the Bishop of Rome to act with the Advice of Five or Seven other Bishops; and, lastly, he forbids Persons of infamous Characters, or known Slanderers, to be admitted as Informers or Witnesses against Bishops[1125]. In this Rescript he takes no notice of what the Council had asked for the Bishop of Rome in particular.

In what Sense the
Pope above other
From these Pieces, which are still extant, it is manifest beyond all Dispute, as the Reader must have observed, that, in the Year 378. when this Council was held, no Prerogative was yet discovered in the Pope, peculiar to him, and not common to all Bishops, besides that of Rank, which arose from the Dignity of his See, that is, from his being Bishop of the Metropolis of the Empire; for, in that respect alone, the Bishops, who composed the Council, acknowleged him to be above them; nay, by declaring themselves, in express Terms, equal to him as to the Ministry, they seem to have taken particular Care, that no Room or Pretence should be left for his claiming a Superiority in any other respect. And how great would their Surprize have been, had Damasus, in hearing that Part of their Address to the Emperor, started up, and, protesting against it, as derogatory to his Prerogative, declared, that, to him all Power was given in Heaven and on Earth; that, so far from being equal to him, they, and all other Bishops, were but his Deputies and Delegates; that the Power, Authority, and Jurisdiction, which they enjoyed, were derived to them from the Plenitude of his! Had he talked in this Strain, the whole Council would have concluded him delirious. And yet these are the Sentiments of his Successors; these the very Words, with 215which they and their Divines have expressed them[1126]; so that it is now reckoned Heresy not to believe what in the Fourth Century it had been deemed Madness to have gravely uttered. The Power he now
claims unknown in the
Time of Damasus.It would perhaps have seemed still more strange and surprising to the Fathers of the Council, however prejudiced in his Favour, if Damasus, instead of gratefully acknowleging their Regard for him in petitioning the Emperor, that he might not be judged by the Civil Magistrate, but either by a Council, or the Emperor himself, had severely rebuked them as Strangers to, or Betrayers of, his inherent Right, acquainting them, that, in virtue thereof, all Men were to be judged by him, but himself by no Man[1127]; that the greatest Monarchs were his Slaves and Vassals, and he King of Kings, Monarch of the World, sole Lord and Governor both in Spirituals and Temporals[1128]; that he was appointed Prince over all Nations and Kingdoms[1129]; that his Power excelled all Powers[1130]; that it was necessary to Salvation for every human Creature to be subject to him[1131]. And yet these are the Notions, that have been uttered by his Successors, and the very Terms in which they were uttered. In the Age I am now writing of, they had been looked upon no otherwise than the Ravings of a distempered Brain; but they are now held by the Church of Rome, and her Divines, as Oracles, and inserted as such into her Canons. Bellarmine owns, that, in the Fourth Century, the Pope was still subject to the Emperors, nay, and to the Civil Magistrate, without the least Distinction between him and other Vassals. But this Subjection, says he, in his Apology against King James[1132], the Emperors exacted by Force, because the Power of the Pope was not known to them. Nor to any body else, he might have added, since the Writers of those Times seem to have been no better acquainted with the Power of the Pope than the Emperors; at least, they take no Notice of it, even in describing, as some of them have done, the State of the Church at the time they writ, and relating the Customs, Laws, and Practices, that then obtained. Besides, how could the Power of the Pope be unknown to the Christian Emperors, if it was one of the chief Tenets of the Christian Doctrine? Neither Damasus, nor any of his Predecessors, can be justly charged with Bashfulness, in acquainting the 216World with the Power they had or claimed. We may further observe here, that the Emperor requires the Bishop of Rome, in judging according to the Power granted him, to act with the Advice of Five or Seven other Bishops: a plain Proof, that he was as little acquainted with the Pope’s Infallibility, as with his Power.

A new Accusation
brought against
The Council of the Italian Bishops, assembled at Rome, no sooner broke up, than the Emissaries and Partisans of Ursinus began to raise new Disturbances in that City, by stirring up the Pagans against Damasus, and, at the same time, charging him with things, to use the Expression of the Council of Aquileia, not fit to be uttered by a Bishop, nor heard by such an Emperor as Gratian[1133]. Anastasius writes, that he was accused of Adultery by the Two Deacons Concordus and Callistus[1134]. And truly, that some Crime of that Nature was laid to his Charge, is pretty plain, from the Terms in which it was expressed by the Council. Valerian, then Governor of Rome, immediately acquainted the Emperor with the Accusation[1135]; but what Part Gratian acted on this Occasion, we are not told by any antient Writer. We read in the Pontificals, and most of the modern Writers, that the Cause was referred by the Emperor to the Council then sitting at Aquileia; and that Damasus was declared innocent by all the Bishops who composed it. The Council of
Aquileia writes to the
Emperor in his
Behalf.But, as neither is related by any credible Author, I am inclined to believe, that Gratian took no Notice of the Charge, in Compliance with the Request of the Bishops assembled at Aquileia; for, by a Letter, they earnestly intreated him not to hearken to Ursinus, because his giving ear to him would occasion endless Disturbances in Rome; and, besides, they could by no means communicate with a Man who thus wickedly aspired to a Dignity, to which he had no Claim or Title; who, by his scandalous Behaviour, had incurred the Hatred of all good Christians; who had impiously joined the Arians, and, together with them, attempted to disturb the Quiet of the Catholic Church of Milan[1136].

A great Council as-
sembled at Con-
stantinople, by the
Emperor Theodosius.
Towards the Latter end of the Pontificate of Damasus, Two great Councils were held, the one at Constantinople in 381. and the other at Rome in 382. The former was assembled by the Emperor Theodosius, who, after having put the Orthodox in Possession of the Churches, which till his Time had been held by the Arians in the East, where he reigned, summoned all the Bishops within his Dominions 217to meet at Constantinople, in order to deliberate about the most proper Means of restoring an intire Tranquillity to the Church, rent and disturbed not only by several Sects of Heretics, but by the Divisions that reigned among the Orthodox themselves, by that especially of Antioch, the most antient of all, which, from that Church, had spread all over the Empire, and occasioned rather an intire Separation, than a Misunderstanding between the East and the West, the former communicating with Meletius, and the latter with Paulinus, as I have related above. In this Council many weighty Matters were transacted, and several Canons established, some of which, namely, the Second and Third, deserve to be taken Notice of here. For, by the Second, the Council renewed and confirmed the antient Law of the Church, authorized by the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Canons of the Council of Nice, commanding the Bishops of each Province to be ordained by those of the same Province, and such of the neighbouring Provinces, as they should think fit to call in; directing all Ecclesiastical Matters to be settled, all Disputes to be finally decided by a Council composed of the Bishops of the Province, or at least of the Diocese, that is, of all the Provinces under the same Vicar; and strictly forbidding the Bishops of one Diocese to concern themselves, under any Colour or Pretence whatsoever, with what happens in another[1137]. which revokes the
Privilege granted to
the See of Rome
by the Council of
Sardica.By this Canon the Privilege, formerly granted to the See of Rome by the Council of Sardica, was revoked, and all Appeals from the Council of the Diocese forbidden. By the Third Canon the See of Constantinople is declared first in Rank and Dignity after that of Rome[1138]. Some Greek Writers have pretended, that, by this Canon, the Two Sees were declared in every respect equal; but that Zonaras himself owns to be false and groundless[1139]. It is to be observed, that the Council of Constantinople gave Rank and Honour to that See, but no Jurisdiction. It was to the Council of Chalcedon that the Bishops of Constantinople owed their Authority and Jurisdiction; for by that Council they were impowered to ordain the Metropolitans of the Dioceses of Pontus, Asia, and Thrace[1140]. The Reasons alleged by Baronius to prove the Third Canon of the Council of Constantinople supposititious[1141], are quite frivolous; and it is certain beyond all Dispute, that the Bishops of that City maintained ever after the Rank, 218which the above-mentioned Canon had given them. In a short time the Bishop of Constantinople, taking Advantage of that Canon, and of the Deference that is naturally paid to the Bishop of the Imperial City, extended his Jurisdiction over all the neighbouring Provinces, nay, and over the whole Eastern Empire, as we shall observe in the Sequel of this History.

The Council writes to
the Western Bishops.
The Canons of this Council were, without all doubt, sent, according to Custom, to the Western Bishops for their Approbation, probably with the Letter which the Council writ to them concerning the Heresy of Apollinaris[1142]. And yet Pope Leo the Great writes, that the Third Canon was never notified to the Church of Rome[1143]; and Gregory the Great, that the Canon condemning the Eudoxians, which was the first, had never been received at Rome[1144]: but Gregory perhaps meant nothing else, than that the Canon he mentions was of no Authority at Rome. As for Leo, it is hard to conceive what he meant by saying, that the Third Canon was not known to the Church of Rome; for he could not but know, that the Bishop of Constantinople held the Second Rank in the Church, and the First in the East, since his own Legates, whose Conduct he intirely approved of, owned him to have an indisputable Right to that Rank; nay, Eusebius Bishop of Dorylæum in Phrygia maintained, that it was with the Consent and Approbation of Leo himself that the See of Constantinople enjoyed that Honour.

The Authority of this
Council among the
The Authority of this Council has ever been great among the Greeks, who style it an Oecumenical Council, and had often recourse to it as such in the Council of Chalcedon[1145]. The Bishops of the Hellespont speak of it with the greatest Respect and Reverence, in a Letter they writ to the Emperor Leo[1146]. and the Latins.As for the Latins, I find a great Disagreement among the Popes themselves concerning the Authority of this Council; nay, the greatest of them all disagrees even with himself about it. The Legates of Pope Leo rejected its Canons, alleging that they had never been inserted in the Book of the Canons[1147]. In like manner the Popes Simplicius and Felix II. speaking of the Councils which they received, name those only of Nice, Ephesus, and Chalcedon[1148]. Gregory the Great writes, that the Church of Rome had neither the Acts nor the Canons of the Council of Constantinople; 219that the Condemnation of the Macedonians was the only thing done by that Council which they admitted; and that as to other Heresies condemned there, they rejected them, as having been condemned before by other Councils[1149]. But he declares elsewhere, and often repeats it, that he received the Four Oecumenical Councils, as he did the Four Gospels[1150], naming the Council of Constantinople in the Second Place. The Popes at Var-
iance among and with
themselves about it.In the same Manner, and with the same Words, were the Four Oecumenical Councils received by Gelasius, and several Popes before him, as well as by Martin I. and several others after him: so that the Council of Constantinople is, according to some Popes, of equal Authority with the Gospel; according to others, of no Authority at all: nay, it is thus by the same Pope at one time extolled, at another undervalued. Let Baronius and Bellarmine reconcile these Contradictions, if they can.

This Council was
assembled by the
Emperor, and not by
That this Council was assembled by the Emperor Theodosius, is affirmed by all the Writers who speak of it[1151], nay, and by the Bishops who composed it[1152]. And yet Baronius has the Assurance to assert, as a Thing not to be questioned, that it was convened by Damasus[1153], which none of the Antients have so much as once named: and this Assertion he founds upon the Authority of the universally exploded Acts of Damasus; of certain Manuscripts, which he knows very little of, and nobody else any thing; and of a Passage in the Acts of the Sixth Oecumenical Council, where it is said, that Theodosius and Damasus opposed with great Firmness the Macedonian Heresy; whence the Annalist concludes, by what Rules of Logic I leave the Reader to find out, that the Council, which condemned the Heresy of Macedonius, was convened by the Authority of Damasus, backed by that of the Emperor[1154]. Christianus Lupus, more honest than Baronius, tho’ no less attached to the See of Rome, ingenuously owns, that the Council was assembled by the Emperor alone; but adds, that Damasus confirmed it[1155]; which is true, if he means no more than that Damasus accepted the Decrees made by the Council; for it was not his, but the Emperor’s Approbation, that gave them a Sanction; and accordingly they writ, not to him, but to the Emperor, acquainting him; by whose Command they had been called together, with the Decrees they had made, and requesting him to confirm them with his Seal 220and Sentence[1156]. This Council consisted of an Hundred and Fifty Bishops, among whom were Thirty-six Macedonians, whom Theodosius had particularly summoned, hoping to reunite them with the Catholics[1157]. No mention is made of Letters or Deputies sent either by Damasus, or by any of the Western Bishops; and Theodoret assures us in Two different Places[1158], that Theodosius only assembled the Eastern Bishops. Meletius of Antioch presided; for Gregory of Nyssa styled him in full Council, our Father and Head[1159]. Upon his Death (for he died while the Council was sitting) that Honour was conferred on Gregory Nazianzen, appointed by the Emperor and the Council Bishop of Constantinople[1160]; but he resigning, soon after, his new Dignity, his Successor Nectarius was named to preside in his room[1161].

One of the chief Motives that induced Theodosius to assemble so numerous a Council at Constantinople, was, to hear what Remedy they could suggest against the Schism of the Church of Antioch, which caused such Jealousies between the East and the West as seemed to forebode an imminent Rupture[1162]. But before the Fathers of the Council entered upon that important Subject, Meletius died; and his Death, which ought to have put an End to the present Disturbances, served only to increase them, and engage the contending Parties more warmly in the Dispute. It had been agreed by Meletius and Paulinus, that the Survivor should be sole Bishop of all the Orthodox at Antioch[1163]. Socrates and Sozomen add[1164], that Six Presbyters, who it was most likely might be one Day raised to that See, bound themselves by a solemn Oath not to vote for any other, nor to accept themselves the Episcopal Dignity, so long as either of the Two lived. The Disturbances in
the Church of Antioch
increased.However, Meletius was no sooner dead, than some of the Prelates present at the Council moved for chusing him a Successor, which occasioned many long and warm Debates. Gregory Nazianzen, elected Bishop of Constantinople a few Days before, exerted all his Eloquence to divert the Council from a Resolution, which, he said, would prove fatal to the Church, and kindle a Flame, which perhaps it might never be in their Power to extinguish[1165]. Several other Prelates, Enemies to Strife and Contention, falling in with Gregory, spoke to the same Purpose, exhorting their Collegues, with great Zeal and Eloquence, to put an 221End at last to the unhappy Divisions that had so long rent the Church, by allowing Paulinus, already stricken in Years, to govern peaceably the remaining Part of his Life[1166]. But the far greater Part were for a new Election, offering no other Reason to recommend such a Step, but that the East, where our Saviour had appeared, ought not to yield to the West[1167]. So that the Resolution of giving a Successor to Meletius was taken merely out of Pique to the Western Bishops, who, having the Bishop of Rome at their Head, had begun to treat their Brethren in the East with great Haughtiness, and assume an Air of Authority that did not become them; but that had been better resented on any other Occasion than on this.

Flavianus ordained
Bishop of Antioch.
The Resolution being taken, Flavianus, a Presbyter of the Church of Antioch, was named by the Council, and, with the Approbation of the Emperor, and of all the Meletians at Antioch, ordained in that City. He is commended by the Writers who lived in or near those Times, as a Man of an exemplary Life, and extraordinary Piety, as a zealous Defender of the Orthodox Faith, and Opposer of the Arian Heresy, as a Mirror of every Sacerdotal Virtue; and, barring the Right of Paulinus, the most worthy and deserving Person the Council could name to succeed the great Meletius[1168]. These, and other like Encomiums, bestowed upon Flavianus by the Writers of those Times, leave no room to doubt but Socrates and Sozomen were misinformed in naming him among the Six Presbyters who took the Oath I have mentioned above; the rather as no notice is taken of such an Oath by his most inveterate Enemies, in the many Disputes that arose about his Ordination. Greg. Nazianzen
resigns the Bishoprick
of Constantinople.Gregory Nazianzen, who had been lately preferred to the See of Constantinople, and had accepted that Dignity with no other View, but to remove all Jealousies, and restore a good Understanding between the East and the West, being sensible that the electing of a new Bishop in the room of Meletius would widen the Breach, and obstruct all possible Means of an Accommodation, resigned his Dignity, and, to the inexpressible Grief of his Flock, retired both from the Council and City[1169]. In one of his Orations[1170], he ascribes this Resolution to the Divisions that reigned among the Bishops, declaring that he was quite tired with their constant quarreling and bickering among themselves, and comparing them to Children at Play; whom to join in their childish Diversions, would be degrading a serious 222Character. Nectarius is chosen in
his room.Upon the Resignation of Gregory, Nectarius was chosen to succeed him; but, as to the Particulars of his Election, they are variously related by Authors, and foreign to my Purpose. He was a Native of Tarsus in Cilicia, descended of an illustrious and senatorial Family, but at the Time of his Election still a Layman, and Prætor of Constantinople; nay, he had not been baptized[1171].

The Council of
Aquileia writes to
Theodosius in favour
of Paulinus.
The same Year that the Eastern Bishops met at Constantinople, by the Command of Theodosius, the Western Bishops met at Aquileia, by the Command of Gratian. While the latter were yet sitting, News was brought of the Death of Meletius, and at the same time they received certain Intelligence of the Resolution which the Council of Constantinople had taken of appointing him a Successor. Hereupon having dispatched the Business for which they had met, and condemned Palladius and Secundianus, the only Two Arian Bishops now in the West, they dispatched some Presbyters into the East, with a Letter to the Emperor Theodosius, wherein, after expressing the Joy it had given them to hear that the Orthodox in those Parts were at last happily delivered from the Oppression of the Arians, they complained of the Hardships Paulinus had met with, whom they had always acknowleged as lawful Bishop of Antioch, put the Emperor in mind of the Agreement between Paulinus and Meletius, and concluded with intreating him to assemble an Oecumenical Council at Alexandria, as the only Means of restoring Tranquillity to the Church, and settling a perfect Harmony amongst her Members[1172]. Before this Letter reached the Emperor, the Council of Constantinople was concluded, and the Bishops returned to their respective Sees. However, Theodosius recalled some of them, in order to govern himself by their Advice in granting or denying the Western Bishops their Request[1173]. And the Bishops of
Italy in favour of
Maximus.But the Election of Flavianus being in the mean time known in the West, the Bishops of the Vicariate of Italy, them assembled in Council with Ambrose Bishop of Milan at their Head, writ a long Letter to Theodosius complaining of that Election, openly espousing at the same time the Cause of Maximus against Nectarius, the new Bishop of Constantinople, and threatening to separate themselves intirely from the Communion of the Eastern Bishops, unless Maximus was acknowleged lawful Bishop of that City, or at least an Oecumenical Council 223was assembled to examine the Claims of the Two Competitors, and to confirm with their joint Suffrages the disputed Dignity to him, who had the best[1174]. They also desired, in the same Letter, to have the Contest between Paulinus and Flavianus decided.

Who Maximus was,
and how chosen Bis-
hop of Constantinople.
Maximus, surnamed the Cynic, because he had from his Youth professed the Philosophy, and wore the Habit, of that Sect, was a Man of a most infamous Character, and had been publicly whipt in Egypt, his native Country, and confined to the City of Oasis, for Crimes not to be mentioned[1175]. Being released from his Banishment, he wandered all over the East, and was every where equally abhorred and detested on account of his matchless Impudence and scandalous Manners[1176]. At last he repaired to Constantinople, where he had not been long, when, by one of the boldest Attempts mentioned in History, he caused himself to be installed and ordained Bishop of that City: for the Doors of the Church being broken open in the Dead of the Night, by a Band of Egyptian Mariners, he was placed on the Episcopal Chair in the profane Dress of a Cynic, by some Bishops whom his Friends had sent out of Egypt for that Purpose. But the People, and some of the Clergy, in the adjoining Houses, being alarmed at the Noise, and crouding to see what occasioned it, Maximus and his unhallowed Crew thought fit to withdraw, and complete the Ceremony in a Place better adapted to such a Scene of Profaneness, the House of a Player on the Flute[1177]. Maximus, thus ordained, in equal Defiance of the Imperial Laws and Canons of the Church, had the Assurance to claim the See of Constantinople as his Right, and to protest against the Election of Gregory Nazianzen, and likewise of Nectarius, who was chosen upon the Resignation of Gregory, tho’ they had both been named to that Dignity by the Council of Constantinople, that is, by all the Eastern Bishops. But no Regard being had to his Protest, nay, his Ordination being declared null by the Council, and he driven out of the City by the Populace, and rejected with Indignation by the Emperor, he had recourse to the Bishops of the Vicariate of Italy, then assembled in Council with Ambrose Bishop of Milan at their Head, as I have observed above. He is acknowleged by
Ambrose, and the
Italian Bishops.These giving an intire Credit to the Accounts of the lying and deceitful Cynic, as they were quite unacquainted with what had passed in the East, not only 224admitted him to their Communion, but, without farther Inquiry or Examination, acknowleged him for lawful Bishop of Constantinople, and writ the above-mentioned Letter to Theodosius in his Behalf[1178]. We must not confound this Council with that of Aquileia, as I find most Writers have done: for the latter was composed of almost all the Western Bishops under Valerian Bishop of the Place; whereas the Council I am now speaking of, consisted only of the Bishops of the Vicariate of Italy, under the Bishop of Milan their Metropolitan. It is surprising that Ambrose, and the other Bishops of that Council, should not have been better informed with respect to the Ordination of Maximus, since Acholius Bishop of Thessalonica, with Five other Bishops of Macedon, had, at least a Year before, transmitted to Damasus a minute Account of it, agreeing in every Particular with that which I have given above from Gregory Nazianzen[1179]. The Emperor’s Ans-
wer to their Letter.The Letter from the Council caused no small Surprize in Theodosius: he was sensible they had suffered themselves to be grosly imposed upon; but, not judging it necessary to undeceive them, he only told them, in his Answer to their Letter, that the Reasons they alleged did not seem sufficient to him for assembling an Oecumenical Council, and giving so much Trouble to the Prelates of the Church; that they were not to concern themselves with what happened in the East, nor remove the Bounds, that had been wisely placed by their Fore-fathers between the East and the West; and that, as to the Affair of Maximus, by espousing his Cause they had betrayed either an unwarrantable Animosity against the Orientals, or an inexcusable Credulity in giving Credit to false and groundless Reports[1180].

A Council of all the
Western Bishops
assembled at Rome.
Upon the Receipt of this Letter, the Italian Bishops, finding Theodosius no ways disposed to assemble an Oecumenical Council, applied to Gratian, who not only granted them Leave to meet at Rome, the Place they chose, but dispatched Letters to all the Bishops both in the East and West, giving them Notice of the Time and Place, in which the Council was to be held, and inviting them to it[1181]. But of all the Eastern Bishops, Two only complied with this Invitation; viz. Epiphanius Bishop of Salamis in the Island of Cyprus, and Paulinus, whom all the West acknowleged for lawful Bishop of Antioch. The Western Bishops were all present, either in Person, or by their 225Deputies; and Damasus presided[1182]. But, as to the Transactions of this great Assembly, we are almost intirely in the Dark; for all we know of them is, that they unanimously agreed not to communicate with Flavianus, the new Bishop of Antioch, nor with Diodorus of Tarsus, or Acacius of Berœa, who had been chiefly instrumental in his Promotion; that they condemned the Heresy of Apollinaris; and that, at the Request of Damasus, a Confession of Faith was drawn up by Jerom, and approved by the Council, which the Apollinarists were to sign, upon their being re-admitted to the Communion of the Church[1183]. As for Maximus, they seem to have abandoned his Cause, being, in all Likelihood, undeceived, with respect to his Ordination, by Acholius Bishop of Thessalonica, and St. Jerom, who assisted at the Council, and could not be Strangers to the Character of Maximus, nor unacquainted with the scandalous Methods by which he had attained the Episcopal Dignity.

The Misunderstanding between the East and the West increased.
The Resolution they took not to communicate with Flavianus, whose Election, though imprudently made, was undoubtedly Canonical, and had been approved and confirmed by the Oecumenical Council of Constantinople, not only increased the Jealousies and Misunderstanding between the East and the West, but occasioned a great Disagreement, and endless Quarrels, among the Eastern Bishops themselves. For those who acknowleged Paulinus, viz. the Bishops of Egypt, of the Island of Cyprus, of Arabia, insisted upon the Deposition of Flavianus[1184]. Nestorius mentions some Letters, written by the Bishops of Egypt against Flavianus, with great Virulency, and a tyrannical Spirit, to use his Expression[1185]. On the other hand, the Bishops of Syria, of Palæstine, of Phœnicia, Armenia, Cappadocia, Galatia, Pontus, Asia, and Thrace, not only maintained, with equal Warmth, the Election of Flavianus, but began to treat their Brethren in the East, who had joined the Western Bishops against them, as Schismatics, as Betrayers of their Trust, as Transgressors of the Canons of Nice, commanding the Elections and Ordinations of each Province to be made and performed by the Bishops of the same Province, and all Disputes concerning them to be finally decided in the Place where they had begun[1186]. This Schism occasioned great 226Confusion in the Church, which continued till the Year 398, when Chrysostom, after having, with indefatigable Pains, long laboured in vain to bring about an Accommodation between the East and the West, had at last, soon after his Promotion to the See of Constantinople, the Satisfaction of seeing his pious Endeavours crowned with Success, as I shall relate in a more proper Place.

No Regard paid by the Eastern Bishops to the Judgment of the Pope.
From this whole Account it is manifest, as the Reader must have observed, that the Orientals paid no manner of Regard either to the Judgment of the Bishop of Rome, or to that of the whole Body of the Western Bishops, assembled in Council under him. For though they well knew the Bishop of Rome, and his Collegues in the West, to be warmly engaged in favour of Paulinus, yet they refused to acknowlege him, even after the Death of Meletius; and therefore raised Flavianus to the See of Antioch, in the room of Meletius, and confirmed that Election in an Oecumenical Council. The Western Bishops exclaimed against it, desiring it might be referred to the Decision of a General Council. But not even to that Demand would the Orientals agree, thinking, as they declared in their Answer, that there was no Occasion for a Council, since Flavianus had been chosen and ordained by the Bishops of the Diocese, which was all the Canons of Nice required. They therefore exhorted them to divest themselves of all Prejudices, to sacrifice all private Affections to the Peace and Unity of the Church, and to put an End to the present, and prevent all future, Disputes, by approving, with their joint Suffrages, an Election which had been approved and confirmed by an Oecumenical Council[1187].

The Custom of ap-
pointing Vicars intro-
duced by Damasus,
and on what Oc-
To return to Damasus: He was the first who introduced the Custom, which his Successors took care to improve, of conferring on certain Bishops the Title of their Vicars, pretending thereby to impart to them an extraordinary Power, enabling them to perform several Things, which they could not perform in virtue of their own. Acholius Bishop of Thessalonica was the first who enjoyed this Title, being, by Damasus, appointed his Vicar in East Illyricum, on the following Occasion: Illyricum, comprising all antient Greece, and many Provinces on the Danube, whereof Sirmium was the Capital, had, ever since the Time of Constantine, belonged to the Western Empire. But, in the Year 379. Dacia and Greece were, by Gratian, 227disjoined from the more Westerly Provinces, and added, in favour of Theodosius, to the Eastern Empire, being known by the Name of East Illyricum, whereof Thessalonica, the Metropolis of Macedon, was the chief City. The Bishops of Rome, as presiding in the Metropolis of the Empire, had begun to claim a kind of Jurisdiction, or rather Inspection in Ecclesiastical Matters, over all the Provinces of the Western Empire; which was the first great Step by which they ascended to the Supremacy they afterwards claimed and established. This Damasus was unwilling to resign with respect to Illyricum, even after that Country was dismembered from the Western, and added to the Eastern Empire. In order therefore to maintain his Claim, he appointed Acholius Bishop of Thessalonica to act in his stead, vesting in him the Power which he pretended to have over those Provinces. Upon the Death of Acholius he conferred the same Dignity on his Successor Anysius, as did the following Popes on the succeeding Bishops of Thessalonica, who, by thus supporting the Pretensions of Rome, became the first Bishops, and, in a manner, the Patriarchs, of East Illyricum; for they are sometimes distinguished with that Title. This, however, was not done without Opposition, the other Metropolitans not readily acknowleging for their Superior one who, till that time, had been their Equal[1188]. Syricius, who succeeded Damasus, inlarging the Power claimed by his Predecessor, decreed, that no Bishop should be ordained in East Illyricum without the Consent and Approbation of the Bishop of Thessalonica[1189]. But it was some time before this Decree took place. Pope Innocent I. writes, that his Predecessors committed to the Care of Acholius, Achaia, Thessaly, the Two Epirus’s, Candia, the Two Dacia’s, Mœsia, Dardania, and Prævalitana, now Part of Albania, impowering him to judge and decide the Controversies that might arise there, and appointing him to be the first among the Primates, without prejudicing the Primacy of those Churches[1190]. Thus were the Bishops of Thessalonica first appointed Vicars or Vicegerents of the Bishops of Rome, probably in the Year 382. for in that Year Acholius assisted at the Council of Rome, and it was, in all Likelihood, on that Occasion that Damasus vested him with this new Dignity. The Institution of Vicars improved by the succeeding Popes.The Contrivance of Damasus was notably improved by his Successors, who, in order to extend and inlarge their Authority, conferred the Title of their Vicars, and the 228pretended Power annexed to it, on the most eminent Prelates of other Provinces and Kingdoms, engaging them thereby to depend upon them, and to promote the Authority of their See, to the utter Suppression of the antient Rights and Liberties both of Bishops and Synods. This Dignity was for the most part annexed to certain Sees, but sometimes conferred on particular Persons. Thus was Austin appointed the Pope’s Vicar in England, Boniface in Germany; and both, in virtue of the Power which they pretended to have been imparted to them with that Title, usurped and exercised an Authority above that of Metropolitans. The Institution of Vicars was, by the succeeding Popes, improved into that of Legates, or, to use De Marca’s Expression, the latter Institution was grafted on the former[1191]. Legates vested with
greater Power than
Vicars.The Legates were vested with a far greater Power than the Vicars, or, as Pope Leo expresses it, were admitted to a far greater Share of his Care, though not to the Plenitude of his Power[1192]. They were sent on proper Occasions into all Countries, and never failed exerting, to the utmost Stretch, their boasted Power, oppressing, in virtue of their paramount Authority, the Clergy as well as the People, and extorting from both large Sums, to support the Pomp and Luxury in which they lived.

The Custom of appointing Vicars and Legates may well be alleged as a remarkable Instance of the Craft and Policy of the Popes, since, of all the Methods they ever devised (and many they have devised) to extend and establish their Power, none has better answered their ambitious Views. But how Bellarmine could lay so much Stress upon it as he does[1193], to prove, that the Pope has, by Divine Right, a sovereign Authority and Jurisdiction over all the Churches of the Earth, is unconceivable. The sending Legates
no Proof of the Pope’s
universal Jurisdiction.For it is certain, beyond all Dispute, that such a Custom had never been heard of till the Time of Damasus, that is, till the Latter-end of the Fourth Century, when it was first introduced, upon the dismembering of East Illyricum, by Gratian, from the Western Empire. Damasus did not even then claim that sovereign and unlimited Power, with which Bellarmine is pleased to vest him, but only a kind of Inspection over the Provinces of the Western Empire, as Bishop of the first See. The Disingenuity of
Bellarmine.And here I cannot help observing the Disingenuity of Bellarmine, who, in speaking of this Institution, 229expresses himself thus: Leo appointed Anastiasius Bishop of Thessalonica his Vicar in the East, in the same manner as the Predecessors of Anastasius had been Vicars to the Predecessors of Leo[1194]. From these Words every Reader would naturally conclude, and Bellarmine designs they should, that the Bishops of Thessalonica had been the Pope’s Vicars from the Beginning, or Time out of Mind; whereas it is certain, that this Institution had taken place but a few Years before. Pope Leo I. in conferring on Anastasius the Vicariate Dignity of his See, as he styles it, declared, that he followed therein the Example of his Predecessor Syricius[1195], who first appointed Anysius to act in his stead. But he was doubly mistaken; for these Vicars were first instituted, as is notorious, by Damasus, and not by Syricius; and it was not by Syricius, but by Damasus, that Anysius was vested with that Dignity[1196]. The Bishop of Thessalonica is styled, by the antient Writers, the Pope’s Vicar in East Illyricum, which is manifestly confining his Vicariate Jurisdiction to that District; but Bellarmine extends it at once all over the East, by distinguishing him with the Title of the Popes Vicar for the East[1197]. But how little Regard was paid to the Pope’s Authority in the East, I have sufficiently shewn above.

I find nothing else in the antient Writers concerning Damasus worthy of Notice, besides his generously undertaking the Defence of Symmachus, who, being Prefect of Rome in 384. the last Year of Damasus’s Life, and a sworn Enemy to the Christians, was falsly accused to the Emperor, as if he had with great Cruelty persecuted and oppressed them. But Damasus had the Generosity to take his Part, and clear him, by a Letter he writ to the Emperor, from that Charge[1198]. Damasus dies.This was one of the last Actions of Damasus’s Life; for he died this Year on the 10th or 11th of December, being then in the Eightieth Year of his Age, after he had governed the Church of Rome for the Space of Eighteen Years, and about Two Months[1199]. He was buried, according to Anastasius[1200], near his Mother and Sister, in a Church which he had built at the Catacombs, on the Way to Ardea; whence that Place, though Part of the Cœmetery of Calixtus, is by some called the Cœmetery of Damasus[1201]. He proposed at first being buried near the Remains of St. Sixtus, and his Companions; but afterwards changed his Mind, lest he should disturb the Ashes of the Saints[1202]. 230He caused the Church of St. Laurence, near the Theatre of Pompey, probably that which his Father and he himself had formerly served, to be rebuilt, inlarged, and embellished; Whence it is still known by the joint Titles of St. Laurence and Damasus[1203]. In that Church his Body is worshiped to this Day. But, how or when it was removed thither, nobody knows[1204]. The Decrees ascribed
to him suppositious.Several Decrees are ascribed to Damasus by Gratian, Ivo of Chartres, Anastasius, and others, but all evidently forged by some Impostor blindly addicted to the See of Rome, and quite unacquainted with the Discipline of the Church in the Fourth Century. In one of them a Canon is quoted from the Council of Nice, forbidding the Laity to eat or drink of any thing that was offered to the holy Priests, because none but the Jewish Priests were allowed to eat of the Bread that was offered on the Altar. We know of no such Canon; and besides, it is not at all probable, that the Council of Nice would have restrained the Clergy from sharing at least with the Poor what was offered them. In another of these Decrees the Paying of Tythes is commanded, on pain of Excommunication; whereas it might be easily made appear, that, in the Fourth Century, the Offerings destined for the Maintenance of the Clergy were still voluntary. Another Decree supposes, that, by an antient Custom, all Metropolitans swore Fealty to the Apostolic See, and could ordain no Bishops till they had received the Pall from Rome. For the Sake of this, Baronius admits all the rest: but of such a Custom not the least Mention, or distant Hint, is to be met with in any antient Writer.

His Writings in Prose and Verse.
Damasus is ranked by Jerom[1205] among the Ecclesiastical Writers, on account of the many small Pieces he writ, chiefly in Verse; for he had a particular Genius for Poetry, and was no despicable Poet, if some Compositions ascribed to him were truly his. He writ several Books, both in Prose and Verse, in Commendation of Virginity; but neither that, nor any of his other Works, has reached our Times, besides some Letters, and a few Epitaphs, Inscriptions, and Epigrams, which have been carefully collected by Baronius[1206], though it may be justly questioned whether the several Pieces ascribed to him by that Writer were written by him. A short History of the first Popes, styled, The Pontifical of Damasus, and published together with the Councils, has long passed for the Work of Damasus; but now even 231Baronius owns it not to be his; and most Critics are of Opinion, that it was written after the Time of Gregory the Great; nay, some ascribe it to Anastasius Bibliothecarius, who flourished in the Ninth Century[1207]. As for his Letters, those to Aurelius of Carthage, to Stephen, styled, Archbishop of the Council of Mauritania, to Prosper Primate of Numidia, to the Bishops of Italy, are all spurious, as well as the Letters to which some of them are Answers, and supposed to have been forged by that notorious Impostor Isidorus Mercator[1208]. His genuine Letters are the Two, that are to be found among the Works of Jerom, to whom they were written; Two to Acholius Bishop of Thessalonica, published by Holstenius in his Collection of the antient Monuments of the Church of Rome[1209]; a Letter of great Length to Paulinus of Antioch, whereof the chief Heads are set down by Theodoret in his History, as are likewise those of his Letter to the Orientals concerning Timotheus, the favourite Disciple of Apollinaris. Several Letters from the Councils, that were held in Rome in his Time, and at which he presided, are still extant, and may well be ascribed to him. The Two Letters to Jerom are well worth perusing, being written in a pure, easy, and elegant Style, and with a great deal of Spirit, Vivacity, and even Gaiety, though Damasus was then much advanced in Years, and overburdened with Cares and Business[1210]. In one of them he declares, that his only Delight was to read the Scriptures; and that all other Books, however well written, gave him rather Disgust than Pleasure. Jerom returned to Rome from the East in 382. with Epiphanius Bishop of Salamis, and Paulinus of Antioch, to assist at the Council held there. Jerom kept at Rome,
and employed by him.The other Two returned to their Sees; but Jerom continued at Rome, being kept there by Damasus, who employed him in answering the Letters he received from the Councils of several Churches applying to him for his Advice[1211]. Damasus, taken with his Learning and Erudition, and chiefly with the Knowlege he had of the Scripture, had long before lived in great Intimacy with him, and upon his leaving Rome writ frequent Letters to him, not thinking it beneath the Rank he held in the Church to consult him as his Master about the true Meaning of some difficult Passages in holy Writ[1212]. Thus in one of his Letters he desires him to explain the Parable of the Prodigal Son[1213], and in another to interpret 232the Word Hosanna, which he says was differently interpreted by different Writers, who seemed to contradict each other[1214]. In Compliance with this Request, Jerom writ the Piece on that Subject, which is still extant. It was likewise at the Desire of Damasus that he corrected the Latin Version of the New Testament, and revised at Rome the Latin Version of the Psalms, comparing it with the Greek Text of the Septuagint. But as to the Letter, with which Damasus is supposed to have encouraged him to undertake that Work, it is evidently supposititious, and altogether unworthy of him.

Psalmody falsly as-
cribed to him.
Anastasius ascribes to Damasus the Custom of Singing, instead of Reading, the Psalms at Divine Service[1215]. But it is manifest from Austin, that this Practice was brought from the East, and first complied with by the Church of Milan[1216], in the Year 386. that is, Two Years after the Death of Damasus. So long as Damasus lived, Jerom continued at Rome; but as, by his Learning and exemplary Life, he was an Eye-sore to the lewd, ignorant, and haughty Clergy of Rome, or as he styles them, the Senate of Pharisees[1217], he thought it adviseable to abandon the City upon the Death of his great Friend and Protector, and retire to Jerusalem, hoping to find there that Quiet and Tranquillity which he despaired of being able to enjoy while he dwelt with the Scarlet Whore[1218], that is, while he lived at Rome. His Character.As for the Character of Damasus; Jerom styles him, a Virgin Doctor of the Virgin Church; and, in his Letter to Eustochium, a Man of great Excellence. Theodoret commends him as a Man of a holy Life, as one who declined no Fatigue or Labour to support and maintain the Doctrine of the Apostles, and who struck the Arians with Terror, though he attacked them at a Distance[1219]. Elsewhere he calls him the famous Damasus[1220], and places him at the Head of the most celebrated Teachers of Truth, who, till his Time, had appeared in the West[1221]. That Greek Writer could not be biassed in his Favour, though Jerom perhaps was. The Orientals declared, in 431. that they followed the Example of Damasus, and other Persons eminent for Learning[1222]; and the Council of Chalcedon, speaking of his Letter to Paulinus of Antioch, styles him the Honour and Glory of Rome for Piety and Justice[1223]. The Church of Rome honours him as a Saint, and his Festival is 233kept in some Places on the 10th, in others on the 11th of December. But, after all, that he got the Pontificate by the most horrible Violence and Bloodshed; that he lived in great State; that he had frequent and grand Entertainments; that he kept a Table, which, in Sumptuousness, vied with the Tables of the Emperors themselves; and all this at the Expence of the Roman Ladies, whose generous Contributions might have been applied to better Uses; is affirmed by contemporary and unexceptionable Writers. It is likewise manifest from the Letters of Jerom, that in his Time the Discipline of the Church was greatly relaxed; that the Observance of the primitive Canons was almost utterly neglected; and that Luxury, Ignorance, and Debauchery, universally prevailed among the Ecclesiastics at Rome. And this Charge against his Clergy in some degree recoils upon him, since he appears to have carried the Papal Authority farther than any of his Predecessors, and therefore might have restrained and corrected them. Whether his Sanctity may not from all this be justly questioned, notwithstanding the favourable Testimony of some antient Writers, I leave the Reader to judge.

Theodosius, SYRICIUS,
Thirty-seventh BISHOP of Rome. Arcadius,
Year of Christ 384.
Syricius, the Successor of Damasus, according to the Pontificals, and some antient Monuments quoted and received by Baronius[1224], was a Native of Rome, the Son of one Tiburtius, had been first Reader, and afterwards Deacon, under Liberius, and, upon his Death, had zealously espoused the Cause of Damasus against Ursinus and his Party. Damasus being dead, he was chosen in his room by the unanimous Acclamations of the whole Roman People, being at that time Presbyter of the Church known by the Title of the Pastor, perhaps the most antient Church in Rome[1225]. Ursinus, who was still alive, did not fail, upon the Vacancy of the See, to revive his former Claim; but he was rejected with Scorn and Indignation. Valentinian the younger, who then reigned in Italy under 234the Direction of his Mother Justina, received the News of this Election with great Joy; and, concluding from the Unanimity of the Electors, the Worth and Merit of the Person elected, confirmed Syricius in his new Dignity, by a Rescript dated the 23d of February, and directed to Piaianus, at that Time either Prefect or Vicar of Rome[1226][N20].

N20. Damasus died on the 10th or 11th of December 384. as I have related above; and Syricius was chosen the same Year, as we read in the Chronicle of Prosper. Anastasius therefore, and the Author of the Pontifical published by Bollandus, as well as Baronius, were certainly mistaken in affirming, upon what Grounds I know not, that, upon the Death of Damasus, the See remained vacant for the Space of 31 or 36 Days[1].

1. Anast. p. 21. Boll. Apr. t. 1. p. 32. Bar. ib. n. 5.

His Answer to
Himerius Bishop
of Tarragon.
The first Thing I read of Syricius is his answering a Letter or Relation which Himerius, Bishop of Tarragon in Spain, had sent to Damasus by Bassianus, a Presbyter of that Church, requiring the Advice of the Church of Rome concerning some Points of Discipline, and certain Abuses that prevailed in Spain. Damasus being dead before the Arrival of Bassianus, Syricius, who had succeeded him, caused this Relation or Letter to be read, and carefully examined, in an Assembly of his Brethren, that is, perhaps, of the Bishops who had assisted at his Ordination; and, having maturely weighed and considered every Article, he first acquainted Himerius with his Promotion, and then returned to each the following Answers[1227]. The First was concerning the Sacrament of Baptism, which was by some Bishops of Spain rejected as null and invalid, when conferred by an Arian Minister. In Opposition to them, Syricius alleges the Authority of Liberius, and of the Council of Nice, the Practice of the Church of Rome, and that of all other Churches both in the East and West[1228]. Isidorus of Seville takes particular notice of this Point of Discipline, which he says was established by the Letter of Syricius[1229]. By the Second Article he forbids the Sacrament of Baptism to be administred at Christmas, or the Epiphany, on the Feasts of the Apostles or Martyrs, or at any other Time but Easter, and during the Pentecost of that Festival, meaning, in all Likelihood, all Easter time, or the Fifty Days between Easter and Pentecost, or Whitsuntide; for such, adds he, is the Practice of the Church of Rome, and of all other Churches. From this Rule, however, he excepts Children, and all Persons, who 235are any-ways in Danger[1230]. By the Third Article, he forbids granting the Grace of Reconciliation to Apostates, that is, forgiving and readmitting them to the Communion of the Church, except at the Point of Death[1231]. By the Fourth, a Woman, who, being betrothed to one Man, has received the Priest’s Blessing to marry him, is debarred from marrying another. The Fifth Article commands all Persons, who, being guilty of a Crime, have performed Penance for it, to be treated as the Apostates, if they relapse into the same Crime; and the Sixth, all religious Persons, whether Men or Women, guilty of Fornication, to be dealt with in the same Manner, and, moreover, to be excluded from partaking of the sacred Mysteries, that is, of the Eucharist, except at the Point of Death[1232]. How different is the present Practice of the Church of Rome from that of the same Church in the Fourth Century! which was perhaps even too severe.

Priests and Deacons obliged to observe Celibacy.
Syricius, by the Seventh Article of his Letter, obliges all Priests and Deacons to observe Celibacy; and as some had not paid due Obedience to that Command of the Church, he allows those who should acknowlege their Fault, and plead Ignorance, to continue in their Rank, though without Hopes of rising: but as for those who should presume to defend this Abuse as lawful, he declares them deposed and degraded from the Rank they held in the Church[1233]: Pope Innocent I. writing to Exuperius Bishop of Toulouse, quotes and transcribes great Part of this Article[1234]. The Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh Articles describe at length the Life which those ought to have led, who are raised by the Clergy and People to the Episcopal Dignity, and the Steps or Degrees by which they should ascend to it. They ought first to have been Readers; at the Age of Thirty, Acolytes, Subdeacons, and Deacons; Five Years after, Presbyters; and in that Degree they were to continue Ten Years before they could be chosen Bishops. Those who had been married to Two Wives, or to a Widow, are absolutely excluded from ever sitting in the Episcopal See. Even the Lectors are forbidden, on pain of Deposition, to marry twice, or to marry a Widow[1235]. These, and several other less important Regulations, Syricius delivers as general Rules to be inviolably observed by all Churches, often declaring, that those who do not readily comply with them shall be separated from his Communion by the Sentence of a Synod, and strictly injoining the chief Prelates of each Province to 236take care they be punctually observed within the Bounds of their respective Jurisdictions, on Pain of being deposed, and treated as they deserve. He therefore desires Himerius to notify his Letter, not only to all the Bishops of his Diocese or Province, but likewise to those of Carthagena, Bætica, Lusitania, Galicia, and to all the neighbouring Bishops, meaning perhaps those of Gaul; for Innocent I. supposes the Decrees of his Predecessor Syricius to be known to Exuperius of Toulouse[1236]; and in all Likelihood they were so to others in that Country.

This Letter is the First of all the Decretals acknowleged, by the Learned, to be genuine, and likewise the First in all the antient Collections of the Canons of the Latin Church. It is quoted by Innocent I. and Isidore of Seville, and is the only Letter of the many ascribed to Syricius, that Dionysius Exiguus has inserted in his Collection. It is to be found in Father Quesnel’s Roman Code[1237]; and Cresconius quotes no other Decrees of Syricius but what are taken from this Letter. It is dated the Third of the Ides of February, that is, the Eleventh of that Month 385. Arcadius and Bauto being Consuls[N21].

N21. The Jesuit Papebrok highly extols this Letter[1], but, at the same time, does not think it quite pure and genuine, because the Date, says he, has been added to it; for the other Letters of Syricius, and likewise those of his Predecessors, bear no Date. But can we conclude from thence, that they never had any? Some of the Letters of Innocent I. are dated, and some without a Date, and he admits both. The Transcribers contented themselves, for the most part, with copying the Body of the Letter, and neglected the rest. Papebrok adds, that the Date ought to have been expressed thus: Arcadio Aug. et Bautone viro clar. Conss. and not Arcadio et Bautone viris clarissimis, as it is in that Letter. But might not this Mistake be owing to the Ignorance of the Transcribers, who, finding, in the Original, only the Two Letters, V. C. which are to be met with in many antient Writings, set down viris clarissimis, instead of viro clarissimo? Papebrok must have observed the same Mistake in the Letter, which Pope Innocent I. writ to the Council of Milevum[2], and which he allows to be altogether genuine. For Slips or Oversights of this Nature, hardly avoidable, no Piece ought to be condemned, or even suspected.

1. Bolland. prop. p. 58.

2. Concil. t. 2. p. 1289.

The Celibacy of the Clergy first proposed in the Council of Elvira.
As Priests and Deacons are commanded, by the Seventh Article of this Letter, to abstain from Marriage, and this is the first Opportunity that has offered of mentioning the Celibacy of the Clergy, a short Digression on such a material Point of Discipline in the Church may not, perhaps, be unacceptable to the Reader. The laying of this 237heavy Burdens on the Shoulders of the Clergy, a Burden too heavy for most of them to bear, as Experience has shewn, was first moved in the Council of Elvira, held about the Year 300. according to the most probable Opinion; and, being warmly promoted by the celebrated Osius of Cordoua, and Felix of Acci, now Guadix in Andalusia, who presided at that Assembly, it passed into a Law; and all Bishops, Presbyters, Deacons, and Subdeacons, were commanded, on Pain of Deposition; to abstain from Wives; and the begetting of Children. These are the very Words of the 33d Canon of that Council[1238]. That, till this time, the Clergy were allowed to marry, even in Spain, is manifest from the 65th Canon of the same Council, excluding from the Communion of the Church, even at the Point of Death, such Ecclesiastics, as, knowing their Wives to be guilty of Adultery, should not, upon the first Notice of their Crime, immediately turn them out of Doors[1239]. How long the 33d Canon continued in Vigour, is uncertain; nay, it may be questioned whether it ever took place: if it ever did, it was out of Date, or at least not generally observed by the Spanish Clergy, in the Time of Syricius, as evidently appears from the Words of his Letter, or Answer to Himerius of Tarragon. I said, by the Spanish Clergy, for no such Injunction had yet been laid on the Ecclesiastics of any other Country or Nation. About Fifteen Years after, was held the Council of Ancyra, in which it was decreed, That if any Deacon did not declare at his Ordination, that he designed to marry, he ought not to be allowed to marry after but might, if he made such a Declaration, because, in that Case, the Bishop tacitly consented to it. The Council of Neocæfarea, which assembled soon after that of Ancyra, and consisted, in great Part, of the same Bishops, commanded such Presbyters as married after their Ordination to be degraded. In the Year 325. was held the Council of Nice; and, in that great Assembly, it was moved, perhaps by Osius, who acted a chief Part there, that Bishops, Presbyters, Deacons, and Subdeacons, should be debarred from all Commerce with the Wives they had married before their Ordination. But this Motion was warmly opposed by Paphnutius, who had himself ever led a chaste and single Life, and was one of the most eminent and illustrious Prelates, at that time, in the Church. He represented, that the Burden they proposed laying on the Clergy, 238was too heavy; that few had sufficient Strength to bear it; that the Women, thus abandoned by their Husbands, would be exposed to great Dangers; that Marriage was no Pollution, but, according to St. Paul, commendable; that those therefore, who were not married, when first admitted to the Sacerdotal Functions, should continue in that State; and such as were, should continue to live with their Wives. Thus Sozomen[1240], Socrates[1241], and Suidas[1242][N22].

N22. I am not unapprised, that this Account is rejected by Baronius[1], and Bellarmine[2], as fabulous; but, notwithstanding the Pains they have both taken to make it appear incredible, F. Lupus allows it to be true[3], though a no less zealous Stickler for the Discipline of the Church of Rome than either of them. Ruffinus, I own, takes no Notice of this Transaction, as Valesius well observes. But has no true Transaction been, either wilfully or ignorantly, omitted by that Writer? Valesius well knows, that many have; and had he perused that Author with a little more Attention, he would not have so positively affirmed, that no one ever named Paphnutius among the Bishops of Egypt, who assisted at the Council of Nice, since he is named among them by Ruffinus, and with great Commendations[4].

1. Bar. ad ann. 58. n. 21.

2. Bell. de cler. l. 1. c. 20.

3. Lup. in can. p. 114.

4. Ruf. l. 1. c. 4.

The Advice of Paphnutius was applauded by the whole Assembly, add the above-mentioned Historians, and the Point in Dispute was left undecided. In the Year 340. it was decreed, in the Council of Arles, that, no Man, incumbered with a Wife, should be admitted to Holy Orders, unless he promised, with his Wife’s Approbation and Consent, to abstain for ever from the conjugal Duty.

This is all I can find in the antient Records concerning the Continence or Celibacy of the Clergy, before the Time of Syricius. And hence it is manifest, that both Crichtonæus and Melanchthon were greatly mistaken; the former in affirming, which many have done after him, that Celibacy was first imposed upon the Clergy by Syricius[1243]; and the latter by confidently asserting, that Celibacy was not required of the Ministers of the Gospel by any Council, but by the Popes, in Opposition to all Councils and Synods[1244]. It must be owned, however, that this Law was not so generally observed before the Time of Syricius, as it was after. For it was not long after his Time before it became an established Point of Discipline in most of the Western Churches, not in virtue of his Letter, or of those which his Successors writ to the same Purpose, but because it was injoined by the Synods of each particular Nation. Thus it was established in 239Africa by the Council of Carthage in 390. in Gaul by one held at Orleans, by Two at Tours, and one at Agde; in Spain, by Three held at Toledo; in Germany, by the Councils of Aquisgranum, or Aix la Chapelle, of Worms, and of Mentz. We know of none in Britain: and that it did not even begin to take place here till the Arrival of Austin, in the Sixth Century, may be sufficiently proved from the Letters of that Monk to Gregory, and Gregory’s Answer to him; but of that more hereafter[N23].

N23. I cannot forbear taking notice here of an inexcusable Mistake in the Ecclesiastical History of England, by Nicolas Harpsfeld, Archdeacon of Canterbury, a Work in great Request abroad. That Writer tells us, that Restitutus Bishop of London assisted at the Council of Arles, and signed the above-mentioned Canon, forbidding a Man incumbered with a Wife to be admitted to Orders, unless he promised, with her Consent, to refrain from all Commerce with her after his Ordination. He leaves us to infer from thence, that this Canon was received in Britain[1]. But surely Harpsfeld must never have seen either the Subscriptions, or the Acts of that Council. Had he seen the Subscriptions, he had hardly omitted Two British Bishops out of Three. For, besides the Name of Restitutus, I find among the Subscriptions, the Names of Adelphus de colonia Londinensium, that is, as is commonly believed, of Colchester, and of Hibernus of Eboracum, or York. Had he seen the Acts, he had never been guilty of such a gross Mistake as to ascribe the above-mentioned Canon to the Council of Arles, at which Restitutus assisted, since that Council was held against the Donatists of Africa, in the Year 314. and not the least Mention was made there of the Celibacy of the Clergy[2]. The Second Council of Arles was held about Twenty-six Years after, and of that Council the said Canon is the Second.

1. Harp. Hist. Eccles. Anglican. p. 26.

2. Concil. t. 1. p. 1426-1429.

The present Practice of the Church of Rome, with respect to this Point.
As to the present Practice and Doctrine of the Church of Rome, with respect to this, in their Opinion, most essential Point of Ecclesiastical Discipline, no Man is allowed, after his Ordination, to marry, or to cohabit with the Wife he had married before: nay, in order to prevent all possible means even of any clandestine Commerce between them, the Woman must, by a solemn Vow of Chastity, renounce all Claims on her Husband, and, retiring into a Monastery, bind herself by a second Vow to continue there, without ever once going out, on any Pretence whatsoever, so long as her Husband lives, who cannot be admitted so much as to the Rank of a Subdeacon, till she is secured by these Two Vows. Such is the present Practice of the Church of Rome, though Subdeacons were allowed to marry long after the Time of Syricius, who, in his Letter, mentions only Deacons and Presbyters, and does not even oblige them to part with their Wives, but only excludes them from rising to a higher Degree in the Church. Pope Leo the Great, chosen in 440. was the first who extended the Law of Celibacy to the Subdeacons, commanding them, 240in a Letter, which he writ about the Year 442. to Rusticus Bishop of Narbonne, to abstain, as well as the Deacons, Presbyters, and Bishops, from all Commerce with their Wives. But this Law was observed by very few Churches. In the Time of Pope Gregory the Great, that is, in the Latter-end of the Sixth Century, it had not yet taken place, even in Sicily, though reckoned among the Suburbicarian Provinces: it was first introduced into that Island by him; but he allowed those to cohabit with their Wives, who had been ordained without a previous Promise to live continent, though he would not suffer them to be raised to a higher Degree without such a Promise. Bellarmine[1245], and the other Divines of the Church of Rome, to soften the Odium, which the hard, and commonly impracticable Command she lays on her Clergy, must reflect on her, represent Continency as a Virtue to be easily acquired. Their Ascetics seem better acquainted with the Difficulties and Struggles attending the Practice of that Virtue, than their Divines; for they prescribe, as the sole Means of attaining it, constant Prayer, frequent Fasting, macerating the rebelling Flesh with all kinds of Austerities, and principally the avoiding of all Female Company. And, if these be the sole Means of attaining it, I leave the Reader to judge how few of their Clergy do attain it.

In the primitive
Church, married and
unmarried Men
raised indiscrimin-
ately to Ecclesiastical
No one is so little versed in the History of the Church, as not to know, that in the Three first Centuries of the Christian Religion, married and unmarried Men were indiscriminately raised to the Episcopal, and every other Ecclesiastical Dignity; nay, Jerom writes, that in his Time, that is, in the Fourth Century, the former were, the most part, preferred to the latter, not in regard of their greater Merit, but because, in such Elections, the unmarried Men were outnumbered by the married, who chose to be governed by one in their own Station of Life[1246]. It is hence manifest, that Marriage was not thought, in Jerom’s Time, inconsistent with, or any Bar to, the Episcopal Dignity. And why should it? since, excepting St. John, the Apostles themselves were all married, as we are told, in express Terms, by Ignatius the Martyr[1247], who was their Contemporary and Disciple, and whose Authority ought, on that Consideration, to be of greater Weight than that of all the other Fathers together. But such of the primitive Clergy, says Bellarmine[1248], as were married before 241their Ordination, abstained ever after from the Use of Matrimony: let our Adversaries produce, if they can, but a single Evidence of a Presbyter or Bishop’s having any Commerce with their Wives. It lies upon him to shew they had not. We know nothing to the contrary, and therefore may well suppose, that, pursuant to the Advice given by the Apostle to all Husbands and Wives, they came together after Ordination as they did before, lest Satan should tempt them for their Incontinency.

Celibacy recom-
mended by the Fathers:
The Fathers, it is true, out of a mistaken Notion of an extraordinary Merit attending Celibacy in this Life, and an extraordinary Reward reserved for it in the other, began very early to recommend it to Persons of all Ranks and Stations, but more especially to the Clergy, as the principal Excellence and Perfection of a Christian. By their Exhortations, and the Praises they were constantly bestowing on Virginity, Celibacy, and Continence, many among the Clergy, and even some of the Laity, were wrought up to such a Pitch of Enthusiasm, as to mutilate themselves, thinking they could by no other means be sufficiently qualified for the unnatural, but meritorious, State of Celibacy. And, what is very surprising, this Practice became so common in the End of the Third, and the Beginning of the Fourth, Century, that the Fathers of Nice were obliged to restrain it by a particular Canon. They enacted one accordingly, excluding for ever from the Priesthood, such as should make themselves Eunuchs, the Preservation of their Life or Health not requiring such a Mutilation. By the same Canon they deposed and degraded all, who should thus maim themselves after their Ordination[1249]. But tho’ the Fathers warmly recommended Celibacy to the unmarried Clergy, and Continence to the Married, neither was looked upon as an Obligation, till late in the Fourth Century, and not even then in all Places; for Epiphanius, who lived till the Beginning of the Fifth, writes, that though Men still begetting Children were excluded by the Ecclesiastical Canons from every Dignity and Degree in the Church, yet they were in some Places admitted as Subdeacons, Deacons, and Presbyters, because those Canons were not yet universally observed[1250]; so that, according to Epiphanius, it was not by the Apostles never injoined by
the Apostles:(as the Divines of the Church of Rome pretend), but by the Ecclesiastical Canons, that this Obligation was laid on the Clergy; and, in his 242Time, those Canons were not yet universally complied with, nor indeed many Ages after: nay, in the Greek Church, the Clergy are to this Day allowed to cohabit with the Wives they married before their Ordination; and, in this Kingdom, Celibacy was not universally established till after the Conquest, as I shall have Occasion to shew in the Sequel of the present History.

deemed by Pagans the highest Degree of Sanctity.
The abstaining from lawful, as well as unlawful Pleasures, was deemed, by the antient Pagans, especially in the East, the highest Degree of Sanctity and Perfection. Hence some of their Priests, in Compliance with this Notion, and to recommend themselves to the Esteem of the People, did not only profess, promise, and vow an eternal Abstinence from all Pleasures of that Nature, as those of the Church of Rome do, but put it out of their Power ever to enjoy them. Thus the Priests of Cybele by becoming Priests ceased to be Men, to borrow the Expression of Jerom; and the Hierophantes, who were the first Ministers of Religion among the Athenians, rendered themselves equally incapable of transgressing the Vows they had made, by constantly drinking the cold Juice of Hemlock[1251]. A Stoic, called Cheremon, introduced by Jerom to describe the Lives of the Egyptian Priests, tells us, among other things, that, from the time they addicted themselves to the Service of the Gods, they renounced all Intercourse and Commerce with Women; and, the better to conquer their natural Inclinations, abstained altogether from Meat and Wine. Several other Instances might be alleged to shew, that Celibacy was embraced and practised by the Pagan Priests, long before the Birth of the Christian Religion; and, consequently, that it was not Religion, but Superstition, that first laid the Priesthood under such an Obligation. The Church of Rome has borrowed, as is notorious, several Ceremonies, Customs, and Practices of the Pagans, and perhaps the Celibacy of the Priesthood among the rest: I say, perhaps, because it might have been suggested to her by the same Spirit of Superstition that suggested it to them: for where-ever the same Spirit prevails, it will ever operate in the same manner, and be attended with the same, or the like Effects. Thus we find the same Austerities practised by the Pagans in the East-Indies, and other idolatrous Nations, that are practised and recommended by the Church of Rome; and yet no Man can imagine those Austerities to have been by 243either borrowed of the other. There is almost an intire Conformity between the Laws, Discipline, and Hierarchy of the antient Druids, and the present Roman-Catholic Clergy; nay, the latter claim the very same Privileges, Prerogatives, and Exemptions, as were claimed and enjoyed by the former[1252]: and yet we cannot well suppose them to have been guided therein by their Example. Celibacy was discountenanced by the Romans, who nevertheless had their Vestals, instituted by their Second King at a time when, the new City being yet thinly inhabited, Marriage ought in both Sexes to have been most encouraged: and the same Spirit, which suggested to that superstitious Prince the Institution of the Vestals, suggested the like Institutions to other Pagan Nations, and to the Church of Rome that of so many different Orders of Nuns.

How much better had the Church of Rome consulted her own Reputation, had she either, in Opposition to the Pagan Priesthood, allowed her Clergy the Use of Matrimony, or, by a more perfect Imitation of their Discipline, with the Law of Celibacy, prescribed the like Methods of observing it! How many Enormities had been prevented by either of these Means, the World knows. But none of her Clergy have the Observance of their Vows so much at Heart as to imitate either the Athenian or the Egyptian Priests: and as for those of Cybele, they are so far from conforming to their Practice, that a Law subjecting them to it has kept them out of Protestant Kingdoms, when the Fear of Death could not.

The Celibacy of the Clergy a bad Institution.
If every Law or Institution is to be judged good or evil, according to the Good and Evil attending them, it is by daily Experience but too manifest, that the forced Celibacy of the Clergy ought to be deemed of all Institutions the very worst. Indeed all sensible Men of that Church know and lament the innumerable Evils which the Celibacy of her Clergy occasions, and must always occasion, in spite of all Remedies that can be applied to it. But she finds one Advantage in it, which, in her Eyes, makes more than sufficient Amends for all those Evils, viz. her ingrossing by that means to herself all the Thoughts and Attention of her Clergy, which, were they allowed to marry, would be divided between her and their Families, and each of them would have a separate Interest from that of the Church. Several Customs and Practices, once warmly espoused by that Church, have, in Process of Time, been abrogated, and quite laid aside, on account 244of the Inconveniences attending them; and this, which long Experience has shewn to be attended with more pernicious Consequences than any other, had, but for that political View, been likewise abolished.

Another Letter of Syricius.
Another Letter, universally ascribed to Syricius, has reached our Times. It is written in a very perplexed and obscure Style; bears no Date; is not to be found either in Dionysius Exiguus, or any antient Code; and is addressed to all the Orthodox dwelling in different Provinces[1253]: which is manifestly a Mistake, since Syricius desires those, to whom it is addressed, to confirm it with their Subscriptions, which cannot be understood but of Bishops. However, as it is received by all as genuine, I shall not take upon me to reject it as spurious. The Subject of this Letter is the Ordination of the Ministers of the Church; and the First Article is against those who pretend to pass from the Vanities of the World to the Episcopal Dignity. Syricius writes, that they came often to him, attended with numerous Retinues, begging him to ordain them; but that they had never been able to prevail upon him to grant them their Request. In the Second Article he complains of the Monks, who were constantly wandering about the Country, and on whom the Bishops chose rather to confer holy Orders, and the Episcopal Dignity itself, than to relieve them with Alms. The Third and last Article forbids a Layman or Neophyte to be ordained either Deacon or Presbyter. If this Letter be genuine, Syricius was the first Bishop of Rome who styled himself Pope, as Papebrok well observes[1254]; for the Title of his Letter, as transmitted to us, runs thus; Pope Syricius to the Orthodox, &c. The Word imports no more than Father, and it was antiently given, out of Respect, to all Bishops, as I have observed elsewhere; but I have found none before Syricius who distinguished themselves with that Title.

Jerom retires from Rome.
Jerom continued at Rome some Months after the Death of his great Patron Damasus. But, finding himself obnoxious to the Roman Clergy, for the Liberty he had taken in some of his Writings to censure their effeminate and licentious Lives, and, on the other hand, not being countenanced and supported by Syricius, as he had been by his Predecessor, he thought it adviseable to abandon that City, and return to Palæstine. Some pretend, but without sufficient Authority, that Syricius joined the rest in reviling and persecuting him.

The Usurper Maximus writs to Syricius.
245Baronius has inserted, in his Annals[1255], a Letter from the Usurper Maximus, who reigned in Gaul; from which we learn, that Syricius had writ first to him, exhorting him to continue steady in the Catholic Faith, being, perhaps, apprehensive lest he should suffer himself to be imposed upon by the Priscillianists, who were very numerous in Gaul; and complaining to him of the undue Ordination of a Presbyter named Agricius. Maximus, in his Answer, pretends great Zeal for the true Faith, and promises to assemble the Bishops of Gaul, and of the Five Provinces, meaning Gallia Narbonensis, to examine the Affair of Agricius. He assures Syricius, that he has nothing so much at Heart as to maintain the Catholic Faith pure and uncorrupted; to see a perfect Harmony established among the Prelates of the Church, and to suppress the many Disorders which had prevailed at the Time of his Accession to the Empire, and would have soon proved incurable, had they been neglected. He adds, that many shocking Abominations of the Manichees, meaning no doubt the Priscillianists, had been discovered, not by groundless Conjectures and Surmises, but by their own Confession before the Magistrates, as Syricius might learn from the Acts. For Maximus caused the Ringleaders of that Sect to be put to Death this very Year, convicted before the Magistrates of the grossest Immoralities[N24]. These were Priscillian himself, Felicissimus, 246and Armenus, Two Ecclesiastics, who had but very lately embraced his Doctrine; Asarinus and Aurelius, Two Deacons; Latronianus, or, as Jerom calls him, Matronianus, a Layman; and Enchrocia, the Widow of the Orator Delphidius, who had professed Eloquence in the City of Bourdeaux a few Years before. These were, by the Order of Maximus, all beheaded this Year at Treves. The rest of Priscillian’s Followers, whom they could discover and apprehend, were either banished or confined.

N24. The first Author of this Sect was one Mark, a Native of Memphis in Egypt, a famous Magician, and once a Follower of the Doctrine of the Manichees[1]. From Egypt he travelled into Spain, where he had for his Disciples a Woman of Quality named Agapa, Elpidius the Rhetorician, and Agagius[2]. Priscillian, of whom I shall speak hereafter, was the Disciple and Successor of the Two latter. Jerom tells us, upon the Authority of Irenæus, whom he quotes, that Mark passed from the Banks of the Rhone into Aquitaine,and from thence into Spain[3]; which made Baronius write, that he first infected Gaul[4]. But no such thing was ever affirmed by Irenæus; and besides, Jerom confounds the Sect of the Marcosians with that of the Priscillianists, and the Author of the former, who was contemporary with Irenæus, with the Author of the latter, who lived in the Fourth Century.

The Priscillianists broached no new Doctrine, but formed a new Sect, by adopting every impious Opinion that had been broached by others; whence their Sect is styled by Austin, the common Sink of all other Heresies[5]. By their external Behaviour, which was extremely modest and composed, they gained many Followers, whom, by degrees, they let into the Abominations of their Sect; for there was no Lewdness which they did not encourage and practise, rejecting Matrimony for no other Reason, but because it confined a Man to one Woman, and a Woman to one Man[6]. They held it no Crime to speak contrary to what they thought and believed, and to confirm with an Oath what they said when they were talking to People of a different Persuasion. This was one of their favourite Maxims, which above all others they took care to inculcate to their Proselytes, often repeating to them, and among themselves, the famous Verse;

Jura, perjura, secretum prodere noli.
Swear, forswear, but never betray a Secret[7].
Hence it was no easy Matter to discover them; for they mixed with the Orthodox at Divine Service, received the Sacraments of the Church, and disowned, with the most solemn Oaths, the Doctrine which they had been heard by many to utter and teach[8]. To this Sect Priscillian, who gave Name to it, was gained by the above-mentioned Elpidius and Agagius. He was a Man of Birth and Fortune, being descended of an antient and illustrious Family in Spain, and is said to have been endowed with extraordinary Parts, and well versed in every Branch of Learning; so that many were induced by his Example to embrace the new Sect, and more by his Eloquence; for he had a particular Gift of speaking well, and gaining the Affections of all who heard him[9]. Among his Followers were several Persons of the first Rank, both Men and Women, and even some Bishops, namely, Vegetinus, Symphosius, Instantius, and Salvianus, of whom the Two latter entered into an indissoluble League and Alliance with him[10].

1. Sulp. l. 2. p. 170. Isid. Hisp. de Scrip. Eccles. c. 2.

2. Id. ib.

3. Hier. ep. 29.

4. Bar. ad ann. 381. n. 113, 114.

5. Aug. hær. 70. p. 13.

6. Id. ib. & Leo, ep. 93.

7. Aug. ib. ep. 253. & ad Con. c. 2.

8. Id. ib.

9. Sulp. l. 2. p. 170. Hier. in Isai. 64. p. 240.

10. Sulp. ib. p. 171. Concil. t. 1. p. 741.

They are honoured by their Followers as Saints and Martyrs.
But these Severities served only to increase the Evil which they were employed to cure. The Bodies of Priscillian and of those who had suffered with him, were conveyed by their Friends and Adherents into Spain, and there interred with great Pomp and Solemnity;Many embrace their
Doctrine. their Names were added to those of other Saints and Martyrs, their Firmness and Constancy extolled, and their Doctrine embraced by such Numbers of Proselytes, that it spread in a short time over all the Provinces between the Pyrenees and the Ocean[1256]. Symphosius, Metropolitan of Galicia, whom, after the Death of Priscillian, they looked upon as the chief Man and Head of their Sect, took care to fill all the vacant Sees in that Province with Bishops of his own Communion. Dictinius, whom he raised among the rest to that Dignity, 247is supposed by St. Austin[1257] to have been the Author of a Book, famous in those Times, styled Libra, or, the Pound[N25]. Two of their leading
Men renounce their
Errors;However, both he and Symphosius were afterwards convinced of their Errors; and, desiring thereupon to be reconciled with the Church, they undertook a Journey to Milan, in order to engage St. Ambrose, Bishop of that City, in their Favour. He received them with the greatest Marks of Kindness and Affection; and being satisfied with the Terms of Reconciliation, which they themselves proposed, and promised to observe, he writ in their Behalf to the Bishops of Spain, who, at his Request, admitted them to their Communion[1258][N26].

N25. It was so called because it contained Twelve Questions, as the Roman Pound did Twelve Ounces. In that Piece the Author endeavoured to prove, from the Practice of the Patriarchs, of the Prophets, Apostles, Angels, and of Christ himself, that a Lye could be no Crime, when uttered to conceal our Religion[1].

1. Id. ib. c. 2, & 18.

N26. That these two Bishops should have applied to St. Ambrose, and not to Syricius, is what Baronius cannot brook; and therefore to bring in, right or wrong, the Bishop of Rome, he quotes a Passage of the Council of Toledo, where the Fathers of that Assembly, speaking of the Letter which St. Ambrose had written in favour of Symphosius and Dictinius, adds the following Words in a Parenthesis; Which Things were likewise suggested by Pope Syricius, of holy Memory[1]. But as these Words have no manner of Connection with the rest, it is manifest they have been foisted in on Purpose to bring Syricius upon the Stage; and were we to admit them as genuine, we could only conclude from thence, that Syricius too had written to the Bishops of Spain in behalf of Symphosius and Dictinius. Baronius indeed goes a great way farther; for he infers from the above-mentioned Words, that St. Ambrose acted by the Advice and Direction of Syricius; and from thence by a second Inference, which could occur to none but himself, that both Ambrose, and Simplicius, who succeeded him in the See of Milan, were the Pope’s Legates[2]. It is by such far-fetched Inferences and Deductions that he endeavours, throughout his voluminous Performance, to mislead his unwary Readers into a Belief of the Pope’s Supremacy.

1. Concil. t. 2. p. 1230.

2. Bar. ad ann. 405. n. 54.

and are admitted to the Communion of the Church by the Council of Toledo.
In the Year 438. of the Spanish, and 400. of the common Æra, a Council was held at Toledo; and, in the Presence of that Assembly, Symphosius, Dictinius, and Comasus, one of Symphosius’s Presbyters, solemnly abjured the Errors of Priscillian, anathematized the Doctrine, Sect, and Books of that Heretic, and readily signed the Confession of Faith which the Council had drawn up. Their Example was followed by Three other Bishops, viz. Paternus, Isonius, and Vegetinus, who were all admitted to the Communion of the Church, and even allowed to keep their Sees, though unduly preferred, on Condition the Bishops of Rome and Milan should consent thereto, and 248restore them to the Peace of the Church[1259]. From these Words, which are the very Words of the Council, it is manifest, first, that the Fathers, who composed that Assembly, were Strangers to the Bishop of Rome’s universal Jurisdiction; and, secondly, that the Bishop of Milan did not act, as Baronius pretends, on that Occasion as the Pope’s Legate. Their requiring the Approbation of the Bishop of Milan, besides that of the Bishop of Rome, sufficiently proves the one; and their requiring the Approbation of the Bishop of Rome, besides that of the Bishop of Milan, the other.

Four other Bishops, viz. Herenius, Donatus, Acurius, and Æmilius, could by no means be induced to follow the Example of Symphosius and Dictinius; and were thereupon deposed by the Council, and cut off from the Communion of the Catholic Church. The Acts of that
Council confirmed by
St. Ambrose and
Syricius.The Bishops of Rome and Milan not only confirmed the Acts of the Council with respect to Symphosius and Dictinius, but separated themselves from the Communion of the Bishops of Bætica and the Carthagenese, who, thinking the Council had dealt too favourably with them, refused to admit them to their Communion[1260]. Dictinius honoured as
a Saint.Dictinius died in 420. and is now honoured in Spain as a Saint, though it may be justly questioned whether he deserves that Honour. Idatius the Chronologist who was a Native of Spain, and raised there to the Episcopal Dignity about the Year 428. mentions him without saying any thing in his Praise, or taking the least Notice of his being honoured then as a Saint. St. Austin speaks doubtfully even of his Conversion[1261], and at the same time tells us, that his Book was highly esteemed by the Priscillianists, and his Memory no less revered; which, notwithstanding the eminent Sanctity ascribed to him by Baronius[1262], gives us room to suspect, that the Honour now paid him is owing to a Tradition handed down by the Priscillianists. Priscillian honoured
as a Saint and a
Martyr.For thus was Priscillian himself once revered both as a Saint and a Martyr. Nay, the Author of the Notes on Sulpitius Severus assures us, that he has seen his Name in some, not very antient, Martyrologies; and Petrus de Natalibus has allowed, both to him, and to Latronianus, who suffered with him, a Place among the Martyrs of the Church, pretending to be countenanced therein by the Authority of Jerom[1263]. And truly it must be owned, that Jerom, in the Year 392. writ very favourably of Priscillian. He was executed, says he, by the Faction of Ithacius, 249being accused by some as if he had embraced the Heresy of the Gnostics; but others maintained, that he held not the Doctrine and Tenets with which he was charged[1264]. But being afterwards better informed, he styles him an execrable Man[1265], and condemns his Doctrine as an infamous Heresy, as a Plague and Contagion, that cruelly ravaged most of the Spanish Provinces[1266]. It is not therefore without Reason that the Church of Rome now anathematizes, as an Heretic, the Man she once revered as a Saint. Such has been the Fate of many others, judged by Baronius himself unworthy of the Worship that was paid them, and therefore set aside, when, by the Command of Gregory XIII. he revised and corrected the Roman Martyrology. As for Dictinius, he has not yet been driven out of Heaven, though nobody can well tell how he came in. ‘Tis true, both he and Symphosius are styled Bishops of holy Memory, in the Abstract of the Council of Toledo, which is supposed to have been done about the Year 447. This is all Baronius can plead in favour of his eminent Sanctity. A poor Charter indeed to hold a Place in Heaven by, and claim the Worship and Honours attending it! For the Author of that Abstract is utterly unknown; and, besides, he canonizes alike Symphosius and Dictinius, styling them both Bishops of holy Memory. Why then should his Authority have so much Weight with respect to the one, and none at all in regard of the other? If we bar Prescription, which surely can have no room here, Dictinius can have no more Right to keep the Place he has, than Symphosius to claim the Place he has not. Nay, the latter would have a far better Right, were it true, that Dictinius relapsed into the Errors he had abjured, and was on that Account deposed with several other Bishops of his Sect. This I read in an Author of great Note[1267]; but as he advances it upon the Authority of another, viz. of Idatius the Chronologist, and the Passage he quotes is not to be found in that Writer, at least in the Editions I have perused, it would be both unjust and ungenerous to deprive Dictinius of, or disturb him in, the Possession of his Saintship upon such an Evidence.

The Doctrine of the
Priscillianists takes
deep Root in Spain.
Syricius and Ambrose, in Conjunction with the Catholic Bishops of Spain, alarmed at the wonderful Progress the Doctrine of Priscillian had made in so short a Time, left nothing unattempted they could think of to put a Stop to the growing Evil. But all to no Purpose; in spite of their utmost Efforts, in defiance of the most severe 250Laws, that were enacted against them, especially by the Emperors Honorius, and Theodosius the younger, their Numbers increased daily, and their Doctrine grew daily more popular; the Severities that were practised against them, serving only to recommend those to the Esteem and Veneration of the Multitude, who suffered them, as many did, with Patience and Constancy. As they held it lawful to conceal their real Sentiments from the Catholics, by disowning them with the most solemn Oaths; the Catholics suffered themselves to be led by a mistaken Zeal into the same Error, disowning, in like manner, their Sentiments, the better to discover those of their Adversaries. But this pernicious Practice of defending Truth by destroying it, and opposing Lyes by Lying, was fully and unanswerably confuted by Austin, in his Answer to Consentius, who had writ to him at Length upon that Subject[1268][N27].

N27. The Doctrine of the Church of Rome, concerning Equivocations, mental Reservations, and the Lawfulness, or rather Obligation, of concealing, with the most solemn Oaths, what has been revealed under the Seal of Confession, has perhaps some Affinity with the Doctrine of the Priscillianists. What is only known under the Seal of Confession, say their Divines, is not known to Man, but to God alone, since it was not discovered to a Man, but to God represented by a Man, that is, to the Priest or Confessor; and therefore the Priest may, with a safe Conscience, affirm, even upon Oath, that he knows not what he thus knew. ‘Tis by recurring to this Doctrine, that F. Daniel Bartoli, in his History of England, or rather of the Jesuits in England, endeavours to justify the Conduct of the Jesuit Garnet, in not discovering the Gun-powder Plot, to which he supposes him to have been privy: but as it was disclosed to him in Confession, or at least under the Seal of Confession, he had sinned grievously by discovering it, though by such a Discovery he might have saved a whole Nation from Destruction[1]. So that the violating such a Seal is a far greater Evil than the Loss of so many Lives, than the utter Ruin of an intire Nation. A Doctrine evidently repugnant to the Dictates both of Reason and Humanity.

1. Bar. hist. d’Inghilterra.

The indefatigable Pains Syricius took, together with the other Catholic Bishops, in suppressing the Heresy of the Priscillianists, proved quite unsuccessful, though seconded by the Secular Power, and the severest Laws that had yet been enacted against Heretics. Their Doctrine rather gained, than lost Ground; and we shall find them in the Sixth Century, that is, Two hundred Years hence, still a numerous Sect, and Councils assembling, to very little Purpose, against them. Syricius was not so intent, as we are told, upon maintaining the Doctrine of the Church, as to neglect the Discipline. Council assembled by
Syricius at Rome.In order to correct several Abuses, that had begun to prevail, and revive 251some antient Constitutions, that were grown out of Use, he convened a Council at Rome, which is said to have consisted of Eighty Bishops; and, with their Consent and Approbation, established the following Canons: 1. That no one should presume to ordain a Bishop, without the Knowlege of the Apostolic See. 2. That no Man should be admitted to the Ecclesiastical Order, who, after the Remission of his Sins, that is, perhaps, after his Baptism, had worn the Sword of worldly Warfare. 3. That no Clerk should marry a Widow. 4. That the Novatians and Montanists, that is, Donatists, should be received into the Church by the Imposition of Hands; but that such as, abandoning the Catholic Faith, had been rebaptized by them, should not be re-admitted without performing a long Penance. 5. That the Priests and Deacons should live continent, being, by their Office, daily employed in the Divine Ministry[1269]. These Canons or Decrees, say the Roman Catholic Divines, are contained in a Letter, which Syricius writ to the Bishops of Africa, and which was read, and received as a Law, by a Council held some Years after at Tela, in the Province of Byzacene, as appears from the Acts of that Council[1270]. Ferrandus, Deacon of Carthage, in his Abridgment of the Canons, done in the Sixth Century, often quotes the Letter of Syricius, and takes particular Notice of the Canons that were copied from it by the Council of Tela. The same Letter, together with the Acts of that Council, are to be found, Word for Word, in the antient Code of the Church of Rome. So that, upon the Whole, we cannot question, says Baronius, the Authenticity of that Piece, without rendering the Authority of every other Monument of Antiquity quite precarious, and leaving Men to their own wild and groundless Conjectures. But Men of Learning have, of late Years, been too much upon their Guard to admit, without the strictest Examination, any Piece, however authentic in Appearance, that seemed to countenance the extraordinary Power and Authority claimed by the Bishop of Rome. And not without Reason, since they well knew what Pains had been taken to banish Truth, by suppressing or adulterating the most authentic Records, and to establish Falshood, by substituting in their room fabulous Legends, spurious Letters, and Acts of Councils that never were held. As for the Letter ascribed to Syricius, it has been suspected ever since Criticism took place[1271], and lately rejected, 252as unquestionably supposititious, by F. Quesnel, who, in a learned Dissertation on that Subject, proves, in my Opinion, unanswerably, not only the Letter; but the Acts of the pretended Council of Tela, to have been forged, and inserted, in latter Times, into the Collection of Ferrandus, and the Roman Code[1272][N28].

N28. To convince the Reader of this double Forgery, I need not refer him to that judicious Writer. The many groundless, perplexed, and contradictory Arguments, or rather Conjectures, alleged by those who have taken most Pains to prove both the above-mentioned Pieces genuine, viz. by Chifflerus, Papebrok, and Cardinal Noris, are, perhaps, a more convincing Proof of their being forged, than any that can be alleged against them. There is so palpable a Difference, in point of Style, between this Letter, and that which Syricius writ to Himerius, and which is on all Hands allowed to be genuine, that no one can possibly suppose both to have been penned by one and the same Person. Besides, in the former Letter Syricius absolutely commands, and in this only advises, exhorts, and intreats the Priests and Deacons to live continent. Of those Two Difficulties none of the Writers I have just quoted have thought fit to take the least Notice, though they could hardly escape their Observation. The very first Canon or Article of this Letter, for the sake of which both the Letter itself, and the Acts of the Council, were most probably forged, sufficiently betrays the Forgery. For it is absolutely unintelligible, and therefore pointed, construed, altered, &c. in Twenty different Manners, by those who maintain it to be genuine. Some read it thus: Ut sine conscientia sedis Apostolicæ Primatis nemo audeat ordinare; That no one should presume to ordain without the Knowlege of the Primate of the Apostolic See. I do not find the Bishops of Rome to have ever styled themselves, in their Letters, Primates of the Apostolic See; nay, the humble Title of Primate of the Apostolic See (humble with respect to the Bishop of Rome, Primate, Prince, and Monarch of the whole Church), so soured Labbé, that he fairly owned the Truth, chusing rather to give up the Letter, than to admit a Title that seemed to detract from the Supremacy. Besides, it is very certain, that, in the Time of Syricius the Bishops of Rome were not yet so lost to all Modesty as to pretend, in open Defiance of the Canons, that no Bishop should be ordained without their Knowlege. Others read that Article thus: Ut extra conscientiam sedis Apostolicæ, hoc est, Primatis, &c. That none should presume to ordain without the Knowlege of the Apostolic See, that is, of their Primate. Now, is it probable, that the Bishop of Rome would have given the Title of Apostolic See to all the Metropolitan Churches; a Title which Pope Leo the Great would not allow even to the Bishop of Constantinople[1]? I might add, that the Author of this Letter writes, and I think very ridiculously, that the African Bishops would have come to Rome to assist at the Council, had they not been prevented by their Infirmities, or old Age; which is supposing them all to have been old or infirm; that the Subscription of this Letter is very singular, Data Romæ in Concilio Episcoporum octoginta, which in all other Synodal Letters is placed at the Beginning; that neither this Letter, nor the Council of Tela; by which it is supposed to have been quoted, are ever mentioned or taken notice of by any of the Councils, that were afterwards held in Africa; to establish the Celibacy of the Clergy. Some will have this Letter to have been written only for the Bishops of the Vicariate of Rome, of which Syricius was Primate, and to have been sent by him to the Bishops of Africa, and perhaps to those of the other Provinces, with a Design to try whether they might not be prompted to receive the Canons it contained, as general Rules, though made for the Vicariate only. This had been attempting to establish at once, and in a manner by Surprize, an universal Jurisdiction. But I can hardly believe, that, in the Days of Syricius, when the Ambition of the Bishops of Rome was yet in its Infancy, they should have aspired to, or entertained any Notion of, such a Jurisdiction. As to the Council, I shall only observe here, that it is said in all the printed Copies of the Councils, all the antient Manuscripts, but one, to have been held at Tela, in the Province of Byzacene, whereas Tela is allowed, even by those who defend this Council as genuine, to have belonged to the Proconsularis. They have therefore nothing else to recur to but the Ignorance of the Transcribers, the usual Refuge in such Cases, whom they all agree to have been mistaken, though all equally at a Loss, and at Variance among themselves, how to correct the supposed Mistake. For, instead of Tela, some read Zela or Zella, others Tena, Teneptis, Teleptus, &c. In short, there is not a single Town in the whole Province of Byzacene, bearing the least Resemblance in Name with Tela, that has not been substituted in its room; nay, some have bestowed that Honour on the smallest Villages, as if it were probable, that, in a Province, filled, as Byzacene was, with considerable Cities, and Episcopal Sees, Bishops should chuse to assemble in a Village. To read Proconsularis instead of Byzacene, as some have done, is contradicting, and consequently giving up, the Acts of that Council; for the Thirty-three Bishops named there, as composing it, were all of the latter Province, and Vincentius and Fortunatianus are said to have assisted as Deputies from the former[2]. It would be needless to dwell any longer on this Subject, and point out the many Absurdities and Contradictions that occur in the supposed Acts of that Council, since the very Title must convince every impartial Reader, that no such Council was ever held. I cannot, however, help taking Notice of a very extraordinary Canon, quoted by Ferrandus, from the Letter of Syricius, and approved, as is said there, by the Council of Tela; viz. That no Bishop should be ordained by a single Bishop, the Church of Rome excepted. This Exception is not to be found in the Letter ascribed to Syricius, from which they make Ferrandus quote it; and, besides, the Bishops of Rome were never ordained by a single Bishop, nor did they ever take upon them to ordain Bishops alone.

1. Leo, ep. 78.

2. Concil. t. 1. p. 1577.

253I find no farther Mention made of Syricius, in the antient Writers, till the Year 390. when he condemned the Doctrine of Jovinian; and cast him and his Followers out of the Church. Jovinian was by Profession a Monk, by Birth a Latin, as Jerom observes, and the first who infected that Language with Heresy; all, or rather almost all, the Heresies that, for the first Four hundred Years, had disturbed the Peace of the Church, having been broached by Greeks, Chaldæans, or Syrians[1273]. He had formerly practised great Austerities, going bare-footed, living upon Bread and Water, covered with a tattered black Garment, and earning his Livelihood with the Sweat of his Brow, his Hands being callous with long and hard Labour[1274]. The Doctrine he taught is, by Jerom, reduced to the Four following Heads: 1. That those, who, with a lively Faith, have been regenerated by Baptism, cannot afterwards be overcome by the Devil. 2. That for all those, who shall preserve their Baptism; an equal Reward is reserved in Heaven. 2543. That there is no Difference of Merit between abstaining from some Meats, and using them with Thanksgiving. 4. and lastly, That Virgins, Widows, and married Women, are in a State of equal Merit; and, consequently, that all Difference in Merit can only arise from their different Actions. That the Two last were then counted Heresies, shews that the Church began, in this Century, to be tainted with Doctrines that border on Popery, and no-ways consist with the Liberty of the Gospel[1275]. Besides these Tenets, Jovinian taught, as Ambrose and Austin inform us, that the Virgin Mary preserved her Virginity in conceiving our Saviour, but lost it in bringing him forth, pretending to prove by Arguments, false, but ingenious enough, say they, that we should otherwise be obliged to own, with the Manichees, the Body of Christ not to have been real, but aereal[1276]. He, besides, charged the Catholics with Manicheism, on account of their preferring the State of Virginity to that of Matrimony[1277]. Both Jerom and Ambrose tell us, that, together with his Doctrine, he changed his Manners, renouncing his former Austerities, and giving himself up to all manner of Debauchery, to redeem, as it were, the Time he had lost[1278]. But perhaps this Charge was not well founded, but rather supposed as a Consequence of his undervaluing Celibacy, and the Merit ascribed to it, there being too many Instances in Ecclesiastical History of such Inferences, drawn from Opinions which were not approved by the Fathers of the Church, as could no-way be justified. They often painted those, whom they styled Heretics, in the blackest Colours, to prejudice the People more effectually against their Doctrine. In this Art Jerom excelled all the rest, and none ever disagreed with him, who did not at once forfeit those very Virtues, which he himself had admired and extolled in them before. He abstained, however, from Matrimony; but merely, say Austin and Jerom, to avoid the Trouble and Anxiety attending it, and not because he apprehended there could be in this Life any Merit in Continency, or any Reward allotted for it in the next[1279]. This Doctrine he broached in Rome, and soon found there a great Number of Followers, among the rest several of both Sexes, who had embraced, and professed for many Years, the State of Virginity, being seduced and misled, says Austin, by the Cavils of that impious Wretch, asking them, whether 255they pretended to be more holy than Abraham and Sarah, than many other Men and Women, who, though married, are commended in the Old Testament, for their eminent Sanctity[1280]. The first, who took Offence at this Doctrine, were Two Laymen, viz. Pammachius and Victorinus. All we know of the latter is, that he was illustrious for his Birth, and, if we believe Ambrose, venerable for his Piety[1281]. As for Pammachius, he is well known in the History of the Church, and often mentioned by Jerom with the greatest Commendations. He was descended, says that Writer, from the antient Family of the Camilli, and yet less distinguished by the Nobility of his Descent than his Piety[1282]. Having heard, by Chance, some of the Propositions advanced by Jovinian, he made it his Business to inquire more narrowly into his Doctrine, being assisted therein by Victorinus, who had taken the Alarm upon hearing, in Rome, this shocking Doctrine, says Jerom[1283], that a Virgin was no better than a married Woman. These Two having, by a diligent Inquiry, discovered at length the whole Doctrine of Jovinian, as well as the Author and Promoters of it, they presented a Request to Syricius, acquainting him therewith, and desiring, that the Doctrine of Jovinian might be condemned by the Episcopal Authority, and the Sentence of the Holy Ghost, as contrary to the Law of God[1284]. These are Ambrose’s Words, as the Text now is; but it is generally thought to have been altered and corrupted. The Doctrine of
Jovinian condemned
by a Council at
Rome.Be that as it will, Syricius did not take upon him to act on this Occasion by his private Authority; but, assembling the Priests, Deacons, and other Ecclesiastics of Rome, he read to them the Request of Pammachius and Victorinus, and, having, together with them, maturely examined the Doctrine of Jovinian, he declared it, with the unanimous Consent of the whole Assembly, contrary to Scripture; and at the same time cut off, for ever, from the Communion of the Church, not only Jovinian, who had first broached such a Doctrine, but those among his Followers, who were found to have been the most sanguine in promoting it; viz. Auxentius, Genialis, Germinator, Felix, Frontinus, Martianus, Januarius, and Ingenius[1285]. Jovinian, instead of submitting to the Judgment of Syricius, and his Clergy, immediately left Rome, and repaired with all Speed to Milan, not despairing of being able to engage Ambrose in his Favour, and likewise the Emperor Theodosius, who was then in that City, before 256Syricius could prejudice them against him. Of this Syricius was aware, and therefore, without Loss of Time, dispatched Three of his Presbyters to Milan, Crescentius, Leopardus, and Alexander, with a Letter to that Church, which has been transmitted to us among Ambrose’s Works[1286], acquainting them with what had passed at Rome. In virtue of this Letter he was rejected by Ambrose; and, at the Request of the Three Roman Presbyters, driven our of the Town by the Emperor[N29].

N29. Baronius pretends it was on this Occasion that Theodosius enacted the Law, dated from Verona the 3d of September of the present Year 390. commanding all, who professed a monastic Life, to quit the Cities, and retire, pursuant to their Profession, into the Deserts[1]. But that it was made on a very different Occasion, it will fall in my way to shew hereafter.

1. Bar. ad ann. 390. n. 47, 48.

The Letter of Syricius was answered by Ambrose, and signed by him, and several other Bishops, who were still at Milan, where they had met to condemn Ithacius, and his Adherents, for having been accessary to the Death of Priscillian. In their Answer they commend the Pastoral Vigilance of Syricius, and, having briefly declared their Opinion against the other Tenets of Jovinian, dwell on what he had advanced against the Virginity of the Virgin Mary. But they seem to have mistaken his Meaning, in charging him with Manicheism, and supposing him to have held, that our Saviour did not assume a real Body: for he held no such Doctrine, but only charged the Catholics with it, as Austin tells us in express Terms[1287]. It is surprising, that such a Question should have thus employed the Thoughts and Attention of so many venerable Prelates, and created such Feuds and Animosities in the Church. Both Parties agreed, that the Virgin Mary had brought forth her Son without the Co-operation or Intercourse of Man; and in that Sense alone she is styled a Virgin.

Law enacted against Jovinian, and his Followers.
From Milan Jovinian returned to the Neighbourhood of Rome, where his Followers continued to assemble, under his Direction, till the Year 398. when the Emperor Honorius, giving Ear to the Complaints of the neighbouring Bishops, enacted a Law, commanding him and his Accomplices to be beaten with Whips armed with Lead, and transported into different Islands[1288]. Jovinian himself was confined to the Isle of Boas, on the Coast of Dalmatia[1289], where he gave up the Ghost, about the Year 406. in the Midst of the Mirth and Jollity 257of a Banquet, says Jerom, adding that he was revived in Vigilantius, as Euphorbus was formerly in Pythagoras[1290]. Some of Jerom’s Friends in Rome sent him the Book, which Jovinian had composed to explain and defend his Doctrine, begging him to confute it. He readily complied with their Request, and ended his Work in the Year 392. It consisted of Two Books, but met with a very indifferent Reception at Rome. For though he declared from the Beginning, that it was not his Intention to condemn Marriage, and that he had an utter Abhorrence to the Errors of Marcion, of Tatian, and the Manichees, holding Marriage to be sinful; yet the disparaging Terms he made use of in speaking of Marriage, gave great Offence, even to those who professed Continency[N30].

N30. This induced Pammachius to purchase all the Copies of it he could get, and send them back to the Author, acquainting him in a friendly manner with what had chiefly given Offence[1]. This Jerom took as a Token of the most sincere Friendship; and therefore, not satisfied with acknowleging the Obligation he had laid on him, and commending his Conduct as worthy of his great Prudence, and answerable to the Affection which it was owing to, he immediately set about the Apology which Pammachius had advised him to write, and inscribed it to him[2].

1. Ex Ruff. p. 231. & ep. 52.

2. Hier. ep. 51, 52.

Notwithstanding the Severity of the Law I have mentioned above, some still continued to hold, and privately to propagate, the Doctrine of Jovinian, which induced Austin to compose his Treatise on the Advantages of Marriage and Virginity; a Performance far more judicious than that of Jerom, who has taken great Pains to disparage and cry down Marriage, the better to extol Virginity, as if he could not commend the one without condemning the other. Austin, on the contrary, begins his Work with great Encomiums on Matrimony, to which, however commendable, in the End he prefers Virginity. But after all, the Reasons alleged by the one as well as the other, are, if duly weighed, but empty and unconclusive Speculations.

New Disturbances in the Church of Antioch.
The following Year, 391. a great Council was convened at Capua, chiefly with a View to restore Peace to the Church of Antioch, and put an End to the Schism, which had long prevailed there, and had occasioned almost an intire Separation between the East and the West, as I have related elsewhere[1291]. Paulinus, who was acknowleged for lawful Bishop of that City by Part of the Catholics there, by the Bishops of Egypt, Arabia, Cyprus, by the Bishop of Rome, and all 258the Western Bishops, died about the Year 388[1292]. But the unhappy Division, which had reigned during his Life, continued to reign even after his Death. For Paulinus, by a most unaccountable Conduct, and a most notorious and open Violation of the Canons, took upon him not only to appoint himself a Successor before he died, but to ordain him alone. The Person whom he thus both named and ordained, was one Evagrius, a Presbyter, with whom he had always lived in close Friendship[1293]; and who on that Account was, notwithstanding his illegal Election and Ordination, acknowleged by Paulinus’s Party for Bishop of Antioch. Theodoret writes, that the Bishop of Rome, with the other Western Bishops, and those of Egypt, embraced his Communion[1294]. But Ambrose assures us, that the Bishops of Egypt stood neuter, suspending all Communication both with Evagrius, and his Competitor Flavianus; and speaks in such manner of both, as gives us room to suppose that he himself communicated with neither. Both rely more on the Invalidity of their Competitor’s Ordination, says he, than on the Validity of their own. It is therefore with Reason that Flavianus declines a fair Tryal, and not without Reason that Evagrius does not demand one[1295]. The Example of Ambrose was, in all Likelihood, followed by the Bishop of Rome, and the other Western Bishops; or Ambrose, perhaps, conformed to theirs[N31].

N31. A modern Writer will have it by all means, that Syricius communicated with Evagrius[1], because he had always opposed Flavianus, as his Predecessors had done. But surely from his espousing the Cause of Paulinus, who was legally chosen, against Flavianus, whose Election was contested, we cannot well conclude, that, in Opposition to him, he likewise took the Part of one whose Election was indisputably illegal. It is far more probable, that he communicated with neither.

1. M. Launoy, ep. 7. p. 10.

All the Bishops of Illyricum, upon the Death of Paulinus, admitted Flavianus, and not Evagrius, to their Communion, if we may depend upon Theodoret[1296]. As this new Election occasioned unheard-of Disturbances in the Church of Antioch, as the Division still continued between the East and the West, the Western Bishops had frequent Recourse to the Emperor Theodosius, during the Three Years he passed in the West, pressing him to oblige, by his Imperial Authority, both Flavianus and Evagrius to submit their Cause to the Judgment of a 259Council, that should be held in Italy. Theodosius consented at last to their Request, named Capua for the Place where the Council should meet, and took upon him to oblige Flavianus to repair thither at the Time appointed. Soon after, that is, about the 14th of July 391. he left Italy, where he had continued ever since the Year 388. settling young Valentinian on the Throne, and set out for Constantinople, into which City he made his Entry on the 10th of November. Before his Departure from Italy he had writ to Flavianus, commanding him to repair to Constantinople, and wait his Arrival there. Flavianus readily complied with the Emperor’s Orders, and appeared at Court the Day after his Arrival. But when the Prince acquainted him with the Promise he had made to the Western Bishops, and desired him to prepare for the Journey, which he did in a very obliging Manner, Flavianus represented to him the Inconveniences, attending so long a Journey at that Season of the Year, and begged he would give him Leave to put it off to the Spring, when he would not fail to obey his Orders. The Emperor, seeing him stricken in Years, thought the Excuse just and reasonable; and therefore, out of Compassion and Good nature, allowed him for the present to return to his See[1297]. Thus did Flavianus, by the Indulgence of the Emperor, avoid the Judgment of the Western Bishops, who wisely forbore meddling with so nice a Subject in his Absence, though his Competitor was present.

The Council of Capua.
The Council of Capua met in the Latter-end of the Year 391. and was it seems, a very numerous Assembly, since it is styled, in the Canons of the Church of Africa, a full Council[1298]. But whether it was composed of all the Western Bishops, or only of the Bishops of Italy, is uncertain, and cannot be determined from the Words of Ambrose, We all met[1299], which may be equally understood of both. As the Acts of this Council have not reached our Times, we do not even know who presided at it, some conferring that Honour on Ambrose[1300], some on Syricius[1301], and some on both[1302]. That Syricius presided, or even assisted, in Person, is not at all probable; for in the Times I am now writing of, the Bishops of Rome had begun to affect Grandeur; and, under Pretence that their Presence was necessary in the great Metropolis of the Empire, to assist or preside in Councils held elsewhere by their Deputies or Legates, as they are now styled. 260That Syricius assisted, by his Deputies, at the Council of Capua, I do not doubt, since the Council was composed, at least, of all the Bishops of Italy, and Syricius owned himself bound by their Decrees[1303]. But that Ambrose presided, seems undeniable, since by him, and him alone, the Whole was conducted and managed[N32].

N32. Baronius, without the least Foundation in History, supposes Ambrose to have acted as the Pope’s Legate. But it is the Custom of that Writer to vest every eminent and distinguished Prelate with the Legatine Dignity on such Occasions, and then pass upon his Readers the Deference and Regard shewn to their Merit for a Tribute paid to the Bishops of Rome.

The Council avoided deciding, and even taking into Consideration, the Affair of Flavianus and Evagrius, in the Absence of the former, though they had chiefly met for that Purpose. However, to re-establish the Tranquillity of the Church, they agreed to renew their Correspondence with, and grant their Communion to, all the Catholic Bishops of the East. The Difference be-
tween the Two Com-
petitors to the See
of Antioch refered,
by the Council, to
the Bishops of Egypt.As for the Difference between the Two Competitors for the See of Antioch, they committed the discussing and deciding it to Theophylus Bishop of Alexandria, and the other Bishops of Egypt, as the most proper Judges, since they communicated with neither, and therefore could not be suspected to favour the one more than the other[1304]. The Bishop of Alexandria immediately acquainted Flavianus with the Resolution of the Council, summoning him, at the same time, to appear, in Compliance therewith, before the Bishops of Egypt, who were soon to assemble, in order to put the Decree of that venerable Assembly in Execution. Flavianus refuses to
comply with the De-
cree of the Council.But Flavianus, instead of obeying the Summons, and paying the Regard that was thought due to the Decree of so numerous a Council, refused to stir from Antioch, pleading a Rescript, which he had extorted from Theodosius, commanding the Western Bishops to repair into the East, and there examine the Affair in a new Council. This Theophylus did not expect, and therefore being at a Loss how to conduct himself on such an Emergency, he gave Ambrose immediate Notice of the Summons he had sent, and the Answer he had received. Ambrose had nothing so much at Heart as to restore Peace and Tranquillity to the Church of Antioch; and from the Regard which the Council had shewn to Flavianus, as well as the Impartiality with which they had acted with respect to both, he had promised himself Success in so pious an Undertaking. It was therefore with the utmost 261Concern that he saw his Endeavours thus unexpectedly defeated, and all Hopes of accomplishing what he had undertaken, vanish at once. He had but too much Reason to resent such an affronting Conduct, which did not so much affect the Council in general, as him in particular, since it was at his Motion, that the Council took the above-mentioned Resolution. That, however, did not tempt him to depart from the Neutrality he had embraced, and declare for Evagrius: he still maintained the same Impartiality, and refused to communicate with either. Ambrose’s Mod-
eration and Impartiality.In his Answer to Theophylus, he desires him, without betraying the least Emotion of Anger or Resentment, to summon Flavianus once more, directing him, at the same time, to communicate with all the Catholic Bishops of the East, pursuant to the Decree of the Council, whether he complied with this Second Summons or no; and to acquaint the Bishop of Rome with what he had done, that, the Whole being approved by that Church, as he did not question but it would, the whole Church might be happily of one Mind, and reap the Fruit of his Labour[1305].

Syricius writes to the Emperor.
Syricius, and in all Likelihood Ambrose too, wrote to Theodosius, pressing him to send Flavianus to Rome[N33], if he did not approve of his being judged by the Bishop of Alexandria. Syricius, in his Letter, tells the Emperor, that he well knew how to deal with Tyrants, who revolted from him, and how to chastise them; but suffered those to go unpunished, who despised the Laws of Christ[1306][N34].

N33. That is, into the West; for thus Theodoret constantly expresses the West.

N34. Theodoret tells us, that Damasus, Syricius, and Anastasius the Successor of Syricius, wrote to the Emperor Theodosius about the Dispute between Flavianus and Evagrius. A gross Mistake! since Damasus was dead long before the Election of Evagrius, and Theodosius before that of Anastasius.

Theodosius, in Compliance with the Request of Syricius, made in the Name of all the Western Bishops, sent anew for Flavianus, and told him, that he must, by all means, either repair to Rome, or submit his Cause to the Judgment of the Bishops of Egypt. Flavianus ready to
resign his Dignity,
rather than to submit
to the Judgment of the
Egyptian or Western
Bishops.But he was determined, says Theodoret, to relinquish his Dignity rather than to suffer the Western Bishops, or those of Egypt, to examine and decide whether he had a Right to it or no; and, by that means, to hold it of them. He therefore answered the Emperor, with great Calmness and Respect, in the following Terms: Sir, if my Faith is not thought Orthodox, or my Conduct not worthy of a Catholic Bishop, 262I am willing to be judged by those who accuse me, and ready to submit to the Sentence they shall pronounce. But, if all this Noise is made merely for the sake of my Dignity, from this Moment I resign every Preferment I enjoy in the Church, to those whom nothing but Preferment can silence. You may therefore dispose of the See of Antioch, now vacant, to whom you please. Theodosius, pleased with this Answer, and thinking Flavianus, the more ready he was to give up his Dignity, the more worthy to hold it, ordered him to return to Antioch, and resume the Government of his Church; nor did he ever afterwards give the least Attention to the pressing and repeated Instances of Syricius, and his Collegues in the West[1307].

Flavianus did not
acknowlege inSyr-
icius the Power
claimed by his Suc-
From the whole Conduct of Flavianus it is manifest, that he did not acknowlege any extraordinary Power in Syricius, much less that Power, which has been claimed by his Successors, of disposing, by Divine Right, of all Bishopricks, of placing and displacing Bishops, at Pleasure, throughout the Christian World. This Power, though evidently usurped, and utterly unknown even in the End of the Fourth Century, Bishops are now obliged to own in their very Titles, styling themselves Bishops of such a Place, by the Grace of God, and of the Apostolic See. Flavianus was content with the Grace of God; and, as for the Grace of the Apostolic See, he gave himself no Trouble about it. And yet Flavianus is honoured by the Church of Rome as a Saint; and his Festival kept on the 26th of September. And truly, if we may depend upon the Testimony of the most authentic and unexceptionable Writers of those Times, we shall hardly find one in the Roman Calendar more worthy of that Honour. The famous John Chrysostom, who was one of his Presbyters before his Promotion to the See of Constantinople, has filled his Homilies with the Praises of the great Flavianus, as he styles him. His distinguished Merit, eminent Virtues, and extraordinary Piety, seem to have been Chrysostom’s favourite Topic; and these Encomiums he bestowed upon him, while he was still alive. After his Death he was distinguished by the Council of Chalcedon, with the Title of the blessed Flavianus[1308]; and by that of the East, held under John of Antioch, ranked among the brightest Luminaries, the most illustrious Prelates, and the greatest Saints of the Church[1309]. Theodoret never names him without adding to his Name some Epithet, denoting his extraordinary Merit, such as 263the great, the holy, the admirable Flavianus. As therefore no room is left to doubt of his extraordinary Piety and Merit, we may well conclude, from his absolutely refusing to submit his Cause to the Judgment of Syricius, and the other Bishops of the West, that he did not acknowlege either in him or them a Power to judge him. This Refusal did not, in the Eyes of Chrysostom, and other great Men, detract in the least from his Merit, nor lessen the high Opinion they entertained of his Sanctity. A plain Indication that they did not think his Conduct reprehensible, and consequently did not acknowlege, more than he, that Power which is now one main Article of the Roman Catholic Creed.

The Communion
between the East and
the West renewed.
As Flavianus declined the Judgment of the Western as well as the Egyptian Bishops, and the Emperor gave no farther Ear to their Remonstrances and Complaints, the Resolution taken by the Council of Capua was put in Execution; which was, to renew the Communion and good Understanding between the East and the West, and abandon the Church of Antioch to its Schism, which, after so many promising Remedies applied in vain, began now to be deemed an incurable Evil[1310].

Bonosus accused
before the Council.
The Council of Capua, after the above-mentioned Resolution concerning the Difference between Flavianus and Evagrius, heard a Charge brought by some Bishops against Bonosus, Bishop of Naissus in Dacia, according to some, or, as others will have it, of Sardica, the Metropolis of that Province. He was accused of a Crime against the Canons of the Church and the Law of God[1311], and likewise of Heresy. His Errors.The Crime is not specified; but as for the Heresy, I gather from Austin, that he held the Son to be inferior to the Father[1312]; and from Ambrose, that he taught, the Virgin Mary had had other Children after the Birth of Christ[1313]. The judging of his
Cause committed by
the Council to the
neighbouring Bish-
ops, who condemn him.He had, it seems, been condemned by Damasus, who died in 384[1314]. but still held his See, and was not driven from it, even by the Council of Capua. For the Fathers of that Assembly committed the hearing and judging of his Cause to the Bishops in his Neighbourhood, chiefly to those of Macedon, under their Metropolitan Anysius, Bishop of Thessalonica[1315]. The neighbouring Bishops assembled, pursuant to the Order of the Council; and Bonosus, as well as his Accusers, appearing before them, they found the Charge so well supported, that they immediately forbid him to enter his Church; which was suspending him 264from all Episcopal Functions. Bonosus complained loudly of this Sentence, and even advised with the Bishop of Milan, whether he might not, in Defiance of a Judgment so rash and immature, still exercise the Functions of his Office, and, in case of Opposition, repel Force with Force. Ambrose exhorted him, in the strongest Terms, to acquiesce to the Sentence, to conduct himself with the Prudence, Temper, and Moderation, that became a Bishop; and, above all, not to undertake any thing that might be interpreted as a Contempt of the Authority of his Judges, since he could not contemn their Authority, without contemning at the same time that of the Council, which had appointed them[1316]. In the mean time the Bishops of Macedon, having more leisurely examined the Cause of Bonosus, wrote to Syricius, referring the Decision to him, and declaring their Abhorrence of the detestable Error, that the Virgin Mary had other Children besides Christ. If this was an Error, which may well be doubted, it was one that did no-way affect the Christian Faith, and therefore did not deserve such a severe Condemnation: but as it thwarted the favourable Opinions then entertained in the Church concerning Virginity, it is no Wonder that it should meet with so rough a Treatment[N35].

N35. That the Virgin Mary had other Children besides Christ, was not a new Opinion. It was taught by Helvidius in 383. and long before him by Tertullian, as Jerom himself is forced to own in the Treatise which he wrote against Helvidius: nay, in the Time of Epiphanius, who flourished from the Year 366. to 403. that Opinion universally prevailed in Arabia, as appears from the Letter which he wrote in Confutation of it, and addressed to all the Christians dwelling in Arabia, from the Presbyters down to the Catechumens. In that Letter he styles those who denied the perpetual Virginity of the Virgin Mary, Antidicomarianites; and ranks them, though their Opinion had not yet been condemned by the Church, sometimes among the Heretics, and sometimes among the Schismatics. But in the same Letter he censures, with no less Severity, those who adored her, styling the Worship that was paid her an idolatrous Heresy; which was taxing those who paid it both with Heresy and Idolatry; and from neither will the unmeaning Terms of Latria, Dulia, Hyperdulia, &c. invented and used by the Schoolmen to express different Degrees of Worship, excuse the present Practice of the Church of Rome. Epiphanius was unacquainted with such Terms, as well as with the different Degrees of Worship answering them; and therefore called the Meeting of certain Women, on a stated Day, to offer a Cake to the Virgin Mary, and eat it together in her Honour (whence they had the Name of Collyridians), a Folly repugnant to Religion, an Illusion of the Devil, a robbing God of the Honour that was due to him, an idolatrous Heresy[1]. These Women came from the Northern Provinces of Scythia into Thrace, probably about the Year 372. when Athanaric King of the Goths drove all the Christians out of his Dominions. From Thrace they wandered into Arabia; and there, in Opposition to the Antidicomarianites, introduced the above-mentioned idolatrous Practice. This is the first Instance of any Worship paid to the Virgin Mary; and to those Women the extravagant Worship that is still paid her by the Church of Rome, owes its Rise. Some of these Women took upon them to act, at their Meetings, as Priestesses. This Epiphanius styles an abominable Abuse, Women being so utterly incapable, says he, of performing any Ecclesiastical Functions, that our Saviour did not grant even to his Mother the Power of baptizing[2].

1. Epiph. hær. 78, 79.

2. Idem ibid.

265Syricius, in his Answer to the Bishops of Macedon, approves their Sentiments; and employs almost his whole Letter to shew, that the Virgin Mary was always a Virgin: but as for the Cause of Bonosus, he tells them, that it was not lawful for him to judge it, since that Province had been committed to them by the Council of Capua[1317]. And was not this disclaiming, in the most plain and explicit Terms he possibly could, that Power which his Successors challenge, and have almost overturned the Christian Religion to maintain[N36]?

N36. Such a Letter, we may be sure, has not been tamely received by the Partisans of Rome. Some of them have rejected it as forged and surreptitious, for no other Reason, but because Syricius is there made to disclaim a Power which he undoubtedly had. But this is evidently begging the Question[1]. Others, finding it conveyed to us amongst Ambrose’s Letters, have ascribed it to him, by prefixing his Name to it. But Ambrose is unluckily named, and spoken of, in the Body of the Letter: whence Baronius himself allows it not to be his[2]. The Style afforded great Matter of Dispute, some thinking it like, and others unlike, to the Style of Syricius: but more than the Style, the Title; To Theophilus and Anysius. The former was Bishop of Alexandria: And how came he to be any-ways concerned in the Cause of Bonosus? If that Name was common to him with some Bishops of Macedon, how came that Bishop to be named before Anysius his Metropolitan[3]? In the Height of these Disputes, Holstenius published the above-mentioned Letter at Rome, under the Name of Syricius, from a very antient and authentic Manuscript, with the following Title, To Anysius and the other Bishops of Illyricum[4]. This turned the Controversy into another Chanel; for the Dispute was no more concerning the Authenticit, but the Sense, of the Letter, which the Sticklers for the See of Rome began to think very different from the Sense that the Words of Syricius had conveyed to them before; nay, those who had rejected the Letter as spurious, for no other Reason but because Syricius was there made to disown a Power which he undoubtedly had, were not ashamed now to maintain, that he disowned no such Power. Some of them have a particular Faculty or Talent at making Authors say what they never thought or dreamt of; nay, at making them affirm what they flatly deny, and deny what they positively affirm. But they have not been so successful on this as on several other Occasions. The Words of Syricius are too plain and precise to admit of any plausible, or even probable, Misinterpretation. To avoid therefore the tiresome and unnecessary Task of confuting the forced Interpretations they have put on the Words of Syricius, I refer the Reader to his Letter, which is the Fifth amongst Ambrose’s Letters; and leave him to judge, whether it was possible for him to disclaim, in Terms less liable to Misinterpretations, the Power of judging a Cause committed by a Council to the Judgment of others, which was disclaiming, in other Words, that universal Jurisdiction, which his Successors have usurped, and pretend to exercise by Divine Right.

1. David. p. 562, 563.

2. Bar. ad ann. 389. n. 76.

3. Vid. Blond. primau. p. 236.

4. Holst. coll. Rom. t. 1. p. 189.

Bonosus exercises the
Episcopal Functions
after his Condem-
266As Syricius declined the judging of Bonosus, his Cause was in the End decided, and he condemned by Anysius and the other Bishops, to whom that Judgment had been committed by the Council of Capua. It was at the same time decreed, that those who had been ordained by him after the first Sentence, that is, after his Suspension, should retain the Degrees to which he had raised them. This Indulgence was shewn, as is declared in the Decree, contrary to the common Rule, on account of the present Necessity; that is, lest they should adhere to Bonosus, and form a Schism[1318]. He ordains some by
force.Bonosus, though thus condemned, continued to exercise the Episcopal Functions, and, holding separate Assemblies, to ordain, without Examination or Distinction, all who presented themselves to him: nay, he is even charged with dragging some by open Force to his Conventicle, and ordaining them there against their Will[1319]: a kind of Rape never heard of before. What Advantage he could propose to himself or others in so doing, we are not told, and it is not easy to guess. The Bishops of Macedon allowed even those, who were thus ordained, to keep their respective Degrees in the Catholic Church, upon their only receiving the Benediction of a lawful Bishop. Hence those, who found themselves excluded by the Church from holy Orders, on account of their scandalous Lives, applied to Bonosus, pretending to espouse his Party, but left him as soon as they had obtained the Degree they wanted[1320]. Bonosus died about the Year 410. but his Doctrine did not die with him, being maintained by some Two hundred Years after his Death[N37].

N37. His Followers were known by the Name of Bonosiacs or Bonosians; and Mention is made of them by Pope Gregory, towards the Latter-end of the Sixth Century[1]. That Pope writes, as does likewise Gennadius[2], that the Church rejected their Baptism, because they did not baptize in the Name of the Three Divine Persons. But the Council of Arles, held in 452. by the Seventeenth Canon, commands the Bonosians to be received into the Church by the holy Unction, the Imposition of Hands, and a Confession of Faith, it being certain, that they baptize in the Name of the Trinity[3]. It is to be observed, that several Writers have confounded the Bonosians with the Photinians, who did not baptize in the Name of the Three Persons; and by them both Gregory and Gennadius were misled[4].

1. Greg. l. 9. ep. 61.

2. Id. ib. Genn. dog. c. 52.

3. Avit. frag. p. 188.

4. Vide Concil. t. 2. p. 1270. & t. 3 p. 663. & t. 4. p. 1013.

An End put to the Schism of Antioch.
Syricius had, in the last Year of his Life, the Satisfaction of seeing an End put at length to the Schism of Antioch, which I have had so frequent Occasion to speak of; and the East and West, after so long a Misunderstanding, or rather Separation, happily reunited. This great 267Work was accomplished in the following Manner: Evagrius, the Successor of Paulinus, dying not long after his Promotion, Flavianus employed all the Credit and Interest he had at Court, and with the Clergy of Antioch, to prevent the Election of a new Bishop in the room of the deceased: and so far his Endeavours proved successful. But he could by no means gain the Eustathians, who continued to assemble apart, or prevail either upon the Bishops of Egypt, or Syricius, and the other Western Bishops, to admit him to their Communion, though he had no Competitor, whose Cause they could espouse against him. Thus, through the inflexible Obstinacy of the Egyptian and Western Bishops, was Discord kept alive, and a kind of Schism fomented among the Prelates and Members of the Catholic Church, says Sozomen[1321]. In this Situation Affairs continued from the Year 392. in which Evagrius died, to the Year 398. when the famous John Chrysostom, Presbyter of the Church of Antioch, was, in regard of his extraordinary Merit, preferred to the See of Constantinople. No sooner was he placed in that high Station, than his generous Disposition, above all little Piques and Jealousies, his Zeal for the Welfare of the Church in general, and the tender Regard he had for that of Antioch in particular, prompted him to employ all the Credit and Authority, which his new Dignity gave him, in bringing about an intire Reconciliation between the East and the West, and restoring the Church of Antioch to the Communion of those Churches, from which it had been so long separated[1322]. Chrysostom studies to reconcile the Eastern and Western Bishops.Chrysostom had been consecrated by Theophilus Bishop of Alexandria, whom the Council of Capua had appointed to decide, with the other Bishops of Egypt, the Difference between Flavianus and Evagrius, as I have related above. To him therefore, before he left Constantinople to return to Egypt, the new Bishop of that City, impatient to see so great a Work brought to a happy Issue, imparted his Intention of attempting a Reconciliation between Flavianus and Syricius Bishop of Rome, earnestly intreating him to second and promote with his Endeavours an Undertaking truly worthy of the Two first Bishops of the East.

Flavianus and Theo-
philus reconciled.
There had subsisted a Misunderstanding between Theophilus and Flavianus ever since the Year 391. when the Council of Capua was held. Flavianus had refused to submit his Cause to the Judgment of Theophilus, pursuant to the Resolution of that Council; which he had highly resented; and, in the Height of his Resentment, as he was 268a Man of a fiery and choleric Temper, he had written to Flavianus in a very haughty and imperious Style. To these Letters Nestorius, no doubt, alludes, where he tells us, that Egypt could not, by her menacing Letters, though written in the Style, and with all the Haughtiness, of an imperious Tyrant, move or terrify the blessed Flavianus[1323]. It was necessary, in the first place, to remove the Misunderstanding which had so long subsisted between these Two Prelates; and in this Chrysostom met with no Difficulty or Obstruction, Theophilus readily agreeing to the Terms he proposed in the Name of Flavianus, and Flavianus ratifying them, upon the first Notice, without the least Exception or Limitation. Chrysostom attempts
a Reconciliation
between Flavianus
and Syricius.What these Terms were, we are no-where told; but it is certain, that, all Disputes being thereby composed, the Bishops of Alexandria and Antioch were intirely reconciled, and the Communion between them renewed, to the great Satisfaction of both[1324]. The next Thing to be attempted, and, as was apprehended, the most difficult to be accomplished, was the reconciling of Syricius with the Bishop of Antioch, who had now held that See Seventeen Years, but had not been able, notwithstanding the great Character he bore, to obtain the Communion of Syricius, or any of his Predecessors, on account of their strong Prejudice against him, as well as his Predecessor Meletius, and their obstinate Attachment to the contrary Party, in Opposition to the far greater Part of the Eastern Bishops. His prudent Conduct.But the Zeal of Chrysostom was Proof against all Difficulties. Not despairing therefore of Success, he took the most effectual Means a consummate Prudence could dictate, to obtain it, advising the Bishops of Antioch and Alexandria to acquaint the Bishop of Rome, by a solemn Embassy, with their Reconciliation, and at the same time to beg, in the Name of Flavianus, the Communion of that See. This he knew would flatter the Vanity of Syricius, and be of more Weight than any Remonstrances they could make. They readily fell in with the Proposal, and Deputies were immediately chosen to put it in Execution. These were Acacius Bishop of Berœa, Demetrius of Pessinus, and several other Bishops, with Isidorus Presbyter and Hospitaler of the Church of Alexandria, and a great Number of Presbyters and Deacons of the Church of Antioch. Acacius, who was at the Head of this Deputation, was charged by Chrysostom to present to Syricius the Decree of his Election to the See of Constantinople[1325]. That so great 269an Honour might not be conferred in vain on the See of Rome, it was thought adviseable to acquaint Syricius with their Design, before they set out, and to be well assured of a kind Reception on their Arrival in the West. Syricius and Flav-
ianus reconciled.They gave him accordingly early Notice of their Intention, and he, taken with the Bait, readily promised to settle every thing to their Satisfaction[1326]; which he did accordingly, receiving them, on their Arrival at Rome, with the greatest Marks of Respect and Esteem, and admitting Flavianus to his Communion. From Rome the Deputies repaired into Egypt, where all the Bishops, following the Example of Theophilus and Syricius, acknowleged Flavianus for lawful Bishop of Antioch, and, assembling in Council, with great Solemnity, embraced his Communion. The Misunderstand-
ing between the East
and the West intirely
removed.From Egypt the Deputies set out for Antioch, and there, by delivering to Flavianus Letters of Communion from the Western and Egyptian Bishops, completed the great Work, and with it their Deputation[1327]. Thus was an End put, at last, to the Schism of Antioch; and, after so many Years of Strife and Contention, a perfect Harmony and good Understanding were settled anew between the East and the West[N38].

N38. If Syricius is to blame (and who, but Baronius, can excuse him?) for not acknowleging Flavianus, at least after the Death of Paulinus, the Election of his Successor Evagrius being unquestionably uncanonical and illegal; how much more is he to blame for not acknowleging him even after the Death of Evagrius, when he had no Pretence whatsoever for denying him his Communion, and by granting it he might have put an End to the Schism? Baronius, to conceal the Truth, and mislead his Readers, takes a great deal of Pains, in his Account of this Schism, to place in a false Light all the Transactions relating to it. But, in spite of all the Art he has been able to use, to varnish over the Conduct of Syricius, and impose on the Public, it must appear undeniable to every impartial, I may say, to every rational, Man, that the Schism, and the many Evils attending it, which are pathetically described by Chrysostom, who was then at Antioch[1], were intirely owing to the Pride and Obstinacy of the Bishop of Rome, at least during the last Six Years, that is, from the Year 382. when Evagrius died, to 388. when he yielded, at last, upon his being courted to it by a solemn Embassy. He had nothing then to object against the Election, and much less against the Conduct of Flavianus; and, if he had nothing then, he could have nothing before; so that it was merely from a haughty and obstinate Spirit that he refused to communicate with him, and, by such a Refusal, kept up and fomented a Division so pernicious to the Church. Baronius represents him as labouring with indefatigable Pains to restore the Tranquillity of the Church, and leaving nothing unattempted that could any-ways contribute to the promoting of so pious an Undertaking, an Undertaking which he had so much at Heart. But that he had nothing at Heart besides the Glory of his See, is but too manifest from his Conduct; for the Minute that was saved, as it was by the above-mentioned Deputation, all the Difficulties vanished at once, which till then had obstructed the Work. As for the Conduct of Flavianus, in refusing to submit his Cause to the Judgment of the Council of Capua, or of the Egyptian Bishops, appointed to judge it by that Council, it must appear, if impartially considered, more worthy of Commendation than Blame, tho’ condemned, in very unbecoming Terms, by the Sticklers for the See of Rome. He had been chosen in the Oecumenical Council of Constantinople, in the Year 381. by the unanimous Voice of all the Bishops of the Diocese of the East, or the Patriarchate of Antioch, and soon after ordained in their Presence, at Antioch, with the Approbation of Nestorius, then Bishop of Constantinople, and the loud Acclamations of the far greater Part of the People of Antioch, promising themselves, in him, a second Meletius, in whose room he was chosen[2]. Being thus chosen and ordained, he was acknowleged by all the Bishops of the East, except those of Egypt, of the Island of Cyprus, and Arabia. Could he therefore, without shamefully betraying the undoubted Right, which the Bishops of each Diocese had of chusing their Metropolitan, suffer his Election to be questioned and canvassed by the Western Bishops, who had no Concern in it; and, besides, had openly espoused the Cause of his Competitor Paulinus, and supported him, so long as he lived, with the most open and avowed Partiality? Could he, without foregoing, in a manner still more shameful, both his own Right, and that of his Electors, out of Compliance to the Bishops assembled at Capua, put himself upon the Level with Evagrius, whose Election and Ordination were undoubtedly illegal? Besides, Flavianus was sensible, that the Eastern Bishops would have paid no manner of Regard to the Sentence of the Council; that, had the Council adjudged the See of Antioch to Evagrius, such a Judgment, instead of closing, would have widened the Breach between the East and the West; and consequently, that his complying with their Summons, far from answering the End they proposed to themselves, would more probably have had a quite contrary Effect, since he had but too much room to suppose, that the strong Prejudice, which they had on all Occasions betrayed against him, would incline them to favour his Competitor, notwithstanding the known Illegality both of his Election and Ordination. It was therefore, upon the Whole, very prudent in him to decline putting the Affair upon that Issue.

1. Chrys. in Eph. hom. 11.

2. Socr. l. 5 c. 5. Soz. l. 7. c. 3. Theod. l. 5. c. 9. Cod. Theod. ap. p. 104.

Flavianus endeavours in vain to gain over the Eustathians.
270Flavianus, being thus at last, in the Seventeenth Year of his Episcopacy, acknowleged by, and united in Communion with, all the Bishops of the Catholic Church, spared no Pains to gain over the Eustathians, that, by reuniting them to the rest of his Flock, he might have the Merit and Glory of establishing an intire and lasting Tranquillity in the Church committed to his Care. But his Zeal was not therein attended with the wished for Success. The Glory of completing so great and desirable a Work was, by Providence, reserved for Alexander, one of his Successors, who had the Satisfaction of seeing all Party-Names laid aside, and the whole People of Antioch united in one Flock, under one and the same Shepherd. This Union was made with great Solemnity, in the Year 415. Eleven Years after the Death of Flavianus, and Eighty-five after the Beginning of the Schism. Thus Theodoret, in his Ecclesiastical History[1328]. But Theodorus the Lector assures us, that there still remained some 271Seeds of that unhappy Division till the Year 482. when the Body of Eustathius being brought back to Antioch, the few Eustathians, who still continued to assemble apart, joined the rest of the Catholics, and the Name of Eustathian was never more heard of[1329]. Flavianus honoured by the Church of Rome as a Saint, tho’ ill used in his Life-time by the Popes.Flavianus died in the Year 404. the Ninety-fifth of his Age, and Twenty-third of his Episcopacy, and is now honoured as a Saint; a Distinction which none of his Competitors have deserved, though as much caressed and favoured by the Two Bishops of Rome, Damasus and Syricius, as he was opposed and ill used. How fallible have the Bishops of that See shewed themselves, from the earliest Times, in their Judgment of things! How rash in taking Parties, and fomenting Discords! How obstinate and inflexible in maintaining the Cause, which they had once undertaken, let it be ever so bad! The only thing that can be alleged against the Character of Flavianus, is his having accepted the Bishoprick of Antioch, contrary to the Oath he had taken, on Occasion of the Agreement between Meletius and Paulinus, as I have related above[1330]. That he took such an Oath, is vouched both by Socrates and Sozomen[1331]. But as he was looked upon by all the East, and extolled by Chrysostom, even in his Life-time, as a Prelate of an unblemished Character, and never reproached, even by his greater Enemies, with such an Oath, in the many Disputes that arose about his Election, I had rather charge those Two Writers with one Mistake more (for they are guilty of many others), than a Man of Flavianus’s Probity with such a scandalous Prevarication.

Syricius dies.
Syricius did not long enjoy the Satisfaction he had, to see the Schism of Antioch ended in his Days, and a good Understanding settled anew between the East and the West. He died the same Year 398. and, according to the most probable Opinion, on the 26th of November[1332]. He is said, in his Epitaph, quoted by Baronius[1333], to have been a Man of a tender, compassionate, and generous Temper; to have studied the Happiness of the People committed to his Care; to have spared no Pains in procuring them the Blessings that flow from Peace and Tranquillity; and to have screened several Persons from the Wrath of the Emperor, to maintain the Rights of the Church[1334]. Was once honoured as
a Saint.He is commended by Ambrose, and the whole Council of 272Milan, as a vigilant Pastor[1335], by Isidore of Seville as an illustrious Pontiff[1336]; and he has even a Place among the other Saints, in most of the antient Martyrologies[1337]. However Baronius has not thought him worthy of a Place in the Roman Martyrology. It is well known, that the Charge of revising and correcting the Roman Martyrology was committed, by Pope Gregory XIII. to Baronius, with full Power to reject such as he should judge unworthy, and admit others in their room, whom he should declare worthy of the public Worship, and a Place there[N39]. Why expunged by
Baronius out of the
Calendar of Saints.The Keys of Heaven, says a modern Writer, speaking of that Charge, were taken from Peter, and given to Baronius; for it was not by Peter, but by Baronius, that some were excluded from, and others admitted into, Heaven[1338]. He then shews, that by this Second Minos, as he styles him, several were driven from the Seats they had long held in Heaven, and to which they had a just Claim, to make room for others, who had no Claim. Among the former he names Syricius, whom he thinks Baronius ought to have treated in a more friendly manner, upon the Recommendation of Ambrose, of the Council of Milan, and of Isidore. What thus prejudiced Baronius against him, and outweighed, in his Scales, all the Recommendations that could be produced in his Favour, was his Indifference for Jerom and Paulinus, and the Kindness he shewed to 273Ruffinus, Jerom’s Antagonist. Syricius, instead of protecting Jerom, as his Predecessor Damasus had done, against the Roman Clergy, whom he had provoked with his Writings, gave him, in a manner, up to their Resentment; which obliged him to abandon Rome, and return into the East, as I have related above. The Name of Paulinus, afterwards Bishop of Nola, is famous in the History of the Church, and celebrated by Jerom, Ambrose, Austin, and all the Writers of those Times. He had abandoned the World, and the immense Wealth he possessed, to lead a retired Life; and, in the Year 395. he passed through Rome, in his Way to Nola, which he had chosen for the Place of his Retirement. The Treatment he met with at Rome, from that Clergy, and Syricius himself, must have been very unworthy of a Man of his Character, since it obliged him, as he himself writes[1339], to quit the City in great Haste, and pursue his Journey to Nola. Two Years afterwards Ruffinus came to Rome, and there met with a very different Reception. For Syricius received him, tho’ violently suspected of Origenism, with the greatest Marks of Esteem and Affection; and, after having entertained him a whole Year, gave him Letters of Communion at his Departure. Of this Jerom complains, as if Advantage had been taken of the Bishop of Rome’s Simplicity, to impose upon him[1340]. I will not pretend, as some have done, to justify Ruffinus; but cannot help observing, that such a Charge ought not to be admitted against him, upon the bare Authority of Jerom, or of those, who have only copied what he writ.

N39. The Roman Martyrology contains the Names of such Saints as may be publicly worshiped, and of the Places where they died, with a succinct Account of the most remarkable Feats which they are supposed to have performed. I said, who are publicly worshiped; for in private every one is allowed to honour, worship, and invoke whom they please, provided they have sufficient Grounds to believe them in a State of Happiness, or in the Way to it, that is, in Heaven, or in Purgatory; for the Souls in Purgatory may be privately worshiped and invoked; nay, most of the Popish Divines are now of Opinion, that even a canonized Saint may be still in Purgatory. When Learning began to revive, many gross Mistakes were discovered in the Roman, as well as in the other Martyrologies, some being placed among the Saints, and consequently worshiped as Saints, who had been notorious Sinners; and others daily invoked, who had never existed. That the Church therefore might be no longer misled in her Worship, Gregory XIII. thought it necessary to interpose his infallible Authority; and, having accordingly, ordered Baronius to revise and correct the Roman Martyrology, he confirmed, by a special Bull, dated the 14th of January 1584. all the Emendations, Additions, Corrections, &c. which Baronius had been pleased to make, threatening with the Indignation of the Almighty God, and of his Apostles St. Peter and St. Paul, all who should presume to make any further Alterations. And yet many Alterations have been made since Gregory’s Time; and that many more might and ought to be made, has been sufficiently shewn by many Protestant, and some Roman Catholic, Divines.

Jerom and Ruffinus quarrel.
Jerom and Ruffinus had lived several Years in close Friendship, and great Intimacy; but, falling out in the Year 393. their former Friendship was turned at once into an open and avowed Enmity. What gave Occasion to this Breach I shall relate hereafter, and only observe here, that Jerom not only quarreled with Ruffinus, but with all the Friends of Ruffinus; nay, and with those too, who, professing an equal Friendship for both, would not break with either, or any-ways interfere in the Quarrel. Among these was the celebrated Roman Matron Melania, so frequently spoken of, and so highly commended, by Austin, by Paulinus, and, above all, by Jerom himself, who has filled his Letters with her Praises, proposing her as a true Pattern of every Virtue becoming her Sex.

Jerom quarrels with all the Friends of Ruffinus, especially with Melania.
Melania had retired with Ruffinus to Jerusalem, Twenty-seven Years before, and continued there practising, under his Direction, 274those Works of Charity, which Jerom so often admires and extols. It could not therefore be expected that she should discard the Partner of her holy Life, and all her good Works, as Paulinus styles him[1341], the Minute the other was pleased to dislike him, or, indeed, that she should take any Part at all in the Quarrel. And yet, because she prudently declined taking Part, but continued to shew the same Affection and Esteem for Ruffinus, which she had done before; Jerom, forgetful of the Regard that was due to a Matron of her Birth and Piety, and of the high Encomiums which he had himself bestowed on her, began to inveigh with no less Bitterness against her, than against Ruffinus himself. His Conduct towards
her.In one of his Letters, still extant[1342], after finding Fault with one of Ruffinus’s Friends, thought to be John Bishop of Jerusalem, he adds; “But, after all, he is not so much to blame as his Instructors Ruffinus and Melania, who, with a great deal of Trouble and Pains, have taught him to know nothing.” Ruffinus tells us, that Jerom, finding that Melania, who was a Matron of great Judgment and Penetration, did not approve of his Actions and Conduct, thereupon spitefully erased out of his Chronicle, what he had there written in her Praise[1343]. But he did not, nor was it, perhaps, in his Power to make such an Alteration in all the Copies; for what he is said to have cancelled, is still remaining in all the printed, as well as manuscript Copies of that Work, which have reached our Times. Melania lived Eighteen Years after, steadily pursuing the same Course of Life, for which Jerom had once proposed her as a Pattern to her whole Sex[1344]. She died at Jerusalem in the Year 411. and died poor, having spent an immense Estate in relieving the Needy and Indigent, not only of the Countries where she lived, and through which she passed, but those too of the most distant Provinces of the Empire. For Persons in Poverty and Distress, whether in Persia or Britain, says the Author of her Life[1345], were alike the Objects of her Charity, and felt alike the Effects of her Generosity and Good-nature. She died, but with her did not die the Rancour and Spleen which Jerom had for so many Years harboured in his Breast against her. For, carrying his Resentment even beyond the Grave, while the Poor were every-where bemoaning, with Tears, the Loss of so generous a Benefactress, while the Writers were paying the deserved Tribute of Praise to the Virtues of so pious a 275Matron, Jerom, instead of joining the rest in the common Grief, strove to dry up their Tears, to drown their Praises, by throwing out several peevish and ill-natured Reflections on the Memory of the Deceased. As the famous Pelagius had inscribed a Book to her before he broached his Opinions, Jerom, in the Letter which he writ to Ctesiphon against the Pelagians, could not forbear bringing her in, and observing on that Occasion, with a malignant Quibble, that the very Name of Melania bespoke (in the Greek Tongue), and sufficiently declared, the Blackness of her Treachery and Perfidiousness[1346].

Syricius not to be condemned on the bare Authority of Jerom.
Such was the Conduct of Jerom towards that illustrious Matron, in her Life-time, and after her Death. From this Conduct I leave the Reader to judge, whether the Authority of so prejudiced a Writer ought to have been of such Weight with Baronius as to make him exclude her, as well as Syricius, from the Roman Martyrology, or the Calendar of Saints. Should we grant Ruffinus to have really held the Errors which Jerom charged him with, it must still be owned, that Melania acted, as became a Person of her Wisdom, Piety, and Experience, in suspending her Judgment, and not breaking with Ruffinus, till she was otherwise convinced, than by the Invectives of his Antagonist, equally levelled against herself, that he was no longer worthy of her Friendship and Regard. As for Syricius, Jerom rather commends than blames him, even where he complains of his Kindness to Ruffinus. For he only says, that Ruffinus abused the Simplicity of Syricius, who judged of the Spirit of others from his own[1347]; which was saying, in other Words, that he was a good Man, but mistaken in his Judgment, or not infallible: so that his only Crime, according to Jerom, was want of Infallibility. However, upon the Authority of that Father, Baronius not only condemns the Conduct of Syricius, but, rashly prying into the inscrutable Secrets of Providence, pretends his Days to have been shortened for the Countenance he gave to Ruffinus, and the Remissness he shewed in suppressing the Errors, with which he was charged. It is certain, that Ruffinus was well received, and entertained, in a very hospitable manner, by Syricius, during his Stay at Rome; and that, upon his leaving that City, he received from him Letters of Communion. Now, if Syricius did not know, or did not believe, that Ruffinus held those Errors, how unjust is it to blame him for the Kindness he 276shewed to a Man of Ruffinus’s Character! If he did know, and yet gave him Letters of Communion, how will Baronius be able to clear Syricius from the Imputation of holding the same Errors[N40]?

N40. A modern Writer[1], taking the Part of Syricius against Baronius, has composed a whole Dissertation, and not a short one, to shew how undeservedly Syricius has been cashiered in this Review of the Church triumphant, while many others passed Muster for great Saints, whose Virtues, he might have said, whose very Existence, may be justly disputed. I shall not enter into the tedious Detail of his Arguments and Reasons, but only observe, that the Name of Syricius ought not to have been struck out of the Calendar, while the Names of the Arian Pope Liberius, and the Antipope Felix, his Antagonist, were kept in; though, upon other Accounts, I think him myself very unworthy of the Name of a Saint.

1. Florentinus, in vetus Martyrol. Hieronymi, p. 1001-1010.

The Misunderstand-
ing between Syricius
and Paulinus no
Charge against Syr-
As for the Treatment Paulinus of Nola met with from Syricius, there was, no doubt, a Misunderstanding between them; but, as I am quite in the Dark as to the Cause of it, I will not take upon me to condemn the one rather than the other. Perhaps they were both to blame; perhaps they both meant well, and neither was to blame. However that be, the Misunderstanding between them was soon removed; for, during the remaining Part of Syricius’s Life, Paulinus went constantly to Rome once a Year, as he himself declares, in one of his Letters[1348]. Syricius, it is true, did not take Jerom into his Protection, as his Predecessor had done, nor shew him the same Kindness; which is the Third Charge brought by Baronius against him, but of no more Weight than the other Two, that is, of none at all. Jerom, prompted by his Zeal, and censorious Temper, could not help inveighing, with great Bitterness, in all his Writings, against the Looseness and Debauchery, which universally prevailed, in his Time, among the Roman Clergy, and the pious Frauds they made use of to extort Legacies and Presents from old Men, from Widows, and from Orphans. Syricius might have been as much offended at the Vices of his Libertine Clergy, as Jerom was, and even studied to reform them; but, at the same time, be glad, without deserving the least Reproach on that score, to get rid of so troublesome a Censor, who thus exposed their Irregularities to the Eyes, and them to the Contempt, of the World[N41].

N41. The Festival of Syricius was never kept, it seems, by public Authority; but is marked in some antient Martyrologies, on the 22d of February, and in others on the 26th of November. The last was more probably the Day of his Death, since he is said, both by Prosper and Isidore, to have governed 14 Years, to complete which one Month only will be wanting, if we place his Death on that Day; and several, if with Baronius we suppose him to have died on the 22d of February[1]; for, as to the Year of his Death, there is no Disagreement among Authors. Baronius mentions an antient Picture, Part whereof, says he, is still to be seen in the Title of Pope Syricius[2]. But that Picture is no more to be seen, and he explains himself no farther.

1. Vid. Boll. 22 Feb. p. 282.

2. Bar. ad ann. 395. n. 6.

277Syricius was interred in the Cœmetery of Priscilla, but his Body was translated, about the Latter-end of the Eighth Century, to the Church of St. Praxedes[1349], where his Remains (for Baronius will not allow us to call them Relics) still lie unregarded.

Thirty-eighth Bishop of Rome. Honorius.
Year of Christ 398.
Anastasius writes
to Paulinus.
Syricius was succeeded by Anastasius[1350], after a Vacancy of Twenty Days, according to some; and, according to others, of near Two Months. He was no sooner chosen, than he writ a kind and obliging Letter to Paulinus, then at Nola in Campania, and an other in his Commendation to the Bishops of that Province[1351]. This he is supposed to have done, in order to efface the bad Impression, which the Treatment Paulinus had met with in the Time of Syricius, might have given him against that See, and the Roman Clergy.

What occasioned the
Quarrel between
Jerom and Ruffinus.
It was in the Time of Anastasius, and soon after his Election, that the famous Dispute arose between Jerom and Ruffinus, which was afterwards carried on with a Warmth on both Sides quite unbecoming Men of their Profession. Of this Quarrel, and the Part Anastasius acted on that Occasion, the Writers of those Times give us the following Account. Ruffinus, a Presbyter of Aquileia, and a great Admirer of Origen, having accompanied Melania, whom he had attended Twenty-five Years at Jerusalem, on her Return to Rome in the Time of Syricius, was received there with extraordinary Marks of Esteem by the Roman Clergy, and Syricius himself, as I have observed elsewhere[1352]. Ruffinus translates
archon.Encouraged by the Reception he met with, he continued a whole Year at Rome; and during that Time published, but 278without putting his Name to it, a Latin Translation of Origen’s Periarchon, or Treatise of Principles, having first removed the Prejudice which some might entertain against that Writer, by the Translation of an Apology, which the Martyr Pamphylus had composed in his Vindication, while he was in Prison. To this Apology he added a Piece of his own, shewing that most of the Errors ascribed to Origen had been maliciously inserted into his Works by his Enemies after his Death[1353]. In the Preface to the Periarchon itself he also declared, that, in Imitation of a learned Brother, meaning Jerom, who had translated above Seventy of Origen’s Books, he had either corrected or suppressed such Errors as had appeared to him repugnant to the Articles of the Catholic Faith[1354]. Many at Rome
embrace the Errors
of Origen.The Work, thus recommended, was received with uncommon Applause at Rome, and the Sentiments of Origen greedily embraced, and warmly maintained, by great Numbers of the Clergy as well as the Laity, to whom Origen had till then been, it seems, utterly unknown. This happened in the Time of Syricius, who, either not suspecting Ruffinus, as he had not put his Name to the Translation, or perhaps not judging him worthy of Censure for barely relating the Sentiments of another, or supposing that, agreeably to his Preface, he had suppressed whatever was wrong in the original Work, gave him Letters of Communion at his Departure from Rome: for he had no sooner published his Translation than he left that City and returned to Aquileia. Syricius died soon after, and Anastasius was no sooner chosen in his room, than the famous Roman Matron Marcella, offended at the new Doctrines that began to prevail in Rome, applied to him, pressing him to put a Stop to the growing Evil, and at the same time accusing Ruffinus as the Author of the Translation, to which alone it was owing[1355]. Errors left in the
Work, notwithstand-
ing the Corrections
made by the Trans-
lator.To make good this Charge, she produced some Copies corrected with Ruffinus’s own Hand; and several Persons appeared, who, having by her means been reclaimed from the Errors of Origen, owned they had been led into them by the Disciples of Ruffinus[1356]. This Jerom cannot relate without launching into the Praises of his Heroine Marcella, crying up her Zeal, extolling her Courage and Resolution, in thus making head against so numerous a Band, meaning the Origenists in Rome, while the Clergy declined that Trouble, or rather promoted the Doctrines they ought to have opposed. But elsewhere he will not allow Women, 279under any Pretence whatsoever, to concern themselves in religious Controversies. To meddle in Disputes concerning Faith or Religion, is not at all the Province (says he, with the Words of St. Paul) of silly Women, laden with Sins, led away with divers Lusts, ever learning, and never able to come to the Knowlege of the Truth[1357]. But he speaks here of Melania, who was no less attached to Ruffinus than Marcella was to him.

Jerom’s Charge
against Ruffinus.
In the Periarchon were contained, without all doubt, many unfound and unwarrantable Notions, and Ruffinus corrected those only that related to the Trinity. He corrected, says Jerom, what Origen had impiously written concerning the Trinity, being well apprised it would have given great Offence at Rome. But as to his other Errors, those especially concerning the Fall of the Angels, and the first Man, the Resurrection, the World or Worlds of Epicurus, the Restoration of all Things, &c. he either left them, as he found them in the Original, or confirmed them with Reasons borrowed from the Comment of Didymus, an avowed Defender of Origen. Thus he declared himself a Catholic with respect to the Trinity; that in other Points the Reader might not be aware of him as an Heretic[1358].

Ruffinus’s Answers.
In Answer to this Charge, Ruffinus declared, that it was never his Intention to correct all the Errors that were ascribed to Origen; that the Declaration he had made, in his Preface to the Periarchon, ought to be restrained to those Errors only that related to the Trinity; and that it was very uncharitable to judge of his Faith, from the Faith of the Author he translated, and not from his own Words. He then declares his Sentiments touching some particular Points, in which Origen was thought to differ from the Church; adding, that where Origen differed from the Catholic Church, he differed from Origen.

Jerom condemns
Origen, and inveighs
against Ruffinus.
Anastasius, notwithstanding the Solicitations of Marcella, declined either proceeding against Ruffinus, or censuring his Translation, till Two Years after, when Jerom, in a new Version which he published of the same Work, undertook to prove, that several Opinions of Origen were truly heretical, and as such ought to be condemned by the Church. As to Ruffinus, he inveighed bitterly against him, as if he had translated that Work with no other View but to propagate the Errors it contained. Thus began the famous Quarrel between 280these Two Writers, which occasioned no small Disturbance in the Church, some siding with Jerom against Ruffinus, and others with Ruffinus against Jerom. Among the former, the most sanguine were Theophilus Bishop of Alexandria, Epiphanius Bishop of Constantia in the Island of Cyprus, and Anastasius Bishop of Rome. Theophilus not only condemned in a Council, which he summoned for that Purpose, the Errors of Origen, but Origen himself, declaring him an Heretic, and forbidding all under his Jurisdiction to read, or even keep his Works by them; which is the first Instance we have of such Prohibitions. Origen condemned by Anastasius and sev-
eral other Bishops.His Example was followed by Epiphanius, Anastasius, Venerius Bishop of Milan, Chromatius Bishop of Aquileia, and several others. But some, and among the rest John Bishop of Jerusalem, and Chrysostom then Bishop of Constantinople, disapproving the rash Conduct of their Collegues, could by no means be induced to confirm the Sentence they had pronounced; which Epiphanius resented to such a Degree, that he immediately separated himself from their Communion. Sozomen adds, that he even refused to pray for young Theodosius, while he was dangerously ill, because his Mother Eudoxia would not banish from Constantinople some Monks who had warmly espoused the Cause of Origen[1359]. Ruffinus ranks Epiphanius among those Plagiaries, who, borrowing from Origen all they said or writ, cried down his Works, in order to deter others from reading them, and consequently from discovering, that what was admired in them was not their own[1360].

Ruffinus is summoned
to Rome.
Origen being thus condemned as an Heretic, near 150 Years after his Death, Anastasius, at the Instigation of Marcella, Pammachius, Oceanus, and some other of Jerom’s Friends in Rome, writ to Ruffinus, complaining of his Translation, and summoning him to appear, and give an Account of his Faith. In Answer to this Letter, Ruffinus sent him a Confession of Faith intirely agreeable to that of the Catholic Church, adding, that he held no other; that his Faith had been sufficiently tried in the Persecution of Valens; and that, as to the Translation of Origen’s Work, he had there neither approved nor disapproved, but barely related, the Sentiments of that Writer. He modestly declined complying with the Summons calling him to Rome; 281and concluded with declaring, that the Faith of the Roman Church and his were one and the same[1362][N42].

N42. The chief Errors of Origen were concerning the Trinity, the Resurrection of the Body, the Eternity of Hell-Torments, and the Origin of Souls. If his Works were not interpolated by the Heretics, as Ruffinus pretended they were, it is no easy Matter to determine what was his real Opinion with respect to the Trinity; for in some Passages he seems to acknowlege an Equality, and in others to establish an Inequality, between the Father and the Son. As to the Resurrection, he was accused of not believing, that the Body, at least the same Body, was to rise from the Dead. He denied the Eternity of Hell-Torments, and held, that even the Devils would repent in the End, and be saved. He maintained the Souls to have been created before the World; to have been confined to the Bodies, which they animated, as so many Prisons, to expiate there the Sins which they had committed; to be in perpetual Motion passing from one Body to another, and at last to become Angels. With the Three last Errors chiefly Ruffinus was charged by St. Jerom; and it was to clear himself from such an Imputation, that, in his Answer to Anastasius summoning him to Rome, he declared his Belief with respect to those Articles, styling his Answer on that Account an Apology. As to the Trinity, those whom they called Origenists, were allowed, even by their Enemies, to be quite orthodox in their Belief of that Mystery. Touching the Resurrection, Ruffinus declared and explained his Faith in such clear Terms as ought to have left no room, even for St. Jerom, to arraign him on that Head. He expressed himself in a manner no less orthodox with respect to the Eternity of the Pains of Hell. But, as to the Origin of Souls, he owns himself to be quite at a Loss what to think, and what to determine, on that Subject, since no particular Opinion had been yet settled by the Church, and the Ecclesiastical Writers disagreed in that Point among themselves; some believing, with Tertullian and Lactantius, the Souls to have been formed with the Bodies; and others maintaining, with Origen, that they were all created before the World: as to himself, he declared, that he held nothing for certain but what he was taught by the Church, viz. that the Souls as well as the Bodies proceeded from God[1]. This Jerom called a false, artful, and imposing Confession, as if Ruffinus did not believe what he professed in the most solemn Manner to believe; and Anastasius, judging of his Faith not from his own Words, but from those of Jerom, separated himself from his Communion.

I cannot help observing here, that Jerom, whom nothing now will satisfy but the Condemnation of Origen, used a few Years before to inveigh with the same Gall and Bitterness against the Enemies of that Writer as he does now against his Friends, condemning with as much Acrimony those who accused him, as he now condemns those who excuse him. Origen had been condemned in his Life-time by Demetrius Bishop of Alexandria, and by several other Bishops: and Jerom, after telling us, in speaking of the Judgment that was given against him, that he had written more Books than others had time to read; and that in the Number of his Volumes he had surpassed Varro, and the other most eloquent Writers both Greek and Latin; adds, But what Reward did he receive for so much Toil and Labour? He was condemned by the Bishop Demetrius; and, if we except the Bishops of Palæstine, Arabia, Phœnicia, and Achaia, he was condemned by all the rest. Even Rome assembled her Senate against him, not because he taught any new Doctrines, or held any heretical Opinions, which those who snarl at him, like so many mad Dogs, would fain make us believe; but because they could not bear the bright Rays of his Eloquence and Knowlege, and were forced to be dumb when he spoke. This Passage is quoted by Ruffinus, and Jerom himself owns it to have been copied from his Letter to Paula[2].

By the Senate that Rome assembled against Origen, Jerom meant, no doubt, the Bishop and Clergy of that City: and that he made no Account of their Judgment, sufficiently appears from the contemptuous and ironical Manner he speaks of it. However, that Father is brought in by Baronius as an Evidence for Infallibility, on account of the Regard which he afterwards paid to the Judgment of Anastasius, styling it a decisive Sentence. But Jerom had then changed his Opinion; and Anastasius only condemned what he had condemned before; so that from the great Regard which Jerom shewed on that Occasion for the Judgment of Anastasius, Baronius can at most conclude, that he thought the Popes infallible when they agreed with him; for that he thought them fallible when they disagreed with him, is manifest from his not acquiescing in the Judgment of another Pope condemning Origen, when he himself had not yet condemned him.

1. Ruff. ad Anast. p. 202.

2. Hier. vir. illustr. c. 54. Ruff. l. 2. p. 225.

Anastasius separates
himself from his
282But this Confession, however orthodox, did not satisfy Anastasius, or rather Jerom and his Friends in Rome. They continued, says Ruffinus, the Persecution which they had so successfully begun, and with their malicious Suggestions prevailed in the End on Anastasius to comply with their unjust Demands[1363]; that is, I suppose, to separate himself from his Communion: for Anastasius, in his Answer to a Letter which John Bishop of Jerusalem had writ in favour of Ruffinus, acquaints that Prelate, that he had cut him off from his Communion, and left him to be judged by God and his own Conscience. As to Origen, says he in the same Letter, I knew not before who he was, nor what he had writ. Ruffinus has translated him into our Language; and, in so doing, what else could he have in view but to infect this Church with his pernicious Doctrines? He has expressed his own Sentiments in translating those of his Author; and is therefore no less guilty than Origen himself, whom we have all condemned[1364][N43].

N43. The same Charge lies against Jerom; nay, he was the more guilty of the Two. For he had not only translated many of Origen’s Works, containing Errors no less repugnant to the Catholic Truths than any in the Periarchon, but had besides filled his Comments on the Scripture, especially on the Epistle to the Ephesians, with the worst of Origen’s Errors, viz. with those relating to the Resurrection of the Body, to the Pre-existence of the Souls, and to the Duration of Hell-Torments, as is manifest from the many Passages quoted by Ruffinus out of the Comments of that Father. Jerom found great Fault with Ruffinus, for not confuting the Errors which he translated; concluding from thence, that he held the same Doctrines: and yet he was himself so far from confuting in his Comments any of Origen’s erroneous Opinions, that on the contrary he often delivered them in such manner as made many, and St. Austin among the rest, believe them to be his own[1]. Nay, in one Place he seems to own, that he held some of Origin’s Errors[2]: but ends what he there writes of him thus; If you believe me, I never was an Origenist; but if you absolutely insist upon my having been one, I now tell you, that I am so no more; and it is to convince you of this, that I am become the Accuser of Origen.

1. Hier. ep. 89.

2. Hier. ep. 65.

283In the same Letter Anastasius mentions with great Joy a Decree of the Emperors, that is, of Arcadius and Honorius, forbidding the Works of Origen, and imposing severe Penalties on such as should for the future read or peruse them[N44].

N44. Ruffinus pretended this Letter to be supposititious, and to have been forged by St. Jerom, alleging, that he could not believe the Bishop of Rome capable of such a crying Piece of Injustice as to condemn an innocent Man, and condemn him in his Absence. He added, that if Anastasius had ever written such a Letter to John of Jerusalem, John, with whom he lived in great Intimacy, would have acquainted him with it, which he had not done. In Answer to this Charge, Jerom refers him to the Archives of the Roman Church[1]; and to Jerom I refer the Jesuit Halloix, supposing the Letter to have been feigned, tho’ not by St. Jerom, on account of the following Words, that seem to wound the pretended Supremacy. I have intirely separated myself from him, meaning Ruffinus: I will not even know where he is, or what he is doing: let him try, if he pleases, to be absolved elsewhere. So that Anastasius thought he might be absolved elsewhere, though condemned at Rome. This Halloix, more jealous of the Papal Supremacy than the Pope himself, will not allow, and therefore pretends the Letter to be supposititious. But, since the Time of Ruffinus, none besides him ever questioned its Authenticity.

1. Hier. in Ruff. l. 3. c. 5, & 6.

The Condemnation of
Origen owing chiefly
to the Bishop of
Such is the Account the contemporary Writers, and Jerom himself, give us of the Condemnation of Origen, and his Interpreter Ruffinus, very different from that which we read in Baronius, introducing his High Pontiff Anastasius as acting the First Part on that Occasion; though Jerom tells us, in express Terms, that Anastasius followed the Example of Theophilus; that he condemned in the West, what had before been condemned in the East[1365]; and that Rome and all Italy owed their Deliverance to the Letters of Theophilus[1366]; meaning the circular Letter, which Theophilus writ to all the Catholic Bishops, acquainting them that he had condemned Origen, and prohibited his Books, and exhorting them to follow his Example[1367]. It was by this Letter that Anastasius was induced to condemn Origen: For what else could Jerom mean by saying, that Rome and Italy were, by the Letters of Theophilus, delivered from the Errors of Origen? Baronius could not but know, that the Letter of Theophilus was addressed to all the Catholic Bishops, since it is styled by Theophilus himself, in a Letter he writ to Epiphanius[1368], and by Epiphanius, in one of his Letters to Jerom[1369], A general Letter to all Catholics; and yet the Annalist speaks of it as directed to Anastasius alone, in order to impose by that means on his Readers, and persuade them, that the Bishop of Alexandria submitted the Sentence he had pronounced 284to the Judgment of Anastasius, being well apprised, that it could be of no Weight unless confirmed by the first See. Had he been well apprised of this, I cannot think he would have pronounced such a Sentence, as it is very certain he did, without the Authority, the Advice, or even the Knowlege, of the first See.

The Bishop of Aquileia communicates with Ruffinus, though excommunicated by Anastasius.
As to Ruffinus, Anastasius, it is true, separated himself from his Communion; but did not excommunicate him, that is, as the Word is now understood, did not cut him off from the Communion of the Catholic Church, as Baronius insinuates. The Power of excommunicating him in this Sense was by the Canons vested in his own Bishop; and it is manifest from Jerom, that Chromatius, then Bishop of Aquileia, continued to communicate with him after Anastasius had renounced his Communion; nay, after Chromatius himself had condemned Origen, and the Origenists[1370], that is, those who held the Errors of Origen. A plain Proof, that the Bishop of Aquileia did not acquiesce in the Judgment of Anastasius in ranking Ruffinus among them. And truly the only Charge brought against him by Anastasius, in his Letter to John of Jerusalem, was his having translated Origen into the Latin Tongue, without pointing out his Errors, or offering any Arguments to confute them. Thence he was by Jerom induced to conclude, that Ruffinus held the same Errors. Ruffinus unjustly
condemned.What could Ruffinus propose, says he in his Letter, by translating Origen into the Roman Language? Had he exposed the execrable Errors his Work contains, and raised in his Readers that Indignation which the Author deserves, I should rather have praised than blamed him. But he has in his Mind consented to those Errors, and in translating the Sentiments of Origen expressed his own[1371]. This Ruffinus denied; declaring, with the Words of Origen, in his Preface to the Periarchon[1372], that he embraced nothing as Truth, that any-ways differed from the received Doctrines of the Catholic Church: nay, he was so far from defending any of Origen’s Errors, which seemed to him repugnant to the Catholic Truths, that in the Apology he composed in Defence of that Writer, as well as in the Preface which he prefixed to his Translation, he undertook to prove, that those Errors were not his, but had been maliciously inserted into his Works, either by his Enemies to eclipse his Reputation, or by Heretics, who had fathered upon him their own Doctrines, with a View of recommending them to the 285World by the Authority of so great and so venerable a Name[1373]. He followed therein the Example of the most eminent Writers, and the greatest Lights of the Church, namely, of the Martyr Pamphylus[1374], of Athanasius[1375], Basil[1376], his Brother Gregory of Nyssa[1377], Gregory Nazianzen[1378], and many others, who, out of the great Regard they had for a Man of Origen’s Piety and Learning, either ascribed to others the Errors they found in his Works, or excused them, by putting on his Words the most charitable Construction they could bear. Origen excused by
some of the Fathers,
and once by Jerom
himself.Jerom himself had been formerly one of Origen’s greatest Admirers, had translated above Seventy of his Books, and thought he could not employ his Time better than in enriching the Latin Tongue with the Works of the best Writer and first Doctor of the Church after the Apostles[1379], as he then styled him. As Ruffinus, in his Translation of the Periarchon, endeavoured to excuse the Errors of Origen, so had Jerom done before him in translating his other Works, chusing rather to veil and excuse, than expose the Faults of one whom in other respects he so much admired[1380]. But this Admiration being afterwards changed into an open and avowed Enmity, the first Doctor of the Church after the Apostles became at once not only an heterodox, but an impious Writer; all who stood up in his Defence were arraigned of the same pestilential Doctrines; and what was found amiss in his Works was no longer veiled or excused, but set out in the worst Light[N45].

N45. Some of the Fathers would not allow even his Doctrine concerning the Trinity to be heterodox. For some Passages being quoted out of his Works by the Arians to confirm their Opinions, Basil and Nazianzen undertook to prove, from other Passages, that his Sentiments with respect to the Trinity were quite orthodox; and that the Arians had either out of Malice misinterpreted, or out of Ignorance misunderstood his Meaning, not being capable of fathoming the Depth of his Thoughts[1]. It must be owned, that Origen, in several Places, speaks of the Trinity agreeably to the Sentiments of the Church, acknowleging the Son to have been from the Beginning in the Father; to be the Image of the Father; to have been begotten by him from all Eternity; to be the Wisdom of God; to be God, though not the Source and Origin of the Divinity, as the Father, whom on that Account he styles Autotheos; to be above all Creatures; to have the same Power as the Father, and to deserve the same Honour and Worship. But elsewhere he uses Expressions that can no-way bear an orthodox Sense, viz. that the Word is an Hypostasis different from the Father; meaning by the Word Hypostasis, Nature and Substance; that the Father and Son are One by Concord and Union; that the Son is not properly God, but called God, because he is the Image of the Divinity; that the Word and the Holy Ghost were made by the Father; that the Father is greater than the Son; that the Son is inferior to the Father, though far above all Creatures, as the Ray of the Sun is inferior to the Sun; and lastly, that the Son is the Minister of the Father. In these Passages is contained a very different Doctrine from that which is laid down in those I have quoted above: and hence some of the Friends of Origen, and among the rest Ruffinus, concluded the latter Passages to have been foisted in by the Arians, denying the Divinity of the Word; while others, allowing them to be Origen’s, undertook to explain them in a Catholic Sense, in Opposition to the Arians confirming their Doctrine with the Authority of so eminent a Writer. But his Enemies, attending only to the Passages where he seemed to establish an Inequality in the Trinity, not only condemned him as an Heretic, but all who stood up in his Defence, or attempted to interpret his Words in a Catholic Sense.

1. Socr. l. 4. c. 26.

286But what seems most of all surprising, and quite unaccountable, in the Conduct of that Father, is, that though he had with so much Noise procured Origen to be condemned as an Heretic, and his Books to be prohibited, particularly his Periarchon, or, as some will have it, the Periarchon alone, as containing most of his heretical Tenets; yet, in a private Letter to Paulinus, he refers him to that very Piece for the Decision of some Questions of the greatest Importance[1381]. But to return to Anastasius:

The Bishops of Africa apply to Anastasius and Venerius of Milan.
The same Year 401. in which Origen was condemned, the Churches of Africa being greatly distressed for want of Ecclesiastics, the Bishops of the Province of Carthage, assembling under Aurelius Bishop of that City, resolved to dispatch one of their Body into Italy to acquaint Anastasius, and Venerius Bishop of Milan, with the Condition of the African Churches, and implore their Assistance[1382]. Which of the Bishops was charged with this Legation, or what Success attended it, we are no-where told. But as Paulinus, who afterwards writ the Life of St. Ambrose, and belonged to the Church of Milan, was at this Time sent into Africa, and continued there, some have not improbably conjectured, that Venerius at least assisted his Collegues in Africa with a Supply of as many Ecclesiastics as he could spare. Baronius supposes Anastasius to have relieved those Churches with the like Supply; but this Supposition he builds upon the paternal Care which Anastasius had, as universal Pastor, of all the Catholic Churches[1383], which is building on a false Foundation.

Anastasius advises
the Bishops of Africa
not to dissemble the
Cruelties of the
The same Year another Council was held at Carthage, consisting of all the Bishops of Africa; and Aurelius, who presided in this, as he had done in the former, opened it with reading a Letter from Anastasius, exhorting the Bishops of Africa no longer to dissemble the 287Cruelties of the Donatists, who continued to use with great Barbarity the Catholic Bishops and Clergy[1384]. The Fathers of the Council returned Anastasius Thanks for his Advice; but, not thinking it quite agreeable to the true Spirit of Christianity, they declined complying with it. Who refuse to comply
with his Advice.They knew that their Persecutors, had they complained of their Cruelties to the Civil Magistrate, would have been punished with Death, pursuant to a Law enacted against them, Three Years before, by the Emperors Arcadius and Honorius[1385]. They therefore chose, notwithstanding the Advice of Anastasius, rather to suffer with Patience a most cruel Persecution, than redeem themselves from it at so dear a Rate[1386]. In the same Council it was decreed among other things, that such of the Donatist Clergy, as should return to the Church, might be admitted, if the Bishop, who received them, thought it expedient, to the same Rank, which they had enjoyed before their Conversion. As a Decree had been lately enacted by Anastasius, and the other Italian Bishops, excluding converted Heretics from the Catholic Clergy[1387]; it was to acquaint them with the Motives which had prompted the Fathers assembled at Carthage, to admit the Donatists, that Aurelius and his Collegues writ to Anastasius; and not to beg of him a Dispensation in favour of the converted Donatists, as is ridiculously supposed by Baronius[1388].

Anastasius dies.
This is all I find recorded of Anastasius, by the antient Writers. He died on the 27th of April 402. after having held the See of Rome Four Years, One Month, and Thirteen Days. Is greatly commended
by Jerom.Jerom, with whom he sided against Ruffinus, and the other Friends of Origen, distinguishes him with the Title of an eminent Man; and adds, that Rome did not deserve to enjoy him long, lest the Head of the World should be cut off under such a Bishop; nay, he was snatched away, says he, lest he should strive to ward off, with his Prayers, the Execution of the Sentence that was already pronounced; the Lord saying to Jeremiah, Pray not for this People for their Good: when they fast, I will not hear their Cry, &c[1389]. Jerom speaks there of the Calamities that befel Rome Seven Years after, when it was taken by the Goths, under Alaric. Theophilus Bishop of Alexandria, not only an avowed Enemy to Origen, but a cruel Persecutor of all who stood up in his Defence, extols Anastasius for his 288pastoral Care, and indefatigable Pains, in preserving and maintaining the Purity of the Catholic Faith[1390]; alluding, no doubt, to his acting in Concert with him, against Origen, and the pretended Origenists. Is honoured as a
Saint.Be that as it will, Anastasius is now honoured as a Saint by the Church of Rome; and the Honours paid him are chiefly owing to the Commendations of Jerom and Theophilus, whose Party he so warmly espoused. As to the Writings of Anastasius, Mention is made, by Jerom, of several Letters written by him on different Occasions; but that alone has reached our Times, which he writ to John Bishop of Jerusalem, and some Fragments of another to one Ursinus, on the Incarnation[N46].

N46. The Two Decretals that have been transmitted to us under his Name, are evidently supposititious, the one being dated Fourteen Years before his Election, and the other Fourteen years after his Death. One of these pretended Decretals is addressed to the German and Burgundian Bishops, tho’ nothing is more certain, than that the Burgundians were not converted to the Christian Religion till many Years after his Death, till the Year 436. if Socrates is to be credited[1]. They are both made up of several Passages taken from the Letters of Innocent, Leo, Gregory, and others; and were, in all Likelihood, forged, as many others have been, by Isidorus Mercator.

1. Socr. l. 7. c. 30.

An ill-timed Observ-
ation of Baronius.
Baronius observes, at the Death of Syricius[1391], that such Popes as did not, through Sloth and Indolence, exert the due Zeal in extirpating the heterodox Opinions that sprung up in the Church, that is, such Popes as did not exterminate all, who differed in Opinion from them, have been quickly cut off, to make room for other more zealous Asserters of the Purity of the Faith. An ill-timed Observation! which I might retort here, were I inclined to indulge such a Humour, since the indolent Syricius enjoyed his Dignity Thirteen Years (and not very many have enjoyed it longer), and the very zealous Anastasius only Four.

Honorius, INNOCENT,
Thirty-ninth Bishop of Rome. Theodosius
the younger.
Year of Christ 402.
The Election of

commended by the
On the Demise of Anastasius, Innocent was immediately, and with one Consent, chosen by the Clergy, and the People[1392]. He was, according to Anastasius[1393], a Native of Albano, and the Son of another Innocent; but, according to Jerom, both the Son and Successor of Anastasius[1394]. Theodoret styles him a Man of great Address, and a lively Genius[1395]; Prosper, a worthy Successor of St. Peter[1396]; and Austin distinguishes him, after his Death, with the Title of the Blessed Innocent[1397]. Orosius says, that God withdrew that holy Bishop from Rome, when the City was taken, as he did Lot from Sodom[1398]; and Jerom, in writing to Demetrias, exhorts her to adhere steadily to the Faith of Innocent[1399]. Austin, in the Letter he writ to him in the Name of the Council of Milevum, ascribes his Election to a particular Providence; and adds, that the Fathers of the Council thought it a Duty incumbent upon them to suggest to him what might be done for the Good of the Church, since they could not think him capable of hearing any thing of that Nature with Contempt or Indifference[1400].

He writes to Anysius
of Thessalonica.
Innocent was no sooner chosen and ordained, than he writ to Anysius of Thessalonica, acquainting him with his Election, and charging him, as his Three immediate Predecessors had done, with the Care of the Churches of East Illyricum[1401]. In the End of the following Year 403. the Emperor Honorius visited the City of Rome; and, during his Stay there, Innocent went frequently to wait on him, in order to obtain, in Behalf of some Bishops, and other Ecclesiastics, an Exemption from executing certain Civil Offices hereditary in their Families. He succeeded in his Suit; but it cost him a great deal of Trouble and Uneasiness[1402]. Innocent’s Letter to
Victricius.Victricius Bishop of Rouen, who happened to be then at Rome, having applied to him for Information, with respect to the Practice and Discipline of the Roman Church, Innocent, to gratify him, and that he might not seem to approve, by 290his Silence, the Abuses that prevailed in some Churches, sent him a Book of Rules, as he styled it, containing several Regulations, which had been originally established, says he, by the Authority of the Apostles and Fathers, but were now, in many Places, either quite unknown, or utterly neglected. He therefore intreats Victricius to communicate them to the neighbouring Churches and Bishops, that they might be acquainted with the Discipline of the Roman Church, and conform to it in instructing the new-converted Christians[1403].

The Articles it con-
This Book of Rules contains Thirteen Regulations relating to different Points of Discipline, whereof the First forbids, and declares uncanonical, the Ordination of Bishops without the Knowlege and Approbation of their Metropolitans. The Second excludes from the Clerical Order such as have served, or shall continue to serve, in War after Baptism. The Third orders all Differences and Disputes, arising among the Ecclesiastics, to be decided by the Bishops of the Provinces, saving the Rights of the Roman Church[N47]; and commands those to be deposed who shall recur to other Tribunals, except in Causes of the greatest Importance, when, after the Bishops have given Sentence, Recourse may be had to the Apostolical See, pursuant to the Order of the Council, meaning, no doubt, the Council of Sardica[1404]. The Three next relate to those who shall have married a Widow, a Woman that has been divorced, or a second Wife, either before or after Baptism; and they are all alike declared incapable of being ever admitted among the Clergy. The Seventh forbids Bishops to ordain Clerks of another Church, without the Permission of their own Bishops, or to admit those to serve one Church, who have been deposed in another. The Eighth allows the Novatians and Donatists, who return to the Church, to be readmitted by the bare Imposition of Hands; but subjects those to a long Penance, who had quitted the Church to be rebaptized by them. The Ninth relates to the Celibacy of the Priests and Deacons, who are debarred by it from all Commerce with their Wives, after Ordination. The inferior Clergy were allowed to marry; but Innocent, by the Tenth Article of the present Letter, excepts those who, before they were admitted among the Clergy, had lived in Monasteries, and professed Continence there; it being fit, says he, they should observe in a 291higher Rank what they had observed when only Monks. In the same Article he observes, that those, who had lost their Virginity before Marriage, did not receive the Blessing of the Church when they afterwards married; and that it was the antient Practice of the Church, that such as had lost it before Baptism, should promise, before they were admitted to the Clerical Order, never to marry. The Eleventh forbids those to be ordained, who were not exempted from all Civil Offices and Employments, such Offices diverting them from the Functions of the Priesthood, and sometimes obliging them to exhibit Shews and public Sports, of which the Devil was, without all Doubt, the Author and Promoter. Innocent thinks the
Marriage of a Woman
with another Man
valid, while her Hus-
band is still alive.The Twelfth forbids Women, who have married a Second Husband, their First being still alive, to be admitted to Repentance, or allowed to do Penance, till one of the Two dies. The same Discipline is to be observed, according to this Article, with respect to the Virgins, who, after consecrating their Virginity to Jesus Christ, shall, either by a public Marriage, or by private Fornication, violate the Faith they had pledged to their immortal Spouse.

N47. In some Editions this Clause is wanting.

The unchristian Sever-
ity of one of these
Articles ill excused
by Baronius.
Baronius[1405], to answer the Objections which some Innovators, as he is pleased to style them, have offered against the unchristian Severity of this Article, tells us, that the Repentance of such a Virgin can by no means be sincere, so long as she continues with the Man she married; which is quite foreign to the Purpose, since Innocent excludes her from Repentance, not only so long as she lives with him, but so long as he lives. Innocent knew what Baronius seems not to have known; viz. that the Marriage of Virgins, however solemnly consecrated, held good, even according to the Practice of the Roman Church[1406]; and, consequently, that they could not abandon their Husbands; and hence he would not admit them to Repentance, or the Participation of the Sacred Mysteries, till the Death of their Husbands; which was keeping them, as it were, in a State of Excommunication, without any possible Means of redeeming themselves from it. And it is this uncharitable Severity, which some Divines of the Reformed Churches have deservedly blamed. Baronius stigmatizes such Marriages with the Name of Adultery; but he confounds the Time of Innocent with his own; for, in his Time, the Vow of Chastity was declared a true Marriage; and, consequently, 292every subsequent Marriage void and null; but, in Innocent’s Time, the Marriage of a sacred Virgin was held valid, though commonly deemed sinful. Whether it be sinful or no, or whether a Vow of that kind can be lawfully made, I shall not take upon me to determine here; but I am very confident, that of most Persons, who debar themselves by a solemn Vow from ever marrying, we may say, with the Fathers of the Eighth Council of Toledo, that they had better break a Vow, which they had rashly made, than fill up, by observing it, the Measure of their Sins.

But to return to the Letter: The Thirteenth and last Article will have those Virgins to do Penance for some time, who shall marry after having promised to live Virgins, though they had not yet received the Sacred Veil[1407]. This Letter has been inserted by Dionysius Exiguus, in his Code of the Roman Church, and is quoted by the Second Council of Tours, held in 567[1408]. and by several other Councils[1409][N48].

N48. And yet some have been induced by the Date it bears, to question its Authenticity. For it is dated the 15th of February 404. Now, it is manifest, say they, from the Letter itself, that Victricius was at Rome while the Emperor Honorius was there; and it is no less certain, that Honorius did not arrive at Rome till the Month of December 403. If therefore Victricius was at Rome in December 403. it is not at all probable, that Innocent should have written to him on the 15th of February 404. To solve this Difficulty, some suppose Victricius to have applied to Innocent, while he was still at Rome; and Innocent, instead of informing him, as he might, by Word of Mouth, to have given him in Writing the desired Instructions, that, having thus more Weight, they might the more readily be complied with by other Bishops. But it is manifest, from Innocent’s Words, that his Letter was an Answer to one from Victricius; and we cannot well suppose Victricius, who was at Rome in December, to have returned to Rouen, to have written from thence to Innocent, and Innocent to have returned him so full an Answer by the 15th of the following January. We may conclude the Year to have been, by some Mistake, altered, and 404. inserted in the Date instead of 405. since the Letter could not be written earlier, as I have just observed, than the Month of January (if January was the true Month) of the latter Year; and we have no Reason to think it was written later. The Mistake as to the Year might have been occasioned by the Transcriber’s omitting P. C. Post Consulatum Honorii, and thereby confounding the Year of the Emperor’s Sixth Consulship 404. with the Year after it 405.–Such Omissions frequently occur, and have led Writers, not aware of them, into great Mistakes, in point of Chronology, or made them suspect, nay, and condemn, as spurious, the most authentic Pieces of History. This Letter, in some Editions, bears no Date; and F. Labbé assures us, that he has seen a manuscript Copy of it, in which the Date was wanting. Some therefore suppose the Date to have been afterwards added, nay, and the whole Conclusion of the Letter. For Innocent closes it by saying, that the Observance of the Rules it contains will banish all Ambition among the Bishops, compose all Differences, prevent all Schisms, and leave no room for the Devil to insult the Flock of Christ. A Conclusion taken probably from some other Piece, and not at all adapted or applicable, with Truth, to this.

Letter of the Coun-
cil of Carthage to
293In the Year 404. Austin writ to Innocent, in the Name of the Bishops assembled in Council at Carthage, intreating him to apply to Honorius for new Laws against the Donatists; whose Cruelties towards the Orthodox, if not magnified by Austin[1410], are scarce to be matched in History. The Emperor hearkened to Innocent’s Remonstrances, and severe Laws being issued against them, they began by that means to be convinced of their Errors, and to return daily in great Numbers to the Unity of the Church. This is what we read in one of Austin’s Letters[1411]; for the Donatists, as he would make us believe, finding themselves persecuted, began to inquire, which they had never done before, into the Grounds of the Religion, for which they suffered. This Inquiry had the desired Effect; their Eyes were opened; they discovered the Errors of their Sect; and, being sensible of their Folly in foregoing any temporal Advantage, or exposing themselves to the least Inconvenience, for the sake of such a Religion, they sincerely abjured it, and zealously embraced the Catholic Faith. An ingenious Term, I must own, to excuse, nay, and to authorize and sanctify, the greatest Barbarities! But daily Experience teaches us, that Persecution has a contrary Effect, and that the more Men are persecuted, the more obstinately they adhere to the Opinions, however absurd, for which they suffer; witness the great Number of Martyrs which almost every Church, as well as the Catholic, can boast of. And, where it has not that Effect, the most it can do is to make Men become Hypocrites, and profess a Religion they do not believe; but scarce ever changes their Hearts, or brings any to a sincere and efficacious Assent to a Faith which is thus violently forced on their Minds.

Innocent writes to
the Bishops of Spain.
About the same time, or not long after, Innocent writ to the Bishops of Spain, and the chief Articles of his Letter were: 1. That they ought to cut off from their Communion such of their Brethren as refused to communicate with Symphosius, Dictinius, and other Bishops, who, having renounced the Errors of Priscillian, had been readmitted to the Communion of the Church by the Council held at Toledo, in the Year 400[1412]. 2. That those Bishops should be deposed who had been ordained without the Knowlege or Consent of their Metropolitan. 3. That such as presumed to ordain against the Canons should be likewise deposed, and all who had been thus ordained by them.

Chrysostom Bishop
of Constantinople
recurs to Innocent.
294Chrysostom, the celebrated Bishop of Constantinople, having been unjustly deposed in 403 and driven from his See by Theophilus Bishop of Alexandria, and the Council ad Quercum, or at the Oak, near Chalcedon, had, upon his Return to Constantinople, insisted upon a Council being summoned, to make his Innocence the more plainly appear to the World. This Theophilus, and the Bishops of his Party, not only strenuously opposed, but, by the great Interest they had at Court, prevailed upon the Emperor Arcadius to drive him from Constantinople a Second time, and banish him to Cucusus, an inhospitable Place in Cilicia. The News of these last Proceedings had not yet reached Rome, when Theophilus sent one of his Lectors with a Letter to Innocent, acquainting him, that he had deposed Chrysostom. As, in this Letter, Theophilus observed an intire Silence with respect to the Motives that had prompted him to take such a Step, Innocent prudently forbore returning him an Answer. There happened to be then at Rome a Deacon of the Church of Constantinople, who, hearing what Theophilus had written, went immediately, and warned Innocent to be upon his Guard, intreating him, at the same time, not to proceed but with the utmost Caution, in so nice and important an Affair, and assuring him, that the Truth could not remain long undiscovered. Accordingly, in Three Days, Pansovius, and Three other Bishops, arrived at Rome, with Three Letters for Innocent; viz. one from Chrysostom himself, another from the Bishops of his Communion, and the Third from the whole Clergy of Constantinople. Chrysostom, in his Letter, which is still to be seen in his Works, and in those of Palladius, who writ the History of his Persecution, after giving Innocent an Account of the Storm his Enemies had raised against him, intreats him to declare such wicked Proceedings void and null, to pronounce all who had any Share in them punishable, according to the Ecclesiastical Laws, and to continue to him the Marks of his Charity and Communion. In the Title and Close of the Letter, he addresses himself to one, but every-where else to more Persons, the Letter having been written, as appears from the Copy in Palladius[1413], not to Innocent alone, but to him, to Venerius of Milan, and Chromatius of Aquileia, Bishops of the Three chief Sees in the West.

Innocent’s Answer
to Chrysostom’s Let-
Innocent, acting with his usual Prudence and Circumspection, in his Answer to the above-mentioned Letters, declared, that he admitted 295the Bishops of both Parties to his Communion, from which he could exclude no Man till he was lawfully judged and condemned; and that therefore, to compose all Differences, and leave no room for Complaints on either Side, it was fit a Council should be assembled, consisting of the Western as well as the Eastern Bishops. The other Bishops of Italy, to whom Chrysostom had written, returned much the same Answer[1414], following therein the Advice, which Chrysostom himself had given to the Bishops of his Party; viz. that they should communicate with his Enemies, to prevent Divisions in the Church, but not sign his Condemnation, because he did not think himself guilty[1415]. Innocent’s Answer to Theophilus was in Words to the same Effect. His Letter to Chrysostom was carried into the East by Demetrius Bishop of Pessinus, who took care to shew it every-where, to the end it might be every-where known, that the Roman Church still communicated with that holy Bishop[1416].

Theophilus writes to
A few Days after Innocent had answered Chrysostom’s Letter, Petrus, one of Theophilus’s Presbyters, and Martyrius Deacon of the Church of Constantinople, arrived at Rome, with Letters from Theophilus, and the Acts of Chrysostom’s Deposition by the Council ad Quercum. From these it appeared, that the Council had consisted of Thirty-six Bishops, whereof Twenty-nine were Egyptians, and over these Theophilus had, as their Metropolitan, too great an Influence; that Chrysostom had been condemned without being heard, and that nothing had been laid to his Charge, deserving so severe and exemplary a Punishment. Innocent’s Answer to Theophilus.Innocent therefore, having read them, with the utmost Indignation, answered Theophilus in a few Words; that he was determined, as he had notified to him by his former Letter, to communicate both with him and his Brother John; that he could by no means depart from the Communion of the latter, till he was lawfully judged and condemned; that a Council was to be soon held, before which it was incumbent upon Theophilus to make good his Charge, and the Steps he had hitherto taken, by the Canons and Decrees of the Council of Nice, since the Roman Church admitted no others[1417]. Letters from the
Bishops of Chry-
sostom’s Party to
Innocent.With this Letter Petrus and Martyrius returned to Constantinople, whence arrived at Rome, soon after their Departure from that City, Theoctecnus, a Presbyter of the Church of Constantinople, and one of Chrysostom’s Friends, with Letters from Twenty-five Bishops, 296informing Innocent, that Chrysostom had been driven a Second time from his See; that he had been conducted by a Band of Soldiers to Cucusus, and confined to that Place; and that the great Church had been consumed by Fire, the very Day he was carried out of Constantinople. Innocent was greatly affected with this Account, and shed many Tears in reading it. But as these Troubles and Disorders were fomented by some great Men at the Court either of Arcadius or Honorius, and a Misunderstanding was then subsisting between the Two Brothers, or their Ministers, he concluded, that his Endeavours towards the restoring of Peace and Unity would prove unsuccessful, and might even blow the Fire, which already burnt with so much Violence, into a greater Flame. Who sends Letters
of Communion to them.On these Considerations he wisely forbore making any Application for the present to Honorius, and only sent Letters of Communion to Chrysostom, and the Bishops, who had espoused his Cause[1418]. Letters from Acacius
to Innocent.These Letters were delivered to Theoctecnus, who was scarce gone, when one Paternus, who styled himself a Presbyter of the Church of Constantinople, arrived at Rome, with Letters from Acacius, who had been intruded into the See of Constantinople, and from some other Bishops of his Party, charging Chrysostom with setting Fire to the Basilic or Great Church. So barefaced a Calumny provoked Innocent to such a Degree, that he would neither hear Paternus, nor return an Answer to the Letters he had brought.

Chrysostom’s Friends
cruelly persecuted.
In the mean time a most cruel Persecution was railed at Constantinople, against Chrysostom’s Friends, refusing to communicate with Acacius, Theophilus, and Porphyrius, who had intruded himself into the vacant See of Antioch, and, in Defiance of the Canons, maintained, by Force of Arms, the Dignity he had usurped. This Persecution was carried on under a Christian Emperor, with as much Cruelty as any had ever been under the most inveterate Enemies of the Christian Name. The Pretence they made use of was to discover the Authors of the late Fire; and as the Imperial Officers chiefly suspected, or pretended to suspect, Chrysostom’s Friends, Optatus, who was then Prefect or Governor of Constantinople, and a Pagan, laid hold of that Opportunity to vent upon them the implacable Hatred he bore to the Religion they professed. Many therefore, without Distinction of Sex or Condition, were, by his Orders, dragged to the 297public Gaols, and confined there to Dungeons; others tormented with such Barbarity as to expire on the Rack; and great Numbers, after having undergone repeated Tortures, stript of all their Effects, and banished to the most remote and desolate Places of the Empire.

Two Edicts enacted
against them.
At the same time the Emperor Arcadius, strangely prepossessed against Chrysostom, and those of his Communion, caused Two Edicts to be published; the one directed to the Governors of the Provinces, whom he strictly injoined not to suffer, in their respective Jurisdictions, any private Assemblies or Meetings of Persons, who, despising the Churches, worshiped elsewhere, lest they should seem to communicate with the most Reverend Prelates of the holy Law, Arsacius, Theophilus, and Porphyrius. The other commanded such Bishops as refused to communicate with them, to be driven from their Sees, and their Effects to be seized. The Persecution, which still raged, though it was soon after stopt at the Remonstrances of Studius the Præfectus Prætorio, and the Severity, with which the Two Imperial Edicts were put in Execution, drove great Numbers, both of the Clergy and Laity, from Constantinople, and the Provinces subject to Arcadius. Among the former were Cyriacus Bishop of Synnada, Eulysius of Apamea in Bithynia, Palladius of Helenopolis, Germanus a Presbyter, and Cassianus a Deacon, who afterwards embraced the Monastic Life, and became famous for his Ascetic Writings. Several Bishops, and
the whole Clergy of
Constantinople, write
to Innocent.Eulysius brought Letters to Innocent from Fifteen Bishops of Chrysostom’s Communion, acquainting him with the deplorable State of the Constantinopolitan Church, and one from Anysius of Thessalonica, declaring, that in the present unhappy Divisions he had resolved to conform intirely to the Sentiments of the Roman Church. Germanus and Cassianus likewise delivered Letters to Innocent, written in the Name of the whole Clergy of Constantinople, and giving him an Account of the Persecution that still raged, and of the cruel Treatment their Bishop had met with[1419]. His Answer to the
Clergy.Innocent, in his Answer to this Letter, expresses, in the most pathetic Terms, his Concern for the unhappy State of that Church, and their Sufferings; he encourages them to bear, with Patience, their present Tribulation and Afflictions, nay, and with Joy, since it is for the sake of Justice they suffer, and are thus persecuted; he complains of the undue Deposition of his Collegue, and Installation of another in his Life-time, which he shows to be against the Canons of the Council 298of Nice, the only Canons admitted and obeyed by the Roman Church: he concludes with informing them, that as he had always thought it necessary, that an Oecumenical Council should assemble, he had long considered, and was still considering, by what Means it might be assembled, since a Council, and nothing else, could appease so violent a Storm, and restore to the Church the so much wished for Tranquillity[1420].

Two Presbyters in the mean time came to Rome from the East, Domitianus of Constantinople, and Vallagus of Nisibis in Mesopotamia, and brought with them the original Acts, which they had purchased with a large Sum of the Imperial Officers, containing an authentic Detail of the Cruelties which some Women of Quality had been made to endure for not communicating with Arsacius, and the Bishops of his Faction. Innocent applies to
Honorius;With these the good Bishop was so deeply affected, that he could no longer forbear applying to Honorius, who, at his Request, writ immediately to Arcadius a very pressing and friendly Letter in favour of Chrysostom, and those of his Communion. At the same time he issued an Order for convening a Council of the Western Bishops, who, meeting soon after at Rome, drew up an Address, which they sent to Ravenna, where the Emperor then was, earnestly intreating him to interpose anew his good Offices with his Brother Arcadius, that an Oecumenical Council might be allowed to assemble at Thessalonica, in order to compose the present Differences, which had already produced a Misunderstanding between the Eastern and Western Churches, and might in the End bring on an intire Separation. who writes to Arcad-
ius.Honorius, in Compliance with their Request, writ a Third Letter to Arcadius (for he had, it seems, written already a Second), and at the same time one to Innocent, desiring him to appoint Five Bishops, Two Presbyters of the Roman Church, and One Deacon, to carry his Letter into the East, thinking that such a Legation would add no small Weight to his Mediation. The Letter to Arcadius was in the following Terms:

His Letter.
“This is the Third time I write to your Meekness (ad Mansuetudinem tuam) intreating you to correct and rectify the iniquitous Proceedings that have been carried on against John Bishop of Constantinople. But nothing, I find, has been hitherto done in his Behalf. Having therefore much at Heart the Peace of the Church, 299which will be attended with that of our Empire, I write to you anew by these holy Bishops and Presbyters, earnestly desiring you to command the Eastern Bishops to assemble at Thessalonica. The Western Bishops have sent Five of their Body, Two Presbyters of the Roman Church, and One Deacon, all Men of the strictest Equity, and quite free from the Byass of Favour and Hatred. These I beg you would receive with that Regard which is due to their Rank and Merit: If they find John to have been justly deposed, they may separate me from his Communion; and you from the Communion of the Orientals, if it appears that he has been unjustly deposed. The Western Bishops have very plainly expressed their Sentiments, in the many Letters they have written to me on the Subject of the present Dispute. Of these I send you Two, the one from the Bishop of Rome, the other from the Bishop of Aquileia; and with them the rest agree. One thing I must above all beg of your Meekness; that you oblige Theophilus of Alexandria to assist at the Council, how averse soever he may be to it; for he is said to be the first and chief Author of the present Calamities. Thus the Synod, meeting with no Delays or Obstructions, will restore Peace and Tranquillity in our Days[1421].”

The Pope’s Legates
not allowed to touch
at Thessalonica.
With these Letters the Legates set out from Rome, attended by the above-mentioned Prelates Demetrius, Cyriacus, Eulysius, and Palladius; and, sailing for Greece, put in at Athens, with a Design to pursue their Voyage to Thessalonica, having Letters from Innocent to Anysius Bishop of that City. But at Athens they were, to their great Surprize, stopt and detained by a Military Tribune, who let them know, that they must not touch at Thessalonica; and at the same time appointed a Centurion as a Guard over them, strictly injoining him not to suffer them, under any Pretence whatsoever, to approach that City. Soon after the Tribune parted them, and, putting them on board Two Vessels, ordered the Mariners to convey them strait to Constantinople. Anysius communicated with Chrysostom, as I have observed above; and it was, without all doubt, on this Consideration that the Legates were not allowed to set foot in his Diocese. The hard Usage they
met with on their
Journey,They arrived at Constantinople the Third Day after they had left Athens, but starved with Hunger; for the Tribune had neither supplied them with Provisions when they embarked, nor allowed them Time to 300supply themselves; so that they had tasted no Kind of Victuals during the Three Days they were at Sea. and at Constant-
inople.On their Arrival at Constantinople, they were not suffered to come ashore there, but ordered to a Castle on the Thracian Coast called Athyra, where they were all closely confined, the Legates in one common Room, and the other Bishops in so many separate Cells. As the People of Constantinople were most zealously attached to Chrysostom, the Emperor apprehended, and with a great deal of Reason, that their entering the City, and conversing publicly there, might be attended with uncommon Disturbances and Commotions; and therefore thought it adviseable to keep them at a Distance, and under Confinement. They had not been long thus confined, when they were ordered, they knew not by whom, to deliver the Letters they had brought. But neither by this Person, whoever he was, nor by several others, who were successively sent on the same Errand, could they be prevailed upon to part with them, alleging, that Letters from an Emperor ought to be delivered to none but an Emperor.

As they continued firm and unshaken in this Resolution, one Valerian, a Military Tribune, was at last called in, and ordered to employ the Rhetoric peculiar to his Profession, since no other could prevail. The Letters taken
from them by Force.Valerian accordingly, after a short Preamble, proceeded to Violence; and, seizing them, took the Letters by Force, having in the Struggle wounded one of the Bishops in the Hand. The next Day they were visited by a Person, who, without acquainting them who he was, or by whom sent, offered them a very considerable Sum, on condition they would communicate with Atticus, who, upon the Death of Arsacius, had, by the Bishops of his Faction, been intruded in his room. They are put on board
a leaky Vessel;Upon their rejecting, as they did, with the utmost Indignation, this Offer, Valerian, who was present, conducted them under a strong Guard to the Sea-side, and there put them on board an old leaky Vessel, having first, with a large Bribe, prevailed upon the Commander, as they were informed, to engage his Word, that they should not outlive that Voyage. but arrive safe in
Italy.They outlived it however, and, having reached Lampsacus, they embarked on board another Vessel, which landed them safe at Otranto. As for the Eastern Bishops who had attended them from Rome, viz. Cyriacus, Eulysius, Palladius, and Demetrius, after having been some time kept under close Confinement at Athyra, they were banished to the most remote and abandoned Places of the Empire. The other Bishops, who refused to 301communicate with Atticus, Theophilus, and Porphyrius, fared no better, being in like manner either driven into Banishment, or obliged to abscond, and, under the Disguise of Mechanics, earn their Livelihood by the meanest Professions. Many perished in the Places of their Exile for want of Necessaries; and others were so cruelly harassed, nay, and barbarously beaten, by the merciless Soldiery, appointed to conduct them, that they died on the Road[1422]. Such were the wretched Effects of that unchristian Principle of Persecution being lawful to punish Error in religious Disputes, which all Sects of Christians then held, and all suffered by in their Turns, as the different Parties among them got the Civil Magistrate and Force on their Side.

Honorius resolves to
revenge the Affront
offered to his Embas-
sadors, but is diverted
from it.
Honorius, being informed of the base Treatment the Legates had met with, though vested with the sacred Character of Embassadors, was so provoked at such a notorious Violation of the Right of Nations, that he resolved to make War on his Brother, and revenge it by Force of Arms. But from this Resolution he was diverted by a threatened Invasion of the Barbarians, and the seasonable Discovery of the famous Stilicho’s Treachery, which obliged him to keep all his Troops in Italy, or the adjoining Provinces. As for Innocent, finding the Mediation of Honorius, which he had procured, prove unsuccessful, and no other Means left of affording the least Relief to Chrysostom and the other persecuted Bishops, he resolved to make known to the World his Abhorrence of the Evils, which it was not in his Power to redress; and accordingly separated himself from the Communion of Atticus, Theophilus, and Porphyrius, as the chief Authors of the present Calamities[1423].

Arcadius and Eudoxia
not excommunicated
by Innocent.
Baronius, thinking it inconsistent with the Dignity of his High Pontiff thus tamely to bear with the insulting Conduct of Arcadius, would fain persuade us, that, after he had tried in vain all other Methods of bringing the Emperor, and the Empress Eudoxia, to a Sense of their Duty, he at last thought himself obliged to thunder against both the tremendous Sentence of Excommunication, cutting them off as rotten Members from the Body of the Faithful committed to his Care and Direction. To prove this, he produces several Letters from Innocent to Arcadius, and from Arcadius to Innocent, transcribed partly from Gennadius, Glycas, and Nicephorus, and partly from the Vatican Manuscripts[1424]. To enter into a critical Examination of those 302Pieces, would be wasting Time, and tiring the Reader to no Purpose. I shall therefore content myself with Three Observations, each of them sufficient, in my Opinion, to make the World reject them all as mere Forgeries. In the first place, the Silence of the Historians, who writ at that Time, touching so remarkable and unprecedented an Event as the Excommunication of an Emperor and an Empress, is an unanswerable Confutation of every Proof that can be alleged to support the Authenticity of the pretended Letters. For who can imagine, that the Writers, who flourished then, and have transmitted to us most minute Accounts of far less important Transactions both Civil and Ecclesiastical, would have passed this over in Silence? In the Second place, Eudoxia is supposed, in all those Letters, to have outlived Chrysostom; whereas it is certain, that she died in 404, four Years before him. Lastly, In the above-mentioned Letter, Arcadius is all along supposed to have repented, and changed his Conduct towards Chrysostom, to have persecuted his Enemies as he had formerly done his Friends, and to have chiefly vented his Resentment on the first Author of all the Disturbances, the Empress, who thereupon, out of Grief, Rage, and Despair, fell into a dangerous Malady[1425]. But of all this not the least Hint is to be met with in Palladius, who writ in the last Days of the Life and Reign of Arcadius; nay, that Historian speaks of the Friends of Chrysostom as Men still under the Emperor’s Displeasure, and feeling the dreadful Effects of it in the inhospitable Places, to which they had been formerly confined.

Chrysostom did not
appeal to the See of
From the Conduct of Chrysostom on this Occasion, the Roman-Catholic Divines have taken a great deal of Pains to prove, that the Custom of appealing to the See of Rome obtained in his Time; that he actually appealed to that See; and consequently, that the Prerogative of receiving Appeals from all Parts, and finally deciding all Controversies, claimed by the Bishops of Rome, was then acknowleged even in the East. Nothing surely but the utmost Distress for want of other Instances to prove their Assertion, could have tempted them to make use of this; since, from the Conduct of Chrysostom on this very Occasion, nay, and from that of Innocent too, if set in their true Light, it may be undeniably made out, that this pretended Prerogative was utterly unknown to both. The Fact stand thus, and thus it is related by the Historians, who have transmitted it to us: Chrysostom 303is unjustly accused; the Bishop of Alexandria takes upon him to inquire into his Conduct; assembles a Council, consisting chiefly of Egyptian Bishops, and summons Chrysostom to appear before them: Chrysostom pays no Regard to the Summons, protests against it, and will not allow the Bishops assembled to have any Power or Authority over him, since it had been ordained by the Canons of the Church, that the Affairs of the Provinces should be regulated by the Bishops of the Provinces; and it was consequently very incongruous, that the Bishops of Thrace should be judged by those of Egypt[1426]. No Regard is had to his Protest, none to the Canons upon which it was grounded: he is summoned anew; and, not appearing within the limited Time, is judged, condemned, and deposed. From this Sentence he appeals to a lawful Council; but, being, notwithstanding his Appeal, driven from his See, he recurs at last to the Western Bishops, namely, to Innocent of Rome, Venerius of Milan, and Chromatius of Aquileia, intreating them not to abandon him in his Distress, nor exclude him from their Communion[1427], but to procure by all means the assembling of a General Council, in order to restore the Church to her former Tranquillity.

Chrysostom an utter
Stranger to the Power
of receiving Appeals
in the Bishops of
Such was the Conduct of Chrysostom: and, from this Conduct, does it not manifestly appear, that Chrysostom was an utter Stranger to the pretended Power in the Bishops of Rome of receiving Appeals from all other Tribunals, and finally determining all Controversies? Who can think, that, had he been acquainted with such a Prerogative, he would, when so unjustly oppressed, have appealed to a Council, which, he was well apprised, would meet with great Obstructions, when he had, ready at hand, a more certain and easy Method of finding Relief? Had he been satisfied, that Innocent had such a Privilege, is it likely he would have written to him on so urgent an Occasion, without taking the least Notice of it; that he would have contented himself with only intreating him to procure the assembling of a General Council? Should a Bishop now, apprehending himself injured by a National or Provincial Synod, appeal, not to the Pope, but, as Chrysostom did, to a General Council, he would, by such an Appeal, draw upon himself the Indignation of the Roman See: for it would be thence concluded, and no Conclusion can be more natural, that he did not acknowlege the Power of receiving Appeals claimed by that See.

Chrysostom never
acknowleged such a
304But Chrysostom, say they, did acknowledge such a Power; for, in his Letter to Innocent, he intreats him to declare such wicked Proceedings void and null, and to pronounce all, who had any Share in them, punishable, according to the Ecclesiastical Laws. But Chrysostom addresses himself here, not to Innocent alone, as I have already observed, but to him, in Conjunction with Venerius of Milan, and Chromatius of Aquileia[1428]; nay, he addresses himself, throughout the whole Letter, to more Persons than one; and yet Baronius has the Assurance to style the Letter an Appeal to Innocent[1429]. And why to him, and not to the other Two, since he writ nothing to him but what he writ to them? The Disingenuity of
Bellarmine.Bellarmine, finding some Expressions in the above-mentioned Letter, which he thought might be so interpreted as to favour and countenance the Pretensions of the See of Rome, had Chrysostom addressed himself to Innocent alone, makes him accordingly, by altering the Number in the Passage he quotes, address himself to Innocent alone[N49]; and then concludes, that even the Greeks acknowleged the Bishop of Rome for their Supreme Judge[1430]. What must every impartial Man think of a Cause, that wants to be thus defended? What of those, who thus defend it?

N49. He changes obsecro ut scribatis into obsecro ut scribas.

Innocent’s Letter to
Exuperius Bishop of
About this time, that is, in the Year 405. Innocent, being consulted by Exuperius[N50] Bishop of Toulouse, concerning some Points of Discipline, answered him by a Decretal, containing the following Decisions: 1. That the Priests and Deacons, who were daily employed in sacrificing or baptizing, were not to be allowed the Use 305of Matrimony; that those, who were ignorant of the Decretal issued by Syricius, might be forgiven, upon their promising thenceforth to live continent; but, as to the rest, they should, as unworthy of Indulgence, be deposed. The Second Article relates to those, who, after Baptism, had led a wicked or sinful Life, and at the Point of Death desired the Communion. Innocent declares, that to such, according to the antient Discipline of the Church, which was more severe, Repentance was granted, and not the Communion; but, according to the present Practice, both were granted. By Repentance is here meant, according to the most probable Opinion, a Reconciliation with the Church; and, by the Communion, the Eucharist, which the Thirteenth Canon of the Council of Nice commands to be given to all dying Persons who desire it. Some doubted whether it was lawful for a Christian to discharge the Office of a Judge, in criminal Cases. Innocent therefore declares, in the Third Article, that no Penance ought to be imposed upon those who had condemned Criminals to the Rack, or even to Death, the Civil Power having been established by God for the Punishment of Criminals. As Women were, it seems, more frequently punished for Adultery than Men, some imagined that Crime not to be alike punishable in both. This Notion Innocent confutes in the Fourth Article; adding, that Women were more frequently punished, merely because the Husbands were more forward in accusing their Wives, than Wives were in accusing their Husbands. The Fifth Article is a Confirmation of the Third; for it only absolves from all Sins such as are obliged, by their Office, to prosecute or condemn Criminals. The Sixth Article excludes from the Communion of the Church all Men, who, after they have been parted from their Wives, marry other Women; and all Women, who, after they have been parted from their Husbands, marry other Men[N51]. The same Punishment is, by this 306Article, inflicted on those who marry them, but not on their Parents or Relations, provided they have been no-way accessory to that unlawful Contract. The last Article contains a Catalogue of the Canonical Books of Scripture, the same as are still acknowleged by the Church of Rome as Canonical. In the same Article, some Books are pointed out, that ought to be absolutely condemned and rejected[1431][N52]. These Directions, or Instructions, Innocent pretends to have drawn partly from Scripture, and partly from Tradition; and thanks Exuperius, because he had, by applying to him for a Solution to his Difficulties, engaged him to examine them with Attention, and thereby given him an Opportunity of learning what he had not known before. It is surprising he should have mentioned the Scripture, since the very first Article, debarring for ever married Men from the Use of Matrimony, is an open Contradiction to the Directions given by St. Paul to all married Persons, without Restraint or Distinction; Defraud you not one the other, except it be with 307Consent for a time, &c. and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your Incontinency[1432].

N50. Exuperius was, as we gather from Ausonius, a Native of Bourdeaux, one of the greatest Orators of his Time, and had governed Spain in Quality of Prefect. He afterwards withdrew from the World; embraced the Ecclesiastical State in the Place of his Nativity[1]; and was, for his eminent Virtues, raised to the See of Toulouse. He was chiefly commendable for his Charity to the Poor; though he bestowed the greater Part of it on Objects, perhaps, of all, the least worthy of his Compassion: for, by the Monk Sisennius, he sent considerable Sums into the East, to be distributed there among the Monks of Egypt and Palæstine[2]; which might have been better employed at home, Gaul being then threatened with an Invasion of the Vandals, Alans, and other barbarous Nations; who, accordingly, broke into that Province on the last Day of the Year 406. and made themselves Masters of Toulouse itself. It was, however, this Kindness of Exuperius to the Monks, that chiefly recommended him to Jerom[3], who often mentions him with the greatest Commendations[4], and even inscribed to him his Comment on Zechariah.

1. Paulin. ep. 20.

2. Hier. præf. in lib. 1, 2, & 3. Zech. & ep. 152.

3. Idem ibid.

N51. The matrimonial Bond is held, by the Church of Rome, indissoluble, and a Separation only allowed as to Bed and Board, even in Cases of Adultery; whence it follows, that so long as they both live, neither can marry, without being guilty of Adultery. There are, however, some annulling Impediments, as the Canonists style them, that is, Circumstances rendering the Marriage-contract null; and if any of these intervene, and is made to appear, the Parties are then declared not to have been married; and, consequently, free to marry whom they please. Till Innocent’s Time, Men, who had been parted from their Wives convicted of Adultery, were allowed to marry again. This Epiphanius tells us in express Terms; adding, that, agreeably to Scripture (no doubt to Matt. v. 32.), it could be no Crime to marry again; that those who married again were not excluded, on that score, from Life everlasting; and consequently ought not to be excluded from the Communion of the Church[1]. The Scope and Design of Epiphanius, throughout his Work, was to acquaint us with the several Heresies that sprung up in the Church, and to explain, in Opposition to them, the Catholic Doctrines. It must therefore have been deemed a Heresy in his Time, that is, towards the latter End of the Fourth Century, to think the matrimonial Bond indissoluble, even in Cases of Adultery, or to hold it unlawful for a Man to marry again, who had put away his Wife for the Cause of Fornication. But the Heresy became afterwards a Catholic Truth, and the Catholic Truth a Heresy. This Change, however, was not so much owing to Innocent’s Decretal, as to the Two Books, which St. Austin writ about the Year 419. to prove, that it is unlawful for a Husband, who has put away his Wife, even for Adultery, or for a Wife who has been thus put away, to marry again, while both are living. He founds his Opinion on that of St. Paul, The Wife is bound by the Law, as long as her Husband liveth[2]. But, instead of understanding that Passage with the Exception made by our Saviour himself, Whosoever shall put away his Wife, saving for the Cause of Fornication, &c. he endeavours, by many logical Distinctions, and unnatural Interpretations, to remove that Exception, though expressed by the Evangelist in the plainest Terms. He was therein, no doubt, misled, by the groundless, but then reigning, Notion, of an extraordinary Merit annexed to Celibacy; and therefore ends his Word with exhorting the Husbands, who have put away their Wives, to observe Continency, in Imitation of the Ecclesiastics, who observe it (says he) with the greatest Exactness, though it was not by their own Choice that some of them went into Orders. It may be questioned, whether, even then, the Continence of the unmarried Clergy was such as he represents it.

1. Epiph. hæref. 59.

2. 1 Corinth. vii. 39.

N52. These were several Books, styled The Acts of the Apostles, forged by Leucius, Nezocharis, and Leonides, and ascribed by them to some of the Apostles. Leucius was, by Sect, a Manichee, as appears from Austin, who confuted his Books[1]. Nezocharis and Leonides are, by Innocent, styled Philosophers. The Books of Leucius, in the latter End of the present Century, were anew declared Apocryphal by Pope Gelasius: The Books, says he in one of his Decretals, composed by Leucius, a Disciples of the Devil, are all Apocryphal[2].

1. Aug. de fide contra Manich.

2. Gelas. in Decretal. de lib. Apocryph.

His Letter to Anysius
of Thessalonica.
As the Bishops of Rome had, ever since the time of Damasus, taken upon them to appoint the Bishop of Thessalonica their Vicar for East-Illyricum, Innocent no sooner heard, that Rufus had been promoted to that See, vacant by the Death of Anysius, than he let all the Bishops in those Parts know, by a Circular Letter, probably directed to Rufus himself, that he conferred on him the same Dignity which his Predecessors had conferred on the other Bishops of Thessalonica. He writ, at the same time, a private Letter to Rufus, containing some Instructions relating to the Exercise of his Vicarious Power, and, with them, the Names of the Provinces which he was to govern, as his Vicar and First Primate; but without intrenching, adds Innocent, upon the Rights and Privileges of the Primate or Metropolitan of each Province. In this Letter he takes great Care, that Rufus should not forget he is indebted for such a Power to the See of Rome; for that he frequently repeats, as if he entertained some Jealousy of Rufus, or apprehended that he might claim such a Power, as Bishop of Thessalonica, that City being, according to the Civil Division of the Empire, on which the Ecclesiastical was ingrafted, the Metropolis of East-Illyricum[1433].

Rome reduced to
great Streights by
The same Year 407. the Emperor Honorius visited the City of Rome, and continued there till the Month of May of the Year 408. On the 23d of the following August, Stilicho was killed; and Alaric the Goth, entering Italy soon after his Death, appeared before Rome, and laid close Siege to that City in the latter End of the same Year. As no Provisions could be conveyed into the Place, all the Avenues being shut up, and well guarded, a Famine soon ensued, and upon the Famine a Plague, which daily swept off great Numbers of the Inhabitants. In this Extremity, such of the Senators as still adhered to the Pagan Superstitions, promising themselves Relief from the Gods of their Ancestors, resolved to implore their Protection, by solemn Sacrifices offered up to them in the Capitol, and other public Places of the City. The Pagan Super-
stitions connived at by
Innocent.This Resolution, says Zosimus[1434], they imparted to Innocent, then Bishop of Rome, who, sacrificing his private Opinion to the public Welfare, agreed to it, on Condition that the Ceremony should be privately performed. Of these Sacrifices Sozomen too 308takes particular Notice[1435]; but makes no Mention of Innocent; which has induced some to suspect the Veracity of Zosimus, who was, as is well known, a sworn Enemy to the Christian Religion. But that those Sacrifices were performed, is affirmed both by him and Sozomen; and it is not at all probable, that Pompeianus, who was then Governor of Rome, and a Christian, would have suffered them, without the Consent and Approbation of Innocent. However that be, I see not why Baronius should be so provoked against Zosimus, for making Innocent thus connive at the superstitious Worship of the Gentiles, since his Successors have always allowed, and do still allow, even in Rome itself, the free Exercise of the Jewish Worship.

Innocent leaves
Rome, and repairs to
the Emperor at Rav-
Rome being reduced to the last Extremity, Deputies were, in the End, sent out to treat with Alaric, who, hearkening to their Proposals, raised the Siege, upon their paying to him Five thousand Pounds Weight of Gold, Thirty thousand of Silver, Four thousand Silk Garments, Three thousand Skins of Purple Dye, and as many Pounds of Pepper. At the same time the Romans engaged to mediate a Peace between him and Honorius: but the Emperor refusing to comply with the Terms that were proposed, though no-ways unreasonable, the Roman Senate sent Two solemn Deputations to Ravenna, where Honorius then resided, to lay before him the Danger to which he exposed the Empire, and persuade him to accept the Conditions offered him both by them and by Alaric. As the First Deputation proved unsuccessful, Innocent, thinking his Presence might give some Weight to the Negotiations, left Rome, and, together with the Deputies, repaired to Ravenna. Thus he escaped the Mortification of seeing the City of Rome taken and plundered by the Barbarians[1436]. For, Honorius still rejecting the Terms of Peace, Alaric returned with his Army before Rome; and, having made himself Master of it on the 24th of August of the Year 410. treated the great Metropolis of the Empire no better, if Jerom may be credited, than the Greeks are said to have treated antient Troy[1437].

Innocent’s Letter to
Marcianus, Bishop of
While Innocent continued at Ravenna, he writ to Marcianus Bishop of Naissus, a City in Mœsia, concerning the Ecclesiastics of his Diocese, who had been ordained by Bonosus, of whom we have spoken above[1438]. In that Letter, Innocent declares, that Marcianus 309ought to admit to his Communion, and even restore to their Churches, those Ecclesiastics, who, having adhered to Bonosus after his Condemnation, were willing to return, provided they had been ordained by him before his Condemnation. One of these, by Name Rusticus, to remove all Doubt concerning the Validity of his Ordination, had caused himself to be reordained by a Catholic Bishop; and this Reordination Innocent condemns, in the same Letter, as highly criminal[1439].

His Letter to Aurelius
of Carthage.
In the Year 412. Innocent writ to Aurelius Bishop of Carthage, whom he seems to have greatly honoured and esteemed, concerning the Day on which Easter was to be kept in the Year 414. He acquaints Aurelius, that the 16th Day of the Moon of March would fall that Year on the 22d of the Month, and the 23d of the Moon on the 29th of the Month; and consequently that, in his Opinion, Easter ought to be kept on the 22d of March. However, he desires Aurelius to discuss that Point in the Council of the African Bishops, that was in a short time to be held at Carthage; and to let him know, whether they approved of such a Regulation, or what they objected against it, that he might solemnly notify by his Letters, according to Custom, the Day, on which Easter was to be celebrated[1440]. Their thus notifying to the other Bishops the Day on which Easter was to be kept, was no Argument of Power; but it gave them an Air of Pre-eminence, which they dextrously improved into Power.

The Letter of the
Bishops of Macedon
to Innocent.
In the Year 414. Vitalis, Archdeacon probably of Thessalonica, arrived at Rome, with Letters for Innocent, from the Bishops of Macedon, touching certain Points of Discipline which, it seems, they had referred to him, and he had decided before. In this Letter they represent to him, in the first Place, that, according to the Custom and Practice of their Churches, the marrying a Widow was no Bar or Impediment to Orders, or even to the Episcopal Dignity; and that to marry one Wife before, and a Second after, Baptism, was not, with them, deemed Bigamy. Then passing to those, who had been ordained by Bonosus, they declare it as their Opinion, that nothing more could be required than the Blessing of a lawful Bishop to re-admit them to the Functions of their Office. They conclude with begging Leave to raise to the Episcopal Dignity one Photinus, who had been condemned by the Predecessors of Innocent, and to depose a Deacon, by Name Eustatius[1441].

Innocent’s Answer.
310This Letter Innocent answered, almost in the Style and Language of a modern Pope. He begins with expressing his Surprize at the Affront they offered to the Apostolic See, by calling in Doubt what he had already decided. He then answers, one by one, the Heads of their Letter, with all the Authority of an unerring Judge, though neither he, nor any of his Predecessors, had ever yet claimed, or thought of claiming, such a Prerogative. He absolutely condemns the Practice of admitting to Orders such as had married Widows, because that was forbidden, says he, by Moses to the High Priest of the Jews; which was tacitly declaring the Levitical Laws to be still, in some Degree, binding with respect to the Christian Clergy. He adds, that if any such had been ordained, it was the general Practice of all the Churches, both in the East and West, to depose them[N53]. Innocent declares Or-
ders conferred by Heretics
to be null.As for those who had married but one of their Two Wives after Baptism, Innocent declares them equally incapable of being ordained as if they had married both[N54]. As to the Ecclesiastics ordained by Bonosus, Innocent not only excludes them from the Ministry, but endeavours to prove in general, that Orders, when conferred by Heretics, are null, borrowing, for that Purpose, of St. Cyprian, all the Arguments which that Father had made use of to prove a no less erroneous Opinion; viz. the Nullity of Baptism, when conferred by Heretics[N55].

N53. Such a Practice, however general, could have no other Foundation but the same unwarrantable Notion: I say, unwarrantable; for what can be more so than to exclude, as Innocent does, even from the lowest Degrees in the Church, a Man who had married a Widow, because the High-Priest of the Jews was not allowed to marry one, though all other Priests were, under that Law, free from such a Restraint?

N54. Jerom held the contrary Opinion, and maintained it in one of his Letters[1], with Reasons, that appeared to Baronius almost unanswerable[2], that is, no otherwise answerable than by the Ipse dixit of Innocent, which, with him, stood in the room of Reason.

1. Hier. ep. 83.

2. Bar. ad ann. 405. n. 60.

N55. He was, it seems, no Logician; else, to prove his Opinion, he had never made use of Arguments, that equally proved, and had been calculated to prove, an erroneous Opinion, an Opinion long before condemned by all the Bishops of the Catholic Church, and very lately by himself, in a Letter to Alexander Bishop of Antioch, where he maintains the Validity of Baptism conferred by an Arian[1].

1. Inn. ep. 18.

Which Opinion has
been since declared
The Opinion, which he endeavours to establish here, has been since condemned as heretical, by several of his Successors, and is now held as such by the whole Church; which has cut out a great deal of Work for the Champions of Infallibility. They plainly see (and who can read Innocent’s Letter without seeing?), that the Reasons which 311he made use of were all calculated to prove the Nullity of Ordination by the Hands of an Heretic; but nevertheless pretend, that whatever their seeming Purport may be, Innocent employed them only to prove, that an heretical Bishop had not the Power of conferring Grace, and with it the Right of exercising lawfully the Functions of his Office[1442]. But who can believe any Man, endowed with the least Share of common Sense, capable of arguing so absurdly? If his Meaning may be thus wrested, in spite of his Words, to a Catholic Sense, whose Meaning may not?

Innocent owns the
Holy See to have
been imposed upon.
With respect to Photinus, Innocent declares himself very unwilling to blame, or give Occasion to the World to think that he blamed, the Conduct of his Predecessors, who had condemned Photinus; but nevertheless, since so many Prelates had made it appear by their joint Testimonies, that the Holy See had been imposed upon by false and groundless Reports, he agrees to his Promotion. As to the Deacon Eustatius, he lets them know, that, whatever Reports may have been spread to his Prejudice, he is well assured both of his Probity, and the Purity of his Faith, and therefore cannot consent to his Deposition. In the End of his Letter, he complains of the Bishops of Macedon for not paying due Regard to the Testimony of the Roman Church, in behalf of the Two Subdeacons Dizonianus and Cyriacus.

The Misunderstanding between the Eastern and Western Churches continues after the Death of Chrysostom.
We have observed above, that Chrysostom being driven from the See of Constantinople into Exile, Innocent, and with him most of the Western Bishops, had espoused his Cause with great Warmth; but, finding that all their Endeavours in his Behalf proved unsuccessful, they at last separated themselves from the Communion of Atticus of Constantinople, Porphyrius of Antioch, and Theophilus of Alexandria. In the Year 407. Chrysostom died at Cumana in Pontus; but with him did not die the Animosities, which his Deposition had occasioned between the Churches of the East and the West. Atticus indeed thought nothing could now obstruct the wished-for Union; and therefore, as soon as Chrysostom’s Death was known, he applied to Rome, desiring the Communion of that Church. But he was greatly surprised, when he understood, that Innocent, instead of readily granting him his Request, insisted upon his first acknowleging Chrysostom to have been, and to have died, lawful Bishop of Constantinople, 312by inrolling his Name in the Diptychs[N56], with the Names of other Bishops of that City. This Demand seemed to Atticus highly unreasonable; for it was obliging him to acknowlege his own Election to have been null. He therefore peremptorily refused to comply with it; but nevertheless continued soliciting, by means of his Friends at Rome, a Reconciliation with that Church[1443]. But Innocent was inflexible; he was determined at all Events to carry his Point, and therefore would hearken to no other Terms till that was complied with. The Eastern Bishops followed the Example of Atticus; the Western that of Innocent. And thus were the Separation, and the Animosities attending it, continued Seven Years longer, each Party bitterly inveighing, in the mean time, against the Authors of the Divisions, and each expressing a most earnest Desire of a Reconciliation.

N56. The Diptychs were Tables, in which were inrolled the Names of all those who died in the Communion of the Church. The Bishops were placed there by themselves; and of all Commemoration was made by the Deacon in the Time of the Service.

The Churches of
Antioch and Rome
At length Porphyrius of Antioch, one of Chrysostom’s most inveterate Enemies, dying in the Year 413. or 414. Alexander, who till then had led a monastic Life, was chosen in his room by the unanimous Consent of the People and Clergy. As he was fully convinced of Chrysostom’s Innocence, and the Malice of his Enemies, he no sooner found himself vested with that Dignity, than he caused the deceased Prelate’s Name to be inserted in the Diptychs of his Church, and the Two Bishops Helpidius and Pappus to be restored to their Sees, from which they had been driven for refusing to renounce his Communion, and to communicate with his Enemies. After this Alexander sent a solemn Deputation to Rome, at the Head of which was, it seems, the famous Cassian, to acquaint Innocent with his Promotion, to inform him of what he had done, and thereupon to renew the Union between the Two Churches. Alexander, who entertained a sincere Desire of seeing Peace and Concord restored between the East and the West, did not doubt but the Example of his Church would be followed by many others, and a Way, by that Means, be paved to a general Pacification. Innocent received the Deputation with the greatest Marks of Joy, admitted Alexander to his Communion, and, with the Consent and Approbation of Twenty-Four 313other Bishops, declared the Church of Antioch again united to that of Rome.

The Bishop of Antioch strives to reconcile the Churches of Rome and Constantinople.
Several other Bishops, moved partly by the Example, and partly by the Letters and Exhortations of the Bishop of Antioch, yielded to Innocent, and submitted to the Terms he required. But Atticus still adhered to his former Resolution, and, to gain him, Alexander, who spared no Pains to complete the Work he had begun, repaired in Person to Constantinople. But he acted there with such Indiscretion as rendered that haughty Prelate more averse, than he had ever yet been, to an Accommodation on the Terms proposed by Innocent. For all other Means he could think of, to compass his Design, proving unsuccessful, he resolved in the End to apply to the Populace, who, as he well knew, had been most zealously attached to Chrysostom during his Life, and revered him as a Saint after his Death. His imprudent
Conduct.Suffering therefore his Zeal to get the better of his Prudence, and of every Consideration Prudence could suggest, he began to harangue the Multitude, and inflame them with seditious Speeches against Atticus, as carrying, even beyond the Grave, his Hatred and Malice against their holy Bishop. The Populace heard him with Attention, applauded his Zeal, and, full of Rage against Atticus, demanded, in a tumultuous manner, that the Name of so holy, so great and deserving a Prelate, might be inrolled, without further Delay, in the Diptychs. But their Clamours and Threats made no more Impression on the Mind of Atticus than the Reasons of Alexander; he withstood both; and the Bishop of Antioch, finding all his Attempts thus shamefully baffled, returned to his See, with the Mortification of having only widened the Breach, which he intended to close, between the Churches of Rome and Constantinople[1444]. Baronius supposes Alexander to have acted on this Occasion as Innocent’s Legate[1445]. But I find nothing in the Antients to countenance such a Supposition, besides his haughty Behaviour, and his pursuing, by the most unwarrantable Methods, what he had in View.

The Name of Chryso-
stom inrolled in the
Diptychs by the Bish-
op of Constantinople.
Atticus, however, allowed, in the End, Chrysostom’s Name to be inserted in the Diptychs; but whether he did it by Choice or Compulsion, is uncertain; for, in one of his Letters, he writes, that he could no longer withstand the Threats and Violence of the enraged Multitude[1446]; and in another, that he had done it to comply with 314the Will of the Emperors, and to conform to the Sentiments of his Brethren, both in the East and the West[1447]. However that be, it is certain, that he never changed his Sentiments with respect to Chrysostom, as is manifest from his declaring, after he had placed his Name in the Diptychs, that he thereby meant no more than to own, that he had been once Bishop of Constantinople; but that he still adhered to the Judgment that was given against him. With this, however, Innocent was satisfied; and so is Baronius.

The Two Churches
re-united at last.
Alexander maintained ever after a close Correspondence with Innocent, courting his Favour with the most servile Submissions, recurring to him in every momentous Affair relating to his Church, and suffering himself to be blindly guided by his Counsels. In one of his Letters he consulted him, it seems, concerning the Prerogatives of his See, and the Extent of his Jurisdiction; and nothing can be more subtle than Innocent’s Answer. Innocent’s Letter to
Alexander of Ant-
ioch.For after a long Preamble on the Dignity of the See of Antioch, he craftily insinuates all the Privileges and Prerogatives annexed to it to be owing not to the Dignity of the City, but to the Dignity of the See, as having been once the See of St. Peter. He adds, that on this Consideration it had been distinguished with an extensive Jurisdiction, and that it yielded to that of Rome itself only because St. Peter had accomplished there what he had begun at Antioch[1448]. The Prerogatives of the See of Rome owing to the City, and not to St. Peter.What Innocent proposed to himself by thus exalting the See of Antioch, by deriving the Privileges, Prerogatives, and Jurisdiction, of that See from St. Peter, is obvious. If they were owing not to the City, but to St. Peter, as Innocent affirms, those enjoyed by the See of Rome were, in like manner, owing to St. Peter, and not to the City. This Notion, now first started by Innocent, was not suffered to drop; but, being greedily embraced by his Successors, it was, in Process of Time, improved by them into a general Plea for all their exorbitant Claims. And thus Innocent may be justly said to have pointed out the Ground on which the unwieldy Fabric of the Papal Power was afterwards built. But if it be true, as Innocent pretends, that the See of Antioch owed its Dignity to St. Peter, and not to the City, how will he account for its being ranked under that of Alexandria, which was neither founded, nor had ever been honoured, by that Apostle? But not to waste Time in combating such a groundless Notion, nothing is more certain, than that the Disposition and Division 315of the Church was founded upon, and intirely agreeable to, the Disposition and Division of the Empire[1449]; and consequently that as no Regard was had to St. Peter, or any other Apostle, in the Civil, none could be had in the Ecclesiastical, Polity. And hence it naturally follows, that as Rome was the first City of the Empire, Alexandria the Second, and Antioch the Third, the Sees should be ranked in the same Order; and in the same Order they were ranked accordingly, though the See of Alexandria was founded only by a Disciple of St. Peter, and that of Antioch was supposed to have been founded by St. Peter himself.

The Division of the
Church founded on the
Division of the Empire.
This Division of the Church took place soon after the Division of the Empire made by Constantine the Great, on which it was founded. It was first introduced by Custom, but afterwards confirmed by several Councils; and in none of them is there a Word of St. Peter. As therefore the Bishop of Alexandria preceded in Rank the Bishop of Antioch, for no other Reason but because the City of Alexandria preceded in Dignity the City of Antioch, according to the secular Constitutions of the Empire; so the Bishop of Rome preceded in Rank all other Bishops, for no other Reason but because the City of Rome, as the Seat of the Empire, preceded in Dignity all other Cities.

Innocent encour-
ages the Bishop
of Antioch to
invade the Rights
of the Metropol-
But to return to Innocent: In the same Letter to Alexander he observes, that the Bishop of Antioch did not preside over a single Province, but a whole Diocese; and therefore advises him not only to maintain the Right he had of ordaining the Metropolitans, but not to suffer other Bishops in the Provinces under his Jurisdiction, however distant, to be ordained without his Consent and Approbation. He adds, that, with respect to the Bishops of the less remote Provinces, he might reserve to himself the Right of ordaining them[1450]. This was encouraging the Bishop of Antioch to invade and usurp the undoubted Rights of the Metropolitans, in open Defiance of the Fourth and Sixth Canons of the Council of Nice, which were afterwards confirmed by almost innumerable other Councils, all granting to the Metropolitans the Power of ordaining the Bishops of their respective Provinces jointly with the Bishops of the same Province, without ever once mentioning the Patriarch or Head of the Diocese[1451]. But of this Right the Bishops 316of Rome had deprived the Metropolitans under their Jurisdiction as early at least as the Time of Syricius; for that Pope, in the Letter which he writ to Anysius Bishop of Thessalonica, appointing him his Vicar for East-Illyricum, charges him not to suffer any Bishops to be ordained in those Provinces without his Consent and Approbation. Innocent maintained what his Predecessors had usurped; and, to countenance their Usurpation and his own, he encourages, by this Letter, the Bishop of Antioch to pursue the same Conduct with respect to the Metropolitans of his Diocese. The Example of the Bishops of Rome was, in Process of Time, followed by those of Constantinople, who, rivaling them in Pride and Ambition, not only usurped the Power of ordaining all the Bishops of their Diocese, but, by the Interest they had at Court, obtained an Imperial Rescript, confirming to them the Power which they had usurped. But they were soon obliged to part with it, though thus guaranteed, by the Fathers of the Council of Chalcedon impowering, by their Twenty-eighth Canon, the Bishops of Constantinople to ordain the Metropolitans in the Dioceses of Pontus, Asia, and Thrace; but at the same time ascertaining to the Metropolitans the Right of ordaining the Bishops of their respective Provinces. But the Bishops of Rome, ever determined to part with no Power, however acquired, found means not only to elude the Decrees of this and several other Councils, ascertaining the Rights of the Metropolitans in the plainest Terms, but to improve, by daily Incroachments, their usurped Jurisdiction, as I shall have frequent Occasion to observe in the Sequel of this History.

Innocent’s Letter
occasions great
Disputes between the
Bishops ofAntioch
and those of Cyprus.
Innocent complains, in the next Article of his Letter, of a Custom that obtained in the Island of Cyprus. It was one of the chief Privileges of the Patriarch, or Bishop, who presided over a whole Diocese, to ordain the Metropolitans of the Provinces comprised under his Diocese. But the Metropolitan of Cyprus was ordained by the Bishops of that Island without the Consent, or even the Privity, of the Bishop of Antioch, though Cyprus belonged to his Province, according to the Civil Division of the Empire. This Custom Innocent condemns, as repugnant to the Canons of the Council of Nice; adding, that it was first introduced in the unhappy Times when Arianism prevailed all over Syria, the Bishops of Cyprus refusing then to acknowlege those of Antioch, who were infected with that Heresy. This Article proved the Source of endless Disputes between the Bishops of Antioch and those of Cyprus; the former pretending, that the Power of ordaining the Metropolitan of Cyprus was lodged in them, and the latter opposing 317with great Warmth such a Pretension. Which are in the End
decided in favour of
the latter.The Controversy was at length referred to the Council of Ephesus; and the Fathers of that numerous Assembly, having heard and examined with great Attention the Pleas of both Parties, condemned in the strongest Terms the Pretension of the Bishops of Antioch, as repugnant to the antient Canons, that is, to those very Canons, on which, at the Suggestion of Innocent, they had founded it. And here I cannot help observing, by the way, that the Bishops of Antioch never thought of alleging, in support of their Claim, the Authority of Innocent, which they would certainly have done, had they not been well apprised, that no Regard would have been paid to it by the Fathers of the Council. As for what Innocent adds concerning the Time and Manner in which the Custom he complains of was introduced, he must certainly have been no less mistaken in those Particulars, than he was in the Sense and Meaning of the Canons of Nice. For who can imagine, that the Arian Bishops, at the Time Arianism prevailed, that is, when they had the greatest Interest at Court, and the Orthodox had none, would have suffered the Bishops of Cyprus to withdraw themselves, contrary to the established Laws of the Church, from their Jurisdiction, for no other Reason, but because the Bishops of Antioch professed the Doctrine of Arius?

Alexander, in his Letter to Innocent, had asked him, Whether Two Metropolitan Sees should be erected in one Province, which had been divided by the Emperors into Two? Innocent replies, That the Concerns of the Church being different from those of the State, the Church ought to adhere to the antient Rule. Alterations in the
State generally at-
tended with the like
Alterations in the
Church.However, it is plain from History, that such Alterations in the State were, generally speaking, attended with the like Alterations in the Church; insomuch that when the Bishop of any considerable City wanted to be raised to the Dignity of a Metropolitan, the most expeditious Way of gratifying his Ambition was, to apply to the Emperor for a Division of the Province; that his City being advanced, by such a Division, to the Rank of a Metropolis, he might, by the same Means, be preferred to that of a Metropolitan. Of mere Bishops, thus raised to the Dignity of Metropolitans, without any Regard to Innocent’s Letter, or, as it is styled, Decretal, several Instances occur in History.

Innocent, in the End of his Letter, declares it as his Opinion, that such Ecclesiastics as had renounced Arianism, or any other Heresy, 318with a Desire of being received into the Church, ought not to be admitted as Ecclesiastics, but only as Laymen. Ecclesiastics ordained
by Heretics to be ad-
mitted into the Church
only as Laymen.This Doctrine is intirely agreeable to the erroneous Doctrine concerning the Invalidity of Ordination by the Hands of an Heretic, which we have heard him labour to establish in his Letter to the Bishops of Macedon[1452]. He concludes this Letter with intreating the Bishop of Antioch to cause it to be read in a Council, or to see that Copies of it be transmitted to all the Bishops of his Diocese, that all may agree in observing the Instructions which it contains[1453].

Innocent’s Letter to
the Bishop of Eugub-
But of all Innocent’s Letters, that which he writ to Decentius Bishop of Eugubium (a City still known by the same Name in the Duchy of Urbino) is by far the most worthy of Notice, whether we consider the Doctrine which he there lays down, or the Principles on which he founds it. As to the Doctrine, it may be reduced to the Two following Heads; viz. That all the Churches in the West are bound to adopt, and strictly to observe, every Practice and Custom observed by the Roman Church; and that the Customs of all other Churches, differing from those of the Roman Church, are but Corruptions of the antient Tradition, Deviations from the Practice of the Primitive Times, and insufferable Abuses. As for the Principles on which he founds this Doctrine, they are, to say no more, of a Piece with the Doctrine itself. For he pretends, 1. That no Apostle, besides St. Peter, ever preached in the West. He ought, with St. Peter, to have at least excepted St. Paul; and, no doubt, would, had not his Memory failed him, as well as his Infallibility. All Churches ought,
according to him, to
conform to the Cus-
toms of the Roman
Church.He supposes, in the Second place, That all the Churches in the West were founded by St. Peter, or by some of his Successors; and consequently, that they ought to conform to the Customs of the Roman Church, since to that Church they owe their Origin. But that the Church of Lyons, not to mention others, was founded by Preachers sent thither out of Asia by St. Polycarp, and not by St. Peter, or any of his Successors, is affirmed by all the Antients, and allowed by the most learned among the Moderns; though some of them pretend, without the least Foundation, the Whole to have been done by the Authority of the Bishop of Rome[1454]. Innocent pretends, in the Third place, every Point of Discipline and Ecclesiastical Polity to have been settled by the Apostles, and whatever was settled at Rome by St. Peter to have been there strictly observed ever since his 319Time, without the least Addition or Diminution. He concludes this Part of his Letter with laying it down as a general Maxim, That it is unlawful for any Bishop to make the least Alterations in the Discipline of his Church, or even to introduce into one Church a Custom or Practice observed by another[1455]. This nevertheless is what all Bishops have done, and even those of Rome, both before and after Innocent’s Time, and consequently what they thought it lawful to do. Some Customs of the
Roman Church bor-
rowed of other Churches.The Psalmody, for Instance (and innumerable other Instances might be alleged), or the singing of Psalms in the Churches, was not instituted by any of the Apostles but first introduced by St. Ignatius into the Church of Antioch[1456], whence it spread in a very short time to all the Churches in the East, those Bishops no more scrupling to adopt, than Ignatius had scrupled to introduce, so laudable a Practice. Of the Eastern Churches it was borrowed by the Church of Milan, and of the Church of Milan by that of Rome, long before Innocent’s Time; which plainly shews, that his Predecessors held not that Doctrine, no more than one of the best of his Successors, St. Gregory the Great, who openly approves of some Customs, that were first unknown to, but afterwards adopted by his Church[1457]. Upon the Whole, it is evident, that Innocent was grosly mistaken, not only with respect to this Point, but likewise in asserting, that whatever had been settled at Rome by St. Peter, was still observed there without the least Addition or Diminution.

The Ceremony of
anointing those who
are confirmed.
The remaining Part of Innocent’s Letter relates to some particular Ceremonies and Customs, especially to the Ceremony of confirming those who were baptized, and the Custom of fasting on Saturdays. With respect to the former, he informs Decentius, that, according to the Custom of the Church, founded on the Practice of the Apostles, the Bishop alone can anoint on the Forehead those who have been baptized, and give them the Holy Ghost; and that the Priests can only anoint other Parts, the Episcopal Power not having been granted to them, though they partake of the Priesthood[N57].

N57. The Ceremony of anointing with Oil the Forehead, and likewise the Organs of the Five Senses, in those who had been baptized, is undoubtedly very antient. Tertullian, who lived in the Latter-end of the Second Century, speaks of it as a Ceremony universally practised and established[1]. St. Cyprian[2], who flourished Fifty Years after, St. Ambrose[3], St. Austin[4], St. Jerom[5], and the other Fathers, describe it as a Ceremony, by which the Holy Ghost was given to those who had been baptized, and consequently which none but Bishops could administer, they being the Successors of the Apostles, to whom alone that Power was granted. For the Fathers, generally speaking, and other antient Writers, suppose this, and the Imposition of Hands, by which the Holy Ghost was given by the Apostles to those who were baptized[6], to be one and the same Ceremony. The Oil employed on this Occasion was, as early as the Third Century, solemnly consecrated, kept in the Churches or Places where the Faithful met, and held by them in great Veneration[7]. This gave Rise, in the following Century, to many superstitious Practices, and Miracles were said to have been wrought by the holy Oil, to warrant such Practices, and confound those who thought it unlawful to comply with them. A very remarkable Miracle of this Nature is gravely related by Optatus Milevitanus[8], who writ about the middle of the Fourth Century. But, in the Time of the Apostles, the Whole of this Ceremony consisted in the Imposition of Hands: Then laid they their Hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost. Not a Word of Oil, of Chrism, of Unction, of signing with Oil on the Forehead in the Form of a Cross, and much less of a Blow given by the Bishop on the Cheek to the Person that is confirmed, though these are now all deemed, in the Church of Rome, material Parts of this Ceremony. As such Rites were unknown to, and unpractised by, the Apostles, it matters little how early they were introduced after their Time. And here I cannot help observing, that the Roman Catholics themselves have not thought fit to adopt all the Ceremonies used on this Occasion, and recommended by the Fathers. For, in Innocent’s Time, the Person confirmed was not only anointed on the Forehead, but on other Parts; on the Forehead by the Bishop, on other Parts by the Priests. The other Parts were, as we gather from Cyril Bishop of Jerusalem[9], the Eyes, Ears, Nose, Mouth, Hands, and Feet. The anointing of these Parts was, in the Opinion of that Father, no less fraught with Mysteries than the anointing of the Forehead; and yet the former Unction, notwithstanding its Antiquity, and all the Mysteries it symbolized, has been long since omitted, as altogether unnecessary. They might in like manner have omitted all the rest, and contented themselves, as the Apostles did, with the bare Imposition of Hands.

1. Tert. de resur. carnis.

2. Cypr. ep. 72, 73.

3. Ambr. de sacram. l. 3. c. 2.

4. Aug. contra Petil. l. 1. c. 104. de baptis. l. 3. c. 16. In ep. 1. Joan. tract. 3. & de diver. ser. 33.

5. Hier. contra Luciferian.

6. Act. viii. 15-17.

7. Cyp. ep. 70. & de oper. card. & unct. Chris.

8. Optat. Milev. contra Parm. l. 2.

9. Cyril. Catech. mystag. 3.

Confirmation not a
320The Roman Catholics, finding this Ceremony, now known by the Name of Confirmation, styled a Sacrament by St. Cyprian[1458], and St. Austin[1459], have thereupon raised it to that Rank, not reflecting that the antient Writers frequently make use of that Word to express no more than a sacred Ceremony, or Mystery. And truly were they to reckon among their Sacraments all the Ceremonies which the Fathers and other Christian Writers have distinguished with that Title, their Number would amount to Seventy rather than to Seven.

Why deemed formerly
unlawful to fast on
Sunday or Saturday.
With respect to the other Point, those who are ever so little versed in the Writings of the Fathers, must know, that from the earliest Times it was deemed unlawful, nay, and highly criminal, for a 321Christian to fast on Sunday or Saturday; on Sunday, because those Heretics, who denied the Resurrection of our Saviour, fasted on that Day, in Opposition to the Orthodox, who, believing it, solemnized the Sunday, the Day on which it happened, with Feasting and Rejoicings; on Saturday, because other Heretics holding the God of the Jews, and the Author of their Law, to be an evil Spirit, whom Christ came to destroy, fasted on the Seventh Day, thinking that by fasting they vilified the God of the Jews as much as the Jews honoured him by feasting[1460]. Among the antient Canons, known by the Name of the Apostolic Constitutions, we read the following Ordinance: If a Clerk shall be found to have fasted on a Sunday or a Saturday, let him be deposed; if a Layman, let him be cut off from the Communion of the Faithful[1461]. But that Canon must be understood only with respect to the East; for there was broached, and there chiefly prevailed, the Heresy that first introduced such a Practice. But in the West, where that Heresy was scarce known, some Churches, and the Roman in particular, observed both Fridays and Saturdays as Fast-days. Friday from the
earliest Times a
Fast-day.The Friday was, from the earliest Times, a Fast-day with all Churches, both in the East and the West; the Saturday was only in the West, and even there with very few Churches, which had borrowed that Custom of the Roman Church, as we are informed by St. Austin[1462]. Innocent therefore, desirous of establishing in all other Churches the Custom that obtained in his own, undertakes to prove, first, That all may, and, secondly, That all ought to observe Saturday as a Fast. Saturday a Fast-day
in the Roman
Church.That all may, he proves well enough; but the Reasons he offers to shew that they all ought, viz. Because Christ lay in the Sepulchre the Saturday as well as the Friday, and the Apostles fasted, as he supposes, on both Days, are manifestly unconclusive as to any Obligation. Besides, it was not because Christ lay in the Sepulchre, or because the Apostles fasted, but because Christ was crucified on a Friday, that a Fast was appointed to be observed on that Day. In Process of Time, the Custom of sanctifying both Days with a Fast took place in most of the Western Churches; and this Custom has been made in latter times a general Law, and one of the Commandments of the Church, which all Roman Catholics are bound to obey on Pain of Damnation. However, the Severity of it is so far relaxed, that, as they are only required 322to abstain from Meat, the utmost Riot and Epicurism in other Kinds of Food, and in Wine, may be, and are indulged on their Fast-days.

The Ceremony of
anointing the Sick
with Oil.
The last Article of Innocent’s Letter relates to the Ceremony of anointing the Sick with Oil, agreeably to that of St. James, Is any sick among you, &c.[1463]? As the Apostle directs the Faithful to call for the Elders of the Church; some took from thence Occasion to question whether Bishops were impowered to perform that Ceremony. Innocent therefore answers Decentius, who had proposed the Question, that there can be no room to doubt whether or no the Bishops have such a Power, since the Priests can have none, which the Bishops have not, of whom they receive all their Power. It is true, says Innocent, that St. James ordered the Faithful to call for the Elders, and not for the Bishops; but that was because he knew that the Bishops could not have so much Leisure from other important Duties as the Priests. He adds, that this Unction must not be applied to Penitents; that the Oil used in it must be blessed by the Bishop; and when it is thus blessed, not the Presbyters only, but all the Faithful, may anoint with it both themselves and others. The Power of anointing, St. James confined to the Elders or Priests, and that is the present Doctrine of the Church of Rome, though Innocent extended such a Power to all the Faithful. This Ceremony, now known by the Name of Extreme Unction, was, in Innocent’s Time, a kind of Sacrament; for so he styles it[1464]. But it is now a true Sacrament, and such it was declared by the Council of Trent[1465].

Letters from the
Councils of Carthage
and Milevum
In the Year 416. Innocent received Three Letters from the African Bishops; viz. one from the Bishops of Africa, properly so called, assembled at Carthage; another from those of Numidia, assembled at Milevum; and a Third from St. Austin, signed by him and Four other Bishops. The Two Councils writ to acquaint Innocent, that they had condemned Pelagius and his Disciple Cælestius, of whose Opinions I shall speak hereafter, and desire him to add the Authority of the Apostolic See to their Decrees. The Letter from St. Austin, and the Four other Bishops, was to inform Innocent, in a friendly manner, that he was suspected of countenancing those Heretics, and favouring their Doctrine. This Suspicion they themselves seem not to have 323thought quite groundless: for Possidius, one of the Bishops who subscribed the Letter, writes, that the African Bishops took a great deal of Pains to convince Innocent, and his Successor Zosimus, that the Doctrine of Pelagius was erroneous and heretical, knowing that his Followers were striving to infect the Apostolic See itself with their poisonous Tenets[1466]. They strove in vain, says Baronius; and perhaps they did; but the African Bishops had never taken so much Pains to guard the Apostolic See against that Infection, had they not thought it capable of being infected. The Five Bishops sent to Innocent, together with their Letter, St. Austin’s Answer to a Letter which he had received from Pelagius, his Confutation of a Book composed by that Heretic, and the Book itself, with the Passages marked in it that gave most Offence, and claimed a particular Attention, lest he should overlook them[1467]. This was not treating him as an infallible Judge[N58].

N58. Baronius observes here, that their informing him by a private Letter, and not by a public one from the Council, of the Suspicions that some entertained of him, was a Mark of the great Respect and Veneration, they had for the Bishop of Rome, whose Nakedness they were unwilling, as it became dutiful Children, to expose to the Eyes of the World[1]. And who told Baronius, that, in the like Circumstances, they would not have shewn the same Respect for any other Bishop? He had better have observed, and the Observation is more obvious, that his being suspected at all evidently proves the Infallibility of the Apostolic See not to have been, in those Days, an Article of the Catholic Faith.

1. Bar. ad ann. 416. n. 11.

Innocent’s Answer to
the Councils.
The Letters from the Council of Carthage, from that of Milevum, and from the Five Bishops, were brought to Rome by Julius, Bishop of some City in Africa; and, by the same Julius, Innocent answered them with Three Letters, all dated the 27th of January of the Year 417. The First, which is addressed to Aurelius, probably Bishop of Carthage, and to the other Bishops of that Assembly, he begins with commending them for their Zeal, their Pastoral Vigilance, and the Regard they had shewn for the Apostolic See. He claims the first a Divine Right of finally deciding all Controversies.He thence takes an Opportunity to resume his usual and favourite Subject, the Dignity, Pre-eminence, and Authority of that See; roundly asserting, that all Ecclesiastical Matters throughout the World are, by Divine Right, to be referred to the Apostolic See, before they are finally decided in the Provinces. This was indeed a very bold Claim, and a direct asserting to himself the Universal Supremacy attained by his Successors. But it was yet too 324early for such a Claim to be granted; and it is plain the African Bishops had no Idea of this Divine Right. For, had they entertained any such Notion, they surely would never have presumed finally to condemn and anathematize, as they did, Pelagius and Cælestius, without consulting at least the Apostolic See: neither would they have written to Innocent in the Style they did, after they had condemned them: for, in their Letter, they did not leave him at Liberty to approve or disapprove of what they had done; but only desire him to join his Authority to theirs, which they well knew he could not refuse to do, without confirming the Suspicion of his countenancing the Pelagians, and their Doctrine. Which is not ac-
knowledged by the Af-
rican nor the Numidian
Bishops.We have anathematized Pelagius and Cælestius, say the Fathers of the Council of Carthage, and thought fit to acquaint you with it, that to the Decrees of our Mediocrity might be added the Authority of the Apostolic See. This is a modest Style, and respectful to the See of Rome; but it is that of Men who plainly thought they had a Right to act in this Matter, by their own Judgment and Power, without waiting for the Award of that See, as they ought to have done, is they had allowed of Innocent’s Claim. In like manner the Council of Milevum, after informing Innocent of the Sentence, which they had pronounced against the Two above-mentioned Heretics, adds; And this Error and Impiety, which has every-where so many Followers and Abetters, ought also to be anathematized and condemned by the Apostolic See[1468]; which was putting Innocent in mind of what he ought to do, and not consulting him what they should do. An Instance of In-
nocent’s great Subtlety
and Address.This Conduct of the African Bishops gave Innocent no small Uneasiness. He was at a Loss what to do at so critical a Juncture. For to approve of a Conduct, so derogatory to the pretended Dignity of his See, was giving up his Claim to the Divine Right of finally deciding all Ecclesiastical Controversies. To disapprove it, was confirming the Suspicion of his countenancing the Doctrine which they had condemned. But Innocent was a Man of great Subtlety and Address; and he found out, at last, an Expedient to extricate himself out of that Perplexity, and gratify the Fathers of both Councils, without either approving or condemning their past Conduct. The only thing they required of him was to join his Authority with theirs, in condemning the Pelagian Heresy; and that 325he readily did. But, lest in so doing he should seem to approve of their having condemned it without first consulting him, in his Answer to their Letters, he supposes them to have actually consulted him; nay, to have referred to him the final Decision of that Controversy; and, agreeably to that Supposition, he commends them for the Deference they had thereby shewn to the Apostolic See. You have well observed, says he, the Ordinances of the antient Fathers, and not trampled under-foot what they, not in human Wisdom, but by Divine Order, have established; viz. That whatever is done in Places, however remote, should, for a final Conclusion, be referred to the Apostolic See. And again, You have had due Regard to the Honour of the Apostolic See, I mean of him who has the Charge and Care of all Churches, in consulting him in these Perplexities, and intricate Cases[1469]. Thus did Innocent maintain his Claim, and, at the same time, avoid quarrelling, at an improper Season, with those who had acted in direct Opposition to it. A necessary Policy in the first setting up of such extravagant and groundless Pretensions.

He excommunicates
Cælestius and Pelag-
In the present Letter he not only approves of the Judgment given against Pelagius and Cælestius by the African Bishops, but alleges several Reasons in Confutation of the Doctrines they taught; and concludes, by declaring them cut off from the Communion of the Church, agreeably to the Sentence of the African Bishops, as Men not only unworthy of that Communion, but of human Society, and even of Life[1470]. The same things he repeats in his Answer to the Bishops of Numidia; but he seems there to have been sensible, upon a more cool Consideration, that, in his Letter to the Council of Carthage, he had strained his Prerogative too high; and therefore in this he confines to Matters of Faith the general Maxim, which he had laid down, concerning the Obligation of referring all Ecclesiastical Matters, for a final Decision, to the Apostolic See. In the same Letter he endeavours to confute, in particular, the Doctrine of Pelagius, allowing Children, who die without Baptism, to partake of eternal Life[1471]. In his Answer to the Five Bishops, he refers them for his real Sentiments, concerning the Doctrine of Pelagius, to the other Two Letters, adding, that he had read the Book of Pelagius, which they 326had sent him, and found nothing in it that he liked, or rather that he did not dislike[1472][N59].

N59. That the Pelagian Heresy was first condemned by the African Bishops, is a Fact so well attested, that one would think it impossible it should ever have come into any Man’s Thoughts to call it in question. And yet Baronius, upon the Authority of a very doubtful Passage out of St. Prosper, a contemporary Writer, roundly asserts that Heresy to have been first condemned, not by the African Bishops, but by Innocent[1]. The Words of Prosper are:–Pestem subeuntem prima recidit sedes Roma Petri[2]. These Words are variously interpreted by the Learned; but all agree in rejecting the Interpretation of Baronius, as making[3] Prosper contradict a known Truth.

1. Bar. ad ann. 412. n. 26.

2. Prosp. de Ingratis, l. 1. c. 2.

3. Vide Jansenium de Hær. Pelag. p. 16. Merc. t. 1. p. 9.

Cælestius condemned by
the African Bi-
shops, notwithstanding
his Appeal to Rome.
Cælestius had been condemned by a Council held at Carthage in the Year 412. and probably consisting of the same Bishops who composed that of the Year 416. From their Sentence he appealed, as Baronius observes[1473], to the See of Rome, summoning his Accuser Paulinus to appear at the same Tribunal. But all we can infer from thence is, that either Innocent did not receive the Appeal, or, if he did, that the African Bishops made no Account of it, since they condemned him anew, without waiting for the Judgment of Innocent, to whom he had appealed.

Innocent’s Letter to
Innocent writ Two Letters more, a little before his Death, one of which was to St. Jerom, comforting him in his Distress. For some who favoured Pelagius, provoked at Jerom’s repeated Invectives against him, had set Fire to his Monastery at Bethlehem, and burnt it down to the Ground, agreeably to the Spirit and Methods in which religious Controversies were now carried on. Their Design was to have burnt Jerom himself; but he had the good Luck to escape out of the Flames, and save himself in a strong Tower. The Two noble Virgins, Eustochium and her Niece Paula, who led a retired Life under the Direction of Jerom, met with no better Treatment. For those Fanatics, breaking into the House where they lived, beat some of their Attendants in their Presence, killed others, and threatened them with Fire and Destruction. With this they acquainted Innocent, who thereupon writ to Jerom, offering to exert the whole Authority of the Apostolic See against the Authors of such Excesses, provided he knew who they were: for the Two Virgins had concealed their Names, probably to prevent his exerting that Authority, which they had Reason to apprehend would be attended with greater Evils.

327Innocent adds, that so long as the Authors and Promoters of those unheard of Barbarities are unknown, he can only condole with those who have suffered by them; but, if they were accused in due Form, at his Tribunal, he would not fail to appoint proper Judges to try them; which, by the way, he had no Right to do.

His Letter to John
of Jerusalem.
Innocent’s other Letter is to John Bishop of Jerusalem, who hated Jerom on account of his Inveteracy against Origen, and was suspected to connive at the cruel Treatment he and his Followers had met with. Him therefore Innocent reprimands very severely, for suffering such enormous Abuses within the Limits of his Jurisdiction. In his Letter he gives him the Title of well-beloved Brother; but, at the same time, treats him with more Haughtiness than was becoming even in a Superior, though he neither had, nor could claim by the Canons, any kind of Jurisdiction or Authority over him.

Innocent dies.
These Letters Innocent writ in the Latter-end of January, and died on the 12th of March of the same Year 417. having governed the Roman Church near Fifteen Years; for his Predecessor Anastasius died on the 27th of April 402. and he was chosen soon after his Decease, as I have observed above. He was generally esteemed a Man of good Parts, and well acquainted with the Laws and Traditions of the Church. The See of Rome
greatly indebted to
him for its Grandeur.Hence he was frequently consulted by the Western, and sometimes by the Eastern Bishops, in Points both of Faith and Discipline. Of this general Esteem, and the Deference that was thereupon paid to his Decisions, he took Advantage to lay down, with an Air of Authority, and as undoubted Truths, many false, groundless, and dangerous Maxims, all tending to the Diminution of the Episcopal Power, and the Advancement of the Papal. The Dignity of the Apostolic See was, as we have seen, the Burden of almost all his Letters; he even improved it into a Claim of Supremacy; and we may say, with great Truth, that to him the See of Rome was more indebted for the Grandeur it afterwards gained, than to all his Predecessors together. He formed the Plan of that Spiritual Monarchy, which they, by constant Application, established at last, in spite of the many almost insurmountable Difficulties, which they had to contend with. He was the first who, changing the antient Foundation of the Primacy, claimed it as the Successor of St. Peter, the Prince of the Apostles, as he is styled, and not as the Bishop of the first City, though on that Consideration alone it had been granted by 328the Councils. I said Primacy, because the Word Supremacy was utterly unknown in those Days. The Council of Sardica, held in the Year 347. had allowed, in some Cases, and under several Restrictions, Appeals to be made to the See of Rome, as has been observed elsewhere[1474]. But Innocent, scorning to owe any Branch of his Authority to that, or any other Council, claimed, by Divine Right, the Power of finally deciding all Ecclesiastical Controversies and Disputes; which was claiming, by Divine Right, an unlimited Jurisdiction. It is true, no Regard was had to such Claims; nor indeed did Innocent dare to pursue them, being well apprised of the Opposition he would meet with, if he should then have made such an Attempt. He therefore wisely contented himself with laying Foundations, and thought it a great Advance, as it certainly was, to have openly asserted such Notions, and brought the Ears of Men to endure them, if not their Minds. Had he gone farther, he would have been stopped in his Career, and it might have proved fatal to the Power of Rome before it was come to an Age of Maturity; but that he went thus far was of great Benefit to it, because it made a Beginning, and furnished his Successors with a Pretence to plead some Antiquity for the Opinions and Principles upon which they proceeded.

His Decretals often
quoted by the Popish
Accordingly the Decretals of Innocent are frequently quoted by the Advocates for the See of Rome, to shew how early the Popes claimed, by Divine Right, and as Successors of St. Peter, an universal Authority and Jurisdiction. But if the Principles, on which they founded their Claims, were false in Innocent’s Time, they are still so in ours; if no Account was then made of such Claims (and that none was made, I have sufficiently shewn), no Account ought to be made of them now; no more than if they were dated but Yesterday. Nor, indeed, ought the Beginning of the Fifth Century to be esteemed an early Time in the Christian Church. Great Corruptions were then crept into it; and, with regard to the Point in Question, it was very late. For had the Bishop of Rome been supreme Head of the Church, in Right of St. Peter, how came that Supremacy to be unknown, and unheard of, for above Four hundred Years? If the Four first Centuries could not discover it, on what new Light was it revealed to the Fifth?

Is sainted.
Innocent has been inrolled, by his Successors, in the Catalogue of Saints; and he is now adored in the Church of Rome as a Saint of the 329first Rate; an Honour which, it must be confessed, he better deserved at their Hands, in their Estimation of Merit, than any of his Predecessors, or any of his Successors, except Gregory the VIIth.

Honorius, ZOSIMUS,
Fortieth Bishop of Rome. Theodosius
the younger.
Year of Christ 417.
Zosimus, the Successor of Innocent, was, according to the Bibliothecarian, a Greek by Nation, and the Son of one Abraham[1475]; which is all we know of him before his Election. He was elected and ordained Six Days after the Death of his Predecessor, that is, on the 18th of March 417[N60].

N60. Paschasinus, Bishop of Lilybæum, observes, at the Year 443. that in 417. when Zosimus was Bishop of Rome, Easter, which ought to have been kept on the 22d of April, was, by a Mistake, kept on the 25th of March[1]; so that on the 25th of March, Zosimus was in Possession of the See; and consequently must have been chosen and ordained on the 18th of that Month, the only Sunday in 417. between the 12th of March, when Innocent died, and the 25th. For in those Days Bishops were commonly ordained on Sundays, and it is very certain, that Zosimus was ordained on that Day, since he pretended the Ordination of Two Bishops, whom he deposed, to be null, because they had been ordained on another Day[2]. Theodoret makes Boniface the immediate Successor of Innocent[3]. But all the other Writers, without Exception, place Zosimus between Innocent and Boniface.

1. Leo, t. 1. p. 413.

2. Conc. t. 2. p. 1569.

3. Theod. l. 5. p. 751.

Pelagius, his Country,
Profession, Parts, &c.
The first thing that engaged the Attention of Zosimus, after his Election, was the Heresy of Pelagius, and his chief Disciple Cælestius, which, at that time, made a great Noise in the Church. Pelagius was by Birth a Briton, and a Monk by Profession; but one of those who, parting with their Estates, and renouncing all worldly Honours, lived an austere Life; but in no Community, and under no Rule. Such a Monk was the famous Paulinus, such Pammachius, and such probably Pelagius; for I do not find, in any antient Writer, that he ever confined himself to a Monastery; nay, the wandering Life he led is a strong Proof he never did[N61]. As to his Parts, Jerom, who could never discover any thing commendable in those he opposed, 330speaks of him with the greatest Contempt, as if he had no Genius, and but very little Knowlege[1476]. But St. Austin, a more candid and less passionate Writer, owns him to have been a Man of extraordinary good Sense, of a very sprightly Genius, of great Penetration, and one who was not easily overcome, but rather capable of maintaining, with the strongest Reasons that could be offered, the Opinions which he once embraced[1477]. He lived several Years at Rome, at least from the Year 400. to 411. and was there well known, and greatly esteemed. For St. Austin, who first heard of him, while he lived at Rome, spoke of him in the first Books, which he writ against him, as of a Man, who passed for a Saint, who had made great Progress in Piety, whose Life was chaste, and Manners blameless, who had sold and given to the Poor all he had, &c[1478]. St. Paulinus and St. Jerom seem to have once entertained a no less favourable Opinion of him in these respects, than St. Austin did; for they too, in some of their Letters, speak of him with the greatest Commendations. But he no sooner began to broach his new Doctrines than he forfeited their good Opinion, and with it every Virtue which he had formerly possessed; nay, they pretend that he abandoned himself, at once, to immoderate Eating and Drinking, and to all manner of Debauchery, passing his whole Time in Revels and Banquets, in caressing and pampering his Body, which by that means, says Jerom, swelled to such an exorbitant Size, that he was more capable of crushing his Adversaries with the Weight of his Carcase than the Weight of his Arguments[1479]. We shall find very few, if any at all, who, upon their teaching Doctrines not approved by the Fathers, have not been immediately transformed by them, out of their great Zeal for the Purity of the Faith, into Monsters of Wickedness, though they themselves had, perhaps, proposed them before for Patterns of every Christian Virtue. It behoves us therefore to be very cautious in giving Credit to what they say of those whom they style Heretics. With respect to Pelagius, St. Austin, more moderate than the rest, does not charge him with any Vices, but only ascribes to Hypocrisy the Virtues which he had admired in him before[1480].

N61. He is commonly styled Pelagius the Briton, to distinguish him from Pelagius of Tarento, who lived about the same time[1].

1. Aug. ep. 106. Prosp. contra Ingrat. l. 1. c. 1.

Cælestius, his Family,
Profession, Parts, &c.
Cælestius, the first and chief Disciple of Pelagius, was, according to some, a Native of Scotland or Ireland; according to others, of 331Campania in Italy[1481]; but, with respect to his Country, nothing certain can be advanced. He was descended of an illustrious Family, and had applied himself, from his Youth, to the Study of the Law, and made some Figure at the Bar; but growing weary of that Profession, he retired from the World, embraced a monastic Life, and lived some Years in a Monastery[1482]. St. Jerom speaks of him as a Man of no Genius or Talents[1483]. But St. Austin entertained a very different Opinion of his Parts; for he commends him as a good Writer, as one who was thoroughly acquainted with all the Subtilties of Logic, and whose Talents would have proved very serviceable, could he have been retrieved from his Errors[1484].

Their Doctrine.
The Tenets of Pelagius or Cælestius (for those, who embraced them, are styled indifferently Pelagians and Cælestians) may be reduced to the following Heads: 1. That we may, by our Free-will, without the Help of Grace, do Good, and avoid Evil. 2. That if Grace were necessary for either, God would be unjust in giving it to one, and denying it to another. 3. That Faith, which is the first Step to our Justification, depends upon our Free-will. 4. That the Sin of Adam hurt none but him; that Children are born in the State which he was in before the Fall; that they are not delivered by Baptism from eternal Perdition, but, without Baptism, partake of Life everlasting. By Life everlasting they meant, a middle State between eternal Happiness and eternal Misery. 5. That Grace is only necessary to render the Observance of the Commandments more easy.

Both pass over into
These Opinions Pelagius and Cælestius first broached at Rome, about the Year 405. and gained there a great many Followers; more, says St. Austin, than could be well imagined[1485]. They both left Rome in 410. or 411. and, crossing over into Africa, infected many there, says the same Author, especially at Carthage, with their new Doctrine[1486]. Pelagius repairs to
Palæstine.Pelagius, after a short Stay at Carthage, went first into Egypt, and from thence into Palæstine, where he continued a long time[1487]. Cælestius remained at Carthage, hoping to be preferred there to the Priesthood; but as he did not use the due Caution in propagating his Doctrine in that City, he was soon discovered, and accused 332by one Paulinus, a Deacon, before a Council, at which several Bishops were present, and Aurelius of Carthage presided. Cælestius accused and
condemned in Africa.The Charge brought against him was, That he held the Sin of Adam to have hurt him alone; that it could not be imputed to his Descendents; and that no Sin was cancelled by Baptism. These Tenets he did not own before the Council; but neither would he disown or anathematize them; and therefore the Bishops, provoked at his Obstinacy, not only condemned his Doctrine, but, at the same time, cut him off, as an incorrigible Heretic, from the Communion of the Church[1488]. Appeals to Rome, but
flies to Ephesus.From this Sentence Cælestius appealed to the Judgment of Innocent, then Bishop of Rome, summoning Paulinus, his Accuser, to make his Charge good at that Tribunal. But Cælestius himself laid, it seems, no Stress on his Appeal; for, instead of repairing to Rome, he fled to Ephesus[1489], where we shall leave him for the present.

Pelagius accused in
Palæstine by Heros
and Lazarus, two
Gallican Bishops;
Pelagius, in the mean time, was not idle in Palæstine, whither he had retired, as I have said above; but, being countenanced by John Bishop of Jerusalem, he gained daily such Numbers of Followers there, that Heros and Lazarus, Two Bishops of Gaul, whom I shall speak of hereafter, happening to be then in Palæstine, thought it incumbent upon them to accuse him to Eulogius Bishop of Cæsarea, and Metropolitan of Palæstine. They drew up a Writing accordingly, containing the chief Heads of the Doctrine which Pelagius taught, together with the Articles, for which his Disciple Cælestius had been condemned by the Council of Carthage; and this Writing they presented to Eulogius. Hereupon a Council was assembled soon after at Diospolis, a City of Palæstine, known in Scripture by the Name of Lydda. It consisted of Fourteen Bishops, and Eulogius of Cæsarea presided; but neither of the Gallican Bishops was present, the one being prevented by a dangerous Malady, and the other not chusing to abandon him in that Condition. However, their Charge against Pelagius was read, and he examined, by the Fathers of the Assembly, on the Articles it contained. and absolved by
the Council of Diospolis.But as nobody appeared against him, as none of those Bishops were sufficiently acquainted with the Latin Tongue to understand his Books, and he disowned some Propositions, explained others in a Catholic Sense, and anathematized all who maintained Doctrines repugnant to those of the 333Catholic Church, the Council pronounced, at the Suggestion of John of Jerusalem, the following Sentence: Since the Monk Pelagius, here present, has satisfied us, as to his Doctrine, and anathematized with us whatever is contrary to the true Faith, we acknowlege him to be in the Communion of the Church[1490]. This Council St. Jerom styles, The pitiful Synod of Diospolis[1491]. But St. Austin, instead of insulting them, calls them Holy and Catholic Judges; and will not answer, that he himself might not have been deceived by the Artifices of Pelagius, had he been one of his Judges[1492].

He is accused by
Heros and Lazarus to
the Bishops of Africa.
Heros and Lazarus, surprised to hear that the Fathers of the Assembly had absolved Pelagius, and despairing of ever being able to get him condemned in the East, where his Cause was openly espoused by the Bishop of Jerusalem, resolved to apply to their Brethren in the West, especially to the Bishops of Africa, who they well knew could not be prejudiced in his Favour, since they had already condemned his favourite Disciple Cælestius. Pursuant to this Resolution, they writ, by the famous Orosius, who was returning from Palæstine to Africa, to the Bishops of that Province, accusing Pelagius and Cælestius as the Authors of an Execrable Sect; giving them a particular Account of what had passed in the Council of Diospolis, and acquainting them with the wonderful Progress the new Heresy made in the East, especially in Palæstine[1493].

The Doctrine of
Pelagius and Cælest-
ius condemned anew
in Africa.
These Letters were delivered by Orosius to the Bishops of the Province of Carthage, who, after having caused them to be read in the Provincial Council, which was then sitting in that City, and, with them, the Acts of the Council, which had been held Five Years before against Cælestius, not only condemned the Doctrine ascribed to him and Pelagius, but declared, that the same Sentence should be pronounced against them, unless they anathematized, in the plainest and most distinct Terms, the Errors with which they were charged[1494]. The Example of the Bishops of Africa was followed by those of Numidia, assembled at Milevum, and by Innocent Bishop of Rome, as I have related above.

They appeal to Rome.
This Condemnation, so solemn and general, was attended with the wished for Effect. It greatly lessened the Reputation of Pelagius and Cælestius, staggered many of their Followers, and deterred others 334from embracing their Doctrines. Of this both Pelagius and Cælestius were well apprised; and, at the same time, sensible, that the only means of retrieving their Credit, and maintaining the Ground they had gained, was to justify themselves either to the Bishops of Africa, or to the Bishop of Rome, they chose the latter, thinking it more easy to gain over one than many. Besides, in Africa they knew St. Austin, who was in great Reputation there, and swayed all the Councils as he pleased, to be their declared and irreconcileable Enemy; whereas they had many Friends at Rome; and, among the rest, the Presbyter Sixtus, who was afterwards raised to that See[1495]. In order, therefore, to persuade the Bishop of Rome, as Pelagius had done the Bishops of Diospolis, that they had been falsly and maliciously accused, Pelagius writ a Letter to Innocent, whose Death he had not yet heard of, while Cælestius, trusting to his Eloquence, and depending on the Favour which the Bishops of Rome had always shewn to those who recurred to them, undertook a Journey to that City. He had fled from Carthage to Ephesus, as I have related above. On his Arrival in that City he was well received by the Bishop of the Place, and even preferred, after he had staid some time there, to the Priesthood. Cælestius is driven
from Ephesus and
Constantinople.But, in the mean time, his Doctrine giving Offence to some, while it was embraced by others, great Disturbances arose; and he was, in the End, driven out of the City. Being thus expelled from Ephesus, he repaired to Constantinople; but he no sooner began to discover his Sentiments there, than Atticus, who then held that See, and kept a watchful Eye over him, commanded him forthwith to depart the City[1496]. Repairs to Rome and
presents himself be-
fore Zosimus.From Constantinople he went strait to Rome; and, finding that Innocent was dead, he presented himself before his Successor Zosimus, declaring, that he was come to Rome, to defend his oppressed Innocence at the Tribunal of the Apostolic See; not doubting but he should make it appear before so knowing and unprejudiced a Judge, and confute the many groundless Aspersions with which his Enemies had strove to blast his Reputation in the Eyes of the whole Church: he complained of the Judgment given against him by the African Bishops about Six Years before; and, pretending that his Accuser Paulinus, conscious of his Innocence, and his own Guilt, had declined the Judgment of the Apostolic See, he summoned him anew to appear, and make good the Charge which 335he had brought against him. He delivers his Con-
fession of Faith to
Zosimus;At the same time he presented to Zosimus a Request, containing a Confession of his Faith, with long Descants on the Articles of the Apostolic Symbol, concerning which his Orthodoxy had never been questioned. But as to Grace and Original Sin, he said, they were not Matter of Faith; but that he was, nevertheless, ready to acquiesce, even with respect to them, in the Judgment of the Roman See[1497].

Zosimus had at this Time some Affairs of the greater Importance on his Hands[1498]; but, highly pleased with the pretended Submission of Cælestius, and thinking this a favourable Opportunity of extending his Authority, and drawing to the Tribunal of the Apostolic See Appeals in Causes that had been judged and decided elsewhere, he postponed the other Affairs to attend to this alone, in his Opinion, the most important of all. A Day was appointed, without Loss of Time, for Cælestius to appear in the Church of St. Clement, and there give an Account of his Faith. He appeared accordingly; and the Confession being read, which he had delivered to Zosimus, he owned that, and no other, to be his Faith. In that Confession he did not deny Original Sin, but declared, in the clearest Terms, that he was in Doubt about it; and that the Belief of Original Sin was no Article of the Catholic Faith. which is approved
by him.And yet such a Confession was approved by Zosimus as Catholic; which was approving, if not the Doctrine, at least the Doubts which Cælestius entertained of Original Sin[1499]. The Roman Catholic
Divines strive in vain
to excuse Zosimus.The Roman Catholic Divines have taken great Pains to clear Zosimus from this Imputation; but have been attended with no better Success than St. Austin was before them. For that Father, unwilling to condemn one of his Brethren, pretended that Zosimus, in approving the Confession of Cælestius, did not declare his Doctrine to be Catholic, but only the Disposition of his Mind to condemn whatever should be found amiss in his Doctrine; for such a Disposition, says he, makes a true Catholic[1500]: he might have added, if sincere, and not feigned; for it was certainly feigned in Cælestius; and consequently Zosimus was no less mistaken in declaring his Disposition of Mind to be Catholic, than if he had made such a Declaration with respect to his Doctrine. St. Austin himself was sensible of the Weakness of his Plea, and therefore immediately added; But, allowing the Doctrine of Pelagius and Cælestius to have been approved by the Roman Church, 336all we can infer from thence is, that the Roman Clergy was guilty of Prevarication[1501]; an Inference which he seems to be no-way solicitous about, though he could not have admitted it without giving up the Question, if he had thought the Pope infallible.

His Haughty Letter
to the African
Bishops in favour
of Cælestius.
Zosimus, however prejudiced in favour of Cælestius, did not take upon him to restore him to the Communion of the Church, from which he had been cut off by the Bishops of Africa Six Years before, or to come to any farther Resolution till he had imparted the Affair to them. He writ accordingly to Aurelius of Carthage, and to the other African Bishops; not that he stood in need of their Advice, or wanted to be directed by them, as he let them know in his Letter, but because he was willing to hear what they had to object against one who had been first accused at their Tribunal. He upbraids those Prelates, and with great Bitterness and Acrimony, as if they had acted with too much Haste and Precipitation in an Affair that required the most mature Deliberation. As for Heros and Lazarus, the two great Opposers of Pelagius and Cælestius, he inveighs against them with the most abusive Language that an implacable Rage could suggest. He lets the African Bishops know, that if the Accusers of Cælestius did not appear at Rome in Two Months, to make good their Charge against him, he would declare him innocent, and admit him as a true Catholic to his Communion. He styles all such Inquiries, that is, Inquiries concerning Grace and Original Sin, empty Speculations, and trifling Disputes, owing to a criminal Curiosity, and an immoderate Desire of speaking and writing; in which perhaps he was not much to blame: he closes his Letter with exhorting them not to trust to their own Judgment, but to adhere in every thing to the Scripture and Tradition[1502].

The Characters of
Heros, Lazarus, and
As for Heros and Lazarus, against whom Zosimus chiefly vented his Spleen, while he favoured Cælestius; St. Prosper gives us, in his Chronicle, the following Account of the former: “Heros, says he, was Bishop of Arles, a holy Man, and the Disciple of St. Martin. However, he was driven from his See by his own People, though quite innocent, and not even accused of any Fault. In his room was placed one Patroculus, an intimate Friend of Count Constantius, who at that Time, bore a great Sway in the Empire, and whose favour they courted, and hoped to earn by that Violence.” This happened in 412. All we know of Lazarus is, that he was ordained 337Bishop of Aix in Provence, by Proculus Bishop of Marseilles, a Prelate of extraordinary Merit, as appears from the high Commendations bestowed on him by the Council of Turin[1503], by St. Jerom[1504], and by Tiro Prosper in his Chronicle. Patroclus, who was intruded in the room of Heros, is painted by Tiro Prosper, a Writer no-ways prejudiced against the Pelagians, or their Friends, as a Man of a most abandoned Life, and one who turned the Episcopacy into a Trade, and sold the Priesthood to all who had Money to purchase it[1505]. Baronius interprets the violent Death, which he suffered in 426. when he was barbarously murdered by a Military Tribune, as a Punishment from Heaven for his criminal Intrusion[1506]. Such were the Characters of Heros, Lazarus, and Patroclus; and yet of the latter, who favoured the Pelagians, Zosimus entertained the highest Opinion, and often commends him in his Letters as a Man of great Merit and Virtue. Heros and Lazarus
falsly charged with
many Crimes by
Zosimus.But the Two former, who had distinguished themselves above the rest in opposing the Pelagians, he most outrageously abuses, styling them, in his Second Letter to the African Bishops, Two Plagues, who, with their nonsensical Whims, disturbed the Peace and Tranquillity of the whole Church; Whirlwinds and Storms, that could suffer none to enjoy any Quiet. He adds, that he was not at all surprised at their wickedly attempting to defame with false Depositions, and lying Evidences, a Layman, meaning Pelagius, who had served God so long with an untainted Reputation, and shining Virtues, since they had raised so many Storms in the Church, had contrived so many Plots, employed so many Engines, to compass the Ruin of their Brethren and Collegues in the Episcopacy[1507]. No Mention is made by the Historians of those Times of any other Storms or Disturbances in the Churches of Gaul, but such as were occasioned by the Expulsion of Heros, and the Intrusion of Patroclus; and these Patroclus probably exaggerated beyond Measure, laying the whole Blame on Heros. For Patroclus was in Rome at the very Time Zosimus writ his Letter to the African Bishops, fraught with Invectives against Heros and Lazarus[1508]. In the same Letter Zosimus charges the Two Prelates with several other Crimes; viz. that they had both been ordained against the Canons, and against the Will of the People as well as the Clergy, whom, however, they had forced by Chains, Prisons, Confiscations, and the Favour of the Tyrant, meaning, no doubt, the Usurper Constantine, to 338consent in the End to their Election; that Lazarus had ascended the Episcopal Throne, while his Hands were still reeking with innocent Blood, &c. But, had they been guilty of such Excesses, would Prosper, who lived at this very Time, and all the other Historians, have passed them over in Silence? Would he have styled Heros an holy Man? Would St. Austin have called them both his holy Brethren[1509]? Would the Fathers of the Council of Carthage in 416. have acknowleged them for their Fellow-Labourers and Collegues in the Priesthood[1510]? Would Proculus of Marseilles, one of the most illustrious Prelates at that Time in Gaul, have ordained Lazarus, while his Hands were still reeking with innocent Blood? We may therefore, upon the Whole, agree here with Baronius[1511], and ascribe the Crimes, of which the two Prelates were arraigned by Zosimus, to the Suggestions of their Enemies, especially of Patroclus, in whom Zosimus reposed an intire Confidence. They are both de-
graded and excommunicated
by Zosimus.However that be, Zosimus, highly incensed against both, not only declared them deposed, as Men unworthy of the Episcopal Dignity, but cut them off from his Communion, for many Reasons, says he, and, among the rest, because they had deposed themselves[1512].

The injustice of this
This Sentence he pronounced in their Absence, without even acquainting them with the Crimes laid to their Charge; not reflecting, in the Height of his Passion, that he was, at that very Time, complaining of the African Bishops for having condemned Cælestius in his Absence, reproaching them with too much Haste and Precipitation, and laying it down as a Rule never to be swerved from, that no Man ought to be condemned before he is heard, let the Crimes laid to his Charge be ever so great. As for their deposing themselves, or voluntarily abdicating their Dignity, it is very certain, if Prosper is to be credited, that Heros did not abdicate, but was violently driven from his See. If Lazarus abdicated (for Cardinal Noris[1513] and others[1514] are of Opinion he did not), that ought not to have been imputed to him as a Crime, any more than it was to Nazianzen Bishop of Constantinople, and many others, who were not even censured by their Enemies on that Account. The other Bishops
make no Account of
the Anathemas of
Zosimus.The other Bishops seem to have made no Account of the Anathemas of Zosimus; for they still continued to communicate with them, and acknowlege them for their Collegues[1515]; 339the Name of Heros was inserted into the Diptychs of the Church of Arles after his Death; and Lazarus was, according to some, even restored to his See[1516].

Pelagius transmits
to Zosimus a
Confession of his Faith;
Not long after Zosimus had written the Letter, which I have mentioned above, to the Bishops of Africa in favour of Cælestius, he received one from Praylius Bishop of Jerusalem, warmly recommending to him the Cause of Pelagius; and another from Pelagius himself, in his own Vindication, and with it a Confession of his Faith. These Letters were directed to Innocent; but he being dead before they reached Rome, they were delivered to Zosimus. In the Confession of Faith Pelagius owned, that Baptism ought to be administered to Children as well as to the Adult; and that, notwithstanding our Free-will, we want the Assistance of Grace[1517]. Neither of these Propositions was inconsistent with, or repugnant to, his Doctrine; for though he denied Original Sin, he allowed Baptism to be administred even to Children, but only for their Sanctification. He admitted the Necessity of Grace, but not Grace as that Word was understood by St. Austin, and the other Bishops who opposed him; for by Grace he meant no more than the Remission of Sins, Instruction, the Example of Christ. In this Confession he did not disown any of his Tenets; but, not thinking it safe or adviseable openly to own them, he industriously declined explaining himself more distinctly on either of the above-mentioned Heads. which he approves of,Zosimus, however, fully satisfied with his Confession, and quite astonished (to use his own Words) at the rash Proceedings of the African Bishops, in condemning, as Heretics, Men whose Doctrine was so sound and orthodox, immediately transmitted to Aurelius of Carthage, and his Collegues in Africa, the Confession as well as the Letter which had been sent him by Pelagius. On this Occasion he writ himself a second Letter to the African Bishops, which we may justly style a Panegyric on Pelagius and Cælestius, and a bitter Invective against their Accusers, Heros and Lazarus. and censures the
African Bishops for
condemning him.This Letter he concludes with exhorting the Bishops of Africa to the Love of Peace and Unity, and condemning, as guilty of an Injustice unknown even to the Pagan Romans, those who gave Judgment in the Absence of the Persons accused, what Crimes soever were laid to their Charge[1518], as I have observed above.

The African Bishops
maintain their former
340The African Bishops were no less surprised to find Zosimus so warmly engaged in favour of Pelagius and Cælestius, than Zosimus was surprised at their having condemned them. However, they were determined to stand to the Judgment which they had given, though sensible that such a Determination would not fail to produce, if Zosimus did not yield, a Misunderstanding, and perhaps an intire Separation, between Rome and Africa. This St. Austin seems chiefly to have apprehended, and to have been resolved, if it should so happen, to abdicate and retire[1519]. To prevent this Evil, which would have proved very detrimental to the common Cause, many Letters passed between Rome and Africa[1520]: but as none of those that were written at this Juncture by the African Bishops have reached our Times, having been probably destroyed by those whose Interest it was to destroy them; all we know concerning this Affair is, that the Africans maintained, with great Steadiness, their former Judgment against the Pretensions of Zosimus; and would never allow a Cause, that had been determined in Africa, to be re-examined at Rome, the rather as Innocent, the Predecessor of Zosimus, had concurred with them in condemning both Cælestius and his Doctrine[1521]. Paulinus, summoned to
Rome, refuses to
obey the Summons.The Letter from Zosimus to the African Bishops was carried by one Basilius, Subdeacon of Rome, who was charged with a verbal Order for the Deacon Paulinus, the first who accused Cælestius, to repair to Rome. To this Summons Paulinus returned Answer, that as the Bishops of Africa had condemned Cælestius upon his Accusation, it was no longer incumbent upon him, but upon them, to shew that his Accusation was well grounded; and therefore he could not conceive why Zosimus should require him to take a Journey to Rome[1522].

The Council of
Carthage condemns
anew the Pelagian
Doctrine without
waiting for the Judg-
ment of Zosimus.
In the mean time Aurelius of Carthage was under the greatest Apprehension, lest Zosimus should be prevailed upon by Cælestius, and the other Pelagians at Rome, to take some hasty Step in their favour. Having therefore assembled, with all possible Expedition, a Council at Carthage, he first writ, in his own and their Name, to Zosimus, earnestly intreating him to suspend all further Proceedings in an Affair of such Moment, till he was more fully informed. This Letter was written, and a Messenger dispatched with it to Rome, while the Council was yet very thin; the Haste Aurelius was in to stop the Proceedings of Zosimus not allowing him to wait the Arrival of all. When 341the rest came, and they were in all Two hundred and Fourteen, they unanimously confirmed their former Sentence, and, without waiting for the Judgment of Zosimus, condemned anew the Doctrine of Pelagius and Cælestius[1523]. The Decrees which they made on this Occasion against the Pelagians were received, says Prosper, by Rome, by the Emperors, no doubt, Honorius and Arcadius, and by the whole World[1524]. And yet, in the making of these Decrees, the Bishop of Rome had no Hand; so that it was not Rome, but Africa, it was not the Pope, but the Bishops of Africa, or more truly St. Austin (for he governed intirely that Council), who taught the Church what she was to believe, and what disbelieve, concerning Grace and Original Sin. One of these Decrees is related by Prosper[1525], wherein the Two hundred and Fourteen Bishops declare, that we are aided by Grace, not only in the Knowlege, but in the Practice, of Virtue; and that without it we can neither think, speak, or do any thing whatsoever that is pious or holy[1526]. This, and the other Decrees of the Council, were sent immediately to Rome by the Fathers, who composed them, with a Letter for Zosimus, declaring that they were determined to adhere to the Judgment, which his Predecessor Innocent had formerly given against Pelagius and Cælestius, till such time as both owned, and in the most plain and unexceptionable Terms, the Necessity of Grace, and abjured the opposite Doctrine. The Policy of the
African Bishops.It was the Effect of a refined Policy in the African Bishops not to mention their own Judgment, but to lay the whole Stress on that of Innocent, though his was not only preceded, but produced, or rather extorted, by theirs. They hoped that the Regard, which they pretended to have for Innocent, would bring Zosimus to a better Temper, and divert him from absolving those whom his Predecessor had so lately condemned. As Zosimus had reproached them in his Letter for believing too easily those who had appeared against Cælestius, they in their turn represented to him, that he ought not so easily to have believed Cælestius, and those who spoke in his Favour. In the same Letter they gave him a particular Account of all that had passed in Africa concerning Cælestius. No wonder therefore, that Zosimus should have complained of the Length of the Letter, calling it a Volume, and saying,[1527] that 342he had got through it at last. With this Letter Marcellinus, Subdeacon of the Church of Carthage, was dispatched to Rome, and he arrived there in the Beginning of March 418.

Zosimus begins to
Zosimus was alarmed at the Steadiness of the Africans. He plainly saw from their Letter, and more plainly from their Decrees, that they were determined not to yield; and therefore, apprehending the evil Consequences that would infallibly attend his continuing to protect Pelagius and Cælestius against them, he resolved to yield, and withdraw, by Degrees, his Protection from both. His boasting Letter to
the African Bishops.Hence, in his Answer to the Council, he contented himself with setting forth and boasting the Pre-eminence, Authority, and Prerogatives of the Apostolic See; which however, more modest than his Predecessor, he did not ascribe to Divine Institution, but to the Canons of the Church, and Prescription. He tells the African Bishops, that though he is vested with a Power of judging all Causes, though his Judgment is irreversible, yet he had chosen to determine nothing without having first consulted them; and this he dwells upon as an extraordinary Favour. He expresses great Surprize at their seeming to be persuaded, that he had given an intire Credit to Cælestius; assures them that he had not been so hasty, being well apprised that the last and definitive Judgment ought not to be given but with the greatest Caution, and after the most mature Deliberation; and in the Close of his Letter lets them know, that, upon the Receipt of their first Letter, he had suspended all further Proceedings; and, to gratify them, left Things in the State they were in before[1528].

The Doctrine of Pel-
agius condemned again
in a Council at Carthage.
In the mean time the African Bishops, assembling in Council at Carthage, from all the Provinces of Africa, and some even from Spain, the more effectually to oppose and defeat any further Attempts of Zosimus, in favour of Pelagius and Cælestius, condemned their Doctrine anew, and more distinctly than they had hitherto done. This Council met on the 1st of May 418. consisted of 225 Bishops, and enacted Eight Canons, anathematizing the Pelagian Doctrine concerning Grace and Original Sin[1529]. To these Eight Canons they added Ten more, calculated to establish some Points of Discipline. Among the latter the Ninth deserves particular Notice; for it is there decreed, That Presbyters, Deacons, and inferior Clerks, if they complain of 343the Judgment of their own Bishop, may appeal, with his Consent, to the neighbouring Bishops, and from them to the Primate or Council of Africa. Appeals beyond Sea
forbidden by the
Council, on Pain of
Excommunication.But, if any one should presume, say they, to appeal beyond Sea, let no Man receive him to his Communion[1530]. To this Decree Gratian has added, to save the Jurisdiction of the Pope, unless they appeal to the See of Rome; than which nothing can be more absurd, since it was to restrain the encroaching Power of the See of Rome that this Canon was made. We must not forget, that St. Austin was present at this Council, and signed this, as well as the other Canons and Decrees, that were, on this Occasion, enacted by the 225 Bishops.

Law enacted by
Honorius against the
The Africans had dispatched, the Year before, the Bishop Vindemialis to the Court of Honorius, with the Decrees of the Council held against Pelagius, of which I have spoken above. And those Decrees the Emperor not only approved, but enacted this Year 418. a severe Law against the Pelagians, dated from Ravenna, the 30th of April, and addressed to Palladius then Præfectus Prætorio. Honorius there declares, he had been informed, that Pelagius and Cælestius taught, in Opposition to the Authority of the Catholic Church, that God had created the first Man mortal; that he would have died, whether he had or had not sinned; that his Sin did not pass to his Descendents; and several other impious Errors, that disturbed the Peace and Tranquillity of the Church. To put a Stop therefore to the growing Evil, he commands Pelagius and Cælestius to be driven from Rome; orders it to be every-where notified, that all Persons shall be admitted before the Magistrates, as Informers against those who are suspected of holding their wicked Doctrines; and such as are found guilty shall be sent into Exile[1531]. In virtue of this Law, an Order was issued by the Præfecti Prætorio, viz. by Junius Quartus Palladius Prefect of Italy, Monaxius Prefect of the East, and Agricola Prefect of Gaul, commanding Pelagius and Cælestius to be driven out of Rome, and the Accomplices of their Errors to be stript of their Estates, and condemned to perpetual Banishment[1532]. A most barbarous Treatment for holding Opinions, which, if erroneous, were certainly harmless. But it is usual for a persecuting Spirit to be as 344violent upon the most unessential as the most weighty Points: and the Rage of Disputation is never more keen, than when the Disputants can hardly define what they quarrel about; especially when the Sword of the Magistrate is drawn on that Side which has least to say for itself in Reason and Argument. I do not affirm this was the Case in the present Dispute; but this is certain, that if Pelagius went too far in his Opinion, so did his Opposers in theirs: and so far his Conduct was infinitely better than theirs, that he declared his own Notions to be Matters very indifferent to Catholic Faith, and professed a general Assent to that Faith; whereas they anathematized his Opinions as execrable Errors, and punished them with all the Severity that the most implacable Malice could exert[N62].

Zosimus summons
Cælestius to appear
before him, and to
condemn his Doctrine.
Pelagius and Cælestius being thus condemned by the Decrees of the African Bishops, by the Law of the Emperor, and even by the Voice of the People, or rather of the Populace, who were everywhere ready, but no-where more than at Rome, to rise against the Enemies of Grace, as they were styled, and their Abetters; Zosimus thought it not safe to afford them any further Protection, unless Cælestius, who was still at Rome (the Imperial Law not being yet published there), consented to anathematize the Doctrines ascribed to him and Pelagius, in such clear and precise Terms as should leave no room, even for his Enemies, to question his Sincerity. He therefore appointed a Day for the Roman Clergy, and the neighbouring Bishops, to assemble; and, acquainting Cælestius with this Resolution, he summoned him to appear at the Time appointed, that, by condemning whatever he should be required to condemn, he might be publicly restored to the Communion of the Church, from which he had been cut off by the African Bishops. Cælestius instead of
appearing retires
from Rome.Cælestius was greatly perplexed with this Summons: he conceived it impossible to dissemble any longer his real Sentiments; but, at the same time, thinking it base to renounce them, and foreseeing the Consequences that would infallibly attend his avowing them, after he had been long in Suspense what Expedient to resolve on, he concluded at last, that the best and safest was, privately to withdraw from Rome, and keep himself concealed till the present Storm was blown over. This Expedient he chose, and put it in Execution with such Secrecy, that he 345was no more heard of till Three Years after, when he appeared again in Rome[1533].

Zosimus condemns
the Confession, which
he had approved be-
fore.Excommunicates Pel-
agius and Cælestius;
In the mean time the appointed Day came; but Cælestius did not appear: he was summoned a new, and the Proceedings were adjourned for a few Days; but as he still absented himself, and no Tidings could be heard of him, Zosimus was so provoked in seeing himself thus deluded, that, without further Examination, he condemned the Confession of Faith, which he had approved before; confirmed the Sentence of the Africans, which he had so sharply censured; and, anathematizing the Doctrine both of Pelagius and Cælestius, declared the one and the other cut off from the Communion of the Church, if they did not publicly renounce and abjure the poisonous Tenets of their impious and abominable Sect[1534]. He did not stop here; but, to retrieve his Reputation, which had suffered greatly on this Occasion, and to atone by an opposite Zeal, for that which he had hitherto exerted in their Favour, he writ a long circular Letter to all the Bishops, anathematizing the Doctrine of Pelagius, and exhorting them to follow his Example. and writes a circular
Letter against them.Copies of this Letter were sent into all the Provinces of the Christian World, and out of so great a Number of Bishops Eighteen only were found, who refused to receive it, and confirm, with their Subscriptions, the Anathemas it contained[1535].

Some Bishops refuse
to sign it,and send a Confes-
sion of their Faith to-
As for the Eighteen Bishops, who refused to join the rest, they alleged, that they could not, in Conscience, condemn any Man in his Absence, and that it was but just they should first hear what he had to plead in his Defence, quoting to that Purpose the very Passages of Scripture which Zosimus had quoted in his Letter to the Africans, censuring them for condemning Pelagius in his Absence. They added, that, as for Pelagius and Cælestius, they had both condemned, in their Writings, the Errors imputed to them; and therefore did not deserve, in their Opinion, the Anathemas that Rome and Africa had, perhaps too hastily, thundered against them. Julian, Bishop of Eclana in Campania, one of the Eighteen, and the most distinguished among them, writ Two Letters on this Subject to Zosimus, one of which was signed by them all, and contained a 346Confession of their Faith, agreeing, in the most material Points, with the Confessions of Pelagius and Cælestius. For there they absolutely reject, and in the strongest Terms, Original Sin, under the Name of Natural Sin; but allow (and in this Article alone they differ from Pelagius) that by the Sin of Adam Death was let into the World. They intreat Zosimus to acquaint them with what should be found amiss in their Confession; but beg that he would not think of employing Force, since no Force, but that of Conviction, could produce in them a Change of Sentiments. They let him know, in the End of their Letter, that they have already appealed to the Judgment of an Oecumenical Council[1536]. They are condemned and
degraded by Zosimus.Zosimus was so provoked at this Appeal, that, upon the Receipt of the Letter, he assembled, in great Haste, a Council, consisting of the Roman Clergy, and the neighbouring Bishops; and, having caused the Letter to be read in their Presence, he condemned anew Pelagius and Cælestius, and with them Julian, and the other Bishops, who signed it, declaring them guilty of the same Errors, and in Consequence thereof degraded, as incorrigible Heretics, from the Episcopal Dignity. They recur to the Emp-
eror for a General Coun-
cil.The Prelates, thus degraded, had recourse to the Emperor Honorius, complaining of the undeserved Severity of Zosimus, and intreating him to convene, by his Authority, an Oecumenical Council, to the Judgment of which they were ready to submit both themselves and their Doctrine. The Emperor seemed at first inclined to grant them their Request. But Count Valerius, a great Friend of St. Austin, and then very powerful at Court, not only diverted Honorius from it, but prevailed upon him to enact a Law, banishing from Italy Julian, and with him all the Bishops, whom Zosimus had deposed[1537]. Who issues several
Laws against them.This Law was soon followed by another, commanding all Bishops to sign the Condemnation of Pelagius and Cælestius, on Pain of Deposition, and perpetual Banishment[1538]. The Pelagians interpreted their being refused a Council, as a Token of Victory; whence Julian, in a Letter which he writ to his Friends in Rome, insults his Adversaries, as if they had distrusted their Cause, and therefore declined the Judgment of an Oecumenical Council[1539]. In another Place he reproaches St. Austin, in particular, for courting the Friendship of Men in Power, especially of Count Valerius, with no other View but to crush, by their means, 347those whom he could not convince. St. Austin answered, That Recourse indeed had been had to Men in Power; but that the Pelagians ought rather to be thankful, than to complain, on that Score, since it was not to crush them, or to do them the least Hurt (for they were only driven from their Sees, and banished for Life), that the Interest and Power of great Men had been made use of, but merely to reclaim them from their sacrilegious Temerity[1540]. Might not a Decius, a Dioclesian, or any other Persecutor of the Church, have used the same Plea to justify his Persecution?

The Pelagian Doctrine
condemned by Two
Councils in the East.
About this time, that is, in the Latter-end of the Year 418. or the Beginning of 419. the Doctrine of Pelagius was condemned in a Council held at Antioch, at which presided Theodotius Bishop of that City; and in another, that met about the Year 421. in Cilicia, under the famous Theodorus of Mopsuestia, who had been hitherto an avowed Patron of the Pelagians, had received Julian when driven out of Italy, and even written a Book against St. Austin, in Defence of the Pelagian Doctrine[1541]. His Conversion was perhaps owing, as that of many others certainly was, to the severe Laws enacted against the Pelagians. Soon after the Council of Antioch, Pelagius, whom Jerom styles the Second Catiline, was driven from Jerusalem, where he had lived a long time, and obliged to fly to some other Place for Shelter[1542]. Whither he retired, or what became of him afterwards, is not recorded. St. Austin supposes both him and Cælestius to have been still alive, while he was writing against Julian, that is, about the Year 421[1543]. Pelagius driven from
Jerusalem.As for Cælestius, it appears from a Rescript, or rather a Letter, of the Emperor Constantius to Volusianus, Prefect of Rome, in 421. that he was then in that City. Cælestius returns to
Rome.For Constantius writes to Volusianus, that though he had enacted some Laws against the antient as well as the modern Heresies, yet he was informed, that they made daily great Progress; and therefore, to prevent the Disturbances that must arise from thence, he commands the Laws to be put in Execution, and the Enemies of the true Religion to be carefully sought for, especially Cælestius, and to be banished, if apprehended, an Hundred Miles from Rome. Law issued against
him.To this Letter the Emperor added, with his own Hand, by way of Postscript, that the Reputation of Volusianus depended on the punctual Execution of this Order[1544]. In Obedience to the Emperor’s Commands, Volusianus issued a Proclamation, 348banishing Cælestius an Hundred Miles from Rome, and threatening with Proscription all who should presume to conceal him[1545]. Cælestius however appeared again in Rome Three Years after, and even applied to Cælestine, then in that See, to have his Cause examined anew. Is banished all Italy. But Cælestine, rejecting his Request with Indignation, caused him to be banished all Italy[1546]. From Rome he repaired to Constantinople, with Julian, and the other Bishops of the Pelagian Party, who all met there with a more kind Reception. Is driven from Constantinople together with Julian, and the other Pelagian Bishops.The Emperor Theodosius the younger was even inclined to assemble, at their Request, a great Council; and Nestorius, then Bishop of Constantinople, writ to the Pope in their Favour. But, in the mean time, Marius Mercator having composed, and presented to the Emperor, a Memorial against them, they were ordered by Theodosius, in virtue of that Memorial, to depart the City[1547]. Of Cælestius no farther Mention is made by any of the Antients. As for Julian, he wandered, for several Years, from Place to Place, being every-where abhorred, detested, and driven out by the Populace, as if his Presence had been enough to draw down from Heaven some remarkable Judgment upon them. Julian dies in
Sicily.However, he found an Asylum at last in a small Village of Sicily, where he earned a Livelihood by keeping a School, till the Year 455. when he died, after he had divested himself of all he had, to relieve the Poor of the Place in a great Famine[1548]. He was a Man of a sprightly Genius, thoroughly acquainted with the Scriptures, well versed in all the Branches of polite Literature, especially in the Greek and Latin Poets, and once famous among the Doctors of the Church[1549]. His Birth, Education, &c.He was descended from an illustrious Family. His Father was an Italian Bishop, for whom St. Austin, notwithstanding his irreconcileable Aversion to the Son, professed the greatest Friendship and Veneration[1550]. His Mother was a Lady of the first Quality, and yet more commendable for her Virtue than her Birth[1551]. His Enemies, envying him even his noble Descent, strove to rob him of that Honour, small as it is, in Comparison of his other Endowments, by giving out, that he was a supposititious Child[1552]. He was admitted by his Father among the Clergy, when he was yet very young, and married, when he was of a more mature Age, to a Lady named Ja, of a Senatorial, nay, of the Æmilian Family, and the 349Daughter of Æmilius Bishop of Benevento[1553]. St. Paulinus, Bishop of Nola, did not think it beneath him to write an Epithalamium on this Occasion, of a most singular kind; for he advises him and his Bride to continue Virgins, and observe Continency[1554]. A very extraordinary Advice on a Wedding-Day! That the married Couple agreed to it then, we are not told; but, not long after, probably on the Death of his Wife, Julian bound himself to the Observance of Continency; for he was ordained Deacon, and soon after raised to the See of Eclana[1555]. He had, long before, embraced the Pelagian Doctrine; and was so fully convinced of the Truth of it, that he often declared, if Pelagius himself should renounce his Doctrine, yet he would not[1556]. These Sentiments he maintained to the last, chusing rather to be driven from his See, and deprived of all the Comforts of Life, than to abjure Opinions, which he thought true, or admit Opinions, which he thought false. He was buried in the Place where he died; and his Tomb was discovered in the Ninth Century, with the following Epitaph; Here rests in Peace Julian a Catholic Bishop. From this Epitaph some have concluded, that he renounced at last the Pelagian Doctrine, and died a good Catholic. But they were not, it seems, aware, that the Pelagians constantly styled themselves Catholics, stigmatizing St. Austin, and the rest who opposed them, with the Name of Manichees.

The Semipelagian
Julian is supposed to have dissented in some Points from Pelagius, in those especially that relate to Grace, and thereby to have introduced, or laid down such Principles as naturally tended to introduce, the Semipelagian Doctrine; which may be reduced to the following Heads: 1. That when the Truth has been sufficiently declared, we may, by our own Free-will, without the Help of preventing Grace, begin to believe it; so that the first Beginning of our Faith cannot be properly called a Gift of God, but, our own Act. 2. That for all other good Works Grace is necessary (and here they differed from the Pelagians); but is never denied to a Man, who, by the good Use of his Free-will, has begun to believe. Thus, according to them, Grace was the Reward of Faith, and not Faith the Effect of Grace, which was the Doctrine of St. Austin. 3. That, by Grace preceding our Merits, no more can be meant, than the natural Grace and Bounty of God, given to Man in his Reason, and the 350natural Faculties of his Soul; by the good Use of which, he may render himself worthy of the extraordinary Grace that is necessary for him to work out his Salvation. 4. That the Children who die before they attain to the Years of Discretion, are eternally rewarded or punished, according to the good or bad Life they would have led, had they attained to the Years of Discretion. A most impious Tenet! making God punish Sins with eternal Misery that were never committed: yet not quite so impious as that of St. Austin; who, without having recourse to the Supposition of Crimes foreseen, supposed innocent Children to be eternally damned for a Crime committed by Adam, if, by the Fault of their Parents, they were not baptized. Other Tenets of the Semipelagians were these: 5. That the Notion of Election and Reprobation, independent on our Merits or Demerits, is maintaining a fatal Necessity, is the Bane of all Virtue, and serves only to render good Men remiss in working out their Salvation, and to drive Sinners to Despair. The System of the Jesuits founded on the Semipelagian Doctrine.6. That the Decrees of Election and Reprobation are posterior to, and in consequence of our good or evil Works, as foreseen by God from all Eternity. On these Two last Propositions the Jesuits found their whole System of Grace and Free-will, agreeing therein with the Semipelagians against the Jansenists and St. Austin; though, not daring to contradict the Doctor of Grace, as he is styled, they pretend their Doctrine, and not that of the Jansenists, to be the true Doctrine of St. Austin; which has occasioned endless Disputes, and endless Volumes. The latter Popes have all favoured the Semipelagians or Jesuits against the Jansenists and St. Austin; and Clement XI. above all the rest, by his famous Bull Unigenitus. But the Popes who lived nearer those Times, especially Gelasius and Hormisda, were all zealous Asserters of the Doctrine of St. Austin; nay, Hormisda declared the Doctrine contained in the Books of that Father, namely, in those he writ on Predestination and Perseverance, to be the Doctrine of the Catholic Church; which was declaring every true Catholic to be a Predestinarian[1557]. For the Doctrine of Predestination (as Predestination has been since understood by Calvin and his Followers) is there laid down in the plainest Terms; which so shocked some Persons, otherwise eminent for their Piety, say Prosper and Hilarius[1558], that they could not help censuring it, as a Doctrine repugnant to the Sense of 351the Church, and the Fathers; nay, as a Doctrine, which, were it even true, ought not to be made public, since it was not necessary that Men should know it; and if they did, it would render all Exhortations to good Works vain and useless[1559]. But these, say the Jesuits, pretending their System to be the pure Doctrine of St. Austin, misunderstood that Father, as did Faustus the famous Abbot of Lerins, when he writ, That if it be true, that some are predestined to Life, and others to Destruction, as a certain holy Man (St. Austin) has said, we are not born to be judged, but we are judged before we are born; so that there can be no Equity in the Day of Judgment[1560]. To speak impartially, it is no easy Matter to determine what System St. Austin had formed to himself, with respect to Grace, Free-will, and Predestination: for, in one Place, he seems to reject and condemn what he had been labouring to prove and establish in another. Hence Julian, whose Understanding was far more methodical, used often to quote him against himself, as the Jesuits and Jansenists still do in maintaining their Systems, though diametrically opposite, to be intirely agreeable to his Doctrine. He was apt to run into Extremes, and, in confuting one Error, to lay a Foundation for many others. Hence even his greatest Admirers are often at a Loss how to make him agree either with the Church or himself. However, his great Knowlege in those Days, his extraordinary Zeal for what he called the Catholic Doctrine, and, above all, his heaping daily Volumes upon Volumes against all who opposed it, so dazled the Understandings of the Popes themselves, that, looking upon him as an inspired Writer, they suffered him to dictate even to them, as if he had been Pope, and they common Bishops; as if Infallibility had been transferred from Rome to Hippo, and no longer vested in them, but in him.

Zosimus quarrels with
some Bishops of Gaul.
But to return to Zosimus: As his Partiality to Pelagius and Cælestius occasioned a Quarrel between him and the African Bishops; his Partiality to Patroclus, who had usurped the See of Arles, as I have related above[1561], occasioned, in like manner, a Quarrel between him and some Bishops of Gaul; and from the latter he reaped no more Credit or Honour, than he had done from the former. The Occasion of this
Quarrel.It arose on the following Occasion: The Bishops of Arles and Vienne had been long contending for the Metropolitan Dignity, and the Jurisdiction 352attending it, over the Provinces of Narbonne and Vienne: and the Decision of the Controversy having been referred, some Years before, to a Council that was held in Turin, it had been there decreed, that the Bishop who should prove his City to be the Metropolis of those Provinces, according to the Civil Division of the Empire, should enjoy the Metropolitan Dignity, and the Privileges annexed to it; but, in the mean time, to avoid any Breach of Charity, that both should exercise the Jurisdiction of a Metropolitan over the Churches that were nearest to their respective Cities[1562]. Thus Matters continued, till Patroclus repairing to Rome, and there imposing upon Zosimus, who was quite unacquainted with the Merits of the Cause, prevailed upon him, by flattering his Vanity and Ambition, to decide, in his Favour, the Controversy, which had been so long depending. Zosimus censured very severely, as I have observed above, the African Bishops, for acting, as he pretended, with too much Haste and Precipitation, in the Case of Cælestius. But, surely, no Man ever deserved to be more justly censured, on that score, than himself: for, not to mention the Case of Heros and Lazarus, whom he excommunicated and deposed in their Absence, and without hearing what they had to plead in their Defence, he took upon him to decide the present Controversy, which a Council had left undetermined, upon the Information given him by one of the Parties concerned, without hearing the other: for, giving an intire Credit to all Patroclus said, or could say, in Behalf of himself and his Church, he writ a Letter, addressed to all the Bishops of Gaul, declaring, that, for the future, he would receive no Bishops or Ecclesiastics coming to Rome from those Provinces, unless they brought with them Letters of Communion, called Formatæ, from the Metropolitan of Arles, and excommunicating those who should transgress this Order[1563][N63]. The Privilege of granting the Formatæ was only personal; for Zosimus did not grant it to the See of Arles, but to Patroclus, whom he styles his holy Brother, in Consideration of his extraordinary Merit. To such a Degree had he suffered himself to be imposed upon, by a Man, who was the Disgrace of his Order[1564]. In the same Letter he vests him, as Bishop of 353Arles, with a Metropolitan Jurisdiction over the Province of Vienne and the Two Provinces of Narbonne, adjudges to his See all the Parishes and Territories that had ever been subject to the City of Arles, and grants him a full Power to decide and finally determine all Controversies that should arise in the Three above-mentioned Provinces, provided they were not of such Consequence as required them to be examined at Rome[1565]. The only Reason Zosimus alleges for thus exalting the See of Arles to the Prejudice of the See of Vienne, is, because Trophimus, the First Bishop of Arles, had converted those Provinces to the Christian Religion. A Reason both false and impertinent: false, because Trophimus flourished in the Year 250[1566]. and the Church of Arles was famous as early as the Year 177. when they writ, with their Brethren of Lions, to the Faithful in Asia[1567]: impertinent, because it was to the Dignity of each City, and to nothing else, that the Dignity of the Sees was owing. Hence the Council of Turin wisely adjudged the Metropolitan Dignity to him who should prove his City to be the civil Metropolis, with respect to the contested Provinces, as I have observed above. Zosimus, however, writ a Second Letter, which he addressed to all the Bishops of Gaul, Spain, and Africa, confirming to the See of Arles all the Rights and Privileges which he had granted in his First, and rejecting, with Scorn, the Decree of the Council of Turin[1568].

N63. These Letters were given, in the primitive Times, to traveling Ecclesiastics, that their Brethren, in the Places through which they passed, knowing who they were, and whence they came, might admit them to their Communion.

He is opposed by
the Bishops of Gaul;
The Bishops of Gaul, viz. Simplicius of Vienne, Hilarius of Narbonne, and Proculus of Marseilles, amazed and astonished at the Temerity of the Bishop of Rome, openly refused to acknowlege his Authority, or submit to his Sentence. Zosimus, highly provoked at the Opposition he met with, writ several threatening Letters to Hilarius and Proculus, as if he were determined to cut them off from his Communion, if they did not yield, and acknowlege Patroclus for their Metropolitan. As for Simplicius, he seems to have acted with less Vigour on this Occasion than the other Two; and it was perhaps on that Account that he has been sainted. Hilarius too yielded at last, not to the Menaces of Zosimus, which he made no Account of, but to those of Count Constantius, the avowed Patron of Patroclus[1569], whom he allowed, on that Consideration, to ordain a Bishop at Lodeve, within the Limits of his Province, which was owning him for 354his Metropolitan. But nothing could shake the Firmness and Constancy of Proculus. Zosimus, thinking he could frighten him into a Compliance, began with reproachful Language; from Reproaches he proceeded to Menaces; and from Menaces, to summon him to Rome, to answer there for his presuming to ordain Bishops in a Province (the Second Narbonnese) that had been adjudged by the Apostolic See to the Metropolitan of Arles. especially by Pro-
culus Bishop of Marseilles.But Proculus made so little Account of his Reproaches, Menaces, and Summons, that I do not even find he returned them an Answer. It is at least certain, that he did not obey the Summons, and that he continued to exercise the same Jurisdiction, which he had exercised before, opposing to the repeated and peremptory Orders of Zosimus a Canon of the Council of Turin, appointing him Metropolitan of the Narbonnensis Secunda[1570]. Zosimus, transported with Rage in seeing his Authority thus slighted, writ Three Letters, all dated the 29th of September 417. viz. one to the People and Clergy of the Province of Vienne, another to those of the Second Narbonnese, and the third to Patroclus. In the Two former he inveighs bitterly against Proculus, and confirms anew to Patroclus the Metropolitan Dignity and Jurisdiction, which have been so unalterably intailed, says he, on the See of Arles, by the Decrees of the Fathers and Councils, that it exceeds even the Power and Authority of the Roman Church to transfer them to, or intail them upon, any other[1571]. This was disclaiming, in the plainest Terms, the Power of dispensing with the Canons, which has since proved so beneficial to the Apostolic See. And yet Zosimus was acting the whole Time in direct Opposition to the Fourth Canon of the Council of Nice, vesting, as it was understood by the subsequent Councils, the Bishop of each Metropolis with the Metropolitan Dignity and Jurisdiction over the whole Province. Zosimus, in his Letter to Patroclus, encourages him to resume and exercise, in spite of Proculus, the Metropolitan Jurisdiction over the Second Narbonnese, which Proculus had so unjustly invaded and usurped. Proculus excommunicated and deposed by Zosimus.This Patroclus durst not attempt, tho’ seconded by the whole Power of the Apostolic See; which wrought the Pride, Ambition,and Resentment of Zosimus to such a Pitch, that, giving the Reins to his Passion, he thundered the Sentence of Excommunication against Proculus, declared him unworthy of, and degraded from, the Episcopal Dignity, and committing the Church of Marseilles to the Care of Patroclus, commanded him to exercise there the Jurisdiction with which he was vetted. The Power of the Apostolic 355See was now exhausted, and, what drove Zosimus almost to Despair, exhausted to no Effect: for Proculus, to shew how little Regard he paid to the Sentence pronounced against him at Rome, ordained a Bishop soon after he was acquainted with it. But continues to discharge the Functions of his Office.Zosimus, sensible that the Authority of his See was here at stake, would not abandon the Attempt. He writ Two Letters more on the same Subject, one to Patroclus, exhorting him to exert, with Vigour and Severity, the Power with which he was vested; and at the same time commanding him to declare, in his Name, that he should never be prevailed upon to acknowlege those whom Proculus had ordained. The other Letter was to the People, Clergy, and Magistrates of Marseilles; stirring them up against Proculus, and encouraging them to drive him out, and receive another in his room at the Hands of Patroclus. These Letters occasioned great Disturbances in the Church of Marseilles, which was now rent into Two opposite Parties, some refusing to acknowlege Proculus, and others declaring that they would acknowlege no other[1572]. But, in spite of the utmost Efforts of Zosimus, of Patroclus, and their Partisans, Proculus still kept his Ground, still continued to exercise all Episcopal as well as Metropolitan Functions, as he had formerly done. He thought even the Evils attending a Schism of a less dangerous Tendency than those which he apprehended from the Encroachments of the Bishops of Rome. His Steadiness in opposing the Encroachments of Rome.Had all the Prelates thus stood up in Defence of their just Rights and Privileges against the Papal Usurpations, the Church had never been reduced to that deplorable Thraldom, which she groaned under for so many Ages. But, alas! there have been in all Times but too many Simplicius’s, who, out of a mistaken Principle, have chosen rather to yield to an encroaching Power, than to raise Disturbances, and forego their own Ease, by withstanding it; but too many Patroclus’s, who, to gratify their own Ambition, have prostituted their sacred Dignity to the ambitious Views of the Pope, and raised him, at the Expence of their own Order, that they might be raised by him in their Turn. Proculus, though deposed, excommunicated, calumniated, persecuted by Zosimus and his Tools, kept to the last Possession of his See; nay, and was acknowleged for lawful Bishop of Marseilles, for Metropolitan of the Second Narbonnese, not only by the Bishops of Gaul, but likewise by those of Africa[1573]. He was still alive in 427. when he condemned the Monk Leporius for maintaining Christ to have been born Man only, but to 356have deserved, by his good Works, to become God[1574]. The Encomiums bestowed on him by the Council of Turin, by St. Jerom, and Tiro Prosper, as I have observed above, are a sufficient Confutation of all the Calumnies uttered against him by Zosimus, and the rest of his Enemies.

Zosimus dies.
The last Letters of Zosimus, that is, his Letters to Patroclus, and the People of Marseilles, are dated the 5th of March 418. and he died in the Latter-end of the same Year, on the 26th of December, says Baronius[1575], upon the Authority, we may suppose, of some antient Pontifical[N64].

N64. He is said to have been buried near the Body of St. Laurence, on the Tiburtine Way, on the 25th or 26th of December, according to Anastasius the Bibliothecarian[1]; but on the 27th, according to an antient Pontifical, which agrees better with the Letters of Symmachus concerning the Election of his Successor Boniface: so that he may have governed One Year Nine Months and Eight or Nine Days, which is the Time that Prosper allows him[2].

1. Anast. c. 42.

2. Vide Pontaci not. in chron. Prosp. p. 777.

The Distemper which he died of lasted a long time, and was attended with such violent Fits, that he was often thought to be dead before he died. It was during his Illness that he writ his last Letters; and yet they are no less remarkable than the rest for that Fire and Vivacity, that Strength of Expression, and even that Elegance and Purity of Diction, that were peculiar to him. His Character.He was a Man of great Address in the Management of Affairs; well knew how to turn every thing to his Advantage; and in the several Disputes which he engaged in, he forgot nothing that could any ways distress those who opposed him. He was apt to engage too rashly, giving an intire Credit to those who, by a servile Submission, flattered his Ambition; and when he had once engaged in a Cause, as he was of a haughty and imperious Temper, impatient of Controul, passionate, headstrong, full of, and elated with, the Dignity of the Apostolic See, it required the greatest Art and Address in his Brethren to bring him into their Measures, and with-hold him from raising fatal Divisions in the Church. His whole Conduct and Behaviour towards them, the haughty and peremptory Style, which he assumed in writing to them, sufficiently shew that he looked upon them as infinitely below him, as bound to yield a blind Obedience to all his Commands, and submit, without Reply, to all his Decisions: and it is not to be doubted but, had he lived 357longer, and not met with the vigorous Opposition which he did from the Bishop of Marseilles, he would have made great Progress towards reducing his Fellow-Ministers and Fellow-Labourers, as they are styled by St. Cyprian, to that State of Dependence, not to say Slavery, which in the End they have been reduced to by his Successors. He was the first who made use of the Expression, For so it has pleased the Apostolic See[1576], an Expression which his Successors have all adopted, as the Language of the highest Authority, and such as exempted them from giving any Account either of their Actions, or of the Motives, that prompted them so to act. But, to paint Zosimus to the Life, we want no other Colours than those, which the African Bishops, who were but too well acquainted with him, have furnished us with in the Letter which they writ to his Successor Boniface. We hope, say they, that since it has pleased the Almighty to raise you to the Throne of the Roman Church, we shall no longer feel the Effects of that worldly Pride and Arrogance, which ought never to have found room in the Church of Christ[1577]. In the same Letter they complain of their having been made to endure such things as it was almost impossible for them to endure, which however they were willing to forget. Hard indeed and tyrannical must the Treatment have been, which they met with at the Hands of Zosimus, since it could extort from so many venerable Prelates a Complaint of this Nature, and that in a Letter to his immediate Successor. Zosimus sainted by a Mistake of Baronius.Zosimus however has been sainted, and is now worshiped by the Church of Rome as a great Saint, not so much in regard of his own Merits, as by a Blunder of Baronius in revising and correcting the Roman Martyrology. The Case is pretty singular, and may not be thought quite unworthy of a Place here, by reason of the Consequences, which every Protestant Reader may draw from it. In the Martyrology of Bede was marked, St. Zosimus Martyr, who suffered for the Confession of the Faith. This Martyr an ignorant Transcriber mistook for the Pope of the same Name, and, concerned to find so little said of so great a Saint, set down all he knew of him. This Copy Baronius perused, and, reading there what the Transcriber had added of his own, concluded the Saint mentioned in that Place to be Pope Zosimus, and accordingly, upon the supposed Authority of Bede, allotted him a Place among the other Saints in the Roman Martyrology. As for his being said to have suffered Martyrdom for the Confession of the Faith, Baronius ascribed that to the Ignorance of 358the Transcriber, making but one Saint out of two, though they lived at so great a Distance of Time from each other; for the Martyr lived in the earliest Times, and is mentioned by St. Polycarp, who flourished Two hundred Years and upwards before the Pontificate of Zosimus. To this double Blunder of the Transcriber and Baronius is Zosimus indebted for the Worship and Honours that are publicly paid him in the Church of Rome. Indeed that Church is not more grosly deluded in paying an idolatrous Worship to Saints, upon the Authority of her Infallible Guide, than in the Objects to whom that Worship is paid[N65].

N65. Bollandus, to saint Zosimus in a more honourable Way, supposes him to have once had a Place in the Martyrology of St. Jerom; and complains of those who have taken the Liberty to strike out his Name. One would think he had found his Name in some Copy of that Martyrology, or at least heard of it; but he ingenuously owns, that he never found it there himself, nor heard of any who did; adding, that nevertheless he is fully persuaded it was once there, and that he cannot think otherwise; and it is upon his not being able to think otherwise that he founds his Supposition, his Complaints, and the Saintship of Zosimus[1]; which is allowing them to have no Foundation at all.

Honorius, BONIFACE,
Forty-first Bishop of Rome. Theodosius
the younger.
Year of Christ 419.
Schism in the Church
of Rome.
Zosimus being dead, great Disturbances arose about the Election of his Successor. Eulalius, whom Authors distinguish with the Title of Archdeacon, shutting himself up in the Lateran with Part of the People, and some Presbyters and Deacons, was there chosen by them in the room of Zosimus. At the same time a great Number of the People, many Presbyters, and some Bishops, assembling in the Church of St. Theodora, named the Presbyter Boniface to the vacant See. Boniface and Eulalius both chosen.Both were ordained the same Day they were chosen; Boniface, by Nine Bishops, and in the Presence of Seventy Presbyters; Eulalius, by Three Bishops only, and in the Presence of a very small Number of Presbyters; but the Bishop of Ostia was one of the Three; and he claimed, from a Custom which had long obtained, the Right of ordaining the Bishop of Rome. The Governor of Rome and the Emperor favour Eulalius,Symmachus, Governor of the City, did all 359that lay in his Power to prevent this double Election; but, not succeeding therein, he immediately dispatched an Express to the Emperor Honorius, then at Ravenna, with a Letter dated the 29th of December 418. acquainting him with what had passed. But his Account was not impartial: he represented Eulalius as lawfully chosen, and his Competitor as an Usurper. Honorius therefore, by a Rescript dated the 2d of January 419. ordered him to persuade Boniface to retire from Rome, to use Force, if Persuasions did not prevail, and to apprehend and punish the Ringleaders of the Sedition, if any should be raised on that Occasion. With this Rescript the Emperor dispatched Aphrodisius a Tribune and Notary; and Symmachus, having received it on the 6th of January, sent early next Morning his Primiscrinius, or first Secretary, with an Order for Boniface to attend him, and hear what he had to impart to him in the Emperor’s Name, letting him know, in the mean time, that he must not take upon him to exercise any Episcopal Functions; for such was the Will and Pleasure of the Emperor. This Order Boniface received while he was holding an Assembly in the Church of St. Paul without the Walls; but paid no Regard to it; nay, those who attended him, falling on the Secretary, who brought it, treated him very roughly; which Symmachus no sooner knew than he caused the Gates of the City to be shut, and kept Boniface out. who takes Possession of the Church of St. Peter.In the mean time Eulalius, improving to his Advantage the Absence of his Competitor, repaired to the Church of St. Peter, took Possession of it amidst the loud Acclamations of his Partisans, and exercised there all Episcopal Functions.

The Friends of
Boniface write to
the Emperor,
The avowed Partiality of Symmachus for Eulalius left no room to doubt but he had misinformed the Emperor. The Bishops therefore, with the Presbyters and People, who had chosen Boniface, thought it their Duty to transmit to him a candid and impartial Account of the late Transactions: and this they did accordingly, intreating the Emperor at the same time to revoke his former Order, and to summon both Eulalius and Boniface to Court, in order to try their Cause there. who summons a Council to decide the Controversy.Their Request appeared just; and Honorius, in Compliance with it, sent an Order to Symmachus, dated the 13th of January 419. commanding him to suspend the Execution of his former Order, and to notify to the Two Competitors, that they, and those who ordained them, must repair to Ravenna, on Pain to him who should fail to appear there on the 8th of the ensuing February, of having his Election declared null. Several Bishops were summoned to attend at the same 360time, Honorius thinking it proper, that a Dispute of that Nature should be decided by none but Bishops. However, to remove all Suspicion of Partiality on his Side, he would not allow those to sit as Judges, who had been any-ways concerned in the Election or Ordination of either of the Competitors. A more full Council summoned.The Bishops met; but not being able to agree among themselves, Honorius thought the Affair of such Importance, that he put it off to the 13th of June, with a Design to have it decided then in a full Council. He writ accordingly not only to the Bishops of Italy, but to those too of Gaul and Africa, inviting them to the Council, and acquainting them with the Time and Place of its meeting. In the mean while he strictly injoined both Boniface and Eulalius to keep at a Distance from the City, lest their Presence should occasion Disturbances there. But as Easter approached, he appointed Achilleus Bishop of Spoleti, who was of neither Party, to perform the Episcopal Functions at Rome during that Solemnity. Eulalius disobeys the Emperor, and is driven from Rome.This Eulalius could not brook; and therefore returning to Rome, in open Defiance of the Emperor’s Orders, he assembled the People, seized on the Lateran, and shutting the Doors against Achilleus, performed in that Basilic the Episcopal Functions usual at Easter. The Emperor, being acquainted by Symmachus with what had passed, was so provoked at his Disobedience and Temerity, that, by a Rescript dated from Ravenna the 3d of April, and received at Rome on the 8th of the same Month, he commanded Symmachus to drive Eulalius from the City, and to put Boniface in Possession of the disputed See; which was accordingly done[N66].

N66. The original Copies of the Letters from Symmachus to the Emperor, and of the Emperor’s Rescripts to Symmachus, giving a full and distinct Account of the present Schism, are lodged in the Vatican Library, and have been thence copied by Baronius.[1].

1. Bar. ad ann. 419. n. 1-42.

Boniface indebted
to the Emperor for
his Dignity.
Thus was an End put to the Schism; thus was Boniface placed on the Roman See, and vested with the Papal Dignity by the Clemency of the Emperor, as Largus Proconsul of Africa expresses it in his Letter to the Bishops of that Province[1578]; and not by the Authority of a Council consisting of Two hundred and Fifty-two Bishops, which some have brought down from the Clouds, without even letting us know where or when they assembled[1579].

All we know of Boniface before his Election is, that he was the Son of one Jucundus a Presbyter[1580], was stricken in Years, well versed in the Ecclesiastical Laws, of an unblemished Character; and, what 361enhances his Merit, chosen against his Will. Boniface applies to the Emperor for a Law to restrain the Ambition of the Candidates to the Papacy.Thus say his Friends, in the Letter which they writ in his Behalf to the Emperor Honorius[1581]. His first Care, after he found himself in the quiet Possession of his See, was to prevent for the future, so far as in him lay, the Cabals and Intrigues that might be formed at other Elections, as they had been at his, to the great Disturbance of the City, and Scandal of the Christian Religion. With this View he writ to the Emperor, intreating him to restrain, by some severe Law, the Ambition of those who, trusting more to their Intrigues than their Merit, aspired to a Dignity that was due to Merit alone[N67].

N67. This Letter bears Date the First of July 419.

His Law for that
The Emperor, in Compliance with so just a Demand, enacted a Law, well calculated to prevent effectually the Evil complained of, and keep the Ambition of the Candidates to the Papacy within due Bounds. For by this Law, when Two Persons were chosen, neither was to hold the Dignity, but the People and Clergy were to proceed to a new Election. This is the first Instance, that occurs in History, of Princes intermeddling in the Election of the Pope; an Evil, says F. Pagi, which, from small Beginnings, grew to such a Height as to reflect great Shame and Disgrace on the Roman Church.[1582] But it must be observed, that the original Evil was the Corruption, the Violence, and the many Disorders which the Clergy and People were guilty of in those Elections. It was this which, at the Request of the Pope himself, called on the Emperors to interpose their Authority, as the only adequate Remedy to such Abuses. The succeeding Emperors followed the Example of Honorius, and the Gothic as well as the Lombard Kings, the Example of the Emperors, as we shall see in the Sequel of the present History.

Boniface free from
Boniface was naturally a Lover of Peace, and an Enemy to all Strife and Contention. He did not claim, nor attempt to usurp, any new Power over his Collegues; but yet he would not part with any his Predecessors enjoyed, by what means soever they had acquired it; and those who attempted to curtail the usurped Jurisdiction of the Apostolic See, met with as vigorous an Opposition from him as they could have done either from Innocent or Zosimus. In short, he had not Ambition enough to inlarge his Authority, but thought himself in Conscience obliged to maintain the just Rights, as he styled and 362believed them, of the See in which it had pleased Divine Providence to place him, though unworthy of so great an Honour. Dispute between him and the Bishops of Illyricum.His Steadiness in asserting these Claims appeared chiefly in the Dispute that arose between him and the Bishops of Illyricum, over whom Damasus had usurped, as I have related elsewhere[1583], and his Successors maintained a particular Power and Jurisdiction. The Transaction is thus related by the Writers of those Times. The See of Patræ in Achaia, one of the Provinces of Illyricum, being vacant, the Bishop of Corinth, Metropolitan of that Province, did all that lay in his Power to get Perigenes, a Presbyter of an unexceptionable Character, chosen in the room of their deceased Bishop. But his Endeavours proving unsuccessful, he returned to Corinth, and died soon after. Upon his Death the People and Clergy of Corinth, to honour his Memory, and shew the Regard they had for one whom he had favoured, unanimously named Perigenes to succeed him. But as they apprehended some Opposition from the Bishops of the same Province, they writ to Boniface, begging him to confirm their Election with his Authority. Boniface referred them to Rufus, then Bishop of Thessalonica, and his Vicar in those Parts, declaring that, as for himself, he had nothing to object either against their Election, or the Person elected. Rufus notified to the Bishops of the Province, and the Metropolitans of the Diocese, the Approbation of Boniface, and his own; but it was not received by all in the same manner. Law of Theodosius concerning Disputes that should arise in Illyricum.The greater Part indeed agreed to the Ordination of the new Bishop; but some opposed it with great Warmth, prompted, most probably, by the Jealousy they entertained of the growing Power of the See of Rome: for, at their Request, a Law was published by the Emperor Theodosius, dated the 14th of July 421. commanding all Disputes, that should arise in the Diocese of Illyricum, to be finally determined by the Bishops of that Diocese, after they had consulted the Bishop of Constantinople[1584]. This was taking those Provinces from the Bishop of Rome, and, in some Degree, subjecting them to the Bishop of Constantinople, or at least opening a Door for such a Subjection. The Power of the Bishops of Constantinople was already grown very considerable, and their Ambition keeping Pace with that of the Bishops of Rome, neither let any Opportunity slip of extending the Jurisdiction of their own See at the Expence of the other. In the present 363Case the Bishop of Constantinople, availing himself of the Favour of the Emperor, and the Disagreement that reigned among the Illyrican Bishops, summoned, without Loss of Time, a Council to meet at Corinth, and there to examine the Ordination of Perigenes, though he had been ordained, and his Ordination approved of both by Rufus and Boniface. Three Letters of Boniface.This Step, quite unexpected, alarmed Boniface; he divested himself at once of his pacific Disposition, and, assuming the Air and Style of Authority, he writ Three Letters, all dated the same Day, viz. 11th of March 422. encouraging the Friends of the Apostolic See to maintain its Rights, and threatening those who dared to invade them. He maintains, with Authority, his pretended Rights.The first was to Rufus of Thessalonica, whom he animates not to suffer any Innovations, but vigorously to withstand those, who assumed an Authority that did not become them, and to which they had no kind of Title or Claim, meaning, no doubt, the Bishop of Constantinople. The Second Letter he writ to the Bishops of Thessaly, exhorting them to acknowlege the Authority of Rufus, and no other. The Third was addressed to the Bishops of Macedon, Achaia, Thessaly, Epirus, and Dacia, who had been summoned by the Bishop of Constantinople to assemble at Corinth, and there deliver their Opinion concerning the Ordination of Perigenes. In this Letter he complains, in the strongest Terms, of so bold and daring an Attempt, asking, in the Style of a Sovereign, What Bishop shall presume to question an Ordination approved by us? What Bishop could take upon him to assemble a Council with that View and Intent? Read, he adds, read the Canons, and there you will find, that the See of Rome is the First, the See of Alexandria the Second, and that of Antioch the Third. These are the Three great Sees; these the Sees which the Fathers have distinguished above the rest, with ample Privileges, and extensive Jurisdiction. Since he refers them to the Canons to shew, that these Three Sees are superior to the See of Constantinople, both in Dignity and Jurisdiction, it were to be wished he had, at the same time, acquainted them by what Canons his Predecessors had exercised over the Provinces of Illyricum the Jurisdiction which he now so zealously asserts. But that is more than it was in his Power to do. However, in the present Letter, he threatens with Excommunication such of the Illyrican Bishops as shall, in Defiance of his Orders, comply with the Summons which they have received, or presume to question the Ordination of Perigenes. What was the Issue of this Dispute is not recorded by any of the Antients; 364but a modern Historian[1585] informs us, that the Emperor Honorius interposing, at the Request of Boniface, in Behalf of the See of Rome, prevailed upon Theodosius to revoke his former Law, and enact another in its room, confirming to the Apostolic See all its antient Privileges, and injoining the Præfectus Prætorio to see the latter Law put in Execution. The Historian quotes this Law from the Archives of the Roman Church. But as it is not to be found either in the Theodosian or the Justinian Code, its Authenticity may be justly suspected.

He revokes the Priv-
ileges granted by
Zosimus to the
Church of Arles.
The same Year 422. Boniface gave a signal Instance of his Equity and Love of Justice, which redounds greatly to his Honour, and therefore ought not to be omitted. He was sensible, that his Predecessor Zosimus, abusing his Authority, had acted in the Affair of the Gallican Bishops, in a most partial and arbitrary manner; that the See of Arles had no just Title to the many Privileges, which he had been induced, by his Partiality for Patroclus, to heap on it, at the Expence of Two other Sees; and, consequently, that it was incumbent upon himself, now that he had the Power in his Hands, to rectify by a better Use of it, what his Predecessor had done amiss. The Love of Justice therefore prevailing in him over all other Considerations, he annulled, by a Letter addressed to Hilarius of Narbonne, whatever had been done by Zosimus in favour of the See of Arles, restored and confirmed to the Sees of Narbonne and Vienne all the Rights and Privileges, which they had been so unjustly divested of, and declaring all the Grants and Concessions made to the See of Arles repugnant to the Canons, strictly injoined the Bishop of Narbonne not to suffer his Brother of Arles to exercise, in virtue of them, any kind of Authority within the Limits of his Jurisdiction[N68]. The Conduct of Boniface was afterwards approved, and that of Zosimus justly condemned, by Pope Leo the Great, declaring in a Letter which he writ to the Bishops of the Province of Vienne, that the Privileges, which the Apostolic See had granted to Patroclus, were afterwards revoked by a more equitable Sentence.

N68. This Letter is dated the 2d of February 422.

A remarkable Instance
of his Moderation.
One of the many Artifices, employed by the Popes to aggrandize their See, was to raise Divisions among their Collegues, or to foment underhand those that others had raised. For in such Divisions they 365never stood neuter, but, taking Part in the Quarrel, nay, and making themselves Principals, they warmly declared in favour of one Party against the other, that, by supporting them, they might be in their Turn supported by them in all their Pretensions. To this worldly Wisdom, this wicked Policy, Boniface was an utter Stranger: for he did not lay hold of a very favourable Opportunity, which the Division, that reigned at this time among the Bishops of Gaul, offered him, to improve his Authority, and extend his Jurisdiction. The Metropolitan Dignity was disputed there by the Bishops of Vienne, of Narbonne, and of Arles, as I have observed above. During that Contest the Clergy of Valence, quarreling with their Bishop Maximus, charged him with several Crimes; but not caring to accuse him at the Tribunal of any of the Three Competitors (for that had been acknowleging, in one of the Three, the Metropolitan Jurisdiction then in Dispute), they arraigned him at Rome, and summoned him to plead his Cause there before Boniface. Most other Popes would have eagerly embraced such an Opportunity of inlarging their Power; nay, and founded upon this particular Case the general Right of judging, and finally determining, all Causes of the like Nature. But Boniface declared, in his Letter to Patroclus, and the other Bishops of the Seven Provinces of Gaul, that though Maximus had been accused at his Tribunal, though he had not appeared to clear himself from the Crimes laid to his Charge, and might thereupon be thought guilty, and be justly condemned; yet he would not take upon him to pronounce such a Sentence, because that Bishop ought, according to the Canons, to be judged and condemned, or absolved, in his own Province. An Instance of Moderation that reflects no small Honour on the Memory of Boniface; the rather as he had before his Eyes the recent Examples of Innocent and Zosimus, the Two most ambitious and arrogant Popes the Church had yet seen. He closes his Letter with exhorting the Bishops of the Seven Provinces to assemble against the First of November, that Maximus may be cleared, if innocent, or condemned, if guilty.

His Death.
Boniface died on the 4th of November 422. having held the Chair 3 Years, 9 Months, and some Days. He was buried in the Cœmetery of the Martyr St. Felicitas, on the Salarian Way; where he is said to have built an Oratory. He is worshiped by the Church of Rome among her Saints, an Honour which few of his Predecessors better deserved. But it is a Wonder that the last Instance I have given of 366his Moderation, and Regard to the Canons against the Claims of his See, did not exclude him out of the Calendar. His Festival is kept on the 25th of October; and Bede quotes a Book of Miracles wrought by Pope Boniface[1586]; but whether by the First Pope of that Name, or the Second, he does not inform us, though he seems to give an intire Credit to every idle Tale that Legend contained. And here I cannot help observing, by the way, that the less necessary Miracles became, the more they were multiplied. In Bede’s Time, and the Three preceding Centuries, Men were rather inclined to believe too much than too little; and yet in no other Time was there a greater Profusion of Miracles. From an antient Epitaph quoted by Baronius[1587], it appears that Boniface died very old; that he had served the Church from his tender Years; that by his engaging Behaviour he put an End to the Schism, and that he relieved Rome in the time of a Famine.

Honorius, CELESTINE,
Forty-second Bishop of Rome. Theodosius II.,
Valentinian III.
Year of Christ 422.
Celestine chosen
without Opposition.
Upon the Demise of Boniface, Celestine was chosen in his room, without the least Disturbance or Opposition. Eulalius indeed, who was still alive, and led a retired Life in the neighbouring Province of Campania, was tempted by his Friends in Rome to try his Fortune a Second time; but he did not chuse to quit his Solitude, and involve both himself and them in new Troubles. Celestine was a Native of Rome, the Son of one Priscus, and a Deacon, if not a Presbyter, at the Time of his Election[1588].

Antony, one of St.
Austin’s Disciples,
appointed by his
Interest Bishop of
He was scarce warm in the Chair, when he received a Letter from St. Austin on the following Occasion. As the small Town, or rather Village of Fussala, belonging to the Bishoprick of Hippo, the See of St. Austin, stood at a great Distance from that City, the good Bishop thought he could not better consult the spiritual Welfare of the Inhabitants, who had but very lately abandoned the Party of the Donatists, than by causing their Town to be erected into a separate Bishoprick, 367and letting them have a Bishop of their own. This was indeed abridging both his own Jurisdiction and Revenues; but as he had the Good of the People more at Heart than either, he pursued his Scheme with Success, and prevailed upon his Collegues in Numidia to ordain a young Man named Antony, whom he had brought up from his Infancy, the first Bishop of the Place, though at that time only a Reader. This Promotion, per saltum, as it is styled, was strictly forbidden by the Popes in their Decretals; but to their Orders St. Austin paid no greater Regard than the other Bishops did, though he always spoke of them, and to them, with all the Respect that was due to the first Bishop in the West.Antony’s scandalous Behaviour. St. Austin had soon Occasion to repent his transgressing those Regulations, which, it must be owned, are in themselves very wise: for Antony, who was but a Youth, and had been kept by St. Austin under great Restraint, no sooner found himself free from all Controul, than abandoning himself intirely to the Indulgence of his youthful Passions, he thereby scandalized the new Catholics to such a Degree, that they let St. Austin know the Conduct of their Bishop, unless he was quickly removed, would certainly drive them to the last Extremity; meaning, perhaps, that they should be forced either to put him to Death, or to join anew the Donatists, whom they had but lately forsaken. Such Menaces alarmed St. Austin no less than the Conduct of his favourite Disciple surprised him. A Council was immediately summoned at his Request by the Primate of Numidia; Antony was ordered to attend it, and the Inhabitants of Fussala invited to lay their Complaints before the Assembly. The Summons was complied with by all, and Antony, by a great Number of Witnesses, convicted of Rapine, Violence, and Extortion. But, because some capital Crimes laid to his Charge were not sufficiently proved, the Fathers of the Council, out of an unseasonable Compassion, contented themselves with only condemning him to restore to the Inhabitants of Fussala what he had with Violence taken from them. He is deprived of the Administration, and all Jurisdiction, by a Council.They were even inclined to leave him in the quiet Possession of his Church; but that being warmly opposed by the People, they deprived him of the Administration, and of all Jurisdiction; but as he still retained the Episcopal Dignity, they did not chuse to remove him to another City to live there even as a private Person, lest they should be thought to transgress the Rules of the Fathers forbidding Translations[1589]. None could think so who were the least acquainted with those Rules.

He appeals to Rome.
368Antony satisfied, pursuant to his Sentence, the Inhabitants of Fussala, whom he had wronged. But pretending that he had been unjustly deprived of his Bishoprick, he resolved to appeal to Rome. He was sensible that his appealing at this Juncture, when the Point of Appeals was warmly disputed, as I shall relate hereafter, was Merit enough to recommend him to the Favour of that See. However, not trusting to that alone, as Boniface was still alive, he first engaged in his Favour his own Primate, the Primate of Numidia, who, having been excused on account of his great Age from assisting at the Council, was not well acquainted with what had passed there. Prevails upon the Primate to write in his Behalf to Rome.Him therefore he easily persuaded, that he had been very ill used by the Council: For had they thought me guilty, said he, of the Rapine and Extortions, that were laid to my Charge, they ought, and, without all doubt, would have deposed me: they have not deposed me; and therefore did not, as is manifest, think me guilty. If I did not deserve to be degraded from my Dignity, I did not deserve to be driven from my See. Thus he artfully turned the Mercy that had been shewn him against those who had shewn it; and, having by that means imposed upon the Primate, persuaded him to write a Letter in his Behalf to Boniface. How received by Boniface.With this Letter he repaired to Rome, but did not meet there with the Reception he expected: for all he could obtain of Boniface was a Letter to the Bishops of Numidia, requiring them to reinstate him in his See, provided he had represented Matters as they truly were. This conditional Request Antony, on his Return to Africa, improved, it seems, into an absolute Command: for he threatened the People of Fussala with a Visit from the Imperial Troops and Commissaries, if they did not receive him as their lawful Bishop, in Compliance with the Orders of the Apostolic See[1590]. The People of Fussala write against him to Celestine.In the mean time Boniface dying, and Celestine being chosen in his room, the People of Fussala apprehending, as St. Austin writes, greater Evils from a Catholic Bishop, after their Return to the Church, than they had done from a Catholic Emperor during their Separation, writ a most pathetic Letter to the new Pope, intreating him to pity their Condition, to curb Antony in his unchristian Attempts, and to redeem them, by his Authority, from the Calamities which they had Reason to apprehend from that Prelate’s Cruelty and Ambition. In the same Letter they imputed all their Misfortunes to Austin, who had set over them such a Bishop. Are seconded by St. Austin.And this Austin 369was so far from taking amiss, that he owned the Charge, and even backed their Request with a Letter of his own, conjuring Celestine, by the Memory of St. Peter, who abhorred all Violence and Tyranny, not to use either with the People of Fussala, who, he said, had but too much Reason not to submit tamely to the galling Yoke from which they had been so lately delivered. He adds, that if, in spite of all his Endeavours and Remonstrances, he should still have the Mortification to see the Church of Fussala plundered and tyrannically oppressed by one whom he had raised to that See, he should think himself obliged to atone for the Share which he had in his Crimes, by resigning his own[1591]. Celestine acquiesces in the Sentence of the Council of Numidia.Celestine was so affected with these Letters, that he immediately acquiesced in the Sentence of the Council of Numidia; and the new Bishoprick of Fussala being suppressed, that Town, with its District, was again subjected to the See of Hippo. From these Letters, that were written by the Africans on this Occasion, it appears, that the Bishops of Rome used, in those Days, to send some of their Ecclesiastics into Africa, to see the Sentences, which they had given, executed there; and that those Ecclesiastics came with Orders from the Court for the Civil Magistrates to assist them, where their Assistance should be required, or thought necessary.

An End put to the
Schism formed by
The Schism formed by Eulalius was not, it seems, yet quite extinct in Rome in the Year 425. for I find a Law of that Year, dated the 17th of July, and addressed to Faustus Prefect of the City, commanding all Manichees, Heretics, Schismatics, and Sects of every Denomination, to be driven out of Rome; but more especially those, who, separating themselves from the Communion of the Venerable Pope, kept alive a dangerous Schism. Over these Faustus is injoined to keep a watchful Eye, to summon them to communicate with Celestine, and, if they did not comply with the Summons in Twenty Days, to banish them an Hundred Miles from Rome[1592]. This Law was issued by Placidia, who, upon the Death of her Brother Honorius, which happened in the Month of August 423. and that of the Usurper John, killed in 425, governed the Western Empire, as Guardian to her Son Valentinian III. The Law she issued, probably put an End to the Schism; for no further Mention is made of it by any Historian.

370It was in the Time of Celestine, and the following Year 426. the Fourth of his Pontificate, that the Bishops of Africa, quite tired out with the daily Encroachments of the Bishops of Rome, and not able to brook the despotic and arbitrary Power which they had begun to exercise over them, took the no less laudable than necessary Resolution of breaking their Chains before they were thoroughly riveted, and asserting their antient Liberty, by effectually removing what had endangered it, the pernicious Abuse of appealing to Rome. Apiarius, a Presbyter of Sicca, appeals to Rome.The Incident, which gave Occasion to that Resolution, was the Appeal of a Presbyter of Sicca, named Apiarius, who, being convicted of many Crimes, and thereupon degraded and excommunicated by his own Bishop Urbanus, appealed to Zosimus then Bishop of Rome. Zosimus restores him to the Rank from which he had been degraded.Zosimus, who missed no Opportunity of acquiring new Power, or improving the Power which he had acquired, not only received the Appeal, but, without ever hearing the other Side, restored Apiarius both to his Rank, and the Communion of the Church. This was the boldest Attempt that had yet been made upon the Rights and Liberties of the African Churches; and therefore the Bishops in those Parts, all uniting in a Cause that was common to all, loudly complained of such an arbitrary Act, as an open Violation of the Canons of the Church, forbidding those, who had been excluded from the Communion by their own Bishop, to be admitted to it by any other[1593]. Zosimus, finding the African Bishops had taken the Alarm, and were determined to restrain his Power within the Limits prescribed to it by the Canons, and, on the other hand, being well apprised, that he could allege no Canons, that had ever been received by them, to countenance the Power which he claimed, and had exercised, thought it would be no great Crime to recur to Fraud on so urgent an Occasion. To support his Pretensions, endeavours to impose upon the African Bishops the Canons of Sardica for the Canons of Nice.Agreeably to this Scheme, he caused Two Canons to be transcribed from the Council of Sardica; the one allowing Presbyters and Deacons, when rashly excommunicated by their own Bishops, to appeal to the neighbouring Bishops; and the other, authorizing the Appeal of all Bishops to the Bishop of Rome. Had the Africans received these Canons, he intended to have justified, by the former, his judging and absolving Apiarius, notwithstanding the Distance between Rome and Numidia; and, in virtue of the latter, to get the Canon revoked, which the African Bishops had lately made, forbidding, 371on Pain of Excommunication, Appeals beyond Sea; that is, to Rome. Nothing less than an intire Subjection of the African Churches to the See of Rome would satisfy the boundless Ambition of Zosimus; and such a Subjection would infallibly have ensued, had the Two above-mentioned Canons been received by the African Bishops in the Sense which Zosimus did, and seemed determined to make others, put upon them. But the main Point was, to persuade the Bishops of Africa to admit such Canons, especially at so critical a Juncture. The Council of Sardica had never been received there: nay, they were, it seems, at this very Time, utter Strangers both to that Council and its Canons; so that it was useless to quote them as such. Of this Zosimus was aware; and therefore, as he stuck at nothing that stood in the way of his Ambition, he resolved, by one of the most impudent and barefaced Impostures recorded in History, to try whether he could not impose upon the Bishops of Africa the Canons of Sardica for the Canons of Nice. With this View he sends a Solemn Embassy into Africa.With this knavish View, and to render the Imposture more solemn, and less suspected, he dispatched into Africa Three Legates, viz. Faustinus Bishop of Potentia in Picenum, and Two Roman Presbyters, Philippus and Asellus. Their Instructions, contained in a Letter addressed to themselves, were, to require of the African Bishops a strict Observance of the Two above-mentioned Canons of Nice; to complain of their repairing so often to Court; and to desire them not to communicate with Urbanus of Sicca, who had deposed Apiarius, or even to send him to Rome, if he refused to correct what he had done amiss[1594]; that is, we may suppose, if he did not restore Apiarius to his Rank, and the Communion of the Church.

With these Instructions the Legates set out for Africa, where they no sooner arrived, than a Council was convened, at which assisted, among the rest, Alypius Bishop of Tagaste, St. Austin’s great Friend, and Aurelius Bishop of Carthage. When the Legates first appeared before the Council, the Bishops desired them to lay their Instructions before the Assembly; which they were at first unwilling to do, contenting themselves with declaring their Commission by Word of Mouth. But the Africans knowing whom they had to deal with, and thereupon pressing them to communicate their Instructions is Writing, they complied at last, and produced the Letter 372I have mentioned above, which was immediately registred. The Surprize of the African Bishops on this Occasion.When it was publicly read, it is impossible to conceive the Surprize and Astonishment that appeared in the whole Assembly. They had never heard of those Canons; and to find them thus confidently ascribed to the Council of Nice, was what appeared to them strange beyond Expression. Warm Disputes arose, of which, however, we know no Particulars. Several different Greek Copies, several Latin Copies, were sent for, and carefully examined and compared; but no such Canons could be found there. However, as the Legates continued to maintain, with an unparalleled Impudence, the disputed Canons of Nice, the Council agreed to observe them, till they had, by a more diligent Inquiry, discovered the Truth[1595].

They continued their Sessions; but as they were few in Number, as the Point in Dispute was of the utmost Consequence, and nearly affected all the Bishops of Africa, they thought it should be communicated to all; and that, without the Concurrence of all, no Resolution should be taken. A General Council assembled at Carthage.A General Council was accordingly assembled at Carthage, consisting of Two hundred and Seventeen Bishops, from the different Provinces of Africa. They met, for the first time, on the 25th of May 419. Faustinus being placed next after Aurelius of Carthage, and Valentine Primate of Numidia, and the Two Presbyters Philippus and Asellus after the other Bishops. Being all seated, Aurelius moved, that the Canons of Nice might be read, from the Copies which they had of that Council in Africa. The Conduct of Faustinus, the Pope’s Legate, on this Occasion.But this was warmly opposed by Faustinus, insisting upon their reading, in the first place, his Instructions, and coming to some Resolution concerning the Observance of the Canons of Nice, which he was charged by the Apostolic See to require of them. It matters not, said he, whether or no those Canons are to be found in your Copies, or, indeed, in any other. You must know, that the Canons and Ordinances of Nice, which have been handed down to us by Tradition, and established by Custom, are no less binding than those that have been conveyed to us in Writing. To this Speech the Bishops returned no Answer; without doubt, because they thought it deserved none. However, at his Request, his Instructions were read, and warm Debates ensued. The Resolution taken by the Council.Alypius was of Opinion, that since the disputed Canons were not to be found in any of their Copies, Messengers and 373Letters should be immediately dispatched to the Bishops of Constantinople, Alexandria, and Antioch, for authentic Copies of the Acts and Canons of Nice. This Proposal Faustinus highly resented, as an Outrage offered to the Apostolic See, which, he said, was thereby arraigned of Fraud and Forgery. He therefore advised them to write to Boniface, who, by this time, had succeeded Zosimus, and, leaving to him the Care of examining the Authority of those Canons, submit the Whole to his Judgment, to his known Prudence and Discretion. He added, that by acting otherwise they might give Occasion to great Divisions and Disturbances in the Church. Aurelius, not to exasperate the Legate, whom he found to be a Man of a haughty, imperious, and intractable Temper, made no other Reply, but that they would write to Boniface. St. Austin promised to observe those Canons so long as it could be reasonably supposed that they were the Canons of Nice. The other Bishops made the same Promise; which was confirming the Resolution the Council had taken the Year before. Here the Legate exaggerated anew the Affront they offered to the Roman Church; adding, that the only Reparation they could make, for questioning the Authenticity of Canons proposed by her, was to leave the deciding of that Point to her, and acquiesce in her Judgment. But the Warmth, the Earnestness, the Passion which he betrayed in his Speech, and in his whole Conduct, served only to heighten the Jealousy, and confirm the Suspicions, of the African Bishops. It was therefore universally agreed, in spite of the Remonstrances, Intreaties, and Menaces of the Legate, that Aurelius should write to the Bishops of Constantinople, Alexandria, and Antioch, for authentic Copies of the Canons of Nice: that if the Canons, quoted by Faustinus, were found in those Copies, they should be punctually observed; if not, that a new Council should be convened, and such Resolutions taken, as the Fathers, who composed it, should think proper[1596].

The Affair of Apiarius,
how settled by the
Matters being thus settled, with respect to the pretended Canons of Nice, concerning Appeals, the Council took next into Consideration the Case of Apiarius which had given Occasion to the present Dispute between Rome and Africa; and it was agreed, that Apiarius should make the due Submission to his Bishop, and there upon be re-admitted to his Communion, and restored to his Rank. However, as he had given great Offence to the People of Sicca, by 374his scandalous Life, he was ordered, by the Council, to quit that City; but, at the same time, allowed to exercise the Functions of his Office in any other Place[1597]. This Medium the Council wisely chose between the Two opposite Sentences; that of Urbanus excommunicating and deposing him, and that of Zosimus restoring him to the Communion and the Priesthood. Such was the Issue of the Appeal of Apiarius: and I leave the Reader to judge, whether Baronius should boast of it as he does. And now nothing remained, but to acquaint Boniface with the Acts and Resolutions of the Council; and this was done accordingly by a Letter, which they all signed, and delivered to the Legates. In that Letter they begged Boniface to procure, from the East, authentic Copies of the Canons of Nice, promising to observe the Canons in Dispute, till such Copies were procured; but this upon Condition, that if those Canons were not found to be genuine, they should recover their antient Privileges, and not be forced to submit to a Yoke, which Ambition alone could impose[1598].

The African Bishops
write into the East
for authentic Copies
of the Council of
With this Letter the Three Legates set out from Africa, on their Return to Rome. Upon their Departure, the African Bishops writ, agreeably to the Resolution they had taken, to Atticus of Constantinople, and Cyril of Alexandria, begging they would cause to be transcribed, and sent into Africa, the most authentic Copies they had of the Canons of Nice. With this Request the Two Bishops readily complied; and the same Year 419. the Messengers sent to Alexandria and Constantinople returned with the wished-for Copies, and very friendly and obliging Answers, which are still extant[1599], from Cyril and Atticus, addressed to Aurelius, to Valentine, and to all the Bishops of Africa assembled at Carthage. As for the Bisop of Antioch, the Africans probably did not write to him; at least, they had no Answer from him[N69]. The pretended Canons not found in those Copies, and the Dispute dropt by Boniface.They immediately compared the Two Copies, sent them from the East, with their own, especially with that which Cæcilianus of Carthage had brought with him from Nice, where he had assisted at the Council; and found them agree in every Particular, without any Trace of the Canons that Zosimus 375had produced: upon which they dispatched the same Ecclesiastics with them to Rome, whom they had sent into the East. Boniface, who was an Enemy to all Fraud and Imposition, acquiesced; the Dispute was dropped; so that the Canon, which the African Bishops had lately made, forbidding Appeals to Rome, and Zosimus had thus fraudulently attempted to defeat, remained in its full Vigour; and the Churches of Africa were suffered quietly to enjoy their antient Rights and Privileges, so long as Boniface lived. But in the Pontificate of his Successor Celestine, the Storm broke out anew.

N69. It is very observable, that the Alexandrian Copy was originally sent from Rome by Marcus Bishop of that City, upon a Complaint made by the Egyptian Bishops, that the Arians had burnt all the Copies of the Council of Nice that were then found in Alexandria.

The Power of receiv-
ing Appeals claimed by
the Popes only as
granted by the
It may not be improper here to observe, that Zosimus, though wholly bent on exalting his See, and straining every Prerogative to the highest Pitch, yet did not presume to exalt it above the Canons; did not claim the disputed Power of receiving Appeals, of judging, deciding, &c. independently of the Canons. And was not this owning himself, but for the Canons, to be upon the Level with the other Bishops his Collegues; at least in respect to this Point? Is not the scandalous Method, which he took on this Occasion to extend his own Power, and curtail that of the African Bishops, a Demonstration of his deriving his Claim from the Canons alone? Could there ever offer a better Opportunity, could there ever occur a more urgent Necessity, of asserting a Divine Right? As Zosimus therefore never asserted, nor even mentioned, such a Right, we may well conclude, that he either had no Notion of it, or did not think it sufficiently grounded to be of any Use in the present Dispute. And yet this Divine Right of receiving Appeals from all Parts of the World, of constituting, confirming, judging, censuring, suspending, deposing, removing, restoring Bishops, and all other Ecclesiastics, is now held, as an Article of Faith, by all true Roman Catholics; insomuch that to dispute such an Article, would be no less dangerous, in Countries where the Inquisition prevails, than to dispute any Article of the Apostolic or Nicene Creed. It is true, Innocent the First, as the Advocates for the See of Rome observe, had claimed, by Divine Right, the Power of finally deciding all Controversies. But he himself seems to have been sensible, that he had gone too far, For what else could have induced him to restrain that Claim, as soon as he had set it up, to Matters of Faith alone[1600]? Had Zosimus thought the general Claim capable of being maintained, he need not have recurred, as he did, 376to Fraud and Imposture. The Pretensions of Innocent, in their utmost Extent, were indeed renewed, in Process of Time, by his Successors; but not till the intolerable Abuse, which they made of the Power granted them by the Canons of Sardica, on which they founded all their Usurpations, obliged other Councils to revoke those Canons; and then it was, that, no other Means being left of maintaining their ill-gotten Power, they revived the Claim of Innocent, and, challenging no longer by the Canons, but by Divine Right, the Prerogative of receiving Appeals, they put it out of the Power of all future Councils to abridge or restrain it.

Whether Zosimus
ignorantly mistook the
Canons of Sardica
for those of Nice.
The Three Cardinals Baronius, Bellarmine, and Noris, thinking the Imputation of Ignorance less injurious to the Memory of Zosimus, less derogatory to the Dignity of the Apostolic See, than that of Fraud and Imposture, suppose him to have ignorantly mistaken the Canons of Sardica for the Canons of Nice; which is supposing, that in the whole Archives of the Roman Church there was not a single genuine Copy of the Council of Nice, or that Zosimus had never perused it; and to suppose either is highly absurd. Besides, the whole Conduct of the Legate, the Pains he took to divert the African Bishops from consulting other Copies, and, when he could not prevail, his recurring to unwritten Canons; and, as that too proved ineffectual, his striving by all possible means to persuade the Africans to leave to the Pope the Care of examining other Copies, and to acquiesce, without any further Inquiry, in what should thereupon be determined by him; plainly shews, that the Legate was privy to the Fraud, and apprehended a Detection.

Apiarius excommun-
icated anew. He ap-
peals again to Rome,
and is restored
by Celestine, and
sent back attended
by the Legate
Apiarius, being obliged to quit Sicca, as I have related above, retired to Tabraca, another City of Numidia, and led there so scandalous a Life, that he was excommunicated anew. Hereupon he appealed again to Rome, and Celestine, which is very surprising, notwithstanding the vigorous Opposition which his Predecessors had, but very lately, met with from the African Bishops, in attempting to restore this very Presbyter, not only declared him innocent, and admitted him to his Communion, but sent him back into Africa, attended by the Legate Faustinus, who was ordered to see him reinstated. The Africans were but too well acquainted already with the Presumption and Arrogance of the Bishops of Rome; and yet such an insolent Act quite surprised them. For Celestine had neither examined the Crimes, which Apiarius was charged with, nor heard 377the Witnesses, nor even condescended to let them know, that he intended to judge him anew. He writ, indeed, Two Letters to them on this Occasion, but which seemed merely designed to insult them: for, by the First, he gave them Notice of the Arrival of Apiarius at Rome, which, he said, had given him great Joy; and by the Second, which was brought by Faustinus, he acquainted them, that he was overjoyed to have found him innocent. From this despotic and extraordinary way of acting, the African Bishops concluded, that Celestine was determined to keep no Measures with them, and that nothing less than an intire Subjection of the African Churches to the See of Rome would satisfy his Ambition. But they were resolved to maintain, at all Events, the Liberty wherewith Christ had made them free. A General Council assembled. Apiarius appears before it, with Faustinus.A General Council was therefore assembled, and Apiarius summoned to attend. He obeyed the Summons, and appeared before the Council at the Time appointed, but in Company with Faustinus, shewing thereby, that he placed greater Confidence in him than in his own Innocence. Faustinus spoke first, and pressed, with great Warmth, the Fathers of the Assembly to re-admit Apiarius to their Communion, since he had been declared innocent by the Apostolic See, and admitted by Celestine to the Communion of the Roman Church. The Bishops replied, that in Africa Apiarius had been found guilty, and that in Africa his Innocence must be made to appear, before they could receive him again to their Communion. The Legate’s insolent Conduct.As they stuck to this Point, Faustinus undertook his Cause; but, instead of proving, as he had promised to do, or even attempting to prove his Innocence, he inveighed, from the Beginning of his Speech to the End, and in very harsh and opprobrious Language, against the Council, and all the Members, who composed it. Apiarius pleads his own Cause.Apiarius was sensible, that the Speech of Faustinus, instead of reconciling the African Bishops to him, had incensed them more than ever against him; and therefore thinking it adviseable to take the Cause into his own Hands, he stood up as soon as the other had done; and, with a Modesty capable, as he thought, of atoning for the Insolence of Faustinus, endeavoured to clear himself from the Crimes that had been laid to his Charge. Faustinus assists him.When he had spoken, the Witnesses against him were heard; and the Tryal lasted Three whole Days, Apiarius striving, with great Art and Subtilty, to invalidate the Depositions, and Faustinus prompting him when he was at a Stand. He might, perhaps, have escaped Condemnation, partly by his own Craft and Address, partly 378by the powerful Protection of the Bishop of Rome, had he been able to withstand the Stings of his own Conscience. Apiarius, struck with sudden Remorse, owns the Crimes laid to his Charge.But, on the Fourth Day, when Faustinus began to triumph as sure of Victory, Apiarius, struck with sudden Remorse, damped at once all his Joy, by voluntarily owning, to the great Surprize of all present, and the unspeakable Confusion of Faustinus, every Crime with which he had been charged. Those Crimes the Fathers have thought fit to wrap in Oblivion; and indeed it was not proper, that Posterity should know them; since they were heinous, incredible, such as ought not to be mentioned, and drew Sighs and Tears from the whole Assembly[1601]. And this is the Man whom Two Popes, both now worshiped as Saints in the Church of Rome, absolved as innocent; and, as innocent, would have supported with Force and Violence, had not Providence almost miraculously interposed, to prevent the Evils that would have ensued. They could not but know, that Apiarius was guilty; at least they did not know, that he was innocent. But as he had been declared guilty in Africa, their declaring him innocent, whether he was so or not, gave them an Opportunity of renewing the Attempts of the Apostolic See on the Liberties of the African Churches; and it was, no doubt, with this View that they absolved and restored him. But, as he was not hardened enough in Iniquity for their Purpose, he owned himself guilty, in spite of their Judgment declaring him innocent, and thereby defeated their Schemes for the present. For the Africans, now sensible that there was no Wickedness which the Bishops of Rome would not countenance, in order to establish their Power in Africa, to the utter Subversion of all Ecclesiastical Order and Discipline there, thought themselves bound, as they tendered the Welfare, Peace, and Tranquillity of the Churches committed to their Care, to act with that Vigour and Steadiness, which so urgent an Occasion seemed to require. The African Bishops renew the Canon forbidding Appeals to Rome.Accordingly they first absolutely cut off Apiarius from the Communion of the Church; then renewed, in stronger Terms than ever, the Canon, which had given so great Offence at Rome, prohibiting, on Pain of Excommunication, Appeals beyond Sea, under any Pretence whatsoever; and this Prohibition they extended to Ecclesiastics of all Conditions and Ranks. Faustinus blustered, vapoured, threatened; but all in vain. The Bishops not only signed, all to a Man, the above-mentioned Canon, but writ a Synodal Letter to Celestine, acquainting him with what had 379passed in the Case of Apiarius, and earnestly intreating him not to give Ear for the future to those, who should have recourse to him from Africa, nor receive to his Communion such as they had excluded from theirs: Their Letter to Celestine.For we must let your Venerableness (Venerabilitas tua) know, say they, that it has been so established by the Council of Nice. And though Mention is there made of Clerks only, and Laymen; yet there is no room to doubt but it was their Intention, that such a Regulation should extend to Bishops too; and it would be a great Irregularity, should your Holiness (a Title then common to all Bishops) over-hastily and unduly admit to your Communion Bishops, who have been excommunicated in their own Provinces. Your Holiness therefore must not receive the Presbyters, and other Clerks, who, to avoid the Punishment, which they deserve, recur to you; the rather as we know of no Constitutions thus derogatory to the Authority of our Churches; and the Council of Nice has subjected the Bishops themselves to the judgment of their Metropolitan. The Fathers of that Council have decreed, with great Wisdom and Equity, that all Disputes should be finally determined in the Places where they began, being sensible, that the Grace of the Holy Spirit, necessary for judging rightly, would not be wanting in any Province; especially as every Man, who thinks himself injured, may apply for Redress, if he pleases, to the Synod of his own Province, or to a national Council. Would it not be Presumption in any of us to suppose or imagine, that God will inspire a particular Person with the Spirit of Justice, and refuse it to many Bishops assembled in Council? And how can a Judgment, given out of the Country, and beyond Sea, be right, where the necessary Witnesses cannot be present, by reason of their Sex, of their Age, or of some other Impediment? As for your sending Legates, we find no such Ordinance in any Council, nor in the Writings of the Fathers. As for what you have sent us by our Collegue Faustinus, as a Canon of the Council of Nice, we must let you know, that no such Canon is to be found in the genuine and uncorrupt Copies of that Council, which have been transcribed and sent us by our Fellow-Bishop Cyril of Alexandria, and the Reverend Atticus of Constantinople. Those Copies we sent to Boniface, your Predecessor of worthy Memory. We therefore earnestly beg you would send no more Legates, nor Ecclesiastics, to execute your Judgments here, lest you should seem to introduce worldly Pride and Arrogance (typhum sæculi) into the Church of Christ. They conclude with intreating 380him not to suffer Faustinus to continue any longer among them[1602]. Celestine, finding the Spirit with which they acted, and sensible that it would be useless to employ Force at this Juncture, thought it advisable to acquiesce for the present, and wait till a more favourable Opportunity should offer for him, or his Successors, to renew the Attempt[N70].

N70. Schelstrate would make us believe, that Gregory the Great prevailed upon the African Bishops to revoke the Canon forbidding the Presbyters and inferior Clergy to appeal to Rome[1]; and Davidius, That the Africans changed their Minds with respect to the Appeals of Bishops, as soon as they were informed, that such Appeals had been allowed, and approved of, by the Council of Sardica[2]. But neither alleges any solid Reason, or even Conjecture, to prove Facts of such Importance; nay, what Davidius advances is certainly false, since the Canons forbidding all Appeals to Rome, made at this time, were still quoted among the other Canons of the African Collection in 825. and confirmed by a Council held at Carthage that Year[3]. Some pretend that Celestine separated himself on this Occasion from the African Bishops, and that this Separation continued between their Churches, and that of Rome, till the Beginning of the VIIth Century, when Eulalius of Carthage, and his Collegues, desirous of putting an End to the Schism, revoked all the Canons that had been made in 426. derogatory to the Rights of the Roman See[4]. This they advance upon the Authority of a Piece commonly ascribed to Pope Boniface II. But that Piece is so evidently supposititious, that Baronius himself is forced to give it up.

1. Schel. Eccles. Afric. p. 50.

2. Dav. jugemens Canoniques des Evesques, p. 663, 664.

3. Concil. t. 4. p. 1636.

4. Van. Espen. in Can. p. 216.

Celestine declares
Translations lawful.
The following Year 427. Sisinius Bishop of Constantinople being dead, the Bishops in those Parts were for appointing Proculus in his room. But, as Proculus had been ordained before, though never installed Bishop of Cyzicus, they were under some Apprehension, lest his Promotion to the See of Constantinople should be deemed a Breach of the Canons forbidding Translations. But Celestine, whom they consulted on this Occasion, delivered them from that Apprehension, declaring, in a Letter, which he writ at this time to Cyril of Alexandria, John of Antioch, and Rufus of Thessalonica, that they might safely place on one See a Bishop named to another, nay, and a Bishop who actually governed another[1603]; that is, he declared Translations lawful[N71].

N71. Against Translations there may be Reasons in Policy; but there can be none in Conscience; and none that are at all to the Purpose, have been alleged either by the Councils, or Fathers, though the former have exerted all their Authority to prevent them, and the latter all their Oratory to make them appear criminal. The Councils of Arles, of Nice, of Alexandria, of Sardica, of Chalcedon, of Antioch, forbid them on the severest Penalties the Church could inflict. The Council of Sardica, by its First Canon deprived such Bishops, as should change their Churches, even of the Lay-Communion: and because some pleaded, or at least the Council apprehended they might plead, the Desire and Request of the People; to leave no room for such an Excuse, the Council by its Second Canon deprived those, who should allege it, of the Lay-Communion, even at the Point of Death[1]. The Council of Alexandria, under St. Athanasius, in their Epistle to all the Catholic Bishops, speak thus of Eusebius, who had been translated from Berytus to Nicomedia: Eusebius did not reflect on the Admonition of the Apostle, Art thou bound to a Wife? Do not seek to be loosed. For if it be said of a Woman, how much more of a Church? To which if one is tied, he ought not to seek another; that he may not be likewise found an Adulterer, according to the Scripture[2]. What Analogy between a Wife, and a Bishoprick? The Bishops of that Assembly were even of Opinion, that Eusebius, by abandoning his former Church had annulled his Episcopacy. In the Synod under Mennas it was laid to the Charge of Anthimus, that being Bishop of Trebisond, he had adulterously seized on the See of Constantinople[3]. In the same Strain have the Fathers declaimed against Translations, whenever an Opportunity offered of bringing in that favourite Topic; for the Canons and Decisions of the Councils were only the private Opinions of the major Part of the Bishops, who composed them. They generally inveigh against that adulterous Traffick, as if they supposed a Bishop to be married to the Church, which he was ordained to serve, or tied to it by Bonds no less indissoluble than a Husband to his Wife: And it was upon that Supposition, that they charged with Adultery those, who passed from one Church to another. But that Supposition none of them have been able to make good either from Scripture or Reason. As for the Command of the Apostle in his Letter to Timothy, A Bishop must be the Husband of one Wife, which some of them have interpreted as levelled against Translations; the far greater Part both of the Fathers and Councils have in that Passage understood the Word Wife, not in a metaphorical, but a natural Sense, and thereupon excluded from the Episcopal Dignity such as had been twice married. But allowing St. Paul to have meant a Church by the Word Wife, the most obvious and natural Interpretation we can give to his Words, is, that he there forbids Pluralities of Bishopricks, which were once very common in the Church of Rome.

But whatever Reasons the Fathers and Councils may have alleged, or could allege, against Translations, they have themselves defeated them all by the contrary Practice. For some of the greatest Saints, and Lights of the Church, have been either translated, or approved and promoted the Translations of others. The famous Methodius, who suffered under Diocletian in the Year 311. or 312. passed from the See of Olympus in Lycia to that of Tyre[4]. Eustathius, who is supposed to have presided at the Council of Nice, was translated from Berœa to Antioch, that is, from a small See to the second in the East[5]; nay, Sozomen ascribes this Translation to the Council of Nice itself[6]. Syderius, Bishop of Erythra in Libya, was translated by Athanasius to Ptolemais, the Metropolis of the whole Pentapolis[7]. Euphronius Bishop of Colonia, a small Town on the Borders of Armenia, was by a Synod, consisting of all the Orthodox Bishops of that Province, translated to the Metropolitan See of Nicopolis; that Translation was highly applauded by St. Basil, who thought it owing not to human Prudence, but to a particular Inspiration of the Holy Ghost[8]; the Arians being very powerful in that City, and no Man more fit to make head against them than Euphronius. The Inhabitants of Colonia were very unwilling to part with their Bishop; and the Ecclesiastics there even threatened to join the Arian Party, if Euphronius was taken from them[9]. But they were in the End prevailed upon by St. Basil to acquiesce in the Will of God, who, said he, had inspired the Prelates with such a Resolution[10]. From these (and many other Instances might be alleged) it is manifest, that the Fathers spoke like mere Declaimers, when they compared a Bishop, who left one Church, and took another, to a Husband, who abandoned his Wife, and married another Woman. But indeed they only inveighed thus, generally speaking, against Translations, when the Persons translated were of the Party, which they opposed; it was then Adultery, it was forfeiting the Episcopal Dignity, to pass from one Church to another. But when they apprehended, that such Changes could any-ways promote the Cause which they had espoused and maintained, those Changes were thereby sanctified, and owing to a particular Inspiration of the Holy Ghost.

Pope Gelasius II. excused Translations by the Example of St. Peter. Who dares to maintain, says he, that St. Peter, the Prince of the Apostles, was to blame, for changing the See of Antioch for that of Rome[11]? And who dares to maintain, that any Bishop is to blame for doing what the Prince of the Apostles had done before him? But were there no other Instances, besides that of St. Peter, to give a Sanction to Translations, I should readily grant them never to have been allowed in the Church. For St. Peter never was Bishop of Rome, as I have shewn already[12]; and some of the Reasons, proving him never to have been Bishop of Rome, make equally against his pretended Episcopacy of Antioch. Most of the Ecclesiastical Writers indeed suppose him to have been Bishop of Antioch; but St. Luke is quite silent on that Head, though within the Compass of his History, as Jerom observed[13]; and his Silence ought to be of more Weight, than the Authority of Writers, who lived some Ages after. Origen, who flourished in the Third Century, was the first who mentioned St. Peter’s See of Antioch, saying, It was held by Ignatius after him[14]. Origen was copied by Eusebius, and Eusebius by those, who came after him.

On Translations a modern Writer of the Court of Rome reasons thus: “Translations have been severely censured by the Fathers, and often condemned both by the Popes and the Councils. But neither can the Councils tie the Hands of the Popes, nor can one Pope tie the Hands of another. The Power of dispensing with all canonical Impediments the Popes hold by Divine Right; which therefore can only be restrained by divine Authority. However, Translations ought not to be allowed, but on most urgent Occasions; and it is in order to prevent them, that the Popes have adopted the wise Regulations of some well-governed Republics, where certain Goods are not prohibited, but loaded with such Customs as are next to a Prohibition[15].” The Canons were made for the Good of the Church, and the People; and therefore cannot be binding when they oppose either. Hence it follows, that there being in such Cases no Room left for a Dispensation, nothing ought in Justice to be exacted for it. And yet, let the Occasion be ever so urgent, a very considerable Sum must be paid into the Apostolic Chamber for the pretended Dispensation. If the Occasion is not urgent, they allow the Canons to be binding; and what can induce the Popes to dispense with them, but that, wh