Page images

of death and of the greatest vengeance, this wise man said, “Of what punishment, then, is not that man worthy, who forsakes his Creator to make a god of one of his fellowservants, and to render to him the worship which he owes to God?” The king was highly provoked at this reply, and he commanded twenty reeds to be forced up the nails of his hands and of his feet. But perceiving that he turned this punishment into ridicule, he ordered pointed reeds to be thrust into his private parts, which produced unspeakable agony. The generous defender of the faith was afterwards empaled, and in this condition he gave up his spirit. Numberless other barbarities were perpetrated by the Persians. It must not, however, be regarded as a matter of surprise, that these acts of cruelty and impiety were permitted by the Great Ruler of the universe ; for, previous to the reign of the great emperor Constantine, all the Roman emperors furiously persecuted the defenders of truth. Diocletian also, on the day of the commemoration of our Saviour's sufferings, demolished all the sacred edifices which were in the Roman empire. But nine years afterwards these churches were rebuilt in a far higher style of magnificence and grandeur than before, whereas Diocletian perished in his impiety. The wars in which the church was involved, and her subsequent victory, were predicted by our Lord. It is evident that war is more profitable to us than peace; for, while the one renders us effeminate, heedless, and timid, the other inspires us with vigilance, and with contempt for the things which are passing away. But we have frequently dwelt upon these topics in other works.

CHAP. XL.-THEODORE, BISHOP OF MOPSUESTIA. DURING the time that the holy Theodotus governed the church of Antioch, Theodore, bishop of Mopsuestia, the


Gregory the Great (Epist. book vi. 31) says that the Ecclesiastical History of Theodoret was not received by the Roman church, because he was so loud in his praises of this Theodore of Mopsuestia, and always deemed him a great doctor of the church. There is some doubt, however, whether it is Theodoret or Sozomen who is chargeable with this. Baronius thinks that the latter probably justified the accusation of Gregory in that portion of his history which is lost. It is certain, however, that if either Sozomen or Theodoret erred in their praises of Theodore, they erred in company with St. Cyril and St. John Chrysostom.

teacher of all the churches, and the opponent of all the sects of heresy, departed this life. He had been a disciple of the celebrated Diodorus, and the associate and fellow-labourer of John, bishop of Constantinople. During the space of thirtysix years he fulfilled the duties of the episcopal office, and zealously opposed the heresies of Arius, Eunomius, and Apollinaris; and he led his flock to excellent pasturage. Polychronius, his brother, who to great powers of language added eminent sanctity of life, ruled the church of Apamea with wisdom and success. I shall now close my history: I ask no other reward for my labour than the prayers of my

readers. This history extends over a period of one hundred and five years, namely, from the commencement of the Arian infatuation to the death of those admirable men, Theodore and Theodotus. I shall add, in the order of their succession, the names of the bishops who, after the persecution, governed the principal churches.


IN ROME (A. D. 311-422). Miltiades, Silvester, Julius, Liberius, Damasis, Siricius, Anastasius, Innocent, Boniface, Zosimus, Celestine.

BISHOPS OF ANTIOCH(A. D. 312-415). Vitalis, Philogonius, Eustathius ; these were all orthodox. The following were Arians: Eulalius, Euphronius, Flacillus, Stephen, Leontius, Eudoxius. Then succeeded the following orthodox bishops : Melitius, Flavian, Porphyry, Alexander, Theodotus ; they were joined by Paulinus and Evagrius, who had belonged to the sect of Eustathius.

'i. e. from A. D. 323 to 427 else from A. D. 325 to 429. ? The order which Theodoret here observes, in preferring the catalogue of Antiochian to that of Alexandrian bishops, was very natural to him as a native of those parts; and it is an incidental proof (if any be needed) of the genuineness of this appendix to the history. It may be observed that Theodoret violates the canons of the synod of Constantinople, in placing that see last in order.

IN ALEXANDRIA (A. D. 300-412). Peter, Achillas, Alexander, Athanasius, and Gregory, who was an Arian. Re-establishment of Athanasius. Peter, a disciple of Athanasius. Lucius, an Arian. Restoration of Peter. Timothy, Theophilus, and Cyril, the nephew of Theophilus.

BIS OPS OF JERUSALEM (A. D. 314-430). Macarius, Maximus, Cyril, John, Praylius, Juvenal.

BISHOPS OF CONSTANTINOPLE (A. D. 326-425). Alexander, Eusebius, an Arian, translated from the see of Nicomedia. To him succeeded Paul, the confessor of the faith, Macedonius, the enemy of the Holy Ghost; and, upon his expulsion, the impious Eudoxius obtained the bishopric. Demophilus, a heretic, of the city of Bercea in Thrace; Gregory of Nazianzus, Nectarius, John Chrysostom, Arsacius, Atticus, Sisinnius.




FROM A. D. 431 TO A. D. 594.




« PreviousContinue »