Page images

Lady, the holy glorious Mother of God and ever virgin Mary, and was born of her; who is our Lord Jesus Christ, one of the Holy Trinity,' united in glorification with the Father and the Holy Spirit: for the Holy Trinity did not admit the addition of a fourth person, even when one of the Trinity, the God-Word, had become incarnate; but our Lord Jesus Christ is one and the same, being consubstantial with God the Father as respects the Godhead, and at the same time consubstantial with ourselves as respects the manhood ; passible in the flesh, and at the same time impassible in the Godhead : for we do not admit that the Divine Word who wrought the miracles was one, and he who underwent the sufferings was another ; but we confess our Lord Jesus Christ to be one and the same, namely, the Word of God become incarnate and made perfectly man, and that both the miracles and the sufferings which he voluntarily underwent for our salvation belong to one and the same ; inasmuch as it was not a human being that gave himself on our behalf ; but the God-Word himself, becoming man without undergoing change, submitted in the flesh to the voluntary passion and death on our behalf. Accordingly, while confessing him to be God, we do not contravene the circumstance of his being man ; and while confessing him to be man, we do not deny the fact of his being God : whence, while confessing our Lord Jesus Christ to be one and the same, composed of both natures, namely, the Godhead and the manhood, we do not superinduce confusion upon the union ;”? for he will not lose the circumstance of being God on becoming man like ourselves ; nor yet, in being by nature God, and in that respect incapable of likeness to us, will he also decline the circumstance of being man. But as he continued God in manhood ; in like manner, though possessed of Divine supremacy, he is no less man ; being both


1 "Ος εστί τω πατρί και το αγίω πνεύματι, who is to the Father and to the Holy Ghost. In Nicephorus, b. xvii. chap. 35, where this edict of the emperor Justinus concerning the faith is recorded, this place is read thus: ός εστί τω πατρί και το αγίω πνεύματι ίσος, who is equal to the Father and to the Holy Spirit. Which Christophorson renders thus, Qui est æqualis Patri et Spiritui Sancto. But in this place the equality of the Father and Son is not treated of; but, whether Christ be one Person of the Blessed Trinity. The passage stands as amended by Valesius.

? čvwois. This word is rendered by Valesius “unitio," the compounding of two things into one.

[ocr errors]

in one, God and man at the same time, one Emmanuel. Further, while confessing him to be at the same time perfect in Godhead and perfect in manhood, of which two he was also composed, we do not attach to his one complex subsistence a division by parts or severance; but we signify that the difference of the natures is not annulled by the union : for neither was the Divine nature changed into the human, nor the human nature converted into the Divine; but, each being the more distinctly understood and existent in the limit and relation of its own nature, we say that the union took place according to subsistence. The union according to subsistence signifies, that the God-Word, that is to say one subsistence of the three subsistences of the Godhead, was not united with a previously existing human being, but in the womb of our Lady, the holy glorious Mother of God and ever virgin Mary, formed for himself of her, in his own subsistence, flesh consubstantial with ourselves, having the same passions in all respects except sin, and animated with a reasonable and intelligent soul; for he retained his subsistence in himself, and became man, and is one and the same, our Lord Jesus Christ, united in glorification with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Further, while considering his ineffable union, we rightly confess one nature, that of the Divine Word, to have become incarnate, by flesh animated with a reasonable and intelligent soul; and, on the other hand, while contemplating the difference of the natures, we affirm that they are two, without, however, introducing any division, for either nature is in him ; whence we confess one and the same Christ, one Son, one person, one subsistence, both God and man together : and all who have held or do hold opinions at variance with these, we anathematize, judging them to be alien from the Holy and Apostolic Church of God. Accordingly, while the right doctrines which have been delivered to us by the holy fathers are being thus proclaimed, we exhort you all to gather into one and the same Catholic and Apostolic Church, or rather we even entreat you ; for though possessed of imperial supremacy, we do not decline the use of such a term, in be

Nicephorus reads incorrectly εν αυτή, understanding εν τη σαρκί, in the very flesh. For Christ had not a proper subsistence in the flesh, but before He assumed flesh, as being the Second Person of the sacred Trinity from all eternity.



half of the unanimity and union of all Christians, in the universal offering of one doxology to our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ, and in abstinence for the future on the part of all from unnecessary disputes about persons and words, since the words lead to one true belief and understandingwhile the usage and form which has hitherto prevailed in the holy Catholic and Apostolic Church of God, remains for ever unshaken and unchanged.”

To this edict all assented, saying that it was expressed in orthodox language. None, however, of the severed portions

, of the church were entirely reunited, because the edict distinctly declared that what had hitherto been unshaken and unchanged, should continue so in all coming time.


Justin also ejected Anastasius from the episcopate of Theopolis, on the charge of a profuse and improper expenditure of the funds of the see, and also for scandalous language against himself; inasmuch as Anastasius, on being asked why he was so lavishly squandering the property of the see, frankly replied that it was done to prevent its being carried off by that universal pest, Justin. He is also said to have entertained a grudge against Anastasius, because he had refused to pay a sum of money, when demanded of him in consideration of his appointment to the bishopric.2 Other charges were also brought against him by persons, who, as I suppose, wished to second the emperor's bent.

" The word npóowna, persons, is used on account of the heresy of Nestorius, who asserted two persons in Christ, the one of man, the other of the Word. But the word ovlabàs, syllables, was annexed on account of the Eutychians and Acephali, who affirmed that Christ consisted of two natures before the union, but after the union of one nature only. On the other hand, the Catholics adored Christ in his two natures.

? The grandees at court, and those whose interest was great with the emperor, were wont to exact money of those who were elected patriarchs, as may be proved by the example of Chrysaphius the eunuch, who demanded money of Flavian, bishop of Constantinople, as Evagrius has related above, b. i. ch. 2.

CHAP. VI.-GREGORY, THE SUCCESSOR OF ANASTASIUS. Next in succession, Gregory is elevated to the episcopal see: “ wide whose renown,” according to the language of poetry ; a person who had devoted himself from the earliest period of life to the monastic discipline, and had wrestled therein so manfully and stoutly, that he arrived at the highest elevation when scarcely past his boyhood, and became superior of the monastery of the Byzantines,' in which he had assumed the bare mode of life, and subsequently, by the orders of Justin, of the monastery of Mount Sinai. Here he encountered extreme danger, having sustained a siege by the Scenite Arabs,

Having, nevertheless, secured the complete tranquillity of the spot, he was thence summoned to the archiepiscopal dignity, He was unrivalled in every excellence of intellect and virtue, and most energetic in accomplishing whatever he resolved upon, uninfluenced by fear, and incapable of shrinking before secular power. So noble was his expenditure of money, in a general system of liberality and munificence, that whenever he appeared in public, crowds, besides his ordinary attendants, followed him; and all gathered round him who saw or heard of his approach. The respect shown to so high a dignity, was but second to the honour bestowed upon the individual, in the generous desire of persons to obtain a near view of him and to hear his words; for he was possessed of singular power to inspire with attachment towards himself all who held converse with him, being a person of most imposing aspect and sweet address, especially quick of perception and prompt in execution, a most able counsellor and judge, both in his own matters and in those of others. On this account it was that he accomplished so much, never deferring anything till to-morrow. By dealing with matters with unfailing promptitude, according as either necessity required or opportunity favoured, he filled with admiration not only the Roman but the Persian sovereigns, as I shall set forth the particulars in their proper place. His character was strongly marked by vehemence, and at times by indications of anger; while, on the other hand, his meekness and gentleness were not confined, but were exceedingly abundant; so that to him was admirably fitted the excellent ex

· This seems to have been a monastery in Syria, in which Gregory, whilst ho was yet young, had passed the early part of his monastic life.

pression of Gregory Theologus, “austerity tempered with modesty," while neither quality was impaired, but each rendered more striking by the other.


MENIA. In the first year of the episcopate of Gregory, the inhabitants of what was formerly called the Greater Armenia, but afterwards Persarmenia—this country was formerly subject to the Romans, but when Philip, the successor of Gordian, had betrayed it to Sapor, what is called the Lesser Armenia alone was possessed by the Romans, but the remainder by the Persians—this people, being Christians and cruelly treated by the Persians, especially on the score of their faith, sent a secret embassy to Justin, imploring to be allowed to place themselves under the dominion of the Romans, in order to a safe and unrestrained observance of their religion. When the emperor had admitted their overtures, and certain written conditions had been settled on his part and guaranteed by the most solemn oaths, the Armenians massacre their governors; and the whole nation, together with their allied neighbours, both of kindred and foreign race, unite themselves to the Roman empire, Vardanes having a precedence among his countrymen by birth, dignity, and military skill. In reply to the complaints of Chosroes on account of these transactions, Justin alleged that the peace had expired, and that it was impossible to reject the advances of Christians, when desirous of uniting themselves with their fellow Christians in time of war.

Such was his reply. Notwithstanding, he made no preparation for war, but was involved in his habitual luxury, regarding everything as secondary to his personal enjoyments.


emperor sends out his kinsman Marcian, as commander of the forces of the East, without, however, sufficiently supplying him with troops, or the other material of war.

He occu* An early ecclesiastical historian states that these Armenians surrendered themselves up to the protection of Rome in consequence of being compelled to worship idols by Chosroes, emperor of Persia.

« PreviousContinue »