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saw all the Churches of the world split into different factions, so that the Western bishops would not communicate with the Eastern, nor even the Easterns among themselves, and wishing to see no novelty introduced, as he said, he gave orders (2) that all the Churches should remain in the same state he found them, and banished from their Sees any bishops who introduced novelties. Nothing could be better than this, if all the Churches were united in the profession of the true Faith; but as there were several at that time which did not adhere to the Council of Chalcedon, to make a law, that no Church should change its ancient usage, was the best possible means of perpetuating discord, and this was precisely the effect it produced.
2. Although Anastasius had shown some signs of piety, still Euphemius, Patriarch of Constantinople, who had narrowly watched his sentiments in regard of the Faith, considered him a heretic, and opposed his exaltation with all his might (3); he never even would consent to it, till he had from him a sworn promise, and signed, besides, with his own hand, binding him to defend the Council of Chalcedon. All this Anastasius did; but he not only broke his promise afterwards, but endeavoured (4) to destroy all proof of it, by requiring the restoration of the paper he had signed and sworn to, which was kept in the treasury of the Church; for the retention of such a document, he said, was an insult to the Empire, as if the word of a Prince was not worthy of faith by itself. He favoured the heretics, and persecuted the Catholics, especially the Patriarch Euphemius, whom he succeeded in deposing (5). He favoured, above all others, the Eutychians, who principally infested the Church at that time. He could not, however, be called an Eutychian himself; he was rather one of the sect of Existants or Tolerutors, who permitted every religion except the Catholic (6). He died at last, in the year 518, on the 9th of July, and in the ninetieth, or, at all events, the eighty-eighth year of his age, having constantly persecuted the Church during the twenty-seven years he reigned. According to the account of Cyril, Bishop of Scythopolis, in the life of St. Saba, quoted by Orsi and Fleury (7), he had an unhappy end. St. Saba, he says, came to Aila, where St. Elias, Patriarch of Jerusalem, was banished. They used to take their meals together, at the hour of noon every day; but on the 9th of June, the Patriarch did not make his appearance till midnight, and, when he entered, he said, Do you eat, for I will not nor cannot eat any more. He then told St. Saba, that, at that very hour, the Emperor was dead, and that he should follow him before ten days, to meet him at the bar of Divine justice, and, in fact, on the 20th of July, he slept in the Lord, in the eighty-eighth year of his age, having taken
(2) Orsi, n. 68. (3) Evagr l. 3, c. 32; Orsi, t. 16, l. 35, n. 37, con. Theodoret. (4) Orsi, loc. cit. n. 70. (5) Orsi, n. 112. (6) Orsi, t. 19, l. 37, n. 21. (7) Orsi, t. 17, 2, 38, 3. 34 ; Fleury, t. 5, 1. 31, tt. 33.
no food for eight days previously. St. Elias, and St. Flavian, Patriarch of Constantinople, who also died in exile, banished by Anastasius for defending the Council of Chalcedon, are comme. morated in the Roman Martyrology, on the 4th of July (8). The circumstances of the Emperor's death were remarkable: On the night of the 9th and 10th of July a dreadful thunder-storm raged over his palace. Terrified with the frequent flashes of lightning, but much more on account of his sins, he imagined that God was now about to chastise him for his inquities, and he fled wandering from chamber to chamber; he, at last, retired into a private cabinet, and was there found dead, whether from the effects of terror, or struck by lightning, authors are undecided. This was the end of this bad man, after twenty-seven years' persecution of the Church of God. On the day of Anastasius's death, Justin was invested with the Imperial dignity; he was a prince (9) always obsequious to the Apostolic See, and zealous in combating heresies, and establishing unity and peace in the Church. He reigned nine years, and was succreded by Justinian, of whom we shall speak by-and-by, and he was succeeded, in 565, by his nephew, Justin II., who began his reign well, but soon fell into dreadful excesses, though he never lost the Faith, and died, at last, with sentiments of Christian piety (10).
3. The heresies which disturbed the Church in this century were almost all offshoots from the stock of Eutychianism. Those from whom the Catholics suffered most were the Acephali, who were also Eutychians. They were called Monophysites, as they believed only one nature in Christ (11); but as they separated themselves from Mongos, the pretended Bishop of Alexandria, and refused to adhere, either to the Catholic party, or to their bishop, Mongos, they were called Acephali, or Headless. They were not without a chief, withal-one Severus, from the city of Sozopolis, in Pisidia. He was a Pagan in the beginning of his days, and it is thought he never sincerely renounced his errors; he went to Beyroot to study law, and was convicted there of idolatry and magical practices, so, to escape the punishment his infamies deserved, he pretended to einbrace Christianity. He was baptized in Tripoli, in Phenicia (12), but he was not eight days a Christian, when he forsook the Catholic communion, and threw himself into the arms of the party who had separated from Mongos, and he rejected from that out both the Council of Chalcedon and the Henoticon of Zeno. He was a man of corrupt morals, but to gain credit with the monks he professed the monastic life in the monastery of the abbot Nefarius, in Egypt; but he was there discovered to be a heretic and expelled, and he then went to Constantinople, where he some time after found hinself at the head of two hundred monks, and of many other
(8) Orsi, t. 19, 7 42, n 89. (9) Orsi, t. 19, 7. 39, n. 37, in fin. (10) Orsi, 1. 19, 1. 43, n. 67. (11) Orsi, loc cit. n. 68. (12) Orsi, 1. 16, 1. 37, n. 62, cum Evagr. 1. 3, n. 33.
heretics (13), and with them committed many excesses, without regard to either the laws or the judges. Anastasius, who then reigned, desirous of upsetting the Council of Chalcedon, winked at his crimes, and thus, under favour of that impious sovereign, he succeeded in driving out of Constantinople the bishop of the See, Macedonius, and substituting Timothy, treasurer of the city, in his place, who had the hardihood to cause the Trisagion, composed by Peter the Fuller, to favour the Eutychian doctrines, to be publicly sung in the Church (14). Timothy, likewise, through favour of the Emperor, got Severus elected Bishop of Antioch, and Flavian banished (15); and he, on the very day he took possession of his See, anathematized the Council of Chalcedon and the Epistle of St. Leo.
4. The Acephali were split into several sects. The Jacobites are among the most remarkable; these took their naine from a Syrian monk of the name of James, a disciple of Severus. He preached the Eutychian heresy in Armenia and Mesopotamia; and froin that time the Syrian Catholics, who received the Council of Chalcedon, were called Melchites, or Royalists, from the Syrian word Melk, a King, because they followed the religion of the Emperors, that is of the Emperors who received the Council of Chalcedon. The Jacobites professed the error of Eutyches, that Christ suffered in the flesh, and they added other errors to this, especially in Armenia, for there they denied that the Word had taken flesh from the Virgin, but taught that the Word itself was changed into flesh and merely passed through the Virgin; they do not mix water with the wine in the celebration of Mass; celebrate Easter the same time as the Jews; do not venerate the cross until it is baptized the same as a human being; when they make the sign of the cross they do it with one finger alone, to signify that they believe in one nature; they observe singular fasts, and during the Lent they cannot eat eggs or cheese unless on Holy Saturday.
5. The Aynoites or Ignorants were founded by Themistius, a deacon of Alexandria. This Eutychian taught that Christ, being of one nature alone, composed out of, or confounded rather, between the Divinity and humanity, was, even according to the Divinity, ignorant of many things, as he in particular himself alludes to his ignorance of the day of judgment: " But of that day or hour no man knoweth, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father” (Mark, xii. 32); and this ignorance, he said, was just as natural to him as the other inconveniences, hunger, thirst, and pain, which he suffered in this life (16). St. Gregory (17), however, explains the text by saying that Christ did not know it as far as his humanity was concerned, but that he knew it by the union of
(13) Orsi, n. 63. (14) Orsi, n. 71. (15) Orsi, n. 72 (16) Fleury, t. 5, l. 33, ti. 2; Nat. Alex. I. 11, c. 3, a. 3; Gotti, loc. cit. (17) St. Greg. l. 10, Ep. 39, a. 42.
the humanity with the Divinity. God made man, he says, know
, the day and the hour by the power of his Divinity.
6. The chief of the Tritheists was John, a grammarian of Alexandria; he was known by the name of Philoponos the labourer. He objected to the Catholics, that if they recognized two natures in Christ they should admit two persons; but he was answered that nature was one thing and person another: for, if nature and
personality were one and the same thing, we should admit three natures in the Trinity as there are three persons. This reasoning was so convincing to Philoponos that he at once admitted its force, but it led him into a much greater error, for he recognized three distinct natures in the Trinity, and, therefore, admitted three distinct Gods, and hence his followers were called Tritheists (18). He wrote likewise against the resurrection of the flesh (19). With these exceptions he believed in Christianity, and defended it against Proclus of Licia, a Platonic philosopher who attacked it at the time. 7. From this hot-hed of error two other sects sprung up,
the Corruptibilists and the Incorruptibilists. Theodosius, à monk, founded the Corruptibilists, who believed that Christ had a corruptible body. These erred, not because they said that the Word had in Christ taken a corruptible body by its nature, and subject to hunger and thirst and sufferings, but because they asserted that Christ by necessity was subject to these sufferings, in the same manner as all of us were subject to them, so that he should undergo them whether he willed or not (20). The Catholic doctrine is that the Word had in the body of Christ put on the common sufferings of mankind, hunger, weariness, pain, and death, not through necessity, as they are of necessity with us, the punishment of original sin, but of his own free will on account of his unbounded charity which induced him to come “in the likeness of sinful flesh" (Romans, visi. 3), to condemn and punish sin in the flesh. And in the same manner, says St. Thomas (21), our Saviour wished to assume the passions of the mind, sorrow, fear, weariness, not in the same way as they are in us, opposed to reason, for all the motions of the sensitive appetites in Christ were ordered according to reason, and were on that account called in him propassions; for passion in itself, says the angelic doctor, is so called when it rules over reason, but it is propassion when it remains in and does not extend beyond the sensitive appetite.
8. St. Julian of Halicarnassus was the head of the Phantasiasts or Incorruptibilists. These taught that the body of Christ was by its nature incorruptible and free from all passions, so that he suffered neither hunger nor thirst, nor weariness nor pain, but that
(18) Fleury & Nat. Alex. l. cit. Berti, Brev. His. t. 1, s. 6, c. 3. (19) Niceph. 1. 18, c. 47, 48. (20) Gotti, l. cit. c. 76, s. 6, 1. 7. (21) St. Thomas, p. 2. 2. 15, a. 4.
is directly opposed to the words of the Gospel: “When he had fasted........he was hungry” (Matt. iv. 2); “ Fatigued from his journey, he sat down" (John, iv. 6). The Eutychians were favourable to this doctrine, for it corresponded with their own, that there was only one, an impassable, nature in Christ (22). Julian wrote in favour of the Incorruptibilists and Themistius of the Corruptibilists, and they both stirred up such a commotion among the people of Alexandria, that they burned each other's houses, and murdered each other on account of their difference of opinion (23).
9. We should here remark that the Emperor Justinian fell into the error of the Incorruptibilists. Who could have imagined that this prince, who showed himself so zealous against heretics, and, above all, against the Eutychians, should have died, as many suppose he did, a heretic himself, and infected with the pestilential dogmas of Eutyches. Fleury and Orsi (24) both attribute his fall to his overweening desire of meddling by his edicts in matters of Faith which God has committed to the heads of his Church. He had the misfortune to have as a most intimate confidant, Theodore, Bishop of Cesarea, a concealed enemy of the Council of Chalcedon, and a friend of the Acephali, and at his instigation he promulgated
a an edict in the year 564, in which he declared that the body of Christ was incorruptible, so that after it was formed in the Virgin's womb, it was no longer capable of any change or natural passion, no matter how innocent, as hunger and thirst, so that although he ate before his death, he only did so in the same manner as after his Resurrection, without having any necessity of food. If the body of Christ, therefore, was not capable of any natural passion, he suffered nothing in the flesh, neither in life nor death, and his passion was merely an appearance without any reality. Isaias, therefore, uttered a falsehood when he said, “Surely he hath borne our infirmities, and carried our sorrows" (Isaias, liii. 4). So did St. Peter, where he says,
“ Who his own self bore our sins in his body upon the tree” (1 Peter, ü. 24). Even Christ himself stated what was false when he said, “ My soul is sorrowful unto death" (Matt. xxvi. 38); and then exclaiming on the cross, “ My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" (Matt. xxvii. 46). All this would be false if Christ was insensible to internal and external sufferings. O ingratitude of mankind. Christ died of pain on a cross for the love of man, and men say that he suffered nothing in reality, only in appearance. Justinian required that this doctrine should be approved of by all the bishops, and he was particularly anxious to induce six learned African bishops to give it their approbation, but they resisted, and were accordingly separated, and shut up in six different churches in Constantinople (25). St.
(22) Gotti, I. cit. ex Liberat. in Brev. c. 20. (23) Gotti, ibid. (24 Fleury, 1, 5, 1. 31, n. 8, cum Evagr. I. 4, n. 30; Orsi, t. 19, l. 42, n. 78. (25) Fleury, l. cit.