Comp. in part the literature in vol. i. § 105 and 110 (to which should be added now, P. A. de Lagarde: Constitutiones Apostolorum, Lips. and Lond., 1862); also Gibbon, ch. xx.; Milman: Hist. of Ancient Christianity, book iv. c. 1 (Amer. ed. p. 438 sqq.), and the corresponding sections in Bingham, Schroeckh, Plank, Neander, Gieseler, Baur, etc. (see the particular literature below).


 § 48. Schools of the Clergy.


Having in a former section observed the elevation of the church to the position of the state religion of the Roman empire, and the influence of this great change upon the condition of the clergy and upon public morality, we turn now to the internal organization and the development of the hierarchy under its new circumstances. The step of progress which we here find distinguishing the organization of this third period from the episcopal system of the second and the apostolic supervision of the first, is the rise of the patriarchal constitution and of the system of ecumenical councils closely connected with it. But we must first glance at the character and influence of the teaching order in general.

The work of preparation for the clerical office was, on the one hand, materially facilitated by the union of the church with the state, putting her in possession of the treasures, the schools, the learning, and the literature of classic heathendom, and throwing the education of the rising generation into her hands. The numerous doctrinal controversies kept the spirit of investigation awake, and among the fathers and bishops of the fourth and fifth centuries we meet with the greatest theologians of the ancient church. These gave their weighty voices for the great value of a thorough education to the clerical office, and imparted much wholesome instruction respecting the studies proper to this purpose.409  The African church, by a decree of the council of Carthage, in 397, required of candidates a trial of their knowledge and orthodoxy. A law of Justinian, of the year 541, established a similar test in the East.

But on the other hand, a regular and general system of clerical education was still entirely wanting. The steady decay of the classic literature, the gradual cessation of philosophical and artistic production, the growth of monastic prejudice against secular learning and culture, the great want of ministers in the suddenly expanded field of the church, the uneasy state of the empire, and the barbarian invasions, were so many hinderances to thorough theological preparation. Many candidates trusted to the magical virtue of ordination. Others, without inward call, were attracted to the holy office by the wealth and power of the church. Others had no time or opportunity for preparation, and passed, at the instance of the popular voice or of circumstances, immediately from the service of the state to that of the church, even to the episcopal office; though several councils prescribed a previous test of their capacity in the lower degrees of reader, deacon, and presbyter. Often, however, this irregularity turned to the advantage of the church, and gave her a highly gifted man, like Ambrose, whom the acclamation of the people called to the episcopal see of Milan even before he was baptized. Gregory Nazianzen laments that many priests and bishops came in fresh from the counting house, sunburnt from the plow, from the oar, from the army, or even from the theatre, so that the most holy order of all was in danger of becoming the most ridiculous. "Only he can be a physician," says he, "who knows the nature of diseases; he, a painter, who has gone through much practice in mixing colors and in drawing forms; but a clergyman may be found with perfect ease, not thoroughly wrought, of course, but fresh made, sown and full blown in a moment, as the legend says of the giants.410  We form the saints in a day, and enjoin them to be wise, though they possess no wisdom at all, and bring nothing to their spiritual office, except at best a good will."411  If such complaints were raised so early as the end of the Nicene age, while the theological activity of the Greek church was in its bloom, there was far more reason for them after the middle of the fifth century and in the sixth, especially in the Latin church, where, even among the most eminent clergymen, a knowledge of the original languages of the Holy Scriptures was a rare exception.

The opportunities which this period offered for literary and theological preparation for the ministry, were the following:

1. The East had four or five theological schools, which, however, were far from supplying its wants.

The oldest and most celebrated was the catechetical school of Alexandria. Favored by the great literary treasures, the extensive commercial relations, and the ecclesiastical importance of the Egyptian metropolis, as well as by a succession of distinguished teachers, it flourished from the middle of the second century to the end of the fourth, when, amidst the Origenistic, Nestorian, and Monophysite confusion, it withered and died. Its last ornament was the blind, but learned and pious Didymus (340–395).

From the Alexandrian school proceeded the smaller institution of Caesarea in Palestine, which was founded by Origen, after his banishment from Alexandria, and received a new but temporary impulse in the beginning of the fourth century from his admirer, the presbyter Pamphilus, and from his friend Eusebius. It possessed the theological library which Eusebius used in the preparation of his learned works.

Far more important was the theological school of Antioch, founded about 290 by the presbyters Dorotheus and Lucian. It developed in the course of the fourth century a severe grammatico-historical exegesis, counter to the Origenistic allegorical method of the Alexandrians; now in connection with the church doctrine, as in Chrysostom; now in a rationalizing spirit, as in Theodore of Mopsuestia and Nestorius.

The seminary at Edessa, a daughter of the Antiochian school, was started by the learned deacon, Ephraim Syrus († 378), furnished ministers for Mesopotamia and Persia, and stood for about a hundred years.

The Nestorians, at the close of the fifth century, founded a seminary at Nisibis in Mesopotamia, which was organized into several classes and based upon a definite plan of instruction.

The West had no such institutions for theological instruction, but supplied itself chiefly from cloisters and private schools of the bishops. Cassiodorus endeavored to engage Pope Agapetus in founding a learned institution in Rome, but was discouraged by the warlike disquietude of Italy. Jerome spent some time at the Alexandrian school under the direction of Didymus.

2. Many priests and bishops, as we have already observed, emanated from the monasteries, where they enjoyed the advantages of retirement from the world, undisturbed meditation, the intercourse of kindred earnest minds, and a large spiritual experience; but, on the other hand, easily sank into a monkish narrowness, and rarely attained that social culture and comprehensive knowledge of the world and of men, which is necessary, especially in large cities, for a wide field of labor.

3. In the West there were smaller diocesan seminaries, under the direction of the bishops, who trained their own clergy, both in theory and in practice, as they passed through the subordinate classes of reader, sub-deacon, and deacon.

Augustine set a good example of this sort, having at Hippo a "monasterium clericorum," which sent forth many good presbyters and bishops for the various dioceses of North Africa. Similar clerical monasteries or episcopal seminaries arose gradually in the southern countries of Europe, and are very common in the Roman Catholic church to this day.

4. Several of the most learned and able fathers of the fourth century received their general scientific education in heathen schools, under the setting sun of the classic culture, and then studied theology either in ascetic retirement or under some distinguished church teacher, or by the private reading of the Scriptures and the earlier church literature.

Thus Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianzen were in the high school of Athens at the same time with the prince Julian the Apostate; Chrysostom attended the lectures of the celebrated rhetorician Libanius in Antioch; Augustine studied at Carthage, Rome, and Milan; and Jerome was introduced to the study of the classics by the grammarian Donatus of Rome. The great and invaluable service of these fathers in the development and defence of the church doctrine, in pulpit eloquence, and especially in the translation and exposition of the Holy Scriptures, is the best evidence of the high value of a classical education. And the church has always, with good reason, acknowledged it.


 § 49. Clergy and Laity. Elections.


The clergy, according to the precedent of the Old Testament, came to be more and more rigidly distinguished, as a peculiar order, from the body of the laity. The ordination, which was solemnized by the laying on of hands and prayer, with the addition at a later period of an anointing with oil and balsam, marked the formal entrance into the special priesthood, as baptism initiated into the universal priesthood; and, like baptism, it bore an indefeasible character (character indelebilis). By degrees the priestly office assumed the additional distinction of celibacy and of external marks, such as tonsure, and sacerdotal vestments worn at first only during official service, then in every-day life. The idea of the universal priesthood of believers retreated in proportion, though it never passed entirely out of sight, but was from time to time asserted even in this age. Augustine, for example, says, that as all are called Christians on account of their baptism, so all believers are priests, because they are members of the one High Priest.412

The progress of the hierarchical principle also encroached gradually upon the rights of the people in the election of their pastors.413  But in this period it did not as yet entirely suppress them. The lower clergy were chosen by the bishops, the bishops by their colleagues in the province and by the clergy. The fourth canon of Nice, probably at the instance of the Meletian schism, directed that a bishop should be instituted and consecrated by all, or at least by three, of the bishops of the province. This was not aimed, however, against the rights of the people, but against elec-tion by only one bishop—the act of Meletius. For the con-sent of the people in the choice of presbyters, and especially of bishops, long remained, at least in outward form, in memory of the custom of the apostles and the primitive church. There was either a formal vote,414 particularly when there were three or more candidates before the people, or the people were thrice required to signify their confirmation or rejection by the formula: "Worthy," or "unworthy."415  The influence of the people in this period appears most prominently in the election of bishops. The Roman bishop Leo, in spite of his papal absolutism, asserted the thoroughly democratic principle, long since abandoned by his successors: "He who is to preside over all, should be elected by all."416  Oftentimes the popular will decided before the provincial bishops and the clergy assembled and the regular election could be held. Ambrose of Milan and Nectarius of Constantinople were appointed to the bishopric even before they were baptized; the former by the people, the latter by the emperor Theodosius; though in palpable violation of the eightieth apostolic canon and the second Nicene.417  Martin of Tours owed his elevation likewise to the popular voice, while some bishops objected to it on account of his small and wasted form.418  Chrysostom was called from Antioch to Constantinople by the emperor Arcadius, in consequence of a unanimous vote of the clergy and people.419  Sometimes the people acted under outside considerations and the management of demagogues, and demanded unworthy or ignorant men for the highest offices. Thus there were frequent disturbances and collisions, and even bloody conflicts, as in the election of Damasus in Rome. In short, all the selfish passions and corrupting influences, which had spoiled the freedom of the popular political elections in the Grecian and Roman republics, and which appear also in the republics of modern times, intruded upon the elections of the church. And the clergy likewise often suffered themselves to be guided by impure motives. Chrysostom laments that presbyters, in the choice of a bishop, instead of looking only at spiritual fitness, were led by regard for noble birth, or great wealth, or consanguinity and friendship.420  The bishops themselves sometimes did no better. Nectarius, who was suddenly transferred, in 381, by the emperor Theodosius, from the praetorship to the bishopric of Constantinople, even before he was baptized,421 wished to ordain his physician Martyrius deacon, and when the latter refused, on the ground of incapacity, he replied: "Did not I, who am now a priest, formerly live much more immorally than thou, as thou thyself well knowest, since thou wast often an accomplice of my many iniquities?"  Martyrius, however, persisted in his refusal, because he had continued to live in sin long after his baptism, while Nectarius had become a new man since his.422

The emperor also, after the middle of the fourth century, exercised a decisive influence in the election of metropolitans and patriarchs, and often abused it in a despotic and arbitrary way.

Thus every mode of appointment was evidently exposed to abuse, and could furnish no security against unworthy candidates, if the electors, whoever they might be, were destitute of moral earnestness and the gift of spiritual discernment.

Toward the end of the period before us the republican element in the election of bishops entirely disappeared. The Greek church after the eighth century vested the franchise exclusively in the bishops.423  The Latin church, after the eleventh century, vested it in the clergy of the cathedral church, without allowing any participation to the people. But in the West, especially in Spain and France, instead of the people, the temporal prince exerted an important influence, in spite of the frequent protest of the church.

Even the election of pope, after the downfall of the West Roman empire, came largely under control of the secular authorities of Rome; first, of the Ostrogothic kings; then, of the exarchs of Ravenna in the name of the Byzantine emperor; and, after Charlemagne, of the emperor of Germany; till, in 1059, through the influence of Hildebrand (afterward Gregory VII.), it was lodged exclusively with the college of cardinals, which was filled by the pope himself. Yet the papal absolutism of the middle age, like the modern Napoleonic military despotism in the state, found it well, under favorable prospects, to enlist the democratic principle for the advancement of its own interests.


 § 50. Marriage and Celibacy of the Clergy.


The progress and influence of monasticism, the general exaltation of the ascetic life above the social, and of celibacy above the married state, together with the increasing sharpness of the distinction between clergy and laity, all tended powerfully toward the celibacy of the clergy. What the apostle Paul, expressly discriminating a divine command from a human counsel, left to each one’s choice, and advised, in view of the oppressed condition of the Christians in the apostolic age, as a safer and less anxious state only for those who felt called to it by a special gift of grace, now, though the stress of circumstances was past, was made, at least in the Latin church, an inexorable law. What had been a voluntary, and therefore an honorable exception, now became the rule, and the former rule became the exception. Connubial intercourse appeared incompatible with the dignity and purity of the priestly office and of priestly functions, especially with the service of the altar. The clergy, as the model order, could not remain below the moral ideal of monasticism, extolled by all the fathers of the church, and must exhibit the same unconditional and undivided devotion to the church within the bosom of society, which monasticism exhibited without it. While placed by their calling in unavoidable contact with the world, they must vie with the monks at least in the virtue of sexual purity, and thereby increase their influence over the people. Moreover, the celibate life secured to the clergy greater independence toward the state and civil society, and thus favored the interests of the hierarchy. But, on the other hand, it estranged them more and more from the sympathies and domestic relations of the people, and tempted them to the illicit indulgence of appetite, which, perhaps, did more injury to the cause of Christian morality and to the true influence of the clergy, than the advantage of forced celibacy could compensate.

In the practice of clerical celibacy, however, the Greek and the Latin churches diverged in the fourth century, and are to this day divided. The Greek church stopped halfway, and limited the injunction of celibacy to the higher clergy, who were accordingly chosen generally from the monasteries or from the ranks of widower-presbyters; while the Latin church extended the law to the lower clergy, and at the same time carried forward the hierarchical principle to absolute papacy. The Greek church differs from the Latin, not by any higher standard of marriage, but only by a closer adherence to earlier usage and by less consistent application of the ascetic principle. It is in theory as remote from the evangelical Protestant church as the Latin is, and approaches it only in practice. It sets virginity far above marriage, and regards marriage only in its aspect of negative utility. In the single marriage of a priest it sees in a measure a necessary evil, at best only a conditional good, a wholesome concession to the flesh for the prevention of immorality,424 and requires of its highest office bearers total abstinence from all matrimonial intercourse. It wavers, therefore, between a partial permission and a partial condemnation of priestly marriage.

In the East, one marriage was always allowed to the clergy, and at first even to bishops, and celibacy was left optional. Yet certain restrictions were early introduced, such as the prohibition of marriage after ordination (except in deacons and subdeacons), as well as of second marriage after baptism; the apostolic direction, that a bishop should be the husband of one wife,425 being taken as a prohibition of successive polygamy, and at the same time as an allowance of one marriage. Besides second marriage, the marrying of a concubine, a widow, a harlot, a slave, and an actress, was forbidden to the clergy. With these restrictions, the "Apostolic Constitutions" and "Canons" expressly permitted the marriage of priests contracted before ordination, and the continuance of it after ordination.426  The synod of Ancyra, in 314, permitted deacons to marry even after ordination, in case they had made a condition to that effect beforehand; otherwise they were to remain single or lose their office.427  The Synod of New Caesarea, which was held at about the same time, certainly before 325, does not go beyond this, decreeing: "If a presbyter (not a deacon) marry (that is, after ordination), he shall be expelled from the clergy; and if he practise lewdness, or become an adulterer, he shall be utterly thrust out and held to penance."428  At the general council of Nice, 325, it was proposed indeed, probably by the Western bishop Hosius,429 to forbid entirely the marriage of priests; but the motion met with strong opposition, and was rejected. A venerable Egyptian bishop, Paphnutius, though himself a strict ascetic from his youth up, and a confessor who in the last persecution had lost an eye and been crippled in the knee, asserted with impressiveness and success, that too great rigor would injure the church and promote licentiousness and that marriage and connubial intercourse were honorable and spotless things.430  The council of Gangra in Paphlagonia (according to some, not till the year 380) condemned, among several ascetic extravagances of the bishop Eustathius of Sebaste and his followers, contempt for married priests and refusal to take part in their ministry.431  The so-called Apostolic Canons, which, like the Constitutions, arose by a gradual growth in the East, even forbid the clergy, on pain of deposition and excommunication, to put away their wives under the pretext of religion.432  Perhaps this canon likewise was occasioned by the hyper-asceticism of Eustathius.

Accordingly we not unfrequently find in the Oriental church, so late as the fourth and fifth centuries, not only priests, but even bishops living in wedlock. One example is the father of the celebrated Gregory Nazianzen, who while bishop had two sons, Gregory and the younger Caesarius, and a daughter. Others are Gregory of Nyssa, who, however, wrote an enthusiastic eulogy of the unmarried life, and lamented his loss of the crown of virginity; and Synesius († about 430), who, when elected bishop of Ptolemais in Pentapolis, expressly stipulated for the continuance of his marriage connection.433  Socrates, whose Church History reaches down to the year 439, says of the practice of his time, that in Thessalia matrimonial intercourse after ordination had been forbidden under penalty of deposition from the time of Heliodorus of Trica, who in his youth had been an amatory writer; but that in the East the clergy and bishops voluntarily abstained from intercourse with their wives, without being required by any law to do so; for many, he adds, have had children during their episcopate by their lawful wives.434  There were Greek divines, however, like Epiphanius, who agreed with the Roman theory. Justinian I. was utterly opposed to the marriage of priests, declared the children of such connection illegitimate, and forbade the election of a married man to the episcopal office (a.d. 528). Nevertheless, down to the end of the seventh century, many bishops in Africa, Libya, and elsewhere, continued to live in the married state, as is expressly said in the twelfth canon of the Trullan council; but this gave offence and was forbidden. From that time the marriage of bishops gradually disappears, while marriage among the lower clergy continues to be the rule.

This Trullan council, which was the sixth ecumenical435 (a.d. 692), closes the legislation of the Eastern church on the subject of clerical marriage. Here—to anticipate somewhat—the continuance of a first marriage contracted before ordination was prohibited in the case of bishops on pain of deposition, but, in accordance with the Apostolic Constitutions and Canons, allowed in the case of presbyters and deacons (contrary to the Roman practice), with the Old Testament restriction, that they abstain from sexual intercourse during the season of official service, because he who administers holy things must be pure.436  The same relation is thus condemned in the one case as immoral, in the other approved and encouraged as moral; the bishop is deposed if he retains his lawful wife and does not, immediately after being ordained, send her to a distant cloister; while the presbyter or deacon is threatened with deposition and even excommunication for doing the opposite and putting his wife away.

The Western church, starting from the perverted and almost Manichaean ascetic principle, that the married state is incompatible with clerical dignity and holiness, instituted a vigorous effort at the end of the fourth century, to make celibacy, which had hitherto been left to the option of individuals, the universal law of the priesthood; thus placing itself in direct contradiction to the Levitical law, to which in other respects it made so much account of conforming. The law, however, though repeatedly enacted, could not for a long time be consistently enforced. The canon, already mentioned, of the Spanish council of Elvira in 305, was only provincial. The first prohibition of clerical marriage, which laid claim to universal ecclesiastical authority, at least in the West, proceeded in 385 from the Roman church in the form of a decretal letter of the bishop Siricius to Himerius, bishop of Tarragona in Spain, who had referred several questions of discipline to the Roman bishop for decision. It is significant of the connection between the celibacy of the clergy and the interest of the hierarchy, that the first properly papal decree, which was issued in the tone of supreme authority, imposed such an unscriptural, unnatural, and morally dangerous restriction. Siricius contested the appeal of dissenting parties to the Mosaic law, on the ground that the Christian priesthood has to stand not merely for a time, but perpetually, in the service of the sanctuary, and that it is not hereditary, like the Jewish; and he ordained that second marriage and marriage with a widow should incapacitate for ordination, and that continuance in the married state after ordination should be punished with deposition.437  And with this punishment he threatened not bishops only, but also presbyters and deacons. Leo the Great subsequently, extended the requirement of celibacy even to the subdiaconate. The most eminent Latin church fathers, Ambrose, Jerome, and even Augustine—though the last with more moderation—advocated the celibacy of priests. Augustine, with Eusebius of Vercella before him (370), united their clergy in a cloister life, and gave them a monastic stamp; and Martin of Tours, who was a monk from the first, carried his monastic life into his episcopal office. The councils of Italy, Africa, Spain, and Gaul followed the lead of Rome. The synod of Clermont, for example (a.d. 535), declared in its twelfth canon: "No one ordained deacon or priest may continue matrimonial intercourse. He is become the brother of her who was his wife. But since some, inflamed with lust, have rejected the girdle of the warfare [of Christ], and returned to marriage intercourse, it is ordered that such must lose their office forever."  Other councils, like that of Tours, 461, were content with forbidding clergymen, who begat children after ordination, to administer the sacrifice of the mass, and with confining the law of celibacy ad altiorem gradum.438

But the very fact of the frequent repetition of these enactments, and the necessity of mitigating the penalties of transgression, show the great difficulty of carrying this unnatural restriction into general effect. In the British and Irish church, isolated as it was from the Roman, the marriage of priests continued to prevail down to the Anglo-Saxon period.

But with the disappearance of legitimate marriage in the priesthood, the already prevalent vice of the cohabitation of unmarried ecclesiastics with pious widows and virgins "secretly brought in,"439 became more and more common. This spiritual marriage, which had begun as a bold ascetic venture, ended only too often in the flesh, and prostituted the honor of the church.

The Nicene council of 325 met the abuse in its third canon with this decree: "The great council utterly forbids, and it shall not be allowed either to a bishop, or a priest, or a deacon, or any other clergyman, to have with him a sunqeivsakto", unless she be his mother, or sister, or aunt, or some such person, who is beyond all suspicion."440  This canon forms the basis of the whole subsequent legislation of the church de cohabitatione clericorum et mulierum. It had to be repeatedly renewed and strengthened; showing plainly that it was often disobeyed. The council of Toledo in Spain, a.d. 527 or 531, ordered in its third canon: "No clergyman, from the subdeacon upward, shall live with a female, be she free woman, freed woman, or slave. Only a mother, or a sister, or other near relative shall keep his house. If he have no near relative, his housekeeper must live in a separate house, and shall under no pretext enter his dwelling. Whosoever acts contrary to this, shall not only be deprived of his spiritual office and have the doors of his church closed, but shall also be excluded from all fellowship of Catholics."  The Concilium Agathense in South Gaul, a.d. 506, at which thirty-five bishops met, decreed in the tenth and eleventh canons: "A clergyman shall neither visit nor receive into his house females not of his kin; only with his mother, or sister, or daughter, or niece may he live. Female slaves, also, and freed women, must be kept away from the house of a clergyman."  Similar laws, with penalties more or less severe, were passed by the council of Hippo, 393, of Angers, 453, of Tours, 461, of Lerida in Spain, 524, of Clermont, 535, of Braga, 563, of Orleans, 538, of Tours, 567.441  The emperor Justinian, in the twenty-third Novelle, prohibited the bishop having any woman at all in his house, but the Trullan council of 692 returned simply to the Nicene law.442  The Western councils also made attempts to abolish the exceptions allowed in the Nicene canon, and forbade clergymen all intercourse with women, except in presence of a companion.

This rigorism, however, which sheds an unwelcome light upon the actual state of things that made it necessary, did not better the matter, but rather led to such a moral apathy, that the Latin church in the middle age had everywhere to contend with the open concubinage of the clergy, and the whole energy of Gregory VII. was needed to restore in a measure the old laws of celibacy, without being sufficient to prevent the secret and, to morality, far more dangerous violations of it.443  The later ecclesiastical legislation respecting the mulieres subintroductae is more lenient, and, without limiting the intercourse of clergymen to near kindred, generally excludes only concubines and those women "de quibus possit haberi suspicio."444


 § 51. Moral Character of the Clergy in general.


Augustine gives us the key to the true view of the clergy of the Roman empire in both light and shade, when he says of the spiritual office: "There is in this life, and especially in this day, nothing easier, more delightful, more acceptable to men, than the office of bishop, or presbyter, or deacon, if the charge be administered superficially and to the pleasure of men; but nothing in the eye of God more wretched, mournful, and damnable. So also there is in this life, and especially in this day, nothing more difficult, more laborious) more hazardous than the office of bishop, or presbyter, or deacon; but nothing in the eye of God more blessed, if the battle be fought in the manner enjoined by our Captain."445  We cannot wonder, on the one hand that, in the better condition of the church and the enlarged field of her labor, a multitude of light-minded and unworthy men crowded into the sacred office, and on the other, that just the most earnest and worthy bishops of the day, an Ambrose, an Augustine, a Gregory Nazianzen, and a Chrysostom, trembled before the responsibility of the office, and had to be forced into it in a measure against their will, by the call of the church.

Gregory Nazianzen fled into the wilderness when his father, without his knowledge, suddenly consecrated him priest in the presence of the congregation (361). He afterward vindicated this flight in his beautiful apology, in which he depicts the ideal of a Christian priest and theologian. The priest must, above all, he says, be a model of a Christian, offer himself a holy sacrifice to God, and be a living temple of the living God. Then he must possess a deep knowledge, of souls, and, as a spiritual physician, heal all classes of men of various diseases of sin, restore, preserve, and protect the divine image in them, bring Christ into their hearts by the Holy Ghost, and make them partakers of the divine nature and of eternal salvation. He must, moreover, have at command the sacred philosophy or divine science of the world and of the worlds, of matter and spirit, of good and evil angels, of the all-ruling Providence, of our creation and regeneration, of the divine covenants, of the first and second appearing of Christ, of his incarnation, passion, and resurrection, of the end of all things and the universal judgment, and above all, of the mystery of the blessed Trinity; and he must be able to teach and elucidate these doctrines of faith in popular discourse. Gregory, sets forth Jesus as the perfect type of the priest, and next to him he presents in an eloquent picture the apostle Paul, who lived only for Christ, and under all circumstances and amid all trials by sea and land, among Jews and heathen, in hunger and thirst, in cold and nakedness, in freedom and bonds, attested the divine power of the gospel for the salvation of the world. This ideal, however, Gregory found but seldom realized. He gives on the whole a very unfavorable account of the bishops, and even of the most celebrated councils of his day, charging them with ignorance unworthy means of promotion, ambition, flattery, pride, luxury, and worldly mindedness. He says even: "Our danger now is, that the holiest of all offices will become the most ridiculous; for the highest clerical places are gained not so much by virtue, as by iniquity; no longer the most worthy, but the most powerful, take the episcopal chair."446  Though his descriptions, especially in the satirical poem "to himself and on the bishops," composed probably after his resignation in Constantinople (a.d. 381), may be in many points exaggerated, yet they were in general drawn from life and from experience.447

Jerome also, in his epistles, unsparingly attacks the clergy of his time, especially the Roman, accusing them of avarice and legacy hunting, and drawing a sarcastic picture of a clerical fop, who, with his fine scented clothes, was more like a bridegroom than a clergyman.448  Of the rural clergy’, however, the heathen Ammianus Marcellinus bears a testimony, which is certainly reliable, to their simplicity, contentment, and virtue.449

Chrysostom, in his celebrated treatise on the priesthood,450 written probably, before his ordination (somewhere between the years 375 and 381), or while he was deacon (between 381 and 386), portrayed the theoretical and practical qualifications, the exalted duties, responsibilities, and honors of this office, with youthful enthusiasm, in the best spirit of his age. He requires of the priest, that he be in every respect better than the monk, though, standing in the world, he have greater dangers and difficulties to contend with.451  He sets up as the highest object of the preacher, the great principle stated by, Paul, that in all his discourses he should seek to please God alone, not men. "He must not indeed despise the approving demonstrations of men; but as little must he court them, nor trouble himself when his hearers withhold them. True and imperturbable comfort in his labors he finds only in the consciousness of having his discourse framed and wrought out to the approval of God."452  Nevertheless the book as a whole is unsatisfactory. A comparison of it with the "Reformed Pastor" of Baxter, which is far deeper and richer in all that pertains to subjective experimental Christianity and the proper care of souls, would result emphatically in favor of the English Protestant church of the seventeenth century.453

We must here particularly notice a point which reflects great discredit on the moral sense of many of the fathers, and shows that they had not wholly freed themselves from the chains of heathen ethics. The occasion of this work of Chrysostom was a ruse, by which he had evaded election to the bishopric, and thrust it upon his friend Basil.454  To justify this conduct, he endeavors at large, in the fifth chapter of the first book, to prove that artifice might be lawful and useful; that is, when used as a means to a good end. "Manifold is the potency of deception, only it must not be employed with knavish intent. And this should be hardly called deception, but rather a sort of accommodation (oijkonomiva), wisdom, art, or sagacity, by which one can find many ways of escape in an exigency, and amend the errors of the soul."  He appeals to biblical examples, like Jonathan and the daughter of Saul, who by deceiving their father rescued their friend and husband; and, unwarrantably, even to Paul, who became to the Jews a Jew, to the Gentiles a Gentile, and circumcised Timothy, though in the Epistle to the Galatians he pronounced circumcision useless. Chrysostom, however, had evidently learned this, loose and pernicious principle respecting the obligation of truthfulness, not from the Holy Scriptures, but from the Grecian sophists.455  Besides, he by no means stood alone in the church in this matter, but had his predecessors in the Alexandrian fathers,456 and his followers in Cassian, Jerome, and other eminent Catholic divines.

Jerome made a doubtful distinction between gumnastikw'" scribere and dogmatikw'" scribere, and, with Origen, explained the severe censure of Paul on Peter in Antioch, for example, as a mere stroke of pastoral policy, or an accommodation to the weakness of the Jewish Christians at the expense of truth.457  But Augustine’s delicate Christian sense of truth revolted at this construction, and replied that such an interpretation undermined the whole authority of Holy Scripture; that an apostle could never lie, even for a good object; that, in extremity, one should rather suppose a false reading, or wrong translation, or suspect his own apprehension; but that in Antioch Paul spoke the truth and justly censured Peter openly for his inconsistency, or for a practical (not a theoretical) error, and thus deserves the praise of righteous boldness, as Peter on the other hand, by his meek submission to the censure, merits the praise of holy humility.458

Thus in Jerome and Augustine we have the representatives of two opposite ethical views: one, unduly subjective, judging all moral acts merely by their motive and object, and sanctioning, for example, tyrannicide, or suicide to escape disgrace, or breach of faith with heretics (as the later Jesuitical casuistry does with the utmost profusion of sophistical subtlety); the other, objective, proceeding on eternal, immutable principles and the irreconcilable opposition of good and evil, and freely enough making prudence subservient to truth, but never truth subservient to prudence.

Meantime, in the Greek church also, as early as the fourth century, the Augustinian view here and there made its way; and Basil the Great, in his shorter monastic Rule,459 rejected even accommodation (oijkonomiva) for a good end, because Christ ascribes the lie, without distinction of kinds, exclusively to Satan.460  In this respect, therefore, Chrysostom did not stand at the head of his age, but represented without doubt the prevailing view of the Eastern church.

The legislation of the councils with reference to the clergy, shows in general the earnestness and rigor with which the church guarded the moral purity and dignity of her servants. The canonical age was, on the average, after the analogy of the Old Testament, the five-and-twentieth year for the diaconate, the thirtieth for the priesthood and episcopate. Catechumens, neophytes, persons baptized at the point of death, penitents, energumens (such as were possessed of a devil), actors, dancers, soldiers, curials (court, state, and municipal officials),461 slaves, eunuchs, bigamists, and all who led a scandalous life after baptism, were debarred from ordination. The frequenting of taverns and theatres, dancing and gambling, usury and the pursuit of secular business were forbidden to clergymen. But on the other hand, the frequent repetition of warnings against even the lowest and most common sins, such as licentiousness, drunkenness, fighting, and buffoonery, and the threatening of corporal punishment for certain misdemeanors, yield an unfavorable conclusion in regard to the moral standing of the sacred order.462  Even at the councils the clerical dignity was not seldom desecrated by outbreaks of coarse passion; insomuch that the council of Ephesus, in 449, is notorious as the "council of robbers."

In looking at this picture, however, we must not forget that in this, period of the sinking empire of Rome the task of the clergy was exceedingly difficult, and amidst the nominal conversion of the whole population of the empire, their number and education could not keep pace with the sudden and extraordinary expansion of their field of labor. After all, the clerical office was the great repository of intellectual and moral force for the world. It stayed the flood of corruption; rebuked the vices of the times; fearlessly opposed tyrannical cruelty; founded institutions of charity and public benefit; prolonged the existence of the Roman empire; rescued the literary treasures of antiquity; carried the gospel to the barbarians, and undertook to educate and civilize their rude and vigorous hordes. Out of the mass of mediocrities tower the great church teachers of the fourth and fifth centuries, combining all the learning, the talent, and the piety of the time, and through their immortal writings mightily moulding the succeeding ages of the world.


 § 52. The Lower Clergy.

As the authority and influence of the bishops, after the accession of Constantine, increased, the lower clergy became more and more dependent upon them. The episcopate and the presbyterate were now rigidly distinguished. And yet the memory of their primitive identity lingered. Jerome, at the end of the fourth century, reminds the bishops that they owe their elevation above the presbyters, not so much to Divine institution as to ecclesiastical usage; for before the outbreak of controversies in the church there was no distinction between the two, except that presbyter is a term of age, and bishop a term of official dignity; but when men, at the instigation of Satan, erected parties and sects, and, instead of simply following Christ, named themselves of Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, all agreed to put one of the presbyters at the head of the rest, that by his universal supervision of the churches, he might kill the seeds of division.463  The great commentators of the Greek church agree with Jerome in maintaining the original identity of bishops and presbyters in the New Testament.464

In the episcopal or cathedral churches the Presbyters still formed the council of the bishop. In town and country congregations, where no bishop officiated, they were more independent. Preaching, administration of the sacraments, and care of souls were their functions. In. North Africa they were for a long time not allowed to preach in the presence of the bishop; until Augustine was relieved by his bishop of this restriction. The seniores plebis in the African church of the fourth and fifth centuries were not clergymen, but civil personages and other prominent members of the congregation.465

In the fourth century arose the office of archpresbyter, whose duty it was to preside over the worship, and sometimes to take the place of the bishop in his absence or incapacity.

The Deacons, also called Levites, retained the same functions which they had held in the preceding period. In the West, they alone, not the lectors, were allowed to read in public worship the lessons from the Gospels; which, containing the words of the Lord, were placed above the Epistles, or the words of the apostles. They were also permitted to baptize and to preach. After the pattern of the church in Jerusalem, the number of deacons, even in large congregations, was limited to seven; though not rigidly, for the cathedral of Constantinople had, under Justinian I., besides sixty presbyters, a hundred deacons, forty deaconesses, ninety subdeacons, a hundred and ten lectors, twenty-five precentors, and a hundred janitors—a total of five hundred and twenty-five officers. Though subordinate to the presbyters, the deacons frequently stood in close relations with the bishop, and exerted a greater influence. Hence they not rarely looked upon ordination to the presbyterate as a degradation. After the beginning of the fourth century an archdeacon stood at the head of the college, the most confidential adviser of the bishop, his representative and legate, and not seldom his successor in office. Thus Athanasius first appears as archdeacon of Alexandria at the council of Nice, clothed with important influence; and upon the death of the latter he succeeds to the patriarchal chair of Alexandria.

The office of Deaconess, which, under the strict separation of the sexes in ancient times, and especially in Greece, was necessary to the completion of the diaconate, and which originated in the apostolic age,466 continued in the Eastern church down to the twelfth century. It was frequently occupied by the widows of clergymen or the wives of bishops, who were obliged to demit the married state before entering upon their sacred office. Its functions were the care of the female poor, sick, and imprisoned, assisting in the baptism of adult women, and, in the country churches of the East, perhaps also of the West, the preparation of women for baptism by private instruction.467  Formerly, from regard to the apostolic precept in 1 Tim. v. 9, the deaconesses were required to be sixty years of age.468  The general council of Chalcedon, however, in 451, reduced the canonical age to forty years, and in the fifteenth canon ordered: "No female shall be consecrated deaconess before she is forty years old, and not then without careful probation. If, however, after having received consecration, and having been some time in the service, she marry, despising the grace of God, she with her husband shall be anathematized."  The usual ordination prayer in the consecration of deaconesses, according to the Apostolic Constitutions, runs thus: "Eternal God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Creator of man and woman, who didst fill Miriam and Deborah and Hannah and Huldah with the Spirit, and didst not disdain to suffer thine only-begotten Son to be born of a woman; who also in the tabernacle and the temple didst appoint women keepers of thine holy gates: look down now upon this thine handmaid, who is designated to the office of deacon, and grant her the Holy Ghost, and cleanse her from all filthiness of the flesh and of the spirit, that she may worthily execute the work intrusted to her, to thine honor and to the praise of thine Anointed; to whom with thee and the Holy Ghost be honor and adoration forever. Amen."469

The noblest type of an apostolic deaconess, which has come down to us from this period, is Olympias, the friend of Chrysostom, and the recipient of seventeen beautiful epistles from him.470  She sprang from a respectable heathen family, but received a Christian education; was beautiful and wealthy; married in her seventeenth year (a.d. 384) the prefect of Constantinople, Nebridius; but in twenty months after was left a widow, and remained so in spite of the efforts of the emperor Theodosius to unite her with one of his own kindred. She became a deaconess; lived in rigid asceticism; devoted her goods to the poor; and found her greatest pleasure in doing good. When Chrysostom came to Constantinople, he became her pastor, and guided her lavish benefaction by wise counsel. She continued faithful to him in his misfortune; survived him by several years, and died in 420, lamented by all the poor and needy in the city and in the country around.

In the West, on the contrary, the office of deaconess was first shorn of its clerical character by a prohibition of ordination passed by the Gallic councils in the fifth and sixth centuries;471 and at last it was wholly abolished. The second synod of Orleans, in 533, ordained in its eighteenth canon: "No woman shall henceforth receive the benedictio diaconalis [which had been substituted for ordinatio], on account of the weakness of this sex."  The reason betrays the want of good deaconesses, and suggests the connection of this abolition of an apostolic institution with the introduction of the celibacy of the priesthood, which seemed to be endangered by every sort of female society. The adoption of the care of the poor and sick by the state, and the cessation of adult baptisms and of the custom of immersion, also made female assistance less needful. In modern times, the Catholic church, it is true, has special societies or orders of women, like the Sisters of Mercy, for the care of the sick and poor, the training of children, and other objects of practical charity; and in the bosom of Protestantism also similar benevolent associations have arisen, under the name of Deaconess Institutes, or Sisters’ Houses, though in the more free evangelical spirit, and without the bond of a vow.472  But, though quite kindred in their object, these associations are not to be identified with the office of deaconess in the apostolic age and in the ancient church. That was a regular, standing office in every Christian congregation, corresponding to the office of deacon; and has never since the twelfth century been revived, though the local work of charity has never ceased.

To the ordinary clergy there were added in this period sundry extraordinary church offices, rendered necessary by the multiplication of religious functions in large cities and dioceses:

1. Stewards.473 These officers administered the church property under the supervision of the bishop, and were chosen in part from the clergy, in part from such of the laity as were versed in law. In Constantinople the "great steward" was a person of considerable rank, though not a clergyman. The council of Chalcedon enjoined upon every episcopal diocese the appointment of such officers, and the selection of them from the clergy, "that the economy of the church might not be irresponsible, and thereby the church property be exposed to waste and the clerical dignity be brought into ill repute."474  For conducting the litigation of the church, sometimes a special advocate, called the e[kdiko", or defensor, was appointed.

2. Secretaries,475 for drawing the protocols in public ecclesiastical transactions (gesta ecclesiastica). They were usually clergymen, or such as had prepared themselves for the service of the church.

3. Nurses or Parabolani,476 especially in connection with the larger church hospitals. Their office was akin to that of the deacons, but had more reference to the bodily assistance than to the spiritual care of the sick. In Alexandria, by the fifth century, these officers formed a great guild of six hundred members, and were not rarely misemployed as a standing army of episcopal domination.477  Hence, upon a complaint of the citizens of Alexandria against them, to the emperor Theodosius II., their number were reduced to five hundred. In the West they were never introduced.

4. Buriers of the Dead478 likewise belonged among these ordines minores of the church. Under Theodosius II. there were more than a thousand of them in Constantinople.


 § 53. The Bishops.


The bishops now stood with sovereign power at the head of the clergy and of their dioceses. They had come to be universally regarded as the vehicles and propagators of the gifts of the Holy Ghost, and the teachers and lawgivers of the church in all matters of faith and discipline. The specific distinction between them and the presbyters was carried into everything; while yet it is worthy of remark, that Jerome, Chrysostom, and Theodoret, just the most eminent exegetes of the ancient church, expressly acknowledged the original identity of the two offices in the New Testament, and consequently derive the proper episcopate, not from divine institution, but only from church usage.479

The traditional participation of the people in the election, which attested the popular origin of the episcopal office, still continued, but gradually sank to a mere formality, and at last became entirely extinct. The bishops filled their own vacancies, and elected and ordained the clergy. Besides ordination, as the medium for communicating the official gifts, they also claimed from the presbyters in the West, after the fifth century, the exclusive prerogatives of confirming the baptized and consecrating the chrism or holy ointment used in baptism.480  In the East, on the contrary, confirmation (the chrism) is performed also by the presbyters, and, according to the ancient custom, immediately follows baptism.

To this spiritual preëminence of the bishops was now added, from the time of Constantine, a civil importance. Through the union of the church with the state, the bishops became at the same time state officials of weight, and enjoyed the various privileges which accrued to the church from this connection.481  They had thenceforth an independent and legally valid jurisdiction; they held supervision of the church estates, which were sometimes very considerable, and they had partial charge even of the city, property; they superintended the morals of the people, and even of the emperor; and they exerted influence upon the public legislation. They were exempt from civil jurisdiction, and could neither be brought as witnesses before a court nor be compelled to take an oath. Their dioceses grew larger, and their power and revenues increased. Dominus beatissimus (makariwvtato"), sanctissimus (aJgiwvtato"), or reverendissimus, Beatitudo or Sanctitas tua, and similar high-sounding titles, passed into universal use. Kneeling, kissing of the hand, and like tokens of reverence, came to be shown them by all classes, up to the emperor himself. Chrysostom, at the end of the fourth century, says: "The heads of the empire (hyparchs) and the governors of provinces (toparchs) enjoy no such honor as the rulers of the church. They are first at court, in the society of ladies, in the houses of the great. No one has precedence of them."

To this position corresponded the episcopal insignia, which from the fourth century became common: the ring, as the symbol of the espousal of the bishop to the church; the crosier or shepherd’s staff (also called crook, because it was generally curved at the top); and the pallium,482, a shoulder cloth, after the example of the ephod of the Jewish high-priest, and perhaps of the sacerdotal mantle worn by the Roman emperors as pontifices maximi. The pallium is a seamless cloth hanging over the shoulders, formerly of white linen, in the West subsequently of white lamb’s wool, with four red or black crosses wrought in it with silk. According to the present usage of the Roman church the wool is taken from the lambs of St. Agnes, which are every year solemnly blessed and sacrificed by the pope in memory of this pure virgin. Hence the later symbolical meaning of the pallium, as denoting the bishop’s following of Christ, the good Shepherd, with the lost and reclaimed sheep upon his shoulders. Alexandrian tradition traced this vestment to the evangelist Mark; but Gregory Nazianzen expressly says that it was first given by Constantine the Great to the bishop Macarius of Jerusalem.483  In the East it was worn by all bishops, in the West by archbishops only, on whom, from the time of Gregory I., it was conferred by the pope on their accession to office. At first the investiture was gratuitous, but afterward came to involve a considerable fee, according to the revenues of the archbishopric.

As the bishop united in himself all the rights and privileges of the clerical office, so he was expected to show himself a model in the discharge of its duties and a follower of the great Archbishop and Archshepherd of the sheep. He was expected to exhibit in a high degree the ascetic virtues, especially that of virginity, which, according to Catholic ethics, belongs to the idea of moral perfection. Many a bishop, like Athanasius, Basil, Ambrose, Augustine, Chrysostom, Martin of Tours, lived in rigid abstinence and poverty, and devoted his income to religious and charitable objects.

 But this very power and this temporal advantage of the episcopate became also a lure for avarice and ambition, and a temptation to the lordly and secular spirit. For even under the episcopal mantle the human heart still beat, with all those weaknesses and passions, which can only be overcome by the continual influence of Divine grace. There were metropolitans and patriarchs, especially in Alexandria, Constantinople, and Rome, who, while yet hardly past the age of persecution, forgot the servant form of the Son of God and the poverty of his apostles and martyrs, and rivalled the most exalted civil officials, nay, the emperor himself, in worldly pomp and luxury. Not seldom were the most disgraceful intrigues employed to gain the holy office. No wonder, says Ammianus, that for so splendid a prize as the bishopric of Rome, men strive with the utmost passion and persistence, when rich presents from ladies and a more than imperial sumptuousness invite them.484  The Roman prefect, Praetextatus, declared jestingly to the bishop Damasus, who had obtained the office through a bloody battle of parties, that for such a price he would at once turn Christian himself.485  Such an example could not but shed its evil influence on the lower clergy of the great cities. Jerome sketches a sarcastic description of the Roman priests, who squandered all their care on dress and perfumery, curled their hair with crisping pins, wore sparkling rings, paid far too great attention to women, and looked more like bridegrooms than like clergymen.486  And in the Greek church it was little better. Gregory Nazianzen, himself a bishop, and for a long time patriarch of Constantinople, frequently mourns the ambition, the official jealousies, and the luxury of the hierarchy, and utters the wish that the bishops might be distinguished only by a higher grade of virtue.


 § 54. Organization of the Hierarchy: Country Bishop, City Bishops, and Metropolitans.


The episcopate, notwithstanding the unity of the office and its rights, admitted the different grades of country bishop, ordinary city bishop, metropolitan, and patriarch. Such a distinction had already established itself on the basis of free religious sentiment in the church; so that the incumbents of the apostolic sees, like Jerusalem, Antioch, Ephesus, Corinth, and Rome, stood at the head of the hierarchy. But this gradation now assumed a political character, and became both modified and confirmed by attachment to the municipal division of the Roman empire.

Constantine the Great divided the whole empire into four praefectures (the Oriental, the Illyrian, the Italian, and the Gallic); the praefectures into vicariates, dioceses, or proconsulates, fourteen or fifteen in all;487 and each diocese again into several provinces.488  The praefectures were governed by Praefecti Praetorio, the dioceses by Vicarii, the provinces by Rectores, with various titles—commonly Praesides.

It was natural, that after the union of church and state the ecclesiastical organization and the political should, so far as seemed proper, and hence of course with manifold exceptions, accommodate themselves to one another. In the East this principle of conformity was more palpably and rigidly carried out than in the West. The council of Nice in the fourth century proceeds upon it, and the second and fourth ecumenical councils confirm it. The political influence made itself most distinctly felt in the elevation of Constantinople to a patriarchal see. The Roman bishop Leo, however, protested against the reference of his own power to political considerations, and planted it exclusively upon the primacy of Peter; though evidently the Roman see owed its importance to the favorable cooperation of both these influences. The power of the patriarchs extended over one or more municipal dioceses; while the metropolitans presided over single provinces. The word diocese (dioivkhsi") passed from the political into the ecclesiastical terminology, and denoted at first a patriarchal district, comprising several provinces (thus the expression occurs continually in the Greek acts of councils), but afterward came to be applied in the West to each episcopal district. The circuit of a metropolitan was called in the East an eparchy (ejparciva), in the West provincia. An ordinary bishopric was called in the East a parish (paroikiva), while in the Latin church the term (parochia) was usually applied to a mere pastoral charge.

The lowest rank in the episcopal hierarchy was occupied by the country bishops,489 the presiding officers of those rural congregations, which were not supplied with presbyters from neighboring cities. In North Africa, with its multitude of small dioceses, these country bishops were very numerous, and stood on an equal footing with the others. But in the East they became more and more subordinate to the neighboring city bishops; until at last, partly on account of their own incompetence, chiefly for the sake of the rising hierarchy, they were wholly extinguished. Often they were utterly unfit for their office; at least Basil of Caesarea, who had fifty country bishops in his metropolitan district, reproached them with frequently receiving men totally unworthy into the clerical ranks. And moreover, they stood in the way of the aspirations of the city bishops; for the greater the number of bishops, the smaller the diocese and the power of each, though probably the better the collective influence of all upon the church. The council of Sardica, in 343, doubtless had both considerations in view, when, on motion of Hosius, the president, it decreed: "It is not permitted, that, in a village or small town, for which a single priest is sufficient, a bishop should be stationed, lest the episcopal dignity and authority suffer scandal;490 but the bishops of the eparchy (province) shall appoint bishops only for those places where bishops have already been, or where the town is so populous that it is considered worthy to be a bishopric."  The place of these chorepiscopi was thenceforth supplied either by visitators (periodeu'tai), who in the name of the bishop visited the country congregations from time to time, and performed the necessary functions, or by resident presbyters (parochi), under the immediate supervision of the city bishop.

Among the city bishops towered the bishops of the capital cities of the various provinces. They were styled in the East metropolitans, in the West usually archbishops.491 They had the oversight of the other bishops of the province; ordained them, in connection with two or three assistants; summoned provincial synods, which, according to the fifth canon of the council of Nice and the direction of other councils, were to be held twice a year; and presided in such synods. They promoted union among the different churches by the reciprocal communication of synodal acts, and confirmed the organism of the hierarchy.

This metropolitan constitution, which had gradually arisen out of the necessities of the church, became legally established in the East in the fourth century, and passed thence to the Graeco-Russian church. The council of Nice, at that early day, ordered in the fourth canon, that every new bishop should be ordained by all, or at least by three, of the bishops of the eparchy (the municipal province), under the direction and with the sanction of the metropolitan.492  Still clearer is the ninth canon of the council of Antioch, in 341: "The bishops of each eparchy (province) should know, that upon the bishop of the metropolis (the municipal capital) also devolves a care for the whole eparchy, because in the metropolis all, who have business, gather together from all quarters. Hence it has been found good, that he should also have a precedence in honor,493 and that the other bishops should do nothing without him—according to the old and still binding canon of our fathers—except that which pertains to the supervision and jurisdiction of their parishes (i.e. dioceses in the modern terminology), and the provinces belonging to them; as in fact they ordain presbyters and deacons, and decide all judicial matters. Otherwise they ought to do nothing without the bishop of the metropolis, and he nothing without the consent of the other bishops."  This council, in the nineteenth canon, forbade a bishop being ordained without the presence of the metropolitan and the presence or concurrence of the majority of the bishops of the province.

In Africa a similar system had existed from the time of Cyprian, before the church and the state were united. Every province had a Primas; the oldest bishop being usually chosen to this office. The bishop of Carthage, however, was not only primate of Africa proconsularis, but at the same time, corresponding to the proconsul of Carthage, the ecclesiastical head of Numidia and Mauretania, and had power to summon a general council of Africa.494


 § 55. The Patriarchs.


Mich. Le Quien (French Dominican, † 1788): Oriens Christianus, in quatuor patriarchatus digestus, quo exhibentur ecclesiae, patriarchae caeterique preasules totius Orientis. Opus posthumum, Par. 1740, 3 vols. fol. (a thorough description of the oriental dioceses from the beginning to 1732). P. Jos. Cautelius (Jesuit): Metropolitanarum urbium historia civilis et ecclesiastic in qua Romanae Sedis dignitas et imperatorum et regum in eam merits explicantur, Par. 1685 (important for ecclesiastical statistics of the West, and the extension of the Roman patriarchate). Bingham (Anglican): Antiquities, l. ii. c. 17. Joh. El. Theod. Wiltsch (Evangel.): Handbuch der Kirchl. Geographie u. Statistik, Berl. 1846, vol. i. p. 56 sqq. Friedr. Maassen (R.C.): Der Primat des Bischofs von Rom. u. die alten Patriarchalkirchen, Bonn, 1853. Thomas Greenwood: Cathedra Petri, a Political History of the Latin Patriarchate, Lond. 1859 sqq. (vol. i. p. 158–489). Comp. my review of this work in the Am. Theol. Rev., New York, 1864, p. 9 sqq.


Still above the metropolitans stood the five Patriarchs,495 the oligarchical summit, so to speak, the five towers in the edifice of the Catholic hierarchy of the Graeco-Roman empire.

These patriarchs, in the official sense of the word as already fixed at the time of the fourth ecumenical council, were the bishops of the four great capitals of the empire, Rome, Alexandria, Antioch, and Constantinople; to whom was added, by way of honorary distinction, the bishop of Jerusalem, as president of the oldest Christian congregation, though the proper continuity of that office had been broken by the destruction of the holy city. They had oversight of one or more dioceses; at least of two or more provinces or eparchies.496  They ordained the metropolitans; rendered the final decision in church controversies; conducted the ecumenical councils; published the decrees of the councils and the church laws of the emperors; and united in themselves the supreme legislative and executive power of the hierarchy. They bore the same relation to the metropolitans of single provinces, as the ecumenical councils to the provincial. They did not, however, form a college; each acted for himself. Yet in important matters they consulted with one another, and had the right also to keep resident legates (apocrisiarii) at the imperial court at Constantinople.

In prerogative they were equal, but in the extent of their dioceses and in influence they differed, and had a system of rank among themselves. Before the founding of Constantinople, and down to the Nicene council, Rome maintained the first rank, Alexandria the second, and Antioch the third, in both ecclesiastical and political importance. After the end of the fourth century this order was modified by the insertion of Constantinople as the second capital, between Rome and Alexandria, and the addition of Jerusalem as the fifth and smallest patriarchate.

The patriarch of Jerusalem presided only over the three meagre provinces of Palestine;497 the patriarch of Antioch, over the greater part of the political diocese of the Orient, which comprised fifteen provinces, Syria, Phenicia, Cilicia, Arabia, Mesopotamia, &c.;498 the patriarch of Alexandria, over the whole diocese of Egypt with its nine rich provinces, Aegyptus prima and secunda, the lower and upper Thebaid, lower and upper Libya, &c.;499 the patriarch of Constantinople, over three dioceses, Pontus, Asia Minor, and Thrace, with eight and twenty provinces, and at the same time over the bishoprics among the barbarians;500 the patriarch of Rome gradually extended his influence over the entire West, two prefectures, the Italian and the Gallic, with all their dioceses and provinces.501

The patriarchal system had reference primarily only to the imperial church, but indirectly affected also the barbarians, who received Christianity from the empire. Yet even within the empire, several metropolitans, especially the bishop of Cyprus in the Eastern church, and the bishops of Milan, Aquileia, and Ravenna in the Western, during this period maintained their autocracy with reference to the patriarchs to whose dioceses they geographically belonged. In the fifth century, the patriarchs of Antioch attempted to subject the island of Cyprus, where Paul first had preached the gospel, to their jurisdiction; but the ecumenical council of Ephesus, in 431, confirmed to the church of Cyprus its ancient right to ordain its own bishops.502  The North African bishops also, with all respect for the Roman see, long maintained Cyprian’s spirit of independence, and in a council at Hippo Regius, in 393, protested against such titles as princeps sacerdotum, summus sacerdos, assumed by the patriarchs, and were willing only to allow the title of primae sedis episcopus.503

When, in consequence of the Christological controversies, the Nestorians and Monophysites split off from the orthodox church, they established independent schismatic patriarchates, which continue to this day, showing that the patriarchal constitution answers most nearly to the oriental type of Christianity. The orthodox Greek church, as well as the schismatic sects of the East, has substantially remained true to the patriarchal system down to the present time; while the Latin church endeavored to establish the principle of monarchical centralization so early as Leo the Great, and in the course of the middle age produced the absolute papacy.


 § 56. Synodical Legislation on the Patriarchal Power and Jurisdiction.


To follow now the ecclesiastical legislation respecting this patriarchal oligarchy in chronological order:

The germs of it already lay in the ante-Nicene period, when the bishops of Antioch, Alexandria, and Rome, partly in virtue of the age and apostolic origin of their churches, partly, on account of the political prominence of those three cities as the three capitals of the Roman empire, steadily asserted a position of preëminence. The apostolic origin of the churches of Rome and Antioch is evident from the New Testament: Alexandria traced its Christianity, at least indirectly through the evangelist Mark, to Peter, and was politically more important than Antioch; while Rome from the first had precedence of both in church and in state. This preëminence of the oldest and most powerful metropolitans acquired formal legislative validity and firm establishment through the ecumenical councils of the fourth and fifth centuries.

The first ecumenical council of Nice, in 325, as yet knew nothing of five patriarchs, but only the three metropolitans above named, confirming them in their traditional rights.504  In the much-canvassed sixth canon, probably on occasion of the Meletian schism in Egypt, and the attacks connected with it on the rights of the bishop of Alexandria, that council declared as follows:

"The ancient custom, which has obtained in Egypt, Libya, and the Pentapolis, shall continue in force, viz.: that the bishop of Alexandria have rule over all these [provinces], since this also is customary with the bishop of Rome [that is, not in Egypt, but with reference to his own diocese]. Likewise also at Antioch and in the other eparchies, the churches shall retain their prerogatives. Now, it is perfectly clear, that, if any one has been made bishop without the consent of the metropolitan, the great council does not allow him to be bishop."505

The Nicene fathers passed this canon not as introducing anything new, but merely as confirming an existing relation on the basis of church tradition; and that, with special reference to Alexandria, on account of the troubles existing there. Rome was named only for illustration; and Antioch and all the other eparchies or provinces were secured their admitted rights.506  The bishoprics of Alexandria, Rome, and Antioch were placed substantially on equal footing, yet in such tone, that Antioch, as the third capital of the Roman empire, already stands as a stepping stone to the ordinary metropolitans. By the "other eparchies" of the canon are to be understood either all provinces, and therefore all metropolitan districts, or more probably, as in the second canon of the first council of Constantinople, only the three eparchates of Caesarea in Cappadocia, Ephesus, and Asia Minor, and Heraclea in Thrace, which, after Constantine’s division of the East, possessed similar prerogatives, but were subsequently overshadowed and absorbed by Constantinople. In any case, however, this addition proves that at that time the rights and dignity of the patriarchs were not yet strictly distinguished from those of the other metropolitans. The bishops of Rome, Alexandria, and Antioch here appear in relation to the other bishops simply as primi inter pares, or as metropolitans of the first rank, in whom the highest political eminence was joined with the highest ecclesiastical. Next to them, in the second rank, come the bishops of Ephesus in the Asiatic diocese of the empire, of Neo-Caesarea in the Pontic, and of Heraclea in the Thracian; while Constantinople, which was not founded till five years later, is wholly unnoticed in the Nicene council, and Jerusalem is mentioned only under the name of Aelia.

Between the first and second ecumenical councils arose the new patriarchate of Constantinople, or New Rome, built by Constantine in 330, and elevated to the rank of the imperial residence. The bishop of this city was not only the successor of the bishop of the ancient Byzantium, hitherto under the jurisdiction of the metropolitan of Heraclea, but, through the favor of the imperial court and the bishops who were always numerously assembled there, it placed itself in a few decennia among the first metropolitans of the East, and in the fifth century became the most powerful rival of the bishop of old Rome.

This new patriarchate was first officially recognized at the first ecumenical council, held at Constantinople in 381, and was conceded "the precedence in honor, next to the bishop of Rome," the second place among all bishops; and that, on the purely political consideration, that New Rome was the residence of the emperor.507  At the same time the imperial city and the diocese of Thrace (whose ecclesiastical metropolis hitherto had been Heraclea) were assigned as its district.508

Many Greeks took this as a formal assertion of the equality of the bishop of Constantinople with the bishop of Rome, understanding "next" or "after" (metav) as referring only to time, not to rank. But it is more natural to regard this as conceding a primacy of honor, which the Roman see could claim on different grounds. The popes, as the subsequent protest of Leo shows, were not satisfied with this, because they were unwilling to be placed in the same category with the Constantinopolitan fledgling, and at the same time assumed a supremacy of jurisdiction over the whole church. On the other hand, this decree was unwelcome also to the patriarch of Alexandria, because this see had hitherto held the second rank, and was now required to take the third. Hence the canon was not subscribed by Timotheus of Alexandria, and was regarded in Egypt as void. Afterward, however, the emperors prevailed with the Alexandrian patriarchs to yield this point.

After the council of 381, the bishop of Constantinople indulged in manifold encroachments on the rights of the metropolitans of Ephesus and Caesarea in Cappadocia, and even on the rights of the other patriarchs. In this extension of his authority he was favored by the fact that, in spite of the prohibition of the council of Sardica, the bishops of all the districts of the East continually resided in Constantinople, in order to present all kinds of interests to the emperor. These concerns of distant bishops were generally referred by the emperor to the bishop of Constantinople and his council, the suvnodo" ejndhmou'sa, as it was called, that is, a council of the bishops resident (ejndhmouvntwn) in Constantinople, under his presidency. In this way his trespasses even upon the bounds of other patriarchs obtained the right of custom by consent of parties, if not the sanction of church legislation. Nectarius, who was not elected till after that council, claimed the presidency at a council in 394, over the two patriarchs who were present, Theophilus of Alexandria and Flavian of Antioch; decided the matter almost alone; and thus was the first to exercise the primacy over the entire East. Under his successor, Chrysostom, the compass of the see extended itself still farther, and, according to Theodoret,509 stretched over the capital, over all Thrace with its six provinces, over all Asia (Asia proconsularis) with eleven provinces, and over Pontus, which likewise embraced eleven provinces; thus covering twenty-eight provinces in all. In the year 400, Chrysostom went "by request to Ephesus," to ordain there Heraclides of Ephesus, and at the same time to institute six bishops in the places of others deposed for simony.510  His second successor, Atticus, about the year 421, procured from the younger Theodosius a law, that no bishop should be ordained in the neighboring dioceses without the consent of the bishop of Constantinople.511  This power still needed the solemn sanction of a general council, before it could have a firm legal foundation. It received this sanction at Chalcedon.

The fourth ecumenical council, held at Chalcedon in 451 confirmed and extended the power of the bishop of Constantinople, by ordaining in the celebrated twenty-eighth canon:

"Following throughout the decrees of the holy fathers, and being "acquainted with the recently read canon of the hundred and fifty bishops [i.e. the third canon of the second ecumenical council of 381], we also have determined and decreed the same in reference to the prerogatives of the most holy church of Constantinople or New Rome. For with reason did the fathers confer prerogatives (ta; presbei'a) on the throne [the episcopal chair] of ancient Rome, on account of her character as the imperial city (dia; to; basileuvein); and, moved by the same consideration, the hundred and fifty bishops recognized the same prerogatives (ta; i[sa "presbei'a) also in the most holy throne of New Rome; with good reason judging, that the city, which is honored with the imperial dignity and the senate [i.e. where the emperor and senate reside], and enjoys the same [municipal] privileges as the ancient imperial Rome, should also be equally elevated in ecclesiastical respects, and be the second after he(deutevran met j ejkeivnhn.¼."

"And [we decree] that of the dioceses of Pontus, Asia [Asia proconsularis], and Thrace, only the metropolitans, but in such districts of those dioceses as are occupied by barbarians, also the [ordinary] bishops, be ordained by the most holy throne of the most holy church at Constantinople; while of course every metropolitan in those dioceses ordains the new bishops of a province in concurrence with the existing bishops of that province, as is directed in the divine (qeivoi") canons. But the metropolitans of those dioceses, as already said, shall be ordained by the archbishop (ajrciepiskovpou) of Constantinople, after they shall have been unanimously elected in the usual way, and he [the archbishop of Constantinople] shall have been informed of it."

We have divided this celebrated Chalcedonian canon into two parts, though in the Greek text the parts are (by Kai; w{ste) closely connected. The first part assigns to the bishop of Constantinople the second rank among the patriarchs, and is simply a repetition and confirmation of the third canon of the council of Constantinople; the second part goes farther, and sanctions the supremacy, already actually exercised by Chrysostom and his successors, of the patriarch of Constantinople, not only over the diocese of Thrace, but also over the dioceses of Asia Minor and Pontus, and gives him the exclusive right to ordain both the metropolitans of these three dioceses, and all the bishops of the barbarians512 within those bounds. This gave him a larger district than any other patriarch of the East. Subsequently an edict of the emperor Justinian, in 530, added to him the special prerogative of receiving appeals from the other patriarchs, and thus of governing the whole Orient.

The council of Chalcedon in this decree only followed consistently the oriental principle of politico-ecclesiastical division. Its intention was to make the new political capital also the ecclesiastical capital of the East, to advance its bishop over the bishops of Alexandria and Antioch, and to make him as nearly as possible equal to the bishop of Rome. Thus was imposed a wholesome check on the ambition of the Alexandrian patriarch, who in various ways, as the affair of Theophilus and Dioscurus shows, had abused his power to the prejudice of the church.

But thus, at the same time, was roused the jealousy of the bishop of Rome, to whom a rival in Constantinople, with equal prerogatives, was far more dangerous than a rival in Alexandria or Antioch. Especially offensive must it have been to him, that the council of Chalcedon said not a word of the primacy of Peter, and based the power of the Roman bishop, like that of the Constantinopolitan, on political grounds; which was indeed not erroneous, yet only half of the truth, and in that respect unfair.

Just here, therefore, is the point, where the Eastern church entered into a conflict with the Western, which continues to this day. The papal delegates protested against the twenty-eighth canon of the Chalcedonian council, on the spot, in the sixteenth and last session of the council; but in vain, though their protest was admitted to record. They appealed to the sixth canon of the Nicene council, according to the enlarged Latin version, which, in the later addition, "Ecclesia Romana semper habuit primatum," seems to assign the Roman bishop a position above all the patriarchs, and drops Constantinople from notice; whereupon the canon was read to them in its original form from the Greek Acts, without that addition, together with the first three canons of the second ecumenical council with their express acknowledgment of the patriarch of Constantinople in the second rank.513  After the debate on this point, the imperial commissioners thus summed up the result: "From the whole discussion, and from what has been brought forward on either side, we acknowledge that the primacy over all (pro; pavntwn ta; prwtei'a) and the most eminent rank (kai; th;n ejxeivreton timhvn) are to continue with the archbishop of old Rome; but that also the archbishop of New Rome should enjoy the same precedence of honor (ta; presbei'a th'" timh'"), and have the right to ordain the metropolitans in the dioceses of Asia, Pontus, and Thrace," &c. Now they called upon the council to declare whether this was its opinion; whereupon the bishops gave their full, emphatic consent, and begged to be dismissed. The commissioners then closed the transactions with the words: "What we a little while ago proposed, the whole council hath ratified;" that is, the prerogative granted to the church of Constantinople is confirmed by the council in spite of the protest of the legates of Rome.514

After the council, the Roman bishop, Leo, himself protested in three letters of the 22d May, 452; the first of which was addressed to the emperor Marcian, the second to the empress Pulcheria, the third to Anatolius, patriarch of Constantinople.515  He expressed his satisfaction with the doctrinal results of the council, but declared the elevation of the bishop of Constantinople to the patriarchal dignity to be a work of pride and ambition—the humble, modest pope!—to be an attack upon the rights of other Eastern metropolitans—the invader of the same rights in Gaul!—especially upon the rights of the Roman see guaranteed by the council of Nice—on the authority of a Roman interpolation—and to be destructive of the peace of the church—which the popes have always sacredly kept!  He would hear nothing of political considerations as the source of the authority of his chair, but pointed rather to Divine institution and the primacy of Peter. Leo speaks here with great reverence of the first ecumenical council, under the false impression that that council in its sixth canon acknowledged the primacy of Rome; but with singular indifference of the second ecumenical council, on account of its third canon, which was confirmed at Chalcedon. He charges Anatolius with using for his own ambition a council, which had been called simply for the extermination of heresy and the establishment of the faith. But the canons of the Nicene council, inspired by the Holy Ghost, could be superseded by no synod, however great; and all that came in conflict with them was void. He exhorted Anatolius to give up his ambition, and reminded him of the words: Tene quod habes, ne alius accipiat coronam tuam.516

But this protest could not change the decree of the council nor the position of the Greek church in the matter, although, under the influence of the emperor, Anatolius wrote an humble letter to Leo. The bishops of Constantinople asserted their rank, and were sustained by the Byzantine emperors. The twenty-eighth canon of the Chalcedonian council was expressly confirmed by Justinian I., in the 131st Novelle (c. 1), and solemnly renewed by the Trullan council (can. 36), but was omitted in the Latin collections of canons by Prisca, Dionysius, Exiguus, and Isidore. The loud contradiction of Rome gradually died away; yet she has never formally acknowledged this canon, except during the Latin empire and the Latin patriarchate at Constantinople, when the fourth Lateran council, under Innocent III., in 1215, conceded that the patriarch of Constantinople should hold the next rank after the patriarch of Rome, before those of Alexandria and Antioch.517

Finally, the bishop of Jerusalem, after long contests with the metropolitan of Caesarea and the patriarch of Antioch, succeeded in advancing himself to the patriarchal dignity; but his distinction remained chiefly a matter of honor, far below the other patriarchates in extent of real power. Had not the ancient Jerusalem, in the year 70, been left with only a part of the city wall and three gates to mark it, it would doubtless, being the seat of the oldest Christian congregation, have held, as in the time of James, a central position in the hierarchy. Yet as it was, a reflection of the original dignity of the mother city fell upon the new settlement of Aelia Capitolina, which, after Adrian, rose upon the venerable ruins. The pilgrimage of the empress Helena, and the magnificent church edifices of her son on the holy places, gave Jerusalem a new importance as the centre of devout pilgrimage from all quarters of Christendom. Its bishop was subordinate, indeed, to the metropolitan of Caesarea, but presided with him (probably secundo loco) at the Palestinian councils.518  The council of Nice gave him an honorary precedence among the bishops, though without affecting his dependence on the metropolitan of Caesarea. At least this seems to be the meaning of the short and some. what obscure seventh canon: "Since it is custom and old tradition, that the bishop of Aelia (Jerusalem) should be honored, he shall also enjoy the succession of honor,519 while the metropolis (Caesarea) preserves the dignity allotted to her."  The legal relation of the two remained for a long time uncertain, till the fourth ecumenical council, at its seventh session, confirmed the bishop of Jerusalem in his patriarchal rank, and assigned to him the three provinces of Palestine as a diocese, without opposition.


 § 57. The Rival Patriarchs of Old and New Rome.


Thus at the close of the fourth century we see the Catholic church of the Graeco-Roman empire under the oligarchy of five coordinate and independent patriarchs, four in the East and one in the West. But the analogy of the political constitution, and the tendency toward a visible, tangible representation of the unity of the church, which had lain at the bottom of the development of the hierarchy from the very beginnings of the episcopate, pressed beyond oligarchy to monarchy; especially in the West. Now that the empire was geographically and politically severed into East and West, which, after the death of Theodosius, in 395, had their several emperors, and were never permanently reunited, we can but expect in like manner a double head in the hierarchy. This we find in the two patriarchs of old Rome and New Rome; the one representing the Western or Latin church, the other the Eastern or Greek. Their power and their relation to each other we must now more carefully observe.

The organization of the church in the East being so largely influenced by the political constitution, the bishop of the imperial capital could not fail to become the most powerful of the four oriental patriarchs. By the second and fourth ecumenical councils, as we have already seen, his actual preëminence was ratified by ecclesiastical sanction, and he was designated to the foremost dignity.520  From Justinian I. he further received supreme appellate jurisdiction, and the honorary title of ecumenical patriarch, which he still continues to bear.521  He ordained the other patriarchs, not seldom decided their deposition or institution by his influence, and used every occasion to interfere in their affairs, and assert his supreme authority, though the popes and their delegates at the imperial court incessantly protested. The patriarchates of Jerusalem, Antioch, and Alexandria were distracted and weakened in the course of the fifth and sixth centuries by the tedious monophysite controversies, and subsequently, after the year 622, were reduced to but a shadow by the Mohammedan conquests. The patriarchate of Constantinople, on the contrary, made important advances southwest and north; till, in its flourishing period, between the eighth and tenth centuries, it embraced, besides its original diocese, Calabria, Sicily, and all the provinces of Illyricum, the Bulgarians, and Russia. Though often visited with destructive earthquakes and conflagrations, and besieged by Persians, Arabians, Hungarians, Russians, Latins, and Turks, Constantinople maintained itself to the middle of the fifteenth century as the seat of the Byzantine empire and centre of the Greek church. The patriarch of Constantinople, however, remained virtually only primus inter pares, and has never exercised a papal supremacy over his colleagues in the East, like that of the pope over the metropolitans of the West; still less has he arrogated, like his rival in ancient Rome, the sole dominion of the entire church. Toward the bishop of Rome he claimed only equality of rights and coordinate dignity.

In this long contest between the two leading patriarchs of Christendom, the patriarch of Rome at last carried the day. The monarchical tendency of the hierarchy was much stronger in the West than in the East, and was urging a universal monarchy in the church.

The patriarch of Constantinople enjoyed indeed the favor of the emperor, and all the benefit of the imperial residence. New Rome was most beautifully and most advantageously situated for a metropolis of government, of commerce, and of culture, on the bridge between two continents; and it formed a powerful bulwark against the barbarian conquests. It was never desecrated by an idol temple, but was founded a Christian city. It fostered the sciences and arts, at a time when the West was whelmed by the wild waves of barbarism; it preserved the knowledge of the Greek language and literature through the middle ages; and after the invasion of the Turks it kindled by its fugitive scholars the enthusiasm of classic studies in the Latin church, till Greece rose from the dead with the New Testament in her hand, and held the torch for the Reformation.

But the Roman patriarch had yet greater advantages. In him were united, as even the Greek historian Theodoret concedes,522 all the outward and the inward, the political and the spiritual conditions of the highest eminence.

In the first place, his authority rested on an ecclesiastical and spiritual basis, reaching back, as public opinion granted, through an unbroken succession, to Peter the apostle; while Constantinople was in no sense an apostolica sedes, but had a purely political origin, though, by transfer, and in a measure by usurpation, it had possessed itself of the metropolitan rights of Ephesus523  Hence the popes after Leo appealed almost exclusively to the divine origin of their dignity, and to the primacy of the prince of the apostles over the whole church.

Then, too, considered even in a political point of view, old Rome had a far longer and grander imperial tradition to show, and was identified in memory with the bloom of the empire; while New Rome marked the beginning of its decline. When the Western empire fell into the hands of the barbarians, the Roman bishop was the only surviving heir of this imperial past, or, in the well-known dictum of Hobbes, "the ghost of the deceased Roman empire, sitting crowned upon the grave thereof."

Again, the very remoteness of Rome from the imperial court was favorable to the development of a hierarchy independent of all political influence and intrigue; while the bishop of Constantinople had to purchase the political advantages of the residence at the cost of ecclesiastical freedom. The tradition of the donatio Constantini, though a fabrication of the eighth century, has thus much truth: that the transfer of the imperial residence to the East broke the way for the temporal power and the political independence of the papacy.

Further, amidst the great trinitarian and christological controversies of the Nicene and post-Nicene age, the popes maintained the powerful prestige of almost undeviating ecumenical orthodoxy and doctrinal stability;524 while the see of Constantinople, with its Grecian spirit of theological restlessness and disputation, was sullied with the Arian, the Nestorian, the Monophysite, and other heresies, and was in general, even in matters of faith, dependent on the changing humors of the court. Hence even contending parties in the East were accustomed to seek counsel and protection from the Roman chair, and oftentimes gave that see the coveted opportunity to put the weight of its decision into the scale. This occasional practice then formed a welcome basis for a theory of jurisdiction. The Roma locuta est assumed the character of a supreme and final judgment. Rome learned much and forgot nothing. She knew how to turn every circumstances with consummate administrative tact, to her own advantage.

 Finally, though the Greek church, down to the fourth ecumenical council, was unquestionably the main theatre of church history and the chief seat of theological learning, yet, according to the universal law of history, "Westward the star of empire takes its way," the Latin church, and consequently the Roman patriarchate, already had the future to itself. While the Eastern patriarchates were facilitating by internal quarrels and disorder the conquests of the false prophet, Rome was boldly and victoriously striking westward, and winning the barbarian tribes of Europe to the religion of the cross.


 § 58. The Latin Patriarch.


These advantages of the patriarch of Rome over the patriarch of Constantinople are at the same time the leading causes of the rise of the papacy, which we must now more closely pursue.

The papacy is undeniably the result of a long process of history. Centuries were employed in building it, and centuries have already been engaged upon its partial destruction. Lust of honor and of power, and even open fraud,525 have contributed to its development; for human nature lies hidden under episcopal robes, with its steadfast inclination to abuse the power intrusted to it; and the greater the power, the stronger is the temptation, and the worse the abuse. But behind and above these human impulses lay the needs of the church and the plans of Providence, and these are the proper basis for explaining the rise, as well as the subsequent decay, of the papal dominion over the countries and nations of Europe.

That Providence which moves the helm of the history of world and church according to an eternal plan, not only prepares in silence and in a secrecy unknown even to themselves the suitable persons for a given work, but also lays in the depths of the past the foundations of mighty institutions, that they may appear thoroughly furnished as soon as the time may demand them. Thus the origin and gradual growth of the Latin patriarchate at Rome looked forward to the middle age, and formed part of the necessary, external outfit of the church for her disciplinary mission among the heathen barbarians. The vigorous hordes who destroyed the West-Roman empire were to be themselves built upon the ruins of the old civilization, and trained by an awe-inspiring ecclesiastical authority and a firm hierarchical organization, to Christianity and freedom, till, having come of age, they should need the legal schoolmaster no longer, and should cast away his cords from them. The Catholic hierarchy, with its pyramid-like culmination in the papacy, served among the Romanic and Germanic peoples. until the time of the Reformation, a purpose similar to that of the Jewish theocracy and the old Roman empire respectively in the inward and outward preparation for Christianity. The full exhibition of this pedagogic purpose belongs to the history of the middle age; but the foundation for it we find already being laid in the period before us.

The Roman bishop claims, that the four dignities of bishop, metropolitan, patriarch, and pope or primate of the whole church, are united in himself. The first three offices must be granted him in all historical justice; the last is denied him by the Greek church, and by the Evangelical, and by all non-Catholic sects.

His bishopric is the city of Rome, with its cathedral church of St. John Lateran, which bears over its main entrance the inscription: Omnium urbis et orbis ecclesiarum mater et caput; thus remarkably outranking even the church of St. Peter—as if Peter after all were not the first and highest apostle, and had to yield at last to the superiority of John, the representative of the ideal church of the future. Tradition says that the emperor Constantine erected this basilica by the side of the old Lateran palace, which had come down from heathen times, and gave the palace to Pope Sylvester; and it remained the residence of the popes and the place of assembly for their councils (the Lateran councils) till after the exile of Avignon, when they took up their abode in the Vatican beside the ancient church of St. Peter.

As metropolitan or archbishop, the bishop of Rome had immediate jurisdiction over the seven suffragan bishops, afterward called cardinal bishops, of the vicinity: Ostia, Portus, Silva candida, Sabina, Praeneste, Tusculum, and Albanum.

As patriarch, he rightfully stood on equal footing with the four patriarchs of the East, but had a much larger district and the primacy of honor. The name is here of no account, since the fact stands fast. The Roman bishops called themselves not patriarchs, but popes, that they might rise the sooner above their colleagues; for the one name denotes oligarchical power, the other, monarchical. But in the Eastern church and among modern Catholic historians the designation is also quite currently applied to Rome.

The Roman patriarchal circuit primarily embraced the ten suburban provinces, as they were called, which were under the political jurisdiction of the Roman deputy, the Vicarius Urbis; including the greater part of Central Italy, all Upper Italy, and the islands of Sicily, Sardinia, and Corsica.526  In its wider sense, however, it extended gradually over the entire west of the Roman empire, thus covering Italy, Gaul, Spain, Illyria, southeastern Britannia, and northwestern Africa.527

The bishop of Rome was from the beginning the only Latin patriarch, in the official sense of the word. He stood thus alone, in the first place, for the ecclesiastical reason, that Rome was the only sedes apostolica in the West, while in the Greek church three patriarchates and several other episcopal sees, such as Ephesus, Thessalonica, and Corinth, shared the honor of apostolic foundation. Then again, he stood politically alone, since Rome was the sole metropolis of the West, while in the East there were three capitals of the empire, Constantinople, Alexandria, and Antioch. Hence Augustine, writing from the religious point of view, once calls Pope Innocent I. the "ruler of the Western church;"528 and the emperor Justinian, on the ground of political distribution, in his 109th Novelle, where he speaks of the ecclesiastical division of the whole world, mentions only five known patriarchates, and therefore only one patriarchate of the West. The decrees of the ecumenical councils, also, know no other Western patriarchate than the Roman, and this was the sole medium through which the Eastern church corresponded with the Western. In the great theological controversies of the fourth and fifth centuries the Roman bishop appears uniformly as the representative and the organ of all Latin Christendom.

It was, moreover, the highest interest of all orthodox churches in the West, amidst the political confusion and in conflict with the Arian Goths, Vandals, and Suevi, to bind themselves closely to a common centre, and to secure the powerful protection of a central authority. This centre they could not but find in the primitive apostolic church of the metropolis of the world. The Roman bishops were consulted in almost all important questions of doctrine or of discipline. After the end of the fourth century they issued to the Western bishops in reply, pastoral epistles and decretal letters,529 in which they decided the question at first in the tone of paternal counsel, then in the tone of apostolic authority, making that which had hitherto been left to free opinion, a fixed statute. The first extant decretal is the Epistola of Pope Siricius to the spanish bishop Himerius, a.d. 385, which contains, characteristically, a legal enforcement of priestly celibacy, thus of an evidently unapostolic institution; but in this Siricius appeals to "generalia decreta," which his predecessor Liberius had already issued. In like manner the Roman bishops repeatedly caused the assembling of general or patriarchal councils of the West (synodos occidentales), like the synod of Axles in 314. After the sixth and seventh centuries they also conferred the pallium on the archbishops of Salona, Ravenna, Messina, Syracuse, Palermo, Arles, Autun, Sevilla, Nicopolis (in Epirus), Canterbury, and other metropolitans, in token of their superior jurisdiction.530


 § 59. Conflicts and Conquests of the Latin Patriarchate.


But this patriarchal power was not from the beginning and to a uniform extent acknowledged in the entire West. Not until the latter part of the sixth century did it reach the height we have above described.531  It was not a divine institution, unchangeably fixed from the beginning for all times, like a Biblical article of faith; but the result of a long process of history, a human ecclesiastical institution under providential direction. In proof of which we have the following incontestable facts:

In the first place, even in Italy, several metropolitans maintained, down to the close of our period, their own supreme headship, independent of Roman and all other jurisdiction.532  The archbishops of Milan, who traced their church to the apostle Barnabas, came into no contact with the pope till the latter part of the sixth century, and were ordained without him or his pallium. Gregory I., in 593, during the ravages of the Longobards, was the first who endeavored to exercise patriarchal rights there: he reinstated an excommunicated presbyter, who had appealed to him.533  The metropolitans of Aquileia, who derived their church from the evangelist Mark, and whose city was elevated by Constantine the Great to be the capital of Venetia and Istria, vied with Milan, and even with Rome, calling themselves "patriarchs," and refusing submission to the papal jurisdiction even under Gregory the Great.534  The bishop of Ravenna likewise, after 408, when the emperor Honorius selected that city for his residence, became a powerful metropolitan, with jurisdiction over fourteen bishoprics. Nevertheless he received the pallium from Gregory the Great, and examples occur of ordination by the Roman bishop.535

The North African bishops and councils in the beginning of the fifth century, with all traditional reverence for the apostolic see, repeatedly protested, in the spirit of Cyprian, against encroachments of Rome, and even prohibited all appeal in church controversies from their own to a transmarine or foreign tribunal, upon pain of excommunication.536  The occasion of this was an appeal to Rome by the presbyter Apiarius, who had been deposed for sundry offences by Bishop Urbanus, of Sicca, a disciple and friend of Augustine, and whose restoration was twice attempted, by Pope Zosimus in 418, and by Pope Coelestine in 424. From this we see that the popes gladly undertook to interfere for a palpably unworthy priest, and thus sacrificed the interests of local discipline, only to make their own superior authority felt. The Africans referred to the genuine Nicene canon (for which Zosimus had substituted the Sardican appendix respecting the appellate jurisdiction of Rome, of which the Nicene council knew nothing), and reminded the pope, that the gift of the Holy Ghost, needful for passing a just judgment, was not lacking to any province, and that he could as well inspire a whole province as a single bishop. The last document in the case of this appeal of Apiarius is a letter of the (twentieth) council of Carthage, in 424, to Pope Coelestine I., to the following purport:537 "Apiarius asked a new trial, and gross misdeeds of his were thereby brought to light. The papal legate, Faustinus, has, in the face of this, in a very harsh manner demanded the reception of this man into the fellowship of the Africans, because he has appealed to the pope and been received into fellowship by him. But this very thing ought not to have been done. At last has Apiarius himself acknowledged all his crimes. The pope may hereafter no longer so readily give audience to those who come from Africa to Rome, like Apiarius, nor receive the excommunicated into church communion, be they bishops or priests, as the council of Nice (can. 5) has ordained, in whose direction bishops are included. The assumption of appeal to Rome is a trespass on the rights of the African church, and what has been [by Zosimus and his legates] brought forward as a Nicene ordinance for it, is not Nicene, and is not to be found in the genuine copies of the Nicene Acts, which have been received from Constantinople and Alexandria. Let the pope, therefore, in future send no more judges to Africa, and since Apiarius has now been excluded for his offences, the pope will surely not expect the African church to submit longer to the annoyances of the legate Faustinus. May God the Lord long preserve the pope, and may the pope pray for the Africans."  In the Pelagian controversy the weak Zosimus, who, in opposition to the judgment of his predecessor Innocent, had at first expressed himself favorably to the heretics, was even compelled by the Africans to yield. The North African church maintained this position under the lead of the greatest of the Latin fathers, St. Augustine, who in other respects contributed more than any other theologian or bishop to the erection of the Catholic system. She first made submission to the Roman jurisdiction, in the sense of her weakness, under the shocks of the Vandals. Leo (440–461) was the first pope who could boast of having extended the diocese of Rome beyond Europe into another quarter of the globe.538  He and Gregory the Great wrote to the African bishops entirely in the tone of paternal authority without provoking reply.

In Spain the popes found from the first a more favorable field. The orthodox bishops there were so pressed in the fifth century by the Arian Vandals, Suevi, Alani, and soon after by the Goths, that they sought counsel and protection with the bishop of Rome, which, for his own sake, he was always glad to give. So early as 385, Siricius, as we have before observed, issued a decretal letter to a Spanish bishop. The epistles of Leo to Bishop Turibius of Asturica, and the bishops of Gaul and Spain,539 are instances of the same authoritative style. Simplicius (467–483) appointed the bishop Zeno of Sevilla papal vicar,540 and Gregory the Great, with a paternal letter, conferred the pallium on Leander, bishop of Sevilla.541

In Gaul, Leo succeeded in asserting the Roman jurisdiction, though not without opposition, in the affair of the archbishop Hilary of Arles, or Arelate. The affair has been differently represented from the Gallican and the ultramontane points of view.542  Hilary (born 403, died 449), first a rigid monk, then, against his will, elevated to the bishopric, an eloquent preacher, an energetic prelate, and the first champion of the freedom of the Gallican church against the pretensions of Rome, but himself not free from hierarchical ambition, deposed Celidonius, the bishop of Besançon, at a council in that city (synodus Vesontionensis), because he had married a widow before his ordination, and had presided as judge at a criminal trial and pronounced sentence of death; which things, according to the ecclesiastical law, incapacitated him for the episcopal office. This was unquestionably an encroachment on the province of Vienne, to which Besaçon belonged. Pope Zosimus had, indeed, in 417, twenty-eight years before, appointed the bishop of Arles, which was a capital of seven provinces, to be papal vicar in Gaul, and had granted him metropolitan rights in the provinces Viennensis, and Narbonensis prima and secunda, though with the reservation of causae majores.543  The metropolitans of Vienne, Narbonne, and Marseilles, however, did not accept this arrangement, and the succeeding popes found it best to recognize again the old metropolitans.544  Celidonius appealed to Leo against that act of Hilary. Leo, in 445, assembled a Roman council (concilium sacerdotum), and reinstated him, as the accusation of Hilary, who himself journeyed on foot in the winter to Rome, and protested most vehemently against the appeal, could not be proven to the satisfaction of the pope. In fact, he directly or indirectly caused Hilary to be imprisoned, and, when he escaped and fled back to Gaul, cut him off from the communion of the Roman church, and deprived him of all prerogatives in the diocese of Vienne, which had been only temporarily conferred on the bishop of Arles, and were by a better judgment (sententia meliore) taken away. He accused him of assaults on the rights of other Gallican metropolitans, and above all of insubordination toward the principality of the most blessed Peter; and he goes so far as to say: "Whoso disputes the primacy of the apostle Peter, can in no way lessen the apostle’s dignity, but, puffed up by the spirit of his own pride, he destroys himself in hell."545  Only out of special grace did he leave Hilary in his bishopric. Not satisfied with this, he applied to the secular arm for help, and procured from the weak Western emperor, Valentinian III., an edict to Aetius, the magister militum of Gaul, in which it is asserted, almost in the words of Leo, that the whole world (universitas; in Greek, oijkoumevnh) acknowledges the Roman see as director and governor; that neither Hilary nor any bishop might oppose its commands; that neither Gallican nor other bishops should, contrary to the ancient custom, do anything without the authority of the venerable pope of the eternal city; and that all decrees of the pope have the force of law.

The letter of Leo to the Gallican churches, and the edict of the emperor, give us the first example of a defensive and offensive alliance of the central spiritual and temporal powers in the pursuit of an unlimited sovereignty. The edict, however, could of course have power, at most, only in the West, to which the authority of Valentinian was limited. In fact, even Hilary and his successors maintained, in spite of Leo, the prerogatives they had formerly received from Pope Zosimus, and were confirmed in them by later popes.546  Beyond this the issue of the contest is unknown. Hilary of Arles died in 449, universally esteemed and loved, without, so far as we know, having become formally reconciled with Rome;547 though, notwithstanding this, he figures in a remarkable manner in the Roman calendar, by the side of his papal antagonist Leo, as a canonical saint. Undoubtedly Leo proceeded in this controversy far too rigorously and intemperately against Hilary; yet it was important that he should hold fast the right of appeal as a guarantee of the freedom of bishops against the encroachments of metropolitans. The papal despotism often proved itself a wholesome check upon the despotism of subordinate prelates.

With Northern Gaul the Roman bishops came into less frequent contact; yet in this region also there occur, in the fourth and fifth centuries, examples of the successful assertion of their jurisdiction.

The early British church held from the first a very isolated position, and was driven back, by the invasion of the pagan Anglo-Saxons, about the middle of the fifth century, into the mountains of Wales, Cornwallis, Cumberland, and the still more secluded islands. Not till the conversion of the Anglo-Saxons under Gregory the Great did a regular connection begin between England and Rome.

Finally, the Roman bishops succeeded also in extending their patriarchal power eastward, over the praefecture of East Illyria. Illyria belonged originally to the Western empire, remained true to the Nicene faith through the Arian controversies, and for the vindication of that faith attached itself closely to Rome. When Gratian, in 379, incorporated Illyricum Orientale with the Eastern empire, its bishops nevertheless refused to give up their former ecclesiastical connection. Damasus conferred on the metropolitan Acholius, of Thessalonica, as papal vicar, patriarchal rights in the new praefecture. The patriarch of Constantinople endeavored, indeed, repeatedly, to bring this ground into his diocese, but in vain. Justinian, in 535, formed of it a new diocese, with an independent patriarch at Prima Justiniana (or Achrida, his native city); but this arbitrary innovation had no vitality, and Gregory I. recovered active intercourse with the Illyrian bishops. Not until the eighth century, under the emperor Leo the Isaurian, was East Illyria finally severed from the Roman diocese and incorporated with the patriarchate of Constantinople.548


 § 60. The Papacy.


Literature, as in § 55, and vol. i. § 110.


At last the Roman bishop, on the ground of his divine institution, and as successor of Peter, the prince of the apostles, advanced his claim to be primate of the entire church, and visible representative of Christ, who is the invisible supreme head of the Christian world. This is the strict and exclusive sense of the title, Pope.549

Properly speaking, this claim has never been fully realized, and remains to this day an apple of discord in the history of the church. Greek Christendom has never acknowledged it, and Latin, only under manifold protests, which at last conquered in the Reformation, and deprived the papacy forever of the best part of its domain. The fundamental fallacy of the Roman system is, that it identifies papacy and church, and therefore, to be consistent, must unchurch not only Protestantism, but also the entire Oriental church from its origin down. By the "una sancta catholica apostolica ecclesia" of the Niceno-Constantinopolitan creed is to be understood the whole body of Catholic Christians, of which the ecclesia Romana, like the churches of Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, and Constantinople, is only one of the most prominent branches. The idea of the papacy, and its claims to the universal dominion of the church, were distinctly put forward, it is true, so early as the period before us, but could not make themselves good beyond the limits of the West. Consequently the papacy, as a historical fact, or so far as it has been acknowledged, is properly nothing more than the Latin patriarchate run to absolute monarchy.

By its advocates the papacy is based not merely upon church usage, like the metropolitan and patriarchal power, but upon divine right; upon the peculiar position which Christ assigned to Peter in the well-known words: "Thou art Peter, and on this rock will I build my church."550  This passage was at all times taken as an immovable exegetical rock for the papacy. The popes themselves appealed to it, times without number, as the great proof of the divine institution of a visible and infallible central authority in the church. According to this view, the primacy is before the apostolate, the head before the body, instead of the reverse.

But, in the first place, this preëminence of Peter did not in the least affect the independence of the other apostles. Paul especially, according to the clear testimony of his epistles and the book of Acts, stood entirely upon his own authority, and even on one occasion, at Antioch, took strong ground against Peter. Then again, the personal position of Peter by no means yields the primacy to the Roman bishop, without the twofold evidence, first that Peter was actually in Rome, and then that he transferred his prerogatives to the bishop of that city. The former fact rests upon a universal tradition of the early church, which at that time no one doubted, but is in part weakened and neutralized by the absence of any clear Scripture evidence, and by the much more certain fact, given in the New Testament itself, that Paul labored in Rome, and that in no position of inferiority or subordination to any higher authority than that of Christ himself. The second assumption, of the transfer of the primacy to the Roman bishops, is susceptible of neither historical nor exegetical demonstration, and is merely an inference from the principle that the successor in office inherits all the official prerogatives of his predecessor. But even granting both these intermediate links in the chain of the papal theory, the double question yet remains open: first, whether the Roman bishop be the only successor of Peter, or share this honor with the bishops of Jerusalem and Antioch, in which places also Peter confessedly resided; and secondly, whether the primacy involve at the same time a supremacy of jurisdiction over the whole church, or be only an honorary primacy among patriarchs of equal authority and rank. The former was the Roman view; the latter was the Greek.

An African bishop, Cyprian († 258), was the first to give to that passage of the 16th of Matthew, innocently as it were, and with no suspicion of the future use and abuse of his view, a papistic interpretation, and to bring out clearly the idea of a perpetual cathedra Petri. The same Cyprian, however, whether consistently or not, was at the same time equally animated with the consciousness of episcopal equality and independence, afterward actually came out in bold opposition to Pope Stephen in a doctrinal controversy on the validity of heretical baptism, and persisted in this protest to his death.551


 § 61. Opinions of the Fathers.


A complete collection of the patristic utterances on the primacy of Peter and his successors, though from the Roman point of view, may be found in the work of Rev. Jos. Berington and Rev. John Kirk: "The Faith of Catholics confirmed by Scripture and attested by the Fathers of the first five centuries of the Church," 3d ed., London, 1846, vol. ii. p. 1–112. Comp. the works quoted sub § 55, and a curious article of Prof. Ferd. Piper, on Rome, the eternal city, in the Evang. Jahrbuch for 1864, p. 17–120, where the opinions of the fathers on the claims of the urbs aeterna and its many fortunes are brought out.


We now pursue the development of this idea in the church fathers of the fourth and fifth centuries. In general they agree in attaching to Peter a certain primacy over the other apostles, and in considering him the foundation of the church in virtue of his confession of the divinity of Christ; while they hold Christ to be, in the highest sense, the divine ground and rock of the church. And herein lies a solution of their apparent self-contradiction in referring the petra in Matt. xvi. 18, now to the person of Peter, now to his confession, now to Christ. Then, as the bishops in general were regarded as successors of the apostles, the fathers saw in the Roman bishops, on the ground of the ancient tradition of the martyrdom of Peter in Rome, the successor of Peter and the heir of the primacy. But respecting the nature and prerogatives of this primacy their views were very indefinite and various. It is remarkable that the reference of the rock to Christ, which Augustine especially defended with great earnestness, was acknowledged even by the greatest pope of the middle ages, Gregory VII., in the famous inscription he sent with a crown to the emperor Rudolph: "Petra [i.e., Christ] dedit Petro [i.e., to the apostle], Petrus [the pope] diadema Rudolpho."552  It is worthy of notice, that the post-Nicene, as well as the ante-Nicene fathers, with all their reverence for the Roman see, regarded the heathenish title of Rome, urbs aeterna, as blasphemous, with reference to the passage of the woman sitting upon a scarlet-colored beast, full of names of blasphemy, Rev. xvii. 3.553  The prevailing opinion seems to have been, that Rome and the Roman empire would fall before the advent of Antichrist and the second coming of the Lord.554

1. The views of the Latin fathers.

The Cyprianic idea was developed primarily in North Africa, where it was first clearly pronounced.

Optatus, bishop of Milevi, the otherwise unknown author of an anti-Donatist work about a.d. 384, is, like Cyprian, thoroughly possessed with the idea of the visible unity of the church; declares it without qualification the highest good, and sees its plastic expression and its surest safeguard in the immovable cathedra Petri, the prince of the apostles, the keeper of the keys of the kingdom of heaven, who, in spite of his denial of Christ, continued in that relation to the other apostles, that the unity of the church might appear in outward fact as an unchangeable thing, invulnerable to human offence. All these prerogatives have passed to the bishops of Rome, as the successors of this apostle.555

Ambrose of Milan († 397) speaks indeed in very high terms of the Roman church, and concedes to its bishops a religious magistracy like the political power of the emperors of pagan Rome;556 yet he calls the primacy of Peter only a "primacy of confession, not of honor; of faith, not of rank,"557 and places the apostle Paul on an equality with Peter.558  Of any dependence of Ambrose, or of the bishops of Milan in general during the first six centuries, on the jurisdiction of Rome, no trace is to be found.

Jerome († 419), the most learned commentator among the Latin fathers, vacillates in his explanation of the petra; now, like Augustine, referring it to Christ,559 now to Peter and his confession.560  In his commentary on Matt. xvi., he combines the two interpretations thus: "As Christ gave light to the apostles, so that they were called, after him, the light of the world, and as they received other designations from the Lord; so Simon, because he believed on the rock, Christ, received the name Peter, and in accordance with the figure of the rock, it is justly said to him: ’I will build my church upon thee (super te),’ "  He recognizes in the Roman bishop the successor of Peter, but advocates elsewhere the equal rights of the bishops,561 and in fact derives even the episcopal office, not from direct divine institution, but from the usage of the church and from the presidency in the presbyterium.562  He can therefore be cited as a witness, at most, for a primacy of honor, not for a supremacy of jurisdiction. Beyond this even the strongest passage of his writings, in a letter to his friend, Pope Damasus (a.d. 376), does not go: "Away with the ambition of the Roman head; I speak with the successor of the fisherman and disciple of the cross. Following no other head than Christ, I am joined in the communion of faith with thy holiness, that is, with the chair of Peter. On that rock I know the church to be built."563  Subsequently this father, who himself had an eye on the papal chair, fell out with the Roman clergy, and retired to the ascetic and literary solitude of Bethlehem, where he served the church by his pen far better than he would have done as the successor of Damasus.

Augustine († 430), the greatest theological authority of the Latin church, at first referred the words, "On this rock I will build my church," to the person of Peter, but afterward expressly retracted this interpretation, and considered the petra to be Christ, on the ground of a distinction between petra (ejpi; tauvth/ th'/ pevtra/) and Petrus (su; ei| Pevtro"); a distinction which Jerome also makes, though with the intimation that it is not properly applicable to the Hebrew and Syriac Cephas.564  "I have somewhere said of St. Peter" thus Augustine corrects himself in his Retractations at the close of his life565—"that the church is built upon him as the rock; a thought which is sung by many in the verses of St. Ambrose:


’Hoc ipsa petra ecclesiae

Canente, culpam diluit.’566


(The Rock of the church himself

In the cock-crowing atones his guilt.)


But I know that I have since frequently said, that the word of the Lord, ’Thou art Petrus, and on this petra I will build my church,’ must be understood of him, whom Peter confessed as Son of the living God; and Peter, so named after this rock, represents the person of the church, which is founded on this rock and has received the keys of the kingdom of heaven. For it was not said to him: ’Thou art a rock’ (petra), but, ’Thou art Peter’ (Petrus); and the rock was Christ, through confession of whom Simon received the name of Peter. Yet the reader may decide which of the two interpretations is the more probable."  In the same strain he says, in another place: "Peter, in virtue of the primacy of his apostolate, stands, by a figurative generalization, for the church .... When it was said to him, ’I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven,’ &c., he represented the whole church, which in this world is assailed by various temptations, as if by floods and storms, yet does not fall, because it is founded upon a rock, from which Peter received his name. For the rock is not so named from Peter, but Peter from the rock (non enim a Petro petra, sed Petrus a petra), even as Christ is not so called after the Christian, but the Christian after Christ. For the reason why the Lord says, ’On this rock I will build my church’ is that Peter had said: ’Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God,’ On this rock, which then hast confessed, says he will build my church. For Christ was the rock (petra enim erat Christus), upon which also Peter himself was built; for other foundation can no man lay, than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Thus the church, which is built upon Christ, has received from him, in the person of Peter, the keys of heaven; that is, the power of binding and loosing sins."567  This Augustinian interpretation of the petra has since been revived by some Protestant theologians in the cause of anti-Romanism.568  Augustine, it is true, unquestionably understood by the church the visible Catholic church, descended from the apostles, especially from Peter, through the succession of bishops; and according to the usage of his time he called the Roman church by eminence the sedes apostolica.569  But on the other hand, like Cyprian and Jerome, he lays stress upon the essential unity of the episcopate, and insists that the keys of the kingdom of heaven were committed not to a single man, but to the whole church, which Peter was only set to represent.570  With this view agrees the independent position of the North African church in the time of Augustine toward Rome, as we have already observed it in the case of the appeal of Apiarius, and as it appears in the Pelagian controversy, of which Augustine was the leader. This father, therefore, can at all events be cited only as a witness to the limited authority of the Roman chair. And it should also, in justice, be observed, that in his numerous writings he very rarely speaks of that authority at all, and then for the most part incidentally; showing that he attached far less importance to this matter than the Roman divines.571

The later Latin fathers of the fourth and fifth centuries prefer the reference of the petra to Peter and his confession, and transfer his prerogatives to the Roman bishops as his successors, but produce no new arguments. Among them we mention Maximus of Turin (about 450), who, however, like Ambrose, places Paul on a level with Peter;572 then Orosius, and several popes; above all Leo, of whom we shall speak more fully in the following section.

2. As to the Greek fathers: Eusebius, Cyril of Jerusalem, Basil, the two Gregories, Ephraim, Syrus, Asterius, Cyril of Alexandria, Chrysostom, and Theodoret refer the petra now to the confession, now to the person, of Peter; sometimes to both. They speak of this apostle uniformly in very lofty terms, at times in rhetorical extravagance, calling him the "coryphaeus of the choir of apostles," the prince of the apostles," the "tongue of the apostles," the "bearer of the keys," the "keeper of the kingdom of heaven," the "pillar," the "rock," the "firm foundation of the church."  But, in the first place, they understand by all this simply an honorary primacy of Peter, to whom that power was but first committed, which the Lord afterward conferred on all the apostles alike; and, in the second place, they by no means favor an exclusive transfer of this prerogative to the bishop of Rome, but claim it also for the bishops of Antioch, where Peter, according to Gal. ii., sojourned a long time, and where, according to tradition, he was bishop, and appointed a successor.

So Chrysostom, for instance, calls Ignatius of Antioch a "successor of Peter, on whom, after Peter, the government of the church devolved,"573 and in another place says still more distinctly: "Since I have named Peter, I am reminded of another Peter [Flavian, bishop of Antioch], our common father and teacher, who has inherited as well the virtues as the chair of Peter. Yea, for this is the privilege of this city of ours [Antioch], to have first (ejn ajrch'/) had the coryphaeus of the apostles for its teacher. For it was proper that the city, where the Christian name originated, should receive the first of the apostles for its pastor. But after we had him for our teacher, we, did not retain him, but transferred him to imperial Rome."574

Theodoret also, who, like Chrysostom, proceeded from the Antiochian school, says of the "great city of Antioch," that it has the "throne of Peter."575  In a letter to Pope Leo he speaks, it is true, in very extravagant terms of Peter and his successors at Rome, in whom all the conditions, external and internal, of the highest eminence and control in the church are combined.576  But in the same epistle he remarks, that the "thrice blessed and divine double star of Peter and Paul rose in the East and shed its rays in every direction;" in connection with which it must be remembered that he was at that time seeking protection in Leo against the Eutychian robber-council of Ephesus (449), which had unjustly deposed both himself and Flavian of Constantinople.

His bitter antagonist also, the arrogant and overbearing Cyril of Alexandria, descended some years before, in his battle against Nestorius, to unworthy flattery, and called Pope Coelestine "the archbishop of the whole [Roman] world."577  The same prelates, under other circumstances, repelled with proud indignation the encroachments of Rome on their jurisdiction.


 § 62. The Decrees of Councils on the Papal Authority.


Much more important than the opinions of individual fathers are the formal decrees of the councils.

First mention here belongs to the council of Sardica in Illyria (now Sofia in Bulgaria) in 343,578 during the Arian controversy. This council is the most favorable of all to the Roman claims. In the interest of the deposed Athanasius and of the Nicene orthodoxy it decreed:

(1) That a deposed bishop, who feels he has a good cause, may apply, out of reverence to the memory of the apostle Peter, to the Roman bishop Julius, and shall leave it with him either to ratify the deposition or to summon a new council.

(2) That the vacant bishopric shall not be filled till the decision of Rome be received.

(3) That the Roman bishop, in such a case of appeal, may, according to his best judgment, either institute a new trial by the bishops of a neighboring province, or send delegates to the spot with full power to decide the matter with the bishops.579

Thus was plainly committed to the Roman bishops an appellate and revisory jurisdiction in the case of a condemned or deposed bishop even of the East. But in the first place this authority is not here acknowledged as a right already existing in practice. It is conferred as a new power, and that merely as an honorary right, and as pertaining only to the bishop Julius in person.580  Otherwise, either this bishop would not be expressly named, or his successors would be named with him. Furthermore, the canons limit the appeal to the case of a bishop deposed by his comprovincials, and say nothing of other cases. Finally, the council of Sardica was not a general council, but only a local synod of the West, and could therefore establish no law for the whole church. For the Eastern bishops withdrew at the very beginning, and held an opposition council in the neighboring town of Philippopolis; and the city of Sardica, too, with the praefecture of Illyricum, at that time belonged to the Western empire and the Roman patriarchate: it was not detached from them till 379. The council was intended, indeed, to be ecumenical; but it consisted at first of only a hundred and seventy bishops, and after the recession of the seventy-six Orientals, it had only ninety-four; and even by the two hundred signatures of absent bishops, mostly Egyptian, to whom the acts were sent for their approval, the East, and even the Latin Africa, with its three hundred bishoprics, were very feebly represented. It was not sanctioned by the emperor Constantius, and has by no subsequent authority been declared ecumenical.581  Accordingly its decrees soon fell into oblivion, and in the further course of the Arian controversy, and even throughout the Nestorian, where the bishops of Alexandria, and not those of Rome, were evidently at the head of the orthodox sentiment, they were utterly unnoticed.582  The general councils of 381, 451, and 680 knew nothing of such a supreme appellate tribunal, but unanimously enacted, that all ecclesiastical matters, without exception, should first be decided in the provincial councils, with the right of appeal—not to the bishop of Rome, but to the patriarch of the proper diocese. Rome alone did not forget the Sardican decrees, but built on this single precedent a universal right. Pope Zosimus, in the case of the deposed presbyter Apiarius of Sicca (a.d. 417–418), made the significant mistake of taking the Sardican decrees for Nicene, and thus giving them greater weight than they really possessed; but he was referred by the Africans to the genuine text of the Nicene canon. The later popes, however, transcended the Sardican decrees, withdrawing from the provincial council, according to the pseudo-Isidorian Decretals, the right of deposing a bishop, which had been allowed by Sardica, and vesting it, as a causa major, exclusively in themselves.

Finally, in regard to the four great ecumenical councils, the first of Nice, the first of Constantinople, that of Ephesus, and that of Chalcedon: we have already presented their position on this question in connection with their legislation on the patriarchal system.583  We have seen that they accord to the bishop of Rome a precedence of honor among the five officially coequal patriarchs, and thus acknowledge him primus inter pares, but, by that very concession, disallow his claims to supremacy of jurisdiction, and to monarchical authority over the entire church. The whole patriarchal system, in fact, was not monarchy, but oligarchy. Hence the protest of the Roman delegates and of Pope Leo against the decrees of the council of Chalcedon in 451, which coincided with that of Constantinople in 381. This protest was insufficient to annul the decree, and in the East it made no lasting impression; for the subsequent incidental concessions of Greek patriarchs and emperors, like that of the usurper Phocas in 606, and even of the sixth ecumenical council of Constantinople in 680, to the see of Rome, have no general significance, but are distinctly traceable to special circumstances and prejudices.

It is, therefore, an undeniable historical fact, that the greatest dogmatic and legislative authorities of the ancient church bear as decidedly against the specific papal claims of the Roman bishopric, is in favor of its patriarchal rights and an honorary primacy in the patriarchal oligarchy. The subsequent separation of the Greek church from the Latin proves to this day, that she was never willing to sacrifice her independence to Rome, or to depart from the decrees of her own greatest councils.

Here lies the difference, however, between the Greek and the Protestant opposition to the universal monarchy of the papacy. The Greek church protested against it from the basis of the oligarchical patriarchal hierarchy of the fifth century; in an age, therefore, and upon a principle of church organization, which preceded the grand agency of the papacy in the history of the world. The evangelical church protests against it on the basis of a freer conception of Christianity, seeing in the papacy an institution, which indeed formed the legitimate development of the patriarchal system, and was necessary for the training of the Romanic and Germanic Nations of the middle ages, but which has virtually fulfilled its mission and outlived itself. The Greek church never had a papacy; the evangelical historically implies one. The papacy stands between the age of the patriarchal hierarchy and the age of the Reformation, like the Mosaic theocracy between the patriarchal period and the advent of Christianity. Protestantism rejects at once the papal monarchy and the patriarchal oligarchy, and thus can justify the former as well as the latter for a certain time and a certain stage in the progress of the Christian world.


 § 63. Leo the Great.  a.d. 440–461.


I. St. Leo Magnus: Opera omnia (sermones et epistolae), ed. Paschas. Quesnel., Par. 1675, 2 vols. 4to. (Gallican, and defending Hilary against Leo, hence condemned by the Roman Index); and ed. Petr. et Hieron. Ballerini (two very learned brothers and presbyters, who wrote at the request of Pope Benedict XIV.), Venet. 1753–1757, 3 vols. fol. (Vol. i. contains 96 Sermons and 173 Epistles, the two other volumes doubtful writings and learned dissertations.) This edition is reprinted in Migne’s Patrologiae Cursus completus, vol. 54–57, Par. 1846.


II. Acta Sanctorum: sub Apr. 11 (Apr. tom. ii. p. 14–30, brief and unsatisfactory). Tillemont: Mem. t. xv. p. 414–832 (very full). Butler: Lives of the Saints, sub Apr. 11. W. A. Arendt (R.C.): Leo der Grosse u. seine Zeit, Mainz, 1835 (apologetic and panegyric). Edw. Perthel: P. Leo’s I. Leben u. Lehren, Jena, 1843 (Protestant). Fr. Boehringer: Die Kirche Christi u. ihre Zeugen, Zürich, 1846, vol. i. div. 4, p. 170–309. Ph. Jaffé: Regesta Pontif. Rom., Berol. 1851, p. 34 sqq. Comp. also Greenwood: Cathedra Petri, Lond. 1859, vol. i. bk. ii. chap. iv.-vi. (The Leonine Period); and H. H. Milman: Hist. of Latin Christianity, Lond. and New York, 1860, vol. i. bk. ii. ch. iv.


In most of the earlier bishops of Rome the person is eclipsed by the office. The spirit of the age and public opinion rule the bishops, not the bishops them. In the preceding period, Victor in the controversy on Easter, Callistus in that on the restoration of the lapsed, and Stephen in that on heretical baptism, were the first to come out with hierarchical arrogance; but they were somewhat premature, and found vigorous resistance in Irenaeus, Hippolytus, and Cyprian, though on all three questions the Roman view at last carried the day.

In the period before us, Damasus, who subjected Illyria to the Roman jurisdiction, and established the authority of the Vulgate, and Siricius, who issued the first genuine decretal letter, trod in the steps of those predecessors. Innocent I. (402–417) took a step beyond, and in the Pelagian controversy ventured the bold assertion, that in the whole Christian world nothing should be decided without the cognizance of the Roman see, and that, especially in matters of faith, all bishops must turn to St. Peter.584

But the first pope, in the proper sense of the word, is Leo I., who justly bears the title of "the Great" in the history of the Latin hierarchy. In him the idea of the Papacy, as it were, became flesh and blood. He conceived it in great energy and clearness, and carried it out with the Roman spirit of dominion, so far as the circumstances of the time at all allowed. He marks the same relative epoch in the development of the papacy, as Cyprian in the history of the episcopate. He had even a higher idea of the prerogatives of the see of Rome than Gregory the Great, who, though he reigned a hundred and fifty years later, represents rather the patriarchal idea than the papal. Leo was at the same time the first important theologian in the chair of Rome, surpassing in acuteness and depth of thought all his predecessors, and all his successors down to Gregory I. Benedict XIV. placed him (a.d. 1744) in the small class of doctores ecclesiae, or authoritative teachers of the catholic faith. He battled with the Manichaean, the Priscillianist, the Pelagian, and other heresies, and won an immortal name as the finisher of the orthodox doctrine of the person of Christ.

The time and place of the birth and earlier life of Leo are unknown. His letters, which are the chief source of information, commence not before the year 442. Probably a Roman585—if not one by birth, he was certainly a Roman in the proud dignity of his spirit and bearing, the high order of his legislative and administrative talent, and the strength and energy of his will—he distinguished himself first under Coelestine (423–432) and Sixtus III. (432–440) as archdeacon and legate of the Roman church. After the death of the latter, and while himself absent in Gaul, he was elected pope by the united voice of clergy, senate, and people, and continued in that office one-and-twenty years (440–461). His feelings at the assumption of this high office, he himself thus describes in one of his sermons: "Lord, I have beard your voice calling me, and I was afraid: I considered the work which was enjoined on me, and I trembled. For what proportion is there between the burden assigned to me and my weakness, this elevation and my nothingness?  What is more to be feared than exaltation without merit, the exercise of the most holy functions being intrusted to one who is buried in sin?  Oh, you have laid upon me this heavy burden, bear it with me, I beseech you be you my guide and my support."

During the time of his pontificate he was almost the only great man in the Roman empire, developed extraordinary activity, and took a leading part in all the affairs of the church. His private life is entirely unknown, and we have no reason to question the purity of his motives or of his morals. His official zeal, and all his time and strength, were devoted to the interests of Christianity. But with him the interests of Christianity were identical with the universal dominion of the Roman church.

He was animated with the unwavering conviction that the Lord himself had committed to him, as the successor of Peter, the care of the whole church.586  He anticipated all the dogmatical arguments by which the power of the papacy was subsequently established. He refers the petra, on which the church is built, to Peter and his confession. Though Christ himself—to sum up his views on the subject—is in the highest sense the rock and foundation, besides which no other can be laid, yet, by transfer of his authority, the Lord made Peter the rock in virtue of his great confession, and built on him the indestructible temple of his church. In Peter the fundamental relation of Christ to his church comes, as it were, to concrete form and reality in history. To him specially and individually the Lord intrusted the keys of the kingdom of heaven; to the other apostles only in their general and corporate capacity. For the faith of Peter the Lord specially prayed in the hour of his passion, as if the standing of the other apostles would be the firmer, if the mind of their leader remained unconquered. On Peter rests the steadfastness of the whole apostolic college in the faith. To him the Lord, after his resurrection, committed the care of his sheep and lambs. Peter is therefore the pastor and prince of the whole church, through whom Christ exercises his universal dominion on earth. This primacy, however, is not limited to the apostolic age, but, like the faith of Peter, and like the church herself, it perpetuates itself; and it perpetuates itself through the bishops of Rome, who are related to Peter as Peter was related to Christ. As Christ in Peter, so Peter in his successors lives and speaks and perpetually executes the commission: "Feed my sheep."   It was by special direction of divine providence, that Peter labored and died in Rome, and sleeps with thousands of blessed martyrs in holy ground. The centre of worldly empire alone can be the centre of the kingdom of God. Yet the political position of Rome would be of no importance without the religious considerations. By Peter was Rome, which had been the centre of all error and superstition, transformed into the metropolis of the Christian world, and invested with a spiritual dominion far wider than her former earthly empire. Hence the bishopric of Constantinople, not being a sedes apostolica, but resting its dignity on a political basis alone, can never rival the Roman, whose primacy is rooted both in divine and human right. Antioch also, where Peter only transiently resided, and Alexandria, where he planted the church through his disciple Mark, stand only in a secondary relation to Rome, where his bones repose, and where that was completed, which in the East was only laid out. The Roman bishop is, therefore, the primus omnium episcoporum, and on him devolves the plenitudo potestatis, the solicitudo omnium pastorum, and communis cura universalis ecclesiae.587

Leo thus made out of a primacy of grace and of personal fitness a primacy of right and of succession. Of his person, indeed, he speaks in his sermons with great humility, but only thereby the more to exalt his official character. He tells the Romans, that the true celebration of the anniversary of his accession is, to recognize, honor, and obey, in his lowly person, Peter himself, who still cares for shepherd and flock, and whose dignity is not lacking even to his unworthy heir.588  Here, therefore, we already have that characteristic combination of humility and arrogance, which has stereotyped itself in the expressions: "Servant of the servants of God," "vicar of Christ," and even "God upon earth."   In this double consciousness of his personal unworthiness and his official exaltation, Leo annually celebrated the day of his elevation to the chair of Peter. While Peter himself passes over his prerogative in silence, and expressly warns against hierarchical assumption,589 Leo cannot speak frequently and emphatically enough of his authority. While Peter in Antioch meekly submits to the rebuke of the junior apostle Paul,590 Leo pronounces resistance to his authority to be impious pride and the sure way to hell.591  Obedience to the pope is thus necessary to salvation. Whosoever, says he, is not with the apostolic see, that is, with the head of the body, whence all gifts of grace descend throughout the body, is not in the body of the church, and has no part in her grace. This is the fearful but legitimate logic of the papal principle, which confines the kingdom of God to the narrow lines of a particular organization, and makes the universal spiritual reign of Christ dependent on a temporal form and a human organ. But in its very first application this papal ban proved itself a brutum fulmen, when in spite of it the Gallican archbishop Hilary, against whom it was directed, died universally esteemed and loved, and then was canonized. This very impracticability of that principle, which would exclude all Greek and Protestant Christians from the kingdom of heaven, is a refutation of the principle itself.

In carrying his idea of the papacy into effect, Leo displayed the cunning tact, the diplomatic address, and the iron consistency which characterize the greatest popes of the middle age. The circumstances in general were in his favor: the East rent by dogmatic controversies; Africa devastated by the barbarians; the West weak in a weak emperor; nowhere a powerful and pure bishop or divine, like Athanasius, Augustine, or Jerome, in the former generation; the overthrow of the Western empire at hand; a new age breaking, with new peoples, for whose childhood the papacy was just the needful school; the most numerous and last important general council convened; and the system of ecumenical orthodoxy ready to be closed with the decision concerning the relation of the two natures in Christ.

Leo first took advantage of the distractions of the North African church under the Arian Vandals, and wrote to its bishops in the tone of an acknowledged over-shepherd. Under the stress of the times, and in the absence of a towering, character like Cyprian and Augustine, the Africans submitted to his authority (443). He banished the remnants of the Manichaeans and Pelagians from Italy, and threatened the bishops with his anger, if they should not purge their churches of the heresy. In East Illyrian which was important to Rome as the ecclesiastical outpost toward Constantinople, he succeeded in regaining and establishing the supremacy, which had been acquired by Damasus, but had afterward slipped away. Anastasius of Thessalonica applied to him to be confirmed in his office. Leo granted the prayer in 444, extending the jurisdiction of Anastasius over all the Illyrian bishops, but reserving to them a right of appeal in important cases, which ought to be decided by the pope according to divine revelation. And a case to his purpose soon presented itself, in which Leo brought his vicar to feel that he was called indeed to a participation of his care, but not to a plentitude of power (plenitudo potestatis). In the affairs of the Spanish church also Leo had an opportunity to make his influence felt, when Turibius, bishop of Astorga, besought his intervention against the Priscillianists. He refuted these heretics point by point, and on the basis of his exposition the Spaniards drew up an orthodox regula fidei with eighteen anathemas against the Priscillianist error.

But in Gaul he met, as we have already, seen, with a strenuous antagonist in Hilary of Arles, and, though he called the secular power to his aid, and procured from the emperor Valentinian an edict entirely favorable to his claims, he attained but a partial victory.592  Still less successful was his effort to establish his primacy in the East, and to prevent his rival at Constantinople from being elevated, by the famous twenty-eighth canon of Chalcedon, to official equality with himself.593  His earnest protest against that decree produced no lasting effect. But otherwise he had the most powerful influence in the second stage of the Christological controversy. He neutralized the tyranny of Dioscurus of Alexandria and the results of the shameful robber-council of Ephesus (449), furnished the chief occasion of the fourth ecumenical council, presided over it by his legates (which the Roman bishop had done at neither of the three councils before), and gave the turn to the final solution of its doctrinal problem by that celebrated letter to Flavian of Constantinople, the main points of which were incorporated in the new symbol. Yet he owed this influence by no means to his office alone, but most of all to his deep insight of the question, and to the masterly tact with which he held the Catholic orthodox mean between the Alexandrian and Antiochian, Eutychian and Nestorian extremes. The particulars of his connection with this important dogma belong, however, to the history of doctrine.

Besides thus shaping the polity and doctrine of the church, Leo did immortal service to the city of Rome, in twice rescuing it from destruction.594  When Attila, king of the Huns, the "scourge of God," after destroying Aquileia, was seriously threatening the capital of the world (A. D. 452), Leo, with only two companions, crozier in hand, trusting in the help of God, ventured into the hostile camp, and by his venerable form, his remonstrances, and his gifts, changed the wild heathen’s purpose. The later legend, which Raphael’s pencil has employed, adorned the fact with a visible appearance of Peter and Paul, accompanying the bishop, and, with drawn sword, threatening Attila with destruction unless he should desist.595  A similar case occurred several years after (455), when the Vandal king Genseric, invited out of revenge by the empress Eudoxia, pushed his ravages to Rome. Leo obtained from him the promise that at least he would spare the city the infliction of murder and fire; but the barbarians subjected it to a fourteen days’ pillage, the enormous spoils of which they transported to Carthage; and afterward the pope did everything to alleviate the consequent destitution and suffering, and to restore the churches.596

Leo died in 461, and was buried in the church of St. Peter. The day and circumstances of his death are unknown.597

The literary works of Leo consist of ninety-six sermons and one hundred and seventy-three epistles, including epistles of others to him. They are earnest, forcible, full of thought, churchly, abounding in bold antitheses and allegorical freaks of exegesis, and sometimes heavy, turgid, and obscure in style. His collection of sermons is the first we have from a Roman bishops In his inaugural discourse he declared preaching to be his sacred duty. The sermons are short and simple, and were delivered mostly on high festivals and on the anniversaries of his own elevation.598  Other works ascribed to him, such as that on the calling of all nations,599 which takes a middle ground on the doctrine of predestination, with the view to reconcile the Semipelagians and Augustinians, are of doubtful genuineness.


 § 64. The Papacy from Leo I to Gregory I.  a.d. 461–590.


The first Leo and the first Gregory are the two greatest bishops of Rome in the first six centuries. Between them no important personage appears on the chair of Peter; and in the course of that intervening century the idea and the power of the papacy make no material advance. In truth, they went farther in Leo’s mind than they did in Gregory’s. Leo thought and acted as an absolute monarch; Gregory as first among the patriarchs; but both under the full conviction that they were the successors of Peter.

After the death of Leo, the archdeacon Hilary, who had represented him at the council of Ephesus, was elected to his place, and ruled (461–468) upon his principles, asserting the strict orthodoxy in the East and the authority of the primacy in Gaul.

His successor, Simplicius (468–483), saw the final dissolution of the empire under Romulus Augustulus (476), but, as he takes not the slightest notice of it in his epistles, he seems to have ascribed to it but little importance. The papal power had been rather favored than hindered in its growth by the imbecility of the latest emperors. Now, to a certain extent, it stepped into the imperial vacancy, and the successor of Peter became, in the mind of the Western nations, sole heir of the old Roman imperial succession.

On the fall of the empire the pope became the political subject of the barbarian and heretical (for they were Arian) kings; but these princes, as most of the heathen emperors had done, allowed him, either from policy, or from ignorance or indifference, entire freedom in ecclesiastical affairs. In Italy the Catholics had by far the ascendency in numbers and in culture. And the Arianism of the new rulers was rather an outward profession than an inward conviction. Odoacer, who first assumed the kingdom of Italy (476–493), was tolerant toward the orthodox faith, yet attempted to control the papal election in 483 in the interest of the state, and prohibited, under penalty of the anathema, the alienation of church property by any bishop. Twenty years later a Roman council protested against this intervention of a layman, and pronounced the above prohibition null and void, but itself passed a similar decree against the alienation of church estates.600

Pope Felix II., or, according to another reckoning,III. (483–492), continued the war of his predecessor against the Monophysitism of the East, rejected the Henoticon of the emperor Zeno, as an unwarrantable intrusion of a layman in matters of faith, and ventured even the excommunication of the bishop Acacius of Constantinople. Acacius replied with a counter anathema, with the support of the other Eastern patriarchs; and the schism between the two churches lasted over thirty years, to the pontificate of Hormisdas.

Gelasius I. (492–496) clearly announced the principle, that the priestly power is above the kingly and the imperial, and that from the decisions of the chair of Peter there is no appeal. Yet from this pope we have, on the other hand, a remarkable testimony against what he pronounces the "sacrilege" of withholding the cup from the laity, the communio sub una specie.

Anastasius II. (496–498) indulged in a milder tone toward Constantinople, and incurred the suspicion of consent to its heresy.601

His sudden death was followed by a contested papal election, which led to bloody encounters. The Ostrogothic king Theodoric (the Dietrich of Bern in the Niebelungenlied), the conqueror and master of Italy (493–526), and, like Odoacer, an Arian, was called into consultation in this contest, and gave his voice for Symmachus against Laurentius, because Symmachus had received the majority of votes, and had been consecrated first. But the party of Laurentius, not satisfied with this, raised against Symmachus the reproach of gross iniquities, even of adultery and of squandering the church estates. The bloody scenes were renewed, priests were murdered, cloisters were burned, and nuns were insulted. Theodoric, being again called upon by the senate for a decision, summoned a council at Rome, to which Symmachus gave his consent; and a synod, convoked by a heretical king, must decide upon the pope!  In the course of the controversy several councils were held in rapid succession, the chronology of which is disputed.602  The most important was the synodus palmaris,603 the fourth council under Symmachus, held in October, 501. It acquitted this pope without investigation, on the presumption that it did not behove the council to pass judgment respecting the successor of St. Peter. In his vindication of this council—for the opposition was not satisfied with it—the deacon Ennodius, afterward bishop of Pavia († 521), gave the first clear expression to the absolutism upon which Leo had already acted: that the Roman bishop is above every human tribunal, and is responsible only to God himself.604  Nevertheless, even in the middle age, popes were deposed and set up by emperors and general councils. This is one of the points of dispute between the absolute papal system and the constitutional episcopal system in the Roman church, which was left unsettled even by the council of Trent.

Under Hormisdas (514–523) the Monophysite party in the Greek church was destroyed by the energetic zeal of the orthodox emperor Justin, and in 519 the union of that church with Rome was restored, after a schism of five-and-thirty years.

Theodoric offered no hinderance to the transactions and embassies, and allowed his most distinguished subject to assert his ecclesiastical supremacy over Constantinople. This semi-barbarous and heretical prince was tolerant in general, and very liberal toward the Catholic church; even rising to the principle, which has waited till the modern age for its recognition, that the power of the prince should be restricted to civil government, and should permit no trespass on the conscience of its subjects." No one," says he, "shall be forced to believe against his will."   Yet, toward the close of his reign, on mere political suspicion, he ordered the execution of the celebrated philosopher Boethius, with whom the old Roman literature far more worthily closes, than the Roman empire with Augustulus; and on the same ground he caused the death of the senator Symmachus and the incarceration of Pope John I. (523–526).

Almost the last act of his reign was the nomination of the worthy Felix III. (IV.) to the papal chair, after a protracted struggle of contending parties. With the appointment he issued the order that hereafter, as heretofore, the pope should be elected by clergy and people, but should be confirmed by the temporal prince before assuming his office; and with this understanding the clergy and the city gave their consent to the nomination.

Yet, in spite of this arrangement, in the election of Boniface II. (530–532) and John II. (532–535) the same disgraceful quarrelling and briberies occurred;—a sort of chronic disease in the history of the papacy.

Soon after the death of Theodoric (526) the Gothic empire fell to pieces through internal distraction and imperial weakness. Italy was conquered by Belisarius (535), and, with Africa, again incorporated with the East Roman empire, which renewed under Justinian its ancient splendor, and enjoyed a transient after-summer. And yet this powerful, orthodox emperor was a slave to the intriguing, heretical Theodora, whom he had raised from the theatre to the throne; and Belisarius likewise, his victorious general, was completely under the power of his wife Antonina.

With the conquest of Italy the popes fell into a perilous and unworthy dependence on the emperor at Constantinople, who reverenced, indeed, the Roman chair, but not less that of Constantinople, and in reality sought to use both as tools of his own state-church despotism. Agapetus (535–536) offered fearless resistance to the arbitrary course of Justinian, and successfully protested against the elevation of the Eutychian Anthimus to the patriarchal see of Constantinople. But, by the intrigues of the Monophysite empress, his successor, Pope Silverius (a son of Hormisdas, 536–538), was deposed on the charge of treasonable correspondence with the Goths, and banished to the island of Pandataria, whither the worst heathen emperors used to send the victims of their tyranny, and where in 540 he died—whether a natural or a violent death, we do not know.

Vigilius, a pliant creature of Theodora, ascended the papal chair under the military protection of Belisarius (538–554). The empress had promised him this office and a sum of money, on condition that he nullify the decrees of the council of Chalcedon, and pronounce Anthimus and his friends orthodox. The ambitious and doubled-tongued prelate accepted the condition, and accomplished the deposition, and perhaps the death, of Silverius. In his pontificate occurred the violent controversy of the three chapters and the second general council of Constantinople (553). His administration was an unprincipled vacillation between the dignity and duties of his office and subservience to an alien theological and political influence; between repeated condemnation of the three chapters in behalf of a Eutychianizing spirit, and repeated retraction of that condemnation. In Constantinople, where he resided several years at the instance of the emperor, he suffered much personal persecution, but without the spirit of martyrdom, and without its glory. For example, at least according to Western accounts, he was violently torn from the altar, upon which he was holding with both hands so firmly that the posts of the canopy fell in above him; he was dragged through the streets with a rope around his neck, and cast into a common prison; because he would not submit to the will of Justinian and his council. Yet he yielded at last, through fear of deposition. He obtained permission to return to Rome, but died in Sicily, of the stone, on his way thither (554).

Pelagius I. (554–560), by order of Justinian, whose favor he had previously gained as papal legate at Constantinople, was made successor of Vigilius, but found only two bishops ready to consecrate him. His close connection with the East, and his approval of the fifth ecumenical council, which was regarded as a partial concession to the Eutychian Christology, and, so far, an impeachment of the authority of the council of Chalcedon, alienated many Western bishops, even in Italy, and induced a temporary suspension of their connection with Rome. He issued a letter to the whole Christian world, in which he declared his entire agreement with the first four general councils, and then vindicated the fifth as in no way departing from the Chalcedonian dogma. But only by the military aid of Narses could he secure subjection; and the most refractory bishops, those of Aquileia and Milan, he sent as prisoners to Constantinople.

In these two Justinian-made popes we see how much the power of the Roman hierarchy was indebted to its remoteness from the Byzantine despotism, and how much it was injured by contact with it.

With the descent of the Arian Longobards into Italy, after 668, the popes again became more independent of the Byzantine court. They continued under tribute indeed to the ex-archs in Ravenna, as the representatives of the Greek emperors (from 554), and were obliged to have their election confirmed and their inauguration superintended by them. But the feeble hold of these officials in Italy, and the pressure of the Arian barbarians upon them, greatly favored the popes, who, being the richest proprietors, enjoyed also great political consideration in Italy, and applied their influence to the maintenance of law and order amidst the reigning confusion.

In other respects the administrations of John III. (560–573), Benedict I. (574–578), and Pelagius II. (578–590), are among the darkest and the most sterile in the annals of the papacy.

But with Gregory I. (590–604) a new period begins. Next to Leo I. he was the greatest of the ancient bishops of Rome, and he marks the transition of the patriarchal system into the strict papacy of the middle ages. For several reasons we prefer to place him at the head of the succeeding period. He came, it is true, with more modest claims than Leo, who surpassed him in boldness, energy, and consistency. He even solemnly protested, as his predecessor Pelagius II. had done, against the title of universal bishop, which the Constantinopolitan patriarch, John Jejunator, adopted at a council in 587;605 he declared it an antichristian assumption, in terms which quite remind us of the patriarchal equality, and seem to form a step in recession from the ground of Leo. But when we take his operations in general into view, and remember the rigid consistency of the papacy, which never forgets, we are almost justified in thinking, that this protest was directed not so much against the title itself, as against the bearer of it, and proceeded more from jealousy of a rival at Constantinople, than from sincere humility.606  From the same motive the Roman bishops avoided the title of patriarch, as placing them on a level with the Eastern patriarchs, and preferred the title of pope, from a sense of the specific dignity of the chair of Peter. Gregory is said to have been the first to use the humble-proud title: "Servant of the servants of God."   His successors, notwithstanding his protest, called themselves "the universal bishops" of Christendom. What he had condemned in his oriental colleagues as antichristian arrogance, the later popes considered but the appropriate expression of their official position in the church universal.


 § 65. The Synodical System. The Ecumenical Councils.


I. The principal sources are the Acts of the Councils, the best and most complete collections of which are those of the Jesuit Sirmond (Rom. 1608–1612, 4 vols. fol.); the so-called Collectio regia (Paris, 1644, 37 vols. fol.; a copy of it in the Astor Libr., New York); but especially those of the Jesuit Hardouin († 1729): Collectio maxima Conciliorum generalium et provincialium (Par. 1715 sqq., 12 vols. fol.), coming down to 1714, and very available through its five copious indexes (tom. i. and ii. embrace the first six centuries; a copy of it, from Van Ess’s library, in the Union Theol. Sem. Library, at New York); and the Italian Joannes Dominicus Mansi (archbishop of Lucca, died 1769): Sacrorum Conciliorum nova et amplissima collection, Florence, 1759-’98, in 31 (30) vols. fol. This is the most complete and the best collection down to the fifteenth century, but unfinished, and therefore without general indexes; tom. i. contains the Councils from the beginning of Christianity to a.d. 304; tom. ii.-ix. include our period to a.d. 590 (I quote from an excellent copy of this rare collection in the Union Theol. Sem. Libr., at New York, 30 t. James Darling, in his Cyclop. Bibliographica, p. 740–756, gives the list of the contents of an earlier edition of the Councils by Nic. Coleti, Venet., 1728, in 23 vols., with a supplement of Mansi, in 6 vols. 1748-’52, which goes down to 1727, while the new edition of Mansi only reaches to 1509. Brunet, in the "Manuel Du Libraire," quotes the edition of Mansi, Florence, 1759–1798, with the remark: "Cette collection, dont le dernier volume s’arrête à l’année 1509, est peu commune à Paris ou elle revenait à 600 fr."   Strictly speaking its stops in the middle of the 15th century, except in a few documents which reach further.)  Useful abstracts are the Summa Conciliorum of Barth. Caranza, in many editions; and in the German language, the Bibliothek der Kirchenversammlungen (4th and 5th centuries), by Fuchs, Leipz., 1780–1784, 4 vols.

II. Chr. Wilh. Franz Walch (Luth.): Entwurf einer vollstaendigen Historie der Kirchenversammlungen, Leipz., 1759. Edw. H. Landon (Anglic.): A manual of Councils of the Holy Catholick Church, comprising the substance of the most remarkable and important canons, alphabetically arranged, 12mo. London, 1846. C. J. Hefele (R.C.): Conciliengeshichte, Freiburg, 1855–1863, 5 vols. (a very valuable work, not yet finished; vol. v. comes down to a.d. 1250). Comp. my Essay on Oekumenische Concilien, in Dorner’s Annals of Ger. Theol. vol. viii. 326–346.


Above the patriarchs, even above the patriarch of Rome, stood the ecumenical or general councils,607 the highest representatives, of the unity and authority of the old Catholic church. They referred originally to the Roman empire, but afterward included the adjacent barbarian countries, so far as those countries were represented in them by bishops. They rise up like lofty peaks or majestic pyramids from the plan of ancient church history, and mark the ultimate authoritative settlement of the general questions of doctrine and discipline which agitated Christendom in the Graeco-Roman empire.

The synodical system in general had its rise in the apostolic council at Jerusalem,608 and completed its development, under its Catholic form, in the course of the first five centuries. Like the episcopate, it presented a hierarchical gradation of orders. There was, first, the diocesan or district council, in which the bishop of a diocese (in the later sense of the word) presided over his clergy; then the provincial council, consisting of the metropolitan or archbishop and the bishops of his ecclesiastical province; next, the patriarchal council, embracing all the bishops of a patriarchal district (or a diocese in the old sense of the term); then the national council, inaccurately styled also general, representing either the entire Greek or the entire Latin church (like the later Lateran councils and the council of Trent); and finally, at the summit stood the ecumenical council, for the whole Christian world. There was besides these a peculiar and abnormal kind of synod, styled suvnodo" ejndhmou'sa, frequently held by the bishop of Constantinople with the provincial bishops resident (ejndhmou'nte") on the spot.609

In the earlier centuries the councils assembled without fixed regularity, at the instance of present necessities, like the Montanist and the Easter controversies in the latter part of the second century. Firmilian of Cappadocia, in his letter to Cyprian, first mentions, that at his time, in the middle of the third century, the churches of Asia Minor held regular annual synods, consisting of bishops and presbyters. From that time we find an increasing number of such assemblies in Egypt, Syria, Greece, Northern Africa, Italy, Spain, and Gaul. The council of Nicaea, a.d. 325, ordained, in the fifth canon, that the provincial councils should meet twice a year: during the fast season before Easter, and in the fall.610  In regard to the other synods no direction was given.

The Ecumenical councils were not stated, but extraordinary assemblies, occasioned by the great theological controversies of the ancient church. They could not arise until after the conversion of the Roman emperor and the ascendancy of Christianity as the religion of the state. They were the highest, and the last, manifestation of the power of the Greek church, which in general took the lead in the first age of Christianity, and was the chief seat of all theological activity. Hence in that church, as well as in others, they are still held in the highest veneration, and kept alive in the popular mind by pictures in the churches. The Greek and Russian Christians have annually commemorated the seven ecumenical councils, since the year 842, on the first Sunday in Lent, as the festival of the triumph of orthodoxy611 and they live in the hope that an eighth ecumenical council shall yet heal the divisions and infirmities of the Christian world. Through their symbols of faith those councils, especially of Nice and of Chalcedon, still live in the Western church, both Roman Catholic and Evangelical Protestant.

Strictly speaking, none of these councils properly represented the entire Christian world. Apart from the fact that the laity, and even the lower clergy, were excluded from them, the assembled bishops themselves formed but a small part of the Catholic episcopate. The province of North Africa alone numbered many more bishops than were present at either the second, the third, or the fifth general council.612  The councils bore a prevailingly oriental character, were occupied with Greek controversies, used the Greek language, sat in Constantinople or in its vicinity, and consisted almost wholly of Greek members. The Latin church was usually represented only by a couple of delegates of the Roman bishop; though these delegates, it is true, acted more or less in the name of the entire West. Even the five hundred and twenty, or the six hundred and thirty members of the council of Chalcedon, excepting the two representatives of Leo I., and two African fugitives accidentally present, were all from the East. The council of Constantinople in 381 contained not a single Latin bishop, and only a hundred and fifty Greek, and was raised to the ecumenical rank by the consent of the Latin church toward the middle of the following century. On the other hand, the council of Ephesus, in 449, was designed by emperor and pope to be an ecumenical council; but instead of this it has been branded in history as the synod of robbers, for its violent sanction of the Eutychian heresy. The council of Sardica, in 343, was likewise intended to be a general council, but immediately after its assembling assumed a sectional character, through the secession and counter-organization of the Eastern bishops.

It is, therefore, not the number of bishops present, nor even the regularity of the summons alone, which determines the ecumenical character of a council, but the result, the importance and correctness of the decisions, and, above all, the consent of the orthodox Christian world.613

The number of the councils thus raised by the public opinion of the Greek and Latin churches to the ecumenical dignity, is seven. The succession begins with the first council of Nicaea, in the year 325, which settled the doctrine of the divinity of Christ, and condemned the Arian heresy. It closes with the second council of Nice, in 787, which sanctioned the use of images in the church. The first four of these councils command high theological regard in the orthodox Evangelical churches, while the last three are less important and far more rarely mentioned.

The ecumenical councils have not only an ecclesiastical significance, but bear also a political or state-church character. The very name refers to the oijkoumevnh, the orbis Romanus, the empire. Such synods were rendered possible only by that great transformation, which is marked by the accession of Constantine. That emperor caused the assembling of the first ecumenical council, though the idea was probably suggested to him by friends among the bishops; at least Rufinus says, he summoned the council "ex sacerdotum sententia."  At all events the Christian Graeco-Roman emperor is indispensable to an ecumenical council in the ancient sense of the term; its temporal head and its legislative strength.

According to the rigid hierarchical or papistic theory, as carried out in the middle ages, and still asserted by Roman divines, the pope alone, as universal head of the church, can summon, conduct, and confirm a universal council. But the history of the first seven, or, as the Roman reckoning is, eight, ecumenical councils, from 325 to 867, assigns this threefold power to the Byzantine emperors. This is placed beyond all contradiction, by the still extant edicts of the emperors, the acts of the councils, the accounts of all the Greek historians, and the contemporary Latin sources. Upon this Byzantine precedent, and upon the example of the kings of Israel, the Russian Czars and the Protestant princes of Germany, Scandinavia, and England—be it justly or unjustly—build their claim to a similar and still more extended supervision of the church in their dominions.

In the first place, the call of the ecumenical councils emanated from the emperors.614  They fixed the place and time of the assembly, summoned the metropolitans and more distinguished bishops of the empire by an edict, provided the means of transit, and paid the cost of travel and the other expenses out of the public treasury. In the case of the council of Nicaea and the first of Constantinople the call was issued without previous advice or consent from the bishop of Rome.615  In the council of Chalcedon, in 451, the papal influence is for the first time decidedly prominent; but even there it appears in virtual subordination to the higher authority of the council, which did not suffer itself to be disturbed by the protest of Leo against its twenty-eighth canon in reference to the rank of the patriarch of Constantinople. Not only ecumenical, but also provincial councils were not rarely called together by Western princes; as the council of Arles in 314 by Constantine, the council of Orleans in 549 by Childebert, and—to anticipate an instance—the synod of Frankfort in 794 by Charlemagne. Another remarkable fact has been already mentioned: that in the beginning of the sixth century several Orthodox synods at Rome, for the purpose of deciding the contested election of Symmachus, were called by a secular prince, and he the heretical Theodoric; yet they were regarded as valid.

In the second place, the emperors, directly or indirectly, took an active part in all but two of the ecumenical councils summoned by them, and held the presidency. Constantine the Great, Marcian, and his wife Pulcheria, Constantine Progonatus, Irene, and Basil the Macedonian, attended in person; but generally the emperors, like the Roman bishops (who were never present themselves), were represented by delegates or commissioners, clothed with full authority for the occasion. These deputies opened the sessions by reading the imperial edict (in Latin and Greek) and other documents. They presided in conjunction with the patriarchs, conducted the entire course of the transactions, preserved order and security, closed the council, and signed the acts either at the head or at the foot of the signatures of the bishops. In this prominent position they sometimes exercised, when they had a theological interest or opinion of their own, no small influence on the discussions and decisions, though they had no votum; as the presiding officers of deliberative and legislative bodies generally have no vote, except when the decision of a question depends upon their voice.

To this presidency of the emperor or of his commissioners the acts of the councils and the Greek historians often refer. Even Pope Stephen V. (a.d. 817) writes, that Constantine the Great presided in the council of Nice. According to Eusebius, he introduced the principal matters of business with a solemn discourse, constantly attended the sessions, and took the place of honor in the assembly. His presence among the bishops at the banquet, which he gave them at the close of the council, seemed to that panegyrical historian a type of Christ among his saints!616  This prominence of Constantine in the most celebrated and the most important of all the councils is the more remarkable, since at that time he had not yet even been baptized. When Marcian and Pulcheria appeared with their court at the council of Chalcedon, to confirm its decrees, they were greeted by the assembled bishops in the bombastic style of the East, as defenders of the faith, as pillars of orthodoxy, as enemies and persecutors of heretics; the emperor as a second Constantine, a new Paul, a new David; the empress as a second Helena; with other high-sounding predicates.617  The second and fifth general councils were the only ones at which the emperor was not represented, and in them the presidency was in the hands of the patriarchs of Constantinople.

But together with the imperial commissioners, or in their absence, the different patriarchs or their representatives, especially the legates of the Roman bishop, the most powerful of the patriarchs, took part in the presiding office. This was the case at the third and fourth, and the sixth, seventh, and eighth universal councils.

For the emperor’s connection with the council had reference rather to the conduct of business and to the external affairs of the synod, than to its theological and religious discussions. This distinction appears in the well-known dictum of Constantine respecting a double episcopate, which we have already noticed. And at the Nicene council the emperor acted accordingly. He paid the bishops greater reverence than his heathen predecessors had shown the Roman senators. He wished to be a servant, not a judge, of the successors of the apostles, who are constituted priests and gods on earth. After his opening address, he "resigned the word" to the (clerical) officers of the council,618 by whom probably Alexander, bishop of Alexandria, Eustathius of Antioch, and Hosius of Cordova—the latter as special friend of the emperor, and as representative of the Western churches and perhaps of the bishop of Rome—are to be understood. The same distinction between a secular and spiritual presidency meets us in Theodosius II., who sent the comes Candidian as his deputy to the third general council, with full power over the entire business proceedings, but none over theological matters themselves; "for"—wrote he to the council-, "it is not proper that one who does not belong to the catalogue of most holy bishops, should meddle in ecclesiastical discussions."  Yet Cyril of Alexandria presided at this council, and conducted the business, at first alone, afterward in conjunction with the papal legates; while Candidian supported the Nestorian opposition, which held a council of its own under the patriarch John of Antioch.

Finally, from the emperors proceeded the ratification of the councils. Partly by their signatures, partly by special edicts, they gave the decrees of the council legal validity; they raised them to laws of the realm; they took pains to have them observed, and punished the disobedient with deposition and banishment. This was done by Constantine the Great for the decrees of Nice; by Theodosius the Great for those of Constantinople; by Marcian for those of Chalcedon. The second ecumenical council expressly prayed the emperor for such sanction, since he was present neither in person nor by commission. The papal confirmation, on the contrary, was not considered necessary, until after the fourth general council, in 451.619  And notwithstanding this, Justinian broke through the decrees of the fifth council, of 553, without the consent, and in fact despite the intimated refusal of Pope Vigilius. In the middle ages, however, the case was reversed. The influence of the pope on the councils increased, and that of the emperor declined; or rather, the German emperor never claimed so preëminent a position in the church as the Byzantine. Yet the relation of the pope to a general council, the question which of the two is above the other, is still a point of controversy between the curialist or ultramontane and the episcopal or Gallican schools.

Apart from this predominance of the emperor and his commissioners, the character of the ecumenical councils was thoroughly hierarchical. In the apostolic council at Jerusalem, the elders and the brethren took part with the apostles, and the decision went forth in the name of the whole congregation.620  But this republican or democratic element, so to call it, had long since given way before the spirit of aristocracy. The bishops alone, as the successors and heirs of the apostles, the ecclesia docens, were members of the councils. Hence, in the fifth canon of Nice, even a provincial synod is termed "the general assembly of the bishops of the province."  The presbyters and deacons took part, indeed, in the deliberations, and Athanasius, though at the time only a deacon, exerted probably more influence on the council of Nice by his zeal and his gifts, than most of the bishops; but they had no votum decisivum, except when, like the Roman legates, they represented their bishops. The laity were entirely excluded.

Yet it must be remembered, that the bishops of that day were elected by the popular voice. So far as that went, they really represented the Christian people, and were not seldom called to account by the people for their acts, though they voted in their own name as successors of the apostles. Eusebius felt bound to justify, his vote at Nice before his diocese in Caesarea, and the Egyptian bishops at Chalcedon feared an uproar in their congregations.

Furthermore, the councils, in an age of absolute despotism, sanctioned the principle of common public deliberation, as the best means of arriving at truth and settling controversy. They revived the spectacle of the Roman senate in ecclesiastical form, and were the forerunners of representative government and parliamentary legislation.

In matters of discipline the majority decided; but in matters of faith unanimity was required, though, if necessary, it was forced by the excision of the dissentient minority. In the midst of the assembly an open copy of the Gospels lay upon a desk or table, as, a symbol of the presence of Christ, whose infallible word is the rule of all doctrine. Subsequently the ecclesiastical canons and the relics of the saints were laid in similar state. The bishops—at least according to later usage—sat in a circle, in the order of the dates of their ordination or the rank of their sees; behind them, the priests; before or beside them, the deacons. The meetings were opened and closed with religious solemnities in liturgical style. In the ancient councils the various subjects were discussed in open synod, and the Acts of the councils contain long discourses and debates. But in the council of Trent the subjects of action were wrought up in separate committees, and only laid before the whole synod for ratification. The vote was always taken by heads, till the council of Constance, when it was taken by nations, to avoid the preponderance of the Italian prelates.

The jurisdiction of the ecumenical councils covered the entire legislation of the church, all matters of Christian faith and practice (fidei et morum), and all matters of organization arid worship. The doctrinal decrees were called dogmata or symbola; the disciplinary, canones. At the same time, the councils exercised, when occasion required, the highest judicial authority, in excommunicating bishops and patriarchs.

The authority of these councils in the decision of all points of controversy was supreme and final.

Their doctrinal decisions were early invested with infallibility; the promises of the Lord respecting the indestructibleness of his church, his own perpetual presence with the ministry, and the guidance of the Spirit of truth, being applied in the full sense to those councils, as representing the whole church. After the example of the apostolic council, the usual formula for a decree was: Visum est Sprirtui Sancto et nobis.621  Constantine the Great, in a circular letter to the churches, styles the decrees of the Nicene council a divine command;622 a phrase, however, in reference to which the abuse of the word divine, in the language of the Byzantine despots, must not be forgotten. Athanasius says, with reference to the doctrine of the divinity of Christ: "What God has spoken by the council of Nice, abides forever."623  The council of Chalcedon pronounced the decrees of the Nicene fathers unalterable statutes, since God himself had spoken through them.624  The council of Ephesus, in the sentence of deposition against Nestorius, uses the formula: "The Lord Jesus Christ, whom he has blasphemed, determines through this most holy council."625  Pope Leo speaks of an "irretractabilis consensus" of the council of Chalcedon upon the doctrine of the person of Christ. Pope Gregory the Great even placed the first four councils, which refuted and destroyed respectively the heresies and impieties of Arius, Macedonius, Nestorius, and Eutyches, on a level with the four canonical Gospels.626  In like manner Justinian puts the dogmas of the first four councils on the same footing with the Holy Scriptures, and their canons by the side of laws of the realm.627  The remaining three general councils have neither a theological importance, nor therefore an authority, equal to that of those first four, which laid the foundations of ecumenical orthodoxy. Otherwise Gregory would have mentioned also the fifth council, of 553, in the passage to which we have just referred. And even among the first four there is a difference of rank; the councils of Nice and Chalcedon standing highest in the character of their results.

Not so with the rules of discipline prescribed in the canones. These were never considered universally binding, like the symbols of faith; since matters of organization and usage, pertaining rather to the external form of the church, are more or less subject to the vicissitude of time. The fifteenth canon of the council of Nice, which prohibited and declared invalid the transfer of the clergy from one place to another,628 Gregory Nazianzen, fifty-seven years later (382), reckons among statutes long dead.629  Gregory himself repeatedly changed his location, and Chrysostom was called from Antioch to Constantinople. Leo I. spoke with strong disrespect of the third canon of the second ecumenical council, for assigning to the bishop of Constantinople the first rank after the bishop of Rome; and for the same reason be protested against the twenty-eighth canon of the fourth ecumenical council.630  Indeed the Roman church has made no point of adopting all the disciplinary laws enacted by those synods.

Augustine, the ablest and the most devout of the fathers, conceived, in the best vein of his age, a philosophical view of this authority of the councils, which strikes a wise and wholesome mean between the extremes of veneration and disparagement, and approaches the free spirit of evangelical Protestantism. He justly subordinates these councils to the Holy Scriptures, which are the highest and the perfect rule of faith, and supposes that the decrees of a council may be, not indeed set aside and repealed, yet enlarged and completed by, the deeper research of a later day. They embody, for the general need, the results already duly prepared by preceding theological controversies, and give the consciousness of the church, on the subject in question, the clearest and most precise expression possible at the time. But this consciousness itself is subject to development. While the Holy Scriptures present the truth unequivocally and infallibly, and allow no room for doubt, the judgment of bishops may be corrected and enriched with new truths from the word of God, by the wiser judgment of other bishops; the judgment of the provincial council by that of a general; and the views of one general council by those of a later.631  In this Augustine presumed, that all the transactions of a council were conducted in the spirit of Christian humility, harmony, and love; but had he attended the council of Ephesus, in 431, to which he was summoned about the time of his death, he would, to his grief, have found the very opposite spirit reigning there. Augustine, therefore, manifestly acknowledges a gradual advancement of the church doctrine, which reaches its corresponding expression from time to time through the general councils; but a progress within the truth, without positive error. For in a certain sense, as against heretics, he made the authority of Holy Scripture dependent on the authority of the catholic church, in his famous dictum against the Manichaean heretics: "I would not believe the gospel, did not the authority of the catholic church compel me."632  In like manner Vincentius Lerinensis teaches, that the church doctrine passes indeed through various stages of growth in knowledge, and becomes more and more clearly defined in opposition to ever-rising errors, but can never become altered or dismembered.633

The Protestant church makes the authority of the general councils, and of all ecclesiastical tradition, depend on the degree of its conformity to the Holy Scriptures; while the Greek and Roman churches make Scripture and tradition coordinate. The Protestant church justly holds the first four general councils in high, though not servile, veneration, and has received their statements of doctrine into her confessions of faith, because she perceives in them, though compassed with human imperfection, the clearest and most suitable expression of the teaching of the Scriptures respecting the Trinity and the divine-human person of Christ. Beyond these statements the judgment of the church (which must be carefully distinguished from theological speculation) has not to this day materially advanced;—the highest tribute to the wisdom and importance of those councils. But this is not saying that the Nicene and the later Athanasian creeds are the non plus ultra of all the church’s knowledge of the articles therein defined. Rather is it the duty of theology and of the church, while prizing and holding fast those earlier attainments, to study the same problems ever anew, to penetrate further and further these sacred fundamental mysteries of Christianity, and to bring to light new treasures from the inexhaustible mines of the Word of God, under the guidance of the same Holy Spirit, who lives and works in the church at this day as mightily as he did in the fifth century and the fourth. Christology, for example, by the development of the doctrine of the two states of Christ in the Lutheran church, and of the three offices of Christ in the Reformed, has been substantially enriched; the old Catholic doctrine, which was fixed with unerring tact at the council of Chalcedon, being directly concerned only with the two natures of Christ, as against the dualism of Nestorius and the monophysitism of Eutyches.

With this provision for further and deeper soundings of Scripture truth, Protestantism feels itself one with the ancient Greek and Latin church in the bond of ecumenical orthodoxy. But toward the disciplinary canons of the ecumenical councils its position is still more free and independent than that of the Roman church. Those canons are based upon an essentially unprotestant, that is, hierarchical and sacrificial conception of church order and worship, which the Lutheran and Anglican reformation in part, and the Zwinglian and Calvinistic almost entirely renounced. Yet this is not to say that much may not still be learned, in the sphere of discipline, from those councils, and that perhaps many an ancient custom or institution is not worthy to be revived in the spirit of evangelical freedom.

The moral character of those councils was substantially parallel with that of earlier and later ecclesiastical assemblies, and cannot therefore be made a criterion of their historical importance and their dogmatic authority. They faithfully reflect both the light and the shade of the ancient church. They bear the heavenly treasure in earthen vessels. If even among the inspired apostles at the council of Jerusalem there was much debate,634 and soon after, among Peter, Paul, and Barnabas, a violent, though only temporary collision, we must of course expect much worse of the bishops of the Nicene and the succeeding age, and of a church already interwoven with a morally degenerate state. Together with abundant talents, attainments, and virtues, there were gathered also at the councils ignorance, intrigues, and partisan passions, which had already been excited on all sides by long controversies preceding and now met and arrayed themselves, as hostile armies, for open combat. For those great councils, all occasioned by controversies on the most important and the most difficult problems of theology, are, in fact, to the history of doctrine, what decisive battles are to the history of war. Just because religion is the deepest and holiest interest of man, are religious passions wont to be the most violent and bitter; especially in a time when all classes, from imperial court to market stall, take the liveliest interest in theological speculation, and are drawn into the common vortex of excitement. Hence the notorious rabies theologorum was more active in the fourth and fifth centuries than it has been in any other period of history, excepting, perhaps, in the great revolution of the sixteenth century, and the confessional polemics of the seventeenth.

We have on this point the testimony of contemporaries and of the acts of the councils themselves. St. Gregory Nazianzen, who, in the judgment of Socrates, was the most devout and eloquent man of his age,635 and who himself, as bishop of Constantinople, presided for a time over the second ecumenical council, had so bitter an observation and experience as even to lose, though without sufficient reason, all confidence in councils, and to call them in his poems "assemblies of cranes and geese."  "To tell the truth" thus in 382 (a year after the second ecumenical council, and doubtless including that assembly in his allusion) he answered Procopius, who in the name of the emperor summoned him in vain to a synod—"to tell the truth, I am inclined to shun every collection of bishops, because I have never yet seen that a synod came to a good end, or abated evils instead of increasing them. For in those assemblies (and I do not think I express myself too strongly here) indescribable contentiousness and ambition prevail, and it is easier for one to incur the reproach of wishing to set himself up as judge of the wickedness of others, than to attain any success in putting the wickedness away. Therefore I have withdrawn myself, and have found rest to my soul only in solitude."636  It is true, the contemplative Gregory had an aversion to all public life, and in such views yielded unduly to his personal inclinations. And in any case he is inconsistent; for he elsewhere speaks with great respect of the council of Nice, and was, next to Athanasius, the leading advocate of the Nicene creed. Yet there remains enough in his many unfavorable pictures of the bishops and synods of his time, to dispel all illusions of their immaculate purity. Beausobre correctly observes, that either Gregory the Great must be a slanderer, or the bishops of his day were very remiss. In the fifth century it was no better, but rather worse. At the third general council, at Ephesus, 431, all accounts agree that shameful intrigue, uncharitable lust of condemnation, and coarse violence of conduct were almost as prevalent as in the notorious robber-council of Ephesus in 449; though with the important difference, that the former synod was contending for truth, the latter for error. Even at Chalcedon, the introduction of the renowned expositor and historian Theodoret provoked a scene, which almost involuntarily reminds us of the modern brawls of Greek and Roman monks at the holy sepulchre under the restraining supervision of the Turkish police. His Egyptian opponents shouted with all their might: "The faith is gone!  Away with him, this teacher of Nestorius!"  His friends replied with equal violence: "They forced us [at the robber-council] by blows to subscribe; away with the Manichaeans, the enemies of Flavian, the enemies of the faith!  Away with the murderer Dioscurus?  Who does not know his wicked deeds?  The Egyptian bishops cried again: Away with the Jew, the adversary of God, and call him not bishop!"  To which the oriental bishops answered: "Away with the rioters, away with the murderers!  The orthodox man belongs to the council!"  At last the imperial commissioners interfered, and put an end to what they justly called an unworthy and useless uproar.637

In all these outbreaks of human passion, however, we must not forget that the Lord was sitting in the ship of the church, directing her safely through the billows and storms. The Spirit of truth, who was not to depart from her, always triumphed over error at last, and even glorified himself through the weaknesses of his instruments. Upon this unmistakable guidance from above, only set out by the contrast of human imperfections, our reverence for the councils must be based. Soli Deo gloria; or, in the language of Chrysostom: Dovxa tw'/ qew'/ pavntwn e{neken!


 § 66. List of the Ecumenical Councils of the Ancient Church,


We only add, by way of a general view, a list of all the ecumenical councils of the Graeco-Roman church, with a brief account of their character and work.

1. The Concilium Nicaenum I., a.d. 325; held at Nicaea in Bithynia, a lively commercial town near the imperial residence of Nicomedia, and easily accessible by land and sea. It consisted of three hundred and eighteen bishops,638 besides a large number of priests, deacons, and acolytes, mostly from the East, and was called by Constantine the Great, for the settlement of the Arian controversy. Having become, by decisive victories in 323, master of the whole Roman empire, he desired to complete the restoration of unity and peace with the help of the dignitaries of the church. The result of this council was the establishment (by anticipation) of the doctrine of the true divinity of Christ, the identity of essence between the Son and the Father. The fundamental importance of this dogma, the number, learning, piety and wisdom of the bishops, many of whom still bore the marks of the Diocletian persecution, the personal presence of the first Christian emperor, of Eusebius, "the father of church history," and of Athanasius, "the father of orthodoxy" (though at that time only archdeacon), as well as the remarkable character of this epoch, combined in giving to this first general synod a peculiar weight and authority. It is styled emphatically "the great and holy council," holds the highest place among all the councils, especially with the Greeks,639 and still lives in the Nicene Creed, which is second in authority only to the ever venerable Apostles’ Creed. This symbol was, however, not finally settled and completed in its present form (excepting the still later Latin insertion of filioque), until the second general council. Besides this the fathers assembled at Nicaea issued a number of canons, usually reckoned twenty on various questions of discipline; the most important being those on the rights of metropolitans, the time of Easter, and the validity of heretical baptism.

2. The Concilium Constantinopolitanum I., a.d. 381 summoned by Theodosius the Great, and held at the imperial city, which had not even name in history till five years after the former council. This council, however, was exclusively oriental, and comprised only a hundred and fifty bishops, as the emperor had summoned none but the adherents of the Nicene party, which had become very much reduced under the previous reign. The emperor did not attend it. Meletius of Antioch was president till his death; then Gregory Nazianzen; and, after his resignation, the newly elected patriarch Nectarius of Constantinople. The council enlarged the Nicene confession by an article on the divinity and personality of the Holy Ghost, in opposition to the Macedonians or Pneumatomachists (hence the title Symbolum Nicaeno-Constantinopolitanum), and issued seven more canons, of which the Latin versions, however, give only the first four, leaving the genuineness of the other three, as many think, in doubt.

3. The Concilium Ephesinum, a.d. 431; called by Theodosius II., in connection with the Western co-emperor Valentinian III., and held under the direction of the ambitious and violent Cyril of Alexandria. This council consisted of, at first, a hundred and sixty bishops, afterward a hundred and ninety-eight,640 including, for the first time, papal delegates from Rome, who were instructed not to mix in the debates, but to sit as judges over the opinions of the rest. It condemned the error of Nestorius on the relation of the two natures in Christ, without, stating clearly the correct doctrine. It produced, therefore, but a negative result, and is the least important of the first four councils, as it stands lowest also in moral character. It is entirely rejected by the Nestorian or Chaldaic Christians. Its six canons relate exclusively to Nestorian and Pelagian affairs, and are wholly omitted by Dionysius Exiguus in his collection.

4. The Concilium Chalcedonense, a.d. 451; summoned by the emperor Marcian, at the instance of the Roman bishop Leo; held at Chalcedon in Bithynia, opposite Constantinople; and composed of five hundred and twenty (some say six hundred and thirty) bishops.641  Among these were three delegates of the bishop of Rome, two bishops of Africa, and the rest all Greeks and Orientals. The fourth general council fixed the orthodox doctrine of the person of Christ in opposition to Eutychianism and Nestorianism, and enacted thirty canons (according to some manuscripts only twenty-seven or twenty-eight), of which the twenty-eighth was resisted by the Roman legates and Leo I. This was the most numerous, and next to the Nicene, the most important of all the general councils, but is repudiated by all the Monophysite sects of the Eastern church.

5. The Concilium Constantinopolitanum II. was assembled a full century later, by the emperor Tustinian, a.d. 553, without consent of the pope, for the adjustment of the tedious Monophysite controversy. It was presided over by the patriarch Eutychius of Constantinople, consisted of only one hundred and sixty-four bishops, and issued fourteen anathemas against the three chapters,642 so called, or the christological views of three departed bishops and divines, Theodore of Mopsueste, Theodoret of Cyros, and Ibas of Edessa, who were charged with leaning toward the Nestorian heresy. The fifth council was not recognized, however, by many Western bishops, even after the vacillating Pope Vigilius gave in his assent to it, and it induced a temporary schism between Upper Italy and the Roman see. As to importance, it stands far below the four previous councils. Its Acts, in Greek, with the exception of the fourteen anathemas, are lost.

Besides these, there are two later councils, which have attained among the Greeks and Latins an undisputed ecumenical authority: the Third Council of Constantinople, under Constantine Progonatus, a.d. 680, which condemned Monothelitism (and Pope Honorius, † 638),643 and consummated the old Catholic christology; and the Second Council of Nicaea, under the empress Irene, a.d. 787, which sanctioned the image-worship of the Catholic church, but has no dogmatical importance.

Thus Nicaea—now the miserable Turkish hamlet Is-nik644—has the honor of both opening and closing the succession of acknowledged ecumenical councils.

From this time forth the Greeks and Latins part, and ecumenical councils are no longer to be named. The Greeks considered the second Trullan645 (or the fourth Constantinopolitan) council of 692, which enacted no symbol of faith, but canons only, not an independent eighth council, but an appendix to the fifth and sixth ecumenical councils (hence, called the Quinisexta sc. synodus); against which view the Latin church has always protested. The Latin church, on the other hand, elevates the fourth council of Constantinople, a.d. 869,646 which deposed the patriarch Photius, the champion of the Greek church in her contest with the Latin, to the dignity of an eighth ecumenical council; but this council was annulled for the Greek church by the subsequent restoration of Photius. The Roman church also, in pursuance of her claims to exclusive catholicity, adds to the seven or eight Greek councils twelve or more Latin general councils, down to the Vatican (1870); but to all these the Greek and Protestant churches can concede only a sectional character. Three hundred and thirty-six years elapsed between the last undisputed Graeco-Latin ecumenical council of the ancient church (a.d. 787), and the first Latin ecumenical council of the mediaeval church (1123). The authority of the papal see had to be established in the intervening centuries.647


 § 67. Books of Ecclesiastical Law.


I. Bibiliotheca juris canonici veteris, ed. Voellus (theologian of the Sorbonne) and Justellus (Justeau, counsellor and secretary to the French king), Par. 1661, 2 vols. fol. (Vol. i. contains the canons of the universal church, Greek and Latin, the ecclesiastical canons of Dionysius Exiguus, or of the old Roman church, the canons of the African church, etc. See a list of contents in Darling’s Cyclop. Bibliographica, p. 1702 sq.)

II. See the literature in vol. ii. § 56 (p. 183). The brothers Ballerini: De antiquis tum editis tum ineditis collectionibus et collectoribus canonum ad Gratianum usque in ed. Opp. Leon M. Ven., 1753 sqq. The treatises of Quesnel, Marca, Constant, Drey, Theiner, etc., on the history of the collections of canons. Comp. Ferd. Walther: Lehrbuch des Kirchenrechts, p. 109 sqq., 8th ed., 1839.


The universal councils, through their disciplinary enactments or canons, were the main fountain of ecclesiastical law. To their canons were added the decrees of the most important provincial councils of the fourth century, at Ancyra (314), Neo-Caesarea (314), Antioch (341), Sardica (343), Gangra (365), and Laodicea (between 343 and 381); and in a third series, the orders of eminent bishops, popes, and emperors. From these sources arose, after the beginning of the fifth century, or at all events before the council of Chalcedon, various collections of the church laws in the East, in North Africa, in Italy, Gaul, and Spain; which, however, had only provincial authority, and in many respects did not agree among themselves. A codex canonum ecclesiae universae did not exist. The earlier collections because eclipsed by two, which, the one in the West, the other in the East, attained the highest consideration.

The most important Latin collection comes from the Roman, though by descent Scythian, abbot Dionysius Exiguus,648 who also, notwithstanding the chronological error at the base of his reckoning, immortalized himself by the introduction of the Christian calendar, the "Dionysian Era."  It was a great thought of this "little" monk to view Christ as the turning point of ages, and to introduce this view into chronology. About the year 500 Dionysius translated for the bishop Stephen of Salona a collection of canons from Greek into Latin, which is still extant, with its prefatory address to Stephen.649  It contains, first, the, fifty so-called Apostolic Canons, which pretend to have been collected by Clement of Rome, but in truth were a gradual production of the third and fourth centuries;650 then the canons of the most important councils of the fourth and fifth centuries, including those of Sardica and Africa; and lastly, the papal decretal letters from Siricius (385) to Anastasius II. (498). The Codex Dionysii was gradually enlarged by additions, genuine and spurious, and through the favor of the popes, attained the authority of law almost throughout the West. Yet there were other collections also in use, particularly in Spain and North Africa.

Some fifty years after Dionysius, John Scholasticus, previously an advocate, then presbyter at Antioch, and after 564 patriarch of Constantinople, published a collection of canons in Greek,651 which surpassed the former in completeness and convenience of arrangement, and for this reason, as well as the eminence of the author, soon rose to universal authority in the Greek church. In it he gives eighty-five Apostolic Canons, and the ordinances of the councils of Ancyra (314) and Nicaea (325), down to that of Chalcedon (451), in fifty titles, according to the order of subjects. The second Trullan council (Quinisextum, of 692), which passes with the Greeks for ecumenical, adopted the eighty-five Apostolic Canons, while it rejected the Apostolic Constitutions, because, though, like the canons, of apostolic origin, they had been early adulterated. Thus arose the difference between the Greek and Latin churches in reference to the number of the so-called Apostolic canons; the Latin church retaining only the fifty of the Dionysian collection.

The same John, while patriarch of Constantinople, compiled from the Novelles of Justinian a collection of the ecclesiastical state-laws or novmoi, as they were called in distinction from the synodal church-laws or kanovne". Practical wants then led to a union of the two, under the title of Nomocanon.

These books of ecclesiastical law served to complete and confirm the hierarchical organization, to regulate the life of the clergy, and to promote order and discipline; but they tended also to fix upon the church an outward legalism, and to embarrass the spirit of progress.



* Schaff, Philip, History of the Christian Church, (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.) 1997. This material has been carefully compared, corrected¸ and emended (according to the 1910 edition of Charles Scribner's Sons) by The Electronic Bible Society, Dallas, TX, 1998.

409  E.g. Chrysostom: De sacerdotio; Augustine: De doctrina Christiana; Jerome: in several letters; Gregory the Great: Regula pastoralis.

410  JW" oJ muvqo" poiei' tou;" gigavnta".

411  Greg. Orat. xliii. c. 26 (Opera omnia, ed. Bened., Paris, 1842, tom. i. p. 791 sq.), and similar passages in his other orations, and his Carmen de se ipse et advers. Episc. Comp. Ullmann: Greg. v. Naz. p. 511 sqq.

412  De Civit. Dei, lib. xx. cap. 10: "Erunt sacerdotes Dei et Christi et regnabunt cum eo mille annos (Apoc. xx. 6): non utique de solis episcopis et presbyteris dictum est, qui proprie jam vocantur in Ecclesia sacerdotes; sed sicut omnes Christianos dicimus propter mysticum chrisma, sic omnes sacerdotes, quoniam membra sunt unius sacerdotis. De quibus apostolus Petrus: Plebs, inquit, sancta regale sacerdotium (1 Pet. ii. 9)." Comp. Ambrosiaster ad Eph. iv. 11; Jerome ad Tit. i. 7 and Pope Leo I., Sermon. iv. 1.

413  According to Clemens Romanus, ad Corinth. c. 44, the consent of the whole congregation in the choice of their officers was the apostolic and post-apostolic custom; and the Epistles of Cyprian, especially Ep. 68, show that the same rule continued in the middle of the third century. Comp. vol. i. § 105.

414  Zhvthsi", yhvfisma, yh'go", scrutinium.

415  [Axio", dignus, or ajnavxio", indignus. Constitut. Apost. viii. 4; Concil. Aurelat. ii. (A. D. 452) c. 54; Gregor. Naz. Orat. xxi. According to a letter of Peter of Alexandria, in Theodor. Hist. Eccl. iv. 22, the bishop in the East was electedejpiskovpwn sunovdw/, yhvfw/ klhrikw'n, aijthvsei law'n. He himself was elected archbishop of Alexandria and successor of Athanasius (a.d. 373), according to the desire of the latter, "by the unanimous consent of the clergy and of the chief men of the city" (iv. cap. 20), and, after his expulsion, he objected to his wicked successor Lucius, among other things, that "he had purchased the episcopal office with gold, as though it had been a secular dignity, ... and had not been elected by a synod of bishops, by the votes of the clergy, or by the request of the people, according to the regulations of the church" (iv. c. 22).

416  Epist. x. c. 4 (opera, ed. Baller. i. 637): "Expectarentur certe vota civium, testimonia populorum, quaereretur honoratorum arbitrium, electio clericorum .... In the same epistle, cap. 6: Qui praefuturus est omnibus, ab omnibus eligatur."

417  Paulinus, Vita Ambros.; Sozomen, H. E. l. iv. c. 24, and vii. 8. This historian excuses the irregularity by a special interposition of Providence.

418  Sulpitius Severus, Vita Mart. c. 7: "Incredibilis multitudo non solum ex eo oppido [Tours], sed etiam ex vicinis urbibus ad suffragia ferenda convenerat," etc.

419  Socrates, H. E. vi. 2:Yhfivsmati koinw'/ oJmou' pavntwn klhvrou te fhmi; kai; laou'..

420  De sacerdotio, lib. iii. c. 15. Further on in the same chapter he says even, that many are elected on account of their badness, to prevent the mischief they would otherwise do: OiJ de;, dia;, ponhrivan, »eij" th;n tou' klhvrou katalevgontai tavxin¼, kai; i{na mh;, parofqevnte" , megavla ejrgavswntai kakav. Quite parallel is the testimony of Gregory Nazianzen in his Carmen,eij" eJauto;n kai; peri; ejpiskovpwn, or De se ipso et de episcopis, ver. 330 sqq. (Opera, ed. Bened. Par. tom. ii. p. 796), and elsewhere.

421  Sozomenus, Hist. Eccl. vii. c. 8. Sozomen sees in this election a special interposition of God.

422  Sozomenus, vii. c. 10. Otherwise he, as well as Socrates, H. E. v. c. 8, and Theodoret, H. E. v. c. 8, speaks very favorably of the character of Nectarius.

423  The seventh ecumenical council, at Nice, 787, in its third canon, on the basis of a wrong interpretation of the fourth canon of the first council of Nice, expressly prohibited the people and the secular power from any share in the election of bishops. Also the eighth general council prescribes that the bishop should be chosen only by the college of bishops.

424  1 Cor. vii. 9.

425  1 Tim. iii. 2, 12; Lit. i. 6.

426  Lib. vi. cap. 17 (ed. Ueltzen, p. 144):jepivskopon kai; prebuvteron kai; diavkonon [thus including the bishop] ei[pomen monogavmou" kaqivstasqai ... mh; ejxei'nai de; aujtoi'" meta; ceirotonivan ajgavmoi" ou|sin e[ti ejpi; gavmon e[rcesqai, etc. Can. Apost. can. 17 (p. 241): JO dusi; gavmoi" sumplakei;" meta; to; bavptisma ... ouj duvnatai ei'nai ejpivskopo" h] presbuvtero" h] diavkono" h] o{lw" tou' katalovgou tou' iJeratikou'. Comp. can. 18 and can. 5.

427  Can. 10. Comp. Dr. Hefele, Conciliengeschichte, i. p. 198.

428  Can. 1. In Harduin, tom. v. p. 1499; Hefele, Conciliengesch. i. 211 sq. This canon passed even into the Corpus juris can. c. 9, dist. 28.

429  Hosius of Cordova, who was present at the council of Elvira in Spain, in 305, where a similar proposition was made and carried (can. 33). In the opinion above given, Theiner, Gieseler, Robertson, and Hefele agree.

430  See the account in Socrates, H. E. i. c. 11, where that proposition to prohibit priestly marriage is called an innovation, a novmo" nearov"; in Sozomen, H. E. i. c. 23; and in Gelasius, Hist. Conc. Nic. ii. 32. The statement is thus sufficiently accredited, and agrees entirely with the ancient practice of the Oriental church and the directions of the Apostolic Constitutions and Canons. The third canon of the council of Nice goes not against it, since it forbids only the immorality of mulieres subintroductae (comp. vol. i. § 95). The doubts of several Roman divines (Baronius, Bellarmine, Valesius), who would fain trace the celibacy of the clergy to an apostolic origin, arise evidently from dogmatic bias, and are sufficiently refuted by Hefele, a Roman Catholic historian, in his Conciliengeschichte, vol. i. p. 417 sqq.

431  Comp. Hefele, l.c. i. 753 sqq.

432  Can. 5 (ed. Ueltzen, p. 239): jEpivskopo" h] presbuvtero" h] diavkono" th;n eJautou' j gunvai'ka mh; ejkballevtw profavsei eujlabeiva"_ eja;n de; ejkbalh', ajforixevsqw, ejpimevnwn de; kaqaireivsqw. Comp. Const. Apost. vi. 17.

433  Declaring: "God, the law, and the consecrated hand of Theophilus (bishop of Alexandria), have given me a wife. I say now beforehand, and I protest, that I will neither ever part from her, nor live with her in secret as if in an unlawful connection; for the one is utterly contrary to religion, the other to the laws; but I desire to receive many and good children from her" (Epist. 105 ed. Basil., cited in the original Greek in Gieseler). Comp. on the instances of married bishops, Bingham, Christ. Antiq. b. iv. ch. 5; J. A. Theiner and A. Theiner, Die Einführung der erzwungenen Ehelosigkeit der christl. Geistlichen u. ihre Folgen (Altenburg, 1828), vol. i. p. 263 sqq., and Gieseler, vol. i. div. 2, § 97, notes at the close. The marriage of Gregory of Nyssa with Theosebia is disputed by some Roman Catholic writers, but seems well supported by Greg. Naz. Ep. 95, and Greg Nyss. De virg. 3.

434  Hist. Eccl. v. cap. 22: Tw'n ejn ajnatolh'/ pavntwn gnwvmh/(i.e. from principle or voluntarily—according to the reading of the Florentine codex) ajpecomevnwn, kai; tw'n ejpiskovpwn, eij kai; bouvloivnto, ouj mh;n ajnavgkh/ novmou tou'to poiouvntwn. Polloi; ga;r aujtw'n ejn tw'/ kairw'/ th'" ejpiskoph'" kai; pai'da" ejk th'" nomivmh" gameth'" pepoihvkasin

435  More precisely, the second Trullan council, held in the Trullan hall of the imperial palace in Constantinople; also called Concilium Quinisextum, suvnodo" penqevkth, being considered a supplement to the fifth and sixth general councils. Comp. respecting it Hefele, iii. 298 sqq.

436  1 Can. 3, 4, and especially 12, 13, and 48. In the latter canon bishops are directed, after ordination, to commit their wives to a somewhat remote cloister, though to provide for their support.

437  Epist. ad Himerium Episc. Tarraconensem (in Harduin, Acta Conc. i. 849-850), c 7: "Hi vero, qui illiciti privilegii excusatione nituntur, ut sibi asserant veteri hoc lege concessum: noverint se ab omni ecclesiastico honore, quo indigne usi sunt, apostolicae sedis auctoritate dejectos .... Si quilibet episcopus, presbyter atque diaconus, quod non optamus, deinceps fuerit talis inventus, jam nunc sibi omnem per nos indulgentiae aditum intelligat obseratum: quia ferro necesse est excidantur vulnera, quae fomentorum non senserint medicinam." The exegesis of Siricius is utterly arbitrary in limiting the demand of holiness (Lev. xx. 7) to the priests and to abstinence from matrimonial intercourse, and in referring the words of Paul respecting walking in the flesh, Rom. viii. 8, 9, to the married life, as if marriage were thus incompatible with the idea of holiness. Comp. also the striking remarks of Greenwood, Catheda Petri, vol. i. p. 265 sq., and Milman, Hist. of Latin Christianity, i. 119 (Amer. ed.), on Siricius.

438  Comp. Hefele, ii. 568, and Gieseler, l.c. (§ 97, note 7).

439  The so-called sorores, or mulieres subintroductae, orparqevnoi suneivsaktoi. Comp. on the origin of this practice, vol. i. § 95.

440  By a misinterpretation of the term suneivsakto", the sense of which is fixed in the usage of the early church, Baronius and Bellarmine erroneously find in this canon a universal law of celibacy, and accordingly deny the above-mentioned statement respecting Paphnutius. Comp. Hefele, i. 364.

441  Comp. the relevant canons of these and other councils in the second and third volumes of Hefele’s Conciliengeschichte.

442  Can. 5: "No clergyman shall have a female in his house, but those allowed in the old canon (Nicaen. c. 3). Even eunuchs are to observe this."

443  "Throughout the whole period," says Milman (Hist. of Latin Christianity, i. 123), "from Pope Siricius to the Reformation, as must appear in the course of our history, the law [of clerical celibacy] was defied, infringed, eluded. It never obtained anything approaching to general observance, though its violation was at times more open, at times more clandestine."

444  So the Concilium Tridentinum, sess. xxv. de reform. cap. 14. Comp. also the article Subintroductae, in the 10th volume of Wetzer and Welte’s Cath. Church Lexicon.

445  Epist. 21 ad Valerium Nihil esse in hac vita et maxime hoc tempore facilius et laetitius et hominibus acceptabilius episcopi aut presbyteri aut diaconi officio, si perfunctorie atque adulatorie res agatur: sed nihil apud Deum miserius et tristius et damnabilius. Item nihil esse in hac vita et maxime hoc tempore difficilius, laboriosius, periculosius episcopi aut presbyteri aut diaconi officio, sed apud Deum nihil beatius, si eo modo militetur, quo noster imperator jubet." This epistle was written soon after his ordination to the priesthood, a.d. 391. See Opera, ed. Bened. tom. ii p. 25.

446  Orat. xliii. c. 46 (Opera, ed. Bened. tom. i. p. 791), in the Latin translation: "Nunc autem periculum est, ne ordo omnium sanctissimus, sit quoque omnium maxime ridiculus. Non enim virtute magis, quam maleficio et scelere, sacerdotium paratur; nec digniorum, sed potentiorum, throni sunt." In the following chapter, however, he represents his friend Basil as a model of all virtues.

447  Comp. Ullmann: Gregor von Nazianz, Erste Beilage, p. 509-521, where the views of this church father on the clerical office and the clergy of his time are presented at large in his own words. Also Gieseler, i., ii. § 103, gives copious extracts from the writings of Gregory on the vices of the clergy.

448  Hieron. ad Eustochium, and especially ad Nepotianum, de vita clericorum et monachorum (Opera, ed. Vall. tom. i. p. 252 sqq.). Yet neither does he spare the monks, but says, ad Nepot.: "Nonnulli sunt ditiores monachi quam fuerant seculares et clerici qui possident opes sub Christo paupere, quas sub locuplete et fallaci Diabolo non habuerant."

449  Lib. xxvii. c. 3, sub ann. 367.

450  Peri; iJerwsuvnh", or De Sacerdotio libri sex. The work has been often published separately, and several times translated into modern languages (into German, for example, by Hasselbach, 1820, and Ritter, 1821; into English by Hollier, 1740, Bunce, 1759; Hohler, 1837; Marsh, 1844; and best by B. Harris Cowper, London, 1866). Comp. the list of twenty-three different separate editions and translations in Lomler: Joh. Chrysost. Opera praestantissima Gr. et Lat. Rudolph. 1840, p. viii, ix.

451  De Sacerdotio, lib. vi. cap. 2-8.

452  Pro;" ajrevskeian tou' Qeou', lib. v. c. 7.

453  Comp. also the remarks of B. H. Cowper in the introduction to his English translation, Lond. 1866, p. xiii.

454  Not Basil the Great (as Socrates supposes), for he was much older, and died in 379; but probably (as Montfaucon conjectures) the bishop of Raphanea in Syria, near Antioch, whose name appears among the bishops of the council of Constantinople, in 381.

455  Even the purest moral philosopher of antiquity, Plato, vindicates falsehood, and recommends it to physicians and rulers as a means to a good end, a help to the healing of the sick or to the advantage of the people. Comp. De republ. iii. p. 266, ed. Bipont.: Eij ga;r ojrqw'" ejlevcgomen a[rti, kai; tw'/ o[nti qeoi'" me;n a[crhston yeu'do" ajnqrwvpoi" de; crhv"imon, wJ" ejn farmavkou ei[dei, dh'lon o{ti to; ge toiou'ton iJatroi'" dotevon, ijdiwvtai" de; oujc aJptevon. Dh'lon, e[fh. Toi'" a[rcousi dh; th'" povlew" , ei[per tisi;n a[lloi", proshvkei yeuvdesqai h] polemivwn h] politw'n e{neka, ejp j wjfeleiva/th'" povlew": toi'" de; a[lloi" pa'sin oujc aJptevon tou' toiouvtou. . The Jewish philosophizing theologian, Philo, had a similar view, in his work: Quod Deus sit immutabilis, p. 302.

456  Clemens Alex., Strom. vi. p. 802, and Origen, Strom. vi. (in Hieron. Apol. i. Adv. Ruf. c. 18), where he adduces the just cited passage of Plato in defence of a doubtful accommodation at the expense of truth. See the relevant passages in Gieseler, i. § 63, note 7.

457  Epist. 48 (ed. Vall., or Ep. 30 ed. Bened., Ep. 50 in older editions), ad Pammachium, pro libris contra Jovinianum, and Comm. ad Gal. ii. 11 sqq. Also Johannes Cassianus, a pupil of Chrysostom, defends the lawfulness of falsehood and deception in certain cases, Coll. xvii. 8 and 17.

458  Comp. the somewhat sharp correspondence of the two fathers in Hieron. Epist. 101-105, 110, 112, 115, 134, 141, in Vallarsi’s ed. (tom. i. 625 sqq.), or in August. Epist 67, 68, 72-75, 81, 82 (in the Bened. ed. of Aug. tom. ii. 161 sqq.); August.: De mendacio, and Contra mendacium; also the treatise of Möhler mentioned above, 41, on this controversy, so instructive in regard to the patristic ethics and exegesis.

459  Regul. brev. interrogate 76, cited by Neander in his monograph on Chrysostom (3d ed.) i. p. 97. Neander there adduces still another similar testimony against the lawfulness of the lie, by the contemporaneous Egyptian monk, John of Lycopolis, from Pallad. Hist. Lausiaca.

460  John, viii. 44.

461  The ground on which even civil officers were excluded, is stated by the Roman council of 402, which ordained in the tenth canon: "One who is clothed with a civil office cannot, on account of the sins almost necessarily connected with it, become a clergyman without previous penance." Comp. Mansi, iii. 1133, and Hefele; ii. 75.

462  Comp. the decrees of councils in Hefele, ii. 574, 638, 686, 687, 753, 760, &c. Even the Can. Apost. 27, 65, and 72, are directed against common crimes in the clergy, such as battery, murder, and theft, which therefore must have already appeared, for legislation always has regard to the actual state of things. The Pastoral Epistles of Paul contain no exhortations or prohibitions of this kind.

463  Hieron. Comm. ad Tit. i. 7: "Idem est ergo presbyter qui episcopus, et antequam diaboli instinctu studia in religione fierent ... communi presbyterorum consilio ecclesiae gubernabantur," etc. Comp. Epist. ad Evangelum presbyterum (Ep. 146, ed. Vall. Opera, i. 1074 sqq.; Ep. 101, ed. Bened.), and Epist. ad Oceanum (Ep. 69, ed. Vall., Ep. 82, ed. Bened.). In the latter epistle he remarks: "Apud veteres iidem episcopi et presbyteri fuerunt, quia illud nomen dignitatis est, hoc aetatis."

464  Chrysostom, Hom. i. in Ep. ad Philipp. (Phil. i. 1, on the words sun ejpiskovpoi", which imply a number of bishops, i.e. presbyters in one and the same congregation), observes: tou;" presbutevrou: ou{tw" ekavlese: tovte ga;r tevw" ejkoinwvnoun toi'" ojnovmasi.. Of the same opinion are Theodoret, ad Phil. i. 1, and ad Tim. iii. 1; Ambrosiaster, ad Eph. iv. 11; and the author of the pseudo-Augustinian Questiones V. et N.T., qu. 101. Comp. on this whole subject of the original identity of ejpivskopo" and presbuvtero", my History of the Apostolic Church, § 132 (Engl. translation, p. 522-531), and Rich. Rothe: Anfänge der christlichen Kirche, i. p. 207-217.

465  Optatus of Mileve calls them, indeed, ecclesiasticos viros; not, however, in the sense of clerici, from whom, on the contrary, he distinguishes them, but in the broad sense of catholic Christians as distinguished from heathens and heretics. Comp. on these seniores plebis, orlay elders, as they are called, the discussion of Dr. Rothe: Die Anfänge der christl. Kirche u. ihrer Verfassung, vol. i. p. 227 sqq.

466  Comp. Rom. xii. 1, 12, and my Hist. of the Apost. Church, § 135, p. 535 sqq.

467  Comp. Pelagius ad Rom. xvi. 1. Neander (iii. p. 314, note; Torrey’s transl. ii. p. 158) infers from a canon of the fourth council of Carthage, that the latter custom prevailed also in the West, since it is there required of "viduae quae ad ministerium baptizandarum mulierum eliguntur," "ut possint apto et sano sermone docere imperitas et rusticas mulieres."

468  Comp. Codex Theodos. 1. xvi., Tit. ii. lex 27: "Nulla nisi emensis 60 annis secundum praeceptum apostoli ad diaconissarum consortium transferatur."

469  Const. Apost. lib. viii. cap. 20. We have given the prayer in full. Neander (iii. p. 322, note) omits some passages. The custom of ordaining deaconesses is placed by this prayer and by the canon quoted from the council of Chalcedon beyond dispute. The 19th canon of the council of Nice, however, appears to conflict with this, in reckoning deaconesses among the laity, who have no consecration (ceiroqesiva).Some therefore suppose that the ordination of deaconesses did not arise till after the Nicaenum (325), though the Apostolic Constitutions contradict this; while others (as Baronius, and recently Hefele, Concilien-Gesch. 1855, vol. i. p. 414) would resolve the contradiction by distinguishing between the properceiroqesivaand the simple benediction. But the consecration of the deaconesses was certainly accompanied with imposition of hands in presence of the whole clergy; since the Apost. Const., 1. viii. c. 19, expressly say to the bishop: jEpiqhvsei" aujth/ ta;" cei'ra", parestw'to" tou' presbuterivou kai; tw'n diakovnwn kai; tw'n diakonissw'n. The contradiction lies, however, in that Nicene canon itself; for (according to the Greek Codices) the deaconesses are immediately before counted among the clergy, if we do not, with the Latin translation, read deacons instead. Neander helps himself by a distinction between proper deaconesses and widows abusivè so called.

470  They are found in Montfaucon’s Bened. edition of Chrysostom, tom. iii. p. 524-604, and in Lomler’s edition of Joann. Chrysost. Opera praestantissima, 1840, p. 168-252. These seventeen epistles to Olympias are, in the judgment of Photius as quoted by Montfaucon (Op. iii. 524), of the epistles of Chrysostom, "longissimae, elegantissimae, omniumque utilissimae." Compare also Montfaucon’s prefatory remarks on Olympias.

471  A mere benediction was appointed in place of ordination. The first synod of Orange (Arausicana i.), in 441, directed in the 26th canon: "Diaconae omnimodis non ordinandae [thus they had previously been ordained in Gaul also, and reckoned with the clergy]; si quae jam sunt, benedictioni, quae populo impenditur, capita submittant." Likewise was the ordination of deaconesses forbidden by the council of Epaon in Burgundy, in 517, can. 21, and by the second council at Orleans, in 533, can. 17 and 18.

472  The Deaconess House (Hutterhaus) at Kaiserswerth on the Rhine, founded in 1836; Bethany in Berlin, 1847; and similar evangelical hospitals in Dresden, 1842, Strasburg, 1842, Paris (institution des deaconess des églises evangéliques de France), 1841, London (institution of Nursing Sisters), 1840, New York (St. Luke’s Hopital), Pittsburg, 1849, Smyrna, Jerusalem, etc.

473  Oijkovnomoi. Besides these there were also keimhliavrcai, sacellarii, thesaurarii.

474  Conc. Chalced. can. 26. This canon also occurs twice in the Corp. jur. can. c. 21, C. xvi. q. 7, and c. 4, Dist. lxxix.

475  ·Tacugravfoi, notarii, excerptores.

476  Parabolani, probably from parabavllein th;n zwhvn, to risk life; because in contagious diseases they often exposed themselves to the danger of death.

477  A perversion of a benevolent association to turbulent purposes similar to that of the firemen’s companies in the large cities of the United States.

478  Kopiavtai, copiattae, fossores, fossarii.

479  See the passages quoted in § 52, and the works there referred to. The modern Romish divine, Perrone, in his Praelectiones Theologicae, t. ix. § 93, denies that the doctrine of the superiority of bishops over presbyters by divine right, is an article of the Catholic faith. But the council of Trent, sess. xxiii. can. 6, condemns all who deny the divine institution of the three orders.

480  Innocent I., Ep. ad Decent.: "Ut sine chrismate et episcopi jussione neque presbyter neque diaconus jus habeant baptizandi."

481  Comp. above, ch. iii. § 14-16.

48JIera; stolhv, wJmofovrion, superhumerale, pallium, also ephod (r/bae, ejpwmiv"). The ephod (Ex. xxviii. 6-11; and xxxix. 2-5), in connection with the square breastplate belonging to it (@v<j, comp. Ex. xxviii. 15-30; xxxix. 8-21), was the principal official vestment of the Jewish high-priest, and no doubt served as the precedent for the archiepiscopal pallium, but exceeded the latter in costliness. It consisted of two shoulder pieces (like the pallium and the chasubles), which hung over the upper part of the body before and behind, and were skilfully wrought of fine linen in three colors, fastened by golden rings and chains, and richly ornamented with gold thread, and twelve precious stones, on which the names of the twelve tribes were graven. Whether the sacred oracle, Urim and Thummim (LXX.: dhvlwsi" kai; ajlhvqeia, Ex. xxviii. 30), was identical with the twelve precious stones in the breastplate, the learned are not agreed. Comp. Winer, Bibl. Reallex., and W. Smith, Dictionary of the Bible, sub Urim and Thummim.

483  Orat. xlvii. So Theodoret, Hist. eccl. ii. 27, at the beginning. Macarius is said to have worn the gilded vestment in the administration of baptism.

484  Amm. Marcell. xxvii. c. 3, sub anno 367: "ut dotentur oblationibus matronarum procedantque vehiculis insidentes, circumspecte vestiti, epulas curantes profusas, adeo ut eorum convivia regales superent mensas." But then with this pomp of the Roman prelates he contrasts the poverty of the worthy country bishops.

485  Besides Ammianus, Jerome also states this, in his book against John of Jerusalem (Opera, tom. ii. p. 415, ed. Vallars.): "Miserabilis ille Praetextatus, qui designatus consul est mortuus, homo sacrilegus et idolorum cultor, solebat ludens beato papae Damaso dicere: ’Facite me Romanae urbis episcopum, et ero protinus Christianus.’ "

486  Epist. ad Eustochium de virginitate servanda.

487  The dioceses or vicariates were as follows:

I. The Praefectura Orientalis consisted of the five dioceses of Oriens, with Antioch as its political and ecclesiastical capital; Aegyptus, with Alexandria; Asia proconsularis, with Ephesus; Pontus, with Caesarea in Cappadocia; Thracia, with Heraklea, afterward Constantinople.

II. The Praefectura Illyrica, with Thessalonica as its capital, had only the two dioceses of Macedonia and Dacia.

III. The Praefectura Italica embraced Roma (i.e. South Italy and the islands of the Mediterranean, or the so-called Suburban provinces); Italia, or the Vicariate of Italy, with its centre at Mediolanum (Milan); Illyricum occidentale, with its capital at Sirmium; and Africa occidentalis, with Carthage.

IV. The Praefectura Gallica embraced the dioceses of Gallia, with Treveri (Trier) and Lugdunum (Lyons); Hispania, with Hispalis (Sevilla); and Britannnia, with Eboracum (York).

488  Thus the diocese of the Orient, for example, had five provinces, Egypt nine, Pontus thirteen, Gaul seventeen, Spain seven. Comp. Wiltsch, Kirchl. Geogr. u. Statistik, i. p. 67 sqq., where the provinces are all quoted, as is not necessary for our purpose here.

489  Cwrepivskopoi. The principal statements respecting them are: Epist. Synodi Antioch., a.d. 270, in Euseb. H. E. vii. 36 (where they are called ejpivskopoi tw'n oJmovrwn ajgrw'n); Concil. Ancyr., a.d. 315, can. 13 (where they are forbidden to ordain presbyters and deacons); Concil. Antioch., a.d. 341, can. 10 (same prohibition); Conc. Laodic., between 320 and 372, can. 57 (where the erection of new country bishoprics is forbidden); and Conc. Sardic., a.d. 343, can. 6 (where they are wholly abolished).

490  Can. 6: ... i]na mh; kateutelivxhtai to; tou' ejpiskovpou o[noma kai; hJ aujqentiva; or, in the Latin version: "Ne vilescat nomen episcopi et auctoritas." Comp. Hefele, i. p. 556. The differences between the Greek and Latin text in the first part of this canon have no influence on the prohibition of the appointment of country bishops.

491  Mhtropolivth", metropolitanus, and the kindred title e[xarco" (applied to the most powerful metropolitans); ajrciepivskopo", archiepiscopus, and primas.

492  This canon has been recently discovered also in a Coptic translation, and published by Pitra, in the Spiclegium Solesmense, i. 526 sq.

493  Kai; th'/ timh'/ prohgei'sqai autovn.

494  Cyprian, Epist. 45, says of his province of Carthage: "Latius fusa est nostra provincia; habet enim Numidiam et Mauretaniam sibi cohaerentes."

495  Patriavrch"; patriarcha; sometimes also, after the political terminology, e[xarco". The name patriarch, originally applied to the progenitors of Israel (Heb. vii. 4, to Abraham; Acts vii. 8 sq., to the twelve sons of Jacob; ii. 29, to David, as founder of the Davidic Messianic house), was at first in the Eastern church an honorary title for bishops in general (so in Gregory Nazianzen, and Gregory of Nyssa), but after the council of Constantinople (381), and still more after that of Chalcedon (451), it came to be used in an official sense and restricted to the five most eminent metropolitans. In the West, several metropolitans, especially the bishop of Aquileia, bore this title honoris causa. The bishop of Rome declined that particular term, as placing him on a level with other patriarchs, and preferred the name papa. "Patriarch" bespeaks an oligarchical church government; "pope," a monarchical.

496  According to the political division of the empire after Constantine. Comp. § 54

497  Comp. Wiltsch, i. p. 206 sqq. The statement of Ziegler, which Wiltsch quotes and seems to approve, that the fifth ecumenical council, of 553, added to the patriarchal circuit of Jerusalem the metropolitans of Berytus in Phenicia, and Ruba in Syria, appears to be an error. Ruba nowhere appears in the acts of the council, and Berytus belonged to Phoenicia prima, consequently to the patriarchate of Antioch. Le Quien knows nothing of such an enlargement of the patriarchate of Hierosolyma.

498  Wiltsch, i. 189 sqq.

499  Ibid. i. 177 sqq.

500  Ibid. p. 143 sqq.

501  Comp. § 57, below.

502  Comp. Wiltsch, i. p. 232 sq., and ii. 469.

503  Cod. can. eccl. Afr. can. 39, cited by Neander, iii. p. 335 (Germ. ed.).

504  Accordingly Pope Nicolas, in 866, in a letter to the Bulgarian prince Bogoris, would acknowledge only the bishops of Rome, Alexandria, and Antioch as patriarchs in the proper sense, because they presided over apostolic churches; whereas Constantinople was not of apostolic founding, and was not even mentioned by the most venerable of all councils, the Nicene; Jerusalem was named indeed by these councils, but only under the name of Aelia.

505  In the oldest Latin Cod. canonum (in Mansi, vi. 1186) this canon is preceded by the important words: Ecclesia Romana semper habuit primatum. These are, however, manifestly spurious, being originally no part of the canon itself, but a superscription, which gave an expression to the Roman inference from the Nicene canon. Comp. Gieseler, i. 2, § 93, note 1; and Hefele, Hist. of Councils, i. 384 sqq.

506  So Greenwood also views the matter, Cathedra Petri, 1859, vol. i. p. 181: "It was manifestly not the object of this canon to confer any new jurisdiction upon the church of Alexandria, but simply to confirm its customary prerogative. By way of illustration, it places that prerogative, whatever it was, upon the same level with that of the two other eparchal churches of Rome and Antioch. Moreover, the words of the canon disclose no other ground of claim but custom; and the customs of each eparchia are restricted to the territorial limits of the diocese or eparchia itself. And though, within those limits, the several customary rights and prerogatives may have differed, yet beyond them no jurisdiction of any kind could, by virtue of this canon, have any existence at all."

507  Conc. Constant. i. can 3: To;n mevntoi Kwvstantinoupovlew" ejpivskopon e[cein ta; presbei'a th'" timh'", meta; to;n th's JRwvmh" ejpivskopon, dia; to; ei\nai aujth;n nevan JRwvmhn . This canon is quoted also by Socrates, v. 8, and Sozomen, vii. 9, and confirmed by the council of Chalcedon (see below); so that it must be from pure dogmatical bias, that Baronius (Annal. ad ann. 381, n. 35, 36) questions its genuineness

508  The latter is not, indeed, expressly said in the above canon, which seems to speak only of an honorary precedence. But the canon was so understood by the bishops of Constantinople, and by the historians Socrates (v. 8) and Theodoret (Epist. 86, ad Flavianum), and so interpreted by the Chalcedonian council (can. 28). The relation of the bishop of Constantinople to the metropolitan of Heraclea, however, remained for a long time uncertain, and at the council ad Quercum, 403, in the affair of Chrysostom, Paul of Heraclea took the presidency, though the patriarch Theophilus of Alexandria was present. Comp. Le Quien, tom. i. p. 18; and Wiltsch, i. p. 139.

509  H. E. lib. v. cap. 28.

510  According to Sozomen it was thirteen, according to Theophilus of Alexandria at the council ad Quercum seventeen bishops, whom he instituted; and this act was charged against him as an unheard-of crime. See Wiltsch, i. 141.

511  Socrates, H. E. l. vii. 28, where such a law is incidentally mentioned. The inhabitants of Cyzicus in the Hellespont, however, transgressed the law, on the presumption that it was merely a personal privilege of Atticus.

512  Among the barbarian tribes, over whom the bishops of Constantinople exercised an ecclesiastical jurisdiction, were the Huns on the Bosphorus, whose king, Gorda, received baptism in the time of Justinian; the Herulians, who received the Christian faith in 527; the Abasgians and Alanians on the Euxine sea, who about the same time received priests from Constantinople. Comp. Wiltsch, i. 144 and 145.

513  This correction of the Roman legates is so little to the taste of the Roman Catholic historians, especially the ultramontane, that the Ballerini, in their edition of the works of Leo the Great, tom. iii. p. xxxvii. sqq., and even Hefele, Conciliengesch. i. p. 385, and ii. p. 522, have without proof declared the relevant passage in the Greek Acts of the council of Chalcedon a later interpolation. Hefele, who can but concede the departure of the Latin version from the original text of the sixth canon of Nice, thinks, however, that the Greek text was not read in Chalcedon, because even this bore against the elevation of Constantinople, and therefore in favor of the Roman legates. But the Roman legates, as also Leo in his protest against the 28th decree of Chalcedon, laid chief stress upon the Roman addition, Ecclesia Romana semper habuit primatum, and considered the equalization of any other patriarch with the bishop of Rome incompatible with it. Since the legates, as is conceded, appealed to the Nicene canon, the Greeks had first to meet this appeal, before they passed to the canons of the council of Constantinople. Only the two together formed a sufficient answer to the Roman protest.

514  Mansi, vii. p. 446-454; Harduin, ii, 639-643; Hefele, ii. 524, 525.

515  Leo, Epist. 104, 105, and 106 (al, Ep. 78-80). Comp. Hefele, l.c. ii. 530 sqq.

516  Rev. iii. 11.

517  Harduin, tom. vii. 23; Schröckh, xvii. 43; and Hefele, ii. 544.

518  Comp. Eusebius, himself the metropolitan of Caesarea, H. E. v. 23. He gives the succession of the bishops of Jerusalem, as well as of Rome, Alexandria, and Antioch, while he omits those of Caesarea.

519  jAkolouqiva th'" timh'"; which is variously interpreted. Comp. Hefele, i. 389 sq.

520  Ta; presbei'a th'" timh'"... dia; to; ei|nai aujth;n [i.e. Constantinople] nevan JRwvmhn. Comp. § 56.

521  The title oijkomeniko;" patriavrch", universalis episcopus, had before been used in flattery by oriental patriarchs, and the later Roman bishops bore it, in spite of the protest of Gregory I., without scruple. The statement of popes Gregory I. and Leo IX., that the council of Chalcedon conferred on the Roman bishop Leo the title of universal episcopus, and that he rejected it, is erroneous. No trace of it can be found either in the Acts of the councils or in the epistles of Leo. In the Acts, Leo is styled oJ aJgiwvtato" kai; makariwvtato" ajrciepivskopo" th'" megavlh" kai; presbutevras JRwvmh"; which, however, in the Latin Acts sent by Leo to the Gallican bishops, was thus enlarged: "Sanctus et beatissimus Papa, caput universalis ecclesiae, Leo." The papal legates at Chalcedon subscribed themselves: Vicarii apostolici universalis ecclesiae papae, which the Greeks translated: th'" oijkoumenikh'" ejkklhsiva" ejpiskovpou. Hence probably arose the error of Gregory I. The popes wished to be papae universalis ecclesiae, not episcopi or patriarchae universales; no doubt because the latter designation put them on a level with the Eastern patriarchs. Comp. Gieseler, i. 2, p. 192, not. 20, and p. 228, not. 72; and Hefele, ii. 525 sq.

522  Epist. 113, to Pope Leo I.

523  That the apostle Andrew brought the gospel to the ancient Byzantium, is an entirely unreliable legend of later times.

524  One exception is the brief pontificate of the Arian, Felix II, whom the emperor Constantius, in 355, forcibly enthroned during the exile of Liberius, and who is regarded by some as an illegitimate anti-pope. The accounts respecting him are, however, very conflicting, and so are the opinions of even Roman Catholic historians. Liberius also, in 357, lapsed for a short time into Arianism that he might be recalled from exile. Another and later exception is Pope Honorius, whom even the sixth ecumenical council of Constantinople, 681, anathematized for Monothelite heresy.

525  Recall the interpolations of papistic passages in the works of Cyprian; the Roman enlargement of the sixth canon of Nice; the citation of the Sardican canon under the name and the authority of the Nicene council; and the later notorious pseudo-Isidorian decretals. The popes, to be sure, were not the original authors of these falsifications, but they used them freely and repeatedly for their purposes.

526  Concil. Nicaean. of 325, can. 6, in the Latin version of Rufinus (Hist. Eccl. x. 6): "Et ut apud Alexandria et in urbe Roma vetusta consuetudo servetur, ut vel ille Ægypti, vel hic suburbicariarum ecclesiarum sollicitudinem gerat." The words suburb. eccl. are wanting in the Greek original, and are a Latin definition of the patriarchal diocese of Rome at the end of the fourth century. Since the seventeenth century they have given rise to a long controversy among the learned. The jurist Gothofredus and his friend Salmasius limited the regiones suburbicariae to the small province of the Praefectus Urbis, i.e. to the city of Rome with the immediate vicinity to the hundredth milestone; while the Jesuit Sirmond extended it to the much greater official district of the Vicarius Urbis, viz., the ten provinces of Campania, Tuscia with Umbria, Picenum suburbicarium, Valeria, Samnium, Apulia with Calabria, Lucania and Brutii, Sicilia, Sardinia, and Corsica. The comparison of the Roman bishop with the Alexandrian in the sixth canon of the Nicene council favors the latter view; since even the Alexandrian diocese likewise stretched over several provinces. The Prisca, however—a Latin collection of canons from the middle of the fifth century—has perhaps hit the truth of the matter, in saying, in its translation of the canon in question: "Antiqui moris est ut urbis Romae episcopus habeat principatum, ut suburbicaria loca [i.e. here, no doubt, the smaller province of the Praefectus] et omnem provinciam suam [i.e. the larger district of the Vicarius, or a still wider, indefinite extent] sollicitudine sua gubernet." Comp. Mansi, Coll. Conc. vi. 1127, and Hefele, i. 380 sqq.

527  According to the political division of the empire, the Roman patriarchate embraced in the fifth century three praefectures, which were divided into eight political dioceses and sixty-nine provinces. These are, (1) the praefecture of Italy, with the three dioceses of Italy, Illyricum, and Africa; (2) the praefectum Galliarum, with the dioceses of Gaul, Spain, and Britain; (3) the praefecture of Illyricum (not to be confounded with the province of Illyria, which belonged to the praefecture of Italy), which, after 879, was separated indeed from the Western empire, as Illyricum orientale, but remained ecclesiastically connected with Rome, and embraced the two dioceses of Macedonia and Dacia. Comp. Wiltsch, l.c. i. 67 sqq.; Maassen, p. 125; and Hefele, i. 383.

528  Contra Julianum, lib. i. cap. 6.

529  Epistola decretales; an expression, which, according to Gieseler and others, occurs first about 500, in the so-called decretum Gelasii de libris recipiendis et non recipiendis.

530  See the information concerning the conferring of the pallium in Wiltsch, i. 68 sq.

531  This is conceded by Hefele, i. 383 sq.: "It is, however, not to be mistaken, that the bishop of Rome did not everywhere, in all the West, exercise full patriarchal rights; that, to wit, in several provinces, simple bishops were ordained without his coöperation." And not only simple bishops, but also metropolitans. See the text.

532  Aujtokevfaloi, also ajkevfaloi, as in the East especially the archbishops of Cyprus and Bulgaria were called, and some other metropolitans, who were subject to no patriarch.

533  Comp. Wiltsch, i. 234.

534  Comp. Gregory I., Epist. l. iv. 49; and Wiltsch, i. 236 sq. To the metropolis of Aquileia belonged the bishopric of Verona, Tridentum (the Trent, since become so famous), Aemona, Altinum, Torcellum, Pola, Celina, Sabiona, Forum Julii, Bellunum, Concordia, Feltria, Tarvisium, and Vicentia.

535  Baron. Ann. ad ann. 433; Wiltsch, i. 69, 87.

536  Comp. the relevant Acts of councils in Gieseler, i. 2, p. 221 sqq., and an extended description of this case of appeal in Greenwood, Cath. Petri, i. p. 299-310, and in Hefele, Concilien-Gesch. ii. 107 sqq., 120, 123 sq.

537  Mansi, iii. 839 sq.

538  Epist. 87; Mansi, vi. 120.

539  Ep. 93 and 95; Mansi, vi. 131 and 132.

540  Mansi, vii. 972.

541  Greg. Ep. i. 41; Mansi, ix. 1059. Comp. Wiltsch, i. 71.

542  This difference shows itself in the two editions of the works of Leo the Great, respectively: that of the French Pasquier Quesnel, a Gallican and Jansenist (exiled 1681, died at Brussels 1719), which also contains the works, and a vindication, of Hilary of Arles (Par. 1675, in 2 vols.), and was condemned in 1676 by the Congregation of the Index, without their even reading it; and that of the two brothers Ballerini, which appeared in opposition to the former (Ven. 1755-1757, 3 vols.), and represents the Italian ultramontane side. Comp. further on this contest of Hilarius Arelatensis (not to be confounded with Hilarius Pictaviensis, Hilarius Narbonensis, and others of the same name) with Pope Leo, the Vita Hilarii of Honoratus Massiliensis, of about the year 490 (printed in Mansi, vi. 461 sqq., and in the Acta Sanct. ad d. 5 Maji); the article by Perthel, in Illgen’s Zeitschrift for Hist. Theol. 1843; Greenwood, l.c. i. p. 350-356; Milman, Lat. Christianity, i. p. 269-276 (Amer. ed.); and the article "Hilarius" in Wetzer and Welte’s Kirchenlexic vol. v. p. 181 sqq.

543  "Nisi magnitudo causae etiam nostrum exquirat examen." Gieseler, i. 2, p. 218; Greenwood, i. p. 299.

544  Comp. Bonifacii I Epist. 12 ad Hilarium Narbon. (not Arelatensen), a.d. 422, in Gieseler, p. 219. Boniface here speaks in favor of the Nicene principle, that each metropolitan should rule simply over one province. Greenwood overlooks this change, and hence fully justifies Hilary on the ground of the appointment of Zosimus. But even though this appointment had stood, the deposition of a bishop was still a causa major, which Hilary, as vicar of the pope, should have laid before him for ratification.

545  Leo, Epist. 10 (al. 89) ad Episc. provinciae Viennensis. What an awful perversion this of the true Christian stand-point!

546  The popes Vigil, 539-555, Pelagius, 555-559, and Gregory the Great conferred on the archbishop of Arles, besides the pallium, also the papal vicariate (vices). Comp. Wiltsch, i. 71 sq.

547  At all events, no reconciliation can be certainly proved. Hilary did, indeed, according to the account of his disciple and biographer, who some forty years after his death encircled him with the halo, take some steps toward reconciliation, and sent two priests as delegates with a letter to the Roman prefect, Auxiliaris. The latter endeavored to act the mediator, but gave the delegates to understand, that Hilary, by his vehement boldness, had too deeply wounded the delicate ears of the Romans. In Leo’s letter a new trespass is charged upon Hilary, on the rights of the bishop Projectus, after the deposition of Celidonius. And Hilary died soon after this contest (449). Waterland ascribed to him the Athanasian Creed, though without good reason.

548  Comp. Gieseler, i. 2, p. 21 5 sqq.; and Wiltsch, i. 72 sqq., 431 sqq.

549  The name papa—according to some an abbreviation of pater patrum, but more probably, like the kindred abbas, pavppa", or pavpa", pa-pa, simply an imitation of the first prattling of children, thus equivalent to father—was, in the West, for a long time the honorary title of every bishop, as a spiritual father; but, after the fifth century, it became the special distinction of the patriarchs, and still later was assigned exclusively to the Roman bishop, and to him in an eminent sense, as father of the whole church. Comp. Du Cange, Glossar. s. verb. Papa and Pater Patrum; and Hoffmann, Lexic. univers. iv. p. 561. In the same exclusive sense the Italian and Spanish papa, the French pape, the English pope, and the German Papst or Pabst, are used. In the Greek and Russian churches, on the contrary, all priests are called Popes (from pavpa", papa). The titles apostolicus, vicarius Christi, summus pontifex, sedes apostolica, were for a considerable time given to various bishops and their sees, but subsequently claimed exclusively by the bishops of Rome.

550  Matt. xvi. 18: Su; ei| Pevtro", kai; ejpi; tauvth/ th'/ pevtra/  [mark the change of the gender from the masculine to the feminine, from the person to the thing or the truth confessed—a change which disappears in the English and German versions] oijkodomhvsw mou th;n ejkklhsivan, kai; puvlai a{/dou ouj katiscuvsousin aujth'". Comp. the commentators, especially Meyer, Lange, Alford, Wordsworth, ad loc., and my Hist. of the Apost. Church, § 90 and 94 (N. Y. ed. p. 350 sqq., and 374 sqq.).

551  Comp. vol. i. § 110.

552  Baronius, Annal. ad ann. 1080, vol. xi. p. 704.

553  Hieronymus, Adv. Jovin. lib. ii. c. 38 (Opera, t. ii. p. 382), where he addresses Rome: "Ad te loquar, quae scriptam in fronte blasphemiam Christi confessione delesti." Prosper: "Eterna cum dicitur quae temporalis est, utique nomen est blasphemiae." Comp. Piper, l.c. p. 46.

554  So Chrysostom ad 2 Thess. ii. 7; Hieronymus, Ep. cxxi. qu. 11 (tom. i. p. 880 sq.); Augustine, De Civit. Dei, lib. xx. cap. 19.

555  De schismate Donatistarum, lib. ii. cap. 2, 3, and l. vii. 3. The work was composed while Siricius was bishop of Rome, hence about 384.

556  Ambr. Sermo ii. in festo Petri et Pauli: "In urbe Romae, quae principatum et caput obtinet nationum: scilicet ut ubi caput superstitionis erat, illic caput quiesceret sanctitatis, et ubi gentilium principes habitabant, illic ecclesiarum principes morerentur." In Ps. 40: "Ipse est Petrus cui dixit: Tu es Petrus ... ubi ergo Patrus, ibi ecclesia; ubi ecclesia, ibi mulla mors, sed vita eterna." Comp. the poetic passage in his Morning Hymn, in the citation from Augustine further on. But in another passage he likewise refers the rock to Christ, in Luc. ix. 20: "Petra est Christus," etc.

557  De incarnat. Domini, c. 4: "Primatum confessionis utique, non honoris, primatum fidei, non ordinis."

558  De Spiritu S. ii. 12: "Nec Paulus inferior Petro, quamvis ille ecclesiae fundamentum." Sermo ii. in festo P. et P., just before the above-quoted passage: "Ergo beati Petrus et Paulus eminent inter universos apostolos, et peculiari quadam praerogativa praecellunt. Verum inter ipsos, quis cui praeponatur, incertum est. Puto enim illos aequales esse meritis, qui aequales sunt passione." Augustine, too, once calls Paul, not Peter, caput et princeps apostolorum, and in another place that he tanti apostolatus meruit principatum.

559  Hieron. in Amos, vi. 12: "Petra Christus est qui donavit apostolis suis, ut ipsi quoque petrae vocentur." And in another place: "Ecclesia Catholica super Petram Christum stabili radici fundata est."

560  Adv. Jovin. l. i. cap. 26 (in Vallars. ed., tom. ii. 279), in reply to Jovinian’s appeal to Peter in favor of marriage: "At dicis: super Petrum fundatur ecclesia; licet id ipsum in alio loco super omnes apostolos fiat, et cuncti claves regni coelorum accipiant, et ex aequo super eos fortitudo ecclesiae solidetur, tamen propterea inter duodecim unus eligitur, ut capite constituto, schismatis tollatur occasio." So Epist. xv. ad Damasum papam (ed. Vall. i. 37).

561  Comp. Epist. 146, ed. Vall. i. 1076 (or Ep. 101 ed. Bened., al. 85) ad Evangelum: "Ubicunque fuerit episcopus, sive Romae, sive Eugubii, sive Constantinopoli, sive Rhegii, sive Alexandriae, sive Tanis [an intentional collocation of the most powerful and most obscure bishoprics], ejusdem est meriti, ejusdem est et sacerdotii. Potentia divitiarum et paupertatis humilitas vel sublimiorem vel inferiorem episcopum non facit. Caeterum omnes apostolorum successores sunt."

562  Comp. § 52, above. J. Craigie Robertson, Hist. of the Christian Church to 590 (Lond. 1854), p. 286, note, finds a remarkable negative evidence against the papal claims in St. Jerome’s Ep. 125, "where submission to one head is enforced on monks by the instinctive habits of beasts, bees, and cranes, the contentions of Esau and Jacob, of Romulus and Remus, the oneness of an emperor in his dominions, of a judge in his province, of a master in his house, of a pilot in a ship, of a general in an army, of a bishop, the archpresbyter, and the archdeacon in a church; but there is no mention of the one universal bishop."

563  Ep. xv. (alias 57) ad Damasum papam (ed. Vall. l. 37 sq.): "Facessat invidia: Romani culminis recedat ambitio, cum successore piscatoris et discipulo crucis loquor. Ego nullum primum, nisi Christum sequens, Beatitudini tuae, id est cathedrae Petri, communione consocior. Super illam petram aedificatam ecclesiam scio. Quicunque extra hanc domum agnum comederit, profanus est. Si quis in Noe arca non fuerit, peribit regnante diluvio."

564  Hier. Com. in Ep. ad Galat. ii. 11, 12 (ed. Vallars. tom. vii. col. 409): "Non quod aliud significat Petrus, aliudCephas, sed quo quam nos Latine et Graece petram vocemus, hanc Hebraei et Syri, propter linguae inter se viciniam, Cephan, nuncupent."

565  Retract. l. i. c. 21.

566  In the Ambrosian Morning Hymn: "Aeterne rerum conditor."

567  Tract. in Evang. Joannis, 124, § 5. The original is quoted among others by Dr. Gieseler, i. 2, p. 210 (4th ed.), but with a few unessential omissions.

568  Especially by Calov in the Lutheran church, and quite recently by Dr. Wordsworth in the Church of England (Commentary on Matt. xvi. 18). But Dr. Alford decidedly protests against it, with most of the modern commentators.

569  De utilit. credendi, § 35, he traces the development of the church "ab apostolica sede per successiones apostolorum;" and Epist. 43, he incidentally speaks of the "Romana ecclesia in qua semper apostolicae cathedrae viguit principatus." Greenwood, i. 296 sq., thus resolves the apparent contradiction in Augustine: "In common with the age in which he lived, he (St. Augustine) was himself possessed with the idea of a visible representative unity, and considered that unity as equally the subject of divine precept and institution with the church-spiritual itself. The spiritual unity might therefore stand upon the faith of Peter, while the outward and visible oneness was inherent in his person; so that while the church derived her esoteric and spiritual character from the faith which Peter had confessed, she received her external or executive powers from Peter through ’the succession of bishops’ sitting in Peter’s chair. Practically, indeed, there was little to choose between the two theories." Comp. also the thorough exhibition of the Augustinian theory of the Catholic church and her attributes by Dr. Rothe, in his work Die Anfänge der christlichen Kirche, i. p. 679-711.

570  De diversis Serm. 108: Has enim claves non homo unus, sed unitas accepit ecclesiae. Hinc ergo Petri excellentia praedicatur, quia ipsius universitatis et unitatis figuram gessit quando ei dictum est: tibi trado, quod omnibus traditum est, etc.

571  Bellarmine, in Praef. in Libr. de Pontif., calls this article even rem summam fidei Christiana!

572  Hom. v., on the feast of Peter and Paul. To the one, says he, the keys of knowledge were committed, to the other the keys of power." Eminent inter universos apostlos et peculiari quadam praerogativa praecellunt. Verum inter ipsos quis cui praeponatur, incertum est." The same sentence in Ambrose, De Spir. S. ii. 12.

573  In S. Ignat. Martyr., n. 4.

574  Hom. ii. in Principium Actorum, n. 6, tom. iii. p. 70 (ed. Montfaucon). The last sentence (ajlla; prosecwrhvsamen th'/' basilivdi Rwvmh/) is by some regarded as a later interpolation in favor of the papacy. But it contains no concession of superiority. Chrysostom immediately goes on to say: "We have indeed not retained the body of Peter, but we have retained the faith of Peter; and while we retain his faith, we have himself."

575  Epist. 86.

576  Epist. 113. Comp. Bennington and Kirk, l.c. p. 91-93. In the Epist. 116, to Renatus, one of the three papal legates at Ephesus, where he entreats his intercession with Leo, he ascribes to the Roman see the control of the church of the world (tw'n kata; thn oijkoumevnhn ejkklhsiw'n th;n hJgemonivan), but certainly in the oriental sense of an honorary supervision.

577  jArciepivskopon pavsh" th'" oijkoumevnh" [i. e., of the Roman empire, according to the well-known usus loquendi, even of the N. T., Comp. Luke ii. 1], patevra te kai; patriavrchn Kelesti'non to;n th'" megalopovlew" Rwvmh".Encom. in S. Mar. Deip. (tom. v. p. 384). Comp. his Ep. ix. ad Coelest.

578  That this is the true date appears from the recently discovered Festival Epistles of Athanasius, published in Syriac by Cureton (London, 1848), in an English translation by Williams (Oxford, 1854), and in German by Larsow (Leipzig, 1852). Mansi puts the council in the year 344, but most writers, including Gieseler, Neander, Milman, and Greenwood, following the erroneous statement of Socrates (ii. 20) and Sozomen (iii. 12), place it in the year 347. Comp. on the subject Larsow, Die Festbriefe des Athanasius, p. 31; and Hefele, Conciliengesch. i. p. 513 sqq.

579  Can. 3, 4, and 5 (in the Latin translation, can. 3, 4, and 7), in Mansi, iii. 23 sq., and in Hefele, i. 539 sqq., where the Greek and the Latin Dionysian text is given with learned explanations. The Greek and Latin texts differ in some points.

580  So the much discussed canones are explained not only by Protestant historians, but also by Catholic of the Gallican school, like Peter de Marca, Quesnel, Du-Pin, Richer, Febronius. This interpretation agrees best with the whole connection; with the express mention of Julius (which is lacking indeed, in the Latin translation of Prisca and in Isidore, but stands distinctly in the Greek and Dionysian texts: jIoulivw/ tw'/ ejpiskovpw/ JRwvmh",Julio Romano episcopo); with the words, " Si vobis placet" (can. 3), whereby the appeal in question is made dependent first on the decree of this council; and finally, with the words, "Sancti Petri apostoli memoriam honoremus," which represent the Roman bishop’s right of review as an honorary matter. What Hefele urges against these arguments (i. 548 sq.), seems to me very insufficient.

581  Baronius, Natalis Alexander, and Mansi have endeavored indeed to establish for the council an ecumenical character, but in opposition to the weightiest ancient and modern authorities of the Catholic church. Comp. Hefele, i. 596 sqq,

582  It is also to be observed, that the synodal letters, as well as the orthodox ecclesiastical writers of this and the succeeding age, which take notice of this council, like Socrates, Sozomen, Theodoret, and Basil, make no mention of those decrees concerning Rome.

583  Comp. § 56.

584  Ep. ad Conc. Cartha. and Ep. ad Concil. Milev., both in 416. In reference to this decision, which went against Pelagius, Augustine uttered the word so often quoted by Roman divines: "Causa finita est; utinam aliquando finiatur error." But when Zosimus, the successor of Innocent, took the part of Pelagius, Augustine and the African church boldly opposed him, and made use of the Cyprianic right of protest."Circumstances alter cases."

585  As Quesnel and most of his successors infer from Prosper’s Chronicle, and a passage in Leo’s Ep. 31, c. 4, where he assigns among the reasons for not attending the council at Ephesus in 449, that he could not "deserere patriam et sedem apostolicam." Patria, however, may as well mean Italy, or at least the diocese of Rome, including the ten suburbican provinces. In the Liber pontificalis he is called "natione Tuscus," but in two manuscript copies, "natione Romanus." Canisius, in the Acta Sanctorum, adopts the former view. Butler reconciles the difficulty by supposing that he was descended of a noble Tuscan family, but born at Rome.

586  Ep. v. ad Episcopos Metrop. per Illyricum constitutos, c. 2 (ed. Ball. i. 617, in Migne’s Patristic Libr. vol. liv. p. 515): "Quia per omnes ecclesias cura nostra distenditur, exigente hoc a nobis Domino, qui apostolicae dignitatis beatissimo apostolo Petro primatum fidei suae remuneratione commisit, universalem ecclesiam in fundamenti ipsius [Quesnel proposes istius for ipsius] soliditate constituens, necessitatem sollicitudinis quam habemus, cum his qui nobis collegii caritate juncti sunt, sociamus."

587  These views Leo repeatedly expresses in his sermons on the festival of St. Peter and on the anniversary of his own elevation, as well as in his official letters to the African, Illyrian, and South Gallic bishops, to Dioscurus of Alexandria, to the patriarch Anatolius of Constantinople, to the emperor Marcian and the empress Pulcheria. Particular proof passages are unnecessary. Comp. especially Ep. x., xi., xii., xiv., civ.-cvi. (ed. Baller.), and Perthel, l.c. p. 226-241, where the chief passages are given in full.

588   "Cujus dignitas etiam in indigno haerede non deficit," Sermo iii. in Natal, ordin. c. 4 (vol. i. p. 13, ed. Ball.)."Etsi necessarium est trepidare de merito, religiosum est tamen gaudere de dono: quoniam qui mihi oneris est auctor, ipse est administrationis adjutor." Serm. ii. c. 1.

589  Pet. v. 3.

590  Gal. ii. 11.

591  Ep. x. c. 2 (ed. Ball. i. p. 634; ed. Migne, vol. 54, p. 630), to the Gallican bishops in the matter of Hilary: "Cui (sc. Petro) quisquis principatum aestimat denegandum, illius quidem nullo modo potest minuere dignitatem; sed inflatus spiritu superbiae suae semetipsum in inferna demergit." Comp. Ep. clxiv. 3; clvii. 3.

592  Comp. above, § 59.

593  See the particulars in § 36, above, near the close

594  Comp. Pertbel, l.c. p. 90 sqq., and p. 104 sqq.

595  Leo himself says nothing of his mission to Attila. Prosper, in Chron. ad ann. 452, mentions it briefly, and Canisius, in the Vita Leonis (in the Acta Sanctorum, for the month of April, tom. ii. p. 18), with later exaggerations.

596  Comp. Leo’s 84th Sermon, which was preached soon after the departure of the Vandals, and Prosper, Chron ad ann. 455

597  The Roman calendar places his name on the 11th of April. But different writers fix his death on June 28, Oct. 30 (Quesnel), Nov. 4 (Pagi), Nov. 10 (Butler). Butler quotes the concession of Bower, the apostate Jesuit, who, in his Lives of the Popes, says of Leo, that "he was without doubt a man of extraordinary parts, far superior to all who had governed that church before him, and scarce equalled by any since."

598  Sermones de natali. Canisius (in Acta Sanct., l.c. p. 17) calls Leo Christianum Demosthenem.

599  De vocatione omnium gentium—a work praised highly even by Erasmus, Luther, Bullinger, and Grotius. Quesnel has only proved the possibility of Leo’s being the author. Comp. Perthel, l.c. p. 127 sqq. The Sacramentarium Leonis, or a collection of liturgical prayers for all the festival days of the year, contains some of his prayers, but also many which are of a later date.

600  This was the fifth (al. fourth) council under, Symmachus, held in Nov. 502, therefore later than the synodus palmaris. Comp. Hefele, ii. p. 625 sq.

601  . Dante puts him in hell, and Baronius ascribes his sudden death to an evident judgment of God.

602  Comp. Hefele, ii. p. 615 sqq.

603  So named from the building in Rome, in which it was held: "A porticu beati Petri Apostoli, quae appellatur ad Palmaria," as Anastasius says. In the histories of councils it is erroneously given as Synodus III. Many historians, Gieseler among them, place it in the year 503.

604  Libellus apologeticus pro Synodo IV. Romana, in Mansi, viii. 274. This vindication was solemnly adopted by the sixth Roman council under Symmachus, in 503, and made equivalent to a decree of council.

605  Even Justinian repeatedly applied to the patriarch of Constantinople officially the title oijkomeniko;" patriavrch", universalis patriarcha.

606  Bellarmine disposes of this apparent testimony of one of the greatest and best popes against the system of popery, which has frequently been urged since Calvin by Protestant controversialists, by assuming that the term episcopus universalis is used in two very different senses."Respondeo," he says (in his great controversial work, De controversiis christianae fidei, etc., de Romano pontifice, lib. ii. cap. 31), "duobus modis posse intelligi nomen universalis episcopi. Uno modo, ut ille, qui dicitur universalis, intelligatur esse solus episcopus omnium urbium Christianarum, ita ut caeteri non sint episcopi, sed vicarii tantum illius, qui dicitur episcopus universalis, et hoc modo nomen hoc est vere profanum, sacrilegum et antichristianum.... Altero modo dici potest episcopus universalis, qui habet curam totius ecclesiae, sed generalem, ita ut non excludat particulares episcopos. Et hoc modo nomen hoc posse tribui Romano pontifici ex mente Gregorii probatur."

607  The name suvnodo" oijkoumenikhv (concilium universale, s. generale) occurs first in the sixth canon of the council of Constantinople in 381. The oijkoumevnh (sc. gh') is, properly, the whole inhabited earth; then, in a narrower sense, the earth inhabited by Greeks, in distinction from the barbarian countries; finally, with the Romans, the orbis Romanus, the political limits of which coincided with those of the ancient Graeco-Latin church. But as the bishops of the barbarians outside the empire were admitted, the ecumenical councils represented the entire Catholic Christian world.

608  Acts xv., and Gal. ii. Comp. my History of the Apostolic Church, §§ 67-69 (Engl. ed., p. 245-257). Mansi, l.c. tom. i. p. 22 (De quadruplici Synodo Apostolorum), and other Roman Catholic writers, speak of four Apostolic Synods: Acts i. 13 sqq., for the election of an apostle; ch. vi. for the election of deacons; ch. xv. for the settlement of the question of the binding authority of the law of Moses; and ch. xxi. for a similar object. But we should distinguish between a private conference and consultation, and a public synod.

609  It is usually supposed there were only four or five different kinds of council. But Hefele reckons eight (i. p. 3 and 4) adding to those above named the irregularsuvnodoiejndhmou'sai, also the synods of the bishops of two or more provinces finally the concilia mixta, consisting of the secular and spiritual dignitaries province, as separate classes.

610  A similar order, with different times, appears still earlier in the 37th of the apostolic canons, where it is said (in the ed. of Ueltzen, p. 244):Deuvterontou'e[tou" suvnodo" genevsqwtw'nejpiskovpwn.

611  This Sunday, the celebration of which was ordered by the empress Theodora in 842, is called among the Greeks the kuriakhvth'" ojrqodoxiva". On that day the ancient councils are dramatically reproduced in the public worship.

612  The schismatical Donatists alone held a council at Carthage in 308, of two hundred and seventy bishops (Comp. Wiltsch, Kirchl. Geogr. u. Statistik, i. p. 53 and 54); while the second ecumenical council numbered only a hundred and fifty, the third a hundred and sixty (a hundred and ninety-eight), and the fifth a hundred and sixty-four.

613  Schröckh says (vol. viii. p. 201), unjustly, that this general consent belongs among the "empty conceits." Of course the unanimity must be limited to orthodox Christendom.

614  This is conceded even by the Roman Catholic church historian Hefele (i. p. 7), in opposition to, Bellarmine and other Romish divines."The first eight general councils," says he, "were appointed and convoked by the emperors; all the subsequent councils, on the contrary [i.e. all the Roman Catholic general councils], by the popes; but even in those first councils there appears a certain participation of the popes in their convocation, more or less prominent in particular instances." The latter assertion is too sweeping, and can by no means be verified in the history of the first two of these councils, nor of the fifth.

615  As regards the council of Nicaea: according to Eusebius and all the ancient authorities, it was called by Constantine alone; and not till three centuries later, at the council of 680, was it claimed that Pope Sylvester had any share in the convocation. As to the council of Constantinople in 381: the Roman theory, that Pope Damasus summoned it in conjunction with Theodosius, rests on a confusion of this council with another and an unimportant one of 382. Comp. the notes of Valesius to Theodoret, Hist. Ecel. v. 9; and Hefele (who here himself corrects his earlier view), vol. i. p. 8, and vol. ii. p. 36.

616  Euseb., Vita Const. iii. 15: Cristou'basileiva" e[doxena[nti" fantasiou'sqaieijkovna, o[nartjei|naiajlljoujcu{parto;ginovmenon.

617  Mansi, vii. 170 sqq. The emperor is called there not simply divine, which would be idolatrous enough, but most divine, oJqeiovtato": kai;eujsebevstato" hJmw'ndespovth", divinissimus et piissimus noster imperator ad sanctam synodum dixit, etc. And these adulatory epithets occur repeatedly in the acts of this council.

618  Eusebius, Vita Const. iii. 13: JOme;ndh;tau'teijpw;n J Rwmaiva/ glwvtth/ [which was still the official language], uJfermhneuvonto" eJtevrou, paredivdouto;nlovgontoi'" th'" sunovdouproevdroi" . Yet, according to the immediately following words of Eusebius, the emperor continued to take lively interest in the proceedings, hearing, speaking, and exhorting to harmony. Eusebius’whole account of this synod is brief and unsatisfactory.

619  To wit, in a letter of the council to Leo (Ep. 89, in the Epistles of Leo, ed. Baller., tom. i. p. 1099), and in a letter of Marcian to Leo (Ep. 110, tom. i. p. 1182 sq.).

620  Acts xv. 22: Tovtee[doxetoi'" ajpostovloi" kai;toi'" presbutevroi" su;no}lh/ th'/ ejkklhsiva/; and v. 23: OiJajpovstoloikai;oijpresbuvteroikai;oijajdelfoi;toi'" ... ajdelfoi'" . k.t. l. Comp. my Hist. of the Apostolic Church, § 69, and § 128.

621  ]Edoxetw'/ pneuvmatiaJgivw/ kai;hJmi'n, Acts xv. 28. The provincial councils, too, had already used this phrase; e.g. the Concil. Carthaginiense, of 252 (in the Opera Cypriani): "Placuit nobis, Sancto Spiritu suggerente, et Domino per visiones multas et manifestas admonente." So the council of Arles, in 314: "Placuit ergo, presente Spiritu Sancto et angelis ejus."

622  Qeivanejntolhvn, andqeivanbouvlhsin, in Euseb., Vita Const. iii. 20. Comp. his Ep. ad Eccl. Alexandr., in Socrates, H. E. i. 9 where he uses similar expressions.

623  Isidore of Pelusium also styles the Nicene council divinely inspired, qeovqenejmpneu"qei'sa (Ep. 1. iv. Ep. 99). So Basil the Great, Ep. 114 (in the Benedictine edition of his Opera omnia, tom. iii. p. 207), where he says that the 318 fathers of Nice have not spoken without the ejnevrgeiatou'aJgivoupneuvmato" (non sine Spiritus Sancti afflatu).

624  Act. i., in Mansi, vi. p. 672. We quote from the Latin translation: "Nullo autem modo patimur a quibusdam concuti definitam fidem, sive fidei symbolum, a sanctis patribus nostris qui apud Nicaeam convenerunt illis temporibus: nec permittimus aut nobis, aut aliis, mutare aliquod verbum ex his quae ibidem continentur, aut unam syllabam praeterire, memores dicentis: Ne transferas terminos aeternos, quos posuerunt patres tui (Prov. xxii. 8; Matt. x. 20). Non enim erant ipsi loquentes, sed ipse Spiritus Dei et Patris qui procedit ex ipso."

625  jJOblasfhmhqei;" parjaujtou'kuvrio" jIh". Cristo;" w{risedia;th'" parouvsh" aJgiwtavth" sunovdou.

626  Lib. i. Ep. 25 (ad Joannem episcopum Constant., et caeteros patriarchas, in Migne’s edition of Gr. Opera, tom. iii. p. 478, or in the Bened. ed. iii. 515): "Praeterea, quia corde creditur ad justitiam, ore autem confessio fit ad salutem, sicut sancti evangelii quatuor libros, sic quatuor concilia suscipere et venerari me fateor. Nicaenum scilicet in quo perversum Arii dogma destruitur; Constantinopolitanum quoque, in quo Eunomii et Macedonii error convincitur; Ephesinum etiam primum, in quo Nestorii impietas judicatur; Chalcedonense vero, in quo Eutychetii [Eutychis] Dioscorique pravitas reprobatur, tota devotione complector, integerrima approbatione custodio: quia in his velut in quadrato lapide, sanctae fidei structura consurgit, et cujuslibet vitae atque actionis existat, quisquis eorum soliditatem non tenet, etiam si lapis esse cernitur, tamen extra aedificium jacet. Quintum quoque concilium pariter veneror, in quo et epistola, quae Ibae dicitur, erroris plena, reprobatur," etc.

627  Justin. Novell. cxxxi."Quatuor synodorum dogmata sicut sanctas scripturas accipimus, et regulas sicut leges observamus."

628  Conc. Nic. can. 15: }Wsteajpo;povlew" eij" povlinmh;metabaivneinmhvteejpivskoponmhvtepresbuvteronmhvtediavkonon. This prohibition arose from the theory of the relation between a clergyman and his congregation, as a mystical marriage, and was designed to restrain clerical ambition. It appears in the Can. Apost. 13, 14, but was often violated. At the Nicene council itself there were several bishops, like Eusebius of Nicomedia, and Eustathius of Antioch, who had exchanged their first bishopric for another and a better.

629  Novmou" pavlaiteqnhkovta", Carm. de vita sua, v. 1810.

630  Epist. 106 (al. 80) ad Anatolium, and Epist. 105 ad Pulcheriam. Comp. above, § 57. Even Gregory I., so late as 600, writes in reference to the canones of the Constantinopolitan council of 381: "Romana autem ecclesia eosdem canones vel gesta Synodi illius hactenus non habet, nec accepit; in hoc autem eam accepit, quod est per eam contra Macedonium definitum." Lib. vii. Ep. 34, ad Eulogium episcopum Alexandr. (tom. iii. p. 882, ed. Bened., and in Migne’s ed., iii. 893.)

631  De Baptismo contra Donatistas, I. ii. 3 (in the Benedictine edition of August. Opera, tom. ix. p. 98): "Quis autem nesciat, sanctam Scripturam canonicam, tam Veteris quam Novi Testamenti, certis suis terminis contineri, eamque omnibus posterioribus Episcoporum literis ita praeponi, ut de illa omnino dubitari et disceptari non possit, utrum verum vel utrum rectum sit, quidquid in ea scriptum esse constiterit; Episcoporum autem literas quae post confirmatum canonem vel scripta sunt vel scribuntur, et per sermonem forte sapientiorem cujuslibet in ea re peritioris, et per aliorum Episcoporum graviorem auctoritatem doctioremque prudentiam, et per concilia licere reprehendi, si quid in eis forte a veritate deviatum est; et ipsa concilia, quae per singulas regiones vel provincias fiunt, plenariorum conciliorum auctoritate, quae fiunt ex universo orbe Christiano, sine ullis ambagibus cedere; ipsaque plenaria saepe priora posterioribus emendari, quum aliquo experimento rerum aperitur quod clausum erat et cognoscitur quod latebat; sine ullo typho sacrilegae superbiae, sine ulla inflata cervice arrogantiae, sine ulla contentione lividae invidiae, cum sancta humilitate, cum pace catholica, cum caritate christiana." Comp. the passage Contra Maximinum Arianum, ii. cap. 14, § 3 (in the Bened. ed., tom. viii. p. 704), where he will have even the decision of the Nicene council concerning the homousion measured by the higher standard of the Scriptures.

632  Contra Epistolam Manichaei, lib. i. c. 5 (in the Bened. ed., tom. viii. p. 154): "Ego vero evangelio non crederem, nisi me ecclesiae catholicae commoveret auctoritas."

633  Commonitorium, c. 23 (in Migne’s Curs. Patrol. tom. 50, p. 667): "Sed forsitan dicit aliquis: Nullusne ergo in ecclesia Christi profectus habebitur religionis? Habeatur plane et maximus .... Sed ita tamen ut vere profectus sit ille fidei, non permutatio. Si quidem ad profectum pertinet ut in semetipsum unaquaeque res amplificetur; ad permutationem vero, ut aliquid ex alio in aliud transvertatur. Crescat igitur oportet et multum vehementerque proficiat tam singulorum quam omnium, tam unius hominis, quam totius ecclesiae, aetatum ac seculorum gradibus, intelligentia, scientia, sapientia, sed in suo dutaxat genere, in eodem scilicet dogmate, eodem sensu, eademque sententia."

634  Acts xv. 6: Pollh'" suzhthvsew" genomevnh"; which Luther indeed renders quite too strongly: " After they had wrangled long." The English versions from Tyndale to King James translate: " much disputing."

635  Hist. Eccl. lib. v. cap. 7.

636  Ep. ad Procop. 55, old order (al. 130). Similar representations occur in Ep. 76, 84; Carm. de vita sua, v. 1680-1688; Carm. x. v. 92; Carm. Adv. Episc. v. 154. Comp. Ullmann, Gregor. von Naz., p. 246 sqq., and p. 270. It is remarkable that Gibbon makes no use of these passages to support his summary judgment of the general councils at the end of his twentieth chapter, where he says: "The progress of time and superstition erased the memory of the weakness, the passion, the ignorance, which disgraced these ecclesiastical synods; and the Catholic world has unanimously submitted to the infallible decrees of the general councils."

637  jEkbohvsei" dhmotikaiv. See Harduin, tom. ii. p. 71 sqq., and Mansi, tom. vi. p. 590 sq. Comp. also Hefele, ii. p. 406 sq.

638  This is the usual estimate, resting on the authority of Athanasius, Basil (Ep. 114; Opera, t. iii. p 207, ed. Bened.), Socrates, Sozomen, and Theodoret; whence the council is sometimes called the Assembly of the Three Hundred and Eighteen. Other data reduce the number to three hundred, or to two hundred and seventy, or two hundred and fifty, or two hundred and eighteen; while later tradition swells it to two thousand or more.

639  For some time the Egyptian and Syrian churches commemorated the council of Nicaea by an annual festival.

640  The opposition council, which John of Antioch, on his subsequent arrival, held in the same city in the cause of Nestorius and under the protection of the imperial commissioner Candidian, numbered forty-three members, and excommunicated Cyril, as Cyril had excommunicated Nestorius.

641  The synod itself, in a letter to Leo, states the number as only five hundred and twenty; Leo, on the contrary (Ep. 102), speaks of about six hundred members; and the usual opinion (Tillemont, Memoires, t. xv. p. 641) raises the whole number of members, including deputies, to six hundred and thirty.

642  Tria capitula, Kefavleia.

643  The condemnation of a departed pope as a heretic by an ecumenical council is so inconsistent with the claims of papal infallibility, that Romish historians have tried their utmost to dispute the fact, or to weaken its force by sophistical pleading.

644  Eij" Nivkaian. Nice and Nicene are properly misnomers, but sanctioned by the use of Gibbon and other great English writers.

645  Trullum was a saloon with a cupola in the imperial palace of Constantinople.

646  The Latins call it the fourth because they reject the fourth Constantinopolitan (the second Trullan) council of 692, because of its canons, and the fifth of 754 because it condemned the worship of images, which was subsequently sanctioned by the second council of Nicaea in 787.

647  On the number of the ecumenical councils till that of Trent the Roman divines themselves are not agreed. The Gallicans reckon twenty-one, Bellarmine eighteen, Hefele only sixteen. The undisputed ones, besides the eight already mentioned Graeco-Latin councils, are these eight Latin: the first Lateran (Roman) council, a.d. 1123; the second Lateran, a.d. 1139; the third Lateran, a.d. 1179; the fourth Lateran, a.d. 1215); the first of Lyons, a.d. 1245; the second of Lyons, a.d. 1274; that of Florence, a.d. 1439; (the fifth Lateran, 1512-1517, is disputed;) and that of Trent, a.d. 1545-1563. The ecumenical character of the three reformatory councils of Pisa, Constance, and Basle, in the beginning of the fifteenth century, and of the fifth Lateran council, a.d. 1512-1517, is questioned among the Roman divines, and is differently viewed upon ultramontane and upon Gallican principles. Hefele considers them partially ecumenical; that is, so far as they were ratified by the pope. [But in the Revised edition of his Conciliengeschichte, 1873 sqq., he reckons twenty ecumenical councils, including the Vatican, 1870. See Appendix, p. 1032.]

648  It is uncertain whether he obtained the surname Exiguus from his small stature or his monastic humility.

649  It may be found in the above-cited Bibliotheca, vol. i., and in all good collections of councils. He says in the preface that, confusione priscae translationis (the Prisca or Itala) offensus, he has undertaken a new translation of the Greek canons.

650  "Canones, qui dicuntur apostolorum, ... quibus plurimi consensum non praebuere facilem;" implying that Dionysius himself, with many others, doubted their apostolic origin. In a later collection of canons by Dionysius, of which only the preface remains, he entirely omitted the apostolic canons, with the remark: "Quos non admisit universitas, ego quoque in hoc opere praetermisi." On the pseudo-apostolic Canons and Constitutions, comp. vol. i. § 113 (p. 440-442), and the well-known critical work of the Roman Catholic theologian Drey.

651  Suvntagmakanovnwn, Concordia canonum, in the Bibliotheca of Justellus, tom. ii.