Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

simplicity

belief and

Of the ecclesiastical chain, many links had been broken by The the Paulician reformers; and their liberty was enlarged, as they of their reduced the number of masters at whose voice profane reason worship must bow to mystery and miracle. The early separation of the Gnostics had preceded the establishment of the Catholic worship; and against the gradual innovations of discipline and doctrine they were as strongly guarded by habit and aversion as by the silence of St. Paul and the evangelists. The objects which had been transformed by the magic of superstition appeared to the eyes of the Paulicians in their genuine and naked colours. An image made without hands was the common workmanship of a mortal

a artist, to whose skill alone the wood and canvas must be indebted for their merit or value. The miraculous relics were an heap of bones and ashes, destitute of life or virtue, or of any relation, perhaps, with the person to whom they were ascribed. The true and vivifying cross was a piece of sound or rotten timber; the body and blood of Christ, a loaf of bread and a cup of wine, the gifts of nature and the symbols of grace. The mother of God was degraded from her celestial honours and immaculate virginity; and the saints and angels were no longer solicited to exercise the laborious office of mediation in heaven and ministry upon earth. In the practice, or at least in the theory, of the sacraments, the Paulicians were inclined to abolish all visible objects of worship, and the words of the gospel were, in their judgment, the baptism and communion of the faithful. They indulged a convenient latitude for the interpretation of scripture; and, as often as they were pressed by the literal sense, they could escape to the intricate mazes of figure and allegory. Their utmost diligence must have been employed to dissolve the connexion between the Old and the New Testament; since they adored the latter as the oracles of God, and abborred the former as the fabulous and absurd invention of men or dæmons. We cannot be surprised that they should have found in the gospel the orthodox mystery of the Trinity; but, instead of confessing the human nature and substantial sufferings of Christ, they amused their fancy with a celestial body that passed through the virgin like water through a pipe; with a fantastic crucifixion

a that eluded the vain and impotent malice of the Jews. A creed thus simple and spiritual was not adapted to the genius of the

and Mani. chæans

They hold times ; 11 and the rational Christian, who might have been conthe two principles tented with the light yoke and easy burthen of Jesus and his Magians, apostles, was justly offended that the Paulicians should dare to

violate the unity of God, the first article of natural and revealed religion. Their belief and their trust was in the Father of Christ, of the human soul, and of the invisible world. But they likewise held the eternity of matter : & stubborn and rebellious substance, the origin of a second principle, of an active being, who has created this visible world and exercises his temporal reign till the final consummation of death and sin.12 The appearances of moral and physical evil had established the two principles in the ancient philosophy and religion of the East; from whence this doctrine was transfused to the various swarms of the Gnostics. A thousand shades may be devised in the nature and character of Ahriman, from a rival God to a subordinate dæmon, from passion and frailty to pure and perfect malevolence: but, in spite of our efforts, the goodness and the power of Ormusd are placed at the opposite extremities of the line; and every step that approaches the one must recede in equal proportion from the other. 18

The apostolic labours of Constantine-Sylvanus soon multilishment

plied the number of his disciples, the secret recompense of Paulicians

spiritual ambition. The remnant of the Gnostic sects, and menia, Pontus, especially the Manichæans of Armenia, were united under his

standard; many Catholics were converted or seduced by his arguments; and he preached with success in the regions of Pontus 14 and Cappadocia, which had long since imbibed the

The estab

of the

in Ar

&c.

11 The six capital errors of the Paulicians are defined by Peter Siculus (p. 756 [c. 10, p. 1253, 1256-7, ed. Migne]) with much prejudice and passion. [In the following order : (1) The two principles; (2) the exclusion of the Virgin Mary from the number of " Good Folk” (cp. the Perfect of the Bogomils; see Appendix 6); and the doctrine that Christ's body came down from Heaven; (3) the rejection of the Sacrament and (4) the Cross, and (5) the Old Testament, &c.; (6) the rejeotion of the elders of the Church.)

12 Primum illorum axioma est, duo rerum esse principia ; Deum malum et Deum bonum aliumque hujus mundi conditorem et principem, et alium futuri ævi (Petr. Sicul. p. 756 (c. 10, p. 1253, ed. Migne]). [One God was the Heavenly Father, who has not authority in this world but in the world to come; the other was the world-maker (cosmopoietês), who governs the present world. Cp. George Mon. p. 721 ed. De Boor = p. 607, ed. Muralt.)

13 Two learned critics, Bea uso bre (Hist. Critique du Manichéisme, I. i. 4, 5, 6) and Mosheim (Institut. Hist. Eccles. and de Rebus Christianis ante Constantinum, sec. i. ii. iii.), have laboured to explore and discriminate the various systems of the Gnostics on the subject of the two principles.

14 The countries between the Euphrates and the Halys were possessed above 350 years by the Medes (Herodot. 1. i. c. 103) and Persians ; and the kings of Pontus

.

16

religion of Zoroaster. The Paulician teachers were distinguished only by their scriptural names, by the modest title of fellow-pilgrims, by the austerity of their lives, their zeal or knowledge, and the credit of some extraordinary gifts of the Holy Spirit. But they were incapable of desiring, or at least of obtaining, the wealth and honours of the Catholic prelacy: such anti-christian pride they bitterly censured ; and even the rank of elders or presbyters was condemned as an institution of the Jewish synagogue. The new sect was loosely spread over the provinces of Asia Minor to the westward of the Euphrates; six of their principal congregations represented the churches to which St. Paul had addressed his epistles; and their founder chose his residence in the neighbourhood of Colonia,15 in the same district of Pontus which had been celebrated by the altars oi Bellona 18 and the miracles of Gregory. After a mission of twenty-seven years, Sylvanus, who had retired from the tolerating government of the Arabs, fell a sacrifice to Roman persecu- Persecu

tion of the tion. The laws of the pious emperors, which seldom touched Greek the lives of less odious heretics, proscribed without mercy or disguise the tenets, the books, and the persons of the Montanists and Manichæans : the books were delivered to the flames; and all who should presume to secrete such writings, or to profess such opinions, were devoted to an ignominious death.18 A A were of the royal race of the Achæmenides (Sallust. Fragment. l. iii. with the French supplement, and notes of the President de Brosses).

emperors

28 Most probably founded by Pompey after the conquest of Pontus. This Colonie, on the Lycus above Neo-Cæsarea, is named by the Turks Couleihisar, or Chonac, a populous town in a strong country (d'Anville, Géographie Ancienne, tom. 11. p. 34; Tournefort, Voyage du Levant, tom. iii. lettre xxi. p. 293). (Ramsay is in. elined to identify Colonea with Kara Hissar ( = Black Castle, Maupokaotpov, Attalistes, p. 125); Historical Geography of Asia Minor, p. 267, and op. p. 57.]

1* The temple of Bellona at Comana, in Pontus, was a powerful and wealthy foundation, and the high priest was respected as the second person in the kingdom. As the sacerdotal office had been occupied by his mother's family, Strabo (1. xii. p. 8092, 3), 835, 836, 837 [3, $ 32 899.]) dwells with peculiar complacency on the Dernple, the worship, and festival, which was twice celebrated every year. But the Bellons of Pontus had the features and character of the goddess, not of war, but of love.

11 Gregory, bishop of Neo-Cæsarea (A.D. 240-265), surnamed Thaumaturgus or the Wonder-worker. An hundred years afterwards, the history or romance of his bfe 43 composed by Gregory of Nyssa, his namesake and countryman, the brother of the great St. Basil.

** Hoc cæterum ad sua egregia facinora divini atque orthodoxi Imperatores ad liderunt, ut Manichæos Montanosque capitali puniri sententiâ juberent, eorum. que libros, quocunque in loco inventi essent, flammis tradi ; quod uis spie evdem oozeltasse deprehenderetur, hunc eundem mortis pænæ addici, ejusque bona in seam inferri (Petr. Sicul. p. 759). What more could bigotry and persecution des.re?

Greek minister, armed with legal and military powers, appeared at Colonia to strike the shepherd, and to reclaim, if possible, the lost sheep. By a refinement of cruelty, Simeon placed the unfortunate Sylvanus before a line of his disciples, who were commanded, as the price of their pardon and the proof of their repentance, to massacre their spiritual father. They turned aside from the impious office; the stones dropped from their filial hands; and of the whole number only one executioner could be found, a new David, as he is styled by the Catholics, who boldly overthrew the giant of heresy. This apostate, Justus was his name, again deceived and betrayed his unsuspecting brethren, and a new conformity to the acts of St. Paul may be found in the conversion of Simeon: like the apostle, he embraced the doctrine which he had been sent to persecute, renounced his honours and fortunes, and acquired among the Paulicians the fame of a missionary and a martyr. They were not ambitious of martyrdom,19 but, in a calamitous period of one hundred and fifty years, their patience sustained whatever zeal could inflict; and power was insufficient to eradicate the obstinate vegetation of fanaticism and reason. From the blood and ashes of the first victims, a succession of teachers and congregations repeatedly arose; amidst their foreign hostilities, they found leisure for domestic quarrels; they

preached, they disputed, they suffered; and the virtues, the ap[Sergius of parent virtues, of Sergius, in a pilgrimage of thirty-three years, Tavia]

are reluctantly confessed by the orthodox historians.20 The native cruelty of Justinian the Second was stimulated by a pious cause; and he vainly hoped to extinguish, in a single conflagration, the name and memory of the Paulicians. By their primitive simplicity, their abhorrence of popular superstition, the Iconoclast princes might have been reconciled to some erroneous doctrines; but they themselves were exposed to the calumnies of the monks, and they chose to be the tyrants, lest they should be accused as the accomplices, of the Manichæans. Such a reproach has sullied the clemency of Nicephorus, who relaxed in their favour the severity of the penal statutes, nor will his character sustain the honour of a more liberal motive. The feeble Michael the First, the rigid Leo the Armenian, were foremost in the race of persecution ; but the prize must doubtless be adjudged to the sanguinary devotion of Theodora, who restored the images to the Oriental church. Her inquisitors explored the cities and mountains of the lesser Asia, and the flatterers of the empress have affirmed that, in a short reign, one hundred thousand Paulicians were extirpated by the sword, the gibbet, or the flames.

19 It should seem that the Paulicians allowed themselves some latitude of equivocation and mental reservation; till the Catholics discovered the pressing questions, which reduced them to the alternative of a postaoy or martyrdom (Petr. Sicul. p. 760).

20 The persecution is told by Petrus Siculus (p. 579-763) with satisfaction and pleasantry. Justus justa persolvit. Simeon was not titos but antos (op. Petrus, c. 27, p. 1281, ed. Migne) (the pronunciation of the two vowels must have been nearly the same), a great whale that drowned the mariners who mistook him for an island. See likewise Cedrenus (p. 432.435 [i. 766 sqq., ed. B.]). [Sergius seems to have lived about the end of the eighth and the beginning of the ninth century; but there are some difficulties and confusions in the chronology. Op. Ter-Mkrttschian, Die Paulikianer, p. 17 899. There seems no reason to question the date assigned to the founder Sylvanus by George Monachus, viz. the reigns of Constans II. and Con. stantine IV. And in that case there is no reason why Gegnaesius, the third head of the Paulician Church, should not have lived under Leo III. (see Photius, p. 53, ap. Migne, P. G. 102 ; Petrus Sic. p. 1284, ib. 104). The chronology holds together.]

Her guilt or merit has perhaps been stretched beyond the measure of truth; but, if the account be allowed, it must be presumed that many simple Iconoclasts were punished under a more odious name; and that some, who were driven from the church, unwillingly took refuge in the bosom of heresy.

The most furious and desperate of rebels are the sectaries Revolt of a religion long persecuted, and at length provoked. In an Paulicians. holy cause they are no longer susceptible of fear or remorse : the justice of their arms hardens them against the feelings of humanity; and they revenge their fathers' wrongs on the children of their tyrants. Such have been the Hussites of Bohemia and the Calvinists of France, and such, in the ninth century, were the Paulicians of Armenia and the adjacent provinces. They were first awakened to the massacre of a governor and bishop, who exercised the Imperial mandate of converting or destroying the heretics; and the deepest recesses oi mount Argæus protected their independence and revenge. A more dangerous and consuming flame was kindled by the persecution of Theodora, and the revolt of Carbeas, a valiant Paulician, who commanded the guards of the general of the (General of

A.D. 845-880

the Anatolic

1 Petrus Siculus (p. 763, 764), the continuator of Theophanes (1. iv. c. 4, p. 103, Theme) 104), Cedrenus (p. 541, 542, 545 (ii. 153 sqq., ed. B.]), and Zonaras (tom. ii. 1. xvi. R. 156 C. 2]) describe the revolt and exploits of Carbeas and his Paulicians.

« НазадПродовжити »