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History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empir

And it is the duty of Asseman Bibliot


[Footnote

94: On the subject of the three chapters, the original acts of the vth general council of Constantinople supply much useless, though authentic, knowledge, (Concil. tom. vi. p. 1-419.) The Greek Evagrius is less copious and correct (l. iv. c. 38) than the three zealous Africans, Facundus, (in his twelve books, de tribus capitulis, which are most correctly published by Sirmond,) Liberatus, (in his Breviarium, c. 22, 23, 24,) and Victor Tunnunensis in his Chronicle, (in tom. i. Antiq. Lect. Canisii, 330--334.) The Liber Pontificalis, or Anastasius, (in Vigilio, Pelagio, &c.,) is original Italian evidence. The modern reader will derive some information from Dupin (Bibliot. Eccles. tom. v. p. 189--207) and Basnage, (Hist. de l'Eglise, tom. i. p. 519--541;) yet the latter is too firmly resolved to depreciate the authority and character of the popes.]

[Footnote 95: Origen had indeed too great a propensity to imitate the old philosophers, (Justinian, ad Mennam, in Concil. tom. vi. p. 356.) His moderate opinions were too repugnant to the zeal of the church, and he was found guilty of the heresy of reason.]

[Footnote 96: Basnage (Praefat. p. 11--14, ad tom. i. Antiq. Lect. Canis.) has fairly weighed the guilt and innocence of Theodore of Mopsuestia. If he composed 10,000 volumes, as many errors would be a charitable allowance. In all the subsequent catalogues of heresiarchs, he alone, without his two brethren, is included;

and it is the duty of Asseman (Bibliot. Orient. tom. iv. p. 203--207) to justify the sentence.]

[Footnote 97: See the complaints of Liberatus and Victor, and the exhortations of Pope Pelagius to the conqueror and exarch of Italy. Schisma.. per potestates publicas opprimatur, &c., (Concil. tom. vi. p. 467, &c.) An army was detained to suppress the sedition of an Illyrian city. See Procopius, (de Bell. Goth. l. iv. c. 25:). He seems to promise an ecclesiastical history. It would have been curious and impartial.]

[Footnote 98: The bishops of the patriarchate of Aquileia were reconciled by Pope Honorius, A.D. 638, (Muratori, Annali d' Italia, tom. v. p. 376;) but they again relapsed, and the schism was not finally extinguished till 698. Fourteen years before, the church of Spain had overlooked the vth general council with contemptuous silence, (xiii. Concil. Toretan. in Concil. tom. vii. p. 487--494.)]

Justinian was neither steady nor consistent in the nice process of fixing his volatile opinions and those of his subjects. In his youth he was, offended by the slightest deviation from the orthodox line; in his old age he transgressed the measure of temperate heresy, and the Jacobites, not less than the Catholics, were scandalized by his declaration, that the body of Christ was incorruptible, and that his manhood was never subject to any wants and infirmities, the inheritance of our mortal flesh. This fantastic opinion was announced in the last edicts of Justinian; and at the moment of his seasonable departure, the clergy had refused to subscribe, the prince was prepared to persecute, and the people were resolved to suffer or resist. A bishop of Treves, secure beyond the limits of his power, addressed the monarch of the East in the language of authority and affection. "Most gracious Justinian, remember your baptism and your creed. Let not your gray hairs be defiled with heresy. Recall your fathers from exile, and your followers from perdition. You cannot be ignorant, that Italy and Gaul, Spain and Africa, already deplore your fall, and anathematize your name. Unless, without delay, you destroy what you have taught; unless you exclaim with a loud voice, I have erred, I have sinned, anathema to Nestorius, anathema to Eutyches, you deliver your soul to the same flames in which they will eternally burn." He died and made no sign. [99] His death restored in some degree the peace of the church, and the reigns of his four successors, Justin Tiberius, Maurice, and Phocas, are distinguished by a rare, though fortunate, vacancy in the ecclesiastical history of the East. [100]


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