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History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empir

They declared themselves Monothelites


[Footnote

99: Nicetus, bishop of Treves, (Concil. tom. vi. p. 511-513:) he himself, like most of the Gallican prelates, (Gregor. Epist. l. vii. 5 in Concil. tom. vi. p. 1007,) was separated from the communion of the four patriarchs by his refusal to condemn the three chapters. Baronius almost pronounces the damnation of Justinian, (A.D. 565, No. 6.)]

[Footnote 100: After relating the last heresy of Justinian, (l. iv. c. 39, 40, 41,) and the edict of his successor, (l. v. c. 3,) the remainder of the history of Evagrius is filled with civil, instead of ecclesiastical events.]

The faculties of sense and reason are least capable of acting on themselves; the eye is most inaccessible to the sight, the soul to the thought; yet we think, and even feel, that one will, a sole principle of action, is essential to a rational and conscious being. When Heraclius returned from the Persian war, the orthodox hero consulted his bishops, whether the Christ whom he adored, of one person, but of two natures, was actuated by a single or a double will. They replied in the singular, and the emperor was encouraged to hope that the Jacobites of Egypt and Syria might be reconciled by the profession of a doctrine, most certainly harmless, and most probably true, since it was taught even by the Nestorians themselves. [101] The experiment was tried without effect, and the timid or vehement Catholics condemned even the semblance of a retreat in the

presence of a subtle and audacious enemy. The orthodox (the prevailing) party devised new modes of speech, and argument, and interpretation: to either nature of Christ they speciously applied a proper and distinct energy; but the difference was no longer visible when they allowed that the human and the divine will were invariably the same. [102] The disease was attended with the customary symptoms: but the Greek clergy, as if satiated with the endless controversy of the incarnation, instilled a healing counsel into the ear of the prince and people. They declared themselves Monothelites, (asserters of the unity of will,) but they treated the words as new, the questions as superfluous; and recommended a religious silence as the most agreeable to the prudence and charity of the gospel. This law of silence was successively imposed by the ecthesis or exposition of Heraclius, the type or model of his grandson Constans; [103] and the Imperial edicts were subscribed with alacrity or reluctance by the four patriarchs of Rome, Constantinople, Alexandria, and Antioch. But the bishop and monks of Jerusalem sounded the alarm: in the language, or even in the silence, of the Greeks, the Latin churches detected a latent heresy: and the obedience of Pope Honorius to the commands of his sovereign was retracted and censured by the bolder ignorance of his successors. They condemned the execrable and abominable heresy of the Monothelites, who revived the errors of Manes, Apollinaris, Eutyches, &c.; they signed the sentence of excommunication on the


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