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History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empir

Histoire du Christianisme des Indes


122: The Indian missionary, St. Thomas, an apostle, a Manichaean, or an Armenian merchant, (La Croze, Christianisme des Indes, tom. i. p. 57--70,) was famous, however, as early as the time of Jerom, (ad Marcellam, epist. 148.) Marco-Polo was informed on the spot that he suffered martyrdom in the city of Malabar, or Meliapour, a league only from Madras, (D'Anville, Eclaircissemens sur l'Inde, p. 125,) where the Portuguese founded an episcopal church under the name of St. Thome, and where the saint performed an annual miracle, till he was silenced by the profane neighborhood of the English, (La Croze, tom. ii. p. 7-16.)]

[Footnote 123: Neither the author of the Saxon Chronicle (A.D. 833) not William of Malmesbury (de Gestis Regum Angliae, l. ii. c. 4, p. 44) were capable, in the twelfth century, of inventing this extraordinary fact; they are incapable of explaining the motives and measures of Alfred; and their hasty notice serves only to provoke our curiosity. William of Malmesbury feels the difficulty of the enterprise, quod quivis in hoc saeculo miretur; and I almost suspect that the English ambassadors collected their cargo and legend in Egypt. The royal author has not enriched his Orosius (see Barrington's Miscellanies) with an Indian, as well as a Scandinavian, voyage.]

[Footnote 124: Concerning the Christians of St. Thomas, see Assemann. Bibliot Orient. tom. iv. p. 391--407, 435--451; Geddes's Church History

of Malabar; and, above all, La Croze, Histoire du Christianisme des Indes, in 2 vols. 12mo., La Haye, 1758, a learned and agreeable work. They have drawn from the same source, the Portuguese and Italian narratives; and the prejudices of the Jesuits are sufficiently corrected by those of the Protestants. Note: The St. Thome Christians had excited great interest in the ancient mind of the admirable Bishop Heber. See his curious and, to his friends, highly characteristic letter to Mar Athanasius, Appendix to Journal. The arguments of his friend and coadjutor, Mr. Robinson, (Last Days of Bishop Heber,) have not convinced me that the Christianity of India is older than the Nestorian dispersion.--M]

II. The history of the Monophysites is less copious and interesting than that of the Nestorians. Under the reigns of Zeno and Anastasius, their artful leaders surprised the ear of the prince, usurped the thrones of the East, and crushed on its native soil the school of the Syrians. The rule of the Monophysite faith was defined with exquisite discretion by Severus, patriarch of Antioch: he condemned, in the style of the Henoticon, the adverse heresies of Nestorius; and Eutyches maintained against the latter the reality of the body of Christ, and constrained the Greeks to allow that he was a liar who spoke truth. [125] But the approximation of ideas could not abate the vehemence of passion; each party was the more astonished that their blind antagonist could dispute on so trifling a difference; the tyrant of Syria enforced the belief of his creed, and his reign was polluted with the blood of three hundred and fifty monks, who were slain, not perhaps without provocation or resistance, under the walls of Apamea. [126] The successor of Anastasius replanted the orthodox standard in the East; Severus fled into Egypt; and his friend, the eloquent Xenaias, [127] who had escaped from the Nestorians of Persia, was suffocated in his exile by the Melchites of Paphlagonia. Fifty-four bishops were swept from their thrones, eight hundred ecclesiastics were cast into prison,

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