Religion and Loyalty.

The Second Part.

OR THE History of the Concurrence of the Imperial and Ecclesiastical Jurisdi­ction in the Government of the Church, from the Beginning of the Reign of Jovian to the End of the Reign of Justinian.

By SAMUEL PARKER, D.D. Arch-Deacon of Canterbury.

LONDON, Printed for John Baker at the Three Pigeons in St. Paul's Church-yard, MDCLXXXV.


THE Church of England ha­ving acknowledged and declared His Majestie's Su­premacy in Causes Ecclesiastical,Can. 2. to be of the same Nature and Extent with that Authority that the Chri­stian Emperors claim'd and exer­cised in the Primitive Church: I deem'd it no unuseful piece of Ser­vice to my King and Country, to inform my self and my Fellow-Subjects out of the Records of those times of our true Duty to the Royal Supremacy. And to this end I have drawn up as exact a Chart, as my little Skill could reach, of the Primitive Practice of the [Page] Three first Centuries after the Empire became Christian. Nei­ther have I only Surveyed and coasted the general History, but have sounded every part of it, and not only described the safe Passages and right Chanels through which the abler Pilots steer'd their Cour­ses: but the Shallows, the Gulfs, the Rocks, and the Sands, upon which the less Skilful or less For­tunate Shipwrackt their Govern­ments. Neither have I presumed to make any Political Remarks of my own; but have only observed the Natural and Historical Events of Matters of Fact. And by the Experience of 300 years, in which all Experiments were tryed, we are fully instructed in all the right and all the wrong Measures of Govern­ment in the Christian Church. In the Reigns of the great Constantine, Jovian, Gratian, Theodosius the Great, Arcadius, Honorius, Theodosius the [Page] younger, Marcian, Leo, Justin and Justinian, are exemplified the Natural good Effects of abetting the Power of the Church by good Laws, and their effectual Execution. In the Reigns of Julian and Valentinian we may observe the inevitable Mis­chiefs of Toleration and Liberty of Conscience. In the Reigns of Constantius and Valens, but especially of Zeno and Anastasius, are to be seen the fatal and bloody Conse­quences of pretended Moderation, or (as we phrase it) comprehension, that indeed unites all Parties, but then it is like a Whirlpool, into one common Gulf of Ruin and Confu­sion. This is the short account of this Undertaking, and the Historical Events of things being withal so very Natural, they will of them­selves amount to a fair Demonstra­tion of the Necessity of Discipline in the Church and Penal Laws in the State. All that I can ensure for [Page] the Performance, is its Truth and In­tegrity; I have faithfully and im­partially perused all the most Ma­terial and Original Records both of Church and State, and out of them, and them alone have Collected the ensuing History, and if that prove true, (and for that I stand bound) the Conclusion that I aim at will make it self.


  • SEct. I. The State of the Church under Jo­vian. The Hypocrisie both of the Eusebi­ans to recover their Bishopricks, and of the Acaci­ans to preserve theirs, in owning the Nicene Faith, page 1.
  • §. II. Of Valentinian, his Edict for Liberty of Conscience. The struglings of the Eusebians against the Acacians. Their Councils at Lamp­sacus, and Tyana to that end. They are defea­ted by the juglings of the Acacians. The dishonest craft of the two Leaders, Eudoxius in the East and Auxentius in the West. p. 7.
  • §. III. The Persecution of St. Basil by the Eu­doxians, his discourse with the Prefect Mode­stus. Dear to the Emperor Valens. Valens him­self no Arian, but abused by the Eudoxians, the deplorable State of the Eastern Church at that time under their Oppressions. St. Basil's misfor­tune in receiving Eustathius of Sebasta to com­munion. The death of St. Athanasius. The He­resie of Apollinaris, how suppressed, p. 27.
  • §. IV. The Election of St. Ambrose to the See of Milan. The death of Valentinian, the mis­chiefs he brought upon the Empire by his princi­ple of Liberty of Conscience. Themistius the Philosopher's Address to Valens in behalf of the Orthodox. The Emperor Gratian's Rescripts and effectual Proceedings against Hereticks. His re­stitution [Page] of the Discipline of the Church. The bounds of the Imperial and Ecclesiastical Jurisdi­ction briefly stated. The great Schism at Anti­och occasion'd by Julian's toleration, p. 35.
  • §. V. The singular care of Theodosius the Great to settle the Church and Orthodox Faith. Vindicated in his Institution of the Communicato­ry Bishops. He summons the general Council at Constantinople, and confirms all their Decrees by several Imperial Rescripts. Wisely forbids all Disputes about Religion. Assists the young Valen­tinian against the Tyrum Maximus, and prevails with him to reverse his severe Rescript against the Catholicks, p. 55.
  • §. VI. Valentinian made the first open breach upon the Power of the Church, in taking to him­self the Power of Judicature in Matters of Faith. St. Ambrose his Sufferings upon that account. His Embassy to Maximus, his Wisdom and Cou­rage. Maximus his Conquest of Italy, and o­verthrow by Theodosius. The Stars raised by the Hereticks at Constantinople in the Empe­ror's absence. The method of lying People into Tumults. His effectual enacting and executing Laws against them, settles the Church in Peace. p. 66.
  • §. VII. His Laws made without the concur­rence of the Church, for reforming the Abuses of Widows and Deaconesses, the disorders of Monks, and the Abuse of Church-Sanctuary. p. 81.
  • §. VIII. His Laws without the same con­currence against Manichees, Apostates, Pagans, and in behalf of the Jews, p. 89.
  • §. IX. Of the Council of Aquileia. Of the Schism at Rome between Damasus and Ursici­nus. Of the Schism at Alexandria between Pe­ter [Page] and Lucius. Of the Schism at Antioch be­tween Paulinus and Flavianus, p. 98.
  • §. X. The unparallell'd Immorality of the Priscillian Heresie. The Prosecution of them by Ithacius justified against Mr. B. they were execu­ted as Malefactors and Traitors, not as Here­ticks. St. Martin's great indiscretion in inter­ceding for them, p. 124.
  • §. XI. The praise of Theodosius against the Calumnies of Zosimns. The Laws of his Son Ar­cadius against the Hereticks, p. 152.
  • §. XII. His Laws of Privilege to the Catho­licks. The several Laws of Tuition. The Law of civil Decision in the Church by Arbitration. The Laws against Appeals from the Church to the civil Power, p. 167.
  • §. XIII. His Laws of Reformation of Disci­pline. Against the tumults of Monks, the abuse of Sanctuary; against the Johannites; against Apostates. In behalf of the Jews. The Laws of Honorius against and for the Jews. The Laws of both Emperors under the Title de Paganis, p. 180.
  • §. XIV. The history and design of the Theo­dosian Code. Theodosius his own Novels: Of the Parabolani of Alexandria. The famous Law concerning the Churches of [...]l [...]yricum explain'd, together with his other Laws, and the Laws of Valentinian the third, p. 198.
  • §. XV. The History and Acts of the Council of Ephesus, against Nestorius and Imperial ra­tification of the Decree [...] [...]f the Church, by Mar­cian, p. 225.
  • §. XVI. The Reign of the Emperor Leo, his Method of preserving the Peace of the Church by way of Encyclical correspondence. Pope Leo's concurrence, p. 260.
  • [Page]§. XVII. Of the Emperor Leo, and the Tyrant Basiliscus. The great mischiefs of Zeno's Heno­ticon or Act of Comprehension. Of the Acephali, and the Haesitantes, i. e. the moderate Men. Of the numberless Schisms occasion'd in the Church by this healing Instrument, p. 296.
  • §. XIX. The reign of Anastasius, his outragi­ous zeal for the Henoticon, his persecution in pur­suance of Moderation, till at last the design ended in Wars, Tumults and Rebellions, p. 335.
  • §. XX. Justin's restitution of the Council of Calcedon. The re-union of the Eastern and We­stern Churches thereby. The Tumults of the Scy­thian and Acaemetan Monks. His Laws against the Hereticks, p. 349.
  • §. XXI. A general vindication of the Justini­an Code. A short history of both the Codes, The­odosian and Justinian. Tribonian's Integrity vindicated in his reciting the Laws of former Em­perors against the accusations of Gothofred, p. 366.
  • §. XXII. All Justinian's own Novels vindica­ted from any Invasion upon the Power of the Church, and proved to have been nothing else than Canons enacted into Laws, p. 376.
  • §. XXIII. All his Actions vindicated against Alemannus and the Anecdota. The history of the Contest about the tria Capitula, with an ac­count of the extravagant behaviour of Pope Vi­gilius, p. 391.
  • §. XXIV. The Contest between Paul the 5th, and the state of Venice, the cause of all the dis­pleasure of the Court of Rome against Justinian. The Anecdota proved to be spurious, and none of Procopius his writings, p. 426.
  • §. XXV. Justinian vindicated from the charge of Cruelty, p. 443.
  • [Page]§. XXVI. The unparallel'd gentleness of his reign, the Empress Theodora, Antonia and the great Belisarius vindicated from the Calumnies of the Anecdota, p. 455.
  • §. XXVII. An account of Justinian's Persian, Vandalick and Gothick Wars, p. 479.
  • §. XXVIII. The reason of his siding with the Venetae against the Prasmi, i. e. the Tories a­gainst the Whigs, p. 497.
  • §. XXIX. His vindication from Folly and Knavery, p. 502.
  • §. XXX. Item, From Covetousness and Pro­digality, p. 510.
  • §. XXXI. Item, From Oppression in putting the Laws in execution, p. 523.
  • §. XXXII. Item, From inconstancy and false­hood to his Friends. From Vanity, from Forgery, from Lust, from Vnkindness and Over [...]kindness to his Clergy, p. 547.
  • §. XXXIII. An Answer to the whole Rhapso­dy of smaller Cavils and Calumnies, p. 573.


PAg. 2. l. 3. They kept it themselves. Read They kept it to themselves.

P. 192. l. 2.Wellyr. well.
P. 200. l. 6.Hairr. hare.
P. 224. l. 2.tyedr. lyed.
P. 267. l. 8.rehearser. rehear.
P. 310. l. 8.Possessionsr Possession.
P. 336. l. 12.Syntaxr. Sin-tax.
P. 354. l. 27.uponr. up.
P. 378. l. 29.andr. an.
P. 394. l. 28.on [...]yr. on the contrary.
P. 404. l. penult.Summaryr. Summoning.
P. 406. l. 7.Bishopsr. Bishop.
P. 429. l. 19.Eusebiusr. Eichelius.
P. 432. l. ult.Hel [...]stedr. Helmsted.
P. 439. l. 29.Overs [...]enr. Over-keen.
P. 456. l. 18.Patriarchater. Patriciate.
Ibid. l. 22.Patriarchater. Patriciate.
P. 466. l. 24.Theodorusr. Theodora's.
P. 479. l. 20.user. vie.
P. 546. l.friendsr. f [...]nds.
P. 550 l. penult.Solomonsr. Solomon.



UPon the death of Julian, there was another quick and suddain turn of Af­fairs, by the Election of Jovian a Christian to the Empire, though the change was rather made in the Emperor, than the Religion. For Christianity was so universally entertain'd, that Julian with all his Arts of Under­mining and Persecution, could make but very little alteration in the Church, and at last left it in the very same or a much better Condition than that in which he found it. And for that reason Invec. 1. p. 80. A. Grego­ry Nazianzen derides his folly and mad­ness in endeavouring to destroy Christia­nity, when it had so universally prevail'd, Am. Marcel. l. 21. c. 2. and himself was so sensible of it, that he was forced for a time to conceal his own Religion, and as he marched out of France towards Rome, he was forced to keep Christmas at Vienna, that he [Page 2] might seem to be of the same Religion with his Army. And so during his reign they kept it themselves, so as to keep it in reality; Theod. l. 4. c. 1. for when Jovian was cho­sen Emperor upon his death, he refused it as being a Christian, and so unfit to command Julian's Army, whom he could not but suppose to be of the same Religi­on with their Master. At which a great shout was made, O Sir take no care for that, for you shall command Christian Men, and such as are educated in the Discipline and Piety of the Christian Church, for the eldest among us were train'd up under Constantine, and the younger under Con­stantius; and as for the time of Julian, it was too short to make any alteration as to the Principles of our Religion. Upon which declaration, when he had made them repeat it several times (l. 3. c. 22. as So­crates tells the Story) he accepts the Em­pire, Sozom. l. 6. c. 3. and immediately restores all the Revenues, Privileges and Immunities, that had been given to the Church by Constantine and his Sons, and taken away by Julian. Greg. Naz. in laud. Atha­nas. And withal restores all the banished Bishops, and particularly St. Athanasius with especial regard to his Person, to whom he writes for Instructi­ons, in order to the settlement of the true Faith, who upon it immediately calls a [Page 3] Council, and to prevent the Application of the Hereticks, sends him out of hand the Nicene Confession, Atha­nas. de fide ad Jovian. not only as the true old Apostolical Faith, which A­rius and his followers had endeavour'd to corrupt by their prophane Novelties, and others, i. e. the Eusebians endeavour'd to supplant, though they durst not dis­own it: But as the sense of the Catho­lick Church ever since the Nicene Coun­cil in Spain, in Britain, in France, in Ita­ly, Dalmatia, Mysia, Macedonia, Greece, Affrick, Sardinia, Cyprus, Creet, Pamphy­lia, Lysia, Isauria, Egypt, Lybia, Pontus, Cappadocia, and all the Eastern Churches, a very few only excepted all whose sub­scriptions (he says) and many others more remote, we have in our own Pos­session, and therefore though there are some few scatter'd Dissenters, that ought to be no prejudice to the Faith of the whole World. And this is another clear Confutation of that uncatholick surmise from the mistaken Sense of St. Jerom, that all the World were at that time turn'd Arians. But the most pleasant Scene of that time, was the Council of Antioch, Soc. l. 3. c. 25. when all the Arian World (if any such there were) would needs turn Orthodox; for the Eusebians, that had been supplanted by the Acacians un­der [Page 4] Constantius, finding now that they had a Christian Emperor, they petition him in his return from Persia, that the Acacians who taught the Son to be un­like the Father, might be displaced out of their Bishopricks, and themselves re­stored; but they receiving no kind an­swer from him, who understood them too well, and the Acacians, who resolved to keep their hold, finding which way his Pulse beat tamper with Meletius the Or­thodox Bishop of Antioch, and dear to the new Emperor, who at that time resi­ded there, to call a Council, and though they had in the time of Constantius de­posed him for his Apostasie to the Ni­cene Faith, yet now in this Council they unanimously declare for it, and signify their Decree and the necessity of it to the Emperor, in that they were now convin­ced that there was no other stop to be put to the Arian Blasphemy, viz. that the Son was created out of nothing, and by this false and dishonest shufling, they out-witted the old Eusebian Knaves, and riveted themselves in their new usurpt Preferments. But this goes to the very heart of the poor outed Eusebians, to be thus over-reach't and supplanted, and to turn the whole Game, it drives them in­to their old out-rage against the vir gre­gis [Page 5] the great Athanasius. Sozom. l. 6. c. 5. And so a­way post Euzoius the then deposed Bi­shop of Antioch, and Lucius the pre­tended Bishop of Alexandria, to Court, and there take their old Method of inga­ging some of the Eunuchs into their Party, and particularly Probatius the Praepositus Cubiculi, that succeeded Euse­bius in that Office, who had done so much mischief in the reign of Constantius, and having secured their Patrons, they accuse Athanasius to the Emperor upon these three Topicks, First, that there had been continual Complaints against him during the whole time of his Episcopa­cy. Secondly, that upon the truth of those Complaints, he had been often ban­isht by his Predecessors. Thirdly, that he was the sole Author of all the present Troubles and Disturbances in the Church. This is their old train of boldness, but the Emperor was a wise Man, and saw thrô their Designs, and therefore sends them away with very severe threatnings, and charges his Eunuchs never to meddle with such Matters, under no less Penalty than the Rod and the Cudgel, and enter­tains Athanasius with all the highest ex­pressions of Respect and Honor, and so for his short time, setled the Church both in Peace and Truth. This is the true state [Page 6] and story of the revival of the Arian Controversy under this Emperor, that had slept under Julian: And not lib. 6. c▪ [...] as Sozomen suggests, the contentiousness of the Bishops, who, he says, under Julian, when the Christian Religion lay at stake, pieced together for the security of the common Cause, as 'tis the custom of all Men, to make peace and join forces a­gainst a common Enemy, but as soon as the danger is blown over, to return to their old Fewds and Animosities. The observation in general is too true, but not rightly applyed to this particular case: for the ground of the quarrel here, was not the natural contentiousness of Man­kind, whilst in a condition of peace, as the Historian remarks; in that the Or­thodox had never pieced with any of the other Parties, either Eusebians or A­cacians under Julian, but as we have al­ready seen casheir'd and condemn'd them both, and setled the Nicene Faith. So that under Jovian there was no new breach, but even according to Sozomen's own account, the new contest was raised by the Eusebian Bishops, that had lost their Bishopricks under Constantius, after the Councils of Ariminum and Seleucia, when they were over-reach't by the A­cacians. And that is the Argument of [Page 7] their Petition to this Emperor, that things might stand, as they were left by those Councils, and that all after acts might be null'd, i. e. that themselves might be restored to their Bishopricks. That was the present quarrel, and no dispute a­gainst the setled Faith, for they had al­ready declared for the Nicene Confession. And therefore the Acacians upon their complaint against them for the Aëtian Heresy, immediately protest against it, to secure their Preferments. And that was all along the state of this Controversy, both before and after this time, the zeal of good Men on one side for the true Faith, and the Arts of ill Men on the other for Preferment and Court-favor. This is hi­therto evident from the beginning of the quarrel of Eusebius of Nicomedia with Athanasius, and will appear as clearly in all the same Contests as long as they last­ed, under the succeeding Emperors.

§. 2. Jovian dying suddainly, no bo­dy knows of what, though several wise philosophical Conjectures are made about it by the Historians, after him Valenti­nian is chosen Emperor with a Nemine contradicente, being a Man, as Lib. 26. c. 1. Mar­cellinus himself confesses, of universal re­putation. And he deserved it though it [Page 8] were only for that Prince-like saying af­ter his Election, when those that chose him, press't him to take an Assistant in the Government, he replyed, when the Empire was vacant, it was in your Power to choose me Emperor, but now I am in possession of the Crown, it is my business and none of yours, to take care of the Common-Wealth. He understood the true Rights of Soveraign Power in all Monarchies whether Hereditary or Elective: and un­less it be supreme and unaccountable, it is so far from being any Power at all, that it is the lowest and most abject kind of Subjection, and of a great General, he would by his being made Emperor, have only become the publick Slave of the Rabble.

But he coming to the Crown after so many suddain turns, and supposing the Empire very much distracted about Reli­gion, by so many changes of Govern­ment, publishes an Edict for Liberty of Conscience, de Ma­les. et Ma­themat. l. 9. v. Sozimus lib. 4. ut unicuique quod ani­mo imbibisset, colendi libera facultas tri­buta sit, that every Man may have liberty to use what Worship he will, according to those Opinions that he had suckt in. But then again soon finding himself setled in the Empire, in the very same year, anno 364, ibid. l. he forbids the night Sacrifices [Page 9] of the Heathens, but is prevail'd upon to tolerate all those religious Rites that were celebrated by day. And having gain'd so much ground, he proceeds to countermine and blow up the Crafts of Julian, who made all his Laws with a malicious Aspect towards the Christians, and particularly that famous Law, De Me­dicis et Professor. l. 5. that no Man should be allowed to pra­ctise Physick or teach any Art or Sci­ence, but by the approbation of the Ma­gistrates of the place with his own impe­perial Consent, and by that means he shut all Christians out of any learned or ingenuous Imployment, and therefore Valentinian as soon as he comes to the Crown, ibid. l. 6. cancels that Law, and re­stores all Professors of Learning to their respective Thrones. But as for the Church, the Emperor being setled, the poor hungry Eusebians, that had been so long sequestred out of their Bishopricks, resolve once more to try their Fortune, and they poor Men had hard luck to quit their Faith (as they had done under Jovian) and yet not get their Prefer­ments. But they hope to meet with kinder usage from this Emperor Sozim. l. 6. c. [...] and therefore send Hypatianus Bishop of He­raclea in an Ambassy to him, to request a Council, to which he, as he was a very ci­vil [Page 10] Gentleman, and obliged at that time to much complaisance, being as yet but green in his Government, replyed that being but a Lay-man, it became not him to meddle in those Matters, and so left it to themselves to meet as they judged convenient. And that was the Maxime of his Reign to leave Church-Matters to the judgment of Church-men, and there­fore he fined Chronopius a Bishop a great sum of Mony to be distributed amongst the Poor for appealing from a Synodical sentence to the secular Court.

L. 20. Qut­ru. Appellat sint suscip.Upon this they immediately huddle up a Council at Lampsacus on the Helespont in the year 365. And here they con­demn all the proceedings of Acacius, and his Party at Constantinople after the Seleu­cian Council, declare for the Doctrin of similitude against them, decree that the Bishops that had been deposed by them, should be restored to their Churches, as having been unjustly deprived. But yet are so tender-hearted, as to grant the U­surpers the Communion of the Church upon their Repentance (for which no doubt they were much concern'd, after they had recovered their Purchases.) This being done, they according to cu­stom signifie their proceedings by an En­cyclical Epistle to all Christian Churches, [Page 11] and fearing lest the Enemy should pre­vent them at Court, as they had hitherto done, they make all speedy application there. But alass Eudoxius an old crafty Courtier lay leiger there, and had so pos­sest the Emperor Valens, to whom his Brother Valentinian left the Estern Em­pire, that when they came, the Emperor commanded them to reconcile themselves to Eudoxius at their peril, and upon their persisting in their Complaints, in a fury drives them all into banishment. And now have we the same game turn'd up and plaid over again under these two Brothers, that we have already seen under the Sons of Constantine. For the Acaci­ans or Eudoxians having seized the Em­peror Valens; the poor outed Eusebians, or rather Macedonians (for by this time they were distinguisht by that name) had no other Remedy left but by appli­cation to forreign Churches, and the pow­er of the Western Emperor. And so among others Soc. l. 4. c. 12. they in the first place send their Legates to Liberius Bishop of Rome, but he knew the Men too well by his own sufferings, having been twice dri­ven into banishment by their means un­der Constantius for no other crime than his constant adherence to the Nicene Faith, and therefore peremptorily refuses [Page 12] Communion with them. But alass they confidently reply that they are not the Men they were, and that they came to join with the Catholick Church against the Anomaeans, declare for the Nicene Faith, and for his full satisfaction herein, produce the Letter of the Lampsacene Council, with all their subscriptions to the Council of Nice, and defiance to the cheats of Ariminum. The old Man being transported with the joy of their Conver­sion, and as he dreamt, the Re-union of the Eastern and Western Churches, em­braces them with both his Arms, little knowing good Man, that the bottom of their Errand was to recover their Bishop­ricks, and that for their sakes they had left their Faith behind them. And that is the Centre of this Controversy, be­tween the Macedonians and the Eudoxi­ans, not the Faith, but the preferments. They had both been of the same Party under Constantius against the Nicene Faith: yet under Jovian the Acacians had subscribed it to keep their Prefer­ments; and now under Valens the Mace­donians finding themselves by that means left in the lurch, make the same subscrip­tion to recover theirs.

Saeculi 40 pars prima § 14.And yet they have so much imposed upon the Historian Natalis Alexander, by [Page 13] the boldness of their Hypocrisie, that he reckons this Synod among the Orthodox Councils, and falls out with Baronius and Binius for esteeming them Arians, whereas in truth they were neither, but a pack of ill Men that knew no other Re­ligion than Interest.

But their jugling was now too late, for the Adversaries had not only got pos­session of their Bishopricks, which they say in all Governments is a great many Points of Law, but of the Emperor him­self, which I am sure in that Govern­ment was all, as will more appear by the sequel of this Story. The Legates of the Council of Lampsacus having sped at Rome, and being arm'd with communi­catory Letters from Liberius, they sail to Sicily, and there in a Council of Bishops make the same Declaration, and obtain the same favor, and from thence to Illyri­cum, where they gain synodical Letters to the Eastern Bishops, to certify or ra­ther congratulate the happy Union of the Eastern and Western Churches by their conversion. And this they send by Elpidius a Presbyter of Rome, whom Li­berius had join'd with the Legates, to give them the greater reputation in the Western Churches, as Baronius thinks, or rather as Valesius conjectures with [Page 14] more probability, an Illyrican Bishop, for in their Epistle they recommend him as their own Legate, and chosen from a­mong themselves. Theod. l. 4. c. 8. And the Emperor was so far from being concern'd for the Arian cause, that he grants his Letters to recommend the Decree of the Illyri­can Council, and to settle the Nicene Faith, where he declares against the E­quivocations of the Homoioufians, and proves them no better than Arians. This Letter Valesius will have to have been written not by Valens, but Valenti­nian, who though he then resided in the West, intirely govern'd the Eastern Em­pire, Valens being wholly obedient to his Orders, and rather his Under-officer than his Sharer in the Empire. This is but a conjecture, and 'tis not likely that the Council should send into Fran [...]e for Imperial Letters, when they had their own Emperor so near; but if it be true, Valens was concurring in it, and that clears him of Arianism.

By these means the Legates and their Companions get themselves restored to their Preferments in a Council at Tyana in Cappadocia. But they having gain'd their point could not forbear discover­ing their old pick against the Nicene Faith, as St. Basil informs the Western [Page 15] Bishops, who gave them their first repu­tation, Epist. 74. ‘It is not the old and open Arian that does the harm, because that Heresy being condemn'd by the sen­tence of the Church, it's wickedness is known to all, but it is the sheep-skin Men, that under shews of Love and Re­conciliation, and upon pretence of be­ing taken into the bosom of the Church, take advantage to worry the Flock, and seduce the less understanding. These are the Men of Mischief, that cannot be so easily prevented. And it is this sort of Deceivers that we request you to use all diligence to discover and lay open to the World, that either frankly declaring for the truth, they may own intire Communion with us; but if they will not, let them keep their Poison to themselves, and not be suf­fer'd to infect others by too careless communicating with them. And parti­cularly cautions them against Eustathius Bishop of Sebasta in Arm [...]nia, the chief Agent in the Ambassy from the Coun­cil of Lampsacus to the Western Church, that he was a rank Arian, and Arius his own Disciple, had been often deposed for his Debaucheries, and as often changed his Faith to recover his Bishoprick, and therefore concludes that he wonders [Page 16] which way he could impose so far up­on Liberius, as to gain communicatory Letters from him, but by what means so ever it was, he was no sooner re­stored by the Council of Tyana, but he fell to spitting his old poison, and perse­cuting the very Faith, that he had so lately professed.’ But all this was too late for the effectual recovery of his Bi­shoprick, for the Emperor Valens was now ingaged in other Matters, being in­vaded by the Goths, but before he would venture into the hazards of War, he thought it convenient to be baptized into the Christian Faith, Soz. l. 6. c. 12. which Office was performed by Eudoxius, who al­ways diligently followed his Trade at Court, and the Historians say (I doubt rashly) that he administred an Oath to the Emperor at his Baptism to persecute the Catholicks: whereas the Persecuti­on that followed, was not set on foot by the Emperor, but by the Eudoxian Party, who now presuming of their old Interest in the Court, and their new one in the Prince, and his distraction in the War, fell to their old Trade of under­mining, and so in a Council assembled in Caria, settle the last Antiochian or Aëtian Creed. Hila­rii frag. l. 1. pag. 40. And about the same time Bi­shop Valens and his Mirmidons meet in [Page 17] Mysia much upon the same Errand, to establish their own particular conceit, si­milem dicimus filium patri secundùm scrip­turas, non secundùm substantiam, and in­deavor to draw in Germinius, an emi­nent Man of the old Eusebian Faction, who had gon all along with them as far as the Tyrian Conference before Con­stantius, in which as himself declares, the Faith agreed upon was this, filium simi­lem patri per omnia, ut sanctae dicunt et docent scripturae, that the Son was like the Fa [...]her in all things as the Scrip­tures affirm, and therefore he cannot but wonder at the dissimulation of Valens and his Men, that when they themselves had subscribed this Confession of Faith, not only as the best declaration of truth, but the best expedient of Peace and U­nity, they should now so zealously trou­ble themselves and the Christian Church, with new assertions, that the Son is part­ly like the Father, partly not. Atha­nas. ad E­pisc. Afric. But Valens and his Party are immediately condemned by a Council at Rome under Damasus. Atha­nas. ep. ad Epictelum. And divers other Councils there were in several Parts of the World upon the same occasion, to repress the recovery of the Faction. But Auxentius Bishop of Milan, who had wrigled him­self into that great Bishoprick, upon the [Page 18] deposing of Dionysius by Constantius in his Conventicle at Milan, according to the custom that I have all along observed of those times, when Men of ill designs procured the deposition of good Bishops, that themselves by bribery and the Eu­nuches might get into their Places. This Man was by this time become the most eminent Head of the Party in the Western Church, though he was so ill prepared for his Office by his Education, that he was not so much as instructed in the Latin Tongue, but being a crafty and insinuating knave, he had not only poison'd several Bishops of Illyricum, but had workt himself into the savour of Valentinian himself, who after his Alema­nick War setled his Court at Milan. Up­on this St. Hilary, who had been long acquainted with the craft and false-hood of the Man, in his extreme old age takes a Journey to Milan, to inform the Em­peror what he was, and charge him with the Arian Heresy The Emperor re­fers the examination of the Matter to a mixt Committee of Bishops and secular Judges. But the Fox seeing himself di­strest, and being resolved to save his skin, denyes all, professes mighty Zeal f [...]r the Nicene Faith, subscribes it before the Court, and as if that were not e­nough, [Page 19] presents the Emperour himself with an orthodox Confession of Faith, and so is too hard for the good old Man; for upon it, he is acquitted and applaud­ed at Court, and St. Hilary commanded out of the City as a mover of Sedition, as he tells the Story at large in his Book against Auxentius. And Auxentius flusht with Victory, grows insolent to the Or­thodox Bishops, especially the great Eu­sebius of Verselles, and is much more busy than formerly in Illyricum, in so much that the fame of it reacht Egypt, upon which Athanasius and the Egyptian Bishops write to Damasus to procure his deposition, who thereupon in the year 369 summons a Council of 90 French and Italian Bishops, in which Auxentius is deposed, but for all that, he kept his ground, and liked his bargain so well, that he would not easily part with it, and by the help of his Masters the Eu­nuchs kept it to his dying day, which was five years after, and that not only in spite of the Authority of the Council, but the power of St. Ambrose, who was at that time Governor of that Province, and two others, with Consular dignity, and then resided at Milan, and thô he hated the Man, yet he was not able to remove him.

[Page 20]But the Council having discharged their Duty and their Office in his depo­sition, they write an adm [...]nishing Letter to the Bishops of Illyricum, to be more watchful against the Heresy for the time to come, and write another to the East­ern Bishops to desire their concurrence with them, which is accordingly done in a Synod of 146 Bishops, both which Let­ters were first published by Holstenius in in the year 1662, and are now inserted into their proper Place of the year 369 in Labbe's Collection. Sozom. l. 6. c. 12. And where­as a great Co [...]ncil was appointed to meet at Tarsus in C [...]licia in the Spring follow­ing, for perfecting the settlement that was begun at Tyana; Eud [...]xius that had got possession of Valens in the East, as Auxentiu [...] had of Valentinian in the West, prevails with the Emperor to send his Letters with high threatnings, to for­bid the meeting▪ and withal to write to his Governors of Provinces, that the Bi­shops that had been outed in the time of Constantius, and restored by the Apo­state should be thrust out again, and this he strictly requires of his Officers under high Penalties, and so by this Rescript was Eudoxius revenged not only of the Orthodox Bishops, but the Macedonians too, who had been cheated out of their [Page 21] Bishopricks by himself and his Associates in the time of [...]onstantius, and now by vertue of the Decree of the Council of Tyana demand restitution, but by this imperial Rescript are barr'd their claim for ever with disgrace▪ as having been justly displaced by a Christian Emperor, and restored by the Apostate for ill de­signs. Here still we see where the con­troversy pincht in this Emperor's time. A Party of Knaves had combin'd in the time of Constantius to cheat and supplant honest Men out of their Preferments, which having done, they as all other thieves do, fall out among themselves, and indeavor to cheat one another, till at last the most crafty pack sweeps all. After which all the Contest is on one side to recover, and on the other to keep their Bishopricks, and for that end they stick at nothing, but all turn Ecebolians, and change their Faith as easily a [...] Cha­meleons do their Colours, with every turn of Wind and Weather. Under Jo­vian the Macedonians, that were the outed Party, turn Orthodox, but he dy­ing so suddainly, they lose their oppor­tunity, and therefore make their Appli­cations to Valens the succeeding Empe­ror in those Parts, but are prevented by Eudoxius and his Eunuchs, and so are [Page 22] forced to address themselves to forreign Churches, and by professing themselves great Zealots for the Nicene Faith, are restored by the Council of Tyana, and that being done, as they believed, again quit their Faith. So here Auxentius the head of the Acacians in the West, being call'd to an account for his Faith, for­swears it all, and turns a Tory Nicenist, and thus both Parties only make use of the Contest to supplant each other. And that was the craft of Eudoxius here by a plausible Imperial Rescript to prevent the force of an Ecclesiastical Decree, by which he knew that himself and his As­sociates must have lost their Purchases. But which way soever the Game run, the good Orthodox Bishops had ever the worst of it, and here particularly the storm fell very heavy upon their heads, and Athanasius is alwayes the first that is wet in it. He is immediately com­manded to be gon, but the People vehe­mently interpose to keep him, and in the heat of the Contest fearing a Sedition, he privately withdraws, is diligently sought for, but cannot be found, till he is restored by the Emperor's own Letters for fear of farther mischief. Theod. l. 4. c. 13, 14. But all the rest that the Rescript reacht, were effectually expelled, and in the first place Meletius [Page 23] of Antioch, Eusebius of Samosata, and Pelagius of Laodicea, who had been all along great sticklers in the scramble, on­ly Meletius was become an honest Man Epist. 61. And here St. Jerom goes about to give a reason why Paulinus of Antioch, and Epiphanius of Cyprus were not dis­placed, viz. because of their great worth and fame in the World: but there is a­nother reason for it plain enough, in that they had never been turn'd out of their Bishopricks by Constantius, and therefore were not concern'd in the Re­script, neither were they Bishops till af­terwards; Paulinus was not ordein'd till the second year of Julian by Lucifer Ca­laritanus, nor Epiphanius till the present Reign. Sozom. l. 4. c. 27. But Meletius that was Bishop with Paulinus at the same time, having from an Acacian Bishop turn'd Orthodox, had therefore been banisht by the Eu­doxian Party in the time of Constantius, and Euzoius the old Arian placed in his stead, was by vertue of this Decree re­moved. And though probably, as it al­ways happens in such cases, the Re­script was executed farther than it was intended, Epist. 10. as St. Basil describes it, that the Bishopricks were exposed to the basest of Men, The slaves of Slaves, and particularly that his Bro­ther [Page 24] ibid. Gregory of Nyssen, was driven from his Church, and a three-penny Slave placed in his stead, [...]. as he calls him. Yet it is evident that it was in good earnest no persecution of Faith, but only a trick of Eudoxius to throw all that had been of the Macedonian Fa­ction out of their Bishopricks. And thô Eusebius and Pelagius were now zealous for the Orthodox Faith, and much mag­nified for it by the Historians, and not only so, but by St. Basil and Gregory Na­zianzen, who good Men having been re­tired from the World, and unacquainted with the train of Intrigues, were by their own simplicity imposed upon not to suspect their dou [...]lings: yet they had been ejected among the Macedonians by Constantius, for refusing to go thorough with the Acacians, and therefore must now resign to some of Eudoxius his Friends of that Party. But they ha­ving thus got the Field, Socrat. l. 4. c. 13. fall out again among themselves, Eunomius will now have Eudoxius openly declare himself for Aëtius, but he thô he were zealous in the Cause, thought it not at that t [...]me seasonable, and so upon that account they again break Communion. But soon after Eudoxius dyes, and this Socrat. l. 4. c. 14. Sozom. l. 6. c▪ 13. say [Page 25] the Historians raises new heats at Con­stantinople about the Election of his Suc­cessor, his own Party choosing Demophi­lus, and the Orthodox Evagrius, who was ordain'd by Eustathius formerly Bi­shop of Antioch, who, say they, then lay conceal'd in the City to keep up the Ho­mousian Faith, but I doubt they mistake Eustathius of Antioch for Eustathius of Sebasta, the former was a very good Man, and was present at the Council of Nice, and therefore cannot easily be suppo­sed to survive to this time, which was forty five years distance, and is reported by St. Jerom and Theodorus to have dyed in Exile under Constantius, and it cannot be sup­posed that so eminent a Person should have lain unactive and conceal'd so long a time, or that Paulinus and M [...]leti­us would have invaded the See, if the great Eustathius, had been then living,V. Baro [...]. an. 317. N. 29. et Vales. not. in So­crat. and therefore I suppose the Historians mean Eustathius of Sebasta, who was a proper Person to act in the present Scene, for at this time it is evident that it was not a Contest of the Faith, but the Fa­ction, and thô Eustathius had [...]rofessed the Homousian Faith, it was only to re­cover his Bishoprick, to which thô he were canonically restored by the Coun­cil of Tyana, yet he was kept out of it [Page 26] by Eudoxius, who had cut him off a­mong the rest by an Imperial Rescript, being in the number of those that had been ejected by Constantius. So that he lay not leiger at Constantinople, as the Historians dream in behalf of the Nicene Faith, for before this time he had dis­claimed it, but only to watch Opportu­nities to recover his Bishoprick, and therefore finding Demophilus of the Eu­doxian Party set up for the Court-Bishop, he indeavors to set up Evagrius of his own Party against him. Socrat. l. 4. c. 15. Sozom. l. 6. c. 13. But the Eudoxians or their Patrons the Eunuchs had possession of the Emperor, who therefore upon the first news of the Tu­mult raised about it at Constantinople, he being then at Nicomedia in Bithynia, im­mediately banishes both Eustathius and Evagrius, and so for the present p [...]ts an end to that Controversy. But however the Affairs of the Church go, the Cour­tiers resolve to pursue their old Game, to watch all Opportunities of deposing Bi­shops, and then they were sure of chap­men, and for that reason they continually blew jealousies into the Emperor's head about these Matters, as they had dealt with Constantius, for it does not appear that he had any more zeal in the Cause it self, then only to preserve the publick [Page 27] Peace, or acted farther than as his cre­dulity or something worse (for he was but a weak Prince, that was never able to stand upon his own leggs, and when he ventured upon one tryal, perisht in it) was abused by their tricks and under­minings.

§. III. But for their purpose in all the Church, there was not an easier Game, as they fancied, than poor St. Basil, who being a very mortified Man, and forced from a retired life into the Wealthy Bi­shoprick of Caesarea, was thought a ve­ry easy Prey by Modestus at that time Prefect of the Province, and the head Patron of the Eudoxian Faction, and therefore the Emperor coming to Caesa­rea in his Passage to Antioch, he is inci­ted by his Courtiers against this old Man, as an open Enemy to his favourite Eu­doxius. The description of the Incounter may be seen in lib. 4. c. 19. Theodoret, but more at large, and with some difference in Gregory Nazianzens funeral Oration upon St. Basil, which thô it is too lavish and panegyrical in many particulars, yet the sum of the account of this business is contein'd in the discourse between the old Bishop, and the Prefect Modestus, who was sent to perswade him to be re­conciled [Page 28] to Eudoxius. Where after some conference, the Prefect falls into rage and threatning, and asks him if he stand not in awe of his Power. He replys, for what, what can you do to me? What can I do? returns he, I can proscribe you, ban­ish you, torture you, kill you. Can you so, replys the Bishop, but if you have nothing else to threaten me with these things con­cern not me. What do you mean? says he. I mean, says the Bishop, that he is not obnoxious to the proscription of Goods that has none, unless you would rob me of this poor thred-bare Garment and a few old Books. Banishment I know none, for the Earth is the Lords, and that is my Coun­trey; as for Tortures I have not a Body strong enough to feel them, the first stroke will put me out of pain, and as for death it would be the greatest kindness you could do me, to send me out of this feeble Car­cass to my Lord and Master. At this the Prefect stands astonisht, and professes that in all his life, he never heard any Man speak with such courage and assu­rance. Perhaps, says Basil, you never met with a true Christian Bishop till now, for if you had, he must have discoursed af­ter this manner, if call'd into question a­bout these Matters. For you must know, Sir, that we are mild and gentle in all o­ther [Page 29] things, the most humble and submis­sive of all Men, as our Law commands us, insomuch that we dare not behave our selves with the least pride or stubbornness, I will not say to the Emperor or you that are great Men, but to the meanest and poo [...]est of the People. But where the Cause and the Truth of God is at stake, there we lay all other things aside, and look at him alone, Fire and Sword, wild Beasts and Flesh-hooks are in his service, rather pleasure than terrour to us, and therefore revile us, threaten us, do what you pl [...]ase, and the worst you can with us, and tell the Emperor what I say, we shall never yield nor comply with his Will, th [...] he threaten much more dreadful things than all these. This is the true old pri­mitive Spirit, resolution adorn'd with Ci­vility, and by it the Bishop not only o­vercame the Prefect, but became dear to the Emperor, who resorted to his Church, and received the holy Eucharist from his hands. From whence it is evi­dent that this Persecution came not from the zeal of the Emperor, but was meerly set on foot by the Grandees of the Facti­on for the sale and purchase of Sequestra­tions. And for these designs they make use of the Emperors soft nature and ve­hement desire of Peace, and that was all [Page 30] that he here required of St. Basil, only to be reconcil [...]d to the Eudoxians, not to their Opinions. And though he was so well satisfied with St. Basil at this first onset, yet they would give him no rest till he condescended to their importunity for his Banishment, which was sign'd, but upon a suddain Sickness of his Son after it, its execution was stopt. And this is the true Interpretation of all the dismal Stories in the Historians concerning this Empe­ror's Ar [...]an Persecution; but into what a woful condition the Eastern Church was brought by this Court-merchandizing, is described in the Letter of Meletius and his Brethren to the Western Bishops Basil, Epist. 69. The gravity of the Clergy is lost, the skilful Pastors have left their Flocks, whil'st such as are set over them consume even the Goods of the Poor upon their own Pleasures. There is no regard had to the Canons of the Church, but an uncon­troul'd liberty of Sinning; for they who come to the Government of the Church by illegal ways, will do any thing to please their Masters. So that there is in reality no Government, and every-man does what is good in his own Eyes, wickedness is boundless, and the People stubborn, the Bishops trim and dare not speak out, for having acquired their Power by Men, [Page 31] they are Slaves to all by whose help and Patronage they were advanced. With much more to the same purpose, from whence we fully understand the true Face of the Church, and the right State of the Controversie at that time, to displace ho­nest Men upon pretences of Religion, on­ly to get into their Preferments, as farther appears from their wild way of proceed­ing, as it is there described. Whereas no man ought to be concluded Guilty, with­out some shew of Evidence, our Bishops are condemn'd only by being accused, and punisht without any proof at all, some never knew their Accusers, others never saw their Judges; some were never accu­sed at all, but conveyed away by dark Night, hurried into Banishment, and kept in perpetual Imprisonment. This was the deplorable state of the Church at that time under Valens and his Eunuchs, for the redress whereof, not only Meletius, but Athanasius and St. Basil wrote to the Western Bishops, to implore the Assistance of the Western Church and Empire. Atha­nasius his Letters are lost, Epist. 70. but that of St. Basil is very remarkable for its Elo­quence and Ingenuity. But at this time St. Basil labouring in the Settlement of the distracted Churches in the East, by the advice of St. Athanasius, visits the [Page 32] Churches in Armenia, where he unadvi­sedly receives that old insinuating Preva­ricator, Eustathius of Sebasta to the Com­munion of the Catholick Church, upon his reiterated Profession of the Orthodox Faith. Up [...]n which Theodotus Bishop of Nicopolis, where the Reconciliation was made, who better understood the Man, though Basil was not unacquainted with his former Shufflings, falls out with him. But Eustathius like himself, finding, that by reason of that great opposition that was ma [...]e against him, and knowing that his Enormities were so great, that St. Ba­sil was neither able nor willing to restore him, falls foul upon him, and loads him with so many base Calumnies, which, though St Basil at first despised for some years, it was the great work of his life to wipe off; one part of Mankind, it seems being so credulous, and another so ill-natured, as easily and greedily to swallow any ill surmise, and of this he often com­plains, even in his own Friends, till he was at last tempted to sing the burden of our times, that there is no Faith in Man, V. Greg. Naz. de laud. Basil. as he often does in his Epistles, but especially in the 79th to Eustathius him­self. And all this upon no other account, Good man, than because he could not compass a kind Office for an unworthy [Page 33] and ungrateful Man, and this found him work to his Dying day, especially, as he expresses it, with the Pride and Superci­liousness of the Church of Rome.

But among these various Transactions, the great Athanasius dies, about the year 371, or 372, perhaps sooner or later, for I am not concerned in Chronological Ni­ceties, my Business is to trace the Tradi­tion of Christian Truth, not to turn Hour-glasses, or watch the Motions of Pendu­lums. But his Fall was the occasion of great stirs in the Church, both Parties being at such a time highly concern'd for a fit Successor to so great a Man, and so great a See: Peter a grave and ancient Presbyter of that Church, was by the dying recommendation of Athanasius una­nimously chosen, but Euzoius the Arian Bishop of Antioch, upon the first News of the Vacancy flies to Court, to move for his Friend Lucius, who had been join'd in Ambassy with him to Jovian against Athanasius, and by the help of the Eu­nuchs succeeds, and is sent to Alexan­dria with Magnus, a great Court-Trader in the Cause; but before they came the Praefect of the City, a zealous Heathen, had driven Peter into Banishment, and when they came, the People were so averse to the Intruder, that they were forced to [Page 34] place him in the See by Military Power, upon which, what bloody Tumults and Disorders followed, may be seen in all the Historians, but most accurately in Theodoret.

Somewhat before this time arose the Heresie of Apollinaris, consisting of a great many Prophane or rather wanton Novelties, the chief whereof was, That our Saviour had no other Soul, than the Divinity it self; and the Conceit, because it was a new one, began to take very much among the People, who naturally run after any thing that is strange and un­usual. But it is soon quasht by the dili­gence of the Pastors of the Church; and that not only by Writing, though all the Learned Men of that Age appear'd against it, as Athanasius, Gregory Nazianzen, Gre­gory Nyssen. St. Basil, and Epiphanius; but much more effectually by the Disci­pline of the Church. A Council was call'd at Rome by Damasus, the active and lea­ding Bishop of his time, though he was here more particularly concern'd, because he had unwarily given reputation to the Hereticks, by granting them recommen­datory Letters. And here every particu­lar Article is condemn'd by an Express Anathema against it, Theod. l. 5. c. 10. and an account of their Proceedings is given by Damasus [Page 35] in a Synodical Epistle to the Eastern Bi­shops; the Epistle is of a very peculiar strein, and shews that the Gentleman be­gan to have some thoughts of advancing the state of the Apostolick See, and it is the first, that I have observed, of that stiff strein. But however the Heresie was soon quasht by that unanimous Agreement of all Churches to suppress it every where by executing the effectual Discipline of the Church upon all its Followers. In so much that I can not call to Mind more than one Imperial Law against them at that time, and that was enacted by Arca­dius in the year 397. against their secret Conventicles at Constantinople, de Haeret. l. 33. they not presuming to appear in Publick. And when a Sect is brought so low, as that it dares not venture to make any publick Appea­rance, it is vanquisht, and scarce worth the Notice of the Government.

§ IV. In the year following, i. e. Anno 374. a Council was held at Valentia in France, for reforming some Abuses and Corruptions, that had crept into that Church, and restoring the force of some ancient useful Canons In the same year hapned that strange Election of St. Am­brose to the Bishoprick of Milan after this manner. Theod. lib. 4. c. 6. Upon the Death of Auxen­tius, [Page 36] the Emperor Valentinian hapning to be then at M [...]lan, calls the Bishops to­gether, and Exhorts them to take care to choose a Person of eminent Abilities for so great a See. They in all humility re­fer it to his Majestie's own choice, No, says he, that is a Province not proper for me to undertake, but to you that are in­lightned by the Divine Spirit, most pro­perly belongs the Office of choosing Bishops. Upon this the Bishops take time to de­bate among themselves, but whilst they are consulting, the People of each Faction flock together into the Market-place, and there, as it usually happens in popular Assemblies, from Disputing proceed to Tumult. St. Ambrose being Governor of the Place, flies according to his Office to appease the Multitude. Who no sooner appears, than they all cry out, An Am­brose, an Ambrose for their Bishop; at which he being astonish't, ascends the Tribunal with an austere Countenance, as if he were resolved to put some of them to Death, but they still cry the louder. Up­on that he accuses himself of such scanda­lous Crimes, as by the Canons of the Church render him uncapable of the Epis­copal Office, but that is all one to them, neither will they believe him. And there­fore in the last place, he betakes himself [Page 37] to flight by Night, and designs for Ticinum, but having wandred all Night, and think­ing himself near his Journeys end, he found in the Morning that he had walkt in a Circle, and was just entring into one of the Gates of Milan, at which being sur­prized, and fearing lest there should be something of the hand of God in it, he returns home and submits; they acquaint the Emperor with it for his consent, Cod. Theodos. de Episc & Cler. l. 3. because by the Constitution of Constantine the Great, they were forbidden to take any Officers either Civil or Military into the Clergy without it, lest the Common­wealth should be left destitute of able Men. But the Emperor is highly pleased with the Election, and is proud of his own choosing such Magistrates as are fit to be made Bi­shops, and through this odd concurrence of Circumstances, is he made Bishop con­trary to the Can. Apost. 80. Canons, for he was then no more than a Catechumene, which Learned Men think may be excused by the miraculousness of the thing, as if it had been immediately brought about by the special Interposition and Authority of God himself, and for such extraordinary cases the Canon it self has provided an Excep­tion, adding this Clause at the end of it, [...], unless it be done by the special favour of God. And [Page 38] that this was so done, all Parties concern'd in it, thought they had good reason to conclude, from so great a Conjunction of Wonders. Am. Marcel. lib. 30. C. 6 Soon after this, Valenti­nian dies of an Apoplexy or some suddain Death, upon which Ammianus Marcelli­nus reads a Lecture with as much Gravity, as if he were President of the College of Physicians, as he takes all Opportunity of shewing his Knowledge in all sorts of Learning, a fondness very incident to all half-learned Men. But in the mean time Valens goes on in his old road, as his Eu­nuchs are pleased to drive him, Epist. 140. till Gregory Nazianzen solicites his ingenious Friend Themistius, a great Philosopher, and a great Man in the State, to take him off from his Fury, which he might the more easily do, as being unconcern'd in the quarrel, and like a Gentleman he un­dertakes it, and in his Speech entituled [...] perswades the Emperor for some time to lay aside his Bigotry for the Eudoxian Faction. And to say the truth of him, he was both a Gentleman and a Philosopher, he was first made Prefect of the City by Julian, who was possess't with a vehement Ambition of preferring Lear­ned Men, he was always a Friend to the Catholicks for their Integrity, and as much as a Man of his Temper and Principles [Page 39] could be, an Hater of the Eusebians of all sorts for their shuffling and dishonesty, saying in his Oration to Jovian Soc. l. 3 c. 25. that they Worship't not God, but the Imperial Purple. And after the overthrow of Pro­copius, he out of pure good Nature inter­cedes with the Emperor for Mercy and Clemency to the vanquisht, Orat. 9 and with­al advises him to beware of listning to Whisperers and Flatterers, by whom he means his Eudoxian Courtiers, that thrust him upon all his extravagant Actions. So now here at the request of his Friend Na­zianzen, he rubs up the Emperor's good Nature in behalf of the Catholicks. And for the sweetness and gentleness of his tem­per, he was a Favourite to all the Emperors from Julian to Theodosius the Great, be­tween whom, notwithstanding the diffe­rence of their Religion, and the distance of their Station, there was a particular Friend­ship and Endearment cemented purely by the likeness of their Tempers, in so much that the Emperor Theodosius left him the Guardianship of his young Son Arcadius.

But notwithstanding this learned Gen­tlemans advice to Valens, his Officers proceed in their old Track of Violence in the East, whilst his Nephew the young Emperor Gratian in the West, steers the contrary course, for being sensible of the [Page 40] great disorders in the Church and Com­mon-Wealth, by reason of his Father Va­lentinian's remisness, he thought it high time to settle things better by a stricter Government, for though Valentinian was a wise Prince, and Orthodox in the Faith, yet he was possest with one unhappy Principle, that spoil'd his reign, that in­deed has been most fatal to Princes in all Ages, and that is, as lib. 30. Ammianus de­scribes it. Post [...]emò hoc moderamine prin­cipatus inclaruit, quod inter religionum di­versitates medius stetit: nec quenquam in­quietavit, neque ut hoc coleretur impera­vit, aut illud, neque interdictis mina [...]ibus subjectorum cervicem, ad id, quod ipse vo­luit, inclinabat; sed intemeratas reliquit has partes, ut reperit. ‘He excelled in the moderation of his Government, in that he stood unconcern'd among all the diversities of Religions, and never disturb'd any Man, neither commanded this or that way of Worship, nor forced his Subjects necks to look which way he pleased, but left these Matters alto­gether inviolated.’ But by the Souldi­ers leave, who was not bound to be an accurate Lawyer, this is not universally true, for there is extant in the Theodo­sian Code Ne Bap­tisma itere­tur▪ l. 1. a particular Law of his own making against the Donatists, to for­bid [Page 41] their rebaptising upon pain of Depo­sition; and there is another under the title de Haereticis l. 3. against the Mani­chees, though indeed they were rather Villains than Heretiques, who taught and practised all kinds of Vice and Wick­edness, as the Principles of their Sect, and therefore no wonder if they were excep­ted out of his Clemency, but otherwise it extended equally to all. By which means the Christian Church was not on­ly over-run with Heresies, and its disci­pline utterly defeated, as we have seen in the case of that wicked Man Auxentius, who though he were so justly deposed by the Judgment of the Catholick Church, yet it took no effect, because Valentinian was withheld by this Principle, from do­ing the Office of a Christian Emperor, in abetting the legal Decrees of the Church, and such an one he himself thought that against Auxentius. But be­side this Calamity within the Church, Heathenism hereby gain'd great ground, and appear'd publickly in the World, e­specially by his Edict to restore the hea­then Priests to their ancient Immunities,L. 75 de Decurioni­bus. and for the sake of this it is, that Ammia­nus commends this Emperor's moderati­on; for it is the most certain rule of Go­vernment, that all Parties that are under [Page 42] most are for this Principle, because it is the only ground, that can give them ad­vantage to mount uppermost. But the young Emperor Gratian a Prince of great Wisdom and Vertue, finding things in so great a disorder by it, he at his first com­ing to the Crown, takes particular care for the Churches Peace and Settlement. de Hae­ret. l. 4. And publishes a Rescript against the publick Meetings of all Hereticks, i. e. (as the Law it self defines it) all Parties whatsoever, that did not join in Commu­nion with the Catholicks, under punish­ment of Confiscation of their meeting Pla­ces, whether Fields or Houses, and be­cause by reason of the connivance or cor­ruption of his Officers it was not execu­ted, he reinforces it two years after, with a threatning Injunction to his Judges, to neglect its execution at their Peril. And yet Valens perishing soon after in the East, and that part of the Empire falling to this Emperor, who left the Western Parts, that were better settled to his younger Brother Valentinian, when he came thither, he found things in such confusion by Valens his mis-government, that he was forced to submit to the ne­cessity of the Times, and for that reason publisht an Edict at Sirmium, granting the liberty of publick Assemblies to all [Page 43] Sects, excepting only Manichees, Photi­nians and Eunomians. Soc. l. 5. c. 2. So­zom. l. 7. c. 1. This the Hi­storians Socrates and Sozomen set down as the first act of his Government, but they were ignorant of what he had enacted in the West. Theod. l. 5.12. As for Theodoret, he is quite lost in the whole story, turning this act of Indulgence into a severe Law, but the apparent ground of his Mistake is, his confounding this Rescript with a­nother of Theodosius de fide Catholicâ, l. 2. that bears this Emperor's Name, though enacted by Theodosius alone. For that was the custom, that though the Law were made by one Emperor, it was publisht in the name of all. But to proceed with Gratian, he having setled things as well as he could in the East, and returning the year after into the West, publishes de Hae­ret. l. 5. a Rescript at Milan to cancel the Sirmian indulgence, and forbid the Assemblies of all Sects that had been adjudged Here­ticks by the Church and Imperial Laws; thus we may see what Princes are fre­quently forced to do as to their Penal Laws by the necessity of the Times, and vary their Edicts as the present temper of the World will bear them. But now this Emperor having by this seasonable Law given check to the Hereticks, in the next place he restores the effectual [Page 44] Discipline of the Church de E­pist. l. 23. by a Re­script bearing date the year 376, that the same Custom should be observed in Eccle­siastical Affairs, as was in Civil Causes, that Controversies belonging to Religion, should be judged by the Synod of the Diocess, but all criminal Causes should be reserved to the Audience of the Secu­lar Governors. Not to inquire at pre­sent into the particular occasion of this Law, which Gothofred conjectures was made in the controversy of punishing the Priscillianists with the Sword, it is a­greeable with the practice of the Em­pire, and so this learned Civilian divides all Controversies into Causes ecclesiasti­cal and political, the Ecclesiastical into Controversies of Faith or Discipline, these, he says, appertain to the Church. The political are divided into Causes pecunia­ry, or Causes criminal, and these, he says, appertain to the Civil Power. This I know is the common state of the bounds of Jurisdiction, and has made great con­fusions in Christendom, whilst both Pow­ers contend to keep their own ground: and especially since the power over the Catholick Church was swallowed up in­to the papal Omnipotency, what troubles have the Popes given the Christian Empe­rors, for daring to intermeddle with spi­ritual [Page 45] Matters? But this Argument of the bounds of Jurisdiction I shall fully state, when I have first set down the ex­ercise of it in matter of Fact, and there­fore though I need at present only say that it is a dangerous Mistake to divide them by the different Matters about which they are conversant, when they are both conversant about the same Mat­ters, and unless they are so, both of them will be too weak to attain the ends of their Institution. Yet because it is the fundamental Mistake on both sides, and because I may never come to finish this wide undertaking, and lastly because I find it to be the great stumbling block to the wiser and more judicious Men of the Church of Rome, I shall here a little briefly consider its consequence. de con­cord. l. 2. c. 1. § 4. The learned Petrus de Marca one of the wi­sest Writers of that Church affirms, and believes the bounds of these two Juris­dictions to be so plainly determin'd by the Matters themselves, about which they are imployed, that no Man can pos­sibly miss their true boundaries, that does not industriously over-look them, in that it is so evident that the regal Power extends only to things secular, and the Ecclesiastical to things spiritual. Whereas on the contrary nothing is more [Page 46] evident, than that all Actions are both Secular and Spiritual, the same Action as it relates to the peace of the World, and the Civil Government of Mankind is of a secular Nature, and as it is a moral Vertue, and required by the Law of God as a duty of Religion, so it is of a spiritu­al Nature. And so on the other side, those things that are esteem'd Spiritual, yet as they have an influence upon the publick Peace (and nothing has a grea­ter) they must come under the cogni­zance of the civil Government. So that these Jurisdictions are so far from being distinguisht by the Objects about which they are conversant, that they are al­ways both equally extended to the same Objects, so as that if we limit either to one sort of Actions, we destroy both. For to take Matters spiritual in their strictest acceptation, and as they are vulgarly un­derstood, for the Offices of divine Wor­ship, and especially the publick Devoti­ons, that are performed by the Sacerdo­tal Order in the publick Assemblies, yet if the Sacerdotal Power reach not be­yond this to secular things, it can never reach its end, for that is to procure the future happiness of the Souls of Men, and that very much depends upon their good or bad behavior in the Affairs of [Page 47] this life; so that if their spiritual Guides and Governors are barr'd from inter­medling in all such Matters, they are cut off from the chief part of their Of­fice, and what remains, will be too weak to attain its end, for when Men have been never so careful in all the Of­fices of Religion, yet if care be not taken to regulate the Actions of humane inter­course, all their Devotion will avail them very little in the World to come. So on the other side, when the Civil Power has done all that it can, to settle and se­cure the quiet of the Common-Wealth, by the wisest Laws of Justice and Hone­sty, yet if they may not take notice of what Doctrins are instill'd into their Sub­jects by their Teachers, or what divisi­ons or commotions are raised by them in the Church, they may soon be involved into disturbance or confusion, without a­ny Power to relieve themselves. I am not at present concern'd to prove that this is now actually done by any Party of Men, it is enough to my present pur­pose, that it is a possible thing to disturb the peace of Government, under Preten­ces or by Mistakes of Religion, or to pray and preach Men into Rebellion. And if it be so, then the consequence is unavoidable that it must be subject to the [Page 48] power of the Civil Magistrate, if that be any of its Office to take any care of the peace and quiet of the World. But in truth this distinction has been all along chiefly cherisht by the Bishops of Rome since the time of their Usurpation: be­cause when they had got all the spiritu­al Power of the Church into their own hands, their next care was to hug and keep it intire to themselves, and there­fore they confin'd the Power of Princes wholly to Matters of State, but as for all things, that concern'd the Church, they were bound with all submission to resign themselves to his Holinesses Orders, and if they presumed to gain-say any of his E­dicts, though never so prejudicial to their own Affairs, it was open defyance to Holy Church, and though the Popes never proceeded any farther against him, as none of them did, till Hilde­brand, yet that alone was at that time a forfeiture of the Affections of his best Subjects, i. e. all those plain and good People, that have any real love or value for their Religion. And this one thing a­lone gave the Popes of Rome, though they had never proceeded to the scandalous boldness of deposing Princes, an absolute Empire and Authority over all the Prin­ces of Christendom. And it is observa­ble [Page 49] that they were the high flying Popes, that were the chief sticklers for the ad­vancement of this distinction, as appears not only from the Collection of Gratian, Distinct. 69. where it is largely exempli­fied, but from Petrus de Marca himself, warranting the truth of this Doctrin from the Authorities of Gelasius, Symmachus, Gregory the second, Nicolaus the first, In­nocentius the third, who in their several high Contests with the Emperors, that indeavour'd to check and bridle their Ec­clesiastical Insolence, still bid them mind their own business, and not presum [...] to meddle with the Church, the Govern­ment whereof was intrusted to St. Peter and his Successors. But their Adversa­ries have been even with them, especial­ly the Erastian Hereticks (for what grea­ter Heresy can there be in the Church, than to take away the very Being of the Church) by distinguishing between the sacred Function, which they grant to be the proper office of the Church, and the Power over sacred things, which they annex intirely to the Civil Power, by which distinction they leave the Go­vernors of the Church no other Power, than to administer the Offices of Religi­on, without any Power of punishing Of­fenders against the Laws of Religion, and [Page 50] then they have none at all, for there can be no power without a Power of in­flicting Penalties. And there lyes the true distinguishing point between these two Jurisdictions, not in the Matters a­bout which their Power is imployed, but in the Penalties, by which it is in­forced. Thus to be short and give one ex­ample for all, whereas Novel. 83. Justinian leaves to the Church, the [...] the sins committed against the Ec­clesiastical Order by the Clergy, and to the State the [...] or Sins against the Laws of the State. This di­vision is so far from being true, that both Powers are equally concern'd in both Crimes, for if any Clergy-man disturb the Government, as the Donatists did by a Contest about a Canon of the Church, then though it were an Ecclesiastical sin, it concern'd the Civil Government to check the Mischief by the proper Penal­ties of Sedition, as Honorius drove them into banishment, and thereby restored the long interrupted Peace of the Em­pire. And on the other hand, if any Clergy-Man, let him be never so regular to the Laws and Rules of the Church, shall in a state-Faction ingage in a Rebellion against his Soveraign, that is properly a Political sin, the Church is [Page 51] bound to inflict such Penalties upon him, as are denounced by the Laws of their Religion against all Traitors and Rebels, i. e. to cast him out of their Society, and the capacity of Salvation. And that is the only difference in the case, that when the King cuts a Traitor off for this life, the Church cuts him off [...]or the next, and so it is in all other Crimes, where the Prince punishes for breach of the Laws of the Land, the Church puni­shes proportionably for breach of the Laws of Religion. And as by the Laws of the Land the Penalty is proportiona­ble to the Crime, so is it by the Laws of the Church: for as some Offences are Capital, and some only Penal in the State, so in the Church, some are punisht by Penance, some by utter excision or cutting off from the Kingdom of Hea­ven, which is the same thing in its kind, as cutting off life in this World. So that the same Crimes are so far from belong­ing to different Judicatures, that all be­long to both, the only difference is, that one punishes here, and the other hereaf­ter. And now this one observation of the difference of Penalties in the same cause being supposed, which cannot be be avoided, without destroying or in­trenching upon the Rights of Church or [Page 52] State, the bounds of Jurisdiction are evi­dent enough without splitting of Causes, and it is easy enough to understand how the same Causes belong to both Jurisdi­ctions from their different ends, without setting any restraint to either Power. And thus having in this short digression, as briefly as I could, secured this point of the Controversy, which is the main Hinge upon which depends the disinge­nuous Contention of both the extreme Parties, both Papal and Erastian, I now return to the course of the History, which was broke off at the year 376. Am. Marcel. l. 31. At which time, the Huns breaking into the Eastern Empire, and Valens being ex­tremely distrest by them and the Goths at the same time, in Cron. St. Jerom and l. 7. c. 33. Crosius say that he repented of his for­mer severity, and upon it recall'd the Or­thodox Bishops from banishment, lib. 4.35. c. 37. but Socrates only says, and that much more probably, that being otherwise imployed he desisted, and so the banisht Bishops, particularly Peter of Alexandria had op­portunity of returning home And that I doubt was all, notwithstanding St. Je­rom's lavish story of his Repentance, which good Father partly by his bold­ness, partly by his eagerness, has occa­sion'd the greatest Mistakes in the story [Page 53] of the Church, and therefore when he is a single witness, his Testimony is not to be regarded in any Matter of Fact, unless when he speaks of his own know­ledg, for he was an honest Man, and would not lye, yet he was so very hot-headed, that it often betrayed him into false-hoods, and therefore his single Au­thority ought not to be trusted, unless in Matters of his own knowledg. And by relying upon it, and that contrary to the testimony of calmer Authors great dark­ness has been brought upon the Records of the Church, and has particularly blemisht Baronius his Annals, who has very often followed his Authority not only without, but against all other Au­thors, and by it run himself into a great many Mistakes against the best Records of the Church. And this I take to be one, though no material one, that Valens repented of his Persecution, and call [...]d back the banisht Bishops, for which there is no proof but only his saying so, and they that followed his Authority, other­wise we do not find that they were so­lemnly recall'd, till Gratian came into the East after his death, when indeed Soc. l. [...]. c. 2. Soz. l. 7. c. 1. Theod. l. 5. c. 2. all the Historians agree that they were re­stored.

In the Year 377 a Council was held [Page 54] at Antioch, for preventing or rather cu­ring a Schism in that Church, that was first created by Julian's spiteful and trea­cherous toleration to all Sects, for by that means 3 Bishops had been set up in one Church, Meletius who was first an Acacian, but afterwards revolting to the Nicene Faith, Euzoius was put in his place by the Acacian Faction, and Pauli­nus set up by that hot Man Lucifer Ca­laritanus, who would accept of none of Meletius his repentance, in opposition to both. With Meletius the Arian Con­verts communicated, with Paulinus the old Orthodox, because Paulinus himself had ever been so, and as for Euzoius he presided over the Acacian Party. But he dying about this time, a Controversy a­rose who should be the true and proper Bishop of the Place, in which not only the People of the City made Parties, but the Bishops of other Churches. St. Basil was zealous for Meletius, Pope Damasus for Paulinus, so that it became a Contro­versy between the East and West. But at last this expedient was found out, that both during their lives should keep their own shares, but when ever one of them dyed, the surviver should govern the whole Church, and that the Schism might not be perpetuated, an Oath was ad­ministred [Page 55] to six of the eldest Presbyters of that Church, who were the only Can­didates for the Election, to submit to the Decree, and this, for the present, ended the Quarrel. And yet when after this Meletius dyed, Flavianus one of the six Presbyters that had sworn never to invade the Bishoprick, whilst either of the pre­sent Bishops survived, violently thrusts himself into the See, and sets up a Schism against Paulinus to the great and long di­sturbance of the Church, as we shall af­terward see, though Theodoret lib. 3. c. 3. et c. 23. either out of a picque to Paulinus or partiality to Flavianus, relates the whole Matter so awkerdly, as not only to pervert, but apparently to falsifie the whole Sto­ry.

§. V. In the Year 379 is the great Theodosius taken into a partnership of the Government, who by his Wisdom settled all the distractions of the Eastern-Em­pire, and by his courage recovered the Western when it was lost. At first he is left to the Government of the East, as being at that time by the folly of Valens and the wickedness of the Eunuchs and Eudoxians, much the most troublesom, and therefore in the next year after his being settled in the Government, he [Page 56] takes care for the settlement of Religi­on, and for that end is himself baptised by Acholius Bishop of Thessalonica, that at that time belong'd to the Eastern Em­pire, and as the first fruits of his sacra­mental Vow, he immediately set out, and that probably at the good Bishop's motion, that famous, or as it is com­monly stiled, Golden Rescript l. 2. de fide Catholicâ to the divided People of Con­stantinople, commanding the universal Reception of the old Orthodox Faith, ut secundum Apostolicam disciplinam, e­vangelicamque doctrinam, Patris et Filii et Spirit [...]s sancti unam Deitatem sub pari­li Majestate, & sub piâ Trinitate creda­mus, that we believe one God-head of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, all of equal Majesty in the holy Trinity, ac­cording to the Doctrin of the Apostles and Evangelists. And as for all that re­fused this Faith, of what Faction and Denomination soever, they were all ad­judged Hereticks, and the Laws against them put in force. Soc. l. 5. c. 4. And soon after this the great Church of Constantinople, is by his command taken from the He­reticks (who had in one shape or other kept possession of it full forty years) and deliver'd up to the Catholicks. And this was seconded by another Rescript [Page 57] in the year following to the Proconsul of Asia, that had been all along infested with the most numerous swarms of He­reticks, in which he strictly commands all Churches to be taken away from all Bishops and Priests, that refused to sub­scribe the Nicene Faith, and for better security further Orders that no Man should be admitted to any Church, but such as were approved by a certain Committee of Orthodox Bishops, appoin­ted by himself for that purpose. Here I must confess that I Ac­count of the Go­vernment of the Church § 20. once thought this Law an invasion upon the Rights of the Church, by confounding the old bounds of Provinces, and destroying the Prero­gatives of Metropolitans, because they were chosen without regard to either; but having now traced its history more accurately by comparing the Imperial Laws with the Records of the Church, (and indeed it is impossible to gain a full knowledg of either, without a compe­tent knowledg of both) and so conside­ring the time and occasion of enacting it, it plainly clears it self from any such ill suspicion. For first, if it were made before the Council of Constantinople, as some will have it, it was then but a tem­porary Provision, till a better settlement could be made by the approaching [Page 58] Council, and therefore if it had been an intrenchment upon the Church, it was not design'd to be perpetual, but was ta­ken up as the best expedient, that the ne­cessity of the Times would admit, and all necessity is its own dispensation. But if it were enacted after the Council, and if its Date be not mistaken, and so it was, for the Council sat in May, June, July, and this bears date August, then it is only a confirmation of the Decree of the Church, that had settled the Nicene Faith. But which soever it was, this in­stitution of the Communicatory Bishops was no alteration either of the bounds or the Rules of Discipline, for the Ecclesia­stical Government of Provinces under Metropolitans stood as before, but it was only a Rule to his own Officers, not to deliver up Churches to any that did not bring Certificates from some of these Bi­shops, but when they brought them, they were to be admitted after the usual manner; if Presbyters, by the Bishop and his Synod of Presbyters; if Bishops, by the Metropolitan and his Synod of Bi­shops. Neither can any thing be in­ferr'd for equalling Diocesan Bishops or preferring them above Metropolitans, by Nectarius his being made the first Man in the Instrument, for it was no [Page 59] matter of power but of trust, the Emperor chose them not with any regard to their Authority, but from his knowledg of their Integrity in the Orthodox Faith, and therefore being best acquainted with Nectarius the Bishop of his own City, and his old Favourite, he naturally named him in the first place, and the rest proba­bly by the information of others. This is all that I can find intended by this Emperor's erecting this Committee of Communicatory Bishops, it was to guide himself and his Officers, not to deter­mine the Church. And now are we come to the great Council of Constanti­nople, whose main business it was to set­tle the Nicene Faith, and anathematise the Arian Heresy, and all the Sects that had been spawn'd out of it; but because the Macedonians had as we have seen a­bove, so often own'd the Nicene Faith, and particularly in the Council at Lamp­sacus, the good Emperor in hopes to bring them over, Soc. l. 5. c. 8. Soz. l. 7. c. 7. summon'd them to the Council, 36 in number, but it seems they were at that time in a sullen fit, and would not be prevail'd upon to stand to their former subscriptions, and so depart the Council. But the Fathers proceed, and in the first place vote the Nicene Faith unalterable, condemn all the seve­ral [Page 60] dissenters from it by name, make some Canons useful for the present settlement of the Church, and give an account of their proceedings to his Imperial Maje­sty in these words. That meeting at Constantinople in obedience to his Sum­mons, they had preserved Peace among themselves, confirm'd the Nicene Faith, anathematised all Heresies, that had been raised against it, enacted divers Canons for the due settlement of the discipline of the Church, they now request his Majesty that he would be pleased to ratifie the Decrees of the Council, that as they were call'd together by his Imperial Letters, so he would be pleased to give an effectual con­clusion to their Decrees. That was the true state of the Church under his wise reign, as it was under Constantines, to sum­mon them to Council by his own Autho­rity, and leave them to the liberty of their own determinations, and then if he pleased, to inforce them by his own Im­perial Laws and Penalties. And that he did to purpose, for beside the former Law of Communicatory Bishops, that was most probably publisht at this time, he enacted de Hae­ret. l. 6. another injoining the Nicene Faith, forbidding publick As­semblies to all, that would not subscribe it, condemning the Photinians, Arians, [Page 61] Eunomians by name, and commanding all Churches within the Empire to be de­liver'd up to the Orthodox Bishops, or such as kept close to the Nicene Faith. The Rescript is a plain Epitome both of the Creed and Canons of the Council, and for the most part exprest in the ve­ry same words. And because when the Churches were taken from the Hereticks they attempted to build new ones, de Hae­ret. l. 8. he seconds it with another to forbid that, under pain of Confiscation. Upon this the Hereticks meet in private Conventi­cles, or assemble Multitudes together in the Streets and Fields, which occasions de Hae­ret. l. 11.12 two Laws in the year 383, to for­bid all manner of Meetings in all Places whatsoever, to restrain wandring Bishops from preaching or ordaining successors in the Heresy, and the Execution of these Laws is injoin'd the Governors of Provin­ces upon pain of Deposition from their places. But because the Hereticks were ferretted out of all other Places, and took sanctuary in the great City of Constanti­nople, ibid. l. 13. he publishes another Rescript the year following, requiring the Magi­strates to make a diligent search to find out their lurking holes, and so we hear no more of them, till the year 388, when all these Laws against them, were [Page 62] contracted into ibid. 14. one Rescript, the Emperor being provoked to renew the execution of his old Laws, by their saw­cy behaviour upon any cessation against them. But now leaving the Eastern parts to go to the assistance of Valentinian the younger against the Tyrant Maximus, who had driven him out of his Empire in the West, he chooses Tatianus a Man eminent for Courage, Wisdom and Con­duct, to be his Praefectus Praetorio in his absence, and when he comes into Mace­donia, where he meets the distressed young Emperor, and finding himself in­gaged in a dangerous War on his behalf, for the better security of the Peace, sends him a new sort of Rescript, de his qui super Religione contendunt. l. 2. strictly commanding him, that he suffer no di­sputes about Religion, and if any shall dare to do it, that he punish their pre­sumption with just severity. A Law that has been found so useful and necessary to the publick Peace, that it has been from time to time renewed by wise Prin­ces in all Ages. He himself was forced four years after, to impose it upon the E­gyptians and Alexandrians under pain of deportation, and no wonder, when they have been remarked in all Ages and by all Authors, as the most contentious and quarrelsom People in the World, and [Page 63] particularly at that time great Tumults were raised by the Anthropomorphite Monks. It was afterward renewed by the great and wise Emperor Marcian, in­serted into the Laws of the Vice-Goths, the Capitulars of Charles the Great, and the Additions of his Son Lewis. And this they did not only for the security of the publick Peace, but for the honor and re­verence of Religion. For it cannot but bring that into great contempt, to see it bandied up and down in popular Tumults and Seditions, and therefore in the Pri­mitive modest Times, they indeavour'd to keep Matters of dispute and contro­versy from the notice of the People, V. Go­thofredi No­tas in le­gem. and distinguisht between the [...] things fit to be preached, and the [...] notions fit to be con­ceal'd. And it was the familiar form of Expression in their Sermons, when they came to any controversial point, to break off suddainly with an [...], but this the learned know. Grego­ry Nazianzen has an excellent Sermon upon the Subject, Orat. 26. fit for our own conceited and capricious Times, in which the good Father is so popishly affected, as to recommend to his disputing Cite­zens of Constantinople, ignorance above curiosity. But this wise Emperor having [Page 64] settled things in as good a posture, as he could in the East, prevails at the same time with the young Valentinian, who by the instigation of his Mother Justina, had been a great Patron of the Hereticks, to publish the same severe Rescript a­gainst them in the West, that himself at his first coming to the Empire had ena­cted in the East, and to cancel the for­mer Law, that he had two years before made in their behalf, viz. de fide Cathol. l. 4. ‘that we grant liberty of publick Assemblies to all those, that believe according to that Faith, that in the time of Constantius was agreed upon at Ariminum by all the Bishops of the Roman World, and let those Men know, that presume that themselves alone ought to have liber­ty, that if they shall attempt any distur­bance against this our Command, they shall stand guilty of High-Treason, and pay for it with their blood.’ This is a very high Act in behalf of all the Here­ticks, for by the Faith agreed upon at Ari­minum is to be understood, the cheat that Valens and his Party put upon the Coun­cil, that comprehended all the different Parties whatsoever. And yet that is the Faith that is here confirm'd to last fore­ver, and whoever shall publickly oppose any that publickly promote it, shall for­feit [Page 65] his head. This came from the fu­rious zeal of Justina, who prosecuted it with the same zeal and outrage, where­with she had procured it, and it was so highly displeasing to Benevolus the Empe­ror's Secretary, Ruffin. l. 2. c. 16. that he chose rather to lose his Office and the Offer of much greater Preferments, than so much as transcribe it. And this was the Rescript, that brought so much trouble to St. Am­brose, when he refused to deliver up his Church to the Arians, and indeed it was particularly aimed at him. And the first Mover of all the Mischief was one Aux­entius a Scythian, that had a great mind to that wealthy Bishoprick, but partly because the Name of Auxentius was hateful to the People of that City, and partly because he was infamous for ma­ny Villanies in his own Country, he took upon him the name of Mercurin [...]s. But this whole business being a very re­markable transaction, and of very great consequence to my Argument, I shall set it down with the greater Nicety: that we may not only see the outward Actions themselves, but the inward Springs and Motives of the Court-In­trigues.

[Page 66]§. VI. And first of all Auxentius chal­lenges St. Ambrose to a dispute before the Emperor then only a Catechumen; but the Bishop disdains the Motion, that when the Faith had been so fairly de­termin'd by so many Councils, he should prostitute the divine Authority of the Church, by referring it to a secular Ju­dicature, but chiefly by making a Ca­techumen supreme Judg of the Faith. But Dalmatius the Tribune is sent by the Emperor to command his appearance, upon which advising with some Bishops, that were then present with him, he re­turns his Answer in writing, in which with equal courage and modesty he re­proves him for medling with things that did not originally belong to his Judica­ture, and so proceeds to state the Pow­er of the Emperors in Ecclesiastical Mat­ters, from the practice of his Predeces­sors. And it was then but time to be hot in the Cause, this being the first o­pen breach, that was made upon the Church; for though Constantius had of­ten done it underhand or rather unadvi­sedly, yet what he did, was by the pre­tended Authority of Councils, but this is the first time that any Prince challeng'd a Power to judg of Faith by his Imperial Authority. And as it hapned, it was as [Page 67] good a season as the Experiment could have been tryed in, when the Tryal fell upon such a Man as St. Ambrose, a Man of infinite Courage and Integrity, and he has distill'd the very Spirit of both into his Reply, the short of it is this. Lib. 4. Epist. 32. ‘Sir I hope I return you a sufficient Answer, though I come not to Court upon the Errand that I am sent for, neither let any Man judg me contumacious, when I only maintain what your Father of blessed Memory was not only wont to say in discourse, but to enact by Law, That in Causes of Faith or Ecclesiastical Discipline, he alone ought to be Judg, who is qualified for it by Right and Of­fice. He would have Bishops judg of Bishops, nay if a Bishop were guilty of Crimes of any other nature, he was pleased to refer them also to the Eccle­siastical Judicature. But when, I be­seech you, Gracious Sir, did you ever hear, that Lay-men made themselves Judges of a Bishop in a Cause of Faith? No, Sir, I cannot crouch to so mean a Flattery, as to forget my Sacerdotal Trust, that I should part with it to any other, when God has committed it to my Charge. If a Bishop is to be taught by a Laick, let the Laick preach too. Believe me, Sir, it is certain both from [Page 68] the Holy Scriptures, and the practice of the whole Church, that in matters of Faith, Bishops are to guide Emperors, and not Emperors Bishops. Execute, if you please, your late bloudy Law upon me, Ambrose is not so much worth, that for the sake of his own poor self he should prostitute not only his own Priest-hood, but the dignity of all the Bishops. If there be any Controversy of Faith, know, that it is their business to decide it, as was done under the great Constantine, who prescribed nothing to the Bishops, but left them to their own liberty of Judgment, and the same was the practice under his Son Constantius, thô what was well begun, was afterward perverted. For the Bishops agreed up­on an Orthodox Faith, whil'st some few would have the thing determin'd at Court, whereby they at last imposed upon the Bishops, who as soon as they understood the cheat, recall'd their Sen­tence, and ratified the Nicene Faith. (This has a peculiar reference to the Council of Ariminum.) In short, Sir, if Auxentius desire a Council, though it is by no means fit that so many Bishops should be put to so much trouble by the petulancy of one Man, who though he were an Angel from Heaven, ought not [Page 69] to be regarded, if he oppose the Peace of the Church, whenever a Council is call'd I shall not absent my self.’ This is the sum of his resolute Answer, as far as it concerns my Argument, where we see that the Power of Judicature in Mat­ters of Faith was always own'd to be an unalienable Right in the Governors of the Church, and was never challenged by any Emperor before this young Prince, who was boisterously thrust upo [...] it by the importunity of a furious Wo­man and her Scythian Priest. And they having now begun the Work, resolve to go through with open force, and for that end, procure a Law for the ejectment of Catholick Bishops out of their Churches, under Penalty of Death to all those that refuse to resign them, and for the first execution of it, send a Party to seize St. Ambrose, and take possession of his Church. But the People defend the Doors. The Officers command him in the Emperor's Name to deliver up his Church and the Goods of it. At this the People are afraid that he will comply. No, says he, fear not that, I cannot forsake my Flock, and deliver it up to the Guardi­anship of a Woolf. If they will dispossess me by force, they may carry away my Body, but not my Mind. I am ready to submit [Page 70] to any thing that the Imperial Power can inflict, but as long as I can, I must and will discharge the duty of my Priestly Office. Why then are you troubled, I will never willingly forsake you; if I am forced, I must not resist; I can mourn and weep and pray, my Tears are Arms against the Goths, these are our Priestly Weapons, any other way I neither ought nor can resist. And as for delivering up the Goods of the Church, he tells the Officers, Gentlemen, if the Emperor be pleased to command any thing that is my own, I would freely pre­sent him wi [...]h it: but I can take away no­thing out of the House of God, nor give that away which was only intrusted with me to keep. And being often prest to a voluntary resignation, this was his con­stant and peremptory Answer, and withal boldly advising the Emperor to beware what he did in seizing the Goods of God, and invading the Rights of the Church. And thus things stood three whole days; St. Ambrose would not deliver up his Church, nor the Emperor durst not take it by force. And when the Courtiers perswaded him to go in Person and turn him out, he replyed, I thank you for that, for if Ambrose should command you to de­liver me up bound into his hands, you would obey him, and therefore for fear of [Page 71] farther mischief he was forced to desist, though by his proceeding so far, he brought great disgrace upon himself, in so much that the Tyrant Maximus wrote a smart Letter to him to upbraid him with the folly and dishonor of his Attempt; it is very well written, but s [...]mm'd up in this one short saying, Periculosè, mihi crede, divina tentantur. Believe me, it is a dan­gerous thing, but to touch the Ark. But this was done in order to his Invasi­on of Italy, to ingage the Orthodox on his side, as if he had taken up Arms to vindicate their Cause, for the Rescript of Valentinian reacht not St. Ambrose alone, but all Churches under the Emperor's Jurisdiction, as appears not only by the Rescript it self, but by the Tyrants E­pistle. Audivi enim novis Clementiae tuae Edictis, Ecclesiis Catholicis vim illatam fuisse, obsideri in Basilicis sacerdotes, mulctam esse propositam, paenam capitis adjectam, et legem sanctissimam sub Nomine nescio cujus legis everti. ‘I am inform­ed that by some new Edicts of your Grace, force has been offer'd to the Ca­tholick Churches, that the Priests have been besieged in their Cathedrals, that the punishment annext to the Law is no less than pain of Death, and that the most religious Law of the Empire [Page 72] is destroyed, under pretence of I know not what new Law of your own.’ And so the next news we hear of the Tyrant, is his declaration of open War, by which the young unadvised Emperor being in a great distress, supplicates St. Ambrose to undertake an Ambassy, to disswade the Tyrant from his Design, which he frankly and readily undertakes, Ambros. l. 5. Epist. 27. in which Let­ter he gives an account of his Embas­sy to the Emperor, and behaves himself in the discharge of his trust with the same liberty for his Ma­ster against the Tyrant, that he had used towards his Master for his Saviour, re­quires him in the name of God to sub­mit to his Soveraign Lord the Emperor, and lays open to his face, all his shifts and pretences wherewith he would have mask't his Rebellion, with that freedom and boldness, with that dexterity and quickness of Wit, as bafled the Tyrant out of all his Artifices, and laid the Villai­ny of his Actions open to all his Court, who were present at the Audience. And as for all Bishops that had own'd commu­nion with the Tyrant, he disown'd and defyed all communion with them. And in the conclusion of his Letter, advises the Emperor to beware of the Tyrant and his Practices, who under specious Preten­ces of peace and friendship, would lye at watch to work his distruction. But the [Page 73] Emperor not satisfied with the effect of Ambrose his Embassy, nor regarding his Advice, sends another Ambassador one Domninus, a very fine and artificial Cour­tier; that instead of the roughness of St. Ambrose, might conveigh himself in to the Tyrant by the neatness of his Address; but when Maximus saw what a pretty Puppet he had to manage, he treats him with all possible complaisance, and makes him giddy with kindness and flattery, Zosimus lib. 4. and for a demonstration of his friend­ship to his Master the Emperor, lends him part of his Army to assist him against the Barbarians, that at that time infested Pannonia, and so by this Complement ve­ry civilly made himself Master of all the Passages through the Alps, which being done, he secures Domninus with all his Company, till he past with his whole Ar­my into Italy. Upon which suddain sur­prise Valentinian is forced to fly, and gets to Thessalonica, where he sends to Theo­dosius to acquaint him with his forlorn Condition and implore his Assistance. But Maximus meeting with no opposition sweeps all before him, and indeavors to conquer by Civility as well as the Sword, Am­brose Ep. 26. courts all Parties, grants liberty to all Religions, not only Christians, but Jews and Heathens, and to oblige the [Page 74] Catholicks, that were much the most numerous Party, declares himself of their Communion, cancels the late Law of Va­lentinian against them, and See his Epistles in their pro­per place in Labbé. courts Siri­cius Bishop of Rome with wondrous pangs of Sanctity. But on the other side Theodo­sius finding the young Emperor in such miserable Distress, he makes all possible speed to his Assistance. And this brings us back to the Law of Valentinian against all the Hereticks, which was enacted at this time, for he having so unfortunately miscarried by the Importunity of his Mo­ther in persecuting the Catholicks with such an hateful severity, and by it given so much advantage to the Tyrant, Theo­dosius finding him in Macedonia, in the first place, advises him with speed to damn his form [...]r Rescript, and in order to his March into Italy, to reconcile God and the People to him, to publish a severe Re­script De Hae­ret. l. 15. against all the Hereticks. The very discourse between them is extant in Suidas in the Name of [...]. And so Theodosius marches against the Tyrant, overthrows him in a moment, restores the Empire to the young Prince, Sozom. l. 7. c. 14. and the young Prince to the Orthodox Faith. I have been forced to take this compass for the Explication of this Law, because without this Historical account of it, its [Page 75] true force and meaning could not have been understood.

But in the Absence of Theodosius from Constantinople, Ambros. Ep. 29. the Hereticks grow sawcy, burn the Bishop's Palace, make Tumults and justifie all their disorders by a pretended Grant of the Emperor for Li­berty of Conscience in his Absence, when he was so far from it, that he would not so much as grant Liberty of talk, but he being so far off, they might fasten their Lies upon him the more securely. And here the Method of talking the People in­to Tumults is very accurately described by the Soc. l. 5. c. 13. Historian. It is (says he) the natural Genius of some men to fain Re­ports, and when there is any great Tran­saction upon the Stage, every man be­lieves them as himself is inclined, and withal improves the Lye with some ac­cessional Invention for the Advantage of his own Party; and so it was at this time at Constantinople, there was a great War a great way off, about which every dis­contented man divulged his own Tale, always hoping and presuming the issue of things on the worst side, and when the War was not so much as begun, they de­scribe all its turns and motions as accu­rately as if themselves had been Spectators of the Battel, viz. that the Tyrant had [Page 76] utterly routed the Emperor's Army, that such and such numbers were slain on both sides, and that the Emperor himself was taken Prisoner. Upon this the Arians, without any more to do, being enraged that their Churches, that they had so long possest, should be taken away from them by those Men that they had so long per­secuted, improve and aggravate the Story, and by telling it with so much assurance, perswade the first Authors of it, that it was really and indeed true. So that thô they received it only by the report that others had raised, they now make the first Founders believe their own Lye, by assu­ring them that it was true of their own knowledge. And upon this the Arian Rabble take Confidence, run into Tu­mults, and burn down the Bishop's Palace. This is the natural way of talking People into Confusion. But the Emperor being inform'd of these Disorders, at the inter­cession of his Son Arcadius, whom he left there in his absence, forgave the Tu­mult, though as to their lying pretence of Liberty of Conscience, he publishes De Hae­ret. l. 16. an Edict to declare to all the World that he never granted any such indulgence, and to command them to be punisht ac­cording to his known Laws. And in the year 389, he publishes l. 17. a Rescript par­ticularly [Page 77] to outlaw the Eunomians, that were boldest of all the Factions, by which they were made uncapable either of ma­king their own Will, or receiving any benefit from another's Will, any manner of way, directly or indirectly, by Trustees, or any other Devices, but that the Estates of all such Persons should be immediately forfeited to the Crown. This Law has occasion'd great Disputes among the Cri­ticks and Lawyers, being particularly made against the Eunomiani Spadones, the Eunomian Eunuchs, about the meaning of which words they cannot agree, and after a great Variety of Conjectures to be seen in Gothofred's Notes upon it, he himself is confident that the word is cor­rupted for Histapodes, i. e. Men standing upon their Heads, it being one of the absurd Customs of that Sect, that when they rebaptized any Catholicks that Apo­statized to them, to Baptize them with their Heads downwards, and their Heels upward, whence they received the Nick­name of Histapodes. But it is strange that we should never hear of this word but in this Law, for he brings no exam­ples of it, and though there is Evidence of such a Custom, yet there is none of such a Word, and therefore I think there is no need of any such far-fetcht Curiosity, [Page 78] when the words are so intelligible in their natural sense against the Court-Eunuchs, that had been all along the Patrons of this Faction, and so were to be restrain'd by this Law of forfeiture of Estates, being generally Men of great Wealth; No, says Gothofred, that was only under Constan­tius; yes, say I, they first set up their Trade of Simony under him, but conti­nued it in all following Reigns, and did all that Mischief that was brought upon the Church under this Emperor's Predecessor Valens; and therefore for preventing this Disorder for the time to come in these great Courtiers, he forbids them to act at all for these Hereticks under the great Penalty of Confiscation of their whole Estate. Or rather it is most probable that Eunuch was become a Proverbial Nick­name to the whole Party, for the Trade between the Court Eunuchs and the Euno­mians was so notorious under Valens, that it might in just derision be named the Eu­nuchean Sect. This is, I fancy, the most easie sense of the words. In the same year he puts out De Hae­ret. l. 19. another Rescript to re­strain the Meetings of all sorts of Here­ticks in the City or Suburbs of Constanti­nople, Gothofred conjectures that the Sub­urbs are here added, because Eunomius being expell'd the City, kept his Conven­ticles [Page 79] there, Lib. 7. c. 17. as Sozomen informs us, but that is one of Sozomen's Mistakes, for he was not at that time banisht from Con­stantinople but Calcedon. But his Conje­ctures why all sorts of Heresies and Errors ar [...] here named, is more probable, because at that time Soc. l. 5. c. 20, 22, 23. Sozom. l. 7. c. 17. the Eunomians themselves were broke into several Factions and Ani­mosities, though this is not singular to this Law, but all the Laws of this Empe­ror run in the same comprehensive stile to prevent all Shifts and Evasions. In the years 392 and 394, to all the former Edicts and Penalties he publishes his Re­scripts against all Ordination by Hereticks under a severe Pecuniary Mulct upon the Persons both Ordaining and Ordain'd. The same Law that his Son Honorius at first executed against the Donatists, as we have seen in the History of that Schism. The last Law that he made about these Matters, was to abrogate the 17th Law that disabled the Eunomians from making Wills, and as he often, as well as all other Emperors, varied his Laws upon Reasons of State, so he had now some particular Reason that induced him to reverse this, and what that was, is not to be known but by Conjecture; he was then departing to the War against Euge­nius, and so was willing to leave all People [Page 80] as easie and peaceable as he could, espe­cially the Courtiers, if the Law referr'd to them, or the whole Party, whom its severity had made Malecontents. And therefore this Indulgence was in a short time after, taken away by his Son Arca­dius, this Emperor dying in his return home, and before he could reverse it. But the most usual reason of their altering their Rescripts, were the various Tempers of their Ministers of State. The former Laws were enacted when Tatianus was Praefectus Praetorio, a Vigorous and an Active and an experienced Man that pro­secuted them with all severity. But this was made when Rufinus succeeded to the Office, who being at his first entrance upon it more wary, though otherwise of a bold Temper, advised the Suspension of that severe Law for those nice times, and as soon as they were over, again advi­sed its execution. And thus this great Prince broke the heart of the Faction by abetting the Sentence of the Church a­gainst them with vigorous Laws: And that had been sooner done, had they been more vigorously executed by his Judges and Officers, whose Neglect or Connivance was the reason of his so often renewing the same Law. And there indeed gene­rally lyes the greatest Miscarriages of all [Page 81] Governments. And of this his Son Hono­rius was so convinced, both by his Father's and his own Experience, that he made all his Laws effectual by annexing severe Pe­nalties upon their non-execution.

§ VII. But beside these Laws to back these new Decrees of the Church against Hereticks and Heresies, he enacted others by his own Authority to rescue the An­cient rules of Discipline, that were grown obsolete by the abuses and corruptions of time. And first he reduces the Order of Deaconesses to their Primitive Institution, commanding in pursuance of the rule of the Apostles, and Practice of the Primi­tive Church, De E­pisc. l. 2 [...]. that none be admitted into that Order under the Age of Sixty, and that too with several Limitations, that she appoint Curators or Trustees for her Children, that she carry away with her none of the Plate or Jewels of the Family, and that she bequeath nothing by Will to the Church, Clergy, or Poor, though the particular occasion of this Law was that wicked Fact that Sozomen reports to have been committed at this time by a Deacon of the Church of Constantinople with one of the Deaconesses of the same Church, who had probably setled her personal Estate upon him, not for the Churches [Page 82] Service but her own. And in the same Rescript commands, That all Women who shave their Hair upon pretence of Religion be cast out of the Church, which was done not only in pursuance of the rule of the Apostle, and the Canons of the Church, particularly the Council of Gangra, that was then taken into the Codex of the Laws Ecclesiastical, but of the Law of Nature it self to prevent the Confusion of Sexes, the distinction being chiefly pre­served by this Custom. This Rescript was publisht in July, but in September follow­ing the Clause disabling Deaconesses to dispose of their Moveables by Will to Pious and Charitable Uses, is reverst, provided the Will be made in time of Health, and not upon their Death-beds, when they might be too apt to be imposed upon by Superstition and the Frauds of Priests. At the first Law An. 390. N. 70, 71. Baronius takes fire, as if it were a violent restraint of Devotion to God, and Charity to the Poor, and an Abridgement of the Priviledges of Holy Church, which therefore, he says, was soon cancel'd by the Advice of St. Ambrose, that great Assertor of Ecclesiastical Liber­ty. But that St. Ambrose had any hand in reversing it, we have no Authority of any Historian that I know of but the Car­dinal himself. But beside by his leave, [Page 83] such restraining Laws are requisite, nay necessary in all Commonwealths; for there is nothing so Prodigal as Superstition, and wherever there is Religion, that will creep into great numbers of the People, and therefore it concerns the Government eve­ry where, to take care that Families and the Publick be not defrauded by Prodigal Zeal or under pretence of Devotion. And this abuse was so early, that when Con­stantine the Great made a Law to the Ci­tizens of Rome, to enable all Persons what­soever to give by Will to the Church, not only what Legacies, but what Lands they pleased, which was the occasion of the great Wealth of that Church, that Lib. 2 [...]c. 3. as Am. Marcellinus observes, was made fat with the Offerings of Widows. This Li­berty the succeeding Emperors found such a consumptive profuseness from the Pub­lick, that they were forced to limit it in some cases, and in some, to stop it quite up. Valentian the Elder directed Dé E­pisc. l. 20▪ a Rescript to Damasus Bishop of the City, to be read in all Churches under his Juris­diction, to for [...]id the Clergies acceptance of any Legacies from Religious Women. Which Law was variously censured by the Fathers themselves. St. Ambrose Epist▪ 31. com­plains of it as a particular Spite and Un­kindness to the Church, St. Jerom approves [Page 84] of it, as being extorted by the Rapacious­ness of the Clergy. But it continued in force till it was by name abrogated by the Emperor Marcian Mar­ciani No­vella 5. as too rigid and se­vere a restraint of Pious Uses, and an en­tire Liberty granted to all Widows and Religious Women to dispose of their own Estates according to the old Constantinian Law. Justinian De Te­stam. l. 48. limited the sense of it, so as that it should not extend to the wrongful disinheriting of Children, be­cause, he says, when Princes grant such Liberties, they cannot be supposed to grant any thing contrary to the Law of Nature and the known Custom of the Empire, and therefore the Right of Inheritance belong­ing by both to the Children or Kindred of the Family, if the Alienation from them by such Gifts be apparent, the Govern­ment ought to stop it, and not suffer the Subjects civil Rights to be defrauded by their too religious bounty, so that these Imperial Concessions are to be limited to such cases only, in which no other Person is wrong'd, but if any be so, that antici­pates the Grant. And in truth this Im­posture (and so it is, when it is imposed by the Artifice of the Priests upon the Fol­ly of the People, (grew so exorbitant in the times of Superstition, that almost all the States of Christendom were forced to [Page 85] make Statutes of Mortmain, as well as we in England, and it was such a Law, that was the ground of that famous Quarrel between Paul the Fifth and the Venetians. But though former Ages were so wise as to stay their hand when they supposed the Church had enough for it self and the Poor (for in those days they were no Pa­rish Charge, but were the care of the Church) yet they were never so Prophane and Sacrilegious, as to Strip and Plunder her, when they were pleased to imagine that she had too much. That is the pecu­liar Glory of our last worthy Age of Re­formation, when some great Pretenders swept away its Abuses and Revenues toge­ther. Reforming Rectories, that were a competent maintenance for Men of Edu­cation, into Vicaredges, the meanness of whose Revenues cannot but expose the poor Incumbents to the contempt of the People; for be the Men what they will, or do they what they can, not only the Common People, but all men, will tram­ple upon their Poverty. And when all is done, that is the true ground of the con­tempt of the Clergy: Though there are many more Reasons for it, as the Pro­phaneness of the Age, and contempt of the Function it self, though that in a great measure first comes from the contempt of [Page 86] the Men and their Poverty: The wicked licentiousness of the Schismaticks in venting perpetual Lies and Calumnies against all Men that are truly honest for the Church: yet the bottom of all other Contempts, and that which will make them everlasting, is this Remediless Po­verty. And it is to be fear'd that the curse of God has, and does hang very heavy over this Nation for this wrong done to himself, and I doubt will never be remo­ved, till some Publick [...]re be taken to make him some competent Restitution; for if there be any one Sin punisht with signal and remarkable Judgments from Heaven, 'tis this daring Sin of National Sacriledge, of which I shall give the pe­culiar Reason, when I come to shew the high Obligation that is laid by God upon all Christian States to endow the Church with setled Revenues, which is so great, that without it, they cease to be Christian States. But to return to the Series of the History, as this Prince reform'd by him­self the abuse of Widows and Deaconesses, so did he correct the disorders of Monks, or the Professors of solitary life (for the first Monks were properly Hermites) and enlarge or contract their Priviledges ac­cording to his own Will or Pleasure, or according to the Temper of the Times. [Page 87] Thus whereas it had been an old Custom indulged them, to intercede with the Em­perors Judges for Mercy to Criminals and Malefactors, they grew so bold and inso­lent as to besiege the Courts, raise Tu­mults, and obstruct the whole course of Justice, of which Disorders complaint be­ing made by the Judges, he Publishes De M [...] ­nachis, l. 1. a Rescript to Command them from all Ci­ties into their Solitudes. And two years after, either upon change of Mind, or change of Affairs, or change of Councils, he cancels it. A very frequent thing that, with all Princes to alter their Laws of Privilege, as the conveniences of things alter'd. So the Emperor Valens, when great numbers of Men left their civil Em­ployments to herd among the Monks for ease and idleness, De D curionibus l. 63. ferrets them back to their business under pain of forfei­ture of Goods and Chattels. And so when Constantine the Great had granted great Immunities to the Clergy, and Exemptions from Publick Burthens, great Multitudes quitted their Stations in the Common­wealth to enjoy the Privileges of the Church, De E­pisc. l. 3.6. this forced him to enact a Rescript forbidding the admission of Civil and Military Officers into Holy Orders, lest under Pretence of Religion, the Ser­vice of the State be starved and defrauded. [Page 88] And there are no less than 16 Laws in the Theodosian Code against this abuse of Cle­ricatus, as they stile it, they may be seen all together at one View in Gothofred's Pa­ratitlon to the Title De Decurionibus.

But the most observable Act of Refor­mation is his Law to restrain the abuse of Ecclesiastical immunity, or the Sanctuary of Christian Churches, where all sorts of Persons that escaped to them, were prote­cted by the Clergy against the Execution of the Law, and they were grown so bold in the abuse of that Privilege, that they would not deliver them up till they had sued out their Pardon,9 Cod. Tit. 45. De bis qui ad Ec­cles. conf [...]g. l. 1. and therefore this Emperor strictly forbids them to receive or conceal any Debtors, especially those of the Crown, upon penalty of paying the Debt themselves. This was the first Law that was made of this kind, though the following Emperors were very quick-sighted in watching this abuse. For as such Customs naturally spring up of them­selves from that respect that all Men have to their Religion, and therefore this right of Sanctuary was common to all Reli­gions in the World, so having Supersti­tion to back it, it as naturally runs into abuse to the subversion of Justice and Ho­nesty, when under pretence of Mercy and Humanity, ill Men were shelter'd [Page 89] against the Laws, and honest Men cheated of their Rights; for I do not find any case in which it was at this time excepted, but only Treason, and therefore it was often requisite to give check to its Licentious­ness, as Theodosius here does in the Chri­stian Church,Tacit. An­nal. lib. 3. and Tiberius was forced to do as to the Heathen Asyla.

§. VIII. But beside these Laws made to abet the Laws of the Church, he made divers relating to Matters of Religion, which though they concern'd the Church, concern'd the State more, and therefore by vertue of that Authority, that he en­joyed as a Soveraign Prince antecedently to the Institution of Christianity, he made these Laws meerly by his own Imperial Authority, without consulting the Church, for the Security of the Empire. And a­mong these, the most remarkable, were the Laws against the Manichees, who thô they pretended to the Name of Christians, under that pretence, warranted the Pra­ctice of all manner of Wickedness and De­bauchery, and therefore were prosecuted by the Emperors of all Principles, as the common Enemies of the Peace of Man­kind, but most severely by this Great and Wise Prince. Though before him De Hae­ret. l. 3. Va­lentinian the Elder, when he allowed Li­berty [Page 90] to all other Sects, Christi [...]s, Jews, and Heathens, by which he embroil'd and endanger'd the Empire, enacted against their Meetings with all manner of severity, as a debaucht sort of People, not to be endured in humane Society. Or as Theodosius the younger expresses it in his Rescript De Hae­ret. l. 65. against all sorts of He­reticks, in which the Manichees are named in the last place with this particular severe Character, Et qui ad imam usque scelerum nequitiam pervenerunt Manichaei, as the ve­ry dregs of all Wickedness. De Hae­ret. l. And there­fore they are from time to time outlawed by Theodosius from all civil Rights; and as for their Religion, De Apo­atis l. 3. they are thrust down into the Catalogue of Apostates from the Christian Faith, and reckoned in the same rank with Jews and Heathens, and that was a Civility to Men, that were Apostates from humane Nature. Now as to such Laws as these, it is evident, that the Soveraign Power is enabled to enact them in both Capacities, both as a Sove­reign, and as a Christian Sovereign; and therefore because it belong'd to him to punish all Principles and Practices of De­bauchery, antecedently to his Christianity, he for that reason proceeded against them without any consulting with the Church, and that is the apparent reason why the [Page 91] Laws of the Empire against this debaucht Sect of Men are enacted purely by the Imperial Authority; whereas all their. Laws concerning Matters of Christian Faith or Discipline, still warrant them­selves by the Judgment and Advice of the Church.

But beside these Laws against these hu­mane Beasts, he enacted divers other Laws against Apostates, Pagans, and Jews, by his own Imperial Authority. His De Apo­statis l. 1. first Rescript against Apostates to Paganism was published in the year 381, and it was the first, that was ever publisht against them. For under Constantine and Con­stantius vast numbers of Heathens turn'd or pretended to turn Christians for a very obvious reason, as too much appears through the whole train of the Story: And the same Men under Julian turn'd Heathens again, and so had the Liberty to continue under Valentinian the Mode­rate; so that this was the first Emperor that had occasion to give check to the Sin of Apostacy. And indeed he alone, had Power to do it at that time; for when they turn'd Apostates, they were out of the Churches reach, because the utmost Punishment that the Church can inflict, is to cast them out of its Communion, which is here done by the Crime it self. [Page 92] And therefore such rank Offenders, are only obnoxious to the Civil Powers, for which reason, Christian Princes were usu­ally the more severe in their Penalties a­gainst them, and here the Penalty is, as the Lawyers Phrase it, Intestability, or disabling the Offenders from the Power of making a Will, which was under that Government in a great measure to outlaw them, or as it is express't in the next Law, ut sint absque Jure Romano, to deprive them of the Roman Rights and Liberties, of which this was the greatest branch. For, in the Roman Empire there was no settled Inheritance of Estates, but every man disposed of his own as he pleased, by Will; so that to deprive him of this Power, was in a great measure to dispossess him of the Power over his own Estate. And that was the proper Proportion of the Penalty to the Crime, that whoever cast himself out of the Christian Church, should be cast out of the Christian Em­pire too.

De Hae­ret. l. 2. In the year 383, he publishes ano­ther Rescript against Apostates; and in that distinguishes between Catechumenes and Christians baptized, and limits the Penalty of the former Law to the latter sort of Offenders, because they alone, were properly to be accounted Christians, [Page 93] whereas the Catechumenes were not as yet admitted into the Society of the Chri­stian Church, but were only Candidates for it, and so they could not in any sense, be term'd Apostates from the Church, who were really never of it. And at the same time, that Theodosius publisht this Rescript in the East, De Hae­ret. l. 3, 4, 5. Valentinian publisht ano­ther in the West, against all sorts of Apo­states, not only to Paganism, but Mani­cheism, and Judaism. Which he rein­forced Qui sanctum baptisma prophan. in the year 391, limiting the meaning of the Law to the Christians baptized, after the example of Theodosius, by whom he was entirely govern'd in all things, (who indeed was so grateful to the Prince that advanced him to the royal Dignity, that whil'st he lived, he was a kind and tender Father to his Son.) but as he mitigated the Law by restraining its extent, so he enhanced its severity by doubling its Penalties, deposing the Apo­state from all Honours and Dignities, as well as depriving him of the Power over his own Estate, and this without any hopes of Restitution upon Repentance, Sed nec unquam in statum pristinum revertentur; non flagitium morum obliterabitur poeni­tentiâ, neque umbrâ aliquâ exquisitae de­f [...]nsionis, aut Munimini [...] obducetur.

[Page 94]But to return to Theodosius; at the same time that he restrain'd Apostacy by his own Imperial Authority, without any concurrence of the Power of the Church, so did he by the same Power make severe Laws against Paganism it self. De Pa­ganis, l. 7. His first Law against their Sacrifices bears date the same year, and Gothofred thinks it the first that was made since the time of Constantius, which is the Interval of 25 years; and yet he could not be igno­rant that even Valentinian the Elder made a severe Law against their Night Sacri­fices; and therefore I suppose the Learned Lawyers meaning is, that this was the first Law that was made in all this time against all Heathen Worship in general;De Ma­leficis, l. 7. and so it was, for there is no other beside that particular Law of Valentinian against the Night Sacrifices. And though Gra­tian shewed not a little displeasure at Rome against their Idolatry by overthrowing some of their Altars, yet he enacted no Laws against it; whereas this great and pious Prince, is resolutely bent upon its utter Extirpation, and therefore forbids all Heathen Rites whatsoever under pain of Proscription. But having taken away their Sacrifices, he thought good to pre­serve their Temples, and convert them to some other publick Use, and to this [Page 95] end, De pag. l. 8. he writes the next year to Palla­dius, injoyning them to let the Temple of Edessa lye open to the common use of the People, in the Nature of an Exchange or a Guildhall, but to be watchful that no Sacrifices be privately offer'd in it, and withal to be careful of preserving the Images wherewith it was adorn'd, for the sake of their Art and Beauty, like the Gyants and Judges in Guildhall. In the year 385 he renews De Pag. l. 9. his Law against Sacrifices upon pain of Death▪ In the year 391 Valentinian by his Advice, who was then with him at Milan, Publishes Ibid. l. 10. a Rescript both against Sacrifices, Temples, and Images under a great pecu­niary Mulct. And himself at the same time Publishes the same Decree Ibid. l. 11. upon Pain of Death, by which was occasion'd the utter Destruction of the Famous and Ancient Temple of Serapis. And in the year 392 he seals up all, with Ibid. l. 12. a pe­remptory Rescript against all the particu­lar Rites of the Gentile Worship.

And lastly, as for the Jews, he by the same Imperial Authority without the con­currence of the Church, made some Laws in their favour, to protect and defend them in their Privileges. For all the Em­perors had all along indulged them the exercise of Discipline among themselves, [Page 96] by the Power of Excommunication: which was chiefly put in Execution by their Primates or Patriarchs, that pre­sided over all the Synagogues within a Province, after the same manner as Me­tropolitans do over all the Churches. These were the Supreme Judges of Scan­dals and Offences, and beyond them, there lay no appeal to any other Courts. But it seems some of the Emperors, Judges, and Officers (and it is much more easie to bank out the Sea, than the covetous Encroachments of this sort of Men) had broke in upon their Privileges, and usurpt a Power to themselves of commanding the restitution of ejected Persons. But to restrain this disingenuous Abuse and Sub­version of their Discipline, the Emperor Publishes De Ju­dais, l. 8. a Rescript to all his Officers, commanding them not to controul the Decrees of the Primates and Patriarchs, who were by the Imperial Law permitted to be the sole Judges in Matters of their Religion. And this was no more than a just and reasonable Civility after the grant of Discipline and Jurisdiction among them­selves: for that could be of no Effect, if once Offenders might gain Liberty to ap­peal to foreign Judicatures. And because the Jews had never been forbidden the exercise of their Religion by any Law, [Page 97] and yet were at that time disturbed in some Parts in the East by some over­zealous Christians, to the spoiling and destruction of their Synagogues, he writes to the Governor to restrain these Disorders with all possible severity. And this was the occasion of that hot Contest between the Emperor and St. Ambrose, when he enjoyn'd the Bishop of the place to rebuild the Synagogue, because he had encouraged the People to pull it down. In which matter I cannot but think St. Am­brose was more busie and zealous than be­came him, Lib. 5. Epist. 29. (as Men of great Spirits are apt to over-do) For what the Empe­ror enacted in the case, was only as Vin­dex disciplinae Publicae. When the Impe­rial Laws had given the Jews Liberty, who had Power to take it away, but the Power that granted it? And therefore if any of the Christians in a violent and tu­multuary way, took to themselves the liberty of demolishing them contrary to the Imperial Charter, they stood guilty of a Scandalous Riot, both against the Laws of the Empire and the Sovereignty of the Emperor. And whether the Go­vernment did well or ill in granting the Liberty, the Subjects had no Authority to controul it. They might have addrest to his Imperial Majesty, humbly repre­senting [Page 98] the inconveniences of that liber­ty in that place, which had they done, it is not to be doubted, but this great and pious Prince, would have given them both a wise and an obliging An­swer. But when in a popular Tumult and out of intemperate zeal, they shall presume to take a liberty to themselves by force to controul the gracious Con­cessions of their Prince, I think (by the good Fathers leave) that they deserved a more severe correction, then their Prince in his great Clemency was pleased to inflict upon them.

§. IX. Having represented in one view the Laws of this great and wise Prince in Ecclesiastical Matters; we may now proceed to the remainder of the Histo­ry of the Church under his Reign in the several Parts of the Empire. And the most remarkable transaction next af­ter the great Council of Constantinople, in which the Arian Heresy with all its Branches and Of-sets were for ever lopt off from the Body of the Christian Church, was the Council of Aquileia summon'd the same year, viz. Anno Dom. 381. consisting of Italian, French, Afri­can and Pannonian Bishops, that acted in the capacity of Legates from their seve­ral [Page 99] respective Provinces. This Council was convened by the Emperor Gratian in the West, as the Council of Constanti­nople was by Theodosius in the East, two Months after its breaking up, which was at the end of July, and the meeting of this, at the beginning of September. The occasion of it was this, Some of the He­reticks of the Arian spawn, presuming upon the favor and patronage of the Em­press Justina, complain to the Emperor of their unjust condemnation for the A­rian Heresy, and petition to purge them­selves in a general Council. This was vehemently opposed by St. Ambrose, as an unreasonable thing, that all the Bi­shops of Christendom should be perp [...]tu­ally forced to leave their Churches only to satify the curiosity, or (as he calls it) the scabbedness of two or three Men. But the Queens importunity overcomes the Emperor so far, as to prevail with him for a Council, which yet he sum­mons with that moderation, as to leave all the foreign Bishops at their own liber­ty to come or not. Which civility all the Bishops of the Western Church use with that respect, as to send their Le­gates and Representatives, and as for the Eastern Bishops, they inform his Majesty, that they had but just before assembled [Page 100] about the same Matter, and given in their peremptory determination. The Council being met, Palladius and Secun­dianus two Bishops that had been cen­sured for the Heresy, together with At­talus a Presbyter appear: and for clear­ing their innocence, they are required to condemn the Position of Arius, that the Father alone is Eternal. This they refuse, but this alone will satisfy, they must either subscribe his condemnation or submit to it. But they refuse both, and appeal to a General Council, but they are answer'd, That it is needless that all the Bishops of the Christian World should be forced to such tedious Journeys, to censure Men that had been already so often condemn'd in so many Councils. And withal, that this was a General Council, all the Bishops being acquaint­ed with it, who might have come if they pleased, that the Eastern Church had already given judgment against them in the Council of Constantinople, and that all the Western Bishops were present in this Council, either in Person or by their Legates. Then after a thousand other Tergiversations, they move for secular Judges and Moderators, the constant san­ctuary of the Faction, and probably the Queen and the Eunuchs had packt an [Page 101] Ignoramus Jury for them. But here St. Ambrose takes him up roundly, and throws off all farther patience. Et si in multis impietatibus deprehensus sit, eru­bescimus tamen, ut videatur, qui sacerdo­tium sibi vendicat, à Laicis esse damnatus. Ac per hoc, quoniam in hoc ipso damnandus est, qui Laicorum expectat sententiam, cum magis de Laicis Sacerdotes debeant judi­care, juxta ea quae hodie audivimus Pal­ladium profitentem, & juxta ea, quae con­demnare nolvit, pronuncio illum sacerdotio indignum & carendum, & in loco ejus Ca­tholicus ordinetur. ‘Although he be convicted of many Crimes, yet it puts us to confusion, that one who pretends to the Priestly Office, should choose to submit himself to the judgment of Laicks. For which alone he ought to be condemn'd, when as in such Matters as these, it is the peculiar Office of the Priest-hood to judg of Laymen, but these have no Authority to judg of them, and therefore according to this Profession of Palladius this day, and his refusal to condemn the Heresy, I pro­nounce him unworthy of the Priest­hood, to be deprived, and a Catholick Bishop to be placed in his stead.’ Which sentence against him and his Accomplices being ratified by the Council, they broke [Page 100] up, and acquaint the Emperor with the Result of their Proceedings. First thank­ing him for the gentleness of his Sum­mons. Vt nemo de esset volens, nemo co­geretur invitus. Quâm grave autem si propter duos in side cariosos, toto in orbe essent Ecclesiae sacerdotibus destitutae? Qui etiamsi venire propter itineris prolix­itatem nequiverunt, tamen omnes prope ex omnibus provinciis occidentalibus, missis adfuere legatis. ‘That no body might be absent but by his own Will, no body might be forced against his Will. What an hard thing is it, that all the Chur­ches in the World should be deprived of their Priests for two or thre worm­eaten Hereticks? who though they could not come by reason of the tediousness of the Journey, yet almost all the Bishops of the Western Provinces were present by their Legates.’ And secondly they acquaint him with the reason of their be­ginning with the Epistle of Arius. Eà videlicet gratiâ, ut quoniam Arianos se ne­gare consueverant, Arii blasphemiam aut incusando damnarent, aut astruendo defen­derent, aut certè non recusarent nomen e­jus, cujus impietatem perfidiamque seque­rentur. ‘For this reason, that seeing they denyed themselves to be Arians, they should be forced either to condemn [Page 101] the Blasphemy or to own it, and not refuse to be call'd after his Name, whom they followed in his Impiety.’ That was the state of things all along, that though they were Arians, they would not own it. Thirdly they petiti­on that he would be pleased to give Or­ders to his Officers to turn the Here­ticks out of their Churches. And last­ly, thank him for his De Hae­ret. l. 6. late Law a­gainst the Meetings of the Photinians, and inform him of one at Sirmium, with a request that he would break it up. Be­side this, they write two other Letters to the Emperors to petition their assi­stance towards quenching the Schisms on foot at that time at Rome, Alexandria and Antioch, that as Truth was, so Peace might be restored to the Church. Equi­dem per occidentales partes duobus in An­gulis tantùm, hoc est in latere Daciae Ri­pensis ac Maesiae fidei obstrepi videbatur. In Orientalibus partibus cognovimus qui­dem, summo gaudio atque laetitiâ ejectis Arianis, qui ecclesias violenter invaserant, sacra Dei Templa per solos Catholicos fre­quentari. ‘In the Western Church we found not above two obscure Bishops in the remote Corners of the Empire that opposed the Faith, in the Eastern Church all the intruding Arians were [Page 104] ejected, and the Churches fill'd with none but Catholicks.’ And thus we see from reign to reign, that the Heresy could never lift up its Head after the Ni­cene Council, and it was so far from over­spreading the World at this time, that there were but two Bishops in all the Western Church that were tainted with it, and though there were some more in the East, yet they were Intruders, such as came in by Violence and Court-Power, as we have seen through the whole Series of the Story. But as for the Schisms in the three great Sees, that the Council Peti­tions the Emperors to remove, they were at that time of a very fatal and perni­cious influence over the whole Catholick Church, and therefore that I may satisfie the Reader with a compleat History of all passages in this remarkable Reign, I shall as briefly as I can, give a full and compre­hensive Relation of them.

As for the Schism at Rome, it was kept up against Damasus by Vrsicinus, whose restless Spirit for a long time employed all the Power both of Church and State to suppress it. The Occasion of it was this, At the Death of Liberius, there were two Parties in the Church of Rome; his own, and the Party of Foelix, that had been substituted in his room by Constantius in [Page 105] the time of his Banishment, and that was the bottom of this Schism, one Party choosing Damasus, Anno 368. and the other Vrsici­nus; but Damasus having the Majority of Votes, carried the Election, though Vrsi­cinus and his Party will not yield it, till the Emperor Valentinian the Elder writes to Praetextatus the Praefect of the City, to give Damasus possession of the Cathe­dral; and for Security of the Peace for the future, to drive the Schismaticks out of the City with Liberty to reside any where but at Rome, and with leave too, to continue in it upon promise and secu­rity of peaceable Behaviour. Upon this,Anno 369. they unanimously leave the City, and set­tle in the Suburbs, and there keep their Meetings and Conventicles under Bishop Vrsicinus, which makes great Tumults and Disturbances both in City and Su­burbs. Of which the Emperor being in­form'd, he directs a Rescript to the Prae­fect, strictly charging and requiring of him, that no such Assemblies be kept within Twenty miles of the City. But the Schismaticks continuing turbulent, they are banisht into France, though in the year 371, the Emperor is graciously pleased to release their Confinement, and give them Leave to reside in any Part of the Empire, but the City of Rome and the [Page 104] Suburbicary Regions, with this Reserve, that if they transgress't their limits, they were to be punisht with all possible seve­rity, not at all as Christians, but meerly as Subjects, that were Factious and Sedi­tious in the Commonwealth. Qui si in­gratâ pertinacià Statutum mansuetudinis nostrae egrediendum putaverit; eundem non jam ut Christianum, quippe quem à com­munione Religionis mentis inquietudo dister­minat, sed ut hominem factiosum, pertur­batoremque publicae tranquillitatis, Legum & Religionis inimicum juris severitas per­sequatur. And in the same Rescript the same Decree is made against his Followers, as Baronius gives it us out of his Vatican Manuscript.Anno 371. N. 1, 2, 3, 4. Upon this they are quiet all the Reign of Valentinian, but after this under Gratian and the young Valentinian, they raise greater Stirs and Tumults. So that in the year 378 they are again Con­demn'd by a Council at Rome, though Baronius places it in the year 381, where­as it is evident from the Inscription of the Letter of the Council to the Emperors, that it was in this year of 378, for it is di­rected only to Gratian and Valentinian, and therefore it must have been written after the Death of Valens, and before the choice of Theodosius to the Empire. Now Valens was kill'd in August 378, and Theo­dosius [Page 105] chosen in the January following, and therefore it must have been transacted in that interval of time and no other. But they having done their part, they write to the Emperor Gratian to solicite him to do his, who as we find by this Letter had not been negligent in the Business, for that is the Contents of the first part of it, to return him thanks for his former Re­script. When this former Rescript,V. Labbé, Vol. 2. An­no 381. p. 1001. that the Letter speaks of, was publisht, I know not, neither is it, that I can find, any where extant. Baronius, that first brought the former Rescripts of Valentinian the Elder out of the Vatican Manuscript, is altogether silent about it. Labbé says it was in the year 374, upon what Ground or Authority he says it, I know not, for that Law, that he refers to, in the Theo­dosian Code,Lib. 9. Tit. 29. c. 1. is only a general Law against the Concealers of all sorts of Criminals, to make them liable to the same sort of Punishment, that is due to the Offender himself. But whenever it was Publisht, the Contents of it are evident from this Epistle, viz. to drive Vrsicinus into Banish­ment upon the Ecclesiastical Sentence against him. But for all that, Vrsicinus and his Faction grow stubborn, and are suffer'd through the negligence of the Go­vernors, to spread their Schism, and in [Page 108] some places (as the Council here inform the Emperor) to over-awe his Judges with Tumults, threatning them with no less than Death it self; and for that Reason they request his Majesty to renew his for­mer Rescript against them. Upon this the Emperor writes a very chiding and threatning Letter to Aquilinus, Vicarius of the City, complaining of the Negligence and Dishonesty of his Officers, qui priva­tae gratiae imperialia praecepta condonant, who sacrificed the Emperor's Commands to their own private concerns, and as he afterwards expresses it, Hactenus stertit iners dissimulatio Judicum, Notwithstan­ding all our Commands hitherto, the Judges snore and counterfeit inadvertency. And therefore he requires him under high and unusual Threatnings, to put his Law in execution against them for their Banish­ment an Hundred miles from the City, and gives him this general Rule, Vt con­demnati Judicio rectè sentientium Sa [...]er­dotum, reditum postea vel ad Ecclesias, quas contaminaverant, non haberent, vel re­dintegrationem Judicii frustrà à nobis im­pudenti pervicacià precarentur. That when they were condemn'd by the regular Sen­tence of the Priestly Order, they should not be permitted to return to their Chur­ches, that they had defiled, or to move [Page 109] for a re-hearing in the Civil Courts. And after this we hear no more of them till the Council of Aquileia in the year 381, who sent a Letter to the Emperor Gratian, first Publisht by Sirmond, Ne inter bellicas ne­cessit [...]tes obreptio im­portuna te [...] ­t [...]tur. lest whil'st he was involved in Wars he should be pre­vailed upon to abate of his Severity against them. And to their former Crimes of Faction and Sedition, they now inform him that they had joyn'd Communion with the Arians, to strengthen their Par­ty, and enable them more effectually to disturb the Peace of the Catholick Church; what was done upon it, I find not, for we hear no more of them till the Death of Damasus, and the Election of Siricius in the year 385. who was violently op­posed by Vrsicinus, but Vrsicinus was ut­terly rejected by the People, and con­demn'd by a Rescript of Valentinian the younger, extant only in Ad an­num 385. M. 6. Baronius out of his Vatican Manuscript▪ and after this we never hear any more either of him or his Schism.

The second Schism was that of Alexan­dria, that began immediately upon the Death of St. Athanasius, by whom upon his Death-bed Peter an ancient Presbyter of that Church, and the inseparable Com­panion of all his Troubles, was recom­mended for his Successor, and was accor­dingly [Page 108] accepted with the unanimous Suf­frage both of the Clergy, the Magistrates, and the People. But he was scarce warm in his Episcopal Throne, before he is for­ced by the Governor of the Province to quit it to save his life, and so takes San­ctuary at Rome. He was scarce gone, but Euzoius, that had been at the beginning of the Heresie with Arius, that was the only Man that stuck to him in his Banish­ment, and had now at last by the help of his good Masters the Eunuchs thrust him­self into the great See of Antioch, and with him one Magnus, a great Officer at Court, and an eminent Instrument at that time in all the Persecutions against the Catholicks, Soc. l. 3. c. 4. bring Lucius to Alexan­dria with a strong Guard and an Imperial Mandate to put him in Possession of that See. This Lucius had been often catching at the Prize, but could never seize it till now. Upon the Death of George in the Reign of Julian, he put in for it against Athanasius; and in the Reign of Jovian he and his Friend Euzoius in vain preferr'd Articles against him for his Ejectment, but now [...], Theod. l. 4. c. 22. by the help of his Money, as Peter up­braids him, and the Pro­curement of the Eunuchs under Valens, he takes violent Possession of [Page 109] it. And being an Usurper, he is forced to govern as all hated Usurpers do, and outdoes his bloody Predecessor George in Cruelty and Barbarity; a large Description of the unparallel'd outrage against the Catholicks by Magnus may be seen in Pe­ter's Lib. 4. c. 21, 22. Letter extant in Theodoret. And so things continued in the same Posture till the year 377, when Valens was terri­fied with the Invasion of the Goths, that were come up to the very Walls of the City of Constantinople, at which time say the Historians he call'd home the banisht Bishops, or rather, as others say, he and his Courtiers being otherwise employed, they take that Opportunity to return home. And so Peter comes to Alexan­dria with the Recommendation of Dama­sus the great Bishop of Rome, and is re­stor'd with universal joy of the People, and Lucius forced to fly for help to the Emperor and his Court-Patrons then at Constantinople, that was at that time little better than Besieged, and before the Em­peror had any leisure to mind his Com­plaints, he by his own rashness came to his Unfortunate end, of being Burnt by the Enemy in a Cottage, where he had taken shelter in his Flight. And so from this time Lucius continued in Exile at Con­stantinople, till Demophilus the Arian Bi­shop [Page 112] that succeeded Eudoxius in that See, and all his Party, among whom Sozom. l. 7. c. 5. Lu­cius is particularly named, were turn'd out of the City by Theodosius the Great in the year 380. At which time Peter dies, and Timotheus succeeds him, for Lu­cius now having but small hopes left of re­covering his Bishoprick under such an Or­thodox Emperor, made no attempt for it. And now comes the great Council of Con­stantinople, where the Nicene Faith is esta­blisht for ever, and in pursuance of it De Hae­ret. l. 6. an Imperial Law made to take away all Churches through the Empire from the Hereticks of all Denominations. For which the Council of Aquileia soon after sitting in the West, send him the fore­mention'd Letter of thanks, farther im­ploring his assistance for the Settlement of the Church, and this of Alexandria in particular, where the present Bishop was overwhelm'd with inveterate Schisms and Dissentions. In order to which they move his Majesty, that he would be pleased to call a Council at Alexandria, particularly to determine who of the He­reticks should be received to the Commu­nion of the Church, and upon what terms, which they thought in such a vast number of Offenders, too invidious a work for the Bishop to undertake by his [Page 113] own Authority. What followed upon it I know not. For Ex­trav. de Episcopali Judicio, l. 3. the Rescript of this Emperor to the Praefect Optatus to give Timotheus full Power of Judicature in Ec­clesiastical Causes, and to be assistant to him is apparently forged (for there was no such Praefect as Optatus at that time) as well as all the other Laws under the Subdititious Title De Episcopali Judicio, the unanswerable proofs of it may be seen in Gothofred's Extravagans. But proba­bly without any farther care, things set­tled of themselves under so wise a Reign, for Timotheus sat peaceably in his See to his dying day, without any disturbance that we read of from his Enemies. When they saw the Church defended by such an Emperor, they were content to sit still, for Men are not wont to make their At­tempts, where they have no hope of Suc­cess. But still we see by the whole pro­gress of this Alexandrian Schism, that the Disorders of the Church proceeded not from it self, but the Dishonesty of the Court Eunuchs.

The last great Schism of that Age, that the Council of Aquileia mentions in their Letter to the Emperor, was that at An­tioch, which began sooner, and lasted longer than either of the other. How the matter was composed between Paulinus [Page 114] and Meletius, we have seen above, that upon the Death of one of them, the Sur­viver should have the Government of the whole Church. But upon the Death of Meletius, Flavianus sets up against Pauli­nus, and his own Oath too, for he had abjured the Bishoprick as long as either of them should live. And he makes so ma­ny Friends as to keep it till the great Council of Constantinople, and have it con­firm'd to him by the Authority of the Council, where the Business was transa­cted by a Seditious Party with such dis­orderly Heats and Tumults, as almost put the great Gregory Nazianzen out of love with Councils, whose angry words upon a particular occasion against the abuse of some in his time, are peevishly and ab­surdly applied by our Innovators against the use of Councils in general. The Ec­clesiastical Abridger almost runs mad for joy of his Satyrical Expressions, and though as an Orator the good Father re­presented his Complaints and Invectives bigger than the life (for that is the use of that sort of Eloquence) R. B. has pretty well improved it with a scurvy Transla­tion, and made it look more like railing than handsom Satyr. But what would you have of a meer Abridger of Binius, poor Man, he never looks into the secret [Page 115] of the Story, and the connexion of things, but he finds in Binius that such a Council was held such a year, and out of him he gives a crude Epitome season'd with some malicious Reflections against the Bishops, and so has done. But alas, if he had but had any insight into the Series of the Story, and understood the Mystery of the Eusebian Faction, by whom all these Disturbances were raised in the Church, it would have spoil'd the Malice of all the Abridgment. For whereas his whole de­sign is to load the whole Body of Bishops with the Miscarriages of the Church in all Ages, it is evident all along, that the Bo­dy of the Bishops labour'd against all those Miscarriages that he has ignorantly and maliciously charged upon them, and that all those Disorders committed in the Church from the time of Constantine to the time of this present Council, were the Acts and Contrivances of some wicked men that crept into the Church by Si­mony and Court-favour, and were ena­bled to do all that mischief that they did in it, in spite of the Opposition of the Good Bishops, by the Power of the Eu­nuchs. So that all these Disorders were so far from being the Acts of the Ecclesia­stical Power, that they were the meer effects of its Oppression. And such were [Page 116] these very Men that labour'd to raise this Tumult in the Council, as is evident from Nazianzen's own account of them, and that in short is this. He at first earnestly en­deavour'd to perswade them to acquiesce in the former Agreement, and to have but a little-Patience, in that Paulinus was a very old Man, had one foot in the Grave, and could not long stand in their way upon the other. But he is hiss't down by the factious Party, as a Betrayer of the Supreme Prerogative of the Eastern Church, that (they said) ought to be preferr'd above the Western, because our Saviour was Born in that part of the Em­pire. For that was the pretence of their Zeal in this foul Matter, that Paulinus had been ordain'd by Lucifer Calaritanus a Western Bishop, which they will needs have to be a dishonourable Intrusion upon the Eastern Church, and therefore in de­spite to that Usurpation, they will set up Flavianus, and by their noise and clamour tire the old Bishops into a complyance, but Gregory Nazianzen quits the Council through meer indignation, and seeing how things were like to go, and what troubles he was like to encounter in that great See, he soon after resigns his Bishop­rick of Constantinople. Of which the Fa­ction make their advantage of playing [Page 117] over their old Game for creating a Divi­sion between the Eastern and Western Church. An Artifice, as we have seen, first started by Eusebius of Nicomedia, and ever after kept on foot by the Fa­ction. For the Western Church had been all along true and faithful to the Orthodox Faith, and happy in a succes­sion of Orthodox Emperors, and there­fore the Easterling Merchants that hi­therto made a trade of their Religion, and changed their Faith with their Inte­rest, greedily seized all Opportunities of breaking with the West, where the Faith was fixt and settled, because such a set­tlement would break the Court-Exchange for Preferments upon every Turn of Af­fairs. And such Eceboliuses were the Bi­shops that raised and promoted this dis­order. They had ever changed their Faith with the Times, and as they had bought their Bishopricks of the Courtiers under Constantius and Valens, so were they resolved to keep them under Theo­dosius. And therefore finding his Reso­lution to stand by the Nicene Faith, they readily vote with the Council for its esta­blishment, but to prevent the establish­ment of the Church, they start this new and unseasonable Controversie about the Ordination of Paulinus, to keep up the [Page 118] division between the East and West. Their wrigling and changing of Faith, and their buying and selling of Prefer­ments, is admirably described by Grego­ry himself in the Poem of his own Life, upon his resignation, from whence I have chiefly collected this whole Story.

[...], &c. You are wel­come Chap-Men, how often soever you may have bar­ter'd your Faith, now 'tis high Fair-time, let no Man de­part without a good penny-worth.

And now let R. B. here set his Presby­terian hand, as his custom is, to point out this Character of this prophane Fa­ction against all the good Catholick Bi­shops, with his cold Exclamation. Are not these lamentable descriptions of the Bishops of those happy Times and excel­lent Councils? But no multiplying-Glass like Malice, unless, perhaps Ignorance. Upon this Hinge all along turn'd this Controversy, it was not kept up by any zeal for the Arian Heresie, but the Here­sie it self was only pretended to keep up divisions in the Church, and by that means a good Exchange was kept up at Court for the sale of Church-Preferments upon every turn of Times. And so here [Page 119] upon Gregory's Resignation, every Man hoped for a good penny-worth, but the Courtiers were grown too cunning, and it being so valuable a prize, instead of sharing with the Church-men by Simony, seize the Bishoprick for themselves, Ne­ctarius an unlearned Man, but a great Courtier, I know not by what art, but I am sure by too much interposition of the Emperor, being against all the Canons of the Church hoisted into it. And it is the great blemish of that Princes reign, though it may perhaps be some excuse that he stretcht a point to serve a Friend. But the Western Church is startled at these irregular Proceedings, and upon them Pope Damasus a resolute Man, and one of the first that valued himself upon the great Authority of the Apostolick See, moves the Emperors Gratian and Theodosius to grant a Gene­ral Council at Rome for the better settle­ment of things. But the Eastern Bishops baulk their appearance upon pretence that they cannot be so long absent from their Flocks, having been assembled the year before at Constantinople, and therefore send only their Legates with a Copy of the Acts of the Council. With which the Council at Rome were so [...] satis­fied, [...] with very little [...] [Page 120] adjudged the See of Antioch to Paulinus alone, and yet forbore to denounce the sentence of Deposition against Flavianus, for fear the Faction should take the ad­vantage that they watcht for, to break off Communion with them. In order to which it is probable that they raised the Bishop of Constantinople to so great an height of dignity, as to take place and precedency next to the Bishop of Rome, who upon the account of the Grandeur of the Imperial City had all along held the greatest esteem in the Christian Church. And by vertue of this Decree of the Council at Rome, Paulinus takes and keeps possession of his Bishoprick to his dying day, and is succeeded in it by Evagrius. Of the legality of his Succes­sion against the claim of Flavianus, see St. Ambrose his 78th Epistle, that runs parallel so luckily with l. 5. c. 23▪ Theodoret's partial story, as to discover all its parti­cular flaws and dawbings: For says The­odoret, after this they would never let Flavianus be at quiet, but tired the Em­peror with Complaints against him, till he undertook his defence himself, and by it so satisfied the Western Bishops, that they promised reconciliation to him, upon which he sent his Legates to treat the Peace, which was at last agreed on [Page 121] in the time of Innocent the first. But ac­cording to St. Ambrose his account, who was an Actor in the business, the Story runs thus. The Emperor upon the Com­plaint of Siricius, that succeeded Dama­sus, against Flavianus, refers the Cause to a Council at Capua, but Flavianus refuses to appear, and moves for an Eastern Sy­nod. But the Bishops at the Council be­ing aware of this old device of dividing between East and West, immediately vote Communion with all Bishops of the Eastern Church, that own'd the Ni­cene Faith, of whatsoever side in this Controversy, to cut off that old pretence of Schism, upon which Flavianus relyed. Upon it he peremptorily refuses all ap­pearance, and upon that they refer it to Theophilus Bishop of Alexandria and the Egyptian Bishops, but he shuns the refe­rence and takes shelter at Court. Upon which the good Father thus expostulates. Frustra ergo tantorum sacerdotum fusus la­bor. Iterum ad hujus seculi Judicia re­vertendum? Iterum ad Rescripta? Ite­rum vexabuntur Sacerdotes senes, trans­fretabunt maria? Iterum invalidi corpore patriam peregrino mutabunt solo? Iterum sacrosancta Altaria deserentur, ut in longinquum proficiscamur? Iterum paupe­rum turbae Episcoporum, quibus ante one­rosum [Page 122] paupertas non erat, externae opis e­gentes compellentur inopiam gemere, aut certè victum inopum itineris usurpare? Interea solus exlex Flavianus, (ut illi videtur) non venit, quando omnes conveni­mus. But soon after this Soz. l. 7. c. 15. Evagrius dyes, and Flavianus bestirs himself that no Successor should be chosen, but yet for all that the People would not be re­conciled to him. And St. Chrysostom coming at this time to the Throne of Constantinople, Soz. l. 8. c. 3. he prevails with Theo­philus of Alexandria to join with him in an Ambassy to Rome, to reconcile Flavi­anus to the Western Church, and by that means to remove those heart-burnings, that were kept up between the Eastern and Western Bishops upon that account. Which was done with some success, for it abates the Schism, though it does not end it. And so things stood till the death of Flavianus in the year 404, who is succeeded by Porphyrius, Pallad. dial. a Bishop of the Court-mould, of as bad a Chara­cter, and as true an Huckster, as ever was bred up in the shop of the Nicome­dian Eusebius. He procured both the banishment of his Competitor and his own Ordination by money, and when he had once got into his See, he govern'd by force of Arms, and gets [Page 123] de his qui super Religione contendunt. l. 6. an Imperial Rescript from the young Emperor Arcadius, commanding the Bi­shops to communicate with him upon pain of deposition. And this became a profitable Fair at Court, many of the Eastern Bishops rather choosing to be de­posed, than to defile their Consciences by allowing Communion with so vile a Man. But at length the Wretch dyes in the 408. And Alexander is unani­mously chosen, who put an end to the Schism, that had lasted 45 years. And thus we see from whence almost all the Schisms and Disorders of the Church pro­ceeded, meerly from the Ambition of ill Church-men, supported against the Churches Authority by the Power of the Court. This was the great Plague of the Church after the Emperors became Chri­stian, and we shall find all along that the Church was either opprest or protected, according as the Emperor himself watch­ed against this abuse of his Courtiers. And to defend the Church from it, was in all Ages the highest Act of the Imperial Protection. And this we have here seen at large by the example of this great Princes reign, who was himself careful of the Churc [...] Li [...]erties, and as far as he could [...] s [...]ffer'd no Court-mer­chandise in it. And yet many Enormities [Page 124] were committed, and that even in the great Council of Constantinople it self, in the case of Flavianus, but that was by reason of ill Men, that were got into the Church by this ill practice, under his Pre­decessors Valens and Constantius.

§. X. The last remarkable transaction that I shall take notice of in this reign, was the Heresy of the Priscillianists, and the concurrence of the Powers both of Church and State for its suppression. For though the Emperor Theodosius was not concern'd in it, yet it being upon the Stage in the time of his Reign, I shall take it into the Story of his time. The matter of Fact is described with most ac­curacy by Sulpitius Severus, who lived at the same time, though he lived not long enough to see the end of the Heresie, for he concludes his history with the four hundredth year of our Lord in the time of Honorius, whereas this blasphemous He­resie was not utterly rooted out till some time after. And setting aside his gross defect of judgment, and his excess of par­tiality on the wrong side, which yet is so enormous that it cannot impose upon a­ny Readers understanding, unless such an one as Mr. B —'s is, perverted by rank malice, the Heresie is so described [Page 125] both by himself and divers others of the Ancients, as shews the necessity of sup­pressing it not only by the Civil Magistrate, but the Civil Sword. For by all accounts of it, it was no better than a meer Cen­to of all the Blasphemies of the Gno­sticks and the Manichees, together with some new secret and obscure Sacraments among themselves, and the religious pra­ctice of all sorts of Villainy and Dishone­sty. That is the compendium of it, as it is set down by St. Austin. De Hae­re [...]bus.

Priscillianus institu­it, maximè Gnostico­rum & Manichaeo­rum dogmata per­mixta sectantur. Quamvis et ex aliis Haeresibus in eas sordes, tanquam in sentinam quandam horribili confusione confluxerint. Prop­ter occultandas au­tem contaminationes et turpitudines suas, habent in suis dog­matibus et haec verba. Jura, perju­ra, secretum prode­re noli.The Priscillianists, that were founded by Priscillian in Spain, held chiefly the Opinions of the Gnosticks and the Manichees, though they drew together the dregs of all He­resies as into a com­mon sink of un­cleanness, and for the concealing of their horrible bru­tishness among themselves, have set up this among their Principles, Swear or forswear, but be sure not to betray the Secret.

[Page 126] Epist. ad C [...]esiphon­tem.Or as St. Jerom adds to the Character, that as they devoted themselves wholly to Lust, so in their unclean Embraces they were wont to sing this Stanza of the Prince of Poets.

Tum Pater omnipotens, faecundis imbribus aether,
Conjugis in gremium latè descendit, et omnes
Magnus alit, magno commixtus corpore, foe­tus.

The very lake of Sodom, and I might add of Geneva too, they as well as their Masters, the Gnosticks and Manichees being branded by all the Ancients for the Atheistical Principle of Fatality. This Heresie was first brought out of E­gypt into Spain by one Marcus, and by him Priscillian a Man of a sharp Wit but infinite Vanity was poison'd, who by his eloquence and neatness of address soon disperst the contagion over all Spain, and especially among the Female sex, who, as Sulpitius expresses it, being always gree­dy of Novelties,Ad hoc mulieres no­varum rerum cupi­dae, fluxâ fide, et ad omnia curioso inge­nio, catervatim ad eum confluebant. of unsettled Principles, and of wanton Fan­cies, flockt after him in whole sholes of Proselytes. [Page 127] And it took with that success, that the Plague got among the Bishops them­selves, Instantius and Salvianus, both Bi­shops, being seduced into the Party, and initiated into the Secret, which being discover'd by Adigynus Bishop of Corduba to Ithacius Bishop of Emerita, he with Idacius prosecuted them with all severity, not only by ecclesiastical Process, but be­fore the Civil Magistrate, as they sup­posed, to nip the mischief in the bud, but as the Historian thinks,arbitrantes posse inter initia ma­lum comprimi. with too much fury, or with more zeal than discretion, by which, he sayes, they were rather exasperated than reclaimed. But for my part, I cannot understand how men of such lewd and desp [...]rate princi­ples, that destroy the natural modesty and the common faith of mankind, can ever be pursued with too much violence. Such men as these are not proceeded against as Heretiques in the Faith, but as Apostates from humane Nature, as Thieves, Rob­bers, Cut-Throats, and Banditi, that de­clare open hostility to the Peace of the World. But the Historian was led into his soft-natur'd Opinion by the Authority of St. Martin, a weak and unlearned man, of great devotion, but very little under­standing, [Page 128] who interceded with great zeal to save the Lives of the Malefactors, and if he had begg'd them of the Government as an Act of Mercy, it might not have been altogether unbecoming the tender­ness of a Religious man, but when he re­quired it as a duty of his Superiours to keep hands off from such vile Offenders, he only shewed the pertness of his humour and the weakness of his Understanding. But first of all, they are proceeded against by the Censure of the Church in the Coun­cil of Caesar Augusta (i. e. Caragosa, the Me­tropolis of Aragon in Spain) in the Year 380, in which the Bishops are deposed, and the Lay-men excommunicated, and the Sentence signified to all foreign Churches, to prevent their receiving them into Communion. And withal several Canons are enacted against the particular customs and practices of the Heretiques: As first, That Women be not permitted to preach in Publique, as Agape one of the first of the Sect, a wanton and immodest Woman had done, and others after her Example, and this priviledge no doubt was the great Lure that drew the talking Sex so thick into the Faction. The next Canon is made against fasting on the Fe­stivals of the Church, and that cross­grain'd temper was common to all the [Page 129] Fanatique Heretiques in all Ages, to do every thing in contradiction to the esta­blisht Laws and known Customs of the Church, as we have seen above by the Canons of the Council of Gangra against the Eutactans or Eustathians. The next Canon is to anathematise those who re­ceive the holy Eucharist without eating it: For that was the common Practice of those prophane Wretches, that they might avoid discovery, to seem to communicate with the Catholiques even in this great Sacrament, but that they might not be guilty of joyning in true and real com­munion, secretly to conveigh it away, and so turn it into occasional Communion, as we call it. And to the like purposes are the other Canons. The Heretiques being thus condemn'd in Council, they make Priscil­lian the Bishop of their Sect, upon which Ithacius and Idacius apply themselves to the secular Magistrate, and at length gain a Rescript from the Emperour Gratian to banish them, not only from all Citys, but out of the Empire it self. For the words in Sulpitius, extra omnes terras, can signi­fie no less, though Notae in leg. 35. de Episco­pis. Gothofred surmises that their meaning reaches no farther than the Territories belonging to that par­ticular City that they inhabited: As when any man was banisht from Rome, he was [Page 130] banisht an hundred miles from it, because so far its Territory or Suburbicary Diocess extended. As in the case of Vrsicinus, who when he was driven out of Rome, was confined to keep at that distance. But I would fain know of the learned Civilian, where he ever met with this sense and construction of extra omnes Terras, when put absolutely, though he knows it was a common phrase to express the whole Em­pire. And so it must be taken here, for the men were condemn'd to banishment for propagating wicked and debauch't Principles; and if that were only out of the Province in which they lived, that would be but a means to spread the Con­tagion over all the Countrey. And there­fore the Priscillianists upon the Publica­tion of the Rescript were not only forced to quit their own particular Provinces, but Spain it self, and farther their Prosecutors were not concern'd to pursue them. But having quitted Spain, they betake them­selves to Italy, and there endeavour to clear their Innocence to Damasus Bishop of Rome, and Ambrose Bishop of Milain, but they are so wise, as to refuse so much as to see or hear them. Upon that they are forced to betake themselves to the standing shift of all Heretiques, to buy off the Laws of the Church with the Cour­tiers. [Page 131] And to this end they bribe Mace­donius the Magister Officiorum, who there­upon prevails with the Emperour to re­verse his Rescript against them, where­upon they return home with triumph, and rebribe Volventius the Governour so powerfully, that he forces Ithacius to fly his Countrey. Who thereupon betakes himself to Gregorius the Emperour's Prae­fectus Praetorio in France, to whom Vol­ventius was subject as his Vicarius, and acquaints him with the disorders in Spain, and upon the information he immediately commands his Spanish Vicarius to send the Heretiques to him, and in the mean time, whilst they were upon their Jour­ney, informs the Emperour of all their wicked pranks.

But all in vain,Sed id frustra fuit: quia per libidinem & potentiam pauco­rum, cuncta ibi ve­nalia erant. Igitur Haeretici, suis Ar­tibus, grandi pecu­niâ Macedonio da­tâ, obtinent, ut im­periali Autoritate Praefecto erepta cog­nitio, Hispaniarū Vi­cario deferatur. Sulp. Sever. l. 2. p. 445. for by reason of the ex­orbitant power and wantonness of a few men at Court, all things were there exposed to sale, and therefore the Here­tiques after their old custom with a great Sum of Money bri­bed their old Patron [Page 132] Macedonius, to per­swade the Emperour to take the cogni­sance of the matter from the Praefectus Praetorio, and refer it back to his Vice [...]rius in Spain.

Which was accordingly done, and a Messenger sent by Macedonius to seize Ithacius and carry him Prisoner into Spain, though at that time he escaped his hands. In the Year 385. the Tyrant Maximus rebels, and overcomes Gratian in France, and after his Victory coming to Treives, where Ithacius then resided, he immediately makes his address to him against the Heretiques, who storms at them, and immediately commands the Governours of France and Spain, to con­veigh them safe to a Synod at Burdeaux, in which Instantius is deposed. But Pris­cillian appeals from the Judgment of the Council to the Emperour, and accordingly himself and all his Partisans are carried before him at Treives; where St. Martin being at that time, he advises Ithacius to desist from his Prosecution, and Maximus to spare their blood,Namque tum Martinus apud Treveros constitu­tus, non desinebat incre­pare Ithacium, ut ab ac­cusatione desistent; Maxi­mum orare, ut sanguine infoelicium abstireret: sa­tis supérque sufficere, ut Episcopali sententiâ Hae­retici judicati, Ecclesiis pellerentur: novum esse et inauditum nefas, ut causam Ecclesiae judex seculi judicaret. because it was more than enough that they were con­demn'd [Page 133] by the Episcopal Sen­tence, and de­prived of their Churches, and that it was a new and un­heard of Pro­phaneness, that a Secular Judge should give Sen­tence in an Ecclesiastical cause.

In which Advice the good man has be­trayed great Ignorance of affairs, and great Weakness of understanding: Ignorance, in that it was so far from being a novelty or prophanness, for Princes to enact penal Laws in Ecclesiastical causes, after the Judgment of the Church, that it was ever look't upon as a piece of their duty to abet it, if they approved it, with secular Laws and Penalties. And weakness, in that he thought deposition from their Bishopricks a sufficient punishment for such men, as Sul­pitius himself says were not worthy to live.Homines luce indig­nissimi. And if they were not so, how could he find fault, as he there does, with the [Page 134] ill example of put­ting them to death?Pessimo exemplo ne­cati. For they were not proceeded against as meer Heretiques, but as Villains, and therefore it was a great meanness of Understanding in St. Martin, to think an Ecclesiastical Censure a sufficient punishment for such men, as had renounced, not only the honesty, but the modesty of humane Nature, and that was their crime, as appears by the con­demnation of Priscillian. For though St. Martyn whilst he continued at Treives kept off their Tryal, yet he was no sooner gone, than Maximus referr'd the Examina­tion of the whole matter to Evodius, of whom Sulpitius gives several Characters;C. 23. here he is vir acer et severus, in the life of St. Martin, Vir quo nihil unquam justi­us fuit. But before him upon a double hearing Priscillian is convicted of all the Crimes laid to his charge,Qui Priscillianum gemino judicio au­ditum, convictumque maleficii, nec diffi­dentem obscaenis se studuisse doctrinis, nocturnos etiam tur­pium saeminarum e­g [...]sse conventus, nu­dumque orare soli­tum, nocentem pro­nunciavit. and himself confesses that he taught Doctrines of uncleanness, that he kept night-Conven­ticles with lewd Women, and that he was wont to pray naked before [Page 135] them Upon which he is condemn'd. And a Narrative of the Proceedings de­liver'd to the Emperor. Who was so sa­tisfied with the Evidence of the Testi­mony and so disgusted with the foulness of the Confession, that he immediately beheaded Priscillian with some of the Ring-leaders and banisht the rest, and he thought the Matter so foul, that he had not confidence to express it, as he af­firms in his Letter to Pope Siricius.

Quid adhuc proximè proditum sit Mani­chaeos sceleris ad­mittere, non argu­mentis, neque suspi­cionibus dubiis vel incertis, sed ipso­rum confessione inter Judicia prolatis, ma­lo quòd ex gestis ip­sis tua sanctitas, quàm ex nostro ore cognoscat: quia hu­jusmodi non modo fa­ctu turpia, verùm e­tiam foeda dictu, prol [...]qui sine rubo­re non possumus.What discovery was lately made of the wickedness of the Manichees, for so the Priscillianists were at first vul­garly call'd, not from doubtful or uncertain Suspici­ons, but from their own Confessions, I had rather that your Holiness should be inform'd from the Acts themselves than my Mouth, because I have not confidence to say [Page 136] such things, as are too foul not only to be acted but spoken. And I think the most merciful Prince could scarce have been less severe to such a Crew of de­bauch't Ranters: They are the worst sort of Men, that turn Religion into open wick­edness, and practise all the lewd and dis­honest things, that the worst of Men can act, with the confidence and autho­rity of a divine Commission. I am sure it was no more severe than what was done by the great Theodosius himself in his Laws against the Manichees, De Hae­ret. l. 9. in one of which he distinguishes between the Contemplative and the Practical Here­ticks; the first he out-laws, but as for the others, known by the names of Eucrati­tae, Saccophori, Hydroparastatae, and I know not what salvage Sects more, he brings them under the sentence of death. And is withal so severe, as to appoint an Inquisition for their discovery; and in truth no care can be too great nor pun­ishment too severe, when Men under pretences of a stricter Piety, bring in the practice of all sorts of uncleanness and immorality. And that was the case of these brutish Wretches, they pretended to singular mortification, and under it acted all the Wickedness, that humane Nature was capable of committing. And [Page 137] therefore in such Cases as these it was a great mistake in St. Martin, to think a Censure of the Church sufficient punish­ment, and to disswade the Prince from drawing the temporal Sword against them, when if ever it is necessary, it is certainly most so, when Men pervert Religion to the subversion of humane So­ciety. And then if they are executed, it is not for their Heresie against the Faith, but their Treason against the State, and such Traitors all such Men are that teach such Doctrins, as destroy the Faith of Mankind, and the Peace of humane So­ciety. And therefore how blame-wor­thy soever Ithacius might be in his own life or manner of prosecuting, (and Sul­pitius gives him a very ill Character as to both) no wise Man could ever have blamed him, so severely as he has done, as to the prosecution it self, and no good Man could have been too active in bring­ing such brutal Wretches to their due punishment. And therefore it was at best, but an indiscreet action (suppo­sing the truth of the Indictment, which Sulpitius himself allows) in Theognostus and his Followers in separating Commu­nion from him for prosecuting, though in a cause of blood. When what he did in that case, he was obliged to do as a [Page 138] Member of the Common-Wealth and antecedently to his holy Orders, which certainly to whatsoever degree of Gen­tleness they may oblige a Man, they cannot cancel that duty, that by nature he owes to his Country. And it is no better than Julian's Sarcastick Abuse of our Saviour's Laws to apply his Precepts of Mercy and Forgiveness against the just execution of Laws, as if his Religi­on were set up (as the Apostate pro­phanely objected to it,) only for the sub­version of Civil Government. The du­ty that he commands is a point of Pru­dence as well as Vertue, that Men preserve the temper of their Minds in all the in­tercourses of life: they may prosecute a Malefactor to the Gallows without strangling themselves with spite and re­venge, but only for the same ends, for which the Government, that owes him no malice, inflicts the Penalty of the Law upon him. A Man may hang a Thief, and forgive him too. And there­fore it was no better than a rash and weak action of Theognostus, St. Martin and their Adherents in general to con­demn Ithacius his prosecution of the Priscillianists, as if it had been inconsi­stent with the meekness of a Christian, but much more the exemplary mercy of [Page 139] a Bishop. It is indeed an Office that no good-natur'd Man can ever be fond of, and less becomes a Clergy-man than any other; but yet it is not unlawful, nor the breach of any Precept of our Religi­on, and therefore he could not be justly condemn'd for it; nay it was so far from being a Sin, that it was a duty both in him and all other good Subjects to take care of the preservation of the Common-Wealth, by indeavouring to remove such plague-sores out of it. And therefore Maximus did but do him justice to call a Synod at Tr [...]ives to absolve him from the Excommunication of Theognostus, and if he had beside that, punisht Theog­nostus for indeavouring to intercept and obstruct publick Justice, I cannot see but that he had acted as became a good and a wise Governor. At least I am sure it is much less decent for a Clergy-man to patronize wicked Men against the Laws than to prosecute them, provided they have reputation enough (which the Ci­vil Law requires, and all other Laws ought to do) to qualifie them for Evi­dences. If indeed these had been Male­factors of an ordinary size, it might not have been unbecoming a Bishop to inter­pose for mercy, but Men that were made up of nothing but Villainy, were [Page 140] beyond the reach of compassion, and no Man, in whatsoever station he was pla­ced, ought to spare their prosecution. And therefore it was no better than Monkish stubbornness in St. Martin, to refuse com­munion with the Prosecutors after the judgment of the Council; and though he was at last induced to communicate with the Council it self by Maximus, who bought that condescension of him, by giving him the Lives of two of his Friends, that had been loyal Officers under Gratian (though our crude Abrid­ger says, that it was for the sake of a great Priscillianist) yet upon it he quit­ted the Council, and could have no peace till he received absolution from an Angel, after which he would never more communicate with the Bishops, and that I take to be no better than Monkish En­thusiasm. These affectations of mercy are very popular things, and easily seize Men possess't and tainted with mortified Va­nity, for there is generally the height of pride and ostentation, under the pomps and shews of Humility. And this I doubt was St. Martin's case, who though he was a devout Man, yet he was alto­gether unlearned and indiscreet and most miserably over-run with the Scurvy of Enthusiasm, and not understanding the [Page 141] true nature of Pride (as none of that sort of Men do) he was apparently acted by it in all his singularities to the very height of a Cynical vanity, that is the rankest sort of Insolence in the World. And this is too evident from his Story, as it is told by De vi­tâ Martini c. 23. Sulpitius himself. To give one instance for all, when he was treated by the Emperor, who invited all his Nobles to the Entertainment, he car­ried one of his Presbyters along with him, and the Emperor being very proud that he had reconciled to himself and his ill Cause, a Man so much adored by the People, treats him with all the flat­teries of Civility, seats him next himself, and places his Presbyter in the midst of his Nobles, that was the highest Place at the Table. A Cup is brought to the Emperor according to custom to drink in the first place, he commands it to be given to St. Martin, expecting at least that he would have return'd the Com­plement, but he without any farther for­mality very fairly takes off his draught, and so delivers the Cup to his Presbyter, as the best Man in the Company next to himself. And this piece of rudeness the Emperor was forced to applaud, be­cause his Inter [...]st at that time obliged him to flatter the holy Man, though o­therwise, [Page 142] as far as I can discern, it seems very much to exceed the sawcy Answer of Diogenes to Alexander the great, when he offer'd him whatever he would ask, thrusting him aside with a Prethee friend stand out of my Sun. This Cyni­cal Vanity is very incident to Monkish Men, and there are few of them that e­scape the itch, but when it is pre­dominant and meets with success and ap­plause in the World, as it did in this good Man, it becomes down-right Enthusiasm and perfect drunkenness, whence came his so frequent Visions, and converse with Angels, and incounters with Devils, and a great number of strange things that he told of himself, the poor Man serious­ly believing his own dreams and deliri­ums for want of animal Spirits, to have been true and real transactions. But to let that pass, whether there were any touch of vanity in this intercession for the Priscillianists, or not, I am sure there was very little discretion. Baronius would excuse him from the reason, upon which he proceeded, viz. the abuse that would follow upon an inquisition of the Hereticks, which Maximus intended in Spain. That I confess was one reason (and I think) a good one too, for dis­swading the Emperor from sending the In­quisitors, [Page 143] such Persons being so very apt to abuse their trust, as he had already found by experience, but the general ground that he stood upon was this, that they ought not to be punisht by imperial Laws, but only by the Censures of the Church, and that it was no less than an act of unheard of prophaneness in the Emperor to proceed against them. That reason is general, and extends to all pro­ceedings abstracting from the abuse, and so Sulpitius Severus confesses in the ve­ry place where he gives that reason in the life of St. Martin, as well as in the history it s [...]lf as it is set down above.

Pia enim erat soli­citudo Martino, ut non solum Christia­nos, qui sub illà e­rant occasione vexan­di, sed ipsos etiam haereticos liberaret.For St. Martin was possess't with a re­ligious care,Dial 3. that not only the good Christians, that might have been prosecuted under that pretence, but the Hereticks themselves might escape the Prosecution. So that when Priscil­lian had confess't such foul things at his Tryal, as are recorded by Sulpitius, and were not to be endured in any heathen Common-Wealth, yet because he call'd himself a Christian, he was not accord­ing [Page 144] to St. Martin's Politicks to be punisht according to the merits of his Crimes, and that is the thing that Maximus him­self informs him of, that they were con­demn'd by the common Rules of Justice and ordinary pro­ceedings of Courts,Dial 3. Haereticos jure damnatos, more ju­diciorum publicorum, potiusquam insecta­tionibus sacerdotum. rather than the pro­secutions of the Bi­shops. And yet e­ven Epist. l. 7. sp. 58. St. Ambrose himself seems to be against cutting them off with the Civil Sword, but at that distance of place, it is to be supposed that he understood not their Offences, but only took them for a new sort of Hereticks, as is clear from the Epistle it self. And in point of He­resie all Men would be tender of sangui­nary Laws, and so most of the ancient Fathers were, who though they were for Laws penal, yet they were for such on­ly, as reacht not Mens lives. But the case of the Priscillianists was of another kind, they were not Hereticks from the Faith, but Apostates from humane nature, and the common Faith of Mankind. And therefore if St Ambrose had understood the secrets of the Sect, he would never have opposed cutting off such unheard of Crimes with the Civil Sword, that were [Page 145] not to be indured under any Govern­ment, without any regard to religion. And therefore when the heathen Orator Pacatus in his Panegyrick to Theodosius the Great, aggravates this prosecution of the Bishops as unbecoming their Function, his design was only to cast an Odium up­on them, and their Religion, otherwise it was no piece of inhumanity to prose­cute such enormous Crimes as were pro­ved by the very Confessions of the Offenders them­selves;Quid hoc majus po­terat intendere ac­cusator Sacerdos? Fuit enim, fuit et hoc delatorum genus, qui Nominibus anti­stites, revera autem satellites atque adeo carnifices, non con­tenti avitis evolvis­se patrimoniis, ca­lumniabantur in san­guinem, et vitas premebant reorum jam pauperum, &c. and that the Orator himself thô an heathen, nay though an Atheist, ought to have been as vehement in their prosecution, as he represents the Bi­shops to have been, though it were not only to preserve the present Peace and Government of the World, and that is every Man's concern for his own parti­cular safety. And as for Sulpitius Seve­rus his angry remarque upon it, that it gave Priscillian the advantage and repu­tation [Page 146] of Martyrdom, and by that means gave new life and confidence to the Par­ty, it is a weaker surmise than all the rest. For though Martyrdom in a good Cause is a very popular Argument, yet in a bad one it soon sinks into the disho­nor of a just Execution. And though it is no hard matter to bear it up a little time among the People to support the honor of a Faction, as was done by the Donatists of old and our Regicides of late, yet when they have done all, such foul things will sink by the weight of their own Wickedness. And so did this, for after this time we hear no more of them in the Imperial Laws. For though there are some Laws enacted against the Pris­cillianists by Honorius and Theodosius the younger, among the whole rout of He­reticks, especially the 40th and 65th de Haereticis, yet these related not to the followers of Pris [...]illian in Spain, but to a branch of the old Gnostick Heresie, that (as 2. Var. 175. Pancirolus and Ad an­num 428. p. 531. Baronius observe) had their name from Priscilla, and was synonymous with the old name of Phry­ges. So that this severity of Maximus was so far from animating the Party, (as Sulpitius injudicouisly suggests,) that for all their great noise of triumph, it struck it dead. For though leud Men [Page 147] will venture upon strange and extrava­gant things, where they have any pre­sumption of impunity, yet when they find their lives at stake for the debaucht frolick, that quickly spoils the jest. And that was the case here, the leud Here­sie was really chopt off with the Au­thor. And though Sulpitius complains that it lasted 15 years, yet it lasted no longer, and was the most short-lived of all the Heresies, whereas the Gnosticks and the Manichees, of both which it was compounded, continued some Ages be­cause not prosecuted with the same seve­rity. And this too might have ended sooner, had it not been protected by the indiscretion of St. Martin and some o­thers, that either did not, or would not understand the true state of the Contro­versy. Which after all accounts of it is best stated by Pope Leo in his Epistle to Turibius Bishop of Asturicum. In whose time the Vermin began to appear again in a remote corner of Spain or Portugal, Epist. 93. v. Labbès Concil. vol. 3. p. 1409. as they did again afterwards, but never more, in the time of Pope Vigilius, as appears by his Letter concerning them to Eutherius or Profuturus a Bishop in those Parts. Pope Leo's Epistle determines the Matter thus— Meritò Patres nostri, sub quorum temporibus haeresis haec nefan­da [Page 148] prorupit, per totum mundum instanter egêre, ut impius furor ab universà Eccle­sià pelleretur: quando etiam Mundi princi­pes ita hanc sacrilegam amentiam detesta­ti sunt, ut auctorem ejus ac plerosque di­cipulos legum publicarum ense prosterne­rent. Videban [...] enim omnem curam h [...]ne­sta [...]is auferri, omnem conjugi [...]rum copulam solvi, simulque divinum jus humanumque subverti, si hujusmodi hominibus usquam vi­vere cum tali professione licuisset. ‘Our An­cestors, in whose time this prophane Here­sy sprung up, took all possible care to root the madness out of the Christian World, when at the same time the secular Prin­ces so abhorred its outragious wicked­ness, that they put to de [...]th with the Sword the Author of it, together with his chiefest Proselytes; for they were sensible that by it, all the Obligations to honesty were destroyed, all the sacred bands of Marriage dissolved, all Laws both Divine and Humane subverted, if these Men were allowed to live any where with the profession of their de­baucht Principles.’ This is the true state of the case, and yet it is the only great instance of cruelty, that R. B. is perpe­tually bellowing out against the bloudy, the persecuting, the turbulent, the destroy­ing, the proud, the contentious, the ambi­tious, [Page 149] the hereticating, the merciless, the furious, the confounding, and the God-damn-you Prelates, and fire brands of the World. For these are the most usual Titles of ho­nor, that this Man of meekness and heal­ing is pleased to bestow upon the reve­rend Bishops of the ancient, as well as the present Church. But though he is pleased to throw them out at random a­mong the whole Order, yet when he comes to particulars, his whole Catalogue of Bonners and bloody Bishops is nothing but this story of Ithacius and the Pri­scillianists continually repeated in his fourscore books and upwards, and by re­peating one tale so often has made it so many stories. But poor Richard tran­scribes in so much hast, that he has not leisure to examine and weigh his Records, no nor for the most part (which is much worse) to construe them; for though he is very abounding with his in specie, he is very defective in his In speech, and has of late bless't and obliged the World with such heaps of historical Ignorance, as cannot but be a full satisfaction to the Age, that Presbytery and skill in antiqui­ty, are inconsistent things. But as for this particular out-cry about Ithacius, if he had but in the least understood the true state of the case, he could never [Page 150] have prevail'd with himself to triumph over its cruelty, with so much transport and insolence as he has done, in so much that he seems to be more pleased with their Execution, then the bloody Prelates themselves, only because it serves him for a Common Place of railing at them, and that is the sweetest gratification to his healing Spirit. But what were these poor silly harmless Hereticks that were so barbarously butcher'd by these inhu­mane Prelates? Were they meer He­reticks in a point of Faith, as the Arians were? Were they meer Schismaticks from the Communion of the Church, as the Donatists were? No, but they were a rout of Villains that under the pretence of a greater Purity, taught all the leud­ness and wickedness that humane Nature could commit, and daily reduced their Doctrin to practice among themselves. So that their Crime was not any heresie against the Christian Faith, as this crude Rhapsodist supposes, but an Apostasie from humane Nature, and subversion of humane Society, and an utter debauch­ing of humane Kind. Now when such Monsters of Men, that were implacable Enemies to the Peace of the World, arose within the Neighbourhood of some Chri­stian Bishops, I cannot see how they could [Page 151] any way have excused themselves to God and their Country, if they had not in­deavour'd a speedy stop of the Contagi­on. For this concern'd them not as Chri­stian Bishops, but as Men and Members of the Common-Wealth which it was apparent that these Mens Principles ut­terly subverted, and therefore for that very reason were they bound to let the Government know its danger. And though their Office as Christian Bishops obliged them to mercy, yet not to such foolish mercy as would undo the World. And that was their case, they did not prosecute Hereticks, but Rebels and Traitors. And that Office I think as much becomes a Bishop, if he loves his King and his Country as another Man. But it seems there is no cruelty so terri­ble in the Eye of a Presbyter, as to bring Rebels to their due punishment. And it looks like strange confidence that Men who have confess't themselves Men of Blood, and cut honest Mens Throats for their Loyalty, should complain of the cruelty of executing Villains for their Rebellion. So that in the Result of all, and granting the truth of the whole Sto­ry, the conclusion will amount to no more than this, That the difference be­tween the Prelatical and Presbyterian Itha­cians [Page 152] is, That the one is for gleaning up a few Malefactors to preserve a Nation, the other is for reaping the whole field, and that is the true thorough Presbyterian Reformation.

§. XI. Theodosius dyes in the year 395. after an happy and glorious reign, ha­ving clear'd the Eastern Empire of Goths, Persians and Arians, and twice recover'd the Western from the Usurpation of Ty­rants, Maximus and Eugenius, and le [...]t both Church and State in a settled and prosperous Condition, insomuch that it is but a due and just Character, that is gi­ven of him by Bar [...]nius. Nullus unquam Romanorum Imperatorum, Ad annum 395. N. 2.8. qui non heredi­tario jure parenti Augusto successerit, ita legitimè, ita opporrune, ita fructuosè atque fideliter ad regimen Romani est cooptatus Imperii. ‘That none of the Roman Em­perors, that came not to the Crown by inheritance and lineal Succession, were ever taken into a share of that Power, that managed it with more skill or honesty, and to the greater benefit of the Empire.’ And yet he can no more escape the Barkings of Zosimus (as Pho­tius calls them) than all the other Chri­stian Emperors, but his Calumnies con­sist not in ill Stories, but in ill Characters, [Page 153] that are as well consuted by his whole History of this great Princes actions, as by Paulinus his Apologetick, and St. Am­brose his Funeral Oration, to which I re­fer the Reader, and shall only give this Character out of a more knowing Au­thor, because contemporary, and an Eye witness of his Actions, and though a more impartial, yet no bribed Author, because an heathen too as well as Zosi­nus, and that is Aurelius Victor who con­cludes his History with this Character of him, having compared him to Trajan he adds that ‘He was a Prince courteous, merciful and familiar, thinking himself to be distinguisht from other Men only by the Imperial Robe: bountiful to all Men, but to a degree of prodigality to good Men, he loved Men of Integrity, and honor'd Learning, if without craft, he bestowed his great bounty with a greater mind. He loved his Subjects, and loaded them with Honors, Wealth and Kindnesses, especially those that he had found faithful to him in any di­stress. And yet he had so great a de­testation of those Vices, for which Tra­jan is blamed, luxury and love of tri­umph, that he never raised Wars, but found them, and strictly forbid all luxu­ry and extravagance at his Table, and [Page 154] was so tender of continence and mode­sty, that he forbid the Marriage of Cou­sin-Germans as well as Sisters. He was competently learned, he was inquisitive and curious to know the Monuments and Actions of his Ancestors, and ex­press't an high indignation against such, who by their Pride or Cruelty had at­tempted any thing against the publick Liberty, as Cinna, Marius and Sulla, and all Tyrants whatsoever, especially if false and ungrateful. He was apt to be offended at a base Action, but soon ap­peased, and therefore in a little respite he would soften harsh Commands; and he had that vertue by Nature, that Au­gustus learnt of the Philosopher, who ob­serving him to be somewhat too passio­nate, advised him, that he might do no­thing rash and cruel, whenever he found himself begin to be angry, to repete the Greek Alphabet, that his suddain Pas­sion being diverted, it would in a short time cool. But that which is more mi­raculous and unusual, he grew better by his Prosperity and great Victories. For whereas the Tyrants had rob'd the Subjects of great sums of Money, he re­imbursed them out of his own Exche­quer, whereas the most gentle Princes thought it enough to leave them their [Page 155] bare Estates and harrass't Lands. But now as for smaller Matters, and things acted within the Court, which because they are more secret, more invite Mens curiosity: He honored his Unkle as a Father, his Nephews he loved as Sons, he was a Father to all his Relations: he loved neat eating, but hated extrava­gance. He was facetious in his dis­course, but so as to keep up his gravity: a kind Father and a loving Husband: mode­rate in his exercise which was chiefly in walking at leisure times, he govern'd his Appetite by his Health, and so dy'd in Peace at Milan in the 50th year of his Age.’ This is the Man that the rude Historian is not ashamed to accuse of destroying the Roman Common-Wealth by his Lux­ury, Negligence and Oppression, both without giving any one instance of any of those Vices, and against his own hi­story, by which it is evident, that he was the Saviour of the Empire. But Theodosius was a true lover of his Religion, and that exasperated the Zeal and Malice of this bigotted Pagan. Insomuch that notwith­standing the unparallel'd success of his Arms, the highest Character that he can give of him, is that only, that he was no ill Soldier, though this civility he soon after eats again, by saying that he destroyed [Page 156] the military Forces and brought them to nothing, so that it seems he vanquisht all his Enemies without an Army, or which is as likely, as he reports it, that he con­quer'd all the Barbarians by their own Re­negado's without any Order or Discipline.

After him succeed his two Sons, Arca­dius in the East, and Honorius in the West, who finding things so well settled by their Father, it was enough for them to preserve them in the same posture, in which they found them. But though he had pretty well quell'd all the other Hereticks, especially the Arian spawn, yet the Donatists in Africk had escaped his just severity, and therefore Honorius un­dertakes them, and how they were at last reduced and utterly destroyed, we have already seen in the history of that Schism. So that the main Transaction of this reign is already dispatch't, and what remains, will not require much difficul­ty, their other Ecclesiastical Laws being for the most part only ratifications of their Fathers Rescripts, and by their per­sisting in the same way of Government, and Theodosius the younger following in the same track, they brought the Church to a better settlement, than it ever attain'd in any other Age. And in the first place,from the 24 to the 36. there are 12 Laws of [Page 157] Arcadius extant in the Theodosian Code, against Hereticks, enacted in the first five years of his Reign, that were nothing but Enforcements of former Rescripts, but chiefly his Fathers, that had not been executed through the negligence or trea­chery of Officers.

His first Law was enacted in the year 394 in his Father's life-time, and when he was absent in the War against Eu­genius, and the occasion of it was the connivance of the Judges, as he declares in the Law it self, by which all the Im­perial Constitutions were defeated and in effect evacuated. Against which abuse of Government, this Constitution is par­ticularly enacted, and that was the Ca­lamity of the Church in all Ages, to be oppressed by the Courtiers at home, and betrayed by the Judges abroad. For as we have observed, that after the disposal of Preferments in the Church came in­to the Court, the Eunuchs under careless Princes, turn'd the Church into an excise of Simony; so 'tis observable, that though Laws were continually enacted against all sorts of Dissenters and Recusants, yet it was the complaint of every Reign, that they lost their effect by the remisness or dishonesty of the under-Officers, who cared not to carry any thing thorough [Page 158] for the benefit of the Church, but when they saw it coming to any Degree of set­tlement, they let fall the execution of those Laws, by which it might have been brought to perfection. And till smart Fines and Penalties were set upon the heads of the Governors and Judges them­selves, the Imperial Laws in behalf of the Church, lost the force of their obligati­on, and that was the true Reason why most of the Rescripts of the former Em­perors came to no more effect, because their Officers cared not to put them in effectual execution. And though they durst not at first, and whil'st they were fresh, wholly slite their Authority, yet in time, when ever the Emperors were diverted to other thoughts and cares, they let them sink into contempt and oblivion. And that was the true reason, why the same Emperors were forced from time to time to renew the same Laws, and of this Theodosius himself was at last sensible. But from this time forward that these young Emperors, made the Judges them­selves Parties upon the Non-execution of any of their Laws, they had their true force and did their business, and by this method they vanquisht that stubborn Schism of the Donatists, De Haereti­cis l. 25. that had for so many years bafled all the Power of the [Page 159] Empire. The next Law of Arcadius was made at his first entrance upon the Go­vernment, by which he confirms all his Fathers Rescripts against the He­reticks, and cancels all private and spe­cial Indulgences to them, and particularly as to the Eunomians or Anomaeans he re­vives the former Law of Intestability, which his Father a little before his death upon the streight of Eugenius his Rebel­lion, had revoked.l. 27. And so did this Em­peror himself in the very same year, by a Rescript to Caesarius, who was made Praefectus Praetorio by Eutropius the Eu­nuch after the murther of Rufinus, chang­ing his Councils with the change of Mi­nisters of State. And that was another unhappy miscarriage of several of the Emperors, especially whil'st raw and un­experienced at their first coming to the Government, that they were not con­stant to themselves and their own Mea­sures; for that brought contempt, not on­ly upon the Laws, but upon their own Understandings, and frequent change of Opinion argues both fickleness of Mind and want of Consideration. And though when once a Law is made, though it may not be so convenient, as might have been expected, it is better to bear with it, than lightly to reverse it, the reverence that [Page 160] Resolution brings to the Authority of the Government will be an ample compen­sation for the inconvenience of the Law. His next Law is made to give force to all his Royal Fathers Laws against the Meetings of Hereticks,L. 26. and to put them in execution without reserves and limi­tations, whether the Conventicles were held by Bishops or any other Ecclesiasti­cal Order. Which last clause was proba­bly added,Lib. 8. c. 1. as Gothofred very well ob­serves, against the Macedonians at Con­stantinople, who as Sozo [...]en relates, had no Bishop of Constantinople at that time, but from the time of Eudoxius who de­prived them of their Churches under Con­stantius, were under all the succeeding Emperors govern'd only by Presbyters. Upon this Aurelian, Pro-consul of the les­ser Asia, where the Hereticks had always chiefly nested (though their swarms were never numerous) inquires of him in the case of Euresius, what his Maje­sty intended by the name of Heretick.L. 28. To which he returns this short and smart Answer, That it comprehended all that departed from the Catholick Church, thô in never so small a Matter. The mean­ing of this Law has very much puzled the Canonists, or rather they have puzled themselves about it, it being their Trade, [Page 161] because it is their gain, to create obscu­rity and raise variety of Opinions about all Laws. Otherwise the true meaning of this Law is sufficiently evident from the Words themselves and the occasion of its enacting, viz. that all departure from the Catholick Church as such, is He­resie. The Hereticks even of the Arian Fa­ction, were subdivided into divers Parties and distinguisht by such Niceties, that it was hard to understand their different Metaphysicks, and therefore the Empe­ror to make short work of it, and with­out perplexing his Laws with Entities and Quiddities, plainly defines, that be they what they will, if they are not Catho­licks, to him they are Hereticks. The occasion both of the Inquiry and the Law was Euresius a Luciferian Bishop, who coming about that time out of some other Part of the World into the Pro-con­sular Asia, but not joining Communion with the Catholicks, nor yet holding a­ny different Opinion from them▪ the In­quiry was, Whether he ought to be com­prehended in the Catalogue of Hereticks. Yes, says the Emperor, if he be not a Ca­tholick, that is enough: It concerns not us to inquire into his particular Fancy, his meer dissenting, be the difference never so small, is to us and in the Eye of the [Page 162] Law, Heresy. This was truly Imperial, and became the Greatness of a Sovereign Prince. He knew not what Euresius was, nor would he inquire, as long as he dissented from the Catholick Church, whatever was the ground of his Quarrel, it was all one to his Government. Now the singular conceit of the Luciferians was this, that they were over-zealous in the Catholick Faith to the subversion of Catholick discipline; and because the Catholick Bishops received the Hereti­cal Clergy upon their repentance to com­munion in their Clerical Capacity, they broke off Communion with them. So that though they were in propriety of Speech only Schismaticks, yet the Em­peror will trouble himself with none of those Niceties, and be they what they will, they are in the sense of his Law, Hereticks. This is the plain meaning of this intricated Rescript, and though it may seem somewhat severe to punish all Opinions alike, and make no difference between the least and the greatest Here­sies: yet if we consider the design of the Imperial Laws, they can make none, for it is the Church, that is the proper Judg of the Heresie it self, so as to proportion the Punishment to the Crime. But when that is done, the Civil Power only comes [Page 163] in to abet its Sentence, for the settlement of Peace in Church and State. That is his proper care and province, so that if the peace of either be any way broke, that is the Crime that he is properly con­cerned to punish. And indeed the less the difference, the greater the fault, for what it wants in pretence, it exceeds in peevishness▪ and that is of all others the rankest Affront to Government, it car­ries open contempt in the Crime, 'tis disdain as well as disobedience, and a plain spitting in the very face of Authority. The same year this young Prince issues out an Order to Marcellus the Magister Officiorum, L. 29. to make inquiry after Here­ticks in the Army or any Place of Trust, particularly the Court and the Guards, and if he discover'd any, not only to dis­band or displace them, but to banish their Officers, by whose connivance they had crept in, out of the Walls of Constantino­ple. And in the year following he inter­dicts all Meetings of all Hereticks not only in Churches, but in Vestrys,L. 30. Church-Prisons, and all other Places by Night or by Day, by which little shifts they thought to elude the Laws of Theodosius the Great, that only prohibited their Meetings in Churches. And the execu­tion of this Law is injoin'd with a severe [Page 164] Pecuniary Mulct upon Clearchus Prefect of Constantinople to whom it was dire­cted, and upon his Under-Officers, that had hitherto winked at such illegal Meetings, if by his or their connivance such shufflings with the Law should for the time to come be made use of to eva­cuate its Obligation.

At this time the Eunomians raised new Tumults by new Divisions among them­selves:Soc. l. 5. c. 24. Soz. l. 7. c. 27. One Theophronius having got a little smattering in Aristotles Logick, set up a new Metaphysicks of his own, and was opposed by Eurychius an illiterate Trades-man. And this made a new fewd not only among themselves, but the old Eunomians, and upon it the Emperor e­nacts two Rescripts in the years 396, and 397, to banish all their Leaders first from all Cities, and then out of the whole Em­pire, or as they express it, c [...]tibus huma­nis, from the conversation of all Mankind. So endless a folly is metaphysical nicen [...]ss in Divinity, if once indulged the wan­tonness of its own curiosity. And upon the same account the Macedonians subdi­vided into two new Factions, Dorotheus heading one, and Marianus the other, there is no end of scabs and scratching, when once Men are over-run with the itch of Disputation.L. 34. But upon what ac­count [Page 165] unless the stubbornness of the Fa­ction I know not, his next and last Edict against them commands their perpetual silence in all Places, and the burning of all their Books, and both upon no less Penalty than Death it self. This Law being of so severe a strein, was no doubt made upon some special Provocation, as generally capital and sanguinary Laws were, particularly the 51 and 56 of Ho­norius against the Donatists, and therefore being made in some suddain transport of Passion, we do not find that they were ever put in execution, for the Emperors never put Men to death for meer Heresie, the Circumcellians were hang'd as high­way Robbers, the Priscillianists and pra­ctical Manichees were put to death as Debauchers of Mankind, but otherwise the Imperial Laws reacht not Mens lives in case of Heresie, it being a standing rule of the Fathers, that their punishments ought to be such, as to leave the Of­fenders in a capacity of repentance. Nay they were so far from touching Mens lives, that they rarely or never, that I remember, inflicted any bodily punish­ments. Their usual Penalties were pro­scription of Goods, confiscation of Estates, forfeiture of the Meeting Houses, depri­vation of the Priviledges of a Roman Ci­tizen, [Page 166] incapacity of bearing Office in Church or State, intestability, and last of all, banishment of the Preachers and all that conceal'd them: which last, as it proved the most easy and effectual pun­ishment for the extirpation of any Here­sy, so it was least odious and grievous to the People, extending not to the gene­rality, but only to a small handful of Men. This Law with another at the tail of it, inflicting severe Penalties upon all Officers that neglect its execution, is strong enough to master the most head­strong Faction in the World. And with this sort of Law does this young Empe­ror conclude all his Laws against the Eu­nomians. [...]. 36. In the year 399 he remits the usual punishment of Intestability, and be­side the infliction of the other common Punishments, relys chiefly upon the de­portation of the Preacher, and so after that, we hear no more of them in his reign, and as by this means he rooted the Eunomians out of the East, so did Honorius vanquish the Donatists in the West, for all the following Rescripts of this reign under this Title de Haereti­cis, are his Constitutions against that Sect, of which we have had an account already.

[Page 167]§. XII. But beside these Penal Laws a­gainst Hereticks, Honorius enacted di­vers Laws of Priviledg to the Catholicks: No wonder then if (as the Historians ob­serve) the Hereticks flockt so fast into the Church under the reign of these two Princes,Sozom. l. 8. c. 1. when they followed nothing but Sun-shine and Court-favor. And there­fore seeing that these Princes were resol­ved to tread in their great Fathers steps, and to annex the Preferments of the Church to the Orthodox Faith, they had no other hopes left, than to tack about to it: and when they could not after all their pains make the Church come to them, it is not to be supposed that Gen­tlemen of their yielding and waxen tem­per, would be so stout as not to bend to that. And so at length this powerful Fa­ction, that had so long imbroil'd the Christian World with Wars and Tumults of Wars from the very time of Constan­tine the Great, now began to forsake themselves. And those very few that stuck to the Cause rather out of peevishness than Principle, relyed only upon their remains of Court Interest for their sup­port, as we are informed by Sy­nesius concerning some of them that came into his little Diocess of Ptolemais, [...]. to debauch the [Page 168] Church there, setting up Quin­tianus for their Bishop, backt, as they boasted by Court-power, so that it seems though the Em­perors had declared against them, they were so far from wanting Friends there, that they were proud of their strength. [...] At his first coming to the Crown he confirms all manner of Privi­ledges granted by any of his Predeces­sors to the Church, and commands his Officers that they diligently perform the duty of Tuition: i. e. that they defend and protect the Priviledges of the Church against all Invasions, and if it were re­quisite from Violence. And therefore this Office was both Civil and Military. Ci­vil Tuition was the standing Office of the Civil Magistrate to protect the Church in its Priviledges: The Military was a lawful Guard allowed by the Civil Magistrate to defend any Publick Assembly from violence, [...] and therefore this kind of Tuition was not granted in the Con­tests of private Men (and there is an ex­press Law of Theod [...]si [...]s the Great to re­strain it) but only to Publick Societies, as to the Jews to guard their Synagogues, and to the Navicularii, [...] l. 6. i. e. those Offi­cers that carried away the Tribute Corn from other Places to Rome or Constanti­nople, [Page 169] who were constrain'd to have Guards for their defence against the fury of the hungry Rabble: and to the Christian Churches to protect them from the As­saults and Outrages of Hereticks, though this was rarely put in Execution anywhere but in Africa, where it was necessary to defend the Christian Assemblies against the Troops of the Circumcellians. De Episco­pis l. 31. And this Emperor was at last forced to restrain their fanatick Violence by Capital pun­ishments, requiring withal of all his Of­ficers to put it in execution by vertue of their Office without the Complaint or Information of the Bishop, because his Function obliged him to acts of Mercy; and if the Offenders made any resistance, they were impowr'd to fall upon them with the Emperors Forces, whose assi­stance they were by this Rescript autho­rised to demand in his Majesty's Name. This was a brisk Law, but nothing more gentle than this, could make any impres­sion upon Men of their temper and bloo­dy Principles. And here the clause com­manding the Officers to proceed against them without staying for the Bishops complaint, cui sanctitas ignoscendi solam gloriam reliquit, is very remarkable, be­cause it becomes Bishops in such Cases to spare Mens lives,Ad Don [...] ­tum Epist. 127. and therefore St. [Page 170] Austin tells the Proconsul of Africa, that if he put the Donatists to death, they should cease their Information against them. But this is quite different from the Case of the Priscillianists, because these are particular Offences and Miscar­riages against particular Men, whereas their fault was a general Offence against Man­kind; in the one the Crime lay in the A­ction, that may be forgiven, because but transient; in the other it lay in the prin­ciple, that cannot, because perpetual. So that though it may be a decent Act of Mercy in a Bishop to interceed for par­don to a criminal Action, yet to do it for a debaucht Principle, were to make him­self Patron of the Wickedness.De Epis­copis l. 30. But to proceed, in the year 397, he publishes a Law against the Mutilation of the Privi­ledges of the Church, and this the Em­perors were often forced to do, because thir Officers and Governors were apt to oppress them. Especially where the Church was wealthy, and the Governors hea­then, as Theodorus was to whom this Rescript was directed, they were very forward to hook them in towards bear­ing their share in those publick burthens, from which they were exempted by Law. And in the year 399 the same Law is re­peated with a pecuniary Mulct, Ibid. l. 34. not only [Page 171] upon the Offender that commits the Crime, but upon the Judg that connives at it.De Religio­ne l. 1. And in the same year another Rescript is publisht to refer Ecclesiasti­cal Causes to the Ecclesiastical judgment, but contentious about Civil Rights to the Secular Courts. And there are many more Laws of the same strein in the Imperial Code, the meaning whereof is, not whol­ly to limit the Judgment of all Ecclesia­stical Causes to the Church, and of all Civil Causes to the Secular Courts, be­cause most Causes, as I have shewn above, appertain to both: But their plain inten­tion is, that Causes purely Ecclesiastical, or Offences against the Canons, Rubricks and Orders of the Church, for the pre­servation of Peace and Decency, or Of­fences against the Rule of Faith, shall be judged by the Church alone, and as for civil Controversies, they are to receive their decision only from Civil Courts. For the final power of Decision, is all the Au­thority that can be used in that case, but though the Church has none of that, yet it has a Power to judg of the same Acti­ons, as far as they concern the Laws of their Religion, or as Theodosius the youn­ger expresses it, Christianam sanctitatem. And though when one Man stands con­vict of having defrauded another, they [Page 172] have not Power to right the Person wronged, or to inforce a Restitution, yet they have a Power to pass sentence upon the injury as a breach of the Christian Law, and that sentence will have its ef­fect. So that though they have not a Civil Authority in Civil Causes, yet they have an Ecclesiastical, that is distinguisht not by the Matter, but the Penalty of the Law. But the true and proper mean­ing of these Laws is best understood by the occasion upon which they were e­nacted, and the occasion of this was, that the Emperors had impowr'd Bishops to decide Controversies by arbitration and the consent of Parties, which they in process of time challenge as their right, and derive their Authority for it, from Apostolical Law, as was done by the A­frican Fathers at this time, petitioning the Emperor, That if any Persons will choose to have their Controversies deci­ded by the Church,Cod. Afri­can. 59. Vt si qui fortè in Ec­clesiâ quam libet cau­sam, jure Apostolico Ecclesiis imposito, a­gere voluerint, et for­tasse decisum Cleri­corum uni parti dis­plicuerit, non liceat Clericum in judici­um ad testimo [...]ium devocari eum, qui cognitor vel praesens fuerit, ut nulla ad testimonium decen­dum Ecclesiastici cu­juslibet persona pul­setur. according to Apo­stolical Law, and one Party shall ap­peal from the A­ward, that the Priest, who was the [Page 173] Judg shall not be cited to the tempo­ral Courts by him, to give in any ac­count or testimo­ny of the proceed­ings.

To which Petition the Emperor returns this Law as a just de­nyal, though that neither does, nor can take away their Power of Ecclesiastical Censures, that they received from our Sa­viour, but of civil Decision that was grant­ed them by the favor and indulgence of Princes, and when once they pretended to an higher Commission for it, it was but time to clip their pretences.De Episco­pis, l. 35. But in the year 400 he publisht a very remark­able Rescript in defence of the true pow­er and discipline of the Church against all Appeals from their Sentence even to the Imperial Throne it self Whoever shall be deposed from his Office in the Church by a Synod of Bishops, if he shall presume against the modesty of the Church, and the Peace of the Empire, to resume that Office to himself, from which he is deposed, he shall according to the Law of Gratian of blessed Memory, be ba­nisht an hundred Miles from the City that he infested, for it is but fit that he should [Page 174] be banisht their Assemblies, who is cut off from their Society. And be it farther e­nacted by the force of this Law, That no such Persons apply themselves to our Se­cretaries to procure our Rescripts in their behalf, and if they shall by stealth obtain any, all Rescripts granted to such Persons as are deposed from their Priesthood, are hereby declared null and void. And last­ly let such Persons, upon whose favor they relie, take notice, that they shall not e­scape the punishment due to such as shall undertake the protection of such Men, as are already cast by the judgment of God. This Law of stopping all Appeals from the Church, was of all others most neces­sary for the preservation of discipline in it, and therefore it was always with greatest care establisht by the Canons a­gainst all Invasions, and observed with the greatest tenderness by all the wisest Emperors. And we have seen through the whole series of this History, that from the very time that Princes took up­on them the protection of the Church, the only thing that debaucht and defeat­ed the Efficacy of its Discipline, was Church-mens taking sanctuary at Court against the Authority of their Superiors. And the mischiefs of this abuse having been so often experienced, it was but [Page 175] high time to take it quite away, inso­much that the Emperor was pleased to tye up his own hands from untying any sentence of the Church. As for the oc­casion of this Law, there are many con­jectures about it, but I think the most probable is that of Gothofred, that it was made at the Petition of the African Fa­thers, who were actually sitting at that time to restore the ancient and effectual discipline of the Church, and reform the Abuses and Corruptions that were crept or were creeping into it, and so among others, implore the Emperor that he would be pleased to stop all ways of ap­peal to Persons that stood legally con­demn'd by the sentence of the Church, and to injoin this to all his Officers, as they word it, interpositâ poenâ damni pe­cuniae atque honoris. And this Petition the Emperor grants with that frankness, as to take away this abused Power of Ap­peals, not only from his Judges, but him­self, and damn their Authority by this Rescript once for all and for ever. In the year 401 he exempts those of the Cler­gy,De Episco­pis l. 36. that were forced to trade to get a Lively-hood, from the payment of all Customs, the same Law that was made by Constantius in the year 343. So that it seems the Church was not as yet indow­ed [Page 176] with sufficient Revenues to maintain it self, when some of the Clergy were forced to traffick for bread. Thô they were afterward forbidden all manner of Trade by Valentinan the third,Novilla 12. when it seems the Church was grown rich e­nough to subsist upon its own stock. In the year 407 he not only confirms all the ancient Priviledges and Immunities of the Clergy,De Episco­pis l. 38. but he grants them a new sort of Tuition, viz. Secular Advocates for the management of all their Secular Affairs, but lest by this means the Church should be cheated by these Trustees, the Bishops of the Province are required to survey their Accounts. This Law was made at the Petition of the African Fa­thers in the fourth Council of Africa, and is extant in their Code Canon 97. And it was done for this end, that the Clergy might not be forced to appear in Law-Courts, and leave their Functions to follow Law-Suits. And this is the first time that Lay-men were taken into the concerns of the Church, and that not to intermeddle with any thing of its disci­pline and jurisdiction, but only as their Stewards and Solicitors. And this Em­peror was so kind to them, as to follow this Rescript with another,De denunc. Rescript. l. 7. commanding that the Advocates of the Church should [Page 177] be put to no delays in the Common-Law-Courts, but admitted to Audience at their first appearance.De Episco­pis l. 40. In the year 412 he recites the particular Priviledges grant­ed to the Clergy, and commands all his Officers to keep them inviolable upon pain of perpetual Banishment. The Pri­viledges he enumerates are these six,

(1) Exemption from Offices.

(2) From repairing of High-ways.

(3) From extraordinary Taxes.

(4) From building of Bridges.

(5) From maintaining the publick Car­riages.

(6) From the Gold-Contribution, which was a particular Tax imposed at that time. In short they were excused from all Payments but their Canonical Tri­bute, the rate of which was known, and customary. For their Lands were never exempt from Taxes, and the proportion that they paid was call'd the Canonical Contribution, and whatever Officer de­manded more than their standing rate, he was by this Rescript banisht for ever as a sacrilegious Person. In the same year he publishes another Rescript, for­bidding the accusation of Clergy-men be­fore any Judg but the Bishops,Ibid. l. 41. and if a­ny Person of what degree and quality so­ever, shall bring an Indictment against [Page 178] them, and be not able to make it good, he shall be branded with publick Infa­my, as the Person accused must have been, if found guilty. This Rescript not­withstanding its general words that the Clergy ought to be accused before the Bishops and not else where, the Lawyers will have to be understood of Ecclesiasti­cal and not Civil Crimes, but this pro­ceeds from their common Prejudice, that I have noted above, that only Ecclesia­stical Offences fall under the Judicature of the Church, but Civil and Political Crimes are restrain'd to the cognisance of the State, whereas both are punisha­ble by both, with those different Penal­ties that are proper to the different Ju­risdictions. And as for this Law in par­ticular, it cannot be understood of any other but Civil Crimes, and this is evi­dently proved by those very Arguments, that are alledged by Gothofred himself to appropriate it to Ecclesiastical Miscarria­ges. First that they are such Crimes as are punisht by the shame of Deposition, and therefore most properly Civil Crimes, for there were very few Ecclesiastical Of­fences so great, as to deserve so high a Punishment, and those few that did so, as in the case of Schism and Heresy, were always appropriated to the Eccle­siastical [Page 179] Judicature, before this Rescript, and therefore not by it. And this ap­pears more pregnantly from his second reason, the cause of enacting this Law, viz. that Lay-men and even Persons of the greatest Quality, being apt upon slite provocations to bear spite to the Clergy, would be apt enough to way-lay their Reputation with popular defamations and false reports. So that the apparent design of the Law was to prevent these scandalous Informations, before the Secu­lar Judges, and restrain them from so much as taking them, till they had been first examin'd by the Ecclesiastical Judi­cature. And in the last place this is still more evident from the particular occasi­on of this Law, that Heros a worthy Man Bishop of Arles had been thrust out by Constantius a great Court-Officer there▪ and afterwards Emperor for six Months, upon a tumultuary Accusation and Patroclus an infamous Person placed in his stead, and therefore to prevent the like Disorders for the time to come, it was but seasonable to enact this Law, to restrain Secular Governors from receiving accusations against the Clergy, till they have been first heard by the Provincial Synod. So that this Law does not ex­empt the criminal Actions of the Cler­gy [Page 180] from the Civil Courts, as Gothofred imagines, when he objects that it is a­gainst the Jus Commune, but only limits the exercise of their Jurisdiction, viz. that they neither receive nor proceed in such Causes, till the Judgment of the Church had been pass't upon them, and after that, they were at liberty to pun­ish them according to Law. This is the fairest and most ingenuous sense that I can make of this Law.

These are the chief Laws of these Em­perors in the Church, the Penal Laws a­gainst the Hereticks, and the Laws of Priviledg to the Catholicks.

§. XIII. But beside these, there were divers others enacted either to abet the Discipline of the Church, by removing Abuses that were crept in upon its anci­ent Constitutions, or by backing its pre­sent Decrees with the Imperial Authori­ty. Or else to set in order such Matters of Religion, that though they related to the Church, were yet without its Juris­diction, i. e. those Laws that concern Jews. Heathens and Apostates, in all which they followed the example of their Royal Father Theodosius. And first they take care of the due and regular Ordinati­on of the Clergy. Constantine the Great [Page 181] had been forced to forbid his Officers both Civil and Military to be admitted into Holy Orders, and the same Decree was frequently renewed by his Succes­sors, with alterations and limitations as the Prince thought most convenient for the present time, that the State might not be defrauded or indamaged by too much bounty to the Church, and when Men flockt so fast into it, it was but re­quisite to lock its doors upon such as were already useful to the Common-Wealth. Which Constantine did with a peremptory and universal Law, but Va­lentinian the first with this limitation, That any Person, who had an Office in the State, might be admitted into the Church, so that he provided an able Per­son to supply his former Office. But be­fore this time the Priviledg of Clergy had taken place, and the Bishop was impowr'd to redeem any Criminal from Justice, or Debtor from Goal, if he judg­ed him qualified for doing Service in the Church, that was grown into such an abuse, that the Monks took them away by force and tumult, to the hindrance of Publick Justice, and the subversion of private Mens rights. For when they were once enter'd into a Monastery or into Orders, their Crimes were cancel'd and their Debts paid, to redress which a­buse [Page 182] Arcadius enacts a severe Law in the year 398,Lib. 9. Tit. 40. de pae­ [...]is. l. 16. as his Father Ibid l. 15. Theodosius had done before him, against these vio­lent interpositions of the Monks, and threatens the Bishops that if any such Riots were made by the Monks under their Jurisdictions,De Episco­pis l. 32. and not punisht by them, the fault should lye at their Doors, and commands them for the time to come, that whenever they wanted Clerks, they should take them from the Colledges of Monks, if they found them clear of all Debts both Publick and Pri­vate, otherwise as they ought not to have been admitted into the Monaste­ries, so he now commands that they shall not be adm [...]tted into Orders. And this Law was but agreeable to the Constitu­tion of things in those Times, when the Monasteries, as now our Universities, were the proper Seminaries of the Church. These Laws, viz l. 16 de paenis, and l. 32. de Episcopis, were at first but one, however they came afterward to be di­stracted, and placed under such distant Titles, and therefore the first breaks off with an &c. where the second begins, thus. Ex quor [...]m [Monachorum] numero rectius, si quos sortè sibi deesse arbitran­tur, Clericos ordinabunt, &c. With which Words the second Law begins, and then adds, non obnoxios publicis privatisque [Page 183] rationibus cum invidiâ teneant, sed habe­ant jam probatos. Now both Laws be­ing join'd together, their history and their use are very apparent, but when separated, it is difficult to find out their meaning, especially of the latter, that was only made in pursuance of the former. To both which ought to be added the third Law in the Title de his qui ad Ec­clesias confugiunt, by which the Privi­ledg of Protection by the right of Eccle­siastical Immunity is utterly stopt up to all Persons ingaged in publick or private Debts, which I think was as necessary a piece of Reformation, as the former part of the Law against the Tumults of the Monks. For what can be a greater dis­honor to the Church, than to be turn'd into a Sanctuary against Common Ju­stice? Though most Men are very much offended at the unkindness of the Law, and the Historians remark an unlucky Judgment upon the Author of it, Eutro­pius, at that time in high favor with the Emperor, but soon after falling into dis­grace, he was the first Man upon whom it was executed, flying for Sanctuary to the Church of Constantinople, and hi­ding himself under the Communion Table, in which posture he was in an elegant, but I doubt, a very unseasonable Oration, [Page 184] rated and upbraided by St. Chrysostom for his rudeness to the Church, and so is dragg'd out by the heels, and immedi­ately hal'd to Execution, and as Sozomen adds, his Law was immediately abroga­ted and erased out of the Publick Register. But that is one of his many dreams, when we find it carefully recorded and con­firm'd for ever by the Emperor's Son in the Theodosian Code. Ibid. l. 2. And a Law not unlike this we find in the same Title made the year before against the Eccle­siastical protection of Jews from their Creditors, upon their pretence of con­version to the Christian Faith: which it seems was a common cheat at that time, for which reason there are divers Impe­rial Laws to prevent it, and command the Clergy to receive no Converts, till they have clear'd themselves of all Crimes and Debts: a very good Rule, and an Example worthy the imitation of our Church.De Episco­pis l. 33. The next Rescript is of a pe­culiar strein, and too strict out of his o­ver-great care to prevent Confusion, viz. that wherever there are Churches in Vil­lages, the Clerks that serve them, shall not be ordein'd from other Villages, but out of that Village where the Church is, in which they Officiate, lest thereby they rob their Neighbors. What parti­cular [Page 185] Reason he had to enact this Law at that time I know not, but it looks very odd and severe, that every Village must be supplied with a Pastor out of it self; and not very wise, when our Savi­or's observation is so very true, That a Prophet has least honor in his own Coun­try, and it is evident that every Preacher has least Authority in his native Place, where the Vices and the Follies of his youth are remembred. And therefore I cannot but think it would have been somewhat a wiser Law rather to have restrain'd all Men from accepting a Be­nefice in the Place of their Nativi­ty.

His next Rescripts are made in the particular case of St. Chrysostom, who being deposed from his Bishoprick of Constantinople by the Council sub quercu, and that as I have elsewhere proved, too justly for so good a Man; the sentence was ratified by the Emperor, and be­cause the People raised Tumults upon it, he is banisht, and the very same day hap­pens a great fire at Constantinople, that burnt down both the Cathedral and the Senate-house. This is laid to the Jo­hannites, as they nick-named the follow­ers of St. Chrysostom; and upon it many of the Clergy are imprison'd for suspici­on [Page 186] of the Fact, but no proof being found against them by the Prefect Studius, the Emperor directs a Rescript to him to set them at liberty,De Episco­pis l. 37. to give over all farther Inquisition after the fire, to prevent all Meetings and Conventicles of Chrysostom's Faction, and to banish all out lying or rather trespassing Bishops and Clerks from the City, who had in great num­bers resorted thither from all Parts to join in with the Factions, and by that means the Tumults were raised to that height, that the Emperor was forced to command their expulsion for the preser­vation of the Publick Peace. But though this seasonable Banishment of the forrein Clergy slaked, yet it broke not up the fury of the Tumults, that were partly kept up by the Inhabitants of the City, and partly by the expulsed Mutineers in other Parts of the Empire, and therefore it is followed with other Laws to sup­press both. And first all Sword-men are forbidden to frequent the Conventicles of the Johannites under pain of cashier­ing and Proscription of Goods,De his qui [...]uper religi­one conten­dunt l. 4. that sort of Men being most likely to ingage into Quarrels upon occasion of such Meetings. In the next place all Servants are re­strain'd with a pecuniary Mulct upon their Masters,Ibid l. 5. and the Bankers, and all [Page 187] Members of the City-Companies, with a round Fine upon the Company that suf­ferd such Members. And because the Cler­gy that were banisht Constantinople, set up their Conventicles, especially in Thrace, Egypt, and the East (properly so called) a third Rescript is issued out, That all Persons should be expell'd all Churches, who refused to communicate with Arsa­cius, Theophilus and Porphyrius, the three sovereign Bishops of those Diocesses, Ar­sacius of Constantinople for Thrace, Theo­philus of Alexandria for Egypt, and Por­phyrius of Antioch for the East. Under the Title of Apostates we have but one Law in this Reign, and that was enact­ed by Arcadius upon the punishment of Intestability,De Aposta­tis l. 7. as was done by Theodosius the Great; but this Law of Arcadius was made with so many favourable concessi­ons, that it seems to have been contri­ved for no other end, than to take away the severity of the fo [...]mer Theodosian Law. For whereas that takes away all disposal of their Estates, this allows the settlement, if made upon Father or Mo­ther, Son or Daughter, Brother or Si­ster, Neece or Nephew, but no farther, and that was far enough, for Men were seldom without some of these Relations, and when they had them, they as seldom [Page 188] cared to settle their Fortunes upon any o­ther Persons.

But he was much more kind to the Jews, taking upon himself the Patronage of their old Priviledges and granting new ones.De Judaeis l. 10. His first Law gives Authori­ty to their Governors to set Market-pri­zes upon their Goods, because the Chri­stian Officers out of hatred to the Jews set their Prizes so low, that they took a­way their lawful Gains. His next for­bids all contumelious language in pub­lick against their Patriarchs. His third commands all his Governors of Provin­ces to protect them and their Synagogues from all violence of the People.Ibid l. [...]1. L. 12. His fourth restores and confirms to the Pa­triarchs and Clergy,L. 13. the Priviledg of Ex­emption à Muneribus curialibus from Publick Offices, that had been granted by former Emperors, Constantine, Con­stantius, L. 15. Valentinian and Valens, but had been since taken away by Gratian and Valentinian the younger. In his fifth Law he renews the same, together with an addition of all those Priviledges that had been granted by his Royal Father. To which may be added his Grant to them impowring them to determine all their Law-suits by the arbitration of their Patriarchs,Cod. 2. Tit. 1. de Ju­ [...]isdictione l. 10. if both Parties consented to it, [Page 189] enacted the same year, in which he gran­ted the same Power to Christian Bi­shops.

But as indulgent as Arcadius was to them in the East, they were at first treat­ed ruggedly enough by Honorius in the West,De Judaeis l. 14. who first of all forbid the payment of the Crown-gold to the Patriarch of the Jews and his Apostles, i. e. his Assessors, where he resided, and the Collectors of it in the several Provinces. This Tri­bute had been ever paid from the destru­ction of Jerusalem, though it is now in­tercepted by Honorius with expressions of high displeasure: He calls it a cheat, and the Patriarch a Thief, and orders his A­postles to be punisht by his Judges as Pick-pockets. But all this was done more out of spite to his Brother Arcadi­us than to the Jews; for the two Bro­thers had first by the instigation of Rufi­nus, and afterward of Eutropius Consul this year, conceived a mortal hatred a­gainst each other, and therefore because the Patriarch of the Jews resided in the Eastern Empire under the Government of Arcadius, Honorius thought it unworthy his Majesty (as he declares in his Re­script) to suffer one of his Brothers Sub­jects to exercise so high a Power over his Subjects as to impose Taxes and Tri­butes [Page 190] upon them. And for the same rea­son when Arcadius granted the Jewish Clergy exemption from all Offices in the year 398, Honorius forbids the execution of that Law within his Dominions as preju­dicial to his Government,De Decuri­onibus l. 158. and commands them, and all Men of whatsoever condi­tion, to undergo their share of the pub­lick Burthens. And therefore five years after, viz. in the year 404, when the Brothers were reconciled,De Judaeis l. 17. Honorius in token of his Reconciliation cancels this Rescript, and restores them to this and all the other Priviledges, that had been granted them by any of his Predeces­sors, and from this time forward he was the most indulgent of all the Emperors to the Jews. But his next Law is of a peculiar Nature, against a certain new Sect of Jews, that he calls Caelicolae in the year 409,De Judaeis l. 19. commanding them, be­cause they pretended to be Christians, to join Communion with the Catholick Church within a years time, otherwise to be obnoxious to all the Laws against Hereticks, and forbids them making any Converts for the time to come, as they would not incur the guilt of High-Trea­son. Now what these Caelicolae were, or why so named, 'tis difficult to find, because we no where meet with any [Page 191] mention of them but in this Emperor's time, nor any description of them, but in this Rescript, unless once in St. Au­stin, as Gothofred observes, and though it is found in Justinian in the Law of Constantius against the Jews, yet as he observes, it must have been foisted in af­terward from this Law, because we hear of no such Sect any where else till this time, and Honorius never mentions them but with the Title of a new up-start Sect. And as for the other two Laws in which they occurr, viz. 43d and 44th de Hae­reticis, he only names them in the rout of other Hereticks, and therefore all that can be guessed at them, is from this Law, where they are described to be pretenders to Christianity, but Jews in reality. So that they seem'd to have been a sort of Mongrel Christians, such as the Nazarites were of old, confound­ing both Religions together, and obser­ving the Sacraments of both, i. e. they were both circumcised as Jews, and bap­tised as Christians, being such another hotch-potch out of both Religions, as was afterward made by Mahumetanism. But how the name of Caelicolae came to be appropriated to them, I cannot find the least foot-step for a probable conjecture. How the Name came to be in former [Page 192] Times given to the Jewish Nation in ge­neral, I am pretty well satisfied, viz. not allowing any Images and Represen­tations of the Deity, they were Sarcasti­cally represented by the heathen Poets, as if they had address't all their Devotions to the Clouds and Sky. But how it came to be appropriated to this particular Sect as distinct from the other Jews, I be­lieve is scarce capable of a guess, there being no other Record of them, than what I have mention'd, in which we on­ly find the Name, but no reason of it, and as the Sect began, so it ended under this Reign; for we hear no more of it, whether it sunk by its own absurdity, or the severity of the Law against it.

De Judaeis l. 20.His next Rescript to the Jews in the year 412 is a confirmation of all their an­cient Priviledges, in the free use of their Sabboths, their Synagogues, their Festi­vals, and all the other Rites of their Re­ligion. Of the same nature and to the same purpose, is his third Law under the Title de feriis, and the eighth under the Title de Executoribus, and were no doubt but one and the same Law at first, as divers others were, though afterwards torn into several Parcels, to reduce them to their proper heads, by the Colle­ctors of the Code. There remains but [Page 193] one Law more of this Emperor under this Title enacted in the year 416,De Judaeis l. 23▪ and that is to redress that common abuse of counterfeit Converts to Christianity from among the Jews, only to avoid their Crimes and their Debts, command­ing all his Governors to seek out all such Impostors in all Places, and for the ho­nor of Christianity, to turn them out of the Church, and return them back to their own Religion. And this was done at the request of the Jewish Governors, to whom the Rescript is directed, there­by to give them Authority to demand the execution of it of his Officers in his name. Which was a much higher fa­vor than if he had sent his Rescript im­mediately to the Officers themselves, be­cause by this means the execution of this Law was put into the Jews own hands. To all which Laws we may add one more under the next Title ne Christia­num Mancipium Judaeus habeat, L. 3. that is very singular, and shews this Emperor's great kindness to the Jews, and that is to give them the liberty of keeping Christi­an Slaves and Servants, which was for­bidden by all the Emperors both before and after him, and for that reason it is I suppose that Trebonian has wholly left it out of the Justinian Collection.

Under the Title de Paganis there are [Page 194] three Laws of Arcadius, L. 13. viz. 13, 14, 16, and five of Honorius, 15, 17, 18, 19, 20. The first Law of Arcadius was enacted at his first coming to the Empire in the year 395, and was only a Ratification of all his Royal Father's Laws both a­gainst Pagans and Hereticks with very severe comminations upon his Officers, that neglected their speedy and vigorous Execution, no less than death it self, in supercapitali supplicio judicamus Officia [i. e. Officiales] coercenda quae statuta neg­lexerint. L. 14. By a second Rescript in the year following all Priviledges whatsoever heretofore granted to the Heathen Priests, are utterly abolisht.L. 16. And by a Re­script in the year 399 all their Temples still remaining in Villages in the Province of Syria Phaenice, are commanded to be pull'd down, but not without Tumult, many of the Monks, who were usually most busie at that Work, being wound­ed and slain by the Country People. In the same year Honorius takes away their Sacrifices and Temples in France and Spain, L. 15. but so as to preserve their pub­lick Ornaments, after the example of his Father Theodosius in the eighth Law of this Title. And in the same year also he being petition'd by the African Fa­thers in their fifth Council to remove all the Relicks of Idolatry, that as he had [Page 195] already taken away their Sacrifices, so he would be pleased to abolish their pub­lick Festivals, quae ab errore Gentili at­tracta sunt, i. e. that were Customs at first derived from the old Heathenism,L. 17, to this he returns a peremptory denyal, That though it was his Royal Pleasure that the prophane Rites should be taken away, yet he would not have the People depri­ved of their Solemnities of mirth accord­ing to ancient and immemorial Custom. And whereas the same Fathers moved, that the Heathen Temples still remain­ing in Villages and more remote Parts of the Country might be destroyed, the Emperor denies that too,L. 18. the Idols he will have removed, but not the Buildings themselves demolisht. But in the year 408 the Emperor is of another mind,L. 19. be­ing inflamed to it, by a particular Provo­cation. For Stilic [...]o being slain that year, both the Heathens and the Donatists (as we have seen in their History) grow in­solent, and give out that all the Laws that had been enacted against them were on­ly Stilico's without the Emperor's Con­sent, which being signifi [...]d to the Empe­ror by the African Fathers with a repe­tition of their former Requests, he upon it, grants all that they ask and more, and nothing less will serve his turn than the [Page 196] utter extirpation of Paganism. Upon it he takes away all their Revenues, and settles them upon his Army, destroys their Images and their Altars, turns their publick Temples to other publick Uses, commands the private Chappels to be demolisht by the Owners, takes away the solemn Festivals, and imposes the execu­tion of this Law upon his Officers under the Penalty of a very severe Fine.L. 20. His last Rescript was enacted in the year 415, in which he permits the Heathen Games yearly exhibited by the Priests in their Metropoles or great Cities, upon conditi­on that the Priests return home to their own Habitations as soon as the Solemni­ty is ended. Secondly he sequesters all Revenues belonging to the Temples, to his own and to the Churches use. Third­ly he removes all their Heathen Images from the Baths, and all other publick Places. And lastly he inflicts Capital Punishments upon the Ring-leaders in their Sacrifices and superstitious Processi­ons. And thus by these several Penal Laws under these several Titles, and a­gainst these several Factions, he so set­tled the Peace of the Church and Em­pire, that though he lived ten years af­ter, for he died not till the year 425, he had no necessity of making any more [Page 197] news Laws about these old Matters, for when things are once settled in their right Method, the World jogs on in good or­der of its own accord. So that it was really this reign, that vanquisht all the inveterate disorders of the Church, that utterly rooted out the Schism of the Donatists, and broke the heart of the Heresie of the Arians, for it was at this time that it received its fatal blow, though afterward it made some weak Essays and fainting gaspings to recover life. Neither do I remember that after this time he had occasion of making a­ny other Laws about Ecclesiastical Mat­ters, but one Law of Discipline in the year 420,De Epis­copis l. 44. to recover the obsolete force of an Ecclesiastical Canon, strictly for­bidding all Clergy-men to cohabit with any Women, unless their own Mothers, Sisters or Daughters, and commanding all that had been married before they entred into Orders, to retain their Wives after it. The first part of which Law was made in pursuance of the Nicene Canon, that had been frequently renew­ed both by the Ecclesiastical and Civil Law, by reason of a common Abuse, that was crept into the Church, that Men professing Caelibacy took Women in­to their Houses commonly call'd [...] [Page 198] beloved Sisters to minister to their neces­sities, and join with them in their Devo­tions, by which odd kind of liberty they brought great and just Scandal upon the Church, and for that reason we meet with continual Complaints in all the An­cients against them. The other part of the Law against the Clergies divorce up­on pretence of stricter Sanctity, is ta­ken from the sixth Apostolical Canon, so that it is evident from this Law that the Caelibacy of the Clergy was not at this time injoin'd, though afterward it crept into the Church by insensible de­grees, till it was at length imposed ra­ther by the Authority of Custom than Law.

§. XIV. But the management of the Civil Policy of this Reign in Church-Matters, as happy as it was, it was not so happy, as the Ecclesiastical Govern­ment, that runs parallel with it, was de­plorable. For in this very Period of time hap'ned such a fatal Revolution in the Church, like those great Deluges and Conflagrations, that Plato dreams of, by which old Worlds are destroyed and new ones made, as swept away the whole frame of the ancient Church, and swal­lowed up all its power in the exorbi­tant [Page 199] Usurpation of one Bishop. For now it was, that the old Constitution of the Catholick Church, as it had stood from the time of our Saviour and his Apostles, divided into Provincial Jurisdictions, and those again uni [...]ed into a Catholick Com­munion with an equality of Power a­mong themselves, was gulft up in the unlimited and universal Supremacy of one single Bishop over all. This was first challenged by Innocent the first, who began to reign in the year 402, and was ever after eagerly pursued by his Successors, at which great change of things it might be convenient to make a stand, and take a sad view of the dismal Ruins, under which the Primitive Church with all its liberties lay buried for many Ages. But as it is too great a Work for this place, so being a Matter purely Ec­clesiastical, and wholly transacted with­in the Church it self, it would not be very proper: For the design of this Work, is to give an account of those Transactions of the Church, in which the State was concern'd, and thereby to exemplifie the exercise of the Civil Juris­diction within it, without invading the Churches own original Authority. And therefore this Matter being wholly trans­acted within the Church, without any [Page 200] interposition of the State, it belongs not to this Argument, and for that reason I shall at present wave it, not forget­ting that I am under an Obligation to Baronius of an hunting match for the painted Ha [...]r [...] ▪ In the mean time I pro­ceed, And as for the Laws of Theodosius, they are to be divided into two Parts, those that were enacted before the com­piling of the Theodosian Code, that are taken into the body of the Code it self under their several Titles, and those that were made after it, that are annext as an Appendix under the name of Novells. The Code was composed in the year 438 and the 30th year of his Reign out of the Rescripts of Christian Princes of both Empires, from Constantine the Great to that time, containing the Records of 127 years, from the year of our Lord 312 to the year 438, taking in the Laws of 16 Princes; Constantine and his three Sons, Julian, Jovian, Valentinian, Valens, Gra­tian, Valentinian the younger, Theodosius the Great, Arcadius, Honorius, Theodosi­us the Younger, and his contemporary Emperors Constantius and Valentinian the third. It was drawn up by eight Com­missioners chosen out of his chief Officers and Ministers of State, whose Names are recorded in the Emperor's Novel for ra­tifying [Page 201] the whole Code. His design was to make the Law more easie, certain and intelligible for the time to come. That Men may not wait for formidable An­swers,Nov. 1. Ne Jurisperitorum ulterius severitate mentitâ, dissimulatâ scientiâ, velut ab ip­sis adytis expecta­rentur formidanda responsa: cum liqui­do pateat quo ponde­re donatio defera­tur, quâ actione pe­tatur haereditas, qui­bus verbis stipulatio colligetur, ut certum vel incertum debi­tum sit exigendum, quae singula prudenti­um detecta vigiliis, in apertum lucemque deducta sunt splendo­re Numinis nostri radiante. as it were of a profound Oracle from the formal su­perciliousness and falsly pretended Learning of the Lawyers, when it is made so easie to understand how a Deed of Gift is to be drawn up, what way an Inheritance ought to be sued for, how a convey­ance is to be made, what Debts are cer­tain or uncertain, all which are drawn out of obscurity and placed in the light by this work of our Sacred Majesty. And indeed this Reformation of Laws when they grow numerous, intricate, and perplexing, is one of the noblest acts of Government: for all Laws in process of time natural­ly [Page 202] degenerate into so much niceness and curiosity, as to be of no use, at last, than only to defeat the very end for which they were instituted at first, viz. the security of Mens Rights and Pro­perties. And when they are come to that pass, as to perplex and involve, ra­ther than fix and clear their Titles, they are then, nothing but snare, cheat and vexation, which of all Governments is incomparably the most intollerable. The most heavy Arbitrary Government is much more easie to the Subject, than le­gal Oppression; for when Men oppress without Law, they are usually restrain'd within some bounds by Modesty, be­cause then the whole blame of it must light upon themselves, but when they have Law or pretence of Law, to abet their Oppressions, then is the Abuse both boundless and shameless, and how barba­rously soever the poor People may be opprest, the Law must bear the blame of all, whilst the Oppressor runs away with all the profit. And therefore it is but a weak distinction that is vulgarly made between Arbitrary Government and Go­vernment by Law, for either may or may not be arbitrary as they are execu­ted. A Government without Law may tye it self to the Rules of Justice, and a [Page 203] Government by Law may turn all the Laws into fraud and oppression, and when they do so, they are guarded and fortified in their Tyranny by the Law. So that whereas there are two sorts of Arbitrary Government, one without Law, another with it, the case of the first is very hard and deplorable, when Men have no security from the Government for their Rights beside its own good Will. But the case of the second is in­tollerable, both because it takes off the grand restraints of modesty and discreti­on, which all Men are under that have no other rule to justify their Actions be­side the Justice and Equity of the Acti­ons themselves, and withal because it leaves Men at liberty under the shelter and formality of Law to do all the dis­honest things in the World with confi­dence and a good grace. And therefore the wisest Princes in all Ages have not been more careful to make good Laws for the security of the Subjects Rights, than to see to their fair and easie execution. For when Suits are made tedious, difficult and chargeable, and Men are generally forced to pay more for Justice than Justice is worth, the Law serves no other end than to rob them of their Rights, and [Page 204] when my neighbor has taken away one half of my Estate, if I will seek to right my self by Law, I must spend the other, so that if I get the Victory, and that is uncertain, I get nothing, if I lose it I am utterly undone. The removing of this great Abuse, which length of time had brought upon the Imperial Law, was the Emperor's great design in this magnifi­cent Work, which though it have its defects, is yet an excellent and useful body of Laws, and has met with great acceptance in all Ages and civilized Na­tions. And even the barbarous People themselves, when they vanquisht the Empire, submitted to its Laws, as we shall particularly see in the Laws of the Goths and Franks. I have here dropt in this short account of the Theodosian Code, both because it came in my way under this Emperor's reign, and because every Reader might understand the great Autho­rity of this Book, upon which we re­lye so much through this whole dis­course.

But now I proceed to his own particu­lar Laws. His first in the Title de Episcopis in the year 416 was made for the regu­lation of the Parabolani of Alexandria, [...]. 42. a sort of Monks, that practised Physick, especially in times of the Plague or other [Page 205] contagious Diseases; therein laying aside all regard to their own safety, whence they had the name of Parabolani, i. e. de­sperate or fearless Men, hence in St. Paul's description of Epaphroditus his great Zeal for the Gospel, he tells the Philippians, among other Praises,Chap. 2. v. 30. that for the sake of Christ he had been near unto death, [...] negle­cting his own life, or as an old Latin In­terpreter renders it, parabolatus est ani­mam suam, he parabolated his own life. Now these Men taking upon themselves such a popular piece of Charity, they, as it naturally falls out in such Cases, grew insolent, and became very troublesom to the Government, raised Tumults, thrust themselves into Publick Affairs, and will have all things govern'd by their own Will and Pleasure. Upon this the Alex­andrians Petition the Emperor to restrain their outrage, and he for a remedy a­gainst the Mischief for the time to come, makes a Law consisting of these seven heads:

First, to forbid their intermedling with any Proceedings in the Emperor's Courts.

Secondly, to reduce them to the num­ber of 500.

Thirdly, to enact that none should be capable of admission into the Order, but poor Men.

[Page 206]Fourthly, that they should be chosen by the Citizens.

And Fifthly, approved and confirm'd by the Governor.

Sixthly, that they refrain from all Pub­lick Meetings and Courts of Justice, un­less as they are forced to appear as Par­ties.

And lastly, that as vacant Places fell, for the time to come they should be fill'd up by the Governor.

The occasion and history of this Law, is described at large by Socrates. Lib. 7. c. 13, 14. There had been an old grudg between Orestes the Prefect, and Cyril the Bishop of A­lexandria, because as the Prefect thought the Bishop's great Power in that City seem'd to abate of and check with the Authority of the Emperor's Vice-Roys, and because he knew that Cyril watcht his Government, but it hapned once, that whilst the Governor was present at a Publick Shew to prevent a Tumult of the Jews, there were present, several of Cyril's Friends, and among the rest one Hierax a zealous School-Master, who was seised and punisht for a Spy, upon this St. Cyril threatens the Jews, and upon his threatnings, their Rabble enter into a Conspiracy to destroy the Christians, and in the Night raise an out-cry that [Page 207] one of their Churches was on fire, and as the Christians run from all Parts to quench it, they with Protestant Flails murther them in the Tumult, upon which Cyril the next day turn'd them all out of Town, and the People plun­der'd their Goods. This fretted Orestes to the heart, so that though Cyril used all means of reconciliation with him, he vowed an eternal and implacable Enmity. Upon this Animosity the Monks of Ni­tria, as the Historian has it, but what­ever they were, they must by the cir­cumstances of Time and Place be the same Men, that this Law calls Parabola­ni, make Tumults in the Streets, affront and assault the Prefect in his Chariot, and one of them breaks his head with a stone, who being taken is wrackt to death by him, but honorably buried by Cyril. Upon which complaint is made to the Emperor from both sides, but he takes his Governors part, and for that end makes this Law to put these Ecclesi­astical Men under his Government, who had hitherto been subject to no Autho­rity but the Bishop's. Though 16 or 17 Months after being again reconciled to Cyril, De Episco­pis l. 43. he puts them wholly under his Ju­risdiction, restores the Power of Electi­on and Substitution into his hands, and [Page 208] increases their number to six hundred.

His next Law enacted in the year 421 relates only to the Churches of Illyri­cum. De Episco­pis l. 45. ‘We command that all Innovation ceasing, the ancient Canons and Customs, that have hitherto prevail'd, be ob­served through all the Provinces of Illyricum, and if any Doubt or any Controversie arise, it shall be deter­min'd by the Synod of Bishops, but not without consulting the most reverend Arch-Bishop of Constantinople, that ought to enjoy the Prerogative of old Rome. There is no one piece of Antiquity that has been more canvassed and contro­verted than this Law among learn­ed Men, and yet to this day it lyes undiscover'd in the dark, and no wonder, whilst the Records of it lay buried in Rubbish. It were tedious to recite the several Conjectures of Photi­us, Baronius, Perron, de Marca, Blon­dell, Gothofred, and divers others, because they are all but meer Guesses without any bottom to support them. But since their time, the Records have been brought to light by the learned Holstenius, who first publisht them to the World out of a Vatican Manuscript in the year 1662. And they agree so punctually with all the Records of that time, as by it, setting [Page 209] aside the Authority of the Manuscript it self, to justifie and in reality demonstrate their own Credit. Now the short of the Sto­ry is this, That the Bishops of Rome and Constantinople were at that time contend­ing for Supremacy of Jurisdiction, and Illyricum being situated in the Confines of both Empires, was naturally the Seat of War. For though all Illyricum had in former times belonged to the Western Empire, yet it was divided by Theodosius the Great, and one half of it laid to the Eastern, and upon that, the Bishop of Constantinople claims Jurisdiction over it, Constantinople then pretending to the same Prerogative in the East, that Rome en­joyed in the West. This pretence was set up immediately after the Council of Constantinople, that only gave it prehemi­nence of honour next to old Rome, and that they fairly construed Equality of Ju­risdiction, whereas on the other side the Romanists challenged Supremacy of Pow­er over those Churches, by prescription from the time of Innocent the first,H [...]lst [...]n Ep▪ 5: who had set up the Bishop of The [...]saloni [...] as his Legate over all Illyricum, and to justi­fie his Innovation, pleads Prescription from Damasus, but that is according to the constant Custom of the Man, rank Forgery, when Damasus never in the [Page 210] least pretended to any such Power, but only kept up Correspondence with Acho­lius Bishop of Thessalonica, as the chief Metropolitan in those parts, without any Intimation of any such Relation between them.V. The particular occasion of this Con­test by Pe­rigene his Election to the See of Corinth, Vales. An­not. in Soc. p. 90. But Rufus, who was then Bishop of Thessalonica, having received such a Supremacy of Power from his Master In­nocent, was faithful to his Masters Inter­est, and so continued till the very time of this Rescript, and fighting it out man­fully against the Usurpation of the Con­stantinopilitans. Now the point of War, as it was managed by the Bishop of Con­stantinople was this, that Illyricum ought to be wholy governed by its own Synod of Bishops. But as by Rome, that the Bishop of Thessalonica ought to have, and exercise a Supremacy of Jurisdiction o­ver them. And so it stood at the time of this Rescript, Boniface the first, then Bishop of Rome, in the year 419, which was but two years before the date of the Rescript, commending his Courage and great Service to the Apostolick See; and this Victory was so great, that as Boniface himself attests, the greatest part of the Illyrican Bishops came over to his side. But Atticus then Bishop of Constan­tinople more a Lawyer then a Divine, and therefore chiefly governed and over­ruled [Page 211] the Church by Imperial Authority, who had bafled an Excommunication of Pope Innocent with the Emperors Rescript, and by it seised a Jurisdiction over the Province of Hellespont, as I have else­where shewn, finding Illyricum in danger to be lost, procures this crafty Rescript from the Emperor against Rufus, and un­der pretence of asserting the Laws and Liberties of the Church, by preserving the Supreme Power of Provincial Synods, takes the Supremacy of all to himself, in that nothing was to be done or concluded by them without his consent. And here the confidence of these men is very re­markable in pleading Antiquity on both sides, notwithstanding the Innovation of both, was so very notorious: But this served the turn well enough against the Adversary, as here by this Rescript to Abolish all Innovation, the Power of the Bishop of Thessalonica was utterly de­stroyed, and when that was done, Atti­cus having gained the Bishops to his own side by it, knew how to do his own work. This fires Pope Boniface, for as the Rescript was publish't in June, so in the March following he sends a Letter to Rufus full of Thundering and Lightning,Epist. 8. Commanding him in St. Peters name to maintain his Ground and Power against [Page 212] the Attempts of sawcy and pragmatical Innovators, exhorting him to defie the Storm and fear no danger, after the ex­ample of his Master St. Peter, who would stand by him, and carry him through all difficulties against those Violators of the Canons and the Churches Rights, and con­cludes with a Command to him to dis­perse the approaching Synod, that it seems had been appointed upon the publi­cation of the Rescript, because the mat­ter about which they were to consult, had been already determined by the Apo­stolick See.Epist. 9. And beside this, he writes a threatning Letter to the Bishops to sub­mit to Rufus and St. Peter; and so he has the confidence to tell them, that he was Constituted Head of the Catholick Church by our Lord, and so acknowledg­ed by the Nicene Council, and therefore whoever divides from him, is thereby cut off from the Communion of the Church. And yet for all that, it grieves him to hear of some, that have contrary to the Law of God and the Church forsaken the Apostolical See, to joyn with a pittiful Somebody, that has no Power at all, as they will find by searching the Records of former times. And so commands them to repent and return for fear of what may follow, and submit themselves to [Page 213] Rufus, whose Power was no new thing, but as it had been granted by the Ancients, so it was to remain for ever, or in short, as he concludes, Cesset novella praesump­tio. And this is seconded with a longer Epistle to the same purpose. And thus did these bold Usurpers with equal impu­dence lay claim to antiquity on either side, when all the World knew the In­novation of both; but that was all one to them, because it would beat the Ene­my from setling in the Possession, and then themselves might gain an opportuni­ty of leaping into it. Neither did Pope Boniface think it enough to make use of his own Authority in the Case, but he engages the Emperor Honorius on his side, and prevails with him to write a smart Letter to Theodosius for reversing the late Innovations in Illyricum. And that he promised to perform, but of its own ac­cord it came to nothing; for when two Parties, that are both in the wrong, con­tend for a right, it cannot be adjudged to either without injustice to a third Party, whose real Right it is; And thus when these Emperors went about to remove Innovation on either side, it lay in both their ways, which way soever they mo­ved. And how they went on to wrangle from Age to Age, for the Usurpation on [Page 214] both sides, with the confident Plea of Antiquity and the Precedents of their Ancestors, may be seen more at large in Holstenius his Collection, my present Bu­siness is to discover the true meaning of this hidden Law, from the present Con­test between Boniface and Atticus, which as without it, it is not to be understood, so by it, we understand not only the sense of the Law it self, but the foul sub­reptions of both the Usurpers.

De Epist. 46, 47.There remain but two other Laws un­der this Title Enacted by Valentinian the Third, to confirm all Priviledges granted by any of his Predecessors to the Clergy, and particularly to Abolish the Act of John the Tyrant, who upon the death of Honorius invaded the Western Empire, and took away all exemptions of the Clergy from the Secular Courts, for which Gothofred suspects him to have been an Arian though without any other ground then this, that it had been the constant Custom of the Arians to take Sanctuary at Court against the Church under bad Reigns, but whatever he were his Law is here Cancelled by this Empe­ror, then but a Child and upon a very childish reason; that it was not lawful that the Ministers of God should be subject to the Judgment of Temporal Powers, which [Page 215] is such a Contradiction to all the Do­ctrines of the Fathers, and to all the Laws of the preceding Emperors, who in all their Rescripts declared all such Grants of Priviledge to be meer Acts of Grace and Favour, that this Rescript could be nothing else then the subreption of some Clergy-man, who taking advantage of the times, the Child-hood of the Prince, then not above 7 years of Age, the weak­ness of a Woman his Mother Placidia, who then Governed all, but chiefly from their fears under their late great distress to which they were reduced by the Ty­rant, took this opportunity of enhan­cing the Priviledges of his Order to the claim of a Divine Right. I know Go­thofred would soften this Law as if it referr'd only to Ecclesiastical, not to Civil Causes, first because in his 12th Novel afterwards he made that distincti­on. That is to say, as he grew older he grew wiser, and so corrected this childish Over-sight, but otherwise the reason gi­ven for this Law is general, that it is not fit that the Ministers of God should be answerable to Secular Powers. Se­condly, that the Tyrant had remo­ved all Causes, Ecclesiastical as well as Civil, from the Church to the Secular Courts, which he infers from the [Page 216] word Indiscretion. But if we will stand to the Practice of the Empire, this Law can relate only to Civil Causes, notwith­standing that ambiguous word, for Ec­clesiastical Causes were all along left to the Church either in pretence or reality, but Civil Causes reserved by some Empe­rors to their own Courts, and by some granted to the Judgment of the Church it self as an Act of Favour, and therefore it must be understood of the Cancelling of these Acts of Grace by the Tyrant, when the same favour is restored, especi­ally when back't, by that general reason, that it is not fit that the Ministers of God should be accountable to the Secu­lar Powers, because by the Practice of the Empire, they were not for the d [...]scharge of the Ministerial Off [...]ce, and therefore this Law cannot relate to their duty as Priests, but as Citizens, to refer them in all such Causes, as some former Emperors had out of kindness done, to the Eccle­siastical Judicature.

All the Laws of these Emperors under the following Titles are scarce any thing else then the Ratifications of the Rescripts of former Emperors, especially of Theo­dosius the Great, and his Son Honorius, against the small Remainders, that were left of Hereticks, Jews, and Heathens. [Page 217] And as for the Hereticks in particular, they were reduced to an inconsiderable handful of Men, never able to make any Head against the Catholick Church, that was never after this time troubled with any of the old Schisms and Heresies. Though it was assaulted with new ones, and so it must be, as long as the Taint of Vanity is left in Humane Nature; but as fast as it sprung up, they were cut off by the same Method of Go­vernment. So that by the reiterated ex­periments of so many Emperors here Re­corded in this Code, we find the true Effi­cacy of Penal Laws against all the extra­vagant wantonness of Schism and Singu­larity. Under the Title de Haereticis, there are ten Laws of Theodosius the Younger, beside two other under the Title of Ne sanctum Baptisma iteretur, and three of Valentinian the Third, but they are only Recapitulations of former Laws, to glean up the small scatterings that were left of the Ancient Schisms and He­resies. The most remarkable of them all is the 65th Law by Theodosius in the year 428, that is an Epitome of all the former Laws, by which he sweeps away at once 23 Sects, by enjoyning the Exe­cution of the former Laws against them, upon the Judges under the same Penalty that the Law inflicts upon the Offenders. [Page 218] Quae omnia ita custodiri decernimus, ut nulli Judicum liceat delatum ad se crimen, mi­nori aut nulli coercitioni mandare, nisi ipse id pati velit, quod aliis dissimulando concesserit.

Under the Title de Apostatis there is only one Law of Valentinian to tye the Punishment of Intestability upon Aposta­tes with more severity in the year 426, to which may be added the like Law a­gainst the Jews under that Title, under which are extant seven more of Theodo­sius the Younger;L. 28. l. 18. the first is very parti­cular forbidding the Jews upon their great Festival of Aman to burn the Holy Cross in shew of their Contempt of the Christian Religion. For that had been their Custom ever since their deliverance by Hester from the Conspiracy of Haman, to Celebrate that day with extraordinary extravagance of Joy and Mirth, and a­mong other Customary Solemnities, they were wont to burn the Effigies of Haman, and his Gallows with mighty Triumph and Acclamation. But it seems they had at this time changed the Gal­lows for a Cross, thereby to reflect Con­tempt upon our Saviour and his Religion: And for that very reason are they forbid that Custom under Penalty of forfeiting all their other Liberties. The following Laws under this Title, viz. l. 21, 22▪25, 26, 27. were only enacted to defend [Page 219] them and their Synagogues from the vi­olence of the Rabble, only the 27th is made to restrain the Insolence of Gama­liel the Patriarch in the year 415, up­on which followed the dissolution of that Office among the Jews. For four years after, in the year 419, he publisht a Re­script, the last under that Title,L. 29. com­manding the Jewish Governors to re­fund all the Crown-Gold, that they had collected since the abolition of their Pa­triarchs, and withal commanding all his own Officers for the time to come to collect the same Tribute for the use of his own Exchequer. And so ended the succession of Jewish Patriarchs, that had continued from their dispersion to this ve­ry day, by what accident, 'tis uncer­tain, but it was probably occasion'd by the great Misdemeanors of Patriarch Ga­maliel, who as we find by the 22d Law had highly abused the Emperor's favor to the Oppression of the Christians them­selves. To these Laws may be added two more under the next Title,L. 4.5. ne Christianum Mancipium Judaeus habeat, forbidding Jews to keep Christian Slaves upon pain of death.

Under the Title de Paganis, there are only five Laws of Theodosius to renew the Laws in force against them, upon supposition that there are any Pagans re­maining [Page 220] in the Empire, as it is expressed in his second Law.L. 22. Paganos, qui super­sunt, quanquam jam nullos esse credamus, pro­mulgatarum legum jamdudum praescripta compescant. And thus was this body of Imperial Laws finisht and consign'd, that has ever since been the Standard of Law to most parts of the Christian World, and from it we are fully instructed in the pro­per method of curing Schisms and Heresies, viz. by abetting the Discipline of the Church with Penal Laws effectually execut­ed upon the Offenders. This, after all the Experiments that were tryed by several Emperors, was found the only proper Remedy against all the Distempers of the Church, as Theodosius himself ob­serves in his third Novel concerning all sorts of Dissenters. Quos si ad sanita­tem mentis egregiae lege medicâ revocare conemur, severitatis culpam ipsi praesta­bunt, qui durae frontis obstinato piaculo locum veniae non relinquunt. ‘If we en­deavor to reduce these Men by sharp Physick to sobriety of Mind, they them­selves must bear the blame as well as the Punishment of our Severity, that by their wicked obstinacy stop up all Avenues of Mercy or Pardon.’ That is the true state of the Case, there is al­wayes a natural stubbornness mixt with [Page 221] Schism, and nothing but smart can cure it. And this is the thing, that makes it so necessary to add Penal Laws to the Discipline of the Church, thereby to stanch that peevishness, that without it will naturally fly out into all the follies and wildness of humane Nature. And all Princes, that either out of their own na­tural Curiosity to try the experiment, or being forced by the necessity of the times, have taken off the Penal Laws, or sus­pended their execution, have soon been convinced of their mistake by the fatal Consequences, that it has brought upon their Government.

As for the Laws that were enacted by these Emperors after the sealing of the Code, and for that reason call'd Novels or new Laws,Tit. 3. there are two of Theodosi­us and three of Valentinian. The first of Theodosius is only a revival of his own 56th Law de Haereticis, commanding the execution of all Laws against Jews, Heathens and Hereticks.Tit. 21. His next Law takes away all manner of exemptions from Publick Taxes, and among others those granted to the Clergy by his Predeces­sors, which the Emperor excuses by the pressing difficulty of the present time, though it is evident that granting or withdrawing such favors, are meer Acts [Page 222] of the Prerogative Royal. The third Law placed in the Novels of Theodosius, belongs not to him but to Valentinian the third, directed to his Prefect in France, and is of a peculiar Nature from all the other Laws in the whole Code, being indeed not so properly an Imperial as a Papal Rescript, and extorted by the Importunity of an assuming Pope to ju­stifie his own Proceedings. There had been an old Contest between the Bishops of Arles and Vienna for the Metropoli­tical Superiority, for though it had al­ways belong'd to Vienna, yet Patroclus a very ill Man getting into the Bishop­rick of Arles by Court-tampering, u­surps it to himself, and is backt in it by Pope Zosimus with the pretended Autho­rity of ancient Canons. But this is con­tradicted by his two next Successors, Bo­niface and Celestine upon the very same Plea of ancient Canons: And that was the custom of all Popes at that time, following the dance of Innocent the first, to make the Canons speak what them­selves pleased, and when they pleased to speak Contradictions. But in the time of Leo the great, Hilarius Bishop of Ar­les and a mettlesom Man, would not be content with his Metropolitical Autho­rity, but sets up for a Patriarchal Supre­macy [Page 223] over all France and Independency upon Rome. This transports that proud and jealous Pope beyond all bounds of revenge and outrage, and upon it he writes in great fury to the Bishops of France, to depose him from his Metro­political Authority, and cancels all Acts of his Government in that capacity. And as for the Grant of his Predecessor Zosimus to that See, he has the confi­dence to pretend that it was only tem­porary and personal, though by it he im­posed as grosly upon Zosimus, as Zosi­mus himself did upon the ancient Ca­nons; and to ratifie all, he procures this Imperial Rescript commanding absolute Obedience to all his Commands, and in effect erecting an universal Supremacy for him. But the matter, the stile, and the spirit of the Rescript, too much be­tray the rough hand of Leo himself in it. And it was no hard Matter for so bold a Man to extort what he pleased from such a softly Prince. And yet this very same Man, when Hilarius dyed, got Ravennius a very weak Man to suc­ceed him, and then restored the Metro­political Authority to him and his See: and thus did these Men set up and pull down as served the ends of their own Ambition, and all out of pure Reverence [Page 224] to the ancient Canons. And to speak a plain truth plainly, they meerly lyed themselves into their universal Suprema­cy, as I shall shew more at large not on­ly from this instance of Arles, but from two other great transactions on foot at the very same time, that is, their Usur­pation over the Churches of Africk and Illyricum. And though in the first, they were shamefully baffled by the A­fricans, who exposed their gross and scandalous Forgeries to the World, yet it shews that they trusted to nothing so much at the time of their usurpation as the Sovereign Power of lying. But to keep to our present business. His next Law is to confirm all the Rescripts of former Emperors Pagan as well as Chri­stian,Tit. 2. to out-law the Manichees. This Law was made upon the discovery and confession of some very foul matter by one of the Ring-leaders of that Sect, what the Fact was, it was not thought decent to express, and it is only in gene­ral thus described. Quorum incesta per­versitas Religionis nomine Lupanaribus quoque ignota vel pudenda committit, such a foul incest under pretext of Religion that it was not so much as named in the publick Stews. His next Law is against the Robbers of Tombs and Sepulchres, it [Page 225] is a very severe one, and one of the most eloquent for the stile in the whole Col­lection. Servants and poor People con­victed of it are punisht with death. Men of fortune with forfeiture of half their E­states and all their Honors, Clergy-Men with deposition from their Orders, and perpetual banishment. And as for all Governors, that shall neglect the execu­tion of this Law, they forfeit both E­state and Honor. His last Law is to re­gulate the Bishops Courts, and to revive some Laws of former Emperors relating to the Clergy, it gives the Bishops power of Judicature, praeeunte vinculo compro­missi, by way of Arbitration, but no o­therwise. It allows Bishops and Presby­ters to appear in the Civil Courts by their Proxies for all Causes unless Perso­nal Crimes, and lastly it prescribes what Persons may, or may not be received into Holy Orders, according to several fore-mention'd Rescripts of former Empe­rors.

§. XV. But the most material Law of this reign is still behind, and that is the Law to confirm the Decrees of the great Council of Ephesus, that was both call'd and ratified by Theodosius the Younger, which I have reserved to this place, to [Page 226] treat of it by it self, because as it is the greatest transaction of this Reign, so is it another eminent Instance of the right Concurrence of the Powers of Church and State in the determination of Eccle­siastical Controversies, and enacting of Ecclesiastical Laws and Canons. All the old Schisms and Heresies being vanquisht by the Methods already described, such is the wantonness of Humane Wit, that it fell upon contriving new Conceits, for its own sport and entertainment. There is such a natural Vanity in some Mens Tempers, that they can scarce live with­out singularities and innovations; from whence comes that necessity of Heresies, that St Paul speaks of; they are the certain effects of Pride and Pedantry, and as long as there are and will be born in all Ages Men of that Complexion, no­thing can hinder them from venting their own novel and home-spun Metaphy­sicks. And therefore it cannot be expe­cted that the Church should be altoge­ther free from Heresies, for that cannot be done without an alteration of Hu­mane Nature, it is enough that it is fur­nisht with means to stop and cure the Disease, whenever it breaks out in the body of the Church, as we have seen great numbers of Botches dispersed and [Page 227] reduced to nothing by the right exercise and concurrence of the Civil and Eccle­siastical Jurisdiction. And after this time it is observable that Heresies were not so long-lived, for now the Method of their cure being understood by experience (which when all is done, is the best Art of Physick) it was so soon dispatch't, that they rarely survived their Author; and after one sentence effectually execu­ted, they scarce ever put the Government to a second trouble, as will appear by the following History.Soc. lib. 7. c. 29. E­vag. l. 1. c. 2. Nestorius being cho­sen to the swelling Throne of Constanti­nople, by Theodosius the Younger out of the Church of Antioch, to avoid or ra­ther end a violent competition at home, he brings along with him one Anastasius, a Presbyter, his inseparable Friend and Companion,Annot. in Evag. l. 1. c. 2. and Valesius is pleased to be so critical as to affirm that he was his Syncellus, an Office in the Pallaces of Patriarchs, who had power to choose what Presbyters they pleased, to cohabit with them, who were therefore stil'd Syncelli or Concellanei. But I doubt this learned Man here derives this Office too high, for we find no foot-steps of any such State in the Records of the Church till after the Institution of Patriarchates by the Council of Calcedon, and then we [Page 228] have frequent mention of it in History, though nothing but deep silence before. But whatever he were, whereas the Ti­tle of [...], or Mother of God had been so familiarly given to the Virgin Ma­ry by the Ancients, that it was by custom become her proper Title and always an­next to her name, against this Anastasius inveighs in a Sermon, and affirms that she ought not to be stil'd [...], the Mother of God, but [...] the Mother of Man. But the People ha­ving been accustom'd to the Word, put themselves into Tumults in its defence, whereas Nestorius in stead of correcting his Presbyter, justifies his Doctrin, and to mollifie the roughness of the expres­sion, and appease the Dissention, whilst some cryed up the word [...], and others the word [...], invents the middle word [...], as himself gives an account of his own Opinion in his Apology to the Prefect of Egypt in the time of his Banishment.Apud Evag. l. 1. cap. 7. And to ju­stifie his Conceit, he starts a new No­tion, that our Saviour was compounded of two Persons, one Divine, and one Hu­mane, that only the humane was born of the Virgin Mary, to which the Di­vine was united after his Nativity. These Novelties put the whole City into an [Page 229] Uproar, and he being a Man of a furious and a fiery Temper, instead of appea­sing the Tumult, as any Man of discre­tion would have done, like a mad Man he resolves to encounter, and over-come it by the meer strength of Fury and Vio­lence, and this raises the Contest into perfect Out-rage, so that as Socrates tru­ly enough describes it,Lib. 7. c. 32.33. it was turn'd into a Mid-night scuffle, in which both Par­ties fought in the dark, not knowing where they aim'd their Blows, or what they affirm'd, or what they denyed, the People on one side unjustly charging Ne­storius with the Heresie of Paulus Samo­satenus; and Nestorius on the other side being an ignorant unlearned Man, a meer popular Preacher, and altogether unac­quainted with the Writings of the Anci­ents, and for that reason rashly rejecting this old Word, as an upstart Novelty, and being withal a very proud and super­cilious Man, he would rather run him­self into any wild Assertions, than con­fess any the least Mistake. This seems to have been the true and impartial ac­count of the rise of this Heresie, though Baronius according to his great Faculty of straining all things into far-fetcht Guesses,Ad Annum 428. is zealous to derive it from Pau­lus Samosatenus. But where or whenso­ever [Page 230] it first began, the noise of it at this time flies from Constantinople, Cyrilli E­pis [...] 1▪ into for­reign Parts. And first Cyril of Alexan­dria endeavors to antidote his own Pro­vince against the Poison, that some of his Monks had already suckt in from Ne­storius his Agents, which he sent into o­ther Parts to propagate his Heresie. Af­ter this to check it before it spread too far, he writes to the Emperor Theodosius, and to the Empresses Pulcheria and Eu­docia distinct and large confutations of it.Act. Con­cil. Ephes. part. 1. cap. 3▪4.5. But Nestorius was a Courtier, and no doubt so much the dearer to the Em­peror as his Creature, for he rather crea­ted, then made him Bishop of that great Throne; And having the Emperour's Ear, he exasperates him against Cyril, (though he named him not) as appears from the sowr Answer that he return'd him,Ibid. c. 31. in which he charges him as a disturber of the peace of the Church, loads him with envy at the Honour that Nestorius had by his savour, and interprets it as a reflection upon himself, to prefer a man so high, that Cyril represents so ill, and looks upon his writing three several Letters, to him­self, his Queen, and his Sister, as a design to make division among them; and last­ly tells him, That it is sawcy and pragma­tical for a man at so great a distance to [Page 231] inform him of his own affairs, and what was done at his own doors. But after all he gratiously forgives all these Misde­meanours, and refers the examination of the cause to a Council of Bishops, who he says were the only fit Judges of it, and to their determination he promised to stand, and he was as good as his word. After these Attempts upon their Majesties,Ibid. c. 6. Cy­ril tryes in the next place to reclaim the Man himself by a Civil Letter, in which he desires him for the love of God to stop such wild Propositions that were vented abroad under pretence of his Au­thority, as that Christ was not God, but only the Organ and Vehicle of the Divi­nity, and tells him that the Church was put into disturbance by such loose, pro­phane and licentious Expressions, and not by any thing (as Nestorius had been pleased to suggest) that himself had done to oppose them, and so passionately ex­postulates with him, that he should be so unkind and so unjust as to load him to their Imperial Majesties, with the o­dious Character of the Master of Distur­bance.Ibid. c. 7. To all which he returns him a very short and surly Answer, and that he might not interpret any Answer at all for too great a Civility, he tells him over and over, that it was extorted from him by [Page 232] the importunity of his Messenger Lampo. At this time some of Cyril's Clergy that he had deposed for their Scandalous Mis­demeanours and Debaucheries,Cap. 8▪ endea­vour to make this Breach wider by car­rying false Stories and Calumnies against him to Constantinople, but that for the present Cyril sets aside, and entreats him with all manner of Friendship and Civi­lity, as he loved the Truth of God and the Peace of his Church, to consider the strange Consequences of his Opinion.Cap. 9▪ To this he prevails with himself at length to return him an haughty Answer, and scorning (as he expresses it) to take notice of the contumelious and scurrillous Lan­guage of his wonderful Letters, proceeds to dispute the Point with great Contempt of his Ignorance, but much greater ex­posing of his own. And at last assures him that all the ill Stories that had been brought to Alexandria from Constantino­ple, were carried by some Clergy-men, that had been deposed for no less Crime then the Manichaean Heresie. And that was not improbable, for it is evident through the whole Story of the Christi­an Church, that all Schisms and Animosi­ties were ever promoted by the obnoxi­ous Clergy, that so in the Tumult them­selves might escape Scot-free from the [Page 233] severity of its Discipline. But these heats not being so well understood at their first Eruption,Cap. 10. some of St. Cyril's friends write to him to forbear his warm and vehement Contests with Nestorius, in Answer to which he removes the blame of all from himself upon Nestorius, who had justified Dorotheus, that had denoun­ced before him a publick Anathema a­gainst all that affirm'd the Virgin-Mary to be [...], which he says was no less then Anathematising both the Present and the Antient Church, whereas on the other side himself had Acted with so much temper, that he had hitherto for­born to Anathematise their Assertion, and had only advised them to forbear damning all the Fathers. But because he continued Vigorous and Resolute in his Prosecution of this Prophane Novelty,Cap. 11. they spread abroad Reports, that it was done out of meer Envy to the Greatness of Nestorius, and his own love of Con­tention, of which he being informed by a moderate friend, he protests that by his natural humour of all things in the World he abhors nothing more then wrangling, and that for the sake of Peace, he would freely sacrifice all that is dear to him, but the Truth of God; and that, as for Nestorius, though he had received many [Page 234] injuries from him, he was so far from bearing him any ill Will, that what he did was out of kindness to him, only to put him upon clearing himself from those errors in the Faith, that were vulgarly, and he hoped falsly charged upon him, which if he would be pleased to do, him­self should be very glad of his Friend­ship. But the Quarrel advances, whil'st Anastasius pretending Peace undertakes to prove in a Discourse before the Clergy of Constantinople, that Cyril in his Book a­gainst him was at last of the same Opini­on with himself.Cap. 12. Upon this Cyril writes to them to convict him of manifest leasing and impudence,Cap. 13. and upon that the Cler­gy of Constantinople draw up a Schedule to parallel the Assertions of Nestorius with the Doctrines of Paulus Sam [...]satenus, as the Father of this Heresie, (from whence Suidas, Ad [...] 428. p. 530. and from him Baronius rashly sup­pose him to have descended of his Off­spring) and when they had so done, they by common consent publish it in their Churches, which could not but be an un­pardonable Provocation to his Proud and Violent Spirit, and indeed it was a just ground of displeasure against them, it be­ing a false and unjust Charge against their own Bishop. But Cyril finding by his furious temper that he was not to be re­claimed, [Page 235] endeavours to engage all the Bi­shops of the most eminent Churches a­gainst him,Cap. 14. and first he writes to Celestine the great Bishop of Rome, to inform him of the whole matter and beg his Assistance and Advice, Celestine immediately takes very high offence at Nestorius, Condemns him in Council,Cap. 15. and by the Authority of the Apostolick See deposes him, if he re­pent not within 10 days, and writes to John of Antioch, Rufus of Thessalonica, Juv [...]nal of Jerusalem, and Flavianus of Philippi to desire their Concurrence to his Sentence. And no doubt he took the Complaint so much the more greedily, as being glad of any opportunity to take down the Proud and Aspiring Prelates of that See, of whom he had too much rea­son to be jealous at that time, when they had made several Attempts to mount the Throne of the Imperial City above the Apostolical Chair it self. But now Ne­storius perceiving the Clouds to gather, and that a Storm was like to overtake him by Cyril's Activity, he follows him with his Letters to Celestine, though pre­tended to be written upon another occa­sion,Cap. 16, 17. viz. Concerning the Pelagian Bishops that had been cast out of the Western Church for their Heresie, but were then at Constantinople filling all Peoples Ears [Page 236] with Complaints of their unjust Sentence, and daily soliciting both the Emperor and himself for restitution, and therefore de­sires to let him know their Crime, that he may rid both his Royal Master and himself from their Importunity. After this his own Controversie is brought in as it were by way of Postscript, to prevent false Reports against him, and soon after he sends him larger discourses in his own Justification. Upon which he returns him a very stately and supercilious An­swer (as if he were particularly pleased in insulting over a Bishop of Constantino­ple) cutting him off from the Commu­nion of the Catholick Church,Cap. 18. allowing him only 10 days from the time of the Receipt of the Instrument, to redeem himself from the Fatal Decree, by a pub­lick and open Repentance. And as for the Cause of the Pelagians, he rates him very smartly for giving them any Counte­nance or Entertainment, and reflects sus­picious of that Heresie upon him for his presuming to interpose in their behalf, however it is not time for him to inter­cede for others, but to take speedy care of himself.Cap. 19. This being done, he certifies his Sentence to the Clergy and People of Constantinople, letting them know that if Nestorius did not recant within 10 days, [Page 237] they should no longer own him for their Bishop. And the same thing is done by his several Epistles to the forementioned Bishops, all which is seconded by Cyril, who was glad to fortifie himself with the Authority of the Apostolick See, and therefore he sends by the same Messenger that first brought Celestine's Letter to him­self, a particular account to them and to Acacius of Beraea of all the fair means that had been used for reclaiming Nestori­us before they proceeded to this severity, who all agree with him against Nestorius, Cap. 23. as it is evident by Acacius his Answer to it, this he particularly assures him for himself, and John of Antioch, who upon it writes a very kind and prudent Letter to his old Friend Nestorius, Cap. 25. conjuring him by all the Tyes of Friendship, not to di­sturb his own and the Churches Peace by contending about a word, whilest him­self professed to own the sense of it. And withal tells him, that if he would suffer himself to be perswaded to disclaim the Controversie, it would be so far from the dishonour of a Recantation, that it would be an eminent Act of Wisdom and Great­ness of Mind, to forego Contentions and his own Opinions, that were not necessary to the Faith, for the Peace of the Church, and this he writes as the unanimous [Page 238] sence of divers Bishops that were his Friends. This Letter might probably have made some impression upon his great Spirit, had not Cyril spoyled all by his own over eagerness, for now finding himself so well back't, he would not be satisfied with the meer quitting his opini­on, but he must be obliged to anathema­tise it too, and accordingly tenders him 12 Anathema's to subscribe, which though they were Theological Verities, were, I think, too nice to be imposed as Articles of Faith and necessary conditions of the Peace of the Church. And I am withal very apt to think, that if this new Im­position had not made the breach wider, it might have been made up, for both Nestorius and Anastasius seem'd by this time not to have been very fond of their Cause, if they could any way have quit­ted it with honour. But this new Im­position of Cyril so enflames his Chole­rick Nature, that he now forgets all Tem­per, and encounters Anathema's with Anathema's, and throws himself into an utter incapacity of Reconciliation upon the Terms of Pope Celestine, and that which is worse, it gave him the advantage and reputation of a Party, for John of Antioch was so offended at their rigour,Liberati Brev. cap. 4. that it made him side with Nestorius a­gainst [Page 239] Cyril: and it was this that enfla­med the Zeal of Theodoret, who as ap­pears by his Epistles to Sporadius and Ire­naeus, was before and after this time no Friend to the opinions of Nestorius, but an irreconcileable Enemy to Cyril and his Anathema's, and therefore though he were one of those Bishops that had sub­scribed John of Antioch's Epistle to Nesto­rius, he could never after brook this Impo­sition of Cyril. But now Nestorius having gained this advantage by this over Pur­suit, rallies with greater fierceness, and rages with greater Cruelty then ever, es­pecially against his own Clergy, and up­on it they Address to the Emperor with a Petition for Redress against his oppressi­ons,Cap. 30. and for a general Council to settle the Peace of the Church, which he im­mediately grants, and so Summons a Council to Ephesus in the 24th Year of his Reign, and in the Year of our Lord 431. And sends Candidianus one of his great Officers to the Synod to keep good order in it, and not,Cap. 35. as he declares in his Letter to the Council, to intermeddle with the determination of Questions or Controversies, that should be debated a­bout matters of the Christian Faith, be­cause it is not lawful for any man, that is not admitted into the Order of the Holy [Page 240] Bishops, to interpose himself in Ecclesia­stical Affairs and Debates: And so bids them proceed to a peaceable decision of the present Controversie, and no other, and as he gives them full Liberty and Freedom of Debate, so he assures them that whatever they agreed upon, he would ratifie. The Bishops met at the time ap­pointed to the number of above 200, M. Mercator, In praefat. ad Symb. Theod. who himself was present there, says precisely 274. Only Capreo­lus Bishop of Carthage writes to the Council to have the African Bishops excu­sed, who could not Travel at that time because of the Incursion of the Vandals over the whole Country: so that there were none wanting but only John of An­tioch and his Eastern Bishops, and after he had made the Council wait 16 days, he at last sends them word not to stay for him, because his coming would be alto­gether uncertain. It was easie for him to foresee which way the Council would incline, and therefore he was unwilling to be present at the Condemnation of his old Friend. And so the Council suggest to the Emperor, that he sided with Ne­storius [...],Act. 5. [...], or as they express it in their Letter to Celestine, that he avoided the Council ei­ther out of Friendship to Nestorius, be­cause [Page 241] he had been a Clerk of his Church▪ or because he was overcome by the per­swasions of others, though the true rea­son was the disgust that he had taken a­gainst the Anathema's, and a Compact between him and Nestorius by them to disturb and perplex the Proceedings of the Council, as will appear by the Event. For when the Council proceeded upon it, Nestorius refuses to appear till the coming of John of Antioch, but they after 3 Sum­mons and 3 days patience, go on to Judg­ment, and upon hearing the whole Evi­dence, he is Condemned and Deposed by the Unanimous Vote of the Council, and his Condemnation is proclaim'd through the City by the publick Cryer, and fixt up in Writing in the Chief Places of Re­sort to the great joy of the People. And an Account of their Proceedings is with all possible speed certified to the Emperor, beseeching his Majesty to keep the Con­demned Doctrine of Nestorius out of all Churches, cause his Books to be burnt in all places with such Penalties upon Offenders, as he should think fit in his Royal displeasure to inflict, and so the Apostolical Faith will [...]e protected and preserved by your Imperial Power. But this Letter was delayed by Candidianus who sided with Nestorius against the [Page 242] Council, which Cyril suspecting informs the Clergy of Constantinople of the▪ real truth to prevent false News, and it was but necessary, for before the Letter came to the Emperor's hands,Act. 4. Nestorius and ten other Bishops that stuck to him had sent him a fair Story of the illegal and violent proceedings of the Council.

But as for all Letters from the Coun­cil,Act. 6. they were diligently intercepted, and as the Clergy of Constantinople inform the Council, all ships were searched, and the high-ways beset, so that no Person that came from the Council was suffer'd to pass to the City, whilst correspondence was free and open to the Enemy, and this was done with that strange diligence that the Messengers who brought the Letter from the Council to them, could find no other way of conveighing it into the City then by a begger-Man, that had it closed up within a walking Cane.

Liberati Brev. c. 6.But when John of Antioch comes to E­phesus a few days after the Sentence, he protests against it, requiring them upon pain of Deposition and Excommunicati­on to acquiesce in the Nicene Faith, to piece no Novelties to it, and to reject Cyril's heretical Anathema's, and by the encouragement and perswasion of Candi­dianus, rakes together a little Council of [Page 243] forty three Bishops, whereof the greatest part had been deposed, and some were meerly titular, for re-hearing the Cause. And here he is solemnly inform'd by Can­didianus himself, that he was order'd by the Emperor not to open his Commission but in full Council, and that when Cyril and Memnon and their Associates com­bin'd to meet before the arrival of the Eastern Bishops▪ he forbid them in the Emperor's Name, but they forced him to comply for fear of a Sedition, and that he left the Council and protested against their Proceedings, and that when he found the sentence of Deposition set up against Nestorius, he caused it to be pull'd down, and knew nothing of it till he was inform'd by its publication in the Market-Place. And yet being farther askt whether they entred upon the Ex­amination of the merits of the Cause be­fore they past sentence, he replys (like a raw and unexperienced Evidence) that they made no Inquiry at all, and this he attests as an Eye witness, though he had all along declared, that he was absent from the Council, and knew nothing of the Sentence till it was publisht in the City.

But though the contradiction of the Testimony did not convict it self of false­hood, [Page 244] yet the Acts of the Council would, the particular Votes and Debates of the several Bishops, as they were taken by the Notaries, standing there upon per­petual Record. But upon th [...]s the Con­venticle de [...]ose Cyril and Memnon, ana­thematise the Anath [...]ma's, and all that refuse to anathemati [...]e them, and certi­fie to the Emperor the deposition of Cyril and Memnon in the name of the Council. Though Socrates is here so far mistaken as to impute that to Nestorius, Lib. 7. c. 34. which was now done by John of Antioch, viz. that himse [...]f and his sma [...]l Council of 10, had deposed Cyril and Memnon immedi­at [...]ly upon t [...]e Sentence of the Council against him. But the Schismaticks ha­ving charm'd the Emperor by their Let­ter, and by his President Candidianus who sung the Chorus to their Song, the [...] sing over the same Tune in several Addresses to the Clergy, the Senate, and the People of Constantinople, and to clinch all, to the Empress and Princess Royal. But about this time arrived the [...]ope's Legates with Letters from his Ho­liness to the Council, that f [...]r the great­er State are only to be read in the La­tin Tongue, and afterward by way of Condescension in the Greek at the Peti­tion of the Fathers, though they were [Page 245] writ [...]en in both Languages, this was one of the most early Affectations of Lordly State in the Papacy. The next day they require all the Acts of the Council to be read over, as their Master Celestine had given them in command, which being done, they by the Sovereign Authority of St. Peter and his Successors in the A­postolick See give validity to the Sen­tence, without which state of the Papal Veult Le Roy, it could have had no ef­fect. But the Council were glad of their Concurrence, to ballance it against the opposition of John of Antioch, and upon it they write a second Letter to the Em­peror,Act. 3. informing him of the agreement both of the Eastern and Western Church in the Sentence against Nestorius, and re­quest him not to credit th [...] Letters, that after the sentence of t [...]e Catholick Church so fully declared in Council, were threatned to be sent abroad by some Men, tha [...] preferr'd their friendship to Ne­storius before the Peace of the Church. Af­ter this Cyril and Memnon move the Coun­cil to call John of Antioch to account for the injury that he had done to them in their Deposition, and to the whole Council in controuling its sentence. Upon this they send some of their number to cite John to appear, but by the favor of Candidi­anus [Page 246] he has his Guards as well as Nesto­r [...]us, and by them the Bishops are affron­ted and repulst, and finally refusing to ap­pear, he and his Associates are condem­ned and deposed, and their deposition certified to the Emperor and Pope Cele­stine. But the Schismaticks had the Courtiers to back them, and therefore are so far from submitting to the Sen­tence of the Council, that they both de­fie that, and depose the Council it self, and send their Complaints to the Empe­ror of the violent courses used against them as if they were in continual dan­ger of their Lives, and ply the Courtiers with dismal stories of barbarous usage, beg them by all the motives of Huma­nity to rescue them from their dismal condition. But their complaints to the Emperor being vouch't by Candidianus, the Emperor sends Letters to the Coun­cil by Palladius to null all their Acts, for which the Schismaticks you may be sure, return their letter of humble thanks, applauding the Wisdom and Goodness of his Imperial Majesty. But the Coun­cil finding hereby that the Emperor had been abused with false tales, write to him by Palladius to assure his Majesty of the truth of those Acts that they had sent him, and whereas Candidianus had [Page 247] given him other Information out of his friendship to Nestorius, they assure him that he was altogether ignorant of the Proceedings of the Council, and had not so much as ever seen the Books in which their Acts were enter'd. That the Bi­shops, who join'd with Nestorius were either such as had been already deposed, or such as knew themselves obnoxious to the Discipline of the Church, and so must have been deposed, though they had con­tinued with the Council. And as for their complaints of Violence they were so far from truth, that all the Guards attended Nestorius and his Party, that Irenaeus broke into the Council in a tu­multuary way, and with Military force to the great danger of their Lives, and humbly petition his Majesty that five of the Council might attend him to give him farther Information in the presence of Candidianus. Upon this Irenaeus, who was a Courtier, that accompanied Candidianus to the Council out of meer zeal for Nestorius, is posted away to Con­stantinople by the schismatical Party with fresh Certificates of the wild and disor­derly behavior of Cyril and Memnon. Neither was he remiss in his Embassy, and so improved their Tales by word of Mouth, that though he had been pre­vented [Page 248] by Messengers from the Council, who came three days before him, and had p [...]epossest the greatest part of the People, and stagger'd the Emperor him­sel [...], yet he so satisfied him with his Re­lation of the whole Matter, that he con­firm'd the deposition of Cyril and Mem­non, as well as Nestorius. And sends John his Comes Sacrorum, another favourer of Nestorius, to see it put in execution, who finding the City in a Tumult about those three Persons, he commits them all to prison, and then takes upon him to pre [...]ch Peace and Reconciliation to the Bishops, and censures them very severely for being so implacable in their Quarrels, as he is pleased to call their resolution for the Orthodox Faith, and the Discipline of the Church. And setting aside the cause of truth in the case, it was an un­pardonable Affront to the Discipline of the Church, that when the Controversie had been determin'd, and the Hereticks deposed by the sentence of so great a Council, this unlearned Courtier should presume to set aside their Authority, and as if they stood upon equal ground after the sentence of the Church was pass't, advise both Parties to shake hands and be friends, and because the Bishops scorn'd to put such a childish slur upon [Page 249] their own Authority, and the discipline of the Church, as to admit Offenders to communion without Canonical satisfacti­on, call them implacable Prelates.Act. 6. But now the Council finding that both the Emperor and themselves had been abu­sed, in that the Letter of the Nestorians to the Emperor about the deposition of Cyril and Memnon was written in the name of the Council, and the Emperors Letter to confirm their deposition as well as that of Nestorius, was directed both to the Council and the Conventicle, as if they had been but one body of Men, they write two Letters to him, to in­form him of the Imposture, but they are intercepted by the Courtiers, who still per­sist to lay all the blame of all these heats and disorders upon the Council it self. In which Office Count John was most bu­sie at his return home, thinking himself affronted by the Council, when they would not prostitute the sacred Discipline of the Church to his illiterate device of Peace and Comprehension. But the Council having no return from the Em­peror to their Letters, and suspecting their suppression, they write to the Cler­gy of Constantinople to inform the Em­peror by Address of all the Abuses that were put upon his Majesty and the [Page 250] Council. But this falls short, for the next Letter that we have, is from the Clergy of Constantinople to the Council, complaining of the want of Correspon­dence, all Passages both by Sea and Land being blockt up, and declaring that they were ready to do any service that the Council would be pleased to com­mand them. By which the Council per­ceive that the first came not to their lands, and therefore send a second to the same effect, that came safe, and upon it they petition the Emperor, and inform h [...]m of the true state of the whole Mat­ter, and the Emperor being puzled with al these cross Stories, orders Commissio­ners from both Parties to repair to Con­stantinople, that he might understand the real Truth of the Controversy. Eight Commissioners are sent on each side, and the Legates of the Council are com­manded in their Instructions to insist upon the deposition of Nestorius, and nothing else, as the Article of Peace. And the Legates from the Conventicle on the other side are commanded to insist upon the abolition of Cyril's Anathema's as Heretical, Schismatical, and unwarrant­able Additions to the Nicene Faith. But when they came, they were not admit­ted into the City for fear of Tumults by [Page 251] the Monks, the Schismaticks were dis­miss't to Calcedon, and indeed the busi­ness was over eight days before their ar­rival, when the Emperor understanding the Cheat that had been hitherto put up­on him, condemn'd Nestorius to perpetu­al Banishment, and set Cyril and Memnon at liberty. And though the Legates of the Conventicle press't him with three Petitions, one upon the neck of another for a Conference, he would not for a long time grant it. But at last their im­portunity prevails, and as themselves boast, they shock the Emperor, for thô he would hear nothing in behalf of Ne­storius, yet he was offended at Cyril's Anathema's, that were represented with too much advantage by the adverse Par­ty as unwarrantable additions to the Ni­cene Faith, of which the Emperor was very jealous, and that was the point that put him upon some Demur. Nestorius stood condemn'd by him from the first sentence of the Council, but on the o­ther side Cyril's Anathema's were offen­sive, as his own private additions to the settled Faith. And therefore Nestorius his Friends let fall his Cause, and only pursue the condemnation of the Anathe­ma's, and that Plea was too plausible with the Emperor, for though they might [Page 252] be Theological Verities, they were no Ar­ticles of Faith, not being express't in the Nicene Creed, and yet so they were made by being imposed upon the Church under the Penalty of an Anathema. And here stuck the pinch of the Controver­sie all the time that it depended at Court, that the Nestorians press't for the exami­nation of the Anathema's, which the Cy­rillians at last endeavor'd to baulk, and in­sist only upon the Heresie and Condemna­tion of Nestorius, and having the Emperor sure on their side in that point, they were sure to carry the Cause at last, for he be­ing tired with the Disputes about the A­nathema's, lets that Controversie fall, and only abets the Sentence of the Coun­cil against Nestorius with his own sen­tence of banishment, and commands the Bishops to choose a Successor into the See, who electing Maximianus are dismist without any determination of the other Controversie. And as if the sentence of the Council and the Confirmation of the Emperor had been invalid without it, Pope Celestine sends his Pontifical Re­script to confirm all, by the Authority of St. Peter. Longius quidem sumus po­siti, Act. part. 3. cap. 20. sed per s [...]licitudinem totum propius intuemur. Omnes habet beati Petri A­postoli cura presentes, non nos ante Deum [Page 253] nostrum de hoc possumus excusare quod scimus.

In all this Contest the greatest Looser next to Nestorius, who lost all, was John of Antioch, who being run down in Council, his confining Adversaries take that advantage to beat him out of his late Usurpations. The Bishops of Cyprus, over whom he had extended his Juris­diction, make their Complaints to the Council, by whose Decree he is expell'd the Island. And whereas he had usurpt over the Provinces of Arabia and Phae­nice, upon which Juvenal the new Bi­shop of Jerusalem, a brisk and ambitious Man had cast his Eye and made some inroads of Usurpation, he now thinks by the advantage of the animosity be­tween Cyril and John of Antioch to have it confirm'd to him in Council, and this was the thing that made him so active there, for which reasons he was nomi­nated one of the eight Commissioners to the Emperor. Which Design is plain­ly suggested to the Emperor, by John and his Party in their first Petition from Cal­cedon. ‘It is evident, Sir, (say they) that some among them have contrived and carried on this wicked design for their own ends, and your Majesty will see them, when they have carried [Page 254] through their Treachery, to divide the Spoils of the Church among them­selves. And though Juvenal of Jerusa­lem took upon him to ordain some of of us, we held our peace, notwithstand­ing that we ought to have contended for the Canons, lest we should have seem'd to contend for our own Ambiti­on. Neither are we ignorant of his Designs and Devices at this very time upon the second Phaenice and Arabia. So that it seems he had made some overt­acts of his design in Council, but Cyril detested and damn'd the Motion, as Pope Leo in his 16th Epistle tells us, That Cyril himself inform'd him by Letter. But though he could not carry it in Council, he got at last both those Pro­vinces, and the three Palestines beside, and kept them till the Council of Calce­don, when both Parties, being conscious to themselves of their having no right to the whole Child, consent to its divisi­on, the three Palestines falling to Juve­nal; Phaenice and Arabia to Maximus of Antioch.

But though the Nestorian Controver­sie was ended, the quarrel was not, that run very high between those two great Prelates, Cyril of Alexandria and John of Antioch, and their greatness drew [Page 255] great numbers of Bishops after them to the great disorder and disturbance of the Church, and great grief of the Emperor,Liberati Brev. cap. 8. who therefore advises with Maximian and other Bishops how to redress the mischief; they answer, that there is no re­medy but John of Antioch's subscribing the condemnation of Nestorius and his Heresie.Act. part. 3. cap. 24. Upon this the Emperor writes to John by Aristolaus commanding him to meet Cyril at Nicomedia, and be re­concil'd to him upon pain of his displea­sure. And this Letter he seconds with another to the famous Monk Simeon Sty­lites, Acacius Bishop of Beraea, Ibid. c. 25, 26. and the Bishops of all the Eastern Provinces to perswade John to return to the Peace and Unity of the Church. Upon this a Council meets at Beraea, and agree up­on this Proposal, that they would con­demn Nestorius upon condition, that Cy­ril would call in all his own Writings a­bout the Controversie. But this being refused, and John being wrought upon,C. 27. either by the Emperor's threatnings or the importunity of his friends, declares his assent to the Decree of the Ephesine Council, Anathematises the Heresie of Nestorius, subscribes his deposition, and approves the ordination of Maximinian. But for the greater solemnity of the bu­siness, [Page 256] and to salve the dishonor of an absolute submission, he sends Paul Bishop of Emesa as his Legate to Alexandria to treat with Cyril about terms of Peace, and sends by him a Confession of Faith, which if Cyril would accept, he was his humble Servant. Now the Confession being Orthodox, and having nothing in it of his own, but only the form of Words, it was as easily accepted as of­fer'd: and so after all this contention a­bout nothing but mutual misunderstand­ing,C. 34. are they at last reconcil'd, as both Cyril objects to the Antiochians in his Letter of Reconciliation, and Theodoret to the Cyrillians in his Letter to Andrew the Monk. But though they were a­greed, the Contest is still kept up by some Mens zeal, and other Mens malice. The Nestorians finding themselves every where excluded the Church by this Uni­on,C. 35. spread abroad reports that Cyril had imbraced the Nestorian Faith, and Let­ters are forged in his name condemning the Council of Ephesus, and some new fanatick Hereticks plead his Authority for their own foolish Novelties. And some over zealous Men of his own Par­ty accuse him of too much complyance with the Hereticks, and this cost Cyril some trouble and time to clear himself as [Page 257] well from the jealousie of his Friends, as from the spite of his Enemies. And so was the Catholick Church at length restored to Peace and Unity, and as Cy­ril relates,C. 44. most of the Nestorians repen­ting of their Heresie, were upon their submission restored to the Catholick Communion.C. 41.4 [...]. And to perfect the work Pope Sixtus writes to both the Bishops to commend them both for his white Boys, quia ad beatum Apostolum Petrum fraternitas universa convenit. And thus the Emperor having at last compast the Restitution of the Churches Peace, for its lasting security, he enacts a Rescript in the year 435 to root the Nestorian Heresie out of all his Dominions. But why no sooner, says Gothofred? Because, says he, the Emperor might suppose that the Hereticks had been reclaimed by the sentence of the Council, but now find­ing that they continued to spread abroad their Books and Opinions, he thought it high time to stop the mischief by this severe Rescript. This may be true, though it is meer guess, but if this learn­ed Man had observed the contest be­tween Cyril and John of Antioch, and that it was 2 or 3 years after the Council before the Emperor could gain John and his Eastern Bishops intirely from the [Page 258] Party of Nestorius, he would have found a very good reason why this Rescript was not sooner publisht, viz. because till then, Affairs were not ripe for it, and if it had been publisht before this strong Party had been taken off, it might have tempted them to join with the Heresie in good earnest. But now when they had declared against it, and Nestorius his own small Party was left alone, it was sea­sonable to prevent its growth by the Exe­cution of this smart Law, and it did the work effectually, for though for a time the Ghost of the Heresie skulkt up and down in other shapes and other langua­ges, yet it could never after get so much courage or confidence, as to appear in its own form in publick. The Rescript consists of three Parts. First it com­mands, That the followers of Nestorius should be call'd by no other name than the nick-name of Simonians, from Simon Magus, as if he were the Author of their Sect, as Constantine the Great named the Arians Porphyrians. Secondly, that all his Books and all other Books whatsoe­ver contrary to the Decrees of the Ephe­sine Council should be brought in, and publickly burnt. Thirdly, that they should be debarr'd of all Meeting Places either in Publick or Private, with the [Page 259] Penalty of Proscription of Goods upon all Offenders against any branch of this Law. And because after this, some Men publisht the same Opinions in new ob­scure and ambiguous Terms, and indea­vor'd to revive them under the Authori­ty of some of the Ancients,V. Liberat [...] Breviar. c. 10. particularly Theodorus Mopsuestenus, and Diodorus Tar­sensis in their Writings against Eunomi­us and Apollinaris, he publishes another Rescript in the year 448 against all such Attempts under the same Penalties. The execution of both which Rescripts, be­ing injoined in good earnest by the Prae­torian Praefects upon their Judges and Under-Officers, soon did their own work. And thus ended the Council and the Heresie together. And things might have been much sooner and much more easily setled, had they not been perplex­ed, partly by the over-eagerness of Cyril in imposing his Anathema's as Articles of Faith, which made John of Antioch and his Party fly off, so that he was forced to quit that imposition, before they could be reconciled. But chiefly by the disho­nesty of the Courtiers, who took part with the Hereticks against the Authori­ty of the Church, and abused the Empe­ror with false tales and reports, but o­therwise all the proceedings in this Mat­ter [Page 260] were fair and regular: the Contro­versie was determin'd by the judgment of the Church, and the judgment of the Church abetted by the Power of the Em­pire, and that is the true and proper concurrence of both Jurisdictions in fram­ing Ecclesiastical Laws.

§. XVI. The Nestorian Heresie being broke and vanquisht by the Authority of the Ephesine Council, and the assistance of the Imperial Power, the Church in­joyed Peace for the space of eighteen years, and govern'd it self by its own Provincial Synods, without the need of any concurrence from the Civil State, till the fiery Zeal of Abbot Eutyches, an over-driving stickler against Nestorius, broke out in new Combustions, who out of too fierce and eager opposition to the exploded Heresie, as it usually happens to Men of furious Tempers, runs head­long into the contrary extreme. So that whereas Nestorius held that the Divi­nity and Humanity in our Saviour were two distinct Persons as well as Natures, he teaches that though they were two distinct Natures before the Incarna­tion, yet after it they were blended into one.Epist. ad [...]ulcber. 11. And for this dull and absurd Me­taphysicks of a thick-skull'd Monk (or as [Page 261] Pope Leo calls it, Error qui de imperitià magis quàm de versutiâ natus est ▪ not a whimsey of subtilty but dullness) must the Christian World be set in Flames and Ashes rather then part with the honour of the deep Invention, so that it brought much more perplexing trouble and distur­bance to the Christian Church then the Nestorian Dream. For though that was not overcome without great difficulty through the Treachery of the Eunuchs and the Courtiers, yet Theodosius being now grown old and desirous of ease, he submitted to their Power, especially the Eunuch Chrysaphius, who as he was his particular Favourite, so was he Eutyches his particular Friend, and he so managed the Emperor as Eusebius did Constantius, and Eudoxius Valens, that instead of assist­ing the Church with his Imperial Power, he opprest and opposed it. From whence it was that during all his Reign, it could never cope with this Heresie, though by the good providence of God it was effe­ctually vanquish't under his Successor Marcian, who came to the Crown both by the Marriage of Pulcheria Sister of Theodosius, and the Choice of the Senate and the Army; one of the greatest Princes in the Imperial Succession, and the man that next to Constantine and Theo­dosius [Page 262] might have deserved the Sir-name of Great Marcelli­nus Comes in his Cha­racter of Theodosius. Omnibus Orientali­bus Princi­pibus praepo­nendus, nisi quod Mar­cianum tertium post se principem imitatorem habuerit.. A Prince of great Conduct, Courage, Prudence, and Piety, a Lover of Justice and Honesty, a strict ob­server of the Laws of the Church and the Empire, and who by his wise management left all things in such a quiet posture, as perhaps no other Reign can equal, when the Successor came in, not by Inheritance but Election.

And therefore I shall give the most ex­act account that I can, of the Ecclesiasti­cal Transactions of his Reign, it being so clear an Exemplification of my design, to shew the right and the wrong ways of exerting the Civil Power in Matters of the Church. In the Year 449, Fla­vianus Bishop of Constantinople, who suc­ceeded P [...]oclus, that succeeded Maximia­nus, held a Council of the [...] or the Bishops then Resident in the City, for which reason in the Acts of the Council, it is called [...], the s [...]journing Synod, according to the new and corrupt Custom of the Bishops of that City upon their Usurpation over the Rights of Metropolitans, to receive Appeals from the Legal Sentence, and determine them in the Synod of these [Page 263] Indwelling Bishops, who attended at Court for their own Affairs and Preferments. A device that the Bishops of Constantino­ple were forced to make use of, because that See being at first but an inferior Bi­shoprick, and subject to its own Metro­politan of H [...]raclea, it could not pretend to a Power of Convening Synods, and therefore they seize this opportunity of consulting with the Bishops Resident in the City without any Summons, and this by Time and a little Custom became a standing Synod superior to the Provin­cial Synods. And that was the particu­lar occasion of this present Council un­der Flavianus, viz. A Contest of Floren­tius the Metropolitan of the Lydian Sar­dis, Liberat. Brev. c. 11. with John and Cossinus two Bishops of his Province, who had Appealed from their Metropolitan to Flavianus and his Court-Conclave, though they upon hear­ing of the Cause were so civil (and that was not usual either with them or any o­ther Usurpers) as to judge it on the side of the Metropolitan. But that matter being fairly and easily dispatch't,Actio pri­ma. Euse­bius the Bishop of Dorylaeum a City of Phrygia Salutaris, and a man eminent for Piety and Learning▪ rises up and ac­cuses his old Friend Eutyches (having long in vain endeavoured, as he declares [Page 264] to the Council, to reclaim him by private advice or discourse) [...]f holding and teaching Heretical Opinions, or a diffe­rent Faith from that delivered from the Apostles, and received by the Nicene Fa­thers, and delivers up the Articles of his Charge in Writing. Upon this Eutyches is summoned to appear, and is after three Citations, and all the shifts of delay, un­kenell'd out of his Monastery, and stript of his Orders. But the great Eunuch Chrysaphius was his friend, and before the Heretick would appear, he flies to him for help and protection, and he pre­vails with the Emperor to send Floren­tius a Courtier and one of his Creatures, with a Rabble of Monks and a Guard of Souldiers along with Eutyches to the Council, but for all that upon a full hear­ing and debating of the Cause, he is a­gain deposed, and eased of his Abby. Upon this he makes his Address to Pope Leo, procures the Emperor's Letters in his behalf, and among his many other Grie­vances, makes that acceptable Complaint▪ That his Appeal to the Apostolical See was rejected by the Bishop of Constantino­ple. Leo was glad of any opportunity to exert his universal Pastorship, but much more to break the Power of that Rival See, and therefore he greedily takes the [Page 265] Judgment of the Cause to himself, writes a very huffing Letter to Flavianus, rates him severely for not acquainting his Ho­liness with his Proceedings, but much more tartly for denying an Appeal to the Apostolical See, and peremptorily Com­mands him to return all the Acts of the Council to himself as the only Supreme Judge, or as he expresses himself in his Answer to the Emperor, Ad praedictum autem Episcopum dedi literas, quibus mihi displicere cognosceret, quòd ea quae in tan­tâ causâ gesta fuerant, etiam nunc silentio reticeret, cùm studere debuerit primitus no­bis cuncta reserare. Flavianus knowing the Spirit of the Man, and being afraid of giving him any Provocation, returns him a very civil and submissive Answer [...]gether with the Acts of the Council, humbly requests his Concurrence and Ap­probation, and assures him that Eutyches had never made any Appeal to his Holi­ness, and therefore had abused him with a palpable falshood. Leo upon this In­formation and the perusal of the Acts is satisfied,Act. 11. and agrees to the Condemna­tion of Eutyches, and returns Flavianus that Famous Epistle in confutation of the Eutychian Heresie, that was afterward so magnified by the Council of Calcedon, as to be made of equal Authority with the [Page 266] Decrees of the General Councils. Upon this Eutyches flies a second time to his friends at Court, and complains that the Acts of the Council had been falsified by Flavianus, and upon that the Bishops that were present at the Council, were re-summoned, and are required to give in their Answer to the Interrogatories upon Oath, but this they unanimously refuse as an affront to their Order, because, as Basil Bishop of Seleucia replyed, it was ne­ver yet heard of that an Oath was offer­ed to Bishops, and therefore upon their word they vouch the truth and sincerity of the Record, and declare that Eutyches never made any offer of Appeal to the Bi­shops of Rome and Alexandria, as he pre­tended in his Bill of Complaint. In short, the Acts themselves being examined and compared with Eutyches his own Copy, exhibited by his Procurators (for he re­fused to appear in Person) they were found to agree so exactly in all particu­lars, as not only to put himself but his friends out of Countenance. And there­fore finding no shelter either at home or at Rome, he betakes himself to Alexan­dria, and there engages Dioscorus who succeeded Cyril in that See, on his side. And he being a man of an ungovernable temper, and willing to put an affront [Page 267] upon the great Bishop of Constantinople (according to the practice of those times, for the Top-Bishops to endeavour to check each others greatness) embraces the Quarrel with all possible Zeal, and pur­sues it with as indefatigable diligence, earnestly solicites the Emperor for a Ge­neral Council to rehear [...] the Cause of Eutyches, which he represents to him as nothing else then an opposition to the Nestorian Heresie,V. Theodos. Lit. ad Ju­ven. Act. 1. and so the Emperor himself took it. And though Flavianus and Leo opposed it with all their Zeal and Power, yet Eutyches having the Eunuchs favour, and the Emperors own aversation against Nestorius to back him, he prevails, and a second Council is summoned to Ephesus 19 years after the first, consisting of 130 Bishops, and the Presidency of the Council is by Chrysaphius his Power with the Emperor determined to Diosco­rus by special Commission. Pope Leo is invited, but his Answer is, That he neither would nor could come, he could not, be­cause at that time Rome was distressed by the Huns, and he would not, because it was not becoming the State of the Apo­stolick Chair to appear in any Council, but however he sends his Legates with Letters to the Council (little suspecting those Irregularities that ensued, but by [Page 268] the Artifice of Dioscorus they were not so much as suffered to be read, and upon it the Legates quit the Council, and up­on that all things are carried with Tumult and Violence by Dioscorus of Alexandria, Juvenal of Jerusalem, Thalassius of Caesa­rea, and Barsumas a debauch't Abbot, who was particularly summoned by the Emperor, and his Vote made equal with the Bishops contrary both to the Canons and the Custom of the Church, as ap­pears by the Subscriptions to the late Council of Constantinople under Flavianus against Eutyches, Action the 7th, where the Bishops subscribe in this Form, IN Bishop subscribe as Judge, and the Abbots in this only, IN Presbyter and Abbot subscribe the Condemnation. And beside all these Irregularities, Count Elpidius, who was sent by the Emperor to preside and keep good order, favouring Eutyches out of Complyance with Chrysaphius took the Judgment of the Council to himself, so as to hinder all Canonical Pro­ceedings, and that soon run the whole matter into Tumult and Confusion, Bar­sumas and his Monks breaking into the Council, beating some, imprisoning o­thers, and forcing others to subscribe a Blank for Eutyches his Absolution, and so Eutyches is absolved, Flavianus and [Page 269] Eusebius of Dorilaeum Condemned, and imprisoned too together with the Popes Legates, only Hilarus escaping by Flight. And to confirm all these unpriestly and unchristian Enormities, Chrysaphius pro­cures an Imperial Rescript, which we shall find afterwards reverst by the Em­peror Marcian. But within three days after the Scuffle Flavianus dies in Goal of the Wounds given him by Barsumas and his Mirmidons, and to him succeeds Anatolius, though he cannot pass at Rome without absolute submission to Pope Leo his Epistles, and the Catholick Church, as if they were the same thing. But Dio­scorus having carried things with so high an hand and bold success, returns home flusht and drunk with Victory, and in one of his Fits excommunicates Pope Leo himself. But the only effect of all these disorders and disturbances in the Church at that time, was the advancement of the Papal Greatness, for as this Pope never failed to exert his Power to the utmost, so every success raised his Throne to a greater height, and he so managed this advantage, as to bring the design of the Papal Supremacy, as it was laid by Inno­cent the First to its full perfection. For though the Title of Head of the Uni­versal Church was not gain'd till Boni­face [Page 270] the Third, yet Pope Leo went away with the Power, and as will appear by the Event, exercised a real Supremacy over the Catholick Church. For being informed of these wild disorders, he immediately calls a Council, and writes to the Emperor to Conjure him by the Holy Trinity, and as he will answer it at the Divine Tribunal, to null all the Acts of that Prophane Council, and by Vertue of an Appeal, that Flavianus made to himself before his death, demands a Ge­neral Council to be held in Italy. And this he seconds with another to his Sister Pulcheria, begging her intercession with the Emperor. And the Emperor Valen­tinian with his Mother Placidia, and his Queen Eudoxia hapning to visit Rome at that time, Leo so plyes them with ruful Stories of the late Ephesine Persecution, that he dissolves the Women into Tears, and engages all their Zeal to intercede with Theodosius for an Italian Council, and this they all do out of that dutiful re­spect to the Supremacy of St. Peter, to whom Leo tells them, that our Saviour and all Antiquity had ever given the Sa­cerdotii Principatus, [...], and [...], as they ex­press it in their several Epistles. But the Emperor was so prepossest by his Eunuchs, [Page 271] and his Zeal against Nestorius, that no im­portunity could prevail upon him, the thing being already Canonically deter­mined, as he replyes to the Empress in answer to her Letrer of Intercession, and by an Imperial Rescript ratifies the deposi­tion of Flavianus as guilty of the Nesto­rian Heresie, and justifies all the Proceed­ings against him at Ephesus, but if we may relye upon the Crude Reports of Ni­cephorus and some later Writers (which I never do) he repented before his death and sent Chrysaphius into Banish­ment, however that was, no publick sa­tisfaction was made to the Church till af­ter his death, when Marcian reverst all the Acts of the Council together with the Re­script of Theodosius by which it was con­firmed, restored the banish'd Bishops, and removed the Body of Flavianus to Con­stantinople, and for the complete settle­ment of the Church summoned a Coun­cil of 630 Bishops in the Year 451, first at Nice, and afterward at the request of the Fathers, at Calcedon.

For these being sensible of the Abuses that had been put upon the Church, by the Imperial Delegates in several Councils, they were desirous that the Emperor him­self might, if there hap'ned any Contest about their Proceedings, interpose by his [Page 272] own immediate Authority; he being then detein'd by urgent Affairs of State at Constantinople, and Calcedon being no more then a Miles distance on the other side the Thracian Bosphorus. And by this putting themselves into his Imperial Majesties own Protection, they in a great measure secured the Liberties of the Church, and rescued it from the long continued Abuses of the Court-De­bauchees; insomuch that though the Em­peror sent many of his Chief Officers of State to manage and moderate in Coun­cil, yet they never presumed to conclude any thing, till himself was present at the 6th Session. But the Council being met at the Emperor's Summons, Pope Leo sends his Legates and his Letters, in which he is pleased to take notice of his Majesties particular Respect to the Apo­stolick See, in that he did not Summon, but only invite him to the Council, when he was not obliged to appear in Person, or as Hilarus, one of his Delegates, after­wards pleads in the Council it self, that it was without Precedent and against all Prescription for a Pope of Rome to ap­pear in Council.Act. 1. p. 122. in Labbè. But his Holiness not being obliged to execute the Office of Supremacy in Person, he sends his Le­gates or Curates as his Representatives [Page 273] to preside over and manage the Council. And the Council being opened, Pascha­sinus, that was the Fore-man of the Am­bassy, moves in his Masters name, the Bi­shop of Rome, the head of all Churches, that Dioscorus of Alexandria may be call'd to the Bar, and not suffer'd to sit as Judg in Council, otherwise himself and his Bre­thren were commanded by their Com­mission to remonstrate. Here the Judges require his Accusation. To this Lucentius, another Legate, replys, That his Crime was too evident, in that he had presum­ed to assume to himself the Authority of a Judg, and pass't sentence, not only without, but against the judgment of the Apostolick See, which as it never ought to be done, so it never had been done; and for this reason he is not admitted to sit upon the Bench, but is turn'd down to the Bar, and his Indictment is exhi­bited by Eusebius of Dorilaeum. But its Prosecution was at present superseded by Theodoret's appearing in Council, that occasion'd a Tumult of the Egyptian, Il­lyrican and Palestine Bishop, against him, and the Eastern, Pontick, Asiatick and Thracian Bishops for him, upon the ac­count of the Animosity between him and Cyril about the Anathema's. From hence they fall to the Examination of [Page 274] the Acts of the Ephesine Council, where the forgeries, the frauds, the violent and illegal Proceedings of Dioscorus, Juvenal, and their Associates against Flavianus and Eusebius are at large most shamefully expo­sed to the World, but their punishment is referred to the Emperor, and so ends the first Action.

In the second they proceed to treat of the settlement of the Faith, where they establish the Nicene Faith against Arius, the Ephesine against Nestorius, and the Epistle of Pope Leo to Flavianus against Eutyches, as necessary Expositions of the Faith. In the third Session (which Valesius says ought to have been the second) comes on the Tryal of Di­oscorus, who upon divers Accusations brought into the Council against him, and after three Citations refusing to ap­pear, is deposed. It is pretty to observe in this sentence, how under this swelling Pope the Acts and Forms of Court were innovated for the advantage of the Pa­pal Power. The Libels or Petitions a­gainst the Offender are addrest in the first place to the Oecumenical Arch-bishop and Patriarch of Rome, and then to the Council it self. And then none must denounce the Sentence, but his own Le­gates, and that too must be done, not [Page 275] in the name of the Council, but in the Name and by the Authority of Pope Leo and St. Peter, and this being done, the Council signifie their sentence to the Emperor and Empress, where again they give all the glory of the Action to Pope Leo. In the fourth Action, beside repe­ting the former Decrees, a Committee is appointed to debate farther concerning the Faith, and Leo's Epistle, which they represent to the Council as agreeable in all particulars to the Nicene Faith. Af­ter that, the Judges acquaint the Fathers that the Emperor is pleased to refer back the sentence against the Accomplices of Dioscorus to themselves, but they tack­ing about, and following the dance of that shameless Ecebolian Juvenal of Jeru­salem, and subscribing the Epistle of Pope Leo, are reconciled and admitted to sit. In the next place the Egyptian Bishops refuse to subscribe either the Condemna­tion of Eutyches and Dioscorus, or the confirmation of Leo's Epistle, during the Vacancy of the Arch bishoprick of Alex­andria upon the deposition of Dioscorus, it being both against the Canons and the Custom of their Church, to act any thing without the consent of their Arch-bishop. But this the Council interpret a meer shift and tergiversation, to escape the [Page 276] subscription to their Decrees, and there­fore insist upon it before their dismissi­on. And tell them withal, that the Ca­non was valid as to the ordinary Affairs of their own Province, but ought to be anticipated and superseded by the deter­minations of general Councils, that in­clude and over-rule all Provincial Juris­dictions. In answer to this they declare their own readiness to subscribe, but dare not for fear of the People when they re­turn home, who they knew would lay violent hands upon them, for betraying the Rights of the great Alexandrian Me­tropolitan. And after long drawing on either side, the matter is adjusted by the mediation of the Secular Judges, that their subscription should be respited till the election of a new Arch-bishop, which was accepted by Paschasinus the Popes Legate, upon this condition that they would give Security by Oath or Sure­ties not to depart the City till that was done, which being readily perform'd it ended the Controversie. After this fol­lows the Petition of the Eutychian Monks of Constantinople to the Emperor, which he referr'd to the Council, as he did all other Addresses, but it being in behalf of Dioscorus against the Council, and par­ticularly their own Bishop Anatolius, [Page 277] from whom they threaten to divide Com­munion, if they persist in their Sentence against Dioscorus, they are taught by A­ëtius the Arch-deacon of Constantinople in a Premunire against the 4th and 5th Canons of the Council of Antioch, where­by all Presbyters are actually excommu­nicated, that presume to separate from their own Bishop. But before they can be farther heard in Council, they are re­quired to subscribe the Epistle of Pope Leo against Eutyches and his prophane Novelties, which refusing they are de­posed from their Orders and expell'd their Monasteries. The Imperial, or (as the Council phrases it) the external Pow­er, according to the holy Laws of their Ancestors, backing their Decree against the Contumacious. This Action is shut up with a very fair decision of a Controver­sie between Photius Bishop of Tyre, and Eustathius Bishop of Beryte, who being a subject Bishop to Photius had [...] by subreption procured a Rescript in the time of Theodosius the Younger, to bring part of the Province into sub­jection to himself, and by force and threatning extorts Photius his consent to it. But this great Council now sitting, Photius Petitions the Emperor to write to the Council to redress his wrong, [Page 278] which is easily granted, where the cause being debated, Eustathius confesses the Canon against him, but pleads the Impe­rial Rescript against that. But this Plea is utterly rejected both by the Judges and the Bishops, to whom the Judges re­ferred its final judgment, who deter­min'd it upon this rule, [...]. The Imperial Pragmaticks are of no force against the Canons. Upon this Eustathius pleads the Authority of Anatolius, and a Synod of his [...], or Bishops so­journing at Constantinople who had pro­ceeded so far in this contest, as to ex­communicate Photius, though uncited and unheard; upon this the Judges re­fer it to the Council, Whether that were a legal Synod; to which Anatolius pleads, That it was so by Custom, though not by Law: But against this the 4th Canon of Nice is urged, that no Bishop can be ordain'd without the consent of his Metropolitan, which Eustathius ha­ving done, by whatsoever other Autho­rity, it was an open breach of that Ca­non, and so adjudged by the Council, to whom the Secular Judges intirely lest the Judicature, as proper to their Juris­diction, [...] [Page 279] [...], (as they declare) to give the fi­nal Sentence about these Matters, which being done by the Council in behalf of Photius, it is thus confirm'd by the Judges, [...]. Let the Decrees of the Council stand esta­blisht forever. And upon it Cecropius Bi­shop of Sebastopolis is incouraged to move, That all Imperial Pragmaticks for the Alteration of the settled bounds of Provinces may be taken away forever, as bringing certain disturbance and confusion upon the Government of the Church; which being seconded by the Synod, is confirm'd by the Consent of the Judges.

In the 5th Action after many Debates, the Judges having no mind to the Im­position of Leo's Epistle, the Fathers pro­ceed to the settlement of the Faith, and having first approved the Creeds of the three other general Councils, they add a 4th of their own framing against Eutyches, not that they intended to make a new Creed; but as a necessary decla­ration of the ancient Faith against his upstart Heresie. The sixth Action is one of the most remarkable Instances of the right use of the Imperial Power in the Christian Church, that we have upon re­cord [Page 280] in all the Histories of it. For the Council being fully agreed about the set­tlement of the Faith in the last Session, in this the Emperor with his Empress at­tended by a great Train of Nobles, comes to confirm their Decrees, as he profes­ses in his Speech to the Holy Fathers. Nos enim ad sidem confirmandam, non ad potentiam aliquam exercendam ex [...]mplo religiosi Principis Constantini Synodo in­teresse voluimus. He came into the Council not to make, but confirm and ratifie their Decrees, by his Imperial Power. And therefore having the Acts of the last Session read before him, with the Subscriptions of all the Bishops to the Confession of Faith, he there imme­diately enacts this Penal Law to inforce the observation of their Decree. ‘The Catholick Faith being declared by the holy Synod according to the Tradition of the Fathers, we think it both de­cent and our duty to cut off for the time to come all farther Debates about it. If therefore any private Citizen, Soldier or Clergy-man shall hereafter make any disturbance by attempting any publick Disputation about the Faith, the Citizen shall be banisht, the Soldier disbanded, and the Clerk depo­sed, and be obnoxious to further pun­ishment [Page 281] at our Royal Pleasure.’ And thus having with so much Prudency and Decency exerted his Imperial Authority in Controversies of Faith, [...] not at all to interpose his own Power in making the determination, but to imbrace and confirm the resolution of the Holy Fa­thers, the proper Judges in the Case, in the next place he exerts his Authority in matters of Discipline. For having ob­served some defects in the Clergy, both against the ancient Canons and the Im­perial Laws, he propounds it to the Council that they would take care to provide for their Reformation. And this, he declares, he does out of meer Respect and Honor to their Function, as think­ing it more decent that they should be canonically determin'd in Council, then enacted and inforced by his own Imperial Laws. And as it was a civil Decency, so it was no more, for the Abuses that he complain'd of, were such as concern'd the Peace of the Empire, as well as the Church, as the Tumults and Disorders of the Monks, frequent Instances whereof as we have met with through the whole progress of this Story, so were they the Masters of these present Revels. And certainly such Disorders concern'd his own Imperial Power, if the Peace of the [Page 282] Empire did so. As for his other two Proposals, the first against the trad­ing, and the second against the wan­dring of the Clergy, they were pro­perly subject to the Imperial Power, be­cause though these and the like irregu­larities were first forbidden by the Eccle­siastical Canons, yet they had before this time been often restrain'd by the Imperial Laws, as we have seen above out of the Theodosian Code. After this the Emperor in Complement to the me­mory of the Holy Martyr St. Euphemia, in whose Church the Council was held, gives the City of Calcedon the honor of a Titular Metropolis, securing all the Rights of Metropolitical Power to the Metropolitan of Nicomedia. And here some say the Council ended, the Fathers having dispatcht the whole work, for which they were summon'd, the follow­ing Sessions being only taken up with casual and personal Controversies, and therefore by some of the Ancients they are made distinct Councils, and this latter part in some of their Writings goes under the name of the 5th Coun­cil.

The seventh Session is spent in con­firming the Agreement or Concordate between Juvenal of Jerusalem and Maxi­mus [Page 283] of Antioch about dividing their U­surpations. How Juvenal that had been all along such an active Confederate with Dioscorus, and stood guilty of the same Crimes, came to meet with so much favor, is easie enough to conceive, being a great Court-Parasite, and Church-trim­mer, and so by his cringings and flatte­ries had wrigled himself into the good Opinion of the Fathers. In the 8th A­ction Theodoret is restored to his Church, upon his anathematising Nestorius and his Heresie; and that was a very easie matter for him to do, when he had all along done the same, having only oppo­sed the unseasonable imposition of Cyril's Anathema's. The 9th and 10th Actions were taken up with the case of Ibas Bi­shop of Edessa, who had been accused to the Emperor Theodosius by some Euty­chians, as guilty of the Nestorian Heresie, and by him the cause was referr'd to a Synod at Beryte, in which he anathema­tised Nestorius and all his Doctrines, and was cleared of his Indictment. But in the violent Council of Ephesus he was a­gain accused by Eutyches himself, and without being heard, deposed and impri­son'd. But now upon his Petition is heard in this Council, and after the ex­amination of all Records and Witnesses, [Page 284] he is again found clear of the Nestorian He­resie, all the Accusation being grounded upon his opposition to Cyril's Anathema's. And the true State and Account of that Controversie between Cyril and Nestorius, and the Eastern Bishops against both, is best described by Ibas himself in his Fa­mous Epistle to Maris Persa, recorded among the Acts of the 10th Session. The subject of the 11th and 12th Acti­ons was a Contest between Bassianus and Stephanus for the Bishoprick of Ephesus, but they being both uncanonically ordein­ed, are both deposed. Upon this occa­sion the Asiaticks move that the new Bi­shop may be Consecrated at Ephesus ac­cording to the Canons. No, say the Constantinopolitans, but in this City ac­cording to Custom, as they falsly pre­tended for all their Usurpations, to do illegal things, and then make them a Precedent to warrant their illegal doings. This occasions a new Contest about the Prerogative of the Bishop of Constantino­ple to ordein other Metropolitans; but he and his Party being conscious to them­selves of the weakness of their own pre­tence, they let fall the Controversie. The most observable passage in this Acti­on, next to the Contest it self, and the Constantinopolitan Plea to justifie their [Page 285] Usurpation by illegal Custom against Ca­non, is the Plea of Bassianus to make good the Title to his Bishoprick, viz. That he was Consecrated by the Bishops of the Province, and his Consecration allowed and confirmed by the Emperor, and that is an instance of the Custom of those times, that the Princes Approba­tion was necessary to the Instalment of a Bishop, though the Power of Election was placed in the Provincial Synod. Upon what reason of State this Power of the Prince was grounded, I shall shew, when I come to argue the reason of the thing, at present I only alledge this as an in­stance of the practice. And of the same nature is the next Action, of a Case set­ting up a new Custom and the pretence of an Imperial Rescript against Canon and Ancient Practice. For whereas Ni­comedia had ever been the Metropolis of Bythinia, the Emperors Valentinian and Valens had conferred the Title and Ho­nour of a Metropolis upon the City of Nice, reserving the Metropolitan Power to Nicomedia. Upon occasion and pre­tence of this Grant Anastasius Bishop of Nice usurps to himself the Power of Ju­risdiction over some part of the Province, and particularly Basilonopolis; of this Eu­nomius Bishop of Nicomedia and Metro­politan [Page 286] of Bithynia makes his Complaint to the Council: and they to adjust the Ecclesiastical Canons and the Imperial Rescript, grant the Honour of a Metro­polis to Nice, but so as to reserve the Power entire to Nicomedia. Hereupon Aëtius the Arch-Deacon of Constantino­ple, (who lay at catch for all opportunities to advance the Grandeur of that See,) interposes a provision that this Decree may not be interpreted to the disadvan­tage of the Bishop of Constantinople, of whose Power to ordain the Bishops of Ba­silonopolis he was ready to produce divers Precedents. But this was rejected by the Fathers, as being, whether true or false as to matter of Fact, contrary to the Ca­nons, so that hitherto they were not a­ble to fasten any of the Constantinopolitan Usurpations upon the Authority of the Council.

The next Transaction is to correct and rectifie another Irregularity of that pilfe­ring See in the Controversie between Athanasius and Sabinianus, for the Bishop­rick of Perrha. For whereas Athanasius had been Canonically deposed by his own Metropolitan, he repairs to Constanti­nople and makes his Complaints to Proclus, who according to his Custom greedily embraces his Appeal, and writes to Dom­nus [Page 287] Arch-Bishop of Antioch in his behalf, who upon it calls a Council to review the former Judgment; which he had in great kindness committed to Panolbius, that was an intimate friend to Athanasius, and upon enquiry finds that Athanasius was so conscious to himself of the Crimes laid to his Charge, that he never durst stand his Tryal, and to avoid it, had re­sign'd his Bishoprick, and withal was so diffident of his Cause at the second hear­ing, that he durst not so much as appear, under pretence that Domnus his Metropo­litan was his Enemy, and so is again depo­sed. And yet for all this he is so restless as to bring his old Complaints even to this Great Council, and they taking a full Ex­amination of all the former Proceedings, find that they can afford him no Relief, and yet because he had an excuse for his Non-appearance at his last Tryal, viz. The enmity between him and Domnus, they were so tender as not to give final Sen­tence against him, but refer the effectual Judgment of the Cause to Maximus the present Bishop of Antioch, against whom he could make no Exception.

Hitherto the Proceedings of the Coun­cil were fair and regular enough, but in the next Session, in which they draw up their Canons, the Clergy of Constantino­ple [Page 288] with some others that they had pack't together▪ being not above a third part of the Council, put a slur upon the whole Council, for whereas 27 Canons were Voted and Subscribed by all the Fathers, after the rising of the Council, the Judges, and the Legates, they Vote another Ca­non granting an exorbitant and illegal Power to the Bishop of Constantinople o­ver the Metropolitans of three whole Diocesses, and clap that to the Canons of the Council; but with what ingenuity it was done, and how worthily defended, when the Abuse was complained of in the next meeting, and how slitely the Busi­ness was carried by the Judges, and what fierce and bloody Wars it occasioned in the Church between the two Great Pre­lates of Rome and Constantinople, I have already elsewhere represented, and there­fore shall forbear any farther Account of it here, where my main design is to give an account of the H [...]story of the right Concurrence of the distinct Powers of Church and State in its Government. And setting aside this last Action, that was carried by fraud and stealth, this Council seems to have been more decent and regular in its Proceedings then any other whatsoever since the Council of Nice, and had this advantage above the [Page 289] rest, that it was not left to the superinten­dency of one or two Courtiers, but was committed to the Care and Conduct of a great number of Persons of Honour and Quality, who behaved themselves with all the decency of temper, prudence, and civility. For as they managed the order of proceedings and interlocutions with great Art, cutting off all impertinency and unnecessary talk; so they never in­terposed the Authority of their own Judgment in any matter, but entirely re­ferred every thing little or great to the determination of the Bishops, and were so complemental in their respect to the Church, that they would not presume to be so much as present at those Sessions, in which the Confession of Faith was drawn up, that being only a work pro­per to those who were Commissionated to it by our Saviour himself. And when it was finisht the Emperor declares, That it was not establisht by his own, but by the Councils Authority, that he came to own and confirm what they had Enacted▪ and so requires all his Subjects to acqui­esce in what was settled by their Autho­rity, under severe Penalties to be inflict­ed by his own. In all which all Partie [...] seem'd to have observed all the Rules not only of Justice but of decency, and to [Page 290] have shewn that Civility to the Church [...] that all men, though there were no other Obligation, then meer good manners, owe to the Religion that themselves profess. And though the Clergy of Constantinople and their Confede [...]ates were guilty of great and shameless disingenuity in the last Session, not only breaking, but per­verting and falsifying the Canons of the Church, yet the Emperor and Judges cannot be very much blamed, who were Strangers to these matters, and took the motion to be nothing else then a Com­plement of particular respect and honour to the Imperial City, and as such they pass it, that as the Ancient Canons had given pre-eminence to the Bishop of old Rome out of respect to the dignity of the head City, so new Rome being now ad­vanced to an Equality with it in the Em­pire, it was but fit to raise it to the same degree of honour in the Church. And that had been no great harm, had it been done without robbing other Church­es of their just Rights and Priviledges, which though the Clergy understood, the Laicks did not, because what was here settled by Law, they had always seen pra­ctised by Custom, and therefore had no reason to look upon it as an Innovation. But as for the Eutychian Heresie, that [Page 291] was the proper business of this Council, it being so fairly Condemned by the Ec­clesiastical Judgment, they according to Form and Custom send the Relation to the Emperor for his Royal Confirmation, wherein they do not so much acquaint him with their Decree, (with which he had been before acquainted, having con­firm'd it in the 6th Session) as justifie their Authority to make it, and it is a very rational discourse of the true use of Councils and their Authoritative deter­minations in the Christian Church. It is not (say they) to make new Doctrines of Faith, but to protect the old Truths against the wantonness of Innovators; so that if all men would be content with the Ancient Faith, it would be needless for the Church to make any new Decla­rations, but when men leave the old Track of Religion, to loose them­selves in their own new contrived Labyrinths, and corrupt the plain and simple Truth with over nice and curious Inventions, it is then necessary for the Church to stop their Vanity, by its Au­thoritative Declaration of the Truth it self. Not as if there were something de­fective in the Faith, and the Church were always adding to it, but to make such wholesome Provisions, as it judges most [Page 292] convenient against all Innovated Do­ctrines. And this they exemplifie by [...]ll the Decrees of the several Councils against the Prophane Novelties of Arius, P [...]tinus, Macedonius, and Nestorius, and shew that they were only Fences to guard and defend the simplicity of the Ancient Faith against the petul [...]nt Assaul [...]s of these several Hereticks, and that they declare to be the ground of their present determi­nation against Eutyches, that it was only a Declaration of the old Truth against a new Heresie. And much more to this purpose, and it is the true State of the Authority of Councils, to make Decrees, to stop the vanities and singularities of Innovators; and when they are made, they become obligatory by their own Authority, and nothing can hinder or take off their Obligation, but an appa­rent contrariety to the Divine Law. So that it neither concerns nor becomes the Subject to make a strict and Philosophical search after the truth of the Decree, it is enough to him that it is not apparently false. In all other Cases the Authority of the Church is sufficient to justifie his Obedience before God, by whose Provi­dence they were placed under their Go­vernment. And the want of this just Civility to Superiors has in all Ages been [Page 293] the true Original of all disturbances in the Christian Church. And this was the sence of the Emperor himself, who im­m [...]d [...]ately upon the Receipt of this Re­port from the Fathers, publishes an Edict to the talking Citizens of Constantinople, forbid [...]ing all farther disputations about the Christian Faith, in that all Contro­versies were now determined by the Au­thority of the Council; against which, he says, it were prophaneness and sacri­ledge for any man to presume to set up his own Opinion, and no less madness then to gr [...]pe after more Light at noon day; and therefore after this clear disco­very of the [...]ruth, whoever will not ac­quiesce in it, but makes farther Enquiry, he can neither seek nor find any thing but falshood. And for this reason all farther disputes are peremptorily forbidden as an insolent and intolerable affront to the Sacred Authority of the Council, and this is enacted under the forementioned Pe­nalties, that he declared in the 6th Session for the Confirmation of their Exposition of Faith, Deposition of the Clergy, Dis­banding of Souldiers, and Banishment of Citizens.

And this was afterward alledged as a proper instance by Facundus Hermianen­sis to the Emperor Justinian, Lib. 12. c. 2. against the [Page 294] condemnation of the tria capitula after they had been tryed and acquitted by the Council of Calcedon, with this remark upon it. ‘The Emperor Marcian judged it no less than Prophaneness and Sacri­ledg to review the Sacerdotal Judgment, and therefore that being once pass't, it was an end of all Controversie. Here behold a Prince indeed, a true Father of the Common-Wealth, and a true Son of the Church, that does not dictate, but follow Ecclesiastical Decrees, declaring by his Edict, That whoever after the set­tlement of the truth, shall pretend to make any farther inquiry, can seek for nothing but Error. For this saying forever blessed be his Memory all the World over, who not only recover'd the sinking Empire, but also restored last­ing Peace to the poor distracted Church.’

This Edict was reinforced by a second a Month after, and Copies of it sent to all the several Praefecti-praetorio for its more effectual Execution. And they are both re­vived in a third Rescript, published the year following, in which this Heresie, and all the ways of propagating it, are sup­prest by all the punishments against all other Heretiques: So that it is in reality a neat Compendium of [Page 295] all the Laws under the Title de Hae­reticis in the Theodosian Code. And be­cause the bastard Council of Ephesus un­der Dioscorus, in which Flavianus, Euse­bius, Theodoret, and many other Catho­lick Bishops were condemn'd, had been ratified by a Rescript of Theodosius, he here cancels its full force as to all the Sufferers that were surviving. And be­cause the Eutychian Itch was got among the Monks of Jerusalem and Alexandria to the raising of botches and tumults, especially at Jerusalem by the disorderly behavior of one Theodosius, who made himself Bishop of the place, the Empe­ror and Empress write to them to desist at their farther peril. But it seems some were stubborn and irreclaimable (and no sort of Men so obstinate as those that live remote from the Conversation of the World) and therefore in the year 455 the Emperor renews his former Rescript, particularly to be put in Execution at Alexandria, where the Heresie most reign'd, and that is the last time that he appear'd against them. And thus in four years time by protecting the Church in its due Authority, and by abetting their Decrees with Penal Laws, and by seeing his own Laws put in effectual Executi­on, he put an end to this powerful and [Page 296] prevailing Heresie, though it had gain'd both the Eunuchs and the Empire to its side.

§. XVII. And thus this great Prince, this pattern of Government to all his Successors, as Evagrius stiles him, ha­ving settled all things both in Church and State, two years after dyes, and is succeeded in the year 457 by Leo, who was chosen by the unanimous Vote both of the Senate and the Army; a Prince, says Nicephorus, that would have carried the Election in the most flourishing times of the old Common-Wealth, when only worth gave right and title to Prefer­m%nt, a Man of that strict and severe Vertue, that he must have been chosen Augustus by the Cato's themselves. But as great a Man as he was, he found it an hard task to keep things in that good order, in which they were left by his Predecessor. For no sooner came the news of Marcian's death to Alexandria, that Metropolis of Sedition,Evag. l. 2. c. 8. but a few of the Eutychian Party, among whom were only two Bishops, accompanied with the City-rabble, make Timotheus Aelurus their Bishop,Liberati Brev. c. 14. and most inhumanely mur­ther Proterius at Divine service, who had been chosen to that See by the Bishops [Page 297] of the Province upon the deposition of Dioscorus, and not content with his blood, they treat the dead body with all the circumstances of rude­ness and barbarity: Upon this Com­plaints are carried to the Emperor by both Parties,Ibid. c. 15. with Petitions on one side for abrogating, and on the other for con­firming the Council of Calcedon. The Emperor considering of the Matter, re­fers it to the Judgment of the Church, and being unwilling to put the poor a­ged Bishops to the tedium of long Jour­neys for assembling in Council, he takes a more compendious, but no less effe­ctual course: directing his Letters to all the Metropolitans of the Christian Church within the Empire, requiring their impartial Judgment of both Con­troversies, without fear or favor, or ill-will, having only the fear of God before their Eyes, and as they would one day answer it to the divine Majesty, viz. the Ordination of Timotheus Ael [...]rus, and the ratification of the Council of Calcedon. And this brought forth that famous vo­lume of Encyclical Epistles, that make up the third part of the Council of Cal­cedon, and that are so often and so much commended by the Ancients, Liberatus, Facundus Hermianensis, Evagrius, Victor [Page 298] Tunonensis and Cassiodorus, at whose per­swasion,Divin. Lect. [...].11. as himself informs us, Epipha­nius a learned Man translated them into the Latin Tongue, and that is the only Copy of them that is now extant. An excellent Collection it is of Ecclesiastical Antiquity, and a true representation of the ancient Unity and Communion of the Catholick Church, without the formali­ty of a general Council. The Authori­ty of the determination is the same, con­sisting in the Concord of Bishops, and the Resolution it self much more easie and expedient. For it required much time and expence to assemble Councils, it put infirm old Men to long and tedious Journeys, it rob'd most Churches for a time of their Guides, by the absence of their leading Prelates, whereas by this way of Encyclical Correspondence the dispatch was equally speedy and effectu­al. For the Result of all their Answers was the approbation of the Synod of Cal­cedon, and the deposition of Timotheus, there being but one Dissenter, and he but half an one, and that was Amphilochius Bishop of Sida, Apud. Pho­tium Cod. 230. who at first disallowed the Council of Calcedon, but earnestly p [...]ss't the deposition of Timotheus, thô wit [...]n a little time he was brought to subscribe the Council, as Eulogius Bishop [Page 299] of Alexandria reports, who withal says, that there were no less than one thou­sand six hundred subscriptions return'd to the Emperor, which if true, it is a much greater number, than all the four General Councils put together amount to.

Upon this transaction the Remarque of Facundus is very smart and acute,Lib. 12. c. 3. ‘Be­hold here the true Liberty of the Church in those days, when the most Christian King did not over [...]aw the Priests of God with his temporal Pow­er, but on the contrary arm'd and warn'd them against all such fear by the over-ruling fear of God. Neither did he suggest any thing of his own thoughts, lest it should be suspected that their Answer was suited to his Roy­al Will, and this he did, not only out of respect to the Discipline of the Chri­stian Church, but because he very well knew that no forced Decrees were of any Authority in themselves, for when a Sentence is forced, it is not his Sen­tence by whom it is pronounced. And the cause that carries it, gains nothing by it, but the advantage lies on the side of the Party condemn'd, for it is evident, that he was not at liberty to judg aright, whose Judgment is forced, for a forced Judg­ment [Page 300] is none at all. And therefore this Emperor of blessed Memory preserved the Peace of the Church, because he would not presume to establish any Do­ctrins by his own Authority, and usurp that Power that is proper to the Priest­hood alone. Whereas had he prescri­bed to the Council, and they meerly lac­quied to his instructions, it is evident that one Lay-man, that was no com­petent Judg of those Matters, really pass't the judgment, and not those who were the only proper Judges of the Cause. And withal he very well understood, that forced Councils never came to any good effect, as the Coun­cil of Ariminum under Constantius, and the false Council of Ephesus under Dio­scorus. And therefore though himself could have pass't a right sentence, yet he would not, because he would not render the Sentence of the Church sus­pected, and by that means evacuate its Authority.’

But as the whole Eastern Church a­greed in this business, so no Man was more active, not to say more imperious, in it than Pope Leo, who was ever for carry­ing all things through with an high hand, and having raised himself to the height of Authority, resolved to keep it up. For [Page 301] it was no small point of Grandeur that he gain'd, when he procured that his own private Epistle should be imposed up­on the Catholick Church, and made e­qual with the Decrees of General Coun­cils. But that which advanced him to the top-round of Power, was his signal Victory over Constantinople and the East­ern Bishops, when he forced them to eat and reverse their 28th Canon, made Anatolius submit and beg his pardon, brought the Emperor Marcian himself al­most upon his Knees, and forced him to renounce his own Imperial Rescript, thô made in favor of his own Imperial City. This great success could not but swell his mind, that was already but too great of it self, and thereupon he takes the supreme and indeed single manage­ment of all things into his own hands. And when no Man, no not the Emperor himself dares withstand his Commands, so severe and peremptory were they, that for a good time he kept the Eutychi­an Cause sufficiently low and humble. And to say the truth, setting aside his by-design of advancing the Grandeur of his own See, he acted nothing, that was not only warrantable but justly praise-wor­thy. For when once a Controversie is decided by the Authority of the Church, [Page 302] no Christian Bishop can be too vigorous in his proceedings against all th [...]t refuse submission to the Decree. Here Peace and Government lye at stake as well as Truth, and unless they are preserved, the Church is lost, and the Society dissolved into meer Tumult and Confusion. Whilst Controversies are on foot and have not received the Judgment of the Church, we may allow Men to be moderate or eager in their Disputes about them, ac­cording to the variety of their apprehen­sions or natural Tempers. But after the Church has interposed its Authority, there all moderation is at best but Trea­chery, and the Reverence due to its com­mands will call forth every honest Mans utmost zeal in its defence. And that was the case here that the Eutychians moved for a review by a new Council: No, says Pope Leo, that were to offer an Af­front to the Authority of the Church in the great Council of Calcedon, and in­stead of putting an end to Schisms and Contentions, to make them perpetual for the humor and pleasure of every peevish talker.Epist. 25. Nam cum nihil sit convenientius fidei defendendae, quàm his quae per omnia instruente spiritu sancto, irreprehensibiliter definita sunt, inhaerere; ipsi videbimur bene statuta convellere, et Autoritates, quas [Page 303] Ecclesia Vniversalis amplexa est, ad arbi­trium haereticae petitionis infringere; at­que ita nullum colligendis ecclesiis modum ponere, sed datâ licentiâ rebellandi, dila­tare magis quam sopire certamina. ‘For when the most proper means for secu­ring the Faith is, that we acquiesce in those things that are legally settled by the direction of the Holy Ghost, other­wise we shall but destroy what is already well settled, and affront that Authority that has been own'd by the Catholick Church, for the humor of every petu­lant Heretick, and so shall have no means left to preserve the Churches Peace; but opening a gap to all rebelli­on, we shall rather propagate than quel Contentions, and so concludes, 'that when a thing is once determin'd by the Authority of the Universal Church,’ Quis est nisi aut Antichristus aut Diabolus, qui pulsare audeat inexpugnabilem firmita­tem? qui in malitiâ suâ inconvertibilis per­severans per vasa irae et suae apta fallaciae, falso diligentiae nomine, dum veritatem se mentitur inquirere, mendacia desiderat se­minare. ‘Who but these great Enemies to Christianity the Devil and Antichrist, would dare to shake the settled founda­tion, who presevering stubborn in his Malice, by his Vessels of Wrath, that [Page 304] are apt Tools for his Craft, under a false pretence of a greater diligence, whilst he counterfeits to search after truth, sows his Tares’ And therefore when the Hereticks only m [...]ved for a confe­rence, and the Emperor being inclined to a request, as he thought, so easie, No, says Pope Leo, this is as great an Affront to the Calcedon Fathers, as to grant them a new Council,Epist. 78. Evidenter agnoscitis quod magnis haereticorum audetur i [...]sidiis, ut inter Eutychetis Dioscorique discipulos, et eum quem Apos [...]olica sedes direxerit, di­ligentior, tanquam n [...]hil ante fuerit defini­tum, tractatus habeatur; et quod totius mundi Catholici Sacerdotes in sanctâ Cal­cedonensi Synodo probant, gaudentque fir­matum, in injuriam etiam sacratissimi Con­cilii Nicaeni efficiatur infi [...]mum. ‘Your Majesty cannot but observe the crafty at­tempts of Hereticks, that there should be a farther Debate between the Here­ticks and us, as if there had been no­thing already determin'd, and the set­tlement made by the Holy Council of Calcedon to the great joy of the Ca­tholick Church all the World over, should be slited to a dishonorable refle­ction upon the Council of Nice it self.’ And whereas the Emperor desired him to send Commissioners, he offers to send [Page 305] them, not to dispute with the Hereticks, that he scorns, but to put the Sentence of the Church in effectual execution a­gainst them. Which was accordingly done, and Timotheus Aelurus was depo­sed, banisht and imprison'd, and when he petition'd for leave to come to Constanti­nople, there to make a publick declara­tion against the Eutychian Heresie, to this Pope Leo says No again, for though that may set him right as to his Faith, yet it can never wash away the guilt of his wicked and bloody Actions, the Absolu­tion whereof requires some other expia­tion than fair Confessions, and therefore he enjoins Gennadius then Bishop of Con­stantinople, not so much as to admit him into his presence at his peril, as he had not long before school'd his Predecessor Anatolius for being too remiss against the Hereticks, and suffering one Atticus a Presbyter publickly to dispute the Eu­tychian Controversie, after the determi­nation of the great Council. The sum of all is, that the matter was already de­cided by the Authority of the Church, and after that there remains no liberty of Dispute. And therefore instead of in­dulging that, he advises the Emperor to exert his Imperial Power in defence of the Faith, and that when the Church had [Page 306] done its part in declaring it, it was now his duty to maintain it against the As­saults of restless Spirits. Cùm enim Cle­mentiam tuam Dominus tantâ Sacramenti Illuminatione ditaverit, debes incunctan­ter advertere, Regiam Potestatem tibi non solùm ad Mundi regimen, sed maximè ad Ecclesiae praesidium esse collatam: ut ausus nefarios comprimendo, et quae bene sunt statuta defendas, et veram pacem his, quae sunt turbata, restituas, &c. ‘Seeing your Majesty is, by the Grace of God, endued with so good an Understanding, you ought out of hand to consider that Your Royal Power was given you from above, not only for the Government of the Empire, but chiefly for the Prote­ction of the Church, that by suppres­sing seditious Attempts, you may de­fend what is already establisht, and re­store Peace, where things are in disor­der.’ That is the true state of the use of Regal Power in the Government of the Church, to protect and assist it in the free exercise of its own legislative Authority, not to assume and annex it to the Imperial Crown. It would be an endless thing to transcribe all the Passages to the same purpose, out of the several Returns made to the Emperor from the Eastern Bishops, they all move upon this [Page 307] one hinge, that what was determin'd by the Church was Sacred Law, and there­fore no review or farther dispute of the Resolution of the Calcedon Council. And thus was this stubborn Controversie laid, and the Church settled in Peace and U­nity all this Emperor's Reign. But be­side these Laws of Discipline to enforce the Authority of the Church, he made divers other Laws in behalf of the Church, that were meer acts of his Roy­al Grace and Favor, bestowing several Priviledges and Immunities upon Chur­ches and Church-men. Thus he grant­ed the right of Sanctuary to all Religi­ous houses,Cod. Justin. C. de his qui confu­giunt ad Ecclesias. so as to punish its violation with no less Penalty than Death. Ano­ther Law he enacted to forbid all Plays and prophane Sports on Holy-days, and to protect Men from Law-suits,Leg. Ult. de Feriis. Arrests and Vexations at times dedicated to the Ser­vice of God,L. 15 de Episc. Au­dientiâ. L. 31 de Episc. et Clericis ibid. L. 33. upon pain of forfeiture of E­state. And a third Law to forbid all but Christians to plead in Courts, a fourth a­gainst the Sacriledg of Simony, and a fifth to exempt the Clergy from being forced to appear before Secular Courts, beside a great many other Priviledges granted to particular Churches.

§. XVIII. But he dying after he had [Page 308] Reigned 17 Years and 6 Months in the Year 474, his Son-in-Law Zeno unhap­pily succeeds, to the great loss both of Church and State, a man altogether un­fit for Government, being not only a weak, a careless, and a dissolute Prince, but one that affected to expose himself to the contempt of the World by making his Follies and Debaucheries publick, esteeming it a poor and sneaking thing to conceal his wickedness, but brave and Prince-like to be wicked in sight of the Sun. And consequent to this strange fol­ly he was a shameless Oppressor of his Subjects, robbing and defrauding them, and wherever he could by any indirect shifts seizing any thing into his hands, and no wonder, when Millions of Worlds are not sufficient to defray the Charges of an unbounded Luxury. These practices so turned the hearts of his Subjects against him, as to encourage Basiliscus, his Uncle in Law, to invade his Empire, in which distress he was so deserted, that without being able to make any defence or resi­stance, he had no Remedy but to betake himself to flight, and lie concealed in his own Country of Isauria. And so the whole Empire was left as a naked prey to the Tyrant, and being an apparent Usur­per, he was forced to take cross measures [Page 309] to his Predecessors, and in pursuance of his design recalls Timotheus Aelurus from Banishment, and by his advice and per­swasion issues forth an Encyclical Epistle to the whole Christian World, to Anathe­matise the Novelties, as he stiles them, of the Council of Calcedon, and is not ashamed to warrant his illegal Proceedings by the example of Constantine the Great and Theo­dosius the younger. Imperial Constitutions he might have found enough to ratifie the Sentence of the Church, but for an Emperor to pass an Anathema by his own meer Au­thority upon any Opinion, much more against a solemn Decree of the Church, was a rudeness and presumption without Precedent as well as Law, and no man that was not a Clown as well as a Tyrant would ever have attempted it. But as prophane a piece of Buffoonry as it was, it is own'd by the Eutychian Faction in a Council at Ephesus, and that too under the prophane Title of a Divine and Apostolical Epistle. But it is as vehe­mently opposed by Acacius and his Monks of Constantinople, till the People tumul­tuate in defence of their Bishop against the Tyrant, so as to force him to quit the City, who in revenge takes away all the Priviledges of the Church and City. But being informed of Zeno's marching [Page 310] from Isauria in the Head of an Army, he begs pardon, and to appease Acacius and the Clergy of the City, he publishes his Antencyclical Epistles, as they are call'd, to reverse and cancel the former, and restore the Authority of the Council of Calcedon (And what will not Usurpers do to keep possession?) but all in vain: for at Zeno's approach to the City he is utterly deserted, and deposed with more ease then he had usurped, is put to death at Acusus or Cucusus in Cappadocia, and his Encyclical Epistle cancell'd and burnt. Upon this the very same Bishops of the Eutychian, or rather the then thriving Party, that had subscribed it at the late Cabal or Conventicle at Ephesus, and there de­clared it to be their own voluntary Act without any force or compulsion, are now most forward to write to Acacius to condemn it, and protest before God and the World, that what they had done was forced upon them against their own Judgments. And thus were things wheel'd about into the same posture, in which Leo had left them, but this poor d [...]ssolute Prince had not skill to make use of any advantage, and instead of fixing upon the same Foundation of that settle­ment, that was layed to his hands, blows it up, and for his own ease, as he dream't, [Page 311] and for the satisfaction of all Parties, publishes by the contrivance of Petrus Moggus and his Eutychian Friends at Court, and some say of Acacius himself, an healing Instrument of Union or Com­prehension, commonly known by the name of Henoticon, designed to please all Parties, and couch't in such compre­hensive and ambiguous terms, that they might all challenge it to themselves a­gainst each other: viz. Setting up the Nicene Faith as the only condition of Church-Communion, and thereby ta­citly but effectually condemning the Council of Calcedon without taking any notice of it. So weak was this Prince as to flatter himself, that this slender Artifice was a Cement strong enough to repair all the Breaches in the Christian Church, when it really served no Bodies turn but Petrus Moggus and his Eutychians, for he having a strong Inclination to the rich Bishoprick of Alexandria, of which he could not be capable till the terms of Con­formity, that were settled by the Coun­cil of Calcedon, were taken off: which being done by this slite, the Church Doors were again left open to the Euty­chian Hereticks, and all things reduced to the same disorder and confusion that they were in, before they were set­led [Page 312] by the Authority of the Church.Lib. 12. c. 4. And so Facundus here argues upon it with his usual acuteness: ‘Who can endure the Arbitrary Proceedings of the Emperor Zeno to Enact in Contempt of the Di­vine Authority of the Church, in which Action his precipitate Power did not consider what it ought to do, but what it was able to do; neither did he understand that confusion never makes Unity. For if Unity be to be compast, not by the Conversion of He­reticks, but mixing their Contagion with the Communion of the Church, why are the Acephali alone, and not all the other Parties of Hereticks recei­ved into the Church without renoun­cing their errors, and submitting to the Churches Sentence against them? But the Emperor when he invites them to return to the Communion of the Church, he gives them the Title of Orthodox. But this becomes the wisdom and circumspection of that man, that can be so insipid as to think of invading the Office of the Priests. He calls them Orthodox, when at the same time he confesses them to be separate from the Communion of the Church. If they continue Orthodox after their separation, to what purpose does he exhort them to return to their [Page 313] Mother the Church. But he would have them unite Communions. But he understands not that there can be but one Communion. And if they are not of one Communion with the Church, they are of none at all. I pray for what advantage should they return to the Church, when they are of the Or­thodox Communion without it? But what an abuse of Secular Power is this, and worse then all the rest, that the Holy Catholick Church and those that preside over it, should every where be obliged to believe only as he believes, as if the Faith of all Churches depended only up­on his pleasure, and it were not lawful for any man to believe any thing than as the Emperor commands? It were much better that he would contain himself with in his own Limits, then to transgress them to the ruine of many without the gain of any. For we know that even Mechanicks have their Shops and Ware-houses pro­per to their own Trade. We never hear the Anvil beating or the Fire glowing in the Weavers Work-house, nor the Tailor taking measure of the height and proportion of Buildings, because they very well know that those things▪ belong to those that are instructed in those Trades. What is the Divine Law only to be de­spised [Page 314] and prophaned, so as not to need its proper Schools for instruction, but that every man should pretend to understand it, without any competent Education in it. In short, the only effect of all these disorderly Proceedings is, that these Viola­tors of the Churches Peace divide among themselves as well as from the Church, as in this particular Case we have by sad ex­perience found a long and fatal Schism, till the Divine Providence cured the wound by your Majesties Care and Power (spea­king to Justinian) and therefore great Sir in the name of God persevere in so good a work, that has been accepted with the joy of the whole Christian World, and blot not out its glory by deserting it, &c. And that is the natural and inevitable Event of all trimming tricks, that instead of reconciling Parties, as 'tis pretended, it only lets them loose to worry one another. And withal, first adds to the insolence of that Party that had been tyed up, the contempt of that Authority that restrain'd it, and then kindles the rage and indignation of the other Party that had gained the upper-hand, and lastly, that which is worst of all, it makes breach­es for new Divisions And so it hap'ned here, Peter Mongus having by this device got possession of his Bishoprick, he en­deavours [Page 315] to trim and comply with both Parties, and by it incurs the hatred of both, loosing his own without winning the other: And they communicating neither with the Catholicks nor with their own Bishop, became a new Sect, called Acephali, i. e. Men without an Head, so natural is it for all shufflings in Government to end in Anarchy and Confusion: It was this wise way of quacking to cure the wounds of the Church by Irenicum Plaisters and com­prehensive Weapon-salves, that brought the breach between the Eastern and We­stern Churches to an incurable Eresipulus, or Fire of Contention over the Face of the Christian Church. For Petrus Mog­gus being by that means received by Aca­cius not only to Catholick Communion, but advanced to a Top-Bishoprick, con­trary not only to the ancient Canons, but to the late Decree of the Council of Calcedon: Acacius is upon it call'd to ac­count by Pope Simplicius, and persisting in his Treachery, is excommunicated in a Council at Rome, and that laid the ground of all those Contests, that followed after upon the Acacian Schism (as the Roma­nists stile it) to the final Separation of both Churches. And what else can be expected from such a daubing Cement [Page 316] of Peace, to unite men in the same Com­munion as leaves them under all their differences and contrarieties of Opinion, a contradiction in the nature of the thing; for if they are in good earnest, they will pursue their differences, if they are not, indulgence is needless, and they are to be reclaim'd another way: but whether they are, or are not, if they are allowed their liberty, every man will be of his own mind, and an enemy to every man that is not, and the result of all is, that how much soever they dissent among them­selves, they shall be forced to counterfeit an agreement, but dissembling is no Tye. And therefore after such devices the next thing that we always hear of, is, that the breach is made much wider. And thus here beside the Contest between Aca­cius and Simplicius, Petrus Moggus falls out with both, and instead of taking the Catholicks into his comprehensive Em­brace, in a short time, finding they would not quit their Principles and the Council of Calcedon, raises a severe Persecution against them, and peremptorily refuses all Communion to all that adhere to the Council, and upon it the Church of A­lexandria continued in a State of Schism through a long Succession of Bishops into the next Century, till the Pacisicators a­gain [Page 317] fell out among themselves, and sub­divided into new and fiercer Factions and Animosities. And not only that Church, to which the healing Henoticon was particularly directed, but the whole Catholick Church was every where dis­solved into irreconcileable Wars and Con­fusions. But as sad as the event of the Henoticon proved, there is one pleasant Passage to be observed about it, that whereas before there were but two Fa­ctions in the Church, i. e. for and a­gainst the Council of Calcedon, this crea­ted a third, call'd the Haesitantes or Neu­ters, that were neither for, nor against the Council, and as both Parties hated these more than they did one another, as Traitors to both; so they again under pretence of indifferency and moderation, requited them with all the violence of Persecution, and when they had got the Emperor Anastasius, a serious Prince, in­to their hands, they stir'd him up to pro­secute both the extreme Parties with a more than ordinary severity, as we shall see more at large when we come to his Reign. But first let us take a view of the particular Mischiefs, that it soon pro­duced under Zeno himself, who too af­ter all his trimming was forced at last to turn Persecutor.

[Page 318]By whom the Henoticon was contri­ved, it is not easie to determine with a­ny certainty, I know it is generally laid upon Acacius, but I suspect that Report to have been raised by his Enemies at Rome only to blast his Reputation. But though there is no clear Evidence that it was his contrivance, yet it is undeniable that he gave it too great acceptance, and by that means gave too just advan­tage to the Bishops of Rome to insult over him. For though their private Design was to beat down the growing greatness of the See of Constantinople, yet he de­served the utmost severity, that they could use against him, by betraying the Discipline and Authority of the Christi­an Church so dishonorably, as to receive such Persons into its Communion, that had been cast out of it by no less Judg­ment than the Sentence of a General Council, and that upon no better War­rant than a Mandate from Court. And that I take to be the Shop in which the wise Contrivance was forged between the Courtiers, out of an Itch to be tam­pering with Church-work, and the out­ed Eutychians either to recover their Preferments, or usurp other Mens; and through the whole sequel of the Story we shall find the old Eusebian Game [Page 319] playing over again. But whoever was the Author of it, it was cunningly e­nough contrived to impose upon the World, and serve the Eutychian Cause without owning it.Lib. 3. c. 14. The best copy of it is the Greek in Evagrius. The Latin Version in Liberatus is false and barba­rous, perverting the sense for want of suf­ficient skill in both Languages. It esta­blisht the Nicene Faith as own'd by the following Councils, it condemn'd both Nestorius and Eutyches by name, and though it says nothing of the Council of Calcedon it self, it establisht the Faith of the Council, but without regard to its Authority, and the Emperor himself de­clares, That as for his own part he imbra­ced the Council of Calcedon, though he would not have it imposed upon the Ca­tholick Church. So that at the bottom, the whole design of the Project was only to take off the Authority of that Coun­cil, and then the Eutychians were at li­berty to play their Game and drive their own Bargains, and so the Markets were soon set up in the greatest Sees, and the chief Chapmen were Peter Mog­gus at Alexandria, and Peter [...]ullo at Antioch. Liberati Brev. c. 10. Upon the death of Timotheus Aelurus, who poison'd himself upon Ze­no's recovering the Empire, Peter Moggus [Page 320] was chosen his Successor by the Euty­chian Faction, but is deposed by the Em­peror's own Command, and Timotheus Salophasiolus their Lawful Bishop, is re­stored. This Timotheus was chosen to the See of Alexandria upon the depositi­on of Timotheus Aelurus by the Emperor Leo, was ejected by Basiliscus, restored by Zeno, and after 23 years from the date of his Election dyes. And his keeping that See so long did not a little contri­bute to the Disorders of that Church, he being a softly and unactive Man, that would never put the Discipline of the Church, nor the Imperial Laws in execu­tion against the Hereticks, and though Complaints of his remisness were carried to the Emperor, and though the Empe­ror sent him particular Orders to break up their Conventicles, he could not be prevail'd upon to act, but instead of that suffer'd himself to be prevail'd with upon pretence of Peace and reconciling,V. Simpli­cii Epist. 11. to put Dioscorus himself into the Dyptichs, and by this gentleness he became very popular among the factious Alexandrians, inso­much that as he at any time passed through the Streets, the Rabble were wont to salute him with this out-cry, viz. That though we cannot communicate with thee, yet we cannot but love thee. And [Page 321] the silly Man was so charmed with this childish Rattle, that he parted with his Episcopal Authority to purchase it, and by this means it was that the Faction grew so great in that City. And certain it is that the Courtiers of Popularity are of all Men most unfit for Government in the Church, they will certainly betray their Trust and their Duty to the ap­plause of the People. But upon his death in the year 482 the Clergy of Alexan­dria elect Joannes Talaia, who is reje­cted by the Emperor's Command, and who but Petrus Moggus put in his stead? This the Historians say was done by the instigation of Acacius out of a private picque against Talaia for neglecting to send Synodical Epistles according to custom, to signifie his election to him,Liberat. c. 17. as he had done to the other great Sees. But however, outed he was upon pre­tence of enormous Crimes, Perjury and Simony, in that he had obliged himself under Oath never to accept of that Bi­shoprick, and yet for all that, had pur­chased it with Money,Lib. 3. c. 12. as Evagrius re­ports from Zacharias Rhetor the Euty­chian Historian.C. 17. And Liberatus says that he was Treasurer of the Church of Alex­andria, and out of the Churches Trea­sure purchased the Bishoprick of Count [Page 322] Illus, at that time a powerful Man at Court. It is certain, that that was the occasion of the miscarriage of his Synodical Letters to Acacius, they being inclosed in others directed to his Patron Illus, who hapning to be absent at that time as far as Antioch, the Messenger thought himself obliged to continue his Journey forward for the safe delivery of his Letters, in which Interval of time Acacius being a very proud man, was pleased to conceive his Jealousy against Joannes Talaia, and procure his depositi­on upon the fore-mention'd Articles, and then treats with Petrus Moggus and his Court-Patrons, and receives him to com­munion upon his acceptance of the Em­peror's instrument of Union, but that was to please the Emperour, for in private he obliged him to receive the faith and authority of the Council of Calcedon, as himself like a time-rigling Knave, as the Historian calls him declares over and over in his Apologetical Epistle to Acacius, Evag. l. 3. c. 17. to vindicate himself from the calumny of his having contrary to his Faith renoun­ced the Council. And the same shuffling Arts are observed of him by Liberatus, Cap. 18. that he prevaricated with both Parties, pre­tending to Acacius to communicate with the Synod, and to the Alexandrians to de­fy it. And the Emperour Zeno himself [Page 323] assures Pope Foelix, that he was not ad­mitted to his Bishoprick but upon his own­ing the Council of Calcedon, in an Epistle extant in Liberatus. Cap. 20. But when the wicked man had gain'd his point, he forswears all his subscriptions, anathematises the Coun­cil and Leo's Epistle, blots Proterius and Salophasiolus out of the Dypticks, and puts in Dioscorus and Timotheus Aelurus. And now here do we find by vertue of this Imperial Instrument of Union the whole Christian World involved in a Civil Warr, one Party asserting the Council of Calce­don, another anathematising it, a third despising both, and trampling upon all the Discipline of the Church in defence of a Court-irregularity. But the quarrel run highest between the two powerful Bi­shops of Rome and Constantinople; for Aca­cius Bishop of Constantinople, having the Court and the Emperour to back him, bids defyance not only to the Pope, but to the Catholique Church and all its Laws. For though himself was the first man that had appear'd against Petrus Moggus, and con­victed him of manifest Heresy, and certi­fied his conviction to Pope Simplicius, yet now without any due satisfaction re­ceives him not only to Communion, but prefers him to one of the highest digni­ties in the Christian Church. And thô [Page 324] after all these obliging streins of Courte­sie Moggus discover'd his obstinacy by a­nathematising the Council and changing the Dypticks, Acacius winks hard and will not see it, but stands by him to the last drop of blood, calls all the Power of the Court into his assistance, to support him against the Discipline and Au­thority of the Church, slites he admoni­tions of the greatest Bishops in it, Impri­sons their Legates, defies their Sentence, lives and dyes excommunicate, and all this for a Man that himself could not but know to be a s [...]ubborn Heretick. The full account of all these transactions, be­side the Relations of the Historians Libe­ratus and Evagrius, is to be seen in the Letters of Pope Simplicius and Foelix, the Breviculus Hist [...]riae Eutychianista­rum, and the Acts produced in the Cause of Acacius at the Council at Rome, all which are printed together in their pro­per place and order of time in Labbe's Councils. The first correspondence a­bout this matter against Petrus Moggus was (as I have already intimated) open­ed by Acacius himself in his Epistle to Simplicius, Inter Epist. Simplic. an­ [...]nonam. informing him that upon the death of Timotheus Aelurus, one Petrus Moggus an excommunicate Person, being a Thief and a Son of Darkness, had at mid­night [Page 325] stoln into the Throne of Alexandria, having only one Companion to attend him, by which Act of madness he made him­self obnoxious to greater Punishments, than had been hitherto pronounced against him, but however he was defeated of his Design, for Timotheus Salophasiolus be­ing restored to his Throne, this foolish thief durst never shew his head more. In an­swer to this,Epist. 9.10.11, 12. Simplicius returns divers congratulatory Letters, not only to Aca­cius, but the Emperor Zeno, exhorting him to banish Moggus out of the City.Epist. 14.15. But in the next Letters, he complains of the neglect of his Advice, and suspects warp­ing and luke warmness in Acacius, and the next news we hear is, that upon the death of Timotheus, Petrus Moggus is by the power of Acacius advanced to the See of Alexandria. Of which when Simpli­cius sends him Letters of Complaint,Ep. 17.18. one after another, he would never vouchsafe him any Answer, and so Simplicius dying the [...]udgels are immediately taken up by his Successor Foelix the 3d, and the first Act of his Government is to call a Council,Foelicis Ep. 1. in which a Synodical Letter of Admonition is written to Acacius, chiding him for his sullenness to Simplicius, charg­ing him with Pride and ill-manners towards the Apostolick See, advising him to use [Page 326] his Interest with the Emperor to rectifie the late Misdemeanors at Alexandria in the election of Moggus, otherwise he must be thought an Apostate from his own Principles, and a Renegado to the Here­ticks; for not to proceed against wicked Men, when it is in a Man's power to curb them, is to give them protection, and he incurs suspicion of secret friend­ship, who gives over his opposition to a manifest impiety. And in t [...]e same Council another long and pathetical Let­ter is drawn up to the Emperor, and sent by the same Legates Vitalis and Micenus, conjuring him to keep fast to his old Principles against the Hereticks, and gau­ling him in the same Dilemma, in which they had involved Acacius, viz. That if he stood firm to the Council of Calcedon, he must renounce the Hereticks, and there­fore if he did not oppose them, he pro­tected them against the Council, and that was manifest opposing it. But the Em­peror was big with his new Project of comprehension, and was deaf to all ad­vice against it, and Acacius being secure of him, he slites Foelix his Letters, im­prisons his Legates, and draws them in, to join Communion with himself and Moggus. Upon the news whereof ano­ther Council is immediately summon'd at [Page 327] Rome, where the sentence of Deposition and Excommunication is denounced a­gainst him. But he being warm and safe at Court slites the force of all Ecclesiastical Discipline and requites Foelix in his own coin, striking his name out of the Dyp­ticks, and persisted in the exercise of his own Function to his dying day, which was 4 years after the Sentence, that was decreed in the year 484, and he dyed in the year 488.

This was the effect of this shrewd In­strument of Comprehension, in these three head Churches of Rome, Constantinople and Alexandria, nothing less than a to­tal breach of Communion, and one of the fiecrest Schisms that ever befel the Christian Church, and though the Peace between them was patcht up about 34 years after, by the Power and Activity of Pope Hormisdas, yet they were never heartily reconcil'd to this very day. As for Acacius it is a dispute what he was, some indict him of Heresie or Church-treason, others only of high Misdemea­nors, though as for my own part after all streins of Candor, I cannot but think him guilty of both, or I fear something worse, the want of a serious sense of Re­ligion. To free him from the high charge of Heresie, it is pleaded that he never in [Page 328] the least own'd the Eutychian Faith, that he ever declared against it, that he was never charged with it by the Ancients, and that in the Sentence against him at Rome, where all his Crim [...]s were strictly enough enumerated, this is no Article a­gainst him. But yet for all this I see not how he can be absolved from it, for in the Eye of the Law, and indeed the common sense of the World, all Commun [...]on with Hereticks is and ought to be judged He­resie, as in all Civil Laws all consulting with Traitors is deem'd Treason. For it concerns not the Government to fish out every Man's Opinion or motive of his Practice, that can judg only by overt­acts, and then to communicate with He­reticks is Heresie, and to consult with Traitors Treason. But much more in this particular Case, in which all Com­munion with the Hereticks had been Canonically declared Heresie by the Church in the great Council of Calcedon, and without it the sentence of the Church had been of no force, for that can reach no farther than their outward Communion. So that after all, the Henoticon was so far from compromising the Controver­sies, as it pretended, and I believe, de­sign'd, that it only reverst and contradi­cted the Decree of the Church, and by [Page 329] an Imperial Rescript declared that to be no Heresie, that had been judged so by the Council, and that I take it, is plain bidding defyance to it and its Autho­rity.

As for the other Crimes charged upon him, they are enormous enough, his ve­ry friendship with such ill Men as Mog­gus and Fullo, shews he had but very little sense of Honesty, or indeed of Re­putation, otherwise he would have loath'd and defyed Men of such rank Pra­ctices. But the leading Sin, that betray'd him into all his other Miscarriages was his Pride and Ambition▪ and to gra­tifie that, it is plain that he stuck not to subvert all the Discipline of the Christi­an Church. For finding the Emperor Zeno fond of his Henoticon, he at least frankly complyed with it, to the subver­sion of the first and fundamental Law of all Church-Communion, in receiving Hereticks into it without Canonical Re­pentance and Satisfaction. And this is suggested in the Decree of the Council at Rome against him, that he preferr'd the Emperor's favor above his own Faith; and then it is no matter to what Religi­on such perfidious Men pretend, when it is too apparent that they have really none at all. And the case of the Church [Page 330] at this time was much the same, as it was under the Reigns of Constantius and Valens: ill Men got into the Court, and from thence crept into the Church, and to gain Preferments for themselves flat­ter'd the Prince into an exorbitant use of his Power, against the true and regular Discipline of it. And that would at once give them interest at Court, and make vacancies in the Church for themselves, and this weak Prince was so drunkenly fond of this little Project, that he would throw away the best Preferments in the Church upon any Parasite, that would but seem to hugg his fondling-Ape, by which means great numbers of very bad Men came into the best Churches. But one of the greatest Instances of it is the great Church of Antioch, we have alrea­dy seen the other three leading Churches brought into a Civil War among them­selves, but here it came to blows and cut­ting of Throats, that I shall very briefly describe as another observable Example of the good Effects of this gracious In­strument of Accommodation. Petrus Fullo a Monk had been expell'd his Mo­nastery for the Eutychian Heresie in the time of the Emperor Leo, flies to Calce­don, and being a talkative Man is soon driven thence for the same Cause, and [Page 331] so takes shelter at Constantinople, and there insinuates himself into the favor of the Princess Ariadne, and by her recom­mends himself to the Patronage of her husband Zeno, and having gain'd that, he endeavors to dis-place Martyrius Bi­shop of Antioch, Zeno being then Gover­nor of the Place, but Martyrius making his Application to the Emperor Leo, he is restored, and an Edict publisht against the tumults of Monks. But the Monks so little regard the Emperor's Authori­ty, that upon it they increase their fury against the good Bishop, till at length he being quite tired out quits his Bishop­rick, into which Petrus Fullo immediate­ly leaps, and is as soon thrust out by the Emperor, but is restored by Basiliscus, and again displaced by Zeno, excommu­nicated by Acacius, and Stephanus chosen to the See, who being barbarously mur­ther'd, another Stephanus is chosen, and contrary to the Canons consecrated by Acacius at Constantinople, and Petrus Ful­lo the Author of all these Dis-orders is banisht into Pontus, and Stephanus dying Calendio succeeds with the same illegal Consecration, but falling into dis-favor with Acacius, partly for siding with Pope Foelix against himself and Petrus Moggus, and partly for being too stiff for [Page 332] the Council of Calcedon, he procures his ejectment by Imperial Power upon an Accusation of Treason, and Petrus Fullo after all these turns is placed by Acacius his own Interest in that great See. And thus we see both the old Trade of Eject­ments and Sequestrations return'd by prostituting the Discipline and Authority of the Christian Church to the Power of Court-Favourites, and the whole World shatter'd into numberless Schisms and He­resies. For when once the Authority of the Church and the Law is trodden down, there is no other effectual stop aganst the rovings of fancy and wantonness, and it is certain that men who differ in Opinion will never agree, as long as they have liber­ty to differ. And thus was it here, when this unskilful Prince had once broken up the Pale of the Church as it was fixt by the Council of Calcedon and fenced by his Pre­decessors, he could never after restrain the People from running into all the wild Con­ceits, that Frenzy and Madness could blow into their Heads. And whereas he only design'd to unite the Eutychians to the Communion of the Church, he divided the Communion of the Church into a thousand new Factions. The Acephali, Severiani, Theo­paschitae, Currupticolae, Phantasiastae, Ag­nóetae, Tritheitae, beside the horrible fewds [Page 333] between the Scythian and Acaemetan Monks. The Acephali began at Alexan­dria, being Eutychians that separated from Moggus uyon his owning the Coun­cil of Calcedon, out of these were spawn'd the Severiani at Antioch, so call'd from Severus, who had ravish't that See, and made himself Captain of the Acephali by Anathematising the Council, but of him we shall give an Account under the next Reign, as under the Reign of Justi­nian they sub-divided into the Factions of the Gaianitae and Theodosiani, and the Heresie being transplanted by Jacobus Sy­rus into Armenia, thence came the Jaco­bitae. The Theopaschitae were the Disci­ples of Petrus Fullo, who to the Eutychian Heresie added, that the Divinity in our blessed Saviour was Crucified and Buried. The Corrupticolae were the followers of Severus at Alexandria after his Banish­ment from Antioch, affirming our Savi­ours Body liable to decay, and therefore to have been really repair'd by nourish­ment; but this was opposed by Julianus of Halicarnassus, a Bishop of the same Par­ty, and flying to Alexandria for the same Cause, who affirm'd that our Saviour ne­ver took any sustenance, but only seemed so to do, and therefore were called Phan­tasiastae, and between these two the Rab­ble [Page 334] of the City were disputed into Tumults and Out-rages. And out of the Corrupticolae sprang the Agnoitae, that from the Cor­ruptibility of our Saviours Body, were pleased to infer some ignorance in his Soul. The Tritheitae were the followers of Phi­loponus, who was so far transported in the heat of disputation, as to assert three distinct Natures peculiar to each Person in the Holy Trinity, and one common to them all, to which he was betrayed by his Ari­stotelian Philosophy, of which he was an extravagant Admirer, that teaches that there is one and the same general humane nature really common to all men, and a­nother particular nature appropriated to each individual. And thus when all the Lords People were permitted the liberty of Prophesying, every man took up his own Parable and believed his own Dream, the Ass as well as the Prophet, till the Church was shatter'd into so many chips and fragments, that it was never after re­united, as we shall see by the Progress of these Mischiefs, that I have here only briefly represented. And thus this luxu­rious Prince having ruined the Church by so many years licentiousness, only because his laziness would not be at the pains to see it governed, after he had Reign'd 18 years dies of a Debauch.

[Page 335]§. XIX. Zeno being dead Ariadne be­stows both her self and the Crown upon Anastasius a small Officer about the Court, and at his first coming to the Crown he was forced by Euphenius Bishop of Con­stantinople to declare for the Council of Calcedon; For the Bishop suspecting his Religion, refused to Crown him till he had made a publick profession of his Chri­stian Faith, which he registred and laid up in the Archives of his Church, as a Testimony against him, if he should ever relapse to the Haesitantes, as he afterward did and turn'd a vehement Persecutor in pursuance of moderation, banishing any man either for owning or disowning the Council of Calcedon. But of that after­wards, for at first having got the Crown Imperial upon his Head, he endeavours to make himself popular, and for that end in the first place he takes off that hea­vy and scandalous Tax called the Chrys­argyrum. It was a Tax by Poll not only upon Men, Women and Children, but upon all Beasts and Cattle both of profit and pleasure even to Dogs and Cats. This was by immemorial Custom (though Zosimus is pleased to impute its Contri­vance to Constantine the Great) collected every fourth year, and being a Customa­ry Impost without any Formality of [Page 336] Law to warrant it, it was no doubt with severity enough exacted by the Officers, not so much for the profit of the Crown as their own. And this made it extreme heavy to the Subject, but that which made it Scandalous was its being a Rent-Charge upon the Stews and publick Houses of Debauchery, granting (as Evagrius describes it) a Licence to all their wickedness upon a certain Rate of Excise.L. 3. c. 39. And for that reason it was com­monly called Aurum paenosum, the Syntax or Commutation Money, which being so offensive to the People, and so foul in it self, as seeming to grant a Liberty to all manner of wickedness upon the re­serve of a Pension to the Government; upon that account as it was a just, so was it a plausible Action in this Emperor to contrive its Abrogation. And he did it with that Art and Diligence as to de­stroy not only the Exchequer-Records, but the Collectors Books; For counter­feiting a Repentance of his Folly in part­ing with so fair a Revenue, he Summons in all the Collectors to bring in their Court-Rolls for retrieving a new Regi­ster out of them, this they greedily com­ply with in hopes to recover their several Offices in the Collection, which being done he consumes all their Books in a [Page 337] publick Bone-fire, to prevent his Succes­sors from ever recovering any of its Me­moires, and so ended this barbarous Im­position, unbecoming, as the Historian observes, not only any Christian but any Heathen Common-wealth. But soon finding this too great a retrenchment of his Revenue in Money, he is forced to sup­ply it another way as heavy upon the Subject. That whereas the Provinces had hitherto paid their Tribute in kind, he exacts it by way of Composition in Money, and whereas hitherto it had been managed by the Magistrates of Cities, who used their Neighbours kindly, he farm'd it out to his Collectors, and they to be sure would loose nothing that was to be got, but setting aside their oppressi­on, it proved a very great oppression in it self to the poor Farmers, for though they might have plenty enough of Corn and Cattel to spare, yet they had scarcity enough of Money, and for that very rea­son out of meer humanity and compassi­on this way of Taxing had been often forbidden by divers of the preceding Em­perors.

As for the State of the Church under his Reign, it gives us a true Character of the Conequences of Comprehension, as it is described by Evagrius. L. 3. c. 30. ‘That be­ing [Page 338] excessively desirous of Peace, he would permit no Innovation, and la­bour'd all manner of ways that the Church should every where remain with­out disturbance, and that all his Sub­jects should enjoy perfect Peace without brawling and contention. And for that end the Council of Calcedon was in those days neither openly abetted nor rejected. But every Bishop followed his own con­ceit; some stickling with all their might for all the determinations of the Coun­cil, not allowing the alteration of the least Syllable in its Decrees, and refu­sing with the greatest disdain to commu­nicate with any that rejected any part of it: others on the contrary did not only reject but anathematised the Coun­cil and all that adhered to it; others again cryed up Zeno's Henoticon, and though these two Parties differed among themselves about the Eutychian Contro­versie, yet both Parties agreed against the Council, some being seduced by the Im­perial Letters, others by the pretence of Peace. So that all the Churches in the Christian World were rent into number­less Schisms and Factions, and the Com­munion of the Bishops shattered all in pie­ces. Hence arose infinite Quarrels between the Eastern, Western and African Church­es; [Page 339] the Eastern refusing Communion with the Western and African, and they on the other side denying them the same Civility. And not only so, but the business was carried on to an higher degree of folly, for none of them a­greed among themselves, the Eastern Bi­shops breaking Communion at home, neither did the Western and African Bi­shops, though they both joyn'd against the Eastern, communicate themselves, or with any other Forraign Churches what­soever. All which the Emperor perceiving he deposed all Innovating Bishops, all that stuck to the Council, and all that Ana­thematised it, and so cast Euphenius and after him Macedonius out of the See of Constantinople, and Flavianus out of the See of Antioch. A goodly Account this of the natural effects of this wise Project of Peace and Moderation, to set all the World in a flame without redress, till at last the Peace-maker himself is for­ced to quit his own pretence, grows angry, and violent in proceeding against all that refuse to comply with his own Will, and it is a very obvious observation of this sort of men, that when they are disap­pointed in their Project, they grow moo­dy and sullen, and are of all others the most revengeful and implacable to all [Page 340] that differ from them. And as for these dire effects of love and meekness no Man need to wonder at them, because the design it self is no better than casting away all manner of Discipline and Go­vernment, without which all Societies soon fall into War and Anarchy. Nei­ther do these Mischiefs end in the Church, but they break out into Tumults and Re­bellions in the Common-Wealth, as we shall see anon in the Rebellion of Vitalian.

But though all Christendom were actu­ally in Arms, the Fight was hottest and the Contest run highest at Rome and Constantinople between Euphemianus and Gelasius, who, though they agreed in the Orthodox Faith, could never be recon­cil'd in the point of Discipline concern­ing Acacius, and those Bishops that com­municated with the Eutychian Hereticks after they were condemn'd by the Coun­cil. Gelasius will listen to no terms of Reconciliation, till the Acacian Schisma­ticks are thrown out of the Dyptichs, and Euphemianus on the contrary impor­tunes him to condescend from the strict­ness of Discipline for the sake of Peace and Unity, and assures him that his Se­verity could have no other effect in the Eastern Church but to make the breach wider. But for all that Gelasius stops his [Page 341] Ears at all motions of condescension,Epist. 1. and by vertue of the Authority of St. Peter will abate nothing of the settled Discipline of the Church, upon any ac­count or pretence whatsoever: And therefore advises him, as he hoped ever to recover the favor of the Apostolick See, to anathematise Acacius as well as Eutyches. And to the same purpose he writes to Faustus Ambassador to Theodo­rick King of the Goths, and at that time Master of Rome and Italy ▪ then residing at Constantinople, upon a treaty of Peace between his Master and the Emperor.Epist. 4. Though in it he all along betrays his great concern to be more for the Gran­deur of his own See, than the Discipline of the Catholick Church. However Fau­stus labors to the utmost of his Power to gratifie his Holiness, but all in vain, for they are resolved at Constantinople ne­ver to deliver up a Bishop of their own, much less so stout a Champion as Aca­cius, to the ambition of Rome. And even the Emperor himself storms at him for his unyielding obstinacy, upon which his Majesty is accosted with a Letter in a very high stile, demanding his Obedience to the Apostolick See, discoursing at large the pre-eminence of the Pontifical Power above the Regal.Epist. 14. And this he [Page 342] follows with a Circular Epistle directed to the Bishops of Dardania, wherein he magnifies the Sovereign Authority of his own See above the whole Catholick Church, in such high streins, as were in­deed nothing less than an open challenge of an absolute Monarchy over it. And therefore Acacius dying in Rebellion a­gainst his Highnesses Predecessors, nei­ther himself nor any that communicate with him ought to be received into Grace and Favor. And in the same lofty lan­guage he directs his Mandate to the Ea­stern Bishops upon the same Argument:Epist. 15. And not content with this, he issues out his Proclamation to the whole Christian World, to declare the validity of the Sen­tence against Acacius and his Accom­plices.

To him succeeds Anastasius in the Pa­pacy, who, though stiff enough, sinks much below the height and rigor of his Prede­cessor,Epist. 1. and condescends to send his Le­gates, and tender an humble Address to the Emperor for Peace and Reconciliati­on, and insists upon no other terms than only the suppression of the name of Aca­cius. But now the Emperor instead of yielding to any Rules of Discipline, find­ing he had a coming Pope, endeavors to draw him to the Henoticon, and obliges [Page 343] one Festus a Senator of Rome then at Constantinople to undertake it, but before his return home the Pope dyed in the year 498. And he is with great difficul­ty succeeded by Symmachus, for Festus to carry on his Design of Comprehension, set up against him one Laurentius, a Man that he very well knew would do any thing to comply with the Emperor's Will for the advancement of his own Ends. And that gave Being to one of the most furious Schisms, that ever hapned in that Church; not only the People and the Clergy, but the Senators themselves, being ingaged in each Party even to Blood and Slaughter. And the Quarrel grew so high, that King Theodorick was at last forced to repair to the City with his Ar­my to prevent a Civil War, and at length after great pains by the Assistance of a Council at Rome, commonly call'd the Sy­nodus Palmaris, gave Symmachus Posses­sion.

And at Constantinople Tumults became so furious that above 3000 of the Ortho­dox Christians were murther'd at one time at Divine Service by the Soldiers, as was affirm'd, by the Emperor's Insti­gation. And upon it Symmachus writes to him to reprove him for the cruelty of the Action, and require him to forbear [Page 344] all farther Communion with Hereticks, but he grows more violent, and so is ex­communicated, but that transports him to that indecency of Passion, that he condescends to write Libels against the Pope, that are answer'd again with suffi­cient rudeness, the Pope telling him in plain terms, that he is as good a Man as himself. Upon this the Emperor looses all patience, and so with as great an Ex­travagance on the other side, publishes a fraudulent Rescript, that no Man shall be capable of any Preferment in Church or State,Cod. de E­pisc. Audi­entià l. 19.20. unless he take the Sacrament upon it, that he will be true to the Or­thodox Faith, and what he meant by that, is too too evident from his present wild behavior about the Henoticon, and so the Rescript is interpreted by Theodo­rus Lector. And sometime after, i. e. in the year 510,Cod. de Hae­ret. l. 10. he publishes another Re­script to incapacitate all that were not Orthodox in his own sense, for all Eccle­siastical Preferment. And at the same time indeavors with all his might to re­move Macedonius from the See of Con­stantinople, though he had been placed there by himself upon the banishment of Euphemius, Theodorus Lector lib. 2. till at length the barbarous Rabble and Soldiers again broke in with Clubs and Staffs upon the Catholicks, as [Page 345] they were at Divine Service in the Church of Arch-Angel, adding after the Trisagion this form of Words, who was Crucified for us. This came to blows and tumults, that were chiefly managed by Severus the Monk, of whose goodly Vertues more anon, and Julian Bishop of Halicarnassus, a Man much of the same Kidney, till a vast Rabble of the Ortho­dox join'd in a Body together, and as is the manner of Tumults, cryed one and all, so that the Emperor was forced to engarrison himself within his own Palace, and was taking Ship to secure himself by flight, but that bethinking himself to send for Macedonius and sweeten him with some good Words, by his means (who good Man was much more troubled at the Disorders than the Emperor himself) appeased the Tumult, and for his reward of so good a piece of Service, he was im­mediately conveyed away by night, kept in close Prison, and one Timotheus placed in his See.

And the same Method of Moderation was put in practice every where in the Eastern Church, and among the rest the great Flavianus of Antioch was banisht, and Severus the Monk, that mortified Man, who had long watcht for the See of Constantinople, placed in his stead. [Page 346] He was first bred to the Law, where he might, if he would but give his Mind to it, learn all the shifts of fraud and op­pression, from thence he betook himself to a Monastery, to accomplish himself with all the slites of Hypocrisie, being expell'd thence, he at last betakes him­self to Court, to make all his other good Qualities useful and practicable by a suf­ficient stock of Impudence, and what cannot that Man do, that is made up of so good a warp of knavery, so well wooft with Hypocrisie, lin'd through with im­modesty? Thus accoutred to Court the demure Man comes, and finding which way the Weather-cock of Preferment stood, soon insinuates himself into the favor of the Religious Empress, and that was an easie passage to the Emperor, whom he soon got into his possession, and put him upon his severe Courses in pur­suance of moderation, only to make some good vacancy for himself. He had heav'd twice at the Bishoprick of Con­stantinople in the Expulsion of Euphemi­us and Macedonius, but finding it would not take there, he is content with Anti­och, and so procures the expulsion of Flavianus, for his not quitting the Coun­cil. And though the Emperor accord­ing to the Tenor of his Henoticon, ob­liged [Page 347] him by Oath never to anathema­tise it, yet he could not forbear doing it publickly in the Church at the very time of his Consecration. Neither does his zeal and fury confine it self to his own Church, but he vents it in other Dioces­ses, and particularly procures the banish­ment of Elyas Bishop of Jerusalem, who had with many Conflicts and for many Years weather'd it against the Emperor's own folly. But at last his Enormities grew so intolerable, and his contempt of the Canons so scandalous, that notwith­standing all his power at Court, he is so­lemnly excommunicated by a Council at Constantinople at the Emperor's own doors, and such was the rudeness of his Tongue as well as his Actions, that after the death of Anastasius, it was condemn'd by the Emperor Justin at the instigation of the Courtiers, to be cut out for a Penance for its foul language, had he not saved both that and himself by [...]light. 'Tis still we see this sort of precious Saints, that are for promoting the dissettlement and oppression of the Church for their own ambitious Ends.

But things being every where in such confusion, and the People under such dis­contents, this gives both a pretence and an opportunity to Vitalian General of the [Page 348] Army to revolt, and he (God knows his heart) takes up Arms only to right and restore the banisht Bishops, and at last yields to a Peace upon condition that the Emperor would call a free Council at Heraclea, for the settlement of the Church and the restitution of the Bi­shops, and the Emperor to make good the Article summons about 200 to the place appointed, but dismisses them with­out any Debate. Upon this Vitalian threatens and arms again, but is at pre­sent bought off with a round sum of Mo­ney. And now the Emperor finding at last into what streights he had brought himself and his Government by his vio­lent moderation, he grows weary of it, and writes to Pope Hormisdas, who suc­ceeded Symmachus, to request his assi­stance for the resettlement of the Church. But this Pope was both a stout and a craf­ty Man, and would hear of no other terms of Peace but entire submission to the Council of Calcedon, Pope Leo's Let­ter, and the condemnation of Acacius: And the poor tired Emperor is ready to yield all except the last, and by his Re­solution in defence of Acacius luckily re­cover'd the love of his Citizens, among whom there was none of their Bishops whose Memory was more valuable than [Page 349] that of Acacius. And therefore in that point he begs his Pardon, and having by that Artifice secured the People to himself, he now ventures to disband Vi­talian, and puts Ruffinus in the head of his Army. And the Pope sending a se­cond Embassy to him the year following against Acacius, the Emperor now de­fies him, charges him with rudeness and incivility, and tells him, that for the time to come he will have no intercourse with a Man so utterly void of good Man­ners, as to yield nothing to his Royal Will. And so ended his reign, for thô the Romish Writers tell strange Tragedies of I know not what bloody Persecution that insued upon it, they relye meerly upon the monkish and fabulous Histori­ans of later Times, without any Authori­ty from the Ancients and more timely Records, and therefore are of no Cre­dit.

§. XX. Anastasius after 27 years reign dying▪ Justinus, who at first had been but a common Soldier, succeeds by the choice of the People, and the Guards, whose Votes he had bought with the Money that Amantius the Eunuch (the great Patron of the Hereticks under Ana­stasius, and the main instrument of all [Page 350] the Mischiefs against the Church in his reign) had entrusted with him to bribe their Voices for Theocritus, to whom he design'd the Empire, as Evagrius reports from Zacharias Rhetor the partial Euty­chian Historian,Lib. 4. c. 2. whereas Justin himself protests in his first Letter to Pope Hor­misdas, That the Empire was forced up­on him by the Senate and the Army, without his own seeking and against his own Will. And he seems to have been a Man of that plainness and simplicity through the whole course of his life, that his Protestation may, if in that case any Mans may, be trusted, and it is no great won­der, if he were not very forward to ac­cept the Government, when he could not but be conscious to himself of his unfitness for it, being a Person of no Edu­cation, only having the good fortune by his Courage to raise himself from a com­mon Soldier to the chief Command in the Army.

This Emperor at his first coming to the Crown finding all things in confusion by the irregular actings of Zeno and A­nastasius against the Council of Calcedon, publishes an Edict commanding subscrip­tion to it by all the Clergy, the restitu­tion of the banisht Bishops, and expul­sion of the Intruders. Among whom [Page 351] Severus of Antioch bearing the blackest Character,Evag. lib. 4. c. 4. and being the most busie Pro­moter of the Faction suffer'd in the first place. But though he were very care­fully watcht and way-layed by Irenaeus the Prefect of the East, he made his e­scape to Alexandria, where the Here­ticks had kept possession to that very time, Athanasius succeeding to Petrus Moggus, to him Joannes Mela, to him Jo­annes Machiota, to him Dioscorus the younger, to him Timotheus in the year 519, all Henotical Men.Liberati Brev. c. 19. In this time it was that Severus came to Alexandria, and was very welcome to him, as Juli­anus Bishop of Halicarnassus had been be­fore him, but these two disputing Gen­tlemen meeting together, could not long agree. Severus setting up the Sect of the Corrupticolae, and Julianus of the Phantasiastae, but Themistius a Deacon of that Church divides from both, and founds a new Schism of the Agnoetae. But now the Emperor having in some measure settled the Eastern Church, he labors for its re-union with the Western, and for that end writes to the stiff Pope Hormisdas, to offer Proposals of Peace and Reconciliation, after a rupture of 34 years, that began in the year 484, when Acacius and Foelix excommunicated [Page 352] each other; and after many Treaties, Embassies and Inter-messages, the Peace is concluded in the year following, viz. anno 519. And Acacius is now at last given up and sacrificed to his revenge, without which the Pope let them know at first, that it was in vain to treat of Peace upon any other conditions. Nei­ther will he be satisfied with the sen­tence against Acacius alone, but all his Successors must be expunged out of the Dyptichs only for keeping him in, and so must his two Patrons, the Emperors Zeno and Anastasius, and this being done the Peace is concluded with great joy on all sides, and Hormisdas writes to the Emperor to exhort him to proceed in the same good work in other Places, especi­ally at Alexandria and Antioch. But things were so much out of order, and Men were grown so unruly by the lati­tude and licentiousness of the late Times, that they would rather raise Tumults then lay down their Disputes, though the greatest Disorders were raised at Con­stantinople it self by the Scythian Monks, a spawn of the Henotical Liberty, and this run to that height of Sedition, that it awed the Emperor himself, engaged the greatest Men in the Empire into Parties, enflamed the Church of Africa, and set [Page 353] Rome it self on fire. In the year 518 they first broke out under the Patronage of Vitalian, and the Conduct of Maxen­tius a witty and learned Man, and they must have this Proposition, that one of the Holy Trinity was crucified in the flesh, imposed upon the Catholick Church as a necessary Article of Faith. But the No­velty and Ambiguity of the expression was offensive to all Men, that were for acquiescing in the Council of Calcedon, and so they fell to disputing pell-mell, Victor a Deacon of that Church being head of the opposite Party, and followed by the Acaemetan Monks, as indeed all the fewds of the Christian Church were every where carried on by that idle sort of Men, that had little else to do than to wrangle. But the Popes Legates com­ing to Constantinople this present year 519, the Scythian Monks present them an Address in their own defence, in which they imbrace all the 4 Councils, anathematise all the Hereticks, only they must have their own new Proposition ad­ded to the determinations of the Church. But the Legates wholly shift the busi­ness, as being limited by their Commis­sion from intermedling with any Matter that was not express't in it. Upon this the zealous Monks repair to Rome to be­siege [Page 354] the Pope himself with their im­portunity, and as Vitalian had espo [...]sed their Cause, so Justinian appear'd against it, and writes a sharp Letter to Hormisdas against the petulancy of the Monks, tho af­terward he became not only their Patron but their Advocate, earnestly soliciting the Pope in their behalf, but he not well knowing at that distance what to make of all this Contest, adjourns its examina­tion till the return of the Legates. In the mean time there being then a famous Society of African Bishops in Sardinia, that were banisht their own Country by Thrasamond King of the Vandalls, a zea­lous Arian, and at that time Master of Africa, to these the Monks apply them­selves, and present them a Confession of their Faith, wherein declaring to the height against the Pelagian Heresie, they thereby ensnare their Affections, who had been the greatest Champions against it, in so much that Fulgentius himself writes an Apology in their behalf. But upon the return of the Legates, the Monks knowing that they were none of their friends, they hang up [...] their Re­monstrance in the most publick Places of the City to raise Sedition among the People, and so betake themselves to flight. Of their unruly behaviour at [Page 355] Rome Hormisdas has given an account in his Letter to Possessor an African Bi­shop, that they were a sort of vain, proud, petulant Men, that under shews of mortification kept up the height of Pride and Insolence, and were swoln to that degree of Arrogance, that they would have the whole Christian World to truckle to their imperious dictates, and instead of obedience, that ought to be the peculiar glory of Monasteries, set up obstinacy and stubbornness, &c. this Letter is answer'd by Maxentius, (whose Works are extant in the Bibliotheca Pa­trum) where his great Holiness is treated with rudeness enough. At Thessalonica one of the Pope's own Legates was murther'd in a Tumult, in defence of their intru­ding Bishop Dorotheus. At Jerusalem John an Eutychian had by the help of Se­verus of Antioch thrust out Elyas, and usurpt the Chair to himself, but the Times being chang'd, so is his Faith, and he becomes a zealous defender of the Council against the Hereticks, and upon it is very acceptable to the People, who sue to the Emperor for the pardon of all his former Misdemeanors without any farther process or solemnity of Disci­pline. And in the same manner are po­pular Addresses and Petitions brought [Page 356] from all parts in behalf of their Bishops, that had been of the Acacian Faction (who by the Terms of the Concordate between the Pope and the Emperor were all Condemned Men) to keep those that were dead in the Dyptichs, and those that were living in their Sees: in short, that Peace may be settled without too much triumph over the condescending Party. This so perplexes the Emperor that he refers it wholy to Pope Hormisdas, who was now grown to that Authority in the Christian Church, that he alone trans­acted all things in it. And therefore to him the Emperor dispatches his Ambas­sadors, to soften him to the m [...]ldest terms of Peace, for fear of Tumults if he should stand upon too much severity. And to prepare him for it, his Majesty Petitions his Holiness by Letter, that he would be satisfied with the Execution of the Names of Acacius, Petrus Moggus, Timotheus Aelurus, Dioscorus, and Petrus Fullo, but as for all others that dyed in the Schism to let them pass in silence. And as for the Cause of the Scythian Monks that was by this time spread over all the Ea­stern Church, he proposes that they may be indulged the Liberty of their Opinion, because though it might be too curious, yet it was harmless and agreeable to the [Page 357] Orthodox Faith. This motion is second­ed by several Letters from Justinian, who indeed governed all, and by others from a Council at Constantinople, and by o­thers from Epiphanius Bishop of the City. But Hormisdas is inflexible, will yield no­thing to their importunity; and let the Event be what it will, and let the Peo­ple rebel if they will, nothing of the Dis­cipline of the Church can be abated: And to receive Schismaticks into its Com­munion, instead of reconciling Parties, it will only expose its Authority to con­tempt, or as he expresses it in his Letter to Epiphanius, Nosti, frater Charissime, quae ecclesiasticam servent vincula concordi­am, quae nos ab Haereticorum tueantur in­sidiis, per quae etiam Canonum custodiatur Auctoritas. His in robore suo omni cir­cumspectione servatis, remedia sperantibus conferantur. And writing to the Empe­ror, he begs that his Majesty would not think him more austere than his Prede­cessors for standing upon higher terms, they insisting only upon the name of A­cacius, and assures him that it is not stub­bornness, but the sad experience of those grievous Scandals, that had followed up­on the unhappy rupture, that made him the more severe. At the beginning of the Schism there might have been room [Page 358] for some condescension, but the mischiefs, that have followed by so long and stub­born a continuance of it, especially their affront to the great Council of Calcedon, cannot be pardoned or expiated without some publick satisfaction. But yet that he may not be too hard-hearted, he leaves it to the Conscience and Discretion of Epiphanius, to receive such as he believes true Penitents, or seduced out of Igno­rance and Simplicity, but so as to oblige him to return all their Libels of Confessi­on to himself at Rome. And as for the Cause of the Scythian Monks, he will by no means admit their Proposition because of its Novelty; and when the same thing was less ambiguously expressed by the Scriptures and the Ancients, as that the Son of God suffered in the Flesh, he would allow of no new Phrases, that would but give occasion to new disputes and farther divisions. Haec si quemadme­dum a Patribus constituta sunt, servent, credant, non definita transcendant, à quo tramite qui decli [...]ant, ipsi sibi nebulam du­bitationis offundunt. And therefore he will have all men acquiesce in the defini­tion of the Council; and for the same reason though he will not directly con­demn the Proposition of Heresie, yet he damns it as a needless, a peevish, and an [Page 359] over curious Novelty. And here the Modern Writers of the Church of Rome are at a great loss how to reconcile this Sentence of Horm s [...]as with that of Pope John the Second, who expresly anathe­matised the Acaemetan Monks for denying it, and voucht it for an Article of the Christian Faith, and constant Tradition of the Christian Church. But the present Historian Natalis Alexander thinks he clears the difficulty by proving against Baronius that Hormisdas did not condemn the Scythian Monks of Heresie,Saec. Sext. diss. 2. and there­fore though John the Second past that Sentence upon the contrary Opinion, it was no contradiction. The observation is good, but the Evasion bad; for Baro­nius, as his manner is, here stretches be­yond his Records, when he endeavours to draw them into the List of Hereticks; and yet for all that the Contradiction is as palpable, as if their Sentence had been for Heresie. For when one Pope shall Condemn a Proposition as a needless and prophane Novelty, and another shall abet it as a constant Tradition of the Christi­an Church, and so much an Article of Faith, as to anathematise all that oppose it, is I think a contradiction too tough to be reconciled by infallibility it self.

[Page 360]As for the behaviour of Hormisdas in this whole business, it may seem too stiff and rigorous, but setting aside his design to trample down his Rival at Constantino­ple, and taking upon himself the single Authority of governing the Christian Church, his severity was but seasonable and necessary at that time. For ever since the unhappy Publication of the Henoticon, and the Schism of Acacius, the Disci­pline of the Church was wholy laid aside by the Acacian Party, and that could not be restored to its effectual exercise, with­out bringing the Offenders against it to a publick Confession of their fault. Nei­ther indeed without that, was it lawful by the Canons of the Church to receive any man, that had been Canonically judged a Schismatick, to Communion. And as for the Scythian Monks, though their Proposition were true, as in one sense it might be, when they applyed the Crucifixion not immediately to the Divinity it self, but to the flesh in which the Divinity resided. Yet however it was in the first place as they express it in general terms, capable of too harsh a sense. Secondly, it was without Authority, when private Persons will take upon themselves the confidence to impose upon the Chri­stian Church. Thirdly, it was an un­mannerly [Page 361] reflection upon the Council of Calcedon, as if that had not made suf­ficient provision against the late Heresie, but stood in need to be patcht out by this new Addition. And for these reasons I cannot see but that it was justly censured and rejected by this Pope, though other­wise and in most other Cases he was a man of much too stiff and unyielding a Tem­per. The rest of the Acts of his Reign are lost, for tho he lived two years after, yet after this time we have no remain­ing Records of his Transactions.

But the Emperor having cleared the Church of these wanton Schisms, that owed their Birth meerely to the liberty granted by his Predecessors, he now proceeds to root up all the ancient Here­sies that it seems had peep't above ground again by having been so long neglected. And it is certain that there is no setting limits to liberty of opinion, for if men are once allowed the wantonness of Phi­losophising as they please, there is no­thing so absurd that somebody will not assert. And here from this particular Case we may observe the woful effects of a few years indulgence and licentiousness, when all these wild Heresies that the se­veral Emperors had from time to time rooted up by effectual Laws, now take [Page 362] root and spring up again, and probably had they not been timely prevented by this Emperor and his Successor, they might have grown to as great an head as ever they did in former times. But they are cut up all together at one blow by one Law,Cod. lib. 1. Tit. 5. l. 12. viz. ‘That the Manichees be every where destroyed and put to death, and that the rest of the Hereticks (and an Heretick is every man that is not Ortho­dox) together with Heathens, Jews, and Samaritans, bear no Office in the Com­mon-wealth. And if any shall presume to do it, he is to be severely fined, ex­cepting only the Gothick Arians, be­cause they are our Confederates.’ Where we may observe, that the punish­ment of the Manichees is Capital, but that of the other sort of Hereticks Pecuniary, because Manicheism was not meer Here­sie, but down-right Debauchery, and that of the blackest Dye, teaching men the practice of all wickedness from the Prin­ciples of Religion. And therefore this Heresie was as severely proceeded against by Heathen as by Christian Emperors, as we may see by a Rescript of Dioclesian and Maximinian in the Gregorian Code against the Manichees, Lib. 12. Tit. Vlt. those new and un­heard of Monsters in the Roman Empire, ‘that were first spawn'd in Persia, where [Page 363] they committed all manner of wicked­ness, raised Tumults and Seditions a­mong the People, and caused great slaughters in every City.’

And as for the exception of the Arian Goths, it could not well be avoided at that time, both because the Emperor was Confederate with their Powerful King Theodorick, whose displeasure would then have been very dangerous to the State of the Empire: and because he would not provoke him to use any Severity a­gainst the Catholicks in the West, he be­ing then King of Italy, and had hitherto been so far from all thoughts of Persecu­tion, that he protected the Church in all its Rights and Liberties, and abetted its power with as Religious care and respect as any Emperor had ever done. It is reported by Baronius and those that fol­low him that Justin afterwards reverst this Indulgence to the Goths, and put the Laws against the Arians so severely in Execution, that Theodorick forced Pope John the First to go his Ambassa­dor to Constantinople to take him off from his severity, and because he did not, or would not effect it, cast him into Prison at his return home, where he died. This is the common Tale, but I doubt it wants Authority. [Page 364] For as for Anastasius the Librarian, who is the chief Author upon whom the learn­ed Annalist relyes, he is a very late and fabulous Writer, living in the 9th Cen­tury, and that under Pope Nicolaus the first, that great Father of Lyes, whose whole business it was to corrupt the Re­cords of the Church for the advancement of his own See, and as he for that reason imposed upon the World the forged De­cretals of the Popes from Clement down to Cyricius, so his Librarian extracted the History of that Interval out of those Forgeries. And though he had or might have had better Records of the following Popes, yet I know not by what fate it comes to pass, his Story is altogether as ill-told, and is no better then rank Le­gend. But so it was that he lived in a dark and barbarous Age, when the Re­cords of the Church were buried under heaps of Tales and Fables, and men only studied to out-stretch one another in the strangeness of their Reports. And there­fore I cannot but wonder that a man of Labbés Learning and Judgment should follow him as the best Author of the Pa­pal History, when it is so inconsistent with all those Records, that himself has examin'd and published, of every Popes Actions. As for the Letters of Pope John [Page 365] to the Italian Bishops about this business, they are apparently spurious. Gregory Turonensis indeed tells a Story somewhat like it, but then he has it only upon Re­port, at a great distance of place, and that a very crude one, and different from other Records, for he says nothing of the Embassy to Constantinople, which was the only considerable transaction of this Popes Reign, but only says that he was told that the cause of his Imprisonment was that Theodorick putting all the Catholicks in Italy to the Sword (it is strange that no Historian of that time should make any mention of it) Pope John went to him to perswade him from so bloody a Persecution, for which in a rage he threw him into Prison. As for the Story of Gregory the Great, it is so childish and such meer Legend, that out of respect to so great a man, I will not recite it. All that certainly appears is this, that there was at that time some misunderstanding between Justin and Theodorick, for that was the Accusation upon which the Great Boëtius was then put to death, that he held correspondence with Justin. And that Pope John was sent by Theodorick to treat with the Emperor, but what was his particular Errand is not recorded, but whatever it was, it seems he managed [Page 366] it so as to fall into the King's displeasure, and this is all that we have of that Popes Actions, and this Emperor's reign.

§. XXI. For he dying, after he had reign'd nine years, in his extreme old Age, before his death saw his Nephew Justinian fixt in the actual possession of the Imperial Throne by the choice of the Senate, one of the greatest Princes in the whole Succession, whether we regard the Success of his Arms, the Magnificence of his Buildings, or the Wisdom of his Laws, the three greatest Ornaments of any Princes Reign. And yet Envy, and one ill-natur'd Libel of a malecontent Courtier (if it be his) has been able (such is the ill-nature of Mankind) to slur all the Miracles of his reign. But I find that the ground of all the late dis­pleasure against this great Prince was (as some Men suppose) his too busie in­termedling in Church-Matters: this is the thing that is taken unkindly by the Church-Men at Rome, as an invasion of their Province. But others on the con­trary top him up for a Pattern to all Princes to keep the Jurisdiction of the Church in their own hands against all the pretences of Ecclesiasticks. But as [Page 367] it falls out, and ought so to do, they are both equally mistaken; for Justinian ne­ver attempted any thing in the Church, that was not warranted by continued Precedents of his best Predecessors. He only protected the Power of the Church in the exercise of its Jurisdiction, as they did, but never claim'd it to himself, how­soever he might err (as sometimes he did) in the execution of his Office. And whereas they load him so severely for presuming to make so many Novels, or Laws of his own about Religion, the whole charge is founded meerly upon ig­norance and mistake, they being all known Canons of the Church, before e­ver he enacted them into Laws. And therefore he is no more to be blamed than the best of his Predecessors, unless it be for his too pious and watchful care to preserve the Discipline of the Christian Church. So that it is no less than high ingratitude in the Clergy of Rome to re­quite so great a Benefactor to the Cause of Religion, with nothing but unkind Censures and foul Calumnies. But the ground of all their present Quarrel is his taking down the pride of one of their most haughty Popes, Vigilius, though by their own confession one of the worst of Men, and that too was done at a time, [Page 368] when their Holinesses had been accu­stom'd to trample upon the state of the Imperial Majesty it self. And if in these contentions the Emperor fell into any in­decencies, that cannot be justified, yet he ought not only in good Manners, but in justice, to be excused, because it is e­vident from the Design of his whole Reign, that his only aim was to resettle the long-disturb'd Peace of the Church, and if at any time he fail'd in his Mea­sures, his Integrity ought by all the rules of Candor to attone for the defect of his Politicks. But whether all his Acts of Government in the Church are justifia­ble, or not, I dare insure for all his Laws, and for that I shall here account, to finish the parallel between the Ecclesi­astical and Imperial Laws in this Mat­ter; because by this Prince the Imperial Law was brought to its full Perfection. And after that it will be needless to in­quire into the practice of succeeding Princes, who received either the Theodo­sian or Justinian Body of Laws, as the sixt and standing rule of the Imperial Govern­ment.

Though of the two the Theodosian Code met with much the better Fortune, for that having had ninety Years possession both in the Eastern and Western Empire, [Page 369] it was not easily removed, especially when it had been received by the barba­rous People that invaded and conquer'd some Parts of the Empire, as the only e­stablisht Law of the Romans. And so it was by that great, wise and prosperous Prince Theodorick King of the Goths, who ena­cted its obligation upon his own People in a compendious Edict drawn out of it, consisting of 154 heads, extant in Cassio­dorus. But Alaric his Successor and Grand-child by his Daughter Amalesun­tha, that greatest of Women, made a new body of Institutes out of it, vulgarly known by the name of the Breviary of Anianus, not that Anianus composed it, but because he by his Office compared and examin'd the Original Copy that was laid up among the Crown-Records, and subscribed his Approbation, from thence in after-Ages it came to bear his Name. But after the Goths, the Lom­bards, the Franks, the Burgundians, and other People of Germany, over-run the Western Empire, and these when they came to settle, blended the Theodosian Laws with their own ancient Customs, from whence came the Feudal Law, that to this day carries the greatest sway▪ in the Government of all the European Nations. But as for the Justinian Law, that [Page 370] was received only in the Eastern Empire, and there it had scarce reign'd 300 years, when it was thrust out of Autho­rity by the Basilica of Leo the Philoso­pher, who added to the Justinian Colle­ction the Novels of all the succeeding Emperors down to his own time. But in the West it was never so much as heard of for 600 years after the death of Justinian; there are not so much as any footsteps of it in the Capitulars of Charles the Great, or any other European Laws. Neither were they ever made publick to the Western World till the time of that great Prince Lotharius the second Empe­ror and Duke of Saxony, V. Mar­quardi Fre­heri Praefat ad L [...]uncla­vium. who reign'd not till the year 1125. And he first brought it to light at the perswasion and by the assistance of Irnerius the most learned Man in that Age, from which time for­ward, it has kept possession together with the Feudal Law, not only in the Schools and Universities but in the Government of the Empire.

But as for the Law it self, it consists of two parts, the Code and the Novels, that is, Laws made by himself after the publication of the Code, and these are again to be subdivided into Laws con­cerning Faith, and Laws concerning Discipline, in both which he has behaved [Page 371] himself with as much decency and re­spect to the Church, as any of his most admired Predecessors. As for the Code, it is a Collection of former Laws with some additions of his own: Of the for­mer Laws we have treated in order, un­der the several Reigns in which they were enacted, and therefore need say no­thing of them here, but only to vindi­cate the Integrity of this Record. Be­cause the learned Gothofred to enhance the value of his Theodosian Code, Proleg. c. 4. that in­deed can never be over-valued, has made very great Complaint of the unfaithful­ness of Tribonian in reciting the Laws of former Emperors. But I must confess that I cannot discern any such enormous Faults, that may deserve the hard title of Triboniani Facinora, as he stiles them. He has indeed cut off all superfluities and unnecessary Prefaces, he has fil [...]d off all temporary and antiquated Laws, he has avoided, as much as conveniently he could, the repetition of the same Laws under several Emperors to the same pur­pose, otherwise I can see no Alteration but for the better. I shall not enter up­on a particular collation of Laws with Gothofred, that would be too wide a di­gression from my Undertaking, and therefore I shall only examine that Spe­cimen [Page 372] of the Triboniani Facinora, that himself has here given in the Laws rela­ting to the Subject of Religion. His first instance is in the 6th Law under the Title de Haereticis, and that is the Law of Theodosius the Younger against the Nestorians, that they should be call'd Simonians, as Constantine the Great cau­sed the Arians to be stil'd Porphyrians. And the Original Law it self runs thus. Quemadmodum Ariani Lege divae memo­riae Constantini ob similitudinem impieta­tis, Porphyriani à Porphyrio nuncupantur; sic ubique participes nesariae sectae Nesto­rii Simoniani vo [...]entur. But in the Ju­stinian Code after Ariani is foisted in ab Ario, and instead of Simoniani 'tis writ­ten Nestoriani, as if the Arians were to be denominated from Arius, the Porphyrians from Porphyrius, and the Nestorians from Nestorius. But granting this mistake, it is no facinus, no sin of Malice, and then beside it is too gross an Escape for a Man of Tri­bonian's Learning to make at that time, the Law of Constantine being then so known and common, and therefore a Man of Gothofred's Candor and Ingenui­ty ought to have imputed it to the ig­norance of Transcribers in later Times, after the Book had layen so long buried in dust and rubbish; In other like [Page 373] Cases learned Men are always wont to impute such Mistakes of Ignorance ra­ther to the misfortune of the Copy, than to the fault of the Author himself, if a Man of known learning, especially when it might be corrected by other authentick Copies, that met with better fortune, as this is both by the Theodosian Code it self, and Photius his Nomocanon. But in the times of Ignorance, it was but any ignorant hands clapping either into the Text, or rather the Margent, the word ab Ario, and there is the whole mistake. And after all I see not why it might not be done by the first Publisher Irnerius himself, who, as Vrspergensis informs us, corrected the Copy and interposed some Words of his own, and in that dark Age it was very easie for a Man very learned, as the times went, to fall into such a Mistake, when all the Ancient Records of the Imperial Law had lain so long neglected.

And the same easie mistake is his se­cond Instance in the Law of Valentinian concerning the Age of Deaconesses, viz. that they should not be admitted into that order till they were 60 years of Age ac­cording to the Precept of the Apostle, whereas in the Justinian Code the num­ber is sunk from 60 to 50. But the mi­stake [Page 374] of figures by Transcribers is so very easie, that it ought to be supposed, where­ever it is discover'd, and it is not im­probable that Irnerius his own hand was in this too, for he finding the time set by Justinian's own Novel to be but 50 years, it was natural for him, who knew no­thing of the Theodosian Code, to conclude that it ought to be so here. The third and last instance of Tribonian's prevarica­tion is a much leaner exception then either of the two former, viz. the Re­script of Valentinian the Younger against Apostates, which Gothofred says reacht only Apostates from Christianity to Hea­thenism, whereas Tribonian has perver­ted the sense of it by foisting in those words, de Haereticâ superstitione, as if the Rescript aim'd at all sorts of Here­ticks, that deserted the Catholick Church. But that these words were foisted in, I see no ground to suspect, or if they were, they might come in from other hands as well as Tribonian's. But however the meaning of the Law is so plain, that I cannot but wonder how so accurate and diligent an Observator, and one of such exquisite Learning as Gothofred was, should over-look it; for the Law it self expres­ly refers to a former Rescript, enacted by the same Emperor, and that is the Law [Page 375] immediately preceding in the Theodosian Code, and the only Law made be­fore this by this Emperor, in which he explains what is here meant by Apo­states, of which he there makes three sorts, viz. to Heathenism, to Judaism and to Manicheism, and therefore this Law that was enacted eight years after in pursu­ance to that, must be understood of those three several sorts of Apostates and none other. And it was no impropriety to call the Manichees Hereticks, for though they were worse than Jews and Hea­thens, yet they were only accused of He­resie, because they pretended to Christiani­ty. Neither was it any Solecism to im­pute heretical Superstition to the other two Sects, for though they were not u­sually accused of Heresie, yet when the word Superstition was join'd with it, by which they then vulgarly understood a­ny false Religion, it comprehended Pa­gan and Jewish as well as Christian He­reticks. These are all the Instances that this diligent and learned Man has alledg­ed upon this Argument in his Chapter de Triboniani Facinoribus, and I think I may now safely leave it to the Reader to judg, Whether the Proof be not very much too slender to fill up the Body of the Charge. But when I have vindica­ted [Page 376] the faithfulness of this great Man in this great Work, it will not be altogether improper to do that right to his Memo­ry, who has deserved so highly of all Posterity, as to clear him from a Calum­ny or two, that have been so unjustly dasht upon his Reputation.De Bello Persico lib. 1. cap. 25. Procopius himself magnifies him for all kind of Ver­tues, and charges him with no other blemish than too much love of Money. And as for Suidas, that is the only Man that has blackened his Memory, as he is a Writer of very mean Authority of himself, so his Story here is plainly felo de se, when he says, that Tribonian was a zealous Pagan, a tale so improbable in it self, against a Man that has taken so much faithful pains to do service to Christianity, that it would require some very strong proof to make it but meerly credible.

§. XXII. But now having vindicated the Integrity of the Justinian Code, as to the Laws of his Predecessors, we may proceed to the examination of his own. And his Laws of Religion take up the first thirteen Titles of the first Book, and are of two sorts, concerning Faith, and concerning Discipline. His Laws con­cerning Faith are far from being nume­rous, [Page 377] only three of his Predecessors and three of his own, and all in pursuance of the Decrees and Definitions of the Church, and those of his own are not so properly Laws, as Confessions and De­clarations of his own Faith sent to some Christian Bishops for their satisfaction, and are nothing else than an owning or ratification of the four General Councils, by whose Authority (as he declares) the Apostolical Faith was conveyed down through all Ages to his own time, and for that reason he receives both the Ni­cene Faith, because it was deliver'd down from the Apostles, and the several Expo­sitions of it by the following Councils. Not as if that had been defective in per­spicuity, but because the Enemies of the truth had endeavor'd to subvert it, some one, and some another way, therefore it was necessary for the Church in the fol­lowing Councils to explain and defend its truth by Testimonies of Scripture, and to anathematise all the Authors of pro­phane Novelties. And for this very reason he lets all his Subjects know, that there is no living for any Man within his Do­minions, that does not submit to the Au­thority of these Councils. In all which he expresses so much Civility and Re­spect to the Jurisdiction of the Church, [Page 378] that there is not an higher declaration of it in all the Imperial Laws, so free is he in this matter from that imputation so confidently charged upon him by the Italians, In Praefat. [...]d Proco­pium. as Alemannus expresses it, ad Religionis dogmata definienda ecclesiasti­casque sanciendas leges effusa licentia, a bold and saucy tampering with the Chri­stian Faith, which he was so far from ever attempting, that no Prince ever de­clared more vehemently against that sa­crilegious abuse of the Imperial Authori­ty. In the three following Titles de Sacrosanctis Ecclesiis; de Episcopis et Clericis; de Episcopali Audientiâ; all the Laws enacted by himself are only so many Charters of Priviledg to the Church, that express an high sense of Piety and Devotion, and are withal con­trived with so much prudence, that whoever would go about to find fault with them, must lay aside his Un­derstanding as well as his Integrity. And yet these are all the Laws of his own enacting in the Code, for under all the following Titles he has only col­lected the Laws of his Predecessors with­out adding any of his own.

In his Novels, as mighty and Ecclesia­stical Legislator as he is taken to be, his Laws of Religion are not so very nume­rous, [Page 379] and those that are, only revive Ec­clesiastical Canons or Ecclesiastical Cu­stoms, but are no new Institutions. And any attempt of that kind was so far from finding any entertainment in his thoughts, that he ever shun'd it with all manner of tenderness, and declares upon all occasi­ons that his Laws only wait (as he is pleased to express himself) upon the Ca­nons of the Church. The first Novel upon this Argument is the Third, Enact­ed Anno 535▪ in the 9th Year of his Reign, where he Enacts that in all Cathe­dral Churches the Clergy be stinted to a certain number, but I hope no man can be so weak as to think that this was never Enacted before that time. The next is the 5th, de Monachis, in which he only keeps the Monks to the Rules of their Institution, but makes no new Rules of his own: The 6th regulates the other Clergy according to the Canons of the Fathers, as he declares in the Preface to it, and there occurs nothing in it, but what had been often commanded both by the Ecclesiastical and Imperial Law. The 7th forbids all Alienations of the Goods of the Church. The 9th gives the Church the Priviledge of prescribing for one hundred Years, whereas the Plea of Possession against all other Prescription was limited to 30, and this he presents as [Page 380] a Religious Oblation to Almighty God. These were all publish't in the same Year. In the 11th he raises the place of his birth to the honour of an Arch-Bishoprick or Patriarchate, to which he subjects Six Provinces, that had hitherto belonged to the Arch-Bishop of Thessalonica, and justifies his Power of doing it, because the dignity of the Church naturally fol­lowed that of the State, and therefore his Imperial Majesty having establisht a new Civil Prefecture in that City, that gave it a new Prerogative in the Church: for as in former times when the Prefecture of Illyricum was fixt at Sirmium, then the Episcopal Primacy resided there, but when afterward those Parts were invaded and laid wast by Attila King of the Huns, Appennius the Prefect was forced to retire to Thessalonica, the Archiepiscopal Dig­nity followed him thither, Et Thessaloni­censis Episcopus non suâ Authoritate, sed sub umbrâ praefecturae meruit aliquam praeroga­tivam, i. e. And the Bishop of Thessalo­nica obtained the Prerogative not by Vertue of his own Authority but under the shelter of the Civil Prefe­cture. And therefore the Emperor ha­ving instituted a new praefectus praetorio in his own City, upon the Recovery of that part of the Empire that had been lost, it was but fit and decent that upon that occa­sion [Page 381] it should be made an Archiepiscopal See: And to it he subjected all Dacia and Pannonia; Dacia then containing Transilvania, Valachia, and Moldavia: Pannonia the lower Hungary, the upper Austria, Carinthia and Carniola, as they are now divided. And this being done he obtains of Pope Vigilius to grant the new Arch-Bishop his Legantine Dignity in those Provinces. But here Baronius storms, and says he extorted it by force and cruelty after the great falling out a­bout the tria Capitula, and that it was not honest to rob other Churches to en­rich and advance his own. But his passi­on has run him into a continued Train of mistakes. For first the Grant of Vigi­lius was made at his first coming to the See, as appears by Justinian's 131st. Novel, in which it is mentioned, that bears date in the Year 541, whereas there was no Quarrel between the Pope and the Empe­ror, till after Vigilius his Journey to Constantinople, which was not till the Year 547, neither did he suffer any force till the Year 551, as Baronius himself ve­ry well knows, who has placed the Story of that Persecution in the History of that Year. Neither secondly did the Pope grant the Metropolitical Dignity, but only the Legantine Power, the first was [Page 382] stablisht before by the Emperor, and more then that, an Archiepiscopal or Patriar­chal Supremacy, for at that time those words were synonymous to express the new Jurisdiction above Metropolitans. Nor Thirdly, were the Ancient and Ori­ginal Rights of Thessalonica defrauded, but only that part of the Empire that was newly Recovered, and formerly belonged to Sirmium, was settled in its Ancient State under the Metropolis of Justiniana. But lastly, the Cardinal has little reason to complain of robbing Peter to pay Paul, if he would but reflect upon the Actions of the Popes about that time, who with Force and Arbitrary Power both against Canons and immemorial Custom trans­ferred the Metropolitical Power from Vi­enna to Arles, and that without any other reason, then to make a Precedent and give a cast of their absolute Supremacy, dis­posing of the Affairs of Christendom not by the Laws of the Church, but accord­ing to their own Arbitrary Will and Plea­sure. Whereas the Law of Justinian was sounded upon the universal Practice of the Church, as it was settled by the Apo­stles themselves, by whom its Jurisdicti­on was every where accommodated to the convenience of Civil Governmen [...] ▪ And therefore this City being made both [Page 383] a Civil Metropolis, and the Seat of a Prae­fectus Praetorio, it was but natural both ac­cording to the Canons and the Customs of those times, to make it an Ecclesiastical Patriarchate, which then answered to the Diocesan Jurisdiction of the Civil Prefects over several Provinces.

The 16th Novel is a Repetition of the Third, to limit the number of the Clergy in Cathedral Churches, particularly ap­plied to the Church of Constantinople. The 36th and 37th are enacted upon his Recovery of Africa from the Vandals, to restore the Discipline, the Revenues and the Priviledges of the African Church, to suppress all kind of Hereticks with all manner of severity, and the execution of all former Laws upon them, and to bestow all their Churches upon the Ca­tholicks, and to grant them the right of Sanctuary in all Cases, excepting the Crimes of Rape and Murther. The 40th [...] particular Grant or Dispensation to the Church of Jerusalem called the Resur­rection-Church for the sale of certain Lands. The Forty second is a Confirma­tion of the Sentence against Anthimus as guilty of the Eutychian Heresie, ac­cording to known Custom, as he declares in his Preface, that as often as any of the Clergy were judged unworthy of the [Page 384] Priest-hood by the Sacerdotal Sentence, the Royal Power should joyn with the Authority of their Decree: that so both Powers, Divine and Humane, agreeing, a good correspondence might be kept between both, and so the World be well govern'd. The Forty Third is a revival of a Rescript of the Emperor Anastasius, to limit the Exemption of Taxes upon the Revenues of the Church, which grew so very great, as to defraud its con­tribution to the Civil Government, and to that purpose he excuses only one thou­sand Tenements in the City of Constan­tinople belonging to that Church, but re­quires all other Estates that were pur­chased since the Edict of Anastasius, to contribute in their just proportion to the publick Burthens of the Common-wealth. The 45th subjects all Jews and Hereticks to the publick Burthens, but interdicts them all Priviledges. The 46th [...]cti­fies the 7th, that forbid all Clergy-m [...] he alienation of their Lands, which Law some of them so scandalously abused, as to run in debt without any obligation to pay their Creditors. In which cases, especially of Debts to the Crown, he per­mits the sale of Church-Lands to defray Church-debts; and that I take it is no Law of Religion, otherwise than as it is [Page 385] an act of Civil Justice. The 55th is only an interpretation of the several Laws a­gainst the alienation of Church-Reve­nues, viz. to allow their sale by way of Exchange, so it be done without fraud or fiction. The 56th is a revival of the Laws and Canons against Simony, of which it seems there were great Com­plaints at that time. The 57th is a re­vival of a Law of the Emperor Leo, e­nacting that if a Clerk forsake his Cure, the Bishop take care to have it supplyed, and that no Patron or Founder of a Church present his Clerk to it without the Bishops approbation. The 58th for­bids the erecting of Chappels in private Families to the defrauding of the pub­lick Churches, and though it allows them for Prayers, yet by no means for admini­stration of the holy Sacraments. The 59th is a confirmation of the gifts of Constantine and Anastasius to the Church of Constan­tinople for Burials without Fees and Char­ges, which it seems, notwithstanding the Revenue that was settled by those Em­perors for that purpose, were at that time demanded by the Clergy of that Church. The 65th is a dispensation to the Church of Mysia, to sell certain Lands for the redemption of Captives. The 67th provides that no Churches be built [Page 386] without the Bishops consent, and that Bishops reside within their own Dioces­ses. The 76th only reforms Abuses a­mong the Monks. The 77th restrains Sodomy and Blasphemy. The 79th re­fers all the Law-suits of Monks and Nuns to the determination of the Bishop. The 83d enacts the same priviledg for the whole body of the Clergy. The 86th impowers any Subject to appeal from the Secular Judge of the Province to the Bi­shop, who is required to examine the Proceedings, and authorised, if the Ap­pellant desire it, to sit in Commission with him, and if upon his Complaint the Judg refuse to do Justice, he is commanded to inform the Emperor against him. This is a Law that the Ecclesiasticks had no reason to complain of as a diminution of their Authority, when in effect it put the whole Government of the Empire in­to their hands: Though the Judges had but too much reason to take offence at it, in having spies set over all their Actions, and all spies are apt to be too busie and officious. The 109th revives the Laws of his Predecessors Leo and Justin against all sorts of Hereticks of what Sect soe­ver, and whereas by Law Daughters Por­tions were to be payed before any other Debts, he debars all Female Hereticks of [Page 387] that Priviledg. The 111th is an amend­ment of the 9th Novel, that gave the Church the priviledg of pleading against all Prescription less than 100 years, whereas other Subjects were allowed that Plea no higher than 30 years, but the Inconveniences were found so great by reason of the great distance of time, ex­ceeding the term of Man's life, that in this Novel he brings it down to the compass of 40 years. The 120th is a revival of his former Laws against the alienation of Church-Goods. The 123 d. is a compendium of the Canons of the Church for the regulati­on of the Clergy, but chiefly Bishops. But it consists of so many particulars, and is of that great length, containing no less than 44 Chapters, that it would be too tedious to repete it here, though it is highly worth the Readers perusal, being a very judicious Collection of the best Laws of the Church in that mat­ter. The 129th grants the Samaritans, because they now behaved themselves modestly and peaceably, the power of making Wills, which he had taken from them by a former Law,V. Chroni­con Alex­a [...]drinum p. 775. upon occasion of their Tumults in Palestine, as may be seen in the life of St. Saba, who was sent Ambassador from those parts to the [Page 388] Emperor Justinian at the beginning of his Reign to complain of their Violen­ces. The 131st is a very famous Law, and a kind of recapitulation of all his former Laws concerning Church-Matters, and therefore contains nothing new in it. The 132 d is against the Conventicles of Hereticks of all Herds. The 133d re­duces Monks to the observation of the Laws of the Church, and the Rules of their Order. The 137th re [...]ulates Or­dinations of the Clergy by the [...]anons. The 146th is an indulgence of Liberty to the Jews: and these are all the Laws enacted by this Emperor about Religion, for those few that follow, were made by his Successor Justin, though they are placed under this Princes name by mistake. Now I pray what is there in all this that is not warrantable in a Prince? What is there, that is not highly praise-worthy? What is there, that is not warranted by Precedents of his Predecessors, unless it be this, That he exceeded them all in his care and kindness to the Church? What then can be the meaning of those un­grateful Men, who requite him with no­thing but Calumnies and unkind refle­ctions for being too busie in Church-Matters, unless it be this, That they care not that Princes should inspect and ob­serve [Page 389] the Neglects and Disorders of the Clergy?Anno 528. I am sure Baronius betrays great dis-ingenuity, in loading him so heavily as he has done, when yet at the same time he is forced to excuse him, first from the necessity of the times for recovering the Discipline of the Church, for the Ca­nons having lain neglected all the time of Zeno, Basiliscus and Anastasius, that ob­liged him to be the more active to reco­ver their Authority, and if he were so, why does the Cardinal charge him with pragmaticalness against the Power of the Church? Secondly from Justinian's own declaration, that runs through all his Laws, that he does not take upon him­self the Authority of enacting Ecclesiasti­cal Laws, but of abetting them, and put­ting them in executio [...] by secular Pe­nalties:Anno 534. a fault that would be very com­mendable in all Princes. But some di­stance after the great Cardinal so far for­gets his displeasure against this great Em­peror, that upon his sending an Ambas­sy to Pope John the second against the Acaemetan Monks, he writes a Panegy­rick upon his decent and regular Pro­ceedings in the Church, in that he al­ways acted by the Authority of his Bi­shops with the consent of the Pope. Adeo ut nihil his sanctius rectiusque perfici po­tuerit [Page 390] ab Orthodoxo Imperatore, qui Ca­tholicae fidei patrocinium studio indefesso susceperit. And beside this he might have remembred, what himself says in the year following, ought never to be forgot, Pope Agapetus his high Commen­dation of the Emperor's acting in Church-Matters, in his Epistle to the Emperor: Firmamus, laudamus, amplectimur: non quia Laicis Auctoritatem praedicationis admittimus, sed quia studium fidei vestrae Patrum nostrorum regulis conveniens con­firmamus atque roboramus. Anno 535. Another ex­cuse he has made, that with him out­weighs all the rest, that he was under the Government of a wicked Woman knead [...]d up of no less than six she-De­vils, Eve, Dalilah and Herodias, Alecto, Megaera and Tisiphone (and there is not one Lady in all his story, if she be out of his favor, that he does not compound of some or all of these Ingredients.) And concludes that he might have been the greatest Prince that ever swayed Scep­ter, had it not been for this Penelope or six-fold Devil, who made it her business to cross and controul him in all his De­signs, and unravel as fast as he could wind up in all his great Under-takings. So true is that of the Preacher, It is bet­ter to dwell with a Lyon or a Dragon than with a wicked Woman.

[Page 391]§. XXIII. And thus having vindicated his Laws from the Cavils of these un­gratful Men, I come now to vindicate his Person and his Actions from their more disingenuous Aspersions. And here lies the main ground of the Quarrel a­gainst him, not his medling too much with Church-Matters but with Church-Men. He would not suffer himself as some of his Predecessors did, to be out­hufft by the Papal Insolence, but brought Vigilius one of the proudest of them all to complyance and submission, and that is a Crime never to be forgiven. And for want of better or rather worse Infor­mation against him, they are content to take up with a scandalous Libel, i. e. Pro­copius's Anecdota. Baronius was grieved to the heart, that he could not find it, because from thence, he says, it would appear, what the Humor, what the Wisdom, what the Piety of Justinian was, when his sauciness against Ecclesiasticks was such, as no good or pious Prince could be guilty of. But Alemannus a Convert from the poor Greek Church, and one of the Cardinals Successors (as he proudly intitles himself) in the Office of Apostolical Li­brarian, chancing it seems to light upon it as he was brushing the old Manuscripts in the Vatican, is transported with joy, [Page 392] and is all on fire to oblige holy Church with the publication of so useful a Work, that the World might now see what man­ner of Man this same Justinian was, who treated a Bishop so rudely as he did the good Pope Vigilius, and not only so, but he has helpt out the original Copy in his Latin Translation, and what Procopius relates only as a flying Report, he makes bold to set down as a known and certain truth. And among many other strong strains of disingenuity, he has been so inju­dicious, as to undertake to make out the truth of this Libel by Procopius his own History, that was publisht to the World in Justinian's own time, approved of by himself, and the Author advanced for it to the highest Preferments in the Empire. Now that Man that will seriously go a­bout to prove a Panegyrick to be a Sa­tyr, only shews that he is a little too much in good earnest▪ But before I prove the false-hood of these Slanders, it will be convenient to shew the occasion of raising them, and that was the great heats in the Controversie about the tria capitula, in which the Emperor created to himself a great number of Enemies by his zeal and resolution on that side that he unhappily took to. I shall therefore first set down the progress of that Story, [Page 393] that was the only false step of his Reign, but so unluckily made, that he could ne­ver wholly recover himself again, be­fore I ingage the Librarian and his sup­posed Author. This Emperor then ha­ving appear'd so zealously in behalf of the Orthodox Faith, having declared so severely against all Hereticks by several Edicts, and particularly publisht a Re­script against the singularities of Origen upon complaint of the Palestine Monks, set on by Pelagius the Popes Legate at the Court of Constantinople, in spite to Theodorus Bishop of Caesarea his Rival in Court-favor, but a great Admirer of Ori­gen, having appointed a Conference at Constantinople in the year 533 to recon­cile the Acephali to the Church and the Council of Calcedon, in which he expres­ses a very high Passion for the resettle­ment of Peace and Unity. Having been so bold as to consent to the deposition of Anthimus Bishop of Constantinople and the Queens Favourite, at the instigation of Pope Agapetus for suspicion of the Euty­chian Heresie, and after that to confirm the Decree of the Council under Mennas against him by adding Banishment to his Deposition. And being now upon a de­sign of publishing a Rescript against the Acephali in behalf of the Council of Cal­cedon, [Page 394] upon this Theodorus a friend to Eu­tyches as well as Origen, Liberati Brev. c. 24. Evag. l. 4. c. 38. having insinua­ted himself into the Court by the Em­press, and being endeared to the Emperor by his great Officiousness, partly to be revenged of Pelagius for the Affront to his Master Origen, and partly to divert the good Emperor from his Design a­gainst the Acephali, craftily perswades him that he might spare his Pains, and reconcile them to the Council at a chea­per rate. If three Offensive things were taken out of its Acts, i. e. if the Wri­tings of Theodorus Mopsuestenus Master to Nestorius, if the Epistle of Ibas Bi­shop of Edessa to Maris Persa, and if the Book of Theodoret against Cyr [...]l's Ana­thema's might be condemn'd of Heresie, though they had been absolved by the Council. The Motion was plausible to the Emperor, and he thought it a very easie Method to reconcile all Parties, on­ly by suppressing the Writings of two or three private Men, so that the Authori­ty of the Decrees of the Council it self stood unshaken as before; for though the Council did not condemn, yet it did not commend but on [...]y acquit them, and therefore it was not directly concern'd in their suppression. And Theodorus find­ing that by this Device he had decoyed [Page 395] the Emperor into his snare, that he might secure him from a Relapse, prevails with him in the absence of his Rival Pelagius, who was then at Rome, to publish an E­dict of Condemnation by his own Autho­rity, but drawn up, as Facundus Hermi­anensis tells the Emperor, not by himself, but Theodorus and his Accomplices, that so having once publickly appear'd in the Cause, that would be an obligation upon him to persevere in it against all oppositi­on, otherwise he understood the gentle­ness of his Temper so well, that when he saw the Mischiefs and Inconveniences that follow'd upon it, he would quit the Cause, and leave them in the lurch to answer for their Affront to the Council of Calcedon. And the better to secure themselves, the Edict was as craftily composed as it was contrived. All the Councils were confirm'd, all the Heresies of all denominations condemn'd, only in the tail of all, these three particular Au­thors were apocryphised. And that the good Emperor's design was meerly Peace and Concord, is very observable from the conclusion of all. Si quis igitur post e­jusmodi rectam confessionem, et haeretico­rum condemnationem, salvo manente pio intellectu, de nominibus, vel syllabis, vel dictionibus contendens, separat se à sanctâ [Page 396] Dei Ecclesiâ, tanquam non in rebus, sed in solis nominibus et dictionibus positâ nobis pietate: talis utpote dissensionibus gau­dens, rationem pro semetipso, et pro de­ceptis et decipiendis ab eo reddet magno Deo, et Salvatori nostro Jesu Christo in die Judicii. By which it is evident that the Emperor accepted the Model, after the security and settlement of the Christi­an Faith against all sorts of Hereticks, as the only remedy expedient at that time against contention and curiosity, without any design against the Council of Calcedon or any other determinations of the Church, but on the contrary ra­ther with a religious and intire submis­sion to their Decrees; and for this reason it is approved and subscribed, though not without reluctancy, by all the four Ea­stern Patriarchs, and most eminent Pre­lates of the Eastern Church.

Whereas on the other side the Western and African Bishops concluded it a di­rect reflection upon the Wisdom and Au­thority of the Council it self, to condemn those Writings of Heresie, that it had upon a fair Trial acquitted. And thus by this unhappy Legerdemain of that false and jugling Man Theodorus, under which the Emperor suspected no ill De­sign, instead of finishing the settlement [Page 397] of the Church, after so fair a progress that he had made in it (for it was he that govern'd and manag'd all things in his Unkle Justin's reign) he brings all things back into the same Tumult and Confusion, into which they were brought by the Henoticon. It was but a slite and a very remote breach, as one would think, upon the Churches Authority, yet it broke down all Bounds of Discipline and Government, that it seems is a thing so tender, that it can endure no tampering, and unless it be made sacred and inviola­ble, it loses all its force: And so this great Emperor after this slite Wound, in a matter in which it was so little con­cern'd, could scarce make it up again by the Authority of a General Council. Though I must confess that the occasion of raising the Quarrel so high was the turbulent spirit of Pope Vigilius, who as he was guilty of all other Wickedness, exceeded in Pride, as appears not only from the Historian, but the Sentence of Excommunication against him by Pope Silverius in the time of that Popes ban­ishment.Liberati brev. c. 22. Quippe qui nequissimi spiritûs audaciâ, ambitionis phrenesin concipiens, in illius Apostolici Medici, cui animas ligan­di solvendique collata et concessa potestas est, versaris contumeliam, novumque scelus [Page 398] erroris in Apostolicâ sede rursus niteris inducere; et in morem Simonis, cujus dis­cipulum te ostendis operibus, datâ pecuniâ, meque repulso, qui favente Domino, tribus jam jugiter emensis temporibus ei praesi­deo, tempora mea niteris invadere. That by the instigation of the Devil being mad with pride he rebell'd against St. Peter and his Authority, committing a new and unheard of sin in the Apostolick See it self, and following the example of Si­mon Magus, whose Disciple he shewed him­self to be by his works, by purchasing my Bishoprick with Mony, and expel­ling me out of it for these three years. And if we may believe the angry Afri­cans; he bought the Apostolick See of the Empress Theodora, whose Creature he was, and procur'd the banishment of Pope Silverius by forging treasonable Let­ters to the Goths in his name, and when Justinian suspecting some Abuse, recall'd him home, this wicked Man caused him to be murther'd by two of his own Ser­vants. So that it is a just Character that is given of him by Baronius himself. Ce­dit huic Novati Impietas, Pertinacia Vr­sicini, Laurentii Praesumptio, ac denique aliorum omnium schismaticorum Antisti­tum superbia, artogantia, atque facinerosa temeritas, &c▪ He out-stript Novatus in [Page 399] wickedness, Vrsicinus in stubbornness, Laurentius in impudence, and all Schis­maticks that ever were, in pride, inso­lence and presumption. But however by a train of wickedness mounting him­self into the Apostolick See, according to his Simoniacal Articles with Theodora, he enters into league with the Henotical Bi­shops, sends an Encyclical Letter to them, extant in Liberatus, to assure them that he was really of their Communion, but desires that it may be kept secret, and that they would seem to suspect him more than ever, that he might have the better opportunity of doing effectual ser­vice to the Cause. This is the substance of the Letter, but Baronius and the Ro­man Writers suspect it to have been forg­ed, because in all his following scuffles a­bout the tria capitula, he was never up­braided with it. But what wonder is that, when the thing was to be kept se­cret, though it might, and it seems did come to the knowledg of some, as ap­pears by Liberatus, an Actor in the bu­siness, who procured and publisht a Co­py of it. But he having secured posses­sion of his Throne by the death of Silve­rius, he now writes a flattering Epistle to the Emperor for the Council of Calce­don, damns all the Hereticks, disclaims [Page 400] all correspondence with the Acephali, as­sures him that he will live and dye by the Council, and requests him not to be­lieve any Information whatsoever against him to the contrary. But after all he is so crafty, as to send his main Message a­bout the best means for settlement of the Church by word of Mouth, to baulk, as much as it was possible, the full discove­ry of himself. All which atheistical hy­pocrisie Baronius takes great pains to impute to his miraculous Conversion on­ly by vertue of St. Peter's Chair.

But the Emperor having publisht his Rescript against the tria capitula, and finding storms gathering upon it, sends to Vigilius who [...]e private sense he un­derstood, to repair to Constantinople with his advice, and thither he comes, being ready to sieze any opportunity to shew his Power, but instead of joining in free Council with the Bishops, in effect takes the whole judgment to himself. Of his fraudulent behavior in that whole tran­saction Facundus, In libello ad [...]. M [...]ci­anum. who was an Eye-wit­ness, and indeed the chief Transactor in it, has given us a particular account, viz. That when he dissembled ignorance of the whole Controversie, and Facundus of­ferd his service to give him full informa­tion, he having afore-hand obliged him­self [Page 401] by promise to give sentence against the Capitula, and designing to excuse himself with pretence of Ignorance, shamelesly refuses the proffer, cuts off all farther proceedings, and desires the Bi­shops that sat with him to give in their Answers singly in writing. For they be­ing newly come to Constantinople to con­sult with his Holiness, and being not pre-engaged by any subscription, were by this Artifice over-reacht to give in their Answer against the Capitula and the Council. And to prevent their drawing back, they are obliged to do it, not by Vote, but by Writing. And when he had received their several Answers, away he carries them to Court, and there de­livers them into the hands of the Ace­phali to be laid up among the former sub­scriptions that had been made against the Council. And that he might not be thought a Traitor by his own Party (for he hitherto pretended to side with the Orthodox) he pretends that he would not keep them himself, lest here­after there should be found in the Regi­stry of the Church of Rome so many Sub­scriptions against the Council. As if (says Facundus) he could not as well have torn or burnt them, or return'd them back to the Authors, from whom [Page 402] he ought never to have received, much less to have extorted them, if he had been at all concern'd that nothing should be done in prejudice of the Council. And thus (says he) by this his customa­ry dissimulation, counterfeiting a zeal in behalf of the Council, he effectually pro­motes the designs of its Enemies. And what could do it more than that 70 Bishops sitting in Council with the great Bishop of Rome, should beside those many more that had before subscribed, prejudg the Controversie?Anno 547. All this prevarication Ba­ronius out of his infinite zeal to the Apo­stolick See endeavors to excuse, because before Vigilius heard the Cause he sup­posed that the condemnation of the tria capitula reflected upon the Authority of the Council, but now upon hearing the reasons on both sides, and being satisfied that it was unconcern'd in the Contro­versie, he grew more moderate and indif­ferent, and for Peace sake inclined to comply with the Emperor and the East­ern Bishops. But what ever Apology this may be for his change of mind, it is no excuse for his jugling and under­hand dealing; and withal as for his change of mind, by the Cardinals good leave, to condemn writings of Heresie by an Imperial Rescript, that had been [Page 403] clear'd of the Charge by the Sentence of a General Council, is plainly to subvert, not the Authority of that Council alone, but of the whole Catholick Church. This was the blot of Justinian's Reign, that no Candor can cover, nor Excuse wipe off. And his Holiness by his time-ser­ving complyance with it, did but give a cast of his old dishonesty, when by the Cardinal's own account he exceeded all Mankind in Wickedness, and proves that he was still acted by his six-fold Female Devil Theodora, (as he calls her) who was the great stickler in the design in fa­vor of the Eutychians; because whether the condemnation of the tria capitula were in it self any direct reflection upon the Council or not, those that promoted it, were resolved to make that use of it. And that was the true ground of the zeal of the African Bishops against it, as Fa­cundus himself declared to Vigilius at the Conference. Ego enim fateor simpliciter beatitudini vestrae, non pro Theo [...]ori Mop [...]suesteni damnatione me à contradicentiae communione subtraxisse: In libello ad. [...]. hoc enim vel si ap­probandum non sit, ferendum tamen existi­mo, nec tantam esse causam judico, pro quâ deberemus à communione multiplici segre­gari: sed quòd ex Personâ Theodori Epi­stolam Ibae Nestorianianam probare conati [Page 404] sunt, & quòd ex Epistolâ Ibae Synodum Calcedonensem, à quâ suscepta est, improba­re: nam quae alia causa fuisse dicenda est, ut post centum & viginti suae defunctionis annos damnaretur cum dogmatibus suis E­piscopus in Ecclesiae pace defunctus. ‘I con­fess freely to your Holiness, that I am not concern'd about the Condemnation of Theodorus, for though it be not to be approved, yet it may be born, neither do I think the thing of that weight, that we need to divide Communion about it, but because from a Sentence against the Person of Theodorus, they endeavour to charge the Epistle of Ibas with Nestoria­nism, in which his Writings are com­mended, and then from the Epistle of Ibas to strike at the Council it self, by whom it was allowed; for what other Cause can be imagined of all this stir, that a Bishop who died in the Peace of the Church [...], shoud be brought to Judgment above one Hundred and Twenty Years after his death?’ And that was the reason that the Africans were so resty, which Vigilius finding, and withal his own Clergy offended, he again shrinks back, and in a Consult with Theodorus and Mennas suspends all disputes and determinations to the Summary of a General Council, which they were cer­tain [Page 405] by their united Interest to obtain of the Emperor. But this continual shuf­ling and prevarication provokes the ad­verse Party beyond all bounds and pati­ence, and they now unanimously discard him for a man of no faith and honesty, that chopt all points of the Compass, as the Weather-cock stood for his own con­venience, now standing point blank for the Council, then veering to the quite con­trary point for the Acephali, and now a­gain standing neuter, and wavering be­tween both. But all this trimming and counter-trimming, and shifting backward and forward,Anno 547. St. Gregory and Baronius plead was then necessary for the Peace of the Church, at a time when the heats were run so high to both extremes. I will grant that both Parties might be too blame. But what can we think of him that is first furious on one side, and then turns Traitor to his own Party, and then when he sees that will not pass, quits both? If this be Ecclesiastical Prudence, I would fain know what is Ecclesiastical Honesty. And therefore it is no wonder that his own Clergy, and particularly his own Favourites, that he chose for his Companions to Constantinople, Rusticus and Sebastianus, were so offended at the gross dishonesty of his Proceedings, as to [Page 406] renounce him and his Communion, and to certifie his Apostasy and Prevarication to all the Bishops of the Western Church, as Vigilius himself has left it upon Record in his Sentence of Excommunication a­gainst them for their Rebellion against their Bishops. But it is much less to be admired that it should provoke the Cho­ler of the honest Africans, that were not used to the Italian Craft: and that is a clear justification of the tartness of Libe­ratus, Victor Tunonensis, but especially Facundus Hermianensis, the wisest man of the Party, in their Writings both a­gainst him and the Cause, when the whole Business was transacted, with nothing but open fraud and preva [...]ica­tion. And that is the reason often as­signed by Facundus to justifie the br [...]ach of Communion with Vigilius and his Party, Quod Praevaricatorum communio vi­tanda sit.

But now it is observable, that at this time the Empress Theod [...]ra dies, that had managed all the motions of this Pup­pet-Pope ever since his coming to Court. I am not ignorant that Gregory the Great says, that they were fallen out, and that she died under his Sentence of Excom­munication;Lib. 2. Epist. 36. but he writes so lavishly in this Cause, and so without all manner of [Page 407] proof, and so different from all other Records, that his Testimony ought scarce to be taken upon Oath; and to speak a blunt but an honest truth, no man that has read his Legend-Dialogues, can with the utmost stretch of Candour or Cha­rity salve the Honour or Reputation of his Integrity. But now the Empress be­ing gone, and Vigilius finding himself deserted by his own Clergy, and the Bi­shops dissatisfied in all parts, revives his old Expedient of a General Council. But Theodorus being now throughly acquaint­ed with the Genius of the Man, and so suspecting some new shuffle, perswades the Emperor to stand by his own Rescript against the tria Capitula: And here the Contest runs so high between these two honest Gentlemen, that at last it came to an open breach. And Vigilius finding his Adversary too strong for him at Court-Interest▪ betakes himself to Church-weapons, and in a rage stabs him with the Sentence of Excommunication, and that for this real reason, among some o­ther formal pretences, Nam usque ad hoc animum Christianissimum Principis falsis suggestionibus perduxisti, ut Clementia ejus, quae in suis hostibus pia semper apparuit, contra nos graviter moveretur. And be­cause Mennas Bishop of Constantinople [Page 408] joyn'd with Theodorus in his Crime, he is joyn'd with him in his Sentence, toge­ther with all the Metropolitans and Mi­cropolitans of his Diocess. And that Quibble is intended for a smart Gird to all those Metropolitans, that were so poor-spirited, as to submit themselves to the private Bishop of Constantinople. But find­ing himself over-topt at Court, he takes Oars for Calcedon, and there pretends that he was forced to secure his life by taking Sanctuary in the Church of St. Euphemi [...], as he had done before in the Church of St. Peter at Constantinople. But here Ba­ronius works another Miracle, (and all his Gospel concerning this d [...]baucht Pope is meer Legend of his own Contrivance) in that the Emperor should not send his Guards to seize his Holiness, but some of his Privy-Council to invite him back, and give Oath for his Security. But though I must confess it was no Miracle, yet considering the peevishness of the man▪ it was a kind of wonder, and a very high proof that the Emperor was a very civil Gentlemen, that could command his passion so as to d [...]gest the most pro­voking folly, and out of meer respect to his place and office, treat him with that civi­lity that by that time Custom had made due to so great a Bishop. And that is all [Page 409] the wonder that I can discern in this Af­fair, that the Emperor had manners, though the Pope had none. But behold a wonder indeed, his Holinesses Return to the Imperial Civility, upon the ap­proach of the Lords only to court him home, he clings about the Altar, as if they had come to cut his Throat, there declares that he will trust neither their own nor their Master's Oath, and that he will never condescend to enter into any Treaty, till his Majesty has revok't his Rescript, and all other Acts about the tria Capitula, and sends an Encycli­cal Epistle into all Parts of Christendom, to inform them what violence had been offer'd to his Person by the Imperial Power, and by it raises such Tumults and Commotions every where, that the Emperor is forced to submit, suppress his Edict, and leave the whole business to the determination of a General Council. And so Theodorus and Mennas finding themselves deserted by the Emperor, they are forced to tack about, and with all humility tender their Submissions and Protestations to his Holiness, to sue out his pardon, and upon it this goodly Trium-virate are once more pieced toge­ther. And at this the good Cardinal cryes out, the Finger of the Lord in defence of [Page 410] the Apostolick Rock. It is true indeed that the divine Providence co-operates with us in all our Actions in order to its own ends, but the whole mystery of this great business is no more than this, that some Knaves that had crept into the Church by Court-favor, fall out among them­selves for Court-factions, till at last one side finding it self to be forsaken, sues to be reconciled to the prevailing Party, and that is all the Miracle that the Car­dinal has magnified at so high a rate, as to apply to it all the Prophesies of the Old Testament concerning our Savior's being a Rock and a Corner-stone.

But here Mennas dyes, and one Euty­chius a Monk, that had insinuated him­self into the Court by great shews of Mortification, succeeds. He was a Man, that of all things defyed all ambitious thoughts and designs of Preferment, and yet was perpetually dreaming that he should one day be the great Bishop of Constantinople, and by vertue of his own real dreams, and one pretended by the Emperor, who knew him to be zealous in his Cause, and withal very managea­ble, he is advanced to that high dignity. And so it is that none gallop so fast to Preferment in the Church, as those that creep to it. And after his Instalment the [Page 411] first thing he does is to submit himself to Vigilius, and so does Apollinaris of Alex­andria upon the death of Zoilus, whose Bishoprick he had usurpt, and thus are Hypocrites and ill-Men always on the right side. But Vigilius finding himself Master of the field, and having forced all his Enemies, even the Emperor him­self to submit, is resolved to shew his Au­tho [...]ity. And in the first place he con­tends with the Emperor about the place of the Council; one will have it in the East, and the other in the West, but at last they agree upon Constantinople, up­on condition that an equal number of Eastern and Western Bishops be sum­mon'd. But before the Council meets the Emperor desires the Pope to give his own Opinion, and that was an hard task to put him upon declaring himself, and therefore he desires to be excused, but the Emperor presses so importunately up­on him, as to provoke his Choler, and to be revenged he turns cross-grain'd, and so affronts his tria capitula, and when the Council meets, is sick and sullen, refuses to join with them, and no Courtship ei­ther of the Council or the Emperor him­self can draw him to any compliance, but on the contrary he commands the Council not to presume to determine any [Page 412] thing, till he had declared his own Judg­ment. And that he does at large in an Instrument sent to the Emperor, that he calls his Constitutum, in which though he condemns and confutes the Writings themselves, yet he will allow no sen­tence against the Persons, because they dyed in the Communion of the Catho­lick Church, and had been absolved by the Council of Calcedon, and at last con­cludes with this peremptory threatning. His igitur à nobis cum omni undique cau­telà atque diligentiâ propter servandam inviolabilem reverentiam praedictarum Sy­nodorum et earundem venerabilia consti­tuta dispositis, statuimus et decernimus, nulli ad ordines et dignitates ecclesiasticas pertinenti licere quicquam contrarium his quae praesenti asseruimus vel statuimus constituto de saepe dictis tribus capitulis aut conscribere, vel proferr, aut compo­nere, vel docere, aut aliquam post praesen­tem definitionem movere ulteriùs quaestio­nem, &c. But the Council regard nei­ther him nor his threatnings, and so condemn the tria Capitula, and to expose him for an egregious Prevaricator, pub­lish to the World his own several Decla­rations against them. Upon which Ba­ronius has a very pleasant observation, that this they were forced to, because [Page 413] they knew their Decree would be of no force without the Authority of the Pope. What Inferences will not Zeal and Par­tiality make, when they produced his own testimony against himself, to con­vict him of manifest prevarication, to conclude that this was done out of duti­ful respect to his Authority, by which, if they had regarded it, they stood all at this very time deposed from their Holy Orders. But things being carried so dis­orderly on all sides, the Council came to nothing, and the Emperor after he had once made a breach upon the Authority of the Church, could never heal it again, for the Hereticks instead of being recon­ciled, made advantage of it against the Authority of the Church it self (as Le­ontius a Writer of that Age informs us) who argued thus upon it,De Sect. Act. 6. aut boni scilicet erant aut mali, si boni, cur [...]anathematiza­tis? Si mali, cur à Synodo recepti sunt? And as for the Catholicks, some were for an expedient of Peace against the Autho­rity of the Council, and others for the Authority of the Council against trim­ming for Peace. But the Emperor ha­ving proceeded so far in the business, is now resolved to carry it through his own way, and all that will not comply, are deposed and banisht, and this lights chiefly [Page 414] upon the Illyrican and African Bishops, but they were soon reduced by the Em­peror's severity, whereas the Bishops in the Western Empire, that was then un­der the Franks, set up a form'd Schism, especially in the Parts about Venice and Istria, that lasted for many years, and cost both the Church and the Em­pire a long train of trouble and vexa­tion.

But as for Pope Vigilius when he saw there was no way of escape but by com­pliance, though he loved his Will too much, yet he loved his Bishoprick much more, therefore after all his stubbornness he comes in, and fairly subscribes, and approves the Decree of the Council. But here the Roman Writers are again at a great loss to salve his Reputation, but I think it would be more for their own to let him alone. For before he was in law­ful possession of St. Peter's Chair they own him to have been a Villain, and withal confess that he got into it by Simo­ny, Sacriledg and Murther. But that be­ing done, out of duty and gratitude to his Patroness Theodora, he beats down the Council of Calcedon; but seeing the Emperor resolute in his Design, he turns a fury on that side, and publishes his Ju­dicatum to damn the tria Capitula, and [Page 415] then in a little time suspends his own Sentence till the meeting of the Council; when the Council meets he contradicts them in his Constitutum: But because he saw the Emperor in good earnest against him, and the African Bishops beginning to scowr out of their Bishopricks, he fairly comes in and renounces the Constitutum, yet after all these turns of prevarication since the time of his sitting in St. Peter's Chair, we must have him to be a very honest Man, notwithstanding that he all the while stands guilty of the same Im­pieties that he did before. In my Opi­nion they would much better consult the honor of St. Peter's Chair by confessing him so ill a Man, that even his sitting in that could not mend him, or rather that he never had legal Possession of it, but was all his life-time a meer Usurper, for by the Canons a Man that comes into a Bishoprick by Simony, renders himself uncapable of it forever. So that if they would leave him under his own disgrace, it would be no dishonor to St. Peter's Chair, but when they are at such mighty pains to prove that it was not defil [...]d by his sitting in it, it leaves wise Men un­der a suspition that some indecent un­cleanness was left behind.

[Page 416]But however the discovery of his last Conversion which was first brought to light by Petrus de Marca, and was dated within six Months after the rising of the Coun­cil, clears that great and enormous diffi­culty, that has so long puzled us to make out, how this Council should be so re­ceived in the Church among the Gene­ral Councils without the Popes Autho­rity. But whether the Recantation were spurious or genuine (and that is still in the dark) it will not salve the business, for if it were genuine, it is only a confes­sion of his old Wickedness, and that he was managed in it by the Devil after he sat in St. Peter's Chair, but what the re­al Devil was, that tempted him, is too evident from his shifting sides, as his In­terest lay. Though the greatest demon­stration of it is his Plea, that he had hi­therto erred for want of information and right understanding of the Controversie: whereas it is too notorious from the whole progress of it, that no Man could be better acquainted with it than him­self, and whoever reads his Judicatum upon it at the conference at his first com­ing to Constantinople, and his Constitutum sent to the Council seven years after, will never of all Excuses allow that of ig­norance. If it be spurious, then if the [Page 417] Apology were good for any thing, 'tis lost. And I must confess it seems some­what incredible to me, that so publick an Instrument concerning so great an Affair should be altogether unknown to his immediate Successors, that were so deeply ingaged in the Controversie a­gainst the Schismaticks, especially Pela­gius the second and Gregory the Great, who never produced its Authority a­gainst them, but most of all Gregory, who transmitted the Acts of the Council to Queen Theodelinda. But though the writing be forged, it is plain enough that he actually complied as Eustathius a Co­temporary Writer affirms in the life of Eutychius, and Liberatus broadly sug­gests, when he says that Vigilius suffer'd much in the Cause, though he were not crown'd, which was then the proper Phrase for Apostasie. But that he was received into the Emperor's Favor ap­pears from the Imperial Grant of certain Priviledges to the Citizens of Rome, that was sent by Vigilius to endear him to the City, though in his return home he dyed of the Stone in Sicily, and is suc­ceeded by Pelagius the first, who though he had been banisht by Justinian whilst he was Ap [...]crisiary at Constantinople to Vigilius, upon account of his zeal in de­fence [Page 418] of the tria Capitula, yet before he is admitted to the Papacy he both owns the Authority of the Council of Calce­don, and condemns the Capitula, and af­ter incites Narses then Governor of Italy, to reduce the Schismaticks of Venice and Istria by the Secular Power, and the same was done by all his Successors till the Schism dyed. So that in short it was not the Pope that determin'd the Coun­cil, but the Council that determin'd the Pope: and if it was confirm'd by Vigilius, as that does not make the Council good, so it is only another proof of the shuffling dishonesty of the Man. If it were not confirm'd by him, but by his Successors, and that was the only Plea in its behalf before De Marca's discovery,Vide B [...] ­ron. anno 553. then it is not the Pope that makes or unmakes a General Council, for if so, then this was none because rejected by the present Pope Vigilius, and yet it was one by the ap­probation of his Successors. Though when all is done, the Notion of a Gene­ral Council is but a Notion, for there was never any such thing in reality, and all those that bear that name were more properly Councils of the Eastern Em­pire, there being very few Western Bi­shops present at them. And they were only call'd General Councils in oppositi­on [Page 419] to Provincial, and ought rather to have been stil'd Imperial, as summon'd by the Emperor himself, whereas other lesser Councils were summon'd by the Bishops themselves. And that places this Council in the same rank with the other four, because it was summon'd out of all parts of the Empire, and not confin'd to Provinces and Diocesses, as the Metropo­litical or Patriarchal Councils were. But that the Summons of the Bishop of Rome was necessary to the calling of a General Council, and his confirmation of their Decrees necessary to their Validity is one great branch of the Papal Usurpation, as I hope in its due place to prove at large against Petrus de Marca.

But to proceed in the business of this present Council, all Parties concern'd in it labor to clear themselves of all blame, and lay all the burthen of these Disorders upon other Mens shoulders, but though it may seem a severe, yet it is an impartial Judgment, that they were all too faulty. As for the Emperor's own part, it is evident that the publication of his Imperial Edict was an illegal act, be­cause against the Authority of a Council owned by himself, though had he under­stood it so, he would never have done it, but he was perswaded that it was no re­flection [Page 420] upon the Council it self, because it was no contradiction to any of their own direct Decrees, but only concern'd the Opinions of some private Persons, that the Council thought not fit to con­demn at that time, though seeing what use the Eutychians made of it, he suppo­sed it now useful to the settlement of the Church without any Affront to the Council, it being only to change Coun­sels with change of Affairs. This was all the Emperor's meaning, and it could have done no great mischief, had it not been abused by the craft of Theodorus and his Acephali, who perswaded him that it could be no abatement to the Au­thority of the Council, and yet when it was done, used it as an Argument to sub­vert it.

And then as for those that fought so furiously as the Africans did for the ho­nor of the Council against the tria Capi­tula, though the honor of the Council was remotely concern [...]d in it, yet because it was not so apprehended or intended by the Emperor, they might and ought in duty to have complyed with his Roy­al Pleasure, only adding a Sa vo to the honor of the Council, that had been ea­sily granted, and that would have disap­pointed the craft of the E [...]tychians, and [Page 421] caught them in a snare of their own set­ting, and they must either have own'd the Council, or put off their Vizard. So that which side soever was in the right, they were all in the wrong, when they made a Schism in the Church about it, for the thing was not Tanti in it self as to warrant the breach of Catholick Com­munion. Though at last the bottom of all these unhappy Quarrels was founded in St. Cyril's over-doing Anathema's a­gainst Nestorianism, that yet he en­deavour'd to impose upon the Catholick Church, as so many Articles of Faith: Which because Theodoret and Ibas sup­posed to be too hard an Imposition, the Eutychians took advantage of, to repre­sent them as Favourers of the Nestorian Heresie, though it is plain from the tenour of all their Writings, that they were as little guilty of that as Cyril himself, but were cautious of spoiling the Cause by too much niceness of Speculation, and thought it sufficient to condemn the He­resie it self, without imposing his pri­vate Anathema's as necessary Conditions of Peace and Articles of Christian Faith upon the Catholick Church. And this was, if we pursue it to its head, the true Case of the tria Capitula, and St. Cyril was so well convinced of it at last, that [Page 422] he let fall his Anathema's,Facundus Herm. l. 6. c. 5. In Historiâ secuil 6 ti dissert. 4. and allowed the Epistle of Ibas that condemn'd them of rashness. Natalis Alexander has writ­ten a long dissertation to prove that the tria capitula were justly condemn'd, but I find very light weight in the Argu­ments. For as for Theodorus and the se­veral Fragments alledged out of him by Marius Mercator and the Council it self, I can discern no designed Nestorianism in them, and at worst they seem no worse than unwary Expressions before the start­ing of the Controversie in his zeal against the Heresie of Apollinaris, and so he is excused by St. Cyril himself in his Epi­stle to John of Antioch. And as for the sixty Capitula collected by Vigilius out of his Writings and charged with blasphemy in his Constitutum, it is plain that he draws blood of his Premises to wring out his Con­clusion. And in real truth Church-men were by this time (as Baronius himself complains in this very case) grown too nice and speculative in Matters of Faith, and were not content with the simplici­ty of the old Tradition, but were every day starting new Points of subtilty, in so much that it was a very difficult thing for a Man to express himself so warily, as to avoid the exceptions of one or other Party. And this Facundus Her­mianensis [Page 423] insists upon, beside his vindica­tion of particular Passages from their per­verse Glosses through his whole third Book, which this late learned Author ei­ther ought to have answer'd, or to have let the Argument alone,Lib. 12. c. 1. and withal shews that there are none of the Ancients, who lived before the birth of the Heresie, out of whom he is not able to alledg as offen­sive Passages, as any that they have cull'd out of the Writings of Theodorus. And therefore it is not fairly done of our Historian to conclude against the tria Capitula so severely as he has done, with­out examining the Arguments of Facun­dus in their defence, when he has so long since prevented all his Objections. But more particularly when he has written so many learned and accurate Books in defence of Theodorus and his Writings, and the several Passages objected a­gainst him by his Adversaries, I must confess it looks somewhat odd that this Writer should over-look all these large Discourses,Lib. 3, 4, 8, 9, 10, 11. and only cast his Eye upon one stragling Passage, that was casually cast in upon another Man's Cause, as he has done out of the 7th Book and 6th Chapter, for that is all that he cites out of Facundus in the Cause of Theodorus. But it was wisely done to take so little notice of that acute Writer, that has for [Page 424] ever bafled the Cause of the tria Capitula, and as he was never answer'd then, so I am sure he never can be now, I mean as to the main design of his Discourse abstracted from his African heat, that for a time run him beyond his Argu­ment into a needless Schism.

As for that part o [...] the Argument a­gainst Theodorus that he was put out of the Dypticks of his own Church, I answer that it is certain that he was kept in all Theodoret's time, i. e. to the year 457. but when he was put out and by whom is uncertain,Dissert. de 5 tâ Sy [...]odo c. 6. and it is very probably con­jectur'd by the learned Jesuite Garnerius, that it was done by Petrus Fullo and the Eutychians in the Reigns of Basiliscus or Zeno, when all things were in confusion, and the Eutychians under the Conduct of Fullo committed whatever Disorders they pleased, and then it was that they might with ease suppress the old Dyp­ticks, and in their room coin new ones, and so put out Theodorus, that they ac­cused of Nestorianism, and put in Cyril, whom the Eutychians boasted to be Head and Father of their Party. The only proof against Theodoret is taken from his Writings and Actings against St. Cyril in opposing his 12 Anathema's: But this, as I have shewen above, is founded upon meer mistake, as if his Zeal in the case [Page 425] had been ingaged in behalf of the Nestori­an Heresie, whereas it was only levell'd against the Bigotry of Cyril in imposing his own nice Propositions upon the Ca­tholick Church. And when Cyril re­call'd them or rather let them fall, they were friends, and Theodoret was as rea­dy to anathematise the Nestorian Here­sie, as himself ever was in the greatest heat or huff of the Controversie. And the case of Ibas was the same, nothing but his zeal against the rigor of Cy­ril's Anathema's, as is evident from the whole Tenor of the Epistle it self. And therefore in the Result of all, I cannot but think that this packt Coun­cil (and so it was) would have done better to have let these Men lie quiet in their Graves, when they had been Ca­nonically discharged upon fair Trial by the great Council of Calcedon, though they had been guilty of those mis-prisi­ons of Heresie, for which their Ashes were now arraign'd and condemn'd. But yet when a needless Decree was made a­gainst them, I cannot but think too that the dissenting Bishops would have been much better advised to let it pass, rather than to have raised a Schism in the Church about it. And so, as far as we can find by the Records of the Church, [Page 426] the Illyricans and Africans did in a short time, though the Schismaticks in the Western Church kept up the separation with great zeal and fury into after-ages: And thus having given a true and impar­tial account of this Transaction of Justi­nian, that created him so many enemies both in his own time, and afterward as long as the unhappy Schism lasted, I now come to a particular Examination of the several Accusations against him by the supposed Procopius, but real Alemannus. And when I have vindicated this greatest of Princes from their unmannerly slan­ders, it will be time to put a Conclusion to this work, and to end it with his life, because with it ends the Body of the Im­perial Law.

§. XXIV. And though this may at first sight seem to be no more then a pri­vate Controversie concerning the repu­tation of one man, that has been dead a­bove this 1200 years, and so at best but an entertainment of curiosity rather then any useful enquiry for the benefit of our own Age: Yet granting it were so, it is a duty that all men owe to those great Persons that in their times were Benefa­ctors to the World, Fathers and Patrons to all Posterity, leaving them a better [Page 427] World then themselves found, to preserve their Monuments from dust, but much more from dirt, not only to honour their names, but vindicate their honours from all unworthy aspersions. And if any man may challenge this respect, it is Ju­stinians right, who as will appear by his Story, was as great, not to say a great­er (only to avoid envy) a Benefactor to Mankind, as any Prince in the whole Succession. He delivered Christendom from the Incursions of the Barbarians, and when he found it not so properly in­vaded as besieged and in a great measure possest by them, he not only subdued them all to the Empire, but which was a much greater work, to Civility and the Christian Faith, and by that means he left the Peace of the World much better secured, and its manners much more im­proved then they were before. His next Improvement of the Creation were his numberless and prodigious Buildings, by which he lest the World more habitable then he found it: neither do I speak meerly of that vast number of great Ci­ties that he built, but of his great care to make Commerce easie and pleasant, and remove the difficulties of travelling, by building Bridges, making High-ways, founding Publick-houses for the reception [Page 428] of Strangers in all convenient places; in these kind of works he was so munificent in all places, that he might not impro­perly be stiled the Founder of the Roman Empire, that as it were turned those vast Dominions into one City. A Third Benefit to Posterity is his excellent Body of Laws and Rules of Government ga­thered out of the Records of that wise State for about 1300 Years. A work so glorious in it self that it had been often attempted by the greatest men,V. Guineti Justinia­nus Mag­nus cap. 3. not only those of the more ancient Common-wealth, but of the most polite and em­proved Age, it entertain'd the ambitious thoughts both of Caesar and Cicero. But in vain, so great a work was preserved for the glory of Justinian, and though if we consider the remote Antiquity of the Laws, the seeming inconsistency among themselves, and the immense bulk of Books and Records in so long a Tract of time, the undertaking must have seem'd an impossible thing to any other man, yet he pursued it with that diligence as to bring the greatest work that was ever underta­ken, to perfection in a little time. Now for all these good Deeds that he has done to all Posterity, I think no man, that pretends to any thing of gratitude or in­genuity, can excuse himself from the ob­ligation [Page 429] of doing honour, but much more right to his Memory. But beside all this his Cause is become the Contro­versie of all Christendom, because the Power that he challenged and exercised in the Christian Church, for which he is so much condemned by the Court of Rome, is one of the inseparable Branches of Soveraignty, and was always chal­lenged by all Christian Emperors, so that if the Princes of Christendom should suffer themselves to be stript of it, they are thereby outed of one half of their Empire. And the true rise of the Court of Romes displeasure against him, was not upon the account of any of his own Acti­ons, but a late Contest; viz. The Fa­mous Quarrel between Paul the 5th and the State of Venice (as Eusebius has very well observed) about these three Ar­ticles;Praesat. n. 50.

  • (1.) The Power of the Civil Magi­strate to judge the Clergy in Criminal Causes.
  • (2.) The Decree of the Senate to pro­hibit the erecting of new Churches or Re­ligious Houses without the Consent of the State.
  • (3.) Their Statute of Mortmain against settling Lands upon the Church without the same Consent.

[Page 430]How high this Quarrel run is vulgarly known; but it was so managed by the Learned Men that appeared in behalf of the Senate as to refer its whole decision to the Justinian Law, whereas the Pope on the contrary challenged a Superiority over all Laws, and would submit to no Rule but his own Authority. Now the reason why the Venetian Advocates in­sisted so stubbornly upon the Justinian Code, was not only for the advantage of those several Precedents, that we have seen above to warrant the proceedings of the State in the several matters of the present Controversie; but chiefly because the Code of the Canons of the Univer­sal Church were taken into the Justinian Code and made part of the Imperial Law; and if they could but bring the Pope any way under the Canons, that would carry their Cause, for it not only proved in behalf of the State, that the power of prohibiting Ecclesiastical Laws to be imposed upon their Subjects without their Consent, was a right challenged by all Christian Princes, but own'd by the Church in the General Councils, it being the known Custom of the Fathers to send their Decrees to their Imperial Majesties for Approbation, before they presumed (to publish them) to the World or impose them upon the Church.

[Page 431]This is the Argument insisted upon by Jacobus Leschasserius a Learned Civilian at Paris in his Apology in behalf of the Senate, who recommends the Justinian Code as the Bull-wark of the Liberties of Christendom. And this little Treatise first gave the hint to Christophorus Justel­lus, to publish the Code of the Canons of the Universal Church. Now when the Court of Rome had for so many Ages been used to an absolute and unli­mited Authority, it could not but gawl and fret their proud Spirits, to hear of being brought into subjection to Imperial Laws, and for that reason they set them­selves with all the Arts of Malice to beat down the Credit and Reputation of the Justinian Code, till at length from his Laws they proceeded to vent their Re­venge upon his Person: and that was the thing that gave so much joy and trans­port to Alemannus his [...]: that now the World might see what kind of man this Justinian was, who was so prophane as to take upon him a power of medling with Sacred Things, and controuling Popes themselves. But the indignity of so base a design soon provoked Learned Men to expose it to the World with that scorn, that it deserved. The first that appeared in the Cause (that I know of) [Page 432] was a Learned Man of our own Nation in the Year 1626, viz. Dr. Rive Advo­cate to his late Majesty, a Gentleman e­qually eminent both for Learning and Loyalty, in a little, but a very ingenious Treatise upon the Argument, Entituled Imperatoris Justiniani desensio adversus Ale­mannum. The Book, which is great pity, is hard to be procured, neither indeed had the Learned Author the advantage of some considerable Records, that are now brought to light, and though he was a Learned Man not only in his own Profes­sion, but all other Polite Learning, yet I find that he was not so well acquainted with the Records of the Church, as to be able to state that matter aright. And therefore he is altogether mistaken in that part of his defence, especially as to the Controversie of the tria Capitula, but he followed the common opinion as it was stated by the Romanists against the Africans, as I think all Writers have done to this very day. But otherwise he has with great eloquence and strength of reason cleared the reputation of this great Prince from all their dull and dirty asper­sions, and Convicted the whole design of willful Malice and apparent Forgery.

In the same undertaking he is followed [...] Eichelius ▪ Professor at Heltusted in [Page 433] Franconia, in the Year 1654, who has after the German Fashion of writing for Marts improved the little Treatise into a great Book, by transcribing those Quo­tations at length, which the other only referred to. And though both the sub­stance and the wit of his Book are too grosly borrowed, and that sometimes in the very same words, without owning his Author, yet he was a Learned man, and has added a great many useful Re­marks of History from his own obser­vation, has prosecuted the design more at large, and demonstrated the disingenui­ty of the Procopian Author from these 11 Topicks.

  • (1.) That he writes many things im­possible in themselves.
  • (2.) Many things contradicted by Co-Temperary Writers.
  • (3.) By himself.
  • (4.) That what he vehemently com­mends in his other Writings, he here as vehemently inveighs against.
  • (5.) That what came to pass by chance or by other mens default, he imputes to Justinian.
  • (6.) That he blames many commen­dable Actions.
  • [Page 434](7.) That he praises what he ought to blame.
  • (8.) That he exaggerates things indif­ferent to the disadvantage of Justinian.
  • (9.) That he wrests many of Justini­ans bravest Actions to an ill sense.
  • (10.) That he picks up all trifling Re­ports of the Vulgar against him.
  • (11.) That he writes divers things of great moment, that are no where attest­ed by any Co-Temporary Writers.

All which are, I think, sufficient to over-whelm the Reputation of any Wri­ter, and yet they are all so visible through the whole Vein of this Libel, as to ex­pose themselves to every mans view without searching for them. But though this Author has quitted himself in the Historical Part of his Book, as became a Learned Man, yet he being an Erastian by principle, he has all along failed in his observations upon Matter of Fact, proceeding every where in that Funda­mental mistake about Justinian, as if he had pretended to give not only his Rati­fication but the first Validity to the Laws of the Church. And therefore though I shall gratefully accept and acknowledge any assistance, that th [...]se Learned Men have given me, I shall be forced to make [Page 435] my own observations, especially as to those things that concern Religion, in which they are both mistaken. And as for the Historical Part, I shall not trouble my self or the Reader with any later Writers as they have done, such as Zona­ras, Nicephorus, Cedrenus, &c. but shall meerly relye upon Co-temporaries, or such as lived upon the next Confines of the Age, that they write of; as I have carefully done through this whole Histo­ry. And such are in the Age that we are now treating of, Procopius himself, Agathi­us, Marcellinus Comes, Facundus Hermia­nensis, Liberatus Diaconus, Cassiodorus, Jornandes, Victor Tunonensis, Gregorius Tu­ronensis, Evagrius Scholasticus under Mau­ritius, and the Chronicon Alexandrinum under Heraclius. And from them, though the greatest part of them were either enemies or disobliged Persons, I doubt not but to shew the falshood of the Libel it self and the Malice of its Abet­tors.

In the first place we have all the reason in the World to reject the Book it self as a spurious Pamphlet dishonestly fathered upon Procopius, when we find it never so much as mention'd by any of the Ancients, or by any Writer whatsoever for many Ages after his own time. And yet it is [Page 436] next to impossible but that they must have taken notice of a work of such a peculiar stre [...]n, if it had been extant in their time, especially when his other Wri­tings were so well known in his own and all following Ages. Evagrius who writ in the same Age, though some time after, viz. under Mauritius, commends his other Histories without any mention of this Agathias Scholasticus that both Epi­tomised, and continued his History, and Johannes Scholasticus, that writ not long after the death of Justinian knew nothing of this work, though both were so well acquainted with his other Writings. Pho­tius that diligent and judicious Critick gives an high Character of his other works, but is utterly silent about this. In short the first Author that makes any mention of it, is that crude and injudicious Rhapsodist Suidas who lived not till the 11th Century, 500 Years after Procopius, but he comes too late, not being vouch't by any more Ancient Testimony, and then his own can be of no Cred [...]t, espe­cially considering the humour of the man, who was a meer Collector without choice or judgment, setting down whatsoever came to his hands without examining in­to the truth of the Record, so that it seems this Libel being forged before his [Page 437] time he imbraces it, contrary to the fun­damental Law of the Criticks without any ancient Testimony to certifie its le­gitimacy. Alemannus pleads that the reason why it was so long unknown, was because Procopius was forced to suppress it for the security of his own life. That might be a good reason for Procopius his own time, but certainly not for the long in­terval of so many Ages, as from the sixth Century to the eleventh. And to give any credit to a Book, that never ap­pear'd once in the World till 500 years after the death of its pretended Author, is a Civility that the Criticks would ne­ver allow in any Case, neither do I know it ever challenged unless in this. I know indeed Books may have been buried five hundred or a thousand years, but then they have always had some ancient Te­stimonies that there were once such Books written by such Authors, and up­on no other terms were they ever re­ceived, and this was the case of St. Cle­ment's Epistle. But however this Vati­can Plea for suppressing▪ Procopius his Book for his own safety may be consi­stent with it self, I am sure it is very in­consistent with the pretence that he has undertaken to make good, viz. that it may be all proved out of Procopius his [Page 438] other Writings, in which he tells many more and many worse Stories than in this little Epitome: And yet they were not on­ly seen but approved by the Emperor him­self. But if so, he ought either to have suppress't all or none, and not to have publisht the sharper Invective to gain the Emperor's favor, and keep back the mil­der to avoid his displeasure. These are pretty consistent Dreams, that could ne­ver have come into any Man's head, but in a Vatican Nap.

But beside the want of sufficient Cer­tificates to warrant the reception of the Book, the thing is so very unlikely in it self, that Procopius should write so dirty a Libel both against Justinian and Beli­zarius, that it would require very strong proof only to make it a thing credible. For when he had through his whole life been so infinitely obliged by both; when he had been raised by Justinian from a low Condition to the highest Prefer­ments in the Empire; when he had e­ver kept the most entire and intimate friendship with Belizarius; and lastly when he made it the great work of his life, both before and after the writing of this Book to consecrate their Fames, and conveigh down the glory of their Actions to all future Ages, who can ea­sily [Page 439] suffer himself to believe that the same Man should endeavor to spoil all this by a railing Lampoon? Though whenever or by whomsoever it was forged, it is no wonder that it was laid to Procopius, according to the custom of all Lampoons, to fasten them upon Authors, that of all Men living were most unlikely to write them. To these we may add some other unlucky Objections suggested by Ale­mannus himself in his Preface. As that the Glory of Justinian's Actions is so bright in it self, as to be able to out-shine all detraction. For what Man can believe that he ruin'd the Roman Empire, that recover'd so many Cities, Provinces and Kingdoms to it, that conquer'd so many barbarous Nations, and plainly re­cover'd the Empire, that had been almost lost and tottering for many years, to its full force and Power? One would think that the Man who makes the Ob­jection, should be concern'd to rid him­self some way or other of it, and yet he fairly dismisses it with all Civility, be­cause (he says) it is at this time a thing only existing in History An admirable Vatican reason this! but so it is, when­ever Men are over-seen and eager in their pursuit of Revenge, that they always leave their Sense and Understanding behind them.

[Page 440]And whereas some Men conclude Procopius to be Father of the Bastard, from the likeness of its features to his other Books, I should from the same ar­gument draw the contrary conclusion. For though it is no hard matter for any Man to imitate or rather steal another Man's stile as to forms and schemes of Speech, by making it familiar to himself with constant reading. Yet the Spirit and the Genius of an Author is a thing very rarely imitable, and that too plain­ly discovers it self in this counterfeit Pro­copius; for if we compare the Anecdota with his other Books, and observe what perspicuity and neatness of Method, what gravity, what candor, what ingenuous freedom runs through all his other Wri­tings: And on the contrary in what con­fusion and indigested heaps things are laid together in this Libel, with what silliness and malice, with what buffoon­ry and affected rudeness the whole work is contrived, it seems to me impossible that they should both be the Off-spring of the same Man. And therefore it is but a true and a sharp censure, that is given of it by Balthasar Bonifacius in his Epistle to Molinus. In summâ sic statuo esse in hâc, cujuscunque illa sit Auctoris, rhyparographiâ, loquentiae satis, licentiae [Page 441] nimis, insolentiae plus nimio, multum livo­ris, plus odii, plurimum inscitiae, pa um ordinis, minus facundiae, minimum judi­cii, nihil memoriae, minus nihilo sincerita­tis. ‘In fine, my Opinion is, that in this rhapsody, whosesoever it is, is to be found babble enough, rudeness too much, arrogance more than enough, much spite, more hatred, but most ignorance, little order, less eloquence, least judg­ment, nothing of memory, but less than nothing of honesty.’ From all which e­normous defects, it is but reasonable to conclude with him, that the true Pro­copius so eminent for all the contrary perfections could never be the Author of the Libel. And indeed the folly of the design makes it no less incredible than the meanness of the performance, for if Procopius upon some affront at Court resolved to revenge himself by this Libel, yet to own it and publish it to the World in his own name, was a ranker piece of spite against himself, than against his Royal Master; for it not only blasts the Credit of all his other Writings, but it leaves himself a base and unworthy Pa­rasite upon Record, who spent all his Wit and Life, in magnifying the Vertues of a Man, whom himself knew to ex­ceed all Mankind in the studious practice [Page 442] of all wickedness: For that is the Bur­then of the Libel. Neither is it to be less suspected from the time in which it pretends to have been brought forth, viz. in the 32 year of the reign of Justi­nian, as the Author often declares, where­as Procopius his Books de aedificiis that are all panegyrick and abound with quite contrary Characters, were not written till the 36th year. Now is it not very cre­dible that when Procopius was fall'n out so bitterly with his great Patron after all the Obligations in the World, as he is in this Libel, he should afterwards be trans­ported into so much kindness as he ex­presses in those books, without blasting and retracting his own slanders. Or if we can reconcile the possibility of the thing, yet however the books de aedifi­ciis are an unanswerable confutation of the anecdota, and not only convict the characters of Malice, but the Matters of Fact of false hood. So that granting Procopius to be the true Father, I will prove him guilty of rank falshhood through the whole tale both from his own Writings before and after, from the testimony of his co-temporaries, but most of all from the nature and the circum­stances of the Actions themselves. And as for the Librarians spiteful endeavors [Page 443] to improve the malice of the Libel, I shall discover so much baseness in the At­tempt, as to leave him under that dis­grace that is due to such ill-natur'd Pe­dants, that will be gnawing at the Repu­tations of great Men. And to this pur­pose I shall reduce this confused heap of Calumnies to certain heads as the most easie way of confuting them, for whilst they lye confused together they are not so easily discern'd or exposed, but when parted, like false Witness, every Lye be­trays it self.

§. XXV. The first crime that he lays to the Emperor's Charge, is the worst that a Sovereign Prince can be guilty of, and that is cruelty, which the Author of the Libel aggravates in every Page, at that extravagant rate, as if he had out­done all the Tyrants that ever were,Cap. 6 of Maltretus Edition. in blood and slaughter. ‘For he was the Author of so many and so great Cala­mities to the Romans, as exceeded all the Miseries of all former Ages, he made nothing of siezing other Mens Estates, he broke out into numberless slaughters, so that he counted it a trifle to destroy innumerable Multitudes of innocent Persons. The great devouring Plague that I described in my former Books, [Page 444] and that reign'd through almost all parts of the habitable. World, spared as many as it destroyed. But no Man escaped Justinian's cruelty, who was sent as a Plague from Heaven to sweep all away. Some he was so kind as to destroy, but others he granted their lives, to suffer all the miseries of want and poverty, making them much more miserable than the others, when they would be content to be deliver'd from the Evils that they endured by any the most ex­quisite Tortures. Neither did he think it enough to destroy the whole Roman Empire, but he endeavour'd to master Africk and Italy, that he might throw those Nations together with the Provin­ces subject to himself into one common ruin.Cap. 12. And again. Justinian and The­odora seem [...]d to me and all oth [...]rs of the Senatorian Order, not of the race of Mankind, but the worst breed of De­vils, and the very Plagues of Humane kind, that consulted together how they might destroy the Universe with most expedition, and for that reason assumed Humane shapes, being as it were half-Man, half Devil, and so over-turn'd the whole World. And this may be pro­ved by the great enormity of their Wickedness, in which these Devils in­finitely [Page 445] out-stript all the villainy that Mankind is capable of acting. For thô there have been divers Tyrants in for­mer Ages, that were cruel beyond all bounds of Barbarity, that dispeopled whole Cities, Provinces and Kingdoms, yet these were the first that utterly de­stroyed the Race of Mankind, and laid wast the universal World.’ And once more (not to be too tedious, this Story of mowing down the Inhabitants of the whole World, being the Subject of every Page) ‘That Justinian was in reality no Man,Cap. 18. but the Devil in the shape of a Man, is evident from those unparallell'd Mischiefs that he brought upon Man­kind: for the height of all Wickedness is to be taken from the depth of it Au­thors Villainy. But for that it were more easie to compute the Sand upon the Sea-shore, then all the Nations destroy­ed by Justinian. And as for my own part, I am able to reckon up two hun­dred and ten Millions of Men, that were offer'd Victims to his Barbarity.’ A very fair reckoning this, were the par­ticulars well cast up, for by the summ total one could expect to hear of no less than the old Pranks of Caligula, Nero and Commodus, of Phalaris his ten thousand bulls, and Pharaohs ten millions of Brick-Kills, [Page 446] of the out-rages of the thirty Ty­rants, and the fury of the ten persecuti­ons: of firing the City, assassinating the Senate, putting whole Provinces to the Sword? but what do I speak of all these trifles of Cruelty, if compared to the de­struction of the whole habitable World? for that is the Chorus to all our Trage­dies, that he did not only cut the throats of all the Inhabitants of the Roman Em­pire, but buried the whole World in one common ruin. What not one Man left alive? the whole Race at once destroyed? How then came the face of the Earth to be peopled again? by Deucalion's Stones, or Cadmus's Teeth? Oh no, says Alemannus, these are only certain Schemes of Speech, that the learned call hyper­bolical Expressions. It may be so, but we, that are unlearned, cannot distin­guish them from impudent Lies and Im­possibilities. For if every Man living were not destroyed, then the tale, as it is told, is all fable, but if the destructi­on were universal, then the question re­turns how the Earth ever came to be re-inhabited, without those Absurdities that we commonly call poetical Hyper­boles. But not to be too severe upon the licence of Lampoons, we will grant that possibly the Hydra or the Dragon might [Page 447] spare some few alive; but in compensa­tion let us compute how many millions of his Subjects he devoured at every meal. Where lay the Cities? where the Provinces? where the Nations, that he so universally dispeopled? How great a part of the Empire he recover'd, we know from his Wars with the Goths and Vandals in Italy and Africk, but that he ever destroyed any one Province, is news to this very day. How many stately Cities he built is recorded by Pro­copius, but if he ever reduced either any of them or any other to Ashes, he would have done well to have told us in his own defence, if he could but have al­ledged any one Example. What strange way of writing history is this to tell us of such vast numbers of Cities, Provin­ces and Nations destroyed, without spe­cifying but one Village? But though he might not mow down whole Cities and Provinces at a stroak, yet he might com­mit such vast numbers of out-rages at divers times and in divers places, as might amount to the two hundred and ten mil­lions of lives. That may be, but as vast as the Empire was, I doubt it would scarce afford pasture enough for so great a Butchery. But if it would, I would only know where, when and by whom [Page 448] these vast Oceans of blood were shed. He reign'd 39 years by himself, and go­vern'd nine years more under his Unkle Justin, in all which time if we inquire of our Libeller the Catalogue of his Execu­tions, Why, to be short, Amantius and Vitalvanus were put to death. They were so, but what are two Men above two hundred millions of Men! This is the priviledg of hyperbolical Historians. But seeing this is all our Martyrology, let us inquire into the merits of the Cause, for it is that, they say, and not the suf­fering that makes the Martyr, and by that we shall easily discern that these un­heard of Cruelties were so far from that, that they were not only necessary Acts of Government, but of common Justice too.

Amantius had been the Author of all the Severities against the Catholicks under Anastasius, insomuch that at the Coronation of the Emperor Justin the People cryed out for his blood. But that was not the cause of his death,Act. 1. Con­cil. contra Anthinum. but his endeavor to set up Theocritus against him in the Empire, for which as they were both justly put to death,Evag. l. 4. c. 2. so was it an A­ction necessary to the preservation of the Government it self. But as the Author of the Libel tells the Story, he discovers [Page 449] himself to be no true Procopius; for first he says that Amantius was put to death by Justinian, whereas he was immedi­ately executed by Justin at his first com­ing to the Crown, as appears not only from all the co-temporary Historians, Marcellinus Comes, Jornandes, Evagrius, Victor Tunonensis, but from the matter of Fact it self, he being taken off for setting up Theocritus for the title of the Crown against Justin. But when he farther adds the Cause of his death, he utterly betrays the Imposture of the whole Li­bel, viz. that he had been too saucy in his language to John Bishop of Constan­tinople, whereas there was no such Bi­shop of that name in all the long Reign of Justinian, till the last year of his life. But here for a Reconciler commend me to the Apostolical Librarian, Praefat. that when there were two Patriarchs of Constantino­ple, one that dyed in the first year of Justin surnamed Cappadox, and another that came to that See in the last year of Justinian surnamed Scholasticus; to make sure of a John in his reign, he pieces up one Bishop of these two Men, and says that Procopius meant Johannes Scholasti­cus Cappadox, though Cappadox was dead near 50 years before Scholasticus was consecrated, and four Bishops of o­ther [Page 450] Names were ranged in the Dypticks between them, Epiphanius, Anthimus, Mennas and Eutychius. And yet the learned Librarian is so strangely or rather so wilfully ignorant, as to make that the grand Article against Justinian, that he was the Man, who first granted the Ti­tle of Oe [...]umenical Bishop to this Joannes Scholasticus Cappadox, and this he af­firms not only without any Testimony from Records, but against the most ob­vious and known story of those times; by which it is evident that this Title was first challenged and granted to another Johannes surnamed Jejunator or John the mortified under Mauritius. But howe­ver when it is certain not only from Re­cord, but from matter of Fact it self that Amantius was put to death, for endeavor­ing to depose the Emperor, if Procopius himself imputed it to a little foul Lan­guage, it argued great malice, but if it were done by any other counterfeit Au­thor, it argues great ignorance in the Af­fairs of those Times. And indeed the Author has every where betrayed so much of that, as plainly discovers him­self to be no true Procopius. And such is his story in his 6th Chapter of Justin's being analphabetus, void of all Learning, not able to write his own name, which [Page 451] he proves from the invention of the Prin­ting Plate with his name in it, that he stampt upon all his Commissions, because he could not write. This is all the Autho­rity for this wild Story, and we never hear any thing of it, till Suidas transcri­bed it hence, and yet it is strange that none of the Historians of that Time, should ever take notice of a thing so ve­ry strange in the Empire, had it been true. But however this story of the prin­ting Plate is a very unlucky discovery of the asses ears under Procopius his skin, when it is so well known, that it was the custom of all the Roman Emperors, to stamp their names to their Commissions for expedition. And this Alemannus him­self confesses was the ancient usage, and describes the forms of it out of Pluta [...]ch and Ausonius, and shews that it was used by Justinian himself▪ though it was in af­ter-times disused by the Grecian [...]mpe­rors. Now for any Man to go about to prove that Justin could not write his own Name, because he had it engraven on a printing Plate, when all other Empe­rors used the same Instrument, it clearly demonstrates his ignorance of the Customs of those times, and proves him some un­learned Greek, that lived after the disu­sage of that Custom in that Empire. And [Page 452] as for Justin's acting so little, and Justini­an's acting so much in the publick Af­fairs, Procopius himself in his first Book de Bello Vandalico, imputes it to no other cause then his extreme old age, and not to any want either of natural Parts or in­genuous Education, as this malicious and ignorant Libeller has done, who sticks not to call him a fool and a blockhead. And it was no doubt a sign of his being so, when he raised himself from so low a fortune into the Imperial Throne, and when he was in it, govern'd so well, as we have seen in the History of his Reign. But here again commend me to the Inge­nuity of Alemannus, that cites the very passage in the Book de bello Vandalico, which imputes Justin's inability for busi­ness to nothing but his extreme old Age, to confirm this passage that lays it whol­ly upon his natural incapacity and block­ishness.

But having convicted this story of the Murder of Amantius for an unmannerly word, of extreme malice and ignorance, let us now examine the other hundred Millions of instance in the death of Vita­lian, and there we shall find as strong streins of the same malice and ignorance as in the Amantian Fable. For first he is so miserably inform'd as to place this [Page 453] transaction immediately after the death of Amantius, whereas he was for a good time one of the greatest Favourites of the Emperor Justin, and kept up an in­timate Friendship with Justinian, and joyn'd with him in transacting that great Business of uniting the Eastern and Western Churches with Pope Hor­misdas, as appears by Justinian's Epistles to that Pope; and therefore the death of Vitalian did not follow the Execution of Amantius [...], a short time after, as if it were the next Action, as this Au­thor expresses it, for it was not done till the third year of Justin's Reign, and for that reason Evagrius when he tells this Story immediately after that of Amantius, he adds, [...], but this was done afterwards: by which it is evident that this Author was utterly ignorant of the right order of the Transactions of that time. But the true Story of Vitalian is this, That he had often stein'd himself with Rebellion against his Master Anastasius, and had caused the slaughter of many Thousands of Citizens for his own Am­bition, but the Emperor was at last too hard for him, so that whil'st he reign'd the Rebel lived in Exile,Marcel. Com. Chro­nicon. but was resto­red by Justin, taken into great favour, [Page 454] advanced to great honour, first made Master of the Militia and afterward Con­sul, but he seising all opportunities of en­couraging Faction and Sedition, and heading the Tumults of the Scythian Monks at Constantinople, he perish't some way or other in the Attempt, but the man­ner of his death is not certainly known; Marcellinus Comes only says, that he was stabb'd within the Palace with sixteen wounds, Evagrius says from Zacharias the Eutychian, that he was trapan'd by Justin and Justinian, and if it were so, yet that Partial Historian against those Emperors has set down two very good reasons to justifie it, first that it was to cure his insatiable Thirst after the Crown, which they saw nothing but his own Blood could quench, and secondly, to punish him for all that Train of Mischief and Treason, that he had practised against the Roman Empire. But Victor Tunensis both a co-temporary and a disobliged Wri­ter▪ [...]ing one of those African Bishops that were banished for their Zeal against the Tria Capitula, only says that it was reported that his Throat was cut within the Palace, by the Faction of Justinian; so that it seems he could get no certain knowledge of it, whether it were done by the Emperors command, or by a Tu­mult [Page 455] of the Guards, and that is most likely; for Souldiers of Loyal Principles are never wont to forgive (as indeed they never ought) revolting Rebels. But which way soever it was brought about, it was a just Execution of one of the vi­lest men living, that had often embroiled the Empire in bloody Wars, that had called in the barbarous People to invade it, that had besieged Constantinople it self, and had utterly destroyed it, had not Pro­clus fired his Fleet, as Archimedes did that of Marcellus, with burning Glasses. These two just and unavoidable Executions, are the only too bloody Actions by which this Prince outstript the cruelty of all the Tyrants that ever were in any Age or Nation, and destroyed more People then an Universal Plague, not only cut­ting the Throats of all the Inhabitants of the Roman Empire, but dispeopling the whole Creation.

§. XXVI. But what were there no Acts of Mercy in his Reign? nay what if there were nothing but Acts of Mercy? what if no other Reign can vie Acts of Clemency with it? And for the issue of that Challenge I will farther Challenge both the Libeller and the Librarian to find any one Offender in all his Reign, [Page 456] that did not meet with more mercy then justice, or to find me in all Records from the beginning of Mankind so many in­stances of a great and generous Nature in any one Prince. With what barbarity were his Confederates assassinated, and with what fury was his own Empire be­set, by Gilimer King of the Vandals, and Vitigis King of the Goths, yet when by the Event of War, they were made his Prisoners, with what Prince-like respect did he treat them? Instead of any revengeful usage they enjoyed the Wealth and State of Princes; Vit gis chose to continue at Court, Gilimer had the grant of vast Re­venues for himself and his Relations in Gaul, and was courted to accept of the dignity of a Patriarchate, but rendred himself uncapable of it, by refusing to quit the Arian Heresie. Johannes Cappa­dox, a man that Justinian had obliged above all men, having made him both Patriar­chate, Consul, and P [...]efect of the City, in which last Office the Empire being en­sured to him by the Magicians, he is foolishly drawn in to conspire the death and destruction of the Emperor, and is undenyably Convicted of it,De Bello Persico, lib. 1. c. 25. yet after all this discovery this wicked man (and Procopius gives a blacker Character of him then of any man in his whole Histo­ry) [Page 457] is so far from being put to death, that he is only put into a Monastery, and that with such vast wealth, and so many ad­vantages of life, that as Procopius ob­serves, if he had been endowed with Wit enough to estimate his happiness by the measures of Reason, not of Ambition, he would have valued his Misfortune, as the most happy thing that ever befel him. But now to compare the truth and the ingenuity of the open and the secret Hi­stories concerning this unhappy man, by the first it is proved that he was guilty of all manner of wickedness and oppressi­on, an Atheist and a Villain, that de­signed the Crown for his own Head by the Murther of his Royal Master, and that certainly is enough to put any Sub­ject out of all capacity of mercy. And yet in the Anecdota his fall is imputed meerly to Theodora's Revenge, for en­deavouring to alienate the Emperors Affe­ctions from her. And if it were so, that was so ill an Office, that (if any thing could) would warrant the lawfulness of it. But whether there were, or were not any thing of Pique in the Case, it is certain that he had discovered his Ambi­tion to supplant his Master, and if after that the Empress by slite over-reach't him, whatever private design she might [Page 458] have in it, it was in it self an eminent act of duty. And by this we may judg both of the Wisdom and the Petulancy of this Libeller, when he snarles at an A­ction so commendable in it self, and so commended by Procopius himself in his relation of it. In short, when Procopius had painted this Man in such black Characters, in common discretion he ought not, he could not have made his Prosecution a Crime; for setting aside the Empresses disgust, by Procopius his own re­port from the deposition of the Witnesses, he deserved death for his Treason, and then after that, what ever motives she might have to prosecute, no Man could have any just ground to blame the Prosecution. And yet after all the good Emperor spared the Traitors blood, and only condemn'd him to say his Prayers, and sue out his pardon in Heaven, as he in great mercy had granted it here on earth. But so blind was the importunity of the Man, that he rusht into farther Disorders, till he was at last turn'd loose to beg Bread and Farthings, which story was in the Legend Age of Christianity fastned I know not by whom upon the great Be­lizarius. But now considering the hei­nousness of this unhappy Man's Offences, Theodora and Antonina, who entrapt him, [Page 459] as great Furies as they are represented for it by the Libel, are not less to be commended for their honesty in the de­sign, then the dexerity of their Wit in its management. Neither upon the whole Matter do I find them to have been such instruments of Cruelty, as they are made not only by this Libel, but the common vogue. It is evident that they were Ladies of great Art and Sub­tilty, that had great power over their Husbands, and by that means great share in the Government, in which as they had opportunity of doing many other good Offices, so the discovery of this Traitor was none of the least. And as for Theodora, how black soever she is painted in this Libel, I cannot find but that she bears a very fair Character in all other Writers both for Wisdom, Piety and Charity. Procopius himself gives an high commendation of her Wisdom in his first Book de bello Persico:Lib. 1. cap. 9. And in his Books de Aedificiis reckons up many of her foundations for pious and chari­table Uses, especially that of destroying the publick Stews▪ and building and en­dowing religious Houses for the mainte­nance of lewd People taken out of them, there to repent of the Wickedness of their former lives, and sequester them­selves [Page 460] to Prayer and Devotion. And as for her good-nature he has left this Cha­racter of it upon Record,De Bello Gothico, l. 3. c. 31. that it was in her temper to relieve and protect the oppressed, and therefore she forced Ar­tabanes, a great favourite with the Em­peror, to receive his injured Wife, a piece of Justice that laid the foundation of a Conspiracy against the Emperor's life, as we shall see afterward. And as much as that Age abounded with Writers, none of them have left any ill character or ill story of her upon Record, unless in the point of Religion, that she favour'd the Acephali and the Eutychians. So that whereas this Libel reports that she was at first a Player, a common Strumpet, the most infamous Prostitute of the City, 'tis as probably true as the other tale of her being a Witch, and having carnal copulation with the Devil. And it is ve­ry likely that so wise a Prince should take a Woman of such publick infamy into his Bed and his Bosom, but if he did, it is much more so, that when the thing was so uni­versally known in the whole Empire, and out of it too, (for such Reports stop no where) that yet not any the least foot­steps of it should appear in any Writer either of the same or the adjoyning Ages. There were at that time several Histori­ans, [Page 461] that lived out of the Dominions of Justinian, as Jornandes, Cassiodorus, Pau­lus Diaconus, who might have spoke out with freedom and without danger, and yet they are altogether silent. There were many angry and disobliged Wri­ters, as all the Africans, who suffer'd in the Cause of the tria capitula, and their African Blood would have been tempted at least to make some remote Reflecti­ons upon a thing so foul and foolish. E­vagrius did not write till the Justinian Family was extinct, and it is too evident, for what reason I know not, unless it be that he followed an Eutychian Histo­rian, that he had no kindness for it, and yet he knows nothing of the matter. Now that a thing of so strange a nature, of so great concernment, so known, so pub­lick in all parts of the World should ne­ver be so much as mention'd or intima­ted in such a great variety of Writers, it must require a very greedy Faith to swallow it. But Alemannus, as his cu­stom is, vouches the story out of Almoin a French historian, that lived not till near three hundred years after the death of Justinian, and accordingly he gives such a false and fabulous account of the whole reign, as only proves his barbarous ig­norance of all the transactions of that time.

[Page 462]As for the treatment of Pope Silverius, it was foul enough, but as far as the Empress was concern'd in the Plot, I can­not see, that she was farther chargeable with any thing than the Eutychian or ra­ther Acephalan Heresie. She was a Pa­troness of the Party, and as most Women are, zealous to advance her own Sect, and that no doubt made her willing to be rid of Pope Silverius, who would not be wrought to any compliance with her or condescension to her Faction. But as for the forging of Letters in his Name to the Goths, if there were any truth in the story, it was none of her Action, Rome being the Scene of it, whereas she always resided at Constantinople. But for my own part I care not to be too credulous in the Reports of those times, when Men were so factious and partial in their Re­lations. Though that such Letters there were either true or counterfeit 'tis cer­tain, but whether, uncertain. The A­fricans affirm that they were forged, and that is easily said, when Men are wrang­ling for a baffled Party, but upon what ground they say it, 'tis utterly in the dark, and will now never come to light, Silverius dying before it ever came to Tryal. Neither is it so improbable that he should side with the King of the Goths, [Page 463] for the sake of his great Master Theodo­rick, by whose favor he had been ad­vanced into the Papal Chair.De Bello Gothico l. 1. c. 11. That he was solicited to it by Vitigis we are as­sured by the true Procopius, but that he gave his consent, he cannot tell, but ra­ther on the contrary that he sided with Belizarius, and perswaded the Citizens to open their Gates to him,C. 14. but whe­ther out of fear or favor, was known to himself alone. Though the first motive of fear is most probable, as Procopius tells the story,C. 25. that Belizarius being af­ter his entrance into Rome strictly besieg­ed by the Goths, he sent away all that were useless or suspected, and among these Silverius himself. And that I take to be all the mystery of his Banishment, and all the black circumstances added by the Africans to be their own cholerick Surmises, out of whom this malicious Rhapsodist borrowed most of his Fables, and then improved them with his own Venom.

And lastly as for the barbarous mur­ther of the great Queen Amalasuntha, which this Author says, was contrived by Theodora to prevent her design'd Journey to Constantinople out o [...] envy and jealousie of her beauty; for which end she imployed Peter the Emperor's Am­bassador [Page 464] to Theodatus, to perswade him to put her to death. But beside that this story has the ill fortune to have no Vouchers, and that on the contrary 'tis cross't by all co-temporary Writers, it is here told so awkerdly, as plainly to give it self the Lye. And if the Pamphleteer had consulted Procopius himself,De Bello Goth. l. 1. c. 4. he would have told him, that though the Queen had once design'd for Constantinople, yet at this time she was so very far from a­ny such thought, that she had taken the whole burthen of the Government upon her self, and though she had admit­ted her Kinsman Theodatus to a partner­ship of the Pomp and Title of Majesty, she by an Oath of Allegiance from him reserved all the Power to her self. And as for Peter the Ambassador, he had so little hand in perswading the Tyrant to the Villainy, that he had not so much as ever seen him, when it was committed, being at that time on his Journey, and staying at Apollonia for farther Orders from his Master: by whose command, when he came to Rome he declared an e­ternal War against the Goths in revenge of her Majesties de [...]th. And the Empe­ror was (as he always was) as good as his word, for he never left them till he had utterly destroyed both their Govern­ment, [Page 465] and their Nation. We see here how hard a thing it is to file a Lye so square, as that it shall light even on all sides, for this Libeller is so unfortunate, as to cross with Procopius himself in eve­ry part and circumstance of his story; and to betray his Forgeries as much by his innocent as malicious Mistakes, and what could be more unhappy than for the same Man to tell us that Peter after his Arrival at Rome perswaded Theodatus to murther Amalasuntha, and yet tell us that she was murther'd before he set foot upon Italian Ground.

So much for Theodora, the next Fury is Antonina, the inseparable Companion of all her Wickedness, who therefore ought to be clear'd and acquitted by her dis­charge; but for her commendation I must add, that she is every where celebrated by Procopius for a Woman of prodigious Wit, to which he very much ascribes Be­lizarius his success in his Wars, in which she never left him, but when she stayed at Court to watch the Motions of Joan­nes Cappadox, who out of meer malice and envy lay at catch for his destruction, and how neatly she tript up the great Statesman, we have seen above, though the Reader may see it more largely de­scribed by Procopius himself. So little [Page 466] design of Cruelty had this Lady in the over-throw of Cappadox, De Bello Persico lib. 1. cap. 25. that she did no more than what was necessary for her Husbands security, an Action that I think no Man can deem a fault in a Court-lady. And as for those many and shameless Adulteries, that the Pamphlet loads her with, it is but a single testi­mony of we know not whom, no such thing being in the least suggested against her by any other Writer. But this sort of tales are proper materials for Lam­poons, for as it is hard to prove them, so is it as hard to disprove them, and with­al they take most easily with the Ill-na­ture of Mankind, though without unde­nyable proof they ought to be rejected as the standing Topicks of Calumny. But that Belizarius should imprison her for her Lewdness, and yet be so very strangely fond of her, as this inconsistent Scribler tells the Tale, is a thing so incredible in it self, that scarce any Testimony can have credit enough to give it reputation. And it is of the same stamp with Theodo­rus being a Player and a common Strum­pet, that a thing so notorious and publick as this should never be mention'd by any other Writer, especially in an Age so a­bounding with Historians of contrary Fa­ctions. But to proceed in the history of [Page 467] Justinian's Cruelty:De Bello Goth. [...] c. 31▪ [...]2▪ There was one Ar­tabanes, that the Emperor had raised from a mean Condition to the highest Honors in the Empire, and would have given him his own Sister in marriage, had not the Banes been forbidden by a former Wife. But he to revenge the dis­appointment conspires with one Arsaces against the Emperor's life. This Arsaces had been convicted of High-Treason; and conspiracy with the Goths, for which, when he was legally condemn'd, he was not so much as fined or banisht, but on­ly whipt to shame him out of the folly of his Design. These draw in other Conspirators, till at last the Plot is fully discover'd to the Emper [...]r, and conf [...]ss't by themselves; and yet is he so far from putting any of them to death, that he only put them out of their Preferments, and enacted nothing more severely a­gainst them than an honorable Confine­ment, imprisoning them in his own Pa­lace, and not in a Common Goal. And not long after we find Artabanes recei­ved into favor, made Vice-Roy of Thrace, Ibid. cap▪ 39. and Lord High Admiral in the Expediti­on against Totilas the Goth, when he in­vaded Sicily. But as generous as he was towards his own Enemies, he was wont to infuse a stronger tincture of Justice in [Page 468] the punishment of other Men's Wrongs: Thus when Gubazas King of the Colchi or Lazi, his Confederate, was murther'd by a Conspiracy of the Principal Officers of the Roman Army, and complaint of the Villainy brought to the Emperor, he refers the examination of the Matter to a fair Tryal, as we may see in Agathias, who has set down an exact Narrative of the Pleadings on all sides;Lib. 4. and after a full hearing, the Offenders being found guilty, they were executed according to Law. Only Martinus for his many for­mer good Services was reprieved from Ex­ecution, though put out of all Imploy­ment and confin'd to a retired life. For though, as the Historian sets it down, he ought to have suffer'd with John and Ru­sticus his Associates, yet the Emperor out of regard to his many Victories, and the great conduct that he had shewed in all dangers, thought it best to remit the strictness of Law, and temper its rigour with some mixture of Mercy, and there­fore he gave him his life, but deprived him of all Command, and thought it sufficient to punish so great a Man with disgrace, thou [...]h he had so deep a share in [...]o great a Wickedness. These are the bloody Acts of a De [...]il and a wild beast in humane shape, always busie in the de­struction [Page 469] of Mankind, as he is in every Page stiled in this dull and insipid Libel. But before we quit this Head it will be pro­per to vindicate both Belizarius, and the Emperor's demeanour towards him. For how it comes to pass I know not, but it has long past among the Writers of later Ages, that he was banisht for High-Treason, had his Eyes pulled out, and forced to beg upon the High-way, so that da Obolum Belizario is become one of the most common Pulpet-Texts. And yet it is all pure Fable and Romance, not only without any Authority from Ancient Records, but again [...]t the un­doubted Reports of Co-temporary Wri­ters, especially Procopius and Agathias who have followed the H [...]story of his good For­tune to the end of his life, but most of all from his last expedition in his extreme old Age against the Huns, by which the Hi­storian says, he gained more honour than by all his former Victories,Agathias l. 5. and then it is certain that he was not reduced to the condition of a blind Beggar; so that this Story is to be rejected as meer Fable with­out any farther Confutation. But be­cause this great man has fallen under the lash of this rude Satyrist, we must do right to the memory of the greatest man upon Record: for though Procopius has [Page 470] done it to purpose in the History of his Actions, that as he describ [...]s them, are not to be parallel'd by any of the Ancient Greeks or Romans, yet this counterfeit represents him as a mean, contemptible, and cowardly wretch, the very laughing-stock of the common People, and that he fell into disgrace with the Emperor af­ter his Conquest of Gilimer and Vitigis, out of envy to that vast Treasury, of which he defrauded the Exchequer; that he walkt the Streets of Constantinople sad and solitary, expecting to be stab'd by e­very man that met him: that after he was restored to favour he lost Italy by his covetousness, and so again became the object of publick contempt, with a great many more streins of the same Civility and Eloquence. And thus is this mighty Hero, this great wonder of the World, so Glorious for all his Vertues,V. Procop. [...] Bello [...]. lib. 3. cap. 1. Greatness and Constancy of Mind, Conduct and Skill in War, singular Temper and Cle­mency, Bounty and Liberality, Faith and Loyalty shrunk into a thing as con­temptible as a Knight Errant in Burlesque▪ But of all Lyers this Romanc [...]r is the most unhappy that I ever met with, and is so unfortunate as to contradict the true Historians not only in his Characters, but undenyable matters of Fact. For [Page 471] at what time and upon what occasion did he fall into this disgrace? If we may believe our Author▪ it was after the Con­quest of Gil [...]mer and Vitigis, for not deli­vering up his spoils into the Emperors Treasury. But what says the true Proco­pius the Eye-Witness and Companion of all his Fortunes.De Bello Goth. l. 3. c. 1. When he was offer'd the Kingdom of Italy by the vanquisht Goths, he flatly refused it as an Act of Treason against his Royal Master, imme­diately repair'd to Constantinople with Vi­tigis and all his Wealth, and all the Trea­sure of King Theodorick, with which the Emperor was so surprised, it being the greatest that ever was amassed together in one heap, that he made a solemn invi­tation of the Senate to view and admire it. And though at this time he gave not Belizarius a publick Triumph, as he did at his return out of Africa, yet he was the wonder and the praise of all men, ha­ving obtain'd two such Victories, as ne­ver any man did before him, brought two Captive Kings to Constantinople, and a­bove all mens expectation delivered into the hands of the Romans both the Fami­lies and the Treasuries of Gezarick and Theodorick (than whom never were greater Princes among the Barbarians) and restored the Wealth taken from the [Page 472] Enemies to the Common-wealth▪ and in a little time restored one half of the lost Empire to the other. So that at Constan­tinople he was the delight of all mens eyes; the People thought they could ne­ver gaze enough upon him, and his appear­ance in publick was like a Pompous Tri­umph, always attended with a mighty Train of Goths, Vandals and Moors. After this follows a long Character of all his Vertues, especially his incredible Bounty to his Souldiers, which the Rea­der may peruse at leisure, it being too long to be transcribed. And then as for the infinite wealth that he brought out of Africk, and delivered into the Em­perors Exchequer,De Bello Vandal. lib. 3. c. 9. it is set down by Pro­copius in the description of his Triumph, as the greatest Treasury in the World: And among the rest were the Vessels and Furniture of Solomon's Temple, that Titus brought to Rome, and Gizerick carried away when he sack't it, and the Empe­ror to avoid the Misprision of Sacriledge, thought it his duty to return them to the Christian Churches at Jerusalem. Now if we compare this Account of Pro­copius with the Anecdota concerning the same Time and Action, how could the Wit of Mankind have better way-layed the Malice of this Scribler? For [Page 473] this was no part of secret History, no closet- or bed-chamber Transaction, but all such publick shew as was not capa­ble to be be-lyed. And therefore when Procopius writes it to his own age, to thousands of Eye-witnesses, that Beliza­rius was worshipt both by the Prince and the People for that vast Treasure that he brought into the Chequer, what can we conclude of the secret Historian, that has the confidence and the igno­rance, as to obtrude such an incredible Flam upon all Posterity, that he was the contempt of all Men, deserted by his Friends, sad and solitary, and that the occasion of all this disgrace was embe­zelling the Emperor's Treasury. Com­pare but these two Reports together of one and the same thing that was not a­cted in secret, but upon the most pub­lick Stage in the World, and from that alone we may learn what Faith is to be given to this goodly Romance.

And lastly as for the ill-success of his second Expedition into Italy, which the Libel lays intirely upon his ill Conduct, he has here some little truth to help out his malice: For it is true that his second expedition was not so successful as his other Wars, but whose fault was that? Every Man's rather than Beliza­rius. [Page 474] For at his first Expedition against Vitigis, he left Italy in a settled State of Peace and Safety:De Bello Goth. lib. 3. à capite tertio ad decimum. but in his absence at the Persian Wars, it was lost by the neg­ligence of other Captains, upon this Be­lizarius is recall'd from Persia (where he had in a very short time broke all the strength of the great King Chosroes,) and is posted away with all speed into Italy without Men or Money. The last is confest by the Libel it self, that upon that account charges him with Cove­tousness and Oppression. And it is not to be doubted, but that the Contributi­ons of the Inhabitants must have been very heavy. But it was not in Beliza­rius his power to ease them, for he came to defend their Country, and having no other Supplies, they must either main­tain the Charges of the War or submit to the Enemy. But alass he was not able to act or attempt any thing for want of Forces,De Bello Goth. l. 3. c. 10. as Procopius himself informs us, that he could not make up a body of 4000 Men, and those but raw Soldiers and unarmed,C. 12. that he had pickt up in his passage through Thrace and Illyri­cum. Upon this he writes to the Empe­ror for Men, Money and Arms, and tells him plainly that Belizarius his meer pre­sence in Italy was not of force enough [Page 475] to recover it, and therefore supplies he must have, particularly the Souldiers, that were immediately under his own Command. For that was his custom in all his Wars to lead 7000 of his best Horse in Person,Cap. 1. and it was chiefly by their courage that he obtain'd all his great Victories. But no relief coming, Totilas carries all before him, and lays siege to Rome it self, till Narses came with new Forces: At whose arrival Be­lizarius had raised the siege with 500 Men, had he not been betrayed by Bes­sa the Governor of the City, who when the whole Gothish Army was put into disorder within his sight, refused to sally out, though he had 3000 Men in the Garrison. Upon this Belizarius moves forward with his whole Army, and being much inferior in force, he made it up with Art and Stratagem, and managed his first On set with that Conduct and Dexterity, that he had given an utter Defeat to the Gothish Army, notwith­standing that the Governor never sallied out in all the Engagement: though he could not compleat his Victory, being forced to make a suddain Retreat by the rashness of one of his Commanders: who being left behind to secure the Trea­sure and Ammunition, and hearing of [Page 476] the great Victory, he resolved to have a share in the honor of it; and so leaves his Post, falls upon a Party of the Ene­nemy, is routed, and not only the whole Baggage is in their power, but the security of Belizarius his retreat is cut off. And for that reason he was forced to leave his Victory unfinished; and the City being very ill defended by the Go­vernor, and betrayed by some of the Guards, who in the Night set open the Gates to the Besiegers, it became an ea­sie Prey to the Enemy. And yet Toti­las was so shockt with this rough En­counter, that he dispatches to the Em­peror Letters to request Peace. In the mean time Belizarius goes on with suc­cess, and upon it Totilas in a rage re­solves to destroy Rome, but desists upon a Letter from Belizarius partly civil and partly threatning, and marches away with the Body of his Army towards Ra­venna. Whereupon Belizarius surprises Rome, and makes all possible hast to re­pair the Fortifications, but before he could set up the Gates. Totilas returns with all his Forces, and in two general Assaults is beat off with prodigious Slaughter, and forced to retreat with great fear and consternation; in so much that the Goths broke down-all the Brid­ges [Page 477] over the Tiber, lest the Romans should pursue them, and so Belizarius went on to repair the Walls and the Gates, and when he had finisht, sent the Keys of the City for a Present to the Emperor. And the Emperor in requital sends him fresh Supplies; but Belizarius sailing to Tarentum for their reception, is driven by storm into Croto, and in his absence his land-Army engage the Enemy, at first with good success, but at last for want of good Conduct they are utterly rou­ted. Upon the news of this irreparable loss he sails for Sicily, there receives some Recruits, and attempts to raise the Siege of Ruscia, but is again defeated by ano­ther storm, upon which he changes his Councils, and new Models his Army,Cap▪ 30. and at this very nick of time is he cal­led back by the Emperor to Command in the Persian War, that was then very pressing on that side of the Empire. This is all the ill conduct that this great Ge­neral was guilty of in this Expedition; it was not indeed so honorable as his other Wars, because not so successful, but where the Miscarriages lay we have seen in the Premises, from whence it appears that Belizarius was so far from committing a­ny Faults, that it was his greatest work through the whole War to retrieve other [Page 478] Mens losses.De Bello Goth. lib. 4. c. 21. And therefore he is recei­ved by the Emperor and the Court with all possible expressions of Honor, and all Men contend who shall give him most homage, to the great contentment and satisfaction of the Emperor. And that was the only true reason why he com­manded not in the third Expedition a­gainst the Goths, because the Emperor could not part with him from his own Person, and so he continued at Court all the re­mainder of his life in the height of fa­vor and glory, till in his extreme old Age he rescued the Empire from the Huns, and set in that glorious Action. So dull a Fable is this of our Rhapsodist, that he was the object of publick contempt ever after his return from Italy. But though to blast a Mans good Fortune be an acti­on barbarous enough, yet to blot out his Vertues, and place the blackest Vices in their stead, so as to turn a Man of the greatest Honor in the World into a false and perjur'd Villain, is a depth of malice below (if it were possible) the bottom­less pit it self. And among all the Evils under the Sun, I think this a deplorable one from this Example, that the Repu­tations of the greatest Men lye so much at the mercy and in the power of every ill-natur'd Pedant, to dispose of them as [Page 479] they please to Posterity. Though it is some comfort again, that the Actions of great Men are too big and bright to be eclyps'd by the interposition of every tri­fling Meteor. And that is ours in the case of Belizarius, whose Glory will for ever out-shine and baffle all the Attempts of Envy and Malice both in figure and brightness. And if we compare the true story of Belizarius his Actions with the little blind tales of this barbarous Pas­quil, it must for ever leave the Author of it under the most scornful indignation of all Men that have any regard for Worth or Honor.

§. XXVII. And thus having done a lit­tle justice to the memory of this great Man, the greatest perhaps in history, un­less the great Scipio Africanus may be his parallel, to use some comparison with him: we may now proceed in his Ma­ster's Cause, and having already cast up the small retail of his Cruelties, let us a little reckon for his whole-sale Executi­ons: And here the sum total in short is the Whole Empire and the Whole World. But here who would not lift up Hands and Eyes to Heaven, to find a Man so utterly bereft of all Sense and Modesty, as to charge the utter subversion of the [Page 480] Empire upon that Prince, whom he had before represented as immediately raised up by the divine Providence for its Re­covery? Whether it were a true or a Perkin Procopius, he must rave and not know what he says, when he talks of Justinian's losing the Empire, that Charge being the most unluckily fastned upon him, of any one Prince in the whole Succession. I may safely challenge any Man to produce me any three Men either of the old Common-Wealth or the new Empire, that did more service to their Country than this Prince alone. The other great Men that were honor'd with the Titles of Fa­thers and Protectors of their Country, only saved it from the Invasion of a sin­gle Enemy, or perhaps two or three, but he beat back the incursions of the whole barbarous World from all Points of the Compass, and recover'd the greatest part of the Empire long since lost: And thô it were over-whelm'd with Multitudes of Enemies on all sides, yet he left it in a greater and a much firmer state than ever it was before at its greatest glory. In short, let any Man read Procopius his eight Books of the success of his Wars, and parallel the undenyable greatness of those Actions, if he can, out of all [Page 481] the Records even of the Roman State it self. If any Man can equal the Fortune of his Arms, it is Caesar, but as for the glory of their Wars, there is this one un­happy difference, that all Caesars aim'd at the subversion of the settled Govern­ment, and all Justinians at its Preserva­tion, or rather Restitution. So that as Agathias observes towards the conclusion of his History,Pag. 157. he was the first Man of all the Emperors that reign'd at Constan­tinople, that could in good earnest pre­tend to the stile of King of the Romans both in Title and Reality. But seeing this Procopian Libel is pretended by its Author to have been written in the 32 year of Justinian's Reign, pray let us take a short view of his great Actions for the Empire both before and after that time. And this is best done out of Procopius himself, the first from his eight Books of History, that were finisht in the 26th year of that Reign: the second out of his Books De Aedificiis, that were compo­sed in the 36th year. To these if we add Agathias, who continues Procopius his History to the end of the Reign, we shall then have a complete Prospect of that universal Desolation, that Justinian brought upon his Empire.

[Page 482]The greatest Match for the Romans in the World were the Persians, upon whom, though it was often attempted by the Ambition of their greatest Captains, they could never make any considerable Impression; but rather were for the most part sent home with loss and shame. And yet this powerful and war-like Na­tion Justinian at the entrance upon the Government, so amazed with the Prow­ess of his Arms, Conduct of his Cap­tains, and Courage of his Soldiers, that even after a great Victory on the Persi­an side,De Bello Persico lib. 1. c. 22. they were brought in the 6th year of his Reign, to sign an overlasting Peace between the Crowns, an Article that I know not, whether it were ever obtain'd by the Romans before that time. This gave the Emperor opportunity to imploy his Arms in Africk and Italy, with what success we shall see when we come to those Wars, but it was so great that it provoked Chosroes the great King of the Persians, Lib. 2. c. 2. out of pure Envy to the glory and fortune of Justinian, to break the Peace, as Procopius relates it, to which he subjoins this Remarque: That Chosroes and his Consederate Kings were angry at that, which of all good Quali­ties was most commendable in a gallant Prince, his care to enlarge the bounds [Page 483] and the glory of his Empire. They might as justly have blamed Cyrus or Alexander for their great Actions. And yet this was the very same man, that our ingenious Author says was sent into the World for the destruction of the Roman Empire.Ibid. c. 9. But Chosroes being a Man of a false Nature, crafty, apt to make Promises and seal them with an Oath, which for Inte­rest he would as readily break as take; he contrary both to his Faith and the Law of Nations, surprizes the Romans though his Confederates with an unpro­claimed War; so that the Emperor being unprepared for a speedy resistance, and his Armies being then employed in Italy, he was for the present forced to buy Peace upon dishonourable Terms. But the next Campaign having finisht the War with Vitigis, he sends Belizarius, though with no great Army, and after several Engage­ments Chosroes his proud Spirit is so ta­ken down, as to condescend to sue for Peace, and upon it sends his Ambassador to Belizarius with a further design to discover what Captain he was, and what strength he had. But Belizarius only returns him this resolute and careless An­swer, That Chosroes did by no means treat like a Prince with his Imperial Majesty; for Princes, if they have any Quarrel [Page 484] with their Neighbours, are wont first to send their Complaints and Demands, and if they can obtain no satisfaction, then to betake themselves to Arms, whereas Chosroes had contrary to his Faith broken into the Heart of the Roman Dominions, and therefore it was too late for him to offer at any Treaty of Peace. And with this short and peremptory Answer, and with some Stratagems of flight he dismis­ses the Ambassador, who upon his return perswades Chosroes to be gone with all speed, it being a vain thing to think of fighting a Captain of that Conduct and Courage. Upon this Chosroes immedi­ately steals away, and when he was got over Euphrates, where he thought him­self pretty secure from the Romans, he a­gain sends his Ambassadors to Belizarius to move for Cessation of all farther Ho­stility, which upon Hostages given was at length granted, and he suffered to re­turn home without any Pursuit, Beliza­rius not having Forces enough to in­tercept his passage. This Action, as the Historian affirms, was so prodigious, that it exceeded all his former Victories, and his bringing those two mighty Kings, Gilimer and Vitigis, Captives to Constan­tinople, appeared not so glorious as this brave [...]. And it looks like Mira­cle, [Page 485] that when the Romans were skulk't within their own Fortresses, and Chosroes with a numerous Army had over-run their Dominions, Belizarius as it were riding Post with a small Body of Men should so suddainly stop the Cariere of the Persians, and force Chosroes out of fear either of the great Courage or good For­tune of the man, to retire with a pretence of Peace, but in good earnest to run a­way. And yet this Prince, as we have his Character from Agathias, Lib. 4. who has drawn it from his Actions, as they are described by Procopius and himself, was the greatest of all the Persian Kings, even Cyrus the Son of Cambyses, Darius the Son of Histaspes, and Xerxes that march­ed over Seas, and sailed over Mountains. And what is as considerable, beside his own Forces he had the Assistance of the Goths, and the revolted Armenians, but most of all the Moors in the West, and the Huns in the East, who at that time and in divers places broke into the Empire like violent Land-floods, and were as fu­riously driven back into their Dens and lurking Holes. But Chosroes his great Spirit could not digest this dishonourable Repulse, and therefore he makes a fourth Invasion, though as he pretended, not upon the Romans, but the Christians of [Page 486] the City of Edessa, to revenge the Affront that they had put upon him in his second Expedition when he carried all before him. The Story is very remarkable, e­specially out of the mouth of a man so cu­rious and inquisitive as Procopius. Chos­roes being informed that it was a received Opinion among the Christians, that our Blessed Saviour had fore-told in his Let­ter to Agbarus, that the City of Edessa should never be Conquered; for that rea­son in his Triumphant Return home he resolves to take it, only to prove him a false Prophet. And here the Historian relates the Correspondence between our Saviour and Agbarus out of the Records of the City agreeable to the Story of Eu­sebius, and in farther Confirmation of of it, adds that this Prophesie, That the City should never be vanquish't, was not to be [...]ound in the Ancient Copies, but was only an old Tradition of the Christians, that the vulgar believed to be in the Letter it self, and for that rea­son they reposited it in the Gates of the City, to make them impregnable. Chos­roes sets down within a days Journey of the place, and moves early with his whole Army to beset it, but having wandred in a Maze all day, finds himself at even­ing in the same place that he left in the [Page 487] Morning, and so a second time, but when at last he came to the City, he was sud­denly struck with a Rheumatism, and is so scared with it as to raise the Siege upon it. But being a Bigotted Pagan he was prevailed upon by his Priests and Magi­cians to wipe off this Dishonour, as if him­self and his Gods had been Conquered by the God of the Christians, and therefore he vows to plow up the City, and make Slaves of all its Inhabitants, but all in vain, he is bafled in every Skirmish, and is so shamefully beaten in a general Assault, that neither himself nor his men had any heart to make any farther Attempt, and though he had often refused any Terms of Treaty, yet now to s [...]lve his honour he takes a small Sum of Money of the Ci­tizens to raise the Siege. And from thence he turns his Forces upon the Lazi that were under the protection of the Romans, but is in all Engagements so soundly beaten, that he is at last forced to sue for Peace, and so we hear no more of him till we hear of his inglorious end, which hapned not till after the death both of Justinian and his Nephew Justin, and it hapned thus as Agathias relates it:Lib. 4. That Mauritius (who was afterward Empe­ror) General of the Army in the East un­der Tiberius making an inrode into his [Page 488] Country, and bearing all before him with Fire and Sword, and Chosroes beholding the sad spectacle, but not being able to make timely resistance, bursts with grief, after he had reign'd 42 Years. This short Epitome I hope is sufficient to satis­fie the Impartial Reader, that the Roman Empire lost neither Power nor Honour in this Persian War.

Now let us take a short view of the Vandalick and Gothick Wars, by which our Pasquil affirms, that he ruined both Africk and Italy, and we shall find that he lost those Countries just as the Chri­stian Army lost the Christian Empire last Campaigne, or rather as we hope they may this, by recovering all Europe out of the Enemies hands. For that was all the loss that Justinian brought upon the Empire by those two Wars, that he entirely restored those two great Branches to it, that had for many years been pos­sest by the Barbarians. It was lost by that weak Prince Valentinian the Third to Gizerichus King of the Vandals, De Bello Vandal. lib. 1. cap. 3. who enjoyed it 39 years, and was setled in it by Articles of Peace between him and the Emperor Zeno, that were successive­ly ratified by Anastasius and Justin. But he at length dying,Cap. 7. by his Will setled the Kingdom upon his own Lineal Succession [Page 489] of the Male Line, which was observed for 5 Successions, till Ildericus the lawful H [...]ir was seized and imprisoned by Gili­mer that was next of Blood, and the News of it coming to Justinian he resents it with great indignation,Cap. 9. and immedi­ately demands the Restitution of his Friend and Allye, which being denied, he declares War against the Traitor, and this our worthy Libel calls a Breach of the Treaty of Peace between Gizericus and Zeno, when the War was entered into purely in its defence against an Usur­per. And what was the Success of this War is vulgarly known, the Vandals that had kept Africa 45 years, were utterly beat out of it in 3 Months, and their King carried Captive to Rome. And if the Reader would know Procopius his own Judgment of it, it was plainly this. ‘All past Ages have seen many things come to pass beyond Humane Expecta­tion, and so will all Ages to come, as long as the State of Humane Affairs continues in the same posture. And some things have been brought about, that were supposed impossible, and when they have been so, they have astonish't the undertakers themselves. But whe­ther any thing hap'ned like this Trans­action I remember not. For what a [Page 490] Prodigious thing is it, that 5000 Stran­gers (that was the Number of all the Horse that Belizarius brought with him, by whom alone the Vandals were van­quish't) when they had not one Port to land in, should in such a Moment of Time over-throw the Grand-Child of the Great King Gizerick, and make an entire Conquest of a Kingdom of so great Wealth and Strength?’ And this in my weak Opinion may very well pass for a Miracle both of Fortune and Vertue. And as for the Gothick War in Italy, as it had the same Cause, so had it the same Event: It was undertaken in defence of a Confederate Prince, and ended in the Conquest and Captivity of the Usurper. But of this we have given an Account al­ready, as far as Belizarius Acted in it, but because the War was not ended, when he was recall'd, let us now see its last E­vent which our Author says was the ut­ter devastation of Italy. Belizarius be­ing recall'd, the War is Committed to Narses, the only Captain equal to him for Conduct, Courage, Bounty, Justice, and Clemency; and so he made as quick a dispatch in Italy, as Belizarius had done in Africk. He vanquish't that Great Captain Totilas in one pitch't Battel, and Teias his Successor in another, though [Page 491] they had call'd in the Franks to their Assistance, and made such incredible slaughters of them, that both the Nati­ons were almost utterly extinquish't, and at last condescends to grant Peace to the small Remainders, upon condition of quitting Italian Ground forever, and so drove them out of the Country like a Flock of Sheep: so far Procopius to the 26th year of the Reign of Justinian. But the Goths unwilling to lose their pre­sent Possessions in Italy, (as Agathias continues the History) draw in the Franks and the Almans to joyn Forces a­gainst the Romans, Lib. 2. and bring an Army in­to the Field of Seventy Two Thousand Men, who were all cut in pieces in the first Battel, and that was the end of the War. All which is ele­gantly enough summ'd up by his Nephew Justin, in his Speech to the Ambassadors of the King of the Avares,

Sub quo Vandalici ceciderunt strage Tyranni,
Corippi lib. 3.
Edomitique Getae, pubes Alemanica, Franci,
Tot (que) aliae gentes, famosa (que) regna per orbem
Ardua sub nostris flectentia colla triumphis
Suscepere jugum, mentes animos (que) dedere
Servitio, nobis (que) manent ex hoste fideles.

[Page 492]This is the true Relation of Justinian's Wars, which whether we consider their Cause, their management, or their suc­cess, were the most justifiable and most glorious Wars that were ever waged from the beginning of the World. They were not wantonly undertaken, but either in defence of himself or his injured Allyes, whom he was bound to assist in Justice as well as Humanity. They were managed with all the strictness of Discipline, and by all the Rules of Mercy and Clemency no Plunder committed, no Violence offered to any of the Inhabitants, no not to an Enemy unarmed; insomuch that when Gilimer's Ambassadors, that were sent to the King of the Vice-Goths, fell unawares into the Power of Belizarius, he treat­ed them with Civility, and sent them home with safety. And lastly, as for their success, no Reign can equal them, nei­ther did he only stop the War for the present, but for ever, by rooting up as well as cutting down-all the Enemies of his Country. In short, when a very great part of it had for many years groan'd un­der the Tyranny of Barbarians, he re­stored it entirely to its Ancient Liberties. And yet this is the Devil, the Plague, the Fury, that was sent into the World in an Humane shape, for the utter destruction [Page 493] of the Roman Empire. And thus having justified Justinian's Wars from all suspi­cion of injustice or cruelty, let us briefly consider those other Actions, by which he laid wast and depopulated the Roman Empire, and that is best described in his Books de Aedificiis, that were written four years after this counterfeit Libel, and that is a very unhappy stumble of this barbarous Writer, the ill timing of his Libel. If he had written it after all the other Books of Procopius, it might have had some seeming pretence to a secret History. But a Libel placed be­tween two Panegyricks looks very awkerdly, and gives it self the Lie. Now the Character, that is given to Justinian in the Introduction to the Books de Ae­dificiis, is but an Epitome of his eight Books of History: that he recover'd the shatter'd Empire to its ancient splendor and greatness from the Barbarians, and whereas Themistocles could only boast that he could make a little City great, he added great and vast Kingdoms to his Dominions, and divers large Provinces that were cut off from the Empire, he re-united to it, and built numberless new Cities. And whereas the Church was torn in pieces with infinite Schisms and Factions, he settled it in Peace and U­nity. [Page 494] He freed the Laws from confusi­on and obscurity, and made the admini­stration of Justice plain and easie: he was merciful to his Enemies, bountiful to all Men, as much solicitous to preserve happiness of life to his Subjects, as the Government of the Empire to himself. He every where guarded the Frontiers, and compass't in the whole Empire with new Fortifications, to fence out the bar­barous People that he had driven out. Among the Princes of old Cyrus bears one of the greatest Names for his Ver­tues, but whether Xenophon's description of him be altogether real or in a great measure Poetical I know not; But as for Justinian I am sure he was a Father to his Country indeed, and if we observe the course of his Reign, that of Cyrus will appear but a trifle to it. And this is best proved by his Actions, for who can doubt of his Greatness, when he sees the Empire so vastly enlarged, or of his Clemency when he sees so many of those very Men, that had conspired against his life, not only to enjoy their own Lives and Estates, but to be advanced to the greatest Commands in the Imperial Army, and to no less than Consular Dig­nity in the State? A pretty Character this of an humane Devil, that came in­to [Page 495] the World to eat up all Mankind. But if we take a view of all his Buildings, useful or stately Structures, he will seem to deserve under God, the Title of the Founder of the habitable World. And indeed his Foundations were so magnifi­cent and so numerous, that it is scarce credible that they should all be the works of one Man, neither were they Designs for Pomp or Pleasure, but for the use and convenience of Mankind. He wasted not his Money upon Pyramids or Am­phitheaters, but laid it out upon Chur­ches, Hospitals, Monasteries, Fortificati­ons, Castles, Bridges, High-ways, Aquae­ducts, Sea-Moles, &c. These useful Stru­ctures our Libeller blushes not to stile mad and extravagant Buildings. Though beside his prodigious Works for Chari­ty and Devotion, the greatest part of his Structures were upon the Confines, in de­fence of the Empire against future Inva­sions. On the Persian side he fortified the frontier and important City of Da­ras, repair'd the Walls of Amidas, wall'd about Rhapdium, so as to make it im­pregnable, and built so many strong Ca­stles at all convenient Passes, as were a­ble every where to stop the Impressions of the Persians, he re-edified the Walls of Theodosiopolis, Constantina and Circesium, [Page 496] all strong Garrisons, and every where planted Castles at a convenient distance between his Garrisons: he repair'd the Walls of Edessa, and fenced it in against the Inundations of the River Scirtus, he built divers Cities and Castles in Euphra­tesia, he rebuilt and fortified the City of Antioch, that had been demolisht by Chos­roes in his base second Expedition, he re­pair'd the Cities of Calcis, Cyrus and Pal­myra. All which were in effect one entire Fortification against the Persi­ans; and as he wall'd in the Empire on that side, so he did on all other Parts, especially about Armenia and Illyricum, that were the common Inlets of the Bar­barians. Where the number of Fortres­ses and Castles either newly founded or rebuilt is scarce to be computed. It would amaze a Man only to read the Catalogues of the Names as they are set down by Procopius in his third and fourth Books. This I hope may suffice both to shew in what way and method Justinian ruin'd and depopulated the Roman Em­pire, and to expose the Ingenuity of this little Scribler to lay that to the Charge of this great Prince, not only without alledging any particular Instances to make good the general Assertion, but a­gainst the Evidence of such infinite [Page 497] Matter of Fact through his whole reign.

§. XXVIII. The next grand Miscarri­age of this Princes Government was his siding with the Faction of the Venetae, not only not punishing their Murthers and Acts of Violence, but encouraging them, insomuch that they every where committed all kinds of Villainy with safe­ty and impunity, to the endangering of the Empire it self by Tumults and Sedi­tions. This is the sum of the Indict­ment. But to traverse it home, we must know that there was an old Game derived from the Grecians representing a Contest between the Sea and the Earth for Victory, they that plaid on the Earths side wore green Colours, representing the Verdure of the Fields, they that wrastled for the Sea wore blewish; if the green Ribbon-Men overcame, that was an O­men of a plentiful Crop for the ensuing year: if the blew Men were Masters of the Field, that was a fore-boding of good Weather at Sea, and good Success in Merchandize. This trifling in process of time came to too much good earnest in the Common-Wealth, and the Parties became dangerous state-Factions, that of­ten imbroil'd the Government. In the [Page 498] time of the Emperor Anastasius they burnt down the City of Constantinople; but the most famous Tumult that they ever raised, was under Justinian, and it endanger'd his Crown much more than the Attempts of all his foreign Enemies put together.De Bello Persico lib. 1. cap. 24. The Factions were come to the utmost out-rage of Hostility, and it was now a kind of an open War through the whole Empire, it was an or­dinary thing to stab one another in the Streets, though he that escaped in the duel was certain to be punisht with death. And they were so barbarous in their folly, that it extinguisht all natural Affection, and the nearest Relations would not scruple to cut each other's Throats, it was perfect and down-right madness, though if the Government went about to suppress them, notwith­standing the rage of their Animosities, they would then unite and join Forces against it. And therefore Justinian at his first coming to the Crown resolves to bridle these insufferable Tumults and Affronts to Authority, and for that rea­son he publishes very severe Laws against all Disorders at the publick Games,Chronicon Alex. which for some considerable time over-awed their fury; but it hapned in the 6th or 7th year of his reign, that as [Page 499] some of the Officers were carrying some Offenders of both Factions to the Jail, the People fell into a Tumult for their re­scue, in which some say both Parties were engaged, and no doubt but it was, as all Tumults are, a mixt multitude, but the chief Actors were the Prasini, and therefore the Author of the Chroni­con Alexandrinum, who is the most par­ticular Writer in this story, makes it the action of that Party, and ascribes the Emperor's deliverance from their fury to the loyalty of the Venetae, and if so, the Emperor could not owe them too much kindness, to whose Loyalty he owed both his Life and Empire. But the Rabble being embodyed together took for their Word Victory, put to the Sword all that will not join with them, set the City on fire, and industriously destroy the most stately Buildings in it, besiege the Em­peror's Palace, and demand Justice a­gainst evil Counsellors, and after five days fury set up Hypatius Nephew to the Emperor Anastasius in the Imperial Throne, assault the the Emperor's Palace, and put him into that danger, and his Friends into that consternation, that he was advised by his Privy Council to fly by Sea for his own security, but the Council was over-ruled by the courage [Page 500] of Theodora, and because the Speech ex­presses an extraordinary and more than masculine greatness of mind; I will set it down. ‘It is not (my Lords) ma­terial at this time, whether it become the modesty of a Woman to act the Man's part amongst Men, [...]nd upbraid their cowardize by her courage. For when things are reduced to the utmost extremity of danger, all the nicer con­siderations of Decency are super-seded, and nothing is to be thought on but the most honourable way of encoun­tring or escaping the present danger. And as for that, my Opinion is, that though we could save our selves by flight, it would by no means be expedi­ent to our Affairs. All Men are born under a Necessity of dying, but the Man that has once worn a Crown is bound to scorn to live an Exile, and out­live his own Majesty. God forbid that any Man should ever see Theodora live to be stript of this Royal Purple, or that she should survive one hour after her being saluted Empress. As for you (great Sir) if you think good to make your escape, I grant it may be done with ease, you have both Treasure and Shipping at hand, but consider whether you may not fall into the Traitor's [Page 501] hands, and suffer an ignoble death from your own Rebel Subjects. You may do, Sir, as you please, but I will act by that brave old saying, that the best Inscription upon a Monument is, Here lies the King, and that an Imperial Robe is the best winding sheet.’ This brave re­solution of the Empress infused both shame and courage into the Council, and they all unanimously resolve to dye upon the Place rather than to consult their safety by flight. Upon this result those two great Soldiers Belizarius and Mundus sally out from different Parts of the Pallace upon the Rabble in the Fo [...]um, who at the sight of naked Swords, im­mediately trust to their heels, and are slaughter'd without resistance. Hypa­ [...]ius is siezed upon in his Throne, and carried Prisoner to the Emperor, and is next day executed for his Treason, thô his forfeited Estate, according to the Em­peror's usual Clemency, was restored to his Relations. This is the short account of this wild Tumult; and if the Venetae served his Imperial Majesty against the Rebels, it is a great Crime in a Prince to be kind to those that stood fast to their Master, and to their own duty at a time of greatest distress, even when [Page 502] his own Guards had deserted him, for when Belizarius commanded them to follow him, they refused it. Now at such a streight as this, when the Venetae flockt in to his relief, it was an obligati­on so high, that it could never be forgot­ten, and therefore that they were the Emperor's Favourites, is an objection on­ly fit for a Traitor's Mouth: But no­thing so unpleasant to Rebels as to see Loyalty rewarded. And as the Venetae were dutiful Subjects to their Prince, so the Prasini were lookt upon as disaffected to the Government, and for that reason they were countenanced and incouraged by the Enemies of the State, particularly by the greatest of all,De Bello Pers. lib. 2. cap. 11. Chosroes, who at the City of Apamaea, appointed the pub­lick Games on purpose, to declare him­self Leader and Patron of the Faction, so that in a word, the two Factions were in good earnest nothing else than the Whig and Tory of that Age.

§. XXIX. And thus having routed our Satyrist's main Battel, all his following Attempts will appear like the weak Skir­mishes of a vanquisht Enemy, and such as deserve more to be slighted than en­countred, being little else than the same general Characters and Calumnies repe­ted, [Page 503] and so are already answer'd. But because I am resolved not to leave one spot of dirt upon the sacred memory of this mighty Prince, and to expose the folly and rudeness of this Pasquil to the utmost degree of contempt, I will trace all his smaller strokes of Malice, and prove every line of it meer poison, spite and fiction. Of this kind of rubbish then is the eighth Chapter compounded, viz. that Justinian was a natural Fool, the per­fect resemblance of the dulness and stu­pidity of an Ass, a poor Wretch to be led up and down in a string, and to com­plete the conceit, having his Ears always in the same posture and motion with As­ses ears. That he made Ducks and Drakes with the publick Revenue, spend­ing it either in extravagant Presents made to the Huns, or making prodigious but useless Moles against the Sea: And that to defray the Charges of these pro­digal Undertakings, he plunder'd and ruin'd all his Subjects. That he was like Domitian not only in Manners but Fea­tures, as appears by Domitian's Statue at the ascent to the Capitol. That he was a crafty Knave and a great Master of the Art of Dissembling; that in him the two extremes of Folly and Dishonesty met even as a Peripatetick Philosopher [Page 504] taught in ancient time, that some Co­lours are compounded of the two contra­ries, so are some mens natures; in short, he was all Fool and all Knave. What a Scavengers dirt-Cart is this, loaded with all the filth and nastiness of the Town, a Fool, an Ass, a Sot, a Thief, a Knave? But let us briefly examine the Particulars in order. And in the first place the Cha­racter contradicts it self, that the same man should be a natural Fool and yet a crafty Knave, a great Master of the Art of Dissembling, which I am sure no Cud­den can manage. Yes but some men (as the Philosopher holds) are made of ex­tremes, as some colours are of black and white. This arguing from similitudes rarely proves any thing but the want of good Arguments, otherwise this blind Scribler would have seen that he does not Com­pound but Reconcile the Extremes; if he had made Justinian a middle sort of man, it might have been sense, though not truth, but when he makes him per­fect Fool and perfect Knave, it very much resembles the late Famous Description of Don John, at once a very black and yet a very fair man. For these Characters are not less inconsistent with each other than those Complexions. I will grant all Knaves to be Fools, but if they are Crafty [Page 505] Knaves, they cannot be Natural Fools, and if they are Natural Fools they can never make Crafty Knaves. I have read of a Renowned Pedant of Greece (to vie one Philosopher against an other) that went about to inform the World in this useful piece of Philosophy, that Snow was Charcoal, and Charcoal Snow. For my part rather then be put to the trouble of disputing it with him, I would grant that to be possible, but that both should be both, I could never endure the impudence of the Assertion. And yet that is our Authors Case in this Character of the same Mans being meer Knave and meer Fool; a stupid Ass, and a man of a very sharp Wit, a natural Sot, and a man of admirable Parts; expressions that occur every where through all parts of the Li­bel. But next, why a Fool? what one in­stance of his Folly? Why this, that he did not more resent the Affronts offer'd him by the Rabble in the Circus. This dull pretence is worse then a flat Lye: As if any man but a natural Fool would have contended with a Rabble in such a mad sit of Out-rage as they were in at that time; and Justinian if he had been a wise man, instead of securing himself in his Palace, would have exposed his Per­son to their dirt and stones and unlimited [Page 506] fury. Well fare our secret Historian for a lucky Fool-finder. But what other proofs of his Folly? was it his reforming the Laws? Was it his skill in Theological Learning, that is attested by Victor Tu­nonensis, who entertain'd disputation with him 15 days about the tria Capitula, to­gether with Procopius, Liberatus, and Eu­stathius, all of them Co-temporary Wri­ters? So vain a Dream was that, that obtain'd so long at the first Restauration of Learning, that he was [...], occasion'd by a false Translation of Sui­das against the Greek Copy it self, put­ting Justinian for Justin, of whom Sui­das relates it, and with what probability I have shewn above, but as for Justinian there is not so much as the shadow of any ground to lay it to his Charge, beside that dull and evident mistake of a Tran­slator. But on the contrary he carried away the Title of Doctissimus in his own time, that is frequently given him by Theodatus King of the Goths, and the Fa­thers of the 5th General Council, all these are pregnant Proofs of a natural Fool. But what shall we say to his Ad­ministration of publick Affairs, when the Empire never flourished more under any Prince then his Government, when he not only preserved and emproved [Page 507] what he was possest of, but recovered all that had been lost and secured it to his Successors, by fortifying it on all sides a­gainst the Incursions of all Enemies. If these are the sports and projects of a Fool, I would be inform'd by our wor­thy Historian what undertakings are be­coming a wise man. But as for the Learned Librarian whil'st he goes about to stop this hole of his Author, he has made a much wider mistake of his own, by excusing it that the Author only in­tends this Character not of the vigour of Justinian's Age, but of his Dotage. This excuse if it were true is very key-cold, but it is enough that the Comment con­tradicts the Text, for the Author speaks plainly of the Emperors natural Consti­tution and habitual course of his life, and therefore to Apologize for such a false Character by applying it to the time of dotage, is to confess his Author a false Calumniator, for dotage is no natural fol­ly. But if he had doted, what then? Is it not base and disingenious to upbraid a Great Man with the natural infirmities of extreme old Age? He lived to the ut­most bounds of Nature, and if he out-li­ved himself, can any man of sense or man­ners, think it decent or ingenuous to brand him to all Posterity, with the mark of a [Page 508] Fool and an Ass? But then beside this the excuse is false, for the Anecdota are pre­tended to have been written Seven Years before Justinian's death, in which Interval of Time he perform'd many great Acti­ons, as may be seen at large in Agathias de rebus Justiniani, & Procopius de Aedi­ficiis. And yet Alemannus after h [...]s rate of pertinent Quotation cites Agathias on his side, for relating that the Emperor in his extreme old Age chose to quit the designs of War, and betake himself to Artifice and stratagem not to destroy the Enemies of the Empire by hazardous Bat­tels, but by dividing them among them­selves, by which Wisdom he destroyed the Nation of the Huns only by making and enflaming dissensions among them­selves, and so free'd the Empire of one of its greatest Plagues forever. This great reach of Policy is the last Act that we hear of in his life and that was no Act of Folly, though Alemannus is so great a Fool himself as to alledge it to prove the Emperor one, nay worse than this,Praefat. Pag. 3. he has suffer'd his passion to be transported to that degree of Malice, as to alledge it in confirmation of the Anecdota, as an instance of the Empe­rors Craft and Treachery beyond the com­mon Capacity of Humane Nature, De illius fraudibus atque fallaciis uberius [Page 509] quàm Procopius scripsit Agathias Myrrhi­naeus; nam & artes & Epistolarum exem­pla profert, quibus Hunnorum ducibus ad invidiam & odia excitatis, & ad civilia bella crudelissimo dissidio inflammatis, eam gentem penitùs abolevit. This it is to have a good Will to a Cause, every thing will serve for a weapon to strike an Ene­my. What he did afterward, and how he died, is unknown to us, all the An­cients, which is strange, being utterly si­lent in it. Some Modern Writers say he died mad, but they mistake him for his Nephew and Successor Justin, who run mad with the ill Success of his Wars a­gainst the Persians, but as for Justinian there is nothing certain concerning him after the end of Agathias his History, and that is about two years before his death, unless it be that he retired from the Af­fairs of this Life, to prepare himself for the next, as Corippus informs us,

Nulla fuit jam cura senis,
Lib. 2.
jam frigidus omnis
Alterius vitae solo fervebat amore,
In coelum mens omnis erat, jam corporis hujus
Immemor, hanc mundi faciem transisse pu­tabat.

This is spoken in the Person of his Successor Justin, to excuse the Miscarria­ges of his Uncles Reign, that they were [Page 510] the defects of his old Age, when he gave over his Care of the Publick. And yet Baronius and Alemannus make use of the Authority of Co [...]ippus to prove that Ju­stinian run his Exchequer deep in debt to his Subjects▪ when this was not done till Justinian had resigned the Government into other mens hands. But Alemannus is so ingenuous, as to leave this Note up­on this passage, how dully the Poet en­deavours to turn his stupidity into devoti­on, Ex quibus intelligas quàm frigidè Corippus eam stoliditat [...] in sanctimoniam accipiat ac interpretetur, but if the Text be dull, the Comment is much more so, without any ground or pretext, to con­clude his Devotion to have been nothing but Dotage and Folly.

§. XXX. The next Link in this Empe­rors long Chain of Vertues is twisted up of the most oppressive Covetousness and the most profuse Prodigality, and it is the second part of the Character of Don John, a man made up of nothing but Contradictions, a natural Fool and a craf­ty Knave; a griping Extortioner, and a careless Prodigal. But the Libeller it seems is resolved to say all the ill things of him, that are to be said of all the ill men in the World, and therefore has in [Page 511] his crude and indigested way amass'd toge­ther all the Common-Places of Rudeness and Calumny. But though profuseness be inconsistent with Covetousness, yet because it is not so with oppression, but is rather supported by it, being a bottomless-pit that devours all things, therefore we will consider these Vices apart, and exa­mine what instances of either are to be found in the Reign of Justinian. First then as for Prodigality, it is a Childish kind of Vice that wasts it self in wanton and unnecessary expences. Now I pray what were the trifles upon which this Em­peror laid out the publick Revenues? What! he exhausted it in Presents to the Barbarians, and in putting shackles upon the Ocean. But was this all? If it were not, then is it a malicious slander in the Author of the Anecdota to over-look all his other magnificent works, and insist so impetuously upon it, as if these two had been the only sinks of all these im­mense expences. And this thing alone lays open both the Malice and the Folly of the Man; for no man of any Sense or Modesty could either have dared to re­cord it, or expect to gain belief to it, when it is so apparently contradicted not only by the whole History of the Justi­nian Reign, but by the very Libel it self. [Page 512] For when he makes mention of the Wars with the Persians, the Goths, and the Vandals, I would know whether nothing were expended in defraying the Charges of those great Expeditions. And if they cost any thing, then all the publick Trea­sury was not exhausted in Gifts to the Barbarians, and unprofitable Sea-walls. But for our better satisfaction, let us brief­ly audit his Accounts, and then we shall find that no Prince ever did so great things for the Common-wealth, with so little Charge to the Subject: so hard a thing is it to defend him from the Malice of his Enemies without writing [...]anegyricks upon all his Actions, so Heroick and Glorious was the whole Course of his Reign. At present to say nothing of his many great and successful Wars, that could not but require an immense Trea­sury to maintain them, though as they were managed, they more then paid their own Charges, as I shall shew anon. The vast number of his Allyes put him to pro­digious expenses, especially in the Cir­cumstances of his Reign: For he being a great Lover of his Religion spared neither Cost nor Pains for its Propagation, and he gave himself one great advantage in it by his Bounty and Courtesie to Ambas­sadors, and Gentlemen of Forreign Na­tions, [Page 513] who repairing from all parts to Constantinople, to see the grandeur of that Court then famous through all the World, and being overcome by the great kind­ness and urbanity of the Prince, they re­turn'd home with a kind of transported opinion of the Christian civility. And the good Emperor, the better to compass his pious designs, sent some of his best-bred Clergy to wait upon them home, who by the Modesty and Neatness of their Address rivetted such an Interest at Court, as easily made way for the enter­tainment of the Christian Faith. And by this means he reformed the barbarous People with much more fineness then Constantine did the Empire. For when that great Prince had once declared for the Christian Faith, all Orders and Pro­fessions of men naturally flock't into it for Interest and Preferment, whereas this great Prince won and vanquish't several Nations not at all subject to his Empire by nothing but the Power of Courtesie and Civility. The first that were reduced, were the Blemmyes and Nobatae two barbarous Afri­can Nations,De bello [...] lib. 1. cap. 19. situated on the other side the Nile, that to that tim [...] worship't the old Egyptian Idols, Isis, Osyris, and Priapus, and kept up that inhumane Custom of humane Sacrifices; all whose Temples [Page 514] were demolish't by Justinian, their Priests Cashier'd and imprisoned, and their obscene Images sent to Constantinople, and there destroyed, and that put an end to that old Superstition. The next were the Eruli, De Bello Gothico. lib. 2. cap. 14. seated on the North side the Ister, these exceeded the former in the barbarity of their manners, for beside the Humane Sacrifices to their Gods, it was a Religious Custom among them to cut the Throats of all old and sick People, and the duty of Wives to hang themselves at their Husbands Graves. These People in the time of Anastasius being vanquish't by the Long-beards, seated themselves on this side the Ister, and submitted to the Jurisdiction of the Empire, without any Change of their Religion; but Justinian so wrought upon them as to bring them over to the profession of the Christian Faith, though such was the innate petu­lancy of the Nation, that it was little to its Credit, because though they took up a new Religion, they for the most part kept up their old manners.De Bello Gothico lib. 4. cap. 3. The third were the Abasgi inhabiting at the Foot of the Mountain Caucasus, a barbarous sort of People that worshipt Trees for Gods, though the worst barbarity practiced a­mong them was the Custom of their Prin­ces to make all their handsome Youths Eu­nuchs [Page 515] and sell them to the Romans. But Justinian finding the Court full of Boys of this Nation, sends Euphrates a grave Eunuch to prevail with the Prince for the time to come, to lay aside this bar­barous Custom, and imbrace the civility of the Christian Faith, and succeeding in it, he sent a Christian Bishop to instruct and govern them, and built for their use a Cathedral Church dedicated to the Virgin Mary. De Bello Gothico lib▪ 4. cap. 4. These were followed by the Tetraxitae inhabiting upon the River Tanais, where it discharges it self into the Lake Maeotis, who being a wild and barbarous sort of Christians, and hear­ing that the great Christian Emperor had sent a Bishop to the Abasgi, they re­quest the same favor of him for them­selves, a Request that was no doubt with more ease granted than it was asked. The next are the Inhabitants about Pen­tapolis in Lybia, De A [...]isi­ciis lib. 5 [...] cap. 2. that worshipt Jupiter Ammon and Alexander the Great, these the Emperor with great pains, reclaim­ed from their Superstition to the Christi­an Faith, and built for them a Temple consecrated to the Virgin Mary. And what is the hardest of all,I [...]id. he over-came the stubbornness of the Jews, who thô they had an ancient Temple in the Cit [...] of Borium, founded, as Tradition we [...] [Page 516] by King Solomon, they were prevail'd up­on to quit their old Religion, and trans­form their Temple into a Christian Church. The next are the Maurusians and Gadabitans in Africk, De Ae [...]ifi­ciis lib. 6. cap. 4. who retain'd the old barbarous Superstition of Greece, whom he brought off to Christianity, and encompassed their City of Sabaratha with Walls, and founded a Church in it for the Service of God. To these may be added the Iberians who are commen­ded by Procopius as the best of the Christi­an Converts,De Bello Pers. lib. 1. cap. 12. and them the Emperor pro­tected from the fury of the barbarous Persians, and with great sums of Money hired the Huns to come to their assi­stance.De Aedifi­ciis lib. 3. cap. 6. And to mention no more, the conversion of the Zani seems more re­markable then all the rest; they inhabi­ted a barren Country on the North of Armenia, were subject to no settled Go­vernment, but lived like herds of beasts, worshipt Trees and Birds for their Gods, and subsisted upon nothing but plunder and robbery, but being vanquisht by Ju­stinian, who was the first that ever ma­ster'd them, they imbraced the Christi­an Faith, and at the same time cast off their barbarous Manners, and the Empe­eror, to secure their perseverance, built them a stately Church. These corre­spondencies [Page 517] I hope are no Childrens Rattles, for beside their great piety in bringing over so many barbarous People to the Christian Faith, it was a mighty Point of State to unite Religion as well as Interest, that being the strongest Ce­ment of all Allyances. So that laying all this together, the Emperor's generous bounty to all Strangers, his religious care of all his Allies, his bestowing magnifi­cent Churches upon all co [...]verted Nati­ons, it is at once an undenyable proof of his Prudence and Piety, and as great a reproof to all charges of profuseness and prodigality. This is the first sum of his Accounts, which I am sure the Reader, if he be either a good Christi­an or a wise Man, cannot but sign with approbation and applause.

The next head of Accounts to be cast up are his immense Buildings, though that account is already stated above, and may be done much more particularly out of Procopius de Aedificiis, from whom it e­vidently appears, not only what incredi­ble sums of Money he expended, but to what good purpose, all his Works being contrived for the benefit of Mankind and the security of the Empire. But yet however let us examine those heavy grie­vances against which this Tribunitian So­phists [Page 518] inveighs with so much rage and keenness. And first, as for his Fences a­gainst the Sea, there is not one by Pro­copius his own account, that was not absolutely necessary against the most dangerous and sweeping Inundations.De Aedifi­ciis lib. 5. cap. 5. Thus the City Tarsus had been lately drown'd by the River Cydnus, against which Calamity the Emperor provided so effectually by Bridges and Walls, and diverting part of the Water into other Chanels, as to take off the force of those Inundations, and for the time to come to secure the Inhabitants from that danger. And the same was the case of the City of Juliopolis against the River Siberis, Ibid. cap. 4. that the Emperor upon news of the de­struction of great numbers of Men by its suddain Inundation, provided against the mischief forever by strong Bridges and impregnable Walls.Ibid. cap. 2. Of the same nature was the River Dracho at Heleno­polis in Bithynia, Ibid. 7. c. 2.3.7. and of the River Scyr­tus at Edessa in Mesopotamia, and of the River Chorde at Dara, to which may be added the prodigious Bridges over San­garis and Mirmex. Lib. 1. cap 11. But the most famous Structure of this kind was the new Haven in the Heraeum the Suburbs of Constan­stinople, by which he secured the City from Inundations, and the Ships from [Page 519] Tempests. And to this Alemannus says, that his Author had particular regard in this passage: but if he had, then that is a very fair cast of his Authors Ingenuity, to raise so rude a clamor against so use­ful a Work. But I pray why is it to be understood of this in particular? Because, says he, Procopius in his first Book de Ae­dificiis in his waggish way under pre­tence of praising it has jear'd it, to pre­pare his way for exposing it the more broadly in the Anecdota. But again I pray how has he jear'd it? Why, he says, that it was a work truly becoming a great Prince, and was built by Justini­an's own skill and industry, who himself attended to every thing, but the diburse­ments of Money. From whence our learned Commentator ingenuously infers that he built it without taking care to defray its Charges. Whereas the Histori­an's apparent design is to magnifie both the greatness of the Works and of the Emperor; The works, he says, were so great, that he could not express them, but that in short as great as they were, the Emperor himself had the manage­ment of all things, but defraying the Ex­pences. Now from hence to draw Ale­mannus his Inference, that he wholly ne­glected them, is nothing but a contradi­ction [Page 520] to his Author, who commends the Emperor for sparing neither pains nor mo­ney, only he left the money-part to other Mens management, but took the work it self into his own hands. As indeed he was Architect as well as Founder of all his own Buildings. He sent for the most famous Artists from all Parts of the World, among whom the most eminent were Anthemius of Tral [...]is, Isidorus of Milesia, Chryses of Alexandria, but as great Men as they were reputed in their Way, they were out-done by the Emperor in Skill and Contrivance; for he drew up the Models himself, and they were little more than hi [...] Workmen that followed his directions:De Aedifi­ciis lib. 1. [...]ap▪ [...]. Insomuch that when they despair'd of finishing the Church of San­cta Sophia (a Structure, they say, equal to the Temple of Solomon for magnifi­cence and beauty) by reason of its great height and great weight upon it, so that some of the Pillars and Arches began to fail, he gave them such directions how to carry on the Work, that they made it firm and brought it to perfection. Nei­ther secondly does Procopius affirm this of that particular Structure in the He­raeum, but of all the Emperor's Buildings, in which he concern'd himself as to eve­ry part but the disbursements of Money: [Page 521] And that was an equal commendation of his ingenuity and generosity. Neither thirdly was it an hint to prepare the way for this broad story in the Anecdota, when that was written so many years after this, so unhappy is this Vatican Tinker, that when ever he goes about to patch up his Authors Mistakes, he makes them wider. And in truth the Books de Aedificiis are an everlasting Monument both of the greatness and the usefulness of Justinian's Foundations; that neither time nor malice nor envy will ever be able to impair. But to return to the Au­thor himself, when he concludes this woful ditty of expending so much Mo­ney in giving bounds to the Sea, with this serious Remark, that he in vain wrast­led with the fury of the Waves only out of vain-glory to vanquish the Sea it self. The malice is chill as the touch of a dead Man's hand, without life or Satyr, all flegm and dullness, just as if a Man de­signing an Invective against the State of Venice, should seriously declaim against them for defrauding the Sea of its true and ancient Rights, just such is the com­plaint against Justinian, that he should at­tempt to set new bounds and confine­ments to the Ocean.

[Page 522]As for the other bottomless pit of Ex­pences, viz. gifts to the Barbarians, eve­ry Man knows, that when a Man is prest with Enemies on all sides, there is no fighting them all without the silver Wea­pon, and to buy Peace of some is the most speedy way to vanquish all. And this was the Policy of Justinian, he was content to buy Peace of the Persians, when he undertook the Vandalick War, and when that was done, he soon forced them to buy Peace of him, and thus by fighting his Enemies singly, and fencing off the rest, he at last Master'd all. A policy both just and laudable in it self, practiced by the greatest and wi­sest Princes, and indeed it is impossible to wage War without it, and therefore this exception of buying off the Barbarians i [...] not less dull and peevish than that of banking out the Sea.

And as for the great gifts to the Huns, that our Author particularly complains of, we have already seen how well they were bestowed; the Empire had been harrassed by their continual Incursions e­ver since the time of Valens, and they were so very numerous, that it was an endless work to destroy them; so that as fast as one Army was cut off, another was pou­red in. And therefore the Emperor takes a [Page 523] wiser course to divide them among them­selves, and to supply both Parties with Money to destroy each other: And he managed them with that Art and Vigor, that the Huns themselves left not the very name of their own Nation, by which Ar­tifice the Empire was deliver'd from its greatest Plague to all future Ages. Now can any Man be so disingenuous as to cry out here, what need of this Expence; or can any Man assign me an Instance of Money better laid out for the good of the Common-Wealth, than to destroy so great an Enemy for ever without the loss of a Subject? And therefore though the People of Constantinople at first mur­mur'd against it, to see the Barbarians depart loaded with so much Wealth, yet when they saw the Event, they could not enough praise and admire the Emperor's great Conduct and Wisdom.

§. XXXI. The next Topick of Calum­ny is oppression and continual fleecing of the Subject; but without any instance to abet the Charge, and therefore I need at present only oppose to it the contrary Character that is given of this Prince by his Successor,

Quem non hominem pietate benignâ
[Page 524]Continuit, fovit, monuit, nutrivit, amavit,
Et tamen innocuo plures voluere nocere?
Non caret invidiâ regni locus.

But I shall not concern my self to wipe it off, till we come to his allegation of Particulars in the 11th Chapter, and there we shall see that all the ground of this pretended Crime was the Emperor's put­ting the Laws in execution against Jews, Heathens, Samaritans, Sodomites, and the whole herd of Hereticks, which our in­genuous Author is pleased to surmise, was not done out of any regard to Religion, but out of pure love to Fines and Con­fiscations. But in the next place he was very like Domitian in the shape and fea­tures of his Body, who being torn in pie­ces by the Assassinates, the Senate de­creed that there should be no Statue or any other Monument erected to his Me­mory; but his Empress being a vertuous Lady, and extremely beloved of all Men, they gave her leave to ask what she pleas­ed, and it should be granted. She begs her Lords Body, and leave withal to e­rect only one Statue of Brass to his Me­mory. This is granted, and she to leave a Monument of the Assassinates Cruelty to Posterity, gathers the fragments of the Body, and unites them into one Specta­cle [Page 525] of horror, from whence was taken his Statue, that to this day stands at the descent or foot of the Capitol. What pains are here taken to hale in a pitiful piece of Malice? For what if Justinian had the ill luck to be like Domitian, what follows but that Domitian had the good luck to be like Justinian? But not to honor so mean a Calumny with any Answer, the story it self is all fable and ignorance, for there is no such Re­port in any of the ancient Greek or La­tin Historians. Suetonius, Dio Cassius, Philostratus, Sextus Aurelius, who are very nice and particular in the Story, re­late it quite another way in all circum­stanc [...]s. They say nothing of his being cut in pieces, but only that he was kill'd with seaven Wounds; Nothing of his Bodies being begg'd by the Empress Do­mitia, but that it was buried by Phillis the Chamber-Maid, nothing of her ere­cting a Statue as a Monument of the barbarous Cruelty of the Conspirators, but that she her self was the head and Contriver of the whole Conspiracy. Where then this barbarous Writer could pick up the Fable, I cannot divine, un­less it be that he lived in an Age, when it was the fashion to debauch all the an­cient History with Fable and Romance. [Page 526] But all this, says Alemannus, detracts no­thing from the truth of the Procopian report, because the Ancients do not con­tradict it. But all this, say I, demon­strates it to be a palpable false-hood, be­cause they do nothing but contradict it. Yet however (he says) the thing is evi­dently proved by the brazen Statue ex­tant in the Authors own time. But this pieces exactly with all the rest of the story, for there never was any such Sta­tue seen before or since. And yet such a remarkable thing could never have e­scaped the observation of other Writers if it had continued so long a time in so eminent a place. So that the Statue is so far from proving the rest, that it dis­proves it self, and only proves that the Founder of the Tale lived in a barbarous Age, when Men scribled any thing with­out being accountable for the truth of their Reports. But beside all this 'tis ve­ry likely and becoming Romantick tale, that when a Man has been hewed▪ and chopt to bits, they should again be so pie­ced together, that from thence any Man should be so subtile-sighted as to discern the exact shape of his Body and Features of his Face. And yet that we must sup­pose in this story of the great resem­blance between Domitian and Justinian. [Page 527] Though when all is done we are still har­ping upon the burden of Don John, for if we compare their several descriptions, as they are drawn by Suetonius and our pretend­ed Procopius, Domitian was a very tall and a very fat man, but Justinian of a middle stature, and a moderate habit of body. But however if he resemble him not in shape, he did so in Rapine and Cruelty: as for example, he it was that was the first Prince that punish't Here­ticks with temporal Penalties, Enacting Dracho's Laws against those innocent Dis­senters, Montanists, Sabbatians, Arians, Nestorians, Manichees, Jews, Sodomites, Pagans, and Astrologers, only to enrich himself by seizing the forfeitures of their Estates. This indeed is a Tragical Story, but so like the Author himself, that it would have been great pity if it had been omitted. And though it is more then enough confuted by the account, that I have given above of this Princes Ecclesi­astical Laws, yet because the passage is of a remarkable strein, and so well stuft with lucky mistakes, I will be at the pains to transcribe it, to satisfie the Reader that it is impossible that it could ever have been written by any man that was not an utter stranger to all the Affairs of that Age. Thus then the black Tragedy [Page 528] begins. ‘There are in the Roman Em­pire divers Sects of Christians, com­monly call'd Heresies, as Montanists, Sabatians, and several others that poy­soned the People. All these he com­manded to quit their own Sentiments, threatning the obstinate among other Penalties with the great punishment of Intestability. In the Temples of these Hereticks, especially those of the Arian Sect were treasured up incredible heaps of Wealth: so that neither the whole Senate it self, nor any other eminent Body of the Roman Empire could com­pare with these Churches for abundance of Wealth and Riches. All their Fur­niture and Ornaments were of Gold, Silver and precious Stones of value not to be estimated and number not to be computed, beside vast Purchases and Estates in all parts of the World; no Prince having ever before this time gi­ven them any disturbance; so that they were able to relieve and maintain out of their common stock great numbers of the Orthodox Christians. The Trea­sures of these wealthy Churches were seized on and made a Prey to the Em­peror, to the utter undoing of vast num­bers of Subjects. And his Officers prowling up and down into all parts, [Page 529] forced upon all Men the change of the Religion, in which they were educated. The Countrey People thought this In­quisition too oppressive, and from that thought proceed to think of making re­sistance against it, but are sacrificed by the Imperial Inquisitors: Others out of superstitious madness cut their own Throats, and vast numbers deserted their native Countrey. The followers of Montanus in Phrygia locking up them­selves in their Churches, set fire on them and perisht together with them, and from this time forward there was no­thing to be seen throughout the whole Roman Empire but Slaughters and De­solations. And the same Law being ex­ecuted upon the Samaritans, it occasi­on'd wild Tumults in Palestine, but those of my Native City of Caesarea counter­feited themselves Christians, to escape the severity of the Laws, though some of the more honest sort proved real Converts. But the greater part dis­dain'd to be hector'd out of the Religi­on of their Fore-fathers, in meer spite rather than turn Christians, turn'd Ma­nichees and Pagans. Till at last the Boors rise in Arms against the Empe­ror, and chose Julian the Son of Saba­ris for their Leader, but after a long [Page 530] and doubtful fight with the Imperial Forces are vanquisht and their Gene­ral slain, there being, as 'tis credibly reported, no less than an hundred thousand Men slain in the Battel. The best Estates being thrown up by the Farmers, the Landlords, that were Christians, were the greatest Losers, who though they received no Rents were forced to pay heavy annual Taxes to the Emperor; that were exacted with­out mercy or abatement. This being done, in the next place he turns his Fu­ry upon the Heathens, cutting their Throats and siezing their Estates, and they that counterfeited Christianity on­ly to escape the fury of the Inquisition, were watch't so diligently, as some time or other to be snapt at their old pro­phane Rites and Sacrifices. How he treated the Christians we shall declare afterward. In the next place he pro­hibited Sodomy, punishing the Offen­ders not from the date of the Law, but from any time before. And these he punisht, though none prosecuted, upon no other Evidence than the Testimony of a Boy or a Servant, and that extor­ted, against his own Master. And those that were found Guilty were punisht with the loss of their Privy Members. [Page 531] Though at first this severity did not ex­tend to all, but only to the Prasini, and the Men of great Estates, or those that were cast out of favor. Then he was much offended with the Astrologers or Fortune-tellers, and upon that account disgracefully whipt divers grave and honest Men through the City. Upon all which accounts vast crowds of Peo­ple betook themselves not only to the Barbarians, but to the farthest distant Countries. So that in every City you might observe Strangers, that were fled from home, to hide and shelter them­selves, as if their own Country had been laid wast by some commmon Enemy.’ How Justinian's reign was all ruin and desolation to the Roman Empire we have seen above; so that when he recover'd those two great branches of it, Africk and Italy from the barbarous People, that great reckoning is discounted as an uni­versal Destruction. But now he cannot so much as punish an Heretick, no not a Sodomite without the same subversion of the Roman Empire. As for the Laws themselves in general, and the wisdom of enacting them, and the good effect of put­ting them in execution, they are able to justifie themselves against such mean and impotent Cavils. And I know not how [Page 532] this Author could more have betrayed his folly, malice and ignorance than by bla­ming such wise, such useful and such neces­sary Laws to that height of aggravation, as if to punish Arians, Manichees, Sodo­mites, were of no less consequence than the subversion of the Roman Empire. And therefore at present I shall not trouble my self to answer a Cavil, that sinks and breaks by the weight of its own folly, but shall content my self with proving the Author of it a perfect stranger to the Records and Transactions of those times. For I pray what could have been contri­ved more absurd than the story of the infinite Wealth of the Arian Hereticks, by reason of that undisturbed Peace and Quiet, that they had injoyed under all former Emperors? When it is so unde­nyably evident that the Sect was long before that time so reduced by the severity of former Emperors, that by that time it had scarce any thing left but the name within the Empire. And for this reason he never enacted any particular Rescripts against them, nor, as I remember, makes so much as any mention of them, unless in those general declarations of his Faith, in which he enters his Protestation a­gainst all the Heresies, that either then were or ever had been: So unfortunate [Page 533] is this barbarous Writer in this Tale of the infinite Wealth of the Arians. But be­hold the strange dexterity of the Vati­can Librarian at an excuse, Procopius, he says, does not deny that the Arians were prosecuted by former Emperors, but that they were not so publickly fin'd in all Cities, but rather punisht only as it were by stealth and upon certain occasions. But I say Procopius here says, as plainly as words can express, that they were not punisht at all, and therefore when Alemannus says that he does not say it, for civility sake, I will say no more than that he says an untruth. Nay it is not only destitute of, but contrary to the most known and undoubted truth it self, when the former Emperors pursued them with that rigour and severity, that if Ju­stinian had design'd to set up an Inqui­sition, he would have wanted Objects to vent his Cruelty upon. There were only a few stragling Goths of that Sect at that time, and these were particularly excepted out of the first Commission for prosecu­ting all other Hereticks: so ill a Botcher is our Vatican Commentator at patching up Apologies.

But though he has every where be­trayed his want of Skill, yet he has no where fail'd more unfortunately than in [Page 534] this Paragraph, composed of no other materials than Excuses, that apparently contradict the Author's on sense. Thus when the Author says, that none of the former Emperors ever inflicted any Penal­ties at all upon Hereticks, the meaning of that, says he, is not that he did not inflict any at all, but not so much. And now again when the Author blames Ju­stinian for the attempt it self: No, no, says Alemannus, he only blames him for the wrong manner of putting it in executi­on. But this is a direct Affront to the Author's own Words, for though he af­terward indeavors to aggravate the folly of the Design by its ill consequences, yet his first and main displeasure is vented a­gainst the Design it self, as absurd, ille­gal, and without Precedent, as is unde­nyably evident from the passage it self. But still his hardest task is to bring off his Author from his angry Censure of the Laws against Sodomy; for which he has no better defence than that Theophanes thought they were too severe, so that himself could not but detest them. And yet Theophanes says no such thing, but only that they were severely punisht, without any intimation of dislike, much lesss of abhorrence. But it was executed upon two Thracian Bishops to the great [Page 535] scandal of the Church, whereas Constan­tine the Great would rather have cover'd them in the Fact with his Imperial Robe. That was a great Complement of that great Emperor, and 'tis likely enough, that if the Crime had been known to himself alone, such was his generous Na­ture, that he would never have divulged it. But that was not Justinian's case, for the Crime was become publick before it came to his knowledg, and after that, it had been a Scandal with a witness to let it pass unpunisht. But that after all, is the thing, that gauls at the Court of Rome, that a Secular Prince should chal­lenge any Power to correct Ecclesiastical Persons, which though it has long ob­tain'd as an unquestionable Rule in that Court, yet I have proved through the whole series of this History, that it was both claim'd by all the Emperors, and ac­knowledg'd by all the Popes and Coun­cils. But beside, as for this story of Theo­phanes concerning the two Bishops, by my Rules of critick Law, I must pass it for meer fable, because destitute of timely and sufficient Testimony. For so I can­not but esteem the Reports of all Wri­ters, that live at too great a distance of time from the matter of Fact. And that is the case of this little Story, there are no [Page 536] foot-steps of any Record of it either in that or the next Ages, whereas Theo­phanes, that was its first Founder, reports it not till above 250 years after it was done; and then what reason have we to believe him in a matter of Fact, that had been so many years beyond the memo­ry of Mankind, any more than if he had lived at twice the distance of time? For when a thing is once got out of the reach of the memory of Man, an hundred and a thousand years are the same thing. And then it is never to be admitted to a­ny capacity of belief without some more credible and timely Records. And for that reason I have industriously negle­cted all the latter Greek Historians, as to any matter of Fact done at any conside­rable distance from their own Age. For if they are voucht by any more ancient Authority, that is proof enough without them; if they are not, their own is none at all. And the truth is they are so much addicted to the humor of patch­ing Fables to the ancient Records of the Church, that whatever we find in them not reported before them, we ought for that reason to conclude it meer Fable and Fiction. But in the last place, which way will he bring off his Author in find­ing fault with the severity of this Law, [Page 537] for reaching such as were Offenders be­fore its publication?141. when the Law de­clares it self to have been only enacted in pursuance of the known establisht Laws of the Empire, especially the famous Law of Constanti [...]s and Constans, that was e­ver after in force. What a childish piece of malice then is it in this Author to in­sinuate, as if this Law had taken hold upon Offenders, at a time when there was no known Law against them? As for the Law against Astrologers, our Li­brarian has so much wit as not to touch it, and to leave his Author in the lurch to answer for himself. For these Men commonly call'd Astrologers, that is, such as profess to read all Mens Fates in the Stars, were ever lookt upon as the most mischievous and most dangerous Trai­tors to the Government: and any Man that has but cast an eye upon the Impe­rial Story, cannot but know that there never was any one Act of Treason con­trived against the Prince's Life or Gov [...]rn­ment, without their encouragement or direction: as in the present case Joannes Cappadox was put upon his Treason a­gainst Justinian by their instigation. And for this reason it was ever punisht with the greatest severity by all Princes, as well Heathen as Christian. Under the [Page 538] heathen Emperors down from Caesar himself, by banishment, under the Chri­stian from Constantine, by death. And yet this wretched Satyrist is so infatua­ted as to inveigh against it as a new piece of Cruelty in Justinian, only for setting them in a disgraceful posture upon Ca­mels, and so whipping them through the City, when by the Law they ought to have been executed.

But upon occasion of this fierce cen­sure of the counterfeit Procopius upon the Emperor's prosecuting of Heathens and Hereticks, it is become a dispute what Re­ligion the true Procopius adhered to, or whether to any at all. Alemannus will have him an Atheist; Rivius and Eiche­lius a bigotted Pagan, but they are both apparently too severe and equally in the wrong: when through all his Writings he expresses so high a sense of honor and kindness for the Christian Religion, espe­cially in his last Books de Aedificiis, that are for the most part a Panegyrick upon Justinian's great zeal to advance and pro­pagate the Christian Faith. And let the Reader only peruse the first Book of that History, and he will soon be satisfied of the Author's own sense of Religion. But they say, that he was only a counterfeit Christian for Interest and Preferment. [Page 539] But this they may say, if they please, of any Man as well as Procopius. But he has dropt some loose and slite Expressi­ons of the Christian Religion, and both Parties instance in the passage out of his Books de Bello Gothico, Lib. 1. cap. 3. wherein he ex­presses a great dislike of the Controver­sies on foot at that time, that is, the vio­lent heats about the tria Capitula. Which it is evident from his own description of them, that he did not in the least under­stand, but supposed them to have been too curious and philosophical Inquiries into the Secrets of the divine Nature; whereas (he says) it is satisfaction e­nough to him, that God Almighty go­vern'd the World with a wise and good Providence, and as for other more nice Speculations, every Man might for him, quietly enjoy his own Opinion. This though it be very false Politicks, as we have seen by the Henoticon, and our own late too dear bought Experience, yet it is neither Atheism nor Paganism; For a good and wise Providence that governs the World, is the only Principle opposed to Atheism; and though it may (thô very hardly) be consistent with philoso­phick Paganism, yet it is the fundamen­tal Article of Christianity. Now the dis­pute, as he states it, was not between the [Page 540] two Religions, but about an Argument common to both, viz. as he supposed, the Nature of God, and like a Gentle­man, he frankly declares his Opinion a­gainst all bigottry in these nice and ob­scure Controversies, and thinks that Men ought not to inquire farther into the di­vine Nature than the Wisdom and Good­ness of his Providence. This is appa­rently the sense of that offensive passage, though perhaps too loosly express't. And as for the Opinion it self, it has too long had too great a vogue amongst our mo­dern Statesmen, viz. that it is below the Wisdom of the State, to concern it self in Men's various fancies about Religion, but rather to leave them to the folly of their own Apprehensions: and this they suppose the best security of the Publick Peace, when every Man is indulged the liberty of his own little Conceit. But this is a very short-sighted Prospect only pro­viding for the present, whereas if they would look home to the natural issue of the thing, it tears the Nation into impla­cable Factions and Animosities. For it is certain the People will be zealous for their Religion, so that if they differ, it is una­voidable but that they will quarrel, and hence it has ever come to pass that all Schisms in the Church have ever con­cluded [Page 541] in Factions in the State. So that here it is not material, Whether these Controversies are of any moment or not (as these Gentlemen would state the Matter) but the thing to be first con­sider'd is, Whether to indulge or suppress them be the most effectual way to se­cure the Publick Peace, the first may do it for a short time, but the last does it forever. For Men will not be over-fond of disputing with a Rod at their backs, and when they receive a lash for every Syllogism. This I take to be the true state of the Controversie about Pro­copius, that in this point he was (as too many great and wise Men have been) out in his Politicks, but not in his Reli­gion. But in the last place, say they, he frequently makes use of the old Pagan terms and phrases, as Fortune, Fate, Ge­nii, publick Genius, Omens, Oracles. He does so, but all learned Men know that these were long since become Terms of Art, and even vulgar expressions. Be­side that Procopius was an Orator, and familiarly conversant in all the Eloquence of the Ancients, and therefore it is no wonder that he endeavour'd to imitate their Stile in familiar Phrases and forms of Expression. Though after all he ne­ver used them in their proper sense, but [Page 542] by way of Metaphor and Allusion with a quas [...] in their meaning, as they have ever been used in all Ages, and are so to this day. And therefore as we find that Procopius has ever express't great kind­ness to the Christian Faith, so we have no reason from any thing, that occurs in his Writings to suspect his sincerity in it.

But what though there were no cruel­ty in executing the Laws against Dissen­ters, and what if Justinian's practice was warranted by the Precedents of his Prede­cessors, yet they spoil'd not a good work as he did, by doing it meerly for cove­tousness. For that, says our ingenuous Author and his more ingenuous Com­mentator, was the only thing that set him upon the Project to squeeze all their Estates into his own Coffers. This at best is no better than ill-natur'd surmise, and betrays the malignity of the Man, for how can he look into any other Man's secret Intentions? and if he cannot, to pass such sowr judgment upon them, can proceed from nothing but Malice and Ill-will. But as ill-luck will have it here too, the matter of Fact it self lyes cross to his ill-nature: for whereas most of his Pre­decessors siezed the Fines and Forfeitures into their own Exchequer, Justinian set­tles [Page 543] them upon the Church; thus when in the leading Law of Arcadius and Ho­norius all Churches of Hereticks, and all Goods and Endowments belonging to them, are confiscated or forfeited fisco nostro to our Exchequer, in the same Law, as 'tis recited in the Justinian Code, instead of Fisco Nostro we read Ecclesiae Catholicae, i. e. they are forfeited to the use of the Catholick Churches. So little design of Covetousness had this great Emperor in his zeal against Hereticks, that he remitted the Forfeitures due to himself by Law, and settled them upon pious and charitable uses. So that in all particulars our Author might better have vented his poison and ill-nature upon a­ny Man than Justinian; who of all the great Men that ever lived will the least endure to be abused. But because his Covetousness is aggravated in every page of the Libel as a most insatiable gulf, so that the whole Roman Empire was not sufficient to supply its cravings, though he used all the ways of Rapin and Op­pression to fill his Exchequer, I will shew in two or three Instances that he was so far from laying new Burthens upon the Subject, that he took off old, settled and legal Taxes of mighty value to himself, only because he thought them too hard [Page 544] and heavy upon his Subjects. The first was the Lex Papia, and all the Branches of the Law de Caducis added to it, by which if a man had no Heirs of his own begetting, or if the next Heirs died be­fore their Actual Livery and Seisin of the Estate, all such Estates came to the Impe­rial Crown, which in so vast an Empire could not but arise to a Prodigious Reve­nue, and yet he abrogated all these Laws for the ease of his Subjects, as he declares in the Preface to his own Law. ‘Such is our Clemency, that though all Bona Cadu­ca are due to our Exchequer, yet are we pleased to remit them all, notwithstanding our Royal Prerogative; preferring the common benefit of our good Subjects be­fore our own private Advantage, & estee­ming their Interest to be most our own.’

The second Law was that of the Publi­catio Bonorum or the Sale of the Goods and Chattels of all sorts of Malefactors, whe­ther Executed, Out-lawed, or Banished; and that was a greater Revenue than the former, and yet because it lookt harsh to this just and tender Prince, he takes it quite away, and setles all forfeited Estates upon the next of Kin. The third was that old and standing Practice of the Sale of all Offices, by which the Emperor had a certain Sum; not for the Office, but [Page 545] his Suffrage, in the same manner as if one should purchase a Bishoprick by buying a Conjedelire. But this corrupt Custom he scorns, and cashieres it as a base and un­Prince-like practice, ‘Because (as he ex­presses it) Justice we know will be done, if we can any way oblige our Pre­fects and Governors of Provinces to ad­minister Justice with clean hands, abstain from Bribery, and be content with their Pensions out of the Exchequer. But this cannot otherways be brought about, un­less they may enter upon their places without charge, giving nothing to the Prince upon pretence of Suffrage, or to any other Officer whatsoever. For we are well aware that though it lops off too great a branch of our Revenue, yet it will redound to the unspeakable bene­fit of our good Subjects, to be preserved from the oppression of our Officers, and both the Empire and the Exchequer will flourish the more by a thriving People. And if this Rule were once setled, it is unimaginable of what advantage it would be to the publick.’ Now is it not pro­bable that this Prince who cancell'd all these Laws, though not unjust in them­selves, only because he thought them somewhat too harsh and heavy, should rob, plunder, and undo vast Multitudes [Page 546] of his Subjects without Law, without Mercy, nay without Pretence, [...]s the Anecdot [...] clamour in every Page, as in­deed the whole Libel is nothing but Eccho and Cuckoo.

But there remains one Enquiry, that is so obvious for the Reader to make, from what friends he could have Supplies to de­fray all the Charges of his expensive Reign, how he could maintain so many and so great Wars? How he could build such vast numbers of Cities and infinite other structures? how he could maintain so many and so chargeable Corresponden­cies? This at first view seems very strange, but the account being well stated, it will not appear so strange as easie. For first he was a very great Husband, and wast­ed nothing in Luxury, the great Pane of Princes Courts. In the next place he re­trench't all the exorbitant Expences of the Theatres and publick shews, as our Au­thor often complains. Thirdly, the stand­ing Revenue and ordinary Taxes of so vast an Empire, as they were of an im­mense value, so were they frugally man­aged and expended. But that which makes the wonder quite to vanish▪ are the infinite Treasures taken in his Wars from the Goths and Vandals, that had plundered all Europe, and laid all toge­ther, [Page 547] in two heaps, one in Africk, and the other in Italy: that were (if we may trust Procop [...]us) the greatest Treasures that ever were in the World, all which came entirely into Justinians Coffers. Now if we lay all these things together, we may easily see which way this great Emperor was Enabled to do these great things, without squeezing and fleecing his Subjects.

§. XXXII. The next Royal Vertue is inconstancy and falshood to his Friends, as well as Cruelty to his Enemies. Instan­ces of his Cruelty we have seen in the se­veral Acts of his Mercy towards his most implacable Enemies; but as for his Friends, as no man ever made a better choice, so never was any man more constant and en­tire in the preservation of his Friendship. So that when he had once taken a man into his Bosom, nothing but Treason could displace him, nor that in some Cases, as we have seen in the Instance of Artabanes. How immoveable was his Friendship to Belizarius, notwithstanding all the boisterous attempts of Court-envy to shock it?De Bello Persico, lib. 1. cap. 12. he received him to favour in his Youth, and persevered in his kind­ness to his last breath, and through the whole course of his life heap't more ho­nours [Page 548] upon him, than ever were confer­red by any Prince upon a Subject. After the Vandalick War Belizarius was accused by some of his Captains of High Trea­son and Designs of Tyranny,De Bello Vand. l. 2. c. 8. for by that term Procopius always expresses Usurpa­tion, upon which he immediately repairs to Constantinople to clear himself, though the Emperor gave so little Credit to the Information, as to leave it to Belizarius his own choice either to continue in the Government of Africk, or to return home with his Spoils and Captives.Ibid. cap. 9. And choosing the last the Emperor gave him the honour of a Publick Triumph and Honour that had been disused for at least 600 years, and never before this time granted by Christians to Subjects unless of the Blood-Royal. And not long after he is made Consul, and in the year of his Consulship honoured with a second Tri­umph after the fashion of the Consuls in the old Common-wealth, when they re­turn'd from the Conquest of any Province or Nation. After this he is immediately sent General into Sicily against the Goths, De Bello Goth. l. 1. c. 5. and in a trice scowres them out of the Island, and in the last day of his Consul­ship, enters Syracuse with Triumphal Pomp, and so was ever after General in all the Emperors Wars without the least [Page 545] frown of Jealousie or distrust, though the Imperial Crown had been twice offer­ed him in the head of a successful Army, and he had him in that great esteem, that for many years he would never spare him from his own Person, but enjoyed the pleasure of his friendship to his dying day. The next man in favour was Nar­ses, because next in Vertue. A Gentle­man of that high Character for Piety, for Courage, for Mercy, For Loyalty, for Gallantry, for Magnanimity, for every Thing that is Great and Good, that by meer worth he must have eclyp'st any man but Belizarius. And his Reputation was so impregnable, that it was above the Attaques of Envy, insomuch that there is nothing left of him upon Record, but the height of Praise and Panegyrick. Procopius, Agathias, Marcellinus Comes, Evagrius, Paulus Diaconus seem to vie who shall speak the greatest things of him: But to say no more, his shining and unblemish't Vertues placed him se­cond, if not equal to Belizarius in his Masters favour. His Character in Corip­pus runs thus,

[Page 550]
Corippi. 3.
E [...]i [...]el excelsus super omnia Vertice Nar­ses
Ag [...]nina, & Augustam altu praefulgurat Aulam
Comptus Casarie, formlique insignes & ore.
Aureus omnis erat, cultuque habituque mo­destus,
Et morum probitate placeus, virtute ve­rendus,
Fulmineus, cautus, vigilans noctesque di [...]s­que
Pro rerum Dominis & honora luco c [...]rus­cus.

From which passage we may conclude that Belizarius died before Justinian, be­cause Narses is described as the chief At­tendant at the Coronation of Justin the younger without any mention of Beli­zarius, which could not have been, had he been then surviving. But to proceed, it were an endless work to give the great Characters of all the Favourites of his Court. What thinks our Author of Sit­tas the Emperors Fellow Souldier in his Uncle Justins Reign, that twice over­threw the Persians, and by his great Ci­vility brought over the T [...]ani to Christia­nity? what thinks he of Solomon's Suc­cessor to Belizarius in the Government [Page 551] of Africa, which he managed with great Wisdom, and perishing unfortunately by an Ambush of the Moors, was not less bemoan'd by his Prince than by his Pa­tron Belizarius, by whose Interest he was preferr'd to that great Employment? What of that great Souldier Mundus, who after many brave Services perish't at last by his own excess of Courage in revenge of his Sons death, after his Victory of the Goths at Salona, to the great grief of his Imperial Majesty? In short, what thinks he of Phocas and Bassus, of Basili­des, and Strategius, of Proclus and Rufi­nus, of Marcellus, and Justinus, and Tri­bonianus, and Procopius himself, who I am sure, of all men had least reason to com­plain of the Emperors Inconstancy to his Favourites, who was advanced from ho­nour to honour, till he came to the Pre­fecture of the City, that is the highest Preferment in all the Empire?Sceleratissi­mos quos (que) semper ad dignitates ne magistra­tus evexit. Aleman. Praefat. p. 9. Of the same nature is the next Charge of Preferring ill men to places of the greatest Trust and Dignity, i. e. all those great men, that we have but now recited, men of that unparalell'd Worth and Honour, that no Age or Reign can shew such a number of unexceptionable Ministers of State. But because the Calumny is so apparently false, I shall not trouble my self to answer [Page 552] it, but only ask the Author and his Ale­mannus what he thinks of Procopius him­self, upon whom the Emperor was per­petually heaping his honors. If he ad­vanced Men only for being more wick­ed than others (as the Libel reports) then how great a Villain was this Proco­pius, whom he raised from the lowest to the highest round of Fortune? But if Pro­copius were an honest Man, that is a proof that the Emperor in the choice of his Ministers of State had regard to some other Qualifications than meer Wicked­ness.

Cap. 11.In the next place he was a vain-glori­ous Innovator, that abolisht old Laws and Customs, and enacted new ones, changing every thing in the Govern­ment, not for any advantage to the State, but only to stamp his own name upon every thing in the Common-Wealth. This Charge, if it were true, is very mean and childish: for what if he were too desirous of Glory, that is a Passion incident to all great Men, and is in it self a natural effect of Greatness of Mind? and therefore to aggravate a Fancy so common to all great Men, as a singular Enormity in Justinian, is a piece of Ma­lice only to be despised. And yet no­thing is more evident than that this [Page 553] great Prince was acted, not by an Itch of Glory but by an eager zeal for the pub­lick Good. And first a for the body of his Laws, I scorn to vindicate so great and so useful work from so mean a Ca­lumny, that it was only a design of O­stentation, and of no use to the Common-wealth. And then as for his new model­ling of the Provincial Governments, it was only a reduction of the State to its primitive Constitution under the ancient Romans. For whereas there were from the time of Constantine two supreme Of­ficers in every Province, one civil, the other military, to break the too great power of the Praefecti Praetorio, which being done Justinian now thought good to re-unite them, for these reasons,Novel. 24, &c. both because they were always at variance a­bout the bounds of Power, not for the Subject's good, but their own; and be­cause in the contest the Civil Power, by which Justinian design'd to govern, was oppressed and born down by military force, to the great grievance of his Sub­jects. And therefore to avoid these Mis­chiefs of a Government divided within it self, he restores the old Roman Praetor, in whom alone the entire power of the Province was seated; as himself gives an account of his design in his 24th Novel [Page 554] of the Praetor of [...], where he first began to put the Model in practice, and after it reformed all the other Provinces. In short whatever Alterations he made in the State of the Empire, he always gives an account of the usefulness and necessi­ty of the thing in the Preface to the Law. And therefore if Alemannus would have made any real advantage of his Authors Tale, instead of relying wholly upon its blind Authority, he ought to have dis­proved Justinian's reasons of State; for otherwise they stand upon Record as a Conviction against his Author, that the Emperor made no Alterations without good reason. But he inscribed his own Name upon all things, says our Author, i. e. says Alemannus, upon Cities, Towns, Ports, Letters, Books, Scholars, Crowns, Magistrates, Military Officers; such, says he, was his excessive thirst after vain-glory. But if this be a Vice, it would be happy for Mankind, if all Princes were tainted with the same Itch of lea­ving a great Name and a good Memory behind them. If he had done (as ma­ny great Men have) ill things to per­petuate his Fame, that had not been more a crime than a folly. But when all his Works were for the benefit of Mankind, then if they were call'd after [Page 555] his own Name, it was only a just Monu­ment of the Author's bounty and great­ness. But what could be more childish than to find fault with such an innocent Custom, of fixing the Authors Names upon their own magnificent Works, when it has ever been the constant pra­ctice of all Mankind▪ Alexander the Great, they say, built 12 great Cities, and was God-father to them all. And I pray what Emperor ever built or rebuilt any City, that did not fix his own Name up­on it? why then should this Prince alone be barr'd the pleasure of this little Fan­cy, that is allowed to all Mankind? And yet after all he has denyed himself in it more than any Prince upon Record, as a­ny Man may satisfie himself, that will peruse the Books de Aedificiis; but to be short Evagrius says he built 150 Cities, and yet Alemannus out of all these can find no more than 18 Justiniana's, of Towns but one, of Ports none but that at Constantinople, that Procopius says the Inhabitants out of gratitude call'd by the Founders name, Palaces but one, though there was scarce a City in the Empire, in which he did not erect some magnifi­cent Building. But to follow these tri­sles no farther, the Books that he entitu­led by his own Name were his Body of [Page 556] Laws; and he had no doubt done very wisely to publish them to the World, without declaring by whose Authority they were enacted. Such strein'd and far fetcht Calumnies as these discover no­thing but rankor at the heart, and a stu­dious design to turn all things into spite and poison.

Cap. 12.In the next Chapter we are at last ser­ved up with some particular Instances of injustice and oppression, especially by fraud and forging of Wills to the utter ruin of innumerable Families, and this as well as all the other Calumnies is repe­ted in all the following Chapters, and in­deed the whole Rhapsody is nothing but Tautology, Eccho and Repetition of the black Character in the 6th and 8th Chap­ters; that he was a Tyrant, a Man of Blood, a thief that rob'd and ruin'd all his Subjects, that dispeopled whole Pro­vinces, that layed wast the whole Em­pire, in a word, a Man wicked beyond the common capacity of Humane Nature. This is the substance of every invective a­gainst Justinian, but it is very rare to meet with any Instance to make good a­ny part of the Character. And how per­tinent those that we have already ex­amin [...]d, are to the purpose, I leave them to the Readers judgment. And before [Page 557] I have done, I doubt not but to demon­strate this whole Libel to be the most foolish, most malicious, most ignorant Lampoon, that was ever contrived a­gainst any Man's Reputation. And as for this story of plundering his Subjects, in illegal ways to enrich himself, it is as consistent as all the other Fables, when he remitted so many great branches of his settled Revenue, only to ease and en­rich his Subjects, as we have seen above in his abolishing the Lex Papia, and all the Laws de caducis. What a contradi­ction in the nature of things is this, that he should so frankly give up such vast proportions of his lawful Revenue, and yet out of a meer covetous humor turn Pick-pocket, and enrich himself by pri­vate pilfering. This story is so remote from so cross to the common sense of Mankind, and the practice of Humane Nature, that it interdicts its own belief: For it is impossible in the nature of things that the same Man, who did one, could ever be induced to do the other. And thus this Calumny, as well as all the rest only enhances the glory of Justinian; who was so far from cheating his Sub­jects of their Estates and Inheritances, that of all Princes he took the greatest care to secure their Rights. And where­as [Page 558] the practice of the Laws had been a long time corrupted with tricks and sub­tilties for the advantage of the Exche­quer, he cut them all off, and made such wise and strict Rules concerning Wills and Testaments, as secured the right Heir of his Estate against all Pretenders, but most of all against the Crown it self, abrogating all manner of Forfeitures to it. And in truth there are no greater In­stances of Justice and clear dealing than his Laws de Testamentis: he has done the utmost that Man can do to prevent Frauds, and if the practice of the Courts were re [...]uced to the simplicity of his Laws, we should rarely hear of Suits a­bout Wills and Testaments. Even that one Law of setting aside all Forms in the Case, and inquiring only into the plain and honest proof of the Will of the Te­stator, as it would stifle most Controver­sies, so it would shut out all delays, for dilatory Proceedings are never founded upon the merits of the Cause, but only upon formalities. Now 'tis hugely cre­dible that this very Man, who dealt so very fairly with the World in this mat­ter, that was so solicitous to secure every Man's right, and that for that end out off such vast Revenues from himself, should be so bereft of common Sense, as to go [Page 559] about [...] enrich himself by the most scandalous fraud and rapin. 'Tis a mad­ness not incident to humane Nature to part with a just and settled Revenue, and at the same time make himself odious to all the World by the most barbarous Acts of Oppression.

Especially if we reflect upon the in­considerable numbers of opprest Persons that this Author is able to muster up un­der all his reign, only eight, and 'tis ve­ry credible that he should for-go the vast profit that came without envy or regret from the Laws de caducis, be­cause he did not make them, but found them in force from his Predecessors, and yet incur the hatred of his Subjects by such a mean oppression, and in compari­son to the other of no value at all▪ for what were these eight Mens Estates, how great soever, if compared to the infinite Forfeitures throughout the whole Roman Empire? The absurdity of every cir­cumstance in the Tale stares the Author of it in the face: but most of all when by these eight Persons he would prove that this was his constant practice all the World over. And of these eight he gives us only the names of five without any circumstance of matter of Fact, and in the other three he sets down the Story [Page 560] so perversely, as to make one part of the same Tale a flat contradiction to the o­ther. The first is the story of Zeno, whom he on purpose sent Governor into Egypt, who loading a Ship with a vast treasury of Gold, Silver and precious Stones, that was to follow him, Justinian prevails with some of Zeno's best friends to cast all the Goods over-board in the Haven of Constantinople, and then to fire the Ship, and make Zeno believe that all the Goods perisht in it, who dying not long after the Emperor siezed all his Goods by vertue of a forged Will, as 'tis reported. This as 'tis reported is a very saint end for an Accusation, for if it have no other proof but report, then it is a Tale without a Witness, and that is meer Tale. But beside this, as Dr. Rive ingeniously replies, were I to plead this Cause before a Court of Judicature I should not doubt to make out by a mul­titude of clear and pregnant Proofs, that the Tale it self could never have dropt from the Mouth, I will not say of a learned or skilful Accuser, but of any Man of common Sense. For stories ought to be like Pictures, if not true yet at least probable, but this is all defyance to the very possibility of things. That so great a Treasure should be cast away so pri­vately [Page 561] in the most frequented Port in the World, that neither the Master of the Ship, nor the Sea-men, nor the Passen­gers, nor the Servants should perceive it, no not any of his own Servants that he left on board to see the Goods conveyed. But when he had got the Goods into his own Possession by this de­vice, what need had he to entitle him­self to them by a forged Will? The fire gave him full possession of all, because the Estate was supposed to be lost, but after that to produce a Will to a lost Estate is only to betray the form [...]r Cheat. This is the substance of the learned Advocates Plea. So great an improbability suppor­ted by so weak a foundation as meer Re­port, must needs sink into nothing of its own accord. The next Instance is Basi­lius a wealthy Man, who dying in the Garrison of Daras, the Governor forged a Will, by which the whole Estate was left to the Emperor. But if another for­ged the Will ar so great a distance (for Daras was the last Town of the Empire upon the Confines of Persia,) what is that to the Emperor, how can any Man say that he was privy to it? But if you say 'tis likely. I think it is more likely, than that the Governor should contrive it meerly for the Emperor's profit with­out [Page 562] any advantage to himself, if he had given himself any share in the Estate or any good Legacy, the thing might have past, but to make no advantage of it to himself, when it was wholly in his own power, is a thing not credible of a Knave, nor indeed of any Man; nothing more certain than that saying, Nemo gratuitò fit improbus. Cap. 29. The third instance is in the case of Anatolius a rich Senator who dy­ing without Issue Male, by the old Cu­stom the 4th part of the Estate ought to devolve to the Senate, but Justinian makes a Law that only the fourth part shall go to the Heirs, and the other three to his Exchequer. This is pure forgery, for there never were any such Laws heard of by any Man but himself. There was indeed a Law somewhat like it in another Case enacted by Theodosius and Valentinian of the Curiales, that if their Heirs did not continue in the Society, they should leave a fourth part of the Estate to their use. But of an old Law of forfeiting a fourth part of a Senator's Estate to the Senate, or of this new one of siezing three parts to the Emperor, no Man ever dream't, but this ignorant Barbarian. These are the grand Arti­cles of this foul Accusation, and what credit they ought to have I may now [Page 563] safely leave to the Verdict even of an Ig­noramus Jury. The remainder of this Chapter is nothing but raving, for who but a mad Man would seriously report that Justinian and Theodora were Devils in good earnest, that his Mother had carnal Copulation with a Daemon that was his Father, that he was often s [...]en to walk up and down without his head up­on his Shoulders, and that Theodora fa­miliarly lay with Devils? Happy is the Man that can be fond of such a pleasant Historian. And yet Alemannus is in so good humour, as not only to believe it all, but to adorn it with large and learn­ed Commentaries. Never was Author and Commentator better met. It is pi­ty but he should have written Notes up­on the Legend of St. Silvester, and the Dragon, that his Predecessor Baronius sets up as the best account of the Reign of Constantine against all the Records both of the Church and the Empire. Into such absurdities will fanatick Zeal drive the wisest and most learned Men. But above all the rest, his grave Apology to justifie this prudentissimus Scriptor (as he stiles him) in his folly, is most pleasant, viz. that it is a common Form of Speech in all Authors prophane and sacred, to give the title of Devil to Men eminently [Page 564] wicked, as our Saviour calls Judas a De­vil. That any Mans understanding should be sunk so low, as to satisfie it self with such trifles as these. When the wise Author says expresly, That he was no Metaphorical Devil, but a Devil in reali­ty, and the Son of a Devil in good ear­nest. And there if his learned Advocate cannot prevail with himself to believe it, notwithstanding his excuse he leaves his wise Author in the lurch to answer for the possibility of his Legend. Had I been in his stead to plead the Cause, I would have alledged the Precedents of Alexander the Great, and Scipio Africa­nus, the two greatest Men of Greece and Rome, who [...]e Mothers are reported to have told the same story of being gallan­ted by Incubuses; for though they are equally incredible, yet they have the Au­thority of Ancient Tale, and have been frequently related by grave Historians, and this if set off with a serious Counte­nance, might have been taking and plau­sible, but to raise a silly Metaphorical Devil to supply the room of a real one, it is such a Rag of Excuse as utterly spoils the Story, and makes it look much more ridiculous than the naked Lie it self.

[Page 565]But if he were not a Devil with a clo­ven foot, yet he was a Devil of Lust, and though he were very temperate and abstemious, yet he out-did a Satyr in wan­tonness. But what Instance? what Proofs? what one Example? That a man should exceed all Mankind in the licentiousness of his Lust, and yet no one Act of it e­ver be discovered. This Vice is not so discreet as to sec [...]re it self with that Se­cresie that it designs, but especially in Princes it cannot avoid being publick. The crafty Augustus, as demurely as he look't, and as severe Laws as he made a­gainst it, was publickly known to have been one of the most notorious Sinners of the Age. But as for Justinian, as he was more severe in his Laws against this Vice, than any of his Predecessors, so he was never charged with any one Breach of them. The Wife, the Daughter, the Servant that he debaucht, are to this day nameless. Whose Bed did he ever defile, whose Modesty did he ever attempt? was he ever so much as suspected of Love to any but his Empress? What rudeness then, what Malice, what Impudence is it in this Scribler to cast dirt upon such an eminent and unblemisht Chastity, without so much as attempting to al­ledge any one proof or example of it? [Page 566] and that alone is a demonstration of its falshood, for if he could have charged him with any one Fact, we know he owed him not so much kindness as to conceal it. But as he introduces the Ca­lumny, he makes it more absurd, viz. That though he were very much given to fasting and watching, yet he was a De­vil for Lust. These things hang very well together, a man much given all his life­time to watching and fasting, and yet the very Priapus of the Age, an insatia­ble Satyr, and exceeding the natural ca­pacity of Makind in Lust. This is ano­ther fair contradiction, and as consistent as his being black and white, tall and low, prodigal and covetous, an Ass and a Fox, a natural Fool and a crafty Knave, so blind a thing is Malice when it is over eager in the pursuit of its rage.

The next Twins of Vertue are his great kindness to, and great oppression of the Orthodox Christian Clergy. His favour to them was so exorbitant,Cap. 13. that he would pro­tect them in their frauds and oppressions, whenever they invaded other Mens Rights, and whenever the Cause was brought before him, he always judged on the side of the Ecclesiasticks. And so pre­posterous was his Piety that he Committed all his Rapins to enrich and endow the [Page 567] Christian Churches, though but just now they were all swept into his own Coffers. But with what cruelty he opprest the Christian Clergy the Author has several times promised to relate, but it seems ha­ving a Treacherous Memory, as we find by the inconsistencies of his Tale, he at last forgot it, notwithstanding he has so often rubb'd it up in Cap. 10, 11, 26, 27. An ill Memory (they say) is very inconvenient for some sort of men, but a false one is very useful, it is an easie matter to excuse any ill-natur'd Sto­ry under pretence of forgetfulness, and as easie to stab any innocent mans reputation only by suggesting some vile thing of him, as by broad direct slander. But here be­hold our Vatican Apologist at his old knack of excuse-making. His Author, he says, had it all the while in his head, but unluckily forgot to let it out, and in­tended no doubt, the hard usage of the Popes Silverius and Vigilius, and the A­frican Bishops in the Contest about the tria Capitula. This excuse Dr. Rive caps with this Story, of a Jockey not less hap­py in a forgetful Memory, who putting a Pad-Nag into a Friends hands upon Re­putation, after the Bargain was ended, the Buyer seriously ask't him (as the Custom is) what faults he had, to which [Page 568] he replies, that he knew only two, that he paced too easily, and eat too much; upon this home he goes with great joy of his Bargain, but he had not gone far, when he found both Horse and Rider in the Ditch; upon this taking a stricter Survey, he fi [...]ds his Palfrey stone-blind, returns to his Jockey and inveighs against him for so unfriendly a Cheat, who replies thus up­on him: If, Sir, I had then thought of it, that the Horse had lost both his Eyes, I would have scorn'd to have put him into so good a Friends hands, but thinking of something else at that time, it was quite out of my mind. Just such is the Memo­ry of the Author in declaring Justinian's faults and offences amongst the Clergy, he would have told what strange havock he made amongst them, but that as often as he came to mention it, it flipt out of his Memory. Of all his faults this was the greatest, it added Sacriledge to Op­pression; his hard usage of other Sects is capable of a defence; but for a Prince to rob and trample down his own Clergy, 'tis the height of Barbarity, and there­fore to leave it out in the Description of his Vices is the exact Story of the blind Horse. But he intended the ill usage of Pope Silverius, Vigilius, and the African Bishops in the Controversie of the tria Capitula. [Page 569] This is pure conjecture, especially the guess of the tria Capitula, which it is evi­dent from the [...]ccount that Procopius has given of the disputes of those times, that he did nor understand. But however I have already discoursed both that, and the Case of Silverius and Vigilius, and that will be answer enough to Aleman­nus his foul surmise of their barbarous treatment. Only I would advise him and the Roman Courtiers once more not to concern the Apostolick Chair in the Vindication of Vigilius, but rather to thrust him out of the List into the Cata­logue of the Anti Popes, both because it is confest on all hands that he got into the Chair by Usurpation, when it was full already; and because his Actions were so foul, that no Wit, no Apology, no Candour can wipe off the Scandal. As for the Reverse of this Calumny, the Em­perors exorbitant kindness and indul­gence to the Christian Clergy, I must confess it was very great to a degree of fondness; we have seen above in his No­vels what Endowments and Priviledges he setled upon the Church, what care he took to secure their setled Revenues, and to protect them against the oppressi­on of great men. But that he ever run into any Act of Injustice out of Zeal [Page 570] and partiality to their Interest, we have no one Instance upon Record, the only thing that can be pretended is his Grant to the Church of Emesa, of the Prescription of an hundred years, which as this Author tells the Story,Cap. 28. was a very lewd act of Fraud and Op­pression, but then the cheat was put up­on the Emperor, as well as upon the Subjects that suffer'd by it. It is this, one Mammianus, a Man of a noble Fami­ly and vast Wealth, had long before made the Church of Emesa his Heir. But it hapned that under Justinian one Pris­cus was imployed to take the census of the Families of that City; who being dex­terous at imitating other Mens hands, and diligently observing the hands of some of the Ancestors of some of the most wealthy Families, he draws upon them Bills and Bonds for great sums of Money to Mammianus, these he commu­nicates to the Procurators of the Church, but because the Law of only 30 years prescription lay against them; they repair to the Emperor to relieve them in so pi­ous and charitable a Suit, and he being satisfied with the piety of the Case is ea­sily prevailed upon to grant to them and all other Churches a power of looking back to 100 years, whereas before 30 [Page 571] years prescription was a legal Bar to any claim▪ Upon this they put all their counterfeit Bonds in suit to the utter ru­in of the best Families in the City. But Longinus a wise and an honest Man that the Emperor sent thither with a parti­cular Commission to be Judg in this par­ticular Cause, suspecting some cheat by the vast Sums of Money that were chal­lenged, he therefore takes Priscus to task, commands him to bring in all his Bonds, but he refusing it, because that would put an end to the Plot he in a rage beats him, who upon it fearing that he had discover'd his Cheat, confesses all; and the Emperor being inform'd of it, and finding by this example the inconveni­ence of this Law, that there would be no stopping of Frauds in behalf of the Church-Estates if they might be allow­ed to claim against so many years pre­scription, he repeals it, and because he would not utterly spoil his Courtesie, he takes it down from an hundred to forty years, and that was ten years more than any other Plaintiff was allowed. Now which way can the Emperor be blamed in all this Transaction, he had no ground to suspect the imposture, and then it was evident that great sums due to the Church had been basely embezel'd, and [Page 572] to prevent such Abuses for the time to come he takes off the usual limits of Pre­scription in Pleas of this Nature. And yet this impudent Libeller is so foolishly malicious, as contrary to the circum­stances of his own story, to insinuate, as if the Emperor himself were privy to the design. Which if he were, how durst Longinus have so disgracefully exposed it, who if his Master had any such Plot must have been privy to it, because without him it could not be managed? and there­fore when he so rudely spoil'd it, that shews both his own and his Masters ig­norance of it, and he was so far from in­curring his displeasure, that he was not long after advanced to the Prefecture of the City: If we may trust our Author, for otherwise I find no such Man as Lon­ginus in all Justinian's Reign, and there­fore cannot but suspect the whole story to be meer fiction. But granting its truth, the Emperor is innocent, and when our Author suggests that he was privy to it, he ought to have told us how himself came to know the Secret, and so indeed he ought to have done through his whole history, but to tell us that such prodigious things were done in the dark and with great secresie, and give us no account how he came to know them, is [Page 573] but a very poor way of vouching for an history. These are the grand Articles of this Libel against this great Prince, for the following Chapters are little else than the same Rhapsody repeted, and things are heaped together so confusedly, so with­out art and decency, as plainly proves, that so elegant a Writer as Procopius could never have writ it, but that the true Author was some unpolisht and unlearn­ed Barbarian.

§. XXXIII. But though we have little else than meer repetition remaining, yet there are some few scraps behind, that discover the Author's malice and ignorance, upon these I shall make some brief reflections and so conclude. And first what can we think of his ascribing all the publick Ca­lamities of the Age, as Inundations of Ri­vers, destructions of Cities by earth­quakes and Plagues, to the Emperor and his ill Genius? This Malice is too chil­dish even to be despised, and it is hard to determine whether it have in it more of spite or folly, though it has so much of both as forever to destroy that Man's credit, that could prevail with himself to make and vent such an accusation a­gainst any Mans reputation; such a River over-flowed, and at such a time it thun­dred, [Page 574] who can we think was the cause of it but the Empero [...] and his evil Geni­us? O A [...]emannus ▪ that thou shouldest satisfie thy self with such a Wretch as this! Is this stuff to put into an indite­ment? can you think to beat down the Emperors towring reputation by such Tales as these? you had been much bet­ter advised, when you first found your Vatican Manuscript, instead of publish­ing it to the World with so much satis­faction of Revenge upon the Emperor, to have buried it in some secret Corner, where it should never have been disco­ver'd, for now you have only brought down reproach and disgrace upon your own head by opposing such a barbarous Pamphlet to the Glory of all his Actions, and have withal provoked more ingenu­ous Men to revive the Memory of his great Name, and make the unparallel'd Actions of his Reign though 1100 years old, shine as bright and look as fresh, as if they had been the Wonders and mighty Works of our own Age. But however if the Emperor had an ill Ge­nius to bring these Miseries upon the World, I am sure he had a good one too to make amends, and what breaches the one made upon any part of the Em­pire, the other repair'd, and left it not [Page 575] in the power of the bad Genius of any of his Successors to commit the same Riots again. As the Barbarian might have learnt from the Books de Aedificiis, had he been duely acquainted with Procopi­us his genuine Writings.

But in the next place from Prodigies, Cap. 19. this Grub-street Historiographer, descends to Dreams. Once upon a time a certain Gentleman thought he saw in his sleep the Emperor standing in the middle of the Sea, and that he drank it all dry, and then the Rivers, and then the Ken­nels, and Common-Shoars, and yet was not satisfied, and then the Gentleman a­waked. Did he so? But was the Au­thor awake when he writ this Story, and Alemannus when he publish't it to the World, to deter (as the Preface de­clares) Tyrants in after-Ages from imi­tating Justinian's wicked Actions, when they see how their own Wickedness will be displayed to Posterity? This dream I doubt will be of very little use to that purpose. But he set up Monopolies.Cap. 2 [...]. What then? some Monopolies are be­neficial to the Publick, and therefore if our Author would have made a serious Accusation of it, he ought to have shew­ed in what Particulars: to monopolize Commodities of common use and neces­sary [Page 576] to the life of Man is a great Oppres­sion upon the People, and brings them into the Estate of the hungry Egyptians under Pharaoh's Monoply of Corn. But when it is limited to things of Pleasure and Luxury, it is a confinement to Mens Vices, and gives check to their Follies. This Author gives but one Instance of his Complaint,Cap. 25. and that is in the Mer­chandise of Silks, the Emperor imposing it upon the Company of Persian and Ty­rian Merchants not to vend them, but upon a certain high price upon Penalty of Proscription of Goods. This was a Law highly useful to the Common-Wealth, for it not only cured the mea­ner sort of People of their silken Vani­ty, but it stopt a great Revenue that went annually out of the Empire into the Enemies Country, i. e. the Persians. And to prevent that Mischief for the time to come,De Bello Goth. l. 4. c. 17. he sent certain Monks in­to India to discover the Mystery of Silks, who return'd loaden with a whole Cargo of Silk-Worms Eggs, and by that means he set up that Manufacture with­in the Empire it self, but how it was esta­blisht we no where read.

But he set up two new Officers in the City,Cap. 20. because the old Magistrates were not enough to execute his Rapine and [Page 577] Cruelty. One was call'd the Praetor of the People, to prevent Fires and punish Burglaries; the other Quaestor, to make inquiry after Sodomy, Adulteries and false Religions. What then! were not these useful Offices in the Common-Wealth? If they were, what malice is it in this Author to impute the design of their In­stitution meerly to Rapine? But still his Ignorance keeps pace with his Malice; for the Praetor was no new Office, but as ancient as Augustus, and by him sti­led Praefect of the Watch, but Justini­an will have him go by the name of Prae­tor, because that was the most honora­ble Title for all Offices among the anci­ent Romans; and this Restitution of that old Word, this ignorant Writer every where mistakes for the institution of a new Office. But as for the other Of­fice of Questor, for punishing the Vices mention'd, it is but another fair cast of his ignorance, for there is no such thing extant in the whole body of the Impe­rial Law, nor any where else. There was indeed the Office of a Quaestor to find out lazy People that would follow no Imployment, and force them to work. This Office, this barbarous Scrib­ler ignorantly ascribes to the fore men­tion'd Vices: so utterly unacquainted is [Page 578] he with the true State of Affairs at that time. But he put unfit Men into that great trust of City Quaestor, to the great oppression of his Subjects, as Tribonian, Junilus and Constantinus. But of his great care in the choice of his Officers we have discoursed above, and if among so great a number of good ones, some few proved corrupt, that is a Misfor­tune not to be avoided in this World. Though this is all Tale, for Tribonian was admired for all his Vertues and good Qualities, only he loved Money too well. Junilus is a Man never heard of but in this Author, and it is likely that he should be in so great an Office as this, seven years, and never be so much as men­tion'd in any Record, no, not in one Im­perial Rescript. To him succeeds Con­stantinus a very young Man, not yet so much as call'd to the Bar. But this out­bids all the rest: For Constantinus was Secretary of State, and one of the Com­missioners for compiling the Code in the third year of Justinian, whereas Tribo­nian injoyed the Prefects Office many years to his dying day, which Alemannus computes to be in the 21st year of that Reign; to him succeeds Junilus, who in­joys the Office seven years; now if Con­stantinus, who followed both, were so [Page 579] young a Man, that he was not of age to practise the Law, I would only know of the unlearned Author and his learned Commentator, of what Age he might be in the third year of Justinian, when he was Secretary of State, and so eminent for his Skill in the Law, that he was made one of the Commissioners for its Refor­mation.

But beside the old Revenue of the Crown he imposed a new heavy Tax commonly call'd the Aerial Tribute,Cap. 21. as if it dropt out of the Air, coming neither from Law nor Custom, this was colle­cted by the Praefecti Praetorio, and that they might squeeze his Subjects to pur­pose, he put the worst Men into that Office, and when they had enricht them­selves by oppression, he siezed all their Wealth into his own Coffers. This is pure Romance, for there is not the least mention of any such Tribute in any o­ther Author or Record, and though A­lemannus (as himself declares) searcht all the Vatican Manuscripts in quest of it, yet he could never trace any Foot-steps of it in Antiquity. And it is very likely that such a singular Oppression should pass so unobserved in such a writing Age, as never to be so much as suggested by any Author but this Barbarian. And as [Page 580] for the Praefecti Praetorio, that belongs to the old Topick of corrupt Officers and Ministers of State, and therefore needs no particular Answer, and though Alemannus reckons up 17 or 18 in his reign, yet he can find no more ill Men than Joannes Cappadox, Petrus Barsames and Addaeus, who was put into the Of­fice in the last year of the Emperor's life, when he was past business. Though be­side these he says there are divers others to be found in Evagrius, Agathias, Pro­copius his other Books, Theophanes and Suidas. That is his standing figure when he has reckoned up all the names that he can rake together, to tell us of great numbers of People that shall be nameless. And whereas the Author adds, that it was the Emperor's constant Cu­stom to drain these great Officers, when they were well gorged, by some sham-Accusation; it is so far from truth that he never prosecuted any of them but Joannes Cappadox, and when he put him from Court, he suffer'd him to carry his Wealth along with him.

But he oppressed the honest labouring Farmers.Cap. 23. As how? why first by never remitting their customary Tribute. Ve­ry good, but if it were due by Custom, then it could be no oppression. And if [Page 581] it be thought to be too hard upon the Subject, yet I find that the ablest Prin­ces were most averse to the abatement of their Land-Taxes, and there are seve­ral peremptory Rescripts against it, and therefore if Justinian were so too, he might justifie himself by the Examples of some of his wisest Predecessors, especial­ly considering the vast Expences of his Wars, and that a great part of the Em­pire paid Contributions to their Ene­mies. And yet the suggestion is as false as foolish, when he remitted the ordina­ry Taxes to the Inhabitants of Palestine upon the Insurrection of the Samaritans, and made two Christian Bishops his Sur­veyors and Judges to determine what a­batement was fit and reasonable. And in the great Plague at Constantinople, De Bello Goth. l. 2. in which the Rich were reduced to the same state with the Poor, their Servants and Attendants being swept away, he ap­points an Officer to take care of all the sick, and to supply all that wanted, with Money, and that was a greater kindness than meer abatement of just dues. But secondly he imposed the Corn-Tax for the maintenance of his Army, and for­ced the poor countrey People to carry it to the Camp. But alass, this was an old Tax long before Justinian's time, and [Page 582] there are so many Laws about it in the Imperial History, that nothing but meer barbarous Ignorance could have deri­ved its beginning from Justinian; and accordingly Alemannus has voucht it by the Authority of that Ecclesiastick Ro­mance of Simeon Metaphrastes. Cap. 24. In the next place the Souldiers were opprest, and that divers ways, first he set Mu­ster-Masters over them, and deducted the 12th part of every Souldier's Pay for their Salary. This is pure igno­rance, for that Office was ever in the Army, and its Salary settled without a­ny deduction from the Souldiers, as ap­pears from his 130 Novel. Secondly the Companies were not full, that is a common Fault, but then it was the fault of the Officers not the Emperor, who allowed them full Pay, and then the surplusage of the vacant Places came into their own Pockets. Thirdly he dismist his old Souldiers without ma­ing any Provision for them. This is likely that he should so wholly neglect them, when he built so many Hospitals for the maintenance of Aged People, in which it is not to be doubted but his su­per-annuated Souldiers that had been useful to the Common-Wealth, were preferr'd in the first place. Fourthly he [Page 583] left the Frontiers every where unguard­ed. As we may see by those innumera­ble Garrisons and Fortifications that he built round the Empire, to keep out the Incursions of the Barbarians. It is pretty observable that when in the whole list of Emperors there were three very eminent for guarding the Frontiers, that is Constantine, Theodosius the Great, and Justinian, that these should be parti­cularly branded for leaving them de­fenceless. It is the head-topick of Zo­simus his fanatick Invectives against Con­stantine and Theodosius the Great, and here it is the very Chorus of all our Rhapsodists mournful Ditties. And yet there was scarce a Garrison upon the Frontiers, that was not built by one of these Princes, though Justinian stopt e­very Passage and In-road so advantage­ously, that he made the whole Empire but one entire Fortification to it self. Fifthly from those of the Militia, that refused to go to the Wars he with-drew their Pay. An heavy Oppression this not to reward idle People, that refuse to serve their Country. Sixthly he defrau­ded his Guards of their [...]ay. But why? because, says our Author, they were use­less. But if they were, they deserved no Pay. Lastly he with-drew the quin­quennial [Page 584] Donative. If he did, first to with-hold a Gift is no Robbery, and se­condly he did wisely not to dispense his Rewards promiscuously, but according to Mens deserts, and to this purpose he created a new Officer call'd Extraordina­ry Quaestor of the Army, to reward such as did any signal piece of Service, and his Donatives being great and gene­rous, it made every Souldier forward to signalize himself.

In the next place he opprest Mer­chants,Cap. 25. and spoil'd the freedom of Trade. That is to say, when he had built that convenient Port at Constantinople that commanded the Haven, he took an ac­count of all Ships out-ward bound, that they might not export the Commodities of the Empire, but especially Arms to its barbarous Enemies. That is the parti­cular grievance of this Complaint, the next is the regulation of the silk-trade from Persia, which we have discoursed above.

The next that were undone were the Lawyers,Cap. 26. by lessening their Fees and shortning their Proceedings. Then it seems their Fees were grown too high, and their Proceedings too dilatory, and then it was a great kindness to the Sub­jects to reform them. Though Dr. Rive is my Author, that before Justinian's time [Page 585] the Lawyers never received any Fees from the Client, but were maintain'd by Pen­sions from the publick. But he supprest the very Physitians and Professors of Learn­ing, i. e. because he enacted so many kind Laws on their behalf under the Ti­tle de Medicis et Professoribus. But then he abolisht the old Circensian Games and all the other Heathen sports for ever. Then he made a Reformation, that all good Men had ever desired from the first settlement of Christianity in the World. Lastly he opprest the Poor. As appears by those prodigious Provisions that he made, that there should be no such thing as Poverty within the Em­pire; but for the Readers satisfaction or rather amazement in this matter, I must refer him to the Books de Aedificiis. And now I hope I have sufficiently vin­dicated the Reputation of this matchless Prince against all the malicious Calum­nies both of the Libel and the Librari­an, so as to make it appear that it could never be written by Procopius, but by some Man in the barbarous Ages, that was ignorant of the Customs and Trans­actions of that Time, and that the whole Work is nothing but an heap of ignorance, malice and false-hood. And [Page 586] is proved so by the best and most un­doubted Records of that Age. And I know not what can be done more for the Discovery and Conviction of an Im­posture.

Books lately Publisht by the Author.
  • DIsputationes de Deo et Providentiâ divinâ.
    • I. An Philosophorum ulli, et quinam A­thei fuerunt.
    • II. A rerum finibus Deum esse demon­stratur.
    • III. Epicuri et Cartesii Hypotheses de Universi Fabricatione evertuntur.
    • IV. Mundum neque prorsus infectum, neque necessitate factum; sed solo O­pificis consilio extructum fuisse demon­stratur.
    • V. A generis humani Ortu, et Corporis humani structurâ Deum esse demon­stratur.
    • VI. Contr [...] S [...]epticorum & Academico­rum disciplinam, potissimùm Ciceronis de Quaestionibus Academicis libros, et Cartesii Meditationes Metaphysicas dis­putatur.
  • The divine right of the Law of Nature and the Christian Religion.
  • The Case of the Church of England stated.
  • [Page]An Account of the Government of the Christian Church for the first six Hun­dred years.
  • Religion and Loyalty, or a Demonstra­tion of the Power of the Christian Church within it self. The Supremacy of Soveraign Powers over it. Duty of passive Obedience, or Non-resistance to all their Commands.
  • Religion and Loyalty. Part the 2d. or the History of the Concurrence of the Imperial and Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction in the Government of the Church from the beginning of the Reign of Jovian to the end of the Reign of Justinian.

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