Early Church Fathers
54 Ep. lxxxiii.
55 Glubokowski p. 163 thinks it spurious.
56 Glubokowski, p. 163.
57 Ep. LX.
58 Ep. LXXXVI.
59 Epp. III. XII. XVI. XXXV.
60 Ep. CX.
61 Ep. CX.
62 Epp. LXXIX and LXXX.
63 Ep. LXXIX.
64 Epp. LXXIX. LXXX. LXXXI. LXXXII. LXXXIII.
65 Ep. LXXXVI.
66 "Theodoret's condemnation was the chief object aimed at in summoning" the Latrocinium. He was "the bugbear of the whole Eutychian party and consequently condemned in advance." Canon Venables, Dict. Christ. Biog. iv. 913 and Martin Brigandage àEphèse p. 192.
67 See specially Gibbon Chap. xlvii. Milman Hist. Lat. Christ. Book II. Chap. iv. Stanley, Christian Institutions, Chap. xvi. 4 and Canon Bright Art. Dioscorus in Dict. Christ. Biog. General Councils, it may be remarked, have been depreciated and ridiculed by historians of two kinds; the anti-Christian, such as Gibbon, who have been glad of the opportunity of bringing discredit on the Church; and the Roman, such as Cardinal Newman, who are aware that the authority of Councils is not always reconcileable with the asserted authority of the Bishop of their favourite see. ("Even those councils which were oecumenical have nothing to boast of in regard to the Fathers, taken individually, which compose them. They appear as the antagonist host in a battle, not as the shepherds of their people." Hist. Sketches, p. 335.) And it must he conceded that do far as outward circumstances went the Latrocinium was as good a council as any other. As is pointed out by Dean Milman, "It is difficult to discover in what respect, either in the legality of its convocation or the number and dignity of the assembled prelates, consists its inferiority to more received and honoured councils. Two imperial commissioners attended to maintain order in the council and peace in the city Dioscorus the patriarch of Alexandria by the Imperial command assumed the presidency. The Bishops who formed the Synod of Constantinople were excluded as parties in the transaction, but Flavianus took his place with the Metropolitans of Antioch and Jerusalem and no less than three hundred and sixty bishops and ecclesiastics. Three ecclesiastics, Julian a bishop, Renatus a presbyter, and Hilarius a deacon were to represent the bishop of Rome. The Abbot Barsumas (this was an innovation) took his seat in the Council as a kind of representative of the monks." Milman, Lat. Christ. Book II. Chap. iv. The fact is that the great Councils of the Early Church are like the great men of the Early Church. Some have authority and some have not. But their authority does not depend upon formal circumstances or outward position. They have authority because the inspired common sense of the Church has seen and valued the truth and wisdom of their utterances. Athanasius, Arius, Cyril, and Nestorius, were all great churchmen. Athanasius and Cyril stand out against the background of centuries as champions of the faith. Arius and Nestorius are counted as heretics. Character does not outweigh doctrine. Nestorius is unsound in the faith though he was an amiable and virtuous man; Cyril is an authority of orthodoxy though his personal qualities were not saintly. Of all the councils that according to Ammianus Marcellinus hamstrung the postal resources of the Empire, take Nicaea, Tyre, and the two Ephesian councils of 431 and 449 Nicaea and the earlier Ephesian are accepted by the Church Catholic. Tyre anti the later Ephesian, though both were sum moned at the will of princes and attended by a large concourse of bishops, are rejected. Why? The earlier Ephesian in the disorder and violence of its proceedings was as disgraceful as the Tyrian and the later Ephesian. The councils of Nicaea and of Ephesus, called the first and the third oecumenical councils, are vindicated by the assent of the wisest of the Church. The dictum securus judicat orbis terrarum here holds good, and is seen to be identical with the ultimate foundation of the great Aristotelian definition "defined by reason, and as the wise man would define." And such is also the practical outcome of the statement of Article XXI, of the Church of England.
cf. the striking passage of Augustine (Cont. Maximin. Arian. ii. 14). "Sed nunc nec ego Nicaenum, nec tu debes Ariminense, tanquam proejudicaturus, proferre consilium. Nec ego hujus auctoritate, nec tu illius detineris). Scripturarum auctoritatibus, non quorumque propriis, sed utrisque communibus testibus, res cum re, causa cum causa, ratio cum ratione concertet." On the first four accepted oecumenical councils Dr. Salmon (Infallibility of the Church, p. 287) remarks, "Gregory the Great says that he venerates these four as the four Gospels, and describes them as the four square stones on which the structure of faith rests. Yet the hard struggle each of these councils had to make and the number of years which the struggle lasted before its decrees obtained general acceptance, show that they obtain their authority because of the truth which they declared and it was not because of their authority that the decrees were recognised as true."
68 Canon Venables Dict. Christ. Biog. Acres du Brigandage, pp. 193, 195.
69 Evagrius i. 10.
70 Ep. CXIX.
71 Ep. CXXIII.
72 Epp. CXIII. to CXXXIII. and CLXXXI.
73 Cf. Milman Lat. Christ. Book ii. Chap. iv; Const. Valentin. iii Aug. apud S. Leon. op. epist. xi.
74 Garnerius, the Jesuit, in his dissertation on the life of Theodoret writes: "When Theodoret got news of his deposition he determined to send envoys to the apostolic see, that is to the head of all the churches in the world, to plead his cause before the righteous judgment seat of St. Leo," and in his summary of his own chapter he says "Theodoret appeals to the apostolic see."
75 Matt. xvi. 18.
76 Ep. CXLVI.
77 cf. Glubokowski. pp. 237, 239. Du Pin. iv. 83. Cardinal Newman, in his very bright and sympathetic sketch of Theodoret, (Hist. Sketches ii. 308 ed. 1891) writes the following remarkable sentence. "This, at least, he has in common with St. Chrysostom that both of them were deprived of their episcopal rank by a council, both appealed to the holy see, and by the holy see both were cleared and restored to their ecclesiastical dignities." It would be difficult in the compass of so short a sentence to combine more statements so completely misleading. To say that Chrysostom and Theodoret both appealed to the "holy see" is as much an anachronism as to say that they appealed to the Court of the Vatican or to the Dome of St. Peter's. In their day there was no holy see, that is to say, kat= ecoxhn. All sees were holy sees, just as all bishops were styled your holiness. Rome, it is true, was the only apostolical see in the West, but it was not the only apostolical see, and whatever official precedence it could claim over Antioch, Jerusalem, and Alexandria, was due to its being the see of the old imperial capital, a precedence expressly ordered at Chalcedon to be shared with the new Rome on the Bosphorus. As to the "appeal," we have seen what it meant in the case of Theodoret. It meant the same in the case of Chrysostom. Cut to the quick at the cruel and brutal treatment of his friends after his banishment from Constantinople in the summer of 404 he pleaded his cause in letters sent as well to Venerius of Milan and Chromatius of Aquileia as to Innocent of Rome. Innocent very properly espoused his cause, declared his deposition void, and did his best to move Honorius to move Arcadius to convoke a council. The cruel story of the long martyrdom of bitter exile and the death in the lonely chapel at Comana is a terrible satire on the restoration to ecclesiastical dignities. The unwary reader of "the historical sketch" might imagine the famous John of the mouth of gold brought back in triumph to Constantinople by the authority of the pope in 404 as he had been by the enthusiasm of his flock in 403, and Arcadius and Eudoxia cowering before the power of Holy Church like Henry IV. at Canossa in 1077. The true picture of the three years of agony which preceded the old man's passage to the better world in 407 is a painful contrast to contemplate (Pallad. Dial. 1-3. Theodoret V. 34. Sozomen vii. 26, 27, 28.) Of Theodoret's restoration to "ecclesiastical dignity," and Leo's part in it, we shall see further on.
78 cf. the deaths of William I. and William III. of England.
79 Though Marcian's independence of western dictation was shewn in the summoning of the bishops not to a place in Italy, as Leo had hoped and urged, but to Chalcedon, the beautiful Asiatic suburb of Constantinople.
80 Epp. CXXXIX, CXL.
81 Accounts of the numbers vary. Marcellinus says 630. There were more than 400 signatures.
82 Perhaps of the Emperor himself. (Breviar. Hist. Eutych.) The representatives of the imperial government sat in the centre of the Cancelli; on their right were Dioscorus, Juvenal of Jerusalem, and the Palestinian bishops; on their left Paschasinus of Lilybaeum, (Marsala) Lucentius of Asculum (Ascoli) with Boniface, a Roman presbyter, the three representatives of Leo, Anatolius of Constantinople, Maximus of Antioch, and the orientals. Paschasinus signed as "synodo proesidens," but he did not either locally or effectively preside.
83 The acts of the Council of Chalcedon refer to Theodoret having been righted by the ishop of "the illustrious city of Rome;" "the archbishop of the senior city of Rome." The primacy is that of the ancient capital.
84 Labbe iv., 102, 103.
85 Labbe iv. 621. Bertram (Theod. Ep. Cyr. doctrina christologica, 1883) thinks Theodoret changed his views; Möller Herzog XV. s.v.) that he retained them, though necessarily modified in expression by stress of circumstances.
86 Praef. Hoeret Fab.
87 Ep. XCVII.
88 Photius Cod. 204. Thc Octateuch comprises the first eight books of the Old Testament.
89 Dict. Christ. Biog. iv. 916.
90 xv., 311.
91 Ep. CXXVI.
92 Leo. Ep. cxx., and Migne Theod. iv. 1193. Chagrined at the decision of the Council that Constantinople was to enjoy honorary precedence next after old Rome and practical equality and independence, in that the metropolitans of Pontus, Asia, and Thrace were to be ordained by the patriarch of Constantinople, Leo manages to write to Theodoret, par parenthèse, of the Roman See as one "quam coeteris omnium Dominus statuit proesidere." If in "statuit" Leo had meant to refer to a Divine Providence overruling history, and in "proesidere" to the fact that Rome was for many years the capital of the world, his remark would have been open to little objection. But he meant something quite different.
93 Collect. Book i. Ed. Migne p. 566.
94 There seems no authority for the statement of Garnerius (Hist. Theod. xiii) repeated in Smith's Dict. Chris. Biog. that Jacobus and Theodoret shared it.
95 de Scrip. Ecc. 89.
96 Christian Institutions. Chap. xvi.
97 =Akefaloi = headless, i.e., without bishop.
98 Victor: Turon and Mansi, viii. 371, Mansi, viii. 197-200.
99 Dean Milman (Lat. Christ. iv, 4), following in the wake of Gibbon, remarks that "the church was not now disturbed by the sublime, if inexplicable, dogmas concerning the nature of God, the Persons of the Trinity, or the union of the divine and human nature of Christ, concerning the revelations of Scripture, or even the opinions of the ancient fathers. The orthodoxy or heterodoxy of certain writings by bishops but recently dead became the subject of imperial edicts of a fifth so-called Oecumenic Council, held at Constantinople, and a religious war between the East and the West," but it was on their explanation of sublime if inexplicable dogmas that the orthodoxy or heterodoxy of these bishops depended, and so far as the subject matter of dispute is concerned, the position in 553 was not very different from that of 451. In both cases the church was moved at once by honest conviction and partisan passion; the state was influenced partly by a healthy desire to promote peace through out the empire, partly by the Schaft Hist, Christ ambition of posing as theological arbitrator.
100 Gibbon, chap. xlvii. Schaft Hist. Christ. iii, 770.
101 Dean Milman (Lat. Christ. iv, 4), following in the wake of Gibbon, remarks that "the church was not now disturbed by the sublime, if inexplicable, dogmas concerning the nature of God, the Persons of the Trinity, or the union of the divine and human nature of Christ, concerning the revelations of Scripture, or even the opinions of the ancient fathers. The orthodoxy or heterodoxy of certain writings by bishops but recently dead became the subject of imperial edicts of a fifth so-called Oecumenic Council, held at Constantinople, and a religious war between the East and the West," but it was on their explanation of sublime if inexplicable dogmas that the orthodoxy or heterodoxy of these bishops depended, and so far as the subject matter of dispute is concerned, the position in 553 was not very different from that of 451. In both cases the church was moved at once by honest conviction and partisan passion; the state was influenced partly by a healthy desire to promote peace through out the empire, partly by the Schaft Hist, Christ ambition of posing as theological arbitrator.
102 Labbe. Act. Conc. Const. v. Coll. vii.
103 Cf. Garnerius in Migne's Theodoret V. 255.
104 The last record in the History appears to be of a.d. 440, cf. p. 159. Eusebius ends, and Theodoret begins, with the defeat of Licinius in 323. Constantine began to reign in 306.
105 A writer, supposed to be a layman, whose works were discovered in two mss. at the end of the seventeenth century. One is in the Vatican, the other was found in the Cathedral Library of Beauvais. Marius wrote fully on the Nestorian Controversy, and with acrimony against Theodoret.
106 As catalogued by Canon Venables from Cave (Hist. Lit. I. 405 ff.) Dict. Christ. Biog. iv. 918.