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sion of adhesion to the General Councils on the part of the Popes, at their appointment. The form proposed at Constance runs thus :
“Ego N., electus in papam, omnipotenti Deo, cujus ecclesiam suo præsidio regendam suscipio, et beato Petro Apostolorum principi corde et ore profiteor, quamdiu in bac fragili vita constitutus fuero, me firmiter credere et tenere sanctam fidem catholicam, secundum traditiones Apostolorum, Generalium Conciliorum et aliorum Sanctorum Patrum, maxime autem sanctorum octo Conciliorum universalium, videlicet : primi Nicæni, secundi Constantinopolitani, tertii Ephesini, quarti Chalcedonensis, quinti et sexti Constantinopolitanorum, septimi item Nicæni, octavi quoque Constantinopolitani, necnon Lateranensis, Lugdunensis, et Viennensis generalium etiam Conciliorum.” Conc. xii. 241.
It would appear from this that the Fathers at Constance received only one of the Lateran councils as general. The form proposed at Basle is the same as the preceding, only there is an addition of the words Constantiensis et Basiliensis after Viennensis. Conc. xii. 558. Whether these or any thing of the kind is now in use, I have been unable to ascertain.
REPUTED GENERAL COUNCILS AFTER THE
Constantinople, A.D. 754.
The style of the seventh General Council was assumed by the synod of 338 bishops convened at Constantinople by the Emperor Constantine Copronymus in the year 754. They met to offer resistance to the grievous error of image-worship with which the Church at that time began to be afflicted. But their zeal was more particularly directed against images of Christ ; for, as they argued, he being God as well as man (A), it was impossible to represent Him by an image. For either the image would represent only His manhood, which would not be Christ, but merely a division of the two natures which are in Him, or otherwise it must be supposed that the incomprehensible Deity was comprehended by the lines of human flesh: in either case the guilt of blasphemy would be incurred. But they were also opposed to the use of all images in religious worship; considering it to be a dishonour to the Saints, and a mere taint of heathenism. They show it to be condemned by the Scriptures, and uncountenanced by the fathers of the Church, citing Epiphanius, and Gregory, and Chrysostom, and Athanasius, and others, and accordingly they forbid images altogether, not suffering them even in private houses (B), for fear of their becoming a sort of Lares or household gods. This council is remarkable on two other accounts. First, for that it is the first which enjoined, under anathema, the invocation of the Virgin (c) and other saints (D). Secondly, for the remarkable evidence it indirectly affords against the modern doctrine of transubstantiation as taught in the Church of Rome; but which was then unknown to the Catholic church. One of the arguments which they bring against the use of images is that. Christ himself had sanctioned one, and one only image of himself, even the bread in the holy Eucharist (E). It does not appear that this council was received as a general one by the Church at large at any time; and only by the Church of Constantinople for a short period.
VII. Constantinople, Nice 2. A.D. 787.
The synod to which the style of a General Council has been more usually allowed, is that of 350 bishops assembled by the Empress Irene and her son
Constantine, first at Constantinople (F), and thence transferred to Nice (G), in the year 787. They were assembled to support the worship of images, and consequently reprobated and condemned all that had been done at the former council; and passed the monstrous decrees which will be found below. The Bishop of Rome, Adrian, sent legates to it (H), and approved of what was there transacted. Its decrees in favour of image-worship were vehemently opposed in the West by the Emperor Charlemagne, who wrote, or caused to be written against it, certain books called the Caroline books. The English bishops (1) were very earnest in their opposition to it, and the learned Alcuin is stated to have drawn up a strong memorial against it, in their names, replete with sound and Scriptural argument. In the year 794 Charlemagne assembled a great council at Francfort on the Maine, composed of 300 bishops from (K) Germany, Britain, Gaul, Aquitaine, and Lombardy, at which he himself in person, and two legates from the Bishop of Rome were present. In this council the decrees of the Nicene Synod, called Constantinopolitan, because there first assembled, were considered and expressly condemned (L). In the year 814, the Nicene Synod was again condemned at Constantinople (M). Again in 824 it was condemned by a great assembly of bishops at Paris (n).
Besides its decrees concerning image worship, the second Nicene Synod is remarkable for affording indirectly a testimony against transubstantiation no less forcible, when calmly considered, than that afforded by the former self-styled seventh council. For in answer to the argument against images adduced by that council from the bread in the Eucharist, being the image of our Lord's body, the obvious thing would have been to have alleged the doctrine of transubstantiation had it then existed ; but this they do not. They merely content themselves with affirming that it is His very body (o) and His very blood, (which for sacramental purposes we freely admit and maintain) and cite with unqualified approbation (P), in illustration and corroboration of their assertion, the liturgy of St. Basil, from which it appears that the change which that holy father contemplated and prayed for, was a spiritual change for sacramental purposes for the use of the communicants (Q); and not material abstracted from the use. For more concerning the authority of this council, see above, page 74.
Constantinople, A.D. 861.
The style of a General Council was assumed by a synod of 318 bishops, who met at Constantinople in the year 861, under the Emperor Michael. They assembled partly to re-establish image worship, but chiefly to confirm the violent intrusion of Photius into the See of Constantinople, and the deposition of Ignatius his predecessor. The Bishop of Rome had two legates present who consented to all that