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and others wrote to Fulgentius from Rome, whither they had come from the east on an important mission. In their epistle they support some of their arguments by a quotation from the liturgy of Basil: "Wherefore also the blessed Basil, bishop of
Cæsarea, in the prayer of the holy altar, which "is used throughout almost all the east, says, &c." Gregory Nazianzen, the intimate friend of Basil, in his oration in praise of Basil, testified, that amongst other good works which he performed at Cæsarea was "an order of prayers"." Basil himself informs us, that "the customs of divine service which he "had appointed in his monasteries, were consonant "and agreeable to all the churches of God"."
These testimonies, combined with the universal tradition of the east, where no person has ever been known to doubt the fact, have induced learned men generally to agree that Basil actually composed a liturgy. The difficulty, however, generally expressed, is this. That from the variety of text exhibited by several liturgies which bear the name of Basil, it is impossible to ascertain the correct text of the liturgy as it was composed by him '.
in eodem spiritu conscriptam." Leontius Byzant. adv. Nestor. et Eutych. lib. iii. c. 18. Bibl. Patrum.
f"Hinc etiam beatus Basilius, Caesariensis episcopus, in oratione sacri altaris, quam pæne universus frequentat oriens, inter cætera, inquit," &c. Petrus Diaconus de Incarnat. et Gratia D. N. J. C. cap. 8. inter Fulgentii Opera.
8 Εὐχῶν διατάξεις, ευκοσμίαι TOй Bhμaros. Gregor. Nazianz.
Orat. 20. tom. i. p. 340. ed.
Πρὸς δὲ τὸ ἐπὶ ταῖς ψαλμῳδίας ἔγκλημα ἐκεῖνο εἰπεῖν ἔχω, ὅτι τὰ νῦν κεκρατηκότα ἔθη, πάσαις ταῖς τοῦ Θεοῦ ἐκκλησίαις, συνωδά ἐστι καὶ σύμφωνα. Basil. Magni Epist. 207, tom. iii. ed. Benedict.
i Cave, Hist. Literar. Dupin. Bona, R. Liturg. lib. i. c. 9, $ 2. Garnier, Opera Basilii, Præfat. tom. ii. p. lxxxv.
On comparing the printed editions of liturgies in different languages, bearing the name of Basil, so much difference, indeed, is to be found between them, that persons little versed in ritual matters may easily be perplexed. The difference, however, between these various texts, as they are printed, appears to such persons greater than it really is. For instance, the learned Cave, following many other erudite critics, declares, that "the copies of "Basil's liturgy are more short and more pure in "proportion to their antiquity: as clearly appears "from the liturgy which Andreas Masius translated "from the Syriac language." Here the learned Cave, with Masius, Rivetus, Bona, and others, were led astray, by not knowing that every Syrian liturgy is to be joined to an introduction, which is common to the numerous liturgies of the Syrian Monophysites, but which is rarely found in MSS., and then generally united to the liturgy of St. James. So that the liturgy translated by Masius only contained the Anaphora, or latter part of the liturgy, as it is performed. And if we complete the Syrian text of Basil's liturgy, by adding this introductory part, it will appear perhaps longer, instead of shorter, than any other text of Basil's liturgy.
It is a fact, however, that on critically comparing the various texts of Basil's liturgy together, such considerable differences are found, as cannot be accounted for merely by the common variety of readings in ancient works, nor by the inaccuracy of translators, but must be referred to design. These
j Cave, Historia Literaria, Collectio, tom. i. p. 172; tom. tom. i. ii. p. 563.
Renaudot, Liturg. Orient.
various texts may be reduced to three. First, the Constantinopolitan; which has been used from time immemorial throughout the patriarchate of Constantinople, and in the country and language of Basil. Secondly, the Alexandrian; which has also been for a long time used in the patriarchate of Alexandria, and is found in three languages, the Coptic, the Greek, and the Arabic. Thirdly, the Syrian; which is only extant in the Syriac language.
The Constantinopolitan text will first be examined on its intrinsic merits, and afterwards it will be compared with the Alexandrian. To ascertain the correct text of the Constantinopolitan recension or copy of Basil's liturgy, does not seem so difficult as some persons imagine. It is true, that no two MSS. are found perfectly alike. But the difference arises either from the common inaccuracy of transcribers, the variety of rubrics, (which in fact do not appear in the most ancient MSS.) or the introduction of certain formulæ or rites, which are easily distinguished by an experienced eye. The real text of the liturgy seems never to have been mutilated, but is found without any substantial variation in every manuscript. Some of these MSS. are of great antiquity, and yet in all it appears that the same rites, the same order, the same words are found. Montfaucon, the most profound antiquary of his own or perhaps any age, says that he saw in the Barberini library at Rome a MS. of Basil's liturgy in Greek uncial characters, above 1000 (1120) years old'; and which consequently was written about the time of the council in Trullo, A. D. 691. This council of two hundred and twenty-seven eastern 1 Montfaucon, Diarium Italicum, p. 210.
bishops, cited Basil's liturgy as a written document for the purpose of proving that water, according to the ancient custom of the church, should be mixed with the wine of the eucharist ". And if we turn to the MSS. of Basil's liturgy, according to the Constantinopolitan church; we find them all saying, "Likewise taking the cup of the fruit of the vine, having mixed it "," &c.
About the year 520, Peter the deacon, and his companions, who had come from the east to Rome on a mission of importance, wrote to Fulgentius and other African bishops on the nature of Christ, and the necessity of divine grace; and in support of the latter doctrine quoted from the liturgy of Basil, which they said was then used by almost the whole east. Their words are as follow: "Hinc "etiam beatus Basilius, Cæsariensis episcopus, in "oratione sacri altaris, quam pæne universus frequentat oriens, inter cætera; 'Dona,' inquit, 'Do"mine, virtutem et tutamentum, malos, quæsumus,
bonos facito, bonos in bonitate conserva, omnia "enim potes, nec est qui contradicat tibi, cum enim
volueris salvas, et nullus resistit voluntati tuæ.' "Ecce quam breviter, quamque distincte doctor "egregius olim huic controversiæ finem ponit, "docens per hanc precem, non a seipsis, sed a Deo, "malos homines bonos fieri, nec sua virtute, sed "divinæ gratiæ adjutorio, in ipsa bonitate perseve66 'rare "."
m Concil. in Trullo, Canon Basilii, Goar Rituale Græc. 32. p. 168.
η Ομοίως δὲ τὸ ποτήριον ἐκ τοῦ γεννήματος τῆς ἀμπέλου λαβὼν, κεράσας. Liturgia
• Petrus Diacon. de Incarnat. et Gratia D. N. J. C. c. 8. Inter Fulgentii Opera.
Critics have long remarked with confidence, that the words cited by Peter the deacon are not to be found any where in the liturgies ascribed to Basil P. From whence they have concluded, that these liturgies have been greatly interpolated or mutilated since the time of Basil. Renaudot was the first to remark, that it is not necessary to suppose that Peter quoted these words from one part of Basil's liturgy, but that he may have selected and united passages which occur in different places. He also remarked, that the most important words which Peter afterwards refers to, are actually found in the liturgy of Basil according to the church of Constantinople; videlicet, "Malos, quæsumus, bonos facito, bonos in bonitate conserva." But he has left the affair involved in some obscurity, by not assigning any sufficient reason why the remainder of the quotation cannot also be traced. However, the Constantinopolitan text of Basil's liturgy supplies the originals of two other parts of this celebrated quotation, as I proceed to shew. "Dona, Domine, vir“ tutem et tutamentum”Φρούρησον, ἐνδυνάμωσον *. Malos, quæsumus, bonos facito, bonos in bonitate “ conserva”τοὺς ἀγαθοὺς ἐν τῇ ἀγαθότητί σου διατήρησον, τοὺς πονηροὺς ἀγαθοὺς ποίησον ἐν τῇ χρηστότητί σου 5. "Omnia enim potes"-où yàp si ó éveρywv тà ἐνεργῶν
πάντα ἐν πᾶσι το
Thus far the quotation accords with the existing text of Basil's liturgy. But it must be confessed,
P Garnier, tom. ii. Oper. Basilii, præfat. p. lxxxv. Cave, Hist. Literar. Dupin, Eccles. Hist. cent. 4.
Coll. tom. i. p. xxxviii.
r Goar, Rituale Græcum,
¶ Renaudot, Liturg. Orient.
s Ibid. p. 171.