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foundation, not one of the Greek historians making the slightest mention of it. The individual who opened the proceedings, is said by Sozomen, to have been Eusebius the historian ; by Theodoret, to have been Eustathius, patriarch of Antioch; and others have ascribed it to Alexander, the patriarch of Alexandria. (See varior. annott. in Reading's edition, Cantab. 1720 ; Sozomen's Hist. p. 38.) Hosius had been employed on a mission to Alexandria, previously to the council, with a view to make peace between Arius and the patriarch, but he was sent on that mission not by the Pope, but by the Emperor, whose letter he conveyed, and who deeply loved and reverenced him. See Eusebius, Socrates, and Sozomen.
Note (c), PAGE 10.
There is a curious circumstance connected with these canons. When the bishop of Rome, Boniface, tried to usurp over the African churches, by hearing appeals from them, he pleaded these canons as his authority, asserting them to be Nicene. The African bishops, having made inquiries concerning them, returned for answer, that. no such canons were passed at Nice, and peremptorily rejected his claim of hearing appeals, alleging that they knew no canon of the Fathers authorizing such a course. Now as the African churches had no less than thirty-six representatives at the council of Sardica, the fair inference from all this is, that these canons are spurious. At any rate they were held of no authority. But, even admitting them to be genuine, the utmost they amount to is this, that, in certain cases, Julius, the then bishop of Rome, might order a cause to be re-heard by a greater synod; and this power was given, not as of right, but for convenience, out of respect to the memory of St. Peter, with an ei cokei, if it seemed good to the council to permit it. The disputed canons are as follow :
Canon III.—Osius episcopus dixit: .... Quod si aliquis episcoporum judicatus fuerit in aliqua causa, et putat se bonam causam habere ut iterum concilium renovetur; si vobis placet, sancti Petri Apostoli memoriam honoremus, ut scribatur ab his qui causam examinarunt, Julio Romano episcopo ; et si judicaverit renovandum esse judicium, renovetur, et det judices. Si autem probaverit talem causam esse, ut non refricentur ea quæ acta sunt; quæ decreverit, confirmata erunt. Si hoc omnibus placet ? Synodus respondit, Placet.
Canon IV.-Gaudentius episcopus dixit: Addendum, si placet huic sententiæ, quam plenam sanctitate protulisti; ut cum aliquis episcopus depositus fuerit eorum episcoporum judicio qui in vicinis locis commorantur, et proclamaverit agendum sibi negotium in urbe Roma ; alter episcopus in ejus cathedra, post appellationem ejus qui videtur esse depositus, omnino non ordinetur; nisi causa fuerit in judicio episcopi Romani determinata.
Canon VII (or V. according to some.)-Osius episcopus dixit: Placuit autem, ut si episcopus accusatus fuerit, et judicaverint congregati episcopi regionis ipsius, et de gradu suo eum dejecerint: si appellaverit qui dejectus est, et confugerit ad Episcopum Romanæ Ecclesiæ, et voluerit se audiri: si justum putaverit, ut renovetur judicium, vel discussionis examen, scribere his episcopis dignetur, qui in finitima et propinqua provincia sunt, ut ipsi diligenter omnia requirant, et juxta fidem veritatis definiant. Quod si is qui rogat causam suam iterum audiri deprecatione sua moverit episcopum Romanum, ut de latere suo presbyterum mittat : erit in potestate episcopi quid velit, et quid æstimet. Et si decreverit mittendos esse, qui præsentes cum episcopis judicent, habentes ejus auctoritatem, a quo destinati sunt; erit in suo arbitrio, &c.
The texture of the canons (especially of the last) has the stamp of corruption : and when compared with the twelfth canon of Antioch, which was confirmed by the authority of the fourth generale council, and upon the strength of which St. John Chrysostom was condemned, it will be seen that they give no more authority to the bishop of Rome, than the Emperor had been acknowledged to have six years before, namely, not of deciding causes in his own person, but of ordering them to be re-heard. The civil magistrate may more reasonably claim from the genuine canon
of Antioch the supremacy (if it deserve the name) which consists in being able to have a cause re-heard by the bishops, (which, by the way, is all that the articles of Clarendon (8th) all that the 24 Hen. VIII. c. 12, and all that the Reformatio Legum Ecclesiasticarum under Henry the Eighth and Edward the Sixth claimed for the king of England), than the bishop of Rome can cite these doubtful, or rather utterly spurious canons of Sardica, as a ground for his monstrous usurpations. The African canon at the synod of Milevi, A.D. 416, before the dispute with Boniface and Celestine above referred to, may serve still more clearly to show the utter invalidity of the alleged canons of Sardica. Canon 22. “Let no one who shall think fit to make appeals to parts beyond sea, be received into communion by any one in Africa.” (See Johnson's Vade Mecum, ii. 163. Collier's Eccles. Hist. i. 30, &c. Beveridge's Pandect. ii. 199. Labbé and Cossart, ii. 1674. Conc. Sardic. Can. 3.)
Note (D), PAGE 10.
Athanasius in his Second Apology against the Arians, and in his Epistle, Ad Solitariam Vitam agentes, cited by Collier.
Note (E), PAGE 10.
Sulpitii Severi, Hist. Sacr. lib. ii. cited by Collier, Eccles. Hist. i. 37.
Note (F), Page 10. Although this council was composed of no more than 150 bishops, though all these bishops were from the East, though neither the bishop of Rome nor any representative of his was present at the council, much less presided at it, (see the notes of Binius in Labbé and Cossart, ii. 968,) yet has it been acknowledged by the whole Church as a general council. Nothing can show more indisputably that the claim of a council to the cha
racter and authority of an ecumenical one, is not to be determined by the number of bishops, nor of the countries they represent; nor by the authority of the president; but solely by the ex post facto testimony borne to it by the Church throughout the world, in the reception of its decrees. It is not irrelevant to the present purpose to observe that when in the following year the bishop of Rome desired to have a general council assembled at Rome, (concilium generale Romæ celebrandum indixit,) and by letters transmitted through the Emperor, invited the oriental bishops to attend, they civilly declined the invitation, and instead of attending, re-assembled at Constantinople, and sent him a synodical letter, in which they give him information of what had been done by them in the preceding year. (See Labbé and Cossart, ii. 1013 and 960.) Thus a synod convened by the bishop of Rome, and intended by him to be general, fell to the ground and is made no account of; while one at which he had not even a representative, and of the acts of which he appears to have had no official information till a year after it had taken place, was acknowledged by him as general, and has ever been so esteemed throughout the whole Church. It is a pity, for the present claims of the bishop of Rome, that Damasus did not excommunicate the eastern bishops for their independence, instead of confirming the decree of their council.
NOTE (G), PAGE 10.
So Socrates mentions in his Ecclesiastical History, v. 8. After these things the Emperor, without any delay, convokes a council of the bishops of his own faith. Sozomen repeats the same account (vii. 7.), and Theodoret (v. 7.), nor do any of these make the slightest allusion to any interference of the bishop of Rome: and what is still more remarkable, in the synodical epistle of the council to Theodosius, they ascribe the whole merit of convoking the council to him, without the slightest allusion to the bishop of Rome. (Labbé and Cossart, ii. 974.) And yet the Roman writers do not scruple to say that it was assembled
"auctoritate Damasi papæ and Theodosii senioris favore." (Labbé and Cossart, ii. 965.) Whereas the utmost that Damasus had to do with it was that he joined with the bishops at the synod of Aquileia, in requesting the Emperors Gratian, Valentinian, and Theodosius to put a check upon some heresies. Compare the letter of the Aquileian Synod, Labbé and Cossart, ii. 993, with the allusion to it by the bishops at Constantinople in their letter to Damasus and the other Western bishops, as given in Theodoret, v. 9.
Note (), PAGE 11.
Strange as it may appear, the Roman writers who believe the bishops at this council to have been inspired by the Holy Ghost, in their exposition of the creed, and their condemnation of heresies, suppose that He had deserted them, when at the self-same time and place, these self-same men enacted certain canons, which accordingly were not received by the Church of Rome. This is, indeed, to play fast and loose with inspiration. At the same time, to do them justice, they honestly admit that the chief cause of the rejection was the honour which in one of these canons was given to the bishop of Constantinople. (Labbé and Cossart, ii. 918.) And yet in the fifth canon of the fourth Lateran, which they receive as general and inspired, this honour to the See of Constantinople, which they before held sufficient to invalidate all the canons of Constantinople, is acknowledged, received, and confirmed. Out of such contradictions and absurdities have the Romans to extricate themselves in their vain attempt to make the records of the Church square with the new and heretical position which they have advanced.
Note (1), PAGE 11. The copy cited by Jeremy, patriarch of Constantinople, A.D. 1576, omits the word, “ Lord and giver of life," in the article concerning the Holy Ghost. Likewise the words, “ God of God,"