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averfion to a court like that of Heraclius. He entered into the monastery of Chrysopolis near Chalcedon, and was at length elected abbot. He
was, who succeeded Sophronius in the defence of the primitive faith, and with much labour confuted the heresiarchs. Martin, bishop of Rome, was excited by the zeal of Maximus to assemble a council, in the Lateran, of a hundred and five A.D. bishops in 649. Constans was at this time empe- 649. ror, and, by a decree, had forbidden any side at all to be taken in the controversy. Sergius, Pyrrhus, and Paul, three successive bishops of Conftantinople, had supported the heresy. The controversy had now lafted eighteen years. In this way the active minds of men, destitute of true godliness, but eagerly embracing the form, gratified the self-righteous bias of the heart and all the malevolent passions in long-protracted controversies, while practical religion was loft. Nor could all the calamities of the times and the defolation of the eastern churches move them to the love of peace and truth.
In these circumstances, Martin in council ventured to anathematize the supporters of the Monothelite heresy. I cannot blame his disobedience to the emperor Constans in refusing to observe silence on a point of doctrine, which to him appeared important. Conftans evidently forgot his office, when he required such things. And it is a curious instance of the power of prejudice in fome Proteítant historians *, that they will so much support the conduct of a worthless tyrant as Conftans doubtless was, because his speculative principles induced him to treat a Roman bishop with cruelty. There was a haughtiness, no doubt, and an asperity in the language and behaviour of Martin, very
unbecoming • See Bower and Mosheim,
unbecoming a christian. His cause however seems just; nor does it appear, that he either meant or acted treasonably: he defended that part of the truth, which was opposed, with the magnanimity, though not with the meekness, that became a bishop. Constans ordered him to be dragged into the east, and treated him with a long, protracted barbarity of punishment. Martin was firm to the last. “ As to this wretched body,” says he, “ the Lord will take care of it. He is at hand; why should I give
myself any trouble? for I hope in his mercy, that A.D. he will not prolong my course.” He died in the 655. year 655. His extreme sufferings of imprisonment,
hunger, fetters, brutal treatment a thousand ways, call for compassion: his constancy demands respect; and his firm adherence to the doctrines of truth, though mixed with a very blamable ambition in maintaining the dignity of the Roman See, deserves the admiration of Christians. He is, in Roman language, called St. Martin; and I hope he had a just title to the name in the best sense of the word.
Maximus was also brought to Conftantinople, and, by the order of Constans, underwent a number of examinations. He was asked by an officer to sign the type;—so the edict of Constans was named. Only do this, said the officer, believe what you please in your heart. " It is not to the heart alone,” replied Maximus, that God hath confined our duty; we are also obliged with the mouth to confess Jesus Christ before men*.” It is astonishing mi to observe, what pains were taken to engage him to own the Monothelite party, nor can this be accounted for in any other way than by the opinion which all men had of his piety and sincerity, and the expectation of the influence, which his example would have on many. But the labour was lost: Maximus, though seventy-five years old, preserved all the vigour of understanding, and confounded his examiners, by the solidity of his answers. He clearly proved, “ that to allow only one will or operation in Jesus Christ was in reality to allow only one nature: that therefore the opinion for which the emperor was so zealous, was nothing more than Eutychianism dressed up anew : that he had not so properly condemned the emperor, as the doctrine, by whomsoever it was held: that it was contrary to the current of all ecclesiástical antiquity : that our Saviour was always allowed from the apoftolical times to be perfect God and perfect man, and must therefore have the nature, will, and operations distinctly belonging both to God and man: that the new notion went to confound the idea both of the Divinity and the humanity, and to leave him no proper existence at all: that the emperor was not a paftor, and that it had never been practised by Christian emperors in the best times, to impose filence on bishops : that it was the duty of the latter not to disguise the truth by ambiguous expressions, but to defend it by clear and distinct terms adapted to the subject : that Arianism had always endeavoured to support itself by such artifices as those employed by the emperor, and that a peace obtained by such methods in the Church was at the expense of truth." I admire the good sense and sincerity, which appear through the very long account of his defence, of which I have given a very brief summary. Were it not, that God, from age to age, had raised up such champions in his Church, humanly speaking, not an atom of Christian truth by this time would have been left in the world. For heretics have uni. formly acted on this plan: they have imposed filence on the orthodox, under pretence of the love of peace and union, whenever they had the power, and in
labour * See Butler's Vol. XII. + Fleury, B. XXXIV. 12, &c.
the mean time propagated their own tenets. The
The tyrant, enraged to find himself disappointed,
other, and confined in three castles in obscure A.D. regions of the east. Their condemnation took 656. place in 656: Maximus died in 662: one of the
Anastasius's in 664 : they both had sustained the
undoubtedly belong to men who suffer for rightA.D. eousness fake. The other Anastasius died in a 666. castle at the foot of Mount Caucasus in 666,
While such barbarous measures were used by nominal Christians to support unfcriptural tenets, it is not to be wondered at that Providence frowned on the affairs of the empire. The Saracens now ruled over Arabia, Perfia, Mesopotamia, Chaldea, Syria, Palestine, Egypt, and part of Africa. Even Europe suffered from the depredations of the Arabians, and part of Sicily was reduced to their subjection.
The unworthy emperor Constans murdered also his own brother Theodosius, and continued to dif
grace the Christian name by his follies, his vices, A.D. and his cruelties. He was himself dispatched at 667. length in the twenty-seventh year of his reign
In the year 680 à general council was called at A.D. Constantinople: the emperor Constantine Pogona- 680. tus presided : the Monothelite heresy was anathematized; and its several abertors were condemned, among whom was Honorius a bishop of Rome. A certain proof that infallibility was neither allowed nor pretended to at that time by the Italian prelate. For the legates of Agathon, who was then. bishop of Rome, were at the council, nor do we find that any opposition was made by them or by their master to the condeinnation of Honorius.
If we compare the east and the west, during this century, we shall see a very striking difference. In England true_godliness thone for a considerable part of it: in France there was a good measure of piety; and from these two countries divine truth inade its way into Germany and the north with glorious success. In Italy, the Lombards were more and more cleared of Arianism; and though there arose no bishop of Rome to be compared at all to Gregory, yet the purity of the faith was preserved by them all, in point of theological speculation, except one. And his condemnation, which we have just seen, demonstrates, that. Antichrift had not yet arrived at maturity. Infallibility was not then thought of, as attached to the person of the Roman prelate. His power indeed was much too great; so was his pomp and influence. But it was the same with the bishops of other great Sees : and the bishop of Conftantinople retains the title of universal bishop to this day. Nor had the bishop of Rome any temporal dominion, nor did he pretend to any.
In fine, the most decisive marks of Antichrist, idolatry and falle doctrine, had not yet appeared at Rome. Superstition and vice were lamentably on the increase in the west, though a considerable degree of true picty pre