Period ii. The Church from the Permanent Division of the Empire Until the Collapse of the Western Empire and the First Schism Between the East and the West, or Until About A. D. 500
In the second period of the history of the Church under the Christian Empire, the Church, although existing in two divisions of the Empire and experiencing very different political fortunes, may still be regarded as forming a whole. The theological controversies distracting the Church, although different in the two halves of the Graeco-Roman world, were felt to some extent in both divisions of the Empire and not merely in the one in which they were principally fought out; and in the condemnation of heresy, each half of the Church assisted the other. Though already marked lines of cleavage are clearly perceptible, and in the West the dominating personality of Augustine forwarded the development of the characteristic theology of the West, setting aside the Greek influences exerted through Hilary, Ambrose, Rufinus, and Jerome, and adding much that was never appreciated in the East -- yet the opponent of Augustine was condemned at the general council of Ephesus, 431, held by Eastern bishops in the East; and at the same time in the East the controversies regarding the union of the divine and human natures in Christ, although of interest almost entirely in the East and fought out by men of the East, found their preliminary solution at Chalcedon in 451 upon a basis proposed by the West. On the other hand, the attitudes of the two halves of the Church toward many profound problems were radically different, and the emergence of the Roman See as the great centre of the West amid the overturn of the Roman world by the barbarians, and the steadily increasing ascendency of the State over the Church in the East tended inevitably to separate ecclesiastically as well as politically the two divisions of the Empire. As the emperors of the East attempted to use dogmatic parties in the support of a political policy, the differences between the Church of the East, under the Roman Emperor, and the Church of the West, where the imperial authority had ceased to be a reality, became manifest in a schism resulting from the Monophysite controversy and the attempt to reconcile the Monophysites.

Chapter I. The Church At The Beginning Of The Permanent Separation Of The Two Parts Of The Roman Empire

Although Theodosius the Great had been the dominating power in the government of the Empire almost from his accession in 379, he was sole ruler of the united Roman Empire for only a few months before his death in 395. The East and the West became henceforth permanently divided after having been united, since the reorganization of the Empire under Diocletian in 285, for only three periods aggregating twenty-eight years in all. The imperial authority was divided between the sons of Theodosius, Arcadius taking the sovereignty of the East and Honorius that of the West. Stilicho, a Vandal, directed the fortunes of the West until his death in 408, but the Empire of the East soon began to take a leading part, especially after the barbarians commenced to invade the West about 405, and to establish independent kingdoms within the boundaries of the Empire. The German tribes that settled within the Empire were either Arians when they entered or became such almost immediately after; this Arianism had been introduced among the West Goths from Constantinople during the dominance of that creed. The Franks alone of all the Germanic tribes were heathen when they settled within the Empire.

§ 79. The Empire of the Dynasty of Theodosius.

Emperors of the West:

Honorius; born 384, Emperor 395-423.

Valentinian III; born 419, Emperor 425-455; son of Galla Placidia, the daughter of Theodosius the Great, and the Empress of the West 419-450.

Emperors of the East:

Arcadius: born 377, Emperor 395-408.

Theodosius II: born 401, Emperor 408-450.

Marcianus: Emperor 450-457; husband of Pulcheria (born 399, died 453), daughter of Arcadius.

The greatest event in the first half of the fifth century, the period in which the degenerate descendants of Theodosius still retained the imperial title, was the Barbarian Invasion, a truly epoch-making event. In 405 the Vandals, Alans, and Suevi crossed the Rhine, followed later by the Burgundians. August 24, 410, Alarich, the king of the West Goths, captured Rome. In 419 the West Gothic kingdom was established with Toulouse as a capital. In 429 the Vandals began to establish themselves in North Africa, and about 450 the Saxons began to invade Britain, abandoned by the Romans about 409. Although the West was thus falling to pieces, the theory of the unity of the Empire was maintained and is expressed in the provision of the new Theodosian Code of 439 for the uniformity of law throughout the two parts of the Empire. This theory of unity was not lost for centuries and was influential even into the eighth century.

(a) Jerome, Ep. 123, ad Ageruchiam. (MSL, 22:1057.)

The Barbarian Invasions in the opening years of the fifth century.

Jerome's letters are not to be considered a primary source for the barbarian invasion, but they are an admirable source for the way the invasion appeared to a man of culture and some patriotic feeling. With this passage should be compared his Ep. 60, ad Heliodorum, § 16, written in 396, in which he expresses his belief that Rome was falling and describes the barbarian invaders. The following letter was written 409.

§ 16. Innumerable savage tribes have overrun all parts of Gaul. The whole country between the Alps and the Pyrenees, between the Rhine and the ocean, have been laid waste by Quadi, Vandals, Sarmatians, Alans, Gepidi, Herules,(160) Saxons, Bergundians, Allemans and, alas for the common weal -- even the hordes of the Pannonians. For Asshur is joined with them (Psalm 83:8). The once noble city of Mainz has been captured and destroyed. In its church many thousands have been massacred. The people of Worms have been extirpated after a long siege. The powerful city of Rheims, the Ambiani [a tribe near Amiens], the Altrabtae [a tribe near Arras], the Belgians on the outskirts of the world, Tournay, Speyer, and Strassburg have fallen to Germany. The provinces of Aquitaine and of the Nine Nations, of Lyons and Narbonne, with the exception of a few cities, all have been laid waste. Those whom the sword spares without, famine ravages within. I cannot speak of Toulouse without tears; it has been kept hitherto from falling by the merits of its revered bishop, Exuperius. Even the Spains are about to perish and tremble daily as they recall the invasion of the Cymri; and what others have suffered once they suffer continually in fear.

§ 17. I am silent about other places, that I may not seem to despair of God's mercy. From the Pontic Sea to the Julian Alps, what was once ours is ours no longer. When for thirty years the barrier of the Danube had been broken there was war in the central provinces of the Roman Empire. Long use dried our tears. For all, except a few old people, had been born either in captivity or during a blockade, and they did not long for a liberty which they had never known. Who will believe it? What histories will seriously discuss it, that Rome has to fight within her borders, not for glory but for bare life; and that she does not fight even, but buys the right to exist by giving gold and sacrificing all her substance? This humiliation has been brought upon her, not by the fault of her emperors, both of them most religious men [Arcadius and Honorius], but by the crime of a half-barbarian traitor,(161)

(b) Jerome, Prefaces to Commentary on Ezekiel. (MSL, 25, 15:75.)

The fall of Rome.

Jerome's account of the capture of Rome by Alarich is greatly exaggerated (see his Ep. 127, ad Principiam). By his very exaggeration, however, one gains some impression of the shock the event must have occasioned in the Roman world.

Preface to Book I. Intelligence has suddenly been brought to me of the death of Pammachus and Marcella, the siege of Rome [A. D.408], and the falling asleep of many of my brethren and sisters. I was so stupefied and dismayed that day and night I could think of nothing but the welfare of all.{HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS} But when the bright light of all the world was put out,(162) or, rather, when the Roman Empire was decapitated, and, to speak more correctly, the whole world perished in one city, "I became dumb and humbled myself, and kept silence from good words, but my grief broke out afresh, my heart was hot within me, and while I was musing the fire was kindled" [Psalm 39:3, 4].

Preface to Book III. Who would believe that Rome, built up by the conquest of the whole world, had collapsed; that she had become both the mother of nations and their tomb; that all the shores of the East, of Egypt, of Africa, which had once belonged to the imperial city should be filled with the hosts of her men-servants and maid-servants; that every day holy Bethlehem should be receiving as mendicants men and women who were once noble and abounding in every kind of wealth?

(c) Theodosius II, Novella I, de Theodosiani Codicis Auctoritate; Feb.15, 439.

The Emperors Theodosius and Valentinian, Augusti, to Florentius, Praetorian Prefect of the East.

Our clemency has often been at a loss to understand the cause of the fact that, although so many rewards are held out for the maintenance of arts and studies, so few and rare are they who are fully endowed with a knowledge of the civil law, and that although so many have grown pale from late studies, scarcely one or two have gained a sound and complete learning. When we consider the enormous multitude of books, the diversity in the forms of process, and the difficulty of legal cases, and, further, the huge mass of imperial constitutions which, hidden as it were under a veil of gross mist and darkness, precludes man's intellect from gaining a knowledge of them, we have performed a task needful for our age, and, the darkness having been dispelled, we have given light to the laws by a brief compendium. Noble men of approved faithfulness were selected, men of well-known learning, to whom the matter was intrusted. We have published the constitutions of former princes, cleared by interpretation of difficulties so that men may no longer have to wait formidable responses from expert lawyers as from a shrine, since it is quite plain what is the value of a donation, by what action an inheritance is to be sued for, with what words a contract is to be made.{HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS} Thus having wiped out the cloud of volumes, on which many wasted their lives and explained nothing in the end, we establish a compendious knowledge of the imperial constitutions since the time of the divine Constantine, and permit no one after the first day of next January to use in courts and daily practice of law the imperial law, or to draw up pleadings except from these books which bear our name and are kept in the sacred archives.{HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS}

To this we add that henceforward no constitution can be passed in the West or in any other place by the unconquerable Emperor, the son of our clemency, the everlasting Augustus Valentinian, or possess any legal validity, except the same by a divine pragmatica be communicated to us. The same rule is to be observed in the acts which are promulgated by us in the East; and those are to be condemned as spurious which are not recorded in the Theodosian Code [certain documents excepted which were kept in the registers of bureaux].

§ 80. The Extension of the Church about the Beginning of the Fifth Century

The most important missionary work in the early part of the fifth century was the extension of the work of Ulfilas among the German tribes and the work of the missionaries of the West in Gaul and western Germany. Of the latter the most important was Martin of Tours.

(a) Socrates, Hist. Ec., II, 41. (MSG, 67:349.)


Additional material for the life of Ulfilas may be found in the Ecclesiastical History of Philostorgius, fragments of which, as preserved, may be found appended to the Bohn translation of Sozomen's Ecclesiastical History.

After giving a list of creeds put forth by various councils, from Nicaea down to the Arian creed of Constantinople, 360 (text may be found in Hahn, § 167), Socrates continues:

The last creed was that put forth at Constantinople [A. D.360], with the appendix. For to this was added the prohibition respecting the mention of substance [ousia], or subsistence [hypostasis], in relation to God. To this creed Ulfilas, bishop of the Goths, then first gave his assent. For before that time he had adhered to the faith of Nicaea; for he was a disciple of Theophilus, bishop of the Goths, who was present at the Nicene Council, and subscribed what was there determined.

(b) Ulfilas, Confession of Faith. Hahn, § 198.

This confession of faith, which Ulfilas describes as his testament, is found at the conclusion of a letter of Auxentius, his pupil, an Arian bishop of Silistria, in Moesia Inferior; see note of Hahn. It should be compared with that of Constantinople of 360.

I, Ulfilas, bishop and confessor, have always thus believed, and in this sole and true faith I make my testament before my Lord: I believe that there is one God the Father, alone unbegotten and invisible; and in His only begotten Son, our Lord and God, the fashioner and maker of all creation, not having any one like him -- therefore there is one God of all, who, in our opinion, is God -- and there is one Holy Spirit, the illuminating and sanctifying power -- as Christ said to his apostles for correction, "Behold I send the promise of my Father to you, but remain ye in the city of Jerusalem until ye be indued with power from on high"; and again, "And ye shall receive power coming upon you from the Holy Spirit" -- neither God nor Lord, but a minister of Christ in all things; not ruler, but a subject, and obedient in all things to the Son, and the Son himself subject and obedient in all things to his Father {HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS} through Christ {HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS} with the Holy Spirit.{HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS}(163)

(c) Socrates, Hist. Ec., IV, 23. (MSG, 67:551.)

The barbarians dwelling beyond the Danube, who are called Goths, having been engaged in a civil war among themselves, were divided into two parties; of one of these Fritigernus was the leader, of the other Athanaric. When Athanaric had obtained an evident advantage over his rival, Fritigernus had recourse to the Romans and implored their assistance against his adversary. When these things were reported to the Emperor Valens [364-378], he ordered the troops garrisoned in Thrace to assist those barbarians against the barbarians fighting against them. They won a complete victory over Athanaric beyond the Danube, totally routing the enemy. This was the reason why many of the barbarians became Christians: for Fritigernus, to show his gratitude to the Emperor for the kindness shown him, embraced the religion of the Emperor, and urged those under him to do the same. Therefore it is that even to this present time so many of the Goths are infected with the religion of Arianism, because the emperors at that time gave themselves to that faith. Ulfilas, the bishop of the Goths at that time, invented the Gothic letters and, translating the Holy Scriptures into their own language, undertook to instruct these barbarians in the divine oracles. But when Ulfilas taught the Christian religion not only to the subjects of Fritigernus but to the subjects of Athanaric also, Athanaric, regarding this as a violation of the privileges of the religion of his ancestors, subjected many of the Christians to severe punishments, so that many of the Arian Goths of that time became martyrs. Arius, indeed, failing to refute the opinion of Sabellius the Libyan, fell from the true faith and asserted that the Son of God was a new God; but the barbarians, embracing Christianity with greater simplicity, despised this present life for the faith of Christ.

(d) Sulpicius Severus, Vita S. Martini, 13. (MSL, 20:167.)

Sulpicius Severus was a pupil of Martin of Tours, and wrote the life of his master during the latter's lifetime (died 397), but published it after his death. He wrote also other works on Martin. The astounding miracles they contain present curious problems for the student of ethics as well as of history. As St. Martin was one of the most popular saints of Gaul, and in this case the merits of the man and his reputation as a saint were in accord, the works of Sulpicius became the basis of many popular lives of the saint. The following passage illustrates the embellishment which soon became attached to all the lives of religious heroes. It is, however, one of the least astounding of the many miracles the author relates in apparent good faith. Whatever may be the judgment regarding the miracle, the story contains several characteristic touches met with in the history of missions in the following centuries: e.g., the destruction of heathen temples and objects of worship. This sacred tree also finds its duplicate in other attacks upon heathen sanctuaries.

Ch.13. When in a certain village he had demolished a very ancient temple, and had set about cutting down a pine-tree, which stood close to the temple, the chief priest of that place and a crowd of other heathen began to oppose him. And though these people, under the influence of the Lord, had been quiet while the temple was being overthrown, they could not patiently allow the tree to be cut down. Martin carefully instructed them that there was nothing sacred in the trunk of a tree; let them rather follow God, whom he himself served. He added that it was necessary that that tree be cut down, because it had been dedicated to a demon [i.e., to a heathen deity]. Then one of them, who was bolder than the others, said: "If you have any trust in the God whom you say you worship, we ourselves will cut down this tree, you shall receive it when it falls; for if, as you declare, your Lord is with you, you will escape all injury." Then Martin, courageously trusting in the Lord, promised that he would do this. Thereupon all that crowd of heathen agreed to the condition; for they held the loss of their tree a small matter, if only they got the enemy of their religion buried beneath its fall. Accordingly when that pine-tree was hanging over in one direction, so that there was no doubt as to what side it would fall on being cut, Martin, having been bound, was, in accordance with the decision of these pagans, placed in that spot where, as no one doubted, the tree was about to fall. They began, therefore, to cut down their own tree with great joy and mirth. At some distance there was a great multitude of wondering spectators. And now the pine-tree began to totter and to threaten its own ruin by falling. The monks at a distance grew pale and, terrified by the danger ever coming nearer, had lost all hope and confidence, expecting only the death of Martin. But he, trusting in the Lord, and waiting courageously, when now the falling pine had uttered its expiring crash, while it was now falling, while it was just rushing upon him, with raised hand put in its way the sign of salvation [i.e., the sign of the cross]. Then, indeed, after the manner of a spinning top (one might have thought it driven back) it fell on the opposite side, so that it almost crushed the rustics, who had been standing in a safe spot. Then truly a shout was raised to heaven; the heathen were amazed by the miracle; the monks wept for joy; and the name of Christ was extolled by all in common. The well-known result was that on that day salvation came to that region. For there was hardly one of that immense multitude of heathen who did not desire the imposition of hands, and, abandoning his impious errors, believe in the Lord Jesus. Certainly, before the times of Martin, very few, nay, almost none, in those regions had received the name of Christ; but through his virtues and example it has prevailed to such an extent that now there is no place there which is not filled with either very crowded churches or monasteries. For wherever he destroyed heathen temples, there he was accustomed to build, immediately, either churches or monasteries.

Chapter II. The Church Of The Western Empire In The Fifth Century

The period between the closing years of the fourth century, in which the struggle was still going on between heathenism and Christianity (§ 81), and the end of the Roman Empire of the West is of fundamental importance in the study of the history of the Christian Church of the West. In this period were laid the foundations for its characteristic theology and its ecclesiastical organization. The former was the work of St. Augustine, the most powerful religious personality of the Western Church. In this he built partly upon the traditions of the West, but also, largely, upon his own religious experience (§ 82). These elements were developed and modified by the two great controversies in which, by discussion, he formulated more completely than ever had been done before the idea of the Church and its sacraments in opposition to the Donatists (§ 83), and the doctrines of sin and grace in opposition to a moralistic Christianity, represented by Pelagius (§ 84). The leading ideas of Augustine, however, could be appropriated only as they were modified and brought into conformity with the dominant ecclesiastical and sacramental system of the Church, in the semi-Pelagian controversy, which found a tardy termination in the sixth century (§ 85). In the meanwhile the inroads of the barbarians with all the horrors of the invasions, the confusion in the political, social, and ecclesiastical organization, threatened the overthrow of all established institutions. In the midst of this anarchy, the Roman See, in the work of Innocent I, and still more clearly in the work of Leo the Great, enunciated its ideals and became the centre, not merely of ecclesiastical unity, in which it had often to contest its claims with the divided Church organizations of the West, but still more as the ideal centre of unity for all those that held to the old order of the Empire with its culture and social life (§ 86).

§ 81. The Western Church Toward the End of the Fourth Century

Heathenism lingered as a force in society longer in the West than in the East, not merely among the peasantry, but among the higher classes. This was partly due to the conservatism of the aristocratic classes and the superior form in which the religious philosophy of Neo-Platonism had been presented to the West. This presentation was due, in no small part, to the work of such philosophers as Victorinus, who translated the earlier works of the Neo-Platonists so that it escaped the tendencies, represented by Jamblichus, toward theurgy and magic, and an alliance with polytheism and popular superstition. Victorinus himself became a Christian, passing by an easy transition from Neo-Platonism to Christianity; a course in which he was followed by Augustine, and, no doubt, by others as well.

Augustine, Confessiones, VIII, 2. (MSL, 32:79.)

The conversion of Victorinus.

To Simplicianus then I went -- the father of Ambrose,(164) in receiving Thy grace,(165) and whom he truly loved as a father. To him I narrated the windings of my error. But when I mentioned to him that I had read certain books of the Platonists, which Victorinus, formerly professor of rhetoric at Rome (who died a Christian, as I had heard), had translated into Latin, he congratulated me that I had not fallen upon the writings of other philosophers, which were full of fallacies and deceit, "after the rudiments of this world" [Col.2:8], whereas they, in many respects, led to the belief in God and His word. Then to exhort me to the humility of Christ, hidden from the wise and revealed to babes, he spoke of Victorinus himself, whom, while he was in Rome, he had known intimately; and of him he related that about which I will not be silent. For it contained great praise of Thy grace, which ought to be confessed unto Thee, how that most learned old man, highly skilled in all the liberal sciences, who had read, criticised, and explained so many works of the philosophers; the teacher of so many noble senators, who, also, as a mark of his excellent discharge of his duties, had both merited and obtained a statue in the Roman Forum (something men of this world esteem a great honor), he, who had been, even to that age, a worshipper of idols and a participator in the sacrilegious rites to which almost all the nobility of Rome were addicted, and had inspired the people with the love of "monster gods of every sort, and the barking Anubis, who hold their weapons against Neptune and Venus and Minerva" [Vergil, AEneid, VIII, 736 ff.], and those whom Rome once conquered, she now worshipped, all of which Victorinus, now old, had defended so many years with vain language,(166) he now blushed not to be a child of Thy Christ, and an infant at Thy fountain, submitting his neck to the yoke of humility, and subduing his forehead to the reproach of the cross.

O Lord, Lord, who hast bowed the heavens and come down, touched the mountains and they smoked [Psalm 144:5], by what means didst Thou convey Thyself into that bosom? He used to read, Simplicianus said, the Holy Scriptures and most studiously sought after and searched out all the Christian writings, and he said to Simplicianus, not openly, but secretly and as a friend: "Knowest thou that I am now a Christian?" To which he replied: "I will not believe it, nor will I rank you among the Christians unless I see you in the Church of Christ." Whereupon he replied derisively: "Do walls then make Christians?" And this he often said, that already he was a Christian; and Simplicianus used as often to make the same answer, and as often the conceit of the walls was repeated. For he was fearful of offending his friends, proud demon worshippers, from the height of whose Babylonian pride, as from the cedars of Lebanon, which the Lord had not yet broken [Psalm 29:5], he seriously thought a storm of enmity would descend upon him. But after that he had derived strength from reading and inquiry, and feared lest he should be denied by Christ before the holy angels if he was now afraid to confess Him before men [Matt.10:33], and appeared to himself to be guilty of a great fault in being ashamed of the sacraments of the humility of Thy word, and not being ashamed of the sacrilegious rites of those proud demons, which as a proud imitator he had accepted, he became bold-faced against vanity and shamefaced toward the truth, and suddenly and unexpectedly said to Simplicianus, as he himself informed me: "Let us go to the Church; I wish to be made a Christian." And he, unable to contain himself for joy, went with him. When he had been admitted to the first sacrament of instruction [i.e., the Catechumenate], he, not long after, gave in his name that he might be regenerated by baptism. Meanwhile Rome marvelled and the Church rejoiced; the proud saw and were enraged; they gnashed with their teeth and melted away [Psalm 92:9]. But the Lord God was the hope of Thy servant, and He regarded not vanities and lying madness [Psalm 40:4].

Finally the hour arrived when he should make profession of his faith, which, at Rome, they, who are about to approach Thy grace, are accustomed to deliver from an elevated place, in view of the faithful people, in a set form of words learnt by heart. But the presbyters, he said, offered Victorinus the privilege of making his profession more privately, as was the custom to do to those who were likely, on account of bashfulness, to be afraid; but he chose, rather, to profess his salvation in the presence of the holy assembly. For it was not salvation that he had taught in rhetoric and yet he had publicly professed that. How much less, therefore, ought he, when pronouncing Thy word, to dread Thy meek flock, who, in the delivery of his own words, had not feared the mad multitudes! So then, when he ascended to make his profession, and all recognized him, they whispered his name one to the other, with a tone of congratulation. And who was there among them that did not know him? And there ran through the mouths of all the rejoicing multitude a low murmur: "Victorinus! Victorinus!" Sudden was the burst of exultation at the sight of him, and as sudden the hush of attention that they might hear him. He pronounced the true faith with an excellent confidence, and all desired to take him to their hearts, and by their love and joy they did take him to them; such were the hands with which they took him.

§ 82. Augustine's Life and Place in the Western Church

Aurelius Augustinus, the greatest of the Latin fathers, was born 354, at Tagaste, in Numidia. He was educated to be a teacher of rhetoric, and practised his profession at Carthage, Rome, and Milan. From 374 to 383, he was a Manichaean catechumen, for although his mother, Monnica, was a Christian, his religious education had been very meagre, and he was repelled by the literary character of the Scriptures as commonly interpreted. In 387, after a long struggle, and passing through various schools of thought, he, with his son Adeodatus, were baptized at Milan by Ambrose. In 391 he became a presbyter, and in 394 bishop of Hippo Regius, a small town in North Africa. He died 430, during the Vandal invasion. Of his works, the Confessions are the most widely known, as they have become a Christian classic of edification of the first rank. They give an account of his early life and conversion, but are more useful as showing his type of piety than as a biography. From them is learned the secret of his influence upon the Western world. The literary activity of Augustine was especially developed in connection with the prolonged controversies, in which he was engaged throughout his episcopate (see §§ 83, 84), but he wrote much in addition to controversial treatises. The group of characteristic doctrines known as "Augustinianism," viz.: Original Sin, Predestination, and Grace and the doctrines connected with them, were, to a large extent, the outcome of his own religious experience. He had known the power and depth of sin. He had discovered the hand of God leading him in spite of himself. He knew that his conversion was due, not to his own effort or merit, but to God's grace.

The works of Augustine have been translated in part in PNF, ser. I, vols. I-VIII. There are many translations of the Confessions; among others, one by E. B. Pusey, in "Library of the Fathers of the Holy Catholic Church," reprinted in "Everyman's Library."

(a) Augustine, Confessiones, VIII, 12. (MSL, 32:761.)

The conversion of Augustine.

This is, perhaps, the most famous passage in the Confessions. It came at the end of a long series of attempts to find peace in various forms of philosophy and religion. Augustine regarded it as miraculous, the crown and proof of the work of grace in him. The scene was in Milan, 387, in the garden of the villa he occupied with his friend Alypius. The principal obstacle to his embracing Christianity was his reluctance to abandon his licentious life. To this the reference is made in the passage from Scripture which he read, i.e., Rom.13:13, 14.

When a profound reflection had, from the depths of my soul, drawn together and heaped up all my misery before the sight of my heart, there arose a mighty storm, accompanied by as mighty a shower of tears. That I might pour it all forth in its own words I arose from beside Alypius; for solitude suggested itself to me as fitter for the business of weeping. So I retired to such a distance that even his presence could not be oppressive to me. Thus it was with me at that time, and he perceived it; for something, I believe, I had spoken, wherein the sound of my voice appeared choked with weeping, and thus I had risen up. He then remained where we had been sitting, very greatly astonished. I flung myself down, I know not how, under a certain fig-tree, giving free course to my tears, and the streams of my eyes gushed out, an acceptable sacrifice unto Thee. And not indeed in these words, yet to this effect, spake I much unto Thee -- "But Thou, O Lord, how long?" [Psalm 13:1]. "How long, Lord? Wilt Thou be angry forever? Oh, remember not against us former iniquities" [Psalm 79:5, 8]; for I felt that I was held fast by them. I sent up these sorrowful cries: "How long, how long? To-morrow, and to-morrow? Why not now? Why is there not this hour an end to my uncleanness?"

I was saying these things and was weeping in the most bitter contrition of my heart, when, lo, I hear the voice as of a boy or girl, I know not which, coming from a neighboring house, chanting and oft repeating: "Take up and read; take up and read." Immediately my countenance was changed, and I began most earnestly to consider whether it was usual for children in any kind of game to sing such words; nor could I remember ever to have heard the like anywhere. So, restraining the torrent of my tears, I rose up, interpreting it in no other way than as a command to me from Heaven to open the book and read the first chapter I should light upon. For I had heard of Anthony [see also § 77, e], that accidentally coming in whilst the Gospel was being read, he received the admonition as if what was read was addressed to him: "Go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven; and come and follow me" [Matt.19:21]. And by such oracle was he forthwith converted unto Thee. So quickly I returned to the place where Alypius was sitting; for there had I put down the volume of the Apostles, when I rose thence. I seized, I opened, and in silence I read that paragraph on which my eye first fell: "Not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying; but put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh to fulfil the lusts thereof" [Rom.13:13, 14]. No further would I read; there was no need; for instantly, as the sentence ended, by a light, as it were, of security infused into my heart, all the gloom of doubt vanished away.

Closing the book, then, and putting either my finger between, or some other mark, I now with a tranquil countenance made it known to Alypius. And he thus disclosed to me what was wrong in him, which I knew not. He asked to look at what I had read. I showed him; and he looked even further than I had read, and I knew not what followed. This, in fact, followed: "Him that is weak in the faith, receive ye" [Rom.14:1]; which he applied to himself, and discovered to me. By this admonition was he strengthened; and by a good resolution and purpose, very much in accord with his character (wherein, for the better, he was always far different from me), without any restless delay he joined me. Thence we go to my mother. We tell her -- she rejoices. We relate how it came to pass -- she exults and triumphs, and she blesses Thee, who art "able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think" [Eph.3:20]; for she perceived Thee to have given her more for me than she used to ask by her pitiful and most doleful groanings. For Thou didst so convert me unto Thyself, that I sought neither a wife, nor any other hope of this world -- standing in that rule of faith in which Thou, so many years before, had showed me unto her. And thou didst turn her grief unto gladness [Psalm 30:11], much more plentiful than she had desired, and much dearer and chaster than she used to crave, by having grandchildren of my flesh.

(b) Augustine, Confessiones, X, 27, 29, 43. (MSL, 32:795, 796, 808.)

The following passages from the Confessions are intended to illustrate Augustine's type of piety.

Ch.29. My whole hope is only in Thy exceeding great mercy. Give what Thou commandest and command what Thou wilt.(167) Thou imposest continency upon us. "And when I perceived," saith one, "that no one could be continent except God gave it; and this was a point of wisdom also to know whose this gift was" [Wis.8:21]. For by continency are we bound up and brought into one, whence we were scattered abroad into many. For he loves Thee too little, who besides Thee loves aught which he loves not for Thee. O love, who ever burnest and art never quenched! O charity, my God, kindle me! Thou commandest continency; give what Thou commandest, and command what Thou wilt.

Ch.27. Too late have I loved Thee, O fairness, so ancient, yet so new! Too late have I loved Thee. For behold Thou wast within and I was without, and I was seeking Thee there; I, without love, rushed heedlessly among the things of beauty Thou madest. Thou wast with me, but I was not with Thee. Those things kept me far from Thee, which, unless they were in Thee, were not. Thou didst call and cry aloud, and Thou broke through my deafness. Thou didst gleam and shine and chase away my blindness. Thou didst exhale fragrance and I drew in my breath and I panted for Thee. I tasted, and did hunger and thirst. Thou didst touch me, and I burned for Thy peace.

Ch.43. O how Thou hast loved us, O good Father, who sparedst not thine only Son, but didst deliver Him up for us wicked ones! [Rom.8:32.] O how Thou hast loved us, for whom He, who thought it not robbery to be equal with Thee, "became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross" [Phil.2:8]. He alone, "free among the dead" [Psalm 88:5], that had power to lay down His life, and power to take it again [John 10:18]; for us was He unto Thee both victor and the victim, and the victor became the victim; for He was unto Thee both priest and sacrifice, and priest because sacrifice; making us from being slaves to become Thy sons, by being born of Thee, and by serving us. Rightly, then, is my strong hope in Him, because Thou didst cure all my diseases by Him who sitteth at Thy right hand and maketh intercession for us [Rom.8:34]; else should I utterly despair. For numerous and great are my infirmities, yea numerous and great are they; but Thy medicine is greater. We might think that Thy word was removed from union with man and despair of ourselves had not He been "made flesh and dwelt among us" [John 1:14].

(c) Augustine, De Civitate Dei, XIII, 3, 14. (MSL, 41:378; 86.)

The Fall of Man and Original Sin.

The City of God is Augustine's great theodicy, apology, and philosophy of universal history. It was begun shortly after the capture of Rome, and the author was engaged upon it from 413 to 426. It was the source whence the mediaeval ecclesiastics drew their theoretical justification for the curialistic principles of the relation of State and Church, and at the same time the one work of St. Augustine that Gibbon the historian regarded highly. For an analysis see Presensee, art. "Augustine" in DCB.

Compare the position of Augustine with the following passage from St. Ambrose, On the Death of Satyrus, II, 6, "Death is alike to all, without difference for the poor, without exception for the rich. And so although through the sin of one alone, yet it passed upon all; {HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS} In Adam I fell, in Adam I was cast out of paradise. In Adam I died; how shall the Lord call me back, except He find me in Adam; guilty as I was in him, so now justified in Christ." [MSL, 16:1374.]

The first men would not have suffered death if they had not sinned.{HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS} But having become sinners they were so punished with death, that whatsoever sprang from their stock should also be punished with the same death. For nothing else could be born of them than what they themselves had been. The condemnation changed their nature for the worse in proportion to the greatness of their sin, so that what was before as punishment in the man who had first sinned, followed as of nature in others who were born.{HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS} In the first man, therefore, the whole human nature was to be transmitted by the woman to posterity when that conjugal union received the divine sentence of its own condemnation; and what man was made, not when he was created but when he sinned, and was punished, this he propagated, so far as the origin of sin and death are concerned.

Ch.14. For God, the author of natures, not of vices, created man upright; but man, being by his own will corrupt and justly condemned, begot corrupted and condemned children. For we were all in that one man when we were all that one man, who fell into sin by the woman who had been made from him before the sin. For not yet was the particular form created and distributed to us, in which we as individuals were to live; but already the seminal nature was there from which we were to be propagated; and this being vitiated by sin, and bound by the chain of death, and justly condemned, man could not be born of man in any other state. And thus from the bad use of free will, there originated a whole series of evils, which with its train of miseries conducts the human race from its depraved origin, as from a corrupt root, on to the destruction of the second death, which has no end, those only being excepted who are freed by the grace of God.

(d) Augustine, De Correptione et Gratia, 2. (MSL, 44:917.)

Grace and Free Will.

Now the Lord not only shows us what evil we should shun, and what good we should do, which is all the letter of the law can do; but moreover He helps us that we may shun evil and do good [Psalm 37:27], which none can do without the spirit of grace; and if this be wanting, the law is present merely to make us guilty and to slay us. It is on this account that the Apostle says: "The letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life" [II Cor.3:6]. He, then, who lawfully uses the law, learns therein evil and good, and not trusting in his own strength, flees to grace, by the help of which he may shun evil and do good. But who flees to grace except when "the steps of a man are ordered by the Lord, and He wills his ways"? [Psalm 37:23.] And thus also to desire the help of grace is the beginning of grace.{HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS} It is to be confessed, therefore, that we have free choice to do both evil and good; but in doing evil every one is free from righteousness and is a servant of sin, while in doing good no one can be free, unless he have been made free by Him who said: "If the Son shall make you free, then you shall be free indeed" [John 8:36]. Neither is it thus, that when any one shall have been made free from the dominion of sin, he no longer needs the help of his Deliverer; but rather thus, that hearing from Him, "Without me ye can do nothing" [John 15:5], he himself also says to Him: "Be Thou my helper! Forsake me not!"

(e) Augustine, De Civitate Dei, XV, 1. (MSL, 41:437.)


Inasmuch as all men are born condemned, and of themselves have not the power to turn to grace, which alone can save them, it follows that the bestowal of grace whereby they may turn is not dependent upon the man but upon God's sovereign good pleasure. This is expressed in the doctrine of Predestination. For a discussion of the position of Augustine respecting Predestination and his other doctrines as connected with it, see J. B. Mozley, A Treatise on the Augustinian Doctrine of Predestination, 1873, a book of great ability. Cf. also Tixeront, History of Dogmas, vol. II.

I trust that we have already done justice to these great and difficult questions regarding the beginning of the world, of the soul, and of the human race itself. This race we have distributed into two parts: the one consisting of those who live according to man, the other of those who live according to God. And these we have also mystically called the two cities, or the two communities of men, of which one is predestined to reign eternally with God, and the other to suffer eternal punishment with the devil.{HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS}

Each man, because born of condemned stock, is first of all born from Adam, evil and carnal, and when he has been grafted into Christ by regeneration he afterward becomes good and spiritual. So in the human race, as a whole, when these two cities began to run their course by a series of births and deaths, the citizen of this world was born first, and after him the stranger of this world, and belonging to the City of God,(168) predestined by grace, elected by grace, by grace a stranger here below, and by grace a citizen above. For so far as regards himself he is sprung from the same mass, all of which is condemned in its origin; but God like a potter (for this comparison is introduced by the Apostle judiciously and not without thought) of the same lump made one vessel to honor and another to dishonor [Rom.9:21].

(f) Augustine, De Correptione et Gratia, chs.23 (9), 39 (13). (MSL, 44:930, 940.)

Ch.23 (9). Whosoever, therefore, in God's most providential ordering are foreknown [praesciti] and predestinated, called justified, glorified -- I say not, even though not yet born again, but even though not yet born at all -- are already children of God, and absolutely cannot perish.{HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS} From Him, therefore, is given also perseverance in good even to the end; for it is not given except to those who will not perish, since they who do not persevere will perish.(169)

Ch.39 (13). I speak of those who are predestinated to the kingdom of God, whose number is so certain that no one can either be added to them or taken from them; not of those who when He had announced and spoken, were multiplied beyond number [Psalm 40:6]. For these may be said to be called [vocati] but not chosen [electi], because they are not called according to purpose.(170)

(g) Augustine, Enchiridion, 100. (MSL, 40:279.)

Twofold Predestination.

Augustine does not commonly speak of predestination of the wicked, i.e., those who are not among the elect and consequently predestinated to grace and salvation. As a rule he speaks of predestination in connection with the saints, those who are saved. But that he, with perfect consistency, regarded the wicked as also predestinated is shown by the following, as also other passages in his works, e.g., City of God, XV, 1 (v. supra), XXII, ch.24:5. This point has a bearing in connection with the controversy on predestination in the ninth century, in which Gottschalk reasserted the theory of a double predestination.

These are the great works of the Lord, sought out according to all His good pleasure [Psalm 111:2], and wisely sought out, that when the angelic and the human creature sinned, that is, did not do what He willed but what the creature itself willed, so by the will of the creature, by which was done what the Creator did not will, He carried out what He himself willed; the supremely Good thus turning to account even what is evil; to the condemnation of those whom He has justly predestinated to punishment and to the salvation of those whom He has mercifully predestinated to grace.

(h) Augustine, De Civitate Dei, XVI, 2. (MSL, 41:479.)

Augustine's theory of allegorical interpretation.

Augustine had been repelled by the literal interpretation of the Scriptures and turned to the Manichaeans who rejected the Old Testament. Confessions, III, 5. From Ambrose he learned the "mystical" or allegorical method of interpreting the Old Testament, cf. Confessions, VI, 4. With Augustine's theory, treated at length, especially in his De Doctrina Christiana, Bk.3, should be compared Origen's in De Principiis, IV, 9-15. See above, § 43, b.

These secrets of the divine Scriptures we investigate as we can;(171) some in more, some in less agreement, but all faithfully holding it as certain that these things were neither done nor recorded without some foreshadowing of future events, and that they are to be referred only to Christ and His Church, which is the City of God, the proclamation of which has not ceased since the beginning of the human race; and we now see it everywhere accomplished. From the blessing of the two sons of Noah and from the cursing of the middle son, down to Abraham, for more than a thousand years, there is no mention of any righteous person who worshipped God. I would not, therefore, believe that there were none, but to mention every one would have been very long, and there would have been historical accuracy rather than prophetic foresight. The writer of these sacred books, or rather the Spirit of God through him, sought for those things by which not only the past might be narrated, but the future foretold, which pertained to the City of God; for whatever is said of these men who are not its citizens is given either that it may profit or be made glorious by a comparison with what is different. Yet it is not to be supposed that all that is recorded has some signification; but those things which have no signification of their own are interwoven for the sake of the things which are significant. Only by the ploughshare is the earth cut in furrows; but that this may be, other parts of the plough are necessary. Only the strings of the harp and other musical instruments are fitted to give forth a melody; but that they may do so, there are other parts of the instrument which are not, indeed, struck by those who sing, but with them are connected the strings which are struck and produce musical notes. So in prophetic history some things are narrated which have no significance, but are, as it were, the framework to which the significant things are attached.

(i) Augustine, Enchiridion, 109, 110. (MSL, 40:283.)

Augustine in his teaching combined a number of different theological tendencies, without working them into a consistent system. His doctrines of Original Sin, Predestination, Grace are by no means harmonized with his position regarding the Church and the sacraments in which he builds upon the foundation laid in the West, especially by Optatus. See below, § 83. There is also a no small remnant of what might be called pre-Augustinian Western piety, which comes down from Tertullian and of which the following is an illustration, a passage which is of significance in the development of the doctrine of purgatory. Cf. Tertullian, De Monogamia, ch.10. See above, § 39.

§ 109. The time, moreover, which intervenes between a man's death and the final resurrection, keeps the soul in a hidden retreat, as each is deserving of rest or affliction, according to what its lot was when it lived in the flesh.

§ 110. Nor can it be denied that the souls of the dead are benefited by the piety of their living friends, when the sacrifice of the Mediator is offered, or alms given in the Church in their behalf. But these services are of advantage only to those who during their lives merited that services of this kind could help them. For there is a manner of life which is neither so good as not to require these services after death, nor so bad that these services are of no avail after death. There is, on the other hand, a kind of life so good as not to require them; and again one so bad that when they depart this life they render no help. Therefore it is here that all the merit and demerit is acquired, by which one can either be relieved or oppressed after death. No one, then, need hope that after he is dead he shall obtain the merit with God which he had neglected here. And, accordingly, those services which the Church celebrates for the commendation of the dead are not opposed to the Apostle's words: "For we must all appear before the judgment-seat of Christ, that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad" [Rom.14:10; II Cor.5:10]. For that merit that renders services profitable to a man, each one has acquired while he lives in the body. For it is not to every one that these services are profitable. And why are they not profitable to all, except it be because of the different kinds of lives that men lead in the body? When, therefore, sacrifices either of the altar or of alms of any sort are offered on behalf of the dead who have been baptized, they are thanksgivings for the very good; they are propitiations [propitiationes] for the not very bad; and for the case of the very bad, even though they do not assist the dead, they are a species of consolation to the living. And to those to whom they are profitable, their benefit consists either in full remission of sins, or at least in making the condemnation more tolerable.

§ 83. Augustine and the Donatist Schism

After the recall of the Donatists by the Emperor Julian, the sect rapidly increased, though soon numerous divisions appeared in the body. The more liberal opinions of the Donatist grammarian Tychonius about 370 were adopted by many of the less fanatical. The connection of the party with the Circumcellions alienated others. The contest for rigorism led by Maximianus about 394 occasioned a schism within the Donatist body.

Augustine's activity in the Donatist troubles began as soon as he was made bishop of Hippo, as his town was made up largely of Donatists, who probably constituted more than a half of the population. The books written by him after 400 have alone survived.

The turning-point in the history of Donatism was the Collatio, or conference, held at Carthage in 411. Two hundred and seventy-nine Donatist, and two hundred and eighty-six Catholic, bishops were present. Augustine was one of those who represented the Catholic position. The victory was adjudged by the imperial commissioners to the Catholic party. After this the laws against the sect were enforced relentlessly, and Donatism rapidly lost its importance. The Vandal invasion in 429 changed the condition of things for a time. The last traces of Donatism disappear only with the Moslem invasion in the seventh century.

The importance of the Donatist controversy is that in it were defined the doctrines of the Church and of the sacraments, definitions which, with some modifications, controlled the theology of the Church for centuries.

(a) Optatus, De Schismate Donatistarum, II, 1-3. (MSL, 11:941.)

The unity of the Catholic Church.

Ch.1. The next thing to do {HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS} is to show that there is one Church which Christ called a dove and a bride. Therefore the Church is one, the sanctity of which is derived from the sacraments; and it is not valued according to the pride of persons. Therefore this one dove Christ also calls his beloved bride. This cannot be among heretics and schismatics.{HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS} You have said, brother Parmenianus, that it is with you alone {HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS} among you in a small part of Africa, in the corner of a small region, but among us in another part of Africa will it not be? In Spain, in Gaul, in Italy, where you are not, will it not be?{HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS} And through so many innumerable islands and other provinces, which can scarcely be numbered, will it not be? Wherein then will be the propriety of the Catholic name, since it is called Catholic, because it is reasonable(172) and everywhere diffused?

Ch.2. I have proved that that is the Catholic Church, which spread throughout the whole world, and now are its ornaments to be recalled; and it is to be seen where the first five gifts [i.e., notes of the Church] are, which you say are six. Among these the first is the cathedra, and unless a bishop, who is the angel [the second gift or note according to the Donatists], sit in it, no other gift can be joined. It is to be seen who first placed a see and where.{HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS} You cannot deny that in the city of Rome the episcopal cathedra was first placed by Peter, and in it sat Peter, the head of all the Apostles, wherefore he is called Cephas, so that in that one cathedra unity is preserved by all, that the other Apostles might not claim each one for himself a cathedra; so that he is a schismatic and a sinner who against that one cathedra sets up another.

Ch.3. Therefore Peter first sat in that single cathedra, which is the first gift of the Church, to him succeeded Linus {HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS} to Damasus, Siricius, who is our contemporary, with whom the world together with us agree in one fellowship of communion by the interchange of letters. Recite the origin of your cathedra, you who would claim for yourself the Holy Church [cf. Tertullian, De Praescriptione, c.32].

(b) Optatus, De Schismate Donatistarum, V, 4. (MSL, 11:1051.)

The validity of sacraments is not dependent on the character of those who minister them. With this should be compared Augustine, Contra litteras Petiliani Donatistae, II, 38-91, and the treatise De Baptismo contra Donatistas libri septem, which is little more than a working out in a thousand variations of this theme.

In celebrating this sacrament of baptism there are three things which you can neither increase, diminish, nor omit. The first is the Trinity, the second the believer, and the third the minister.{HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS} The first two remain ever immutable and unmoved. The Trinity is always the same, the faith in each is one. But the person of him who ministers is clearly not equal to the first two points, in that it alone is mutable.{HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS} For it is not one man who always and everywhere baptizes. In this work there were formerly others, and now others still, and again there will be others; those who minister may be changed, the sacraments cannot be changed. Since therefore you see that they who baptize are ministers and are not lords, and the sacraments are holy in themselves, not on account of men, why is it that you claim so much for yourselves? Why is it that you endeavor to exclude God from His gifts? Permit God to be over the things which are His. For that gift cannot be performed by a man because it is divine. If you think it can be so bestowed, you render void the words of the prophets and the promises of God, by which it is proved that God washes, not man.

(c) Augustine, De Baptismo contra Donatistas, IV, 17 (§ 24). (MSL, 43:169.)

Baptism without the Church valid but unprofitable.

Augustine, as opposing the Donatists and agreeing with the Catholic Church, asserted the validity of baptism when conferred by one outside the communion of the Church. It was notorious that Cyprian and the Council of Carthage, A. D.258 [see ANF, vol. V., pp.565 ff.; cf. Hefele, § 6], had held an opposite opinion. As Cyprian was the great teacher of North Africa, and in the highest place in the esteem of all, Augustine was forced to make "distinctions." This he did in his theory as to the validity of baptism as in the following passage. The Sixth Book of the same treatise is composed of a statement of the bishops at the Council of Carthage, and Augustine's answer to each statement.

"Can the power of baptism," says Cyprian, "be greater than confession, than martyrdom, that a man should confess Christ before men, and be baptized in his own blood, and yet," he says, "neither does this baptism profit the heretic, even though for confessing Christ he be put to death outside the Church." This is most true; for by being put to death outside the Church, he is proved not to have had that charity of which the Apostle says: "Though I give my body to be burned and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing" [I Cor.13:3]. But if martyrdom is of no avail for the reason that charity is lacking, neither does it profit those who, as Paul says, and Cyprian further sets forth, are living within the Church without charity, in envy and malice; and yet they can both receive and transmit true baptism. "Salvation," he says, "is not without the Church." Who denies this? And therefore whatever men have that belongs to the Church, outside the Church it profits them nothing toward salvation. But it is one thing not to have, another to have it but to no use. He who has it not must be baptized that he may have it; he who has to no use must be corrected, that what he has he may have to some use. Nor is the water in baptism "adulterous," because neither is the creature itself, which God made, evil, nor is the fault to be found in the words of the Gospel in the mouths of any who are astray; but the fault is theirs in whom there is an adulterous spirit, even though it may receive the adornment of the sacrament from a lawful spouse. It therefore can be true that baptism is "common to us and to the heretics," since the Gospel can be common to us, although their error differs from our faith; whether they think otherwise than the truth about the Father or Son or the Holy Spirit; or, being cut away from unity, do not gather with Christ, but scatter abroad, because it is possible that the sacrament of baptism can be common to us if we are the wheat of the Lord with the covetous within the Church and with robbers and drunkards and other pestilent persons, of whom it is said, "They shall not inherit the kingdom of God," and yet the vices by which they are separated from the kingdom of God are not shared by us.

(d) Augustine, Ep.98, ad Bonifatium. (MSL, 33:363.)

Relation of the sacrament to that of which it is the sign. Sacraments are effective if no hinderance is placed to their working.

On Easter Sunday we say, "This day the Lord rose from the dead," although so many years have passed since His resurrection.{HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS} The event itself being said to take place on that day, because, although it really took place long before, it is on that day sacramentally celebrated. Was not Christ once for all offered up in His own person as a sacrifice? And yet, is He not likewise offered up in the sacrament as a sacrifice, not only in the special solemnities of Easter, but also daily among our congregations; so that when a man is questioned and answers that He is offered as a sacrifice in that ordinance, does he not declare what is strictly true? For if sacraments had not some points of real resemblance to the things of which they are the sacraments, they would not be sacraments at all. [Augustine's general definition of a sacrament is that it is a sign of a sacred thing.] In most cases, moreover, they do, in virtue of this likeness, bear the names of the realities which they resemble. As therefore in a certain manner the sacrament of the body of Christ is the body of Christ, the sacrament of the blood of Christ is the blood of Christ, so the sacrament of faith is faith.{HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS} Now, believing is nothing else than having faith; and accordingly, when on behalf of an infant as yet incapable of exercising faith, the answer is given that he believes, this answer means that he has faith because of the sacrament of faith, and in like manner the answer is made that he turns himself toward God because of the sacrament of conversion, since the answer itself belongs to the celebration of the sacrament. Thus the Apostle says, in regard to this sacrament of baptism: "We are buried with Christ by baptism into death." He does not say, "We have signified our being buried with Him," but: "We have been buried with Him." He has therefore given to the sacrament pertaining to so great a transaction no other name than the word describing the transaction itself.

10. Therefore an infant, although he is not yet a believer in the sense of having that faith which includes the consenting will of those who exercise it, nevertheless becomes a believer through the sacrament of that faith.{HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS} The infant, though not yet possessing a faith helped by the understanding, is not obstructing(173) faith by an antagonism of the understanding, and therefore receives with profit the sacrament of faith.

(e) Augustine, De Correctione Donatistarum, §§ 22 ff. (MSL, 33:802.)

The argument in favor of using force to compel the Donatists to return to the Church.

Augustine in the early part of the Donatist controversy was not in favor of using force. Like the others, e.g., Optatus, he denied that force had been employed by the Church. About 404 the situation changed, and his opinion did likewise. This work, known also as Epistle CLXXXV, was written circa 417. Compare Augustine's position with the statement of Jerome, "Piety for God is not cruelty," cf. Hagenbach, History of Christian Doctrines, § 135:7. The Donatists had much injured their position by their treatment of a party which had produced a schism in their own body, the Maximianists.

§ 22. Who can love us more than Christ who laid down His life for the sheep? And yet, after calling Peter and the other Apostles by His word alone, in the case of Paul, formerly Saul, the great builder of His Church, but previously its cruel persecutor, He not only constrained him with His voice, but even dashed him to the earth with His power.{HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS} Where is what they [the Donatists] are accustomed to cry: "To believe or not to believe is a matter that is free"? Toward whom did Christ use violence? Whom did He compel? Here they have the Apostle Paul. Let them recognize in his case Christ's first compelling and afterward teaching; first striking and afterward consoling. For it is wonderful how he who had been compelled by bodily punishment entered into the Gospel and afterward labored more in the Gospel than all they who were called by word only; and the greater fear compelled him toward love, that perfect love which casts out fear.

§ 23. Why, therefore, should not the Church compel her lost sons to return if the lost sons compelled others to perish? Although even men whom they have not compelled but only led astray, their loving mother embraces with more affection if they are recalled to her bosom through the enforcement of terrible but salutary laws, and are the objects of far more deep congratulation than those whom she has never lost. Is it not a part of the care of the shepherd, when any sheep have left the flock, even though not violently forced away, but led astray by soft words and by coaxings, and they have begun to be possessed by strangers, to bring them back to the fold of his master when he has found them, by the terrors or even the pains of the whip, if they wish to resist; especially since, if they multiply abundantly among the fugitive slaves and robbers, he has the more right in that the mark of the master is recognized on them, which is not outraged in those whom we receive but do not baptize?(174) So indeed is the error of the sheep to be corrected that the sign of the Redeemer shall not be marred. For if any one is marked with the royal stamp by a deserter, who has himself been marked with it, and they receive forgiveness, and the one returns to his service, and the other begins to be in the service in which he had not yet been, that mark is not effaced in either of them, but rather it is recognized in both, and approved with due honor because it is the king's. Since they cannot show that that is bad to which they are compelled,(175) they maintained that they ought not to be compelled to the good. But we have shown that Paul was compelled by Christ; therefore the Church in compelling the Donatists is following the example of her Lord, though in the first instance she waited in hopes of not having to compel any, that the prediction might be fulfilled concerning the faith of kings and peoples.

§ 24. For in this sense also we may interpret without absurdity the apostolic declaration when the blessed Apostle Paul says: "Being ready to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled" [II Cor.10:6]. Whence also the Lord himself bids the guests to be brought first to His great supper, and afterward compelled; for when His servants answered Him, "Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room," He said to them: "Go out into the highways and hedges and compel them to come in" [Luke 14:22, 23]. In those, therefore, who were first brought in with gentleness the former obedience is fulfilled, but in those who were compelled the disobedience is avenged. For what else is the meaning of "Compel them to come in," after it had previously been said, "Bring in," and the answer was: "Lord, it is done as Thou commandest, and yet there is room"? Wherefore if by the power which the Church has received by divine appointment in its due season, through the religious character and faith of kings, those who are found in the highways and hedges -- that is, in heresies and schisms -- are compelled to come in, then let them not find fault because they are compelled, but consider to what they are so compelled. The supper of the Lord, the unity, is of the body of Christ, not only in the sacrament of the altar but also in the bond of peace.

(f) Augustine, Contra epistulam Parmeniani, II, 13 (29). (MSL, 43:71.)

Indelibility of baptism.

Parmenianus was the Donatist bishop who succeeded Donatus in the see of Carthage. The letter here answered was written to Tychonius, a leading Donatist. In it Parmenianus calls the Church defiled because it contained unworthy members. The answer of Augustine was written in 400, many years later.

If any one, either a deserter or one who has never served as a soldier, signs any private person with the military mark, would not he who has signed be punished as a deserter, when he has been arrested, and so much the more severely as it could be proved that he had never at all served as a soldier, and at the same time along with him would not the most impudent giver of the sign, be punished if he have surrendered him? Or perchance he takes no military service, but is afraid of the military mark [character] in his body, and he betakes himself to the clemency of the Emperor, and when he has poured forth prayers and obtained forgiveness, he then begins to undertake military service, when the man has been liberated and corrected is that mark [character] ever repeated, and not rather is he not recognized and approved? Would the Christian sacraments by chance be less enduring than this bodily mark, since we see that apostates do not lack baptism, and to them it is never given again when they return by means of penitence, and therefore it is judged not possible to lose it.

(g) Augustine, Contra epistulam Manichaei, ch.4 (5). (MSL, 42:175.) Cf. Mirbt, n.132.

Authority of the Catholic Church.

This work, written in 396 or 397, is important in this connection as showing the place the Catholic Church took in the mind of Augustine as an authority and the nature of that authority.

Not to speak of that wisdom which you [the Manichaeans] do not believe to be in the Catholic Church, there are many other things which most justly keep me in her bosom. The consent of people and nations keeps me in the Church; so does her authority, inaugurated by miracles, nourished by hope, enlarged by love, established by age. The succession of priests keeps me, beginning from the very seat of Peter the Apostle, to whom the Lord after His resurrection gave it in charge to feed His sheep down to the present episcopate. And so lastly does the name itself of Catholic, which not without reason, amid so many heresies, that Church alone has so retained that, though all heretics wish to be called Catholics, yet when a stranger asks where the Catholic Church meets no heretic will venture to point to his own basilica or house. Since then so many and so great are the very precious ties belonging to the Christian name which rightly keep a man who is a believer in the Catholic Church {HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS} no one shall move me from the faith which binds my mind with ties so many and so strong to the Christian religion.

Let us see what Manichaeus teaches us; and in particular let us examine that treatise which you call the Fundamental Epistle in which almost all that you believe is contained. For in that unhappy time when we read it, we were called by you enlightened. The epistle begins: "Manichaeus, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the providence of God the Father. These are wholesome words from the perennial and living fountain." Now, if you please, patiently give heed to my inquiry. I do not believe that he is an apostle of Christ. Do not, I beg of you, be enraged and begin to curse. You know that it is my rule not to believe without consideration anything offered by you. "Wherefore I ask, who is this Manichaeus?" You reply, "An apostle of Christ." I do not believe it. Now you are at a loss what to say or do; for you promised to give me knowledge of the truth, and you force me to believe something I do not know. Perhaps you will read the Gospel to me, and from it you will attempt to defend the person of Manichaeus. But should you meet with a person not yet believing the Gospel, what could you reply to him if he said to you: "I do not believe"? For my part I should not believe the Gospel except the authority of the Catholic Church moved me. So then I have assented to them when they say to me, "Believe the Gospel"; why should I not assent to them saying to me: "Do not believe the Manichaeans"?

§ 84. The Pelagian Controversy

The Pelagian controversy, in which the characteristic teaching of Augustine found its best expression, may be divided into three periods. In the first period, beginning about 411, Pelagius and Caelestius, who had been teaching at Rome unmolested since 400 and had come to Carthage, probably on account of the barbarian attack upon Rome, are opposed at Carthage, and six propositions attributed to Caelestius are condemned at a council there, where he attempted to be ordained. Caelestius leaves for the East and is ordained at Ephesus, 412, and Pelagius soon after follows him. In the second period, 415-417, the controversy is in the East as well as in the West, as Augustine by letters to Jerome gave warning about Pelagius, and councils are held at Jerusalem and Diospolis, where Pelagius is acquitted of heresy. This was probably due as much to the general sympathy of the Eastern theologians with his doctrine as to any alleged misrepresentation by Pelagius. But in North Africa synods are also held condemning Pelagius, and their findings are approved by Innocent of Rome. But Pelagius and Caelestius send confessions of faith to Zosimus (417-418), Innocent's successor, who reproves the Africans and acquits Pelagius and Caelestius as entirely sound. In the third period, 417-431, the attack on Pelagius is taken up at Rome itself by some of the clergy, and an imperial edict is obtained against the Pelagians. Zosimus changes his opinion and approves the findings of a general council called at Carthage in 418, in which the doctrines of original sin and the need of grace are asserted. The last act of the controversy in its earlier form, after the deposition of the leading Pelagians, among them Julian, of Eclanum, their theologian, is the condemnation of Pelagius at the Council of Ephesus, in 431. V. infra, § 89.

Additional source material: See A. Bruckner, Quellen zur Geschichte des pelagianischen Streites (in Latin), in Krueger's Quellenschriften, Freiburg-im-Breisgau, 1906. The principal works of Augustine bearing on the Pelagian controversy may be found in PNF, ser. I, vol. V.

(a) Augustine, Ep.146, ad Pelagium. (MSL, 33:596.)

This was probably written before the controversy. As to its use later, see Augustine, De gestis Pelagii, chs.51 (26) f. (PNF)

I thank you very much that you have been so kind as to make me glad by your letter informing me of your welfare. May the Lord recompense you with those blessings that you forever be good and may live eternally with Him who is eternal, my lord greatly beloved and brother greatly longed for. Although I do not acknowledge that anything in me deserves the eulogies which the letter of your benevolence contains about me, I cannot, however, be ungrateful for the good-will therein manifested toward one so insignificant, while suggesting at the same time that you should rather pray for me that I may be made by the Lord such as you suppose me already to be.

(b) Augustine. De Peccatorum Meritis et Remissione et de Baptismo Parvulorum. (MSL, 44:185, 188.)

Augustine's testimony as to the character of Pelagius.

This work was written in 412, after the condemnation of Caelestius at Carthage. It was the first in the series of polemical writings against the teaching of Pelagius. The first book is especially important as a statement of Augustine's position as to the nature of justifying grace.

It should be recalled that Pelagius was a monk of exemplary life, and a zealous preacher of morality. It may be said that in him the older moralistic tendency in theology was embodied in opposition to the new religious spirit of Augustine. Cf. Bruckner, op. cit., n.4.

III.1. However, within the last few days I have read some writings of Pelagius, a holy man, as I hear, who has made no small progress in the Christian life, and these writings contain very brief expositions of the Epistles of Paul the Apostle.(176)

III.3. But we must not omit that this good and praiseworthy man (as they who know him describe him as being) has not advanced this argument against the natural transmission of sin in his own person.

(c) Pelagius, Fragments, in Augustine's De Gratia Christi et de Peccato Originali. (MSL, 44:364, 379.)

The teaching of Pelagius can be studied not only in his opponent's statements but in his own words. These are to be found in his commentary (see note to previous selection), and also in fragments found in Augustine's writings and several minor pieces (see below).

I.7. Very ignorant persons think that we do wrong in this matter to divine grace, because we say that it by no means perfects sanctity in us without our will: as if God could impose any commands upon His grace and would not supply also the help of His grace to those to whom He has given commands, so that men might more easily accomplish through grace what they are required to do by their free will. And this grace we do not for our part, as you suppose, allow to consist merely in the law, but also in the help of God. God helps us by His teaching and revelation when He opens the eyes of our heart; when He points out to us the future, that we may not be absorbed in the present; when He discovers to us the snares of the devil; when He enlightens us with manifold and ineffable gifts of heavenly grace. Does the man who says this appear to you to be a denier of grace? Does he not acknowledge both man's free will and God's grace?

I.39. Speaking of the text Rom.7:23: "But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members."

Now what you [i.e., Augustine, whom he is addressing] wish us to understand of the Apostle himself, all Church writers assert that he spoke in the person of the sinner, and of one still under the law, who by reason of very long custom of vice was held bound, as it were, by a certain necessity of sinning, and who, although he desired good with his will in practice, indeed, was driven into evil. In the person, however, of one man the Apostle designates the people who sinned still under the ancient law, and this people, he declares, are to be delivered from this evil of custom through Christ, who first of all remits all sins in baptism, to those who believe on Him, and then by an imitation of Himself incites them to perfect holiness, and by the example of virtues overcomes the evil custom of sins.

(d) Pelagius, Epistula ad Demetriadem. (MSL, 33:1100 ff.)

This epistle, from which selections are given, was written probably about 412 or 413. As it gives a statement of the teaching of Pelagius in his own words, it is of especial historical interest. Demetrias was a virgin, and probably under the spiritual direction of Pelagius, though little is known of her. Text in Bruckner, op. cit., n.56.

Ch.2. As often as I have to speak of the principles of virtue and a holy life, I am accustomed first of all to call attention to the capacity and character of human nature, and to show what it is able to accomplish; then from this to arouse the feelings of the hearer, that he may strive after different kinds of virtue, that he may permit himself to be roused to acts which perhaps he had regarded as impossible. For we are quite unable to travel the way of virtue if hope does not accompany us. For all attempts to accomplish anything cease if one is in doubt whether he will attain the goal. This order of exhortation I follow in other minor writings and in this case also. I believe it must be kept especially in mind where the good of nature needs to be set forth the more in detail as the life is to be more perfectly formed, that the spirit may not be more neglectful and slow in its striving after virtue, as it believes itself to have the less ability, and when it is ignorant of what is within it, think that it does not possess it.

Ch.3. One must be careful to see to it that {HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS} one does not think that a man is not made good because he can do evil and is not compelled to an immutable necessity of doing good through the might of nature. For if you diligently consider it and turn your mind to the subtler understanding of the matter, the better and superior position of man will appear in that from which his inferior condition was inferred. But just in this freedom in either direction, in this liberty toward either side, is placed the glory of our rational nature. Therein, I say, consists the entire honor of our nature, therein its dignity; from this the very good merit praise, from this their reward. For there would be for those who always remain good no virtue if they had not been able to have chosen the evil. For since God wished to present to the rational creature the gift of voluntary goodness and the power of the free will, by planting in man the possibility of turning himself toward either side, He made His special gift the ability to be what he would be in order that he, being capable of good and evil, could do either and could turn his will to either of them.

Ch.8. We defend the advantage of nature not in the sense that we say it cannot do evil, since we declare that it is capable of good and evil; we only protect it from reproach. It should not appear as if we were driven to evil by a disease of nature, we who do neither good nor bad without our will, and to whom there is always freedom to do one of two things, since always we are able to do both.{HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS} Nothing else makes it difficult for us to do good than long custom of sinning which has infected us since we were children, and has gradually corrupted us for many years, so that afterward it holds us bound to it and delivered over to it, so that it almost seems as if it had the same force as nature.

If before the Law, as we are told, and long before the appearance of the Redeemer, various persons can be named who lived just and holy lives, how much more after His appearance must we believe that we are able to do the same, we who have been taught through Christ's grace, and born again to be better men; and we who by His blood have been reconciled and purified, and by His example incited to more perfect righteousness, ought to be better than they who were before the Law, better than they who were under the law.

(e) Marius Mercator, Commonitorium super nomine Caelestii, ch.1. (MSL, 48:67.) Cf. Kirch, nn.737 ff.

The Council of Carthage and the opinions of Caelestius condemned at that council, 411.

Marius Mercator, a friend and supporter of Augustine, was one of the most determined opponents of Pelagianism, as also of Nestorianism. His dates are not well determined. In 418 he sent works to Augustine to be examined by the latter, and he seems to have lived until after the Council of Chalcedon, 451. The work from which the selection is taken was written, 429, in Greek, and translated and republished in Latin, 431 or 432. With the following should be compared Augustine's De Gratia Christi et Peccato Originali, II, 2f., and Ep. 175:6; 157:3, 22.

A certain Caelestius, a eunuch from his mother's womb, a disciple and auditor of Pelagius, left Rome about twenty years ago and came to Carthage, the metropolis of all Africa, and there he was accused of the following heads before Aurelius, bishop of that city, by a complaint from a certain Paulinus, a deacon of Bishop Ambrose of Milan, of sacred memory, as the record of the acts stands in which the same complaint is inserted (a copy of the acts of the council we have in our hands) that he not only taught this himself, but also sent in different directions throughout the provinces those who agreed with him to disseminate among the people these things, that is:

1. Adam was made mortal and would have died whether he had sinned or had not sinned.

2. The sin of Adam injured himself alone, and not the human race.

3. New-born children are in that state in which Adam was before his fall.

4. Neither by the death and sin of Adam does the whole race die, nor by the resurrection of Christ does the whole race rise.

5. The Law leads to the kingdom of heaven as well as the Gospel.

6. Even before the coming of the Lord there were men without sin.

(f) Pelagius. Confessio fidei. (MSL, 45:1716 f.) Hahn, § 209.

The confession of faith addressed to Innocent of Rome, but actually laid before Zosimus, in 417, consists of an admirably orthodox statement of the doctrine of the Trinity and of the incarnation, an expansion of the Nicene formula with reference to perversions of the faith by various heretics, and in conclusion a statement of Pelagius's own opinions regarding free will, grace, and sin. It is due to the irony of history that it should have been found among the works of both Jerome and Augustine, long passed current as a composition of Augustine, Sermo CCXXXVI, and should have been actually quoted by the Sorbonne, in 1521, in its articles against Luther. It also appears in the Libri Carolini, III, 1, as an orthodox exposition of the faith. The passages which bear upon the characteristic Pelagian doctrine are here given. Fragments of the confessions of other Pelagians, e.g., Caelestius, and Julius of Eclanum, are found in Hahn, §§ 210 and 211. For the proceedings in the East, see Hefele, § 118.

We hold that there is one baptism, which we assert is to be administered to children in the same words of the sacrament as it is administered to adults.{HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS}

We execrate also the blasphemy of those who say that anything impossible to do is commanded man by God, and the commands of God can be observed, not by individuals but by all in common, also those who with the Manichaeans condemn first marriages or with the Cataphrygians condemn second marriages.{HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS} We so confess the will is free that we say that we always need the aid of God, and they err who with the Manichaeans assert that man cannot avoid sins as well as those who with Jovinan say that man cannot sin; for both take away the liberty of the will. But we say that man can both sin and not sin, so that we confess that we always have free will.

(g) Augustine, Sermo 131. (MSL, 38:734.) Cf. Kirch, n.672.

Causa finita est.

Late in 416 synods were held in Carthage and Mileve condemning Pelagianism. On January 27, 417, Innocent wrote to the Africans, approving their councils and condemning Pelagianism, incidentally stating the supreme authority of the Roman See and requiring that nothing should ever be definitively settled without consulting the Apostolic See (text of passage in Denziger. ed.1911, n.100). September 23 of the same year, about the time when Pelagius and Caelestius were at Rome with Zosimus seeking to rehabilitate themselves in the West, Augustine delivered a sermon in which he made the following statement. It is the basis of the famous phrase Roma locuta, causa finita est, a saying which is apocryphal, however, and not found in the works of Augustine.

What, therefore, is said concerning the Jews, that we see in them [i.e., the Pelagians]. They have the zeal for God; I bear witness, that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. Why is it not according to knowledge? Because, being ignorant of the justice of God and wishing to establish their own, they are not subject to the righteousness of God [Rom.10:2 f.]. My brethren, have patience with me.

When you find such, do not conceal them, let there be not false mercy in you. Most certainly when you find such, do not conceal them. Refute those contradicting, and those resisting bring to me. For already two councils about this case have been sent to the Apostolic See, whence also rescripts have come. The case has been ended; would that the error might some time end! Therefore let us warn them that they pay attention; let us teach them that they may be instructed; let us pray that they may be changed.

(h) Zosimus, III Ep. ad Episcopos Africae de causa Caelestii A. D.417. (MSL, 45:1721.) Cf. Bruckner, op. cit., n.28.

Fragments of his later Epistula tractoria together with other letters may be found in Bruckner, op. cit.

Likewise Pelagius sent letters also containing an extended justification of himself, to which he added a profession of his faith, what he condemned and what he followed, without any dissimulation, so that all subtilities of interpretation might be avoided. There was a public recitation of these. They contained all things like those which Caelestius had previously presented and expressed in the same sense and drawn up in the same thoughts. Would that some of you, dearest brethren, could have been present at the reading of the letters. What was the joy of the holy men who were present; what was the admiration of each of them! Some of them could scarcely restrain themselves from tears and weeping, that such men of absolutely correct faith could have been suspected. Was there a single place in which the grace of God or his aid was omitted?

(i) Council of Carthage, A. D.418, Canons. Bruns, I, 188.

These canons of the Council of Carthage, A. D.418, were incorporated in the Codex Canon Ecclesiae Africanae adopted at the Council of Carthage A. D.419. The numbers given in brackets are the numbers in that Codex. Interprovincial councils were known in North Africa as "general councils."

In the consulate of the most glorious emperors, Honorius for the twelfth time and Theodosius for the eighth, on the calends of May, at Carthage in the Secretarium of the Basilica of Faustus, when Bishop Aurelius presided over the general council, the deacons standing by, it pleased all the bishops, whose names and subscriptions are indicated, met together in the holy synod of the church of Carthage:

1 [109]. That whosoever should say that Adam, the first man, was created mortal, so that whether he had sinned or not, he would have died in the body -- that is, he would have gone forth of the body, not because of the desert [or merit] of sin, but by natural necessity, let him be anathema.

2 [110]. Likewise that whosoever denies that infants newly from their mother's womb should be baptized, or says that baptism is for remission of sins, but that they derive from Adam no original sin, which is removed by the layer of regeneration, whence the conclusion follows that in them the form of baptism for the remission of sins is to be understood as false and not true, let him be anathema.

For not otherwise can be understood what the Apostle says, "By one man sin has come into the world,(177) and so it passed upon all men in that all have sinned," than as the Catholic Church everywhere diffused has always understood it. For on account of this rule of faith, even infants, who could have committed no sin themselves, therefore are truly baptized for the remission of sins, in order that what in them is the result of generation may be cleansed by regeneration.

3 [111]. Likewise, that whoever should say that the grace of God, by which a man is justified through Jesus Christ our Lord, avails only for the remission of past sins, and not for assistance against committing sins in the future, let him be anathema.

4 [112]. Also, whoever shall say that the same grace of God through Jesus Christ our Lord helps us not to sin only in that by it are revealed to us and opened to our understanding the commandments, so that we may know what to seek, what we ought to avoid, and also that we should love to do so, but that through it we are not helped so that we are able to do what we know we should do, let him be anathema. For when the Apostle says, "Wisdom puffeth up, but charity edifieth," it were truly infamous were we to believe that we have the grace of Christ for that which puffeth us up, but have it not for that which edifieth, since each is the gift of God, both to know what we ought to do, and to love it so as to do it; so that wisdom cannot puff us up while charity is edifying us. For as it is written of God, "Who teacheth man knowledge," so also it is written, "Love is of God."

5 [113]. It seemed good that whosoever should say that the grace of justification is given to us only that we might be able more readily by grace to perform what we were commanded to do through our free will; as if when grace was not given, although not easily, yet nevertheless we could even without grace fulfil the divine commandments, let him be anathema. For the Lord spake concerning the fruits of the commandments, when he said, "Without me ye can do nothing," and not "Without me ye can do it but with difficulty."

6 [114]. It seemed also good that as St. John the Apostle says, "If ye shall say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us"; whosoever thinks that this should be so understood as to mean that out of humility we ought to say that we have sin, and not because it is really so, let him be anathema. For the Apostle goes on to add, "But if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all iniquity," where it is sufficiently clear that this is said not only in humility but also in truth. For the Apostle might have said, "If we shall say we have no sins we shall extol ourselves, and humility is not in us"; but when he says, "we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us," he sufficiently intimates that he who affirmed that he had no sin would speak not that which is true but that which is false.

7 [115]. It has seemed good that whosoever should say that when in the Lord's Prayer, the saints say, "Forgive us our trespasses," they say this not for themselves, because they have no need of this petition, but for the rest who are sinners of the people; and that therefore none of the saints can say, "Forgive me my trespasses," but "Forgive us our trespasses"; so that the just is understood to seek this for others rather than for himself, let him be anathema.

8 [116]. Likewise it seemed good, that whosoever asserts that these words of the Lord's Prayer when they say, "Forgive us our trespasses," are said by the saints out of humility and not in truth, let them be anathema.

The following canon, although it seems to have been enacted for the case of Apiarius, is nevertheless often cited in the same connection as the eight against Pelagius, and is therefore given here for the sake of convenience.

18 [125]. Likewise, it seemed good that presbyters, deacons, or other of the lower clergy who are to be tried, if they question the decision of their bishops, the neighboring bishops having been invited by them with the consent of their bishops shall hear them and determine whatever separates them. But should they think that an appeal should be carried from them, let them not carry the appeal except to African councils or to the primates of their provinces. But whoso shall think of carrying an appeal across the seas, shall be admitted to communion by no one in Africa.(178)

§ 85. Semi-Pelagian Controversy

With the condemnation of Pelagianism the doctrine of Augustine in its logically worked out details was not necessarily approved. The necessity of baptism for the remission of sins in all cases was approved as well as the necessity of grace. The doctrine of predestination, an essential feature in the Augustinian system, was not only not accepted but was vigorously opposed by many who heartily condemned Pelagianism. The ensuing discussion, known as the Semi-Pelagian controversy (427-529), was largely carried on in Gaul, which after the Vandal occupation of North Africa, became the intellectual centre of the Church in the West. The leading opponent of Augustine was John Cassian (ob.435), abbot of a monastery at Marseilles, hence the term Massilians applied to his party, and his pupil, Vincent of Lerins, author of Commonitorium, written 434. The chief Augustinians were Hilary and Prosper of Aquitaine. The discussion was not continuous. About 475 it broke out again when Lucidus was condemned at a council at Lyons and forced to retract his predestinarian views; and again about 520. The matter received what is regarded as its solution in the Council of Orange, 529, confirmed by Boniface II in 531. By the decrees of this council so much of the Augustinian system as could be combined with the teaching and practice of the Church as to the sacraments was formally approved.

(a) John Cassian. Collationes, XIII.7 ff. (MSL, 49:908.)

John Cassian, born about 360, was by birth and education a man of the East, and does not appear in the West until 405, when he went to Rome on some business connected with the exile of Chrysostom, his friend and patron. In 415 he established two monasteries at Marseilles, one for men and the other for women. He had himself been educated as a monk and made a careful study of monasticism in Egypt and Palestine. Western monasticism is much indebted to him for his writings. De Institutis Coenobiorum and the Collationes. In the former, he describes the monastic system of Palestine and Egypt and the principal vices to which the monastic life is liable; in the latter, divided into three parts, Cassian gives reports or what purports to be reports of conversations he and his friend Germanus had with Egyptian ascetics. These books were very popular during the Middle Ages and exerted a wide influence.

Ch.7. When His [God's] kindness sees in us even the very smallest spark of good-will shining forth or which He himself has, as it were, struck out from the hard flints of our hearts, He fans it and fosters it and nurses it with His breath, as He "will have all men to be saved and to come unto the knowledge of the truth" [I Tim.2:4].{HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS} For He is true and lieth not when He lays down with an oath: "As I live, saith the Lord, I will not the death of a sinner, but that he should turn from his way and live" [Ezek.33:11]. For if he willeth not that one of His little ones should perish, how can we think without grievous blasphemy that He willeth not all men universally, but only some instead of all be saved. Those then who perish, perish against His will, as He testifieth against each of them day by day: "Turn from your evil ways for why will ye die, O house of Israel?" [Ezek.33:11] {HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS} The grace of Christ is then at hand every day, which, while it "willeth all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth," calleth all without exception, saying: "Come all unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest" [Matt.11:28]. But if he calls not all generally but only some, it follows that not all are heavy laden with either original sin or actual sin, and that this saying is not a true one: "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God" [Rom.3:23]; nor can we believe that "death passed on all men" [Rom.5:12]. And so far do all who perish, perish against the will of God, that God cannot be said to have made death, as the Scripture itself testifieth: "For God made not death, neither hath He pleasure in the destruction of the living" [Wisdom 1:13].

Ch.8. When He sees anything of good-will arisen in us He at once enlightens it and strengthens it and urges it on to salvation, giving increase to that which He himself implanted or He sees to have arisen by our own effort.

Ch.9. {HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS} But that it may be still more evident that through the good of nature, which is bestowed by the kindness of the Creator, sometimes the beginnings of a good-will arise, yet cannot come to the completion of virtue unless they are directed by the Lord, the Apostle is a witness, saying: "For to will is present with me, but to perform what is good I find not" [Rom.7:18].

Ch.11. {HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS} If we say that the beginnings of a good-will are always inspired in us by the grace of God, what shall we say about the faith of Zacchaeus, or of the piety of that thief upon the cross, who by their own desire brought violence to bear upon the Kingdom of Heaven, and so anticipated the special leadings of their callings?{HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS}

Ch.12. We should not hold that God made man such that he neither wills nor is able to do good. Otherwise He has not granted him a free will, if He has suffered him only to will or be capable of evil, but of himself neither to will nor be capable of what is good.{HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS} It cannot, therefore, be doubted that there are by nature seeds of goodness implanted in every soul by the kindness of the Creator; but unless these are quickened by the assistance of God, they will not be able to attain to an increase of perfection; for, as the blessed Apostle says: "Neither is he that planteth anything nor he that watereth, but God that giveth the increase" [I Cor.3:7]. But that freedom of will is to some degree in a man's power is very clearly taught in the book called The Pastor,(179) where two angels are said to be attached to each one of us, i.e. a good and a bad one, while it lies in a man's own option to choose which to follow. And, therefore, the will always remains free in man, and it can either neglect or delight in the grace of God. For the Apostle would not have commanded, saying, "Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling" [Phil.2:12], had he not known that it could be advanced or neglected by us.{HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS} But that they should not think that they did not need divine aid he adds: "For it is God who worketh in you both to will and accomplish His good pleasure" [Phil.2:13]. The mercy of the Lord, therefore, goes before the will of man, for it is said, "My God will prevent me with His mercy" [Psalm 59:10], and again, that He may put our desire to the test, our will goes before God who waits, and for our good delays.

(b) Vincent of Lerins, Commonitorium, chs.2, 23, 26, (MSL, 50:659.)

The rule of Catholic verity.

Vincent of Lerins wrote his Commonitorium in 434, three years after the death of Augustine, who had been commended in 432 to the clergy of Gaul by Celestine of Rome [Ep. 21; Denziger, nn.128-142; Mansi IV, 454 ff.]. Vincent attacked Augustine in his Commonitorium, not openly, but, so far as the work has been preserved, covertly, under the pseudonym of Peregrinus. The work consists of two books, of which the second is lost with the exception of what appear to be some concluding chapters, or a summary taking the place of the book. In the first book he lays down the general principle as to the tests of Catholic truth. In doing so he is careful to point out several cases of very great teachers, renowned for learning, ability, and influence, who, nevertheless, erred against the test of Catholic truth, and brought forward opinions which, on account of their novelty, were false. It is a working out in detail of the principles of the idea of Tertullian in his De Proescriptione [v. supra, § 27]. The Augustinian doctrines of predestination and grace could not stand the test of the appeal to antiquity. After laying down his test of truth it appears to have been the author's intention to prove thereby the doctrine of Augustine false. The so-called "Vincentian rule" is often quoted without a thought that it was intended, primarily, as an attack upon Augustine. The Commonitorium may be found translated in PNF, ser. II, vol. XI.

Ch.2 [4]. I have often inquired earnestly and attentively of very many men eminent for sanctity and learning, how and by what sure and, so to speak, universal rule I might be able to distinguish the truth of the Catholic faith from the falsehood of heretical pravity, and I have always, and from nearly all, received an answer to this effect: That whether I or any one else should wish to detect the frauds of heretics as they arise, or to avoid their snares, and to continue sound and complete in the faith, we must, the Lord helping, fortify our faith in two ways: first, by the authority of the divine Law, and then, by the tradition of the Catholic Church.

But here some one, perhaps, will ask: Since the canon of Scripture is complete and sufficient for everything, and more than sufficient, what need is there to add to it the authority of the Church's interpretation? For this reason: because, owing to the depth of Holy Scripture, all do not accept it in one and the same sense, but one understands its words one way, another in another way; so that almost as many opinions may be drawn from it as there are men.{HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS} Therefore it is very necessary, on account of so great intricacies, and of such various errors, that the rule of a right understanding of the prophets and Apostles should be framed in accordance with the standard of ecclesiastical and Catholic interpretation.

Moreover, in the Catholic Church itself all possible care should be taken that we hold that faith which has been believed everywhere, always, and by all. For that is truly and properly "Catholic" which, as the name implies and the reason of the thing declares, comprehends all universally. This will be the case if we follow universality, antiquity, and consent. We shall follow universality in this way, if we confess that one faith to be true which the whole Church throughout the world confesses; antiquity, if we in nowise depart from those interpretations which it is manifest were notoriously held by our holy ancestors and fathers; consent in like manner, if in antiquity itself we adhere to the consentient definitions and determinations of all, or at least almost all, priests and doctors.

Ch.23 [59]. The Church of Christ, the careful and watchful guardian of the doctrines deposited in her charge, never changes anything in them, never diminishes, never adds; does not cut off what is necessary, does not add what is superfluous, does not lose her own, does not appropriate what is another's, but, while dealing faithfully and judiciously with ancient doctrine, keeps this one object carefully in view -- if there be anything which antiquity has left shapeless and rudimentary, to fashion and to polish it; if anything already reduced to shape and developed, to consolidate and strengthen it; if any already ratified and defined, to keep and guard it. Finally, what other objects have councils ever aimed at in their decrees, than to provide that what was before believed in simplicity, should in the future be believed intelligently; that what was before preached coldly, should in the future be preached earnestly; that what before was practised negligently, should henceforth be practised with double solicitude?

Passage referring especially to Augustine.

Ch.26 [69]. But what do they say? "If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down"; that is, "If thou wouldest be a son of God, and wouldest receive the inheritance of the Kingdom of Heaven, cast thyself down; that is, cast thyself down from the doctrine and tradition of that sublime Church, which is imagined to be nothing less than the very temple of God." And if one should ask one of the heretics who gives this advice: How do you prove it? What ground have you for saying that I ought to cast away the universal and ancient faith of the Catholic Church? he has only the answer ready: "For it is written"; and forthwith he produces a thousand testimonies, a thousand examples, a thousand authorities from the Law, from the Psalms, from the Apostles, from the prophets, by means of which, interpreted on a new and wrong principle, the unhappy soul is precipitated from the height of Catholic truth to the lowest abyss of heresy. Then with the accompanying promises, the heretics are wont marvellously to beguile the incautious. For they dare to teach and promise that in their church, that is, in the conventicle of their communion, there is a certain great and special and altogether personal grace of God, so that whosoever pertain to their number, without any labor, without any effort, without any industry, even though they neither ask, nor seek, nor knock,(180) have such a dispensation from God, that borne up of angel hands, that is, preserved by the protection of angels, it is impossible they should ever dash their feet against a stone, that is, that they should ever be offended.

(c) Council of Orange, A. D.529, Canons. Bruns II, 176. Cf. Denziger, n.174.

The end of the Semi-Pelagian controversy.

The Council of Orange, A. D.529, was made up of several bishops and some lay notables who had gathered for the dedication of a church at Orange. Caesarius of Arles had received from Felix IV of Rome eight statements against the Semi-Pelagian teaching. He added some more of his own to them, and had them passed as canons by the company gathered for the dedication. It is noteworthy that the lay notables signed along with the bishops. Boniface II, to whom the canons were sent, confirmed them in 532: "We approve your above written confession as agreeable to the Catholic rule of the Fathers." Cf. Hefele, § 242. For the sources of the canons, see Seeberg, History of Doctrines, Eng. trans., I, 380, note 3. For the sake of brevity the scriptural quotations are not given, merely indicated by references to the Bible.

Canon 1. Whoever says that by the offence of the disobedience of Adam not the entire man, that is, in body and soul, was changed for the worse, but that the freedom of his soul remained uninjured, and his body only was subject to corruption, has been deceived by the error of Pelagius and opposes Scripture [Ezek.18:20; Rom.6:16; II Peter 2:19].

Canon 2. Whoever asserts that the transgression of Adam injured himself only, and not his offspring, or that death only of the body, which is the penalty of sin, but not also sin, which is the death of the soul, passed by one man to the entire human race, wrongs God and contradicts the Apostle [Rom.5:12].

Canon 3. Whoever says that the grace of God can be bestowed in reply to human petition, but not that the grace brings it about so that it is asked for by us, contradicts Isaiah the prophet and the Apostle [Is.65:1; Rom.10:20].

Canon 4. Whoever contends that our will, to be set free from sin, may anticipate God's action, and shall not confess that it is brought about by the infusion of the Holy Spirit and his operation in us, that we wish to be set free, resists that same Holy Spirit speaking through Solomon: "The will is prepared by the Lord" [Proverbs 8:35, cf. LXX; not so in Vulgate or Heb.], and the Apostle [Phil.2:13].

Canon 5. Whoever says the increase, as also the beginning of faith and the desire of believing, by which we believe in Him who justifies the impious, and we come to the birth of holy baptism, is not by the free gift of grace, that is, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit turning our will from unbelief to belief, from impiety to piety, but belongs naturally to us, is declared an adversary of the apostolic preaching [Phil.1:6; Ephes.2:8]. For they say that faith by which we believe in God is natural, and they declare that all those who are strangers to the Church of Christ in some way are believing.

Canon 6. Whoever says that to us who, without the grace of God, believe, will, desire, attempt, struggle for, watch, strive for, demand, ask, knock, mercy is divinely bestowed, and does not rather confess that it is brought about by the infusion and inspiration of the Holy Spirit in us that believe, will, and do all these other things as we ought, and annexes the help of grace to human humility and obedience, and does not admit that it is the gift of that same grace that we are obedient and humble, opposes the Apostle [I Cor.4:7].

Canon 7. Whoever asserts that by the force of nature we can rightly think or choose anything good, which pertains to eternal life, or be saved, that is, assent to the evangelical preaching, without the illumination of the Holy Spirit, who gives to all grace to assent to and believe the truth, is deceived by an heretical spirit, not understanding the voice of the Lord [John 15:5], and of the Apostle [II Cor.3:5].

Canon 8. Whoever asserts that some by mercy, others by free will, which in all who have been born since the transgression of the first man is evidently corrupt, are able to come to the grace of baptism, is proved an alien from the faith. For he asserts that the free will of all has not been weakened by the sin of the first man, or he evidently thinks that it has been so injured that some, however, are able without the revelation of God to attain, by their own power, to the mystery of eternal salvation. Because the Lord himself shows how false this is, who declares that not some, but no one was able to come to Him unless the Father drew him [John 6:4], and said so to Peter [Matt.16:17] and the Apostle [I Cor.12:3].

The canons that follow are less important. The whole concludes with a brief statement regarding the points at issue, as follows:

And so according to the above sentences of the Holy Scriptures and definitions of ancient Fathers, by God's aid, we believe that we ought to believe and preach:

That by the sin of the first man, free will was so turned aside and weakened that afterward no one is able to love God as he ought, or believe in God, or do anything for God, which is good, except the grace of divine mercy comes first to him [Phil.1:6, 29; Ephes.2:8; I Cor.4:7, 7:25; James 1:17; John 3:27].{HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS}

We also believe this to be according to the Catholic faith, that grace having been received in baptism, all who have been baptized, can and ought, by the aid and support of Christ, to perform those things which belong to the salvation of the soul, if they labor faithfully.

But not only do we not believe that some have been predestinated to evil by the divine power, but also, if there are any who wish to believe so evil a thing, we say to them, with all detestation, anathema.

Also this we profitably confess and believe, that in every good we do not begin and afterward are assisted by the mercy of God, but without any good desert preceding, He first inspires in us faith and love in Him, so that we both faithfully seek the sacrament of baptism, and after baptism with His help are able to perform those things which are pleasing to Him. Whence it is most certainly to be believed that in the case of that thief, whom the Lord called to the fatherland of paradise, and Cornelius the Centurion, to whom an angel of the Lord was sent, and Zacchaeus, who was worthy of receiving the Lord himself, their so wonderful faith was not of nature, but was the gift of the divine bounty.

And because we desire and wish our definition of the ancient Fathers, written above, to be a medicine not only for the clergy but also for the laity, it has been decided that the illustrious and noble men, who have assembled with us at the aforesaid festival, shall subscribe it with their own hand.

§ 86. The Roman Church as the Centre of the Catholic Roman Element of the West

In the confusion of the fifth century, when the provinces of the Roman Empire were being lopped off one by one, Italy invaded, and the larger political institutions disappearing, the Church was the one institution that maintained itself. In not a few places among the barbarians the bishops became the acknowledged heads of the Roman element of the communities. In meeting the threatened invasion of Italy by Attila, Leo was the representative of the Roman people, the head of the embassy sent to induce the Hun to recross the Danube. Under such circumstances the see of Rome constantly gained in importance politically and ecclesiastically. As a centre of unity it was far more powerful than a feeble emperor at Ravenna or puppets set up by barbarians. It was the one and only great link between the provinces and the representative of the ancient order. It represented Rome, an efficient and generally gratefully recognized authority. In the development of the papal idea the first stadium was completed with the pontificate of Leo the Great (440-461), who, fully conscious of the inherited Petrine prerogatives, expressed them the most clearly, persistently, and, on the whole, most successfully of any pontiff before Gregory the Great. Leo, therefore, stands at the end of a development marked by the utterances of Victor, Cornelius, Siricius, Innocent I, Zosimus, Boniface I, and Celestine. For their statements of the authority of the Roman see, see Denziger, under their names, also Kirch and Mirbt. The whole may be found combined in one statement in Schwanne, Dogmengeschichte, I, 413 f.; II, 661-698.

Additional source material: In English there is comparatively little except the writings of Leo, see especially Sermones 2, 82, 84; Epistulae 4, 6, 10, 12, 13, 14, 17, 105, 167; Jerome, Ep. 146, ad Evangelum. Kirch, Mirbt, and Denziger give many references to original texts and citations.

(a) Leo the Great, Sermo 3. (MSL, 55:145 f.)

On the prerogatives of Peter and his see.

Ch.2. {HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS} From His overruling and eternal providence we have received also the support of the Apostle's aid, which assuredly does not cease from its operation; and the strength of the foundation, on which the whole lofty building of the Church is reared, is not weakened by the weight of the temple that rests upon it. For the solidity of that faith which was praised in the chief of the Apostles is perpetual; and, as that remains which Peter believed in Christ, so that remains which Christ instituted in Peter. For when, as has been read in the Gospel lesson [i.e., for the day], the Lord has asked the disciples whom they believed Him to be, amid the various opinions that were held, the blessed Peter replied, saying: "Thou art the Christ," etc. [Matt.16:16-19].

Ch.3. The dispensation of the truth therefore abides, and the blessed Peter, persevering in the strength of the rock which he has received, has not abandoned the helm of the Church which he undertook. For he was ordained before the rest in such a way that since he is called the rock, since he is pronounced the foundation, since he is constituted the doorkeeper of the kingdom of heaven, since he is set up as the judge to bind and to loose, whose judgments shall retain their validity in heaven, from all these mystical titles we might know the nature of his association with Christ. And still to-day he more fully and effectually performs what is intrusted to him, and carries out every part of his duty and charge in Him and with Him, through whom he has been glorified. And so if anything is rightly done or rightly decreed by us, if anything is obtained from the mercy of God by daily supplications, it is his work and merits whose power lives in his see and whose authority excels. For this, dearly beloved, that confession gained, that confession which, inspired in the Apostle's heart by God the Father, transcends all the uncertainty of human opinions, and was endued with the firmness of a rock, which no assaults could shake. For throughout the Church Peter daily says, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God," and every tongue which confesses the Lord is inspired by the instruction [magisterio] of that voice.

(b) Leo the Great, Ep. 104, ad Marcianum Augustum, A. D.452. (MSL, 54:993.)

Condemnation of the twenty-eighth canon of Chalcedon.

This and the two following epistles upon the twenty-eighth canon of the Council of Chalcedon define the relation of the Roman see to councils, canons, and patriarchal sees. Apostolic sees may not be constituted by mere canon; political importance of a place does not regulate its ecclesiastical position; the see of Rome can reject the canons of councils even though general; apostolic sees connected with Peter may not have their authority diminished. For the twenty-eighth canon of Chalcedon, v. infra, § 90, d.

Ch.3. Let the city of Constantinople have, as we desire, its glory, and may it, under the protection of God's right hand, long enjoy the rule of your clemency. Yet the basis of things secular is one, and the basis of things divine another; and there can be no sure building save on that rock which the Lord laid as a foundation. He that covets what is not his due, loses what is his own. Let it be enough for the aforesaid [Anatolius, bishop of Constantinople] that by the aid of your piety and by my favorable assent he has obtained the bishopric of so great a city. Let him not disdain a royal city, which he cannot make an apostolic see; and let him on no account hope to be able to rise by injury to others. For the privileges of the churches, determined by the canons of the holy Fathers, and fixed by the decrees of the Nicene synod, cannot be overthrown by an unscrupulous act, nor disturbed by an innovation. And in the faithful execution of this task by the aid of Christ, it is necessary that I show an unflinching devotion; for it is a charge intrusted to me, and it tends to condemnation if the rules sanctioned by the Fathers and laid down under the guidance of God's spirit at the synod of Nicaea for the government of the whole Church are violated with my connivance (which God forbid) and if the wishes of a single brother have more weight with me than the common word of the Lord's whole house.

(c) Leo the Great, Ep. 105, ad Pulcheriam Augustam A. D.452. (MSL, 54:997.)

Condemnation of all canons contravening those of Nicaea.

§ 3. Let him [Anatolius] know to what sort of man he has succeeded, and, expelling all the spirit of pride, let him imitate the faith of Flavian, his modesty and his humility, which raised him up even to a confessor's glory. If he will shine with his virtues, he will be praiseworthy and everywhere he will win an abundance of love, not by seeking human things, but divine favor. And by this careful course I promise that my heart will also be bound to him, and the love of this apostolic see which we have ever bestowed upon the church of Constantinople shall never be violated by any change. Because, if rulers, lacking self-restraint, fall into errors, yet the purity of the churches of Christ continues. As for the assents of bishops which are in contradiction with the regulations of the holy canons composed at Nicaea, in conjunction with your faithful race we do not recognize them, and by the authority of the blessed Apostle Peter we absolutely disannul in comprehensive terms in all cases ecclesiastical, following those laws which the Holy Ghost set forth by three hundred and eighteen bishops for the pacific observance of all priests, so that, even if a much greater number were to pass a different decree from theirs, whatever was opposed to their constitution would have to be held in no respect.

(d) Leo the Great, Ep. 106, ad Anatolium A. D.452. (MSL, 54:1005.)

The relation of the apostolic sees to Peter.

Your purpose is in no way whatever supported by the written assent of certain bishops, given, as you allege, sixty years ago,(181) and never brought to the knowledge of the Apostolic See by your predecessors; under this project(182) which from its outset was tottering and has already collapsed, you now wish to place too late and useless props.{HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS} The rights of provincial primates may not be overthrown, nor metropolitan bishops be defrauded of privileges based on antiquity. The see of Alexandria may not lose any of that dignity which it merited through St. Mark, the evangelist and disciple of the blessed Peter, nor may the splendor of so great a church be obscured by another's clouds, when Dioscurus fell through his persistence in impiety. The church of Antioch, too, in which first, at the preaching of the blessed Apostle Peter, the Christian name arose, must continue in the position assigned to it by the Fathers, and, being set in the third place [Can.6, Nicaea, 325, v. supra, § 72], must never be lowered therefrom. For the see is one thing, and those who preside in it something different; and an individual's great honor is his own integrity.

(e) Leo the Great, Ep. 6, ad Anastasium A. D.444. (MSL, 54:616.) Cf. Kirch, nn.814 ff.

The policy of centralization. The primates are representatives of the bishop of Rome. Anastasius was bishop of Thessalonica.

Ch.2. Inasmuch, dear brother, as your request has been made known to us through our son Nicholas, the priest, that you also, like your predecessors, might receive from us in your turn authority over Illyricum for the observance of the rules, we give our consent, and earnestly exhort that no concealment and no negligence may be allowed in the management of the churches situated throughout Illyricum, which we commit to you in our stead, following the precedent of Siricius, of blessed memory, who then, for the first time acting on a fixed method, intrusted them to your last predecessor but one, Anysius, of holy memory, who had at the time well deserved of the Apostolic See, and was approved by after events, that he might render assistance to the churches situated in that province, whom he wished to keep up to the discipline.{HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS}

Ch.5. Those of the brethren who have been summoned to a synod should attend, and not deny themselves to the holy congregation.{HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS} But if any more important question spring up, such as cannot be settled there under your presidency, brother, send your report and consult us, so that we may write back under the revelation of the Lord, of whose mercy it is that we can do aught, because He has breathed favorably upon us; that by our decision we may vindicate our right of cognizance in accordance with old-established tradition, and the respect which is due the Apostolic See; for as we wish you to exercise your authority in our stead, so we reserve to ourselves points which cannot be decided on the spot and persons who have appealed to us.(183)

Chapter III. The Church In The Eastern Empire.

At the beginning of the permanent division of the Empire, the church life of the East was disturbed by a series of closely connected disputes known as the First Origenistic Controversy (§ 87), in which were comprised a conflict between a rationalistic tendency, connected with the religious philosophy of Origen, and a traditionalism that eschewed speculation, a bitter rivalry between the great sees of Alexandria, the religious and intellectual capital of the East, and Constantinople, the church of the new imperial city, and personal disputes. But more serious controversies were already beginning. While the Church of the West was laying the foundations of the papal system, the Church of the East was falling more and more under the dominance of the secular authority; while the West was developing its anthropology, with its doctrines of Original Sin, Grace, and Election, the East was entering upon the long discussion of the topic which had been left by the Arian controversy -- granted that the incarnate Son of God is truly eternal God, in what way are the divine and human natures related to the one personality of the incarnate God (§ 88)? The controversies that arose over this topic involved the entire Church of the East, and found in the general councils of Ephesus, A. D.431 (§ 89), and Chalcedon, A. D.451 (§ 90), partial solutions. In the case of each council, permanent schisms resulted, and large portions of the Church of the East broke away from the previous unity (§ 91); and on account of the intimate connection between the affairs of the Church and the secular policy of the Empire, a schism was caused between the see of Rome and the churches in communion with the see of Constantinople.

§ 87. The First Origenistic Controversy and the Triumph of Traditionalism

In the East the leading theologians of the fourth century were educated under the influence of Origenism; among these were Basil of Caesarea, Gregory of Nyssa, and Gregory of Nazianzus. In the West the feeling regarding Origen was not so favorable, but the Western theologians, Jerome and Rufinus, who were then living in Palestine, shared in the general admiration of Origen. But a series of brief controversies broke out in which the standing of Origen as an orthodox theologian was seriously attacked, as well as the whole tendency for which he stood. The result was a wide-spread condemnation of the spiritualizing teaching of the great Alexandrian, and the rise of what might be called an anthropomorphic traditionalism. The first of the three controversies took place in Palestine, 395-399, and was occasioned by Epiphanius of Salamis, a zealous opponent of heresy. He denounced Origen and induced Jerome to abandon Origen; and Rufinus was soon in bitter enmity with Jerome. The second controversy took place in Egypt about the same time, when a group of monks in the Scetic desert, who were violently opposed to Origenism, compelled Theophilus, bishop of Alexandria and an admirer of Origen, to abandon that theologian and to side with them against the monks of the Nitrian desert, who were Origenists, and to condemn Origen at a council at Alexandria, 399. The third controversy involved John Chrysostom, bishop of Constantinople, who had protected four Nitrian monks who had fled to his protection. Theophilus seized the opportunity and, with the assistance for a time of Epiphanius, ultimately brought about the downfall of Chrysostom, who died deposed and in exile, 404. No controversies of the ancient Church are less attractive than the Origenistic, in which so much personal rancor, selfish ambition, mean intrigue, and so little profound thought were involved. The literature, therefore, is scanty.

Additional source material: Jerome, Ep. 86-99 (PNF); Rufinus and Jerome, controversial writings bearing on Origenism in PNF, ser. II. vol. III, pp.417-541; Socrates, Hist. Ec., VI, 2-21; Sozomen, Hist. Ec., VIII, 2-28.

(a) Basil, De Spiritu Sancto, 27. (MSG, 32:187.)

The force of unwritten tradition.

The following is the most important and authoritative statement of the force of unwritten tradition in the Eastern Church. It is referred to by John of Damascus in his defence of images (De Fide Orthod., IV, 16), cf. § 109. It is placed in the present section as illustrating the principle of traditionalism which, in a fanatical form, brought about the Origenistic controversies.

Of the beliefs and public teachings preserved in the Church, some we have from written tradition, others we have received as delivered to us "in a mystery" by the tradition of the Apostles; and both of these have in relation to true piety the same binding force. And these no one will gainsay, at least no one who is versed even moderately in the institutions of the Church. For were we to reject such customs as are unwritten as having no great force, we should unintentionally injure the gospels in their very vitals; or, rather, reduce our public definition to a mere name and nothing more. For example, to take the first and most general instance, who is there who has taught us in writing to sign with the cross those who have trusted in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ? What writing has taught us to turn to the East in our prayers? Which of the saints has left us in writing the words at the invocation and at the displaying of the bread in the eucharist and the cup of blessing? For we are not, as is well known, content with what the Apostle or the Gospel has recorded; but, both before and after, we say other words as having great importance for the mystery, and these we derive from unwritten teaching. Moreover, we bless the water of baptism and the oil of chrism, and, besides this, him who is baptized. From what writings? Is it not from the silent and mystical tradition? What written word teaches the anointing of oil itself? And whence is it that a man is baptized three times? And as to other customs of baptism, from what Scripture comes the renunciation of Satan and his angels? Does not this come from the unpublished and secret teaching which our fathers guarded in silence, averse from curious meddling and inquisitive investigation, having learned the lesson that the reverence of the mysteries is best preserved in silence? How was it proper to parade in public the teaching of those things which it was not permitted the uninitiated to look at?

(b) Jerome, Preface to the Vulgate Translation of the New Testament. (MSL, 29:557.)

Jerome's free critical attitude in his work in his earlier life.

This preface is addressed to Bishop Damasus of Rome and is dated 383.

You urge me to make a new work out of an old and, as it were, to sit in judgment on the copies of the Scriptures already scattered throughout the whole world; and, inasmuch as they differ among themselves, I am to decide which of them agree with the Greek original. A pious labor, but a perilous presumption; to judge others, myself to be judged of all; to change the language of the aged, and to carry back the world already grown gray, back to the beginnings of its infancy! Is there a man, learned or unlearned, who will not, when he takes the volume into his hands and perceives that what he reads differs from the flavor which once he tasted, break out immediately into violent language and call me a forger and a profane person for having the audacity to add anything to the ancient books or to change or correct anything? I am consoled in two ways in bearing this odium: in the first place, that you, the supreme bishop, command it to be done; and secondly, even on the testimony of those reviling us, what varies cannot be true. For if we put faith in the Latin texts, let them tell us which; for there are almost as many texts as copies. But if the truth is to be sought from many, why should we not go back to the original Greek and correct the mistakes introduced by inaccurate translators, and the blundering alterations of confident and ignorant men, and further, all that has been added or altered by sleepy copyists? I am not discussing the Old Testament, which was turned into Greek by the Seventy Elders, and has reached us by a descent of three steps. I do not ask what Aquila and Symmachus think, or why Theodotion takes a middle course between the ancients and the moderns. I am willing to let that be a true translation which had apostolic approval [i.e., the LXX]. I am now speaking of the New Testament. This was undoubtedly composed in Greek, with the exception of the work of the Apostle Matthew, who first published the gospel of Christ in Judea and in Hebrew. This [i.e., the New Testament], as it is in our language, is certainly marked by discrepancies, and the stream flows in different channels; it must be sought in one fountainhead. I pass over those manuscripts bearing the names of Lucian and Hesychius, which a few contentious persons perversely support. It was not permitted these writers to amend anything in the Old Testament after the labor of the Seventy; and it was useless to make corrections in the New, for translations of the Scriptures already made in the language of many nations show that they are additions and false. Therefore this short preface promises only the four gospels, of which the order is Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, revised by a comparison of the Greek manuscripts and only of the ancient manuscripts. And that they might not depart far from the Latin customarily read, I have used my pen with some restraint, so that having corrected only the passages which seemed to change the meaning, I have allowed the rest to remain as it was.

(c) Jerome, Ep. 7, ad Pammachium. (MSL, 23:376.)

The principal errors of Origen according to Jerome.

This is the most important work of Jerome in the controversy known as the Origenistic controversy. Jerome attacks in this work John, bishop of Jerusalem, and writes as a result of the work of Epiphanius in Palestine three years before. The following were addressed to John to reject, as a test of that bishop's orthodoxy. See above, § 43.


Secondly, that souls are bound in this body as in a prison; and that before man was made in paradise they dwelt among rational creatures in the heavens. Wherefore, afterward, to console itself, the soul says in the Psalms, "Before I was humbled I went wrong," and "Return, my soul, unto thy rest," and "Lead my soul out of prison," and similarly elsewhere.

Thirdly, that he says that both the devil and the demons will some time or other repent and ultimately reign with the saints.

Fourthly, that he interprets the coats of skins, with which Adam and Eve were clothed after their fall and ejection from paradise, to be human bodies, and no doubt they were previously in paradise without flesh, sinews, or bones.

Fifthly, he most openly denies the resurrection of the flesh, the bodily structure, and the distinction of sexes by which we men are distinguished from women, both in his explanation of the first psalm and in many other treatises.

Sixthly, he so allegorizes paradise as to destroy the truth of history, understanding angels instead of trees, heavenly virtues instead of rivers; and he overthrows all that is contained in the history of paradise by his tropological interpretation.

Seventhly, he thinks that the waters which in the Scriptures are said to be above the heavens are holy and supernal powers; while those which are upon the earth and beneath the earth are, on the contrary, demoniacal powers.

Eighthly, that the image and likeness of God, in which man was created, was lost and was no longer in man after he was expelled from paradise.

(d) Anastasius, Ep. ad Simplicianum, in Jerome, Ep. 95 (MSL, 22:772.)

Condemnation of Origen by Anastasius, bishop of Rome, A. D.400

To his lord and brother, Simplicianus, Anastasius.

It is felt right that a shepherd have great care and watchfulness over his flock. In like manner, also, the careful watchman from his lofty tower keeps a lookout day and night on behalf of the city. In the hour of tempest and peril the prudent shipmaster suffers great distress of mind lest by the tempest and the violent waves his vessel be dashed upon the rocks. With similar feelings that reverend and honorable man Theophilus, our brother and fellow-bishop, ceases not to watch over the things which make for salvation, that God's people in the different churches may not by reading Origen run into awful blasphemies.

Having been informed, then, by the letter of the aforesaid, we inform your holiness that just as we are set in the city of Rome, in which the prince of the Apostles, the glorious Peter, founded the Church and then by his faith strengthened it; to the end that no man contrary to the commandment read these books which we have mentioned and the same we have condemned; and with earnest prayers we have urged that the precepts of the Evangelists which God and Christ have inspired the Evangelists to teach ought not to be forsaken; but that is to be remembered which the venerable Apostle Paul preached by way of warning: "If any one preach a gospel unto you other than that which was preached unto you, let him be anathema" [Gal.1:8]. Holding fast, therefore, this precept, we have intimated that everything written in days past by Origen that is contrary to our faith is even by us rejected and condemned.

We have written these things to your holiness by the hand of the presbyter Eusebius, who, being a man filled with a glowing faith and having the love of the Lord, has shown me some blasphemous chapters at which we shuddered and which we condemned, but if any other things have been put forth by Origen, you should know that with their author they are alike condemned by me. The Lord have you in safe-keeping, my lord and brother deservedly held in honor.

(e) Rufinus, Preface to Translation of Origen's "De Principiis". (MSL, 22:733 and also MSG, 11:111.)

In this preface Rufinus refers, without mentioning names, to Jerome. Inasmuch as it was perfectly clear to whom the allusion was made, as the translator and admirer of Origen, Jerome felt himself personally attacked and retorted furiously upon Rufinus.

I know that a great many of the brethren, incited by their desire for a knowledge of the Scriptures, have requested various men versed in Greek letters to make Origen a Roman and give him to Latin ears. Among these was our brother and associate [i.e., Jerome], who was so requested by Bishop Damasus, when he translated the two homilies on the Song of Songs from Greek into Latin, prefixed to the work a preface so full of beauty and so magnificent that he awoke in every one the desire of reading Origen and of eagerly examining his works, and he said that to the soul of that man the words might well be applied, "The King has brought me into his chamber" [Cant.2:4], and he declared that Origen in his other books surpassed all other men, but in this had surpassed himself. What he promised in his preface is, indeed, that he would give to Roman ears not only these books on the Song of Songs, but many others of Origen. But, as I perceive, he is so pleased with his own style that he pursues an object bringing him more glory, viz., to be the father of a book rather than a translator. I am therefore following out a task begun by him and commended by him.{HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS} In translation, I follow as far as possible the method of my predecessors, and especially of him whom I have already mentioned, who, after he had translated into Latin above seventy of the books of Origen, which he called Homilies, and also a certain number of the tomes written on the Apostle [the Epistles of St. Paul], since a number of offensive passages are to be found in the Greek, eliminated and purged, in his translation, all of them, so that the Latin reader will find nothing in these which jar on our faith. Him, therefore, we follow, not indeed with the power of his eloquence, but as far as we can in his rules and methods: that is, taking care not to promulgate those things which in the books of Origen are found to be discrepant and contradictory one to the other. The cause of these variations I have set forth fully in the apology which Pamphilus wrote for the books of Origen, to which is appended a short treatise showing how proofs which, as I judge, are quite clear in his books have in many cases been falsified by heretical and evil-disposed persons.

(f) Augustine, Ep. 73, Ch.8. (MSL, 33:249.)

The attempt of Augustine to bring about a reconciliation between Rufinus and Jerome. Jerome had written some affectionate words to Augustine to which he alludes in the beginning of the following passage:

When, by these words, now not only yours but also mine, I am gladdened and refreshed, and when I am comforted not a little by the desire of both of us for mutual fellowship, which has been suspended and is not satisfied, suddenly I am pierced through by the darts of keenest sorrow when I consider that between you [i.e., Rufinus and Jerome] (to whom God granted in fullest measure and for a long time that which both of us have longed for, that in closest and most intimate fellowship you tasted together the honey of Holy Scriptures) such a blight of bitterness has broken out, when, where, and in whom it was not to be feared, since it has befallen you at the very time when, unencumbered, having cast away secular burdens, you were following the Lord, were living together in that land in which the Lord walked with human feet, when He said, "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you"; being, moreover, men of mature age, whose life was devoted to the study of the word of God. Truly, "man's life on earth is a period of trial" [Job 7:1]. Alas, that I cannot meet you both together, perchance that in agitation, grief, and fear I might cast myself at your feet, weep till I could weep no more, and appeal as I love you, first to each of you for his own sake, and then for the sake of those, especially the weak, "for whom Christ died" [I Cor.8:11], who to their great peril look on you as on the stage of time, imploring you not to scatter abroad, in writing, those things about each other which when reconciled, you, who are now unwilling to be reconciled, could not then destroy, and which when reconciled you would not dare to read lest you should quarrel anew.

(g) Socrates, Hist. Ec., VI, 15. (MSG, 67:708.)

The fall of Chrysostom.

Epiphanius had gone to Constantinople on the suggestion of Theophilus, and there, in his zeal, had violated the canons of ordination as generally received. In this case he had ordained priests in the diocese of Chrysostom and without his permission. Other troubles had arisen. On being called to account for his conduct by Chrysostom, Epiphanius hastily left the city, and died on the voyage back to his diocese, Salamis, in Cyprus.

When Epiphanius had gone John was informed by some person that the Empress Eudoxia had set Epiphanius against him. Being of a fiery temperament and of ready utterance, he soon after pronounced to the public an invective against women in general. The people readily took this as uttered indirectly against the Empress, and so the speech, laid hold of by evil-disposed persons, was brought to the knowledge of those in authority. At length the Empress, having been informed of it, immediately complained to her husband of the insult offered her, saying that the insult offered her was an insult to him. He therefore gave orders that Theophilus should speedily convoke a synod against John; Severianus also co-operated in promoting this, for he still retained his grudge [i.e., against Chrysostom. See DCB, art. "Severianus, bishop of Gabala."]. No great length of time, accordingly, intervened before Theophilus arrived, having stirred up many bishops from different cities; but this, also, the summons of the Emperor had commanded. Especially did they assemble who had one cause or another of complaint against John, and there were present besides those whom John had deposed, for John had deposed many bishops in Asia when he went to Ephesus for the ordination of Heraclides. Accordingly they all, by previous agreement, assembled at Chalcedon in Bithynia.{HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS} Now none of the clergy [i.e., of Constantinople] would go forth to meet Theophilus or pay him the customary honors because he was openly known as John's enemy. But the Alexandrian sailors -- for it happened that at that time the grain-transport ships were there -- on meeting him, greeted him with joyful acclamations. He excused himself from entering the church, and took up his abode at one of the imperial mansions called "The Placidian." Then, in consequence of this, many accusations began to be poured forth against John, and no longer was there any mention of the books of Origen, but all were intent on pressing a variety of absurd accusations. When these preliminary matters were settled the bishops were convened in one of the suburbs of Chalcedon, which is called "The Oak," and immediately cited John to answer charges which were brought against him.{HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS} And since John, taking exception to those who cited him, on the ground that they were his enemies, demanded a general council, without delay they repeated their citation four times; and as he persisted in his refusal to answer, always giving the same reply, they condemned him, and deposed him without giving any other cause for his deposition than that he refused to obey when summoned. This, being announced toward evening, incited the people to a very great sedition, insomuch that they kept watch all night and would by no means suffer him to be removed from the church, but cried out that the charges against him ought to be determined by a larger assembly. A decree of the Emperor, however, commanded that he should be immediately expelled and sent into exile. When John knew this he voluntarily surrendered himself about noon, unknown to the populace, on the third day after his condemnation; for he dreaded any insurrectionary movement on his account, and he was accordingly led away.

(h) Theophilus of Alexandria, Ep. ad Hieronymum, in Jerome, Ep. 113. (MSL, 22:932.)

Theophilus on the fall of Chrysostom.

To the well-beloved and most loving brother Jerome, Theophilus sends greeting in the Lord.

At the outset the verdict of truth satisfies but few; but the Lord, speaking by the prophet, says, "My judgment goeth forth as the light," and they who are surrounded with a horror of darkness do not with clear mind perceive the nature of things, and they are covered with eternal shame and know by their outcome that their efforts have been in vain. Wherefore we also have always desired that John [Chrysostom], who for a time ruled the church of Constantinople, might please God, and we have been unwilling to accept as facts the cause of his ruin in which he behaved himself rashly. But not to speak of his other misdeed, he has by taking the Origenists into his confidences,(184) by advancing many of them to the priesthood, and by this crime saddening with no slight grief that man of God, Epiphanius, of blessed memory, who has shone throughout all the world a bright star among bishops, deserved to hear the words, "Babylon is fallen, is fallen."

§ 88. The Christological Problem and the Theological Tendencies

The Arian controversy in bringing about the affirmation of the true deity of the Son, or Logos, left the Church with the problem of the unity of the divine and human natures in the personality of Jesus. It seemed to not a few that to combine perfect deity with perfect humanity would result in two personalities. Holding fast, therefore, to the reality of the human nature, a solution was attempted by Apollinarius, or Apollinaris, by making the divine Logos take the place of the human logos or reason. Mankind consisted of three parts: a body, an animal soul, and a rational spirit. The Logos was thus united to humanity by substituting the divine for the human logos. But this did violence to the integrity of the human nature of Christ. This attempt on the part of Apollinaris was rejected at Constantinople, but also by the Church generally. The human natures must be complete if human nature was deified by the assumption of man in the incarnation. On this basis two tendencies showed themselves quite early: the human nature might be lost in the divinity, or the human and the divine natures might be kept distinct and parallel or in such a way that certain acts might be assigned to the divine and certain to the human nature. The former line of thought, adopted by the Cappadocians, tended toward the position assumed by Cyril of Alexandria and in a more extreme form by the Monophysites. The latter line of thought tended toward what was regarded as the position of Nestorius. In this position there was such a sharp cleavage between the divine and the human natures as apparently to create a double personality in the incarnate Son. This divergence of theological statement gave rise to the christological controversies which continued in various forms through several centuries in the East, and have reappeared in various disguises in the course of the Church's theological development.

Additional source material: There are several exegetical works of Cyril of Alexandria available in English, see Bardenhewer, § 77, also a German translation of three treatises bearing on christology in the Kempten Bibliothek der Kirchenvaeter, 1879. For the general point of view of the Cappadocians and the relation of the incarnation to redemption, see Gregory of Nyssa, The Great Catechism (PNF, ser. II, vol. V), v. infra, § 89 and references in Seeberg, § 23.

(a) Apollinaris, Fragments. Ed. H. Lietzmann.

His Christology.

The following fragments of the teaching of Apollinaris are from H. Lietzmann, Apollinaris von Laodicea und seine Schule. Texte und Untersuchungen, 1904. Many fragments are to be found in the Dialogues which Theodoret wrote against Eutychianism, which he traced to the teaching of Apollinaris. The first condemnation of Apollinaris was at Rome, 377, see Hefele, § 91; Theodoret, Hist. Ec., V, 10, gives the letter of Damasus issued in the name of the synod.

P.224 [81]. If God had been joined with a man, one complete being with another complete being, there would be two sons of God, one Son of God by nature, another through adoption.

P.247 [150]. They who assume a twofold spirit in Christ pull a stone out with their finger. For if each is independent and impelled by its own natural will, it is impossible that in one and the same subject the two can be together, who will what is opposed to each other; for each works what is willed by it according to its own proper and personal motives.

P.248 [152]. They who speak of one Christ, and assert that there are two independent spiritual natures in Him, do not know Him as the Logos made flesh, who has remained in His natural unity, for they represent Him as divided into two unlike natures and modes of operation.

P.239 [129]. If a man has soul and body, and both remain distinguished in unity, how much more has Christ, who joins His divine being with a body, both as a permanent possession without any commingling one with the other?

P.209 [21, 22]. The Logos became flesh, but the flesh was not without a soul, for it is said that it strives against the spirit and opposes the law of the understanding. [In this Apollinaris takes up the trichotomy of human nature, a view which he did not apparently hold at the beginning of his teaching.]

P.240 [137]. John [John 2:19] spoke of the destroyed temple, that is, of the body of Him who would raise it up again. The body is altogether one with Him. But if the body of the Lord has become one with the Lord, then the characteristics of the body are proved to be characteristics of Him on account of the body.

(b) Apollinaris, Letter to the Emperor Jovian. Lietzmann, 250 ff.

We confess the Son of God who was begotten eternally before all times, but in the last times was for our salvation born of Mary according to the flesh; {HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS} and we confess that the same is the Son of God and God according to the spirit, Son of man according to the flesh; we do not speak of two natures in the one Son, of which one is to be worshipped and one is not to be worshipped, but of only one nature of the Logos of God, which has become flesh and with His flesh is worshipped with one worship; and we confess not two sons, one who is truly God's Son to be worshipped and another the man -- who is of Mary and is not to be worshipped, who by the power of grace had become the Son of God, as is also the case with men, but one Son of God who at the same time was born of Mary according to the flesh in the last days, as the angel answered the Theotokos Mary who asked, "How shall this be?" -- "The Holy Ghost will come upon thee." He, accordingly, who was born of the Virgin Mary was Son of God by nature and truly God {HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS} only according to the flesh from Mary was He man, but at the same time, according to the spirit, Son of God; and God has in His own flesh suffered our sorrows.

(c) Gregory of Nazianzus, Ep. I ad Cledonium. (MSG, 37:181.)

In this epistle Gregory attacks Apollinaris, basing his argument on the notion of salvation by incarnation, which formed the foundation of the most characteristic piety of the East, had been used as a major premise by Athanasius in opposition to Arianism, and runs back to Irenaeus and the Asia Minor school; see above, § 33.

If any one trusted in a man without a human mind, he is himself really bereft of mind and quite unworthy of salvation. For what has not been assumed has not been healed; but what has been united to God is saved. If only half of Adam fell, then that which is assumed and saved may be half also; but if the whole, it must be united to the whole of Him that was begotten and be saved as a whole. Let them not, then, begrudge us our complete salvation, or clothe the Saviour only with bones and nerves and the semblance of humanity. For if His manhood is without soul [{GREEK SMALL LETTER ALPHA WITH PSILI AND OXIA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER PSI}{GREEK SMALL LETTER UPSILON}{GREEK SMALL LETTER CHI}{GREEK SMALL LETTER OMICRON}{GREEK SMALL LETTER FINAL SIGMA}], even the Arians admit this, that they may attribute His passion to the godhead, as that which gives motion to the body is also that which suffers. But if He had a soul and yet is without a mind, how is He a man, for man is not a mindless [{GREEK SMALL LETTER ALPHA WITH PSILI AND OXIA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER NU}{GREEK SMALL LETTER OMICRON}{GREEK SMALL LETTER UPSILON}{GREEK SMALL LETTER NU}] animal? And this would necessarily involve that His form was human, and also His tabernacle, but His soul was that of a horse, or an ox, or some other creature without mind. This, then, would be what is saved, and I have been deceived in the Truth, and have been boasting an honor when it was another who was honored. But if His manhood is intellectual and not without mind, let them cease to be thus really mindless.

But, says some one, the godhead was sufficient in place of the human intellect. What, then, is this to me? For godhead with flesh alone is not man, nor with soul alone, nor with both apart from mind, which is the most essential part of man. Keep, then, the whole man, and mingle godhead therewith, that you may benefit me in my completeness. But, as he asserts [i.e., Apollinaris], He could not contain two perfect natures. Not if you only regard Him in a bodily fashion. For a bushel measure will not hold two bushels, nor will the space of one body hold two or more bodies. But if you will look at what is mental and incorporeal, remember that I myself can contain soul and reason and mind and the Holy Spirit; and before me this world, by which I mean the system of things visible and invisible, contained Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. For such is the nature of intellectual existences that they can mingle with one another and with bodies, incorporeally and invisibly.{HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS}

Further, let us see what is their account of the assumption of the manhood, or the assumption of the flesh, as they call it. If it was in order that God, otherwise incomprehensible, might be comprehended, and might converse with men through His flesh as through a veil, their mask is a pretty one, a hypocritical fable; for it was open to Him to converse with us in many other ways, as in the burning bush [Ex.3:2] and in the appearance of a man [Gen.18:5]. But if it was that He might destroy the condemnation of sin by sanctifying like by like, then as He needed flesh for the sake of the condemned flesh and soul for the sake of the soul, so also He needed mind for the sake of mind, which not only fell in Adam but was first to be affected, as physicians say, of the illness. For that which received the commandment was that which failed to observe the commandment, and that which failed to observe the commandment was that also which dared to transgress, and that which transgressed was that which stood most in need of salvation, and that which needed salvation was that which also was assumed. Therefore mind was taken upon Him.

(d) Council of Constantinople, A. D.382, Epistula Synodica. Hefele, § 98.

Condemnation of Apollinarianism.

At the Council of Constantinople held the year after that which is known as the Second General Council, and attended by nearly the same bishops, there was an express condemnation of Apollinaris and his doctrine, for though Apollinaris had been condemned in 381, the point of doctrine was not stated. The synodical letter of the council of 382 is preserved only in part in Theodoret, Hist. Ec., V, 9, who concludes his account with these words:

Similarly they openly condemn the innovation of Apollinarius [so Theodoret writes the name] in the phrase, "And we preserve the doctrine of the incarnation of the Lord, holding the tradition that the dispensation of the flesh is neither soulless, nor mindless, nor imperfect."

(e) Theodore of Mopsuestia, Creed. Hahn, § 215.

The position of the Nestorians.

The following extracts are from the creed which was presented at the Council of Ephesus, 431, and was written by Theodore of Mopsuestia, the greatest theologian of the party which stood with Nestorius. Although it does not state the whole doctrine of Theodore, yet its historical position is so important that its characteristic passages belong in the present connection. Bibliographical and critical notes in Hahn, loc. cit.

Concerning the dispensation which the Lord God accomplished for our salvation in the dispensation according to the Lord Christ, it is necessary for us to know that the Lord God the Logos assumed a complete man, who was of the seed of Abraham and David, according to the statement of the divine Scriptures, and was according to nature whatsoever they were of whose seed He was, a perfect man according to nature, consisting of reasonable soul and human flesh, and the man who was as to nature as we are, formed by the power of the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin, born of a woman, born under the law, that he might redeem us all from the bondage of the law [Gal.4:4] who receive the adoption of sonship which was long before ordained, that man He joined to himself in an ineffable manner.{HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS}

And we do not say that there are two Sons or two Lords, because there is one God [Son?] according to substance, God the Word, the only begotten Son of the Father, and He who has been joined with Him is a participator in His deity and shares in the name and honor of the Son; and the Lord according to essence is God the Word, with whom that which is joined shares in honor. And therefore we say neither two Sons nor two Lords, because one is He who has an inseparable conjunction with Himself of Him who according to essence is Lord and Son, who, having been assumed for our salvation, is with Him received as well in the name as in the honor of both Son and Lord, not as each one of us individually is a son of God (wherefore also we are called many sons of God, according to the blessed Paul), but He alone in an unique manner having this, namely, in that He was joined to God the Word, participating in the Sonship and dignity, takes away every thought of two Sons or two Lords, and offers indeed to us in conjunction with the God the Word, to have all faith in Him and all understanding and contemplation, on account of which things also He receives from every creature the worship and sacrifice of God. Therefore we say that there is one Lord, namely, the Lord Jesus Christ, by whom all things were made, understanding principally God the Word, who according to substance is Son of God and Lord, equally regarding that which was assumed, Jesus of Nazareth, who God anointed with the Spirit and power, as in conjunction with God the Lord, and participating in sonship and dignity, who also is called the second Adam, according to the blessed Apostle Paul, as being of the same nature as Adam.

(f) Theodore of Mopsuestia, Fragments. Swete, Theodori epis. Mops. in epistulas b. Pauli commentarii, Cambridge, 1880, 1882.

In the appendix to the second volume of this work by Theodore there are many fragments of Theodore's principal dogmatic work, On the Incarnation, directed against Eunomius. The work as a whole has not been preserved. In the same appendix there are also other important fragments. The references are to this edition.


P.312. In the moment in which He [Jesus] was formed [in the womb of the Virgin] He received the destination of being a temple of God. For we should not believe that God was born of the Virgin unless we are willing to assume that one and the same is that which is born and what is in that which is born, the temple, and God the Logos in the temple.{HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS} If God had become flesh, how could He who was born be named God from God [cf. Nicene Creed], and of one being with the Father? for the flesh does not admit of such a designation.

P.314. The Logos was always in Jesus, also by His birth and when He was in the womb, at the first moment of his beginning; to His development He gave the rule and measure, and led Him from step to step to perfection.

P.310. If it is asked, did Mary bear a man, or is she the bearer of God [Theotokos], we can say that both statements are true. One is true according to the nature of the case; the other only relatively. She bore a man according to nature, for He was a man who was in the womb of Mary.{HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS} She is Theotokos, since God was in the man who was born; not enclosed in Him according to nature, but was in Him according to the relation of His will.

(g) Nestorius, Fragments. Loofs, Nestoriana.

The fragments of Nestorius have been collected by Loofs, Nestoriana, Halle, 1905; to this work the references are made. It now appears that what was condemned as Nestorianism was a perversion of his teaching and that Nestorius was himself in harmony with the definition which was put forth at Chalcedon, a council which he survived and regarded as a vindication of his position after the wrong done him at Ephesus by Cyril; cf. Bethune-Baker, Nestorius and His Teaching, Cambridge, 1908.

P.252. Is Paul a liar when he speaks of the godhead of Christ and says: "Without father, without mother, without genealogy"? My good friend, Mary has not born the godhead, for that which is born of the flesh is flesh.{HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS} A creature has not born the Creator, but she bore a man, the organ of divinity; the Holy Ghost did not create God the Word, but with that which was born of the Virgin He prepared for God the Word, a temple, in which He should dwell.

P.177. Whenever the Holy Scriptures make mention of the works of salvation prepared by the Lord, they speak of the birth and suffering, not of the divinity but of the humanity of Christ; therefore, according to a more exact expression the holy Virgin is named the bearer of Christ [Christotokos].

P.167. If any one will bring forward the designation, "Theotokos," because the humanity that was born was conjoined with the Word, not because of her who bore, so we say that, although the name is not appropriate to her who bore, for the actual mother must be of the same substance as her child, yet it can be endured in consideration of the fact that the temple, which is inseparably united with God the Word, comes of her.

P.196. Each nature must retain its peculiar attributes, and so we must, in regard to the union, wonderful and exalted far above all understanding, think of one honor and confess one Son.{HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS} With the one name Christ we designate at the same time two natures.{HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS} The essential characteristics in the nature of the divinity and in the humanity are from all eternity distinguished.

P.275. God the Word is also named Christ because He has always conjunction with Christ. And it is impossible for God the Word to do anything without the humanity, for all is planned upon an intimate conjunction, not on the deification of the humanity.

(h) Gregory of Nyssa, Contra Eunomium, V, 5. (MSG, 45:705.)

The Christology of the Cappadocians.

The Cappadocians use language which was afterward condemned when given its extreme Alexandrian interpretation. Hefele, § 127, may be consulted with profit.

The flesh is not identical with the godhead before this is transformed into the godhead, so that necessarily some things are appropriate to God the Word, other things to the form of a servant. If, then, he [Eunomius] does not reproach himself with a duality of Words, on account of such confusion, why are we slanderously charged with dividing the faith into two Christs, we who say that He who was highly exalted after His passion, was made Lord and Christ by His union with Him who is verily Lord and Christ, knowing by what we have learned that the divine nature is always one and the same mode of existence, while the flesh in itself is that which reason and sense apprehend concerning it, but when mixed with the divine it no longer remains in its own limitations and properties, but is taken up to that which is overwhelming and transcendent. Our contemplation, however, of the respective properties of the flesh and of the godhead remains free from confusion, so long as each of these is considered in itself, as, for example, "The Word was before the ages, but flesh came into being in the last times."{HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS} It is not the human nature that raises up Lazarus, nor is it the power that cannot suffer that weeps for him when he lies in the grave; the tear proceeds from the man, the life from the true Life.{HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS} So much as this is clear {HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS} that the blows belong to the servant in whom the Lord was, the honors to the Lord, whom the servant compassed about, so that by reason of contact and the union of natures the proper attributes of each belong to both, as the Lord receives the stripes of the servant, while the servant is glorified with the honor of the Lord.

The godhead "empties" itself that it may come within the capacity of the human nature, and the human nature is renewed by becoming divine through its commixture with the divine.{HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS} As fire that lies in wood, hidden often below the surface, and is unobserved by the senses of those who see or even touch it, is manifest, however, when it blazes up, so too, at His death (which He brought about at His will, who separated His soul from His body, who said to His own Father "Into Thy hands I commend My spirit" [Luke 23:46], "who," as He says, "had power to lay it down and had power to take it again"), He who, because He is the Lord of glory, despised that which is shame among men, having concealed, as it were, the flame of His life in His bodily nature, by the dispensation of His death, kindled and inflamed it once more by the power of His own godhead, warming into life that which had been made dead, having infused with the infinity of His divine power those humble first-fruits of our nature; made it also to be that which He himself was, the servile form to be the Lord, and the man born of Mary to be Christ, and Him, who was crucified through weakness, to be life and power, and making all such things as are piously conceived to be in God the Word to be also in that which the Word assumed; so that these attributes no longer seem to be in either nature, being, by commixture with the divine, made anew in conformity with the nature that overwhelms it; participates in the power of the godhead, as if one were to say that a mixture makes a drop of vinegar mingled in the deep to be sea, for the reason that the natural quality of this liquid does not continue in the infinity of that which overwhelms it.

§ 89. The Nestorian Controversy; the Council of Ephesus A. D.431.

The Council of Ephesus was called to settle the dispute which had arisen between Cyril and the Alexandrians and Nestorius, archbishop of Constantinople, and the Antiochians. Several councils had been held previously, and much acrimonious debate. Both parties desired a council to adjust the dispute. The Emperor Theodosius II, in an edict of November 19, 430, called a council to be held on the following Whitsunday at Ephesus. The council was opened by Cyril and Memnon, bishop of Ephesus, June 22, a few days after the date assigned. This opening of the synod was opposed by the imperial commissioner and the party of Nestorius, because many of the Antiochians had not yet arrived. Cyril and Memnon, who had undertaken to bring about the condemnation and deposition of Nestorius, forced through their programme. On June 26 or 27 the Antiochians arrived, and, under the presidency of John of Antioch, and with the approval of the imperial commissioner, they held a council attended by about fifty bishops, while two hundred attended the rival council under Cyril. This smaller council deposed Cyril and Memnon. Both synods appealed to the Emperor and were confirmed by him. But shortly after Cyril and Memnon were restored. The Antiochians now violently attacked the successful Alexandrians but, having abandoned Nestorius, patched up a union with the Alexandrians, by which Cyril subscribed in 433 to a creed drawn up by the Antiochians, probably by Theodoret of Cyrus. Accordingly, the council of Cyril was now recognized by the Antiochians, as well as by the imperial authority, and became known as the Council of Ephesus, A. D.431.

Additional source material: Socrates, Hist. Ec., VII, 29-34; Theodoret, Epistulae in PNF, ser. II, vol. III, and his counter propositions to the Anathemas of Cyril, ibid., pp.27-31; Percival, The Seven Ecumenical Councils (PNF).

(a) Cyril of Alexandria, Anathematisms. Hahn, § 219.

Condemnation of the position of Nestorius.

Cyril held a council at Alexandria in 430, in which he set forth the teaching of Nestorius, as he understood it, in the form of anathemas against any who held the opinions which he set forth in order. Nestorius immediately replied by corresponding anathematisms. They may be found translated PNF, ser. II, vol. XIV, p.206, where they are placed alongside of Cyril's. In the meantime, Celestine of Rome had called upon Nestorius to retract, though as a matter of fact the Nestorian or Antiochian position was more in harmony with the position held in Rome, e.g., compare Anath. IV with the language of Nestorius and Leo, see Tome of Leo in § 90. A Greek text of these Anathematisms of Cyril may be found also in Denziger, n.113, as they were described in the Fifth General Council as part of the acts of the Council of Ephesus A. D.431; the Latin version (the Greek is lost) of the Anathematisms of Nestorius, as given by Marius Mercator are in Kirch, nn.724-736.

I. If any one shall not confess that the Emmanuel is in truth God, and that therefore the holy Virgin is Theotokos, inasmuch as according to the flesh she bore the Word of God made flesh; let him be anathema.

II. If any one shall not confess that the Word of God the Father is united according to hypostasis to flesh, and that with the flesh of His own He is one Christ, the same manifestly God and man at the same time; let him be anathema.

III. If any one after the union divide the hypostases in the one Christ, joining them by a connection only, which is according to worthiness, or even authority and power, and not rather by a coming together, which is made by a union according to nature; let him be anathema.

IV. If any one divide between the two persons or hypostases the expressions in the evangelical and apostolic writings, or which have been said concerning Christ by the saints, or by Himself concerning Himself, and shall apply some to Him as to a man regarded separately apart from the Word of God, and shall apply others, as appropriate to God only, to the Word of God the Father; let him be anathema.

V. If any one dare to say that the Christ is a god-bearing man, and not rather that He is in truth God, as an only Son by nature, because "The Word was made flesh," and hath share in flesh and blood as we have; let him be anathema.

VI. If any one shall dare to say that the Word of God the Father is the God of Christ or the Lord of Christ, and shall not rather confess Him as at the same time both God and man, since according to the Scriptures the Word became flesh; let him be anathema.

VII. If any one say that Jesus is, as a man, energized by the Word of God, and that the glory of the Only begotten is attributed to Him as being something else than His own; let him be anathema.

VIII. If any one say that the man assumed ought to be worshipped together with God the Word, and glorified together with Him, and recognized together with Him as God, as one being with another (for this phrase "together with" is added to convey this meaning) and shall not rather with one adoration worship the Emmanuel and pay Him one glorification, because "the Word was made flesh"; let him be anathema.

IX. If any man shall say that the one Lord Jesus Christ was glorified by the Spirit, so that He used through Him a power not His own, and from Him received power against unclean spirits, and power to perform divine signs before men, and shall not rather confess that it was His own spirit, through which He worked these divine signs; let him be anathema.

X. The divine Scriptures say that Christ was made the high priest and apostle of our confession [Heb.3:1], and that for our sakes He offered Himself as a sweet odor to God the Father. If then any one say that it is not the divine Word himself, when He was made flesh and had become man as we are, but another than He, a man born of a woman, yet different from Him who has become our high priest and apostle; or if any one say that He offered Himself as an offering for Himself, and not rather for us, whereas, being without sin, He had no need of offering; let him be anathema.

XI. If any one shall not confess that the flesh of the Lord is life-giving, and belongs to the Word of God the Father as His very own, but shall pretend that it belongs to another who is united to Him according to worthiness, and who has served as only a dwelling for the Divinity; and shall not rather confess that that flesh is life-giving, as we say, because it has been made the possession of the Word who is able to give life to all; let him be anathema.

XII. If any one shall not confess that the Word of God suffered in the flesh, and that He was crucified in the flesh, and that likewise He tasted death in the flesh, and that He is become the first-born from the dead [Col.1:18], for as God He is the life and life-giving; let him be anathema.

(b) Council of Ephesus, A. D.431. Condemnation of Nestorius. Mansi, IV, 1211.

The text may also be found in Hefele, § 134, under the First Session of the Council.

The holy synod says: Since in addition to other things the impious Nestorius has not obeyed our Citation and did not receive the most holy and God-fearing bishops who were sent to him by us, we were compelled to proceed to the examination of his impieties. And, discovering from his letters and treatises and from the discourses recently delivered by him in this metropolis, which have been testified to, that he has held and published impious doctrines, and being compelled thereto by the canons and by the letter of our most holy father and fellow-servant Celestine, the Roman bishop, we have come, with many tears, to this sorrowful sentence against him: Our Lord Jesus Christ whom he has blasphemed, decrees through the present most holy synod that Nestorius be excluded from the episcopal dignity and from all priestly communion.

(c) Council of Ephesus, A. D.431, Ep. ad Celestinum. Mansi, IV, 1330-1338.

The letter is very long and gives an almost complete history of the council. It may be found complete in PNF, loc. cit., p.237. It is of special importance in connection with the Pelagian controversy, as it states that the Council of Ephesus had confirmed the Western deposition of the Pelagians.

The letters were read which were written to him [Nestorius] by the most holy and reverend bishop of the church of Alexandria, Cyril, which the holy synod approved as being orthodox and without fault, and in no point out of agreement, either with the divinely inspired Scriptures, or with the faith handed down and set forth in the great synod by the holy Fathers who were assembled some time ago at Nicaea, as your holiness, also rightly having examined this, has given witness.{HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS}

When there had been read in the holy synod what had been done touching the deposition of the irreligious Pelagians and Celestinians, of Celestius, Pelagius, Julianus, Praesidius, Florus, Marcellinus, and Orontius, and those inclined to like errors, we also deemed it right that the determinations of your holiness concerning them should stand strong and firm. And we all were of the same mind, holding them deposed.

(d) Council of Ephesus, A. D.431, Canons, Bruns, I, 24.

The text may be found also in Hefele, § 141.

Whereas it is needful that they who were detained from the holy synod and remained in their own district or city for any reason, ecclesiastical or personal, should not be ignorant of the matters which were decreed by the synod; we therefore notify your holiness and charity that -- --

I. If any metropolitan of a province, forsaking the holy and ecumenical synod, has joined the assembly of apostasy [the council under John of Antioch], or shall join the same hereafter; or if he has adopted, or shall adopt, the doctrines of Celestius,(185) he has no power in any way to do anything in opposition to the bishops of the province because he is already cast forth by the synod from all ecclesiastical communion, and is without authority; but he shall be subjected to the same bishops of the province and to the neighboring bishops who hold the orthodox doctrines, to be degraded completely from his episcopal rank.

II. If any provincial bishops were not present at the holy synod, and have joined or attempted to join the apostasy; or if, after subscribing to the deposition of Nestorius, they went back to the assembly of apostasy, these, according to the decree of the holy synod, are to be deposed completely from the priesthood and degraded from their rank.

(e) Council of Ephesus, A. D.431, Manifesto of John of Antioch and his council against Cyril and his council. Mansi, IV, 1271.

The holy synod assembled in Ephesus, by the grace of God and at the command of the pious emperors, declares: We should indeed have wished to be able to hold a synod in peace, according to the canons of the holy Fathers and the letters of our most pious and Christ-loving emperors; but because you held a separate assembly from a heretical, insolent, and obstinate disposition, although, according to the letters of our most pious emperors, we were in the neighborhood, and because you have filled both the city and the holy synod with every sort of confusion, in order to prevent the examination of points agreeing with the Apollinarian, Arian, and Eunomian heresies and impieties, and have not waited for the arrival of the most religious bishops summoned from all regions by our pious emperors, and when the most magnificent Count Candidianus warned you and admonished you in writing and verbally that you should not hear such a matter, but await the common judgment of all the most holy bishops; therefore know thou, O Cyril, bishop of Alexandria, and thou, O Memnon, bishop of this city, that ye are dismissed and deposed from all sacerdotal functions as the originators and leaders of all this disorder and lawlessness, and those who have violated the canons of the Fathers and the imperial decrees. And all ye others who seditiously and wickedly, and contrary to all ecclesiastical sanctions and the royal decrees, gave your consent are excommunicated until you acknowledge your fault and reform and accept anew the faith set forth by the holy Fathers at Nicaea, adding to it nothing foreign or different, and until ye anathematize the heretical propositions of Cyril, which are plainly repugnant to evangelical and apostolic doctrine, and in all things comply with the letters of our most pious and Christ-loving emperors, who require a peaceful and accurate consideration of the dogma.

(f) Creed of Antioch A. D.433. Hahn, § 170.

This creed was probably composed by Theodoret of Cyrus, and was sent by Count Johannes to the Emperor Theodosius in 431 as expressing the teaching of the Antiochian party. The bitterest period of the Nestorian controversy was after the council which is commonly regarded as having settled it. The Antiochians and the Alexandrians attacked each other vigorously. At last, in 433, John, bishop of Antioch, sent the creed given below to Cyril of Alexandria, who signed it. The creed expresses accurately the position of Nestorius. In this way a union was patched up between the contending parties. But the irreconcilable Nestorians left the Church permanently. This creed in the form in which it had been presented to the Emperor was at the beginning and the end worded somewhat differently, cf. Hahn, loc. cit., note.

We therefore acknowledge our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the only begotten, complete God and complete man, of a rational soul and body; begotten of the Father before the ages according to His godhead, but in the last days for us and for our salvation, of the Virgin Mary, according to the manhood; that He is of the same nature as the Father according to His godhead, and of the same nature with us according to His manhood; for a union of the two natures has been made; therefore we confess one Christ, one Son, one Lord. According to this conception of the unconfused union, we confess that the holy Virgin is Theotokos, because God the Word was made flesh and became man, and from her conception united with Himself the temple received from her. We recognize the evangelical and apostolic utterances concerning the Lord, making common, as in one person, the divine and the human characteristics, but distinguishing them as in two natures; and teaching that the godlike traits are according to the godhead of Christ, and the humble traits according to His manhood.

§ 90. The Eutychian Controversy and the Council of Chalcedon A. D.451

What is known as the Eutychian controversy is less a dogmatic controversy than a struggle between the patriarchs of the East for supremacy, using party theological differences as a support. Few passages in the history of the Church are more painful. The union made in 433 between the Antiochian and Alexandrian parties lasted fifteen years, or until after the death of those who entered into it. At Antioch Domnus became bishop in 442, at Alexandria Dioscurus in 444, and at Constantinople Flavian in 446. Early in 448 Dioscurus, who aimed at the domination of the East, began to attack the Antiochians as Nestorians. In this he was supported at Constantinople by Chrysaphius, the all-powerful minister of the weak Theodosius II, and the archimandrite Eutyches, the godfather of the minister. Eusebius of Dorylaeum thereupon accused Eutyches, who held the Alexandrian position in an extreme form, of being heretical on the doctrine of the Incarnation. Eutyches was condemned by Flavian at an endemic synod [cf. DCA, I.474]. November 22, 448. Both Eutyches and Flavian [cf. Leo the Great, Ep. 21, 22] thereupon turned to Leo, bishop of Rome. Leo, abandoning the traditional Roman alliance with Alexandria, on which Dioscurus had counted, supported Flavian, sending him June 13, 449, a dogmatic epistle (the Tome, Ep. 28) defining, in the terms of Western theology, the point at issue. A synod was now called by Theodosius at Ephesus, August, 449, in which Dioscurus with the support of the court triumphed. Eutyches was restored, and the leaders of the Antiochian party, Flavian, Eusebius, Ibas, Theodoret, and others deposed. Flavian [cf. Kirch, nn.804 ff.], Eusebius, and Theodoret appealed to Leo, who vigorously denounced the synod as a council of robbers (Latrocinium Ephesinum). At the same time the situation at the court, upon which Dioscurus depended, was completely changed by the fall of Chrysaphius and the death of Theodosius. Pulcheria, his sister, and Marcian, her husband, succeeded to the throne, both adherents of the Antiochian party, and opposed to the ecclesiastical aspirations of Dioscurus. A new synod was now called by Marcian at Chalcedon, a suburb of Constantinople. Dioscurus was deposed, as well as Eutyches, but Ibas and Theodoret were restored after an examination of their teaching. A definition was drawn up in harmony with the Tome of Leo. It was a triumph for Leo, which was somewhat lessened by the passage of canon 28, based upon the third canon of Constantinople, A. D.381, a council which was henceforth recognized as the "Second General Council." Leo refused to approve this canon, which remained in force in the East and was renewed at the Quinisext Council A. D.692.

Additional source material: W. Bright, Select Sermons of S. Leo the Great on the Incarnation; with his twenty-eighth Epistle called the "Tome", Second ed., London, 1886; Percival, The Seven Ecumenical Councils (PNF); Evagrius, Hist. Ec., II, 1-5, 18, Eng. trans., London, 1846 (also in Bohn's Ecclesiastical Library); also much material in Hefele, §§ 170-208.

(a) Council of Constantinople, A. D.448, Acts. Mansi, VI, 741 ff.

The position of Eutyches and his condemnation.

Inasmuch as Eutyches was no theologian and no man of letters, he has left no worked-out statement of his position. What he taught can be gathered only from the acts of the Council of Constantinople A. D.448. These were incorporated in the acts of the Council of Ephesus, A. D.449, and as his friends were there they may be regarded as trustworthy. The acts of the Council of Ephesus, A. D.449 were read in the Council of Chalcedon, A. D.451, and in this way the matter is known.

The following passages are taken from the seventh sitting of the Council of Constantinople, November 22, 448.

Archbishop Flavian said: Do you confess that the one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, is consubstantial with His Father as to His divinity, and consubstantial with His mother as to His humanity?

Eutyches said: When I intrusted myself to your holiness I said that you should not ask me further what I thought concerning the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

The archbishop said: Do you confess Christ to be of two natures?

Eutyches said: I have never yet presumed to speculate concerning the nature of my God, the Lord of heaven and earth; I confess that I have never said that He is consubstantial with us. Up to the present day I have not said that the body of our Lord and God was consubstantial with us; I confess that the holy Virgin is consubstantial with us, and that of her our God was incarnate.{HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS}

Florentius, the patrician, said: Since the mother is consubstantial with us, doubtless the Son is consubstantial with us.

Eutyches said: I have not said, you will notice, that the body of a man became the body of God, but the body was human, and the Lord was incarnate of the Virgin. If you wish that I should add to this that His body is consubstantial with us, I will do this; but I do not understand the term consubstantial in such a way that I do not deny that he is the Son of God. Formerly I spoke in general not of a consubstantiality according to the flesh; now I will do so, because your Holiness demands it.{HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS}

Florentius said: Do you or do you not confess that our Lord, who is of the Virgin, is consubstantial and of two natures after the incarnation?

Eutyches said: I confess that our Lord was of two natures before the union [i.e., the union of divinity and humanity in the incarnation], but after the union one nature.{HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS} I follow the teaching of the blessed Cyril and the holy Fathers and the holy Athanasius, because they speak of two natures before the union, but after the union and incarnation they speak not of two natures but of one nature.

Condemnation of Eutyches.

Eutyches, formerly presbyter and archimandrite, has been shown, by what has taken place and by his own confession, to be infected with the heresy of Valentinus and Apollinaris, and to follow stubbornly their blasphemies, and rejecting our arguments and teaching, is unwilling to consent to true doctrines. Therefore, weeping and mourning his complete perversity, we have decreed through our Lord Jesus Christ, who has been blasphemed by him, that he be deprived of every sacerdotal office, that he be put out of our communion, and deprived of his position over a monastery. All who hereafter speak with him or associate with him, are to know that they also are fallen into the same penalty of excommunication.

(b) Leo the Great, Epistola Dogmatica or the Tome. Hahn, § 176. (MSL, 54:763.)

This letter was written to Flavian on the subject which had been raised by the condemnation of Eutyches in 448. It is of the first importance, not merely in the history of the Church, but also in the history of doctrine. Yet it cannot be said that Leo advanced beyond the traditional formulae of the West, or struck out new thoughts [cf. Augustine, Ep. 187, text and translation of most important part in Norris, Rudiments of Theology, 1894, pp.262-266]. It was to be read at the Council of Ephesus, 449 A. D., but was not. It soon became widely known, however, and was approved at the endemic Council of Constantinople, A. D.450, and when read at Chalcedon, the Fathers of the council cried out: "Peter has spoken by the mouth of Leo."

It may be found translated in PNF, ser II, vol. XII, p.38, and again vol. XIV, p.254. The best critical text is given in Hahn, § 224. A translation with valuable notes may be found in Wm. Bright, op. cit. Hefele, § 176, gives a paraphrase and text with useful notes. The most significant passages, which are here translated, may be found in Denziger, nn.143 f.

Ch.3. Without detracting from the properties of either nature and substance, which came together in one person, majesty took on humility; strength, weakness; eternity, mortality; and to pay off the debt of our condition inviolable nature was united to passible nature, so that as proper remedy for us, one and the same mediator between God and man, the man Jesus Christ, could both die with the one and not die with the other. Thus in the whole and perfect nature of true man was true God born, complete in what was His and complete in what was ours.{HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS}

Ch.4. There enters, therefore, these lower parts of the world the Son of God, descending from His heavenly seat, and not quitting the glory of His Father, begotten in a new order by a new nativity. In a new order: because He who was invisible in His own nature, was made visible in ours; He who was incomprehensible [could not be contained], became comprehensible in ours; remaining before all times, He began to be in time; the Lord of all, He took upon Him the form of a servant, having obscured His immeasurable majesty. He who was God, incapable of suffering, did not disdain to be man, capable of suffering, and the immortal to subject Himself to the laws of death. Born by a new nativity: because the inviolate virginity knew not concupiscence, it ministered the material of the flesh. The nature of the Lord was assumed from the mother, not sin; and in the Lord Jesus Christ, born of the womb of the Virgin, because His nativity is wonderful, yet is His nature not dissimilar to ours. For He who is true God, is likewise true man, and there is no fraud(186) since both the humility of the man and the loftiness of God meet.(187) For as God is not changed by the manifestation of pity, so the man is not consumed [absorbed] by the dignity. For each form [i.e., nature] does in communion with the other what is proper to it [agit enim utraque forma cum alterius communione quod proprium est]; namely, by the action of the Word what is of the Word, and by the flesh carrying out what is of the flesh. One of these is brilliant with miracles, the other succumbs to injuries. And as the Word does not depart from equality with the paternal glory, so the flesh does not forsake the nature of our race.(188)

(c) Council of Chalcedon, A. D.451, Definition. Mansi, VII, 107.

The definition of Chalcedon lays down the fundamental principles upon which rests the doctrine of the incarnation, both in Eastern and Western theology. It is the necessary complement and result of the discussion that led to the definition of Nicaea, and is theologically second only to that in importance. At Nicaea the true and eternal deity of the Son who became incarnate was defined; at Chalcedon the true, complete, and abiding humanity of manhood of the incarnate Son of God. In this way two natures were asserted to be in the incarnate Logos. According to Chalcedon, which came after the Nestorian and the Eutychian controversies, these natures are neither to be confused so that the divine nature suffers or the human nature is lost in the divine, nor to be separated so as to constitute two persons. The definition was, however, not preceded by any clear understanding of what was to be understood by nature in relation to hypostasis. This was left for later discussion. There was even then left open the question as to the relation of the will to the nature, and this gave rise to the Monothelete controversy (see § 110). But the definition of Chalcedon is important not merely for the history of doctrine but also for the general history of the Church. The course of Christianity in the East depends upon the great controversies, and in Monophysitism the Church of the East was split into permanent divisions. The divisions of the Eastern Church prepared the way for the Moslem conquests. The attempts made to set aside the definition of Chalcedon as a political move led to a temporary schism between the East and the West.

In this definition, it should be noted, the Council of Constantinople, A. D.381, for the first time takes its place alongside of Nicaea and Ephesus, A. D.431, and the so-called creed of Constantinople is placed on the same level as the creed put forth at Nicaea. The creed of Constantinople eventually took the place of the creed of Nicaea even in the East.

The text of the definition may be found in its most important dogmatic part in Hefele, § 193; Hahn, § 146; Denziger, n.148. For a general description of the council, see Evagrius, Hist. Ec., II, 3, 4. Extracts from the acts in PNF, ser. II, vol. XIV, 243 ff.

The holy, great, and ecumenical synod, assembled by the grace of God and the command of our most religious and Christian Emperors Marcian and Valentinian, Augusti, at Chalcedon, the metropolis of the province of Bithynia, in the martyry of the holy and victorious martyr Euphemia, has decreed as follows:

Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, when strengthening the knowledge of the faith in his disciples, to the end that no one might disagree with his neighbor concerning the doctrines of religion, and that the proclamation of the truth might be set forth equally to all men, said: "My peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you." But since the Evil One does not desist from sowing tares among the seeds of godliness, but ever invents something new against the truth, therefore the Lord, providing, as He ever does, for the human race, has raised up this pious, faithful, and zealous sovereign, and He has called together unto Himself from all parts the chief rulers of the priesthood, so that, with the grace of Christ, our common Lord, inspiring us, we may cast off every plague of falsehood from the sheep of Christ and feed them with the tender leaves of truth. And this we have done, with unanimous consent driving away erroneous doctrine and renewing the unerring faith of the Fathers, publishing to all the creed of the three hundred and eighteen [i.e., the creed of Nicaea], and to their number adding as Fathers those who have received the same summary of religion. Such are the one hundred and fifty who afterward assembled in great Constantinople and ratified the same faith. Moreover, observing the order and every form relating to the faith which was observed by the holy synod formerly held in Ephesus, of which Celestine of Rome and Cyril of Alexandria, of holy memory, were the leaders [i.e., Ephesus A. D.431], we do declare that the exposition of the right and blameless faith made by the three hundred and eighteen holy and blessed Fathers, assembled at Nicaea in the reign of Constantine, of pious memory, shall be pre-eminent, and that those things shall be of force also which were decreed by the one hundred and fifty holy Fathers at Constantinople for the uprooting of the heresies which had then sprung up and for the confirmation of the same Catholic and apostolic faith of ours.

Then follow:

"The Creed of the Three Hundred and Eighteen Fathers at Nicaea." The so-called Constantinopolitan creed, without the "filioque."

This wise and salutary formula of divine grace sufficed for the perfect knowledge and confirmation of religion; for it teaches the perfect doctrine concerning Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and sets forth the incarnation of the Lord to them that faithfully receive it. But forasmuch as persons undertaking to make void the preaching of the truth have through their individual heresies given rise to empty babblings, some of them daring to corrupt the mystery of the Lord's incarnation for us and refusing to use the name Theotokos in reference to the Virgin, while others bringing in a confusion and mixture, and idly conceiving that there is one nature of the flesh and the godhead, maintaining that the divine nature of the Only begotten is by mixture capable of suffering; therefore this present, great, and ecumenical synod, desiring to exclude from them every device against the truth and teaching that which is unchanged from the beginning, has at the very outset decreed that the faith of the three hundred and eighteen Fathers shall be preserved inviolate. And on account of them that contend against the Holy Ghost, it confirms the doctrine afterward delivered concerning the substance of the Spirit by the one hundred and fifty holy Fathers assembled in the imperial city, which doctrine they declare unto all men, not as though they were introducing anything that had been lacking in their predecessors, but in order to explain through written documents their faith concerning the Holy Ghost against those who were seeking to destroy His sovereignty. And on account of those who are attempting to corrupt the mystery of the dispensation [i.e., the incarnation], and who shamelessly pretend that He who was born of the holy Virgin Mary was a mere man, it receives the synodical letters of the blessed Cyril, pastor of the church of Alexandria, addressed to Nestorius and to the Easterns,(189) judging them suitable for the refutation of the frenzied folly of Nestorius and for the instruction of those who long with holy ardor for a knowledge of the saving symbol. And to these it has rightly added for the confirmation of the orthodox doctrines the letter of the president of the great and old Rome, the most blessed and holy Archbishop Leo, which was addressed to Archbishop Flavian, of blessed memory,(190) for the removal of the false doctrines of Eutyches, judging them to be agreeable to the confession of the great Peter and to be a common pillar against misbelievers. For it opposes those who would rend the mystery of the dispensation into a duad of Sons; it repels from the sacred assembly those who dared to say that the godhead of the Only begotten is capable of suffering; it resists those who imagine there is a mixture or confusion in the two natures of Christ; it drives away those who fancy His form as a servant is of an heavenly or of some substance other than that which was taken of us,(191) and it anathematizes those who foolishly talk of two natures of our Lord before the union,(192) conceiving that after the union there was only one.(193)

Following the holy Fathers,(194) we all with one voice teach men to confess that the Son and our Lord Jesus Christ is one and the same, that He is perfect in godhead and perfect in manhood, truly God and truly man, of a reasonable soul and body, consubstantial with His Father as touching His godhead, and consubstantial with us as to His manhood,(195) in all things like unto us, without sin; begotten of His Father before all worlds according to His godhead; but in these last days for us and for our salvation of the Virgin Mary, the Theotokos, according to His manhood, one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, only begotten Son,(196) in(197) two natures, unconfusedly, immutably, indivisibly, inseparably; the distinction of natures being preserved and concurring in one person and hypostasis,(198) not separated or divided into two persons, but one and the same Son and Only begotten, God the Word, the Lord Jesus Christ, as the prophets from the beginning have spoken concerning Him, and as the Lord Jesus Christ himself has taught us, and as the creed of the Fathers has delivered us.

These things having been expressed by us with great accuracy and attention, the holy ecumenical synod decrees that no one shall be permitted to bring forward another faith,(199) nor to write, nor to compose, nor to excogitate, nor to teach such to others. But such as dare to compose another faith, or to bring forward, or to teach, or to deliver another creed to such as wish to be converted to the knowledge of the truth from among the Gentiles or the Jews, or any heresy whatever; if they be bishops or clerics, let them be deposed, the bishops from the episcopate, the clerics from the clerical rank; but if they be monks or laymen, let them be anathematized.

(d) Council of Chalcedon, A. D.451, Canon 28. Bruns, I, 32.

The rank of the see of Constantinople.

This canon is closely connected with Canon 3 of Constantinople, A. D.381, but goes beyond that in extending the authority of Constantinople. With this canon should be compared Canons 9 and 17 of Chalcedon, which, taken with Canon 28, make Constantinople supreme in the East. For the circumstances in which the Canon was passed, see Hefele, § 200. The letter of the council submitting its decrees to Leo for approval and explaining this canon is among the Epistles of Leo, Ep. 98. (PNF, ser. II, vol. XII, p.72.) For Leo's criticism, v. supra, § 86. See W. Bright, Notes on the Canons of the First Four General Councils, 1882. A valuable discussion of the canon in its historical setting is in Hergenroether, Photius, Patriarch von Constantinopel, 1867, I, 74-89.

Texts of the canon may be found in Kirch, n.868, and Hefele, loc. cit.

Following in all things the decisions of the holy Fathers, and acknowledging the canon, which has just been read, of the one hundred and fifty bishops, beloved of God we also do enact and decree the same things concerning the privileges of the most holy Church of Constantinople or New Rome. For the Fathers rightly granted privileges to the throne of Old Rome, because it was the royal city, and the one hundred and fifty most religious bishops, moved by the same considerations, gave equal privileges to the most holy throne of New Rome, judging with good reason that the city which is honored with the sovereignty and the Senate, and also enjoys equal privileges with old imperial Rome, should in ecclesiastical matters also be magnified as she is, and rank next after her; so that in the dioceses of Pontus, Asia, and Thrace the metropolitans, and such bishops also of the dioceses aforesaid as are among the barbarians, should be ordained only by the aforesaid most holy throne of the most holy Church of Constantinople; every metropolitan of the aforesaid dioceses together with the bishops of his province ordaining bishops of the province, as has been declared by the divine canons; but that, as has been said above, the metropolitans of the aforesaid dioceses shall be ordained by the archbishop of Constantinople, after the proper elections have been held according to custom and have been reported to him.

(e) Council of Chalcedon, A. D.451, Protests of the Legates of Leo against Canon 28. Mansi, VII, 446.

Lucentius, the bishop [legate of Leo], said: The Apostolic See gave orders that all things should be done in our presence [Latin text: The Apostolic See ought not to be humiliated in our presence], and therefore whatever was done yesterday during our absence, to the prejudice of the canons, we pray your highnesses [i.e., the royal commissioners who directed the affairs of the council] to command to be rescinded. But if not, let our protest be placed in these acts [i.e., the minutes of the council then being approved], so that we may know clearly what we are to report to that apostolic and chief bishop of the whole Church [Latin text: to that apostolic man and Pope of the universal Church], so that he may be able to take action with regard either to the indignity done to his see or to the setting at naught of the canons.

§ 91. Results of the Decision of Chalcedon: the Rise of Schisms from the Monophysite Controversy

The definition of the Council of Chalcedon, in spite of its condemnation of Nestorius and its approval of the letters of Cyril, was a triumph of the Antiochian school and a condemnation of Alexandrian theology. At Chalcedon no more than at Nicaea was a controversy settled. So far from being settled at the council, Monophysitism began with it its long career in the Eastern Church only to end in permanent schisms. As soon as the results of Chalcedon were known the Church was in an uproar. Riots broke out in Jerusalem against the patriarch. At Alexandria, Timothy AElurus, a Monophysite, was able to drive out the orthodox patriarch. In Antioch, Petrus Fullo did the same and added to the liturgical Trisagion [Is.6:3] the Theopaschite phrase: "God who was crucified for us." The Emperor Marcian died 457 and was succeeded by Leo I (457-474). His grandson Leo II (474) was succeeded by his father Zeno (474-475, 477-491). Zeno was temporarily deposed by Basiliscus (475-477), who, basing his authority upon the Monophysite faction, issued an Encyclion condemning Chalcedon and Leo's Epistle, and making Monophysitism the religion of the Empire. Zeno was restored by a Dyophysite faction under the lead of Acacius, patriarch of Constantinople. Zeno, to win back the Monophysites, issued in 482 the Henoticon, setting aside Chalcedon and making only the definition of Nicaea authoritative. Dissatisfaction arose on both sides, and minor schisms in the East took place. With Rome a schism arose lasting 484-519.

Additional source material: Evagrius, Hist. Ec., lib. III.

(a) Basiliscus, Encyclion; A. D.476; in Evagrius, Hist. Ec., III, 4. (MSG, 86, II:2600.) Cf. Kirch, nn.879 f.

Although an anti-encyclion was issued in 477 condemning Eutyches as well as Nestorius, the attempts of Basiliscus were in vain.

The Emperor Caesar Basiliscus, pious, victorious, triumphant, supreme, ever-worshipful Augustus, and Marcus, the most noble Caesar, to Timotheus, archbishop of the great city of the Alexandrians, most reverend and beloved of God.

Whatever laws the pious emperors before us, who worshipped the blessed and immortal and life-giving Trinity, have decreed in behalf of the true and apostolic faith, these laws, we say, as always beneficial for the whole world, we will at no time to be inoperative, but rather we promulgate them as our own. We, preferring piety and zeal in the cause of our God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, who created and has made us glorious before all diligence in human affairs, and also believing that concord among the flocks of Christ is the preservation of ourselves and our subjects, the firm foundation and unshaken bulwark of our Empire, and, accordingly, being rightly moved with godly zeal and offering to God and our Saviour, Jesus Christ, the unity of the holy Church as the first-fruits of our reign, do ordain as the basis and confirmation of human felicity, namely, the symbol of the three hundred and eighteen holy Fathers who were in time past assembled with the Holy Ghost at Nicaea, into which both ourselves and all our believing subjects were baptized; that this alone should have reception and authority with the orthodox people in all the most holy churches of God as the only formulary of the right faith, and sufficient for the utter destruction of all heresy and for the complete unity of the holy churches of God; the acts of the one hundred and fifty holy Fathers assembled in this imperial city, in confirmation of the sacred symbol itself and in condemnation of those who blasphemed against the Holy Ghost, retaining their own force; as well as of all done in the metropolitan city of the Ephesians against the impious Nestorius and those who subsequently favored his opinions.(200) But the proceedings which have disturbed the unity and good order of the holy churches of God, and the peace of the whole world, that is to say, the so-called Tome of Leo, and all things done at Chalcedon in innovation upon the before-mentioned holy symbol of the three hundred and eighteen holy Fathers, whether by way of definition of the faith or setting forth of symbols, or interpretation, or instruction, or discourse; we decree that these shall be anathematized both here and everywhere by all the most holy bishops in every church and shall be given to the flames by whomsoever they shall be found, insomuch as it was so enjoined respecting all heretical doctrines by our predecessors of pious and blessed memory, Constantine and Theodosius the younger [v. supra, § 73], and that, having thus been rendered null, they shall be utterly cast out from the one and only Catholic and Apostolic Orthodox Church, as superseding the everlasting and saving definitions of the three hundred and eighteen Fathers, and those of the blessed Fathers who, by the Holy Ghost, decreed at Ephesus [it is possible that there is a fault in the text here; the expected reading of the passage would be: and of the one hundred and fifty bishops who decreed concerning the Holy Spirit; and of those who were assembled at Ephesus] that no one, either of the priesthood or laity, be allowed to deviate in any respect from that most sacred constitution of the holy symbol, and we decree that these be anathematized together with all the innovations upon the sacred symbol which were made at Chalcedon and the heresy of those who do not confess that the only begotten Son of God was truly incarnate and made man of the Holy Ghost and of the holy and ever-virgin Mary, Theotokos, but falsely allege that either from heaven or in mere phantasy and seeming He took flesh; and, in short, every heresy and whatever else at any time in any manner or place in the whole world, in either thought or word, has been devised as an innovation upon and in derogation of the sacred symbol. And inasmuch as it belongs especially to imperial providence to furnish to their subjects, with forecasting deliberation, security not only for the present but for the future, we decree that everywhere the most holy bishops shall subscribe to this our sacred circular letter when exhibited to them, and shall distinctly declare that they submit to the sacred symbol of the three hundred and eighteen holy Fathers alone, which the one hundred and fifty holy Fathers confirmed, as it was also defined by the most holy Fathers who subsequently assembled in the metropolitan city of the Ephesians, that they should submit to the sacred symbol of the three hundred and eighteen holy Fathers, as the definition of faith, and shall anathematize everything done at Chalcedon as an offence to the orthodox people and utterly cast it out of the churches as an impediment to the general happiness and our own.(201) Those, moreover, who after the issuing of this our sacred letter, which we trust has been issued according to God, in an endeavor to bring about that unity which all desire for the holy churches of God, shall attempt to bring forward or so much as to name the innovation upon the faith made at Chalcedon, either in discourse, instruction, or writing, in whatsoever manner or place -- those persons, as the cause of confusion and tumult in the churches of God and among the whole body of our subjects, and as enemies of God and to our safety, we command (in accordance with the laws ordained by our predecessor Theodosius, of blessed and pious memory, against such sorts of evil designs, which laws are subjoined to this our sacred circular) that, if they be bishops or clergy, they be deposed; if monks or laymen, that they be subjected to banishment and every mode of confiscation and the severest penalties. For so the holy and homoousian Trinity, the Creator and Life-giver of the universe, which has ever been adored by us in piety, now also is served by us in the destruction of the before-mentioned tares and the confirmation of the true and apostolic traditions of the holy symbol, becoming favorable and gracious both to our souls and to every one of our subjects, shall ever aid us and preserve in peace human affairs.

(b) Zeno, Henoticon; in Evagrius, Hist. Ec., III, 14. (MSG, 86, II:2620.) Cf. Kirch, nn.883 f.

Zeno published his Henoticon in 482 as an attempt to win back the Monophysites. Evagrius says, in a note to the document: "When these things were read, those who were in Alexandria were joined to the holy Catholic and Apostolic Church." The effect so far as the West went was just the opposite. Felix III protested and threatened. But Acacius, bishop of Constantinople, who was chiefly responsible for the document, refused to listen. Felix (cf. Evagrius, III, 18) and Acacius thereupon issued mutual excommunications. On the accession of the Emperor Anastasius [491-518] the Henoticon continued in force, as his sympathies were with the Monophysites. It will be noted that the Henoticon not merely sets aside Chalcedon but introduces phrases which make it appear that the same moral subject is present in every act, whether of humility or majesty, and that it is God who suffers. These are characteristic Monophysite positions.

The Emperor Caesar Zeno, pious, victorious, triumphant, supreme, ever-worshipful Augustus, to the most reverend bishops and clergy, and to the monks and laity throughout Alexandria, Egypt, Libya, and Pentapolis.

Being assured that the origin and constitution, the might and invincible shield of our sovereignty, is the only right and true faith, which the three hundred and eighteen holy Fathers assembled at Nicaea set forth by divine inspiration, and the one hundred and fifty holy Fathers who in like manner met at Constantinople, confirmed; we night and day employ every means of prayer, of zealous care, and of laws, that the holy Catholic and Apostolic Church of God in every place may be multiplied, which is the incorruptible and immortal mother of our sceptre; and that the pious laity, continuing in peace and unanimity in respect to God, may, together with the bishops, highly beloved of God, the most pious clergy, the archimandrites, and monks, offer up acceptably their supplications in behalf of our sovereignty. So long as our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, who was made man and brought forth of Mary, the holy Virgin and Theotokos, approves and readily accepts the praise we render by concord and our service, the power of enemies will be crushed and swept away, and all will bend their necks to our power, which is according to God, and peace and its blessings, kindly temperature, abundant produce, and whatever else is beneficial will be liberally bestowed upon men. Since, then, the irreprehensible faith is the preserver of both ourselves and Roman affairs, petitions have been offered to us from pious archimandrites and hermits and other venerable persons, imploring with tears that there be unity for the most holy churches, and the parts should be joined to parts which the enemy of all good has of old time attempted to keep apart, knowing that, if he assails the body of the Church sound and complete, he will be defeated. For, since it happens that of unnumbered generations which during the lapse of so many years in time have withdrawn from life, some have departed deprived of the laver of regeneration, and others have been borne away on the inevitable journey of man without having partaken of the divine communion; and innumerable murders have also been committed; and not only the earth, but the very air has been filled by a multitude of blood-sheddings, who would not pray that this state of things might be transformed into good? For this reason we were anxious that you should know that neither we nor the churches everywhere have ever held or shall hold, nor are we aware of any persons who hold, any other symbol or teaching or definition of faith or creed than the aforementioned holy symbol of the three hundred and eighteen holy Fathers, which the aforesaid one hundred and fifty holy Fathers confirmed. If any person should hold such, we regard him as an alien; for we are confident that this symbol alone is, as we said, the preserver of our sovereignty. And all the people desiring the saving illumination were baptized, receiving this faith only, and this the holy Fathers assembled at Ephesus also followed; who deposed the impious Nestorius and those who subsequently held his sentiments. And this Nestorius we also anathematize, together with Eutyches and all who entertain opinions contrary to the above-mentioned, receiving at the same time the twelve chapters of Cyril, of holy memory, formerly archbishop of the holy Catholic Church of the Alexandrians. We confess, moreover, that the only begotten Son of God, himself God, who truly became man, namely, our Lord Jesus Christ, is consubstantial with the Father as to his godhead, and the same consubstantial with ourselves as respects his manhood; that having descended and become flesh of the Holy Ghost and Mary, the Virgin and Theotokos, He is one and not two; for we affirm that both His miracles and the sufferings which He voluntarily endured in the flesh, are of one; for we do not in any degree admit those who either make a division or a confusion or introduce a phantom; inasmuch as His truly sinless incarnation from the Theotokos did not produce an addition of a son, because the Trinity continued as a Trinity, even when one of the Trinity, God the Word, did become incarnate. Knowing, then, that neither the holy orthodox churches of God in all places nor the priests, highly beloved of God, who are at their head, nor our own sovereignty, have allowed or do allow any other symbol or definition of faith than the before-mentioned holy teaching, we have united ourselves thereunto without hesitation. And these things we write, not as making an innovation upon the faith, but to satisfy you; and every one who has held or holds any other opinion, either at the present or at another time, whether at Chalcedon or in any synod whatever, we anathematize; and specially the aforementioned Nestorius and Eutyches, and those who maintain their doctrines. Link yourselves, therefore, to the spiritual mother, the Church, and in her enjoy divine communion with us, according to the aforesaid one and only definition of the faith of the three hundred and eighteen holy Fathers. For your all-holy mother, the Church, waits to embrace you as true children, and longs to hear your gentle voice so long withheld. Speed yourselves, therefore, for by so doing you will both draw toward yourselves the favor of our Master and Saviour and God, Jesus Christ, and be commended by our sovereignty.

§ 92. The Church of Italy under the Ostrogoths and during the first Schism between Rome and the Eastern Church

The schism between New and Old Rome lasted from 484 to 517, but attempts were made on both sides to end the deplorable situation. The two successors of Acacius were willing to resume communion with Rome and restore the name of the bishop of Rome to the diptychs, but refused to take the names of their predecessors from the same, as required by the latter. Gelasius (492-496), Anastasius II (496-498), and Symmachus (498-514) held firmly but unavailingly to the Roman contention that, before any communion was possible, the name of Acacius must be struck from the diptychs -- in the case of the dead an act as condemnatory as excommunication in the case of the living. Meanwhile the Roman see boldly asserted the independence of the Church, and protested against the action of the Emperor in setting aside the decree of Chalcedon as usurpation and tyranny. This is most clearly set forth by Gelasius, in his epistle to the Emperor Anastasius. The schism finally came to an end in 519, in accordance with the ecclesiastical policy of Justinian, and at that time the Formula of Hormisdas (514-523) was accepted by the heads of the Eastern Church by an act constituting a complete surrender of the claims of the Orientals.

While the schism was still existing and Rome was treating with the East upon an independent footing, the situation in Italy was far less brilliant. The Arian king, the Ostrogoth Theodoric (489, 493-526) ruled Italy, and the attitude of the Roman see was far less authoritative toward the local ruler. It was, however, a period of great importance for the future of the Church; Boethius, Cassiodorus, Dionysius Exiguus, and Benedict of Nursia (v. infra, §§ 104, 105) all belong to this period and the decree of Gelasius, De Recipiendis Libris, was of permanent influence upon the theological science of the West.

Additional source material: Cassiodorus, Varia, Eng. trans. (condensed), by T. Hodgkin (The Letters of Cassiodorus), London, 1886.

(a) Gelasius, Ep. ad Imp. Anastasium. (MSL, 59:42.)

A definition of the relation between the secular and religious authority.

The date of this epistle is 494. The period is not dealt with at any length in English works on ecclesiastical history; see, however. T. Greenwood, Cathedra Petri, II, pp.41-84, the chapter entitled "Papal Prerogative under Popes Gelasius and Symmachus."

After Gelasius has alluded to the circumstances in which he is writing and excused his not writing, he mentions his natural devotion to the Roman Emperor -- being himself by birth a Roman citizen -- his desire as a Christian to share with him the right faith, and as vicar of the Apostolic See his constant anxiety to maintain the true faith; he then proceeds:

I beseech your piety not to regard as arrogance duty in divine affairs. Far be it from a Roman prince, I pray, to regard as injury truth that has been intimated to him. For, indeed, there are, O Emperor Augustus, two by whom principally this world is ruled: the sacred authority of the pontiffs and the royal power. Of these the importance of the priests is so much the greater, as even for kings of men they will have to give an account in the divine judgment. Know, indeed, most clement son, that although you worthily rule over the human race, yet as a man of devotion in divine matters you submit your neck to the prelates, and also from them you await the matters of your salvation, and in making use of the celestial sacraments and in administering those things you know that you ought, as is right, to be subjected to the order of religion rather than preside over it; know likewise that in regard to these things you are dependent upon their judgment and you should not bend them to your will. For if, so far as it pertains to the order of public discipline, the priests of religion, knowing that the imperial power has been bestowed upon you by divine providence, obey your laws, lest in affairs of exclusively mundane determination they might seem to resist, with how much more gladness, I ask, does it become you to obey them who have been assigned to the duty of performing the divine mysteries. Just as there is no light risk for the pontiffs to be silent about those things which belong to the service of the divinity, so there is no small peril (which God forbid) to those who, when they ought to obey, refuse to do so. And if it is right that the hearts of the faithful be submitted to all priests generally who treat rightly divine things, how much more is obedience to be shown to the prelate of that see which the highest divinity wished to be pre-eminent over all priests and which the devotion of the whole Church continually honors?

(b) Gelasius, Epist. de Recipiendis et non Recipiendis Libris. Mansi, VIII, 153 ff.

This decretal is evidently made of matter of different dates, as has been shown by Hefele, § 217, and probably contains matter which may be later than Gelasius. In the first section of the decretal is a list of the canonical books of the Bible, as in the Vulgate; the decretal then sets forth the claims of the Roman see (§ 2), the books to be received (§ 3), and the books which the Roman Church rejects (§ 4). In respect to several there are various comments added, but these have in several cases been omitted for the sake of brevity, where they are of less importance. Portions of the decretal in Denziger, nn.162-164; the full text of the decretal may be found in Mansi VIII, 153 ff. Preuschen, Analecta, vol. II, pp.52 ff.; Mirbt, n.168.

II. Although the one dwelling of the universal Catholic Church spread through the world is of Christ, the holy Roman Church, however, has been placed before the other churches by no synodical decrees, but has obtained the primacy by the evangelic voice of our Lord and Saviour, saying, "Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church," etc.(202) To it was given the fellowship of the most blessed Apostle Paul, that chosen vessel who not at a different time, as heretics prate, but at one time and on one and the same day by a glorious death, was crowned together with Peter in agony in the city of Rome under the Emperor Nero. And they equally consecrated the said holy Roman Church to Christ and placed it over all the others in the whole world by their presence and venerable triumph.

III. Therefore the first see of Peter the Apostle is the Roman Church, not having any spot or wrinkle or any such thing. The second see was consecrated at Alexandria in the name of the blessed Peter by Mark, his disciple and the evangelist. He himself, having been directed by the Apostle Peter to Egypt, preached the word of truth and consummated a glorious martyrdom. But as the third see of the same most blessed Apostle Peter is held the see of Antioch, since he held that before he came to Rome, and there the name of the new people, the name of Christians, arose.

IV.1. And although no other foundation can be laid than that which has been laid, which is Christ Jesus, yet after the writings of the Old and New Testaments,(203) which we receive regularly, the same holy Roman Church does not prohibit these following writings to be received for the purposes of edification:

2. The holy synod of Nicaea, according to the three hundred and eighteen Fathers, under the Emperor Constantine.

3. The holy synod of Ephesus, in which Nestorius was condemned with the consent of the most blessed Pope [papa] Celestine, held under Cyril, the prelate of the see of Alexandria, and Acadius, a bishop sent from Italy.

4. The holy synod of Chalcedon, which was held under the Emperor Marcian and Anatolius, bishop of Constantinople, and in which Nestorius, Eutyches, and Dioscurus were condemned.

V.1. Likewise the works of the blessed Caecilius Cyprianus, martyr, and bishop of Carthage; 2. {HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS} of Gregory the bishop of Nazianzus; 3. {HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS} of Basil, bishop of Cappadocia; 4. {HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS} of Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria; 5. {HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS} of John [Chrysostom], bishop of Constantinople; 6. {HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS} of Theophilus, bishop of Alexandria; 7. {HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS} of Cyril, bishop of Alexandria; 8. {HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS} of Hilary, bishop of Poitiers; 9. {HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS} of Ambrose, bishop of Milan; 10. {HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS} of Augustine, bishop of Hippo; 11. {HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS} of Jerome, the presbyter; 12. {HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS} of Prosper; 13. {HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS} likewise the Epistle of the blessed Pope Leo to Flavian, bishop of Constantinople, against Eutyches and other heretics; and if any one dispute even so much as an iota of the text of the epistle, and will not reverently receive it in all points, let him be anathema.

14. Likewise the works and treatises of the orthodox Fathers are to be read, who in no respect have deviated from the union with the holy Roman Church, nor have separated from its faith and teaching; but, by the grace of God, have shared in communion with it even to the last days of their life.

15. Likewise the decretal epistles which the most blessed Popes at different times have given from the city of Rome, in reply to consultations of various fathers, are to be reverently received.

16. Likewise the acts of the holy martyrs.{HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS} But, according to an ancient custom and singular caution, they are not to be read in the holy Roman Church, because the names of those who wrote them are not known.{HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS}

17. Likewise the lives of the fathers Paul, Antony, Hilarion, and all hermits which the most blessed Jerome has described, we receive in honor.

18. Likewise the acts of the blessed Sylvester, prelate of the Apostolic See, although the name of the writer is unknown; however, we know that it is read by many Catholics in the city of Rome, and on account of its ancient use many churches have copied it.

19. Likewise the writing concerning the discovery of the cross and another concerning the discovery of the head of the blessed John the Baptist.{HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS}

20. Rufinus, a most religious man, has published many books on ecclesiastical affairs and has also translated several writings. But because the venerable Jerome has criticised him in various points for his freedom in judgment, we are of the same opinion as we know Jerome is, and not only concerning Rufinus but all others whom, out of zeal toward God and devotion to the faith, Jerome has condemned.

21. Likewise several works of Origen which the blessed Jerome does not reject we receive as to be read; the remaining works along with their author we declare are to be rejected.

22. Likewise the chronicles of Eusebius of Caesarea and the books of his Ecclesiastical History, although in the first book of his narrative he has been a little warm and afterward he wrote one book in praise and defence of Origen, the schismatic, yet on account of the mention of several things, which pertain to instruction, we say that they are to that extent not to be rejected.{HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS}

23. Likewise we approve Orosius; 24. {HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS} the works of Sedulius; 25. {HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS} the works of Juvencus.{HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS}

VI. Other works which have been written by heretics or schismatics the Catholic and Apostolic Roman Church in no respect receives, and these, although they are not received and are to be avoided by Catholics, we believe ought to be added below.

There follow a list of thirty-five apocryphal gospels, acts, and similar documents. The epistle continues:

36. The book which is called The Canons of the Apostles; 37. the book called Physiologus, written by heretics and ascribed to Ambrose; 38. the history of Eusebius Pamphilius; 39. the works of Tertullian; 40. {HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS} of Lactantius or Firminianus; 41. {HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS} of Africanus; 42. {HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS} Postumianus and Gallus; 43. {HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS} of Montanus, Priscilla, and Maximilla; 44. {HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS} all the works of Faustus the Manichaean; 45. the works of Commodus; 46. the works of another Clement of Alexandria; 47. the works of Thascius Cyprianus; 48. of Arnobius; 49. of Tichonius; 50. of Cassianus a presbyter of Gaul; 51. Victorinus of Pettau; 52. of Frumentius the blind; 53. of Faustus of Reiz; 54. the Epistle of Jesus to Abgar; 55. Passion of St. Cyricus and Julitta; 56. Passion of St. Georgius; 57. the writings which are called the "Curse of Solomon"; 58. all phylacteries which have been written not with the names of angels, as they pretend, but rather of demons; 59. these works and all similar to them which Simon Magus [a list of heretics down to] Peter [Fullo] and another Peter [Mongus], of whom one defiled Alexandria and the other Antioch, Acacius of Constantinople with his adherents, as also all heretics or disciples of heretics or schismatics have taught or written, whose names we do not remember are not only repudiated by the entire Roman Catholic Church, but we declare are bound forever with an indissoluble anathema together with their authors and followers of their authors.

(c) Hormisdas, Formula. Mansi, VIII, 407. Cf. Denziger, nn.171 f.

The formula which Hormisdas of Rome (514-523) proposed in 515, and which was accepted Easter 519 by the patriarch John II of Constantinople and many other Orientals, and which ended the schism between Rome and Constantinople occasioned by Acacius. As soon as this formula was accepted the leading Monophysites fled to Egypt.

The beginning of salvation is to preserve the rule of a correct faith and to deviate in no respect from the constitutions of the fathers. And because the teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ cannot be allowed to fail, who said, "Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church," etc. [Matt.16:18], these things which were said are proved by the effects of things, because in the Apostolic See religion has always been preserved without spot or blemish. Desiring in no respect to be separated from this hope and faith, and following the constitutions of the Fathers, we anathematize all heretics, and especially the heretic Nestorius, who was once bishop of the city of Constantinople, and condemned in the Council of Ephesus by Pope Celestine and by the holy Cyril, prelate of the city of Alexandria. Likewise we anathematize Eutyches and Dioscurus of Alexandria, condemned in the holy synod of Chalcedon which we follow and embrace; adding to these Timotheus the parricide, known as AElurus, and also his disciple and follower Peter [Mongus], also Acacius, who remained in the society of their communion; because he mixed himself with their communion he deserves the same sentence of condemnation as they; no less condemning Peter [Fullo] of Antioch with his followers and the followers of all those above named. We receive and approve, therefore, all the universal Epistles of Pope Leo which he wrote concerning the Christian religion. And therefore, as we have said, following in all things the Apostolic See and approving all of its constitutions, I trust that I may be deemed worthy to be in the communion with you, in which as the Apostolic See declares there is, complete and true, the totality of the Christian religion.

period i the imperial state
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