THE lamentable breach between Western and Eastern Christendom has now lasted more than six centuries. I reckon only six centuries, because I cannot carry the date of the complete breach further back than to the capture of Constantinople by the Crusaders in 1204. Then at length it was that their sword cut the last links which down to that time still united the West with the East, notwithstanding the doctrinal dissensions, which had begun earlier, from the times of Pope Nicholas and the Patriarch Photius, in the ninth century. There had indeed more than once, in former times also, in the times that is of the Oecumenical Councils, been misunderstandings and estrangements between the two Churches, especially after the Fourth Synod, when the estrangement lasted for half a century: but this did not break up the unity of Oecumenical Christendom until the attempt of the Westerns to impose by the sword their one-sided view, and the pretensions of Rome to spiritual monarchy, shook the very basis of union. Since those times down to the present day, the force of other arms,--the arms of ecclesiastical controversy, by word and by writing, by individuals and by synods, has been tried and exhausted. It would be useless to reproduce here arguments which have been set forth so many times already and in so many books, but which have failed to produce conviction on either side, because unhappily, in controversies of this sort, there is so much in the prejudgment with which the reader opens the book. The present writer may be permitted, as a Russian addressing himself to Russians, to instance the Right of the Universal Church," in which the chief causes of the breach between Pope Nicholas and Photius are set forth with sufficient clearness of detail. Among the most recent foreign writers, I would earnestly press every one who takes any interest in this question, to read the remarkable treatise of the late Anglican Priest Allies, intitled, "The Anglican Church freed from the charge of Schism by the testimony of the Seven oecumenical Councils, and of the Holy Fathers." Nowhere are all the testimonies of the Primitive Universal Church against Roman pretensions set forth so fully or so clearly as in this book.
Though the object of the writer was, apparently, to defend his own Church, his proofs have all reference to the Eastern Church, for the Anglican was as yet little heard of in those times of the Councils from which he draws his testimonies: and it may be said with truth that his book is one of the best for the defence of the Oecumenical rights of the East, so far as it can be said to need any defence from us at all. From it I shall borrow some testimonies to the rightfulness of our side, arising from certain critical passages of history, which reveal the truth. The readers of this book need not be disturbed by the fact which the Romans urge against it, that the author after having written so much against Rome, has in spite of himself become a convert to Rome. The fact is true: but it can scarce have been from his having come to be convinced of the truth of the Roman pretensions, after all the unanswerable proofs which he had before brought together against them from the holy Fathers and the Canons of the Councils: more probably it was owing to the unhappy state of that Church to which he himself belonged. To his eyes, as to those of mauy others, it had almost ceased to be a Christian Church from the time that by a decision of its Primate the Archbishop of Canterbury, concurred in by the Archbishop of York, though against the opinion of the Bishop of London, and given by these Archbishops as members of a secular Court in conjunction with certain lay Lords, a new rule was established respecting the question which had been moved between a Priest and his Bishop, whether Baptism washes away original sin? They decided that it was free to preach either way affirmatively or negatively on this point, though the doctrine involved is the very foundation of Christianity. Allies, and many others beside him, thought that it was better to belong to the Roman Church, even with its excessive pretensions, than to belong to no Church at all, seeing that the Archbishops of the Anglican Church had now ceased to maintain the fundamental doctrine of Christianity, that is, the doctrine of Baptism. Here we see one of the causes of that great success which has attended the proselytizing efforts of the Roman Catholics in England, especially of late years, when so many men of distinguished learning, who had been striving to revive primitive orthodoxy within their owa Anglican Church, have all at once gone over to the Roman. B at this ought not to prevent any investigator of truth from distinguishing between that which is attributable to the force of circumstances, and those testimonies which may be found in the works of the writers themselves.
The main art--not to say artifice--of Rome in her controversies with the orthodox, consists in the attempt to draw off their attention from practice to theory, from that unbroken series of Ecclesiastical facts and Canons of Councils which during a succession of many centuries from the beginning bear witness in favour of the East, but which need to be known, to that imposing system of the Roman monarchy which grew up after the rupture, and dazzles the eyes of the ignorant by the splendour of a pretended universality. Some particular expressions of Fathers and Councils cut out from their context, and viewed apart without any adequate accompanying idea of the time and circumstances, and some particular passages of Ecclesiastical history urged and commented upon with similar unfairness, are laid as the foundation of this system, which is utterly contradictory to the primitive constitution and life of the Church. It was developed in its full proportions by the help of the spurious decretals, since exposed and given up, not earlier than the sixteenth century, by Cardinal Bellarmine: and thenceforth has been made the very basis of the Papal Church, without which she cannot exist, nor admits any to her communion.
The inconsistency of this system with the Oecumenical Canons lies in this, that it has gradually changed that seniority or primacy of the See of Rome over the other four patriarchal sees, which was sanctioned by the Councils, into a Headship of the Pope over the whole Universal Church, uucanouical and never hitherto admitted by the East. Rome, as the ancient capital of the heathen world, to which the whole habitable earth had for ages been accustomed to look, and as the single Episcopal see founded by Apostles in the West, while there were many sees founded by the personal presence of Apostles in the East, naturally drew together all the Westerns to this one central point of their unity. The Roman Patriarch was truly their head, in like manner as the four Eastern Patriarchs, of Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem, were the heads respectively of their Ecclesiastical regions defined by the Councils, the Patriarch of Constantinople also by the Canon of the Councils having over the other three a privilege of seniority, as the Archbishop of New Rome and the centre of Ecclesiastical Synods in the presence of the Emperors.
Upon this synodal system of Ecclesiastical government, which lasted undeniably for nine centuries and more, there grew up at last the monarchical system of Rome, when political circumstances exalted the West above the suffering East; and on the foundation of a growing sense of the primacy of Peter over the rest of the Apostles, there arose the lordship of the Pope over the rest of the Bishops. Now the question is not whether the Pope, as the successor of Peter, is to be the first among his brethren and equals, which the East cannot rightly gainsay, for it is confirmed by the cumenical Canons: but from this Ecclesiastical order there has been formed in the West a distinct religious dogma, which is set on an equality with the other dogmas of the Christian faith: and this dogma gained strength in proportion as the Roman jurisdiction was extended, subjecting to itself by force of arms the Eastern Patriarchal Sees, so that the first of the Patriarchs forgot in a manner their primitive equality, and even their existence. All around him became fixed in this new system, because during many centuries all the vital powers having their centre in Rome as in the heart of the human body, have become used to this order of circulation, and now are unable to understand any other.
The Pope, from being the successor of Peter, or rather to speak more correctly, from being the tenant of that chair which was founded jointly by both the Princes of the Apostles, (for Peter and Paul together, as is well known from ecclesiastical history, while they were themselves yet living, consecrated Linus to he the first Bishop of Rome,)--the Pope, I say, in time magaified himself with the exclusive title of Vicar of CHRIST, which we meet with for the first time in the Council of Florence, as late as the fifteenth century. The title of Vicar of Peter has never been denied him by the Eastern Church, though she styled him rather the successor of the two Apostles jointly, just as all the other Patriarchs and Bishops were successors of the other Apostles, yielding only the primacy to Peter in matters of common interest, in important questions of doctrine, or when other sees were shaken by schism; while the two chairs of Alexandria and Antioch, as having been founded also by the Apostle Peter, were considered in conjunction with that of Rome, to use the expression of Pope S. Gregory, as three chairs of one and the same Apostle, and therefore equal to one another in dignity.
Attention is due to this circumstance, which has perhaps hitherto scarcely been noticed, that if the precedence of the Patriarchal Sees had been grounded only on the dignity of the first of the Apostles, and not upon the importance of the cities themselves, the See of Antioch would have had precedence over that of Alexandria, inasmuch as S. Peter himself resided seven years in Antioch, while to Alexandria he only seat his disciple the Evangelist S. Mark. On the ground of the pre-eminence of one city over another Constantinople too, on becoming the Capital, or New Rome, was set by the Councils above Alexandria and Antioch, and still retains that place, even with the Romans.
No doubt the Pope may style himself, in his own sphere, the West, the Vicar, not only of Peter, but of CHRIST,--in that sense, however, in which every Bishop has a right to a similar title, as the representative of the Apostolic Church. But this high title cannot be made to belong to the Pope alone, to the exclusion and obscuration of the rest, any more than the title of Universal Bishop, in that sense in which it is understood by the Romans. For else all the rest must lose their dignity, to use the words of Gregory the Great already mentioned; and if the one universal slips in the faith, then the whole Church falls with him: on which account it was that the East so energetically opposed this newfangled dogma of the Council of Florence.
It is curious to see, however, to what an extent, on the ground of an uncanonical title, the Romans have distorted the Catholic recognition of the primacy of their Bishop. Now he is no more the elder among brethren, but the Head; and it is not in the sense of successor of the chief Apostle, but of Vicar of CHRIST Himself. From him alone and through him only emanates the grace of the Priesthood to all the Bishops, and without him no one can be confirmed, inasmuch as every one receives his degree only by grace of the Apostolic See of Rome. All the Bishops together are not equal in dignity to the Pope by himself, who is above them all by his office, and even lords it over oecumenical councils, as being alone possessed of infallibility, according to the opinion of the Ultramontanes,--that is, the most ardent zealots for Rome, who have a vast preponderance over the favourers of the Gallican liberties. The Pope alone has the supreme power of binding and loosing, by the power of the keys, winch were promised to S. Peter before the other Apostles; though the same power was also given by the LORD, after His Resurrection, to all the Apostles together, without any special privilege to Peter, when He breathed on them all, and said to all alike, "Receive the Holy Ghost: whosesoever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto then, and whosesoever sins ye retain, they are retained." Though the first of the Western Divines, S. Augustine, says distinctly that S. Peter "represented the person of the whole Church, for it was not one man, but the whole unity of the Church, that received these keys," the Westerns, notwithstanding such clear testimony, insist, in order to maintain the Papal monarchy, that whoever does not acknowledge the Pope for Head of the Church, and is out of his Communion, is thereby ipso facto cut off from Communion with CHRIST, and is out of the saving ark of the Church.
I will not here deduce over again, as I have done in the "Right of the Catholic Church," a consecutive chain of historical testimonies from the Holy Fathers and the Councils against this doctrine, and the new ecclesiastical system with which it is associated, and which, to use the words of Fleury, has changed the old basis, and introduced principles quite unknown to antiquity. I will mention, however, some striking exemplifications of the ancient system of the Church, and of the Canons of the Councils, to make it clear how the Universal Church might have continued to subsist, and how the Orthodox Church does in fact subsist to this day, without these innovations, which have never served her as a necessary basis or foundation.
Where can we better look than in the Oecumenical Councils--the very mirrors of orthodoxy--for an exhibition, in all its fulness, of the Catholic administration of the Church on those principles which were intended never to be changed in succeeding ages? I will briefly, then, state these fundamental principles, beginning from the first Council of Nicaea, in which the place of president was held by the great Hosius, Bishop of Cordova, and not by the Papal Legates, as later Roman writers have attempted to make out by help of the spurious synodal acts of Gelasius.
In Canon VI. of the Council of Nice we read, "Let the ancient customs be kept which are received in Egypt, Libya, and Pentapolis; that is, that the Bishop of Alexandria have power over all these, since this is the custom also for the Bishop of Rome. In like manner in Antioch also, and in the other provinces, let the privileges of the Churches he preserved." But when, in the fourth Oecumenical Council of Chalcedon, the Papal Legates, grounding themselves on certain Roman readings, would have read this Canon thus, "Let the Roman Church always have the primacy," which is not in the Nicene Canons, the inaccuracy of this reading was exposed by the original text.
The same thing occurred somewhat earlier in the African Church also, when Pope Celestine, maintaining a demand made by his predecessor, Zosimus, would have had the local canon of the Western Council of Sardica, concerning reference in certain important cases to the See of S. Peter, to be received as part of the Oecumenical Canons of Nice. The numerously attended Synod of Carthage replied to the Pope that "what had before been sent to them from Rome, as constitutions of the Nicene Council, was not to be found in the verified copies of the original text, which had been furnished to them from Alexandria and Constantinople." And thereupon the Synod added, "The Fathers have judged that no province is unsupplied with a sufficiency of the grace of the HOLY GHOST, enabling the Priests of CHRIST to perceive reasonably and to maintain firmly what is just, especially when every man, if there be any doubt of the righteousness of the decision of the nearest judges, is free to go to the Synod of his Province, and even to an Oecumenical Synod: unless there be any one who thinks that our GOD can infuse the spirit of judgment to some one individual only, and leave the multitude of His Priests who meet in synod destitute of the same. As for this, that some should be sent us from the side (a latere) of thy Holiness, we find no such rule laid down by any Council of the Pathers: that we may not seem to introduce the smoky pride of the world into CHRIST's Church, which to them that wish to see GOD offers the light of simplicity and the day of humility." Such expressions are remarkable, addressed, not from Eastern, but from Western Bishops to the first See.
From the Acts and Canons of the second Oecumenical Council, convoked at Constantinople in 381, by the Emperor Theodosius, at which were present all the greatest lights of the East, as S. Meletius of Antioch, S. Gregory Theologus, S. Gregory of Nyssa, brother of S. Basil, and his friend S. Amphilochius, and S. Cyril of Jerusalem, the following testimonies are extracted by Mr. Allies:
1. This Council was convoked by the Emperor, without the consent of the Pope, or the presence of his Legates, or of any of the Western Bishops.
2. Its president was S. Meletius of Antioch, who was not in communion with Rome, though he was considered orthodox, the Pope recognising as the canonical Bishop of Antioch Paulinus, the rival of Meletius.
3. After the death of Meletius, the Synod thought proper to elect a successor to him, S. Flavian, rather than confirm Paulinus in possession of the See, notwithstanding that he was recognised at Rome as the only lawful Bishop of Antioch.
4. This Synod, though composed exclusively of Eastern Bishops, added of its own authority a number of articles to the Nicene Creed for its explanation, and from that time the said Creed became the evidence of the faith of the whole Catholic Church, and the badge of unity between the West and the East, till unity was broken by the former.
5. Not only did it promulgate Canons for the internal administration of the Church, through provincial Synods, but it even changed the order of precedence in the hierarchy prevailing at that time, by giving precedence to the See of Constantinople over those of Alexandria and Antioch.
6. This Synod was nevertheless recognised as oecumenical in the West as well as in the East. That which was held the following year at Rome, as if in opposition to it, passed into oblivion with all its acts; while the Synod of Constantinople, notwithstanding the complaints of the Italian Bishops, was recognised at Rome.
Thus the Canons by which the whole East is still directed were held to be of force without Papal authority, and even its creed was recognised as Oecumenical. If we compare such important events and testimonies with the Roman pretensions that the Pope alone is the source of all episcopal jurisdiction, and the root of their authority, as the Vicar of CHRIST on earth, how great a discordancy do we not find between them and the true Oecumenical Canons? The opposition of the African Church, mentioned above, is nothing compared with these decisive and spontaneous acts of the whole East, utterly ignoring the Papal Supremacy. How, again, can one reconcile with the modem doctrine of Rome, that out of its communion there is no salvation, the striking fact, that S. Meletius, who was out of it, not only presided in an Oecumenical Council which amplified the Creed, but was also reckoned among the Saints by the West and the East alike? Or is this an exception from general rules? But the case is by no means singular.
In the third Oecumenical Council at Ephesus, the president was S. Cyril of Alexandria, whom the Romans wish to bring down by giving him the title of Papal Vicar, without attending to the clearness of the acts of the Council; and in the Canons of this Council also there was set a decided barrier against all lust of dominion. "Let no Bishop presume to intrude into another diocese, lest, under the guise of sacred ministrations, there creep in the pride of worldly dominion, and we gradually and imperceptibly lose that liberty which our Redeemer purchased for us with His own Blood." The Council, by the choice of such expressions, seems to have foreseen that this would take place in the West "little by little and imperceptibly," and in the same spirit of prescience fenced the Creed itself against future Western additions, by strictly forbidding to add anything to it or take anything away. At this Council, however, all the Fathers exclaimed unanimously, seeing the agreement in judgment of Pope Celestine and the Patriarch Cyril, "Celestine a new Paul! Cyril a new Paul! One is the Catholic faith, one is the faith of the universe." So also in the Fourth Council at Chalcedon the Fathers, when they had read the orthodox exposition of faith of S. Leo the Great, agreeing with the doctrine of S. Cyril, cried out, "Peter hath spoken by the lips of Leo. Thus have the Apostles taught: Cyril has taught the same. Everlasting memory to Cyril! Leo and Cyril have taught one and the same doctrine! This is the faith of the Fathers!" Such was the equal agreement of the East with the West, and the standard of orthodoxy to them both was Cyril of Alexandria.
It is worthy of attention that the East still preserves that order of the hierarchy which was fixed by the Canons of these two Councils, just as if they had been held in our own times. So the small island of Cyprus, which had one Archbishop with three suffragan Bishops under him, and was then independent of the See of Antioch, remains still independent to this day, though the island of Crete, which is fully as important as Cyprus, and the coast of Anatolia, over against Cyprus, are subject to the Patriarch of Constantinople.
The Council of Chalcedon said: "If a Bishop or Clerk has any complaint against the Metropolitan of his province, let him have recourse to the Exarch of the greater province, or to the chair of the capital city of Constantinople, and let judgment be made there." So this is until row. The same Council said "Following in all things the determination of the holy Fathers, we make a constitution concerning the privileges of the Most Holy Church of Constantinople, which is New Rome; for to the chair of Old Rome the Fathers properly gave a privilege, because it was Ike capital city. Following the same example, the CL. holy Bishops also gave equal privileges to the Most Holy chair of New Rome, rightly judging that the city which had obtained the honour of being the residence of the Emperor and the senate, and had equal privileges with the capital of Old Rome, should be exalted also like unto it in ecclesiastical respects, and be second after it." Shall we say that the six hundred and thirty holy Fathers who framed this 28th Canon in the general Council of Chalcedon did not understand what they said? or in what consists the special apostolical privilege of Old Rome over the New? It was just because they did understand, that this Canon was synodically enacted, in spite of the opposition of the Roman Legates and of the Pope Leo the Great himself, who, however, did not base his opposition on the fact that they had dared to equal New Rome with the Old, but on this; that they set New Rome above the older chairs of Alexandria and Antioch.
We ought not, however, to omit to notice that it was certainly in the Council of Chalcedon, rather than on any other occasion before or after, that the person of the Roman Primate was magnified, both from the personal merits of S. Leo, and also owing to the circumstances of the East, as the holders of the other patriarchal chairs were in an unfavourable position. Dioscorus of Alexandria was condemned and deposed in the Council as a heretic; Anatolius of Constantinople was consecrated by it in place of Flavian, who had been killed by the enemies of orthodoxy, and himself ordained the Patriarch of Antioch, Maximus; while Juvenal, Patriarch of Jerusalem, was at the first favourable to Dioscorus. Consequently, it was very natural that the Roman Legates made a greater figure than the other Bishops, who expressed themselves humbly before the great defender of Orthodoxy, Leo, and even wrote in their synodal letter to him, that, in the person of his representatives, he led them, as the head leads the members. However, notwithstanding this, they decreed, in spite of him, the equal privilege of honour to the chair of Constantinople. But if the Roman Bishop was magnified owing to circumstances at the Council of Chalcedon, his person was never brought down so low as in the Fifth Oecumenical Council, and for that reason the Romans do not like to say anything about it.
If it is really true that no Council can be celled without consent of the Pope; and if there is any foundation for the words of the most recent champion of the Papacy, the Count de Maistre, that "such propositions as this, that the Bishops, apart from the Pope, and even at variance with him, may be in a Synod above him, are simple absurdities," then how are we to reconcile with this truth the acts of this Fifth Council? The Emperor Justinian calls it against the will of the Pope, who holding an opinion condemned by this Council, forbids even the discussion of it; and, what is more, not only is he himself indirectly, though without being named, condemned by the Fathers of the Council as breaking the general consent, but he is even compelled eventually to consent to their opinion, and to express his sorrow in writing for having held aloof from his brethren from want of charity. Must not even the Romans confess that it can only be total ignorance of the acts of the Councils that brings zealots like De Maistre and others to such conclusions?
At the Sixth General Council, as if to refute the modern self-asserted opinion of the Romans concerning the infallibility of their Apostolical Chair, a Pope--no longer indirectly, but in express words--Pope Honorius, though long dead, is condemned for having favoured the Monothelite heresy, together with other heresiarchs; and this is notified to one of his successors, Pope Leo II., who had to subscribe this condemnation. In the canons, which are reckoned as appendages to the acts of this Council, several Roman customs are condemned the celibacy of Priests, and the Fast of the Sabbath, with the threat even of excommunication for the second; and though the Romans do not receive these canons, they have always served as rules of guidance for the East; and so there is no need of Papal confirmation for the canons of Councils which are recognised as Oecumenical. The Legates of Pope Agatho acted with more humility than those of Pope Leo the Great, and though the Council showed him such respect that it allowed the Patriarch of Alexandria, who had been condemned for heresy, to appeal to him, still the Pope, in the Letters of the council, was named only the Bishop of the first chair, and the other Patriarchs were called "sharers of the same throne;" and he himself subscribed not as "Universal Bishop," but only Bishop of the Catholic Church of the city of Rome; that is, of a part, not of the whole. He called himself, in his Letter to the Emperor, in common with the other poor presidents of CHRIST'S Church in the Western parts, the servant of his most Christian Empire. How far is this from the exaltation of Pope Gregory VII., before whom Emperors were as servants!
There was, however, just at the end of the sixth and the beginning of the seventh century, between the Fifth and Sixth General Councils, one Roman Pontiff of this name, S. Gregory the Great, by no means less sensible than his predecessors or successors of the dignity of his see, but only spiritually, and who may therefore serve as a pattern of ecclesiastical government, not only in his own time, but also for succeeding ages. In civil matters he humbled himself not only before the power of his legitimate Emperor, Maurice, but even before the usurper of his throne, Phocas, as representing the "power that was;" while in spiritual matters he thought so highly of the importance of the See of Peter, that by its authority he condemned the erroneous judgments of others; for, according to his opinion, a scandal caused even by one of the Patriarchs cannot be left without notice; and in case of any fault there is no Bishop who would not desire its influence; but when there is no fault, all the Bishops, not excepting the Roman, are equal one with another according to the spirit of humility. So, in earlier times, the great Athanasius also laboured indifferently for all the Churches of the Universe, when it was a question of heresy; and another great champion of Orthodoxy, Basil, said that on Athanasius lay the burden of all the Churches.
Nevertheless Gregory, who was really holy and great, did not take to himself the title of universal Bishop, but, on the contrary, wrote to his brother of Constantinople, who coveted this title, as follows:--
"Reflect that by thy ill-judged ambition the peace of the world is disturbed (as was actually the case, when the Roman Bishop was magnified); affect with all thy heart humility, by which may be preserved the concord of all the brethren and the unity of the Holy Catholic Church. When the Apostle Paul heard some saying, 'I am of Paul, I of Apollos, I of Cephas,' he was horror-struck at such a rending of the Body of the LORD, Whose limbs were attaching themselves to strange heads, and exclaimed, 'Was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?' so he shrank from putting the members of the LORD'S Body, in particular, even under the Apostles themselves. What wilt thou say to CHRIST, that is, to the Universal Head of the Church, at the trial of the last judgment, thou who, by the title of Oecumenical, strivest to subject to thyself all His members? Who in this so perverse a title is proposed for imitation but the power that, despising the legions of angels set in fellowship with him, sought to exalt himself to the summit of unity, in order not to be under any, and that he alone might appear above all?" What a fearful admonition for Rome!
"In truth, the Apostle Peter is the first member of the holy and universal Church; and Paul, Andrew, John, what else are they than heads of particular peoples? and yet, under one Head, are all the members of the Church. And, to speak briefly, the Saints before the Law, the Saints under the Law, and the Saints under Grace, all have their part in filling up the Body of CHRIST, and are reckoned to the members of the Church; and none of them ever sought to be named (Ecumenical." (Here we see what is the true teaching of the Church.) "And, behold, from this insane and proud title the Church is divided, and the hearts of all the brethren are troubled with scandal." We may add to this the words of the great Gregory, "I write this not against you, but for your sake, for I cannot put any one before the commandments of the Gospel and the canons of the Church."
This great Pope wrote not only to the Patriarch of Constantinople, but also to all the rest in the same spirit, observing to them that if one of the Patriarchs is to be called Universal, the rank of all the rest is hereby reduced to nothing. "Can I do otherwise than grieve, when I see that our once humble brother has come to be so lifted up that he seeks to appropriate to himself power over all those who are united with the sole Head, that is, with CHRIST, and to subject to himself all CHRIST'S members by the exaltation of a proud title? If they allow him to use such a title, then all the patriarchs lose their dignity, and when he who is called the Universal Bishop falls into error, there will be no longer to be found any Bishop standing in the truth. And so I beseech you to keep your Churches such as ye have received them. Preserve from this perversion the Bishops under you, and show them that ye are indeed patriarchs of the Universal Church."
And to the Emperor Maurice he wrote that, though "there are some vanities which are harmless, there are others which are most pernicious. When Antichrist who is to come shall call himself GOD, this will be vanity indeed, but at the same time it will be a most destructive vanity. Now I will boldly say that if any one calls himself or wishes others to call him a Universal Bishop, the same is by his tumour a precursor of Antichrist, for he proudly exalts himself above the rest." And to Eulogius, patriarch of Alexandria, in answer to his letter of compliment he replied, "Though there be many Apostles, so far as the honour itself goes, still one chair only of the chief Apostle is pre-eminent in its importance, which in three different places belongs only to one. For he himself exalted that chair in which he sat and finished his mortal life, he himself adorned that chair to which he sent his disciple the Evangelist, and he himself established that chair on which he first sat for seven years. And so, if that chair is one and of one, on which now by the Divine power sit three Bishops, then I impute to myself whatever good I hear of you, but whatever good ye may hear of me, that impute to your own deserts, for we are one in Him who hath said, 'That they may all be one, as the FATHER in Me and I in the FATHER, that so they all may be one in us.' (S. John xvii.)"
If all these testimonies were met with in the writings of any one Father who might be considered as an opponent of the Roman supremacy, if they had come from any one of the Patriarchs of Constantinople when defending their own rights, even in that case such expressions would have had some force, not as the particular opinions of an individual, but as evidences of the mind of those times. But how much more must we admit them to be of the utmost importance, and to be deserving of all credit, when we continually find them uttered without any sort of necessity in the formal letters of a Pope to the Emperor, and of a Pope, too, who was the most strenuous possible asserter of the rights of primacy of his See! If we further add to this that they are corroborated by the events of history, by the decrees of Councils, and by the testimonies of Fathers from all parts of the world, during the earliest and most flourishing ages of the Church's existence, is it possible after this to shake them by any modern speculation?
We see also, in the Seventh ecumenical Council, and in the two following Councils, though they were not reckoned to be Oecumenical, in the days of Photius, when for the last time the West and the East met in concord, the same Synodal or collective constitution of the Church. It was S. Tarasius, the Patriarch of Constantinople, and not the Papal Legates, who presided in the Seventh, and the acts of the pseudo-synod held under Copronymus were rejected on this ground, that neither the Pope of Rome nor his Legates nor the Eastern Patriarchs had had any part in it, as was requisite for a regular Oecumenical Council. At the sane time were confirmed all the ancient canons of the Church, and the Creed itself, as if from a presentiment that they were likely soon to be tampered with in the West. The Synodal government of the Church was declared with no less clearness also in the Synod held at Constantinople against Photius. In the presence of the Roman Legates the Emperor Basil the Macedonian said, in refutation of Synods held irregularly, "The whole world under the sun knows that by the grace of the true GOD five Patriarchs, set in different parts of the world, maintain truth and cannot betray the faith; consequently what is judged by them must be received." This Imperial and Synodal declaration is the more remarkable, because then three of the Eastern Patriarchs, those of Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem, were already, as now, under the power of the Saracen, and brought so low that they could scarcely send their representatives to the Council.
But if this Ecclesiastical order of a Synodal government by five Patriarchal thrones still remained entire at the close of the ninth century, under the same conditions of the Mahometan yoke, why was it not to last still longer? For the reason that Pope Nicholas I. in his rivalry with Photius (to use the words of the Jesuit Maimbourg, intended to be laudatory), exalted the authority of the supreme Pontiff to a far higher point than it had ever reached before, in respect to Emperors and Kings, Patriarchs and Bishops, dealing with them, when he thought any right of his throne to be concerned, much more stiffly than any of his predecessors. This made it necessary for the Patriarch Photius and his successors to withstand. The Pope thus acted on the ground of the spurious decretals of the ancient Pontiffs which appeared about his tine, and of which the western historian himself, Fleury, says that "they destroyed, by continual appeals to the See of Rome, the ancient rights of the Metropolitan and local Synods, even in the west; but however gross was such an imposture, it still led into error, for eight hundred years, the whole Latin Church."
Another cause for the destruction of the Synodal order was this, that for a century and a halt that is, during the whole of the tenth century, and half the eleventh, the Roman Church suffered from untold anarchy and disorders of her Bishops to the scandal of the whole Christian world. One may say that during that time, she separated herself, in the darkness of her internal disorders from communion with the Eastern Churches; and when (at the end of the eleventh century) the zealous Pope Gregory VII. began with a strong hand to correct around him all Ecclesiastical disorders, he formed in his western isolation a new Gothic system for the Roman Church on the foundation of the forged decretals, which his successors strove to impose as canonical on the East, depressed by calamities. This was effected, with a full confidence that he was acting righteously, by Pope Innocent III. (at the beginning of the thirteenth Century) through the sword of the Crusaders when they seized Constantinople. At that time, in utter despite of the canons, the Pope appointed Latin Patriarchs, while the Eastern occupants still lived, to the chairs of these latter, and after the expulsion of the Crusaders, they have been perpetuated as titular Patriarchs. Hence has been formed a new entire system of Roman monarchy, in which all the degrees of the hierarchy are reduced to a level under the Papal Supremacy.
From this cause, when, alter five centuries, the Eastern bishops again met the Western in the Council of Florence, the former were astounded at that vast change which had taken place in this time in the inward constitution and habits of the Western Church. And how could they be otherwise than astonished, when instead of a brotherly salutation, the Pope demanded of the Patriarch of Constantinople and his Bishops that they should kiss his feet, and acknowledge him as Vicar of CHRIST, and Bishop of the universe? The dogma of the Procession of the HOLY GHOST also from the SON, (of which even so late a Pope as John VIII. wrote so modestly to Photius, asking him to use condescendence towards this addition which had crept into the creed,) was now publicly defended by them in the Council, and all but imposed on the Easterns, in contravention of all the canons, together with the supremacy of the Pope. For the times were desperate, and the Emperor himself, as is said even in the Latin account of the Council, urged his Bishops "to think of methods of union, if they would escape a persecution sharper than any that had been under Diocletian." They repented too late that they had been enticed by the flattering proposals of Pope Eugenius, instead of accepting the other more sincere invitation of the German Emperor to the Synod of Basle, which acted independently of the Pope and even against him. Had they done so, perhaps a more canonical union of the Churches might have been concluded in that Council, if the Eastern Patriarchs had added the weight of their chairs to so numerous an assembly of Western Bishops, in the presence of both the Emperors. Perhaps too the Protestant schism which tore away such a multitude of the children of the Roman Church, might then never have taken place; as from such a Synod satisfaction and redress might have been obtained for all those abuses against which the West had so long complained, and which occasioned the meeting of the Synods of Pisa, Constance, and Basle, with the seventy years' split of the Papal chair into three. The East might have been able to make a better and more pacific correction, by the purity of her canons, of whatever had become corrupted in the west through the admission and mixture of the false decretals; whereas at the last Synod of Trent against the Protestants, which is held now as the foundation of the Roman system of doctrine, Roman absolutism had a complete triumph, and Pope Pius V. subscribed it as Bishop of the whole Catholic Church.
From those times the Romans, without looking into the essence of the fundamental canons of the East, have been striving to impose their uncanonical Headship on the Easterns, who hold fast to the Synodal constitution. The Romans are utterly unwilling to understand that, of these two entirely opposite types the one has so intimately blended and associated itself with the Papal monarchy, that if this Headship were taken away from it, the whole fabric of its unity would fall to pieces; while the other in the lapse of a still greater number of ages than the first, (for it adheres to the original order) has collectively united itself into one whole, with a certain Patriarch and independent Synod, and cannot admit within itself such a Headship as would destroy the whole of its collective or synodal system. The Romans trusting in their numerical majority, and in the pre-eminence of their Apostolic See, think to exclude from the catholicity of the universal Church the whole East, because it yields to them by more than the half in the number of its Christians. They forget however that, while they have only one apostolic chair of Peter and Paul, (which on this account too has been made so much of iii the West) the East has two chairs of Peter (to use the words of Pope S. Gregory the Great) in Antioch and Alexandria, and so many of Paul in all Greece and Asia, without reckoning other Sees also Apostolic. They forget that the very tongue in which the Divine Service of the East is performed, is the original tongue of the Gospels and Epistles; for the light of CHRIST, like the natural light of the sun, travelled from the East to the West; and if they reproach the Patriarchal Sees with their separation from the higher See of Rome, they yet cannot reproach them with any single error of doctrine; they even confess that in the East all those rites of the first ages, which with them have undergone change, have been preserved perfect. As for the matter of numerical majority, the example under the old dispensation of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin preserving the pure faith of their fathers, while the other ten tribes of Israel fell away, makes nothing in favour of the greater number.
Let the Romans boast of their Council of Treat and other Councils anterior to it as oecumenical, though the true Patriarchs of the East had no part in them. These latter behave with more moderation; and though they often hold assemblies and take into union with themselves the whole of the wide North, they still do not call their Synods oecumenical; though on the other hand they do not cease to take the blessed titles of Catholic and Apostolic. But the title which belongs to them, exclusively and inalienably before all others, is that of Orthodox, which they rightly glory in, seeing that they have kept in all their purity all the doctrines and canons of the primitive Church, through the storms and calamities of so many ages.
Let us now consider dispassionately, though it must be but cursorily, the outward and inward state of both the Churches, the Western and the Eastern, and bearing in mind the indispensable condition, that the- truth of doctrine must be one and invariable for our salvation, let us see in which of them are to be found, in greater fulness or abundance, the means or assistances towards attaining salvation the common object of us all.
Let us begin with the Western, as pretending not only to pre-eminence, but also to exclusive Catholicity. Let us do justice to that in her which may be really praiseworthy, because it is thus only that we may approximate to peace, if we will without prejudice acknowledge one another's good points or superiorities, as well as notice defects.
What is it that involuntarily strikes the eye in the external appearance of the Roman Church, and makes it so attractive for many who have never learned what is the original constitution of the universal Church? It is its vast size set off with the name of catholicity; for its numbers exceed by more than half those of the Eastern Church; all united together by the chair of the Prince of the Apostles, from which alone is derived the confirmation of all the Pastors of so numerous a flock diffused over the whole world. No doubt such an union, though not based upon the canons of the councils, but rather on the customs of the middle ages, presents a magnificent spectacle. If the Roman chair was content with its own Western Patriarchate, however exorbitantly extended to the diminution of the rest, and did not impose, as an indispensable dogma, its uncanonical pretensions on the chairs of the Eastern Patriarchs of equal degree with itself, it would even yet be possible for them to acquiesce in such an excessive exaltation of their elder sister, especially if she used her power not for their hurt but for their support. But unhappily we see precisely the contrary, and the exaltation throughout the world of the Roman throne, according to the prophetic words of one of its greatest Pontiffs, Pope S. Gregory, obscures all the rest, so that the honour and dignity of equality are taken away from all the Patriarchs: and further, owing to this canonical supremacy, certain particular and erroneous opinions of this See, unauthorized by the oecumenical Councils, have by imperceptible degrees spread through the whole Church subjected to it: as if in justification of the deep words of the same great luminary of the Church that "if one call himself Universal and he fall into error, then there shall no longer be any Bishop- to maintain the truth."
The splendid theory of this universal unity, based exclusively on the stability of the one Apostolical See of Old Rome, loses much of its lustre when it is brought into practice; and especially in its very centre, where it ought, as it would seem, to show itself stronger than at a distance. What is admitted now, by the general European consent of all Roman Catholic powers, to be the indispensable condition of the stability of the Roman Chair and the universal Headship of the Pope? His temporal dominion over the Roman territory in quality of sovereign, that so he may be able, independently of all secular powers, as their common father, and Bishop of Rome, and Universal Bishop, to feed with full liberty the whole Church of CHRIST our GOD, Whose Vicariate he has received on earth, though He Whose image he bears distinctly declared to the Roman governor that His kingdom is not of this world.
The LORD added further, in witness of this, that His kingdom is not earthly, but heavenly. "If My kingdom had been of this world, My servants would have fought, that I should not have been delivered to the Jews." (S. John xviii. 36.) Is not that completely contrary to this which we see now, when the Roman Pontiff, having taken the place of the Cæsars, requires that his servants should fight for him that he be not given up to the civil power which rises against him, and is only by the power of his army maintained in his capital? How are we to reconcile with the present strange state of Roman affairs these repeated words of the LORD, "Now is My kingdom not from hence?" Hence it is manifest that it is impossible to found, on such a plain contradiction to the Loan's words, the system of the Roman temporal dominion; without which power, by the confession of the most zealous Romans themselves, the universal Headship of the Pope cannot stand. But with this falls all their modern system, as not founded on the evangelical tradition, or on the Canons of the Councils. And though for a time, during the darkness of the middle ages, this system certainly had an outward success, and even produced undeniably the varied fruits of European civilisation, still, with the increase of enlightenment, and the predominance of the spiritual principle over the material, and through the communication of the West with the East, which she had so long forgotten, it was destined necessarily to break down of itself.
It is worthy of attention, that the Romans everywhere lay stress upon this alleged fact, that such Churches as have been unwilling to admit over them the spiritual Headship of the Pope, have necessarily fallen in consequence under the secular power. It may be that the secular power has predominated in some cases; yet not over spiritual principles, but just at the point of their connection with, secular matters. But then where, one may ask, is this conflict of the two authorities more plainly exhibited, than in the very centre of the Roman Church itself, though they are apparently united in one person? The Pope, elected himself in a conclave of Cardinals, under the political influence of the ministers of the first-rate powers, contends as a sovereign, especially at the present time, with his subjects; and while gaining accession of strength spiritually in England, finds his authority decidedly failing him at Rome. And, in the meantime, it is impossible not to see that, while there is a decline of faith in the centre of spiritual government, the external influence also of the Pope must often depend on natural means, and more or less on his having peace at home,--if not in matters purely spiritual, yet at any rate in those in which the inward is necessarily bound up with the outward. I am not speaking now of his political relations with different powers; for he, too, as a sovereign, must observe "diplomatic caution," and sometimes will be involuntarily carried away by circumstances, as we have witnessed in the recent changes in Italy.
From these considerations we may conclude that the recognition of the Papal Headship over the whole Church, in that modern sense in which the Romans require it, instead of the ancient primacy of their See, cannot be an obligatory condition for the salvation of an orthodox Christian, who is solidly acquainted with the Canons of the oecumenical Councils; since they have not laid down any such dogma as the basis of the government of the Church.
But, ask the Romans, (who do not understand the possibility of any ecclesiastical union outside of their Patriarchate, owing to their too material way of looking at the spiritual union of faith) how it is to be preserved? and where is the unity of the East? If it is not so palpable as the Roman, owing to its not being drawn, in contravention of the Canons, to one monarchical human centre, and consisting not of one Patriarchate, but of several, still it may be clearly seen in their synodal union, based on the observance of the ancient oecumenical constitutions, to say nothing of the complete unity of doctrines and ceremonies. Let us look more particularly into this synodal government, and let us consider whether it agrees with the ancient; and we shall be convinced that thus it was that the union of the Church was preserved in all preceding ages.
What was said in the last Oecumenical Council at Nicaea of the dignity, and of the requisites for the regularity, of such Councils? That it was indispensably necessary that there should be present in them representatives of all the orthodox Patriarchal Sees, though at that time three of the four Eastern Patriarchates were already under the yoke of the Saracens. This rule is still held to by the East; and it does not call its councils ecumenical, though the four Patriarchs often assemble together for the decision of important doctrinal questions, as the bond of faith uniting them is unbroken.
What was granted by the Fourth Oecumenical Council at Chalcedon to the Chair of Constantinople? A primacy over all the other Eastern Chairs after the Roman, with the final decision of ecclesiastical controversies, though still there was recognised an equality of order among the Patriarchs. We see this rule still observed with the utmost exactness in the East. On the least doctrinal difficulty arising, the Patriarch of Constantinople convokes his brethren to that city, or writes with their concurrence an encyclic, though he has under his spiritual jurisdiction as many as two hundred Bishops and ten million Christians, while the Patriarch of Alexandria has only ten thousand, and two Bishops; and yet the latter stands second after him, and acts as being altogether an equal. Again, the Patriarchs of Antioch and Jerusalem, though their chairs in the present state of things are of much more importance than that of Alexandria, do not contend with it for precedence; nor does the Chair of Constantinople, which is so incomparably more powerful than they all, lord it over them. Consequently, there may be an union, synodal and according to the Canons, of the Patriarchal Sees among themselves, without any exclusive dominion of one of them over all the rest; and this synodal constitution harmonises with the very name of the Catholic--that is, collective--Church, rather than monarchy.
What was it that the Third Oecumenical Council at Ephesus so strictly prohibited? The making of any change in the Creed, or invasion by Bishops of dioceses not belonging to them; while it confirmed the independence of Cyprus from Antioch. And what do we see now? To say nothing now of the religious preservation of the Creed in its integrity, Cyprus continues to this day to have its independent Archbishop, over whom neither the jurisdiction of the Patriarch of Antioch nor that of the Patriarch of Constantinople extends: to such a point is reverence for the decrees of the General Synods carried. As regards the Patriarchal Chairs themselves, there have been for each of them in recent times occasions which showed how the Oecumenical constitutions respecting them are still observed. The late Patriarch of Jerusalem, Athanasius, died at Constantinople, after having designated as his successor the Archbishop of Mount Tabor, Hierotheus; but the Turkish Government required that the Patriarch of Constantinople should name another Patriarch for Jerusalem. Then the whole community of the Holy Land protested against such an irregularity, and obtained what they wished by electing one from among themselves, the Bishop of Lydda, Cyril, to be Patriarch of the Holy City, agreeably to all the Canons of the Councils. Some years later, on the death of the Patriarch of Alexandria, Hierotheus, an intention was evinced at Constantinople to nominate a Patriarch, on the ground of their being no Bishops in Egypt; but the Church of Alexandria chose to elect some one from among themselves. And so, according to the ancient order, three Bishops were seat from the three Patriarchal Sees of Constantinople, Antioch, and Jerusalem, to Alexandria, to consecrate from among the Clergy there a new Patriarch, named (like his predecessor) Hierotheus. Quite recently, on the death of the Patriarch of Antioch, Methodius, all the Bishops subject to his vacant chair, not finding among themselves any one competent to succeed to his place, applied by letter to the Patriarch of Constantinople to select for them a suitable Pastor. The Patriarch, after consulting with Ms brother of Jerusalem and with his Synod, gave them Hierotheus, who had, on a former occasion, been elected for Jerusalem. And so, even under the Turkish yoke, notwithstanding the calamities of the times, the Hierarchical constitution are religiously maintained and observed. We must add, that in the Eastern Church there exists not, even to the present day, any other code of Canon Law than the collection of those Canons of the Oecumenical and Provincial Counncils, and of the Holy Fathers, which were confirmed in the Sixth and Seventh Oecumenical Councils, with scarcely any additions; so that, whenever Eastern Synods assemble (which occurs sufficiently often on any grave emergency), it is impossible to distinguish them from the ancient Synods, either as regards the forms employed, or as regards the hierarchy which has preserved all the ancient Sees, or as regards language, or as regards sacred vestments. Is not this a happy thing to see in our times?
Let us be sincere and candid in a matter which touches conscience. The Romans may reproach us with this, that while the elections of the other Patriarchs are so canonical, the Patriarchs of Constantinople, who are at the head of all, have often, especially in later times, been changed at the arbitrary will of the Porte. This state of things is certainly very painful, though it is now improving: but can this be made an accusation against the Greek Church? The putting to death and persecution of her chief pastors is a consequence of the Mahometan yoke, which has repeatedly given occasion to martyrdoms, to the glory of the same Church. But though the Patriarchs are in fact deposed and changed through the violence or intrigues of the chief officers of the Porte, and what is still more grievous, of Ambassadors of heterodox powers, for their attachment to orthodoxy, as in recent time Constantius, Gregory, Germanus, and Anthimus, (though this latter is now again sitting as Patriarch), notwithstanding all this, their appointment is by synodal election, and according to the ancient order. It is no one else than the Metropolitan of Heraclea, who gives the pastoral staff to the new Patriarch, because Byzantium was once within his diocese. We see Patriarchs deposed from, and again restored to, the oppressed See of Constantinople, but we have never seen three Prelates at one and the same time sitting, and contending for it one against another, as was the case continuously for more than half a century with the See of Rome.
This circumstance however is irrelevant to the question of the unity of the Catholic Church. We have seen the perfectness of its union between the four Patriarchal Sees. Let us now say something also of its other parts. Not long ago, in the new kingdom of Greece, a Governing Synod was synodically recognized by all the Patriarchs in union however with them, in like manner as from of old the Archbishops of Cyprus and Mount Sinai have had the privilege of independence. The Metropolitans of the two Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia, and of Servia, while nearly independent in their own countries, still receive their ordination at Constantinople. The spiritual head of the Servians in the Austrian provinces, who owing to political circumstances does not receive his appointment from the chair of Constantinople, is elected, and governs his Suffragan Bishops according to the Canons of the Council of Nicaea; and also because he has the privileges of the former Patriarchs of Servia, who were recognized in the Middle Ages by the Oecumenical Patriarchs: but the spiritual communion between the Servians and the Greeks is unbroken, and Priests coming from Constantinople and its neighbourhood are readily received in the Churches of Servia. The Vladika of Montenegro, who also, owing to political circumstances, does not go to Constantinople, having no suffragan Bishops, is ordained by the Russian Synod. The ancient Church of Georgia, which from her very origin was governed independently by Catholici of her own in spiritual union with Constantinople, is now under the direction of the Russian Synod: hut her Exarch, who has succeeded to the place of the former Catholicos, governs the five suffragan sees which are subject to his own.
Lastly, let us speak of the Russian Church, which from some outlying peoples committed at the Council of Chalcedon to the pastoral care of the Patriarch of Constantinople, has expanded to so vast a size that it exceeds all the Eastern Patriarchates put together, as if to make up for the grievous separation of the Vest. By the providence of GOD it had reached the full measure of its growth, and was freed from the Mahometan yoke at the very time at which the Eastern Sees fell under it: and on this account the Oecumenical Patriarchs themselves declared it independent of their see, and honoured it with a fifth Patriarchal chair, as if to replace the Roman, keeping up however close communion and communication with it, often even by personal assistance at its Councils. And when a hundred years ago, at the time of the changes wrought by Peter the Great, the Eastern Patriarchs, on the request made to them by a letter from the Tsar, consented that a permanent Synod should be substituted for the individual Patriarch, they authorized this form of spiritual government as agreeable to the Oecumenical Canons, keeping up with us their former communion. Besides continual alms which are sent from Russia to all the sees and convents of the East, Bishops of the three Patriarchal chairs of Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem, from time to time, visit and stay in our elder capital, and the two latter of the three have metóchia or lodges there. Besides this, in the case of any events of importance occurring, or ecclesiastical questions arising, mutual communications are made by synodal letters; as, for instance, in the affair of the reunion of the Uniats, and on occasion of the recognition of the Greek Synod, or in the question of the Holy Places. Consequently, the Romans have no just ground of complaint when they reproach the Eastern Church with being broken up into separate fragments and with want of unity. The essential union of faith, of dogma and ceremonies, is unbroken, and besides this there are manifest relations in certain cases which call for mutual concert and recognition. The difference in respect of mutual union consists in this, that, in the Roman Patriarchate, this consists in the relation of a head to members, according to their new order of things, whereas with us it is a brotherly equality, after the example of the Primitive Church, and does not require the conditions of subjection which have become necessary in the monarchical system of Rome but this there is no sort of disposition to understand among the Romans, who seek only to subject everything to their head.
The most edifying spectacle which the Roman Church has to offer us, consists in her numerous missions to China, Australia, and America, and in the zeal with which her missionaries, trained on purpose, in the College of the Propaganda, and supported by collections made in the different states of Europe, compass the whole world. At this we ought certainly to rejoice together with her, and thank GOD, Who through her spiritual efforts is enlightening the heathen world. I say "the heathen," because she can make little impression on the Mahometan. This is rather given to her Eastern sister. But while we rejoice at the conversion of so many heathens, it is impossible not to be pained in spirit, to see how an erroneous persuasion of salvation being given only and exclusively in the bosom of the Roman Church, leads her into persecuting and altogether uncanonical proceedings with respect to her Eastern sister. S. Paul, who praised in his time the faith of the Romans, said of himself that he did not build on another man's foundation, but preached there where as yet no one had been before him to announce the Name of CHRIST. But the Roman missionaries, preaching in the East, which lies suffering under the Mahometan yoke, seek not the conversion of the Mahometans who are defended by the civil power, but the perversion of the orthodox Christians of the four Patriarchates, into which the Papal power has no right to extend itself. They preach there not the Name of CHRIST, but the Headship of the Pope. In contravention of the Oecumenical laws, which forbid the setting up of two Bishops in one see, and the intrusion of Bishops into dioceses not belonging to them, the Roman Pontiff appoints titular Patriarchs and Bishops of sees, which are already legitimately filled, and so causes flesh vexations in addition to those which the orthodox Church endures from the infidels with martyr firmness, though no man can reproach her with having swerved from the purity of doctrine.
The LORD will judge between the two Churches, for such a breach of charity on the part of the Western; which, instead of extending Christianity, only occasions scandals among the Mahometans, and turns them away from the light of the truth. Even to the present day there is still kept up before their tribunals an incessant strife for the possession of the Holy Places at Jerusalem, where the Westerns have forced themselves into the inheritance of the Easterns, on the ground of their exclusive Catholicity. While we give due praise to the zeal of Rome in heathen countries, we cannot avoid noticing also how greatly they sin against their brethren the Christians in Mahometan lands.
Let us examine what is the present state of missionary enterprize in the Eastern Church. Is it true that vital energy has altogether failed in the East from the time that the Western Church fell away? We will again begin with the four Patriarchal chairs, as from the root. Can we in conscience require of them that they should proselytize, when they have been now for four centuries struggling in a bloody sweat for the preservation of Christianity within the dominions of the Mahometan, where the Romans themselves show no disposition to attempt it? And in the meantime how many martyrs of all ages and conditions, of the pastors and of the people, have there not been during that time to shed a glory round the Eastern Church? As many as a hundred modern martyrs have been fearlessly distinguished by public commemorations and anthems in the services of the Church, notwithstanding the dominion of the infidels; and who can count the thousands who have suffered, without being so distinguished by name, for their confession of the faith during those four centuries of servitude, to say nothing of the persecution occasioned by the Greek insurrection in 1821? In that year the Patriarch Gregory of Constantinople was hanged before the doors of his cathedral church, on Easter Day, and all the members of his Synod before the doors of their dwellings, though they might any of them have saved their lives, if they would have consented to betray their flock. Another Patriarch, Cyril, they hanged at Adrianople. The Archbishop of Cyprus, Cyprian, with his three Bishops, and all the Hegumens of convents on the island, were hanged on one tree before the palace of the former kings, and were long left hanging on it like fruits ripened for eternity. A multitude of other Prelates and Superiors were massacred in the islands and in Anatolia, and all the holy mountain of Athos was devastated, but still none apostatized from the faith of CHRIST. Are not such martyrdoms the best proselytism, seeing that by such in the first three ages and in the same regions was founded the Catholic Church? How can the Romans, who have nothing similar to suffer among themselves, persist in affirming that among people who could so die for the faith there is no real spiritual life? The involuntary disorders of the Greek Church, engendered of her long servitude and poverty, are as nothing in the balance against the bright crowns of martyrdom which have again adorned the venerable unbending brows of her orthodoxy. Why do they still send into her territories their titular Patriarchs, Bishops and missionaries, to confirm her in the true faith, as if she had not shown by experience the firmness of her belief?
The Romans are fond of repeating that the Eastern Church has lost her vitality and power to propagate the faith, from the moment when she separated herself from her true root,--i..e., from the Roman See. But how was it in the time of the Patriarch Photius, and after him, that the light of Christianity was diffused so abundantly from Constantinople over all the North, and so many tribes of the Bulgarians, the Slavonians, and the Russians received Christianity, rejecting all the invitations of the West? Is not this a living and active refutation of the unfounded accusation of Rome? And in the very bosom of the Russian Church, which has grown up with such glory out of the lap of the Church of Constantinople, and has more than counterbalanced by her greatness all the calamities of the East, are there not at work the same loving principles of extension of Christianity as in this, though by different means than in the Roman, owing to a difference of circumstances? Rome acts through her numerous missionaries sent by her to all parts of the world. The Russian Church, properly so called, as being dominant in an immense empire, diffuses gradually the light of CHRIST within her own limits, out of which she has no reason to go; because it is a more immediate duty to convert her own heathen, Jews, Mahometans, and schismatics, scattered over the surface of the ninth part of the globe, than to compass sea and land to make proselytes. Why go into foreign countries, when within our own there is an abundant harvest? Every year there are conversions among us by thousands.
If we have no central school or Propaganda like that at Rome, still in those dioceses where there are heathens or Mahometans of different races their languages are taught in the seminaries, in order that the parochial Clergy may be qualified to act as missionaries, besides such as may be exclusively devoted to this work. With us the convents themselves, too, which are scattered about our wilds, serve for nurseries of Christianity; and from them was enlightened the whole North of Russia, and all Siberia, which we conquered in a state of heathenism. Two zealous Metropolitans of Tobolsk, Theodore and John, in the time of Peter the Great, baptized all the Ostiacks, going about among their wigwams, and founding in the midst of them the monastery of Condiesk. But what Western knows anything about this? What Western hears anything of the truly apostolical labours of the Archbishop of Kamchatka, Innocent, who is continually sailing over the ocean, and drives in reindeer sledges about his vast unpeopled diocese, ten thousand versts in extent, everywhere baptizing the natives, for whom he has introduced the use of letters, and has translated the Gospel in the Aleoutian tongue. Some missions have been planted by him in Northern America, and its wild natives flock to the shores of their rivers, as in the first times of Christianity, seeking holy Baptism. On the southern borders of Siberia success, though silent attends the missions founded by another labourer, now asleep in CHRIST, the Archimandrite Macarius. But all this is hidden behind the immensity and wildness of the tracts themselves which their preaching has for its sphere; while in the West every step of its missionaries is announced to the whole world. Russia acts otherwise. She sows the seeds of Christianity on the vast field which is constantly widening before her, by the institution of new parishes, winch of themselves naturally become missions. This order of things has nothing of novelty or effort, and so people talk less about it; but in point of fact, gradually, though not so strikingly as in the West, the very same fruits are produced. When and how have so many thousands of our heathens been converted? It is not every one that knows but meanwhile they are already in the actual enjoyment of Christian enlightenment and civil society. But there is still much left to be done for the perfect conversion and settlement in the faith of many tribes remaining in darkness, and the Church ceases not to act upon them. So, for instance, news has been received of the Baptism in Georgia of fifteen hundred families of Ingiloitsi, a tribe which some centuries back were forced away into Islamism; and they still continue to baptize Calmucks in the diocese of Astrachan, and Samoyedes in that of Archangel, at the opposite extremities of the vast Russian Empire, for the hope of gaining whom the missionaries go about in reindeer sledges, and with a tent-church.
Is it not manifest how unjustly the East is now reproached by the Western Church with a certain supposed deadness, which is so supposed and objected by the Westerns merely because they know not what is doing, and take their own ignorance as proof that there is nothing to know, and found on this only one of their refutative arguments against us? But the truth is otherwise. The same conditions of spiritual life show themselves in the East as in the West, only under somewhat different forms.
These two points, however, of missionary energy and of ecclesiastical government, whether monarchical or synodal, are both properly hierarchical questions; and though in the West they ascribe to the latter of the two a dogmatical importance, for the sake of general unity, still it does not touch the heart of every individual Christian so closely as does the worship of GOD itself, through which properly every believer is united with the Church; for it is by daily participation in this and by frequent prayers that he is united as a member into the body of the Church. And so in this matter let us consider more attentively, where are rather to be found the true conditions of peace to our souls and salvation,--in the ritual of the Western Church, or in that of the Eastern. Let us begin again with the former, and compare the two together.
I will not speak of the gradual changes winch have been made in the outward ritual of the Roman Church; while, by the confession of the Westerns themselves, the Eastern has kept herself outwardly in the same form which she wore in the fifth century, which is even ascribed to that supposed deadness which they impute to her. What I will speak of is the Latin language, which, being now a dead language for all Europe, and even for Rome itself, has nevertheless been made the necessary condition of its worship, though no one of the congregation, it may be, understands it. Is it not a strange thing that, in order to follow reasonably the order of the service, devout Christians should be forced to have recourse to little books of prayers, and to read prayers instead of hearing them? Is it possible to compare the one way to the other? and is there not manifestly a greater unity of prayer in a united unbroken attention, than in individual separate reading, where the words uttered by the Priest are continually out of place? Hence have come what are called low or abbreviated masses, in which the whole act of Divine Worship is performed in a quarter of an hour or little more, and is only beheld as a spectacle by the congregation, who take no reasonable part in it; for it is only the reasonable expression of speech which is fully intelligible to the reasonable creature which has the gift of speech. Hence one finds to a great extent, in Romish Churches, even when Divine Service is going on, people kneeling at totally different altars, instead of that where the service is being performed; or people praying in an empty Church, without any service at all, because for them the service is unheard and unintelligible I mean in the case of low masses. As for the matin and vesper services, they, except on the eves of great festivals, are performed by the Clergy alone, and are altogether unapproachable for the laity who cannot understand them.
What comparison can there be between this and our solemn, or even our ordinary daily service, where really every word is intelligible in our native Slavonian tongue, and where the common people know by heart all the prayers and anthems, and repeat them after the Clergy and choirs? Here we see a reasonable understanding of the Divine Service, and an actual participation in it, and not merely a show made of it, with genuflexions at the sound of a hand-bell; it being, without such signals, impossible to distinguish even the most solemn moments of the celebration. If they instance, as a sign of religiousness among the Romans, the fact that in the West the churches are always open, and people to he seen praying in them, this is properly to be ascribed to the defect that the people there do not participate in Divine worship at the regular hours, but go at random when they are inclined. I do not think that, after a four hours' vigil or a two hours' liturgy, the Romans (who would probably be quite fatigued) would go, or remain to pray, over and above in the empty church. But for such kind of private prayer we also have chapels and oratories, and the open porches of the larger churches.
We may allow that in the churches of the West there is something agreeable in the sounds of the organs, which have now become in a manner associated with Divine worship, though still there is no comparison between soul-less instruments and the singing of living voices. But how can one listen patiently to other instruments playing musical compositions of the theatre at the celebration of the awful Mysteries? And is it not shocking to hear the same music in the morning in the house of GOD, and at night in the theatre? Let any one dispassionately compare the spiritual propriety and dignity of the pontifical service of the Eastern Church with that of the Western, and then say which of the two is more convenient? I am aware that every one finds more satisfaction in that form of worship to which he has been used from childhood, and I will not eater into any discussion about this. Let us consider, however, how it is united with all the chief points or passages of the Christian life. And here from ritual we rise to speak of Sacraments.
When a Christian of the Roman confession dies, all his nearest relatives immediately cast him off, abandoning him to the charity or negligence of a Burial Fraternity. So, at least, they do at Rome, the centre to which others have to look for a good example. The relatives are not present even at the interment, and when the body has been cast into the limed pit of the cemetery, they assemble in the church for a funeral service. Is there any comparison between such coldness and the affection with which, among us, they encompass the dead, as if he were yet living, with frequent Pannychid Services, the continual reading of the Psalter, and the touching Burial Service? If this is to be referred to national manners, still we must remark that it is the church life which forms those manners; and in the commemorations themselves of the tenth and fortieth days, and of the anniversaries, there is much more attention paid to the memory of the departed in the Eastern Church than in the Western. How touching and edifying in the Liturgy is the custom of bringing oblations to the sanctuary, that the Priest may take from them particles at the Table of Prothesis for the living and for the dead, which are afterwards immersed in the Blood of CHRIST, with prayer that the Loan may wash away with it the sins of them that are so commemorated! So the people actually take part in the sacrifice, offering, according to the ancient order, their gifts at the altar, a custom which has long been lost in the West, though they have there also votive masses for the dead, but not such daily participation in prayer for them open to every common person. On which side is there more of the spirit of Christian love?
We shall speak of the different order followed in the two Churches in ecclesiastical matters, which brings us now to the Sacrament of the Eucharist itself. Though it is exceedingly reverenced among the Romans, still every layman is allowed to approach it without any special preparation, if he has only confessed the same morning before receiving it. Is not this a fearful sort of liberty? What a difference there is in the Eastern Church Though with us it is permitted, in cases of urgency, to communicate at any time, still ordinarily and by preference it is our rule to approach the Holy Mysteries at the time of the [four great] Fasts, or even monthly, and that not without a special preparation by prayer of from three days' to a week's continuance. During this time they who are preparing themselves are required to go thrice a day to Divine Service, to Matins, Liturgy, or Hours, and Vespers; and further, to hear read before confession as well as again before actual communion the appointed Canons and Prayers.
But it is not only the preparations to Holy Communion which are abridged in the Roman Church: the Sacrament itself is but half administered; that is to say, under the species of bread alone. Is not this usage contrary to the commandment of the LORD Himself, Who instituted the Communion in both kinds, under terms so formal--Drink ye all of it? Strange discrepancy! The Romans insist with all their might on the verbal force of the expressions, "Thou art Peter;" "Feed My sheep;" where they gratify themselves by finding an exclusive sense favourable to the supremacy of the Pope, and neglect, with incredible levity, supported by the practice of so many ages, the command, Drink ye all of it. How can they elude the words of JESUS CHRIST, related by S. John: "Except ye eat the Flesh of the Son of Man, and drink His Blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth My Flesh, and drinketh My Blood, hath eternal life. For My Flesh is meat indeed, and My Blood is drink indeed. He that eateth My Flesh, and drinketh My Blood, dwelleth in Me and I in him."
The Roman Church justified this error, introduced in the Middle Ages, by pretending that where is the Flesh there also is the Blood, and that consequently those who communicate under one kind participate in the benefits of both. What rashness to be so venturous in this kind of interpretation, when the words of the LORD are so precise! How can you, after this, condemn the Protestants and the Reformed, who attach their own interpretation to words which do not stand in more need of it, This is My Body, and this is My Blood, and do away with their radical and absolute sense? The decree of the Council of Constance in 1414 regarding the Holy Eucharist may teach us how dangerous it is to depart from primitive order.
"In some parts of the world it has been rashly taught that Christian men ought to receive the Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist under the two kinds of Bread and Wine; and that the laity may thus communicate, even without previous fasting, contrary to the laudable custom of the Church, which they disapprove and term sacrilegious; wherefore this present Council of Constance declares and decides that, notwithstanding JESUS CHRIST instituted the Venerable Sacrament of the Supper, and administered it to His disciples under both kinds, yet following the Holy Canons and approved customs, the Church ordains that the Eucharist should not be consecrated after a meal, nor received by the faithful unless fasting, except in case of sickness or other necessity.
"And although in the primitive Church all the faithful received this Sacrament under both kinds, yet at a later period, to avoid certain perils and scandals, the custom has been wisely introduced that the celebrant alone should communicate under both kinds, and the laity under that of bread only, because it is of the faith that the whole Body and the whole Blood of JESUS CHRIST is contained under each of the two kinds. Wherefore this custom having been with good reason introduced by the Church, and long observed, it ought to pass for a law which it is not lawful to reject or to change, without the authority of the Church. They then that obstinately maintain the contrary ought to be repressed as heretics, and rigorously punished by the Diocesan bishops or the Inquisitors."
The Romans reply that the Eastern Church is also in the habit of administering the Communion under one kind, and especially in the case of the sick and in the Liturgy of the Presanctified. [The Liturgy of the Presanctified, or, as it is otherwise called from an uncertain reason, that of S. Gregory the Dialogist, that is, the Great, is the Liturgy used on Good Friday, when there is no consecration--ED.] But in these two cases the Bread has been dipped beforehand in the Divine Blood. In the same way, in the first ages, the Body of the LORD was carried to the Ascetics in the desert, and to the Confessors in their prisons. Besides, granting even that in a ease of extremity this Sacrament might be administered under one kind, such a ease cannot become the ordinary rule, and thus inflict on the faithful the deprivation of that Divine Blood which was shed for them.
It is not, then, a matter immaterial to salvation,--this arbitrary privation. What can you put in the place of the "Cup of the New Testament," which the LORD instituted, as an indispensable condition to eternal life? Here, as in so many other ways, the Orthodox Church has a great advantage over that of Rome; for she has preserved intact the commandment of the LORD, Who said in the Last Supper, "Drink ye all of it." This one circumstance is sufficient to prove that the Orthodox Church of the East presents more means of salvation than that of the West; since the latter, which makes communion with her Patriarch an indispensable condition of salvation, fears not to deprive the faithful of the half of their communion with GOD. It is terrible to reflect where a single error may lead; and the words of S. Gregory the Great unavoidably recur to the mind: "When he who calls himself Universal Bishop falls into error, there would remain no Bishop who stood firm in the truth: I pray you to keep your Churches such as you have received them."
Nor has the Church of Rome confined herself to the error--an error exposed by the constant practice of fourteen centuries. It is not for more than three hundred years that she has deprived all little children of the Communion, under the pretence that they cannot comprehend all the importance of the Sacrament. She forgets the words of reproach addressed by JESUS CHRIST to the disciples who would not that children should approach Him: "Suffer the little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not; for of such is the kingdom of Heaven." Adults, even those who perfectly comprehend the Holy Eucharist, are they more worthy of communion than those whose angels--to use the words of CHRIST Himself--do alway behold the face of His FATHER Which is in heaven? Like Him, the Orthodox Church shows herself full of solicitude for her little children, and admits them to the participation of the Divine Mystery; where, by the prayers of their parents, they often find a remedy against physical diseases. It is not in vain that JESUS CHRIST said, "Drink ye all of it;" for He well knew that infants were not capable of the receiving of His Divine Body.
Nor is the negligence of the Romans with respect to the ancient Canons relative to the Sacraments confined here. Time Middle Ages opened a wide door to arbitrary alteration on many points of ecclesiastical discipline. Thus, under pretence that children ought first to be established in the dogmas of the faith, they kept them away from the holy table till they were seven years old. Hence it often happens that children participate in the highest mystery without being established in the faith, since they are often communicated without having ever received the Sacrament of Confirmation. In France this may even be said to be generally the case. This arises from the fact that, according to the practice of the Roman Church, the Bishop alone has the right of confirming the faithful; and as it is not always possible for him to visit his flock, a large proportion of his sheep reach an advanced age before they receive this Sacrament, and sometimes die without it, although they have been admitted to communion. Is it possible to conceive a greater infraction of natural order? Those who have not received the anointing of the HOLY SPIRIT, by which we merit the very name of Christians (for the word Christians simply means Anointed Ones), are admitted to the highest communion with the Loan by the participation of His Divine Body. Is it then without reason that this Sacrament has been given next to Baptism for a basis of the Christian faith, as communicating to us the gifts of the HOLY GHOST, and preparing us for a closer communion with our GOD?
Again let us admire the wisdom of the Orthodox Church, in allowing, as she does to every priest when he has baptized an infant, to communicate to that infant, at the same time, the gifts of the HOLY GHOST, by anointing it with holy chrism. And as this chrism is always consecrated by a Bishop, the result is that the rule of the Church by which only a Supreme Pastor must confirm, receives its full effect, the Priest being here only the intermediary of the Bishop. There is tins further advantage, that the newly-born infant can itself be admitted to Holy Communion, and that without the violation of any fundamental law. Again I ask, In which Church are the means of salvation the more abundant?
The habit of abridging everything is thoroughly Roman. A consequence of this habit is that the Latins have changed in Baptism the ancient immersion, expressed by the very word baptisma, into aspersion; an innovation which the Oriental Church has never ceased to oppose. Doubtless Baptism by aspersion is valid; but it was never conferred except in extreme necessity, as, for example, from the want of water, or in ease of sickness. How can this manner of Baptism be without need elevated into the normal practice?
We must further remark the irregular application of the Sacrament which the Latins improperly call extreme unction, and which they only confer on the dying. The Apostle S. James expresses himself, however, in terms sufficiently formal respecting this holy unction. "Is any sick among you? Let him call for the Elders of the Church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the Name of the LORD. And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the LORD shall raise him up." Thus the Eastern Church administers this Sacrament as the first means of cure, as well spiritual as bodily; and does not wait till the last moment, as the Latins erroneously do.
We have yet to speak of two other abuses introduced by the Middle Ages in the Sacrament of Orders. Firstly, the Roman Church, in contempt of the holy Canons, which forbid the ordination of more than one Priest and one deacon in a single Liturgy, ordains many at a time; but let that pass. The second abuse is the celibacy of the clergy, equally contrary to the ancient laws of the Church. Rejected by the first Oecumenieal Council, condemned by the Sixth, as contrary to the decrees of the Apostles, celibacy was imposed by Gregory VII. as an inseparable condition of the priesthood. Agreed, that the celibacy of priests gives them more power to act in the interest of the Church, more especially if they are penetrated with Apostolic seal; but, on the other hand, does it not involve them in untold dangers? And can it be expected that at all times and in all places so large a number of men can be found sincerely devoted to spotless continence? It is allowed that this question is one of the most difficult in the Roman Church, and in her very bosom she numbers countless opponents. The Eastern Church has shown her prudence by permitting marriage to the two inferior grades of the hierarchy, and only interdicting it to the highest. I am well aware that the Romans reproach us with the contrary extreme, the obligation of marriage for Priests; but that is a vulgar error. The Eastern Church has no unchangeable law on the subject; nay, on a recent occasion she received a number of celibate Priests who quitted the Union for Orthodoxy. In the Greek Church the law no longer exists. [The custom in Russia is as follows ,--A parish priest must necessarily be married before his ordination if he loses his wife, the almost universal custom is that he enters a monastery. Rare cases have occurred in which he has been permitted to retain his cure. But if he professes himself incapable of a celibate life, he may marry again, only in that case he gives up every function of the Priesthood. The writer is referring to the reception in the year 1839, by the Orthodox Church, of the three Bishops, the fourteen hundred Priests, and the three millions of faithful belonging to the Uniat Church in White Russia, the greatest blow since the Reformation that Rome ever received. This was brought to pass in the Council of Polotsk, under the presidency of Joseph Siemaszko, then Bishop, now Metropolitan, of Lithuania.]
There exists in the Roman Church an innovation of very different importance, of which we must speak: it no longer has to do with discipline,--it touches dogma: we mean the controversy regarding the Procession of the HOLY GHOST. Perhaps this abstract question may appear to some indifferent: to us it appears extremely important, and not to be passed over in silence.
The Orthodox Church of the East understands that feeble human reason cannot penetrate the mysteries of the Divine Essence, or accommodate them to its conceptions: consequently, she keeps the terms of the oecumenical Canons; and from the very beginning has professed the dogma of the Procession of the HOLY GHOST, such as she has received it in Scripture. "When the Comforter is come, Whom I will send unto you from the FATHER, even the SPIRIT of Truth, Which proceedeth from the FATHER, He shall testify of Me." Basing its teaching on the precise words of the Loan Himself, whence it so clearly results that the eternal procession of the HOLY GHOST, is from the FATHER alone, and only His temporal mission from the SON, the Second General Council thus completed the Creed of Nicaea: "I believe in the HOLY GHOST, the LORD and Giver of Life, Who proceedeth from the FATHER, Who with the FATHER and the SON together is worshipped and glorified," &c. The Third General Council strictly forbade the addition or subtraction of anything to or from the symbol of the second, the Catholic doctrine being there sufficiently expressed. The Romans nevertheless did not consider themselves bound by the precise Canon of the Council of Ephesus, and in the ninth century added the Filioque to the ancient profession of the faith.
But at the Council of Florence, the Latins, to justify this extra-canonical addition, alleged the necessity of rendering more clear the dogma of the Procession, and asserted that without doubt the ancient Fathers understood the words and from the Son, although they were not expressed. Then Mark of Ephesus, the great champion of Orthodoxy, exerted himself energetically against such allegations; and after having read the symbol of Constantinople, presented this remarkable explanation of the dogma in question.
"Here we must remark the intention of the Holy Fathers, for the present words are the development of their theology. The Council intended to demonstrate clearly the method of the union of the HOLY GHOST with the FATHER and the SON. It is as if it had said, The HOLY GHOST is named with the FATHER and the SON as proceeding from the FATHER, but conjointly adored and glorified with the FATHER and the SON,-- that is to say, as equal in honour and consubstantial with them. If the Council recognised a Procession from the two other Persons, why did it not say, Who proceeded from the FATHER and the SON, and with them is adored and glorified? But, as in the former case, when the Fathers intended to define the source of Procession, they did not mention the SON,--and in the second, when they intended to demonstrate the equality of glory and consubstantiality, they did mention Him,-- thence it clearly results that they did not recognise the Procession in regard of the SON, otherwise they could not have failed to express it in their formula."
This is not the place to enter into the dogmatic discussions which wearied the Fathers of the Council of Florence: I will only notice the manner in which the schismatical addition was introduced in the West. Let us observe, in passing, that at the present day, a Western theologian, William Palmer, from his study of the question in the work of Adam Zoernikaff, has become convinced that the Roman addition was false. This Adam Zoernikaff was born in 1562, at Königsberg, in the Lutheran religion, and applied himself to the study of theology. Having finished his course in the university of his native town, he then visited the principal places in Germany, England, France, Italy, Poland, everywhere searching for the truth, and at length came into Russia. He soon became convinced of the orthodoxy of our Church, and embraced the Catholicism of the East. Shortly afterwards he took the monastic habit, and fixed his abode at Kieff. There he wrote his treatise on the Procession of the HOLY GHOST from the FATHER alone. This book, full of unbounded learning, is equally noticeable for its moderation and impartiality. It was not published till after the death of the author, in two volumes, Königsberg, 1774. [The work of Zoernikaff is among the very rarest which a theologian can want, and ought to be reprinted. I have every reason to believe that the copy which I studied for my "Introduction to the Eastern Church" was the only one in England. No words can exaggerate the learning of Zoernikaff it is only a pity that his quotation, from the Greek Fathers are given in Latin--ED.] Those who are desirous to study the question may further do so, in the Treatise on the HOLY GHOST, written in Latin, by Theophilus Procopovitch, and in the course of Orthodox Theology lately published by Macarius, Bishop of Vinnitza. [Macarius, called in the world Michael Bulgakoff, son of a Priest in the government of Koursk, was educated under the auspices of that Innocent whose Akathiston forms the last piece in the present volume. He first made himself known by his "History of the Academy of Kieff" afterwards by that of "Christianity in Russia till the time of Vladimir," still later by his "Introduction to Orthodox Theology," a translation of which has appeared at Paris, and by his "Dogmatic Theology," which is also about, I believe, to appear in French. Though not much more than forty, Macarias is an Archimandrite, Bishop of Vinnitsa and Coadjutor of Podolia, and Rector of the Spiritual Academy of S. Petersburg--ED.] Procopovitch, Archbishop of Novgorod, born in 1681, and deceased in 1736, was one of the most illustrious Russians of the last century, endowed with vast erudition and rare sagacity. He has left, besides numerous theological treatises, an immense number of works on literature, history, politics, and jurisprudence. It was he who was charged by the Tsar Peter with the reply to the proposition of the Sorbonne for the union of the two Churches. When the Arian Goths founded a powerful kingdom in Spain, their miserable heresy, which denied the Consubstantiality of the WORD with the FATHER, maintained itself for many years in that part of Europe. In other Christian countries it soon disappeared, before the light of the illustrious Fathers of the Church, such as Athanasius and Basil, Gregory the Divine and John Chrysostom, Ambrose and Hilary, and the rest. The Bishops of Spain, on their side, used their utmost efforts in various councils to stifle heresy; but their zeal was not seconded by a deep study of the Fathers. [The extraordinary character of some of the Canons in the many Councils of Toledo fully justifies this remark; and the Spanish use of single instead of trine immersion, and the injunction, under pain of anathema, of the words, and honour,--Glory and honour be to the FATHER, in the usual doxology,--shows that the Spanish Prelates were given to the adoption of uses differing to those of the Catholic Church.] The principal error of the Arians consisted in this opinion, that the SON is not consubstantial with the FATHER they based this assertion on this, among other proofs,--the Procession of the HOLY GHOST from the FATHER alone. The Spanish Prelates, from not having penetrated the full meaning of this Article, declared, in order to establish the perfect equality of the SON with the FATHER, that the HOLY GHOST proceeded equally from the SON. Thus, well-intentioned as they were, they confounded the eternal procession of the HOLY SPIRIT with His temporal emission from the SON, thus announced to His Apostles, "Receive ye the HOLY GHOST."
It escaped the notice of the Spanish Fathers that, though the Three Persons of the HOLY TRINITY possess the same substance and the same nature, they differ essentially in their attributes. Thus the eternal generation from the FATHER, and the Incarnation for our salvation, belong to the SON alone, in the same way that the Procession appertains to the HOLY GHOST. In order, then, that the Three Persons should be perfectly equal, it is no more necessary that the HOLY GHOST should proceed from the SON also, than it is that the SON should be begotten of the HOLY GHOST, as well as of the FATHER. The Spanish Prelates paid no attention whatever to the explicit Canon of Ephesus; and without even taking the trouble to inform the rest of the Church, they added a new dogma to the Catholic Creed.
This doctrinal innovation soon penetrated into France, and by degrees spread over all that part of the West which was submitted to Charlemagne; but, thanks to the orthodoxy of the Apostolic throne, it was refused admission into Italy. The Emperor, however, noticed the difference between the Creed chanted in his chapels and in the churches abroad. [The history of the Mission from Charlemagne to S. Leo III. will be found given at length in my "Introduction to the Eastern Church," p. 1074.--ED.] To obliterate this difference, he requested Pope Leo III. to admit the Spanish addition. Then the Pope, who consecrated Charlemagne Emperor, and who has been canonised by the Roman Church, replied to the envoys: "I know not whether the admission of this word has been well done; neither can I say that the ancient Fathers have not understood matters as well as we do; because, far from preferring myself to them, I do not even pretend to be their equal. However good be an intention, we must take care not to spoil that which is good in itself by departing from the authorised manner of teaching, a thing not to be done without presumption. The Fathers, in forbidding to make any addition to the symbol, had no regard to good or bad intention; they forbade it absolutely, without even permitting us to inquire why they forbade it." Nor was this all: to preserve for ever the integrity of orthodoxy, the Pope caused the Creed of Nicaea, in Greek and in Latin, to be graven on two silver plates, which were fixed above the tomb of S. Peter.
Happy would it have been had the successors of Leo III. followed his example. But it was not so. The addition to the Symbol patronised by the Carlovingian dynasty insinuated itself by degrees into the Churches of Italy, without the possibility of the Pope's preserving the Creed inviolate. The Council, however, held in 879, at Constantinople, for the re-establishment of Photius in his See, at which the Legates of Pope John VIII. assisted, caused the Creed to be read in its unadulterated form; after which the following decree was passed: "If any man shall audaciously compose any other confession of faith than that which we have received from the Fathers; if he shall dare to propose anything of his own invention for the sake of bringing contempt on the words of those holy persons, or shall present it to the faithful or to converted heretics as the common doctrine of the whole Church; if he shall presume to alter this venerable symbol by strange words, additions, or suppressions, we depose him, if he be a clerk, we anathematise him if he be a layman, according to the decrees of the Oecumenical Council."
At the end of the acts of this Council, we find a letter of Pope John to the Patriarch Photius, which exposes the difficulty which the Roman Church found from the addition to the symbol. "We are aware," writes the Pope, "of evil reports which you have heard of our Church and of us, and that not without some appearance of truth; but I had wished to set matters clear with you on this point before you wrote to me. You know that your envoy, having a short time ago consulted us regarding the symbol, found that we kept it such as we had received it, without addition and without subtraction, knowing well what punishment they would deserve who should act otherwise. And therefore we declare to you again, to give you the most perfect certainty with respect to this Article, which has caused so much scandal in the two Churches, that not only do we not speak thus,"--that is, use the addition,--"but as for those who had the insolence to be the first to do so, we consider them transgressors of the Word of GOD, corrupters of the doctrine of JESUS CHRIST, and of the Apostles and Fathers who gave us the Creed; and we reckon them with Judas as lacerating the members of JESUS CHRIST, and devoting them with themselves to eternal death. But I think that, wise as YOU are, you cannot be ignorant of the vast difficulty I find in bringing the rest of our Bishops to this sentiment, and in changing at once a usage of such importance, employed for so many years. For this reason we believe that it is not our duty to use force in compelling any person to quit the addition in question, but to use gentleness and management, exhorting men, little by little, to renounce this blasphemy. They, then, who accuse us of being in these sentiments, do not speak the truth; but those are not guilty of falsehood who affirm that there are among us persons who venture to use the addition. However, your fraternity must not be scandalised with us, nor keep aloof from the Communion of our Church: on the contrary, it is your duty to work in common with us, for the sake of bringing Lack by gentleness those who have departed from the truth." [The retention of the Filioque in our Creed is probably the reason why English controversialists have so little deceit on the Procession of the HOLY GHOST, in arguing against the Ultramontane Doctrine of Papal Infallibility. Leo III., not only a Pontiff, but a canonised Pontiff, engraves the unaltered creed on silver plates, to prevent its subsequent alteration; and, more marvellously still, John VIII., speaking ex Cathedrâ, brands that doctrine as blasphemy which the Roman Church now regards as a point of faith. How can Ultramoatanism exist in the face of such historical evidence? John VIII., ex Cathedrâ declares the Double Procession blasphemous Pius IX., ex Cathedrâ, upholds it as of the Faith. How can both be infallible?--ED. ]
Is it not strange, then, that after two such forcible protestations from two Pontiffs, Leo III. and John VIII., the symbol of faith has nevertheless been altered in the Roman Church by the anti-canonical addition of Filioque? Fleury relates (Book lviii., ch. xxxviii.) that Henry II., Emperor of Germany, having come to Rome in 1014, to reinstate Pope Benedict VIII., driven out by an intruder, demanded of the Roman Priests why, after the Gospel, they did not chant the Creed as it was chanted in all other Churches. Their reply was that the Roman Church, never having been affected by any heresy, had no occasion to declare her faith by the Creed. Nevertheless, the Emperor persuaded Pope Benedict to have it sung at High Mass. This is recorded by Bernon, Abbat of Reichenau, who was present. Thus it was that, without any decision of a Council, and in opposition to every canonical rule, the addition of the Filioque was introduced into the Roman Church, together with the Creed, by the will of this Cæsar, who imposed it on the Pope.
After all this historical evidence, the reader may judge on which side is the truth; which party has gone astray from the profession of the Catholic Faith, and which has the better right to decorate itself with the title of Orthodoxy.