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themselves the profanum vulgus mundi, and to live accord!ingly. Hence the frequent lamentations, not only of Salvian, but of Chrysostom and of Augustine, over the indifference and laxness of the Christianity of the day; hence to this day the mournful state of things in the southern countries around the Mediterranean sea, where monasticism is most prevalent, and sets the extreme of ascetic sanctity in contrast with the profane laity; but where there exists no healthful middle class of morality, no blooming family life, no moral vigor in the masses. In the sixteenth century the monks were the bitterest enemies of the Reformation and of all true progress. And yet the greatest of the Reformers was a pupil of the convent and a child of the monastic system, as the freest and boldest of the apostles had been the strictest of the Pharisees.
POSITION OF MONKS IN THE CHURCH. As to the social position of monasticism in the system of ecclesiastical life, it was at first, in East and West, even so late as the council of Chalcedon, regarded as a lay institution; but the monks were distinguished as religiosi from the seculares, and formed thus a middle grade between the ordinary laity and the clergy. They constituted the spiritual nobility, but not the ruling class; the aristocracy, but not the hierarchy, of the church. “A monk,” says Jerome, "has not the office of a teacher, but of a penitent, who endures suffering either for himself or for the world.” Many monks considered ecclesiastical office incompatible with their effort after perfection. It was a proverb, traced to Pachomius : “ A monk should especially shun women and bishops, for neither will let him have peace."| Ammonius, who accompanied Athanasius to Rome, cut off his own ear, and threatened to cut out his own tongue, when it was proposed to make him a bishop. Martin of Tours thought his miraculous power deserted him on his transition from the cloister
1 Omnino monachum fugere debere mulicres ct cpiscopos.
to the bishopric. Others, on the contrary, were ambitious for the episcopal chair, or were promoted to it against their will, as early as the fourth century. The abbots of monasteries were usually ordained priests, and administered the sacraments among the brethren, but were subject to the bishop of the diocese. Subsequently the cloisters managed, through special papal grants, to make themselves independent of the episcopal jurisdiction. From the tenth century, the clerical character was attached to the monks. In a certain sense they stood, from the beginning, even above the clergy; considered themselves pre-eminently conversi and religiosi, and their life vita religiosa; looked down with contempt upon the secular clergy; and often encroached on their province in troublesome ways. On the other hand, the cloisters began, as early as the fourth century, to be most fruitful seminaries of clergy, and furnished, especially in the East, by far the greater number of bishops. The sixth novel of Justinian provides, that the bishops shall be chosen from the clergy or from the monastery.
In dress, the monks at first adhered to the costume of the country, but chose the simplest and coarsest material. Subsequently they adopted the tonsure and a distinctive uniform. OPPOSITION TO MONASTICISM.-JOVINIAN, HELVIDIUS, VIGI
LANTIUS, AND AERIUS. Although monasticism was a mighty movement of the age, engaging either the co-operation or the admiration of the whole church, yet it was not exempt from opposition. And opposition sprang from very different quarters: now from zealous defenders of heathenism, like Julian and Libanius, who hated and bitterly reviled the monks for their fanatical opposition to temples and idol-worship; now from Christian statesmen and emperors, like Valens, who were enlisted against it by its withdrawing so much force from the civil and inilitary service of the state, and in the time of peril from the barbarians, encouraging idleness and passive contemplation, instead of active, heroic virtue ; now from friends
of worldly indulgence, who found themselves unpleasantly disturbed and rebuked by the religious earnestness and zeal of the ascetic life; lastly, however, also from a liberal, almost protestant, conception of Christian morality, which set itself at the same time against the worship of Mary and the saints, and other abuses. This last form of opposition, however, existed mostly in isolated cases, was rather negative than positive in its character, lacked the spirit of wisdom and moderation, and hence almost entirely disappeared in the fifth century, only to be revived long after, in more mature and comprehensive form, when monasticism had fulfilled its mission for the world.
To this class of opponents belong Helvidius, Jovinian, Vigilantius, and Aerius. The first three are known to us through the passionate replies of Jerome; the last, through the Panarion of Epiphanius. They figure in Catholic church history among the heretics, while they have received from many Protestant historians a place among the “ witnesses of the truth” and the forerunners of the Reformation.
We begin with Jovinian, the most important among them, who is sometimes compared — for instance, even by Neander — to Luther, because, like Luther, he was carried by his own experience into reaction against the ascetic tendency and the doctrines connected with it. He wrote in Rome, before the year 390, a work now lost, attacking monasticism in its ethical principles. He was at that time himself a monk, and probably remained so in a free way until his death. At all events he never married, and, according to Augustine's account, he abstained “ for the present distress,"l and from aversion to the encumbrances of the married state. Jerome pressed him with the alternative of marrying and proving the equality of celibacy with married life, or giving up his opposition to his own condition.2
11 Cor. vii. 26. 2 Adv. Jovin., Lib. I. c. 40 (Opera II. 304): "Et tamen iste formosus monachus, crassus, nitidus, dealbatus, et quasi sponsus semper incidens aut uxorem ducat ut aequalem virginitatem nuptiis probet; aut, si non duxerit, frustra contra nos verbis agit, cum opere nobiscum sit.” VOL. XXI. No. 82.
Jerome gives a very unfavorable picture of his character, evidently colored by vehement bitterness. He calls Jovinian a servant of corruption, a barbarous writer, a Christian Epicurean, who, after having once lived in strict asceticism, now preferred earth to heaven, vice to virtue, his belly to Christ, and always strode along as an elegantly dressed bridegroom. Augustine is much more lenient, only reproaching Jovinian with having misled many Roman nuns into marriage, by holding before them the examples of pious women in the Bible. Jovinian was probably provoked to question and oppose monasticism, as Gieseler supposes, by Jerome's extravagant praising of it, and by the feeling against it, which the death of Blesilla (384) in Rome confirmed. And he at first found extensive sympathy. But he was excommunicated and banished, with his adherents, at a council about the year 390, by Siricius, bishop of Rome, who was zealously opposed to the marriage of priests. He then betook himself to Milan, where the two monks Sar. matio and Barbatian held forth views like his own; but he was treated there after the same fashion by the bishop, Ambrose, who held a council against him. From this time he and his party disappear from history, and before the year 406 he died in exile.
According to Jerome, Jovinian held these four points : (1) Virgins, widows, and married persons, who have once been baptized into Christ, have equal merit, other things in their conduct being equal. (2) Those who are once, with full faith, born again by baptism, cannot be overcome (subverti) by the devil. (3) There is no difference between abstaining from food and enjoying it with thanksgiving. (4) All who keep the baptismal covenant will receive an equal reward in heaven.
He insisted chiefly on the first point; so that Jerome
Augustine says (De Haer., c. 82): “ Cito ista haeresis oppressa et extincta est"; and Jerome writes of Jovinian, in 406 (Adv. Vigilant., c. 1), that, after having been condemned by the authority of the Roman church, he dissipated his mind in the enjoyment of his lusts.
devotes the whole first book of his refutation to this point, while he disposes of all the other heads in the second. In favor of the moral equality of married and single life, he appealed to Gen. ii. 24, where God himself institutes marriage before the fall; to Matt. xix. 5, where Christ sanctions it; to the patriarchs before and after the flood, to Moses and the prophets, Zacharias and Elizabeth, and the apostles, particularly Peter, who lived in wedlock; also to Paul, who himself exhorted to marriage, required the bishop or the deacon to be the husband of one wife,2 and advised young widows to marry, and bear children. He declared the prohibition of marriage and of divinely provided food a Manichean error. To answer these arguments Jerome indulges in utterly unwarranted inferences, and speaks of marriage in a tone of contempt, which gave offence even to his friends.4 Augustine was moved by it to present the advantages of the married life, in a special work, De bono conjugali, though without yielding the ascetic estimate of celibacy.
Jovinian's second poivt has an apparent affinity with the Augustinian and Calvinistic doctrine of the perseverantia sanctorum. It is not referred by him, however, to the eternal and unchangeable counsel of God, but simply
11 Cor. vii. 36, 39.
? 1 Tim. iii. 2, 12. * 1 Tim. v. 14; compare 1 Tim. ii. 15; Hcb. xiii. 4.
* From I Cor. vii. 1, for example (“It is good for a man not to touch a woman"), he argues, without qualification (Lib. I. c. 7) (Opera II. 246): “Si bonum est mulierem non tangere, malum est ergo tangere. Nihil enim bono contrarium est, nisi malum ; si autem malum est, et ignoscitur, ideo conceditur, ne malo quid deterius fiat. .. .. Tolle fornicationem, et non dicet (apostolus), unusquisque urorem suam habeat.” Immediately after this (II, 247) he argues from tho exhortation of Paul to pray without ceasing, 1 Thess. v. 17: "Si semper orandum est, numquam ergo conjugio serviendum, quoniam quotiescunque uxori debitum reddo, orare non possum.” Such sophistries and misinterpretations evidently proceed upon the lowest sensual idea of marriage, and called forth some opposirion even, at that age. He himself afterwards felt that he had gone too far, and in his Ep. 48. (ed. Vallars., or Ep. 30, ed. Bened.) ad Pammachium, endeavored to save himself by distinguishing between the gymnastic (polemically rhetorical) and the dogmatic mode of writing.
5 De bono conj., c. 8: “Duo bona sunt connubium et continentia, quorum altorum est melins,"