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man's work is to be found in the libraries of most Protestants who can afford to purchase it. Need we wonder that infidelity is spreading so rapidly among the higher classes of this country? That the "future "designs of Julian" were the extirpation of Christianity cannot be doubted; but He who supports it by the might of his power, laughed the blasphemer to scorn, and shewed that the designs of an apostate were as impotent as the malice of the heathen. That the divine Justice was more immediately concerned in the circumstance of Julian's death, may fairly be inferred from the series of public calamities and judgments that befel the empire on the occasion, such as terrible earthquakes, a season of excessive heat and drought, with the necessary consequence, famine and pestilence. So the ancient historians testify.
The fourth section of this second book is headed, "Persecutions of the Christians by the Goths, &c."-Fox informs his readers, that, "during the reign of Constantine the great, several Scythian Goths embraced "Christianity, the light of the gospel having spread considerably in ર Scythia, though the two kings of that country, and the majority of "the people continued Pagans.' Hence then it is manifest, that there was something more than human in the system of Christianity, or how could the truths of the gospel overcome the force and stratagems of the world, and effect such extraordinary changes in the character of those who embraced this system?-The martyrologist then goes on: Fritigern, king of the Western Goths, was an ally of the Romans; "but Athanaric, king of the Eastern Goths, was at war with them. The "Christians, in the dominions of the former, lived unmolested; but "the latter having been defeated by the Romans, wreaked his vengeance on his Christian subjects. Sabas, a Christian, was the first who "felt the enraged king's resentment. Sabas was humble and modest, yet. fervent and zealous for the advancement of the church. Indeed "the sanctity of his life, and the purity of his manners, gave the greatest force to his doctrines. In the year 370, Athanaric gave orders, that all persons in his dominions should sacrifice to the Pagan deities, and eat the meat which had been offered to the idols, or be put to death for disobedience. Some humane Pagans, who had “Christian relations, endeavoured to save them by offering them meat "which had not received the idolatrous consecration, while the magi
strates were made to believe that all had been done according to their "direction. But Sabas too well knew St. Paul's principles to imagine, "that the sin lay in eating; he knew that giving the enemies of the "faith an advantage over the weak was all that made that action cri"minal in Christians. He therefore not only refused to comply with "what was proposed to him, but publicly declared, that those who sheltered themselves under that artifice, were not true Christians." Fox goes on with a few other minor circumstances of this saint's martyrdom, and says, that he suffered by drowning on the 12th of April, A. D. 372.
Before we enter on a criticism of this account, it will not be uninteresting to the reader to give a brief detail of these Gothic kingdoms, and shew how the light of Catholicism was first spread among them. The Goths were a barbarous people inhabiting the province of Gothland in Sweden, from whence they passed into Pomerania, according
to Tacitus, and thence extended themselves along the Danube and into Thrace and Greece. By their furious incursions into the Roman empire, they proved themselves troublesome neighbours, and finally overthrew the Western part of it, erecting on its ruins the kingdom of the Ostrogoths, or Eastern Goths, in Italy, and of the Visigoths or Western Goths, in the northern parts of France and Spain. These people began to receive the light of the Catholic faith about the reign of Valerian, who wore the purple from 260 to 268, from certain priests whom they had made captives and carried away, in their inroads, from Galatia and Cappadocia. These pious ecclesiastics, by healing their sick, and preaching the gospel, converted several among them, according to Sozomen and Philostorgius. In the great council of Nice, the subscription of Theophilus, bishop of Gothia, is to be found; and consequently he was a Catholic bishop, as were the converted Goths at that time. In the year 374, St. Basil, a father of the Catholic church, commended the faith of the Goths; but Ulphilas, the successor to Theophilus, being sent on some occasion to Constantinople in 376, he was gained over by the Arian heretics, and on his return perverted the faith of his countrymen. Athanaric, king of the Thervingian Goths who bordered on the empire, raised, as Fox says, a bloody persecution against the Christians in 370. Fritigernes, the king of the Western Goths, was at war with Athanaric, and being in danger from the superiority of his adversary, he sought the alliance of the emperor Valens, and, in order to induce the latter to succour him, he embraced Christianity and the Arian heresy at the same time, the emperor himself being an Arian. Thus was Arianism introduced among the Goths from worldly interest, while the Catholic faith obtained its footing by the sublimity and purity of its heavenly principles.-The reader will here observe, that as the persecution noticed by Fox commenced in 370, and as Arianism was not introduced till six years after, the martyrs suffering under it were all Catholics, of which fact we shall soon offer a convincing proof.
It is now time to examine Fox's account of St. Sabas.-He says, that this martyr "was the first who felt the enraged king's resentment, and yet it appears, by his own statement, that the persecution raged two years before Sabas suffered! Now are we to suppose that there was not a Christian martyred during two long years of persecution, and that persecution too represented to be a bloody one? Besides, Fox says, "Sabas was soon after apprehended and carried before a magistrate, who inquired into his fortune and circumstances, when finding "that he was a person of obscure station, he was dismissed as unworthy "of notice." Now how are we to reconcile these contradictory statements? In one place the martyr is made the first to feel the king's vengeance; and immediately after he is dismissed by a magistrate as unworthy of notice. We point out this discrepancy in the martyrologist's language, to shew the little reliance that can be placed in his accounts, and the almost total disregard to truth that appears throughout his work. From the authentic acts of this martyr's life, which may be found in the Rev. Alban Butler's Saints' Lives, the Greeks commemorate fifty-one martyrs who suffered, the two most illustrious of which were SS. Nicetas and Sabas. In the account of the former saint's
death, Mr. Butler states that the usual method of the persecutors was to burn the Christians with the children in their houses, or in the churches where they were assembled together: sometimes, he says, they were stabbed at the foot of the altar; consequently there were many, very many, that suffered during these two years, and therefore St. Sabas could not be the first, as John Fox asserts and afterwards contradicts. The records of this martyr's death are contained in a letter from the church of Gothia to that of Cappadocia, which concludes thus: "Wherefore offering up the holy sacrifice on the day whereon "the martyr was crowned, impart this to our brethren, that the Lord may be praised throughout the Catholic and Apostolic church for thus glorifying his servants." Here then we have a convincing tes timony that this martyr and the church to which he belonged were Catholic; for the holy sacrifice mentioned is the mass, which Protestants swear is idolatrous; and it was offered in honour of the saint's glorious martyrdom, which Protestants say is idolatry also. This fact is further stated to be imparted, that it may become publicly known throughout the Catholic and Apostolic church, which clearly shews that this doctrine, rejected by Protestants, was the doctrine of the primitive Christians and martyrs, derived from the apostles. This doctrine is still that of the Catholics throughout the world, and therefore the Catholics, and the Catholics only, can lay claim to the faith once, and for all, delivered to the saints.
Previous to quitting this account of Fox, we will take leave to draw the notice of the reader to the snares which he says the Gothic persecutors laid to entrap the Christians. Our martyrologist speaks indignantly of these artifices, but he forgets that the same or similar practices were put in force by the first evangelical reformers to Protestantism, and are now in full use by the disciples of "Protestant-ascendency." In Elizabeth's reign, an act was passed to compel all persons to attend to her new form of worship, under corporal pains and penalties, and many Catholics, through weakness, made occasional conformity to secure their liberty and property. This act of hypocrisy was condemned by the Catholic church in Elizabeth's days as it was by St. Sabas, who is applauded for so doing by Fox; and Catholics in these days, by refusing to take the impious test oaths, by which they are deprived of the exercise of their civil rights, act on the same principle laid down by St. Paul, and which caused St. Sabas to declare himself openly a Christian. But what difference is there, we ask, between the conduct of these Gothic persecutors of the Christians, in commanding the latter to eat forbidden meats, to save their lives, and the conduct of "Protestant-ascendency," in forcing Catholic children into schools where a forbidden book is used to proselyte them, to obtain a false education, or remain ignorant of letters? For our part we can see no difference, except that the Goths put the Christians to death in case of refusal, and "Protestant-ascendency" contents itself with keeping the Catholies in ignorance, and then taunt them with being so!!! The one sends the Christians to heaven by a temporary suffering, the other keeps the Catholics on earth in continual slavery, and revile them for persisting in their religious belief.
Catholics know that the sin does not lay in reading the book; any
more than the mere eating of the forbidden meats was condemned by Sabas; the crime consists in "giving the enemies of the faith an ad"vantage over the weak," and thereby hazarding their salvation by falling into the snares of error. The basis of Protestantism is the spirit of self-interpretation, which leads to endless contradictions and diversity of creeds. The basis of Catholicism is submission to divine authority, by which Truth and Unity are preserved in the church, though that church is spread through the whole world, and embraces all nations. Were then the Catholics to conform to this rule of reading the scripture without note or comment, they would act in contradiction to the principles of their church, and become hypocrites, like the Christians in the persecution of the Goths, who appeared to conform to the decrees of the king by eating meats, which though not actually profaned by heathen sacrifices, were nevertheless supposed to be so by their persecutors, and thus they belied their faith though they did not partake of the polluted offerings. The fact is, the Catholic church has invariably condemned the immoral doctrine of equivocation and mental reservation, and as constantly inculcated that simplicity and godly sincerity are truly Christian virtues, necessary to the conservation of justice, truth, and the security of the rights of society. We do not attempt to deny that many of her members, both kings and ministers, and prelates and magistrates, and people, have been guilty of duplicity, as we see in the case of this persecution of Athanaric; but the church, as a body, is not to be blamed for the defalcation of individual members, any more than the principles of the British constitution are to be condemned, because some bad men may and do violate them. Now if Sabas was right in publicly declaring "that those who sheltered themselves under that artifice were not true Christians;" must not the Catholic clergy be right also, and deserving of the same praise as Fox bestows upon St. Sabas, in declaring, that those who shelter themselves under the artifices of Bible-school promoters to obtain education, are not true Catholics? We are sure the unprejudiced reader will decide in the affirmative.
The next article is the "opposition of Eusebius to the Arian heresy.” Fox tells us, that "Eusebius, bishop of Samosata, made a distinguish"ed figure in ecclesiastical history, and was one of the most eminent "champions of Christ against the Arian heresy;" and he gives a pretty fair account of the dispute between him and the emperor Constantius, concerning the deposition of Meletius, patriarch of Antioch, who was also a stout opposer of this impious heresy, and a firm defender of the faith of the Nicene council. But the most important statement made by Fox, and to which we call the particular attention of the Protestant reader, is this: "About this time," he writes, "the see of Cæsarea having become vacant, Eusebius was instrumental in promoting Basil to it, on which occasion Gregory the younger calls him, The PILLAR "of TRUTH, the light of the world, the FORTRESS of the CHURCH, the RULE of FAITH, the support of the faithful, and an instrument in the hands of God for bestowing favours on his people." Thus then it is admitted by Fox, and, of course by his modern editors," the few plain Christians," that "about this time," namely, the middle of the fourth century, there was a pillar of truth, a rule of faith, and a church of God, of which church the fathers and bishops were the fortresses un
der whose fire, or by whose writings and preachings, the faithful found support against the wiles of heresy and the attacks of heretics. why, we ask, as we did in the case of St. Ignatius, (see our Review, p. 39) of St. Polycarp (Ibid. 45), St. Justin the martyr (p. 47), St. Irenæus (p. 66.), and Tertullian (p. 83.); WHY, did not John Fox inform his readers WHAT DOCTRINES this pillar of truth, Eusebius, and his fellow-prelates Basil and Gregory the younger, taught? Why did he leave them in a state of darkness as to the sum and substance of their belief, contenting himself with the bare statement that Eusebius "
one of the most eminent champions of Christ against the Arian heresy," and that " Gregory the younger calls him, the pillar of truth," &c. Such a statement conveys no light to the reader, who may form to himself any thing or nothing. And this, as we have before observed, was the intention of John Fox, as it is also that of his modern editors. Neither of them desire that the truth should be told; but as we have pledged ourself that our intention is to give the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, we will here fill up the chasm made by John Fox, in his account of the persecution of the Christians by the Arians.
Eusebius was, as Fox records, an eminent champion of Christ against the Arians, and spent the greater part of his episcopal life in travelling through Syria, Phoenicia, and Palestine, to strengthen the Catholics in their faith by his preachings, until he fell a victim to Arian malice, at Dolicha, a small city forty-one miles from Samosata, in 380. His death was occasioned by a tile thrown from the top of a house by an Arian woman, as he was passing in the street. It does not appear that he left any writings behind him, but the two prelates named with him as his associates, have left us their sentiments in writing, which have been preserved to this day. St. Basil, we are rightly told by Fox, was promoted to the archiepiscopal see of Cæsarea, by the aid of Eusebius, and he was praised for this act by "Gregory the younger," that is St. Gregory Nazianzum, who was bishop of Constantinople, which see he afterwards vacated, and retired to Nazianzum, near which city he was born, and from which he took the name, to distinguish himself from a younger brother called Gregory of Cesarius. It is allowed by Fox that these great lights of the church opposed the heresy of the Arians, which was a denial of the divinity of Jesus Christ. St. Gregory, in his orations, and St. Basil in his book against Eunomius, maintains the divine essence of the Son of God, as did all the fathers that preceded them. They also maintained all the doctrines now held by Catholics and condemned by Protestants as idolatrous and superstitious, as will be seen by the following quotations, which, on comparison with those referred to above, will be found to be perfectly uniform and consistent; a convincing proof that the never-failing promises of Christ, that the Spirit of Truth should abide with his church, and teach her all truth to the end of the world, was given to the Catholic church, and to that church alone.
We will begin with St. Basil, as he died in 379, ten years before St. Gregory Nazianzum. On the Authority and Marks of the Church, St. Basil writes: "The order and government of the church, is it not ma"nifestly, and beyond contradiction, the work of the Holy Ghost? "For he gave to his church (1 Cor. xii, 28.) first apostles; secondly pro