Page images

v. 243. scr.




the tenth of January', and the Latin on the ninth of March'. A. D. 394. We find nothing more of St. Amphilochius, whose memory Menolog. the Church honours on the twenty-third of November ; Martyrol. St. Gregory of Nazianzus witnesses: that he used to cure the Carm. 52. sick by prayer, and by the oblation of the Holy Sacrifice. Ep. 1030. He left several writings which were very much esteemed by

A.D. 375.] Antiquity, but of which there are now hardly any remains.

Among the writings of St. Gregory of Nyssa is a Canonical Epistle written in his old age to Letoïus, Bishop of Melitine Cone.tom. in Armenia, whom he calls his spiritual son. It seems to be

[S. Greg. part of a Paschal letter, and the rules for penance which he Nyss

. tom,

2. p. 114.] lays down in it are more severe than those of his brother St. Basil, though equally founded on the tradition of the ancients; which shew the difference of these traditions, even in neighbouring Churches. For voluntary apostasy, penance was due throughout life; the penitent was to be for ever (p. 117.] excluded from public prayers; he was to pray in private, and was not suffered to receive the communion till he was [& rà uvo todying. If he had apostatized through weakness and over-nd yedir

ματα.] come by torture, he was to undergo the penance due for fornication, that is, for nine ycars. Those who sought after enchanters and diviners?, if they did it through contempt. c. 2. of religion, are treated as apostates; but if it was through frailty or weakness of spirit, they are treated as those who [* ft:po

ψυχίας. . had yielded under torture. For fornication there was to be nine years' penancek; mast. S.

Chrys. tom. three years of which the guilty were to be entirely excluded 13.] from the prayers, three years to be only Auditors, and three (p. 119.] years to be Prostrate'. For adultery double the time was

[ÚTOTTÍTimposed in the same manner, that is, eighteen years. Sins torres.] against nature are ranked with adultery; St. Basil' im- ['p. 118.] posed four years' penance' for the sin of fornication, and for bk. adultery, fifteen'. For voluntary homicide® St. Gregory has 16

* Ep. (199.] set down three times nine years, that is, twenty-seven; nine ad Amphiyears in each of three conditions, of which the first is en- [et Ep.217.] tire exclusion from the Church, the second that of Auditor, Sibid

6 S. Greg. k “ As early as the third century there "klalovtes, xerud fortes, flentes, hie- ibid. c. 4. were four grades of penance, like those mantes,-deposuevoi, audientes,-40

[5.] through which the Catechumens had “ νυκλίνοντες, υποπίπτοντες, genufecto pass.

These were πρόσκλαυσις, , “ tentes, substrati, - Ouviotáuevoi, conακρόασις,υποπίπτωσις, σύστασις (προσ- sistentes).” Gieseler, vol. 1. $ 68.

Vid. Ono

ibid. c. 4.

A. D. 394. and the third Prostration in prayer; for involuntary homiS. Greg. cide', as in the case of fornication, nine years. St. Basil [5.] imposed ten years for involuntary homicide. St. Gregory

Ep[217.] 236,5placed robbery by open force in the same rank with homicide, : c. 5. [6.] but for simple theft he defined no particular time of penance,

but obliged the culprit to make restitution by alms, and

would have those, who had no possessions, make satisfaction * Eph.4.28. by bodily labour, according to the precept of the Apostle'. [ p. 121.) He was himself surprised that by the tradition of the Fathers

there were not more severe penalties prescribed to restrain avarice, and far from complaining of their rigour he wonders at their indulgence in many particulars. In general, he pronounc

nced that those who came to confess their sins should be treated with greater gentleness than such as were accused and convicted against their will, and that according to the earnestness of the penitent, the Bishop ought to shorten

the time of his penance. He requires, that if to any of these [* toll épo- the communion is given on supposition that they were dying, δίου, ,

they must if they recover, accomplish the time of their peSupr. ch. 18. note x.] nance that remains unfinished.

It was at this time that St. Augustine being still a Priest?

began to write against the Donatists'; they had so increased "Possid.c.7. their numbers in Africa that they had got there above four [Append.

hundred Bishops, and the Catholic Church in those parts p. 262.]

seemed to be overwhelmed by their numbers. His first *Retr.lib. 1. piece against them was a hymn in Acrostic verse', folAvece- lowing the order of the alphabet, as a help to the memory. darius.]


LIII. The Donatists.

tom. 10.

[ocr errors]

1 " On occasion of the choice of Cæ“ cilianus to be Bishop of Carthage

(A.D. 311), the minority were so vio-
" lently opposed to him, that they elected
“ another Bishop, Majorinus, on the
“ ground that Cæcilianus had been con-
secrated by a Traditor (i. e. one who
“had surrendered the Holy Scriptures
“ to the Magistrates, during Diocle-
“ sian's persecution, A.D.303-4.), Felix,

Bishop of Aptunga. Majorinus was
soon succeeded (A.D. 313.) by Dona-

“ at length they brought their cause be“ fore the Emperor Constantine,-the “ first instance of an appeal to the civil

power in the affairs of the Christian “ Church. ( note o.Con“ stantine at first entrusted Melchiades, “ Bishop of Rome, and the Synod of “ his Province, with the investigation “ of the affair (A.D. 313.); and after"wards a special Council was called “ for the purpose at Arelate (A.D. 31+). “ In both instances the decision having “ been made against the Donatists, they

tus, called the Great, from whom and “ Donatus, Bishop of Casæ Nigræ, one “ of its most zealous supporters, the party

took its name. Their strictness “ in matters of discipline suited so well “ with the prevailing tendency in Africa, " that their numbers fast increased, and

were condemned by the Emperor and severe laws passed against them ( A.D.

316). This did not seem to diminish " their numbers, however, and the sert " long continued to exist." Gieseler, vol. 1. § 69.


St. Augustine wrote it in a very simple style without ob- A. D. 394. serving any Latin measure, for fear of being obliged to put in words which the generality would not be able to understand; for he composed this hymn for the instruction of the most uneducated people. This proves that though the Punic language was at that time in use in that part of Africa, there were but few who did not understand Latin. In this hymn' ['Extat.

tom.9.p. 1. ] St. Augustine gave a short account of the schism of the Donatists, and sets down the most obvious arguments for confuting them. He did not forget to reproach them with [Literal. ] the Circumcellionesm, and other wicked people whom they suffered among them. He wrote alsoʻ, whilst he was a Priest, 'Retract. 1. another piece which is lost, against the letter of Donatus, S. Aug. the second Donatist Bishop of Carthage. These schismatics Her. 69.

[tom. 8. were taken at a great advantage at that time on account of p. 21.] their internal divisions'; for besides the great party whom In Psalın. they styled pure® Donatists, there were many other societies 36. Serm. 2. less numerous; each believing that they alone had the true [* Cardi. Baptism, and were the True Church. Amongst these lesser · De Bapt.

1.6. (tom.9. schisms of the Donatists there were the Claudianists, and the

p. 84.] Urbanists", who existed in a corner of Numidia; the Roga- * Contr. tists' at Cartenna in Mauritania Cæsariensis, the chief of Crescon. 4.

c. 60. $ 7:2. whom was Rogatus' [Bishop of Cartenna,] who had caused (!:520.)

[De unit. a schism about thirty years before. During the war of the c. 3.]

Cont. lit. tyrant Firmus”, that is, about the year 372, they were perse- Petil. 2. 83. cuted by the other Donatists, and on that account they gave Ep. 93. ad

Vinc.11,12. m In consequence of the condemna- c. Donat.) whom Constans sent (A.D. [tom. 2. tion of the Donatists by the Church, 347.) to restore the African Church to p. 249. ] imperial laws were enacted against them. the


which lasted till the accession (Contr. Ep. Parmen. 1. 19.) These were of Julian (A.D. 361.); and of the Monks. openly resisted by the fanatic Agonistici, (In Psalm. 132.) Comp. Supr. ch. 14. by the Catholics called Circelliones or and 27. note q. Circumcelliones (or Vagrants, circum " The tyranny of Count Romanus, cellas, hac illac euntes, nusquam sedes the elder Valentinian's military comhabentes. S. Aug. in Ps. 132. Contr. mander in Africa, provoked the natives Gaudent. 28.), whose watchword was to join Firmus, the Moorish fratricide, Deo laudes (c. lit. Petil. 2. 65.) and who, in revolt, A.D. 372. Valentinian sent at first with clubs, afterwards with arms, Theodosius, the father of the great Emassailed not only the Catholics (Ibid. 1. peror of the same name, against Firmus, 17.), but the seceders from the Donatists and the Jugurthine war was acted over (De gest. cum Emer. $ 9). Their fana- again. At last, when Igmazen, king ticism led them to suicide, as a kind of of the Isaflenses, in whose dominions martyrdom. (Brev. Coll. cum Don. 3. Firmus had taken refuge, had been diei. $ 13, 23. Contr. Ep. Parm. 3. § 29.) terrified into consenting to his betrayal, Those Donatists who did not disclaim the rebel avoided it by strangling himthem (for some did), alleged against the self. Gibbon, ch. 25. Catholics the excesses of Macarius (Ps.


bk. 2 ch.19.

Serm. 2. 20.

A. D. 394. these last the name of Firmians'. But the greatest scandal
L'Ep.87. ad was the schism of the Maximianists.
Emerit. 10.
p. 213.)

After the death of Parmenian, successor to Donatus, the
Schism of Donatists elected Primianus to the Bishopric of Carthage;

but the Deacon Maximianus' having been condemned and ex* de gest., communicated by him, went to the neighbouring Bishops, $ 9. [tom.9. and formed a party against him, chiefly accusing him of re: seniores ceiving unworthy persons to communion with him. The elders Simi. Sce among them wrote to all the Bishops of their party, entreating Bingham, them to come immediately to check the designs of Primianus; § 19.] upon this they assembled at Carthage to the number of fortyIn Ps. 36.

three"; but Primianus would not appear, and they were 278.) contented with ordering him to justify himself in a more Cresc.4.6.7. numerous Council, which they were afterwards to hold. They ("p. 437. F.]

did assemble to the number of above a hundred at Cabarsussi

in the province of Bizacena, where Primianus still refusing to [' In Ps. 36. appear was condemned as guilty of several crimes, viz. ?of p.279.C.D.]

having constituted successors to Bishops that were still living; ["incestos.] of having mingled the wicked with the communion of the

saints; of having engaged the Priests in a conspiracy against Maximianus, and three other Deacons; of causing the Priest Fortunatus to be thrown into a common-sewer, because he

had baptized some sick persons; of having refused communion ["abdi. to the Priest Demetrius, in order to force him to forsake his care.]

son; and of having abused the elders of the Church, because they disapproved of his admitting the Claudianists to communion. To these accusations the Bishops of the Council added : “His having refused to present himself before us in

“ order to have his cause heard, his having joined with the [' multitu. “ people and officers' in shutting the door of the Basilicas officio.]

“hinder us from coming in, and his having contemptuously “ rejected the deputies whom we had sent to him.”

For these and certain other crimes which they expressed, ['p. 280.] besides those which they said shame hindered them from

mentioning, they condemned Primianus, and warned all the Bishops, Clerks, and people, to avoid communion with him; allowing them however six months' time to declare in, namely, from the twenty-fourth of June, the day on which they pronounced sentence, to the twenty-fifth of December. These events are thought to have happened in the year 393. They

dine et

Cresc.3. 13.


C. 3.


Serm. 2.22.

c. Cresc.

wrote this condemnation in a circular letter called Tractatoria', A. D. 394. signed by them, to the number of fifty-three. Having in l'ibid.) this manner condemned and deposed Primianus, they elected? Contr, Maximianus Bishop of Carthage in his stead, the same Deacon whom Primianus had before condemned, and he was ordained by twelve: Bishops, who laid their hands on him in the presence Contr. lit. of the Clergy of Carthage. Primianus seeing his adversary . Contr. supported by several Bishops of the proconsular province of Crese: 3. Bizacena and that of Tripolis', relied upon those of Mauritania · De Unit. and Numidia, besides those of other provinces, who continued Epist. ad in his party, which was always the more numerous. He

Cathol.] therefore assembled at Bagaia in Numidia a Council of three Contr. hundred and ten Bishops on the eighth of the calends of May, et 4. 39. under the third Consulship of Arcadius and the second of Honorius, in the year 394, on the twenty-fourth of April. In this Council Primianus, not looking upon himself as condemned, sat with the judges', among whom his name stands ? In Ps. 36. second®. They there condemned Maximianus though absent, [p. 282.] Emeritus', Bishop of Cæsarea in Mauritania, pronouncing the Mans, sentence in the following terms’: “As by the Will of Almighty 857.] God, and His Christ, we hold this Council in the city of 3. 53. “Bagaia, it hath seemed good to the Holy Spirit, Which is

['de gest. in us, to secure continual peace, and to cut off sacrilegious C: 10.p.631. “schisms.” And afterwards': “Maximianus the opposer of c. Cresc. “ the Faith, an adulterer* from the Truth, an enemy of our [ Æmu

lum.] “ mother the Church, a minister of Corah, Dathan and Abiram,

[' veritatis “ hath been cast out of the bosom of peace by the thunder-adultes bolt of our sentence.” The rest runs in the same style. They condemn by name the twelve Bishops who had ordained Maximianus, and in general all the Clergy of the Church of Carthage who had been present at his ordination ; but as for the other Bishops' who had not laid their hands on him, they [*c. 54.] allowed them eight months time to return to them, that is, to the twenty-fifth of December, after which time they were not to be received, but to remain condemned. It was during the time of St. Augustine's Priesthood, that

Friendship he contracted a friendship with St. Paulinus, afterwards of St. Au

gustine and Bishop of Nola, through St. Alypius, who had lately been St. Paulimade Bishop of Thagaste his native place. St. Alypius hadde

de gest. known St. Paulinus at Milan, when he was baptized there, cum Emer.

$ 1,5.
[tom. 9.

cum Emer.

3. 19.


« PreviousContinue »