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A. D. Crispus, son of Constantine, but of another marriage, being accused by his step-mother, of having attempted to seduce her, found his father inflexible. His death was quickly revenged. Fausta, convicted, was suffocated in the bath. But Constantine, dishonoured by the wickedness of his wife, derived at the same time a great deal of honour from the piety of his mother. She discovered in the ruins of the ancient Jerusalem, the true cross, said to have been productive of miracles. The holy sepulchre was also found. The new city of Jerusalem, which Hadrian had built, the grotto where the Saviour of the world was born, and all the holy places were adorned with stately temples 330. by Helen and Constantine. Four years after, the emperor rebuilt Byzantium, which he called Constantinople, and made it the second see of the empire. The church, peaceful under Constantine, was cruelly afflicted in Persia. An infinite number of martyrs signalized their faith. The emperor endeavoured in vain to pacify Sapor, and bring him over to Christianity. Constantine's protection afforded the perse$87. cuted Christians only a favourable retreat. This prince, blessed by the whole church, died full of joy and hope, after dividing the empire among his three sons, Constantine, Constantius and Constans. Their unity was soon disturbed. Constantine perished in the war he had with his brother Constans, about the limits of their empire. Constantius and Constans agreed but little better. Constans maintained the Nicene faith, which Constantius as strenuously opposed. Then did the church admire the long sufferings of St. Athanasius, patriarch of Alexandria, and defender of the council of Nice. Thrust out of his see by Constantius, he was canonically re-invested by pope Julius Hist. I. and Constans ratified the decree. This good prince ii. 15. lived not long. The tyrant Magnentius treacherously 8. murdered him: but soon after being vanquished by 351 Constantius, he killed himself also. In the battle, wherein his affairs were ruined, Valens, an Arian









bishop, having had private intelligence from his friends, A. D. assured Constantius, that the tyrant's army was put to 355. flight, and made the weak emperor believe that he knew it by revelation. Upon this forged revelation, Constantius delivers himself over to the Arians. The orthodox bishops are expelled their sees: the whole church is filled with confusion and trouble: the constancy of pope Liberius gives way to the tediousness of exile; torments overcame old Osius, formerly the main pillar of the church: the council of Rimini, so 357 steady at first, yields at last through surprise and violence nothing is done in order or form; the emperor's authority is the only law: but the Arians, who have thereby the whole management, cannot agree among themselves, and change their creed every day: the Nicene faith stands firm: St. Athanasius, and St. Hilary bishop of Poitiers, its principal champions, make themselves renowned over all the earth. Whilst the emperor Constantius, taken up with the affairs of Arianism, neglected those of the empire, the Persians got great advantages. The Germans and Franks at- 457. tempted on all hands to get an entrance into the 359. Gauls. Julian, the emperor's cousin, stopt their ca- 360. reer, and beat them. The emperor himself defeated 861. the Sarmatians, and marched against the Persians. Then appear Julian's revolt against the emperor, his apostacy, the death of Constantius, the reign of Julian, his equitable government, and the new kind of persecution he made the church undergo. He fomented her divisions; he excluded the Christians not only from honours, but from studies; and by imitating the holy discipline of the church, he thought to turn her own arms against her. Punishments were contrived, and appointed, under other pretexts, than that of religion. The christians continued faithful to their emperor; but that glory he too greedily pursued, proved the cause of shortening his days: he was slain in Persia, where he had engaged himself rashly. 364. Jovian his successor, a zealous christian, found things 367.








A. D. desperate, and lived only to conclude a shameful 368. peace. After him Valentinian made war like a great 371. captain he carried his son Gratian very young to it, maintained military discipline, beat the barbarians, fortified the frontiers of the empire, and protected the Nicene faith in the West. Valens, his brother, whom he made his colleague, persecuted it in the East; and neither being able to gain nor to crush St. Basil and St. Gregory Nazianzen, he gave over all hopes of conquering it. Some Arians added new errors to the former tenets of the sect. Aerius, an Arian priest, is branded in the writings of the fathers as author of a Epiph new heresy, for having put the priesthood on a level Aug with the episcopate, and for having judged useless the prayers and oblations which the whole church made for the dead. A third error of that Heresiarch was, his reckoning among the servitudes of the law, the observance of certain stated fasts, and pretending, that fasting should always be free. He was still alive, when St. Epiphanius wrote his celebrated history of heresies, wherein he is refuted with the rest. St. Martin was made bishop of Tours, and filled the whole 375. world with the noise of his sanctity and miracles, not only during his life-time, but after his death. Valentinian died after a violent speech he made to the enemies of the empire; his impetuous passion, which rendered him dreaded by others, at last proved fatal to himself. Gratian his successsor bebeld without envy the promotion of his younger brother Valentinian II. who was made emperor, though but nine years old. His mother Justina, a protectress of the Arians, governed during his minority. Here we see in a few years some wonderful events: the revolt 377. of the Goths against the Valens; that prince leaving $78. the Persians to suppress the rebels; Gratian hastening to join him, after getting a signal victory over the Germans: Valens, resolving to conquer alone, precipitates the fight, in which he is routed near Adrianople. The Goths, victorious, burn him alive in a village,


whither he had retired. Gratian, overburdened with A. D. affairs, associates in the empire the great Theodosius, and quits to him the east. The Goths are vanquish- 379. ed: all the barbarians are kept in awe, and, what Theodosius no less valued, the Macedonian beretics, who denied the divinity of the Holy Ghost, are condemned in the council of Constantinople. There was none 31. but the Greek church there: the consent of all the west, and of pope Damasus, conferred on it the appellation of the second general council. Whilst Theodosius governed with so much fortitude and success, Gratian, who was no less valiant or pious, being de- 385. serted by his troops wholly made up of foreigners, fell a sacrifice to the tyrant Maximus. The church and 386. empire lamented that good prince. The tyrant reigned in the Gauls, and seemed to content himself with that district. The empress Justina published, under her son's name, edicts in favour of Arianism. St. Ambrose, bishop of Milan, opposed to her nothing but sound doctrine, prayers, and patience, and made shift by such arins, not only to preserve to the church the cathedrals, which the heretics wanted to possess, but also to gain over the young emperor. In the mean time Maximus is stirring again, and Justina finds none more faithful than the holy bishop, whom she was treating as a rebel. She sends him to the tyrant, who proves inflexible to all he can say. The young Valentinian is forced to take flight with his mother. Maximus makes himself master at Rome, where he revives the sacrifices of the false gods, in complaisance to the senate, still almost wholly pagan. After he had got 388 possession of all the west, and at the time he thought himself most secure, Theodosius, assisted by the Franks, defeated him in Pannonia, besieged him in Aquileia, and suffered him to be slain by his soldiers. Now absolute master of both empires, he restored that 592. of the west to Valentinian, who did not keep it long. This young prince both promoted and degraded in extremes Arbogastus, a captain of the Franks, valiant and


A. D. disinterested; but capable of maintaining, by all sort of crimes, the power he had acquired over the troops. He raised the tyrant Eugenius, who could do nothing but talk, and killed Valentinian, who would no longer have the proud Frank for his master. This detestable deed was done hard by Vienne, in the country of the Gauls. St. Ambrose, whom the young emperor had sent for, in order to receive baptism from him, deplored his loss, and had good hopes of his salvation. 391. His death did not remain unpunished. A visible miracle gave Theodosius victory over Eugenius, and the false gods, whose worship that tyrant had re-established. Eugenius was taken: there was a necessity of making him a sacrifice to the public vengeance, and to quash the rebellion by his death. The haughty Arbogastus killed himself, rather than have recourse to the conqueror's clemency, which all the rest of the rebels had experienced. Theodosius now alone was the delight, and wonder of the world. He supported religion; he put beretics to silence; he abolished the impure sacrifices of the heathen; he corrected effeminacy, and restrained superfluous expenses. He humbly $90. confessed his faults, and sincerely repented of them. He listened to St. Ambrose, a celebrated doctor of the church, who reproved him for his passion, the only vice of so great a prince. Though always victori395. ous, he never made war but through necessity. He rendered the nations happy, and died in peace, more 386. glorious by his faith than his victories. In his time 387. St. Jerom, a priest, having retired to the sacred grotto of Bethlehem, undertook immense labours in order to expound the Scripture: he read all the interpreters, searched all the histories, both sacred and profane, that could give any light to it, and composed from the original Hebrew that version of the Bible, which the whole church has received under the name of Vulgate. The empire, that seemed invincible under Theodosius, Archanged its aspect all at once under his two sons. cadius had the east, and Honorius the west: they

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