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ousy, and give them the assurance of practical proof that he is determined to maintain inviolate the rights and usages to which they cling so fondly.

But while praising him, we must not forget the admirable prudence, the deep, motherly affection of the Roman Church, which under his predecessors allowed her children, newly gathered into the Fold from Syria, Mesopotamia, Persia and Chaldea, to retain their Missals, Breviaries, Gazas and Hhudras, after purging out the old leaven of heresy sprinkled through them in successive ages by the disciples of Nestorius and Eutyches. And, as regards the followers of these two heretics in particular, since the error of the one sect is diametrically opposed to that of the other, their special partisan additions serve clearly for mutual condemnation. For the Jacobite corruptions are condemned and rejected with disdain by the Nestorian, while the former looks with horror on the sacrilegious hand that has presumed to defile the purity of the primitive text with Nestorian blasphemy. Thus both unite with the Catholic Church in condemning each other, and bear involuntary, unimpeachable testimony, not only to her doctrine of the Incarnation, but also to all other great Catholic truths, which they hand down in common with the Church of all ages.

It looks providential—not to consider it merely as the result of intellectual and moral blindness entailed by anathema—that these poor heretics, withered branches cut off from the tree of life, should have retained in their liturgical books so many expressions of belief in the indestructibility, or, what is almost synonymous, the infallibility of the Church. Our object, however, is not so much to reproduce these testimonies in favor of the True Church as to exhibit the peculiar form in which the Eastern mind conceives and presents them. The language of the Latin Breviary is dignified and stately, and represents the majesty of Rome that in God's counsel was destined ever to be the mistress of the world, Pagan and Christian. But it is often tame by the side of the Eastern office, where abound bold figure, brief but vivid phrase, dialogue, apostrophe, and other dramatic forms. Thus, for example, in the Breviary of Antioch the glorious promise of our Lord,' to St. Peter is not quoted from the inspired writer, but is put into the mouth of the Church as the theme of her triumphant song, "On the Rock of the household of Simon, Prince of the Disciples, answers the Church, I am built up, and I have naught to fear. The floods and storms break over me and leave me unshaken. The accursed Nesturfought against me, and it was his

1 Matthew xvi, 18.

? An abridged form of Nestorius, though both are used indiscriminately. In the same office (p. 127) we find Nestur with the same epithet. In like manner Abris

ruin." The text has, the Church "answereth and saith" (hnot w'emrath). This is, of course, Semitic phraseology, with which the Bible has made us familiar. Yet it is not an idle expression without meaning. It implies, if nothing else, a question or objection either likely or possible, which is met in advance. In the present case it casts aside and triumphantly defies the sneer of this cold world that seems to ask, “On what does this poor, persecuted Church base her hope of standing against the wealth and power of the princes of this world ?" And the answer is: I am built on Simon Peter. Or it may be (for who can track the windings of a Syrian poet's fancy ?) part of a tender dialogue between the invisible Head of the Church and His earthly spouse. “What is it, my chosen Bride, that fills thee with such confidence? I have told thee that thou art to be hated and persecuted of men, yet thy cheek is not blanched by fear, but radiant with joy and hope.” And the loving answer is, “Why should I fear, when I know Thou hast built me on the rock of Simon Peter?” That this is something more than mere conjecture will be seen by comparing it with the next quotation.

Mgr. David,” Coadjutor Bishop of Mussul, tells us that in the most ancient copies the name of Arius was found where now we have that of Nestorius. Nothing more likely. In the days when the Arian heresy seemed on the point of triumphing over orthodoxy, and some timid souls began almost to waver, and ask if God had hidden His face or withdrawn His helping hand from the Church, it was proper for her to reassure her followers by reiterating the divine promise and applying it to the present danger. “Fear not for me (she said); though in me you see only the 'poor little one, tossed with tempests and without all comfort.' I fear not Arius, nor the kings of earth who are at his back. Arius is accursed, for he has raised his impious hand against me. He is doomed to perish, but I shall 'not be confounded, nor blush, nor be put to shame,"for the All-powerful hath built me on the Rock of His own choosing, Simon Peter." And when Arius had run his wicked course, and vanished like his predecessors, Nestorius took his place and renewed the bold attempt to seduce the Christian people and overthrow the work of God's hands. Then the Syrian Church substituted his name for that of Arius, and cried out in the same confident strain that she feared not Nestorius nor his warfare, for she was built on the Rock, Simon Peter. And to this day the Eutychian cheerfully repeats these very words, forgetting in his blindness that what is true of Arius and Nestorius is true also of Eutyches, and of every teacher of error who hurls his puny defiance at this impregnable Rock. But does not the cultured modern champion of private judgment, who looks down with contempt on the Eutychian as ignorant and superstitious because he retains devotion to the Mother of God, read over the same promise in Scripture itself and fail to see or understand it? Both "search the Scriptures," because in them they think there is life everlasting; and both search in vain, for, like the eunuch of Queen Candace, they have no one " to show them” the meaning of what they read. The difference, such as it is, must be set down in favor of the Eutychian. For he has drawn from Holy Writ but one or two errors, while the haughty scribe who scorns all interpretation but his own has fallen a prey to a score or more of glaring absurdities.

(among the Chaldeans or Eastern Syrians Abbris for A(m)bris) is the short form of Ambrosius. See Assemani Bib. Or., Tom. III., in the list of early patriarchs at the beginning of the volume.

i Off. Syr., Rome, 1853, p. 409, in the Lauds (Ssaphro) of Saturday.

2 Antiqua Ecclesiæ Syro-Chaldaicæ Traditio circa Petri Apostoli . . . . Divinum Primatum, Auctore Josepho David Chorepiscopo Massulensi. Romæ, 1870, p. 6.

: Isaiah liv, 4, 11,


Here is another little gem from a hymn for “the dedication of churches" not yet published, but lying manuscript in the Vatican Library, and quoted by Archbishop Benni.? It is a dialogue in tetrameter verse between the Church and her Heavenly Builder:

Tell me, O Church! whereon wouldst thou have me build thee;
Shall I build thee, shall I build thee on the Sun ?
Oh no, no, no! For ’tis said, and said in Scripture,
That the rays of the Sun shall be quenched.3
Tell me, O Church! whereon wouldst thou have me build thee;
Shall I build thee, shall I build thee on the Moon ?
Oh no, no, no! For 'tis said, and said in Scripture,
That the Moon shall refuse to show her light."
Tell me, O Church! whereon wouldst thou have me build thee;
Shall I build thee, shall I build thee on the Stars ?
Oh no, no, no! For 'tis said, and said in Scripture,
That the Stars, like leaves, shall be falling from Heaven.
Tell me, O Church! whereon wouldst thou have me build thee;
Shall I build thee, shall I build thee on a Rock?
Yea, Lord, yea! For 'tis said, and said in Scripture,
On the Rock will I build my Church.6

1 Acts viii. 31.

2 The Tradition of the Syriac Church of Antioch, by the Most Rev. Cyril Behnam Benni, Syriac Archbishop of Mossul (Ninive), London, 1871, pp. 26, 27. The Vati. can Codex is number 188 among the Syriac MSS. of that Library, and contains Hymns for all the festivals of the year.

3 Joel ii. 10; Ezechiel xxxii. 7.

4 Mark xiii. 24 is like the Vulgate, "shall not give her light,” but in Matt. xxiv. 29, to which the poet refers, the Syriac text has, “shall not show her light."

5 Mark xiii. 24; Matt. xxiv. 24. The word Ntar is technical for the fall of the leaf.

6 Matt, xvi. 18.

The unbeliever and those who, as the Apostle says,' are puffed up by the sense of the flesh, or by knowledge, falsely so-called, may think these lines childish and trivial. But others will find them beautiful, and even grand, in their childlike simplicity. That Peter was not only the Prince and spokesman of the Apostles, but the foundation of the Church, is repeated in a hundred passages of the Syriac Breviary, and is looked on as a subject of praise and thanksgiving. “Come all ye children of the Church and sing praise and thanks to Him who built His holy Church and set on Peter her foundations." If he bears the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, they were only "given him as a pledge." A pledge of what? Of Christ's unfailing promise to the visible Head of His Church. Faith must be preached and taught in the very words of Peter, and those Bishops and Fathers are praised who so preached and taught. They walk in the footsteps of their teachers, and tread in the path of the Apostles, of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. They have drunk from the blessed fountain of their Lord. In them abounds, and from them goes forth, the doctrine of Life; and they have watered the thirsty world by their teaching. Peter and the Apostles are not dead, as modern heresy vainly imagines. They live within the Church, and will live there forever. So we have been assured by Christ Himself, when He gave them their commission as teachers, with whom He was to abide to the end of the world.' This is also the faith of the Syriac Church, as we see by the continuation of the passage just quoted: “Lo! the Church cries out, I am persecuted on every side. Oh, Apostles of the Son! help me by your prayers. When the Son of God ascended to Him that sent Him, He left you in me as unconquerable strongholds" (Ibid.).

How deeply the Headship, or primacy in the Church of St. Peter, was impressed on the Syriac mind, Catholic or Eutychian, and how thoroughly they looked on him as the Founder (under Christ) of the religion of the New Law, may be seen from the way in which they love to compare him with Moses, the Founder (under God) of the Jewish Church. “Moses was the Head of the Old and Peter of the New (Church or Legislation). Both are like each other, and in them God dwelt. Moses brought down the Tables of the Law; and Peter received the Keys of the Kingdom. Moses built a temporary tabernacle; but Peter built the Church. To Thee be glory from the Old and the New !""

I Colos, ii, 18; I. Cor. viii, 1; I. Tim. vi, 20.

2 “ Head and mouth” is St. Eprem's plain form of speech, apud Assemani Bibl.. Orient., Vol. I., p. 95.

3 Off. Mar. in the Sugito near the end of Lauds for Tuesday, p. 170.
4 Ibid., pp. 386, 283.
5 Off. Syr., pp. 299, 300. Babnot Kole d' Shemhun.
6 Ibid., p. 300.
7 Matthew xxviii. 20.

Besides the building of the Church on Peter in Matthew xvi. 18, another text that the Syriac Breviary loves to quote, or rather to apply in its own way to the Church, is that of Isaias xlix. 16: "Behold! I have graven thee on the palms of my hands, and thy walls are ever before me.” Though the passage reads thus substantially in both versions, the Peshito (or simple) and the Hexaplar, yet in the Divine office the Syriac Church by a natural, though apparently bold, figure, regards the Church as built upon God's hands, since he has graven there her structure and walls in token of perpetual remembrance of His promise. Thus, in the Lauds of Thursday: "Glory be to the Strength (the Strong One) who hath built Holy Church on the palm of His hands, and hath established in her an Altar." And again, "Blessed be Christ Our King who hath built His Church on the palm of his hands !" Almost the same anthem is found in the Breviary of Antioch: Blessed be Christ who has built Holy Church on the palm of His hands, and has set in her as foundations the Prophets, Apostles, and holy Martyrs. And again, “Blessed art thou, O Holy Church! for the Voice of the Son (the promise uttered to Peter on the plains of Cesarea Philippi) has been made thy Keeper, and the bars of Hell shall not prevail against thee henceforth and forever. His Body He has given thee for food, and His Blood for a chalice of redemption. Oh, earth, earth! hear the word of the Lord God, who hath sworn to His Church, ‘I will not loose hold of thee forevermore. Thy walls, O Church! are always before my eyes.'"

The same text is used again with new imagery elsewhere in the Maronite Office: "I am thy Church, O Lord! and I am built on the palm of thy hands. Loose not thy hold of me, O Heavenly Bridegroom! for I became betrothed to Thee through the Prophets, the Apostles have signed my dowry,lo and the blessed Martyrs have thrown in (as a nuptial gift) the blood that flowed from their neck."" The nuptials of the Church with her Divine Founder are

| Off. Syr., p. 127. Second Kaumo or Nocturn of Monday.

? In the latter it reads as follows: " Behold! I have graven thy walls upon my hands; and thou art ever before me.” Codex Syriaco-Hexaplaris, Henricus Middeldorpf. Berolini, 1835, p. 138. S’Al pasat idauhi bno l'idat K’udsheh.

4 Off. Mar., p. 291. 3 Ibid., p. 297. Lauds of Thursday, among anthems of Ps. cxlix. 6 Off. Syr., p. 168, in Vespers of Tuesday. i Noturo, keeper, guardian, watehman. See Gen. iv. 9 and Judges vii. 19. 8 In imitation of Jeremy xxii. 29.

Off. Syr., p. 169. 10 Phernit(ii, a word adapted from the Greek qepen. 11 Off, Mar, in Lauds of Monday, pp. III, 112, The blood of their neck” is a standing form to express the beheading of the martyrs who died for Christ.

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