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self believe,) let us (now) return, [as they say,] to the book that we have left at the water's edge.
“ Lest therefore the old enemy should succeed in en- urging Botangling mankind in this interminable cord of error, let niface in the occasion of the schism, I implore of you, be cut off particulare
to convoke at once, with the knife as we may say of St. Peter; that a Synod for is, by [setting forth] a true confession of the faith in a the settleSynod, and expressions of abomination and anathema ment of exagainst all heretics ; that (so) you may purge the chair istins con
troversies, of Peter from all error, if there have been any, as they and clearing say, introduced:—if not, that its purity may be acknow- the See of ledged on all hands. For it is a painful and lamentable Rome from
all suspicase if the Catholic Faith be not held in the apostolic cion of See. Yea, that I may speak out all (not to seem to use countenancundue flattery even towards yourself) it is also a painful ing hereti
cal opinions; consideration [to reflect on,j that you were not the first
blaming to come forward (as being the party possessed of the him withal legitimate power,) under the influence of a zeal for the for not havfaith, such as became you,—when defections from your ing done so army commenced such a long time since-and, after having first given proof of the purity of your own faith, to condemn or excommunicate the party which presumed to utter a word in the way of scandalizing reflections upon the principal See, in regard to the orthodoxy of its faith. For you are aware what a severe censure was denounced by the fathers in the Holy Synod of Nice, against the accusers of the innocent. But when I make these remarks, knowing as I do, that there are many on the supcauses arising in a noisy, clamorous, turbulent multitude, position which do not allow matters of this kind to be brought
Fifth Gene(without difficulties] to a clear investigation, I have ral Council ventured on such suggestions, not because I believe [the favoured assertions made,] but because [these suggestions) ought heresy, and
that Pope Dow to be put in practice. If there be any persons of
Vigilius your province who are opposed to the truth, let the died incensure fall on those only; for it is impossible for a fected with
it, he re
mouth stuffed with meal or any other substance, to blow bukes Bo- the fire. For every thing suffers from being placed in niface for taking so
the vicinity of a contrary influence. Adopt then I pray little pains you in Christ's name, some way of clearing your characto separate ter, which is (so] torn to pieces among the nations; lest his own cha- it be reckoned by the antagonist for double dealing on racter from such asso
your part, if you observe silence any longer. ciations.
“ Cease then to use dissimulation! Cease to main
tain silence! And rather give utterance to the call of $. John X. the true shepherd—that voice which his own sheep recog
nize, who hear not the voice of strangers, but will flee from such. I would provoke you, my fathers, my own patrons, to dispel [this] confusion from the face of your children and your] disciples, who are confounded on your account. And what is of (still] more serious consequence, that the black cloud of suspicion may be dispelled from St. Peter's chair. Convoke therefore an assembly in order to clear [yourself of] the charges which are urged against you ; for it is no [*child's play*] that you are accused of. For it is the receiving of Heretics, as I hear, that is attributed to you; though far be it from gaining credit, as a thing having occurred, existing, or likely to occur. They say however that Eutyches, Dioscorus, Nestorius, old heretics, as we know them to have been, were counienanced by Vigilius in some kind of Fifth Synod.f See (there] the cause, as they affirm,
+ In opposition to the true doctrine of the Catholic Church, which teaches that in our Blessed Lord and Saviour there are two natures. the divine and human, united in one person, the Nestorians held that there were in Christ two persons, one of the Eternal Word, the other of the man Christ Jesus; for which error they were condemned as heretics in the Third General Council at Ephesus, in the year 431. Eutyches and Dioscorus, the Monophysites, i. e. maintainers of the belief that there was in our Lord only one nature, were for this opposite heresy condemned in the next (the Fourth) General Council at Chalcedon, in A.P. 451. The latter Council however appearing to give some countenance to the Nestorians, by sanctioning as orthodox the authors of the Three Chapters, which were considered of a ten
of the whole scandal, if you too, as it is asserted, countenance them in like manner; or if you know even Vigilius himself to have died so infected, why do you make mention of his name in a way that is at variance with a good conscience. For whatsoever is not of faith is sin. Rom. xiv.23.
“Now, to you belongs the blame, if you have gone Supposing astray from the true belief, and made void your first the Pope to faith. It is on just grounds that your juniors resist
you, and on just grounds that they refuse to communicate of inferior
, with you, until the memory of the wicked be effaced, and position,
but consigned to oblivion. For if there be in these allega- sounder tions more of certainty than fable, your sons are in their faith, are turn changed to the head, and you to the tail, the very judge, resist, mention of which is painful. Therefore also shall, they and sepabe your judges, who have always maintained the ortho- rate him
from their dox faith, whoever they may be, even should they appear communion. to be your juniors. They however are the orthodox and
dency favourable to their opinions, the Emperor Justinian, at the instigation of Theodore. Bishop of Cæsarea, a zealous Monophysite, passed an Edict, A.D. 544, condemning the Three Chapters, and ordering the passages favourable to the writers of them to be effaced from the Acts of the Council of Chalcedon, without however any further prejudice to the authority of that august assembly.
A proceeding so injurious to the spiritual power of the Church was warmly opposed by Vigilius, who was at length however, (after exhibiting considerable unsteadiness of purpose, in repeated struggles with the emperor,) induced by coercive measures to give his consent to the decrees of the Fifth General Council, (held in Constantinople in A.D. 553,) in which the Three Chapters were condemned as pernicious and impious.--(See last Art. last par.) In fact the vacillating conduct of Vigilius was such, that he was trusted by neither party, and it is no wonder that one so far away as Columbanus should be partly misinformed, as he seems to have been, about the proceedings here referred to. That Vigilius should appear to him to have sanctioned or favoured the opinions of Eutyches and Dioscorus in the Fifth Council is in no ways strange, considering the influence under which it was held. But that the opposite views of Nestorius could have been countenanced by him in the same act were an absurd supposition. The part of his conduct most favourable to the Nestorians was his resisting for a time the decrees of that Fifth Council.
true Catholics, who have never harboured either heretics or persons suspected (of heresy,] nor defended such persons, but have
ever been zealous for the true faith. And supposing therefore, that they (who attribute evil to you) are not of such a character [themselves,) as that they can fairly [take upon them) to judge men their seniors in point of order, but still more culpable than they are; in that case, ask mutual pardon of one another for a discord of such long continuance; cease to defend any person on either side contrary to reason, either you heretics, or they men of suspicious character ; and as you have been both to blame, agree the sooner to a set
tlement of your differences. St. Colun. Bear kindly with me however, if in my treatment of
these embarrassing topics, any expressions [*of an outfreedom of
landish character"] have grated harshly against your speech, gentle ears, because a consideration [*of the circumpartly from stances I have to explain* ] will not allow me to pass the usage of his native
over any thing [that bears) on the question, and the freedom of speech which accords with the usage of my country, is in part the cause of my boldness. For with us it is not the person, but the reason, which prevails; and my love for Evangelical peace constrains me to say all [this], that the earnestness of my anxiety for promoting concord and peace between you, (who ought to have
formed but one body,) may have the effect of arresting 1 Cor. xii. your attention on both sides. For if one member suffer,
all we, the other members, must suffer with it.
“For we indeed, as I have already stated, are warmly teemed more attached to the chair of St. Peter. And great as is the highly by St. Colum
renown and celebrity of Rome, it is by means of that banus and Chair alone that she is great and illustrious with us. his country. Yea, though the fame of that city founded in the days of scene of the old, the glory of Italy, [*with all its august associations preaching heightened by the distance of intervening climes which and labours separate it from our native soil, * ) has been published far
and wide in the overflowing praises of almost all the of $8. Peter earth, (*so as to reach (unchecked, wonderful to tell, and Paul, by all the foaming billows of the deep, high though they than for any rise, and wildly though they beat, around the globe) even temporal to our western isle, situated as it is beyond the confines grandeur of the world ; *) nevertheless, from that period when God possessed vouchsafed to manifest himself as the Son of God, and by her. riding on through the sea of nations, disturbed many waters, (*and added to the chariots of his victorious train the thousands of unnumbered states, his triumphal car being driven by those two most
glowing steeds of God the Spirit, namely the Apostles Peter and Paul, (whose valued remains you are happy in possessing) - [from that period, when] the chief Charioteer Himself, who is Christ-the true Father--the captain of Israel hath See 2 Kings made his way, o'er flowing straits, and billowy tides, and swelling seas, even unto us ;*)—from that period are ye great and illustrious, and Rome herself has become still more noble and exalted [than before] : and on account of [those) two Apostles of Christ, (the same two I mean, who are spoken of by the Holy Ghost, as the heavens declaring the glory of God, of whom it is said, Their sound is gone out into all lands, and their words unto Ps. xix. 4. the ends of the world, (on account of them)) you are in a manner heavenly, if the expression may be allowed, and Rome is the head of the Churches of the world, saving the singular prerogative of the place of the Lord's resurrection.t
+ We have already seen Dr. Lanigan's candour, and Mr. Carew's, tested in their mode of dealing with this passage. Vid. p. 310, note, of the present work. Mr. Brennan, coming after them (Acts v. 7) could not afford to be less Romish. Accordingly in two different places in his Ecclesiastical History of Ireland, he has the following choice specimens of quotation :
Vol. i. p. 90.-*• Rome is the head of the Churches of the world.' Note. This passage deserves to be noticed. It affords another convincing proof of the doctrine of the ancient Irish Church relative to the supremacy of the See of Rome."