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governed by Latin emperors — a blow which she never recovered. " The populousness of Constantinople at this time,” says Mr. Hallam, " is estimated beyond credibility ; ten, twenty, thirtyfold that of London or Paris'; certainly far beyond the united capitals of all European kingdoms in that age. Her magnificence was more excelling than her numbers; for the thatched roofs, the mud walls, the narrow streets, the pitiful buildings of those cities, she had marble and gilded palaces, churches and monasteries, the works of skilful architects in nine centuries, gradually sliding from the severity of ancient taste into the more various and brilliant combinations of Eastern fancy.'
The historian notices, that in the year 1062 or 1063, " AlpArslan -or the Valiant Lion - passed the Euphrates at the head of the Turkish cavalry, and entered Cesarea.” In the years 1065 — 1068, they penetrated into Phrygia, but were driven back beyond the Euphrates by the emperor Romanus. The Romans were again defeated by Alp-Arslan in the year 1071. “On this fatal day,” the historian observes, “the Asiatic provinces were irretrievably lost.” It does not, however, appear that they extorted, at this time, any city or province from the empire; and after this event the Turkish empire was much weakened by a civil war, which ended in a lasting separation into four dynasties, Persia, Kerman, Syria, and Roum. It appears that the dynasty of Roum effected the conquest of Asia Minor, between the years 1074 and 1084. “ Soliman, with his four brothers, passed the Euphrates; the Turkish camp was soon seated in the neighbourhood of Kutaieh in Phrygia ; and his flying cavalry laid waste all the country as far as the Hellespont.” This invasion, however, was not conducted by those Turks who were destined to destroy all remains of the Roman empire in the East ; the power of these Turks was broken by the conquests of Zingis and the Moguls.
But shortly afterwards we find the Ottoman Turks passing the same river, so celebrated in Turkish invasions, and passing it to return no more to their former boundaries. Soliman Shah was drowned in the passage of the Euphrates ; his son Orthogrul became the soldier and subject of Aladin, sultan of Iconium, and established at Surgut, on the banks of the Sangar, a camp of four hundred families or tents, whom he governed fifty-two years.
He was the father of Othman, who, in the year 1299, first invaded the territory of Nicomedia, though the
1 “We should probably rate London in 1204 too high at 40,000."-Hallam. first recorded conquest of these Turks over the Greeks, was that of the famous city of Kutahi, in the year 1281 : the growth of the monster from this period was rapid and destructive. In 1300, Anatolia was divided among the Turkish emirs — in 1312, the captivity or ruin of the seven churches of Asia was completed.” Orchan, who succeeded in the year 1326, conquered Bithynia. In 1353, the Turks passed over into Europe, and there gained a settlement. Amurath I. fixed the seat of his government at Adrianople ; he reigned from 1360 to 1389. Bajazet reigned till 1403, and extended his conquests from the Euphrates to the Danube. The arm of the Turks was arrested by the conquest of a more powerful barbarian, Timour ; but their empire was again restored, under Mahomet I., in 1421. To him Amurath II. succeeded, who was followed by Mahomet II., 1451. By the arms of this sovereign Constantinople fell. “ Among the instruments of destruction, he studied, with peculiar care, the recent and tremendous discovery of the Latins; and his artillery surpassed whatever had yet appeared in the world.” “ This thundering artillery," pointed against the walls and towers which had been erected only to resist the “ less potent engines of antiquity,” gave a great advantage to the assailant, and the city was taken by assault, May 29, 14531. The concluding remarks of Mr. Hallam are
“ The two monarchies which have successively held their seat in the city of Constantine, 'may be contrasted in the circumstances of their decline. In the present day we anticipate, with an assurance that none can deem extravagant, the approaching subversion of the Ottoman power ; but the signs of internal weakness have not yet been confirmed by the dismemberment of provinces ; and the arch of dominion, that long since has seemed nodding to its fall, and totters at every blast of the North, still rests upon the landmarks of ancient conquests, and spans the ample regions from Bagdad to Belgrade. Far different were the events that preceded the dissolution of the Greek empire. Every province was in turn subdued ; every city opened her gates to the conqueror ; the limbs were lopped off one by one, but the pulse still beat at the heart, and the majesty of the Roman name was ultimately confined to the walls of Constantinople.” Before Mahomet II. planted his cannon against them, he had completed every smaller conquest, and deprived the existing empire of every hope of succour or delay. “ Though the fate of
Constantinople had been protracted beyond all reasonable expectation, the actual intelligence operated like that of sudden calamity; a sentiment of consternation, perhaps of self-reproach, thrilled to the heart of Christendom.”
But what say the divine oracles on this occasion ? the rest of men who were not killed by these plagues, yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils—demons—and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood; which neither hear, nor see, nor walk ; neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their theft?.”
OF THE REMNANT OF THE EASTERN CHURCHES.
The state of religion under the imperial sway, and among the remains of the Romans in Africa and the West, appears to have declined greatly. Formality and superstition were greatly increased, and with them, every practical impiety; but a remnant of true believers was still discoverable, nourished chiefly by those important truths which Augustin had so ably defended in the last age. Those truths, however, made but little impression in the East; and the chief vestige that we find of revealed religion, is, the subject which still interested the leading bishops of the Greek church, themselves so destitute of every thing like the influence of heavenly grace in their conduct. This subject was the mysterious person of the Redeemer; and although the object by no means sanctifies the instruments of their warfare, yet it bespeaks a public attention to a subject which is among the most important that belong to the Christian faith ; and if the great champions of the cause stand branded by their actions, as destitute of all spiritual union with the Redeemer, we may fairly adduce, by analogy from other parts of this history with which we happen to be better acquainted, that there was still, in the obscurer walks of life, a very considerable body of people, who loved the truth for its own sake, and who, by their numbers, in the view of their ambitious rulers, gave an importance to the contest.
The disputes of the last age, concerning the Nestorians, who divided the person of the blessed Saviour, and concerning the
1 Rev. ix. 20, 21.
Eutychians, who confounded his divine and human natures, were still objects of contention among the bishops of the Greek churches. It is the best thing that we have to record of the Eastern church, that the truth remained with it. The errors of the sectaries, however, not being on points so fundamental, might perhaps be capable of an interpretation which would leave the truth inviolate respecting the Godhead of the Son, and the atonement in his blood. We may therefore still regard both these sects as included virtually in the universal church.
The Nestorians established a patriarch of their sect at Seleucia, and spread their doctrines, with great zeal and success, in the Eastern nations beyond the limits of the empire. By the Persian monarchs they were more tolerated than the Christians of the Greek church; and there are still extant authentic records, from which it appears, that throughout all Persia, as also in Armenia, Arabia, Syria, India, and other countries, there were vast numbers of Nestorian churches?, all under the jurisdiction of the patriarch of Seleucia. The Eutychians also had many converts.
The emperor Anastasius warmly espoused their cause, and having expelled Flavian, the bishop of Antioch, placed Severus, one of the sect, in his room. After the emperor's death, Severus was expelled in his turn ; and the Eutychians, opposed and oppressed by Justin, and the emperors who succeeded him, were nearly extinguished, when an obscure monk, of the name of Jacob, by his
very extraordinary exertions, restored the sect to great consideration in many parts of the East, and from him they have been called Jacobites.
Another sect, which is mentioned as arising out of these controversies respecting the Trinity, were the Tritheists, who arose among the Eutychians, and maintained that in the Deity there existed three natures, or substances, absolutely equal in all respects, and joined together by no common essence.
Justin, who succeeded Anastasius, as has been intimated, restored in all places the profession of the Council of Chalcedon, which condemned the two heresies, and the church seems to have enjoyed some calm. We read that, a bishop of Antioch having been killed in a most tremendous earthquake which laid desolate that city, the people out of gratitude to Euphræmius, lieutenant of the East, for his great care in supplying the wants of the city during this calamity, elected him their bishop. The
bishopric of Antioch must still, therefore, have been a station of great importance.
Justinian followed the steps of Justin; but so unsettled were the minds of the Grecian bishops, that both Anthimius of Constantinople, and Theodosius of Alexandria, were deprived, for having embraced the Eutychian heresy. In the year 553, Justinian summoned the fifth general council, or second of Constantinople. Its decisions are considered of no great importance ; it condemned certain positions of Origen, and certain writings called The Three Chapters,” supposed to be favourable to Nestorianism. Vigilius, the Roman bishop, was sent for to Constantinople, and compelled to subscribe their rejection ; and some of the Western bishops, having refused to follow his example, were expelled. In his old age, Justinian entertained a notion, that the body of Christ was incorruptible ; and he had the folly to attempt the establishment of it, as a doetrine, by an edict. Eutychius, bishop of Constantinople, had the integrity, however, to refuse the publication of the edict. “ This,” said he, “ is not the doctrine of the apostles - it would follow from thence that the incarnation was only in fancy. How could an incorruptible body have been nourished by the milk of its mother? How was it possible for it, when on the cross, to be pierced with nails or the lance ? It cannot be called incorruptible in any other sense, than as it was always unpolluted with any sinful defilement, and was not corrupted in the grave.” For this opposition, the bishop was treated with great severity, and died in exile. The same fate awaited Anastasius, bishop of Antioch, to whose superior learning and piety, the policy of the other bishops had referred the emperor. But Justinian was suddenly taken off, in the thirty-eighth year of his reign. Justin II., though he acknowledged the true faith, did not restore Eutychius, and banished Anastasius from Antioch. We have reason to draw conclusions favourable to the real piety of both these prelates. After the short reign of Tiberius, Maurice succeeded.
At this time died the famous Simeon, celebrated for having lived eighty-three years on pillars elevated higher and higher. The superstition of the times invested him with miraculous powers; and he was consulted, during many years, as an oracle, by the great men of the world. These pillar-saints were numerous in the East; the master of Simeon had been one of that description, and had trained him from a youth to this species of austerity. Superstitions of every description were