before us; in which kings and generals, free men and slaves, were seen flying and seeking to the caves of the rocks, to hide them from the face of Him that sate on the throne of power, and from the wrath of the Lamb.

Thus, under the first shocks of this great earthquake, was the Roman earth agitated, and the antichristian powers driven into flight and consternation. Thus, in the political heavens, had the sun of pagan supremacy been darkened, the moon became eclipsed and blood-red, and, of the stars, not a few been shaken violently to the ground. But the prophecy had not as yet received its entire fulfilment. The stars of the pagan heaven had not all fallen, nor the heaven itself altogether rolled up like a scroll and vanished away.

On Constantine's first triumph, and after the first terrors of the antichristian emperors and their hosts, though the imperial edict gave to Christianity its full rights and freedom, yet it allowed to the heathen worship a free toleration also. But very soon there followed measures of marked preference in the imperial appointments to the Christians and their faith; and, at length, as Constantine advanced in life, in spite of the indignation and resentment of the Pagans, he issued edicts for the suppression of their sacrifices, the destruction of their temples, and the toleration of no other form of public worship but the Christian.

His successors on the throne followed up the same object, by attaching penalties of the severest character to the public profession of Paganism; and the result was, that before the century had ended, its stars had all fallen to the ground, its very heaven or political system vanished, and on the earth the old pagan institutions, laws, rites and worship, been all but subverted.

When Heathenism had been cast down from its supremacy, and Christianity established in the Roman world, the changes consequent were immense and universal. Now, throughout its vast extent, the cross was everywhere in honour, and the all-conquering virtue recognized that attended it. Now

the righteousness of the slaughtered martyrs, that had been gathered under the altar, was acknowledged in public edicts; and the living confessors restored to their homes in triumph, from the mines and dungeons where they were suffering. Now, instead of vaults and catacombs for the sacred assemblies of Christians, and other hiding places shut out from the light of heaven, to which, like their earlier christian brethren, they had been reduced during the late persecution, there arose, in the cities and towns, churches of magnificence; and the ritual was celebrated with pomp corresponding. Now, instead of desertions and apostacies from the christian body,—such as had been the case with not a few under the fiery trial,-the daily accessions to it were innumerable. Candidates in throngs applied for baptism; and at the Easter and Pentecostal festivals, the newly baptized neophytes, in their white vestments, grouped conspicuous around each ehristian sanctuary. Now, moreover, under imperial auspices, the Christian Church Catholic was gathered, for the first time, in œcumenical council. Representatives attended from every province, and nation, and tongue, in the vast empire. The palace gates were thrown open to the holy delegates; the emperor bowed in respectful deference before them. If in the use of his power, he was to the Church as a nursing father, his behaviour was respectful as that of a son.

And now, then, who can wonder at the exultation that was felt at this time by many, perhaps by most, that bore the christian name; or at their high raised expectations as to the future happy destiny of the Roman, now that it had become also the christian nation? It seemed to them as if it had become God's covenanted people, like Israel of old: and the expectation was not unnatural,-an expectation strengthened by the remarkable tranquillity which, throughout the extent of the now re-united empire, followed almost immediately on Constantine's establishment of Christianity,-that not only the temporal blessing of the ancient Jewish covenant would thenceforth in no small

measure attach to them, but even those prophesied of, as pertaining to the latter days.

Hence on the medals of that era, the emblem of the phoenix, all radiant with the rising sun-beams, to represent the empire as now risen into new life and hope; and its legend, which spoke of the happy restoration of the times. Hence, in forgetfulness of all former prognostications of antichrist, and fearful coming evils, the reference by the most eminent of their bishops to the latter day blessedness as even then about fulfilling. The state of things was such, Eusebius tells us, that it looked like the very image of the kingdom of Christ.

But the views of the holy Evangelist went deeper. Already he had seen corruption working in the Church, while under circumstances of adversity and depression; and when the sunshine of prosperity and power should beam upon it, what might seem more likely, in itself, than that the evil should increase and extend.

Moreover, he could not forget, though so many might forget it, that the great antichristian apostacy from the faith, expressly predicted in Scripture, was yet to come. And if antichrist was to be a power,-as seemed probable from the dark hints of prophecy, in profession Christian, and not Pagan; and if, with the accession

of prosperity, there should come the accession, in equal measure, of unsoundness and corruption, into the christian body; the very event in which they triumphed might prove in its results, to be but a step in the transition from the lesser pagan, to the great antichristian oppression of the Gospel, and with the accompaniment of God's fearful judgments. True Christians might be surely expected, from the uniform tenor to that effect of holy Scripture, to be but a small minority under the existing dispensation,—an election of grace out of a world of which, till a better dispensation, Satan was to be still the ruler: and although watched and guarded from real evil by Him who has chosen them, yet, for the most part, and even to the end, a suffering people. "In the world ye shall have tribulation." So that as to the full triumph of the saints, and realization of the blessedness of those glowing prophecies of Messiah's kingdom, referred to by Eusebius, he would look for it, just as the Church had done hitherto, and was soon led to do again, as not to come till the time of the re

generation of all things,- -a time consequent to the rise and reign of the antichristian apostacy, and to be introduced by no lesser instrumentality than that of the brightness of the coming of the Lord Jesus.




MANY of our readers have doubtless seen with great pleasure the address to Her Majesty, emanating from that meeting of lay members of our Church, which was assembled on Dec. 5th, under the presidency of Lord Ashley. That address is now circulating to receive the signatures of the laity, that they may thus join in petitioning the Queen to exercise that wholesome power of interposition in the management of our Established Church, respecting which the address says, "The records of the reigns of your Majesty's

illustrious predecessors, both before and since the glorious Revolution, furnish many examples of the manner in which the mischiefs and abuses, which at various times have sprung up in the Church, have been dealt with, by the exercise of the royal authority."

It so happens, however, that the laity have been told, in the published language of another address to Her Majesty, which appeared in the papers about eight months ago, with the appended signatures of some hundred

members of the Oxford Convocation, That the records of the universal Church, as well as those of the reigns of Her Majesty's most famous predecessors, unite in proving that it is her bounden duty to abstain from exercising any other interposition, for the correction of erroneous teaching, or of any want of discipline, amongst professed ministers of our Church, than that of referring the cognizance of all ecclesiastical offenders to the exclusive decision of ecclesiastics, and all questions of false doctrine to episcopal judges. Wherever, therefore, the assertions of these Oxford addressers have been believed by the laity, they are too likely to conclude that nothing, worth contending for, can be gained by petitioning Her Majesty to interpose her authority for the maintenance of Protestant doctrine, and of the holy simplicity of a Protestant ritual, in our Church. It is, consequently, desirable that the assertions of the Oxford addressers, on a subject which is daily growing more important, should no longer be allowed to pass for trustworthy with such persons as happen to be unaware that some of them are grossly at variance with historic truth. These assertions were made under the form of twenty-one distinct statements, embodied in the petition of the numerous subscribing members of the Oxford Convocation, as truths to which they (not the corporate body of their university) entreated Her Majesty's gracious attention.

Their series of statements begins as follows:

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"1. That the only authority claimed by christian emperors, and acknowledged by the Church, in ecclesiastical causes, has been to give, upon appeal, new episcopal judges. By dropping the limiting word primitive, (which had been used in a preceding paragraph, where they spoke of what they could concede to the civil magistrate,) and by employing the words has been, properly indicative of continuance, the addressers have been made to tell their Sovereign what cannot be maintained to be true, to that extent to which the compilers of the address ought to have been con

scious that this affirmation would naturally be understood to reach; unless it could be proved, that all whom they would acknowledge to be christian emperors, have, generally, at least, so limited their claims; and have had no farther authority allowed them by their ecclesiastics.


Take the addressers at their word, and we must suppose that our gracious Queen will stand rebuked by the holier course of the whole line of German and Russian emperors, if she suffers herself to be induced, by her legally constituted advisers, to protect any ecclesiastic from being punished by his diocesan, for holding doctrines, which that diocesan has not been able to prove-incompatible, in their judgment, with our Church's declared belief. For, assuredly, many of the subscribers to this Oxford address are too favourable to the Church of Rome; and some of their party have spoken far too highly of the Greek Church, to justify the public in supposing that they intended to exclude those sovereigns, when using the phrase christian emperors. on the other hand, the addressers cannot honestly present this statement to Her Majesty, in terms which will naturally be understood to include those emperors, unless they are ignorant of what well-informed English gentlemen ought to have known. For it was not in obscure times that a select committee of the House of Commons, instituted to gather information "respecting the Laws and Ordinances of Foreign States in Ecclesiastical Matters,' ascertained and reported, That the Emperor of Austria not only claimed, and was allowed, the right of nominating all the bishops in his dominions, with one exception, but obliged those bishops "to submit their pastoral and circular letters to the inspection and approbation of the Provincial Civil Government, before they were promulgated;" and further required, in the case of the excommunication of any of his subjects, that previous to its publication, the motive of such excommunication should be discussed by an equal number of ecclesiastical and civil commissaries, and laid before

His Majesty, without whose confirmation it will have no civil effect." Report, ordered to be printed by H. of Com. June 25, 1816. The same committee ascertained that every sovereign, in papal Europe, exercised nearly the same authority, in controlling the ecclesiastical jurisdiction; and it would but be wasting time to imagine whether the Emperor of Russia is less an autocrat in his


Perhaps, however, some will charitably suggest that the compilers of this address, being scholars, and of a somewhat pedantic cast, have not thought it worth their while to advert to the conduct of such recent emperors; and, that to make an allowance for their train of historical recollections, we should at least go back as far as Charlemagne, or the imperial Othos. Let us therefore meet them on this ground. And here the statements, which refute their own, may be taken from documents likely to be regarded by them with especial reverence. For in that authoritative compendium of papal law, the Corpus Juris Canonici, Canon twenty-two of Distinctio lxiii. is thus headed, "The emperor has the right of electing the Pope;" and its text proceeds to tell, how Charlemagne united with Pope Adrian in holding a synod in the Lateran, where 153 bishops and abbots were collected; and that Adrian, with the whole synod, assigned to him the right and authority of choosing the Pope, and of regulating the apostolic see,-tradiderunt Carolo jus et potestatem eligendi pontificem, et ordinandi apostolicam sedem. And in the very next canon the reader will find Leo VIII. adverting to this, nearly two hundred years afterwards, and adding, as follows, "I too, Leo, bishop, servant of the servants of God, with the whole clergy and Roman people, do constitute, and confirm, and corroborate, and by our apostolic authority concede and give to Otho I. King of the Germans, and to his successors, for ever, authority to elect a successor, and ordain the Pontiff of this chief apostolic see;" and the text proceeds to denounce a sentence of excommunication against any per

son who should presume to contravene this canon. This Pope had certainly strong reasons for confirming the emperor's authority to such an extent; for Platina, the honest Romish chronicler, tells how Pope John XII. was driven from Rome, for his exceeding wickedness, by Otho's threats; and that thereupon, at the clergy's persuasion, Otho made Leo Pope in John's stead.-Otho, persuadente clero, Leonem, Romanum civem, Lateranensis ecelesiæ sorinianum pontificem oreat. Was such a procedure as this what the compilers of the Oxford address meant to describe, when they led their followers to join them in telling the Queen, that the authority claimed by christian emperors, and acknowledged by the Church, had but amounted, at the most, to giving new episcopal judges, upon an appeal?

But let us gratify these scholars by going a little further back, to a Church whose history may be read in Greek as well as Latin; to the iconoclast christian emperors, who imitated the conduct of Hezekiah, by commanding the images of Christ and of the Apostles to be broken, when they had become objects of worship. Was not this an exertion of authority of a different kind from that described in the statement? Or are we to suppose that its compilers regard the rebellious ecclesiastics, who resisted the edicts of those emperors, as constituting the Church, to the exclusion of that portion of the Greek hierarchy and people who then acknowledged that their emperors used their authority aright, in this reforming measure?

But though the subscribers to this Oxford address ought to have known that this first statement could not be true, to the extent to which the ignorant would naturally suppose it to reach, they seem to have given the compilers credit for knowing of some strong evidence in support of its assertion, as insinuated by their appended note, Codex Eccl. Afr. Can. 104.

There is no process by which men, reputed to be learned, more easily deceive themselves and others, than by taking an assertion from some ancient book, especially if it be one


of rare occurrence, and receiving it, or passing it off, as a truth, without duly inquiring whether its authority is entitled to have any considerable weight as to the proposition affirmed. The compilers of the address may have had good reason to expect that such mysterious fragments of words "Eccl. Afr. Can." would impress many of its readers with a notion that something profound was concealed under them, as under so many hieroglyphics. But we may safely venture to strip them of all their imposing effect, by translating them into their fair, though undignified, equivalent, fudge. The only thing which the compilers' reference is sufficient to prove, is but that they were unable to bring forward any trustworthy evidence for their assertion, and were in consequence fain to make its proof lean upon a notoriously broken reed. They may have examined, and have remained unconvinced, by the arguments, used long ago by the Franciscan M. Ant. Capelle, to prove the Codex they cite a downright forgery; and it may be more reasonable to conclude from the arguments stated by Basnage in his invaluable Annales Politico-Ecclesiastici, tom. iii. p. 297, that this order was originally a collection of the divisions formed or adopted by a synod of African bishops, assembled at Carthage in A. D. 419; but he allows that the copy now extant cannot be a genuine record of those divisions, inasmuch as it incorporates what was indisputably of a later date. In our own days, the laborious Gieseler has assigned its compilation to Dionysius Exiguus (Compend. Eccles. Hist. ch. iii. § 94, p. 59,) i.e. to the date of about 533. If therefore the compilers of the address can produce a sentence from this codex, affirming what they have affirmed, on its authority, that affirmation cannot be fastened upon the African bishops, so long as the integrity of the codex is indefensible. Whilst if they could prove such a sentence to have been part of the original record, they would but prove that certain African bishops, who then repudiated the Pope's claim to interfere with their discipline, were so bold, in their aim at independence,

as to affirm that general usage had also confined the emperor's authority, in ecclesiastical causes, within narrower bounds than it is consistent with numerous and less disputable ancient documents to admit.

It is needless to observe, further, that if the testimony said to be given by a synod assembled in 419, be really so ancient, it can only be offered as evidence of the usage of the Church for the single century which had then elapsed since Constantine's beginning to act as a christian emperor. And it ought to be unnecessary to tell the addressers, that whereas there had been but two general councils in that period, the emperors had convened them both; and that the Church had not only acknowledged their authority so to do, but had requested the reigning emperor, by its representatives, at the later council, (that of Constantin ple, in 381,) to authenticate its decisions by his ratification,-" Ut sciuti literis quibus nos convocastis ecclesiam honore prosecutus es, ita etiam finem eorum quæ decreta sunt obsignes. - Labbe. Concil., tom. ii. 941. This, alone, is proof enough that statement the first is at variance with notorious facts in that age, as well as at the later periods already noticed. But the records of the Church of Rome will have a weight with the addressers, which they may refuse to allow to anything done at Constantinople; and those records have preserved a remarkable letter, addressed to the Emperors Gratian and Valentinian, by a synod assembled at Rome, in 378. It appears, from that letter, that accusations had been laid against Pope Damasus, to entangle him in suits; pending which, his authority would have been in abeyance. The synod therefore reminds the emperors that they had declared, some while before, that the innocence of Damasus was

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