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cil of Tyre, A. D. 335, and banished into Gaul. The people of Alexandria, however, could not be prevailed upon to receive Arius, upon which the Emperor invited him to Constantinople, A. D. 336, and ordered Alexander, Bishop of that city, to receive him to communion. Before, however, this order could be put into execution, Arius died at Constantinople, and Constantine survived him but a short time.” Mosheim, Cent. iv. p. 2. c. 5.
3. Meletius.] “ Meletius was Bishop of Lycopolis in Egypt. He was accused and convicted of having offered incense to idols, and was in consequence deposed by Peter, Bishop of Alexandria, whose jurisdiction extended throughout all Egypt. Meletius upon this became the head of a schism in the Church, by assuming to himself the power of ordination, which was vested in the Bishop of Alexandria, and exercised by him in all the Egyptian Churches. Epiphanius, Hær. 68, attributes the dissensions between Meletius and Peter to another cause. He says, that the rigorous proceedings of Peter against Meletius were occasioned by the latter's refusing to readmit into the Church those who had fallen from the faith during Dioclesian's prosecution, before their penitential trial was entirely finished. The former opinion, however, is supported by the superior authority of Socrates and Theodoret. The confusion which Meletius introduced into the Church by his illegal ordinations was rectified by the Council of Nice, as appears by the Sixth Canon, in which it was ordained that the ancient privilege of the Church of Alexandria should be preserved, and the general authority of the Metropolitans over the Bishops of their several provinces was declared and confirmed.” Mosheim, ib. note by Dr. Maclaine.
4. In any parish.] It may help to the understanding of various passages in the Canons, and other decrees in this collection, to give a summary account of the manner in which the ancient Church was divided, and of the different names given to these divisions, as well as of the ecclesiastical governors of them.
It seems clear, that the Church followed the civil divisions of the empire, both in its original constitution, and in the changes which were afterwards introduced. First there was ordinarily placed a Bishop in every city of the empire, the limits of whose jurisdiction were the city itself and the neighboring districts, with the country-towns and villages, which were subject to the civil jurisdiction of the city. This district, which we now call by the name diocese, was usually called in the primitive Church by that of parish, tapoıxía, and was under the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of one Bishop, with his Presbyters and Deacons under him.
The next ecclesiastical division was that of provinces, étapxial, which were coextensive with the civil provinces, comprising all the cities which were comprised within the civil division. As the officers of the different cities within the civil province were subject to one chief Magistrate, who resided in the metropolis, or chief city of the province, so all the Bishops of the province were subject to the Bishop of that same city, who was therefore called the Metropolitan or Primate. The only exception to this rule was in some of the African provinces, where the Primacy was not fixed, as in other places, to the civil metropolis, but was assigned to the oldest Bishop of the province, who succeeded to this dignity by virtue of his seniority, whatever place he lived in. The Bishop of Carthage, however, was a fixed and standing Metropolitan for the province of Africa properly so called.
The principal offices of Metropolitans were, 1. To regulate the elections of the Provincial Bishops, and to ordain them, or at all events to authorize their ordination, and this authority was preserved to Metropolitans even when Patriarchs were set over them, by whom they themselves were to be ordained. 2. To preside over their Provincial Bishops, and if any controversy arose amongst them, to interpose their authority to end and decide it. 3. To call provincial Synods, which all the Bishops of the province were bound to attend. 4. To publish such imperial laws and canons as were made either by Emperors or Councils for the common good of the Church. 5. To give commendatory letters to such of the Bishops of their provinces as had occasion to travel, without which they were forbidden by several Canons to do 80. 6. To take care of all vacant sees within their provinces ; to administer the affairs of the Church during the vacancy; to secure the revenues of the Bishopric, and to procure the speedy election of a new Bishop.
Besides the division into provinces, the empire was afterwards
divided into dioceses, each of which comprised many provinces. This division began only about the time of Constantine, whereas that of provinces was much older, if not coeval with the first establishment of the Christian Church. The Church adopted this division also; and as the State had an Exarch or Vicar in the cap. ital city of each civil diocese, so the Church in process of time came to have her Exarchs or Patriarchs, in many if not in all the capital cities of the empire. These Patriarchs were at first called Archbishops, which title had therefore originally a much more extensive signification than it has at present, when it is generally taken for the Metropolitan of a single province. There are various questions respecting the rise and progress of Patriarchal power, which it is unnecessary to enter into here, but which are fully considered by Bingham and Beveridge. The principal privileges of Patriarchs were, 1. To ordain all the Metropolitans of the diocese (who before the institution of Patriarchs were ordained by the Synod of the province), and to receive their own ordination from a Diocesan Synod. 2. To call Diocesan Synods, and to preside in them. 3 To receive appeals from Metropolitans, and from Metropolitan Synods. 4. To censure Metropolitans, and also their Suffragans when Metropolitans were remiss in censuring them. The Patriarch of Alexandria had from very early times some peculiar privileges within his diocese, but all Patriarchs were originally co-ordinate, as well as independent of each other as regards actual power, though some had a precedence of honor, as those of Rome, Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Je. rusalem, who had by the Canons precedence of all others. For a more full account of the matters contained in this note, see Bingham, b. viii. c. 16 and 17. and b. ix. and Beveridge's Annotations upon the 6th Canon of the Council of Nice; and also his treatise upon Metropolitans in the Codex Canonum Eccl. Prim. vindicatus.
5. Easter.] The controversy respecting the proper time of celebrating the Easter festival was of very early origin in the Church. The generality of the Asiatic Churches kept the festival as the Jews did their Passover, on the 14th day of the first moon in the new year, whatever day of the week that happened to be. The Western Churches generally deferred it to the first Sunday after
the first full moon. The former alleged the authority of St. Philip and St. John for their practice, the latter that of St. Peter and St. Paul, and of a revelation made by an Angel to Hermas, brother of Pius I., Bishop of Rome. Polycarp, Bishop of Smyr. na, came to Rome about the middle of the second century, to confer with Anicetus, Bishop of Rome, upon the subject; but they could not come to any agreement as to the proper day. They agreed, however, in this, that the peace and communion of the Church were not to be broken on account of the difference. Some years after, Victor, Bishop of Rome, being unable to persuade the Asiatics to adopt the Western custom, excommunicated the Asiatic Churches, and sent circular letters to all the Churches which agreed with him respecting Easter, that they should hold no communion with the Asiatics. This proceeding of Victor's was, however, condemned by all the wise and sober men of his own party, several of whom wrote sharply to him upon the subject, and particularly Irenæus, who wrote to him in the name of the Churches of Gaul. The dispute still prevailed till the time of Constantine, who, wishing to terminate it, sent, in the first instance, Hosius, Bishop of Corduba in Spain, into the East, to endeavor to bring those Churches which still retained the Asiatic custom to an agreement with the rest of the Church. The mission, however, proving fruitless, the subject was submitted to the decision of the Council of Nice, which decreed, that from thenceforth all Churches should keep the feast on the same day, i. e. the first Sunday after the full moon; which happens upon, or next after, the vernal equinox, i. e. the 21st day of March. The great reverence which was paid to the decrees of this Council produced a more general agreement, which was further enforced by the decrees of other Councils, and thenceforth those persons who kept the feast according to the old Asiatic practice were accounted heretics, and subjected to ecclesiastical punishment. Bingham, b. xx. c. 5.
THE NICENE CREED. (1.)
ery Gstance of the Fatherd
We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of all things, both visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, begotten of the Father, the only begotten, that is of the substance of the Father, God of God, Light of light, very God of very God, begotten not made, consubstantial with the Father, by whom all things were made, both those in heaven and those in earth: who for us men, and for our salvation, came down, and was incarnate, made man, suffered, and rose again the third day, ascended into the heavens, and will come to judge the living and the dead. And in the Holy Ghost. But those who say, that there was once a time when he was not, and that he was not before he was begotten, and that he was made out of things which did not exist, or who say, that he is of another substance or essence (2), or that the Son of God is created, capable of change, or alteration, the Catholic Church anathematizes.
1. This Creed is found in Greek, 1. In the Epistle of Eusebius to the Cæsareans, of which Epistle we have four copies preserved in the works of Theodoret, Socrates, Athanasius, and Gelasius of Cyzicum. 2. In the Epistle of Athanasius to Jovian. 3. In the 125th Epistle of Basil the Great. 4. In Socrates, Hist. Eccl. lib. i. c. 8. 5. In the Epistle of Cyril of Alexandria to Anastasius. 6. In the Codex Canonum Ecclesiæ Africanæ ; though probably, in this instance, it is a retranslation from the Latin version. 7. In the Acts of the Council of Ephesus. 8. In Gelasius Cyzicenus, lib. ii. c. 26. 9. In the Confession of Faith presented by Eutyches to the Council of Chalcedon, which is to be found amongst the Acts of that Council. 10. In the Exposi