Imágenes de páginas

monarchs, as well as our own, use at this day at their coronation. From this time heathen mythology sunk into general contempt, and forsaking the cities, where the inquisitive minds of cultivated men had detected and exposed its absurdities, it retired among the remote Pagi, or villages, where it continued to linger a little longer, and its professors were denominated Pagani,” or Pagans, and the superstition itself Paganism, an appellation which it retains at this day. Theodosius divided his empire between his sons Arcadius and Honorius, giving to the former the East, of which Constantinople was the capital; and to the latter the West, of which Rome was the capital. The Christian world was thus divided into two empires and two churches; the first distinctiou has been long since obliterated, but the second yet subsists.t. He died in 395, after a reign of sixteen years, having justly acquired the appellation of the Great. The annexed coin represents the emperor in armour, with a spear and shield: the legend, Dominvs Theodosivs, perpetvvs, Felix, Avgvstvs. Thereverse represents him robed, holding in his right hand the Labarum, and in his left the globe, surmounted with a cross. The legend, Gloria orbis terr ARUM –“ the Glory of the whole Earth." In the exergue the letters tesob. Thessalonicae obsignata, “coined at Thessalonica.”

For two centuries nothing very memorable occurred in the Eastern empire, nor did any of the emperors distinguish themselves till the reign of Justinian. Justinian was born in Thrace, and was raised to the imperial purple in 527, being 45 years old, though some of his coins represent him as a younger man. He was of a very religious turn, though he married Theodora, an actress of a very profligate life, who gained great influence over him in persecuting heretics. The laws of the empire were at this time in very great confusion, and he engaged Trebonius, an eminent lawyer, to prepare a compilation of them ; then a digest or pandect; and finally, institutes, or an elementary treatise. The Code, Pandects, and Institutes of Justinian, form the great body of civil jurisprudence recognized at this day. He was also the first who introduced the use of silk from Persia, and so it has passed into Europe. His piety was displayed on several occasions; he re-edified many churches, and among the rest that of Sancta Sophia, as it now exists at Constantinople. He seemed ambitious of distinction in minor points; he first designated

Antioch C H E (4 P 6sswoxic, “the city of God,” when his predecessors had always expressed it by ANT. ; he modified the form of the cross into that which still continues in the Eastern Church, to be peculiarly called the Greek cross, t and he bent down the tiara, so as to give it the shape of the modern crown surmounted by a cross, as used at present by Christian monarchs. These circumstances are commemorated on his coins. He died in the year 565, in the 83d year of his age, worn out with cares and anxieties.

The annexed Coin represents on the obverse the emperor robed, his head covered with a cross-bearing crown of his new construction, and holding in his right hand the cross-bearing globe. The legend, Dominvs JwstiNIANvs, perpetvvs, pivs, AvGwsTvs. On the reverse is the Greek Cross, standing on a pedestal of steps. The legend, somewhat imperfect, Victoria Avgvsti ; in the exergue, conob, Constantinopoli obsignata, “coined at Constantinople.”

* Quod Religio Christiana in urbes recepta, Pagani gentiles ritus diuretinuerunt.

+ The separation of the Churches did not entirely take place till 866, when Basileus, by the influence of Photius, completely effected it.

: In all the modern Greek standards I have seen, the figure of this cross was exactly preserved by the insurgents. It represents the three crosses at the crucifixion; that of Christ is in the middle, those of the malefactors at each side.


The introduction of images and pictures into the Grecian churches had now become very prevalent, and the emperors commemorated the practice by impressing similar ones on their coins. Justinianus, son of Constantinus Pogonatus, was called to the imperial throne in 685. He was a man of cruel and implacable character, and was attacked and taken prisoner by Leontius, who mutilated him by cutting off his nose, and from thence he was called Rhinometus. He was afterwards overtaken by a storm at sea, and his confessor directed him to pray for and promise forgiveness to his enemies. His prayer was, “May I now perish if I spare one of them!” which determination he religiously kept when restored to the crown. He affected, notwithstanding, much piety, and was the first to introduce upon his coins the image of our Saviour, copied, it should appear, from a brazen statue of him over one of the churches, which was afterwards the cause of much tumult. Justinian died in the year 711, leaving behind him a very atrocious character.

In the annexed Coin, the obverse represents the bust of Christ, holding in his left hand his Gospel, or perhaps the Prophets, which he seems to be explaining by the pointed finger of his right hand; his head is crowned with rays. The legend, with a mixture of Greek and Gothic letters, Jesvs Christ vs, Rex Reg NANtiv M-" Jesus Christ, the King of kings.” On the reverse the emperor is represented in barred vestments, his

head surmounted with a common cross, and holding in his right hand the cross of Jus. tinian. The legend, Dom IN vs JwstiNIAN vs serv vs Christi –“ Lord Justinian, a servant of Christ.” In the exergue conop as in the former. The excess of images and pictures, now introduced into the Christian Church, excited in no small degree the concern of those who thought them inimical to pure worship, and a violation of the commands of God; a reformation, therefore commenced in the Eastern church, similar to that which many centuries after took place in the Western; which was warmly supported by the Emperor Leo. Leo II. called Isaurus, from the place of his birth in Asia Minor, was originally called Conon; but took the name of Leo when crowned emperor in 717.-He began his resormation by assembling a council of bishops and senators, who both concurred with him in the propriety of removing all images from the altars and sanctuaries of Christian churches. In this reformation he was violently opposed by Gregory II. pope of Rome, who excited the Latin people to revolt against him, and influenced Germanus, the pa. triarch of Constantinople, to resist his authority. He exiled Germanus, and sent a fleet to reduce his revolted subjects in Italy; but the fleet was lost in a storm in the Adriatic, and an earthquake at the same time devastated Constantinople: these two circumstances were assigned by his opponents as evidence of God's anger against him. A sect of Christians at this time started up who were called Iconoclasts or image-breakers. They


entered the churches, and like Knox's reformers, and Cromwell's puritans, defaced or destroyed every image they met. The emperor and his ministers were supposed to favour these men, whose zeal often carried them beyond the bounds of discretion.* There stood over one of the principal churches, an image of Christ, held in high respect by the people. Not content with destroying the images of saints, they tore down this also, as an idolatrous exhibition. The Latin writers, as may be supposed, were loud in their condemnation of this impiety. They asserted that Leo had secret connection with the Arabs and Jews, and with an atrocious sect called Manichaeans, prevalent in that part of Asia Minor where he was born, and that he acted with a view to extirpate Christianity altogether. He however preserved in his reformation till his death, which happened in the year 741. He was succeeded by his son Constantine Copronymus, called so in derision, because, as the Latin writers assert, he defiled the font at his baptism, no vain omen of his im. piety, t a token that he would pollute and defile the church hereafter. He persevered in the same course as his father had begun, till he had eradicated the traces of superstition, and restored the worship of the church to its primitive purity and simplicity. That their object was not to abolish Christianity, but to purify it, appears from their inscriptions and coins. They erased all impressions of the Virgin, and even of our Saviour; as idolatrous; but they retained every where the great sign of salvation, the cross. There stood till very lately in Constantinople, an inscription over the great gate of the palace called Chalces, strongly expressing their sentinents on this subject, and indicating that their hostility was not directed against a sacred emblem, but against the unworthy and degrading representation of the living God, by an idol of lifeless matter, Under a large cross sculptured over the entrance of the palace were the following words —

Aq QNONEIAC)x KAIIINOHzEEHPMENON xPlxtoniopaq exoalmiiq'epanoaexsioth;2 tahteh Pataixtraq'Aixmi Atotmenh. Aennzorntlinto NEnkanxTANTInn lo XTATPONXAPATTEITONTPIXoABIONTrrion o, KAtxHMAIIIxtane NIITAAizanaktopon * * “The emperor cannot endure that Christ should he sculptured, a mute and lifeless image graven on earthly materials. But Leo and his son Constantine have at their gates engraved the thrice blessed representation of the cross, the glory of believing monarchs.” Copronymus died in the year 775. The annexed coin, from which the image of Christ is excluded, and replaced by that of the reigning monarch, exhibits on the obverse, the emperor Leo; his head covered with the crown of Justinian surmounted with a cross. His body is clothed in barred vestments, and in his right hand he holds the Greek cross. The legend Leo N. On the reverse are both Leo and his son Constantine, crowned and clothed as in the obverse, with the legend, CoNst ANTINvs LEoNtos.

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# A coin with our Saviour’s image, not having the name of any emperor, is attributed


The reformation in the Greek church continued with various success for more than twocenturies. Leo V. called Armenus, was so eager to effect it, that he is strongly reprobated by the Latin writers, who say—“he raged with every kind of atrocity against the sacred Catholic images.” He was assassinated at the altar, with the crbss in his hand. Michael Balbus however, allowed, in 820, the worship of images to every man's conscience, but strictly prohibited their restoration in churches; till at length Theodora, during the minority of her son Michael III. replaced them—exhibiting, as the Latin historians say—“a singular example of a woman who restored the worship of images.”t

The zeal of the reformers now abated, the constant reclamation of the clergy of the Latin church prevailed, and images were again generally introduced. Johannes Zemisces slew the emperor Nicephoras Phocas in his palace, and was himself saluted emperor by his adherents, in the year 969; but the patriarch refused to confirm their choice till he had expatiated his guilt. He therefore bestowed all his goods to the poor, and performed other penances, when he was at length accepted of. Among other acts of piety recorded of him, is the restitution of the statue of the Virgin. He had defeated the Bulgarians, who had made an inroad into the territories of the empire, and found among their spoils a chariot, on which he placed an image of the Virgin of great reputed sauctity, and made with her a triumphal entry into the city. This he deposited with great solemnity in the principal church, where it was kept like that of Minerva, as the great palladium of the state. This image he has represented on his coins, and was the first who introduced the practice. He also restored the image of Christ, being the first who devoted both the obverse and reverse to his image and inscription. He died by poison in the year 975.

The annexed coin exhibits on the obverse the image of our Saviour, with a book, his head circled with glory— on each side is IC, XC, the Greek initials and termination of Jesus Christ; the legend, EMMANyel. The obverse represents the Virgin, her hands expanded, and her head surrounded with a nimbus, f with the letters MP, or Morn; ess, the mother of God.

From this time till the destruction of the lower empire by the Turks, the coins that have been found are very irregular and imperfect; they either have no legend to desig. mate to whom they belong, or they are wrapped up in an obscure and uncertain monogram, that at best is but a subject of mere conjecture; but few coins of the great families of the Comneni and the Paleologi are to be found; and one known to belong to the last Constantine, has not yet, I believe, been discovered. § The image of the Virgin still held her place on the coins, though a compromise was made with the churches, which continues at the present day. The Greeks, moreover, in their contests, succeeded in

to him by Du Cange, but very properly rejected by Bandurus, as altogether inconsistent with his known character and conduct. Another with a similar reverse, and having Leo's name on the obverse, is justly supposed by Pellerin to belong to Leo. VI. called the Sage. - § In sacras imagines Catholicas omni atrocitate bacclatus est. + Singulare exemplum feminae quae sacrarum imaginum cultus restituit. : The nimbus or glory which now encircles the heads of saints only, was in the lower empire a mark of regal distinction. It is seen round the heads of Constantine, Mauritius, Focas, and others; and appears to have been a modification of the rayed crowns of the Roman emperors. But from the time of Johannes Zemisces, and Justinian Rhinometus, it was exclusively confined to Christ, the Virgin, St. Demetrius and other saints in the Greek church, and so it has been adopted and continued in the Latin. § Du Cange exhibits a large medal of John Paleologus. He also gives a coin of Michael Paleologus, though no inscription sanctions the conjecture.


establishing many points of doctrine and discipline, approximating to those which the Protestants adopted at the Reformation. They reject the infallibility of any individual in their church. They do not hold as canonical the Apocryphal Books. They do not believe in an intermediate state, where sins are purged by fire or other means. They use leavened bread formed into a loaf at the Eucharist. They give the elements of both kinds to the laity. Their secular priests may be married men. All statues or sculptured representations are excluded from their Churches; but their place is supplied by abundance of pictures, which are no less the objects of their respect and devotion. The Greeks, with their usual refinement, adhere to the letter of the law and reject all graven images; but it seems a strange anomaly that those who profess to feel a horror at bowing

to wood and stone, should kneel without scruple to paint and canvas.

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It is both interesting and profitable to trace the lives and sorrows of the people of God in past ages. As we read of the various incidents that attended them through life, we seem to possess their feelings, we desire to imitate their virtues, and are anxious to avoid their defects. We feel pity for them in their sorrows, † when we see them taking them to a throne of grace, and deriving from “the God of all comfort” the support they need, we rejoice that we have the same God to fly to, the same arguments to joi before him, and the same encouragement to expect a gracious attention to our prayers. Few of the Patriarchs present a more interesting character for our contemplation than Jacob. He was a man of genuine worth. That he was the subject of many imperfections we cannot deny, but that he eminently displayed many virtues is more than equally evident. We may profit greatly by the account given us of his errors and mistakes; and it will be happy for us if the review of his improprieties should guard us from falling into them ourselves.

The view that even the good man takes of the divine conduct is very contracted; there remains in the hearts of the best men a spirit of depravity prone to misinterpret and murmur against the providence of God; and Jehovah is pleased to clothe his dealings with us in mystery: these things may account for Jacob saying, on the occasion to which our attention is now directed, “All these things are against me.”

Language like this it is painful to hear, and the man who utters it must surely be in very distressing circumstances. What | No light clouds in the horizon 7 Is all darkness? Is there no sweetness in the cup of sorrow 7 Was there nothing to comfort him amidst his disasters ? Of light and comfort he will not hear; he yields to the influence of despondency and says, “All these things are against me.”

And who that considers his trials can be surprised at the exclamation? What a scene of troubles had his whole life been 1 Exiled in early life from the home of a kind and indulgent father, called to endure the persecution and cruelty of a wicked brother, compelled to labour as a servant for his food, oppressed by his master, who ought to have treated him with kindness; and when he enters on the enjoyments of domestic life, he loses his beloved Rachael,

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