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Wever, since the Council of Trent, had there been seen a consent, so unanimous, of all the Catholic churches, to adopt a common expression, in the profession of their opinions. Bossuet's ex-position so simple, so clear, and so luniuous, of the religious tenets of the Roman church, was an answer to all the imaginary charges, which had been brought against her doctrine, her disçipline, and her institutions.” Several protestants declared, that nothing was wanting to it, but to be avowed; and that if it should be universally approved by the theologians of the church of Rome, they should luse their repugnance to their re-union with the Roman-Catholic church..
Other Protestants represented the work differently. Their representation cannot be expressed better, than in the language of the historian of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.-" In the Exposition of the Catholic Doctrine," says that celebrated writer, in the Memoirs of his own Life and Writings, “ Bossuet assumes with consummate art, the tone of candour and simplicity: and the ten-horned monster is transformed, by his magic touch, into a milk-white lind, who must be loved as soon as seen:”
Three answers to it were published: one by M. de la Bastide; another by M. Noguier; and a third by M. de Brueys;, all of them calvinists of distinction. They agreed in accusing Bossuet of “ a disingenuous softening of the real doctrine of the RomanCatholic church.” They hinted, “how much they desired, that all the members of the church of Roine, should hold the opinions and use the language of Bossuet: this," they observed, 66. would be a happy commencement of reformation :" but they remarked, that “this was far from being the case ;" that “ng opinion upon the work had been pronounced by the Pope ;** that *, it had not even been approved of by the Sorbonne.”
But, in due time, this opinion was pronounced, and this approbation obtained. In 1679, Pope Innocent expressed his approbation of it, in two briefs, which he addressed to Bossuet; and, in 1682, it was unanimously approved by the general assembly of the French clergy, which was held in that year at Paris. Father Maimbourg stands ra solitary instance of dis
approbation by a Roman-Catholic; and his disapprobation is no more than a general sneer.
With the approbations which we have mentioned, a 6th edition of the Exposition was printed at Paris, in 1686. From this edition, all the subsequent editions have been printed.
One of the twelve copies printed by Bossuet for private circulation, fell into the hands of Dr. Wake, Archbishop of Canterbury. Perceiving that it varied, in some respects, from the subsequent editions, Doctor Wake announced the discovery to the public, and deposited the copy, thus fallen into his hands, among the archives at Lambeth. It was immediately reported, that “ the copy was, in reality, the original edition ;” that “the Sorbonne had disapproved of it;" that “ in consequence of this disapprobation, the edition had been called in, a second published, with important variations, and imposed on the public as the first.” Bossuet was informed of these reports by, a letter from Father Johnstone, a Benedictine Monk. He replied to the Father by a letter, of the 26th May, 1686. He mentions in it the circumstance of the impression of twelve copies for private circulation among his friends, in the manner in which this has been related; he peremptorily denies, that the work had been censured by the Sorbonne, or any individual catholic; he explicitly declares, that no edition had been given to the public, before that which be announced as the first; and unequivocally asserts, that there was no important variation between the copy produced by Dr. Wake, and the copies in general circulation. In reply to the work itself, and in vindication of the charge of disingenuousness, which he had brought against Bossuet, Dr. Wake published his Exposition of the Doctrine of the Church of England. He prefixed to it, “ A Collection of some of those passages that were corrected in the first edition of the Exposition suppressed by Monsieur de Meaux." This work was answered by, A Vindication of Bossuet's Exposition. Dr. Wake replied to the Vindication, by A Defence of the Exposition of the Doctrine of the Church of England. To that, there was a Reply. In answer to that reply, Doctor Wake published " His second Defence :” and to his second Defence, there was
published, “ A full Answer.” Here the controversy appears to have closed.
In the life of Bossuet, (L. 111. Pieces Justificatives, N. 1.) the Bishop of Alais has inserted all the Variations pointed out by Dr. Wake. After perusing and examining these alleged Variations, either as they are given by Dr. Wake, or as they are given by the Bishop of Alais, the reader will probably agree with the Bishop, “ that they are so slight and indifferent, so evidently determined by the grammatical motive of giving force and precision to the style, and so foreign to the substance of the doctrine, that, by producing them, Doctor Wake rendered unintentionally a great service to Bossuet.”
The Symbolic Books of the Greek Church.
The progress of the church of Constantinople, from a very humble station, to the eminent rank which she afterwards obtained in the Christian hierarchy, is a curious and important event in ecclesiastical history.
Before the seat of the Roman empire was transferred to Coustantinople, the church had the three patriarchs of Rome, Antioch, and Alexandria. Three dioceses were independent of them; and subject, each to its primate; that of Asia, to the primate of Ephesus; that of Thrace, to the primate of Heraclea; and that of Pontus, to the primate of Cesarea. It is not clear, that the church of Constantinople had its peculiar bishop; at most, the bishopric was inconsiderable, and its bishop subject to the metropolitan of Heraclea. After the translation of the seat of empire to Constantinople, the bishops of Constantinople acquired importance; by degrees, they obtained ecclesiastical jurisdiction over Thrace, Asia, and Pontus, and were elevated to the rank of Patriarch. The same rank was conferred on the bishop of Jerusalem. Thus, during a considerable period, the five Patriarchs of the Christian world were those of Rome, Alexandria, Antioch, Constantinople, and Jerusalem. In course of time, the patriarch of Constantinople raised himself above the other oriental patriarchs, and finally assumed the title of Ecumenical, or Universal, Patriarch. The Popes opposed this attempt, and preserved their own rights ;- and therefore, as Mr. Gibbon observes, “ till the great division of the church, the Roman bishop had ever been respected by the orientalists, as the first of the five patriarchs.” (Vol. 1. pa. 400,
quarto edition.) · Even in matters of ceremony in civil concerns, Constantino
ple yielded to Rome : the consul of the West preceded the consul of the East. After the separation of the Greek from the Latin church, the five patriarchs were represented in Rome, by five churches; the Roman patriarchate, by the church of St. John of Lateran ; the patriarch of Constantinople, by the church of St. Peter in the Vatican; the patriarchate of Alexandria, by the church of St. Paul; the patriarchate of Antioch, by the church of St. Mary the Greater; and the patriarchate of Jerusalen, by the church of St. Lawrence. (See Onuphrius de Episcopatibus, titulis, et diaconiis Cardinalium.)
The points which the Greeks objected to the Latin church, and upon which they professed to justify their separation from her, were, Ist. that, in the article of the symbol or creed of Constantinople, which mentions the procession of the Holy Ghost, the Latin church had inserted the word “ filioque,” to describe the double procession of the Holy Spirit from the Father and Son; 2dly, that the Latin church acknowledged the spiritual supremacy of the Pope ; and 3dly. that in the consecration of the sacrifice of the altar, the Latin Church used unleavened bread. The history of the temporary reunion of the churches, at the council of Florence, is well known. The attempts which, about the middle of the sixteenth century, were set on foot, to lead the Greeks of the Levant to a reunion with the See of Rome, and the successful exertions of Cyrillus Lucaris, the patriarch of Constantinople, to prevent it, are also known : but a full and judicious history appears to be wanting.
Wherever the l'urkish empire extends, the Greek church is in a state of subjection ; but, in an immense part of the globe, as both the Russias, Georgia, Circassia, Mingrelia, and the islands in the Mediterranean, belonging to the Venetians, the