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Title: Historical Sketches, Volume I (of 3) - The Turks in Their Relation to Europe; Marcus Tullius Cicero; Apollonius of Tyana; Primitive Christianity
Author: Newman, John Henry, 1801-1890
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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The Turks in Their Relation to Europe

Marcus Tullius Cicero

Apollonius of Tyana

Primitive Christianity



New Impression


Longmans, Green, and Co.
39 Paternoster Row, London
New York, Bombay, and Calcutta

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     Longmans' Pocket Library.

     _Fcap. 8vo. Gilt top._


     Apologia Pro Vita Sua. 2s. 6d. net in cloth; 3s. 6d. net in

     The Church of the Fathers. Reprinted from "Historical Sketches".
     Vol. 2. 2s. net in cloth; 3s. net in leather.

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       *       *       *       *       *





If I have not asked your Lordship for your formal leave to dedicate this
Volume to you, this has been because one part of it, written by me as an
Anglican controversialist, could not be consistently offered for the
direct sanction of a Catholic bishop. If, in spite of this, I presume to
inscribe your name in its first page, I do so because I have a freedom
in this matter which you have not, because I covet much to be associated
publicly with you, and because I trust to gain your forgiveness for a
somewhat violent proceeding, on the plea that I may perhaps thereby be
availing myself of the only opportunity given to me, if not the most
suitable occasion, of securing what I so earnestly desire.

I desire it, because I desire to acknowledge the debt I owe you for
kindnesses and services rendered to me through a course of years. All
along, from the time that the Oratory first came to this place, you have
taken a warm interest in me and in my doings. You found me out
twenty-four years ago on our first start in the narrow streets of
Birmingham, before we could well be said to have a home or a church. And
you have never been wanting to me since, or spared time or trouble, when
I had occasion in any difficulty to seek your guidance or encouragement.

Especially have I cause to remember the help you gave me, by your
prudent counsels and your anxious sympathy, when I was called over to
Ireland to initiate a great Catholic institution. From others also,
ecclesiastics and laymen, I received a hearty welcome and a large
assistance, which I ever bear in mind; but you, when I would fill the
Professors' chairs, were in a position to direct me to the men whose
genius, learning, and zeal became so great a part of the life and
strength of the University; and, even as regards those whose high
endowments I otherwise learned, or already knew myself, you had your
part in my appointments, for I ever tried to guide myself by what I had
gained from the conversations and correspondence which you had from time
to time allowed me. To you, then, my dear Lord, more than to any other,
I owe my introduction to a large circle of friends, who faithfully
worked with me in the course of my seven years of connexion with the
University, and who now, for twice seven years since, have generously
kept me in mind, though I have been out of their sight.

There is no one, then, whom I more intimately associate with my life in
Dublin than your Lordship; and thus, when I revive the recollections of
what my friends there did for me, my mind naturally reverts to you; and
again in making my acknowledgments to you, I am virtually thanking

That you may live for many years, in health, strength, and usefulness,
the centre of many minds, a blessing to the Irish people, and a light in
the Universal Church, is,

                              MY DEAR LORD,
                                  The fervent prayer of
                               Your affectionate friend and servant,

                                                JOHN HENRY NEWMAN.
  _October 23, 1872._





The following sketch of Turkish history was the substance of Lectures
delivered in the Catholic Institute of Liverpool during October, 1853.
It may be necessary for its author to state at once, in order to prevent
disappointment, that he only professes in the course of it to have
brought together in one materials which are to be found in any
ordinarily furnished library. Not intending it in the first instance for
publication, but to answer a temporary purpose, he has, in drawing it
up, sometimes borrowed words and phrases, to save himself trouble, from
the authorities whom he has consulted; and this must be taken as his
excuse, if any want of keeping is discernible in the composition. He has
attempted nothing more than to group old facts in his own way; and he
trusts that his defective acquaintance with historical works and
travels, and the unreality of book-knowledge altogether in questions of
fact, have not exposed him to superficial generalizations.

One other remark may be necessary. Such a work at the present moment,
when we are on the point of undertaking a great war in behalf of the
Turks, may seem without meaning, unless it conducts the reader to some
definite conclusions, as to what is to be wished, what to be done, in
the present state of the East; but a minister of religion may fairly
protest against being made a politician. Political questions are mainly
decided by political expediency, and only indirectly and under
circumstances fall into the province of theology. Much less can such a
question be asked of the priests of that Church, whose voice in this
matter has been for five centuries unheeded by the Powers of Europe. As
they have sown, so must they reap: had the advice of the Holy See been
followed, there would have been no Turks in Europe for the Russians to
turn out of it. All that need be said here in behalf of the Sultan is,
that the Christian Powers are bound to keep such lawful promises as they
have made to him. All that need be said in favour of the Czar is, that
he is attacking an infamous Power, the enemy of God and man. And all
that need be said by way of warning to the Catholic is, that he should
beware of strengthening the Czar's cause by denying or ignoring its
strong point. It is difficult to understand how a reader of history can
side with the Spanish people in past centuries in their struggle with
the Moors, without wishing Godspeed, in mere consistency, to any
Christian Power, which aims at delivering the East of Europe from the
Turkish yoke.



  LECT.                                       PAGE

  1. The Tribes of the North                     1

  2. The Tartars                                19


  3. The Tartar and the Turk                    48

  4. The Turk and the Saracen                   74


  5. The Turk and the Christian                104

  6. The Pope and the Turk                     131


  7. Barbarism and Civilization                159

  8. The Past and Present of the Ottomans      183

  9. The Future of the Ottomans                207

  Note                                         230

  Chronological Tables                         235

       *       *       *       *       *



       *       *       *       *       *


_The Tribes of the North._


The collision between Russia and Turkey, which at present engages public
attention, is only one scene in that persevering conflict, which is
carried on, from age to age, between the North and the South,--the North
aggressive, the South on the defensive. In the earliest histories this
conflict finds a place; and hence, when the inspired Prophets[1]
denounce defeat and captivity upon the chosen people or other
transgressing nations, who were inhabitants of the South, the North is
pointed out as the quarter from which the judgment is to descend.

Nor is this conflict, nor is its perpetuity, difficult of explanation.
The South ever has gifts of nature to tempt the invader, and the North
ever has multitudes to be tempted by them. The North has been fitly
called the storehouse of nations. Along the breadth of Asia, and thence
to Europe, from the Chinese Sea on the East, to the Euxine on the West,
nay to the Rhine, nay even to the Bay of Biscay, running between and
beyond the 40th and 50th degrees of latitude, and above the fruitful
South, stretches a vast plain, which has been from time immemorial what
may be called the wild common and place of encampment, or again the
highway, or the broad horse-path, of restless populations seeking a
home. The European portion of this tract has in Christian times been
reclaimed from its state of desolation, and is at present occupied by
civilized communities; but even now the East remains for the most part
in its primitive neglect, and is in possession of roving barbarians.

It is the Eastern portion of this vast territory which I have pointed
out, that I have now, Gentlemen, principally to keep before your view.
It goes by the general name of Tartary: in width from north to south it
is said to vary from 400 to 1,100 miles, while in length from east to
west it is not far short of 5,000. It is of very different elevations in
different parts, and it is divided longitudinally by as many as three or
four mountain-chains of great height. The valleys which lie between them
necessarily confine the wandering savage to an eastward or westward
course, and the slope of the land westward invites him to that direction
rather than to the east. Then, at a certain point in these westward
passages, as he approaches the meridian of the Sea of Aral, he finds the
mountain-ranges cease, and open upon him the opportunity, as well as the
temptation, to roam to the North or to the South also. Up in the East,
from whence he came, in the most northerly of the lofty ranges which I
have spoken of, is a great mountain, which some geographers have
identified with the classical Imaus; it is called by the Saracens Caf,
by the Turks Altai. Sometimes too it has the name of the Girdle of the
Earth, from the huge appearance of the chain to which it belongs,
sometimes of the Golden Mountain, from the gold, as well as other
metals, with which its sides abound. It is said to be at an equal
distance of 2,000 miles from the Caspian, the Frozen Sea, the North
Pacific Ocean, and the Bay of Bengal: and, being in situation the
furthest withdrawn from West and South, it is in fact the high capital
or metropolis of the vast Tartar country, which it overlooks, and has
sent forth, in the course of ages, innumerable populations into the
illimitable and mysterious regions around it, regions protected by their
inland character both from the observation and the civilizing influence
of foreign nations.


To eat bread in the sweat of his brow is the original punishment of
mankind; the indolence of the savage shrinks from the obligation, and
looks out for methods of escaping it. Corn, wine, and oil have no charms
for him at such a price; he turns to the brute animals which are his
aboriginal companions, the horse, the cow, and the sheep; he chooses to
be a grazier rather than to till the ground. He feeds his horses,
flocks, and herds on its spontaneous vegetation, and then in turn he
feeds himself on their flesh. He remains on one spot while the natural
crop yields them sustenance; when it is exhausted, he migrates to
another. He adopts, what is called, the life of a _nomad_. In maritime
countries indeed he must have recourse to other expedients; he fishes in
the stream, or among the rocks of the beach.[2] In the woods he betakes
himself to roots and wild honey; or he has a resource in the chase, an
occupation, ever ready at hand, exciting, and demanding no perseverance.
But when the savage finds himself inclosed in the continent and the
wilderness, he draws the domestic animals about him, and constitutes
himself the head of a sort of brute polity. He becomes a king and father
of the beasts, and by the economical arrangements which this pretension
involves, advances a first step, though a low one, in civilization,
which the hunter or the fisher does not attain.

And here, beyond other animals, the horse is the instrument of that
civilization. It enables him to govern and to guide his sheep and
cattle; it carries him to the chase, when he is tempted to it; it
transports him and his from place to place; while his very locomotion
and shifting location and independence of the soil define the idea, and
secure the existence, both of a household and of personal property. Nor
is this all which the horse does for him; it is food both in its life
and in its death;--when dead, it nourishes him with its flesh, and,
while alive, it supplies its milk for an intoxicating liquor which,
under the name of _koumiss_, has from time immemorial served the Tartar
instead of wine or spirits. The horse then is his friend under all
circumstances, and inseparable from him; he may be even said to live on
horseback, he eats and sleeps without dismounting, till the fable has
been current that he has a centaur's nature, half man and half beast.
Hence it was that the ancient Saxons had a horse for their ensign in
war; thus it is that the Ottoman ordinances are, I believe, to this day
dated from "the imperial stirrup," and the display of horsetails at the
gate of the palace is the Ottoman signal of war. Thus too, as the
Catholic ritual measures intervals by "a Miserere," and St Ignatius in
his Exercises by "a Pater Noster," so the Turcomans and the Usbeks speak
familiarly of the time of a gallop. But as to houses, on the other hand,
the Tartars contemptuously called them the sepulchres of the living,
and, when abroad, could hardly be persuaded to cross a threshold. Their
women, indeed, and children could not live on horseback; them some kind
of locomotive dwelling must receive, and a less noble animal must draw.
The old historians and poets of Greece and Rome describe it, and the
travellers of the middle ages repeat and enlarge the classical
description of it The strangers from Europe gazed with astonishment on
huge wattled houses set on wheels, and drawn by no less than twenty-two


From the age of Job, the horse has been the emblem of battle; a mounted
shepherd is but one remove from a knight-errant, except in the object of
his excursions; and the discipline of a pastoral station from the nature
of the case is not very different from that of a camp. There can be no
community without order, and a community in motion demands a special
kind of organization. Provision must be made for the separation, the
protection, and the sustenance of men, women, and children, horses,
flocks, and cattle. To march without straggling, to halt without
confusion, to make good their ground, to reconnoitre neighbourhoods, to
ascertain the character and capabilities of places in the distance, and
to determine their future route, is to be versed in some of the most
important duties of the military art. Such pastoral tribes are already
an army in the field, if not as yet against any human foe, at least
against the elements. They have to subdue, or to check, or to
circumvent, or to endure the opposition of earth, water, and wind, in
their pursuits of the mere necessaries of life. The war with wild beasts
naturally follows, and then the war on their own kind. Thus when they
are at length provoked or allured to direct their fury against the
inhabitants of other regions, they are ready-made soldiers. They have a
soldier's qualifications in their independence of soil, freedom from
local ties, and practice in discipline; nay, in one respect they are
superior to any troops which civilized countries can produce. One of the
problems of warfare is how to feed the vast masses which its operations
require; and hence it is commonly said, that a well-managed commissariat
is a chief condition of victory. Few people can fight without
eating;--Englishmen as little as any. I have heard of a work of a
foreign officer, who took a survey of the European armies previously to
the revolutionary war; in which he praised our troops highly, but said
they would not be effective till they were supported by a better
commissariat. Moreover, one commonly hears, that the supply of this
deficiency is one of the very merits of the great Duke of Wellington. So
it is with civilized races; but the Tartars, as is evident from what I
have already observed, have in their wars no need of any commissariat at
all; and that, not merely from the unscrupulousness of their foraging,
but because they find in the instruments of their conquests the staple
of their food. "Corn is a bulky and perishable commodity," says an
historian;[3] "and the large magazines, which are indispensably
necessary for the subsistence of civilized troops, are difficult and
slow of transport." But, not to say that even their flocks and herds
were fitted for rapid movement, like the nimble sheep of Wales and the
wild cattle of North Britain, the Tartars could even dispense with these
altogether. If straitened for provisions, they ate the chargers which
carried them to battle; indeed they seemed to account their flesh a
delicacy, above the reach of the poor, and in consequence were enjoying
a banquet in circumstances when civilized troops would be staving off
starvation. And with a view to such accidents, they have been accustomed
to carry with them in their expeditions a number of supernumerary
horses, which they might either ride or eat, according to the occasion.
It was an additional advantage to them in their warlike movements, that
they were little particular whether their food had been killed for the
purpose, or had died of disease. Nor is this all: their horses' hides
were made into tents and clothing, perhaps into bottles and coracles;
and their intestines into bowstrings.[4]

Trained then as they are, to habits which in themselves invite to war,
the inclemency of their native climate has been a constant motive for
them to seek out settlements and places of sojournment elsewhere. The
spacious plains, over which they roam, are either monotonous grazing
lands, or inhospitable deserts, relieved with green valleys or recesses.
The cold is intense in a degree of which we have no experience in
England, though we lie to the north of them.[5] This arises in a measure
from their distance from the sea, and again from their elevation of
level, and further from the saltpetre with which their soil or their
atmosphere is impregnated. The sole influence then of their fatherland,
if I may apply to it such a term, is to drive its inhabitants from it to
the West or to the South.


I have said that the geographical features of their country carry them
forward in those two directions, the South and the West; not to say that
the ocean forbids them going eastward, and the North does but hold out
to them a climate more inclement than their own. Leaving the district of
Mongolia in the furthermost East, high above the north of China, and
passing through the long and broad valleys which I spoke of just now,
the emigrants at length would arrive at the edge of that elevated
plateau, which constitutes Tartary proper. They would pass over the high
region of Pamer, where are the sources of the Oxus, they would descend
the terrace of the Bolor, and the steeps of Badakshan, and gradually
reach a vast region, flat on the whole as the expanse they had left, but
as strangely depressed below the level of the sea, as Tartary is lifted
above it.[6] This is the country, forming the two basins of the Aral and
the Caspian, which terminates the immense Asiatic plain, and may be
vaguely designated by the name of Turkistan. Hitherto the necessity of
their route would force them on, in one multitudinous emigration, but
now they may diverge, and have diverged. If they were to cross the
Jaxartes and the Oxus, and then to proceed southward, they would come to
Khorasan, the ancient Bactriana, and so to Affghanistan and to Hindostan
on the east, or to Persia on the west. But if, instead, they continued
their westward course, then they would skirt the north coast of the Aral
and the Caspian, cross the Volga, and there would have a second
opportunity, if they chose to avail themselves of it, of descending
southwards, by Georgia and Armenia, either to Syria or to Asia Minor.
Refusing this diversion, and persevering onwards to the west, at length
they would pass the Don, and descend upon Europe across the Ukraine,
Bessarabia, and the Danube.

Such are the three routes,--across the Oxus, across the Caucasus, and
across the Danube,--which the pastoral nations have variously pursued
at various times, when their roving habits, their warlike propensities,
and their discomforts at home, have combined to precipitate them on the
industry, the civilization, and the luxury of the West and of the South.
And at such times, as might be inferred from what has been already said,
their invasions have been rather irruptions, inroads, or, what are
called, raids, than a proper conquest and occupation of the countries
which have been their victims. They would go forward, 200,000 of them at
once, at the rate of 100 miles a day, swimming the rivers, galloping
over the plains, intoxicated with the excitement of air and speed, as if
it were a fox-chase, or full of pride and fury at the reverses which set
them in motion; seeking indeed their fortunes, but seeking them on no
plan; like a flight of locusts, or a swarm of angry wasps smoked out of
their nest. They would seek for immediate gratification, and let the
future take its course. They would be bloodthirsty and rapacious, and
would inflict ruin and misery to any extent; and they would do tenfold
more harm to the invaded, than benefit to themselves. They would be
powerful to break down; helpless to build up. They would in a day undo
the labour and skill, the prosperity of years; but they would not know
how to construct a polity, how to conduct a government, how to organize
a system of slavery, or to digest a code of laws. Rather they would
despise the sciences of politics, law, and finance; and, if they
honoured any profession or vocation, it would be such as bore
immediately and personally on themselves. Thus we find them treating the
priest and the physician with respect, when they found such among their
captives; but they could not endure the presence of a lawyer. How could
it be otherwise with those who may be called the outlaws of the human
race? They did but justify the seeming paradox of the traveller's
exclamation, who, when at length, after a dreary passage through the
wilderness, he came in sight of a gibbet, returned thanks that he had
now arrived at a civilized country. "The pastoral tribes," says the
writer I have already quoted, "who were ignorant of the distinction of
landed property, must have disregarded the use, as well as the abuse, of
civil jurisprudence; and the skill of an eloquent lawyer would excite
only their contempt or their abhorrence." And he refers to an outrage on
the part of a barbarian of the North, who, not satisfied with cutting
out a lawyer's tongue, sewed up his mouth, in order, as he said, that
the viper might no longer hiss. The well-known story of the Czar Peter,
himself a Tartar, is here in point. When told there were some thousands
of lawyers at Westminster, he is said to have observed that there had
been only two in his own dominions, and he had hung one of them.


Now I have thrown the various inhabitants of the Asiatic plain together,
under one description, not as if I overlooked, or undervalued, the
distinction of races, but because I have no intention of committing
myself to any statements on so intricate and interminable a subject as
ethnology. In spite of the controversy about skulls, and skins, and
languages, by means of which man is to be traced up to his primitive
condition, I consider place and climate to be a sufficiently real aspect
under which he may be regarded, and with this I shall content myself. I
am speaking of the inhabitants of those extended plains, whether
Scythians, Massagetæ, Sarmatians, Huns, Moguls, Tartars, Turks, or
anything else; and whether or no any of them or all of them are
identical with each other in their pedigree and antiquities. Position
and climate create habits; and, since the country is called Tartary, I
shall call them Tartar habits, and the populations which have inhabited
it and exhibited them, Tartars, for convenience-sake, whatever be their
family descent. From the circumstances of their situation, these
populations have in all ages been shepherds, mounted on horseback,
roaming through trackless spaces, easily incited to war, easily formed
into masses, easily dissolved again into their component parts, suddenly
sweeping across continents, suddenly descending on the south or west,
suddenly extinguishing the civilization of ages, suddenly forming
empires, suddenly vanishing, no one knows how, into their native north.

Such is the fearful provision for havoc and devastation, when the Divine
Word goes forth for judgment upon the civilized world, which the North
has ever had in store; and the regions on which it has principally
expended its fury, are those, whose fatal beauty, or richness of soil,
or perfection of cultivation, or exquisiteness of produce, or amenity of
climate, makes them objects of desire to the barbarian. Such are China,
Hindostan, Persia, Syria, and Anatolia or the Levant, in Asia; Greece,
Italy, Sicily, and Spain, in Europe; and the northern coast of Africa.

These regions, on the contrary, have neither the inducement nor the
means to retaliate upon their ferocious invaders. The relative position
of the combatants must always be the same, while the combat lasts. The
South has nothing to win, the North nothing to lose; the North nothing
to offer, the South nothing to covet. Nor is this all: the North, as in
an impregnable fortress, defies the attack of the South. Immense
trackless solitudes; no cities, no tillage, no roads; deserts, forests,
marshes; bleak table-lands, snowy mountains; unlocated, flitting,
receding populations; no capitals, or marts, or strong places, or
fruitful vales, to hold as hostages for submission; fearful winters and
many months of them;--nature herself fights and conquers for the
barbarian. What madness shall tempt the South to undergo extreme risks
without the prospect or chance of a return? True it is, ambition, whose
very life is a fever, has now and then ventured on the reckless
expedition; but from the first page of history to the last, from Cyrus
to Napoleon, what has the Northern war done for the greatest warriors
but destroy the flower of their armies and the _prestige_ of their name?
Our maps, in placing the North at the top, and the South at the bottom
of the sheet, impress us, by what may seem a sophistical analogy, with
the imagination that Huns or Moguls, Kalmucks or Cossacks, have been a
superincumbent mass, descending by a sort of gravitation upon the fair
territories which lie below them. Yet this is substantially
true;--though the attraction towards the South is of a moral, not of a
physical nature, yet an attraction there is, and a huge conglomeration
of destructive elements hangs over us, and from time to time rushes down
with an awful irresistible momentum. Barbarism is ever impending over
the civilized world. Never, since history began, has there been so long
a cessation of this law of human society, as in the period in which we
live. The descent of the Turks on Europe was the last instance of it,
and that was completed four hundred years ago. They are now themselves
in the position of those races, whom they themselves formerly came down


As to the instances of this conflict between North and South in the
times before the Christian era, we know more of them from antiquarian
research than from history. The principal of those which ancient writers
have recorded are contained in the history of the Persian Empire. The
wandering Tartar tribes went at that time by the name of Scythians, and
had possession of the plains of Europe as well as of Asia. Central
Europe was not at that time the seat of civilized nations; but from the
Chinese Sea even to the Rhine or Bay of Biscay, a course of many
thousand miles, the barbarian emigrant might wander on, as necessity or
caprice impelled him. Darius assailed the Scythians of Europe; Cyrus,
his predecessor, the Scythians of Asia.

As to Cyrus, writers are not concordant on the subject; but the
celebrated Greek historian, Herodotus, whose accuracy of research is
generally confessed, makes the great desert, which had already been
fatal, according to some accounts, to the Assyrian Semiramis, the ruin
also of the founder of the Persian Empire. He tells us that Cyrus led an
army against the Scythian tribes (Massagetæ, as they were called), who
were stationed to the east of the Caspian; and that they, on finding him
prepared to cross the river which bounded their country to the South,
sent him a message which well illustrates the hopelessness of going to
war with them. They are said to have given him his choice of fighting
them either three days' march within their own territory, or three days'
march within his; it being the same to them whether he made himself a
grave in their inhospitable deserts, or they a home in his flourishing
provinces. He had with him in his army a celebrated captive, the Lydian
King Croesus, who had once been head of a wealthy empire, till he had
succumbed to the fortunes of a more illustrious conqueror; and on this
occasion he availed himself of his advice. Croesus cautioned him
against admitting the barbarians within the Persian border, and
counselled him to accept their permission of his advancing into their
territory, and then to have recourse to stratagem. "As I hear," he says
in the simple style of the historian, which will not bear translation,
"the Massagetæ have no experience of the good things of life. Spare not
then to serve up many sheep, and add thereunto stoups of neat wine, and
all sorts of viands. Set out this banquet for them in our camp, leave
the refuse of the army there, and retreat with the body of your troops
upon the river. If I am not mistaken, the Scythians will address
themselves to all this good cheer, as soon as they fall in with it, and
then we shall have the opportunity of a brilliant exploit." I need not
pursue the history further than to state the issue. In spite of the
immediate success of his _ruse de guerre_, Cyrus was eventually
defeated, and lost both his army and his life. The Scythian Queen
Tomyris, in revenge for the lives which he had sacrificed to his
ambition, is related to have cut off his head and plunged it into a
vessel filled with blood, saying, "Cyrus, drink your fill." Such is the
account given us by Herodotus; and, even if it is to be rejected, it
serves to illustrate the difficulties of an invasion of Scythia; for
legends must be framed according to the circumstances of the case, and
grow out of probabilities, if they are to gain credit, and if they have
actually succeeded in gaining it.


Our knowledge of the expedition of Darius in the next generation, is
more certain. This fortunate monarch, after many successes, even on the
European side of the Bosphorus, impelled by that ambition, which holy
Daniel had already seen in prophecy to threaten West and North as well
as South, towards the end of his life directed his arms against the
Scythians who inhabited the country now called the Ukraine. His pretext
for this expedition was an incursion which the same barbarians had made
into Asia, shortly before the time of Cyrus. They had crossed the Don,
just above the sea of Azoff, had entered the country now called
Circassia, had threaded the defiles of the Caucasus, and had defeated
the Median King Cyaxares, the grandfather of Cyrus. Then they overran
Armenia, Cappadocia, Pontus, and part of Lydia, that is, a great portion
of Anatolia or Asia Minor; and managed to establish themselves in the
country for twenty-eight years, living by plunder and exaction. In the
course of this period, they descended into Syria, as far as to the very
borders of Egypt. The Egyptians bought them off, and they turned back;
however, they possessed themselves of a portion of Palestine, and gave
their name to one town, Scythopolis, in the territory of Manasses. This
was in the last days of the Jewish monarchy, shortly before the
captivity. At length Cyaxares got rid of them by treachery; he invited
the greater number of them to a banquet, intoxicated, and massacred
them. Nor was this the termination of the troubles, of which they were
the authors; and I mention the sequel, because both the office which
they undertook and their manner of discharging it, their insubordination
and their cruelty, are an anticipation of some passages in the early
history of the Turks. The Median King had taken some of them into his
pay, made them his huntsmen, and submitted certain noble youths to
their training. Justly or unjustly they happened one day to be punished
for leaving the royal table without its due supply of game: without more
ado, the savages in revenge murdered and served up one of these youths
instead of the venison which had been expected of them, and made
forthwith for the neighbouring kingdom of Lydia. A war between the two
states was the consequence.

But to return to Darius:--it is said to have been in retaliation for
these excesses that he resolved on his expedition against the Scythians,
who, as I have mentioned, were in occupation of the district between the
Danube and the Don. For this purpose he advanced from Susa in the
neighbourhood of the Persian Gulf, through Assyria and Asia Minor to the
Bosphorus, just opposite to the present site of Constantinople, where he
crossed over into Europe. Thence he made his way, with the incredible
number of 700,000 men, horse and foot, to the Danube, reducing Thrace,
the present Roumelia, in his way. When he had crossed that stream, he
was at once in Scythia; but the Scythians had adopted the same sort of
strategy, which in the beginning of this century was practised by their
successors against Napoleon. They cut and carried off the green crops,
stopped up their wells or spoilt their water, and sent off their
families and flocks to places of safety. Then they stationed their
outposts just a day's journey before the enemy, to entice him on. He
pursued them, they retreated; and at length he found himself on the Don,
the further boundary of the Scythian territory. They crossed the Don,
and he crossed it too, into desolate and unknown wilds; then, eluding
him altogether, from their own knowledge of the country, they made a
circuit, and got back into their own land again.

Darius found himself outwitted, and came to a halt; how he had
victualled his army, whatever deduction we make for its numbers, does
not appear; but it is plain that the time must come, when he could not
proceed. He gave the order for retreat. Meanwhile, he found an
opportunity of sending a message to the Scythian chief, and it was to
this effect:--"Perverse man, take your choice; fight me or yield." The
Scythians intended to do neither, but contrived, as before, to harass
the Persian retreat. At length an answer came; not a message, but an
ominous gift; they sent Darius a bird, a mouse, a frog, and five arrows;
without a word of explanation. Darius himself at first hailed it as an
intimation of submission; in Greece to offer earth and water was the
sign of capitulation, as, in a sale of land in our own country, a clod
from the soil still passes, or passed lately, from seller to purchaser,
as a symbol of the transfer of possession. The Persian king, then,
discerned in these singular presents a similar surrender of territorial
jurisdiction. But another version, less favourable to his vanity and his
hopes, was suggested by one of his courtiers, and it ran thus: "Unless
you can fly like a bird, or burrow like a mouse, or swim the marshes
like a frog, you cannot escape our arrows." Whichever interpretation was
the true one, it needed no message from the enemy to inflict upon Darius
the presence of the dilemma suggested in this unpleasant interpretation.
He yielded to imperative necessity, and hastened his escape from the
formidable situation in which he had placed himself, and through great
good fortune succeeded in effecting it. He crossed the sea just in time;
for the Scythians came down in pursuit, as far as the coast, and
returned home laden with booty.

This is pretty much all that is definitely recorded in history of the
ancient Tartars. Alexander, in a later age, came into conflict with them
in the region called Sogdiana which lies at the foot of that high
plateau of central and eastern Asia, which I have designated as their
proper home. But he was too prudent to be entangled in extended
expeditions against them, and having made trial of their formidable
strength, and made some demonstrations of the superiority of his own, he
left them in possession of their wildernesses.


[1] Isai. xli. 25: Jer. i. 14; vi. 1, 22; Joel ii. 20; etc., etc.

[2] Gibbon.

[3] Gibbon.

[4] Caldecott's Baber.

[5] Vid. Mitford's Greece, vol. viii. p. 86.

[6] Pritchard's Researches.


_The Tartars._


If anything needs be added to the foregoing account, in illustration of
the natural advantages of the Scythian or Tartar position, it is the
circumstance that the shepherds of the Ukraine were divided in their
counsels when Darius made war against them, and that only a portion of
their tribes coalesced to repel his invasion. Indeed, this internal
discord, which is the ordinary characteristic of races so barbarous, and
the frequent motive of their migrations, is the cause why in ancient
times they were so little formidable to their southern neighbours; and
it suggests a remark to the philosophical historian, Thucydides, which,
viewed in the light of subsequent history, is almost prophetic. "As to
the Scythians," he says, "not only no European nation, but not even any
Asiatic, would be able to measure itself with them, nation with nation,
were they but of one mind." Such was the safeguard of civilization in
ancient times; in modern unhappily it has disappeared. Not unfrequently,
since the Christian era, the powers of the North have been under one
sovereign, sometimes even for a series of years; and have in consequence
been brought into combined action against the South; nay, as time has
gone on, they have been thrown into more and more formidable
combinations, with more and more disastrous consequences to its
prosperity. Of these northern coalitions or Empires, there have been
three, nay five, which demand our especial attention both from their
size and their historical importance.

The first of these is the Empire of the Huns, under the sovereignty of
Attila, at the termination of the Roman Empire; and it began and ended
in himself. The second is in the time of the Crusades, when the Moguls
spread themselves over Europe and Asia under Zingis Khan, whose power
continued to the third generation, nay, for two centuries, in the
northern parts of Europe. The third outbreak was under Timour or
Tamerlane, a century and more before the rise of Protestantism, when the
Mahometan Tartars, starting from the basin of the Aral and the fertile
region of the present Bukharia, swept over nearly the whole of Asia
round about, and at length seated themselves in Delhi in Hindostan,
where they remained in imperial power till they succumbed to the English
in the last century. Then come the Turks, a multiform and reproductive
race, varied in its fortunes, complicated in its history, falling to
rise again, receding here to expand there, and harassing and oppressing
the world for at least a long 800 years. And lastly comes the Russian
Empire, in which the Tartar element is prominent, whether in its pure
blood or in the Slavonian approximation, and which comprises a
population of many millions, gradually moulded into one in the course of
centuries, ever growing, never wavering, looking eagerly to the South
and to an unfulfilled destiny, and possessing both the energy of
barbarism in its subjects and the subtlety of civilization in its
rulers. The two former of these five empires were Pagan, the two next
Mahometan, the last Christian, but schismatic; all have been persecutors
of the Church, or, at least, instruments of evil against her children.
The Russians I shall dismiss; the Turks, who form my proper subject, I
shall postpone. First of all, I will take a brief survey of the three
empires of the Tartars proper; of Attila and his Huns; of Zingis and his
Moguls; and of Timour and his Mahometan Tartars.

I have already waived the intricate question of race, as regards the
various tribes who have roamed from time immemorial, or used to roam, in
the Asiatic and European wilderness, because it was not necessary to the
discussion in which I am engaged. Their geographical position
assimilated them to each other in their wildness, their love of
wandering, their pastoral occupations, their predatory habits, their
security from attack, and the suddenness and the transitoriness of their
conquests, even though they descend from our first parent by different
lines. However, there is no need of any reserve or hesitation in
speaking of the three first empires into which the shepherds of the
North developed, the Huns, the Moguls, and the Mahometan Tartars: they
were the creation of Tribes, whose identity of race is as certain as
their community of country.


Of these the first in order is the Hunnish Empire of Attila, and if I
speak of it and of him with more of historical consecutiveness than of
Zingis or of Timour, it is because I think in him we see the pure
undiluted Tartar, better than in the other two, and in his empire the
best specimen of a Tartar rule. Nothing brings before us more vividly
the terrible character of Attila than this, that he terrified the Goths
themselves. These celebrated barbarians at the time of Attila inhabited
the countries to the north of the Black Sea, between the Danube and the
Don, the very district in which Darius so many centuries before found
the Scythians. They were impending over the Roman Empire, and
threatening it with destruction; their king was the great Hermanric,
who, after many victories, was closing his days in the fulness of power
and renown. That they themselves, the formidable Goths, should have to
fear and flee, seemed the most improbable of prospects; yet it was their
lot. Suddenly they heard, or rather they felt before they heard,--so
rapid is the torrent of Scythian warfare,--they felt upon them and among
them the resistless, crushing force of a remorseless foe. They beheld
their fields and villages in flames about them, and their hearthstones
deluged in the blood of their dearest and their bravest. Shocked and
stunned by so unexpected a calamity, they could think of nothing better
than turning their backs on the enemy, crowding to the Danube, and
imploring the Romans to let them cross over, and to lodge themselves and
their families in safety from the calamity which menaced them.

Indeed, the very appearance of the enemy scared them; and they shrank
from him, as children before some monstrous object. It is observed of
the Scythians, their ancestors, who, as I have mentioned, came down upon
Asia in the Median times, that they were a frightful set of men. "The
persons of the Scythians," says a living historian,[7] "naturally
unsightly, were rendered hideous by indolent habits, only occasionally
interrupted by violent exertions; and the same cause subjected them to
disgusting diseases, in which they themselves revered the finger of
Heaven." Some of these ancient tribes are said to have been cannibals,
and their horrible outrage in serving up to Cyaxares human flesh for
game, may be taken to confirm the account Their sensuality was
unbridled, so much so that even polygamy was a licence too limited for
their depravity. The Huns were worthy sons of such fathers. The Goths,
the bravest and noblest of barbarians, recoiled in horror from their
physical and mental deformity. Their voices were shrill, their gestures
uncouth, and their shapes scarcely human. They are said by a Gothic
historian to have resembled brutes set up awkwardly on their hind legs,
or to the misshapen figures (something like, I suppose, the grotesque
forms of medieval sculpture), which were placed upon the bridges of
antiquity. Their shoulders were broad, their noses flat, and their eyes
black, small, and deeply buried in their head. They had little hair on
their skulls, and no beard. The report was spread and believed by the
Goths, that they were not mere men, but the detestable progeny of evil
spirits and witches in the wilds of the East.

As the Huns were but reproductions of the ancient Scythians, so are they
reproduced themselves in various Tartar races of modern times.
Tavernier, the French traveller, in the seventeenth century, gives us a
similar description of the Kalmuks, some of whom at present are included
in the Russian Empire. "They are robust men," he says,[8] "but the most
ugly and deformed under heaven; a face so flat and broad, that from one
eye to the other is a space of five or six fingers. Their eyes are very
small, the nose so flat that two small nostrils is the whole of it;
their knees turned out, and their feet turned in."

Attila himself did not degenerate in aspect from this unlovely race; for
an historian tells us, whom I have already made use of, that "his
features bore the stamp of his national origin; and the portrait of
Attila exhibits the genuine deformity of a modern Calmuck; a large
head, a swarthy complexion, small deep-seated eyes, a flat nose, a few
hairs in the place of a beard, broad shoulders, and a short square body,
of nervous strength, though of a disproportioned form." I should add
that the Tartar eyes are not only far apart, but slant inwards, as do
the eyebrows, and are partly covered by the eyelid. Now Attila, this
writer continues, "had a custom of rolling his eyes, as if he wished to
enjoy the terror which he had inspired;" yet, strange to say, all this
was so far from being thought a deformity by his people, that it even
went for something supernatural, for we presently read, "the barbarian
princes confessed, that they could not presume to gaze, with a steady
eye, on the divine majesty of the King of the Huns."

I consider Attila to have been a pure Hun; I do not suppose the later
hordes under Zingis and Timour to have been so hideous, as being the
descendants of mixed marriages. Both Zingis himself and Timour had
foreign mothers; as to the Turks, from even an earlier date than those
conquerors, they had taken foreign captives to be mothers of their
families, and had lived among foreign people. Borrowing the blood of a
hundred tribes as they went on, they slowly made their way, in the
course of six or seven centuries, from Turkistan to Constantinople. Then
as to the Russians again, only a portion of the empire is strictly
Tartar or Scythian; the greater portion is but Scythian in its first
origin, many ages ago, and has long surrendered its wandering or nomad
habits, its indolence, and its brutality.


To return to Attila:--this extraordinary man is the only conqueror of
ancient and modern times who has united in one empire the two mighty
kingdoms of Eastern Scythia and Western Germany, that is, of that
immense expanse of plain, which stretches across Europe and Asia. If we
divide the inhabited portions of the globe into two parts, the land of
civilization and the land of barbarism, we may call him the supreme and
sole king of the latter, of all those populations who did not live in
cities, who did not till the soil, who were hunters and shepherds,
dwelling in tents, in waggons, and on horseback.[9] Imagination can
hardly take in the extent of his empire. In the West he interfered with
the Franks, and chastised the Burgundians, on the Rhine. On the East he
even sent ambassadors to negotiate an equal alliance with the Chinese
Empire. The north of Asia was the home of his race, and on the north of
Europe he ascended as high as Denmark and Sweden. It is said he could
bring into the field an army of 500,000 or 700,000 men.

You will ask perhaps how he gained this immense power; did he inherit
it? the Russian Empire is the slow growth of centuries; had Attila a
long line of royal ancestors, and was his empire, like that of Haroun,
or Soliman, or Aurunzebe, the maturity and consummation of an eventful
history? Nothing of the kind; it began, as it ended, with himself. The
history of the Huns during the centuries immediately before him, will
show us how he came by it. It seems that, till shortly before the
Christian era, the Huns had a vast empire, from a date unknown, in the
portion of Tartary to the east of Mount Altai. It was against these
formidable invaders that the Chinese built their famous wall, 1,500
miles in length, which still exists as one of the wonders of the world.
In spite of its protection, however, they were obliged to pay tribute to
their fierce neighbours, until one of their emperors undertook a task
which at first sight seems an exception to what I have already laid down
as if a universal law in the history of northern warfare. This Chinese
monarch accomplished the bold design of advancing an army as much as 700
miles into the depths of the Tartar wilderness, and thereby at length
succeeded in breaking the power of the Huns. He succeeded;--but at the
price of 110,000 men. He entered Tartary with an army 140,000 strong; he
returned with 30,000.

The Huns, however, though broken, had no intention at all of being
reduced. The wild warriors turned their faces westward, and not knowing
whither they were going, set out for Europe. This was at the end of the
first century after Christ; in the course of the following centuries
they pursued the track which I have already marked out for the
emigrating companies. They passed the lofty Altai; they gradually
travelled along the foot of the mountain-chain in which it is seated;
they arrived at the edge of the high table-land which bounds Tartary on
the west; then turning southward down the slopes which led to the low
level of Turkistan, they found themselves close to a fertile region
between the Jaxartes and the Oxus, the present Bukharia, then called
Sogdiana by the Greeks, afterwards the native land of Timour. Here was
the first of the three thoroughfares for a descent southwards, which I
have pointed out as open to the choice of adventurers. A portion of
these Huns, attracted by the rich pasture-land and general beauty of
Sogdiana, took up their abode there; the main body wandered on.
Persevering in their original course, they skirted Siberia and the north
of the Caspian, crossed the Volga, then the Don, and thus in the fifth
century of the Christian era, as I just now mentioned, came upon the
Goths, who were in undisturbed possession of the country. Now it would
appear that, in this long march from the wall of China to the Danube,
lasting as it did through some centuries, they lost hold of no part of
the tracts which they traversed. They remained on each successive
encampment long enough (if I may so express myself) to sow themselves
there. They left behind them at least a remnant of their own population
while they went forward, like a rocket thrown up in the sky, which,
while it shoots forward, keeps possession of its track by its train of
fire. And hence it was that Attila, when he found himself at length in
Hungary, and elevated to the headship of his people, became at once the
acknowledged king of the vast territories and the untold populations
which that people had been leaving behind them in its advance during the
foregoing 350 years.

Such a power indeed had none of the elements of permanence in it, but it
was appalling at the moment, whenever there was a vigorous and
unscrupulous hand to put it into motion. Such was Attila; it was his
boast, that, where his horse once trod, there grass never grew again. As
he fulfilled his terrible destiny, religious men looked on with awe, and
called him the "Scourge of God." He burst as a thunder-cloud upon the
whole extent of country, now called Turkey in Europe, along a line of
more than five hundred miles from the Black Sea to the Gulf of Venice.
He defeated the Roman armies in three pitched battles, and then set
about destroying the cities of the Empire. Three of the greatest,
Constantinople, Adrianople, and another, escaped: but as for the rest,
the barbarian fury fell on as many as seventy; they were sacked,
levelled to the ground, and their inhabitants carried off to captivity.
Next he turned round to the West, and rode off with his savage horsemen
to the Rhine. He entered France, and stormed and sacked the greater part
of its cities. At Metz he involved in one promiscuous massacre priests
and children; he burned the city, so that a solitary chapel of St.
Stephen was its sole remains. At length he was signally defeated by the
Romans and Goths united at Chalons on the Marne, in a tremendous battle,
which ended in 252,000, or, as one account says, 300,000 men being left
dead on the field.

Irritated rather than humbled, as some beast of prey, by this mishap, he
turned to Italy. Crossing the Alps, he laid siege to Aquileia, at that
time one of the richest, most populous, and strongest of the cities on
the Hadriatic coast. He took it, sacked it, and so utterly destroyed it,
that the succeeding generation could scarcely trace its ruins. It is, we
know, no slight work, in toil and expense, even with all the appliances
of modern science, to raze a single fortress; yet the energy of these
wild warriors made sport of walled cities. He turned back, and passed
along through Lombardy; and, as he moved, he set fire to Padua and other
cities; he plundered Vincenza, Verona, and Bergamo; and sold to the
citizens of Milan and Pavia their lives and buildings at the price of
the surrender of their property. There were a number of minute islands
in the shallows of the extremity of the Hadriatic; and thither the
trembling inhabitants of the coast fled for refuge. Fish was for a time
their sole food, and salt, extracted from the sea, their sole
possession. Such was the origin of the city and the republic of Venice.


It does not enter into my subject to tell you how this ferocious
conqueror was stayed in the course of blood and fire which was carrying
him towards Rome, by the great St. Leo, the Pope of the day, who
undertook an embassy to his camp. It was not the first embassy which the
Romans had sent to him, and their former negotiations had been
associated with circumstances which could not favourably dispose the Hun
to new overtures. It is melancholy to be obliged to confess that, on
that occasion, the contrast between barbarism and civilization had been
to the advantage of the former. The Romans, who came to Attila to treat
upon the terms of an accommodation, after various difficulties and some
insults, had found themselves at length in the Hunnish capital, in
Hungary, the sole city of an empire which extended for some thousand
miles. In the number of these ambassadors were some who were conducting
an intrigue with Attila's own people for his assassination, and who
actually had with them the imperial gold which was to be the price of
the crime. Attila was aware of the conspiracy, and showed his knowledge
of it; but, from respect for the law of nations and of hospitality, he
spared the guilty instruments or authors. Sad as it is to have to record
such practices of an Imperial Court professedly Christian, still, it is
not unwelcome, for the honour of human nature, to discover in
consequence of them those vestiges of moral rectitude which the
degradation of ages had not obliterated from the Tartar character. It is
well known that when Homer, 1,500 years before, speaks of these
barbarians, he calls them, on the one hand, "drinkers of mare's milk;"
on the other, "the most just of men." Truth, honesty, justice,
hospitality, according to their view of things, are the historical
characteristics, it must be granted, of Scythians, Tartars, and Turks,
down to this day; and Homer, perhaps, as other authors after him, was
the more struck with such virtues in these wild shepherds, in contrast
with the subtlety and perfidy, which, then as since, were the qualities
of his own intellectually gifted countrymen.

Attila, though aware of the treachery and of the traitor, had received
the Roman ambassadors, as a barbarian indeed, but as a king; and with
that strange mixture of rudeness and magnificence of which I shall have,
as I proceed, to give more detailed specimens. As he entered the royal
village or capital with his guests, a numerous troop of women came out
to meet him, and marched in long files before him, chanting hymns in his
honour. As he passed the door of one of his favourite soldiers, the wife
of the latter presented wine and meat for his refreshment. He did not
dismount, but a silver table was raised for his accommodation by his
domestics, and then he continued his march. His palace, which was all of
wood, was surrounded by a wooden wall, and contained separate houses for
each of his numerous wives. The Romans were taken round to all of them
to pay their respects; and they admired the singular quality and
workmanship of the wooden columns, which they found in the apartments of
his queen or state wife. She received them reclining on a soft couch,
with her ladies round her working at embroidery. Afterwards they had an
opportunity of seeing his council; the supreme tribunal was held in the
gate of the palace according to Oriental custom, perpetuated even to
this day in the title of the "Ottoman Porte." They were invited to two
solemn banquets, in which Attila feasted with the princes and nobles of
Scythia. The royal couch and table were covered with carpets and fine
linen. The swords, and even the shoes of the nobles, were studded with
gold and precious stones; the tables were profusely spread with gold
and silver plates, goblets, and vases. Two bards stood before the King's
couch, and sung of his victories. Wine was drunk in great excess; and
buffoons, Scythian and Moorish, exhibited their unseemly dances before
the revellers. When the Romans were to depart, Attila discovered to them
his knowledge of the treachery which had been carried on against him.

Such were some of the untoward circumstances under which the great
Pontiff I have mentioned undertook a new embassy to the King of the
Huns. He was not, we may well conceive, to be a spectator of their
barbaric festivities, or to be a listener to their licentious
interludes; he was rather an object to be gazed upon, than to gaze; and
in truth there was that about him, in the noble aspect and the spare
youthful form, which portraits give to Pope Leo, which was adapted to
arrest and subdue even Attila. Attila had seen many great men in his
day; he had seen the majesty of the Cæsars, and the eagles of their
legions; he had never seen before a Vicar of Christ. The place of their
interview has been ascertained by antiquarians;[10] it is near the great
Austrian fortress of Peschiera, where the Mincio enters the Lago di
Garda, close to the farm of Virgil. It is said he saw behind the Pontiff
the two Apostles St. Peter and St. Paul, as they are represented in the
picture of Raffaelle; he was subdued by the influence of religion, and
agreed to evacuate Italy.

A few words will bring us to the end of his career. Evil has its limit;
the Scourge of God had accomplished His mission. Hardly had St. Leo
retired, when the barbarian king availed himself of the brief interval
in his work of blood, to celebrate a new marriage. In the deep
corruption of the Tartar race, polygamy is comparatively a point of
virtue: Attila's wives were beyond computation. Zingis, after him, had
as many as five hundred; another of the Tartar leaders, whose name I
forget, had three hundred. Attila, on the evening of his new nuptials,
drank to excess, and was carried to his room. There he was found in the
morning, bathed and suffocated in his blood. An artery had suddenly
burst; and, as he lay on his back, the blood had flowed back upon his
throat and lungs, and so he had gone to his place.


And now for Zingis and Timour:--like the Huns, they and their tribes
came down from the North of Asia, swept over the face of the South,
obliterated the civilization of centuries, inflicted unspeakable misery
on whole nations, and then were spent, extinguished, and only survived
to posterity in the desolation they caused. As Attila ruled from China
to the Rhine, and wasted Europe from the Black Sea to the Loire, so
Zingis and his sons and grandsons occupied a still larger portion of the
world's surface, and exercised a still more pitiless sway. Besides the
immense range of territory, from Germany to the North Pacific Ocean,
throughout which their power was felt, even if it was not acknowledged,
they overran China, Siberia, Russia, Poland, Hungary, Anatolia, Syria,
and Persia. During the sixty-five years of their dominion, they subdued
almost all Asia and a large portion of Europe. The conquests of Timour
were as sudden and as complete, if not as vast, as those of Zingis; and,
if he did not penetrate into Europe, he accomplished instead the
subjugation of Hindostan.

The exploits of those warriors have the air of Eastern romance; 700,000
men marched under the standard of Zingis; and in one of his battles he
left 160,000 of his enemies upon the field. Before Timour died, he had
had twenty-seven crowns upon his head. When he invaded Turkistan, his
army stretched along a line of thirteen miles. We may conceive his
energy and determination, when we are told that, for five months, he
marched through wildernesses, subsisting his immense army on the
fortunes of the chase. In his invasion of Hindostan he had to pass over
a high chain of mountains, and, in one stage of the passage, had to be
lowered by ropes on a scaffold, down a precipice of 150 cubits in depth.
He attempted the operation five times before he got safely to the

These two extraordinary men rivalled or exceeded Attila in their
wholesale barbarities. Attila vaunted that the grass never grew again
after his horse's hoof; so it was the boast of Zingis, that when he
destroyed a city, he did it so completely, that his horse could gallop
across its site without stumbling. He depopulated the whole country from
the Danube to the Baltic in a season; and the ruins of cities and
churches were strewed with the bones of the inhabitants. He allured the
fugitives from the woods, where they lay hid, under a promise of pardon
and peace; he made them gather in the harvest and the vintage, and then
he put them to death. At Gran, in Hungary, he had 300 noble ladies
slaughtered in his presence. But these were slight excesses compared
with other of his acts. When he had subdued the northern part of China,
he proposed, not in the heat of victory, but deliberately in council, to
exterminate all its inhabitants, and to turn it into a cattle-walk; from
this project indeed he was diverted, but a similar process was his rule
with the cities he conquered. Let it be understood, he came down upon
cities living in peace and prosperity, as the cities of England now,
which had done him no harm, which had not resisted him, which submitted
to him at discretion on his summons. What was his treatment of such? He
ordered out the whole population on some adjacent plain; then he
proceeded to sack their city. Next he divided them into three parts:
first, the soldiers and others capable of bearing arms; these he either
enlisted into his armies, or slaughtered on the spot. The second class
consisted of the rich, the women, and the artizans;--these he divided
amongst his followers. The remainder, the old, infirm, and poor, he
suffered to return to their rifled city. Such was his ordinary course;
but when anything occurred to provoke him, the most savage excesses
followed. The slightest offence, or appearance of offence, on the part
of an individual, sufficed for the massacre of whole populations. The
three great capitals of Khorasan were destroyed by his orders, and a
reckoning made of the slain; at Maru were killed 1,300,000; at Herat,
1,600,000; and at Neisabour, 1,747,000; making a total of 4,647,000
deaths. Say these numbers are exaggerated fourfold or tenfold; even on
the last supposition you will have a massacre of towards half a million
of helpless beings. After recounting such preternatural crimes, it is
little to add, that his devastation of the fine countries between the
Caspian and the Indus, a tract of many hundred miles, was so complete,
that six centuries have been unable to repair the ravages of four years.

Timour equalled Zingis, if he could not surpass him, in barbarity. At
Delhi, the capital of his future dynasty, he massacred 100,000
prisoners, because some of them were seen to smile when the army of
their countrymen came in sight. He laid a tax of the following sort on
the people of Ispahan, viz, to find him 70,000 human skulls, to build
his towers with; and, after Bagdad had revolted, he exacted of the
inhabitants as many as 90,000. He burned, or sacked, or razed to the
ground, the cities of Astrachan, Carisme, Delhi, Ispahan, Bagdad,
Aleppo, Damascus, Broussa, Smyrna, and a thousand others. We seem to be
reading of some antediluvian giant, rather than of a medieval conqueror.


The terrible races which I have been describing, like those giants of
old, have ever been enemies of God and persecutors of His Church. Celts,
Goths, Lombards, Franks, have been converted, and their descendants to
this day are Christian; but, whether we consider Huns, Moguls, or Turks,
up to this time they are in the outer darkness. And accordingly, to the
innumerable Tartar tribes, and to none other, have been applied by
commentators the solemn passages about Gog and Magog, who are to fight
the battles of Antichrist against the faithful. "Satan shall go forth
and seduce the nations which are at the four corners of the earth, Gog
and Magog, and shall collect them to battle, whose number is as the sea
sand." From time to time the Holy See has fulfilled its apostolic
mission of sending preachers to them, but without success. The only
missionaries who have had any influence upon them have been those of the
Nestorian heresy, who have in certain districts made the same sort of
impression on them which the Greek schism has made upon the Russians.
St. Louis too sent a friar to them on an embassy, when he wished to
persuade them to turn their strength upon the Turks, with whom he was at
war; other European monarchs afterwards followed his pattern; and
sometimes European merchants visited them for the purposes of trade.
However little influence as these various visitants, in the course of
several centuries, had upon their minds, they have at least done us the
service of giving us information concerning their habits and manners;
and this so fully corroborates the historical account of them which I
have been giving, that it will be worth while laying before you some
specimens of it here.

I have said that some of these travellers were laymen travelling for
gain or in secular splendour, and others were humble servants of
religion. The contrast of their respective adventures is striking. The
celebrated Marco Polo, who was one of a company of enterprising Venetian
merchants, lived many years in Tartary in honour, and returned laden
with riches; the poor friars met with hardships in plenty, and nothing
besides. Not that the Poli were not good Catholics, not that they went
out without a blessing from the Pope, or without friars of the order of
St. Dominic of his selection; but so it was, that the Tartars understood
the merchant well enough, but could not comprehend, could not set a
value on the friar.

When the Pope's missionaries came in sight of the Tartar encampment on
the northern frontier of Persia, they at once announced their mission
and its object. It was from the Vicar of Christ upon earth, and the
spiritual head of Christendom; and it was a simple exhortation addressed
to the fierce conquerors before whom they stood, to repent and believe.
The answer of the Tartars was equally prompt and equally intelligible.
When they had fully mastered the business of their visitors, they
sentenced them to immediate execution; and did but hesitate about the
mode. They were to be flayed alive, their skins filled with hay, and so
sent back to the Pope; or they were to be put in the first rank in the
next battle with the Franks, and to die by the weapons of their own
countrymen. Eventually one of the Khan's wives begged them off. They
were kept in a sort of captivity for three years, and at length thought
themselves happy to be sent away with their lives. So much for the
friars; how different was the lot of the merchants may be understood by
the scene which took place on their return to Venice, It is said that,
on their arrival at their own city, after the absence of a quarter of a
century, their change of appearance and poorness of apparel were such
that even their nearest friends did not know them. Having with
difficulty effected an entrance into their own house, they set about
giving a splendid entertainment to the principal persons of the city.
The banquet over, following the Oriental custom, they successively put
on and then put off again, and distributed to their attendants, a series
of magnificent dresses; and at length they entered the room in the same
weather-stained and shabby dresses, in which, as travellers, they had
made their first appearance at Venice. The assembled company eyed them
with wonder; which you may be sure was not diminished, when they began
to unrip the linings and the patches of those old clothes, and as the
seams were opened, poured out before them a prodigious quantity of
jewels. This had been their expedient for conveying their gains to
Europe, and the effect of the discovery upon the world may be
anticipated. Persons of all ranks and ages crowded to them, as the
report spread, and they were the wonder of their day.[11]


Savage cruelty, brutal gluttony, and barbarous magnificence, are the
three principal ethical characteristics of a Tartar prince, as we may
gather from what has come down to us in history, whether concerning the
Scythians or the Huns. The first of these three qualities has also been
illustrated, from the references which I have been making to the history
of Zingis and Timour, so that I think we have heard enough of it,
without further instances from the report of these travellers, whether
ecclesiastical or lay. I will but mention one corroboration of a
barbarity, which at first hearing it is difficult to credit. When the
Spanish ambassador, then, was on his way to Timour, and had got as far
as the north of Persia, he there actually saw a specimen of that sort of
poll-tax, which I just now mentioned. It was a structure consisting of
four towers, composed of human skulls, a layer of mud and of skulls
being placed alternately; and he tells us that upwards of 60,000 men
were massacred to afford materials for this building. Indeed it seems a
demonstration of revenge familiar to the Tartar race. Selim, the Ottoman
Sultan, reared a similar pyramid on the banks of the Nile.[12]

To return to our Spanish traveller. He proceeded to his destination,
which was Samarcand, the royal city of Timour, in Sogdiana, the present
Bukharia, and was presented to the great conqueror. He describes the
gate of the palace as lofty, and richly ornamented with gold and azure;
in the inner court were six elephants, with wooden castles on their
backs, and streamers which performed gambols for the amusement of the
courtiers. He was led into a spacious room, where were some boys,
Timour's grandsons, and these carried the King of Spain's letters to the
Khan. He then was ushered into Timour's presence, who was seated, like
Attila's queen, on a sort of cushioned sofa, with a fountain playing
before him. He was at that time an old man, and his eyesight was

At the entertainment which followed, the meat was introduced in leathern
bags, so large as to be dragged along with difficulty. When opened,
pieces were cut out and placed on dishes of gold, silver, or porcelain.
One of the most esteemed, says the ambassador, was the hind quarter of a
horse; I must add what I find related, in spite of its offending our
ears:--our informant tells us that horse-tripe also was one of the
delicacies at table. No dish was removed, but the servants of the guests
were expected to carry off the remains, so that our ambassador doubtless
had his larder provided with the sort of viands I have mentioned for
some time to come. The drink was the famous Tartar beverage which we
hear of so often, mares' milk, sweetened with sugar, or perhaps rather
the _koumiss_ or spirit which is distilled from it. It was handed round
in gold and silver cups.

Nothing is more strange about the Tartars than the attachment they have
shown to such coarse fare, from the earliest times till now. Timour, at
whose royal table this most odious banquet was served, was lord of all
Asia, and had the command of every refinement not only of luxury, but of
gluttony. Yet he is faithful to the food which regaled the old Scythians
in the heroic age of Greece, and which is prized by the Usbek of the
present day. As Homer, in the beginning of the historic era, calls the
Scythians "mares'-milk drinkers," so geographers of the present day
describe their mode of distilling it in Russia. Tavernier speaks of it
two centuries ago; the European visitors partook of it in the middle
ages; and the Roman ambassadors, in the later times of the Empire. These
tribes have had the command of the vine, yet they seem to have scorned
or even abhorred its use; and we have a curious account in Herodotus, of
a Scythian king who lost his life for presuming to take part secretly in
the orgies of Bacchus. Yet it was not that they did not intoxicate
themselves freely with the distillation which they had chosen; and even
when they tolerated wine, they still adhered to their _koumiss_. That
beverage is described by the Franciscan, who was sent by St. Louis, as
what he calls biting, and leaving a taste like almond milk on the
palate; though Elphinstone, on the contrary writing in this century,
says "it is of a whitish colour and a sourish taste." And so of
horse-flesh; I believe it is still put out for sale in the Chinese
markets; Lieutenant Wood, in his journey to the source of the Oxus,
speaks of it among the Usbeks as an expensive food. So does Elphinstone,
adding that in consequence the Usbeks are "obliged to be content with
beef." Pinkerton tells us that it is made into dried hams; but this
seems to be a refinement, for we hear a great deal from various authors
of its being eaten more than half raw. After all, horse-flesh was the
most delicate of the Tartar viands in the times we are now considering.
We are told that, in spite of their gold and silver, and jewels, they
were content to eat dogs, foxes, and wolves; and, as I have observed
before, the flesh of animals which had died of disease.

But again we have lost sight of the ambassador of Spain. After this
banquet, he was taken about by Timour to other palaces, each more
magnificent than the one preceding it. He speaks of the magnificent
halls, painted with various colours, of the hangings of silk, of gold
and silver embroidery, of tables of solid gold, and of the rubies and
other precious stones. The most magnificent of these entertainments was
on a plain; 20,000 pavilions being pitched around Timour's, which
displayed the most gorgeous variety of colours. Two entertainments were
given by the ladies of the court, in which the state queens of Timour,
nine in number, sat in a row, and here pages handed round wine, not
_koumiss_, in golden cups, which they were not slow in emptying.

The good friar, who went from St. Louis to the princes of the house of
Zingis, several centuries earlier, gives us a similar account. When he
was presented to the Khan, he went with a Bible and a Psalter in his
hand; on entering the royal apartment, he found a curtain of felt spread
across the room; it was lifted up, and discovered the great man at table
with his wives about him, and prepared for drinking _koumiss_. The court
knew something of Christianity from the Nestorians, who were about it,
and the friar was asked to say a blessing on the meal; so he entered
singing the Salve Regina. On another occasion he was present at the
baptism of a wife of the Khan by a Nestorian priest. After the ceremony,
she called for a cup of liquor, desired a blessing from the officiating
minister, and drank it off. Then she drank off another, and then
another; and continued this process till she could drink no more, and
was put into her carriage, and taken home. At another entertainment the
friar had to make a speech, in the name of the holy king he represented,
to pray for health and long life to the Khan. When he looked round for
his interpreter, he found him in a state of intoxication, and in no
condition to be of service; then he directed his gaze upon the Khan
himself, and found him intoxicated also.

I have made much mention of the wealth of the Tartars, from Attila to
Timour; their foreign conquests would yield to them of course whatever
of costly material their pride might require; but their native territory
itself was rich in minerals. Altai in the north yielded the precious
metals; the range of mountains which branches westward from the Himalaya
on the south yielded them rubies and lapis lazuli. We are informed by
the travellers whom I have been citing that they dressed in winter in
costly furs; in summer in silk, and even in cloth of gold.[13] One of
the Franciscans speaks of the gifts received by the Khan from foreign
powers. They were more than could be numbered;--satin cloths, robes of
purple, silk girdles wrought with gold, costly skins. We are told of an
umbrella enriched with precious stones; of a train of camels covered
with cloth of Bagdad; of a tent of glowing purple; of five hundred
waggons full of silver, gold, and silk stuffs.


It is remarkable that the three great conquerors, who have been our
subject, all died in the fulness of glory. From the beginning of history
to our own times, the insecurity of great prosperity has been the theme
of poets and philosophers. Scripture points out to our warning in
opposite ways the fortunes of Sennacherib, Nabuchodonosor, and
Antiochus. Profane history tells us of Solon, the Athenian sage, coming
to the court of Croesus, the prosperous King of Lydia, whom in his
fallen state I have already had occasion to mention; and, when he had
seen his treasures and was asked by the exulting monarch who was the
happiest of men, making answer that no one could be called happy before
his death. And we may call to mind in confirmation the history of
Cyrus, of Hannibal, of Mithridates, of Belisarius, of Bajazet, of
Napoleon. But these Tartars finished a prosperous course without
reverse; they died indeed and went to judgment, but, as far as the
visible scene of their glory is concerned, they underwent no change.
Attila was summoned suddenly, but the summons found him a triumphant
king; and the case is the same with Zingis and Timour. These latter
conquerors had glories besides of a different kind which increased the
lustre of their rule. They were both lawgivers; it is the boast of
Zingis that he laid down the principle of religious toleration with a
clearness which modern philsophers have considered to rival the theory
of Locke; and Timour, also established an efficient police in his
dominions, and was a patron of literature. Their sun went down full and
cloudless, with the merit of having shed some rays of blessing upon the
earth, scorching and withering as had been its day. It is remarkable
also that all three had something of a misgiving, or softening of mind,
miserably unsatisfactory as it was, shortly before their deaths.
Attila's quailing before the eye of the Vicar of Christ, and turning
away from Italy, I have already spoken of. As to Zingis, as, laden at
once with years and with the spoils of Asia, he reluctantly measured his
way home at the impatient bidding of his veterans, who were tired of
war, he seemed visited by a sense of the vanity of all things and a
terror for the evil he had done. He showed some sort of pity for the
vanquished, and declared his intention of rebuilding the cities he had
destroyed. Alas! it is ever easier to pull down than to build up. His
wars continued; he was successful by his lieutenants when he could not
go to battle himself; he left his power to his children and
grandchildren, and he died.


Such was the end of Zingis, a pagan, who had some notion of Christianity
in a corrupted form, and who once almost gave hopes of becoming a
Christian, but who really had adopted a sort of indifference towards
religious creeds altogether. Timour was a zealous Mahometan, and had
been instructed in more definite notions of moral duty. He too felt some
misgivings about his past course towards the end of his life; and the
groans and shrieks of the dying and the captured in the sack of Aleppo
awoke for a while the stern monitor within him. He protested to the
cadhi his innocence of the blood which he had shed. "You see me here,"
he said, "a poor, lame, decrepit mortal; yet by my arm it has pleased
the Almighty to subdue the kingdoms of Iran, Touran, and Hindostan. I am
not a man of blood; I call God to witness, that never, in all my wars,
have I been the aggressor, but that my enemies have ever been the
authors of the calamities which have come upon them."[14]

This was the feeling of a mind sated with conquest, sated with glory,
aware at length that he must go further and look deeper, if he was to
find that on which the soul could really feed and live, and startled to
find the entrance to that abode of true greatness and of glory sternly
shut against him. He looked towards the home of his youth, and the seat
of his long prosperity, across the Oxus, to Sogdiana, to Samarcand, its
splendid capital, with its rich groves and smiling pastures, and there
the old man went to die. Not that he directly thought of death; for
still he yearned after military success: and he went thither for but a
short repose, between his stupendous victories in Asia Minor and a
projected campaign in China. But Samarcand was a fitting halt in that
long march; and there for the last time he displayed the glory of his
kingdom, receiving the petitions or appeals of his subjects,
ostentatiously judging between the deserving and the guilty, inspecting
plans for the erection of palaces and temples, and giving audience to
ambassadors from Russia, Spain, Egypt, and Hindostan. An English
historian, whom I have already used, has enlarged upon this closing
scene, and I here abridge his account of it. "The marriage of six of the
Emperor's grandsons," he says, "was esteemed an act of religion as well
as of paternal tenderness; and the pomp of the ancient caliphs was
revived in their nuptials. They were celebrated in the garden of
Canighul, where innumerable tents and pavilions displayed the luxury of
a great city and the spoils of a victorious camp. Whole forests were cut
down to supply fuel for the kitchens; the plain was spread with pyramids
of meat and vases of every liquor, to which thousands of guests were
courteously invited. The orders of the state and the nations of the
earth were marshalled at the royal banquet. The public joy was testified
by illuminations and masquerades; the trades of Samarcand passed in
review; and every trade was emulous to execute some quaint device, some
marvellous pageant, with the materials of their peculiar art. After the
marriage contracts had been ratified by the cadhies, nine times,
according to the Asiatic fashion, were the bridegrooms and their brides
dressed and undressed; and at each change of apparel, pearls and rubies
were showered on their heads, and contemptuously abandoned to their

You may recollect the passage in Milton's Paradise Lost, which has a
reference to the Oriental ceremony here described. It is in his account
of Satan's throne in Pandemonium. "High on a throne," the poet says,

  "High on a throne of royal state, which far
  Outshone the wealth of Ormus or of Ind,
  Or where the gorgeous East, with richest hand,
  Showers on her kings barbaric pearl and gold,
  Satan exulting sat, by merit raised
  To that bad eminence."

So it is; the greatest magnificence of this world is but a poor
imitation of the flaming throne of the author of evil. But let us return
to the history:--"A general indulgence was proclaimed, and every law was
relaxed, every pleasure was allowed; the people were free, the sovereign
was idle; and the historian of Timour may remark, that after devoting
fifty years to the attainment of empire, the only happy period of his
life was the two months in which he ceased to exercise his power. But he
was soon awakened to the cares of government and war. The standard was
unfurled for the invasion of China; the emirs made the report of
200,000, the select and veteran soldiers of Iran and Touran; the baggage
and provisions were transported by 500 great waggons, and an immense
train of horses and camels; and the troops might prepare for a long
absence, since more than six months were employed in the tranquil
journey of a caravan from Samarcand to Pekin. Neither age, nor the
severity of winter, could retard the impatience of Timour; he mounted on
horseback, passed the Sihun" (or Jaxartes) "on the ice, marched 300
miles from his capital, and pitched his last camp at Otrar, where he was
expected by the angel of death. Fatigue and the indiscreet use of iced
water accelerated the progress of his fever; and the conqueror of Asia
expired in the seventieth year of his age; his designs were lost; his
armies were disbanded; China was saved."

       *       *       *       *       *

But the wonderful course of human affairs rolled on. Timour's death was
followed at no long interval by the rise of John Basilowich in Russia,
who succeeded in throwing of the Mogul yoke, and laid the foundation of
the present mighty empire. The Tartar sovereignty passed from Samarcand
to Moscow.


[7] Thirlwall: Greece, vol. ii. p. 196.

[8] Voyages, t. i. p. 456.

[9] Gibbon.

[10] Maffei Verona, part ii. p. 6.

[11] Murray's Asia.

[12] Thornton's Turkey. Vid. also Jenkinson's Voyage across the Caspian
in 1562.

[13] Vid. also Jenkinson, _supr._

[14] Gibbon.




_The Tartar and the Turk._

You may think, Gentlemen, I have been very long in coming to the Turks,
and indeed I have been longer than I could have wished; but I have
thought it necessary, in order to your taking a just view of them, that
you should survey them first of all in their original condition. When
they first appear in history they are Huns or Tartars, and nothing else;
they are indeed in no unimportant respects Tartars even now; but, had
they never been made something more than Tartars, they never would have
had much to do with the history of the world. In that case, they would
have had only the fortunes of Attila and Zingis; they might have swept
over the face of the earth, and scourged the human race, powerful to
destroy, helpless to construct, and in consequence ephemeral; but this
would have been all. But this has not been all, as regards the Turks;
for, in spite of their intimate resemblance or relationship to the
Tartar tribes, in spite of their essential barbarism to this day, still
they, or at least great portions of the race, have been put under
education; they have been submitted to a slow course of change, with a
long history and a profitable discipline and fortunes of a peculiar
kind; and thus they have gained those qualities of mind, which alone
enable a nation to wield and to consolidate imperial power.


I have said that, when first they distinctly appear on the scene of
history, they are indistinguishable from Tartars. Mount Altai, the high
metropolis of Tartary, is surrounded by a hilly district, rich not only
in the useful, but in the precious metals. Gold is said to abound there;
but it is still more fertile in veins of iron, which indeed is said to
be the most plentiful in the world. There have been iron works there
from time immemorial, and at the time that the Huns descended on the
Roman Empire (in the fifth century of the Christian era), we find the
Turks nothing more than a family of slaves, employed as workers of the
ore and as blacksmiths by the dominant tribe. Suddenly in the course of
fifty years, soon after the fall of the Hunnish power in Europe, with
the sudden development peculiar to Tartars, we find these Turks spread
from East to West, and lords of a territory so extensive, that they were
connected, by relations of peace or war, at once with the Chinese, the
Persians, and the Romans. They had reached Kamtchatka on the North, the
Caspian on the West, and perhaps even the mouth of the Indus on the
South. Here then we have an intermediate empire of Tartars, placed
between the eras of Attila and Zingis; but in this sketch it has no
place, except as belonging to Turkish history, because it was contained
within the limits of Asia, and, though it lasted for 200 years, it only
faintly affected the political transactions of Europe. However, it was
not without some sort of influence on Christendom, for the Romans
interchanged embassies with its sovereign in the reign of the then
Greek Emperor Justin the younger (A.D. 570), with the view of engaging
him in a warlike alliance against Persia. The account of one of these
embassies remains, and the picture it presents of the Turks is
important, because it seems clearly to identify them with the Tartar

For instance, in the mission to the Tartars from the Pope, which I have
already spoken of, the friars were led between two fires, when they
approached the Khan, and they at first refused to follow, thinking they
might be countenancing some magical rite. Now we find it recorded of
this Roman embassy, that, on its arrival, it was purified by the Turks
with fire and incense. As to incense, which seems out of place among
such barbarians, it is remarkable that it is used in the ceremonial of
the Turkish court to this day. At least Sir Charles Fellows, in his work
on the Antiquities of Asia Minor, in 1838, speaks of the Sultan as going
to the festival of Bairam with incense-bearers before him. Again, when
the Romans were presented to the great Khan, they found him in his tent,
seated on a throne, to which wheels were attached and horses attachable,
in other words, a Tartar waggon. Moreover, they were entertained at a
banquet which lasted the greater part of the day; and an intoxicating
liquor, not wine, which was sweet and pleasant, was freely presented to
them; evidently the Tartar _koumiss_.[15] The next day they had a second
entertainment in a still more splendid tent; the hangings were of
embroidered silk, and the throne, the cups, and the vases were of gold.
On the third day, the pavilion, in which they were received, was
supported on gilt columns; a couch of massive gold was raised on four
gold peacocks; and before the entrance to the tent was what might be
called a sideboard, only that it was a sort of barricade of waggons,
laden with dishes, basins, and statues of solid silver. All these points
in the description,--the silk hangings, the gold vessels, the
successively increasing splendour of the entertainments,--remind us of
the courts of Zingis and Timour, 700 and 900 years afterwards.

This empire, then, of the Turks was of a Tartar character; yet it was
the first step of their passing from barbarism to that degree of
civilization which is their historical badge. And it was their first
step in civilization, not so much by what it did in its day, as (unless
it be a paradox to say so), by its coming to an end. Indeed it so
happens, that those Turkish tribes which have changed their original
character and have a place in the history of the world, have obtained
their _status_ and their qualifications for it, by a process very
different from that which took place in the nations most familiar to us.
What this process has been I will say presently; first, however, let us
observe that, fortunately for our purpose, we have still specimens
existing of those other Turkish tribes, which were never submitted to
this process of education and change, and, in looking at them as they
now exist, we see at this very day the Turkish nationality in something
very like its original form, and are able to decide for ourselves on its
close approximation to the Tartar. You may recollect I pointed out to
you, Gentlemen, in the opening of these lectures, the course which the
pastoral tribes, or nomads as they are often called, must necessarily
take in their emigrations. They were forced along in one direction till
they emerged from their mountain valleys, and descended their high
plateau at the end of Tartary, and then they had the opportunity of
turning south. If they did not avail themselves of this opening, but
went on still westward, their next southern pass would be the defiles of
the Caucasus and Circassia, to the west of the Caspian. If they did not
use this, they would skirt the top of the Black Sea, and so reach
Europe. Thus in the emigration of the Huns from China, you may recollect
a tribe of them turned to the South as soon as they could, and settled
themselves between the high Tartar land and the sea of Aral, while the
main body went on to the furthest West by the north of the Black Sea.
Now with this last passage into Europe we are not here concerned, for
the Turks have never introduced themselves to Europe by means of it;[16]
but with those two southward passages which are Asiatic, viz., that to
the east of the Aral, and that to the west of the Caspian. The Turkish
tribes have all descended upon the civilized world by one or other of
these two roads; and I observe, that those which have descended along
the east of the Aral have changed their social habits and gained
political power, while those which descended to the west of the Caspian
remain pretty much what they ever were. The former of these go among us
by the general name of Turks; the latter are the Turcomans or Turkmans.


Now, first, I shall briefly mention the Turcomans, and dismiss them,
because, when they have once illustrated the original state of their
race, they have no place in this sketch. I have said, then, that the
ancient Turco-Tartar empire, to which the Romans sent their embassy in
the sixth century, extended to the Caspian and towards the Indus. It was
in the beginning of the next century that the Romans, that is, the
Greco-Romans of Constantinople, found them in the former of these
neighbourhoods; and they made the same use of them in the defence of
their territory, to which they had put the Goths before the overthrow of
the Western Empire. It was a most eventful era at which they addressed
themselves to these Turks of the Caspian. It was almost the very year of
the Hegira, which marks the rise of the Mahometan imposture and rule. As
yet, however, the Persians were in power, and formidable enemies to the
Romans, and at this very time in possession of the Holy Cross, which
Chosroes, their powerful king, had carried away from Jerusalem twelve
years before. But the successful Emperor Heraclius was already in the
full tide of those brilliant victories, which in the course of a few
years recovered it; and, to recall him from their own soil, the Persians
had allied themselves with the barbarous tribes of Europe, (the
Russians, Sclavonians, Bulgarians, and others,) which, then as now, were
pressing down close upon Constantinople from the north. This alliance
suggested to Heraclius the counterstroke of allying himself with the
Turkish freebooters, who in like manner, as stationed above the Caspian,
were impending over Persia. Accordingly the horde of Chozars, as this
Turkish tribe was called, at the Emperor's invitation, transported their
tents from the plains of the Volga through the defiles of the Caucasus
into Georgia. Heraclius showed them extraordinary attention; he put his
own diadem on the head of the barbarian prince, and distributed gold,
jewels, and silk to his officers; and, on the other hand, he obtained
from them an immediate succour of 40,000 horse, and the promise of an
irruption of their brethren into Persia from the far East, from the
quarter of the Sea of Aral, which I have pointed out as the first of
the passages by which the shepherds of Tartary came down upon the South.
Such were the allies, with which Heraclius succeeded in utterly
overthrowing and breaking up the Persian power; and thus, strange to
say, the greatest of all the enemies of the Church among the nations of
the earth, the Turk, began his career in Christian history by
coöperating with a Christian Emperor in the recovery of the Holy Cross,
of which a pagan, the ally of Russia, had got possession. The religious
aspect, however, of this first era of their history, seems to have
passed away without improvement; what they gained was a temporal
advantage, a settlement in Georgia and its neighbourhood, which they
have held from that day to this.

This horde of Turks, the Chozars, was nomad and pagan; it consisted of
mounted shepherds, surrounded with their flocks, living in tents and
waggons. In the course of the following centuries, under the shadow of
their more civilized brethren, other similar hordes were introduced,
nomad and pagan still; they might indeed happen sometimes to pass down
from the east of the Caspian as well as from the west, hastening to the
south straight from Turkistan along the coast of the Aral;--either road
would lead them down to the position which the Chozars were the first to
occupy in Georgia and Armenia,--but still there would be but one step in
their journey between their old native sheep-walk and horse-path and the
fair region into which they came. It was a sudden Tartar descent,
accompanied with no national change of habits, and promising no
permanent stability. Nor would they have remained there, I suppose, as
they did remain, were it not that they have been protected, as they were
originally introduced, by neighbouring states which have made use of
them. There, however, in matter of fact, they remain to this day, the
successors of the Chozars, in Armenia, in Syria, in Asia Minor, even as
far west as the coast of the Archipelago and its maritime cities and
ports, being pretty much what they were a thousand years ago, except
that they have taken up the loose profession of Mahometanism, and have
given up some of the extreme peculiarities of their Tartar state, such
as their attachment to horse-flesh and mares' milk. These are the


The writer in the Universal History divides them into eastern and
western. Of the Eastern, with which we are not concerned, he tells us
that[17] "they are tall and robust, with square flat faces, as well as
the western; only they are more swarthy, and have a greater resemblance
to the Tartars. Some of them have betaken themselves to husbandry. They
are all Mohammedans; they are very turbulent, very brave, and good
horsemen." And of the Western, that they once had two dynasties in the
neighbourhood of Armenia, and were for a time very powerful, but that
they are now subjects of the Turks, who never have been able to subdue
their roving habits; that they dwell in tents of thick felt, without
fixed habitation; that they profess Mahomedanism, but perform its duties
no better than their brethren in the East; that they are governed by
their own chiefs according to their own laws; that they pay tribute to
the Ottoman Porte, and are bound to furnish it with horsemen; that they
are great robbers, and are in perpetual warfare with their neighbours
the Kurds; that they march sometimes two or three hundred families
together, and with their droves cover sometimes a space of two leagues,
and that they prefer the use of the bow to that of firearms.

This account is drawn up from writers of the sixteenth and seventeenth
centuries. Precisely the same report of their habits is made by Dr.
Chandler in his travels in Asia Minor in the middle of the last century;
he fell in with them in his journey between Smyrna and Ephesus. "We were
told here," he says, "that the road farther on was beset with Turcomans,
a people supposed to be descended from the Nomades Scythæ: or Shepherd
Scythians; busied, as of old, in breeding and nurturing cattle, and
leading, as then, an unsettled life; not forming villages and towns with
stable habitations, but flitting from place to place, as the season and
their convenience directs; choosing their stations, and overspreading
without control the vast neglected pastures of this desert empire.... We
set out, and ... soon after came to a wild country covered with
thickets, and with the black booths of the Turcomans, spreading on every
side, innumerable, with flocks and herds and horses and poultry feeding
round them."[18]

I may seem to be making unnecessary extracts, but I have two reasons for
multiplying them; in order, first, to show the identity in character of
the various tribes of the Tartar and the Turkish stock, and next, in
order to impress upon your imagination what that character is; for it is
not easy to admit into the mind the very idea of a people of this kind,
dwelling too, and that for ages, in some of the most celebrated and
beautiful regions of the world, such as Syria and Asia Minor. With this
view I will read what Volney says of them, as he found them in Syria
towards the close of the last century. "The Turkmans," he says,[19] "are
of the number of those Tartar hordes, who, in the great revolutions of
the Empire of the Caliphs, emigrated from the eastward of the Caspian
Sea, and spread themselves over the vast plains of Armenia and Asia
Minor. Their language is the same as that of the Turks, and their mode
of life nearly resembles that of the Bedouin Arabs. Like them, they are
shepherds, and consequently obliged to travel over immense tracts of
land to procure subsistence for their numerous herds.... Their whole
occupation consists in smoking and looking after their flocks.
Perpetually on horseback, with their lances on their shoulders, their
crooked sabres by their sides, and their pistols in their belts, they
are expert horsemen and indefatigable soldiers.... A great number of
these tribes pass in the summer into Armenia and Caramania, where they
find grass in great abundance, and return to their former quarters in
the winter. The Turkmans are reputed to be Moslem ... but they trouble
themselves little about religion."

While I was collecting these passages, a notice of these tribes appeared
in the columns of the _Times_ newspaper, sent home by its Constantinople
correspondent, apropos of the present concentration of troops in that
capital in expectation of a Russian war. His Statement enables us to
carry down our specimens of the Tartar type of the Turkish race to the
present day "From the coast of the Black Sea," he writes home, "to the
Taurus chain of mountains, a great part of the population is nomad, and
besides the Turks or Osmanlis," that is, the Ottoman or Imperial Turks,
"consists of two distinct races;--the Turcomans, who possessed
themselves of the land before the advent of the Osmanlis, and who
wander with their black tents up to the shores of the Bosphorus; and the
Curds." With the Curds we are not here concerned. He proceeds: "The
Turcomans, who are spread over the whole of Asia Minor, are a most
warlike people. Clans, numbering many thousand, acknowledge the Sultan
as the representative of the Caliphs and the Sovereign Lord of Islam,
from whom all the Frank kings receive their crowns; but they are
practically independent of him, and pay no taxes but to their own
chiefs. In the neighbourhood of Cæsarea, Kusan Oghlou, a Turcoman chief,
numbers 20,000 armed horsemen, rules despotically over a large district,
and has often successfully resisted the Sultan's arms. These people lead
a nomad life, are always engaged in petty warfare, are well mounted, and
armed with pistol, scimitar, spear, or gun, and would always be useful
as irregular troops."


And now I have said enough, and more than enough, of the original state
of the Turkish race, as exhibited in the Chozars and Turcomans:--it is
time to pursue the history of that more important portion of it with
which we are properly engaged, which received some sort of education,
and has proved itself capable of social and political union. I observed
just now, that that education was very different in its mode and
circumstances from that which has been the lot of the nations with which
we are best acquainted. Other nations have been civilized in their own
homes, and, by their social progress, have immortalized a country as
well as a race. They have been educated by their conquests, or by
subjugation, or by the intercourse with foreigners which commerce or
colonization has opened; but in every case they have been true to their
fatherland, and are children of the soil. The Greeks sent out their
colonies to Asia Minor and Italy, and those colonies reacted upon the
mother country. Magna Græcia and Ionia showed their mother country the
way to her intellectual supremacy. The Romans spread gradually from one
central city, and when their conquests reached as far as Greece, "the
captive," in the poet's words, "captivated her wild conqueror, and
introduced arts into unmannered Latium."[20] England was converted by
the Roman See and conquered by the Normans, and was gradually civilized
by the joint influences of religion and of chivalry. Religion indeed,
though a depraved religion, has had something to do, as we shall see,
with the civilization of the Turks; but the circumstances have been
altogether different from those which we trace in the history of
England, Rome, or Greece. The Turks present the spectacle of a race
poured out, as it were, upon a foreign material, interpenetrating all
its parts, yet preserving its individuality, and at length making its
way through it, and reappearing, in substance the same as before, but
charged with the qualities of the material through which it has been
passed, and modified by them. They have been invaded by no conqueror,
they have brought no captive arts or literature home, they have
undergone no conversion in mass, they have been taught by no commerce,
by no international relationship; but they have in the course of
centuries slowly soaked or trickled, if I may use the words, through the
Saracenic populations with which they came in contact, and after being
nationally lost to the world, as far as history goes, for long periods
and through different countries, eventually they have come to the face
of day with that degree of civilization which they at present possess,
and at length have usurped a place within the limits of the great
European family. And this is why the path southwards to the east of the
Aral was, in matter of fact, the path of civilization, and that by the
Caucasus the path of barbarism; this is why the Turks who took the
former course could found an empire, and those who took the latter have
remained Tartars or Turcomans, as they were originally; because the way
of the Caucasus was a sheer descent from Turkistan into the country
which they occupy, but the way of the Aral was a circuitous course,
leading them through many countries--through Sogdiana, Khorasan,
Zabulistan, and Persia,--with many fortunes, under many masters, for
many hundred years, before they came round to the region to which their
Turcoman brethren attained so easily, but with so little eventual
advantage. My meaning will be clearer, as I proceed.


1. First of all, we may say that the very region into which they came,
tended to their civilization. Of course the peculiarities of soil,
climate, and country are not by themselves sufficient for a social
change, else the Turcomans would have the best right to civilization;
yet, when other influences are present too, climate and country are far
from being unimportant. You may recollect that I have spoken more than
once of the separation of a portion of the Huns from the main body, when
they were emigrating from Tartary into Europe, in the time of the
Goths.[21] These turned off sharp to the South immediately on descending
the high table-land; and, crossing the Jaxartes, found themselves in a
fertile and attractive country, between the Aral and their old country,
where they settled. It is a peculiarity of Asia that its regions are
either very hot or very cold. It has the highest mountains in the world,
bleak table-lands, vast spaces of burning desert, tracts stretched out
beneath the tropical sun. Siberia goes for a proverb for cold: India is
a proverb for heat. It is not adequately supplied with rivers, and it
has little of inland sea. In these respects it stands in singular
contrast with Europe. If then the tribes which inhabit a cold country
have, generally speaking, more energy than those which are relaxed by
the heat, it follows that you will have in Asia two descriptions of
people brought together in extreme, sometimes in sudden, contrariety
with each other, the strong and the weak. Here then, as some
philosophers have argued,[22] you have the secret of the despotisms and
the vast empires of which Asia has been the seat; for it always
possesses those who are naturally fitted to be tyrants, and those also
whose nature it is to tremble and obey. But we may take another, perhaps
a broader, view of the phenomenon. The sacred writer says: "Give me
neither riches nor beggary:" and, as the extremes of abundance and of
want are prejudicial to our moral well-being, so they seem to be
prejudicial to our intellectual nature also. Mental cultivation is best
carried on in temperate regions. In the north men are commonly too cold,
in the south too hot, to think, read, write, and act. Science,
literature, and art refuse to germinate in the frost, and are burnt up
by the sun.

Now it so happened that the region in which this party of Huns settled
themselves was one of the fairest and most fruitful in Asia. It is
bounded by deserts, it is in parts encroached on by deserts; but viewed
in its length and breadth, in its produce and its position, it seems a
country equal, or superior, to any which that vast continent, as at
present known, can show. Its lower portion is the extensive territory of
Khorasan, the ancient Bactriana; going northwards across the Oxus, we
come into a spacious tract, stretching to the Aral and to the Jaxartes,
and measuring a square of 600 miles. It was called in ancient times
Sogdiana; in the history of the middle ages Transoxiana, or "beyond the
Oxus;" by the Eastern writers Maver-ul-nere, or Mawer-al-nahar, which is
said to have the same meaning; and it is now known by the name Bukharia.
To these may be added a third province, at the bottom of the Aral,
between the mouth of the Oxus and the Caspian, called Kharasm. These,
then, were the regions in which the Huns in question took up their

The two large countries I first mentioned are celebrated in all ages for
those characteristics which render a spot desirable for human
habitation. As to Sogdiana, or Maver-ul-nere, the region with which we
are specially concerned, the Orientals, especially the Persians, of the
medieval period do not know how to express in fit terms their admiration
of its climate and soil. They do not scruple to call it the Paradise of
Asia. "It may be considered," says a modern writer,[23] "as almost the
only example of the finest temperate climate occurring in that
continent, which presents generally an abrupt transition from burning
tropical heat to the extreme cold of the north." According to an Arabian
author, there are just three spots in the globe which surpass all the
rest in beauty and fertility; one of them is near Damascus, another
seems to be the valley of a river on the Persian Gulf, and the third is
the plain of Sogdiana. Another writer says: "I have cast my eyes around
Bokhara, and never have I seen a verdure more fresh or of wider extent.
The green carpet mingles in the horizon with the azure of the sky."[24]
Abulfeda in like manner calls it "the most delightful of all places God
has created." Some recent writer, I think, speaks in disparagement of
it.[25] And I can quite understand, that the deserts which must be
passed to reach it from the south or the north may betray the weary
traveller into an exaggerated praise, which is the expression both of
his recruited spirits and of his gratitude. But all things are good only
by comparison; and I do not see why an Asiatic, having experience of the
sands which elsewhere overspread the face of his continent, should for
that reason be ill qualified to pronounce that Sogdiana affords a
contrast to them. Moreover, we have the experience of other lands, as
Asia Minor, which have presented a very different aspect in different
ages. A river overflows and turns a fruitful plain into a marsh; or it
fails, and turns it into a sandy desert. Sogdiana is watered by a number
of great rivers, which make their way across it from the high land on
its east to the Aral or Caspian. Now we read in history of several
instances of changes, accidental or artificial, in the direction or the
supply of these great water-courses. I think I have read somewhere, but
cannot recover my authority, of some emigration of the inhabitants of
those countries, caused by a failure of the stream on which they
depended. And we know for certain that the Oxus has been changed in its
course, accidentally or artificially, more than once. Disputes have
arisen before now between the Russian Government and the Tartars, on the
subject of one of these diversions of the bed of a river.[26] One
province of Khorasan, which once was very fertile, is in consequence now
a desert It may be questioned, too, whether the sands of the adjacent
deserts, which are subject to violent agitation from the action of the
wind, may not have encroached upon Sogdiana. Nor should it be overlooked
that this rich country has been subjected to the same calamities which
have been the desolation of Asia Minor; for, as the Turcomans have
devastated the latter, so, as I have already had occasion to mention,
Zingis swept round the sea of Aral, and destroyed the fruits of a long

Even after the ravages of that conqueror, however, Timour and the
Emperor Baber, who had a right to judge of the comparative excellence of
the countries of the East, bear witness to the beauty of Sogdiana.
Timour, who had fixed his imperial seat in Samarcand, boasted he had a
garden 120 miles in extent. Baber expatiates on the grain and fruit and
game of its northern parts; of the tulips, violets, and roses of another
portion of it; of the streams and gardens of another. Its plains are
said by travellers to abound in wood, its rivers in fish, its valleys in
fruit-trees, in wheat and barley, and in cotton.[27] The quince,
pomegranate, fig, apricot, and almond all flourish in it. Its melons are
the finest in the world. Mulberries abound, and provide for a
considerable manufacture of silk. No wine, says Baber, is equal to the
wine of Bokhara. Its atmosphere is so clear and serene, that the stars
are visible even to the verge of the horizon. A recent Russian traveller
says he came to a country so smiling, well cultivated, and thickly
peopled, with fields, canals, avenues of trees, villages, and gardens,
that he thought himself in an enchanted country. He speaks in raptures
of its melons, pomegranates, and grapes.[28] Its breed of horses is
celebrated; so much so that a late British traveller[29] visited the
country with the special object of substituting it for the Arab in our
Indian armies. Its mountains abound in useful and precious produce. Coal
is found there; gold is collected from its rivers; silver and iron are
yielded by its hills; we hear too of its mines of turquoise, and of its
cliffs of lapis lazuli,[30] and its mines of rubies, which to this day
are the object of the traveller's curiosity.[31] I might extend my
remarks to the country south of the Oxus and of its mountain range, the
modern Affghanistan. Though Cabul is 6,000 feet above the level of the
sea, it abounds in pomegranates, mulberries, apples, and fruit of every
kind. Grapes are so plentiful, that for three months of the year they
are given to the cattle.


This region, favoured in soil and climate, is favoured also in position.
Lying at the mouth of the two great roads of emigration from the far
East, the valleys of the Jaxartes and the Oxus, it is the natural mart
between High Asia and Europe, receiving the merchandize of East and
North, and transporting it by its rivers, by the Caspian, the Kur, and
the Phasis, to the Black Sea. Thus it received in former days the silk
of China, the musk of Thibet, and the furs of Siberia, and shipped them
for the cities of the Roman Empire. To Samarcand, its metropolis, we owe
the art of transforming linen into paper, which the Sogdian merchants
are said to have gained from China, and thence diffused by means of
their own manufacturers over the western world. A people so
circumstanced could not be without civilization; but that civilization
was of a much earlier date. It must not be forgotten that the celebrated
sage, Zoroaster, before the times of history, was a native, and, as some
say, king of Bactriana. Cyrus had established a city in the same region,
which he called after his name. Alexander conquered both Bactriana and
Sogdiana, and planted Grecian cities there. There is a long line of
Greco-Bactrian kings; and their coins and pateræ have been brought to
light within the last few years. Alexander's name is still famous in the
country; not only does Marco Polo in the middle ages speak of his
descendants as still found there, but even within the last fifteen years
Sir Alexander Burns found a man professing that descent in the valley of
the Oxus, and Lieutenant Wood another in the same neighbourhood.

Nor was Greek occupation the only source of the civilization of
Sogdiana. Centuries rolled on, and at length the Saracens renewed, on
their own peculiar basis, the mental cultivation which Sogdiana had
received from Alexander. The cities of Bokhara and Samarcand have been
famous for science and literature. Bokhara was long celebrated as the
most eminent seat of Mahometan learning in central Asia; its colleges
were, and are, numerous, accommodating from 60 to 600 students each. One
of them gained the notice and the pecuniary aid of the Russian Empress
Catharine.[32] Samarcand rivals Bokhara in fame; its university even in
the last century was frequented by Mahometan youth from foreign
countries. There were more than 300 colleges for students, and there was
an observatory, celebrated in the middle ages, the ruins of which
remain. Here lies the body of Timour, under a lofty dome, the sides of
which are enriched with agate. "Since the time of the Holy Prophet,"
that is, Mahomet, says the Emperor Baber, "no country has produced so
many Imaums and eminent divines as Mawar-al-nahar," that is, Sogdiana.
It was celebrated for its populousness. At one time it boasted of being
able to send out 300,000 foot, and as many horse, without missing them.
Bridges and caravansaries abounded; the latter, in the single province
attached to its capital, amounted to 2,000. In Bactriana, the very ruins
of Balkh extend for a circuit of 20 miles, and Sir A. Burns wound
through three miles of them continuously.

Such is the country, seated at present between the British and the
Russian Empires, and such as regards its previous and later state, which
the savage Huns, in their emigration from Tartary, had necessarily
encountered; and it cannot surprise us that one of their many tribes had
been persuaded to settle there, instead of seeking their fortunes
farther west. The effect upon these settlers in course of time was
marvellous. Though it was not of course the mere climate of Sogdiana
that changed them, still we cannot undervalue the influence which is
necessarily exerted on the mind by the idea of property, when once
recognised and accepted, by the desire of possession and by the love of
home, and by the sentiment of patriotism which arises in the mind,
especially with the occupation of a rich and beautiful country.
Moreover, they became the guests or masters of a people, who, however
rude, at least had far higher claims to be called civilized than they
themselves, and possessed among them the remains of a more civilized
era. They found a race, too, not Tartar, more capable of civilization,
more gifted with intellect, and more comely in person. Settling down
among the inhabitants, and intermarrying with them, in the course of
generations their Tartar characteristics were sensibly softened. For a
thousand years this restless people remained there, as if chained to the
soil. They still had the staple of barbarism in them, but so polished
were they for children of a Tartar stock, that they are called in
history the White Huns of Sogdiana. They took to commerce, they took to
literature; and when, at the end of a few centuries, the Turks, as I
have already described, spread abroad from the iron works and forges of
Mount Altai to Kamtchatka, the Volga, and the Indus, and overran these
White Huns in the course of their victories, they could find no parties
more fitted than them to act as their diplomatists and correspondents in
their negotiations with the Romans.

Such was the influence of Sogdiana on the Huns; is it wonderful that it
exerted some influence on the Turks, when they in turn got possession of
it? History justifies the anticipation; as the Huns of the second or
third centuries settled around the Aral, so the Turks in the course of
the sixth or seventh centuries overran them, and descended down to the
modern Affghanistan and the Indus; and as the fair region and its
inhabitants, which they crossed and occupied, had begun at the former
era the civilization of the first race of Tartars, so did it at the
latter era begin the education of the second.


2. But a more direct and effective instrument of social education was
accorded to the Turks on their occupation of Sogdiana. You may recollect
I spoke of their first empire as lasting for only 200 years,[33] about
90 of which measures the period of that occupation. Their power then
came to an end; what was the consequence of their fall? were they driven
out of Sogdiana again? were they massacred? did they take refuge in the
mountains or deserts? were they reduced to slavery? Thus we are
introduced to a famous passage of history: the case was as follows:--At
the very date at which Heraclius called the Turcomans into Georgia, at
the very date when their Eastern brethren crossed the northern border of
Sogdiana, an event of most momentous import had occurred in the South. A
new religion had arisen in Arabia. The impostor Mahomet, announcing
himself the Prophet of God, was writing the pages of that book, and
moulding the faith of that people, which was to subdue half the known
world. The Turks passed the Jaxartes southward in A.D. 626; just four
years before Mahomet had assumed the royal dignity, and just six years
after, on his death, his followers began the conquest of the Persian
Empire. In the course of 20 years they effected it; Sogdiana was at its
very extremity, or its borderland; there the last king of Persia took
refuge from the south, while the Turks were pouring into it from the
north. There was little to choose for the unfortunate prince between the
Turk and the Saracen; the Turks were his hereditary foe; they had been
the giants and monsters of the popular poetry; but he threw himself into
their arms. They engaged in his service, betrayed him, murdered him, and
measured themselves with the Saracens in his stead. Thus the military
strength of the north and south of Asia, the Saracenic and the Turkish,
came into memorable conflict in the regions of which I have said so
much. The struggle was a fierce one, and lasted many years; the Turks
striving to force their way down to the ocean, the Saracens to drive
them back into their Scythian deserts. They first fought this issue in
Bactriana or Khorasan; the Turks got the worst of the fight, and then
it was thrown back upon Sogdiana itself, and there it ended again in
favour of the Saracens. At the end of 90 years from the time of the
first Turkish descent on this fair region, they relinquished it to their
Mahometan opponents. The conquerors found it rich, populous, and
powerful; its cities, Carisme, Bokhara, and Samarcand, were surrounded
beyond their fortifications by a suburb of fields and gardens, which was
in turn protected by exterior works; its plains were well cultivated,
and its commerce extended from China to Europe. Its riches were
proportionally great; the Saracens were able to extort a tribute of two
million gold pieces from the inhabitants; we read, moreover, of the
crown jewels of one of the Turkish princesses; and of the buskin of
another, which she dropt in her flight from Bokhara, as being worth two
thousand pieces of gold.[34] Such had been the prosperity of the
barbarian invaders, such was its end; but not _their_ end, for adversity
did them service, as well as prosperity, as we shall see.

It is usual for historians to say, that the triumph of the South threw
the Turks back again upon their northern solitudes; and this might
easily be the case with some of the many hordes, which were ever passing
the boundary and flocking down; but it is no just account of the
historical fact, viewed as a whole. Not often indeed do the Oriental
nations present us with an example of versatility of character; the
Turks, for instance, of this day are substantially what they were four
centuries ago. We cannot conceive, were Turkey overrun by the Russians
at the present moment, that the fanatical tribes, which are pouring into
Constantinople from Asia Minor, would submit to the foreign yoke, take
service under their conquerors, become soldiers, custom-officers,
police, men of business, attachés, statesmen, working their way up from
the ranks and from the masses into influence and power; but, whether
from skill in the Saracens, or from far-reaching sagacity in the Turks
(and it is difficult to assign it to either cause), so it was, that a
process of this nature followed close upon the Mahometan conquest of
Sogdiana. It is to be traced in detail to a variety of accidents. Many
of the Turks probably were made slaves, and the service to which they
were subjected was no matter of choice. Numbers had got attached to the
soil; and inheriting the blood of Persians, White Huns, or aboriginal
inhabitants for three generations, had simply unlearned the wildness of
the Tartar shepherd. Others fell victims to the religion of their
conquerors, which ultimately, as we know, exercised a most remarkable
influence upon them. Not all at once, but as tribe descended after
tribe, and generation followed generation, they succumbed to the creed
of Mahomet; and they embraced it with the ardour and enthusiasm which
Franks and Saxons so gloriously and meritoriously manifested in their
conversion to Christianity.


3. Here again was a very powerful instrument in modification of their
national character. Let me illustrate it in one particular. If there is
one peculiarity above another, proper to the savage and to the Tartar,
it is that of excitability and impetuosity on ordinary occasions; the
Turks, on the other hand, are nationally remarkable for gravity and
almost apathy of demeanour. Now there are evidently elements in the
Mahometan creed, which would tend to change them from the one
temperament to the other. Its sternness, its coldness, its doctrine of
fatalism; even the truths which it borrowed from Revelation, when
separated from the truths it rejected, its monotheism untempered by
mediation, its severe view of the divine attributes, of the law, and of
a sure retribution to come, wrought both a gloom and also an improvement
in the barbarian, not very unlike the effect which some forms of
Protestantism produce among ourselves. But whatever was the mode of
operation, certainly it is to their religion that this peculiarity of
the Turks is ascribed by competent judges. Lieutenant Wood in his
journal gives us a lively account of a peculiarity of theirs, which he
unhesitatingly attributes to Islamism. "Nowhere," he says, "is the
difference between European and Mahomedan society more strongly marked
than in the lower walks of life.... A Kasid, or messenger, for example,
will come into a public department, deliver his letters in full durbar,
and demean himself throughout the interview with so much composure and
self-possession, that an European can hardly believe that his grade in
society is so low. After he has delivered his letters, he takes his seat
among the crowd, and answers, calmly and without hesitation, all the
questions which may be addressed to him, or communicates the verbal
instructions with which he has been entrusted by his employer, and which
are often of more importance than the letters themselves. Indeed, all
the inferior classes possess an innate self-respect, and a natural
gravity of deportment, which differs as far from the suppleness of a
Hindustani as from the awkward rusticity of an English clown." ... "Even
children," he continues, "in Mahomedan countries have an unusual degree
of gravity in their deportment. The boy, who can but lisp his 'Peace be
with you,' has imbibed this portion of the national character. In
passing through a village, these little men will place their hands upon
their breasts, and give the usual greeting. Frequently have I seen the
children of chiefs approach their father's durbar, and stopping short at
the threshold of the door, utter the shout of 'Salam Ali-Kum,' so as to
draw all eyes upon them; but nothing daunted, they marched boldly into
the room, and sliding down upon their knees, folded their arms and took
their seat upon the musnad with all the gravity of grown-up persons."

As Islamism has changed the demeanour of the Turks, so doubtless it has
in other ways materially innovated on their Tartar nature. It has given
an aim to their military efforts, a political principle, and a social
bond. It has laid them under a sense of responsibility, has moulded them
into consistency, and taught them a course of policy and perseverance in
it. But to treat this part of the subject adequately to its importance
would require, Gentlemen, a research and a fulness of discussion
unsuitable to the historical sketch which I have undertaken. I have said
enough for my purpose upon this topic; and indeed on the general
question of the modification of national character to which the Turks
were at this period subjected.


[15] Univ. Hist. Modern, vol. iii. p. 346.

[16] I am here assuming that the Magyars are not of the Turkish stock;
vid. Gibbon and Pritchard.

[17] Vol. v. p. 248.

[18] P. 127, ed. 1817.

[19] Travels in Syria, vol. i. p. 369, ed. 1787.

[20] Hor. Epist. ii 1, 155.

[21] _Supr._ p. 26.

[22] Montesquieu.

[23] Murray.

[24] Caldecott's Baber.

[25] Vid. Quarterly Review, vol. lii. p. 396-7.

[26] Univ. Hist. mod. vol. v. p. 262, etc.

[27] Ibid. vol. iv. p. 353.

[28] Meyendorff.

[29] Moorcroft.

[30] Vid. Elphinstone.

[31] Wood's Oxus.

[32] Elphinstone's Cabul.

[33] _Supr._ p. 59.

[34] Gibbon.


_The Turk and the Saracen._


Mere occupation of a rich country is not enough for civilization, as I
have granted already. The Turks came into the pleasant plains and
valleys of Sogdiana; the Turcomans into the well-wooded mountains and
sunny slopes of Asia Minor. The Turcomans were brought out of their
dreary deserts, yet they retained their old habits, and they remain
barbarians to this day. But why? it must be borne in mind, they neither
subjugated the inhabitants of their new country on the one hand, nor
were subjugated by them on the other. They never had direct or intimate
relations with it; they were brought into it by the Roman Government at
Constantinople as its auxiliaries, but they never naturalized themselves
there. They were like gipseys in England, except that they were mounted
freebooters instead of pilferers and fortune-tellers. It was far
otherwise with their brethren in Sogdiana; they were there first as
conquerors, then as conquered. First they held it in possession as their
prize for 90 or 100 years; they came into the usufruct and enjoyment of
it. Next, their political ascendancy over it involved, as in the case of
the White Huns, some sort of moral surrender of themselves to it. What
was the first consequence of this? that, like the White Huns, they
intermarried with the races they found there. We know the custom of the
Tartars and Turks; under such circumstances they would avail themselves
of their national practice of polygamy to its full extent of licence. In
the course of twenty years a new generation would arise of a mixed race;
and these in turn would marry into the native population, and at the end
of ninety or a hundred years we should find the great-grandsons or the
great-great-grandsons of the wild marauders who first crossed the
Jaxartes, so different from their ancestors in features both of mind and
body, that they hardly would be recognized as deserving the Tartar name.
At the end of that period their power came to an end, the Saracens
became masters of them and of their country, but the process of
emigration southward from the Scythian desert, which had never
intermitted during the years of their domination, continued still,
though that domination was no more.

Here it is necessary to have a clear idea of the nature of that
association of the Turkish tribes from the Volga to the Eastern Sea, to
which I have given the name of Empire:--it was not so much of a
political as of a national character; it was the power, not of a system,
but of a race. They were not one well-organized state, but a number of
independent tribes, acting generally together, acknowledging one leader
or not, according to circumstances, combining and coöperating from the
identity of object which acted on them, and often jealous of each other
and quarrelling with each other on account of that very identity. Each
tribe made its way down to the south as it could; one blocked up the way
of the other for a time; there were stoppages and collisions, but there
was a continual movement and progress. Down they came one after another,
like wolves after their prey; and as the tribes which came first became
partially civilized, and as a mixed generation arose, these would
naturally be desirous of keeping back their less polished uncles or
cousins, if they could; and would do so successfully for awhile: but
cupidity is stronger than conservatism; and so, in spite of delay and
difficulty, down they would keep coming, and down they did come, even
after and in spite of the overthrow of their Empire; crowding down as to
a new world, to get what they could, as adventurers, ready to turn to
the right or the left, prepared to struggle on anyhow, willing to be
forced forward into countries farther still, careless what might turn
up, so that they did but get down. And this was the process which went
on (whatever were their fortunes when they actually got down, prosperous
or adverse) for 400, nay, I will say for 700 years. The storehouse of
the north was never exhausted; it sustained the never-ending run upon
its resources.


I was just now referring to a change in the Turks, which I have
mentioned before, and which had as important a bearing as any other of
their changes upon their subsequent fortunes. It was a change in their
physiognomy and shape, so striking as to recommend them to their masters
for the purposes of war or of display. Instead of bearing any longer the
hideous exterior which in the Huns frightened the Romans and Goths, they
were remarkable, even as early as the ninth century, when they had been
among the natives of Sogdiana only two hundred years, for the beauty of
their persons. An important political event was the result: hence the
introduction of the Turks into the heart of the Saracenic empire. By
this time the Caliphs had removed from Damascus to Bagdad; Persia was
the imperial province, and into Persia they were introduced for the
reason I have mentioned, sometimes as slaves, sometimes as captives
taken in war, sometimes as mercenaries for the Saracenic armies: at
length they were enrolled as guards to the Caliph, and even appointed to
offices in the palace, to the command of the forces, and to
governorships in the provinces. The son of the celebrated Harun al
Raschid had as many as 50,000 of these troops in Bagdad itself. And thus
slowly and silently they made their way to the south, not with the pomp
and pretence of conquest, but by means of that ordinary intercommunion
which connected one portion of the empire of the Caliphs with another.
In this manner they were introduced even into Egypt.

This was their history for a hundred and fifty years, and what do we
suppose would be the result of this importation of barbarians into the
heart of a flourishing empire? Would they be absorbed as slaves or
settlers in the mass of the population, or would they, like mercenaries
elsewhere, be fatal to the power that introduced them? The answer is not
difficult, considering that their very introduction argued a want of
energy and resource in the rulers whom they served. To employ them was a
confession of weakness; the Saracenic power indeed was not very aged,
but the Turkish was much younger, and more vigorous;--then too must be
considered the difference of national character between the Turks and
the Saracens. A writer of the beginning of the present century,[35]
compares the Turks to the Romans; such parallels are generally fanciful
and fallacious; but, if we must accept it in the present instance, we
may complete the picture by likening the Saracens and Persians to the
Greeks, and we know what was the result of the collision between Greece
and Rome. The Persians were poets, the Saracens were philosophers. The
mathematics, astronomy, and botany were especial subjects of the studies
of the latter. Their observatories were celebrated, and they may be
considered to have originated the science of chemistry. The Turks, on
the other hand, though they are said to have a literature, and though
certain of their princes have been patrons of letters, have never
distinguished themselves in exercises of pure intellect; but they have
had an energy of character, a pertinacity, a perseverance, and a
political talent, in a word, they then had the qualities of mind
necessary for ruling, in far greater measure, than the people they were
serving. The Saracens, like the Greeks, carried their arms over the
surface of the earth with an unrivalled brilliancy and an unchequered
success; but their dominion, like that of Greece, did not last for more
than 200 or 300 years. Rome grew slowly through many centuries, and its
influence lasts to this day; the Turkish race battled with difficulties
and reverses, and made its way on amid tumult and complication, for a
good 1,000 years from first to last, till at length it found itself in
possession of Constantinople, and a terror to the whole of Europe. It
has ended its career upon the throne of Constantine; it began it as the
slave and hireling of the rulers of a great empire, of Persia and


As to Sogdiana, we have already reviewed one season of power and then in
turn of reverse which there befell the Turks; and next a more remarkable
outbreak and its reaction mark their presence in Persia. I have spoken
of the formidable force, consisting of Turks, which formed the guard of
the Caliphs immediately after the time of Harun al Raschid:--suddenly
they rebelled against their master, burst into his apartment at the hour
of supper, murdered him, and cut his body into seven pieces. They got
possession of the symbols of imperial power, the garment and the staff
of Mahomet, and proceeded to make and unmake Caliphs at their pleasure.
In the course of four years they had elevated, deposed, and murdered as
many as three. At their wanton caprice, they made these successors of
the false prophet the sport of their insults and their blows. They
dragged them by the feet, stripped them, and exposed them to the burning
sun, beat them with iron clubs, and left them for days without food. At
length, however, the people of Bagdad were roused in defence of the
Caliphate, and the Turks for a time were brought under; but they
remained in the country, or rather, by the short-sighted policy of the
moment, were dispersed throughout it, and thus became in the sequel
ready-made elements of revolution for the purposes of other traitors of
their own race, who, at a later period, as we shall presently see,
descended on Persia from Turkistan.

Indeed, events were opening the way slowly, but surely, to their
ascendancy. Throughout the whole of the tenth century, which followed,
they seem to disappear from history; but a silent revolution was all
along in progress, leading them forward to their great destiny. The
empire of the Caliphate was already dying in its extremities, and
Sogdiana was one of the first countries to be detached from his power.
The Turks were still there, and, as in Persia, filled the ranks of the
army and the offices of the government; but the political changes which
took place were not at first to their visible advantage. What first
occurred was the revolt of the Caliph's viceroy, who made himself a
great kingdom or empire out of the provinces around, extending it from
the Jaxartes, which was the northern boundary of Sogdiana, almost to the
Indian ocean, and from the confines of Georgia to the mountains of
Affghanistan. The dynasty thus established lasted for four generations
and for the space of ninety years. Then the successor happened to be a
boy; and one of his servants, the governor of Khorasan, an able and
experienced man, was forced by circumstances to rebellion against him.
He was successful, and the whole power of this great kingdom fell into
his hands; now he was a Tartar or Turk; and thus at length the Turks
suddenly appear in history, the acknowledged masters of a southern


This is the origin of the celebrated Turkish dynasty of the Gaznevides,
so called after Gazneh, or Ghizni, or Ghuznee, the principal city, and
it lasted for two hundred years. We are not particularly concerned in
it, because it has no direct relations with Europe; but it falls into
our subject, as having been instrumental to the advance of the Turks
towards the West. Its most distinguished monarch was Mahmood, and he
conquered Hindostan, which became eventually the seat of the empire. In
Mahmood the Gaznevide we have a prince of true Oriental splendour. For
him the title of Sultan or Soldan was invented, which henceforth became
the special badge of the Turkish monarchs; as Khan is the title of the
sovereign of the Tartars, and Caliph of the sovereign of the Saracens. I
have already described generally the extent of his dominions: he
inherited Sogdiana, Carisme, Khorasan, and Cabul; but, being a zealous
Mussulman, he obtained the title of Gazi, or champion, by his reduction
of Hindostan, and his destruction of its idol temples. There was no
need, however, of religious enthusiasm to stimulate him to the war: the
riches, which he amassed in the course of it, were a recompense amply
sufficient. His Indian expeditions in all amounted to twelve, and they
abound in battles and sieges of a truly Oriental cast. "Never," says a
celebrated historian,[36] "was the Mussulman hero dismayed by the
inclemency of the seasons, the height of the mountains, the breadth of
the rivers, the barrenness of the desert, the multitudes of the enemy,"
or their elephants of war. One of the sovereigns of the country brought
against him as many as 2,500 elephants; the borderers on the Indus
resisted him with 4,000 war-boats. He was successful in every direction;
he levelled to the ground many hundreds of pagodas, and carried off
their treasures. In one of his campaigns[37] he took prisoner the prince
of Lahore, round whose neck alone were sixteen strings of jewels, valued
at £320,000 of our money. At Mutra he found five great idols of pure
gold, with eyes of rubies; and a hundred idols of silver, which, when
melted down, loaded a hundred camels with bullion.

These stories, which sound like the fables in the Arabian Nights, are
but a specimen of the wonderful fruits of the victories of this Mahmood.
His richest prize was the great temple of Sunnat, or Somnaut, on the
promontory of Guzerat, between the Indus and Bombay. It was a place as
diabolically wicked as it was wealthy, and we may safely regard Mahmood
as the instrument of divine vengeance upon it. But here I am only
concerned with its wealth, for which grave writers are the vouchers.
When this temple was taken, Mahmood entered a great square hall, having
its lofty roof supported with 56 pillars, curiously turned and set with
precious stones. In the centre stood the idol, made of stone, and five
feet high. The conqueror began to demolish it. He raised his mace, and
struck off the idol's nose. The Brahmins interposed, and are said to
have offered the fabulous sum, as Mill considers it, of ten millions
sterling for its ransom. His officers urged him to accept it, and the
Sultan himself was moved; but recovering himself, he observed that it
was somewhat more honourable to destroy idols than to traffic in them,
and proceeded to repeat his blows at the trunk of the figure. He broke
it open; it was found to be hollow, and at once explained the
prodigality of the offer of the Brahmins. Inside was found an
incalculable treasure of diamonds, rubies, and pearls. Mahmood took away
the lofty doors of sandal-wood, which belonged to this temple, as a
trophy for posterity. Till a few years ago, they were the decoration of
his tomb near Gazneh, which is built of white marble with a cupola, and
where Moollas are still maintained to read prayers over his grave.[38]
There too once hung the ponderous mace, which few but himself could
wield; but the mace has disappeared, and the sandal gates, if genuine,
were carried off about twelve years since by the British
Governor-General of India, and restored to their old place, as an
acceptable present to the impure idolaters of Guzerat.[39]

It is not wonderful that this great conqueror should have been overcome
by the special infirmity, to which such immense plunder would dispose
him; he has left behind him a reputation for avarice. He desired to be
a patron of literature, and on one occasion he promised a court poet a
golden coin for every verse of an heroic poem he was writing. Stimulated
by the promise, "the divine poet," to use the words of the Persian
historian, "wrote the unparalleled poem called the Shah Namna,
consisting of 60,000 couplets." This was more than had been bargained
for by the Sultan, who, repenting of his engagement, wished to
compromise the matter for 60,000 rupees, about a sixteenth part of the
sum he had promised. The indignant author would accept no remuneration
at all, but wrote a satire upon Mahmood instead; but he was merciful in
his revenge, for he reached no more than the seven-thousandth couplet.

There is a melancholy grandeur about the last days of this victorious
Sultan, which seems to show that even then the character of his race was
changed from the fierce impatience of Hun and Tartar to the grave,
pensive, and majestic demeanour of the Turk. Tartar he was in his
countenance, as he was painfully conscious, but his mind had a
refinement, to which the Tartar was a stranger. Broken down by an
agonizing complaint, he perceived his life was failing, and his glory
coming to an end. Two days before his death, he commanded all the untold
riches of his treasury, his sacks of gold and silver, his caskets of
precious stones, to be brought out and placed before him. Having feasted
his eyes upon them, he burst into tears; he knew they would not long be
his, but he had not the heart to give any part of then away. The next
day he caused to be drawn up before his travelling throne, for he
observed still the Tartar custom, his army of 100,000 foot and 55,000
horse, his chariots, his camels, and his 1,300 elephants of war; and
again he wept, and, overcome with grief, retired to his palace. Next
day he died, after a prosperous reign of more than thirty years.

But, to return to the general history. It will be recollected that
Mahmood's dominions stretched very far to the west, as some say, even
round the Caspian to Georgia; and it is not wonderful that, while he was
adding India to them, he found a difficulty in defending his frontier
towards Persia. Meantime, as before, his own countrymen kept streaming
down upon him without intermission from the north, and he thought he
could not do better than employ these dangerous visitors in garrison
duty against his western enemies. They took service under him, but did
not fulfil his expectations. Indeed, what followed may be anticipated
from the history which I have been giving of the Caliphs: it was an
instance of workmen emancipating themselves from their employer. The
fierce barbarians who were defending the province of Khorasan so well
for another, naturally felt that they could take as good care of it for
themselves; and when Mahmood was approaching the end of his life, he
became sensible of the error he had committed in introducing them. He
asked one of their chiefs what force he could lend him: "If you sent one
of the arrows into our camp," was the answer, "50,000 of us will mount
to do thy bidding." "But what if I want more?" inquired Mahmood; "send
this arrow into the camp of Balik, and you will have another 50,000."
The Sultan asked again: "But what if I require your whole forces?" "Send
round my bow," answered the Turk, "and the summons will be obeyed by
200,000 horse."[40] The foreboding, which disclosures such as this
inspired, was fulfilled the year before his death. The Turks came into
collision with his lieutenants, and defeated one of them in a bloody
action; and though he took full reprisals, and for a while cleared the
country of them, yet in the reign of his son they succeeded in wresting
from his dynasty one-half of his empire, and Hindostan, the acquisition
of Mahmood, became henceforth its principal possession.


We have now arrived at what may literally be called the turning-point of
Turkish history. We have seen them gradually descend from the north, and
in a certain degree become acclimated in the countries where they
settled. They first appear across the Jaxartes in the beginning of the
seventh century; they have now come to the beginning of the eleventh.
Four centuries or thereabout have they been out of their deserts,
gaining experience and educating themselves in such measure as was
necessary for playing their part in the civilized world. First they came
down into Sogdiana and Khorasan, and the country below it, as
conquerors; they continued in it as subjects and slaves. They offered
their services to the race which had subdued them; they made their way
by means of their new masters down to the west and the south; they laid
the foundations for their future supremacy in Persia, and gradually rose
upwards through the social fabric to which they had been admitted, till
they found themselves at length at the head of it. The sovereign power
which they had acquired in the line of the Gaznevides, drifted off to
Hindostan; but still fresh tribes of their race poured down from the
north, and filled up the gap; and while one dynasty of Turks was
established in the peninsula, a second dynasty arose in the former seat
of their power.

Now I call the era at which I have arrived the turning-point of their
fortunes, because, when they had descended down to Khorasan and the
countries below it, they might have turned to the East or to the West,
as they chose. They were at liberty to turn their forces eastward
against their kindred in Hindostan, whom they had driven out of Ghizni
and Affghanistan, or to face towards the west, and make their way
thither through the Saracens of Persia and its neighbouring countries.
It was an era which determined the history of the world. I recollect
once hearing a celebrated professor of geology attempt to draw out the
consequences which would have occurred, had there not been an outlet for
the Thames, which exists in fact, at a certain point of its course. He
said that, had the range of hills been unbroken, it would have streamed
off to the north-east, and have run into the sea at the Wash in
Lincolnshire. An utter change in the political events which came after,
another history of England, and nothing short of it, would have been the
result. An illustration such as this will at least serve to express what
I would say of the point at which we now stand in the history of the
Turks. Mahmood turned to the east; and had the barbarian tribes which
successively descended done the same, they might have conquered the
Gaznevide dynasty, they might have settled themselves, like Timour, at
Delhi, and their descendants might have been found there by the British
in their conquests during the last century; but they would have been
unknown to Europe, they would have been strange to Constantinople, they
would have had little interest for the Church. They had rebelled against
Mahmood, they had driven his family to the East; but they did not pursue
him thither; he had strength enough to keep them off the rich territory
he had appropriated; he was the obstacle which turned the stream
westward; in consequence, they looked towards Persia, where their
brethren had been so long settled, and they directed their course for
good and all towards Europe.

But this era was a turning-point in their history in another and more
serious respect. In Sogdiana and Khorasan, they had become converts to
the Mahometan faith. You will not suppose I am going to praise a
religious imposture, but no Catholic need deny that it is, considered in
itself, a great improvement upon Paganism. Paganism has no rule of right
and wrong, no supreme and immutable judge, no intelligible revelation,
no fixed dogma whatever; on the other hand, the being of one God, the
fact of His revelation, His faithfulness to His promises, the eternity
of the moral law, the certainty of future retribution, were borrowed by
Mahomet from the Church, and are steadfastly held by his followers. The
false prophet taught much which is materially true and objectively
important, whatever be its subjective and formal value and influence in
the individuals who profess it. He stands in his creed between the
religion of God and the religion of devils, between Christianity and
idolatry, between the West and the extreme East. And so stood the Turks,
on adopting his faith, at the date I am speaking of; they stood between
Christ in the West, and Satan in the East, and they had to make their
choice; and, alas! they were led by the circumstances of the time to
oppose themselves, not to Paganism, but to Christianity. A happier lot
indeed had befallen poor Sultan Mahmood than befell his kindred who
followed in his wake. Mahmood, a Mahomedan, went eastward and found a
superstition worse than his own, and fought against it, and smote it;
and the sandal doors which he tore away from the idol temple and hung
up at his tomb at Gazneh, almost seemed to plead for him through
centuries as the soldier and the instrument of Heaven. The tribes which
followed him, Moslem also, faced westward, and found, not error but
truth, and fought against it as zealously, and in doing so, were simply
tools of the Evil One, and preachers of a lie, and enemies, not
witnesses of God. The one destroyed idol temples, the other Christian
shrines. The one has been saved the woe of persecuting the Bride of the
Lamb; the other is of all races the veriest brood of the serpent which
the Church has encountered since she was set up. For 800 years did the
sandal gates remain at Mahmood's tomb, as a trophy over idolatry; and
for 800 years have Seljuk and Othman been our foe, singled out as such,
and denounced by successive Vicars of Christ.


The year 1048 of our era is fixed by chronologists as the date of the
rise of the Turkish power, as far as Christendom is interested in its
history.[41] Sixty-three years before this date, a Turk of high rank, of
the name of Seljuk, had quarrelled with his native prince in Turkistan,
crossed the Jaxartes with his followers, and planted himself in the
territory of Sogdiana. His father had been a chief officer in the
prince's court, and was the first of his family to embrace Islamism; but
Seljuk, in spite of his creed, did not obtain permission to advance into
Sogdiana from the Saracenic government, which at that time was in
possession of the country. After several successful encounters, however,
he gained admission into the city of Bokhara, and there he settled. As
time went on, he fully recompensed the tardy hospitality which the
Saracens had shown him; for his feud with his own countrymen, whom he
had left, took the shape of a religious enmity, and he fought against
them as pagans and infidels, with a zeal, which was both an earnest of
the devotion of his people to the faith of Mahomet, and a training for
the exercise of it. He died, it is said, in battle against the pagans,
and at the wonderful age of 107. Of his five sons, whom he left behind
him, one, Michael, was cut off prematurely in battle against the
infidels also, and has obtained the name of Shadid or the Martyr; for in
a religion where the soldier is the missionary, the soldier is the
martyr also. The other sons became rich and powerful; they had numerous
flocks and fertile pastures in Sogdiana, till at length they attracted
the notice of the Sultan Mahmood, who, having dispossessed the Saracens
of the country where Seljuk had placed himself, looked about for
mercenary troops to keep his possession of it. It was one of Seljuk's
family, who at a later date alarmed Mahmood by telling him he could
bring 200,000 horsemen from the Scythian wilderness, if he sent round
his bow to summon them; it was Seljuk's horde and retainers that
ultimately forced back Mahmood's son into the south and the east, and
got possession of Sogdiana and Khorasan. Having secured this
acquisition, they next advanced into Persia, and this was the event,
which is considered to fix the date of their entrance into
ecclesiastical history. It was the date of their first steadily looking
westward; it determined their destiny; they began to be enemies of the
Cross in the year 1048, under the leading of Michael the Martyr's son,
Togrul Beg.

It is the inconvenience of any mere sketch of historical transactions,
that a multiplicity of objects successively passes over the field of
view, not less independent in themselves, though not less connected in
the succession of events, than the pictures of a magic lantern. I am
aware of the weariness and the perplexity which are in consequence
inflicted on the attention and the memory of the hearer; but what can I
do but ask your indulgence, Gentlemen, for a circumstance which is
inherent in any undertaking like the present? I have in the course of an
hour to deal with a series of exploits and fortunes, which begin in the
wilds of Turkistan, and conclude upon the Bosphorus; in which, as I may
say, time is no measure of events, one while from the obscurity in which
they lie, at another from their multitude and consequent confusion. For
four centuries the Turks are little or hardly heard of; then suddenly in
the course of as many tens of years, and under three Sultans, they make
the whole world resound with their deeds; and, while they have pushed to
the East through Hindostan, in the West they have hurried down to the
coasts of the Mediterranean and the Archipelago, have taken Jerusalem,
and threatened Constantinople. In their long period of silence they had
been sowing the seeds of future conquests; in their short period of
action they were gathering the fruit of past labours and sufferings. The
Saracenic empire stood apparently as before; but, as soon as a Turk
showed himself at the head of a military force within its territory, he
found himself surrounded by the armies of his kindred which had been so
long in its pay; he was joined by the tribes of Turcomans, to whom the
Romans in a former age had shown the passes of the Caucasus; and he
could rely on the reserve of innumerable swarms, ever issuing out of his
native desert, and following in his track. Such was the state of Western
Asia in the middle of the eleventh century.


I have said there were three great Sultans of the race of Seljuk, by
whom the conquest of the West of Asia was begun and completed; their
names are Togrul Beg, Alp Arslan, and Malek Shah. I have not to write
their histories, but I may say a few words of their characters and their

1. The first, Togrul, was the son and grandson of Mahometan Martyrs, and
he inherited that fanaticism, which made the old Seljuk and the young
Michael surrender their lives in their missionary warfare against the
enemies of their faith. Each day he repeated the five prayers prescribed
for the disciples of Islam; each week he gave two days to fasting; in
every city which he made his own, he built a mosque before he built his
palace. He introduced vast numbers of his wild countrymen into his
provinces, and suffered their nomadic habits, on the condition of their
becoming proselytes to his creed. He was the man suited to his time;
mere material power was not adequate to the overthrow of the Saracenic
sovereignty: rebellion after rebellion had been successful against the
Caliph; and at the very time I speak of he was in subjection to a family
of the old Persian race. But then he was spiritual head of the Empire as
well as temporal; and, though he lay in his palace wallowing in brutal
sensuality, he was still a sort of mock-Pope, even after his armies and
his territories had been wrested from his hands; but it was the reward
of Togrul's zeal to gain from him this spiritual prerogative, retaining
which the Caliph could never have fallen altogether. He gave to Togrul
the title of Rocnoddîn, or "the firm pillar of religion;" and, what was
more to the purpose, he made him his vicegerent over the whole Moslem
world. Armed with this religious authority, which was temporal in its
operation, he went to war against the various insurgents who troubled
the Caliph's repose, and substituted himself for them, a more powerful
and insidious enemy than any or all. But even Mahomet, the Caliph's
predecessor, would not have denied that Togrul was worthy of his hire;
he turned towards Armenia and Asia Minor, and began that terrible war
against the Cross, which was to last 500 years. The prodigious number of
130,000 Christians, in battle or otherwise, is said to be the sacrifice
he offered up to the false prophet. On his victorious return, he was
again recognized by his grateful master as his representative. He made
his public entry into the imperial city on horseback. At the palace gate
he showed the outward deference to the Caliph's authority which was his
policy. He dismounted, his nobles laid aside their arms, and thus they
walked respectfully into the recesses of the palace. According to the
Saracenic ceremonial, the Caliph received them behind his black veil,
the black garment of his family was cast over his shoulders, and the
staff of Mahomet was in his hand. Togrul kissed the ground, and waited
modestly, till he was led to the throne, and was there allowed to seat
himself, and to hear the commission publicly declaring him invested with
the authority of the Vicar of the Arch-deceiver. He was then
successively clothed in seven robes of honour, and presented with seven
slaves, the natives of the seven climates of the Saracenic Empire. His
veil was perfumed with musk; two crowns were set upon his head; two
scimitars were girded on his side, in token of his double reign over
East and West. He twice kissed the Caliph's hand; and his titles were
proclaimed by the voice of heralds and the applause of the Moslem.

Such was Togrul Beg, and such was his reward. After these exploits, he
marched against his brother (for these Turkish tribes were always
quarrelling over their prey), deposed him, strangled him and put to
death a number of his adherents, married the Caliph's daughter, and then
died without children. His power passed to his nephew Alp Arslan.

2. Alp Arslan, the second Sultan of the line of Seljuk, is said to
signify in Turkish "the courageous lion:" and the Caliph gave its
possessor the Arabic appellation of Azzaddin, or "Protector of
Religion." It was the distinctive work of his short reign to pass from
humbling the Caliph to attacking the Greek Emperor. Togrul had already
invaded the Greek provinces of Asia Minor, from Cilicia to Armenia,
along a line of 600 miles, and here it was that he had achieved his
tremendous massacres of Christians. Alp Arslan renewed the war; he
penetrated to Cæsarea in Cappadocia, attracted by the gold and pearls
which encrusted the shrine of the great St. Basil. He then turned his
arms against Armenia and Georgia, and conquered the hardy mountaineers
of the Caucasus, who at present give such trouble to the Russians. After
this he encountered, defeated, and captured the Greek Emperor. He began
the battle with all the solemnity and pageantry of a hero of romance.
Casting away his bow and arrows, he called for an iron mace and
scimitar; he perfumed his body with musk, as if for his burial, and
dressed himself in white, that he might be slain in his winding-sheet.
After his victory, the captive Emperor of New Rome was brought before
him in a peasant's dress; he made him kiss the ground beneath his feet,
and put his foot upon his neck. Then, raising him up, he struck or
patted him three times with his hand, and gave him his life and, on a
large ransom, his liberty. At this time the Sultan was only forty-four
years of age, and seemed to have a career of glory still before him.
Twelve hundred nobles stood before his throne; two hundred thousand
soldiers marched under his banner. As if dissatisfied with the South, he
turned his arms against his own paternal wildernesses, with which his
family, as I have related, had a feud. New tribes of Turks seem to have
poured down, and were wresting Sogdiana from the race of Seljuk, as the
Seljukians had wrested it from the Gaznevides. Alp had not advanced far
into the country, when he met his death from the hand of a captive. A
Carismian chief had withstood his progress, and, being taken, was
condemned to a lingering execution. On hearing the sentence, he rushed
forward upon Alp Arslan; and the Sultan, disdaining to let his generals
interfere, bent his bow, but, missing his aim, received the dagger of
his prisoner in his breast. His death, which followed, brings before us
that grave dignity of the Turkish character, of which we have already
had an example in Mahmood. Finding his end approaching, he has left on
record a sort of dying confession:--"In my youth," he said, "I was
advised by a sage to humble myself before God, to distrust my own
strength, and never to despise the most contemptible foe. I have
neglected these lessons, and my neglect has been deservedly punished.
Yesterday, as from an eminence, I beheld the numbers, the discipline,
and the spirit of my armies; the earth seemed to tremble under my feet,
and I said in my heart, Surely thou art the king of the world, the
greatest and most invincible of warriors. These armies are no longer
mine; and, in the confidence of my personal strength, I now fall by the
hand of an assassin." On his tomb was engraven an inscription, conceived
in a similar spirit. "O ye, who have seen the glory of Alp Arslan
exalted to the heavens, repair to Maru, and you will behold it buried in
the dust."[42] Alp Arslan was adorned with great natural qualities both
of intellect and of soul. He was brave and liberal: just, patient, and
sincere: constant in his prayers, diligent in his alms, and, it is
added, witty in his conversation;--but his gifts availed him not.

3. It often happens in the history of states and races, in which there
is found first a rise and then a decline, that the greatest glories take
place just then when the reverse is beginning or begun. Thus, for
instance, in the history of the Ottoman Turks, to which I have not yet
come, Soliman the Magnificent is at once the last and greatest of a
series of great Sultans. So was it as regards this house of Seljuk.
Malek Shah, the son of Alp Arslan, the third sovereign, in whom its
glories ended, is represented to us in history in colours so bright and
perfect, that it is difficult to believe we are not reading the account
of some mythical personage. He came to the throne at the early age of
seventeen; he was well-shaped, handsome, polished both in manners and in
mind; wise and courageous, pious and sincere. He engaged himself even
more in the consolidation of his empire than in its extension. He
reformed abuses; he reduced the taxes; he repaired the high roads,
bridges, and canals; he built an imperial mosque at Bagdad; he founded
and nobly endowed a college. He patronised learning and poetry, and he
reformed the calendar. He provided marts for commerce; he upheld the
pure administration of justice, and protected the helpless and the
innocent. He established wells and cisterns in great numbers along the
road of pilgrimage to Mecca; he fed the pilgrims, and distributed
immense sums among the poor.

He was in every respect a great prince; he extended his conquests across
Sogdiana to the very borders of China. He subdued by his lieutenants
Syria and the Holy Land, and took Jerusalem. He is said to have
travelled round his vast dominions twelve times. So potent was he, that
he actually gave away kingdoms, and had for feudatories great princes.
He gave to his cousin his territories in Asia Minor, and planted him
over against Constantinople, as an earnest of future conquests; and he
may be said to have finally allotted to the Turcomans the fair regions
of Western Asia, over which they roam to this day.

All human greatness has its term; the more brilliant was this great
Sultan's rise, the more sudden was his extinction; and the earlier he
came to his power, the earlier did he lose it He had reigned twenty
years, and was but thirty-seven years old, when he was lifted up with
pride and came to his end. He disgraced and abandoned to an assassin his
faithful vizir, at the age of ninety-three, who for thirty years had
been the servant and benefactor of the house of Seljuk. After obtaining
from the Caliph the peculiar and almost incommunicable title of "the
commander of the faithful," unsatisfied still, he wished to fix his own
throne in Bagdad, and to deprive his impotent superior of his few
remaining honours. He demanded the hand of the daughter of the Greek
Emperor, a Christian, in marriage. A few days, and he was no more; he
had gone out hunting, and returned indisposed; a vein was opened, and
the blood would not flow. A burning fever took him off, only eighteen
days after the murder of his vizir, and less than ten before the day
when the Caliph was to have been removed from Bagdad.


Such is human greatness at the best, even were it ever so innocent; but
as to this poor Sultan, there is another aspect even of his glorious
deeds. If I have seemed here or elsewhere in these Lectures to speak of
him or his with interest or admiration, only take me, Gentlemen, as
giving the external view of the Turkish history, and that as
introductory to the determination of its true significance. Historians
and poets may celebrate the exploits of Malek; but what were they in the
sight of Him who has said that whoso shall strike against His
corner-stone shall be broken; but on whomsoever it shall fall, shall be
ground to powder? Looking at this Sultan's deeds as mere exhibitions of
human power, they were brilliant and marvellous; but there was another
judgment of them formed in the West, and other feelings than admiration
roused by them in the faith and the chivalry of Christendom. Especially
was there one, the divinely appointed shepherd of the poor of Christ,
the anxious steward of His Church, who from his high and ancient watch
tower, in the fulness of apostolic charity, surveyed narrowly what was
going on at thousands of miles from him, and with prophetic eye looked
into the future age; and scarcely had that enemy, who was in the event
so heavily to smite the Christian world, shown himself, when he gave
warning of the danger, and prepared himself with measures for averting
it. Scarcely had the Turk touched the shores of the Mediterranean and
the Archipelago, when the Pope detected and denounced him before all
Europe. The heroic Pontiff, St. Gregory the Seventh, was then upon the
throne of the Apostle; and though he was engaged in one of the severest
conflicts which Pope has ever sustained, not only against the secular
power, but against bad bishops and priests, yet at a time when his very
life was not his own, and present responsibilities so urged him, that
one would fancy he had time for no other thought, Gregory was able to
turn his mind to the consideration of a contingent danger in the almost
fabulous East. In a letter written during the reign of Malek Shah, he
suggested the idea of a crusade against the misbeliever, which later
popes carried out. He assures the Emperor of Germany, whom he was
addressing, that he had 50,000 troops ready for the holy war, whom he
would fain have led in person. This was in the year 1074.

In truth, the most melancholy accounts were brought to Europe of the
state of things in the Holy Land. A rude Turcoman ruled in Jerusalem;
his people insulted there the clergy of every profession; they dragged
the patriarch by the hair along the pavement, and cast him into a
dungeon, in hopes of a ransom; and disturbed from time to time the Latin
Mass and office in the Church of the Resurrection. As to the pilgrims,
Asia Minor, the country through which they had to travel in an age when
the sea was not yet safe to the voyager, was a scene of foreign
incursion and internal distraction. They arrived at Jerusalem exhausted
by their sufferings, and sometimes terminated them by death, before they
were permitted to kiss the Holy Sepulchre.


Outrages such as these were of frequent occurrence, and one was very
like another. In concluding, however, this Lecture, I think it worth
while to set before you, Gentlemen, the circumstances of one of them in
detail, that you may be able to form some ideas of the state both of
Asia Minor and of a Christian pilgrimage, under the dominion of the
Turks. You may recollect, then, that Alp Arslan, the second Seljukian
Sultan, invaded Asia Minor, and made prisoner the Greek Emperor. This
Sultan came to the throne in 1062, and appears to have begun his warlike
operations immediately. The next year, or the next but one, a body of
pilgrims, to the number of 7,000, were pursuing their peaceful way to
Jerusalem, by a route which at that time lay entirely through countries
professing Christianity.[43] The pious company was headed by the
Archbishop of Mentz, the Bishops of Utrecht, Bamberg, and Ratisbon, and,
among others, by a party of Norman soldiers and clerks, belonging to the
household of William Duke of Normandy, who made himself, very soon
afterwards, our William the Conqueror. Among these clerks was the
celebrated Benedictine Monk Ingulphus, William's secretary, afterwards
Abbot of Croyland in Lincolnshire, being at that time a little more than
thirty years of age. They passed through Germany and Hungary to
Constantinople, and thence by the southern coast of Asia Minor or
Anatolia, to Syria and Palestine. When they got on the confines of Asia
Minor towards Cilicia, they fell in with the savage Turcomans, who were
attracted by the treasure, which these noble persons and wealthy
churchmen had brought with them for pious purposes and imprudently
displayed. Ingulphus's words are few, but so graphic that I require an
apology for using them. He says then, they were "exenterated" or
"cleaned out of the immense sums of money they carried with them,
together with the loss of many lives."

A contemporary historian gives us fuller particulars of the adventure,
and he too appears to have been a party to the expedition.[44] It seems
the prelates celebrated the rites of the Church with great
magnificence, as they went along, and travelled with a pomp which became
great dignitaries. The Turcomans in consequence set on them, overwhelmed
them, stripped them to the skin, and left the Bishop of Utrecht disabled
and half dead upon the field. The poor sufferers effected their retreat
to a village, where they fortified an enclosure and took possession of a
building which stood within it. Here they defended themselves
courageously for as many as three days, though they are said to have had
nothing to eat. At the end of that time they expressed a wish to
surrender themselves to the enemy, and admitted eighteen of the
barbarian leaders into their place of strength, with a view of
negotiating the terms. The Bishop of Bamberg, who is said to have had a
striking presence, acted for the Christians, and bargained for nothing
more than their lives. The savage Turcoman, who was the speaker on the
other side, attracted by his appearance, unrolled his turban, and threw
it round the Bishop's neck, crying out: "You and all of you are mine."
The Bishop made answer by an interpreter: "What will you do to me?" The
savage shrieked out some unintelligible words, which, being explained to
the Bishop, ran thus: "I will suck that blood which is so ruddy in your
throat, and then I will hang you up like a dog at your gate." "Upon
which," says the historian, "the Bishop, who had the modesty of a
gentleman, and was of a grave disposition, not bearing the insult,
dashed his fist into the Turcoman's face with such vigour as to fell him
to the ground, crying out that the profane wretch should rather be the
sufferer, for laying his unclean hands upon a priest."

This was the signal for an exploit so bold, that it seemed, if I may so
express myself, like a particular inspiration. The Christians, unarmed
as they were, started up, and though, as I have observed, they may be
said to have scarcely tasted food for three days, rushed upon the
eighteen Turcomans, bound their arms behind their backs, and showing
them in this condition to their own troops who surrounded the house,
protested that they would instantly put them all to death, unless they
themselves were let go. It is difficult to see how this complication
would have ended, in which neither side were in a condition either to
recede or to advance, had not a third party interfered with a
considerable force in the person of the military governor, himself a
Pagan,[45] of a neighbouring city; and though, as our historian says,
the Christians found it difficult to understand how Satan could cast out
Satan, so it was, that they found themselves at liberty and their
enemies marched off to punishment, on the payment of a sum of money to
their deliverers. I need not pursue the history of these pilgrims
further than to say, that, of 7,000 who set out, only 2,000 returned to

       *       *       *       *       *

Much less am I led to enter into the history of the Crusades which
followed. How the Holy See, twenty years after St. Gregory, effected
that which St. Gregory attempted without result; how, along the very way
which the pilgrims I have described journeyed, 100,000 men at length
appeared cased in complete armour and on horseback; how they drove the
Turk from Nicæa over against Constantinople, where he had fixed his
imperial city, to the farther borders of Asia Minor; how, after
defeating him in a pitched battle at Dorylæum, they went on and took
Antioch, and then at length, after a long pilgrimage of three years,
made conquest of Jerusalem itself, I need not here relate. To one point
only is it to our present purpose to direct attention. It is commonly
said that the Crusades failed in their object; that they were nothing
else but a lavish expenditure of men and treasure; and that the
possession of the Holy Places by the Turks to this day is a proof of it.
Now I will not enter here into a very intricate controversy; this only
will I say, that, if the tribes of the desert, under the leadership of
the house of Seljuk, turned their faces to the West in the middle of the
eleventh century; if in forty years they had advanced from Khorasan to
Jerusalem and the neighbourhood of Constantinople; and if in consequence
they were threatening Europe and Christianity; and if, for that reason,
it was a great object to drive them back or break them to pieces; if it
were a worthy object of the Crusades to rescue Europe from this peril
and to reassure the anxious minds of Christian multitudes;--then were
the Crusades no failure in their issue, for this object was fully
accomplished. The Seljukian Turks were hurled back upon the East, and
then broken up, by the hosts of the Crusaders.[46] The lieutenant of
Malek Shah, who had been established as Sultan of Roum (as Asia Minor
was called by the Turks), was driven to an obscure town, where his
dynasty lasted, indeed, but gradually dwindled away. A similar fate
attended the house of Seljuk in other parts of the Empire, and internal
quarrels increased and perpetuated its weakness. Sudden as was its rise,
as sudden was its fall; till the terrible Zingis, descending on the
Turkish dynasties, like an avalanche, coöperated effectually with the
Crusaders and finished their work; and if Jerusalem was not protected
from other enemies, at least Constantinople was saved, and Europe was
placed in security, for three hundred years.[47]


[35] Thornton.

[36] Gibbon.

[37] Vid. Dow's Hindostan.

[38] Caldecott's Baber. Vid. also Elphinstone, vol. ii. p. 366.

[39] "Our victorious army bears the gates of the temple of Somnauth in
triumph from Affghanistan, and the despoiled tomb of Sultan Mahmood
looks upon the ruins of Ghuznee. The insult of 800 years is at last
avenged," etc., etc.--_Proclamation of the Governor-General to all the
princes, chiefs, and people of India._

[40] Gibbon. Universal Hist.

[41] Baronius, Pagi.

[42] Gibbon.

[43] Baronius, Gibbon.

[44] Vid. Cave's Hist. Litterar. in nom. _Lambertus_.

[45] Gibbon makes this the Fatimite governor of some town in Galilee,
laying the scene in Palestine. The name Capernaum is doubtfully
mentioned in the history, but the occurrence is said to have taken place
on the borders of Lycia. Anyhow, there were Turcomans in Palestine. Part
of the account in the text is taken from Marianus Scotus.

[46] I should observe that the Turks were driven out of Jerusalem by the
Fatimites of Egypt, two years before the Crusaders appeared.

[47] I am pleased to see that Mr. Sharon Turner takes the same view
strongly.--_England in Middle Ages_, i. 9. Also Mr. Francis Newman; "The
See of Rome," he says, "had not forgotten, if Europe had, how deadly and
dangerous a war Charles Martel and the Franks had had to wage against
the Moors from Spain. A new and redoubtable nation, the Seljuk Turks,
had now appeared on the confines of Europe, as a fresh champion of the
Mohammedan Creed; and it is not attributing too much foresight or too
sagacious policy to the Court of Rome, to believe, that they wished to
stop and put down the Turkish power before it should come too near. Be
this as it may, such was the result. The might of the Seljukians was
crippled on the plains of Palestine, and did not ultimately reach
Europe.... A large portion of Christendom, which disowned the religious
pretensions of Rome, was afterwards subdued by another Turkish tribe,
the Ottomans or Osmanlis; but Romish Christendom remained untouched:
Poland, Germany, and Hungary, saved her from the later Turks, even
during the schism of the Reformation, as the Franks had saved her from
the Moors. On the whole, it would seem that to the Romish Church we have
been largely indebted for that union between European nations, without
which Mohammedanism might perhaps not have been repelled. I state this
as probable, not at all as certain."--_Lectures at Manchester, 1846._




_The Turk and the Christian._

I Said in my last Lecture, that we are bound to judge of persons and
events in history, not by their outward appearance, but by their inward
significancy. In speaking of the Turks, we may for a moment yield to the
romance which attends on their name and their actions, as we may admire
the beauty of some beast of prey; but, as it would be idle and puerile
to praise its shape or skin, and form no further judgment upon it, so in
like manner it is unreal and unphilosophical to interest ourselves in
the mere adventures and successes of the Turks, without going on to view
them in their moral aspect also. No race casts so broad and dark a
shadow on the page of ecclesiastical history, and leaves so painful an
impression on the minds of the reader, as the Turkish. The fierce Goths
and Vandals, and then again the Lombards, were converted to Catholicism.
The Franks yielded to the voice of St. Remigius, and Clovis, their
leader, became the eldest son of the Church. The Anglo-Saxons gave up
their idols at the preaching of St. Augustine and his companions. The
German tribes acknowledged Christ amid their forests, though they
martyred St. Boniface and other English and Irish missionaries who came
to them. The Magyars in Hungary were led to faith through loyalty to
their temporal monarch, their royal missioner St. Stephen. The heathen
Danes reappear as the chivalrous Normans, the haughty but true sons and
vassals of St. Peter. The Saracens even, who gave birth to an imposture,
withered away at the end of 300 or 400 years, and had not the power,
though they had the will, to persevere in their enmity to the Cross. The
Tartars had both the will and the power, but they were far off from
Christendom, or they came down in ephemeral outbreaks, which were rather
those of freebooters than of persecutors, or they directed their fury as
often against the enemies of the Church as against her children. But the
unhappy race, of whom I am speaking, from the first moment they appear
in the history of Christendom, are its unmitigated, its obstinate, its
consistent foes. They are inexhaustible in numbers, pouring down upon
the South and West, and taking one and the same terrible mould of
misbelief, as they successively descend. They have the populousness of
the North, with the fire of the South; the resources of Tartars, with,
the fanaticism of Saracens. And when their strength declines, and age
steals upon them, there is no softening, no misgiving; they die and make
no sign. In the words of the Wise Man, "Being born, they forthwith
ceased to be; and have been able to show no mark of virtue, but are
consumed in wickedness." God's judgments, God's mercies, are
inscrutable; one nation is taken, another is left. It is a mystery; but
the fact stands; since the year 1048 the Turks have been the great
Antichrist among the races of men.

I say since this date, because then it was that Togrul Beg finally
opened the gates of the North to those descents, which had taken place
indeed at intervals before, but then became the habit of centuries. In
vain was the power of his dynasty overthrown by the Crusaders; in vain
do the Seljukians disappear from the annals of the world; in vain is
Constantinople respited; in vain is Europe saved. Christendom in arms
had not yet finished, it had but begun the work, in which it needed the
grace to persevere. Down came the savage hordes, as at first, upon
Sogdiana and Khorasan, so then upon Syria and its neighbouring
countries. Sometimes they remain wild Turcomans, sometimes they fall
into the civilization of the South; but there they are, in Egypt, in the
Holy Land, in Armenia, in Anatolia, forming political bodies of long or
short duration, breaking up here to form again there, in all cases
trampling on Christianity, and beating out its sacred impression from
the breasts of tens of thousands. Nor is this all; scarcely is the race
of Seljuk quite extinct, or rather when it is on its very death-bed,
after it had languished and shrunk and dwindled and flickered and kept
on dying through a tedious two hundred years, when its sole remaining
heir was just in one obscure court, from that very court we discern the
birth of another empire, as dazzling in its rise, as energetic and
impetuous in its deeds as that of Togrul, Alp, and Malek, and far more
wide-spreading, far more powerful, far more lasting than the Seljukian.
This is the empire of the great (if I must measure it by a human
standard) and glorious race of Othman; this is the dynasty of the
Ottomans or Osmanlis; once the admiration, the terror of nations, now,
even in its downfall, an object of curiosity, interest, anxiety, and
even respect; but, whether high or low, in all cases to the Christian
the inveterate and hateful enemy of the Cross.


There is a certain remarkable parallel and contrast between the fortunes
of these two races, the Seljukian and the Ottoman. In the beginning of
the twelfth century, the race of Seljuk all but took Constantinople, and
overran the West, and did not; in the beginning of the fifteenth, the
Ottoman Turks were all but taking the same city, and then were withheld
from taking it, and at length did take it, and have it still. In each
case a foe came upon them from the north, still more fierce and vigorous
than they, and humbled them to the dust.

These two foes, which came upon the Seljukian Turks and the Ottoman
Turks respectively, are names by this time familiar to us; they are
Zingis and Timour. Zingis came down upon the Seljukians, and Timour came
down upon the Ottomans. Timour pressed the Ottomans even more severely
than Zingis pressed the Seljukians; yet the Seljukians did not recover
the blow of Zingis; but the Ottomans survived the blow of Timour, and
rose more formidable after it, and have long outlived the power which
inflicted it.

Zingis and Timour were but the blind instruments of divine vengeance.
They knew not what they did. The inward impulse of gigantic energy and
brutal cupidity urged them forward; ambition, love of destruction,
sensual appetite, frenzied them, and made them both more and less than
men. They pushed eastward, westward, southward; they confronted promptly
and joyfully every peril, every obstacle which lay in their course. They
smote down all rival pride and greatness of man; and therefore, by the
law (as I may call it) of their nature and destiny, not on politic
reason or far-reaching plan, but because they came across him, they
smote the Turk. These then were one class of his opponents; but there
was another adversary, stationed against him, of a different order, one
whose power was not material, but mental and spiritual; one whose enmity
was not random, or casual, or temporary, but went on steadily from age
to age, and lasts down to this day, except so far as the Turk's
decrepitude has at length disarmed anxiety and opposition. I have spoken
of him already; of course I mean the Vicar of Christ. I mean the
zealous, the religious enmity to every anti-Christian power, of him who
has outlasted Zingis and Timour, who has outlasted Seljuk, who is now
outlasting Othman. He incited Christendom against the Seljukians, and
the Seljukians, assailed also by Zingis, sunk beneath the double blow.
He tried to rouse Christendom against the Ottomans also, but in vain;
and therefore in vain did Timour discharge his overwhelming, crushing
force against them. Overwhelmed and crushed they were, but they revived.
The Seljukians fell, in consequence of the united zeal of the great
Christian commonwealth moving in panoply against them; the Ottomans
succeeded by reason of its deplorable divisions, and its decay of faith
and heroism.


Whether indeed in the long run, and after all his disappointments and
reverses, the Pope was altogether unsuccessful in his warfare against
the Ottomans, we shall see by-and-by; but certainly, if perseverance
merited a favourable issue, at least he has had a right to expect it.
War with the Turks was his uninterrupted cry for seven or eight
centuries, from the eleventh to the eighteenth; it is a solitary and
singular event in the history of the Church. Sylvester the Second was
the originator of the scheme of a union of Christian nations against
them. St. Gregory the Seventh collected 50,000 men to repel them. Urban
the Second actually set in motion the long crusade. Honorius the Second
instituted the order of Knight Templars to protect the pilgrims from
their assaults. Eugenius the Third sent St. Bernard to preach the Holy
War. Innocent the Third advocated it in the august Council of the
Lateran. Nicholas the Fourth negotiated an alliance with the Tartars for
its prosecution. Gregory the Tenth was in the Holy Land in the midst of
it, with our Edward the First, when he was elected Pope. Urban the Fifth
received and reconciled the Greek Emperor with a view to its renewal.
Innocent the Sixth sent the Blessed Peter Thomas the Carmelite to preach
in its behalf. Boniface the Ninth raised the magnificent army of French,
Germans, and Hungarians, who fought the great battle of Nicopolis.
Eugenius the Fourth formed the confederation of Hungarians and Poles who
fought the battle of Varna. Nicholas the Fifth sent round St. John
Capistran to urge the princes of Christendom against the enemy.
Callixtus the Third sent the celebrated Hunniades to fight with them.
Pius the Second addressed to their Sultan an apostolic letter of warning
and denunciation. Sixtus the Fourth fitted out a fleet against them.
Innocent the Eighth made them his mark from the beginning of his
Pontificate to the end. St. Pius the Fifth added the "Auxilium
Christianorum" to our Lady's Litany in thankfulness for his victory over
them. Gregory the Thirteenth with the same purpose appointed the
Festival of the Rosary. Clement the Ninth died of grief on account of
their successes. The venerable Innocent the Eleventh appointed the
Festival of the Holy Name of Mary, for their rout before Vienna.
Clement the Eleventh extended the Feast of the Rosary to the whole
Church for the great victory over them near Belgrade. These are but some
of the many instances which might be given; but they are enough for the
purpose of showing the perseverance of the Popes.

Nor was their sagacity in this matter less remarkable than their
pertinacity. The Holy See has the reputation, even with men of the
world, of seeing instinctively what is favourable, what is unfavourable,
to the interests of religion and of the Catholic Faith. Its undying
opposition to the Turks is not the least striking instance of this
divinely imparted gift. From the very first it pointed at them as an
object of alarm for all Christendom, in a way in which it had marked out
neither Tartars nor Saracens. It exposed them to the reprobation of
Europe, as a people, with whom, if charity differ from merciless
ferocity, tenderness from hardness of heart, depravity of appetite from
virtue, and pride from meekness and humility, the faithful never could
have sympathy, never alliance. It denounced, not merely an odious
outlying deformity, painful simply to the moral sight and scent, but an
energetic evil, an aggressive, ambitious, ravenous foe, in whom foulness
of life and cruelty of policy were methodized by system, consecrated by
religion, propagated by the sword. I am not insensible, I wish to do
justice, to the high qualities of the Turkish race. I do not altogether
deny to its national character the grandeur, the force and originality,
the valour, the truthfulness and sense of justice, the sobriety and
gentleness, which historians and travellers speak of; but, in spite of
all that has been done for them by nature and by the European world,
Tartar still is the staple of their composition, and their gifts and
attainments, whatever they may be, do but make them the more efficient
foes of faith and civilization.


It was said by a Prophet of old, in the prospect of a fierce invader, "a
day of clouds and whirlwinds, a numerous and strong people, as the
morning spread upon the mountains. The like to it hath not been from the
beginning, nor shall be after it, even to the years of generation and
generation. Before the face thereof a devouring fire, and behind it a
burning flame. The land is like a garden of pleasure before it, and
behind it a desolate wilderness; neither is there any one can escape
it." Now I might, in illustration of the character which the Turks bear
in history, suitably accommodate these words to the moral, or the
social, or the political, or the religious calamities, of which they
were the authors to the Christian countries they overran; and so I might
bring home to you the meaning and drift of that opposition with which
the Holy See has met them in every age. I might allude (if I dare, but I
dare not, nor does any one dare),--else, allusion might be made to those
unutterable deeds which brand the people which allows them, even in the
natural judgment of men, as the most flagitious, the most detestable of
nations. I might enlarge on the reckless and remorseless cruelty which,
had they succeeded in Europe, as they succeeded in Asia, would have
decimated or exterminated her children; I might have reminded you, for
instance, how it has been almost a canon of their imperial policy for
centuries, that their Sultan, on mounting the throne, should destroy his
nearest of kin, father, brother, or cousin, who might rival him in his
sovereignty; how he is surrounded, and his subjects according to their
wealth, with slaves carried off from their homes, men and boys, living
monuments of his barbarity towards the work of God's hands; how he has
at his remorseless will and in the sudden breath of his mouth the life
or death of all his subjects; how he multiplies his despotism by giving
to his lieutenants in every province, a like prerogative; how little
scruple those governors have ever felt in exercising this prerogative to
the full, in executions on a large scale, and sudden overwhelming
massacres, shedding blood like water, and playing with the life of man
as though it were the life of a mere beast or reptile. I might call your
attention to particular instances of such atrocities, such as that
outrage perpetrated in the memory of many of us,--how, on the
insurrection of the Greeks at Scio, their barbarian masters carried fire
and sword throughout the flourishing island till it was left a desert,
hurrying away women and boys to an infamous captivity, and murdering
youths and grown men, till out of 120,000 souls, in the spring time, not
900 were left there when the crops were ripe for the sickle. If I do not
go into scenes such as these in detail, it is because I have wearied and
troubled you more than enough already, in my account of the savage
perpetrations of Zingis and Timour.

Or I might, in like manner, still more obviously insist on their system
of compulsory conversion, which, from the time of the Seljukian Sultans
to the present day, have raised the indignation and the compassion of
the Christian world; how, when the lieutenants of Malek Shah got
possession of Asia Minor, they profaned the churches, subjected Bishops
and Clergy to the most revolting outrages, circumcised the youth, and
led off their sisters to their profligate households;--how, when the
Ottomans conquered in turn, and added an infantry, I mean the
Janizaries, to their Tartar horse, they formed that body of troops, from
first to last, for near five hundred years, of boys, all born Christian,
a body of at first 12,000, at last 40,000 strong, torn away year by year
from their parents, circumcised, trained to the faith and morals of
their masters, and becoming in their turn the instruments of the
terrible policy of which they had themselves been victims; and how, when
at length lately they abolished this work of their hands, they ended it
by the slaughter of 20,000 of the poor renegades whom they had seduced
from their God. I might remind you how within the last few years a
Protestant traveller tells us that he found the Nestorian Christians,
who had survived the massacres of their race, living in holes and pits,
their pastures and tillage land forfeited, their sheep and cattle driven
away, their villages burned, and their ministers and people tortured;
and how a Catholic missionary has found in the neighbourhood of Broussa
the remnant of some twenty Catholic families, who, in consequence of
repudiating the Turkish faith, had been carried all the way from Servia
and Albania across the sea to Asia Minor; the men killed, the women
disgraced, the boys sold, till out of a hundred and eighty persons but
eighty-seven were left, and they sick, and famished, and dying among
their unburied dead. I could of course continue this topic also to any
extent, and draw it out as an illustration of the words of the Prophet
which I have quoted. But I prefer to take those words literally, as
expressive of the desolation spread by an infidel foe over the face of a
flourishing country; and then I shall be viewing the Turkish rule under
an aspect addressed to the senses, not admitting of a question,
calculated to rouse the sensibilities of Christians of whatever caste of
opinion, and explanatory by itself of the determined front which the
Holy See has ever made against it.


The Catholic Church was in the first instance a wanderer on the earth,
and had nothing to attach her to its soil; but no sooner did persecution
cease, and territory was allowed to her, than she began to exert a
beneficent influence upon the face of the land, and on its cultivators.
She shed her consolations, and extended her protection, over the serf
and the slave; and, while she gradually relaxed his fetters, she sent
her own dearest children to bear his burden with him, and to aid him in
the cultivation of the soil. Under the loving assiduity of the
Benedictine Monk, the ravages of war were repaired, the plantation
throve, the river diffused itself in rills and channels, and hill and
dale and plain rejoiced in corn land and pasture. And when in a later
time a world was to be created, not restored, when the deep forests of
the North were to be cleared, and the unwholesome marsh to be drained,
who but the missionaries from the same great Order were to be the
ministers of temporal, as well as spiritual, benefits to the rude tribes
they were converting? And then again, when history moved on into the era
of the first Turkish outbreak, who but St. Bernard, the very preacher of
the Crusade, who but he led on his peaceful Cistercians, after the
pattern of his master, St. Stephen, to that laborious but cheerful
husbandry, which they continue in the wild places of the earth even to
this day? Never has Holy Church forgotten,--abhorrent, as she is, from
the Pantheistic tendencies which in all ages have surrounded her,--never
has she forgotten the interests of that mighty mother on whose bosom we
feed in life, into whose arms we drop in death; never has she forgotten
that that mother is the special creature of God, and to be honoured, in
leaf and flower, in lofty tree and pleasant stream, for His sake, as
well as for our own; that while it is our primeval penalty to till the
earth, she lovingly repays us for our toil; that Adam was a gardener
even in Paradise, and that Noe inaugurated his new world by "beginning
to be a husbandman, and by planting a vineyard."

Such is the genius of the true faith; and it might have been thought,
that, though not Christians, even of very gratitude, the barbarous race,
which owed a part of whatever improvement of mind or manners they had
received to the fair plains of Sogdiana, would, on seizing on their rich
and beautiful lands on the north, east, and south of the Mediterranean,
have felt some sort of reverence for their captive, and, while enjoying
her gifts, would have been merciful to the giver. But the same selfish
sensuality, with which they regard the rational creation of God,
possesses them in their conduct towards physical nature. They have made
the earth their paramour, and are heartless towards her dishonour and
her misery. We have lately been reminded in this place of the Doge of
Venice[48] making the Adriatic his bride, and claiming her by a ring of
espousal; but the Turk does not deign to legitimatize his possession of
the soil he has violently seized, or to gain a title to it by any sacred
tie; caring for no better right to it than the pirate has to the
jurisdiction of the high seas. Let the Turcoman ride up and down Asia
Minor or Syria for a thousand years, how is the trampling of his
horse-hoofs a possession of those countries, more than a Scythian raid
or a Tartar gallop across it? The imperial Osmanli sits and smokes long
days in his pavilion, without any thought at all of his broad domain
except to despise and to plunder and impoverish its cultivators; and is
his title made better thereby than the Turcoman's, to be the heir of
Alexander and Seleucus, of the Ptolemies and Massinissa, of Constantine
and Justinian? What claim does it give him upon Europe, Asia, and
Africa, upon Greece, Palestine, and Egypt, that he has frustrated the
munificence of nature and demolished the works of man?


Asia Minor especially, the peninsula which lies between the Black Sea,
the Archipelago, and the Mediterranean, was by nature one of the most
beautiful, and had been made by art one of the most fertile of
countries. It had for generations contained flourishing marts of
commerce, and it had been studded with magnificent cities, the ruins of
which now stand as a sepulchre of the past. No country perhaps has seen
such a succession of prosperous states, and had such a host of
historical reminiscences, under such distinct eras and such various
distributions of territory. It is memorable in the beginning of history
for its barbarian kings and nobles, whose names stand as commonplaces
and proverbs of wealth and luxury. The magnificence of Pelops imparts
lustre even to the brilliant dreams of the mythologist. The name of
Croesus, King of Lydia, whom I have already had occasion to mention,
goes as a proverb for his enormous riches. Midas, King of Phrygia, had
such abundance of the precious metals, that he was said by the poets to
have the power of turning whatever he touched into gold. The tomb of
Mausolus, King of Caria, was one of the seven wonders of the ancient
world. It was the same with the Greek colonies which were scattered
along its coasts; they are renowned for opulence, for philosophy, and
for the liberal and the fine arts. Homer among the poets, Thales among
philosophers, Herodotus, the father of history, Hippocrates, the oracle
of physicians, Apelles, the prince of painters, were among their
citizens; and Pythius, who presented one of the Persian Kings with a
plane-tree and a vine of massive gold, was in his day, after those
kings, the richest man in the known world.

Then come the many splendid cities founded by the successors of
Alexander, through its extent; and the powerful and opulent kingdoms,
Greek or Barbarian, of Pontus, and Bithynia, and Pergamus--Pergamus,
with its library of 200,000 choice volumes. Later still, the resources
of the country were so well recognised, that it was the favourite prey
of the Roman statesmen, who, after involving themselves in enormous
debts in the career of ambition, needed by extortion and rapine to set
themselves right with their creditors. Next it became one of the first
seats of Christianity; St. Luke in the Acts of the Apostles relates to
us the apostolic labours of St. Paul there in town and country; St. John
wrote the Apocalypse to the Churches of seven of its principal cities;
and St. Peter, his first Epistle to Christians scattered through its
provinces. It was the home of some of the greatest Saints, Martyrs, and
Doctors of the early ages: there first, in Bithynia, the power of
Christianity manifested itself over a heathen population; there St.
Polycarp was martyred, there St. Gregory Thamaturgus converted the
inhabitants of Pontus; there St. Gregory Nazianzen, St. Gregory Nyssen,
St. Basil, and St. Amphilochius preached and wrote. There were held
three of the first four Councils of the Church, at Chalcedon, at
Ephesus, and at Nicæa, the very city afterwards profaned by the palace
of the Sultan. It abounded in the gifts of nature, for food, utility, or
ornament; its rivers ran with gold, its mountains yielded the most
costly marbles; it had mines of copper, and especially of iron; its
plains were fruitful in all kinds of grain, in broad pastures and
luxuriant woods, while its hills were favourable to the olive and the

Such was that region, once celebrated for its natural advantages, for
its arts, its splendour, as well as for its gifts of grace; and the
misery and degradation which are at present imprinted on the very face
of the soil are the emblems of that worse ruin which has overtaken the
souls of its children. I have already referred to the journal of Dr.
Chandler, who saw it, even in its western coast, overrun by the hideous
tents of the Turcomans. Another traveller of late years[49] tells us of
that ancient Bithynia, which runs along the Black Sea, a beautiful and
romantic country, intersected with lofty mountains and fertile valleys,
and abounding in rivers and forests. The luxuriance of the pastures, he
says, and the richness of the woods, often reminded him of an English
gentleman's park. Such is it as nature has furnished it for the benefit
of man; but he found its forests covered with straggling Turcomans and
numerous flocks of goats. As he was passing through Phrygia, the
inhabitants smiled, when he asked for ruins, assuring him that the whole
country was overspread with them. There too again he found a great part
of its face covered with the roving Turcomans, "a boisterous and
ignorant race, though much more honourable and hospitable," he adds,
"than the inhabitants of the towns." Mr. Alison tells us that when the
English fleet, in 1801, was stationed on the southern coast, some
sailors accidentally set fire to a thick wood, and the space thus left
bare was studded all along with the ruins of temples and palaces.

A still more recent traveller[50] corroborates this testimony. Striking
inland from Smyrna, he found "the scenery extremely beautiful, and the
land," he continues, "which is always rich, would be valuable, if
sufficiently cultivated, but it is much neglected." In another part of
the country, he "rode for at least three miles through a ruined city,
which was one pile of temples, theatres, and buildings, vying with each
other in splendour." Now here, you will observe, I am not finding fault
with the mere circumstance that the scenes of ancient grandeur should
abound in ruins. Buildings will decay; old buildings will not answer new
uses; there are ruins enough in Europe; but the force of the argument
lies in this, that in these countries there are ruins and nothing else;
that the old is gone, and has not been replaced by the new. So was it
about Smyrna; and so too about Sardis: "Its situation," he says, "is
very beautiful, but the country over which it looks is now almost
deserted, and the valley is become a swamp. Its little rivers of clear
water, after turning a mill or two, serve only to flood, instead of
draining and beautifying the country." His descriptions of the splendour
of the scenery, yet of the desolation of the land, are so frequent that
I should not be able to confine my extracts within bounds, did I attempt
to give them all. He speaks of his route as lying through "a rich
wilderness" of ruins. Sometimes the landscape "so far exceeded the
beauty of nature, as to seem the work of magic." Again, "the splendid
view passed like a dream; for the continual turns in the road, and the
increasing richness of the woods and vegetation, soon limited my view to
a mere foreground. Nor was this without interest; on each projecting
rock stood an ancient sarcophagus; and the trees half concealed the lids
and broken sculpture of innumerable tombs."

The gifts of nature remain; he was especially struck with the trees. "We
traversed the coast," he says, "through woods of the richest trees, the
planes being the handsomest to be found in this or perhaps any other
part of the world. I have never seen such stupendous arms to any trees."
Everything was running wild; "the underwood was of myrtle, growing
sometimes twenty feet high, the beautiful daphne laurel, and the
arbutus; and they seemed contending for preëminence with the vine,
clematis, and woodbine, which climbed to the very tops, and in many
instances bore them down into a thicket of vegetation, impervious except
to the squirrels and birds, which, sensible of their security in these
retreats, stand boldly to survey the traveller." Elsewhere he found the
ground carpeted with the most beautiful flowers. A Protestant
Missionary,[51] in like manner, travelling in a different part of the
country, speaks of the hedges of wild roses, the luxuriant gardens and
fruit-trees, principally the cherry, the rich soil, the growth of beech,
oak, and maple, the level meadows and swelling hills covered with the
richest sward, and the rivulets of the purest water. No wonder that, as
he tells us, "sitting down under a spreading walnut-tree, by the side of
a murmuring mill stream, he was led by the charming woodland scenery
around to reflect upon that mysterious Providence, by which so beautiful
a country has been placed under such a blighting government, in the
hands of so ignorant and barbarous a people."

The state of the population is in keeping with the neglected condition
of the country. It is, down to the present time, wasting away; and that
there are inhabitants at all seems in the main referable to merely
accidental causes. On the road from Angora to Constantinople there were
old people, twenty years since, who remembered as many as forty or fifty
villages, where now there are none; and in the middle of the last
century two hundred places had become forsaken in the tract lying
between those two cities and Smyrna.[52]

This desolation is no accident of a declining empire; it dates from the
very time that a Turk first came into the country, from the era of the
Seljukian Sultans, eight hundred years ago. We have indirect but clear
proof of it in the course of history following their expulsion from the
country by the Crusaders. For a while the Greeks recovered their
dominion in its western portion, and fixed their imperial residence at
Nicæa, which had been the capital of the Seljukians. A vigorous prince
mounted the throne, and the main object of his exertions and the special
work of his reign was the recovery of the soil. We are told by an
English historian,[53] that he found the most fertile lands without
either cultivation or inhabitants, and he took them into his own
management. It followed that, in the course of some years, the imperial
domain became the granary and garden of Asia; and the sovereign made
money without impoverishing his people. According to the nature of the
soil, he sowed it with corn, or planted it with vines, or laid it down
in grass: his pastures abounded with herds and flocks, horses and swine;
and his speculation, as it may be called, in poultry was so happy, that
he was able to present his empress with a crown of pearls and diamonds
out of his gains. His example encouraged his nobles to imitation; and
they learned to depend for their incomes on the honourable proceeds of
their estates, instead of oppressing their people, and seeking favours
from the court. Such was the immediate consequence when man coöperated
with the bountifulness of nature in this fruitful region; and it brings
out prominently by its contrast the wretchedness of the Turkish


That wretchedness is found, not in Asia Minor only, but wherever Turks
are to be found in power. Throughout the whole extent of their
territory, if you believe the report of travellers, the peasantry are
indigent, oppressed, and wretched.[54] The great island of Crete or
Candia would maintain four times its present population; once it had a
hundred cities; many of its towns, which were densely populous, are now
obscure villages. Under the Venetians it used to export corn largely;
now it imports it. As to Cyprus, from holding a million of inhabitants,
it now has only 30,000. Its climate was that of a perpetual spring; now
it is unwholesome and unpleasant; its cities and towns nearly touched
one another, now they are simply ruins. Corn, wine, oil, sugar, and the
metals are among its productions; the soil is still exceedingly rich;
but now, according to Dr. Clarke, in that "paradise of the Levant,
agriculture is neglected, inhabitants are oppressed, population is
destroyed." Cross over to the continent, and survey Syria and its
neighbouring cities; at this day the Turks themselves are dying out;
Diarbekr, which numbered 400,000 souls in the middle of last century,
forty years afterwards had dwindled to 50,000. Mosul had lost half its
inhabitants; Bagdad had fallen from 130,000 to 20,000; and Bassora from
100,000 to 8,000.

If we pass on to Egypt, the tale is still the same. "In the fifteenth
century," says Mr. Alison, "Egypt, after all the revolutions which it
had undergone, was comparatively rich and populous; but since the fatal
era of Turkish conquest, the tyranny of the Pashas has expelled
industry, riches, and the arts." Stretch across the width of Africa to
Barbary, wherever there is a Turk, there is desolation. What indeed have
the shepherds of the desert, in the most ambitious effort of their
civilization, to do with the cultivation of the soil? "That fertile
territory," says Robertson, "which sustained the Roman Empire, still
lies in a great measure uncultivated; and that province, which Victor
called _Speciositas totius terræ florentis_, is now the retreat of
pirates and banditti."

End your survey at length with Europe, and you find the same account is
to be given of its Turkish provinces. In the Morea, Chateaubriand,
wherever he went, beheld villages destroyed by fire and sword, whole
suburbs deserted, often fifteen leagues without a single habitation. "I
have travelled," says Mr. Thornton, "through several provinces of
European Turkey, and cannot convey an idea of the state of desolation in
which that beautiful country is left. For the space of seventy miles,
between Kirk Kilise and Carnabat, there is not an inhabitant, though the
country is an earthly paradise. The extensive and pleasant village of
Faki, with its houses deserted, its gardens overrun with weeds and
grass, its lands waste and uncultivated, and now the resort of robbers,
affects the traveller with the most painful sensations."[55] Even in
Wallachia and Moldavia the population has been gradually decreasing,
while of that rich country not more than a fortieth part is under
tillage. In a word, the average population in the whole Empire is not a
fifth of what it was in ancient times.


Here I am tempted to exclaim (though the very juxtaposition of two
countries so different from each other in their condition needs an
apology), I cannot help exclaiming, how different is the condition of
that other peninsula in the centre of which is placed the See of Peter!
I am ashamed of comparing, or even contrasting, Italy with Asia
Minor--the seat of Christian governments with the seat of a barbarian
rule--except that, since I have been speaking of the tenderness which
the Popes have shown, according to their means, for the earth and its
cultivators, there is a sort of fitness in pointing out that the result
is in their case conformable to our just anticipation. Besides, so much
is uttered among us in disparagement of the governments of that
beautiful country, that there is a reason for pressing the contrast on
the attention of those, who in their hearts acknowledge little
difference between the rulers of Italy and of Turkey. I think it will be
instructive, then, to dwell upon the account given us of Italy by an
intelligent and popular writer of this day; nor need we, in doing so,
concern ourselves with questions which he elsewhere discusses, such as
whether Italy has received the last improvements in agriculture, or in
civil economy, or in finance, or in politics, or in mechanical
contrivances; in short, whether the art of life is carried there to its
perfection. Systems and codes are to be tested by their results; let us
put aside theories and disputable points; let us survey a broad,
undeniable, important fact; let us look simply at the state both of the
land and of the population in Italy; let us take it as our gauge and
estimate of political institutions; let us, by way of contrast, put it
side by side of the state of land and population, as reported to us by
travellers in Turkey.

Mr. Alison, then, in his most diligent and interesting history of
Europe,[56] divides the extent of Italy into three great districts, of
mountain, plain, and marsh. The region of marsh lies between the
Apennines and the Mediterranean; and here, I confess, he finds fault
with the degree of diligence in reclaiming it exerted by its present
possessors. He notices with dissatisfaction that the marshes of Volterra
are still as pestilential as in the days of Hannibal; moreover, that the
Campagna of Rome, once inhabited by numerous tribes, is now an almost
uninhabited desert, and that the Pontine Marshes, formerly the abode of
thirty nations, are now a pestilential swamp. I will not stop to remind
you that the irruptions of barbarians like the Turks, have been the
causes of this desolation, that the existing governments had nothing to
do with it, and that, on the contrary, they have made various efforts to
overcome the evil. For argument's sake, I will allow them to be a
reproach to the government, for they will be found to be only exceptions
to the general state of the country. Even as regards this low tract, he
speaks of one portion of it, the plain of the Clitumnus, as being rich,
as in ancient days, in herds and flocks; and he enlarges upon the
Campagna of Naples as "still the scene of industry, elegance, and
agricultural riches. There," he says, "still, as in ancient times, an
admirable cultivation brings to perfection the choicest gifts of
nature. Magnificent crops of wheat and maize cover the rich and level
expanse; rows of elms or willows shelter their harvests from the too
scorching rays of the sun; and luxuriant vines, clustering to the very
tops of the trees, are trained in festoons from one summit to the other.
On its hills the orange, the vine, and the fig-tree flourish in
luxuriant beauty; the air is rendered fragrant by their ceaseless
perfume; and the prodigy is here exhibited of the fruit and the flower
appearing at the same time on the same stem."

So much for that portion of Italy which owes least to the labours of the
husbandman: the second portion is the plain of Lombardy, which stretches
three hundred miles in length by one hundred and twenty in breadth, and
which, he says, "beyond question is the richest and the most fertile in
Europe." This great plain is so level, that you may travel two hundred
miles in a straight line, without coming to a natural eminence ten feet
high; and it is watered by numerous rivers, the Ticino, the Adda, the
Adige, and others, which fall into the great stream of the Po, the "king
of rivers," as Virgil calls it, which flows majestically through its
length from west to east till it finds its mouth in the Adriatic. It is
obvious, from the testimony of the various travellers in the East, whom
I have cited, what would be the fate of this noble plain under a Turkish
government; it would become nothing more or less than one great and
deadly swamp. But Mr. Alison observes: "It is hard to say, whether the
cultivation of the soil, the riches of nature, or the structures of
human industry in this beautiful region, are most to be admired. An
unrivalled system of agriculture, from which every nation in Europe
might take a lesson, has long been established over its whole surface,
and two, and sometimes three successive crops annually reward the
labours of the husbandman. Indian corn is produced in abundance, and by
its return, quadruple that of wheat, affords subsistence for a numerous
and dense population. Rice arrives at maturity to a great extent in the
marshy districts; and an incomparable system of irrigation, diffused
over the whole, conveys the waters of the Alps to every field, and in
some places to every ridge, in the grass lands. It is in these rich
meadows, stretching round Lodi, and from thence to Verona, that the
celebrated Parmesan cheese, known over all Europe for the richness of
its flavour, is made. The vine and the olive thrive in the sunny slopes
which ascend from the plain to the ridges of the Alps; and a woody zone
of never-failing beauty lies between the desolation of the mountain and
the fertility of the plain."


Such is his language concerning the cultivation at present bestowed upon
the great plain of Italy; but after all it is for the third or
mountainous region of the country, where art has to supply the
deficiencies of nature, that he reserves his enthusiastic praises. After
speaking of what nature really does for it in the way of vegetation and
fruits, he continues: "An admirable terrace-cultivation, where art and
industry have combined to overcome the obstacles of nature, has
everywhere converted the slopes, naturally sterile and arid, into a
succession of gardens, loaded with the choicest vegetable productions. A
delicious climate there brings the finest fruits to maturity; the grapes
hang in festoons from tree to tree; the song of the nightingale is heard
in every grove; all nature seems to rejoice in the paradise which the
industry of man has created. To this incomparable system of
horticulture, which appears to have been unknown to the ancient Romans,
and to have been introduced into Europe by the warriors who returned
from the Crusades, the riches and smiling aspect of Tuscany and the
mountain-region of Italy are chiefly to be ascribed; for nothing can be
more desolate by nature than the waterless declivities, in general
almost destitute of soil, on which it has been formed. The earth
required to be brought in from a distance, retaining walls erected, the
steep slopes converted into a series of gentle inclinations, the
mountain-torrent diverted or restrained, and the means of artificial
irrigation, to sustain nature during the long droughts of summer,
obtained. By the incessant labour of centuries this prodigy has been
completed, and the very stony sterility of nature converted into the
means of heightening, by artificial means, the heat of summer.... No
room is lost in these little but precious freeholds; the vine extends
its tendrils along the terrace walls ... in the corners formed by their
meeting, a little sheltered nook is found, where fig-trees are planted,
which ripen delicious fruit under their protection. The owner takes
advantage of every vacant space to raise melons and vegetables. Olives
shelter it from the rains; so that, within the compass of a very small
garden, he obtains olives, figs, grapes, pomegranates, and melons. Such
is the return which nature yields under this admirable system of
management, that half the crop of seven acres is sufficient in general
for the maintenance of a family of five persons, and the whole produce
supports them all in rustic affluence. Italy, in this delightful region,
still realizes the glowing description of her classic historian three
hundred years ago."

The author I have quoted goes on next to observe that this diligent
cultivation of the rock accounts for what at first sight is
inexplicable, viz., the vast population, which is found, not merely in
the valleys, but over the greater part of the ridges of the Apennines,
and the endless succession of villages and hamlets which are perched on
the edge or summit of rocks, often, to appearance, scarcely accessible
to human approach. He adds that the labour never ends, for, if a place
goes out of repair, the violence of the rain will soon destroy it.
"Stones and torrents wash down the soil; the terraces are broken
through; the heavy rains bring down a shapeless mass of ruins;
everything returns rapidly to its former state." Thus it is that parts
of Palestine at present exhibit such desolate features to the traveller,
who wonders how it ever could have been the rich land described in
Scripture; till he finds that it was this sort of cultivation which made
it what it was, that this it was the Crusaders probably saw and imported
into Europe, and this that the ruthless Turks in great measure laid

Lastly, he speaks of the population of Italy; as to the towns, it has
declined on account of the new channels of commerce which nautical
discovery has opened, to the prejudice of the marts and ports of the
middle ages. In spite of this, however, he says, "that the provinces
have increased both in riches and inhabitants, and the population of
Italy was never, either in the days of the Emperors, or of the modern
Republics, so considerable as it is at the present moment. In the days
of Napoleon, it gave 1,237 to the square marine league, a density
greater than that of either France or England at that period. This
populousness of Italy," he adds, "is to be explained by the direction of
its capital to agricultural investment, and the increasing industry with
which, during a long course of centuries, its inhabitants have overcome
the sterility of nature."

Such is the contrast between Italy under its present governments and
Asia Minor under the Turks; and can we doubt at all, that, if the Turks
had conquered Italy, they would have caused the labours of the
agriculturist and the farmer to cease, and have reduced it to the level
of their present dominions?


[48] Vid. a beautiful passage in Cardinal Wiseman's late lecture at

[49] Vid. Murray's Asia.

[50] Sir Charles Fellows.

[51] Vid. Smith and Dwight's Travels.

[52] Eclectic Review, Dec., 1839.

[53] Gibbon.

[54] Alison on Population, vol. i. p. 309, etc.

[55] Vol. i., p. 66, note.

[56] Alison, ch. xx., § 28.


_The Pope and the Turk._


And now, having dwelt upon the broad contrast which exists between
Christendom and Turkey, I proceed to give you some general idea of the
Ottoman Turks, who are at present in power, as I have already sketched
the history of the Seljukian. We left off with the Crusaders victorious
in the Holy Land, and the Seljukian Sultan, the cousin of Malek Shah,
driven back from his capital over against Constantinople, to an obscure
town on the Cilician border of Asia Minor. This is that Sultan Soliman,
who plays so conspicuous a part in Tasso's celebrated Poem of "Jerusalem

  That Solyman, than whom there was not any
    Of all God's foes more rebel an offender;
  Nay, nor a giant such, among the many
    Whom earth once bore, and might again engender;
  The Turkish Prince, who first the Greeks expelling,
  Fixed at Nicæa his imperial dwelling.

  And then he made his infidel advances
    From Phrygian Sangar to Meander's river;
  Lydia and Mysia, humbled in war's chances,
    Bithynia, Pontus, hymned the Arch-deceiver;
  But when to Asia passed the Christian lances,
    To battle with the Turk and misbeliever,
  He, in two fields, encountered two disasters,
  And so he fled, and the vexed land changed masters.

Two centuries of military effort followed, and then the contest seemed
over; the barbarians of the North destroyed, and Europe free. It seemed
as though the Turks had come to their end and were dying out, as the
Saracens had died out before them, when suddenly, when the breath of the
last Seljukian Sultan was flitting at Iconium, and the Crusaders had
broken their last lance for the Holy Sepulchre, on the 27th of July,
1301, the rule and dynasty of the Ottomans rose up from his death-bed.


Othman, the founder of the line and people, who take from him the name
of Ottoman or Osmanli, was the grandson of a nomad Turk, or Turcoman,
who, descending from the North by Sogdiana and the Oxus, took the
prescriptive course (as I may call it) towards social and political
improvement. His son, Othman's father, came into the service of the last
Sultan of the Seljukian line, and governed for fifty-two years a horde
of 400 families. That line of sovereigns had been for a time in alliance
with the Greek Emperors; but Othman inherited the fanaticism of the
desert, and, when he succeeded to his father's power, he proclaimed a
gazi, or holy war, against the professors of Christianity. Suddenly,
like some beast of prey, he managed to leap the mountain heights which
separated the Greek Province from the Mahomedan conquests, and he
pitched himself in Broussa, in Bithynia, which remained from that time
the Turkish capital, till it was exchanged for Adrianople and
Constantinople. This was the beginning of a long series of
conquests lasting about 270 years, till the Ottomans became one of the
first, if not the first power, not only of Asia, but of the world.

These conquests were achieved during the reigns of ten great Sultans,
the average length of whose reigns is as much as twenty-six years, an
unusual period for military sovereigns, and both an evidence of the
stability, and a means of the extension, of their power. Then came the
period of their decline, and we are led on through the space of another
270 years, up to our own day, when they seem on the verge of some great
reverse or overthrow. In this second period they have had as many as
twenty-one Sultans, whose average reigns are only half the length of
those who preceded them, and afford as cogent an argument of their
national disorder and demoralization. Of these twenty-one, five have
been strangled, three have been deposed, and three have died of excess;
of the remaining ten, four only have attained the age of man, and these
come together in the course of the last century; two others have died
about the age of thirty, and three about the age of fifty. The last, the
thirty-first from Othman, is the present Sultan, who came to the throne
as a boy, and is described at that time by an English traveller, as one
of the most "sickly, pale, inanimate, and unmanly youths he ever
saw,"[57] and who has this very year just reached the average length of
the reign of his twenty predecessors.

The names of the Ottoman Sultans are more familiar to us and more easy
to recollect than other Oriental sovereigns, partly from their greater
euphony as Europeans read them, partly from their recurrence again and
again in the catalogue. There are four Mahomets, four Mustaphas, four
Amuraths or Murads, three Selims, three Achmets, three Othmans, two
Mahmoods, two Solimans, and two Bajazets.[58]

I have already described Othman, the founder of the line, as a soldier
of fortune in the Seljukian service; and, in spite of the civilizing
influences of the country, the people, and the religion, to which he had
attached himself, he had not as yet laid aside the habits of his
ancestors, but was half shepherd, half freebooter. Nor is it likely that
any of his countrymen would be anything else, as long as they were still
in war and in subordinate posts. Peace must precede the enjoyment, and
power the arts of government; and the very readiness with which his
followers left their nomad life, as soon as they had the opportunity,
shows that the means of civilization which they had enjoyed, had not
been thrown away on them. The soldiers of Zingis, when laden with booty,
and not till then, cried out to be led back, and would fight no more;
Tamerlane, at the end of fifty years, began to be a magnificent king. In
like manner, Othman observed the life of a Turcoman, till he became a
conqueror; but, as soon as he had crossed Mount Olympus, and found
himself in the Greek territory as a master, he was both willing and able
to accommodate himself to a pomp and luxury to which a mere Turcoman was
unequal. He bade adieu to his fastnesses in the heights, and he began to
fortify the towns and castles which he had heretofore pillaged. Conquest
and civilization went hand in hand; his successor, Orchan, selected a
capital, which he ornamented with a mosque, a hospital, a mint, and a
college; he introduced professors of the sciences, and, what was as
great a departure from Tartar habits, he raised a force of infantry,
among his captives (in anticipation of the Janizaries, formed soon
after), and he furnished himself with a train of battering engines. More
strange still, he gained the Greek Emperor's daughter in marriage, a
Christian princess; and lastly, he crossed over into Europe under cover
of friendship to the court of Constantinople, and possessed himself of
Gallipoli, the key of the Hellespont. His successors gained first
Roumelia, that is, the country round Constantinople, as far as the
Balkan, with Adrianople for a capital; then they successively swept over
Moldavia, Servia, Bulgaria, Greece, and the Morea. Then they gained a
portion of Hungary; then they took Constantinople, just 400 years ago
this very year. Meanwhile they had extended their empire into Syria,
Egypt, and along the coast of Africa. And thus at length they more than
half encompassed the Mediterranean, from the straits of Gibraltar to the
Gulf of Venice, and reigned in three quarters of the world.


Now you may ask me, what were Christians doing in Europe all this while?
What was the Holy Father about at Rome, if he did not turn his eyes, as
heretofore, on the suffering state of his Asiatic provinces, and oppose
some rampart to the advance of the enemy upon Constantinople? and how
has he been the enduring enemy of the Turk, if he acquiesced in the
Turk's long course of victories? Alas! he often looked towards the East,
and often raised the alarm, and often, as I have said, attempted by
means of the powers of Christendom, what his mission did not give him
arms to do himself. But he was impeded and embarrassed by so many and
such various difficulties, that, if I proposed to go through them, I
should find myself engaged in a history of Europe during those
centuries. I will suggest some of them, though I can do no more.

1. First of all, then, I observe generally, that the Pope, in attempting
to save Constantinople and its Empire, was attempting to save a
fanatical people, who had for ages set themselves against the Holy See
and the Latin world, and who had for centuries been under a sentence of
excommunication. They hated and feared the Catholics, as much as they
hated and feared the Turks, and they contemned them too, for their
comparative rudeness and ignorance of literature; and this hatred and
fear and contempt were grafted on a cowardly, crafty, insincere, and
fickle character of mind, for which they had been notorious from time
immemorial. It was impossible to save them without their own cordial
coöperation; it was impossible to save them in spite of themselves.

These odious traits and dispositions had, in the course of the two
hundred years during which the Crusades lasted, borne abundant fruits
and exhibited themselves in results intolerable to the warlike
multitudes who had come to their assistance. For two hundred years "each
spring and summer had produced a new emigration of pilgrim warriors for
the defence of the Holy Land;"[59] and what had been the effect upon the
Greeks of such prodigality of succour? what satisfaction, what gratitude
had they shown for an undertaking on the part of the West, which ought
properly to have been their own, and which the West commenced, because
the East asked it? When the celebrated Peter the Hermit was in
Constantinople, he would have addressed himself first of all to its
imperial master; and not till the Patriarch of the day showed the
hopelessness of seeking help from a vicious and imbecile court, did he
cry out: "I will rouse the nations of Europe in your cause." The
Emperors sought help themselves instead of lending it. Again and again,
in the course of the Holy Wars, did they selfishly betake themselves to
the European capitals; and they made their gain of the successes of the
Crusaders, as far as they had opportunity, as the jackal follows the
lion; but from the very first, their pride was wounded, and their
cowardice alarmed, at the sight of their protectors in their city and
provinces, and they took every means to weaken and annoy the very men
whom they had invited. In the great council of Placentia, summoned by
Urban the Second, before the Crusades were yet begun, in the presence of
200 Latin Bishops, 4,000 inferior clergy, and 30,000 laity, the
ambassadors of the Greek Emperor had been introduced, and they pleaded
the distress of their sovereign and the danger of their city, which the
misbelievers already were threatening.[60] They insisted on its being
the policy of the Latin princes to repel the barbarian in Asia rather
than when he was in the heart of Europe, and drew such a picture of
their own miseries, that the vast assembly burst into tears, and
dismissed them with the assurance of their most zealous coöperation.

Yet what, I say, was the reception which the cowardly suppliants had
given to their avengers and protectors? From the very first, they threw
difficulties in the way of their undertaking. When the heroic Godfrey
and his companions in arms arrived in the neighbourhood of
Constantinople, they found themselves all but betrayed into a dangerous
position, where they might either have been starved, or been easily
attacked. When at length they had crossed over into Asia, the Crusaders
found themselves without the means of sustenance. They had bargained for
a fair market in the Greek territories; but the Imperial Court allowed
the cities which they passed by to close their gates upon them, to let
down to them from the wall an insufficient supply of food, to mix
poisonous ingredients in their bread, to give them base coin, to break
down the bridges before them, and to fortify the passes, and to mislead
them by their guides, to give information of their movements to the
Turk, to pillage and murder the stragglers, and to hang up their dead
bodies on gibbets along the highway. The Greek clergy preached against
them as heretics and schismatics and dogs; the Patriarch and the Bishops
spoke of their extermination as a merit, and their priests washed and
purified the altars where the Latin priests had said mass. Nay, the
Emperors formed a secret alliance with Turks and Saracens against them,
and the price at which they obtained it, was the permission of erecting
a mosque in Constantinople.

As time went on, they did not stop even here. A number of Latin
merchants had settled at Constantinople, as our own merchants now are
planted all over the cities of the Continent. The Greek populace rose
against them; and the Emperor did not scruple to send his own troops to
aid the rioters. The Latins were slaughtered in their own homes and in
the streets; their clergy were burned in the churches, their sick in the
hospitals, and their whole quarter reduced to ashes; nay, 4,000 of the
survivors were sold into perpetual slavery to the Turks. They cut off
the head of the Cardinal Legate, and tied it to the tail of a dog, and
then chanted a _Te Deum_. What could be said to such a people? What
could be made of them? The Turks might be a more powerful and energetic,
but could not be a more virulent, a more unscrupulous foe. It did not
seem to matter much to the Latin whether Turk or Greek was lord of
Constantinople; and the Greek justified the indifference of the Latin by
declaring that he would rather have the Turban in Constantinople than
the Tiara.

2. It is the nature of crime to perpetuate itself, and the atrocities of
the Greeks brought about a retaliation from the Latins. Twenty years
after the events I have been relating, the Crusading hosts turned their
arms against the Greeks, and besieged and gained possession of
Constantinople; and, though their excesses seem to have been inferior to
those which provoked them, it is not to be supposed that a city could be
taken by a rude and angry multitude, without the occurrence of
innumerable outrages. It was pillaged and disfigured; and the Pope had
to publish an indignant protest against the work of his own adherents
and followers. He might well be alarmed and distressed, not only for the
crime itself, but for its bearing on the general course of the Crusades;
for, if it was difficult under any circumstances to keep the Greeks in a
right course, it was doubly difficult, when they had been injured, even
though they were the original offenders.


3. But there were other causes, still less satisfactory than those I
have mentioned, tending to nullify all the Pope's efforts to make head
against the barbarian power. I have said that the period of the Ottoman
growth was about 270 years; and this period, viz., the fourteenth and
fifteenth and first half of the sixteenth centuries, was the most
disastrous and melancholy in the internal history of the Church of any
that can be named. It was that miserable period, which directly prepared
the way for Protestantism. The resistance to the Pope's authority, on
the part of the states of Europe generally, is pretty nearly coincident
with the rise of the Ottomans. Heresy followed; in the middle of the
fourteenth century, the teaching of Wickliffe gained ground in England;
Huss and others followed on the Continent; and they were succeeded by
Luther. That energy of Popes, those intercessions of holy men, which
hitherto had found matter in the affairs of the East, now found a more
urgent incentive in the troubles which were taking place at home.

4. The increase of national prosperity and strength, to which the
alienation of kings and states from the Holy See must be ascribed, in
various ways indisposed them to the continuance of the war against the
misbelievers. Rulers and people, who were increasing in wealth, did not
like to spend their substance on objects both distant and spiritual.
Wealth is a present good, and has a tendency to fix the mind on the
visible and tangible, to the prejudice of both faith and secular policy.
The rich and happy will not go to war, if they can help it; and trade,
of course, does not care for the religious tenets of those who offer to
enter into relations with it, whether of interchange or of purchase. Nor
was this all; when nations began to know their own strength, they had a
tendency to be jealous of each other, as well as to be indifferent to
the interests of religion; and the two most valiant nations of Europe,
France and England, gave up the Holy Wars, only to go to war one with
another. As in the twelfth century, we read of Coeur de Lion in
Palestine, and in the thirteenth, of St. Louis in Egypt, so in the
fourteenth do we read the sad tale of Poitiers and Cressy, and in the
fifteenth of Agincourt. People are apt to ask what good came of the
prowess shown at Ascalon or Damietta; forgetting that they should rather
ask themselves what good came of the conquests of our Edwards and
Henries, of which they are so proud. If Richard's prowess ended in his
imprisonment in Germany, and St. Louis died in Africa, yet there is
another history which ends as ingloriously in the Maid of Orleans, and
the expulsion of tyrants from a soil they had usurped. In vain did the
Popes attempt to turn the restless destructiveness of the European
commonwealth into a safer channel. In vain did the Legates of the Holy
See interpose between Edward of England and the French king; in their
very presence was a French town delivered over by the English conqueror
to a three days' pillage.[61] In vain did one Pope take a vow of
never-dying hostility to the Turks; in vain did another, close upon his
end, repair to the fleet, that "he might, like Moses, raise his hands to
God during the battle;"[62] Christian was to war with Christian, not
with infidel.

The suppliant Greek Emperor in one of his begging missions, as they may
be called, came to England: it was in the reign of Henry the Fourth, but
Henry could do nothing for him. He had usurped the English Crown, and
could not afford to rescue the Holy Sepulchre, with so precarious a
position at home. However, he was under some kind of promise to take the
Cross, which is signified in the popular story, that he had expected to
die at Jerusalem, whereas he died in his palace at Westminster instead,
in the Jerusalem chamber. It is said, too, that he was actually
meditating a Crusade, and had ordered galleys to be prepared, when he
came to his end.[63] His son, Henry the Fifth, crossed the Channel to
conquer France, just at the very, the only time, when the Ottoman
reverses gave a fair hope of the success of Christendom. When premature
death overtook him, and he had but two hours to live,[64] he ordered his
confessor to recite the Seven Penitential Psalms; and, when the verse
was read about building the walls of Jerusalem, the word caught his ear;
he stopped the reader, and observed that he had proposed to conquer
Jerusalem, and to have rebuilt it, had God granted him life. Indeed, he
had already sent a knight to take a survey of the towns and country of
Syria, which is still extant. Alas, that good intentions should only
become strong in moments of sickness or of death!

A like necessary or unnecessary attention, as the case might be, to
national concerns and private interests, prevailed all over Europe. In
the same century[65] Charles the Seventh of France forbade the preaching
of a Crusade in his dominions, lest it should lay him open to the
attacks of the English. Alfonso of Portugal promised to join in a Holy
War, and retracted. Alfonso of Arragon and Sicily took the Cross, and
used the men and money raised for its objects in a war against the
Genoese. The Bohemians would not fight, unless they were paid; and the
Germans affected or felt a fear that the Pope would apply the sums they
contributed for some other purpose.

5. Alas! more must be said; it seldom happens that the people go wrong,
without the rulers being somewhere in fault, nor is the portion of
history to which I am referring an exception. It must be confessed that,
at the very time the Turks were making progress, the Christian world was
in a more melancholy state than it had ever been either before or since.
The sins of nations were accumulating that heavy judgment which fell
upon them in the Ottoman conquests and the Reformation. There were great
scandals among Bishops and Priests, as well as heresy and
insubordination. As to the Pontiffs who filled the Holy See during that
period, I will say no more than this, that it did not please the good
Providence of God to raise up for His Church such heroic men as St.
Leo, of the fifth, and St. Gregory, of the eleventh century. For a time
the Popes removed from Italy to France; then, when they returned to
Rome, there was a schism in the Papacy for nearly forty years, during
which time the populations of Europe were perplexed to find the real
successor of St. Peter, or even took the pretended Pope for the true


Such was the condition of Christendom, thus destitute of resources, thus
weakened by internal quarrels, thus bribed and retained (so to speak) by
the temptations of the world, at the very time when the Ottomans were
pressing on its outposts. One moment occurred, and just one, in their
history, when they might have been resisted with success. You will
recollect that the Seljukians were broken, not simply by the Crusaders,
but also, though not so early, by the terrible Zingis. What Zingis was
to the Seljukians, such, and more than such, was Timour to the Ottomans.
It was in their full career of victory, and when everything seemed in
their power, when they had gained the whole province of Roumelia, which
is round about Constantinople, that a terrible reverse befell them. The
Sultan then on the throne was Bajazet, surnamed Ilderim, or the
Lightning, from the rapidity of his movements. He had extended his
empire, or his sensible influence, from the Carpathians to the
Euphrates; he had destroyed the remains of rival dynasties in Asia
Minor, had carried his arms down to the Morea, and utterly routed an
allied Christian army in Hungary. Elated with these successes, he put no
bounds to his pride and ambition. He vaunted that he would subdue, not
Hungary only, but Germany and Italy besides; and that he would feed his
horse with a bushel of oats on the altar of St. Peter's, at Rome. The
Apostle heard the blasphemy; and this mighty conqueror was not suffered
to leave this world for his eternal habitation without Divine infliction
in evidence that He who made him, could unmake him at His will. The
Disposer of all things sent against him the fierce Timour, of whom I
have already said so much. One would have thought the two conquerors
could not possibly have come into collision--Timour, the Lord of Persia,
Khorasan, Sogdiana, and Hindostan, and Bajazet, the Sultan of Syria,
Asia Minor, and Greece. They were both Mahomedans; they might have
turned their backs on each other, if they were jealous of each other,
and might have divided the world between them. Bajazet might have gone
forward towards Germany and Italy, and Timour might have stretched his
conquests into China.

But ambition is a spirit of envy as well as of covetousness; neither of
them could brook a rival greatness. Timour was on the Ganges, and
Bajazet was besieging Constantinople, when they interchanged the words
of hatred and defiance. Timour called Bajazet a pismire, whom he would
crush with his elephants; and Bajazet retaliated with a worse insult on
Timour, by promising that he would capture his retinue of wives. The
foes met at Angora in Asia Minor; Bajazet was defeated and captured in
the battle, and Timour secured him in an iron-barred apartment or cage,
which, according to Tartar custom, was on wheels, and he carried him
about, as some wild beast, on his march through Asia. Can imagination
invent a more intolerable punishment upon pride? is it not wonderful
that the victim of it was able to live as many as nine months under such
a visitation?

This was at the beginning of the fifteenth century, shortly before young
Harry of Monmouth, the idol of English poetry and loyalty, crossed the
sea to kill the French at Agincourt; and an opportunity was offered to
Christendom to destroy an enemy, who never before or since has been in
such extremity of peril. For fourteen years a state of interregnum, or
civil war, lasted in the Ottoman empire; and the capture of
Constantinople, which was imminent at the time of Bajazet's downfall,
was anyhow delayed for full fifty years. Had a crusade been attempted
with the matured experience and subdued enthusiasm, which the trials of
three hundred years had given to the European nations, the Ottomans,
according to all human probability, would have perished, as the
Seljukians before them. But, in the inscrutable decree of Heaven, no
such attempt was made; one attempt indeed was made too soon, and a
second attempt was made too late, but none at the time.

1. The first of these two was set on foot when Bajazet was in the full
tide of his victories; and he was able, not only to defeat it, but, by
defeating, to damp the hopes, and by anticipation, to stifle the
efforts, which might have been used against him with better effect in
the day of his reverses. In the year 1394, eight years before Bajazet's
misfortunes, Pope Boniface the Ninth proclaimed a Crusade, with ample
indulgences for those who engaged in it, to the countries which were
especially open to the Ottoman attack. In his Bull, he bewails the sins
of Christendom, which had brought upon them that scourge which was the
occasion of his invitation. He speaks of the massacres, the tortures,
and slavery which had been inflicted on multitudes of the faithful. "The
mind is horrified," he says, "at the very mention of these miseries; but
it crowns our anguish to reflect, that the whole of Christendom, which,
if in concord, might put an end to these and even greater evils, is
either in open war, country with country, or, if in apparent peace, is
secretly wasted by mutual jealousies and animosities."[66]

The Pontiff's voice, aided by the imminent peril of Hungary and its
neighbouring kingdoms, was successful. Not only from Germany, but even
from France, the bravest knights, each a fortress in himself, or a
man-of-war on land (as he may be called), came forward in answer to his
call, and boasted that, even were the sky to fall, they would uphold its
canopy upon the points of their lances. They formed the flower of the
army of 100,000 men, who rallied round the King of Hungary in the great
battle of Nicopolis. The Turk was victorious; the greater part of the
Christian army were slain or driven into the Danube; and a part of the
French chivalry of the highest rank were made prisoners. Among these
were the son of the Duke of Burgundy; the Sire de Coucy, who had great
possessions in France and England; the Marshal of France (Boucicault),
who afterwards fell on the field of Agincourt; and four French princes
of the blood. Bajazet spared twenty-five of his noblest prisoners, whom
their wealth and station made it politic to except; then, summoning the
rest before his throne, he offered them the famous choice of the Koran
or the sword. As they came up one by one, they one by one professed
their faith in Christ, and were beheaded in the Sultan's presence. His
royal and noble captives he carried about with him in his march through
Europe and Asia, as he himself was soon to grace the retinue of Timour.
Two of the most illustrious of them died in prison in Asia. As to the
rest, he exacted a heavy ransom from them; but, before he sent them
away, he gave them a grand entertainment, which displayed both the
barbarism and the magnificence of the Asiatic. He exhibited before them
his hunting and hawking equipage, amounting to seven thousand huntsmen
and as many falconers; and, when one of his chamberlains was accused
before him of drinking a poor woman's goat's milk, he literally
fulfilled the "castigat auditque" of the poet, by having the unhappy man
ripped open, in order to find in his inside the evidence of the charge.

Such was the disastrous issue of the battle of Nicopolis; nor is it
wonderful that it should damp the zeal of the Christians and weaken the
influence of the Pope, for a long time to come; anyhow, it had this
effect till the critical moment of the Turkish misfortunes was over, and
the race of Othman was recovering itself after the captivity and death
of its Sultan. "Whereas the Turks might have been expelled from Greece
on the loss of their Sultan," says Rainaldus, "Christians, torn to
pieces by their quarrels and by schism, lost a fit and sufficient
opportunity. Whence it followed, that the wound inflicted upon the beast
was not unto death, but he revived more ferocious for the devouring of
the faithful."

2. However, Christendom made a second attempt still, but when it was too
late. The grandson of Bajazet was then on the throne, one of the ablest
of the Sultans; and, though the allied Christian army had considerable
success against him at first, in vain was the bravery of Hunniades, and
the preaching of St. John Capistran: the Turk managed to negotiate with
its leaders, to put them in the wrong, to charge them with perjury, and
then to beat them in the fatal battle of Varna, in which the King of
Hungary and Poland and the Pope's Legate were killed, with 10,000 men.
In vain after this was any attempt to make head against the enemy; in
vain did Pope after Pope raise his warning voice and point to the
judgment which hung over Christendom; Constantinople fell.


Thus things did but go on worse and worse for the interest of
Christendom. Even the taking of Constantinople was not the limit of the
Ottoman successes. Mahomet the Conqueror, as he is called, was but the
seventh of the great Sultans, who carried on the fortunes of the
barbarian empire. An eighth, a ninth followed. The ninth, Selim,
returned from his Eastern conquests with the last of the Caliphs in his
company, and made him resign to himself the prerogatives of Pontiff and
Lawgiver, which the Caliph inherited from Mahomet. Then came a tenth,
the greatest perhaps of all, Soliman the Magnificent, the contemporary
of the Emperor Charles, Francis the First of France, and Henry the
Eighth of England. And an eleventh might have been expected, and a
twelfth, and the power of the enemy would have become greater and
greater, and would have afflicted the Church more and more heavily; and
what was to be the end of these things? What was to be the end? why, not
a Christian only, but any philosopher of this world would have known
what was to be the end, in spite of existing appearances. All earthly
power has an end; it rises to fall, it grows to die; and the depth of
its humiliation issues out of the pride of its lifting up. This is what
even a philosopher would say; he would not know whether Soliman, the
tenth conqueror, was also to be the last; but if not the tenth, he would
be bold to say it would be the twelfth, who would close their victories,
or the fifteenth, or the twentieth. But what a philosopher could not
say, what a Christian knows and enjoys, is this, that one earthly power
there is which is something more than earthly, and which, while it dies
in the individual, for he is human, is immortal in its succession, for
it is divine.

It was a remarkable question addressed by the savage Tartars of Zingis
to the missionaries whom the Pope sent them in the thirteenth century:
"Who was the Pope?" they asked; "was he not an old man, five hundred
years of age?"[67] It was their one instinctive notion of the religion
of the West; and the Turks in their own history have often had cause to
lament over its truth. Togrul Beg first looked towards the West, in the
year 1048; twenty years later, between the years 1068 and 1074,[68] his
successor, Malek Shah, attracted the attention of the great St. Gregory
the Seventh. Time went on; they were thrown back by the impetuosity of
the Crusaders; they returned to the attack. Fresh and fresh multitudes
poured down from Turkistan; the furious deluge of the Tartars under
Zingis spread itself and disappeared; the Turks sunk in it, but emerged;
the race seemed indestructible; then Othman began a new career of
victory, as if there had never been an old one, and founded an empire,
more stable, more coherent than any Turkish rule before it. Then
followed Sultan after Sultan, each greater than his predecessor, while
the line of Popes had indeed many bright names to show, Pontiffs of
learning, and of piety, and of genius, and of zeal and energy; but still
where was the destined champion of Christendom, the holy, the
inflexible, the lion-hearted, the successor of St. Gregory, who in a
luxurious and a self-willed age, among his other high duties and
achievements, had the mission, by his prayers and by his efforts, of
stopping the enemy in his full career, and of rescuing Catholicism from
the pollution of the blasphemer? The five hundred years were not yet

But the five hundred years at length were run out; the long-expected
champion was at hand. He appeared at the very time when the Ottoman
crescent had passed its zenith and was beginning to descend the sky. The
Turkish successes began in the middle of the eleventh century; they
ended in the middle of the sixteenth; in the middle of the sixteenth
century, just five hundred years after St. Gregory and Malek Shah, Selim
the Sot came to the throne of Othman, and St. Pius the Fifth to the
throne of the Apostle; Pius became Pope in 1566, and Selim became Sultan
in that very same year.

O what a strange contrast, Gentlemen, did Rome and Constantinople
present at that era! Neither was what it had been, but they had changed
in opposite directions. Both had been the seat of Imperial Power; Rome,
where heresy never throve, had exchanged its Emperors for the succession
of St. Peter and St. Paul; Constantinople had passed from secular
supremacy into schism, and thence into a blasphemous apostasy. The
unhappy city, which with its subject provinces had been successively the
seat of Arianism, of Nestorianism, of Photianism, now had become the
metropolis of the false Prophet; and, while in the West the great
edifice of the Vatican Basilica was rising anew in its wonderful
proportions and its costly materials, the Temple of St. Sophia in the
East was degraded into a Mosque! O the strange contrast in the state of
the inhabitants of each place! Here in the city of Constantine a
God-denying misbelief was accompanied by an impure, man-degrading rule
of life, by the slavery of woman, and the corruption of youth. But
there, in the city which Apostles had consecrated with their blood, the
great and true reformation of the age was in full progress. There the
determinations in doctrine and discipline of the great Council of Trent
had lately been promulgated. There for twenty years past had laboured
our own dear saint, St. Philip, till he earned the title of Apostle of
Rome, and yet had still nearly thirty years of life and work in him.
There, too, the romantic royal-minded saint, Ignatius Loyola, had but
lately died. And there, when the Holy See fell vacant, and a Pope had to
be appointed in the great need of the Church, a saint was present in the
conclave to find in it a brother saint, and to recommend him for the
Chair of St. Peter, to the suffrages of the Fathers and Princes of the


St Carlo Borromeo,[69] the Cardinal Archbishop of Milan, was the nephew
of the Pope who was just dead, and though he was only twenty-five years
of age at the time, nevertheless, by the various influences arising out
of the position which he held, and from the weight attached to his
personal character, he might be considered to sway the votes of the
College of Cardinals, and to determine the election of a new Pontiff. It
is remarkable that Cardinal Alessandrino, as St. Pius was then called,
(from Alexandria, in North Italy, near which he was born,) was not the
first object of his choice. His eyes were first turned on Cardinal
Morone, who was in many respects the most illustrious of the Sacred
College, and had served the Church on various occasions with great
devotion, and with distinguished success. From his youth he had been
reared up in public affairs, he had held many public offices, he had
great influence with the German Emperor, he had been Apostolical Legate
at the Council of Trent. He had great virtue, judgment, experience, and
sagacity. Such, then, was the choice of St. Carlo, and the votes were
taken; but it seemed otherwise to the Holy Ghost. He wanted four to
make up the sufficient number of votes. St. Carlo had to begin again;
and again, strange to say, the Cardinal Alessandrino still was not his
choice. He chose Cardinal Sirleto, a man most opposite in character and
history to Morone. He was not nobly born, he was no man of the world, he
had ever been urgent with the late Pope not to make him Cardinal. He was
a first-rate scholar in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin; versed in the
Scriptures, ready as a theologian. Moreover, he was of a character most
unblemished, of most innocent life, and of manners most popular and
winning. St. Pius as well as St. Carlo advocated the cause of Cardinal
Sirleto, and the votes were given a second time; a second time they came
short. It was like holy Samuel choosing Eliab instead of David. Then
matters were in confusion; one name and another were mentioned, and no
progress was made.

At length and at last, and not till all others were thought of who could
enter into the minds of the electors, the Cardinal Alessandrino himself
began to attract attention. He seems not to have been known to the
Fathers of the conclave in general; a Dominican Friar, of humble rank,
ever taken up in the duties of his rule and his special employments,
living in his cell, knowing little or nothing of mankind--such a one St.
Carlo, the son of a prince and the nephew of a Pope, had no means of
knowing; and the intimacy, consequent on their coöperation in behalf of
Cardinal Sirleto, was the first real introduction which the one Saint
had to the other. It was just at this moment that our own St. Philip was
in his small room at St. Girolamo, with Marcello Ferro, one of his
spiritual children, when, lifting up his eyes to heaven, and going
almost into an ecstasy, he said: "The Pope will be elected on Monday."
On one of the following days, as they were walking together, Marcello
asked him who was to be Pope. Philip answered, "Come, I will tell you;
the Pope will be one whom you have never thought of, and whom no one has
spoken of as likely; and that is Cardinal Alessandrino; and he will be
elected on Monday evening without fail." The event accomplished the
prediction; the statesman and the man of the world, the accomplished and
exemplary and amiable scholar, were put aside to make way for the Saint.
He took the name of Pius.

I am far from denying that St. Pius was stern and severe, as far as a
heart burning within and melting with the fulness of divine love could
be so; and this was the reason that the conclave was so slow in electing
him. Yet such energy and vigour as his was necessary for his times. He
was emphatically a soldier of Christ in a time of insurrection and
rebellion, when, in a spiritual sense, martial law was proclaimed. St.
Philip, a private priest, might follow his bent, in casting his net for
souls, as he expressed himself, and enticing them to the truth; but the
Vicar of Christ had to right and to steer the vessel, when it was in
rough waters, and among breakers. A Protestant historian on this point
does justice to him. "When Pope," he says, "he lived in all the
austerity of his monastic life, fasted with the utmost rigour and
punctuality, would wear no finer garments than before ... arose at an
extremely early hour in the morning, and took no _siesta_. If we doubted
the depth of his religious earnestness, we may find a proof of it in his
declaration, that the Papacy was unfavourable to his advance in piety;
that it did not contribute to his salvation and to his attainment of
Paradise; and that, but for prayer, the burden had been too heavy for
him. The happiness of a fervent devotion, which often moved him to
tears, was granted him to the end of his life. The people were excited
to enthusiasm, when they saw him walking in procession, barefooted and
bareheaded, with the expression of unaffected piety in his countenance,
and with his long snow-white beard falling on his breast. They thought
there had never been so pious a Pope; they told each other how his very
look had converted heretics. Pius was kind, too, and affable; his
intercourse with his old servants was of the most confidential kind. At
a former period, before he was Pope, the Count della Trinità had
threatened to have him thrown into a well, and he had replied, that it
must be as God pleased. How beautiful was his greeting to this same
Count, who was now sent as ambassador to his court! 'See,' said he, when
he recognized him, 'how God preserves the innocent.' This was the only
way in which he made him feel that he recollected his enmity. He had
ever been most charitable and bounteous; he kept a list of the poor of
Rome, whom he regularly assisted according to their station and their
wants." The writer, after proceeding to condemn what he considers his
severity, ends thus: "It is certain that his deportment and mode of
thinking exercised an incalculable influence on his contemporaries, and
on the general development of the Church of which he was the head. After
so many circumstances had concurred to excite and foster a religious
spirit, after so many resolutions and measures had been taken to exalt
it to universal dominion, a Pope like this was needed, not only to
proclaim it to the world, but also to reduce it to practice; his zeal
and his example combined produced the most powerful effect."[70]


It is not to be supposed that a Saint on whom lay the "solicitude of
all the churches," should neglect the tradition, which his predecessors
of so many centuries had bequeathed to him, of zeal and hostility
against the Turkish power. He was only six years on the Pontifical
throne; and the achievement of which I am going to speak was among his
last; he died the following year. At this time the Ottoman armies were
continuing their course of victory; they had just taken Cyprus, with the
active coöperation of the Greek population of the island, and were
massacring the Latin nobility and clergy, and mutilating and flaying
alive the Venetian governor. Yet the Saint found it impossible to move
Christendom to its own defence. How, indeed, was that to be done, when
half Christendom had become Protestant, and secretly perhaps felt as the
Greeks felt, that the Turk was its friend and ally? In such a quarrel
England, France, and Germany were out of the question. At length,
however, with great effort, he succeeded in forming a holy league
between himself, King Philip of Spain, and the Venetians. Don John, of
Austria, King Philip's half brother, was appointed commander-in-chief of
the forces, and Colonna admiral. The treaty was signed on the 24th of
May; but such was the cowardice and jealousy of the parties concerned,
that the autumn had arrived, and nothing of importance was accomplished.
With difficulty were the armies united; with difficulty were the
dissensions of the commanders brought to a settlement. Meanwhile, the
Ottomans were scouring the Gulf of Venice, blockading the ports, and
terrifying the city itself.

But the holy Pope was securing the success of his cause by arms of his
own, which the Turks understood not. He had been appointing a Triduo of
supplication at Rome, and had taken part in the procession himself. He
had proclaimed a jubilee to the whole Christian world, for the happy
issue of the war. He had been interesting the Holy Virgin in his cause.
He presented to his admiral, after High Mass in his chapel, a standard
of red damask, embroidered with a crucifix, and with the figures of St.
Peter and St. Paul, and the legend, "_In hoc signo vinces_." Next,
sending to Messina, where the allied fleet lay, he assured the
general-in-chief and the armament, that "if, relying on divine, rather
than on human help, they attacked the enemy, God would not be wanting to
His own cause. He augured a prosperous and happy issue; not on any light
or random hope, but on a divine guidance, and by the anticipations of
many holy men." Moreover, he enjoined the officers to look to the good
conduct of their troops; to repress swearing, gaming, riot, and plunder,
and thereby to render them more deserving of victory. Accordingly, a
fast of three days was proclaimed for the fleet, beginning with the
Nativity of our Lady; all the men went to confession and communion, and
appropriated to themselves the plentiful indulgences which the Pope
attached to the expedition. Then they moved across the foot of Italy to
Corfu, with the intention of presenting themselves at once to the enemy;
being disappointed in their expectations, they turned back to the Gulf
of Corinth; and there at length, on the 7th of October, they found the
Turkish fleet, half way between Lepanto and the Echinades on the North,
and Patras, in the Morea, on the South; and, though it was towards
evening, strong in faith and zeal, they at once commenced the

The night before the battle, and the day itself, aged as he was, and
broken with a cruel malady, the Saint had passed in the Vatican in
fasting and prayer. All through the Holy City the monasteries and the
colleges were in prayer too. As the evening advanced, the Pontifical
treasurer asked an audience of the Sovereign Pontiff on an important
matter. Pius was in his bedroom, and began to converse with him; when
suddenly he stopped the conversation, left him, threw open the window,
and gazed up into heaven. Then closing it again, he looked gravely at
his official, and said, "This is no time for business; go, return thanks
to the Lord God. In this very hour our fleet has engaged the Turkish,
and is victorious." As the treasurer went out, he saw him fall on his
knees before the altar in thankfulness and joy.

And a most memorable victory it was: upwards of 30,000 Turks are said to
have lost their lives in the engagement, and 3,500 were made prisoners.
Almost their whole fleet was taken. I quote from Protestant authorities
when I say that the Sultan, on the news of the calamity, neither ate,
nor drank, nor showed himself, nor saw any one for three days; that it
was the greatest blow which the Ottomans had had since Timour's victory
over Bajazet, a century and a half before; nay, that it was the
turning-point in the Turkish history;[71] and that, though the Sultans
have had isolated successes since, yet from that day they undeniably and
constantly declined, that they have lost their _prestige_ and their
self-confidence, and that the victories gained over them since are but
the complements and the reverberations of the overthrow at Lepanto.

Such was the catastrophe of this long and anxious drama; the hosts of
Turkistan and Tartary had poured down from their wildernesses through
ages, to be withstood, and foiled, and reversed by an old man. It was a
repetition, though under different circumstances, of the history of Leo
and the Hun. In the contrast between the combatants we see the contrast
of the histories of good and evil. The Enemy, as the Turks in this
battle, rushing forward with the terrible fury of wild beasts; and the
Church, ever combating with the energetic perseverance and the heroic
obstinacy of St. Pius.


[57] Formby's Visit to the East.

[58] The three remaining of the thirty are Orchan, Ibrahim, and Abdoul

[59] Gibbon.

[60] Gibbon.

[61] Hume's History.

[62] Ranke, vol. i

[63] Turner's History.

[64] Ibid.

[65] Gieseler's Text Book.

[66] Baronius.

[67] Bergeron.

[68] Gibbon says twenty years: Sharon Turner gives 1074.

[69] Bollandist. Mai. 5.

[70] Ranke's Hist. of the Popes.

[71] "The battle of Lepanto arrested for ever the danger of Mahometan
invasion in the south of Europe."--Alison's Europe, vol. ix. p. 95. "The
powers of the Turks and of their European neighbours were now nearly
balanced; in the reign of Amurath the Third, who succeeded Selim, the
advantages became more evidently in favour of the Christians; and since
that time, though the Turks have sometimes enjoyed a transitory success,
the real stability of their affairs has constantly declined."--Bell's
Geography, vol. ii, part 2. Vid. also Ranke, vol. i., pp. 381-2. It is
remarkable that it should be passed over by Professor Creasy in his
"Fifteen Decisive Battles."




_Barbarism and Civilization._


My object in the sketch which I have been attempting, of the history of
the Turks, has been to show the relation of this celebrated race to
Europe and to Christendom. I have not been led to speak of them by any
especial interest in them for their own sake, but by the circumstances
of the present moment, which bring them often before us, oblige us to
speak of them, and involve the necessity of entertaining some definite
sentiments about them. With this view I have been considering their
antecedents; whence they came, how they came, where they are, and what
title they have to be there at all. When I now say, that I am proceeding
to contemplate their future, do not suppose me to be so rash as to be
hazarding any political prophecy; I do but mean to set down some
characteristics in their existing state (if I have any right to fancy,
that in any true measure we at the distance of some thousand miles know
it), which naturally suggest to us to pursue their prospective history
in one direction, not in another.

Now it seems safe to say, in the first place, that some time or other
the Ottomans will come to an end. All human power has its termination
sooner or later; states rise to fall; and, secure as they may be now, so
one day they will be in peril and in course of overthrow. Nineveh, Tyre,
Babylon, Persia, Egypt, and Greece, each has had its day; and this was
so clear to mankind 2,000 years ago, that the conqueror of Carthage
wept, as he gazed upon its flames, for he saw in them the conflagration
of her rival, his own Rome. "_Fuit Ilium._" The Saracens, the Moguls,
have had their day; those European states, so great three centuries ago,
Spain and Poland, Venice and Genoa, are now either extinct or in
decrepitude. What is the lot of all states, is still more strikingly
fulfilled in the case of empires; kingdoms indeed are of slow growth,
but empires commonly are but sudden manifestations of power, which are
as short-lived as they are sudden. Even the Roman empire, which is an
exception, did not last beyond five hundred years; the Saracenic three
hundred; the Spanish three hundred; the Russian has lasted about a
hundred and fifty, that is, since the Czar Peter; the British not a
hundred; the Ottoman has reached four or five. If there be an empire
which does not at all feel the pressure of this natural law, but lasts
continuously, repairs its losses, renews its vigour, and with every
successive age emulates its antecedent fame, such a power must be more
than human, and has no place in our present inquiry. We are concerned,
not with any supernatural power, to which is promised perpetuity, but
with the Ottoman empire, famous in history, vigorous in constitution,
but, after all, human, and nothing more. There is, then, neither risk
nor merit in prophesying the eventual fall of the Osmanlis, as of the
Seljukians, as of the Gaznevides before them; the only wonder is that
they actually have lasted as much as four hundred years.

Such will be the issue and the sum of their whole history; but, certain
as this is, and confidently as it may be pronounced, nothing else can be
prudently asserted about their future. Times and moments are in the
decrees of the All-wise, and known to Him alone; and so are the
occurrences to which they give birth. The only further point open to
conjecture, as being not quite destitute of data for speculating upon
it, is the particular course of events and quality of circumstances,
which will precede the downfall of the Turkish power; for, granting that
that downfall is to come, it is reasonable to think it will take place
in that particular way, for which in their present state we see an
existing preparation, if such can be discerned, or in a way which at
least is not inconsistent with the peculiarities of that present state.


Hence, in speculating on this question, I shall take this as a
reasonable assumption first of all, that the catastrophe of a state is
according to its antecedents, and its destiny according to its nature;
and therefore, that we cannot venture on any anticipation of the
instruments or the conditions of its death, until we know something
about the principle and the character of its life. Next I lay down,
that, whereas a state is in its very idea a society, and a society is a
collection of many individuals made one by their participation in some
common possession, and to the extent of that common possession, the
presence of that possession held in common constitutes the life, and the
loss of it constitutes the dissolution, of a state. In like manner,
whatever avails or tends to withdraw that common possession, is either
fatal or prejudicial to the social union. As regards the Ottoman power,
then, we have to inquire what its life consists in, and what are the
dangers to which that life, from the nature of its constitution, is

Now, states may be broadly divided into _barbarous_ and _civilized_;
their common possession, or life, is some object either of _sense_ or of
_imagination_; and their bane and destruction is either _external_ or
_internal_. And, to speak in general terms, without allowing for
exceptions or limitations (for I am treating the subject scientifically
only so far as is requisite for my particular inquiry), we may pronounce
that _barbarous_ states live in a common _imagination_, and are
destroyed _from without_; whereas _civilized_ states live in some common
object of _sense_, and are destroyed from _within_.

By _external_ enemies I mean foreign wars, foreign influence,
insurrection of slaves or of subject races, famine, accidental
enormities of individuals in power, and other instruments analogous to
what, in the case of an individual, is called a violent death; by
_internal_ I mean civil contention, excessive changes, revolution, decay
of public spirit, which may be considered analogous to natural death.

Again, by objects of _imagination_, I mean such as religion, true or
false (for there are not only false imaginations but true), divine
mission of a sovereign or of a dynasty, and historical fame; and by
objects of _sense_, such as secular interests, country, home, protection
of person and property.

I do not allude to the conservative power of habit when I speak of the
social bond, because habit is rather the necessary result of possessing
a common object, and protects all states equally, barbarous and
civilized. Nor do I include moral degeneracy among the instruments of
their destruction, because this too attaches to all states, civilized
and barbarous, and is rather a disposition exposing them to the
influence of what is their bane, than a direct cause of their ruin in


But what is meant by the words _barbarous_ and _civilized_, as applied
to political bodies? this is a question which it will take more time to
answer, even if I succeed in satisfying it at all. By "barbarism," then,
I suppose, in itself is meant a state of nature; and by "civilization,"
a state of mental cultivation and discipline. In a state of nature man
has reason, conscience, affections, and passions, and he uses these
severally, or rather is influenced by them, according to circumstances;
and whereas they do not one and all necessarily move in the same
direction, he takes no great pains to make them agree together, but lets
them severally take their course, and, if I may so speak, jostle into a
sort of union, and get on together, as best they can. He does not
improve his talents; he does not simplify and fix his motives; he does
not put his impulses under the control of principle, or form his mind
upon a rule. He grows up pretty much what he was when a child;
capricious, wayward, unstable, idle, irritable, excitable; with not much
more of habituation than that which experience of living unconsciously
forces even on the brutes. Brutes act upon instinct, not on reason; they
are ferocious when they are hungry; they fiercely indulge their
appetite; they gorge themselves; they fall into torpor and inactivity.
In a like, but a more human way, the savage is drawn by the object held
up to him, as if he could not help following it; an excitement rushes on
him, and he yields to it without a struggle; he acts according to the
moment, without regard to consequences; he is energetic or slothful,
tempestuous or calm, as the winds blow or the sun shines. He is one
being to-day, another to-morrow, as if he were simply the sport of
influences or circumstances. If he is raised somewhat above this extreme
state of barbarism, just one idea or feeling occupies the narrow range
of his thoughts, to the exclusion of others.

Moreover, brutes differ from men in this; that they cannot invent,
cannot progress. They remain in the use of those faculties and methods,
which nature gave them at their birth. They are endowed by the law of
their being with certain weapons of defence, and they do not improve on
them. They have food, raiment, and dwelling, ready at their command.
They need no arrow or noose to catch their prey, nor kitchen to dress
it; no garment to wrap round them, nor roof to shelter them. Their
claws, their teeth, their viscera, are their butcher and their cook; and
their fur is their wardrobe. The cave or the jungle is their home; or if
it is their nature to exercise some architectural craft, they have not
to learn it. But man comes into the world with the capabilities, rather
than the means and appliances, of life. He begins with a small capital,
but one which admits of indefinite improvement. He is, in his very idea,
a creature of progress. He starts, the inferior of the brute animals,
but he surpasses them in the long run; he subjects them to himself, and
he goes forward on a career, which at least hitherto has not found its

Even the savage of course in some measure exemplifies this law of human
nature, and is lord of the brutes; and what he is and man is generally,
compared with the inferior animals, such is man civilized compared with
the barbarian. Civilization is that state to which man's nature points
and tends; it is the systematic use, improvement, and combination of
those faculties which are his characteristic; and, viewed in its idea,
it is the perfection, the happiness of our mortal state. It is the
development of art out of nature, and of self-government out of passion,
and of certainty out of opinion, and of faith out of reason. It is the
due disposition of the various powers of the soul, each in its place,
the subordination or subjection of the inferior, and the union of all
into one whole. Aims, rules, views, habits, projects; prudence,
foresight, observation, inquiry, invention, resource, resolution,
perseverance, are its characteristics. Justice, benevolence, expedience,
propriety, religion, are its recognized, its motive principles.
Supernatural truth is its sovereign law. Such is it in its true idea,
synonymous with Christianity; and, not only in idea, but in matter of
fact also, is Christianity ever civilization, as far as its influence
prevails; but, unhappily, in matter of fact, civilization is not
necessarily Christianity. If we would view things as they really are, we
must bear in mind that, true as it is, that only a supernatural grace
can raise man towards the perfection of his nature, yet it is
possible,--without the cultivation of its spiritual part, which
contemplates objects subtle, distant, delicate of apprehension, and slow
of operation, nay, even with an actual contempt of faith and devotion,
in comparison of objects tangible and present,--possible it is, I say,
to combine in some sort the other faculties of man into one, and to
progress forward, with the substitution of natural religion for faith,
and a refined expediency or propriety for true morality, just as with
practice a man might manage to run without an arm or without sight, and
as the defect of one organ is sometimes supplied to a certain extent by
the preternatural action of another.

And this is, in fact, what is commonly understood by civilization, and
it is the sense in which the word must be used here; not that perfection
which nature aims at, and requires, and cannot of itself reach; but a
second-rate perfection of nature, being what it is, and remaining what
it is, without any supernatural principle, only with its powers of
ratiocination, judgment, sagacity, and imagination fully exercised, and
the affections and passions under sufficient control. Such was it, in
its higher excellences, in heathen Greece and Rome, where the perception
of moral principles, possessed by the cultivated and accomplished
intellect, by the mind of Plato or Isocrates, of Cleanthes, Seneca,
Epictetus, or Antoninus, rivalled in outward pretensions the inspired
teaching of the Apostle of the Gentiles. Such is it at the present day,
not only in its reception of the elements of religion and morals (when
Christianity is in the midst of it as an inexhaustible storehouse for
natural reason to borrow from), but especially in a province peculiar to
these times, viz., in science and art, in physics, in politics, in
economics, and mechanics. And great as are its attainments at present,
still, as I have said, we are far from being able to discern, even in
the distance, the limit of its advancement and of its perfectibility.


It is evident from what has been said, that barbarism is a principle,
not of society, but of isolation; he who will not submit even to
himself, is not likely to volunteer a subjection to others; and this is
more or less the price which, from the nature of the case, the members
of society pay individually for the security of that which they hold in
common. It follows, that no polity can be simply barbarous; barbarians
may indeed combine in small bodies, as they have done in Gaul, Scythia,
and America, from the gregariousness of our nature, from fellowship of
blood, from accidental neighbourhood, or for self-preservation; but such
societies are not bodies or polities; they are but the chance result of
an occasion, and are destitute of a common life. Barbarism has no
individuality, it has no history; quarrels between neighbouring tribes,
grudges, blood-shedding, exhaustion, raids, success, defeat, the same
thing over and over again, this is not the action of society, nor the
subject-matter of narrative; it neither interests the curiosity, nor
leaves any impression on the memory. "_Labitur et labetur_;" it forms
and breaks again, like the billows of the sea, and is but a mockery of
unity. When I speak of barbarian states, I mean such as consist of
members not simply barbarous, but just so far removed from the extreme
of savageness that they admit of having certain principles in common,
and are able to submit themselves individually to the system which rises
out of those principles; that they do recognize the ideas of government,
property, and law, however imperfectly; though they still differ from
civilized polities in those main points, which I have set down as
analogous to the difference between brutes and the human species.

As instinct is perfect after its kind at first, and never advances,
whereas the range of the intellect is ever growing, so barbarous states
are pretty much the same from first to last, and this is their
characteristic; and civilized states, on the other hand, though they
have had a barbarian era, are ever advancing further and further from
it, and thus their distinguishing badge is progress. So far my line of
thought leads me to concur in the elaborate remarks on the subject put
forth by the celebrated M. Guizot, in his "Lectures on European
Civilization." Civilized states are ever developing into a more perfect
organization, and a more exact and more various operation; they are ever
increasing their stock of thoughts and of knowledge: ever creating,
comparing, disposing, and improving. Hence, while bodily strength is the
token of barbarian power, mental ability is the honourable badge of
civilized states. The one is like Ajax, the other like Ulysses;
civilized nations are constructive, barbarous are destructive.
Civilization spreads by the ways of peace, by moral suasion, by means of
literature, the arts, commerce, diplomacy, institutions; and, though
material power never can be superseded, it is subordinate to the
influence of mind. Barbarians can provide themselves with swift and
hardy horses, can sweep over a country, rush on with a shout, use the
steel and firebrand, and frighten and overwhelm the weak or cowardly;
but in the wars of civilized countries, even the implements of carnage
are scientifically constructed, and are calculated to lessen or
supersede it; and a campaign becomes co-ordinately a tour of _savants_,
or a colonizing expedition, or a political demonstration. When Sesostris
marched through Asia to the Euxine, he left upon his road monuments of
himself, which have not utterly disappeared even at this day; and the
memorials of the rule of the Pharaohs are still engraved on the rocks of
Libya and Arabia. Alexander, again, in a later age, crossed from
Macedonia to Asia with the disciples of Aristotle in his train. His
march was the diffusion of the arts and commerce, and the acquisition of
scientific knowledge; the countries he passed through were accurately
described, as he proceeded, and the intervals between halt and halt
regularly measured.[72] His naval armaments explored nearly the whole
distance from Attock on the Upper Indus to the Isthmus of Suez: his
philosophers noted down the various productions and beasts of the
unknown East; and his courtiers were the first to report to the western
world the singular institutions of Hindostan.

Again, while Attila boasted that his horse's hoof withered the grass it
trod on, and Zingis could gallop over the site of the cities he had
destroyed, Seleucus, or Ptolemy, or Trajan, covered the range of his
conquests with broad capitals, marts of commerce, noble roads, and
spacious harbours. Lucullus collected a magnificent library in the East,
and Cæsar converted his northern expeditions into an antiquarian and
historical research.

Nor is this an accident in Roman annals. She was a power pre-eminently
military; yet what is her history but the most remarkable instance of a
political development and progress? More than any power, she was able to
accommodate and expand her institutions according to the circumstances
of successive ages, extending her municipal privileges to the conquered
cities, yielding herself to the literature of Greece, and admitting into
her bosom the rites of Egypt and Phrygia. At length, by an effort of
versatility unrivalled in history, she was able to reverse one main
article of her policy, and, as she had already acknowledged the
intellectual supremacy of Greece, so did she humble herself in a still
more striking manner before a religion which she had persecuted.


If these remarks upon the difference between barbarism and civilization
be in the main correct, they have prepared the way for answering the
question which I have raised concerning the principle of life and the
mode of dissolution proper or natural to barbarous and civilized powers
respectively. Ratiocination and its kindred processes, which are the
necessary instruments of political progress, are, taking things as we
find them, hostile to imagination and auxiliary to sense. It is true
that a St. Thomas can draw out a whole system of theology from
principles impalpable and invisible, and fix upon the mind by pure
reason a vast multitude of facts and truths which have no pretence to a
bodily form. But, taking man as he is, we shall commonly find him
dissatisfied with a demonstrative process from an undemonstrated
premiss, and, when he has once begun to reason, he will seek to prove
the point from which his reasoning starts, as well as that at which it
arrives. Thus he will be forced back from immediate first principles to
others more remote, nor will he be satisfied till he ultimately reaches
those which are as much within his own handling and mastery as the
reasoning apparatus itself. Hence it is that civilized states ever tend
to substitute objects of sense for objects of imagination, as the basis
of their existence. The Pope's political power was greater when Europe
was semi-barbarous; and the divine right of the successors of the
English St. Edward received a death-blow in the philosophy of Bacon and
Locke. At present, I suppose, our own political life, as a nation, lies
in the supremacy of the law; and that again is resolvable into the
internal peace, and protection of life and property, and freedom of the
individual, which are its result; and these I call objects of sense.

For the very same reason, objects of this nature will not constitute the
life of a barbarian community; prudence, foresight, calculation of
consequences do not enter into its range of mental operations; it has no
talent for analysis; it cannot understand expediency; it is impressed
and affected by what is direct and absolute. Religion, superstition,
belief in persons and families, objects, not proveable, but vivid and
imposing, will be the bond which keeps its members together. I have
already alluded to the divinity which in the imagination of the Huns
encircled the hideous form of Attila. Zingis claimed for himself or his
ancestry a miraculous conception, and received from a prophet, who
ascended to heaven, the dominion of the earth. He called himself the son
of God; and when the missionary friars came to his immediate successor
from the Pope, that successor made answer to them, that it was the
Pope's duty to do him homage, as being earthly lord of all by divine
right. It was a similar pretension, I need hardly say, which was the
life of the Mahometan conquests, when the wild Saracen first issued from
the Arabian desert. So, too, in the other hemisphere, the Caziques of
aboriginal America were considered to be brothers of the Sun, and
received religious homage as his representatives. They spoke as the
oracles of the divinity, and claimed the power of regulating the seasons
and the weather at their will. This was especially the case in Peru;
"the whole system of policy," says Robertson, "was founded on religion.
The Incas appeared, not only as a legislator, but as the messenger of
heaven."[73] Elsewhere, the divine virtue has been considered to rest,
not on the monarch, but on the code of laws, which accordingly is the
social principle of the nation. The Celts ascribed their legislation to
Mercury;[74] as Lycurgus and Numa in Sparta and Rome appealed to a
divine sanction in behalf of their respective institutions.

This being the case, imperfect as is the condition of barbarous states,
still what is there to overthrow them? They have a principle of union
congenial to the state of their intellect, and they have not the
ratiocinative habit to scrutinize and invalidate it. Since they admit of
no mental progress, what serves as a bond to-day will be equally
serviceable to-morrow; so that apparently their dissolution cannot come
from themselves. It is true, a barbarous people, possessed of a
beautiful country, may be relaxed in luxury and effeminacy; but such
degeneracy has no obvious tendency to weaken their faith in the objects
in which their political unity consists, though it may render them
defenceless against external attacks. And here indeed lies their real
peril at all times; they are ever vulnerable from without. Thus Sparta,
formed deliberately on a barbarian pattern, remained faithful to it,
without change, without decay, while its intellectual rival was the
victim of successive revolutions. At length its power was broken
externally by the Theban Epaminondas; and by the restoration of
Messenia, the insurrection of the Laconians, and the emancipation of the
Helots. Agesilaus, at the time of its fall, was as good a Spartan as any
of his predecessors. Again, the ancient Empire of the Huns in Asia is
said to have lasted 1,500 years; at length its wanton tyranny was put an
end to by the Chinese King plunging into the Tartar desert, and thus
breaking their power. Thrace, again, a barbarous country, lasted many
centuries, with kings of great vigour, with much external prosperity,
and then succumbed, not to internal revolution, but to the permanent
ascendancy of Rome. Similar too is the instance of Pontus, and again of
Numidia and Mauritania; they may have had great or accomplished
sovereigns, but they have no history, except in the wars of their
conquerors. Great leaders are necessary for the prosperity, as great
enemies for the destruction, of barbarians; they thrive, as they come to
nought, by means of agents external to themselves. So again Malek Shah
died, and his empire fell to pieces. Hence, too, the unexpected and
utter catastrophes which befall barbarous people, analogous to a violent
death, which I have alluded to in speaking of the sudden rise and fall
of Tartar dynasties; for no one can anticipate results, which, instead
of being the slow evolution of political principles, proceed from the
accident of external quarrels and of the relative condition of rival


Far otherwise is the history of those states, in which the intellect,
not prescription, is recognized as the ultimate authority, and where the
course of time is necessarily accompanied by a corresponding course of
change. Such polities are ever in progress; at first from worse to
better, and then from better to worse. In all human things there is a
_maximum_ of advance, and that _maximum_ is not an established state of
things, but a point in a career. The cultivation of reason and the
spread of knowledge for a time develop and at length dissipate the
elements of political greatness; acting first as the invaluable ally of
public spirit, and then as its insidious enemy. Barbarian minds remain
in the circle of ideas which sufficed their forefathers; the opinions,
principles, and habits which they inherited, they transmit. They have
the _prestige_ of antiquity and the strength of conservatism; but where
thought is encouraged, too many will think, and will think too much. The
sentiment of sacredness in institutions fades away, and the measure of
truth or expediency is the private judgment of the individual. An
endless variety of opinion is the certain though slow result; no
overpowering majority of judgments is found to decide what is good and
what is bad; political measures become acts of compromise; and at
length the common bond of unity in the state consists in nothing really
common, but simply in the unanimous wish of each member of it to secure
his own interests. Thus the veterans of Sylla, comfortably settled in
their farms, refused to rally round Pompey in his war with Cæsar.[75]
Thus the municipal cities in the provinces refused to unite together in
a later age for the defence of the Empire, then evidently on the way to
dissolution.[76] Selfishness takes the place of loyalty, patriotism, and
faith; parties grow and strengthen themselves; classes and ranks
withdraw from each other more and more; the national energy becomes but
a self-consuming fever, and but enables the constituent parts to be
their own mutual destruction; and at length such union as is necessary
for political life is found to be impossible. Meanwhile corruption of
morals, which is common to all prosperous countries, completes the
internal ruin, and, whether an external enemy appears or not, the nation
can hardly be considered any more a state. It is but like some old arch,
which, when its supports are crumbled away, stands by the force of
cohesion, no one knows how. It dies a natural death, even though some
Alaric or Genseric happens to be at hand to take possession of the
corpse. And centuries before the end comes, patriots may see it coming,
though they cannot tell its hour; and that hour creates surprise, not
because it at length is come, but because it has been so long delayed.

I have been referring to the decline, as I before spoke of the progress,
of the Romans: the career of that people through twelve centuries is a
drama of sustained interest and equable and majestic evolution; it has
given scope for the most ingenious researches into its internal history.
There one age is the parent of another; the elements and principles of
its political system are brought out into a variety of powers with
mutual relations; external events act and react with domestic affairs;
manners and views change; excess of prosperity becomes the omen of
misfortune to come; till in the words of the poet, "_Suis et ipsa Roma
viribus ruit_." For how many philosophical histories has Greece afforded
opportunity! while the constitutional history of England, as far as it
has hitherto gone, is a recognized subject-matter of scientific and
professional teaching. The case is the same with the history of the
medieval Italian cities, of the medieval Church, and of the Saracenic
empire. As regards the last of these instances, I am not alluding merely
to the civil contentions and wars which took place in it, for such may
equally happen to a barbarian state. Cupidity and ambition are inherent
in the nature of man; the Gauls and British, the tribes of Scythia, the
Seljukian Turks, consisted each of a number of mutually hostile
communities or kingdoms. What is relevant to my purpose in the history
of the Saracens is, that their quarrels often had an intellectual basis,
and arose out of their religion. The white, the green, and the black
factions, who severally reigned at Cordova, Cairo, and Bagdad,
excommunicated each other, and claimed severally to be the successors of
Mahomet. Then came the fanatical innovation of the Carmathians, who
pretended to a divine mission to complete the religion of Mahomet, as
Mahomet had completed Christianity.[77] They relaxed the duties of
ablution, fasting, and pilgrimage; admitted the use of wine, and
protested against the worldly pomp of the Caliphs. They spread their
tents along the coast of the Persian Gulf, and in no long time were able
to bring an army of 100,000 men into the field. Ultimately they took up
their residence on the borders of Assyria, Syria, and Egypt. As time
went on, and the power of the Caliphs was still further reduced,
religious contention broke out in Bagdad itself, between the rigid and
the lax parties, and the followers of the Abbassides and of Ali.

If we consult ancient history, the case is the same; the Jews, a people
of progress, were ruined, as appears on the face of Scripture, by
internal causes; they split into sects, Pharisees, Sadducees, Herodians,
Essenes, as soon as the Divine Hand retired from the direct government
of their polity; and they were fighting together in Jerusalem when the
Romans were beleaguering its walls. Nay, even the disunion, which was a
special and divine punishment for their sins, was fulfilled according to
this natural law which I am illustrating; it was the splendid reign of
Solomon, the era of literature, commerce, opulence, and general
prosperity, which was the antecedent of fatal revolutions. If we turn to
civilized nations of an even earlier date, the case is the same; we are
accustomed indeed to associate Chinese and Egyptians with ideas of
perpetual untroubled stability; but a philosophical historian, whom I
shall presently cite, speaks far otherwise of those times when the
intellect was prominently active. China was for many centuries the seat
of a number of petty principalities, which were limited, not despotic;
about 200 years before our era it became one absolute monarchy. Till
then idolatry was unknown, and the doctrines of Confucius were in
honour: the first Emperor ordered a general burning of books, burning at
the same time between 400 and 500 of the followers of Confucius, and
persecuting the men of letters. A rationalist philosophy succeeded, and
this again gave way to the introduction of the religion of Buddha or Fo,
just about the time of our Lord's Crucifixion. At later periods, in the
fifth and in the thirteenth centuries, the country was divided into two
distinct kingdoms, north and south; and such was its state when Marco
Polo visited it. It has been several times conquered by the Tartars, and
it is a remarkable proof of its civilization, that it has ever obliged
them to adopt its manners, laws, and even language. China, then, has a
distinct and peculiar internal history, and has paid to the full the
penalty which, in the course of centuries, goes along with the blessings
of civilization. "The whole history of China, from beginning to end,"
says Frederic Schlegel, "displays one continued series of seditions,
usurpations, anarchy, changes of dynasty, and other violent revolutions
and catastrophes."[78]

The history of Egypt tells the same tale; "Civil discord," he says,
"existed there under various forms. The country itself was often divided
into several kingdoms; and, even when united, we observe a great
conflict of interests between the agricultural province of Upper Egypt,
and the commercial and manufacturing province of the Lower: as, indeed,
a similar clashing of interests is often to be noticed in modern states.
In the period immediately preceding the Persian conquest, the caste of
warriors, or the whole class of nobility, were decidedly opposed to the
monarchs, because they imagined them to promote too much the power of
the priesthood;"--in other words, their national downfall was not owing
directly to an external cause, but to an internal collision of parties
and interests;--"in the same way," continues the author I am quoting,
"as the history of India presents a similar rivalry or political
hostility between the Brahmins and the caste of the Cshatriyas. In the
reign of Psammatichus, the disaffection of the native nobility obliged
this prince to take Greek soldiers into his pay; and thus at length was
the defence of Egypt entrusted to an army of foreign mercenaries." He
adds, which is apposite to my purpose, for I suppose he is speaking of
civilized nations, "In general, states and kingdoms, before they succumb
to a foreign conqueror, are, if not outwardly and visibly, yet secretly
and internally, undermined."

So much on the connexion between the civilization of a state and its
overthrow from internal causes, or, what may be called, its succumbing
to a natural death. I will only add, that I am but attempting to set
down general rules, to which there may be exceptions, explicable or not.
For instance, Venice is one of the most civilized states of the middle
age; but, by a system of jealous and odious tyranny, it continued to
maintain its ground without revolution, when revolutions were frequent
in the other Italian cities; yet the very necessity of so severe a
despotism shows us what would have happened there, if natural causes had
been left to work unimpeded.


I feel I owe you, Gentlemen, an apology for the time I have consumed in
an abstract discussion; it is drawing to an end, but it still requires
the notice of two questions, on which, however, I have not much to say,
even if I would. First, can a civilized state become barbarian in course
of years? and secondly, can a barbarian state ever become civilized?

As to the former of these questions, considering the human race did
start with society, and did not start with barbarism, and barbarism
exists, we might be inclined at first sight to answer it in the
affirmative; again, since Christianity implies civilization, and is the
recovery of the whole race of Adam, we might answer the second in the
affirmative also; but such resolutions of the inquiry are scarcely to
the point. Doubtless the human race may degenerate, doubtless it may
make progress; doubtless men, viewed as individuals or as members of
races or tribes, or as inhabitants of certain countries, may change
their state from better to worse, or from worse to better: this,
however, is not the question; but whether a given state, which has a
certain political unity, can change the principle of that unity, and,
without breaking up into its component parts, become barbarian instead
of civilized, and civilized instead of barbarian.

(1.) Now as to the latter of these questions, it still must be answered
in the affirmative under circumstances: that is, all civilized states
have started with barbarism, and have gradually in the course of ages
developed into civilization, unless there be any political community in
the world, as China has by some been considered, representative of Noe;
and unless we consider the case of colonies, as Constantinople or
Venice, fairly to form an exception. But the question is very much
altered, when we contemplate a change in one or two generations from
barbarism to civilization. The substitution of one form of political
life for another, when it occurs, is the sort of process by which
fossils take the place of animal substances, or strata are formed, or
carbon is crystallized, or boys grow into men. Christianity itself has
never, I think, suddenly civilized a race; national habits and opinions
cannot be cast off at will without miracle. Hence the extreme jealousy
and irritation of the members of a state with innovators, who would
tamper with what the Greeks called [Greek: nomima], or constitutional
and vital usages. Hence the fury of Pentheus against the Mænades, and of
the Scythians against their King Scylas, and the agitation created at
Athens by the destruction of the Mercuries. Hence the obstinacy of the
Roman statesmen of old, and of the British constituency now, against the
Catholic Church; and the feeling is so far justified, that projected
innovations often turn out, if not simply nugatory, nothing short of
destructive; and though there is a great notion just now that the
British Constitution admits of being fitted upon every people under
heaven, from the Blacks to the Italians, I do not know what has occurred
to give plausibility to the anticipation. England herself once attempted
the costume of republicanism, but she found that monarchy was part of
her political essence.

(2.) Still less can the possibility be admitted of a civilized polity
really relapsing into barbarism; though a state of things may be
superinduced, which in many of its features may be thought to resemble
it. In truth, I have not yet traced out the ultimate result of those
internal revolutions which I have assigned as the incidental but certain
evils, in the long run, attendant on civilization. That result is
various: sometimes the over-civilized and degenerate people is swept
from the face of the earth, as the Roman populations in Africa by the
Vandals; sometimes it is reduced to servitude, as the Egyptians by the
Ptolemies, or the Greeks by the Turks; sometimes it is absorbed or
included in new political combinations, as the northern Italians by the
Lombards and Franks; sometimes it remains unmolested on its own
territory, and lives by the momentum, or the repute, or the habit, or
the tradition of its former civilization. This last of course is the
only case which bears upon the question I am considering; and I grant
that a state of things does then ensue, which in some of its phenomena
is like barbarism; China is an example in point. No one can deny its
civilization; its diligent care of the soil, its cultivation of silk and
of the tea-tree, its populousness, its canals, its literature, its court
ceremonial, its refinement of manners, its power of persevering so
loyally in its old institutions through so many ages, abundantly
vindicate it from the reproach of barbarism. But at the same time there
are tokens of degeneracy, which are all the stronger for being also
tokens, still more striking than those I have hitherto mentioned, of its
high civilization in times past. It has had for ages the knowledge of
the more recent discoveries and institutions of the West, which have
done so much for Europe, yet it has been unable to use them, the
magnetic needle, gunpowder, and printing. The littleness of the national
character, its self-conceit, and its formality, are further instances of
an effete civilization. They remind the observer vividly of the picture
which history presents to us of the Byzantine Court before the taking of
Constantinople; or, again, of that _material_ retention of Christian
doctrine (to use the theological word), of which Protestantism in its
more orthodox exhibitions, and still more, of which the Greek schism
affords the specimen. Either a state of deadness and mechanical action,
or a restless ebb and flow of opinion and sentiment, is the symptom of
that intellectual exhaustion and decrepitude, whether in politics or
religion, which, if old age be a second childhood, may in some sense be
called barbarism, and of which, at present, we are respectively reminded
in China on the one hand, and in some southern states of Europe on the

These are the principles, whatever modifications they may require,
which, however rudely adumbrated, I trust will suffice to enable me to
contemplate the future of the Ottoman Empire.


[72] Murray's Asia.

[73] Robertson's America, books vi. and vii.

[74] Univ. Hist. Anc., vol. xvi.

[75] Merivale's Rome, vol. ii.

[76] Guizot's European Civilization.

[77] Gibbon, vol x.

[78] Philosophy of History; Robertson's translation.


_The Past and Present of the Ottomans._

Whatever objections in detail may stand against the account I have been
giving of barbarism and civilization--and I trust there are none which
do not admit of removal--so far, I think, is clear, that, if my account
be only in the main correct, the Turkish power certainly is not a
civilized, and is a barbarous power. The barbarian lives without
principle and without aim; he does but reflect the successive outward
circumstances in which he finds himself, and he varies with them. He
changes suddenly, when their change is sudden, and is as unlike what he
was just before, as one fortune or external condition is unlike another.
He moves when he is urged by appetite; else, he remains in sloth and
inactivity. He lives, and he dies, and he has done nothing, but leaves
the world as he found it. And what the individual is, such is his whole
generation; and as that generation, such is the generation before and
after. No generation can say what it has been doing; it has not made the
state of things better or worse; for retrogression there is hardly room;
for progress, no sort of material. Now I shall show that these
characteristics of the barbarian are rudimental points, as I may call
them, in the picture of the Turks, as drawn by those who have studied
them. I shall principally avail myself of the information supplied by
Mr. Thornton and M. Volney, men of name and ability, and for various
reasons preferable as authorities to writers of the present day.


"The Turks," says Mr. Thornton, who, though not blind to their
shortcomings, is certainly favourable to them, "the Turks are of a grave
and saturnine cast ... patient of hunger and privations, capable of
enduring the hardships of war, but not much inclined to habits of
industry.... They prefer apathy and indolence to active enjoyments; but
when moved by a powerful stimulus they sometimes indulge in pleasures in
excess." "The Turk," he says elsewhere, "stretched at his ease on the
banks of the Bosphorus, glides down the stream of existence without
reflection on the past, and without anxiety for the future. His life is
one continued and unvaried reverie. To his imagination the whole
universe appears occupied in procuring him pleasures.... Every custom
invites to repose, and every object inspires an indolent voluptuousness.
Their delight is to recline on soft verdure under the shade of trees,
and to muse without fixing the attention, lulled by the trickling of a
fountain or the murmuring of a rivulet, and inhaling through their pipe
a gently inebriating vapour. Such pleasures, the highest which the rich
can enjoy, are equally within the reach of the artizan or the peasant."

M. Volney corroborates this account of them:--"Their behaviour," he
says, "is serious, austere, and melancholy; they rarely laugh, and the
gaiety of the French appears to them a fit of delirium. When they speak,
it is with deliberation, without gestures and without passion; they
listen without interrupting you; they are silent for whole days
together, and they by no means pique themselves on supporting
conversation. If they walk, it is always leisurely, and on business.
They have no idea of our troublesome activity, and our walks backwards
and forwards for amusement. Continually seated, they pass whole days
smoking, with their legs crossed, their pipes in their mouths, and
almost without changing their attitude." Englishmen present as great a
contrast to the Ottoman as the French; as a late English traveller
brings before us, apropos of seeing some Turks in quarantine:
"Certainly," he says, "Englishmen are the least able to wait, and the
Turks the most so, of any people I have ever seen. To impede an
Englishman's locomotion on a journey, is equivalent to stopping the
circulation of his blood; to disturb the repose of a Turk on his, is to
re-awaken him to a painful sense of the miseries of life. The one nation
at rest is as much tormented as Prometheus, chained to his rock, with
the vulture feeding on him; the other in motion is as uncomfortable as
Ixion tied to his ever-moving wheel."[79]


However, the barbarian, when roused to action, is a very different being
from the barbarian at rest. "The Turk," says Mr. Thornton, "is usually
placid, hypochondriac, and unimpassioned; but, when the customary
sedateness of his temper is ruffled, his passions ... are furious and
uncontrollable. The individual seems possessed with all the ungovernable
fury of a multitude; and all ties, all attachments, all natural and
moral obligations, are forgotten or despised, till his rage subsides." A
similar remark is made by a writer of the day: "The Turk on horseback
has no resemblance to the Turk reclining on his carpet. He there assumes
a vigour, and displays a dexterity, which few Europeans would be
capable of emulating; no horsemen surpass the Turks; and, with all the
indolence of which they are accused, no people are more fond of the
violent exercise of riding."[80]

So was it with their ancestors, the Tartars; now dosing on their horses
or their waggons, now galloping over the plains from morning to night.
However, these successive phases of Turkish character, as reported by
travellers, have seemed to readers as inconsistencies in their reports;
Thornton accepts the inconsistency. "The national character of the
Turks," he says, "is a composition of contradictory qualities. We find
them brave and pusillanimous; gentle and ferocious; resolute and
inconstant; active and indolent; fastidiously abstemious, and
indiscriminately indulgent. The great are alternately haughty and
humble, arrogant and cringing, liberal and sordid." What is this but to
say in one word that we find them barbarians?

According to these distinct moods or phases of character, they will
leave very various impressions of themselves on the minds of successive
beholders. A traveller finds them in their ordinary state in repose and
serenity; he is surprised and startled to find them so different from
what he imagined; he admires and extols them, and inveighs against the
prejudice which has slandered them to the European world. He finds them
mild and patient, tender to the brute creation, as becomes the children
of a Tartar shepherd, kind and hospitable, self-possessed and dignified,
the lowest classes sociable with each other, and the children gamesome.
It is true; they are as noble as the lion of the desert, and as gentle
and as playful as the fireside cat. Our traveller observes all
this;[81] and seems to forget that from the humblest to the highest of
the feline tribe, from the cat to the lion, the most wanton and
tyrannical cruelty alternates with qualities more engaging or more
elevated. Other barbarous tribes also have their innocent aspects--from
the Scythians in the classical poets and historians down to the Lewchoo
islanders in the pages of Basil Hall.


2. But whatever be the natural excellences of the Turks, progressive
they are not. This Sir Charles Fellows seems to allow: "My intimacy with
the character of the Turks," he says, "which has led me to think so
highly of their moral excellence, has not given me the same favourable
impression of the development of their mental powers. Their refinement
is of manners and affections; there is little cultivation or activity of
mind among them." This admission implies a great deal, and brings us to
a fresh consideration. Observe, they were in the eighth century of their
political existence when Thornton and Volney lived among them, and these
authors report of them as follows:--"Their buildings," says Thornton,
"are heavy in their proportions, bad in detail, both in taste and
execution, fantastic in decoration, and destitute of genius. Their
cities are not decorated with public monuments, whose object is to
enliven or to embellish." Their religion forbids them every sort of
painting, sculpture, or engraving; thus the fine arts cannot exist among
them. They have no music but vocal; and know of no accompaniment except
a bass of one note like that of the bagpipe. Their singing is in a great
measure recitative, with little variation of note. They have scarcely
any notion of medicine or surgery; and they do not allow of anatomy. As
to science, the telescope, the microscope, the electric battery, are
unknown, except as playthings. The compass is not universally employed
in their navy, nor are its common purposes thoroughly understood.
Navigation, astronomy, geography, chemistry, are either not known, or
practised only on antiquated and exploded principles. As to their civil
and criminal codes of law, these are unalterably fixed in the Koran.
Their habits require very little furniture; "the whole inventory of a
wealthy family," says Volney, "consists in a carpet, mats, cushions,
mattresses, some small cotton clothes, copper and wooden platters for
the table, a mortar, a portable mill, a little porcelain, and some
plates of copper tinned. All our apparatus of tapestry, wooden
bedsteads, chairs, stools, glasses, desks, bureaus, closets, buffets
with their plate and table services, all our cabinet and upholstery-work
are unknown." They have no clocks, though they have watches. In short,
they are hardly more than dismounted Tartars still; and, if pressed by
the Powers of Christendom, would be able, at very short warning, to pack
up and turn their faces northward to their paternal deserts. You find in
their cities barbers and mercers; saddlers and gunsmiths; bakers and
confectioners; sometimes butchers; whitesmiths and ironmongers; these
are pretty nearly all their trades. Their inheritance is their all;
their own acquisition is nought. Their stuffs are from the classical
Greeks; their dyes are the old Tyrian; their cement is of the age of the
Romans; and their locks may be traced back to Solomon. They do not
commonly engage either in agriculture or in commerce; of the cultivators
of the soil I have said quite enough in a foregoing Lecture, and their
commerce seems to be generally in the hands of Franks, Greeks, or
Armenians, as formerly in the hands of the Jews.[82]

The White Huns took to commerce and diplomacy in the course of a century
or two; the Saracens in a shorter time unlearned their barbarism, and
became philosophers and experimentalists; what have the Turks to show to
the human race for their long spell of prosperity and power?

As to their warfare, their impracticable and unprogressive temperament
showed itself even in the era of their military and political
ascendancy, and had much to do, as far as human causes are concerned,
with their defeat at Lepanto. "The signal for engaging was no sooner
given," says the writer in the "Universal History," "than the Turks with
a hideous cry fell on six galeasses, which lay at anchor near a mile
ahead of the confederate fleet." "With a hideous cry,"--this was the
true barbarian onset; we find it in the Red Indians and the New
Zealanders; and it is noticed of the Seljukians, the predecessors of the
Ottomans, in their celebrated engagement with the Crusaders at Dorylæum.
"With horrible howlings," says Mr. Turner, "and loud clangour of drums
and trumpets, the Turks rushed on;" and you may recollect, the savage
who would have murdered the Bishop of Bamberg, began with a shriek.
However, as you will see directly, such an onset was as ignorant as it
was savage, for it was made with a haughty and wilful blindness to the
importance of firearms under their circumstances. The Turks, in the
hey-day of their victories and under their most sagacious leaders, had
scorned and ignored the use of the then newly invented instruments of
war. In truth, they had shared the prejudice against firearms which had
been in the first instance felt by the semi-barbarous chivalry of
Europe. The knight-errant, as Ariosto draws and reflects him, disdained
so dishonourable a means of beating a foe. He looked upon the use of
gunpowder, as Mr. Thornton reminds us, as "cruel, cowardly, and
murderous;" because it gave an unfair and disgraceful advantage to the
feeble or the unwarlike. Such was the sentiment of the Ottomans even in
the reign of their great Soliman. Shortly before the battle of Lepanto,
a Dalmatian horseman rode express to Constantinople, and reported to the
Divan, that 2,500 Turks had been surprised and routed by 500
musqueteers. Great was the indignation of the assembly against the
unfortunate troops, of whom the messenger was one. But he was successful
in his defence of himself and his companions. "Do you not hear," he
said, "that we were overcome by guns? We were routed by fire, not by the
enemy. It would have been otherwise, had it been a contest of courage.
They took fire to their aid; fire is one of the elements; what is man
that he should resist their shock?" They did not dream of the apophthegm
that knowledge is power; and that we become strong by subduing nature to
our will.

Accordingly, their tactics by sea was a sort of land engagement on deck,
as it was with our ancestors, and with the ancients. First, they charged
the adverse vessel, with a view of taking it; if that would not do, they
boarded it. They fought hand to hand, and each captain might pretty much
exercise his own judgment which ship to attack, as Homer's heroes chose
their combatants on the field of Troy. However, the Christian galeasses
at Lepanto,--for to these we must at length return,--were vessels of
larger dimensions than the Ottomans had ever built; they were fortified,
like castles, with heavy ordnance, and were so disposed as to cover the
line of their own galleys. The consequence was, that as the Turks
advanced in order of battle, these galeasses kept up a heavy and
destructive fire upon them, and their barbarian energy availed them as
little as their howlings. It was the triumph of civilization over brute
force, as well as of faith over misbelief. "While discipline and
attention to the military exercises could insure success in war, the
Turks," says Thornton, "were the first of military nations. When the
whole art of war was changed, and victory or defeat became matter of
calculation, the rude and illiterate Turkish warriors experienced the
fatal consequences of ignorance without suspecting the cause; accustomed
to employ no other means than force, they sunk into despondency, when
force could no longer avail."

Another half century has passed since this was written, and the Turkish
power has now completed its eighth century since Togrul Beg, the first
Seljukian Sultan; and what has been the fruit of so long a duration?
Just about the time of Togrul Beg, flourished William, Duke of Normandy;
he passed over to take possession of England; compare the England of the
Conquest with the England of this day. Again, compare the Rome of Junius
Brutus to the Rome of Constantine, 800 years afterwards. In each of
these polities there was a continuous progression, and the end was
unlike the beginning; but the Turks, except that they have gained the
faculty of political union, are pretty much what they were when they
crossed the Jaxartes and Oxus. Again, at the time of Togrul Beg, the
Greek schism also took place; now from Michael Cerularius, in 1054, to
Anthimus, in 1853, Patriarchs of Constantinople, eight centuries have
passed of religious deadness and insensibility: a longer time has passed
in China of a similar political inertness: yet China has preserved at
least the civilization, and Greece the ecclesiastical science, with
which they respectively passed into their long sleep; but the Turks of
this day are still in the less than infancy of art, literature,
philosophy, and general knowledge; and we may fairly conclude that, if
they have not learned the very alphabet of science in eight hundred
years, they are not likely to set to work on it in the nine hundredth.

Moreover, it is remarkable that with them, as with the ancient Medes and
Persians, change of law and government is distinctly prohibited. The
greatest of their Sultans, and the last of the great ten, Soliman, known
in European history as the Magnificent, is called by his compatriots the
Regulator, on account of the irreversible sanction which he gave to the
existing administration of affairs. "The magnitude and the splendour of
the military achievements of Soliman," says Mr. Thornton, "are surpassed
in the judgment of his people by the wisdom of his legislation. He has
acquired the name of Canuni, or institutor of rules ... on account of
the order and police which he established in his Empire. He caused a
compilation to be made of all the maxims and regulations of his
predecessors on subjects of political and military economy. He strictly
defined the duties, the powers, and the privileges of all governors,
commanders, and public functionaries, He regulated the levies, the
services, the equipments, and the pay of the military and maritime force
of the Empire. He prescribed the mode of collecting, and of applying,
the public revenue. He assigned to every officer his rank at court, in
the city, and in the army; and the observance of his regulations was
enforced on his successors by the sanction of his authority. The work,
which his ancestors had begun, and which his care had completed, seemed
to himself and his contemporaries the compendium of human wisdom.
Soliman contemplated it with the fondness of a parent; and, conceiving
it not to be susceptible of further improvement, he endeavoured to
secure its perpetual duration." The author, after pointing out that this
was done at the very time when a new hemisphere was in course of
exploration, when the telescope was mapping for mankind the heavens,
when the Baconian philosophy was about to convert discovery and
experiment into instruments of science, printing was carrying knowledge
and literature into the heart of society, and the fine arts were
receiving one of their most remarkable developments, proceeds: "The
institutions of Soliman placed a barrier between his subjects and future
improvement. He beheld with complacency and exultation the eternal
fabric which his hands had reared; and the curse denounced against pride
has reduced the nation, which participated in his sentiments, to a state
of inferiority to the present level of civilized men." The result is the
same, though we say that Soliman only recognized and affirmed that
barbarism was the law of the Ottoman power.


3. It is true that in the last quarter of a century efforts have been
made by the government of Constantinople to innovate on the existing
condition of its people; and it has addressed itself in the first
instance to certain details of daily Turkish life. We must take it for
granted that it began with such changes as were easiest; if so, its
failure in these small matters suggests how little ground there is for
hope of success in other advances more important and difficult. Every
one knows that in the details of dress, carriage, and general manners,
the Turks are very different from Europeans: so different, and so
consistently different, that the contrariety would seem to arise from
some difference of essential principle. "This dissimilitude," says Mr.
Thornton, "which pervades the whole of their habits, is so general, even
in things of apparent insignificance, as almost to indicate design
rather than accident. The whole exterior of the Oriental is different
from ours." And then he goes on to mention some specimens, to which we
are able to add others from Volney and Bell. For instance:--The European
stands firm and erect; his head drawn back, his chest advanced, his toes
turned out, his knees straight. The attitude of the Turk, in each of
these particulars, is different, and, to express myself by an
antithesis, is more conformable to nature, and less to reason. The
European wears short and close garments, the Turk long and ample. The
one uncovers the head, when he would show reverence; with the other, a
bared head is a sign of folly. The one salutes by an inclination, the
other by raising himself. The one passes his life upright, the other
sitting. The one sits on raised seats, the other on the ground. In
inviting a person to approach, the one draws his hand to him, the other
thrusts it from him. The host in Europe helps himself last; in Turkey,
first. The one drinks to his company, or at least to some toast; the
other drinks silently, and his guests congratulate him. The European has
a night dress, the Turk lies down in his clothes. The Turkish barber
pushes the razor from him; the Turkish carpenter draws the saw to him;
the Turkish mason sits as he builds; and he begins a house at the top,
and finishes at the bottom, so that the upper rooms are inhabited, when
the bottom is a framework.

Now it would seem as if this multitude of little usages hung together,
and were as difficult to break through as the meshes of some complicated
web. However, the Sultan found it the most favourable subject-matter of
his incipient reformation; and his consequent attempt and the omens of
its ultimate issue are interestingly recounted in the pages of Sir
Charles Fellows, the panegyrist both of Mahmood and his people. "The
Turk," he says, "proud of his beard, comes up from the province a
candidate for, or to receive, the office of governor. The Sultan gives
him an audience, passes his hand over his own short-trimmed beard; the
candidate takes the hint, and appears the next day shorn of his honoured
locks. The Sultan, who is always attired in a plain blue frock coat,
asks of the aspirant for office if he admires it; he, of course, praises
the costume worn by his patron; whereupon the Sultan suggests that he
would look well in it, as also in the red unturbaned fez. The following
day the officer again attends to receive or lose his appointment; and,
to promote the progress of his suit, throws off his costly and beautiful
costume, and appears like the Sultan in the dull unsightly frock."

Such is the triumph of loyalty and self-interest, and such is its limit.
"A regimental cloak," continues our author, "may sometimes be seen
covering a fat body inclosed in all the robes of the Turkish costume;
the whole bundle, including the fur-lined gown, being strapped together
round the waist. Some of the figures are literally as broad as long, and
have a laughable effect on horseback. The saddles for the upper classes
are now generally made of the European form; but the people, who cannot
give up their accustomed love of finery for plain leather, have them
mostly of purple or crimson velvet, embroidered with silver or gold, the
holsters ornamented with beautiful patterns." After a while, he
continues: "One very unpopular reform which the Sultan tried to effect
in the formation of his troops was that of their wearing braces, a
necessary accompaniment to the trousers; and why? because these form a
cross, the badge of the infidel, upon the back. Many, indeed, will
submit to severe punishment, and even death, for disobedience to
military orders, rather than bear upon their persons this sign hostile
to their religion."

In another place he continues this subject with an amusing accuracy of
analysis:--"The mere substitution of trousers for their loose dress
interferes seriously with their old habits; they all turn in their toes,
in consequence of the Turkish manner of sitting, and they walk wide, and
with a swing, from being habituated to the full drapery: this gait has
become natural to them, and in their European trousers they walk in the
same manner. They wear wide-topped loose boots, which push up their
trousers. Wellington boots would be still more inconvenient, as they
must slip them off six times a day for prayers. In this new dress they
cannot with comfort sit or kneel on the ground, as is their custom; and
they will thus be led to use chairs; and with chairs they will want
tables. But, were these to be introduced, their houses would be too low,
for their heads would almost touch the ceiling. Thus by a little
innovation might their whole usages be unhinged."


4. In these failures, however, should they turn out to be such, the _vis
inertiæ_ of habit is not the whole account of the matter; an
antagonistic principle is at work, characteristic of the barbarian, and
intimately present to the mind of a Turk--national pride. All nations,
indeed, are proud of themselves; but, as being the first and the best,
not as being the solitary existing perfection, among the inhabitants of
the earth. Civilized nations allow that foreigners have their specific
excellences, and such excellences as are a lesson to themselves. They
may think too well of their own proficiency, and may lose by such
blindness; but they admit enough about others to allow of their own
emulation and advance; whereas the barbarian, in his own estimate, is
perfect already; and what is perfect cannot be improved. Hence he
cherishes in his heart a self-esteem of a very peculiar kind, and a
special contempt of others. He views foreigners, either as simply
unworthy of his attention, or as objects of his legitimate dominion.
Thus, too, he justifies his sloth, and places his ignorance of all
things human and divine on a sort of intellectual basis.

Robertson, in his history of America, enlarges on this peculiarity of
the savage. "The Tartar," he says, "accustomed to roam over extensive
plains, and to subsist on the produce of his herds, imprecates upon his
enemy, as the greatest of all curses, that he may be condemned to reside
in one place, and to be nourished with the top of a weed. The rude
Americans ... far from complaining of their own situation, or viewing
that of men in a more improved state with admiration or envy, regard
themselves as the standard of excellence, as beings the best entitled,
as well as the most perfectly qualified, to enjoy real happiness....
Void of foresight, as well as free from care themselves, and delighted
with that state of indolent security, they wonder at the anxious
precautions, the unceasing industry, and complicated arrangements of
Europeans, in guarding against distant evils, or providing for future
wants; and they often exclaim against their preposterous folly, in thus
multiplying the troubles, and increasing the labour of life.... The
appellation which the Iroquois give to themselves is, 'The chief of
men.' Caraibe, the original name of the fierce inhabitants of the
Windward Islands, signifies 'The warlike people.' The Cherokees, from an
idea of their own superiority, call the Europeans 'Nothings,' or 'The
accursed race,' and assume to themselves the name of 'The beloved
people....' They called them the froth of the sea, men without father or
mother. They suppose that either they have no country of their own, and,
therefore, invaded that which belonged to others; or that, being
destitute of the necessaries of life at home, they were obliged to roam
over the ocean, in order to rob such as were more amply provided."[83]

It is easy to see that an intense self-adoration, such as is here
suggested, is, in the case of a martial people, to a certain point a
principle of strength; it gives a sort of intellectual force to the
impetuosity and obstinacy of their attacks; while, on the other hand, it
is in the long run a principle of debility, as blinding them to the most
evident and imminent dangers, and, after defeat, burdening and
precipitating their despair.

Now, is it possible to trace this attribute of barbarism among the
Turks? If so, what does it do for them, and whence is it supplied? You
will recollect, I have not been unwilling in a former Lecture to
acknowledge what is salutary in Mahometanism; certainly it embodies in
it some ancient and momentous truths, and is undeniably beneficial so
far as their proper influence extends. But, after all, looked at as a
religion, it is as debasing to the populations which receive it as it
is false; and, as it arose among barbarians, it is not wonderful that it
subserves the reign of barbarism. This it certainly does in the case of
the Turks; already three great departments of intellectual activity in
civilized countries have incidentally come before us, which are
forbidden ground to its professors. The first is legislation; for the
criminal and civil code of the Mahometan is unalterably fixed in the
Koran. The second is the modern system of money transactions and
finance; for "in obedience to their religion," says an author I have
been lately quoting,[84] "which, like the Jewish law, forbids taking
interest for money, the Turks abstain from carrying on many lucrative
trades connected with the lending of money. Hence other nations,
generally the Armenians, act as their bankers." The third is the
department of the Fine Arts for, it being unlawful to represent the
human form, nay, any natural substance whatever, as fruit or flowers,
sculpture loses its solitary object, painting is almost extinguished,
while architecture has been obliged to undergo a sort of revolution in
its decorative portions to accommodate it to the restriction. These,
however, are matters of detail, though of very high importance; what I
wish rather to point out is the general tendency of Mahometanism, as
such, to foster those very faults in the barbarian which keep him from
ameliorating his condition. Here something might be said on what seems
to be the acknowledged effect of its doctrine of fatalism, viz., in
encouraging a barbarian recklessness of mind both in special seasons of
prosperity and adversity, and in the ordinary business of life; but this
is a point which it is difficult to speak of without a more intimate
knowledge of its circumstances than can be gained at a distance; I
prefer to show how the Religion is calculated to act upon that
extravagant self-conceit, which Robertson tells us is so congenial to
uncivilized man. While, on the one hand, it closes the possible openings
and occasions of internal energy and self-education, it has no tendency
to compensate for this mischief, on the other, by inculcating any docile
attention to the instruction of foreigners.


To learn from others, you must entertain a respect for them; no one
listens to those whom he contemns. Christian nations make progress in
secular matters, because they are aware they have many things to learn,
and do not mind from whom they learn them, so that he be able to teach.
It is true that Christianity, as well as Mahometanism, which imitated
it, has its visible polity, and its universal rule, and its especial
prerogatives and powers and lessons, for its disciples. But, with a
divine wisdom, and contrary to its human copyist, it has carefully
guarded (if I may use the expression) against extending its revelations
to any point which would blunt the keenness of human research or the
activity of human toil. It has taken those matters for its field in
which the human mind, left to itself, could not profitably exercise
itself, or progress, if it would; it has confined its revelations to the
province of theology, only indirectly touching on other departments of
knowledge, so far as theological truth accidentally affects them; and it
has shown an equally remarkable care in preventing the introduction of
the spirit of caste or race into its constitution or administration.
Pure nationalism it abhors; its authoritative documents pointedly ignore
the distinction of Jew and Gentile, and warn us that the first often
becomes the last; while its subsequent history has illustrated this
great principle, by its awful, and absolute, and inscrutable, and
irreversible passage from country to country, as its territory and its
home. Such, then, it has been in the divine counsels, and such, too, as
realized in fact; but man has ways of his own, and, even before its
introduction into the world, the inspired announcements, which preceded
it, were distorted by the people to whom they were given, to minister to
views of a very different kind. The secularized Jews, relying on the
supernatural favours locally and temporally bestowed on themselves, fell
into the error of supposing that a conquest of the earth was reserved
for some mighty warrior of their own race, and that, in compensation of
the reverses which befell them, they were to become an imperial nation.

What a contrast is presented to us by these different ideas of a
universal empire! The distinctions of race are indelible; a Jew cannot
become a Greek, or a Greek a Jew; birth is an event of past time;
according to the Judaizers, their nation, as a nation, was ever to be
dominant; and all other nations, as such, were inferior and subject.
What was the necessary consequence? There is nothing men more pride
themselves on than birth, for this very reason, that it is irrevocable;
it can neither be given to those who have it not, nor taken away from
those who have. The Almighty can do anything which admits of doing; He
can compensate every evil; but a Greek poet says that there is one thing
impossible to Him--to undo what is done. Without throwing the thought
into a shape which borders on the profane, we may see in it the reason
why the idea of national power was so dear and so dangerous to the Jew.
It was his consciousness of inalienable superiority that led him to
regard Roman and Greek, Syrian and Egyptian, with ineffable arrogance
and scorn. Christians, too, are accustomed to think of those who are not
Christians as their inferiors; but the conviction which possesses them,
that they have what others have not, is obviously not open to the
temptation which nationalism presents. According to their own faith,
there is no insuperable gulf between themselves and the rest of mankind;
there is not a being in the whole world but is invited by their religion
to occupy the same position as themselves, and, did he come, would stand
on their very level, as if he had ever been there. Such accessions to
their body they continually receive, and they are bound under obligation
of duty to promote them. They never can pronounce of any one, now
external to them, that he will not some day be among them; they never
can pronounce of themselves that, though they are now within, they may
not some day be found outside, the divine polity. Such are the
sentiments inculcated by Christianity, even in the contemplation of the
very superiority which it imparts; even there it is a principle, not of
repulsion between man and man, but of good fellowship; but as to
subjects of secular knowledge, since here it does not arrogate any
superiority at all, it has in fact no tendency whatever to centre its
disciple's contemplation on himself, or to alienate him from his kind.
He readily acknowledges and defers to the superiority in art or science
of those, if so be, who are unhappily enemies to Christianity. He admits
the principle of progress on all matters of knowledge and conduct on
which the Creator has not decided the truth already by revealing it; and
he is at all times ready to learn, in those merely secular matters, from
those who can teach him best. Thus it is that Christianity, even
negatively, and without contemplating its positive influences, is the
religion of civilization.


But I have here been directing your attention to Christianity with no
other view than to illustrate, by the contrast, the condition of the
Mahometan Turks. Their religion is not far from embodying the very dream
of the Judaizing zealots of the Apostolic age. On the one hand, there is
in it the profession of a universal empire, and an empire by conquest;
nay, military success seems to be considered the special note of its
divine origin. On the other hand, I believe it is a received notion with
them that their religion is not even intended for the north of the
earth, for some reasons connected with its ceremonial; nor is there in
it any public recognition, as in intercessory prayer, of the duty of
converting infidels. Certainly, the idea of Mahometan missions and
missionaries, unless an army in the field may be considered to be such,
is never suggested to us by Eastern historian or traveller, as entering
into their religious system. Though the Caliphate, then, may be
transferred from Saracen to Turk, Mahometanism is essentially a
consecration of the principle of nationalism; and thereby is as
congenial to the barbarian as Christianity is congenial to man
civilized. The less a man knows, the more conceited he is of his
proficiency; and, the more barbarous is a nation, the more imposing and
peremptory are its claims. Such was the spirit of the religion of the
Tartars, whatever was the nature of its tenets in detail. It deified the
Tartar race; Zingis Khan was "the son of God, mild and venerable;" and
"God was great and exalted over all, and immortal, but Zingis Khan was
sole lord upon the earth."[85] Such, too, is the strength of the Greek
schism, which there only flourishes where it can fasten on barbarism,
and extol the prerogatives of an elect nation. The Czar is the
divinely-appointed source of religious power; his country is "Holy
Russia;" and the high office committed to him and to it is to extend
what it considers the orthodox faith. The Osmanlis are not behind Tartar
or Russ in pretending to a divine mission; the Sultan, in his treaties
with Christian Powers, calls himself "Refuge of Sovereigns, Distributor
of Crowns to the Kings of the earth, Master of Europe, Asia, and Africa,
and shadow of God upon earth."

We might smile at such titles, were they not claimed in good earnest,
and professed in order to be used. It is said to be the popular belief
among the Turks, that the monarchs of Europe are, as this imperial style
declares, the feudatories of the Sultan. We should smile, too, at the
very opposite titles which they apply to Europeans, did they not here,
too, mean what they say, and strengthen and propagate their own scorn
and hatred of us by using them. "The Mussulmans, courteous and humane in
their intercourse with each other," says Thornton, "sternly refuse to
unbelievers the salutation of peace." Not that they necessarily insult
the Christian, he adds, by this refusal; nay, he even insists that
polished Turks are able to practise condescension; and then, as an
illustration of their courtesy, he tells us that "Mr. Eton, pleasantly
and accurately enough, compared the general behaviour of a Turk to a
Christian with that of a German baron to his vassal." However, he allows
that at least "the common people, more bigoted to their dogmas, express
more bluntly their sense of superiority over the Christians." "Their
usual salutation addressed to Christians," says Volney, "is 'good
morning;' but it is well if it be not accompanied with a Djaour, Kafer,
or Kelb, that is, impious, infidel, dog, expressions to which
Christians are familiarized." Sir C. Fellows is an earnest witness for
their amiableness; but he does not conceal that the children "hoot after
a European, and call him Frank dog, and even strike him;" and on one
occasion a woman caught up a child and ran off from him, crying out
against the Ghiaour; which gives him an opportunity of telling us that
the word "Ghiaour" means a man without a soul, without a God. A writer
in a popular Review, who seems to have been in the East, tells us that
"their hatred and contempt of the Ghiaour and Frangi is as burning as
ever; perhaps even more so, because they are forced to implore his aid.
The Eastern seeks Christian aid in the same spirit and with the same
disgust as he would eat swine's flesh, were it the only means of
securing him from starvation."[86] Such conduct is indeed only
consistent with their faith, and the untenableness of that faith is not
my present question; here I do but ask, are these barbarians likely to
think themselves inferior in any respect to men without souls? are they
likely to receive civilization from the nations of the West, whom,
according to the well-known story, they definitively divide into the hog
and the dog?

I have not time for more than an allusion to what is the complement of
this arrogance, and is a most pregnant subject of thought, whenever the
fortunes of the Ottomans are contemplated; I mean the despair which
takes its place in their minds, consistently with the barbarian
temperament, upon the occurrence of any considerable reverses. A passage
from Mr. Thornton just now quoted refers to this characteristic. The
overthrow at Lepanto, though they rallied from their consternation for a
while, was a far more serious and permanent misfortune in its moral
than in its material consequences. And, on any such national calamity,
the fatalism of their creed, to which I have already referred,
consecrates and fortifies their despair.

       *       *       *       *       *

I have been proving a point, which most persons would grant me, in thus
insisting on the essential barbarism of the Turks; but I have thought it
worth while to insist on it under the feeling, that to prove it is at
the same time to describe it, and many persons will vaguely grant that
they are barbarous without having any clear idea what barbarism means.
With this view I draw out my formal conclusion:--If civilization be the
ascendancy of mind over passion and imagination; if it manifests itself
in consistency of habit and action, and is characterised by a continual
progress or development of the principles on which it rests; and if, on
the other hand, the Turks alternate between sloth and energy,
self-confidence and despair,--if they have two contrary characters
within them, and pass from one to the other rapidly, and when they are
the one, are as if they could not be the other;--if they think
themselves, notwithstanding, to be the first nation upon earth, while at
the end of many centuries they are just what they were at the
beginning;--if they are so ignorant as not to know their ignorance, and
so far from making progress that they have not even started, and so far
from seeking instruction that they think no one fit to teach
them;--there is surely not much hazard in concluding, that, apart from
the consideration of any supernatural intervention, barbarians they have
lived, and barbarians they will die.


[79] Formby's Visit, p. 70.

[80] Bell's Geography.

[81] Vid, Sir Charles Fellows' Asia Minor.

[82] The correspondent of the _Times_ in February, 1854, speaking of the
great arsenal of Rustchuk, observes: "All the heavy smith work was done
by Bulgarians, the light iron work by gipsies, the carpenters were all
Turks, the sawyers Bulgarians, the tinmen all Jews."

[83] Lib. iv. fin.

[84] Sir C. Fellows.

[85] Bergeron, t. 1.

[86] Edinburgh Rev. 1853.


_The Future of the Ottomans._

Scientific anticipations are commonly either truisms or failures;
failures, if, as is usually the case, they are made upon insufficient
data; and truisms, if they succeed, for conclusions, being always
contained in their premisses, never can be discoveries. Yet, as mixed
mathematics correct, without superseding, the pure science, so I do not
see why I may not allowably take a sort of pure philosophical view of
the Turks and their position, though it be but abstract and theoretical,
and require correction when confronted by the event. There is a use in
investigating what ought to be, under given suppositions and conditions,
even though speculation and fact do not happen to keep pace together.

As to myself, having laid down my premisses, as drawn from historical
considerations, I must needs go on, whether I will or no, to the
conjectures to which they lead; and that shall be my business in this
concluding discussion. My line of argument has been as follows:--First,
I stated some peculiarities of civilized and of barbarian communities; I
said that it is a general truth that civilized states are destroyed from
within, and barbarian states from without; that the very causes, which
lead to the greatness of civilized communities, at length by continuing
become their ruin, whereas the causes of barbarian greatness uphold
that greatness, as long as they continue, and by ceasing to act, not by
continuing, lead the way to its overthrow. Thus the intellect of Athens
first was its making and then its unmaking; while the warlike prowess of
the Spartans maintained their pre-eminence, till it succumbed to the
antagonist prowess of Thebes.


I laid down this principle as a general law of human society, open to
exceptions and requiring modifications in particular cases, but true on
the whole. Next, I went on to show that the Ottoman power was of a
barbarian character. The conclusion is obvious; viz., that it has risen,
and will fall, not by anything within it, but by agents external to
itself; and this conclusion, I certainly think, is actually confirmed by
Turkish history, as far as it has hitherto gone. The Ottoman state
seems, in matter of fact, to be most singularly constructed, so as to
have nothing inside of it, and to be moved solely or mainly by
influences from without. What a contrast, for instance, to the German
race! In the earliest history of that people, we discern an element of
civilization, a vigorous action of the intellect residing in the body,
independent of individuals, and giving birth to great men, rather than
created by them. Again, in the first three centuries of the Church, we
find martyrs indeed in plenty, as the Turks might have soldiers; but (to
view the matter humanly) perhaps there was not one great mind, after the
Apostles, to teach and to mould her children. The highest intellects,
Origen, Tertullian, and Eusebius, were representatives of a philosophy
not hers; her greatest bishops, such as St. Gregory, St. Dionysius, and
St Cyprian, so little exercised a doctor's office, as to incur, however
undeservedly, the imputation of doctrinal inaccuracy. Vigilant as was
the Holy See then, as in every age, yet there is no Pope, I may say,
during that period, who has impressed his character upon his generation;
yet how well instructed, how precisely informed, how self-possessed an
oracle of truth, nevertheless, do we find the Church to be, when the
great internal troubles of the fourth century required it! how
unambiguous, how bold is the Christianity of the great Pontiffs, St.
Julius, St. Damasus, St. Siricius, and St. Innocent; of the great
Doctors, St. Athanasius; St. Basil, St. Ambrose, and St. Augustine! By
what channels, then, had the divine philosophy descended down from the
Great Teacher through three centuries of persecution? First through the
See and Church of Peter, into which error never intruded (though Popes
might be little more than victims, to be hunted out and killed, as soon
as made), and to which the faithful from all quarters of the world might
have recourse when difficulties arose, or when false teachers anywhere
exalted themselves. But intercommunion was difficult, and comparatively
rare in days like those, and of nothing is there less pretence of proof
than that the Holy See, while persecution raged, imposed a faith upon
the ecumenical body. Rather, in that earliest age, it was simply the
living spirit of the myriads of the faithful, none of them known to
fame, who received from the disciples of our Lord, and husbanded so
well, and circulated so widely, and transmitted so faithfully,
generation after generation, the once delivered apostolic faith; who
held it with such sharpness of outline and explicitness of detail, as
enabled even the unlearned instinctively to discriminate between truth
and error, spontaneously to reject the very shadow of heresy, and to be
proof against the fascination of the most brilliant intellects, when
they would lead them out of the narrow way. Here, then, is a luminous
instance of what I mean by an energetic action from within.

Take again the history of the Saracenic schools and parties, on which I
have already touched. Mr. Southgate considers the absence of religious
controversy among the Turks, contrasted with its frequency of old among
the Saracens, as a proof of the decay of the spirit of Islam. I should
rather refer the present apathy to the national temperament of the
Turks, and set it down, with other instances I shall mention presently,
as a result of their barbarism. Saracenic Mahometanism, on the contrary,
gives me an apposite illustration of what I mean by an "interior"
people, if I may borrow a devotional word to express a philosophical
idea. A barbarous nation has no "interior," but the Saracens show us
what a national "interior" is. "In former ages," says the author to whom
I have referred, Mr. Southgate, "the bosom of Islamism was riven with
numerous feuds and schisms, some of which have originated from religious
controversy, and others from political ambition. During the first
centuries of its existence, and while Mussulman learning flourished
under the patronage of the Caliphs, religious questions were discussed
by the learned with all the proverbial virulence of theological hatred.
The chief of these questions respected the origin of the Koran, the
nature of God, predestination and free will, and the grounds of human
salvation. The question, whether the Koran was created or eternal, rent
for a time the whole body of Islamism into twain, and gave rise to the
most violent persecutions.... Besides these religious contentions, which
divided the Mussulmans into parties, but seldom gave birth to sects,
there have sprung up, at different periods, avowed heresies, which
flourished for a time, and for the most part died with their authors.
Others, stimulated by ambition only, have reared the standard of revolt,
and under cover of some new religious dogma, propounded only to shield a
selfish end, have sought to raise themselves to power. Most of these,
whether theological disputes, heresies, or civil rebellions, cloaked
under the name of religion, arose previously to the sixteenth


Such is that internal peculiarity, the presence of which constitutes a
civilized, the absence a barbarous people; which makes a people great,
and small again; and which, just consistently with the notion of their
being barbarians, I cannot discern, for strength or for weakness, in the
Turks. On the contrary, almost all the elements of their success, and
instruments of their downfall, are external to themselves. For instance,
their religion, one of their principal bonds, owes nothing to them; it
is, not only in substance, but in concrete shape, just what it was when
it came to them. I cannot find that they have commented upon it; I
cannot find that they are the channels of any of those famous traditions
by which the Koran is interpreted, and which they themselves accept; or
that they have exercised their minds upon it at all, except so far as
they have been obliged, in a certain degree, to do so in the
administration of the law. It is true also that they have been obliged
to choose to be Sunnites and not Shiahs; but, considering the latter
sect arose in Persia, since the date of the Turkish occupation of
Constantinople, it was really no choice at all. They have but remained
as they were. Besides, the Shiahs maintain the hereditary transmission
of the Caliphate, which would exclude the line of Othman from the
succession--good reason then the Turks should be Sunnites; and the dates
of the two events so nearly coincide, that one could even fancy that the
Shiahs actually arose in consequence of the Sultan Selim's carrying off
the last of the Abassides from Egypt, and gaining the transference of
the Caliphate from his captive. Besides, if it is worth while pursuing
the point, did they not remain Sunnites, they would have to abandon the
traditional or oral law, and must cease to use the labours of its four
great doctors, which would be to bring upon themselves an incalculable
extent of intellectual toil; for without recognized comments on the
Koran, neither the religion nor the civil state could be made to work.

The divine right of the line of Othman is another of their special
political bonds, and this too is shown by the following extract from a
well-known historian,[88] if it needs showing, to be simply external to
themselves: "The origin of the Sultans," he says, "is obscure; but this
sacred and indefeasible right" to the throne, "which no time can erase,
and no violence can infringe, was soon and unalterably implanted in the
minds of their subjects. A weak or vicious Sultan may be deposed and
strangled, but his inheritance devolves to an infant or an idiot; nor
has the most daring rebel presumed to ascend the throne of his lawful
sovereign. While the transient dynasties of Asia have been continually
subverted by a crafty visir in the palace, or a victorious general in
the camp, the Ottoman succession has been confirmed by the practice of
five centuries, and is now incorporated with the vital principle of the
Turkish nation." Here we have on the one hand the imperial succession
described as an element of the political life of the Osmanlis--on the
other as an appointment over which they have no power; and obviously it
is from its very nature independent of them. It is a form of life
external to the community it vivifies.

Probably it was the wonderful continuity of so many great Sultans in
their early ages, which wrought in their minds the idea of a divine
mission as the attribute of the dynasty; and its acquisition of the
Caliphate would fix it indelibly within them. And here again, we have
another special instrument of their imperial greatness, but still an
external one. I have already had occasion to observe, that barbarians
make conquests by means of great men, in whom they, as it were, live;
ten successive monarchs, of extraordinary vigour and talent, carried on
the Ottomans to empire. Will any one show that those monarchs can be
fairly called specimens of the nation, any more than Zingis was the
specimen of the Tartars? Have they not rather acted as the _Deus è
machinâ_, carrying on the drama, which has languished or stopped, since
the time when they ceased to animate it? Contrast the Ottoman history in
this respect with the rise of the Anglo-Indian Empire, or with the
military successes of Great Britain under the Regency; or again with the
literary eminence of England under Charles the Second or even Anne,
which owed little to those monarchs. Kings indeed at various periods
have been most effective patrons of art and science; but the question
is, not whether English or French literature has ever been indebted to
royal encouragement, but whether the Ottomans can do anything at all, as
a nation, without it.

Indeed, I should like it investigated what internal history the Ottomans
have at all; what inward development of any kind they have made since
they crossed Mount Olympus and planted themselves in Broussa; how they
have changed shape and feature, even in lesser matters, since they were
a state, or how they are a year older than when they first came into
being. We see among them no representative of Confucius, Chi-hoagti, and
the sect of Ta-osse; no magi; no Pisistratus and Harmodius; no Socrates
and Alcibiades; no patricians and plebeians; no Cæsar; no invasion or
adoption of foreign mysteries; no mythical impersonation of an Ali; no
Suffeeism; no Guelphs and Gibellines; nothing really on the type of
Catholic religious orders; no Luther; nothing, in short, which, for good
or evil, marks the presence of a life internal to the political
community itself. Some authors indeed maintain they have a literature;
but I cannot ascertain what the assertion is worth. Rather the tenor of
their annals runs thus:--Two Pachas make war against each other, and a
kat-sherif comes from Constantinople for the head of the one or the
other; or a Pacha exceeds in pillaging his province, or acts
rebelliously, and is preferred to a higher government and suddenly
strangled on his way to it; or he successfully maintains himself, and
gains an hereditary settlement, still subject, however, to the feudal
tenure, which is the principle of the political structure, continuing to
send his contingent of troops, when the Sultan goes to war, and
remitting the ordinary taxes through his agent at Court. Such is the
staple of Turkish history, whether amid the hordes of Turkistan, or the
feudatory Turcomans of Anatolia, or the imperial Osmanlis.


The remark I am making applies to them, not only as a nation, but as a
body politic. When they descended on horseback upon the rich territories
which they occupy, they had need to become agriculturists, and miners,
and civil engineers, and traders; all which they were not; yet I do not
find that they have attempted any of these functions themselves. Public
works, bridges, and roads, draining, levelling, building, they seem
almost entirely to have neglected; where, however, to do something was
imperative, instead of applying themselves to their new position, and
manifesting native talent for each emergency, they usually have had
recourse to foreign assistance to execute what was uncongenial or
dishonourable to themselves. The Franks were their merchants, the
Armenians their bankers, the subject races their field labourers, and
the Greeks their sailors. "Almost the whole business of the ship," says
Thornton, "is performed by the slaves, or by the Greeks who are retained
upon wages."

The most remarkable instance of this reluctance to develop from
within--remarkable, both for the originality, boldness, success, and
permanence of the policy adopted, and for its appositeness to my
purpose--is the institution of the Janizaries, detestable as it was in a
moral point of view. I enlarge upon it here because it is at the same
time a palmary instance of the practical ability and wisdom of their
great Sultans, exerted in compensation of the resourceless impotence of
the barbarians whom they governed. The Turks were by nature nothing
better than horsemen; infantry they could not be; an infantry their
Sultans hardly attempted to form out of them; but since infantry was
indispensable in European warfare, they availed themselves of passages
in their own earlier history, and provided themselves with a perpetual
supply of foot soldiers from without. Of this procedure they were not,
strictly speaking, the originators; they took the idea of it from the
Saracens. You may recollect that, when their ancestors were defeated by
the latter people in Sogdiana, instead of returning to their deserts,
they suffered themselves to be diffused and widely located through the
great empire of the Caliphs. Whether as slaves, or as captives, or as
mercenaries, they were taken into favour by the dominant nation, and
employed as soldiers or civilians. They were chosen as boys or youths
for their handsome appearance, turned into Mahometans, and educated for
the army or other purposes. And thus the strength of the empire which
they served was always kept fresh and vigorous, by the continual
infusion into it of new blood to perform its functions; a skilful
policy, if the servants could be hindered from becoming masters.

Masters in time they did become, and then they adopted a similar system
themselves; we find traces of it even in the history of the Gaznevide
dynasty. In the reign of the son of the great Mahmood, we read of an
insurrection of the slaves; who, conspiring with one of his nobles,
seized his best horses, and rode off to his enemies. "By slaves," says
Dow, in translating this history, "are meant the captives and young
children, bought by kings, and educated for the offices of state. They
were often adopted by the Emperors, and very frequently succeeded to the
Empire. A whole dynasty of these possessed afterwards the throne in

The same system appears in Egypt, about or soon after the time of the
celebrated Saladin. Zingis, in his dreadful expedition from Khorasan to
Syria and Russia, had collected an innumerable multitude of youthful
captives, who glutted, as we may say, the markets of Asia. This gave the
conquerors of Egypt an opportunity of forming a mercenary or foreign
force for their defence, on a more definite idea than seems hitherto to
have been acted upon. Saladin was a Curd, and, as such, a neighbour of
the Caucasus; hence the Caucasian tribes became for many centuries the
store-houses of Egyptian mercenaries. A detestable slave trade has
existed with this object, especially among the Circassians, since the
time of the Moguls; and of these for the most part this Egyptian force,
Mamlouks, as they are called, has consisted. After a time, these
Mamlouks took matters into their own hands, and became a self-elective
body, or sort of large corporation. They were masters of the country,
and of its nominal ruler, and they recruited their ranks continually,
and perpetuated their power, by means of the natives of the Caucasus,
slaves like themselves, and of their own race.

"During the 500 or 600 years," says Volney, "that there have been
Mamlouks in Egypt, not one of them has left subsisting issue; there does
not exist one single family of them in the second generation; all their
children perish in the first and second descent. The means therefore by
which they are perpetuated and multiplied were of necessity the same by
which they were first established." These troops have been massacred and
got rid of in the memory of the last generation; towards the end of last
century they formed a body of above 8,500 men. The writer I have just
been quoting adds the following remarks:--"Born for the most part in the
rites of the Greek Church, and circumcised the moment they are bought,
they are considered by the Turks themselves as renegades, void of faith
and of religion. Strangers to each other, they are not bound by those
natural ties which unite the rest of mankind. Without parents, without
children, the past has nothing to do for them, and they do nothing for
the future. Ignorant and superstitious from education, they become
ferocious from the murders they commit, and corrupted by the most
horrible debauchery." On the other hand, they had every sort of
incentive and teaching to prompt them to rapacity and lawlessness. "The
young peasant, sold in Mingrelia or Georgia, no sooner arrives in Egypt,
than his ideas undergo a total alteration. A new and extraordinary scene
opens before him, where everything conduces to awaken his audacity and
ambition. Though now a slave, he seems destined to become a master, and
already assumes the spirit of his future condition. No sooner is a slave
enfranchised, than he aspires to the principal employments; and who is
to oppose his pretensions? and he will be no less able than his betters
in the art of governing, which consists only in taking money, and giving
blows with the sabre."

In describing the Mamlouks I have been in a great measure describing the
Janizaries, and have little to add to the picture. When Amurath, one of
the ten Sultans, had made himself master of the territory round
Constantinople, as far as the Balkan, he passed northwards, and subdued
the warlike tribes which possessed Bulgaria, Servia, Bosnia, and the
neighbouring provinces. These countries had neither the precious metals
in their mountains, nor marts of commerce; but their inhabitants were a
brave and hardy race, who had been for ages the terror of
Constantinople. It was suggested to the Sultan, that, according to the
Mahometan law, he was entitled to a fifth part of the captives, and he
made this privilege the commencement of a new institution. Twelve
thousand of the strongest and handsomest youths were selected as his
share; he formed them into a military force; he made them abjure
Christianity, he consecrated them with a religious rite, and named them
Janizaries. The discipline to which they were submitted was peculiar,
and in some respects severe. They were in the first instance made over
to the peasantry to assist them in the labours of the field, and thus
were prepared by penury and hard fare for the privations of a military
life. After this introduction, they were drafted into the companies of
the Janizaries, but only in order to commence a second noviciate.
Sometimes they were employed in the menial duties of the palace,
sometimes in the public works, sometimes in the dockyards, and sometimes
in the imperial gardens. Meanwhile they were taught their new religion,
and were submitted to the drill. When at length they went on service,
the road to promotion was opened upon them; nor were military honours
the only recompense to which they might aspire. There are examples in
history, of men from the ranks attaining the highest dignities in the
state, and at least of one of them marrying the sister of the Sultan.

This corps has constituted the main portion of the infantry of the
Ottoman armies for a period of nearly five hundred years; till, in our
own day, on account of its repeated turbulence, it was annihilated, as
the Mamlouks before it, by means of a barbarous massacre. Its end was as
strange as its constitution; but here it comes under our notice as a
singular exemplification of the unproductiveness, as I may call it, of
the Turkish intellect. It was nothing else but an external institution
devised to supply a need which a civilized state would have supplied
from its own resources; and it fell perhaps without any essential
prejudice to the integrity of the power which it had served. That power
is just what it was before the Janizaries were formed. They may still
fall back upon the powerful cavalry, which carried them all the way from
Turkistan; or they may proceed to employ a mercenary force; anyhow their
primitive social type remains inviolate.

Such is the strange phenomenon, or rather portent, presented to us by
the barbarian power which has been for centuries seated in the very
heart of the old world; which has in its brute clutch the most famous
countries of classical and religious antiquity, and many of the most
fruitful and beautiful regions of the earth; which stretches along the
course of the Danube, the Euphrates, and the Nile; which embraces the
Pindus, the Taurus, the Caucasus, Mount Sinai, the Libyan mountains, and
the Atlas, as far as the Pillars of Hercules; and which, having no
history itself, is heir to the historical names of Constantinople and
Nicæa, Nicomedia and Cæsarea, Jerusalem and Damascus, Nineveh and
Babylon, Mecca and Bagdad, Antioch and Alexandria, ignorantly holding in
possession one-half of the history of the whole world. There it lies and
will not die, and has not in itself the elements of death, for it has
the life of a stone, and, unless pounded and pulverized, is
indestructible. Such is it in the simplicity of its national existence,
while that mode of existence remains, while it remains faithful to its
religion and its imperial line. Should its fidelity to either fail, it
would not merely degenerate or decay; it would simply cease to be.


But we have dwelt long enough on the internal peculiarities of the
Ottomans; now let us shift the scene, and view them in the presence of
their enemies, and in their external relations both above and below
them; and then at once a very different prospect presents itself for our
contemplation. However, the first remark I have to make is one which has
reference still to their internal condition, but which does not properly
come into consideration, till we place them in the presence of rival
and hostile nations and races. Moral degeneracy is not, strictly
speaking, a cause of political ruin, as I have already said; but its
existence is of course a point of the gravest importance, when we would
calculate the chance which a people has of standing the brunt of war and
insurrection. It is a natural question to ask whether the Osmanlis,
after centuries of indulgence, have the physical nerve and mental vigour
which carried them forward through such a course of fortunes, till it
enthroned them in three quarters of the world. Their numbers are
diminished and diminishing; their great cities are half emptied; their
villages have disappeared; I believe that even out of the fraction of
Mahometans to be found amid their European population, but a miserable
minority are Osmanlis. Too much stress, however, must not be laid on
this circumstance. Though the Osmanlis are the conquering race, it
requires to be shown that they have ever had much to do, as a race, with
the executive of the Empire. While there are some vigorous minds at the
head of affairs, while there is a constant introduction of foreigners
into posts of authority and power, while Curd and Turcoman supply the
cavalry, while Egypt and other Pachalics send their contingents, while
the government can manage to combine, or to steer between, the
fanaticism of its subjects and the claims of European diplomacy, there
is a certain counterbalance in the State to the depravity and
worthlessness, whatever it be, of those who have the nominal power.

A far more formidable difficulty, when we survey their external
prospects, is that very peculiarity, which, internally considered, is so
much in their favour--the simplicity of their internal unity, and the
individuality of their political structure. The Turkish races, as being
conquerors, of course are only a portion of the whole population of
their empire; for four centuries they have remained distinct from
Slavonians, Greeks, Copts, Armenians, Curds, Arabs, Jews, Druses,
Maronites, Ansarians, Motoualis; and they never can coalesce with them.
Like other Empires, they have kept their sovereign position by the
insignificance, degeneracy, or mutual animosities of the several
countries and religions which they rule, and by the ruthless tyranny of
their government. Were they to relax that tyranny, were they to
relinquish their ascendancy, were they to place their Greek subjects,
for instance, on a civil equality with themselves, how in the nature of
things could two incommunicable races coexist beside each other in one
political community? Yet if, on the other hand, they refuse this
enfranchisement of their subjects, they will have to encounter the
displeasure of united Christendom.

Nor is it a mere question of political practicability or expedience:
will the Koran, in its laxest interpretation, admit of that toleration,
on which the Frank kingdoms insist? yet what and where are they without
the Koran?

Nor do we understand the full stress of the dilemma in which they are
placed, until we have considered what is meant by the demands and the
displeasure of the European community. Pledged by the very principle of
their existence to barbarism, the Turks have to cope with civilized
governments all around them, ever advancing in the material and moral
strength which civilization gives, and ever feeling more and more
vividly that the Turks are simply in the way. They are in the way of the
progress of the nineteenth century. They are in the way of the Russians,
who wish to get into the Mediterranean; they are in the way of the
English, who wish to cross to the East; they are in the way of the
French, who, from the Crusades to Napoleon, have felt a romantic
interest in Syria; they are in the way of the Austrians, their
hereditary foes. There they lie, unable to abandon their traditionary
principles, without simply ceasing to be a state; unable to retain them,
and retain the sympathy of Christendom;--Mahometans, despots, slave
merchants, polygamists, holding agriculture in contempt, Europe in
abomination, their own wretched selves in admiration, cut off from the
family of nations,[89] existing by ignorance and fanaticism, and
tolerated in existence by the mutual jealousies of Christian powers as
well as of their own subjects, and by the recurring excitement of
military and political combinations, which cannot last for ever.


And, last of all, as if it were not enough to be unable to procure the
countenance of any Christian power, except on specific conditions
prejudicial to their existence, still further, as the alternative of
their humbling themselves before the haughty nations of the West whom
they abhor, they have to encounter the direct cupidity, hatred, and
overpowering pressure of the multitudinous North, with its fanaticism
almost equal, and its numbers superior, to their own; a peril more awful
in imagination, from the circumstance that its descent has been for so
many centuries foretold and commenced, and of late years so widely
acquiesced in as inevitable. Seven centuries and a half have passed,
since, at the very beginning of the Crusades, a Greek writer still
extant turns from the then menacing inroads of the Turks in the East,
and the long centuries of their triumph which lay in prospect, to record
a prophecy, old in his time, relating to the North, to the effect that
in the last days the Russians should be masters of Constantinople. When
it was uttered no one knows; but it was written on an equestrian statue,
in his day one of the special monuments of the Imperial City, which had
one time been brought thither from Antioch. That statue, whether of
Christian or pagan origin is not known, has a name in history, for it
was one of the works of art destroyed by the Latins in the taking of
Constantinople; and the prediction engraven on it bears at least a
remarkable evidence of the congruity in itself, if I may use the word;
of that descent of the North upon Constantinople, which, though not as
yet accomplished, generation after generation grows more probable.

It is now a thousand years since this famous prophecy has been
illustrated by the actual incursions of the Russian hordes. Such was the
date of their first expedition against Constantinople; their assaults
continued through two centuries; and, in the course of that period, they
seemed to be nearer the capture of the city than they have been at any
time since. They descended the Dnieper in boats, coasted along the East
of the Black Sea, and so came round by Trebizond to the Bosphorus,
plundering the coast as they advanced. At one time their sovereign had
got possession of Bulgaria, to the south of the Danube. Barbarians of
other races flocked to his standard; he found himself surrounded by the
luxuries of the East and West, and he marched down as far as Adrianople,
and threatened to go further. Ultimately he was defeated; then followed
the conversion of his people to Christianity, which for a period
restrained their barbarous rapacity; after this, for two centuries, they
were under the yoke and bondage of the Tartars; but the prophecy, or
rather the omen, remains, and the whole world has learned to acquiesce
in the probability of its fulfilment. The wonder rather is, that that
fulfilment has been so long delayed. The Russians, whose wishes would
inspire their hopes, are not solitary in their anticipations: the
historian from whom I have borrowed this sketch of their past
attempts,[90] writing at the end of last century, records his own
expectation of the event. "Perhaps," he says, "the present generation
may yet behold the accomplishment of a rare prediction, of which the
style is unambiguous and the date unquestionable." The Turks themselves
have long been under the shadow of its influence; even as early as the
middle of the seventeenth century, when they were powerful, and Austria
and Poland also, and Russia distant and comparatively feeble, a
traveller tells us that, "of all the princes of Christendom, there was
none whom the Turks so much feared as the Czar of Muscovy." This
apprehension has ever been on the increase; in favour of Russia, they
made the first formal renunciation of territory which had been
consecrated to Islam by the solemnities of religion,--a circumstance
which has sunk deep into their imaginations; there is an enigmatical
inscription on the tomb of the Great Constantine, to the effect that
"the yellow-haired race shall overthrow Ismael;" moreover, ever since
their defeats by the Emperor Leopold, they have had a surmise that the
true footing of their faith is in Asia; and so strong is the popular
feeling on the subject, that in consequence their favourite cemetery is
at Scutari on the Asiatic coast.[91]


It seems likely, then, at no very remote day, to fare ill with the old
enemy of the Cross. However, we must not undervalue what is still the
strength of his position. First, no well-authenticated tokens come to us
of the decay of the Mahometan faith. It is true that in one or two
cities, in Constantinople, perhaps, or in the marts of commerce, laxity
of opinion and general scepticism may to a certain extent prevail, as
also in the highest class of all, and in those who have most to do with
Europeans; but I confess nothing has been brought home to me to show
that this superstition is not still a living, energetic principle in the
Turkish population, sufficient to bind them together in one, and to lead
to bold and persevering action. It must be recollected that a national
and local faith, like the Mahometan, is most closely connected with the
sentiments of patriotism, family honour, loyalty towards the past, and
party spirit; and this the more in the case of a religion which has no
articles of faith at all, except those of the Divine Unity and the
mission of Mahomet. To these must be added more general considerations:
that they have ever prospered under their religion, that they are
habituated to it, that it suits them, that it is their badge of a
standing antagonism to nations they abhor, and that it places them, in
their own imagination, in a spiritual position relatively to those
nations, which they would simply forfeit if they abandoned it. It would
require clear proof of the fact, to credit in their instance the report
of a change of mind, which antecedently is so improbable.

And next it must be borne in mind that, few as may be the Osmanlis, yet
the raw material of the Turkish nation, represented principally by the
Turcomans, extends over half Asia; and, if it is what it ever has been,
might under circumstances be combined or concentrated into a formidable
Power. It extends at this day from Asia Minor, in a continuous tract, to
the Lena, towards Kamtchatka, and from Siberia down to Khorasan, the
Hindu Cush, and China. The Nogays on the north-east of the Danube, the
inhabitants of the Crimea, the populations on each side of the Don and
Wolga, the wandering Turcomans who are found from the west of Asia,
along the Euxine, Caspian, and so through Persia into Bukharia, the
Kirghies on the Jaxartes, are said to speak one tongue, and to have one
faith.[92] Religion is a bond of union, and language is a medium of
intercourse; and, what is still more, they are all Sunnites, and
recognize in the Sultan the successor of Mahomet.

Without a head, indeed, to give them a formal unity, they are only one
in name. Nothing is less likely than a resuscitation of the effete
family of Othman; still, supposing the Ottomans driven into Asia, and a
Sultan of that race to mount the throne, such as Amurath, Mahomet, or
Selim, it is not easy to set bounds to the influence the Sovereign
Pontiff of Islam might exert, and to the successes he might attain, in
rallying round him the scattered members of a race, warlike, fanatical,
one in faith, in language, in habits, and in adversity. Nay, even
supposing the Turkish Caliph, like the Saracenic of old, still to
slumber in his seraglio, he might appoint a vicegerent, Emir-ul-Omra, or
Mayor of the Palace, such as Togrul Beg, to conquer with his authority
in his stead.

But, supposing great men to be wanting to the Turkish race, and the
despair, natural to barbarians, to rush upon them, and defeat,
humiliation, and flight to be their lot; supposing the rivalries and
dissensions of Pachas, in themselves arguing no disaffection to their
Sultan and Caliph, should practically lead to the success of their too
powerful foes, to the divulsion of their body politic, and the partition
of their territory; should this be the distant event to which the
present complications tend, then the fiercer spirits, I suppose, would
of their free will return into the desert, as a portion of the Kalmucks
have done within the last hundred years. Those, however, who remained,
would lead the easiest life under the protection of Russia. She already
is the sovereign ruler of many barbarian populations, and, among them,
Turks and Mahometans; she lets them pursue their wandering habits
without molestation, satisfied with such service on their part as the
interests of the empire require. The Turcomans would have the same
permission, and would hardly be sensible of the change of masters. It is
a more perplexing question how England or France, did they on the other
hand become their masters, would be able to tolerate them in their
reckless desolation of a rich country. Rather, such barbarians, unless
they could be placed where they would answer some political purpose,
would eventually share the fate of the aboriginal inhabitants of North
America; they would, in the course of years, be surrounded, pressed
upon, divided, decimated, driven into the desert by the force of
civilization, and would once more roam in freedom in their old home in
Persia or Khorasan, in the presence of their brethren, who have long
succeeded them in its possession.

       *       *       *       *       *

Many things are possible; one thing is inconceivable,--that the Turks
should, as an existing nation, accept of modern civilization; and, in
default of it, that they should be able to stand their ground amid the
encroachments of Russia, the interested and contemptuous patronage of
Europe, and the hatred of their subject populations.


[87] Tour through Armenia, etc.

[88] Gibbon.

[89] Since this was written, they have been taken into the European
family by the Treaty of 1856, and the Sultan has become a Knight of the
Garter. This strange phenomenon is not for certain to the advantage of
their political position.

[90] Gibbon.

[91] Thornton, ii. 89; Formby, p. 24; Eclectic Rev., Dec., 1828.

[92] Pritchard.


Cardinal Fisher, in his _Assert. Luther. Confut._, fol. clxi., gives the
following list of Popes who, up to his time, had called on the Princes
of Christendom to direct their arms against the Turks:--Urban II.,
Paschal II., Gelasius II., Calistus II., Eugenius III., Lucius III.,
Gregory VIII., Clement III., Coelestine III., Innocent III., Honorius
III., Gregory IX., Innocent IV., Alexander IV., Gregory X., John XXII.,
Martin IV., Nicolas IV., Innocent VI., Urban V.


The following passages, as being upon the subject of the foregoing
Lectures, are extracted from the lively narrative of an Expedition to
the Jordan and Dead Sea by Commander Lynch, of the United States Navy.

1. He was presented to Sultan Abdoul Medjid in February, 1848. He says:
"On the left hung a gorgeous crimson velvet curtain, embroidered and
fringed with gold" [the ancient Tartar one was of felt], "and towards it
the secretary led the way. His countenance and his manner exhibited more
awe than I had ever seen depicted in the human countenance. He seemed to
hold his breath; and his step was so soft and stealthy, that once or
twice I stopped, under the impression that I had left him behind, but
found him ever beside me. There were three of us in close proximity, and
the stairway was lined with officers and attendants; but such was the
death-like stillness that I could distinctly hear my own foot-fall. If
it had been a wild beast slumbering in his lair that we were about to
visit, there could not have been a silence more deeply hushed."

2. "I presented him, in the name of the President of the United States,
with some biographies and prints, illustrative of the character and
habits of our North American Indians, the work of American artists. He
looked at some of them ... and said that he considered them as evidences
of the advancement of the United States in _civilization_, and would
treasure them as a souvenir of the good feeling of its Government
towards him. At the word 'civilization,' pronounced in French, I
started, for it seemed singular, coming from the lips of a Turk, and
applied to our country." The author accounts for it by observing that
the Sultan is but a beginner in French, and probably meant by
"civilization" arts and sciences.

3. He saw the old Tartar throne, which puts one in mind of Attila's
queen, Zingis's lieutenant, and Timour. "The old divan, upon which the
Sultans formerly reclined when they gave audience, looks like an
overgrown four-poster, covered with carbuncles, turquoise, amethysts,
topaz, emeralds, ruby, and diamond: the couch was covered with Damascus
silk and Cashmere shawls."

4. "Anchored in the Bay of Scio. In the afternoon, the weather partially
moderating, visited the shore. From the ship we had enjoyed a view of
rich orchards and green fields; but on landing we found ourselves amid a
scene of desolation.... We rode into the country.... What a contrast
between the luxuriant vegetation, the bounty of nature, and the
devastation of man! Nearly every house was unroofed and in ruins, not
one in ten inhabited, although surrounded with thick groves of
orange-trees loaded with the weight of their golden fruit."

"While weather-bound, we availed ourselves of the opportunity to visit
the ruins [of Ephesus]. There are no trees and but very few bushes on
the face of this old country, but the mountain-slopes and the valleys
are enamelled with thousands of beautiful flowers.... Winding round the
precipitous crest of a mountain, we saw the river Cayster ... flowing
through the alluvial plain to the sea, and on its banks the black tents
of herdsmen, with their flocks of goats around them." As Chandler had
seen them there ninety years ago.

5. "The tomb of Mahmood is a sarcophagus about eight feet high and as
many long, covered with purple cloth embroidered in gold, and many
votive shawls of the richest cashmere thrown over it.... At the head is
the crimson tarbouch which the monarch wore in life, with a lofty plume,
secured by a large and lustrous aigrette of diamonds. The following
words are inscribed in letters of gold on the face of the tomb:--'This
is the tomb of the layer of the basis of the civilization of his empire;
of the monarch of exalted place, the Sultan victorious and just, Mahmood
Khan, son of the victorious Abd' al Hamid Khan. May the Almighty make
his abode in the gardens of Paradise! Born,' etc."

"From the eager employment of Franks, the introduction of foreign
machinery, and the adoption of improved modes of cultivating the land,
the present Sultan gives the strongest assurance of his anxiety to
promote the welfare of his people."

San Stefano "possesses two things in its near vicinity, of peculiar
interest to an American--a model farm and an agricultural school. The
farm consists of about 2,000 acres of land, especially appropriated to
the culture of the cotton-plant. Both farm and school are under the
superintendence of Dr. Davis of South Carolina.... Besides the principal
culture, he is sedulously engaged in the introduction of seeds, plants,
domestic animals, and agricultural instruments. The school is held in
one of the kiosks of the Sultan, which overlooks the sea."

At Jaffa, Dr. Kayat, H.B.M. Consul, "has encouraged the culture of the
vine; has introduced that of the mulberry and of the Irish potato; and
by word and example is endeavouring to prevail on the people in the
adjacent plain to cultivate the sweet potato.... In the court-yard we
observed an English plough of improved construction."

He speaks in several places of the remains of the terrace cultivation
(vid. above, p. 128) of Palestine.

6. "We visited the barracks, where a large number of Turkish soldiers,
shaved and dressed like Europeans except the moustache and the tarbouch,
received us with the Asiatic salute.... The whole caserne was
scrupulously clean, the bread dark coloured, but well baked and sweet.
The colonel, who politely accompanied us, said that the bastinado had
been discontinued, on account of its injuring the culprit's eyes."

... "Here," in the Palace, "we saw the last of the White Eunuchs; the
present enlightened Sultan having pensioned off those on hand, and
discontinued their attendance for ever."

"In an extensive, but nearly vacant building, was an abortive attempt at
a museum."

"It is said, but untruly, that the slave market of Constantinople has
been abolished. An edict, it is true, was some years since promulgated,
which declared the purchase and sale of slaves to be unlawful; the
prohibition, however, is only operative against the Franks, under which
term the Greeks are included."

7. "Every coloured person, employed by the Government, receives monthly
wages; and, if a slave, is emancipated at the expiration of seven years,
when he becomes eligible to any office beneath the sovereignty. Many of
the high dignitaries of the empire were originally slaves; the present
Governor of the Dardanelles is a black, and was, a short time since,
freed from servitude."

"The secretary had the most prepossessing countenance of any Turk I had
yet seen, and in conversation evinced a spirit of inquiry and an amount
of intelligence that far surpassed my expectations.... His history is a
pleasing one. He was a poor boy, a charity scholar in one of the public
schools. The late Sultan Mahmood requiring a page to fill a vacancy in
his suite, directed the appointment to be given to the most intelligent
pupil. The present secretary was the fortunate one; and by his
abilities, his suavity and discretion, has risen to the highest office
near the person of majesty."


[The dates, as will be seen, are fixed on no scientific principal, but
are taken as they severally occur in approved authors.]



  I. Tartar Empire of the Turks in the north and centre of
  Asia                                                         500-700

  II. Their subjection, education, and silent growth, under the
  Saracens                                                    700-1000

  III. Their Gaznevide Empire in Hindostan                   1000-1200

  IV. Their Seljukian Empire in Persia and Asia Minor        1048-1100

  V. Decline of the Seljukians, yet continuous descent of their
  kindred tribes to the West                                 1100-1300

  VI. Their Ottoman Empire in Asia, Africa, and Europe,
  growing for 270 years                                      1300-1571

  VII. Their Ottoman Empire declining for 270 years          1571-1841



  Semiramis lost in the Scythian desert p. 13                      --
  The Scythians celebrated by Homer pp. 29, 39                     900
  The Scythians occupy for twenty-eight years the Median kingdom
  in the time of Cyaxares pp. 15, 22 (_Prideaux_)                  633
  Cyrus loses his life in an expedition against the Scythian Massagetæ
  p. 14 (_Clinton_)                                                529
  Darius invades Scythia north of the Danube, p. 16 (_Clinton_)    508
  Zoroaster p. 66 (_Prideaux_)                                     492
  Alexander's campaign in Sogdiana p. 18 (_Clinton_)               329


  Ancient Empire of the Huns in further Asia ends; their consequent
  emigration westward p. 26 (_Gibbon_)                             100

  The White Huns of Sogdiana pp. 26, 34, 52, 60, 67          after 100

  Main body of the Huns invade the Goths on the north of the
  Danube p. 22 (_L'Art de vérifier les dates_)                     376

  Attila and his Huns ravage the Roman Empire pp. 27, 28       441-452

  Mission of St. Leo to Attila pp. 29, 31                          453

  Tartar Empire of the Turks pp. 49-52 (_L'Art_, etc., _Gibbon_),
    about                                                      500-700
  Chosroes the Second captures the Holy Cross p. 53
    (_L'Art_, etc.)                                                614
  Mahomet assumes the royal dignity. The Hegira p. 69 (_L'Art_)    622
  The Turks from the Wolga settled by the Emperor Heraclius
  in Georgia against the Persians p. 53 (_Gibbon_)                 626
  The Turks invade Sogdiana p. 68 (_Gibbon_)                       626
  Heraclius recovers the Holy Cross p. 53 (_L'Art_, etc.)          628
  Death of Mahomet p. 69 (_L'Art_)                                 632
  Yezdegerde, last King of Persia, flying from the Saracens, is
  received and murdered by the Turks in Sogdiana p. 69 (_Universal
    History_)                                                      654
  The Saracens reduce the Turks in Sogdiana p. 70 (_L'Art_, and
    _Univ. Hist._)                                             705-716

  The Caliphate transferred from Damascus to Bagdad p. 76
    (_L'Art_)                                                      762
  Harun al Raschid p. 77 (_L'Art_)                                 786
  The Turks taken into the pay of the Caliphs p. 77 (_L'Art_)      833, etc.
  The Turks tyrannize over the Caliphs p. 79 (_L'Art_)         862-870
  The Caliphs lose Sogdiana p. 80 (_L'Art_)                        873
  The Turkish dynasty of the Gaznevides in Khorasan and Sogdiana
    p. 80 (_Dow_)                                                  977
  Mahmood the Gaznevide pp. 80-84 (_Dow_)                          997

  Seljuk the Turk pp. 84-89 (_Univ. Hist._)                       985
  The Seljukian Turks wrest Sogdiana and Khorasan from the
  Gaznevides p. 89 (_Dow_)                                        1041
  Togrul Beg, the Seljukian, turns to the West pp. 89, 92
    (_Baronius_)                                                  1048
  Sufferings of Christians on pilgrimage to Jerusalem pp. 98-101
  (_Baronius_)                                                    1064
  Alp Arslan's victory over the Emperor Diogenes p. 93
    (_Baronius_)                                                  1071
  St. Gregory the Seventh's letter against the Turks p. 98 (_Sharon
  Turner_)                                                        1074
  Jerusalem in possession of the Turks p. 98 (_L'Art_)            1076
  Soliman, the Seljukian Sultan of Roum, establishes himself at
  Nicæa p. 131 (_L'Art_)                                          1082

  The Council of Placentia under Urban the Second pp. 109, 137
  (_L'Art_)                                                       1095
  The first Crusade p. 109 (_L'Art_)                              1097
  Conquests of Zingis Khan and the Moguls pp. 32-34
    (_L'Art_)                                                1176-1259
  Richard Coeur de Lion in Palestine p. 140 (_L'Art_)             1190
  Institution of Mamlooks p. 217                            about 1200
  Constantinople taken by the Latins p. 139 (_L'Art_)             1203
  Greek Empire of Nicæa p. 121 (_L'Art_)                          1206
  The Greek Emperor Vataces encourages agriculture in Asia
  Minor p. 121 (_L'Art_)                                     1222-1255

  The Moguls subjugate Russia p. 225 (_L'Art_)                    1236
  Mission of St. Louis to the Moguls pp. 35-41 (_L'Art_)          1253
  The Turks attack the north and west coast of Asia Minor
    p. 93 (_Univ. Hist._)                                    1266-1296
  Marco Polo p. 37                                                1270
  End of the Seljukian kingdom of Roum p. 132 (_L'Art_)           1294

  Othman p. 132                                                   1301
  The Popes retire to Avignon for seventy years p. 143 (_L'Art_)  1305
  Orchan, successor to Othman, originates the institution of
  Janizaries p. 134 (_L'Art_)                                1326-1360
  Battle of Cressy p. 140                                         1346
  Battle of Poitiers, p. 140                                      1356
  Wicliffe, p. 139    1360
  Amurath institutes the Janizaries pp. 113, 215, 218 (_Gibbon_)  1370
  Conquests of Timour p. 32 (_L'Art_)                             1370, etc.
  Schismatical Pontiffs for thirty-eight years p. 143
    (_L'Art_)                                                1378-1417
  Battle of Nicopolis p. 146 (_L'Art_)                            1393
  Timour defeats and captures Bajazet p. 144 (_L'Art_)            1402
  Timour at Samarcand pp. 38, 45 (_L'Art_)                        1404
  Timour dies on his Chinese expedition p. 46                     1405

  Henry the Fourth of England dies, p. 141                        1413
  Battle of Agincourt pp. 140, 145                                1415
  Huss p. 140    1415
  Henry the Fifth of England dies p. 142                          1422
  Maid of Orleans p. 141    1428
  Battle of Varna p. 147 (_L'Art_)                                1442
  Constantinople taken by the Ottomans p. 147                     1453
  John Basilowich rescues Russia from the Moguls p. 47
    (_L'Art_)                                               about 1480
  Luther p. 140                                                   1517
  Soliman the Great pp. 148, 192                                  1520
  St. Pius the Fifth p. 153                                       1568
  Battle of Lepanto pp. 156, 189                                  1571





If the following sketch of Cicero's life and writings be thought
unworthy of so great a subject, the Author must plead the circumstances
under which it was made.

In the spring of 1824, when his hands were full of work, Dr. Whately
paid him the compliment of asking him to write it for the _Encyclopædia
Metropolitana_, to which he was at that time himself contributing. Dr.
Whately explained to him that the Editor had suddenly been disappointed
in the article on Cicero which was to have appeared in the
_Encyclopædia_, and that in consequence he could not allow more than two
months for the composition of the paper which was to take its place;
also, that it must contain such and such subjects. The Author undertook
and finished it under these conditions.

In the present Edition (1872) he has in some places availed himself of
the excellent translations of its Greek and Latin passages, made by the
Reverend Henry Thompson in the Edition of 1852.



  1. CHIEF EVENTS IN THE LIFE OF CICERO,  §§ 1-4                245

  2. HIS LITERARY POSITION,  § 5                                259

  3. THE NEW ACADEMY AND HIS RELATION TO IT,  §§ 6-7            264

  4. HIS PHILOSOPHICAL WRITINGS,  §§ 8-10                       275

     COMPOSITIONS, § 10                                         289

  6. HIS ORATIONS,  § 11                                        291

  7. HIS STYLE,  § 12                                           295

  8. THE ORATORS OF ROME,  § 13                                 297



Marcus Tullius Cicero was born at Arpinum, the native place of
Marius,[93] in the year of Rome 648 (A.C. 106), the same year which gave
birth to the Great Pompey. His family was ancient and of Equestrian
rank, but had never taken part in the public affairs of Rome,[94] though
both his father and grandfather were persons of consideration in the
part of Italy to which they belonged.[95] His father, being a man of
cultivated mind himself, determined to give his two sons the advantage
of a liberal education, and to fit them for the prospect of those public
employments which a feeble constitution incapacitated himself from
undertaking. Marcus, the elder of the two, soon displayed indications of
a superior intellect, and we are told that his schoolfellows carried
home such accounts of him, that their parents often visited the school
for the sake of seeing a youth who gave such promise of future
eminence.[96] One of his earliest masters was the poet Archias, whom he
defended afterwards in his Consular year; under his instructions he was
able to compose a poem, though yet a boy, on the fable of Glaucus, which
had formed the subject of one of the tragedies of Æschylus. Soon after
he assumed the manly gown he was placed under the care of Scævola, the
celebrated lawyer, whom he introduces so beautifully into several of his
philosophical dialogues; and in no long time he gained a thorough
knowledge of the laws and political institutions of his country.[97]

This was about the time of the Social war; and, according to the Roman
custom, which made it a necessary part of education to learn the
military art by personal service, Cicero took the opportunity of serving
a campaign under the Consul Pompeius Strabo, father of Pompey the Great.
Returning to pursuits more congenial to his natural taste, he commenced
the study of Philosophy under Philo the Academic, of whom we shall speak
more particularly hereafter.[98] But his chief attention was reserved
for Oratory, to which he applied himself with the assistance of Molo,
the first rhetorician of the day; while Diodotus the Stoic exercised him
in the argumentative subtleties for which the disciples of Zeno were so
generally celebrated. At the same time he declaimed daily in Greek and
Latin with some young noblemen, who were competitors with him in the
same race of political honours.

Of the two professions,[99] which, from the contentiousness of human
nature, are involved in the very notion of society, while that of arms,
by its splendour and importance, secures the almost undivided admiration
of a rising and uncivilized people, legal practice, on the other hand,
becomes the path to honours in later and more civilized ages, by reason
of the oratorical accomplishments to which it usually gives scope. The
date of Cicero's birth fell precisely during that intermediate state of
things, in which the glory of military exploits lost its pre-eminence
by means of the very opulence and luxury which were their natural issue;
and he was the first Roman who found his way to the highest dignities of
the State with no other recommendation than his powers of eloquence and
his merits as a civil magistrate.[100]

The first cause of importance he undertook was his defence of Sextus
Roscius; in which he distinguished himself by his spirited opposition to
Sylla, whose favourite Chrysogonus was prosecutor in the action. This
obliging him, according to Plutarch, to leave Rome on prudential
motives, he employed his time in travelling for two years under pretence
of his health, which, he tells us,[101] was as yet unequal to the
exertion of pleading. At Athens he met with T. Pomponius Atticus, whom
he had formerly known at school, and there renewed with him a friendship
which lasted through life, in spite of the change of interests and
estrangements of affection so common in turbulent times.[102] Here too
he attended the lectures of Antiochus, who, under the name of Academic,
taught the dogmatic doctrines of Plato and the Stoics. Though Cicero
felt at first considerable dislike of his philosophical views,[103] he
seems afterwards to have adopted the sentiments of the Old Academy,
which they much resembled; and not till late in life to have relapsed
into the sceptical tenets of his former instructor Philo.[104] After
visiting the principal philosophers and rhetoricians of Asia, in his
thirtieth year he returned to Rome, so strengthened and improved both
in bodily and mental powers, that he soon eclipsed in his oratorical
efforts all his competitors for public favour. So popular a talent
speedily gained him the suffrage of the Commons; and, being sent to
Sicily as Quæstor, at a time when the metropolis itself was visited with
a scarcity of corn, he acquitted himself in that delicate situation with
such address as to supply the clamorous wants of the people without
oppressing the province from which the provisions were raised.[105]
Returning thence with greater honours than had ever been before decreed
to a Roman Governor, he ingratiated himself still farther in the esteem
of the Sicilians by undertaking his celebrated prosecution of Verres;
who, though defended by the influence of the Metelli and the eloquence
of Hortensius, was at length driven in despair into voluntary exile.

Five years after his Quæstorship, Cicero was elected Ædile, a post of
considerable expense from the exhibition of games connected with it. In
this magistracy he conducted himself with singular propriety;[106] for,
it being customary to court the people by a display of splendour in
these official shows, he contrived to retain his popularity without
submitting to the usual alternative of plundering the provinces or
sacrificing his private fortune. The latter was at this time by no means
ample; but, with the good sense and taste which mark his character, he
preserved in his domestic arrangements the dignity of a literary and
public man, without any of the ostentation of magnificence which often
distinguished the candidate for popular applause.[107]

After the customary interval of two years, he was returned at the head
of the list as Prætor;[108] and now made his first appearance in the
rostrum in support of the Manilian law. About the same time he defended
Cluentius. At the expiration of his Prætorship, he refused to accept a
foreign province, the usual reward of that magistracy;[109] but, having
the Consulate full in view, and relying on his interest with Cæsar and
Pompey, he allowed nothing to divert him from that career of glory for
which he now believed himself to be destined.


It may be doubted, indeed, whether any individual ever rose to power by
more virtuous and truly honourable conduct; the integrity of his public
life was only equalled by the correctness of his private morals; and it
may at first sight excite our wonder that a course so splendidly begun
should afterwards so little fulfil its early promise. Yet it was a
failure from the period of his Consulate to his Pro-prætorship in
Cilicia, and each year is found to diminish his influence in public
affairs, till it expires altogether with the death of Pompey. This
surprise, however, arises in no small degree from measuring Cicero's
political importance by his present reputation, and confounding the
authority he deservedly possesses as an author with the opinions
entertained of him by his contemporaries as a statesman. From the
consequence usually attached to passing events, a politician's celebrity
is often at its zenith in his own generation; while the author, who is
in the highest repute with posterity, may perhaps have been little
valued or courted in his own day. Virtue indeed so conspicuous as that
of Cicero, studies so dignified, and oratorical powers so commanding,
will always invest their possessor with a large portion of reputation
and authority; and this is nowhere more apparent than in the
enthusiastic welcome with which he was greeted on his return from exile.
But unless other qualities be added, more peculiarly necessary for a
statesman, they will hardly of themselves carry that political weight
which some writers have attached to Cicero's public life, and which his
own self-love led him to appropriate.

The advice of the Oracle,[110] which had directed him to make his own
genius, not the opinion of the people, his guide to immortality (which
in fact pointed at the above-mentioned distinction between the fame of a
statesman and of an author), at first made a deep impression on his
mind; and at the present day he owes his reputation principally to those
pursuits which, as Plutarch tells us, exposed him to the ridicule and
even to the contempt of his contemporaries as a "pedant and a
professor."[111] But his love of popularity overcame his philosophy, and
he commenced a career which gained him one triumph and ten thousand

It is not indeed to be doubted that in his political course he was more
or less influenced by a sense of duty. To many it may even appear that a
public life was best adapted for the display of his particular talents;
that, at the termination of the Mithridatic war, Cicero was in fact
marked out as the very man to adjust the pretensions of the rival
parties in the Commonwealth, to withstand the encroachments of Pompey,
and to baffle the arts of Cæsar. And if the power of swaying and
controlling the popular assemblies by his eloquence; if the
circumstances of his rank, Equestrian as far as family was concerned,
yet almost Patrician from the splendour of his personal honours; if the
popularity derived from his accusation of Verres, and defence of
Cornelius, and the favour of the Senate acquired by the brilliant
services of his Consulate; if the general respect of all parties which
his learning and virtue commanded; if these were sufficient
qualifications for a mediator between contending factions, Cicero was
indeed called upon by the voice of his country to that most arduous and
honourable post. And in his Consulate he had seemed sensible of the
call: "All through my Consulate," he declares in his speech against
Piso, "I made a point of doing nothing without the advice of the Senate
and the approval of the People. I ever defended the Senate in the
Rostrum, in the Senate House the People, and united the populace with
the leading men, the Equestrian order with the Senate."

Yet, after that eventful period, we see him resigning his high station
to Cato, who, with half his abilities, little foresight, and no
address,[112] possessed that first requisite for a statesman, firmness.
Cicero, on the contrary, was irresolute, timid, and inconsistent.[113]
He talked indeed largely of preserving a middle course,[114] but he was
continually vacillating from one to the other extreme; always too
confident or too dejected; incorrigibly vain of success, yet meanly
panegyrizing the government of an usurper. His foresight, sagacity,
practical good sense, and singular tact, were lost for want of that
strength of mind which points them steadily to one object. He was never
decided, never (as has sometimes been observed) took an important step
without afterwards repenting of it. Nor can we account for the firmness
and resolution of his Consulate, unless we discriminate between the
case of resisting and exposing a faction, and that of balancing
contending interests. Vigour in repression differs widely from
steadiness in mediation; the latter requiring a coolness of judgment,
which a direct attack upon a public foe is so far from implying, that it
even inspires minds naturally timid with unusual ardour.


His Consulate was succeeded by the return of Pompey from the East, and
the establishment of the First Triumvirate; which, disappointing his
hopes of political power, induced him to resume his forensic and
literary occupations. From these he was recalled, after an interval of
four years, by the threatening measures of Clodius, who at length
succeeded in driving him into exile. This event, which, considering the
circumstances connected with it, was one of the most glorious of his
life, filled him with the utmost distress and despondency. He wandered
about Greece bewailing his miserable fortune, refusing the consolations
which his friends attempted to administer, and shunning the public
honours with which the Greek cities were eager to load him.[115] His
return, which took place in the course of the following year, reinstated
him in the high station he had filled at the termination of his
Consulate, but the circumstances of the times did not allow him to
retain it. We refer to Roman history for an account of his vacillations
between the several members of the Triumvirate; his defence of Vatinius
to please Cæsar; and of his bitter political enemy Gabinius, to
ingratiate himself with Pompey. His personal history in the meanwhile
furnishes little worth noticing, except his election into the college of
Augurs, a dignity which had been a particular object of his ambition.
His appointment to the government of Cilicia, which took place about
five years after his return from exile, was in consequence of Pompey's
law, which obliged those Senators of Consular or Prætorian rank, who had
never held any foreign command, to divide the vacant provinces among
them. This office, which we have above seen him decline, he now accepted
with feelings of extreme reluctance, dreading perhaps the military
occupations which the movements of the Parthians in that quarter
rendered necessary. Yet if we consider the state and splendour with
which the Proconsuls were surrounded, and the opportunities afforded
them for almost legalized plunder and extortion, we must confess that
this insensibility to the common objects of human cupidity was the token
of no ordinary mind. The singular disinterestedness and integrity of his
administration, as well as his success against the enemy, also belong to
the history of his times. The latter he exaggerated from the desire, so
often instanced in eminent men, of appearing to excel in those things
for which nature has not adapted them.

His return to Italy was followed by earnest endeavours to reconcile
Pompey with Cæsar, and by very spirited behaviour when Cæsar required
his presence in the Senate. On this occasion he felt the glow of
self-approbation with which his political conduct seldom repaid him: he
writes to Atticus,[116] "I believe I do not please Cæsar, but I am
pleased with myself, which has not happened to me for a long while."
However, this effort at independence was but transient. At no period of
his public life did he display such miserable vacillation as at the
opening of the civil war.[117] We find him first accepting a commission
from the Republic; then courting Cæsar; next, on Pompey's sailing for
Greece, resolving to follow him thither; presently determining to stand
neuter; then bent on retiring to the Pompeians in Sicily; and, when
after all he had joined their camp in Greece, discovering such timidity
and discontent as to draw from Pompey the bitter reproof, "I wish Cicero
would go over to the enemy, that he may learn to fear us."[118]

On his return to Italy, after the battle of Pharsalia, he had the
mortification of learning that his brother and nephew were making their
peace with Cæsar, by throwing on himself the blame of their opposition
to the conqueror. And here we see one of those elevated points of
character which redeem the weaknesses of his political conduct; for,
hearing that Cæsar had retorted on Quintus Cicero the charge which the
latter had brought against himself, he wrote a pressing letter in his
favour, declaring his brother's safety was not less precious to him than
his own, and representing him not as the leader, but as the companion of
his voyage.[119]

Now too the state of his private affairs reduced him to much perplexity;
a sum he had advanced to Pompey had impoverished him, and he was forced
to stand indebted to Atticus for present assistance.[120] These
difficulties led him to take a step which it has been customary to
regard with great severity; the divorce of his wife Terentia, though he
was then in his sixty-second year, and his marriage with his rich ward
Publilia, who of course was of an age disproportionate to his own.[121]
Yet, in reviewing this proceeding, we must not adopt the modern standard
of propriety, forgetful of a condition of society which reconciled
actions even of moral turpitude with a reputation for honour and virtue.
Terentia was a woman of a most imperious and violent temper, and (what
is more to the purpose) had in no slight degree contributed to his
present embarrassments by her extravagance in the management of his
private affairs.[122] By her he had two children, a son, born a year
before his Consulate, and a daughter whose loss he was now fated to
deplore. To Tullia he was tenderly attached, not only from the
excellence of her disposition, but from her literary tastes; and her
death tore from him, as he so pathetically laments to Sulpicius, the
only comfort which the course of public events had left him.[123] At
first he was inconsolable; and, retiring to a little island near his
estate at Antium, he buried himself in the woods, to avoid the sight of
man.[124] His distress was increased by the conduct of his new wife
Publilia; whom he soon divorced for testifying joy at the death of her
stepdaughter. On this occasion he wrote his Treatise on Consolation,
with a view to alleviate his grief; and, with the same object, he
determined on dedicating a temple to his daughter, as a memorial of her
virtues and his affection. His friends were assiduous in their
attentions; and Cæsar, who had treated him with extreme kindness on his
return from Egypt, signified the respect he bore his character by
sending him a letter of condolence from Spain,[125] where the remains of
the Pompeian party still engaged him. Cæsar, moreover, had shortly
before given a still stronger proof of his favour, by replying to a work
which Cicero had drawn up in praise of Cato;[126] but no attentions,
however considerate, could soften Cicero's vexation at seeing the
country he had formerly saved by his exertions now subjected to the
tyranny of one master. His speeches, indeed, for Marcellus and Ligarius,
exhibit traces of inconsistency; but for the most part he retired from
public business, and gave himself up to the composition of those works
which, while they mitigated his political sorrows, have secured his
literary celebrity.


The murder of Cæsar, which took place in the following year, once more
brought him on the stage of public affairs; but as our present paper is
but supplemental to the history of the times, we leave to others to
relate what more has to be told of him, his unworthy treatment of
Brutus, his coalition with Octavius, his orations against Antonius, his
proscription, and his violent death, at the age of sixty-four. Willingly
would we pass over his public life altogether; for he was as little of a
great statesman as of a great commander. His merits are of another kind
and in a higher order of excellence. Antiquity may be challenged to
produce a man more virtuous, more perfectly amiable than Cicero. None
interest more in their life, none excite more painful emotions in their
death. Others, it is true, may be found of loftier and more heroic
character, who awe and subdue the mind by the grandeur of their views,
or the intensity of their exertions. But Cicero engages our affections
by the integrity of his public conduct, the correctness of his private
life, the generosity,[127] placability, and kindness of his heart, the
playfulness of his wit, the warmth of his domestic attachments. In this
respect his letters are invaluable. "Here," says Middleton, "we may see
the genuine man without disguise or affectation, especially in his
letters to Atticus; to whom he talked with the same frankness as to
himself, opened the rise and progress of each thought; and never entered
into any affair without his particular advice."[128]

It must be confessed, indeed, that this private correspondence discloses
the defects of his political conduct, and shows that they were partly of
a moral character. Want of firmness has been repeatedly mentioned as his
principal failing; and insincerity is the natural attendant on a timid
and irresolute mind. On the other hand, it must not be forgotten that
openness and candour are rare qualities in a statesman at all times, and
while the duplicity of weakness is despised, the insincerity of a
powerful but crafty mind, though incomparably more odious, is too
commonly regarded with feelings of indulgence. Cicero was deficient, not
in honesty, but in moral courage; his disposition, too, was conciliatory
and forgiving; and much which has been referred to inconsistency should
be attributed to the generous temper which induced him to remember the
services rather than the neglect of Plancius, and to relieve the exiled
and indigent Verres.[129] Much too may be traced to his professional
habits as a pleader; which led him to introduce the licence of the
Forum into deliberative discussions, and (however inexcusably) even into
his correspondence with private friends.

Some writers, as Lyttelton, have considered it an aggravation of
Cicero's inconsistencies, that he was so perfectly aware, as his
writings show, of what was philosophically and morally upright and
honest. It might be sufficient to reply, that there is a wide difference
between calmly deciding on an abstract point, and acting on that
decision in the hurry of real life; that Cicero in fact was apt to fancy
(as all will fancy when assailed by interest or passion) that the
circumstances of his case constituted it an exception to the broad
principles of duty. Besides, he considered it to be actually the duty of
a statesman to accommodate theoretical principle to the exigencies of
existing circumstances. "Surely," he says in his defence of Plancius,
"it is no mark of inconsistency in a statesman to determine his judgment
and to steer his course by the state of the political weather. This is
what I have been taught, what I have experienced, what I have read; this
is what is recorded in history of the wisest and most eminent men,
whether at home or abroad; namely, that the same man is not bound always
to maintain the same opinions, but those, whatever they may be, which
the state of the commonwealth, the direction of the times, and the
interests of peace may demand."[130] Moreover, he claimed for himself
especially the part of mediator between political rivals; and he
considered it to be a mediator's duty alternately to praise and blame
both parties, even to exaggeration, if by such means it was possible
either to flatter or frighten them into an adoption of temperate
measures.[131] "Cicero," says Plutarch, "used to give them private
advice, keeping up a correspondence with Cæsar, and urging many things
upon Pompey himself, soothing and persuading each of them."[132]


But such criticism on Cicero as Lyttelton's proceeds on an entire
misconception of the design and purpose with which the ancients
prosecuted philosophical studies. The motives and principles of morals
were not so seriously acknowledged as to lead to a practical application
of them to the conduct of life. Even when they proposed them in the form
of precept, they still regarded the perfectly virtuous man as the
creature of their imagination rather than a model for imitation--a
character whom it was a mental recreation rather than a duty to
contemplate; and if an individual here or there, as Scipio or Cato,
attempted to conform his life to his philosophical conceptions of
virtue, he was sure to be ridiculed for singularity and affectation.

Even among the Athenians, by whom philosophy was, in many cases,
cultivated to the exclusion of every active profession, intellectual
amusement, not the discovery of Truth, was the principal object of their
discussions. That we must thus account for the ensnaring questions and
sophistical reasonings of which their disputations consisted, has been
noticed by writers on Logic;[133] and it was their extension of this
system to the case of morals which brought upon their Sophists the irony
of Socrates and the sterner rebuke of Aristotle. But if this took place
in a state of society in which the love of speculation pervaded all
ranks, much more was it to be expected among the Romans, who, busied as
they were in political enterprises, and deficient in philosophical
acuteness, had neither time nor inclination for abstruse investigations;
and who considered philosophy simply as one of the many fashions
introduced from Greece, "a sort of table furniture," as Warburton well
expresses it, a mere refinement in the arts of social enjoyment.[134]
This character it bore both among friends and enemies. Hence the
popularity which attended the three Athenian philosophers who had come
to Rome on an embassy from their native city; and hence the inflexible
determination with which Cato procured their dismissal, through fear, as
Plutarch tells us,[135] lest their arts of disputation should corrupt
the Roman youth. And when at length, by the authority of Scipio,[136]
the literary treasures of Sylla, and the patronage of Lucullus,
philosophical studies had gradually received the countenance of the
higher classes of their countrymen, still, in consistency with the
principle above laid down, we find them determined in their adoption of
this or that system, not so much by the harmony of its parts, or by the
plausibility of its reasonings, as by its suitableness to the particular
profession and political station to which they severally belonged. Thus,
because the Stoics were more minute than other sects in inculcating the
moral and social duties, we find the Roman jurisconsults professing
themselves followers of Zeno;[137] the orators, on the contrary, adopted
the disputatious system of the later Academics;[138] while Epicurus was
the master of the idle and the wealthy. Hence, too, they confined the
profession of philosophical science to Greek teachers; considering them
the sole proprietors, as it were, of a foreign and expensive luxury,
which the vanquished might suitably have the duty of furnishing, and
which the conquerors could well afford to purchase.

Before the works of Cicero, no attempts worth considering had been made
for using the Latin tongue in philosophical subjects. The natural
stubbornness of the language conspired with Roman haughtiness to prevent
this application.[139] The Epicureans, indeed, had made the experiment,
but their writings were even affectedly harsh and slovenly,[140] and we
find Cicero himself, in spite of his inexhaustible flow of rich and
expressive diction, making continual apologies for his learned
occupations, and extolling philosophy as the parent of everything great,
virtuous, and amiable.[141]

Yet, with whatever discouragement his design was attended, he ultimately
triumphed over the pride of an unlettered people, and the difficulties
of a defective language. He was indeed possessed of that first requisite
for eminence, an enthusiastic attachment to the studies he was
recommending. But, occupied as he was with the duties of a statesman,
mere love of literature would have availed little, if separated from
that energy and breadth of intellect by which he was enabled to pursue a
variety of objects at once, with equally perserving and indefatigable
zeal. "He suffered no part of his leisure to be idle," says Middleton,
"or the least interval of it to be lost; but what other people gave to
the public shows, to pleasures, to feasts, nay, even to sleep and the
ordinary refreshments of nature, he generally gave to his books, and the
enlargement of his knowledge. On days of business, when he had anything
particular to compose, he had no other time for meditating but when he
was taking a few turns in his walks, where he used to dictate his
thoughts to his scribes who attended him. We find many of his letters
dated before daylight, some from the senate, others from his meals, and
the crowd of his morning levee."[142] Thus he found time, without
apparent inconvenience, for the business of the State, for the turmoil
of the courts, and for philosophical studies. During his Consulate he
delivered twelve orations in the Senate, Rostrum, or Forum. His
Treatises _de Oratore_ and _de Republicâ_, the most finished perhaps of
his compositions, were written at a time when, to use his own words,
"not a day passed without his taking part in forensic disputes."[143]
And in the last year of his life he composed at least eight of his
philosophical works, besides the fourteen orations against Antony, which
are known by the name of Philippics.

Being thus ardent in the cause of philosophy, he recommended it to the
notice of his countrymen, not only for the honour which its introduction
would reflect upon himself (which of course was a motive with him), but
also with the fondness of one who esteemed it "the guide of life, the
parent of virtue, the guardian in difficulty, and the tranquillizer in
misfortune."[144] Nor were his mental endowments less adapted to the
accomplishment of his object than the spirit with which he engaged in
the work. Gifted with great versatility of talent, with acuteness,
quickness of perception, skill in selection, art in arrangement,
fertility of illustration, warmth of fancy, and extraordinary taste, he
at once seizes upon the most effective parts of his subject, places them
in the most striking point of view, and arrays them in the liveliest and
most inviting colours. His writings have the singular felicity of
combining brilliancy of execution with never-failing good sense. It must
be allowed that he is deficient in depth; that he skims over rather than
dives into the subjects of which he treats; that he had too great
command of the plausible to be a patient investigator or a sound
reasoner. Yet if he has less originality of thought than others, if he
does not grapple with his subject, if he is unequal to a regular and
lengthened disquisition, if he is frequently inconsistent in his
opinions, we must remember that mere soundness of view, without talent
for display, has few recommendations for those who have not yet imbibed
a taste even for the outward form of knowledge,[145] that system nearly
precludes freedom, and depth almost implies obscurity. It was this very
absence of scientific exactness which constituted in Roman eyes a
principal charm of Cicero's compositions.[146]

Nor must his profession as a pleader be forgotten in enumerating the
circumstances which concurred to give his writings their peculiar
character. For, however his design of interesting his countrymen in
Greek literature, however too his particular line of talent, may have
led him to explain rather than to invent; yet he expressly informs us it
was principally with a view to his own improvement in Oratory that he
devoted himself to philosophical studies.[147] This induced him to
undertake successively the cause of the Stoic, the Epicurean, or the
Platonist, as an exercise for his powers of argumentation; while the
wavering and unsettled state of mind, occasioned by such habits of
disputation, led him in his personal judgment to prefer the sceptical
tenets of the New Academy.


Here then, before enumerating Cicero's philosophical writings, an
opportunity is presented to us of redeeming the pledge we have given
elsewhere in our Encyclopædia,[148] to consider the system of doctrine
which the reformers (as they thought themselves) of the Academic school
introduced about 300 years before the Christian era.

We shall not trace here the history of the Old Academy, or speak of the
innovations on the system of Plato, silently introduced by the austere
Polemo. When Zeno, however, who was his pupil, advocated the same rigid
tenets in a more open and dogmatic form,[149] the Academy at length took
the alarm, and a reaction ensued. Arcesilas, who had succeeded Polemo
and Crates, determined on reverting to the principles of the elder
schools;[150] but mistaking the profession of ignorance, which Socrates
had used against the Sophists on physical questions, for an actual
scepticism on points connected with morals, he fell into the opposite
extreme, and declared, first, that nothing could be known, and
therefore, secondly, nothing should be maintained.[151]

Whatever were his private sentiments (for some authors affirm his
esoteric doctrines to have been dogmatic[152]), he brought forward these
sceptical tenets in so unguarded a form, that it required all his
argumentative powers, which were confessedly great, to maintain them
against the obvious objections which were pressed upon him from all
quarters. On his death, therefore, as might have been anticipated, his
school was deserted for those of Zeno and Epicurus; and during the lives
of Lacydes, Evander, and Hegesinus, who successively filled the Academic
chair, being no longer recommended by the novelty of its doctrines,[153]
or the talents of its masters, it became of little consideration amid
the wranglings of more popular philosophies. Carneades,[154] therefore,
who succeeded Hegesinus, found it necessary to use more cautious and
guarded language; and, by explaining what was paradoxical, by
reservations and exceptions, in short, by all the arts which an acute
and active genius could suggest, he contrived to establish its
authority, without departing, as far as we have the means of judging,
from the principle of universal scepticism which Arcesilas had so
pertinaciously advocated.[155]

The New Academy,[156] then, taught with Plato, that all things in their
own nature were fixed and determinate; but that, through the
constitution of the human mind, it was impossible _for us_ to see them
in their simple and eternal forms, to separate appearance from reality,
truth from falsehood.[157] For the conception we form of any object is
altogether derived from and depends on the sensation, the impression, it
produces on our own minds ([Greek: pathos energeias, phantasia]). Reason
does but deduce from premisses ultimately supplied by sensation. Our
only communication, then, with actual existences being through the
medium of our own impressions, we have no means of ascertaining the
correspondence of the things themselves with the ideas we entertain of
them; and therefore can in no case be certain of the truthfulness of our
senses. Of their fallibility, however, we may easily assure ourselves;
for in cases in which they are detected contradicting each other, all
cannot be correct reporters of the object with which they profess to
acquaint us. Food, which is the same as far as _sight_ and _touch_ are
concerned, _tastes_ differently to different individuals; fire, which is
the same to the _eye_, communicates a sensation of _pain_ at one time,
of _pleasure_ at another; the oar _appears_ crooked in the water, while
the _touch_ assures us it is as straight as before it was immersed.[158]
Again, in dreams, in intoxication, in madness, impressions are made upon
the mind, vivid enough to incite to reflection and action, yet utterly
at variance with those produced by the same objects when we are awake,
or sober, or in possession of our reason.[159]

It appears, then, that we cannot prove that our senses are _ever_
faithful to the things they profess to report about; but we do know they
_often_ produce erroneous impressions of them. Here then is room for
endless doubt; for why may they not deceive us in cases in which we
cannot detect the deception? It is certain they _often_ act irregularly;
is there any consistency _at all_ in their operations, any law to which
these varieties may be referred?

It is undeniable that an object often varies in the impression which it
makes upon the mind, while, on the other hand, the same impression may
arise from different objects. What limit is to be assigned to this
disorder? is there any sensation strong enough to _assure_ us of the
presence of the object which it seems to intimate, any such as to
preclude the possibility of deception? If, when we look into a mirror,
our minds are impressed with the appearance of trees, fields, and
houses, which are unreal, how can we ascertain beyond all doubt whether
the scene we directly look upon has any more substantial existence than
the former?[160]

From these reasonings the Academics taught that nothing was certain,
nothing was to be known ([Greek: katalêpton]). For the Stoics
themselves, their most determined opponents, defined the [Greek:
katalêptikê phantasia] (the phantasy or impression which involved
knowledge[160a]) to be one that was capable of being produced by no object
except that to which it really belonged.[161]

Since then we cannot arrive at knowledge, we must suspend our decision,
pronounce absolutely on nothing, nay, according to Arcesilas, never even
form an opinion.[162] In the conduct of life, however, probability[163]
must determine our choice of action; and this admits of different
degrees. The lowest kind is that which suggests itself on the first view
of the case ([Greek: phantasia pithanê], or _persuasive phantasy_); but
in all important matters we must correct the evidence of our senses by
considerations derived from the nature of the medium, the distance of
the object, the disposition of the organ, the time, the manner, and
other attendant circumstances. When the impression has been thus
minutely considered, the _phantasy_ becomes [Greek: aperiôdeumenê], or
_approved on circumspection_; and if during this examination no
objection has arisen to weaken our belief, the highest degree of
probability is attained, and the phantasy is pronounced _unembarrassed
with doubt_, or [Greek: aperispastos].[164]

Sextus Empiricus illustrates this as follows:[165] If on entering a dark
room we discern a coiled rope, our first impression may be that it is a
serpent--this is the _persuasive phantasy_. On a closer inspection,
however, after _walking round it_ ([Greek: periodeusantes]), or _on
circumspection_, we observe it does not move, nor has it the proper
colour, shape, or proportions; and now we conclude it is not a serpent;
here we are determined in our belief by the [Greek: periôdeumenê
phantasia], and we assent to the _circumspective phantasy_. For an
instance of the third and most accurate kind, viz., that with which no
contrary impression interferes, we may refer to the conduct of Admetus
on the return of Alcestis from the infernal regions. He believes he sees
his wife; everything confirms it; but he cannot simply acquiesce in that
opinion, because his mind is _embarrassed or distracted_ [Greek:
perispatai] from the knowledge he has of her having died; he asks,
"What! do I see my wife I just now buried?" (_Alc._ 1148.) Hercules
resolves his difficulty, and his phantasy is in repose, or [Greek:

The suspension then of assent ([Greek: epochê]) which the Academics
enjoined, was, at least from the time of Carneades,[166] almost a
speculative doctrine;[167] and herein lay the chief difference between
them and the Pyrrhonists; that the latter altogether denied the
existence of the probable, while the former admitted there was
sufficient to allow of action, provided we pronounced absolutely on

Little more can be said concerning the opinions of a sect whose
fundamental maxim was that nothing could be known, and nothing should be
taught. It lay midway between the other philosophies; and in the
altercations of the various schools it was at once attacked by all,[168]
yet appealed to by each of the contending parties, if not to
countenance its own sentiments, at least to condemn those advocated by
its opponents,[169] and thus to perform the office of an umpire.[170]
From this necessity, then, of being prepared on all sides for
attack,[171] it became as much a school of rhetoric as of
philosophy,[172] and was celebrated among the ancients for the eloquence
of its masters.[173] Hence also its reputation was continually varying:
for, requiring the aid of great abilities to maintain its exalted and
arduous post, it alternately rose and fell in estimation, according to
the talents of the individual who happened to fill the chair.[174] And
hence the frequent alterations which took place in its philosophical
tenets; which, depending rather on the arbitrary determinations of its
present head, than on the tradition of settled maxims, were accommodated
to the views of each successive master, according as he hoped by
sophistry or concession to overcome the repugnance which the mind ever
will feel to the doctrines of universal scepticism.

And in these continual changes it is pleasing to observe that the
interests of virtue and good order were uniformly promoted; interests
to which the Academic doctrines were certainly hostile, if not
necessarily fatal. Thus, although we find Carneades, in conformity to
the plan adopted by Arcesilas,[175] opposing the _dogmatic_ principles
of the Stoics concerning moral duty,[176] and studiously concealing his
private views even from his friends;[177] yet, by allowing that the
suspense of judgment was not always a duty, that the wise man might
sometimes _believe_ though he could not _know_;[178] he in some measure
restored the authority of those great instincts of our nature which his
predecessor appears to have discarded. Clitomachus pursued his steps by
innovations in the same direction;[179] Philo, who followed next,
attempting to reconcile his tenets with those of the Platonic
school,[180] has been accounted the founder of a fourth academy--while,
to his successor Antiochus, who embraced the doctrines of the
Porch,[181] and maintained the fidelity of the senses, it has been usual
to assign the establishment of a fifth.


We have already observed that Cicero in early life inclined to the
doctrines of Plato and Antiochus, which, at the time he composed the
bulk of his writings, he had abandoned for those of Carneades and
Philo.[182] Yet he was never so entirely a disciple of the New Academy
as to neglect the claims of morality and the laws. He is loud in his
protestations that truth is the great object of his search: "For my own
part, if I have applied myself especially to this philosophy, through
any love of display or pleasure in disputation, I should condemn not
only my folly, but my moral condition. And, therefore, unless it were
absurd, in an argument like this, to do what is sometimes done in
political discussions, I would swear by Jupiter and the divine Penates
that I burn with a desire of discovering the truth, and really believe
what I am saying."[183] And, however inappropriate this boast may
appear, he at least pursues the useful and the magnificent in
philosophy; and uses his academic character as a pretext rather for a
judicious selection from each system than for an indiscriminate
rejection of all.[184] Thus, in the capacity of a statesman, he calls in
the assistance of doctrines which, as an orator, he does not scruple to
deride; those of Zeno in particular, who maintained the truth of the
popular theology, and the divine origin of augury, and (as we noticed
above) was more explicit than the other masters in his views of social
duty. This difference of sentiment between the magistrate and the
pleader is strikingly illustrated in the opening of his treatise _de
Legibus_; where, after deriving the principles of law from the nature of
things, he is obliged to beg quarter of the Academics, whose reasonings
he feels could at once destroy the foundation on which his argument
rested. "My treatise throughout," he says, "aims at the strengthening of
states and the welfare of peoples. I dread therefore to lay down any but
well considered and carefully examined principles; I do not say
principles which are universally received, for none are such, but
principles received by those philosophers who consider virtue to be
desirable for its own sake, and nothing whatever to be good, or at least
a great good, which is not in its own nature praiseworthy." These
philosophers are the Stoics; and then, apparently alluding to the
arguments of Carneades against justice, which he had put into the mouth
of Philus in the third book of his _de Republicâ_, he proceeds: "As to
the Academy, which puts the whole subject into utter confusion, I mean
the New Academy of Arcesilas and Carneades, let us persuade it to hold
its peace. For, should it make an inroad upon the views which we
consider we have so skilfully put into shape, it will make an extreme
havoc of them. The Academy I cannot conciliate, and I dare not

And as, in questions connected with the interests of society, he thus
uniformly advocates the tenets of the Porch, so in discussions of a
physical character we find him adopting the sublime and glowing
sentiments of Pythagoras and Plato. Here, however, having no object of
expediency in view to keep him within the bounds of consistency, he
scruples not to introduce whatever is most beautiful in itself, or most
adapted to his present purpose. At one time he describes the Deity as
the all-pervading Soul of the world, the cause of life and motion;[186]
at another He is the intelligent Preserver and Governor of every
separate part.[187] At one time the soul of man is in its own nature
necessarily eternal, without beginning or end of existence;[188] at
another it is represented as a portion, or the haunt of the one
infinite Spirit;[189] at another it is to enter the assembly of the
Gods, or to be driven into darkness, according to its moral conduct in
this life;[190] at another, it is only in its best and greatest
specimens destined for immortality;[191] sometimes that immortality is
described as attended with consciousness and the continuance of earthly
friendships;[192] sometimes as but an immortality of name and
glory;[193] more frequently however these separate notions are confused
together in the same passage.

Though the works of Aristotle were not given to the world till Sylla's
return from Greece, Cicero appears to have been a considerable
proficient in his philosophy,[194] and he has not overlooked the
important aid it affords in those departments of science which are alike
removed from abstract reasoning and fanciful theorizing. To Aristotle he
is indebted for most of the principles laid down in his rhetorical
discussions,[195] while in his treatises on morals not a few of his
remarks may be traced to the same acute philosopher.[196]

The doctrines of the Garden alone, though some of his most intimate
friends were of the Epicurean school, he regarded with aversion and
contempt; feeling no sort of interest in a system which cut at the very
root of that activity of mind, industry, and patriotism, for which he
himself both in public and private was so honourably distinguished.[197]

Such then was the New Academy, and such the variation of opinion which,
in Cicero's judgment, was not inconsistent with the profession of an
Academic. And, however his adoption of that philosophy may be in part
referred to his oratorical habits, or his natural cast of mind, yet,
considering the ambition which he felt to inspire his countrymen with a
taste for literature and science,[198] we must conclude with
Warburton[199] that, in acceding to the system of Philo, he was strongly
influenced by the freedom of thought and reasoning which it allowed to
his literary works, the liberty of illustrating the principles and
doctrines, the strong and weak parts, of every Grecian school. Bearing
then in mind his design of recommending the study of philosophy, it is
interesting to observe the artifices of style and manner which, with
this end, he adopted in his treatises; and though to enter minutely into
this subject would be foreign to our present purpose, it may be allowed
us to make some general remarks on the character of works so eminently
successful in accomplishing the object for which they were undertaken.


The obvious peculiarity of Cicero's philosophical discussions is the
form of dialogue in which most of them are conveyed. Plato, indeed, and
Xenophon, had, before his time, been even more strictly dramatic in
their compositions; but they professed to be recording the sentiments
of an individual, and the Socratic mode of argument could hardly be
displayed in any other shape. Of that interrogative and inductive
conversation, however, Cicero affords but few specimens;[200] the nature
of his dialogue being as different from that of the two Athenians as was
his object in writing. His aim was to excite interest; and he availed
himself of this mode of composition for the life and variety, the ease,
perspicuity, and vigour which it gave to his discussions. His dialogue
is of two kinds: according as the subject of it is beyond or under
controversy, it assumes the shape of a continued treatise, or a free
disputation; in the latter case imparting clearness to what is obscure,
in the former relief to what is clear. Thus his practical and systematic
treatises on rhetoric and moral duty, when not written in his own
person, are merely divided between several speakers who are the mere
organs of his own sentiments; while in questions of a more speculative
cast, on the nature of the gods, on the human soul, on the greatest
good, he uses his academic liberty, and brings forward the theories of
contending schools under the character of their respective advocates.
The advantages gained in both cases by the form of dialogue are evident.
In controverted subjects he is not obliged to discover his own views, he
can detail opposite arguments forcibly and luminously, and he is allowed
the use of those oratorical powers in which, after all, his great
strength lay. In those subjects, on the other hand, which are
uninteresting because they are familiar, he may pause or digress before
the mind is weary and the attention begins to flag; the reader is
carried on by easy journeys and short stages, and novelty in the speaker
supplies the want of novelty in the matter. Nor does Cicero discover
less skill in the execution of these dialogues than address in their
method. It were idle to enlarge upon the beauty, richness, and taste of
compositions which have been the admiration of every age and country. In
the dignity of his speakers, their high tone of mutual courtesy, the
harmony of his groups, and the delicate relief of his contrasts, he is
inimitable. The majesty and splendour of his introductions, which
generally address themselves to the passions or the imagination, the
eloquence with which both sides of a question are successively
displayed, the clearness and terseness of his statements on abstract
points, the grace of his illustrations, his exquisite allusions to the
scene or time of the supposed conversation, his digressions in praise of
philosophy or great men, his quotations from Grecian and Roman poetry;
lastly, the melody and fulness of his style, unite to throw a charm
round his writings peculiar to themselves. To the Roman reader they
especially recommended themselves by their continual and most artful
references to the heroes of the old republic, who now appeared but
exemplars, and (as it were) patrons of that eternal philosophy, which he
had before, perhaps, considered as the short-lived reveries of ingenious
but inactive men. Nor is there any confusion, want of keeping, or
appearance of effort in the introduction of the various beauties we have
been enumerating, which are blended together with so much skill and
propriety, that it is sometimes difficult to point out the particular
sources of the admiration which they inspire.


The series of his rhetorical works[201] has been preserved nearly
complete, and consists of the _De Inventione_, _De Oratore_, _Brutus
sive de claris Oratoribus_, _Orator sive de optimo genere Dicendi_, _De
partitione Oratoriâ_, _Topica_, and _de optimo genere Oratorum_. The
last-mentioned, which is a fragment, is understood to have been the
proem to his translation (now lost) of the speeches of Demosthenes and
Æschines, _De Coronâ_. These he translated with the view of defending,
by the example of the Greek orators, his own style of eloquence, which,
as we shall afterwards find, the critics of the day censured as too
Asiatic in its character; and hence the proem, which still survives, is
on the subject of the Attic style of oratory. This composition and his
abstracts of his own orations[202] are his only rhetorical works not
extant, and probably our loss is not very great. The _Treatise on
Rhetoric_, addressed to Herennius, though edited with his works, and
ascribed to him by several of the ancients, is now generally attributed
to Cornificius, or some other writer of the day.

The works, which we have enumerated, consider the art of rhetoric in
different points of view, and thus receive from each other mutual
support and illustration, while they prevent the tediousness which might
else arise, if they were moulded into one systematic treatise on the
general subject. Three are in the form of dialogue; the rest are written
in his own person. In all, except perhaps the _Orator_, he professes to
have availed himself of the principles of the Aristotelic and Isocratean
schools, selecting what was best in each of them, and, as occasion might
offer, adding remarks and precepts of his own.[203] The subject of
Oratory is considered in three distinct lights;[204] with reference to
the case, the speaker, and the speech. The case, as respects its
nature, is definite or indefinite; with reference to the hearer, it is
judicial, deliberative, or descriptive; as regards the opponent, the
division is fourfold--according as the fact, its nature, its quality, or
its propriety is called in question. The art of the speaker is directed
to five points: the discovery of persuasives (whether ethical,
pathetical, or argumentative), arrangement, diction, memory, delivery.
And the speech itself consists of six parts: introduction, statement of
the case, division of the subject, proof, refutation, and conclusion.

His treatises _De Inventione_ and _Topica_, the first and nearly the
last of his compositions, are both on the invention of arguments, which
he regards, with Aristotle, as the very foundation of the art; though he
elsewhere confines the term eloquence, according to its derivation, to
denote excellence of diction and delivery, to the exclusion of
argumentative skill.[205] The former of these works was written at the
age of twenty, and seems originally to have consisted of four books, of
which but two remain.[206] In the first of these he considers rhetorical
invention generally, supplies commonplaces for the six parts of an
oration promiscuously, and gives a full analysis of the two forms of
argument, syllogism and induction. In the second book he applies these
rules particularly to the three subject-matters of rhetoric, the
deliberative, the judicial, and the descriptive, dwelling principally on
the judicial, as affording the most ample field for discussion. This
treatise seems for the most part compiled from the writings of
Aristotle, Isocrates, and Hermagoras;[207] and as such he alludes to it
in the opening of his _De Oratore_ as deficient in the experience and
judgment which nothing but time and practice can impart. Still it is an
entertaining, nay, useful work; remarkable, even among Cicero's
writings, for its uniform good sense, and less familiar to the scholar
only because the greater part has been superseded by the compositions of
his riper years.

His _Topica_, or treatise on commonplaces, has less extent and variety
of plan, being little else than a compendium of Aristotle's work on the
same subject. It was, as he informs us in its proem, drawn up from
memory on his voyage from Italy to Greece, soon after Cæsar's murder,
and in compliance with the wishes of Trebatius, who had some time before
urged him to undertake the translation.[208]

Cicero seems to have intended his _De Oratore_, _De claris Oratoribus_,
and _Orator_, to form one complete system.[209] Of these three noble
works the first lays down the principles and rules of the rhetorical
art; the second exemplifies them in the most eminent speakers of Greece
and Rome; and the third shadows out the features of that perfect orator,
whose superhuman excellences should be the aim of our ambition. The _De
Oratore_ was written when the author was fifty-two, two years after his
return from exile; and is a dialogue between some of the most
illustrious Romans of the preceding age on the subject of oratory. The
principal speakers are the orators Crassus and Antonius, who are
represented unfolding the principles of their art to Sulpicius and
Cotta, young men just rising in the legal profession. In the first book,
the conversation turns on the subject-matter of rhetoric, and the
qualifications requisite for the perfect orator. Here Crassus maintains
the necessity of his being acquainted with the whole circle of the arts,
while Antonius confines eloquence to the province of speaking well. The
dispute for the most part seems verbal; for Cicero himself, though he
here sides with Crassus, yet elsewhere, as we have above noticed,
pronounces eloquence, strictly speaking, to consist in beauty of
diction. Scævola, the celebrated lawyer, takes part in this preliminary
discussion; but, in the ensuing meetings, makes way for Catulus and
Cæsar, the subject leading to such technical disquisitions as were
hardly suitable to the dignity of the aged Augur.[210] The next morning
Antonius enters upon the subject of invention, which Cæsar completes by
subjoining some remarks on the use of humour in oratory; and Antonius,
relieving him, finishes the morning discussion with treating of
arrangement and memory. In the afternoon the rules for propriety and
elegance of diction are explained by Crassus, who was celebrated in this
department of the art; and the work concludes with his handling the
subject of delivery and action. Such is the plan of the _De Oratore_,
the most finished perhaps of Cicero's compositions. An air of grandeur
and magnificence reigns throughout. The characters of the aged senators
are finely conceived, and the whole company is invested with an almost
religious majesty, from the allusions interspersed to the melancholy
destinies for which its members were reserved.

His treatise _De claris Oratoribus_ was written after an interval of
nine years, about the time of Cato's death, when he was sixty-one, and
is thrown into the shape of a dialogue between Brutus, Atticus, and
himself. He begins with Solon, and after briefly mentioning the orators
of Greece, proceeds to those of his own country, so as to take in the
whole period from the time of Junius Brutus down to himself. About the
same time he wrote his _Orator_; in which he directs his attention
principally to diction and delivery, as in his _De Inventione_ and
_Topica_ he considers the matter of an oration.[211] This treatise is of
a less practical nature than the rest.[212] It adopts the principles of
Plato, and delineates the perfect orator according to the abstract
conceptions of the intellect rather than the deductions of observation
and experience. Hence he sets out with a definition of the perfectly
eloquent man, whose characteristic it is to express himself with
propriety on all subjects, whether humble, great, or of an intermediate
character;[213] and here he has an opportunity of paying some indirect
compliments to himself. With this work he was so well satisfied that he
does not scruple to declare, in a letter to a friend, that he was ready
to rest on its merits his reputation for judgment in Oratory.[214]

The treatise _De partitione Oratoriâ_, or on the three parts of
rhetoric, is a kind of catechism between Cicero and his son, drawn up
for the use of the latter at the same time with the two preceding. It is
the most systematic and perspicuous of his rhetorical works, but seems
to be but the rough draught of what he originally intended.[215]


The connection which we have been able to preserve between the
rhetorical writings of Cicero cannot be attained in his moral,
political, and metaphysical treatises; partly from the extent of the
subject, partly from the losses occasioned by time, partly from the
inconsistency which we have warned the reader to expect in his
sentiments. In our enumeration, therefore, we shall observe no other
order than that which the date of their composition furnishes.

The earliest now extant is part of his treatise _De Legibus_, in three
books; being a sequel to his work on Politics. Both were written in
imitation of Plato's treatises on the same subjects.[216] The latter of
these (_De Republicâ_) was composed a year after the _De Oratore_,[217]
and seems to have vied with it in the majesty and interest of the
dialogue. It consisted of a series of discussions in six books on the
origin and principles of government, Scipio being the principal speaker,
but Lælius, Philus, Manilius, and other personages of like gravity
taking part in the conversation. Till lately, but a fragment of the
fifth book was understood to be in existence, in which Scipio, under the
fiction of a dream, inculcates the doctrine of the immortality of the
soul. But in the year 1822, Monsignor Mai, librarian of the Vatican,
published considerable portions of the first and second books, from a
palimpsest manuscript of St. Austin's _Commentary on the Psalms_. In the
part now recovered, Scipio discourses on the different kinds of
constitutions and their respective advantages; with a particular
reference to that of Rome. In the third book, the subject of justice was
discussed by Lælius and Philus; in the fourth, Scipio treated of morals
and education; while in the fifth and sixth, the duties of a magistrate
were explained, and the best means of preventing changes and revolutions
in the constitution itself. In the latter part of the treatise, allusion
was made to the actual posture of affairs in Rome, when the conversation
was supposed to have occurred, and the commotions excited by the

In his treatise _De Legibus_, which was written two years later than the
_De Republicâ_, when he was fifty-five, and shortly after the murder of
Clodius, he represents himself as explaining to his brother Quintus and
Atticus, in their walks through the woods of Arpinum, the nature and
origin of the laws and their actual state, both in other countries and
in Rome. The first part only of the subject is contained in the books
now extant; the introduction to which we have had occasion to notice,
when speaking of his Stoical sentiments on questions connected with
State policy. Law he pronounces to be the perfection of reason, the
eternal mind, the divine energy, which, while it pervades and unites in
one the whole universe, associates gods and men by the more intimate
resemblance of reason and virtue, and still more closely men with men,
by the participation of common faculties, affections, and situations. He
then proves, at length, that justice is not merely created by civil
institutions, from the power of conscience, the imperfections of human
law, the moral sense, and the disinterestedness of virtue. He next
proceeds to unfold the principles, first, of religious law, under the
heads of divine worship; the observance of festivals and games; the
office of priests, augurs, and heralds; the punishment of sacrilege and
purjury; the consecration of land, and the rights of sepulchre; and,
secondly, of civil law, which gives him an opportunity of noticing the
respective duties of magistrates and citizens. In these discussions,
though professedly speaking of the abstract question, he does not
hesitate to anticipate the subject of the lost books, by frequent
allusions to the history and customs of his own country. It must be
added, that in no part of his writings do worse instances occur, than in
this treatise, of that vanity which was notoriously his weakness, which
are rendered doubly offensive by their being put into the mouth of his
brother and Atticus.[218]

Here a period of seven or eight years intervenes, during which he
composed little of importance besides his Orations. He then published
the _De claris Oratoribus_ and _Orator_; and a year later, when he was
sixty-three, his _Academicæ Quæstiones_, in the retirement from public
business to which he was driven by the dictatorship of Cæsar. This work
had originally consisted of two dialogues, which he entitled _Catulus_
and _Lucullus_, from the names of the respective speakers in each. These
he now remodelled and enlarged into four books, dedicating them to
Varro, whom he introduced as advocating, in the presence of Atticus, the
tenets of Antiochus, while he himself defended those of Philo. Of this
most valuable composition, only the second book (_Lucullus_) of the
first edition and part of the first book of the second are now extant.
In the former of those two, Lucullus argues against, and Cicero for, the
Academic sect, in the presence of Catulus and Hortensius; in the latter,
Varro pursues the history of philosophy from Socrates to Arcesilas, and
Cicero continues it down to the time of Carneades. In the second edition
the style was corrected, the matter condensed, and the whole polished
with extraordinary care and diligence.[219]

The same year he published his treatise _De Finibus_, or "On the chief
good," in five books, in which are explained the sentiments of the
Epicureans, Stoics, and Peripatetics on the subject. This is the
earliest of his works in which the dialogue is of a disputatious
character. It is opened with a defence of the Epicurean tenets,
concerning pleasure, by Torquatus; to which Cicero replies at length.
The scene then shifts from the Cuman villa to the library of young
Lucullus (his father being dead), where the Stoic Cato expatiates on the
sublimity of the system which maintains the existence of one only good,
and is answered by Cicero in the character of a Peripatetic. Lastly,
Piso, in a conversation held at Athens, enters into an explanation of
the doctrine of Aristotle, that happiness is the greatest good. The
general style of this treatise is elegant and perspicuous; and the last
book in particular has great variety and splendour of diction.

It was about this time that Cicero was especially courted by the heads
of the dictator's party, of whom Hirtius and Dolabella went so far as to
declaim daily at his house for the benefit of his instructions.[220] A
visit of this nature to the Tusculan villa, soon after the publication
of the _De Finibus_, gave rise to his work entitled _Tusculanæ
Quæstiones_, which professes to be the substance of five philosophical
disputes between himself and friends, digested into as many books. He
argues throughout after the manner of an Academic, even with an
affectation of inconsistency; sometimes making use of the Socratic
dialogue, sometimes launching out into the diffuse expositions which
characterise his other treatises.[221] He first disputes against the
fear of death; and in so doing he adopts the opinion of the Platonic
school, as regards the nature of God and the soul. The succeeding
discussions on enduring pain, on alleviating grief, on the other
emotions of the mind, and on virtue, are conducted for the most part on
Stoical principles.[222] This is a highly ornamental composition, and
contains more quotations from the poets than any other of Cicero's

We have already had occasion to remark upon the singular activity of his
mind, which becomes more and more conspicuous as we approach the period
of his death. During the ensuing year, which is the last of his life,
in the midst of the confusion and anxieties consequent on Cæsar's
death, and the party warfare of his Philippics, he found time to write
the _De Naturâ Deorum_, _De Divinatione_, _De Fato_, _De Senectute_, _De
Amicitiâ_, _De Officiis_, and _Paradoxa_, besides the treatise on
Rhetorical Common Places above mentioned.

Of these, the first three were intended as a full exposition of the
conflicting opinions entertained on their respective subjects; the _De
Fato_, however, was not finished according to this plan.[223] His
treatise _De Naturâ Deorum_, in three books, may be reckoned the most
splendid of all his works, and shows that neither age nor disappointment
had done injury to the richness and vigour of his mind. In the first
book, Velleius, the Epicurean, sets forth the physical tenets of his
sect, and is answered by Cotta, who is of the Academic school. In the
second, Balbus, the disciple of the Porch, gives an account of his own
system, and is, in turn, refuted by Cotta in the third. The eloquent
extravagance of the Epicurean, the solemn enthusiasm of the Stoic, and
the brilliant raillery of the Academic, are contrasted with extreme
vivacity and humour;--while the sublimity of the subject itself imparts
to the whole composition a grander and more elevated character, and
discovers in the author imaginative powers, which, celebrated as he
justly is for playfulness of fancy, might yet appear more the talent of
the poet than the orator.

His treatise _De Divinatione_ is conveyed in a discussion between his
brother Quintus and himself, in two books. In the former, Quintus, after
dividing Divination into the heads of natural and artificial, argues
with the Stoics for its sacred nature, from the evidence of facts, the
agreement of all nations, and the existence of divine intelligences. In
the latter, Cicero questions its authority, with Carneades, from the
uncertain nature of its rules, the absurdity and uselessness of the art,
and the possibility of accounting from natural causes for the phenomena
on which it was founded. This is a curious work, from the numerous cases
adduced from the histories of Greece and Rome to illustrate the subject
in dispute.

His treatise _De Fato_ is quite a fragment; it purports to be the
substance of a dissertation in which he explained to Hirtius (soon after
Consul) the sentiments of Chrysippus, Diodorus, Epicurus, Carneades, and
others, upon that abstruse subject. It is supposed to have consisted at
least of two books, of which we have but the proem of the first, and a
small portion of the second.

In his beautiful compositions, _De Senectute_ and _De Amicitiâ_, Cato
the censor and Lælius are respectively introduced, delivering their
sentiments on those subjects. The conclusion of the former, in which
Cato discourses on the immortality of the soul, has been always
celebrated; and the opening of the latter, in which Fannius and Scævola
come to console Lælius on the death of Scipio, is as exquisite an
instance of delicacy and taste in composition as can be found in his
works. In the latter he has borrowed largely from the eighth and ninth
books of Aristotle's _Ethics_.

His treatise _De Officiis_ was finished about the time he wrote his
second Philippic, a circumstance which illustrates the great versatility
of his mental powers. Of a work so extensively celebrated, it is enough
to have mentioned the name. Here he lays aside the less authoritative
form of dialogue, and, with the dignity of the Roman Consul, unfolds, in
his own person, the principles of morals, according to the views of the
older schools, particularly of the Stoics. It is written in three
books, with great perspicuity and elegance of style; the first book
treats of the _honestum_, or _virtue_, the second of the _utile_, or
_expedience_, and the third adjusts the claims of the two, when they
happen to interfere with each other.

His _Paradoxa Stoicorum_ might have been more suitably, perhaps,
included in his rhetorical works, being six short declamations in
support of the positions of Zeno; in which that philosopher's subtleties
are adapted to the comprehension of the vulgar, and the events of the
times. The second, fourth, and sixth, are respectively directed against
Antony, Clodius, and Crassus. They seem to have suffered from time.[224]
The sixth is the most eloquent, but the argument of the third is
strikingly maintained.

Besides the works now enumerated, we have a considerable fragment of his
translation of Plato's _Timæus_, which he seems to have finished in his
last year. His remaining philosophical works, viz.: the _Hortensius_,
which was a defence of philosophy; _De Gloriâ_; _De Consolatione_,
written upon Platonic principles on his daughter's death; _De Jure
Civili_, _De Virtutibus_, _De Auguriis_, _Chorographia_, translations of
Plato's _Protagoras_, and Xenophon's _OEconomics_, works on Natural
History, Panegyric on Cato, and some miscellaneous writings, are, except
a few fragments, entirely lost.

       *       *       *       *       *

His Letters, about one thousand in all, are comprised in thirty-six
books, sixteen of which are addressed to Atticus, three to his brother
Quintus, one to Brutus, and sixteen to his different friends; and they
form a history of his life from his fortieth year. Among those addressed
to his friends, some occur from Brutus, Metellus, Plancius, Cælius, and
others. For the preservation of this most valuable department of
Cicero's writings, we are indebted to Tyro, the author's freedman,
though we possess, at the present day, but a part of those originally
published. As his correspondence with his friends belongs to his
character as a man and politician, rather than to his literary aspect,
we have already noticed it in the first part of this memoir.

       *       *       *       *       *

His Poetical and Historical works have suffered a heavier fate. The
latter class, consisting of his commentary on his consulship and his
history of his own times, is altogether lost. Of the former, which
consisted of the heroic poems _Halcyone_, _Limon_, _Marius_, and his
Consulate, the elegy of _Tamelastes_, translations of Homer and Aratus,
epigrams, etc., nothing remains, except some fragments of the
_Phænomena_ and _Diosemeia_ of Aratus. It may, however, be questioned
whether literature has suffered much by these losses. We are far,
indeed, from speaking contemptuously of the poetical talent of one who
possessed so much fancy, so much taste, and so fine an ear.[225] But his
poems were principally composed in his youth; and afterwards, when his
powers were more mature, his occupations did not allow even to his
active mind the time necessary for polishing a language still more
rugged in metre than it was in prose. His contemporary history, on the
other hand, can hardly have conveyed more explicit, and certainly would
have contained less faithful, information than his private
correspondence; while, with all the penetration he assuredly possessed,
it may be doubted if his diffuse and graceful style was adapted for the
deep and condensed thoughts and the grasp of facts and events which are
the chief excellences of historical composition.


The Orations which he is known to have composed amount in all to about
eighty, of which fifty-nine, either entire or in part, are preserved. Of
these some are deliberative, others judicial, others descriptive; some
delivered from the rostrum, or in the senate; others in the forum, or
before Cæsar; and, as might be anticipated from the character already
given of his talents, he is much more successful in pleading or in
panegyric than in debate or invective. In deliberative oratory, indeed,
great part of the effect of the composition depends on its creating in
the hearer a high opinion of the speaker; and, though Cicero takes
considerable pains to interest the audience in his favour, yet his style
is not simple and grave enough, he is too ingenious, too declamatory,
discovers too much personal feeling, to elicit that confidence in him,
without which argument has little influence. His invectives, again,
however grand and imposing, yet, compared with his calmer and more
familiar productions, have a forced and unnatural air. Splendid as is
the eloquence of his Catilinarians and Philippics, it is often the
language of abuse rather than of indignation; and even his attack on
Piso, the most brilliant and imaginative of its kind, becomes wearisome
from want of ease and relief. His laudatory orations, on the other hand,
are among his happiest efforts. Nothing can exceed the taste and beauty
of those for the Manilian law, for Marcellus, for Ligarius, for Archias,
and the ninth Philippic, which is principally in praise of Servius
Sulpicius. But it is in judicial eloquence, particularly on subjects of
a lively cast, as in his speeches for Cælius and Muræna, and against
Cæcilius, that his talents are displayed to the best advantage. In both
these departments of oratory the grace and amiableness of his genius
are manifested in their full lustre, though none of his orations are
without tokens of those characteristic excellences. Historical
allusions, philosophical sentiments, descriptions full of life and
nature, and polite raillery, succeed each other in the most agreeable
manner, without appearance of artifice or effort. Such are his pictures
of the confusion of the Catilinarian conspirators on detection;[226] of
the death of Metellus;[227] of Sulpicius undertaking the embassy to
Antony;[228] the character he draws of Catiline;[229] and his fine
sketch of old Appius, frowning on his degenerate descendant Clodia.[230]

These, however, are but incidental and occasional artifices to divert
and refresh the mind, since his Orations are generally laid out
according to the plan proposed in rhetorical works; the introduction,
containing the ethical proof; the body of the speech, the argument, and
the peroration addressing itself to the passions of the judges. In
opening his case, he commonly makes a profession of timidity and
diffidence, with a view to conciliate the favour of his audience; the
eloquence, for instance, of Hortensius, is so powerful,[231] or so much
prejudice has been excited against his client,[232] or it is his first
appearance in the rostrum,[233] or he is unused to speak in an armed
assembly,[234] or to plead in a private apartment.[235] He proceeds to
entreat the patience of his judges; drops out some generous or popular
sentiment, or contrives to excite prejudice against his opponent. He
then states the circumstances of his case, and the intended plan of his
oration; and here he is particularly clear. But it is when he comes
actually to prove his point that his oratorical powers begin to have
their full play. He accounts for everything so naturally, makes trivial
circumstances tell so happily, so adroitly converts apparent objections
into confirmations of his argument, connects independent facts with such
ease and plausibility, that it becomes impossible to entertain a
question on the truth of his statement. This is particularly observable
in his defence of Cluentius, where prejudices, suspicions, and
difficulties are encountered with the most triumphant ingenuity; in the
antecedent probabilities of his _Pro Milone_;[236] in his apology for
Muræna's public,[237] and Cælius's private life,[238] and his
disparagement of Verres's military services in Sicily;[239] it is
observable too in the address with which the Agrarian law of
Rullus,[240] and the accusation of Rabirius,[241] both popular measures,
are represented to be hostile to public liberty; with which Milo's
impolitic unconcern is made a touching incident;[242] and Cato's attack
upon the crowd of clients which accompanied the candidate for office, a
tyrannical disregard for the feelings of the poor.[243] So great indeed
is his talent, that he even hurts a good cause by an excess of

But it is not enough to have barely proved his point; he proceeds,
either immediately, or towards the conclusion of his speech, to heighten
the effect by amplification.[244] Here he goes (as it were) round and
round his object; surveys it in every light; examines it in all its
parts; retires, and then advances; turns and re-turns it; compares and
contrasts it; illustrates, confirms, enforces his view of the question,
till at last the hearer feels ashamed of doubting a position which seems
built on a foundation so strictly argumentative. Of this nature is his
justification of Rabirius in taking up arms against Saturninus;[245] his
account of the imprisonment of the Roman citizens by Verres, and of the
crucifixion of Gavius;[246] his comparison of Antony with Tarquin;[247]
and the contrast he draws of Verres with Fabius, Scipio, and

And now, having established his case, he opens upon his opponent a
discharge of raillery, so delicate and good-natured, that it is
impossible for the latter to maintain his ground against it. Or where
the subject is too grave to admit this, he colours his exaggeration with
all the bitterness of irony or vehemence of passion. Such are his
frequent delineations of Gabinius, Piso, Clodius, and Antony;[249]
particularly his vivid and almost humorous contrast of the two consuls,
who sanctioned his banishment, in his oration for Sextius.[250] Such the
celebrated account (already referred to) of the crucifixion of Gavius by
Verres, which it is difficult to read, even at the present day, without
having our feelings roused against the merciless Prætor. But the appeal
to the gentler emotions of the soul is reserved (perhaps with somewhat
of sameness) for the close of his oration; as in his defence of
Cluentius, Muræna, Cælius, Milo, Sylla, Flaccus, and Rabirius Postumus;
the most striking instances of which are the poetical burst of feeling
with which he addresses his client Plancius,[251] and his picture of the
desolate condition of the Vestal Fonteia, should her brother be
condemned.[252] At other times, his peroration contains more heroic and
elevated sentiments; as in his invocation of the Alban groves and altars
in the peroration of the _Pro Milone_, the panegyric on patriotism, and
the love of glory in his defence of Sextius, and that on liberty at the
close of the third and tenth Philippics.[253]


But it is by the invention of a style, which adapts itself with singular
felicity to every class of subjects, whether lofty or familiar,
philosophical or forensic, that Cicero answers even more exactly to his
own definition of a perfect orator[254] than by his plausibility,
pathos, and brilliancy. It is not, however, here intended to enter upon
the consideration of a subject so ample and so familiar to all scholars
as Cicero's diction, much less to take an extended view of it through
the range of his philosophical writings and familiar correspondence.
Among many excellences, the greatest is its suitableness to the genius
of the Latin language; though the diffuseness thence necessarily
resulting has exposed it, both in his own days and since his time, to
the criticisms of those who have affected to condemn its Asiatic
character, in comparison with the simplicity of Attic writers, and the
strength of Demosthenes.[255] Greek, however, is celebrated for its
copiousness in vocabulary, for its perspicuity, and its reproductive
power; and its consequent facility of expressing the most novel or
abstruse ideas with precision and elegance. Hence the Attic style of
eloquence was plain and simple, because simplicity and plainness were
not incompatible with clearness, energy, and harmony. But it was a
singular want of judgment, an ignorance of the very principles of
composition, which induced Brutus, Calvus, Sallust, and others to
imitate this terse and severe beauty in their own defective language,
and even to pronounce the opposite kind of diction deficient in taste
and purity. In Greek, indeed, the words fall, as it were, naturally,
into a distinct and harmonious order; and, from the exuberant richness
of the materials, less is left to the ingenuity of the artist. But the
Latin language is comparatively weak, scanty, and unmusical; and
requires considerable skill and management to render it expressive and
graceful. Simplicity in Latin is scarcely separable from baldness; and
justly as Terence is celebrated for chaste and unadorned diction, yet,
even he, compared with Attic writers, is flat and heavy.[256] Again, the
perfection of strength is clearness united to brevity; but to this
combination Latin is utterly unequal. From the vagueness and uncertainty
of meaning which characterises its separate words, to be perspicuous it
must be full. What Livy, and much more Tacitus, have gained in energy,
they have lost in lucidity and elegance; the correspondence of Brutus
with Cicero is forcible, indeed, but harsh and abrupt. Latin, in short,
is not a philosophical language, not a language in which a deep thinker
is likely to express himself with purity or neatness. Cicero found it
barren and dissonant, and as such he had to deal with it. His good sense
enabled him to perceive what could be done, and what it was in vain to
attempt; and happily his talents answered precisely to the purpose
required. He may be compared to a clever landscape-gardener, who gives
depth and richness to narrow and confined premises by ingenuity and
skill in the disposition of his trees and walks. Terence and Lucretius
had cultivated simplicity; Cotta, Brutus, and Calvus had attempted
strength; but Cicero rather made a language than a style; yet not so
much by the invention as by the combination of words. Some terms,
indeed, his philosophical subjects obliged him to coin;[257] but his
great art lies in the application of existing materials, in converting
the very disadvantages of the language into beauties,[258] in enriching
it with circumlocutions and metaphors, in pruning it of harsh and
uncouth expressions, in systematizing the structure of a sentence.[259]
This is that _copia dicendi_ which gained Cicero the high testimony of
Cæsar to his inventive powers,[260] and which, we may add, constitutes
him the greatest master of composition that the world has seen.


Such, then, are the principal characteristics of Cicero's oratory; on a
review of which we may, with some reason, conclude that Roman eloquence
stands scarcely less indebted to his works than Roman philosophy. For,
though in his _De claris Oratoribus_ he begins his review from the age
of Junius Brutus, yet, soberly speaking (and as he seems to allow in the
opening of the _De Oratore_), we cannot assign an earlier date to the
rise of eloquence among his countrymen, than that of the same Athenian
embassy which introduced the study of philosophy. To aim, indeed, at
persuasion, by appeals to the reason or passions, is so natural, that no
country, whether refined or barbarous, is without its orators. If,
however, eloquence be the mere power of persuading, it is but a relative
term, limited to time and place, connected with a particular audience,
and leaving to posterity no test of its merits but the report of those
whom it has been successful in influencing; but we are speaking of it as
the subject-matter of an art.[261]

The eloquence of Carneades and his associates had made (to use a
familiar term) a great sensation among the Roman orators, who soon split
into two parties,--the one adhering to the rough unpolished manners of
their forefathers, the other favouring the artificial graces which
distinguished the Grecian rhetoricians. In the former class were Cato
and Lælius,[262] both men of cultivated minds, particularly Cato, whose
opposition to Greek literature was founded solely on political
considerations. But, as might have been expected, the Athenian cause had
prevailed; and Carbo and the two Gracchi, who are the principal orators
of the next generation, are praised as masters of an oratory learned,
majestic, and harmonious in its character.[263] These were succeeded by
Antonius, Crassus, Cotta, Sulpicius, and Hortensius; who, adopting
greater liveliness and variety of manner, form a middle age in the
history of Roman eloquence. But it was in that which immediately
followed that the art was adorned by an assemblage of orators, which
even Greece will find it difficult to match. Of these Cæsar, Cicero,
Curio, Brutus, Cælius, Calvus, and Callidius, are the most celebrated.
The talents, indeed, of Cæsar were not more conspicuous in arms than in
his style, which was noted for its force and purity.[264] Cælius, whom
Cicero brought forward into public life, excelled in natural quickness,
loftiness of sentiment, and politeness in attack;[265] Brutus in
philosophical gravity, though he sometimes indulged himself in a warmer
and bolder style.[266] Callidius was delicate and harmonious; Curio bold
and flowing; Calvus, from studied opposition to Cicero's peculiarities,
cold, cautious, and accurate.[267] Brutus and Calvus have been before
noticed as the advocates of the dry sententious mode of speaking, which
they dignified by the name of Attic; a kind of eloquence which seems to
have been popular from the comparative facility with which it was

In the Ciceronian age the general character of the oratory was dignified
and graceful. The popular nature of the government gave opportunities
for effective appeals to the passions; and, Greek literature being as
yet a novelty, philosophical sentiments were introduced with
corresponding success. The republican orators were long in their
introductions, diffuse in their statements, ample in their divisions,
frequent in their digressions, gradual and sedate in their
perorations.[268] Under the Emperors, however, the people were less
consulted in state affairs; and the judges, instead of possessing an
almost independent authority, being but delegates of the executive, from
interested politicians became men of business; literature, too, was now
familiar to all classes; and taste began sensibly to decline. The
national appetite felt a craving for stronger and more stimulating
compositions. Impatience was manifested at the tedious majesty and
formal graces, the parade of arguments, grave sayings, and shreds of
philosophy,[269] which characterized their fathers; and a smarter and
more sparkling kind of oratory succeeded,[270] just as in our own
country the minuet of the last century has been supplanted by the
quadrille, and the stately movements of Giardini have given way to
Rossini's brisker and more artificial melodies. Corvinus, even before
the time of Augustus, had shown himself more elaborate and fastidious in
his choice of expressions.[271] Cassius Severus, the first who openly
deviated from the old style of oratory, introduced an acrimonious and
virulent mode of pleading.[272] It now became the fashion to decry
Cicero as inflated, languid, tame, and even deficient in ornament;[273]
Mecænas and Gallio followed in the career of degeneracy; till flippancy
of attack, prettiness of expression, and glitter of decoration prevailed
over the bold and manly eloquence of free Rome.


[93] De Legg. i. 1, ii. 1.

[94] Contra Rull. ii. 1.

[95] De Legg. ii. 1, iii. 16; de Orat. ii. 66.

[96] Plutarch, in Vitâ.

[97] Middleton's Life, vol. i. p. 13. 4to; de Clar. Orat. 89.

[98] Ibid.

[99] Pro Muræna, 11; de Orat. i. g.

[100] In Catil. iii. 6; in Pis. 3; pro Sylla, 30; pro Dom. 37; de
Harusp. resp. 23; ad Fam. xv. 4.

[101] De Clar. Orat. 91.

[102] Middleton's Life, vol. i. p. 42, 4to.

[103] Plutarch, in Vitâ.

[104] Warburton, Div. Leg. lib, iii. sec. 3; and Vossius. de Nat. Logic.
c. viii. sec. 22.

[105] Pro Planc. 26; in Ver. vi. 14.

[106] Pro Dom. 57, 58.

[107] De Offic. ii. 17; Middleton.

[108] In Pis. 1.

[109] Pro Murænâ, 20.

[110] Plutarch, in Vitâ.

[111] [Greek: Graikos kai scholastikos]. Plutarch, in Vitâ.

[112] Ad Atticum, i. 18, ii. 1.

[113] See Montesquieu, Grandeur des Romains, ch. xii.

[114] Ad Atticum, i. 19.

[115] Ad Atticum, lib. iii.; ad Fam. lib. xiv.; pro Sext. 22; pro Dom.
36; Plutarch, in Vitâ. It is curious to observe how he converts the
alleviating circumstances of his case into exaggerations of his
misfortune: he writes to Atticus: "As to your many fierce objurgations
of me, for my weakness of mind, I ask you, what aggravation is wanting
to my calamity? Who else has ever fallen from so high a position, in so
good a cause, with so large an intellect, influence, popularity, with
all good men so powerfully supporting him, as I?"--iii. 10. Other
persons would have reckoned the justice of their cause, and the
countenance of good men, alleviations of their distress; and so, when
others were concerned, he himself thought. Vid. pro Sext. 12.

[116] Ad Atticum, ix. 18.

[117] Ibid. vii. 11, ix. 6, x. 8 and 9, xi, 9, etc.

[118] Macrobius, Saturnalia, ii. 3.

[119] Ad Atticum, xi. 8, 9, 10 and 12.

[120] Ibid. xi. 13.

[121] Ad Fam. iv. 14; Middleton, vol. ii. p. 149.

[122] Ibid.

[123] Ad Fam. iv. 6.

[124] Ad Atticum, xii. 15, etc

[125] Ad Atticum, xiii. 20.

[126] Ibid. xii. 40 and 41.

[127] His want of jealousy towards his rivals was remarkable; this was
exemplified in his esteem for Hortensius, and still more so in his
conduct towards Calvus. See Ad Fam. xv. 21.

[128] Vol. ii. p. 525, 4to.

[129] Pro Planc.; Middleton, vol. i. p. 108.

[130] C. 39.

[131] Ad Fam. vi. 6, vii. 3.

[132] Plutarch, in Vitâ Cic. See also in Vitâ Pomp.

[133] Vid. Dr. Whately in the Encyclopædia Metropolitana.

[134] Lactantius, Inst. iii. 16.

[135] Plutarch, in Vitâ Caton. See also de Invent. i. 36.

[136] Paterculus, i. 12, etc. Plutarch, in Vitt. Lucull. et Syll.

[137] Gravin. Origin. Juris Civil. lib. i. c. 44.

[138] Quinct. xii. 2. Auct. Dialog. de Orator. 31.

[139] De Nat. Deor. i. 4; de Off. i. 1; de Fin.; init. Acad. Quæst.
init. etc.

[140] Tusc Quæst. i. 3; ii. 3; Acad. Quæst. i. 2; de Nat. Deor. i. 21;
de Fin. i. 3, etc.; de Clar. Orat. 35.

[141] Lucullus, 2; de Fin. i. 1-3; Tusc Quæst. ii. 1, 2; iii. 2; v. 2;
de Legg. i. 22-24; de Off. ii. 2; de Orat. 41, etc.

[142] Middleton's Life, vol. ii. p. 254.

[143] Ad Quinct. fratr. iii. 3.

[144] Tusc. Quæst, v. 2.

[145] De Off. i. 5. _init._

[146] Johnson's observations on Addison's writings may be well applied
to those of Cicero, who would have been eminently successful in short
miscellaneous essays, like those of the Spectator, had the manners of
the age allowed it.

[147] Orat iii. 4; Tusc. Quæst. ii. 3; de Off. i. 1. Paradox. _præfat._
Quinct. Instit. xii. 2.

[148] Article, Plato, in the Encyclopædia Metropolitana.

[149] Acad. Quæst. i. 10, etc.; Lucullus, 5; de Legg. i. 20; iii. 3,

[150] Acad. Quæst. i. 4, 12, 13; Lucullus, 5 and 23; de Nat. Deor. i. 5;
de Fin. ii. 1; de Orat. iii. 18. Augustin. contra Acad. ii. 6. Plutarch,
in Colot. 26.

[151] "Arcesilas negabat esse quidquam, quod sciri posset, ne illud
quidem ipsum quod Socrates sibi reliquisset. Sic omnia latere censebat
in occulto, neque esse quicquam quod cerni, quod intelligi, posset;
quibus de causis nihil oportere neque profiteri neque affirmare
quenquam, neque assentione approbare, etc."--_Acad. Quæst._ i. 12. See
also Lucullus, 9 and 18. They were countenanced in these conclusions by
Plato's doctrine of ideas.--_Lucullus_, 46.

[152] Sext. Empir. Pyrrh. Hypot. i. 33. Diogenes Laertius, lib. iv. in
Arcesil. Vid. Lactant. Instit. iii. 6.

[153] Lucullus, 6.

[154] Augustin. contr. Acad. iii. 17.

[155] Lucullus, 18, 24. Augustin. contr. Acad. iii. 39.

[156] See Sext. Empir. adv. Log. i. 166., etc., p. 405.

[157] Acad. Quæst. i. 13; Lucullus, 23, 38; de Nat. Deor. i. 5; Orat.

[158] "Tu autem te negas infracto remo neque columbæ collo commoveri.
Primum cur? nam et in remo sentio non esse id quod videatur, et in
columbâ plures videri colores, nec esse plus uno, etc."--_Lucullus_, 25.

[159] Lucullus, 16-18; 26-28.

[160] "Vehementer errare eos qui dicant ab Academiâ sensus eripi; à
quibus nunquam dictum sit aut colorem aut saporem aut sonum nullum esse,
[sed] illud sit disputatum, non inesse in his propriam, quæ nusquam
alibi esset, veri et certi notam."--_Lucullus_, 32. See also 13, 24, 31;
de Nat. Deor. i. 5.

[160a] [Greek: Oi goun Stôikoi katalêpsin einai phasi katalêptikê
phantasia sugkatathesô] _Sext. Empir. Pyrrh. Hypot._ iii. 25. Vid. also
Adv. Log. i. 152, p. 402.

[161] "Verum non posse comprehendi ex illâ Stoici Zenonis definitione
arripuisse videbantur, qui ait id verum percipi posse, quod ita esset
animo impressum ex eo unde esset, ut esse non posset ex eo unde non
esset. Quod brevius planiusque sic dicitur, his signis verum posse
comprehendi, quæ signa non potest habere quod falsum est."--_Augustin,
contra Acad._ ii. 5. See also Sext. Empir. adv. Math. lib. vii. [Greek:
peri metabolês], and Cf. Lucullus, 6 with 13.

[162] Lucullus, 13, 21, 40.

[163] [Greek: Tois phainomenois oun prosechoutes kata tên biôtikên
têrêsin adoxastôs bioumen, epei mê dunametha anenergêtoi pantapasin
einai].--_Sext. Empir. Pyrrh. Hypot._ 1, 11.

[164] Cicero terms these three impressions, "visio probabilis; quæ ex
circumspectione aliquâ et accuratâ consideratione fiat; quæ non
impediatur."--_Lucullus_, 11.

[165] Pyrrh. Hypot. i. 33.

[166] Numen. apud Euseb. Præp. Evang. xiv. 7.

[167] Lucullus, 31, 34; de Off. ii. 2; de Fin. v. 26. Quinct. xii. 1.

[168] Lucullus, 22, et alibi; Tusc. Quæst. ii. 2.

[169] See a striking passage from Cicero's Academics, preserved by
Augustine, contra Acad. iii. 7, and Lucullus, 18.

[170] De Nat. Deor. passim; de Div. ii. 72. "Quorum controversiam
solebat tanquam honorarius arbiter judicare Carneades."--_Tusc. Quæst._
v. 41.

[171] De Fin. ii. 1; de Orat. i. 18; Lucullus, 3; Tusc. Quæst. v. 11;
Numen. apud Euseb. Præp. Evang. xiv. 6, etc. Lactantius, Inst. iii. 4.

[172] De Nat. Deor. i. 67; de Fat. 2; Dialog. de Orat. 31, 32.

[173] Lucullus, 6, 18; de Orat. ii. 38, iii. 18. Quint, Inst. xii. 2.
Numen. apud Euseb. Præp. Evang. xiv. 6 and 8.

[174] "Hæc in philosophiâ ratio contra omnia disserendi nullamque rem
apertè judicandi, profecta à Socrate, _repetita_ ab Arcesilâ,
_confirmata_ à Carneade, usque ad nostram viguit ætatem; quam _nunc_
propemodum _orbam_ esse in ipsâ Græciâ intelligo. Quod non Academiæ
vitio, sed _tarditate hominum_ arbitror contigisse. Nam si singulas
disciplinas percipere magnum est, quanto majus omnes? quod facere iis
necesse est, quibus propositum est, veri reperiendi causâ, et contra
omnes philosophos et pro omnibus dicere."--_De Nat. Deor._ i. 5.

[175] De Nat. Deor. i. 25, Augustin, contra Acad. iii. 17. Numen. apud
Euseb. Præp. Evang. xiv. 6.

[176] De Fin. ii. 13, v. 7; Lucullus, 42; Tusc. Quæst. v. 29.

[177] Lucullus, 45.

[178] Lucullus, 21, 24; for an elevated moral precept of his, see de
Fin. ii. 18.

[179] [Greek: Anêr en tais trisin airesesi diatripsas, en te tê
Akadêmaikê kai Peripatê tikê kai Stôikê].--_Diogenes Laertius_, lib. iv.
sub fin.

[180] "Quanquam Philo, magnus vir, negaret in libris duas Academias esse
erroremque eorum qui ita putârunt coarguit."--_Acad. Quæst._ i. 4.

[181] De Fin, v. 5; Lucullus, 22, 43. Sext. Emp. Pyrrh. Hyp. i. 33.

[182] Acad. Quæst. i. 4; de Nat. Deor. i. 7.

[183] Lucullus, 20; see also de Nat. Deor. i. 7; de Fin. i. 5.

[184] "Nobis autem nostra Academia magnam licentiam dat, ut, quodcunque
maximè probabile occurrat, id nostro jure liceat defendere."--_De Off._
iii. 4. See also Tusc. Quæst. iv. 4, v. 29; de Invent. ii. 3.

[185] De Legg. i. 13.

[186] Tusc. Quæst. i. 27; de Div. ii. 72; pro Milon. 31; de Legg. ii. 7.

[187] Fragm. de Rep. 3; Tusc. Quæst. i. 29.

[188] Tusc. Quæst. i. _passim_; de Senect. 21, 22; Somn. Scip. 8.

[189] De Div. i. 32, 49; Fragm. de Consolat.

[190] Tusc. Quæst. i. 30; Som. Scip. 9; de Legg. ii. 11.

[191] De Amic. 4; de Off. iii. 28; pro Cluent. 61; de Legg. ii. 17:
Tusc. Quæst. i. 11; pro Sext. 21; de Nat. Deor. i. 17.

[192] De Senect. 23.

[193] Pro Arch. 11, 12, ad Fam. v. 21, vi. 21.

[194] He seems to have fallen into some misconceptions of Aristotle's
meaning. De Invent. i. 35, 36, ii. 14; see Quinct. Inst. v. 14.

[195] De Invent. i. 7, ii. 51, _et passim_; ad. Fam. i. 9; de Orat. ii.

[196] De Off. i. 1; de Fin. iv. 5.

[197] De Fin. ii. 21, iii. 1; de Legg. i. 13; de Orat. iii. 17; ad Fam.
xiii. 1; pro Sext. 10.

[198] De Nat. Deor. i. 4; Tusc. Quæst. i. 1, v. 29; de Fin. i. 3, 4; de
Off. i. 1; de Div. ii. 1, 2.

[199] Div. Leg. lib. iii. sec. 9.

[200] See Tusc. Quæst and de Republ.

[201] See Fabricius, Bibliothec. Latin.; Olivet, in Cic. opp. omn.;
Middleton's Life.

[202] Quinct. Inst. x. 7.

[203] De Invent. ii. 2 et 3; ad Fam. i. 9.

[204] Cf. de part. Orat. with de Invent.

[205] Orat. 19.

[206] Vossius, de Nat. Rhet. c. xiii.; Fabricius, Bibliothec. Latin.

[207] De Invent. i. 5, 6; de clar. Orat. 76.

[208] Ad Fam. vii. 19.

[209] De Div. ii. 1.

[210] Ad Atticum. iv. 16.

[211] Orat. 16.

[212] Orat. 14, 31.

[213] Orat. 21, 29.

[214] Ad Fam. vi. 18.

[215] See Middleton, vol. ii. p. 147.

[216] De Legg. i. 5.

[217] Ang. Mai. præf. in Remp. Middleman, vol. i. p. 486

[218] Quinct. Inst. xi. 1.

[219] Ad Atticum, xiii. 13, 16, 19.

[220] Ad Fam. ix. 16, 18.

[221] Tusc. Quæst v. 4, 11.

[222] Ibid. iii. 10, v. 27.

[223] De Nat. Deor. i. 6; de Div. i. 4, de Fat. 1.

[224] Sciopp. in Olivet.

[225] See Plutarch, in Vitâ.

[226] In Catil. iii. 3-5.

[227] Pro Cæl. 24.

[228] Philipp. ix. 3.

[229] Pro Cæl. 6.

[230] Ibid. 14.

[231] Pro Quinct. 1, and In Verr. Act i. 13

[232] Pro Cluent 1.

[233] Pro Leg. Manil. 1.

[234] Pro Milon. 1.

[235] Pro Deiotar. 2.

[236] Pro Milon. 14, etc.

[237] Pro Muræn. 9.

[238] Pro Cæl. 7, etc.

[239] In Verr. vi. 2, etc.

[240] Contra Rull. ii. 6, 7.

[241] Pro Rabir. 4.

[242] Pro Milon. _init. et alibi._

[243] Pro Muræn. 34.

[244] De Orat. partit. 8, 16, 17.

[245] Pro Rabir. 8.

[246] In Verr. v. 56, etc., and 64, etc.

[247] Philipp. iii. 4.

[248] In Verr. vi. 10.

[249] Post Redit. in Senat. i. 4-8; pro Dom. 9, 39, etc.; in Pis. 10,
11. Philipp. ii. 18, etc.

[250] Pro Sext. 8-10.

[251] Pro Planc. 41, 42.

[252] Pro Fonteio, 17.

[253] Vid. his ideal description of an orator, in Orat. 40. Vid. also de
clar. Orat. 93, his negative panegyric on his own oratorical

[254] Orat. 29.

[255] Tusc. Quæst. i. 1; de clar. Orat. 82, etc., de opt. gen. dicendi.

[256] Quinct. x. 1.

[257] De Fin. iii. 1 and 4; Lucull. 6. Plutarch, in Vitâ.

[258] This, which is analogous to his address in pleading, is nowhere
more observable than in his rendering the recurrence of the same word,
to which he is forced by the barrenness or vagueness of the language, an

[259] It is remarkable that some authors attempted to account for the
_invention_ of the Asiatic style, on the same principle we have here
adduced to account for Cicero's _adoption_ of it in Latin; viz. that the
Asiatics had a defective knowledge of Greek, and devised phrases, etc.,
to make up for the imperfection of their scanty vocabulary. See Quinct.
xii. 10.

[260] De clar. Orat. 72.

[261] "Vulgus interdum," says Cicero, "non probandum oratorem probat,
sed probat sine comparatione, cùm à mediocri aut etiam â malo
delectatur; eo est contentus: esse melius sentit: illud quod est,
qualecunque est, probat."--De clar. Orat. 52.

[262] De clar. Orat. 72. Quinct. xii. 10.

[263] De clar. Orat. 25, 27; pro Harusp. resp. 19.

[264] Quinct. x. 1 and 2. De clar. Orat. 75.

[265] Ibid.

[266] Ibid. and ad Atticum, xiv. 1.

[267] Ibid.

[268] Dialog. de Orat. 20 apud Tacit. and 22. Quinct. x. 2.

[269] "It is not uncommon for those who have grown wise by the labour of
others, to add a little of their own, and overlook their
master."--_Johnson. We have before compared Cicero to Addison as regards
the purpose of inspiring their respective countrymen with literary
taste. They resembled each other in the return they experienced.

[270] Dialog. 18.

[271] Ibid.

[272] Dialog. 19.

[273] Dialog. 18 and 22 Quinct. xii 10.






  AGAINST CHRISTIANITY                                          305


  2. HIS POLITICAL ASPECT                                       309

  3. HIS REPUTATION                                             316

  4. HIS PROFESSION OF MIRACLES                                 319

  THEMSELVES                                                    323

  6. NOR BY THEIR DRIFT                                         326

  7. BUT AN IMITATION OF SCRIPTURE MIRACLES                     328


Apollonius, the Pythagorean philosopher, was born at Tyana, in
Cappadocia, in the year of Rome 750, four years before the common
Christian era.[274] His reputation rests, not so much on his personal
merits, as on the attempt made in the early ages of the Church, and
since revived,[275] to bring him forward as a rival to the Divine Author
of our Religion. A narrative of his life, which is still extant, was
written with this object, about a century after his death (A.D. 217), by
Philostratus of Lemnos, when Ammonius was systematizing the Eclectic
tenets to meet the increasing influence and the spread of Christianity.
Philostratus engaged in this work at the instance of his patroness Julia
Domna, wife of the Emperor Severus, a princess celebrated for her zeal
in the cause of Heathen Philosophy; who put into his hands a journal of
the travels of Apollonius rudely written by one Damis, an Assyrian, his
companion.[276] This manuscript, an account of his residence at Ægæ,
prior to his acquaintance with Damis, by Maximus of that city, a
collection of his letters, some private memoranda relative to his
opinions and conduct, and lastly the public records of the cities he
frequented, were the principal documents from which Philostratus
compiled his elaborate narrative.[277] It is written with considerable
elegance and command of Greek, but with more attention to ornament than
is consistent with correct taste. Though it is not a professed imitation
of the Gospels, it contains quite enough to show that it was written
with a view of rivalling the sacred narrative; and accordingly, in the
following age, it was made use of in a direct attack upon Christianity
by Hierocles,[278] Prefect of Bithynia, a disciple of the Eclectic
School, to whom a reply was made by Eusebius of Cæsarea. The selection
of a Pythagorean Philosopher for the purpose of a comparison with our
Lord was judicious. The attachment of the Pythagorean Sect to the
discipline of the established religion, which most other philosophies
neglected, its austerity, its pretended intercourse with heaven, its
profession of extraordinary power over nature, and the authoritative
tone of teaching which this profession countenanced,[279] were all in
favour of the proposed object. But with the plans of the Eclectics in
their attack upon Christianity we have no immediate concern.


Philostratus begins his work with an account of the prodigies attending
the philosopher's birth, which, with all circumstances of a like nature,
we shall for the present pass over, intending to make some observations
on them in the sequel. At the age of fourteen he was placed by his
father under the care of Euthydemus, a distinguished rhetorician of
Tarsus; but, being displeased with the dissipation of the place, he
removed with his master to Ægæ, a neighbouring town, frequented as a
retreat for students in philosophy.[280] Here he made himself master of
the Platonic, Stoic, Epicurean, and Peripatetic systems; giving,
however, an exclusive preference to the Pythagorean, which he studied
with Euxenus of Heraclea, a man, however, whose life ill accorded with
the ascetic principles of his Sect. At the early age of sixteen years,
according to his biographer, he resolved on strictly conforming himself
to the precepts of Pythagoras, and, if possible, rivalling the fame of
his master. He renounced animal food and wine; restricted himself to the
use of linen garments and sandals made of the bark of trees; suffered
his hair to grow; and betook himself to the temple of Æsculapius, who is
said to have regarded him with peculiar favour.[281]

On the news of his father's death, which took place not long afterwards,
he left Ægæ for his native place, where he gave up half his inheritance
to his elder brother, whom he is said to have reclaimed from a dissolute
course of life, and the greater part of the remainder to his poorer

Prior to composing any philosophical work, he thought it necessary to
observe the silence of five years, which was the appointed initiation
into the esoteric doctrines of his Sect. During this time he exercised
his mind in storing up materials for future reflection. We are told that
on several occasions he hindered insurrections in the cities in which he
resided by the mute eloquence of his look and gestures;[283] but such an
achievement is hardly consistent with the Pythagorean rule, which
forbad its disciples during their silence the intercourse of mixed

The period of silence being expired, Apollonius passed through the
principal cities of Asia Minor, disputing in the temples in imitation of
Pythagoras, unfolding the mysteries of his Sect to such as were
observing their probationary silence, discoursing with the Greek Priests
about divine rites, and reforming the worship of barbarian cities.[285]
This must have been his employment for many years; the next incident in
his life being his Eastern journey, which was not undertaken till he was
between forty and fifty years of age.[286]

His object in this expedition was to consult the Magi and Brachmans on
philosophical matters; still following the example of Pythagoras, who is
said to have travelled as far as India with the same purpose. At
Nineveh, where he arrived with two companions, he was joined by Damis,
already mentioned as his journalist.[287] Proceeding thence to Babylon,
he had some interviews with the Magi, who rather disappointed his
expectations; and was well received by Bardanes the Parthian King, who,
after detaining him at his Court for the greater part of two years,
dismissed him with marks of peculiar honour.[288] From Babylon he
proceeded, by way of the Caucasus and the Indus, to Taxila, the city of
Phraotes, King of the Indians, who is represented as an adept in the
Pythagorean Philosophy;[289] and passing on, at length accomplished the
object of his expedition by visiting Iarchas, Chief of the Brachmans,
from whom he is said to have learned many valuable theurgic

On his return to Asia Minor, after an absence of about five years, he
stationed himself for a time in Ionia; where the fame of his travels and
his austere mode of life gained for him much attention to his
philosophical harangues. The cities sent embassies to him, decreeing him
public honours; while the oracles pronounced him more than mortal, and
referred the sick to him for relief.[291]

From Ionia he passed over to Greece, and made his first tour through its
principal cities;[292] visiting the temples and oracles, reforming the
divine rites, and sometimes exercising his theurgic skill. Except at
Sparta, however, he seems to have attracted little attention. At Eleusis
his application for admittance to the Mysteries was unsuccessful; as was
a similar attempt at the Cave of Trophonius at a later date.[293] In
both places his reputation for magical powers was the cause of his


Hitherto our memoir has only set before us the life of an ordinary
Pythagorean, which may be comprehended in three words, mysticism,
travel, and disputation. From the date, however, of his journey to Rome,
which succeeded his Grecian tour, it is in some degree connected with
the history of the times; and, though for much of what is told us of him
we have no better authority than the word of Philostratus himself, still
there is neither reason nor necessity for supposing the narrative to be
in substance untrue.

Nero had at this time prohibited the study of philosophy, alleging that
it was made the pretence for magical practices;[294]--and the report of
his tyrannical excesses so alarmed the followers of Apollonius as they
approached Rome, that out of thirty-four who had accompanied him thus
far, eight only could be prevailed on to proceed. On his arrival, his
religious pretensions were the occasion of his being brought
successively before the consul Telesinus and Tigellinus the Minister of
Nero.[295] Both of them, however, dismissed him after an examination;
the former from a secret leaning towards philosophy, the latter from
fear (as we are told) of his extraordinary powers. He was in consequence
allowed to go about at his pleasure from temple to temple, haranguing
the people, and, as in Asia, prosecuting his reforms in the worship paid
to the gods. This, however, can hardly have been the case, supposing the
edict against philosophers was as severe as his biographer represents.
In that case neither Apollonius, nor Demetrius the Cynic, who joined him
after his arrival, would have been permitted to remain in Rome;
certainly not Apollonius, after his acknowledgment of his own magical
powers in the presence of Tigellinus.[296]

It is more probable he was sent out of the city; anyhow we soon find him
in Spain, taking part in the conspiracy forming against Nero by Vindex
and others.[297] The political partisans of that day seem to have made
use of professed jugglers and magicians to gain over the body of the
people to their interests. To this may be attributed Nero's banishing
such men from Rome;[298] and Apollonius had probably been already
serviceable in this way at the Capital, as he was now in Spain, and
immediately after to Vespasian; and at a later period to Nerva.

His next expeditions were to Africa, to Sicily, and so to Greece,[299]
but they do not supply anything of importance to the elucidation of his
character. At Athens he obtained the initiation in the Mysteries, for
which he had on his former visit unsuccessfully applied.

The following spring, the seventy-third of his life, according to the
common calculation, he proceeded to Alexandria,[300] where he attracted
the notice of Vespasian, who had just assumed the purple, and who seemed
desirous of countenancing his proceedings by the sanction of religion.
Apollonius might be recommended to him for this purpose by the fame of
his travels, his reputation for theurgic knowledge, and his late acts in
Spain against Nero. It is satisfactory to be able to detect an
historical connexion between two personages, each of whom has in his
turn been made to rival our Lord and His Apostles in pretensions to
miraculous power. Thus, claims which appeared to be advanced on distinct
grounds are found to proceed from one centre, and by their coalition to
illustrate and expose one another. The celebrated cures by Vespasian are
connected with the ordinary theurgy of the Pythagorean School; and
Apollonius is found here, as in many other instances, to be the
instrument of a political party.

His biographer's account of his first meeting with the Emperor, which is
perhaps substantially correct, is amusing from the theatrical character
with which it was invested.[301] The latter, on entering Alexandria, was
met by the great body of the Magistrates, Prefects, and Philosophers of
the city; but, not discovering Apollonius in the number, he hastily
asked, "whether the Tyanean was in Alexandria," and when told he was
philosophizing in the Serapeum, proceeding thither he suppliantly
entreated him to make him Emperor; and, on the Philosopher's answering
he had already done so in praying for a just and venerable
Sovereign,[302] Vespasian avowed his determination of putting himself
entirely into his hands, and of declining the supreme power, unless he
could obtain his countenance in assuming it.[303] A formal consultation
was in consequence held, at which, besides Apollonius, Dio and
Euphrates, Stoics in the Emperor's train, were allowed to deliver their
sentiments; when the latter philosopher entered an honest protest
against the sanction which Apollonius was giving to the ambition of
Vespasian, and advocated the restoration of the Roman State to its
ancient republican form.[304] This difference of opinion laid the
foundation of a lasting quarrel between the rival advisers, to which
Philostratus makes frequent allusion in the course of his history.
Euphrates is mentioned by the ancients in terms of high commendation; by
Pliny especially, who knew him well.[305] He seems to have seen through
his opponent's religious pretences, as we gather even from
Philostratus;[306] and when so plain a reason exists for the dislike
which Apollonius, in his Letters, and Philostratus, manifest towards
him, their censure must not be allowed to weigh against the testimony,
which unbiassed writers have delivered in his favour.

After parting from Vespasian, Apollonius undertook an expedition into
Æthiopia, where he held discussions with the Gymnosophists, and visited
the cataracts of the Nile.[307] On his return he received the news of
the destruction of Jerusalem; and being pleased with the modesty of the
conqueror, wrote to him in commendation of it. Titus is said to have
invited him to Argos in Cilicia, for the sake of his advice on various
subjects, and obtained from him a promise that at some future time he
would visit him at Rome.[308]

On the succession of Domitian, he became once more engaged in the
political commotions of the day, exerting himself to excite the
countries of Asia Minor against the Emperor.[309] These proceedings at
length occasioned an order from the Government to bring him to Rome,
which, however, according to his biographer's account, he anticipated by
voluntarily surrendering himself, under the idea that by his prompt
appearance he might remove the Emperor's jealousy, and save Nerva and
others whose political interests he had been promoting. On arriving at
Rome he was brought before Domitian; and when, very inconsistently with
his wish to shield his friends from suspicion, he launched out into
praise of Nerva, he was forced away into prison to the company of the
worst criminals, his hair and beard were cut short, and his limbs loaded
with chains. After some days he was brought to trial; the charges
against him being the singularity of his dress and appearance, his being
called a god, his foretelling a pestilence at Ephesus, and his
sacrificing a child with Nerva for the purpose of augury.[310]
Philostratus supplies us with an ample defence, which, it seems, he was
to have delivered,[311] had he not in the course of the proceedings
suddenly vanished from the Court, and transported himself to Puteoli,
whither he had before sent on Damis.

This is the only miraculous occurrence which forces itself into the
history as a component part of the narrative; the rest being of easy
omission without any detriment to its entireness.[312] And strictly
speaking, even here, it is only his vanishing which is of a miraculous
nature, and his vanishing is not really necessary for the continuity of
events. His "liberation" and "transportation" are sufficient for that
continuity; and to be set free from prison and sent out of Rome are
occurrences which might happen without a divine interposition. And in
fact they seem very clearly to have taken place in the regular course of
business. Philostratus allows that just before the philosopher's
pretended disappearance, Domitian had publicly acquitted him, and that
after the miracle he proceeded to hear the cause next in order, as if
nothing had happened;[313] and tells us, moreover, that Apollonius on
his return to Greece gave out that he had pleaded his own cause and so
escaped, no allusion being made to a miraculous preservation.[314]

After spending two years in the latter country in his usual
philosophical disputations, he passed into Ionia. According to his
biographer's chronology, he was now approaching the completion of his
hundredth year. We may easily understand, therefore, that when invited
to Rome by Nerva, who had just succeeded to the Empire, he declined the
proposed honour with an intimation that their meeting must be deferred
to another state of being.[315] His death took place shortly after; and
Ephesus, Rhodes, and Crete are variously mentioned as the spot at which
it occurred.[316] A temple was dedicated to him at Tyana,[317] which was
in consequence accounted one of the sacred cities, and permitted the
privilege of electing its own Magistrates.[318]

He is said to have written[319] a treatise upon Judicial Astrology, a
work on Sacrifices, another on Oracles, a Life of Pythagoras, and an
account of the answers which he received from Trophonius, besides the
memoranda noticed in the opening of our memoir. A collection of Letters
ascribed to him is still extant.[320]


It may be regretted that so elaborate a history, as that which we have
abridged, should not contain more authentic and valuable matter. Both
the secular transactions of the times and the history of Christianity
might have been illustrated by the life of one, who, while he was an
instrument of the partisans of Vindex, Vespasian, and Nerva, was a
contemporary and in some respects a rival of the Apostles; and who,
probably, was with St. Paul at Ephesus and Rome.[321] As far as his
personal character is concerned, there is nothing to be lamented in
these omissions. There is nothing very winning, or very commanding,
either in his biographer's picture of him, or in his own letters. His
virtues, as we have already seen, were temperance and a disregard of
wealth; and that he really had these, and such as these, may be safely
concluded from the fact of the popularity which he enjoyed. The great
object of his ambition seems to have been to emulate the fame of his
master; and his efforts had their reward in the general admiration he
attracted, the honours paid him by the Oracles, and the attentions shown
him by men in power.

We might have been inclined, indeed, to suspect that his reputation
existed principally in his biographer's panegyric, were it not attested
by other writers. The celebrity, which he has enjoyed since the writings
of the Eclectics, by itself affords but a faint presumption of his
notoriety before they appeared. Yet, after all allowances, there remains
enough to show that, however fabulous the details of his history may be,
there was something extraordinary in his life and character. Some
foundation there must have been for statements which his eulogists were
able to maintain in the face of those who would have spoken out had they
been altogether novel. Pretensions never before advanced must have
excited the surprise and contempt of the advocates of Christianity.[322]
Yet Eusebius styles him a wise man, and seems to admit the correctness
of Philostratus, except in the miraculous parts of the narrative.[323]
Lactantius does not deny that a statue was erected to him at
Ephesus;[324] and Sidonius Apollinaris, who even wrote his life, speaks
of him as the admiration of the countries he traversed, and the
favourite of monarchs.[325] One of his works was deposited in the palace
at Antium by the Emperor Hadrian, who also formed a collection of his
letters;[326] statues were erected to him in the temples, divine honours
paid him by Caracalla, Alexander Severus, and Aurelian, and magical
virtue attributed to his name.[327]

It has in consequence been made a subject of dispute, how far his
reputation was built upon that supposed claim to extraordinary power
which, as was noticed in the opening of our memoir, has led to his
comparison with Sacred Names. If it could be shown that he did advance
such pretensions, and upon the strength of them was admitted as an
object of divine honour, a case would be made out, not indeed so strong
as that on which Christianity is founded, yet remarkable enough to
demand our serious examination. Assuming, then, or overlooking this
necessary condition, sceptical writers have been forward to urge the
history and character of Apollonius as creating a difficulty in the
argument for Christianity derived from miracles; while their opponents
have sometimes attempted to account for a phenomenon of which they had
not yet ascertained the existence, and have most gratuitously ascribed
his supposed power to the influence of the Evil principle.[328] On
examination, we shall find not a shadow of a reason for supposing that
Apollonius worked miracles in any proper sense of the word; or that he
professed to work them; or that he rested his authority on extraordinary
works of any kind; and it is strange indeed that Christians, with
victory in their hands, should have so mismanaged their cause as to
establish an objection where none existed, and in their haste to
extricate themselves from an imaginary difficulty, to overturn one of
the main arguments for Revealed Religion.


1. To state these pretended prodigies is in most cases a refutation of
their claim upon our notice,[329] and even those which are not in
themselves exceptionable become so from the circumstances or manner in
which they took place. Apollonius is said to have been an incarnation of
the God Proteus; his birth was announced by the falling of a thunderbolt
and a chorus of swans; his death signalized by a wonderful voice calling
him up to Heaven; and after death he appeared to a youth to convince him
of the immortality of the soul.[330] He is reported to have known the
language of birds; to have evoked the spirit of Achilles; to have
dislodged a demon from a boy; to have detected an Empusa who was
seducing a youth into marriage; when brought before Tigellinus, to have
caused the writing of the indictment to vanish from the paper; when
imprisoned by Domitian, to have miraculously released himself from his
fetters; to have discovered the soul of Amasis in the body of a lion; to
have cured a youth attacked by hydrophobia, whom he pronounced to be
Telephus the Mysian.[331] In declaring men's thoughts and distant
events, he indulged most liberally; adopting a brevity which seemed
becoming the dignity of his character, while it secured his prediction
from the possibility of an entire failure. For instance: he gave
previous intimation of Nero's narrow escape from lightning; foretold the
short reigns of his successors; informed Vespasian at Alexandria of the
burning of the Capitol; predicted the violent death of Titus by a
relative; discovered a knowledge of the private history of his Egyptian
guide; foresaw the wreck of a ship he had embarked in, and the execution
of a Cilician Proprætor.[332] His prediction of the Proprætor's ruin was
conveyed in the words, "O that particular day!" that is, of execution;
of the short reigns of the Emperors in his saying that many Thebans
would succeed Nero. We must not omit his first predicting and then
removing a pestilence at Ephesus, the best authenticated of his
professed miracles, as being attested by the erecting of a statue to him
in consequence. He is said to have put an end to the malady by
commanding an aged man to be stoned, whom he pointed out as its author,
and who when the stones were removed was found changed into the shape of
a dog.[333]

That such marvellous occurrences are wanting either in the gravity, or
in the conclusiveness, proper to true miracles, is very plain; moreover,
that they gain no recommendation from the mode in which they are
recorded will be evident, if we extract the accounts given us by
Philostratus of those two which alone among Apollonius's acts, from
their internal character, demand our attention. These are the revival of
a young maid at Rome, who was on her way to burial, and the announcement
at Ephesus of Domitian's assassination at the very time of its

As to the former of these, it will be seen to be an attempt, and an
elaborate, pretentious attempt, to outdo certain narratives in the
Gospels. It runs as follows:--

     "A maiden of marriageable age seemed to have died, and the
     bridegroom was accompanying her bier, uttering wailing cries, as
     was natural on his marriage being thus cut short. And all Rome
     lamented with him, for the maiden belonged to a consular house. But
     Apollonius, coming upon this sad sight, said, 'Set down the bier,
     for I will stop your tears for her.' At the same time, he asked her
     name; and most of those present thought he was going to make a
     speech about her, after the manner of professed mourners. But he,
     doing nothing else than touching her, and saying over her some
     indistinct words, woke her from her seeming death. And the girl
     spoke, and returned to her father's house, as Alcestis, when
     restored to life by Hercules."[334]

As to his proclaiming at Ephesus the assassination of Domitian at the
time of its occurrence, of course, if he was at a great distance from
Rome and the synchronism of events could be proved, we should be bound
to give it our serious consideration; but synchronisms are difficult to
verify. Moreover, Apollonius is known to have taken part in the politics
of the empire; and his words, if he used them, might be prompted by his
knowledge, or by his furtherance, of some attempt upon Domitian's life.
Apollonius was at this time busily engaged in promoting Nerva's
interests among the Ionians. Dion[335] tells us that his success was
foretold by the astrologers, among whom Tzetzes reckons Apollonius; and
he mentions a prediction of Domitian's death which had been put into
circulation in Germany. It is true that Dion confirms Philostratus's
statement so far as the prediction is concerned, expressing strongly his
personal belief in it. "Apollonius," he says, "ascending upon a high
stone at Ephesus or elsewhere, and calling together the people, cried
out, 'Well done, Stephanus!'" He adds, "This really took place, though a
man should ever so much disbelieve it."[336] But it must be recollected
that Dion was writing his history when Philostratus wrote; and one of
them may have taken the account from the other; moreover, he is well
known to be of a credulous turn of mind, and far from averse from
recording marvellous stories.

Let us now turn to the statement of Philostratus; it will be found to
form as strong a contrast to the simplicity and dignity of the Gospel
narratives, as the dabbling in politics, which is so marked a feature in
Apollonius, differs from the conduct of Him who emphatically declared
that His kingdom was not of this world.

     "He was conversing," says Philostratus, "among the groves attached
     to the porticoes, about noon, that is, just at the time when the
     event was occurring in the imperial palace; and first he dropped
     his voice, as if in terror; then, with a faltering unusual to him,
     he described [an action], as if he beheld something external, as
     his words proceeded. Then he was silent, stopping abruptly; and
     looking with agitation on the ground, and advancing up three or
     four of the steps, 'Strike the tyrant, strike!' he cried out, not
     as drawing a mere image of the truth from some mirror, but as
     seeing the thing itself, and seeming to realize what was doing;
     and, to the consternation of all Ephesus, for it was thronging
     around while he was conversing, after an interval of suspense,
     such as happens when spectators are following some undecided action
     up to its issue, he said, 'Courage, my men, for the tyrant is
     slaughtered this day--nay, now, now.'"[337]

Only an eye-witness is warranted to write thus pictorially; Philostratus
was born 86 years after Apollonius's death.


2. But it is almost superfluous to speak either of the general character
of his extraordinary acts, or of the tone and manner in which they are
narrated, when, in truth, neither Apollonius nor his biographer had any
notion or any intention of maintaining that, in our sense of the word
"miracle," these acts were miracles at all, or were to be referred to
the immediate agency of the Supreme Being. Apollonius neither claimed
for himself, nor did Philostratus claim for him, any direct mission from
on high; nor did he in consequence submit the exercise of his
preternatural powers to such severe tests as may fairly be applied to
the miracles of Christianity.

Of works, indeed, which are asserted to proceed from the Author of
nature, sobriety, dignity, and conclusiveness may fairly be required;
but when a man ascribes his extraordinary power to his knowledge of some
merely human secret, impropriety does but evidence his own want of
taste, and ambiguity his want of skill. We have no longer a right to
expect a great end, worthy means, or a frugal and judicious application
of the miraculous gift. Now, Apollonius claimed nothing beyond a fuller
insight into nature than others had; a knowledge of the fated and
immutable laws to which it is conformed, of the hidden springs on which
it moves.[338] He brought a secret from the East and used it; and though
he professed to be favoured, and in a manner taught, by good
spirits,[339] yet he certainly referred no part of his power to a
Supreme Intelligence. Theurgic virtues, or those which consisted in
communion with the Powers and Principles of nature, were high in the
scale of Pythagorean excellence, and to them it was that he ascribed his
extraordinary gift. By temperate living, it was said, the mind was
endued with ampler and more exalted faculties than it otherwise
possessed; partook more fully of the nature of the One Universal Soul,
was gifted with prophetic inspiration, and a kind of intuitive
perception of secret things.[340] This power, derived from the favour of
the celestial deities, who were led to distinguish the virtuous and
high-minded, was quite distinct from magic, an infamous, uncertain, and
deceitful art, consisting in a compulsory power over infernal spirits,
operating by means of Astrology, Auguries, and Sacrifices, and directed
to the personal emolument of those who cultivated it.[341] To our
present question, however, this distinction made by the genuine
Pythagorean, is unimportant. To whichever principle the miracles of
Apollonius be referred, theurgy or magic, in either case they are
independent of the First Cause, and not granted with a view to the
particular purpose to which they are to be applied.[342]

3. We have also incidentally shown that they did not profess to be
miracles in the proper meaning of the word, that is, evident innovations
on the laws of nature. At the utmost they do but exemplify the aphorism,
"Knowledge is power."[343] Such as are within the range of human
knowledge are no miracles. Those of them, on the contrary, which are
beyond it, will be found on inspection to be unintelligible, and to
convey no evidence. The prediction of an earthquake (for instance) is
not necessarily superhuman. An interpretation of the discourse of birds
can never be verified. In understanding languages, knowing future
events, discovering the purposes of others, recognising human souls when
enclosed in new bodies, Apollonius merely professes extreme penetration
and extraordinary acquaintance with nature. The spell by which he evokes
spirits and exorcises demons, implies the mere possession of a
secret;[344] and so perfectly is his biographer aware of this, as almost
to doubt the resuscitation of the Roman damsel, the only decisive
miracle of them all, on the ground of its being supernatural,
insinuating that perhaps she was dead only in appearance.[345]
Accordingly, in the narrative which we have extracted above, he begins
by saying that she "seemed to have died," or "was to all appearance
dead;" and again at the end of it he speaks of her "seeming death."
Hence, moreover, may be understood the meaning of the charge of magic,
as brought against the early Christians by their heathen adversaries;
the miracles of the Gospels being strictly interruptions of physical
order, and incompatible with theurgic knowledge.[346]

When our Lord and His Apostles declare themselves to be sent from God,
this claim to a divine mission illustrates and gives dignity to their
profession of extraordinary power; whereas the divinity,[347] no less
than the gift of miracles to which Apollonius laid claim, must be
understood in its Pythagorean sense, as referring not to any intimate
connection with a Supreme Agent, but to his partaking, through his
theurgic skill, more largely than others in the perfections of the
animating principle of nature.


4. Yet, whatever is understood by his miraculous gift and his divine
nature, certainly his works were not adduced as vouchers for his
divinity, nor were they, in fact, the principal cause of his reputation.
What we desiderate is a contemporary appeal to them, on the part of
himself or his friends; as St. Paul speaks of his miracles to the Romans
and Corinthians, even calling them in one place "the signs of an
Apostle;" or as St. Luke, in the Acts of the Apostles, details the
miracles of both St. Peter and St. Paul.[348] Far different is it with
Apollonius: we meet with no claim to extraordinary power in his Letters;
nor when returning thanks to a city for public honours bestowed on him,
nor when complaining to his brother of the neglect of his townsmen, nor
when writing to his opponent Euphrates.[349] To the Milesians, indeed,
he speaks of earthquakes which he had predicted; but without appealing
to the prediction in proof of his authority.[350] Since, then, he is so
far from insisting on his pretended extraordinary powers, and himself
connects the acquisition of them with his Eastern expedition,[351] we
may conclude that credit for possessing magical secrets was a _part_ of
the reputation which that expedition conferred. A foreign appearance,
singularity of manners, a life of travel, and pretences to superior
knowledge, excite the imagination of beholders;[352] and, as in the case
of a wandering people among ourselves, appear to invite the persons who
are thus distinguished, to fraudulent practices. Apollonius is
represented as making converts as soon as seen.[353] It was not, then
his display of marvels, but his Pythagorean dress and mysterious
deportment, which arrested attention, and made him thought superior to
other men, because he was different from them. Like Lucian's
Alexander[354] (who was all but his disciple), he was skilled in
medicine, professed to be favoured by Æsculapius, pretended to
foreknowledge, was in collusion with the heathen priests, and was
supported by the Oracles; and being more strict in conduct than the
Paphlagonian,[355] he established a more lasting celebrity. His
usefulness to political aspirants contributed to his success; perhaps
also the real and contemporary miracles of the Christian teachers would
dispose many minds easily to acquiesce in any claims of a similar


5. In the foregoing remarks we have admitted, the general fidelity of
the history, because ancient authors allow it, and there was no
necessity to dispute it. Tried however on his own merits, it is quite
unworthy of serious attention. Not only in the miraculous accounts (as
we have already seen), but in the relation of a multitude of ordinary
facts, an effort to rival our Saviour's history is distinctly visible.
The favour in which Apollonius from a child was held by gods and men;
his conversations when a youth in the Temple of Æsculapius; his
determination in spite of danger to go up to Rome;[356] the cowardice
of his disciples in deserting him; the charge brought against him of
disaffection to Cæsar; the Minister's acknowledging, on his private
examination, that he was more than man; the ignominious treatment of him
by Domitian on his second appearance at Rome; his imprisonment with
criminals; his vanishing from Court and sudden reappearance to his
mourning disciples at Puteoli;[357]--these, with other particulars of a
similar cast, evidence a history modelled after the narrative of the
Evangelists. Expressions, moreover, and descriptions occur, clearly
imitated from the sacred volume. To this we must add[358] the rhetorical
colouring of the whole composition, so contrary to the sobriety of
truth;[359] the fabulous accounts of things and places interspersed
through the history;[360] lastly, we must bear in mind the principle,
recognised by the Pythagorean and Eclectic schools, of permitting
exaggeration and deceit in the cause of philosophy.[361]

       *       *       *       *       *

After all, it must be remembered, that were the pretended miracles as
unexceptionable as we have shown them to be absurd and useless--were
they plain interruptions of established laws--were they grave and
dignified in their nature, and important in their object, and were there
nothing to excite suspicion in the design, manner, or character of the
narrator--still the testimony on which they rest is the bare word of an
author writing one hundred years after the death of the person
panegyrized, and far distant from the places in which most of the
miracles were wrought, and who can give no better account of his
information than that he gained it from an unpublished work,[362]
professedly indeed composed by a witness of the extraordinary
transactions, but passing into his hands through two intermediate
possessors. These are circumstances which almost, without positive
objections, are sufficient by their own negative force to justify a
summary rejection of the whole account. Unless, indeed, the history had
been perverted to a mischievous purpose, we should esteem it impertinent
to direct argument against a mere romance, and to subject a work of
imagination to a grave discussion.


[274] Olear. ad Philostr. i. 12.

[275] By Lord Herbert and Mr. Blount.

[276] Philostr. i. 3.

[277] Philostr. i. 2, 3.

[278] His work was called [Greek: Logoi Philalêtheis pros Christianous]'
on this subject see Mosheim, _Dissertat. de turbatâ per recentiores
Platonicos Ecclesiâ_, Sec. 25.

[279] Philostr i. 17, vi. 11.

[280] Philostr. i. 7.

[281] Ibid. i. 8.

[282] Ibid. i. 13.

[283] Ibid. i. 14, 15.

[284] Brucker, vol. ii. p. 104.

[285] Philostr. i. 16.

[286] See Olear. _præfat. ad vitam._ As he died, U.C. 849, he is usually
considered to have lived to a hundred. Since, however, here is an
interval of almost twenty years in which nothing important happens, in a
part also of his life unconnected with any public events to fix its
chronology, it is highly probable that the date of his birth is put too
early. Philostratus says that accounts varied, making him live eighty,
ninety, or one hundred years; see viii. 29. See also ii. 12, where, by
some inaccuracy, he makes him to have been in India twenty years
_before_ he was at Babylon.--Olear. _ad locum et præfat. ad vit._ The
common date of his birth is fixed by his biographer's merely accidental
mention of the revolt of Archelaus against the Romans, as taking place
before Apollonius was twenty years old; see i. 12.

[287] Philostr. i. 19.

[288] Philostr. i. 27-41.

[289] Ibid. ii. 1-40. Brucker, vol. ii. p. 110.

[290] Ibid. iii. 51.

[291] Ibid. iv. 1. Acts xiii. 8; see also Acts viii. 9-11, and xix.

[292] Ibid. iv. 11, _et seq._

[293] When denied at the latter place he forced his way in.--Philostr.
viii. 19.

[294] Ibid. iv. 35. Brucker (vol. ii. p. 118) with reason thinks this
prohibition extended only to the profession of magic.

[295] Ibid. iv. 40, etc.

[296] Brucker, vol. ii. p. 120.

[297] Philostr. v. 10.

[298] Astrologers were concerned in Libo's conspiracy against Tiberius,
and punished. Vespasian, as we shall have occasion to notice presently,
made use of them in furthering his political plans.--Tacit. Hist. ii.
78. We read of their predicting Nero's accession, the deaths of
Vitellius and Domitian, etc. They were sent into banishment by Tiberius,
Claudius, Vitellius, and Domitian. Philostratus describes Nero as
issuing his edict _on leaving the Capital_ for Greece, iv. 47. These
circumstances seem to imply that astrology, magic, etc, were at that
time of considerable service in political intrigues.

[299] Philostr. v. ii, etc.

[300] Ibid. v. 20, etc.

[301] Philostr. v. 27.

[302] Tacitus relates, that when Vespasian was going to the _Serapeum,
ut super rebus imperii consuleret_, Basilides, an Egyptian, who was at
the time eighty miles distant, suddenly appeared to him; from his name
the emperor drew an omen that the god sanctioned his assumption of the
Imperial power.--Hist. iv. 82. This sufficiently agrees in substance
with the narrative of Philostratus to give the latter some probability.
It was on this occasion that the famous cures are said to have been

[303] As Egypt supplied Rome with corn, Vespasian by taking possession
of that country almost secured to himself the Empire.--Tacit. Hist. ii.
82, iii. 8. Philostratus insinuates that he was already in possession of
supreme power, and came to Egypt for the sanction of Apollonius. [Greek:
Tên men archên kektêmeuos, dialexomeuos de tps audri]. v. 27.

[304] Philostr. v. 31.

[305] Brucker, vol. ii. p. 566, etc.

[306] Philostr. v. 37, he makes Euphrates say to Vespasian, [Greek:
Philosophian, ô basileu, tên men kata physin echainei kai aspazou tên de
theoklutein phaskousan paraitou katapseudomenoi gar tou theiou polla kai
anoêta, êmas epairousi.] See Brucker; and Apollon. Epist. 8.

[307] Ibid. vi. 1, etc.

[308] Philostr. vi. 29, etc.

[309] Ibid. vii. 1, etc., see Brucker, vol. ii. p. 128.

[310] Ibid. viii. 5, 6, etc. On account of his foretelling the
pestilence he was honoured as a god by the Ephesians, vii. 21. Hence
this prediction appeared in the indictment.

[311] Euseb. in Hier. 41.

[312] Perhaps his causing the writing of the indictment to vanish from
the paper, when he was brought before Tigellinus, may be an exception,
as being the alleged cause of his acquittal. In general, however, no
consequence follows from his marvellous actions: _e. g._ when imprisoned
by Domitian, in order to show Damis his power, he is described as
drawing his leg out of the fetters, and then--as putting it back again,
vii. 38. A great exertion of power with apparently a small object.

[313] Philostr. viii. 8, 9.

[314] Ibid. viii. 15.

[315] Philostr. viii. 27.

[316] Ibid. viii. 30.

[317] Ibid. i. 5. viii. 29.

[318] A coin of Hadrian's reign is extant with the inscription, which
seems to run [Greek: Tyana iera, asulos autonomos]. Olear. ad Philostr.
viii. 31.

[319] See Bayle, Art. _Apollonius_; and Brucker.

[320] Bishop Lloyd considers them spurious, but Olearius and Brucker
show that there is good reason from internal evidence to suppose them
genuine. See Olear. Addend. ad præfat. Epistol.; and Brucker, vol. ii.
p. 147.

[321] Apollonius continued at Ephesus, Smyrna, etc., from A.D. 50 to
about 59, and was at Rome from A.D. 63 to 66. St. Paul passed through
Ionia into Greece A.D. 53, and was at Ephesus A.D. 54, and again from
A.D. 56 to 58; he was at Rome in A.D. 65 and 66, when he was martyred.

[322] Lucian and Apuleius speak of him as if his name were familiar to
them. Olear. præf. ad Vit.

[323] In Hierocl. 5.

[324] Inst. v. 3.

[325] See Bayle, Art. _Apollonius_; and Cudworth, Intell. Syst. iv. 14.

[326] Philostr. viii. 19, 20.

[327] See Eusebius, Vopiscus, Lampridius, etc., as quoted by Bayle.

[328] See Brucker on this point, vol. ii. p. 141, who refers to various
authors. Eusebius takes a more sober view of the question, allowing the
substance of the history, but disputing the extraordinary parts. See in
Hierocl. 5 and 12.

[329] Most of them are imitations of the miracles attributed to

[330] See Philostr. i. 4, 5, viii. 30, 31. He insinuates (Cf. viii. 29
with 31), that Apollonius was taken up alive. See Euseb. 8.

[331] Philostr. iv. 3, 16, 20, 25, 44, v. 42, vi. 43, vii. 38.

[332] Ibid. i. 12, iv. 24, 43, 11-13, 18, 30, vi. 3, 32.

[333] Ibid. iv. 10.

[334] Vit. iv. 45; Cf. Mark v. 29, etc.; Luke vii. 16; also John xi.
41-43; Acts iii. 4-6. In the sequel, the parents offer him money, which
he gives as a portion to the damsel. See 2 Kings v. 15, 16 [4 Kings],
and other passages in Scripture.

[335] Lib. 67.

[336] Hist. 67.

[337] Vit. viii. 26.

[338] Philostr. v. 12; in i. 2, he associates Democritus, a natural
philosopher, with Pythagoras and Empedocies. See viii. 7, § 8, and
Brucker, vol. i. p. 1108, etc., and p. 1184.

[339] In his apology before Domitian, he expressly attributes his
removal of the Ephesian pestilence to Hercules, and makes this
ascription the test of a divine philosopher as distinguished from a
magician, viii. 7, § 9, _ubi vid._ Olear.

[340] Vid. viii, 7, § 9. See also ii. 37, vi. 11, viii. 5.

[341] Philostr. i. 2, and Olear. _ad loc._ note 3, iv. 44, v. 12, vii.
39, viii. 7; Apollon. Epist. 8 and 52; Philostr. Prooem. vit.
Sophist.; Euseb. in Hier. 2; Mosheim, de Simone Mago, Sec. 13. Yet it
must be confessed that the views both of the Pythagoreans and Eclectics
were very inconsistent on this subject. Eusebius notices several
instances of [Greek: goêteia] in Apollonius's miracles; in Hierocl. 10,
28, 29, and 31. See Brucker, vol. ii. p. 447. At Eleusis, and the Cave
of Triphonius, Apollonius was, as we have seen, accounted a magician,
and so also by Euphrates, Moeragenes, Apuleius, etc. See Olear. Præf.
ad vit. p. 33; and Brucker, vol. ii. p. 136, note _k_.

[342] See Mosheim, Dissertat. de turbatâ Ecclesiâ, etc., Sec. 27.

[343] See Quæst. ad Orthodox 24 as quoted by Olearius, in his Preface,
p. 34.

[344] Eusebius calls it [Greek: theia tis kai arrêtos sophia] in
Hierocl. 2. In iii. 41, Philostratus speaks of the [Greek: klêseis ais
theoi chairousi], the _spells_ for evoking them, which Apollonius
brought from India; Cf. iv. 16, and in iv. 20 of the [Greek: tekmêrion]
used for casting out an Evil Spirit.

[345] [Greek: Ei te spinthêra tês psychês euren en autê], etc.

[346] Douglas (Criterion, p. 387, note), observes that some heretics
affirmed that our Lord rose from the dead [Greek: phantasiôdôs], only in
appearance, _from an idea of the impossibility of a resurrection_.

[347] Apollon. Epist. 17.

[348] Vid. Rom. xv. 69; 1 Cor. ii. 4; 2 Cor. xii. 2, and Acts _passim_.

[349] See Epist. 1, 2, etc., 11, 44; the last-mentioned addressed to his
brother begins, "What wonder, that, while the rest of mankind think me
godlike, and some even a god, my own country alone hitherto ignores me,
for whose sake especially I wished to distinguish myself, when not even
to you, my brother, as I perceive, has it become clear how much I excel
this race of men in my _doctrine_ and my _life_?"--Epist. ii. 44, vid.
also i. 2. He does not say "in supernatural power." Cf. John xii. 37:
"But though He had done so many _miracles_ before them, yet they
believed not in Him."

[350] Epist. 68. Claudius, in a message to the Tyanæans, Epist. 53,
praises him merely as a benefactor to youth.

[351] Philostr. vi. 11. See Euseb. in Hierocl. 26, 27.

[352] Hence the first of the charges brought against him by Domitian was
the strangeness of his dress.--Philostr. viii. 5. By way of contrast,
Cf. 1 Cor. ii. 3, 4; 2 Cor. x. 10.

[353] Philostr. iv. 1. See also i. 19, 21, iv. 17, 20, 39, vii. 31,
etc., and i. 10, 12 etc.

[354] Brucker, vol. ii. p. 144.

[355] Brucker supposes that, as in the case of Alexander, gain was his
object; but we seem to have no proof of this, nor is it necessary thus
to account for his conduct. We discover, indeed, in his character, no
marks of that high enthusiasm which would support him in his whimsical
career without any definite worldly object; yet the veneration he
inspired, and the notice taken of him by great men, might be quite a
sufficient recompense to a conceited and narrow mind.

[356] Cf. also Acts xx. 22, 23; xxi. 4, 11-14.

[357] Philostr. i. 8, 11, iv. 36, 38, 44, vii. 34, viii. 5, 11.

[358] See the description of his raising the Roman maid as above given.
Or take again the account of his appearance to Damis and Demetrius at
Puteoli, after vanishing from Court, viii. 12; in which there is much
incautious agreement with Luke xxiv. 14-17, 27, 29, 32, 36-40. Also more
or less in the following: vii. 30, init. and 34, fin. with Luke xii. 11,
12; iii. 38, with Matt. xvii. 14, etc., where observe the contrast of
the two narratives: viii. 30, fin. with Acts xii. 7-10: iv. 44, with
John xviii. 33, etc.: vii. 34, init. with Mark xiv. 65: iv. 34, init.
with Acts xvi. 8-10: i. 19, fin. with Mark vii. 27, 28. Brucker and
Douglas notice the following in the detection of the Empusa: [Greek:
Dakruonti epskei to phasma, kai edeito mê basanizein auto, mêde
anagkazein omolsgein dti eiê], iv. 25, Cf. Mark v. 7-9. Olearius
compares an expression in vii. 30, with 1 Cor. ix. 9.

[359] _E. G._ his ambitious descriptions of countries, etc. In iv. 30,
32, v. 22, vi. 24, he ascribes to Apollonius regular Socratic
disputations, and in vi. 11, a long and flowery speech in the presence
of the Gymnosophists--modes of philosophical instruction totally at
variance with the genius of the Pythagorean school, the Philosopher's
Letters still extant, and the writer's own description of his manner of
teaching, i. 17. Some of his exaggerations and mis-statements have been
noticed in the course of the narrative. As a specimen of the rhetorical
style in which the work is written, vid. his account of the restoration
of the Roman damsel, [Greek: O de ouden all ê prosapsamenos autês
aphypnise],--contrast this with the simplicity of the Scripture
narrative. See also the last sentence of v. 17, and indeed _passim_.

[360] _E. G._ his accounts of Indian and Æthiopian monsters; of serpents
whose eyes were jewels of magical virtue; of pygmies; of golden water;
of the speaking tree; of a woman half white and half black, etc.; he
incorporates in his narrative the fables of Ctesias, Agatharchidas, and
other writers. His blunders in geography and natural philosophy may be
added, as far as they arise from the desire of describing wonders, etc.
See also his pompous description of the wonders of Babylon, which were
not then in existence.--Prideaux, Connection, Part 1. Book viii. For his
inconsistencies, see Eusebius and Brucker. It must be remembered, that
in the age of Philostratus the composition of romantic histories was in

[361] See Brucker, vol. i. p. 992, vol. ii. p. 378. Apollonius was only
one out of several who were set up by the Eclectics as rivals to Christ
Brucker, vol. ii. p. 372. Mosheim, de turbatâ Ecclesiâ, etc. Secs. 25,

[362] Philostr. i. 2, 3. He professes that his account contains much
_news_. As to the sources, besides the journal of Damis, from which he
pretends to derive his information, he neither tells us how he met with
them, nor what they contained; nor does he refer to them in the course
of his history. On the other hand (as we have above noticed), much of
the detail of Apollonius's journey is derived from the writings of
Ctesias, etc.



(_From the_ BRITISH MAGAZINE, 1833-1836.)


THE following Papers originally belonged to the "Church of the Fathers,"
as it appeared in the _British Magazine_, in the years 1833-1836, and as
it was published afterwards in one volume, with additions and omissions,
in 1840. They were removed from the subsequent Catholic editions, except
the chapter on Apollinaris, as containing polemical matter, which had no
interest for Catholic readers. Now they are republished under a separate

The date of their composition is a sufficient indication of the
character of the theology which they contain. They are written under the
assumption that the Anglican Church has a place, as such, in Catholic
communion and Apostolic Christianity. This is a question of fact, which
the Author would now of course answer in the negative, retaining still,
and claiming as his own, the positive principles and doctrines which
that fact is, in these Papers, taken to involve.


  CHAP.                                           PAGE


  2. WHAT SAYS VINCENT OF LERINS?                 375







§ 1. _Ambrose and Justina._

No considerate person will deny that there is much in the spirit of the
times, and in the actual changes which the British Constitution has
lately undergone, which makes it probable, or not improbable, that a
material alteration will soon take place in the relations of the Church
towards the State, to which it has been hitherto united. I do not say
that it is out of the question that things may return to their former
quiet and pleasant course, as in the good old time of King George III.;
but the very chance that they will not makes it a practical concern for
every churchman to prepare himself for a change, and a practical
question for the clergy, by what instruments the authority of Religion
is to be supported, should the protection and patronage of the
Government be withdrawn. Truth, indeed, will always support itself in
the world by its native vigour; it will never die while heaven and earth
last, but be handed down from saint to saint until the end of all
things. But this was the case before our Lord came, and is still the
case, as we may humbly trust, in heathen countries. My question concerns
_the Church_, that peculiar institution which Christ set up as a
visible home and memorial of Truth; and which, as being in this world,
must be manifested by means of this world. I know it is common to make
light of this solicitude about the Church, under the notion that the
Gospel may be propagated without it,--or that men are about the same
under every Dispensation, their hearts being in fault, and not their
circumstances,--or for other reasons, better or worse as it may be; to
all which I am accustomed to answer (and I do not see how I can be in
error), that, if Christ had not meant His Church to answer a purpose, He
would not have set it up, and that our business is not to speculate
about possible Dispensations of Religion, but to resign and devote
ourselves to that in which we are actually placed.

Hitherto the English Church has depended on the State, _i. e._ on the
ruling powers in the country--the king and the aristocracy; and this is
so natural and religious a position of things when viewed in the
abstract, and in its actual working has been productive of such
excellent fruits in the Church, such quietness, such sobriety, such
external propriety of conduct, and such freedom from doctrinal excesses,
that we must ever look back upon the period of ecclesiastical history so
characterized with affectionate thoughts; particularly on the reigns of
our blessed martyr St. Charles, and King George the Good. But these
recollections of the past must not engross our minds, or hinder us from
looking at things as they are, and as they will be soon, and from
inquiring what is intended by Providence to take the place of the
time-honoured instrument, which He has broken (if it be yet broken), the
regal and aristocratical power. I shall offend many men when I say, we
must _look to the people_; but let them give me a hearing.

Well can I understand their feelings. Who at first sight does not
dislike the thoughts of gentlemen and clergymen depending for their
maintenance and their reputation on their flocks? of their strength, as
a visible power, lying not in their birth, the patronage of the great,
and the endowment of the Church (as hitherto), but in the homage of a
multitude? I confess I have before now had a great repugnance to the
notion myself; and if I have overcome it, and turned from the Government
to the People, it has been simply because I was forced to do so. It is
not we who desert the Government, but the Government that has left us;
we are forced back upon those below us, because those above us will not
honour us; there is no help for it, I say. But, in truth, the prospect
is not so bad as it seems at first sight. The chief and obvious
objection to the clergy being thrown on the People, lies in the probable
lowering of Christian views, and the adulation of the vulgar, which
would be its consequence; and the state of Dissenters is appealed to as
an evidence of the danger. But let us recollect that we are an
apostolical body; we were not made, nor can be unmade by our flocks; and
if our influence is to depend on _them_, yet the Sacraments reside with
_us_. We have that with us, which none but ourselves possess, the mantle
of the Apostles; and this, properly understood and cherished, will ever
keep us from being the creatures of a populace.

And what may become necessary in time to come, is a more religious state
of things also. It will not be denied that, according to the Scripture
view of the Church, though all are admitted into her pale, and the rich
inclusively, yet, the poor are her members with a peculiar suitableness,
and by a special right. Scripture is ever casting slurs upon wealth, and
making much of poverty. "To the poor the Gospel is preached." "God hath
chosen the poor of this world, rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom."
"If thou wilt be perfect, sell all that thou hast, and give to the
poor." To this must be added the undeniable fact that the Church, when
purest and when most powerful, _has_ depended for its influence on its
consideration with the many. Becket's letters, lately published,[363]
have struck me not a little; but of course I now refer, not to such dark
ages as most Englishmen consider these, but to the primitive Church--the
Church of St. Athanasius and St. Ambrose. With a view of showing the
power of the Church at that time, and on what it was based, not (as
Protestants imagine) on governments, or on human law, or on endowments,
but on popular enthusiasm, on dogma, on hierarchical power, and on a
supernatural Divine Presence, I will now give some account of certain
ecclesiastical proceedings in the city of Milan in the years 385,
386,--Ambrose being bishop, and Justina and her son, the younger
Valentinian, the reigning powers.


Ambrose was eminently a popular bishop, as every one knows who has read
ever so little of his history. His very promotion to the sacred office
was owing to an unexpected movement of the populace. Auxentius, his
Arian predecessor in the see of Milan, died, A.D. 374, upon which the
bishops of the province wrote to the then Emperor, Valentinian the
First, who was in Gaul, requesting him to name the person who was to
succeed him. This was a prudent step on their part, Arianism having
introduced such matter for discord and faction among the Milanese, that
it was dangerous to submit the election to the people at large, though
the majority of them were orthodox. Valentinian, however, declined to
avail himself of the permission thus given him; the choice was thrown
upon the voices of the people, and the cathedral, which was the place of
assembling, was soon a scene of disgraceful uproar, as the bishops had
anticipated. Ambrose was at that time civil governor of the province of
which Milan was the capital: and, the tumult increasing, he was obliged
to interfere in person, with a view of preventing its ending in open
sedition. He was a man of grave character, and had been in youth brought
up with a sister, who had devoted herself to the service of God in a
single life; but as yet was only a catechumen, though he was half way
between thirty and forty. Arrived at the scene of tumult, he addressed
the assembled crowds, exhorting them to peace and order. While he was
speaking, a child's voice, as is reported, was heard in the midst of the
crowd to say, "Ambrose is bishop;" the populace took up the cry, and
both parties in the Church, Catholic and Arian, whether influenced by a
sudden enthusiasm, or willing to take a man who was unconnected with
party, voted unanimously for the election of Ambrose.

It is not wonderful that the subject of this sudden decision should have
been unwilling to quit his civil office for a station of such high
responsibility; for many days he fought against the popular voice, and
that by the most extravagant expedients. He absconded, and was not
recovered till the Emperor, confirming the act of the people of Milan,
published an edict against all who should conceal him. Under these
strange circumstances, Ambrose was at length consecrated bishop. His
ordination was canonical only on the supposition that it came under
those rare exceptions, for which the rules of the Church allow, when
they speak of election "by divine grace," by the immediate suggestion of
God; and if ever a bishop's character and works might be appealed to as
evidence of the divine purpose, surely Ambrose was the subject of that
singular and extraordinary favour. From the time of his call he devoted
his life and abilities to the service of Christ. He bestowed his
personal property on the poor: his lands on the Church; making his
sister tenant for life. Next he gave himself up to the peculiar studies
necessary for the due execution of his high duties, till he gained that
deep insight into Catholic truth, which is evidenced in his writings,
and in no common measure in relation to Arianism, which had been the
dominant creed in Milan for the twenty years preceding his elevation.
Basil of Cæsarea, in Cappadocia, was at this time the main pillar of
Catholic truth in the East, having succeeded Athanasius of Alexandria,
who died about the time that both Basil and Ambrose were advanced to
their respective sees. He, from his see in the far East, addresses the
new bishop in these words in an extant Epistle:--

     "Proceed in thy work, thou man of God; and since thou hast not
     received the Gospel of Christ of men, neither wast taught it, but
     the Lord himself translated thee from among the world's judges to
     the chair of the Apostles, fight the good fight, set right the
     infirmities of the people, wherever the Arian madness has affected
     them; renew the old foot-prints of the Fathers, and by frequent
     correspondence build up thy love towards us, of which thou hast
     already laid the foundation."--_Ep._ 197.

I just now mentioned St. Thomas Becket. There is at once a similarity
and a contrast between his history and that of Ambrose. Each of the two
was by education and society what would now be called a gentleman. Each
was in high civil station when he was raised to a great ecclesiastical
position; each was in middle age. Each had led an upright, virtuous life
before his elevation; and each, on being elevated, changed it for a life
of extraordinary penance and saintly devotion. Each was promoted to his
high place by the act, direct or concurrent, of his sovereign; and each
showed to that sovereign in the most emphatic way that a bishop was the
servant, not of man, but of the Lord of heaven and earth. Each boldly
confronted his sovereign in a great religious quarrel, and staked his
life on its issue;--but then comes the contrast, for Becket's earthly
master was as resolute in his opposition to the Church as Becket was in
its behalf, and made him a martyr; whereas the Imperial Power of Rome
quailed and gave way before the dauntless bearing and the grave and
gracious presence of the great prelate of Milan. Indeed, the whole
Pontificate of Ambrose is a history of successive victories of the
Church over the State; but I shall limit myself to a bare outline of one
of them.


Ambrose had presided in his see about eleven years at the time when the
events took place which are here to be related. Valentinian was dead, as
well as his eldest son Gratian. His second son, who bore his own name,
was Emperor of the West, under the tutelage of Justina, his second wife.

Justina was an Arian, and brought up her son in her own heretical views.
This was about the time when the heresy was finally subdued in the
Eastern Churches; the Ecumenical Council of Constantinople had lately
been held, many Arian bishops had conformed, and laws had been passed by
Theodosius against those who held out. It was natural under such
circumstances that a number of the latter should flock to the court of
Milan for protection and patronage. The Gothic officers of the palace
were Arians also, as might be supposed, after the creed of their nation.
At length they obtained a bishop of their persuasion from the East; and
having now the form of an ecclesiastical body, they used the influence
of Valentinian, or rather of his mother, to extort from Ambrose one of
the churches of Milan for their worship.

The bishop was summoned to the palace before the assembled Court, and
was formally asked to relinquish St. Victor's Church, then called the
Portian Basilica, which was without the walls, for the Arian worship.
His duty was plain; the churches were the property of Christ; he was the
representative of Christ, and was therefore bound not to cede what was
committed to him in trust. This is the account of the matter given by
himself in the course of the dispute:--

     "Do not," he says, "O Emperor, embarrass yourself with the thought
     that you have an Emperor's right over sacred things. Exalt not
     yourself, but, as you would enjoy a continuance of power, be God's
     subject. It is written, God's to God, and Cæsar's to Cæsar. The
     palace is the Emperor's, the churches are the bishop's."--_Ep._ 20.

This argument, which is true at all times, was much more convincing in
an age like the primitive, before men had begun to deny that Christ had
left a visible representative of Himself in His Church. If there was a
body to whom the concerns of religion were intrusted, there could be no
doubt it was that over which Ambrose presided. It had been there planted
ever since Milan became Christian, its ministers were descended from the
Apostles, and it was the legitimate trustee of the sacred property. But
in our day men have been taught to doubt whether there _is_ one
Apostolic Church, though it is mentioned in the Creed: nay, it is
grievous to say, clergymen have sometimes forgotten, sometimes made
light of their own privileges. Accordingly, when a question arises now
about the spoliation of the Church, we are obliged to betake ourselves
to the rules of _national_ law; we appeal to precedents, or we urge the
civil consequences of the measure, or we use other arguments, which,
good as they may be, are too refined to be very popular. Ambrose rested
his resistance on grounds which the people understood at once, and
recognized as irrefragable. They felt that he was only refusing to
surrender a trust. They rose in a body, and thronged the palace gates. A
company of soldiers was sent to disperse them; and a riot was on the
point of ensuing, when the ministers of the Court became alarmed, and
despatched Ambrose to appease the tumult, with the pledge that no
further attempt should be made on the possessions of the Church.

Now some reader will here interrupt the narrative, perhaps, with
something of an indignant burst about connecting the cause of religion
with mobs and outbreaks. To whom I would reply, that the multitude of
men is always rude and intemperate, and needs restraint,--religion does
not make them so. But being so, it is better they should be zealous
about religion, and repressed by religion, as in this case, than flow
and ebb again under the irrational influences of this world. A mob,
indeed, is always wayward and faithless; but it is a good sign when it
is susceptible of the hopes and fears of the world to come. Is it not
probable that, when religion is thus a popular subject, it may
penetrate, soften, or stimulate hearts which otherwise would know
nothing of its power? However, this is not, properly speaking, my
present point, which is to show how a Church may be in "favour with all
the people" without any subserviency to them. To return to our history.


Justina, failing to intimidate, made various underhand attempts to
remove the champion of orthodoxy. She endeavoured to raise the people
against him. Failing in this object, next, by scattering promises of
place and promotion, she set on foot various projects to seize him in
church, and carry him off into banishment. One man went so far as to
take lodgings near the church, and had a carriage in readiness, in order
to avail himself of any opportunity which offered to convey him away.
But none of these attempts succeeded.

This was in the month of March; as Easter drew on, more vigorous steps
were taken by the Court. On April 4th, the Friday before Palm Sunday,
the demand of a church for the Arians was renewed; the pledges which the
government had given, that no further steps should be taken in the
matter, being perhaps evaded by changing the church which was demanded.
Ambrose was now asked for the New or Roman Basilica, which was within
the walls, and larger than the Portian. It was dedicated to the
Apostles, and (I may add, for the sake of the antiquarian,) was built in
the form of a cross. When the bishop refused in the same language as
before, the imperial minister returned to the demand of the Portian
Church; but the people interfering, and being clamorous against the
proposal, he was obliged to retire to the palace to report how matters

On Palm Sunday, after the lessons and sermon were over in the Basilica,
in which he officiated, Ambrose was engaged in teaching the creed to
the candidates for baptism, who, as was customary, had been catechized
during Lent, and were to be admitted into the Church on the night before
Easter-day. News was brought him that the officers of the Court had
taken possession of the Portian Church, and were arranging the imperial
hangings in token of its being confiscated to the Emperor; on the other
hand, that the people were flocking thither. Ambrose continued the
service of the day; but, when he was in the midst of the celebration of
the Eucharistical rite, a second message came that one of the Arian
priests was in the hands of the populace.

     "On this news (he says, writing to his sister,) I could not keep
     from shedding many bitter tears, and, while I made oblation, I
     prayed God's protection that no blood might be shed in the Church's
     quarrel: or if so, that it might be mine, and that not for my
     people only, but for those heretics."--_Ep._ 20.

At the same time he despatched some of his clergy to the spot, who had
influence enough to rescue the unfortunate man from the mob.

Though Ambrose so far seems to have been supported only by a popular
movement, yet the proceedings of the following week showed that he had
also the great mass of respectable citizens on his side. The imprudent
measures of the Court, in punishing those whom it considered its
enemies, disclosed to the world their number and importance. The
tradesmen of the city were fined two hundred pounds of gold, and many
were thrown into prison. All the officers, moreover, and place-men of
the courts of justice, were ordered to keep in-doors during the
continuance of the disorders; and men of higher rank were menaced with
severe consequences, unless the Basilica were surrendered.

Such were the acts by which the Imperial Court solemnized Passion week.
At length a fresh interview was sought with Ambrose, which shall be
described in his own words:--

     "I had a meeting with the counts and tribunes, who urged me to give
     up the Basilica without delay, on the ground that the Emperor was
     but acting on his undoubted rights, as possessing sovereign power
     over all things. I made answer, that if he asked me for what was my
     own--for instance, my estate, my money, or the like--I would make
     no opposition: though, to tell the truth, all that was mine was the
     property of the poor; but that he had no sovereignty over things
     sacred. If my patrimony is demanded, seize upon it; my person, here
     I am. Would you take to prison or to death? I go with pleasure. Far
     be it from me to entrench myself within the circle of a multitude,
     or to clasp the altar in supplication for my life; rather I will be
     a sacrifice for the altar's sake.

     "In good truth, when I heard that soldiers were sent to take
     possession of the Basilica, I was horrified at the prospect of
     bloodshed, which might issue in ruin to the whole city. I prayed
     God that I might not survive the destruction, which might ensue, of
     such a place, nay, of Italy itself. I shrank from the odium of
     having occasioned slaughter, and would sooner have given my own
     throat to the knife.... I was ordered to calm the people. I
     replied, that all I could do was not to inflame them; but God alone
     could appease them. For myself, if I appeared to have instigated
     them, it was the duty of the government to proceed against me, or
     to banish me. Upon this they left me."

Ambrose spent the rest of Palm Sunday in the same Basilica in which he
had been officiating in the morning: at night he went to his own house,
that the civil power might have the opportunity of arresting him, if it
was thought advisable.


The attempt to gain the Portian seems now to have been dropped; but on
the Wednesday troops were marched before day-break to take possession
of the New Church, which was within the walls. Ambrose, upon the news of
this fresh movement, used the weapons of an apostle. He did not seek to
disturb them in their possession; but, attending service at his own
church, he was content with threatening the soldiers with a sentence of
excommunication. Meanwhile the New Church, where the soldiers were
posted, began to fill with a larger congregation than it ever contained
before the persecution. Ambrose was requested to go thither, but,
desirous of drawing the people away from the scene of imperial tyranny,
lest a riot should ensue, he remained where he was, and began a comment
on the lesson of the day, which was from the book of Job. First, he
commended them for the Christian patience and resignation with which
they had hitherto borne their trial, which indeed was, on the whole,
surprising, if we consider the inflammable nature of a multitude. "We
petition your Majesty," they said to the Emperor; "we use no force, we
feel no fear, but we petition." It is common in the leader of a
multitude to profess peaceableness, but very unusual for the multitude
itself to persevere in doing so. Ambrose went on to observe, that both
they and he had in their way been tempted, as Job was, by the powers of
evil. For himself, his peculiar trial had lain in the reflection that
the extraordinary measures of the government, the movements of the
Gothic guards, the fines of the tradesmen, the various sufferings of the
faithful, all arose from, as it might be called, his obstinacy in not
yielding to what seemed an overwhelming necessity, and giving the
Basilica to the Arians. Yet he felt that to do so would be to peril his
soul; so that the request was but the voice of the tempter, as he spoke
in Job's wife, to make him "say a word against God, and die," to betray
his trust, and incur the sentence of spiritual death.

Before this time the soldiers who had been sent to the New Church, from
dread of the threat of excommunication, had declared against the
sacrilege, and joined his own congregation; and now the news came that
the royal hangings had been taken down. Soon after, as he was continuing
his address to the people, a fresh message came to him from the Court to
ask him whether he had an intention of domineering over his sovereign?
Ambrose, in answer, showed the pains he had taken to be obedient to the
Emperor's will, and to hinder disturbance: then he added:--

     "Priests have by old right bestowed sovereignty, never assumed it;
     and it is a common saying, that sovereigns have coveted the
     priesthood more than priests the sovereignty. Christ hid Himself,
     lest He should be made a king. Yes! we have a dominion of our own.
     The dominion of the priest lies in his helplessness, as it is said,
     'When I am weak, then am I strong.'"

And so ended the dispute for a time. On Good Friday the Court gave way;
the guards were ordered from the Basilica, and the fines were remitted.
I end for the present with the view which Ambrose took of the prospect
before him:--

     "Thus the matter rests; I wish I could say, has ended: but the
     Emperor's words are of that angry sort which shows that a more
     severe contest is in store. He says I domineer, or worse than
     domineer. He implied this when his ministers were entreating him,
     on the petition of the soldiers, to attend church. 'Should Ambrose
     bid you,' he made answer, 'doubtless you would give me to him in
     chains.' I leave you to judge what these words promise. Persons
     present were all shocked at hearing them; but there are parties who
     exasperate him."


[363] Vid. _British Magazine_, 1832, etc. And Froude's Remains, part II,
vol. ii.

§ 2. _Ambrose and Valentinian._


In the opposition which Ambrose made to the Arians, as already related,
there is no appearance of his appealing to any law of the Empire in
justification of his refusal to surrender the Basilica to them. He
rested it upon the simple basis of the Divine Law, a commonsense
argument which there was no evading. "The Basilica has been made over to
Christ; the Church is His trustee; I am its ruler. I dare not alienate
the Lord's property. He who does so, does it at his peril." Indeed, he
elsewhere expressly repudiates the principle of dependence in this
matter on human law. "Law," he says, "has not brought the Church
together, but the faith of Christ." However, Justina determined to have
human law on her side. She persuaded her son to make it a capital
offence in any one, either publicly or privately, even by petition, to
interfere with the assemblies of the Arians; a provision which admitted
a fair, and might also bear, and did in fact receive, a most tyrannical
interpretation. Benevolus, the Secretary of State, from whose office the
edict was to proceed, refused to draw it up, and resigned his place; but
of course others less scrupulous were easily found to succeed him. At
length it was promulgated on the 21st of January of the next year, A.D.
386, and a fresh attempt soon followed on the part of the Court to get
possession of the Portian Basilica, which was without the walls.

The line of conduct which Ambrose had adopted remained equally clear
and straight, whether before or after the promulgation of this edict. It
was his duty to use all the means which Christ has given the Church to
prevent the profanation of the Basilica. But soon a new question arose
for his determination. An imperial message was brought to him to retire
from the city at once, with any friends who chose to attend him. It is
not certain whether this was intended as an absolute command, or (as his
words rather imply) a recommendation on the part of government to save
themselves the odium, and him the suffering, of public and more severe
proceedings. Even if it were the former, it does not appear that a
Christian bishop, so circumstanced, need obey it; for what was it but in
other words to say, "Depart from the Basilica, and leave it to us?"--the
very order which he had already withstood. The words of Scripture, which
bid Christians, if persecuted in one city, flee to another, are
evidently, from the form of them, a discretionary rule, grounded on the
expediency of each occasion, as it arises. A mere threat is not a
persecution, nor is a command; and though we are bound to obey our civil
rulers, the welfare of the Church has a prior claim upon our obedience.
Other bishops took the same view of the case with Ambrose; and,
accordingly, he determined to stay in Milan till removed by main force,
or cut off by violence.


The reader shall hear his own words in a sermon which he delivered upon
the occasion:--

     "I see that you are under a sudden and unusual excitement," he
     said, "and are turning your eyes on me. What can be the reason of
     this? Is it that you saw or heard that an imperial message had been
     brought to me by the tribunes desiring me to depart hence whither I
     would, and to take with me all who would follow me? What! did you
     fear that I would desert the Church, and, for fear of my life,
     abandon you? Yet you might have attended to my answer. I said that
     I could not, for an instant, entertain the thought of deserting the
     Church, in that I feared the Lord of all more than the Emperor of
     the day: in truth that, should force hurry me off, it would be my
     body, not my mind, that was got rid of; that, should he act in the
     way of kingly power, I was prepared to suffer after the manner of a

     "Why, then, are you thus disturbed? I will never leave you of my
     own will; but if compelled, I may not resist. I shall still have
     the power of sorrowing, of weeping, of uttering laments: when
     weapons, soldiers, Goths, too, assail me, tears are my weapons, for
     such are the defences of a priest. In any other way I neither ought
     to resist, nor can; but as to retiring and deserting the Church,
     this is not like me; and for this reason, lest I seem to do so from
     dread of some heavier punishment. Ye yourselves know that it is my
     wont to submit to our rulers, but not to make concessions to them;
     to present myself readily to legal punishment, and not to fear what
     is in preparation.

     "A proposal was made to me to deliver up at once the Church plate.
     I made answer, that I was ready to give anything that was my own,
     farm or house, gold or silver; but that I could withdraw no
     property from God's temple, nor surrender what was put into my
     hands, not to surrender, but to keep safely. Besides, that I had a
     care for the Emperor's well-being; since it was as little safe for
     him to receive as for me to surrender: let him bear with the words
     of a free-spoken priest, for his own good, and shrink from doing
     wrong to his Lord.

     "You recollect to-day's lesson about holy Naboth and his vineyard.
     The king asked him to make it over to him, as a ground, not for
     vines, but for common pot-herbs. What was his answer? 'God forbid I
     should give to thee the inheritance of my fathers!' The king was
     saddened when another's property was justly denied him; but he was
     beguiled by a woman's counsel. Naboth shed his blood rather than
     give up his vines. Shall he refuse his own vineyard, and we
     surrender the Church of Christ?

     "What contumacy, then, was there in my answer? I did but say at the
     interview, 'God forbid I should surrender Christ's heritage!' I
     added, 'the heritage of our fathers;' yes, of our Dionysius, who
     died in exile for the faith's sake, of Eustorgius the Confessor, of
     Myrocles, and of all the other faithful bishops back. I answered
     as a priest: let the Emperor act as an Emperor; he shall rob me of
     my life sooner than of my fidelity.

     "In what respect was my answer other than respectful? Does the
     Emperor wish to tax us? I make no opposition. The Church lands pay
     taxes. Does he require our lands? He has power to claim them; we
     will not prevent him. The contributions of the people will suffice
     for the poor. Let not our enemies take offence at our lands; they
     may away with them, if it please the Emperor; not that I give them,
     but I make no opposition. Do they seek my gold? I can truly say,
     silver and gold I seek not. But they take offence at my raising
     contributions. Nor have I any great fear of the charge. I confess I
     have stipendiaries; they are the poor of Christ's flock; a treasure
     which I am well used in amassing. May this at all times be my
     offence, to exact contributions for the poor. And if they accuse me
     of defending myself by means of them, I am far from denying, I
     court the charge. The poor _are_ my defenders, but it is by their
     prayers. Blind though they be, lame, feeble, and aged, yet they
     have a strength greater than that of the stoutest warriors. In a
     word, gifts made to them are a claim upon the Lord; as it is
     written, 'He who giveth to the poor, lendeth to God;' but a
     military guard oftentimes has no title to divine grace.

     "They say, too, that the people are misled by the verses of my
     hymns. I frankly confess this also. Truly those hymns have in them
     a high strain above all other influence. For can any strain have
     more of influence than the confession of the Holy Trinity, which is
     proclaimed day by day by the voice of the whole people? Each is
     eager to rival his fellows in confessing, as he well knows how, in
     sacred verses, his faith in Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Thus all
     are made teachers, who else were scarce equal to being scholars.

     "No one can deny that in what we say we pay to our sovereign due
     honour. What indeed can do him higher honour than to style him a
     son of the Church? In saying this, we are loyal to him without
     sinning against God. For the Emperor is within the Church, but not
     over the Church; and a religious sovereign seeks, not rejects, the
     Church's aid. This is our doctrine, modestly avowed, but insisted
     on without wavering. Though they threaten fire, or the sword, or
     transportation, we, Christ's poor servants, have learned not to
     fear. And to the fearless nothing is frightful; as Scripture says,
     'Their blows are like the arrows of a child.'"--_Serm. contr.


Mention is made in this extract of the Psalmody which Ambrose adopted
about this time. The history of its introduction is curiously connected
with the subject before us, and interesting, inasmuch as this was the
beginning of a change in the style of Church music, which spread over
the West, and continues even among ourselves to this day; it is as

Soldiers had been sent, as in the former year, to surround his church,
in order to prevent the Catholic service there; but being themselves
Christians, and afraid of excommunication, they went so far as to allow
the people to enter, but would not let them leave the building. This was
not so great an inconvenience to them as might appear at first sight:
for the early Basilicas were not unlike the heathen temples, or our own
collegiate chapels, that is, part of a range of buildings, which
contained the lodgings of the ecclesiastics, and formed a fortress in
themselves, which could easily be fortified from within or blockaded
from without. Accordingly, the people remained shut up within the sacred
precincts for some days, and the bishop with them. There seems to have
been a notion, too, that he was to be seized for exile, or put to death;
and they naturally kept about him to "see the end," to suffer with him
or for him, according as their tempers and principles led them. Some
went so far as to barricade the doors of the Basilica;[364] nor could
Ambrose prevent this proceeding, unnecessary as it was, because of the
good feelings of the soldiery towards them, and indeed impracticable in
such completeness as might be sufficient for security.

Some persons may think that Ambrose ought to have used his utmost
influence against it, whereas in his sermon to the people he merely
insists on its uselessness, and urges the propriety of looking simply to
God, and not at all to such expedients, for deliverance. It must be
recollected, however, that he and his people in no sense drew the sword
from its sheath; he confined himself to passive resistance. He had
violated no law; the Church's property was sought by a tyrant: without
using any violence, he took possession of that which he was bound to
defend with his life. He placed himself upon the sacred territory, and
bade them take it and him together, after St. Laurence's pattern, who
submitted to be burned rather than deliver up the goods with which he
had been intrusted for the sake of the poor. However, it was evidently a
very uncomfortable state of things for a Christian bishop, who might
seem to be responsible for all the consequences, yet was without control
over them. A riot might commence any moment, which it would not be in
his power to arrest. Under these circumstances, with admirable presence
of mind, he contrived to keep the people quiet, and to direct their
minds to higher objects than those around them, by Psalmody. Sacred
chanting had been one especial way in which the Catholics of Antioch had
kept alive, in Arian times, the spirit of orthodoxy. And from the first
a peculiar kind of singing--the antiphonal or responsorial, answering to
our cathedral chanting--had been used in honour of the sacred doctrine
which heresy assailed. Ignatius, the disciple of St. Peter, was reported
to have introduced the practice into the Church of Antioch, in the
doxology to the Trinity. Flavian, afterwards bishop of that see, revived
it during the Arian usurpation, to the great edification and
encouragement of the oppressed Catholics. Chrysostom used it in the
vigils at Constantinople, in opposition to the same heretical party; and
similar vigils had been established by Basil in the monasteries of
Cappadocia. The assembled multitude, confined day and night within the
gates of the Basilica, were in the situation of a monastic body without
its discipline, and Ambrose rightly considered that the novelty and
solemnity of the oriental chants, in praise of the Blessed Trinity,
would both interest and sober them during the dangerous temptation to
which they were now exposed. The expedient had even more successful
results than the bishop anticipated; the soldiers were affected by the
music, and took part in it; and, as we hear nothing more of the
blockade, we must suppose that it thus ended, the government being
obliged to overlook what it could not prevent.

It may be interesting to the reader to see Augustine's notice of this
occurrence, and the effect of the Psalmody upon himself, at the time of
his baptism.

     "The pious populace (he says in his Confessions) was keeping vigils
     in the church prepared to die, O Lord, with their bishop, Thy
     servant. There was my mother, Thy handmaid, surpassing others in
     anxiety and watching, and making prayers her life.

     "I, uninfluenced as yet by the fire of Thy Spirit, was roused
     however by the terror and agitation of the city. Then it was that
     hymns and psalms, after the oriental rite, were introduced, lest
     the spirits of the flock should fail under the wearisome
     delay."--_Confess._ ix. 15.

In the same passage, speaking of his baptism, he says:--

     "How many tears I shed during the performance of Thy hymns and
     chants, keenly affected by the notes of Thy melodious Church! My
     ears drank up those sounds, and they distilled into my heart as
     sacred truths, and overflowed thence again in pious emotion, and
     gushed forth into tears, and I was happy in them."--_Ibid._ 14.

Elsewhere he says:--

     "Sometimes, from over-jealousy, I would entirely put from me and
     from the Church the melodies of the sweet chants which we use in
     the Psalter, lest our ears seduce us; and the way of Athanasius,
     Bishop of Alexandria, seems the safer, who, as I have often heard,
     made the reader chant with so slight a change of note, that it was
     more like speaking than singing. And yet when I call to mind the
     tears I shed when I heard the chants of Thy Church in the infancy
     of my recovered faith, and reflect that at this time I am affected,
     not by the mere music, but by the subject, brought out, as it is,
     by clear voices and appropriate tune, then, in turn, I confess how
     useful is the practice."--_Confess._ x. 50.

Such was the influence of the Ambrosian chants when first introduced at
Milan by the great bishop whose name they bear; there they are in use
still, in all the majestic austerity which gave them their original
power, and a great part of the Western Church uses that modification of
them which Pope Gregory introduced at Rome in the beginning of the
seventh century.


Ambrose implies, in the sermon from which extracts were given above,
that a persecution, reaching even to the infliction of bodily
sufferings, was at this time exercised upon the bishops of the
Exarchate. Certainly he himself was all along in imminent peril of his
life, or of sudden removal from Milan. However, he made it a point to
frequent the public places and religious meetings as usual; and indeed
it appears that he was as safe there as at home, for he narrowly escaped
assassination from a hired ruffian of the Empress's, who made his way to
his bed-chamber for the purpose. Magical arts were also practised
against him, as a more secret and certain method of ensuring his

I ought to have mentioned, before this, the challenge sent to him by the
Arian bishop to dispute publicly with him on the sacred doctrine in
controversy; but was unwilling to interrupt the narrative of the contest
about the Basilica. I will here translate portions of a letter sent by
him, on the occasion, to the Emperor.

     "To the most gracious Emperor and most happy Augustus Valentinian,
     Ambrosius Bishop,--

     "Dalmatius, tribune and notary, has come to me, at your Majesty's
     desire, as he assures me, to require me to choose umpires, as
     Auxentius[365] has done on his part. Not that he informed me who
     they were that had already been named; but merely said that the
     dispute was to take place in the consistory, in your Majesty's
     presence, as final arbitrator of it.

     "I trust my answer will prove sufficient. No one should call me
     contumacious, if I insist on what your father, of blessed memory,
     not only sanctioned by word of mouth, but even by a law:--That in
     cases of faith, or of ecclesiastics, the judges should be neither
     inferior in function nor separate in jurisdiction--thus the
     rescript runs; in other words, he would have priests decide about
     priests. And this extended even to the case of allegations of wrong

     "When was it you ever heard, most gracious Emperor, that in a
     question of faith laymen should be judges of a bishop? What! have
     courtly manners so bent our backs, that we have forgotten the
     rights of the priesthood, that I should of myself put into
     another's hands what God has bestowed upon me? Once grant that a
     layman may set a bishop right, and see what will follow. The layman
     in consequence discusses, while the bishop listens; and the bishop
     is the pupil of the layman. Yet, whether we turn to Scripture or to
     history, who will venture to deny that in a question of faith, in a
     question, I say, of faith, it has ever been the bishop's business
     to judge the Christian Emperor, not the Emperor's to judge the

     "When, through God's blessing, you live to be old, then you will
     know what to think of the fidelity of that bishop who places the
     rights of the priesthood at the mercy of laymen. Your father, who
     arrived, through God's blessing, at maturer years, was in the habit
     of saying, 'I have no right to judge between bishops;' but now your
     Majesty says, 'I ought to judge.' He, even though baptized into
     Christ's body, thought himself unequal to the burden of such a
     judgment; your Majesty, who still have to earn a title to the
     sacrament, claims to judge in a matter of faith, though you are a
     stranger to the sacrament to which that faith belongs.

     "But Ambrose is not of such value, that he must degrade the
     priesthood for his own well-being. One man's life is not so
     precious as the dignity of all those bishops who have advised me
     thus to write; and who suggested that Auxentius might be choosing
     some heathen perhaps or Jew, whose permission to decide about
     Christ would be a permission to triumph over Him. What would
     pleasure them but blasphemies against Him? What would satisfy them
     but the impious denial of His divinity--agreeing, as they do, full
     well with the Arian, who pronounces Christ to be a creature with
     the ready concurrence of Jews and heathens?

     "I would have come to your Majesty's Court, to offer these remarks
     in your presence; but neither my bishops nor my people would let
     me; for they said that, when matters of faith were discussed in the
     Church, this should be in the presence of the people.

     "I could have wished your Majesty had not told me to betake myself
     to exile somewhere. I was abroad every day; no one guarded me. I
     was at the mercy of all the world; you should have secured my
     departure to a place of your own choosing. Now the priests say to
     me, 'There is little difference between voluntarily leaving and
     betraying the altar of Christ; for when you leave, you betray it.'

     "May it please your Majesty graciously to accept this my declining
     to appear in the Imperial Court. I am not practised in attending
     it, except in your behalf; nor have I the skill to strive for
     victory within the palace, as neither knowing, nor caring to know,
     its secrets."--_Ep._ 21.

The reader will observe an allusion in the last sentence of this defence
to a service Ambrose had rendered the Emperor and his mother, upon the
murder of Gratian; when, at the request of Justina, he undertook the
difficult embassy to the usurper Maximus, and was the means of
preserving the peace of Italy. This Maximus now interfered to defend him
against the parties whom he had on a former occasion defended against
Maximus; but other and more remarkable occurrences interposed in his
behalf, which shall be mentioned in the next section.


[364] Vid. 2 [4] Kings vi. 32.

[365] The Arian bishop, who had lately come from the East to Milan, had
taken the name of Auxentius, the heretical predecessor of Ambrose.

§ 3. _Ambrose and the Martyrs._


A termination was at length put to the persecution of the Church of
Milan by an occurrence of a very different nature from any which take
place in these days. And since such events as I am to mention do not
occur now, we are apt to argue, not very logically, that they did not
occur then. I conceive this to be the main objection which will be felt
against the following narrative. Miracles never took place then, because
we do not see reason to believe that they take place now. But it should
be recollected, that if there are no miracles at present, neither are
there at present any martyrs. Might we not as cogently argue that no
martyrdoms took place then, because no martyrdoms take place now? And
might not St. Ambrose and his brethren have as reasonably disbelieved
the possible existence of parsonages and pony carriages in the
nineteenth century, as we the existence of martyrs and miracles in the
primitive age? Perhaps miracles and martyrs go together. Now the account
which is to follow does indeed relate to miracles, but then it relates
to martyrs also.

Another objection which may be more reasonably urged against the
narrative is this: that in the fourth century there were many miraculous
tales which even Fathers of the Church believed, but which no one of any
way of thinking believes now. It will be argued, that because some
miracles are alleged which did not really take place, that therefore
none which are alleged took place either. But I am disposed to reason
just the contrary way. Pretences to revelation make it probable that
there is a true Revelation; pretences to miracles make it probable that
there are real ones; falsehood is the mockery of truth; false Christs
argue a true Christ; a shadow implies a substance. If it be replied that
the Scripture miracles are these true miracles, and that it is they, and
none other but they, none after them, which suggested the counterfeit; I
ask in turn, if so, what becomes of the original objection, that _no_
miracles are true, because some are false? If this be so, the Scripture
miracles are to be believed as little as those after them; and this is
the very plea which infidels have urged. No; it is not reasonable to
limit the scope of an argument according to the exigency of our
particular conclusions; we have no leave to apply the argument _for_
miracles only to the first century, and that _against_ miracles only to
the fourth. If forgery in some miracles proves forgery in all, this
tells against the first as well as against the fourth century; if
forgery in some argues truth in others, this avails for the fourth as
well as for the first.

And I will add, that even credulousness on other occasions does not
necessarily disqualify a person's evidence for a particular alleged
miracle; for the sight of one true miracle could not but dispose a man
to believe others readily, nay, too readily, that is, would make him
what is called credulous.

Now let these remarks be kept in mind while I go on to describe the
alleged occurrence which has led to them. I know of no direct objection
to it in particular, viewed in itself; the main objections are such
antecedent considerations as I have been noticing. on
original] But if Elisha's bones restored a dead man to life, I know of
no antecedent reason why the relics of Gervasius and Protasius should
not, as in the instance to be considered, have given sight to the blind.


The circumstances were these:--St. Ambrose, at the juncture of affairs
which I have described in the foregoing pages, was proceeding to the
dedication of a certain church at Milan, which remains there to this
day, with the name of "St. Ambrose the Greater;" and was urged by the
people to bury relics of martyrs under the altar, as he had lately done
in the case of the Basilica of the Apostles. This was according to the
usage of those times, desirous thereby both of honouring those who had
braved death for Christ's sake, and of hallowing religious places with
the mortal instruments of their triumph. Ambrose in consequence gave
orders to open the ground in the church of St. Nabor, as a spot likely
to have been the burying-place of martyrs during the heathen

Augustine, who was in Milan at the time, alleges that Ambrose was
directed in his search by a dream. Ambrose himself is evidently reserved
on the subject in his letter to his sister, though he was accustomed to
make her his confidant in his ecclesiastical proceedings; he only speaks
of his heart having burnt within him in presage of what was to happen.
The digging commenced, and in due time two skeletons were discovered, of
great size, perfect, and disposed in an orderly way; the head of each,
however, separated from the body, and a quantity of blood about. That
they were the remains of martyrs, none could reasonably doubt; and their
names were ascertained to be Gervasius and Protasius; how, it does not
appear, but certainly it was not so alleged on any traditionary
information or for any popular object, since they proved to be quite new
names to the Church of the day, though some elderly men at length
recollected hearing them in former years. Nor is it wonderful that these
saints should have been forgotten, considering the number of the
Apostolic martyrs, among whom Gervasius and Protasius appear to have a

It seems to have been usual in that day to verify the genuineness of
relics by bringing some of the _energumeni_, or possessed with devils,
to them. Such afflicted persons were present with St. Ambrose during the
search; and, before the service for exorcism commenced, one of them gave
the well-known signs of horror and distress which were customarily
excited by the presence of what had been the tabernacle of divine grace.

The skeletons were raised and transported to the neighbouring church of
St. Fausta. The next day, June 18th, on which they were to be conveyed
to their destination, a vast concourse of people attended the
procession. This was the moment chosen by Divine Providence to give, as
it were, signal to His Church, that, though years passed on, He was
still what He had been from the beginning, a living and a faithful God,
wonder-working as in the lifetime of the Apostles, and true to His word
as spoken by His prophets unto a thousand generations. There was in
Milan a man of middle age, well known in the place, by name Severus,
who, having become blind, had given up his trade, and was now supported
by charitable persons. Being told the cause of the shoutings in the
streets, he persuaded his guide to lead him to the sacred relics. He
came near; he touched the cloth which covered them; and he regained his
sight immediately.

This relation deserves our special notice from its distinct
miraculousness and its circumstantial character; but numerous other
miracles are stated to have followed. Various diseases were cured and
demoniacs dispossessed by the touch of the holy bodies or their


Now for the evidence on which the whole matter rests. Our witnesses are
three: St. Augustine, St. Ambrose, and Paulinus, the secretary of the
latter, who after his death addressed a short memoir of his life to the

1. St. Augustine, in three separate passages in his works, two of which
shall here be quoted, gives his testimony. First, in his City of God, in
an enumeration of miracles which had taken place since the Apostles'
time. He begins with that which he himself had witnessed in the city of
St. Ambrose:--

     "The miracle," he says, "which occurred at Milan, while I was
     there, when a blind man gained sight, was of a kind to come to the
     knowledge of many, because the city is large, and the Emperor was
     there at the time, and it was wrought with the witness of a vast
     multitude, who had come together to the bodies of the martyrs
     Protasius and Gervasius; which, being at the time concealed and
     altogether unknown, were discovered on the revelation of a dream to
     Ambrose the bishop; upon which that blind man was released from his
     former darkness, and saw the day."--xxii. 8.

And next in his sermon upon the feast-day of the two martyrs:--

     "We are celebrating, my brethren, the day on which, by Ambrose the
     bishop, that man of God, there was discovered, precious in the
     sight of the Lord, the death of His Saints; of which so great glory
     of the martyrs, then accruing, even I was a witness. I was there, I
     was at Milan, I know the miracles which were done, God attesting to
     the precious death of His Saints; that by those miracles
     henceforth, not in the Lord's sight only, but in the sight of men
     also, that death might be precious. A blind man, perfectly well
     known to the whole city, was restored to sight; he ran, he caused
     himself to be brought near, he returned without a guide. We have
     not yet heard of his death; perhaps he is still alive. In the very
     church where their bodies are, he has vowed his whole life to
     religious service. We rejoiced in his restoration, we left him in
     service."--_Serm._ 286. _vid._ also 318.

The third passage will be found in the ninth book of St. Augustine's
Confessions, and adds to the foregoing extracts the important fact that
the miracle was the cause of Justina's relinquishing her persecution of
the Catholics.

2. Now let us proceed to the evidence of St Ambrose, as contained in the
sermons which he preached upon the occasion. In the former of the two he
speaks as follows of the miracles wrought by the relics:--

     "Ye know, nay, ye have yourselves seen, many cleansed from evil
     spirits, and numbers loosed from their infirmities, on laying their
     hands on the garment of the saints. Ye see renewed the miracles of
     the old time, when, through the advent of the Lord Jesus, a fuller
     grace poured itself upon the earth; ye see most men healed by the
     very shadow of the sacred bodies. How many are the napkins which
     pass to and fro! what anxiety for garments which are laid upon the
     most holy relics, and made salutary by their very touch! It is an
     object with all to reach even to the extreme border, and he who
     reaches it will be made whole. Thanks be to Thee, Lord Jesus, for
     awakening for us at this time the spirits of the holy martyrs, when
     Thy Church needs greater guardianship. Let all understand the sort
     of champions I ask for--those who may act as champions, not as
     assailants. And such have I gained for you, my religious people,
     such as benefit all, and harm none. Such defenders I solicit, such
     soldiers I possess, not the world's soldiers, but soldiers of
     Christ. I fear not that such will give offence; because the higher
     is their guardianship, the less exceptionable is it also. Nay, for
     them even who grudge me the martyrs, do I desire the martyrs'
     protection. So let them come and see my body-guard; I own I have
     such arms about me. 'These put their trust in chariots and these
     in horses; but we will glory in the name of the Lord our God.'

     "Elisæus, as the course of Holy Scripture tells us, when hemmed in
     by the Syrian army, said to his frightened servant, by way of
     calming him, 'There are more that are for us than are against us.'
     And to prove this, he begged that Gehazi's eyes might be opened;
     upon which the latter saw innumerable hosts of Angels present to
     the prophet. We, though we cannot see them, yet are sensible of
     them. Our eyes were held as long as the bodies of the saints lay
     hid in their graves. The Lord has opened our eyes: we have seen
     those aids by which we have often been defended. We had not the
     sight of these, yet we had the possession. And so, as though the
     Lord said to us in our alarm, 'Behold what martyrs I have given
     you!' in like manner our eyes are unclosed, and we see the glory of
     the Lord, manifested, as once in their passion, so now in their
     power. We have got clear, my brethren, of no slight disgrace; we
     had patrons, yet we knew it not. We have found this one thing, in
     which we have the advantage of our forefathers--they lost the
     knowledge of these holy martyrs, and we have obtained it.

     "Bring the victorious victims to the spot where is Christ the
     sacrifice. But He upon the altar, who suffered for all; they under
     it, who were redeemed by His passion. I had intended this spot for
     myself, for it is fitting that where the priest had been used to
     offer, there he should repose; but I yield the right side to the
     sacred victims; that spot was due to the martyrs. Therefore let us
     bury the hallowed relics, and introduce them into a fitting home;
     and celebrate the whole day with sincere devotion."--_Ep._ 22.

In his latter sermon, preached the following day, he pursues the

     "This your celebration they are jealous of, who are wont to be;
     and, being jealous of it, they hate the cause of it, and are
     extravagant enough to deny the merits of those martyrs, whose works
     the very devils confess. Nor is it wonderful; it commonly happens
     that unbelievers who deny are less bearable than the devil who
     confesses. For the devil said, 'Jesus, Son of the living Son, why
     hast Thou come to torment us before the time?' And, whereas the
     Jews heard this, yet they were the very men to deny the Son of God.
     And now ye have heard the evil spirits crying out, and confessing
     to the martyrs, that they cannot bear their pains, and saying, 'Why
     are ye come to torment us so heavily?' And the Arians say, 'They
     are not martyrs, nor can they torment the devil, nor dispossess any
     one;' while the torments of the evil spirits are evidenced by their
     own voice, and the benefits of the martyrs by the recovery of the
     healed, and the tokens of the dispossessed.

     "The Arians say, 'These are not real torments of evil spirits, but
     they are pretended and counterfeit.' I have heard of many things
     pretended, but no one ever could succeed in feigning himself a
     devil. How is it we see them in such distress when the hand is laid
     on them? What room is here for fraud? what suspicion of imposture?

     "They deny that the blind received sight; but he does not deny that
     he was cured. He says, 'I see, who afore saw not.' He says, 'I
     ceased to be blind,' and he evidences it by the fact. They deny the
     benefit, who cannot deny the fact. The man is well known; employed
     as he was, before his affliction, in a public trade, Severus his
     name, a butcher his business: he had given it up when this
     misfortune befell him. He refers to the testimony of men whose
     charities were supporting him; he summons them as evidence of his
     present visitation, who were witnesses and judges of his blindness.
     He cries out that, on his touching the hem of the martyrs' garment,
     which covered the relics, his sight was restored to him. We read in
     the Gospel, that when the Jews saw the cure of the blind man, they
     sought the testimony of the parents. Ask others, if you distrust
     me; ask persons unconnected with him, if you think that his parents
     would take a side. The obstinacy of these Arians is more hateful
     than that of the Jews. When the latter doubted, at least they
     inquired of the parents; these inquire secretly, deny openly, as
     giving credit to the fact, but denying the author."--_Ibid._

3. We may corroborate the evidence of those two Fathers with that of
Paulinus, who was secretary to St. Ambrose, and wrote his life, about
A.D. 411.

     "About the same time," he says, "the holy martyrs Protasius and
     Gervasius revealed themselves to God's priest. They lay in the
     Basilica, where, at present, are the bodies of the martyrs Nabor
     and Felix; while, however, the holy martyrs Nabor and Felix had
     crowds to visit them, as well the names as the graves of the
     martyrs Protasius and Gervasius were unknown; so that all who
     wished to come to the rails which protected the graves of the
     martyrs Nabor and Felix, were used to walk on the graves of the
     others. But when the bodies of the holy martyrs were raised and
     placed on litters, thereupon many possessions of the devil were
     detected. Moreover, a blind man, by name Severus, who up to this
     day performs religious service in the Basilica called Ambrosian,
     into which the bodies of the martyrs have been translated, when he
     had touched the garment of the martyrs, forthwith received sight.
     Moreover, bodies possessed by unclean spirits were restored, and
     with all blessedness returned home. And by means of these benefits
     of the martyrs, while the faith of the Catholic Church made
     increase, by so much did Arian misbelief decline."--§ 14.


Now I want to know what reason is there for stumbling at the above
narrative, which will not throw uncertainty upon the very fact that
there was such a Bishop as Ambrose, or such an Empress as Justina, or
such a heresy as the Arian, or any Church at all in Milan. Let us
consider some of the circumstances under which it comes to us.

1. We have the concordant evidence of three distinct witnesses, of whom
at least two were on the spot when the alleged miracles were wrought,
one writing at the time, another some years afterwards in a distant
country. And the third, writing after an interval of twenty-six years,
agrees minutely with the evidence of the two former, not adding to the
miraculous narrative, as is the manner of those who lose their delicate
care for exactness in their admiration of the things and persons of whom
they speak.

2. The miracle was wrought in public, on a person well known, on one who
continued to live in the place where it was professedly wrought, and
who, by devoting himself to the service of the martyrs who were the
instruments of his cure, was a continual memorial of the mercy which he
professed to have received, and challenged inquiry into it, and
refutation if that were possible.

3. Ambrose, one of our informants, publicly appealed, at the time when
the occurrence took place, to the general belief, claimed it for the
miracle, and that in a sermon which is still extant.

4. He made his statement in the presence of bitter and most powerful
enemies, who were much concerned, and very able to expose the fraud, if
there was one; who did, as might be expected, deny the hand of God in
the matter; but who, for all that appears, did nothing but deny what
they could not consistently confess, without ceasing to be what they

5. A great and practical impression was made upon the popular mind in
consequence of the alleged miracles: or, in the words of an historian,
whose very vocation it is to disbelieve them, "Their effect on the minds
of the people was rapid and irresistible; and the feeble sovereign of
Italy found himself unable to contend with the favourite of

6. And so powerfully did all this press upon the Court, that, as the
last words of this extract intimate, the persecution was given up, and
the Catholics left in quiet possession of the churches.

On the whole, then, are we not in the following dilemma? If the miracle
did not take place, then St. Ambrose and St. Augustine, men of name,
said they had ascertained a fact which they did not ascertain, and said
it in the face of enemies, with an appeal to a whole city, and that
continued during a quarter of a century. What instrument of refutation
shall we devise against a case like this, neither so violently _à
priori_ as to supersede the testimony of Evangelists, nor so fastidious
of evidence as to imperil Tacitus or Cæsar? On the other hand, if the
miracle did take place, a certain measure of authority, more or less,
surely must thereby attach to St. Ambrose--to his doctrine and his life,
to his ecclesiastical principles and proceedings, to the Church itself
of the fourth century, of which he is one main pillar. The miracle gives
a certain sanction to three things at once, to the Catholic doctrine of
the Trinity, to the Church's resistance of the civil power, and to the
commemoration of saints and martyrs.

       *       *       *       *       *

Does it give any sanction to Protestantism and its adherents? shall we
accept it or not? shall we retreat, or shall we advance? shall we
relapse into scepticism upon all subjects, or sacrifice our deep-rooted
prejudices? shall we give up our knowledge of times past altogether, or
endure to gain a knowledge which we think we have already--the knowledge
of divine truth?


[366] Gibbon, Hist. ch. 27.




It is pretty clear that most persons of this day will be disposed to
wonder at the earnestness shown by the early bishops of the Church in
their defence of the Catholic faith. Athanasius, Hilary, Basil, Gregory,
and Ambrose resisted the spread of Arianism at the risk of their lives.
Yet their repeated protests and efforts were all about what? The man of
the world will answer, "strifes of words, perverse disputings, curious
questions, which do not tend to advance what ought to be the one end of
all religion, peace and love. This is what comes of insisting on
orthodoxy; putting the whole world into a fever!" _Tantum religio
potuit_, etc., as the Epicurean poet says.

Such certainly is the phenomenon which we have to contemplate: theirs
was a state of mind seldom experienced, and little understood, in this
day; however, for that reason, it is at least interesting to the
antiquarian, even were it not a sound and Christian state also. The
highest end of Church union, to which the mass of educated men now look,
is quiet and unanimity; as if the Church were not built upon faith, and
truth really the first object of the Christian's efforts, peace but the
second. The one idea which statesmen, and lawyers, and journalists, and
men of letters have of a clergyman is, that he is by profession "a man
of peace:" and if he has occasion to denounce, or to resist, or to
protest, a cry is raised, "O how disgraceful in a minister of peace!"
The Church is thought invaluable as a promoter of good order and
sobriety; but is regarded as nothing more. Far be it from me to seem to
disparage what is really one of her high functions; but still a part of
her duty will never be tantamount to the whole of it. At present the
_beau ideal_ of a clergyman in the eyes of many is a "reverend
gentleman," who has a large family, and "administers spiritual
consolation." Now I make bold to say, that confessorship for the
Catholic faith is one part of the duty of Christian ministers, nay, and
Christian laymen too. Yet, in this day, if at any time there is any
difference in matters of doctrine between Christians, the first and last
wish--the one sovereign object--of so-called judicious men, is to hush
it up. No matter what the difference is about; _that_ is thought so
little to the purpose, that your well-judging men will not even take the
trouble to inquire what it is. It may be, for what they know, a question
of theism or atheism; but they will not admit, whatever it is, that it
can be more than secondary to the preservation of a good understanding
between Christians. They think, whatever it is, it may safely be
postponed for future consideration--that things will right
themselves--the one pressing object being to present a bold and extended
front to our external enemies, to prevent the outward fabric of the
Church from being weakened by dissensions, and insulted by those who
witness them. Surely the Church exists, in an especial way, for the sake
of the faith committed to her keeping. But our practical men forget
there may be remedies worse than the disease; that latent heresy may be
worse than a contest of "party;" and, in their treatment of the Church,
they fulfil the satirist's well-known line:--

     "Propter vitam vivendi perdere causas."

No wonder they do so, when they have been so long accustomed to merge
the Church in the nation, and to talk of "Protestantism" in the abstract
as synonymous with true religion; to consider that the characteristic
merit of our Church is its "tolerance," as they call it, and that its
greatest misfortune is the exposure to the world of those antagonistic
principles and views which are really at work within it. But talking of
exposure, what a scandal it was in St. Peter to exert his apostolical
powers on Ananias; and in St. John, to threaten Diotrephes! What an
exposure in St. Paul to tell the Corinthians he had "a rod" for them,
were they disobedient! One should have thought, indeed, that weapons
were committed to the Church for use as well as for show; but the
present age apparently holds otherwise, considering that the Church is
then most primitive, when it neither cares for the faith itself, nor
uses the divinely ordained means by which it is to be guarded. Now, to
people who acquiesce in this view, I know well that Ambrose or Augustine
has not more of authority than an English non-juror; still, to those who
do not acquiesce in it, it may be some little comfort, some
encouragement, some satisfaction, to see that they themselves are not
the first persons in the world who have felt and judged of religion in
that particular way which is now in disrepute.


However, some persons will allow, perhaps, that doctrinal truth ought to
be maintained, and that the clergy ought to maintain it; but then they
will urge that we should not make the path of truth too narrow; that it
is a royal and a broad highway by which we travel heavenward, whereas it
has been the one object of theologians, in every age, to encroach upon
it, till at length it has become scarcely broad enough for two to walk
abreast in. And moreover, it will be objected, that over-exactness was
the very fault of the fourth and fifth centuries in particular, which
refined upon the doctrines of the Holy Trinity and our Lord's
Incarnation, till the way of life became like that razor's edge, which
is said in the Koran to be drawn high over the place of punishment, and
must be traversed by every one at the end of the world.

Now I cannot possibly deny, however disadvantageous it may be to their
reputation, that the Fathers do represent the way of faith as narrow,
nay, even as being the more excellent and the more royal for that very
narrowness. Such is orthodoxy certainly; but here it is obvious to ask
whether this very characteristic of it may not possibly be rather an
argument for, than against, its divine origin. Certain it is, that such
nicety, as it is called, is not unknown to other religious
dispensations, creeds, and covenants, besides that which the primitive
Church identified with Christianity. Nor is it a paradox to maintain
that the whole system of religion, natural as well as revealed, is full
of similar appointments. As to the subject of ethics, even a heathen
philosopher tells us, that virtue consists in a mean--that is, in a
point between indefinitely-extending extremes; "men being in one way
good, and many ways bad." The same principle, again, is seen in the
revealed system of spiritual communications; the grant of grace and
privilege depending on positive ordinances, simple and definite--on the
use of a little water, the utterance of a few words, the imposition of
hands, and the like; which, it will perhaps be granted, are really
essential to the conveyance of spiritual blessings, yet are confessedly
as formal and technical as any creed can be represented to be. In a
word, such technicality is involved in the very idea of a _means_, which
may even be defined to be a something appointed, at God's inscrutable
pleasure, as the necessary condition of something else; and the simple
question before us is, merely the _matter of fact_, viz., whether any
doctrine _is_ set forth by Revelation as necessary to be believed _in
order_ to salvation? Antecedent difficulty in the question there is
none; or rather, the probability is in favour of there being some
necessary doctrine, from the analogy of the other parts of religion. The
question is simply about the matter of fact.

This analogy is perspicuously expressed in one of the sermons of St.
Leo:--"Not only," he says, "in the exercise of virtue and the observance
of the commandments, but also in the path of faith, strait and difficult
is the way which leads to life; and it requires great pains, and
involves great risks, to walk without stumbling along the one footway of
sound doctrine, amid the uncertain opinions and the plausible untruths
of the unskilful, and to escape all peril of mistake when the toils of
error are on every side."--_Serm._ 25.

St. Gregory Nazianzen says the same thing:--"We have bid farewell to
contentious deviations of doctrine, and compensations on either side,
neither Sabellianizing nor Arianizing. These are the sports of the evil
one, who is a bad arbiter of our matters. But we, pacing along the
middle and royal way, _in which also the essence of the virtues lies_,
in the judgment of the learned, believe in Father, Son, and Holy
Ghost."--_Orat._ 32.

On the whole, then, I see nothing very strange either in orthodoxy
lying in what at first sight appears like subtle and minute exactness of
doctrine, or in its being our duty to contend even to confessorship for
such exactness. Whether it be thus exact, and whether the exactness of
Ambrose, Leo, or Gregory be the true and revealed exactness, is quite
another question: all I say is, that it is no great difficulty to
believe that it may be what they say it is, both as to its truth and as
to its importance.


But now supposing the question is asked, are Ambrose, Leo, and Gregory
right? and is our Church right in maintaining with them the Athanasian
doctrine on those sacred points to which it relates, and condemning
those who hold otherwise? what answer is to be given? I answer by asking
in turn, supposing any one inquired how we know that Ambrose, Leo, or
Gregory was right and our Church right, in receiving St. Paul's
Epistles, what answer we should make? The answer would be, that it is a
matter of history that the Apostle wrote those letters which are
ascribed to him. And what is meant by its being a matter of history?
why, that it has ever been so believed, so declared, so recorded, so
acted on, from the first down to this day; that there is no assignable
point of time when it was not believed, no assignable point at which the
belief was introduced; that the records of past ages fade away and
vanish _in_ the belief; that in proportion as past ages speak at all,
they speak in one way, and only fail to bear a witness, when they fail
to have a voice. What stronger testimony can we have of a past fact?

Now evidence such as this have we for the Catholic doctrines which
Ambrose, Leo, or Gregory maintained; they have never and nowhere _not_
been maintained; or in other words, wherever we know anything positive
of ancient times and places, there we are told of these doctrines also.
As far as the records of history extend, they include these doctrines as
avowed always, everywhere, and by all. This is the great canon of the
_Quod semper, quod ubique, quod ab omnibus_, which saves us from the
misery of having to find out the truth for ourselves from Scripture on
our independent and private judgment. He who gave Scripture, also gave
us the interpretation of Scripture; and He gave the one and the other
gift in the same way, by the testimony of past ages, as matter of
historical knowledge, or as it is sometimes called, by Tradition. We
receive the Catholic doctrines as we receive the canon of Scripture,
because, as our Article expresses it, "_of their authority" there "was
never any doubt in the Church_."

We receive them on Catholic Tradition, and therefore they are called
Catholic doctrines. And that they are Catholic, is a proof that they are
Apostolic; they never could have been universally received in the
Church, unless they had had their origin in the origin of the Church,
unless they had been made the foundation of the Church by its founders.
As the separate successions of bishops in various countries have but one
common origin, the Apostles, so what has been handed down through these
separate successions comes from that one origin. The Apostolic College
is the only point in which all the lines converge, and from which they
spring. Private traditions, wandering unconnected traditions, are of no
authority, but permanent, recognised, public, definite, intelligible,
multiplied, concordant testimonies to one and the same doctrine, bring
with them an overwhelming evidence of apostolical origin. We ground the
claims of orthodoxy on no powers of reasoning, however great, on the
credit of no names, however imposing, but on an external fact, on an
argument the same as that by which we prove the genuineness and
authority of the four gospels. The unanimous tradition of all the
churches to certain articles of faith is surely an irresistible
evidence, more trustworthy far than that of witnesses to certain facts
in a court of law, by how much the testimony of a number is more cogent
than the testimony of two or three. That this really is the ground on
which the narrow line of orthodoxy was maintained in ancient times, is
plain from an inspection of the writings of the very men who maintained
it, Ambrose, Leo, and Gregory, or Athanasius and Hilary, and the rest,
who set forth its Catholic character in more ways than it is possible
here to instance or even explain.


However, in order to give the general reader some idea of the state of
the case, I will make some copious extracts from the famous tract of
Vincent of Lerins on Heresy, written in A.D. 434, immediately after the
third Ecumenical Council, held against Nestorius. The author was
originally a layman, and by profession a soldier. In after life he
became a monk and took orders. Lerins, the site of his monastery, is one
of the small islands off the south coast of France. He first states what
the principle is he would maintain, and the circumstances under which he
maintains it; and if his principle is reasonable and valuable in itself,
so does it come to us with great weight under the circumstances which he
tells us led him to his exposition of it:[367]

     "Inquiring often," he says, "with great desire and attention, of
     very many excellent, holy, and learned men, how and by what means I
     might assuredly, and as it were by some general and ordinary way,
     discern the true Catholic faith from false and wicked heresy; to
     this question I had usually this answer from them all, that whether
     I or any other desired to find out the fraud of heretics, daily
     springing up, and to escape their snares, and to continue in a
     sound faith himself safe and sound, that he ought, by two ways, by
     God's assistance, to defend and preserve his faith; that is, first,
     by the authority of the law of God; secondly, by the tradition of
     the Catholic Church."--_Ch._ 2.

It will be observed he is speaking of the _mode_ in which an
_individual_ is to seek and attain the truth; and it will be observed
also, as the revered Bishop Jebb has pointed out, that he is
allowing[368] and sanctioning the use of personal inquiry. He

     "Here some man, perhaps, may ask, seeing the canon of the Scripture
     is perfect, and most abundantly of itself sufficient for all
     things, what need we join unto it the authority of the Church's
     understanding and interpretation? The reason is this, because the
     Scripture being of itself so deep and profound, all men do not
     understand it in one and the same sense, but divers men diversely,
     this man and that man, this way and that way, expound and interpret
     the sayings thereof, so that to one's thinking, 'so many men, so
     many opinions' almost may be gathered out of them: for Novatian
     expoundeth it one way, Photinus another; Sabellius after this sort,
     Donatus after that; Arius, Eunomius, Macedonius will have this
     exposition, Apollinaris and Priscilian will have that; Jovinian,
     Pelagius, Celestius, gather this sense, and, to conclude, Nestorius
     findeth out that; and therefore very necessary it is for the
     avoiding of so great windings and turnings, of errors so various,
     that the line of expounding the Prophets and Apostles be directed
     and drawn, according to the rule of the Ecclesiastical and Catholic

    "Again, within the Catholic Church itself we are greatly to consider
    that we hold that which hath been believed _everywhere_, _always_,
    and _of all men_: for that is truly and properly _Catholic_ (as the
    very force and nature of the word doth declare) which comprehendeth
    all things in general after an universal manner, and that shall we
    do if we follow _universality, antiquity, consent_. Universality
    shall we follow thus, if we profess that one faith to be true which
    the whole Church throughout the world acknowledgeth and confesseth.
    Antiquity shall we follow, if we depart not any whit from those
    senses which it is plain that our holy elders and fathers generally
    held. Consent shall we likewise follow, if in this very Antiquity
    itself we hold the definitions and opinions of all, or at any rate
    almost all, the priests and doctors together."--_Ch._ 2, 3.

It is sometimes said, that what is called orthodoxy or Catholicism is
only the opinion of one or two Fathers--- fallible men, however able
they might be, or persuasive--who created a theology, and imposed it on
their generation, and thereby superseded Scriptural truth and the real
gospel. Let us see how Vincent treats such individual teachers, however
highly gifted. He is speaking in the opening sentence of the Judaizers
of the time of St. Paul:--

     "When, therefore, such kind of men, wandering up and down through
     provinces and cities to set their errors to sale, came also unto
     the Galatians, and these, after they had heard them, were delighted
     with the filthy drugs of heretical novelty, loathing the truth, and
     casting up again the heavenly manna of the Apostolic and Catholic
     doctrine: the authority of his Apostolic office so puts itself
     forth as to decree very severely in this sort. 'But although (quoth
     he) we or an Angel from heaven evangelize unto you beside that
     which we have evangelized, be he Anathema.'[369] What meaneth this
     that he saith, 'But although we?' why did he not rather say, 'But
     although I?' that is to say, Although Peter, although Andrew,
     although John, yea, finally, although the whole company of the
     Apostles, evangelize unto you otherwise than we have evangelized,
     be he accursed. A terrible censure, in that for maintaining the
     possession of the first faith, he spared not himself, nor any other
     of the Apostles! But this is a small matter: 'Although an Angel
     from heaven (quoth he) evangelize unto you, beside that which I
     have evangelized, be he Anathema,' he was not contented for keeping
     the faith once delivered to make mention of man's weak nature,
     unless also he included those excellent creatures the Angels....
     But peradventure he uttered those words slightly, and cast them
     forth rather of human affection than decreed them by divine
     direction. God forbid: for it followeth, and that urged with great
     earnestness of repeated inculcation, 'As I have foretold you (quoth
     he), and now again I tell you, If anybody evangelize unto you
     beside that which you have received, be he Anathema.' He said not,
     If any man preach unto you beside that which you have received, let
     him be blessed, let him be commended, let him be received, but let
     him be _Anathema_, that is, separated, thrust out, excluded, lest
     the cruel infection of one sheep with his poisoned company corrupt
     the sound flock of Christ."--_Ch._ 12 and 13.


Here, then, is a point of doctrine which must be carefully insisted on.
The Fathers are primarily to be considered as _witnesses_, not as
_authorities_. They are witnesses of an existing state of things, and
their treatises are, as it were, _histories_,--teaching us, in the first
instance, matters of fact, not of opinion. Whatever they themselves
might be, whether deeply or poorly taught in Christian faith and love,
they speak, not their own thoughts, but the received views of their
respective ages. The especial value of their works lies in their opening
upon us a state of the Church which else we should have no notion of. We
read in their writings a great number of high and glorious principles
and acts, and our first thought thereupon is, "All this must have had an
existence somewhere or other in those times. These very men, indeed, may
be merely speaking by rote, and not understand what they say; but it
matters not to the profit of their writings what they were themselves."
It matters not to the profit of their writings, nor again to the
authority resulting from them; for the _times_ in which they wrote of
course _are_ of authority, though the Fathers themselves may have none.
Tertullian or Eusebius may be nothing more than bare witnesses; yet so
much as this they have a claim to be considered.

This is even the strict Protestant view. We are not obliged to take the
Fathers as _authorities_, only as _witnesses_. Charity, I suppose, and
piety will prompt the Christian student to go further, and to believe
that men who laboured so unremittingly, and suffered so severely in the
cause of the Gospel, really did possess some little portion of that
earnest love of the truth which they professed, and were enlightened by
that influence for which they prayed; but I am stating the strict
Protestant doctrine, the great polemical principle ever to be borne in
mind, that the Fathers are to be adduced in controversy merely as
testimonies to an existing state of things, not as authorities. At the
same time, no candid Protestant will be loth to admit, that the state of
things to which they bear witness, _is_, as I have already said, a most
grave and conclusive authority in guiding us in those particulars of our
duty about which Scripture is silent; succeeding, as it does, so very
close upon the age of the Apostles.

Thus much I claim of consistent Protestants, and thus much I grant to
them. Gregory and the rest may have been but nominal Christians.
Athanasius himself may have been very dark in all points of doctrine, in
spite of his twenty years' exile and his innumerable perils by sea and
land; the noble Ambrose, a high and dry churchman; and Basil, a mere
monk. I do not dispute these points; though I claim "the right of
private judgment," so far as to have my own very definite opinion in the
matter, which I keep to myself.


Such being the plain teaching of the Fathers, and such the duty of
following it, Vincentius proceeds to speak of the misery of doubting and

     "Which being so, he is a true and genuine Catholic that loveth the
     truth of God, the Church, the body of Christ; that preferreth
     nothing before the religion of God; nothing before the Catholic
     faith; not any man's authority, not love, not wit, not eloquence,
     not philosophy; but contemning all these things, and in faith
     abiding fixed and stable, whatsoever he knoweth the Catholic Church
     universally in old times to have holden, that only he purposeth
     with himself to hold and believe; but whatsoever doctrine, new and
     not before heard of, such an one shall perceive to be afterwards
     brought in of some one man, beside all or contrary to all the
     saints, let him know that doctrine doth not pertain to religion,
     but rather to temptation, especially being instructed with the
     sayings of the blessed Apostle St. Paul. For this is that which he
     writeth in his first Epistle to the Corinthians: 'There must (quoth
     he) be heresies also, that they which are approved may be made
     manifest among you.' ...

     "O the miserable state of [waverers]! with what seas of cares, with
     what storms, are they tossed! for now at one time, as the wind
     driveth them, they are carried away headlong in error; at another
     time, coming again to themselves, they are beaten back like
     contrary waves; sometime with rash presumption they allow such
     things as seem uncertain, at another time of pusillanimity they are
     in fear even about those things which are certain; doubtful which
     way to take, which way to return, what to desire, what to avoid,
     what to hold, what to let go; which misery and affliction of a
     wavering and unsettled heart, were they wise, is as a medicine of
     God's mercy towards them.

     "Which being so, oftentimes calling to mind and remembering the
     selfsame thing, I cannot sufficiently marvel at the great madness
     of some men, at so great impiety of their blinded hearts, lastly,
     at so great a licentious desire of error, that they be not content
     with the rule of faith once delivered us, and received from our
     ancestors, but do every day search and seek for new doctrine, ever
     desirous to add to, to change, and to take away something from,
     religion; as though that were not the doctrine of God, which it is
     enough to have once revealed, but rather man's institution, which
     cannot but by continual amendment (or rather correction) be
     perfected."--_Ch._ 25, 26.


Then he takes a text, and handles it as a modern preacher might do. His
text is this:--

     "O Timothy, keep the _depositum_, avoiding the profane novelties of
     words, and oppositions of falsely-called knowledge, which certain
     professing have erred about the faith."

He dwells successively upon _Timothy_, on the _deposit_, on _avoiding_,
on _profane_, and on _novelties_.

First, _Timothy_ and the "_deposit_:"--

     "Who at this day is Timothy, but either generally the whole Church,
     or especially the whole body of prelates, who ought either
     themselves to have a sound knowledge of divine religion, or who
     ought to infuse it into others? What is meant by _keep the
     deposit_? Keep it (quoth he) for fear of thieves, for danger of
     enemies, lest when men be asleep, they oversow cockle among that
     good seed of wheat, which the Son of man hath sowed in His field.
     'Keep (quoth he) the deposit.' What is meant by this deposit? that
     is, that which is committed to thee, not that which is invented of
     thee; that which thou hast received, not that which thou hast
     devised; a thing not of wit, but of learning; not of private
     assumption, but of public tradition; a thing brought to thee, not
     brought forth of thee; wherein thou must not be an author, but a
     keeper; not a beginner, but a follower; not a leader, but an
     observer. Keep the deposit. Preserve the talent of the Catholic
     faith safe and undiminished; that which is committed to thee, let
     that remain with thee, and that deliver. Thou hast received gold,
     render then gold; I will not have one thing for another; do not for
     gold render either impudently lead, or craftily brass; I will, not
     the show, but the very nature of gold itself. O Timothy, O priest,
     O teacher, O doctor, if God's gift hath made thee meet and
     sufficient by thy wit, exercise, and learning, be the Beseleel of
     the spiritual tabernacle, engrave the precious stones of God's
     doctrine, faithfully set them, wisely adorn them, give them
     brightness, give them grace, give them beauty. That which men
     before believed obscurely, let them by thy exposition understand
     more clearly. Let posterity rejoice for coming to the understanding
     of that by thy means, which antiquity without that understanding
     had in veneration. Yet for all this, in such sort deliver the same
     things which thou hast learned, that albeit thou teachest after a
     new manner yet thou never teach new things."

Next, "_avoiding_:"--

     "'O Timothy (quoth he), keep the deposit, avoid profane novelties
     of words.' Avoid (quoth he) as a viper, as a scorpion, as a
     basilisk, lest they infect thee not only by touching, but also with
     their very eyes and breath. What is meant by _avoid_?[370] that is,
     not so much as to eat with any such. What importeth this _avoid_?
     'If any man (quoth he) come unto you, and bring not this
     doctrine,'[371] what doctrine but the Catholic and universal, and
     that which, with incorrupt tradition of the truth, hath continued
     one and the selfsame, through all successions of times, and that
     which shall continue for ever and ever? What then? 'Receive him not
     (quoth he) into the house, nor say God speed; for he that saith
     unto him God speed, communicateth with his wicked works."

Then, "_profane_:"--

     "'Profane novelties of words' (quoth he); what is _profane_? Those
     which have no holiness in them, nought of religion, wholly external
     to the sanctuary of the Church, which is the temple of God.
     'Profane novelties of words (quoth he), of words, that is,
     novelties of doctrines, novelties of things, novelties of opinions,
     contrary to old usage, contrary to antiquity, which if we receive,
     of necessity the faith of our blessed ancestors, either all, or a
     great part of it, must be overthrown; the faithful people of all
     ages and times, all holy saints, all the chaste, all the continent,
     all the virgins, all the clergy, the deacons, the priests, so many
     thousands of confessors, so great armies of martyrs, so many famous
     and populous cities and commonwealths, so many islands, provinces,
     kings, tribes, kingdoms, nations; to conclude, almost now the whole
     world, incorporated by the Catholic faith to Christ their Head,
     must needs be said, so many hundreds of years, to have been
     ignorant, to have erred, to have blasphemed, to have believed they
     knew not what."

Lastly, "_novelties_:"--

     "'Avoid (quoth he) profane _novelties_ of words,' to receive and
     follow which was never the custom of Catholics, but always of
     heretics. And, to say truth, what heresy hath ever burst forth, but
     under the name of some certain man, in some certain place, and at
     some certain time? Who ever set up any heresy, but first divided
     himself from the consent of the universality and antiquity of the
     Catholic Church? Which to be true, examples do plainly prove. For
     who ever before that profane Pelagius presumed so much of man's
     free will, that he thought not the grace of God necessary to aid it
     in every particular good act? Who ever before his monstrous
     disciple Celestius denied all mankind to be bound with the guilt of
     Adam's transgression? Who ever before sacrilegious Arius durst rend
     in pieces the Unity of Trinity? Who ever before wicked Sabellius
     durst confound the Trinity of Unity? Who ever before cruel Novatian
     affirmed God to be merciless, in that He had rather the death of a
     sinner than that he should return and live? Who ever before Simon
     Magus, durst affirm that God our Creator was the Author of evil,
     that is, of our wickedness, impieties, and crimes; because God (as
     he said) so with His own hands made man's very nature, that by a
     certain proper motion and impulse of an enforced will, it can do
     nothing else, desire nothing else, but to sin. Such examples are
     infinite, which for brevity-sake I omit, by all which,
     notwithstanding, it appeareth plainly and clearly enough, that it
     is, as it were, a custom and law in all heresies, ever to take
     great pleasure in profane novelties, to loath the decrees of our
     forefathers, and to make shipwreck of faith, by oppositions of
     falsely-called knowledge; contrariwise that this is usually proper
     to all Catholics, to keep those things which the holy Fathers have
     left, and committed to their charge, to condemn profane novelties,
     and, as the Apostle hath said, and again forewarned, 'if any man
     shall preach otherwise than that which is received,' to
     anathematize him."--_Ch._ 27-34.

From these extracts, which are but specimens of the whole Tract, I come
to the conclusion that Vincent was a very sorry Protestant.


[367] The Oxford translation of 1837 is used in the following extracts.

[368] [He allows of it in the _Absence_ at the time of the Church's
authoritative declaration concerning the particular question in debate.
He would say, "There was no need of any Ecumenical Council to condemn
Nestorius; he was condemned by Scripture and tradition already."--1872.]

[369] Gal. i. 8.

[370] 1 Cor. v. 11.

[371] 2 John 10, 11.



In the judgment of the early Church, the path of doctrinal truth is
narrow; but, in the judgment of the world in all ages, it is so broad as
to be no path at all. This I have said above; also, that the maintenance
of the faith is considered by the world to be a strife of words,
perverse disputings, curious questionings, and unprofitable
technicality, though by the Fathers it is considered necessary to
salvation. What they call heresy, the man of the world thinks just as
true as what they call orthodoxy, and only then wrong when
pertinaciously insisted on by its advocates, as the early Fathers
insisted on orthodoxy. Now do, or do not, Protestants here take part
with the world in disliking, in abjuring doctrinal propositions and
articles, such as the early Church fought for? Certainly they do. Well,
then, if they thus differ from the Church of the Fathers, how can they
fancy that the early Church was Protestant?

In the Treatise I have been quoting, Vincent gives us various instances
of heresiarchs, and tells us what he thinks about them. Among others, he
speaks of Apollinaris and his fall; nor can we have a better instance
than that of Apollinaris of the grave distress and deep commiseration
with which the early Fathers regarded those whom the present Protestant
world thinks very good kind of men, only fanciful and speculative, with
some twist or hobby of their own. Apollinaris, better than any one else,
will make us understand what was thought of the guilt of heresy in times
which came next to the Apostolic, because the man was so great, and his
characteristic heresy was so small. The charges against Origen have a
manifest breadth and width to support them; Nestorius, on the other
hand, had no high personal merits to speak for him; but Apollinaris,
after a life of laborious service in the cause of religion, did but
suffer himself to teach that the Divine Intelligence in our Lord
superseded the necessity of His having any other, any human intellect;
and for this apparently small error, he was condemned. Of course it was
not small really; for one error leads to another, and did eventually in
his case; but to all appearance it was small, yet it was promptly and
sternly denounced and branded by East and West; would it be so
ruthlessly smitten by Protestants now?

A brief sketch of his history, and of the conduct of the Church towards
him, may not be out of place in the experiments I am making with a view
of determining the relation in which modern Protestantism stands towards
primitive Christianity.


His father, who bore the same name, was a native of Alexandria, by
profession a grammarian or schoolmaster; who, passing from Berytus to
the Syrian Laodicea, married and settled there, and eventually rose to
the presbyterate in the Church of that city. Apollinaris, the son, had
been born there in the early part of the fourth century, and was
educated for the profession of rhetoric. After a season of suspense, as
to the ultimate destination of his talents, he resolved on dedicating
them to the service of the Church; and, after being admitted into
reader's orders, he began to distinguish himself by his opposition to
philosophical infidelity. His work against Porphyry, the most valuable
and elaborate of his writings, was extended to as many as thirty books.
During the reign of Julian, when the Christian schools were shut up, and
the Christian youth were debarred from the use of the classics, the two
Apollinares, father and son, exerted themselves to supply the
inconvenience thence resulting from their own resources. They wrote
heroical pieces, odes, tragedies, and dialogues, after the style of
Homer and Plato, and other standard authors, upon Christian subjects;
and the younger, who is the subject of this Chapter, wrote and dedicated
to Julian a refutation of Paganism, on grounds of reason.

Nor did he confine himself to the mere external defence of the Gospel,
or the preparatory training of its disciples. His expositions on
Scripture were the most numerous of his works; he especially excelled in
eliciting and illustrating its sacred meaning, and he had sufficient
acquaintance with the Hebrew to enable him to translate or comment on
the original text. There was scarcely a controversy of the age, prolific
as it was in heresies, into which he did not enter. He wrote against the
Arians, Eunomians, Macedonians, and Manichees; against Origen and
Marcellus; and in defence of the Millenarians. Portions of these
doctrinal writings are still extant, and display a vigour and elegance
of style not inferior to any writer of his day.

Such a man seemed to be raised up providentially for the Church's
defence in an evil day; and for awhile he might be said resolutely and
nobly to fulfil his divinely appointed destiny. The Church of Laodicea,
with the other cities of Syria, was at the time in Arian possession;
when the great Athanasius passed through on his return to Egypt, after
his second exile (A.D. 348), Apollinaris communicated with him, and was
in consequence put out of the Church by the bishop in possession. On the
death of Constantius (A.D. 361), the Catholic cause prevailed; and
Apollinaris was consecrated to that see, or to that in Asia Minor which
bears the same name.


Such was the station, such the reputation of Apollinaris, at the date of
the Council thereupon held at Alexandria, A.D. 362, for settling the
disorders of the Church; and yet, in the proceedings of this celebrated
assembly, the first intimation occurs of the existence of that doctrinal
error by which he has been since known in history, though it is not
there connected with his name. The troubles under Julian succeeded, and
diverted the minds of all parties to other objects. The infant heresy
slept till about the year 369; when it gives us evidence of its
existence in the appearance of a number of persons, scattered about
Syria and Greece, who professed it in one form or other, and by the
solemn meeting of a Council in the former country, in which its
distinctive tenets were condemned. We find that even at this date it had
run into those logical consequences which make even a little error a
great one; still the name of Apollinaris is not connected with them.

The Council, as I have said, was held in Syria, but the heresy which
occasioned it had already, it seems, extended into Greece; for a
communication, which the there assembled bishops addressed to Athanasius
on the subject, elicited from him a letter, still extant, addressed to
Epictetus, bishop of Corinth, who had also written to him upon it. This
letter, whether from tenderness to Apollinaris, or from difficulty in
bringing the heresy home to him, still does not mention his name.
Another work written by Athanasius against the heresy, at the very end
of his life, with the keenness and richness of thought which distinguish
his writings generally, is equally silent; as are two letters to friends
about the same date, which touch more or less on the theological points
in question. All these treatises seem to be forced from the writer, and
are characterized by considerable energy of expression: as if the
Catholics addressed were really perplexed with the novel statements of
doctrine, and doubtful how Athanasius would meet them, or at least
required his authority before pronouncing upon them; and, on the other
hand, as if Athanasius himself were fearful of conniving at them,
whatever private reasons he might have for wishing to pass them over.
Yet there is nothing in the history or documents of the times to lead
one to suppose that more than a general suspicion attached to
Apollinaris; and, if we may believe his own statement, Athanasius died
in persuasion of his orthodoxy. A letter is extant, written by
Apollinaris on this subject, in which he speaks of the kind intercourse
he had with the Patriarch of Alexandria, and of their agreement in
faith, as acknowledged by Athanasius himself. He claims him as his
master, and at the same time slightly hints that there had been points
to settle between them, in which he himself had given way. In another,
written to an Egyptian bishop, he seems to refer to the very epistle to
Epictetus noticed above, expressing his approbation of it. It is known,
moreover, that Athanasius gave the usual letters of introduction to
Timotheus, Apollinaris's intimate friend, and afterwards the most
extravagant teacher of his sect, on his going to the Western Bishops,
and that, on the ground of his controversial talents against the Arians.

Athanasius died in A.D. 371 or 373; and that bereavement of the Church
was followed, among its calamities, by the open avowal of heresy on the
part of Apollinaris. In a letter already referred to, he claims
Athanasius as agreeing with him, and then proceeds to profess one of the
very tenets against which Athanasius had written. In saying this, I have
no intention of accusing so considerable a man of that disingenuousness
which is almost the characteristic mark of heresy. It was natural that
Athanasius should have exercised an influence over his mind; and it was
as natural that, when his fellow-champion was taken to his rest, he
should have found himself able to breathe more freely, yet have been
unwilling to own it. While indulging in the speculations of a private
judgment, he might still endeavour to persuade himself that he was not
outstepping the teaching of the Catholic Church. On the other hand, it
appears that the ecclesiastical authorities of the day, even when he
professed his heresy, were for awhile incredulous about the fact, from
their recollection of his former services and his tried orthodoxy, and
from the hope that he was but carried on into verbal extravagances by
his opposition to Arianism. Thus they were as unwilling to impute to him
heresy, as he to confess it. Nay, even when he had lost shame, attacked
the Catholics with violence, and formed his disciples into a sect, not
even then was he himself publicly animadverted on, though his creed was
anathematized. His first condemnation was at Rome, several years after
Athanasius's death, in company with Timotheus, his disciple. In the
records of the General Council of Constantinople, several years later,
his sect is mentioned as existing, with directions how to receive back
into the Church those who applied for reconciliation. He outlived this
Council about ten years; his sect lasted only twenty years beyond him;
but in that short time it had split into three distinct denominations,
of various degrees of heterodoxy, and is said to have fallen more or
less into the errors of Judaism.


If this is a faithful account of the conduct of the Church towards
Apollinaris, no one can accuse its rulers of treating him with haste or
harshness; still they accompanied their tenderness towards him
personally with a conscientious observance of their duties to the
Catholic Faith, to which our Protestants are simply dead. Who now in
England, except very high churchmen, would dream of putting a man out of
the Church for what would be called a mere speculative or metaphysical
opinion? Why could not Apollinaris be a "spiritual man," have "a
justifying faith," "apprehend" our Lord's merits, have "a personal
interest in redemption," be in possession of "experimental religion,"
and be able to recount his "experiences," though he had some vagaries of
his own about the nature of our Lord's soul? But such ideas did not
approve themselves to Christians of the fourth century, who followed up
the anathemas of Holy Church with their own hearty adhesion to them.
Epiphanius speaks thus mournfully:--

     "That aged and venerable man, who was ever so singularly dear to
     us, and to the holy Father, Athanasius, of blessed memory, and to
     all orthodox men, Apollinaris, of Laodicea, he it was who
     originated and propagated this doctrine. And at first, when we were
     assured of it by some of his disciples, we disbelieved that such a
     man could admit such an error into his path, and patiently waited
     in hope, till we might ascertain the state of the case. For we
     argued that his youths, who came to us, not entering into the
     profound views of so learned and clear-minded a master, had
     invented these statements of themselves, not gained them from him.
     For there were many points in which those who came to us were at
     variance with each other: some of them ventured to say that Christ
     had brought down His body from above (and this strange theory,
     admitted into the mind, developed itself into worse notions);
     others of them denied that Christ had taken a soul; and some
     ventured to say that Christ's body was consubstantial with the
     Godhead, and thereby caused great confusion in the East"--_Hær._
     lxxvii. 2.

He proceeds afterwards:--

     "Full of distress became our life at that time, that between
     brethren so exemplary as the forementioned, a quarrel should at all
     have arisen, that the enemy of man might work divisions among us.
     And great, my brethren, is the mischief done to the mind from such
     a cause. For were no question ever raised on the subject, the
     matter would be most simple (for what gain has accrued to the world
     from such novel doctrine, or what benefit to the Church? rather has
     it not been an injury, as causing hatred and dissension?): but when
     the question was raised, it became formidable; it did not tend to
     good; for whether a man disallows this particular point, or even
     the slightest, still it is a denial. For we must not, even in a
     trivial matter, turn aside from the path of truth. No one of the
     ancients ever maintained it--prophet, or apostle, or evangelist, or
     commentator--down to these our times, when this so perplexing
     doctrine proceeded from that most learned man aforesaid. His was a
     mind of no common cultivation; first in the preliminaries of
     literature in Greek education, then as a master of dialectics and
     argumentation. Moreover, he was most grave in his whole life, and
     reckoned among the very first of those who ever deserved the love
     of the orthodox, and so continued till his maintenance of this
     doctrine. Nay, he had undergone banishment for not submitting to
     the Arians;--but why enlarge on it? It afflicted us much, and gave
     us a sorrowful time, as is the wont of our enemy."--_Ibid._ 24.

St. Basil once got into trouble from a supposed intimacy with
Apollinaris. He had written one letter to him on an indifferent matter,
in 356, when he himself was as yet a layman, and Apollinaris orthodox
and scarcely in orders. This was magnified by his opponent Eustathius
into a correspondence and intercommunion between the archbishop and
heresiarch. As in reality Basil knew very little even of his works, the
description which the following passages give is valuable, as being, in
fact, a sort of popular opinion about Apollinaris, more than an
individual judgment. Basil wrote the former of the two in defence of
himself; in the latter, other errors of Apollinaris are mentioned,
besides those to which I have had occasion to allude, for, as I have
said, errors seldom are found single.

     "For myself," says Basil, "I never indeed considered Apollinaris as
     an enemy; nay, there are respects in which I reverence him;
     however, I did not so connect myself with him as to make myself
     answerable for his alleged faults, considering, too, that I have a
     complaint of my own against him, on reading some of his
     compositions. I hear, indeed, that he is become the most copious of
     all writers; yet I have fallen in with but few of his works, for I
     have not leisure to search into such, and besides, I do not easily
     form the acquaintance of recent writers, being hindered by bodily
     health from continuing even the study of inspired Scripture
     laboriously, and as is fitting."--_Ep._ 244, § 3.

The other passage runs thus:--

     "After Eustathius comes Apollinaris; he, too, no slight disturber
     of the Church; for, having a facility in writing and a tongue which
     served him on every subject, he has filled the world with his
     compositions, despising the warning, 'Beware of making many books,'
     because in the many are many faults. For how is it possible, in
     much speaking, to escape sin?"--_Ep._ 263, § 4.

And then he goes on to mention some of the various gross errors, to
which by that time he seemed to be committed.

Lastly, let us hear Vincent of Lerins about him:--

     "Great was the heat and great the perplexity which Apollinaris
     created in the minds of his auditory, when the authority of the
     Church drew them one way, and the influence of their teacher drew
     them the other, so that, wavering and hesitating between the two,
     they could not decide which was to be chosen. You will say, he
     ought at once to have been put aside; yes, but he was so great a
     man, that his word carried with it an extraordinary credence. Who
     indeed was his superior in acumen, in long practice, in view of
     doctrine? As to the number of his volumes against heresies, I will
     but mention as a specimen of them that great and noble work of his
     against Porphyry, in not less than thirty books, with its vast
     collection of arguments. He would have been among the
     master-builders of the Church, had not the profane lust of
     heretical curiosity incited him to strike out something new, to
     pollute withal his labours throughout with the taint of leprosy, so
     that his teaching was rather a temptation to the Church than an
     edification."--_Ch._ 16.

It is a solemn and pregnant fact, that two of the most zealous and
forward of Athanasius's companions in the good fight against Arianism,
Marcellus and Apollinaris, fell away into heresies of their own; nor did
the Church spare them, for all their past services. "Let him that
thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he fall"[missing a "."?]

  "Alas, my brother! round thy tomb,
    In sorrow kneeling, and in fear,
  We read the pastor's doom,
    Who speaks and will not hear.

  "The gray-haired saint may fail at last,
    The surest guide a wanderer prove;
  Death only binds us fast
    To the bright shore of love."




Vincentius wrote in the early part of the fifth century, that is, three
good centuries and more after the death of St. John; accordingly, we
sometimes hear it said that, true though it be, that the Catholic
system, as we Anglicans maintain it, existed at that time, nevertheless
it was a system quite foreign to the pure Gospel, though introduced at a
very early age; a system of Pagan or Jewish origin, which crept in
unawares, and was established on the ruins of the Apostolic faith by the
episcopal confederation, which mainly depended on it for its own
maintenance. In other words, it is considered by some persons to be a
system of priestcraft, destructive of Christian liberty.

Now, it is no paradox to say that _this_ would be a sufficient answer to
such a speculation, were there no other, viz., that no answer _can_ be
made to it. I say, supposing it could not be answered at all, that fact
would be a fair answer. All discussion must have data to go upon;
without data, neither one party can dispute nor the other. If I
maintained there were negroes in the moon, I should like to know how
these same philosophers would answer me. Of course they would not
attempt it: they would confess they had no grounds for denying it, only
they would add, that I had no grounds for asserting it. They would not
prove that I was wrong, but call upon me to prove that I was right.
They would consider such a mode of talking idle and childish, and
unworthy the consideration of a serious man; else, there would be no end
of speculation, no hope of certainty and unanimity in anything. Is a man
to be allowed to say what he will, and bring no reasons for it? Even if
his hypothesis fitted into the facts of the case, still it would be but
an hypothesis, and might be met, perhaps, in the course of time, by
another hypothesis, presenting as satisfactory a solution of them. But
if it would not be necessarily true, though it were adequate, much less
is it entitled to consideration before it is proved to be
adequate--before it is actually reconciled with the facts of the case;
and when another hypothesis has, from the beginning, been in the
possession of the field. From the first it has been believed that the
Catholic system is Apostolic; convincing reasons must be brought against
this belief, and in favour of another, before that other is to be
preferred to it.

Now the new and gratuitous hypothesis in question does not appear, when
examined, even to harmonize with the facts of the case. One mode of
dealing with it is this:--Take a large view of the faith of Christians
during the centuries before Constantine established their religion. Is
there any family likeness in it to Protestantism? Look at it, as
existing during that period in different countries, and is it not one
and the same, and a reiteration of itself, as well as singularly unlike
Reformed Christianity? Hermas with his visions, Ignatius with his
dogmatism, Irenæus with his praise of tradition and of the Roman See,
Clement with his allegory and mysticism, Cyprian with his "Out of the
Church is no salvation," and Methodius with his praise of Virginity, all
of them writers between the first and fourth centuries, and witnesses
of the faith of Rome, Africa, Gaul, Asia Minor, Syria, and Egypt,
certainly do not represent the opinions of Luther and Calvin. They
stretch over the whole of Christendom; they are consistent with each
other; they coalesce into one religion; but it is not the religion of
the Reformation. When we ask, "Where was your Church before Luther?"
Protestants answer, "Where were you this morning before you washed your
face?" But, if Protestants can clean themselves into the likeness of
Cyprian or Irenæus, they must scrub very hard, and have well-nigh
learned the art of washing the blackamoor white.


If the Church system be not Apostolic, it must, some time or other, have
been introduced, and then comes the question, when? We maintain that the
known circumstances of the previous history are such as to preclude the
possibility of any time being assigned, ever so close upon the Apostles,
at which the Church system did not exist. Not only cannot a time be
shown when the free-and-easy system now in fashion did generally exist,
but no time can be shown in which it can be colourably maintained that
the Church system was brought in. It will be said, of course, that the
Church system was gradually introduced. I do not say there have never
been introductions of any kind; but let us see what they amount to here.
Select for yourself your doctrine, or your ordinance, which you say was
introduced, and try to give the history of its introduction.
Hypothetical that history will be, of course; but we will not scruple at
that;--we will only ask one thing, that it should cut clean between the
real facts of the case, though it bring none in its favour; but it will
not be able to do even this. The rise of the doctrine of the Holy
Trinity, of the usage of baptizing infants, of the eucharistic offering,
of the episcopal prerogatives, do what one will, can hardly be made
short of Apostolical times. This is not the place to prove all this; but
so fully is it felt to be so, by those who are determined not to admit
these portions of Catholicism, that in their despair of drawing the line
between the first and following centuries, they make up their minds to
intrude into the first, and boldly pursue their supposed error into the
very presence of some Apostle or Evangelist. Thus St. John is sometimes
made the voluntary or involuntary originator of some portions of our
creed. Dr. Priestley, I believe, conjectures that his amanuensis played
him false, as regards his teaching upon the sacred doctrine which that
philosopher opposed. Others take exceptions to St. Luke, because he
tells us of the "handkerchiefs, or aprons," which "were brought from St.
Paul's body" for the cure of diseases. Others have gone a step further,
and have said, "Not Paul, but Jesus." Infidel, Socinian, and Protestant,
agree in assailing the Apostles, rather than submitting to the Church.


Let our Protestant friends go to what quarter of Christendom they will,
let them hunt among heretics or schismatics, into Gnosticism outside the
Church, or Arianism within it, still they will find no hint or vestige
anywhere of that system which they are now pleased to call Scriptural.
Granting that Catholicism be a corruption, is it possible that it should
be a corruption springing up everywhere at once? Is it conceivable that
at least no opponent should have retained any remnant of the system it
supplanted?--that no tradition of primitive purity should remain in any
part of Christendom?--that no protest, or controversy, should have been
raised, as a monument against the victorious error? This argument,
conclusive against modern Socinianism, is still more cogent and striking
when directed against Puritanism. At least, there _were_ divines in
those early days who denied the sacred doctrine which Socinianism also
disowns, though commonly they did not profess to do so on authority of
tradition; but who ever heard of Erastians, Supralapsarians,
Independents, Sacramentarians, and the like, before the sixteenth and
seventeenth centuries? It would be too bold to go to prove a negative: I
can only say that I do not know in what quarter to search for the
representatives, in the early Church, of that "Bible religion," as it is
called, which is now so much in favour. At first sight, one is tempted
to say that all errors come over and over again; that this and that
notion now in vogue has been refuted in times past. This is indeed a
general truth--nay, for what I know, these same bold speculatists will
bring it even as an argument for their not being in error, that
Antiquity says nothing at all, good or bad, about their opinions. I
cannot answer for the extent to which they will throw the _onus
probandi_ on us; but I protest--be it for us, or be it against us--I
cannot find this very religion of theirs in ancient times, whether in
friend or foe, Jew or Pagan, Montanist or Novatian; though I find surely
enough, and in plenty, the general characteristics, which are
conspicuous in their philosophy, of self-will, eccentricity, and love of

So far from it, that if we wish to find the rudiments of the Catholic
system clearly laid down in writing, those who are accounted least
orthodox will prove as liberal in their information about it as the
strictest Churchman. We can endure even the heretics better than our
opponents can endure the Apostles. Tertullian, though a Montanist, gives
no sort of encouragement to the so-called Bible Christians of this day;
rather he would be the object of their decided abhorrence and disgust.
Origen is not a whit more of a Protestant, though he, if any, ought,
from the circumstances of his history, to be a witness against us. It is
averred that the alleged revolution of doctrine and ritual was
introduced by the influence of the episcopal system; well, here is a
victim of episcopacy, brought forward by our opponents as such. Here is
a man who was persecuted by his bishop, and driven out of his country;
and whose name after his death has been dishonourably mentioned, both by
Councils and Fathers. He surely was not in the episcopal conspiracy, at
least; and perchance may give the latitudinarian, the anabaptist, the
Erastian, and the utilitarian, some countenance. Far from it; he is as
high and as keen, as removed from softness and mawkishness, as ascetic
and as reverential, as any bishop among them. He is as superstitious (as
men now talk), as fanatical, as formal, as Athanasius or Augustine.
Certainly, there seems something providential in the place which Origen
holds in the early Church, considering the direction which theories
about it are now taking; and much might be said on that subject.

Take another instance:--There was, in the fourth century, a party of
divines who were ecclesiastically opposed to the line of theologians,
whose principles had been, and were afterwards, dominant in the Church,
such as Athanasius, Jerome, and Epiphanius; I mean, for instance,
Eusebius, Cyril of Jerusalem, and others who were more or less connected
with the Semi-Arians. If, then, we see that in all points, as regards
the sacraments and sacramentals, the Church and its ministers, the form
of worship, and other religious duties of Christians, Eusebius and Cyril
agree entirely with the most orthodox of their contemporaries, with
those by party and country most separated from them, we have a proof
that that system, whatever it turns out to be, was received before their
time--_i.e._ before the establishment of Christianity under Constantine;
in other words, that we must look for the gradual corruption of the
Church, if it is to be found, not when wealth pampered it, and power and
peace brought its distant portions together, but while it was yet poor,
humble, and persecuted, in those times which are commonly considered
pure and primitive. Again, the genius of Arianism, as a party and a
doctrine, was to discard antiquity and mystery; that is, to resist and
expose what is commonly called priestcraft. In proportion, then, as
Cyril and Eusebius partook of that spirit, so far would they be in their
own cast of mind indisposed to the Catholic system, both considered in
itself and as being imposed on them.

Now, have the writers in question any leaning or tenderness for the
theology of Luther and Calvin? rather they are as unconscious of its
existence as of modern chemistry or astronomy. That faith is a closing
with divine mercy, not a submission to a divine announcement, that
justification and sanctification are distinct, that good works do not
benefit the Christian, that the Church is not Christ's ordinance and
instrument, and that heresy and dissent are not necessarily and
intrinsically evil: notions such as these they do not oppose, simply
because to all appearance they never heard of them. To take a single
passage, which first occurs, in which Eusebius, one of the theologians
in question, gives us his notion of the Catholic Church:--

     "These attempts," he says, speaking of the arts of the enemy, "did
     not long avail him, Truth ever consolidating itself, and, as time
     went on, shining into broader day. For while the devices of
     adversaries were extinguished at once, confuted by their very
     activity,--one heresy after another presenting its own novelty, the
     former specimens ever dissolving and wasting variously in manifold
     and multiform shapes,--the brightness of the Catholic and only true
     Church went forward increasing and enlarging, yet ever in the same
     things and in the same way, beaming on the whole race of Greeks and
     barbarians with the awfulness, and simplicity, and nobleness, and
     sobriety, and purity of its divine polity and philosophy. Thus the
     calumny against our whole creed died with its day, and there
     continued alone our discipline, sovereign among all, and
     acknowledged to be pre-eminent in awfulness and sobriety, in its
     divine and philosophical doctrines; so that no one of this day
     dares to cast any base reproach upon our faith, nor any such
     calumny such as it was once customary for our enemies to
     use."--_Hist._ iv. 7.

Or to take a passage on a different subject, which almost comes first to
hand, from St. Cyril, another of this school of divines:--

     "Only be of good cheer, only work, only strive cheerfully; for
     nothing is lost. Every prayer of thine, every psalm thou singest is
     recorded; every alms-deed, every fast is recorded; every marriage
     duly observed is recorded; continence kept for God's sake is
     recorded; but the first crowns in record are those of virginity and
     purity; and thou shalt shine as an Angel. But as thou hast gladly
     listened to the good things, listen without shrinking to the
     contrary. Every covetous deed of thine is recorded; every fleshly
     deed, every perjury, every blasphemy, every sorcery, every theft,
     every murder. All these things are henceforth recorded, if thou do
     these after baptism; for thy former deeds are blotted out."--_Cat._
     xv. 23.

Cyril and Eusebius, I conceive, do not serve at all better than Origen
to show that faith is a feeling, that it makes a man independent of the
Church, and is efficacious apart from baptism or works. I do not know
any ancient divines of whom more can be made.


Where, then, is primitive Protestantism to be found? There is one chance
for it, not in the second and third centuries, but in the fourth; I mean
in the history of Aerius, Jovinian, and Vigilantius,--men who may be
called, by some sort of analogy, the Luther, Calvin, and Zwingle, of the
fourth century. And they have been so considered both by Protestants and
by their opponents, so covetous, after all, of precedent are innovators,
so prepared are Catholics to believe that there is nothing new under the
sun. Let me, then, briefly state the history and tenets of these three

1. Aerius was an intimate friend of Eustathius, bishop of Sebaste, in
Armenia, whose name has already occurred above. Both had embraced a
monastic life; and both were Arians in creed. Eustathius, being raised
to the episcopate, ordained his friend presbyter, and set him over the
almshouse or hospital of the see. A quarrel followed, from whatever
cause; Aerius left his post, and accused Eustathius of covetousness, as
it would appear, unjustly. Next he collected a large number of persons
of both sexes in the open country, where they braved the severe weather
of that climate. A congregation implies a creed, and Aerius founded or
formed his own on the following points: 1. That there was no difference
between bishop and presbyter. 2. That it was judaical to observe Easter,
because Christ is our Passover. 3. That it was useless, or rather
mischievous, to name the dead in prayer, or to give alms for them. 4.
That fasting was judaical, and a yoke of bondage. If it be right to
fast, he added, each should choose his own day; for instance, Sunday
rather than Wednesday and Friday: while Passion Week he spent in
feasting and merriment. And this is pretty nearly all we know of
Aerius, who flourished between A.D. 360 and 370.

2. Jovinian was a Roman monk, and was condemned, first by Siricius at
Rome, then by St. Ambrose and other bishops at Milan, about A.D. 390. He
taught, 1. That eating with thanksgiving was just as good as fasting. 2.
That, _cæteris paribus_, celibacy, widowhood, and marriage, were on a
level in the baptized. 3. That there was no difference of rewards
hereafter for those who had preserved their baptism; and, 4. That those
who had been baptized with full faith could not fall; if they did, they
had been baptized, like Simon Magus, only with water. He persuaded
persons of both sexes at Rome, who had for years led a single life, to
desert it. The Emperor Honorius had him transported to an island on the
coast of Dalmatia; he died in the beginning of the fifth century.

3. Vigilantius was a priest of Gaul or Spain, and flourished just at the
time Jovinian died: he taught, 1. That those who reverenced relics were
idolaters; 2. That continence and celibacy were wrong, as leading to the
worst scandals; 3. That lighting candles in churches during the day, in
honour of the martyrs, was wrong, as being a heathen rite; 4. That
Apostles and Martyrs had no presence at their tombs; 5. That it was
useless to pray for the dead; 6. That it was better to keep wealth and
practice habitual charity, than to strip one's-self of one's property
once for all; and 7. That it was wrong to retire into the desert. This
is what we learn of these three (so-called) reformers, from the writings
of Epiphanius and Jerome.

Now you may say, "What can we require more than this? Here we have, at
the time of a great catastrophe, Scriptural truth come down to us in the
burning matter which melted and preserved it, in the persecuting
language of Epiphanius and Jerome. When corruptions began to press
themselves on the notice of Christians, here you find three witnesses
raising their distinct and solemn protest in different parts of the
Church, independently of each other, in Gaul, in Italy, and in Asia
Minor, against prayers for the dead, veneration of relics, candles in
the day-time, the merit of celibacy, the need of fasting, the observance
of days, difference in future rewards, the defectibility of the
regenerate, and the divine origin of episcopacy. Here is pure and
scriptural Protestantism." Such is the phenomenon on which a few remarks
are now to be offered.


1. I observe then, first, that this case so presented to us, does not
answer the purpose required. The doctrine of these three Protestants, if
I am to be forced into calling them so, is, after all, but negative. We
know what they protested _against_, not what they protested _for_. We do
not know what the system of doctrine and ritual was which they
substituted for the Catholic, or whether they had any such. Though they
differed from the ancients, there is no proof that they agreed with the
moderns. Parties which differ from a common third, do not necessarily
agree with each other; from two negative propositions nothing is
inferred. For instance, the moral temper and doctrinal character of the
sixteenth century is best symbolized by its views about faith and
justification, to which I have already referred, and upon the duty of
each individual man drawing his own creed from the Scriptures. This is
its positive shape, as far as it may be considered positive at all. Now
does any one mean to maintain that Aerius, Jovinian, or Vigilantius,
held justification by faith only in the sense of John Wesley, or of
John Newton? Did they consider that baptism was a thing of nought; that
faith did everything; that faith was trust, and the perfection of faith
assurance; that it consisted in believing that "I am pardoned;" and that
works might be left to themselves, to come as they might, as being
_necessary_ fruits of faith, without our trouble? Did they know anything
of the "apprehensive" power of faith, or of man's proneness to consider
his imperfect services, done in and by grace, as adequate to purchase
eternal life? There is no proof they did. Let then these three
protesters be ever so cogent an argument against the Catholic creed,
this does not bring them a whit nearer to the Protestant; though in fact
there is nothing to show that their protest was founded on historical
grounds, or on any argument deeper than such existing instances of
superstition and scandal in detail as are sure to accumulate round

Further, even if a modern wished, he would not be able to put up with
even the negative creed of these primitive protesters, whatever his
particular persuasion might be. Their protest suits no sect whatever of
this day. It is either too narrow or too liberal. The Episcopalian, as
he is styled, will not go along with Aerius's notions about bishops; nor
will the Lutheran subscribe to the final perseverance of the saints; nor
will the strict Calvinist allow that all fasting is judaical; nor will
the Baptist admit the efficacy of baptism: one man will wonder why none
of the three protested against the existence of the Church itself;
another that none of them denied the received doctrine of penance; a
third that all three let pass the received doctrine of the Eucharist.
Their protestations are either too much or too little for any one of
their present admirers. There is no one of any of the denominations of
this day but will think them wrong in some points or other; that is all
we know about them; but if we all think them wrong on some points, is
that a good reason why we should take them as an authority on others?

Or, again, do we wish to fix upon what _can_ be detected in their creed
of a positive character, and distinct from their protests? We happen to
be told what it was in the case of one of them. Aerius was an Arian;
does this mend matters? Is there any agreement at all between him and
Luther here? If Aerius is an authority against bishops, or against set
fasts, why is he not an authority against the Creed of St. Athanasius?

2. What has been last said leads to a further remark. I observe, then,
that if two or three men in the fourth century are sufficient, against
the general voice of the Church, to disprove one doctrine, then still
more are two or three of an earlier century able to disprove another.
Why should protesters in century four be more entitled to a hearing than
protesters in century three? Now it so happens, that as Aerius,
Jovinian, and Vigilantius in the fourth protested against austerities,
so did Praxeas, Noetus, and Sabellius in the third protest against the
Catholic or Athanasian doctrine of the Holy Trinity. A much stronger
case surely could be made out in favour of the latter protest than of
the former. Noetus was of Asia Minor, Praxeas taught in Rome, Sabellius
in Africa. Nay, we read that in the latter country their doctrine
prevailed among the common people, then and at an earlier date, to a
very great extent, and that the true faith was hardly preached in the

3. Again, the only value of the protest of these three men would be, of
course, that they _represented_ others; that they were exponents of a
state of opinion which prevailed either in their day or before them,
and which was in the way to be overpowered by the popular corruptions.
What are Aerius and Jovinian to me as individuals? They are worth
nothing, unless they can be considered as organs and witnesses of an
expiring cause. Now, it does not appear that they themselves had any
notion that they were speaking in behalf of any one, living or dead,
besides themselves. They argued against prayers for the departed from
reason, and against celibacy, hopeless as the case might seem, from
Scripture. They ridiculed one usage, and showed the ill consequence of
another. All this might be very cogent in itself, but it was the conduct
of men who stood by themselves and were conscious of it. If Jovinian had
known of writers of the second and third centuries holding the same
views, Jovinian would have been as prompt to quote them as Lutherans are
to quote Jovinian. The protest of these men shows that certain usages
undeniably existed in the fourth century; it does not prove that they
did not exist also in the first, second, and third. And how does the
fact of their living in the fourth century prove there were Protestants
in the first? What we are looking for is a Church of primitive heretics,
of baptists and independents of the Apostolic age, and we must not be
put off with the dark and fallible protests of the Nicene era.

Far different is the tone of Epiphanius in his answer to Aerius:--

     "If one need refer," he says, speaking of fasting, "to the
     constitution of the Apostles, why did they there determine the
     fourth and sixth day to be ever a fast, except Pentecost? and
     concerning the six days of the Pascha, why do they order us to take
     nothing at all but bread, salt, and water?... Which of these
     parties is the rather correct? this deceived man, who is now among
     us, and is still alive, or they who were witnesses before us,
     possessing before our time the tradition in the Church, and they
     having received it from their fathers, and those very fathers
     again having learned it from those who lived before them?... The
     Church has received it, and it is unanimously confessed in the
     whole world, before Aerius and Aerians were born."--_Hær._ 75, §

4. Once more, there is this very observable fact in the case of each of
the three, that their respective protests seem to have arisen from some
personal motive. Certainly what happens to a man's self often brings a
thing home to his mind more forcibly, makes him contemplate it steadily,
and leads to a successful investigation into its merits. Yet still,
where we know personal feelings to exist in the maintenance of any
doctrine, we look more narrowly at the proof for ourselves; thinking it
not impossible that the parties may have made up their minds on grounds
short of reason. It is natural to feel distrust of controversialists,
who, to all appearance, would not have been earnest against a doctrine
or practice, except that it galled themselves. Now it so happens that
each of these three Reformers lies open to this imputation. Aerius is
expressly declared by Epiphanius to have been Eustathius's competitor
for the see of Sebaste, and to have been disgusted at failing. _He_ is
the preacher against bishops. Jovinian was bound by a monastic vow, and
_he_ protests against fasting and coarse raiment. Vigilantius was a
priest; and, therefore, _he_ disapproves the celibacy of the clergy. No
opinion at all is here ventured in favour of clerical celibacy; still it
is remarkable that in the latter, as in the two former cases, private
feeling and public protest should have gone together.


These distinct considerations are surely quite sufficient to take away
our interest in these three Reformers. These men are not an historical
clue to a lost primitive creed, more than Origen or Tertullian; and much
less do they afford any support to the creed of those moderns who would
fain shelter themselves behind them. That there were abuses in the
Church then, as at all times, no one, I suppose, will deny. There may
have been extreme opinions and extreme acts, pride and pomp in certain
bishops, over-honour paid to saints, fraud in the production of relics,
extravagance in praising celibacy, formality in fasting; and such errors
would justify a protest, which the Catholic Fathers themselves are not
slow to make; but they would not justify that utter reprobation of
relics, of celibacy, and of fasting, of episcopacy, of prayers for the
dead, and of the doctrine of defectibility, which these men
avowed--avowed without the warrant of the first ages--on grounds of
private reason, under the influence of personal feeling, and with the
accompaniment of but a suspicious orthodoxy. It does certainly look as
if our search after Protestantism in Antiquity would turn out a simple
failure;--whatever Primitive Christianity was or was not, it was not the
religion of Luther. I shall think so, until I find Ignatius and Aerius,
in spite of their differences about bishops, agreeing in his doctrine of
justification; until Irenæus and Jovinian, though at daggers drawn about
baptism, shall yet declare Scripture to be the sole rule of faith; until
Cyprian and Vigilantius, however at variance about the merit of
virginity, uphold in common the sacred right and duty of private




Such, then, is the testimony borne in various ways by Origen, Eusebius,
and Cyril, by Aerius, Jovinian, and Vigilantius, to the immemorial
reception among Christians of those doctrines and practices which the
private judgment of this age considers to be unscriptural. I have been
going about from one page to another of the records of those early
times, prying and extravagating beyond the beaten paths of orthodoxy,
for the chance of detecting some sort of testimony in favour of our
opponents. With this object I have fallen upon the writers aforesaid;
and, since they have been more or less accused of heterodoxy, I thought
there was at least a chance of their subserving the cause of
Protestantism, which the Catholic Fathers certainly do not subserve; but
they, though differing from each other most materially, and some of them
differing from the Church, do not any one of them approximate to the
tone or language of the movement of 1517. Every additional instance of
this kind does but go indirectly to corroborate the testimony of the
Catholic Church.

It is natural and becoming in all of us to make a brave struggle for
life; but I do not think it will avail the Protestant who attempts it in
the medium of ecclesiastical history. He will find himself in an element
in which he cannot breathe. The problem before him is to draw a line
between the periods of purity and alleged corruption, such, as to have
all the Apostles on one side, and all the Fathers on the other; which
may insinuate and meander through the dove-tailings and inosculations of
historical facts, and cut clean between St. John and St Ignatius, St.
Paul and St. Clement; to take up a position within the shelter of the
book of Acts, yet safe from the range of all other extant documents
besides, And at any rate, whether he succeeds or not, so much he must
grant, that if such a system of doctrine as he would now introduce ever
existed in early times, it has been clean swept away as if by a deluge,
suddenly, silently, and without memorial; by a deluge coming in a night,
and utterly soaking, rotting, heaving up, and hurrying off every vestige
of what it found in the Church, before cock-crowing; so that "when they
rose in the morning" her true seed "were all dead corpses"--nay, dead
and buried--and without grave-stone. "The waters went over them; there
was not one of them left; they sunk like lead in the mighty waters."
Strange antitype, indeed, to the early fortunes of Israel!--then the
enemy was drowned, and "Israel saw them dead upon the sea-shore." But
now, it would seem, water proceeded as a flood "out of the serpent's
mouth," and covered all the witnesses, so that not even their dead
bodies "lay in the streets of the great city." Let him take which of his
doctrines he will,--his peculiar view of self-righteousness, of
formality, of superstition; his notion of faith, or of spirituality in
religious worship; his denial of the virtue of the sacraments, or of the
ministerial commission, or of the visible Church; or his doctrine of the
divine efficacy of the Scriptures as the one appointed instrument of
religious teaching; and let him consider how far Antiquity, as it has
come down to us, will countenance him in it. No; he must allow that the
alleged deluge has done its work; yes, and has in turn disappeared
itself; it has been swallowed up in the earth, mercilessly as itself was


Representations such as these have been met by saying that the extant
records of Primitive Christianity are scanty, and that, _for what we
know_, what is not extant, had it survived, would have told a different
tale. But the hypothesis that history _might_ contain facts which it
does _not_ contain, is no positive evidence for the truth of those
facts; and this is the present question; what is the _positive_ evidence
that the Church ever believed or taught a Gospel substantially different
from that which her extant documents contain? All the evidence that is
extant, be it much or be it little, is on our side: Protestants have
none. Is none better than some? Scarcity of records--granting for
argument's sake there is scarcity--may be taken to account for
Protestants having no evidence; it will not account for our having some,
for our having all that is to be had; it cannot become a positive
evidence in their behalf. That records are few, does not show that they
are of none account.

Accordingly, Protestants had better let alone facts; they are wisest
when they maintain that the Apostolic system of the Church was certainly
lost;--lost, when they know not, how they know not, without assignable
instruments, but by a great revolution lost--of _that_ there can be no
doubt; and then challenge us to prove it was not so. "Prove," they seem
to say, "if you can, that the real and very truth is not so entirely hid
in primitive history as to leave not a particle of evidence betraying
it. This is the very thing which misleads you, that all the arguments
are in your favour. Is it not possible that an error has got the place
of the truth, and has destroyed all the evidence but what witnesses on
its side? Is it not possible that all the Churches should everywhere
have given up and stifled the scheme of doctrine they received from the
Apostles, and have substituted another for it? Of course it is; it is
plain to common sense it may be so. Well, we say, what _may be_, _is_;
this is our great principle: we say that the Apostles considered
episcopacy an indifferent matter, though Ignatius says it is essential.
We say that the table is not an altar, though Ignatius says it is. We
say there is no priest's office under the Gospel, though Clement affirms
it. We say that baptism is not an enlightening, though Justin takes it
for granted. We say that heresy is scarcely a misfortune, though
Ignatius accounts it a deadly sin; and all this, because it is our
right, and our duty, to interpret Scripture in our own way. We uphold
the pure unmutilated Scripture; the Bible, and the Bible only, is the
religion of Protestants; the Bible and our own sense of the Bible. We
claim a sort of parliamentary privilege to interpret laws in our own
way, and not to suffer an appeal to any court beyond ourselves. We know,
and we view it with consternation, that all Antiquity runs counter to
our interpretation; and therefore, alas, the Church was corrupt from
_very_ early times indeed. But mind, we hold all this in a truly
Catholic spirit, not in bigotry. We allow in others the right of private
judgment, and confess that we, as others, are fallible men. We confess
facts are against us; we do but claim the liberty of theorizing in spite
of them. Far be it from us to say that we are certainly right; we only
say that the whole early Church was certainly wrong. We do not impose
our belief on any one; we only say that those who take the contrary
side are Papists, firebrands, persecutors, madmen, zealots, bigots, and
an insult to the nineteenth century."

To such an argument, I am aware, it avails little to oppose historical
evidence, of whatever kind. It sets out by protesting against all
evidence, however early and consistent, as the testimony of fallible
men; yet at least, the imagination is affected by an array of facts; and
I am not unwilling to appeal to the imagination of those who refuse to
let me address their reason. With this view I have been inquiring into
certain early works, which, or the authors of which, were held in
suspicion, or even condemned by the ruling authorities of the day, to
see if any vestige of an hypothetical Protestantism could be discovered
in them; and, since they make no sign, I will now interrogate a very
different class of witnesses. The consent of Fathers is one kind of
testimony to Apostolical Truth; the protest of heretics is another; now
I will come, thirdly, to received usage. To give an instance of the last
mentioned argument, I shall appeal to the Apostolical Canons, though a
reference to them will involve me in an inquiry, interesting indeed to
the student, but somewhat dry to the general reader.


These Canons, well known to Antiquity, were at one time supposed to be,
strictly speaking, Apostolical, and published before A.D. 50. On the
other hand, it has been contended that they are later than A.D. 450, and
the work of some heretics. Our own divines take a middle course,
considering them as published before A.D. 325, having been digested by
Catholic authorities in the course of the two preceding centuries, or at
the end of the second, and received and used in most parts of
Christendom. This judgment has since been acquiesced in by the
theological world, so far as this--to suppose the matter and the
enactments of the Canons to be of the highest antiquity, even though the
edition which we possess was not published so early as Bishop Beveridge,
for instance, supposes. At the same time it is acknowledged by all
parties, that they, as well as some other early documents, have suffered
from interpolation, and perhaps by an heretical hand.

They are in number eighty-five,[372] of which the first fifty are
considered of superior authority to the remaining thirty-five. What has
been conjectured to be their origin will explain the distinction. It was
the custom of the early Church, as is well known, to settle in Council
such points in her discipline, ordinances, and worship, as the Apostles
had not prescribed in Scripture, as the occasion arose, after the
pattern of their own proceedings in the fifteenth chapter of the Acts;
and this, as far as might be, after their unwritten directions, or after
their practice, or at least, after their mind, or as it is called in
Scripture, their "minding" or "spirit." Thus she decided upon the
question of Easter, upon that of heretical baptism, and the like. And,
after that same precedent in the Acts, she recorded her decisions in
formal decrees, and "delivered them for to keep" through the cities in
which her members were found. The Canons in question are supposed to be
some of these decrees, of which, first and nearest to the Apostles'
times, or in the time of their immediate successors, were published
fifty; and in the following age, thirty-five more, which had been
enacted in the interval. They claim, then, to be, first, the recorded
judgment of great portions of the Ante-Nicene Church, chiefly in the
eastern provinces, upon certain matters in dispute, and to be of
authority so far as that Church may be considered a representative of
the mind of the Apostles; next, they profess to embody in themselves
positive decisions and injunctions of the Apostles, though without
clearly discriminating how much is thus directly Apostolical, and how
much not. I will here attempt to state some of the considerations which
show both their antiquity and their authority, and will afterwards use
them for the purpose which has led me to mention them.


1. In the first place, it would seem quite certain that, as, on the one
hand, Councils were held in the primitive Church, so, on the other,
those Councils enacted certain Canons. When, then, a Collection presents
itself professing to consist of the Ante-Nicene Canons, there is nothing
at all to startle us; it only professes to set before us that which we
know anyhow must have existed. We may conjecture, if we please, that the
fact that there were Canons may have suggested and encouraged a
counterfeit. Certainly; but though the fact that there were Canons will
account for a counterfeit, it will not account for those original Canons
being lost; on the contrary, what is known to have once existed as a
rule of conduct, is likely to continue in existence, except under
particular circumstances. Which of the two this existing Collection is,
the genuine or the counterfeit, must depend on other considerations; but
if these considerations be in favour of its genuineness, then this
antecedent probability will be an important confirmation.

Canons, I say, must have existed, whether these be the real ones or no;
and the circumstance that there were real ones existing must have tended
to make it difficult to substitute others. It would be no easy thing in
our own Church to pass off another set of Articles for the Thirty-nine,
and to obliterate the genuine. Canons are public property, and have to
be acted upon by large bodies. Accordingly, as might be expected, the
Nicene Council, when enacting Canons of its own, refers to certain
Canons as already existing, and speaks of them in that familiar and
indirect way which would be natural under the circumstances, just as we
speak of our Rubrics or Articles. The Fathers of that Council mention
certain descriptions of persons whom "_the Canon_ admits into holy
orders;" they determine that a certain rule shall be in force,
"according to the Canon which says so and so;" they speak of a
transgression of the Canon, and proceed to explain and enforce it. Nor
is the Nicene the only Council which recognizes the existence of certain
Canons, or rules, by which the Church was at that time bound. The
Councils of Antioch, Gangra, Constantinople, and Carthage, in the same
century, do so likewise; so do individual Fathers, Alexander,
Athanasius, Basil, Julius, and others.

Now here we have lighted upon an important circumstance, whatever
becomes of the particular Collection of Canons before us. It seems that
at the Nicene Council, only two centuries and a quarter after St. John's
death, about the distance of time at which we live from the Hampton
Court Conference, all Christendom confessed that from time immemorial it
had been guided by certain ecclesiastical rules, which it considered of
authority, which it did not ascribe to any particular persons or synods
(a sign of great antiquity), and which writers of the day assigned to
the Apostles. I suppose we know pretty well, at this day, what the
customs of our Church have been since James the First's time, or since
the Reformation; and if respectable writers at present were to state
some of them,--for instance, that it is and has been the rule of our
Church that the king should name the bishops, that Convocation should
not sit without his leave, or that Easter should be kept according to
the Roman rule,--we should think foreigners very unreasonable who
doubted their word. Now, in the case before us, we find the Church
Catholic, the first time it had ever met together since the Apostles'
days, speaking as a matter of course of the rules to which it had ever
been accustomed to defer.

If we knew no more than this, and did not know what the rules were; or
if, knowing what they were, we yet decided, as we well might, that the
particular rules are not of continual obligation; still, the very
circumstance that there _were_ rules from time immemorial would be a
great fact in the history of Christianity. But we do know, from the
works of the Fathers, the _subjects_ of these Canons, and that to the
number of thirty or forty of them; so that we might form a code, as far
as it goes, of primitive discipline, quite independent of the particular
Collection which is under discussion. However, it is remarkable that all
of these thirty or forty are found in this Collection, being altogether
nearly half the whole number, so that the only question is, whether the
rest are of that value which we know belongs to a great proportion of
them. It is worth noticing, that _no_ Ecclesiastical Canon is mentioned
in the historical documents of the primitive era which is not found in
this Collection, for it shows that, whoever compiled it, the work was
done with considerable care. The opponents to its genuineness bring,
indeed, several exceptions, as they wish to consider them; but these
admit of so satisfactory an explanation as to illustrate the proverb,
that _exceptio probat regulam_.

Before going on to consider the whole Collection, let us see in what
terms the ancient writers speak of those particular Canons to which they
actually refer.

(1.) Athanasius speaks as follows:--"Canons and forms," he says, when
describing the extraordinary violences of the Arians, "were not given to
the Churches in this day, but were _handed down_ from our fathers well
and securely. Nor, again, has the faith had its beginning in this day,
but has passed on even to us from the Lord through His disciples. Rouse
yourselves, then, my brethren, to prevent that from perishing unawares
in the present day _which has been observed in the Churches from ancient
times down to us_, and ourselves from incurring a responsibility in what
has been intrusted to us."--_Ep. Encycl._ 1. It is remarkable, in this
extract, that St. Athanasius accurately distinguishes between the Faith
which came from Christ, and the Canons received from the Fathers of old
time: which is just the distinction which our divines are accustomed to

(2) Again: the Arians, by simoniacal dealings with the civil power, had
placed Gregory in the see of Alexandria. Athanasius observes upon
this:--"Such conduct is both _a violation of the Ecclesiastical Canons_,
and forces the heathen to blaspheme, as if appointments were made, not
by Divine ordinance, but by merchandise and secular influence."--_Ibid._

(3) Arsenius, bishop of Hypsela, who had been involved in the
Meletian[373] schism, and had acted in a hostile way towards Athanasius,
at length reconciled himself to the Church. In his letter to Athanasius
he promises "to be obedient to _the Ecclesiastical Canon_, according to
ancient usage, and never to put forth any regulation, whether about
bishops or any other public ecclesiastical matter, without the sanction
of his metropolitan, but to _submit to all the established
Canons_."--_Apol. contr. Arian._ 69.

(4) In like manner, St. Basil, after speaking of certain crimes for
which a deacon should be reduced to lay communion, proceeds, "_for it is
an ancient Canon_, that they who lose their degree should be subjected
to this kind of punishment only."--_Ep._ 188. Again: "_The Canon_
altogether excludes from the ministry those who have been twice

(5) When Arius and his abettors were excommunicated by Alexander of
Alexandria, they betook themselves to Palestine, and were re-admitted
into the Church by the bishops of that country. On this, Alexander
observes as follows:--"A very heavy imputation, doubtless, lies upon
such of my brethren as have ventured on this act, in that it is _a
violation of the Apostolical Canon_."--_Theod. Hist._ i. 4.

(6) When Eusebius declined being translated from the see of Cæsarea to
Antioch, Constantine complimented him on his "observance of the
commandments of God, _the Apostolical Canon_, and the rule of the
Church,"--_Vit. Constant._ iii. 61,--which last seems to mean the
regulation passed at Nicæa.

(7) In like manner, Julius, bishop of Rome, speaks of a violation of
"_the Apostles' Canons_;" and a Council held at Constantinople, A.D.
394, which was attended by Gregory Nyssen, Amphilochius, and Flavian, of
a determination of "_the Apostolical Canons_."

It will be observed that in some of these instances the Canons are
spoken of in the plural, when the particular infraction which occasions
their mention relates only to one of them. This shows they were
collected into a code, if, indeed, that need be proved; for, in truth,
that various Canons should exist, and be in force, and yet not be put
together, is just as unlikely as that no collection should be made of
the statutes passed in a session of Parliament.

With this historical information about the existence, authority, and
subject-matter of certain Canons in the Church from time immemorial, we
should come to many anti-Protestant conclusions, even if the particular
code we possess turned out to have no intrinsic authority. And now let
us see how the matter stands on this point as regards this code of
eighty-five Canons.


2. If this Collection existed _as_ a Collection in the time of the above
writers and Councils, then, considering they allude to nearly half its
Canons, and that no Canons are anywhere producible which are not in it,
and that they do seem to allude to a Collection, and that no other
Collection is producible, we certainly could not avoid the conclusion
that they referred to _it_, and that, therefore, in quoting parts of it
they sanction the whole. If no book is to be accounted genuine except
such parts of it as happen to be expressly cited by other writers,--if
it may not be regarded as a whole, and what is actually cited made to
bear up and carry with it what is not cited,--no ancient book extant can
be proved to be genuine. We believe Virgil's Æneid to be Virgil's,
because we know he wrote an Æneid, and because particular passages which
we find in it, and in no other book, are contained, under the name of
Virgil, in subsequent writers or in criticisms, or in accounts of it. We
do not divide it into rhapsodies, _because_ it only exists in fragments
in the testimony of later literature. For the same reason, if the
Canons before us can be shown to have existed as one book in
Athanasius's time, it is natural to conceive that they are the very book
to which he and others refer. All depends on this. If the Collection was
made after his time, of course he referred to some other; but if it
existed in his time, it is more natural to suppose that there was one
Collection than two distinct ones, so similar, especially since history
is silent about there being two.

However, I conceive it is not worth while to insist upon so early a
formation of the existing Collection. Whether it existed in Athanasius's
time, or was formed afterwards, and formed by friend or foe, heretic or
Catholic, seems to me immaterial, as I shall by-and-by show. First,
however, I will state, as candidly as I can, the arguments for and
against its antiquity _as_ a Collection.

Now there can be no doubt that the early Canons were formed into one
body; moreover, certain early writers speak of them under the name of
"the Apostles' Canons," and "Apostolical Canons." So far I have already
said. Now, certain collectors of Canons, of A.D. (more or less) 550, and
they no common authorities, also speak of "the Apostolical Canons," and
incorporate them into their own larger collections; and these which they
speak of are the very body of Canons which we now possess under the
name. We know it, for the digest of these collectors is preserved. No
reason can be assigned why they should not be speaking of the _same_
Collection which Gregory Nyssen and Amphilochius speak of, who lived a
century and a half before them; no reason, again, why Nyssen and
Amphilochius should not mean the same as Athanasius and Julius, who
lived fifty to seventy years earlier than themselves. The writers of
A.D. 550 might be just as certain that they and St. Athanasius quoted
the same work, as we, at this day, that our copy of it is the same as
Beveridge's, Pearson's, or Ussher's.

The authorities at the specified date (A.D. 550) are three--Dionysius
Exiguus, John of Antioch, patriarch of Constantinople, and the Emperor
Justinian. The learning of Justinian is well known, not to mention that
he speaks the opinion of the ecclesiastical lawyers of his age. As to
John of Antioch and Dionysius, since their names are not so familiar to
most of us, it may be advisable to say thus much--that John had been a
lawyer, and was well versed both in civil and ecclesiastical
matters,--hence he has the title of Scholasticus; while Dionysius is the
framer of the Christian era, as we still reckon it. They both made
Collections of the Canons of the Church, the latter in Latin, and they
both include the Apostolical Canons, as we have them, in their editions;
with this difference, however (which does not at present concern us),
that Dionysius published but the first fifty, while John of Antioch
enumerates the whole eighty-five.

Such is the main argument for the existence of our Collection at the end
of the third century; viz., that, whereas _a_ Collection of Apostolic
Canons is acknowledged at that date, _this_ Collection is acknowledged
by competent authorities to be that Apostolic record at the end of the
fifth. However, when we inspect the language which Dionysius uses
concerning them, in his prefatory epistle, we shall find something which
requires explanation. His words are these, addressed to Stephen, bishop
of Salona:--"We have, in the first place, translated from the Greek what
are called the Canons of the Apostles; _which, as we wish to apprise
your holiness, have not gained an easy credit from very many persons_.
At the same time, some of the decrees of the [Roman] pontiffs, at a
later date, seem to be taken from these very Canons." Here Dionysius
must only mean, that they were not received as Apostolic; for that they
were received, or at least nearly half of them, is, as I have said, an
historical fact, whatever becomes of the Collection as a Collection. He
must mean that a claim had been advanced that they were to be received
as part of the apostolic _depositum_; and he must be denying that they
had more than _ecclesiastical_ authority. The distinction between divine
and ecclesiastical injunctions requires little explanation: the latter
are imposed by the Church for the sake of decency and order, as a matter
of expedience, safety, propriety, or piety. Such is the rule among
ourselves, that dissenting teachers conforming must remain silent three
years before they can be ordained; or that a certain form of prayer
should be prescribed for universal use in public service. On the other
hand, the appointment of the Sacraments is apostolic and divine. So,
again, that no one can be a bishop unless consecrated by a bishop, is
apostolic; that three bishops are necessary in consecration, is
ecclesiastical; and, though ordinarily an imperative rule, yet, under
circumstances, admits of dispensation. Or again, it has, for instance,
in this day been debated whether the sanctification of the Lord's-day is
a divine or an ecclesiastical appointment. Dionysius, then, in the above
extract, means nothing more than to deny that the Apostles enacted these
Canons; or, again, that they enacted them _as_ Apostles; and he goes on
to say that the Popes had acknowledged the _ecclesiastical_ authority of
some of them by embodying them in their decrees. At the same time, his
language certainly seems to show as much as this, and it is confirmed by
that of other writers, that the Latin Church, though using them
separately as authority, did not receive them as a Collection with the
implicit deference which they met with in the East; indeed, the last
thirty-five, though two of them were cited at Nicæa, and one at
Constantinople, A.D. 394, seem to have been in inferior account. The
Canons of the General Councils took their place, and the Decrees of the


This, then, seems to be the state of the case as regards the Collection
or Edition of Canons, whether fifty or eighty-five, which is under
consideration. Speaking, not of the Canons themselves, but of this
particular edition of them, I thus conclude about it--that, whether it
was made at the end of the third century, or later, there is no
sufficient proof that it was strictly of authority; but that it is not
very material that it should be proved to be of authority, nay, or even
to have been made in early times. Give us the Canons themselves, and we
shall be able to prove the point for which I am adducing them, even
though they were not at first formed into a collection. They are, one by
one, witnesses to us of a state of things.

Indeed, it must be confessed, that probability is against this
Collection having ever been regarded as an authority by the ancient
Church. It was an _anonymous_ Collection; and, as being anonymous,
seemed to have no claim upon Christians. They would consider that a
collection or body of Canons could only be imposed by a _Council_; and
since the Council could not be produced which imposed this in
particular, they had no reason to admit it. They might have been in the
practice of acting upon this Canon, and that, and the third, and so on
to the eighty-fifth, from time immemorial, and that as Canons, not as
mere customs, and might confess the obligation of each: and yet might
say, "We never looked upon them as a _code_," which should be something
complete and limited to itself. The true sanction of each was the
immemorial observance of each, not its place in the Collection, which
implied a competent framer. Moreover, in proportion as General Councils
were held, and enacted Canons, so did the vague title of mere usage,
without definite sanction, become less influential, and the ancient
Canons fell into disregard. And what made this still more natural was
the circumstance that the Nicene Council did re-enact a considerable
number of those which it found existing. It substituted then a definite
authority, which, in after ages, would be much more intelligible than
what would have by that time become a mere matter of obscure antiquity.
Nor did it tend to restore their authority, when their advocates,
feeling the difficulty of their case, referred the Collection to the
Apostles themselves: first, because this assertion could not be
maintained; next, because, if it could, it would have seemingly deprived
the Church of the privilege of making Canons. It would have made those
usages divine which had ever been accounted only ecclesiastical. It
would have raised the question whether, under such circumstances, the
Church had more right to add to the code of really Apostolic Canons than
to Scripture; discipline, as well as doctrine, would have been given by
direct revelation, and have been included in the fundamentals of

If, however, all this be so, it follows that we are not at liberty to
argue, from one part of this Collection having been received, that
therefore every other was also; as if it were one authoritative work. No
number of individual Canons being proved to be of the first age will
tend to prove that the remainder are of the same. It is true; and I do
not think it worth while to contest the point. For argument-sake I will
grant that the bond, which ties them into one, is not of the most
trustworthy and authoritative description, and will proceed to show that
even those Canons which are not formally quoted by early writers ought
to be received as the rules of the Ante-Nicene Church, independently of
their being found in one compilation.


3. I have already said that nearly half of the Canons, as they stand in
the Collection, are quoted as Canons by early writers, and thus placed
beyond all question, as remains of the Ante-Nicene period: the following
arguments may be offered in behalf of the rest:--

(1) They are otherwise known to express _usages_ or _opinions_ of the
Ante-Nicene centuries. The simple question is, whether they had been
reflected on, recognized, converted into principles, enacted, obeyed;
whether they were the unconscious and unanimous result of the one
Christian spirit[374] in every place, or were formal determinations from
authority claiming obedience. This being the case, there is very little
worth disputing about; for (whether we regard them as being religious
practices or as religious antiquities) if uniform custom was in favour
of them, it does not matter whether they were enacted or not. If they
were not, their universal observance is a still greater evidence of
their extreme antiquity, which, in that case, can be hardly short of the
Apostolic age; and we shall refer to them in the existing Collection,
merely for the sake of convenience, as being brought together in a short

Nay, a still more serious conclusion will follow, from supposing them
not to be enactments--much more serious than any I am disposed to draw.
If it be maintained that these observances, though such, did not arise
from injunctions on the part of the Church, then, it might be argued,
the Church has no power over them. As not having imposed, she cannot
abrogate, suspend, or modify them. They must be referred to a higher
source, even to the inspired Apostles; and their authority is not
ecclesiastical, but divine. We are almost forced, then, to consider them
as enactments, even when they are not recognized by ancient writers as
such, lest we should increase the authority of some of them more than
seems consistent with their subject-matter.

Again, if such Canons as are not appealed to by ancient writers are
nevertheless allowed to have been really enacted, on the ground of our
finding historically that usage corresponds to them; it may so be that
others, about which the usage is not so clearly known, are real Canons
also. There is a _chance_ of their being genuine; for why, in drawing
the line, should we decide by the mere accident of the usage admitting
or not admitting of clear historical proof?

(2) Again, all these Canons, or at least the first fifty, are composed
in uniform style; there is no reason, as far as the internal evidence
goes, why one should be more primitive than another, and many, we know,
were certainly in force as Canons from the earliest times.

(3) This argument becomes much more cogent when we consider _what_ that
style is. It carries with it evident marks of primitive simplicity, some
of which I shall instance. The first remark which would be made on
reading them relates to their brevity, the breadth of the rules which
they lay down, and their plain and unartificial mode of stating them. An
instance of this, among others which might be taken, is supplied by a
comparison of the 7th of them with one of a number of Canons passed at
Antioch by a Council held A. D. 341, and apparently using the
Apostolical Canons as a basis for its own. The following, read with the
words in brackets, agrees, with but slight exceptions, with the
Antiochene Canon, and, without them, with the Apostolical:--

"All who come [to church] and hear the [holy] Scriptures read, but do
not remain to prayer [with the people,] and [refuse] the holy communion
[of the Eucharist, these] must be put out of the Church, as disorderly,
[until, by confession, and by showing fruits of penitence, and by
entreaty, they are able to gain forgiveness."]

(4) Now this contrast, if pursued, will serve to illustrate the
antiquity of the Apostolical Canons in several ways, besides the
evidence deducible from the simplicity of their structure. Thus the word
"metropolitan" is introduced into the thirty-fifth Canon of Antioch; no
such word occurs in the Apostolical Canon from which it is apparently
formed. There it is simply said, "the principal bishop;" or, literally,
the primus. This accords with the historical fact, that the word
metropolitan was not introduced till the fourth century. The same remark
might be made on the word "province," which occurs in the Canon of
Antioch, not in the other. This contrast is strikingly brought out in
two other Canons, which correspond in the two Collections. Both treat of
the possessions of the Church; but the Apostolical Canon says simply,
"the interests of the Church," "the goods of the Church;" but the
Antiochene, composed after Christianity had been acknowledged by the
civil power, speaks of "the revenue of the Church," and "the produce of
the land."

Again, when attempts have been made to show that certain words are
contained in the Canons before us which were not in use in the
Ante-Nicene times, they have in every case failed in the result, which
surely may be considered as a positive evidence in favour of their
genuineness. For instance, the word "clergy," for the ministerial body,
which is found in the Apostolical Canons, is also used by Origen,
Tertullian, and Cyprian. The word "reader," for an inferior order in the
clergy, is used by Cornelius, bishop of Rome; nay, by Justin Martyr.
"Altar," which is used in the Canons, is the only word used for the
Lord's table by St. Cyprian, and, before him, by Tertullian and
Ignatius. "Sacrifice" and "oblation," for the consecrated elements,
found in the Canons, are also found in Clement of Rome, Justin Irenæus,
and Tertullian.

This negative evidence of genuineness extends to other points, and
surely is of no inconsiderable weight. We know how difficult it is so to
word a forgery as to avoid all detection from incongruities of time,
place, and the like. A forgery, indeed, it is hardly possible to suppose
this Collection to be, both because great part of it is known to be
genuine, and because no assignable object would be answered by it; but
let us imagine the compiler hastily took up with erroneous traditions,
or recent enactments, and joined them to the rest. Is it possible to
conceive, under such circumstances, that there would be no anachronisms
or other means of detection? And if there are none such, and much more
if the compiler, who lived perhaps as early as the fourth century, found
none such (supposing we may assume him willing and qualified to judge of
them), nay, if Dionysius Exiguus found none such, what reasons have we
for denying that they are the produce of those early times to which they
claim to belong? Yet so it is; neither rite, nor heresy, nor observance,
nor phrase, is found in them which is foreign to the Ante-Nicene
period. Indeed, the only reason one or two persons have thrown suspicion
on them has been an unwillingness on their part to admit episcopacy,
which the Canons assert; a necessity which led the same parties to deny
the genuineness of St. Ignatius' epistles.[375]

(5) I will make one more remark:--First, these Canons come to us, not
from Rome, but from the East, and were in a great measure neglected, or
at least superseded in the Church, after Constantine's day, especially
in the West, where Rome had sway; these do not embody what are called
"Romish corruptions." Next, there is ground for suspecting that the
Collection or Edition which we have was made by heretics, probably
Arians, though they have not meddled with the main contents of them.
Thus, while the neglect of them in later times separates them from
Romanism, the assent of the Arians is a second witness, in addition to
their recognition by the first centuries, in evidence of their
Apostolical origin. Those first centuries observe them; contemporary
heretics respect them; only later and corrupt times pass them by. May
they not be taken as a fair portrait, as far as they go, of the
doctrines and customs of Primitive Christianity?


I do wish out-and-out Protestants would seriously lay to heart where
they stand when they would write a history of Christianity. Are there
any traces of Luther before Luther? Is there anything to show that what
they call the religion of the Bible was ever professed by any persons,
Christians, Jews, or heathen? Again, are there any traces in history of
a process of change in Christian belief and practice, so serious, or so
violent, as to answer to the notion of a great corruption or perversion
of the Primitive Religion? Was there ever a time, what was the time,
when Christianity was not that which Protestants protest against, as if
formal, unspiritual, self-righteous, superstitious, and unevangelic? If
that time cannot be pointed out, is not "the Religion of Protestants" a
matter, not of past historical fact, but of modern private judgment?
Have they anything to say in defence of their idea of the Christianity
of the first centuries, except that that view of it is necessary to
their being Protestants. "Christians," they seem to say, "_must_ have
been in those early times different from what the record of those times
shows them to have been, and they must, as time went on, have fallen
from that faith and that worship which they had at first, though history
is quite silent on the subject, _or else_ Protestantism, which is the
apple of our eye, is not true. We are driven to hypothetical facts, or
else we cannot reconcile with each other phenomena so discordant as
those which are presented by ancient times and our own. We claim to
substitute _à priori_ reasoning for historical investigation, by the
right of self-defence and the duty of self-preservation."

I have urged this point in various ways, and now I am showing the light
which the Canons of the Apostles throw upon it. There is no reasonable
doubt that they represent to us, on the whole, and as far as they go,
the outward face of Christianity in the first centuries;--now will the
Protestant venture to say that he recognizes in it any likeness of his
own Religion? First, let him consider what is conveyed in the very idea
of Ecclesiastical Canons? This: that Christians could not worship
according to their fancy, but must think and pray by rule, by a set of
rules issuing from a body of men, the Bishops, over whom the laity had
no power whatever. If any men at any time have been priest-ridden, such
was the condition of those early Christians. And then again, what
becomes of the Protestant's watchword, "the Bible, the whole Bible, and
nothing but the Bible," if a set of Canons might lawfully be placed upon
their shoulders, as if a second rule of faith, to the utter exclusion of
all free-and-easy religion? and what room was there for private
judgment, if they had to obey the bidding of certain fallible men? and
what is to be done with the great principle, "Unity, not Uniformity," if
Canons are to be recognized, which command uniformity as well as unity?

So much at first sight; but when we go on to examine what these Canons
actually contain, their incompatibility with the fundamental principles
of Protestantism becomes still more patent. I will set down some
instances in proof of this. Thus, we gather from the Canons the
following facts about Primitive Christianity:--viz., that,

1. There was a hierarchy of ordained ministers, consisting of the three
orders of Bishops, Priests, and Deacons.

2. Their names were entered on a formal roll or catalogue.

3. There were inferior orders, such as readers and chanters.

4. Those who had entered into the sacred orders might not afterwards

5. There were local dioceses, each ruled by a Bishop.

6. To him and him only was committed the care of souls in his diocese.

7. Each Bishop confined himself to his own diocese.

8. No secular influence was allowed to interfere with the appointment of

9. The Bishops formed one legislative body, and met in Council twice a
year, for the consideration of dogmatic questions and points in

10. One of them had the precedence over the rest, and took the lead;
and, as the priests and people in each diocese obeyed their Bishop, so
in more general matters the Bishops deferred to their Primus.

11. Easter and Pentecost were great feasts, and certain other days
feasts also. There was a Lent Fast; also a Fast on Easter Eve; and on
Wednesdays and Fridays.

12. The state of celibacy was recognized.

13. Places of worship were holy.

14. There was in their churches an altar, and an altar service.

15. There was a sacrifice in their worship, of which the materials were
bread and wine.

16. There were oblations also of fruits of the earth, in connection with
the sacrifice.

17. There were gold and silver vessels in the rite, and these were

18. There were sacred lamps, fed with olive oil, and incense during the
holy rite.

19. Baptism was administered in the name of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

20. Excommunication was inflicted on Christians who disgraced their

21. No one might pray, even in private, with excommunicated persons,
except at the cost of being excommunicated himself.

22. No one might pray with heretics, or enter their churches, or
acknowledge their baptism, or priesthood.


These rules furnish us with large portions, and the more important, of
the outline of the religion of their times; and are not only definitive
in themselves, but give us the means of completing those parts of it
which are not found in them. Considered, then, as a living body, the
primitive Christian community was distinguished by its high sacerdotal,
ceremonial, mystical character. Which among modern religious bodies was
it like? Was it like the Wesleyans? was it like the Society of Friends?
was it like the Scotch Kirk? was it like any Protestant denomination at
all? Fancy any model Protestant of this day in a state of things so
different from his own! With his religious societies for the Church,
with his committees, boards, and platforms instead of Bishops, his
_Record_ and _Patriot_ newspapers instead of Councils, his concerts for
prayer instead of anathemas on heresy and schism, his spoutings at
public meetings for exorcisms, his fourths of October for festivals of
the Martyrs, his glorious memories for commemorations of the dead, his
niggard vestry allowances for gold and silver vessels, his gas and
stoves for wax and oil, his denunciations of self-righteousness for
fasting and celibacy, and his exercise of private judgment for
submission to authority--would he have a chance of finding himself at
home in a Christianity such as this? is it his own Christianity?

       *       *       *       *       *

I end, then, as I began:--If Protestantism is another name for
Christianity, then the Martyrs and Bishops of the early Church, the men
who taught the nations, the men who converted the Roman Empire, had
themselves to be taught, themselves to be converted. Shall we side with
the first age of Christianity, or with the last?


[372] This account is for the most part taken from Bishops Beveridge and

[373] The Egyptian Meletius, from which this schism has its name, must
not be confounded with Meletius of Antioch.

[374] The [Greek: ekklêsiastikon phronêma].

[375] Vid. the parallel case of the Ignatian Epistles in the Author's
Essays, vol. i, p. 266.

NOTE ON P. 366.

Lately the relics of St. Ambrose have been discovered in his Church at
Milan, as were the relics of St. Gervasius and St. Protasius several
years since. On this subject I received a month since a letter from a
friend, who passed through Milan, and saw the sacred remains. I will
quote a portion of his letter to me:--

  "_Sept. 17, 1872._

     "I am amazed at the favour which was shown me yesterday at the
     Church of St. Ambrogio. I was accidentally allowed to be present at
     a private exposition of the relics of St. Ambrose and the Saints
     Gervasius and Protasius. I have seen complete every bone in St.
     Ambrose's body. There were present a great many of the clergy,
     three _medici_, and Father Secchi, who was there on account of his
     great knowledge of the Catacombs, to testify to the age, etc., of
     the remains. It was not quite in chance, for I wanted to go to
     Milan, solely to venerate St. Ambrose once more, and to thank him
     for all the blessings I have had as a Catholic and a Priest, since
     the day that I said Mass over his body. The churches were shut when
     I arrived; so I got up early next morning and went off to the
     Ambrosian. I knelt down before the high altar, and thought of all
     that had happened since you and I were there, twenty-six years ago.
     As I was kneeling, a cleric came out; so I asked him to let me into
     the _scurolo_, which was boarded up all round for repairs. He took
     me there, but he said: 'St. Ambrose is not here; he is above; do
     you wish to see him?' He took me round through the corretti into a
     large room, where, on a large table, surrounded by ecclesiastics
     and medical men, were three skeletons. The two were of immense
     size, and very much alike, and bore the marks of a violent death;
     their age was determined to be about twenty-six years. When I
     entered the room, Father Secchi was examining the marks of
     martyrdom on them. Their throats had been cut with great violence,
     and the neck vertebræ were injured on the inside. The _pomum
     Adami_ had been broken, or was not there; I forget which. This bone
     was quite perfect in St. Ambrose; his body was wholly uninjured;
     the lower jaw (which was broken in one of the two martyrs) was
     wholly uninjured in him, beautifully formed, and every tooth, but
     one molar in the lower jaw, quite perfect and white and regular.
     His face had been long, thin, and oval, with a high arched
     forehead. His bones were nearly white; those of the other two were
     very dark. His fingers long and very delicate; his bones were a
     marked contrast to those of the two martyrs.

     "The finding, I was told, was thus:--In the ninth century the
     Bishop of Milan translated the relics of St. Ambrose, which till
     then had laid side by side with the martyrs in one great stone
     coffin of two compartments, St. Gervase being, according to the
     account, nearest to St. Ambrose. He removed St. Ambrose from this
     coffin into the great porphyry urn which we both saw in the
     _scurolo_; leaving the martyrs where they were. In 1864 the
     martyrs' coffin was opened, and one compartment was found empty,
     except a single bone, the right-ankle bone, which lay by itself in
     that empty compartment. This was sent to the Pope as all that
     remained of St. Ambrose; in the other compartment were the two
     skeletons complete. St. Ambrose's urn was not opened till the other
     day, when it was removed from its place for the alterations. The
     bones were found perfect all but the ankle bone. They then sent for
     it to Rome, and the President of the Seminary showed me how it
     fitted exactly in its place, having been separated from it for nine

     "The Government seems very desirous to make a handsome restoration
     of the whole chapel, and the new shrine will be completed by May

Thus far my friend's letter.

I have not been able in such historical works as are at my command to
find notice of Archbishop Angelbert's transferring St. Ambrose's body
from the large coffin of the martyrs to the porphyry urn which has been
traditionally pointed out as the receptacle of the Saint, and in which
he was recently found. That the body, however, recently disinterred
actually was once in the coffin of the martyrs is evidenced by its
right-ankle bone being found there. Another curious confirmation arises
from my friend's remark about the missing tooth, when compared with the
following passage from Ughelli, Ital. Sacr. t. iv. col. 82:--

"Archbishop Angelbert was most devout to the Church of St. Ambrose, and
erected a golden altar in it, at the cost of 30,000 gold pieces. The
occasion of this gift is told us by Galvaneus, among others, in his
Catalogue, when he is speaking of Angelbert. His words are
these:--'Angelbert was Archbishop for thirty-five years, from A.D. 826,
and out of devotion he extracted a tooth from the mouth of St. Ambrose,
and placed it in his [episcopal] ring. One day the tooth fell out from
the ring; and, on the Archbishop causing a thorough search to be made
for it, an old woman appeared to him, saying, "You will find the tooth
in the place from which you took it." On hearing this, the Archbishop
betook himself to the body of St. Ambrose, and found it in the mouth of
the blessed Ambrose. Then, to make it impossible for anything in future
[or anything else, de cætero] to be taken from his body, he hid it under
ground, and caused to be made the golden altar of St. Ambrose, etc.

Castellionæus in his Antiquities of Milan (apud Burman. Antiqu. Ital. t.
3, part 1. col. 487) tells us that the Archbishop lost his relic "as he
was going in his pontifical vestments to the Church of St. Lawrence on
Palm Sunday. He found he had lost it in the way thither, for, on taking
off his gloves, he saw it was gone."

It would seem from my friend's letter that either the Archbishop took
away the tooth a second time, or the miracle of its restoration did not
take place.

It should be added that the place in which Angelbert hid the sacred
relics was so well known, that in the twelfth century Cardinal Bernard,
Bishop of Parma, was allowed to see and venerate them,--Vid. Puricelli's
Ambros. Basil. Descriptio. c. 58 and c. 352, ap. Burman. Thesaur.
Antiqu. Ital. t. 4, part 1.

That St. Ambrose was buried in his own church, called even from the time
of his death the "Ambrosian," and the church where he had placed the
bones of the two martyrs, Gervasius and Protasius, by the side of whom
he proposed to have his own body placed, is plain from his own words and
those of Paulinus his Secretary.

       *       *       *       *       *

For the controversy on the subject vid. Castellion. _ubi supra._


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     Imperial Power--Sanctity the Token of the Christian
     Empire--Condition of the Members of the Christian Empire--The
     Apostolic Christian--Wisdom and Innocence--Invisible Presence of
     Christ--Outward and Inward Notes of the Church--Grounds for
     Steadfastness in our Religious Profession--Elijah the Prophet of
     the Latter Days--Feasting in Captivity--The Parting of Friends.


     CONTENTS.--The Salvation of the Hearer the Motive of the
     Preacher--Neglect of Divine Calls and Warnings--Men not Angels--The
     Priests of the Gospel--Purity and Love--Saintliness the Standard of
     Christian Principle--God's Will the End of Life--Perseverance in
     Grace--Nature and Grace--Illuminating Grace--Faith and Private
     Judgment--Faith and Doubt--Prospects of the Catholic
     Missioner--Mysteries of Nature and of Grace--The Mystery of Divine
     Condescension--The Infinitude of Divine Attributes--Mental
     Sufferings of our Lord in His Passion--The Glories of Mary for the
     Sake of Her Son--On the Fitness of the Glories of Mary.


     CONTENTS.--Intellect the Instrument of Religious Training--The
     Religion of the Pharisee and the Religion of Mankind--Waiting for
     Christ--The Secret Power of Divine Grace--Dispositions for
     Faith--Omnipotence in Bonds--St. Paul's Characteristic Gift--St.
     Paul's Gift of Sympathy--Christ upon the Waters--The Second
     Spring--Order, the Witness and Instrument of Unity--The Mission of
     St. Philip Neri--The Tree beside the Waters--In the World but not
     of the World--The Pope and the Revolution.



     CONTENTS.--Faith considered as the Instrumental Cause of
     Justification--Love considered as the Formal Cause of
     Justification--Primary Sense of the term "Justification"--Secondary
     Senses of the term "Justification"--Misuse of the term "Just" or
     "Righteous"--The Gift of Righteousness--The Characteristics of the
     Gift of Righteousness--Righteousness viewed as a Gift and as a
     Quality--Righteousness the Fruit of our Lord's Resurrection--The
     Office of Justifying Faith--The Nature of Justifying Faith--Faith
     viewed relatively to Rites and Works--On Preaching the



     I. In Nine Discourses delivered to the Catholics of Dublin; II. In
     Occasional Lectures and Essays addressed to the members of the
     Catholic University.

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  _Adventures of King James II. of England_                           11

  Antony (C. M.) _St. Antony of Padua_                                 9
    ---- ---- _St. Pius V._                                            9

  Arundell (Lord) _Papers_                                             8

  _Assisi_ (_St. Francis of_) A Biography, by J. Jörgensen             8

  Balfour (Mrs. Reginald) _The Life and Legend of the Lady Saint Clare_  7

  Barnes (A. S.) _The Origin of the Gospels_                           3

  Barrett (E. Boyd) _Motive Force and Motivation-Tracks_               5

  Barry (W.) _The Tradition of Scripture_                              3

  Batiffol (P.) _Credibility of the Gospel_                            5
    ---- ---- _History of the Roman Breviary_                          5
    ---- ---- _Primitive Catholicism_                                  5

  Benson (R. H.) _Christ in the Church_                                4
    ---- ---- _Cost of a Crown_                                       14
    ---- ---- _Friendship of Christ_                                   4
    ---- ---- _Mystery Play_                                          14
    ---- ---- _The Maid of Orleans_                                   14
    ---- ---- _Non-Catholic Denominations_                             3
    ---- ---- _The Child's Rule of Life_                               4

  Boedder (B.) _Natural Theology_                                      2

  Bosch (Mrs. H.) _Bible Stories told to "Toddles"_                   12
    ---- ---- _When "Toddles" was Seven_                              12

  Bougaud (Mgr.) _History of St. Vincent de Paul_                      7

  Brown (H.) _Handbook of Greek Composition_                          13
    ---- ---- _Homeric Study_                                         13
    ---- ---- _Latin Composition_                                     13
    ---- (S. J.) _A Reader's Guide to Irish Fiction_                  15

  Burton (E. H.) _Life and Times of Bishop Challoner_                 10
    ---- ---- and Myers (E.) _The New Psalter and Breviary Reform_     3

  Carrol (F.) _St. Peter of Alcantara_                                 9

  _Catholic Church from Within_                                        4

  _Challoner, Life and Times of Bishop_                               10

  Chapman (J.) _Bishop Gore and Catholic Claims_                       4
    ---- ---- _The Study of the Fathers_                               3

  _Chisel, Pen, and Poignard_                                         11

  _Christ, A Life of, for Children_                                   12

  Clarke (R. F.) _Logic_                                               2

  _Class-Teaching (The) of English Composition_                       13

  Coffey (P.) _The Science of Logic_                                   5

  Conway (P.) _St. Thomas Aquinas_                                     9

  Corcoran (T.) _Studies in the History of Classical Teaching_        13

  Costelloe (L.) _St. Bonaventure_                                     9

  Cronin (M.) _The Science of Ethics._ Vol. I.                         6

  _Curious Case of Lady Purbeck_                                      11

  Delehaye (H.) _The Legends of the Saints_                            3

  _Delecta Biblica_                                                   13

  De Montalembert (Count) _Life of St. Elizabeth of Hungary_           7

  Devas (C. S.) _Political Economy_                                    2
    ---- ---- _The Key to the World's Progress_                        6

  _De Vere (Aubrey), Memoir of_, by Wilfrid Ward                       7

  Dewe (J. A.) _Psychology of Politics and History_                   10

  De Wulf (M.) _History of Medieval Philosophy_                        5
    ---- ---- _Scholasticism, Old and New_                             5

  _Digby, Life of Sir Kenelm_                                         11

  Dobrée (L. E.) _Stories on the Rosary_                              14

  Drane (A. T.) _History of St. Catherine of Siena_                    7
    ---- ---- _Memoir (Mother Francis Raphael)_                        7

  Dwight (T.) _Thoughts of a Catholic Anatomist_                       6

  Emery (S. L.) _The Inner Life of the Soul_                           4

  _Falklands_                                                         11

  _First Duke and Duchess of Newcastle-on-Tyne_                       11

  Fitz-Gerald (V.) _St. John Capistran_                                9

  Fitzgerald (K.) _Parlez-vous Français_                              13

  Fortescue (A.) _The Mass_                                            3

  Fouard (Abbé) _St. John and the Close of the Apostolic Age_          8
    ---- ---- _St. Paul and his Missions_                              8
    ---- ---- _St. Peter_                                              8
    ---- ---- _The Christ the Son of God_                              8
    ---- ---- ---- _Last Years of St. Paul_                            8

  _Fountain of Life (The)_                                            13

  Francis (M. E.) _Christian Thal_                                    16
    ---- ---- _Dorset Dear_                                           16
    ---- ---- _Fiander's Widow_                                       16
    ---- ---- _Lychgate Hall_                                         16
    ---- ---- _The Manor Farm_                                        16
    ---- ---- _Yeoman Fleetwood_                                      16

  _Friar Saint Series_                                                 9

  Gerard (J.) _The Old Riddle and the Newest Answer_                   6

  Gerrard (T. J.) _Cords of Adam_                                      5

  _Grammar Lessons_, by the Principal of St. Mary's Hall, Liverpool   13

  Hedley (J. C.) _The Holy Eucharist_                                  3

  Hogan (S.) _St. Vincent Ferrer_                                      9

  Hughes (T.) _History of the Society of Jesus in North America_      11

  Hunter (S. J.) _Outlines of Dogmatic Theology_                       5

  _Index to The Month_                                                 6

  Irons (G.) _A Torn Scrap Book_                                      14

  Jarrett (B.) _St. Antoninus of Florence_                             9

  Joppen (C.) _Historical Atlas of India_                             13

  Jörgensen (J.) _St. Francis of Assisi_                               8

  Joyce (G. H.) _Principles of Logic_                                 13
    ---- (P. W.) _Ancient Irish Music_                                14
    ---- ---- _Child's History of Ireland_                            12
    ---- ---- _English as we Speak it in Ireland_                     12
    ---- ---- _Grammar of the Irish Language_                         12
    ---- ---- _Handbook of School Management_                         12
    ---- ---- _History of Ireland for Australian Catholic Schools_    12
    ---- ---- _Irish Peasant Songs_                                   14
    ---- ---- _Old Celtic Romances_                                   14
    ---- ---- _Old Irish Folk Music_                                  14
    ---- ---- _Origin and History of Irish Names of Places_           10
    ---- ---- _Outlines of the History of Ireland_                    12
    ---- ---- _Reading Book in Irish History_                         12
    ---- ---- _Short History of Ireland_                              10
    ---- ---- _Social History of Ireland_                             10
    ---- ---- _Story of Irish Civilisation_                           10
    ---- ---- _Wonders of Ireland_                                    10

    ---- (R. D.) _Ballads of Irish Chivalry_                          14

  Kane (R.) _The Plain Gold Ring_                                      5
    ---- ---- _The Sermon of the Sea_                                  5

  Keating (T. P.) _Science of Education_                              13

  Leith (W. F.) _Memoirs of the Scottish Catholics_                   10

  _Lives of the Friar Saints_                                          9

  Lumsden (C.) _The Dawn of Modern England_                           10

  Maxwell-Scott (Hon. Mrs.) _Life of the Marquise de la Rochejaquelein_  7

  McNabb (V.) _Infallibility_                                          4

  Maher (M.) _Psychology_                                              2

  _Marshal Turenne_                                                   11

  Maturin (B. W.) _Laws of the Spiritual Life_                         4
    ---- ---- _Self-Knowledge and Self-Discipline_                     4
    ---- ---- _The Price of Unity_                                     4

  Miles (G. H.) _Christine and other Poems_                           15
    ---- ---- _Review of Hamlet_                                      15
    ---- ---- _Said the Rose_                                         15

  Montalembert (Count de) _St. Elizabeth of Hungary_                   7

  _Month, The_                                                         6

  Moyes (J.) _Aspects of Anglicanism_                                  4

  Mulhall (M. M.) _Beginnings, or Glimpses of Vanished Civilizations_  10
    ---- ---- _Explorers in the New World before and after Columbus_   7

  Murphy (A.) _St. Leonard of Port-Maurice_                            9

  Myers (E.) _The Breviary_                                            3

  Newman (Cardinal) _Addresses to, 1879-81_                           21
    ---- ---- _Apologia pro Vita sua_                                 20
    ---- ---- _Arians of the Fourth Century_                          19
    ---- ---- _Callista, an Historical Tale_                          20
    ---- ---- _Church of the Fathers_                                 19
    ---- ---- _Critical and Historical Essays_                        19
    ---- ---- _Development of Christian Doctrine_                     18
    ---- ---- _Difficulties of Anglicans_                             20
    ---- ---- _Discourses to Mixed Congregations_                     18
    ---- ---- _Discussions and Arguments_                             19
    ---- ---- _Dream of Gerontius_                                    20
    ---- ---- Maurice Francis Egan, D.D., LL.D., With Notes by        20
    ---- ---- ---- ---- Facsimile Edition                             20
    ---- ---- ---- ---- Presentation Edition                          20
    ---- ---- _Essays on Miracles_                                    19
    ---- ---- _Grammar of Assent_                                     18
    ---- ---- _Historical Sketches_                                   19
    ---- ---- _Idea of a University_                                  18
    ---- ---- _Justification_                                         18
    ---- ---- _Letters and Correspondence_                            21
    ---- ---- _Life_, by  Wilfrid Ward      7, 21
    ---- ---- _Loss and Gain_                                         20
    ---- ---- _Meditations and Devotions_                             21
    ---- ---- _Memorial Sermons_                                      21
    ---- ---- _Oxford University Sermons_                             17
    ---- ---- _Parochial Sermons_                                     17
    ---- ---- _Present Position of Catholics_                         20
    ---- ---- _Select Treatises of St. Athanasius_                    19
    ---- ---- _Selections from Sermons_                               17
    ---- ---- _Sermons on Subjects of the Day_                        17
    ---- ---- _Sermons Preached on Various Occasions_                 18
    ---- ---- _Theological Tracts_ 19
    ---- ---- _University Teaching_ 18
    ---- ---- _Verses on Various Occasions_                           20
    ---- ---- _Via Media_                                             20

  O'Malley (A.) and Walsh (J. J.) _Pastoral Medicine_                  6

  _Pryings among Private Papers_                                      11

  _Quick and Dead_                                                    13

  Reginald (M.) _St. Louis Bertrand_                                   9

  Rickaby (John) _First Principles of Knowledge_                       2
    ---- ---- _General Metaphysics_                                    2
    ---- (Joseph) _Moral Philosophy_                                   2
    ---- ---- and McIntyre (Canon) _Newman Memorial Sermons_          21

  _Rochester and other Literary Rakes_                                11

  Roche (W.) _The House and Table of God_                              4

  Rockliff (E.) _An Experiment in History Teaching_                   13

  Rose (V.) _Studies on the Gospels_                                   5

  Russell (M.) _Among the Blessed_                                     6
    ---- ---- _At Home with God_                                       6
    ---- ---- _The Three Sisters of Lord Russell of Killowen_          8

  Ruville (A. Von) _Back to Holy Church_ 4
    ---- ---- _Humility the True Talisman_                             4

  Ryder (I.) _Essays_                                                  8

  Scannell (T. B.) _The Priest's Studies_                              3

  Schwertner (T.) _St. Raymond of Pennafort_                           9

  Serbati (A.) _Theodicy_                                              5

  Sheehan (P. A.) _Blindness of Dr. Gray_ 16
    ---- ---- _Early Essays and Lectures_                             16
    ---- ---- _Glenanaar_                                             16
    ---- ---- _Lisheen_                                               16
    ---- ---- '_Lost Angel of a Ruined Paradise_'                     16
    ---- ---- _Luke Delmege_                                          16
    ---- ---- _Parerga_                                               16
    ---- ---- _The Queen's Fillet_                                    16
    ---- ---- _The Intellectuals_                                     16

  Smith (S. F.) _The Instruction of Converts_ 3

  STONYHURST PHILOSOPHICAL SERIES                                      2

  Stuart (J. E.) _The Education of Catholic Girls_                    13

  Thurston (H.) _Lent and Holy Week_                                   4
    ---- ---- _The Christian Calendar_                                 3

  Vacandard (E.) _The Inquisition_                                    10

  Walker (L. J.) _Theories of Knowledge_                               2

  Ward (B.) _Dawn of the Catholic Revival in England_                 10
    ---- ---- _Eve of Catholic Emancipation_ 10
    ---- (M.) _St. Bernardine of Siena_                                9
    ---- (Wilfrid) _Aubrey de Vere, a Memoir_                          7
    ---- ---- _Life of Cardinal Newman_     7, 21
    ---- ---- _Ten Personal Studies_                                   8
    ---- ---- _The Life of Cardinal Wiseman_                           7
    ---- (Mrs. Wilfrid) _Great Possessions_                           15
    ---- ---- _One Poor Scruple_ 15
    ---- ---- _Out of Due Time_                                       15
    ---- ---- _The Job Secretary_ 15
    ---- ---- _The Light Behind_ 15

  WESTMINSTER LIBRARY (THE)                                            3

  Wiseman (Cardinal) Life, by Wilfrid Ward 7

  Wyatt-Davies (E.) _History of England for Catholic Schools_         12
    ---- ---- _Outlines of British History_                           12

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