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    THE SIXTH SESSION, OCTOBER 25

    56. At this session the emperor Marcian and the empress Pulcheria, came with their whole court to ratify the decision which the council in the previous session had reached concerning the faith. Marcian opened the session in a speech, spoken first in Latin and repeated in Greek, which was as follows:—ECE 175.4

    “From the beginning of our reign we have had the purity of the faith peculiarly at heart. As now, through the avarice or perversity of some, many have been seduced to error, we summoned the present synod so that all error and all obscurity might be dispelled, that religion might shine forth from the power of its light, and that no one should in future venture further to maintain concerning the incarnation of our Lord and Saviour, anything else than that which the apostolic preaching and the decree, in accordance therewith, of the three hundred and eighteen holy Fathers have handed down to posterity, and which is also testified by the letter of the holy pope Leo of Rome to Flavian. In order to strengthen the faith, but not at all to exercise violence, we have wished, after the example of Constantine, to be personally present at the synod, so that the nations may not be still more widely separated by false opinions. Our efforts were directed to this, that all, becoming one in the true doctrine, may return to the same religion, and honor the true Catholic faith. May God grant this.”ECE 176.1

    57. As soon as he had finished the speech in Latin,—ECE 176.2

    The bishops unanimously exclaimed.—“Many years to the emperor many years to the empress; he is the only son of Constantine. Prosperity to Marcian, the new Constantine!”ECE 176.3

    58. After he had repeated the speech in Greek, the bishops repeated their shouts of adulation. Then the whole declaration, preamble and all, concerning the faith, was read, at the close of which—ECE 176.4

    The emperor Marcian.—“Does this formula of the faith express the view of all?”ECE 176.5

    The six hundred bishops all shouting at once.—“We all believe thus; there is one faith, one will; we are all unanimous, and have unanimously subscribed; we are all orthodox! This is the faith of the Fathers, the faith of the apostles, the faith of the orthodox; this faith has saved the world. Prosperity to Marcian, the new Constantine, the new Paul, the new David! long years to our sovereign lord David! You are the peace of the world, long life! Your faith will defend you. Thou honorest Christ. He will defend thee. Thou hast established orthodoxy.... To the august empress, many years! You are the lights of orthodoxy.... .Orthodox from her birth, God will defend her. Defender of the faith, may God defend her. Thou hast persecuted all the heretics. May the evil eye be averted from your empire! Worthy of the faith, worthy of Christ! So are the faithful sovereigns honored.... Marcian is the new Constantine, Pulcheria is the new Helena!...Your life is the safety of all; your faith is the glory of the churches. By thee the world is at peace; by thee the orthodox faith is established; by thee heresy ceases to be. Long life to the emperor and empress!” 23[Page 177] Quoted by Stanley, “History of the Eastern Church,” lecture ii, par. 4.ECE 176.6

    59. The emperor then “gave thanks to Christ that unity in religion had again been restored, and threatened all, as well private men and soldiers as the clergy, with heavy punishment if they should again stir up controversies respecting the faith,” and proposed certain ordinances which were made a part of the canons established in future sessions. As soon as he had ceased speaking, the bishops again shouted, “Thou art priest and emperor together, conqueror in war and teacher of the faith.”ECE 177.1

    60. The council was sitting in the church of St. Euphemia, and Marcian now announced that in honor of St. Euphemia and the council, he bestowed upon the city of Chalcedon the title and dignity of “metropolis;” and in return the bishops all unanimously exclaimed, “This is just; an Easter be over the whole world; the holy Trinity will protect thee. We pray dismiss us.”ECE 177.2

    61. Instead of dismissing them, however, the emperor commanded them to remain “three or four days longer,” and to continue the proceedings. The council continued until November 1, during which time ten sessions were held, in which there was much splitting of theological hairs, pronouncing curses, and giving the lie; and an immense amount of hooting and yelling in approval or condemnation. None of it, however, is worthy of any further notice except to say that twenty-eight canons were established, the last of which confirmed to the archbishopric of Constantinople the dignity which had been bestowed by the Council of Constantinople seventy years before, and set at rest all dispute on the matter of jurisdiction by decreeing that in its privileges and ecclesiastical relations it should be exalted to, and hold, the first place after that of Old Rome. Against this, however, Leo’s legates protested at the time; and Leo himself, in three letters—one to Marcian, one to Pulcheria, and one to Anatolius—denounced it in his own imperious way.ECE 177.3

    62. Having closed its labors, the council drew up and sent to Leo a memorial beginning with the words of Psalm 126:2, which read in substance as follows:—ECE 177.4

    “Our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with joy.’ECE 178.1

    “The reason of this joy is the confirmation of the faith which has been preserved by your Holiness and the blissful contents of which have been translated by you as interpreter of the voice of Peter. You the bishops of Chalcedon have taken as their guide, in order to show to the sons of the Church the inheritance of the truth. Your letter has been for us a spiritual, imperial banquet, and we believe we have had the heavenly Bridegroom present at it in our midst. As the head over the members, so have you, by your representatives, had the predominance among us. In order that everything might proceed in the most orderly manner, however, the faithful emperors have had the presidency. The wild beast Dioscorus, having in his madness attacked even him who is by the Saviour a keeper of the divine vineyard, and having dared to excommunicate him whose vocation it is to unite the body of the Church, the synod has inflicted meet punishment upon him because he has not repented and appeared in answer to our exhortation. All our other business has been prosperously conducted by God’s grace and through St. Euphemia, who has crowned the assembly held in her bridal chamber, and has transmitted its doctrinal decree as her own to her bridegroom Christ by the hand of the emperor and the empress.... We have also confirmed the canon of the synod of the one hundred and fifty Fathers, by which the second rank is assigned to the see of Constantinople, immediately after thy holy and apostolic see. We have done it with confidence, because you have so often allowed the apostolic ray which shines by you to appear to the church at Constantinople, and because you are accustomed ungrudgingly to enrich those who belong to you by allowing them participation in your own possessions. Be pleased, therefore, to embrace this decree as though it were thine own, most holy and most blessed father. Thy legates have strongly opposed it, probably because they thought that this good regulation, like the declaration of the faith, should proceed from thyself. But we were of an opinion that it belonged to the Ecumenical Synod to confirm its prerogatives to the imperial city in accordance with the wish of the emperor, assuming that when thou hadst heard it, thou wouldst regard it as thine own act. For all that the sons have done, which is good, conduces to the honor of the Fathers. We pray thee, honor our decree also by thine assent; and as we have assented to thy good decree, so may thy loftiness accomplish that which is meet toward the sons. This will also please the emperors, who have sanctioned thy judgment in the faith as law; and the see of Constantinople may well receive a reward for the zeal with which it united itself with thee in the matter of religion. In order to show that we have done nothing from favor or dislike toward any one, we have brought the whole contents of what we have done to thy knowledge, and have communicated it to thee for confirmation and assent.”ECE 178.2

    63. This was followed up December 18, by two letters to Leo from the emperor and the archbishop of Constantinople, Anatolius, saying that he had constantly done all for the honor of Leo and his legates, and from reverence for the pope, the council and himself had transmitted all to Leo for his approval and confirmation; Marcian expressing his gladness that the true faith had received its expression in accordance with the letter of Leo, and both praying him to approve and confirm the decrees of the council, and especially the canon in reference to the see of Constantinople. Leo steadily denounced that canon, however. But as Anatolius, in a letter, April, 454, acknowledged to Leo: “The whole force and confirmation of the decrees have been reserved for your Holiness:” this was to yield absolutely all to Leo, as far as it was possible for the council and its members to go.ECE 179.1

    64. February 7, A. D. 452, the emperor Marcian, in the name of himself and Valentinian III, issued the following edict confirming the creed of the council:—ECE 179.2

    “That which has been so greatly and universally desired is at last accomplished. The controversy respecting orthodoxy is over, and unity of opinion is restored among the nations. The bishops assembled in Chalcedon at my command from various exarchies, have taught with exactness in a doctrinal decree what is to be maintained in respect to religion. All unholy controversy must now cease, as he is certainly impious and sacrilegious who, after the declaration made by so many bishops, thinks that there still remains something for his own judgment to examine. For it is evidently a sign of extreme folly when a man seeks for a deceptive light in broad day. He who, after discovery has been made of the truth, still inquires after something else, seeks for falsehood. No cleric, no soldier, and generally no one, in whatever position he may be, must venture publicly to dispute concerning the faith, seeking to produce confusion, and to find pretexts for false doctrines. For it is an insult to the holy synod to subject that which it has decreed and fundamentally established, to new examinations and public disputes, since that which was recently defined concerning the Christian faith is in accordance with the doctrine of the three hundred and eighteen Fathers and the regulation of the one hundred and fifty Fathers. The punishment of the transgressors of this law shall not be delayed, since they are not only opponents of the lawfully established faith but also by their contentions betray the holy mysteries to the Jews and heathen. If a cleric ventures openly to dispute respecting religion, he shall be struck out of the catalogue of the clergy, the soldier shall be deprived of his belt, other persons shall be removed from the residence city, and shall have suitable punishments inflicted upon them, according to the pleasure of the courts of justice.”ECE 179.3

    65. The following July 28, he issued a decree in which he forbade the Eutychians to have any clergy; and if anybody should attempt to appoint any, both they who should appoint and he who was appointed, should be punished with confiscation of goods and banishment for life. They were forbidden to hold any assemblies of any kind, or to build or to live in monasteries. If they should presume to hold any kind of meeting, then the place where it was held would be confiscated, if it was with the knowledge of the owner. But if, without the knowledge of the owner it was rented by some one for them, he who rented it should be punished with a beating, with confiscation of goods, and with banishment. They were declared incapable of inheriting anything by will, or of appointing any Eutychian an heir. If any were found in the army, they were to be expelled from it. Those of them who had formerly been in the orthodox faith, and also the monks of the monastery—he called it the “stable”—of Eutyches, were to be driven entirely beyond the boundaries of the Roman Empire. All their writings were to be burnt, whoever circulated them was to be banished, and all instruction in the Eutychian doctrine was to be “rigorously punished.” And finally, all governors of provinces with their officials, and all judges in the cities who should be negligent in enforcing the law, were to be fined ten pounds of gold, as despisers of religion and the laws. At the same time that this last decree was issued, Eutyches and Dioscorus were sentenced to banishment. Eutyches died before the sentence was enforced, and Dioscorus died in exile at Gangra in Paphlagonia two years afterward.ECE 180.1

    66. As Leo had published his letters rejecting the canon concerning the see of Constantinople, and had not yet formally published any approval of the doctrinal decree of the council, the report went abroad throughout the East that he had repudiated all the decisions of the council. The report, therefore, was a new incentive to all who disagreed with the creed of the council, and “heresy” became again so prevalent that Feb. 15, A. D. 453, Marcian addressed a letter to Leo, earnestly beseeching him as soon as possible to issue a decree in confirmation of the decision of the Council of Chalcedon, “so that no one might have any further doubt as to the judgment of his Holiness.” March 21, Leo responded in the following words:—ECE 180.2

    “I doubt not, brethren, that you all know how willingly I have confirmed the doctrinal decree of the Synod of Chalcedon. You would have been able to learn this not only from the assent of my legates, but also from my letters to Anatolius of Constantinople, if he had brought the answer of the apostolic see to your knowledge. But that no one may doubt my approving of that which was decreed at the Synod of Chalcedon by universal consent in regard to the faith, I have directed this letter to all my brethren and fellow-bishops who were present at the synod named, and the emperor will, at my request, send it to you, so that you may all know that, not merely by my legates, but also by my own confirmation of it, I have agreed with you in what was done at the synod; but only, as must always be repeated, in regard to the subject of the faith, on account of which the general council was assembled at the command of the emperors, in agreement with the apostolic see. But in regard to the regulations of the Fathers of Nicaea, I admonish you that the rights of the individual churches must remain unaltered, as they were there established by the inspired Fathers. No unlawful ambition must covet that which is not its own, and no one must increase by the diminution of others. And that which pride has obtained by enforced assent, and thinks to have confirmed by the name of a council, is invalid, if it is in opposition to the canons of the aforesaid Fathers[of Nicaea]. How reverentially the apostolic see maintains the rules of these Fathers, and that I by God’s help shall be a guardian of the Catholic faith and of the ecclesiastical canons, you may see from the letter by which I have resisted the attempts of the bishop of Constantinople.”ECE 181.1

    67. As the necessity for the Council of Chalcedon was created by the will of Leo alone; as the council when assembled was ruled from beginning to end by his legates in his name; as the documents presented in the council were addressed to “Leo, the most holy, blessed, and universal patriarch of the great city of Rome, and to the holy and Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon;” as the council distinctly acknowledged Leo as its head, and the members of the council as members of him; as the judgments were pronounced as his own; as his letter was made the test, and the expression of the faith, and with that all were required to agree; as the decisions of the council were submitted to him for approval, and were practically of little or no force until he had formally published his approval, and then only such portion as he did approve; as, in short, everything in connection with the council sprung from his will and returned in subjection to his will,—Leo, and in him the bishopric of Rome, thus became essentially the fountain of the Catholic faith.ECE 181.2

    68. It is not at all surprising, therefore, that Leo should officially declare that the doctrinal decrees of the Council of Chalcedon were inspired. This is precisely what he did. In a letter to Bishop Julian of Cos (Epistle 144), he said: “The decrees of Chalcedon are inspired by the Holy Spirit, and are to be received as the definition of the faith for the welfare of the whole world.” And in a letter (Epistle 145) to the emperor Leo, who succeeded Marcian in A. D. 457, he said: “The Synod of Chalcedon was held by divine inspiration.” As therefore, the doctrinal decrees of the Council of Chalcedon were the expression of the will of Leo; and as these decrees were published and held as of divine inspiration; by this turn, it was a very short cut to the infallibility of the bishop of Rome.ECE 182.1

    69. Now let the reader turn to pages 145, 183, and 185, and compare the Italicized words in the statement of Eutyches, in the statement of the commissioners in the council, and in the creed of Chalcedon. It will be seen that Leo and the council came so near to saying what Eutyches had said, that no difference can be perceived. Eutyches had been condemned as a heretic for saying that in Christ, after the incarnation, the two natures are one. Now Leo and the council express the orthodox faith by saying that in Christ there are two natures united in one. In other words, Eutyches was a condemned heretic for saying that Christ is “of two natures;” while Leo and the council were declared everlastingly orthodox for saying that Christ is “in two natures.” In Greek, the difference was expressed in the two small words, ek and en; which like the two large words, Homoousion and Homoiousion, in the beginning of the controversy between Alexander and Arius, differed only in a single letter. And like that also, the meaning of the two words is so “essentially the same,“ that he who believes either, believes the other. “Such was the device of the envious and God-hating demon in the change of a single letter, that, while in reality the one expression was completely inductive of the notion of the other, still with the generality the discrepancy between them was held to be considerable, and the ideas conveyed by them to be clearly in diametric opposition, and exclusive of each other; whereas he who confesses Christ in two natures, clearly affirms him to be from two, ...and on the other hand, the position of one who affirms his origin from two natures, is completely inclusive of his existence in two...So that in this case by the expression, ’from two natures,’ is aptly suggested the thought of the expression, in two,’ and conversely; nor can there be a severance of the terms.”—Evagrius. 24[Page 183] “Ecclesiastical History,” book ii, chap. v; Hefele’s “History of the Church Councils,” sec. cxciii par. 5, note; Schaff’s “History of the Christian Church,” vol. iii, sec. cxl, par. 9, note 2; sec. cxli, par. 12, note 4.ECE 182.2

    70. And that is all that there was in this dispute, or in any of those before it, in itself. Yet out there came constant and universal violence, hypocrisy, bloodshed, and murder, which speedily wrought the utter ruin of the empire, and established a despotism over thought which remained supreme for ages, and which is yet asserted and far too largely assented to.ECE 183.1

    71. The whole world having been thus once more brought to the “unity of the faith,” the controversy, the confusion, and the violence, went on worse than before. But as the faith of Leo which was established by the Council of Chalcedon, “substantially completes the orthodox Christology of the ancient Church,” and has “passed into all the confessions of the Protestant churches” (Schaff 25[Page 183] “History of the Christian Church,” Vol. iii, sec. cxlii, pars, 1, 2.); and as the work of these four general councils—Nice, Constantinople, first of Ephesus, and Chalcedon—was to put dead human formulas in the place of the living oracles of God; a woman in the place of Christ; and MAN IN THE PLACE OF GOD; it is not necessary to follow any farther that particular course of ambitious strife and theological contention.ECE 183.2

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