THE COUNCIL OF GANGRA, HISTORICAL NOTE, SYNODICAL LETTER & CANONS

THE COUNCIL OF GANGRA.

A.D. 325-4181.

Emperor.--CONSTANTINE.

Elenchus.

Historical Introduction. Synodal Letter. Canons with the Ancient Epitome and Notes.

HISTORICAL INTRODUCTION.

With regard to the Synod of Gangra we know little beside what we learn from its own synodal letter. Three great questions naturally arise with regard to it.

  1. What was its date?

  2. Who was the Eustathius it condemned?

  3. Who was its presiding officer?

I shall briefly give the reader the salient points with regard to each of these matters.

1. With regard to the date, there can be no doubt that it was after Nice and before the First Council of Constantinople, that is between 325 and 381. Socrates(1) seems to place it about 365; but Sozomen(2) some twenty years earlier. On the other hand, Remi Ceillier(3) inconsistently with his other statements, seems to argue from St. Basil's letters that the true date is later than 376. Still another theory has been urged by the Ballerini, resting on the supposition that the Eusebius who presided was Eusebius of Caesarea, and they therefore fix the date between 362 and 370. With this Mr. Ffoulkes agrees, and fixes the date,(4) with Pagi, at 358, and is bold enough to add, "and this was unquestionably the year of the Council." But in the old collections of canons almost without exception, the canons of Gangra precede those of Antioch, and Blondel and TilIemont(5) have sustained this, which perhaps I may call the traditional date.

2. There does not seem to be any reasonable ground to doubt that the person condemned, Eustathius by name, was the famous bishop of Sebaste. This may be gathered from both Sozomen(6) and Socrates,(7) and is confirmed incidentally by one of St. Basil's epistles,(8) Moreover, Eustathius's See of Sebaste is in Armenia, and it is to the bishops of Armenia that the Synod addresses its letter. It would seem in view of all this that Bp. Hefele's words are not too severe when he writes, "Under such circumstances the statement of Baronius, Du Pin, and others (supported by no single ancient testimony) that another Eustathius, or possibly the monk Eutactus, is here meant, deserves no serious consideration, though Tillemont did not express himself as opposed to it"(9)

The story that after his condemnation by the Synod of Gangra Eustathius gave up wearing his peculiar garb and other eccentricities, Sozomen only gives as a report.(10)

3. As to who was the president, it seems tolerably certain that his name was Eusebius--if Sozomen(11) indeed means it was "Eusebius of Constantinople," it is a blunder, yet he had the name right. In the heading of the Synodal letter Eusebius is first named, and as Gangra and Armenia were within the jurisdiction of Caesarea, it certainly would seem natural to suppose that the Eusebius named was the Metropolitan of that province, but it must be remembered that Eusebius of Cappadocia was not made bishop until 362, four years after Mr. Ffoulkes makes him preside at Gangra. The names of thirteen bishops are given in the Greek text.

The Latin translations add other names, such as that of Hosius of Cordova, and some Latin writers have asserted that he presided as legate latere from the pope, e.g., Baronius(12) and Binius.(13) Hefele denies this and says: "At the time of the Synod of Gangra Hosius was without doubt dead."(1) But such has not been the opinion of the learned, and Cave(2) is of opinion that Hosius's episcopate covered seventy years ending with 361, and (resting on the same opinion) Pagi thinks Hosius may have attended the Synod in 358 on his way back to Spain, an opinion with which, as I have said, Mr. Ffoulkes agrees. It seems also clear that by the beginning of the sixth century the Synod of Gangra was looked upon at Rome as having been held under papal authority; Pope Symmachus expressly saying so to the Roman Synod of 504. (Vide Notes on Canons vii. and viii.)

It remains only further to remark that the Libellus Synodicus mentions a certain Dius as president of the Synod. The Ballarini(3) suggest that it should be <greek>bios</greek> an abbreviation of Eusebius. Mr. Ffoulkes suggests that Dius is "probably Dianius, the predecessor of Eusebius." Lightfoot(4) fixes the episcopate of Eusebius Pumphili as between 313 and 337; and states that that of Eusebius of Caesarea in Cappadocia did not begin until 362, so that the enormous chronological difficulties will be evident to the reader.

As all the proposed new dates involve more or less contradiction, I have given the canons their usual position between Neocaesarea and Antioch, and have left the date undetermined.

SYNODICAL LETTER OF THE COUNCIL OF GANGRA.

EUSEBIUS, AElian, Eugenius, Olympius, Bithynicus, Gregory, Philetus, Pappus, Eulalius, Hypatius, Proaeresius, Basil and Bassus,(1) assembled in the holy Synod at Gangra, to our most honoured lords and fellow-ministers in Armenia wish health in the Lord.

FORASMUCH as the most Holy Synod of Bishops, assembled on account of certain necessary matters of ecclesiastical business in the Church at Gangra, on inquiring also into the matters which concern Eustathius, found that many things had been unlawfully done by these very men who are partisans of Eustathius, it was compelled to make definitions, which it has hastened to make known to all, for the removal of whatever has by him been done amiss. For, from their utter abhorrence of marriage, and from their adoption of the proposition that no one living in a state of marriage has any hope towards God, many misguided married women have forsaken their husbands, and husbands their wives: then, afterwards, not being able to contain, they have fallen into adultery; and so, through such a principle as this, have come to shame. They were found, moreover, fomenting separations from the houses of God and of the Church; treating the Church and its members with disdain, and establishing separate meetings and assemblies, and different doctrines and other things in opposition to the Churches and those things which are done in the Church; wearing strange apparel, to the destruction of the common custom of dress; making distributions, among themselves and their adherents as saints, of the first-fruits of the Church, which have, from the first, been given to the Church; slaves also leaving their masters, and, on account of their own strange apparel, acting insolently towards their masters; women, too, disregarding decent custom, and, instead of womanly apparel, wearing men's clothes, thinking to be justified because of these; while many of them, under a pretext of piety, cut off the growth of hair, which is natural to woman; [and these persons were found] fasting on the Lord's Day, despising the sacredness of that free day, but disdaining and eating on the fasts appointed in the Church; and certain of them abhor the eating of flesh; neither do they tolerate prayers in the houses of married persons, but, on the contrary, despise such prayers when they are made, and often refuse to partake when Oblations are offered in the houses of married persons; contemning married presbyters, and refusing to touch their ministrations; condemning the services in honour of the Martyrs(2) and those who gather or minister therein, and the rich also who do not alienate all their wealth, as having nothing to hope from God; and many other things that no one could recount. For every one of them, when he forsook the canon of the Church, adopted laws that tended as it were to isolation; for neither was there any common judgment among all of them; but whatever any one conceived, that he propounded, to the scandal of the Church, and to his own destruction.

Wherefore, the Holy Synod present in Gangra was compelled, on these accounts, to condemn them, and to set forth definitions declaring them to be cast out of the Church; but that, if they should repent and anathematize every one of these false doctrines, then they should be capable of restoration. And therefore the Holy Synod has particularly set forth everything which they ought to anathematize before they are received. And if any one will not submit to the said decrees, he shall be anathematized as a heretic, and excommunicated, and cast out of the Church; and it will behove the bishops to observe a like rule in respect of all who may be found with them.

THE CANONS OF THE HOLY FATHERS ASSEMBLED AT GANGRA, WHICH WERE SET FORTH AFTER THE COUNCIL OF NICE.(1)

CANON I.

IF any one shall condemn marriage, or abominate and condemn a woman who is a believer and devout, and sleeps with her own husband, as though she could not enter the Kingdom [of heaven] let him be anathema.

NOTES.

ANCIENT EPITOME OF CANON I.

Anathema to him who disregards legitimate marriage.

When one considers how deeply the early church was impressed with those passages of Holy Scripture which she understood to set forth the superiority of the virgin over the married estate, it ceases to be any source of astonishment that some should have run into the error of condemning marriage as sinful. The saying of our Blessed Lord with reference to those who had become "eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake,"(2) and those words of St. Paul "He that giveth his virgin in marriage doeth well, but he that giveth her not in marriage doeth better,"(3) together with the striking passage in the Revelation of those that were "not defiled with women for they are virgins,"(4) were considered as settling the matter for the new dispensation. The earliest writers are filled with the praises of virginity. Its superiority underlies the allegories of the Hermes Pastor;(5) St. Justin Martyr speaks of "many men and women of sixty and seventy years of age who from their childhood have been the disciples of Christ, and have kept themselves uncorrupted,"(6) and from that time on there is an ever-swelling tide of praise; the reader must be referred to SS. Cyprian, Athanasius, Cyril of Jerusalem, Jerome, Augustine, etc., etc. In fact the Council of Trent (it cannot be denied) only gave expression to the view of all Christian antiquity both East and West, when it condemned those who denied that "it is more blessed to remain virgin or celibate than to be joined in marriage."(7)

This canon is found in the Corpus Juris Canonici, Gratian's Decretum, Pars I., Distinc. xxx., c. xii. (Isidore's version), and again Dist. xxxi., c. viii. (Dionysius's version). Gratian, however, supposes that the canon is directed against the Manichaeans and refers to the marriage of priests, but in both matters he is mistaken, as the Roman Correctors and Van Espen point out.

CANON II.

IF any one shall condemn him who eats flesh, which is without blood and has not been offered to idols nor strangled, and is faithful and devout, as though the man were without hope [of salvation] because of his eating, let him be anathema.

NOTES.

ANCIENT EPITOME OF CANON II.

Anathema also to him who condemns the eating of flesh, except that of a suffocated animal or that offered to idols.

HEFELE.

This canon also, like the preceding one, is not directed against the Gnostics and Manicheans, but against an unenlightened hyper-asceticism, which certainly approaches the Ghostic-Manichean error as to matter being Satanic. We further see that, at the time of the Synod of Gangra, the rule of the Apostolic Synod with regard to blood and things strangled was still in force. With the Greeks, indeed, it continued always in force as their Euchologies still show. Balsamon also, the well-known commentator on the canons of the Middle Ages, in his commentary on the sixty-third Apostolic Canon, expressly blames the Latins because they had ceased to observe this command. What the Latin Church, however, thought on this subject about the year 400, is shown by St. Augustine in his work Contra Faustum, where he states that the Apostles had given this command in order to unite the heathens and Jews in the one ark of Noah; but that then, when the barrier between Jewish and heathen converts had fallen, this command concerning things strangled and blood had lost its meaning, and was only observed by few. But still, as late as the eighth century, Pope Gregory the Third (731) forbade the eating of blood or things strangled under threat of a penance of forty days.

No one will pretend that the disciplinary enactments of any council, even though it be one of the undisputed Ecumenical Synods, can be of greater and more unchanging force than the decree of that first council, held by the Holy Apostles at Jerusalem, and the fact that its decree has been obsolete for centuries in the West is proof that even Ecumenical canons may be of only temporary utility and may be repealed by disuser, like other laws.

This canon is found in the Corpus Juris Canonici, Gratian's Decretum, Pars I., Dist. XXX., c. xiii.

CANON III.

IF any one shall teach a slave, under pretext of piety, to despise his master and to run away from his service, and not to serve his own master with good-will and all honour, let him be anathema.

NOTES.

ANCIENT EPITOME OF CANON III.

Anathema to him who persuades a slave to leave his master under pretence of religion.

VAN ESPEN.

This canon is framed in accordance with the doctrine of the Apostle, in I. Timothy, chapter six, verse 1. "Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed." And again the same Apostle teaches his disciple Titus that he should "exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again; not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things." (Titus ii. 9 and 10.)

These texts are likewise cited by Balsamon and Zonaras.

This Canon is found in the Corpus Juris Canonici, Gratian's Decretum, Pars. II., Causa XVII., Q. IV., c. xxxvij. in the version of Isidore, and again in c. xxxviij. from the collections of Martin Bracarensis (so says Van Espen) and assigned to a council of Pope Martin, Canon xlvii.

CANON IV.

IF any one shall maintain, concerning a married presbyter, that is not lawful to partake of the oblation when he offers it, let him be anathema.

NOTES.

ANCIENT EPITOME OF CANON IV.

Anathema to him who hesitates to receive communion from presbyters joined in matrimony.

HEFELE.

As is well known, the ancient Church, as now the Greek Church, allowed those clergy who married before their ordination to continue to live in matrimony. Compare what was said above in the history of the Council of Nicaea, in connection with Paphnutius, concerning the celibacy and marriage of priests in the ancient Church. Accordingly this canon speaks of those clergy who have wives and live in wedlock; and Baronius, Binius, and Mitter-Muller gave themselves useless trouble in trying to interpret it as only protecting those clergy who, though married, have since their ordination ceased to cohabit with their wives.

The so-called Codex Ecclesioe Romanoe published by Quesnel, which, however, as was shown by the Ballerini,(1) is of Gallican and not Roman origin, has not this canon, and consequently it only mentions nineteen canons of Gangra.

CANON V.

IF any one shall teach that the house of God and the assemblies held therein are to be despised, let him be anathema.

NOTES.

ANCIENT EPITOME OF CANON V.

Whoso styles the house of God contemptible, let him be anathema.

This canon is found in the Corpus Juris Canonici, Gratian's Decretum, Pars I., Dist. xxx., c.x. The commentators find nothing to say upon the canon, and in fact the despising of the worship of God's true church is and always has been so common a sin, that it hardly calls for comment; no one will forget that the Prophet Malachi complains how in his days there were those who deemed "the table of the Lord contemptible" and said of his worship "what a weariness is it." (Mal. i., 7 and 13.)

CANON VI.

IF any one shall hold private assemblies outside of the Church, and, despising the canons, shall presume to perform ecclesiastical acts, the presbyter with the consent of the bishop refusing his permission, let him be anathema.

NOTES.

ANCIENT EPITOME OF CANON VI.

Whoso privately gathers a religious meeting let him be anathema.

HEFELE.

Both these canons, [V. and VI.] forbid the existence of conventicles, and conventicle services. It already appears from the second article of the Synodal Letter of Gangra, that the Eustathians, through spiritual pride, separated themselves from the rest of the congregation, as being the pure and holy, avoided the public worship, and held private services of their own. The ninth, tenth, and eleventh articles of the Synodal Letter give us to understand that the Eustathians especially avoided the public services, when married clergy officiated. We might possibly conclude, from the words of the sixth canon: <greek>mh</greek> <greek>sunontos</greek> <greek>tou</greek> <greek>presbuperou</greek> <greek>kata</greek> <greek>gnwmhn</greek> <greek>tou</greek> <greek>episkopou</greek>, that no priest performed any part in their private services; but it is more probable that the Eustathians, who did not reject the priesthood as such, but only abhorred the married clergy, had their own unmarried clergy, and that these officiated at their separate services. And the above-mentioned words of the canon do not the least contradict this supposition, for the very addition of the words <greek>kata</greek> <greek>gnwmhn</greek> <greek>tou</greek> <greek>episkopou</greek> indicate that the sectarian priests who performed the services of the Eustathians had received no permission to do so from the bishop of the place. Thus did the Greek commentators, Balsamon, etc., and likewise Van Espen, interpret this canon.

The meaning of this canon is very obscure. The Latin reads non conveniente presbytero, de episcopi sententia; and Lambert translates "without the presence of a priest, with consent of the bishop." Hammond differs from this and renders thus, "without the concurrence of the presbyter and the consent of the bishop." I have translated literally and left the obscurity of the original.

CANON VII.

IF any one shall presume to take the fruits offered to the Church, or to give them out of the Church, without the consent of the bishop, or of the person charged with such things, and shall refuse to act according to his judgment, let him be anathema.

ANCIENT EPITOME OF CANON VII.

Whoso performs church acts contrary to the will of a bishop or of a presbyter, let him be anathema.

CANON VIII.

IF anyone, except the bishop or the person appointed for the stewardship of benefactions, shall either give or receive the revenue, let both the giver and the receiver be anathema.

NOTES.

ANCIENT EPITOME OF CANON VIII.

Whoso gives or receives offered fruits, except the bishop and the economist appointed to disburse charities, both he that gives, and he that receives shall be anathema.

POPE SYMMACHUS.

(In his Address to the Synod of Rome 504. Labbe and Cossart, Concilia, tom. iv., col. 1373.)

In the canons framed by Apostolic authority [i.e., by the authority of the Apostolic See of Rome, cf. Ffoulkes, Smith and Cheetham, Dict. Christ. Antiq., art. Gangra] we find it written as follows concerning the offerings of fruits which are due to the clergy of the church, and concerning those things which are offered for the use of the poor; "If anyone shall presume, etc." [Canon VII.] And again at the same council, "If anyone except the bishop, etc." [Canon VIII.] And truly it is a crime and a great sacrilege for those whose duty it is chiefly to guard it, that is for Christians and God-fearing men and above all for princes and rulers of this world, to transfer and convert to other uses the wealth which has been bestowed or left by will to the venerable Church for the remedy of their sins, or for the health and repose of their souls.

Moreover, whosoever shall have no care for these, and contrary to these canons, shall seek for, accept, or hold, or shall unjustly defend and retain the treasures given to the Church unless he quickly repent himself shall be stricken with that anathema with which an angry God smites souls; and to him that accepts, or gives, or possesses let there be anathema, and the constant accompaniment of the appointed penalty. For he can have no defence to offer before the tribunal of Christ, who nefariously without any regard to religion has scattered the substance left by pious souls for the poor.

CANON IX.

IF any one shall remain virgin, or observe continence, abstaining from marriage because he abhors it, and not on account of the beauty and holiness of virginity itself, let him be anathema.

NOTES.

ANCIENT EPITOME OF CANON IX.

Whoso preserves virginity not on account of its beauty but because he abhors marriage, let him be anathema.

The lesson taught by this canon and that which follows is that the practice of even the highest Christian virtues, such as the preservation of virginity, if it does not spring from a worthy motive is only deserving of execration.

ZONARAS.

Virginity is most beautiful of all, and continence is likewise beautiful, but only if we follow them for their own sake and because of the sanctification which comes from them. But should anyone embrace virginity, because he detests marriage as impure, and keep himself chaste, and abstains from commerce with women and marriage, because he thinks that they are in themselves wicked, he is subjected by this canon to the penalty of anathema.

This canon is found in the Corpus Juris Canonici, Gratian's Decretum, Pars I., Dist. xxx., c. v., and again Dist. xxxi., c. ix.

CANON X.

IF any one of those who are living a virgin life for the Lord's sake shall treat arrogantly the married, let him be anathema.

NOTES.

ANCIENT EPITOME OF CANON X.

Whoso treats arrogantly those joined in matrimony, let him be anathema.

On this point the fathers had spoken long before, I cite two as examples.

ST. CLEMENT.

(Epist. I., 38, Lightfoot's translation.)

So in our case let the whole body be saved in Christ Jesus, and let each man be subject unto his neighbour, according as also he was appointed with his special grace. Let not the strong neglect the weak; and let the weak respect the strong. Let the rich rain-later aid to the poor and let the poor give; thanks to God, because he hath given him one through whom his wants may be supplied. Let the wise display his wisdom, not in words, but in good works. He that is lowly in mind, let him not bear testimony to himself, but leave testimony to be borne to him by his neighbour. He that is pure in the flesh, let him be so,(1) and not boast, knowing that it is Another who bestoweth his continence upon him. Let us consider, brethren, of what matter we were made; who and what manner of beings we were, when we came into the world; from what a sepulchre and what darkness he that moulded and created us brought us into his world, having prepared his benefits aforehand ere ever we were born. Seeing therefore that we have all these things from him, we ought in all things to give thanks to him, to whom be the glory for ever and ever. Amen.

ST. IGNATIUS.

(Epist. ad Polyc. 5, Lightfoot's translation.)

Flee evil arts, or rather hold thou discourse about these, Tell my sisters to love the Lord and to be content with their husbands in flesh and in spirit. In like manner also charge my brothers in the name of Jesus Christ to love their wives, as the Lord loved the Church. If anyone is able to abide in chastity to the honour of the flesh of the Lord, let him so abide without boasting. If he boast, he is lost; and if it be known beyond the bishop, he is polluted. It becometh men and women, too, when they marry to unite themselves with the consent of the bishop, that the marriage may be after the Lord and not after concupiscence. Let all things be done to the honour of God.

This canon is found in the Corpus Juris Canonici, Gratian's Decretum, Pars I., Dist. XXX., c. iv.

CANON XI.

IF anyone shall despise those who out of faith make love-feasts and invite the brethren in honour of the Lord, and is not willing to accept these invitations because he despises what is done, let him be anathema.

NOTES.

ANCIENT EPITOME OF CANON XI.

Whoso spurns those who invite to the agape, and who when invited will not communicate with these, let him be anathema.

There are few subjects upon which there has been more difference of opinion than upon the history and significance of the Agape or Love-feasts of the Early Church. To cite here any writers would only mislead the reader, I shall therefore merely state the main outline of the discussion and leave every man to study the matter for himself.

All agree that these feasts are referred to by St. Jude in his Epistle, and, although Dean Plumptre has denied it (Smith and Cheetham, Dict., Christ. Antiq., S.V. Agapae), most writers add St. Paul in the First Epistle to the Corinthians xi. Estius (in loc.) argues with great cogency that the expression "Lord's Supper" in Holy Scripture never means the Holy Eucharist, but the love-feast, and in this view he has been followed by many moderns, but the prevalent opinion has been the opposite.

There is also much discussion as to the order in which the Agapae and the celebrations of the Holy Sacrament were related, some holding that the love-feast preceded others that it followed the Divine Mysteries. There seems no doubt that in early times the two became separated, the Holy Sacrament being celebrated in the morning and the Agapae in the evening.

All agree that these feasts were at first copies of the religious feasts common to the Jews and to the heathen world, and that soon abuses of one sort or another came in, so that they fell into ill repute and were finally prohibited at the Council in Trullo. This canon of Gangra is found in the Corpus Juris Canonici, Gratian's Decretum, Pars I., Dist. xlii., c. i.

Van Espen is of opinion that the agapae of our canon have no real connexion with the religious feasts of earlier days, but were merely meals provided by the rich for the poor, and with this view Hefele agrees. But the matter is by no means plain. In fact at every point we are met with difficulties and uncertainties.

There would seem to be little doubt that the "pain beni" of the French Church, and the "Antidoron" of the Eastern Church are remains of the ancient Agapae.

The meaning, however, of this canon is plain enough, to wit, people must not despise, out of a false asceticism, feasts made for the poor by those of the faithful who are rich and liberal. (1)

CANON XII.

IF any one, under pretence of asceticism, should wear a periboloeum and, as if this gave him righteousness, shall despise those who with piety wear the berus and use other common and customary dress, let him be anathema.

NOTES.

ANCIENT EPITOME OF CANON XII.

Whoso despises those who wear beruses, let him be anathema.

HEFELE.

The <greek>bhroi</greek> (lacernoe) were the common upper garments worn by men over the tunic; but the <greek>peribolaia</greek> were rough mantles worn by philosophers to show their contempt for all luxury. Socrates (H. E., ii. 43) and the Synodal Letter of Gangra in its third article say that Eustathius of Sebaste wore the philosopher's mantle. But this canon in no way absolutely rejects a special dress for monks, for it is not the distinctive dress but the proud and superstitious over-estimation of its worth which the Synod here blames.

This canon is found in the Corpus Juris Canonici, Gratian's Decretum, Pars I., Dist. XXX., c. XV.

CANON XIII.

IF any woman, under pretence of asceticism, shall change her apparel and, instead of a woman's accustomed clothing, shall put on that of a man, let her be anathema.

NOTES.

ANCIENT EPITOME OF CANON XIII.

Whatever women wear men's clothes, anathema to them.

HEFELE.

The synodal letter in its sixth article also speaks of this. Exchange of dress, or the adoption by one sex of the dress of the other, was forbidden in the Pentateuch (Deut. xxii., 5), and was therefore most strictly interdicted by the whole ancient Church. Such change of attire was formerly adopted mainly for theatrical purposes, or from effeminacy, wantonness, the furtherance of unchastity, or the like. The Eustathians, from quite opposite and hyper-ascetical reasons, had recommended women to assume male, that is probably monk's attire, in order to show that for them, as the holy ones, there was no longer any distinction of sex; but the Church, also from ascetical reasons, forbade this change of attire, especially when joined to superstition and puritanical pride.

This canon is found in the Corpus Juris Canonici, Gratian's Decretum, Pars I., Dist. xxx., c. vi.

CANON XIV.

IF any woman shall forsake her husband, and resolve to depart from him because she abhors marriage, let her be anathema.

NOTES.

ANCIENT EPITOME OF CANON XIV.

Women who keep away from their husbands because they abominate marriage, anathema to them.

HEFELE.

This canon cannot in any way be employed in opposition to the practice of the Catholic Church. For though the Church allows one of a married couple, with the consent of the other, to give up matrimonial intercourse, and to enter the clerical order or the cloister, still this is not, as is the case with the Eustathians, the result of a false dogmatic theory, but takes place with a full recognition of the sanctity of marriage.

VAN ESPEN.

It would seem that the Eustathians chiefly disapproved of the use of marriage, and under pretext of preserving continence induced married women to abstain from its use as from something unlawful, and to leave their husbands, separating from them so far as the bed was concerned; and so the Greek interpreters understand this canon; for the Eustathians were never accused of persuading anyone to dissolve a marriage a vinculo.

This canon is found in the Corpus Juris Canonici, Gratian's Decretum, Pars I., Dist, xxx., c. iii., but in Isidore's version, which misses the sense by implying that a divorce a vinculo is intended. The Roman Correctors do not note this error.

CANON XV.

IF anyone shall forsake his own children and shall not nurture them, nor so far as in him lies, rear them in becoming piety, but shall neglect them, under pretence of asceticism, let him be anathema.

NOTES.

ANCIENT EPITOME OF CANON XV.

Whosoever they be that desert their children and do not instruct them in the fear of God let them be anathema.

VAN ESPEN.

The fathers of this Synod here teach that it is the office and duty of parents to provide for the bodily care of their children, and also, as far as in them lies. to mould them to the practice of piety. And this care for their children is to be preferred by parents to any private exercises of religion. In this connexion should be read the letter of St. Francis de Sales. (Ep. xxxii, Lib. 4.)

It may perhaps be noted that this canon has not infrequently been violated by those who are accepted as Saints in the Church.

This canon is found, in Isidore's version, in the Corpus Juris Canonici, Gratian's Decretum, Pars I., Dist. xxx., c. xiv.

CANON XVI.

IF, under any pretence of piety, any children shall forsake their parents, particularly [if the parents are] believers, and shall withhold becoming reverence from their parents, on the plea that they honour piety more than them, let them be anathema.

NOTES.

ANCIENT EPITOME or CANON XVI.

If children leave their parents who are of the faithful let them be anathema.

Zonaras notes that the use of the word "particularly" shews that the obligation is universal. The commentators all refer here to St. Matthew xv., where our Lord speaks of the subterfuge by which the Jews under pretext of piety defrauded their parents and made the law of God of none effect.

VAN ESPEN.

Of the last clause this is the meaning; that according to the Eustathians "piety towards God" or "divine worship," or rather its pretence, should be preferred to the honour and reverence due to parents.

This canon, in Isidore's version, is found in the Corpus Juris Canonici, Gratian's Decretum, Pars I., Dist. xxx., c.i. The Roman correctors advertize the reader that the version of Dionysius Exiguus "is much nearer to the original Greek, although not altogether so."

CANON XVII.

IF any woman from pretended asceticism shall cut off her hair, which God gave her as the reminder of her subjection, thus annulling as it were the ordinance of subjection, let her be anathema.

NOTES.

ANCIENT EPITOME OF CANON XVII.

Whatever women shave their hair off, pretending to do so out of reverence for God, let them be anathema.

HEFELE.

The apostle Paul, in the first Epistle to the Corinthians, xi. 10, represents the long hair of women, which is given them as a natural veil, as a token of their subjection to man. We learn from the Synod of Gangra, that as many Eustathian women renounced this subjection, and left their husbands, so, as this canon says, they also did away with their long hair, which was the outward token of this subjection. An old proverb says: duo si faciunt idem, non est idem. In the Catholic Church also, when women and girls enter the cloister, they have their hair cut off, but from quite other reasons than those of the Eustathian women. The former give up their hair, because it has gradually become the custom to consider the long hair of women as a special beauty, as their greatest ornament; but the Eustathians, like the ancient Church in general, regarded long hair as the token of subjection to the husband, and, because they renounced marriage and forsook their husbands, they cut it off.

This canon is found in the Corpus Juris Canonici, Gratian's Decretum, Pars I., Dist. xxx., c. ij.

CANON XVIII.

IF any one, under pretence of asceticism, shall fast on Sunday, let him be anathema.

NOTES.

ANCIENT EPITOME OF CANON XVIII.

Whoso fasts on the Lord's day or on the Sabbath let him be anathema.

ZONARAS.

Eustathius appointed the Lord's day as a fast, whereas, because Christ rose from the grave and delivered human nature from sin on that day, we should spend it in offering joyous thanks to God. But fasting carries with it the idea of grief and sorrow. For this reason those who fast on Sunday are subjected to the punishment of anathema.

BALSAMON.

By many canons we are warned against fasting or grieving on the festal and joyous Lord's day, in remembrance of the resurrection of the Lord; but that we should celebrate it and offer thanks to God, that we be raised from the fall of sin. But this canon smites the Eustathians with anathema because they taught that the Lord's days should be fasted. Canon LXIV. of the Apostolic Canons cuts off such of the laity as shall so fast, and deposes such of the clergy. See also Canon LV. of the Council in Trullo.

This canon is found in the Corpus Juris Canonici, Gratian's Decretum, Pars I., Dist. xxx., c. vij.

CANON XIX.

IF any of the ascetics, without bodily necessity, shall behave with insolence and disregard the fasts commonly prescribed and observed by the Church, because of his perfect understanding in the matter, let him be anathema.

NOTES.

ANCIENT EPITOME or CANON XIX.

Whoso neglects the fasts of the Church, let him be anathema.

I have followed Hefele's translation of the last clause, with which Van Espen seems to agree, as well as Zonaras. But Hardouin and Mansi take an entirely different view and translate "if the Eustathian deliberately rejects the Church fasts." Zonoras and Balsamon both refer to the LXIXth of the Apostolical Canons as being the law the Eustathians violated. Balsamon suggests that the Eustathians shared the error of the Bogomiles on the subject of fasting, but I see no reason to think that this was the case, Eustathius's action seems rather to be attributable to pride, and a desire to be different and original, "I thank thee that I am not as other men are," (as Van Espen points out). All that Socrates says (H. E. II., xliii.) is that "he commanded that the prescribed fasts should be neglected, and that the Lord's days should be fasted."

This canon is found in the Corpus Juris Canonici, Gratian's Decretum, Pars I., Dist. xxx., c. viii., in an imperfect translation but not that of either Isidore or Dionysius.

CANON XX.

IF any one shall, from a presumptuous disposition, condemn and abhor the assemblies [in honour] of the martyrs, or the services performed there, and the commemoration of them, let him be anathema.

NOTES.

ANCIENT EPITOME OF CANON XX.

Whoever thinks lightly of the meetings in honour of the holy martyrs, let him be anathema.

HEFELE.

Van Espen is of opinion that the Eustathians had generally rejected the common service as only fit for the less perfect, and that the martyr chapels are only mentioned here, because in old times service was usually held there. According to this view, no especial weight need be attached to the expression. But this canon plainly speaks of a disrespect shown by the Eustathians to the martyrs. Compare the twelfth article of the Synodal Letter. Fuchs thought that, as the Eustathians resembled the Aerians, who rejected the service for the dead, the same views might probably be ascribed to the Eustathians. But, in the first place, the Aerians are to be regarded rather as opposed than related in opinion to the Eustathians, being lax in contrast to these ultra-rigorists. Besides which, Epiphanius only says that they rejected prayer for the salvation of the souls of the departed, but not that they did not honour the martyrs; and there is surely a great difference between a feast in honour of a saint, and a requiem for the good of a departed soul. Why, however, the Eustathians rejected the veneration of martyrs is nowhere stated; perhaps because they considered themselves as saints, <greek>kaW</greek> <greek>exokhn</greek>, exalted above the martyrs, who were for the most part only ordinary Christians, and many of whom had lived in marriage, while according to Eustathian views no married person could be saved, or consequently could be an object of veneration.

Lastly, it must be observed that the first meaning of <greek>sunaxis</greek>, is an assembly for divine service, or the service itself; but here it seems to be taken to mean <greek>sunagwgh</greek> the place of worship, so that the <greek>sunaxeis</greek> <greek>twn</greek> <greek>marturwn</greek> seems to be identical with martyria, and different from the <greek>leitourgiai</greek> held in them, of which the latter words of the canon speak.

EPILOGUE.

THESE things we write, not to cut off those who wish to lead in the Church of God an ascetic life, according to the Scriptures; but those who carry the pretence of asceticism to superciliousness; both exalting themselves above those who live more simply, and introducing novelties contrary to the Scriptures and the ecclesiastical Canons. We do, assuredly, admire virginity accompanied by humility; and we have regard for continence, accompanied by godliness and gravity; and we praise the leaving of worldly occupations, [when it is made] with lowliness of mind; [but at the same time] we honour the holy companionship of marriage, and we do not contemn wealth enjoyed with uprightness and beneficence; and we commend plainness and frugality in apparel, [which is worn] only from attention, [and that] not over-fastidious, to the body; but dissolute and effeminate excess in dress we eschew; and we reverence the houses of God and embrace the assemblies held therein as holy and helpful, not confining religion within the houses, but reverencing every place built in the name of God; and we approve of gathering together in the Church itself for the common profit; and we bless the exceeding charities done by the brethren to the poor, according to the traditions of the Church; and, to sum up in a word, we wish that all things which have been delivered by the Holy Scriptures and the Apostolical traditions, may be observed in the Church.

NOTES.

This is lacking in the ancient epitome; and while it occurs after Canon XX. in the versions of Dionysius Exiguus and of Isidore Mercator, it is not numbered as a canon. Moreover in John of Antioch's Collection and in Photius's Nomocanon, the number of canons is said to be 20. Only the Greek Scholiasts number it as Canon XXI., but its genuineness is unquestioned.

It is curiously enough found in the Corpus Juris Canonici, divided into two canons! Gratian's Decretum, Pars I., Dist. XXX., c. xvj., and Dist. xli., c. v.

VAN ESPEN.

The Fathers of Gangra recognize not only the Holy Scriptures, but also the Apostolical traditions for the rule of morals.

From this [canon] it is by no means doubtful that the fathers of this Synod considered that the Eustathians had violated some already existing ecclesiastical canons. Beveridge is of opinion that these are those commonly called the Canons of the Apostles (Synod. I. 5). Nor is this unlikely to be true, for there can be no doubt that the doctrines of the Eustathians condemned by this synod are directly opposed to those very "Canons of the Apostles"; and no small argument is drawn for the authority and antiquity of the Canons of the Apostles from the large number of Eustathian teachings found to be therein condemned, as Beveridge has pointed out and as can easily be seen by comparing the two.