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NESTORinS


758


NESTORIUS


and it became in fact the watchword of heresy. Rut St. Cyril does his best to understand it in a right sense, and goes out of his way to admit two natures even after the union iy ffetopif, an admission wliicli was to save Severus liimsolf from a good part of his lieresy.

That Loofs or Hariiack should fail to peroeive the vital dilToroneo between the Antioohenes and .St. Leo, is easily explicable by their not believing the Catholic doctrine of the two natures, and therefore not catching the perfectly simple explanation given by St. Leo. Just as some writers declare that the Monophysites always took 0iVis in the sense of vTrda-Tajis^ so Loofs and others hokl that Nestorius took virdaraffis always in the sense of tpvais, and meant no more by lim hypos- laxf.s than he meant by lira nalurva. But the words seem to have had pi'rfeetly definite meanings with all the theologians of the jxTiod. That the Monoi)hysites distinguislied them, is probable (see Monophysites A.VD ^Io^•ol'nvs^nsM), and all admit they unquestion- ably meant by hyjxinliisis a subsistent nature. That Nestorius cannot, on the contrary, have taken nature to mean the same as hypostasis and both to mean es- sence is obvious enough, for three plain reasons: first, he cannot have meant anything so absolutely opposed , to the meaning given to the word hypostasis by the Monophysites; secondly, if he meant nature by iriricTToinf he had no word at all left for "subsistence" (for he certainly used ov(ria to mean "essence" rather than "subsistence"); thirdly, the whole doctrine of Theodore of Mopsuestia, and Nestorius's own refusal to admit almost any form of the communicalio idio- matum, force us to take his "two natures" in the sen.se of subsistent natures.

The modern critics also consider that the orthodox doctrine of the Greeks against Monophysitism — in fact the Chalcedonian doctrine as defended for many years — was practically the Antiochene or Nestorian doctrine, until Leontius modified it in the direction of conciliation. This theory is wholly gratuitous, for from Chalcedon onwards there is no orthodox contro- versialist who has left us any considerable remains in Greek by which we might be enabled to judge how far Leontius was an innovator. At all events we know, from the attacks made by the Monophysites them- selves, that, though they professed to regard their Catholic oijjjonents as Crypto-Xestorians, in so doing they distinguished them from the true Nestorians who openly professed two hypostases and condemned the wprd e€OTiKos. In fact we may say that, after John of Antioch and Thcodoret had made peace with St. Cyril, no more was heard in the Greek world of the Antiochene theology. The school had been distin- guished, but small. In Antioch itself, in Syria, in Palestine, the monks, who were exceedingly influen- tial, were Cyrillians, and a large proportion of them were to become Monophysites. It was beyond the Greek world that Nestorianism was to have its devel- opment. There was at Edessa a famous school for Persians, which had probably been founded in the days of St. Ephrem, when Nisibis had ceased to belong to the Roman I'lmpire in :i()3. The Christians in Per- sia had suffered terrible persecution, and Roman Edessa had attracted Persians for peaceful study. Under the direction of Ibas the Persian school of Edessa imbibed the Antiochene theology. But the famous Bishop of Ede.ssa, Rabbtila, though he had stood apart from St. Cyril's council at Ephesus to- gether with the bishops of the Antiochene patriar- chate, became after the council a convinced, and even a violent, Cyrillian, and he did his best against the school of the Persians. Ibas himself became his suc- cessor. But at the death of this protector, in 4.57, the Persians were driven out of Edessa by the Monophy- sites, who made themselves all-powerful. Syria then becomes Monophysite and produces its Philoxenus and many another writer. Persia simultaneously be- comes Nestorian. Of the exiles from Edessa into


their own country nine became bishops, including Barsumas, or Barsadma, of Nisibis and Acacius of Beit Aramage. The school at Edessa was finally closed in 489.

At this time the Church in Persia was autonomous, having renounced all subjertion to Antioch and the "Western" bishops at the Council of Seleucia in 410. The ecclesiastical superior of the whole was the Bisliop of Seleucia-Ctesiphon, who had assumed the rank of eatholicos. This prelate was Baba?us or Babowai (457-84) at the time of the arrival of the Nestorion professors from Edessa. He appears to have rei'iived them with open arms. But Barsallma, having be- come Bishop of Nisibis, the nearest great city to Edessa, broke with the wi;ik cat holicos, and, at a coun- cil which he held at Heit Lupat in April, 484, pro- nounced his deposition. In the same year Babowai was accused before the king of conspiring with Con- stantinople and cruelly put to death, being hung up by his ring-finger and also, it is said, crucified and scourged. There is not sufficient evidence for the story which makes Barsatlma his accuser. The Bishop of Nisibis was at all events in high favour with King Peroz (457-84) and had been able to persuade him that it would be a good thing for the Persian kingdom if the Christians in it were all of a different complexion from those of the Empire, and had no tendency to gravitate towards Antioch and Constantinople, which were now officially under the sway of the "Henoti- con" of Zeno. Consequently all Christians who were not Nestorians were driven from Persia. But the story of this persecution as told in the letter of Simeon of Beit Arsam is not generally considered trustworthy, and the alleged number of 7700 Monophysite martyrs is quite incredible. The town of Tagrit alone re- mained Monophysite. But the Armenians were not gained over, and in 491 they condemned at Valarsapat the Council of Chalcedon, St. Leo, and Barsaflma. Peroz died in 484, soon after having murdered Babo- wai, and the energetic Bishop of Nisibis had evidently less to hope from his successor, Balash. Though Barsadma at first opposed the new eatholicos, Acacius, in August, 485, he had an interview with him, and made his submission, acknowledging the necessity for subjection to Seleucia. However, he excused himself from being present at Acacius's council in 484 at Seleucia, where twelve bishops were present. At this assembly, the Antiochene Christology was affirmed and a canon of Beit Lapat permitting the marriage of the clergy was repeated. The Synod declared that they despised vainglory, and felt bound to humble themselves in order to put an end to the horrible cleri- cal scandals which discdified the Persian Magians as well as the faithful; they therefore enacted that the clergy should make a "vow of chastity; deacons may marry, and for the future no one is to be ordained priest except a deacon who has a lawful wife and chil- dren. Though no permission is given to priests or bishops to marry (for this was contrary to the canons of the Eastern Church), yet the practice appears to have been winked at, possibly for the regularization of illicit unions. Barsaflma himself is said to have married a nun named Mamo6; but according to Mare, this was at the inspiration of King Peroz, and was only a nominal marriage, intended to ensure the pres- ervation of the lady's fortune from confiscation.

The Persian Church was now organized, if not thoroughly united, and was formally committed to the theology of Antioch. But Acacius, when sent by the king as envoy to Constantinople, was obliged to accept the anathema against Nestorius in order to be received to Communion there. After his return he bitterly complained of being called a Nestorian by the Monophysite Philoxenus, declaring that he "knew nothing" of Nestorius. Nevertheless Nesto- rius has always been venerated as a saint by the Per- sian Church. One thing more was needed for the