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Transliteration of Greek words: All phonetical except: w = omega; h serves
three puposes: 1. = Eta; 2. = rough breathing, when appearing initially
before a vowel; 3. = in the aspirated letters theta = th, phi = ph, chi =
ch. Accents are given immediately after their corresponding vowels: acute =
' , grave = `, circumflex = ^. The character ' doubles as an apostrophe,
THE SEVENTH ECUMENICAL COUNCIL.
THE SECOND COUNCIL OF NICE.
A.D. 787; Emperors--Constantine VI And Irene; Pope--Hadrian.
The Sacra to Hadrian; The Sacra read at Session 1; Extracts from the Acts,
Session 1; Session II; Session III; Session IV; Session VI containing the
Epitome of the decree of the iconoclastic Conciliabulum; The dogmatic
Decree of the Synod; The Canons, with the Ancient Epitome; Synodal Letter
to the Emperors.
THE DIVINE(1) SACRA(2) SENT BY THE EMPERORS CONSTANTINE AND IRENE TO THE
MOST HOLY AND MOST BLESSED HADRIAN, POPE OF OLD ROME.
They who receive the dignity of the empire, or the honour of the
principal priesthood from our Lord Jesus Christ, ought to provide and to
care for those things which please him, and rule and govern the people
committed to their care according to his will and good pleasure.
Therefore, O most holy Head (Caput), it is incumbent upon us and you,
that irreprehensibly we know the things which be his, and that in these we
exercise ourselves, since from him we have received the imperatorial
dignity, and you the dignity of the chief priesthood.
But now to speak more to the point. Your paternal blessedness knows
what hath been done in times past in this our royal city against the
venerable images, how those who reigned immediately before us destroyed
them and subjected them to disgrace and injury: (O may it not be imputed to
them, for it had been better for them had they not laid their hands upon
the Church!)--and how they seduced and brought over to their own opinion
all the people who live in these parts--yea, even the whole of the East, in
like manner, up to the time in which God hath exalted us to this kingdom,
who seek his glory in truth, and hold that which has been handed down by
his Apostles together with all other teachers. Whence now with pure heart
and unfeigned religion we have, together with all our subjects and our most
learned divines, had constant conferences respecting the things which
relate to God, and by their advice have determined to summon a General
Council. And we entreat your paternal blessedness, or rather the Lord God
entreats, "who will have all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge
of the truth," that you will give yourself to us and make no delay, but
come up hither to aid us in the confirmation and establishment of the
ancient tradition of venerable images. It is, indeed, incumbent on your
holiness to do this, since you know how it is written--"Comfort ye, comfort
ye, my people, ye priests, saith the Lord," and "the lips of the priest
shall keep knowledge, and the law shall go forth out of his mouth, for he
is the angel of the Lord of Hosts." And again, the divine Apostle, the
preacher of the truth, who, "from Jerusalem and round about unto Illyricum,
preached the Gospel," hath thus commanded--" Feed with discipline the flock
of Christ which he purchased with his own blood." As then you are the
veritable chief priest (primus sacerdos) who presides in the place and in
the see of the holy and superlaudable Apostle Peter, let your paternal
blessedness come to us, as we have said before, and add your presence to
all those other priests who shall be assembled together here, that thus the
will of the Lord may be accomplished. For as we are taught in the Gospels
our Lord saith--"When two or three are met together in my name, there am I
in the midst of them"--let your paternal and sacred blessedness be
certified and confirmed by the great God and King of all, our Lord Jesus
Christ, and by us his servants, that if you come up hither you shall be
received with all honour and glory, and that everything necessary for you
shall be granted. And again, when the definition (capitulum) shall be
completed, which by the good pleasure of Christ our God we hope shall be
done, we take upon us to provide for you every facility of returning with
honour and distinction. If, however, your blessedness cannot attend upon us
(which we can scarcely imagine, knowing what is your zeal about divine
things), at least, pray select for us men of understanding, having with
them letters from your holiness, that they may be present here in the
person of your sacred and paternal blessedness. So, when they meet with the
other priests who are here, the ancient tradition of our holy fathers may
be synodically confirmed, and every evil plant of tares may be rooted out,
and the words of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ may be fulfilled, that
"the gates of hell shall not prevail against her." And after this, may
there be no further schism and separation in the one holy Catholic and
Apostolic Church, of which Christ our true God is the Head.
We have had Constantine, beloved in Christ, most holy Bishop of
Leontina in our beloved Sicily, with whom your paternal blessedness is well
acquainted, into our presence; and, having spoken with him face to face,
have sent him with this our present venerable jussio to you. Whom, after
that he hath seen you, forthwith dismiss, that he may come back to us, and
write us by him concerning your coming--what time we may expect will be
spent in your journeying thence and coming to us. Moreover, he can retain
with him the most holy Bishop of Naples, and come up hither together with
him. And, as your journey will be by way of Naples and Sicily we have given
orders to the Governor of Sicily about this, that he take due care to have
every needful preparation made for your honour and rest, which is necessary
in order that your paternal blessedness may come to us. Given on the with
before the calends of September, the seventh indic-tion, from the Royal
THE IMPERIAL SACRA. READ AT THE FIRST SESSION.
CONSTANTINE and Irene--Sovereigns of the Romans in the Faith, to the
most holy Bishops, who, by the grace of God and by the command of our pious
Sovereignty, have met together in the Council of Nice.
The Wisdom which is truly according to the nature of God and the
Father--our Lord Jesus Christ, our true God--who, by his most divine and
wonderful dispensation in the flesh, hath delivered us from all idolatrous
error: and, by taking on him our nature, hath renewed the same by the co-
operation of the Spirit, which is of the same nature with himself; and
having himself become the first High Priest, hath counted you holy men,
worthy of the same dignity.
He is that good Shepherd who, bearing on his own shoulders that
wandering sheep --fallen man, hath brought him back to his own peculiar
folds-that is, the party of angelic and ministering powers (Eph. if. 14,
15), and hath reconciled us in himself and having taken away the wall of
partition, hath broken down the enmity through his flesh, and hath bestowed
upon us a rule of conduct tending to peace; wherefore, preaching to all, he
saith in the Gospel, Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called
the children of God (Matt. v. 9). Of which blessedness, confirming as it
does the exaltation of the adoption of sons, our pious Sovereignty desiring
above all things to be made partakers, hath ever applied the utmost
diligence to direct all our Roman Commonwealth into the ways of unity and
concord; and more especially have we been solicitous concerning the right
regulation of the Church of God, and most anxious in every way to promote
the unity of the priesthood. For which cause the Chiefs of the Sacerdotal
Order of the East and of the North, of the West and of the South, are
present in the person of their Representative Bishops, who have with them
respectively the replies written in answers to the Synodical Epistle sent
from the most holy Patriarch; for such was from the beginning the synodical
regulation of the Church Catholic, which, from the one end of the earth to
the other, hath received the Gospel. On this account we have, by the good
will and permission of God, caused you, his most holy Priests, to meet
together --you who are accustomed to dispense his Testimony in the unbloody
sacrifice--that your decision may be in accordance with the definitions of
former councils who decreed rightly, and that the splendour of the Spirit
may illumine you in all things, for, as our Lord teaches, No man lighteth a
candle and putteth it under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that it may
give light to all that are in the house; even so, should ye make such use
of the various regulations which have been piously handed down to us of old
by our Fathers, that all the Holy Churches of God may remain in peaceful
As for us, such was our zeal for the truth--such our earnest desire for
the interests of religion, our care for ecclesiastical order, our anxiety
that the ancient rules and orders should maintain their ground--that though
fully engaged in military councils -- though all our attention was occupied
in political cares--yet, treating all these affairs as but of minor
importance, we would allow nothing whatever to interfere with the
convocation of your most holy council. To every one is given the utmost
freedom of expressing his sentiments without the least hesitation, that
thus the subject under enquiry may be most fully discussed and truth may be
the more boldly spoken, that so all dissensions may be banished from the
Church and we all may be united in the bonds of peace.
For, when the most holy Patriarch Paul, by the divine will, was about
to be liberated from the bands of mortality and to exchange his earthly
pilgrimage for a heavenly home with his Master Christ, he abdicated the
Patriarchate and took upon him the monastic life, and when we asked him,
Why hast thou done this? he answered, Because I fear that, if death should
surprise me still in the episcopate of this royal and heaven-defended city,
I should have to carry with me the anathema of the whole Catholic Church,
which consigns me to that outer darkness which is prepared for the devil
and his angels; for they say that a certain synod hath been held here in
order to the subversion of pictures and images which the Catholic Church
holds, embraces, and receives, in memory of the persons whom they
represent. This is that which distracts my soul -- this is that which makes
me anxiously to enquire how I may escape the judgment of God -- since among
such men I have been brought up and with such am I numbered. No sooner had
he thus spoken in the presence of some of our most illustrious nobles than
When our Pious Sovereignty reflected on this awful declaration (and
truly, even before this event, we had heard of similar questionings from
many around), we took counsel with ourselves as to what ought to be done;
and we determined, after mature deliberation, that when a new Patriarch had
been elected, we should endeavour to bring this subject to some decisive
conclusion. Wherefore, having summoned those whom we knew to be most
experienced in ecclesiastical matters, and having called upon Christ our
God, we consulted with them who was worthy to be exalted to the chair of
the Priesthood of this Royal and God-preserved city; and they all with one
heart and soul gave their vote in favour of Tarasius -- he who now occupies
the Pontifical Presidency. Having, therefore, sent for him, we laid before
him our deliberations and our vote; but he would by no means consent, nor
at all yield to that which had been determined. And when we enquired,
Wherefore he thus refused his consent? -- at first he answered evasively,
That the yoke of the Chief Priesthood was too much for him. But we,
knowing this to be a mere pretext coveting his unwillingness to obey us,
would not desist from our importunity, but persisted in pressing the
acceptance of the dignity of the Chief Priesthood upon him. When he found
how urgent we were with him, he told us the cause of his refusal. It is
(said he) because I perceive that the Church which has been founded on the
rock, Christ our God, is rent and torn asunder by schisms, and that we are
unstable in our confession, and that Christians in the East, of the same
faith with ourselves, decline communion with us, and unite them with those
of the West; and so we are estranged from all, and each day are
anathematized by all: and, moreover, I should demand that an Ecumenical
Council should be held, at which should be found Legates from the Pope of
Rome and from the Chief Priests of the East. We, therefore, fully
understanding these things, introduced him to the assembled company of the
Priests -- of our most illustrious Princes -- and of all our Christian
people; and then, in their presence, he repeated to them all that he had
before said to us; which, when they heard, they received him joyfully, and
earnestly entreated our peace-making and pious Sovereignty that an
Ecumenical Council might be assembled. To this their request, we gave our
hearty consent; for, to speak the truth, it is by the good will and under
the direction of our God that we have assembled you together. Wherefore as
God, willing to establish his own counsel, hath for this purpose brought
you together from all parts of the world, behold the Gospels now lying
before you, and plainly crying aloud, "Judge justly;" stand firm as
champions of religion, and be ready with unsparing hand to cut away all
innovations and new fangled inventions. And, as Peter the Chief of the
Apostolic College, struck the mad slave and cut off his Jewish ear with the
sword, so in like manner do ye wield the axe of the Spirit, and every tree
which bears the fruit of contention, of strife, or newly-imported
innovation, either renew by transplanting through the words of sound
doctrine, or lay it low with canonical censure, and send it to file fires
of the future Gehenna, so that the peace of the Spirit may evermore protect
the whole body of the Church, compacted and united in one, and confirmed by
the traditions of the Fathers; and so may all our Roman State enjoy peace
as well as the Church.
We have received letters from Hadrian, most Holy Pope of old Rome, by
his Legates -- namely, Peter, the God-beloved Archpresbyter, and Peter, the
God-beloved Presbyter and Abbot -- who will be present in council with you;
and we command that, according to synodical custom, these be read in the
hearing of you all; and that, having heard these with becoming silence, and
moreover the Epistles contained in two octavos sent by the Chief Priest and
other Priests of the Eastern dioceses by John, most pious Monk and
Chancellor of the Patriarchal throne of Antioch, and Thomas, Priest and
Abbot, who also are present together with you, ye may by these understand
what are the sentiments of the Church Catholic on this point.
EXTRACTS FROM THE ACTS.
[Certain bishops who had been led astray by the Iconoclasts came,
asking to be received back. The first of these was Basil of Ancyra.]
The bishop Basil of Ancyra read as follows from a book; Inasmuch as
ecclesiastical legislation has canonically been handed down from past time,
even from the beginning from the holy Apostles, and from their successors,
who were our holy fathers and teachers, and also from the six holy and
ecumenical synods, and from the local synods which were gathered in the
interests of orthodoxy, that those returning from any heresy whatever to
the orthodox faith and to the tradition of the Catholic Church, might deny
their own heresy, and confess the orthodox faith,
Wherefore I, Basil, bishop of the city of Ancyra, proposing to be
united to the Catholic Church, and to Hadrian the most holy Pope of Old
Rome, and to Tarasius the most blessed Patriarch, and to the most holy
apostolic sees, to wit, Alexandria, Antioch, and the Holy City, as well as
to all orthodox high-priests and priests, make this written confession of
my faith, and I offer it to you as to those who have received power by
apostolic authority. And in this also I beg pardon from your divinely
gathered holiness for my tardiness in this matter. For it was not right
that I should have fallen behind in the confession of orthodoxy, but it
arose from my entire lack of knowledge, and slothful and negligent mind in
the matter. Wherefore the rather I ask your blessedness to grant me
indulgence in God's sight.
I believe, therefore, and make my confession in one God, the Father
Almighty, and in one Lord Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, and in the
Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life. The Trinity, one in essence and one
in majesty, must be worshipped and glorified in one godhead, power, and
authority. I confess all things pertaining to the incarnation of one of the
Holy Trinity, our Lord and God, Jesus Christ, as the Saints and the six
Ecumenical Synods have handed down. And I reject and anathematize every
heretical babbling, as they also have rejected them. I ask for the
intercessions (presbei'as) of our spotless Lady the Holy Mother of God, and
those of the holy and heavenly powers, and those of all the Saints. (1)
And receiving their holy and honourable reliques with all honour
(timh^s), I salute and venerate these with honour (timhtikw^s proskune'w),
hoping to have a share in their holiness. Likewise also the venerable
images (eiko'nas) of the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ, in the
humanity he assumed for our salvation; and of our spotless Lady, the holy
Mother of God; and of the angels like unto God; and of the holy Apostles,
Prophets, Martyrs, and of all the Saints -- the sacred images of all these,
I salute and venerate -rejecting and anathematizing with my whole soul and
mind the synod which was gathered together out of stubbornness and madness,
and which styled itself the Seventh Synod, but which by those who think
accurately was called lawfully and canonically a pseudo-synod, as being
contrary to all truth and piety, arm audaciously and temerariously against
the divinely handed down ecclesiastical legislation, yea, even impiously
baring yelped at and scoffed at the holy and venerable images, and having
ordered these to be taken away out of the holy churches of God; over which
assembly presided Theodosius with time pseudonym of Ephesius, Sisinnius of
Perga, with the surname Pastillas, Basilius of Pisidia, falsely called
"tricaccabus;" with whom the wretched Constantine, the then Patriarch, was
led (emataiw'thh) astray.
These things thus I confess and to these I assent, and therefore in
simplicity of heart and in uprightness of mind, in the presence of God, I
have made the subjoined anathematisms.
Anathema to the calumniators of the Christians, that is to the image
Anathema to those who apply the words of Holy Scripture which were
spoken against idols, to the venerable images.
Anathema to those who do not salute the holy and venerable images.
Anathema to those who say that Christians have recourse to the images
as to gods.
Anathema to those who call the sacred images idols.
Anathema to those who knowingly communicate with those who revile and
dishonour the venerable images.
Anathema to those who say that another than Christ our Lord hath
delivered us from idols.
Anathema to those who spurn the teachings of the holy Fathers and the
tradition of the Catholic Church, taking as a pretext and making their own
the arguments of Arius, Nestorius, Eutyches, and Dioscorus, that unless we
were evidently taught by the Old and New Testaments, we should not follow
the teachings of the holy Fathers and of the holy Ecumenical Synods, and
the tradition of the Catholic Church.
Anathema to those who dare to say that the Catholic Church hath at any
time sanctioned idols.
Anathema to those who say that the making of images is a diabolical
invention and not a tradition of our holy Fathers.
This is my confession [of faith] and to these propositions I give my
assent. And I pronounce this with my whole heart, and soul, and mind.
And if at any time by the fraud of the devil (which may God forbid!) I
voluntarily or involuntarily shall be opposed to what I have now professed,
may I be anathema from the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, and from the
Catholic Church and every hierarchical order a stranger.
I will keep myself from every acceptance of a bribe and from filthy
lucre in accordance with the divine canons of the holy Apostles and of the
Tarasius, the most holy Patriarch, said: This whole sacred gathering
yields glory and thanks to God for this confession of yours, which you have
made to the Catholic Church.
The Holy Synod said: Glory to God which maketh one that which was
[Theodore, bishop of Myra, then read the same confession, and was
received. The next bishop who asked to be received read as follows: (col.
Theodosius, the humble Christian, to the holy and Ecumenical Synod: I
confess and I agree to (sunti'themai) and I receive and I salute and I
venerate in the first place the spotless image of our Lord Jesus Christ,
our true God, and the holy image of her who bore him without seed, the holy
Mother of God, and her help and protection and intercessions each day and
night as a sinner to my aid I call for, since she has confidence with
Christ our God, as he was born of her. Likewise also I receive and venerate
the images of the holy and most laudable Apostles, prophets, and martyrs
and the fathers and cultivators of the desert. Not indeed as gods (God
forbid!) do I ask all these with my whole heart to pray for me to God, that
he may grant me through their intercessions to find mercy at his hands at
the day of judgment, for in this I am but showing forth more clearly the
affection and love of my soul which I have borne them from the first.
Likewise also I venerate and honour and salute the reliques of the Saints
as of those who fought for Christ and who have received grace from him for
the healing of diseases and the curing of sicknesses and the casting out of
devils, as the Christian Church has received from the holy Apostles and
Fathers even down to us to-day.
Moreover, I am well pleased that there should be images in the churches
of the faithful, especially the image of our Lord Jesus Christ and of the
holy Mother of God, of every kind of material, both gold and silver and of
every colour, so that his incarnation may be set forth to all men. Likewise
there may be painted the lives of the Saints and Prophets and Martyrs, so
that their struggles and agonies may be set forth in brief, for the
stirring up and teaching of the people, especially of the unlearned.
For if the people go forth with lights and incense to meet the
"laurata" and images of the Emperors when they are sent to cities or rural
districts, they honour surely not the tablet covered over with wax, but the
Emperor himself. How much more is it necessary that in the churches of
Christ our God, the image of God our Saviour and of his spotless Mother and
of all the holy and blessed fathers and ascetics should be painted? Even as
also St. Basil says: "Writers and painters set forth the great deeds of
war; the one by word, the other by their pencils; and each stirs many to,
courage." And again the same author "How much pains have you ever taken
that you might find one of the Saints who was willing to be your
importunate intercessor to the Lord?" (1) And Chrysostom says, "The charity
of the Saints is not diminished by their death, nor does it come to an end
with their exit from life, but after their death they are still more
powerful than when they were alive," and many other things without measure.
Therefore I ask you, O ye Saints! I call out to you. I have sinned against
heaven and in your sight. Receive me as God received the luxurious man, and
the harlot, and the thief. Seek me out, as Christ sought out the sheep that
was lost, which he carried on his shoulders; so that there may be joy in
the presence of God and of his angels over my salvation and repentance,
through your intervention, O all-holy lords! Let them who do not venerate
the holy and venerable images be anathema! Anathema to those who blaspheme
against the honourable and venerable images! To those who dare to attack
and blaspheme the venerable images and call them idols, anathema! To the
calumniators of Christianity, that is to say the Iconoclasts, anathema! To
those who do not diligently teach all the Christ-loving people to venerate
and salute the venerable and sacred and honourable images of all the Saints
who pleased God in their several generations, anathema! To those who have a
doubtful mind and do not confess with their whole hearts that they venerate
the sacred images, anathema!
Sabbas, the most reverend hegumenus of the monastery of the Studium,
said: According to the Apostolic precepts and the Ecumenical Synods he is
worthy to be received back.
Tarasius, the most holy Patriarch, said: Those who formerly were the
calumniators of orthodoxy, now are become the advocates of the truth.
[Near the end of this session]
John, the most reverend bishop and legate of the Eastern high priests
said: This heresy is the worst of all heresies. Woe to the iconoclasts! It
is the worst of heresies, as it subverts the incarnation (oikonomi'an) of
our Saviour. (2)
EXTRACTS FROM THE ACTS.
[The Papal Letters were presented by the Legates. First was read that
to Constantine and Irene, but not in its entirety, if we may trust
Anastasius the Librarian, who gives what he says is the original latin
text. Here follows a translation of this and of the Greek, also a
translation of the Latin passage altogether omitted, (as we are told) with
the consent of the Roman Legates.]
PART OF POPE HADRIAN'S LETTER.
[As written by the Pope.]
(Migne, Pat. Lat., Tom. XCVI., col. 1217.)
If you persevere in that orthodox Faith in which you have begun, and
the sacred and venerable images be by your means erected again in those
parts, as by the lord, the Emperor Constantine of pious memory, and the
blessed Helen, who promulgated the orthodox Faith, and exalted the holy
Catholic and Apostolic Roman Church your spiritual mother, and with the
other orthodox Emperors venerated it as the head of all Churches, so will
your Clemency, that is protected of God, receive the name of another
Constantine, and another Helen, through whom at the beginning the holy
Catholic and Apostolic Church derived strength, and like whom your own
imperial fame is spread abroad by triumphs, so as to be brilliant and
deeply fixed in the whole world. But the more, if following the traditions
of the orthodox Faith, you embrace the judgment of the Church of blessed
Peter, chief of the Apostles, and, as of old your predecessors the holy
Emperors acted, so you, too, venerating it with honour, love with all your
heart his Vicar, and if your sacred majesty follow by preference their
orthodox Faith, according to our holy Roman Church. May the chief of the
Apostles himself, to whom the power was given by our Lord God to bind and
remit sins in heaven and earth, be often your protector, and trample all
barbarous nations under your feet, and everywhere make you conquerors. For
let sacred authority lay open the marks of his dignity, and how great
veneration ought to be shewn to his, the highest See, by all the faithful
in the world. For the Lord set him who bears the keys of the kingdom of
heaven as chief over all, and by Him is he honoured with this privilege, by
which the keys of the kingdom of heaven are entrusted to him. He,
therefore, that was preferred with so exalted an honour was thought worthy
to confess that Faith on which the Church of Christ is rounded. A blessed
reward followed that blessed confession, by the preaching of which the holy
universal Church was illumined, and from it the other Churches of God have
derived the proofs of Faith. For the blessed Peter himself, the chief of
the Apostles, who first sat in the Apostolic See, left the chiefship of his
Apostolate, and pastoral care, to his successors, who are to sit in his
most holy seat for ever. And that power of authority, which he received
from the Lord God our Saviour, he too bestowed and delivered by divine
command to the Pontiffs, his successors, etc.
[As read in Greek to the Council.]
If the ancient orthodoxy be perfected and restored by your means in
those regions, and the venerable icons be placed in their original state,
you will be partakers with the Lord Constantine, Emperor of old, now in the
Divine keeping, and the Empress Helena, who made conspicuous and confirmed
the orthodox Faith, and exalted still more your holy mother, the Catholic
and Roman and spiritual Church, and with the orthodox Emperors who ruled
after them, and so your most pious and heaven-protected name likewise will
be set forth as that of another Constantine and another Helena, being
renowned and praised through the whole world, by whom the holy Catholic and
Apostolic Church is restored. And especially if you follow the tradition of
the orthodox Faith of the Church of the holy Peter and Paul, the chief
Apostles, and embrace their Vicar, as the Emperors who reigned before you
of old both honoured their Vicar, and loved him with all their heart: and
if your sacred majesty honour the most holy Roman Church of the chief
Apostles, to whom was given power by God the Word himself to loose and to
bind sins in heaven and earth. For they will extend their shield over your
power, and all barbarous nations shall be put under your feet: and wherever
you go they will make you conquerors. For the holy and chief Apostles
themselves, who set up the Catholic and orthodox Faith, have laid it down
as a written law that all who after them are to be successors of their
seats, should hold their Faith and remain in it to the end.
[The part which was never read to the Council at all.]
We greatly wondered that in your imperial commands, directed for the
Patriarch of the royal city, Tarasius, we find him there called Universal:
but we know not whether this was written through ignorance or schism, or
the heresy of the wicked. But henceforth we advise your most merciful and
imperial majesty, that he be by no means called Universal in your writings,
because it appears to be contrary to the institutions of the holy Canons
and the decrees of the traditions of the holy Fathers. For he never could
have ranked second, save for the authority of our holy Catholic and
Apostolic Church, as is plain to all.(1) Because if he be named Universal,
above the holy Roman Church which has a prior rank, which is the head of
all the Churches of God, it is certain that he shews himself as a rebel
against the holy Councils, and a heretic. For, if he is Universal, he is
recognized to have the Primacy even over the (Church of our See, which
appears ridiculous to all faithful Christians: because in the whole world
the chief rank and power was given to the blessed Apostle Peter by the
Redeemer of the world himself; and through the same Apostle, whose place we
unworthily hold, the holy Catholic and Apostolic Roman Church holds the
first rank, and the authority of power, now and for ever, so that if any
one, which we believe not, has called him, or assents to his being called
Universal, let him know that he is estranged from the orthodox Faith, and a
rebel against our holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.
[After the reading was ended]
Tarasius the most holy patriarch said: Did you yourselves receive these
letters from the most holy Pope, and did you carry them to our pious
Peter and Peter the most beloved-of-God presbyters who held the place
of Hadrian, the most holy pope of Rome, said: We ourselves received such
letters from our apostolic father and delivered them to the pious lords.
John, the most magnificent Logothete, said: That this is the case is
also known to the Sicilians, the beloved of God Theodore, the bishop of
Catanea, and the most revered deacon Epiphanius who is with him, who holds
the place of the archbishop of Sardinia. For both of these at the bidding
of our pious Emperors, went to Rome with the most reverend apocrisarius of
our most holy patriarch.
Theodore the God-beloved bishop of Catanea, standing in the midst,
said: The pious emperor, by his honourable jussio, bid send Leo, the most
god-beloved presbyter (who together with myself is a slave of your
holiness), with the precious letter of his most sacred majesty; and he who
reveres our [sic in Greek, "your," in Latin] holiness, being the governor
(strathgo`s) of my province of Sicily, sent me to Rome with the pious
jussio of our orthodox Emperors.(1)
And when we were gone, we announced file orthodox faith of the pious
And when the most blessed Pope heard it, he said: Since this has come
to pass in the days of their reign, God has magnified their pious rule
above all former reigns. And this suggestion (anaphora`n) which has been
read he sent to our most pious kings together with a letter to your
holiness and with his vicars who are here present and presiding.
Cosmas, the deacon, notary, and chamberlain (Cubuclesius) said: And
another letter was sent by the most holy Pope of Old Rome to Tarasius, our
most holy and oecumenical Patriarch. Let it be disposed of as your holy
assembly shall direct.
The Holy Synod said, Let it be read.
[Then was read Hadrian's letter to Tarasius of Constantinople, which
ends by saying that. "our dearly-loved proto-presbyter of the Holy Church
of Rome, and Peter, a monk, a presbyter, and an abbot, who have been sent
by us to the most tranquil and pious emperors, we beg you will deem them
worthy of all kindness and humane amenity for the sake of St. Peter,
coropheus of the Apostles, and for our sakes, so that for this we may be
able to offer you our sincere thanks."(2) The letter being ended,]
Peter and Peter, the most reverend presbyters and representatives of
the most holy Pope of Old Rome said: Let the most holy Tarasius, Patriarch
of the royal city, say whether he agrees (stoichei^) with the letters of
the most holy Pope of Old Rome or not.
Tarasius the most holy patriarch said: The divine Apostle Paul, who was
filled with the light of Christ, and who hath begotten us through the
gospel, in writing to the Romans, commending their zeal for the true faith
which they had in Christ our true God, thus said: "Your faith is gone forth
into all the world." It is necessary to follow out this witness, and he
that would contradict it is without good sense. Wherefore Hadrian, the
ruler of Old Rome, since he was a sharer of these things, thus borne
witness to, wrote expressly and truly to our religious Emperors, and to our
humility, confirming admirably and beautifully the ancient tradition of the
Catholic Church. And we also ourselves, having examined both in writing,(3)
and by inquisition, and syllogistically and by demonstration, and having
been taught by the teachings of the Fathers, so have confessed, so do
confess, and so will confess; and shall be fast, and shall remain, and
shall stand firm in the sense of the letters which have just been read,
receiving the imaged representations according to the ancient tradition of
our holy fathers; and these we venerate with firmly-attached(4) affection,
as made in the name of Christ our God, and of our Spotless Lady the Holy
Mother of God, and of the Holy Angels, and of all the Saints, most clearly
giving our adoration and faith to the one only true God.
And the holy Synod said: The whole holy Synod thus teaches.
Peter and Peter, the God-loved presbyters and legates of the Apostolic
See, said: Let the holy Synod say whether it receives the letters of the
most holy Pope of Old Rome.
The holy Synod said: We follow, we receive, we admit them.
[The bishops then give one by one their votes all in the same sense.]
EXTRACTS FROM THE ACTS.
CONSTANTINE, the most holy bishop of Constantia in Cyprus, said: Since
I, unworthy that I am, find that the letter which has just been read, which
was sent from the East to Tarasius the most holy archbishop and ecumenical
patriarch, is in no sense changed from that confession of faith which he
himself had before made, to these I consent and become of one mind,
receiving and saluting with honour the holy and venerable images. But the
worship of adoration I reserve alone to the supersubstantial and life-
giving Trinity. And those who are not so minded, and do not so teach I cast
out of the holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, and T smite them with
anathema, and I deliver them over to the lot of those who deny the
incarnation and the bodily economy of Christ our true God.
EXTRACTS FROM THE ACTS.
[Among numerous passages of the Fathers one was read from a sermon by
St. Gregory Nyssen in which he describes a painting representing the
sacrifice of Isaac and tells how he could not pass it "without tears."]
The most glorious princes said: See how our father grieved at the
depicted history, even so that he wept.
Basil, the most holy bishop of Ancyra, said: Many times the father had
read the story, but perchance he had not wept; but when once he saw it
painted, he wept.
John the most reverend monk and presbyter and representative of the
Eastern high priests, said: If to such a doctor the picture was helpful and
drew forth tears, how much more in the case of the ignorant and simple will
it bring compunction and benefit.
The holy Synod said: We have seen in several places the history of
Abraham painted as the father says.
Theodore the most holy bishop of Catanea, said: If the holy Gregory,
vigilant(1) in divine cogitation, was moved to tears at the sight of the
story of Abraham, how much more shall a painting of the incarnation of our
Lord Christ, who for us was made man, move the beholders to their profit
and to tears?
Tarasius the most holy Patriarch said: Shall we not weep when we see an
image of our crucified Lord?
The holy Synod said: We shall indeed--for in that shall be found
perfectly the, profundity of the abasement of the incarnate God for our
[Post nonnulla a passage is read from St. Athanasius in which he
describes the miracles worked at Berytus, after which there is found the
following (col. 224),]
Tarasius, the most holy Patriarch, said: But perhaps someone will say,
Why do not the images which we have work miracles? To which we answer, that
as the Apostle has said, signs are for those who do not believe, not for
believers. For they who approached that image were unbelievers. Therefore
God gave them a sign through the image, to draw them to our Christian
faith. But "an evil and adulterous generation that seeketh after a sign and
no sign shall be given it."
[After a number of other quotations, was read the Canon of the Council
in Trullo as a canon of the Sixth Synod.]
Tarasius, the most holy Patriarch said: There are certain affected with
the sickness of ignorance who are scandalized by these canons [viz. of the
Trullan Synod] and say, And do you really think they were adopted at the
Sixth Synod? Now let all such know that the holy great Sixth Synod was
assembled at Constantinople concerning those who said that there was but
one energy and will in Christ. These anathematized the heretics, and having
expounded the orthodox faith, they went to their homes in the fourteenth
year of Constantine. But after four or five years the same(1) fathers came
together under Justinian, the son of Constantine, and set forth the before-
mentioned canons. And let no one doubt concerning them. For they who
subscribed under Constantine were the same as they who under Justinian
signed the present chart, as can manifestly be established from the
unchangeable similarity of their own handwriting. For it was right that
they who had appeared at an ecumenical synod should also set forth
ecclesiastical canons. They said that we should be led as (by the hand) by
the venerable images to the recollection of the incarnation of Christ and
of his saving death, and if by them we are led to the realization of the
incarnation of Christ our God, what sort of an opinion shall we have of
them who break down the venerable images?
At the close of the Session, after a number of anathematisms had been
pronounced, the following was read, to which all the bishops subscribed
Fulfilling the divine precept of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ, our
holy Fathers did not hide the light of the divine knowledge given by him to
them under a bushel, but they set it upon the candlestick of most useful
teaching, so that it might give light to all in the house--that is to say,
to those who are born in the Catholic Church; lest perchance anyone of
those who piously confess the Lord might strike his foot against the stone
of heretical evil doctrine. For they expelled every error of heretics and
they cut off the rotten member if it was incurably sick. And with a fan
they purged the floor. And the good wheat, that is to say tire word which
nourisheth and which maketh strong the heart of man, they laid up in the
granary of the Catholic Church; but throwing outside the chaff of heretical
evil opinion they burned it with unquenchable fire. Therefore also this
holy and ecumenical Synod, met together for the second time in this
illustrious metropolis of Nice, by the will of God and at the bidding of
our pious and most faithful Emperors, Irene a new Helena, and a new
Constantine, her God-protected offspring, having considered by their
perusal the teachings of our approved and blessed Fathers, hath glorified
God himself, from whom there was given to them wisdom for our instruction,
and for the perfecting of the Catholic and Apostolic Church: and against
those who do not believe as they did, but have attempted to overshadow the
truth through their novelty, they have chanted the words of the psalm:(2)
"Oh how much evil have thine enemies done in thy sanctuary; and have
glorified themselves, saying, There is not a teacher any more, and they
shall not know that we treated with guile the word of truth." But we, in
all things holding the doctrines and precepts of the same our God-bearing
Fathers, make proclamation with one mouth and one heart, neither adding
anything, nor taking anything away from those things which have been
delivered to us by them. But in these things we are strengthened, in these
things we are confirmed. Thus we confess, thus we teach, just as the holy
and ecumenical six Synods have decreed and ratified. We believe in one God
the Father Almighty, maker of all things visible and invisible; and in one
Lord Jesus Christ, his only-begotten Son and Word, through whom all things
were made, and in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and giver of life,
consubstantial and coeternal with the same Father and with his Son who hath
had no beginning. The unbuilt-up, indivisible, incomprehensible, and non-
circumscribed Trinity; he, wholly and alone, is to be worshipped and
revered with adoration; one Godhead, one Lordship, one dominion, one realm
and dynasty, which without division is apportioned to the Persons, and is
fitted to the essence severally. For we confess that one of the same holy
and consubstantial Trinity, our Lord Jesus Christ the true God, in these
last days was incarnate and made man for our salvation, and having saved
our race through his saving incarnation, and passion, and resurrection, and
ascension into heaven; and having delivered us from the error of idols; as
also the prophet says, Not an ambassador, not an angel, but the Lord
himself hath saved us. Him we also follow, and adopt his voice, and cry
aloud; No Synod, no power of kings, no God-hated agreement hath delivered
the Church from the error of the idols, as the Jewdaizing conciliabulum
hath madly dreamed, which raved against the venerable images; but the Lord
of glory himself, the incarnate God, hath saved us and hath snatched us
from idolatrous deceit. To him therefore be glory, to him be thanks, to him
be eucharists, to him be praise, to him be magnificence. For his redemption
and his salvation alone can perfectly save, and not that of other men who
come of the earth. For he himself hath fulfilled for us, upon whom the ends
of the earth are come through the economy of his incarnation, the words
spoken beforehand by his prophets, for he dwelt among us, and went in and
out among us, and cast out the names of idols from the earth, as it was
written. But we salute the voices of the Lord and of his Apostles through
which we have been taught to honour in the first place her who is properly
and truly the Mother of God and exalted above all the heavenly powers; also
the holy and angelic powers; and the blessed and altogether landed
Apostles, and the glorious Prophets and the triumphant Martyrs which fought
for Christ, and the holy and God-bearing Doctors, and all holy men; and to
seek for their intercessions, as able to render us at home with the all-
royal God of all, so long as we keep his commandments, and strive to live
virtuously. Moreover we salute the image of the honourable and life-giving
Cross, and the holy reliques of the Saints; and we receive the holy and
venerable images: and we salute them, and we embrace them, according to the
ancient traditions of the holy Catholic Church of God, that is to say of
our holy Fathers, who also received these things and established them in
all the most holy Churches of God, and in every place of his dominion.
These honourable and venerable images, as has been said, we honour and
salute and reverently venerate: to wit, the image of the incarnation of our
great God and Saviour Jesus Christ, and that of our spotless Lady the all-
holy Mother of God, from whom he pleased to take flesh, and to save and
deliver us from all impious idolatry; also the images of the holy and
incorporeal Angels, who as men appeared to the just. Likewise also the
figures and effigies of the divine and all-landed Apostles, also of the
God-speaking Prophets, and of the struggling Martyrs and of holy men. So
that through their representations we may be able to be led back in memory
and recollection to the prototype, and have a share in the holiness of some
one of them.
Thus we have learned to think of these things, and we have been
strengthened by our holy Fathers, and we have been strengthened by their
divinely handed down teaching. And thanks be to God for his ineffable gift,
that he hath not deserted us at the end nor hath the rod of the ungodly
come into the lot of the righteous, lest the righteous put their hands,
that is to say their actual deeds,(1) unto wickedness. But he doeth well
unto those who are good and true of heart, as the psalmist David
melodiously has sung; with whom also we stag the rest of the psalm: As for
such as turn back unto their own wickedness, the Lord shah lead them forth
with the evil doers; and peace shall be upon the lsrael of God.
[The subscriptions follow immediately and close the acts of this
EXTRACTS FROM THE ACTS.
LEO the most renowned secretary said: The holy and blessed Synod know
how at the last session we examined divers sayings of the God-forsaken
heretics, who had brought charges against the holy and spotless Church of
the Christians for the setting up of the holy images. But to-day we have in
our hands the written blasphemy of those calumniators of the Christians,
that is to say, the absurd, and easily answered, and self-convicting
definition (ho'ron) of the pseudosyllogus, in all respects agreeing with
the impious opinion of the God-hated heretics. But not only have we this,
but also the artful and most drastic refutation thereof, which the Holy
Spirit had supervised. For it was right that this definition should be made
a triumph by wise contradictions, and should be torn to pieces with strong
refutations. This also we submit so as to know your pleasure with regard to
The holy Synod said: Let it be read.
John, the deacon and chancellor [of the most holy great Church of
Constantinople, in Lat. only] read.
[John, the deacon, then read the orthodox refutation, and Gregory, the
bishop of Neocoesarea, the Definition of the Mock Council, the one reading
the heretical statement and the other the orthodox answer.]
EPITOME OF THE DEFINITION OF THE ICONOCLASTIC CONCILIABULUM, HELD IN
CONSTANTINOPLE, A.D. 754.(1)
THE DEFINITION OF THE HOLY, GREAT, AND ECUMENICAL SEVENTH SYNOD.
The holy and Ecumenical synod, which by the grace of God and most pious
command of the God-beloved and orthodox Emperors, Constantine and Leo,(2)
now assembled in the imperial residence city, in the temple of the holy and
inviolate Mother of God and Virgin Mary, surnamed in Blachernae, have
decreed as follows.
Satan misguided men, so that they worshipped the creature instead of
the Creator. The Mosaic law and the prophets cooperated to undo this ruin;
but in order to save mankind thoroughly, God sent his own Son, who turned
us away from error and the worshipping of idols, and taught us the
worshipping of God in spirit and in truth. As messengers of his saving
doctrine, he left us his Apostles and disciples, and these adorned the
Church, his Bride, with his glorious doctrines. This ornament of the Church
the holy Fathers and the six Ecumenical Councils have preserved inviolate.
But the before-mentioned demiurgos of wickedness could not endure the sight
of this adornment, and gradually brought back idolatry under the appearance
of Christianity. As then Christ armed his Apostles against the ancient
idolatry with the power of the Holy Spirit, and sent them out into all the
world, so has he awakened against the new idolatry his servants our
faithful Emperors, and endowed them with the same wisdom of the Holy
Spirit. Impelled by the Holy Spirit they could no longer be witnesses of
the Church being laid waste by the deception of demons, and summoned the
sanctified assembly of the God-beloved bishops, that they might institute
at a synod a scriptural examination into the deceitful colouring of the
pictures (homoiwma'twn) which draws down the spirit of man from the
lofty adoration (latrei'as) of God to the low and material adoration
(latrei'an) of the creature, and that they, under divine guidance, might
express their view on the subject.
Our holy synod therefore assembled, and we, its 338 members, follow the
older synodal decrees, and accept and proclaim joyfully the dogmas handed
down, principally those of the six holy Ecumenical Synods. In the first
place the holy and ecumenical great synod assembled at Nice, etc.
After we had carefully examined their decrees under the guidance of the
Holy Spirit, we found that the unlawful art of painting living creatures
blasphemed the fundamental doctrine of our salvation--namely, the
Incarnation of Christ, and contradicted the six holy synods. These
condemned Nestorius because he divided the one Son and Word of God into two
sons, and on the other side, Arius, Dioscorus, Eutyches, and Severus,
because they maintained a mingling of the two natures of the one Christ.
Wherefore we thought it right, to shew forth with all accuracy, in our
present definition the error of such as make and venerate these, for it is
the unanimous doctrine of all the holy Fathers and of the six Ecumenical
Synods, that no one may imagine any kind of separation or mingling in
opposition to the unsearchable, unspeakable, and incomprehensible union of
the two natures in the one hypostasis or person. What avails, then, the
folly of the painter, who from sinful love of gain depicts that which
should not be depicted--that is, with his polluted hands he tries to
fashion that which should only be believed in the heart and confessed with
the mouth? He makes an image and calls it Christ. The name Christ signifies
God and man. Consequently it is an image of God and man, and consequently
he has in his foolish mind, in his representation of the created flesh,
depicted the Godhead which cannot be represented, and thus mingled what
should not be mingled. Thus he is guilty of a double blasphemy--the one in
making an image of the Godhead, and the other by mingling the Godhead and
manhood. Those fall into the same blasphemy who venerate the image, and the
same woe rests upon both, because they err with Arius, Dioscorus, and
Eutyches, and with the heresy of the Acephali. When, however, they are
blamed for undertaking to depict the divine nature of Christ, which should
not be depicted, they take refuge in the excuse: We represent only the
flesh of Christ which we have seen and handled. But that is a Nestorian
error. For it should be considered that that flesh was also the flesh of
God the Word, without any separation, perfectly assumed by the divine
nature and made wholly divine. How could it now be separated and
represented apart? So is it wish the human soul of Christ which mediates
between the Godhead of the Son and the dulness of the flesh. As the human
flesh is at the same time flesh of God the Word, so is the human soul also
soul of God the Word, and both at the same time, the soul being deified as
well as the body, and the Godhead remained undivided even in the separation
of the soul from the body in his voluntary passion. For where the soul of
Christ is, there is also his Godhead; and where the body of Christ is,
there too is his Godhead. If then in his passion the divinity remained
inseparable from these, how do the fools venture to separate the flesh from
the Godhead, and represent it by itself as the image of a mere man? They
fall into the abyss of impiety, since they separate the flesh from the
Godhead, ascribe to it a subsistence of its own, a personality of its own,
which they depict, and thus introduce a fourth person into the Trinity.
Moreover, they represent as not being made divine, that which has been made
divine by being assumed by the Godhead. Whoever, then, makes an image of
Christ, either depicts the Godhead which cannot be depicted, and mingles it
with the manhood (like the Monophysites), or he represents the body of
Christ as not made divine and separate and as a person apart, like the
The only admissible figure of the humanity of Christ, however, is bread
and wine in the holy Supper. This and no other form, this and no other
type, has he chosen to represent his incarnation. Bread he ordered to be
brought, but not a representation of the human form, so that idolatry
might not arise. And as the body of Christ is made divine, so also this
figure of the body of Christ, the bread, is made divine by the descent of
the Holy Spirit; it becomes the divine body of Christ by the mediation of
the priest who, separating the oblation from that which is common,
The evil custom of assigning names to the images does not come down
from Christ and the Apostles and the holy Fathers; nor have these left
behind then, any prayer by which an image should be hallowed or made
anything else than ordinary matter.
If, however, some say, we might be right in regard to the images of
Christ, on account of the mysterious union of the two natures, but it is
not right for us to forbid also the images of the altogether spotless and
ever-glorious Mother of God, of the prophets, apostles, and martyrs, who
were mere men and did not consist of two natures; we may reply, first of
all: If those fall away, there is no longer need of these. But we will also
consider what may be said against these in particular. Christianity has
rejected the whole of heathenism, and so not merely heathen sacrifices, but
also the heathen worship of images. The Saints live on eternally with God,
although they have died. If anyone thinks to call them back again to life
by a dead art, discovered by the heathen, he makes himself guilty of
blasphemy. Who dares attempt with heathenish art to paint the Mother of
God, who is exalted above all heavens and the Saints? It is not permitted
to Christians, who have the hope of the resurrection, to imitate the
customs of demon-worshippers, and to insult the Saints, who shine in so
great glory, by common dead matter.
Moreover, we can prove our view by Holy Scripture and the Fathers. In
the former it is said: "God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must
worship him in spirit and in truth;" and: "Thou shall not make thee any
graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that
is in the earth beneath;" on which account God spoke to the Israelites on
the Mount, from the midst of the fire, but showed them no image. Further:
"They changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like
to corruptible man,... and served the creature more than the Creator."
[Several other passages, even less to the point, are cited.](1)
The same is taught also by the holy Fathers. [The Synod appeals to a
spurious passage from Epiphanius and to one inserted into the writings of
Theodotus of Ancyra, a friend of St. Cyril's; to utterances--in no way
striking--of Gregory of Nazianzum, of SS. Chrysostom, Basil, Athanasius of
Amphilochius and of Eusebius Pamphili, from his Letter to the Empress
Constantia, who had asked him for a picture of Christ.](1)
Supported by the Holy Scriptures and the Fathers, we declare
unanimously, in the name of the Holy Trinity, that there shall be rejected
and removed and cursed one of the Christian Church every likeness which is
made out of any material and colour whatever by the evil art of painters.
Whoever in future dares to make such a thing, or to venerate it, or set
it up in a church, or in a private house, or possesses it in secret, shall,
if bishop, presbyter, or deacon, be deposed; if monk or layman, be
anathematised, and become liable to be tried by the secular laws as an
adversary of God and an enemy of the doctrines handed down by the Fathers.
At the same time we ordain that no incumbent of a church shall venture,
under pretext of destroying the error in regard to images, to lay his hands
on the holy vessels in order to have them altered, because they are adorned
with figures. The same is provided in regard to the vestments of churches,
cloths, and all that is dedicated to divine service. If, however, the
incumbent of a church wishes to have such church vessels and vestments
altered, he must do this only with the assent of the holy Ecumenical
patriarch and at the bidding of our pious Emperors. So also no prince or
secular official shall rob the churches, as some have done in former times,
under the pretext of destroying images. All this we ordain, believing that
we speak as doth the Apostle, for we also believe that we have the spirit
of Christ; and as our predecessors who believed the same thing spake what
they had synodically defined, so we believe and therefore do we speak, and
set forth a definition of what has seemed good to us following and in
accordance with the definitions of our Fathers.
(1) If anyone shall not confess, according to the tradition of the
Apostles and Fathers, in the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost one
godhead, nature and substance, will and operation, virtue and dominion,
kingdom and power in three subsistences, that is in their most glorious
Persons, let him be anathema.
(2) If anyone does not confess that one of the Trinity was made flesh,
let him be anathema.
(3) If anyone does not confess that the holy Virgin is truly the
Mother of God, etc.
(4) If anyone does not confess one Christ both God and man, etc.
(5) If anyone does not confess that the flesh of the Lord is life-
giving because it is the flesh of the Word of God, etc.
(6) If anyone does not confess two natures in Christ, etc.
(7) If anyone does not confess that Christ is seated with God the
Father in body and soul, and so will come to judge, and that he will remain
God forever without any grossness, etc.
(8) If anyone ventures to represent the divine image (charakth'r) of
the Word after the Incarnation with material colours, let him be anathema!
(9) If anyone ventures to represent in human figures, by means of
material colours, by reason of the incarnation, the substance or person
(ousia or hypostasis) of the Word, which cannot be depicted, and does not
rather confess that even after the Incarnation he [i.e., the Word] cannot
be depicted, let him be anathema!
(10) If anyone ventures to represent the hypostatic union of the two
natures in a picture, and calls it Christ, and fires falsely represents a
union of the two natures, etc.!
(11) If anyone separates the flesh united with the person of the Word
from it, and endeavours to represent it separately in a picture, etc.!
(12) If anyone separates the one Christ into two persons, and
endeavours to represent Him who was born of the Virgin separately, and thus
accepts only a relative (schetikh') union of the natures, etc.
(13) If anyone represents in a picture the flesh deified by its union
with the Word, and thus separates it from the Godhead, etc.
(14) If anyone endeavours to represent by material colours, God the
Word as a mere man, who, although bearing the form of God, yet has assumed
the form of a servant in his own person, and thus endeavours to separate
him from his inseparable Godhead, so that he thereby introduces a
quaternity into the Holy Trinity, etc.
(15) If anyone shall not confess the holy ever-virgin Mary, truly and
properly the Mother of God, to be higher than every creature whether
visible or invisible, and does not with sincere faith seek her
intercessions as of one having confidence in her access to our God, since
she bare him, etc.
(16) If anyone shall endeavour to represent the forms of the Saints in
lifeless pictures with material colours which are of no value (for this
notion is vain and introduced by the devil), and does not rather represent
their virtues as living images in himself, etc.
(17) If anyone denies the profit of the invocation of Saints, etc.
(18) If anyone denies the resurrection of the dead, and the judgment,
and the condign retribution to everyone, endless torment and endless bliss,
(19) If anyone does not accept this our Holy and Ecumenical Seventh
Synod, let him be anathema from the Father and the Son and the Holy
Ghost, and from the seven holy Ecumenical Synods!
[Then follows the prohibition of the making or teaching any other
faith, and the penalties for disobedience. After this follow the
The divine Kings Constantine and Leo said: Let the holy and ecumenical
synod say, if with the consent of all the most holy bishops the definition
just read has been set forth.
The holy synod cried out: Thus we all believe, we all are of the same
mind. We have all with one voice and voluntarily subscribed. This is the
faith of the Apostles. Many years to the Emperors! They are the light of
orthodoxy! Many years to the orthodox Emperors! God preserve your Empire!
You have now more firmly proclaimed the inseparability of the two natures
of Christ! You have banished all idolatry! You have destroyed the heresies
of Germanus [of Constantinople], George and Mansur [mansour, John
Damascene]. Anathema to Germanus, the double-minded, and worshipper of
wood! Anathema to George, his associate, to the falsifier of the doctrine
of the Fathers! Anathema to Mansur, who has an evil name and Saracen
opinions! To the betrayer of Christ and the enemy of the Empire, to the
teacher of impiety, the perverter of Scripture, Mansur, anathema! The
Trinity has deposed these three!(1)
THE DECREE OF THE HOLY, GREAT, ECUMENICAL SYNOD, THE SECOND OF NICE.
The holy, great, and Ecumenical Synod which by the grace of God and the
will of the pious and Christ-loving Emperors, Constantine and Irene, his
mother, was gathered together for the second time at Nice, the illustrious
metropolis of Bithynia, in the holy church of God which is named Sophia,
having followed the tradition of the Catholic Church, hath defined as
Christ our Lord, who hath bestowed upon us the light of the knowledge
of himself, and hath redeemed us from the darkness of idolatrous madness,
having espoused to himself the Holy Catholic Church without spot or defect,
promised that he would so preserve her: and gave his word to this effect to
his holy disciples when he said: "Lo! I am with you always, even unto the
end of the world," which promise he made, not only to them, but to us also
who should believe in his name through their word. But some, not
considering of this gift, and having become fickle through the temptation
of the wily enemy, have fallen from the right faith; for, withdrawing from
the traditions of the Catholic Church, they have erred from the truth and
as the proverb saith: "The husbandmen have gone astray in their own
husbandry and have gathered in their hands nothingness," because certain
priests, priests in name only, not in fact, had dared to speak against the
God-approved ornament of the sacred monuments, of whom God cries aloud
through the prophet, "Many pastors have corrupted my vineyard, they have
polluted my portion."
And, forsooth, following profane men, led astray by their carnal sense,
they have calumniated the Church of Christ our God, which he hath espoused
to himself, and have failed to distinguish between holy and profane,
styling the images of our Lord and of his Saints by the same name as the
statues of diabolical idols. Seeing which things, our Lord God (not
willing to behold his people corrupted by such manner of plague) hath of
his good pleasure called us together, the chief of his priests, from every
quarter, moved with a divine zeal and brought hither by the will of our
princes, Constantine and Irene, to the end that the traditions of the
Catholic Church may receive stability by our common decree. Therefore, with
all diligence, making a thorough examination and analysis, and following
the trend of the truth, we diminish nought, we add nought, but we preserve
unchanged all things which pertain to the Catholic Church, and following
the Six Ecumenical Synods, especially that which met in this illustrious
metropolis of Nice, as also that which was afterwards gathered together in
the God-protected Royal City.
We believe ...life of the world to come. Amen.
We detest and anathematize Arius and all the sharers of his absurd
opinion; also Macedonius and those who following him are well styled "Foes
of the Spirit" (Pneumatomachi). We confess that our Lady, St. Mary, is
properly and truly the Mother of God, because she was the Mother after the
flesh of One Person of the Holy Trinity, to wit, Christ our God, as the
Council of Ephesus has already defined when it cast out of the Church the
impious Nestorius with his colleagues, because he taught that there were
two Persons [in Christ]. With the Fathers of this synod we confess that he
who was incarnate of the immaculate Mother of God and Ever-Virgin Mary has
two natures, recognizing him as perfect God and perfect man, as also the
Council of Chalcedon hath promulgated, expelling from the divine Atrium
[aulh^s] as blasphemers, Eutyches and Dioscorus; and placing in the same
category Severus, Peter and a number of others, blaspheming in divers
fashions. Moreover, with these we anathematize the fables of Origen,
Evagrius, and Didymus, in accordance with the decision of the Fifth Council
held at Constantinople. We affirm that in Christ there be two wills and two
operations according to the reality of each nature, as also the Sixth
Synod, held at Constantinople, taught, casting out Sergius, Honorius,
Cyrus, Pyrrhus, Macarius, and those who agree with them, and all those who
are unwilling to be reverent.
To make our confession short, we keep unchanged all the ecclesiastical
traditions handed down to us, whether in writing or verbally, one of which
is the making of pictorial representations, agreeable to the history of the
preaching of the Gospel, a tradition useful in many respects, but
especially in this, that so the incarnation of the Word of God is shown
forth as real and not merely phantastic, for these have mutual indications
and without doubt have also mutual significations.
We, therefore, following the royal pathway and the divinely inspired
authority of our Holy Fathers and the traditions of the Catholic Church
(for, as we all know, the Holy Spirit indwells her), define with all
certitude and accuracy that just as the figure of the precious and life-
giving Cross, so also the venerable and holy images, as well in painting
and mosaic as of other fit materials, should be set forth in the holy
churches of God, and on the sacred vessels and on the vestments and on
hangings and in pictures both in houses and by the wayside, to wit, the
figure of our Lord God and Saviour Jesus Christ, of our spotless Lady, the
Mother of God, of the honourable Angels, of all Saints and of all pious
people. For by so much more frequently as they are seen in artistic
representation, by so much more readily are men lifted up to the memory of
their prototypes, and to a longing after them; and to these should be given
due salutation and honourable reverence (aspasmo`n kai` timhtikh`n
prosku'nhsin), not indeed that true worship of faith (latrei'an) which
pertains alone to the divine nature; but to these, as to the figure of the
precious and life-giving Cross and to the Book of the Gospels and to the
other holy objects, incense and lights may be offered according to ancient
pious custom. For the honour which is paid to the image passes on to that
which the image represents, and he who reveres the image reveres in it the
subject represented. For thus the teaching of our holy Fathers, that is the
tradition of the Catholic Church, which from one end of the earth to the
other hath received the Gospel, is strengthened. Thus we follow Paul, who
spake in Christ, and the whole divine Apostolic company and the holy
Fathers, holding fast the traditions which we have received. So we sing
prophetically the triumphal hymns of the Church, "Rejoice greatly, O
daughter of Sion; Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem. Rejoice and be glad with
all thy heart. The Lord hath taken away from thee the oppression of thy
adversaries; thou art redeemed from the hand of thine enemies. The Lord is
a King in the midst of thee; thou shalt not see evil any more, and peace be
unto thee forever."
Those, therefore who dare to think or teach otherwise, or as wicked
heretics to spurn the traditions of the Church and to invent some novelty,
or else to reject some of those things which the Church hath received
(e.g., the Book of the Gospels, or the image of the cross, or the pictorial
icons, or the holy reliques of a martyr), or evilly and sharply to devise
anything subversive of the lawful traditions of the Catholic Church or to
turn to common uses the sacred vessels or the venerable monasteries, if
they be Bishops or Clerics, we command that they be deposed; if religious
or laics, that they be cut off from communion.
[After all had signed, the acclamations began.]
The holy Synod cried out: So we all believe, we all are so minded, we
all give our consent and have signed. This is the faith of the Apostles,
this is the faith of the orthodox, this is the faith which hath made firm
the whole world. Believing in one God, to be celebrated in Trinity, we
salute the honourable images! Those who do not so hold, let them be
anathema. Those who do not thus think, let them be driven far away from the
Church. For we follow the most ancient legislation of the Catholic Church.
We keep the laws of the Fathers. We anathematize those who add anything to
or take anything away from the Catholic Church. We anathematize the
introduced novelty of the revilers of Christians. We salute the venerable
images. We place under anathema those who do not do this. Anathema to them
who presume to apply to the venerable images the things said in Holy
Scripture about. idols. Anathema to those who do not salute the holy and
venerable images. Anathema to those who call the sacred images idols.
Anathema to those who say that Christians resort to the sacred images as to
gods. Anathema to those who say that any other delivered us from idols
except Christ our God. Anathema to those who dare to say that at any time
the Catholic Church received idols.
Many years to the Emperors, etc., etc.
THE CANONS OF THE HOLY AND ECUMENICAL SEVENTH COUNCIL .
CANON I. That the sacred Canons are in all things to be observed.
THE pattern for those who have received the sacerdotal dignity is found
in the testimonies and instructions laid down in the canonical
constitutions, which we receiving with a glad mind, sing unto the Lord God
in the words of the God-inspired David, saying: "I have had as great
delight in the way of thy testimonies as in all manner of riches." "Thou
hast commanded righteousness as thy testimonies for ever." "Grant me
understanding and I shall live." Now if the word of prophesy bids us keep
the testimonies of God forever and to live by them, it is evident that they
must abide unshaken and without change. Therefore Moses, the prophet of
God, speaketh after this manner: "To them nothing is to be added, and from
them nothing is to be taken away." And the divine Apostle glorying in them
cries out, "which things the angels desire to look into," and, "if an angel
preach to you anything besides that which ye have received, let him be
anathema." Seeing these things are so, being thus well-testified unto us,
we rejoice over them as he that hath found great spoil, and press to our
bosom with gladness the divine canons, holding fast all the precepts of the
same, complete and without change, whether they have been set forth by the
holy trumpets of the Spirit, the renowned Apostles, or by the Six
Ecumenical Councils, or by Councils locally assembled for promulgating the
decrees of the said Ecumenical Councils, or by our holy Fathers. For all
these, being illumined by the same Spirit, defined such things as were
expedient. Accordingly those whom they placed under anathema, we likewise
anathematize; those whom they deposed, we also depose; those whom they
excommunicated, we also excommunicate; and those whom they delivered over
to punishment, we subject to the same penalty. And now "let your
conversation be without covetousness," crieth out Paul the divine Apostle,
who was caught up into the third heaven and heard unspeakable words.
ANCIENT EPITOME OF CANON I.
We gladly embrace the Divine Canons, viz.: those of the Holy Apostles,
of the Six Ecumenical Synods, as also of the local synods and of our Holy
Fathers, as inspired by one and the same Holy Spirit. Whom they
anathematize we also anathematize; whom they depose, we depose; whom they
cut off, we cut off; and whom they subject to penalties, we also so
CANON II. That he who is to be ordained a Bishop must be steadfastly
resolved to observe the canons, otherwise he shall not be ordained.
WHEN we recite the psalter, we promise God: "I will meditate upon thy
statutes, and will not forget thy words." It is a salutary thing for all
Christians to observe this, but it is especially incumbent upon those who
have received the sacerdotal dignity. Therefore we decree, that every one
who is raised to the rank of the episcopate shall know the psalter by
heart, so that from it he may admonish and instruct all the clergy who are
subject to him. And diligent examination shall be made by the metropolitan
whether he be zealously inclined to read diligently, and not merely now and
then, the sacred canons, the holy Gospel, and the book of the divine
Apostle, and all other divine Scripture; and whether he lives according to
God's commandments, and also teaches the same to his people. For the
special treasure (ousia) of our high priesthood is the
oracles which have been divinely delivered to us, that is the true science
of the Divine Scriptures, as says Dionysius the Great. And if his mind be
not set, and even glad, so to do and teach, let him not be ordained. For
says God by the prophet, "Thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject
thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me."
ANCIENT EPITOME OF CANON II.
Whoever is to be a bishop must know the Psalter by heart: he must
thoroughly understand what he reads, and not merely superficially, but with
diligent care, that is to say the Sacred Canons, the Holy Gospel, the book
of the Apostle, and the whole of the Divine Scripture. And should he not
have such knowledge, he is not to be ordained.
CANON III. That it does not pertain to princes to choose a Bishop.
LET every election of a bishop, presbyter, or deacon, made by princes
stand null, according to the canon which says: If any bishop making use of
the secular powers shall by their means obtain jurisdiction over any
church, he shall be deposed, and also excommunicated, together with all who
remain in communion with him. For he who is raised to the episcopate must
be chosen by bishops, as was decreed by the holy fathers of Nice in the
canon which says: It is most fitting that a bishop be ordained by all the
bishops in the province; but if this is difficult to arrange, either on
account of urgent necessity, or because of the length of the journey, three
bishops at least having met together and given their votes, those also who
are absent having signified their assent by letters, the ordination shall
take place. The confirmation of what is thus done, shall in each province
be given by the metropolitan thereof.
ANCIENT EPITOME OF CANON III.
Every election made by a secular magistrate is null.
CANON IV. That Bishops are to abstain from all receiving of gifts.
THE Church's herald, Paul the divine Apostle, laying down a rule
(kano'na) not only for the presbyters of Ephesus but for the whole company
of the priesthood, speaks thus explicitly, saying, "I have coveted no man's
silver or gold, or apparel. I have shewed you all things, how that so
labouring ye ought to support the weak;" for he accounted it more blessed
to give. Therefore we being taught by him do decree, that under no
circumstances, shall a Bishop for the sake of filthy lucre invent feigned
excuses for sins, and exact gold or silver or other gifts from the bishops,
clergy, or monks who are subject to him. For says the Apostle, "The
unrighteous shall not possess the kingdom of God," and, "The children ought
not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children." If then
any is found, who for the sake of exacting gold or any other gift, or who
from personal feeling, has suspended from the ministry, or even
excommunicated, any of the clergy subject to his jurisdiction, or who has
closed any of the venerable temples, so that the service of God may not be
celebrated in it, pouring out his madness even upon things insensible, and
thus shewing himself to be without understanding, he shall be subjected to
the same punishment he devised for others, and his trouble shall return on
his own head, as a transgressor of God's commandment and of the apostolic
precepts. For Peter the supreme head (hh keruphai'a akro'ths) of the
Apostles commands, "Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the
oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre
but of a ready mind; neither as being lords over the clergy (tw^n klh'rwn
[A. V. God's heritage] ); but being ensamples to the flock. And when the
chief shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth
ANCIENT EPITOME OF CANON IV.
We decree that no bishop shall extort gold or silver, or anything else
from bishops, clerics, or monks subject to his jurisdiction. And if anyone
through the power of gold or of any other thing or through his own whims,
shall be found to have prevented any one of the clergy who are subject to
him, from the celebration of the holy offices, or shall have shut up a
venerable temple so that the sacred worship of God could not be performed
in it, he shall be subject to the lex talionis. For Peter the Apostle says:
Feed the flock of God, not of necessity but willingly, and according to
God; not for filthy lucre's sake, but with a prompt mind; not exercising
lordship over the clergy, but being an example to the flock.
CANON V. That they who cast contumely upon clerics because they have been
ordained in the church without bringing a gift with them, are to be
published with a fine.
IT is a sin unto death when men incorrigibly continue in their sin, but
they sin more deeply, who proudly lifting themselves up oppose piety and
sincerity, accounting mammon of more worth than obedience to God, and
caring nothing for his canonical precepts. The Lord God is not found among
such, unless, perchance, having been humbled by their own fall, they return
to a sober mind. It behoves them the rather to turn to God with a contrite
heart and to pray for forgiveness and pardon of so grave a sin, and no
longer to boast in an unholy gift. For the Lord is nigh unto them that are
of a contrite heart. With regard, therefore, to those who pride themselves
that because of their benefactions of gold they were ordained in the
Church, and resting confidently in this evil custom (so alien from God and
inconsistent with the whole priesthood), with a proud look and open mouth
vilify with abusive words those who on account of the strictness of their
life were chosen by the Holy Ghost and have been ordained without any gift
of money, we decree in the first place that they take the lowest place in
their order; but if they do not amend let them be subjected to a fine. But
if it appear that any one has done this [i.e., given money], at any time as
a price for ordination, let him be dealt with according to the Apostolic
Canon which says: "If a bishop has obtained possession of his dignity by
means of money (the same rule applies also to a presbyter or deacon) let
him be deposed and also the one who ordained him, and let him also be
altogether cut off from communion, even as Simon Magus was by me Peter." To
the same effect is the second canon of our holy fathers of Chalcedon, which
says: If any bishop gives ordination in return for money, and puts up for
sale that which cannot be sold, and ordains for money a bishop or
chorepiscopus, or presbyter, or deacon, or any other of those who are
reckoned among the clergy; or who for money shall appoint anyone to the
office of oeconomus, advocate, or paramonarius; or, in a word, who hath
done anything else contrary to the canon, for the sake of filthy lucre--he
who hath undertaken to do anything of this sort, having been convicted,
shall be in danger of losing his degree. And he who has been ordained shall
derive no advantage from the ordination or promotion thus negotiated; but
let him remain a stranger to the dignity and responsibility which he
attained by means of money. And if any one shall appear to have acted as a
go-between in so shameful and godless a traffic, lie also, if he be a
cleric, shall be removed from his degree; if he be a layman or a monk, let
him be excommunicated.
ANCIENT EPITOME OF CANON V.
It seems that such as glory in the fact that they owe their position to
their liberality in gold to the Church, and who contemn those who were
chosen because of their virtue and were appointed without any largess,
should receive the lowest place in their order. And should they continue in
their ways, let them be punished. But those who made such gifts so as to
get ordinations, let such be cast forth from communion, as Simon Magus was
CANON VI. Concerning the homing of a local Synod at the time appointed.
SINCE there is a canon which says, twice a year in each province, the
canonical enquiries shall be made in the gatherings of the bishops; but
because of the inconveniences which those who thus came together had to
undergo in travelling, the holy fathers of the Sixth Council decreed that
once each year, without regard to place or excuse which might be urged, a
council should be held and the things which are amiss corrected. This canon
we now renew. And if any prince be found hindering this being carried out,
let him be excommunicated. But if any of the metropolitans shall take no
care that this be done, he being free from constraint or fear or other
reasonable excuse, let him be subjected to the canonical penalties. While
the council is engaged in considering the canons or matters which have
regard to the Gospel, it behoves the assembled Bishops, with all attention
and grave thought to guard the divine and life-giving commandments of God,
for in keeping of them there is great reward; because our lamp is the
commandment, and our light is the law, and trial and discipline are the way
of life, and the commandment of the Lord shining afar giveth light to the
eyes. It is not permitted to a metropolitan to demand any of those things
which the bishops bring with them, whether it be a horse or any other
gift.If he be convicted of doing anything of this sort, he shall restore
ANCIENT EPITOME OF CANON VI.
Whenever it is not possible for a synod to meet according to the decree
formulated long ago, twice in each year, at least let it be held once, as
seemed good to the Sixth Synod. Should any magistrate forbid such meeting,
let him be cast out: and a bishop who shall take no pains to assemble it,
shall be subject to punishment. And when the synod is held, should it
appear that the Metropolitan has taken anything away from any bishop, let
him restore four-fold.
CANON VII. That to churches consecrated without any deposit of the reliques
of the Saints, the defect should be made good.
PAUL the divine Apostle says: "The sins of some are open beforehand,
and some they follow after." These are their primary sins, and other sins
follow these. Accordingly upon the heels of the heresy of the traducers of
the Christians, there followed close other ungodliness. For as they took
out of the churches the presence of the venerable images, so likewise they
cast aside other customs which we must now revive and maintain in
accordance with the written and unwritten law. We decree therefore that
relics shall be placed with the accustomed service in as many of the sacred
temples as have been consecrated without the relics of the Martyrs. And if
any bishop from this time forward is found consecrating a temple without
holy relics, he shall be deposed, as a transgressor of the ecclesiastical
ANCIENT EPITOME OF CANON VII.
Let reliques of the Holy Martyrs be placed in such churches as have
been consecrated without them, and this with the accustomed prayers. But
whoever shall consecrate a church without these shall be deposed as a
transgressor of the traditions of the Church.
CANON VIII. That Hebrews ought not to be received unless they have been
converted in sincerity of heart.
SINCE certain, erring in the superstitions of the Hebrews, have thought
to mock at Christ our God, and feigning to be converted to the religion of
Christ do deny him, and in private and secretly keep the Sabbath and
observe other Jewish customs, we decree that such persons be not received
to communion, nor to prayers, nor into the Church; but let them be openly
Hebrews according to their religion, and let them not bring their children
to baptism, nor purchase or possess a slave. But if any of them, out of a
sincere heart and in faith, is converted and makes profession with his
whole heart, setting at naught their customs and observances, and so that
others may be convinced and converted, such an one is to be received and
baptized, and his children likewise; and let them be taught to take care to
hold aloof from the ordinances of the Hebrews. But if they will not do
this, let them in no wise be received.
ANCIENT EPITOME OF CANON VIII.
Hebrews must not be received unless they are manifestly converted with
sincerity of heart.
CANON IX. That none of the books containing the heresy of the traducers of
the Christians are to be hid.
ALL the childish devices and mad ravings which have been falsely
written against the venerable images, must be delivered up to the
Episcopium of Constantinople, that they may be locked away with other
heretical books. And if anyone is found hiding such books, if he be a
bishop or presbyter or deacon, let him be deposed; but if he be a monk or
layman, let him be anathema.
ANCIENT EPITOME OF CANON IX.
If any one is found to have concealed a book written against the
venerable images, if he is on the clergy list let him be deposed; if a
layman or monk let him be cut off.
CANON X. That no cleric ought to leave his diocese and go into another
without the knowledge of the Bishop.
SINCE certain of the clergy, misinterpreting the canonical
constitutions, leave their own diocese and run into other dioceses,
especially into this God-protected royal city, and take up their abode with
princes, celebrating liturgies in their oratories, it is not permitted to
receive such persons into any house or church without the license of their
own Bishop and also that of the Bishop of Constantinople. And if any clerk
shall do this without such license, and shah so continue, let him be
deposed. With regard to those who have done this with the knowledge of the
aforesaid Bishops, it is not lawful for them to undertake mundane and
secular responsibilities, since this is forbidden by the sacred canons. And
if anyone is discovered holding the office of those who are called
Meizoteroi; let him either lay it down, or be deposed from the priesthood.
Let him rather be the instructor of the children and others of the
household, reading to them the Divine Scriptures, for to this end he
received the priesthood.
ANCIENT EPITOME OF CANON X.
A clergyman who after leaving his own parish has settled in another far
off from his own bishop and from the bishop of Constantinople, shall be
received neither into house nor church. And if he shall persevere in his
course, he shall be deposed. But if they shall do this with a knowledge of
what we have said, they shall not receive a secular position; or should
they have received them, they shall cease from them. And if they refuse
they shall be deposed.
CANON XI. That Oeconomi ought to be in the Episcopal palaces and in the
SINCE we are under obligation to guard all the divine canons, we ought
by all means to maintain in its integrity that one which says oeconomi are
to be in each church. If the metropolitan appoints in his Church an
oeconomus, he does well; but if he does not, it is permitted to the Bishop
of Constantinople by his own (idi'as) authority to choose an oeconomus for
the Church of the Metropolitan. A like authority belongs to the
metropolitans, if the Bishops who are subject to them do not wish to
appoint oeconomi in their churches. The same rule is also to be observed
with respect to monasteries.
ANCIENT EPITOME OF CANON XI.
If the Metropolitan does not elect an oeconomus of the metropolis, the
patriarch shall do so. If the bishop shall not do so, the Metropolitan
shall; for so it seemed good to the fathers assembled at Chalcedon.The same
law shall hold in monasteries.
CANON XII. That a Bishop or Hegumenos ought not to alienate any part of the
suburban estate of the church.
IF bishop or hegumenos is found alienating any part of the farm lands
of the bishoprick or monastery into the hands of secular princes, or
surrendering them to any other person, such act is null according to the
canon of the holy Apostles, which says: "Let the bishop take care of all
the Church's goods, and let him administer the same according as in the
sight of God." It is not lawful for him to appropriate any part himself, or
to confer upon his relations the things which belong to God. If they are
poor let them be helped among the poor; but let them not be used as a
pretext for smuggling away the Church's property. And if it be urged that
the land is only a loss and yields no profit, the place is not on that
account to be given to the secular rulers, who are in the neighbourhood;
but let it be given to clergymen or husbandmen. And if they have resorted
to dishonest craft, so that the ruler has bought the land from the
husbandman or cleric, such transaction shall likewise be null, and the land
shall be restored to the bishoprick or monastery. And the bishop or
hegumenos doing this shall be turned out, the bishop from his bishoprick
and the hegumenos from his monastery, as those who wasted what they did not
ANCIENT EPITOME OF CANON XII.
According to what seemed good to the Holy Apostles, any act of
alienation of the goods of a diocese or of a monastery made by the bishop,
or by the superior of the monastery, shall be null. And the Bishop or
Superior who shall have done this shall be expelled.
CANON XIII. That they are worthy of special condemnation who turn the
monasteries into public houses.
DURING the calamity which was brought to pass in the Churches, because
of our sins, some of the sacred houses, for example, bishops' palaces and
monasteries, were seized by certain men and became public inns. If those
who now hold them choose to give them back, so that they may be restored to
their original use, well and good; but if not, and these persons are on the
sacerdotal list, we command that they be deposed; if they be monks or
laymen, that they be excommunicated, as those who have been condemned from
the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost, and assigned their place where
the worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched, because they set
themselves against the voice of the Lord, which says: "Make not my Father's
house an house of merchandise."
ANCIENT EPITOME OF CANON XIII.
Those who make common diocesan or monastic goods, unless they restore
to the bishop or superior the things belonging to the diocese or monastery,
the whole proceeding shall be null. If they are persons in Holy Orders
they shall be deposed, but if laymen or monks they shall be cast out.
CANON XIV. That no one without ordination ought to read in the ambo during
THAT there is a certain order established in the priesthood is very
evident to all, and to guard diligently the promotions of the priesthood is
well pleasing to God. Since therefore we see certain youths who have
received the clerical tonsure, but who have not yet received ordination
from the bishop, reading in the ambo during the Synaxis, and in doing this
violating the canons, we forbid this to be done (from henceforth,) and let
this prohibition be observed also amongst the monks. It is permitted to
each hegumenos in his own monastery to ordain a reader, if he himself had
received the laying on of hands by a bishop to the dignity of hegumenos,
and is known to be a presbyter. Chorepiscopi may likewise, according to
ancient custom and with the bishop's authorization, appoint readers.
ANCIENT EPITOME OF CANON XIV.
No one shall read from the ambon unless he has been ordained by the
bishop. And this shall be in force also among monks. The superior of a
monastery, if he has been ordained by the bishop, may ordain a lector but
only in his own monastery. A chorepiscopus also can make a lector.
CANON XV. That a clerk ought not to be set over two churches.
FROM henceforth no clergyman shall be appointed over two churches, for
this savours of merchandise and filthy lucre, and is altogether alien from
ecclesiastical custom. We have heard by the very voice of the Lord that,
"No man can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the
other, or else he will hold to the one and despise the other." Each one,
therefore, as says the Apostle, in the calling wherein he was called, in
the same he ought to abide, and in one only church to give attendance. For
in the affairs of the Church, what is gained through filthy lucre is
altogether separate from God. To meet the necessities of this life, there
are various occupations, by means of which, if one so desire, let him
procure the things needful for the body. For says the Apostle, "These hands
have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me."
Occupations of this sort may be obtained in the God-protected city. But in
the country places outside, because of the small number of people, let a
dispensation be granted.
ANCIENT EPITOME OF CANON XV.
Hereafter at Constantinople a cleric may not serve two churches. But in
the outskirts this may be permitted on account of the scarcity men.
CANON XVI. That it does not become one in holy orders to be clad in costly
ALL buffoonery and decking of the body ill becomes the priestly rank.
Therefore those bishops and clerics who array themselves in gay and showy
clothing ought to correct themselves, and if they do not amend they ought
to be subjected to punishment. So likewise they who anoint themselves with
perfumes. When the root of bitterness sprang up, there was poured into the
Catholic Church the pollution of the heresy of the traducers of the
Christians. And such as were defiled by it, not only detested the pictured
images, but also set at naught all decorum, being exceedingly mad against
those who lived gravely and religiously; so that in them was fulfilled that
which is written, "The service of God is abominable to the sinner." If
therefore, any are found deriding those who are clad in poor and grave
raiment, let them be corrected by punishment. For from early times every
man in holy orders wore modest and grave clothing; and verily whatever is
worn, not so much because of necessity, as for the sake of outward show,
savours of dandyism, as says Basil the Great. Nor did anyone array himself
in raiment embroidered with silk, nor put many coloured ornaments on the
border of his garments; for they had heard from the lips of God that "They
that wear soft clothing are in kings' houses."
ANCIENT EPITOME OF CANON XVI.
Bishops and clergymen arraying themselves in splendid clothes and
anointed with perfumes must be corrected. Should they persist, they must be
CANON XVII. That he shall not be allowed to begin the building of an
oratory, who has not the means wherewith to finish it.
CERTAIN monks having left their monasteries because they desired to
rule, and, unwilling to obey, are undertaking to build oratories, but have
not the means to finish them. Now whoever shall undertake to do anything of
this sort, let him be forbidden by the bishop of the place. But if he have
the means wherewith to finish, let what he has designed be carried on to
completion. The same rule is to be observed with regard to laymen and
ANCIENT EPITOME OF CANON XVII.
Whoever wishes to build a monastery, if he has the wherewithal to
finish it, let him begin the work, and let him bring it to a conclusion.
But if not, let him be prohibited by the bishop of the place. The same law
shall apply to laymen and monks.
CANON XVIII. That women ought not to live in bishops' houses, nor in
monasteries of men.
"BE ye without offence to those who are without," says the divine
Apostle. Now for women to live in Bishops' houses or in monasteries is
ground for grave offence. Whoever therefore is known to have a female slave
or freewoman in the episcopal palace or in a monastery for the discharge of
some service, let him be rebuked. And if he still continue to retain her,
let him be deposed. If it happens that women are on the suburban estates,
and the bishop or hegumenos desires to go thither, so long as the bishop or
hegumenos is present, let no woman at that time continue her work, but let
her betake herself to some other place until the bishop lot hegumenos]
has departed, so that there be no occasion of complaint.
ANCIENT EPITOME OF CANON XVIII.
It is not fitting that women should be kept in episcopal houses or in
monasteries. If anyone shall dare to do so, he shall be reproved; but if he
persists, he shall be deposed. No woman is allowed to serve or even to
appear where a bishop or a superior of a monastery is present, but let her
keep herself apart until he be gone.
CANON XIX. That the vows of those in holy orders and of monks, and of nuns
are to be made without the exaction of gifts.
THE abomination of filthy lucre has made such inroads among the rulers
of the churches, that certain of those who call themselves religious men
and women, forgetting the commandments of the Lord have been altogether led
astray, and for the sake of money have received those presenting themselves
for the sacerdotal order and the monastic life. And hence the first step of
those so received being unlawful, the whole proceeding is rendered null, as
says Basil the Great. For it is not possible that God should be served by
means of mammon. If therefore, anyone is found doing anything of this
kind, if he be a bishop or hegumenos, or one of the priesthood, either let
him cease to do so any longer or else let him be deposed, according to the
second canon of the Holy Council of Chalcedon. If the offender be an
abbess, let her be sent away from her monastery, and placed in another in a
subordinate position. In like manner is a hegumenos to be dealt with, who
has not the ordination of a presbyter. With regard to what has been given
by parents as a dowry for their children, or which persons themselves have
contributed out of their own property, with the declaration that such gifts
were made to God, we have decreed, that whether the persons in whose behalf
the gifts were made, continue to live in the monastery or not, the gifts
are to remain with the monastery in accordance with their first
determination; unless indeed there be ground for complaint against the
ANCIENT EPITOME OF CANON XIX.
Whoever for money admits those coming to Holy Orders or to the monastic
life, if he be bishop, or superior of a monastery or any other in sacred
orders, shall either cease or be deposed. And the Superior of a monastery
of women shall be expelled [if she have done sol and shall be given over to
subjection. The same shall be the ease with a superior of monks, if he be
not a priest. But the possessions brought by those who come in, let them
remain, whether the persons remain or not, provided the superior be not to
CANON XX. That from henceforth, no double monastery shall be erected; and
concerning the double monasteries already in existence.
WE decree that from henceforth, no double monastery shall be erected;
because this has become an offence and cause of complaint to many. In the
case of those persons who with the members of their family propose to leave
the world and follow the monastic life, let the men go into a monastery for
men, and the women into a monastery for women; for this is well-pleasing to
God. The double monasteries which are already in existence, shall observe
the rule of our holy Father Basil, and shall be ordered by his precepts,
monks and nuns shall not dwell together in the same monastery, for in thus
living together adultery finds its occasion. No monk shall have access to a
nunnery; nor shall a nun be permitted to enter a monastery for the sake of
conversing with anyone therein. No monk shall sleep in a monastery for
women, nor eat alone with a nun. When food is brought by men to the
canonesses, let the abbess accompanied by some one of the aged nuns,
receive it outside the gates of the women's monastery. When a monk desires
to see one of his kinswomen, who may be in the nunnery, let him converse
with her in the presence of the abbess, and that in a very few words, and
then let him speedily take his departure.
ANCIENT EPITOME OF CANON XX.
Monasteries shall not be double, neither shall monks and nuns live in
the same building, nor shall they talk together apart. Moreover if a man
takes anything to a canoness, let him wait without and hand it to her, and
let him see his relative in the presence of her superior.
CANON XXI. That monks are not to leave their monasteries and go into
A MONK or nun ought not to leave the monastery to which he or she is
attached, and betake themselves to others. But if one do this, he ought to
be received as a guest. It is not however proper that he be made a member
of the monastery, without the consent of his hegumenos.
ANCIENT EPITOME OF CANON XXI.
It is not allowed to a monk or a nun to leave her own house and enter
another; but if he (or she) enters let (him or her) be received as a guest;
but let him (or her) not be admitted at all nor given hospitality contrary
to the will of the superior.
CANON XXII. That when it happens that monies have to eat with women they
ought to observe giving of thanks, and abstemiousness, and discretion.
To surrender all things to God, and not to serve our own wills, is
great gain. For says the divine Apostle, "whether ye eat or drink, do all
to the glory of God." And Christ our God has bidden us in his Gospels, to
cut off the beginning of sins; for not only is adultery rebuked by him, but
even the movement of the mind towards the act of adultery when he says,
"Whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her, hath committed adultery
with her already in his heart." We who have been thus taught ought
therefore to purify our minds. Now although all things are lawful, all
things are not expedient, as we have been taught by the mouth of the
Apostle. It is needful that all men should eat in order that they may live.
And for those to whom life consists of marrying, and bringing forth
children, and of the condition of the lay state, there is nothing
unbecoming in men and women eating together, only let them give thanks to
the giver of the food; but if there be the entertainments of the theatre,
that is, Satanic songs accompanied with the meretricious inflections of
harps, there come upon them, through these things, the curse of the
prophet, who thus speaks: "Woe to them who drink wine with harp and
psaltery, but they regard not the works of the Lord, and consider not the
works of his hands." Whenever persons of this sort are found among
Christians, let them amend their ways; but if they will not do so, let
there overtake them the penalties which have been enacted in the canons by
our predecessors. With regard to those whose life is free from care and
apart from men, that is, those who have resolved before the Lord God to
carry the solitary yoke, they should sit down alone and in silence.
Moreover it is also altogether unlawful for those who have chosen the
priestly life to eat in private with women, unless it be with God-fearing
and discreet men and women, so that even their feast may be turned to
spiritual edification. The same rule is to be observed with relatives.
Again, if it happen that a monk or priest while on a journey does not have
with him what is absolutely necessary for him, and, because of his pressing
needs, thinks well to turn aside into an inn or into someone's house, this
he is permitted to do, seeing that need compels.
ANCIENT EPITOME OF CANON XXII.
There is no objection to laywomen eating with men: it is not right
however for men who have chosen the lonely life, to eat privately with
women; unless perchance together with them that fear God and with religious
men and women. But when travelling, a monk or anyone in sacred orders, not
carrying necessary provisions with him, may enter a public house.
THE LETTER OF THE SYNOD TO THE EMPEROR AND EMPRESS.
To our most religious and most serene princes, Constantine and Irene
his mother. Tarasius, the unworthy bishop of your God-protected royal city,
new Rome, and all the holy Council which met at the good pleasure of God
and upon the command of your Christ-loving majesty in the renowned
metropolis of Nice, the second council to assemble in this city.
Christ our God (who is the head of the Church) was glorified, most
noble princes, when your heart, which he holds in his hands, gave forth
that good word bidding us to assemble in his name, in order that we might
strengthen our hold on the sure, immovable, and God-given truth contained
in the Church's dogmas. As your heads were crowned with gold and most
brilliant stones, so likewise were your minds adorned with the precepts of
the Gospel and the teachings of the Fathers. And being the disciples and
companions, as it were, of those whose sounds went forth into all the
earth, ye became the leaders in the way of piety of all who bore the name
of Christ, setting forth clearly the word of truth, and giving a brilliant
example of orthodoxy and piety; so that ye were to the faithful as so many
burning lamps. The Church which was ready to fall, ye upheld with your
hands, strengthening it with sound doctrine, and bringing into the unity of
a right judgment those who were at variance. We may therefore well say with
boldness that it was through you that the good pleasure of God brought
about the triumph of godliness, and filled our mouth with joy and our
tongue with gladness. And these things our lips utter with a formal decree.
For what is more glorious than to maintain the Church's interests; and what
else is more calculated to provoke our gladness?
Certain men rose up, having the form of godliness, inasmuch as they
were clothed with the dignity of the priesthood, but denying the power
thereof; and thus deserving for themselves the charge of being but priests
of Babylon. Of such the word of prophecy had before declared that
"lawlessness went forth from the priests of Babylon." Nay more, they
banded themselves together in a sanhedrim, like to that which Caiaphas
held, and became the propagators of ungodly doctrines. And having a mouth
full of cursing and bitterness, they thought to win the mastery by means of
abusive words. With a slanderous tongue and a pen of a like character, and
objecting to the very terms used by God himself, they devised marvellous
tales, and then proceeded to stigmatise as idolaters the royal priesthood
and the holy nation, even those who had put on Christ, and by his grace had
been kept safe from the folly of idols. And having a mind set upon evil,
they took in hand unlawful deeds, thinking to suppress altogether the
depicting of the venerable images. Accordingly, as many icons as were set
in mosaic work they dug out, and those which were in painted waxwork, they
scraped away; thus turning the comely beauty of the sacred temples into
complete disorder. Among doings of this sort, it is to be specially noted
that the pictures set up on tablets in memory of Christ our God and of his
Saints, they gave over to the flames. Finally, in a word, having desecrated
our churches, they reduced them to utter confusion. Then some bishops
became the leaders of this heresy and where before was peace, they fomented
strife among the people; and instead of wheat sowed tares in the Church's
fields. They mingled wine with water, and gave the foul draught to those
about them. Although but Arabian wolves, they hid themselves under sheeps'
clothing, and by specious reasoning against the truth sought to commend
their lie. But all the while "they hatched asps' eggs and wove a spider's
web," as says the prophet; and "he that would eat of their eggs, having
crushed one, found it to be addled, with a basilisk within it," and giving
forth a deadly stench.
In such a state of affairs, with a lie busy destroying the truth, ye,
most gracious and most noble princes, did not idly allow so grave a plague,
and such soul-destroying error long to continue in your day. But moved by
the divine Spirit which abideth in you, ye set yourselves with all your
strength utterly to exterminate it, and thus preserve the stability of the
Church's government, and likewise concord among your subjects; so that your
whole empire might be established in peace agreeably with the name [Irene]
you bear. Ye rightly reasoned, that it was not to be patiently endured,
that while in other matters we could be of one mind and live in concord,
yet in what ought to be the chief concern of our life, the peace of the
Churches, there was amongst us strife and division. And that too, when
Christ being our head, we ought to be members one of another, and one body,
by our mutual agreement and faith. Accordingly, ye commanded our holy and
numerously-attended council to assemble in the metropolis of Nice, in order
that after having rid the Church of division, we might restore to unity the
separated members, and might be careful to rend and utterly destroy the
coarse cloak of false doctrine, which they had woven of thorn fibre, and
unfold again the fair robe of orthodoxy.
And now having carefully traced the traditions of the Apostles and
Fathers, we are bold to speak. Having but one mind by the inbreathing of
the most Holy Spirit, and being all knit together in one, and understanding
the harmonious tradition of the Catholic Church, we are in perfect harmony
with the symphonies set forth by the six, holy and ecumenical councils; and
accordingly we have anathematised the madness of Arius, the frenzy of
Macedonius, the senseless understanding of Appolinarius, the man-worship of
Nestorius, the irreverent mingling of the natures devised by Eutyches and
Dioscorus, and the many-headed hydra which is their companion. We have also
anathematised the idle tales of Origen, Didymus, and Evagrius; and the
doctrine of one will held by Sergius, Honorius, Cyrus, and Pyrrhus, or
rather, we have anathematised their own evil will. Finally, taught by the
Spirit, from whom we have drawn pure water, we have with one accord and one
soul, altogether wiped out with the sponge of the divine dogmas the newly
devised heresy, well-worthy to be classed with those just mentioned, which
springing up after them, uttered such empty nonsense about the sacred
icons. And the contrivers of this vain, but revolutionary babbling we have
cast forth far from the Church's precincts.
And as the hands and feet are moved in accordance with the directions
of the mind, so likewise, we, having received the grace and strength of the
Spirit, and having also the assistance and co-operation of your royal
authority, have with one voice declared as piety and proclaimed as truth:
that the sacred icons of our Lord Jesus Christ are to be had and retained,
inasmuch as he was very man; also those which set forth what is
historically narrated in the Gospels; and those which represent our
undefiled Lady, the holy Mother of God; and likewise those of the Holy
Angels (for they have manifested themselves in human form to those who were
counted worthy of the vision of them), or of any of the Saints. [We have
also decreed] that the brave deeds of the Saints be pourtrayed on tablets
and on the walls, and upon the sacred vessels and vestments, as hath been
the custom of the holy Catholic Church of God from ancient times; which
custom was regarded as having the force of law in the teaching both of
those holy leaders who lived in the first ages of the Church, and also of
their successors our reverend Fathers. [We have likewise decreed] that
these images are to be reverenced (proskunei^n), that is, salutations are
to be offered to them. The reason for using the word is, that it has a two-
fold signification. For kunei^n in the old Greek tongue signifies both "to
salute" and "to kiss." And the preposition pros gives to it the additional
idea of strong desire towards the subject; as for example, we have phe'rw
and prosphe'rw, kurw^ and proskurw^, and so also we have kune'w and
proskune'w. Which last word implies salutation and strong love; for that
which one loves he also reverences (proskunei^) and what he reverences that
he greatly loves, as the everyday custom, which we observe towards those we
love, bears witness, and in which both ideas are practically illustrated
when two friends meet together. The word is not only made use of by us, but
we also find it set down in the Divine Scriptures by the ancients. For it
is written in the histories of the Kings, "And David rose up and fell upon
his face and did reverence to (prosekunh'se) Jonathan three times and
kissed him" (1 Kings xx., 41). And what is it that the Lord in the Gospel
says concerning the Pharisees? "They love the uppermost rooms at feasts and
greetings (aspasmou`s) in the markets." It is evident that by "greetings"
here, he means reverence (proseku'nhsin) for the Pharisees being very high-
minded and thinking themselves to be righteous were eager to be reverenced
by all, but not [merely] to be kissed. For to receive salutations of this
latter sort savoured too much of lowly humility, and this was not to the
Pharisees' liking. We have also the example of Paul the divine Apostle, as
Luke in the Acts of the Apostles relates: "When we were come to Jerusalem,
the brethren received us gladly, and the day following Paul went in with us
unto James, and all the presbyters were present. And when he had saluted
(aspasa'menos) them, he declared particularly what things God had wrought
among the Gentiles by his ministry" (Acts xxi., 17, 18, 19). By the
salutation here mentioned, the Apostle evidently intended to render that
reverence of honour (timhtikh`n prosku'nhsin) which we shew to one another,
and of which he speaks when he says concerning Jacob, that "he reverenced
(proseku'nhsen) the top of his staff" (Heb. xi., 21). With these examples
agrees what Gregory surnamed Theologus says: "Honour Bethlehem, and
reverence (proskunh'son) the manger."
Now who of those rightly and sincerely understanding the Divine
Scriptures, has ever supposed that these examples which we have cited speak
of the worship in spirit (th^s en pneu'mati latrei'as)? [Certainly no one
has ever thought so] except perhaps some persons utterly bereft of sense
and ignorant of all knowledge of the Scriptures and of the teaching of the
Fathers. Surely Jacob did not adore (ela'treusen) the top of his staff; and
surely Gregory Theologus does not bid us to adore (latreu'ein) the manger?
By no means. Again, when offering salutations to the life-giving Cross, we
together sing: "We reverence (proskunw^men), thy cross, O Lord, and we also
reverence (proskunw^men) the spear which opened the life-giving side of thy
goodness." This is clearly but a salutation, and is so called, and its
character is evinced by our touching the things mentioned with our lips. We
grant that the word prosku'nhsis is frequently found in the Divine
Scriptures and in the writings of our learned and holy Fathers for the
worship in spirit (epi` ths en pneu'mati latrei'as), since, being a word of
many significations, it may be used to express that kind of reverence which
is service. As there is also the veneration of honour, love and fear. In
this sense it is, that we venerate your glorious and most noble majesty. So
also there is another veneration which comes of fear alone, thus Jacob
venerated Esau. Then there is the veneration of gratitude, as Abraham
reverenced the sons of Heth, for the field which he received from them for
a burying place for Sarah his wife. And finally, those looking to obtain
some gift, venerate those who are above them, as Jacob venerated Pharaoh.
Therefore because this term has these many significations, the Divine
Scriptures teaching us, "Thou shalt venerate the Lord thy God, and him only
shalt thou serve," says simply that veneration is to be given to God, but
does not add the word "only;" for veneration being a word of wide meaning
is an ambiguous term; but it goes on to say "thou shalt serve (latreu'seis)
him only," for to God alone do we render latria.
The things which we have decreed, being thus well supported, it is
confessedly and beyond all question acceptable and well-pleasing before
God, that the images of our Lord Jesus Christ as man, and those of the
undefiled Mother of God, the ever-virgin Mary, and of the honourable Angels
and of all Saints, should be venerated and saluted. And if anyone does not
so believe, but undertakes to debate the matter further and is evil
affected with regard to the veneration due the sacred images, such an one
our holy ecumenical council (fortified by the inward working of the Spirit
of God, and by the traditions of the Fathers and of the Church)
anathematises. Now anathema is nothing less than complete separation from
God. For if any are quarrelsome and will not obediently accept what has now
been decreed, they but kick against the pricks, and injure their own souls
in their fighting against Christ. And in taking pleasure at the insults
which are offered to the Church, they clearly shew themselves to be of
those who madly make war upon piety, and are therefore to be regarded as in
the same category with the heretics of old times, and their companions and
brethren in ungodliness.
We have sent our brethren and fellow priests, God-beloved Bishops,
together with certain of the Hegumenoi and clergy, that they may give a
full report of our proceedings to your godly-hearing ears. In proof and
confirmation of what we have decreed, and also for the assurance of your
most religious majesty, we have submitted proofs from the Fathers, a few of
the many we have gathered together in illustration of the brightly shining
And now may the Saviour of us all, who reigns with you (sumbasileu'wn
humi^n) and who was pleased to vouchsafe his peace to the Churches through
you, preserve your kingdom for many years, and also your council, princes,
and faithful army, and the whole estate of the empire; and may he also give
you victory over all your enemies. For he it is, who says: "As I live,
saith the Lord, they that glorify me, I will glorify." He it is also who
hath girded you with strength, and will smite all your enemies, and make
your people to rejoice.
And do thou, O city, the new Sion, rejoice and be glad; thou that art
the wonder of the whole world. For although David hath not reigned in thee,
nevertheless thy pious princes here preside over thy affairs as David would
have done. The Lord is in the midst of thee; may his name be blessed
forever and even Amen.
Taken from "The Early Church Fathers and Other Works" originally published
by Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co. in English in Edinburgh, Scotland, beginning in
1867. (LNPF II/XIV, Schaff and Wace). The digital version is by The
Electronic Bible Society, P.O. Box 701356, Dallas, TX 75370, 214-407-WORD.