Of the Mahuzzims, honoured by the King who doth according to his will

IN scripture we are told of some trusting in God and others trusting inidols, and that God is our refuge, our strength, our defense. In this sense God is the rock of his people, and false Gods are called the rock of thosethat trust in them, Deuteronomy 32:4, 15, 18, 30, 31, 37. In the samesense the Gods of the King who shall do according to his will are called Mahuzzims, munitions, fortresses, protectors, guardians, or defenders. In his estate, saith Daniel, shall he honour Mahuzzims; even with a God whom his fathers knew not, shall he honour them with gold and silver, andwith precious stones, and things of value. Thus shall he do in the most strong holds or temples; and he shall cause them to rule over many,and divide the land among them for a possession. Now this came to pass by degrees in the following manner.Gregory Nyssen tells us, that after the persecution of the Emperor Decius, Gregory Bishop of Neocaesarea in Pontus, instituted among all people, asan addition or corollary of devotion towards God, that festival days andassemblies should be celebrated to them who had contended for the faith, that is, to the Martyrs.

And he adds this reason for the institution: When he observed, saith Nyssen, that the simple and unskillful multitude, by reason of corporeal delights, remained in the error of idols; that the principalthing might be corrected among them, namely, that instead of their vain worship they might turn their eyes upon God; he permitted that at thememories of the holy Martyrs they might make merry and delightthemselves, and be dissolved into joy. The heathens were delighted with the festivals of their Gods, and unwilling to part with those delights; andtherefore Gregory, to facilitate their conversion, instituted annual festivalsto the Saints and Martyrs. Hence it came to pass, that for exploding thefestivals of the heathens, the principal festivals of the Christians succeededin their room: as the keeping of Christmas with ivy and feasting, and playing and sports, in the room of the Bacchanalia and Saturnalia; the celebrating of May-day with flowers, in the room of the Floralia; and the keeping of festivals to the Virgin Mary, John the Baptist, and divers of theApostles, in the room of the solemnities at the entrance of the Sun into the signs of the Zodiac in the old Julian Calendar.

In the same persecution of Decius, Cyprian ordered the passions of the Martyrs in Africa to be registered, in order to celebrate their memories annually with oblations and sacrifices: and Felix Bishop of Rome, a little after, as Platina relates,Martyrum gloriae consulens, constituit ut quotannis sacrificia eorumnomine celebrarentur; consulting the glory of the Martyrs, ordained thatsacrifices should be celebrated annually in their name. By the pleasures ofthese festivals the Christians increased much in number, and decreased asmuch in virtue, until they were purged and made white by the persecution of Dioclesian. This was the first step made in the Christian religion towardsthe veneration of the Martyrs: and though it did not yet amount to anunlawful worship; yet it disposed the Christians towards such a furtherveneration of the dead, as in a short time ended in the invocation of Saints.The next step was the affecting to pray at the sepulchres of the Martyrs:which practice began in Dioclesian’s persecution.

The Council of Eliberisin Spain, celebrated in the third or fourth year of Dioclesian’s persecution,A.C. 305, hath these Canons. Can. 34. Cereos per diem placuit inCoemeterio non incendi: inquietandi enim spiritus sanctorum non sunt.Qui haec non observarint, arceantur ab Ecclesiae communione. Can. 35.Placuit prohiberi ne faeminae in Coemeterio pervigilent, eo quod saepesub obtentu orationis latenter scelera committant. Presently after that persecution, suppose about the year 314, the Council of Laodicea inPhrygia, which then met for restoring the lapsed discipline of the Church,has the following Canons. Can. 9.

Those of the Church are not allowed to go into the Cemeteries or Martyries, as they are called, of heretics, for thesake of prayer or recovery of health: but such as go, if they be of thefaithful, shall be excommunicated for a time. Can. 34. A Christian must not leave the Martyrs of Christ, and go to false Martyrs, that is, to the Martyrs of the heretics; for these are alien from God: and therefore letthose be anathema who go to them. Can. 51. The birth-days of the Martyrs shall not be celebrated in Lent, but their commemoration shall be made on the Sabbath-days and Lords days. The Council of Paphlagonia,celebrated in the year 324, made this Canon: If any man be arrogant, abominates the congregations of the Martyrs, or the Liturgies performedtherein, or the memories of the Martyrs, let him be anathema.

By all which it is manifest that the Christians in the time of Dioclesian’s persecution used to pray in the Cemeteries or burying-places of the dead; for avoidingthe danger of the persecution, and for want of Churches, which were all thrown down: and after the persecution was over, continued that practice in honor of the Martyrs, till new Churches could be built: and by use affected it as advantageous to devotion, and for recovering the health ofthose that were sick. It also appears that in these burying-places theycommemorated the Martyrs yearly upon days dedicated to them, andaccounted all these practices pious and religious, and anathematized thosemen as arrogant who opposed them, or prayed in the Martyries of theheretics. They also lighted torches to the Martyrs in the day-time, as the heathens did to their Gods; which custom, before the end of the fourth century, prevailed much in the West.

They sprinkled the worshipers of the Martyrs with holy-water, as the heathens did the worshipers of their Gods;and went in pilgrimage to see Jerusalem and other holy places, as if thoseplaces conferred sanctity on the visitors. From the custom of praying in the cemeteries and Martyries, came the custom of translating the bodies of theSaints and Martyrs into such Churches as were new built: the Emperor Constantius began this practice about the year 359, causing the bodies of Andrew theApostle, Luke and Timothy, to be translated into a new Church at Constantinople: and before this act of Constantius, the Egyptians kept the bodies of their Martyrs and Saints unburied upon beds in their private houses, and told stories of their souls appearing after death and ascending up to heaven, as Athanasius relates in the life of Antony.

All which gave occasion to the Emperor Julian, as Cyril relates, to accuse the Christians inthis manner: Your adding to that ancient dead man, Jesus, many new deadmen, who can sufficiently abominate? You have filled all places withsepulchres and monuments, although you are no where bidden toprostrate yourselves to sepulchres, and to respect them officiously. And alittle after: Since Jesus said that sepulchres are full of filthiness, how do you invoke God upon them? and in another place he saith, that if Christianshad adhered to the precepts of the Hebrews, they would have worship done God instead of many, and not a man, or rather not many unhappymen: And that they adored the wood of the cross, making its images on their foreheads, and before their houses. After the sepulchres of Saints and Martyrs were thus converted into placesof worship like the heathen temples, and the Churches into sepulchres, anda certain sort of sanctity attributed to the dead bodies of the Saints and Martyrs buried in them, and annual festivals were kept to them, with sacrifices offered to God in their name; the next step towards the invocation of Saints, was the attributing to their dead bodies, bones andother relics, a power of working miracles, by means of the separate souls,who were supposed to know what we do or say, and to be able to do us good or hurt, and so work those miracles.

This was the very notion the heathens had of the separate souls of their ancient Kings and Heroes, whom they worshiped under the names of Saturn, Rhea, Jupiter, Juno,Mars, Venus, Bacchus, Ceres, Osiris, Isis, Apollo, Diana, and the rest of their Gods. for these Gods being male and female, husband and wife, son and daughter, brother and sister, are thereby discovered to be ancient men and women. Now as the first step towards the invocation of Saints was seton foot by the persecution of Decius, and the second by the persecution of Dioclesian; so this third seems to have been owing to the proceedings of Constantius and Julian the Apostate. When Julian began to restore theworship of the heathen Gods, and to vilify the Saints and Martyrs; theChristians of Syria and Egypt seem to have made a great noise about themiracles done by the relics of the Christian Saints and Martyrs, in opposition to the powers attributed by Julian and the heathens to their Idols.

For Sozomen and Ruffinus tell us, that when he opened the heathenTemples, and consulted the Oracle of Apollo Daphnaeus in the suburbs of Antioch, and pressed by many sacrifices for an answer; the Oracle at lengthtold him that the bones of the Martyr Babylas which were buried there hindered him from speaking. By which answer we may understand, that some Christian was got into the place where the heathen Priests used tospeak through a pipe in delivering their Oracles: and before this, Hilary in his book against Constantius, written in the last year of that Emperor,makes the following mention of what was then doing in the east where he was. Sino martyrio persequeris. Plus crudelitati vestrae Nero, Deci, Maximiane, debemus. Diabolum enim per vos vicimus. Sanctus ubiquebeatorum martyrum sanguis exceptus est, dum in his Daemones mugiunt,dum aegritudines depelluntur, dum miraculorum opera cernuntur, elevarisine laqueis corpora, & dispensis pede faeminis vestes non defluere infaciem, uri sine ignibus spiritus, consiteri sine interrogantis incrementofidei. And Gregory Nazianzen, in his first Oration against the EmperorJulian then reigning, writes thus: Martyres non extimuisti quibus praeclarihonores & festa constituta, a quibus Daemones propelluntur & morbicurantur; quorum sunt apparitiones & praedictiones; quorum vel solacorpora idem possunt quod animae sanctae, sive manibus contrectentur, sive honorentur: quorum vel solae sanguinis guttae atque exiguapassionis signa idem possunt quod corpora. Haec non colis sed contemnis& aspernaris.

These things made the heathens in the reign of the same Emperor demolish the sepulchre of John the Baptist in Phoenicia, and burnhis bones; when several Christians mixing themselves with the heathens,gathered up some of his remains, which were sent to Athanasius, who hidthem in the wall of a Church; foreseeing by a prophetic spirit, as Ruffinustells us, that they might be profitable to future generations.The cry of these miracles being once set on foot, continued for many years,and increased and grew more general. Chrysostom, in his second Orationon St. Babylas, twenty years after the silencing of the Oracle of Apollo Daphnaeus as above, viz. A.C. 382, saith of the miracles done by the Saintsand their relics: Nulla est nostri hujus Orbis seu regio, seu gens, seu urbs,ubi nova & inopinata miracula haec non decantentur; quae quidem sifigmenta fuissent, prorsus in tantam hominum admirationem nonvenissent. And a little after: Abunde orationi nostrae fidem faciunt quaequotidiana a martyribus miracula edentur, magna affatim ad illahominum multitudinae affluente.

And in his 66th Homily, describing how the Devils were tormented and cast out by the bones of the Martyrs, headds: Ob eam causam multi plerumque Reges peregre profesti sunt, ut hoc spectaculo fruerentur. Siquidem sanctorum martyrum templa futuri judiciivestigia & signa exhibent, dum nimirum Daemones flagris caeduntur,hominesque torquentur & liberantur. Vide quae sanctorum vita functorumvis sit? And Jerom in his Epitaph on Paula, thus mentions the same things. Paula vidit Samariam: ibi siti sunt Elisaeus & Abdias prophetae, &Joannes Baptista, ubi multis intremuit consternata miraculis. Namcernebat variis daemones rugire cruciatibus, & ante sepulchra sanctorumululare, homines more luporum vocibus latrare canum, fremere leonum,sibilare serpentum, mugire taurorum, alios rotare caput & post tergumterram vertice tangere, suspensisque pede faeminis vestes non defluere infaciem.

This was about the year 384: and Chrysostom in his Oration on the Egyptian Martyrs, seems to make Egypt the ringleader in these matters,saying: Benedictus Deus quandoquidem ex AEgypto prodeunt martyres, ex AEgypto illa cum Deo pugnante ac insanissima, & unde impia ora,unde linguae blasphemae; ex AEgypto martyres habentur; non inAEgypto tantum, nec in finitima vicinaque regione, sed UBIQUE TERRARUM. Et quemadmodum in annonae summa ubertate, cum esse proventum, ad peregrinas etiam urbes transmittunt: cum &suam comitatem & liberalitatem ostendant, tum ut praeter horumabundantiam cum facilitate res quibus indigent rursus ab illis sibicomparent: sic & AEgyptii, quod attinet ad religionis athletas,fecerunt. Cum apud se multam eorum Dei benignitate copiamcernerent, nequaquam ingens Dei munus sua civitate concluserunt,sed in OMNES TERRAE PARTES honorum thesauros effuderunt: cumut suum in fratres amorem ostenderent, tum ut communem omniumdominum honore afficerent, ac civitati suae gloriam apud omnescompararent, totiusque terrarum ORBIS esse METROPOLIN declararent. Sanctorum enim illorum corpora quovisadamantino & inexpugnabili muro tutius nobis urbemcommuniunt, & tanquam excelsi quidam scopuli undiqueprominentes, non horum qui sub sensus cadunt & oculis cernunturhostium impetus propulsant tantum, sed etiam invisibiliumdaemonum insidias, omnesque diaboli fraudes subvertunt acdissipant. Neque vero tantum adversus hominum insidias autadversus fallacias daemonum utilis nobis est haec possessio, sed sinobis communis dominus ob peccatorum multitudinem irascatur,his objectis corporibus continuo poterimus eum propitium redderecivitati.This Oration was written at Antioch, while Alexandria was yet theMetropolis of the East, that is, before the year 381, in whichConstantinople became the Metropolis: and it was a work of some yearsfor the Egyptians to have distributed the miracle-working relics of theirMartyrs over all the world, as they had done before that year.

Egypt abounded most with the relics of Saints and Martyrs, the Egyptians keeping them embalmed upon beds even in their private houses; and Alexandria was eminent above all other cities for dispersing them, so as onthat account to acquire glory with all men, and manifest herself to be the Metropolis of the world. Antioch followed the example of Egypt, indispersing the relics of the forty Martyrs: and the examples of Egypt and Syria were soon followed by the rest of the world.

The relics of the forty Martyrs at Antioch were distributed among the Churches before the year 373; for Athanasius who died in that year, wrotean Oration upon them. This Oration is not yet published, but Gerard Vossius saw it in MS. in the Library of Cardinal Ascanius in Italy, as he says in his commentary upon the Oration of Ephraem Syrus on the same forty Martyrs. Now since the Monks of Alexandria sent the relics of theMartyrs of Egypt into all parts of the earth, and thereby acquired glory totheir city, and declared her in these matters the Metropolis of the wholeworld, as we have observed out of Chrysostom; it may be concluded, thatbefore Alexandria received the forty Martyrs from Antioch, she began tosend out the relics of her own Martyrs into all parts, setting the firstexample to other cities.

This practice therefore began in Egypt some yearsbefore the death of Athanasius. It began when the miracle-working bonesof John the Baptist were carried into Egypt, and hid in the wall of aChurch, that they might be profitable to future generations. It was restrained in the reign of Julian the Apostate: and then it spread from Egyptinto all the Empire, Alexandria being the Metropolis of the whole world,according to Chrysostom, for propagating this sort of devotion, andAntioch and other cities soon following her example.In propagating these superstitions, the ringleaders were the Monks, andAntony was at the head of them: for in the end of the life of Antony, Athanasius relates that these were his dying words to his disciples whothen attended him.

Do you take care, said Antony, to adhere to Christ inthe first place, and then to the Saints, that after death they may receiveyou as friends and acquaintance into the everlasting Tabernacles. Thinkupon these things, perceive these things; and if you have any regard tome, remember me as a father.

This being delivered in charge to the Monksby Antony at his death, A.C. 356, could not but inflame their whole body with devotion towards the Saints, as the ready way to be received by theminto the eternal Tabernacles after death. Hence came that noise about themiracles done by the relics of the Saints in the time of Constantius: hencecame the dispersion of the miracle-working relics into all the Empire;Alexandria setting the example, and being renowned for it above all othercities. Hence it came to pass in the days of Julian, A.C. 362, thatAthanasius by a prophetic spirit, as Ruffinus tells us, hid the bones of Johnthe Baptist from the Heathens, not in the ground to be forgotten, but in thehollow wall of a Church before proper witnesses, that they might beprofitable to future generations.

Hence also came the invocation of theSaints for doing such miracles, and for assisting men in their devotions, andmediating with God. For Athanasius, even from his youth, looked upon thedead Saints and Martyrs as mediators of our prayers: in his Epistle toMarcellinus, written in the days of Constantine the great, he saith that the words of the Psalms are not to be transposed or any wise changed, but tobe recited and sung without any artifice, as they are written, that the holy men who delivered them, knowing them to be their own words, may praywith us; or rather, that the Holy Ghost who spake in the holy men, seeinghis own words with which he inspired them, may join with them in assisting us.Whilst Egypt abounded with Monks above any other country, theveneration of the Saints began sooner, and spread faster there than in otherplaces. Palladius going into Egypt in the year 388 to visit the Monasteries,and the sepulchres of Apollonius and other Martyrs of Thebais who had suffered under Maximinus, saith of them: Iis omnibus Christiani feceruntaedem unam, ubi nunc multae virtutes peraguntur. Tanta autem fuit virigratia, ut de iis quae esset precatus statim exaudiretur, eum sic honoranteservatore: quem etiam nos in martyrio precati vidimus, cum iis qui cumipso fuerunt martyrio affecti; & Deum adorantes, eorum corporasalutavimus.

Eunapius also, a heathen, yet a competent witness of whatwas done in his own times, relating how the soldiers delivered the templesof Egypt into the hands of the Monks, which was done in the year 389,rails thus in an impious manner at the Martyrs, as succeeding in the room of the old Gods of Egypt. Illi ipsi, milites, Monachos Canobi quoquecollocarunt, ut pro Diis qui animo cernuntur, servos & quidem flagitiososdivinis honoribus percolerent, hominum mentibus ad cultumceremoniasque obligatis. Ii namque condita & salita eorum capita, qui obscelerum multitudinem a judicibus extremo judicio fuerant affecti, proDivis ostentabant; iis genua submittebant, eos in Deorum numerumreceptabant, ad illorum sepulchra pulvere sordibusque conspurcati.Martyres igitur vocabantur, & ministri quidem & legati arbitrique precumapud Deos; cum fuerint servilia infida & flagris pessime subacta, quaecicatrices scelerum ac nequitiae vestigia corporibus circumferunt;ejusmodi tamen Deos fert tellus.By these instances we may understand theinvocation of Saints was now of some standing in Egypt, and that it wasalready generally received and practiced there by the common people.

Thus Basil a Monk, who was made Bishop of Caesarea in the year 369,and died in the year 378, in his Oration on the Martyr Mamas, saith: Be ye mindful of the Martyr; as many of you as have enjoyed him in yourdreams, as many as in this place have been assisted by him in prayer, asmany of you as upon invoking him by name have had him present in yourworks, as many as he has reduced into the way from wandering, as many as he has restored to health, as many as have had their dead childrenrestored by him to life, as many as have had their lives prolonged by him: and a little after, he thus expresses the universality of this superstition inthe regions of Cappadocia and Bithynia: At the memory of the Martyr, saith he, the whole region is moved; at his festival the whole city is transported with joy. Nor do the kindred of the rich turn aside to thesepulchres of their ancestors, but all go to the place of devotion. Again, inthe end of the Homily he prays, that God would preserve the Church, thusfortified with the great towers of the Martyrs: and in his Oration on theforty Martyrs;These are they, saith he, who obtaining our country, like certaintowers afford us safety against our enemies. Neither are they shutup in one place only, but being distributed are sent into manyregions, and adorn many countries

You have often endeavored,you have often labored to find one who might pray for you: hereare forty, emitting one voice of prayer. He that is in affliction flies to these, he that rejoices has recourse to these: the first, that hemay be freed from evil, the last that he may continue in happiness. Here a woman praying for her children is heard; she obtains a safe return for her husband from abroad, and health for him in his sickness. O ye common keepers of mankind, the bestcompanions of our cares, suffragans and coadjutors of our prayers,most powerful ambassadors to God, &c.By all which it is manifest, that before the year 378, the Orations andSermons upon the Saints went much beyond the bounds of mere oratoricalflourishes, and that the common people in the East were already generallycorrupted by the Monks with Saint-worship.Gregory Nazianzen a Monk, in his sixth Oration written A.C. 373, when hewas newly made Bishop of Sasima, saith: Let us purify ourselves to theMartyrs, or rather to the God of the Martyrs: and a little after he calls theMartyrs mediators of obtaining an ascension or divinity.

The same year, inthe end of his Oration upon Athanasius then newly dead, he thus invokeshim: Do thou look down upon us propitiously, and govern this people, asperfect adorers of the perfect Trinity, which in the Father, Son, and HolyGhost, is contemplated and worshiped: if there shall be peace, preserveme, and feed my flock with me; but if war, bring me home, place me bythyself, and by those that are like thee; however great my request. And in the end of the funeral Oration upon Basil, written A.C. 378, he thusaddresses him: But thou, O divine and sacred Head, look down upon usfrom heaven; and by thy prayers either take away the thorn of the fleshwhich is given us by God for exercise, or obtain that we may bear it withcourage, and direct all our life to that which is most fitting for us. Whenwe depart this life, receive us there in your Tabernacles, that livingtogether and beholding the holy and blessed Trinity more purely andperfectly, whereof we have now but an imperfect view, we may there cometo the end of our desires, and receive this reward of the wars which wehave waged and suffered: and in his Oration upon Cyprian, not the Bishopof Carthage, but a Greek, he invokes him after the same manner; and tellsus also how a pious Virgin named Justina, was protected by invoking the Virgin Mary, and how miracles were done by the ashes of Cyprian.Gregory Nyssen, another eminent Monk and Bishop, in the life of EphraemSyrus, tells how a certain man returning from a far country, was in greatdanger, by reason all the ways were intercepted by the armies of barbarousnations; but upon invoking Ephraem by name, and saying, Holy Ephraemassist me, he escaped the danger, neglected the fear of death, and beyondhis hope got safe home.

In the end of this Oration Gregory calls upon Ephraem after the following manner: But thou, O Ephraem, assisting nowat the divine altar, and sacrificing to the Prince of life, and to the mostholy Trinity, together with the Angels; remember us all, and obtain for uspardon of our sins, that we may enjoy the eternal happiness of thekingdom of heaven. The same Gregory, in his Oration on the MartyrTheodorus written A.C. 381, thus describes the power of that Martyr, andthe practice of the people.This Martyr, saith he, the last year quieted the barbarous tempest,and put a stop to the horrid war of the fierce and cruel Scythians. If any one is permitted to carry away the dust with which thetomb is covered, wherein the body of the Martyr rests; the dust isaccepted as a gift, and gathered to be laid up as a thing of greatprice. For to touch the relics themselves, if any such prosperousfortune shall at any time happen; how great a favor that is, and notto be obtained without the most earnest prayers, they know wellwho have obtained it.

For as a living and florid body, they whobehold it embrace it, applying to it the eyes, mouth, ears, and all theorgans of sense; and then with affection pouring tears upon theMartyr, as if he was whole and appeared to them: they offer prayers with supplication, that he would intercede for them as an advocate,praying to him as an Officer attending upon God, and invoking himas receiving gifts whenever he will.At length Gregory concludes the Oration with this prayer:O Theodorus, we want many blessings; intercede and beseech forthy country before the common King and Lord: for the country ofthe Martyr is the place of his passion, and they are his citizens, brethren and kindred, who have him, defend, adorn (adore?) andhonor him. We fear afflictions, we expect dangers: the wicked Scythians are not far off, ready to make war against us. As a soldier fight for us, as a Martyr use liberty of speech for thy fellow-servants.

Pray for peace, that these public meetings may not cease,that the furious and wicked barbarian may not rage against thetemples and altars, that the profane and impious may not trample upon the holy things. We acknowledge it a benefit received fromthee, that we are preserved safe and entire, we pray for freedomfrom danger in time to come: and if there shall be need of greater intercession and deprecation, call together the choir of thy brethren the Martyrs, and in conjunction with them all intercede for us. Letthe prayers of many just ones atone for the sins of the multitudesand the people; exhort Peter, excite Paul, and also John the divineand beloved disciple, that they may be solicitous for the Churcheswhich they have erected, for which they have been in chains, forwhich they have undergone dangers and deaths; that the worship ofidols may not lift up its head against us, that heresies may notspring up like thorns in the vineyard, that tares grown up may notchoke the wheat, that no rock void of the fatness of true dew maybe against us, and render the fruitful power of the word void of aroot; but by the power of the prayers of thyself and thy companions, O admirable man and eminent among the Martyrs, the commonwealth of Christians may become a field of corn.

The same Gregory Nyssen, in his sermon upon the death of Meletius, Bishop of Antioch, preached at Constantinople the same year, A.C. 381,before the Bishops of all the East assembled in the second general Council,spake thus of Meletius. The Bridegroom, saith he, is not taken from us: he stands in the midst of us, though we do not see him: he is a Priest in themost inward places, and face to face intercedes before God for us and the sins of the people. This was no oratorical flourish, but Gregory’s real opinion, as may be understood by what we have cited out of him concerning Ephraem and Theodorus: and as Gregory preached this before the Council of Constantinople, you may thence know, saith Baronius, that the professed what the whole Council, and therewith the whole Church ofthose parts believed, namely, that the Saints in heaven offer prayers for usbefore God.Ephraem Syrus, another eminent Monk, who was contemporary with Basil,and died the same year; in the end of his Encomium or Oration upon Basil then newly dead, invokes him after this manner: Intercede for me, a very miserable man; and recall me by thy intercessions, O father; thou who art strong, pray for me who amweak; thou who art diligent, for me who am negligent; thou who art cheerful, for me who am heavy; thou who art wise, for me who am foolish.

Thou who hast treasured up a treasure of all virtues, bea guide to me who am empty of every good work.In the beginning of this Encomium upon the forty Martyrs, written at thesame time, he thus invokes them: Help me therefore, O ye Saints, with your intercession; and O yebeloved, with your holy prayers; that Christ by his grace may directmy tongue to speak, &c.and afterwards mentioning the mother of one of these forty Martyrs, he concludes the Oration with this prayer: I entreat thee, O holy, faithful, and blessed woman, pray for me tothe Saints, saying; Intercede ye that triumph in Christ, for the mostlittle and miserable Ephraem, that he may find mercy, and by the grace of Christ may be saved.Again, in his second Sermon or Oration on the praises of the holy Martyrsof Christ, he thus addresses them:We entreat you most holy Martyrs, to intercede with the Lord forus miserable sinners, beset with filthiness of negligence, that hewould infuse his divine grace into us:and afterwards, near the end of the same discourse; Now ye most holy men and glorious Martyrs of God, help me amiserable sinner with your prayers, that in that dreadful hour I mayobtain mercy, when the secrets of all hearts shall be made manifest.I am to day become to you, most holy Martyrs of Christ, as it werean unprofitable and unskillful cup-bearer: for I have delivered to thesons and brothers of your faith, a cup of the excellent wine of yourwarfare, with the excellent table of your victory, replenished withall sorts of dainties.

I have endeavored, with the whole affectionand desire of my mind, to recreate your fathers and brothers,kindred and relations, who daily frequent the table. For behold theysing, and with exultation and jubilee glorify God, who has crownedyour virtues, by setting on your most sacred heads incorruptibleand celestial crowns; they with excessive joy stand about the sacredrelics of your martyrdoms, wishing for a blessing, and desiring tobear away holy medicines both for the body and the mind. As good disciples and faithful ministers of our benign Lord and Saviour,bestow therefore a blessing on them all: and on me also, thoughweak and feeble, who having received strength by your merits andintercessions, have with the whole devotion of my mind, sung ahymn to your praise and glory before your holy relics. Wherefore Ibeseech you stand before the throne of the divine Majesty for meEphraem, a vile and miserable sinner, that by your prayers I maydeserve to obtain salvation, and with you enjoy eternal felicity bythe grace and benignity and mercy of our Lord and Saviour JesusChrist, to whom with the Father and Holy Ghost be praise, honorand glory for ever and ever. Amen.

By what has been cited out of Basil, the two Gregories and Ephraem, wemay understand that Saint-worship was established among the Monks andtheir admirers in Egypt, Phoenicia, Syria and Cappadocia, before the year378, this being the year in which Basil and Ephraem died. Chrysostom wasnot much later; he preached at Antioch almost all the time of Theodosiusthe great, and in his Sermons are many exhortations to this sort ofsuperstition, as may be seen in the end of his Orations on S. Julia, on St.Pelagia, on the Martyr Ignatius, on the Egyptian Martyrs, on Fate andProvidence, on the Martyrs in general, on St. Berenice and St. Prosdoce,on Juventinus and Maximus, on the name of Cemetery, &c.

Thus in his Sermon on Berenice and Prosdoce: Perhaps, saith he, you are inflamed with no small love towardsthese Martyrs; therefore with this ardor let us fall down before theirrelics, let us embrace their coffins. For the coffins of the Martyrshave great virtue, even as the bones of the Martyrs have greatpower. Nor let us only on the days of this festival, but also on otherdays apply to them, invoke them, and beseech them to be ourpatrons: for they have great power and efficacy, not only whilstalive, but also after death; and much more after death than before.For now they bear the marks or brands of Christ; and when theyshew these marks, they can obtain all things of the King. Seeingtherefore they abound with such efficacy, and have so muchfriendship with him; we also, when by continual attendance andperpetual visitation of them we have insinuated ourselves into thefamiliarity, may by their assistance obtain the mercy of God.

Constantinople was free from these superstitions till Gregory Nazianzencame thither A.C. 379; but in a few years it was also inflamed with it.Ruffinus tells us, that when the Emperor Theodosius was setting outagainst the tyrant Eugenius, which was in the year 394, he went about withthe Priests and people to all the places of prayer; lay prostrate in hairclothbefore the shrines of the Martyrs and Apostles, and prayed for assistanceby the intercession of the Saints. Sozomen adds, that when the Emperorwas marched seven miles from Constantinople against Eugenius, he wentinto a Church which he had built to John the Baptist, and invoked theBaptist for his assistance. Chrysostom says: He that is clothed in purple,approaches to embrace these sepulchres; and laying aside his dignity,stands supplicating the Saints to intercede for him with God: and he whogoes crowned with a diadem, offers his prayers to the tent-maker and thefisher-man as his Protectors. And in another place: The cities run together to the Sepulchres of the Martyrs, and the people are inflamed with thelove of them.This practice of sending relics from place to place for working miracles,and thereby inflaming the devotion of the nations towards the dead Saintsand their relics, and setting up the religion of invoking their souls, lastedonly till the middle of the reign of the Emperor Theodosius the great; forhe then prohibited it by the following Edict. Humatum corpus, nemo adalterum locum transferat; nemo Martyrem distrahat, nemo mercetur:Habeant vero in potestate, si quolibet in loco sanctorum est aliquisconditus, pro ejus veneratione, quod Martyrium vocandum sit, addant quod voluerint fabricarum. Dat. 4:Kal. Mart. Constantinopoli, Honorionob. puero & Euodio Coss. A.C. 386.