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corsairs from the coast of Barbary.* In that remarkable fourth article of the treaty," the allied powers engage to employ their good offices” with pirates, to respect the flag and the prison island of the man who had overrun Europe. At a time when men's thoughts are impelled forward into the future by the force of events, the inquiry arises, who were those allied powers who treated with Barbary Corsairs ? The answer is truly significant. The allied powers, then trying to settle the peace of Europe, who employed those good offices, were Great Britain, France, Russia, Austria, and Prussia. The formation of national treaties is the work of diplomacy, and diplomacy as being conducted by the ministers of the Government, is out of the control of the inhabitants of a country. No people, if left to their own feelings, would negotiate with sea robbers and give them quarter.
* Bourrienne's “Memoirs of Napoleon,” p. 384.
WAR CROSSES AND THE OTHER STANDARDS
NATIONS OF THE WORLD.
The connection between the events in Constantinople in the
fourth century, and the stories of Scottish fiction of some of the bones of Andrew the Apostle.—The national impiety and discourtesy of claiming the patronage of that Saint without producing his warrant.—A speculation reverently made on the probability of the refusal by Andrew of the honour of the patronage of Scotland.—The folly and bad taste of Presbyterian and Protestant nations retaining the forms of the blasphemous pretensions of the Bishops of Rome.—The bones, the name, and the Cross of Andrew the Apostle, made merchandise of by the Bishops of Rome, and by the Archbishops of the fishing-town in Scotland, bearing the name of the saint.—The violent deaths of several of the Archbishops, who were the legates in Scotland of the Bishops of Rome. The merchandise retained to the present day in the tithe of fish exacted from the fishermen of the Frith of Forth. The plagiarism from the vision said to have been seen by Constantine turned into the Saltier Cross of Saint Andrew.Curious particulars of the name of Constantine occurring several times in the list of the Kings of Scotland in the eighth and ninth centuries. Conjectures offered on this subject.
The fourth century was pregnant with events which were to operate for a thousand years.
Constantine was a man of a bold genius, and by his invention of the war cross he concentrated opinions and roused enthusiasm, which led to his achievement of an empire, the establishment of a church, and the appointment of a hierarchy. Those three transactions were the roots of institutions in most of the countries of Europe. In reference to ecclesiastical establishments and to national banners of the cross, it is now our business to shadow forth the connection between the transactions of Constantinople in the fourth century, and those of the remote and obscure country of Scotland in later ages. The striking characteristic of the fourth century was the legal and imperial establishment of Christianity, the shutting up of the temples, and the destruction of the idols and images of the heathen gods. These were the outward official acts; but the mind remained, and many old heathen rites, ceremonies, and dresses were retained in the Christian worship. Christian martyrs and saints very soon came to supply the place of the old popular deities. Their tombs were considered holy places, and relics of saints acquired a value and a sanctity higher than at any former time. In that age began the desire to collect and preserve bone relics, and other remains of deceased saints, which in succeeding ages increased to a holy passion ; and this veneration of bits of bone, said to be of saints, accompanied with donations of money to the treasury of the Church, became a source of vast profit. The apostolic saints were placed in the highest rank, and their bones were esteemed the most holy of relics.
The ambition of Constantine, and of his sons who succeeded him, was to make their new city the second Rome, and the centre of everything holy and great in the world. The Church of the Apostles, as its name denotes, was the spot destined for the repose of their bones and relics. At this early age of Christianity the worship of the creature, in place of the Creator, was begun; and a spiritual corruption, corresponding with the disgusting appearance and loathsome smell of rotten bones, has spread through the Western Church, that has retained the practice. The sanctity attached to bone relics, and their value as productive capital to monasteries, churches, and cathedrals, raised an extraordinary demand for them in succeeding ages.
In every country supposed to contain such precious articles, a keen rivalry was raised between cities or churches which claimed the ownership of some dead body, or some part of one, fragrant with the odour of holiness. It is well established, that the acute and sagacious inhabitants of Syria and other countries of the East, took advantage of the eagerness of Christians during the crusades to possess relics of holy persons, to dispose of spurious articles at high prices. * At one time there was a rivalship between the church of Saint Mark, in Alexandria, and the church of Saint Mark, in Venice, for the possession of the head of that apostle. The Venetian priests, in their attempts to prove the genuineness of their relic, passed a verdict on themselves as thieves; for they said that they cut off the head of the body in the Alexandrian tomb, and outwitted the Mahometan Custom-house officers, by packing the head, and making it pass for salted pork.+ This question of the genuineness of bone relics is not an abstract one of antique theology, but it is a practical matter, affecting
* Mosheim's “ Eccl. Hist.,” Eleventh century, note to the 2nd chapter.
+ Niebuhr's “ Travels through Arabia,” translated by Heron, 1792, vol. i. p. 35.
the pockets of the citizens of London, members of the Romish Cathedral of Southwark. At the consecration and opening of that large and expensive building, Doctor Wiseman and his brethren, the bishops and priests who officiated, deposited upon the high altar some musty relics, said to be part of the bones of the Saxon, Thomas à Becket.
The fourth century is the debateable border period of ecclesiastical history, and according to the mental darkness and rudeness of the people of any particular country was the colouring given to its myths and traditions. It is impossible to account in a satisfactory manner for the curious stories which are told and banded down from that age by one generation to another, until by the reiteration of a thousand years, fables become inscribed in histories as real facts. Such is the story of some of the bones of the skeleton of Saint Andrew having been brought to Scotland in the fourth century. The story appears to be this :A monk, the abbot of a monastery, at Patræ, in Achaia, a State of Greece, was warned in a vision to leave his native country, and, after visiting the tomb of Saint Andrew, to take up an arm-bone, three fingers, and as many toes—another account specifies the kneepan (or patella-bone) instead of the toes. Gibbon says, that the bodies of Saint Andrew, Saint Luke, and Saint Timothy, were transported in solemn pomp to the church of the Apostles at Constantinople, and he gives this information on the high authority of Jerome, one of the most learned of the early fathers, and as he lived at the time of the translation of the bodies, his testimony may be considered unimpeachable.Gibbon, adds, in a note, that Saint Andrew was adopted as the spiritual founder of Constantinople.
* Gibbon's “Hist. of the Decline and Fall,” c. xxviii.