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sent Augustine, with a company of monks, on this holy work, about the year 596. The efforts of these Christian teachers were crowned with signal success, and the grateful piety of our ancestors long celebrated the memory of Gregory the Great.
2. "Give a brief account of those councils which are recognized as authorities by the Church of England."
The councils whose canons and decisions are accepted and acknowledged by our Church to be conformable to Scripture and Apostolic usuage, are the Six Ecumenical Councils.
The first of these was the First Council of Nice, convened, A.D. 325, by the Emperor Constantine, to decide on the great heresy of Arius, who denied that Christ was truly God, and made many subtle and erroneous distinctions in vital doctrines. The council was attended by 318 bishops, who condemned the dangerous heresy of Arius, and gave an emphatic expression of the belief of the universal church in the words of our present Nicene Creed.
The second was assembled by the Emperor Theodosius, in the year 381, at Constantinople. The object for which it was convened, was to determine some disputed points respecting the Trinity, and especially to combat the heretical views of Macedonius about the Holy Ghost. This council added to the Nicene Creed the words which declare the divinity of the third person of the Trinity.
The Council of Ephesus (431) was the third. It confuted the heresy of Nestorius, who taught that the Word or divinity had not become man, but had united with the man Jesus; and that it was the human nature of Christ alone that had died for the sins of the world. This was in opposition to the declarations of Holy
Writ, "The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us," and that God "Purchased the church with his own blood." The heresy of Pelagius, who denied the transmission of sin from Adam to his posterity, and the regenerating influence of Baptism, was likewise condemned in this Council.
The Council of Chalcedon (451) was the fourth. It decided against the error of Eutyches, who taught that in Christ was a single nature only, compounded of the divine and human, but neither God nor man. It asserted that in Jesus Christ there are two perfect and distinct natures, the godhead and manhood, united in one person, without mixture, change, or confusion. Most of the Christians of Asia, even at the present day, hold the heresies of Nestorius and Eutyches in varying forms of admixture.
The fifth was summoned by the Emperor Justinian, and met at Constantinople, 553. It condemned various writings of a dangerous tendency, including the Three Chapters, i.e., the writings of Theodore, of Theodoret, and of Ibas, which favoured the Nestorian doctrine. Origen and his followers were likewise condemned in this council.
The sixth and last of the synods, recognized as œcumenical by our church, was held at Constantinople, in 680. During the half century preceding that date, a heresy, similar to that of the Eutychians, had sprung up and found many advocates in the East. Honorius, bishop of Rome, likewise favoured it. The distinctive appellation of this controversy is the Monothelite heresy —that is, the belief in one will, the denial of two wills, the one pertaining to the divine, and the other to the human nature of our Lord. The church of Rome acknowledges nineteen œcumenical councils, but none after the sixth, can justly be called universal. The last that was held was the Council of Trent, convened
by the Romanists to crush the Reformation. It sat from 1545 till 1563.
3. "State the time and the causes of the schism between the Eastern and Western Churches."
Many causes of estrangement between the popes and the patriarchs of Constantinople, had arisen at various times between the years 680 and 1054. In 1053, Michael Cerularius, the patriarch of Constantinople, wrote to the bishop of Proni, in Italy, a long list of charges against the religious doctrine and practice of the Latins. Leo XI., the pope at the time, expressed his indignation by his issuing a solemn excommunication against the Greek churches. Monomachus, the Greek emperor, correctly anticipating the bitter fruits of such a final alienation between the East and the West, exerted all his policy to heal the breach. He sent to the pope requesting that legates might confer with the patriarch in Constantinople, and concert measures for healing the breach in the tranquility of the church. But these wise efforts were thwarted by the mutual arrogance and ambition, and by the reciprocal animosities of the pope and patriarch. Not being able to assert the supremacy of their master, nor a recantation of the patriarch's objections to their doctrine and discipline, the legates left an excommunication of the Greek church on the altar of the patriarchal church at Constantinople. The patriarch responded with equally vehement imprecations and anathemas against the pope and his adherents; and the schism was thus completed in 1054. The charges which Cerularius brought against the Western Churches were trivial in the extreme, but they were not met in the spirit of Christianity or of a generous zeal for the cause of truth.
Among them were; that the Latin churches used unleavened bread in the celebration of the Lord's Sup
per; 2. that the monks eat lard, and were permitted the use of flesh to sick and infirm brethren; 3. that the bishops adorned their fingers with rings; 4. that their priests were beardless; 5. that they confined baptism to a single immersion. Such were the trifles that were permitted to bring upon the church one of the most disastrous events with which she has ever been visited.
1. "Who established the tax of Peter's pence, and what was the nature of that tax?"
Ina, king of the West Saxons, at the suggestion of Gregory II., first granted the household tax, called Peter's pence, in 725. It was at first a penny on each ́house, and was collected on the feast of St. Peter, in Vinculis; its original object having been the establishment and support of an English College, at Rome. In 794, Offa extended it over East Anglia and Mercia; Egbert did so for all England; and successive sovereigns, till Henry VIII., and increased the tax though the popes had long appropriated it to other purposes than that for which it had originally been levied.
2. Mention some occasion when England was laid under interdict by the pope, and state the effects of that measure upon society.'
See reply to question 2. Sec. III. His. England.
3. "How long did the Popish party remain in communion with the Church of England in the reign of Elizabeth, and under what circumstances did they separate themselves from it?"
The Popish party continued in communion with the Anglican church till 1570, when they began to separate and form a distinct sect. They did this in consequence
of the sentence of excommunication pronounced against Elizabeth and her supporters, by Pius V. in 1569.
4. "State briefly the origin of the Reformation in England and its progress up to the reign of Edward
The preaching of Wickliffe against the prevailing errors of the Roman church, and his translation of the Scriptures into English were the initiatory steps, or, at least, the germs of the English Reformation. But the proximate causes of the final and decisive repudiation of Papal corruptions and usurpation appear in the reign of Henry VIII. The refusal of compliance on the part of the Pope to that king's desire for a dissolution of his marriage with Catherine, produced a breach in the friendly relations of the English and Papal courts. The first result of this breach was, the suppression, by the king and parliament, of all the usurped privileges that the popes had heretofore enjoyed in England. In 1532-3 all the pecuniary claims of the court of Rome were declared illegal, and were forthwith abolished. Every branch of the Papal jurisdiction was at the same time suppressed; and 1534 provincial synods, at Canterbury and York, gave unanimous verdicts to the proposition for no longer recognizing the authority of the bishops of Rome in England. But these reformations, though great steps in the right direction, concerned discipline and church government only. The more important restitution of purity of doctrine was of more gradual growth. In 1537, and 1543, the king and convocation issued two manuals of doctrine, called respectively, "The Institution of a Christian Man,” and "The Necessary Doctrine and Erudition for any Christian Man;" in which many abuses were disclaimed. All monastic establishments were suppressed, and the revenues confiscated in 1540. From these vast funds, six