Imagens das páginas

the apo

to spare his life at least. I doubt he was mistaken (HAP. III. in that ; for who ever read of an Olirer that did

Year after that!

stles But as to Valentinian's dying unbaptized; he comforts his sisters, that were present at the sermon, by assuring them, that in such a case God screpts of a sincere faith joined with a hearty desire of baptism, as if the person had been actually baptized. Which saving of his is often cited for the resolution of like cases. I hear,' says he, ' you are • troubled that he did not receive the holy rites of • baptism. Tell me, what is there in our power • but the will and desire ? And he, both a good ' while ago had a purpose of being baptized before • be returned into Italy; and also lately expressed • bis desire of being baptized by me: and it was · for that reason especially that he would have me * gent for.

• Hath he not then that grace which he desired, * and which he endeavoured to have ? Inasmuch as • he desired it, he has received it.'

Upon the news of this rebellion and murder,
Theodosius came once more from the East, and
ebrained a victory over Eugenius, which, (counting
the numbers that sided with Eugenius.) the histo-
rians count almost miraculous, and slew him. As:9+
for the traitor Argobastes, he saved the hangman a
And this was one of the last good acts of that

He died quickly after. And St. 395.
Ambrose had the sorrow of preaching his funeral
sermon too.
I cannot but observe from that sermon, the dif-

noble emperor.

the apo


CHAP.III. ferent grounds on which St. Ambrose, from those on Year after which Baronius does condemn Maximus. Baronius'

way is, when any great man in history comes to an ill end, or other calamity, to find something in his life which may be supposed to be the cause for which that judgment fell on him: and it is commonly something done against the church of Rome. And speaking of the ill end of Maximus, when he looks backward for the cause of it, he takes no notice of his rebellion and usurpation, and murder of his prince; like the man, who, pretending to tell the faults of a horse that he sold, forgot to mention that he was blind; and observes how once on a time, a great while before, being appealed to by some bishops, he had meddled in ecclesiastical matters more than became him c.

But St. Ambrose, in the foresaid sermond, having spoken of Gratian and Theodosius as being then in heaven, adds, Contra autem Maximus et Eugenius in inferno, docentes eremplo miserabili quam durum sit arma suis principibus irrogare. “But Maximus ' and Eugenius are now in hell, teaching by their • dreadful example how heinous a thing it is for 'men to bear arms against their sovereigns.'

IV. From this whole relation it appears,

1. That Valentinian the younger was never baptized.

2. That Gratian probably was baptized some time of his life or other. Because St. Ambrose, in Valentinian's funeral sermon, makes frequent com


c Ad annum 385.

d Orat. in funere Theodosii, [$. 39. Op. tom. ii. p. 1209. edit. Benedict.]

parisons between the two brothers, and often men-CHAP.III. tions Valentinian's want of baptism; but observes

Year after no such thing of Gratian. Besides, he calls him the apo

stles. there Fidelis; which is a term never given by the ancients but to a baptized person.

But yet it is probable his baptism was not in infaner. For what should make Valentinian the father baptize his eldest son in infancy, and not his Foungest ? t'nless we may judge that Justina, the mother of the youngest, being an Arian, (for the mother of the eldest was not so,) and the father himself being a catholic, they could not agree into which faith he should be baptized. For the Arians were like the Donatists for that; that they had so ill an opinion of baptism given by the catholies, that ther baptized such over again ; as may be seen by St. Ambrose's Discourse against Auxentiuso. And therefore,

V. 3. The chief question is, whether Valentinian the father were baptized himself at the time when his youngest son was born. We have heard : already?, that he was a baptized Christian at a certain time, when he said, that he did not think • himself fit to judge between bishops.' But what time of his reign this refers to we have no way to know certainly. The passage that looks most like it in all that we read, is that which happened at the election of St. Ambrose himself to the bishoprie of ;+. Milan : and St. Ambrose was more likely to kuow that, and to refer to that, than any other. For then, as Theodoret tells us, the bishop of Milan

e Orat. in Ausentium, in fine. [$. 37. Op. tom. ii. p. 874. edit. henedict.]

9. 2 of this chapter. & Hist lib. iv. cap. 6.

Year after

the apo


CHAP,111. being dead, the people were much divided about the

choice of a new one, some setting up one, and some
another: so that to avoid confusion, Valentinian
ordered the neighbouring bishops that were then in
that city to choose one for them. The bishops de-
sired that he himself would pitch upon some person.
But he answered, · This is a thing too great for me
* to undertake. You that are filled with the grace

of God, and illuminated by the light thereof, may • much better do this office of choosing a man for a bishop.'

If this were the time St. Ambrose means, at which he was then a baptized person; this was but

a year, or thereabouts, before his death: for St. Am274. brose was made bishop in the year of Christ 374, as

Baronius, or the beginning of 375, as Petavius

computes; and Valentinian died November the 17th, 275. 375.

So that he might for all that be unbaptized when 266. his son Valentinian was born, which was, as we * saidų, nine years before, viz. anno Dom. 366.

Sect. 4. Of Theodosius the First.
His father was not a baptized Christian when he

was born.
I. Theodosius, (of whom we had occasion to
279. speak in the last section,) who was chosen by

Gratian to be his fellow emperor, is another of the instances of persons not baptized in infancy. What I have to say of him, may be dispatched in a few words. He was baptized quickly after he was chosen emperor', and in a fit of sickness, by Acholius, (or, as the Greeks write his name, Ascholius,) bishop of Thessalonica: being then thirty-four in §. 2.

i Socrates, lib. v. cap. 6.

the apo

rears old, as Victor counts; forty-four as SO-CHAP.III. erita rekons; or about fifty, if the Chronicon year aiter Hendrinan be to be relied on.

II. His fsther, who was also named Theodosius, ro. Esel been put to death by order of Valens nine years tetire At what time of his life he was baptized, I think we should not hare known but for Orosius, wo because he was a Spaniari, his countryman) spesas more particularly of his concerns. So that we know by him that he was baptized before he Ed: but not till twenty-five years (by the lowest Seount) after this his son was born. And whether he was at that time of his son's birth, a C5iscian in intention, or an unbeliever, is not to be

Oresius account is this; that he, being a commarder in the army, had done good and faithful Services: but ret that on a sudden, and for what TESDA nobody knew, there came an order that he most be put to death. Which when he understood, • be desire to be baptized first, for the forgiveness of bis sins. And when he was made partaker of *tat serament of Christ, as he desired; being,

es laudable life in this world, secure also of *33 eternal life, he willingly offered his neck to she executioner.'

Ober authors though not mentioning his baptisz, give the same account of his death. And the derasin of it ther relate to be such, as gives us an bies of the mischief that superstitious jealousies do ween they get into the head of a cowardly prinee. Vaeos had had some attempts made to dethrone hin. And there was a report ran up and down

Hist, lib. vii. (cap. 33-)

« AnteriorContinuar »