True Catholic and apostolic faith maintain'd in the Church of England by Andrew Sall ... ; being a reply to several books published under the names of J.E., N.N. and J.S. against his declaration for the Church of England, and against the motives for his separation from the Roman Church, declared in a printed sermon which he preached in Dublin.
Sall, Andrew, 1612-1682.
Page  98

CHAP. XIII. Of the several large and flourishing Christian Chur∣ches in the Eastern Countries not subject to the Pope.

TO all men truly zealous of the honour of God and of his Son Jesus Christ, it cannot but be comfortable, to see how happily the bles∣sed Apostles have complied with the command of our Soveraign Lord and Saviour; *Go and teach all Nations, baptizing in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; and how gloriously the Churches planted by them, have persevered in the Faith of our Saviour, in spight of the greatest persecutions, and under the great∣est Enemies of the Christian name, such as the Turk is known to be: and yet under his Domi∣ons is a numberless number of Christians; of which the Grecians are, for antiquity, num∣ber and dignity, the chief. They acknowledg obedience to the Patriarch of Constantinople, under whose jurisdiction are in Asia, the Chri∣stians of Natolia, Circassia, Mengrelia, and Russia, as in Europe also the Christians of Grece, Macedon, Epirus, Thrace, Bulgaria, Servia, Bosnia, Walachia, Moldavia, odolia, & Moscovia, together with all the Islands of the Aegean Sea, and others about Grece, as far as Page  99Corfu; besides a good part of the large Domini∣on of Polonia, and those parts of Dalmatia, and Croatia, that are subject to the Turkish Domini∣on: all which Congregations of Christians, sub∣ject to the Patriarch of Constantinople, do ex∣ceed in number them of the Romish Com∣munion; as I find recorded by diligent a Writers, whereof Pagit saies, that Christians make up the two third parts of the Grand Signiors Sub∣jects.

All these Churches do deny the Popes Supre∣macy: they account the Pope and his Church Schismatical. The Patriarch of Constantinople doth yearly upon the Sunday called Dominica in∣vocavit, solemnly excommunicate the Pope and his Clergy for Schismatics. They deny Tran∣substantiation; touching which point Cyril Pa∣triarch of Constantinople delivereth this excellent confession, as agreeable to the Doctrine of the Church of England, as opposite to the Romish: In the Eucharist (saith b he) we do confess a true and a real presence of Christ, but such a one, as Faith offereth us, not such as devised Transubstantiation teacheth: for we believe the Faithful to eat Christ's body in the Lords Supper, not sensibly champing it with our teeth, but partaking it with the sense of the soul. For that is not the Body of Christ, which offereth it self to our Eies in the Sacrament; but that which Faith spiritually apprehendeth and offereth to us. Hence ensueth, that if we believe, we eat and participate, if we believe not, we receive no profit by Page  100it. Hieremy the Patriarch teacheth a change of bread into the Body of Christ, which he calleth 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 that is a transmutation: which is not sufficient to infer a Transubstantiation, because it may only signify a mystical alteration, which the Patriarch in the same place plainly sheweth; saying, that the mysteries are truly the Body and Blood of Christ, not that these,〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 (saith he) are changed into humane flesh, but we into them; for the better things have ever the preeminence. The words of Cyril and Hieremy in Greek are to be found with Mr. Pagit in his Christiano∣graphie Cap. 4.

They deny Purgatory fire: So Nilus Arch-Bishop of Thessalonica: a we have not received by tradition from our teachers, that there is any fire of purgatory, nor any temporal punishment by fire, neither do we know of any such Doctrine, taught in the Eastern Church.b Alphonsus de Castro. It is one of the most known errors of the Grecians and Armenians, that they teach there is no place of Pur∣gatory, where Souls after this Life are purged from their corruptions: which they have contracted in their Bodies, before they deserve to be received into the Eternal tabernacles.

They administer the Eucharist in both kinds, of which cCrill the Patriarch: As the institutor speaketh of his Body, so also of his blood: which com∣mandment ought not to be rent asunder, or mangled according to humane arbitrement, but the instituti∣on delivered to be kept intire.

Page  101a They allow married Priests. Hier. Patr. We do permit those Priests that cannot contain, the use of marriage.

They deny the worship of Images. Concern∣ing which point bCyril speaketh: we forbid not the historical use of Pictures (Painting being a fa∣mous and commendable Art) we grant to them that will have them, the pictures of Christ and Saints; but their adoration and worship we detest, as forbid∣den by the Holy Ghost in holy Scripture; least we should, before we are aware, adore colours instead of our Creatour and Maker.

They acknowledg the sufficiency of Scripture for an entire rule of Faith and of our Salvation Of which cDamascen giveth this testimony, What so∣ever is delivered unto us in the Law and in the Pro∣phets, by the Apostles and Evangelists, that we receive, acknowledg and reverence, and beside these we require nothing else.

They do not forbid the layty the reading of Scriptures. As the reading of Scripture is forbidden to no Christian Man (saith Cyril the Patriarch) so no Man is to be kept from the reading of it: for the word is near in their mouth and in their hearts. Therefore manifest injury is offered to any Christian Man of what rank or condition soever he be, who is deprived or kept from reading or hearing the Holy Scripture.

They allow no private Masses: as Chtraeus re∣lates: No private Masses (saies he) are celebra∣ted among the Grecks, without other communi∣cants, Page  102as their liturgies and faithfull relations te∣stif.

They have prayer in a known tongue. They use not prayer for Souls to be delivered out of purgatory, nor the extreme unction, nor ele∣vating and carrying about the Sacrament, that it may be adored; nor indulgences, nor sale of Masses. Neither is there in their Canon, any mention made of the sacrifice of the Body and blood of Christ for the living and dead, as Chytraeus, Guagnirus and others quoted by aPa∣git do relate. Other differences of less account betwixt the Grecian Church and the Roman, you may see related by bBrerewood and Posse∣vin.

Of the same Religion with the Grecians, are the Christians of the vast and mighty Empire of Muscovia and Russia, under their Metropoli∣tan the Arch-Bishop of Mosco, nominated and appointed by the Prince, the Emperour of Rus∣sia, and upon this nomination consecrated by two or three of his own suffragans.

To these may be added the Christians called Nestorians (for having maintained antiently the errour of Nestorius) spread over a great part of Asia. For besides the Countries of Babylon, As∣sria, Mesopotamia, Parthia, and Media, wherein many of them are found; they are scat∣tered far and wide in the East, both northerly to Cathaia, and foutherly to India. So that beyond the river Tigris eastward, there is no Page  103other Sect of Christians to be found (as learned Brerewood relates) except only the Portugals, and the Converts made by them in India. The Patriarch of the Nestorians, to whom all those of the East parts acknowledg obedience, hath his seat in the City of Musale, on the River Ti∣gris in Mesopotamia, or in the Patriarchal Mo∣nastery of Saint Ermes fast by Musale. In which City, tho subject to Mahometans, it is recor∣ded, that the Nestorians retain yet 15. Temples, being esteemed about 40 thousand Souls. San∣ders relates the great number of suffragan Bi∣shops and Metropolitans subject to the Patri∣arch of Musale.

Next to these, we may name the Christians of Egypt called Cophti under the Patriarch of Alexandria; to whose jurisdiction belong not only the native Christians of Egypt, but also those about the bay of Arabia, and in the Mount Sinai Eastward; and in Afric, as far as the greater Syrtis westward. To him like∣wise are subject the Christians called Habassins spread over the wide Empire of Aethiopia, with their Prince commonly called Prester John. For tho they have a Patriarch of their own, whom they call in their idiome Abuna (our Father) yet are they limited b to chuse one of the jurisdiction of Alexandria, and a Monk of Saint Anthony he must be. Besides the confirmation and consecra∣tion of him belongeth to the Patriarch of Alexan∣dria, and by him is he sent with Ecclesiastical aPage  104charge into Habasia. The conferring of Bisho∣pries and other Ecclesiastical benefices (except the Patriarcship) belongeth only to the King. Their Priests and other inferiour Ecclesiastical Ministers, (as also Monks) live by their labour, as having no tithes nor any Ecclesiastical re∣venues to maintain them, nor being suffered to crave alms. All which is recorded by Zaga Za∣bo an Ethiopian Bishop.

The Christians of Egypt are so constant in the profession of Christianity, that if any of them are by force circumcised by the Turks, he is mark∣ed in the forehead or hands with the sign of the Cross, that all Men may know him to be a Chri∣stian.

The Patriarch of Alexandria's dwelling, is now neer the Church of Saint Nicholas in Caire, which City is one of the greatest Cities in the World, reputed to be eight and twenty miles in length, and fourteen in breadth (as aLithgow reporteth) and that of Greeks, Copates, Armenians & others, there are about two hundred thousand Christi∣ans in that City of Caire.

bThomas a Jesu relates a foul mistake in Ba∣ronius: who in the end of his sixth to me, tells, that in the time of Pope Clement the 8. an Em∣bassage was brought from the Church of Alex∣andria, to the Roman Bishop: in which the Patriarch and all the Provinces of Egypt, and o∣thers adjoyning, did acknowledg him chief and universal Pastor of the Church; but the matter Page  105being more diligently examined, appeared to be a meer ly and fiction of a certain Impostor Bartavis.

How great is the extent of Christianity in Ae∣thiopia, may appear by the vast extent of that Empire, which according to Mr. Brerewood his dimension, is equal with Germany, France, Spain, and Italy. Others do report it to be as great as all Europe. a Horatius Malegueius maketh the dominion of the Aethiopian Emperour, larger then any other; excepting the Dominion of the Catholic King.

bGodignus reports, that there are in Aethiopia one hundred and twenty seven Arch-Bishops. cAlvares a Portuguese Priest relates, that in Ma∣cham Talacem which is the Church of the Holy Trinity, he saw two hundred mitred Priests together; and sixty four Canopies carried over them. Their Churches are built round, and very rich, with hanging of Cloth of Gold, Vel∣vet, and Plate. They have many goodly Mo∣nasteries: to the Monasteries of the vision of Je∣sus belong about 3000 Monks.

Many were the attacks of Rome upon this flourishing Christianity of Aethiopia; to bring it under the Dominion of the Pope.d The more famous I find recorded, is that of Andreas Ovi∣edo, sent thither with the title of Patriarch, in the year 1557. who coming with his letters to the Emperor Claudius, received this answer from him,

That he would never yield obedi∣ence Page  106to the Bishop of Rome: (he gave him leave to teach the Portugals, but forbad him to speak one word to his Abassins touching Religion) and that he would not suffer the Roman yoak to be laid on him or his.
This Emperor Clau∣dius dying, Adamas succeeded; who banish'd the said Patriarch Andreas: and this was the issue of the Embassy, as Godignus relates.

Under the Patriarch of Jerusalema are the Christians inhabiting Palestine, mingled with Turks and others. The Patriarch keeps his re∣sidence in Jerusalem, where are now remaining ten Churches of Christians. The Patriarchal Church is the Church of Saint Sepulcher in Jeru∣salem, and his house is near unto it. To this Pa∣triarch did belong the three Palestines. Tyrius adds two Provinces more, Rubensis & Beriten∣sis. He relateth also five Metropolitans to have belonged to this See, and about 101 Bishops. The Armenians, Georgians, Abassins, and other Christians have several Churches in Jerusalem.

Under the Patriarch of Antioch, are the Chri∣stians, called Syrians, of the place of their chief habitation; and Melchites, which according to the Syrian Etymology, is as much as to say, Royalists; because their Bishops have followed alwaies in Faith, and in their Councils, the ex∣ample and autority of the Emperors of Constan∣tinople. They inhabit mingled with Mahume∣tans, part of Syria, Beritus, Tripolis, Alepo, and other places in Asia.

bBoterus saith, they are the most numerous Page  107sort of Christians in the East. They live under the jurisdiction of the Arch-Bishop of Damas∣cus, by the title of Patriarch of Antiochia. For Antiochia it self (where the name of Christians was first heard in the World) lying at present wast, or broken into small villages, the Patri∣archall seat was translated thence to Damascus, where are reported to be above a thousand hou∣ses of Christians.

For altho the Patriarch of the Maronites and of the Jacobites, whereof the former keepeth resi∣dence in Libanus, and the latter in Mesopotomia, entitle themselves Patriarchs of Antiochia, and by the Christians of their own Sects be so acknow∣ledged, yet do the Melchites, who retain the ancient Religion of Syria, acknowledg none for Patriarch, but the Arch-Bishop of Damascus, reputing both the other for Schismatics, as ha∣ving departed from the obedience and communi∣on of the true Patriarch.

And yet beside all these, a fourth there is, of the Popes designation, that usurpeth the title of Patriarch of Antiochia. For ever sice the La∣tines surprized Constantinople (which was about the year 1200) and held the possession of the Eastern Empire about 70 years: all which time the Patriarchs of Constantinople were consecra∣ted by the Pope, as also since the holy Land and the Provinces about it were in the hands of the Christian Princes of the West; which began to be about the year 1100, and so continued about 80 years; during which season, the Patriarchs of Anticchia also and of Jerusalem were of the Popes Congregation; ever since then, I sa, the Page  108Church of Rome hath and doth still create succes∣sively, imaginary or titular Patriarchs (with∣out jurisdiction) of Constantinople, Antiochia, Jerusalem, and Alexandria: so loath is the Pope to lose the remembrance of any superiority or title, that he hath once compassed.

The Georgians inhabit the Country anciently named Iberia betwixt the Euxine and the Ca∣spian Seas. The vulgar opinion is that they got the name of Georgians from their devotion to Saint George, whom they honour for their Pa∣tron, and whose image they bear in their mili∣tary ensigns. Yet this seems to be a vulgar er∣ror, whereas mention was made of the Nation of the Georgians in those parts both by aMela and Pliny before Saint George was born. Their Religion both in ceremony and substance is that of the Grecians, who yet were never subject to the Patriarch of Constantinople, but all their Bi∣shops, being 18. do profess obedience to their own Metropolitan, without any higher depen∣dance or relation; who yet keepeth residence far off in the monastery of Saint Catherine in the hill of Sinai.

These Christians live separately by themselves without mixture of Mahumetans or Pagans, un∣der their own King. They are a very warlike People, valiant in Battail, of great strength and might, with an innumerable multitude of Soul∣diers, very terrible to the Sarazens; as it is re∣ported by Vitriacus the Cardinal.

Page  109 Neighbouring with the Georgians are the Mengrelians and Circasians, anciently called Colchi and Zychi, both of the Greek Religion, and subject to the Patriarch of Constantinople, as converted by his a Ministers, Cyrillus and Metro∣dius, to Christian Religion. The Mengrelians inhabit Colchis, which lieth neer the Exine Sea. The b Circassians Country extendeth it self on the Meotis 500 miles, and within land 200 miles. These Countries bring forth the bravest warri∣ors reputed in the East.