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shown), was carried in procession about the city, mounted on a camel; having been before that straitly imprisoned, and exposed to many sufferings from the Greeks. He, having been carried about in procession, (as I said,) was beaten with clubs, and dragged along almost the whole of the city. Thus he died; and, after his death, was burnt, and, together with many bones of beasts of burden and other animals, was reduced to ashes, and then scattered to the winds, to be swept away. Since he thus met with his end, one might be inclined to say of one who finished his life in such a manner, Was he not a martyr, since he endured these things from the Greeks? Now, if on his part the contest had been for the truth, and if these things had been inflicted upon him by the Grecians from malice, and on account of his confession of Christ, then assuredly he would liave been ranked among the martyrs, and those not the least of martyrs; but the matter objected against him related not to a confession of Christ, but to the extreme violence which, during his so-called episcopate, he all along exercised against the city and the people, in seizing from individuals the property inherited from their parents. And in saying this) we calumniate not the man; since, in fact, many things were committed by him amongst the Alexandrians. (They report) both how he took possession of all the nitre, and how he designed to assume the management of the marshes of papyrus and reeds, and the salt-pools, in order to convert them to his own advantage; so also his disgraceful means of livelihood. He sought after gain by every expedient; nor was he regardless of the most trifling matters. He had some intention of limiting the biers used for the bodies of the departed to a certain number, and that no bodies of deceased persons should be carried forth but by persons appointed by himself. He entertained many strangers, not for the sake:
of hospitality, but, as they say, for the purpose of revenue; for if any one of them buried a body by himself, he incurred danger; thus some profit acerued unto him from every single body brought out for burial. As to all the instances of luxury and other wrong proceedings, as well as the cruelty with which he conducted himself, I am silent. On account of all this, therefore, the sons of the Alexandrians, but especially the Greeks, no longer masters of their anger, brought him to this end. I have already had occasion to speak of these matters; how that, when news of Constantine's decease was proclaimed, the Alexandrians instantly killed him in the above manner. My present subject has nothing more to do with him, but with Aëtius, who was by him ordained deacon."
This passage would appear nearly decisive. The hesitating query introduced, “Was he not a martyr ?” might bear relation to some superstition respecting the Alexandrian George then creeping into the church, which, probably, soon died away, or is traceable only in the Apocryphal Acts of St. George ; but the honour paid to the real Saint was in the time of Epiphanius universal and undisputed, and cannot but have been known to him. Had any undue regard then been offered to the Arian oppressor, Epiphanius would have, no doubt, indignantly exposed and reproved it. The character of George the Arian was also, no doubt, well known to the concordant numerosity of many bishops" throughout the world, who would have stopped any improper or unauthorised proceedings with respect to him. Moreover, George the Arian was a native (“natus ut ferebatur," Ammian, Marcell.) of Epiphania in Cilicia, not of Cappadocia,* although he dwelt some time in the latter province.
* These provinces were ill reported of : κακιστα, Καππαδοκια, Κιλικια, Κρητη.-Suidas.
In concluding, therefore, that St. George was a different person from the Alexandrian; that he was a military confessor, and was martyred at Lydda near Ramlah ; we shall judge most probably and most rationally. Perhaps, the real cause of the doubts that were ever entertained upon the subject may be found in the dissatisfaction felt at the meagre account, the scanty particulars, recorded of a martyr especially honoured; but this incompleteness is not uncommon in the history of ancient events. The leading particulars are deemed sufficient; and we are scarcely able to judge of the precise degree of merit in a martyr, even under circumstances similar to those with which we are acquainted in the case of St. George. That merit may have been understood and appreciated in early ages by those who knew no more of the details than we do. There may have been times and occasions when Christianity was secretly held by many,* and when an instance of the voluntary sacrifice of wealth, rank, and life, from the best motives, may have been of infinite service to the cause. Certain it is, that this Saint was regarded as a profitable example of bold piety; and although pleasing feelings are criminal if they degenerate into superstition, or are imposed as articles of belief, to the injury of important truths; yet that religious application of biography which introduced the examples of good men into the exercises of devotion may originally have been innocent and ennobling, and even effectually disjoined from undue creature-reverence.
St. George was not always represented on horseback. He is described by Theodorus Syceotes (who declared that he frequently conversed with his re-embodied ghost) as a fair young man with yellow hair. Raimondus de Agiles, in the Gesta Dei per Francos, speaks of a certain Peter, who saw
* See note 3. infra.
our Lord on the Cross, with St. Peter, St. Andrew, and “quendam magnum et spissum brumo colore et subcalvo, et magnis oculis," -a certain stout man, of a dark complexion, and great eyes,-standing by. This turned out to be St. George ; but from a curious romantic story it would appear that he was represented as a mounted knight in the thirteenth century. Nicephorus Gregorius, who wrote a history of the Grecian Emperors, from A. D. 1200 to 1344, about which time he is said to have died, has (Book viII.) a story to the following effect :-Upon the first Saturday in Lent, the eve of the commemoration of the orthodox Emperors and Patriarchs, Theodore, logotheta generalis, (chief chancellor, or registrar,) attended, as usual, the sacred services from eve till midnight. Just at midnight, whilst I was standing by, and listening to the Doxology, some one enters from the emperor (Andronicus the elder), announcing to the chancellor that he had been alarmed by the loud neighing of a horse. Upon examination, it was found to proceed from a wall in the palace, which was in front of a chapel of the victorious Mother of God, whereon Paulus, a celebrated painter, had formerly portrayed the martyr George upon his horse. The chancellor, hastening to the emperor, found bim much perplexed with the omen, and, to comfort him, assured him that St. George, by that sign, promised him success in his enterprises. “Not so,” replied the emperor; you know, as well as I, that when Baldwin, the Latin emperor, was beleaguered by my father, and the city taken, the same portent occurred.” Baldwin began to reign A. D. 1227.
In the discussion respecting the identity of our Saint, there is some weight in the negative argument, that no instances are recorded or known of the imposition of false or heretical saints as objects of Catholic respect. After much labour, the puritan divines were able to discover two cases only, which they alleged as cases of spurious saintship. Faustus Rhegiensis
seems to have been regarded with some reverence in certain parts of France, although never honoured universally or widely. He is accused of heresy as a Semi-Pelagian ; but antiquity does not support the assertion. In replying to Pelagius, Faustus. did not use violent terms; but there is no proof that his mild remonstrances savoured of heresy. It is well known that the appellation of Semi-Pelagian has been sometimes incorrectly used by over-stating theologians, to discredit those who differ from them.t Another instance of a spurious saint is mentioned by Sulpitius Severus:St. Martin of Tours | met with a little oratory, much frequented by superstitious people as the tomb of some martyr. Suspecting some imposture, St. Martin prayed that the truth might be manifested unto him. Upon this, a certain Shape, or Phantom, passed by, who declared that he was not a martyr, but a thief executed for his crimes. Surely this instance will prove that the intrusion of a saint into the church was not an easy matter; and that whatever might be the easy credulity of the people, their ecclesiastical superiors did not blindly sanction every popular superstition. An organized system of fraud did not at this time (5th and 6th centuries) prevail any where; and in the Eastern church, never. In subsequent ages, an allegory was superadded to the real history of St. George:-he is regarded as the personification of Holiness, one of the seven Christian virtues; and
* See note 4. infra.
+ The moral character of several saints has been impugned, not perhaps unjustly. But we here allude to matters of belief in primary truths, the approvers of which do not seem to have attained reverence or honour as saints in the early ages. Pelagius was respected locally, but never canonized.
See note 5. infra.