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and this thundering artillery was pointed against the walls and turrets which had been erected only to resist the less potent engines of antiquity. By the Venetians, the use of gunpowder was communicated without reproach to the Sultans of Egypt and Persia, their allies against the Ottoman power. The secret was soon propagated to the extremities of Asia; and the advantage of the European was confined to his easy victories over the savages of the new world. If we contrast the rapid progress of this mischievous discovery with the slow and laborious advances of reason, science, and the arts of peace, a philosopher, according to his temper, will laugh or weep at the folly of mankind.
Applications of the Eastern Emperors to the Popes.-
John the Second, Palaologus.-Union of the Greek
and Latin Churches, promoted by the Council of Basil, and concluded at Ferrara and Florence.— State of Literature at Constantinople.—Its Revival in Italy by the Greek Fugitives.—Curiosity
and Emulation of the Latins. *
N the four last centuriel of the Greek Emperors, their friendly or hostile aspect towards the Pope and the Latins, may be observed as the thermometer of their prosperity or distress; as the scale of the rise and fall of the barbarian dynasties. When the Turks of the house of Seljuk pervaded Asia. and threatened Constantinople, we have seen at the council of Placentia, the suppliant ambassadors of Alexius, imploring the protection of the common father of the Christians. No sooner had the arms of the French pilgrims removed the Sultan from Nice to Iconium, than the Greek princes resumed, or avowed, their genuine hatred and contempt for the schismatics of the West, which precipitated the first downfall of their empire. The date of the Mogul invasion is marked in the soft and charitable language of John Wataces. After the recovery of Constantinople, the throne of the Wol. XII. F first
first Palaeologus was encompassed by foreign and
XVI. - ~ domestic enemies; as long as the sword of Charles
The ar. guments for a crusade and union.
was suspended over his head, he basely courted the favour of the Roman Pontiff; and sacrificed to the present danger, his faith, his virtue, and the affection of his subjects. On the decease of Michael, the Prince and people asserted the independence of the church and the purity of their creed : the elder Andronicus neither feared nor loved the Latins; in his last distress, pride was the safeguard of superstition; nor could he decently retract in his age the firm and orthodox declarations of his youth. His grandson, the younger Andronicus, was less a slave in his temper and situation; and the conquest of Bithynia by the Turks, admonished him to seek a temporal and spiritual alliance with the Western princes. After a separation and silence of fifty years, a secret agent, the monk Barlaam, was dispatched to Pope Benedict the Twelfth ; and his artful instructions appear to have been drawn by the master-hand of the great domestic". “Most holy “father,” was he commissioned to say, “the Em“peror is not less desirous than yourself of an union “ between the two churches; but in this delicate “transaction, he is obliged to respect his own dig“nity and the prejudices of his subjects. The ways ce of * This curious instruction was transcribed (I believe) from the Vatican archives, by Odoricus Raynaldus, in his continuation of the Annals of Baronius, (Roma, 1646–1677, in 10 volumes in folio). I have contented myself with the Abbé
Fleury, (Hist. Ecclesiastique, tom. xx. p. 1–8.), whose ex
tracts I have always found to be clear, * and impartial.
“ of union are two-fold, force, and persuasion. Of c H A P.
“force, the inefficacy has been already tried; Joo,
“since the Latins have subdued the empire, with“ out subduing the minds, of the Greeks. The “method of persuasion, though slow, is sure and “permanent. A deputation of thirty or forty of “our doctors would probably agree with those of “the Vatican, in the love of truth and the unity of “belief; but on their return, what would be the “use, the recompence of such agreement : the “scorn of their brethren, and the reproaches of a “blind and obstinate nation. Yet that nation is “accustomed to reverence the general councils, “ which have fixed the articles of our faith; and if “they reprobate the decrees of Lyons, it is because “ the Eastern churches were neither heard nor re“presented in that arbitrary meeting. For this sa“lutary end, it will be expedient, and even neces“sary, that a well-chosen legate should be sent “ into Greece, to convene the patriarchs of Con“stantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem; “and, with their aid, to prepare a free and universal “synod. But at this moment,” continued the subtle agent, “the empire is assaulted and endangered by “the Turks, who have occupied four of the great“est cities in Anatolia. . The Christian inhabitants “have expressed a wish of returning to their alle“giance and religion; but the forces and revenues “ of the Emperor are insufficient for their deliver“ance; and the Roman legate must be accompa“nied, or preceded, by an army of Franks, to ex“pel the infidels, and open a way to the holy se
F 2 “pulchre.”
“pulchre.” If the suspicious Latins should require some pledge, some previous effect of the sincerity of the Greeks, the answers of Barlaam were perspicuous and rational. “I. A general synod can “ alone consummate the union of the churches : “ nor can such a synod be held till the three O“riental patriarchs, and a great number of bishops, “ are enfranchised from the Mahometan yoke. 2. “The Greeks are alienated by a long series of op“pression and injury: they must be reconciled by “ some act of brotherly love, some effectual succour, “which may fortify the authority and arguments of “the Emperor, and the friends of the union. 3. If “some difference of faith or ceremonies should be “found incurable, the Greeks, however, are the “ disciples of Christ, and the Turks are the com“mon enemies of the Christian name. The Arme“nians, Cyprians, and Rhodians, are equally at“ tacked; and it will become the piety of the French “ princes to draw their swords in the general de“fence of religion. 4. Should the subjects of An
“dronicus be treated as the worst of schismatics, of
“heretics, of pagans, a judicious policy may yet “ instruct the powers of the West to embrace an “useful ally, to uphold a sinking empire, to guard “the confines of Europe; and rather to join the “Greeks against the Turks,than to expect the union “ of the Turkish arms with the troops and treasures “ of captive Greece.” The reasons, the offers, and the demands, of Andronicus, were eluded with cold and stately indifference. The Kings of France and Naples declined the dangers and glory of a crusade: