Land in Bloom by Vadim Andreevich Safonov
By Vadim Andreevich Safonov
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The ignorance of the primitive church is explained by the long imprisonment of the image, in a niche of the wall, from whence, after an oblivion of five hundred years, it was released by some prudent bishop, and seasonably presented to the devotion of the times. Its first and most glorious exploit was the deliverance of the city from the arms of Chosroes Nushirvan; and it was soon revered as a pledge of the divine promise that Edessa should never be taken by a foreign enemy. It is true, indeed, that the text of Procopius ascribes the double deliverance of Edessa to the wealth and valour of her citizens, who purchased the absence and repelled the assaults of the Persian monarch.
Peter, whose image you threaten to destroy. 26 The barbarians have submitted to the yoke of the gospel, while you alone are deaf to the voice of the shepherd. These pious barbarians are kindled into rage; they thirst to avenge the persecution of the East. Abandon your rash and fatal enterprise; reflect, tremble, and repent. ” The first assault of Leo against the images of Constantinople had been witnessed by a crowd of strangers from Italy and the West, who related, with grief and indignation, the sacrilege of the emperor.
But the most essential gifts of the popes to the Carlovingian race were the dignities of king of France40 and of patrician of Rome. I. Under the sacerdotal monarchy of St. Peter, the nations began to resume the practice of seeking, on the banks of the Tiber, their kings, their laws, and the oracles of their fate. The Franks were perplexed between the name and substance of their government. All the powers of royalty were exercised by Pepin, mayor of the palace; and nothing, except the regal title, was wanting to his ambition.