Scanned text contains errors.
Her contest with Ambrose began in the year 380, when she appointed an Arian bishop to the vacant see of Sirmium ; upon which Ambrose went to Sirmium, and, a miraculous judgment on an Arian who insulted him having struck terror into his opponents, he consecrated Anemmius, who was of the orthodox party, as bishop of Sirmium, and then returned to Milan, where Justina set on foot several intrigues against him, but without effect. In the year 382, Palladius and Secundianus, two Arian bishops, petitioned Gratian for a general council to decide the Arian controversy; but, through the influence of Ambrose, instead of a general council, a synod of Italian, Illyrian and Gallic bishops was assembled at Aquileia, over which Ambrose presided, and by which Palladius and Secundianus were deposed.
At length, in the years 385 and 386, Ambrose and Justina came to open conflict. Justina, in the name of the emperor, demanded of Ambrose the use of at least one of the churches in Milan, for the performance of divine worship by Arian ecclesiastics. Ambrose refused, and the people rose up to take his part. At Easter (385) an attempt was made by Justina to take forcible possession of the basilica, but the show of resistance was so great, that the attempt was abandoned, and the court was even obliged to apply to Ambrose to quell the tumult. He answered, that he had not stirred up the people, and that God alone could still them. The people now kept guard about the bishop's residence and the basilica, which the imperial forces hesitated ;to attack. In fact, the people were almost wholly on the side of Ambrose, the Arian party consisting of few beyond the court and the Gothic troops. Auxentius, an Arian bishop, who was Justina's chief adviser in these proceedings, now challenged Ambrose to a public disputation in the emperor's palace ; but Ambrose refused, saying that a council of the church was the only proper place for such a discussion. He was next commanded to leave the city, which he at once refused to do, and in this refusal the people still supported him. In order to keep up the spirits of the people, he introduced into the church where they kept watch the regular performance of antiphonal hymns, which had been long practised in the Eastern Church, but not hitherto introduced into the West. At length, the contest was decided about a year after its commencement by the miracles which are reported to have attended the discovery of the reliques of two hitherto unknown martyrs, Gerva-sius and Protasius. A blind man was said to have been restored to sight, and several demoniacs dispossessed. These events are recorded by Ambrose himself, by his secretary Paulinus, and by his disciple Augustine, who was in Milan at the time; but a particular discussion of the truth of these miracles would be out of place here. They were denied by the Arians and discredited by the court, but the impression made by them upon the people in general was such, that Jiistina thought it prudent to desist from her attempt. (Ambros. Epist. xii. xx. xxi. xxii. § 2, liii. liv.; Paulin. Vit. Ambros. § 14-17, p. 4, Ben.; Augustin. Confess, ix. 7. §14-16, De Civ. Dei, xxii. 8. § 2, Serm. 318, 286.)
An imperial rescript was however issued in the same year for the toleration of all sects of Christians, any offence against which was made high treason (Cod. Theodos. IV. De Fide CatJioliea) ; but we have no evidence that its execution was
attempted; and the state of the parties was quite altered by the death of Justina in the next year (387), when Valentinian became a Catholic, and still more completely by the victory of Theodosius over Maximus (388). This event put the whole power of the empire into the hands of a prince who was a firm Catholic, and over whom Ambrose speedily acquired such influence, that, after the massacre at Thessalonica in 390, he refused Theodosius admission into the church of Milan for a period of eight months, and only restored him after he had performed a public penance, and had confessed that he had learnt the difference between an emperor and a priest.
Ambrose was an active opponent not only of the Arians, but also of the Macedonians, Apollinarians, and Novatians, and of Jovinian. It was probably about the year 384 that he successfully resisted the petition of Symmachus and the heathen senators of Rome for the restoration of the altar ol Victory. He was the principal instructor of Augustine in the Christian faith. [AuousTiNUs.]
The latter years of his life, with the exception of a short absence from Milan during the usurpation of Eugenius (392), were devoted to the cart of his bishopric. He died on the 4th of April. a.d. 397.
As a writer, Ambrose cannot be ranked high notwithstanding his great eloquence. His theological knowledge scarcely extended beyond a fai acquaintance with the works of the Greek fathers from whom he borrowed much. His works bea also the marks of haste. He was rather a mai of action than of letters.
His works are very numerous, though several o them have been lost. They consist of Letters Sermons, and Orations, Commentaries on Scrip ture, Treatises in commendation of celibacy an< monasticism, and other treatises, of which the mos important are : " Hexaemeron," an account of th creation; "De Officiis Ministrorum," which is ge nerally considered his best work ; "De Mysteriis; "De Sacramentis;" "De Poenitentia;" and th above-mentioned works, "De Fide/' and "De Spi ritu Sancto," which are both upon the Trinity The well-known hymn, "Te Deum laudamus," ha been ascribed to him, but its date is at least a cer tury later. There are other hymns ascribed t him, but upon doubtful authority. He is believe to have settled the order of public worship in th churches of Milan in the form which it had till th eighth century under the names of "Officium An brosianum" and "Missa Ambrosiana."
The best edition of his works is that of th Benedictines, 2 vols. fol., Paris, 1686 and 1691 with an Appendix containing a life of Ambrose b his secretary Paulinus, another in Greek, which anonymous, and is chiefly copied from Theodoret Ecclesiastical History, and a third by the Benedii tine editors. Two works of Ambrose, Eucplanat, Symboli ad initiandos, and Epistola de Fide, ha\ been discovered by Angelo Maii, and are publishe by him in the seventh volume of his Sc-riptoru\ Veterum Nova Collectio. [P. S.]
AMBROSIUS, a hearer of Didymus, at Ale: andria, lived a. d. 392, and was the author . Commentaries on Job, and a book in verse again Apollinaris of Laodicea. Neither is extant. (I Hieron. de Vir. Illud. § 126.) [A. J. C.]