Cyril

, of Jerusalem, was ordained a priest of that church by Maximus bishop of Jerusalem; and after Maximus’s death, which happened about the year 350, became his successor in that see, through the interest of Acacius bishop of Caesarea, and the bishops of his party. This made the orthodoxy of Cyril highly suspected, because Acacius was an Arian; aiul St. Jerome accuses Cyril, as if he was one too: but Theodoret assures us, that he was not. His connexions, however, with Acacius, were presently broken by a violent contest which arose between them about the prerogatives of their respective sees. The council of Nice had decreed to the bishop of Jerusalem the honour of precedency amongst the bishops of his province, without concerning himself at all with the right of the church of Cassarea, which was metropolitan to that of Jerusalem. This made Maximus, and after him Cyril, who were bishops of Jerusalem, to insist upon certain rights about consecrating bishops, and assembling councils, which Acacius considered as an encroachment upon the jurisdictions of his province. Hence a dispute ensued, and Acacius calling a synod, contrived to have Cyril deposed, under the pretence of a very great sin he had committed in the time of a late famine, by exposing to sale the treasures of the church, and applying the money to the support of the poor. This, however, might possibly have been passed over, as an offence at least of a pardonable nature, but for one circumstance that unluckily attended it; which was., that amongst these treasures that were sold there was a rich embroidered robe, which had been presented to the church by Constantine the Great; and this same robe was afterwards seen to have been worn by a common actress upon the stage: which, as soon as it was known, was considered as a horrible profanation of that sacred vestment.

Cyril, in the mean time, encouraged by the emperor Constantius himself, appealed from the sentence of deposition which Acacius and his council had passed upon him, to the higher tribunal of a more numerous council; but was obliged to retire to Tarsus, where he was kindly | received by Sylvanus, the bishop of that place, and suffered to celebrate the holy mysteries, and to preach in his diocese. In the year 359 he appeared at the council of Seleucia, where he was treated as a lawful bishop, and had the rank of precedency given him by several bishops, though Acacius did all he could to hinder it, and deposed him a second time. Under Julian he was restored to his see of Jerusalem, and is said to have interposed to prevent the attempts that were made in that reign to rebuild the temple. Lastly, under Theodosius, we find him firmly established in his old honours and dignities, in which he continued unmolested to the time of his death, which happened in the year 386.

The remains of this father are not voluminous; but consist of eighteen catechetical discourses, and five mystagogic catecheses, and a single letter. The letter is indeed a remarkable one, as well for its being written to Constantius, as for the subject it is written upon: for it gives a wonderful account of the sign of the cross, which appeared in the heavens at Jerusalem, in the reign of this emperor, which was probably some natural phenomenon not then understood. His catecheses form a well-digested abridgment of the Christian doctrine: the first eighteen are addressed to catechumens, and the other five to the newly baptised. The style is plain and simple. The best editions of his works are those of Petavius, Paris, 1622, fol.; of Pnevotius, ibid. 1631; of Milles, Oxford, 1703; and of Touttee, Paris, 1720. 1

1

Cave.—Dupin.