Imatges de pągina

cil was held, by the emperor Justinian, in 533, to decide the dispute of the three chapters. The three chapters were three doctrines of the bishops Theodore of Mopsuestia, Theodoret, and Ibas of Edessa, who were suspected of Nestorianism, and declared heretics by the council. The 165 bishops, nearly all from the East, who were assembled at this meeting, excluded from their communion the Roman bishop Virgilius, who would not unconditionally condemn the three chapters, and with him many divines, even some that were dead; for example, Origen. They were only the contemptible organs of the senseless zeal of Justinian. The sixth council, held in 680, by the order of the emperor Constantine, in the Trullan palace (so called on account of its vaulted roof), by 166 bishops, of whom the legate of the Roman bishop Agatho had the greatest influence, condemned the doctrines of the Monothelites, and declared their leaders heretics. Rejecting the Bible and reason, they proved, from the fathers, that Christ acted not merely with one will, which the Monothelites maintained, but with both a divine and a human will, in accordance with his two natures. Among the condemned Monothelites was Honorius, the predecessor of Agatho. As these two councils made no new ecclesiastical laws, the emperor Justinian II, in 692, again summoned a general council, which, from the purpose of the meeting to supply the defects of the fifth and sixth, was called the quinisexta, and, because it was held again in the Trullan palace, the Trullan council; but it is not numbered among the councils of Constantinople. It confirmed the decrees of the previous sessions, and instituted rigid laws for the clergy: among them were those fixing the rank of the patriarchs and the permission of marriage to priests, which were so offensive to the Latin church, that she rejected all the decrees of this council; but, in the Greek church, they are still valid. The seventh ecclesiastical council, which was held, in 754, in Constantinople, by 338 bishops, was not attended nor acknowledged by the Latin clergy. This council condemned, with the utmost severity, the worshippers of images, many of whom were put to death in consequence. But the decrees of this council lost all their validity in consequence of the subsequent decrees of the council of Nice in 787. (See Iconoclasts). CONSTELLATIONS are the groups into which astronomers have divided the fixed stars, and which have received names for the convenience of description and reference.

The science of the constellations is called astrognosy. The division of the stars into groups was begun in ancient times. It is plain that the union of several stars into a constellation, to which the name of some animal, person or inanimate object is given, must be entirely arbitrary, since the several points (the stars) may be united in a hundred different ways, just as imagination directs; for instance, the best known of all the constellations, the Great Bear, or the Wain, might just as well be made to represent a great variety of other things. It is enough that astronomers know what is meant by a certain constellation, so as to understand each other. The division of the heavens into constellations is like the division of a classic into pages and paragraphs. Ludwig Ideler's Untersuchung über den Ursprung und die Bedeutung der Sternnamen, Berlin, 1809 (Inquiry into the Origin and Meaning of the Names of the Stars, by Louis Ideler), is a work of great interest. The ancient divisions of the constellations have been retained by the moderns, with the addition of such as have been newly discovered. When and where the first constellations were formed is not known. It is very probable that some of the most remarkable collections of stars, such as Charles's Wain, the Pleiades, Orion, &c., were formed into constellations, and had names given them, in very early ages. Some of them, by their different appearances, serve to mark out the different seasons of the year, and, on that account, were not only considered as a kind of directory for the commencement of ploughing, sowing, and other operations of husbandry, but were also regarded as having a great influence on the temperature of the air, and the fertility of the earth. Hence, from their being signs, pointing out the times of the year when heat or cold, dryness or moisture, predominated, they were regarded as the causes of these states of the atmosphere. They were also imagined to have dominion over minerals, vegetables and animals; over the complexions, constitutions, and even the dispositions of mankind. This opinion obtained credit the more easily, as the sun, moon, planets and stars were believed to be of a divine nature, insomuch that some persons conceived that they were inhabited by an inferior kind of deities, who governed their motions, and directed their influences; while others thought that they were animals, each of which had a living soul; and others again supposed that they were animated by a part of the substance of the

Supreme Being. Each of these notions led mankind to pay them a sort of religious worship. The Egyptians divided the heavens into several regions, which they called the stations or mansions of their gods. They worshipped the heavenly bodies, and more especially the sun and moon, which they called their great gods, denominating the sun Osiris, and the moon Isis. They also imagined that they found in various animals some qualities corresponding to the motions, appearances or influences of the sun, moon, and some of the stars; hence they were induced not only to use those animals in their hieroglyphic representations of their deities, but also to pay them divine honors, and denominate the constellations from them. The Greeks, who learned astronomy of the Egyptians, retained several of their figures, as the ram, the bull, the dog, &c., but accommodated almost all of them to the fabulous history of their gods and heroes, whom they placed among the stars. The Romans imitated them, and the poets of both nations have given us wild and romantic fables about the origin of the constellations, probably derived from the hieroglyphics of the Egyptians, and transmitted, with some alterations, from them to the Greeks. Many of the figures that occur among our present constellations were originally Egyptian. The names which the Chinese and Japanese give to the groups of stars forming our constellations are very different from those which we have given them. Some Arabians, too, though they received their astronomy from the Greeks, changed the names of the constellations, from a superstitious notion, that it was unlawful to draw any human figure. The zeal of some Christian philosophers has induced them to endeavor to drive the heathen deities and heroes from the skies. The venerable Bede gave the names of the twelve apostles to the twelve signs of the zodiac. Judas Schillerius, in 1627, completed the reformation, and gave Scripture names to all the constellations in the heavens. Weigelius, professor of mathematics in the university of Jena, made a new order of constellations, converting the firmament into a calum heraldicum, and introducing the arms of all the princes of Europe among the constellations. The more intelligent astronomers, however, never approved of innovation, because it tended to introduce confusion into the science. The old constellations, therefore, are, for the most part, still retained. Ptolemy enumerates, in his Almagest, forty-eight constellations, which


are still called the Ptolemaan. They are the following:-1. The twelve signs of the zodiac (see Ecliptic). 2. Twenty-one constellations found in the northern hemisphere the Great Bear (Ursa Major, the Wain), the Little Bear (Ursa Minor), Perseus, the Dragon, Cepheus, Cassiopeia, Andromeda, Pegasus, Equulus (Horse's Head), the Triangle, the Wagoner (Auriga), Boötes, the Northern Crown (Corona Borealis), Ophiuchus, the Serpent (Serpentarius), Hercules, the Arrow (Sagitta), the Lyre, the Swan (Cygnus), the Dolphin, the Eagle (Aquila). 3. Fifteen constellations in the southern hemisphereOrion, the Whale (Cetus), Eridanus, the Hare (Lepus), the Great Dog (Canis Major), the Little Dog (Canis Minor), Hydra, the Cup (Crater), the Crow (Corvus), the Centaur, the Wolf (Lupus), the Altar (Ara), the Southern Fish (Piscis Australis), the Argo, the Southern Crown (Corona Australis). The poets of antiquity very ingeniously connected the most popular fables of mythology with the different constellations. Some of the constellations, however, have been changed; and even the ancients sometimes added new such as the Hair of Berenice (Coma Berenices), and the Antinous. Much still remained for modern astronomers to do. Hevelius introduced the twelve following new constellations:-the Shield of Sobiesky, the Squirrel, Camelopardalus, the Sextant, the Greyhounds, the Little Lion, the Lynx, the Fox and the Goose, the Lizard, the Little Triangle, Cerberus, and Mons Mænalus. When the Europeans began to navigate the southern hemisphere, many new stars of course appeared to them, which they never had seen in Europe. Thus twelve new constellations were added in the 16th century-the Indians, Crane, Phoenix, Fly, Southern Triangle, Bird of Paradise, Peacock, American Goose, Hydrus or Water-Snake, Sword-Fish, Flying-Fish, Chamæleon. Halley, in 1675, during his stay at St. Helena, added the Royal Oak (Robur Carolinum); and Lacaille, in 1750, during his stay at the cape of Good Hope, added the fourteen following:-Officina Sculptoria, Fornax Chemica, Horologium, Reticulus Rhomboidalis, Equuleus Pictorius, Cala Praxitelis, Pyxis Nautica, Octans Hadleianus, Machina Pneumatica, Circinus (the Compass), Quadra Euclidis, Telescope, Microscope, and Table Mountain. To these have been added the Lapland Reindeer, the Hermit, the Brandenburg Sceptre, the Telescope of Herschel, the Shield of Poniatowsky, or Taurus Ponia

towsky, the Honor of Frederic, and a collection of ecclesiastical laws and re

others, which cannot well be enumerated here, as their names have not been sanctioned by all nations. Thus the professors of Leipsic made of a part of Orion the constellation of Napoleon, but it did not come into use. The different stars of a constellation are marked by Greek letters. Several have also particular names. They are also divided according to their apparent magnitude; thus we speak of stars of the first, second and third, up to the sixth magnitude. The last are the smallest visible to the naked eye. One of the best works on astrognosy, in the present state of this science, is Bode's Anleitung zur Kenntniss des gestirnten Himmels, 9th ed. Berlin, 1823, with plates (Guide to the Knowledge of the Starry Heavens). On the subject of the constellations, and astrognosy of the ancients, the same author has written, in his Ptolemæus, Beobachtung und Beschreibung der Gestirne, Berlin, 1795 (Ptolemy, Observation and Description of the Stars). (For information respecting celestial globes, see Globe.)

CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY; the first convention of the delegates of the French nation, (June 17, 1789), consisting of 600 deputies of the third estate, 300 of the nobility, and 300 of the clergy. The famous oath taken in the tennis court, June 20, 1789, not to dissolve until they had completed a constitution for their country, is one of the noblest displays of the spirit of a nation bent on recovering and securing its liberty. (See France.)

CONSTITUTION, in medicine; the general condition of the body, as evinced by the peculiarities in the performance of its functions: such are the peculiar predisposition to certain diseases, or liability of particular organs to disease, the varieties in digestion, in muscular power and motion, in sleep, in the appetite, &c. Some marked peculiarities of constitution are observed to be accompanied with certain external characters, such as a particular color and texture of the skin, and of the hair, and also with a peculiarity of form and disposition of mind; all of which have been observed from the earliest time, and divided into classes, and which received names, during the prevalence of the humoral pathology, that they still retain. (See Temperament.)

CONSTITUTION, in the Roman church; a decree of the pope in matters of doctrine. In France, however, this name has been applied, by way of eminence, to the famous bull Unigenitus. (q. v.) Apostolic constitutions is the name given to

gulations ascribed erroneously to Clement I. Their contents betray a later origin. No father of the church, before the 4th century, mentions them. Epiphanius is the first who speaks of them as a genuine work of the apostles, though he does not pretend to deny the doubts which many persons entertained respecting their genuineness. The Trullan council (692) considered only part of them genuine, and rejected the collection on account of the interpolations which it had experienced. Most probably this collection was made in the third century, and compounded of regulations already existing, and others invented by the compiler, who was an adversary of the Gnostics. (q. v.) But it is still very dubious whether the collection, which we have at present under the above name, is the same mentioned by the fathers of the church. The Catholics themselves are suspicious of them. The Dictionnaire de Théologie says of them, Ces Constitutions prétendues apostoliques sentent, dans plusieurs endroits, l'Arianisme, renferment des anachronismes et des opinions singu lières sur plusieurs points de la religion.

CONSTITUTION; the fundamental law of a state, whether it be a written instrument of a certain date, as that of the U. States, or an aggregate of laws and usages which have been formed in the course of ages, like the English constitution. I. Constitutions, according to their origin or their fundamental principle, may be divided into 3 classes:-1. those established by the sovereign power; 2. those formed by contracts between nations and certain individuals, whom they accept as sovereigns, on condition of their complying with the terms of the contract; 3. those formed by a compact between different sovereign powers. 1. The first class may be again divided into, a. constitutions established by a free sovereign people for their own regulation-the only ones which rest on a just and philosophical basis (although such as are embraced in the other descriptions may be the best which circumstances will allow in given cases); of this sort are the constitutions of the Ú. States; and, b. such as have been, in some instances, granted by the plenary power of absolute monarchs to their subjects, and which, in theory, are the voluntary gift of the beneficence of the ruler. These are called, by the French, constitutions octroyées, from octroyer, to grant. Such an instrument is the French Charte, which commences with the words Nous avons volontairement et par libre exercice de notre autorité royale

accordé et accordons, fait concession et octroi à nos sujets, &c. 2. The second great class of constitutions mentioned above includes such as have been formed by a contract between the future ruler and the people. These are mutually binding on each party, as long as the other fulfils his duty. Such, in a great degree, is the English constitution. And a constitution octroyée partakes much of the nature of a compact, as soon as the people have sufficient spirit and sense of justice to prevent it from being infringed or abolished, and, asserting the natural rights of men, whose rulers exist only for their benefit, avow that they will submit to the government only as long as the government observes the constitution. In fact, a constitution octroyée, in any case, can hardly be regarded otherwise than as a compact, proceeding, as it does, from the wants of the times and the demands of the people, and expressing the intention of the ruler to observe certain rules, which these wants and demands prescribe. Where would be its value, how could it be regarded as a fundamental law, controlling the operations of the government, if it were liable to be abolished at any moment, at the pleasure of the sovereign? That the monarch acted from compulsion in granting the constitution, only proves that the character of the times made it indispensable. The French ultras are grievously mistaken, when they pretend that the king may abolish the Charte because he granted it. It is not the words with which it is prefaced, but the circumstances under which it was given, that are to determine its character. It was granted to satisfy the demands of the French people, and as a pledge for the security of their liberties; and as long as they hold to the grant, it is impossible for the ruler to recall it. Such a constitution, therefore, may be considered as resting virtually on a compact.* 3. Some constitutions are compacts between several sovereign powers. Such was the constitution of the German empire, and that of the United

* If we consider strictly the origin of the two great divisions of constitutions, we shall find that they all recognise the sovereignty of the people. They are, as we have said, established either by the people themselves, or by a contract between the people and their future ruler, or are granted by the ruler. In the first case, the constitution is a direct emanation from their sovereign power. In the second case, it is no less so; for they confer the rights of sovereignty, which they could not do unless they possessed them. In the third case, the constitution, as we have said, is virtually a compact, and, as such, recognises the independence of the contracting parties, and admits that the people, collectively, have no superior.

Provinces of Holland, and such is also the Swiss confederation. The constitution of the U. States of America, although the different states call themselves sovereign, proceeded, in point of fact, from the people of the U. States collectively, as is apparent from the very beginning of the instrument, which is in these words "We, the people of the U. States," and not "We, the states." 99 Moreover, it can escape no one's observation, that the congress, established by this constitution, has rights and powers far exceeding those which other confederate, but entirely distinct governments, are wont to allow each other, and that the constitution, in short, unites all the states into one nation, the government being called, by all parties, the national government. Governments entirely and virtually distinct from each other never would, however closely confederated, allow a government, particularly a national government, to be established over themselves. It seems, therefore, that the constitution of the U. States is more than a mere compact between independent powers, yet less than the simple constitution of an undivided nation: it ought rather to be considered as forming one whole with the different constitutions of the states, which have given up to the general government most of the rights of sovereignty, as that of making war and peace, coining, &c.* II. In regard to political principles, constitutions are, 1. democratic, when the fundamental law guaranties to every citizen equal rights, protection, and participation, direct or indirect, in the government, such as the constitutions of the U. States, and of some cantons of Switzerland. 2. Aristocratic, when the constitution establishes privileged classes, as the nobility and clergy, and intrusts the government entirely to them, or allows them a very disproportionate share in it. Such a constitution was that of Venice, and such still are those of some

* For more particular information respecting the constitution of the U. States, we would refer the reader to the Federalist, the contemporaneous exposition of this instrument, by some of the ablest men concerned in its preparation. The View of the Constitution of the U. States of America, by William Rawle, Philadelphia, 1829, contains a lucid explanation of its principles, and has been, as well as the Federalist, introduced, as a textbook, into some of the American colleges. The Elementary Catechism of the Constitution of the U. States, for the Use of Schools, by J. A. Stansbury, Boston, 1828, exhibits the principles of the constitution in a way to make them easily intelligible, and would prove a useful guide to a foreigner desirous of obtaining a general insight into the constitution, without the trouble of much study.

Swiss cantons, for instance, Berne. 3. Of a mixed character. To this latter division belong some monarchical constitutions, which recognise the existence of a king whose power is modified by other branches of government, of a more or less popular cast. The English constitution belongs to this division. It has often been called a mixture of democracy, aristocracy and monarchy; but, in fact, even the representation of the commons of that country is, in a great measure, under the control of the privileged orders, so that the government falls, almost entirely, into the hands of the aristocracy, and little of the democratic element is visible. III. The forms of government, established by the various constitutions, afford a ground of division important in some respects; and, lastly, IV. The principle on which a constitution establishes the representation, or the way in which the people participate in the government, furnishes an important means of classification. 1. Some allow the people to partake in the government, without representation. This is the case in several of the small Swiss cantons, in which the whole people assemble and legislate. It is obvious that such a constitution can operate only where the number of citizens is very small, and, even then, it will be, almost always, objectionable. 2. Some are of a representative character; that is, all the citizens do not take an immediate part in the government, but act by their representatives. Constitutions of this sort, a. either establish a general and equal representation, as those of the U. States; or, b. connect the right of representation with particular estates (q. v.) and corporations. The term representative constitution is frequently applied exclusively to the former by way of eminence. A great desideratum, in these times of political agitation, is a digest of all constitutions, existing and abolished, a coder constitutionum, exhibiting all the different trials, which men have made, to provide for their permanent security and welfare. The only attempt to execute such a work, as far as our knowledge extends, has been made in the German language-Die Europäischen Constitutionen, Leipsic, 1817. Though a great part of Europe is engaged in a controversy on the subject of constitutions, the people desiring them, the governments resisting their wishes, and mercenary writers attacking and vilifying their advocates, it would be ridiculous for us to enter into an argument in defence of the advantage and necessity of constitutions, since every one of our readers is convinced

that governments are instituted for the welfare of the people, and that the true welfare of nations is founded on liberty and justice; that liberty and justice imply restraints on rulers, and the security of his rights to every citizen; and that constitutions, therefore, are essential, as assigning to every branch of government its powers and limits, protecting against aggression, and ascertaining the purposes for which the government exists, and the rights which are guarantied to every citizen. It would be, perhaps, interesting, if we had room enough, to give a sketch of the most celebrated arguments against constitutions; but the substance of them amounts to this, that states and nations resemble families, the monarchs being in the place of the fathers; that the father of a family has a divine right to govern his family, and provide for his children, according to his discretion, and that a family would be in a most unfortunate condition, in which, to prevent quarrels and discontent, the father should be obliged to refer to a written instrument, in which the duties of every member of the household were laid down. The comparison of a state to a family has come to our times, from ages when the principles of government were little understood, when mankind was gaining political experience at a dear rate, and when the whole subject of government was very ill defined, because the general principles of the subject, and the limitations of the different branches of the administration, were not, and, perhaps, could not be clearly understood. In regard to those times, the comparison of the head of a government to a father may be excused. But, in times like the present, after so much experience, so many examples, so much investigation into the nature of governments, nothing but narrow-minded prejudice, wilful perversion of reason, or degraded servility towards the powers that be, can lay down such a principle. No comparison, probably, has done more mischief, than the one alluded to, because it perverts the very principles and elements of the subject to be elucidated. No two things can be more different than a state and a family. The ruling principle of the latter is love, forbearance and kindness; that of the former, stern justice, strict adherence to strict law. A family is composed of parents and children, bound together by the ties of natural affection, and the claim of infancy on manhood for protection. A state is composed of men comparatively unconnected and independent. Families are united by

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