committed to historic Baptist & Reformed beliefs

 

 

SECTION VI.

THE BULGARIAN EMPIRE AND ITS BOGOMIL CZARS.

THE doctrine had during the tenth century taken deep root in Bulgaria and Servia. The czar Samuel, the most illustrious ruler of the Bulgarian Empire, was himself a convert to the faith, while of one of the early Serbian princes, St. Vladimir, it is recorded that he was the zealous enemy of the Bogomils, though his son Gabriel and his wife were members of that sect. From its first introduction into these countries the professors of the Bogomilian faith, under whatever names they were known, had been active propagandists and missionaries, and their success was the more remarkable from the extreme simplicity of their ritual and their absolute avoidance of all appeals to the sensuous element in human nature. Though Bulgaria and Servia were at this time independent states, at least so far as the Byzantine empire was concerned, the state churches were in accord with the Church of Constantinople, and acknowledged their allegiance to the Greek Patriarch. Whatever we may think now of Byzantine architecture, the gorgeous ornamentation of the churches within and without, their chimes of bells, their pillars, porticoes, naves, transepts, and chancels of the most costly marbles and syenites, their altars resplendent with jewels, the sacred paintings and sculptures glowing with color which adorned the walls, the air heavy with the odor of precious incense, and the richlyrobed priests and bishops who chanted and intoned the service,—were all it would have seemed, so attractive to the Oriental taste, with its love of beauty and of sensuous delights, that no simpler and ruder service would have commanded their attention for a moment.

 
 
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