Ecclesiastical History III-IV

Author: Sozomen

(NOTE: The electronic text obtained from The Electronic Bible Society was not completely corrected. EWTN has corrected all discovered errors. If you find errors or omissions in the text, please notify

Transliteration of Greek words: All phonetical except: w = omega; h serves three puposes: 1. = Eta; 2. = rough breathing, when appearing initially before a vowel; 3. = in the aspirated letters theta = th, phi = ph, chi = ch. Accents are given immediately after their corresponding vowels: acute = ' , grave = `, circumflex = ^. The character ' doubles as an apostrophe, when necessary.



[Translated by E. Walford; revised by Chester D. Hartranft, D.D., Professor of Historical Theology in the Hartford Theological Seminary.]



WE have now seen what events transpired in the churches during the reign of Constantine- (1) On his death the doctrine which had been set forth at Nicaea, was subjected to renewed examination. Although this doctrine was not universally approved, no one, during the life of Constantine, had dared to reject it openly. At his death, however, many renounced this opinion, especially those who had previously been suspected of treachery. Of all these Eusebius and Theognis, bishops of the province of Bithynia, did everything in their power to give predominance to the tenets of Arius. They believed that this object would be easily accomplished, if the return of Athanasius from exile could be prevented, and by giving the government of the Egyptian churches to a bishop of like opinion with them. They found an efficient coadjutor in the presbyter who had obtained from Constantine the recall of Arius. He was held in high esteem by the emperor Constantius, on account of the service he had rendered in delivering to him the testament of his father; since he was trusted, he boldly seized the opportunities, until he became an intimate of the emperor's wife, and of the powerful eunuchs of the women's sleeping apartments. At this period Eusebius (2) was appointed to superintend the concerns of the royal household, and being zealously attached to Arianism, he induced the empress and many of the persons belonging to the court to adopt the same sentiments. Hence disputations concerning doctrines again became prevalent, both in private and in public, and revilings and animosities were renewed. This state of things was in accordance with the views of Theognis and his partisans.


AT this period Athanasius returned from Gaul to Alexandria. (3) It is said that Constantine intended to have recalled him, and that in his testament he even gave orders to that effect. But as he was prevented by death from performing his intention, his son who bore his name, and who was then commanding in Western Gaul, recalled Athanasius, and wrote a letter on the subject to the people of Alexandria. Having met with a copy of this letter translated from the Latin into Greek, I shall insert it precisely as I found it. It is as follows:--

"Constantine Caesar, to the people of the Catholic Church in the city of Alexandria. (4)

"You cannot, I believe, be unacquainted with the fact that Athanasius, the interpreter of the venerated law, since the cruelty of his bloodthirsty and hostile enemies continued, to the danger of his sacred person, was sent for a time into Gaul in order that he might not incur irretrievable extremities through the perversity of these worthless opponents; in order then to make this danger futile, he was taken out of the jaws of the men, who pressed upon him, and was commanded to live near me, so that in the city where he dwelt, he might be amply furnished with all necessaries; but his virtue is so famous and extraordinary, because he is confident of Divine aid, that he sets at naught all the rougher burdens of fortune. Our lord and my father, Constantine Augustus, of blessed memory, intended to have reinstated this bishop in his own place, and thus especially to have restored him to your much beloved piety; but, since he was anticipated by the human lot, and died before fulfilling his intention, I, as his successor, purpose to carry into execution the design of the emperor of Divine memory. Athanasius will inform you, when he shall see your face, in how great reverence he was held by me. Nor is it surprising that I should have acted as I have done towards him, for the image of your own desire and the appearance of so noble a man, moved and impelled me to this step. May Divine Providence watch over you, my beloved brethren."

In consequence of this letter from the emperor Athanasius went home, and resumed the government of the Egyptian churches. Those who were attached to the Arian doctrines were thrown into consternation and could not keep the peace; they excited continuous seditions, and had recourse to other machinations against him. The partisans of Eusebius accused him before the emperor of being a seditious person, and of having reversed the decree of exile, contrary to the laws of the church, and without the consent of the bishops. I shall presently relate in the proper place, how, by their intrigues, Athanasius was again expelled from Alexandria.

Eusebius, surnamed Pamphilus, died (1) about this period, and Acacius succeeded to the bishopric of Caesarea in Palestine. He was a zealous imitator of Eusebius because he had been instructed by him in the Sacred Word; he possessed a capable mind and was polished in expression, so that he left many writings worthy of commendation. Not long after, (2) the emperor Constantine declared war against his brother Constans at Aquileia, (3) and was slain by his own generals. The Roman Empire was divided between the surviving brothers; the West fell to the lot of Constans and the East to Constantius.


ALEXANDER died (4) about this time, and Paul succeeded to the high priesthood of Constantinople. The followers of Arius and Macedonius assert that he took possession at his own motion, and against the advice of Eusebius, bishop of Nicomedia, or of Theodore, bishop of Heraclea, in Thrace; upon whom, as being the nearest bishops, the right of conferring ordination devolved. Many, however, maintain, on the testimony of Alexander, whom he succeeded, that he was ordained by the bishops who were then assembled at Constantinople. (5) For when Alexander, who was ninety- eight years of age, and who-had conducted the episcopal office vigorously for twenty-three years, was at the point of death, his clergy, asked him to whom he wished to turn over his church. "If," replied he, "you seek a man good in Divine matters and one who is apt to teach you, have Paul. But if you desire one who is conversant with public affairs, and with the councils of rulers, Macedonius is better." The Macedonians themselves admit that this testimony was given by Alexander; but they say that Paul was more skilled in the transaction of business and the art of eloquence; but they put emphasis for Macedonius, on the testimony of his life; and they accuse Paul of having been addicted to effeminacy and an indifferent conduct. (6) It appears, however, from their own acknowledgment, that Paul was a man of eloquence, and brilliant in teaching the Church. Events proved that he was not competent to combat the casualties of life, or to hold intercourse with those in power; for he was never successful in subverting the machinations of his enemies, (7) like those who are adroit in the management of affairs. Although he was greatly beloved by the people, he suffered severely from the treachery of those who then rejected the doctrine which prevailed at Nicaea. In the first place, he was expelled from the church of Constantinople, as if some accusation of misconduct had been established against him. (7) He was then condemned to banishment, and finally, it is said, fell a victim to the devices of his enemies, and was strangled. But these latter events took place at a subsequent period.


THE ordination of Paul occasioned a great commotion in the Church of Constantinople. (8) During the life of Alexander, the Arians did not act very openly; for the people by being attentive to him were well governed and honored Divine things, and especially believed that the unexpected occurrence which befell Arius, whom they believed met such a death, was the Divine wrath, drawn down by the imprecations of Alexander. After the death of this bishop, however, the people became divided into two parties, and disputes and contests concerning doctrines were openly carried on. The adherents of Arius desired the ordination of Macedonius, while those who maintained that the Son is consubstantial with the Farther wished to have Paul as their bishop; and this latter party prevailed. After the ordination of Paul, the emperor, who chanced to be away from home, returned to Constantinople, and manifested as much displeasure at what had taken place as though the bishopric had been conferred upon an unworthy man. Through the machinations of the enemies of Paul a Synod was convened, and he was expelled from the Church. It handed over the Church of Constantinople to Eusebius, bishop of Nicomedia.


Soon after these occurrences, the emperor went to Antioch, a city of Syria. (1) Here a church had already been completed, which excelled in size and beauty. Constantine began to build it during his lifetime, and as the structure had been just finished by his son Constantius, it was deemed a favorable opportunity by the partisans of Eusebius, who of old were zealous for it, to convene a council. They, therefore, with those from various regions who held their sentiments, met together in Antioch; (2) their bishops were about ninety-seven in number. Their professed object was the consecration of the newly finished church; but they intended nothing else than the abolition of the decrees of the Nicaean Council, and this was fully proved by the sequel. The Church of Antioch was then governed by Placetus, (3) who had succeeded Euphronius. The death of Constantine the Great had taken place about five years prior to this period. When all the bishops had assembled in the presence of the emperor Constantius, the majority expressed great indignation, and vigorously accused Athanasius of having contemned the sacerdotal regulation which they had enacted, (4) and taken possession of the bishopric of Alexandria without first obtaining the sanction of a council. They also deposed that he was the cause of the death of several persons, who fell in a sedition excited by his return; and that many others had on the same occasion been arrested and delivered up to the judicial tribunals. By these accusations they contrived to cast odium on Athanasius, and it was decreed that Gregory should be invested with the government of the Church of Alexandria. They then turned to the discussion of doctrinal questions, and found no fault with the decrees of the council of Nice. They dispatched letters to the bishops of every city, in which they declared that, as they were bishops themselves, they had not followed Arius. "For how," said they, "could we have been followers of him, when he was but a presbyter, (5) and we were placed above him?" Since they were the testers of his faith, they had readily received him; and they believed in the faith which had from the beginning been handed down by tradition. This they further explained at the bottom of their letter, but without mentioning the substance of the Father or the Son, or the term consubstantial. They resorted, in fact, to such ambiguity of expression, that neither the Arians nor the followers of the decrees of the Nicaean Council could call the arrangement of their words into question, as though they were ignorant of the holy Scriptures. They purposely avoided all forms of expression which were rejected by either party, and only made use of those which were universally admitted. They confessed (6) that the Son is with the Father, that He is the only begotten One, and that He is God, and existed before all things; and that He took flesh upon Him, and fulfilled the will of His Father. They confessed these and similar truths, but they did not describe the doctrine of the Son being co-eternal or consubstantial with the Father, or the opposite. They subsequently changed their minds, it appears, about this formulary, and issued another, (7) which, I think, very nearly resembled that of the council of Nice, unless, indeed, some secret meaning be attached to the words which is not apparent to me. Although they refrained -- I know not from what motive -- from saying that the Son is consubstantial, they confessed that He is immutable, that His Divinity is not susceptible of change, that He is the perfect image of the substance, and counsel, and power, and glory of the Father, and that He is the first- born of every creature. They stated that they had found this formulary of faith, and that it was entirely written by Lucianus, (8) who was martyred in Nicomedia, and who was a man highly approved and exceedingly accurate in the sacred Scriptures. I know not whether this statement was really true, or whether they merely advanced it in order to give weight to their own document, by connecting with it the dignity of a martyr. Not only did Eusebius (who, on the expulsion of Paul, had been transferred from Nicomedia to the throne of Constantinople) participate in this council, but likewise Acacius, the successor of Eusebius Pamphilus, Patrophilus, bishop of Scythopolis, Theodore, bishop of Heraclea, formerly called Perinthus, Eudoxius, bishop of Germanicia, who subsequently directed the Church of Constantinople after Macedonius, and Gregory, who had been chosen to preside over the Church of Alexandria. It was universally acknowledged that all these bishops held the same sentiments, such as Dianius, (9) bishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia, George, bishop of Laodicea in Syria, and many others who acted as bishops over metropolitan and other distinguished churches.


EUSEBIUS, surnamed Emesenus, likewise at-tended the council. (1) He sprang from a noble family of Edessa, a city of Osroenae. According to the custom of his country, he had from his youth upwards, learned the Holy Word, and was afterwards made acquainted with the learning of the Greeks, by the teachers who then frequented his native city. He subsequently acquired a more intimate knowledge of sacred literature under the guidance of Eusebius Pamphilus and Patrophilus, the president of Scythopolis. He went to Antioch at the time that Eustathius was deposed on the accusation of Cyrus, and lived with Euphronius, his successor, on terms of intimacy. He fled to escape being invested with the priestly dignity, went to Alexandria and frequented the schools of the philosophers. After acquainting himself with their mode of discipline, he returned to Antioch and dwelt with Placetus, the successor of Euphronius. During the time that the council was held in that city, Eusebius, bishop of Constantinople, entreated him to accept the see of Alexandria for it was thought that, by his great reputation for sanctity and consummate eloquence, he would easily supplant Athanasius in the esteem of the Egyptians. He, however, refused the ordination, on the plea that he could otherwise only incur the ready hatred of the Alexandrians, who would have no other bishop but Athanasius. Gregory was, therefore, appointed to the church of Alexandria, and Eusebius to that of Emesa.

There he suffered from a sedition; for the people accused him of practicing that variety of astronomy which is called astrological, and being obliged to seek safety by flight, he repaired to Laodicea, and dwelt with George, bishop of that city, who was his particular friend. He afterwards accompanied this bishop to Antioch, and obtained permission from the bishops Placetus and Narcissus to return to Emesa. He was much esteemed by the emperor Constantius, and attended him in his military expedition against the Persians. It is said that God wrought miracles through his instrumentality, as is testified by George of Laodicea, (2) who has related these and other incidents about him.

But although he was endowed with so many exalted qualities, he could not escape the jealousy of those who are irritated by witnessing the virtues of others. He endured the censure of having embraced the doctrines of Sabellius. At the present time, however, he voted with the bishops who had been convened at Antioch. It is said that Maximus, bishop of Jerusalem, purposely, kept aloof from this council, because he repented having unawares consented to the deposition of Athanasius. (3) The manager of the Roman see, nor any representative from the east of Italy, nor from the parts beyond Rome were present at Antioch. (4) At the same period of time, the Franks devastated Western Gaul; and the provinces of the East, and more particularly Antioch after the Synod, were visited by tremendous earthquakes. (5) After the Synod, Gregory repaired to Alexandria with a large body of soldiers, who were enjoined to provide an undisturbed and safe entrance into the city; the Arians also, who were anxious for the expulsion of Athanasius, sided with him. Athanasius, fearful lest the people should be exposed to sufferings on his account, (6) assembled them by night in the church, and when the soldiers came to take possession of the church, prayers having been concluded, he first ordered a psalm to be sung. During the chanting of this psalm the soldiers remained without and quietly awaited its conclusion, and in the meantime Athanasius passed under the singers and secretly made his escape, and fled to Rome. In this manner Gregory possessed himself of the see of Alexandria. The indignation of the people was aroused, and they burnt the church which bore the name of Dionysius, one of their former bishops.


THUS were the schemes of those who upheld various heresies in opposition to truth successfully carried into execution; and thus did they depose those bishops who strenuously maintained throughout the East the supremacy of the doctrines of the Nicaean Council. These heretics had taken possession of the most important sees, such as Alexandria in Egypt, Antioch in Syria, and the imperial city of the Hellespont, and they held all the persuaded bishops in subjection. The ruler of the Church at Rome and all the priests of the West regarded these deeds as a personal insult; for they had accorded from the beginning with all the decisions in the vote made by those convened at Nice, nor did they now cease from that way of thinking. On the arrival of Athanasius, they received him kindly, and espoused his cause among themselves. Irritated at this interference, Eusebius wrote to Julius, exhorting him to constitute himself a judge of the decrees that had been enacted against Athanasius by the council of Tyre. (1) But before he had been able to ascertain the sentiments of Julius, and, indeed, not long after the council of Antioch, Eusebius died. Immediately upon this event, those citizens of Constantinople who maintained the doctrines of the Nicaean Council, conducted Paul to the church. At the same time those of the opposing multitude seized this occasion and came together in another church, among whom were the adherents of Theognis, bishop of Nicaea, of Theodore, bishop of Heraclea, and others of the same party who chanced to be present, and they ordained Macedonius bishop of Constantinople. This excited frequent seditions in the city which assumed all the appearance of a war, for the people fell upon one another, and many perished. The city was filled with tumult, so that the emperor, who was then at Antioch, on hearing of what had occurred, was moved to wrath, and issued a decree for the expulsion of Paul. Hermogenes, general of the cavalry, endeavored to put this edict of the emperor's into execution; for having been sent to Thrace, he had, on the journey, to pass by Constantinople, and he thought, by means of his army, to eject Paul from the church by force. But the people, instead of yielding, met him with open resistance, and while the soldiers, in order to carry out the orders they had received, attempted still greater violence, the insurgents entered the house of Hermogenes, set fire to it, killed him, and attaching a cord to his body, dragged it through the city. (2) The emperor had no sooner received this intelligence than he took horse for Constantinople, in order to punish the people. But he spared them when he saw them coming to meet him with tears and supplications. He deprived the city of about half of the corn which his father, Constantine, had granted them annually out of the public treasury from the tributes of Egypt, probably from the idea that luxury and excess made the populace idle and disposed to sedition. He turned his anger against Paul and commanded his expulsion from the city. He manifested great displeasure against Macedonius also, because he was the occasion of the murder of the general and of other individuals and also, because he had been ordained without first obtaining his sanction. He, however, returned to Antioch, without having either confirmed or dissolved his ordination. Meanwhile the zealots of the Arian tenets deposed Gregory, because he was indifferent in the support of their doctrines, and had moreover incurred the ill-will of the Alexandrians on account of the calamities which had befallen the city at his entrance, especially the conflagration of the church. They elected George, a native of Cappadocia, in his stead; (3) this new bishop was admired on account of his activity and his zeal in support of the Arian dogma.


ATHANASIUS, on leaving Alexandria, had fled to Rome. (4) Paul, bishop of Constantinople, Marcellus, bishop of Ancyra, and Asclepas, bishop of Gaza, repaired thither at the same time. Asclepas, who was opposed to the Arians and had therefore been deposed, after having been accused by some of the heterodox of having thrown down an altar; Quintianus had been appointed in his stead over the Church of Gaza. Lucius also, bishop of Adrianople, who had been. deposed from the church under his care on another charge, was dwelling at this period in Rome. The Roman bishop, on learning the accusation against each individual, and on finding that they held the same sentiments about the Nicaean dogmas, admitted them to communion as of like orthodoxy; and as the care for all was fitting to the dignity of his see, he restored them all to their own churches. He wrote to the bishops of the East, and rebuked them for having judged these bishops unjustly, and for harassing the Churches by abandoning the Nicaean doctrines. He summoned a few among them to appear before him on an appointed day, in order to account to him for the sentence they had passed, and threatened to bear with them no longer, unless they would cease to make innovations. This was the tenor of his letters. Athanasius and Paul were reinstated in their respective sees, and forwarded the letter of Julius to the bishops of the East. The bishops could scarcely brook such documents, and they assembled together at Antioch, (5) and framed a reply to Julius, beautifully expressed and composed with great legal skill, yet filled with considerable irony and indulging in the strongest threats. They confessed in this epistle, that the Church of Rome was entitled to universal honor, because it was the school of the apostles, and had become the metropolis of piety from the outset, although the introducers of the doctrine had settled there from the East. They added that the second place in point of honor ought not to be assigned to them, because they did not have the advantage of size or number in their churches; for they excelled the Romans in virtue and determination. They called Julius to account for having admitted the followers of Athanasius into communion, and expressed their indignation against him for having insulted their Synod and abrogated their decrees, and they assailed his transactions as unjust and discordant with ecclesiastical right. After these censures and protestations against such grievances, they proceeded to state, that if Julius would acknowledge the deposition of the bishops whom they had expelled, and the substitution of those whom they had ordained in their stead, they would promise peace and fellowship; but that, unless he would accede to these terms, they would openly declare their opposition. They added that the priests who had preceded them in the government of the Eastern churches had offered no opposition to the deposition of Novatian, by the Church of Rome. They made no allusion in their letter to any deviations they had manifested from the doctrines of the council of Nice, but merely stated they had various reasons to allege in justification of the course they had pursued, and that they considered it unnecessary to enter at that time upon any defense of their conduct, as they were suspected of having violated justice in every respect.


AFTER having written in this strain to Julius, the bishops of the East brought accusations against those whom they had deposed before the emperor Constantius. (1) Accordingly, the emperor, who was then at Antioch, wrote to Philip, the prefect of Constantinople, commanding him to surrender the Church to Macedonius, and to expel Paul from the city. The prefect feared the commotion among the people, and before the order of the emperor could be divulged, he repaired to the public bath which is called Zeuxippus, a conspicuous and large structure, and summoned Paul, as if he wished to converse with him on some affairs of general interest; as soon as he had arrived, he showed him the edict of the emperor. Paul was, according to orders, secretly conducted through the palace contiguous to the bath, to the seaside, and placed on board a vessel and was sent to Thessalonica, whence, it is said, his ancestors originally came. He was strictly prohibited from approaching the Eastern regions, but was not forbidden to visit Illyria and the remoter provinces.

On quitting the court room, Philip, accompanied by Macedonius, proceeded to the church. The people, who had in the meantime been assembling together in untold numbers, quickly filled the church, and the two parties into which they were divided, namely, the supporters of the Arian heresy and the followers of Paul respectively, strove to take possession of the building. When the prefect and Macedonius arrived at the gates of the church, the soldiers endeavored to force back the people, in order to make way for these dignitaries, but as they were so crowded together, it was impossible for them to recede, since they were closely packed to the farthest point, or to make way; the soldiers, under the impression that the crowd was unwilling to retire, slew many with their swords, and a great number were killed by being trampled upon. The edict of the emperor was thus accomplished, and Macedonius received the Churches, while Paul was unexpectedly ejected from the Church in Constantinople.

Athanasius in the meantime had fled, and concealed himself, fearing the menace of the emperor Constantius, for he had threatened to punish him with death; for the heterodox had made the emperor believe that he was a seditious person, and that he had, on his return to the bishopric, occasioned the death of several persons. But the anger of the emperor had been chiefly excited by the representation that Athanasius had sold the provisions which the emperor Constantine had bestowed on the poor of Alexandria, and had appropriated the price.


The bishops of Egypt, (2) having sent a declaration in writing that these allegations were false, and Julius having been apprised that Athanasius was far from being in safety in Egypt, sent for him to his own city. He replied at the same time to the letter of the bishops who were convened at Antioch, for just then he happened to have received their epistle, (3) and accused them of having clandestinely introduced innovations contrary to the dogmas of the Nicene council, and of having violated the laws of the Church, by neglecting to invite him to join their Synod; for he alleged that there is a sacerdotal canon which declares that whatever is enacted contrary to the judgment of the bishop of Rome is null. He also reproached them for having deviated from justice in all their proceedings against Athanasius, both at Tyre and Mareotis, and stated that the decrees enacted at the former city had been annulled, on account of the calumny concerning the hand of Arsenius, and at the latter city, on account of the absence of Athanasius. Last of all he reprehended the arrogant style of their epistle.

Julius was induced by all these reasons to undertake the defense of Athanasius and of Paul the latter had arrived in Italy not long previously, and had lamented bitterly these calamities. When Julius perceived that what he had written to those who held the sacerdotal dignity in the East was of no avail, he made the matter known to Constans the emperor. Accordingly, Constans wrote to his brother Constantius, requesting him to send some of the bishops of the East, that they might assign a reason for the edicts of deposition which they had passed. Three bishops were selected for this purpose; namely, Narcissus, bishop of Irenopolis, in Cilicia; Theodore, bishop of Heraclea, in Thrace; and Mark, bishop of Arethusa, in Syria. On their arrival in Italy, they strove to justify their actions and to persuade the emperor that the sentence passed by the Eastern Synod was just. Being required to produce a statement of their belief, they concealed the formulary they had drawn up at Antioch, and presented another written confession (1) which was equally at variance with the doctrines approved at Nicaea. Constans perceived that they had unjustly en-trapped both Paul and Athanasius, and had ejected them from communion, not for charges against his conduct, as the depositions held, but simply on account of differences in doctrine; and he accordingly dismissed the deputation without giving any credit to the representations for which they had come.


THREE years afterwards, the bishops of the East (2) sent to those of the West a formulary of faith, which, because it had been framed with verbiage and thoughts in excess of any former confession, was called makro'stichos e'kthesis. (3) In this formulary they made no mention of the substance of God, but those are excommunicated who maintain that the Son arose out of what had no previous existence, or that He is of Another hypostasis, and not of God, or that there was a time or an age in which He existed not. Eudoxius, who was still bishop of Germanicia, Martyrius, and Macedonius, carried this document, but the Western priests did not entertain it; for they declared that they felt fully satisfied with the doctrines established at Nicaea, and thought it entirely unnecessary to be too curious about such points.

After the Emperor Constans (4) had requested his brother to reinstate the followers of Athanasius in their sees, and had found his application to be unavailing, on account of the counteracting influence of those who adopted a hostile heresy; and when, moreover, the party of Athanasius and Paul entreated Constans to assemble a Synod on account of the plots for the abolition of orthodox doctrines, both the emperors were of the opinion that the bishops of the East and of the West should be convened on a certain day at Sardica, a city of Illyria. The bishops of the East, who had previously assembled at Philippopolis, a city of Thrace, wrote to the bishops of the West, who had already assembled at Sardica, that they would not join them, unless they would eject the followers of Athanasius from their assembly, and from communion with them, because they had been deposed. They afterwards went to Sardica, but declared they would not enter the church, while those who had been deposed by them were admitted thither. The bishops of the West replied, that they never had ejected them, and that they would not yield this now, particularly as Julius, bishop of Rome, after having investigated the case, had not condemned them, and that besides, they were present and ready to justify themselves and to refute again the offenses imputed to them. These declarations, however, were of no avail; and since the time they had appointed for the adjustment of their differences, concerning which they had convened, had expired, they finally wrote letters to one another on these points, and by these they were led to an increase of their previous ill-will. And after they had convened separately, they brought forward opposite decisions; for the Eastern bishops confirmed the sentences they had already enacted against Athanasius, Paul, Marcellus, and Asclepas, and deposed Julius, bishop of Rome, because he had been the first to admit those who had been condemned by them, into communion; and Hosius, the confessor, was also deposed, partly for the same reason, and partly because he was the friend of Paulinus and Eustathius, the riders of the church in Antioch. Maximus, bishop of Treves, was deposed, because he had been among the first who had received Paul into communion, and had been the cause of his returning to Constantinople, and because he had excluded from communion the Eastern bishops who had repaired to Gaul. Besides the above, they likewise deposed Protogenes, bishop of Sardica, and Gaudentius; (1) the one because he favored Marcellus, although he had previously condemned him, and the other because he had adopted a different line of conduct from that of Cyriacus, his predecessor, and had supported many individuals then deposed by them. After issuing these sentences, they made known to the bishops of every region, that they were not to hold communion with those who were deposed, and that they were not to write to them, nor to receive letters from them. They likewise commanded them to believe what was said concerning God in the formulary which they subjoined to their letter, and in which no mention was made of the term "consubstantial,'' but in which, those were excommunicated who said there are three Gods, or that Christ is not God, or that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost are the same, or that the Son is unbegotten, or that there was a time or an age in which He existed not. (2)


THE adherents of Hosius, (3) in the meantime, assembled together, and declared them innocent: Athanasius, because unjust machinations had been carried on against him by those who had convened at Tyre; and Marcellus, because he did not hold the opinions with which he was charged; and Asclepas, because he had been re-established in his diocese by the vote of Eusebius Pamphilus and of many other judges; that this was true he proved by the records of the trial; and lastly, Lucius, because his accusers had fled. They wrote to the parishes of each of the acquitted, commanding them to receive and recognize their bishops. They stated that Gregory had not been nominated by them bishop of Alexandria; nor Basil, bishop of Ancyra; nor Quintianus, bishop of Gaza; and that they had not received these men into communion, and did not even account them Christians. They deposed from the episcopates, Theodore, bishop of Thrace; Narcissus, bishop of Irenopolis; Acacius, bishop of Caesarea, in Palestine; Menophantus, bishop of Ephesus; Ursacius, bishop of Sigidunus in Moesia; Valens, bishop of Mursia in Pannonia; and George, bishop of Laodicea, although this latter had not attended the Synod with the Eastern bishops. They ejected the above-named individuals from the priesthood and from communion, because they separated the Son from the substance of the Father, and had received those who had been formerly posed on account of their holding the Arian heresy, and had, moreover, promoted them to the highest offices in the service of God. After they had excided them for these perversions and decreed them to be aliens to the Catholic Church, they afterwards wrote to the bishops of every nation, (4) commanding them to confirm these decrees, and to be of one mind on doctrinal subjects with themselves. They likewise compiled another document of faith, which was more copious than that of Nicaea, although the same thought was carefully preserved, and very little change was made in the words of that instrument. Hosius and Protogenes, who held the first rank among the Western bishops assembled at Sardica, fearing perhaps lest they should be suspected of making any innovations upon the doctrines of the Nicene council, wrote to Julius, (5) and testified that they were firmly attached to these doctrines, but, pressed by the need of perspicuity, they had to expand the identical thought, in order that the Arians might not take advantage of the brevity of the document, to draw those who were unskilled in dialectics into some absurdity. When what I have related had been transacted by each party, the conference was dissolved, and the members returned to their respective homes. This Synod was held during the consulate of Rufinus and Eusebius, and about eleven years after the death of Constantine. (6) There were about three hundred (7) bishops of cities in the West, and upwards of seventy-six Eastern bishops, among whom was Ischyrion, who had been appointed bishop of Mareotis by the enemies of Athanasius.


AFTER this Synod, the Eastern and the Western churches ceased to maintain the intercourse which usually exists among people of the same faith, and refrained from holding communion with each other. (1) The Christians of the West separated themselves from all as far as Thrace; those of the East as far as Illyria. This divided state of the churches was mixed, as might be supposed, with dissentient views and calumnies. Although they had previously differed on doctrinal subjects, yet the evil had attained no great height, for they had still held communion together and were wont to have kindred feelings. The Church throughout the whole of the West in its entirety regulated itself by the doctrines of the Fathers, and kept aloof from all contentions and hair-splitting about dogma. Although Auxentius, who had become bishop of Milan, and Valens and Ursacius, bishops of Pannonia, had endeavored to lead that part of the empire into the Arian doctrines, their efforts had been carefully anticipated by the president of the Roman see and the other priests, who cut out the seeds of such a troublesome heresy. As to the Eastern Church, although it had been racked by dissension since the time of the council of Antioch, and although it had already openly differed from the Nicaean form of belief, yet I think it is true that the opinion of the majority united in the same thought, and confessed the Son to be of the substance of the Father. There were some, however, who were fond of wrangling and battled against the term "consubstantial"; for those who had been opposed to the word at the beginning, thought, as I infer, and as happens to most people, that it would be a disgrace to appear as conquered. Others were finally convinced of the truth of the doctrines concerning God, by the habit of frequent disputation on these themes, and ever afterwards continued firmly attached to them. Others again, being aware that contentions ought not to arise, inclined toward that which was gratifying to each of the sides, on account of the influence, either of friendship or they were swayed by the various causes which often induce men to embrace what they ought to reject, and to act without boldness, in circumstances which require thorough conviction. Many others, accounting it absurd to consume their time in altercations about words, quietly adopted the sentiments inculcated by the council of Nicaea. Paul, bishop of Constantinople, Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria, the entire multitude of monks, Antony the Great, who still survived, his disciples, and a great number of Egyptians and of other places in the Roman territory, firmly and openly maintained the doctrines of the Nicaean council throughout the other regions of the East. As I have been led to allude to the monks, I shall briefly mention those who flourished during the reign of Constantius.


I SHALL commence my recital (2) with Egypt and the two men named Macarius, who were the celebrated chiefs of Scetis and of the neighboring mountain; the one was a native of Egypt, the other was called Politicus, because he was a citizen and was of Alexandrian origin. They were both so wonderfully endowed with Divine knowledge and philosophy, that the demons regarded them with terror, and they wrought many extraordinary works and miraculous cures. The Egyptian, the story says, restored a dead man to life, in order to convince a heretic of the truth of the resurrection from the dead. He lived about ninety years, sixty of which he passed in the deserts. When in his youth he commenced the study of philosophy, he progressed so rapidly, that the monks surnamed him "old child," and at the age of forty he was ordained presbyter. The other Macarius became a presbyter at a later period of his life; he was proficient in all the exercises of asceticism, some of which he devised himself, and what particulars he heard among other ascetics, he carried through to success in every form, so that by thoroughly drying up his skin, the hairs of his beard ceased to grow. Pambo, Heraclides, Cronius, Paphnutius, Putubastus, Arsisius, Serapion the Great, Piturion, who dwelt near Thebes, and Pachomius, the founder of the monks called the Tabennesians, flourished at the same place and period. The attire and government of this sect differed in some respects from those of other monks. Its members were, however, devoted to virtue, they contemned the things of earth, excited the soul to heavenly contemplation, and prepared it to quit the body with joy. They were clothed in skins in remembrance of Elias, it appears to me, because they thought that the virtue of the prophet would be thus always retained in their memory, and that they would be enabled, like him to resist manfully the seductions of amorous pleasures, to be influenced by similar zeal, and be incited to the practice of sobriety by the hope of an equal reward. It is said that the peculiar vestments of these Egyptian monks had reference to some secret connected with their philosophy, and did not differ from those of others without some adequate cause. They wore their tunics without sleeves, in order to teach that the hands ought not to be ready to do presumptuous evil. They wore a covering on their heads called a cowl, to show that they ought to live with the same innocence and purity as infants who are nourished with milk, and wear a covering of the same form. Their girdle, and a species of scarf, which they wear across the loins, shoulders, and arms, admonish them that they ought to be always ready in the service and work of God. I am aware that other reasons have been assigned for their peculiarity of attire, but what I have said appears to me to be sufficient. It is said that Pachomius at first practiced philosophy alone in a cave, but that a holy angel appeared to him, and commanded him to call together some young monks, and live with them, for he had succeeded well in pursuing philosophy by himself, and to train them by the laws which were about to be delivered to him, and now he was to possess and benefit many as a leader of communities. A tablet was then given to him, which is still carefully preserved. Upon this tablet were inscribed injunctions by which he was bound to permit every one to eat, to drink, to work, and to fast, according to his capabilities of so doing; those who ate heartily were to be subjected to arduous labor, and the ascetic were to have more easy tasks assigned them; he was commanded to have many cells erected, in each of which three monks were to dwell, who were to take their meals at a common refectory in silence, and to sit around the table with a veil thrown over the rice, so that they might not be able to see each other or anything but the table and what was set before them; they were not to admit strangers to eat with them, with the exception of travelers, to whom they were to show hospitality; those who desired to live with them, were first to undergo a probation of three years, during which time the most laborious tasks were to be done, and, by this method they could share in their community. They were to clothe themselves in skins, and to wear woolen tiaras adorned with purple nails, and linen tunics and girdles. They were to sleep in their tunics and garments of skin, reclining on long chairs specially constructed by being closed on each side, so that it could hold the material of each couch. On the first and last days of the week they were to approach the altar for the communion in the holy mysteries, and were then to unloose their girdles and throw off their robes of skin. They were to pray twelve times every day and as often during the evening, and were to offer up the same number of prayers during the night. At the ninth hour they were to pray thrice, and when about to partake of food they were to sing a psalm before each prayer. The whole community was to be divided into twenty-four classes, each of which was to be distinguished by one of the letters of the Greek alphabet, and so that each might have a cognomen fitting to the grade of its conduct and habit. Thus the name of Iota was given to the more simple, and that of Zeta or of Xi to the crooked, and the names of the other letters were chosen according as the purpose of the order most fittingly answered the form of the letter.

These were the laws (1) by which Pachomius ruled his own disciples. He was a man who loved men and was beloved of God, so that he could foreknow future events, and was frequently admitted to intercourse with the holy angels. He resided at Tabenna, in Thebais, and hence the name Tabennesians, which still continues. By adopting these rules for their government, they became very renowned, and in process of time increased so vastly, that they reached to the number of seven thousand men. But the community on the island of Tabenna with which Pachomius lived, consisted of about thirteen hundred; the others resided in the Thebais and the rest of Egypt. They all observed one and the same rule of life, and possessed everything in common. They regarded the community established in the island of Tabenna as their mother, and the rulers of it as their fathers and their princes.

About the same period, Apollonius became celebrated by his profession of monastic philosophy. It is said that from the age of fifteen he devoted himself to philosophy in the deserts, and that when he attained the age of forty, he went according to a Divine command he then received, to dwell in regions inhabited by men. He had likewise a community in the Thebais. He was greatly beloved of God, and was endowed with the power of performing miraculous cures and notable works. He was exact in the observance of duty, and instructed others in philosophy with great goodness and kindness. He was acceptable to such a degree in his prayers, that nothing of what he asked from God was denied him, but he was so wise that he always proffered prudent requests and such as the Divine Being is ever ready to grant.

I believe that Anuph the divine, lived about this period. I have been informed that from the time of the persecution, when he first avowed his attachment to Christianity, he never uttered a falsehood, nor desired the things of earth. All his prayers and supplications to God were duly answered, and he was instructed by a holy angel in every virtue. Let, however, what we have said of the Egyptian monks suffice.

The same species of philosophy was about this time cultivated in Palestine, after being learned in Egypt, and Hilarion the divine then acquired great celebrity. He was a native of Thabatha, (1) a village situated near the town of Gaze, towards the south, and hard by a torrent which fills into the sea, and received the same name as the village, from the people of that country. When he was studying grammar at Alexandria, he went out into the desert to see the monk Antony the Great and in his company he learned to adopt a like philosophy. After spending a short time there, he returned to his own country, because he was not allowed to be as quiet as he wished, on account of the multitudes who flocked around Antony. On finding his parents dead, he distributed his patrimony among his brethren and the poor, and without reserving anything whatever for himself, he went to dwell in a desert situated near the sea, and about twenty stadia from his native village. His cell residence was a very little house, and was constructed of bricks, chips and broken tiles, and was of such a breadth, height, and length that no one could stand in it without bending the head, or lie down in it without drawing up the feet; for in everything he strove to accustom himself to hardship and to the subjugation of luxurious ease. To none of those we have known did he yield in the high reach of his unboastful and approved temperance. He contended against hunger and thirst, cold and heat, and other afflictions of the body and of the soul. He was earnest in conduct, grave in discourse, and with a good memory and accurate attainment in Sacred Writ. He was so beloved by God, that even now many afflicted and possessed people are healed at his tomb. It is remarkable that he was first interred in the island of Cyprus, but that his remains are now deposited in Palestine; for it so happened, that he died during his residence in Cyprus, and was buried by the inhabitants with great honor and respect. But Hesychas, one of the most renowned of his disciples, stole the body, conveyed it to Palestine, and interred it in his own monastery. From that period, the inhabitants conducted a public and brilliant festival yearly; for it is the custom in Palestine to bestow this honor on those among them, who have attained renown by their goodness, such as Aurelius, Anthedonius, Alexion, a native of Bethagathon, and Alaphion, a native of Asalea, who, during the reign of Constantius, lived religiously and courageously in the practice of philosophy, and by their personal virtues they caused a considerable increase to the faith [among the cities and villages that were still under the pagan superstition.

About the same period, Julian practiced philosophy near Edessa; he attempted a very severe and incorporeal method of life so that he seemed to consist of bones and skin without flesh. The setting forth of the history is due to Ephraim, the Syrian writer, who wrote the story of Julian's life. God himself confirmed the high opinion which men had formed of him; for He bestowed on him the power of expelling demons and of healing all kinds of diseases, without having recourse to drugs, but simply by prayer.

Besides the above, many other ecclesiastical philosophers flourished in the territories of Edessa and Amida, and about the mountain called Gaugalius; among these were Daniel and Simeon. But I shall now say nothing further of the Syrian monks; I shall further on, if God will, describe them more fully. (2)

It is said that Eustathius, (3) who governed the church of Sebaste in Armenia, founded a society of monks in Armenia, Paphlagonia, and Pontus, and became the author of a zealous discipline, both as to what meats were to be partaken of or to be avoided, what garments were to be worn, and what customs and exact course of conduct were to be adopted. Some assert that he was the author of the ascetic treatises commonly attributed to Basil of Cappadocia. It is said that his great exactness led him into certain extravagances which were altogether contrary to the laws of the Church. Many persons, however, justify him from this accusation, and throw the blame upon some of his disciples, who condemned marriage, refused to pray to God in the houses of married persons, despised married presbyters, fasted on Lord's days, held their assemblies in private houses, denounced the rich as altogether without part in the kingdom of God, contemned those who partook of animal food. They did not retain the customary tunics and stoles for their dress, but used a strange and unwonted garb, and made many other innovations. Many women were deluded by them, and left their husbands; but, not being able to practice continence, they fell into adultery. Other women, under the pretext of religion, cut off their hair, and behaved otherwise than is fitting to a woman, by arraying themselves in men's apparel. The bishops of the neighborhood of Gangroe, the metropolis of Paphlagonia, assembled themselves together, and declared that all those who imbibed these opinions should be aliens to the Catholic Church, unless, according to the definitions of the Synod, they would renounce each of the aforesaid customs. It is said that from that time, Eustathius exchanged his clothing for the stole, and made his journeys habited like other priests, thus proving that he had not introduced and practiced these novelties out of self-will, but for the sake of a godly asceticism. He was as renowned for his discourses as for the purity of his life. To confess the truth, he was not eloquent, nor had he ever studied the art of eloquence; yet he had admirable sense and a high capacity of persuasion, so that he induced several men and women, who were living in fornication, to enter upon a temperate and earnest course of life. It is related that a certain man and woman, who, according to the custom of the Church, had devoted themselves to a life of virginity, were accused of cohabiting together. He strove to make them cease from their intercourse; finding that his remonstrances produced no effect upon them, he sighed deeply, and said that a woman who had been legally married had, on one occasion, heard him discourse on the advantage of continence, and was thereby so deeply affected that she voluntarily abstained from legitimate intercourse with her own husband, and that the weakness of his powers of conviction was, on the other hand, attested by the fact, that the parties above mentioned persisted in their illegal course. Such were the men who originated the practice of monastic discipline in the regions above mentioned.

Although the Thracians, the Illyrians, and the other European nations were still inexperienced in monastic communities, yet they were not altogether lacking in men devoted to philosophy. Of these, Martin, (1) the descendant of a noble family of Saboria in Pannonia, was the most illustrious. He was originally a noted warrior, and the commander of armies; but, accounting the service of God to be a more honorable profession, he embraced a life of philosophy, and lived, in the first place, in Illyria. Here be zealously defended the orthodox doctrines against the attacks of the Arian bishops, and after being plotted against and frequently beaten by the people, he was driven from the country. He then went to Milan, and dwelt alone. He was soon, however, obliged to quit his place of retreat on account of the machinations of Auxentius, bishop of that region, who did not hold soundly to the Nicene faith; and he went to an island called Gallenaria, where he remained for some time, satisfying himself with roots of plants. Gallenaria is a small and uninhabited island lying in the Tyrrhenian Sea. Martin was afterwards appointed bishop of the church of Tarracinae (Tours). He was so richly endowed with miraculous gifts that he restored a dead man to life, and performed other signs as wonderful as those wrought by the apostles. We have heard that Hilary, a man divine in his life and conversation, lived about the same time, and in the same country; like Martin, he was obliged [to flee from his place of abode, on account of his zeal in defense of the faith.

I have now related what I have been able to ascertain concerning the individuals who practiced philosophy in piety and ecclesiastical rites. There were many others who were noted in the churches about the same period on account of their great eloquence, and among these the most distinguished were, Eusebius, who administered the priestly office at Emesa; Titus, bishop of Bostra; Serapion, bishop of Thmuis; Basil, bishop of Ancyra; Eudoxius, bishop of Germanicia; Acacius, bishop of Caesarea; and Cyril, who controlled the see of Jerusalem. A proof of their education is in the books they have written and left behind, and the many things worthy of record.


DIDYMUS, (2) an ecclesiastical writer and president of the school of sacred learning in Alexandria, flourished about the same period. He was acquainted with every branch of science, and was conversant with poetry and rhetoric, with astronomy and geometry, with arithmetic, and with the various theories of philosophy. He had acquired all this knowledge by the efforts of his own mind, aided by the sense of hearing, for he became blind during his first attempt at learning the rudiments. When he had advanced to youth, he manifested an ardent desire to acquire speech and training, and for this purpose he frequented the teachers of these branches, but learned by hearing only, where he made such rapid progress that he speedily comprehended the difficult theorems in mathematics. It is said that he learned the letters of the alphabet by means of tablets in which they were engraved, and which he felt with his fingers; and that he made himself acquainted with syllables and words by the force of attention and memory, and by listening attentively to the sounds. His was a very extraordinary case, and many persons resorted to Alexandria for the express purpose of hearing, or, at least, of seeing him. His firmness in defending the doctrines of the Nicaean council was extremely displeasing to the Arians. He easily carried conviction to the minds of his audience by persuasion rather than by power of reasoning, and he constituted each one a judge of the ambiguous points. He was much sought after by the members of the Catholic Church, and was praised by the orders of monks in Egypt, and by Antony the Great.

It is related that when Antony left the desert and repaired to Alexandria to give his testimony in favor of the doctrines of Athanasius, he said to Didymus, "It is not a severe thing, nor does it deserve to be grieved over, O Didymus, that you are deprived of the organs of sight which are possessed by rats, mice, and the lowest animals; but it is a great blessing to possess eyes like angels, whereby you can contemplate keenly the Divine Being, and see accurately the true knowledge." In Italy and its territories, Eusebius and Hilary, whom I have already mentioned, were conspicuous for strength in the use of their native tongue, whose treatises (1) concerning the faith and against the heterodox, they say, were approvingly circulated. Lucifer, as the story goes, was the founder of a heresy which bears his name, (2) and flourished at this period. Aetius (3) was likewise held in high estimation among the heterodox; he was a dialectician, apt in syllogism and proficient in disputation, and a diligent student of such forms, but without art. He reasoned so boldly concerning the nature of God, that many persons gave him the name of "Atheist." It is said that he was originally a physician of Antioch in Syria, and that, as he frequently attended meetings of the churches, and thought over the Sacred Scriptures, he became acquainted with Gallus, who was then Caesar, and who honored religion much and cherished its professors. It seems likely that, as Aetius obtained the esteem of Caesar by means of these disputations, he devoted himself the more assiduously to these pursuits, in order to progress in the favor of the emperor. It is said that he was versed in the philosophy of Aristotle, and frequented the schools in which it was taught at Alexandria.

Besides the individuals above specified, there were many others in the churches who were capable of instructing the people and of reasoning concerning the doctrines of the Holy Scriptures. It would be too great a task to attempt to name them all. Let it not be accounted strange, if I have bestowed commendations upon the leaders or enthusiasts of the above- mentioned heresies. I admire their eloquence, and their impressiveness in discourse. I leave their doctrines to be judged by those whose right it is. For I have not been set forth to record such matters, nor is it befitting in history; I have only to give an account of events as they happened, not supplementing my own additions. Of those who at that time became most distinguished in education and discourse and who used the Roman and Greek languages, I have enumerated in the above narrative as many as I have received an account of.


EPHRAIM the Syrian (4) was entitled to the highest honors, and was the greatest ornament of the Catholic Church. He was a native of Nisibis, or his family was of the neighboring territory. He devoted his life to monastic philosophy; and although he received no instruction, he became, contrary to all expectation, so proficient in the learning and language of the Syrians, that he comprehended with ease the most abstruse theorems of philosophy. His style of writing was so replete with splendid oratory and with richness and temperateness of thought that he surpassed the most approved writers of Greece. If the works of these writers were to be translated into Syriac, or any other language, and divested, as it were, of the beauties of the Greek language, they would retain little of their original elegance and value. The productions of Ephraim have not this disadvantage: they were translated into Greek during his life, and translations are even now being made, and yet they preserve much of their original force, so that his works are not less admired when read in Greek than when read in Syriac. Basil, who was subsequently bishop of the metropolis of Cappadocia, was a great admirer of Ephraim, and was astonished at his erudition. The opinion of Basil, who is universally confessed to have been the most eloquent man of his age, is a stronger testimony, I think, to the merit of Ephraim, than anything that could be indited to his praise. It is said that he wrote three hundred thousand verses, and that he had many disciples who were zealously attached to his doctrines. The most celebrated of his disciples were Abbas, Zenobius, Abraham, Maras, and Simeon, in whom the Syrians and whoever among them pursued accurate learning make a great boast. Paulanas and Aranad are praised for their finished speech, although reported to have deviated from sound doctrine.

I am not ignorant that there were some very learned men who formerly flourished in Osroene, as, for instance, Bardasanes, who devised a heresy designated by his name, (5) and Harmonius, his son. It is related that this latter was deeply versed in Grecian erudition, and was the first to subdue his native tongue to meters and musical laws; these verses he delivered to the choirs, and even now the Syrians frequently sing, not the precise copies by Harmonius, but the same melodies. For as Harmonius was not altogether free from the errors of his father, and entertained various opinions concerning the soul, the generation and destruction of the body, and the regeneration which are taught by the Greek philosophers, he introduced some of these sentiments into the lyrical songs which he composed. When Ephraim perceived that the Syrians were charmed with the elegance of the diction and the rhythm of the melody, he became apprehensive, lest they should imbibe the same opinions; and therefore, although he was ignorant of Grecian learning, he applied himself to the understanding of the metres of Harmonius, and composed similar poems in accordance with the doctrines of the Church, and wrought also in sacred hymns and in the praises of passionless men. From that period the Syrians sang the odes of Ephraim according to the law of the ode established by Harmonius. The execution of this work is alone sufficient to attest the natural endowments of Ephraim. He was as celebrated for the good actions he performed as for the rigid course of discipline he pursued. He was particularly fond of tranquil-lily. He was so serious and so careful to avoid giving occasion to calumny, that he refrained from the very sight of women. It is related that a female of careless life, who was either desirous of tempting him, or who had been bribed for the purpose, contrived on one occasion to meet him face to face, and fixed her eyes intently upon him; he rebuked her, and commanded her to look down upon the ground, "Wherefore should I obey your injunction," replied the woman; "for I was born not of the earth, but of you? It would be more just if you were to look down upon the earth whence you sprang, while I look upon you, as I was born of you." Ephraim, astonished at the little woman, recorded the whole transaction in a book, which most Syrians regard as one of the best of his productions. It is also said of him, that, although he was naturally prone to passion, he never exhibited angry feeling toward any one from the period of his embracing a monastic life. It once happened that after he had, according to custom, been fasting several days, his attendant, in presenting some food to him, let fall the dish on which it was placed. Ephraim, perceiving that he was overwhelmed with shame and terror, said to him, "Take courage; we will go to the food as the food does not come to us"; and he immediately seated himself beside the fragments of the dish, and ate his supper. What I am about to relate will suffice to show that he was totally exempt from the love of vainglory. He was appointed bishop of some town, and attempts were made to convey him away for the purpose of ordaining him. As soon as he became aware of what was intended, he ran to the market-place, and showed himself as a madman by stepping in a disorderly way, dragging his clothes along, and eating in public. Those who had come to carry him away to be their bishop, on seeing him in this state, believed that he was out of his mind, and departed; and he, meeting with an opportunity for effecting his escape, remained in concealment until another had been ordained in his place. What I have now said concerning Ephraim must suffice, although his own countrymen relate many other anecdotes of him. Yet his conduct on one occasion, shortly before his death, appears to me so worthy of remembrance that I shall record it here. The city of Edessa being severely visited by famine, he quitted the solitary cell in which he pursued philosophy, and rebuked the rich for permitting the poor to die around them, instead of imparting to them of their superfluities; and he represented to them by his philosophy, that the wealth which they were treasuring up so carefully would turn to their own condemnation, and to the ruin of the soul, which is of more value than all riches, and the body itself and all other values, and he proved that they were putting no estimate upon their souls, because of their actions. The rich men, revering the man and his words, replied, "We are not intent upon hoarding our wealth, but we know of no one to whom we can confide the distribution of our goods, for all are prone to seek after lucre, and to betray the trust placed in them." "What think you of me?" asked Ephraim. On their admitting that they considered him an efficient, excellent, and good man, and worthy, and that he was exactly what his reputation confirmed, he offered to undertake the distribution of their alms. As soon as he received their money, he had about three hundred beds fitted up in the public porches; and here he tended those who were ill and suffering from the effects of the famine, whether they were foreigners or natives of the surrounding country. On the cessation of the famine he returned to the cell in which he had previously dwelt; and, after the lapse of a few days, he expired. He attained no higher clerical degree than that of deacon, although he became no less famous for his virtue than those who are ordained to the priesthood and are admired for the conversation of a good life and for learning. I have now given some account of the virtue of Ephraim. It would require a more experienced hand than mine, to furnish a full description of his character and that of the other illustrious men who, about the same period, had devoted themselves to a life and career of philosophy; and for some things, it would require such a writer as he himself was. The attempt is beyond my powers by reason of weakness of language, and ignorance of the men themselves and their exploits. Some of them concealed themselves in the deserts. Others, who lived in the intercourse of cities, strove to preserve a mean appearance, and to seem as if they differed in no respect from the multitude, working out their virtue, concealing a true estimate of themselves, that they might avoid the praises of others. For as they were intent upon the exchange of future benefits, they made God alone the witness of their thoughts, and had no concern for outward glory.


THOSE who presided over the churches at this period were noted for personal conduct, and, as might be expected, the people whom they governed were earnestly attached to the worship of Christ. (1) Religion daily progressed, by the zeal, virtue, and wonderful works of the priests, and of the ecclesiastical philosophers, who attracted the attention of the pagans, and led them to renounce their superstitions. The emperors who then occupied the throne were as zealous as was their father in protecting the churches, and they granted honors and tax exemptions to the clergy, their children, and their slaves. They confirmed the laws enacted by their father, and enforced new ones prohibiting the offering of sacrifice, the worship of images, or any other pagan observance. They commanded that all temples, whether in cities or in the country, should be closed. Some of these temples were presented to the churches, when either the ground they stood on or the materials for building were required. The greatest possible care was bestowed upon the houses of prayer, those which had been defaced by time were repaired, and others were erected from the foundations in a style of extraordinary magnificence. The church of Emesa is one most worthy to see and famous for its beauty. The Jews were strictly forbidden to purchase a slave belonging to any other heresy than their own. If they transgressed this law, the slave was confiscated (2) to the public; but if they administered to him the Jewish rite of circumcision, the penalties were death and total confiscation of property. For, as the emperors were desirous of promoting by every means the spread of Christianity, they deemed it necessary to prevent the Jews from proselyting those whose ancestors were of another religion, and those who were holding the hope of professing Christianity were carefully reserved for the Church; for it was from the pagan multitudes that the Christian religion increased.


THE emperors (3) had, from the beginning, preserved their father's view about doctrine; for they both favored the Nicene form of belief. Constans maintained these opinions till his death; Constantius held a similar view for some time; he, however, renounced his former sentiments when the term "consubstantial" was calumniated, yet he did not altogether refrain from confessing that the Son is of like substance with the Father. The followers of Eusebius, and other bishops of the East, who were admired for their speech and life, made a distinction, as we know, between the term "consubstantial" (homoousios) and the expression "of like substance," which latter they designated by the term, "homoiousios." They say that the term "consubstantial" (homoousios) properly belongs to corporeal beings, such as men and other animals, trees and plants, whose participation and origin is in like things; but that the term "homoiousios" appertains exclusively to incorporeal beings, such as God and the angels, of each one of whom a conception is formed according to his own peculiar substance. The Emperor Constantius was deceived by this distinction; and although I am certain that he retained the same doctrines as those held by his father and brother, yet he adopted a change of phraseology, and, instead of rising the term "homoousios," made use of the term "homoiousios." The teachers to whom we have alluded maintained that it was necessary to be thus precise in the use of terms, and that otherwise we should be in danger of conceiving that to be a body which is incorporeal. Many, however, regard this distinction as an absurdity, "for," say they, "the things which are conceived by the mind can be designated only by names derived from things which are seen; and there is no danger in the use of words, provided that there be no error about the idea.


IT is not surprising that the Emperor Constantius was induced to adopt the use of the term "homoiousios," for it was admitted by many priests who conformed to the doctrines of the Nicaean council. (1) Many use the two words indifferently, to convey the same meaning. Hence, it appears to me, that the Arians departed greatly from the truth when they affirmed that, after the council of Nicaea, many of the priests, among whom were Eusebius and Theognis, refused to admit that the Son is consubstantial with the Father, and that Constantine was in consequence so indignant, that he condemned them to banishment. They say that it was afterwards revealed to his sister by a dream or a vision from God, that these bishops held orthodox doctrines and had suffered unjustly; and that the emperor thereupon recalled them, and demanded of them wherefore they had departed from the Nicene doctrines, since they had been participants in the document concerning the faith which had been there framed; and that they urged in reply that they had not assented to those doctrines from conviction, but from the fear that, if the disputes then existing were prolonged, the emperor, who was then just beginning to embrace Christianity, and who was yet unbaptized, might be impelled to return to Paganism, as seemed likely, and to persecute the Church. They assert that Constantine was pleased with this defense, and determined upon convening another council; but that, being pre- vented by death from carrying his scheme into execution, the task devolved upon his eldest son, Constantius, to whom he represented that it would avail him nothing to be possessed of imperial power, unless he could establish uniformity of worship throughout his empire; and Constantius they say, at the instigation of his father, convened a council at Ariminum. (2) This story is easily seen to be a gross fabrication, for the council was convened during the consulate of Hypatius and Eusebius, and twenty-two years after Constantius had, on the death of his father, succeeded to the empire. Now, during this interval of twenty-two years, many councils were held, in which debates were carried on concerning the terms "homoousias" and "homoiousios." No one, it appears, ventured to deny that the Son is of like substance (3) with the Father, until Actius, by starting a contrary opinion, so offended the emperor that, in order to arrest the course of the heresy, he commanded the priests to assemble themselves together at Ariminum and at Seleucia. Thus the true cause of this council being convened was not the command of Constantine, (4) but the question agitated by Aetius. And this will become still more apparent by what we shall hereafter relate.


WHEN Constans was apprised of what had been enacted at Sardica, he wrote (5) to his brother to request him to restore the followers of Athanasius and Paul to their own churches. As Constantius seemed to hesitate, he wrote again, and threatened him with war, unless he would consent to receive the bishops. Constantius, after conferring on the subject with the bishops of the East, judged that it would be foolish to excite on this account the horrors of civil war. He therefore recalled Athanasius from Italy, and sent public carriages to convey him on his return homewards, and wrote several letters requesting his speedy return. Athanasius, who was then residing at Aquilea, on receiving the letters of Constantius, repaired to Rome to take leave of Julius and his friends. Julius parted from him with great demonstrations of friendship, and gave him a letter addressed to the clergy and people of Alexandria, in which he spoke of him as a wonderful man, deserving of renown by the numerous trials he had undergone, and congratulated the church of Alexandria on the return of so good a priest, and exhorted them to follow his doctrines.

He then proceeded to Antioch in Syria, where the emperor was then residing. Leontius presided over the churches of that region; for after the flight of Eustathius, those who held heretical sentiments had seized the see of Antioch. The first bishop they appointed was Euphronius; to him succeeded Placetus; and afterwards Stephen. This latter was deposed as being unworthy of the dignity, and Leontius obtained the bishopric. Athanasius avoided him as a heretic, and communed with those who were called Eustathians, who assembled in a private house. Since he found that Constantius was well disposed, and agreeable, and it looked as if the emperor would restore his own church to him, Constantius, at the instigation of the leaden of the opposing heresy, replied as follows "I am ready to perform all that I promised when I recalled you; but it is just that you should in return grant me a favor, and that is, that you yield one of the numerous churches which are under your sway to those who are averse to holding communion with you." Athanasius replied: "O emperor, it is exceedingly just and necessary to obey your commands, and I will not gainsay, but as in the city of Antioch there are many who eschew communion between the heterodox and ourselves, I seek a like favor that one church may be conceded to us, and that we may assemble there in safety." As the request of Athanasius appeared reasonable to the emperor, the heterodox deemed it more politic to keep quiet; for they reflected that their peculiar opinions could never gain any ground in Alexandria, on account of Athanasius, who was able both to retain those who held the same sentiments as himself, and lead those of contrary opinions; and that, moreover if they gave up one of the churches of Antioch, the Eustathians, who were very numerous, would assemble together, and then probably attempt innovations, since it would be possible for them without risk to retain those whom they held. Besides, the heterodox perceived that, although the government of the churches was in their hands, all the clergy and people did not conform to their doctrines. (1) When they sang hymns to God, they were, according to custom, divided into choirs, and, at the end of the odes, each one declared what were his own peculiar sentiments. Some offered praise to "the Father and the Son," regarding them as co-equal in glory; others glorified "The Father by the Son," to denote by the insertion of the preposition that they considered the Son to be inferior to the Father. While these occurrences took place, Leontius, the bishop of the opposite faction, who then presided over the see of Antioch, did not dare to prohibit the singing of hymns to God which were in accordance with the tradition of the Nicaean Synod, for he feared to excite an insurrection of the people. It is related, however, that he once raised his hand to his head, the hairs of which were quite white, and said, "When this snow is dissolved, there will be plenty of mud." By this he intended to signify that, after his death, the different modes of singing hymns would give rise to great seditions, and that his successors would not show the same consideration to the people which he had manifested.


THE emperor, on sending back (2) Athanasius to Egypt, wrote in his favor to the bishops and presbyters of that country, and to the people of the church of Alexandria; he testified to the integrity of his conduct and the virtue of his manners, and exhorted them to be of one mind, and to unite in prayer and service to God under his guidance. He added that, if any evil-disposed persons should excite disturbances, they should receive the punishment awarded by the laws for such offenses. He also commanded that the former decrees he had enacted against Athanasius, and those who were in communion with him, should be effaced from the public registers, and that his clergy should be admitted to the same exemptions they had previously enjoyed; and edicts to this effect were dispatched to the governors of Egypt and Libya.

Immediately on his arrival in Egypt, Athanasius displaced those whom he knew to be attached to Arianism, and placed the government of the Church and the confession of the Nicaean council in the hands of those whom he approved, and he exhorted them to hold to this with earnestness. It was said at that time, that, when he was traveling through other countries, he effected the same change, if be happened to visit churches which were under the Arians. He was certainly accused of having dared to perform the ceremony of ordination in cities where he had no right to do so. But because he had effected his return, although his enemies were unwilling, and it did not seem that he could be easily cast under suspicion, in that he was honored with the friendship of the Emperor Constans, he was regarded with greater consideration than before. Many bishops, who had previously been at enmity with him, received him into communion, particularly those of Palestine. When he at that time visited these latter, they received him kindly. They held a Synod at Jerusalem, and Maximus and the others wrote the following letter in his favor.


"THE holy Synod assembled at Jerusalem, to the presbyters, deacons, and people of Egypt, Libya, and Alexandria, our beloved and most cherished brethren, greeting in the Lord. (3)

"We can never, O beloved, return adequate thanks to God, the Creator of all things, for the wonderful works he has now accomplished, particularly for the blessings He has conferred on your churches by the restoration of Athanasius, your shepherd and lord, and our fellow-minister. Who could have hoped to have ever seen this with his eyes, which now you are realizing in deed? But truly your prayers have been heard by the God of the universe who is concerned for His Church, and who has regarded your tears and complaint, and on this account has heard your requests. For you were scattered abroad and rent like sheep without a pastor. Therefore, the true Shepherd, who from heaven watched over you, and who is concerned for His own sheep, has restored to you him whom you desired. Behold, we do all things for the peace of the Church, and are influenced by love like yours. Therefore we received and embraced your pastor, and, having held communion with you through him, we dispatch this address and our eucharistic prayers that you may know how we are united by the bond of love to him and you. It is right that you should pray for the piety of the emperors most beloved of God, who having recognized your desire about him and his purity determined to restore him to you with every honor. Receive him, then, with uplifted hands, and be zealous to send aloft the requisite eucharistic prayers in his behalf to the God who has conferred these benefits upon you; and may you ever rejoice with God, and glorify the Lord in Christ Jesus our Lord, by whom be glory to the Father throughout all ages. Amen."


Such was the letter written by the Synod convened in Palestine. Some time after Athanasius had the satisfaction of seeing the injustice of the sentence enacted against him by the council of Tyre publicly recognized. (1) Valens and Ursacius, who had been sent with Theognis and his followers to obtain information in Mareotis, as we before mentioned, concerning the holy cup which Ischyrion had accused Athanasius of having broken, wrote the following retraction to Julius, bishop of Rome: --

"Ursacius and Valens, to the most blessed Lord Pope Julius.

"Since we previously, as is well known made many various charges' against Athanasius, the bishop, by our letters, and although we have been urged persistently by the epistles of your excellency in this matter which we publicly alleged and have not been able to give a reason for our accusation, therefore, we now confess to your excellency in the presence of all the presbyters, our brethren, that all that you have heard concerning the aforesaid Athanasius is utterly false and fictitious, and in every way foreign to his nature. For this reason, we joyfully enter into communion with him, particularly as your piety in accordance with your implanted love of goodness has granted forgiveness to us for our error. Moreover, we declare unto you that if the bishops of the East, or even Athanasius himself, should at any time malignantly summon us to judgment, we would not sever ourselves from your judgment and disposition about the case. We now and ever shall anathematize, as we formerly did in the memorial which we presented at Milan, the heretic Arius and his followers, who say that there was a time, in which the Son existed not, and that Christ is from that which had no existence, and who deny that Christ was God and the Son of God before all ages. We again protest, in our own handwriting, that we shall ever condemn the aforesaid Arian heresy, and its originators.

"I, Ursacius, sign this confession with my own signature. In like manner also Valens."

This was the confession which they sent to Julius. It is also necessary to append to it their letter to Athanasius: it is as follows: --


"THE bishops, Ursacius and Valens, to Athanasius, our brother in the Lord. (2)

"We take the opportunity of the departure of Museus, our brother and fellow-presbyter, who is going to your esteemed self, O beloved brother, to send you amplest greeting from Aquileia through him, and hope that our letter will find you in good health. You will afford us great encouragement if you will write us a reply to this letter. Know that we are at peace and in ecclesiastical communion with you."

Athanasius therefore returned under such circumstances from the West to Egypt. Paul, Marcellus, Asclepas, and Lucius, whom the edict of the emperor had returned from exile, received their own sees. Immediately on the return of Paul to Constantinople Macedonius retired, and held church in private. There was a great tumult at Ancyra on the deposition of Basil from the church there, and the reinstallation of Marcellus. The other bishops were reinstated in their churches without difficulty. (3)



Four years after the council of Sardica, (1) Constans was killed in Western Gaul. (2) Magnentius, who had plotted his murder, reduced the entire government of Constans under his own sway. In the meantime Vetranio was proclaimed emperor at Sirmium, by the Illyrian troops. Nepotian, the son of the late emperor's sister, gathered about him a body of gladiators, and wrangled for the imperial power, and ancient Rome had the greatest share of these evils. Nepotian, however, was put to death by the soldiers of Magnentius. (3) Constantius, finding himself the sole master of the empire, was proclaimed sole ruler, and hastened to depose the tyrants. In the meantime, Athanasius, having arrived in Alexandria, prepared to convene a Synod of the Egyptian bishops, and had the enactments confirmed which had been passed at Sardica, and in Palestine, in his favor.


THE emperor, (4) deceived by the calumnies of the heterodox, changed his mind, and, in opposition to the decrees of the council of Sardica, exiled the bishops whom he had previously restored. Marcellus was again deposed, and Basil re-acquired possession of the bishopric of Ancyra. Lucius was thrown into prison, and died there. Paul was condemned to perpetual banishment, and was conveyed to Cucusum, in Armenia, where he died. I have never, however, been able to ascertain whether or not he died a natural death. It is still reported, that he was strangled by the adherents of Macedonius. (5) As soon as he was sent into exile, Macedonius seized the government of his church; and, being aided by several orders of monks whom he had incorporated at Constantinople, and by alliances with many of the neighboring bishops, he commenced, it is said, a persecution against those who held the sentiments of Paul. He ejected them, in the first place, from the church, and then compelled them to enter into communion with himself. Many perished from wounds received in the struggle; some were deprived of their possessions; some, of the rights of citizenship; and others were branded on the forehead with an iron instrument, in order that they might be stamped as infamous. The emperor was displeased when he heard of these transactions, and imputed the blame of them to Macedonius and his adherents.


THE persecution increased in violence, (6) and led to deeds of blood. Martyrius and Marcian were among those who were slain. They had lived in Paul's house, (7) and were delivered up by Macedonius to the governor, as having been guilty of the murder of Hermogenes, and of exciting the former sedition against him. Martyrius was a sub-deacon, and Marcian a singer and a reader of Holy Scripture. Their tomb is famous, and is situated before the walls of Constantinople, as a memorial of the martyrs; it is placed in a house of prayer, which was commenced by John and completed by Sisinnius; these both afterwards presided over the church of Constantinople. For they who had been unworthily adjudged to have no part in the honors of martyrdom, were honored by God, because the very place where those conducted to death had been decapitated, and which previously was not approached on account of ghosts, was now purified, and those who were under the influence of demons were released from the disease, and many other notable miracles were wrought at the tomb. These are the particulars which should be stated concerning Martyrius and Marcian. If what I have related appears to be scarcely credible, it is easy to apply for further information to those who are more accurately acquainted with the circumstances; and perhaps far more wonderful things are related concerning them than those which I have detailed.


ON the expulsion of Athanasius, which took place about this period, George persecuted (1) all those throughout Egypt who refused to conform to his sentiments. The emperor marched into Illyria, and entered Sirmium, whither Vetranio had repaired by appointment. The soldiers who had proclaimed him emperor suddenly changed their mind, and saluted Constantius as sole sovereign, and as Augustus, for both the emperor and his supporters, strove for this very action. Vetranio perceived that he was betrayed, and threw himself as a suppliant at the feet of Constantius. Constantius pitied him indeed, but stripped him of the imperial ornaments and purple, obliged him to return to private life, liberally provided for his wants out of the public treasury, and told him that it was more seemly to an old man to abstain from the cares of empire and to live in quietude. After terminating these arrangements in favor of Vetranio, Constantius sent a large army into Italy against Magnentius. He then conferred the title of Caesar on his cousin Gallus, and sent him into Syria to defend the provinces of the East.


AT the time that Cyril administered the church of Jerusalem after Maximus, the sign of the cross appeared in the heavens. It shone brilliantly, not with divergent rays like a comet, but with the concentration of a great deal of light, apparently dense and yet transparent. Its length was about fifteen stadia from Calvary to the Mount of Olives, and its breadth was in proportion to its length. So extraordinary a phenomenon excited universal terror. Men, women, and children left their houses, the market-place, or their respective employments, and ran to the church, where they sang hymns to Christ together, and voluntarily confessed their belief in God. The intelligence disturbed in no little measure our entire dominions, and this happened rapidly; for, as the custom was, there were travelers from every part of the world, so to speak, who were dwelling at Jerusalem for prayer, or to visit its places of interest, these were spectators of the sign, and divulged the facts to their friends at home. The emperor was made acquainted with the occurrence, partly by numerous reports concerning it which were then current, and partly by a letter from Cyril (2) the bishop. It was said that this prodigy was a fulfillment of an ancient prophecy contained in the Holy Scriptures. It was the means of the conversion of many pagans and Jews to Christianity.


ABOUT this time, (3) Photinus, who administered the church of Sirmium, laid before the emperor, who was then staying at that city, a heresy which he had originated some time previously. His natural ease of utterance and powers of persuasion enabled him to lead many into his own way of thinking. He acknowledged that there was one God Almighty, by whose own word all things were created, but would not admit that the generation and existence of the Son was before all ages; on the contrary, he alleged that Christ derived His existence from Mary. As soon as this opinion was divulged, it excited the indignation of the Western and of the Eastern bishops, and they considered it in common as an innovation of each one's particular belief, for it was equally opposed by those who maintained the doctrines of the Nicaean council, and by those who favored the tenets of Arius. The emperor also regarded the heresy with aversion, and convened a council at Sirmium, where he was then residing. Of the Eastern bishops, George, who governed the church of Alexandria, Basil, bishop of Ancyra, and Mark, bishop of Arethusa, were present at this council; and among the Western bishops were Valens, bishop of Mursa, and Hosius the Confessor. This latter, who had attended the council of Nicaea, was unwillingly a participant of this; he had not long previously been condemned to banishment through the machinations of the Arians; he was summoned to the council of Sirmium by the command of the emperor extorted by the Arians, who believed that their party would be strengthened, if they could gain over, either by persuasion or force, a man held in universal admiration and esteem, as was Hosius. The period at which the council was convened at Sirmium, was the year after the expiration of the consulate of Sergius and Nigrinian; and during this year there were no consuls either in the East or the West, owing to the insurrections excited by the tyrants. Photinus was deposed by this council, because he was accused of countenancing the errors of Sabellius and Paul of Samosata. The council then proceeded to draw up three formularies of faith in addition to the previous confessions, of which one was written in Greek, and the others in Latin. But they did not agree with one another, nor with any other of the former expositions of doctrine, either in word or import. It is not said in the Greek formulary, (1) that the Son is consubstantial, or of like substance, with the Father, but it is there declared, that those who maintain that the Son had no commencement, or that He proceeded from an expansion of the substance of the Father, or that He is united to the Father without being subject to Him, are excommunicated. In one of the Roman formularies, (2) it is forbidden to say, of the essence of the Godhead which the Romans call substance, that the Son is either consubstantial, or of like substance with the Father, as such statements do not occur in the Holy Scriptures, and are beyond the reach of the understanding and knowledge of men. It is said, that the Father must be recognized as superior to the Son in honor, in dignity, in divinity, and in the relationship suggested by His name of Father; and that it must be confessed that the Son, like all created beings, is subject to the Father, that the Father had no commencement, and that the generation of the Son is unknown to all save the Father. It is related, that when this formulary was completed, the bishops became aware of the errors it contained, and endeavored to withdraw it from the public, and to correct it; and that the emperor threatened to punish those who should retain or conceal any of the copies that had been made of it. But having been once published, no efforts were adequate to suppress it altogether.

The third formulary (3) is of the same import as the others. It prohibits the use of the term "substance" on account of the terms used in Latin, while the Greek term having been used with too much simplicity by the Fathers, and having been a cause of offense to many of the unlearned multitude, because it was not to be found in the Scriptures, "we have deemed it right totally to reject the use of it: and we would enjoin the omission of all mention of the term in allusion to the Godhead, for it is nowhere said in the Holy Scriptures, that the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are of the same substance, where the word person is written. But we say, in conformity with the Holy Scriptures, that the Son is like unto the Father."

Such was the decision arrived at in the presence of the emperor concerning the faith. Hosius at first refused to assent to it. Compulsion, however, was resorted to; and being extremely old, he sunk, as it is reported, beneath the blows that were inflicted on him, and yielded his consent and signature.

After the deposition of Photinus, the Synod thought it expedient to try whether it were not somehow possible to persuade him to change his views. But when the bishop urged him, and promised to restore his bishopric if he would renounce his own dogma, and vote for their formulary, he would not acquiesce, but challenged them to a discussion. On the day appointed for this purpose, the bishops, therefore, assembled with the judges who had been appointed by the emperor to preside at their meetings, and who, in point of eloquence and dignity, held the first rank in the palace. Basil, bishop of Ancyra, was selected to commence the disputation against Photinus. The conflict lasted a long time, on account of the numerous questions started and the answers given by each party, and which were immediately taken down in short-hand; but finally the victory declared itself in favor of Basil. Photinus was condemned and banished, but did not cease on that account from enlarging his own dogma. He wrote and published many works in Greek and Latin, in which he endeavored to show that all opinions, except his own, were erroneous. I have now concluded all that I had to say concerning Photinus and the heresy to which his name was affixed.


IN the meantime, (4) Magnentius made himself master of ancient Rome, and put numbers of the senators, and of the people, to death. Hearing that the troops of Constantius were approaching, he retired into Gaul; and here the two parties had frequent encounters, in which sometimes the one and sometimes the other was victorious. At length, however, Magnentius was defeated, and fled to Mursa, which is the fortress of this Gaul, and when he saw that his soldiers were dispirited because they had been defeated, he stood on an elevated spot and endeavored to revive their courage. But, although the addressed Magnentius with the acclamations usually paid to emperors, and were ready to shout at his public appearance, they secretly and without premeditation shouted for Constantius as emperor in place of Magnentius. Magnentius, concluding from this circumstance, that he was not destined by God to hold the reins of empire, endeavored to retreat from the fortress to some distant place. But he was pursued by the troops of Constantius, and being overtaken at a spot called Mount Seleucus, he escaped alone from the encounter, and fled to Lugduna. On his arrival there, he slew his own mother and his brother, whom he had named Caesar; and lastly, he killed himself. (1) Not long after, Decentius, another of his brothers, put an end to his own existence. Still the public tumults were not quelled; for not long after, Silvanus assumed the supreme authority in Gaul; but he was put to death immediately by the generals of Constantius.

The Jews of Diocaesarea also overran Palestine and the neighboring territories; they took up arms with the design of shaking off the Roman yoke. (2) On hearing of their insurrection, Gallus Caesar, who was then at Antioch, sent troops against them, defeated them, and destroyed Diocaesarea. Gallus, intoxicated with success, could not bear his prosperity, but aspired to the supreme power, and he slew Magnus, the quaestor, and Domitian, the prefect of the East, because they apprised the emperor of his innovations. The anger of Constantius was excited; and he summoned him to his presence. Gallus did not dare to refuse obedience, and set out on his journey. When, however, he reached the island Elavona he was killed by the emperor's order; this event occurred in the third year of his consulate, and the seventh of Constantius. (3)


ON the death of the tyrants, (4) Constantius anticipated the restoration of peace and cessation of tumults, and quilted Sirmium in order to return to ancient Rome, and to enjoy the honor of a triumph after his victory over the tyrants. He likewise intended to bring the Eastern and the Western bishops, if possible, to one mind concerning doctrine, by convening a council in Italy. Julius died about this period, after having governed the church of Rome during twenty-five years; (5) and Liberius succeeded him. Those who were opposed to the doctrines of the Nicaean council thought this a favorable opportunity to calumniate the bishops whom they had deposed, and to procure their ejection from the church as abettors of false doctrine, and as disturbers of the public peace; and to accuse them of having sought, during the life of Constans, to excite a misunderstanding between the emperors; and it was true, as we related above, (6) that Constans menaced his brother with war unless he would consent to receive the orthodox bishops. Their efforts were principally directed against Athanasius, towards whom they entertained so great an aversion that, even when he was protected by Constans, and enjoyed the friendship of Constantius, they could not conceal their enmity. Narcissus, bishop of Cilicia, Theodore, bishop of Thrace, Eugenius, bishop of Nicaea, Patrophilus, bishop of Scythopolis, Menophantes, bishop of Ephesus, and other bishops, to the number of thirty, assembled themselves in Antioch, (7) and wrote a letter to all the bishops of every region, in which they stated that Athanasius had returned to his bishopric in violation of the rules of the Church, that he had not justified himself in any council, and that he was only supported by some of his own faction; and they exhorted them not to hold communion with him, nor to write to him, but to enter into communion with George, who had been ordained to succeed him. Athanasius only contemned these proceedings; but he was about to undergo greater trials than any he had yet experienced. Immediately on the death of Magnentius, and as soon as Constantius found himself sole master of the Roman Empire, he directed all his efforts to induce the bishops of the West to admit that the Son is of like substance with the Father. In carrying out this scheme, however, he did not, in the first place, resort to compulsion, but endeavored by persuasion to obtain the concurrence of the other bishops in the decrees of the Eastern bishops against Athanasius; for he thought that if he could bring them to be of one mind on this point, it would be easy for him to regulate aright the affairs connected with religion.


THE emperor (1) was extremely urgent to convene a council in Milan, yet few of the Eastern bishops repaired thither; some, it appears, excused themselves from attendance under the plea of illness; others, on account of the length and difficulties of the journey. There were, however, upwards of three hundred of the Western bishops at the council. The Eastern bishops insisted that Athanasius should be condemned to banishment, and expelled from Alexandria; and the others, either from fear, fraud, or ignorance, assented to the measure. Dionysius, bishop of Alba, the metropolis of Italy, Eusebius, bishop of Vercella in Liguria, Paulinus, bishop of Treves, Rhodanus, (2) and Lucifer, were the only bishops who protested against this decision; and they declared that Athanasius ought not to be condemned on such slight pretexts; and that the evil would not cease with his condemnation; but that those who supported the orthodox doctrines concerning the Godhead would be forthwith subjected to a plot. They represented that the whole measure was a scheme concerted by the emperor and the Arians with the view of suppressing the Nicene faith. Their boldness was punished by an edict of immediate banishment, and Hilary was exiled with them. The result too plainly showed for what purpose the council of Milan had been convened. For the councils which were held shortly after at Ariminum and Seleucia were evidently designed to change the doctrines established by the Nicaean council, as I shall directly show.

Athanasius, being apprised that plots had been formed against him at court, deemed it prudent not to repair to the emperor himself, as he knew that his life would be thereby endangered, nor did he think that it would be of any avail. He, however, selected five of the Egyptian bishops, among whom was Serapion, bishop of Thumis, a prelate distinguished by the wonderful sanctity of his life and the power of his eloquence, and sent them with three presbyters of the Church to the emperor, who was then in the West. They were directed to attempt, if possible, to conciliate the emperor; to reply, if requisite, to the calumnies of the hostile party; and to take such measures as they deemed most advisable for the welfare of the Church and himself. Shortly after they had embarked on their voyage, Athanasius received some letters from the emperor, summoning him to the palace. Athanasius and all the people of the Church were greatly troubled at this command; for they considered that no safety could be enjoyed when acting either in obedience or in disobedience to an emperor of heterodox sentiments. It was, however, determined that he should remain at Alexandria, and the bearer of the letters quitted the city without having effected anything. The following summer, another messenger from the emperor arrived with the governors of the provinces, and he was charged to urge the departure of Athanasius from the city, and to act with hostility against the clergy. When he perceived, however, that the people of the Church were full of courage, and ready to take up arms, he also departed from the city without accomplishing his mission. Not long after, troops, called the Roman legions, which were quartered in Egypt and Libya, marched into Alexandria. As it was reported that Athanasius was concealed in the church known by the name "Theonas," the commander of the troops, and Hilary, (3) whom the emperor had again intrusted with the transaction of this affair, caused the doors of the church to be burst open, and thus effected their entrance; but they did not find Athanasius within the walls, although they sought for him everywhere. It is said that he escaped this and many other perils by the Divine interposition; and that God had disclosed this previously; directly as he went out, the soldiers took the doors of the church, and were within a little of seizing him.


THERE is no doubt but that Athanasius was beloved of God, and endowed with the gift of foreseeing the future. (4) More wonderful facts than those which we have related might be adduced to prove his intimate acquaintance with futurity. It happened that during the life of Constans, the Emperor Constantius was once determined upon ill-treating this holy man; but Athanasius fled, and concealed himself with some one of his acquaintances. He lived for a long time in a subterraneous and sunless dwelling, which had been used as a reservoir for water. No one knew where he was concealed except a serving-woman, who seemed faithful, and who waited upon him. As the heterodox, however, were anxiously intent upon taking Athanasius alive, it appears that, by means of gifts or promises, they at length succeeded in corrupting the attendant. But Athanasius was forewarned by God of her treachery, and effected his escape from the place. The servant was punished for having made a false deposition against her masters, while they, on their part, fled the country i for it was accounted no venial crime by the heterodox to receive or to conceal Athanasius, but was, on the contrary, regarded as an act of disobedience against the express commands of the emperor, and as a crime against the empire, and was visited as such by the civil tribunals. It has come to my hearing that Athanasius was saved on another occasion in a similar manner. He was again obliged for the same reason to flee for his life; and he set sail up the Nile (1) with the design of retreating to the further districts of Egypt, but his enemies received intelligence of his intention, and pursued him. Being forewarned of God that he would be pursued, he announced it to his fellow-passengers, and commanded them to return to Alexandria. While he sailed down the river, his plotters rowed by. He reached Alexandria in safety, and effectually concealed himself in the midst of its similar and numerous houses. His success in avoiding these and many other perils led to his being accused of sorcery by the pagan and the heterodox. It is reported, that once, as he was passing through the city, a crow was heard to caw, and that a number of pagans who happened to be on the spot, asked him in derision what the crow was saying. He replied, smiling, "It utters the sound eras, the meaning of which in the Latin language is, 'tomorrow'; and it has hereby announced to you that the morrow will not be propitious to you; for it indicates that you will be forbidden by the Roman emperor to celebrate your festival tomorrow." Although this prediction of Athanasius appeared to be absurd, it was fulfilled; for the following day edicts were transmitted to the governors from the emperor, by which it was commanded that the pagans were not to be permitted to assemble in the temples to perform their usual ceremonies, nor to celebrate their festival; and thus was abolished the most solemn and magnificent feast which the pagans had retained. What I have said is sufficient to show that this holy man was endowed with the gift of prophecy. After Athanasius had escaped, in the manner we have described, from those who sought to arrest him, his clergy and people remained for some time in possession of the churches; but eventually, the governor of Egypt and the commander of the army forcibly ejected all those who maintained the sentiments of Athanasius, in order to deliver up the government of the churches to those who favored George, whose arrival was then expected. Not long after he reached the city, and the churches were placed under his authority. He ruled by force rather than by priestly moderation; and as he strove to strike terror into the minds of the people, and carried on a cruel persecution against the followers of Athanasius, and, moreover, imprisoned and maimed many men and women, he was accounted a tyrant. For these reasons he fell into a universal hate; the people were so deeply incensed at his conduct, that they rushed into the church, and would have torn him to pieces; in such an extremity of danger, he escaped with difficulty, and fled to the emperor. Those who held the sentiments of Athanasius then took possession of the churches. But they did not long retain the mastery of them; for the commander of the troops in Egypt came and restored the churches to the partisans of George. An imperial shorthand writer of the notary class was afterwards sent to punish the leaders of the sedition, and he tortured and scourged many of the citizens. When George returned a little while after, he was more formidable, it appears, than ever, and was regarded with greater aversion than before, for he instigated the emperor to the perpetration of many evil deeds; and besides, the monks of Egypt openly declared him to be perfidious and inflated with arrogance. The opinions of these monks were always adopted by the people, and their testimony was universally received, because they were noted for their virtue and the philosophical tenor of their fives.


ALTHOUGH what I have recorded did not occur to Athanasius and the church of Alexandria, at the same period of time after the death of Constans, yet I deemed it right, for the sake of greater clearness, to relate all these events collectively. The council of Milan (2) was dissolved without any business having been transacted, and the emperor condemned to banishment all those who had opposed the designs of the enemies of Athanasius. As Constantius wished to establish uniformity of doctrine throughout the Church, and to unite the priesthood in the maintenance of the same sentiments, he formed a plan to convene the bishops of every religion to a council, to be held in the West. He was aware of the difficulty of carrying this scheme into execution, arising from the vast extent of land and seas which some of the bishops would have to traverse, yet he did not altogether despair of success. While this project was occupying his mind, and before he prepared to make his triumphal entrance into Rome, he sent for Liberius, the bishop of Rome, and strove to persuade him to conformity of sentiment with the priests by whom he was attended, amongst whom was Eudoxius. As Liberius, however, refused compliance, and protested that he would never yield on this point, the emperor banished him to Beroea, in Thrace. It is alleged, that another pretext for the banishment of Liberius was, that he would not withdraw from communion with Athanasius, but manfully opposed the emperor, who insisted that Athanasius had injured the Church, had occasioned the death of the eider of his two brothers, (1) and had sown the seeds of enmity between Constans and himself. As the emperor revived all the decrees which had been enacted against Athanasius by various councils, and particularly by that of Tyre, Liberius told him that no regard ought to be paid to edicts which were issued from motives of hatred, of favor, or of fear. He desired that the bishops of every region should be made to sign the formulary of faith compiled at Nicaea, and that those bishops who had been exiled on account of their adherence to it should be recalled. He suggested that after these matters were righted all the bishops should, at their own expense, and without being furnished either with public conveyances or money, so as not to seem burdensome and destructive, proceed to Alexandria, and make an accurate test of the truth, which could be more easily instituted at that city than elsewhere, as the injured and those who had inflicted injury as well as the confuters of the charges dwelt there. He then exhibited the letter written by Valens and Ursacius to Julius, his predecessor in the Roman see, in which they solicited his forgiveness, and acknowledged that the depositions brought against Athanasius, at the Mareotis, were false; and he besought the emperor not to condemn Athanasius during his absence, nor to give credit to enactments which were evidently obtained by the machinations of his enemies. With respect to the alleged injuries which had been inflicted on his two brothers, he entreated the emperor not to revenge himself by the hands of priests who had been set apart by God, not for the execution of vengeance, but for sanctification, and the performance of just and benevolent actions.

The emperor perceiving that Liberius was not disposed to comply with his mandate, commanded that he should be conveyed to Thrace, unless he would change his mind within two days. "To me, O emperor," replied Liberius, "there is no need of deliberation; my resolution has long been formed and decided, and I am ready to go forth to exile." It is said, that when he was being conducted to banishment, the emperor sent him five hundred pieces of gold; he, however, refused to receive them, and said to the messenger who brought them, "Go, and tell him who sent this gold to give it to the flatterers and hypocrites (2) who surround him, for their insatiable cupidity plunges them into a state of perpetual want which can never be relieved. Christ, who is in all respects, (3) like unto his Father, supplies us with food and with all good things."

Liberius having for the above reasons been deposed from the Roman church, his government was transferred to Felix, a deacon of the clergy there. It is said that Felix always continued in adherence to the Nicene faith; and that, with respect to his conduct in religious matters he was blameless. The only thing alleged against him was, that, prior to his ordination, he held communion with the heterodox. When the emperor entered Rome, the people loudly demanded Liberius, and besought his return; after consulting with the bishops who were with him, he replied that he would recall Liberius and restore him to the people, if he would consent to embrace the same sentiments as those held by the priests of the court.


ABOUT this time, (4) Aetius broached his peculiar opinions concerning the Godhead. He was then deacon of the church of Antioch, and had been ordained by Leontius. (5) He maintained, like Arius, that the Son is a created being, that He was created out of nothing, and that He is dissimilar from the Father. As he was extremely addicted to contention, very bold in his assertions on theological subjects, and prone to have recourse to a very subtle mode of argumentation, he was accounted a heretic, even by those who held the same sentiments as himself. When he had been, for this reason, excommunicated by the heterodox, he feigned a refusal to hold communion with them, because, they had unjustly admitted Arius into communion after he had perjured himself by declaring to the Emperor Constantine that he maintained the doctrines of the council of Nicaea. Such is the account given of Aetius.

While the emperor was in the West, tidings arrived of the death of Leontius, bishop of Antioch. Eudoxius requested permission of the emperor to return to Syria, that he might superintend the affairs of that church. On permission being granted, he repaired with all speed to Antioch, and installed himself as bishop of that city without the sanction of George, bishop of Laodicea; of Mark, bishop of Arethusa; of the other Syrian bishops; or of any other bishop to whom the right of ordination pertained. It was reported that he acted with the concurrence of the emperor, and of the eunuchs belonging to the palace, who, like Eudoxius, favored the doctrines of Aetius, and believed that the Son is dissimilar from the Father. When Eudoxius found himself in possession of the church of Antioch, he ventured to uphold this heresy openly. He assembled in Antioch all those who held the same opinions as himself, among whom was Acacius, bishop of Tyre, and rejected the terms, "of like substance," and "consubstantial," under the pretext that they had been denounced by the Western bishops. For Hosius, with some of the priests there, had certainly, with the view of arresting the contention excited by Valens, Ursacius, and Germanius, (1) consented, though by compulsion, (2) at Sirmium, as it is reported, to refrain from the use of the terms "consubstantial" and "of like substance," because such terms do not occur in the Holy Scriptures, and are beyond the understanding of men. (3) They (4) sent an epistle to the bishops as though these sustained the writings of Hosius on this point, and conveyed their thanks to Valens, Ursacius, and Germanius, because they had given the impulse of right views to the Western bishops.


After Eudoxius had introduced these new doctrines, many members of the church of Antioch, who were opposed to them, were excommunicated. (5) George, bishop of Laodicea, gave them a letter to take to the bishops who had been invited from the neighboring towns of Ancyra in Galatia by Basil, for the purpose of consecrating a church which he had erected. This letter was as follows: --

"George, to his most honored lords Macedonius, Basil, Cecropius, and Eugenius, sends greeting in the Lord.

"Nearly the whole city has suffered from the shipwreck of Aetius. The disciples of this wicked man, whom you contemned, have been encouraged by Eudoxius, and promoted by him to clerical appointments, and Aetius himself has been raised to the highest honor. Go, then, to the assistance of this great city, lest by its shipwreck the whole world should be submerged. Assemble yourselves together, and solicit the signatures of other bishops, that Aetius may be ejected from the church of Antioch, and that his disciples who have been manipulated beforehand into the lists of the clergy by Eudoxius, may be cut off. If Eudoxius persist in affirming with Aetius, that the Son is dissimilar from the Father, and in preferring those who uphold this dogma to those who reject it, the city of Antioch is lost to you." Such was the strain of George's letter.

The bishops who were assembled at Ancyra dearly perceived by the enactments of Eudoxius at Antioch, that he contemplated the introduction of innovations in doctrine; they apprised the emperor of this fact, and besought him that the doctrine established at Sardica, at Sirmium, and at other councils, might be confirmed, and especially the dogma that the Son is of like substance with the Father. In order to proffer this request to the emperor, they sent to him a deputation composed of the following bishops: Basil, bishop of Ancyra; Eustathius, bishop of Sebaste; Eleusius, bishop of Cyzicus; and Leontius, the presbyter of the imperial bed-chamber. On their arrival at the palace, they found that Asphalius, a presbyter of Antioch, and a zealot of the Aetian heresy, was on the point of taking his departure, after having terminated the business for which he undertook the journey and having obtained a letter from the emperor. On receiving, however, the intelligence concerning the heresy conveyed by the deputation from Ancyra, Constantius condemned Eudoxius and his followers, withdrew the letter he had confided to Asphalius, and wrote the following one:--


"CONSTANTIUS AUGUSTUS the Conqueror, to the holy church in Antioch. (1) "Eudoxius came without our authority; let no one suppose that he had it, for we are far from regarding such persons with favor. If they have recourse to deceit with others in transactions like this, they give evidence that they will refine away the truth in still higher things. For from what will they voluntarily refrain, who, for the sake of power, follow the round of the cities, leaping from one to another, as a kind of wanderer, prying into every nook, led by the desire for more? It is reported that there are among these people certain quacks and sophists, whose very names are scarcely to be tolerated, and whose deeds are evil and most impious. You all know to what set of people I allude; for you are all thoroughly acquainted with the doctrines of Aetius and the heresy which he has cultivated. He and his followers have devoted themselves exclusively to the task of corrupting the people; and these clever fellows have had the audacity to publish that we approved of their ordination. Such is the report they circulate, after the manner of those who talk overmuch; but it is not true, and, indeed, far removed from the truth. Recall to your recollection the words of which we made use, when we first made a declaration of our belief; for we confessed that our Saviour is the Son of God, and of like substance with the Father. But these people, who have the audacity to set forth whatever enters their imagination, concerning the Godhead, are not far removed from atheism; and they strive, moreover, to propagate their opinions among others. We are convinced that their iniquitous proceedings will fall back upon their own heads. In the meantime, it is sufficient to eject them from synods and from ordinary conference; for I will not now allude to the chastisements which must hereafter overtake them, unless they will desist from their madness. How great is the evil they perpetrate, when they collect together the most wicked persons, as if by an edict, and they select the leaders of heresy for the clergy, thus debasing the reverend order as though they were allowed to do what they please! Who can bear with people who fill the cities with impiety, who secrete impurity in the most distant regions, and who delight in nothing but in injuring the righteous? What an evil-working unity it is, which limps forward to enthrone itself in the diviner seats! Now is the time for those who have imbibed the truth to come forward into the light, and whoever were previously restrained through fear, and now would escape from conventionalism, let them step into the middle; for the artifices of these evil men have been thoroughly confuted, and no sort of device can be invented which will deliver them from acting impiously. It is the duty of good men to retain the faith of the Fathers, and, so to speak, to augment it, without busying themselves with other matters. I earnestly exhort those who have escaped, though but recently, from the precipice of this heresy, to assent to the decrees which the bishops who are wise in divine learning, have rightly determined for the better."

Thus we see that the heresy usually denominated Anomian was within a little of becoming predominant at this period.


NOT long after these events, the emperor returned to Sirmium from Rome; on receiving a deputation from the Western bishops, he recalled Liberius from Beroea. (2) Constantius urged him, in the presence of the deputies of the Eastern bishops, and of the other priests who were at the camp, to confess that the Son is not of the same substance as the Father. He was instigated to this measure by Basil, Eustathius, and Eusebius, who possessed great influence over him. They had formed a compilation, in one document, of the decrees against Paul of Samosata, and Photinus, bishop of Sirmium; to which they subjoined a formulary of faith drawn up at Antioch at the consecration of the church, as if certain persons had, under the pretext of the term "consubstantial," attempted to establish a heresy of their own. Liberius, Athanasius, Alexander, Severianus, and Crescens, a priest of Africa, were induced to assent to this document, as were likewise Ursacius, Germanius, bishop of Sirmium, Valens, bishop of Mursa, and as many of the Eastern bishops as were present. They partially approved of a confession of faith drawn up by Liberius, in which he declared that those who affirm that the Son is not like unto the Father in substance and in all other respects, are excommunicated. For when Eudoxius and his partisans at Antioch, who favored the heresy of Aetius, received the letter of Hosius, they circulated the report that Liberius had renounced the term "consubstantial," and had admitted that the Son is dissimilar from the Father. After these enactments had been made by the Western bishops, the emperor permitted Liberius to return to Rome. The bishops who were then convened at Sirmium (1) wrote to Felix, who governed the Roman church, and to the other bishops, desiring them to receive Liberius. They directed that both should share the apostolical throne and discharge the priestly duties in common, with harmony of mind; and that whatever illegalities might have occurred in the ordination of Felix, or the banishment of Liberius, might be buried in oblivion. The people of Rome regarded Liberius as a very excellent man, and esteemed him highly on account of the courage he had evinced in opposing the emperor, so that they had even excited seditions on his account, and had gone so far as to shed blood. Felix survived but a short time; and Liberius found himself in sole possession of the church. This event was, no doubt, ordained by God, that the seat of Peter might not be dishonored by the occupancy of two bishops; for such an arrangement is a sign of discord, and is foreign to ecclesiastical law.


Such were the events which transpired at Sirmium. It seemed at this period as if, from the fear of displeasing the emperor, the Eastern and Western Churches had united in the profession of the same doctrine. The emperor had determined upon convening a council at Nicaea to take into consideration the innovations introduced at Antioch, and the heresy of Aetius. (2) As Basil, however, and his party were averse to the council being held in this city, because doctrinal questions had previously been agitated there, it was determined to hold the council at Nicomedia in Bithynia; and edicts were issued, summoning the most intelligent and eloquent bishops of every nation to repair thither punctually on an appointed day, so that it might be the privilege of all the priests of the state to share in the Synod and to be present at its decisions. The great number of these bishops had commenced their journey when the calamity that had come upon Nicomedia was reported, and that God had shaken the entire city to its foundations. Since the story of the destruction of the city everywhere prevailed and grew, the bishops arrested their journey; for as is usual in such cases, far more was rumored to those at a distance, than had actually occurred. It was reported that Nicaea, Perinthus, and the neighboring cities, even Constantinople, had been involved in the same catastrophe. The orthodox bishops were grieved immoderately at this occurrence; for the enemies of religion took occasion, on the overthrow of a magnificent church, to represent to the emperor that a multitude of bishops, men, women, and children fled to the church in the hope of their finding safety, and that they all perished. This report was not true. The earthquake occurred at the second hour of the day, at which time there was no assembly in the church. The only bishops who were killed were Cecropius, bishop of Nicomedia, and a bishop from the Bosphorus, and they were outside of the church when the fatal accident happened. The city was shaken in an instant of time, so that the people had not the power, even if they had the wish, to seek safety by flight; at the first experience of danger, they were either preserved, or they perished on the spot where they were standing. (3)

It is said that this calamity was predicted by Arsacius. (4) He was a Persian, and a soldier who was employed in tending the emperor's lions; but during the reign of Licinius he became a noted confessor, and left the army. He then went to the citadel of Nicomedia, and led the life of a monastic philosopher within its walls. Here a vision from heaven appeared to him, and he was commanded to quit the city immediately, that he might be saved from the calamity about to happen. He ran with the utmost earnestness to the church, and besought the clergy to offer supplications to God that His anger might be turned away. But, finding that far from being believed by them, he was regarded with ridicule, and as disclosing unlooked-for sufferings, he returned to his tower, and prostrated himself on the ground in prayer. Just at this moment the earthquake occurred, and many perished. Those who were spared fled into the country and the desert. And as happens in a prosperous and large city, there were fires in the brasiers and extinguishers of every house, and in the ovens of the baths, and in the furnaces of all who use fire in the arts; and when the framework fell in ruin, the flame was hemmed in by the stuff, and of course there was dry wood commingled, much of which was oily, -- this served as a contribution to the rapid conflagration, and nourished the fire without stint; the flame creeping everywhere, and attaching to itself all circumjacent material, made the entire city, so to speak, one mass of fire. It being impossible to obtain access to the houses, those who had been saved from the earthquake rushed to the citadel. Arsacius was found dead in the unshaken tower, and prostrated on the ground, in the same posture in which he had begun to pray. It was said that he had supplicated God to permit him to die, because he preferred death to beholding the destruction of a city in which he had first known Christ, and practiced monastical philosophy. As I have been led to speak of this good man, it is well to mention that he was endowed by God with the power of exorcising demons and of purifying those troubled by them. A man possessed with a demon once ran through the market-place with a naked sword in his hand. The people fled from him, and the whole city was in confusion. Arsacius went out to meet him, and called upon the name of Christ, and at that name the demon was expelled, and the man restored to sanity. Besides the above, Arsacius performed many other actions beyond the power and skill of man. There was a dragon, or some other species of reptile, which had entrenched itself in a cavity of the roadside, and which destroyed those who passed by, with its breath. Arsacius went to the spot and engaged in prayer, and the serpent voluntarily crept forth from its hole, dashed its head against the ground, and killed itself. All these details I have obtained from persons who heard them stated by those who had seen Arsacius.

As the bishops were deterred from continuing their journey by the intelligence of the calamity which had occurred at Nicomedia, some awaited the further commands of the emperor, and others declared their opinions concerning the faith in letters which they wrote on the subject. The emperor hesitates as to what measures ought to be adopted, and writes to consult Basil as to whether a council ought to be convened. In his reply, it appears, Basil commended his piety, and tried to console him for the destruction of Nicomedia by examples drawn from the Holy Scriptures; he exhorted him, for the sake of religion, to hasten the Synod; and not to drop such a proof of his zeal for religion, and not to dismiss the priests who had been gathered together for this purpose, and had already set forth and were on their way, until some business had been transacted. He also suggested that the council might be held at Nicaea instead of Nicomedia, so that the disputed points might be finally decided on the very spot where they had been first called in question. Basil, in writing to this effect, believed that the emperor would be pleased with this proposition, as he had himself originally suggested the propriety of holding the council at Nicaea. On receiving this epistle from Basil, the emperor commanded that, at the commencement of summer, the bishops should assemble together at Nicaea, with the exception of those who were laboring under bodily infirmity; and these latter were to depute presbyters and deacons to make known their sentiments and to consult together on contested points of doctrine, and arrive at the same decision concerning all points at issue. He ordained that ten delegates should be selected from the Western churches, and as many from the Eastern, to take cognizance of the enactments that might be issued, and to decide whether they were in accordance with the Holy Scriptures, and also to exercise a general superintendence over the transactions of the council. After further consultation the emperor enacted that the bishops should remain where they might be residing, or in their own churches, until it had been decided where the council was to be held, and until they received notice to repair thither. He then writes to Basil, and directs him to inquire by letter of the Eastern bishops, where they would advise the council to be held, so that a public announcement might be made at the commencement of spring; for the emperor was of opinion that it was not advisable to convene the council at Nicaea, on account of the earthquake which had recently occurred in the province. Basil wrote to the bishops of every province, urging them to deliberate together, and to decide quickly upon the locality in which it would be most expedient to hold the council, and he prefixed a copy of the emperor's letter to his epistle. As is frequently the case in similar circumstances, the bishops were divided in opinion on the subject, and Basil repaired to the emperor, who was then at Sirmium. He found several bishops at that city who had gone thither on their own private affairs, and among them were Mark, bishop of Arethusa, and George, who had been appointed to preside over the church of Alexandria. When at length it was decided that the council should be held in Seleucia, a city of Isauria, by Valens and his adherents, for Valens was then sojourning in Sirmium; since they favored the heresy of the Anomians, they urged the bishops who were present at the military court, to subscribe to a formulary of the faith which had been prepared, and in which there was no mention of the term "substance." But while preparations were being zealously made for convening the council, Eudoxius and Acacius, Ursacius and Valens, with their followers, reflected that, while many of the bishops were attached to the Nicene faith, and others favored the formulary drawn up at the consecration of the church of Antioch, yet that both parties retained the use of the term "substance," and maintained that the Son was, in every respect, like unto the Father; and being aware that if both parties assembled together in one place they would readily condemn the doctrines of Aetius, as being contrary to their respective creeds, they so contrived matters that the bishops of the West were convened at Ariminum, and those of the East at Seleucia, a city of Isauria. As it is easier to convince a few than a great many individuals, they conceived that they might possibly lead both parties to favor their sentiments by dealing with them separately, or that they might, at any rate, succeed with one, so that their heresy might not incur universal condemnation. They accomplished this through Eusebius, a eunuch who was superintendent of the imperial house: he was on terms of friendship with Eudoxius, and upheld the same doctrines, and many of those in power were seeking to conciliate this very Eusebius.


THE emperor (1) was persuaded that it would not be desirable for the public, on account of the expense, nor advantageous to the bishops, on account of the length of the journey, to convene them all to the same place for the purpose of holding a council. He therefore writes to the bishops who were then at Ariminum, as well as to those who were then at Seleucia, and directed them to enter upon an investigation of contested points concerning the faith, and then to turn their attention to the complaints of Cyril, bishop of Jerusalem, and of other bishops who had remonstrated against the injustice of the decrees of deposition and banishment which had been issued against them, and to examine the legality of various sentences which had been enacted against other bishops. There were, in fact, several accusations pending against different bishops. George was accused by the Egyptians of rapine and violence. Finally, the emperor commanded that ten deputies should be sent to him from each council, to inform him of their respective proceedings.

In accordance with this edict, the bishops assembled at the appointed cities. The Synod at Ariminum first commenced proceedings; (2) it consisted of about four hundred members. Those who regarded Athanasius with the greatest enmity, were of opinion that there was nothing further to be decreed against him. When they had entered upon the investigation of doctrinal questions, Valens and Ursacius, supported by Germenius, Auxentius, Caius, and Demophilus, advanced into the middle of the assembly, and demanded that all the formularies of the faith which had been previously compiled should be suppressed, and that the formulary which they had but a short time previously set forth in the Latin language at Sirmium should be alone retained. In this formulary it was taught, according to Scripture, that the Son is like unto the Father; but no mention was made of the substance of God. They declared that this formulary had been approved by the emperor, and that it was incumbent upon the council to adopt it, instead of consulting too scrupulously the individual opinions of every member of the council, so that disputes and divisions might not spring up, were the terms to be delivered up to debate and accurate proof. They added that it would better enable those who were more ignorant of the art of discourse to have a right conception of God, than were they to introduce novelties in terms, so akin to disputatious jugglery. By these representations, they designed to denounce the use of the term "consubstantial," because they said it was not found in the Holy Scriptures, and was obscure to the multitude; and, instead of this term, they wished to substitute the expression that "the Son is like unto the Father in all things," which is borne out by the Holy Scriptures. After they had read their formulary containing the above representations, many of the bishops told them that no new formulary of the faith ought to be set forth, that those which had been previously compiled were quite sufficient for all purposes, and that they were met together for the express purpose of preventing all innovations. These bishops then urged those who had compiled and read the formulary to declare publicly their condemnation of the Arian doctrine, as the cause of all the troubles which had agitated the churches of every region. Ursacius and Valens, Germenius and Auxentius, Demophilus and Caius, having protested against this protestation, the council commanded that the expositions of the other heresies should be read, and likewise that set forth at Nicaea; so that those formularies which favored divers heresies might be condemned, and those which were in accordance with the Nicene doctrines might be approved; in order that there might be no further ground for dispute, and no future necessity for councils, but that an efficient decision might be formed. (3) They remarked that it was absurd to compose so many formularies, as if they had but just commenced to become acquainted with the faith, and as if they wished to slight the ancient traditions of the Church, by which the churches had been governed by themselves, and by their predecessors, many of whom had witnessed a good! confession, and had received the crown of martyrdom. Such were the arguments adduced by these bishops, to prove that no innovations ought to be attempted. As Valens and Ursacius and their partisans refused to be convinced by these arguments, but persisted in advocating the adoption of their own formulary, they were deposed, and it was decided that their formulary should be rejected. It was remarked that the declaration at the commencement of this formulary, of its having been compiled at Sirmium, in the presence of Constantius, "the eternal Augustus," and during the consulate of Eusebius and Hypatius, was an absurdity. Athanasius made the same remark, in a letter addressed to one of his friends, (1) and said that it was ridiculous to term Constantius the eternal emperor, and yet to shrink from acknowledging the Son of God to be eternal; he also ridiculed the date affixed to the formulary, as though condemnation were meant to be thrown on the faith of former ages, as well as on those who had, before that period, been initiated into the faith.

After these events had transpired at Ariminum, Valens and Ursacius, together with their adherents, irritated at their deposition, repaired with all haste to the emperor.


THE Synod selected twenty bishops, (2) and sent them on an embassy to the emperor, with the following letter, which has been translated from Latin into Greek:-- (3)

"We believe that it is by the command of God, as well as by the arrangement of your piety, that we have been led from all the cities of the West, to assemble at Ariminum, for the purpose of declaring the faith of the Catholic Church, and of detecting those who have set forth heresies in opposition to it. After a protracted investigation, we have come to the conclusion that it is best to preserve that faith which has been continuous from antiquity, and which was preached by the prophets, the evangelists, the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Guardian of your empire, and Protector of your strength, by holding on thereto and guarding it to the end. It would have been absurd, as well as illegal, to have introduced any change in the doctrines which were so rightly and so justly propounded by the bishops at Nicaea, with the concurrence of the most illustrious Constantine, the emperor and your father, whose teaching and thought has gone forth and been preached in the universal hearing and reflection of men; and it is the antagonist and destroyer of the Arian heresy; through whose agency not only that deflection from the faith, but all others have been destroyed. There is great danger in adding to, or in taking away from, these doctrines; nor can the slightest alteration be made in any one of them, without giving an opportunity to the adversaries to do what they list. Ursacius and Valens, after having been suspected of participating in and advising about the Arian doctrine, were cut off from communion with us. In the hope of being restored to communion, they confessed their error, and obtained forgiveness, as their own writings testify, through which they were spared and received a pardon from the charges. The occasion on which the edict of forgiveness was conceded, was at the council of Milan, when the presbyters of the Roman church were also present.

"Since we know that the formulary of the faith set forth at Nicaea was compiled with the greatest care and accuracy, in the presence of Constantine, of worthy memory, who maintained it throughout his life, and at his baptism, and when he departed to enjoy the merited peace of heaven, we judge that it would be absurd to attempt any alteration in it, and to overlook so many holy confessors and martyrs, and the writers and authors of this dogma, who have bestowed much thought upon it, and have perpetuated the ancient decree of the Catholic Church. God has transmitted the knowledge of their faith to the time in which you live, through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom you reign and rule the world. Again have these wretched men, who are lamentable, to our way of thinking, announced themselves as heralds of an impious view with unlawful rashness, and have attempted to overturn the entire system of truth. For according to your injunction, the Synod was convened, and these men laid bare the view of their own deceit; for they attempted an innovation which they introduced with knavery and disturbance, and they found some companions whom the), captured for this nefarious transaction; viz. Germanius, Auxentius, and Caius, who caused contention and discord. The teaching of these men, although it was uniform, exceeded the entire range of blasphemies. As they perceived that they were after all not of the same heresy, and that they did not think alike in any of the points of their evil suggestions, they went over to our symbol, so that it might appear as some other document. The time was indeed brief, but it was sufficient to refute their opinions. In order that the affairs of the Church might not be wrecked by them and that the disturbance and tumult which tossed everything to and fro might be restrained, it appeared the safe thing to preserve the ancient and immovable definitions, and to eject the aforesaid persons from communion with us. We have, for this reason, sent our re-instructed deputies to your Clemency, and have furnished them with letters, declaratory of the sentiments of the council. These deputies have been especially charged by us to maintain the truths which were defined rightly by the founders, and to instruct your Holiness as to the falsity of the assertion of Valens and Ursacius, that a few changes in righteous truths would produce peace in the Church. For how can peace be reproduced by those who destroy peace? They would be more likely to introduce contention and disturbance into the other cities and into the Church of Rome. We therefore entreat your Clemency to consider our deputies with gentle audience and mild look, and not to allow the dead to be dishonored by any novel changes. We pray you to permit us to remain in the definitions and decrees which we received from our ancestors, who, we would affirm, did their work with ready minds, with prudence, and with the Holy Spirit. For these innovations not only lead believers to infidelity, but also delude unbelievers to immaturity. We likewise entreat you to command that the bishops who are now absent from their churches, and of whom some are laboring under the infirmities of old age, and others under the privations of poverty, may be furnished with the means of returning to their own homes, in order that the churches may not be longer deprived of their ministry.

"Again, we beseech you that nothing be taken away from the former decisions, or added to them; let all remain unchanged, even as it has been preserved from the piety of your father to the present time; so that we may not in future be fatigued, and be compelled to become strangers to our own parishes, but that bishops and people may dwell together in peace, and be able to devote themselves to prayer and supplication for your own personal salvation and empire and peace, which may the Deity graciously vouchsafe to you uninterruptedly.

"Our deputies will show you the signatures and the names of the bishops, and some of them will offer instruction to your Holiness out of the Sacred Scriptures."


We have now transcribed the letter of the council of Ariminum. Ursacius and Valens, with their adherents, anticipating the arrival of the deputies of the council, showed to the emperor the document which they had read, and calumniated the council. (1) The emperor was displeased at the rejection of this formulary, as it had been composed in his presence at Sirmium, and he therefore treated Ursacius and Valens with honor; while, on the other hand, he manifested great contempt towards the deputies, and even delayed granting them an audience. At length, however, he wrote to the Synod, and informed them that an expedition which he was compelled to undertake against the barbarians prevented him from conferring with the deputies; and that he had, therefore, commanded them to remain at Adrianople until his return, in order that, when public business had been dismissed, his mind might be at liberty to hear and test the representations of the deputies; "for it is right," he said, "to bring to the investigation of Divine subjects, a mind unfettered by other cares." Such was the strain of his letter. (2)

The bishops replied that they could never depart from the decision they had formed, as they had before declared in writing, and had charged their deputies to declare; and they besought him to regard them with favor, and to give audience to their deputies, and to read their letter. They told him that it must appear grievous to him that so many churches should be deprived of their bishops; and that, if agreeable to him, they would return to their churches before the winter. After writing this letter, which was full of supplications and entreaties, the bishops waited for a time for a reply; but as no answer was granted them, they afterwards returned to their own cities.

What I have above stated clearly proves that the bishops who were convened at Ariminum confirmed the decrees which had of old been set forth at Nicaea. Let us now consider how it was that they eventually assented to the formulary of faith compiled by Valens and Ursacius and their followers. Various accounts have been given me of this transaction. Some say that the emperor was offended at the bishops having departed from Ariminum without his permission, and allowed Valens and his partisans to govern the churches of the West according to their own will, to set forth their own formulary, to eject those who refused to sign it from the churches, and to ordain others in their place. They say that, taking advantage of this power, Valens compelled some of the bishops to sign the formulary, and that he drove many who refused compliance, from their churches, and first of all Liberius, bishop of Rome. It is further asserted that when Valens and his adherents had acted in this manner in Italy, they resolved to handle the Eastern churches in the same way. As these persecutors were passing through Thrace, they stopped, it is said, at Nicaea, a city of that province. They there convened a council, and read the formulary of Ariminum, which they had translated into the Greek language, and by representing that it had been approved by a general council, they obtained its adoption at Nicaea; they then cunningly denominated it the Nicaean formulary of faith, in order, by the resemblance of names, to deceive the simple, and cause it to be mistaken for the ancient formulary set forth by the Nicaean council. Such is the account given by some parties. Others say that the bishops who were convened at the council of Ariminum were wearied by their detention in that city, as the emperor neither honored them with a reply to their letter, nor granted them permission to return to their own churches; and that, at this juncture, those who had espoused the opposite heresy represented to them that it was not right that divisions should exist between the priests of the whole world for the sake of one word, and that it was only requisite to admit that the Son is like unto the Father in order to put an end to all disputes; for that the bishops of the East would never rest until the term "substance" was rejected. By these representations, it is said, the members of the council were at length persuaded to assent to the formulary which Ursacius had so sedulously pressed upon them. Ursacius and his partisans, being apprehensive lest the deputies sent by the council to the emperor should declare what firmness was in the first place evinced by the Western bishops, and should expose the true cause of the rejection of the term "consubstantial," detained these deputies at Nicaea in Thrace throughout the winter, under the pretext that no public conveyance could be then obtained, and that the roads were in a bad state for traveling; and they then induced them, it is said, to translate the formulary they had accepted from Latin into Greek, and to send it to the Eastern bishops. By this means, they anticipated that the formulary would produce the impression they intended without the fraud being detected; for there was no one to testify that the members of the council of Ariminum had not voluntarily rejected the term" substance" from deference to the Eastern bishops, who were averse to the use of that word. But this was evidently a false account; for all the members of the council, with the exception of a few, maintained strenuously that the Son is like unto the Father in substance, and the only differences of opinion existing between them were that some said that the Son is of the same substance as the Father, while others asserted that he is of like substance with the Father. Some state this matter in one form, others in a different one.


WHILE the events I have above related were taking place in Italy, the East, even before the council of Seleucia had been constituted, was the theatre of great disturbances. (1) The adherents of Acacius and Patrophilus, having ejected Maximus, turned over the church of Jerusalem to Cyril. Macedonius harassed Constantinople and the neighboring cities; he was abetted by Eleusius and Marathonius. This latter was originally a deacon in his own church, and was a zealous superintendent of the poor of the monastical dwellings inhabited by men and women, and Macedonius raised him to the bishopric of Nicomedia. Eleusius, who, not without distinction, was formerly attached to tile military service of the palace, had been ordained bishop of Cyzicus. It is said that Eleusius and Marathonius were both good men in their conduct, but that they were zealous in persecuting those who maintained that the Son is of the same substance as the Father, although they were not so distinctly cruel as Macedonius, who not only expelled those who refused to hold communion with him, but imprisoned some, and dragged others before the tribunals. In many cases he compelled the unwilling to communion. He seized children and women who had not been initiated and initiated them, and destroyed many churches in different places, under the pretext that the emperor had commanded the demolition of all houses of prayer in which the Son was recognized to be of the same substance as the Father.

Under this pretext the church of the Novatians at Constantinople, situated in that part of the city called Pelargus, was destroyed. It is related that these heretics performed a courageous action with the aid of the members of the Catholic Church, with whom they made common cause. When those who were employed to destroy this church were about to commence the work of demolition, the Novatians assembled themselves together; some tore down the materials, and others conveyed them to a suburb of the city called Sycae. They quickly achieved this task; for men, women, and children participated in it, and by offering their labor to God they were extraordinarily inspirited. By the exercise of this zeal the church was soon renewed, and, from this circumstance, received the name of Anastasia. After the death of Constantius, Julian, his successor, granted to the Novatians the ground which they had previously possessed, and permitted them to rebuild their church. The people spiritedly took advantage of this permission, and transported the identical materials of the former edifice from Sycae. But this happened at a later period of time than that which we are now reviewing. At this period a union was nearly effected between the Novatian and Catholic churches; for as they held the same opinions concerning the Godhead, and were subjected to a common persecution, the members of both churches assembled and prayed together. The Catholics then possessed no houses of prayer, for the Arians had wrested them from them. It appears, too, that from the frequent intercourse between the members of each church, they reasoned that the differences between them were vain, and they resolved to commune with one another. A reconciliation would certainly have been effected, I think, had not the desire of the multitude been frustrated by the slander of a few individuals, who asserted that there was an ancient law prohibiting the union of the churches.


About the same time Eleusius wholly demolished the church of the Novatians in Cyzicus. (1) The inhabitants of other parts of Paphlagonia, and particularly of Mantinium, were subjected to similar persecutions. Macedonius, having been apprised that the majority of these people were followers of Novatus, and that the ecclesiastical power was not of itself sufficiently strong to expel them, persuaded the emperor to send four cohorts against them. For he imagined that men who are unaccustomed to arms would, on the first appearance of soldiers, be seized with terror, and conform to his sentiments. But it happened otherwise, for the people of Mantinium armed themselves with sickles and axes and whatever other weapons chanced to be at hand, and marched against the military. A severe conflict ensued, and many of the Paphlagonians fell, but nearly all the soldiers were slain. Many of the friends of Macedonius blamed him for having occasioned so great a disaster, and the emperor was displeased, and regarded him with less favor than before. Inimical feelings were engendered still more strongly by another occurrence. Macedonius contemplated the removal of the coffin of the Emperor Constantine, as the structure in which it had been concealed was falling into ruin. The people were divided in opinion on this subject: some concurred in the design, and others opposed it, deeming it impious and similar to digging up a grave. Those who maintained the Nicene doctrines were of the latter sentiment, and insisted that no indignity should be offered to the body of Constantine, as that emperor had held the same doctrines as themselves. They were besides, I can readily imagine, eager to oppose the projects of Macedonius. However, without further delay, Macedonius caused the coffin to be conveyed to the same church in which the tomb of Acacius the martyr is placed. The people, divided into two factions, the one approving, the other condemning the deed, rushed upon each other in the same church, and so much carnage ensued that the house of prayer and the adjoining place were filled with blood and slaughtered bodies. The emperor, who was then in the West, was deeply incensed on hearing of this occurrence; and he blamed Macedonius as the cause of the indignity offered to his father, and of the slaughter of the people.

The emperor had determined to visit the East, and held on his way; he conferred the title of Caesar on his cousin Julian, and sent him to Western Gaul.


ABOUT the same period the Eastern bishops assembled,(2) to the number of about one hundred and sixty, in Seleucia, a city of Isauria. This was during the consultate of Eusebius and Hypatius. Leonas, who held a brilliant military office at the palace, repaired to this council at the command of Constantius, so that the doctrinal confession might be conducted in his presence. Lauricius, the military governor of the province, was present to prepare whatever might be necessary; for the letter of the emperor had commanded him to render this service. At the first session of this council, several of the bishops were absent, and among others, Patrophilus, bishop of Scythopolis; Macedonius, bishop of Constantinople; and Basil, bishop of Ancyra. They resorted to divers pretexts in justification of their non-attendance. Patrophilus alleged in excuse a complaint in the eyes, and Macedonius pleaded indisposition; but it was suspected they had absented themselves from the fear that various accusations would be brought against them. As the other bishops refused to enter upon the investigation of disputed points during their absence, Leonas commanded them to proceed at once to the examination of the questions that had been agitated. Thus some were others maintained that inquiries ought first to be instituted into the conduct of those among them against whom accusations had been laid, as had been the case with Cyril, bishop of Jerusalem, Eustathius, bishop of Sebaste, and others. The ambiguity of the emperor's letters, which sometimes prescribed one course and sometimes another, gave rise to this dispute. The contention arising from this source became so fierce, that all union was destroyed between them, and they became divided into two parties. However, the advice of those who wished to commence with the examination of doctrine, prevailed. When they proceeded to the investigation of terms, some desired to reject the use of the term "substance," and appealed to the authority of the formulary of faith which had not long previously been compiled by Mark (1) at Sirmium, and had been received by the bishops who were at the court, among whom was Basil, (2) bishop of Ancyra. Many others were anxious for the adoption of the formulary of faith drawn up at the dedication of the church of Antioch. To the first of these parties belonged Eudoxius, Acacius, Patrophilus, George, bishop of Alexandria, Uranius, bishop of Tyre, and thirty-two other bishops. The latter party was supported by George, bishop of Laodicea, in Syria; by Eleusius, bishop of Cyzicus; by Sophronius, bishop of Pompeiopolis, in Paphlagonia; with these the majority agreed. It was suspected, and with reason, that Acacius and his partisans absented themselves on account of the difference between their sentiments and those of the aforesaid bishops, and also because they desired to evade the investigation of certain accusations which had been brought against them; for, although they had previously acknowledged in writing to Macedonius, bishop of Constantinople, that the Son is in all respects like unto the Father, and of the same substance, now they fought entirely shy of their former professions. After prolonged disputations and contention, Silvanus, bishop of Tarsus, declared, in a loud and peremptory tone, that no new formulary of faith ought to be introduced but that which had been approved at Antioch, and this alone ought to prevail. As this proposition was repugnant to the followers of Acacius, they withdrew, and the other bishops read the formulary of Antioch. The following day these bishops assembled in the church, closed the doors, and privately confirmed this formulary. Acacius condemned this proceeding, and laid the formulary which he advocated before Leonas and Lauricius privately. Three days afterwards the same bishops reassembled, and were joined by Macedonius and Basil, who had been previously absent. Acacius and his partisans declared that they would take no part in the proceedings of the council until those who had been deposed and accused had quilted the assembly. His demand was complied with; for the bishops of the opposite party were determined that he should have no pretext for dissolving the council, which was evidently his object, in order to prevent the impending examination of the heresy of Aetius, and of the accusations which had been brought against himself and his partisans. When all the members were assembled, Leonas stated that he held a document which had been handed to him by the partisans of Acacius; it was their formulary of faith, with introductory remarks. None of the other bishops knew anything about it; for Leonas, who was of the same sentiment as Acacius, had willingly kept the whole matter a secret. When this document (3) was read, the whole assembly was filled with tumult; for some of the statements it contained were to the effect that, though the emperor had prohibited the introduction of any term into the formularies of filth which was not found in the Sacred Scriptures, yet that bishops who had been deposed, having been brought from various provinces to the assembly, with others who had been illegally ordained, the council had been thrown into confusion, and that some of the members had been insulted, and others prevented from speaking. It was added that Acacius and his partisans did not reject the formulary which had been compiled at Antioch, although those who had assembled in that city had drawn it up for the express purpose of meeting the difficulty which had just then arisen; but that, as the terms "consubstantial" and "of similar substance" had grieved some individuals, and that; as it had been recently asserted that the Son is dissimilar from the Father, it was necessary, on this account, to reject the terms "consubstantial" and a "similar substance," which do not occur in Scripture, to condemn the term "dissimilar," and to confess clearly that the Son is like unto the Father; for He is, as the Apostle Paul somewhere says, "the image of the invisible God." These prefatory observations were followed by a formulary, which was neither conformable with that of Nicaea, nor with that of Antioch, and which was so artfully worded that the followers of Arius and of Aetius would not appear to be in error if they should thus state their faith. In this formulary, the words used by those who had convened at Nicaea, in condemnation of the Arian doctrine, were omitted, and the declarations of the council of Antioch, concerning the immutability of the Deity of the Son, and concerning His being the unchangeable image of the substance, the counsel, and the power, and the glory of the Father, were passed over in silence, and belief was simply expressed in the Father, in the Son, and in the Holy Ghost; and after bestowing some vulgar epithets on a few individuals who had never entered into any doctrinal contention on one side or the other, all those who entertained any other opinions than those set forth in this formulary were declared to be aliens to the Catholic Church. Such were the contents of the document presented by Leonas, and which had been signed by Acacius, and by those who had adopted his sentiments. After it had been read, Sophronius, a bishop of Paphlagonia, exclaimed, "If we daily receive the opinions of individuals as a statement of the faith, we shall fail in attaining precision of the truth." Acacius having retorted that it was not forbidden to compile new formularies, as that of Nicaea had been once and frequently altered, Eleusius replied as follows: "But the council has not now met for the purpose of learning what is already known, or of accepting any other formulary than that which has been already approved by those who assembled at Antioch; and, moreover, living and dying, we will adhere to this formulary." The dispute having taken this turn, they entered upon another inquiry, and asked the partisans of Acacius, in what they considered the Son to be like unto the Father. They replied that the Son is similar in will only, but not in substance, and the others thereupon insisted that He is similar in substance, and convicted Acacius, by a work which he had formerly written, that he had once been of their opinion. Acacius replied that he ought not to be judged from his own writings; and the dispute had continued with heat for some time, when Eleusius, bishop of Cyzicus, spoke as follows: "It matters little to the council whether Mark or Basil has transgressed in any way, whether they or the adherents of Acacius have any accusation to bring against each other; neither does the trouble devolve upon the council of examining whether their formulary be commendable or otherwise; it is enough to maintain the formulary which has been already confirmed at Antioch by ninety-seven priests; and if any one desire to introduce any doctrine which is not contained therein, he ought to be held as an alien to religion and the Church." Those who were of his sentiments applauded his speech; and the assembly then arose and separated. The following day, the partisans of Acacius and of George refused to attend the council; and Leonas, who had now openly declared himself to be of their sentiments, likewise refused, in spite of all entreaties, to repair thither. Those who were deputed to request his attendance found the partisans of Acacius in his house; and he declined their invitation, under the plea that too much discord prevailed in the council, and that he had only been commanded by the emperor to attend the council in case of unanimity among the members. Much time was consumed in this way; and the partisans of Acacius were frequently solicited by the other bishops to attend the assemblies; but they sometimes demanded a special conference in the house of Leonas, and sometimes alleged that they had been commissioned by the emperor to judge those who had been accused; for they would not receive the creed adopted by the other bishops, nor clear themselves of the crimes of which they had been accused; neither would they examine the case of Cyril, whom they had deposed; and there was no one to compel them to do so. The council, however, eventually deposed George, bishop of Alexandria; Acacius, bishop of Caesarea; Uranius, bishop of Tyre; Patrophilus, bishop of Scythopolis; and Eudoxius, bishop of Antioch; and several other prelates. Many persons were likewise put out of communion until they could purge themselves of the crimes imputed to them. The transactions were conveyed in writing to the parish of each of the clergy. Adrian, (1) a presbyter of Antioch, was ordained bishop over that church, in room of Eudoxius; but the partisans of Acacius arrested him and delivered him over to Leonas and Lauricius. They committed him into the custody of the soldiers, but afterwards sent him into exile.

We have now given a brief account of the termination of the council of Seleucia. Those who desire more detailed information must seek it in the acts of the council, (2) which have been transcribed by attendant shorthand miters.


IMMEDIATELY after the above transactions, the adherents of Acacius repaired to the emperor; (1) but the other bishops returned to their respective homes. The ten bishops who had been unanimously chosen as deputies to the emperor, met, on their arrival at the court, the ten deputies (2) of the council of Ariminum, and likewise the partisans of Acacius. These latter had gained over to their cause the chief men attached to the palace, and, through their influence, had secured the favor of the emperor. It was reported that some of these proselytes had espoused the sentiments of Acacius at some previous period; that some were bribed by means of the wealth belonging to the churches; and that others were seduced by the subtilty of the arguments presented to them, and by the dignity of the persuader. Acacius was, in fact, no common character; by nature he was gifted with great powers of intellect and eloquence, and he exhibited no want of skill or of address in the accomplishment of his schemes. He was the president of an illustrious church, and could boast of Eusebius Pamphilus as his teacher, whom he succeeded in the episcopate, and was more honorably known than any other man by the reputation and succession of his books. Endowed with all these advantages, he succeeded with ease in whatever he undertook.

As there were at this period at Constantinople all together twenty deputies, ten from each council, besides many other bishops, who, from various motives, had repaired to the city, Honoratus, (3) whom the emperor, before his departure to the West, had constituted chief governor of Constantinople, received directions to examine, in the presence of the exarchs of the great council, the reports circulated concerning Aetius and his heresy. Constantius, with some of the rulers, eventually undertook the investigation of this case; and as it was proved that Aetius had introduced dogmas essentially opposed to the faith, the emperor and the other judges were offended at his blasphemous statements. It is said that the partisans of Acacius at first reigned ignorance of this heresy, for the purpose of inducing the emperor and those around him to take cognizance of it; for they imagined that the eloquence of Aetius would be irresistible; that he would infallibly succeed in convincing his auditory; and that his heresy would conquer the unwilling. When, however, the result proved the futility of their expectations, they demanded that the formulary of faith accepted by the council of Ariminum should receive the sanction of the deputies from the council of Seleucia. As these latter protested that they would never renounce the use of the term "substance," the Acacians declared to them upon oath that they did not hold the Son to be, in substance, dissimilar from the Father; but that, on the contrary, they were ready to denounce this opinion as heresy. They added that they esteemed the formulary compiled by the Western bishops at Ariminum the more highly, because the word "substance" had been unexpectedly expunged from it; because, they said, if this formulary were to be received, there would be no further mention, either of the word "substance" or of the term "consubstantial," to which many of the Western priests were, from their reverence for the Nicaean council, peculiarly attached.

It was for these reasons that the emperor approved of the formulary; and when he recalled to mind the great number of bishops who had been convened at Ariminum, and reflected that there is no error in saying either that "the Son is like unto the Father" or "of the same substance as the Father"; and when he further considered that no difference in signification would ensue, if, for terms which do not occur in Scripture, other equivalent and uncontrovertible expressions were to be substituted (such, for instance, as the word "similar"), he determined upon giving his sanction to the formulary. Such being his own sentiments, he commanded the bishops to accept the formulary. The next day preparations were made for the pompous ceremony of proclaiming him consul, which, according to the Roman custom, took place in the beginning of the month of January, and the whole of that day and part of the ensuing night the emperor spent with the bishops, and at length succeeded in persuading the deputies of the council of Seleucia to receive the formulary transmitted from Ariminum.


THE partisans of Acacius (4) remained some time at Constantinople, and invited thither several bishops of Bithynia, among whom were Maris, bishop of Chalcedon, and Ulfilas, bishop of the Goths. These prelates having assembled together, in number about fifty, they confirmed the formulary read at the council of Ariminum, adding this provision, that the terms "substance " and "hypostasis" should never again be used in reference to God. They also declared that all other formularies set forth in times past, as likewise those that might be compiled at any future period, should be condemned. They then deposed Aetius from his office of deacon, because he had written works full of contention and of a species of vain knowledge opposed to the ecclesiastical vocation; because he had used in writing and in disputation several impious expressions; and because he had been the occasion of troubles and seditions in the Church. It was alleged by many that they did not depose him willingly, but merely because they wished to remove all suspicion from the mind of the emperor which be had with regard to them, for they had been accused of holding Aetian views. Those who held these sentiments took advantage of the resentment with which, for reasons above mentioned, the emperor regarded Macedonius, and they accordingly deposed him, and likewise Eleusius, bishop of Cyzicus; Basil, bishop of Ancyra; Heortasius, bishop of Sardis; and Dracontius, bishop of Pergamus. Although they differed about doctrine from those bishops, yet in deposing them, no blame was thrown upon their faith, but charges were alleged against them in common with all, that they had disturbed the peace and violated the laws of the Church. They specified, in particular, that when the presbyter Diogenes was traveling from Alexandria to Ancyra, Basil seized his papers, and struck him; they also deposed that Basil had, without trial, delivered over many of the clergy from Antioch, from the banks of the Euphrates, and from Cilicia, Galatia, and Asia, to the rulers of the provinces, to be exiled and subjected to cruel punishments, so that many had been loaded with chains, and had been compelled to bribe the soldiers, who were conducting them away, not to ill-use them. They added that, on one occasion, when the emperor had commanded Aetius and some of his followers to be led before Cecropius, that they might answer to him for various accusations laid to their charge, Basil recommended the person who was intrusted with the execution of this edict, to act according to the dictates of his own judgment. They said that he wrote directions to Hermogenes, (1) the prefect and governor of Syria, stating who were to be banished, and whither they were to be sent; and that, when the exiles were recalled by the emperor, he would not consent to their return, but opposed himself to the wishes of the rulers and of the priests. They further deposed that Basil had excited the clergy of Sirimium against Germanius; and that, although he stated in writing that he had admitted Germanius, Valens, and Ursacius into communion, he had placed them as criminals before the tribunal of the African bishops; and that, when taxed with this deed, he had denied it, and perjured himself; and that, when he was afterwards convicted, he strove to justify his perjury by sophistical reasoning. They added, that he had been the cause of contention and of sedition in Illyria, Italy, Africa, and in the Roman church; that he had thrown a servant into prison to compel her to bear false witness against her mistress; hat he had baptized a man of loose life, who lived in illicit intercourse with a woman, and had promoted him to be a deacon; that he had neglected to excommunicate a quack-doctor who had occasioned the death of several persons; and that he and some of the clergy had bound themselves by oath before the holy table, not to bring accusations against each other. This, they said, was an artifice adopted by the president of the clergy to shield himself from the accusations of his plaintiffs. In short, such were the reasons they specified for the deposition of Basil. Eustathius, they said, was deposed because, when a presbyter, he had been condemned, and put away from the communion of prayers by Eulalius, his own father, who was bishop of the church of Caesarea, in Cappadocia; and also because he had been excommunicated by a council held at Neocaesarea, a city of Pontus, and deposed by Eusebius, bishop of Constantinople, for unfaithfulness in the discharge of certain duties that had devolved upon him. He had also been deprived of his bishopric by those who were convened in Gangroe, on account of his having taught, acted, and thought contrary to sound doctrine. He had been convicted of perjury by the council of Antioch. He had likewise endeavored to reverse the decrees of those convened at Melitina; and, although he was guilty of many crimes, he had the assurance to aspire to be judge over the others, and to stigmatize them as heretics. They deposed Eleusius because he had raised inconsiderately one Heraclius, a native of Tyre, to be a deacon; this man had been a priest of Hercules at Tyre, had been accused of and tried for sorcery, and, therefore, had retired to Cyzicus and feigned conversion to Christianity; and moreover, Eleusius, after having been apprised of these circumstances, had not driven him from the Church. He had also, without inquiry, ordained certain individuals, who had come to Cyzicus, after they had been condemned by Maris, bishop of Chalcedonia, who participated in this council. Heortasius was deposed because he had been ordained bishop of Sardis without the sanction of the bishops of Lydia. They deposed Dracontius, bishop of Pergamus, because he had previously held another bishopric in Galatia, and because, they stated, he had on both occasions been unlawfully ordained. After these transactions, a second assembly of the council was held, and Silvanus, bishop of Tarsus, So-phronius, bishop of Pompeiopolis in Paphlagonia, Elpidius, bishop of Satala, and Neonas, bishop of Seleucia in Isauria, were deposed. The reason they assigned for the deposition of Silvanus was, that he had constituted himself the leader of a foolish party in Seleucia and Constantinople; he had, besides, constituted Theophilus as president of the church of Castabala, who had been previously ordained bishop of Eleutheropolis by the bishops of Palestine, and who had promised upon oath that he would never accept any other bishopric without their permission. Sophronius was deposed on account of his avarice, and on account of his having sold some of the offerings presented to the church, for his own profit; besides, after he had received a first and second summons to appear before the council, he could, at last, be scarcely induced to make his appearance, and then, instead of replying to the accusations brought against him, he appealed to other judges. Neonas was deposed for having resorted to violence in his endeavors to procure the ordination in his own church, of Annianus, who had been appointed bishop of Antioch, (1) and for having ordained as bishops certain individuals who had previously been engaged in politics, and who were utterly ignorant of the Holy Scriptures and of ecclesiastical canons, and who, after their ordination, preferred the enjoyment of their property to that of the priestly dignity, and declared in writing that they would rather take charge of their own possessions than to discharge the episcopal functions without them. Elpidius was deposed because he had participated in the malpractices of Basil, and had occasioned great disorders; and because he had, contrary to the decrees of the council of Melitina, restored to his former rank in the presbytery a man named Eusebius, who had been deposed for having created Nectaria a deaconess, after she had been excommunicated on account of violating agreements and oaths; and to confer this honor upon her was clearly contrary to the laws of the Church.


BESIDES the prelates above mentioned, Cyril, bishop of Jerusalem, was deposed (2) because he had admitted Eustathius and Elpidius into communion, after they had opposed the decrees enacted by those convened at Melitina, among whom was Cyril himself; and because he had also received Basil and George, bishop of Laodicea, into communion after their deposition in Palestine. When Cyril was first installed in the bishopric of Jerusalem, he had a dispute with Acacius, bishop of Caesarea, concerning his rights as a Metropolitan, which he claimed on the ground of his bishopric being an apostolic see. This dispute excited feelings of enmity between the two bishops, and they mutually accused each other of unsoundness of doctrine concerning the Godhead. In fact, they had both been suspected previously; the one, that is, Acacius, of favoring the heresy of Arius; and the Other, of siding with those who maintain that the Son is in substance like unto the Father. Acacius being thus inimically disposed towards Cyril, and finding himself supported by the bishops of the province, who were of the same sentiments as himself, contrived to depose Cyril under the following pretext. Jerusalem and the neighboring country was at one time visited with a famine, and the poor appealed in great multitudes to Cyril, as their bishop, for necessary food. As he had no money to purchase the requisite provisions, he sold for this purpose the veil and sacred ornaments of the church. It is said that a man, having recognized an offering which he had presented at the altar as forming part of the costume of an actress, made it his business to inquire whence it was procured; and ascertained that a merchant had sold it to the actress, and that the bishop had sold it to the merchant. It was under this pretext that Acacius deposed Cyril.

And on inquiry I find these to be the facts. It is said that the Acacians then expelled from Constantinople all the bishops above mentioned who had been deposed. Ten bishops of their own party who had refused to subscribe to these edicts of deposition, were separated from the others, and were interdicted from performing the functions of the ministry or ruling their churches until they consented to give their signatures. It was enacted that unless they complied within six months, (3) and yielded their assent to all the decrees of the council, they should be deposed, and that the bishops of every province should be summoned to elect other bishops in their stead. After these determinations and deeds, letters were then sent to all the bishops and clergy, to observe and fulfill its decrees.

As a consequence, not long after, some of the Eudoxian party were substituted here and there. Eudoxius himself took possession of the bishopric of Macedonius; Athanasius was placed over the church of Basil; and Eunomius, who was 322 subsequently the leader of a heresy bearing his name, took the see of Eleusius; and Meletius was appointed to the church of Sebaste, instead of Eustathius.


MACEDONIUS, (1) On his expulsion from the church of Constantinople, retired to one of the suburbs of the city, where he died. Eudoxius took possession of his church in the tenth year of the consulate of Constantius, and the third of Julian, surnamed Caesar. It is related that, at the dedication of the great church called "Sophia," when he rose to teach the people, he commenced his discourse with the following proposition: "The Father is impious, the Son is pious and that, as these words excited a great commotion among the people, he added, "Be calm; the Father is impious, because he worships no one; the Son is pious, because he worships the Father." On this explanation, he threw his audience into laughter. Eudoxius and Acacius jointly exerted themselves to the utmost in endeavoring to cause the edicts of the Nicene Council to fall into oblivion. They sent the formulary read at Ariminum with various explanatory additions of their own, to every province of the empire, and procured from the emperor an edict for the banishment of all who should refuse to subscribe to it. But this undertaking, which appeared to them so easy of execution, was the beginning of the greatest calamities, for it excited commotions throughout the empire, and entailed upon the Church in every region a persecution more grievous than those which it had suffered under the pagan emperors. (2) For if this persecution did not occasion such tortures to the body as the preceding ones, it appeared more grievous to all who reflected aright, on account of its disgraceful nature; for both the persecutors and the persecuted belonged to the Church; and the one was all the more disgraceful in that men of the same religion treated their fellows with a degree of cruelty which the ecclesiastical laws prohibit to be manifested towards enemies and strangers.


THE spirit of innovation is self-laudatory, (3) and hence it advanced further and further, and crept along to greater novelties with increasing self-conceit, and in scorn of the fathers it enacted laws of its own, nor does it honor the doctrines of the ancients concerning God, but is always thinking out strange dogmas and restlessly adds novelty to novelty as the events now show. For after Macedonius had been deposed from the church of Constantinople, he renounced the tenets; of Acacius and Eudoxius. (4) He began to teach that the Son is God, and that He is in all respects and in substance like unto the Father. But he affirmed that the Holy Ghost is not a participant of the same dignities, and designated Him a minister and a servant, and applied to Him whatever could, without error, be said of the holy angels. This doctrine was embraced by Eleusius, Eustathius, and by all the other bishops who had been deposed at Constantinople, by the partisans of the opposite heresy. Their example was quickly followed by no small part of the people of Constantinople, Bithynia, Thrace, the Hellespont, and of the neighboring provinces. For their mode of life had no little influence, and to this do the people give special attention. They assumed great gravity of demeanor, and their discipline was like that of the monks; their conversation was plain and of a style fitted to persuade. It is said that all these qualifications were united in Marathonius. He originally held a public appointment in the army, under the command of the prefect. After amassing some money in this employment, he quit military science, and undertook the superintendence of the establishments for the relief of the sick and the destitute. Afterwards, at the suggestion of Eustathius, bishop of Sebaste, he embraced an ascetic mode of life, and founded a monastical institution in Constantinople which exists to the present day. He brought so much zeal, and so much of his own wealth to the support of the aforesaid, heresy, that the Macedonians were by many termed Marathonians, and it seems to me not without reason; for it appears that he alone, together with his institutions, was the cause that it was not altogether extinguished in Constantinople. In fact, after the deposition of Macedonius, the Macedonians possessed neither churches nor bishops until the reign of Arcadius. (5)

The Arians, who drove out of the churches and rigorously persecuted all who held different sentiments from themselves, deprived them of all these privileges. It would be no easy task to enumerate the names of the priests who were at this period ejected from their own cities; for I believe that no province of the empire was exempted from such a calamity.


AT the period that Eudoxius obtained the government of the church of Constantinople, (1) there were many aspirants to the see of Antioch; and as is frequently the case under such circumstances, contentions and seditions divided the clergy and the people of that church.

Each party was anxious to commit the government of the church to a bishop of its own persuasion; for interminable disputes concerning doctrine were rampant among them, and they could not agree as to the mode of singing psalms; and, as has been before stated, psalms were sung by each individual, in conformity with his own peculiar creed. Such being the state of the church at Antioch, the partisans of Eudoxius thought it would be well to intrust the bishopric of that city to Meletius, then bishop of Sebaste, he being possessed of great and persuasive eloquence, of excellent life, and all, as they imagined, being of like opinions with themselves. They believed that his reputation would attract the inhabitants of Antioch and of the neighboring cities to conform to their heresy, particularly those called Eustathians, who had adhered invariably to the Nicene doctrines. But their expectations were utterly frustrated. It is said that on his first arrival in Antioch, an immense multitude, composed of Arians, and of those who were in communion with Paulinus, flocked around him. Some wished to see the man because his fame was great, even before his coming; others were anxious to hear what he had to say, and to ascertain the nature of his opinions; for a report had been spread abroad which was afterwards proved to be true, that he maintained the doctrines of those convened at Nicaea. In his first discourses he confined himself to instructing the people in what we call ethics; afterwards, however, he openly declared that the Son is of the same substance as the Father. It is said that at these words, the arch deacon of the church, who was then one of the clergy there, stretched out his hand, and covered the mouth of the preacher; but that he continued to explain his sentiments more clearly by means of his fingers than he could by language. He extended three fingers only towards the people, closed them, and then allowed only one finger to remain extended, and thus expressed by signs what he was prevented from uttering. As the archdeacon, in his embarrassment, seized the hand, he released the mouth; the tongue was free, and Meletius declared his opinion still more clearly and with a loud voice, and exhorted his auditors to adhere to the tenets of the council of Nicaea, and he testified to his hearers that those who held other views deviated from the truth. As he persisted in the enunciation of the same sentiments, either by word of mouth or by means of signs, when the archdeacon closed his mouth, a contention between both sides occurred, not unlike that of the pancratium; the followers of Eustathius shouted aloud and rejoiced and leaped, while the Arians were cast down. Eudoxius and his partisans were transported with indignation at this discourse, and contrived by their machinations to expel Meletius from Antioch. Soon afterwards, however, they recalled him, for they fancied he had renounced his former sentiments and had espoused theirs. As, however, it soon became apparent that his devotion to the Nicene doctrines was firm and unalterable, he was ejected from the church, and banished by order of the emperor; and the see of Antioch was conferred on Euzoius, who had formerly been banished with Arius. The followers of Meletius separated themselves from the Arians, and held their assemblies apart, for those who had from the beginning maintained that the Son is consubstantial with the Father refused to admit them into communion, because Meletius had been ordained by Arian bishops, and because his followers had been baptized by Arian priests. For this reason they were separated, although holding the same views.

The emperor having been informed that an Insurrection was about to arise in Persia, repaired to Antioch.


THE partisans of Acacius (2) were not able to remain in tranquillity; and they therefore assembled together with a few others in Antioch, and condemned the decrees which they had themselves enacted. They decided to erase the term "similar" from the formulary which had been read at Ariminum and at Constantinople, and affirmed that in all respects, in substance and in will, the Son is dissimilar from the Father, and that He proceeded from what had no previous existence, even as Arius had taught from the commencement. They were joined by the partisans of Aetius, who had been the first after Arius to venture openly upon the profession of these opinions; hence Aetius was called atheist, and his approvers, Anomians and Exucontians.

When those who maintained the Nicene doctrines demanded of the Acacians how they could say that the Son is dissimilar from the Father, and that He proceeded out of nothing, when it was affirmed in their own formulary that He is "God of God," they replied that the Apostle Paul had declared that "All things are of God," (1) and that the Son is included in the term "all things"; and that it was in this sense, and in accordance with the Sacred Scriptures, that the expressions in their formulary were to be understood. Such were the equivocations and sophistry to which they had recourse. At length, finding that they could advance no efficient argument to justify themselves in the opinion of those who pressed them on this point, they withdrew from the assembly, after the formulary of Constantinople had been read a second time, and returned to their own cities.


DURING this period, (2) Athanasius was obliged to remain in concealment, and George returned to Alexandria, and commenced a cruel persecution against the pagans, and against the Christians who differed from him in opinion. He compelled both parties to offer worship in the mode he indicated, and where opposition was made, he enforced obedience by compulsion. He was hated by the rulers because he scorned them and was giving orders to the officers; and the multitude detested him on account of his tyranny, for his power was greater than all the rest. The pagans regarded him with even greater aversion than the Christians, because he prohibited them from offering sacrifices, and from celebrating their ancestral festivals; and because he had on one occasion, introduced the governor of Egypt (3) and armed soldiery into the city, and despoiled their images, votives and temple ornaments. This was, in fact, the cause of his death, on which I will dwell.

On the deposition of Cyril, Erennius obtained the church of Jerusalem; (4) he was succeeded by Heraclius, and to Heraclius succeeded Hilarius; for we have gathered from tradition that in that period these persons administered the church there, until the reign of Theodosius, when Cyril was once more restored to his own see.

Taken from "The Early Church Fathers and Other Works" originally published by Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co. in English in Edinburgh, Scotland, beginning in 1867. (LNPF II/II, Schaff and Wace). The digital version is by The Electronic Bible Society, P.O. Box 701356, Dallas, TX 75370, 214-407-WORD.