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those who say that there was a period in which the Son of God did not exist; that before he was begotten he had no existence; that he was called out of nothing into being ; that he is of a different nature and of a different substance from the Father; and that he is susceptible of variation or change.'
“When they had set forth this formulary, we did not fail to revert to that passage in which they assert that the Son is of the substance of the Father, and of one substance with the Father. Questions and arguments thence arose. By investigating the meaning of the term, they were led to confess that the word consubstantial signifies that the Son is of the Father, but not as being part of the Father's nature. We deemed it right to receive this opinion ; for that is sound doctrine which teaches that the Son is of the Father, but not part of his substance. From the love of peace, and from the fear of devi. ating from the principles of truth, we accept this exposition without rejecting the term in question. For the same reason we admit the expression, 'begotten, but not made;' for they say that the word 'made' is applied to all things which were created by the Son, and which cannot be placed in comparison with him, none of the creatures that he has made being like him. He is by nature superior to all created objects, for he was begotten of the Father, as the Holy Scriptures teach, by a mode of generation which is incomprehensible and inexplicable to all created beings. The mode in which the Son is said to be of the substance of the Father was declared to bear no relation to the body, nor to the laws of mortal life: it was also shown that it does not either imply division of substance, nor abscission, nor any change or diminution in the power of the Father. The nature of the unbegotten Father is not susceptible of these operations. It was concluded that the expression of the substance of the Father,' implies only that the Son of God does not resemble, in any one respect, the creatures which he has made; but that to the Father, who begat him, he is in all points perfectly similar : for he is of the nature and of the substance of none save of the Father. This interpretation having been given of the doctrine, it appeared right to us to receive it, especially as some of the ancient and most celebrated bishops and writers have used the term consubstantial when reasoning on the Divinity of the Father and of the Son. These are the circumstances which I had to com
municate respecting the formulary of the faith. To it we all agreed, not thoughtlessly, but after mature reflection ; and after having subjected it to thorough examination in the presence of our most beloved emperor, we all, for the above reasons, acquiesced in it. We also willingly admitted the anathema appended by them to their formulary of faith, because it prohibits the use of words which are not scriptural ; for almost all the disorders and troubles of the Church have arisen from the introduction of such words. As no one part of the inspired writings contains the assertion that the Son was called out of nothing into being, or that there was a period in which he had no existence, nor indeed any of the other phrases of similar import which have been introduced, it does not appear reasonable to assert or to teach such things. In this opinion, therefore, we judged it right to agree ; and, indeed, we had never, at any former period, been accustomed to use such words. Moreover, the condemnation of the assertion that before he was begotten he had no existence, does not involve any incongruity, because all assent to the fact that he was the Son of God before he was begotten according to the flesh. And here our most beloved emperor began to reason concerning his Divine' origin, and his existence before all ages. He was power in the Father, even before he was begotten, the Father having always been the Father, just as the Son has always been a King and a Saviour ; he has always possessed all power, and has likewise always remained in the same state.
“We thought it requisite, beloved brethren, to transmit you an account of these circumstances, in order to show you what examination and investigation we bestowed on all the questions which we had to decide ; and also to prove how firmly, even to the last hour, we persevered in refusing our assent to certain sentences, which, when merely committed to writing, offended us. But yet we subsequently, and without contention, received these very doctrines, because, after thorough investigation of their signification, they no longer appeared objectionable to us, but seemed conformable to the faith held by us, and confessed in our formulary.”
| The authenticity of the following sentence is doubted. Valesius remarks upon its omission by Socrates and Epiphanius, and adds with respect to the former, “consultò eam prætermisisse mihi videtur, et quòd hæreticum sensum contineret."
CHAP. XIII.-CONFUTATION OF THE BLASPHEMING ARIANS OF
THIS PERIOD, FROM THE WRITINGS OF EUSEBIUS, BISHOP OF CÆSAREA.
EUSEBIUS clearly testifies that the aforesaid term substantial” is not a new one, nor the invention of the fathers assembled at the council ; but that it is of high antiquity, having been handed down from parent to son. He states that 'all those then assembled unanimously received the formulary of the faith ; and he again bears testimony to the same fact in another work, in which he highly extols the conduct of the great Constantine. He writes as follows :
“The emperor having delivered this discourse in Latin, it was translated into Greek by an interpreter, and then he permitted the chief men of the council to express their sentiments. They at once began to bring forward complaints against their neighbours, while the latter had recourse to recriminations and reproaches. Each party had much to urge, and the controversy beginning to be very violent, the emperor, who had patiently and attentively listened to all that had been advanced, fixed another day for the discussion of their differences, and endeavoured to reconcile the conflicting parties ; he addressed them in Greek, of which language he was not ignorant, and spoke in a sweet and gentle manner. Some he convinced by argument, others he soothed by kind words ; he commended those who had spoken well, and excited all to reconciliation; until, at length, unity of sentiment and of opinion prevailed among them all. They all professed conformity to the same faith, and they agreed to celebrate the holy festival upon the same day. What had been decided was committed to writing, and was signed by all the bishops."
Soon after the author thus continues the narrative :
“When matters were arranged, the emperor gave them permission to return to the own dioceses. They returned with great joy, and have ever since continued to be of one mind, being so firmly united as to form, as it were, but one body. Constantine, rejoicing in the success of his efforts, made known these happy results by letter to those who were at a distance. He ordered large sums of money to be liberally distributed both among the inhabitants of the provinces and of the cities, in order that the twentieth anniversary of his reign might be celebrated with public festivities.”
1 He alludes to his Life of Constantine, iii. 13. Theodoret here delicately corrects one or two mistakes of Socrates and Sozomen, without however bringing forward their names.
Although the Arians impiously gainsay and refuse to give credit to the statements of the other fathers, yet they ought to believe what has been written by this father, whom they have been accustomed to admire. They ought, therefore, to receive his testimony to the unanimity with which the confession of faith was signed by all. But even if they combat the opinions of the fathers of their own sect, yet surely they must at least have shrunk with horror from the impieties which emanated from Arius, when they learnt the terrible manner of his death. As it is likely that the mode of his death is not known by all, I shall here relate it.
CHAP. XIV.-ExtrACT FROM THE WRITINGS OF ATHANASIUS
ON THE DEATH OF ARIUS. AFTER Arius had remained a long time! in Alexandria, he endeavoured to obtrude himself again into the councils of the church, sometimes by professing to renounce his impiety, and at others by promising to receive the confession of faith drawn. up by the fathers. But not succeeding in obtaining the confidence of Alexander, nor of his worthy successor and virtuous imitator Athanasius, he, through the exertions of Euse-, bius, bishop of Nicomedia, went to settle in Constantinople. The intrigues upon which he then entered, and the just punishment which befell him, are all far better narrated by Athanasius in a letter addressed to Apian, than they are elsewhere: I shall now insert some extracts from this letter.
“I was not at Constantinople when he died; but Macarius, the presbyter, was there, and from him I learnt all the circumstances. The emperor Constantine was induced by the party of Eusebius to send for Arius. Upon his arrival, the emperor
| Valesius remarks that Theodoret is guilty of a mistake in saying that Arius remained long at Alexandria after the Council of Nicæa. During this interval it is certain that he was in exile, though Socrates and Theodoret both assert the contrary.
asked him whether he held the faith of the catholic church. Arius replied with oaths that his faith was orthodox, and presented a written summary of his belief ; concealing, however, the reasons of his ejection from the church by the bishop Alexander, and deceitfully endeavouring to imitate the language of the Holy Scriptures. When, therefore, he had declared upon
oath that he did not hold the errors for which he had been expelled from the church by Alexander, Constantine dismissed him, saying, "If your
faith be orthodox, your oaths are honourable; but if you do not really hold that belief which you have professed upon oath, God will judge you from heaven.' When he quitted the emperor, the partişans of Eusebius, with their usual violence, desired to restore him to communion with the church ; but Alexander, of blessed memory, bishop of Constantinople, remonstrated against this measure, alleging that the originator of a schism ought not to be admitted into communion. Then the rest of the partisans of Eusebius began to menace him in the following terms: 'As against your will we succeeded in prevailing on the emperor to send for Arius, so will we now, in opposition to your opinion, take measures to have Arius associated with us in this church to-morrow.' It was on Saturday that they said this. The bishop Alexander, deeply grieved at what he had heard, went into the church and mourned, raising his hands in supplication to God; and he prostrated himself at the foot of the altar, and prayed. Macarius went in with him, prayed with him, and heard what petitions he uttered. He asked one of two things. "If Arius,' said he, is to be joined to the church to-morrow, dismiss me thy servant, and do not destroy the pious with the impious. If thou forgivest thy church, and I know that thou dost forgive her, look upon the words of the followers of Eusebius, and give not over thy heritage to destruction and to shame. Cut off Arius, lest if he enter into communion with the church, heresy enter also, and impiety be found conjoined with piety.' Having thus prayed, the bishop left the church in a state of deep mental anxiety. A horrible and unexpected catastrophe ensued. The partisans of Eusebius had launched out into threats, while the bishop had recourse to prayer. Arius, emboldened by the protection of his party, delivered many trifling and foolish speeches, when he was suddenly compelled by the calls of nature to retire, and immediately,' as it is written, 'he