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CHAP. XXXII.-EUSEBIUS, BISHOP OF SAMOSATA.
EUSEBIUS, that excellent bishop whom I have already mentioned, to whom the written decree of election had been confided, returned to his own city when he perceived that the compact was about to be broken. The Arians, fearing that, as the document contained their signatures, it might serve as a proof of their guilt, persuaded the emperor to send to Eusebius for it. The emperor accordingly despatched a messenger upon one of the public horses, as was the custom when a speedy answer was desired. When he had arrived and delivered the message of the emperor, the admirable Eusebius made the following reply: “I cannot consent to restore the public deposit, except at the command of the whole assembly of bishops by whom it was committed to my care.” When this reply was conveyed to the emperor he was deeply incensed, and he wrote again to Eusebius commanding him to deliver up the decree, and threatening him with the amputation of his right hand unless he would comply with the injunction. This, however, he only wrote for the purpose of intimidating him; for he forbade the bearer of the letter from executing the threat. After Eusebius had read the letter, and had learnt what punishment was threatened by the emperor, he stretched out his hands and said, “I am willing to suffer the loss of both my hands, rather than to resign a document which contains so manifest a demonstration of the impiety of the Arians.” Constantius, on being informed of his fortitude, highly applauded him, and ever after held him in high admiration. Even the enemies of virtue are compelled by its greatness to admire it.
About this period, Constantius heard that Julian, whom he had appointed Cæsar in Europe, had entered upon many ambitious projects, and had even raised troops against his benefactor. Constantius, accordingly, set off for Syria ; but he died in Cilicia. He did not enjoy that assistance which his father had bequeathed him, because he had not preserved inviolate the birthright of his father's piety; so that when he drew near his end he bitterly lamented having corrupted the faith.
CHAP. 1.—THE EMPEROR JULIAN. CONSTANTIUS died deploring his defection from the faith of his father. Julian, when on his journey from Europe to Asia, was informed of the death of Constantius : he immediately took possession of the imperial crown, which no one dared to dispute with him.
CHAP. II.—THE RELIGIOUS EDUCATION OF JULIAN, AND HIS
SUBSEQUENT APOSTASY. From his tenderest infancy Julian had been nourished with the milk of religious doctrines, as was also Gallus his brother. He adhered to this doctrine during his childhood and early youth. Intimidated by Constantius, who, apprehensive of usurpations, made away with his nearest relatives, Julian placed himself in the office of reader at the ecclesiastical assemblies, and read the sacred books to the people. He had an edifice erected in honour of the martyrs; but his liberality was not accepted by the martyrs, because they foresaw his apostasy. The foundations of this building were as unstable as the mind of their founder ; and the whole structure fell down before it had been consecrated. Such were the events which occurred in his youth.
CHAP. III.-MANNER IN WHICH JULIAN OPENLY
THOSE IMPIOUS SENTIMENTS WHICH HE HAD
WHEN Constantius departed to the West to make war against Magnentius, he appointed Gallus to be Cæsar of the East. Gallus had embraced the true religion, and stedfastly adhered to it throughout his life. At this juncture Julian threw off the salutary fear of God, boldly assumed more than was his by right, and aspired to the imperial sceptre. With this object in view, he traversed all Greece to consult the soothsayers and interpreters of oracles whether his ambitious aspirations would be fulfilled. He fell in with a man who promised to foretell what he desired, and who accordingly led
him into the deepest recesses of an idolatrous temple, and there invoked the deceiving demons. When they appeared as usual under the most frightful forms, Julian, constrained by terror, made the sign of the cross upon his forehead. The demons, on perceiving the sign of the cross, the memorial of the Lord's victory over them, and of their defeat, immediately vanished. The sorcerer reprimanded Julian for having caused their flight. Julian explained that he had been overcome by terror; and declared that he admired the power of the cross, the sign of which the demons were not able to look upon. “Do not take up that idea, good man,” said the sorcerer.
They did not fear that which you mention, but disappeared because they abominated the action which you performed.” After thus deceiving him, the sorcerer initiated him into the mysteries, and filled his mind with impiety. Thus did the lust of empire rob this wretched prince of all religion. When he ascended the throne, he for a long time concealed his impiety, because he feared the soldiers who had embraced the doctrines of religion. For Constantine, who was so deserving of all praise, after having freed them from their former superstitions, had had them instructed in true doctrines. His children stedfastly adhered to those doctrines which they had received from their father. For although Constantius was induced by those who had obtained an undue ascendency over him to reject the term "consubstantial,” yet he had always sincerely admitted the doctrine signified by it." For he confessed that the Word is God, and the Son of God, begotten of God before all ages : and he condemned all those who dared to affirm that he is a creature ; he also invariably prohibited the worship of idols. Among his other actions, one is worthy of being mentioned, as it displays his zeal for the things of God. When entering upon the war against Magnentius, he assembled all his soldiers and exhorted them to receive the holy rite of baptism. “Life,” said he, “is always uncertain, but especially in battle ; for there it is endangered by arrows, darts, spears, swords, and a multitude of other weapons designed to inflict death. It is therefore necessary that each
· Theodoret here shows that the emperor Constantius, though a most bitter opponent of the Homoousian party, was always a Catholic at heart. The same testimony is born by Gregory Nazianzen, who calls him θειότατος και φιλοχριστότατος.
should be habited in that robe of which we shall stand most in need in the next life. If there be any one among you who desires to delay receiving this robe, let him now return to his own home, for those who have not submitted to this ordinance shall not engage on my side in battle.”]
CHAP. IV.-RETURN OF THE BISHOPS FROM EXILE. JULIAN being acquainted with all these facts, did not openly manifest the impiety of his principles. In order to conciliate the good-will of all parties, he recalled to their own churches those bishops who had been banished by Constantius to the farthest extremities of the earth. As soon as this decree was issued, the holy Melitius returned to Antioch, and the celebrated Athanasius to Alexandria. Eusebius and Hilarius, bishops of Italy, and Lucifer, bishop of the isle of Sardinia, were then in Thebes, a province of Egypt, where they had been banished by Constantius. They assembled for deliberation with some other bishops of the same sentiments as themselves ; for it was necessary, they said, that the churches should be reunited by one standard of doctrine, hostility being not only manifested by the adversaries, but the very members of the church being divided against each other. For, in Antioch, the orthodox part of the church was divided into two sections. The first consisted of those who had seceded on account of the renowned Eustathius; the other party comprised those who had withdrawn with the excellent Melitius, and who celebrated the Divine service 2 in the old city.3 Both parties held the same confession of faith, and maintained the doctrines which had been confirmed at Nice. They only kept aloof from each other from a spirit of contention, and on account of the preference which they felt for their respective bishops. The death of one of these bishops did not allay the discord,
| Valesius suspects that these words are not genuine. For how, he asks, could Constantius have refused to have unbaptized soldiers in his army, seeing that he was himself unbaptized at this time? It is well known that he was not baptized until after his expedition against Julian, that he received baptism at the hand of Euzoius at Antioch.
Λειτουργία. The holy eucharist, so called κατ' εξοχήν, as being λειτόν épyov, the public action of the church. See Wilberforce on the Eucharist, chap. 2. ń malaia. See note in b. ii. 31.
for Eustathius having died before Melitius was ordained, and those who adhered to religion having seceded subsequently to the exile of Melitius and the ordination of Euzoius, those separatists who bore the name of Eustathius could not be induced to join them. Endeavours were made, as above related, by Eusebius and Lucifer, to effect a re-union. Eusebius begged Lucifer to go to Alexandria, and to consult the great Athanasius on the subject ; and he himself undertook the task of re-establishing concord.
CHAP. V.-ORDINATION OF PAULINUS. LUCIFER, however, did not go to Alexandria.
He went over to Antioch, where he repeatedly exhorted each party to union. But perceiving that the Eustathians opposed the end which he had in view, he appointed Paulinus, who was a presbyter, and the chief of their faction, to be bishop. This was not right on his part; it increased the dissension, which continued eighty-five years, not terminating till the time of Alexander, a bishop worthy of the highest fame. As soon as he was appointed bishop over the church of Antioch, he laboured earnestly, and with success, in restoring concord, and in re-uniting those members of the church who had been disjoined from the rest of the body.
Lucifer, who had been instrumental in augmenting the dissensions, remained during a long period at Antioch. When Eusebius repaired thither, he found that the evil, far from having been removed, had by such unwise measures been rendered incurable: he then departed and sailed towards the West. Lucifer returned to Sardinia, and added certain doctrines to those of the church. Those who embraced these doctrines received his name, and were called Luciferians for some time after. These doctrines, however, became extinct, and were forgotten.
These were the circumstances which occurred after the return of the bishops from exile.
· Baronius, in his Annals, A. D. 408, objects to this calculation as incorrect; but Valesius does not acquiesce in his opinion.