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that of his Son; except Philogonius, Hellanicus, aud Macarius, who are unlearned men, and who have embraced heretical opinions. One of them says that the Son is an effusion, another that he is an emission, the other that he is also unbegotten. These are impieties to which we could not listen, even though the heretics should threaten us with a thousand deaths. But we say and believe, and have taught, and do teach, that the Son is not unbegotten, nor in any way unbegotten, even in part; and that he does not derive his subsistence from any matter; but that by his own will and counsel he has subsisted before time, and before ages, as perfect God, only begotten and unchangeable, and that he existed not before he was begotten, or created, or purposed, or established.' For he was not unbegotten. We are persecuted, because we say that the Son had a beginning, but that God was without beginning. This is really the cause of our persecution, and likewise, because we say that he is from nothing (¿¿ oùk övтwv ἔστιν). And this we say, because he is neither part of God, nor of any subjacent matter. For this are we persecuted; the rest you know. Farewell. As a disciple of Lucian, and as a truly pious man according to the import of your name, remember our afflictions."
Of those whose names are mentioned in this letter, Eusebius was bishop of Cæsarea, Theodotius was bishop of Laodicea, Paulinus of Tyre, Athanasius of Anazarbus, Gregory of Berea, and Aetius of Lydda. Lydda is now called Diospolis. Arius boasted that these were all of one mind with ⚫ himself. He names as his adversaries Philogonius, bishop of Antioch, Hellanicus, bishop of Tripoli, and Macarius, bishop of Jerusalem. He spread calumnies against them because they said that the Son is eternal, existing before all ages, equal with the Father, and of the same substance.
When Eusebius received the epistle, he detected the impiety of the sentiments therein expressed, and wrote to Paulinus, bishop of Tyre, in the following words.
but that their condemnation was implicitly contained in that of Arius and his adherents.
This sentiment was condemned in the anathemas subjoined to the Nicene Creed. See Socrates, Eccl. Hist. i. 9.
CHAP. VI.-THE LETTER OF EUSEBIUS, BISHOP OF NICOMEDIA, TO PAULINUS, BISHOP OF TYRE.
"To my lord Paulinus, Eusebius sendeth greeting in the Lord.
"The zeal of my lord Paulinus, and likewise his silence concerning the truth, have not failed to reach our ears. If, on the one hand, we have rejoiced on account of the zeal of my lord, on the other we have grieved, because the silence of such a man appears like the condemnation of our cause. Hence, as it behoves not a wise man to be of a different opinion from others, and yet to be silent concerning the truth, I exhort you to stir up within yourself the spirit of wisdom, that you may be able to write what may be profitable to yourself and to others; which will certainly be the case, if you will examine the Holy Scriptures, and follow them in your writings. We have never heard that there are two unbegotten beings, nor that one has been divided into two. We have neither been taught, my lord, nor do we believe that the Divinity has ever undergone any change of a temporal nature; but we affirm that there is one who is unbegotten, and that there also exists another who did in truth proceed from him, yet who was not made out of his substance, and who does not at all participate in the nature or substance of him who is unbegotten. We believe him to be entirely distinct in nature and in power, and yet to be a perfect likeness, in character and in power, of him from whom he originated. We believe that the mode of his beginning cannot be expressed by any words; and that it is incomprehensible not only to man, but also to orders of beings superior to man. These opinions we advance, not as having derived them from our own imagination, but as having deduced them from Scripture, whence we learn that the Son was created, established, and begotten in the same substance and in the same immutable and inexpressible nature as the Maker; and so the Lord says, 'God created me in the beginning of his way; I was set up from everlasting; before the hills was I brought forth' (Prov. viii. 22—26). If he had proceeded from him or of him, as a portion of him, or by an efflux of his substance,1 it could not be said that he was created or established; and of this you, my lord, are cer
1 Ἐξ ἀποῤῥοίας τῆς οὐσίας.
tainly not ignorant. For that which proceeds from Him who is unbegotten cannot be said to have been created or founded, either by him or by another, since he has been begotten from the beginning. But if any one should hold that he was born of the substance and nature of the Father, because he said that he was begotten, we would reply that it is not of him alone that the Scriptures have spoken as begotten, but that they also thus speak of those who are entirely dissimilar to him by nature. For of men it is said, 'I have begotten and brought up sons, and they have rebelled against me' (Isa. i. 2); and in another place, "Thou hast forsaken God who begat thee;' and again it is said, 'Who begat the drops of dew?" (Job xxxviii. 28). This expression does not imply that the dew partakes of the nature of God, but simply that all things were formed according to his will. There is indeed nothing which partakes of his substance, yet everything which exists has been called into being by his will, for he verily is God. All things were made in his likeness, and in the future likeness of his Son, being created according to his will. All things were made by the Son and through God. All things are of God.
"When you have received my letter, and have revised it according to the knowledge and grace given you by God, I beg you will write as soon as possible to my lord Alexander. I feel confident that if you will write to him, you will succeed in bringing him over to your opinion. Salute all the brethren in the Lord. May you, my lord, be preserved by the grace of God, and be led to pray for us."
It is thus that they write to each other, in order to furnish one another with weapons against the truth.1 When blasphemous doctrines became disseminated in the churches of Egypt and of the East, disputes and contentions arose in every city, and in every village, concerning theological dogmas. The common people were witnesses of these controversies, and judges of what was said on either side, and some applauded one party, and some the other. These were, indeed, melancholy scenes, over which tears might have been shed. For it was not as in bygone ages, when the church was attacked by strangers and by enemies. During this period, those who were natives of the same country, who had dwelt under one roof, and had sat down at one table, fought against each other 1 Arius first published his heresy, a. D. 319.
with their tongues, instead of with spears.
they who thus took up arms against one another, were members of each other, and belonged to one body.
CHAP. VII.-GENERAL COUNCIL OF NICE.
THE emperor, who possessed the most profound wisdom, had no sooner heard of the troubles of the church, than he endeavoured to put an end to them. He therefore despatched a messenger1 of considerable sagacity to Alexandria with letters, believing that he would be able to put an end to the dispute, and reconcile the disputants. But his hopes were frustrated by the result of this undertaking; and he, therefore, proceeded to summon the celebrated Council of Nice; and commanded that the bishops, and those connected with them, should be mounted on the asses, mules, and horses belonging to the public, in order to repair thither. When all those who were capable of enduring the fatigue of the journey had arrived at Nice, he went thither himself, as much from the wish of seeing the bishops, as from the desire of preserving unanimity amongst them. He arranged that all their wants should be liberally supplied. Three hundred and eighteen bishops were assembled. The bishop of Rome, on account of his very advanced age, was necessarily absent, but he sent two presbyters to the council, for the purpose of taking part in all the transactions. At this period, individuals were richly endowed with apostolical gifts; and many, like the holy apostle, bore in their bodies the marks of the Lord Jesus Christ. James, bishop of Antioch, a city of Mygdonia, which is called Nisibis by the Syrians and Assyrians, had power to raise the dead, and to restore them to life; he performed many wonderful miracles, which it would be superfluous to mention in detail in this history, as I have already given an account of this in my work, entitled Philotheus. Paul, bishop of Neo-Casarea, a fortress situated on the banks of the Euphrates, had suffered much from the cruelty of Licinius. He had been deprived of the use of both hands by the application of a redhot iron, by which the nerves which give motion to the muscles had been contracted and destroyed. Some had had the
1 This was Hosius, the bishop of Cordova. See Euseb. Life of Const. iii. 7; Socrates, Eccl. Hist. i. 7; and Sozomen, Eccl. Hist. i. 16.
right eye torn out, others had lost the right arm. Among the the latter sufferers was Paphnutius of Egypt. In short, this was an assembly of martyrs. Yet this holy and celebrated assembly was not free from those of a contentious spirit; there were certainly few of this class; yet they were as dangerous as sunken rocks, for they concealed the evil, while they profanely coincided in the blasphemy of Arius. When they were all assembled, the emperor ordered a large apartment1 to be prepared for their accommodation in the palace, in which a sufficient number of seats were placed; and here the bishops were summoned to hold their deliberations upon the proposed subjects. The emperor, attended by a few followers, was the last to enter the room: his personal beauty attracted much admiration, which was increased by his extreme modesty. A low stool was placed for him in the middle of the assembly, upon which, however, he did not seat himself until he had asked the permission of the bishops; and they all then sat down around him. The great Eustathius,2 bishop of Antioch, who, upon the death of Philogonius, already referred to, had been appointed his successor by the unanimous suffrages of the priests and of the people, and of believers, was the first to speak. He pronounced a panegyric upon the emperor, and commended the diligent attention he had manifested in the regulation of ecclesiastical affairs. At the close of this speech, the excellent emperor exhorted them to unanimity and concord; he recalled to their remembrance the cruelty of the late tyrants, and reminded them of the honourable peace which God had, at this period and by his means, accorded them. And he remarked, how very grievous it was, that at the very time when their enemies were destroyed, and when no one dared to molest them, that they should fall upon one another, and afford matter for diversion and ridicule to their adversaries, while they were debating about holy things which ought to be determined by the written word, indited by the Holy Spirit, which they possessed. "For the gospel," (continued he,) "the apostolical writings, and the ancient prophecies clearly
1 Valesius remarks that Theodoret has taken this from Eusebius, Life of Constantine, iii. 10.
See Euseb., Life of Constantine, iii. 11. Theodoret is probably mistaken in saying that Eustathius was the immediate successor of Philogonius, as other writers place between them a bishop named Paulinus.