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manuscripts within a short space of time. When they are finished, you are authorized by this letter to order two public carriages for the purpose of transmitting them to us; and thus they will be easily submitted to our inspection. Appoint one of the deacons of your church to take charge of this part of the business; when he comes to us, he shall receive proofs of our benevolence. May God preserve you, beloved brother.”
CHAP. XVII.-LETTER FROM THE EMPEROR TO MACARIUS, BI
SHOP OF JERUSALEM, CONCERNING THE BUILDING OF THE HOLY CHURCH.
CONSTANTINE, the victorious and the great, to Macarius.
The grace of our Saviour is so wonderful, that no words are adequate to express it. His having kept the monument of his most holy sufferings concealed beneath the earth during a long course of years, until the common enemies of all parties were dispersed, and his servants restored to liberty, proves that his providential care surpasses every other subject of admiration. If all the wise men throughout the world were collected into one place, they could not mention anything so amazing or so wonderful as this ; for this miracle is as much beyond all human power of belief, as heavenly wisdom is beyond the reasonings of man. Hence it is always my first and only object to excite all minds to the observation of the Holy Law with alacrity and diligence, proportioned to the brightness of the manifestation which is thrown by new miracles upon the truth of the faith, day by day. As my design is now generally known, you, above all, must be convinced that my most intense desire is to erect beautiful edifices upon that consecrated spot, which God from the beginning declared holy, and which has been rendered still more holy by the sufferings of our Lord, who thus brought faith to light. The abominable idol which lately desecrated the spot, is now happily removed. I trust, then, to your sagacity to take every necessary care and precaution that these edifices may not only be magnificent, but that they may be incomparably superior to all the most beautiful structures in the world. We have intrusted our friend Dracilianus, governor of the province, with the care of engaging, under your direction, the most skilful workmen for the erection of the walls. He will emulate our piety, and will provide all that you may deem requisite. Let us know, by letter, what columns or marbles you may consider would be ornamental or useful, and we will have them promptly conveyed to you. Whatever wants you mention shall be supplied; for that which is of all places the most wonderful, ought to be rendered the most beautiful. I wish to learn whether
think that the royal arch ought to be fluted, or to be adorned in some other way; for if it is to be fluted, it would be well to gild it. Your holiness must signify to the aforesaid officers, as soon as possible, what workmen and artificers, and what sums of money, are requisite ; and let me know promptly not only what marbles and columns, but also what ornamental works, are considered the most beautiful. May God preserve you, beloved brother.”
CHAP. XVIII.-HELENA, MOTHER OF THE EMPEROR CONSTAN
TINE.LHER ZEAL IN THE ERECTION OF THE HOLY CHURCH.
These letters were carried by no less illustrious a personage than the mother of the emperor, even by her whose piety was reverenced by all, and who was most highly blessed in her maternal capacity, having been the means of producing that great light which she still nourished by religious counsels. She did not shrink from the fatigue of the journey on account of her extreme old age, but undertook it a little before her death, which occurred in her eightieth year. When she arrived at the place where the Saviour suffered, she immediately ordered the idolatrous temple, which had been there erected, to be destroyed, and the very materials to be removed. The tomb, which had been so long concealed, was discovered ; and three crosses, the memorials of the Lord, were perceived near it. All were of opinion that one of these crosses was that of our Lord Jesus Christ, and that the other two were those of the thieves who were crucified with him. Yet they could not discern upon which one the body of the Lord had been nailed, and upon which his blood had fallen. But the wise and holy Macarius, the bishop of the city, succeeded in resolving this question. Aster engaging in prayer, he induced a lady of rank, who had been long suffering from disease, to touch each ot the crosses, and the efficacious power residing in that of the Saviour manifested its identity. In fact, it had scarcely been brought near the lady, when the inveterate disease left her,
and she was healed. The mother of the emperor, on being informed of the accomplishment of what she had most desired, gave orders that some of the nails should be driven into the royal helmet, in order that the head of her child might be preserved from the darts of his enemies; and she ordered some of the other nails to be fixed in the bridle of his horse, not only to insure the safety of the emperor, but also to fulfil an ancient prophecy; for Zachariah, the prophet, predicted, that “ what is upon the bridles of the horses shall be holiness unto the Lord Almighty.” She had part of the cross of our Saviour conveyed to the palace, and the rest was enclosed in a covering of silver, and committed to the care of the bishop of the city, whom she exhorted to preserve it carefully, in order that it might be transmitted uninjured to posterity. She then sent everywhere for workmen and for materials, and caused the most spacious and most magnificent churches to be here erected. It is unnecessary to describe their beauty and grandeur; for all the pious, if I may so speak, visited and viewed with admiration these magnificent productions of art.
This celebrated and admirable empress performed another action worthy of being remembered. She assembled a number of young women who had vowed perpetual virginity, and made them recline on couches, while she presented them with meat and with a beverage mixed with wine, and waited upon them; she then brought them water to wash their hands.
After performing other laudable actions, the empress returned to her son. Not long after, she tranquilly entered upon another and a better life, after having given her son much pious advice and her fervent blessing. After her death, those honours were rendered to her memory which her stedfast and entire adherence to God deserved.
CHAP. XIX.-THE UNLAWFUL TRANSLATION OF EUSEBIUS,
BISHOP OF NICOMEDIA. THE Arian party did not desist from their evil machinations. They had only signed the confession of faith for the purpose of disguising themselves in sheep's skins, while they were acting the part of wolves. The holy Alexander, bishop of Byzantium, now called Constantinople, whose prayer had occasioned the death of Arius, had, at the period to which we are referring, been translated to a better life.' Eusebius, the propagator of impiety, little regarding the regulations to which, only a short time previously, he with the other bishops had agreed, quitted Nicomedia to take possession of the see of Constantinople, in direct violation of that canon which prohibits bishops and presbyters from going from one city to another. But that those who carry their infatuation so far as to oppose the Divinity of the only begotten Son of God, should likewise violate the other laws, cannot excite surprise. This is not either the first innovation that he had made ; for he had left Berytus, although he had been appointed bishop in that city, and had assumed the superintendence of the church of Nicomedia. He was thence expelled by the synod, when his impiety became known, as was likewise Theognis, bishop of Nice. This is related in the letters of the emperor Constantine ; and I shall here insert 2 some extracts from the latter part of it in explanation of the circumstance. These letters were written to the Nicomedians.
CHAP. XX.--EPISTLE OF THE EMPEROR CONSTANTINE AGAINST EUSEBIUS AND THEOGNIS, ADDRESSED TO THE NICOMEDIANS.
“Who has taught these doctrines to the innocent multitude ? It is manifestly Eusebius, the co-operator in the cruelty of the tyrants. For that he was the agent of the tyrants has been clearly shown; and, indeed, is proved by the slaughter of the bishops, and by the fact that these victims were true bishops. The relentless persecution of the Christians may be considered as furnishing another indubitable proof. I shall not here give an account of my own wrongs, the seditions excited, or the spies employed against me ;3 for, indeed, they scarcely refrained from raising troops against me. Let not any one imagine that I allege what I am not prepared to prove. I am in possession of clear evidence ; for I have caused the
Socrates and Sozomen, however, place the date of Alexander's death after the accession of the emperor Constantius. Valesius supports Theodoret's opinion.
2 This letter is preserved by Baronius in his Annals, A. D. 329, though, as Valesius remarks, not at the correct place.
3 He means the presbyters and deacons sent by Eusebius to Constantine at the beginning of his war with Licinius, in order to keep a watch upon his designs.
bishops and presbyters belonging to his retinue to be seized. But I pass over all these facts. I only mention them for the purpose of making these persons ashamed of their conduct, and not from any feeling of resentment. There is one thing which grieves me, and that is, to see that you have formed criminal associations with them ; for you are influenced by the doctrines of Eusebius, and have thus been led away
from truth. But you will be soon restored if, after obtaining a bishop who holds pure and faithful doctrines, you will but look unto God. This depends upon you alone ; and you would, no doubt, have thus acted long ago, had not Eusebius come here through his then powerful adherents, and overturned all discipline. As it is necessary to allude to Eusebius, you must remember that I was present at the council held in the city of Nice, (to which attendance I was compelled by conscience,) and that I was actuated by no other motive than the desire of producing peace among all, and of exploding the errrors which originated from the infatuation of Arius, and which have been fostered and increased by the absurd and pernicious wiles of Eusebius. But, beloved and much-honoured brethren, you know not with what assurance Eusebius, although convinced by the testimony of his own conscience, infamously persevered in the support of false doctrines, both by sending different persons to me to petition on his behalf, and by personally entreating my assistance in preventing his being ejected from his bishopric; although his crimes had been fully detected. God, whom I trust will continue his goodness towards you and towards me, is witness to the truth of what I say. I was then myself deluded and deceived by Eusebius, as you well know. In everything he acted according to the desire of him whose mind is full of evil. But, omitting the relation of the rest of his misdeeds, it is well that you should be informed of the crime which he perpetrated in concert with Theognis his accomplice. I had sent orders for the apprehension of certain individuals? in Alexandria who opposed our faith, and who had excited disturbances. But those good and excellent bishops,? who, by the clemency of the coun
"Baronius thinks that the Melitians are here intended, but Valesius refers these words, with greater correctness, to the Arian party.
? Eusebius and Theognis, who had sided with the Arians at Nice, but were exempted from the full operation of the sentence, by the favour and intercession of Constantine.