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A Hstory Of The Councils Of The Church Volumes 1 to 5 by Charles Joseph Hefele D.D.



SEC. 45. The First Period after the Synod of Nicæa

IN consequence of the decrees of Nicæa, the Emperor Constantine, as we have seen, exiled Arius and the two Egyptian bishops, Theonas and Secundas, with the priests who adhered to them, to Illyria, and adopted other means for the immediate extermination of Arianism. He ordered the books of Arius and his friends to be burnt, threatened those who concealed them with death, and forbade even the name of Arians. But still the heretical fire was not thereby extinguished; nay, it went on smouldering in secret all the more, when several bishops, above all the highly-esteemed Eusebius of Nicomedia, and Theognis of Nicæa, who, without being thorough-going Arians, still held Subordinationist views, from fear of the Emperor, and as a matter of form only, subscribed the Nicene Creed. This, especially the doctrine of the ὁμοούσιος, had always been regarded by them with suspicion, as injurious to the first of the two ideas, which must be comprehended in the notion of the Person of Christ, i.e. Personality and Divinity, by not strictly enough maintaining the personal distinction between the Father and the Son, while the second idea is exaggerated to the Sabellianist identity of the Son with the Father. If a document found in Socrates, of which we shall speak later, may be trusted, these bishops, so-called Eusebians, had not joined in the anathema pronounced against the person of Arius, but accepted the Creed, without admitting that Arius had taught the errors of which he was accused, thus availing themselves of the well-known distinction between question du fait and du droit.

It would have been wonderful if, in Egypt as well as in Alexandria, where before the Council of Nice Arianism had already taken such deep root, it had not tried to break out afresh. When this happened, and the Emperor, therefore, again banished from Egypt several Alexandrians who had fallen from the Nicene faith, and “relighted the torch of disunion,” then (as he himself relates), “Eusebius of Nicomedia and Theognis not only sided with them, and took measures for their safety, but took part in their wickedness, and received them into the communion of the Church,” so that Constantine banished them also to a distant country (Gaul). At the same time he accused the Nicomedians of having also joined in Licinius’ earlier persecution of the Christians, and intrigued against himself, and ordered the communities of Nicomedia and Nicæa to elect new bishops. Thus Amphion was appointed to Nicomedia, Ehretas to Nicæa.

According to some accounts, Eusebius and Theognis bribed an imperial notary to efface their signatures from the Acts of the Council of Nicæa. Philostorgius says, however, that both they and Bishop Maris of Chalcedon had openly confessed to the Emperor their regret at having subscribed to the Nicene Creed, and thus brought the sentence of banishment upon themselves. This took place three months after the conclusion of the Council of Nicæa, in December 325, or in January of the year following. About the same time, Constantine, in a letter to Theodotus of Laodicea, set before him as a warning the fate of his deposed colleagues, since they had made endeavours to win him also to their side. Some time later, as hitherto believed on the 23d of the Egyptian month of Pharmuth (i.e. April 18, 326), Alexander, Archbishop of Alexandria, died; but a newly-found document states that his death did not take place until the 22d of Pharmuth (i.e. April 19 of the year 328). Sozomen relates, on the authority of Apollinaris, that on Alexander’s death drawing near, Athanasius fled, in order to avoid being made bishop; but a divine revelation pointed him out to Alexander as his successor, and on his deathbed he uttered his name. Another Athanasius appeared in answer to his call; but Alexander took no heed of him, and again calling Athanasius, said, “Thou hast thought to flee from me, Athanasius, but thou hast not escaped me,”—thus marking him, though absent, as his successor. This story is related in substance by Rufinus and Epiphanius also; but the latter adds that Athanasius was absent at that time on business of his bishop’s, and therefore had not fled, and that the whole body of the clergy and the faithful subsequently affirmed that Alexander had destined him for his successor. But the Meletians had made use of his absence to place in the vacant see one of their party named Theonas, who, however, died in three months before the return of Athanasius; and a synod of the orthodox at Alexandria now declared Athanasius to be the rightful bishop.

The Arians, on the contrary, maintained that, after the death of Alexander, the orthodox and Meletian bishops of Egypt had on both sides taken a solemn oath to elect the new archbishop, each only with the consent of the other party; but that seven orthodox bishops had broken this pledge, and secretly elected Athanasius. Philostorgius has another improbable story, “That during the vacancy of the see, and the quarrel concerning its occupancy, Athanasius repaired to the church of S. Dionysius, and there, with the doors carefully secured, had himself secretly consecrated by two bishops of his own side. For this reason the remaining bishops had pronounced an anathema against him; but he addressed a letter to the Emperor as if in the name of the whole diocese, and thus craftily obtained the confirmation of his election.” This account, which stands at direct variance with all the others, is as little worthy of credit as the other statement of Philostorgius (ii. 1), that Alexander of Alexandria had before his death abandoned the ὁμοούσιος. All these slanders against Athanasius were, however, authoritatively declared to be false, at a great Egyptian synod. Whereupon, the very bishops who had taken part in his election solemnly attested that the desire for Athanasius as bishop was unanimous throughout the whole Catholic community, and that they had not moved from the church until his election had been fully completed, and that Athanasius was at once publicly and solemnly consecrated by a large number of the bishops present. The preface of the newly-discovered Festal Letters of S. Athanasius, already cited, adds, that this consecration took place on the 14th of Payni (June 8) 328. Thus the greatest opponent of Arianism became bishop of the city in which that heresy had sprung up.

About the same time, however, a very important and eventful change took place in Constantine’s views. The Emperor’s former severity towards the Arian heresy, tending to its complete extermination, had so far diminished, that now, though not directly favouring it, he yet showed great favour towards its friends and supporters. According to Sozomen, Constantia, the sister of Constantine, and widow of Licinius, interceded with her brother in behalf of the Arians, on the strength of a professed divine revelation, in which the innocence and orthodoxy of these men had been revealed to her. The accounts of Rufinus (i. 11) and Socrates (i. 25) agree in part with this: “Constantia had an Arian court chaplain who disposed her favourably towards Arius, and assured her of his teacher’s innocence.” We shall return to this subject presently.

If the letter addressed by Eusebius of Nicomedia, and Theognis, to the other bishops, which Socrates (i. 24) and Sozomen (ii. 16) quote, is genuine, Arius was recalled from exile soon after the Council of Nicæa, and was only forbidden for the present to return to Alexandria. Upon this, Eusebius and Theognis, affirming their orthodoxy in the letter already mentioned, begged the like permission, upon the pretext of the pardon already granted to Arius. The genuineness of this letter is, however, very doubtful, and is, in fact, denied by Tillemont; and this only is certain, that Eusebius and Theognis were recalled in 328, after a five years’ banishment, and reinstated in their bishoprics, those who had in the meantime occupied their sees being driven away.

If, however, we give up the genuineness of this letter, and with it the report that Arius was first recalled, it is more probable that Eusebius and Theognis, who were only suspected of Arianism, were allowed to return earlier, and that it was through their friendly influence that the pardon of Arius was obtained. As soon, however, as Eusebius had regained a firm footing, a time of severe trial commenced for the truest upholders of the ὁμοούσιος. The crafty Nicomedian, inwardly leaning to the Arian doctrine of the Logos, was aware that he could not betray his views openly, for the Emperor desired above all things the unity of the Church, and for this very cause had convoked the Council of Nicæa, and therefore no open attack on this Synod would have been tolerated by him. Eusebius and his friends therefore made their submission to the Council very publicly (hence their recall from banishment), trying at the same time, by all kinds of crafty and secret means, to set aside the ὁμοούσιος which was so entirely opposed to their theological views, and to obtain the victory for their Arian and Subordinationist theology. Eusebius, by his apparent return to the orthodox faith, had not only pacified the Emperor, but pleased him in the highest degree; and, being related to him, contrived, by his pretended support of Constantine’s grand project of entire unity in the Church, to ingratiate himself considerably with him. Thus it was not hard to convince him that Arius and others were at heart orthodox, and would certainly make a satisfactory confession of faith, if only they were recalled from banishment. Should this plan prove successful, and Constantine be satisfied with the acceptance of another Creed instead of the Nicene, the latter would at once be overthrown, and the way paved for introducing Subordinationism into the Church; while this was taking place, the chief supporters of the strict ὁμοούσιος were, by some other ruse, to be driven out of the Church. It is plain from their actions, and from previous circumstances of which we shall now treat, that such were in reality the plans of the Eusebians, and thus only can Constantine’s conduct at the time be in some measure accounted for.

SEC. 46. Synod of Antioch (330)

It was especially Eusebius of Nicomedia who, as Socrates reports, raised objections to the lawfulness of the election and consecration of Athanasius, though he should have been the last to do so, after having, contrary to the canons of the Church, left his bishopric, and obtained that of Nicomedia. When this first attack had been repelled by the above-mentioned testimony of the other Egyptian bishops, Eusebius and his friends postponed further measures to a more convenient time, and instead, next directed their weapons against Archbishop Eustathius of Antioch, who had not only occupied one of the first places at the Council of Nicæa, but had also afterwards broken off all communion with the Arians, and had energetically, both in act and in controversial works directed against Eusebius Pamphili, combated Arianizing views, as well as every deviation from the strict Nicene definition of ὁμοούσιος. The latter, the historian and Archbishop of Cæsarea, stood, as to his theological views, between Athanasius and Arius; by some, therefore, he has been declared orthodox; by others, an Arian; so that the dispute concerning his orthodoxy has been carried on to our times. It is certain that Eusebius did not wish to be an Arian, and indeed, according to many of his expressions, he was not one; but in his opinion Athanasius bordered on Sabellianism, and he sought for a middle way between Arianism and Orthodoxy, believing this via media to be orthodoxy; and hence it may easily be understood that he might often take the side of his Nicomedian colleague, and join in the persecution of Athanasius, while yet he was undoubtedly further removed from Arianism than the Bishop of Nicomedia. From his standpoint he thought also he had discovered Sabellianism in Eustathius of Antioch; and here the real Eusebians agreed with him, as it was their general policy to charge those who held a less degree of difference than they did between the Father and the Son, with denying, like Sabellius, any distinction whatever between them. Theodoret relates that Eusebius of Nicomedia and Theognis of Nicæa travelled together to Jerusalem to pay their homage to the holy places. On their way they had also paid a visit to Bishop Eustathius, and had been received by him with the greatest cordiality. In Palestine, however, they are said to have imparted their plans against Eustathius, to Eusebius of Cæsarea (called Pamphili) and other friends, and to have returned in their company to Antioch, where they then made arrangements for holding a synod against Eustathius. Theodoret, however, places this journey to Jerusalem after the elevation of the Bishop of Nicomedia to the see of Constantinople, which only took place about the year 337; and the truth of this relation is thus rendered somewhat doubtful, and we must be satisfied with the accounts given by Sozomen (ii. 18, 19) and by Socrates (i. 24). According to Sozomen especially, who here seems to have right on his side, the disputes already mentioned between Eustathius and Eusebius Pamphili occasioned the convocation of the Synod at Antioch. This took place in the year 330. At this synod, as Socrates says, the Bishop Cyrus of Beræa in particular came forward as the accuser of Eustathius, and charged him with Sabellianism. Theodoret, who is silent on the subject of the first accusation, says concerning a second: “The Eusebians had persuaded and bribed a girl to represent Eustathius as the father of her child, although she could not bring forward any witness, and afterwards herself confessed her deceit.” Athanasius mentions a third point of accusation, namely, that Eustathius had been accused of great want of respect towards the Empress’s mother; on the other hand, neither he nor Chrysostom, though they frequently speak of Eustathius, ever so much as mention the accusation of incontinence, and the Benedictine editors of the works of S. Athanasius have therefore rejected this story of Theodoret’s, the more as it looks like a copy of similar accusations against other bishops of that period. However that may be, it is certain that Eustathius was deposed by the Synod, and was sent by the Emperor into exile through Thrace into Illyria, whither many of his faithful clergy followed him. The see of Antioch, from which he had been unlawfully deposed, was first given to Eulalius. After his death, which occurred soon afterwards, it was offered to Eusebius Pamphili; he refused it, however, especially because great disputes had arisen in Antioch among the Eusebian and Nicene parties on account of the deposition of Eustathius. For this the Emperor praised him; but the see of Antioch, after having remained vacant for some time, fell into the hands of the Eusebians, and even of some Arians, till the election of Meletius in 360 or 361 called forth more dissensions even among the orthodox. Tillemont, according to his calculation, thinks it probable that Bishop Asclepas of Gaza was also deposed at this Synod of Antioch, on account of his opposition to the Arians; and this is clearly proved by the two synodal letters of both parties at the Council at Sardica. Theodoret, Socrates, and Sozomen are therefore wrong in stating this event to have taken place at a later time, especially Theodoret, who ascribes it to the Synod of Tyre in 335.

Besides this, the Benedictine editors thought themselves justified in fixing the banishment of the Bishop Eutropius of Hadrianopolis also at the same time. His only crime was, that he had zealously resisted the friends of Arianism, especially Eusebius of Nicomedia, who, with the help of the Princess Basilina, the mother of Julian the Apostate, effected his deposition.

SEC. 47. Arius is to be again received into the Church, and Athanasius to be deposed

At this time, or shortly before, Eusebius, in order to gain a wider field for his plans, joined the Meletians in Egypt, though the latter, as recently as at the time of the Council of Nicæa, had stood in direct opposition to the Arians, and their Bishop Acesius had expressly declared the Nicene faith to be that of the apostolic age. After the death of Archbishop Alexander of Alexandria, however, they had again broken the compact agreed upon with them at Nicæa, renewed the schism, and after the death of their master Meletius, placed his friend John Archaph at their head. All this made Eusebius hope to win them over to serve his ends; and they did, in fact, unite in their hatred against Athanasius and the orthodox party of Alexandria; but this closer union at the same time caused the Meletians to fall more and more into the errors of the Arians, and to become at last almost completely identified with them.

After these preparations, Eusebius tried to deal a last blow. Whether or not Arius had been recalled from exile before or only after Eusebius and Theognis, in any case, it is certain that hitherto he had not ventured to return to Alexandria. Eusebius, however, believed that the time had now come that they might venture upon this great step for the destruction of the doctrine of the ὁμοούσιος, and again restore Arius to the communion of the Church. For this purpose he addressed a letter to Athanasius, begging him to receive Arius once more into the Church, and desired the bearers of the letter to add all sorts of threats by word of mouth. Had Athanasius given way, Eusebius would have most easily gained his end; but as the former declared that he could not receive those who had originated false doctrines and had been excommunicated by the Nicene Synod, Eusebius instantly adopted another plan to obtain from the Emperor that which Athanasius had refused. It was, above all, necessary to induce Constantine to grant Arius an audience in person. This mission was entrusted to Constantia’s Arian chaplain, who, after the death of that princess (330), and at her urgent desire, had been received by the Emperor into his own retinue, and now represented to him that Arius, in fact, held no other doctrine than that promulgated at Nicæa; and that, if the Emperor would listen to him, it would then be seen that he held the orthodox faith, and that he had been falsely calumniated. Constantine replied, “If Arius signs the Decrees of the Ṣynod, and believes the same, I am ready to see him, and to send him back with honours to Alexandria.” But when Arius, possibly on account of illness, did not at once appear, the Emperor, in an autograph letter, dated November 27 (probably 330 or 331), which Socrates has given, invited him to come to him, and Arius immediately appeared at Constantinople, accompanied by his friend Euzotius, formerly a deacon at Alexandria, who had been deposed on account of Arianism by the Archbishop Alexander. The Emperor allowed both to come before him, and demanded of them whether they agreed to the Nicene faith; and on their readily affirming this, he ordered them to send him a written confession of their faith, which they did without delay; and this confession, which was expressly framed to deceive the Emperor, has been preserved to us by Socrates (i. 26). The chief article is thus worded: “And we believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, His Son, God the Word, sprung from Him before all time, and by whom all things were created in heaven and in earth.” We see how here the very point at issue, concerning the equality of substance of the Son, has been entirely left out, and how, by the expression born or become, γεγενημένον, Arianism is indicated; whilst, at the same time, the Arian γεγενημένον may very easily be taken as identical with γεγεννημένον, which means begotten, and bears an orthodox meaning. But, in order to make quite sure of deceiving the Emperor, they added at the end: “If we do not believe thus, and do not truly recognise the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, as the whole Catholic Church and the Holy Scriptures teach, so let God be our Judge.” They meant that the Arian doctrine of the Logos was that of the Bible and the ancient Church; but the Emperor was to understand this as expressing their agreement with the Nicene doctrine, which he had expressly required of them. And, in fact, they succeeded in deceiving him, especially as his longing for union in the Church had made the recall of Arius appear to him a very desirable event, and Arius had begged for this reunion with the Church through the Emperor at the end of his confession of faith.

There is no doubt that Eusebius afterwards represented the matter to the Emperor, as if all further refusal on the part of Athanasius to receive Arius and his friends again into the communion of the Church could only be contentious obstinacy; and he prevailed upon Constantine to demand of Athanasius, with threats, the reception of all who asked it. The threat at the end of the Emperor’s letter has been preserved by Athanasius himself, and is also found in Sozomen. The introductory words are inexact, and seem to treat of the question as concerning the reception of the Meletians; later, however, after the quotation of the fragment of the Emperor’s letter, the Arians are distinctly mentioned, and S. Athanasius, who is the best authority in this matter, states that the reception of Arius himself had been the cause of this letter. He, however, succeeded in convincing the Emperor of the impossibility of receiving heretics into the communion of the Church, and therefore this plan of the reinstatement of Arius was given up for the present. The Emperor would not himself decide the question concerning the orthodoxy of Arius, but left this to a synod. As some years later the Synod of Jerusalem (335) did in fact give such a decision in favour of Arius, Rufinus and Sozomen represented the matter incorrectly, as if Constantine had from the commencement left the decision concerning Arius to the Synod of Jerusalem, so that his recall from exile, too, could only have been first arranged shortly before 335. The attempt, through misuse of the imperial influence, to bring back Arius into the communion of the Church, and thus to inflict a deep wound upon the doctrine of the ὁμοούσιος was defeated by the firmness of S. Athanasius; the latter therefore was now to be crushed with the help of the Meletians. Athanasius in relating this adds, “Now has Eusebius shown why he joined the Meletians.” These last Eusebius desired by letter to hunt up causes of complaint against Athanasius; and after many, at first vain endeavours, Ision, Eudæmon, and Callinicus, three Meletian clergy, bethought themselves of the accusation that Athanasius had of his own will introduced an entirely new impost, the supply of linen robes, στιχάρια, for the service of the Church. With this accusation they travelled to the Emperor in Nicomedia; but at that very place there were then two priests of S. Athanasius, Apis and Macarius, who informed the Emperor of the true state of the case, and showed the falsehood of the accusation. They succeeded in convincing him, as Athanasius states (Apolog. c. Arian. c. 60), and Constantine at once thought good to desire Athanasius himself to appear before him. As soon as Eusebius learned this, he advised the accusers not to leave the palace; and when Athanasius arrived, they brought forward two new accusations at once; one against Macarius, that he had broken a chalice of the Meletians (of which later), and another against Athanasius, that he supported Philomenus, who was guilty of high treason, with a chest of gold. In consequence of this, Athanasius seems for some time to have been held in a sort of custody, as he shows in his third newly-discovered Festal Letter, written before Easter 331. As he nevertheless shortly succeeded in showing the groundlessness of these accusations also (at Psammathia, a suburb of Nicomedia), he was honourably released by the Emperor; and before Easter 332, from the imperial residence, he addressed a new Paschal Letter to the bishops and priests of Egypt. Besides this, Constantine addressed a lengthy exhortation, preserved by Athanasius, to the Alexandrians, in which he desired them to live in unity, using strong expressions against the Meletians, but conferring upon Athanasius the honourable appellation of “a man of God.”

Now for some time Athanasius had peace; but then the Meletians were again bribed with presents to bring forward fresh accusations against him.

In Mareotis, belonging to the bishopric of Alexandria, where otherwise there was no community of Meletians, a layman named Ischyras had falsely pretended to be a priest, and had exercised priestly functions. When Athanasius learnt this upon a visitation tour, he sent the priest Macarius to Ischyras to summon him to appear before him; but Ischyras being at this time ill, Macarius could only entreat his father to restrain his son from such an offence in future. As soon as Ischyras recovered, he fled to the Meletians, and they invented the accusation that Macarius, by order of Athanasius, had broken into the chapel of Ischyras, overthrown his altar, broken his chalice, and burnt the sacred volumes. This affair had already been brought forward when Athanasius was with the Emperor in Psammathia, but without result, probably because Athanasius produced a document written by Ischyras’ own hand, in which he confessed the whole deception, and begged to be again received into the Church. Notwithstanding this, the Meletians now again brought up this ground of complaint, and joined to it the further accusation that Athanasius had murdered the Bishop Arsenius of Hypsele, who held with the Meletians, and had cut a hand off his dead body in order to work magic therewith. The real author of this lie was the Meletian chief bishop, John Archaph; but Arsenius allowed himself to be bribed to conceal himself in order that the story of his death might be believed, whilst the enemies of Athanasius even displayed openly the hand which they pretended had been cut off, and insisted on carrying their complaint to the Emperor, who commissioned his nephew, the Censor Dalmatius of Antioch, to investigate the charge of murder, and Athanasius was called upon to defend himself. He had not at first thought it worth while to pay any attention to this accusation; but he now found it necessary to set on foot everywhere inquiries for Arsenius, partly through letters, partly through a deacon whom he had especially commissioned for the purpose. It was betrayed to the latter that Arsenius was hidden in the Egyptian monastery of Ptemencyrcis. Before his arrival, the monks had already sent Arsenius on in a small vessel; but the deacon had two of them—the monk Helias, who had accompanied Arsenius in his further flight, and the priest Pinnes, who knew of the whole affair—arrested, and brought before the Governor of Alexandria, where they both confessed that Arsenius was still living. How he was once more found we shall relate later.

SEC. 48. Synod of Cæsarea in 334

While this was going on, and Athanasius was arming himself for his defence, the Eusebians were making every exertion to destroy him, and this was indeed to be accomplished at a Synod at Cæsarea in 334, to which place, as it appears, the Censor Dalmatius had summoned him. Athanasius declined to appear; but instead, made known to the Emperor all that had taken place, namely, that information respecting Arsenius had been received, at the same time recalling to his memory what he had already heard at Psammathia regarding the story of the chalice. The Emperor, upon this, gave orders to the Censor to put a stop to the investigation; desired Eusebius and his friends, who were already hastening to Cæsarea, to return, and addressed another very honourable letter to Athanasius, in which he openly recognised the deceit practised by the Meletians, and openly exposed the inconsistency with which they had charged, at one time Athanasius, and at another Macarius, with the breaking of the chalice. As soon as it was discovered that Arsenius was still living, the monk Pinnes of the Ptemencyrcis monastery had advised John Archaph to put an end to the attack upon Athanasius. The chief bishop of the Meletians now therefore found it necessary, in order to appease the Emperor, to set forth, in a letter to the latter, his great inclination, professedly at least, for reconciliation with Athanasius, for which Constantine praised him. After a year, however, or a year and a half, the Eusebians, again instigated by the Meletians, ventured on a fresh attack upon him. They had constantly set before the Emperor the necessity of convening a large council for the restoration of peace in the Church, and for the union of the divided parties; and as just now, at the time of Constantine’s thirtieth anniversary, the great Church of the Resurrection built by him at Jerusalem was to be consecrated in the presence of many bishops, the Eusebians represented to him how glorious it would be if, before the commencement of this solemn act, all the bishops could be united, and the ecclesiastical strife in Egypt be set at rest. This proposition was too closely allied to Constantine’s darling plan not to meet with his approval, and he therefore arranged that the bishops should first assemble in Tyre, and then, with united and reconciled hearts, proceed to the great festival at Jerusalem.

SEC. 49. Synod of Tyre in 335

Eusebius states that Constantine himself summoned the Bishops of Egypt, Libya, Asia, and Europe to this Synod; appointed the Consul Dionysius protector; and hastened immediately after the opening of the Council, even before all the bishops had assembled, earnestly to exhort them to unity. Not counting the Egyptians, there appeared altogether about sixty bishops. The Eusebians, nevertheless, had the upper hand: namely, Eusebius of Nicomedia, and Eusebius of Cæsarea, Theognis of Nicæa, Maris of Chalcedon, Macedonius of Mopsuestia, Ursacius of Singidunum, Valens of Murcia, Theodore of Heraclea, Patrophilus of Scythopolis, and others. By the side of these, the few men belonging to no party, such as Maximus of Jerusalem, Alexander of Thessalonica, and Marcellus of Ancyra, could gain no influence. Athanasius at first refused to confide his cause to the Eusebians, because they were his enemies, on account of their heresy; but the Emperor obliged him to appear at the Synod. We may wonder how Constantine, who a year before had judged Athanasius so favourably, should now show him so little kindness. This is, however, partly explained in the following manner:—

Athanasius, after his victory over his opponents, was naturally all the more zealous in his endeavours to bring the whole of Egypt into Church unity, and, in virtue of the Nicene decrees, to recall the rest of the Meletians and Arians into communion. This seemed to be the more possible as the Meletians had formerly promised as much at Nicæa, and the Arians formed as yet no organized sect, with a worship of their own. The hindrances, however, with which he met, especially the obstinacy and malice of individuals, compelled him to adopt severer measures, and to invoke the secular arm against the recusants. That this was the case, is shown by the complaints which many of his opponents, especially Meletians, brought before the Synod of Tyre as to how, through him, that is, by the secular arm at his demand, they were condemned to all sorts of severe punishments, especially imprisonment and corporal chastisement. How greatly, however, Athanasius was provoked to severity by the malice of others, may be shown by the example of the Bishop Callinicus of Pelusium, who, alleging the fable of the unfair election of Athanasius, intrigued so long against his metropolitan, that the latter deposed him, and he then raised a great outcry against the violence and injustice of Athanasius. Such reports, skilfully employed, might well bring S. Athanasius under suspicion of the Emperor, who was, as even his admirer Eusebius allows, very credulous and easily led, as if by his excessive vehemence he was hindering the peace of the Church in Egypt; disturbing the peace being, in the eyes of the Emperor, the greatest offence, as Sozomen says. To this, doubtless, it must be added that the Eusebians also suspected the theology of Athanasius, as though, from their standpoint, he inclined too nearly to Sabellianism by overstepping the bounds of the Nicene faith, and thereby frightening back the converted Arians, and so proving himself a hindrance to the unity of the Church. Baronius thinks that they had even declared the report that Arsenius still lived to be a falsehood, spread abroad by Athanasius himself. I can, however, find nothing of this. Be this as it may, Athanasius now found himself obliged to go, against his will, to Tyre; but he took with him forty-eight of his suffragan bishops, in order, if possible, to ensure his being able to maintain a numerical equality with the Eusebians. His priest Macarius being again accused of the pretended destruction of the chalice, was brought in chains to Tyre. Ischyras had, as we have seen, made a humble apology to Athanasius; but, notwithstanding, had not been again received into the communion of the Church, and now, in revenge, he once more returned to the attack. To this the Eusebians incited him by the promise of a see.

The parts were well assigned at Tyre; the Meletians were the accusers, the Eusebians were the judges; the presidency was held by the Church historian Eusebius, who had long been embittered against the Egyptians, and especially against Athanasius. As soon as the Egyptian Bishop Potamon, who had lost an eye in the persecution under Maximian, saw Eusebius in the seat of the president, he cried out: “Thou art seated there, Eusebius, and the innocent Athanasius is judged by thee! Who can endure this? Say, wast thou not with me in prison at the time of the persecution? I have lost an eye for the truth’s sake, but thou hast not suffered in any part of thy body. How hast thou then thus escaped from prison, if not by wrongful promises or actual deeds?” Thus relates Epiphanius, while Athanasius and others are silent on the point. In any case, it was only a suspicion, and, indeed, a groundless one of Potamon’s; and it is very possible that Epiphanius’ whole account is only another and a false version of what Rufinus relates. He says that when the Egyptian Bishop Paphnutius saw Maximus of Jerusalem, who was not an Eusebiau, at Tyre, sitting among that party, he cried out: “Thou, O Maximus, who with me in the persecution hast lost an eye, but hast thereby earned the right of heavenly light, I cannot see thee sitting in the assembly of the wicked.” This statement of Rufinus is plainly more probable than that of Epiphanius; but that there is a certain connection between the two, is not to be denied.

The Bishop Callinicus of the Meletian party, and the well-known Ischyras, at once came forward against Athanasius. Ischyras again charged him with having broken his chalice, and overthrown his altar, as also with having often thrown him into prison, and slandered him before the Prefect of Egypt. Callinicus, formerly Catholic Bishop of Pelusium, complained that he had been irregularly deposed by Athanasius, because he had refused communion with him until he could clear himself of the affair of the chalice. Again, other Meletian bishops wished to prove themselves ill-used by Athanasius; but they all brought forward the well-known accusation of the irregularity of his election; and a document from Egypt was produced containing the following words: “It is solely the fault of Athanasius that every individual in Egypt has not joined the Church.” What Athanasius replied to all this is not known. He himself scarcely touches upon ‘these complaints. Sozomen only says that Athanasius cleared himself on some points at once, while on others he begged for time to enable him to bring forward his proofs.

Hereupon his enemies again raised the story of Arsenius, probably in the hope that Athanasius was not yet able to prove that Arsenius was indeed living.

The latter had even disappeared from their eyes,—they themselves knew not what had become of him, least of all did they guess that he was in the very hands of Athanasius. Without their consent he had gone, out of curiosity, secretly to Tyre, that he might see how matters went at the Synod. Some one, however, had recognised him, and had remarked in a tavern, “Arsenius, who is supposed to be dead, is here, hidden in a certain house.” A servant of the Consul Archelaus heard this by chance, and informed his master, who had the fugitive seized. Arsenius tried at first to deny his identity; but he was convicted by Bishop Paul of Tyre, who had long ago known him, and Archelaus now communicated the whole affair to S. Athanasius. Arsenius himself also wrote to Athanasius, and assured him most emphatically of his present renunciation of the Meletian party. Without knowing of this, the Meletians brought the charge of the murder of Arsenius before the Synod, and also did not fail to show the hand which had been cut off in a wooden box. Hereupon Athanasius inquired of several of those present whether they had known Arsenius; and when they replied in the affirmative, he led in the man supposed to be dead, and lifted his mantle, so that both his hands should be seen. The effect which this produced is variously reported. According to Socrates (i. 30), the author of this accusation, John Archaph, fled; according to Theodoret, they accused Athanasius of sorcery; and, lastly, according to Sozomen, they made the lying excuse that “Athanasius had set Arsenius’ house on fire and shut him up in it, in order to kill him, but he must nevertheless have escaped through a window; but, as he had not been seen for so long, they had with good reason concluded that he had really perished on that occasion.”

All the old historians before named, however, agree that a great tumult now arose, and that the enemies of Athanasius, instead of being ashamed of themselves, rushed in upon him so violently that he began to fear for his life.

If Rufinus and Theodoret relate the order of events rightly, a complaint on another point was brought forward before that concerning Arsenius. They brought before the Synod a woman who maintained that Athanasius had once, while on a visit to her, surprised her at night unexpectedly, and offered violence to her. He was brought in to answer for himself, and with him his friend, the priest Timothy, who, at Athanasius’ suggestion, thus addressed the girl: “Do you certainly maintain that I once lodged in your house, and offered violence to you?” She affirmed it, and thus by this change of persons—for she did not even know Athanasius—were the accusers once more put to shame. It was, however, in vain that Athanasius demanded a further inquiry as to who had persuaded the girl to this deceit; the Eusebians were of opinion that there were far more important points to be investigated. The whole story concerning the girl is, however, by no means satisfactorily authenticated. Not only is Athanasius silent about it, although he could have made use of this circumstance for his own defence, and as a proof of the hatred of the Eusebians; but, moreover, all the synods, both for and against Athanasius, which were held later, when all the old accusations were discussed afresh, do not make the slightest mention of this story. So also is Socrates silent on the point; and the only authority for the story seems to be Rufinus, from whom Theodoret and Sozomen derived it, the latter adding: “In the acts of the Synod no word of the sort is found.” The Arian Philostorgius relates something similar, but so far contradictory to Rufinus, that he represents the accusation as coming from Athanasius, and Eusebius of Cæsarea as the accused: he says that Athanasius had induced a girl to accuse Eusebius before the Synod as her seducer; but it had been shown that she did not even know this man.

From these contradictory accounts of Philostorgius and Rufinus, we may well assume that both are only different versions of one and the same fable. Be this as it may, it is certain that the Eusebians, in order not to give up their point altogether, now insisted with all their might upon further search into the affair of Macarius and Ischyras, and that further inquiries concerning the real state of the case should be made in Ischyras’ own country, Mareotis, through a special deputation of the Synod. The Count Dionysius, the imperial protector of the Synod, went over to their side; their intention, however, being, as Athanasius affirms, to intrigue against him in his absence. He himself maintained the whole journey to Mareotis to be unnecessary, as everything was already cleared up on sufficient evidence; but in any case men should be chosen to act in this deputation who were removed from all suspicion of party spirit. The Count Dionysius allowed him to be right on this last point; and it was decided that the members of the synodal deputation should be chosen at a general session. The Eusebians and Meletians, however, did not bind themselves to this, but appointed in an arbitrary and one-sided way exactly the most bitter enemies of Athanasius as deputies, and sought to obtain the subsequent ratification of their step by going round to each one individually. Those chosen were: Theognis of Nicæa, Maris of Chalcedon, Ursacius, Valens, Macedonius, and Theodorus, to whom they gave a military escort, and a letter of recommendation to the Governor of Egypt. They also took with them Ischyras, the accuser of Macarius, leaving the latter in chains at Tyre, plainly showing that they sought witnesses for Ischyras only, and not for the truth. Their chief confidant in Egypt was the Prefect Philagrius, formerly a Christian, who had relapsed into heathenism; and while they rejected the testimony of the Alexandrian and Mareotic priests, even of those who had been eye-witnesses of the affair of Ischyras, not even allowing these clergy to be present at the trial and verbal process, they listened to the testimony of Jews and heathens, and even of catechumens, who were to speak concerning proceedings in a sanctuary where they were yet never allowed to go. Thus, then, they pretended to have seen things in a place where they could never have been, and accordingly their statements turned out very contradictory.

The clergy of Alexandria and Mareotis protested against a proceeding so contrary to all right, in several letters to the deputation, to the Synod, to the Prefect of Egypt, and to another imperial officer. The priests of Mareotis particularly declared that Ischyras had never been a priest; he had indeed maintained that he had been formerly ordained by Colluthus; but the latter (a somewhat older schismatic of Alexandria) had never been made a bishop himself, and therefore could have ordained no priest. But in any case, Ischyras had been deposed from his assumed priesthood at a synod in presence of Hosius (therefore before the Council of Nicæa), and placed in lay communion. He had never had a church in Mareotis; neither had a chalice been broken, or an altar overthrown, by Athanasius, or by any of his attendants. They, the clergy of Mareotis, were there when Athanasius visited that country; but that which Ischyras brought forward was a lie throughout, as he himself had already confessed. When the synodal deputation came to Mareotis, they had clearly seen the groundlessness of Ischyras’ complaint; but Theognis and the other enemies of Athanasius had induced the adherents of Ischyras and other “Ariomanites” (violent admirers of Arius) to make statements of which they could make use. The Prefect Philagrius supported them in this, and by threats and violent treatment had suppressed the truth and encouraged the false testimonies.

At the same time, the Egyptian bishops, who were present at Tyre, openly impeached the Eusebians before the Synod of conspiring against Athanasius, of having chosen the deputation unjustly, etc., and begged the remaining bishops not to make common cause with them. They addressed a letter to the same effect to the Count Dionysius, and desired of him, in a letter written somewhat later, that he should, in consideration of the machinations of their enemies, reserve the decision of this affair for the Emperor. They explained this also to the Synod. Alexander of Thessalonica, one of the most illustrious bishops of the Council, also thought fit to warn Dionysius of the unjust proceedings of the Eusebians, that he might not be led by them into any false step; and Dionysius valued his judgment so highly, that he had urgent injunctions sent to the commissaries who had gone to Mareotis, to act justly.

Athanasius, however, had given up all hope from the Synod of Tyre, and quitted it now, in order by his absence to stop its further proceedings. It was, he said, an acknowledged rule, that whatever was determined by one party alone was invalid. Yet the Eusebians did not look upon themselves as a party, but as judges; and when their deputation returned from Mareotis with their protocols and false statements of the witnesses, the Synod pronounced the deposition of Athanasius, and forbade him to return to Alexandria, that disturbances might not arise there. The Meletian John Archaph and his adherents, as being illegally persecuted by Athanasius, were, on the contrary, again received into the communion of the Church, and restored to their offices; nay, they even made Ischyras himself bishop of his own town in Mareotis (hitherto belonging to the see of Alexandria) as a reward for his help, and induced the Emperor to build a Church for him. They did not communicate their decisions to the Emperor alone, but addressed an encyclical letter to all the bishops to this effect: “They should break off all connection with Athanasius, as he was convicted of several crimes, and by evading any defence by his flight had convicted himself of others. The reasons demanding his condemnation were: firstly, because the year before he had not presented himself before the Synod of Cæsarea, but had kept it waiting a long time in vain; secondly, because, having arrived at Tyre with such a large number of bishops, he had caused disturbances in the Council, either not answering the accusations at all, or slandering certain bishops; or when cited, paying no attention. Furthermore, the destruction of a sacred chalice had been clearly proved, as Theognis, Maris, and others, who had been sent on that account to Mareotis, testified.”

SEC. 50. Synod at Jerusalem in 335

Scarcely had this taken place when the Emperor desired the bishops to betake themselves immediately to Jerusalem to assist at the consecration of the church already mentioned, to which many other bishops had also been invited. The Church historian Eusebius relates the great solemnities which took place there very circumstantially and with evident pleasure, and takes great pains to place the Synod held on this occasion at Jerusalem on a par with that of Nicæa. It was indeed not an appendix to, but a contradiction of, the Nicene Council; for the Eusebians already ventured to answer affirmatively the question propounded to them by the Emperor, namely, whether the profession of faith by Arius and his friends, handed in some time before, was satisfactory, to decide solemnly to receive the Arians, and to acquaint therewith all bishops and clergy, and especially those of Egypt, that they might take note of it. Athanasius was indeed crushed, and thereby the chief hindrance to that reception, and the Arianizing of the Church, appeared to be got rid of. In order to make the victory more complete, however, a process was also commenced at Jerusalem against Marcellus of Ancyra, who, like Athanasius, had ever been a great opponent of Arianism, and had angered the Eusebians by his protest against the condemnation of Athanasius, as well as by his refusal to take part in the Synod of Jerusalem. But a fresh command of the Emperor, that all the bishops who had been present at Tyre should at once come to Constantinople, obliged further proceedings against him to be postponed until later.

SEC. 51. Synod of Constantinople in the year 335. First exile of Athanasius. Deposition of Marcellus of Ancyra, and death of Arius

Athanasius having fled from Tyre, resorted to Constantinople, and presented himself before the Emperor, who was just then riding by. Constantine at first did not recognise him, and when he discovered who he was, would not listen to him at all; so much was he set against the man who had been represented to him as the disturber of peace in Egypt. But Athanasius frankly explained that he wished nothing but that the Emperor should summon before him the bishops from Tyre, that in his presence he might make complaint of the injustice which had been shown him. This appeared reasonable to the Emperor, and he summoned all the bishops who had been present at Tyre to appear at once at Constantinople. At the same time, he complained bitterly of the divisions in the Church, and boasted, on the other hand, of his own zeal.

The Eusebians were, however, astute enough not to allow all the bishops who had been present at Tyre to go to Constantinople, for many amongst them had not agreed to the proceedings against Athanasius. They intimidated them by representing the Emperor’s letter as prophesying no good, and thus it came to pass that many, instead of going to Constantinople, returned to their sees. The Eusebians, therefore, only sent to Constantinople, as before to Mareotis, the leaders of their party: the two Eusebiuses, Theognis, Maris, Patrophilus, Ursacius, and Valens, who brought with them a wholly new accusation against Athanasius—that he had threatened to hinder the yearly importation of corn from Alexandria to Constantinople. Concerning the chalice and Arsenius, they were now entirely silent, as Athanasius himself, and after him Theodoret and Socrates maintain; while Sozomen maintains that they again brought up the subject of the chalice, and that the Emperor credited it. However that may be, it is certain that the Emperor exiled Athanasius, without hearing his further defence, to Trèves in Gaul at the end of the year 335, as is generally supposed, or, as says the preface to the Syriac version of the Festal Letters of S. Athanasius, on the 10th Athyr (November 6) 336; and this, in truth, as Athanasius himself states, because the point concerning the importation of corn had angered him exceedingly. The Egyptian bishops add that Athanasius sought to represent to the Emperor that it would have been impossible for him to hinder the importation of corn, but that Eusebius of Nicomedia contradicted him, pointing out his wealth and great influence. Sozomen remarks on this, not without a keen appreciation of the whole mental attitude of the Emperor towards Arianism, that Constantine also thought there could be no better means to restore the peace of the Church than the banishment of Athanasius. That the Emperor only meant to withdraw Athanasius from his enemies, and that the punishment therefore was not really intended, was afterwards asserted by Constantine the younger, but probably only in order to shield his father’s memory. Yet Athanasius himself afterwards appears to have in some degree credited this assertion. For the rest, the Emperor rejected the demand of the Eusebians that another bishop should be chosen for Alexandria, and his son, Constantine the younger, residing at Trèves, received the exile kindly, and provided him with all necessaries.

The Eusebian bishops, however, who had come to Constantinople held a synod in that place, at which they again brought forward the affair of Marcellus of Ancyra, accusing him of disrespect to the Emperor, in not having appeared at the consecration of the church in Jerusalem, as well as of heresy. Marcellus had attempted to defend the orthodox doctrine against the Arian sophist Asterius of Cappadocia, and, at the same time, against the Eusebians; but in this he was so unfortunate, that he afforded his adversaries an opportunity for an accusation of heterodoxy. Although Marcellus, like Athanasius, now addressed himself to the Emperor, and gave him the work in question, with the request that he would read and examine it himself, the Synod deposed him, and desired all the bishops in his province (Galatia) to destroy the book.

It is difficult to pass a decided judgment upon Marcellus. As we shall see by and by, the Synod of Sardica declared him to have been unjustly deposed, and restored him to his see. Athanasius and Bishop Julius of Rome were also at that time on his side. But later on, the opinions of the greater number changed, especially after Marcellus’ pupil, Bishop Photinus of Sirmium, had been convicted of heresy; and then, even Athanasius, when questioned by Epiphanius as to the orthodoxy of Marcellus, would express no decided opinion. Indeed, if Hilary is correct, Athanasius had already, before the year 349, shut out Marcellus from the communion of the Church. Other Fathers of the Church judged him still more severely, especially Hilary himself, Basil the Great, and Chrysostom, as also the greater number of the later authorities, Petavius in particular. Tillemont is also more against than for Marcellus; and Baronius does not venture at least to decide in his favour. On the other hand, Natalis Alexander, and Bernard Montfaucon, and lately also Möhler, have sought to defend the orthodoxy of Marcellus, allowing him to be faulty in expression; while Dorner and Döllinger, on the other hand, felt themselves obliged to judge him more unfavourably. A right judgment concerning Marcellus of Ancyra is so difficult on this account, because his own treatise against Asterius has been lost, and we only possess fragments of it in the two refutations of Eusebius of Cæsarea,1 who not seldom misrepresented the intention and sense of the writer. Also words used by Eusebius have often been taken for those of Marcellus. All these fragments, collected by Rettberg in 1794, under the title of Marcelliana, form the chief source for judging of the peculiar teaching of this extraordinary and much tried man; and, through careful use of these authorities, Theodore Zahn of Göttingen, in his work on Marcellus of Ancyra, a contribution to the history of theology (Gotha 1867), has lately arrived at very noteworthy results. According to this, Marcellus was a great phenomenon, rather in the history of theology than in the development of dogma, and while holding fast the chief points of the Nicene faith, thought it unnecessary to consider its formula as binding. The whole theological controversy of his day appeared to him a consequence of the unhappy mixture of philosophical ideas with the teaching of the Scriptures, and that it was necessary to return to the latter to find out the truth. But, in most passages of the Bible, only the relation of the Incarnate Word to the Father had been intimated, whilst the introduction to the Gospel of S. John was the chief foundation for the recognition of the eternal relation of the Logos to God, and His pre-existence. He considered the expression “begotten,” so frequently used by the theologians of both parties, as especially unhappy and confusing; and was of opinion that to admit this word made Subordinationism or Arianism unavoidable. The being begotten must always be a sort of becoming, of taking a beginning (as the Arians said); but the idea of becoming contradicted the eternity of the Logos, so distinctly proclaimed by S. John. An eternal generation, as stated by Athanasius and others, was to him unimaginable; and he therefore most distinctly affirmed the Logos in His pre-existence to be unbegotten (in contradiction to the statement of the Nicene Creed); therefore, again, the Logos in His pre-existence could not be called Son, but only the Logos invested with human nature was Son of God, and begotten. And so also the eternal Logos could not be called the Image of God, for an image must be something which assumes a visible form; therefore this could only be the Incarnate Son, born of the Virgin Mary. So when Marcellus, in speaking of the Logos, uses the expressions δυνάμει and ἐνεργείᾳ, he designates by the latter (ἐν ἐνεργείᾳ εἶναι) the being of the Logos as a working world-creating power, the ἐνέργεια δραστική; but whilst the Logos thus, as it were, comes forth from God, and works externally, yet is not God without the Logos, but the Logos through all this remains united with God, inasmuch as he is δύναμις, that is to say, the power resting in God, the capacity whereby He operates as ἐνέργεια δραστική. The Logos is at once a power resting in God, and, outwardly working, is in and with God (πρὸς τὸν θεόν). Thus Marcellus seemed to divide the Logos into a Logos remaining in God and one coming forth from God, who not until the end of the history of the world, in so far as He has remained in God, returns to Himself,—a separation of the divine nature which constitutes the personality of Christ into two subjects, of which the one is finite, while the other carries on the absolute life. One sees that this doctrine is different from Sabellianism, and Marcellus expressly declared himself against Sabellius; but his enemies, especially Eusebius of Cæsarea, chose to discover in it a resemblance to Sabellianism.

An accusation against Marcellus, in appearance quite contradictory to this, had been raised by the bishops at the Synod of Constantinople in 335, accusing him, as Socrates and Sozomen say, of Samosatenism, that is, of the erroneous doctrine of Paul of Samosata. Neither was this without a certain plausibility. Although fundamentally differing from Paul of Samosata, yet neither does Marcellus present the idea of a true God-Man, but sees in the miraculously born Jesus a man in whom the Logos, the ἐνέργεια δραστικὴ of God, dwells. This Logos unites Himself with man, is a continual working of God upon man. It is true that Marcellus would have his God-Man differ from all other creatures, for he says: “The divine ἐνέργεια dwells with other men, upon whom it works externally; with Christ, however, it dwells in Himself inwardly.” But neither in this way was the idea of the God-Man realized. Thus Marcellus, to a certain extent like Paul of Samosata, makes Christ a man in whom God dwells.

As soon as Athanasius had been put down, Arius was to be again formally and solemnly received into the Church, and he was already travelling for this purpose from the Synod of Jerusalem to Alexandria. The present vacancy in the see of that city increased his hopes; but the people were so displeased at his arrival, as also at the banishment of Athanasius, that great disturbances arose. The Emperor on this account recalled Arius to Constantinople; either, as Socrates says, in order to call him to account for the scenes in Alexandria, or because the Eusebians had planned to effect the reception of the heretic in Constantinople. And as the bishop of that see, Alexander, did not in any way incline to their wishes, they so managed that Constantine again summoned Arius before him, examined him once more concerning his faith, and again made him sign an orthodox formula. Athanasius, whose letter, De Morte Arii ad Serapionem, is here our chief source of information, relates that Arius swore that the doctrine on account of which he had been excommunicated for more than ten years by Bishop Alexander of Alexandria was not his, but that the Emperor said at the dismissal of Arius: “If thy faith be the true one, thou hast sworn well; but if it be false, so let God judge thee on account of thine oath.” Thereupon Constantine, pressed by the Eusebians, gave the Bishop of Constantinople the order to receive Arius into the communion of the Church; and the Eusebians threatened the bishop with deposition and exile if he made opposition, and declared that they would on the next day (it was then Saturday), whether he willed it or not, solemnize divine service with Arius. Bishop Alexander knew of no other help in this distress than prayer: he repaired to the church of S. Irene, and thus prayed to God: “O let me die before Arius comes into the Church; but if Thou wilt have pity on Thy Church, prevent this crime, that heresy may not enter the Church together with Arius.” A few hours later, on the evening of the same Saturday, Arius went with a great escort through the city; when he was come near to Constantine’s forum, he had to retire into a privy to relieve nature, and died there suddenly from the gushing out of his bowels, in the year 336. Very many looked upon his death as a punishment from heaven; and even in the mind of the Emperor a suspicion arose that Arius had really been a heretic, and had perjured himself, and had therefore come to such an end. Indeed, as Socrates says, he considered the shocking death of Arius as a direct confirmation of the Nicene faith. Athanasius further relates that after this incident very many Arians became converted, while others sought to spread the belief that Arius had been killed by the magical art of his enemies, or, as some said, that the excessive joy at his victory had occasioned his death. The place, however, where Arius died was long shown with horror in Constantinople, till eventually a rich Arian bought the building from the government, and raised another on the same spot.

While Athanasius was in exile at Trèves, the faithful people in Alexandria offered up prayers for the return of their beloved bishop; and the renowned patriarch of monachism, Antony, wrote often on this subject to the Emperor, who held him personally in great esteem. Constantine, nevertheless, did not allow himself to be moved, but bitterly blamed the Alexandrians, and ordered the clergy and holy virgins henceforth to keep quiet, and declared that he would certainly not recall Athanasius, an unruly man, and under sentence of condemnation by the Church. But to S. Antony he wrote that it was incredible that so many excellent and wise bishops could have given a wrong sentence; Athanasius was violent and haughty, and was bearing the punishment of his quarrels and dissensions. Sozomen, who relates this, adds, “that the enemies of S. Athanasius had reproached him with this especially, because they knew that disturbance of the peace was the greatest crime in the eyes of the Emperor.”

Because, however, one party in Alexandria held with Athanasius, and the other with the head of the Meletians, John Archaph, who seemed to be fostering this division and making capital out of it in order to get himself made Bishop of Alexandria, Constantine banished him also, in spite of all petitions and excuses, and would by no means suffer any one party to separate itself from the universal Church, and to form a separate sect with a distinct worship. Thus it came to pass, that even the Arians in Alexandria, as elsewhere, had not outwardly separated from the Church.

The same sentence of banishment fell also about this time upon the orthodox Bishop Paul of Constantinople, who had a short time before become the successor of the aged Alexander. The local Arian party had desired to have the priest Macedonius (afterwards head of the Pneumatomachi) in his place, and they succeeded in setting the Emperor against the new bishop, so that he exiled him to Pontus. From Sozomen we learn that a chief point of complaint against him had been that he had been appointed without the consent and co-operation of Eusebius of Nicomedia and Theodore of Heraclea in Thrace, who claimed the right of ordaining the Bishop of Byzantium. He had also been falsely accused of leading an immoral life. But Socrates and Sozomen are mistaken in ascribing the original banishment of Paul to the next Emperor, thus confounding his first and second exile. Athanasius, who is the best authority, relates the facts quite clearly.

SEC. 52. Constantine’s Baptism and Death, etc. Return of Athanasius from his First Exile

Soon after this Constantine fell ill. He had, felt unwell since Easter 337. At first he tried the baths of Nicomedia, and then the warm springs of Drepanum, which he had named Helenopolis in honour of his mother, and where he now received the laying on of hands as a catechumen. From thence he was taken to the villa Ancyrona, in the suburbs of Nicomedia, whither he also summoned a number of bishops that he might receive holy baptism. He had hitherto put off this, according to the use or rather abuse of that age, especially, as he declares, because he desired to be baptized in the Jordan. The bishops now performed the sacred rite, and Constantine received the sacrament with great piety. From that time he no longer assumed the robes of state, but prepared himself earnestly for a happy end.

Jerome, in his Chronicle, says, and no doubt rightly, that of the several bishops present at the ceremony, it was Eusebius of Nicomedia who actually baptized him, for the Emperor certainly lived in the diocese of Nicomedia, and it was only in accordance with ecclesiastical order that the bishop of the diocese should perform the sacred rite; but what Jerome infers from this is manifestly wrong, namely, that Constantine had thereby become implicated in the Arian heresy. As we have already seen, since the recall of Bishop Eusebius from exile, the Emperor no longer suspected him of Arianism. The orthodox confession which the former had made had set him entirely at rest on this point. Nay, he even thought he might regard Eusebius as a zealous promoter of the restoration of Church unity. Neither can the exile of Athanasius nor the reception of Arius testify against the Emperor’s orthodoxy; for Constantine, as it is known, expressly demanded of Arius and his friends the orthodox confession, and their consent to the Nicene faith, as whose zealous champion he ever busied himself. For this reason Arius could only through falsehood and equivocation succeed in deceiving the Emperor as to his orthodoxy, and therefore Walch rightly says, “What had been done by the Emperor in favour of Arius had been done because he was deceived, not in the question as to what faith was true, but as to what faith Arius held.”

In all his measures against Athanasius, however, Constantine had never in any way called in question the orthodoxy of the man, which would surely have been the case had he himself inclined towards Arianism; but then Athanasius had been represented to him as a disturber of peace, and it was for this reason that he was so much out of favour with him. Lastly, it must not be overlooked that, excepting Jerome, all the Fathers, and especially Athanasius himself, always speak most honourably of the Emperor Constantine, and entertain no doubts of his orthodoxy.

Moreover, in course of time Constantine even took a more favourable view of Athanasius, and shortly before his own death he decided upon his recall. Theodoret adds that he gave this order in the presence of Eusebius of Nicomedia, and in spite of the latter’s dissuasion. But the Emperor’s own son, Constantine the younger, probably gives the most accurate account when he says, in the letter which he gave to Athanasius to take with him to Alexandria, that his father had already decided to reinstate Athanasius, but that death had prevented his doing so, and that he now therefore considered the execution of this design as a duty devolved upon him by his father.

The actual recall of Athanasius, however, did not take place till a year later, probably because political affairs caused so much delay. Constantine had left a will which, as none of his sons were present, he had given to a trustworthy priest, commissioning him to deliver it to his second son, Constantius, who was to be summoned thither immediately. This might have been because Constantius was just then nearer Nicomedia than the others, or because the Emperor placed especial confidence in him, and made him, so to speak, executor, as Julian the Apostate states. This will contained the confirmation of an arrangement already made in 335, by which the eldest son, Constantine, was to receive Gaul, Spain, and Britain; Constantius, the eastern countries; Constans, Italy and Africa; and of the Emperor’s two nephews, Dalmatius and Annibalianus (sons of his brother, Dalmatius Annibalianus), the former was to receive Thrace, Macedonia, Illyria, and Achaia; the latter, who was also Constantine’s son-in-law, Pontus and the neighbouring countries.

Hardly had Constantine the Great’s death taken place, on Whitsunday, May 22, 337, and his interment in the Church of the Apostles, where his body had to be laid, when his two nephews, as well as his younger brother, Julius Constantius, father of the Apostate, with other relatives and illustrious men, were murdered. The suspicion of this bloodshed rests upon Constantius; and Philostorgius seeks to excuse the deed only by stating, what is indeed very incredible, that Constantine the Great had in his will ordered these executions, because those relations had given him poison, and thus brought about his death.

After such events Constantine’s three sons found it necessary to arrange a fresh division of the kingdom at a personal interview; and indeed, according to the later Greek authors, they are said to have come to such an agreement first in Constantinople, in September 337. It is certain that in the following year, 338, they assembled for this purpose also at Pannonia. That at one of these meetings they also decided upon the recall of all the exiled bishops, appears from a statement of S. Athanasius, who says: “The three Emperors, Constantine, Constantius, and Constans, had, after the death of their father, recalled all the banished from exile, and had given to each of these bishops a letter to his diocese; thus Constantine the younger gave one to Athanasius (the letter before mentioned) to the Alexandrians.” Philostorgius says the same: “After the death of Constantine all the exiled had received permission to return.” This again refers to the meeting and general decision of the Emperors. Epiphanius also agrees with this in its chief points, when he writes: “Athanasius had received permission to return from both Emperors, Constantine the younger and Constans, with the consent of Constantius, who was just then staying at Antioch.”

As that meeting at Pannonia took place in the summer of 338, so the release of Athanasius from Trèves came at the same time, and it agrees admirably with Theodoret’s statement, that Athanasius had passed two years and four months at Trèves. If he was exiled, as we must assume, at the end of the year 335, he could only have arrived at Trèves in 336; but two years and four months from that time bring us to the summer or autumn of 338. We find the dates more accurate in the preface to the newly-discovered Festal Letters of S. Athanasius, where his arrival in Gaul is fixed on the 10th Athyr (November 6) 336, and his return to Alexandria on the 27th Athyr (November 23) 338. The tenth and eleventh of the newly-found Festal Letters entirely agree with this, as the first was written for Easter 338, while Athanasius was still away, but already looking for a speedy return; whilst the other, for Easter 339, was written after his return to Alexandria.

Chronological doubts concerning this can now only arise from the date and heading of the letter from Constantine the younger to the Alexandrians, which is dated June 17, while in the heading Constantine the younger still calls himself Cæsar. Now, as the sons of Constantine the Great took the title of Augustus on the 9th of September 337, it was concluded that the letter signed with the title of Cæsar must have been written before that event, and that the date of June 17 there given must have been in the year 337. According to this, Constantine the younger would have sent Athanasius back to Alexandria one year earlier than we assumed above.

(a) But, firstly, the news of the Emperor’s death at Nicomedia, on May 22, 337, could hardly have been received at Trèves by June 17 of the same year, as we may well believe, considering the imperfect state of the roads and means of communication at that time, and the immense distance between Nicomedia and Trèves.

(b) Egypt was part of Constantius’ empire, and one cannot understand how Constantine the younger should have been able to send S. Athanasius back to Alexandria without any reference to, or negotiation with, his brother; but such reference was not possible by June 17, 337.

(c) If Athanasius had been already released from Trèves in June 337, then his sojourn there would only have lasted one year and four months, and not two years and four months, as Theodoret particularly says.

(d) Pagi had already disposed of the difficulty about the title of Cæsar, by the remark that other Augustuses also, when writing to the subjects of a colleague, used the title of Cæsar, and not that of Augustus, as did Licinius, for example, in an edict referring to Africa of the year 314, although, as is known, he had already for several years been Augustus. Africa did not belong to Licinius’ part of the empire, but to that of Constantine the Great. Pagi adds several examples of this kind; but Montfaucon shows that letters of other Augustuses also are not signed with the title Augustus, and that sometimes, too, the title of Cæsar was used together with that of Augustus. For instance, in the edict of Constantine the Great in Theodoret, there is neither Augustus nor Cæsar; but in the decree of Maximin in Eusebius, the title of Cæsar is first mentioned, and that of Augustus only somewhat later.

Now Tillemont is of opinion that Constantine the younger had despatched the letter from Trèves before his departure for Pannonia,—I may add, perhaps, after the three Emperors had discussed this point at their first conference at Constantinople,—and that he forthwith took Athanasius with him to Pannonia to introduce him to Constantius, in whose empire he was to occupy so important a position in the Church. We do, in fact, now find Athanasius at Viminacium, a town of Mœsia near Pannonia, where he was for the first time presented to the Emperor, who was at Viminacium in June 338, as is shown by a law then issued by him from that place; and it entirely agrees with the chronological order before given, if we assume that Athanasius was first presented to him there in July 338. Athanasius afterwards travelled to Constantinople, where he met the Bishop Paul, who, like himself, had been shortly before recalled from exile, and was again—and, indeed, in the presence of Athanasius—accused by his enemies, especially Macedonius, but without any immediate result.

The Emperor Constantius at this time had to hurry to the eastern boundaries of the empire on account of the Persians; and at the beginning of October 338 he was already at Antioch, as the date of one of his laws again shows. Athanasius also followed him on the same road, and at Cæsarea in Cappadocia he met with Constantius for the second time, where he at last succeeded in obtaining his permission also for his return. When he afterwards, in presence of the Emperor, appealed to the fact of his not having at this meeting spoken a hard word against his enemies, especially the Eusebians, we may see that it was this moderation which by degrees overcame the Emperor’s scruples.

Many learned men maintain that S. Athanasius’ third meeting with Constantius at Antioch in Syria took place at this time; but we shall, with better reason, transpose it to the period after the Synod of Sardica.

Only one difficulty with regard to this circumstance yet remains—viz. why Constantine the younger should have already published his letter relating to the return of S. Athanasius in Trèves before he met his brothers in Pannonia. The affair may perhaps be explained thus: Constantine the younger had the definite power to release Athanasius from his confinement in Trèves, for Trèves belonged to his part of the empire. The letter therefore, first of all, signified a solemn and honourable release of the exile from Trèves; and on this account it had to be published in that place, and before the young Emperor took Athanasius with him to Pannonia. He was not to accompany the Emperor as a culprit, but as a free man. The Emperor Constantine acquainted the Alexandrians with the release of Athanasius on the 17th of June 338, immediately before his departure for Pannonia, in order to enlighten them as to the fate of their beloved bishop. This was also necessary, as otherwise his removal from Trèves to Pannonia might have excited the Alexandrians, and have occasioned fears, and perhaps all sorts of disorder. Constantine therefore says in this letter what he had done with regard to Athanasius, and thereby suggests the hope that the bishop would soon return to Alexandria. He hoped, no doubt, to effect this in concurrence with his brother Constantius, who, perhaps at the first conference of the brothers at Constantinople, had already given the prospect of his consent, so that the whole of Constantine’s decree appears fully justified, although no express mention is made of the condition of Constantius’ agreement. But that Constantius did not immediately give his consent in Pannonia, but postponed it until later, is shown by the statement of old writers; that the Eusebians had devised all possible intrigues, and sought by every means to set the Emperor against Athanasius, and to prevent his return to Alexandria. If this happened, as is very probable, during the time between the two conferences at Constantinople and Pannonia, everything is clearly explained.

The endeavours of the Eusebians did not, however, succeed this time, for before their plots against Athanasius were completed he arrived, on November 23, at the end of the year 338, at Alexandria, where, as says Gregory of Nazianzum, he was received with infinite joy, and more splendour than any emperor.

SEC. 53. The Arians again gain strength. Synod at Constantinople in 338 or 339

Rufinus, Socrates, Sozomen, and Theodoret relate in the following manner how the Eusebians and Arians gained influence over the Emperor Constantius, while his brothers held to the Nicene faith:—The priest to whom Constantine the Great gave his will was the same who had already possessed the confidence of Constantia, and then insinuated himself into favour with her brother, and, as we have seen, effected the recall of Arius. In the Liber Synodicus he is called Eustathius, while Baronius, though indeed unsupported, thinks that he might have been Acacius, who soon after was raised to the bishopric of Cæsarea. By clever and faithful management of the affair of the will, whereby he greatly benefited Constantius, he placed himself in such high favour with the Emperor that he was employed about his person, and favoured with special confidence. So that he shortly succeeded in winning over to Arianism the Empress and the Imperial Lord High Chamberlain and favourite, the eunuch Eusebius, who was all-powerful at court; and he skilfully represented to the Emperor the disadvantage of disturbances in the Church, and how those who had introduced the ὁμοούσιος into the Church were to blame for this. Thus was Constantine’s interest engaged against the faith of Nicæa; and Eusebius of Nicomedia, Theognis, and the other heads of the Eusebian party each did their best to win the Emperor over to their views and plans.

One of the first results of the renewed power of Arianism was the second deposition of Bishop Paul of Constantinople, which took place at the end of 338, or the beginning of 339, at an Eusebian Synod at Constantinople, when Constantius returned from the East. He banished the unhappy man in chains to Singara in Mesopotamia, and his see was given to Eusebius of Nicomedia, who had already for a length of time coveted this important post, and had, as Athanasius says, been the cause of the persecution of that well-meaning, but less practical and accomplished, man.

Eusebius of Cæsarea, the Church historian, died about this time, and those who held Arian views knew how to supply the loss of this half-friend, by the immediate choice of his pupil Acacius, who from that time was among the most active, learned, and influential friends of Arianism.

While all this was passing, the Eusebians and Arians had also again renewed their attacks upon Athanasius, who must have been obnoxious to them, if only by reason of his having, since his return from exile, won over very many bishops to the doctrine of the ὁμοούσιος, and drawn them away from the side of the Eusebians. The irritation, however, with which both parties opposed each other, is shown on one side by the iniquitous conduct of the Eusebians; on the other, by the fact that Athanasius and his friends completely identified the Eusebians with the Arians, as well as by the violent tone of the apology published by the Egyptian bishops in favour of Athanasius. The latter, especially the bitter expressions against Eusebius of Nicomedia contained in it, are, however, fully excused by the more than malicious charges and open injustice indulged in by the Eusebians against Athanasius.

As we have before seen, the Arians might not anywhere form a separate community with a worship of their own, for this Constantine the Great had expressly forbidden. But the Eusebians, in the year 339, ventured to give the Arian party in Alexandria a bishop of their own, in the person of the former priest Pistus, who had already been deposed on account of Arianism by the predecessor of Athanasius, and by the Nicene Synod, but was now consecrated bishop by Secundus of Ptolemais, who had likewise been deposed at Nicæa. The Eusebians also sent deacons to Alexandria, who assisted at the services held by Pistus, and countenanced the separation of this party from the universal Church.

At the same time the Eusebians not only repeated the old accusations against Athanasius,—as appears from the defence against them made by the Egyptian bishops,—but added entirely new and slanderous accusations, viz. (1) that even his return from Alexandria had been viewed with much displeasure, and had occasioned great sorrow; (2) that after his return he had caused several executions, imprisonments, and other ill-treatment of his opponents; and (3) that he had himself taken and sold the corn which the late Emperor had assigned to the widows in Libya and Egypt. To those charges, according to Sozomen, they further added, (4) that Athanasius had, contrary to the canons, resumed his see without being reinstated by an ecclesiastical decision.

They brought these complaints before all the three Emperors,—Constantine the younger being then still alive,—and Constantius really credited them, especially the charge concerning the sale of the corn. Besides this, they now also sent an embassy in 339 to Rome to Julius I., consisting of the priest Macarius and the two deacons Martyrius and Hesychius, to bring the accusations against Athanasius before the Pope, and prejudice him against the persecuted man, and to persuade him to send letters of peace (Epistolæ communicatoriæ) to the Bishop Pistus, whom they represented as orthodox, and thus solemnly recognise him as a true bishop. Besides this, the Eusebian ambassadors were to bring to the Pope the documents of the notorious investigations concerning Ischyras in Mareotis. Heretics never denied the weight that Rome, if on their side, would have in the judgment of the Church and of public opinion, and they ceased to recognise the Primate only when he was against them.

SEC. 54. Synod of Alexandria, 339. Transactions in Rome, and Expulsion of Athanasius

Pope Julius at once gave S. Athanasius a copy of the Mareotic acts, and the latter found himself compelled by all these events to send, on his part, envoys for his defence to Rome, and to the Emperors Constantine and Constans, and at the same time to assemble a great Synod in Alexandria of the bishops of Egypt, Libya, Thebes, and Pentapolis, that they, nearly a hundred in number, might bear witness to the truth against his accusers. These bishops most solemnly affirmed that neither the old nor the new charges against Athanasius contained any truth, and especially that in the first place his return to Alexandria had been received, not with sorrow, but with great joy; (2) that nobody, either priest or layman, had been imprisoned or executed through him, the cases his accusers were thinking of having occurred before the return of Athanasius, and those punishments having been in no way occasioned by him, but inflicted by the Prefect of Egypt himself for quite other than ecclesiastical reasons; (3) that, with regard to the distribution of corn, Athanasius had only had trouble and annoyance, but had not used the smallest part for his own advantage, neither had any of those who were entitled to receive it brought any charge against him; whereas, on the contrary, the Arians had sought to take away the corn from the Church, and to obtain it for the benefit of their own party.

That this Synod of Alexandria was held in 339, or at latest in the beginning of 340, is shown by its letter, in which three Emperors are still mentioned, so that Constantine the younger was then living; besides this, Athanasius expressly relates that Constantine and Constans had credited his envoys, and sent away the accusers in disgrace.

As soon as the priest Macarius, the head of the Eusebian embassy, heard of the impending arrival of the envoys of Athanasius, he set off, although ill, from Rome, in order to save himself from disgrace; but the two other Eusebians, the deacons Martyrius and Hesychius, could only make so feeble a stand against the defenders of Athanasius, that in their embarrassment they demanded the calling of a synod, before which they would lay full and sufficient evidence of their charges against Athanasius. Pope Julius agreed to this demand, and sent letters to Athanasius and to the Eusebians, in accordance with which both parties were to appear, for the purpose of investigation, at a synod, the place and time of which they were to decide themselves.

Partly on account of this Papal summons, and partly through quite unexpected events in Alexandria, Athanasius at once repaired in person to Rome. Whilst throughout the whole patriarchate of Egypt peace and unity again reigned in the Church, and not one complaint was heard against Athanasius on the part of the Church, much less his deposition spoken of, the Prefect of Egypt suddenly and quite unexpectedly published an imperial decree, announcing that “a certain Gregory of Cappadocia had been appointed by the Court (i.e. the Emperor) successor of Athanasius.” That this had been brought about by the Eusebians, Athanasius expressly and repeatedly maintained; in another place he affirms that Gregory had formerly been a dishonest collector of rents in Constantinople, and in an Encyclical Letter to all the bishops of Christendom he represents the outrage involved in the intrusion of this man. Before his arrival the people flocked in greater numbers into the churches, in order effectively to hinder their surrender into the hands of the Arians. But the Prefect of Egypt, the apostate Philagrius, a countryman of Gregory, drove the faithful by force out of the churches, and allowed the greatest outrages to be committed there by Jews and heathens. This took place during Lent. The Prefect had particularly in view the church of Theonas, where Athanasius at that time generally abode. Here he hoped to be able to take him prisoner. But Athanasius escaped on the 19th of March, as says the preface to his Festal Letters, four days before the arrival of Gregory, after having baptized a great number.

Amid fresh acts of bloody and brutal violence, Gregory forthwith on Good Friday took possession of the church of Cyrenus. Further abominations in other churches followed lowed, and were succeeded by judicial prosecutions. Many men and women even of noble families were imprisoned and publicly beaten with rods because they opposed the new bishop.

We have related the events in somewhat different chronological order from former writers, as it has been assumed from the statements of S. Athanasius, in his circular letter to the bishops, that the attack upon the church of Theonas, and his flight, only took place after the arrival of Gregory and the attack upon the church of Cyrinus; therefore, after Good Friday. This is, however, contradicted, first, by the assertion of S. Athanasius elsewhere, that he had left for Rome before all these outrages in Alexandria took place, quite at their commencement; and, secondly, by the statement in the preface to his Festal Letters, that he had fled from Alexandria on the 19th March, four days before the arrival of Gregory, and thus before Good Friday. We believe our arrangement of the events is sufficiently confirmed by these passages, and will merely add, that the representation of the affair in the Epistola Encycl. of Athanasius proves nothing against us, if we assume that it first enumerates all the atrocities committed in Alexandria, including those in the church of Cyrinus; and then, secondly, relates the flight of Athanasius, without adhering closely to the chronological order of events.

But in what year did this take place? Athanasius distinctly speaks of Lent and Good Friday, but he does not give the year. A statement of Pope Julius in Athanasius’ Apologia contra Arianos has suggested the conjecture that it was only at Easter 341 that Gregory was consecrated and appointed Bishop of Alexandria by the Synod of Antioch in Encæniis, of which we shall have to treat hereafter, and sent thither with a military escort. Socrates and Sozomen have also adopted this chronological system, and they add, that the Synod had first appointed Eusebius of Emisa, and only when he refused had made Gregory of Cappadocia Bishop of Alexandria. Relying on these statements, I have also formerly fixed the flight of S. Athanasius and the arrival of Gregory in the year 341; but the newly-found Festal Letters show the error of this supposition incontestably. The thirteenth of these Festal Letters, which was intended for the announcement of Lent and Eastertide of the year 341, and therefore written quite in the beginning of that year, is dated from Rome. From this it appears that Athanasius must already have fled to Rome in Lent of the year 340, or even in the year before that. The preface to the newly-discovered Festal Letters serves as an authority for the latter date, Easter 339; and Athanasius himself, in his Festal Letter for 339, speaks of persecutions prepared for him by the Eusebians. But, on the other hand, it would be rather remarkable if the Emperor Constantius had so quickly changed his views with regard to Athanasius, and had driven him away again only a few months after his return. To this it must be added, that the preface just mentioned, which is not the work of Athanasius himself, but of a somewhat later anonymous writer, is not always quite reliable in its dates, and that the testimony of a second similar document of equal weight, the Historia Acephala, published by Maffei in 1738, supports the year 340. Agreeing with the preface, it transfers the return of Athanasius from his second exile to the 21st of October 346, and adds, that “he had been absent for six years.” This-justifies us in fixing the flight of Athanasius rather for Easter 340 than 339.

If it is proved, chiefly by the thirteenth Festal Letter of S. Athanasius, that he had been driven away from Alexandria by the arrival of Gregory at least by Easter 340, we must necessarily understand somewhat differently from former writers the statement of Pope Julius, a contemporary of Athanasius, that “he was deposed by the Eusebians at Antioch, and that Gregory of Cappadocia had been illegally consecrated bishop, and sent under military escort to Alexandria;” that is to say, by the Synod here mentioned must not be understood that famous Synod of Antioch in Encæniis, in 341, but an earlier assembly held there by the Eusebians at latest in the first months of the year 340, before the arrival of Gregory in Alexandria. If we add that Athanasius ascribes his deposition to the Eusebians, and repeatedly says that the “Emperor” had sent the Cappadocian, or that he had been sent from the court and from the palace, this fully agrees with the statement of Pope Julius, and the two reports supplement each other. “The Eusebians managed to gain the consent of the Emperor Constantius to the deposition of Athanasius at an assembly at Antioch, and the consecration in his place of Gregory, whom the Emperor now sent with military escort to Alexandria.”

After establishing this conclusion, we can no longer hesitate to affirm that Socrates and Sozomen have confused the Synod of the Eusebians at Antioch for the deposition of S. Athanasius and the election of Gregory, with the far more famous Synod in Encæniis held somewhat later, perhaps because the latter Synod again confirmed his deposition, and justified it by special canons. And the further statement of Socrates and Sozomen, that Eusebius of Emisa was first chosen in Antioch as Bishop of Alexandria, and that they only thought of Gregory when he refused the office, can also be accepted and referred to the earlier assembly at Antioch in the beginning of 340.

Such violent and irregular proceedings of the Emperor against Athanasius were possibly the more easily carried out in 340, as just at that time the two protectors of Athanasius and orthodoxy, the Emperors Constans and Constantine the younger, were engaged in a fratricidal war about the division of the empire, which terminated in the death of the latter, in the beginning of April 340.

Gregory now, indeed, held possession of the See of Alexandria; but the greater part of the people would not enter into any communion with him, and preferred dispensing with all the ordinances of the Church to receiving them at the hands of the Arians, and thus it came about that many were not baptized, while others could not see any priest during sickness, for even the private ministrations of the followers of Athanasius were strictly suppressed. Somewhat later, Gregory and the Prefect Philagrius extended these acts of Violence over the whole of Egypt, in order to force all the bishops of that country to acknowledge the new metropolitan. Among others, the aged Bishop Sarapammon was driven into exile, because he would have nothing to do with the intruder; and the venerable martyr Potamon, who had lost an eye in one of the persecutions of the Christians, was so severely, beaten that he was left for dead, and a few days afterwards actually died of his ill-usage. Almost numberless were the monks, bishops, virgins, and others who suffered cudgelling and other tortures, as Pope Julius testifies in his letter to the Eusebians. An aunt of S. Athanasius, who died, was not even allowed burial; and S. Antony was dismissed with threats and derision because, in a letter to the cruel Duke Valacius, he took the part of the persecuted.

Meanwhile Athanasius had arrived in Rome after Easter 340, and Pope Julius immediately sent two priests, Elpidius and Philoxenus, to Antioch again to invite the Eusebians, who, as we saw, had laid charges before him against Athanasius, to come to the proposed Council, for which he now fixed a definite limit of time, as it appears before the end of 340. When, however, the Eusebians heard that Athanasius had arrived in Rome, they protracted the business, delayed under all sorts of pretexts giving a decided answer to the Pope, retained his messengers until January in the following year 341, and sent them back at last with a letter written in a tone of irritation to the following effect:—

(α) Athanasius had already been deposed by sentence of the Council of Tyre, and therefore a fresh examination into the affair would be to undermine the authority of the Councils.

(β) The period fixed by the Pope for the Synod was much too short; and, on account of the state of affairs in the East, i.e. the Persian war, it was impossible for them then to go to Rome.

(γ) The authority of a bishop did not depend upon the size of the town, but all were equal in honour; therefore Julius could claim no special rights.

(δ) It was not right that the Pope should have written only to the Eusebians, and not to all assembled at Antioch.

(ε) The Pope preferred communion with Athanasius and Marcellus of Ancyra to communion with all of them.

SEC. 55. Roman and Egyptian Synod in 341

Pope Julius kept this letter of those assembled at Antioch for a long time without publishing it, in the hope that some of the Antiochians would still perhaps appear later at the Council in Rome. But when this did not take place, and after Athanasius had already waited eighteen months in Rome for the Synod in his defence, the Pope at last, in the autumn of 341, took steps for really holding it, and assembled more than fifty bishops in one of the Roman chapels of ease. Besides Athanasius, Marcellus of Ancyra, and many bishops from Thrace, Cœlesyria, Phœnicia, and Palestine, and many priests from different countries, appeared at Rome, especially the envoys of the orthodox party in Egypt, to complain of the unjust and violent doings of the Eusebians.1 A great Egyptian Synod had also sent a circumstantial letter, expressly in defence of Athanasius, to Rome. After a thorough examination, however, into the complaints brought forward, the Roman Synod declared the deposition of Athanasius and Marcellus to be unjust, received both of them to communion and the holy Eucharist, and besought the Pope, in the name of all, to explain this to the Antiochians, and to give an emphatic answer to their unseemly letter. This occasioned the Epistola Julii to Danius Flacillus, etc., so often made use of by us, and which Athanasius has embodied in his Apologia against the Arians. In this letter Pope Julius complains, first, of the quarrelsome and unseemly answer which the Antiochians had given to his messengers, who returned distressed at what had taken place at Antioch. After the reception of the letter from Antioch, he had not at once published it, hoping that some few would still arrive at the Roman Synod. At last, however, he did so, and no one would believe that such a letter could have been written by any bishop. What, then, was their ground of complaint; and why were they angry? Was it because he had desired them to appear at a synod? He who has confidence in his cause will not be displeased at another examination into his sentence. Even the Fathers of the great Nicene Council had given their permission that the decisions of one synod should be tried by another. Besides this, their own Eusebian ambassadors had themselves demanded a synod, when they found they could make no stand against the messengers of Athanasius. The Antiochians had objected that every synod had a fixed authority, and that it would be offensive to a judge to have his sentence tried by another. Yet the Eusebians had themselves violated the authority of the far greater Council of Nicæa, by again receiving those Arians who had been there condemned. Thus at Alexandria, Carpones and others, who had been already deposed by Archbishop Alexander for Arianism, had arrived in Rome, sent thither by a certain Gregory (of Cappadocia), and in the same way Macarius, one of the Eusebian ambassadors, had recommended Pistus, who was an Arian, as was shown on the arrival of the ambassadors of Athanasius. The Antiochians had reproached the Pope with fostering disunion, but it was they who contemned the decrees of synods. If they said that the authority of a bishop did not depend upon the size of the town, then they should have been satisfied with their small Sees, and not have attempted, like Eusebius of Nicomedia, to thrust themselves into more important ones. They should have come to the Synod at Rome. To say that the short interval allowed them, and the existing circumstances (the Persian war), did not permit it, was a mere empty excuse. They had themselves detained the Papal embassy in Antioch till January. The Antiochians had complained that he had not addressed his former letter of invitation to the Synod to them, but only to the Eusebians; but this complaint was very ridiculous, as he had answered those who had written to him to send him their complaint against Athanasius. Neither had he, as they supposed, written in his own name alone, but in the name of all the Italian and neighbouring bishops; and this was also the case with the present letter. Athanasius and Marcellus had been, with good reason, again received into the communion of the Church. The charges of the Eusebians against Athanasius were in themselves contradictory; the Mareotic investigation was one-sided, conducted without hearing the other side. Arsenius was still living, and was a friend of Athanasius, who had produced a letter from Bishop Alexander of Thessalonica, and one from Ischyras, in which he himself disclosed the deceit which had been practised. The Mareotic clergy who had arrived in Rome had declared that Ischyras was no priest, and that no chalice of his had been broken; the Egyptian bishops also had given Athanasius the best possible character, and the charges against him in the Mareotic acts were self-contradictory. Athanasius had already waited a whole year and six months in Rome for the appearance of his accusers; neither had he come of his own accord, but in obedience to the invitation of Rome, to the Synod. Meanwhile they, the Antiochians, however, at a distance of thirty-six days’ journey from Alexandria, had appointed a bishop for that town, and, contrary to the universal practice, had consecrated him in Antioch, and sent him with a military escort to Alexandria. It was contrary to the canons that they should appoint a new bishop while so many still held communion with Athanasius. Marcellus of Ancyra had declared in Rome that their charges against him were false; he had expressed himself in an orthodox manner; and the Roman bishops also who had been at Nicæa testified that at that time he had been thoroughly orthodox, and a powerful opposer of the Arians. It was on this account that at Rome he had been recognised as a lawful bishop. Besides this, it was not only Athanasius and Marcellus who had raised complaints, but also many other bishops from Thrace, Cœlesyria, Phœnicia, and Palestine, and many priests, had come to Rome, and had complained that violence was being done to the churches. Priests, especially from Alexandria and from every part of Egypt, had come to relate the violent acts which were still carried on after the departure of Athanasius, in order to extort the recognition of Gregory. Similar things had happened in Antioch. How, then, could the Antiochians, in the face of such facts, say that peace reigned in the Church? They had written that Rome preferred communion with Athanasius and Marcellus to communion with the other bishops. But they still had the opportunity of coming to prove their charges against these men; they would still be received. If suspicion had rested on the Bishop of Alexandria, they should have addressed themselves to Rome, for it was the custom to write to that quarter first, that from thence the rightful decision might be received. The letter ends with exhortations to peace.

The question now necessarily arises, whether or not this new assembly of the Eusebians in Antioch, to which Pope Julius addressed this letter, was identical with the famous Synod of Antioch in Encæniis, and this brings us to the consideration of the latter Synod.

SEC. 56. Synod of Antioch in Encæniis in 341, and its Continuation

The Emperor Constantine the Great had begun to build a most magnificent church, named the “Golden,” in Antioch; and after its completion, his son Constantius had it solemnly consecrated. A synod was held in connection with the consecration of the church, as was customary on such occasions, and ninety-seven bishops were assembled in Antioch. That this Synod entitled in Encæniis (ἐγκαινίοις) or in Dedicatione, from the consecration of the church, was held in 341, before September 1, Athanasius expressly states, for he mentions the Consuls Marcellinus and Probinus, and the 14th Indiction. Socrates and Sozomen agree with this, adding that this Synod was held in the presence of the Emperor Constantius, in the fifth year after the death of Constantine the Great, therefore after May 22, 341. The Synod of Antioch in Encæniis must therefore have been held in the middle of 341, between the end of May and the month of September. As, however, the two Papal ambassadors, Elpidius and Philoxenus, were released from Antioch at the latest in January 341, the Synod in Encæniis could not then even have begun; and it is therefore necessary to distinguish it from that mentioned in page 51 and at the end of the preceding section, which was held at least some months earlier. This supposition is confirmed by the following considerations:—(1) At the former assembly the Eusebians only excused their non-appearance at Rome on account of the short space of time allowed them, and the Persian war; whereas, if they had been assembled by order of the Emperor for the solemn consecration of a church, they would certainly have alleged that reason. (2) Pope Julius blames the Eusebians who were assembled at Antioch for their endeavours to injure the Council of Nicæa. Now, if the Synod in Encæniis, which, as we shall see, tried to supplant the Nicene Creed by other forms, had already taken place, Julius would certainly have used this powerful handle for his indictment against them.

No one, however, can be surprised that in that short time several synods should have been held at Antioch, one after another. Even after the Synod in Encæniis we again find, according to the testimony of S. Athanasius, several Synods at Antioch following in quick succession. The frequent residence of the Emperor Constantius in this capital of Asia, and the excitement of the times, account for the fact of the Eusebians often assembling at the palace, just as we afterwards meet with a fixed σύνοδος ἐνδημοῦσα in Constantinople.

But now let us enter into closer examination of the Synod in Encæniis. The Eusebians probably formed the smallest body of bishops present; all the others were reckoned among the orthodox. The whole body, however, belonged to the Eastern Church; and most, indeed, came from the patriarchate of Antioch. Still some bishops and metropolitans were there from other countries, as from Cappadocia and Thrace. Sozomen names as the most important persons—Bishop Placetus (Flacillus) of Antioch, who probably presided, Eusebius of Nicomedia (now of Constantinople), Acacius of Cæsarea in Palestine, Patrophilus of Scythopolis, Theodore of Heraclea, Eudoxius of Germanicia, Dianius of Cæsarea in Cappadocia, George of Laodicea in Syria. The old Latin translations of the synodal acts mention about thirty more bishops who were present at the Synod, and signed the acts; but not only do these different codices vary immensely one from the other, but these alleged signatures are worthless, because amongst them, for instance, appears that of Theodore (or Theodotus) of Laodicea, who had died before the year 335. Whether the famous orthodox bishops, S. James of Nisibis and S. Paul of Neocæsarea in Antioch, were present, must be left undecided, as their names only appear among the signatures, while no mention is made of them in any other place. On the other hand, Socrates and Sozomen expressly relate that Bishop Maximus of Jerusalem had refused to take part in the Synod, because he repented having agreed six years before, at the Synod of Tyre, when misled by the Eusebians, to the deposition of S. Athanasius. From the West and the Latin Churches no bishop was present, nor any representative of Pope Julius, although Socrates adds that the canons enjoined that, without the consent of the Bishop of Rome, the Churches should make no decree.

The first important act of this Synod was the setting forth of twenty-five canons, which are preserved to us in numerous manuscripts and translations of the old canons. These canons of Antioch have always been held by the Church as great authorities; two of these, the third and fourth, were cited at the fourth Ecumenical Council at Chalcedon (Actio iv.) among the “Canons of the Holy Fathers.” They were also highly esteemed by Pope John II. (533), who sent the fourth and fifteenth canons of Antioch to the Archbishop Cæsarius of Arles for his guidance in deciding the affair of the Bishop Contumeliosus. Pope Zacharias also, in his letter to Pepin the Small, cites the ninth canon of Antioch among the Sanctorum Patrum Canones; and Pope Leo IV. mentions in a public document that the bishops of the Roman Synod, held by him in 853, had with one consent declared, “What else can we say, nisi ut Sancti Patres qui Antiocheno Concilio residentes tertio capitulo (the third canon) promulgarunt et inviolabiliter statuerunt?” To this it must be added, that S. Hilary of Poitiers, who lived at the time of the Antiochian Synod, called it a Synodus Sanctorum.

Under such circumstances the question must occur, how it was that a synod at which the Eusebians predominated, and which, as we shall see, sought to supplant the Nicene Creed by new forms, and, as is asserted, confirmed the deposition of S. Athanasius pronounced by an earlier synod, could have been declared by the orthodox Fathers, Popes, and Councils to be a lawful and holy assembly, and its canons universally received? Baronius and Binius answer that it was by reason of an historical mistake. Because the twenty-five canons of Antioch contain nothing heretical, and even carry on their front (in Canon 1), so to speak, respect for the Council of Nicæa, the collectors of the old canons were deceived by them, and holding them for the product of an orthodox Synod, received them into their collections, and thus gave occasion for their later reception, as proceeding from a holy Synod.

We cannot, of course, absolutely deny that this may possibly have been the case; but the Antiochian Synod of 341 not only published twenty-five canons, but also promulgated several creeds preserved to us by Athanasius and Hilary, the latter adding that they proceeded from the Synodus Sanctorum. But Hilary was contemporary with the Antiochian Synod, and was incapable of an historical error, such as Baronius and Binius suppose. He certainly knew from whom those creeds proceeded, and if he considered the Synod which promulgated them to be Arian, he would surely not have called it by such a name.

It was therefore natural to seek for another solution of the difficulty in question, and to divide the one synod into two,—the one orthodox, which made the canons; the other Arian, which deposed S. Athanasius.

The learned Jesuit, Emanuel Schelstraten, in his little work, Sacrum Antiochenum Concilium auctoritati suæ restitutum (Antwerp 1681), has greatly improved upon this hypothesis. He assumes that, as the greater number of bishops present at Antioch were orthodox, the Eusebians at first kept their designs in the background and submitted to their colleagues, so that twenty-five faultless canons and three regular creeds were able to be drawn up. When this was done, the greater number of the orthodox bishops, quasi re bene gestâ, probably returned home, while the Eusebians remained, and professing to be a continuation of the Synod, with the support of Constantius, passed the decrees against Athanasius, besides others of the same kind. The Antiochian assembly during its first period, so long as its numbers were complete, might thus rightly be called sacred, for a parte potiori fit denominatio; but as regards its later period, after the departure of the orthodox, it might be called an Arian cabal (Conciliabulum), as indeed it was by Chrysostom and his friends, and by Pope Innocent I., when Theophilus of Alexandria made use of a canon of this Antiochian Council for the overthrow of S. Chrysostom.

This hypothesis of Schelstraten’s has at first sight much plausibility, and was therefore adopted by many Catholic and Protestant scholars, as by Pagi, Remi Ceillier, Walch, partly also by Schröckh, and others.

The first who to my knowledge was not satisfied with it was Tillemont, who especially called attention to the fact that, according to Socrates, the Antiochian Synod had first deposed Athanasius before entering upon the other matters. It is clear that if the canons at Antioch were only promulgated after the deposition of Athanasius, the whole hypothesis of Schelstraten completely falls to the ground. But Socrates’ own words show that they were certainly promulgated before the final deposition of Athanasius, for he says: “The Eusebians sought to overthrow Athanasius, because he first proceeded against that canon which they themselves had then promulgated (ὃν αὐτοὶ ὥρισαν τότε).” This clearly means that “first they promulgated the canons, and afterwards used one against Athanasius.” Sozomen says the same: “They bitterly accused Athanasius because he had broken a law which they themselves had made, and had again taken possession of the See of Alexandria (after his first exile) before he was reinstated by a Synod.” Therefore, in saying that the canons were promulgated before they deposed Athanasius, Socrates and Sozomen contradict what is attributed by Tillemont to the former.

We can, however, explain how Tillemont arrived at his mistaken conclusion. Socrates also says in the same place to which we have just referred: οἱ περὶ Εὐσέβιον οὖν ἔργον τίθενται προηγουμένως, Ἀθανάσιον διαβάλλειν. This expression, προηγουμένως, Tillemont understood in the sense of time, as if the first act of the Eusebians had been to depose Athanasius; but the word may also mean “chiefly,” or the first in importance, and in this sense it must be taken here. Socrates means and says that the chief concern of the Eusebians was the deposition of Athanasius, and for this purpose they made use of a canon which the same Synod had promulgated shortly before. But even if the language of Socrates and Sozomen does not conflict with Schelstraten’s hypothesis in the way that Tillemont supposes, still it does in another way. For if we understand him to mean that the canons were first promulgated, and that one of them was then employed against Athanasius, we must allow also that the Antiochian canon which Chrysostom and Innocent I. speak of as proceeding from the Arians, was identical with the fourth or the twelfth canon of the Antiochian Synod, which, according to Schelstraten, must have been passed during the orthodox period of the Synod.

Another chronological statement with regard to the Synod of Antioch is to be found in Socrates and Sozomen, by which we must test the hypothesis of Schelstraten. They both expressly declare that, after the deposition of Athanasius, the Antiochians occupied themselves in drawing up creeds. The drawing up of these creeds, therefore, was at the time when, according to Schelstraten, the Synod had degenerated into an Arian Council, and yet S. Hilary says that these creeds proceeded from a Synodus Sanctorum.

Schelstraten (p. 665) and Pagi say, indeed, that Socrates and Sozomen were mistaken in this chronological statement; but of this they have no proof, except that, as a general rule, Synods first drew up a creed, and then treated of the other matters in hand. But one cannot so easily get rid of the assertion of those two Church historians, unless it is allowable to overthrow any historical statement by a mere gratuitous conjecture. There are, moreover, many other objections to Schelstraten’s hypothesis. (a) It is based on a statement of Pope Julius, who says, “Even if Athanasius had been found guilty after the Synod, still they ought not to have proceeded against him so irregularly.” Now it is said that the expression μετὰ τὴν σύνοδον meant that Athanasius had been deposed after the Antiochian Synod by a remnant only of the assembly. But the truth is, that Julius, as the context shows, had quite another Synod in view, and meant to say, “Supposing even that Athanasius had been found guilty by that Synod which was demanded by your own ambassadors, and which I had convoked, etc.” Then, again, (b) Schelstraten’s chief authority is Palladius, in his biography of S. Chrysostom, who maintains that “the canon referred to by the opponents of S. Chrysostom was promulgated by forty bishops of the Arian community.” From this, Schelstraten drew the conclusion that, after the departure of the orthodox bishops, forty Arians had remained in Antioch, and had formed the cabal in question. But, as we have already remarked, the contents of the canon to which the opponents of S. Chrysostom referred differed in no respect from the fourth and twelfth canons of Antioch; and Schelstraten’s notion, that after the departure of the orthodox bishops another canon had been made by the Arians, is entirely imaginary. Besides this, Tillemont thinks that Palladius or one of his secretaries had, by mistake only, written thirty instead of ninety, and that Palladius had therefore declared the whole Antiochian Synod to be Arian.

In opposition to Schelstraten, the brothers Ballerini, after the example of Tillemont (l.c. p. 327), devised another hypothesis; and Mansi, in his Notes on the Church History of Natalis Alexander, sides with them. They maintain that our twenty-five canons did not proceed from the Arianizing Synod in Encæniis, but from an early Antiochian Council in 332, where Euphronius was chosen Bishop of Antioch, after the banishment of Eustathius, and that they had afterwards been erroneously ascribed to the other assembly. It was therefore perfectly natural that they should everywhere gain applause before this mistake originated, and from all who still remained in ignorance of it. We cannot the least share Mansi’s enthusiasm (Placent et vehementer placent, he exclaims) for this hypothesis. In the first place, there is no external evidence that the twenty-five canons were issued by another Synod; and the indications said to exist in the canons themselves are by no means convincing. Thus (1) the very first canon is said to date from an earlier period, because it says that the Synod of Nicæa was held during the reign of the Emperor Constantine, without mentioning his death. But this every one knew. It is said, again, (2) that the contents of some of the canons are inconsistent with the conduct and actions of those assembled at Antioch. Thus (a) Canon 11 forbade bishops to go to court; but Eusebius had himself been a court bishop; but that prohibition has exceptions. (b) Canon 21 forbade translations from one see to another; but Eusebius had first exchanged Berytus for Nicomedia, and then for Constantinople. But Canon 21 is only a repetition of an old canon; and could Eusebius have hindered its repetition by the majority of those present in Synod? (c) The signatures of the synodal letter, which accompanies the canons, are also said to belong to another and earlier Antiochian Synod, first, because they contain names of bishops who had died in the year 341; secondly, because the signatures of the leading members of the Council do not appear; and thirdly, because among the signatures there is not one of a bishop of Antioch, which points to a time when the see was vacant. We grant the possibility of this; but the signatures of the bishops are so different in the several codices, that we cannot with anything like certainty draw any conclusion from them. It is further argued, that (d) in the synodal letter just mentioned, the Antiochian church is represented as enjoying a happy unity, which was not the case in 341. But there is no doubt that the exiled Eustathius of Antioch was dead at that time, and this must have materially softened the, hostility of rival parties in that city. Moreover, in 332, shortly after the banishment of Eustathius, there was no slight enmity between these parties; and with Tillemont, we should rather place the date of the alleged Council of Antioch, which drew up these canons, immediately after the Council of Nicæa. A fact, however, which must not be overlooked, is that the Antiochian Synod of 341, in its letter to Pope Julius, praises the Alexandrian church for its great peace and happiness; whereas, as the Pope justly remarked, quite the contrary was the case. There is this also to be said against the Ballerini hypothesis, that in the affair of S. Chrysostom, the canon employed against him was represented as proceeding from the Arians, and all attempts to deny its identity with our fourth and twelfth Antiochian canons are fruitless.

But even if all this had not been so, the Ballerini hypothesis would not answer its purpose. For even if it could be shown that the twenty-five canons did not emanate from the Antiochian Synod of the year 341, but from the Synod of 332, this would not alter the state of the case, or in the least remove the difficulty. The Synod of 332, where Euphronius was chosen Bishop of Antioch in the place of the banished Eustathius, was also an Eusebian one, so that Socrates says: “Euphronius was chosen through the efforts of the opponents of the Nicene faith.” And secondly, the Ballerini hypothesis does not solve the difficulty, because the Synod of 341, even if credited with the twenty-five canons, undoubtedly drew up those creeds which Hilary mentions as emanating from a Synodus Sanctorum. If, then, according to the Ballerini brothers, the Synod of 341 was Arian, how could Hilary thus speak of it?

But, in fact, the πρῶτον ψεῦδος of the whole investigation has been the assumption of this alternative, that the Synod must either have been orthodox or Arian. It is not judged by the standard of its own time, but by our own, or that of Athanasius. Certainly Athanasius identified the Eusebians with the Arians, and we regard them as at least Semi-arians; but at that time, after they had made the orthodox confession of faith, and repeatedly declared their disapproval of the heresies condemned at Nicæa, they were considered by the greater number as lawful bishops, and thoroughly orthodox and saintly men might without hesitation unite with them at a synod. That is shown, for instance, by the example of the metropolitan Dianus of Cæsarea, so highly praised by Basil the Great, and so much venerated in the ancient Church, who was present with the Eusebians at the Synod in Encæniis at Antioch, as well as at that former assembly, with which, as is well known, Pope Julius held intercourse. Even Pope Julius himself, although he strongly blames the Eusebians for their deposition of S. Athanasius, in nowise treats their assembly as an Arian cabal, but repeatedly calls them his “dear brethren.” And did he not also invite them to a common synod to inquire into the charges made against Athanasius? Accordingly, when a synod was held at Antioch on the occasion of the consecration of the church there, even the most orthodox of the Eastern bishops did not hesitate to act in common with Eusebius and his friends.

The contents of the canons promulgated by the Synod in Encæniis are as follow:—

1. All those who dare to act contrary to the command of the great and holy Synod, assembled at Nicæa in presence of the pious Emperor Constantine, beloved of God, in regard to the sacred feast of Easter, shall be excommunicated from the Church if they obstinately persist in their opposition to this most excellent decision. This refers to the laity. But if after this command any of the church-officers, bishop, priest, or deacon, still dares to celebrate the feast of Easter with the Jews, and to follow his own perverse will to the ruin of the people and the disturbance of the churches, the holy Synod holds such a person from that time as separated from the Church, because he not only sins himself, but is the cause of ruin and destruction to many; and the Synod not only deposes such persons from their office, but also all those who after their deposition presume to hold communion with them. The persons deposed shall also be deprived of the external honours enjoyed by the holy canon and the priesthood.

2. All those who come to the church of God and hear the sacred Scriptures, but do not join with the people in prayer, or who in any irregular manner dishonour the common reception of the Holy Communion, shall be excommunicated until such time as they have done penance, and shown by their deeds their change of mind, and can at their own urgent entreaty obtain pardon. But it is not permitted to associate with those who are excommunicate, or to assemble even in private houses for prayer with those who do not pray with the Church, or to receive those who do not appear in one church into another. If it appears that a bishop, priest, deacon, or any other ecclesiastic associates with those out of communion, such an one shall be also excommunicated, because he disturbs the order of the Church.

3. If a priest, deacon, or any other ecclesiastic leaves his diocese and goes into another, thus changing his place of abode, and attempts to remain a long time in another diocese, he shall no longer perform any service of the Church (i.e. he shall be deposed), especially if he pays no heed to his own bishop’s summons to return. If he persists in his irregularity, he shall be deposed from the ministry altogether, with no possibility of being reinstated. And if another bishop befriends one deposed for such offences, he shall also be punished by the common synod, because he transgresses the laws of the Church.

4. If a bishop is deposed by a synod, or a priest or deacon by his bishop, and he presumes to perform any function whatsoever in the church as before, be it as bishop or deacon, he may no longer hope for reinstatement from another synod, nor for permission to defend himself; but all those who associate with him shall be excommunicated, especially if they presume to do so, knowing the sentence pronounced against him.

5. If a priest or deacon, setting at nought his own bishop, separates himself from the Church, holds private assemblies, and sets up an altar, and disobeys the first and second summons of his bishop, who calls on him to return to his duty, he shall be wholly deposed, and shall no longer have any part in the ministry, neither shall he be allowed ever again to resume his office. If he continues to make divisions and disturb the Church, he shall be treated as a rebel by the secular power.

6. A man excommunicated by his own bishop, if he is not again received by him, may not be received by any other until a synod shall be held, and he appears before it to defend himself, and succeeds in convincing the synod and obtaining a new decision. This rule includes laymen, priests, deacons, and all ecclesiastics.

7. No stranger shall be received without a canonical letter.

8. Country priests may not give canonical letters (letters of peace), they may send letters only to the neighbouring bishops; but a blameless chorepiscopus has power to do so.

9. The bishops of every province must be aware that the bishop presiding in the metropolis (the civil capital) has charge of the whole province; because all who have business come together from all quarters to the metropolis. For this reason it is decided that he should also hold the foremost rank, and that without him the other bishops should, according to the ancient and recognised canon of our fathers, do nothing beyond what concerns their respective dioceses and the districts belonging thereto; for every bishop has authority over his own diocese, and must govern it according to his conscience, and take charge of the whole region surrounding his episcopal city, ordaining priests and deacons, and discharging all his duties with circumspection. Further than this he may not venture without the metropolitan, nor the latter without consulting the other bishops.

10. The bishops of the villages and country places called chorepiscopi, even if they have received consecration as bishops, must yet, so it was decided by the holy Synod, keep within their appointed limits, and content themselves with the care and government of the churches under them, and with appointing readers, subdeacons, and exorcists, not presuming to ordain a priest or deacon without the bishop of the city to which the chorepiscopus himself and the whole district is subject. If any one dares to infringe these rules, he shall be deprived of his dignity. A chorepiscopus is to be appointed by the bishop of the city to which he belongs.

11. If a bishop, priest, or any other ecclesiastic presumes to go to the Emperor without the consent of, and letters from, the bishops of the eparchy, and especially from the metropolitan, he shall not only be excluded from communion, but shall also be deprived of his rank, because he presumes to importune our God-beloved Emperor, contrary to the rules of the Church. But when compelled by necessity to go to the Emperor, he shall do so after inquiry, and with the consent of the metropolitan or the bishops of the eparchy, and shall take their letters with him. Kellner remarks, with reference to this, that deposition is here treated as a heavier punishment than exclusion from communion, and therefore the latter cannot mean actual excommunication, but only suspension.

12. If a priest or deacon, deposed by his own bishop, or a bishop deposed by a synod, instead of appealing to a higher synod, and laying his supposed rights before a greater assembly of bishops, and awaiting their inquiry and decision, shall presume to importune the Emperor with his complaints, he shall not obtain pardon, neither may be defend himself or hope for reinstatement.

13. No bishop shall venture to go from one eparchy into another, for the purpose of consecrating any one to any ecclesiastical office, even if he be accompanied by other bishops, unless he be summoned by letters from the metropolitan and the other bishops in connection with him into whose district he comes. If, however, contrary to rule, he comes without being summoned, in order to ordain some one, and meddle with church affairs which do not concern him, then that which he does shall be invalid, and he himself shall submit to the prescribed punishment of his disorderly and indiscreet conduct prescribed by the holy Synod, which is ipso facto deposition.

14. If a bishop is to be condemned for certain offences, and the bishops of the eparchy are divided in opinion concerning him, some holding him to be innocent and others guilty, the holy synod decrees, for the removal of all doubt, that the metropolitan of the neighbouring eparchy shall summon other bishops, who shall try the matter, clear up the doubt, and with the bishops of the province confirm the decision.

15. If a bishop accused of certain offences has been tried by all the bishops of the eparchy, and all have unanimously given sentence against him, he may not be tried again by others, but the unanimous decision of the bishops of the eparchy must hold good.

16. If a bishop without a See forces himself into a vacant one, taking possession of it without the consent of a regular synod, he shall be deposed, even if he has been elected by the whole diocese into which he has intruded. A regular synod is one held in the presence of the metropolitan.

17. If a bishop has received consecration, and been appointed to govern a diocese, but will not accept the post, nor be persuaded to set out for the church appointed him, he shall be excommunicated till he is prevailed upon to undertake the office, or till the full synod of the bishops of the eparchy has come to a decision concerning him.

18. If a bishop does not go to the church to which he has been consecrated, not from any fault of his own, but either because the people will not receive him, or from some other cause over which he has no control, he shall retain his office and dignity, only he must not interfere in the affairs of the church in the place where he dwells, and must accept whatever the full synod of the eparchy decrees about the matter.

19. A bishop may not be consecrated without a synod, and without the presence of the metropolitan of the eparchy. If the latter be present, it is in all respects better that all his colleagues of the eparchy should be with him, and it is fitting that the metropolitan should summon them by letter. If all come, so much the better; if, however, there is any difficulty, at all events a majority must be present, or they must send their consent in writing, and thus the appointment of the new bishop must take place in the presence or with the consent of a majority. Should it take place in any other way, contrary to rule, the consecration shall be invalid; but if all be done in accordance with the prescribed canon, and yet some dispute it out of party spirit, it shall be decided by the votes of the majority.

20. For the good of the Church and for the settling of disputes, it is ordered that in each eparchy a synod of bishops shall be held twice a year; the first after the third week after Easter, so that it may end in the 4th week of Pentecost. To this it is the duty of the metropolitan to summon his colleagues of the eparchy. The second synod shall be held on the Ides (15th) of October, i.e. the 10th of the Asiatic month Hyperberetäns. At this synod, priests, deacons, and any who think that they have suffered any injustice, shall appear and have the matter investigated by the synod. It is, however, not allowed that bishops should hold synods without their metropolitan.

21. A bishop may not be translated from one diocese to another, whether by obtruding himself or allowing himself to be forced thither by the bishops or people; but, according to an earlier rule, he shall remain in, and not leave, that church to which from the first he was called by God.

22. A bishop may not go into any other city not under his jurisdiction, nor into a country district which does not belong to him, for the purpose of consecrating any one, nor appoint priests or deacons to parishes under the charge of another bishop, unless with his consent. If any bishop presumes to do this, the consecration shall be invalid, and he shall be punished by the synod.

23. A bishop may not; even at the time of his death, appoint his successor. If he does so, the appointment shall be invalid. The rule of the Church is to be adhered to, which directs that a bishop may not be appointed otherwise than by a synod, according to the decision of those bishops who, after the death of his predecessor, have the right of choosing a worthy successor.

24. It is fitting that the possessions of the Church should be guarded with care and in all good conscience, with faith in God, who sees and judges all. They must be managed under the supervision and direction of the bishop to whom the souls of the whole people in his diocese are entrusted. But it must be publicly known what is church property, and the priests and deacons surrounding the bishop must be thoroughly acquainted with the state of the case, so that at the bishop’s death nothing appertaining to the Church may be lost, nor his private property be burdened under pretext of its belonging in part to the Church. For it is right and well-pleasing to God and man that the bishop’s private property be left to whom he will, but the property of the Church preserved to her, that neither may the Church suffer wrong, nor the bishop lose anything on pretext of benefiting her, or his relations be involved in lawsuits, and he himself be exposed to being evil spoken of after his death.

25. The bishop has power over the revenues of the Church, so that he may distribute them to all who are in need with all conscientiousness and godly fear. He may, however, if necessary, take what is needful for his own requirements and those of his brethren who come to him as guests, that they may lack nothing, in accordance with the words of the holy apostle: “Having food and raiment, let us be therewith content.” But if the bishop be not satisfied with this, but uses the Church property for his private purposes, not dealing with her revenues or the fruits of her lands according to the wishes of the priests or deacons, but gives over the control of them to his household, brothers, sons, or other relations, and thus secretly injures the revenue of the Church, he shall be called to account by the synod of the eparchy. If the bishop and his priests are evil reported of, as using for their own purposes what belongs to the Church, whether landed property or any other goods, and thus causing the poor to suffer, and the word of God and His stewards to be brought into evil repute, they shall be called to account, and the holy Synod shall decide what is right.

The Synod sent these twenty-five canons to all the other bishops, with a short letter, desiring that they should be everywhere received. The Greek version of this letter bears no signature; but the old Latin translations bear the names of about thirty bishops, varying, however, in the different versions. As among the signatures of the bishops there appears the name of one who was then certainly not living, and as the names of precisely those bishops are wanting who held the first rank at the Synod of Antioch in 341, the Ballerini brothers made use of this, as we know, in support of their hypothesis.

It has been further thought remarkable, that in the salutation of the accompanying letter only the provinces of the patriarchate of Antioch are mentioned, whereas bishops from other parts had been present at the Synod of 341. But as in the heading of the old Latin version (Prisca) the names of the Antiochian provinces are entirely wanting, it is quite possible that a later writer gathered the names of the provinces from the signatures of the bishops, and interpolated them, so that neither can this circumstance be employed in favour of the Ballerini hypothesis.

It can hardly be denied that at the drawing up of these canons the ascendancy of the Eusebians had already made itself felt, and that they established canons four and twelve especially out of enmity to Athanasius. The fourth canon was, indeed, at the same time intended to oppose the intention of Pope Julius to hold a fresh synod for investigating the affair of Athanasius. If this was the case, and if at the drawing up of the canons a certain want of independence was shown by the remaining bishops at Antioch in presence of the Eusebians, it was only a natural step in advance for the latter again to confirm the former deposition of S. Athanasius. The Eusebian character of this synod on the one hand, and the statements of Socrates and Sozomen on the other, justify us in accepting the fact of this confirmation. Both, indeed, represent the matter as if Gregory was now first chosen bishop of Alexandria, and Athanasius only now deposed. Yet what has been already said obliges us to suppose that if the Synod in Encæniis dealt at all with the affair of S. Athanasius, it only confirmed the sentence of an earlier Antiochian Synod.

But it will be asked how it was possible that the orthodox party of the bishops at Antioch should have concurred in the deposition of S. Athanasius? The true answer to this also is shown by distinguishing dates. We identify the affair of Athanasius with that of the Nicene faith. But at that time even the orthodoxy of Athanasius was not unquestioned by all, as it is known that he was reproached for holding views which made too little distinction between the Persons of the Trinity, and thus reviving Sabellianism. Even a friend of Athanasius, Marcellus of Ancyra, who had stood in the forefront with him at Nicæa against Arius, had been shortly before accused, and, it seems, not unjustly, of a sort of Sabellianism, and therefore deposed. To this were added the other accusations, old and new, which had been in part at least believed by orthodox men, such as the Emperor Constantine. Even Pope Julius shortly before, when about to convoke the synod above mentioned, was not by any means fully persuaded of the innocence of Athanasius, but meant to hold an investigation in order to bring his guilt or innocence to light. If we assume among the orthodox bishops of the Antiochian Synod such vacillation and indecision with regard to Athanasius, it might surely have been possible for the clever and energetic Eusebians, especially producing as they did false and one-sided documents by way of proof against him, to prejudice many of their colleagues against him, and to represent him as deserving punishment.

According to Socrates and Sozomen, the synod now proceeded to the drawing up of creeds, the wording of which Athanasius gives us most accurately. The first and earliest creed says: “We are no adherents of Arius; for how should we, being bishops, become followers of a presbyter? Neither do we hold any other faith than that which from the beginning was delivered; but after having tried and examined the faith of Arius, we would rather have brought him to us than that we should have inclined to him, which the following will show. From the beginning we have learnt to believe in one God, the God of all, the Creator and Preserver of things spiritual and material; and in one only-begotten Son of God, existing before all times, and with the Father, by whom He was begotten; by whom all things were made, both visible and invisible; who also in the last days, according to the good pleasure of the Father, came down and took flesh of the Virgin, and fulfilled the whole will of the Father. (We believe) that He suffered, was raised from the dead, and returned into heaven; that He sits at the right hand of the Father, and shall come again to judge the living and the dead, and remains God and King to all eternity. We believe also in the Holy Ghost; and if we are to add anything else, we believe also concerning the resurrection of the flesh, and the life everlasting.”

This creed plainly has an apologetic aim, to remove from the authors any suspicion of Arianism; and there is therefore no doubt that it was the Eusebian party who proposed it to the rest of the synod, and, as Athanasius intimates, sent it in encyclical letters to other bishops. We might therefore, if we were not hindered by the chronological statements of Socrates and Sozomen, place the drawing up of this creed quite at the commencement of the Antiochian Synod, and assume that the Eusebians handed in this formula at once at the opening of the Council, in order to gain the confidence of their colleagues. In fact it is quite orthodox, only it avoids the term ὁμοούσιος, because the Eusebians were suspicious of this expression, regarding it on the one hand as a possible cloak for the Sabellians, and on the other as capable of being understood as dividing the Divine Essence into three parts.

Somewhat later the synod published a second creed, said to have been previously drawn up by the martyr Lucian. The reason for this we find given by Hilary, when he says, Cum in suspicionem venisset unus ex episcopis, quod prava sentiret. It is the opinion of Baronius that this unus was that Gregory of Cappadocia whom they intended to make bishop of Alexandria; the Benedictine editors, on the contrary, in their note upon this passage, would have it to refer to the whole party of Eusebians. This is surely wrong, for it appears from the contents of this second creed that it was directed against supposed Sabellians, probably against Marcellus of Ancyra; and the third creed, as also S. Hilary’s own statement, expressly confirm this. The second creed runs thus: “We believe, according to the Evangelic and Apostolic tradition, in one God, the Father Almighty, the Author, Creator, and Preserver of all things, from whom all things are; and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten God, through whom are all things; Begotten of the Father before all times: God from God, Whole from the Whole, Perfect from the Perfect, King from the King, Lord from the Lord, the Living Word, the Living Wisdom, the True Light, the Way, the Truth, the Resurrection, the Shepherd, the Door, Unchangeable and Immutable; the Co-equal Image of the Godhead, the Being, the Will, the Might, and the Glory of the Father; the First-born of all creation, who in the beginning was with God, God the Word, as it is written in the Gospel, ‘and the Word was God,’ by whom all things were made, and in whom all things live; who in the last days came down from heaven, and was born of a Virgin, according to the Scriptures, and became Man, the Mediator between God and man, the Apostle of our faith, and the Author of Life, as He says, ‘I came down from heaven, not to do Mine own will, but the will of Him that sent Me;’ who suffered for us, and on the third day rose again, and ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father, and shall come again with glory and might to judge the living and the dead. And we believe in the Holy Ghost, who is given to the faithful for comfort, for sanctification, and for perfecting, as also our Lord Jesus Christ has commanded, speaking to His apostles, ‘Go, teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost,’ that is, of the Father, who is truly Father, of the Son, who is truly Son, and of the Holy Ghost, who is truly Holy Ghost: and these names are not idle and without purpose, but show exactly the peculiar hypostasis, order, and position of Those named, so that in Their Persons They are Three, but in agreement One. Now as we hold this faith, and have it even from the beginning to the end from God and Christ, we anathematize every heretical and false doctrine. And if any one, contrary to the sound and true teaching of the Scriptures, says that there was, or has been, a time (χρόνον ἤ καιρὸν ἤ αἰῶνα) before the Son was begotten, let him be anathema. And if any one says the Son was created as one of the creatures, or begotten as anything else is begotten, or made as any other thing is made, and not according to what has been delivered by the Holy Scriptures; or if any one teaches or proclaims anything else other than what we have received, let him be anathema. For we believe and follow in truth and honesty all which is delivered by the Holy Scriptures, as well as by the prophets and apostles.”

As is easily seen, this creed, too, contains no positive heresy; for though it says, “the Son is not created like any creature,” yet by this the Son is not classed among the creatures, or it would be, “He is not created as the other creatures;” and, moreover, the meaning of this short passage is shown by what follows, where it is only implied that the expressions begotten, created, and made, are not altogether fit terms to be applied to the Son. The following words, “so that They (Father, Son, and Holy Ghost) are in Person Three, but in agreement One,” may more reasonably be found fault with, as Hilary has already done, observing that this is spoken less accurately. But not even thence has he inferred any charge of heterodoxy and Arianism, but has rather sought to show that this formula, without having the word ὁμοούστος, yet contains the orthodox doctrine. He rightly saw, also, that this creed declared itself with a certain emphasis against Sabellianism in the following passage: “of the Father, who is truly Father, of the Son, who is truly Son, and of the Holy Ghost, who is truly Holy Ghost;” and if he adds that this (Sabellian) heresy had sprung up again after the Council of Nicæa, and that on that account chiefly the Synod of Antioch intended to condemn it, he means, doubtless, the doctrine of Marcellus of Ancyra.

This is set beyond all doubt by the third creed, which the Bishop Theophronius of Tyana laid before the synod, and which it sanctioned and subscribed. It is found in Athanasius, De Synodis, c. 24, and runs thus: “God, whom I call to witness, knows that I believe thus: in God, the Almighty Father, the Upholder and Creator of all things, from whom all things are; and in His only-begotten Son, God, Word, Power, and Wisdom, our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom all things are, who is begotten of the Father, before all times, Perfect God from Perfect God, who is with God in hypostasis: who in the last days came down, and was born of the Virgin, according to the Holy Scriptures, became Man, suffered, and rose again from the dead, and returned into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of His Father, and will come again with glory and might to judge the living and the dead, and abides for everlasting. And (I believe) in the Holy Ghost, the Paraclete, the Spirit of Truth, of whom God spake before by the Prophets, that He would pour out His Spirit upon His servants; and the Lord promised that He would send Him to His disciples, whom He has also sent, as the Acts of the Apostles testify. If any one teaches or believes contrary to this faith, let him be anathema. And whoever holds with Marcellus of Ancyra, or Sabellius, or Paul of Samosata, let him, and all who take part with him, be anathema.”

A few months later, a fourth confession of faith was drawn up by a fresh assembly of Eastern bishops (a continuation of the synod), and sent by four bishops, Narcissus of Neronias, Maris of Chalcedon, Theodore of Heraclea, and Marcus of Arethusa in Syria, to the Western Emperor Constans, who’ had demanded an explanation of the grounds of the deposition of Athanasius and Paul of Constantinople. If Socrates were right, this new formula would not have proceeded from the Antiochian Synod itself, but would rather have been composed by the bishops before mentioned, and sent to the Emperor instead of the’ Antiochian formula (the second or third) which they concealed on their persons. It runs thus: “We believe in one God, the Almighty Father, the Author and Creator of all things, from whom is all Fatherhood in heaven and on earth; and in His only-begotten Son our Lord Jesus Christ, begotten of His Father before all times;—God from God, Light from Light, through whom all things were made in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible; who is the Word and the Wisdom, and Power and Life, and the true Light: who in the last days for our sakes became Man, and was born of the holy Virgin, was crucified, dead, and buried, and rose again from the dead on the third day, and was received again into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father, and will come in the end of time to judge the living and the dead, and to reward every one according to his works: whose kingdom shall have no end, for He sits on the right hand of the Father, not only in this present time, but also for the future. And (we believe) in the Holy Ghost, the Paraclete, whom He promised to the Apostles, and sent after His ascension into heaven, to teach them and to call all things to their remembrance, through whom also the souls which sincerely believe in Him are saved. Those, however, who say that the Son is of nothing (ἐξ οὐκ ὄντων), or of another hypostasis (ἐξ ἑτέρας ὑποστάσεως), and not of God, and that there was a time when He did not exist (ἦν ποτε χρόνος ὅτε οὐκ ἦν), are considered by the Catholic Church as aliens.”

We see at once that these four confessions of faith bear one and the same character. Throughout, there is an evident endeavour to approach as closely as possible to the Nicene faith, without, however, accepting the obnoxious ὁμοούσιος. The anathemas especially, taken from Nicæa, and placed at the end of the fourth formula, were intended to attest the orthodoxy of the author. Therefore Schelstraten, Remi Ceillier, and Pagi have certainly no ground for ascribing the three first creeds to the orthodox Antiochian Synod, and the fourth to the Arian cabal. All these four creeds are alike in their chief points; none of them are strictly Arian, and none quite orthodox, but all are such that one recognises them as undoubtedly the work of the Eusebians, but received by the orthodox bishops as containing nothing heretical, but rather a direct refutation of the main points of Arianism. Even S. Hilary of Poitiers does not judge the second of these formulas (he does not speak of the others) unfavourably, but interprets it in the orthodox sense. Nor does Athanasius call them heretical; but he does not judge them so leniently as Hilary, and sees in them throughout only an attempt of the Eusebians to deceive the rest of the Christian world as to their heretical views.

Now, if we have, as I believe, represented the matter in the right light, and viewed what took place, not from our own standpoint, where the line of separation and opposition is sharply drawn between the rival parties, but from the standpoint of that period of fermentation when the middle parties had not distinctly separated themselves, we can solve the perplexing question raised at first. As we know, it has seemed to many impossible that the members of that Synod, who confirmed the deposition of S. Athanasius, and drew up Arianizing creeds, could afterwards have been called by the orthodox party Sancti Patres, and their canons quoted by Church authorities. But if we assume, first, that the majority of the members of the Council at Antioch consisted of orthodox bishops, among whom might have been men of the greatest personal worth, such as Dianius of Cæsarea; and, secondly, that the canons which they gave were in truth salutary and right,—then great part of the original difficulty disappears.

To this it must be added, that these orthodox fathers did not condemn Athanasius out of malice, or even heretical feelings, but because they were misled by others; therefore they can no more be severely judged for this deed than can S. Epiphanius, for instance, for his persecution of S. Chrysostom. In this latter case one Saint was very energetic in his efforts to overthrow the other, and to drive him from his bishopric; and shall we therefore question his saintliness? Like him, the orthodox bishops of Antioch might have acted throughout bona fide. As the books of S. Epiphanius were not rejected, because he had been persuaded into his ill-usage of S. Chrysostom, so neither could or might the canons of the Antiochian Synod be rejected, because the orthodox majority had been led by the Eusebians into false steps. Finally, it must not be forgotten, that if the canons of the Antiochian Synod are spoken of as Canones Sanctorum Patrum, and their second creed is said to be published by a Congregata Sanctorum Synodus, still no one intended thereby to canonize the members of the Antiochian Synod as a body. If we understand the expression “holy,” in the sense of the ancient Church, as a title of honour, then a great part of the difficulty disappears.

SEC. 57. Vacancy of the See of Constantinople. Athanasius in the West. Preparations for the Synod of Sardica

Soon after this Synod in Encæniis, Eusebius of Nicomedia, or Constantinople, died, and the orthodox party of the latter city again made the banished Paul bishop: the Arians, on the other hand, led by Theognis of Nicæa and Theodore of Heraclea, who were then in Constantinople, assembled in another church and elected Macedonius. This threw the whole town into commotion, and regular battles took place between the two parties, causing the loss of several lives. The Emperor Constantius, who was just then staying in Antioch, upon receiving this news, at once gave orders for Paul to be again banished; but the people offered forcible resistance, in which General Hermogenes was murdered, his house set on fire, and his corpse dragged about the streets. The Emperor then came himself in haste, intending to take severe vengeance on the people; but the Constantinopolitans went to meet him, weeping and bemoaning themselves, so that he only punished them slightly, and banished Paul, but did not confirm the election of Macedonius, because he had accepted the election without his consent, and thus occasioned these deplorable events. When, some time later, Bishop Paul again ventured to return to Constantinople, Constantius had him arrested by the Prefect of the Prætorians, Philip, and banished him to Thessalonica, which again caused a great tumult, and led to the death of more than three hundred persons.

Even before this, towards the end of their Antiochian Synod, the Eusebians had tried to win over the Western Emperor Constans also. The latter, upon hearing of the events in Alexandria, the deposition of Athanasius, etc., had addressed a letter to his brother Constantius, soliciting an explanation. The Antiochians therefore sent the envoys previously mentioned, Narcissus, Maris, Theodore, and Marcus, to Gaul to the Emperor Constans, to deliver to him the fourth Antiochian Creed. Constans sent them away, however, without having gained their end, and one of the most influential bishops in his neighbourhood, Maximin of Trèves, refused the synodal envoys all Church communion. Athanasius was at this time still in Rome, where he spent altogether more than three years, because the Emperor Constantius persistently refused to allow him to return to Alexandria, and even tried in every way to obtain the consent of Rome to his deposition, as their contemporary the heathen historian Ammianus Marcellinus relates. It is not known what Athanasius did during this long time in Rome; and he himself only says briefly that he gave his time to the Church conferences, and at the wish of the Emperor Constans composed his index of the Holy Scriptures, πυκτία τῶν θείων γραφῶν, which has since been lost. In the fourth year, however, of his stay in Rome, therefore in the summer of 343, the Emperor Constans summoned him to come to him at Milan, and informed him that a number of bishops, especially Pope Julius, Hosius of Cordova, and Maximin of Trèves, had expressed a wish that he should use his influence with his brother Constantius to assemble a great synod, by which the existing complications might be settled. Other bishops also, deposed by the Eusebians,—for instance, Paul of Constantinople,—begged for the same, and Athanasius himself fully agreed with them. Constans now wrote to his brother, and gained his consent to assemble the great Synod of Sardica; before, however, this could take place, he first sent S. Athanasius from Milan to Gaul, that he might there meet Hosius, and, in company with him and the Gallican bishops, travel at once to Sardica in Illyria.

According to the general view based upon Socrates and Sozomen,1 the Eusebians had again held an assembly in Antioch before the Synod of Sardica, and had then drawn up a very long confession of faith, the μακρόστιχος, which was forthwith sent by a synodal deputation to the Western bishops assembled at Milan. Of this new Antiochian Synod and formula Athanasius, too, speaks very circumstantially, expressly stating that it took place three years after the Synod in Encæniis. We shall see, however, that this Synod is not to be placed before, but after that of Sardica, and that the assembly at Milan, to whom the formula was delivered, did not meet at the time of the sojourn of the Emperor Constans and S. Athanasius in that city just referred to, but that it was a later Milanese Synod which took place after the Council of Sardica.

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