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



SEC. 69. Return of S. Athanasius from his Second Exile. Synods of Antioch, Jerusalem, and Alexandria. The Synod of Cologne against Euphrates

IT was clearly impossible that the events at Sardica could again restore to the Church the peace disturbed since the appearance of Arius. On the contrary, the division now became still greater than at the time of the Synod of Nicæa. Then, the number of actual Arians was still small, and the semi-Arian Eusebians would not, outwardly at least, separate themselves from the Church; now, however, at Sardica, they came forward in open opposition to the Church, and thus strengthened the party to which, from the beginning, they had felt themselves drawn by a spiritual affinity. Their object was to obtain by force the universal recognition of Semi-Arianism (this name, however, was not in existence at that time) throughout the whole East, as far as the dominion of the Emperor Constantius extended; and they could the better hope for this, as in fact a far greater number of Eastern bishops stood on the Eusebian and Arian side than on the Nicene and Sardican.

In order to gain this end, on their departure from Sardica, before, during, and immediately after their stay at Philippopolis, they began a great persecution of the Nicene-minded bishops in the East-Roman Empire, which Athanasius describes in his Historia Arianorum ad Monachos, though not in exact chronological order, so that he combined in one what occurred during the (orthodox) Synod of Sardica, and what took place afterwards. While the Synod of Sardica was still assembled, Constantius, on the complaints of the Eusebians, sentenced to deposition and banishment the two bishops, Asterius of Arabia and Arius (according to others Macarius) of Palestine, who had separated themselves from the Eusebians at Sardica, as well as the bishops, Lucius of Adrianople and Diodorus of Tenedos, who had also distinguished themselves at Sardica; but Theodulus of Trajanople and Olympius of Eno Rodope they had so calumniated to the Emperor, that he pronounced the sentence of death upon both, and they were only able to save themselves by flight. Moreover, at Adrianople, because the congregation of that place, adhering to their bishop, Lucius, refused communion to the Eusebians, ten laymen were executed, and two priests and three deacons exiled to Armenia.

Whilst this took place in Thrace, the Eusebians had obtained from the Emperor a decree concerning Egypt also, that watches should be set at the gates of the towns to hinder by force the entrance of those who had received from the Synod of Sardica permission to return. Should, however, Athanasius and any of his priests mentioned by name in the decree dare to return to Alexandria, they were to be seized, and sentenced to death. Athanasius, in relating this, adds, “Thus has the new heresy not only denied the Lord, but also taught murder.”

Under such circumstances, Athanasius could, of course, not return to his diocese. He went instead from Sardica to Naissus in Dacia (the birthplace of Constantine the Great), and from thence to Aquileia, whither he had been summoned by his protector the Emperor Constans, who also arrived there at that time. The Synod of Sardica, however, sent two legates, the Bishops Vincent of Capua and Euphrates of Cologne, to Constantius, to obtain his permission for the return of Athanasius. The Emperor Constans gave them a magister militum, named Salias, as an escort, and letters of recommendation to his brother. Theodoret says that they also contained the threat that if Constantius did not recall Athanasius, Constans would himself conduct him back to Alexandria, and drive away his enemies. Philostorgius, Socrates, and Sozomen also speak of this threat; but the two latter say that Constans had first entreated his brother in friendly words to recall Athanasius, and only when this proved fruitless, menaced war. Tillemont thinks, however, we should give the preference to Theodoret’s account, and adds that even if Athanasius is silent on this point, it would still seem to be true, for Lucifer of Cagliari also asserted afterwards in presence of Constantius that “only fear had moved him to recall Athanasius.” And Constantius himself declared, “That only in order to preserve friendship with his brother had he done so.”

The two legates, Vincent and Euphrates, immediately set off for the East, to meet the Emperor Constantius; but at Antioch the Arian-minded bishop, Stephen, played them a villanous trick, which has scarcely its equal in history. Through a certain Onajer he appointed a prostitute to come to the inn where the two bishops were staying, under the pretext that a young traveller who had arrived there wanted her. She came the next night (it was Eastertide, 344), and was shown by Onajer into the room where the aged Euphrates slept. He awoke at her entrance, asked who had come, and believed, when he heard a female voice and the nature of her answer, that it could be none other than the devil. The girl was equally astonished when she saw an old man, and recognised him for a bishop. Both made a noise, at which several servants came, and a great tumult followed: the whole wicked trick was discovered, especially by the open avowal of the girl. The Emperor himself summoned a synod to try the case, and Bishop Stephen was deposed.

This is, doubtless, the same Synod of Antioch which drew up a new confession of faith, called, on account of its length, μακρόστιχος, and of which Athanasius speaks. He says that it was held three years after the Antiochian Synod in Encæniis, and therefore in the summer of 344; and this is exactly the time when a synod met at Antioch, assembled about the deposition of Stephen. The fact that all former Synodal historians place this new Synod before that of Sardica, must not mislead us, as the true date of the Sardican assembly was unknown. The formula μακρόστιχος first repeats the fourth Antiochian, Creed of 341 almost word for word, and like it anathematizes the chief Arian propositions, but adds more detailed explanations, directed partly against the Arians, the Sabellians, Marcellus of Ancyra, and Scotinos (i.e. Photinus), but also partly against Athanasius, because he had disputed the sentence: “the Father begat the Son of His will.” It is especially worthy of notice that already in this creed the Semi-Arian Shibboleth, “the Son resembles the Father in all things” (κατὰπάντα ὅμοιος), finds expression. The Eusebians sent this new formula by the Bishops Eudoxius of Germanicia, Martyrius, and Macedonius of Mopsuestia, to the West, and they arrived there just as the Latin bishops were holding a synod in Milan. The former erroneous date of the Synod of Sardica gave rise to the opinion that this Synod of Milan also had preceded that of Sardica, and had taken place at the very time that Athanasius was summoned by the Emperor Constans to Milan, before his departure for Sardica. But it is in fact a later Synod of Milan, after that of Sardica, which is here mentioned, and of which we shall shortly give a more particular account.

The above-mentioned Euphrates of Cologne is the same who was said to have been deposed at a Synod of Cologne in 346, for his attachment to the Arian heresy. The chief objection which had hitherto been brought against the genuineness of these Acts of Cologne was built upon the fact that the Council of Sardica had only taken place in 347, and that Euphrates was still at that time a most zealous opponent of the Arians. This chief objection has now, indeed, disappeared, and it may be that Euphrates, while at the Synod of Sardica, and at the time of his journey as ambassador in 344, still belonged entirely to the Orthodox side, but soon after went over to Arianism. The Acts of Sardica, however, say very expressly that Euphrates had already, long before his deposition, shown a leaning towards Arianism, and had been on that account repeatedly warned by his colleagues, and even in the presence of Athanasius (therefore probably during the latter’s stay in Gaul). According to this, his fall had been by no means a sudden one. But this is directly contradicted by his behaviour at Sardica, and by his being chosen as Synodal legate. To this must be added, that if this really had taken place, Athanasius would have displayed less sympathy for Euphrates in his Historia Arianorum ad Monachos, which he wrote after his return to Alexandria, therefore later than October 346, and would hardly have been silent concerning his fall. There are, besides, many other reasons against this Synod of Cologne, especially the total silence of all contemporary and of all ancient writers, even of the special historians of heresy, for instance, Philastrius, up to the ninth century. A circumstantial proof of the spuriousness of the Acts of the Council of Cologne was given by Harzheim, Concil. Germ. t. i.; Binterim, Pragmatische Gesch. der Deutschen Concilien; and Rettberg in his Kirchengesch. Deutschlands; against whom the learned Jesuit de Buck and Dr. Friedrich of Munich have lately argued in favour of this Synod of Cologne.

After the deposition of Stephen, another Eusebian, Leontius Castratus, received the See of Antioch. What had occurred, however, caused the Emperor Constantius to recall many banished orthodox priests, to forbid further persecution of Athanasius and his adherents, and, ten months later, after the death of the pseudo-Bishop Gregory, even to invite him to return to his bishopric, while he allowed no one else to occupy the See of Alexandria.

Constantius now addressed three short letters, which are still extant, to Athanasius, to the effect that “he should come to him at the Court, that he might be from thence reinstalled in his bishopric. He might undertake this journey without any fear or scruple, for the Emperor would have even before reinstated him if he had requested it; and the public carriages were also assigned to his use for the journey.” The third letter, especially, shows that Athanasius did not at the first invitation immediately set out, but, on the contrary, hesitated a long time.

Constantius wrote at the same time to his brother Constans that “he had waited for Athanasius already a whole year, and had not allowed the See of Alexandria to be again filled.

When these letters arrived Athanasius was still at Aquileia. At the command of his well-wisher Constans, he visited him again in Gaul, and went then to Rome, where exceeding joy reigned on account of his recall. At his departure Pope Julius gave him letters of congratulation to the diocese of Alexandria; and all other bishops also, whom he met on his journey, held communion with him.

At Antioch he met the Emperor Constantius, was very kindly received, obtained permission for his return, and begged that his accusers might be brought face to face with him. To this last the Emperor did not agree, but he caused all the written charges against Athanasius then in existence to be destroyed, and promised not to believe any fresh charges against him. At the same time, he sent letters to all the bishops of Egypt, to the diocese of Alexandria, to his Prefect in that place, Nestorius, and other officials, with regard to the return of Athanasius.

During his stay in Antioch, Athanasius took no part in the service held by the Eusebian bishop of that city, Leontius, but joined the Eustathians in a private house; and when the Emperor once expressed the wish that he should leave the Arians at least one church in Alexandria, Athanasius replied that he would do so as soon as the same was granted to the Catholics in Antioch. The Arians, however, did not agree to this proposal.

On his further journey to Alexandria, Athanasius also visited Jerusalem, where Bishop Maximus was then holding a synod, which solemnly acknowledged him as a member of the Church, and sent a letter of congratulation to the Alexandrians. At last, towards the end of 346, after more than six years’ absence, Athanasius once more reached his own diocese, and on the 21st October 346 was received with very great rejoicings. He at once held a synod for the confirmation of the Sardican decrees, and united energy with wise caution and gentleness, in order to win over even his former adversaries to himself and to the Nicene faith. More than four hundred bishops from henceforth, as he says, held communion with him; those of Rome, the whole of Italy, Calabria, Bruttia, Sicily, Sardinia, Corsica, the whole of Africa, Gaul, Britain, Spain, Pannonia, Norica, Dalmatia, Dardania, Dacia, Mysia, Macedonia, Thessaly, the whole of Achaia, Crete, Cyprus, Lysia, and the greater number from Palestine, Isauria, Egypt, Thebes, Libya, and Pentapolis.

Like Athanasius, Paul of Constantinople, Asclepas of Gaza, Marcellus of Ancyra, and others were now reinstated in their bishoprics, the latter, however, not without strife and difficulty, for Basil of Ancyra, the Eusebian occupant of his See, would not of his own will retire.

SEC. 70. Synod of Carthage

A few years before the Synod of Sardica, Bishop Cæcilian of Carthage, on whose account the Donatists had separated from the Church, had died, and Bishop Gratus of Carthage was now the head of the Orthodox. We have seen him before at the Council of Sardica, among other African bishops, at whose representation the Emperor Constans sent two high officers, Paul and Macarius, with rich presents of money to Africa, to be dispensed in the name of the Emperor for the support of all the poor, including the Donatists, and to exhort all to peace and unity. His general idea was by this means partly to support the impoverished Africans, and partly to win back to the Church many Donatists. The heads of the Donatists, however, warned their adherents against these favours, and in the town of Bagæ their bishop, also Donatus by name, raised a regular tumult of the Circumcellions. The rebels, at first victorious, were soon defeated, and Macarius, in the name of the Emperor, now had resort to such violent and severe measures, that the tempora Macariana were long after named by the Donatists with curses. Bishop Donatus of Bagæ and others of the most unruly were executed, and many fled, but many more outwardly joined the Church. The Douatist service was forbidden, and the schism appeared to be entirely destroyed, and, in fact, it never dared openly to break out again under Constans and Constantius.

The Catholic bishops of Africa, however, under the presidency of Gratus, now held a Synod at Carthage, between 345 and 348, to thank God that the schism had ended, and to draw up wholesome rules for the Church. The first two canons of this Synod have reference to the Donatists. The first canon forbids the repetition of baptism, and the second canon declares that those who (like many Circumcellions) had destroyed themselves were not to be honoured as martyrs. The twelve other canons concerned the discipline of the Church, without reference to the Donatists. The third and fourth canons order that clerics and nuns, widowers and widows, may not live together with strange men or women; the fifth canon, that no bishop shall receive a strange cleric without a letter from his own bishop, and shall ordain no stranger without the knowledge of his bishop; the sixth canon, that clerics shall abstain from all secular business; the seventh canon, that no stranger shall be admitted to receive the communion in another church, without a letter of recommendation from his own bishop; the eighth canon, that no one who is a steward or guardian, and the ninth, that no one who carries on business for others may be ordained. The tenth canon, that no cleric shall injure the rest through jealousy the eleventh canon, that haughty clerics shall be punished; and the twelfth, that the agreements they have made with one another shall be held to. The thirteenth canon, in conclusion, forbids clerics to practise usury; and he fourteenth canon threatens with severe punishment any violate these laws.

SEC. 71. Photinus, and the first Synods held on his account

We have already before mentioned the repeated attacks of the Eusebians upon the orthodoxy of Bishop Photinus of Sirmium, and now, soon after the Synod of Sardica, he was the cause of a series of new synods.

As is known, Marcellus of Ancyra had, in order to deprive the Arians of their arguments against the Nicene faith, allowed himself to be drawn into heterodox statements. His πρῶτον ψεῦδος is his distinction between the Logos and the Son. He named the union of the Logos with the man Jesus, the Son; but the Logos he regarded as equivalent to the Divine Intelligence, which did not come forth from the Father before the creation of the world, but remained silent in Him. He thus approached Sabellianism, in not acknowledging the eternal hypostasis of the Logos,—His eternal personal existence. On the other side, Marcellus was accused of Samosatenism and Ebionitism, as his Christ, in distinction to the Logos, was not truly divine, and the ἐνέργεια δραστική of God only dwelt and operated in Him.

These rudiments of doctrine are said to have been further developed by his pupil Photinus, born in Ancyra, for a considerable time deacon in that place under Marcellus, and afterwards bishop of Sirmium in Pannonia; but from the inaccuracy of our authorities, it is difficult to decide what statement belongs to Marcellus, and what is peculiar to Photinus; and especially concerning the latter’s doctrine of the Trinity, hardly anything is known.

Moreover, it was not Photinus’ doctrine of the Trinity, but his Christology, which called forth such active opposition. He lowered Christ to a man, who for His virtues had been glorified of God, and adopted as His Son; because on the very ground of His moral perfection, the Logos (in fact, the ἐνέργεια δραστική) had dwelt in Him very especially, and through Him had worked miracles. According to Marius Mercator, he considered Christ as simply a son of Joseph and Mary; but, according to Epiphanius, Vigilius of Tapsus and Cassian, he, like Marcellus, ascribed to Him a supernatural birth. The latter opinion appears to us most probable, although lately Zahn, in his work on Marcellus of Ancyra, has declared in favour of the first—the downright Ebionitism of Photinus. If, however, Epiphanius maintains that, according to the opinion of Photinus, the man Christ was brought into being by the descent of the Logos from His power, thus lowering Himself to a human existence, he has probably misunderstood the twelfth anathema of the Synod of Sirmium of 351 (according to Hilary, the eleventh anathema), and is of opinion that the statement there rejected, of a transformation of the Logos into human nature, had been a doctrine held by Photinus; whilst, more probably, Photinus reproached the orthodox Church with holding this opinion, and therefore the Synod, in defence of the orthodox doctrine, anathematized it. However this may be, the connection between the doctrine of Photinus and Ebionitism and Samosatenism is in any case easily recognised.

The first anathema upon these, as we before saw, was pronounced by the Eusebians at the Synod of Antioch in 344, in their long confession of faith, the so-called μακρόστιχος, where they ironically give Photinus (φωτεινός, “man of light”) the name of σκοτεινός, “man of darkness,” and place him on just the same footing with Marcellus. From that time a series of synods, Eusebian as well as Orthodox, occupied themselves with censuring the doctrine of Photinus. The statements of the ancient Fathers are, however, so doubtful and uncertain with regard to the determination of the time and place of many of them, that a series of their different arrangements was drawn up on this subject by learned men, as in the case of the chronological points in the life of S. Paul. Of those who principally came forward in this direction were Baronius, Petavius, Sirmond, Larroque, Peter de Marca, Tillemont, Pagi, Constant, Fabricius, Mansi, Montfaucon, Remi Ceillier, and others; it would, however, lead us too far, and hardly repay the trouble, if we were to bring forward all their reasons for and against, and compare them. The truth appears to me to be, that already, about 345, soon after the end of the Sardican Synod, the orthodox bishops, at a Synod at Milan, found it necessary to pronounce on their part also the anathema against Photinus, especially as otherwise, on account of their relation to Marcellus of Ancyra, they might easily have been thought to favour this erroneous doctrine. Hilary speaks very shortly of this Synod of Milan in his second Fragment, remarking that Photinus had been by it condemned as an heretic. The attention of the Synod, however, was occupied chiefly by Valens and Ursacius, next to Photinus, as these two very influential bishops, deposed on account of Arianism by the Synod of Sardica, now, since a change had taken place in the views of their well-wisher Constantius (in favour of Athanasius), deemed it necessary to reconcile themselves to the Nicene faith, and to renounce the Arian doctrine. For this purpose they presented a memorial to the Synod of Milan, in which they anathematized Arius and his adherents, and all who said that the Son proceeded from nothing, and declared that He was not eternal.

A like anathema on the Arian doctrine was demanded at Milan of the emissaries of the Eusebians, who had been sent to bring the formula μακρόστιχος of the Antiochian Synod of 344. These were the Bishops Demophilus, Macedonius, Eudoxius, and Martyrius. They, however, refused to do this, and parted from the Synod with embittered feelings.

Two years later, in 347, another “Western Synod was held on account of Photinus, whether at Rome or again at Milan is doubtful, and it is once more Hilary whom we have to thank for this information. He says: “Two years after the condemnation of Photinus by the Synod of Milan, the bishops from many provinces had assembled to drive Photinus from his office.” It had also become necessary to shut out from the Church several bishops on account of their complicity with Arianism, or because they had borne false witness against Athanasius. This, however, had caused Valens and Ursacius (clearly from fear of deposition) to write to Pope Julius, and beg to be received into the Church; (therefore, in spite of their anathema of Arius, they had not been absolved or received by the Synod of Milan).

We still possess the letter which they addressed at that time to Pope Julius, and have partly made use of it on the preceding page. The more detailed contents, however, are as follows:—“That they admit that their former unfavourable view of Athanasius had been mistaken, and that they would now gladly enter into communion with him. Arius, on the contrary, and his adherents were heretics, as they had already declared in their former letter delivered at Milan.” The protestation, which is added, is characteristic, that in case Athanasius or the Eastern bishops should intend to proceed against them, and to call them to account for their former behaviour, they would not appear without the consent of the Pope.

Hilary adds that this letter had been despatched two years after the condemnation of Photinus by the Romans. By the Romans he understands the Latins in general, and in a stricter sense the above-mentioned Synod of Milan in 345.

Valens and Ursacius about this time, 347, addressed a second letter to Athanasius, which they sent to him from Aquileia by their colleague Moyses. They there declare that they desire to hold communion with him, and beg for a friendly answer. Upon this they did, in fact, obtain forgiveness, and were again received into communion. We said above that it was doubtful whether the Synod was held at Rome or Milan; the Benedictine editors of the works of S. Hilary, however, pronounce, and as we think rightly, in favour of Milan, because the Synod of Rimini in 359 states that Valens and Ursacius had been again received into the Church at a Milanese Synod. But they could not yet have accomplished this reception at the Synod of 345.

The affair of Photinus did not progress so quickly, for, on account of his fitness in other respects, especially as a preacher, he was so highly esteemed in his diocese, that notwithstanding the Synodal sentence passed against him, he continued to hold his episcopal See. The last-named Synod therefore found it necessary, in order to give force to its decisions, to communicate them also to the Eastern bishops, who thereupon immediately assembled in synod at Sirmium, the See of Photinus, where he was again declared a heretic. As, however, the members of this Synod were of Eusebian and Arian views, they made use of the same opportunity to strike a blow at Athanasius and the Synod of Sardica, by declaring in their answer to the Western bishops that Marcellus of Ancyra was the real father of the heresy of Photinus, thus raising afresh the question concerning him, and characterizing his acquittal at Sardica as false and mistaken, while adding that even Athanasius had now broken off all communion with him.

That the bishops of this Synod of Sirmium actually Arianized is shown by the short creed which they placed as an introduction to their Synodal letters, and in which they say: Profitemur … et unum unicum ejus Filium, Deum ex Deo, Lumen ex Lumine, primogenitum omnis creaturæ. The sentence against Photinus and their remark against Athanasius followed in their letter this exposition of the faith, in order that every one, by accepting and signing the Synodal letter, should, at the same time, approve all these three points.

Whether this Synod took place before or after the death of the Emperor Constans is doubtful. The Benedictine editors of the works of S. Hilary are in favour of 349, because Sulpicius Severus, in speaking of this Synod, maintains that “the bishops there present had sought by this artful union of the affair of Photinus with that of Marcellus and Athanasius to work upon the Emperors.” Therefore, Constans was then still living. Zahn, in his work on Marcellus of Ancyra, is of the same opinion as to the chief points; he only places it a little earlier, in 347, because, according to Hilary’s representation, it followed immediately upon the reception into the Church of Valens and Ursacius. On the other side, Remi Ceillier argues that the Synod of Milan had addressed itself to the Oriental bishops probably for this reason, that since the death of Constans, in January 350, Sirmium no longer belonged to the West (the kingdom of Magnentius), but was first, like the whole of Pannonia, occupied by General Vetranion, who, on the 1st May 350, had himself proclaimed emperor at Sirmium, and, in December of the same year, was delivered by him again to Constantius.

Now, whether or no this Synod took place shortly before or soon after the death of the Emperor Constans, it is certain that Photinus, supported by these military disturbances, still remained in his See, and that anything decisive against him could only have been undertaken in 351, after Constantius had also become ruler of Pannonia, and therefore of Sirmium.

SEC. 72. New Synod and First Formula of Sirmium in 351

Now, in 351, at the desire of the Emperor Constantius, who was himself just then at Sirmium (after the submission of Vetranion), a great synod assembled there, at which Narcissus of Neronias, Theodore of Heraclea, Basil of Ancyra, Eudoxius of Germanicia, Macedonius of Mopsuestia, Marcus of Arethusa, and other well-known Eusebians were present. From the West were present at the assembly probably only Valens and Ursacius, who, since the death of the Emperor Constans, and since they had again become subjects of Constantius, had once more gone over to the Eusebian cause. Socrates and Sozomen, indeed, only mention Valens as present; but they also reckon Bishop Hosius, who at that time, 351, was certainly not in Sirmium, neither was any one present, so it appears, from the province of Magnentius.

The Synod deposed Photinus on account of his Sabellian and Samosatan doctrine, and published at the same time a somewhat ambiguous creed with twenty-seven anathemas, called the first formula of Sirmium. It is preserved to us in Athanasius, Hilary, and Socrates, and is word for word identical with the fourth Antiochian formula, of which we have before spoken. All its expressions sound quite orthodox, and in the very first appendix Arianism proper is anathematized; but, on the other hand, the ὁμοούσιος and the strict Nicene definition is avoided. Socrates says that Bishop Marcus of Arethusa was the author of this creed; and this probably refers to his statement already given, that not the Antiochian Synod itself, but the four deputies sent by it to the Emperor Constans, and among them Marcus, had drawn up the formula.

The anathemas added at Sirmium run thus:—

“(1.) Those who say that the Son is from nothing, or from another being (of another substance), and not from God; or that there was a time when the Son was not,—the holy Catholic Church condemns.

“(2.) If any one calls the Father and the Son two Gods, let him be anathema.

“(3.) If any one says indeed that Christ was God, and the Son of God before all ages, but does not acknowledge that He was the Helper of the Father at the creation of all things, let him be anathema.

“(4.) If any one says that the Unbegotten, or a part of Him, was born of Mary, let him be anathema.

“(5.) If any one says that the Son existed indeed before Mary, but only according to the divine foreknowledge, and not that He was begotten of God, and with God before all ages, and that through Him all things were created, let him be anathema.

“(6.) If any one says that the substance of God expands and contracts, let him be anathema.

“(7.) If any one says that the expanded substance of God forms the Son, or calls the expansion of His substance God, let him be anathema.

“(8.) If any one calls the Son of God λόγος ἐνδιάθετος, or προφορικός, let him be anathema.

“(9.) If any one calls the Son of Mary only a man, let him be anathema.

“(10.) If any one believes that the God-man, born of Mary, was Himself the Unbegotten, let him be anathema.

“(11.) If any one interprets the words, ‘I am the First and I am the Last, and beside me there is no God’ (Isa. 44:6, as opposed to false gods), after the Jewish manner, as denying the only-begotten God, who was before all ages, let him be anathema.

“(12.) [According to Hilary, the 11th.] If any one, hearing the words, ‘The Logos became flesh,’ believes that the Logos was transformed into flesh, or that He, enduring a change, took flesh, let him be anathema.

“(13.) [According to Hilary, 12.] If any one, hearing the words, ‘The Son of God was crucified,’ says His Godhead has suffered destruction, or pain, or change, or diminution, or annihilation, let him be anathema.

“(14.) [According to Hilary, 13.] If any one says that the words, ‘Let us make man,’ were not spoken by the Father to the Son, but to Himself (i.e. to the Logos impersonally dwelling in Him), let him be anathema,

“(15.) [According to Hilary, 14.] If any one says that the Son did not appear to Abraham, but the unbegotten God, or a part of Him, let him be anathema.

“(16.) [According to Hilary, 15.] If any one says that the Son did not wrestle with Jacob as a man, but the unbegotten God, or a part of Him, let him be anathema.

“(17.) [According to Hilary, 16.] If any one understands the words, ‘Then the Lord rained fire from the Lord’ (Gen. 19:24), not as referring to the Father and the Son, but says that He (the Father) sent rain from Himself, let him be anathema. For the Lord the Son sent rain from the Lord the Father.

“(18.) [According to Hilary, 17.] If any one, hearing that the Father is the Lord, and the Son is the Lord, and the Father and the Son are the Lord (as He is the Lord from the Lord), supposes that there are two Gods, let him be anathema. For we do not make the Son equal with the Father, but subject to the Father (οὐ γὰρ συντάσσομεν υἱὸν τῷ πατρὶ, ἀλλʼ ὑποτεταταγμένον τῷ πατρί); for He did not descend upon Sodom without the will of the Father, neither did He send rain of Himself, but from the Lord (that is, at the will of the Father), as manifestly the Father only has power of Himself; neither does the Son sit on the right hand of the Father of Himself (of His own power), but obeying the word of the Father, ‘Sit Thou on my right hand.’

“(19.) [According to Hilary, 18.] If any one calls the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost one Person, ἓν πρόσωπον, let him be anathema.

“(20.) [According to Hilary, 19.] If any one, calling the Holy Ghost the Paraclete, says He is the unbegotten God, let him be anathema.

“(21.) [According to Hilary, 20.] If any one does not, as our Lord taught us, call another than the Son the Paraclete, let him be anathema. For He said, ‘I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Paraclete.’

“(22.) [According to Hilary, 21.] If any one calls the Holy Ghost a part of the Father and the Son, let him be anathema.

“(23.) [According to Hilary, 22.] If any one says the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost are three Gods, let him be anathema.

“(24.) If any one says that the Son of God came into existence through the will of God, like any other creature, let him be anathema.

“(25.) If any one says that the Son was begotten without the will of the Father, let him be anathema. For the Father did not beget the Son without desiring it, because He was obliged by any necessity of His nature; but as soon as He desired it, before all time, and without any change, He begat Him, and brought Him to light.

“(26.) If any one says that the Son is unbegotten, and had not His origin in any other Person, maintaining that there are two unbegotten Beings who have their origin in no other, thus setting up two Gods, let him be anathema. For the Head that is the Foundation of all things is the Son; but the Head that is the Foundation of Christ is God. In this way we piously trace back all through the Son to the aboriginal Foundation of all, who alone has His esse ex Se Ipso.

“(27.) And again, defining precisely the Christian doctrine, we say: If any one does not call Christ God, and the Son of God, existing before all ages, who was the Helper of the Father at the creation of all things, but maintains that only since His birth of Mary He is called Christ and Son, and that He then only began to be God, let him be anathema.”

We have already placed this Synod of Sirmium in 351, for Socrates and Sozomen most expressly give this date when they say that “the Synod was held the next year after the consulate of Sergius and Nigrinianus, when on account of the public disturbances no new consuls had been chosen.” This statement was followed by most authorities, especially by Petavius, Pagi, Larroque, Peter de Marca, Tillemont, Constant, Remi Ceillier, Walch, and others; while, on the other hand, Sirmond declared in favour of 357, and Mansi, Fabricius, and Massari for 358.

After the drawing up of this first formula of Sirmium, the Synod proposed to Photinus that he should sign it, and renounce his errors, upon which he might remain in his See; but instead of agreeing to this, he complained to the Emperor of the injustice he had suffered, and demanded to be allowed to dispute with his enemies in the presence of the Emperor, and before judges appointed by him. Six senators were nominated as judges, and Basil of Ancyra, afterwards head of the Semi-Arians, was first chosen to dispute. Notaries had to write down carefully all the speeches for and against, and three copies of the protocol, now unhappily altogether lost, were drawn up. By reason of the sophistries of Photinus, the dispute was long and obstinate, but Basil was invariably victorious, so that the Emperor drove Photinus from Sirmium into exile. Soon afterwards, the Synod of Milan in 355 again pronounced the anathema upon Photinus. Under Julian the Apostate he appears to have been recalled with other bishops, but to have been once more banished by the Emperor Valentinian. He died in exile about 366, and even after his death anathema upon his erroneous doctrine was pronounced by several Synods, especially by that of Rome under Damasus in 375, and by the Second General Council.

SEC. 73. Death of the Emperor Constans. Pope Liberius

If we turn back to the year 351, we must especially lament the injurious influence which the early death of the Emperor Constans exercised upon the fate of the Nicene doctrine and that of its defenders. If, as Socrates maintains, the Eusebians had already, immediately after the recall of Athanasius, and even before he again returned to Alexandria, renewed their intrigues against him, they now pursued them all the more fearlessly, especially as Athanasius deposed those clerics who were not of the Nicene belief, and appointed others, even, as they said, interfering in strange dioceses (of which he was, however, the head metropolitan). At first, indeed, their efforts were without result, for we even now possess a letter from the Emperor Constantius to Athanasius, in which, after the death of Constans, he assures him of his continued protection; perhaps, as the Benedictines suppose, only out of policy, in order to preserve to himself, in the then critical circumstances and times of war, the favour of this influential man, and of Egypt, which was devoted to him.

The great victory of Constantius over the usurper Magnentius, at Mursa, on the 28th September 351, was an event of no small importance for the history of the Church. Bishop Valens of Mursa was then in the train of the Emperor, and as he learned the result of the frightful battle sooner than the Emperor, who was not present in person, Valens announced it to him, asserting that an angel had brought him the news, and from that time he stood in high favour with the Emperor.

About this time Valens and Ursacius, incited by the Arianizing Bishop Leontius Castratus of Antioch, again returned to anti-Nicene views, making their fear of the Emperor Constans the excuse for their former step. They and Leontius were joined by Bishop George of Laodicea, Acacius of Cæsarea in Palestine, Theodore of Heraclea, and Narcissus of Neronias, the heads of the Semi-Arian party, and together they induced the Emperor again to become the patron of the anti-Nicene doctrine. Constantius consented to this after the battle of Mursa, just when he was preparing for a fresh expedition against Magnentius, and commissioned the bishops just mentioned to educate the mind of the public in this direction; and in the spring of 352 he arrived with these changed views in Rome, to carry on the war against Magnentius, who had just escaped from Italy. Just at that time S. Athanasius and the Nicene faith lost one of their strongest supporters, for Pope Julius I. died on the 12th April 352, and was succeeded by Liberius on the 22d May 352. A fragment in Hilary contains a letter of this Pope, beginning with the words, Studens paci, according to which the Eastern bishops had, even during the lifetime of Pope Julius, brought forward fresh complaints against Athanasius; for which reason Liberius, immediately upon coming into office, had sent ambassadors to Alexandria to require Athanasius to answer for himself at Rome, failing which he would be put out of the Church. As Athanasius refused to appear, Liberius declared in this letter that from that time he would no more hold communion with him, but with the Eastern bishops, i.e. the Eusebians. But this letter is decidedly not genuine, as Baronius, and the Benedictine editors in their edition of the works of S. Hilary, have proved, as have I also in the Tübingen Review of 1853, and for the following reasons:—

(1.) In the very earliest days of his pontificate, Liberius displayed, as we shall see, great zeal for Athanasius and the Nicene cause. (2.) Athanasius himself nowhere gives the slightest intimation that Liberius had ever before his exile broken off communion with him. He even expressly says that it was only after his exile that Liberius had allowed himself to be led away by threats, whereas before he had been quite firm, and had given very good answers to the Imperial eunuch Eusebius, who was sent to him to mislead him. (3.) Liberius expressly explained to this Imperial ambassador that he could not possibly condemn Athanasius, whom two Synods had already pronounced innocent, who had been left in peace by the Roman Church, and whom he himself, moreover, had loved when he was in Rome, and received into communion, that is, as a cleric under Julius. Now Liberius could certainly not have said this if he had ever himself already renounced communion with Athanasius. (4.) Liberius was further accused by the enemies of Athanasius of having suppressed letters of complaint against him which were sent in (as appears from the context, in the beginning of his pontificate), and to this he replied that he had read the letters, and communicated them to his Synod, but that many more bishops had declared for Athanasius than against him. Finally, the Arians at that time circulated several false letters, as Athanasius showed, and one of them was read at the Synod of Sardica.

When Athanasius perceived the storm approaching him, he sent several bishops, among them Serapion of Thmuis, renowned for his piety, as ambassadors to the Emperor Constantius, to meet the charges brought against him. But this produced no result.

Soon afterwards, in August 353, after the desertion of his army, and when the cry of “Long live Constantius” had resounded, the usurper Magnentius threw himself upon his own sword at Lyons, after first killing his nearest relations in order to save them from the Emperor’s revenge. Constantius was now sole ruler of the great united empire of his father, and from that time his intention of making the Arian faith the reigning one, and of suppressing the Homoüsion, which was alleged to embody Sabellian tendencies, showed itself daily more plainly. Besides the Court bishops, no small part in this matter was taken by his last wife Eusebia, whom he had shortly before married, about new year 353, and whom until her death, in 360, he held in the highest honour. She, too, was a zealous Arian, so that Pope Liberius returned the money which she sent to him to distribute, saying that she might make the Arian bishops the administrators of her alms. Her influence in favour of the heresy is as little to be doubted as that formerly exercised by other princesses, i.e. Constantia, and the mother of Julian the Apostate; and Athanasius expressly says that women had exerted great influence on the Arian side.

Athanasius was now, of course, to be once more put down, and a peculiarly dishonourable plan was devised with this view. A spurious letter was given to the Emperor, alleged to have been written by Athanasius, in which he asked permission to come to the Court, where it was naturally thought it would be easier to gain the mastery over him than in Alexandria, where he stood in such high favour. Constantius agreed to the alleged request, and sent his written answer in the affirmative by the official of the palace, Montanus, to Alexandria, towards the end of 353. Athanasius at once saw through the deception, and answered that “if the Emperor expressly commanded it, he would appear, but that he had not made this request.” He therefore remained in Alexandria, and his enemies lost no time in declaring this to be a capital offence. An opportunity immediately offered for a further attack. The churches of Alexandria had for a considerable time past been too small, and therefore, about ten years before, the Arian pseudo-Bishop Gregory had begun to transform the temple of Hadrian into a church. The building was not yet quite completed, and the church still unconsecrated; but at Easter, at the request of the people, Athanasius held divine service in it, because on the preceding days the regular cathedral had been so overcrowded, that many were wounded in the crush. The Arians now played the part of rigorists, and complained to the Emperor of the crime of having held divine service in an unconsecrated church. To this they added two further grounds of complaint, i.e. that Athanasius had always excited the Emperor Constans against his brother; and also that, at the beginning of the usurpation of Magnentius, he had sent him a respectful letter in order to win his favour.

These fresh attacks upon Athanasius were communicated to Pope Liberius as well as to the Emperor; but the friends of the accused also again came forward, and sent eighty bishops with a fresh letter in his defence to Rome. Liberius therefore deemed it necessary to call a great council after having, as it appears, before held a Roman Synod, and at first he received from the Emperor the consent he had requested.

Meanwhile, after the death of Magnentius, Constantius had taken up his abode for some time at Arles, in Gaul (from October 353 till the spring of 354); and the Pope now sent ambassadors to him, requesting that, as peace was restored in the State, he should call the promised council at Aquileia for the restoration of peace in the Church also. At the head of the Papal embassy stood Bishop Vincent of Capua, who had before, as priest, with Hosius, held the presidency at Nicæa, and Bishop Marcellus of Campania was associated with him. Both bishops had to deliver to the Emperor those letters for and against Athanasius which had been sent to Rome.

SEC. 74. Synods of Arles in 353, and Milan in 355

The ambassadors of the Pope arrived at Arles, but did not obtain the Emperor’s consent for the Synod of Aquileia; on the contrary, he arranged one at Arles, and laid before the bishops there assembled a decree condemning Athanasius, and which was probably the work of Valens and Ursacius, who were the heads and leaders of this Synod of Arles, as well as of the Emperor himself. The Papal ambassadors and other orthodox bishops represented that the faith should surely be first discussed before they were compelled to sign, and not the verdict first pronounced upon the person, and then upon the cause. But Bishop Valens and his friends would not enter into any fresh dogmatic investigation. The Papal legates, as they said, for the sake of peace, forthwith made this fresh proposal: that they would sign the judgment upon Athanasius, if, at the same time, an anathema was also pronounced upon the Arian heresy. This was promised, and the Synod began; but Valens and his adherents, the Arianizing majority, soon declared it impossible for them to consent to this point, but still insisted upon the condemnation of Athanasius; and Constantius, by threats and no little force, extorted the signatures from all the orthodox bishops, including the Papal legates. Only Paulinus of Trèves remained firm, and was therefore banished to Phrygia, where he was compelled to live entirely among Montanists. Liberius, however, was so distressed at the fall of his legates, especially Vincent, that he wrote to Hosius: “Duplici affectus moerore, mihi moriendum magis pro Deo decrevi, ne viderer novissimus delator, aut sententiis contra Evangelium commodare consensum.” And that no one should believe that he sanctioned the step taken by his emissaries, he not only wrote to Hosius, but also sent similar letters to other Western bishops. The situation of the Italian bishops especially was a dangerous one at that time, for the Emperor required of them all to renounce communion with Athanasius. Many lost courage, when Lucifer, bishop of Cagliari, in Sardinia, stood up, and showed that the attack upon Athanasius was nothing less than a persecution of the Nicene doctrine, and offered himself as Papal ambassador to go to the Court, to bring the Emperor, if possible, to a better mind. Liberius gladly accepted his offer, and gave him the priest Pancratius and the deacon Hilary as his companions, and sent them with a very plain-spoken and dignified letter to the Emperor, in which he justifies his former conduct, and shows why he could not hold communion with the Eusebians, criticising skilfully and earnestly the events at Arles, and urgently begging him to delay holding another Synod. It is the very letter from which we obtained half our information concerning the Synod of Arles. At the same time, Liberius also wrote to the highly-esteemed Bishop Eusebius of Vercelli, and prayed him also to join the embassage, and use his influence for securing favourable decisions from the Emperor. Eusebius at once acceded to this wish, and Liberius therefore addressed another letter to him, thanking, and at the same time informing him that he had also invited the Bishop Fortunatian of Aquileia to take part in the embassage. He praised the latter highly; but the result showed that in the hour of danger at Milan, Fortunatian did not stand firm.

Liberius expected great advantage from the calling of a new Western Synod, and was certainly therefore much pleased when the Emperor, at the request of the Papal embassy, called a Synod for the year 355 at Milan, where he was just then staying. But Liberius was soon to be bitterly disappointed, for the friends of Arianism also desired such a Synod, in the full expectation, through the countenance of the Emperor, of being victorious in the hitherto undivided West, and of inducing the bishops in great numbers to join in the rejection of S. Athanasius.

More than three hundred Western, but very few Eastern, bishops assembled at Milan, as the journey was too long for them. Some of the most important Western bishops, however, would not appear, because they foresaw from the first the sad result, as for instance Eusebius of Vercelli, although he himself the year before had worked upon the Emperor to induce him to call the Synod. But neither the Orthodox nor the Arian party would allow this celebrated man to be absent from Milan; and accordingly not only did the Emperor and the Papal legates send written petitions to him, but the Synod also despatched an embassage to Vercelli, to obtain the bishop’s consent to their proceedings. The names of the Synodal ambassadors, Eustomius, or Eudoxius, and Germinius, as well as the contents of the letters entrusted to them, show that the Arian party was then dominant in Milan, for Eusebius was there plainly told that he was expected to pronounce the anathema upon the “sacrilegus Athanasius.”

In spite of this bad prognostic Eusebius repaired to Milan, probably only because the Papal legates had so urgently implored him to do so. Their letter before mentioned, from the pen of Lucifer, quite shows his fiery and hasty character. He hoped that the arrival of Eusebius would drive away Valens, and ruin all the hopes of the blasphemous Arians.

In strong contrast to the longing of the Synod for Eusebius, is that which followed immediately after his arrival in Milan. Throughout the first ten days he was not allowed to take any part in the assembly, probably because just then the means for the deposition of Athanasius were under discussion, and they did not want to have Eusebius present as a witness. At last they invited him to appear at their sittings in the church, and with him came the three Papal legates. They demanded that he should sign the condemnation of Athanasius. He replied that they must first treat of the faith, for he knew that several of those present were tainted with heresy, and proposed that the Nicene formula, a copy of which he produced at the same time, should first of all be signed, for then only could he act in accordance with their wishes with regard to Athanasius. The Benedictine editors are of opinion that there was more of cunning than of real design in this; that he foresaw that all would not sign the Nicene formula, and that he intended in this way to evade their wishes. However this may be, Bishop Dionysius of Milan, one of the Orthodox, was the first to come forward, and he was about to sign the Nicene formula, but Valens took the pen and paper by force out of his hand, and exclaimed: “Such a thing shall not be done.” As this took place openly in the church, it soon became generally known, and the fact of the bishops in synod fighting against the true faith occasioned much astonishment, sorrow, and indignation among the populace of Milan, who were almost all orthodox. The heads of the Arian party therefore thought it well from henceforth to transfer the sittings to the Imperial palace, that they might carry out their plans undisturbed.

Sulpicius Severus relates that after this removal they circulated an edict in an Arian sense from the Imperial palace, signed by Constantius, in order to sound public opinion. Should it be ill received, the burden would, they thought, fall upon the Emperor, who was only a catechumen. Should no objection be raised, however, the Synod might itself venture on something of the sort. This edict was forthwith published in Milan, but was most emphatically disapproved by the people; notwithstanding which, Constantius kept to his intention of carrying out the condemnation of Athanasius, summoned the heads of the orthodox party, and demanded their signature. Upon their declaring that this was against the canon of the Church, he replied imperiously: “My will is the canon,” and appealed to the Syrian bishops, who were of the same mind. Whoever did not sign was to expect banishment. At this the orthodox bishops lifted their hands beseechingly towards heaven, and prayed the Emperor “to fear God, who had given him the dominion, that it might not be taken from him; also to fear the day of judgment, and not to confound the secular power with the law of the Church, nor to introduce into the Church the Arian heresy.” This so angered the Emperor that he at first threatened them with death, but afterwards passed sentence of banishment on them.

Lucifer adds to the above account, that he at that time declared in the Imperial palace that the Nicene faith had always been held fast in the Church, and that all the soldiers of the Emperor could not force him to give his consent to this godless decree. Athanasius supplements this in another place by saying, that Lucifer, Eusebius of Vercelli, and Dionysius of Milan, held, in opposition to the attacks of Valens and his adherents upon Athanasius, that these accusers were in the highest decree unreliable, as Valens and Ursacius had themselves shortly before declared the charges brought against Athanasius to be false, and had sought communion with him, from which they had, however, afterwards fallen away. Then the Emperor, who himself presided at the assemblies in his palace, stood forth, and declared that “he himself was now the accuser of Athanasius, and that, on his word, Valens and the others must be believed.” But neither could this intimidate the orthodox speakers, and they replied with courage and dignity: “How can you, who did not witness the incidents which form the grounds of the complaint, be his accuser, he being himself absent? In secular courts, the authority of the Emperor may indeed decide, but not where a bishop is concerned, and where the accused must have as good a case as the accuser.”

Notwithstanding all his threats of death and exile, Constantius maintained that he only desired to restore peace, and that for this reason the orthodox bishops should now enter into communion with the Arians. His violence did indeed result in all present, intimidated by such strong measures, and fearing the grossest ill-treatment, at last signing. Only Eusebius of Vercelli, Dionysius of Milan, Lucifer of Cagliari, and the two other Roman deputies stood firm, and refused to agree to any condemnation whatsoever of Athanasius. For this they were exiled, and the deacon Hilary was also first beaten with rods. They were taken, bound with chains, to distant provinces; but the further they went the greater became the sympathy of the people, and their abhorrence of the impious heretics. Pope Liberius also soon cheered them by a very friendly letter, in which he at the same time asked for accurate information concerning the Synod of Milan.

Among those who proved so unstable at Milan, was that Bishop Fortunatian of Aquileia, of whom, as we have seen, Liberius had great hopes, and who not only fell himself, but, as S. Jerome relates, was later on the cause of the weakness of Liberius. After the banishment of Bishop Dionysius, the See of Milan, in accordance with the wishes of the Arians, was conferred upon their colleague Auxentius, by birth a Cappadocian, who did not even understand the language (Latin) of his new diocese, and who was expressly summoned from Cappadocia to be made bishop of Milan. He had already served in the ministry under his countryman, the Arian pseudo-Bishop Gregory of Alexandria, and proved from henceforth a cunning as well as violent enemy of the Orthodox. Probably the Sees of Vercelli and Cagliari were now also given over to the Arians.

SEC. 75. Deposition of Athanasius, Hosius, and Liberius

The Synod of Milan had become, as we see, a prelude to the famous Robber Synod, but the persecution was still by no means at an end; on the contrary, all the other Western bishops, like their colleagues at Milan, were to be forced to sign, and the whole West compelled to hold communion with the Arians. An order was now sent to the prefect at Alexandria to deprive Athanasius of the official revenue he, in common with the other bishops, had hitherto received, and to give it to the Arians. At the same time, all those in public offices were bidden to hold communion, not with him, but with the Arians, and in future to give credit to the accusations against him and his friends. Notaries and servants of the palace were sent into the provinces with threats to the bishops and officials; and the latter, as well as the magistrates of the various towns, were commissioned to offer the bishops the alternative either of communion with the Arians or of exile. The flocks also which adhered to them were disquieted and visited with all kinds of punishment, so that many fled to escape persecution as followers of their bishop. And, in order that these commands might be strictly carried out, men were set over the public officials to watch and exhort them. Thus, while heretics of all kinds remained undisturbed, a general campaign was opened against the orthodox Church, and every place and town was filled with terror and confusion.

The Arians knew how to use still further means to gain their end. Under the most diverse pretexts, many bishops were now ordered to the Court, where some were detained by the Emperor and terrified with threats until they promised to renounce all communion with Athanasius, while others were not even admitted to his presence. Many showed their weakness, but many remained firm, and were punished with exile. But though many proved weak, yet Constantius with all his power could only extort the outward observance of his command, namely the signature against Athanasius, and actual communion with the Arians. In heart, the Western episcopate never became Arian, and still less the people. On the contrary, Athanasius says they all abhorred the heresy into which they were forced, as they would a poisonous serpent.

From the beginning, the great object of the Arians had been to gain Pope Liberius, and the renowned Bishop Hosius, in the hope that, if these were won over, the victory would be achieved over all. Constantius now sent the eunuch Eusebius, one of his most confidential advisers, and a zealous Arian, to Rome, to Pope Liberius, to demand of him two things,—that he should subscribe the condemnation of Athanasius, and communicate with the Arians; the former was the Emperor’s wish, the latter his command. Presents and threats were to be alike employed to induce the Pope to yield. Liberius replied that he could not possibly repudiate Athanasius; that a free Synod ought to be held, not in the Imperial palace or ruled by the Emperor in person, where the Nicene faith should be re-affirmed, the Arians excluded, and the charges against Athanasius investigated. Eusebius, enraged at this, packed up the presents which he had brought from the Emperor, and which Liberius refused to accept, and departed with threats. The presents he then deposited in the Church of S. Peter, but the Pope blamed the person in charge of the church for allowing this, and sent the presents back again. As soon as Eusebius had given his report to the Emperor, the Prefect of Rome was commissioned to convey the Pope to the Court, or else to employ force against him. Universal terror now took possession of the city of Rome; the adherents of Liberius were persecuted, and attempts were made to bribe many to rise against him. The bishops who were then in Rome hid themselves, many honourable women fled, numbers of ecclesiastics were driven away, and watches appointed to prevent any one visiting the Pope. Liberius was brought to the Court, and set before the Emperor, in answer to whom he spoke with noble candour. For this he was punished with exile, and banished to Berœa in Thrace, where he had no friends or companions in misfortune; for by this isolation the Emperor intended to increase his punishment, and perhaps also hoped thus the more easily to weaken his purpose. The Episcopal See of Rome was now, at the desire of the Emperor, occupied by the former deacon, Felix, with whom, however, no one would enter into communion, so that his churches were entirely empty.

Hosius had been a bishop more than sixty years, and was an aged man of nearly an hundred, and as long as he remained true to Athanasius and the Nicene faith, it seemed to the Arians that they had gained nothing; for many Spanish bishops were guided by his example. This they represented to the Emperor, who, about the time of his persecution of Pope Liberius, also summoned the aged Hosius to the Court. The same two demands were made of him as of Liberius, that he should renounce communion with Athanasius and communicate with the Arians. Hosius, however, made such an impression upon the Emperor, that he allowed him again to return home. But at fresh suggestions from the Arians, Constantius wrote again somewhat later to Hosius, uniting flatteries with threats, and representing to him that he would surely not be the only one who refused to conform. Hosius replied by a most courageous letter, which is preserved by Athanasius, upon which he was banished to Sirmium in 355.

The deposition of Athanasius seemed more difficult. The attacks upon him had indeed, as we have seen, begun long before, but no one dared to lay violent hands upon him in Alexandria itself, for fear of the people; they therefore tried to lure him out of the city; for they had something worse than banishment, apparently his death, in view. Constantius now sent two notaries, Diogenes and Hilary, and some servants of the palace to Alexandria; and the Governor of Egypt, Syrianus, requested Athanasius, in the name of the Emperor, to leave the city. The bishop replied that Syrianus, or the Prefect of Egypt, Maximus, should produce the original of the Imperial letter, and the community made the same request, adding that if this could not be done, they ought at least to postpone all further disturbance of the Alexandrian Church until the embassy which they intended to send to the Emperor had returned. Syrianus promised this on the 17th January 356; but as early as the 9th February, during a service held at night, he caused the church of S. Theonas to be surrounded by more than 5000 soldiers. The doors were broken open, and his troops poured in to arrest Athanasius, whereby not a few lives were lost and many persons were wounded. Athanasius, during this scene, seated on his episcopal throne, exhorted the people to pray, and would not move from his place. Some of his friends, however, forced him from his seat, and dragged him, half stifled, out of the throng, while his enemies still sought for him in the church and perpetrated various cruelties.

The Emperor not only approved what had been done, but also commanded all the youth of Alexandria, under pain of his anger, to search for the fugitive Athanasius; and his new governor, Heraclius, then sent to Alexandria, employed the services of the heathen inhabitants of that city to seize the churches of the orthodox, and to assist in all the outrages inflicted upon them. In order to find Athanasius, all houses, gardens, and tombs were searched, and in doing so all kinds of extortions, plunders, and the like, were practised upon the proprietors as adherents of the persecuted. Whoever of the ecclesiastics did not fly was grossly ill used and exiled—some, indeed, even killed. Even the poor and widows were deprived of their alms, and the orthodox who desired to help them were thrown into dungeons, in order to force the needy to accept Arianism; hard-heartedness which even roused the indignation of the heathen.

Where Athanasius first took refuge cannot be certainly known, as the history of Palladius plainly contains false statements on this subject. It appears from the letters that he wrote to his flock to support them in this time of trouble that he was afterwards in the desert, and even there frequently changed his abode. From thence he also wrote to all the bishops of Egypt and Libya, when an Arian formula had been sent to them for signature under pain of exile.

The See of Athanasius was now obtained by an Arian, George, a Cappadocian, like the former pseudo-Bishop Gregory, an uneducated, extravagant, and covetous man, who now, before Easter 357, entered with an armed force into his church as if it were a fortress. The persecution and ill-treatment of the orthodox continued; they were not even allowed to hold their services in the cemeteries, and such like places (their churches having been taken from them), and when they persisted in doing so they were overpowered by force of arms, and brutal violence was employed against the defenceless. Several maidens, for instance, were bound to a burning stake to compel them to acknowledge the Arian faith; and when they still stood firm, they were violently struck in the face, and afterwards transported to the great Oasis. The same fate befell forty men, after they had first been inhumanly beaten with thorny sticks; and those who died under such ill-treatment were not even allowed honourable burial.

The like took place in other towns of Egypt, and all bishops who did not forsake Athanasius, and at least ostensibly hold communion with the Arians, were driven away. A great many, some very aged men, remained firm, and though ill and feeble, they were dragged to the desert. Not a few saved themselves by flight. The convents of the Orthodox were destroyed, and the vacant Episcopal Sees were sold by the Arians for money to the worst people.

Athanasius would not believe that all these cruelties were wrought with the knowledge and consent of the Emperor, and he resolved therefore himself to go to him, and to make a circumstantial defence. On the journey, however, he was convinced of the danger he would thus incur—Constantius had even put a price upon his head—and he therefore returned to his desert. The preface to his newly discovered Festal Letters tells us that after this he again remained hidden for a considerable time in Alexandria, where he was vainly sought for by his enemies. But his intended defence, with later additions, has come down to us under the title of Apologia ad Imperatorem Constantium.

SEC. 76. Synod of Biterræ in 356

While these events were taking place in Egypt, Gaul, although not yet politically at peace, was also visited by the Arian persecution. Immediately after the banishment of Lucifer of Cagliari, Eusebius of Vercelli, and others, S. Hilary of Poitiers (the Athanasius of the West), with a large number of Gallican bishops, had published an edict pronouncing excommunication upon Valens, Ursacius, and Saturninus, Archbishop of Arles, as the real originators of the new persecution, and recalling those led away by them. At the same time, in 355, Hilary wrote his first book, addressed to the Emperor, praying him, with tears, to put an end to the persecution of the Catholic Church. It appears that other bishops also signed this document. Hilary was now all the more hated and feared by the Arians, and especially Saturninus, who, in union with Valens and Ursacius, now made arrangements for the Synod of Biterræ (Beziers), which was held under his presidency, in the early part of the year 356. Hilary, as well as other orthodox bishops, was compelled to appear (the particulars are not known), and did his utmost to uphold the sentence of Sardica with regard to Athanasius and others. As there were no reasons producible against him, he was first, as it appears, falsely accused before the Emperor Julian (afterwards the Apostate), then in Gaul, and then before the Emperor himself, of want of political fidelity, and on this account banished by Constantius to Phrygia. Great numbers of the Gallican bishops, however, remained stedfast in their communion with Hilary, and held in abhorrence communion with Saturninus; but the peculiar circumstances of the country seemed to render it unadvisable to employ the same violence as in Egypt.

The manner in which the friends of Athanasius and of the Nicene faith, both before and during their exile, were ill-treated, persecuted, and tormented in all ways, is a shocking testimony to the intolerance of heresy where it predominates, and sufficiently explains the bitter expressions, certainly exceeding all bounds, applied to the Emperor Constantius, not only by the naturally hasty Lucifer, but also by Athanasius and Hilary. They repeatedly call him the forerunner of Antichrist, even Antichrist himself, and compare him to Herod, Pharaoh, Saul, and Ahab. Lucifer especially calls him an immanis fera and an immanis bestia, possessing only the form and features of a man.

SEC. 77. Divisions among the Eusebians; the Anomœans and Semi-Arians

Humanly speaking, the Nicene faith was now almost suppressed. To accomplish this, the Arians proper had almost universally placed themselves under the banner of the Eusebians; nay, old Arianism seemed to have long ago disappeared, and no single important personage now openly declared in favour of it. On the other hand, the Eusebians had increased in numbers and power, as they embraced all those who for any reason were unfavourable to the Nicene faith, and suspicious of Athanasius. In this company were to be found orthodox bishops, who, on the one hand, adhered with all their heart to the Nicene faith, and yet on the other believed all the lies repeated a thousand times by the Eusebians, as if under the formula ὁμοούσιος many Sabellians had crept into the ranks of the Nicenes. The events in connection with Marcellus of Ancyra, and his pupil Photinus, strengthened them in this suspicion; and as the distinction between Hypostasis and Ousia had not been duly determined by the theological school, the expression ὁμοούσιος might easily be understood in the sense of personal oneness—in fact, therefore, as anti-Trinitarian. On account of such fears and misunderstandings, even holy bishops, such as Maximin and Cyril of Jerusalem, remained for a length of time on the Semi-Arian side. The Eusebians in specie formed another class of anti-Nicenes, who not only took offence at the expression ὁμοούσιος, but also at the teaching of the Church, and would not renounce the subordination of the Son; while on the other side, by anathematizing the leading points of Arianism, they repeatedly sought to remove any suspicion of Arianism from themselves. The third faction also of the great Eusebian body, the adherents of Arianism proper, had, out of worldly wisdom, hitherto agreed in this anathema, as thus only by temporary accommodation and reserve was a victory over the Nicene faith to be hoped for. The war against the Homoüsians, their common enemy, had for a time concealed this internal division among the Eusebians; but now, after their victory, it became wider than ever, and made itself apparent in new party tactics and dogmatic movements. The strict Arian view now ventured openly to the front again, and was represented principally by Aetius and Eunomius.

Aetius, hated to the utmost degree by the orthodox and Semi-Arians, and entitled ἄθεος on account of his irreligious doctrine, was a native of Cœle-Syria. He began life as a goldsmith, but found himself obliged, it is said, on account of some fraud committed by him with a gold necklace, to adopt a new mode of life, and with great zeal studied medicine and the philosophy of Aristotle at Alexandria. He soon also took part in the Arian controversies, and came into contact with several Eusebian bishops, distinguishing himself by his great logical powers and skill in argument, and about 350 was ordained deacon by Bishop Leontius Castratus of Antioch, of that city, and entrusted with ministerial office. The dissatisfaction of several members of the community, however, soon obliged the bishop to dismiss him. It is said that about this time, probably while still deacon at Antioch, Aetius placed the most important members of the Eusebian party, Basil of Ancyra, and Eustathius of Sebaste, in some embarrassment by his dialectics; so at least his admirer, Philostorgius, maintains, adding that on this account these two so calumniated him to Cæsar Gallus, that the latter had given orders for his execution. But, on the representation of Leontius, Gallus changed his mind, and even became a patron of Aetius, so that he allowed himself and his younger brother Julian, who had before shown a leaning towards Heathenism, to be instructed by Aetius in Christianity. Be this as it may, it is certain that Aetius afterwards again lived in Alexandria, and, after a chequered lot, died at Constantinople about 370, in the reign of the Emperor Valens.

During his sojourn at Alexandria, Aetius became acquainted with Eunomius. The latter, originally from Cappadocia, had, like Aetius, in his youth embraced various modes of life, and about the year 356 went to Alexandria to become his pupil. With Aetius he entered into the closest relations, and about 360 was raised to the See of Cyzicus in Mysia, but soon lost it on account of his offensive doctrines. His later life, too, was stormy and unsettled, and ended in the year 393. He was held in such high esteem by his own party, that their original title of Aetians was gradually superseded by that of Eunomians; they were also called Anomæans, Heterousiasts, and Exountions, on account of their strict Arian doctrine, that the Son was unlike God (ἀνόμοιος), of another essence (ἑτέρας οὐσίας), and created out of nothing (ἐξ οὐκ ὄντων). Philostorgius, a zealous follower of this sect, has written a biography of Eunomius whom he so highly esteemed, which, however, has not come down to us; but there is a great deal of information about him in the well-known abridgment of Philostorgius’ Church History, in which the relative merits of Aetius and Eunomius are thus characterized: the former is said to have possessed the advantage of greater logical acuteness, but Eunomius the power of conveying a clearer and more intelligible representation of the matter. What Theodoret says of Eunomius is significant, and applies also to Aetius, namely, that he had changed Theology into a Technology, meaning that neither of them paid any respect to the doctrine of the Bible or of the ancient Church with regard to the Son and His relation to the Father, but sought instead, by pure dialectics, and conclusions drawn solely from reason, and by sophistical use of the terms “begotten” and “unbegotten,” to strengthen their strict Subordinationism, and to oppose as illogical the Nicene as well as the Semi-Arian doctrine. How Aetius did this we still see from the theological treatise, consisting of forty-seven propositions and objections, which Epiphanius has preserved to us, as well as from his own refutation of it. In the fourth, for instance, it is said: “If God remains ever Unbegotten, and the Begotten is ever Begotten, then it is all over with ὁμοούσιος and ὁμοιούσιος; for it follows from the different dignity of the two natures (the Begotten and the Unbegotten), that they are not comparable in respect of substance.” And No. 7: “If the whole Godhead is not Unbegotten, then indeed God can have begotten something of His substance; but if the whole Godhead is Unbegotten, then God has experienced no division of His substance by begetting, but has made the Unbegotten by His power.” And No. 5: “If God as to His substance is Unbegotten, then the Begotten did not have His origin from expansion of substance, but was called into existence by power. But that the same substance is at the same time Begotten and Unbegotten cannot be piously affirmed.”

Aetius is said to have been the author of no less than three hundred theological treatises of this kind, and his pupil Eunomius also put forth their common doctrine in various writings, letters, commentaries on the Bible, and theological treatises; but of these also only two remain, the ἔκθεσις πίστεως, which he had to give up at the command of Theodosius I. in 383, and the ἀπολογητικός, both of which are preserved in the eighth volume of the Bibliotheca Græca of Fabricius. A comparison of the works which we still possess of Aetius and Eunomius shows that the above criticism of both by Philostorgius is tolerably near the truth; for the works of Eunomius are certainly much clearer and more intelligible than are the forty-seven propositions of Aetius, and give a much better insight into the whole system; on the other hand, the propositions of Aetius most completely bear the stamp of dialectically prepared theses, and are often syllogismi cornuti. But the leading idea which they again and again labour to establish, is that it is as impossible as irreligious to maintain that the same (Divine) Being may be begotten and unbegotten at the same time. Upon this it follows, secondly, that in this very Unbegottenness, and in nothing else, consists the Being of God.

The system of this school is in brief the following. The fundamental principle of the Anomœans is the abstract conception of God from which all concrete reality of the Divine Life is wholly separated. God is to them absolute Simplicity, pure indivisible Unity, in fact the ὄν, not the ὤν, like the Etre Suprême of the last century. This absolute Simplicity is, because it comes from no other, equivalent to Unbegottenness, and in this very Unbegottenness, or absolute Simplicity, consists the Being of God. If this is so, it is impossible that God can beget anything of His substance, for then the Simplicity would be destroyed, and the Divine Substance divided. He would be Begotten and Unbegotten at the same time, which would be in itself a contradiction. And as with the Unbegotten that very unbegottenness is His Being, so with the Begotten, the being begotten is His Being, and therefore the Being of the Begotten necessarily differs from the Being of the Unbegotten. He is of another substance (ἑτέρας οὐσίας), and in His Being is neither equal with nor like the Begotten (neither ὁμοούσιος nor ὁμοιούσιος), but unlike (ἀνόμοιος).

One would have thought that with this idea of the absolute simplicity of God, Eunomius would never have arrived at the creation of a world. But in order to get at this he inconsistently made a distinction in the Simplicity of God, distinguishing the Will from the Substance of God; a difference in the conception of God fully justified by our Church doctrine, but certainly not by the purely abstract Eunomian idea of God. By this, His Will, God called the world into existence, in calling the Son into Being, creating and begetting Him, through whom all else was made. This is the world creator. Eunomius declares very expressly that the Son was created, a creature of the Unbegotten, and indeed out of nothing, as besides the Divine Substance there was no other; and the Son, as we know, could not have been Himself begotten of this Divine Substance. According to this, the right conclusion of the Anomœans would have been: “The Son was created from nothing by the Will of the Father;” and if they also used the expression “begotten,” still even this, after the explanations made by them, could not be misunderstood. They went on to say, what followed of course from this, that if the Son was not of the Substance of God, then God, as to His Substance, cannot be called Father; not the Substance, but the operating power (ἐνέργεια, ἐξουσία), the Will of God, is the Father. Moreover, the Son, though a creature, is in no wise like any other creature. He alone was immediately called into existence by the power of God, receiving from God that pre-eminence which He as their Creator must have in relation to the creatures. For everything is created by the Son, above all the Holy Ghost, who is a creation of the Son, as the Son is a creation of the Unbegotten. But for this very reason, because the Son has received from the Father such a pre-eminence over all creatures, and even creative activity, He may, in a certain sense, be called the Image of God, and a similarity to God may be ascribed to Him; but in no wise a similarity in Substance or Being, but only in activity.

At the close of his ἀπολογητικός, Eunomius himself sums up his doctrine very plainly in the following words: The one and only true God of all is Unbegotten, without beginning, like only to Himself, exalted above every cause, the Cause of the being of all beings. Not by communication to another did He create all that is; not only is He first in order, He is not above all in a relative way, but by the absolute pre-eminence of substance, of power and dominion, He has before all begotten and created the only begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom all things were made, as the Image and Seal of His own power and operation, so that in substance the Son is as little like to Him who has begotten Him, as to the Holy Ghost whom He Himself created. He is subject to the substance and will of His Father, and may neither be called ὁμοούσιος nor ὁμοιούσιος, as the one signifies origin and sharing of substance, the other likeness, ἰσότης, perfect identity. What He is for ever, that He must be called in truth, a Begotten One, the Son obedient to the Father, His most perfect servant in the creation of the world, and the realization of the will of the Father. He is not begotten of the Unbegotten Substance of God, which is impossible, but by the will of the Father, begetting Him as He would have Him. He is therefore a γέννημα τοῦ ἀγεννήτου; yet Eunomius adds: “οὐχ ὡς ἓν τῶν γεννημάτων, κτίσμα τοῦ ἀκτίστου, οὐχ ὡς ἓν τῶν κτισμάτων, ποίημα τοῦ ἀποιήτου, οὐχ ὡς ἓν τῶν ποιημάτων.”

A comparison of this Anomœan doctrine with that of the old Arians shows that in its chief points it is no more than the free expression and consequent development of the other. Only in two points is there a marked difference between the two. As we saw before, old Arianism regards the Son as only having arrived at Divine dignity and glory by the way of moral excellence, on account of His moral virtue; on the other hand, the Anomœans regard the Divine dignity, etc. of the Son as something bestowed upon Him when He was first begotten by the will of the Father, innate in Him, not acquired by Him by striving after moral perfection.

Secondly, the old Arians thought they could not often enough repeat that the Son does not perfectly comprehend the Father. Aetius and Eunomius, on the other hand, maintain a perfect comprehension of the Divine Being, and reproached the old Arians not a little for their opposite view. Aetius said: “I know God as well as myself;” and Eunomius, that “he knew the nature of God perfectly, and had the same knowledge of God, as God of Himself;” expressions which were regarded even by their contemporaries as in the highest degree presumptuous. Yet they are really more cool than insolent; for “if the Divine Being is no more than the simple abstract, simple self-existence of the aboriginal, unbegotten monad, and if from the first all higher ideas are excluded by this meagre conception of God, then it is a small and even trivial thing to know such a God through and through.”

In opposition to these Anomœans, who had returned to strict Arianism, the Eusebians, apart from the still further division which immediately took place among themselves, henceforth appeared under the common name of Semi-Arians (ἡμιάρειοι), or Homoiüsians; the latter, because they chose to exchange the Nicene ὁμοούσιος for the like-sounding ὁμοιούσιος, which however weakened the likeness of the Son to the Father. If Philostorgius may be trusted, Eusebius of Nicomedia and his friends had already, in their signatures to the Nicene formula, cunningly and deceitfully substituted ὁμοιούσιος for ὁμοούσιος; and it is certain that they maintained that the expression ὁμοούσιος was only applicable to corporeal things, but ὁμοιούσιος to spiritual beings and relations.

The expression ὁμοιούσιος was quite suited to the character of the Semi-Arian party,—that is, was vague enough outwardly to unite essentially different modes of thought. It pleased the right side of the Semi-Arians, first, as the nearest approach to the Nicene formula, and because of its almost entire consonance with the Nicene term; secondly, it seemed to them to offer the advantages of the latter, without, like ὁμοούσιος, affording a cloak for Sabellian views, for it was precisely the dread of Sabellianism which made many Orientals, who were in no way inclined to Arianism, suspicious of the ὁμοούσιος. On the other hand, the left of the Semi-Arians also, who approached more nearly to genuine Arianism, and were at last, for the sake of consistency, actually led into it, might be fully satisfied with the formula ὁμοιούσιος, as thus the door was left wide open to Subordinationism, while, at the same time, the battle against the Anomœans, carried on with energy under this banner, seemed to shed a halo of orthodoxy also round the Semi-Arians.

Who was the actual founder of the Semi-Arian party has often been a subject of dispute, in which generally the difference between tendency and party has not been adequately recognised. As a theological tendency, Semi-Arianism is undoubtedly very ancient, and we meet with it among the Eusebians as early as the commencement of the Council of Nicæa, and even before that. For this reason, therefore, we cannot speak of a special founder of this tendency. But by the Semi-Arian party we understand specifically that division of the Anti-Nicenes which arose after the appearance of the Anomœans, and which was quite as much opposed to strict Arianism as to the Nicene ὁμοούσιος, and Athanasius.

According to Philostorgius, the Sophist Asterius, against whom, as we know, Marcellus of Ancyra wrote, was the founder of the Semi-Arian party; but Socrates and Athanasius ascribe to this man doctrines which mark him out as a downright Arian. The Semi-Arians themselves, however, acknowledged as their head the learned bishop, Basil of Ancyra, whom we have already often seen in the ranks of the Eusebians, and whom in 336 they raised to the See of Ancyra, in place of the deposed Marcellus. From him they obtained the oft-occurring appellation of οἱ ἀμφὶ Βασίλειον. Among those who besides him were prominent in this party were Eusebius of Emisa, Theodore of Heraclea, Eustathius of Sebaste, Auxentius of Milan, and George of Laodicea, who already at the outbreak of the Arian controversy, while still priest at Alexandria, sought to occupy a middle position between orthodoxy and heresy, and to reconcile Arius with the Patriarch Alexander. He was deposed by the latter, but promoted by the Eusebians to the See of Laodicea. Moreover, this party had the Emperor Constantius also generally on their side, and for their protector; but could not entirely reckon on him, as he several times allowed himself to be drawn over by those about him, especially Valens and Ursacius, to the strict Arian side.

SEC. 78. Second Great Synod of Sirmium

This was, for instance, the case at the second great Synod of Sirmium, which was held about the middle of 357, during the stay of the Emperor Constantius in that city. The members of this Synod were all Western bishops, of whom, however, only Ursacius of Singidunum, Valens of Mursa, Germinius of Sirmium (the successor of Photinus), and Potamius of Lisbon, in Portugal, are mentioned by name. The confession of faith there drawn up, and which is known as “the Second Sirmian,” is given in the original Latin by Hilary, and a Greek translation by Athanasius and Socrates. Hilary mentions Potamius of Lisbon as the author of this formula; but the introduction itself mentions as the heads of the assembly, Ursacius, Valens, and Germinius, three bishops, who were especial favourites of the Emperor Constantius. The formula, in its principal points, runs thus: “We believe in His only Son Jesus Christ, the Lord, our Redeemer, begotten by Him before all ages. But two Gods may not and shall not be taught. As, however, the ὁμοούσιος and the ὁμοιούσιος have raised scruples in the minds of some, no more mention shall be made of the point, and no one shall teach it more, because it is not contained in the Holy Scriptures, and it is beyond human knowledge; and no one, as says Isaiah (53:8), can declare the generation of the Son. There is no doubt that the Father is greater than the Son, and surpasses Him in honour, dignity, dominion, majesty, and even by the name of Father, as the Son Himself confesses in S. John 14:28: ‘He who sent Me is greater than Me.’ And all know that the Catholic doctrine is this: there are two Persons, the Father and the Son, the Father greater, the Son subject to Him, with all that the Father has made subject to the Son. But the Holy Ghost is through the Son, and came, according to promise, to teach and sanctify the apostles and all the faithful.”

It is no wonder that Hilary called a formula, in which Arianism was so undisguisedly put forward, blasphemous; but he certainly does Hosius an injustice in declaring him, with Potamius of Lisbon, to be the author. That which Socrates and Sozomen, and in part also Athanasius, relate, is far more probable, i.e. that Hosius, then nearly a hundred years old, was at last compelled, by the violent acts of the Emperor, by a year’s imprisonment, and vexations of every kind, to sign this formula; but that soon afterwards, at the approach of death, he again anathematized the Arian heresy, and declared as it were in his will the great force that had been put on him.

SEC. 79. A Synod at Antioch

It was natural that those of Anomœan views in Asia should joyfully agree to this second formula of Sirmium. This took place at a Synod held at Antioch in 358, under Eudoxius, the patriarch of that city, one of the heads of the Anomœans. Besides him, Acacius of Cæsarea and Uranius of Tyre were present. The two expressions ὁμοούσιος and ὁμοιούσιος were rejected, and a letter of thanks was issued to Ursacius, Valens, and Germinius, for having brought back the Westerns to the true faith. But the Westerns themselves were of a different opinion. Thus, Hilary relates that in Gaul the second Sirmian formula was rejected immediately on its appearance, and a work then written against it by Bishop Phœbadius of Agen has come down to us.

SEC. 80. Synod of Ancyra in 358, and the Third Sirmian Synod and Creed

The Semi-Arian bishops of Asia, however, showed no less zeal; the Anomœans especially rapidly sought to spread their doctrine everywhere, and Antioch was nearly falling completely into their hands. Aetius himself had now taken up his abode there, and was held in high esteem by Bishop Eudoxius, who gave away most of the Church appointments to pupils of Aetius. One of the greatest Semi-Arians, George of Laodicea, therefore invited the bishops of like views with himself to a Synod; and as a new church was just then to be consecrated at Ancyra in Galatia, and it was usual for Synods to take place at such festivals, the desired Semi-Arian assembly was actually held at Ancyra, before Easter 358. Its head was Basil of Ancyra; its members, the Bishops Eustathius of Sebaste, Hyperechius, Letojus, Heorticus, Gymnasius, Memnonius, Eutyches, Severinus, Eutychius, Alcimedes, and Alexander.

The introduction to the very circumstantial Synodal Letter which we possess says, with reference to the Anomœans, that it had been supposed that after the Synods of Constantinople (against Marcellus of Ancyra), Antioch, Sardica (really Philippopolis), and Sirmium (against Photinus), the Church would at last be allowed to enjoy peace; but that the devil had sown fresh impieties, and new objections to the true Sonship of the Lord had been devised. The assembled bishops had therefore decided to add to the former confessions of faith, those of Antioch in Encæniis and Sardica, which were also accepted at Sirmium, stricter and more accurate declarations concerning the Holy Trinity. The sense of the long explanations that follow is briefly this: “The very expression ‘Father’ shows that He is the Cause of a Substance like Himself (αἴτιον ὁμοίας αὐτοῦ οὐσίας); the idea of creature is thereby excluded, for the relation of Father and Son is quite different from that of Creator and creature, and if the likeness of the Son to the Father is abandoned, the idea and expression ‘Son’ must also be given up. For if from the idea of Son all finite characteristics are removed, there remains only the characteristic of likeness, as alone applicable to the incorporeal Son. That other beings, in no way like God, are called in the Holy Scriptures sons of God, forms no objection, for this was spoken figuratively; but the Logos is Son of God in the proper sense.” They here make use of a philological simile, i.e. that “in a literal sense only a vessel made from a box-tree (πύξιον) is a box (πύξιον); but in a looser sense this expression is also applied to other vessels, and it is just so with the expression ‘Son of God,’ which in its first and literal sense applies only to the Logos, but is also used for other beings.” Then follows a scriptural proof of the Son’s similarity of substance, and lastly come eighteen anathemas, which are almost always placed two and two, so that one anathematizes the strict Arian and Anomœan separation of the Father and the Son, and the other the identification of the Father and the Son, the Sabellian υἱοπάτωρ. The censure of Anomœan doctrines is especially prominent the fifth anathema: “Whoever calls the only begotten God Logos … ἀνόμοιος;” the ninth: “Whoever says that the Son is unlike the Father as to οὐσία;” the tenth: “Whoever calls the Son only a κτίσμα;” the eleventh: “Whoever attributes to the Son a likeness to God in activity, but not in substance;” the fifteenth: “Whoever believes that the Father in time (at a certain fixed time) became the Father of the Son;” and the eighteenth: “Whoever says the Son is only of the power (that is, of the will of the Father), not of the power and substance of the Father together;” also, “Whoever calls the Son ὁμοούσιος or ταυτοούσιος—let all these be anathema.” S. Hilary has adopted twelve of these eighteen anathemas (leaving out the first five and the last) in his work De Synodis, and interprets them in an orthodox sense.

The assembly of Ancyra sent with the above-mentioned Synodal Letter, the Bishops Basil, Eustathius, Eleusius (of Cyzicus), besides the priest Leontius, who was one of the Court ecclesiastics, to the Court at Sirmium, to break down the influence which the Anomœans had gained over the Emperor. At their arrival there, they also met the Antiochian priest Asphalius, a zealous Aetian, who had already obtained from the Emperor letters in favour of the Anomœans. Now, however, the matter took another turn. Constantius was once more won over to the Semi-Arian side; he required Asphalius to return the letters, and published instead another to the Antiochians, in which he declared strongly against the Anomœan heresy, ordered its adherents to be excommunicated, and proclaimed the likeness of the Son to the Father κατʼ οὐσίαν.

Constantius at once organized a new Synod at Sirmium itself, the third great Sirmian Synod in the year 358, in which the Eastern deputies before mentioned, and all the other bishops then at the Court, took part. This new Sirmian Synod, however, is so closely connected with the affair of Pope Liberius, that we must first once more turn our attention to the latter.

As we saw above, Liberius had been exiled to Berœa in Thrace by the Emperor Constantius, some time after the Synod of Milan, on account of his stedfast confession of the orthodox faith. While he was there enduring much misery, Constantius came to Rome in 357, before repairing to the second Sirmian Synod already mentioned.

SEC. 81. Pope Liberius and the Third Sirmian Formula

During the presence of the Emperor at Rome, the community of that city earnestly begged for the reinstatement of Liberius, and women of the noblest houses undertook to present the petition. Constantius at first flatly refused them, because Felix was then bishop of Rome; but when he learned that his service was scarcely attended by any one, he determined, in part at least, to grant the request, and said that Liberius might return, but that he should be bishop with Felix, and that each should lead only his own adherents. When this edict was read, the people exclaimed in scorn: “It is indeed quite fitting; in the Circus also there are two parties, and now each may have a bishop for its head!” Ridicule was followed by indignation, and the disturbance became so threatening, that the Emperor at last agreed to recall Liberius. Nearly a year, however, elapsed before his actual arrival in Rome, and he had to purchase his return by a step which made many suspect him of apostasy. The question is, whether Liberius gave his signature to an Arian confession of faith or not.

The defenders of Liberius, especially the learned Jesuit Stilting, in the work of the Bollandists, the Italian, Franz Anton Zaccaria, and Professor Palma of Rome, appeal first of all to Theodoret, Socrates, and Sulpicius Severus, who very simply relate the return of Liberius to Rome, without mentioning any conditions then imposed on him, or attributing to him any weakness in the matter. Athanasius, on the other hand, undeniably speaks in two places of a weak yielding of Liberius. In his Historia Arianorum ad Monachos, he says: “Liberius was banished; after two years he yielded (ὤκλασε), and from fear of the death with which they threatened him, he signed.” Against this testimony, the Bollandist Stilting, and lately Professor Reinerding of Fulda, have raised the objection that the Historia Arianorum ad Monachos was composed during the lifetime of Leontius Castratus of Antioch, therefore before the supposed fall of Liberius, and consequently that the passage relating to it is a later addition. This is certainly true, but it does not therefore follow that this addition is spurious, and not the work of Athanasius himself. The Historia was written by Athanasius before the fall of Liberius, and sent to the monks for whom it was destined; but he demanded and received his manuscript back again. Some time later, Bishop Serapion of Thmuis wrote to him, begging that he would give him some account of the Arian heresy, and of his own fortunes, as well as of the death of Arius. To meet the two first requests, Athanasius sent his friend the Historia Arianorum ad Monachos; while, to fulfil the third wish, he wrote the little book, De Morte Arii. Between the original composition of the History and its despatch to Serapion, a considerable time elapsed, during which the affair of Liberius took place, which seems to have led Athanasius to make a little addition.

In another work, the Apologia contra Arianos, Athanasius again says of Liberius: “Even if he did not endure the miseries of exile to the end, still he remained two years in banishment.” It is surely useless trouble to try and find any other meaning in the words, “he did not endure the miseries of exile to the end,” than this, “He did not hold out—did not remain entirely stedfast,” especially when we remember the former passage. Stilting, however, remarks that this Apologia of Athanasius was also written before the supposed fall of Liberius, as early as 349, and that the chapters 89 and 90 (in which the passage quoted is found) are only a later addition. This, again, is certainly true; but this addition also, like the appendix to the Historia Arianorum ad Monachos, was from the pen of Athanasius himself. The Apologia is a collection of pieces which he put together about as early as 350, but which in course of time he enlarged and supplemented. They repeatedly passed through his hands, and, together with the Historia Arianorum, he first submitted them to the perusal of the monks, and some time later to Bishop Serapion of Thmuis. There is therefore no sufficient ground for rejecting, as have Stilting and lately Reinerding, the evidence of these two passages against Liberius in the works of Athanasius. On the contrary, they prove to us that Liberius, yielding to violence, did sign a certain document; what document is not precisely stated.

S. Hilary of Poitiers also, in his work Contra Constantium Imperatorem, says much the same as Athanasius, i.e. “that he did not know which was the greater presumption on the part of the Emperor, the banishment of Liberius, or his recall to Rome.” It is here intimated that the recall of Liberius was not altogether void of blame, and that Constantius had only allowed it under very oppressive conditions. I am aware that Zaccaria, Palma, and lately Reinerding, take Hilary’s words to mean that Constantius had annoyed the Pope upon his return in various ways, not that he had extorted from him an improper subscription. This is so far true, that Hilary does not in so many words actually say this, but it is undeniably implied in his emphatic words which point to a then well-known fact.

Sozomen relates further, that during his stay at Sirmium the Emperor summoned Liberius from Berœa, for the purpose of inducing him to renounce the ὁμοούσιος. To this end, he says that Constantius assembled the delegates of the Synod of Ancyra, who had arrived from the east, and also the bishops present at the Court, in a new Synod (the third at Sirmium), and was principally supported in his conduct towards Liberius by the three Semi-Arians, Basil of Ancyra, Eustathius of Sebaste, and Eleusius of Cyzicus. They collected all the decisions, against Paul of Samosata and Photinus of Sirmium, as well as the symbol of the Antiochian Synod of 341, together in one book (as did the Synod just held at Antioch, which had renewed the old decrees, and only added more precise explanations), assured Liberius that the ὁμοούσιος was only a cloak for heretical views (as was indeed the case with Photinus), and at last brought him together with four African bishops to assent to this document. But, on the other hand, Liberius declared that, “whoever did not allow that the Son was like the Father in substance and in all things, should be shut out from the Church,” believing himself obliged to add this, “because Eudoxius of Antioch was spreading the report that Liberius and Hosius had rejected the ὁμοιούσιος and accepted the ἀνόμοιος.”

Putting the accounts from these various sources together, the result is:—

(1.) That Liberius was summoned to the third Sirmian Synod.

(2.) That at this Synod the Semi-Arian views triumphed over the Anomœan, and the second (Anomœan) Sirmian formula was again suppressed.

(3.) That at the third Sirmian Synod no new confession of faith was drawn up, but only the old Eusebian decree of faith (namely, that of Antioch in 341) was renewed and signed indeed by Liberius also.

(4.) That Liberius thus, indeed, renounced the formula ὁμοούσιος, not because he had in any way fallen from orthodoxy, but because he had been made to believe that formula to be the cloak of Sabellianism and Photinism.

(5.) That, on the other hand, he still more energetically insisted upon the acknowledgment that the Son was in everything, in substance also, like the Father, whereby, with regard to what is said in No. 4, he departed from the orthodox formula in words only, not in real inward belief, as is confirmed by his subsequently coming forward on the side of orthodoxy.

(6.) Lastly, that Liberius from henceforth held communion with the three bishops, who, like himself, had signed the Sirmian formula.

Here S. Jerome also agrees, when he says in his chronicle: “Liberius tædio victus exilii, in hæreticam pravitatem subscribens Romam quasi victor intravit;” and again, in his Catalogus Scriptorum: “Bishop Fortunatian of Aquileia was to be blamed, ‘quod Liberium, Romanæ urbis episcopum, pro fide ad exilium pergentem, primus sollicitavit ac fregit et ad subscriptionem hæreseos compulit.’ ” According to this, Fortunatian had advised (sollicitavit) Pope Liberius to this weakness when he was first going into exile, and subsequently, after his return to Sirmium, actually seduced him into it (fregit). That Hilary here speaks of an heretical formula as signed by Liberius need not surprise us; for even if the formulas compiled and drawn up at the third Sirmian Synod contained nothing positively heretical, yet they were meant to serve Semi-Arian purposes, and were drawn up with Anti-Nicene views. The words of S. Jerome, therefore, in no way oblige us to accuse Liberius of a heavier crime than that of giving his consent to the second Sirmian formula; but neither, on the other hand, can we allow Stilting, Palma, and Reinerding to be right in representing these statements of S. Jerome as entirely devoid of truth. Reinerding especially tried to prove that Jerome had been deceived by false reports spread by the Arians. He thinks the same must be assumed as regards Athanasius also, if the expressions mentioned above and unfavourable to Liberius are to be considered genuine.

Against this conclusion two seemingly powerful witnesses unfavourable to Liberius present themselves, namely, himself, in three letters of his, and S. Hilary, who is said to have taken these letters into his sixth fragment and accompanied them with a few remarks. The first of these letters of Liberius, beginning with the words, Pro deifico timore, is addressed to the Oriental (Arianizing) bishops, and says: “Your holy faith is known to God and the world. I do not defend Athanasius, but because my predecessor Julius had received him, I also acted in the same way. But when I came to see the justice of your condemnation of him, I immediately agreed in this your sentence, and sent a letter on the subject by Bishop Fortunatian of Aquileia to the Emperor Constantius. Now that Athanasius is put out of communion by us all, I declare that I am at peace and unity with you all, and with the Oriental bishops in all provinces. Bishop Demophilus of Berœa has explained to me this your Catholic faith, which has been examined and accepted at Sirmium by several brothers and fellow-bishops, and I have willingly and without opposition accepted and agreed to it. I pray you now, so work together that I may be released from exile, and may return to the See entrusted to me by God.”

The second letter is addressed to Ursacius, Valens, and Germinius; and he writes, that “from love of peace, which he preferred to martyrdom, he had already condemned Athanasius before he despatched the letters of the Oriental bishops (probably the answer to the former letter) to the Emperor. Athanasius was rejected by the Roman Church, as the whole presbytery of Rome could testify. He had sent Fortunatian to the Emperor to request permission to return (as we already know); he was at peace and unity with Ursacius, Valens, and others; they ought now again to obtain peace for the Roman Church, and should, moreover, tell Epictetus and Auxentius (of Milan) that he held communion with them also.”

Lastly, the third letter is addressed to Vincent of Capua, and is as surprising as it is brief. It runs: “I do not instruct but only exhort your holy soul, because evil communications corrupt good manners. The cunning of the wicked is well known to you, which is the cause of my present misery. Pray to God that He may help me to bear it. I have given up the contest for Athanasius, and have communicated this by letter to the Orientals. Tell the bishops of Campania to write to the Emperor, and to enclose my letter, that I may be freed from this misery. That I shall be absolved by God, you may see; if you let me perish in exile, God will be the judge between you and me.”

The above-mentioned fragment, ascribed to S. Hilary, introduces these letters with the words: “Liberius forfeited all his former excellence by writing to the sinful, heretical Arians, who had passed an unjust sentence upon the holy Athanasius.” Moreover, the author of this fragment interrupts the first of the letters in question by three exclamations, in which he calls the Sirmian formula, which Liberius is said to have signed, a perfidia Ariana, and Liberius himself an apostata and prævaricator, and three times anathematizes him. The same occurs at the end of the second letter. The fragmentist finally adds the observation that this Sirmian formula was the work of Narcissus, Theodorus, Basil, Eudoxius, Demophilus, Cecropius, Silvanus, Ursacius, Valens, Evagrius, Hyrenœus, Exuperantius, Terentianus, Bassus, Gaudentius, Macedonius, Marthus (or Marcus), Acticus, Julius, Surinus, Simplicius, and Junior.

According to this, (1.) it was not first at Sirmium in 358 that Liberius renounced communion with Athanasius, and entered into communion with the Semi-Arians; he had already done so at Berœa while still in exile.

(2.) He had already at Berœa signed the first or second Sirmian formula.

(3.) The Bishop Demophilus of Berœa, a man well known in the history of Arianism, had explained this formula to him.

(4.) To this formula Liberius had willingly and without opposition consented.

(5.) He had sent a letter concerning his renunciation of Athanasius by Bishop Fortunatian of Aquileia to the Emperor.

(6.) He was, notwithstanding, retained in banishment.

(7.) He therefore appealed to the Arian bishops to intercede with the Emperor for him.

(8.) Lastly, in the second letter it is said that not only Liberius, but the whole Roman Church, had renounced communion with Athanasius.

That this contradicts our previous conclusion is undeniable; but, at the same time, doubts of the genuineness of these three letters and of the fragment ascribed to S. Hilary force themselves upon us from all sides.

1. Sozomen says that lies were circulated at the expense of Pope Liberius, namely, that he gave his sanction to the Anomœan doctrine. Neither can it be denied that spurious letters were ascribed to him as well as to S. Athanasius: to this class belongs, first of all, the correspondence between Liberius and Athanasius, unconditionally acknowledged to be spurious, and, what is of still more importance to us, a letter from Liberius to the Oriental bishops, contained in the same fragment of Hilary, and beginning with the words studens paci. That this must of necessity be spurious, we have already said, and it was so recognised by Baronius; the Benedictine editors of S. Hilary and the Bollandist, P. Stilting, have also proved it in detail.

Now there is an undoubted resemblance between this decidedly spurious document and the three other letters said to proceed from Liberius, with which we are here concerned; all four are evidently the work of one author, and, as the saying is, worked on one pattern. Language, style, and manner are alike in all four, and indeed equally bad. The language is barbarous Latin, and is not only wanting in all refinement and elegance, but shows such great awkwardness and poverty of expression (the same half-barbarous terms and phrases occur again and again), that it is impossible that these letters could have been the work of a well-educated man, whose mother tongue was Latin. The style is no better than the language. The several clauses are placed side by side without connecting link, or natural transition, and are only united by juxtaposition. But most striking of all is their poverty of thought; we see plainly that the author had only two or three sentences at his command, which he gives in all their bareness, quite in the manner of one who is obliged to write only one letter a year. Hence the dulness and feebleness of these letters, which show no trace of feeling or life, but are rather cold, dry, and lame,—while, as we well know, misfortune, which Liberius was then experiencing, gives warmth and eloquence to the speaker. It is impossible that one who could write from exile letters so cold, poor, and feeble, could have felt the misery of banishment.

Other letters ascribed to Pope Liberius, and which bear in themselves the stamp of genuineness, have quite another character, as for instance his letter to Constantius, and his eloquent Dialogue with the Emperor, as well as the speech which Ambrose has preserved to us in the third book De Virginibus.

2. The three letters of Liberius in question suggest further grounds for doubts as to their genuineness. (a.) It is there said that Liberius had sent the Bishop Fortunatian of Aquileia to the Emperor with his letter relating to Athanasius, etc. Now, if Constantius was already at Sirmium, Aquileia was twice as far from Berœa (where Liberius then was) as Sirmium itself, and the way to Aquileia lay through Sirmium, not vice versa. Even if the Emperor had then been still at Rome, neither in that case would Aquileia have been the middle station between that city and Berœa. This objection can only be evaded by supposing that Fortunatian had been without interruption in the company of Liberius at Berœa, and that he now sent him, quasi a latere, to the Emperor, which is certainly incorrect. It is, however, easy to see that the falsified or pseudo-Liberius introduced Bishop Fortunatian into these letters, because he read in Jerome that the former had seduced Liberius into the weakness of signing an Arian formula. But Jerome never makes Fortunatian, the chamberlain and messenger of Liberius, as does this forger.

(b.) According to the three letters, Liberius, even after having done all in his power,—anathematized Athanasius, signed an Arian formula, and entered humbly and sorrowfully into communion with the Arians,—still did not receive permission to return for a long time. This is unlikely, and after the events at Berœa, and the promise the Emperor had there made, entirely incredible.

(c.) These three letters contain all kinds of incongruities: the second says, for instance, that the whole Roman Church had long since condemned Athanasius, as all the Roman priests could testify, and that this condemnation had been long since carried out. This is certainly untrue; Athanasius, on the contrary, always enjoyed the protection of Rome. According to the reading in pseudo-Liberius most approved by critics, prius quam ad comitatum sancti imperatoris pervenissem, Athanasius was already anathematized by the Roman Church, before Liberius was summoned to the Imperial palace in 355. This is evidently false, and is indeed the same lie with which we are already acquainted in the false letter, Studens paci, so that Baronius acknowledged the spuriousness of this letter also. Moreover, the first half of this second letter is so unclear, that what follows after sola hæc causa fuit, if it ever had a meaning consistent with the context, cannot now be rightly understood.

The last letter, however, of them all contains the most absurdities. The very first sentence, non doceo, sed admoneo, has here no sense, for the letter is really no exhortation, but a petition; there is no mention whatever of any advice. To this is added, quite irrelevantly, the quotation from 1 Cor. 15:33: “Evil communications corrupt good manners,” which has no connection whatever, and here no sense. The conclusion of this letter is just as unreasonable: me ad Deum absolvi vos videritis; si volueritis me in exilio deficere, erit Deus judex inter me et vos.

(d.) Lastly, the tone of these letters is so pitiful, and they represent Liberius as so cringingly begging the intercession of his enemies with the Emperor, as to be quite irreconcilable with the whole character of the man, his former conduct, his frankness with the Emperor, and his subsequent behaviour, especially as shown after the Synod of Seleucia-Rimini.

On account of all this, and because of the impossibility of reconciling these letters with well-authenticated history (the conclusion before mentioned), I have as little doubt of their spuriousness as have Baronius, Stilting, Petrus, Ballerini, Massari, Palma, and others, and conclude that they were written in the Anomœan interest, by some Greekling who had very little knowledge of the Latin tongue. Such a falsehood and forgery need not, however, so much surprise us, as we know false letters ascribed to Athanasius were also circulated by the Arian party; and Sozomen expressly relates that the Anomœans (strict Arians) in Asia had spread false reports concerning Liberius, representing him as having embraced their views, signed the second Sirmian formula, and rejected the teaching of the Church. Might not these three letters have been the very means employed to spread these false reports?

3. The remarks and additions of the fragmentist, in which we cannot recognise S. Hilary, appear to us no less suspicious than the letters. As is known, Hilary of Poitiers wrote a work against Ursacius and Valens, containing a history of the Synod of Rimini, which has not come down to us, of which, in the opinion of the Benedictines, the fifteen fragments first published by Nicholas Faber are remains. As two of these fragments bear the name of Hilary at the top or on the margin, Coustant, the Benedictine editor of the works of S. Hilary, concluded that all these fragments were written by him. Stilting, in the work of the Bollandists, has proved in detail that such a conclusion is incorrect and bold in the extreme. This sixth fragment especially, which contains the oft-mentioned three letters of pseudo-Liberius, has no other mark whatever of having proceeded from Hilary, except that in one place in the margin of the codex in which it is found, the words, Sanctus Hilarius anathema illi (Liberio) dicit, appear. This very weak evidence is abundantly outweighed by counter-proofs. (a.) Above all, the violent and passionate exclamations in which the fragmentist abuses and anathematizes Liberius are utterly unworthy of a Hilary, and much more betray the spirit of a fiery Luciferian. (b.) It is indeed impossible that they can proceed from Hilary, for he only wrote the work from which the fragments are said to come, after the Synod of Seleucia-Rimini; therefore at a time when Liberius had atoned for his temporary weakness, and shown himself a champion of orthodoxy. Moreover, Liberius was then universally recognised as the true Pope, and therefore Hilary was in communion with him.

(4.) The three letters of pseudo-Liberius do not say which Sirmian formula the Pope had signed; the fragmentist, however, adds that it was the one composed by the bishops Narcissus, Theodorus, Basil, Eudoxius, and others. According to this, Liberius cannot possibly have signed the second Sirmian formula, for

(a.) At the time of the second Sirmian Synod, Theodore of Heraclea, who is here, as often elsewhere, mentioned with Narcissus of Neronias or Irenopolis, was no longer living. Pope Liberius himself is the witness to this in his interview with the Emperor Constantius, given in Theodoret.

(b.) Further, the second Synod of Sirmium, as appears from Sozomen, was entirely composed of Westerns; but here the authors of the formula in question, mentioned by the fragmentist, are almost all Orientals.

(c.) Among these he reckons, tertio loco, Basil of Ancyra, who however was, as we know, a most decided opponent, and by no means one of the authors of the second Sirmian formula.

(d.) We can, moreover, appeal to the fact, first, that Hilary, in his genuine works, never places the weakness of Liberius on the same footing with that of Hosius, and thus in his De Synodis assigns to Hosius, on account of his lapsus, an entirely singular position; secondly, that the real Arians, on the other hand, as Phœbadius shows, appealed only to Hosius, and by no means to Liberius.

But may not the fragmentist, in introducing the names of those bishops, intend to signify that Liberius had signed the first Sirmian formula of 351, when Theodore was still living, and when all the bishops mentioned might possibly have taken part in its composition? We would gladly accept this conjecture, which makes the fault of Liberius appear very small, were we not hindered by Hilary himself. For in his genuine works he judges the first Sirmian formula (and that of Antioch in 351) so mildly, and interprets it in such an orthodox sense, that it is impossible to believe that he (supposing him to be the author of the sixth fragment) should in another place have called it a perfidia Ariana, and anathematized him who signed it as an apostate. Hilary himself, indeed, during his exile, long stood on friendly terms with the Semi-Arians.

Lastly, the fragmentist can no more have meant the third Sirmian formula than the second, for (a) not only was Theodore of Heraclea dead at the time of the third as of the second Sirmian Synod, but Eudoxius (the friend of the Aetians) was so far from being a member of the third Sirmian Synod, that the latter was rather directed against him and his Antiochian assembly. (b) But what alone would decide the question is, that these letters of pseudo-Liberius represent Liberius as having already signed a Sirmian formula during his exile, while still at Berœa, therefore before the third Sirmian Synod was held.

If we have now come to the conclusion that Liberius signed the third Sirmian formula, the objections raised by Palma and Stilting cannot move us from this opinion. Both start from the belief that the third Sirmian Synod had drawn up no creed, but only twelve anathemas,—those twelve, namely, of the eighteen anathemas of Ancyra which Hilary brings forward, and in which precisely those theses of the Synod of Ancyra which are suspicious, especially the last, which directly anathematizes the ὁμοούσιος, are left out. But Sozomen expressly says that Liberius had been brought to agree to the (Eusebian) decrees of faith, compiled by the Semi-Arians, against Paul of Samosata, Photinus of Sirmium, and the Synod of Antioch in 341. And this very compilation, together with the twelve anathemas of Ancyra, received at the third Sirmian Synod, we are justified in calling the third Sirmian formula.

Hilary supplies materials for a further objection. As is known, he judged several Semi-Arian formulas very mildly, and was also during his exile in Phrygia in friendly intercourse with the Semi-Arians. How could he then, if Liberius only signed a Semi-Arian formula, write to the Emperor Constantius with reference to him: Nescio utrum majore impietate (eum) relegaveris quam remiseris? Does not the blame contained in these words imply that Liberius allowed a real Arian formula to be forced upon him? I do not think so; for, in the first place, Hilary never sanctioned full communion with the Semi-Arians, especially never allowed participation with them in their Eucharist, and excused by the circumstances of the time rather than sanctioned all other communion with them. And, in the second place, Hilary in those words blames the Emperor far more than Liberius, and with full justice, for Constantius had in fact used violence towards Liberius, and in so doing had been guilty of a fresh crime towards him.

We therefore conclude without doubt that Liberius, yielding to force, and sinking under many years of confinement and exile, signed the so-called third Sirmian formula, that is, the collection of older formulas of faith accepted at the third Sirmian Synod of 358. He did not do this without scruples, for the Semi-Arian character and origin of these formulas were not unknown to him; but, as they contained no direct or express rejection of the orthodox faith, and as it was represented to him, on the other side, that the Nicene ὁμοούσιος formed a cloak for Sabellianism and Photinism, he allowed himself to be persuaded to accept the third Sirmian confession. But by so doing he only renounced the letter of the Nicene faith, not the orthodox faith itself, as not only his former but his later stand against heresy testifies, as well as the addition which he made to his signature of the Sirmian formula, and in which he interprets the formula itself in an orthodox sense.

The Semi-Arians now made use of their victory as far as possible for the annihilation of their opponents, the strict Arians. Eudoxius of Antioch was banished to his fatherland Armenia, Aetius to Pepuza in Phrygia (made so celebrated by the Montanists), his pupil Eunomius to Midaium also in Phrygia, Theophilus, the former missionary to the Homerites, to Heraclea in Pontus, others to other places; in all seventy Anomœans; and, indeed, as Philostorgius maintains, this was done chiefly at the instigation of Basil of Ancyra, who was supported by the ladies of the Imperial Court. Many, in consequence, who had hitherto belonged more to strict Arianism, now turned to the Semi-Arian side, especially Macedonius, bishop of Constantinople, the head of the subsequent Pneumatomachians. Many of the violent measures practised by Basil and his friends were, however, unknown to the Emperor; and when Bishop Patrophilus of Scythopolis, and Narcissus of Irenopolis (Neronias), made him acquainted with their acts, he at once recalled the exiles and commanded another Synod to be held.

SEC. 82. Double Synod at Seleucia and Rimini in 359

According to the above statement of Philostorgius, we should suppose that Constantius summoned the new Synod in favour of the Anomœans; but Sozomen says just the contrary, that he thereby intended to put an end to the Anomœan doctrine. The truth is probably to be found in Socrates, i.e. that Constantius desired to restore universal peace among the Arianizing parties by means of a new, great, and General Synod. The statements of S. Athanasius do not contradict this supposition, for he only means that the division of the great Council planned by the Emperor into two smaller contemporary Synods (but not the Synod itself) had been brought about by the Anomœans. We learn from Sozomen that the Emperor at first intended to hold the great Synod at Nicæa, but that Basil of Ancyra, who then, and for some time after, had the greatest influence with him, proposed the neighbouring Nicomedia instead of the city of Nicæa, which was displeasing to him on account of its associations with the Nicene ὁμοούσιος. Constantius now commanded that the wisest bishops from every ecclesiastical province should at once meet at Nicomedia, invested with full powers. Many of them were already on the road when, on the 24th August 358, Nicomedia was entirely destroyed by an earthquake, and a fire occasioned by it. Cecropius, the bishop of that place, perished in it, and, to the great sorrow of the Christians, the splendid cathedral fell; calamities in which the heathens chose to recognise the visible judgment of the gods. The Emperor immediately wrote to Basil of Ancyra, inquiring what was now to be done; and as he now also advised Nicæa, Constantius commanded that at the commencement of the following summer all the bishops should assemble there, and that the old and infirm should send priests or deacons as their representatives. The Synod itself was to send a deputation of ten Orientals, and as many Westerns, to the Court, to report the decisions arrived at, “that he (the Emperor) might himself know whether they had come to an understanding in accordance with the Holy Scriptures, and might decide according to his own judgment what was best to be done.” A second decree followed shortly, the purport of which was “that the bishops should wait wherever they might be, until another place for the Synod was determined and announced to them,” and at the same time Basil was commissioned to inquire the views of the remaining Eastern bishops on this point. The opinions were very various, and Basil repaired in person to the Emperor at Sirmium, where were also Marcus of Arethusa, and George of Alexandria; Valens and Ursacius, as well as Germinius of Sirmium, were also present. The two latter, and other secret adherents of the strict Arian doctrine, feared, and certainly not without reason, that if the great Synod took place, the Semi-Arians and the orthodox would probably make common cause in censuring the Anomœan doctrine; and therefore, supported by the first Imperial chamberlain, the eunuch Eusebius, a friend of the Anomœans, they represented to the Emperor that it would be less expensive and more to the purpose to assemble the Western bishops at Ariminum (now Rimini), but the Easterns, with those from Libya and Thrace, at Seleucia Aspera (τραχεῖα, on account of the neighbouring steep mountains), the capital of Isauria, and thus to hold a double Synod. To this the Emperor agreed.

They were also successful in a second plan. It might be foreseen that the approaching Synod, or double Synod, would draw up a creed. Now, in order that this should contain no direct rejection of the Anomœan doctrine, those in favour of it at the Imperial Court planned the drawing up beforehand of an ambiguous formula which should be laid before the Synod for acceptance. It was to be so arranged, that while on the one hand it did no harm to the Anomœans, yet, on the other, it might satisfy the Emperor and the Semi-Arians. They succeeded in making the Semi-Arians then at the Court believe that it was better and more to the purpose to lay before the Synod an already existing confession, and both parties (while still at the Court at Sirmium, before their departure for the Synod) combined for the composition of such a formula. After long debates, this was finished on the eve of the Feast of Pentecost, May 22d, 359, and it is often called the third, but more rightly the fourth and last Sirmian formula. Its author was Bishop Marcus of Arethusa, whom the remaining bishops present (of Anomœan as well as Semi-Arian views) had entrusted with this commission. According to Sozomen and Socrates, the formula was originally written in Latin, but was also translated into Greek; it was sanctioned by the Emperor, and signed by all the bishops then at Court. But these very signatures show the suspicions of the Semi-Arians with regard to this formula. It is preserved to us in Athanasius and Socrates, and the heading runs thus: “The Catholic faith was established in the presence of our lord, the pious, victorious, and ever august Emperor, Constentius Augustus, under the consulate of Flavius Eusebius and Flavius Hypatius, at Sirmium, on the 11th of the Kalends of June.” The main points of the formula itself are as follows: “We believe in one only and true God, the Father and Ruler of all, Creator and Demiurge of all things, and in one only begotten Son of God, who was begotten of the Father without change (ἀπαθῶς) before all ages and all beginning, and all conceivable time, and all comprehensible οὐσία … God from God, similar (ὅμοιον) to the Father, who has begotten Him according to the Holy Scriptures (κατὰ τὰς γραφάς), whose generation no one knows (understands) but the Father who has begotten Him.… The word οὐσία, because it was used by the fathers in simplicity (ἁπλούστερον, that is, with good intention), but not being understood by the people, occasions scandal, and is not contained in the Scriptures, shall be put aside, and in future no mention shall be made of the Usia with regard to God.… But we maintain that the Son is similar to the Father in all things, as also the Holy Scriptures teach and say.” This formula was first subscribed by Marcus of Arethusa, with the words, “Thus I believe and think;” and by the others in like manner. But Valens added, “How on the eve of the Feast of Pentecost we gave these signatures is known to all who were present, and also to the pious Emperor, before whom we have testified in writing and by word of mouth.” Then followed his signature, and the further addition, “The Son is similar to the Father,” omitting the important κατὰ πάντα, “in all things.” The Emperor, however, compelled him to add these words. This circumstance strengthened Basil of Ancyra in his suspicion that the words “in all things” might perhaps be taken by Valens in a peculiar sense, and he therefore also made an addition to his signature, verging indeed upon orthodoxy: “Thus I believe, and to this I agree, in that I acknowledge the Son to be similar to the Father in all things, not only in will, but also in His being (κατὰ τὴν ὕπαρξιν καὶ κατὰ τὸ εἶναι).… But if any one says that He is only similar in part, I declare him not to be a member of the Catholic Church, as he does not, in accordance with the Holy Scriptures, acknowledge the similarity of the Son to the Father.” The signatures were read aloud, and delivered to Valens, who, as Basil knew, intended to take the copy with him to the Synod of Rimini.

For still greater security against the Anomœans, and for the still firmer maintenance of the ὁμοιούσιος, but especially to show that the words, “similar in all things,” necessarily also included similarity of substance (the ὁμοιούσιος), Basil, probably about this time, in union with George of Laodicea and other friends, composed the dogmatic treatise which Epiphanius has preserved to us. That this whole treatise was not, as was formerly believed, the work of Epiphanius himself, but of Basil of Ancyra, Petavius has first shown in his Animadversiones, while in his Latin translation of the text itself he was still a victim of the old mistake.

The Synod of Rimini met earlier than the other, and in May 359 there were there assembled more than four hundred bishops from different Western provinces, especially Illyria, Italy, Africa, Spain, Gaul, and Britain. Constantius wished to charge the travelling expenses of all upon the treasury; but the greater number, at least the bishops of Gaul, Aquitania, and Britain, by whom Sulpicius Severus was expressly informed of the fact, declined this offer, in order not to be in any way bound to the Emperor. Only three very poor British bishops took advantage of it, and preferred rather to burden the treasury than their colleagues who had offered to provide for them. The most famous among the orthodox bishops at Rimini were Restitutus of Carthage, the aged Musonius from the Byzacene province in Africa, Græcian of Calles (Cagli) in Italy, Phœbadius of Agen in Gaul, and Servatius of Tongern. The presidency was probably held by Restitutus of Carthage, whose name stands first in all the synodal documents. Pope Liberius was neither present in person nor represented. Remi Ceillier doubts his having even been invited; but as he was then already reinstated, his being intentionally overlooked would not only have been inexplicable, but entirely contrary to the Emperor’s plans for unity. The Arian party numbered about eighty bishops, of whom the most prominent were Ursacius, Valens, Germinius, Auxentius of Milan, Epictetus of Civita Vecchia (Centumcellæ), and Caius of Illyria. Athanasius says that, besides these, Demophilus of Berœa was also present at Rimini, but he, with all other Thracians, belonged to Seleucia; nor does the Synod of Rimini mention him in its decree which anathematizes by name the most illustrious Arians. The Prefect Taurus acted as the Emperor’s representative and secular protector of the Synod, and was commissioned not to let the bishops go until they had come to one mind concerning the faith. For this he was promised the post of consul, which he indeed obtained in 361; but, while still in office, immediately after the death of Constantius, he was ordered to Vercelli.

The letter addressed by Constantius to the bishops assembled at Rimini is a very pattern of Byzantine Cæsaropapism. Sozomen made a copy of a similar one, also addressed to the Synod of Seleucia, and his statements indicate that the letter used by him was published earlier, and was also fuller, than the other. The Emperor here ordered that the bishops should first settle the disputes concerning the faith, and, when this was done, should investigate the more private affairs, namely, the complaints of individuals concerning unjust deposition (as, for instance, that of Cyril of Jerusalem by the strict Arian metropolitan, Acacius of Cæsarea), and the complaints made by the Egyptians of the violent acts practised by Bishop George of Alexandria, who had been forced upon them. Thirdly, when this was also done, each of the two Synods were to send a deputation of ten members to the Emperor to inform him of their decisions.

Distinct from this edict is the other given by Hilary, expressly addressed only to the Synod of Rimini, and in which there is no mention of the second point, the investigation of private affairs. On the other hand, the first point, that the bishops should before everything else treat de fide et unitate, is especially insisted upon. To this is joined the command forbidding the bishops at Rimini, “as Westerns, to make any decisions whatever regarding the Easterns.” Here is clearly to be seen the influence of the Anomœan Court bishops, who dreaded an anathema from the predominantly orthodox Synod of Rimini upon Aetius, Eunomius, Eudoxius of Antioch, and other heads of the Anomœans.

Finally, in the second edict, the third point, concerning the deputation to the Emperor, has a much deeper, and, as regards the issue of the double Synod, a very important signification. Constantius there orders that, “in case of a difference arising between the Eastern and Western bishops, the ten deputies chosen at Rimini should, after having appeared before the Emperor, enter into negotiation with the Easterns and try to settle the difference.”

That this edict was really preceded by another similar one is shown in the words, ut prudentiæ vestræ prioribus litteris intimavimus, and we have every reason for supposing that the edict given by Sozomen was an extract from the priores litteræ, the rest of which is lost.

The edict mentioned secondly is dated the 27th May 359. As now we know that the last Sirmian formula was only finished on the 22d of that month, it may be conjectured that Ursacius, Valens, and the other authors of this formula, also Basil of Ancyra, Marcus of Arethusa, and others, only set off after the opening of the Synod of Rimini to their respective assemblies; the former to Rimini and the latter to Seleucia, possibly on the 27th May, so that the Emperor might have given them his edict to take with them.

While the bishops assembled in the cathedral at Rimini discussed the faith, always appealing to the Holy Scriptures, Valens and Ursacius, accompanied by Germinius, Auxentius, and Caius, appeared before the assembly, and reading aloud the last Sirmian formula, declared that it was already confirmed by the Emperor, and was now to be universally accepted, without discussions as to the sense which individuals might attach to its words. According to Theodoret, they added that the expressions ὁμοούσιος and ὁμοιούσιος, which after all were not contained in Holy Scripture, had occasioned all the many disputes, and should therefore be discontinued, and the words “similar in all things” substituted in their stead. They thus thought to deceive the Westerns, whom they considered simple. The answer first made to this by the orthodox bishops is not known, for that attributed to them by Sozomen was not, according to Athanasius, made till somewhat later. The latter says that “the orthodox had, in answer, proposed an anathema upon Arianism, and declared a new formula of faith to be totally unnecessary, for that the business in hand was not to find out the faith, but rather to confound its opponents. They thought that the Synod of Nicæa had already done all that was necessary as regarded the faith; that its decisions were to be held fast, and therefore that if Ursacius, Valens, and their friends had come with the same mind, they should with them unanimously anathematize all heresies, and especially the Arian. When this was refused, the Synod, recognising their heretical mind and intentions, once more unanimously approved the decisions of Nicæa, especially the use of the expression οὐσία, pronounced the anathema upon each separate point of Arianism, and (on the 21st July 359) declared Ursacius, Valens, Germinius, and Caius (Auxentius and Demophilus) to be heretics and deposed. This decision it communicated to the Emperor in a letter originally written in Latin, and still in existence, adding, that it was not through the propositions of Valens and the others, but only by holding fast the old Nicene faith, that perfect peace could be restored. At the same time, they urgently begged the Emperor not to detain them longer at Rimini, as many of them were oppressed by age and poverty, and the churches could not spare their bishops for so long a time.”

From the time when the separation of the parties at Rimini was openly proclaimed, both held separate meetings—the orthodox in the Church, the Arians in an oratory of their own; and each party also sent its own deputation to the Emperor. Sulpicius Severus says that most of the orthodox deputies were young, inexperienced, and imprudent men, and the Synod thought it wise to charge them to enter into no intercourse with the Arians, but to reserve everything for the decision of the Synod; the Arians, on the contrary, had made choice of older men, cunning and clever, who could easily obtain the upper hand with the Emperor. He gives no names, but states that each party, the orthodox and the Arian, had sent ten bishops; but in the eighth fragment of Hilary we read of fourteen deputies on the orthodox side, of whom Restitutus of Carthage, before mentioned, seems to have been the head. The Emperor himself says, and also Sozomen, that from the orthodox side twenty deputies were despatched.

Meanwhile Constantius, on the 18th June 359, had left Sirmium for the East to make preparations for a war against the Persians, and had reached Constantinople just at the time of the arrival of the deputies. The Arian deputation, however, with Valens and Ursacius at their head, succeeded in arriving somewhat earlier, and their representations made such an impression upon the already Arianizing Emperor, that he severely blamed the orthodox for their non-acceptance of the fourth Sirmian formula; and while he treated Valens and Ursacius with the greatest respect, would not even allow the orthodox deputies to appear before him, but only sent an officer to receive from their hands the Synodal Letter which they had brought, under pretext of being just then overwhelmed with State business. Nay, he did not even give them an answer; and after they had waited long in vain, they were directed to go in the meanwhile to Adrianople, and there to await the Emperor’s leisure. This he communicated to the Synod in a very cold letter, remarking that they must wait for the return of their deputies from Adrianople with his answer, at the same time highly praising his own zeal in the matter. Athanasius has preserved this letter, as well as the short and earnest answer of the Fathers at Rimini, in which they again declared their firm adhesion to the Nicene faith, and demanded permission to return to their dioceses.

It was probably also at this time that an event took place, a full explanation of which is now no longer possible. Athanasius, in his work De Synodis, relates that, “at the recommendation of the Arians, Constantius had caused the Sirmian formula, with the chronological date in the heading, to be withdrawn, and all the copies issued to be recalled by the notary Martinian.” That which Athanasius here cites serves to explain this, namely, that it was entirely contrary to custom, and ridiculous, to furnish a confession of faith which should express the eternal and abiding faith now and from the very first held in the Church, with a chronological date, which can only mean that from such a day such and such is the Christian faith. This was in the genuine heretical fashion. It was just as presumptuous, while denying to the Son of God the predicate of eternity, to call the Emperor in the heading eternal. When the Emperor found that the heading just mentioned was so ill received by the orthodox, he, probably at this time, ordered the withdrawal of the formula in question, in order to replace it by a similar one without the chronological date, and with a few slight alterations; and it was then accepted at Seleucia, and at last forced even upon Rimini. Socrates, differing from this, says that it was the second Sirmian formula, the suppression of which the Emperor had commanded; but the testimony of Athanasius is far more weighty; besides which, the second Sirmian formula was so widely circulated (as we have seen above, it was accepted in the East, at Antioch; rejected at Ancyra, and also in the West in Gaul), that Martinian, a single notary, could certainly not have collected all the existing copies. It is true that the like objection has been made against the statement of Athanasius, and it has been said that the four hundred bishops then assembled at Rimini were already acquainted with this (fourth Sirmian) formula. To this the Benedictines rejoined, that “although they certainly knew the formula, they probably possessed but few copies, as Valens, Ursacius, and the others did not distribute copies, but read it aloud.”

Socrates, Sozomen, and Theodoret all agree in relating that the orthodox deputies from Rimini were afterwards sent from Adrianople to the small town of Nice (Ustodizo) in Thrace, and that the heads of the Arians also repaired thither to treat with them concerning the faith. They chose Nice, in order that the formula which they there intended to draw up might be taken by the less instructed for that of Nicæa. They did, in fact, by fraud and deceptions of all kinds, by violence and oppression, and especially by falsely stating that the term “substance” had been rejected by all the Easterns (at the Synod of Seleucia), succeed in inducing the deputies of Rimini, weary of their long delay, to sacrifice the decisions of their own Synod, and to give their consent and signature to the new Nicene formula of faith proposed to them by Valens, Ursacius, and their colleagues. This took place on the 10th October 359, as we learn, in a document still extant, from Restitutus of Carthage. The new formula of faith is given by Athanasius and Theodoret, and is, as we have already seen, quite similar to the fourth Sirmian formula: it rejects the expression οὐσία as unscriptural, and declares the Son to be similar (ὅμοιον) to the Father, in accordance with the teaching of the Holy Scriptures. But it omits the important addition κατὰ πάντα, and thus clearly favours strict Arianism. The offensive heading with the chronological date is also omitted, and at the end is added: “Neither must the expression ‘hypostasis’ be used of the Father and the Son, and all former as well as all future heresies which contradict this confession are anathematized.”

Upon this, the deputies immediately received permission to return to Rimini, and were accompanied by Ursacius, Valens, and the others, who were immediately to procure signatures to this formula at Rimini itself. The Synod of Rimini would not, however, at first hold any communion with their deputies who had shown such weakness, although they pleaded as their excuse the force put upon them by the Emperor. But Constantius had given fresh orders to the Prefect Taurus, not only on no account to let the bishops go until they had signed the formula of Nice, but forthwith to punish with banishment fifteen of those likely to offer the strongest resistance. In order to lay more stress upon the matter, the Emperor had at the same time issued a special edict to the Synod, peremptorily demanding the rejection of οὐσία and ὁμοούσιος. Those of Arian views also took great pains to represent to each bishop, and especially to those of feeble intellect, that the Easterns would certainly never accept the expression οὐσία; and that it would be extremely wrong that a single word, especially one not contained in the Holy Scriptures, should occasion a great division in the Church, while the words in the formula, “the Son is similar to the Father,” embraced and reconciled all views. According to Rufinus, they further put the insidious question to the orthodox, “whether they prayed to the word ὁμοούσιος, or to Christ? If to Christ, the term in question might be given up without sin.” Thus, Rufinus continues, were the greater number deceived without rightly understanding the matter. Augustine makes the same statement: multos paucorum fraude deceptos esse. Sulpicius Severus says that “after the Imperial decrees and the commands and threats of punishment transmitted through Taurus were known, there ensued universal dismay, confusion, and helplessness, and that by degrees the greater number of the orthodox, partim imbecillitate ingenii, partim taedio peregrinationis evicti, gave themselves into the hands of their enemies: also that the Church in which the orthodox had hitherto assembled was taken from them, and given over to the opposite party, and that at last only twenty bishops remained firm, conspicuous among whom were Fœgadius (Phœbadius) of Agen, and Servatius of Tongern, who did not suffer themselves to be intimidated by the threats of Taurus.” In Hilary we find a servile letter to the Emperor from those bishops who had succumbed, in which they even thank him for his pious care for the orthodox faith, and piteously renew their petition to be allowed to return home. In excuse for them, we can only say that it seems from the address that the idea of this letter probably originated with Valens and his friends.

But the twenty bishops who stood firm were also to be conquered. Phœbadius had already declared that he would rather suffer exile and every punishment than accept an Arian formula. Taurus, therefore, instead of threats and violence, now had recourse to prayers and tears. They surely ought to consider that the bishops had now already been seven months shut up in the town, suffering from the winter and oppressed by poverty, and return was not to be thought of until they also had given in. Where was this to end? They ought to follow the example of the majority. When after some days Phœbadius began to yield, Valens and Ursacius, the last tempters, added their persuasions, stating that the formula in question was composed in an entirely orthodox spirit, and that it would be most wrong to reject it after it had been sanctioned by the Emperor and the Orientals. If, however, it still did not fully satisfy the twenty bishops, they could of course make further additions. This proposal seemed to offer means for an equitable adjustment: and, commissioned by their colleagues, Phœbadius and Servatius, now composed several additions to the confession (professiones), in the first of which Arius and his whole doctrine were anathematized. Under pretence of supporting the orthodox, Valens proposed the following still further addition: “The Son of God is not a creature, like the other creatures,” and the twenty bishops accepted this, without observing that in these very words they expressed the genuine Arian belief that the Son is a creature. All the other additions sounded fully orthodox, and accordingly each party thought itself victorious: the orthodox by reason of the additions, the Arians by reason of the original confession. And, in order to set the former completely at rest, at a public assembly in the church (at which all were present, including those bishops who had yielded previously), Valens, on the proposal of the aged bishop Musonius, who seems this time to have presided, declared himself to be no Arian, and himself read aloud the anathemas contained in the additions of the twenty bishops, to each of which all the rest proclaimed their consent. Jerome gives this account, and professes to have found it himself in the Acts of Rimini, which we no longer possess. But the statement of Julian the Pelagian, that seven bishops remained firm throughout, is related nowhere else.

With this solemn procedure in the church the Synod of Rimini ended, somewhat differently from the way in which it opened, and it sent another deputation to the Emperor to inform him of what had taken place. The choice fell on Ursacius, Valens, Magdonius, Megasius, Caius, Justinus, Optatus, Martial, and a few others, to whom the Eastern bishops assembled at Seleucia soon afterwards addressed a letter, which is still preserved.

It is now necessary to turn to the Synod of Seleucia. Although the most intelligent bishops of the whole East, from Egypt, Libya, and Thrace, were summoned, only about one hundred and sixty assembled at the capital of Isauria, about the middle of September 359. According to Hilary, by far the greater number, about one hundred and five bishops, were of Semi-Arian views; while of the two other parties, those of Anomœan views, only numbered from thirty to forty, and the strict Homoiüsians (all Egyptians and friends of Athanasius) still fewer. At the head of the Anomœans stood Acacius of Cæsarea in Palestine, Eudoxius of Antioch, George of Alexandria, and Uranius of Tyre: at the head of the Semi-Arians were George of Laodicea, Silvanus of Tarsus, Eleusius of Cyzicus, and Sophronius of Pompeiopolis in Paphlagonia; Basil of Ancyra arrived somewhat later. S. Cyril of Jerusalem, who also may be said to belong to this party, was one of the many Semi-Arians who, as Athanasius testifies, agreed almost entirely with the Nicene doctrine, only taking offence at the expression ὁμοούσιος, because, in their opinion, it contained latent Sabellianism.

The presence of S. Hilary of Poitiers also was of great importance for the Synod of Seleucia. He had been an exile in Phrygia for four years; and, though not expressly summoned by the Emperor to the Synod, was yet sent thither by the Imperial officers, who thought that the command, “All shall come,” must also extend to him. He was received at Seleucia with great respect, and was at once asked which belief concerning the Trinity prevailed in Gaul, as the Arians by their lies had spread the suspicion that Gaul professed Sabellianism. When he had made the truth clear, he was received by those present into communion, and did not hesitate to associate with them, more especially as it was a time when most even of the Semi-Arians were not outwardly separated from the Church, and it was thus only that the victory over real Arianism could be hoped for.

On the part of the Emperor, the Quæstor Leonas, who inclined to the Anomæan doctrine, but was in other respects a very worthy man, was appointed as secular moderator of the Synod; and Lauricius, the general in command in Isauria, was assigned him as his assessor in case of necessity. Notaries were also appointed to draw up the Synodal Acts, which Bishop Sabinus of Heraclea soon after inserted in his collections of the Councils, but of which there now only remains an extract given by Socrates and Sozomen.

The bishops assembled at Seleucia brought with them a multitude of complaints against each other. Cyril of Jerusalem, for instance, brought a charge against Acacius of Cæsarea, who had about a year before unjustly deposed him; Acacius, on the other hand, no less complained of Cyril. Besides these, the most famous among the accused were: Patrophilus of Scythopolis, Uranius of Tyre, Eudoxius of Antioch, Leontius of Tripolis in Lydia, Theodotus of Philadelphia, Evagrius of Mitylene, Theodulus of Cheretapes in Phrygia, and George of Alexandria.

The first sitting was opened, on the 27th September 359, by the Quæstor Leonas, who demanded that they should at once treat of the faith. Many bishops, as it appears the Semi-Arians, objected, and desired first to await the arrival of their heads, Basil of Ancyra, Eustathius of Sebaste, Macedonius of Constantinople, and Patrophilus of Scythopolis, the latter of whom was already at a suburb of Seleucia, but laid up with disease of the eyes. When Leonas, notwithstanding the absence of these bishops, still wished to begin, the Semi-Arians maintained that, before all, the mutual complaints of the bishops must be investigated, appealing on this point to the Emperor’s expressed wishes; but he, as we have seen above, had given more explicit directions, and it was therefore decided that the faith should be made the first subject of discussion. We learn from Athanasius that the accused bishops had pressed for this order of proceedings for the purpose of keeping their own affair in the background. After this decision, the followers of Acacius at once demanded the entire rejection of the Synod of Nicæa, and the drawing up of a new confession which should be in accordance with that of Sirmium of the 22d May of that year. Nay, Hilary, as eye-witness, affirms that they dared to say quite openly, “Nothing could be similar to the Divine Essence; Christ was a creature, made from nothing.” A fragment of a sermon of Eudoxius of Antioch was also read aloud, containing the following: “God was that which He ever is. He was never Father, for He has no Son; if He had a Son, He must also have a wife.… And, in proportion as the Son exerts Himself to know the Father, so the Father exalts Himself that He may not be known by the Son.” In contrast to these blasphemies, which, on being read, raised universal displeasure, Hilary praises the conduct of the Semi-Arians, many of whom expressed themselves very piously, and declared that “the Son was from God, i.e. from the substance of God.”

The disputation had already lasted until the evening, when Bishop Silvanus of Tarsus exclaimed that “no new confession was required, but that drawn up at the Synod of Antioch in Encæniis should be confirmed.” Upon this, Acacius and his friends, i.e. the strict Arians, withdrew from the assembly; those who remained, however, caused the Antiochian formula just mentioned to be read aloud, and with this the first sitting terminated.

On the following day, the 28th September, they again assembled in the church, and at this sitting the Antiochian formula was signed with closed doors. Whether the few Homoüsians and Hilary were among those who signed is not said; but Socrates relates that Acacius and his friends scornfully remarked concerning the closed doors, that only the works of darkness had cause to shun the light. Further, we see from the introduction to the confession of faith of Acacius and his friends, read at the third sitting, that they too were again present at this second sitting; for Acacius there complained that they had been refused freedom of speech, that many had been insulted, and some had been altogether shut out, while bishops formally deposed or unlawfully ordained were suffered in the ranks of the Synod. But how tumultuous the proceedings had been, Leonas and Lauricius could testify.

On the third day, the 29th September, the Quæstor Leonas again took great pains to unite both parties at a common sitting, at which Basil of Ancyra and Macedonius of Constantinople were also present. The followers of Acacius declared that they would not appear unless the bishops already deposed, or under accusation, were first excluded from the assembly. After much speaking for and against, the Synod agreed to this, in order that there might be no pretext for dissolving the assembly; and those concerned had to withdraw. Thus say Socrates and Sozomen; but Theodoret relates that “several friends of peace tried to persuade Cyril of Jerusalem to withdraw, but that, as he would not comply, Acacius left the assembly.” These two conflicting statements may probably be reconciled, by assuming that what Theodoret relates took place at the second sitting, while the account given by Socrates and Sozomen has reference to the third. We are supported in this conclusion by the introduction to Acacius’ confession of faith, in which the presence of deposed bishops (like Cyril) at the second sitting is made a special ground of complaint.

At the third sitting, the Acacians, who, after these decisions concerning the deposed bishops, again presented themselves, succeeded, through the cunning of their protector Leonas, in obtaining the reading of the confession of faith which they had composed on the preceding day. Foreseeing that the Synod would protest against such a reading, if it knew beforehand the contents of the document, Leonas, without further specification, declared that Acacius had given him a document which was now to be read aloud. No one dreamed of its being a creed, and therefore no objections were made to the reading. The Acacian formula itself, which begins with the attacks already mentioned, upon the second sitting of Seleucia, runs thus: “We do not despise the Antiochian formula of the Synod in Encæniis; but because the terms ὁμοούσιος and ὁμοιούσιος occasion much confusion, and because some have recently set up the ἀνόμοιος, we therefore reject ὁμοούσιος and ὁμοιούσιος as contrary to the Holy Scriptures; the ἀνόμοιος, however, we anathematize, and acknowledge that the Son is similar to the Father, in accordance with the words of the apostle, who calls Him the Image of the invisible God (Col. 1:15).… We believe in our Lord Jesus Christ, His Son, who was begotten by Him before all ages without change (ἀπαθῶς), the only begotten God, Logos from God, Light, Life, Truth, and Wisdom.… and whosoever declares anything else outside this faith has no part in the Catholic Church.”

It is obvious that this formula bears a decided resemblance to the fourth Sirmian, and it is especially remarkable from the circumstance that Acacius, by anathematizing the ἀνόμοιος, separated himself from the Anomœans, thus forming a new party, called after him the Acacians, who sought to occupy a middle position between the Semi-Arians and the Anomœans. Hilary remarks on this, that the Acacians in reality had only dishonestly maintained the similarity of the Son to the Father (for in denying the similarity of substance, they only accepted the similarity of will), and affirmed very obscurely that the Son was indeed similar to the Father, but not to God,—rather dissimilar. God had willed that a creature should exist who should will the same as Himself; therefore the Logos was a Son of the will, not of the Godhead, and similar to the will, but not to the substance of God. After the reading of this, the Semi-Arian, Sophronius of Pompeiopolis in Paphlagonia, exclaimed: “If putting out a private interpretation of one’s own every day is to be held as an exposition of faith, all definite grasp of truth will be lost to us.” Socrates’s remark on this is very just, and applies exactly to the Semi-Arians, i.e. that “if, with regard to the Nicene doctrine, this principle had been carried out from the commencement, much disorder in the Church would have been avoided.”

The fourth sitting on the 30th September was opened by Acacius, with the remark that “as other formulas than the Nicene had already so often been drawn up, he was also fully justified in doing the like.” To this Eleusius of Cyzicus replied, that “the Synod was not assembled for the purpose of embracing a new faith, but to hold fast the faith of the Fathers.” By the faith of the Fathers, however, he understood the Antiochian confession; while, as Socrates remarks, that of Nicæa might with far more right be so called. If he considered the bishops of Antioch to be Fathers, he should still more have recognised as such the Fathers of those Fathers, i.e. the bishops assembled at Nicæa. Upon this, the Acacians were asked, in what sense they considered the Son similar to the Father? They answered that “He was similar to Him in will,” while all the others, on the contrary, maintained a similarity in substance, and urged against Acacius that he had himself in his writings ascribed to the Son a similarity κατὰ πάντα. The debates lasted the whole day, but in the evening Leonas declared the Synod dissolved. When on the following day he was again invited to appear, he replied that “the Emperor had sent him to assist at a Synod which should be the means of effecting a union, but as they were now divided he could no longer be present,” and ended with the words: “Go now to the church to carry on your useless chatter.” Sozomen affirms that, when the messengers from the Synod came to Leonas, the Acacians had just been with him; and he further agrees with Socrates in saying that from this time, notwithstanding all invitations, they refused to take part in any further sittings of the Synod. Notwithstanding this, the majority again assembled to investigate the affair of Cyril of Jerusalem, and also summoned Acacius for this purpose. All the accused of his party were summoned in like manner. When after repeated summonses they did not appear, the Synod pronounced the sentence of deposition upon Acacius, George of Alexandria, Uranius, Theodos, Evagrius, Leontius, Eudoxius, and Patrophilus, and excommunication upon Asterius, Eusebius, Abgar, Basilicus, Phœbus, Fidelis, Eutychius, Magnus, and Eustathius. At the same time this decision was made known in their respective dioceses; and instead of Eudoxius, Arianus, hitherto a priest of Antioch, was appointed bishop of that city, and at once consecrated at Seleucia. But Leonas, with the help of the Acacians, had him taken prisoner, and exiled him in spite of all the protestations of the Synod.

Under such circumstances, the majority could not help seeing that it was no longer possible for them to arrive at a satisfactory result at Seleucia. They now therefore contented themselves with choosing ten deputies, who, in accordance with the former Imperial decree, were to be sent to the Court at Constantinople; and all the rest then returned to their Sees. At the head of this deputation were Eustathius of Sebaste, Basil of Ancyra, Silvanus of Tarsus, and Eleusius of Cyzicus; S. Hilary also accompanied them to Constantinople to learn the Emperor’s further decision concerning himself.

Of the bishops deposed at Seleucia, some, like Patrophilus and George of Alexandria, without troubling themselves the least about the decisions of the majority, returned to their dioceses; others, on the contrary, repaired to Constantinople to bring before the Emperor complaints against the Synod of Seleucia. They arrived there earlier than the Synodal deputies; and being supported by illustrious persons at the Court, they so far succeeded in gaining the ear of the Sovereign, that he conceived a strong aversion to those who formed the majority at Seleucia, and made several of the bishops, who at the same time held secular offices, feel his displeasure. They succeeded especially in exciting his wrath against Cyril of Jerusalem, who, although a bishop, had, at a time of great distress, sold a costly chrisome-robe, the gift of the Emperor himself. According to Theodoret, it appears that, after the arrival of the Acacians, the Emperor had at first intended to summon to Constantinople all those who were present at Seleucia, but was induced by the Arianizing courtiers, who feared the impression which so great a number might produce, to summon only ten of the most noted members of the Synod. According to this, the ten deputies would only have been despatched in obedience to a fresh order from the Emperor. However this may be, on their arrival at Constantinople, they prayed the Emperor to order inquiries to be made into the blasphemies of Eudoxius; and when Constantius refused to do so, Basil, trusting to the favour he had formerly enjoyed with the Emperor, ventured to remonstrate with him on his support of heresy. But the Emperor ordered him angrily to be silent, as it was he himself who was the cause of the storms in the Church. Upon this, Eustathius of Sebaste took up the word and produced an exposition of the faith by Eudoxius, in which the latter had given expression to blasphemies against the Son, and clearly declared his dissimilarity to the Father. This was too much for the vacillating Constantius, and he therefore very angrily asked Eudoxius if this had really been written by him. Eudoxius denied it, and designated Aetius as the author. The latter being just then at Constantinople, the Emperor summoned him also, and, upon his confession, he was banished to Phrygia.

Eustathius took advantage of this to overthrow Eudoxius also, and endeavoured to prove that he held the same views as Aetius. And when the Emperor declared that he could condemn no one upon conjectures, Eustathius remarked that Eudoxius might entirely clear himself of all suspicion if he would only anathematize the proposition of Aetius. This proposal pleased the Emperor, and to escape banishment Eudoxius was obliged to condemn views which he inwardly himself acknowledged, and at a later period again openly defended. In order to revenge himself, he demanded on the other side that Eustathius and his friends should also anathematize the expression ὁμοιούσιος, as it was not contained in Holy Scripture. Silvanus of Tarsus at once replied that neither were the words, “the Son is from nothing, a creature, and ἑτερούσιος,” to be found in the writings of the Apostles and Prophets; and actually so far influenced the Emperor, that he obliged the opposite party also to subscribe to the rejection of these propositions. Acacius and Eudoxius now all the more strongly urged the Emperor against the ὁμοιούσιος; and as Silvanus and Eleusius persisted in adhering to it, and sought to justify the expression, the Emperor drove them from their Sees, and a few months later had them deposed by the Synod of Constantinople.

Meanwhile the second deputation from Rimini, consisting of Ursacius, Valens, and their colleagues, who had been despatched after the subjugation and fall of that Synod, had arrived in Constantinople. As they here immediately joined the Acacians, the Semi-Arians, Silvanus, Sophronius, etc. addressed a letter to them, which is still preserved, in order duly to inform and caution them concerning all that had taken place. They here say that the Emperor himself had rejected the Anomœan doctrine (in the proposition of Aetius), but that a fraud was now contemplated by which indeed the person of Aetius should be anathematized, but nothing said of his doctrine. They, the deputies from Rimini, should communicate all this to the Western bishops.

Valens and Ursacius, however, received this letter very ill, and continued to hold communion with the Acacians. They now indeed again put forward their real views unmistakeably, when they interpreted in an Arian sense, in opposition to S. Hilary and the deputies from Seleucia, the decisions of Rimini, to which it appears the latter had appealed. That Synod had, they said, declared that the Son was a creature, in saying that “He was not a creature like other creatures.” And if it maintained that “He was not from nothing,” this in no way meant that “He was from God,” but only “from the will of God” (like the creature); and if they ascribed to Him eternity, then eternity, as with the angels, meant a parte post (or pro futuro), not a parte ante.

This help came very opportunely to the adherents of Arianism at the Court; they agreed to and praised that which had taken place at Rimini, and demanded that the formula (of Nice, probably with the additions of Phœbadius) there universally signed should also be universally accepted by the deputies from the Synod of Seleucia—as by the Westerns, so also by the representatives of the East. The deputies from Seleucia at first refused, and, as Homoüsians, would not agree in the rejection and removal of the word οὐσία. But they were somewhat more disposed to yield when the Acacians, in order to pacify them, swore that they were themselves in no way Anomœans, and even anathematized that doctrine. The Emperor especially pressed, in place of the ὁμοιούσιος, which was unscriptural and only occasioned strife, the choice of the Bible expression ὅμοιος (similar), which really bore quite the same meaning as ὁμοιούσιος. He therefore demanded vehemently and with threats that the deputies from Seleucia should also sign the formula of Rimini (the Acacians having already gladly done so of their own accord); and after having, on the last day of the year 359, discussed the matter with the bishops till far into the night, he at length extorted their signatures; thus gaining the much desired but—when obtained by such means—useless result of the acceptance and signature by both portions of the double Synod (as also by Eustathius and the other heads of the Semi-Arians) of one and the same formula. It is in this connection that Jerome says: ingemuit totus orbis et Arianum se esse miratus est. The ecclesiastical concord, however, which the Emperor had aimed at was not in any degree obtained.

SEC. 83. Synod of Constantinople in 360

After this victory the Acacians remained some time longer in Constantinople, and after a few weeks made arrangements for another new Synod in 360, to which they summoned the bishops of Bithynia. As soon as fifty were assembled, the Synod was opened; and among those present, besides Acacius and Eudoxius, were Uranius of Tyre, Demophilus of Berœa, George of Laodicea, Maris of Chalcedon, and the celebrated Ulfilas, Bishop of the Goths. Many more seem to have made their appearance later. S. Hilary also was still in Constantinople, but his wish to be allowed to hold a disputation with the Arians was not granted; on the contrary, the Emperor sent him, as the cause of disturbance in the East, back again to Gaul, without however recalling the sentence of banishment. The Synod of Constantinople, governed by Acacius and his friends, forthwith confirmed the confession already composed at Nice and forced upon the Fathers at Rimini, in which both terms—ὁμοιούσιος as well as ὁμοιούσιος—were rejected, the term οὐσία repudiated altogether, and only the simple ὅμοιος allowed. Evidently by this the orthodox and Semi-Arian on one side, and on the other the Anomœan or strict Arian doctrine was rejected; and the middle position held by the Acacians, and which had proved victorious at Seleucia-Rimini, was again confirmed. Consistency and prudence now demanded that Aetius, as the author of the Anomœan doctrine, should be deposed, especially as thus only could all suspicion (entertained also by the Emperor) that the Acacians were themselves of Anomœan views be allayed. The Synod now therefore declared Aetius deposed from the dignity of the diaconate, for having written litigious books, made use of impious expressions, and occasioned disturbances in the Church. The Emperor banished him first to Mopsuestia in Cilicia, and because he was there far too well received by Bishop Auxentius, to Amblada in Pisidia, where he still further spread his errors, and sought to defend them by a work with which we are partly acquainted through S. Epiphanius’ refutation.

But the Semi-Arians, with whom the Acacians were at still greater enmity, and with whom they had less in common than with the Anomœans, were also to be suppressed. As, however, the Semi-Arians at Seleucia and Rimini had signed the same confession as the Acacians, and also stood in some degree in the Emperor’s personal favour, the Acacians did not make the faith the weapon for their overthrow, but employed other means and brought various different charges against them. The first of those whose deposition they pronounced was Bishop Macedonius of Constantinople, for having admitted into communion a deacon convicted of unchastity. They also said that he had occasioned the death of many persons in the act of removing by violence the body of Constantine the Great from a dilapidated church into another, notwithstanding the opposition of some of the people, on which occasion blood had flowed freely in the church itself, and the baptismal water had been mixed with blood. Bishop Eleusius of Cyzicus was also deposed for having baptized and then immediately ordained a heathen priest (of the Tyrian Hercules) who was also a magician. Bishop Basil of Ancyra, one of the heads of the Semi-Arians, shared the same fate, for having treated with violence various clerics, and by help of Imperial officers ill-treated, imprisoned, bound with chains, and banished others of the strict Arian party. He had also, as they said, stirred up the clergy of Sirmium against Bishop Germinius, occasioned disturbances in Illyria, Italy, and Africa, and also perjured himself. Whether he defended himself, or how, is uncertain; perhaps, indeed, he was not allowed to make his defence any more than was Bishop Eustathius of Sebaste, of whom they alleged that as a priest he had already been deposed by his own father, on account of unclerical attire, and afterwards by Eusebius of Constantinople, and excommunicated by a Synod at Neocæsarea. He it was who was subsequently deposed from his bishopric by the Synod at Gangra on account of erroneous doctrine and irregular behaviour (hyper-asceticism). Heortasius of Sardis, Dracontius of Pergamum, Silvanus of Tarsus, Sophronius of Pompeiopolis, Elpidius of Satala, Neonas of Seleucia, and S. Cyril of Jerusalem were also deposed, the latter for having held communication with Eustathius of Sebaste, Elpidius, Basil of Ancyra, and George of Laodicea. The secret reason, however, probably was, that Cyril, Bishop of Jerusalem, had long ago refused to recognise the metropolitan rights of Acacius of Cæsarea, and for this reason had already before been deposed by him, and on the pretext that at a time of distress he had sold vessels, etc., belonging to the Church.

In deposing all these bishops the Acacians acted in a violent and disorderly manner, being at the same time both accusers and judges, so that S. Gregory of Nazianzus and Basil the Great in later years never mention this Synod but with severe censure. The Emperor Constantius, however, confirmed their decisions, and sent the deposed bishops into banishment, giving their Sees to others. Now, therefore, Eudoxius of Antioch was translated from Antioch to the archbishopric of Constantinople, on the 27th January 360, just about the time that the ancient church of S. Sophia, begun by Constantius in 342 (the later one was built by Justinian), was solemnly consecrated. The Acacians, however, raised the well-known Eunomius, a second head of the Anomœans, to the bishopric of Cyzicus, thus strengthening the suspicion that in their deposition of Aetius they had not really been in earnest, and that it was only from policy, on account of the Emperor, that they had thus acted.

According to the account given by the Synod itself in its letter to Bishop George of Alexandria, several bishops would not sign the decision against Aetius, for which reason the Synod refused for a time to hold communion with them, granting them a space of six months, at the expiration of which term they should either accept the decree or be deposed. According to Sozomen, however, it was not the decision against Aetius, but the other unjust depositions, against which ten bishops protested. But the above statement of the Synod itself is confirmed by a statement of Philostorgius, that the sentence pronounced by this Synod against Serras, Heliodorus, and other Aetians had been revoked by a strict Arian. Synod at Antioch under the Emperor Julian.

Lastly, before its close, the Synod of Constantinople sent the confession of Rimini (really Nice) to all the bishops of Christendom, together with an edict of the Emperor’s, according to which all who did not sign would be punished. In truth, no violence was spared to gain this end, and the greater number of bishops in the West, as in the East, were forced through fear and by threats to give the required signature to the creed; this was, for instance, the case with Gregory the elder, father of S. Gregory of Nazianzus, and Dianius of Cæsarea, the fatherly friend of S. Basil the Great.

SEC. 84. Synods of Paris and Antioch about 361

Under such circumstances, the outspoken frankness of the Gallican bishops produces a favourable impression. Upon the news of the events in the East in 360 or 361, they assembled at Paris, and in a Synodal Letter to the Easterns, still extant, pronounced most decidedly for the Nicene ὁμοούσιος.

Soon after this, the Emperor Constantius assembled a smaller Synod at Antioch in 361, where he was then staying, for the purpose of appointing a new bishop to that city. The choice fell upon Meletius, who had hitherto been partly at least on the Arian side; but after his promotion he immediately declared for the Nicene doctrine, and was on this account, a few weeks later, again driven away by the Emperor. Soon afterwards, on the 3d November 361, Constantius died, and was succeeded by Julian the Apostate, who, as is well known, recalled all the banished bishops. Under these circumstances, many of them, among whom Athanasius and Eusebius of Vercelli are conspicuous, recognised the great necessity, especially on account of the heathen Emperor, for restoring unity among the Christians themselves. On the proposal of Eusebius of Vercelli, therefore, Athanasius organized a Synod at Alexandria in 361 for the purpose of considering the conditions and means for the restoration of peace in the Church.

SEC. 85. Synod at Alexandria

Only twenty-one bishops, indeed, personally took part in this Synod, but yet its decisions found wide acceptance. Among those whose presence was especially desired was the zealous Bishop Lucifer of Cagliari, who, however, sent two deacons as his representatives, believing his presence in person at Antioch to be more important.

An over-strict party at the Alexandrian Synod at first demanded that any who sought to re-enter the communion of the orthodox, after having been contaminated by any sort of communion with the heretics, should be for ever excluded from the clerical office. The greater number, however, pointed to the Bible example of the reception of the prodigal son, and carried the milder resolution, that all who, without being themselves Arians, had only been drawn by force and other such means to the side of the heretics, should receive pardon, and retain their ecclesiastical dignity and offices. On the other hand, the heads and actual defenders of the heresy should, indeed, if repentant, be again received into the Church, but excluded from office. But neither class could be received except on condition of their anathematizing the Arian heresy and its chief supporters, accepting the Nicene faith, and acknowledging the Nicene Council as of the highest authority. The Synod at the same time commissioned two of its most esteemed members, Eusebius of Vercelli and Bishop Asterius of Petra, to see to the carrying out of this decision in the East and West; and Athanasius affirms that Synods in Gaul, Spain, and Greece passed the same decree. This was also confirmed by Pope Liberius, and, according to Jerome, accepted throughout the whole West.

The second object of the Alexandrian Synod was to treat in detail of the doctrine of the Holy Ghost, as the Pneumatomachian errors had already appeared, with the assertion that it was perfectly compatible with the Nicene faith, and not Arian, to declare that the Holy Ghost was a creature. Against this new heresy the Synod declared, that “the Holy Ghost was of the same substance and divinity with the Father and the Son, and that in the Trinity there was nothing of the nature of a creature, nothing lower or later.” From the Synodal Letter of this Council to the Antiochians, we see that it attached great weight to this point concerning the Holy Ghost, and demanded from all who desired to return to the Church the condemnation of this heresy.

The terms οὐσία and ὑπόστασις formed the third subject for the consideration of the Synod. The Greeks for the most part employed the word ὑπόστασις, in a sense differing from the ancient Greeks, to denote the Persons of the Godhead; but many Latins and also many Greeks were of opinion that οὐσία and ὑπόστασις were in fact identical, and therefore that whoever taught three hypostases was a thorough Arian. On the other hand, those who spoke only of one hypostasis were naturally suspected of Monarchianism; and the Latin term personæ, as identical with the Sabellian πρόσωπα, was accused of Sabellianism. Thus many mutually regarded each other as heretics, though only differing from one another in outward expression. S. Athanasius, who was acquainted with both languages, very clearly perceived this, and to put an end to these misunderstandings, caused both parties to make a declaration of their faith, which gave full and mutual satisfaction, so that each was convinced of the orthodoxy of his supposed enemy, and they jointly pronounced the anathema upon Arius, Sabellius, Paul of Samosata, and others. According to Gregory of Nazianzus, both parties were left free from henceforth to keep their own form of expression.

The fourth subject related to the manhood of Christ, concerning which a disputation had arisen, probably occasioned by the monks sent by Apollinaris. Again both parties had to give a more precise explanation of their views, and each acknowledged that the Word of God had become true Man, and had not only taken a human body, but also a human soul. It would appear from this that the Apollinarians either yielded or else concealed their true views, and by their distinction between ψυχή and πνεῦμα escaped from the noose.

At its close the Synod sent Eusebius of Vercelli and Asterius of Petra to Antioch, to effect a reconciliation between the Meletians and Eustathians. At the same time they sent to Antioch the Synodal Letter already often mentioned, probably the work of Athanasius, and still to be found among his works under the title of Tomus ad Antiochenos, the heading of which has, however, raised unnecessary doubts. For in this heading it is said that the letter proceeded from Athanasius, Eusebius, Asterius, etc., while at the same time Eusebius and Asterius are mentioned among others as those to whom the letter was addressed. This apparent contradiction may, however, be explained thus, that this Tome is at once a Synodal Letter,—and as such proceeds from Eusebius and Asterius also,—and an instruction according to which Asterius and Eusebius were to bring about the reunion of the Antiochians.

When Eusebius arrived at Antioch, Lucifer of Cagliari had already chosen a bishop for the Eustathian party, the priest Paulinus, who now indeed supplementarily signed the Synodal Letter sent him from Alexandria, but whose promotion rendered the settling of the Antiochian disturbances for the present impossible. In addition to this, the over-zealous Lucifer would by no means consent to the mild treatment decided on at Alexandria with regard to former Arians, and therefore renounced all communion with Eusebius, Athanasius, and their friends, thus causing a fresh schism, called the Luciferian. Notwithstanding all this, an immense advantage was gained by the Alexandrian Synod, and those subsequently held in Gaul, Spain, Greece, and elsewhere, in that hundreds of bishops who, without being really Arian, had by their own weakness, or through the cunning and malice of the heretics, been driven over to that side, now returned to the Church, most solemnly declaring that they had been ignorant of the heretical meaning of the confession of Rimini (really Nice), and had not shared the blasphemous doctrines concerning the Son therein contained. This was most widely the case in the West, so that Arianism there almost entirely disappeared. But among the Greeks also countless numbers returned to the Church, so that soon afterwards Athanasius was able once more to point to the Nicene doctrine as the universal faith of the Christian world. Yet in the East there still remained a tolerably strong party of strict Arians, supported by the Emperor Julian; perhaps for the very reason that he recognised, or at least anticipated, the close connection between consistent Arianism and heathenism. Aetius, the head of the Anomœans, enjoyed the special favour of the Emperor, and received from him the present of an estate at Mitylene. The strict Arians now also assembled at several synods, notably at Antioch, under the presidency of the bishop of that city, Euzoius, and declared the sentence of deposition pronounced upon Aetius at Constantinople in 360 to be null and void. In like manner they did away with the term of six months which at Constantinople had been appointed for the followers of Aetius; and Aetius himself, with many of his adherents, were now consecrated bishops. Besides Aetius and Eunomius, Euzoius of Antioch, Leontius of Tripolis, Theodulus of Chairatopœ, Serras, Theophilus, and Heliodorus from Libya, were now the leaders of this party, and Eudoxius of Constantinople also favoured them, although he appears to have lacked the courage openly to join them.

SEC. 86. The Macedonians and their Synods

As is known, Eudoxius came to the See of Constantinople when the Semi-Arian Macedonius was deposed through the preponderance of the Acacians at the Synod of Constantinople. But after his deposition, Macedonius became far more prominent than before, as on one side he and his friends not only inflexibly maintained the middle position between the real Arians and the Nicenes, as well as their shibboleth of the similarity of the Son in substance also, but—what was of far greater importance—brought the whole controversy about the Trinity into a new phase of development, by consistently drawing the relation of the Holy Ghost to the Father and the Son within the range of discussion, and explaining it in a Pneumatomachian manner, by the statement that the Holy Ghost was lower than the Father and the Son, their servant, a creature, and similar to the angels. He was immediately joined by several of the old Semi-Arians, especially Eleusius of Cyzicus, Eustathius of Sebaste, and, as Sozomen affirms, by all who had been deposed by the Acacians at Constantinople, and therefore notably by Basil of Ancyra. Bishop Marathonius of Nicomedia, formerly a high State official, was one of the chief supporters of this party. Some time before, by the advice of Eustathius of Sebaste, he had become a monk and deacon of Macedonius, and had also founded a convent at Constantinople. By means of the esteem in which he was held on account of his virtues, and through his large connection, he made himself so highly useful to his new friends, that they were often called after him Marathonians, as before Macedonians. As the other heads of this party, like Marathonius, also distinguished themselves by their ascetic life, their doctrine soon spread considerably, not only in Constantinople, but also throughout the whole of Thrace, Bithynia, on the Hellespont, and in the neighbouring provinces; and they took advantage of the reign of Julian to proclaim plainly at different Synods, especially at Zele in Pontus, their separation from the orthodox on the one hand, and from the Arians on the other. In these latter they found their most violent opponents, who everywhere drove them from their churches, especially under the Arian Emperor Valens, so that, as Sozomen affirms, it was only under the Emperor Arcadius that they first became possessed of any churches.

SEC. 87. Synods at Alexandria and Antioch in 363

After Julian the Apostate’s premature death on the 26th of June 363, his general Jovian, who had always been a decided follower of Christianity, was hardly raised to the throne when he recalled S. Athanasius, whom Julian had again banished; and, in order to win for himself a firm footing amid the confusions of the Church, begged of him an explanation in writing of the true faith held by the Church concerning the Trinity. Upon this Athanasius immediately summoned a large Synod at Alexandria, and composed by its direction and in its name a Synodal Letter to the Emperor, which we still possess, in which he commended to him the Nicene as the true faith which from the beginning had always been preached in the Church, and which even now, notwithstanding the Arians, was almost universally accepted; so that the small number of its opponents could be no argument against it. At the end, as a supplement to the Nicene creed, which is itself given in the letter, the orthodox doctrine concerning the Holy Ghost is very shortly appended, i.e. that the Holy Ghost must not be separated from the Father and the Son, and must together with them be glorified, because there only is “μία θεότης ἐν τῇ ἁγίᾳ τρίαδι.”

When, forthwith, the various parties turned to the Emperor, in order, if possible, to win him over to their side, and to renew the game they had played so successfully with Constantius, Jovian declared to the Macedonians that he had no love for disputes, but rather desired peace, and that he preferred the Homoüsian doctrine to all others. Upon this, Acacius of Cæsarea, hitherto a most zealous Arian, who, however, would always be on the winning side, found it advisable, with Meletius of Antioch and twenty-five other bishops, to assemble a Synod at that city, and there in 363 formally to sign and solemnly to acknowledge the Nicene creed. But in order to leave a loophole for themselves, they inserted the following sentence in their Synodal Letter to the Emperor Jovian: “The word ὁμοούσιος, which is strange to some, was most carefully explained by the Fathers at Nicæa, and means that the Son is born of the substance of the Father, and is in respect of substance similar to Him (ὅμοιος κατʼ οὐσίαν).” Clearly by this they intended somewhat to weaken and Semi-Arianize the expression ὁμοούσιος; and in fact Meletius was suspected by many of equivocation on account of his share in this matter.

SEC. 88. Valentinian and Valens. The Synods at Lampsacus, Nicomedia, Smyrna, Tyana, in Caria, etc. Temporary Union of the Macedonians with the Orthodox

To the great detriment of the orthodox cause, Jovian died suddenly, probably by violence, on the 16th February 364, in the eighth month of his reign. Chrysostom affirms that he was poisoned by his body-guard, while Ammianus Marcellinus hints that he was suffocated in his bed. The military and civil high officers now chose from among their number the General Valentinian as Emperor, on the 26th February 364, and he immediately made his brother Valens co-Emperor and ruler of the East. Valentinian had already, under Julian the Apostate, proved himself a zealous, and indeed orthodox Christian, in preferring rather to give up his office and go into prison, than forsake his faith. But his brother Valens held Arian views; and while Valentinian displayed the utmost tolerance towards the Arians, and even towards the heathen, Valens emulated his predecessor Constantius in party spirit and hatred of the orthodox, in which he was greatly influenced by his wife and the well-known Arianizing Bishop Eudoxius of Constantinople, who had baptized him.

With the permission of the new Emperor Valens, the Macedonians, under the presidency of Eleusius of Cyzicus, held a Synod in 365 at Lampsacus on the Hellespont, which declared invalid what the Acacian Council at Constantinople in 360 had decided, viz. the deposition of the Semi-Arians, as well as the confession of faith of that Synod (identical with that of Nice-Rimini); sanctioned the Semi-Arian formula, ὅμοιος κατʼ οὐσίαν; renewed the confession of Antioch (in Encæniis), and pronounced Eudoxius and Acacius, the latter of whom had already again returned to Arianism, deposed.

The Macedonians then at once applied to Valens to obtain the confirmation of their decrees; but Eudoxius had already gained his ear, and therefore, when the ambassadors from the Synod came to him at Heraclea, he directed them to hold communion with Eudoxius. When they opposed this, he sent them into banishment, and gave away their Sees to the followers of Eudoxius. Many other Semi-Arians shared the same fate; many were also fined; or tortured in various ways. The fate of the orthodox was still worse; throughout the East they were robbed of their Churches, and oppressed by Valens in every possible way. He sent almost all the orthodox in the East into banishment, especially S. Meletius of Antioch, and S. Athanasius of Alexandria, while Basil the Great only by peculiar circumstances escaped the same fate. To what a height this storm of persecution rose, one out of many examples will show. In order to put a limit to these constant persecutions and acts of violence, eighty orthodox ecclesiastics repaired to the Emperor at Nicomedia to entreat him to pursue a milder policy. For this he condemned them to banishment, and had them taken to a ship, which was to convey them across the Black Sea into exile. He secretly, however, gave orders that, when on the open sea, the ship’s crew should get into two boats, and set the ship on fire. In this way the sea was to hide the shameful deed. But a strong wind drove the ship into a port of Bithynia, where the fire indeed destroyed it, with the eighty orthodox ecclesiastics, but the crime was thus made known. This took place about the year 370, some years after the Synods of which we are now speaking.

Such a synod was assembled by the Emperor Valens in 366, during his presence at Nicomedia, with the object of bringing Arianism still more into power. Eleusius of Cyzicus, who was, as we know, one of the most distinguished Semi-Arians, here allowed himself to be induced by threats to enter into communion with Eudoxius. But he had hardly returned to his bishopric when he was seized with deep remorse, and prayed that another bishop might be chosen in his stead, as he had become unworthy. The people of his diocese, however, loved him too much to agree to this.

In order to escape complete annihilation, the Macedonians, or Semi-Arians (both names were at that time still used as identical), held various Synods at Smyrna, Pisidia, Isauria, Pamphylia, Lycia, and especially in Asia Minor, where they decided to send deputies to the Western Emperor Valentinian, and to Pope Liberius, offering to unite with them in faith. For this purpose they made choice of the Bishops Eustathius of Sebaste, Silvanus of Tarsus, and Theophilus of Castabala in Cilicia. When these arrived in Rome, Valentinian had already departed for Gaul, where he had to carry on a war against the barbarians. They did not meet him therefore, neither would Pope Liberius at first receive them, as they were Arians. They, however, declared that they had long since returned to the right path, and recognised the truth. Nay, they had already before condemned the doctrine of the Anomœans, and in declaring that “the Son was similar to the Father in all things,” had in fact simply taught the ὁμοούσιος. At the demand of the Pope, they handed in a written confession of faith, in which they solemnly assented to the Nicene doctrine, and recited the Nicene creed word for word, expressly declaring that the expression ὁμοούσιος was chosen “holily and piously” as opposed to the wicked doctrine of Arius; and they anathematized Arius and his disciples, also the heresy of the Sabellians, Patripassians, Marcionites, Photinians, Marcellians (followers of Marcellus of Ancyra), Paul of Samosata, and especially the confession of Nice-Rimini.

Upon this Pope Liberius received the deputies of the Semi-Arians into communion, and delivered to them in his own name, and in that of the whole Western Church, a letter addressed to those who had accredited them, i.e. the fifty-nine Eastern bishops, stating that, “from the declarations of the Easterns and their deputies, he saw that they agreed to his faith, and that of the whole West, which was no other than that of Nicæa, whose bulwark against all Arian heresies was the formula ὁμοούσιος. To this faith nearly all those Westerns had also returned, who at Rimini had been seduced and forced into taking a false step.”

It has surprised some that the simple acceptance of the Nicene creed on the part of the Macedonians should have given full satisfaction at Rome, notwithstanding that a new heresy concerning the Holy Ghost had already been promulgated by them, which had not been foreseen in drawing up that creed. Pope Liberius, it was thought, should, under such circumstances, have demanded from the Macedonians a renunciation of this new heresy also; and this would certainly have been necessary if this new doctrine had at that time been as well known at Rome as it was in the East. This, however, was not the case.

Upon the receipt of the Papal letter, the deputies from the East at once repaired to Sicily, where they caused a Synod to be held, and here also made the Homoüsian confession of faith, and thereupon received from the Sicilian bishops a letter similar to that from the Pope, with which they then returned to their country. It is not improbable that, on their journey through the West, they met with Bishop Germinius of Sirmium, one of the heads of the strictest Arians, and brought him also much nearer to the orthodox faith. From this time forward he maintained decidedly the true Divinity of the Son, similar to the Father in all things; nor did he allow an Arian Synod, held at Singidunum in 367, to frighten him out of so doing.

After the arrival of the Eastern deputies in their country, a Synod was assembled in 367, at Tyana in Cappadocia, at which they solemnly delivered the letters and documents they had brought with them. These were received with great joy, and it was decided to impart them to the other. Eastern bishops, for which purpose it was proposed to hold a great Synod at Tarsus in Cilicia, where the faith of Nicæa should be universally accepted. But Valens forbade the holding of such a Synod.

Moreover, all the old Semi-Arians were by no means inclined to accept the Nicene faith; on the contrary, about thirty-four of their bishops assembled at the same time in Caria, where they indeed highly praised the efforts made for unity, but still expressly rejected the ὁμοούσιος, and declared for the Antiochian formula (in Encæniis), the work of the martyr Lucian.

SEC. 89. Pope Damasus and his Synods. Death of S. Athanasius

During these events Pope Liberius died on the 23d or 24th September 366; and as a quarrel had arisen at Rome among the orthodox themselves, Damasus was chosen Pope by one party, and Ursinus or Ursicinus by the other. This occasioned bloody contests between the two parties, which finally ended with the victory of Damasus, while Ursinus with seven of his followers was commanded by the Emperor to leave the city on the 16th November 367. Being thus himself firmly secured in his position, Damasus also thought of the establishment of the Nicene faith; and for this and other purposes he held various Synods, of which only very imperfect accounts, in some cases mere intimations, have reached us. Of these assemblies, the first of importance was probably held in 369, where the doctrine that the Father and the Son are unius substantiæ, simul et Spiritus Sanctus, was proclaimed. At the same time, Bishop Auxentius of Milan, one of the chief supporters of the Arian cause in the West, was anathematized. As, however, the Emperor Valentinian always believed him to be orthodox, he in fact remained in possession of his See until his death in 374. But before him, on the 2d May 373, S. Athanasius died, the greatest champion of the Church in the Arian conflict; and the Arians now not only took possession of the See of Alexandria, but also practised in the church of that place the most frightful crimes and cruelties. Bishop Peter, the rightful successor of Athanasius, was obliged to fly, poor as a beggar; his priests were miserably hunted down, and whoever mourned them, whether man or woman, was scourged; and the Arian Lucius was raised to the See of Alexandria.

Some months later, in 374, Pope Damasus held a second important Roman Synod, on account of the orthodox bishops of the East having sent their ambassador Dorotheus with the earnest request that the Latins would anathematize Eustathius of Sebaste, and Apollinaris of Laodicea, as the former had relapsed into the Macedonian heresy (concerning the Holy Ghost), and the latter had started a new heresy by calling in question the perfect manhood of Christ, in opposition to Arianism. The Roman Synod therefore renewed the confession of the Nicene faith, and fulfilled the wish of the Orientals by rejecting, besides many other heretical views, the false doctrine of the Macedonians and Apollinarians.

SEC. 90. Synods at Valence in 374, in Illyria and at Ancyra in 375, at Iconium and in Cappadocia

In 374, some French bishops held a Synod at Valence, which, however, took no part in the war of dogma which agitated those times, but only laid down various rules of discipline, which we find collected in Hardouin, and in a still more complete form in Mansi.

On the other hand, a great Illyrian Synod in 375, in its circular to the Easterns, still extant, declared very decidedly against the Pneumatomachian heresy, and commissioned the priest Elpidius, whom they sent to the East with their Synodal Letter, to make investigations concerning the faith of those countries, and there to proclaim the truth. At the same time, it laid down its rules concerning the appointment of bishops, priests, and deacons, that they were to be chosen from the clerical body, or from members of the higher magistracy distinguished for their integrity, but not from the military or lower official class.

The Emperor Valentinian not only confirmed these decrees, but also added a special letter to the bishops of Asia, with the command that the Homoüsian belief in the Trinity should be universally taught. Herein it was also said that no one in the East should make the excuse that he was following the faith of his Emperor (Valens), for that would be an abuse of the Imperial authority, rejection of Him who gave us the teaching of salvation, and disobedience to the Scriptural command, “Render unto Cæsar the things that are Cæsar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s.” Yet this polemical letter, although plainly directed against the Emperor Valens, bears the names of Valens and Gratian after that of Valentinian, as the Roman Emperors always followed the custom of adding the name of the co-Emperor in all their edicts. Remi Ceillier has, as it seems to me rightly, shown that this Illyrian Synod only took place in 375, and not, as Mansi believed, earlier. Not only does Theodoret place it after the elevation of S. Ambrose to the See of Milan, but also the Emperor Valentinian spent the entire summer and autumn of the year 375 in Illyria, and the special interest which he took in this Synod is accounted for by supposing that it was held during his presence there. The early death of Valentinian, however, in the same year 375, deprived his decree, so favourable to the orthodox, of its efficacy; and the Arians, supported by the Emperor Valens, at a Synod at Ancyra, now deposed several orthodox bishops, and amongst them S. Gregory of Nyssa.

S. Basil only hints at other like Synods of the Arians; but he also speaks of Synods of the orthodox, especially at Iconium (about 376), at which Amphilochius, the bishop of that city, presided, and where the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity, as regards the Holy Ghost also, was laid down exactly as Basil the Great had propounded it in his work on the Holy Ghost. Nay, this very work of his was at this time formally sanctioned and confirmed by a Synod in Cappadocia.

SEC. 91. The Third and Fourth Roman Synods under Damasus. Synods at Antioch, Milan, and Saragossa

About the same time, at the third Roman Synod, under Pope Damasus in 376, in which the banished Bishop Peter of Alexandria took part, the Apollinarian heresy was again anathematized, and deposition pronounced upon Apollinaris and his two pupils, Timothy and Vitalis, the bishops of the Apollinarians at Alexandria and Antioch.

Soon after this, in the battle at Adrianople against the Goths in 378, Valens lost his throne and life; and the young Gratian, the eldest son of Valentinian, who had hitherto only reigned in the West, became ruler of the whole Empire. Himself belonging to the orthodox Church, immediately upon his accession, in 378, he gave all his subjects religious liberty, with the exception of the Manichæans, Photinians, and Eunomians, and recalled all banished bishops to their dioceses.

Taking advantage of this tolerant edict of the Emperor, a number of the Macedonians now again separated themselves from the adherents of the Nicene faith, and, at a Synod at Antioch in Caria in 378, declared in favour of the “similarity in substance,” expressly rejecting the Nicene ὁμοούσιος. But, on the other hand, many other Macedonians only joined themselves the more closely to the orthodox Church. Also, on the orthodox side, no less than one hundred and forty-six Oriental bishops assembled at Antioch on the Orontes, as Gregory of Nyssa says, in the ninth month after the death of S. Basil the Great (in September 378), in order, on the one hand, to put an end to the Antiochian schism among the orthodox themselves (which attempt, however, was not then successful), and, on the other, to take steps to assist the Church in gaining the victory over Arianism. To this end, the bishops at Antioch signed the Tome, published by the Roman Synod in 369, under Damasus, thus making those dogmatic declarations their own; and also published a Synodal Letter on their own account to the bishops of Italy and Gaul, which was first printed among the letters of S. Basil, and afterwards also in the collections of the Councils.

Some time later, in 380, Pope Damasus held his fourth Roman Synod, which has been often (for instance, by Remi Ceillier) wrongly divided into two Councils, because this assembly discharged two different functions, as on the one hand it confirmed the elevation of Pope Damasus in opposition to the pretender Ursicinus, and on the other it dealt with the great dogmatic question, and published a number of anathemas against the Sabellians, Arians, Macedonians, Photinians, Marcellians, and Apollinarians, etc.

Lastly, in the same year we have to record two more Synods; one at Milan under S. Ambrose, which, however, did not treat of any general affairs, but was only for the vindication of a young Christian girl at Verona; and the somewhat more important Synod at Saragossa in Spain. Sulpicius Severus relates “that, on account of the Priscillianists at Cæsar Augusta (Saragossa), a Synod was held, consisting of bishops of Spain and Aquitania. The heretics, although invited, did not appear: the Synod nevertheless condemned them, namely, the Bishops Instantius and Salvianus, and the two laymen Helpidius and Priscillianus, and threatened with the like punishment all who should hold communion with them. Finally, they commissioned Bishop Ithacius of Ossonuba to make this decision generally known, and to excommunicate Bishop Hyginus of Corduba, who had first discovered the existence of this new heresy, and had then embraced it.” Sulpicius Severus does not give the exact chronological date; but from his whole historical account this Synod must be placed somewhere about the year 380. Now, as there are to be found in the old collections of the canons eight canons of a Synod at Saragossa of October 4th, 418, of the Spanish era (380 according to our reckoning), and as these eight canons are plainly directed against the Priscillianists, it may well be supposed that they belong to the same Synod of which Sulpicius speaks. Mansi tries to show that it took place as early as 379. Its canons are as follows: (1) All Christian women shall avoid conventicles. (2) No one shall fast on Sunday, nor may any one absent himself from church during Lent and hold a conventicle of his own. (3) Whoever does not consume the Holy Eucharist given him in church, let him be anathema. (4) From the 17th December to the Feast of the Epiphany every one must attend the church daily, and may not go with bare feet. (5) He who is excommunicated by one bishop may not be received by another. (6) A cleric who out of pride becomes a monk, as being a better observance of the law, shall be shut out from the Church. (7) No one shall on his own authority declare himself a teacher. (8) No virgin under forty years of age shall take the veil.

SEC. 92. The Emperor Theodosius the Great

Meanwhile the orthodox Church had made wonderful progress. Ever since Gratian issued the edict of toleration, fortune took a decided turn in favour of the Nicenes, and Arianism only remained dominant still in a few towns such as Constantinople. But this also was changed when in 379 Gratian made Theodosius his co-Emperor, and gave over to him the government of the East. The latter in 380 immediately issued the celebrated edict in which he threatened the heretics, and demanded of all his subjects the acknowledgment of the orthodox faith. Also, upon his arrival in Constantinople, he deprived the Arians of their churches, in order to give them back to the orthodox; and in 381 again issued an edict of faith, forbidding all heretics to hold divine service in towns, and allowing the Catholics only the possession of churches. It was of especial importance that in the same year, 381, he also arranged for the meeting of the second Œcumenical Council, which was to bring the contest begun at Nicæa to a triumphant issue. Before, however, we go on to the discussion of this second General Council, we must consider two important Synods which took place in the interval between the first and second General Councils, the exact date of which cannot, however, be given with complete certainty, i.e. the Synods of Laodicea and Gangra.

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