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A History Of The Church In Five Books by Theodoret

EUSEBIUS clearly testifies that the aforesaid term “con-substantial” is not a new one, nor the invention of the fathers assembled at the council; but that it is of high antiquity, having been handed down from parent to son. He states that all those then assembled unanimously received the formulary of the faith; and he again bears testimony to the same fact in another work, in which he highly extols the conduct of the great Constantine. He writes as follows:—

“The emperor having delivered this discourse in Latin, it was translated into Greek by an interpreter, and then he permitted the chief men of the council to express their sentiments. They at once began to bring forward complaints against their neighbours, while the latter had recourse to recriminations and reproaches. Each party had much to urge, and the controversy beginning to be very violent, the emperor, who had patiently and attentively listened to all that had been advanced, fixed another day for the discussion of their differences, and endeavoured to reconcile the conflicting parties; he addressed them in Greek, of which language he was not ignorant, and spoke in a sweet and gentle manner. Some he convinced by argument, others he soothed by kind words; he commended those who had spoken well, and excited all to reconciliation; until, at length, unity of sentiment and of opinion prevailed among them all. They all professed conformity to the same faith, and they agreed to celebrate the holy festival upon the same day. What had been decided was committed to writing, and was signed by all the bishops.”

Soon after the author thus continues the narrative:—

“When matters were arranged, the emperor gave them permission to return to their own dioceses. They returned with great joy, and have ever since continued to be of one mind, being so firmly united as to form, as it were, but one body. Constantine, rejoicing in the success of his efforts, made known these happy results by letter to those who were at a distance. He ordered large sums of money to be liberally distributed both among the inhabitants of the provinces and of the cities, in order that the twentieth anniversary of his reign might be celebrated with public festivities.”

Although the Arians impiously gainsay and refuse to give credit to the statements of the other fathers, yet they ought to believe what has been written by this father, whom they have been accustomed to admire. They ought, therefore, to receive his testimony to the unanimity with which the confession of faith was signed by all. But even if they combat the opinions of the fathers of their own sect, yet surely they must at least have shrunk with horror from the impieties which emanated from Arius, when they learnt the terrible manner of his death. As it is likely that the mode of his death is not known by all, I shall here relate it.








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