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A History Of The Church In Five Books by Theodoret

WHEN all who defended the faith had been removed (A.D. 359), those who impelled the mind of the emperor according to their own will, flattering themselves that the faith which they opposed might be easily subverted, and Arianism established in its stead, persuaded Constantius to summon bishops from the East and from the West to Rimini, and to command them to expunge the two terms substance and consubstantial from the formulary of the faith. These words were like two machines, invented by the fathers for the express purpose of destroying the deceitful errors of Arius; and they had, in fact, as I have said, created a division in the church. After the bishops were all assembled, those who were infected with the principles of Animism endeavoured to persuade and to deceive the others, particularly those from the West, who were the most simple. They said that the church ought not to be divided on account of two terms which are not to be found in the holy Scriptures: that it ought rather to be said, that the Son is in all respects like the Father, omitting all mention of the unscriptural term substance. But the bishops discovered their deceitfulness, and ejected them from communion, and wrote to the emperor upon the subject, acquainting him with their opinions. They told him, that they were themselves the sons and successors of the fathers who assembled at Nice; and that if they either took away from or added to what had been enacted by them, they would create doubt as to the legitimacy of their descent, and would condemn their own fathers. Their letter to Constantius contains the clearest account extant of the articles of their belief.








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