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A History Of The Church In Five Books by Theodoret

WHEN the emperor had received this letter, the Arians excited him to resentment, and compelled many of the bishops to repair to a city of Thrace called Nice. By means of deceiving those among them who were simple, and by persecuting the others, they persuaded them to effect that fraud against the church which they had so long devised, namely, to erase the terms substance and consubstantial from the formulary of faith, substituting that of similar. I shall here insert this formulary, not because it is a good one, but because it is opposed to the principles of the Arian faction; for the Arians of the present time have substituted the term dissimilar for that of similar.

THE UNORTHODOX CONFESSION OF FAITH DRAWN UP AT NICE, IN THRACE

“We believe in one true God, the Father Almighty, of whom are all things; and in the only-begotten Son of God, begotten before all ages and before all commencement, by whom all things, whether visible or invisible, were made. He alone is the only-begotten Son of the one Father, God of God; similar, according to the Scriptures, to the Father who begat him. His generation is known to no one, save to the Father of whom he was begotten. This we know, that the only-begotten Son was sent by the Father; and that, as it is written, he came down from heaven to destroy sin and death; and that he was, through the Holy Ghost, born of the virgin Mary according to the flesh, even as it is written; that he conversed with his disciples; and that, after having fulfilled all the will of the Father, he was crucified and died and was buried and descended into hell, which he filled with terror. We believe that he rose from the dead on the third day; that he conversed with his disciples during forty days; and that he then ascended into heaven and sat down at the right hand of the Father; and that he will come again at the last day of the resurrection in the glory of the Father, to give to every one according to his deeds. And we believe in the Holy Ghost, who is the Comforter and the Spirit of Truth, whom the only-begotten Son of God, Jesus Christ, both God and Lord, promised to send to man, according to Scripture, and whom he did indeed send after he had ascended into heaven, and had sat down at the right hand of the Father, whence he shall come to judge the living and the dead. The word substance, which the fathers unwisely made use of, and which was not understood by the people, but which became to them a subject of offence, has been rejected by us, as it is not to be found in the Scriptures; and no future allusion will be made to the substance of the Father and of the Son, because the holy Scriptures do not any where make mention of this subject. Neither ought the nature of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, even to be alluded to by any one. We say that the Son is similar to the Father, even as the holy Scriptures declare and teach. We pronounce anathema against all those heresies, whether previously condemned or recently arisen, which oppose this formulary of faith.”

The signature of some of the bishops was obtained by compulsion, that of others by deceit. Those who refused to sign were banished to the extremities of the earth.








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