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A History Of The Church In Five Books by Theodoret

THE great Athanasius, in a letter addressed to the Africans, expressed similar opinions respecting the council of Rimini.

“After what has been so fully demonstrated,” says he, “can any one name the council of Rimini, or any other council, in opposition to that of Nice? or is there any one who does not feel aversion towards those who set aside the decrees of the fathers, and substitute the new enactments extorted from the council of Rimini by contention and violence? Who would wish to associate with those who disapprove of their own transactions? For they have attended more than ten councils, and at each council they have compiled a different formulary, thus clearly confessing by each successive compilation their disapprobation of the preceding. They have fallen into the same evil as the Jews who betrayed our Lord. For, as those who abandoned the only spring of living water made unto themselves cisterns which could hold no water, even as was written by the prophet Jeremiah (Jer. 2:13), so these individuals had no sooner opposed the general council, than they made unto themselves many councils, which are all vain and useless, and which, like theatrical representations of similar assemblies, are utterly powerless. We must not, therefore, listen to those who speak of the council of Rimini, or of any other council, as superior to that of Nice. For those who make so much mention of the council of Rimini, cannot surely be acquainted with what took place at it, else they would be silent on the subject. You know, beloved brethren, for you have heard it from those of your province who attended the council of Rimini, that Ursacius, Valens, Eudoxius, and Auxentius, with whom Demophilus was associated, were deposed because they wished to introduce doctrines differing from those established at Nice. When they were asked to condemn the Arian heresy, they refused to do so, and declared themselves its defenders. Nearly two hundred bishops who were faithful servants of the Lord, and who adhered to the true faith, declared in writing, that they considered the Nicean formulary alone to be quite sufficient, and that they did not seek or believe either more or less than that which it contained. They declared the same things to Constantius, by whom the council had been convened. But those who had been deposed at Rimini repaired to Constantius, and caused the bishops who had condemned them to be treated with insult, and to be threatened with being prevented from returning to their own dioceses, and of being compelled to remain in Thrace throughout the winter, unless they would consent to the proposed innovations. Therefore, if any persons should dwell upon the superior authority of the council of Rimini, they ought first to be informed, that the bishops above-mentioned had been deposed; and secondly, that the other bishops declared in writing that they sought nothing beyond what was included in the confession of faith drawn up by the fathers at Nice, and that they acknowledge the authority of no other council. But these circumstances are studiously concealed by such persons, and those decrees which were enacted in Thrace by force, are prominently brought forward. Hence it is clearly seen that they have imbibed the Arian heresy, and are estranged from the true faith. If the general council were to be placed in comparison with the councils preferred by the heretics, the piety of the one and the absurdity of the others would be very evident. The bishops convened at Nice had never been deposed; but they confessed that the Son is of the substance of the Father. Those who assembled at Rimini had been deposed, some twice, and others even three times, and yet they had the presumption to write that it ought not to be said of God that he had either a substance or a hypothesis.”

Such were the frauds and artifices resorted to by the partizans of Arius in the West, against the doctrines of the truth.








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