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A History Of The Church In Seven Books by Socrates

THERE however, Hilary bishop of Poictiers, a city of Aquitania Secunda, had anticipated him, having previously confirmed the bishops of Italy and Gaul in the doctrines of the orthodox faith; for he first had returned from exile to these countries. Both therefore nobly combined their energies in defence of the faith: and Hilary being a very eloquent man, maintained with great power the consubstantiality of the Son of God, and unanswerably confuted the Arian tenets in the works which he wrote in Latin. These things took place shortly after the recall of those, who had been banished. But it must be observed, that at the same time Macedonius, Eleusius, Eustathius and Sophronius, with all their partisans, who had but the one common designation Macedonians, held frequent Synods in various places. Having called together those of Seleucia who embraced their views, they anathematized the prelates of the other party, that is the Acacian: and rejecting the creed of Rimini, they confirm that which had been read at Seleucia; which, as I have stated in the preceding book, was the same as had been before promulgated at Antioch. When they were asked by some one, “Why have ye who are called Macedonians hitherto retained communion with the Acacians, as though ye agreed in opinion, if ye really hold different sentiments?” they replied thus, through Sophronius bishop of Pompeiopolis, a city of Paphlagonia:—“Those in the West,” said he, “were infected with the Homoousian error as with a disease: Aëtius in the East adulterated the purity of the faith by introducing the assertion of a dissimilitude of substance. Now both of these dogmas are impious: for the former rashly blended into one the distinct persons of the Father and the Son, binding them together by that cord of iniquity the term consubstantial; while Aëtius wholly separated that affinity of nature of the Son to the Father, by the expression unlike as to substance or essence. Since then both these opinions run into the very opposite extremes, the middle course between them appeared to us to be more consistent with truth and piety: we accordingly assert that the Son is like the Father as to subsistence.” Such was the answer the Macedonians made by Sophronius to that question, as Sabinus assures us in his. Collection of the Acts of Synods. But in decrying Aëtius as the author of the Anomoian doctrine, and not Acacius, they flagrantly disguise the truth, in order to seem as far removed from the Arians on the one side, as from the Homoousians on the other: for their own words convict them of having separated from them both, merely from the love of innovation. With these remarks we close our notice of these persons.








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