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A History Of The Church In Seven Books by Socrates

EUSEBIUS and Theognis having sent a penitential confession to the principal bishops, were by an imperial edict recalled from exile and restored to their own churches, those who had been ordained in their places being removed; Eusebius displacing Amphion, and Theognis Chrestus. This is a copy of their written retraction:—

“We having been sometime since condemned by your piety, without our cause having been pleaded, ought to bear in silence the decisions of your sacred adjudication. But since it is unreasonable that we by silence should countenance calumniators against ourselves, we on this account declare that we entirely concur with you in the faith; and also that, after having closely considered the import of the term consubstantial, we have been wholly studious of peace, having never followed any heresy. After suggesting whatever entered our thought for the security of the churches, and fully assuring those under our influence, we subscribed the declaration of faith, but did not subscribe the anathematizing; not as objecting to the creed, but as disbelieving the party accused to be such as was represented, having been satisfied on this point, both from his own letters to us, as well as from his discourses in our presence. But if your holy council was convinced, we not opposing but concurring in your decisions, by this statement give them our full assent and confirmation: and this we do not as wearied with our exile, but to avoid the suspicion of heresy. If therefore ye should now think fit to restore us to your presence, ye will have us on all points conformable, and acquiescent in your decrees. For since it has seemed good to your piety to deal tenderly with and recall even him who was primarily accused; it would be absurd for us to be silent, and thus submit to presumptive evidence against ourselves, when the one who was arraigned has been permitted to clear himself from the charges brought against him. Vouchsafe then, as is consistent with that piety of yours, dear to Christ, to remind our most religious emperor, to present our petitions, and to determine speedily concerning us in a way becoming yourselves.”

Such was the language of the recantation of Eusebius and Theognis; from which I infer that they had subscribed the articles of faith which had been set forth, but would not become parties to the condemnation of Arius. It appears also that Arius was recalled before them; but, although this may be true, yet he had been forbidden to enter Alexandria. This is evident from the fact that he afterwards devised a way of return for himself, both into the church and into Alexandria, by having made a fictitious repentance, as we shall show in its proper place.








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