HOME CHAT NAB PRAYERS FORUMS COMMUNITY RCIA MAGAZINE CATECHISM LINKS CONTACT
 CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA  A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
 CATHOLIC SAINTS INDEX  A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
 CATHOLIC DICTIONARY  A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Home
 
Bible
 
Catechism
 
Chat
 
Catholic Encyclopedia
 
Church Fathers
 
Classics Library
 
Church Documents
 
Discussion
 
Mysticism
 
Prayer
 
Prayer Requests
 
RCIA
 
Vocations
 
Ray of Hope
 
Saints
 
Social Doctrine
 
Links
 
Contact
 







A History Of The Church In Seven Books by Socrates

ARIUS having thus satisfied the emperor, returned to Alexandria. But his artifice for suppressing the truth did not succeed; for Athanasius would not receive him on his arrival at Alexandria, having turned away from him as a pest: he therefore attempted to excite a fresh commotion in that city by disseminating his heresy. Then indeed both Eusebius himself wrote, and prevailed on the emperor also to write, in order that Arius and his partisans might be readmitted into the church. Athanasius nevertheless wholly refused to receive them, informing the emperor in reply, that it was impossible for those who had once rejected the faith, and had been anathematized, to be again received into communion on their return. But the emperor provoked at this answer, menaced Athanasius in these terms. “Since you have been apprised of my will, afford unhindered access into the church to all those who are desirous of entering it. For if it shall be intimated to me that you have prohibited any of those claiming to be reunited to the church, or have hindered their admission, I will forthwith send some one who at my command shall depose you, and drive you into exile.”

The emperor wrote thus sternly from a desire of promoting the public good, and to prevent division in the church; for he laboured earnestly to bring them all into unanimity. Then indeed the partisans of Eusebius, who were most malicious against Athanasius, imagining they had found a seasonable opportunity, availed themselves of the emperor’s displeasure as subsidiary to their own purpose: they therefore raised a great disturbance, endeavouring to eject him from his bishopric; for they had not the slightest hope of the prevalence of Arian doctrine, until they could effect his removal. The chief conspirators against him were Eusebius bishop of Nicomedia, Theognis of Nice, Maris of Chalcedon, Ursacius of Singidunum in Upper Mœsia, and Valens of Mursa in Upper Pannonia. These persons suborn by bribes certain of the Meletian heresy to fabricate various charges against Athanasius; and first they accuse him through the Meletians Ision, Eudæmon and Callinicus, of having ordered the Egyptians to pay a linen garment as tribute to the church at Alexandria. But this calumny was immediately refuted by Alypius and Macarius, presbyters of the Alexandrian church, who then happened to be at Nicomedia; they having convinced the emperor that these statements to the prejudice of Athanasius were false. Wherefore the emperor by letter severely censured his accusers, but desired Athanasius to come to him. The Eusebian faction anticipating his arrival, impute to him another crime of a still more serious nature than the former; charging Athanasius with plotting against his sovereign, and with having sent for treasonable purposes a chest full of gold to one Philumenus. When however the emperor had himself investigated this matter at Psamathia, which is in the suburbs of Nicomedia, and had found Athanasius innocent, he dismissed him with honour; and wrote with his own hand to the church at Alexandria to assure them that their bishop had been falsely accused. It would indeed have been both proper and desirable to have passed over in silence the subsequent attacks which the Eusebians made upon Athanasius, lest from these circumstances the church of Christ should be judged unfavourably of by those who are adverse to its interests. But since by having been already committed to writing, they have become known to everybody, I have on that account deemed it necessary to make a cursory allusion to these things, the particulars of which would require a special treatise. Whence these accusations originated, and the character of those who devised them, I shall now therefore compendiously state. Mareotes is a district of Alexandria, containing very many villages, and an abundant population, with numerous splendid churches, which are all under the jurisdiction of the bishop of Alexandria, and are subject to his city as parishes. There was in this region a person named Ischyras, who had been guilty of an act deserving of many deaths; for although he had never been admitted to holy orders, he had the audacity to assume the title of presbyter, and to exercise the sacred functions. But having been detected in his sacrilegious career, he made his escape thence and sought refuge in Nicomedia, where he implored the protection of Eusebius; who from his hatred to Athanasius, not only received him as a presbyter, but even promised to confer upon him the dignity of the prelacy, if he would frame an accusation against Athanasius, listening as a pretext for this to whatever stories Ischyras had invented. For he spread a report that he had suffered dreadfully from an assault made on him by Macarius, who (he affirmed) rushing furiously toward the altar, had overturned the table, and broken the mystical cup: he added also that he had burnt the sacred books. As a reward for this accusation, the Eusebian faction, as I have said, promised him a bishopric; foreseeing that if the charges against Macarius could be sustained, the onus would equally fall on Athanasius, under whose orders he would seem to have acted. But before they brought this forward, they devised another calumny full of the bitterest malignity, to which I shall now advert. Having by some means, I know not what, obtained a man’s hand; whether they themselves had murdered any one, and cut off his hand, or had severed it from some dead body, God knows both the mode, and the authors of the deed: but be that as it may, they publicly exposed it, as the hand of Arsenius a Meletian bishop, though they kept the alleged owner of it concealed. This hand, they asserted, had been made use of by Athanasius in the performance of certain magic arts; and therefore it was made the gravest ground of accusation which these calumniators had concerted against him: but as it generally happens, all those who entertained any pique against Athanasius, came forward at the same time with a variety of other charges. When the emperor was informed of these proceedings, he wrote to his nephew Dalmatius the censor, who then had his residence at Antioch in Syria, directing him to order the accused parties to be brought before him, and after due investigation, to inflict punishment on such as might be convicted. He also sent thither Eusebius and Theognis, that the case might be tried in their presence. When Athanasius knew that he was to be summoned before the censor, he sent into Egypt to make a strict search after Arsenius; for he ascertained that he was secreted there, although he was unable to apprehend him, because he often changed his place of concealment. Meanwhile the emperor suppressed the trial which was to have been held before the censor, on the following account.








Copyright ©1999-2018 e-Catholic2000.com