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A History Of The Church In Seven Books by Socrates

MACEDONIUS after his ejection from Constantinople, could ill bear his condemnation; becoming restless therefore, he associated himself with the other faction that had deposed Acacius and his party at Seleucia. He accordingly sent a deputation to Sophronius and Eleusius, to encourage them to adhere to that creed which was first promulgated at Antioch, and afterwards confirmed at Seleucia, proposing to give it the counterfeit name of the Homoiousian creed. By this means he drew around him a great number of adherents, who from him are still denominated Macedonians. And although such as dissented from the Acacians at the Seleucian Synod had not previously used the term Homoiousios, yet from that period they distinctly asserted it. It is however insisted by some that this term did not originate with Macedonius, but was the invention rather of Marathonius, who a little before had been set over the church at Nicomedia; on which account the maintainers of this doctrine were also called Marathonians. To this party Eustathius joined himself, who for the reasons before stated had been ejected from the church at Sebastia. But when Macedonius began to deny the Divinity of the Holy Spirit in the Trinity, Eustathius said; “I can neither admit that the Holy Spirit is God, nor can I dare affirm him to be a creature.” For this reason those who hold the consubstantiality of the Son call these heretics Pneumatomachi. By what means these Macedonians became so numerous in the Hellespont, I shall state in its proper place. The Acacians meanwhile became extremely anxious that another Synod should be convened at Antioch, in consequence of having changed their mind respecting their former assertion of the likeness in all things of the Son to the Father. A small number of them therefore assembled in the following year, in the consulate of Taurus and Florentius, at Antioch in Syria, where the emperor was at that time residing, Euzoïus being bishop. A discussion was then renewed on some of those points which they had previously determined, in the course of which they declared that the term Homoios ought to be erased from the form of faith which had been published both at Rimini and Constantinople. Nay so completely did they unmask themselves, as to openly contend that the Son was altogether unlike the Father, not merely in relation to his essence, but even as it respected his will: asserting boldly also, as the Arians had already done, that he was made of nothing. Those in that city who favoured the heresy of Aëtius, gave their assent to this opinion; from which circumstance in addition to the general appellation of Arians, they were also termed Anomeans, and Exucontians, by those at Antioch who embraced the orthodox faith, who nevertheless were at that time divided among themselves on account of Meletius, as we have before observed. The Homoousians therefore having asked them, how they dared to affirm that the Son is unlike the Father, and has his existence from nothing, after having acknowledged him God of God in their former creed? they endeavoured to elude this objection by such fallacious subterfuges as these. “The expression ‘God of God,’ ” said they, “is to be understood in the same sense as the words of the apostle (1 Cor. 11:12), ‘but all things of God.’ Wherefore the Son is of God, as being one of these all things: and it is for this reason the words according to the Scriptures are added in the draught of the creed.” The author of this sophism was George bishop of Laodicea, who being unskilled in such phrases, was ignorant of the manner in which Origen had formerly analysed and explained these peculiar expressions of the apostle. But notwithstanding these evasive cavillings, their inability to bear the reproach and contumely they had drawn upon themselves, induced them to fall back upon the creed which they had before put forth at Constantinople; and so each one retired to his own district. George returning to Alexandria, resumed his authority over the churches there, Athanasius still not daring to appear. Those in that city who were opposed to his sentiments he persecuted; and conducting himself with great severity and cruelty, he rendered himself extremely odious to the people. At Jerusalem Herrenius was placed over the church instead of Cyril: we may also remark that Heraclius was ordained bishop there after him, to whom Hilary succeeded. At length however Cyril returned to Jerusalem, and was again invested with the presidency over the church there. But about the same time another heresy sprang up, which arose from the following circumstance.








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