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A History Of The Church In Nine Books by Sozomen

ABOUT this time, Aetius broached his peculiar opinions concerning the Godhead. He was then deacon of the Church of Antioch, and had been ordained by Leontius. He maintained, like Arius, that the Son is a created being, that He was created out of nothing, and that He is dissimilar from the Father. As he was extremely addicted to contention, very bold in his assertions on theological subjects, and prone to have recourse to a very subtle mode of argumentation, he was accounted a heretic even by those who held the same sentiments as himself. When he had been, for this reason, excommunicated by the heterodox, he feigned a refusal to hold communion with them, because they had unjustly admitted Arius into communion after he had perjured himself by declaring to the Emperor Constantine that he maintained the doctrines of the Council of Nicæa. Such is the account given of Aetius.

While the emperor was in the West, intelligence arrived of the death of Leontius, bishop of Antioch; Eudoxius requested permission of the emperor to return to Syria, that he might superintend the affairs of that church. On permission being granted, he repaired with all speed to Antioch, and installed himself as bishop of that city without the sanction of George, bishop of Laodicea, of Mark, bishop of Arethusa, of the other Syrian bishops, or of any other bishops to whom the right of conferring ordination pertained. It was reported that he acted with the concurrence of the emperor, and of the eunuchs belonging to the palace, who, like Eudoxius, favoured the doctrines of Aetius, and believed that the Son is dissimilar from the Father. When Eudoxius found himself in possession of the church of Antioch, he ventured to uphold this heresy openly. He assembled in Antioch all those who held the same opinions as himself, among whom were Acacius, bishop of Cæsarea in Palestine, and Uranius, bishop of Tyre, and rejected the terms “of like substance” and “con-substantial” under the pretext that they had been denounced by the Western bishops. Hosius had certainly, with the view of arresting the contention excited by Valens, Ursacius, and Germanius, consented, though by compulsion, with some other bishops at Sirmium, to refrain from the use of the terms “con-substantial” and “of like substance,” because such terms do not occur in the Holy Scriptures, and are beyond the understanding of men. Eudoxius wrote to the bishops as if they all upheld what Hosius had admitted, and congratulated Valens, and Ursacius and Germanius, for having been instrumental in the introduction of orthodox doctrines into the West.








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