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A History Of The Church In Nine Books by Sozomen

THE reputation of Athanasius was, however, increased by the Arians and Meletians; for whatever stratagems they resorted to, they could never succeed in entangling him in their meshes. In the first place, Eusebius wrote to urge him to receive the Arians into communion, and threatened, should he refuse to do so, to ill-treat him. But as Athanasius would not yield to his representation, but maintained that those who had devised a heresy in opposition to truth, and who had been condemned by the council of Nice, ought not to be received into the church, Eusebius contrived to interest the emperor in favour of Arius, and so procured his recall from exile. I shall state a little further on all these events came to pass.

At this period, the bishops had another dispute among themselves, concerning the precise meaning of the term ‘consubstantial.’ Some thought that this term could not be admitted without blasphemy; that it implied the nonexistence of the Son of God; and that it involved the error of Montanus and Sabellius. Those, on the other hand, who defended the term, regarded their opponents as Greeks (or Pagans), and considered that their sentiments led to a plurality of gods. Eusebius, surnamed Pamphilus, and Eustathius, bishop of Antioch, took the lead in this dispute. They both confessed the Son of God has an existence (hypostasis) of his own, and yet they contended together as if they had misunderstood each other. Eustathius accused Eusebius of altering the doctrines ratified by the council of Nice, while the latter declared that he approved of all the Nicæan doctrines, and accused Eustathius of cleaving to the heresy of Sabellius.








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