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A History Of The Church In Nine Books by Sozomen

THREE years afterwards the bishops of the East sent to those of the West a formulary of faith, which, on account of its great length and copiousness, has been commonly termed μακρόστιλος ἔκθεσις. In this formulary no allusion is made to the substance of God, and those are excommunicated who maintain that the Son arose out of what had no previous existence, or that he is of another hypostasis and not of God, or that there was a time or an age in which he existed not. Eudoxius, bishop of Germanicia, Martyrius, and Macedonius presented this document, but it was rejected by the Western clergy, who declared that they felt fully satisfied with the doctrines established at Nicæa, and were not disposed to inquire further into contested matters.

After the Emperor Constans had requested his brother to reinstate Athanasius in his bishopric, and had found his application to be unavailing on account of the opposition of heretics who were hostile to this restoration; and when, moreover, Athanasius and Paul entreated Constans to assemble a council on account of the machinations which had been set on foot against orthodox doctrines; both the emperors were of opinion that the bishops of the East and of the West should be convened on a certain day at Sardica, a city of Illyria. The bishops of the East who had previously assembled at Philippopolis, a city of Thrace, wrote to the bishops of the West who had repaired to Sardica, that they would not join them, unless they would eject Athanasius from their assembly and from communion with them, he having, they said, been legally deposed. They afterwards went to Sardica, but declared they would not enter the church while those who had been deposed were admitted thither. The bishops of the West replied, that they never had ejected them, and that they would not do so now, particularly as Julius, bishop of Rome, after having investigated the case, had not condemned them, and as, besides, they were present and ready to justify themselves a second time of the offences imputed to them. These declarations, however, were of no avail, and served only to increase the mutual dissatisfaction of the two parties; and when at length the time they had appointed for the adjustment of their differences had expired, they assembled separately, and issued edicts of condemnation against each other. The Eastern bishops confirmed the sentences they had enacted against Athanasius, Paul, Marcellus, and Asclepas, and deposed Julius, bishop of Rome, because he had been the first to admit those who had been condemned into communion; and Hosius, the confessor, was also deposed, partly for the same reason, and partly because he was the friend of Paulinus and Eustathius, bishops of Antioch. Maximus, bishop of Treves, was deposed, because he had been among the first who had received Paul into communion, and had been the cause of his returning to Constantinople, and because he had excluded from communion the Eastern bishops who had repaired to Gaul. Besides the above, they likewise deposed Protogenes, bishop of Sardica and Gaudentius; the one because he favoured Marcellus, although he had previously condemned him, and the other because he had adopted a different line of conduct from that of Cyriacus, his predecessor, and had supported many individuals whom the former had deposed. After issuing these sentences, they made known to the bishops of every region, that they were not to hold communion with those who were deposed, and that they were not to write to them, nor to receive letters from them. They likewise commanded them to believe what was said concerning God in the formulary which they subjoined to their letter, and in which no mention was made of the term “consubstantial,” but in which those were excommunicated who said there are three Gods, or that Christ is not God, or that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost form but one and the same Person, or that the Son is unbegotten, or that there was a time or an age in which He existed not.








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