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A History Of The Church In Nine Books by Sozomen

THE adherents of Hosius, in the mean time, assembled together, and declared that Athanasius was innocent, and that unjust machinations had been carried on against him by those who had been convened at Tyre. They likewise attested the innocence of Marcellus, who deposed that he did not hold the opinions which were attributed to him; of Asclepas, who proved by authentic documents that he had been re-established in his diocese by the decree of Eusebius Pamphilus and of many other bishops; and lastly, of Lucius, whose accusers had fled. They wrote to the people of each of their churches, commanding them to receive and to recognise their bishops. They stated that Gregory had not been appointed by them bishop of Alexandria; nor Basil, bishop of Ancyra; nor Quintin, bishop of Gaza; and that they had not received these men into communion, and did not even account them Christians. They deposed Theodore, bishop of Thrace; Narcissus, bishop of Irenopolis; Acacius, bishop of Cæsarea, in Palestine; Menophantes, bishop of Ephesus; Ursacius, bishop of Sigidon, in Mæsia; Valens, bishop of Mursia, in Pannonia; and George, bishop of Laodicea, although this latter had not attended the synod with the Eastern bishops. They ejected the above-named individuals from the priesthood and from communion, because they separated the Son from the substance of the Father, and had received those who had been deposed on account of their holding the Arian heresy, and had, moreover, promoted them to the highest offices in the service of God. They afterwards wrote to the bishops of every nation, commanding them to confirm these decrees, and to be of one mind on doctrinal subjects with themselves. They likewise compiled another formulary of faith, which was more copious than that of Nicæa, although the same signification was carefully preserved, and the precise terms, in many cases, retained. Hosius and Protogenes, who held the first rank among the Western bishops assembled at Sardica, fearing lest they should be suspected of making any innovations upon the doctrines of the Nicæan Council, wrote to Julius, and testified that they were firmly attached to these doctrines, but that they had endeavoured to convey their precise signification in more perspicuous language, in order that the Arians might not take advantage of the brevity of the original document, and affix some absurd meaning to the words in which it was couched.

When what I have related had been transacted by each party, the synod was dissolved, and the members returned to their respective homes. This synod was held during the consulate of Rufinus and Eusebius, and about eleven years after the death of Constantine. There were about three hundred bishops of cities in the West, and upwards of seventy Eastern bishops, among whom was Ischyrion, who had been appointed bishop of Mareota by the enemies of Athanasius.








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