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tence you disregard as of small consequence or importa
What, I beseech you, must the Jews and the Pagans conceive of you and of your religion? And what do the holy angels think, who look down upon your contentions ? Those blessed and compassionate spirits pity you, and think you mere children. But when from contending you proceed to beating your fellow-servants, to persecuting and destroying, they consider you as most malicious and wicked children; their pity is changed into indignation, and they would strike you dead, if the Supreme Governor did not stay their hand, and remind them that such disorders must needs arise, and shall one day be rectified.'
So said this Unknown ; but behold the consequence! The Consubstantialists called him an Arian, and the Arians called him a Consubstantialist.
The Nicene Fathers having anathematized the Arians, the emperor seconded them, and banished Arius and the bishops who sided with him, and ordered the books of Arius to be burnt; and added, —- If any man be found to have concealed a copy of those books, and not to have instantly produced it and thrown it into the fire, he shall be put to death. The Lord be with you all!' Socrat. i.
Constantine's conduct was variable afterwards; for he certainly understood not this perplexed and obscure controversy, and he acted as he was influenced at different times by the ecclesiastics of each party, who accused one another not only of heterodoxy, but of being enemies to the emperor, and of other faults and misdemeanours.
The creed of Arius, which he delivered to Constantine, and
upon which the emperor ordered him to be recalled and restored, is thus :
• We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, and in our Lord Jesus Christ his Son, begotten of him before all ages, God the Word, by whom all things were made in heaven and in earth, who descended and was incarnate, suffered, arose, and ascended into heaven, and will come again to judge the living and the dead. We believe in the Holy Ghost, the resurrection of the flesh, the life to come,
and the kingdom of heaven, and in one catholic Church of God dispersed over all the earth.
This faith we have received from the holy Gospels, in which the Lord says to his disciples, Go and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. If we do not believe these things, and truly acknowledge the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, as the whole Catholic Church and the Scriptures teach, to which we yield an assent in all things, God is our judge both now and at the day of judgment,' &c. Socr. i. 26. Soz. ii. 27.
Arius died suddenly, A. D. 336.; upon which the opinions were various.
Some ascribed it to a violent distemper.
Others to his excess of joy, at finding his affairs in a good situation.
Others called it a judgment.
Lastly, the Arians said that his adversaries had killed him by some wicked arts, yontelais ; and surely it is not impossible that amongst his numerous enemies there might be one who would not scruple to give him a dose, and to send him out of the way.
Athanasius, as we may suppose, accounted it an unquestionable miracle, and a divine judgment upon him for perjury; and uses the same words in which the Scriptures describe the death of Judas. 'Αλλ' ευθυς έξελθών, ώσπερ δίκην δες, κατέπεσε και πρηνής γενόμενος, ελάκησε μέσος. • Verum illico egressus, tanquam pænas luens, corruit; et pronus jacens crepuit medius.' Apud Sozom. ii. 30.
George Valla, a professor of humanity, died in the same manner as was reported of Arius : Dum corpori vacaturus excrementa cibi dejecit, animam etiam morte subitaria exhalavit.' Such accidents befall one as well as another. See Bayle's Reflections upon it, Dict. Valla.
It is thought by Valesius, that the Arius who was reconciled to the church at the council of Jerusalem in 335, was not the more celebrated Arius, but another ecclesiastic of the same name, and of the same party ; but this opinion is pretty generally rejected. See the notes on Socr. i. 33. and Soz. ii. 30. and Bayle's Dict. Arius. E.
• Alexander, bishop of Constantinople, refused to têi ceive Arius to communion, though the emperor had order. ed him to do it, and though the Arian bishops were deter. mined to conduct Arius to church in spite of Alexander. In this extremity, not knowing how to act a consistent part, and to proceed as he had begun, he shut himself up, as history says, in the church, and there prayed most de voutly to God, not that he himself might be instructed what he should think of these things, and how he should act, or that Arius might be converted from his errors; but his prayer was, that if the opinions of Arius were true, he himself might not live to see the day when they were to be discussed ; and that if he himself was orthodox, Arius, who had been the cause of so many evils, might be punished for his impiety... A prayer which had so little charity in it, and by which it appeared that the prelate was more solicitous for his own honour than for the truth, was however successful, and Arius died, either on that day, or on the day following.' Le Clerc, Bibl. Univ. X. 474.
But perhaps the story was made by the Athanasians after the event, and the bishop did not pray in this strange
Nothing had been decreed by the Nicene council concerning the nature of the Holy Ghost, and no controversy was raised on that subject, till Macedonius, bishop of Constantinople, taught that the Holy Ghost was a creature. They who afterwards held that notion were called Macedonians, or Marathonians, from one Marathonius, bishop of Nicomedia. The Arians were probably of the same opinion.
The Semiarians assembled a council at Seleucia, and drew up a creed, in these words:
“We acknowledge and believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of things visible and invisible : We believe also in our Lord Jesus Christ, his Son, begotten of him without passionbefore all ages, God the Word, the only begotten of God, (who is) Light, Life, Truth, and Wisdom, by whom all things
were made, in heaven and upon earth, visible and invisible. We believe that in the end of ages, to abolish sin, he assumed flesh of the holy Virgin Mary, and became man, and suffered for our offences, and rose again, and was taken up into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of the Father, and shall come again with glory to judge the living and the dead. We believe also in the Holy Ghost, which our Lord and Saviour called a Paraclete y, and promised to send, and did send to his disciples after his departure, by which also he sanctifies all those in the church who believe, and are baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.' Socr. ii. 40.
Socrates, who was a candid man, seems to approve of this creed, and says; · Ego vero affirmo, si ab initio de Nicæna fide ita sensissent tum ii qui ante istos vixerant, tum qui illos subsecuti sunt, cessaturam fuisse quæstionem omnem et contentionem, nec violentum et rationis expertem tumultum in ecclesia fuisse valiturum. Sed quemadmodum ista se habeant, prudentioribus judicandum relinquo.'
The Nicene creed : • We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of all things visible and invisible; and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, begotten and only begotten of the Father; that is, of the substance of the Father?, God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father, by whom all things were made both in heaven and in earth : who for us men, and for our salvation, descended and was incarnate, and was made man, suffered, and rose again the third day, ascended into the heavens, and will come to judge the living and the dead. (We believe) also in the Holy Ghost.
• The holy Catholic and Apostolic Church anathematizes those who say that there was a time when the Son of God was not, and that before he was begotten he was not,
y Comforter,' or, · Advocate.'
of, or from, or out of, the substance of he Father : šx rīs curios του Πατρός. VOL. JI.
and that he was made out of nothing, or out of another substance or essence, and is created, or changeable, or alterable.' Apud Socr. i. 8.
Such was the Nicene creed, as it stood originally, and before it was interpolated by subsequent councils. Our church hath dropped the anathematizing clauses at the end, and one cannot help wishing that the Nicene Fathers had done the same. The Christians in times following were perpetually making anathematisms, even upon the slightest and poorest occasions; and it is really a wonder that they did not at last insert in their Litanies, - We beseech thee to curse and confound the Pelagians, Semipelagians, Nestorians, Eutychians, Monothelites, Jacobites, Iconoclasts, and all heretics and schismatics.'
ABOUT the time of Constantine, Christian festivals and holy-days began to take place of Pagan solemnities.
THE COUNCIL of Arles was held A. D. 314. on account of the Donatists. The tenth canon of this council exhorts men, whose wives had been convicted of adultery, not to marry again till the adultress were dead. An unreasonable request.
WHEN Constantine was about to make war with Lici. nius, there was a wonderful apparition, says Eusebius; several regiments of Constantine's soldiers were seen at noon day marching, as victorious, through the cities belonging to Licinius. Eusebius however had the discretion to introduce the story with a Paris, they say,' and took (care, by so doing, to affirm nothing that was not true; for without question there were people enough who said so. Vit. Const. ii. 6. But in his Life of Constantine he is to be considered as an orator and a panegyrist, rather than as an historian.
Nazarius, who was a Pagan, in his Panegyric of Constantine, mentions such a miracle of an army descending from heaven to assist that prince against Maxentius. In ore denique est omnium Galliarum, exercitus visos, qui se divinitus missos præ se ferebant – Illi cælo lapsi, illi divinitus missi gloriabantur quod tibi militabant.