[On Councils held at Ariminum and Seleucia]

Chapter 4.


26. YET so it is, they have convened successive Councils [Note 1] against that Ecumenical One, and are not yet tired [Note 2]. After {92} the Nicene, the Eusebians had been deposed; however, in course of time they intruded themselves without shame upon the Churches, and began to plot against the Bishops who withstood them, and to place in the sees men of their own heresy instead. Thus they thought to be able to hold Councils at their pleasure, as having those who concurred with them, and whom they had ordained on purpose for this very object. Accordingly, they assemble at Jerusalem [Note 3], and there they write thus:—

"The Holy Council assembled in Jerusalem by the grace of God, to the Church of God which is in Alexandria, and to all throughout Egypt, Thebais, Libya, and Pentapolis, also to the Bishops, Priests, and Deacons throughout the world, health in the Lord.

"To all of us who have come together into one place from different provinces, to the great celebration, which we have held at the consecration of the Saviour's Martyry [Note 4], {93 | ED. BEN. § 21.} built in honour of God the King of all, and of His Christ, by the zeal of the most religious Emperor Constantine, the grace of Christ provided an increase of gratification, in the conduct of that most religious Emperor himself, who, by letters of his own, to the banishing from the Church of God of all jealousy, and driving far away all slander, which has caused division among the members of Christ for a long season, urged us, what was our duty, with open and peaceable mind to receive Arius and his friends, whom for a while jealousy which hates virtue had contrived to expel from the Church. And the most religious Emperor bore testimony in their behalf by his letter to the exactness of their faith, which, after inquiry of them, and personal communication with them by word of mouth, he acknowledged and made known to us, subjoining to his own letters their orthodox teaching in writing [Note 5], which we all confess to be sound and ecclesiastical. And he reasonably recommended that they should be received and united to the Church of God, as you will know yourselves from the transcript of the same Epistle, which we have transmitted to your reverences. We believe that yourselves also, as if recovering the very {94} members of your own body, will experience great joy and gladness, in acknowledging and recovering your own bowels, your own brethren and fathers; since not only the Presbyters who are friends of Arius are given back to you, but also the whole Christian people and the entire multitude, which on occasion of the aforesaid men have a long time been in dissension among you. Moreover it were fitting, now that you know for certain what has passed, and that the men have communicated with us and have been received by so Holy a Council, that you should with all readiness hail this your coalition and peace with your own members, specially seeing that the articles of the faith which they have published preserve indisputable the universally confessed apostolical tradition and teaching."

27. This was the first of their Councils, and in it they were prompt in divulging their purpose, and could not conceal it. For when, after the expulsion of Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria, they said they had banished all jealousy, and went on to recommend the reception of Arius and his friends, they showed that their measures, whether against Athanasius himself then, or against all the other protesting Bishops before, had for their object to restore the Arians, and to introduce the heresy into the Church. However, although they had sanctioned in this Council all Arius's malignity, and had given their directions to receive his party into communion, of which they had set the example, yet feeling that even now they had not done enough for their purpose, they assembled a Council at Antioch under colour of the so-called Dedication [Note 6]; and, {95 | ED. BEN. § 21-22.} since they were in general and lasting odium for their heresy, they published divers letters, some of this sort and some of that; and this is what they wrote in one of them:—

First Confession, at Antioch

"We have not been followers of Arius,—how, Bishops as we are, could we follow a Presbyter?—nor did we receive any other faith beside that which has been handed down from the beginning [Note 7]. But after taking on ourselves to examine and to verify his faith, we have admitted him rather than follow him; as you will understand from our present avowals.

"For we have been taught from the first, to believe in one God, the God of the Universe, the Framer and Providence of all things both intellectual and sensible.

"And in One Son of God, Only-begotten, existing before all ages, and being with the Father who begat Him, by whom all things were made, both visible and invisible, who in the last days according to the good pleasure of the Father came down, and took flesh of the Virgin, and fulfilled all His Father's will; and suffered and rose again, and ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father, and cometh again to judge {96} quick and dead, and remaineth King and God unto all ages.

"And we believe also in the Holy Ghost; and if it be necessary to add, we believe the doctrine of the resurrection of the flesh, and the life everlasting."

28. Here follows what they published next at the same Dedication in another Epistle, being dissatisfied with the first, and devising something newer and fuller:—

Second Confession [Note 8], at Antioch

"We believe, conformably to the evangelical and apostolical tradition, in One God, the Father Almighty, the Framer, and Maker, and Providence of the Universe, from whom are all things.

"And in One Lord Jesus Christ, His Son, the Only-begotten God, through whom are all things, who was begotten before all ages from the Father, God from God, whole from whole [Note 9], sole from sole, perfect from perfect, King {97 | ED. BEN. § 23.} from King, Lord from Lord, Living Word, Living Wisdom, true Light, Way, Truth, Resurrection, Shepherd, Door, both unalterable and unchangeable, unvarying [Note 10] Image of the Godhead, Substance, Will, Power, and Glory of the Father; the First-born of every creature, who was in the beginning with God, God the Word, as it is written in the Gospel, And the Word was God; by whom all things were made, and in whom all things consist; who in the last days descended from above, and was born of a Virgin according to the Scriptures, and was made Man, Mediator between God and man, and Apostle of our faith, and Prince of life, as He says, I came down from heaven, not to do Mine own will, but the will of Him that sent Me; who suffered for us and rose again on the third day, and ascended into heaven, and sat down on the right hand of the Father, and is coming again with glory and power, to judge quick and dead.

"And in the Holy Ghost, who is given to those who believe, for comfort, and sanctification, and perfection, as also our Lord Jesus Christ enjoined His disciples, saying, Go ye, teach all nations, baptising them in the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost; of Father as being truly Father, and of Son as being truly Son, and of the Holy Ghost as being truly Holy Ghost, the names not being given without meaning or effect, but denoting accurately the peculiar subsistence, rank, and glory of each that is named, so that they are three in subsistence, and in agreement one [Note 11]. {98}

"Holding then this faith, and holding it in the presence of God and Christ, from beginning to end, we anathematise every heretical heterodoxy [Note 12]. And if any teaches, beside the sound and right faith of the Scriptures, that time, or season, or age [Note 13], either is or has taken place before the generation of the Son, be he anathema. Or if any one says, that the Son is a creature, as one of the creatures, or an offspring as one of the offsprings, or a work as one of the works, and does not hold the aforesaid articles one after another, as the divine Scriptures have delivered [Note 14], or if he teaches or preaches beside what we have received, be he anathema. For all that has been delivered in the divine Scriptures, whether by Prophets or Apostles, do we truly and conscientiously both believe and follow."

29. And one Theophronius [Note 15], Bishop of Tyana, put forth in their presence the following statement of his personal faith. And they subscribed it, accepting the faith of this man:— {99 | ED. BEN. § 23-25.}

Third Confession, at Antioch

"God knows, whom I call as a witness upon my soul, that so I believe:—in God the Father Almighty, the Creator and Maker of the Universe, from whom are all things:

"And in His Son, the Only-begotten God, Word, Power, and Wisdom, our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things; who was begotten from the Father before the ages, perfect God from perfect God, who was with God in subsistence, and in the last days descended, and was born of the Virgin according to the Scriptures, and was made man, and suffered, and rose again from the dead, and ascended into the heavens, and sat down on the right hand of His Father, and cometh again with glory and power to judge quick and dead, and remaineth for ever:

"And in the Holy Ghost, the Paraclete, the Spirit of Truth, which also God promised by his Prophet to pour out upon His Servants, and the Lord promised to send to His disciples: which also He sent, as the Acts of the Apostles witness.

"But if any one teaches, or holds in his mind, aught beside this faith, be he anathema; or holds with Marcellus of Ancyra, or Sabellius, or Paul of Samosata, be he anathema, both himself and those who communicate with him."

90. Ninety Bishops met at the Dedication under the Consulate of Marcellinus and Probinus, in the 14th of the Indiction [Note 16], Constantius the most irreligious being present. Having thus conducted matters at Antioch at the Dedication, thinking that their composition was deficient still, {100} and not altogether clear as to their own view of the doctrine, again they draw up afresh another formulary, after a few months, professedly concerning the faith, and despatch Narcissus, Maris, Theodorus, and Mark into Gaul [Note 17]. And they, as being sent from the Council, deliver the following document to Constans Augustus [Note 18] of blessed memory, and to all who were there:—

Fourth Confession [Note 19], at Antioch

"We believe in One God, the Father Almighty, Creator {101 | ED. BEN. § 25.} and Maker of all things; from whom all fatherhood in heaven and on earth is named.

"And in His Only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, who before all ages was begotten from the Father, God from God, Light from Light, through whom all things were made in the heavens and on the earth, visible and invisible, being Word, and Wisdom, and Power, and Life, and True Light; who in the last days was made man for us, and was born of the Holy Virgin; who was crucified, and dead, and buried, and who rose again from the dead the third day, and was taken up into heaven, and sat down on the right hand of the Father; and is coming at the end of the world, to judge quick and dead, and to render to every one according to his works; whose Kingdom endures indissolubly into infinite ages; for He shall be seated on the right hand of the Father, not only in this world but in that which is to come.

"And in the Holy Ghost, that is, the Paraclete; whom, having promised to the Apostles, He sent forth after His ascension into heaven, to teach them and to remind them of all things; through whom also shall be sanctified the souls of those who sincerely believe in Him.

"But those who say, that the Son was from nothing, or from other subsistence and not from God, and, there was time when He was not, the Catholic Church regards as aliens." [Note 20] {102}

31. As if dissatisfied with this, they hold their meeting again after three years, and dispatch Eudoxius, Martyrius, and Macedonius of Cilicia, and some others with them, to the parts of Italy, to carry with them a faith written at great length, with numerous additions over and above those which had gone before. They went abroad with these, as if they had discovered something new.

Fifth Confession or Macrostich

"We believe in one God the Father Almighty, the Creator and Maker of all things, from whom all fatherhood in heaven and on earth is named.

"And in His Only-begotten Son our Lord Jesus Christ, who before all ages was begotten from the Father, God from God, Light from Light, by whom all things were made, in heaven and on the earth, visible and invisible, being Word, and Wisdom, and Power, and Life, and True Light, who in the last days was made man for us, and was born of the Holy Virgin, crucified and dead and buried, and who rose again from the dead the third day, and was taken up into heaven, and sat down on the right hand of the Father, and is coming at the end of the world to judge quick and dead, and to render to every one according to his works, whose Kingdom endures unceasingly unto infinite ages; for He sitteth on the right hand of the Father not only in this age, but also in that which is to come.

"And we believe in the Holy Ghost, that is, the Paraclete, whom, having promised to the Apostles, He sent forth after the ascension into heaven, to teach them and to remind them of all things: through whom also shall be sanctified the souls of those who sincerely believe in Him.

"But those who say, (1) that the Son was from nothing, or from other subsistence and not from God; (2) and that there was a time or age when He was not, the Catholic {103 | ED. BEN. § 26.} and Holy Church regards as aliens. Likewise those who say, (3) that there are three Gods; (4) or that Christ is not God; (5) or that before the ages He was neither Christ nor Son of God; (6) or that Father and Son, or Holy Ghost, are the same; (7) or that the Son is Ingenerate; (8) or that the Father generated the Son, not by choice or will; the Holy and Catholic Church anathematises.

"(1.) For it is not safe to say either that the Son is from nothing, (since this is nowhere spoken of Him in divinely inspired Scripture,) or again of any other subsistence before existing beside the Father, but from God alone do we define Him genuinely to be generated. For the divine Word teaches that the Ingenerate and Unoriginate, the Father of Christ, is One [Note 21].

"(2.) Nor may we, adopting the hazardous position, 'There was once when He was not,' from unscriptural sources, imagine any interval of time prior to Him, but only that God generated Him apart from time; for through Him both times and ages came into being. Yet we must not consider the Son to be co-unoriginate and co-ingenerate with the Father; for no one can be properly called father or son of one who is co-unoriginate and co-ingenerate with him [Note 22]. But we acknowledge that the Father, who alone is Unoriginate and Ingenerate, hath generated inconceivably and incomprehensibly; and that the Son hath been generated before ages, and in no wise {104} is ingenerate Himself like the Father, but had as His origin the Father who generated Him; for the Head of Christ is God.

"(3.) Nor again, in confessing three [Note 23] realities and three Persons of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost according to the Scriptures, do we therefore make Gods three; since we acknowledge the Self-complete and Ingenerate and Unoriginate and Invisible God to be one only, the God and Father of the Only-begotten, which Father alone hath being from Himself, and alone vouchsafes this to all others bountifully.

"(4.) Nor again in saying that the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ is one only God, the only Ingenerate; do we therefore deny that Christ also is God before ages: as the disciples of Paul of Samosata, who say that after the incarnation He was by advance [Note 24] made God, from being by nature a mere man. For we acknowledge, that though He be subordinate to His Father and God, yet, being before ages begotten of God, He is God according to nature perfect and true, and not first man and then God, but first God and then becoming man for us, yet never having ceased to be God [Note 25].

"(5.) We abhor besides and anathematise those who make a pretence of saying that He is but the mere Word of God and non-existent, having His being in another,—now as if pronounced, as some speak, now as mental [Note 26],—holding {105 | ED. BEN. § 26.} that He was not Christ or Son of God or Mediator or Image of God before ages; but that He first became Christ and Son of God when He took our flesh from the Virgin, not four hundred years since. For they will have it that then Christ began His Kingdom, and that it will have an end after the consummation of all and the judgment [Note 27]. Such are the disciples of Marcellus and Scotinus [Note 28] of Galatian Ancyra, who, equally with Jews, negative Christ's existence before ages, and His Godhead, and unending Kingdom, upon pretence of supporting the divine Monarchy. We, on the contrary, regard Him not as simply God's pronounced or mental word, but as Living God and Word, existing in Himself, and Son of God and Christ; being and abiding with His Father before ages, and that not in foreknowledge only, and ministering to Him for the entire framing whether of things visible or invisible. For He it is to whom the Father said, Let us make man in Our image, after Our likeness, who also was seen in His own Person [Note 29] by the patriarchs, gave the law, spoke by the {106} Prophets, and at last, became man, and manifested His own Father to all men, and reigns to never-ending ages. For Christ has taken no recent dignity, but we have believed Him to be perfect from the first, and like in all things to the Father [Note 30].

"(6.) And those who say that the Father and Son and Holy Ghost are the same, and impiously understand the Three Names of one and the same Reality and Person, we justly forbid the Church, because they suppose the illimitable and impassible Father to be limitable withal and passible through His becoming man: for such are they whom the Latins call the Patropassians, and we Sabellians. For we acknowledge that the Father who sent, remained in His own state of unchangeable Godhead, and that Christ who was sent fulfilled the economy of the Incarnation.

"(7.) And at the same time those who irreverently say that the Son was generated, not by choice or will, thus encompassing God with a necessity which excludes choice and purpose, so that He begat the Son unwillingly, we account as most impious and alien to the Church; in that they have dared to define such things concerning God, against the commonly received notions concerning him, nay, beside the purport of divinely inspired Scripture. For we, knowing that God is absolute and sovereign over Himself, have a religious understanding that He generated the Son voluntarily and freely; yet, as we have a reverent belief in the Son's words concerning Himself, The Lord hath created Me a beginning of His ways for His works, we do not understand Him to be generated, like the creatures or works which through Him came into {107 | ED. BEN. § 26.} being. For it is impious and alien to the ecclesiastical faith to compare the Creator with handiworks created by Him, and to think that He has the same manner of birth with the rest. For divine Scripture teaches us really and truly that the Only-begotten Son was generated sole and solely [Note 31].

"(8.) Yet [Note 32], in saying that the Son is in Himself, and both lives and exists, like the Father, we do not on that account separate Him from the Father, imagining place and interval between their union in the way of bodies. For we believe that they are united with each other without any intermediate or interval, and that they exist inseparably; all the Father embosoming the Son, and all the Son adhering and clinging to the Father, and alone resting on the Father's breast continually. Believing then in the all-perfect Triad, the most Holy, that is, in the Father, and in the Son, and in the Holy Ghost, and calling the Father God, and the Son God, yet we confess in them, not two Gods, but one dignity of Godhead, and one exact harmony of dominion, the only Father being Head over the whole universe wholly and over the Son Himself; and the Son subordinated to the Father, but, excepting Him, ruling over all things after Him which through Himself have come to be, {108} and bestowing the grace of the Holy Ghost bountifully to the holy at the Father's will. For that such is the account of the Divine Monarchy relatively towards Christ, the sacred oracles have delivered to us.

"Thus much, in addition to the faith before published in epitome, we have been compelled to draw forth at greater length, not in any officious display, but to clear away all hostile suspicion concerning our opinions, among those who are ignorant of what we really hold: and that all in the West may know, both the audacity of the slanders of the heterodox, and as to the Orientals, their Christian and ecclesiastical spirit, to which the divinely inspired Scriptures readily bear witness, when readers are not perverse."

32. However, they did not stand even to this; for again at Sirmium [Note 33] they met together  [Note 34] against Photinus [Note 35], and {109 | ED. BEN. § 26-27.} there composed a Faith again, not drawn out into such length, nor so diffuse; but, subtracting the greater part and adding something else, as if they listened to the suggestions of others, they wrote as follows:—

Sixth Confession at Sirmium, (first Sirmian)

"We believe in One God, the Father Almighty, the Creator and Maker of all things, from whom the whole fatherhood in heaven and earth is named.

"And in His Only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus the Christ, who before all the ages was begotten from the Father, God from God, Light from Light, by whom all things were made, in heaven and on the earth, visible and invisible, being Word and Wisdom, and True Light and Life, who in the last days was made man for us, and was {110} born of the Holy Virgin, and crucified and dead and buried, and rose again from the dead the third day, and was taken up into heaven, and sat down on the right hand of the Father, and is coming at the end of the world, to judge quick and dead, and to render to every one according to his works; whose Kingdom ceases not, but endures unto the infinite ages; for He shall sit on the right hand of the Father, not only in this age, but also in that which is to come.

"And in the Holy Ghost, that is, the Paraclete; whom having promised to the Apostles to send forth after His ascension into heaven, to teach and to remind them of all things, He did send; through whom also are sanctified the souls of those who sincerely believe in Him.

"(1.) But those who say that the Son was from nothing, or from other subsistence and not from God, and that there was time or age when He was not, the Holy and Catholic Church regards as aliens.

"(2.) Again we say, Whosoever says that the Father and the Son are two Gods, be he anathema [Note 36].

"(3.) And whosoever, saying that Christ is God, before ages Son of God, does not confess that He subserved the Father for the framing of the universe, be he anathema [Note 37]. {111 | ED. BEN. § 27.}

"(4.) Whosoever presumes to say that the Ingenerate, or a part of Him, was born of Mary, be he anathema.

"(5.) Whosoever says that according to foreknowledge the Son is before Mary, and not that, generated from the Father before ages, He was with God, and that through Him all things were brought into being, be he anathema.

"(6.) Whosoever shall pretend that the substance of God was enlarged or contracted, be he anathema.

"(7.) Whosoever shall say that the substance of God being enlarged made the Son, or shall name the enlargement of His substance the Son, be he anathema.

"(8.) Whosoever calls the Son of God the mental or pronounced Word [Note 38], be he anathema.

"(9.) Whosoever says that the Son from Mary is man only, be he anathema.

"(10.) Whosoever, speaking of Him who is from Mary God and man, thereby means God the Ingenerate [Note 39], be he anathema.

"(11.) Whosoever shall understand judaically as a denial of the Only-begotten, before ages God, the words I am the First and I am the Last and besides Me there is no God, which are said for the denial of idols and of gods that are not, be he anathema [Note 40].

"(12.) Whosoever, because it is said The Word was made flesh, shall consider that the Word was changed into flesh, or shall say that He underwent an alteration in taking flesh, be he anathema [Note 40]. {112}

"(13.) Whosoever, as hearing the Only-begotten Son of God was crucified, shall say that His Godhead underwent corruption, or passion, or alteration, or diminution, or destruction, be he anathema.

"(14.) Whosoever shall say that Let Us make man was not said by the Father to the Son, but by God to Himself, be he anathema [Note 41].

"(15.) Whosoever shall say that Abraham saw, not the Son, but the Ingenerate God or part of Him, be he anathema.

"(16.) Whosoever shall say that with Jacob, not the Son as man, but the Ingenerate God or part of Him, did wrestle, be he anathema.

"(17.) Whosoever shall explain, The Lord rained fire from the Lord, not of the Father and the Son, and says that He rained from Himself, be he anathema. For the Son who is Lord rained from the Father who is Lord.

"(18.) Whosoever hearing that the Father is Lord and the Son Lord and the Father and Son Lord, for there is Lord from Lord, says there are two Gods, be he anathema. For we do not rank the Son with the Father, but we consider Him as subordinate to the Father; for He did not descend upon Sodom without the Father's will, nor did He rain from Himself, but from the Lord, that is, the Father authorising it. Nor is He of Himself set down on the right hand, but He hears the Father saying, Sit Thou on My right hand.

"(19.) Whosoever says that the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost are one Person, be he anathema. {113 | ED. BEN. § 27.}

"(20.) Whosoever, speaking of the Holy Ghost as Paraclete, shall speak of the Ingenerate God, be he anathema.

"(21.) Whosoever shall deny, what the Lord taught us, that the Paraclete is other than the Son, for He hath said, And another Paraclete shall the Father send to you whom I will ask, be he anathema.

"(22.) Whosoever shall say that the Holy Ghost is part of the Father or of the Son, be he anathema.

"(23.) Whosoever shall say that the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost be three Gods, be he anathema.

"(24.) Whosoever shall say that the Son of God at the will of God came into being, as one of the things made, be he anathema.

"(25.) Whosoever shall say that the Son was generated, the Father not willing [Note 42] it, be he anathema. For not by compulsion, forced by physical necessity, did the Father, as unwilling, generate the Son, but He both willed, and, after generating Him from Himself apart from time and any affection, manifested Him.

"(26.) Whosoever shall say that the Son is ingenerate and unoriginate, as if speaking of two unoriginate and two ingenerate, and making two Gods, be he anathema. For the Son is the Head, that is, the origin of all: and God is the Head, that is, the origin of Christ; for thus to one unoriginate origin of the universe do we religiously refer all things through the Son.

"(27.) And in accurate delineation of the idea of Christianity we say this again: Whosoever shall not confess that Christ is God, Son of God, and before ages, and that He subserved the Father in the framing of the Universe, but shall say that from the time that He was born of Mary, from thence He was called Christ and Son, and took an origin of being God, be he anathema." {114}

33. Casting aside the whole of this, as if they had discovered something better, they propound another Faith, and write at Sirmium in Latin what is here translated into Greek [Note 43].

Seventh Confession, at Sirmium, (second Sirmian)

"Whereas it has seemed good that there should be some consideration concerning faith, all points have been carefully investigated and discussed at Sirmium in the presence of Valens, and Ursacius, and Germinius, and the rest.

"It is held for certain that there is one God, the Father Almighty, as also is preached in all the world.

"And His one Only-begotten Son our Lord Jesus Christ, generated from Him before the ages; and that we may not speak of two Gods, since the Lord Himself has said, I go to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God. On this account He is God of all, as also the Apostle has taught: Is He God of the Jews only, is He not also of the Gentiles? yes of the Gentiles also: since there is one God who shall justify the circumcision from faith, and the uncircumcision through faith; and everything else agrees and has no ambiguity.

"But since many persons are disturbed by questions concerning what is called in Latin 'Substantia,' but in Greek 'Usia,' that is, to make it understood more exactly, as to 'Consubstantial,' or what is called, 'Like {115 | ED. BEN. § 28.} in substance,' [Note 44] there ought to be no mention of any of these at all, nor exposition of them in the Church, for this reason and for this consideration, that in divine Scripture nothing is written about them, and that they are above men's knowledge and above men's understanding; and because no one can declare the Son's generation, as it is written, Who shall declare His generation? for it is plain that the Father only knows how He generated the Son, and again the Son how He has been generated by the Father. And to none can it be a question that the Father is greater: for no one can doubt that the Father is greater in honour and dignity and Godhead, and in the very name of the Father, the Son Himself testifying, The Father that sent Me is greater than I. And no one is ignorant that it is a Catholic doctrine, that there are two Persons [Note 45] of Father and Son, and that the Father is greater, and the Son subordinated to the Father together with all things which the Father subordinated to the Son, and that the Father has no origin, and is invisible, and immortal, and impassible; but that the Son has been generated from the Father, God from God, Light from Light, and that His generation, as aforesaid, no one knows, but the Father only. And that the Son Himself and our Lord and God, took flesh, that is, a body, that is, from Mary the Virgin, as the Angel heralded beforehand; and as all the Scriptures teach, and especially the Apostle himself, the doctor of the Gentiles, Christ took manhood [Note 46] of Mary the Virgin, through which He suffered. And the whole faith is summed up, and secured in this, that a Triad should ever be preserved, as we read in the Gospel, Go ye and baptise all the nations in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. And entire and perfect is the number of the Triad; but the Paraclete, the Holy Ghost, sent forth {116} through the Son came according to the promise, that He might teach and sanctify the Apostles and all believers." [Note 47]

34. After drawing up this, and then becoming dissatisfied, they composed the faith which to their shame they paraded with "the Consulate." And, as is their wont, condemning this also, they caused Martinian the notary to seize it from the parties who had the copies of it [Note 48]. And having got the Emperor Constantius to put forth an edict against it, they form another dogma afresh, and with the addition of certain expressions, after their way, they write thus in Isauria.

Ninth Confession, at Seleucia (vid. supr. p. 71)

We refuse not to publish the authentic Faith published {117 | ED. BEN. § 29.} at the Dedication at Antioch [Note 49]; though certainly our Fathers at the time met together for a particular subject under investigation. But since One-in-substance, and Like-in-substance, have troubled many persons in times past and up to this day, and since moreover some are said recently to have devised the Son's Unlikeness to the Father, on their account we reject "One-in-substance" and "Like-in-substance," as alien to the Scriptures, but "Unlike" we anathematise, and account all who profess it as aliens from the Church. But the "Likeness" of the Son to the Father, we distinctly confess according to the Apostle, who says of the Son, Who is the Image of the Invisible God.

And we confess and believe in one God, the Father Almighty, the maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible.

And we believe also in our Lord Jesus Christ, His Son, generated from Him impassibly before all the ages, God the Word, God from God, Only-begotten, Light, Life, Truth, Wisdom, Power, through whom all things were made, in the heavens and on the earth, whether visible or invisible. He, as we believe, at the end of the world, for the abolition of sin, took flesh of the Holy Virgin, and was made man, and suffered for our sins, and rose again, and was taken up into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father, and is coming again in glory, to judge quick and dead. {118}

We believe also in the Holy Ghost, which our Saviour and Lord named Paraclete, having promised to send Him to the disciples after His own departure, as He did send; through whom He sanctifieth all in the Church who believe and are baptised in the name of Father and Son and Holy Ghost.

But those who preach aught besides this Faith the Catholic Church regards as aliens. And that this faith is the equivalent of that which was published lately at Sirmium, under sanction of his religiousness the Emperor, is plain to all who read it.

35. Having written thus in Isauria, they went up to Constantinople [Note 50], and there, as if dissatisfied, they changed it, as is their wont, and, with certain additions against {119 | ED. BEN. § 29-30.} using even "Subsistence" of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, they transmitted it to the Council at Ariminum, and compelled even the Bishops in those parts to subscribe it, and those who contradicted them they got banished by Constantius. And it runs thus:—

Tenth Confession at Nice and Constantinople

"We believe in One God the Father Almighty, from whom are all things;

"And in the Only-begotten Son of God, begotten from God before all ages, and before all origin, through whom all things were made, visible and invisible, and begotten as Only-begotten, only from the Father only [Note 51], God from God, like to the Father that begat Him according to the Scriptures; whose generation no one knows, except the Father alone who begat Him. He, as we acknowledge, the Only-begotten Son of God, the Father sending Him, came hither from the heavens, as it is written, for the undoing of sin and death, and was born from the Holy Ghost, of Mary the Virgin according to the flesh, as it is written, and lived with His disciples, and having fulfilled the whole economy according to the Father's will, was {120} crucified and dead and buried and descended to the parts below the earth; at whom hell itself shuddered: who also rose from the dead on the third day, and remained with the disciples, and, forty days being fulfilled, was taken up into the heavens, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father, to come in the last day of the resurrection in the Father's glory, that He may render to every man according to his works.

"And in the Holy Ghost, whom the Only-begotten Son of God Himself, Christ, our Lord and God, promised to send to the race of man, as Paraclete, as it is written, the Spirit of Truth, which He sent unto them when He had ascended into the heavens.

"But the name of 'Substance,' which was set down by the Fathers in simplicity, and being unknown by the people, caused offence, because the Scriptures contain it not, it has seemed good to take away, and for the future to make no mention of it at all; since the divine Scriptures have made no mention of the Substance of Father and Son. For neither ought Subsistence to be named concerning Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. But we say that the Son is Like-the-Father, as the divine Scriptures say and teach; and all the heresies, both those which have been afore condemned already, and whatever are of modern date, being contrary to this published statement, be they anathema." [Note 52] {121 | ED. BEN. § 30-31.}

36. However, they did not stand even to this; for coming down from Constantinople to Antioch, they were dissatisfied that they had written at all that the Son was "Like-the-Father, as the Scriptures say;" and putting their ideas upon paper, they set about reverting to their first doctrines, and said that the Son is altogether Unlike-the-Father, and that the Son is in no manner Like-the-Father, and so much did they change, as to admit those who spoke the Arian doctrine nakedly, and to make over to them the Churches, with licence to bring forward the words of blasphemy with impunity [Note 53]. Because then of the extreme shamelessness of their blasphemy they were called Anomœans by all, having also the name of Exucontian [Note 54], and the heretical Constantius for the patron of their impiety, who persisting up to the end in impiety, and on the point of death [Note 55], thought good to be {122} baptised; not however by religious men, but by Euzoius, who for his Arianism had been deposed, not once, but often, both when he was a deacon, and when he was in the see of Antioch.

37. The forementioned parties then had proceeded thus far, when they were stopped and deposed. But well I know, not even under these circumstances will they stop, as many have already played the hypocrite [Note 56], but they will always be making parties against the truth, until [Note 57] they return to themselves and say, "Let us rise and go to our fathers, and say unto them, We anathematise the Arian heresy, and we acknowledge the Nicene Council;" for against this is their quarrel. Who then, with ever so little understanding, will bear them any longer? who on witnessing in every Council some things taken away and others added, does not comprehend the deep and festering treachery of their hearts in regard of Christ? who on seeing them stretching out to so great a length both their {123 | ED. BEN. § 32.} professions of faith, and their own exculpation, but sees that they are giving sentence against themselves [Note 58], and studiously making professions of faith, which by an officious display and an abundance of words are likely to seduce the simple, and hide what they really are in point of heresy? But as the heathen, as the Lord said, using vain words in their prayers, are nothing profited, so they too, after all their words were spent, have failed to annul the general condemnation of the Arian heresy, but were convicted and deposed instead,—and rightly; for which of their formularies is to be accepted by the hearer? or with what confidence shall they undertake to be catechists to those who have recourse to them? for if all these creeds have one and the same meaning, what is the need of many? But if need has arisen of so many, it follows that each by itself is deficient, not complete; and they establish this point against themselves with more effect than we can, by their innovating on all their own documents and re-making them [Note 59]. And the number of their Councils, and the discordance of their statements, is a proof that those who were present at them had much hostility to the Nicene Council, but little strength against Nicene Truth.


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1. The enumeration of Councils and Creeds after the Nicene, which follows, brings before us very clearly the point in controversy between Catholics and Eusebians. It was not the question of our Lord's divinity; this had not required settling even at Nicæa in 325. The assembled Bishops at once reprobated the heresies of Arius, but they found that, whereas the heretics in fact and in heart denied Him to be more than the first of creatures, they could hide their tenet in such ambiguous phrases, and recommend it by such pretentious concessions and embellishments, and throw it back into such implicit forms, as to need, if it was to be excluded from the Church, some new, special, discriminating test in the professions of faith which the Church enforced. Such, and such alone, was the Homoüsion; both parties acknowledged this; in this they joined issue. The aim then of the Eusebians in these successive Councils was to delude the Bishops of East or West into giving up this test, (which the Nicene Fathers had inserted into the Creed,) maintaining for that purpose that it was not necessary, and nothing but the destruction of that happy peace which at length after the trials of three centuries Christians had won, and that Athanasius was the arch-enemy of the Church's welfare, and must be summarily put down.
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2. It will be observed that the Eusebian or court party from 341 to 358, contained in it two elements, the more religious or Semi-arian which tended to Catholicity, and ultimately coalesced with it, the other the proper Arian or Anomœan, which was essentially heretical. During the period mentioned, it wore for the most part the Semi-arian profession. Athanasius as well as Hilary does justice to the real Semi-arians; but Athanasius does not seem to have known or estimated the quarrel between them and the Arians as fully as Hilary. Accordingly, while the former is bent in this treatise in bringing out the great fact of the variations of the heretical party, Hilary, wishing to commend the hopeful Semi-arians to the Gallic Church, makes excuses for them, on the ground of the necessity of explanations of the Nicene formulary, "necessitatem hanc furor hereticus imponit." Hil. de Syn. 63, vid. also 62 and 28. At the same time Ath. (as will be seen infr. ch. vi.) treats individual Semi-arians with most considerate forbearance, and Hilary himself bears witness quite as strongly as Athan. to the miserable variations of the heretical party, as Nazianzen in his well-known declaration against Councils, "Never saw I Council brought to a useful issue, nor remedying, but rather increasing existing evils." Ep. 130.
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3. This Council at Jerusalem was a continuation of one held at Tyre at which Athan. was condemned. It was very numerously attended; by Bishops (as Eusebius says, Vit. Const. iv. 43), from Macedonia, Pannonia, Thrace, Asia Minor, Syria, Arabia, Egypt, and Libya. One account speaks of the number as being above 200. Eus. says that an "innumerable multitude from all provinces accompanied them." It was the second great Council in Constantine's reign, and is compared by Eusebius (invidiously) to the Nicene, c. 47. At this Council Arius was solemnly received, as the Synodal Letter goes on to say.
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4. This Church, called the Martyry or Testimony, was built over the spot made sacred by our Lord's death, burial, and resurrection, in commemoration of the discovery of the Holy Cross, and has been described from Eusebius in the preface to the Translation of S. Cyril's Catechetical Lectures, p. xxiv. It was begun A.D. 326, and dedicated at this date, A.D. 335, on Saturday, the 13th of September. The 14th, however, is the feast of the Exaltatio S. Crucis both in East and West.
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5. This is supposed to be the Confession which is preserved by Socr. i. 26, and Soz. ii. 27, and was presented to Constantine by Arius in 330. It says no more than "And in the Lord Jesus Christ His Son, who was begotten from Him before all the ages God and Word, through whom all things were made, both in the heavens and upon earth;" afterwards it professes to have "received the faith from the holy Evangelists," and to believe "as all the Catholic Church and as the Scriptures teach," The Synodal Letter in the text adds "apostolical tradition and teaching." Arius might safely appeal to Scripture and the Church for a creed which did not specify the point in controversy. In his letter to Eusebius of Nicomedia before the Nicene Council, where he does state the distinctive articles of his heresy, he appeals to him as a fellow pupil in the School of Lucian, not to tradition. Theod. Hist. i. 4.
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6. i.e. the dedication of the Dominicum Aureum, which had been ten years in building. Vid. the description of it in Euseb. Vit. Const. iii. 50. This Council is one of great importance in the history, though it was not attended by more than 90 Bishops according to Ath. infr., or 97 according to Hilary de Syn. 28. The Eusebians had written to the Roman see against Athan., and eventually called on it to summon a Council. Accordingly, Julius proposed a Council at Rome; they refused to come, and instead held this meeting at Antioch. Twenty-five Canons are attributed to this Council, which have been received into the Code of the Catholic Church, though not as from this Council, which took at least some of them from more ancient sources. It is remarkable that S. Hilary calls this Council an assembly of Saints, de Syn. 32, but it is his course throughout to look at these Councils on their hopeful side. Vid. note 2.
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7. The Council might safely appeal to antiquity, since, with Arius in the Confession noticed supr. note 5, they did not touch on the point in dispute. The number of their formularies, three or four, shows that they had a great difficulty in taking any view which would meet the wishes and express the sentiments of one and all. The one that follows, which is their first, is as meagre as Arius's, quoted note 5.
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8. This formulary is that known as the Formulary of the Dedication. It is quoted as such by Socr. ii. 39, 40. Soz. iv. 15, and infr. § 29. Sozomen says that the Eusebians attributed it to Lucian, alleging that they had found a copy written by his own hand; but he decides neither for or against it himself. Hist. iii. 5. And the Auctor de Trinitate (in Theodoret's works, t. 5), allows that it is Lucian's, but interpolated. Dial. iii. init. vid. Routh, Reliq. Sacr. vol. iii. p. 294-6, who is in favour of its genuineness; as are Bull, Cave, and S. Basnage. Tillemont and Coustant take the contrary side; the latter observing (ad Hilar. de Synod. 28) that Athanasius, speaks of parts of it as Acacius's, and that Acacius attributes its language to Asterius. The Creed is of a much higher cast of doctrine than the two former, containing some of the phrases which in the fourth century became badges of Semi-arianism.
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9. These strong words and those which follow, whether Lucian's or not, mark the great difference between this confession and the foregoing. It would seem as if the Eusebians had at first tried the assembled Bishops with a negative confession, and finding that they would not accept it, had been forced upon one of a more orthodox character. It is observable too that even the Council of Jerusalem but indirectly received the Confession on which they re-admitted Arius, though they gave it a real sanction. The words "unalterable and unchangeable" are formal Anti-arian symbols, as the [trepton] or alterable was one of the most characteristic parts of Arius's creed.
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10. Vid. [aparallaktos].
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11. This phrase, which is of a more Arian character than any other part of the Confession, is justified by S. Hilary on the ground, that when the Spirit is mentioned, agreement is the best symbol of unity, de Syn. 32. It is protested against in the Sardican Confession. Theod. Hist. ii. 6, p. 846. A similar passage occurs in Origen, contr. Cels. viii. 12, with which Huet. Origen, ii. 2, n. 3, compares Novatian, de Trin. 22. The Arians insisted on the "oneness in agreement" as a fulfilment of such texts as "I and My Father are one;" but this subject will come before us, infr. n. 54, and in Disc. ch. 26.
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12. The whole of these anathemas are an Eusebian addition. The Council anathematises "every heretical heterodoxy;" not, as Athanasius observes, supr. Arim. 9, the Arian.
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13. The introduction of these words, "time," "age," &c., allows them still to hold the Arian formula "once he was not;" for our Lord was, as they held, before time, but still created. Vid. also infr. note 3 [21], p. 103.
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14. This emphatic mention of Scripture is also virtually an Arian evasion; to hold certain truths, "as Scripture has delivered," might either mean because and as in fact, or so far as, or in the sense of Scripture, and admitted of a silent reference to themselves, as interpreters of Scripture.
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15. Nothing is known of Theophronius; his confession is in great measure a relapse into Arianism proper: that is, as far as the absence of characteristic symbols is a proof of a wish to introduce the heresy. For the phrase "perfect God" vid. Append. [teleios].
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16. The commencement and the origin of this mode of dating are unknown. It seems to have been introduced between A.D. 313 and 315. The Indiction was a cycle of 15 years, and began with the month of September. St. Athanasius is the first ecclesiastical author who adopts it.
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17. This deputation had it in purpose to gain the Emperor Constans to the Eusebian party. They composed a new Confession with this object. Theodore of Heraclea (who made commentaries on Scripture and is said to have been an elegant writer), Maris and Narcissus, were all Eusebians; but Mark was a Semi-arian. As yet the Eusebian party were making use of the Semi-arians, but their professed Creed had already much degenerated from Lucian's at the Dedication.
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18. Constans had lately become master of two-thirds of the Empire by the death of his elder brother Constantine, who had made war upon him and fallen in an engagement. He was at this time only 22 years of age. His enemies represent his character in no favourable light, but, for whatever reason, he sided with the Catholics; and S. Athanasius, who had been honourably treated by him in Gaul, speaks of him in the language of gratitude. In his Apology to Constantius, he says, "thy brother of blessed memory filled the churches with offerings," and he speaks of the "grace given him through baptism," § 7. Constans was murdered by Magnentius in A.D. 350, and one of the calumnies against Athan. was that he had sent letters to the murderer.
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19. The 4th, 5th, and 6th Confessions are the same, and with these agrees the (Arian) Creed of Philippopolis (A.D. 347, or 344 according to Mansi). These extend over a period of nine years A.D. 342-351 (or 15 or 16 according to Baronius and Mansi, who place the 6th Confession, i.e. the 1st Sirmian, at 357, 358 respectively), and form the stationary period of Arianism. The two parties of which the heretical body was composed were kept together, not only by the court, but by the rise of the Sabellianism of Marcellus (A.D. 335) and Photinus (about 342). This too would increase their strength in the Church, and is the excuse, which Hilary himself urges, for their frequent Councils. Still they do not seem to be able to escape from the argument of Athanasius, that, whereas new Councils are for new heresies, if only one new heresy had risen, only one new Council was necessary. If these four Confessions say the same thing, three of them must be superfluous, vid. infr. n. 37, p. 122. However, in spite of the identity of their Creed, the difference in their Anathemas is very great, as we shall see.
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20. S. Hilary, vid. Theol. Tracts, p. 81, by implication calls this the Nicene Anathema; and so it is in the respects in which he speaks of it; but it omits many of the Nicene clauses, and with them the condemnation of many of the Arian articles. The especial point which it evades is our Lord's eternal existence, substituting for "once He was not," "there was time when He was not," and leaving out "before His generation He was not," "created," "alterable," and "mutable." It seems to have been considered sufficient for Gaul, as worded here; for Italy, as in the 5th Confession or Macrostich; and for Africa, as in the Creed of Philippopolis.
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21. It is observable that here and in the next paragraph the only reasons they give against using the only two Arian formulas which they condemn is that they are not found in Scripture, which leaves the question of their truth untouched. Here, in their explanation of the [ex ouk onton], or from nothing, they do but deny it with Eusebius's evasion; that nothing can be from nothing, and every thing must be from God. Vid. Append. Eusebius.
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22. They argue, after the usual Arian manner, that the term "Son" essentially implies beginning, and excludes the title "co-unoriginate;" whereas the Catholics contended (supr. p. 85, note 6 [24]), that the word Father implied a continuity of nature, that is, a co-eternal existence with the Father.
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23. [pragmata kai prosopa].
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24. [ek prokopes], supr. p. 25, note 1 [28].
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25. These strong words [theon kata phusin teleion kai alethe] are of a different character from any which have occurred in the Arian Confessions. They can only be explained away by considering them used in contrast to the Samosatene doctrine; Paul saying that that dignity which the Arians ascribed to our Lord before His birth in the flesh, was bestowed on Him after it. Thus "perfect according to nature" and "true," will not be directly connected with "God" so much as opposed to, "by advance," by "adoption," &c. And it may be explained that the gift of grace is a new and divine nature.
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26. Vid. [endiathetos, prophorikos], Append.
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27. This passage seems taken from Eusebius, and partly from Marcellus's own words, vid. Append. S. Cyril speaks of his doctrine in like terms. Catech. xv. 27.
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28. i.e. Photinus of Sirmium, the pupil of Marcellus, is meant, who published his heresy about 343. A similar play upon words is found in the case of other names; though Lucifer seems to think that his name was really Scotinus and that his friends changed it, de non parc. pp, 203, 220, 226. Thus Noetus is called [anoetos]. Epiph. Hær. 57, 2 fin. and 8, and Eudoxius [adoxios]. Lucifer. pro Athan. i. p. 65. Moriend. p. 258. Eunomians among the Latins (by a confusion with Anomœan), [anomoi], or sine lege, Cod. Can. lxi. 1, ap. Leon. Op. t. 3, p. 443. Vigilantius dormitantius, Jerom. contr. Vigil. init. Aerius [aerion pneuma eschen]. Epiph. Hær. 75, 6 fin. Of Arius, [ares, areie], vid. Append. Arius. Gregory, [ho nustazon], Anast. Hod. 10, p. 186.
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29. [autoprosopos] and so Cyril. Hier. Catech. xv. 14 and 17. He means, "not in personation;" and Philo too contrasting divine appearances with those of Angels; Leg. Alleg. iii. 62. On the other hand, Theophilus on the text, "The voice of the Lord God walking in the garden," speaks of the Word, "assuming the person, [prosopon], of the Father," and "in the person of God," ad Autol. ii. 22, the word hardly having then its theological sense.
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30. [homoion kata panta]. Here again we have a strong Semi-arian or almost Catholic formula introduced by-the-bye, marking the presence of what may be called the new Semi-arian school. Of course it admitted of evasion, but in its fulness it included "substance."
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31. The Confession does not here comment on the clause against our Lord's being Ingenerate, having already noticed it under paragraph (2). It will be remarked that it still insists upon the unscripturalness of the Catholic positions. The main subject of this paragraph, the [thelesei gennethen], which forms part of the Arian question and controversy, is reserved for Orat. iii. § 59, &c. (infr. pp. 191-204), in which Athanasius formally treats of it. He treats of the text Prov. viii. 22, in Orat. i. and ii. (infr. pp. 220-343). The doctrine of the [monogenes] has already partially come before us, supr. pp. 20-22. [Monos], not as the creatures.
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32. This last paragraph is the most curious of the instances of the presence of this new and nameless influence, which seems at this time to have been springing up among the Eusebians, and showed itself by acts before it has a place in history. It is in its very form an interpolation, and adding the [perichoresis], was virtually an admission of the [homoousion].
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33. Sirmium was a city of lower Pannonia, not far from the Danube, and it was the great bulwark of the Illyrian provinces of the Empire. There Vetranio assumed the purple; and there Constantius was born. The frontier war caused it to be from time to time the Imperial residence. We hear of Constantius at Sirmium in the summer of 357. Ammian. xvi. 10. He also passed there the ensuing winter, ibid. xvii. 12. In October, 358, after the Sarmatian war, he entered Sirmium in triumph, and passed the winter there, xvii. 13 fin., and with a short absence in the spring, remained there till the end of May, 359.
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34. For the chronology, &c., of the various Confessions of Sirmium, Petavius must be consulted, who has thrown more light on the subject than any one else. In 351, the Semi-arian party was still stronger than in 345. The leading person in this Council was Basil of Ancyra, who is generally considered their head. Basil held a disputation with Photinus. Silvanus too of Tarsus now appears for the first time; while, according to Socrates, Mark of Arethusa, who was more connected with the Eusebians than any other of his party, drew up the Anathemas; the Confession used was the same as that sent to Constans, that of the Council of Philippopolis, and the Macrostich.
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35. There had been no important Oriental Council held since that of the Dedication ten years before, till this of Sirmium (unless indeed that of Philippopollis requires to be mentioned, which was a secession from the Council of Sardica): S. Hilary treats its creed as a Catholic composition, de Syn. 39-63. Philastrius and Vigilius call the Council a meeting of "holy bishops" and a "Catholic Council," de Hær. 65, and in Eutych. v. init. What gave a character and weight to this Council, which belonged to no other Eusebian meeting, was, that it met to set right a real evil, and was not a mere pretence with Arian objects. Photinus had now been eight or nine years in the open avowal of his heresy, yet in possession of his see. As to the Bishops present at this Sirmian Council, we have them described in Sulpitius: "Part of the Bishops followed Arius, and welcomed the desired condemnation of Athanasius; part, brought together by fear and faction, yielded to a party spirit; a few, to whom faith was dear and truth precious, rejected the unjust judgment." Hist. ii. 52: he instances Paulinus of Treves, whose resistance, however, took place at Milan some years later. Sozomen gives us a similar account, speaking of a date a few years before the Sirmian Council. "The East," he says, "in spite of its being in faction after the Antiochene Council" of the Dedication, "and thenceforth openly dissenting from the Nicene faith, in reality, I think, concurred in the sentiment of the majority, and with them confessed the Son to be of the Father's substance; but, from contentiousness certain of them fought against the term 'Consubstantial;' some, as I conjecture, having originally objected to the word—others from habit—others, aware that the resistance was unsuitable, leaned to this side or that to gratify parties; and many thought it weak to waste themselves in such strife of words, and peaceably held to the Nicene decision." Hist. iii. 13.
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36. This Anathema, which has occurred in substance in the Macrostich, and again infr. Anath. 18 and 23, is a disclaimer on the part of the Eusebian party of the charge with reason brought against them by the Catholics, of their in fact holding a supreme and a secondary God. In the Macrostich it is disclaimed upon a simple Arian basis. The Semi-arians were more open to this imputation; Eusebius distinctly calling our Lord a second and another God, vid. Append. Eusebius. It will be observed that this Anathema contradicts the one which immediately follows, and the 11th, in which Christ is called God; except on the one hand the Father and Son are one God, which was the Catholic doctrine, or, on the other, the Son is God in name only, which was the pure Arian or Anomœan.
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37. Vid. Ministration.
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38. Vid. [endiathetos].
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39. Vid. [agenneton].
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40. The 12th and 13th Anathemas are intended to meet the charge which is referred to infr. p. 116, note 2 [47], vid. Append. Sabellius, that Arianism involved the doctrine that our Lord's divine nature suffered. Athanasius brings this accusation against them distinctly in his work against Apollinaris, "Idle then is the fiction of the Arians, who suppose that the Saviour took flesh only, impiously imputing the notion of suffering to the impassible godhead." Contr. Appollin. i. 15, vid. also Ambros. de Fide, iii. 31. Salig in his de Eutychianismo ante Eutychen takes notice of none of the passages in the text.
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41. This anathema is directed against the Sabellians, especially Marcellus, who held the very opinion which it denounces, that the Almighty God spake with himself. Euseb. Eccles. Theol. ii. 15. The Jews said that Almighty God spoke to the Angels. Basil. Hexaem. fin. Others that the plural was used as authorities on earth use it in way of dignity. Theod. in Gen. 19. Vid. App. Ministration.
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42. Vid. infr. Disc. ch. 9, p. 193, &c.
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43. The Creed which follows was not put forth by a Council, but at a meeting of a few Arian Bishops, and the author was Potamius, Bishop of Lisbon. It is important as marking the open separation of the Eusebians or Acacians from the Semi-arians, and their adoption of Anomœan tenets. Hilary, who defends the Eusebian Councils up to this date, calls this a "blasphemia," and upon it followed the Semi-arian Council by way of protest at Ancyra. St. Hilary tells us that it was the Confession which Hosius was imprisoned and tortured into signing. There is no proof that it is the one which Pope Liberius signed; but according to Athanasius, he signed an Arian Confession about this time.
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44. [homoousion] and [homoiousion].
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45. [prosopa].
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46. [anthropon].
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47. It will be observed that this Confession; 1. by denying "two Gods," and declaring that the One God is the God of Christ, implies that our Lord is not God. 2. It says that the word "substance," and its compounds, ought not to be used, as being unscriptural, mysterious, and leading to disturbance; 3. it holds that the Father is greater than the Son "in honour, dignity, and Godhead;" 4. that the Son is subordinate to the Father, together with all other things; 5. that it is the Father's characteristic to be invisible and impassible. On the last head, vid. supr. p. 111, note 4 [40], and Sabellius. They also say that our Lord, hominem suscepisse per quem compassus est, a word which Phœbadius condemns in his remarks in this Confession. It may be observed also that Phœbadius at the same time uses the word "spiritus" in the sense of Hilary and the Ante-Nicene Fathers, in a connection which at once explains the obscure words of the suppositious Sardican Confession, and turns them into another evidence of this additional heresy involved in Arianism. "Impassibilis Deus," says Phœbadius, "quia Deus Spiritus ... non ergo passibilis Dei Spiritus, licet in homine suo passus." That is, the nature of a soul is passibilis, and therefore the Divine Word, which is impassibilis, cannot take the place of a soul in the Person of Emmanuel. Now the Sardican Confession is thought ignorant, as well as unauthoritative (e.g. by Natalis. Alex. Sæc. 4, Diss. 29), because it imputes to Valens and Ursacius the following belief, which he supposes to be Patripassianism, but which exactly answers to this aspect and representation of Arianism: [hoti ho logos kai hoti to pneuma kai estaurothe kai esphage kai apethanen kai aneste]. Theod. Hist. ii. 6, p. 844.
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48. Some critics suppose that the transaction really belongs to the second instead of the third Confession of Sirmium. Socrates connects it with the second. Hist. ii. 30. Vid. supr., pp. 70, 71.
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49. The Semi-arian majority in the Council had just before been confirming the Creed of the Dedication; hence this beginning, vid. supr. p. 77, note 7 [16]. They had first of all offered to the Council the third Sirmian, or "Confession with a Date," supr. p. 71, which their coadjutors offered at Ariminum, Soz. iv. 22, and at the end of the present they profess that the two are substantially the same. They seem to mean that they are both Homœan or Scriptural Creeds; they differ in that the latter, as if to propitiate the Semi-arian majority, adds an anathema upon Anomœan as well as on the Homoüsion and Homœusion.
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50. These two sections seem to have been inserted by Athan. after his letter was finished, and contain later occurrences in the history of Ariminum than were contemplated when he wrote supr. ch. ii. 15, 16, vid. note 7 [16], p. 77. In this place Athan. distinctly says, that the following Confession, which the Acacians from Seleucia adopted at Constantinople, was transmitted to Ariminum, and there forced upon the assembled Fathers. This is not inconsistent with what seems to be the fact, that the Confession was drawn up at a Council hold at Nice in Thrace near Adrianople in Oct., 359, whither the deputies from Ariminum had been summoned by Constantius, vid. Hilar. Fragm. viii. 5. There the deputies signed it, and thence they took it back to Ariminum. In the beginning of the following year 360 it was confirmed by a Council at Constantinople, after the termination of that of Ariminum, and to this confirmation Athanasius refers. Socrates says, Hist, ii. 37 fin., that they chose Nice in order to deceive the ignorant with the notion that it was Nicæa, and their creed the Nicene faith, and the place is actually called Nicæa, in the Acts of Ariminum preserved by Hilary, p. 1346. Such a measure, whether or not adopted in matter of fact, might easily have had success, considering the existing state of the West. St. Hilary de Syn. 91, and ad Const. ii. 7, had not heard the Nicene Creed till he came into Asia Minor, A.D. 356, and he says of his Gallic and British brethren "O blessed ye in the Lord and glorious, who hold the perfect and apostolic faith in the profession of your conscience, and up to this time know not creeds in writing," de Syn. 63. It should be added that at this Council Ulphilas the Apostle of the Goths, who had hitherto followed the Council of Nicæa, conformed, and thus became the means of spreading through his countrymen the Creed of Ariminum.
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51. [monos ek monou]. Though this is an Homœan or Acacian, not an Anomœan Creed, this phrase may be considered a symptom of Anomœan influence; [monos para] or [hupo, monou] being one special formula adopted by Eunomius, explanatory of [monogenes], in accordance with the original Arian theory, mentioned de Decr. n. 4 [22], supra, p. 20. that the Son was the one instrument of creation. Eunomius said that He alone was created by the Father alone; all other things being created by the Father, not alone, but through Him whom alone He had first created, vid. Cyril. Thesaur. 25, p. 239. St. Basil observes that if this be a true sense of [monogenes], then no man is such, e.g. Isaac, as being born of two, contr. Eunom. ii. 21. Acacius has recourse to Gnosticism, and illustrates the Arian sense by the contrast of the [probole] of the Æons, which was [ek pollon], ap. Epiph. Hær. 72, 7, p. 839.
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52. Here as before, instead of speaking of Arianism, the Confession anathematises all heresies vid. supr. p. 98, note 2 [12]. It will be observed that for "Like in all things," which was contained in the Confession (third Sirmian) first submitted to the Ariminian fathers, is substituted simply "Like." Moreover, they include hypostasis or subsistence, though a Scripture term, in the list of proscribed symbols, vid. also ad Afros. 4. The object of suppressing [hypostasis], seems to have been that, since the Creed, which was written in Latin, was to go to Ariminum, the West might be forced to deny the Latin version or equivalent of [homoousion], unius substantiæ, or hypostasis, as well as the Greek original. This circumstance might be added to those in the Translator's "Tracts Theol." pp. 78, &c., to show that in the Nicene formulary substance and subsistence are synonymous.
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53. Acacius, Eudoxius, and the rest, after ratifying at Constantinople the Creed framed at Nice and subscribed at Ariminum, appear next at Antioch a year and a half later, when they throw off the mask, and avowing the Anomœan Creed, "revert," as St. Athanasius says, "to their first doctrines," i.e. those with which Arius started. The Anomœan doctrine, it may be observed, is directly opposed rather to the Homœusian than to the Homoüsion, as indeed the very symbols show; "unlike in substance," being the contrary to "like in substance." It doubtless frightened the Semi-arians, and hastened their return to the Catholic doctrine.
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54. From [ex ouk onton]. "out of nothing," one of the original Arian positions concerning the Son, supr. Enc. p. 4, note 1, Theodoret says, that they were also called Exacionitæ, from the name of their place of meeting. Hær. iv. 3, and Du Cange confirms it so far as to show that there was a place or quarter of Constantinople called Exocionium or Exacionium.
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55. Nothing is more instructive in the whole of this eventful history than the complication of hopefulness and deterioration in the Oriental party, and the apparent decline yet advance of the truth. Principles, good and bad, were developing on both sides with energy. The fall of Hosius and Liberius, and the disastrous event of Ariminum, are close before the ruin of the Eusebian power. At this critical moment Constantius died, when the cause of truth was only not in the lowest state of degradation, because a party was in authority and vigour who could reduce it to a lower still; the Latins committed to an Anti-Catholic Creed, the Pope deluded, Hosius fallen and dead; Athanasius wandering in the deserts, Arians in the sees of Christendom, and their doctrine growing in blasphemy, and their profession of it in boldness, every day. The Emperor had come to the throne almost when a boy, and at this time was but 44 years old. In the ordinary course of things he might have reigned till, humanly speaking, orthodoxy was extinct. This passage shows that Athanasius did not insert these sections till two years after the composition of the work itself; for Constantius died A.D. 361.
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56. Vid. Hypocrisy.
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57. He is here anticipating the return into the Church of those whom he thus censures. In this sense, though with far more severity in its language, the writer of a Tract, imputed to Athan. against the Catholicising Semi-arians of 363, entitles it "On the hypocrisy of Meletius and Eusebius of Samosata." It is remarkable that what Athan. here predicts was fulfilled to the letter, even of the worst of these "hypocrites." For Acacius himself, who in 361 signed the Anomœan Confession above recorded, was one of those very men who accepted the Homoüsion with an explanation in 363.
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58. Vid. supr. note 2 [11], p. 15.
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59. Considering that Athanasius had now been for several years among the monasteries of the deserts, in close concealment (unless we suppose he really had issued thence and was present at Seleucia), this is a remarkable instance of accurate knowledge of the state of feeling in the heretical party, and of foresight. From his apparent want of knowledge of the Anomœans, and his unhesitatingly classing them with the Arians, his foresight would seem in a great measure to arise from intimate comprehension of the doctrine itself in dispute, and of its bearings. There had been at that time no parallel of a great aberration and its issue.
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