Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. II: The Ecclesiastical History of Socrates Scholasticus.: After the Synod of Alexandria, Eusebius proceeding to Antioch finds the Catholics at Variance on Account of Paulinus' Consecration; and having exerted himself in vain to reconcile them, he departs; Indignation of Lucifer and Origin of a Sect called after him.Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
Chapter IX.—After the Synod of Alexandria, Eusebius proceeding to Antioch finds the Catholics at Variance on Account of Paulinus Consecration; and having exerted himself in vain to reconcile them, he departs; Indignation of Lucifer and Origin of a Sect called after him.
As soon as the council of Alexandria was dissolved, Eusebius bishop of Vercellæ went from Alexandria to Antioch; there finding that Paulinus had been ordained by Lucifer, and that the people were disagreeing among themselves,—for the partisans of Meletius held their assemblies apart,—he was exceedingly grieved at the want of harmony concerning this election, and in his own mind disapproved of what had taken p. 84 place. His respect for Lucifer however induced him to be silent about it, and on his departure he engaged that all things should be set right by a council of bishops. Subsequently he labored with great earnestness to unite the dissentients, but did not succeed. Meanwhile Meletius returned from exile; and finding his followers holding their assemblies apart from the others, he set himself at their head. But Euzoïus, the chief of the Arian heresy, had possession of the churches: Paulinus 511 only retained a small church within the city, from which Euzoïus had not ejected him, on account of his personal respect for him. But Meletius assembled his adherents without the gates of the city. It was under these circumstances that Eusebius left Antioch at that time. When Lucifer understood that his ordination of Paul was not approved of by Eusebius, regarding it as an insult, he became highly incensed; and not only separated himself from communion with him, but also began, in a contentious spirit, to condemn what had been determined by the Synod. These things occurring at a season of grievous disorder, alienated many from the church; for many attached themselves to Lucifer, and thus a distinct sect arose under the name of Luciferians. 512 Nevertheless Lucifer was unable to give full expression to his anger, inasmuch as he had pledged himself by his deacon to assent to whatever should be decided on by the Synod. Wherefore he adhered to the tenets of the church, and returned to Sardinia to his own see: but such as at first identified themselves with his quarrel, still continue separate from the church. Eusebius, on the other hand, traveling throughout the Eastern provinces like a good physician, completely restored those who were weak in the faith, instructing and establishing them in ecclesiastical principles. After this he passed over to Illyricum, and thence to Italy, where he pursued a similar course.
Cf. Sozom. III. 15, and V. 12.
Next: Of Hilary Bishop of Poictiers.
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