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Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. IV:
Defence of His Flight. (Apologia de Fuga.): Section 1

Early Church Fathers  Index     

p. 255 Defence of His Flight.


1. Athanasius charged with cowardice for escaping.

I hear that Leontius 1389 , now at Antioch, and Narcissus 1390 of the city of Nero, and George 1391 , now at Laodicea, and the Arians who are with them, are spreading abroad many slanderous reports concerning me, charging me with cowardice, because forsooth, when I myself was sought by them, I did not surrender myself into their hands. Now as to their imputations and calumnies, although there are many things that I could write, which even they are unable to deny, and which all who have heard of their proceedings know to be true, yet I shall not be prevailed upon to make any reply to them, except only to remind them of the words of our Lord, and of the declaration of the Apostle, that ‘a lie is of the Devil,’ and that, ‘revilers shall not inherit the kingdom of God 1392 .’ For it is sufficient thereby to prove, that neither their thoughts nor their words are according to the Gospel, but that after their own pleasure, whatsoever themselves desire, that they think to be good.



Leontius died in the summer of 357, probably before Ath. wrote.


De Syn. 17.


Apol. Ar. 48.


John viii. 44; 1 Cor. vi. 10.

Next: Insincerity of this charge.

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