Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. XI:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
The Works of Sulpitius Severus.: Chapter XLIII.
In the meantime, the emperor compels those deputies of our party who had been sent from the council at Ariminum to join in communion with the heretics. At the same time, he hands them a confession of faith which had been drawn up by these wicked men, and which, being expressed in deceptive terms, seemed to exhibit the Catholic faith, while unfaithfulness secretly lay hid in it. For under an appearance of false reasoning, it abolished the use of the word Ousia as being ambiguous, and as having been too hastily adopted by the fathers, while it rested upon no Scriptural authority. The object of this was that the Son might not be believed to be of one substance with the Father. The same confession of faith acknowledged that the Son was like the Father. But deception was carefully prepared within the words, in order that he might be like, but not equal. Thus, the deputies being sent away, orders were given to the prefect that he should not dissolve the Synod, until all professed by their subscriptions their agreement to the declaration of faith which had been drawn up; and if any should hold back with excessive obstinacy, they should be driven into banishment, provided their number did not amount to fifteen. But when the deputies returned, they were refused communion, although they pleaded the force which had been brought to bear upon them by the king. For when it was discovered what had been decreed, greater disturbance arose in their affairs and purposes. Then by degrees numbers of our people, partly overcome through the weakness of their character, and partly influenced by the thought of a weary journeying into foreign lands, surrendered to the opposite party. These were now, on the return of the deputies, the stronger of the two bodies, and had taken possession of the church, our friends being driven out of it. And when the minds of our people once began to incline in that direction, they rushed p. 118 in flocks over to the other side, until the number of our friends was diminished down to twenty.
Next: Chapter XLIV.
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