Chapter XIV.—Eusebius Bishop of Nicomedia, and Theognis Bishop of Nicæa, who had been banished for agreeing in Opinion with Arius, having published their Recantation, and assented to the Creed, are reinstated in their Sees.
Eusebius 202 and Theognis having sent a penitential confession to the principal bishops, were p. 20 by an imperial edict recalled from exile and restored to their own churches, displacing those who had been ordained in their places; Eusebius [displacing] Amphion, and Theognis Chrestus. This is a copy of their written retraction:
We having been sometime since condemned by your piety, without a formal trial, ought to bear in silence the decisions of your sacred adjudication. But since it is unreasonable that we by silence should countenance caluminators against ourselves, we on this account declare that we entirely concur with you in the faith; and also that, after having closely considered the import of the term consubstantial, we have been wholly studious of peace, having never followed the heresy. After suggesting whatever entered our thought for the security of the churches, and fully assuring those under our influence, we subscribed the declaration of faith; we did not subscribe the anathematizing; not as objecting to the creed, but as disbelieving the party accused to be such as was represented, having been satisfied on this point, both from his own letters to us, and from personal conversations. But if your holy council was convinced, we not opposing but concurring in your decisions, by this statement give them our full assent and confirmation: and this we do not as wearied with our exile, but to shake off the suspicion of heresy. If therefore ye should now think fit to restore us to your presence, ye will have us on all points conformable, and acquiescent in your decrees: especially since it has seemed good to your piety to deal tenderly with and recall even him who was primarily accused. It would be absurd for us to be silent, and thus give presumptive evidence against ourselves, when the one who seemed responsible has been permitted to clear himself from the charges brought against him. Vouchsafe then, as is consistent with that Christ-loving piety of yours, to remind our most religious emperor, to present our petitions, and to determine speedily concerning us in a way becoming yourselves.
Such was the language of the recantation of Eusebius and Theognis; from which I infer that they had subscribed the articles of faith which had been set forth, but would not become parties to the condemnation of Arius. It appears also that Arius was recalled before them; but, although this may be true, yet he had been forbidden to enter Alexandria. This is evident from the fact that he afterwards devised a way of return for himself, both into the church and into Alexandria, by having made a fictitious repentance, as we shall show in its proper place.
This is not in its place according to chronological order, inasmuch as it occurred in 328 a.d. It appears also from the accounts of the other historians of this period that Socrates does not give the correct reason for the banishment of Eusebius and Theognis. Cf. Theodoret, H. E. I. 20; also Sozom. I. 21.
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