Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. II: The Ecclesiastical History of Socrates Scholasticus.: Of the Synod held at Antioch, which deposed Eustathius, Bishop of Antioch, on whose account a Sedition broke out and almost ruined the City.Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
Chapter XXIV.—Of the Synod held at Antioch, which deposed Eustathius, Bishop of Antioch, on whose account a Sedition broke out and almost ruined the City.
Having therefore convened a Synod at Antioch, they deposed Eustathius, as a supporter of the Sabellian heresy, rather than of the tenets which the council at Nicæa had formulated. As some affirm [this measure was taken] for other and unsatisfactory reasons, though none other have been openly assigned: this is a matter of common occurrence; the bishops are accustomed to do this in all cases, accusing and pronouncing impious those whom they depose, but not explaining their warrant for so doing. George, bishop of Laodicea in Syria, one of the number of those who abominated the term homoousios, assures us in his Encomium of Eusebius Emisenus, that they deposed Eustathius as favoring Sabellianism, on the impeachment of Cyrus, bishop of Berœa. Of Eusebius Emisenus we shall speak elsewhere in due order. 235 George has written of Eustathius [somewhat inconsistently]; for after asserting that he was accused by Cyrus of maintaining the heresy of Sabellius, he tells us again that Cyrus himself was convicted of the same error, and degraded for it. Now how was it possible that Cyrus should accuse Eustathius as a Sabellian, when he inclined to Sabellianism himself? It appears likely therefore that Eustathius must have been condemned on other grounds. At that time, however, there arose a dangerous sedition at Antioch on account of his deposition: for when they proceeded to the election of a successor, so fierce a dissension was kindled, as to threaten the whole city with destruction. The populace was divided into two factions, one of which vehemently contended for the translation of Eusebius Pamphilus from Cæsarea in Palestine to Antioch; the other equally insisted on the reinstatement of Eustathius. And the populace of the city were infected with the spirit of partisanship in this quarrel among the Christians, a military force was arrayed on both sides with hostile intent, so that a bloody collision would have taken place, had not God and the dread of the emperor repressed the violence of the multitude. For the emperor through letters, and Eusebius by refusing to accept the bishopric, served to allay the ferment: on which account that prelate was exceedingly admired by the emperor, who wrote to him commending his prudent determination, and congratulating him as one who was considered worthy of being bishop not of one city merely, but of almost the whole world. Consequently it is said that the episcopal chair of the church at Antioch was vacant for eight consecutive years after this period; 236 but at length by the exertions of those who aimed at the subversion of the Nicene creed, Euphronius was duly installed. This is the amount of my information respecting the Synod held at Antioch on account of Eustathius. Immediately after these events Eusebius, who had long before left Berytus, and was at that time presiding over the church at Nicomedia, strenuously exerted himself in connection to those of his party, to bring back Arius to Alexandria. But how they managed to effect this, and by what means the emperor was prep. 28 vailed on to admit both Arius and with him Euzoïus into his presence must now be related.
See II. 9.27:236
Socrates is in error here, as according to Eusebius (H. E. X. 1), immediately after the deposition of Eustathius and his own refusal of the bishopric of Antioch, Paulinus was transferred there from the see of Tyre. This was in 329 a.d., so that no vacancy of eight years intervened.
Next: Of the Presbyter who exerted himself for the Recall of Arius.
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