Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. II: The Ecclesiastical History of Socrates Scholasticus.: The Bishops assembled at Antioch, on the Refusal of Eusebius of Emisa to accept the Bishopric of Alexandria, ordain Gregory, and change the Language of the Nicene Creed.Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
Chapter X.—The Bishops assembled at Antioch, on the Refusal of Eusebius of Emisa to accept the Bishopric of Alexandria, ordain Gregory, and change the Language of the Nicene Creed.
Now at that time Eusebius having been proposed and fearing to go to Alexandria, the Synod at Antioch designated Gregory as bishop of that church. This being done, they altered the creed; not as condemning anything in that which was set forth at Nicæa, but in fact with a determination to subvert and nullify the doctrine of consubstantiality by means of frequent councils, and the publication of various expositions of the faith, so as gradually to establish the Arian views. How these things issued we will set forth in the course of our narrative; but the epistle then promulgated respecting the faith was as follows: 272
We have neither become followers of Arius,—for how should we who are bishops be guided by a presbyter?—nor have we embraced any other faith than that which was set forth from the beginning. But being constituted examiners and judges of his sentiments, we admit their soundness, rather than adopt them from him: and you will recognize this from what we are about to state. We have learned from the beginning to believe in one God of the Universe, the Creator and Preserver of all things both those thought of and those perceived by the senses: and in one only-begotten Son of God, subsisting before all ages, and co-existing with the Father who begat him, through whom also all things visible and invisible were made; who in the last days according to the Fathers good pleasure, descended, and assumed flesh from the holy virgin, and having fully accomplished his Fathers will, that he should suffer, and rise again, and ascend into the heavens, and sit at the right hand of the Father; and is coming to judge the living and the dead, continuing King and God for ever. We believe also in the Holy Spirit. And if it is necessary to add this, we believe in the resurrection of the flesh, and the life everlasting.
Having thus written in their first epistle, they sent it to the bishops of every city. But after remaining some time at Antioch, as if to condemn the former, they published another letter in these words:
p. 40 Another Exposition of the Faith.
In conformity with evangelic and apostolic tradition, we believe in one God the Father Almighty, the Creator and Framer of the universe. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, his Son, God the only-begotten, through whom all things were made: begotten of the Father before all ages, God of God, Whole of Whole, Only of Only, Perfect of Perfect, King of King, Lord of Lord; the living Word, the Wisdom, the Life, the True Light, the Way of Truth, the Resurrection, the Shepherd, the Gate; immutable and inconvertible; the unaltering image of the Divinity, Substance and Power, and Counsel and Glory of the Father; born before all creation; who was in the beginning with God, God the Word, according as it is declared in the Gospel, 273 and the Word was God, by whom all things were made, and in whom all things subsist: who in the last days came down from above, and was born of the virgin according to the Scriptures; and was made man, the Mediator between God and men, the Apostle of our Faith, and the Prince of Life, as he says, 274 I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. Who suffered on our behalf, and rose again for us on the third day, and ascended into the heavens, and is seated at the right hand of the Father; and will come again with glory and power to judge the living and the dead. [We believe] also in the Holy Spirit, who is given to believers for their consolation, sanctification, and perfection; even as our Lord Jesus Christ commanded his disciples, saying, 275 Go and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit; that is to say of the Father who is truly the Father, of the Son who is truly the Son, and of the Holy Spirit who is truly the Holy Spirit, these words not being simply or insignificantly applied, but accurately expressing the proper subsistence, glory, and order, of each of these who are named: so that there are three in person, but one in concordance. Holding therefore this faith in the presence of God and of Christ, we anathematize all heretical and false doctrine. And if any one shall teach contrary to the sound and right faith of the Scriptures, affirming that there is or was a period or an age before the Son of God existed, let him be accursed. And if any one shall say that the Son is a creature as one of the creatures, or that he is offspring as one of the offsprings, and shall not hold each of the aforesaid doctrines as the Divine Scriptures have delivered them to us: or if any one shall teach or preach any other doctrine contrary to that which we have received, let him be accursed. For we truly and unreservedly believe and follow all things handed down to us from the sacred Scriptures by the prophets and apostles.
Such was the exposition of the faith published by those then assembled at Antioch, to which Gregory also subscribed as bishop of Alexandria, although he had not yet entered that city. The Synod having done these things, and legislated some other canons, was dissolved. At this time it happened that public affairs also were disturbed. The nation called Franks made incursions into the Roman territories in Gaul, and at the same time there occurred violent earthquakes in the East, and especially at Antioch, which continued to suffer concussions during a whole year.
Athanas. de Synodd. 22, 23.40:273
John i. 1.40:274
John vi. 38.40:275
Matt. xxviii. 19.
Next: On the Arrival of Gregory at Alexandria, tended by a Military Escort, Athanasius flees.
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