Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. II: The Ecclesiastical History of Sozomen.: What the Council determined about Arius; the Condemnation of his Followers; his Writings are to be burnt; certain of the High Priests differ from the Council; the Settlement of the Passover.Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
Chapter XXI.—What the Council determined about Arius; the Condemnation of his Followers; his Writings are to be burnt; certain of the High Priests differ from the Council; the Settlement of the Passover.
It ought to be known, that they affirmed the Son to be consubstantial with the Father; and that those are to be excommunicated and voted aliens to the Catholic Church, who assert that there was a time in which the Son existed not, and before He was begotten He was not, and that He was made from what had no existence, and that He is of another hypostasis or substance from the Father, and that He is subject to change or mutation. This decision was sanctioned by Eusebius, bishop of Nicomedia; by Theognis, bishop of Nicæa; by Maris, bishop of Chalcedon; by Patrophilus, bishop of Scythopolis; and by Secundus, bishop of Ptolemaïs in Libya. 1125 Eusebius Pamphilus, however, withheld his assent for a little while, but on further examination assented. 1126 The council excommunicated Arius and his adherents, and prohibited his entering Alexandria. The words in which his opinions were couched were likewise condemned, as also a work entitled “Thalia,” which he had written on the subject. I have not read this book, but I understand that it is of a loose character, resembling in license Sotadus. 1127 It ought to be known that although Eusebius, bishop of Nicomedia, and Theognis, bishop of Nicæa, assented to the document of this faith set forth by the council, they neither agreed nor subscribed to the deposition of Arius. The emperor punished Arius with exile, and dispatched edicts to the bishops and people of every country, denouncing him and his adherents as ungodly, and commanding. that their books should be destroyed, in order that no remembrance of him or of the doctrine which he had broached might remain. Whoever should be found secreting his writings and who should not burn them immediately on the accusation, should undergo the penalty of death, and suffer capital punishment. The emperor wrote letters to every city against Arius and those who had received his doctrines, and commanded Eusebius and Theognis to quit the cities whereof they were bishops; he addressed himself in particular to the church of Nicomedia, urging it to adhere to the faith which had been set forth by the council, to elect orthodox bishops, to obey them, and to let the p. 256 past fall into oblivion; and he threatened with punishment those who should venture to speak well of the exiled bishops, or to adopt their sentiments. In these and in other letters, he manifested resentment against Eusebius, because he had previously adopted the opinions of the tyrant, and had engaged in his plots. In accordance with the imperial edicts, Eusebius and Theognis were ejected from the churches which they held, and Amphion received that of Nicomedia, and Chrestus that of Nicæa. On the termination of this doctrinal controversy, the council decided that the Paschal feast should be celebrated at the same time in every place. 1128
There are variations in the earlier writers as to the number and names of the excommunicated and banished.255:1126
Eusebius attempt at straddling amounts to prevarication here, and later; Soc. i. 8 copied by the later historians.255:1127
Cf. Soc. i. 9; both borrowed their criticism from Athan. Or. cont. Arian. i. 4, etc.256:1128
Eus. V. C. iii. 14–24; Soc. i. 8, 9.
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