Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. II: The Ecclesiastical History of Sozomen.: After the Synod, the East and the West are separated; the West nobly adheres to the Faith of the Nicene Council, while the East is disturbed by Contention here and there over this Dogma.Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
Chapter XIII.—After the Synod, the East and the West are separated; the West nobly p. 291 adheres to the Faith of the Nicene Council, while the East is disturbed by Contention here and there over this Dogma.
After this Synod, the Eastern and the Western churches ceased to maintain the intercourse which usually exists among people of the same faith, and refrained from holding communion with each other. 1255 The Christians of the West separated themselves from all as far as Thrace; those of the East as far as Illyria. This divided state of the churches was mixed, as might be supposed, with dissentient views and calumnies. Although they had previously differed on doctrinal subjects, yet the evil had attained no great height, for they had still held communion together and were wont to have kindred feelings. The Church throughout the whole of the West in its entirety regulated itself by the doctrines of the Fathers, and kept aloof from all contentions and hair-splitting about dogma. Although Auxentius, who had become bishop of Milan, and Valens and Ursacius, bishops of Pannonia, had endeavored to lead that part of the empire into the Arian doctrines, their efforts had been carefully anticipated by the president of the Roman see and the other priests, who cut out the seeds of such a troublesome heresy. As to the Eastern Church, although it had been racked by dissension since the time of the council of Antioch, and although it had already openly differed from the Nicæan form of belief, yet I think it is true that the opinion of the majority united in the same thought, and confessed the Son to be of the substance of the Father. There were some, however, who were fond of wrangling and battled against the term “consubstantial” for those who had been opposed to the word at the beginning, thought, as I infer, and as happens to most people, that it would be a disgrace to appear as conquered. Others were finally convinced of the truth of the doctrines concerning God, by the habit of frequent disputation on these themes, and ever afterwards continued firmly attached to them. Others again, being aware that contentions ought not to arise, inclined toward that which was gratifying to each of the sides, on account of the influence, either of friendship or they were swayed by the various causes which often induce men to embrace what they ought to reject, and to act without boldness, in circumstances which require thorough conviction. Many others, accounting it absurd to consume their time in altercations about words, quietly adopted the sentiments inculcated by the council of Nicæa. Paul, bishop of Constantinople, Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria, the entire multitude of monks, Antony the Great, who still survived, his disciples, and a great number of Egyptians and of other places in the Roman territory, firmly and openly maintained the doctrines of the Nicæan council throughout the other regions of the East. As I have been led to allude to the monks, I shall briefly mention those who flourished during the reign of Constantius.
Soc. ii. 22. The rest of the chapter is marked by an independent survey of the division.
Next: Of the Holy Men who flourished about this time in Egypt, namely, Antony, the Two Macariuses, Heraclius, Cronius, Paphnutius, Putubastus, Arsisius, Serapion, Piturion, Pachomius, Apollonius, Anuph, Hilarion, and a Register of many other Saints.
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