The partisans of Acacius 1355 were not able to p. 324 remain in tranquillity; and they therefore assembled together with a few others in Antioch, and condemned the decrees which they had themselves enacted. They decided to erase the term “similar” from the formulary which had been read at Ariminum and at Constantinople, and affirmed that in all respects, in substance and in will, the Son is dissimilar from the Father, and that He proceeded from what had no previous existence, even as Arius had taught from the commencement. They were joined by the partisans of Aëtius, who had been the first after Arius to venture openly upon the profession of these opinions; hence Aëtius was called atheist, and his approvers, Anomians and Exucontians.
When those who maintained the Nicene doctrines demanded of the Acacians how they could say that the Son is dissimilar from the Father, and that He proceeded out of nothing, when it was affirmed in their own formulary that He is “God of God,” they replied that the Apostle Paul had declared that “All things are of God,” 1356 and that the Son is included in the term “all things”; and that it was in this sense, and in accordance with the Sacred Scriptures, that the expressions in their formulary were to be understood. Such were the equivocations and sophistry to which they had recourse. At length, finding that they could advance no efficient argument to justify themselves in the opinion of those who pressed them on this point, they withdrew from the assembly, after the formulary of Constantinople had been read a second time, and returned to their own cities.
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