Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. IV:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
Encyclical Letter. (Epistola Encyclica.): All the above illegalities were carried on in the interest of Arianism.
§6. All the above illegalities were carried on in the interest of Arianism.
Gregory then is an Arian, and has been sent to the Arian party; for none demanded him, but they only; and accordingly as a hireling and a stranger, he makes use of the Governor to inflict these dreadful and cruel deeds upon the people of the Catholic Churches, as not being his own. For since Pistus, whom Eusebius and his fellows formerly appointed over the Arians, was justly anathematized 468 and excommunicated for his impiety by you the Bishops of the Catholic Church, as you all know, on our writing to you concerning him, they have now, therefore, in like manner sent this Gregory to them; and lest they should a second time be put to shame, by our again writing against them, they have employed extraneous force against me, in order that, having obtained possession of the Churches, they may seem to have escaped all suspicion of being Arians. But in this too they have been mistaken, for none of the people of the Church are with them, except the heretics p. 96 only, and those who have been excommunicated on divers charges, and such as have been compelled by the Governor to dissemble. This then is the drama of Eusebius and his fellows, which they have long been rehearsing and composing; and now have succeeded in performing through the false charges which they have made against me before the Emperor 469 . Notwithstanding, they are not yet content to be quiet, but even now seek to kill me; and they make themselves so formidable to our friends, that they are all driven into banishment, and expect death at their hands. But you must not for this stand in awe of their iniquity, but on the contrary avenge: and shew your indignation at this their unprecedented conduct against us. For if when one member suffers all the members suffer with it, and, according to the blessed Apostle, we ought to weep with them that weep 470 , let every one, now that so great a Church as this is suffering, avenge its wrongs, as though he were himself a sufferer. For we have a common Saviour, who is blasphemed by them, and Canons belonging to us all, which they are transgressing. If while any of you had been sitting in your Church, and while the people were assembled with you, without any blame, some one had suddenly come under plea of an edict as successor of one of you, and had acted the same part towards you, would you not have been indignant? would you not have demanded to be righted? If so, then it is right that you should be indignant now, lest if these things be passed over unnoticed, the same mischief shall by degrees extend itself to every Church, and so our schools of religion be turned into a market-house and an exchange.
Apol. c. Ar. §§19, 24.96:469
Apol. c. Ar. 3.96:470
1 Cor. xii. 26; Rom. xii. 15.
Next: Appeal to the bishops of the whole Church to unite against Gregory.
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